Bioré UV Perfect Spray: Too Good to Be True?

bioresunscreen

Note: the reviewed product may not be cruelty-free.

“As a human being ages gracefully, a human being realises the importance of sun protection.” – Stacey Reviews

As I begun my search on the next cruelty-free sunscreen protection, I turn my focus today on the Biore UV Perfect Spray. Yes, I am aware that I have been going on a sunscreen spray frenzy because #lazygirlsyndrome is real.

Plus, I’ve bad experiences with tackiness that comes with cheap sunscreen when I was younger: you know those childhood memories of basic swimming lessons, and your mum beckons you to splatter on sunscreen all over your body, and on top of feeling every darn muscle strain with swimming, you have to bear with the ickiness that comes with your sunscreen? (*coughs* Banana *coughs* Boat)

Yeah… one of those not-so-pleasant childhood memories… and swimming lessons, quite frankly. I was born a mermaid, I don’t need swimming lessons to be honest. Unless you’re training me to become the next Joseph Schooling, which I am not quite interested to be.

PACKAGING

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Like the L’Oreal Paris UV Advance Aqua Essence Skin Mist that was previously reviewed, the Biore UV Perfect Spray comes in a sturdy blue aluminium bottle that boasts 50g worth of product. It comes with a sturdy pump dispenser, and the plastic cap shuts snugly around the rim of the bottle.

WHAT IT CLAIMS

 

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I may be an Asian, but I sure as hell can’t read Japanese. However, being effectively bilingual in Mandarin and English, I could read that you could keep this unopened for 3 years, and some words highlighted in red stated that you’ll have to shake the product 4 to 5 times before using it, and also cautioned against spraying over a certain body area for more than 3 seconds.

 

The product claims to be a “convenient aerosol spray-on for easy, fuss-free application on the body, face and hair“. It also claims that it is an “ultra lightweight texture that feels invisibly light on skin”. However, there was no mention on how long the sunscreen wear would be.

WHAT IT IS

True to its claim, it was an “easy peasy shake, spray, and ready to go” type of application that took less than 5 seconds. It sports a light floral scent which I love, and it feels so light on my face and body that I could hardly believe that I had actually applied anything!

Honestly, it would take a UV detector to actually convince me that I had bought a sunscreen spray, else it really feels too good to be true. Yet, I still believe that it is definitely the “ultra lightweight texture” that it had claimed to be, and I am seriously loving this product. It’s however, not very convenient to bring on-the-go, it is pretty bulky: about 19cm in length, and 8cm in width – go figure.

I usually do not want to waste apply sunscreen over my body, but I did bring this product with me during my 3D2N Outward Bound Camp (OBS) and applied it both on my face and body. I have also shared this product around with my friends who are in need of a quick and easy sunscreen application.

The transparent mist also has a cooling effect, which is really awesome. I have no problems applying it over a full face makeup. It dries down almost instantaneously. As I have probably repeated over a million times in this post: you’ll probably not be convinced that you had sunscreen on!

With a once-a day usage, it lasted for about three months, which is super great for its price.

WOULD I REPURCHASE IT?

I would definitely repurchase it, only if I could be sure that Biore is a cruelty-free brand. There have been conflicting information around the internet – some of the cruelty-free sources had mentioned that Biore is a cruelty-free brand owned by a parent company (Kao) which is not, while others mentioned that Biore conducts animal testing in China anyway.

I am also not sure why, but it seems like this product has been discontinued, or is in the process of being discontinued. Which is quite a pity, as this has immense potential to become a Holy Grail in my sunscreen category. I have not done my due diligence by going round supermarkets, as Biore is usually readily available at the beauty sections of larger supermarkets, such as Giant and NTUC Fairprice.

At this point of writing, it seems that local drugstores are still selling them online, such as Guardian.

I think this is the perfect sunscreen spray for everyone – affordable, fuss-free, non-oily.. it seems too good to be true?!

Unbelievable.

PRICE: $

It retails for SGD$9.90 and is available at Watsons, Guardian, major supermarkets and selected departmental stores.

OVERALL GRADE: A

Album Review: Boston Manor’s Be Nothing. (is everything but nothing)

bostonmanor

Released on: September 30, 2016

Record Label: Pure Noise Records

Genre: Rock

I discovered Boston Manor by sheer luck on Spotify. I would admit that I had a soft spot for  anything related to the state of Boston, and knowing that it was a post-hardcore/emo/punk bank fanned my enthusiasm further.

Upon further research, I found that the band had released two EPs (“Saudade” in 2015 & “Driftwood” in 2014) prior to the release of their very first LP that I was about to review. I’ve not heard of them and was surprised to learn that they have been a band for about 4 years now.

