Tag Archives: makeup

Drunk Elephant Slaai-d, yet again

“Should I really double cleanse, I don’t wear makeup…”

If I have a dollar every time my clients say this, my pocket will be bursting at the seam from the weight. Ever since I was introduced to Caroline Hiron and her ever so enlightening videos on Youtube, I double cleansed. The changes you can see on your skin when you start doing double cleansing is crazy and I believe every women (and men) can reap benefit of this significant skincare routine step. There are few of my clients whose skin have improved by simply doing double cleanse.

The HOW is simple,

1. On dry skin, apply your oil cleanser, emulsify and rinse off. Don’t pat dry as yet cause you go to step…

2. Foam your water based cleanser and wash your face as normal

The WHY, even if you don’t wear or wear very little makeup, this is what double cleansing does for your skin,

1. First cleanse will takes dirt or dust you picked up throughout the day. Remember, some dust particles includes floating dead skin cells, gross. If you so happen to wear makeup, many makeup products are oil based, and oil will attracts oil, making makeup removal that much more thorough

2. Second cleanse with your water based cleanser will then actively cleanse the skin itself

I personally have always preferred balm cleanser as my oil-based, and as an avid Korean beauty user, I am very familiar with balm cleanser. I love how nowadays, many western beauty brands are creating products inspired by Korean beauty and these exchanges of ideas are so beautiful to me. The latest is one of my favourite skincare line, Drunk Elephant and their Slaai Makeup-Melting Butter Cleanser.

In the box, you get a decent 110g tub of cleansing balm, plus a small Bamboo Booster which acts like a gentle exfoliant for that extra cleansed once in a while. My first impression of the product, to be very honest with you, was not very good. It was so thick and left quite an oily residue on my skin. It melted my makeup off super easily, don’t get me wrong, this stuff works, but compare to my other balm cleanser which emulsify beautifully and leave no oily residue on my skin, this sensation is new.

But I thought to myself, maybe I over do and scoop too much. The second time, I went a little bit easy on the scooping. Let’s just say, I was too excited the first time.

Slaai is a really thick butter, there’s no mistake. Hence, like any other Drunk Elephant products, you don’t need a lot of it. The butter melts so easily on skin, takes all my makeup off and emulsify beautifully. I do have to rinse few more times in comparison to previous cleansing balm I have used, but now I do not mind because my skin feels nourished afterwards, especially during the cooler months coming.

Appreciate the Bamboo Booster too, cause now once a week, I added a small amount to the balm. It is a gentle exfoliation but satisfying nonetheless. Considering how little I am scooping the butter, this will last me quite sometime and I am all for it.

All my double cleansing tribe, tell me what do you prefer, oil cleanser or balm cleanser? Let me know in the comment below please, incase there’s an oil-based cleanser that I need to try.


My Current Go-to Foundations

Personally, I believe that the main and biggest investment you should make when it comes to beauty is a good skincare routine. The second one will be an amazing foundation. Whether you prefer low-med coverage or high coverage, a good foundation will get you through even the worst day of your life… well, not quite, that’s probably a job for lipstick. I digress, but colour-matched foundation is important. So here are my top three that I find myself reaching out for every morning…

In terms of foundation, personally, I always pick light to medium coverage, especially for my daily make-up. Anything too high coverage feels very thick and cakey on my skin and I hate that feeling of wearing make-up. I spent so much time looking, searching and trying every foundation imaginable. Few I used to wear feels heavy and not sitting comfortably on my skin. The worst is when they settled into my lines, good gracious! I should probably mention that I have oily skin, with a slight dehydration and occasional hormonal breakouts.

The first one I found and love is SHISEIDO Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation with SPF20. This one has more of a watery texture, very light and feels very much like a second skin. I find this one stays on all day and I do powder at the end to ensure additional support for its all day “lasting” ability. Initially, because I have oily skin, the lady suggested a different one with even lighter texture and coverage. But I decided to go with the Synchro Skin because of the unique packaging (I know… I roll my eyes at myself too).

