[Local] Review: Wardah Lightening Facial Serum

?????????????I just bought my third box of Wardah Lightening Facial Serum, so obviously this is a good one. It’s a box of 5 ampoules, each 5ml, and is marketed as containing Vitamin B3 to help brighten skin. Each of the ampoules has a twist cap opening, and the liquid content is a clear gel (not too runny) with a very faint floral scent.

wardah lightening facial serum 2

Wardah Lightening Facial Serum list of ingredients
Wardah Lightening Facial Serum list of ingredients

Niacinamide (or Vitamin B3) is the second ingredient after water in Wardah’s Lightening Facial Serum, and this was what caught my attention. Niacinamide is a very popular ingredient in products targeted for skin brightening or lightening, since it is touted to reduce wrinkles, hydrate, peel, AND help skin turnover at the same time, with many clinical trials and scientific research to prove the claims. You can read a bit more here, here or here, and googling will result in many more info about this ingredient.

Not only that, Glycerin and Aloe are also high in the ingredient list, and both are hydrating substances. Tocopheryl Acetate or Vitamin E, and Sodium Hyaluronate, another hydrating ingredient, are also present at relatively smaller amounts (but potentially still of sufficient quantities to be effective, as the list is relatively short). Housing the Serum in small ampoules is also a smart move as it reduces contact with oxygen (therefore slowing the breakdown/degradation of the ingredients).

Each ampoule of 5ml is sufficient for 4-5 applications in my experience – I use this liberally to coat my face, neck and upper chest. I use this only at night, after a thorough cleansing of my face, and the Serum is followed by a basic moisturizer to ‘seal in’ the hydration (I like St Ive’s Collagen Elastin Moisturizer). Even without the additional moisturizer, this Serum alone is hydrating enough for my oily facial skin, but I put on moisturizer on top since my neck and chest area can always use it.

So, great ingredients and packaging – but what about performance? Indeed, I see the brightening impact even after the second use! After the use of one ampoule (4-5 consecutive nights), I see significant brightening and overall evening out of skin tone.

I never use more than one ampoule continuously, preferring to switch around what I use to get the most benefits from different skincare ingredients. I usually take a few weeks before opening and using the next ampoule. So a box can last me at least 3 months. At a price of Rp54,000 for 25ml (less than US$5, and it is often on sale), this product is obviously a winner. Highly recommended and I applaud Wardah for making a good product (using internationally proven effective ingredient) at a price that everyone can afford!

[Local] La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette: Review and Swatches

While tooling around in the traditional market for the Purbasari lipstick, this little gem of a travel palette by local brand La Tulipe caught my eyes: Asian Beauty Travel Palette (normally Rp165,000 ~ US$12 but was on 15% discount). It was one of two La Tulipe travel palettes that I was shown, but I bought this one since I prefer its  color combination and cover illustration.

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Inside the La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette

The first row in the palette has four eyeshadows which are unnamed: #1 shimmery orange-y copper; #2 shimmery light pink; #3 a satiny matte dark brown (more on this below); and #4 golden cream. The second row is occupied by a face powder (suitable for someone NC 25-30, and described as a two-way cake though I haven’t tried it wet yet), a shimmery and slightly bronze-y peach blush , and two lip colors (a shimmery almost translucent orange, and a matte peachy pink).

Now, the dark brown is relatively matte, but with a very slight sheen. That’s why I mentioned it as a satin-y matte. In a jam, this will also work as brow color, if you use sparingly and just to fill in the gaps. It is not too red, so that’s a plus, but if you try to shape with it – where some color show on skin rather than amongst brow hair – the shine will show through more.

The palette is made of cardboard,  10.5 cm width x 14.5 cm length x 1.5cm deep (comparable to a conventional postcard). It comes with a plastic separator and a good-sized mirror. Two mini brushes are included, which were useless and I’ve thrown away.

The pros: cheap; the colors relatively pigmented and neutral for Asian skin coloring; shimmery but still office-appropriate; the powders soft, buttery and blend easily; the lip colors not drying; the individual pans not too small; and the packaging classy.

The cons: the eyeshadows will need a primer to be longer-lasting; all the powder products heavily fragranced; and some people may find the color combination old-fashioned.

Edit: I’ve had a chance to use the face powder wet, and results are not good. There is some coverage, but the buffing takes time, oil control is poor, and the finish is very coarse. This is best as a setting powder in a thin layer.

