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)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Review: 100% Pure Acai Berry Antioxidant Eye Cream

The main difference between this eye cream and the 100% Pure Coffee Bean Eye Cream (previously reviewed) is that the coffee bean one has a base of rose hip oil, while this one has a base of acai berry oil. I feel that this is less greasy/oily than the Coffee Bean one, probably because rose hip oil is a heavier oil than acai berry oil. Also, the Coffee Bean one contains coffee cherry extract (caffeine) that is supposed to help depuff and make you look more awake.
From this swatch you can tell that the Acai Berry Eye Cream has a more fluid texture that the Coffee Bean Eye Cream (which is thicker and creamier). 

I have to say - I like the Acai Berry Antioxidant Eye Cream better than the Coffee Bean Eye Cream. It is light, is absorbed easily and moisturizes well. It has a light berry scent. If you have oily skin and you live in a hot and humid climate - this eye cream will suit you better. Unlike the Coffee Bean Eye Cream, the Acai Berry one doesn't come in a smaller tube - it only comes in the 30ml pump tube with a shelf life of 6 months. Still, it isn't too pricy at US$28 and it will definitely last me for 6 months. 
Ingredients: Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Organic Rosa Centifolia Flower Water (Rose Hydrosol)*, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai Berry) Fruit Oil, Extracts of: Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai Berry) Fruit, Euphorbia Cerifera Cera (Candelilla), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf, Thymus Vulgaris Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldendeal) and Lonicera Caprifolium (Japanese Honeysuckle), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Tocopherol (Vitamin E) * Certified Organic

Rating: 9/10

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Review: Thayer's Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner

While Simple Kind To Skin Soothing Facial Toner used to be my go-to toner, I've recently discovered a cleaner alternative that is also affordable - Thayer's Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner! I purchased it for S$15.90 for 355ml at NaturaWorks. This works out to S$0.044 per ml for Thayer's as compared to S$0.035 per ml for Simple. It is really affordable in the US (US$8 on Drugstore.com) but it costs a bit more in Singapore. After using it for more than a month, I conclude that I like Thayer's more than Simple!

The witch hazel really freshens up my skin. It really helps to smooth my skin and makes my pores look smaller. It also helps remove any remaining dead skin cells - I can see it on the cotton pad after I wipe my face. I also mix it with tea tree oil to make a blemish treatment base. Basically I do all the same things with this as Simple Toner - and I find Thayer's more effective on my oily skin. The aloe vera base also makes it soothing - it helps calm down angry blemishes. I have also used Thayer's on wounds and itchy mosquito bites - it cools and takes away the sting. Looking at the ingredients below, it's all natural.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Certified Organic Filet Of Aloe Vera), Glycerin (Vegetable), Fragrance (Natural Rose), Hamamelis Virginiana Extract (made from Certified Organic Witch Hazel), Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Flower Water, Citric Acid, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract. 

Now for the (slightly) bad - I've read reviews where people love the rosewater scent, but I didn't really enjoy it that much. However, after a month of use, I've gotten used to it and it doesn't really bother me. I think it's just me; I've never really liked the scent of rosewater. Other than this rosewater toner, Thayer's also produces an unscented version (no rosewater), a lavender one (with lavender water in place of rosewater) and a cucumber one (with cucumber fruit extract in place of rosewater). I'm definitely getting them to try soon!

In conclusion - this is an affordable, natural toner that really helps to prep and freshen, and is best for normal to oily skin types. This, and the Simple Toner, are the only 2 toners right now that I would repurchase over and over again. But right now, in my bid to overhaul my beauty routine with cleaner and greener products - Thayer's is my preference.  

Rating: 10/10

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Review: Simple Kind To Skin Soothing Facial Toner

I have mentioned and referenced this toner in many of my posts. It's the affordable and basic toner that I go back to using all the time, that balances out my skin in all kinds of trouble - whether it's too dry, too oily, sensitive, breaking out, this toner helps to soothe and calm my skin down. I purchase my Simple Toner at Beaute Spring for S$7, for a 200ml bottle. 200ml lasts me slightly over a month - I tone twice a day, and also use it to mix with tea tree oil as a blemish treatment base. 

I use salicylic acid/glycolic acid treatments on my face, which help exfoliate skin. After washing, I always go over my face with toner on a cotton pad and as it helps remove the dead skin cells surfaced by the treatments. Not every toner does this well - Simple Toner is one of those toners where I can really see the 'dirt' and dead skin cells on the cotton pad (probably due to the allantoin), showing that it really does help remove any remaining traces of dirt or dead skin cells from my face. 

Simple Toner is light and fragrance free and suitable for all skintypes. It is very, very gentle. Let me do a breakdown of some of the good ingredients:

- Sorbitol: Humectant
- Sodium PCA: Humectant and part of our skin's natural moisturizing factor. I love this ingredient. 
- Allantoin: Anti-inflammatory, soothing. It promotes cell replication, helps the outer layer of dead skin cells to loosen and shed, and hence increases the smoothness of skin. I love this ingredient too!
- Hamamelis Virginiana Distillate, Chamomilla Recutita Extract: Witch hazel and chamomile calms and soothes skin. 

The rest of the ingredients are filler - surfactants, preservatives and humectants that are present in smaller amounts and shouldn't affect the product so much. Most have low hazard scores on the EWG Skin Deep Database. However, on the Paula's Choice website, it states "formaldehyde-releasing preservative 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol makes it not so good for sensitive skin."

