Beauty · review · Writing Samples

Dry Brushing : My Own Experience

Dry Brushing

It does not need much explanation, dry brushing is simply brushing your skin with a brush when it is dry. This practice traces its origins back to Indian Ayurveda, where people use it as a lymphatic drainage option. Though today people seem to find more benefits to keep this ancient knowledge alive.

How To Do It?

First, invest in a good quality brush. Focus on the bristles, the handles and everything in between..

My cheap crappy brush

I got this from a pharmacy, because it has massage beads as well as the bristles. In my opinion, the bristles are quite sharp, not as good as Sukin one that I have. Unfortunately Sukin brush does not have the beads, so I use this one at the gym after my workout.

You can buy one from Amazon here.

Then, before your bath/ shower every day, gently brush from feet towards the heart; and when you do the hands, you brush them towards your chest. I do mine in a circular motion, but still swirling towards the trunk, When doing my stomach I would do a few more circles, as I really want my stubborn stomach fat to go away.

What Does Dry Brushing Do?

Aside from improving your lymphatic drainage, dry brushing is lauded to have other benefits. but the reasons why I started doing is not trying to improve the system. My lymph nodes are fine, because I am constantly moving around with a baby, and daily gym work.

The main reasons for me were exfoliating and getting rid of dirt from the pores, and hopefully scrub off enough layers of skin to fade some scars. Of course I could do wet brushing, which is brushing my skin under the shower or in the bath. But it’s Australia and it’s dry as a nun’s nasty here (yeah it’s a legit Aussie slang) so dry brushing saves water. After gym, while I am still hot and my pores are still open, that’s when I do mine.

Some would tell you that it is good to get rid of cellulite, the dimply appearance normally around the bums and thighs. Cellulite is a problem when you are sedentary and have a poor blood circulation, because the connective tissues between fat cells breakdown, then you will have that dimply look. It ain’t pretty, and you can’t treat it with diet and exercise.

Does it Work?

Not sure about the lymphatic drainage part, but I assume so because any form of movement will be good. Our lymph system has no pump, so it relies largely on muscle movement and external forces to push it to the liver. Hence all lymphatic massage is towards the liver/ body. Dry brushing is the same, but if you want to break up some extra fat stores, circular motion helps. No one said you cannot do it both ways, it does take time.

I will say that the pore cleaning definitely is true, I have seen icky stuff coming out of my skin. This was after few days of dry brushing after gym. That is probably a good thing, because I have been neglecting my skin for a tad too long. But exfoliation wise, there is some contention in that topic.

If dry brushing is a great way to exfoliate, then I would not be suffering from ingrown hairs. Right now they are still as annoying as ever. Plus, that scar has not really faded. It is a scar, from scraping myself somewhere one day. This picture is taken three weeks after my almost daily routine of dry brushing. Cellulite wise, it did somewhat make my thighs smoother, though I cannot see my bum very well…

So far there is no improvement, or nothing that makes you think it is worth the effort for me. Having said that, a lot of people do have good results. It might be just me, though I am slightly disappointed. Overall, I think it is a good habit to have, it is just a few minutes a day.

Dry Brushing vs Body Scrub: which one is better?

Priori Advanced AHA Invigorating Face & Body Scrub

For me, dry brushing takes the cake. Main reason is because the brush would last you a lot longer than a body scrub. Another advantage is the brush is made usually from boar’s bristles, where as body scrubs come in all shape and formulation, a nightmare if you have sensitive skin. If you use it properly, and clean it often, I think you can use if indefinitely, at least more than six months right?

This AHA is a chemical body scrub, it has lactic acid that acts as exfoliate. For physical exfoliate, there is Body Shop’s sugar scrub, or Sukin’s purifying scrub. Okay maybe these scrubs have the extra moisturizing effect the brushes do not have *yet*…

The only problem with dry brushing is winter, it gets terribly cold and getting naked for five minutes can be a little hard. I do it at the gym, after a workout so my body remains a little warm while I quickly do a scrub. While that works for me, I know it is not for everyone. However, wet brushing will not give you that pore and skin cleansing benefits due to reduced friction. You will still get the cellulite and lymphatic advantage, that counts for something at least.

Of course, if you are not going for the brush and prefer scrubs, you can do a little massage as you go around your body. Lymphatic massage is a good companion to your body scrub routine, there are videos you can watch online. Whichever way you pick, it is the habit that promotes good health, because lymphatic system is tied closely to our health.


