Monday, July 27, 2015

Review: YÜLI Liquid Courage

I purchased this in a deluxe trial size - 7.5ml, which comes in a dear little amber dropper bottle. I like this size - very travel friendly and I do think it'll last me quite some time, as I find the 30ml bottles quite impossible to finish up before their use-by periods of 8 months. If you like to mix up your face oils and use a different oil every day, you'll probably find having a bunch of 7.5ml bottles better than the 30ml ones. The sad thing is, the Cell Perfecto PM is not available in a deluxe trial size. 
So, back to Liquid Courage. It's an antioxidant serum that doesn't feel oily at all. I think this is the most suitable of all Yuli's face oils to be used in the day, because it is the lightest - even lighter than ME Skin Fuel. It feels really silky. It does feel a little heavy when I layer sunscreen over it, but I soon forget about it. It does look shiny on its own (disclaimer: I naturally have really oily and shiny looking complexion) but I layer a bunch of powder over it (current favourite for about 2 years now - Too Faced Primed and Poreless loose powder) and it's ok! I also do blot a couple of times throughout the day, but it's nothing unusual; that's what I usually do anyway. 

I can get away with using this in the daytime in hot and humid Singapore. But I find it most useful when I'm in a dry winter climate - in the daytime, I'll layer a few drops of Liquid Courage, followed by a moisturizer to seal it in (like Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream), and this combination keeps my skin protected all day! 

Ingredients: Botanical Antioxidant Seed Complex (Grapeseed, Pomegranate, Red Raspberry, Blueberry, Carrot Seed, Golden Jojoba Seed, Cranberry Seed), S. chinensis (Jojoba) oil*, A. spinosa (Argan) oil*, supercritical extracts of pomegranate seed, rosehip, seabuckthorn fruit*, R. officinalis (Rosemary) antioxidant extract*, Liquified black garlic ferment, L-Ferulic Acid (Derived from Acai and Argan), tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (vitamin C), C. aurantium (Neroli) oil*, C. atlantica (Cedarwood) oil*, Ubiquinone (Liquid CoEnzyme Q10 from Vegan sources), Soy Peptides, D-alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E)

Rating: Love it!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Review: YÜLI Panacea Elixir

I purchased this in the deluxe size - 100ml at USD 68. I've previously tried Yuli's M.E. Skin Fuel and Cell Perfecto PM, so I decided to try the elixir. Panacea is recommended for oily, blemish-prone skin.
It comes in a Miron-violet glass bottle. The one thing I think can be improved is the spray - it's a little tight and the mist comes out a little too concentrated in a small area. I prefer the spray pump from Suki's Concentrated Purifying Toner - the mist comes out finer and is distributed evenly over a larger surface area. 

Panacea Elixir has a really concentrated floral scent (probably from the helichrysum). It was a little too much for me at first, but the scent really grows on me - it's so natural and floral and soothing. The scent is so strong, it must be the essence of all those flowers bottled into the elixir. 

The elixir feels very soothing and calming, but it doesn't give any dramatic effects. For example, if I use SKII Facial Treatment Essence at night, I can feel a definite smoothness and softness to my skin the very next morning. With Panacea Elixir, I can't really tell the difference. For Yuli products though, I find they need to be used consistently for results to show. For example, when I was using Cell Perfecto PM, I couldn't tell how my skin improved on a day-to-day basis - it wasn't noticeable. But when I looked back at my photos a few months ago (before I started using the serum), I realized wow - the texture of my skin had improved tenfold, I no longer had so many clogged pores, and my scars had faded. So... it's hard to review Yuli products but I'm sure they make a difference. It always feels very soothing to spray Panacea on my face when it's sensitive and inflamed.

