TBG Beauty Picks of 2020

As 2020 draws to a close and everyone reflects on the past year; we look back on the best beauty products TBG roadtested in 2020 🧖🏼‍♀️

❤️Dyson Airwrap Styler – Literally makes hairstyling a breeze, even those who can barely use a hairdryer properly.

❤️Fancl BC Intensive Skin Booster – A potent serum to rejuvenate the skin, made mine smoother and more supple.

❤️Kiehl’s Daily Refining Milk-Peel Toner – Brightened, softened, and smoothened my skin immediately.

❤️Lancome Advanced Genifique – Great for bringing the balance back to the skin.

❤️YSL Air Thin UV Defender Pure Shots – Lightweight but powerful sunscreen with a refreshing citrus scent.

❤️Aesop Sublime Replenishing Night Masque – Perfect for a relaxing night in, and a long beauty sleep.

❤️Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Multi-Recovery Complex – Kickstarts the skin’s night recovery process, always does wonders for my skin so I wake up looking fresher.

❤️Drunk Elephant F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial Masque Hydratant – Perfect skin quencher, soothing on sunburnt skin too.

❤️Living Proof Color Care Whipped Glaze – Keep bleached bottle blonde locks from looking brassy.

Dyson Airwrap

Dyson Airwrap Complete Review

I waited a long time before taking the plunge with the Dyson Airwrap this Christmas.

The set does not come cheap and I wasn’t sure if it was worth it at S$699.

So is it?

Here’s a quick review so you can make up your mind.

These convinced me:

1. Soft bouncy curls

A key selling point, the Airwrap uses innovative technology to create special airflow that enable your locks to wrap easily around the curlers. Great for hairstyling noobs like me (I always feel I need three or four arms to get a proper blow out with a brush and hairdryer). With blasts of hot and cold air, you end up with soft, shiny and bouncy curls. You have to divide your hair in small sections though, as only a relatively thin layer can be curled effectively around each barrel, each time.

Continue reading “Dyson Airwrap Complete Review”

Keep hair colour fresh, for longer

Nothing is more disappointing than spending hours in a salon to get that perfect hair colour, and having it dull after the first two washes.

The creators of haircare label Infuse My. Colour saw the frustration that many had with their faded colour, and set out to offer a solution.

“We are hair colourists who decided that it was time to call out colour fade and lacklustre pastels on blondes, for good,” says co-founder Rob Forgione.

Infuse My Colour creators Denis Kovyalov and Rob Forgione
Infuse My. Colour creators Denis Kovyalov and Rob Forgione

“Infuse My. Colour delivers gorgeous tones without drying the hair out or making it feel grainy. They are calibrated to deliver tones that are always appealing.”

In Asia, where bleach-bottle blondes and daring bold shades are popular, Infuse My. Colour’s bestsellers are the Cobalt, Platinum, Ruby Shampoos, and Treat Conditioner.

The range is made to intensify and maintain salon-fresh hair, and to lightly dye light and bleached hair in a fuss-free manner.

Cobalt_Front_Liquid

The Cobalt Shampoo (left) maintains the cool, ashy tones in hair, and adds depth to brown colours. It also gives bleached hair a mint-green denim shade.

 

Ruby_Front_Liquid

 

 

While the Ruby one (left) keeps red and brown hair bright; and adds a striking pink to bleached hair.

Platinum (main picture) offers icy cool tones, and neutralises the yellow in bleached hair for a clean, icy blonde.

Seal in the colour with the brand’s conditioner made with hemp seed oil, ceramides and hibiscus extract.

And the trick to keeping freshly-coloured hair glamorous?

Says Rob: “Use colour shampoo on the first wash after the chemical treatment in the salon. Shampoo twice, make sure to use a generous quantity and get it delivered all the way through the hair and lengths,  rinse well. Follow with conditioner.”

