Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask + Kite-flying at Marina Barrage

I recently finished a tub of The Body Shop's Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask. My sister tried it out and thought it was good so she actually bought a second tub! For me, it wasn't especially fantastic and it costs S$32.90 (US$22) which is kinda pricy for a 100ml tub, so I wouldn't repurchase because there are many good clay masks out there and I'm always trying new stuff. (I only repurchase when the product is seriously seriously good - I should probably devote a post to the items which made it on my repurchase list.) But anyway, I'm pretty sure the 100ml mask can last up to half a year with weekly usage (I only used it up faster because my sister was using it as well), so I guess it's not that expensive.
The mask is really a mud mask (the texture is like mud, with tiny silt particles in it) and it has an oceany fragrance which... kinda smells like the sea. Honestly I don't really like the fragrance, I guess it's supposed to smell nice - to me, it smells like the sea (real seawater really doesn't smell that nice) and some sort of fresh fragrance which is trying to cover up the smell of the seawater. Fragrance doesn't bother me much though - the substance is more important!

The description on The Body Shop's website goes "100% natural clay complex cleanses and revitalizes skin; negatively charged ions act like magnets to draw out dirt and impurities from the pores." The instructions say to use weekly and it's best for oily combination skin, and that is totally true. I have oily but dehydrated skin, and it acts pretty well to draw out the gunk in my pores. The mask isn't the best at drawing out impurities, but it is 80% there in degunking my pores; at the very least, after I rinse the mask away, it is much easier to do extraction and my pores look smaller and cleaner. However, I find I can only use this weekly - any more frequently and it stings my skin slightly.

How I use it is that I'll slather it on, leave for 10 mins until it dries (this is the kind of mask that will dry), then lightly dampen my skin and rub it off my skin gradually, adding more water as necessary until it gets all rinsed away! This way, the tiny silt particles help provide extra exfoliating action. While the mask stings my skin if I use it too frequently, it is not drying.


Overall, I'd have to say that this mask does what it claims to do (good for oily/combination skin) but if you have sensitive skin, skip it. Mainly I deducted points for the fragrance and the price, but it's still a good product.

Rating: 8/10

A couple of weekends ago, I went to Marina Barrage for a picnic and some kite-flying! It's a really nice place to go to - it's all windy but it can get real chilly after 8pm.
2 little boys were flying Angry Birds kites - so cute!
Last Friday I had dinner at Watami with an old friend cos she just graduated. It's always great catching up with people especially to get the goss on new boyfriends, etc, haha! We had the Watami set dinner which consists of the following and made us really, really full. The milk custard was ala carte and seriously good! Really value-for-money.
And recently my friend WhatsApped me the following photo:
It's dress-up Rilakkuma stickers!!! So adorable OMG!!!!!! :D

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review: Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel and Hydroboost Essence

My favourite kind of moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid and is gel-like in texture. So when I spotted the Neutrogena Hydroboost range at the drugstore, I had to try it. Usually hyaluronic gel moisturizers are made by Japanese brands, but this one is by Neutrogena! So I was really curious to see how it turns out. I'd previously tried and reviewed the Neutrogena Hydroboost Mousse Cleanser so I got the water gel and serum next. They contain olive extract and hyaluronic acid with a 'progressive release system' which progressively releases moisture throughout the day, which sounded so attractive because I work long hours in air-conditioned dryness and getting my moisturizer to last is a big priority!
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
This comes in a delicious, thick gel-cream texture which feels hydrating on the skin, and smooth when gliding on (thanks to the dimethicone and other -cones in the formula which may not be universally appreciated). It sinks into skin very easily and I think this is meant to be used after the essence. However, it performs very well on its own too. It really works well to not only hydrate but deeply moisturize skin and yes, the progressive release system does work! At the end of the day, when I remove my make-up at 11pm (after about 16 hours since putting it on?), my skin doesn't feel dry or flaky, but smooth to the touch.
The scent is a lovely fresh, light and clean scent which is the same throughout the Hydroboost line. The slightly siliconey texture of the gel might feel slightly heavy at first if you have oily skin, but the trick is to use just enough of it! I always apply moisturizer in thin layers - if it sinks right in and my skin feels like it needs more, then apply a second layer. If you apply a thick layer at one go... that's just wrong and your skin will feel it.

Here's the ingredients list:
If I had to choose one item to purchase from the Hydroboost line, this would be the one. Also, it's pretty affordable - I purchased this 50g jar for S$14.90 at a Beaute Spring store (which sells products from Garnier, Neutrogena, Olay etc at cheaper prices than Watson's or Guardian drugstores, and guess what, the manufacturing dates are all recent).

The only thing I'm annoyed about is the jar packaging - not too sanitary! I don't understand why they don't sell the full-size in a tube instead because the gel-cream texture would totally work in a tube. In fact, I was introduced to this product by a sample I received, which was in a tiny tube. So it works! Please make this in tube form!