Generally, I use Panacea Elixir in the day and SKII Facial Treatment Essence at night. I definitely want to try their Cocoon Elixir and Metamorphic Elixir next - I'll probably stock up on trial sized bottles and bring the Metamorphic Elixir along when I go overseas again to dry temperate places. 
My current favourites!
Ingredients:D-Aloe barbadenis, R. damascena (rose) hydrolat*, H. italicum (helichrysum) hydrolat*, L. angustifolia(lavender) hydrolat*, H. virginiana (witch hazel) hydrolat^, H. italicum/L. angustifolia (helichrysum/lavender) hydrolat*, frequency enhanced water, vegetable glycerine, C. sativus (cucumber) extract, N. officinale(watercress) extract*, biodynamic fruit enzymes, trace minerals complex, colloidal silver

Rating: Love it!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Review: Suki Spa Bio-active Purifying Face Serum

Wow. I realized I haven't posted anything in almost 9 months. >_< Life's been hectic. So what made me decide to restart my blogging? I was organizing my skincare, cosmetics, and bath and body stuff, and I realized, I need to record my reviews of all these awesome products I've tried so that I don't forget them. So here I go with the first one - Suki Spa Bio-active Purifying Face Serum. 

"I formulate my concentrated & lightweight purifying serum to target blemishes, visibly control oil & bacteria production, purify pores & dramatically improve skin clarity. a sukispa® exclusive & part of any balancing regimen for problem skin, my bio-active serum shows blemish reduction action up to 80% in clinical tests & leaves skin fresh, luminous, renewed & clear." - from Suki's website.

This is a yellow, slightly opaque serum with a texture that is slightly thicker than Eminence Willow Bark Serum. It has a slightly soapy scent which I love! It absorbs very easily into my skin. It doesn't spread as easily as Eminence's. Because of this, I have a tendency to use more than required, so a bottle doesn't last me very long! (It's only 15ml, which is sooo tiny!) I really tried to use it sparingly - one tip I can give is that if you use a spray toner, use this serum on your damp face and it'll spread better using less product. I like the cute little dropper - usually droppers have a little ball tip but this one doesn't. Like most products in glass bottles, it does get hard to get the remaining serum at the bottom so I just use a Q-tip.
It costs US$82.95 for 15ml. I purchased this from Dermstore at 20% off but it's no longer available. I can still see it on Suki's website though, so I'm not sure whether it's been discontinued. I like this quite a lot. It gets absorbed into my skin easily and exfoliates my skin - when I use toner, I can see my dead skin cells coming off on the cotton pad and my skin feels a lot smoother. However, it is very very expensive. I will only purchase it when it's on sale, and even then I find it expensive. 

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Malus Domestica/Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Vanillosmopsis Erythropappa (Candeia), Echinacea Purpurea (Echinacea) Extract, Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal) Root Extract, Sodium Citrate (Citric Acid), Vigna Acontifolia (Moth Bean) Extract, Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Rosa Canina (Rose Hip) Fruit Extract, Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Glycerin (Vegetable)

Rating: 9/10 (-1 just cos it's too pricey, but I love it)

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Origins Peace of Mind On-The-Spot Relief

I just returned from a work trip to the Maldives. Before I flew, I bought a 3-pack of Origins Peace of Mind On-the-spot Relief. I used to use the Peace of Mind Sensory Therapy Diffuser, which was a plastic box that you open and breathe the scent in. The diffuser lasts a really long time but I think it's been discontinued, so I had to settle for On-the-spot Relief instead. I got the 3-pack for less than S$60 at Changi Airport, works out to about S$20 a bottle which is ok! 

I know a lot of Asian/Chinese bring medicated oil on their travels for tummy aches and headaches - it is minty and really helps! But the main drawback of medicated oil is that it smells very pungent and I try not to use it in public because people usually recognise the scent of medicated oil and start asking "Are you ill?" Plus, some people dislike the strong scent of medicated oil (ingredients include eucalyptus, menthol, camphor, methyl salicylate and peppermint oil, sometimes clove oil depending on the brand). Origins Peace of Mind is a good alternative if you find the scent of medicated oil too strong. (Of course, medicated oil is much cheaper.)