Silicone-, Sulfate- and Paraben-free, Infuse My. Colour products are priced at S$33 each and will be available at Sephora Singapore, soon.

 

Pamper: Olaplex treatment for stronger hair

One of the latest haircare treatments to hit salons in Singapore, Olaplex’s secret is a straightforward three-step process to prevent hair breakage.

The salon treatment is formulated with a patented active ingredient that apparently works on a molecular level to repair broken bonds in the hair caused by chemical and heat damage.

Each session in the salon lasts a relatively speedy 45 to 60 minutes.

First, hair is soaked in the Olaplex No.1 Bond Multiplier liquid to re-build broken disulfide bonds, so that hair strands can better bend and stretch but not break.

(If you’re having your hair coloured or dyed, the Bond Multiplier can even be mixed in with the colourant or bleach, so hair is treated at the same time.)

Then hair is rinsed in another Olaplex No.2 Bond Perfector that continues the bond-repairing process to add shine to the hair.

Both solutions are shampoo-ed off, and hair is blow-dried.

Even without being brushed, my hair looked shinier and smoother immediately. The frizzy ends looked at least 50 per cent more sleek.

Afterwards, when I run my fingers through my chemically-treated hair (which is often dyed, bleached, highlighted, balayaged), it was less prone to breakage.

To extend the effects of the treatment, there is a No.3 Hair Perfector at-home treatment (comb-through and leave for 20 mins or overnight if you like before rinsing it off), as well as a No.4 and No.5 Bond Maintenance Shampoo and Conditioner.

Jordan Alexzander, director of Olaplex Special Projects, shares why Olaplex is a fave of celebrities including the likes of Kim Kardashian, and Chrissy Teigen.

  • Olaplex repairs broken disulfide bonds in the hair, which gives it strength, structure and integrity. Olaplex deals with the foundation of the hair, not moisture or the proteins.
  • Olaplex can be used to prevent damage during, before, and after chemical services (including bleaching, rebonding and perming services.
  • Olaplex is formulated in California, and it is sulfate-free, paraben-free, color-safe, nut-free.
  • In the four years since its launch, Olaplex treatments are now available in more than half a million salons worldwide, in over 100 countries.

In Singapore, Olaplex is available at Salon Nu, 28A Keong Saik Rd S089135.

 

Pamper: Apivita Experience Store

Borne out of a pharmacy and inspired by the humble and hardworking bee, Apivita may be Greece’s best beauty and wellness export.

It is rarely spotted in Athens, save for in a smattering of pharmacies. The brand used to be available in Asia, but is currently nowhere to be found there.

But Apivita’s skincare and wellness selection is one of the best in Europe.

Formulated with bee products – from regular honey to pricey royal jelly and potent propolis – as well as botanicals found in the rich lands of Greece and beyond, Apivita’s products are unpretentious.

To get the full range of what the brand has to offer, visit its three-storey flagship at 6 Solonos St & Kanari St, Kolonaki, Athens.

On the ground floor, take your pick from the wide range of skincare for women, men and babies.

This includes its selection of delicious skincare masks for every concern, conveniently packaged in sachets so they remain fresh and easy to bring along on vacations.

Apivita’s suncare and anti-ageing products are also of top-notch quality.

On the first floor, get your smoothie fix at the Juicy Bee bar.

On the menu, blends such as Bee Strong (almond milk, goji berry, banana, honey, coconut butter, hemp oil, bee pollen) and Bee Young (almond milk, banana, blue berries, acai, honey, lucuma).

There, you can also pick up the Ironwort Greek Mountain Tea blends, royal jelly, flower honey and bee pollen.

On the other end of the floor is the Natural Pharmacy where you can get your customised skincare blends concocted on the spot.

Move on to the next floor and you get a hair salon and barbershop that is also stocked with the full range of Apivita’s haircare products.

If you want a full-on pampering session, make your way to the top floor where the Beehive Spa is located.

