Sometimes, the best things about beauty turn up in the unlikeliest of places. In a world filled with choices, it’s easy to overlook the good stuff, simply because they’re lesser-known and fly lower on the radar.
Here are 6 of our favourite beauty discoveries of the month:
Made from powdered kale or young barley grass, this green concoction is a traditional Japanese health supplement. Think ‘green juice’ even before cold-pressed juices became a thing. Nowadays, aojiru often contains a blend of other healthy plant-based ingredients or collagen, so that you get your daily dose of fibre plus a whole load of nutrients at the same time. The taste, if mixed with water, leaves much to be desired, to be honest, but thanks to a tip from a colleague who used to work in Japan, I’ve since found out that the best (and easiest) way to make aojiru palatable is to mix it with Yakult, so that I look forward to my morning drink.
P/s: No matter how tempting it may seem when you mentally consider it, mixing aojiru with plain yoghurt is disgusting, I’ll have you know.
GD Eau de Toilette
There’s just something about celebrity-made scents that makes me so annoyed – the lack of forethought, the poor combination of notes, and the tacky packaging makes them nothing more than a sloppily-executed fanservice. But when I stumbled upon Korean cosmetic brand Moonshot at Sephora a few months back and saw a bottle of GD EDT perched forlornly on the shelf, I just had to try it out of pure scepticism. Moonshot is owned by YG, the same company that manages top Korean groups Big Bang and the now-defunct 2NE1 (which is why you see GD and Dara as the faces of Moonshot).
Pardon me for my ignorance of jumping to conclusions that all celebrity fragrances suck, because GD EDT makes me gladly eat all my words. All celebrity fragrances suck, except GD. Unlike the usual saccharine-sweet, sickly cloying scents, this one is different, and I dare say, it’s one of the best scents ever created. Designed as a unisex perfume and sporting notes of cedarwood, sage, seaweed, bamboo, patchouli and musk, GD EDT hits all the right spots. It’s not too citrusy (as is common with most unisex scents), it’s not sweet, and it simply smells ah-may-zingggggg.
CLIO Sharp, So Simple Pencil Liner
I’ve since come to the conclusion that the Japanese make the best mascaras (there’s something about Japanese mascara formulas that make your lashes stay perfectly sky-high all day long without smudging), and Koreans make the best waterproof eyeliners. I bought this on a whim after a monthlong debate of whether to spend my money on a Moonshot eyeliner or a MAC one (both about RM75 each). I found CLIO’s pencil liner on sale on a beauty website for RM28, and thought, what the heck. It’s definitely one of the best eyeliners I’ve tried in a long, long time.
It glides on like a dream, the nib is ultra-fine for precision lining despite it being a pencil liner (they have a liquid liner version as well), and most importantly it doesn’t really smudge, even after a long day. Panda eyes are no longer a problem!
I picked up two lipsticks in a drugstore in Australia for AUD3.99 each (about RM12++). It’s from a brand called Ulta3, which apparent has an entire library of products when I searched for information online. They’re not made in Australia, though (the label on my lipstick says it’s made in China) but the sheer variety of colours and finishes make it a fun and economical way to try out a new lippie colour before you really commit to a similar shade from a more expensive brand.
I’ve been using mine for about 3 months now and so far I have no complaints. The cap is a little flimsy, as with cheaper lipsticks, but the colour payoff is good and application is easy. Definitely one of the must-buys when you visit Ozzie, as they make great souvenirs for your girlfriends too.
Shopping on iherb
The joy of browsing the extensive supplement list on iherb.com is incomparable. For some reason, supplements and vitamins in Malaysia are very expensive, but they’re dirt cheap in the States. I recently learned from a friend of mine that she gets her stock from iherb, and I trust her judgement because she’s a very careful shopper.
Apart from supplements and vitamins, iherb also stocks a wide variety of natural beauty products, food, tea, pet care and household items. I just placed my first order last week, and can’t wait for it to arrive.
Nivea Skin Delight Oil in Body Milk
I often make the mistake of falling prey to cute packaging and scents, and end up buying body lotions that sit horribly on the skin. So far, Nivea is the one brand that has never let me down. I love the blue one more; the suncare ones, not so much. This new line of oil-infused body milk (though the texture is definitely closer to a lotion) smells like powdery lavender instead of the ‘fresh’ lavender in eco-friendly beauty products, but makes my skin so smooth and soft.
The moral of the story is that if you find a beauty product you like, don’t assume that something more expensive is better. Sometimes, the best things don’t have to cost a bomb.
(Image: smallbitsofloveliness.com and respective brands)