It’s also interesting to note that none of the songs in either EPs has been featured in this LP either – a good thing, as I usually see it as a lazy way to fill tracklists to make an LP an LP when bands do that; with a couple of exceptions such as Anarbor.

And contrary to what I was expecting, Boston Manor actually referred to “one of the ancient manors of Middlesex” in London. It comes with an interesting history that explains its Jacobean facade which stood the test of time way back from 16th century, and now it remains in what’s known as the Boston Manor park. There’s even an underground station named after it – do check out this wikipedia page if you’re interested to read all about it.

Honestly, one would never have guessed that this is the five-piece post-hardcore English band’s first full-length album from the very first guitar note that ignited the start to a kickass album in their first track “Burn You Up”. The song demonstrated the overall energetic and raw power Boston Manor had to offer, and as aptly sung by lead vocalist Henry Cox: You’d better get used to this.

The next track, “Lead Feet”, is one of my favourites from the album. The lyrics were impeccable, and the guitars and drums supplemented it perfectly. I do not quite understand the storyline behind the music video though.

 

The loud and raw emotions in the first few tracks were switched to a much more sombre mood in “Broken Glass“, which honestly, did not need much to accentuate Cox’s soothing vocals, although it later erupted to a fantastically distinct Boston Manor guitar riff for its ending verse.

The band reminded its listeners that they were better when they play it loud, which was evident in the following tracks “Kill Your Conscience” and “Cu“. There is a subliminal juxtaposition in lyrical sense next to Cox’s half-wails and melodic guitar riffs in these songs. “Forget Me Not” is arguably one of the best tracks of the album, especially for its catchy lyrics:

I’m trying to remember

Forgot the date of your birthday

But I suppose it doesn’t matter

You won’t remember anyway.

For a debut album, Be Nothing. is considerably one of the most well-produced post-hardcore/rock album of the year. Comparing to the veterans in the scene (*cough* A Day to *cough* Remember *cough*), Be Nothing. is a pop-punk masterpiece with its raw emotions that had been spilt over from its amazing songwriting sorcery and addictive guitar riffs. Their debut album successfully proved the band’s true potential that was previously not exemplified in their two EPs.

Boston Manor is definitely a band to watch out for, and in the words of Cox in “Burn You Up” – we had better get used to this  😉

OVERALL GRADE: B+

DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND LISTEN TO: Lead Feet, Broken Glass, Forget Me Not

TRACK LISTING:

  1. Burn You Up
  2. Lead Feet
  3. Laika
  4. Cu
  5. Broken Glass
  6. Kill Your Conscience
  7. Forget Me Not
  8. This Song is Dedicated to Nobody
  9. Stop Trying, Be Nothing.
  10. Fossa

A Drugstore Gem: E.L.F.’s Clear Brow & Lash Mascara

elfcover

Note: the reviewed product is cruelty-free.

This product is my first gateway drug to clear mascara and brow gel. I’ve always wondered if there is any good in using clear mascara, and if it could replace my black ones as it could make me look too made up on days when I would just prefer my lashes to look a little more natural. Since the brow gel came with it, I thought it would be great to try that as well.

Spoiler alert: I ended up loving this product on my eyebrows – and only my eyebrows.

PACKAGING

The product features two ends, one labelled “eyelash” and another labelled “eyebrow”. It’s housed in a plastic and transparent case, nothing quite extraordinary.

Since this is the second time I’m using this product, I’ve noticed that halfway through using it, the silver name labels seem to be scratched off miraculously… I do not think that I have been too rough with it.

WHAT IT CLAIMS

This product claims to “instantly create healthy-looking lashes and brows” and that it is also “great for any hair colour”.

WHAT IT IS

Even though the wand applicators are slightly different, I do think that the gels contained in both of them are the same. The wand applicator for the eyebrows is slightly flat, while the one for the eyelashes is kind of tapered and round. For the untrained eyes, one may not even be able to tell the difference.

True to what it claims to be, it is indeed a clear and transparent gel and would be great for anyone. I love this product because it is so easy to tame my brows and make it look slightly fuller – a natural brow look that would be perfect for school if I am in a hurry or if I do not feel like filling in my brows for whatever reason a lazy girl could conjure up. In addition, I could be clumsy with my application and still achieve my desired look. I mean, all I need to do is to tame it in the direction of my brows – how difficult could that be?