Ingredients: Aqua, Sorbitol, Sodium PCA, Allantoin, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Methylparaben, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Hamamelis Virginiana Distillate, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol, Chamomilla Recutita Extract, Pantolactone, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben

In conclusion - this is a basic toner that never fails me, which I have repurchased countless times. I know I can count on it to balance out my skin when it goes wonky from trying out different products. Plus, it's affordable! Even if I stop using it sometimes when I'm trying other toners, I know for sure I will repurchase it. If you're only just starting to look after your skin and are on a budget, look no further - this is the toner for you. 

Rating: 10/10

Monday, May 12, 2014

Review: The Skin Pharmacy Natural Alcohol-Free Toner and Natural Deep Cleansing Mild Facial Wash

The Skin Pharmacy is a Singaporean brand that focuses on natural ingredients. I'd always wanted to try their products, so when there was a special promotion last year to purchase the Natural Deep Cleansing Mild Facial Wash and Natural Alcohol-Free Toner as a set for S$20, I purchased 2 sets immediately!

Natural Deep Cleansing Mild Facial Wash
The facial wash is a clear, very viscous, unscented gel that foams easily. The foam is very gentle on my skin - the main foaming agent is decyl glucoside which is a mild cleanser. The ingredients consist of mild foaming agents, moisturizing agents (glycerin, sodium PCA, sodium lactate), as well as amino acids that help to repair the skin. It's a nice, basic cleanser to have - very gentle on skin, lasts a long time (you only need a little bit because it foams very well) and leaves my skin soft and never stripped. 

However - the original price is S$29.90 for 150ml on the Skin Pharmacy website which I feel is pretty steep. If you're looking for a comparative, gentle cleanser for sensitive skin that is more affordable, I would recommend Eucerin Dermatoclean Refreshing Cleansing Gel, which I reviewed here previously. 

Natural Deep Cleansing Mild Facial Wash ingredients: aqua, decyl glucoside, sodium lauryl sarcosinate, naturally derived PEG-80 sorbitan laurate, glycerin, organic propanediol, naturally derived PEG-150 pentaerthrityl tetrastearate, lysine, arginine, threonine, proline, sodium PCA, sodium lactate, aspartic acid, PCA, glycine, grape fruit seed extract, citric acid

Rating: 9/10 (-1 because I think it's a little pricey - but the toner is even pricier)

Natural Alcohol-Free Toner
The toner is a clear liquid - it mainly consists of witch hazel, glycerin and aloe vera extract, as well as sodium PCA (moisture) and amino acids. It helps freshen, soften and prep my skin for subsequent skincare. I do like the feel of this toner more than my usual Simple Toner, because this toner feels a little bit more astringent and freshening on my skin. (I think the combination of witch hazel, glycerin and aloe vera used by Skin Pharmacy feels a little bit nicer than the combination of sorbitol and witch hazel used by Simple.) 

The toner comes in a tiny bottle - 115ml. I use toner very generously so that bottle didn't last me long. The original price is S$29.90 for 115ml which is really pricey in my opinion! If you're looking for a similar, no-frills gentle toner for sensitive skin that is more affordable, I would recommend Simple Kind To Skin Soothing Facial Toner which I mentioned in my 2014 skincare regime. And if you like witch hazel and aloe vera... I have a review for Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel coming up soon (more affordable)!

Natural Alcohol-Free Toner ingredients: aqua, witch hazel, glycerin, aloe vera extract, sodium PCA, lysine, arginine, threonine, proline, sodium lactate, aspartic acid, PCA, glycine, grape fruit seed extract

Rating: 9/10 (-1 because I think it's kinda pricey)


Would I repurchase? I might repurchase the facial cleanser (but I would probably opt for Eucerin Dermatoclean since it's more affordable). The toner is nice but way too pricey for me because I use toner very generously. Unless there's another promotion... I probably wouldn't repurchase. But they're really very good formulations that I believe would be very good for all skintypes - just that I'm a bit of a tightwad and the other drugstore "dupes" are good enough for me. I have a few of the acne-care products from The Skin Pharmacy on my wishlist though - I'll want to try them out in the near future!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Bioderma Sebium H2O vs Bioderma Crealine/Sensibio H2O

I previously reviewed Bioderma Sensibio here. During my last trip to Hong Kong, I found Bioderma Sebium H2O at SASA and it was really cheap - HKD128 for a 500ml bottle (which translates to about US$17), so I decided to try it, because it's supposed to be for oily skin, while Bioderma Crealine/Sensibio is for sensitive skin, and I wanted to see the difference. 

My conclusion? Stick with Bioderma Crealine/Sensibio. Bioderma Sebium H2O is fragranced and it stings worse than Bioderma Crealine when it gets into my eyes. In my previous Bioderma Sensibio review, I mentioned that it stings slightly when it gets into my eyes, but Bioderma Sebium stings even worse. They both remove light make-up (excludes waterproof mascara) equally well. 
Bioderma Sebium H2O ingredients: water (aqua), peg-6 caprylic/capric glycerides, sodium citrate , zinc gluconate, copper sulfate, ginkgo biloba extract, mannitol, xylitol, rhamnose, fructooligosaccharides, propylene glycol, citric acid, disodium edta, cetrimonium bromide, fragrance (parfum).