Overall - fantastic and affordable moisturizer for all skin types. Oily-yet-dehydrated skin will love this because it keeps the water-oil balance of your skin in check, and dry skins will benefit from using this over the essence. The progressive-release moisture system totally impresses me.

Rating: 10/10 (even if it's in a jar!)
Neutrogena Hydroboost Essence
I think this essence is meant to be used under the the water gel. I remember it cost me about S$12.90 for 30ml. The bottle looks huge but it really only contains 30ml, so the bulky packaging really wastes space.  
So basically the essence is a milky lotion which also feels a little siliconey with a lot of glide. Because of the silicone, it also feels slightly heavy for an essence. It feels nothing as light as my other hyaluronic acid serums such as Juju Aquamoist or Skincology Advanced Hydrating Serum. I would think that people with oily skin might be able to get away with using this on its own as a light moisturizer. However, for me, if I had to choose between the water gel and this, I would opt for the water gel as it hydrates much better. For me, the essence mainly aids in extending the moisturizing capabilities of the water gel.

Don't write this off as an unnecessary complementary product - it really helps increase the moisture level when used in conjunction with the water gel, my skin feels much softer and smoother when I use them both together as opposed to the water gel alone. While people with oily skin might find it heavy to layer 2 products together, it is good for extra moisture after you've exfoliated, when you're experiencing abnormal flakiness, or for night use in an air-conditioned room.

Rating: 9/10
Here's some photos from last weekend-
Photo at TWG tea with a friend, pardon the cheesy caption which she added with some iPhone app.
Scones and caneles - really lovely!

The black macaroons are caramel - nicer than the hot pink ones which have a tart blackcurrant filling.
I went for my company's dinner and dance, the theme was Back to School and I wore fishnets and Vans. I didn't spend money on a single thing - everything was already in my closet, and I wore my junior college tie. (I don't believe in spending money on things I only use for a night... though my friends would probably mention how I take less than a second to fork out $100+ for a bottle of SKII, lol)
We stayed at the Resorts World Sentosa's Festive Hotel... each room has a king-sized bed, a loft bed and a sofa bed which makes it good for families and cheapskates like us. I really liked the toiletries (shampoo and shower gel) in the bathroom, they smell really good like they're full of fragrant essential oils. Love it! Oh and can you see that I'm wearing the bedroom slippers which are neon orange... so weird! Why can't they stick to plain white. I felt like I couldn't sleep after looking at my neon slippers, they were so blinding.
I liked the orchid mural.
At work, my peak period is starting... I can't believe I have survived a year. I hope I can keep it up! I booked a bunch of massages and facials for the Nov/Dec season to relax and prepare for the Christmas season! ^_^ Christmas decorations are already up at the shopping malls and it's feeling festive. The crowds are annoying though! Has anyone gotten Christmas shopping done yet? :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Comparison and review: Fancl Deluxe Tense Up vs TenseUp EX

Recently Fancl Singapore introduced a new product called "Deluxe Tense Up" which sounds like an upgraded version of the regular Tense Up EX (which I try to drink once a week during peak period when I work late nights). The countergirl told me that Deluxe Tense Up is actually a Hong Kong version of Tense Up EX and there are no real differences in the ingredients... but there are! I took a photo of the ingredients list for both.
Ingredients for Deluxe Tense Up:
Xanthan gum, Gellan gum, Erythritol, Beta-cyclodextrine, Apple extract, Collagen Peptide, Sweetener, Mixed tocopherols, Rice extract, L-ascorbic acid, Citric acid, Flavor, Water.

Ingredients for Tense Up EX:
HTC Collagen Peptide, Apple extract, Rice extract, Coenzyme Q10, Citric acid, Sweetener, L-ascorbic acid, Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin E, Xanthan gum, Gellan gum, Erythritol, Beta-cyclodextrine, Yogurt essence, Yogurt flavor, Grapefruit flavor, Orange flavor, Water

I think the original pink Tense Up EX seems like it's more beneficial for the skin because there's coenzyme Q10 and hyaluronic acid as well! And the collagen peptide comes first for the regular TenseUp EX.

One thing though... I prefer the citrus flavour of the new Deluxe Tense Up to the yogurt-grapefruit flavour of the regular TenseUp EX (the yogurt flavour is a little too strong and artificial).

They both retail at the same price (S$61.50 for 10 bottles) but currently there's a promotion for Nov'11 where the new Deluxe Tense Up is retailing for S$43 for 10 bottles. I purchased both and I think the original TenseUp works better, it leaves my skin clearer and firmer when I drink it the night before. I always try to drink it on a Friday/Saturday/Sunday night when I can go to bed early at midnight (I usually turn in after midnight) so that it can be absorbed better during the hours of 11pm-2am. The Fancl people recommend it to be taken daily before bedtime, but I'm still pretty young so I take it once a week, or twice a week if I'm super exhausted and my skin is horrid and dull and no amount of exfoliation or masking helps.