Origins Peace of Mind contains peppermint, eucalyptus and basil, which smells really soothing and calming. I like rubbing it on my temples and on the back of my neck - it's just a little tingly. The scent lasts for about an hour - it fades pretty quickly. I would say it's a 'nice-to-have' but it is on the pricey side for a tiny 15ml bottle that may be used up very quickly if you have a tendency to get stressed or get migraines easily. Would I repurchase? Yes, it's nice to have on travels and very soothing on the plane!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Review: 100% Pure Purity Spot Treatment.

I realise I haven't posted in a couple of months - I've been on multiple work trips, to Beijing, Bali and this Sunday I'll be going to the Maldives! Been really swamped with work but still trying to stay happy and healthy amidst the craziness, and keep my skin looking good (which is so hard when I travel)!
So today I'd like to share a review of 100% Pure's Purity Spot Treatment! It's called a spot treatment, but if you're looking for a traditional spot treatment (i.e. zit zapper) to target inflamed zits, this is not it. It's not strong enough. Instead, I use it as an allover acne treatment before adding a light layer of moisturizer (it's super gentle - it's not a spot treatment really so it's totally not harsh at all). If you have seriously oily and problematic skin, it's moisturizing enough to use all over the face without the need for an additional face moisturizer. (It will not be moisturizing enough for normal skin, or in air-conditioning, or in dry climates.) I read the reviews on MuA and I see that everyone agrees that this is not a heavy-duty acne spot treatment - many use it all over the face as a pre-moisturizer acne serum.
The ingredients are mainly essential oils in an aloe vera base. This is one of the few facial products I could find which includes thyme, which is supposed to be a good acne fighter! 

I do like the Purity Spot Treatment as a gentle allover anti-acne base. I find it really helps with oil control! If I'm not in air-conditioning, I will skip moisturizer and just apply this all over. My oily but dehydrated skin does feel like it needs more moisture if I use this alone, but if your skin is oily and not dehydrated, you can definitely use this alone. (Price - US$19 for 30ml, pretty reasonable.)

Ingredients: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe Juice)*, Organic Lavandula Angustifolia Aqua (Lavender Hydrosol)*, Extracts Of Calendula Officinalis Flower (Calendula), Echinacea Purpurea (Echinacea), Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Flower/Leaf/Stem And Lonicera Caprifolium (Japanese Honeysuckle), Hyaluronic Acid, Hamamelis Virginiana Water (Witch Hazel), Extracts Of Fucus Vesiculosus (Seaweed), Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf (Rosemary), Origanum Vulgare Leaf (Oregano) And Thymus Vulgaris Flower/Leaf (Thyme). * Certified Organic

Rating: 9/10

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Review: Eminence Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum

Eminence is an organic skin care brand from Hungary. The difference between Eminence and other green/natural brands is that Eminence uses organic fresh fruit pulps and plants, not just plant extracts. I remember reading somewhere that there is no scientific evidence that fruit pulps are better than fruit extracts, but I decided to get this serum to try, because it was more affordable than a similar serum from Suki (which I will be reviewing in another post). Clear Skin Willow Bark Booster-Serum claims to purify, clear and help prevent future breakouts.

This is a peach/orange coloured serum with a runny, spreadable texture. It's US$56 for 30ml but I purchased this at a 20% discount during a Dermstore sale. It comes in a functional amber glass dropper bottle. It's easy to get just the right amount - I use 5 drops for my entire face. After use, I can feel that my face is being exfoliated - my pores are smaller and skin is smoother. When I apply toner using a cotton pad, I can see more dead skin on the cotton pad, because salicylic acid (from willow bark) helps loosen and exfoliate dead skin.
It definitely works to prevent future breakouts, by keeping my pores clear. (It doesn't actually help heal existing breakouts though - for that I need stronger spot treatments that contain any of the following active ingredients - tea tree oil, sulphur or AHA/BHA.) The instructions say that you can use it 4 to 5 times a day, but that's too much for me! My skin starts getting sensitive if I use salicylic acid twice daily, so I usually use this serum at night, after toner and acne spot treatments, and before facial oil or moisturizer. I prefer not to use this in the day, because it is a little sticky and gives my oily skin a bit of a sheen.