Beauty · review

Maybelline Facestudio Master Fix Review

Maybelline Facestudio Master Fix * Amazon link*

2017-03-27 10.12.11

I bought this from Priceline on a whim, because I really wanted it even though I haven’t been using makeup since I gave birth to Princess Brat. At least my impulse buy didn’t cost me a bomb, only $15.95 full price. At this moment when I’m writing this, Priceline has 50% sale on all Maybelline stuff, so impulse buy yeh.

What it does

Master Fix is a spray the last step of your makeup routine, it serves as a setting agent to stop make up from running away (my case) or fading. This is an oil free and translucent formulation that will keep your makeup looking fresh, like you have just put it on.

Oh look it’s me! all freshly made up

I do like the fact that Master Fix does not actually have any sticky feeling, and is pretty easy to use. Just shake well and spray, I did not have any powder on my face. I did only the spray, to see if there is any difference between the two. The powder I usually go for matte finish, because my face gets oily after a while.

Surprisingly, this spray also keeps my face from becoming oily. The whole day and I do not have that feeling that my face is oily, so I am impressed at that. Plus I have to tell you that I only did 2 sprays, instead of the four to six sprays the website is recommending.

whoops! Must have missed that in the instructions.

Me after work : 9 hours later

The brows are obviously faded back into my original shape. Although I look a little worse, I am surprised that there are still blush and BB cream left on my face. Yes I use a proper make up remover, Garnier actually. But no picture to show the dirty bits.

Am I disappointed? Not really, now that I know I have under spray it by more than half. I will say that despite that, my make up stayed on a lot longer than normal. Usually by the time I reach home, I know that there will be no BB cream left.  I know because it’s a routine that I cleanse my skin twice, once with a remover IF i do makeup.


For that price, even at full price, I think I like it better than translucent powder like this one :

Strawberrynet : Young Blood translucent setting powder

I find that the Master Fix can keep my skin looking less oily than the powder, without me having to reapply it. This is not bad product, and I am sure there are better ones. For the price, I am happy.

Beauty · review

DB Designer Brands : Lash Primer Review

Designer Brand Lash Primer

IMG_20170709_182211863DB Lash Primer was a free gift, as you can see from the sticker near the top. If you must know, I got this because it was lying lonely in the GWP bin, unwanted for a while. I asked and got it after my shop there. It is a curious thing, this primer, as it boasts to help you have fuller and thicker lash. Apparently it will help your mascara stay on longer too.

All White!

The lash primer is white, the bottle to the inner brush and product. All white, hey don’t blame me from being skeptical okay? I have not have much success using DB products, I just find that they do not last very long for me. But for the price, it is a great place to start learning how to put make up on.

Their formulation is not bad, formulated in Australia but made in Taiwan. I do not mind that country, as it has pretty high quality products in beauty industry. I am amazed however, the DB brand is actually cruelty free and vegan, it means a lot as Taiwan does not actively participate in stopping animal testing.

Lash Primer Review

The website boasts that it has

high-tech formula infused with antioxidants, Green Tea and Coenzyme Q10.

Which I have trouble believing, because what do they do actually? Lashes are proteins, and what research shows that it helps? It also says that this can be a treatment to repair lashes.

Personally, I do not believe that it does and will work. Mainly because I have no idea how the green tea works to make the mascara stay on. Imagine the caffeine telling the mascara to work on, stay on is … not working for me.

The CoQ10 I understand, because it is a building block of sorts for proteins and stuff.  Other ingredients in this lash primer that sounds promising are panthenol, retinol, and peptide infusion. Using it, I do not see any interesting changes on my lash.

I struggle to recommend this, however for the price of AUD 9, it is certainly not a painful thing if you did buy to try.


Image from Strawberrynet, as is the link

This Clinique Lash Building Primer is at least ophthalmology tested, and judging by the reviews it does do what it is made for. However, this is not a cruelty free brand (still?) because it sells to China, which requires animal testing done.

Rant Alert

Seriously, if you are asking why animal testing is still a requirement, my guess is money. That country is all about profiteering and cares nothing about well being of humans. If it were not for those greedy manufacturers, who put melamine into baby formula, Australian parents wouldn’t have to suffer not having baby formula for babies. Read about it here...

Not only this, there have been records that drugs (addictive drugs) are added into foods, so that you keep coming back for more. Pretty sure BBC is a good source. . Worst still, it is still the largest black market for organ trafficking. So for a country that does a lot worse, do not expect them to suddenly be kind to animals, because it cannot even be kind to its own citizens.

