The Concealer Chronicles: Nars' Radiant Creamy Concealer

When I posted this picture, there was overwhelming demand for a review on this concealer, so I decided to kick off The Concealer Chronicles with it.

When Nars released this concealer, it shot to Holy Grail status for many for good reason. It comes in 10 shades and lives up to its claim of being both radiant and creamy! It also has light-diffusing technology in-built, so that is an automatic, "Yes!" in my book! It's a very versatile concealer in that it works well on the undereye area and around the face; but there is also the added benefit of using a shade lighter or darker as a highlight or contour.


[Nars' Radiant Creamy Concealer in Biscuit (Med/Dark1)]

My primary concealer needs are always dark circle based so I tend to pick my concealer shade as such. While the shade "Custard", one shade lighter than Biscuit, is a perfect match for my skin tone, I wanted something a bit deeper to neutralise my dark circles. 


[Doe Foot Applicator]


[Slightly Salmon-y]

Let's take a look at how it fares, shall we?


[Bare-Faced]


[The Magic V]

As the concealer is slightly creamy, it works very well for those of us with fine lines and/or dry skin under the eyes. I also prefer tapping it in with my ring finger rather than using a brush because it blends in more seamlessly. As with most concealers, I take it up onto the lid to neutralise the slight darkness as well. Clean canvas, ahoy!


[Left Eye Concealed; Right Eye Bare]


[Concealer On]


[Concealer Powdered]

I use a small touch of a dedicated eye setting powder for my undereye area (review pending).


[Foundation On]


[Full Makeup - 1 pm]

For the record, it's really quite a nice foundation as well. Turning a concealer into a foundation is done in a 1:4 ratio of concealer to moisturiser. I didn't use it in this manner here because this concealer is far too pricey to use so much of! However, should you want a very flawless finish, go for it!

11 hours later, the concealer had creased into my fine lines a little, and worn away just a touch, but it still fared pretty well.


[Midnight]

Most of the time, I suffer from just uneven skin, and foundation sorts it out, but just in time to kick off my concealer reviews, my skin decided to break out in a rash. So, it's rather fortunate timing in that respect. 


[Before Concealing]


[After Concealing]

The concealer doesn't wear off as much on my neck as it does on my face because I have oilier skin on my face. Unfortunately that eats through concealer quicker than I would like. The concealer stuck around through to the end of the day on my neck, and worked even better when I used it over foundation. Here it is shown on its own without foundation.

This is truly one of my favourite concealers because it does a fantastic job as promised. It's no wonder it's a Holy Grail for many, and it's one I'm quite happy I forked out the money for.; but before you run out and spent RM100+ on it, stick around because there's a review of a potential dupe coming up soon!
Althea Unboxing [Video]



[Unboxing Video]

As mentioned, it took TaQBin forever to deliver my packaged, and it's obvious they didn't even try because someone is always in the office until 8 pm daily so there couldn't have been delivery failure. It was just laziness on their part. This is a copy of the tracking information:

[TaQBin's Ridiculous Behaviour]

Anyway, now that I finally have my package, here's what's inside!

.

[Pretty Lilac Box]


[My Haul!]

First of was the innisfree mask that was on special offer. They will be returning the entire RM 40 to me in credits for my future shopping expedition!



There's been a bit of an issue with the sun block I ordered, though. It's from the same brand but not the product I ordered. I have contacted them about this, so we shall see how they respond. They sent me a more expensive product than what I ordered (i.e. Nature Republic California Aloe Sun Block - Mild (RM 29)). UPDATE: They responded informing me that a mail was sent out informing customers that the sun block I ordered is no longer in production and was substituted with this. All is well with the world!



And a toner! I'm REALLY happy with this one because I've yet to try a rice-based toner. Fingers crossed!



And of course, the two hydrogel eye masks!





I intend to have a very pretty undereye area in the near future! Look out for it!

I paid a total for RM 120 (which actually works out to RM 80 after credit rebate) for all 5 items which basically makes this order dirt cheap. I'm so happy with it! It's RM 150 worth of stuff for around half the price, when it's already heavily discounted. Love? Yes!