Bioderma Crealine/Sensibio ingredients: water (aqua), peg-6 caprylic/capric glycerides, propylene glycol, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, mannitol, xylitol, rhamnose, fructooligosaccharides, disodium edta, cetrimonium bromide.

Comparing the ingredients, Crealine/Sensibio is unfragranced, has less ingredients and contains cucumber extract for soothing skin. Sebium H2O is fragranced and contains the following additional ingredients which I googled as follows:

- Sodium citrate: Used as a preservative, to control pH
- Zinc gluconate: Anti-inflammatory for acne
- Copper sulfate: According to Paula's Choice, "Effective for topical wound healing, but there is no research showing it has any impact when used in skin-care products." I suppose this also gives Sebium H2O its blue hue.
- Ginkgo Biloba: Anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory for acne

Personally, I would stick with Bioderma Crealine/Sensibio as it feels gentler on my skin (and my eyes). I always follow up with a regular facial cleanser and my acne treatment (tea tree oil) so I don't think the other ingredients really make much of a difference for me. 

Rating: 7/10

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Review: ModelCo Cheek & Lip Tint

I bought ModelCo Cheek & Lip Tint during a Luxola sale. The original price is US$24 for 10ml on the ModelCo website, which is slightly pricy and makes it the same price per ml (US$2.4 per ml) as Benetint, which is US$30 for 12.5ml. 
It is a thick gel with a fruity scent - I mainly use it as a lip stain, because the gel is a little too thick and I don't feel comfortable applying it on my cheeks since I'm oily and acne-prone. I love the shade - it is a lovely berry/plum that looks very natural on me. (I find berry looks more natural than red tints.)
It blends easily and as you can see from the swatch above, it stains well. In fact, it is one of the most long-lasting stains I've used and I have used a lot! I will repurchase this - it is not drying, the colour is just really flattering and pigmented, and staying power is pretty good! As compared to ModelCo, Benetint is just not pigmented enough, too watery and doesn't have enough staying power. The only con is that I find it on the pricey side - I will try to get it during future Luxola sales. 

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, PEG-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate, PEG-40, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Disodium ETA, Methylparaben, Citric Acid, Fragrance (Parfum), Benzyl Benzoate, Coumarin, Geraniol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citronellol; May Contain (+/-): Red 33 (CI 17200), Blue 1 (CI 42090), Yellow 5 (CI 19140)

Rating: 10/10 

(Please note that this post contains affiliate links, where the retailer gives couturechild a small commission if you click and make a purchase within a certain time. Product(s) were purchased by couturechild for review.)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Review: 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip & Cheek Stain (Cherry)

I have very pale lips so I rely on lipstains to make myself look alive. Usually I use The Body Shop's Lip and Cheek Stain for a natural-looking tint, but recently I've had the urge to overhaul my make-up and skincare collection to natural products. Furthermore, we all know that lip products are easily ingested and I'd rather ingest something natural. When I saw the 100% Pure Lip & Cheek Stain while blog-surfing online, I had to get it.
From the website:
100% natural, 100% vegan, gluten free
long lasting, water resistant formula
colored from fruit and vegetable pigments
The formula is not as runny-liquid as The Body Shop's. Instead, it is more of a gel. I accidentally tasted it and it's terribly bitter! -gag- The colour is a pigmented red and quite pretty. It goes on evenly, feels comfortable and is not as drying as The Body Shop's liptint, and on my lips, the stain lasts till lunchtime. I quite like it, but I prefer ModelCo's Lip Tint, which I will review next week!
Top: 100% Pure Lip & Cheek Stain. Botton: The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain
Top: 100% Pure Lip & Cheek Stain. Botton: The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain
As you can see, 100% Pure is more pigmented and gel-like than The Body Shop's Lip & Cheek Stain, which is less pigmented and more watery. Since 100% Pure is more gel-like, I would prefer not to use it on my cheeks (since I have oily, acne-prone skin). The Body Shop's stain blends more easily, since it's more watery, but lasting power is better than 100% Pure's because it really stains while 100% Pure's just kind of sits on top of the skin, since it's more of a gel. But - 100% Pure's is more moisturizing (thanks to sodium hyaluronate) while The Body Shop's can be a bit drying on the lips. 
I like the cardboard tube it comes in - I'm thinking I can probably use it to contain those bits and pieces when I'm travelling, but I haven't figured out what I can use it for exactly. Well it is cute and I'm just trying to find a reason to keep it.
Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Organic Aloe Juice)*, Vegetable Glycerin, Calendula Officinalis (Organic Calendula) Flower Extract*, Camellia Sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Blueberry Skin) Extract, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Juice Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Curcuma Longa (Organic Turmeric) Root Extract*, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Extract, Red Wine Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Organic Lavender) Flower Extract*, Vitis Vinifera (Organic Grape) Seed Extract*, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Japanese Honey Suckle) Extract
* Certified Organic

I knocked off 2 points because the colour (red-based) is not as natural on me as a berry-based colour would be. Also, it isn't the most long lasting lip tint I've tried. Still, if you're looking to clean up your beauty and make-up regimen, the natural ingredients in this makes it worth a try!

