Antipodes' Aura Manuka Honey Mask

This is one review I've held off on for ages because I wanted to use it to its very end before I definitively deemed this the most miraculous product in the world; and I am happy to report that it is!

Over the last few months, I've been slowly falling in love with Antipodes, and I've yet to try a product that disappoints me; but none of them hold a candle to how amazing this is!

The Aura Manuka Honey Mask is every bit as fabulous as it sounds.


Let's kick things off with aesthetics. Inside the lovely green box, you find a very simple cream tube. Antipodes always elicits the feeling of an old world apothecary in their packaging and the fact that it's all so very natural that it won't survive past 6 months. It gives me some sort of comfort in a weird way. 


Of course, you'll find nothing unbecoming within the ingredients list, just a list that screams, "happiness for your skin".


As you twist the cap off, you will be met with a thick, but light cream that smoothes easily over the skin.


The cream itself has a pale yellow hue to it which is in no small part a result of the manuka honey, vanilla pod and avocado, and as you would expect from such a concoction, the scent is divine! Not the kind of divine you get from chemically scented lotions and potions, but a good, earthy form of divine that calms and soothes your soul in the best possible way.

I do think I'm not even equipped with the words to express how amazing this is on all fronts!

Even so, let me give it a shot.

The packaging recommends a 15-minute application of this stuff, and while that would do wonders, I've had no trouble with my skin when I've left it on for 30-45 minutes. It's always good to follow instructions of this sort, but I'm a rebel with the cause of being an experimental tool (possibly just a tool) in that sense. I did try using this around the eye area as well a couple of times, but I wouldn't recommend this because it does have clarifying properties and it did dry out my undereye area a tad bit. This is not to say that it isn't nourishing. It's the most nourishing mask ever! It's just that the eye area is extra sensitive to anything and everything.

Yes, I would expect that there's a bit of confusion on this front. Is it a clarifying mask? Is it a moisturing mask? Is it both? 

Definitively both. It's the true all rounder! With this, you would only need 1 mask in your repertoire for the rest of your life. I kid you not. Without a shadow of a doubt, or a whisper of hesitation, I can safely say that this is the best mask in the world. If the Aliens ever invade earth, it will be in hopes of acquiring the maker of this mask for their species!

So, what exactly does it do? I would simply say, "Everything", but let me elaborate. It clears out pores, soothes skin, and intensely hydrates, all in one short 15-minute block. It's recommended for use twice a week, but when I bought it, the guy in TNS at Paradigm told me that if you want to boost the effect it has, when you first start using it, you can use it 4 times in the first week. If you'd like to help cell turnover, you could add a drop or two of rosehip oil to the mix as well. While I did not do the latter in order to maintain the integrity of this review, I did use it on 4 days during the week for the stipulated time frame of 15 minutes. The results are amazing from the very first application. At the time of purchase, I was suffering from The Great La Prairie Outbreak of 2013, and was willing to do anything and everything (including, but not limited to, selling my soul to One Direction) to sort the madness out, I turned to this and it was a true saving grace.

Even with the first application, I could sense that my face was less irritated! Truly awesome. A testament to the fact of the matter is that honey is widely lauded for its antibacterial properties. Further, everyone who I've recommended it to has responded favourable. It does, in fact, work, and in a very reasonable span of time as well. 

It's the true 8th wonder of the world, and it irks me that it doesn't get enough credit. It's also not one of those masks which make you appear ghoulish upon application. It has a slight sallow tinge at first, but it slowly goes clear and you don't see it on within a couple of minutes. For anyone wanting to pamper themselves on board a flight, it's a good bet. The only drawback is that you'll have to wash it off somehow. There are people who have reported using it as a night cream, but this is not something I would advocate. It is, without a doubt, clarifying, and this would strip your skin far too much if you use it upwards of an hour or two. Sometimes, following instructions is the best way to get the best results (See: Ikea Furnitue).

At RM168, this isn't a cheap mask, but trust me when I tell you it's basically good skin in a tube. It's worth every cent I paid for it. I did wait for November (the month of my birthday), where as a member of TNS Skinlab I got 25% off, but even without the sale, it's completely worth it! After all, instead of buying 2 masks, you're investing in just one, and it works out more cost effective that way. Aside from TNS Skinlab (Outlets at The Curve, Publika, Paradigm Mall), this mask is also available on HiShop, and earlier this year they had 40% off storewide. Let's hope they have it again!