I'll be publishing a guide on how to shop on Althea soon, so stay tuned! Or go try it out for yourself at Althea!
The Body Shop's Virgin Mojito Collection


For Summer, The Body Shop launched a brand new collection (which appears to be permanent) - The Virgin Mojito Collection!

I went in store, sniffed the products and knew I had to have them! I was holding off on purchases at the time, but a very good friend picked some bits up for me!


[The Body Shop's Virgin Mojito Collection]

On the whole, The Body Shop's offerings don't really get my blood pumping, but their latest addition to body lotions, the body sorbet, is a force to be reckoned with!


[Virgin Mojito Body Sorbet (RM 72)]

While their body butters tend to be too thick for this weather, their body sorbet is a whole other matter. They're light and have an almost whipped texture to them which makes it a breeze to sink into the skin. It offers hydration, moreso than moisturisation, which is something I direly need in this weather. 

I can't even get over the scent of these! Seriously! You need to go in store and take a sniff because they have the most amazingly fresh, addictive scent to them.

She also got me a few miniature bits to try, and these come in something called a Cool Cube.


[Virgin Mojito Cool Cube (RM 55)]

In it you'll get a fluffy loofah (TBS certainly does those well), the shower gel and body butter from the collection.


[Virgin Mojito Body Butter (RM 89 - Full Size)]

While I'm truly not a fan of body butters, I find myself using this as night because it smells so damn good. My pot is almost empty, but I don't think I'll pick another up because I much prefer the body sorbet in terms of texture and lack of stickiness. 


[Virgin Mojito Shower Gel (RM 35 - Full Size)]

As with all of The Body Shop's shower gels, this isn't particularly moisturising or hydrating, but it smells amazing to wake up to in the morning. I may end up with the full size because the scent is so addictive!

But what I'm really eyeing is the body scrub.
[Virgin Mojito Body Scrub (RM 105)]

Every time I enter The Bod y Shop, I end up sniffing this and I crave it. It truly smells good enough to eat, but I have restrained myself from seeing if that is actually true. It's a definite purchase the moment I run through my stash of body scrubs.

It no longer states "Limited Edition" for this collection, so I do hope they've made it a permanent range. Let me know if you guys would like full reviews of any of these products.
L'Oreal's Collection Star Lipstick in Pure Fire


For Summer, L'Oreal launched a gorgeous range of lipsticks to suit a very large population of the women. The collection is represented by some of the biggest names in the world, and run the spectrum of skintones. While each shade has a dedicated representative, they're extremely versatile colours and I simply couldn't help staring at the display, walking away, then promptly coming back picking one up!


As I mentioned in a couple of my previous posts, I adore orange and I feel like I don't have nearly enough orange shades in my collection (for blush and lipstick only, of course!). I will admit that I have no clue who "Compoo" is, but I picked the shade she's wearing in the advertisement. 


[Chic Packaging]

The packaging on this is absolutely gorgeous. It's got a little colour block where the cover attached to the lipstick itself, and it gives a decent representation of the shade within. I find it rather cute that they've imprinted the signatures of the stars associated with the lip shade in gold on the packaging. It's a very nice touch.


[L'Oreal's Collection Star Lipstick in Pure Fire (CSR1)]

The lipstick is absolutely, gorgeous, isn't it? It goes on a little sheer, but it's buildable. It goes on slightly glossy, but dries down to a semi-matte over a few minutes. I got pretty decent wear out of it in that it was still there until I wiped my mouth later in the evening. 


[1 pm]


[12 mn (11 hours later)]

While it's a decently long-wearing lipstick, I found it to be too drying for me. It did leave a touch of a stain (I didn't touch it up at all), but it wore off rather unevenly. My lips felt cracked and painful at the end of the day, but I do have extremely dry lips, so if that is the case for you too, I would steer clear of this collection. If you pop a lip balm under it, though, it will definitely be a more comfortable wear though. 