Rant End
still strawberrynet

Blinc Lash Primer also has good reviews, and this brand is registered in PETA as cruelty free brand.  The formula has vitamin E, and does not have fragrances and dye. If this colorless one is not for you, they have a black lash primer, which helps mascara have a voluminous effect.


Beauty · review

L’Oreal Paris Brow Artist Xpert Review

L’Oreal Paris Brow Artist Xpert

L’Oreal Paris Brow Artist Xpert has been released in some countries already, but here in Australia it is going to be a new product, and I get to try it *yay*

my sample of warm brunette

I got chosen for trial in Beauty Heaven, picking Warm Brunette as my preferred shade. To me, the three shade options looked the same brown, but I am wrong because I’m not a very detailed person. I am happy though, because I have been using the same old Kate Kanebo brow palette for years!

How It LooksIMG_20170725_144557491


Just like any brow pencil I suppose. The Brow Artist has a rotating cylinder that brings up more of the product as you go along. This is after I accidentally dropped it, and the top broke off. As you can see, the rest of it is intact.

At the bottom, where my hand partially covers it, is the brush. Simple design of the name on the side. No flashy pictures of bling, kind of like a plain Jane. And the cover of the pencil is the color of the shade, which I think it’s a good idea. Overall I approve of the seemingly boring design, because we all cannot judge a pencil by its cover.

The Review

Post- cleanse face…

I wasn’t going anywhere so I didn’t bother to do up my face before using the pencil. If you are doing makeup, I guess it is up to you when you want to do your brows. My usual routine is brows first, that way I can still look proper even without eye make on. Nowadays, eye shadows go last for me, time is of the essence and that is not the most important place *for me* to color in.

A good lippie can draw the attention away from boring eyes, not that I am trying to make people notice me. All I need for a proper looking face is brows and lips, though I am sure that some people would disagree. So tell me which is more important to you.

after pencil before brush

Yes, I know it looks really awful! I was tempted to ditch this by washing it off, but I decided to give it a brush. The formulation of the pencil is good: smooth easy strokes without pulling or hitching. You would be happy to know that this is even better that using the brow pallete! Well, to me anyway.

I can’t do an close up, because there was a baby trying to climb on my legs. I could draw this in 10 seconds, so bravo.

ain’t half bad? After brush

My brows definitely looked more filled it and natural, compared to the photo above (right?). This is after just a around four brush strokes, I hesitated to do a fifth. The overall look is good, because it does look slightly filled in but not like I had drawn it in with a crayon.


I love it! The Brow Artist is here to stay! It is also travel friendly because it is a pencil with brush in the end. But my Kate Kanebo Eye Brow N Palette does have one distinct advantage over it. The N palette can double as a contouring palette, while this is a professional eye brow beautifier.

Glad I have both now =D


Beauty · review

Coen Rich Q10 Hand cream Review

CoenRich Q10 Medicated Whitening Hand Cream Moist Gel by Kose

I have this in my box for a while know, as I bought it while I was in Japan. After finishing all of my hand creams, I finally reach Kose’s CoenRich hand cream. However, I should specify that this is a moist gel formulation. Kose has a few different formulations of the same range. The red one is Deep Moisture, orange is normal, and purple is night renew.

I should have chosen the night renew hand cream, but oh well. All three says whitening, only the night renew has somewhat of a different formulation.

Do I like it?

Short answer is no. The moisture gel is a light formulation, it is definitely more suitable for use during the day. It absorbs fairly quickly, leaving this cool feeling as you massage into the skin. However, I have been using it at night, and I do not feel that it is thick or luxurious enough for a night use.

Plus, I do not feel as if my hands are improving. Normally, when I use hand cream, I can tell that they are softer or just the same. With the gel, my skin are not actually looking “younger” but rather they are dryer than usual. I feel that I need another hand cream, and there’s no more in my box.

So, at the moment I am actually using ointment and baby lotion. Since Princess Brat had a skin problem, I have been buying way too many emollients that does not work on her. The ointment works okay as it helps stop her skin from drying out, but I haven’t been getting good results from products that promises them.

On a side note, she totally likes massages. Every time I massage her arms to get the ointment into her skin, she closes her eyes in enjoyment. Totally a brat.

For all my hand cream adventures, this one turns out to be a complete disappointment. Maybe I will look out for the purple one.