Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: Body Shop Vit E Moisture Serum, Philosophy Turbo Booster C Powder, B.Liv Off With Those Heads

I've been sticking to this morning routine for about 2 months (and my Vit E Serum is almost gone) so I decided to do a post on it cos I'm quite happy with the condition of my skin right now. -prays skin remains obedient- I like to take macro shots of my skin to keep track of whether the condition of my skin is improving.

My skin right now is generally less clogged up and more hydrated. In the past, I had really oily skin but overexfoliated and ended up with dry, patchy cheeks but those dry patches are now gone. Hurray!

I bought lots of beauty and skincare books from China, one by Saeki Chizu, that famous Japanese woman with good skin, and I've been reading them religiously even though they're in Chinese. (So my Chinese is improving by leaps and bounds.) She advocates first softening skin with lots of toner to improve subsequent absorption of serums/emulsions/creams. It really works! My to-go toner (which I've repurchased countless times) is Simple's toner (in a green bottle).

Another important note is that we shouldn't 'overfeed' our skin with rich creams/treatments - instead, we should hydrate it fully with toner/lotion and use spot treatments and other creams sparingly. An example she gave was that for a plant to grow well, you need to water it frequently and just add fertilizer sparingly. If you don't water it frequently enough, no matter how much fertilizer you apply, your plant won't flourish. I used to be crazy about growing houseplants and what she said is really true. So I really do believe that we should focus on meeting our skin's basic needs (i.e. adequately hydrating it), then do spot treatment sparingly for zits, pigmentation, wrinkles etc.

I've been using this routine for about 2 months now - Simple toner, Simple eye cream, B.Liv Off With Those Heads gel and Body Shop Vit E Moisture Serum mixed with Philosophy Turbo Booster C Powder.

The Philosophy Turbo Booster C Powder comes in an amber glass bottle (to prevent Vit C from breaking down). They claim that powdered Vit C is more stable so your Vit C remains fresh every time you mix it in. It comes with a tiny scoop - the first few times you might experience a slight stinging sensation so just use about a quarter spoonful. I've since increased to half a spoonful per application.

I add one pump of Body Shop's Vitamin E Moisture Serum. One pump is enough for the whole face - sometimes I'll apply a little more serum afterwards (without mixing in the Vit C powder) to my cheeks which are dryer.

This is what it looks like after mixing.

I'll just do a short review of the products used -

B.Liv Off With Those Heads blackhead sebum gel
This one's quite famous! Lots of bloggers have reviewed it already so I won't really go into details. It's a transparent gel with minty feel on application and contains tea tree oil. Yet it's not drying at all (I believe it has glycerin for moisture) and I apply this to prevent clogging in general. Don't expect overnight results, but gradually you'll notice your skin improving loads as it prevents clogging and keeps skin clear. It doesn't remove blackheads but prevents them from occurring in the first place. It also softens your skin so it's easier to extract clogs (if you're into that kind of thing). However, it is insanely expensive - 30ml for about SGD$70. One bottle lasts me about 1.5 months at most when applied sparingly all over the face.

Rating: 10/10

The Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Serum
Really nice serum, quite adequately moisturizing enough to be used on its own (for oily skin) but should be paired with the Vitamin E Moisture Cream for dry-skinned people. (I've used the Vit E Moisture Cream before but can't seem to find a review for it, it's really nice and absorbs well.) All the products in the Vit E range have the same comforting Vit E scent which I can't really describe, but it's a familiar kind of comforting, nostalgic scent. I also like that this serum comes in a transparent airless pump bottle so I can get to the very last bit of product and also see how much product is left. The 30ml bottle lasts me about 2 months with twice daily application. I love the plastic bottle with cap too, so convenient for travel and for bringing along when I go to the pool etc.

I get away with using this serum without moisturizer, mainly because I layer it over another serum (the B.Liv gel) which also moisturizes slightly. If you have oily skin, you can also layer it over a hyaluronic serum. I like to layer serums as they are lighter than regular moisturizers/emulsions yet provide ample hydration. I find layering serums works really well for my oily-yet-dry-underneath skin.

Ingredients list just for info.

Rating: 10/10

Philosophy Turbo C Booster Powder
This is one expensive purchase! I bought it in the US for USD35. It can get quite troublesome mixing a fresh batch of serum every morning but after incorporating it in my routine, I can really notice my skin getting softer and brighter. You do have to apply sunscreen after you've used this; I think Vit C products degrade when exposed to light and I'm not sure if it increases photosensitivity, but just layer on the sunscreen! :P Would I repurchase this? It's slightly too pricey for me (I know the B.Liv gel is pricier but it is something I can't live without; I think maybe I could live without this as there are quite a lot of other products in the market with Vit C and antioxidants that I could try). I would consider repurchasing but first I'd like to test out other Vit C products in the market.

Rating: 9/10

Today I was rummaging through my mom's stuff (because I've gifted her lotions, serums, masks, all kinds of cosmetics and somehow she can't remember where she put them and wants to buy more -_-U) and discovered some little vintage treasures!

A baby bottle of Chanel No. 5!

Dior Poison!