Rating: 8/10

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Review: Too Faced Primed and Poreless Powder

I've been using Too Faced Primed and Poreless powder daily for at least half a year and am left with half of the jar. It costs US$30 for 0.16oz (about 5g?) which is pretty affordable. It's meant to be used as a "priming powder and finishing veil" that minimizes pores and imperfections for an airbrushed finish. 
The powder is very light and finely milled. I like that it is not white - it has the slightest tint of beige and looks very natural. I have oily skin so I have to use quite a lot of it to mattify the sheen on my face, but once done, my skin looks smooth, poreless and at the same time natural! My daily make-up consists of nothing but Biore Tint Milk (tinted sunscreen) followed by this powder. I find Primed and Poreless Powder pretty good at oil control too! It lasts till lunch, then after blotting away the oilies, my face looks relatively fresh again. 
It can give a powdery look in flash photos, but no white chalkiness (because it's not white)! And the best thing about it is the packaging - it has a twist plastic cover such that the sifter holes can be closed and powder won't leak out, which makes it super convenient for travelling. I always bring this on my overseas trips, very handy!

Ingredients: Silica, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Water/Aqua/Eau, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499, Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163).

The silica really helps to make skin look flawless, while the other flower extracts are supposed to be good for the skin (soothing and anti-inflammatory). The last ingredient is Bismuth Oxychloride, which some people are allergic to. It seems to be used in a lesser quantity since it's the last ingredient, and it doesn't irritate me at all. 

In conclusion - I really like this! Minus 1 point because I have to use a lot to mattify my face, but other than that, I find it is a really good, lightweight finishing powder for oily and acne-prone skin. 

Rating: 9/10 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Review: Fancl Liquid Foundation in 03 Light Ochre

By now, Fancl has officially closed all its stores in Singapore. It's pretty sad because I've used quite a lot of their products - Mild Cleansing Oil, Facial Washing Powder, 2-way foundation, loose powder, and their collagen supplement, Tense-Up. During their closing sales, I got a bottle of their Liquid Foundation in 03 Light Ochre, which is yellow-based and matches my MAC NC25 skintone pretty well. It retails on the Fancl.com website at US$23 for 22ml. It can last for a year unopened, and for 3 months once opened. It comes in a total of 5 shades, and the darkest shade would be about a MAC NC35 in my opinion. 
It comes in a no-frills, compact plastic bottle with a nozzle tip - I love foundations packaged like that, it's so convenient. It reminds me a little of Covermark's Essence Foundation Liquid, which I reviewed years ago here. It has a fluid texture (a little thicker than Covermark) and provides light-medium coverage with a semi-matte finish. The finish gives my skin a bit of a sheen, so it doesn't look as 99% real-skin as Covermark. I can wear Covermark without loose powder because it blends well and gives me 99% real skin, but I have to use loose powder over Fancl's liquid foundation to mattify the slight sheen to give more real-looking skin (I have oily skin, so maybe girls with dry skin won't have that problem). Oil control is so-so, it doesn't make me oily but it doesn't help keep me matte either. 
I like this foundation because it feels quite comfortable on my skin and doesn't make my skin feel dry after long hours of use. Staying power is ok when I use loose powder over it - it fades a little after an 8-hour work day (well, I have super oily skin). I like how it has no preservatives so it's supposed to be better for your skin, but I wouldn't be able to finish using the 22ml bottle in the 3 month use-by period. And another thing - I don't think it contains SPF, so if I use it in the day I have to layer a SPF underneath it. 

Ingredients: cyclomethicone, water, butylene glycol, alcohol, isopropyl isosterate, peg-9 dimethicone, sorbeth-4 tetraoleate, polyglyceryl-2 triisosterate, panthenol, hydroxyproline, polyquaternium-61, sodium hyaluronate, hydroxyapatite, steraric acid, acrylates/dimethicone copolymer dimeticone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, trimethylsiloxysilicate, mica, alumina, silica, aluminum hydroxide, dimethicone, methicone, iron oxides, acrylates crosspolymer, methyi. methacrylate crosspolymer, dea-c8-18 perfluoroalkylethyl phosphate, talc, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide

Rating: 8/10

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Review: YÜLI Cellular Lip Conditioner

I got the YÜLI Cellular Lip Conditioner free with my order during the Black Friday promotional period. It's a lip serum in a glass tube with a rollerball applicator and includes ingredients such as avocado oil, camelina oil, sea buckthorn oil, ginger lily and supercritical extract of rosehip. They're all food-grade ingredients which makes sense for a lip treatment that you're likely to ingest!
I'm not too crazy about the rollerball applicator - I have to make sure that my lips are really clean before using it, so that dead skin cells or anything on my lips doesn't roll back into the bottle. I brought it along for my Hong Kong trip and used it as a night treatment, but the air was really dry so I feel like I still need to layer a soft lip balm (the kind that comes in a tub) over it. The serum smells a little herbal-y and feels light but moisturizing. The silky texture of the serum is really addictive. 
Also, a word of advice - since it's a rollerball applicator with no proper stopper, the serum is prone to leak a little due to air pressure changes if you pack it in your carry-on. 