Plus: Do you know? Lugging around a box of 10 bottles of TenseUp home from the Fancl counters can be tiring since they're so heavy! It's even worse if you want to purchase multiple boxes during your birthday month (because you get rebates then)! Don't fret! You can actually make the purchase during your birthday month and get the rebates, then just get a redemption card that records your purchase. Then as and when you like, you can go back to any Fancl counter to collect a new box of TenseUp! This also ensures that you always get a fresh box of TenseUp (since they have no preservatives and have short expiration dates). :D

Seriously I love Fancl. I do realise some of their supplements (such as the calcium or iron tablets) are not the best and most effective in the market as compared to say, Nature's Farm or GNC, but I like that they have chewables for calcium and iron, and the tablets that need to be swallowed are quite tiny in size (because I can't swallow tablets and pills well).

I'm going out for a picnic now, till next time ~~

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Review and Comparison: Bio Oil vs Rosken Bio Serum

I had previously done a review of Rosken Bio Serum and compared ingredients of Bio Serum and Bio Oil here, and I've since repurchased once. Recently Bio Oil has finally made it to Singapore and they keep advertising it on TV, so I decided to purchase it and make a comparison! Bio Oil is S$15.50 for 60ml while Rosken Bio Serum is S$15.90 for 50ml. As yet, they don't sell the big bottles in Singapore. They're so similar, they're both rose-coloured oils but when you use it, they're actually slightly different. 
Left: Bio Oil; Right: Rosken Bio Serum. 
Left: Bio Oil; Right: Rosken Bio Serum
1. Bio Oil

Scent: Floral, a little powdery, reminds me a little of Johnson's baby oil or baby shampoo. I don't really like this kind of scent in a body oil, but this is just a personal preference. It is a soothing scent, but a little too soapy for my liking.

Consistency: Kind of like baby oil too, except more fluid. It feels slightly oily to the touch and leaves my skin a little bit greasy/sticky upon application at night, but it's gone by morning. It's like a dry oil which rubs in easily into skin and is quickly absorbed.

Packaging: Bio Oil comes with a screw top cap which is slightly more fussy than a flip-top cap. Also, it comes one of those tops with a hole in the middle like some toners, so you have to shake the oil out with some patience because you can't squeeze the oil out easily.

Comments: Pretty good, equally moisturizing in feel as Bio Serum. Feels a teeny little bit greasy (like a dry oil) but is easily absorbed and leaves my skin very soft instantly, and smooth by morning. A good moisturizer/softener and has pretty good healing properties. It helped heal and lighten my moisquito bite scars quickly, and if you have a dry, rough, peeling scab, it will moisturize and heal it faster. (This is true of Bio Serum as well.)

It is claimed that Bio Oil can be used for the face as well, but I haven't tried it.
Price: S$15.50 for 60ml, slightly cheaper than Bio Serum.

Rating: 9/10

2. Rosken Bio Serum

Scent: Lovely soothing lavender scent. I love this.

Consistency: Like cleansing oil. Slightly more viscous than Bio Oil but somehow, Bio Serum applies much more smoothly, like a fluid serum, and it totally not greasy at all. Bio oil rubs in easily but Bio Serum applies smoothly like a layer on top of the skin, which is absorbed by morning.

Packaging: Bio Serum comes with a flip-top cap which I prefer, it's faster than opening a screw-top cap. I also prefer the raised nozzle for Bio Serum - the serum flows faster through the hole and it is easy to control the amount used. The Bio Serum bottle is also easier to squeeze than Bio Oil's bottle, so I can squeeze out the amount I want quickly and efficiently, while for Bio Oil, I have to shake patiently. The Bio Serum bottle is also more ergonomic than Bio Oil's bottle in the sense that it is slimmer and easier to grip, while Bio Oil's bottle is more stout.

Comments: Everything Bio Oil can do, Bio Serum can do too! Bio Serum feels slightly more moisturizing, maybe because of the thicker, more viscous texture. Results are fast - overnight I can see the difference in texture of my skin, especially on scars. I would choose Bio Serum because of easier application and the texture feels better on my skin. Bio Oil leaves my skin softer, while Bio Serum leaves my skin smoother.

Price: S$15.90 for 50ml, slightly more expensive than Bio Oil (which is surprising because I thought Bio Oil should be more expensive as it seems more 'famous'). However, it's worth every penny! I would definitely choose Bio Serum over Bio Oil. Rosken doesn't seem to advertise their Bio Serum much as compared to Bio Oil, but seriously, choose Bio Serum. I love it so much and the scent is heavenly. Also, I prefer a serum texture as compared to dry oil texture.
Rating: 10/10

Results: Bio Serum wins! But Bio Oil is a great option too. If you're ok with the scent, go for Bio Oil since it is a more economical option!

Note: Both can be used on the face, but very very sparingly. They claim to be non-comedogenic but do a patch test first, especially for oily skin. For acne-prone skin, best to skip using on the face!
Hope this is useful; I hope to try Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil soon and do a comparison too. I spied it at the drugstore and it seems like a good option as the price is about the same, but I think the colour of the oil is different and the ingredients might be different too. Till next time!


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