The tip of the mask has a foil seal, so only after you pierce into it does that 6-month expiry date commence. I wouldn't use this past the 6 month mark. I did save 1 application for testing this, and while it didn't irritate my skin, the smell was ever so slightly off, and my face felt a little itchy while it was on, which were conditions I hadn't experienced during the period in which it was still "good". So, yes. It's completely natural, and lovely in that sense!

The only reason I haven't repurchased this is because I have a daunting task ahead of me in using up all the masks in my possession. Rest assured that once that is over and done with, this will be back in my possession!

This has my "You Need It In Your Life" seal of approval, and I strongly, STRONGLY urge you to try it out!
I Want Gong Cha at All My Events!

If you've ever met me, chances are I've professed my undying love for bubble tea to you at some point or another. So, naturally when Gong Cha tied up with The Butterfly Project for a giveaway, I had to get in on the action. To have a whole Gong Cha truck dedicated to something/someone I love...it will still be all mine in some way. Definitely a dream come true for the tea addict in me!



Many of you know that I'm a bit of a tea snob, and I particularly love Gong Cha for the fact that they made Earl Grey Milk Tea a norm across the world of bubble tea! Earl Grey is truly one of my favourite blends on tea; but that isn't to say that their other flavours aren't addictively awesome as well. I'm ashamed to say that I hadn't tried their signature Wintermelon Tea until The Butterfly Project's Walkathon earlier this month, and I was completely blown away! A truck that's all mine, in a venue of my choosing would allow me to share this firsthand experience with others who have been hesitant! (I will admit I was a little heartbroken there was no Earl Grey tea to be had a the Walkathon, but it allowed me to experience something new that I fell in love with!).

So, coming up later this year, there will be a a workshop on Consumer Rights, and what better time to have tea for a tea break. A little bubble tea to liven up the legal world! Tea definitely makes everything better! And don't those of us striving for perfection in the service industry deserve it? Yes, yes we do!

Here's to keeping my fingers crossed that the truck pops by with tea for all and sundry!
Make Up For Ever Pro Boutique Launch

Back in March, Make Up For Ever (henceforth referred to as MUFE), launched their Pro Boutique in Starhill Gallery. This was mindblowing to me for 2 reasons. Firstly, Make Up For Ever is one of the best companies ever to get shades of stuff other companies won't have on the counter, because they specialize in stage makeup as well; and secondly, I didn't even know Sephora Starhill had an upstairs to it! 

So yes, I was a little overexcited about being in attendance, and I'm going to take you through exactly why. 


[Registration Table]

The kicker to the entire arena is that this is what every girl wants her makeup room to look like. If you don't understand my obsessive makeup collection habits by now, you need to read my blog more, but honestly, this is exactly how I would design my dream makeup room!


[MUFE's Pro Boutique in Starhill]


[HD Display]



[HD Blush]


[Eye Liners]


[Lip Liners]


[Lipsticks]


[Cream Bases]


[Eye Shadow]


[Brushes & Lashes]


[Tools of the Trade]


[Love Affair]

I can only imagine that the lot of you are drooling as well. Organised, colourful stashes of makeup? Yes, please! 

But it goes beyond that. MUFE has their own line of skincare related to makeup as well, and we all know that getting the makeup off properly is just as essential as putting it on right. 

Enter: Cleansing Oil!


[Extreme Cleanse]

This is something I've heard a fair bit about, and it's actually on my to try list once my stash of cleansers has dwindled. 

Of course, there were some very special guests in attendance as well.


[Amber Chia]



The event itself was rather chilled and comforting in its own way. The space was filled with people addictively swatching and playing with all the colours on offer, and there was food to aid the convivial atmostphere!


[<3]

There were also some very pretty cocktails and champagne served to all.



The picture above personifies what MUFE does best: Something for everyone. You will undoubtedly find your perfect shade in their vast change of bases and colours, ensuring that you get exactly the look and finish you're going for. 