What took me so long to try this one, I don’t know, maybe cause I don’t want to be carried away by the hype. But finally, I picked up NARS Sheer Glow foundation at the end of last year. I do tend to use my hands when applying foundation, so this brand is perfect, apparently the brand’s founder and I have the same philosophy in applying foundation, with the two hands we’re given. I get the hype, everyone… Got the memo. Compare to SHISEIDO, this one is heavier in texture, however applies well onto the skin and you can gradually build to higher coverage if need be. I always use loose powder in order to set the foundation, as I believe the Sheer Glow formulation does not control oil. The annoying thing with NARS foundation, is the seperate pump that you can buy, why can’t they make one that already come with a pump in the Sheer Glow formulation, please…

Last but not least, my most recent purchase, ESTฤ’E LAUDER Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup with SPF10. I purchased this one at a discount store, hence the difference in packaging, for a cheaper price compared to Department Store. It was a little bit of an impulse buy, because I’ve always wanted to try the Double Wear foundation. But after trying this one, I will definitely re-purchase as this one is fast becoming a favourite of mine. The foundation is very light texture and sheer coverage. Without knowing, and I read about it after my purchase, this one actually helps to control oil BONUS! I don’t necessarily need to powder, in order to set the make-up because this foundation makes my skin looking dewy, even at the end of a long working day! I am so amazed because I have never find foundation that does that without powder to set. Trying this one makes me want to try the original ESTฤ’E LAUDER Double Wear Stay-in-Place foundation even more.

What is your current favourite foundation and why? Make sure to share with me your favourite in the comment section, maybe I could try others for next time.

Have a great week ahead everyone ๐Ÿ™‚ Make sure you follow me on Instagram @karina.mandala and I will catch you next Saturday for another post.


High-Low Beauty

Hello beautiful people… 

I’m back!!! 

With all the craziness of Christmas and New Year… Oh yes, it’s 2016! I needed to take a break from all the daily blogging grind and re-focused. There are some exciting things in 2016 and I can’t wait to share it with you. 

But first, I’d like to share my first beauty purchases of 2016! 

 Revlon Photoready compact powder in 030 Medium/Deep, trying out this drugstore baby after hearing such positive reviews. So far, great coverage and last half of the day, which good considering how oily my skin get 

    L’oreal Paris Glam Bronze laTerra face & body sun powder, let’s be honest, I bought this one cause of how it looks. However, perfect contouring colour for my skin

  BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating gel cream in Ginger, tried the sample for it and love it! So I have to prchase the full price. So light on the skin and stays on my face even on a super hot and sweaty day
 Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in bronze, tried it over the counter and fell in love! Amazing highlight colour for my cheek! There are a few other colours on this Shimmer Brick Compact, and they are all so good, choosing one is impossible

So starting 2016 with a good mix of high and low beauty buys! Can’t wait to share more throughout the year!

Happy New Year amazing people!!! Let’s grab 2016 by the hand and go forth! 

-love Karina.

Beauty// October Favourites, beauty and more…

Couple of days have passed since October and I’m excited that my birthday month is HERE!!! But Hello end of year, you can’t come any faster… 

Anyway, I have digressed! October was an awesome month, here are my beauty favourites,

   SK-II Mid Day Miracle Essence, this face spray is such a good Pitera top up throughout the day. Sprayed them on my face on both warm and windy day, just to given my skin a boost of hydration, absolute love! 

 Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Foundation, goes on your skin easily and set into powder finishes. On days that I want minimal coverage, this is so good cause it matifies my skin without the need to go over with setting powder, win!
   Shu Uemura Eyebrow Manicure in Ash Brown, this is a bit of a rediscovered favourite. Used this for few years before Anastasia BH Dipbrow Pomade changed the game. Recently reached out for this and love it all over again! Fills and tidy in one swipe! 

    Benefit Coralista, this blush is coral goodness in a box! I love the sunkissed look this blush gives, not too overdone and looks natural! 

    Too Faced Natural Eyes, I reached out for this palette the most this month. I never go too crazy with eyeshadows colours and most of my palettes have neutral colours, and this month, this is my favourite 

   Tom Ford Lip Colour Sheer in Sweet Spot, so in LOVE with this colour! Discovering my love for Tom Ford beauty products are so dangerous for my bank account! Love this colour so much!

   OGX B5 Weightless Oil Mist, since chopping my hair shorter and curling it on a more regular basic, once to twice a week, I will spray this mist over my hair. It smells so good! I can feel and see how it has improved my hair’s texture

 Schwazkopf Instant Volume Powder, this powder is a miracle worker! My hair gets flat, it is the quintessential flat hair and nothing works! So I am so happy that this works!

Chanel Chance Eau Fraรฎche, my go-to, favourite perfume of all time! Distracted by the amazing Byredo Palermo for few months, but back to Chanel for now! 

 Tina Fey Bossypants, obviously this is not a beauty products, but this book is a representative of an amazing woman with a beautiful mind! Witty, funny and just so much sass! With a pinch of class and a whole cup of wisdom, this book is so inspiring. Love it!!  