Although I bought this product with the intention of trying out clear mascara, I was sorely disappointed. The wand made application clumsy, probably because it was too fat. And I do not think that the formula is suitable for mascara at all – I do not really see any drastic changes in my eyelashes, whether in volume or length. You could hardly tell the difference:

I feel that it takes a bit of work getting the gel onto my lashes, as the formula seems kind of clumpy. The wand, unfortunately, makes the application experience worse, as it is shaped to be a little bit too large and round, which could get onto my eyelids at times. For good measure, do not attempt to use this immediately after your caffeine fix.

After a few tries, I gave up using it as a clear mascara and brushed it on my eyebrows after the “eyebrows” tube has been completely depleted.

WOULD I REPURCHASE IT?

For its affordability and how fuss-free the application was, I would definitely repurchase it. I think it is a good makeup product for girls who do not want to do too much to their brows, and yet would like their eyebrows look a bit more shaped and tamed. For me, I always apply it before wearing my eyebrow pencil, and sometimes I could even go out just wearing it alone. However, if you’re looking for a clear mascara, I guess this is not a very effective product.

For 2.5ml worth of product, it lasts for about 3-4 months of daily usage, and I find myself dipping back in the tube for a second coat for my eyebrows after about a month’s use – else a single coat is enough for each brow.

The product also lasts throughout the day, which is something I definitely love. I do not think that it is water-proof though, but even if it is not, I have no issues with it since it is a transparent gel after all.

PRICE: $

It retails for SGD$7.90 on Smoochiezz.

OVERALL GRADE: B+

Album Review: Rainie Yang’s 年輪說 (Traces of Time in Love)

tolit

Released on: September 30, 2016

Record Label: EMI Records and Entertainment

Genre: Mandopop

After her previous highly-acclaimed album 雙丞戲 (A Tale of Two Rainie), expectations are high for the next one. I haven’t been following Rainie Yang, so the album drop of 年輪說 (Traces in Time with Love) came as a surprise to me.

Her album opens with the title track, 年輪說 (Traces in Time with Love), which features jazzy instrumentals and the singer’s raspy and sweet voice that we are all familiar with. When I first listened to it, I don’t feel much – even after watching the music video. But the lyrics were pretty meaningful so props to that.

Her second track, 單 (Being Single), is when I felt that the album has truly started. The chorus was powerfully charged in this love ballad and is probably one of the more memorable songs in this album. It is what I truly felt is authentic in a Rainie Yang song, unlike the first one. The music video also made me tear a little 😦

Yet another love ballad, 與我無關 (Not My Business) might seem unassumingly boring, but the mood builts up from the second verse onwards and the instrumentals juxtaposed with her vocals were perfect. I wished the record label had created a music video for this track instead of 年輪說 (Traces of Time in Love).

The overall sombre mood of the album is occasionally switched up with upbeat tracks in 我們 (Us) and 現代之形象 (Modern Image), and sadly, both of which are also one of the more forgettable tracks of the album.

The star track of the album easily belongs to 觀眾 (The Audience), a love song that is unrivalled. I am still very obsessed with the music video, which featured Mike He, Show Luo, and Wilber Pan.

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Top to Bottom: Rainie Yang & Mike He in 惡魔在身邊 (Devil Beside You, 2005); Rainie Yang & Show Luo in 海派甜心 (Hi My Sweetheart, 2009); Rainie Yang & Wilber Pan in 不良笑花 (Miss No Good, 2008)

Anyone familiar with the emergence of Rainie Yang in the Mandopop scene would know that she started out by acting in dramas alongside these heart-throbs as her fellow love interests on-screen. Of course, if you ask me; my favourite of the three dramas would definitely be 不良笑花 (Miss No Good). My god, Rainie Yang’s character is absolutely hilarious and memorable up to this day. Wilber Pan’s acting sucked in that drama though, so I was sorely surprised at his acting chops during his short cameo in the music video:

Someone did an amazing interpretation of the music video, and explained how Yang’s different hair colour in her three relationships is a recurring motif of each stage in her love life:

第一段感情:我以為那是愛
頭髮的顏色為藍色
我以為的愛 原來不是我所想的,愛情裡沒有熱忱也沒有甜蜜,也許我們更像朋友。

第二段感情:我希望你愛我
頭髮的顏色為紅色
對於你,我是熱情的,我想要並且主動的想親近你,但卻被拒之於外。

第三段感情:我以為我愛你
頭髮的顏色為紫色
是紅色與藍色的混合
我希望你愛我,也以為那是愛
我們交往了三年 你向我求了婚 就這樣 我活在自以為愛你的謊言,但看到戒指那剎那才發現,原來只是習慣有你。

最後步入禮堂:原來這才是愛
頭髮的顏色為棕色
穿上婚紗這一刻,我了解到了,真正的愛,就是可以做原本的自己。

(Credits to Cathy Chang via YouTube comment)

Another worthy track to check out is 愛唷 (Oh, Love), a style that I have probably never heard Rainie Yang tried before. The piano and her vocals adjusting the mood between being melodic and cheeky is very refreshing, and the music video is also really cute, albeit a little bizarre.