Ingredients: R.communis (Castor) oil*, S.chinensis (Jojoba)oil*, P. americana (Avocado) oil*, R. rubiginosa (Rosehip) seed oil*,C. sativa (Camelina) oil*, Supercritical Extract Blend (P. granatum (Pomegranate) seed*, R. rubiginosa (Rosehip) seed*, H.rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) seed and berry*, V.planifolia (Vanilla)* and H.spicatum (Ginger Lily)^^), Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Non-GMO

Would I purchase it again? At US$26 a tube, I have to consider it carefully! I like the feel of the serum (it feels like it sinks in better) but it really wasn't enough alone in winter. I still have to layer another balm on top of it. However, it does soothe cracked lips and it is a worthy splurge! 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

DrGL Restore Gel Mask Review

DrGL is a skincare line by the famous aesthetic doctor and socialite, Dr Georgia Lee. I spotted the Restore Gel Mask on Luxola (S$68 for 240ml) and decided to give it a try. (I bought it during a Luxola sale.) It is a soothing, light-blue gel that can be used as either a mask or a moisturizer. It feels a lot lighter than Laneige's sleeping pack. I like the dual-purpose nature of the Restore Gel Mask. To use it as a mask, apply a thick layer over the face, leave for half an hour, and wipe off excess. To use as a gel moisturizer, apply a thin layer all over face.

It's a light blue gel with a calming scent and feels very cooling and soothing on my skin. While it is a little sticky, it feels very light and is perfect for acne-prone, oily skin. I imagine it would feel like heaven on sunburnt skin or after a scrub. It feels especially lovely and calming when I use it on overseas work trips, when my skin is imbalanced due to climate differences or dry cabin air. If your skin is inflamed or imbalanced, give this a try! 
When I use a light layer of this as a day moisturizer, it feels hydrating enough for Singapore's hot and humid weather. It definitely won't be enough for dry winter climates. I think this is a pretty budget-friendly, dual-purpose product. Why budget-friendly? Laneige's sleeping pack costs about S$45 for 80ml (1.77ml per S$) while DrGL's Restore Gel Mask costs S$68 for 240ml (3.53ml per S$). Of course, Laneige is more moisturizing and luxurious, but the Restore Gel Mask is a great, multi-tasking alternative, especially for younger oily/combination skintypes that don't need too much moisture.

Ingredients: water, scutellaria baicalensis root extract, paeonia suffruticosa root extract, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, butylene glycol, glycerin, carbomer, coceth-7, ppg-1-peg-8 lauryl glycol ether, peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, rutin, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, disodium edta, centella asatica extract, gardenia florida fruit extract, beta-glucan, guaiazulene, arginine, aloe vera. 

I was bored and did a google of the ingredients because I haven't come across some of the flower root extracts before, and came up with the following:
  • Scutellaria baicalensis - used in Chinese medicine and has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-allergenic properties
  • Paeonia suffruticosa - used in Chinese medicine and helps to heal skin
  • Glycyrrhiza glabba (licorice) root - used in Chinese medicine and helps with skin cell regeneration; anti-inflammatory and hydrating
  • Centella asatica - also known as Gotu Kola (which is used in Yuli Skincare's Cell Perfecto PM!), it is supposed to boost collagen production, reduce fine lines and heal scars 
  • Gardenia florida fruit - contains the anti-oxidant ferulic acid (which we all know is good for skin!), helps to firm skin and enhances moisture retention
  • Guaiazulene - a colour-additive that provided the blue colour and fragrance in the gel, has a score of 0-4 in EWG's database (low hazard)
And the common ones that I always see:
  • Glycerin - humectant, score of 0 in EWG (low hazard)
  • Carbomer - increases viscosity with a score of 0 in EWG (low hazard)
  • Chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract - we all know chamomile is soothing and healing!
  • Beta-glucan - promotes wound-healing and reduction in scarring
  • Aloe vera - heals wounds and soothes skin
The other chemical stuff, I got the following information from EWG's database:
  • Butylene glycol: solvent with a score of 0-1 (low hazard)
  • Ppg-1-peg-8 lauryl glycol ether: surfactant/emulsifying agent with a score of 3 (low hazard)
  • Coceth-7: surfactant/emulsifying agent with a score of 1 (low hazard)
  • Rutin: skin-conditioning agent with a score of 0 (low hazard)
  • Disodium edta: chelating agent for viscosity with a score of 0 (low hazard)
  • Arginine: naturally-occurring amino acid used for skin-conditioning, with a score of 0 (low hazard
In conclusion - I think the ingredients list looks really good, I'm impressed! I do think people with sensitive, reactive skin would enjoy it. Recommend! :)

(Please note that this post contains affiliate links, where the retailer gives couturechild a small commission if you click and make a purchase within a certain time. Product(s) were purchased by couturechild for review.)

Liebster Award

I got nominated for a Liebster Award by Sasha, thank you so much!

The rules that come along with this award are as follows:
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post
  • Display the award on your blog (the picture)
  • List the rules in your post
  • State 11 (random) facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger on their award post
  • Nominate 5-11 bloggers who have under 300 followers (you can't nominate the blogger who nominated you)
  • Come up with 11 questions for the bloggers you nominated to answer
  • Let the bloggers you nominate know that they've been nominated by leaving a comment with your blog link on their blog
I don't really read many blogs so I will just answer the 11 questions, they are hard - 

1. Who is your biggest inspiration?
I can't just name one. People around me inspire me every day, in little ways. When I see my Facebook feed, when I see my WhatsApp texts, everyone is working hard to achieve their dreams. Little things like that inspire me to become a better person, to have more willpower, to be more hardworking, to be a kinder person. 

