Disclaimer: I am NOT sponsored by any of these brands - they are just things I have come across and can seriously attest to their effectiveness.
Another note, 7/8 of these items are beauty products, hence the title.
1) Vitamin E for the Skin (Natural Factors, E400, Clear Base, RM44.95/60 capsules)
Probably the greatest things on this list thus far - I started taking Vitamin E after contracting chicken pox and was left with a bunch of scars, they were recommended to me by a friend and a few days into taking the supplements, I started to notice a difference.
(Left: Current skin condition without any skin makeup on; Right: During the early days of my chicken pox phase, and this was not the worst of it)
Realising that I may have stumbled across something, I introduced the vitamins to a bunch of friends, and of the 10 that have started taking them regularly, they have all reported a reduction of acne and pimples, as well as having smoother and less troublesome skin.
Having been lazy and not taking them regularly for the last week, I noticed my skin condition worsening back to the same condition it was before I took the vitamins (a lot more period-pimples), so know that it's not a one-take-fix-all-forever sort of solution. But I really do think that this is the best product I have ever tried. I can't stress this enough.
2) Clay Mask for Pore-Cleansing (Aztec Secret, Indian Healing Clay, RM31.99/450g)
I've used this mask on and off for about 3 years now, and I have barely made a dent to the amount of product that came in the box. The clay comes in powdered form, and you need about a 1/2 teaspoon for one mask, and because of the strength of the product you should limit your usage to once a week - meaning, this will last you FOREVER.
I absolutely love this. Not only is it cheap and so value for money, but I can feel it suck every bit of oil, sebum, dirt, right out of my skin. The effects are nearly instantaneous, with quite obvious results after you use it. Of all the pore-clearing items I've ever tried (and there have been many, both American and Korean), this is hands-down the best one I've used.
3) Activated Charcoal for Teeth Whitening (Hardwood Activated Charcoal Powder, $12.99USD/237ml)
So this particular product is a little tricky because I bought mine from Amazon.com the US website. I can't find this exact brand here in Malaysia but there are a lot of alternatives on the market (e.g. Earth Essential, RM35.00) that does something similar. That said, I can't attest for the effectiveness of the brands I've yet to try, however, if you can get your hands on the Hardwood one I highly recommend it. One bag has enabled me to distribute the charcoal powder to 12 glass jars that I have given to friends and family. Literally endless amount of charcoal for everyone around you. And it does so much better than any other teeth-whitening products I've tried, AND it's safe for sensitive teeth.
4) Witch Hazel as Toner (Thayers, With Hazel, Alcohol-Free Toner, RM37.50/355ml)
I've used this toner for about 5 years now. I love that it's cheap, alcohol free, organic, and it smells good. I haven't used that many different toner brands before, but I really like this one because even after removing my makeup, using micellar water, and double cleansing, my cotton pads are still a slight tint of brown when I use this toner. I just feel like it does a great job cleansing anything else left on my skin.
5) Natural Organic Toothpaste (Dessert Essence, Natural Tea Tree Oil & Neem Toothpaste, RM22.50/176g)
100% Vegan, and flouride, SLS, and whatever-else-you-can-think-of, free. I have tried a bunch of organic toothpastes before because I have this weird bias against these chemicals (somewhat unfounded, because I genuinely don't know where I stand in the fluoride vs. no-fluoride debate, without reading the actual research papers I don't know what's real and what's 'fake' news... But I opt to go for the option I feel more comfortable with). But of all the toothpastes I've tried, this is the one that a) tastes the best and, b) is enough to keep my teeth clean, healthy, and fresh.
I absolutely love, love, love this toothpaste. I would buy them in bulk to bring back from the U.S. before I discovered they were available for sale on iherb.com
6) Coconut Oil as Hair Mask
I have no specific brand to recommend for this item, but I have always went for the organic, cold-press versions. You can get coconut oil in any supermarket and at varying price points. Coconut oil has a ton of benefits, to be applied on the face, body, to be eaten, etc. However, my favourite use for it is as a hair mask.
Because my hair has been beaten into oblivion/submission by my large range of hair dyes and bleach, I found that applying a coin-sized amount of coconut oil onto my ends for about 10-15minutes before I wash my hair, makes a dramatic difference. Personally, I have found that this has helped my damaged hair more than a bunch of different masks, shampoos, conditioners, that I've tried.
7) Microfibre Hair Wrap (Turbie Twist Microfiber Hair Towel, $8.50USD)
This is another tricky one, I was only able to find it in the U.S. Amazon Store. I may have found a good alternative on Lazada (RM16.00/2 towels), but for some reason there are a lot that range from cheap to ridiculous (RM200 and above) so I don't know if there are a lot of fakes on the market?
BUT, that said, the Turbie Twist is probably one of my favourite finds everrrr. Really don't think I could live without this towel.
Why? I have no idea. But it works so well.
Firstly it's small and light, so it doesn't give me that neck ache larger towels do after a certain period of time.
Secondly, it stays up and tight very well for a long time.
Thirdly, even being up for less than 10-minutes is enough for my hair to no longer drip all over the place.
But Fung, you would really spend RM27 for a hair towel?? To that I say, yes. Yes I would. My only wish is that more people know of it, or that I learned of it earlier in my life.
8) Metallic Straw (The Hive, Stainless Steel Straw, RM7.00)
So I bought this little beautiful packet on a whim while in Bangsar the other day, RM40.00 for a set of wooden utensils - a fork, spoon, chopsticks, knife, and a straw together with a straw brush in a pretty cloth case that allows for easy portability. Unfortunately I don't think they sell this set online for I can't find it, so you might have to visit their shop in Bangsar for it. I really do love that they sell straight and bent metal straws, as well as big bamboo ones for you boba lovers. Plus the brush to clean is really genius.
*A bit of self-reflection here, feel free to skip to number 9*
I always considered myself to be quite environmentally friendly, a trait my mom has drilled into me since young - but I think the act of carrying around this little pouch and keeping an eye out for opportunities to use it (e.g., telling waiters I don't want straws, requesting no utensils when getting take-out, etc.) has made me even more conscious of the waste around me every day. It's strange, but it's a little physical reminder to be less wasteful and more mindful. And I quite like this positive change in my behaviour - perhaps it'll occur to you too if you're willing to give this a shot.
BUT WAIT. THERE'S MORE.
Here are two more extra items that cost more than RM50, but I genuinely think is worth every penny.
9) Travel Skincare Container (TIC Design, Skin Bottle, $268HKD)
Found on Lazada for RM255.00 for the Shower and Skin Bottle sets. Yes, this is definitely on the costly side, but I absolutely love this little device. Especially for someone that travels a lot and live in two places at once - this has made my commute back and forth between my parents' and brother's home so much easier (I live in the city during the weekdays, and travel back to Shah Alam in the weekends). Very worth checking it out if you, like me, really love having all your skincare with you no matter where you go.
10) Liquid Eyeliner (Stila, Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner, ~RM80.00)
My all-time favourite makeup item. This eyeliner is amazing, it stays all day (actually delivers on its promise), is super pigmented, with has a wonderful brush tip that helps when drawing those perfect cat-eyes. A little on the costly side, and somehow strangely hard to find in Malaysia. You can't get it on the online Sephora store, and this is only available in Sephora, Nu Sentral, and KLCC. Weird right? So stock up, ladies and gents. Because once you get used to this beautiful liner, you'll not want to live without it.
What do you guys think of a beauty blog post like this? I know it's not something I have ever written, but I love sharing good deals and value-for-money-items I've come across. If you are a fan of any of these items, or are going to try them. Let me know!
Till next time, x