 Matcha Maiden Organic Green Tea Powder, yes I am so obsessed with green tea ANYTHING! And this is my favourite! So easy to get your hands on this amazing baby, little bit goes a long way with this too. You can use the powder as a facial mask too, WIN! 

-love Karina.


Beauty// Dior Airflash

Dior Airflash Spray Foundation, $84 from David Jones

Did somebody say Spray Foundation? It must be slightly gimmicky and perhaps ridicolous, I have to give it a whirl! Yes, it is pricey and probably unnecessary but for my own curiosity and your amusement… Is it revolutionary? Absolutely! Is it good? 



  •  I love how easy it is to put them on. You spray twice in a Z-motion on your face, then blend it out with your beauty blender. If you’re in a super hurry, this is probably the get-up and go foundation
  • It gives you an amazing airbrushed finish. You know how photoshop helps you smooth out all bumps on your photos, this foundation pretty much do that for your skin in real time


  • Need to cover hair when you spray, or else you will get whote streaks all over your hair, not a good look
  • They are pricey, no doubt! 
  • Very light coverage, which you can build on, but you end up spraying multiple times and feel like you’re wasting product

In my opinion, I have to get used to the idea of spraying on my foundation. It is pricey but I still have a full can after few weeks of using them all day, so they do lasts a while. It’s a good no-full makeup day foundation, but I’ll see how I feel once the bottle is done. I have a sneaky suspicion I might try Dior‘s Nude Air Foundation next ๐Ÿ˜Š

Will you try it for yourself? 

-love Karina.

Beauty// September Favourites

Here are my September Favourites,

 Stila Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector

This favourite shouldn’t be a surprise, I did a post reviewing and raving about how much I love this Putty! It’s a handy on-the-go concealer and everyday flawless base! Running out of it too quickly…

   asap Skincare Moisturising Daily Defence,

Got send this in the mail, don’t have to like it or write about it, BUT! I happen to love it and I would like to write about it. Since we’re moving into sunny weather here in Australia, I’ve been using asap daily defence for my everyday morning moisturiser. It has spf50+ what more could a girl want? It is such a good moisturiser/primer, non-greasy and stay on skin all day. This has not reacted or cause any sorts of breakout, so I am so happy that I get to try this, will be wearing this throughout the summer season

 RMS Beauty raw coconut oil,

The perfect first cleanse! Yes, some people say oil should stay in the kitchen, but this baby has been doing wonders for my skin so I’m keeping it in my bathroom! Such a good makeup remover, doesn’t irritate my skin and easily remove the toughest eye makeup. Tried this to replace my Emma Hardy cause I haven’t had the time to do an online purchase, absolutely loving it. And what good price point too, sold only at selected Mecca Cosmetica counter, for $24!

   RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Smile,

You can clearly see that I am loving all the RMS Beauty products I purchased last month, cause here comes another one, the concept of lip2cheek is not new for beauty brands, but I love this! Coconut oil base, this gives subtle pink coral colour on my cheeks, everytime I use it someone will comment on how healthy my face look. $48 a pod and it lasts you ages, ages… Used mine everyday for a month and it is still full! 

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer,

Last one from RMS, this is their most popular product! Gives such a natural glow and makes you look super healthy. I use it to highlight cheekbones, browbone, bridge of my nose and the cupid bow on my lips. It does what everyone raves about and say it does, again $48 lasts you a while. I love using them on days I wear my minimal makeup, cause the luminizer gives my face good natural glow 

   NARS blush in Taos,

Still love a good compact powder blush, so this month, I have been using my Nars blush in Taos a lot. I love the subtle colour it produce, a slightly coral shade of pink without the shimmer, which is good for everyday natural makeup

 Nars Surratt Lip Lustre in Charmante,

Coming off their successful collab with Christopher Kane, Nars is doing one with Surratt who trained under the legendary Kevyn Aucoin. This lip lustre is everything! Gives a dewy subtle shine to your lips, this shade is super peachy and I love it! It will look amazig once my skin goes darker in the summer month

   Tom Ford Lipstick in Sweet Spot,

A slight coral pink on your lips, can anyone sense a pattern here? I’m a little obsessed with coral at the moment, hence this lipstick. I love the formulation of this lipstick! It is not drying and the colours go on so easily and evenly. I put a little Nars Lip Lustre on top for a night out, but what a gorgeous colour on its own. I am now slightly addicted to Tom Ford‘s lipstick…

 Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Lipstick in Irrepressible and Lipgloss in Strange Bloom,

A deep red with blue undertone, an amazing vampy red lip duo. My go-to colour for last month’s night festivities makeup look. The formulation is very hydrating for your lips. The gloss on top make the colour lasts longer, the colour reminds me of my old MAC Cosmetics red lipstick in Russian Red or Nars Lip Crayon in Cruella
Tatcha Aburatorigami, Japanese Beauty Papers,

Essentially, it’s a blotting paper, work so well and absorbed so much of my shine. Handy tools to keep in your bag, if you need to go from day to night and left your setting powder at home (we are only human…) 

Milk & co Invigorate Me body lotion,

First of all, I know I included this on August Favourite BUT I’m still loving this lotion all September! I love the smell of this lotion as soon as I open it over the counter. The smell is probably 90% why I purchased it, okay maybe 80% cause 20% it’s me hoping to look as good as the brand’s founder, Lindy Klim, after I use this lotion, wishful thinking but a girl can dream. Anyway, I drifted, apart from the amazing fragrant, this lotion is so good to my skin. It is so not greasy and it absorbs quickly, leaving a smooth skin behind 

  Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse multi purpose dry oil for face, body and hair,

Summer months are coming in so fast this year, I love using this in winter for the luxurious fragrance and feel of the oil. However, in summer with a slight tan pair of legs, a spray of this will make your legs look like they’re Gisele’s, well not exactly, but still gives you a great set of pins

 John Frieda Beach Blonde Ocean Waves sea salt spray,

After trying few different sea salt spray, this one by John Frieda is by far, my most favourite! Make your hair smells like they’re on a summer vacation, coconuty goodness! Gives your hair a great texture everytime, as if you dip your hair in sea water all the time, yes cause we all live in close proximity to the water here in Australia
  Lush Cosmetics No Drought dry shampoo,

My hair is terrible to me, it has been so spoiled by a wash everyday, my fault, that no product can keep my hair looking fresh on the second day after shampooing, until this baby! Fresh fragrance and all natural with actual expiry date, work wonders for my hair! Keeps it fresh for an extra day without wash! So happy! Especially when at the moment, my hair is short and look awesome slightly waved, and early start at work means I don’t want to get up in the crack o’ dawn to curl my hair everytime

Yay! Another month has flew by! I hope you did have a great September. Cheers to a wonderful October whereever you may be! 
-love Karina.

Beauty// August Favourites

Amazing! It is September! I have to plan these favourite posts better for next month, but anyway, here we are…

  Benefit Hello Flawless powder, this powder is such a life saver for me. It covers my hyper pigmentation without looking cakey, thoroughly enjoyed this powder throughout August, need to repurchase soon…

 Jane Iredale Dream Tint Tinted Moisturiser, been loving the light coverage of this tinted moisturiser. Loved Jane Iredale‘s products cause they don’t clogged pores, all natural sort of deal ๐Ÿ˜Š 
  Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in beach bronze, been wanting a metallic cream eyeshadow for a while, love the colour as soon as I saw this. The only down side is the tiny pot, which makes it hard to take out for application 

 Maybelline Falsies Volume Express Mascara, seperates lashes, lifts them and make your eyes looked wide awake, love!
   Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in dark brown, the most amazing brow filler ever! This dipbrow stuff is amazing, smudge proof and last all day! 

 By Terry Ombre Blackstar in beyond gold, another creamy eyeshadow, super easy to apply which I love. It is sparkly and stays on all day ๐Ÿ™‚ 
Bobbi Brown Nude on Nude Palette Eyeshadows, with a good mix of matte and shimmer shades, this is the only neutral eyeshadows palette you will ever need. I use them everyday throughout August ๐Ÿ™‚

 Sleek Blush by 3 in pumpkin, love the orange shades, still loving these blushes ever since I purchased them at the start of the year ๐Ÿ™‚

 MAC Lipstick in Lustering, a deep pink shade, close to perfect match to my natural lip colour, which is so good for everyday
 Milk & co Invigorate Me revitalsing body lotion, I love the fresh scent of this lotion. It feels like you just came out of the shower everytime! Light on the skin and absorbs quickly, no sticky mess

 OGX Biotin & Collagen Shampoo, I have a thin and generally flat hair, but after using this shampoo for a month, my hair has a little bounce and more body than usual, love a product that do exactly what the label says ๐Ÿ™‚

Yay! Hope you enjoy this month’s favourite and look forward to next month’s…

-love Karina.