While I won't be picking up more shades because they're so drying, although I'm incredibly tempted because they're just so beautiful, I will continue to use this. The colour is just too pretty! After all, we all have a bit of a Kamikaze attitude where beauty is concerned, don't we?! 

Mind you, these are also on a bit of the pricey side. I bought them for RM 38+. I was a little surprised, but I just couldn't help myself!
KL Coffee Tour: Mono Coffee @ Publika

Time to kick off a new series that's very dear to my heart: Coffee! I basically subsist on coffee, so if you are in need of a good cuppa, stay tuned. There will be a weekly installment of addiction coming your way!

Back in April, I was invited to attend the grand opening of Mono Coffee in Publika. It's owned by the same company that brought you Cosans Coffee that has basically exploded all over KL. The difference is that Mono (named after single-origin coffees, as opposed to the disease I guess) boasts an artisan concept with food to match.


[Mono Coffee Opened their Doors on 17th April, 2015]

Let me say at the outset that it's taken me over 3 months to get this review out because the opening was an absolute disaster. I will admit that the coffee there surpasses decent, and if it weren't for how the opening had gone, I could see myself heading there for coffee.

So, what was so bad about it? First of all, it was an invited review of bloggers and the mainstream media. One would assume that when you open your doors to the public, your restaurant will actually be complete. Alas, upon arriving at the establishment, we were met with workers still putting up decorations. I don't mean balloons; rather they were nailing artwork to the wall. Upon sitting down, there was a nail next to my foot which is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Truly, if you aren't prepared to open, push your date back a bit. From what I understand, this is similar to what occurred when Cosans opened its doors to the media as well. One would think The Brandker Group would have learned from that, but apparently not. 

As to the decor, it's very kitschy and fits the Artisan theme well.




[The Coffee Bar]


It is certainly cosy, and very inviting in a masculine sort of way. With it's grunge interspersed with black feature walls, and deep, dark furniture, it truly feels like it is pulling you into the womb of coffee. 


Mono has a personalised blend that they use for their coffee called, "Monian". It's really quite good in being a mix of Brazilian, Guatemalan and Sumatran beans. Each of these brings something to the full-bodied nature of their roast.


[For the Caffeinated]

There are also a number of offerings in terms of brewing that you can choose from. They have chemex coffee, aeropress, pour over, and of course, your espresso-based beverages. 


[Brewing Apparatus]

Coffee is far from one-dimensional, and each of these brewing methods brings out a different nuance to the coffee being used. It's very exciting stuff!


[Beans]


We were treated to a bit of a pour over brewing session, followed by some latte art. Latte art is absolutely impossible for me to do, and I HAVE tried many times. I've learned that purchasing stencils is my best bet!


[Pour Over Coffee]


[Taste the Rainbow]


[Steamed Milk for Latte Art]




[Latte Art of the Skilled]

What was really quite nice was there we were given the opportunity to try our hand at latte art and both Carolyn and Elana volunteered! 


[Teaching Carol]


[First Attempt]


[Check Out the Concentration!]


[Second Attempt]



[Elana's Turn]


[Inadvertent 3D Art]


[Second Attempt]


[Elana's Finished Artwork]

I am personally a fan of milk-based coffees, and that goes for the majority of the lot here as well. When milk is steamed correctly, it caramelizes the sugars in it allowing a bit of sugar to temper the bitterness of coffee. The combination is heavenly.

And at Mono, I tried 3 different hot drinks and the milk was steamed perfectly each time. 

The Monian blend boasts a flavour profile of dried berries with grapefruit nuances and bittersweet cocoa flavours reminescent of dark chocolate.


[Cafe Latte]


[Flat White]

Both the coffees were really good, and in the inclement heat of KL, some iced coffees were called for as well!


[Iced Latte]


[Caramel Latte]


[Iced Latte & Hazelnut Latte]

I didn't try any of the flavoured coffees, but I was told they were good as well.

For those who aren't fan of caffeine, they have other drinks on their menu. Like this virgin mojito-esque drink for example:


[Iced Mint Drink]

And hot chocolate!