The windows are tinted yellow, so the whole place is bathed in a calming golden light to simulate the interior of a cocooning honeycomb.

To soothe my sunburnt skin, I tried the Royal Honey treatment (60 mins for 60 Euros).

The session comprises of a scrub, body mask, and further moisturisation that left my skin soft and supple all over.

The spa was also the perfect spot for a nap after a day of shopping in the upscale Kolonaki area.

Treatments are priced from 30 Euros for a 30-min foot massage to 95 Euros for a 75-min anti-ageing royal jelly facial.

Call 210 3640560 to make a booking.

Iles Formula Haircare

Tired of haircare that cannot instantly repair her celebrity clients’ hair for red carpet appearances, hairstylist Wendy Iles decided to make her own.

Iles Formula is sulfate-, paraben- and silicone-free.

The Haute Performance Shampoo lathers well, and cleanses my bleached and dyed hair well without stripping it of the oils and colour.

The Haute Performance Conditioner is the star product as it is made with silk proteins from Japan, a technology that seals and smoothes hair cuticles, as well as tucuma palm and macrobola tree seeds from the Amazon rain forest.

The Finishing Serum works like a vitamin shot for the hair: nut oils, silk, ceramide.

When used together, the trio gave me soft, voluminous and frizz-free locks. Most haircare products leave my chemically-treated hair stiff and dry, which I usually have to smoothen with at least two other kinds of leave-in haircare serums.

I also love how the Haute Performance range is perfumed with pleasant white-flower and white musk accords, adding a touch of luxury to my me-time in the bathroom.

Iles Formula is now available at Net-A-Porter.

Beauty School: IGK founders share tips for a good hair day

Founded by a quartet of hairstylists based in New York, Miami and LA, haircare and hairstyling label IGK is one of the latest brands to hit Sephora Singapore stores.

IGK’s celebrity fans include Sophia Richie, Karolina Kurkova, David Guetta, Adele, and Vanessa Kirby. Their picks? The Beach Club Volumizing Texture Spray, and Down and Out Dirty Spray for that perfect morning-after grit and piecey separation; as well as the Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm with shea butter and coconut oil to nourish hair.

BeachClubHiRes

IGK founders Franck Izquierdo, Chase Kusero, Aaron Grenia, and Leo Izquierdo share tips on everything from getting rid of frizziness to the latest hair trends, with The Beauty Gazette.

What sets IGK products apart?
Aaron: The four co-founders are based in salons in three of the most trend-setting cities in the world – New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. We see what’s trending in music, fashion, even ingredients, and work them into to our products and branding. Also, we’re in our salons every day and working with clients. We listen to what our clients want and need in their hair care and develop our products accordingly. For example, we know our clients are always on-the-go and don’t have a ton of time to do their hair, but want it to look good and effortless. We make our products efficient and easy-to-use so our clients can get the look they want with minimal effort. We also know our clients want their haircare to be as safe as possible so we make all our products vegan, cruelty-free, and free from sulfates, parabens, petrolatum and mineral oil. They also contain high quality, beneficial ingredients like coconut oil, coconut water, turmeric, matcha, charcoal and sweet almond oil.

How can women living in humid countries keep their hair in order?
Leo: The best way to control frizz is with the products you’re using. I always recommend the Thirsty Girl Coconut Milk Leave-In Conditioner. It has a patented hyaluronic acid technology that helps control frizz for up to 24-hours and coconut milk to nourish and strengthen hair. Mist on damp hair and comb through. The Laid Back Defrizz and Anti-Static spray is great to mist onto hair when it’s wet or once it’s styled to minimise flyaways. Add volume and texture to flat hair with the Beach Club Volumizing Texture Spray or Direct Flight Multi-Tasking Dry Shampoo – mist at the roots and massage in, or mist through mid-lengths and ends for all over texture. Direct Flight will also absorb oil and sweat from the roots. ThirstyGirlCapOff_HiRes