Bottom line: I think this is probably the best travel palette I’ve ever seen from a local brand. It’s a classy palette that you won’t be embarrassed whipping out in front of co-workers or in the airport lounge. Recommended!

Backside of the La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette (click to enlarge)
Backside of the La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette (click to enlarge)
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Swatches of all contents, La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette
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Wearing #1 (left) and #2 lip colors, the face powder and blush (over MAC BB Cream), La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette
Face powder and eyeshadows, La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette
Face powder and eyeshadows, La Tulipe Asian Beauty Travel Palette

[Local] Review and Swatches: Purbasari Lipstick No. 82 Mirah

Purbasari Matte Lipstick No. 82 Mirah (4)These ultra cheap Purbasari Lipstick Color Mattes have been making local waves for a while now, but I’ve only been able to acquire one recently. They’re really down-market, so your best bet in finding one is at cosmetics shops in the traditional or wet markets where they’ve been selling briskly.

I got No. 82; on the bullet, it is called Mirah (ruby, in English). I could not find the color name on the box, though. The color swatch on the box is actually quite accurate  – it is a berry red. Visually the bullet looks nice, but feels flimsy.

Mirah is a true matte that goes on thick and opaque in one swipe. If you like precise application of your lipsticks, then you will need to use a lip brush. The lasting power is very good (no fading even after 4 hours with many drinks), and it does not stain cups when you’re drinking. Mirah lasts through a moderate meal, leaving a good amount of stain on the lips. It feels dry, but not to the point of discomfort. This actually reminds me on a Lancome matte lipstick I had, in this exact color, in the late 90s, ha!

Overall, this is a great product for its price of only Rp29,000 (about US$2!). I am not a big fan of the matte lip look, but Mirah also looks great glossy. At this price, purchasing more will satisfy cravings for new makeup without breaking the bank!

Purbasari No. 82 Mirah (left) and compared with Colour Pop Too Sexy and NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Prague
Purbasari No. 82 Mirah (left) and compared with other matte lipsticks, ie. Colour Pop Too Sexy and NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Prague

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Purbasari Matte Lipstick No. 82 Mirah - ingredients
Purbasari Matte Lipstick No. 82 Mirah – ingredients

 

Habis! Used-up Hair Masks

Hair products review Sept 2015 (2)bI’ve somewhat simultaneously finished a few hair products these last few weeks. Here are four which I’ve been using in the last year or so. Yes, it takes me a while to use up products as I usually have a few in rotation at any given time. The four products are reviewed below in order of preference, from most preferred to less preferred.

As a reference, my hair is fine and curly, currently shoulder length. I typically use these hair products in lieu of a conditioner, leaving them on the lengths of hair for a few minutes to a few hours, depending on what I’m doing at the time. And I think silicones are a very good thing for the hair.

Carol's Daughter
Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask Ingredients
Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask (~US$32  for 7oz/200gr)

I am enamored by the whole Carol’s Daughter range, and want to try ALL of them. However, they are not cheap, and since they are bulky, transport cost adds a substantial premium. I splurged on this hair mask as it’s received many favorable reviews, and I love the scent of Monoi (a mixture of coconut oil and tiare flowers – kembang kamboja).

The first thing to be noticed about this product is the scent, definitely, which is quite strong. You need to love it, or at least be indifferent to it, as the scent can linger for a few days. I love it, and on days I have this on, I don’t even bother with perfumes or any kind of body scent any more. This mask has a very thick consistency, and will not drip when used on relatively damp (not dripping wet) hair. It is very good at retaining curls, does not weigh hair down, and helps control frizz. I also like this to wash my hair (the so-called a conditioning wash or co-wash, sans shampoo), as it really rinses off the scalp very clean. I am now eying the complete Monoi set, and I am sure I will repurchase this mask in the future.

Neutrogena Triple Moisture
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask ingredients
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask (~US$7.50 for 6oz/170gr)

This product also has very good reviews online, and I ordered it on a whim of an Ulta Sale. It really is deeply moisturizing. I use this after coloring my hair (bubble hair color is a favorite, lately), and it really helps minimize the crunchy, dry feel of hair after  the process. Triple moisture is for the trilogy of olive, which “penetrates to the center,” meadowfoam seed which “helps moisturize the middle,” and sweet almond which “wraps the surface”. Whatever.

You require very little product of this for the whole hair, and I probably have used this tub the longest amongst the four reviewed here; dare I say even two years? I found, however, that it’s not great for co-washing as it does not rinse off the scalp completely, leaving a filmy residue. The scent is a floral clean one that is very strong when used, but rinses off and is quite subtle for about half a day, disappearing after a day or so. I will probably repurchase this one as well one of these days.