It kind of shocked me because these are slightly more assertive fragrances and my mom is not an alpha female type. They were probably gifts from others. She also uses other fragrances like Clinique Happy (which was a gift from my sister) that fits better with her image in my mind. It is times like this that I think my mum is kind of cool. HAHA.

P.S. I just received news that Skin MD Natural is having 15% off this weekend! Just enter code MEMORIAL during checkout. I've reviewed it here but I won't be using the code cos I can find it at a Guardian pharmacy just near my place. (:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

FOTD: Lunasol Party Coffret 2010

Gosh it's been almost half a year since the Lunasol Party Coffret 2010 was released in Winter 2010. I just received mine a couple of weeks ago from my friend who managed to snag the last set in Taiwan! (It was about $$10 cheaper than in Singapore where it was sold out as well). Really lovely basic set, but kinda boring if you're into more adventurous colours. The packaging is gorgeous as well but it's a fingerprint magnet and easily scratched.

Swatches of the blush - gradated into cheek colour and highlight for cheekbones.

Swatches of the eyeshadow - the bling bling one swatched on the right is a glitterbomb, fallout all over the place! It's the glittery colour right in the middle of the palette. Doesn't stay in one place at all. I don't use it. :P The other eyeshadow shades are quite glimmery and good for night but if you're in a conservative workplace then it's not that appropriate but you could probably make it work with a sheer dusting of the more muted mid-tone shades.

The eyeshadow is really nice and blendable and stayed on my lids all day even without primer. Very impressed! I'm totally lemming more Lunasol. Pity they're so expensive. Hope they come out with more lovely coffrets! Coffrets are such a great deal. I wore it out yesterday -

I went to Itacho yesterday for lunch. Super good place for sushi! They have this special where each person can order a maximum of 4 pieces of salmon with soy sauce sushi for just $0.40 apiece, but I went there twice last week and both times they were sold out. Grr!

Chili and cheese fries from Best Fries Forever - not bad but kind of expensive and greasy.

My mum's birthday cake from Swissbake, yums -

Other random stuff - Hello Kitty -ahems-. I love shopping at the supermarket. Haha!

Rilakuma coaster from my friend. Love! Pity if I put my cup on it, I won't be able to see the cuteness. Lol.

Have a great week ahead everyone!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Review: Hadalabo Gokujyun Hydrating Makeup Remover vs Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil

Singapore's elections are over! Shan't say anything, elections always make certain people so riled up. :P My first time voting though, pretty exciting! (Apologies if I sound bimbotic, but do take note that appearing bimbotic is different from actually being a bimbo.) :P

On to the review! I picked up the Hada Labo makeup remover on a whim at the drugstore (it was on sale for SGD$10; usual price about SGD$18). I liked it so much, I have been neglecting my Fancl MCO! (Which is a bad thing as Fancl MCO has to be used up within 3 months after opening. Oops.)

Shall we do a comparison of their cleansing powers? From left to right, we have Urban Decay eyeliner, MAC matte lipstick (which is a more lasting formula than say, lustre), BB cream (usually thick and difficult to remove) and lastly, Fasio mascara (which is famed for being ridiculously difficult to remove even with waterproof eye makeup removers). I did allow the makeup to dry and set before attempting to remove it.

This is after Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil. The only thing left is the infamously indelible Fasio mascara. After a second try, the mascara can be removed cleanly.

This is after Hada Labo Gokujyun Hydrating Make-up Remover. There are traces of eyeliner left and the mascara is stubbornly refused to budge. However, the thick BB cream and lippie were removed very easily on the first try.

Thoughts on Fancl MCO:
It's a cleansing oil and really really awesome at removing every single trace of make-up at one go, even waterproof. The Fasio mascara is the exception (like seriously, it is super difficult to remove), but can be easily removed with a second try. Usually I use 2 pumps of Fancl MCO. Fancl MCO costs SGD$33 for 120ml, kinda pricey but it's Fancl and I love how it seems to remove oil clogs over time too. However, it seems a little heavy to be using every day. Also, if it gets into your eyes, it'll make your eyesight a little blurry for a moment. (I think the oil creates a film over your eyes until you blink it away, but this also occurs with many other cleansing oils like DHC Deep Cleansing Oil.) Lastly, it has to be used up within 120 days from the date of opening.

Thoughts on Hada Labo Makeup Remover:
It looks like a cleansing oil but it is not! It is a clear, slightly viscous (similar viscosity to cleansing oils) gel-type makeup remover, mineral oil free, fragrance free, ideal for sensitive skin (but not sensitive eyes; it stings!). It removes everyday makeup, foundation and sunscreen effortlessly, and when I wash it off with water, I can feel my skin becoming really smooth because of the hyaluronic acid. Like Fancl MCO, 2 pumps is sufficient, but Hada Labo is way more affordable at SGD$17.90 for 200ml. You'll need a separate makeup remover for waterproof eye makeup, but I don't wear eye makeup every day, so that's fine with me. I think it's excellent for everyday use.

Rating for Fancl MCO: 10/10
Rating for Hada Labo: 9/10

Both winners in my opinion!


I'll be going to Hong Kong tomorrow! Will be there for a week, very excited about the shopping! Off to pack now. (:


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