2. Illustrate your perfect, ideal day
I'd have a nice breakfast while reading the papers, do some yoga, meet friends for lunch and a catch-up session, take a dance class, do some pilates, and cook dinner for my lover. (:

3. What is your favorite restaurant and what is your favorite dish to get from there?
I like Imperial Treasure's (Chinese) soups. Delicious, yummy broth simmered for hours and hours. Pure goodness. 

4. How many languages do you speak?
3 - English, Mandarin, and (a little) Japanese.

5. What is your ideal career?
Something that would allow me to create things, so that I will never get bored. 

6. Are you flexible?
Yes, I'm more flexible than the average person, but just normal compared to gymnasts/dancers. I can do the front splits, oversplits and a few degrees off a side split. My upper back is a little stiff though, right now I'm trying very hard to touch my head with my toes!

7. What is your favorite type of make up to wear (mascara, foundation, etc.)?
I love wearing blush - it gives a pretty flush and I have to smile when I apply it to my cheeks so it makes me happy at the same time! :)

8. Do you have a good relationship with your mother?
Yes I do, but sometimes it's frustrating too!

9. Would you rather go sky diving or scuba diving with sharks?
Sky diving. >_< But I probably won't, I'm too scared!

10. Do you have any pets?
No. :( I really want a dog like Shunsuke though!

11. Why did you start your blog?
I have a bad memory so I needed someplace to document the beauty products and things I've used. 

Have a happy weekend everyone. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream Review

I have been trying to switch to natural products since about half a year ago, and was searching for a good eye cream because my undereye area was just... so dry! I searched MakeupAlley for a good, natural eye cream and chanced upon 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream. It comes in 2 sizes - 1oz (30ml) squeeze pump tube and 0.5oz (15ml) tube. I decided to get the smaller tube at USD11, because the packaging is more convenient and most of the eye creams I used previously were also just 15ml but lasted me a long time! 
I've been using this for almost 4 months and am almost finished with the tube. It smells delicious - like sweet vanilla coffee! The texture is a little creamy, whipped and buttery. It is a little bit oily for daytime and I feel like my undereye concealer (Cle de Peau) doesn't stay too well on top of this eye cream. However, it feels pretty moisturizing.
The website states that it's clinically proven to de-puff and brighten dark circles, lessen lines and wrinkles, and makes you look more refreshed and awake. Well, after 4 months of use, I don't really notice my eyes getting brighter (I have serious dark circles - the brown type). But I do notice my undereye area getting smoother. Also, due to my deep double eyelids and my tendency to eye-smile, I get crow's feet when I smile! :( But recently, my sister mentioned that she doesn't notice them on me anymore! So perhaps this eye cream helped a little in that aspect. :) It's pretty inexpensive so I might repurchase it again. The only thing holding me back is that because of the natural formulation, it's a little too oily/heavy for day use. 

And just a tip - I would definitely purchase the smaller 0.5oz tube over the larger 1.0oz squeeze-pump tube. The shelf life is 6 months, and the small tube lasted me 4 months, so I wouldn't be able to finish the large tube within 6 months. 

Ingredients: Organic Aloe Juice, Organic Rose Hydrosol, Organic Rosehip Oil, Organic Green Coffee, Vitamin E (tocopherol), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), Extracts of: Coffee Cherry, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Goldenseal, Vanilla Absolute, Candelilla Wax

Rating: 8/10

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Review: Suki Balancing Day Lotion

My sister passed me a sample of Suki Balancing Day Lotion a couple of months ago. Using it alone, I noticed that it really helps to control oil and keep my face matte during the day! (It doesn't really give a matte finish per se; I still need to follow up with loose powder, but it keeps my skin matte under the loose powder and prevents oil breakthrough.) So I purchased the full-sized bottle. It's a white, runny lotion with a heavenly floral scent that evokes ~luxury~. The beeswax gives it a bit of slip but it feels a wee bit heavy on my skin. 
After using it for a while (before starting on YULI), I noticed that it doesn't really moisturize very well - it would leave my skin dry at the end of the day, after working in an air-conditioned office. When in Hong Kong (winter), I tried layering it on top of YULI's M.E. Skin Fuel during the day, but it felt a little too heavy for me. 

I think this lotion would work better for oily skintypes, and I would use it in Singapore (summer weather), if I wasn't in air-conditioning (like maybe on a weekend). I realise I haven't said anything really good about the Balancing Day Lotion, but it keeps my face matte for a long time and that is exceptional! If you have an oily complexion - give it a try! Maybe try layering a hyaluronic acid serum underneath it? 

It contains willow bark extract (salicylic acid) and natural retinol, so it's good for oily, acne-prone skin!

Ingredients: (rosa centifiolia distillate), alcohol (sugar cane denatured with lavender), cera alba (beeswax), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, rosa centifolia (rose) flower distillate, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, helianthus anuus (sunflower) seed oil, oryza sativa (rice) bran oil, cetearyl (coconut) alcohol, anthemis nobilis (roman chamomille) flower oil, acacia (arabic gum), glycerin, vigna acontifolia (moth bean-vitamin a) seed extract, sodium citrate, borago officinalis (borage) seed oil, corylus avellana (hazelnut) seed oil, salix alba (willow) bark extract, butyrospermum parkii (shea) seed butter, tocopherol (vitamin e), calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) extract, aloe barbadensis (aloe) leaf, squalane & chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower/leaf extract, echinacea purpurea (echinacea) flower extract, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower extract, matricaria chamomilla (german chamomile) flower oil, lecithin, xanthan gum, *aroma/fragrance, linalool, citronellol, geraniol, citral, eugenol, farnesol

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Review: Suki Concentrated Balancing Toner

Initially, I wanted to purchase the Suki Bio-active Purifying Face Serum (a serum for oily, congested skin) but at US$82.95 for 15ml, it was wayyyy too expensive. The second ingredient in the Suki Bio-active Purifying Face Serum was white willow bark extract (salicylic acid), so I decided to look for something else that has a high concentration of natural salicylic acid, to unclog my pores. White willow bark extract (salicylic acid) is the 4th on the list for Suki Concentrated Balancing Toner, and it was more affordable at US$32.95 for 120ml, so I decided to give it a try. 