Would I repurchase? This is much cheaper than comparable alternatives like Suki Spa's Bio-Active Purifying Face Serum (US$82.95 for 15ml), but similarly effective. So yes, I would repurchase - but only during Dermstore's 20% sales because I'm a savvy consumer. ;) One thing to note - shelf life or use-by date weren't stated on the product.

Ingredients: Salix Alba (Willow Bark) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Tea, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Vegetable Glycerin, Panthenol, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Leaf Extract, Cyclodextrin, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Lactic Acid, Vegetable Squalane, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), Sodium Salicylate, Pimpinella Anisum (Anise) Oil

• Willow Bark: calms skin
• Horsetail: softens skin, tones and promotes elasticity
• Walnut Leaf: provides gentle exfoliation
• Anise: antioxidant rich
• Tea Tree Oil: essential oil
• Biocomplex™: an antioxidant booster of Vitamins A, Ester C, E, Coenzyme Q10, Alpha Lipoic Acid; to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and improve the appearance of skin

Rating: 9/10 (-1 for a slight sticky texture)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Review: Cle de Peau Concealer

Finally some make-up! Well, base make-up but make-up nonetheless. I've been blogging so much about skincare these days. Anyway, I'll be reviewing Cle de Peau's famous stick concealer. It comes in 4 shades - Ivory, Beige, Ochre and Honey (in order of light to dark). I have 2 shades - Ochre and Ivory. Ivory is the yellow-based fairest shade. Beige is pink-based fair-medium. Ochre is yellow-based medium. Honey is a yellow-orangey medium-dark. 
L - R: Cle de Peau concealer in Ochre and Ivory
The tubes above are fully extended. I have used Ochre daily for about 6 months and you can see there's still a lot left! (Use-by period is 24 months, so one concealer stick will last you 2 years, so even though it's pretty dear at US$70, cost per use is only about US$0.10 per day!) Ivory is brand new. I have MAC NC25-30 skintone but I have really dark circles around my eyes and I use Ochre to conceal them. Ochre was too dark to conceal blemishes on the other parts of my face (which is pretty fair) so I tried using Ivory but it's a tad too light. :( Beige is too pink-based for my yellow-based Asian skintone. I wish Cle de Peau would come up with more colours!
L - R: Cle de Peau concealer in Ochre and Ivory
L - R: Cle de Peau concealer in Ochre and Ivory
I swatched these on my inner forearm which is lighter than my face, which is why Ochre looks so dark. Well, what do I love about this concealer? It's really easy to use - just swipe and tap onto skin. Coverage is excellent and lasts well. It doesn't crease on my undereyes, unlike some cream-type concealers. It is a very functional concealer - semi-matte finish. No bells and whistles, no luminizing/brightening properties - it just conceals and lasts for a day on me and looks natural. So natural, in fact, that nobody can tell I've got make-up on. (Because these days, I usually use just concealer, sunscreen and loose powder.) Is this a good thing? I'm undecided. 

I do wish they made more shades though! Ochre is good for my undereyes but somehow I feel that while it does its job well - it is a rather expensive concealer so I would expect more things -  subtle luminescence? Make me look more bright-eyed and awake? I wish Cle de Peau would make a yellow-toned shade that is in between Ivory and Ochre. That would be absolutely perfect!

I'm sure some people would say it's not moisturizing enough for the undereye - but see, I believe this is supposed to be a multi-purpose, convenient, swipe-and-go concealer stick that you can use all over your face, not just your undereyes. It's tiny and portable and covers in a jiffy. Maybe one day I will outgrow it but currently this concealer fits my needs (swipe-and-go!) so I do think I will repurchase it.

Rating: 9/10 (-1 due to limited shade issues)


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