In the past, I've used their Matt Velvet+ Foundation, HD Foundation, and I'm still using their Full Cover Foundation, and both of them never disappointed. Their HD range is quite something as well. A quick search will send you through an array of gushing about how their products sit on the sink in the most lovely way. But with all things HD, beware flash photography. Aside from that, however, they leave skin looking flawless and radiant in the best possible way.

After the feeding, watering and mingling, the event kicked off. Honestly, the excitement was palpable, and the energy amazing.


[Stanley Wong - Brand Manager]

It all kicked off with a bit of background on MUFE's range of products and why the brand prides itself on being one of the best in the industry.

As this was the launch of a Pro Boutique, the display was spectacularly out of the ordinary! The models were done up in full stage makeup in order to showcase the versatility that comprised the product range.

And so I give you: Dynamic Art!


[A decidedly glittery version of Phantom of the Opera]


[For The Walking Dead Afficionados]


[Black Swan Perhaps?]


[Tim Burton Would be Proud]


[The Lovely Models]

What's truly amazing is that even up close, the makeup looked flawless. Yes, you knew it was makeup, but it was so fantastically done that you simply had to marvel at not just the talent of the makeup artists at play, but the sheer quality of the products. Considering the spotlights and crowd, there was no issue with any melting of the makeup, or bits and bobs falling off. 

It can't be a launch without a button to do so, can it? Of course not!


[Officiating the Launch]

And, of course, they launched the MUFE's myTRIBE card which entitles makeup artists to 20% off all merchandise at the boutique. 


[myTRIBE]

Honestly, look at the quality of the makeup!


[The fabulous Shivani]



[The ever-adorable and gorgeous Kelly]

Completely unexpectedly, we were treated to a dance by the models. 


[So very Thriller, don't you agree?]


The vigorous dancing and perfection of the makeup thereafter only accentuates the lasting quality of the makeup! Amazing stuff!


[The lovely Sabby]


[Wonderful, welcoming Joyce from MUFE who extended the invite to me]

The event was truly fantastic, and I don't think I need to elaborate on how amazing the boutique looks. If you're at Stahill, do pop in and run around swatching stuff, because the selection will make you feel like a rainbow exploded in-store! It's absolutely amazing! 

I was completely struck by how generous they were with our goodies as well!


[MUFE Goodies]


[HD Elixir]

This is somewhat of an amazing product. It's a hybrid of skincare and makeup in that it functions as an intensely hydrating primer. It sinks in very quickly and leaves skin velvet-smooth to the touch. If you're not a fan of primers which are essentially melted silicone without any benefits, this might be something to look into. 


[HD Powder]

Now this powder has an insanely dedicated following, and for good reason. I have the full size as it is, and when you use it, it makes your skin look absolutely amazing without a visible dusting of the stuff. Of course, you have to avoid flash photography with this stuff, but if you just need a gorgeous finish to the skin, this will do it for you in a heart beat!

I've also got the kabuki that comes with this and it is so soft and makes me so happy! 


[HD Primer]

For those who want a traditional silicone primer that will fill in all your pores and fine lines, this is what you're looking for. I've also got a full size of this in my stash, and it's actually the only primer I own!


[Aqua Liner in Black]

Now this liner is COMPLETELY waterproof. I kid you not! Put it on and try blending it out 20 seconds later. You will peel your skin off, but it won't budge. For the eyeliner addict that has problems with it fading through the day, do consider it.


The top on this is extremely fine and tapered, and is a brush-tip applicator, so it's perfect for liquid liner junkies like myself!

And finally, the product I was most excited about finding in my little MUFE bag (honestly, this bag was the definition of "good things comes in small packages"):


[HD Blush in 215]


When I first saw this shade, I didn't think it would work with my skintone, but I'm all too happy that I was sorely mistaken! It's a cream blush with lovely, light pigmentation that can be built up. It blends extremely easily and I love it! You know I'm going to acquire more shades, don't you?


[Blush and Aqua Liner]

As for wear, I've got the eyeliner and the blush on in the picture below.


[Lined and Blushing!]

MUFE have also just launched a completely waterproof range, and it's definitely worth checking out. The one item I'm eyeing is the only mascara I've ever repurchased: Smokey Lash. It's amazing! My own mother asks me if I'm wearing falsies when I've got it on, and I've got as good a reason as any to get another with my wedding popping up! YAY!