What are some of the latest haircut and colour trends? 
Franck: Lately, the hottest hair trend is the bang. It’s sexy, fun and can look modern and blunt, or effortless and romantic. I’m seeing a French-inspired fringe too with a longer bang and undone, textured layers. Overall, women are either going for a natural, effortless look – like bends instead of waves, and an air-dry style. Or, they’re going for a super graphic, statement look – like a 70s bob or a really blunt cut.
Chase: For color, we’re seeing a lot of clients growing out their ombres and embracing a more natural look. For those who want to try color, they’re going for more dramatic, statement looks like a silver/platinum blonde, pinks, or violet.

What are some bestsellers at IGK?
Franck: Rich Kid Coconut Oil Air Dry Styler – it’s a lightweight gel that gives hair lived-in texture and shine. It’s really versatile, you can use it on any hair type, on wet or dry hair. Just finger-comb it through from mid-lengths to ends and let air dry, or twist and let air dry for more defined curls and waves.
Aaron: The First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo is part of our dry shampoo collection. It deep cleanses, detoxifies and eliminates odours. It is good for cleansing the scalp after a workout. We also have a dry shampoo for light cleansing, the Jet Lag Invisible Dry Shampoo, and the medium cleanse Direct Flight Multi-Tasking Dry Shampoo.
Low Key HiResLeo: Beach Club Volumizing Texture Spray is a salt-free texture spray that gives you beach waves in seconds. The easiest way to use it is to spray in sections all over for easy texture, or to twist hair in small sections as you spray for a wave pattern.
Chase: Another favorite is the Low Key Cleansing Walnut Scalp Scrub. People are starting to learn that a healthy scalp can mean better and healthier hair growth, and one of the best ways to care for your scalp is with a scalp scrub. It cleans deeper than a traditional shampoo and physically exfoliates away dirt, oil and product buildup. Low Key is salt-free with apple cider vinegar and peppermint oil to clarify and rebalance the scalp.

Ouai Haircare at Sephora Singapore

There hasn’t been a haircare brand that’s quite as exciting as Ouai (pronounced wa-y) hitting Singapore shores in recent years.

For one, celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin – responsible for the styled locks of model A-listers such as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Karlie Kloss – definitely knows what women with 24/7 non-stop lifestyles and woke-up-like-this faces need to maintain their manes.


Unlike these women, you’d probably not have Atkin on your speed-dial.

But at least you can have Ouai products on your dresser.

Here are the TBG picks:

  • The Dry Shampoo Foam that amazingly doesn’t leave any powder residue on the hair. It goes on as a wet foam which disappears and cleans the hair and scalp as you massage it in. Works best on drier scalps. Great for use while travelling and reviving unwashed hair in a jiffy. Watch to see how it works.
  • The Rose Hair & Body Oil is delicately-scented and a multi-tasker. Just use a small pumps on the ends of hair.

Here’s a quick clip of Atkin sharing a beauty tip.

Pramasana Scalp Treatment at Urbanhair, Tangs Orchard

A healthy and clean scalp gives you lush locks, simple as that.

The hair follicles on your scalp are most likely clogged with dead skin cells, product build-up and excess sebum (gross, indeed) if:

  • you use plenty of hairstyling products or heavy conditioners;
  • your hair is often greasy at the roots;
  • your scalp flaky;
  • and a scalp-clarifying shampoo or scalp treatment is foreign to you.

An unhealthy scalp could then lead to dandruff, thin and lifeless hair.

(This follows the same logic as to why you get clogged pores and acne when you wear plenty of makeup but do not deep-cleanse the skin.)

So consider a simple, gentle and effective scalp-balancing treatment like the Pramasana Scalp routine by Aveda at Urbanhair (from $105 for men and $170 for ladies, 60 mins).

It takes just an hour, with no gimmickry (we’ve tried enough of those with infrared lights 😑, hot air treatment caps 😧, blood tests 😱, etc. )

The routine begins with a quick shoulder and neck massage, followed by a gentle massaging of the scalp with a special brush to loosen the build-up, and improve circulation.