It comes in a heavy glass spray bottle - the spray pump dispenses just the right amount of mist, very nicely done. The toner has a light, refreshing citrus-floral scent and it feels very soothing on my skin. It provides a calming and healing base for oily, acne-prone skin before moisturizer is applied. This definitely helped in making my skin less inflamed. 

How I use it - I go over my face with Simple toner on a cotton pad, then I follow up with a spritz of Suki Concentrated Balancing Toner all over. Then I apply tea tree oil to my break-out-prone areas and finish with facial oil.

The only con is that the glass bottle is very travel-unfriendly. I didn't pack this along with me to Hong Kong and I broke out a little bit then. 

Ingredients: rosa damascena flower distillate, lavender distillate (alcohol), lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, salix alba (white willow salicins) bark extract, anthemis nobilis flower oil, aloe barbadensis leaf, phospholipids (vitamin c), melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) leaf oil, ascophyllum nodosum extract, calendula officinalis flower extract, matricaria recutita (chamomilla) flower extract, rosa canina fruit extract, mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, *aroma/fragrance, citral, linalool

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Review: YÜLI Skincare Cell Perfecto PM, M.E. Skin Fuel and Halcyon Cleanser

I got to know YÜLI Skincare through Edo Jao's Twitter and Neiman's Idealist. At the time my skin was terrible - even after I had been in my current less stressful job for almost a year, using SKII and my old fallback (DRX Blemish Formula and Comedone Formula, which I will review another day), my skin was still clogged, dry and painful with acne. After reading so many glowing reviews about YÜLI Skincare, I had to give it a try. Their products are pretty pricey but they had a Black Friday promotion, giving out a complimentary Cellular Lip Conditioner with each purchase, so I decided to bite the bullet and bought full sizes of Halcyon Cleanser, Cell Perfecto PM and M.E. Skin Fuel. Shipping to Singapore was US$25 and thankfully the glass bottles arrived safe and sound!

YÜLI's full-sized products are packaged in glass bottles (MIRON violet?) - not very travel friendly, but I brought my entire stash with me to my recent Hong Kong work trip by bundling it in between my clothes. The glass dark and almost opaque so I can't really tell how much product I have left unless I hold it into very strong light. But this leaves me feeling assured that the product is protected from light. 
I use 4 drops of this every night - it's an amber-coloured oil with little flecks of sediment. You have to shake the bottle before every use (remember to empty the dropper first) to ensure that the sediment is evenly dispersed and picked up by your dropper. 
It makes my skin really smooth the next day and after a month of use, I notice that it faded the stubborn red acne marks on my face. They're not totally gone, but some scars and most of the redness on my forehead is gone. My cheeks still have red acne marks but they are gradually getting lighter. The results did not appear overnight, but I had a bad cold the last weekend so my nose was rubbed raw and all the skin was flaking off and so painful. I applied Cell Perfecto PM there and the next morning my skin was less raw and tender. 

Ingredients: Bioregenerating Botanical Infusion (Botanical Glycosides, Sea Minerals Complex), S. chinensis (Jojoba) oil*, M. integrifolia (Macadamia) oil*, O. ficus-indica (Indian Fig) seed oil*, C. inophyllum (Tamanu) oil*, H. rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) oil*, A. uva-ursi (Bearberry) extract*, H. italicum (Helichrysum)* extract, G. glabra (Liquorice) extract*, C. asiatica (Gotu Kola) extract*, Renew Minerals Complex (Methysulfonylmethane (MSM)* Derived from Pine Lignin, Phytosterols derived from Flax), A. linearis (Rooibos) extract*, B. carterii (Frankincense) extract*, D. carota (Carrot) seed extract^^, G. lucidum (Reishi) extract*, L-arginine, L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), L-Gluconic Acid (Derived from Kombucha Tea Ferment)

I use 4 drops of this every morning - it's a light, fluid oil. When I first started using it, it made my face look oily during the day. But after 2 weeks in Hong Kong (dry winter) and after 1 month total of using it regularly, my skin seems to have balanced out and is less oily. I'm pretty sure that the regular usage of YÜLI oils balanced out my skin so that it stopped producing so much oil. My skin is still oily but using M.E. Skin Fuel alone is very manageable now even in hot weather (of course I still use loose powder over it to mattify). 
After regular usage of M.E. Skin Fuel and Cell Perfecto PM, I find my skin less prone to inflammation. Even if I do get some zits (after a flight - cabin air wreaks havoc on my skin), they are not as painful and do not become too inflamed. 