[Hot Chocolate]

The hot chocolate was really good, too. It was deep and rich, with proper chocolate. I would imagine it would go rather splendidly over ice as well.

Boasting an artisan kitchen, there was an assortment of food paraded. What peeves me was that we were informed that we should pop by 90 minutes before the event started in order to attend the food tasting. I got there on time (taking an hour off work to do so), and waited 2 hours for the event to start, and a full 30 minutes before I got a coffee because they were ill-prepared. 

Anyway...the menu is interesting enough, and we were shown some of their brunch options (served 'til 4 p.m. daily).


[Beef and Hashed "Benedicts": Corned beef, Grated potatoes, English muffin, Poached egg, Spiced Hollandaise sauce, Pea sprouts (RM 17)]


[Stack It!: Fluffy pancakes with crispy beef bacon Maple-peanut butter syrup, Roasted tomatoes (RM 14)]


[Bean Salad with Feta Cheese: Chickpeas, Edamame, Corn, Feta Cheese]

I can't tell you how any of these taste in their full-size, because we weren't even given the Beef and Hashed "Benedicts" to try, and the other two came in miniature to be shared among 4 people. I'm not sure how you share bite-sized food but we were expected to figure it out, it would seem. It wasn't even portioned out for us!


[Miniatures of Stack It!, Bean Salad and Ultimate Sandwich]

Like I said, the dish which was displayed was switched up with their "Ultimate Sandwich", which is a very strange departure from common sense. This was done with no explanation and was quite an exercise in discussion and questioning before we were informed that this was the case.


[Anis Doing the Honours]


[Elana Helping to Portion the Food Out]

The best of the lot was definitely the bean salad (which I can't actually find on their menu, so I'm a little stumped). It was bursting with flavour and a definite must-have if you visit Mono. 

The pancakes were horrifyingly dry and practically inedible. This is probably because they were made in miniature and thus unable to maintain the fluffiness pancakes are meant to have. However, I can't actually vouch for how the full-size would fare. As for the Ultimate Sandwich, it was far from ultimate. Dry, stodgy and not lending itself to portioning at all, it was a disappointment. Of the 2 platters our table of 7 were given, only the bean salads were polished off. 

Mono also has dessert and pre-packed sandwiches to choose from. As well as their very own cold brew.


[Desserts and Pre-Packaged Sandwiches]


[Brunch is Served 'til 4 p.m. Daily]


[Chicken Capsicum Sandwich (RM 8.90)]


[Big Breakfast Sandwich (RM 9.90)]


[Egg Mayo Sandwich (RM 7.90)]


[Smoked Duck Sub (RM 14.90)]


[Smoked Salmon Sub (RM 14.90)]


[Classic Cheesecake (RM 12)]


[Classic Chocolate Cake (RM 12)]


[Matcha Roll (RM 10)]


[Green Tea Raspberry Cake (RM 11)]

In an exercise in failed PR we were not informed that the event wasn't over when we left rather disappointed in the experience, and I can't tell you how the cakes they serve fared. 

I would like to try their cold brew, because the beans are really good, but I have absolutely no interest in returning to an establishment that couldn't get their act together in such a spectacular manner.


[Cold Brewed Coffee (RM 12)]

Matthew Chong informed us that Mono is a brand they hope to compete with Starbucks with, and take international, but I think that's quite a stretch if their refusal to hold a proper launch hasn't been rectified.


[Matthew Chong - Founder and Group CEO of Brandker Group Sdn Bhd]


[Music to Grace the Opening]


[Our Gift of Coffee Beans]

We were gifted some of their coffee beans, and in brewing them at home in both cold brew and my French press, it was very good stuff.

It's truly a shame that they couldn't sort their kinks out before inviting people in because it's a place that has so much potential. I hope they've gotten better, but I would never enter the premises again because I have no interest in supporting a company that thinks nothing of having basic respect for the people they expect to promote their brand for them. If held at gunpoint, I'll go to Starbucks, thank you very much.