Judging from the number of music videos that have been released on her YouTube channel, it seems as if the record label is trying pretty hard to promote the album. Unfortunately, Yang definitely have so much more to offer than what she did in 年輪說 (Traces of Time in Love) – the album just isn’t fantastic.

I would probably recommend a few tracks to my friends if they ask about it, but it is not worthy of a thorough listen for new listeners of Rainie Yang who demand to be impressed. I also found myself popping this album on repeat during intensive studying sessions for its soft jazz and easy listening tracks, which is good if that’s what you are looking out for. For now, I’ll continue to play 雙丞戲 (A Tale of Two Rainie) on repeat because I prefer her melodramatic and *emo* tracks much more. 😛

年輪說 (Traces of Time in Love) is an album that exemplifies Yang’s maturity and is definitely a great step ahead of 雙丞戲 (A Tale of Two Rainie), yet it proves to be lacklustre in its entirety as compared to her previous masterpiece. 年輪說 (Traces of Time in Love) would be sufficient to pacify Yang’s diehard fans, but it is not going to create new ones.

OVERALL GRADE: C+

DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND LISTEN TO: 單, 與我無關, 觀眾, 愛唷

TRACK LISTING:

  1. 年輪說 (Traces of Time in Love)
  2. 單 (Being Single)
  3. 與我無關 (Not My Business)
  4. 我們 (Us)
  5. 相愛的方法 (Method of Love)
  6. 現代之形象 (Modern Image)
  7. 觀眾 (The Audience)
  8. 愛唷 (Oh, Love)
  9. 點一盞無聊的小夜燈 (A Boring Night Light)
  10. 想睡的戀人噢 (Oh, Lover)

My First Ever Sunscreen: L’Oreal Paris UV Advance Aqua Essence Skin Mist

loreal

Note: the reviewed product is not cruelty-free.

I’m just like one of you out there who has problem-free skin and thinks slapping sunscreen on our faces is just a chore some dermatologist has made up. One fine day, I was surfing YouTube as usual when I came across this advertisement…

Then I thought to myself, hey, this looks pretty damn fast, and UV rays seem pretty damn harmful – I should grab this and give this a good try. This spiralled my journey into the use of sunscreen. Regretfully, I’ve thrown my spray bottle last week because I’ve finished using it, but I thought I should just share my quick thoughts on this product anyway.

PACKAGING

It comes in a sturdy blue aluminium bottle which feels too light to believe that I’m getting SGD$20+ worth of sunscreen. It comes with a decent pump dispenser, and the cap shuts snugly around the rim of the bottle.

WHAT IT CLAIMS

The product claims to be L’Oreal’s first UV mist for face, and that it is a 12-hr UV protection. It also claims that it is non-sticky, waterproof, and boasts fast application.

WHAT IT IS

When I first used the L’Oreal Paris UV ADVANCE AQUA ESSENCE SKIN MIST OMG LET THIS BE THE LAST TIME WRITING THE PRODUCT TITLE IN FULL.

Okay back to what I was saying, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it really was to apply the product on my face! It took about 3 seconds, and although I had expected to smell something bad (I was referring to that horrid gassy stench that’s typical of spray cans), it didn’t smell bad at all.

However, I immediately noticed that after about a minute or two into its application, my skin felt slightly greasy. This is usually negligible for me, but on very humid days, I noticed myself giving a second thought from using this product.

I like to apply this on top of makeup, and it is definitely sweat-proof as it had claimed to be.

The mist is transparent, and although it does feel watery, it eventually dries down on your face.

I did not use it everyday, but mine lasted for about six months, which is pretty great for its price. For a better gauge, I would say that my frequency of use borders on three times a week, and about twice a week if I’m feeling lazier.

WOULD I REPURCHASE IT?

I’m still new to my sunscreen game, and I would like to experiment with other cruelty-free options before I decide. For about SGD$20 for 6-months of fuss-free sunscreen application with no gassy stench to endure, I would say I would definitely repurchase it. In fact, I did consider re-purchasing this product just to take some photos for this entry, but I feel strongly against brands who test on animals.

And if you have (very) oily skin, I’ll suggest you stay away from this one.

PRICE: $$

It retails for SGD$22.90 and is available at WatsonsGuardian, SASA, major supermarkets and selected departmental stores.

OVERALL GRADE: B+