The Pramasana Purifying Scalp Cleanser, an exfoliating lotion is then applied on the scalp and massaged in with zig zag motions and soothing pressure-point massages.

The lotion contains seaweed extract to balance sebum levels in the skin, lactobacillus to strengthen it, tamanu oil to protect, and a babassu cleansing agent to deep-cleanse.

The cypress-neroli-grapefruit scent also relaxes the senses.

During the treatment, the solution leaves the scalp feeling minty and tingly. After 15 minutes, it is shampooed off, and your hair is conditioned based on its needs.

Next, the leave-in Pramasana Protective Scalp Concentrate is massaged into the skin to nourish, strengthen and protect the skin.

The session is completed with a blowdry.

My scalp felt completely clean afterwards.

Plus, seeing is believing. Under the camera that zoomed right to my follicles, the bottom of each hair shaft was free of any residue. And my scalp looked clear and translucent.

Call 6737 7813 to make an appointment.

Lush Mother’s Day and solids collection

With Lush, bath time is never a quickie affair.

The brand is about the bath bombs that turn the tub into an essential oil-infused body soak; the colourful bubble bars that leave your skin covered in crazy colours like neon pink and orange while you scrub; and so on.

Lush products come in unexpected textures: solid hair conditioners and shampoos, toothpaste, mouthwash; wobbly jelly soaps; powdery bath bombs that fizzle like a coke in the water.

Some of the ingredients are also good enough to eat.

And the scents always hit you like…

So bath times becomes a true ritual, where you take time to unwind and take stock of the day.

The latest collection is no less fun.

The Beauty Gazette‘s picks:

  • Pink Custard Shower Jelly – with lavender oil, tonka absolute, vanilla absolute, neroli oil, organic coconut oil, brown sugar (keep it in the freezer for a super cooling wash on hot days)
  •  Drop of Hope Hand & Body Soap – So interesting. This bar is made from rapeseed oil, sourced from the Minamisoma Agriculture Regeneration Council in Fukushima. It also contains tofu, pioppino mushrooms, and orange flower absolute.
  • Ups-a-Daisy Bath Bomb – essential oils of rosewood, rose and orange oil
  • Mum (pink) Bath Bomb – Sicilian lemon and sweet orange oils, with floral notes
  • Metamorphosis Bath Bomb – this is one sexy and dangerous-looking bath bomb that literally looks like a bomb. Black pepper, myrrh, cinnamon leaf.
  • Elsie the Giraffe Bubble Bar –  Swirl this bar into a warm tub of water for a bubbly bath. Lemon and lime oils.
  • Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster Mouthwash Tabs – pop this into your mouth, sip some water, and swirl the mixture in your mouth. Spit. Freshened mouth. Menthol, lemon oil, aniseed oil, gardenia extract. Made in Japan.
  • Ugai Mouthwash Tabs – Instructions for use (read above). Fine sea salt, green tea powder, tea tree oil. Made in Japan.
  • Bling Golden Toothy Tabs – solid toothpaste. Chew and start brushing. And you get toothpaste with fine gold glitter. With kaolin, Brazilian orange oil, frankincense, papain powder, guarana seed powder, organic almond oil. Awesome for travelling, and teeth brushing in tight spaces. Made in Japan
  • Honey Lip Scrub – An edible sugar lip scrub. Peppermint oil, sweet wild orange oil, organic jojoba oil, caster sugar, vanilla absolute, honey.
  • Tangled Hot Oil Treatment – Boil some water, swirl bar in hot water, and ta-dah hot oil treatment. Slather over hair, relax. Rinse.
  • Lullaby Sleepy Head Solid Shampoo – Love. Chamomile, ground almonds, oat milk, neroli oil, lavender oil to soothe scalp and nourish hair.