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Syoss Moisutre Intensive Care Treatment ingredients
Syoss Moisture Intensive Care Treatment (less than Rp100,000 or about US$8 for 200ml)

This one is available locally, at a reasonable price, so I tried it. Generally, it’s pretty ok, does moisturize and retain curls well, though I need quite a bit more product compared to the two above (perhaps because silicones are lower on the ingredients list, so the coating effect on hair can be achieved only with more product). I also found the scent somewhat plasticky – it does not bother me but also does not give pleasure.  I would probably not repurchase, and prefer to try other similar products available locally.

Rudy Hadisuwarno
Rudy Hadisuwarno Ginseng Creambath
Rudy Hadisuwarno Ginseng Creambath (less than Rp50,000 or about $4 for 200ml)

This works ok, and is cheap, but the moisturizing effect on hair is minimal, and there’s no silicones to coat and give shine to the hair (which might be a good thing for some people). I think it’s targeted at scalp care with ginseng extract at 3%. I actually quite like the scent, and it’s  acceptable for co-washing though a bit more runny compared to the Carol’s Daughter Monoi or the Neutrogenal Triple Moisture masks. You might be interested to know that this is advertised as having UV filters –  which it does with 2% Octyl Methoxycinnamate.  I will probably not repurchase as it I still need to put on more product to moisturize and control frizz on top of this – not an efficient way of going through my hair wash day.

I’d love to hear your favorite hair masks, especially if you have similar hair as mine.

[Local] Masalah Hutang Negara itu Bukan Nilainya atau Bunganya, tapi BOCORNYA!

ADB LIBOR based interest

Tempo hari baca berita kalau belum sekian hari, pemerintahan Jokowi sudah hutan xx amount. Baru inget lagi bahasan itu karena baca dokumen ini, info tentang tingkat bunga untuk pinjaman dari Asian Development Bank (ADB). I thought maybe I should post it here, mungkin ada yang ngira kalau pemerintah berhutang ke bank multilateral macam World Bank atau ADB, maka bunganya macam kredit panci atau kredit motor atau kredit korset. Ya nggaklah, ini kan yang pinjem negara, which is kemungkinan ngemplang bakal lebih kecil daripada Ujang si tukang ojek. Untuk hutang fixed rate 15 tahun dalam US$, ditambah bea2, maka bunganya kalau dari ADB …… jeng jeng: 3%! Tiga persen!

Rendah kan? Macam pinjem 100juta, bayar bunga Rp3 juta per tahun (atau Rp250rb per bulan).

Lha kalau begitu ngutang aja dong, apalagi kalau cuma punya uang dikit. Precisely. Yang masalah adalah, bocornya itu. Mulai dari makelar minta jatah, hutang dipakai beli barang2 gak perlu, sampai ada lho kasus hutang dibungain lagi lantas masuk ke kantong seseorang (lha bunga di bank Indonesia kan jauh lebih tinggi tuh). Lebih parah lagi kalo ngutang buat ngerjain sesuatu yang gak guna. Misalnya pemerintah ngutang, terus dipinjemin duitnya untuk bikin stasiun tv, dan stasiun tv itu kerjaannya pasang sinetron macam “Cantik-cantik, Serigala”.

Buat yang minat kridit ke ADB, perhatikan ya, ini utk pemerintah, kalau untuk private sector lain lagi ratenya.

HRH Sighting: Kate wearing Lolita Earings made by a Balinese family

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I’m starting a series called HRH Sightings, HRH being the Duchess of Cambridge aka Kate Middleton. She’s recently spotted wearing a pair of Mirabelle’s Lolita Earrings (see picture above). Mirabelle said that this piece, part of their Mythology Collection, was handcrafted by a family in Bali (who is probably dumbstruck that something made by their hands is being worn by the future Queen of England).

[This is probably the first time the Duchess wears an item known to be made in Indonesia and it’s to her credit that it’s an artisanal rather than a luxury designer piece].

I love it when royalty, international trade and fashion create a story. In the olden days, this would be a remarkable story of Cleopatra wearing an Indian silk sheath, presented to her by Mark Anthony who obtained the cloth from Silk Road merchants, with the  process of harvesting, weaving, transporting and tailoring the fabric probably taking over a few years. It is an everyday fact now, but once in a while a story makes it remarkable again.

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