Ingredients: S. chinensis (Jojoba) oil*, A. spinosa (Argan) oil*, P. armeniaca (Apricot Kernel) oil*, N. Sativa (Black Cumin) oil*, P. granatum (Pomegranate) oil*, R. idaeus (Red Raspberry) seed oil*, B. oleracea (Broccoli) seed oil*, O. ficus-indica (Indian Fig) seed oil*, H. rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) oil*, T. officinale (Dandelion) infused in jojoba oil*, Supercritical extracts of H. rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) seed and fruit*, H. italicum (Helichrysum)* extract, N. Caerulea (Blue Lotus) extract^^, J. grandiflorum (Jasmine) extract* 
I use 3 full pumps of this when I wash my face, sometimes a little more if I'm cleaning my face at the end of the day and it's especially oily/dirty. It's a silky, fluid gel emulsion that has an herbal scent (reminds me a little of Chinese herbs? A little bitter) and it's extremely low-foaming,which takes some time getting used to. I've read some reviews that said it can remove the most stubborn mascara, but it's so expensive that I'm not going to use it as a make-up remover, you know? I do double cleansing - remove make-up first, then cleanse with Halcyon. I leave it on my face for a minute to let the beneficial ingredients do some work. It is definitely worth a try, it really soothes and calms inflamed skin. 
Ingredients: H. italicum/L. angustifolia hydrosol blend*, herbal infusion of (T.pratense*, C. sinensis*, S. media, Z. officinale*, O. fragans), D-aloe barbadensis,vegetable glycerine, sodium cocoyl isethionate (vegetable source), peptides derived from Amaranth protein, jojoba ester*, Rhodophyta (Red Algae) ferment, G.lucidum (Reishi) tincture*, zeolite, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), vitamin C ester, biodynamic fruit enzymes, petitgrain sur fleurs oil*, bergamot (bergaptene-free) oil*, collidal silver
-----
To make this a more objective review, something that a discerning skincare junkie would nitpick about would be that there was no expiry date printed on the packaging. (Understand that this is not a US FDA requirement, but I would like to know the exact date of manufacture or date of expiry, to be assured that I'm getting a fresh product. YÜLI's packaging does show shelf life, i.e. how many months the product can last after being opened, but this is not very useful if you don't know the date of manufacture or date of expiry. This applies to many other green skincare companies, such as 100% Pure.)

Also, this is the most low-foaming gel cleanser that I have ever used - the bubbles are tiny, see the photo below! (It was already disappearing when I took the photo, hard to capture!) With regular gel cleansers, I would put cleanser on my palm, followed by a little water and foam it on my hand before applying the foam on my face. However, with Halcyon, you have to wet your face, put Halcyon on your hands, apply Halcyon straight onto your wet face and lather it on your face. I take some time to really massage it it gently all around my face, then I leave it on for about 10 seconds and rinse off. My skin is super smooth after.
After a month of using YÜLI, I feel a change in my skin - it's smoother and less prone to inflammation. Even if zits appear, they don't erupt into something huge and nasty - they stay small and don't grow into a huge cyst. It definitely took some time - but after a month, the effects are starting to show! I will continue using YÜLI and update with any improvements. 

I am gradually trying to change my skincare to incorporate all-natural products. I think my skin started breaking out because I was experimenting with too many new products at the same time. Hopefully my skin will repair, renew and become as nice as it was 2 years ago. :)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

2014 Skincare Regime

I'm back! Been away from blogging for months as I was busy juggling work and personal activities (I started cooking every weekend, it's fun but exhausting). 

Anyway, I'm back because I wanted to record my new skincare regime which I've been following for a month now. Prior to that, my skin was a mess - cystic acne sometimes and many clogged pores. I tried taking 25 mg of zinc gluconate daily, but it just made me feel very tired and it actually delayed my period. I guess zinc doesn't work for everyone. 

A few months back, I started reading Neiman's Idealist and No More Dirty Looks, which focus on clean/green skincare. So during last year's Black Friday sales, I bought a whole bunch of new skincare (which I researched very carefully beforehand). Here are my regimes - I tried it out in Singapore (hot and humid summer weather) and Hong Kong (winter - cold and dry). 
Summer
Cleanser: YÜLI Halcyon
Toner: Simple Soothing Facial Toner (applied with a cotton pad to eliminate any remaining residue)
Mist: SukiFace Concentrated Balancing Toner (provides a base of salicylic acid to declog my skin)
Treatment: Now Organic Essential Tea Tree Oil (I do a mixture of 2 drops essential oil to 8 drops of Simple toner, and apply it to areas of breakouts on my face)
Serum: YÜLI M.E. Skin Fuel (for day), YÜLI Cell Perfecto PM (for night)
Winter - Day
Cleanser: Physiogel Cleanser
Toner: Simple Soothing Facial Toner (applied with a cotton pad to eliminate any remaining residue)
Treatment: Now Organic Essential Tea Tree Oil (I do a mixture of 2 drops essential oil to 8 drops of Simple toner, and apply it to areas of breakouts on my face)
Serum: YÜLI M.E. Skin Fuel
Moisturizer: SukiFace Balancing Day Lotion OR DrGL Restore Gel Mask (thin layer)
Winter - Night
Cleanser: YÜLI Halcyon
Toner: Simple Soothing Facial Toner (applied with a cotton pad to eliminate any remaining residue)
Treatment: Now Organic Essential Tea Tree Oil (I do a mixture of 2 drops essential oil to 8 drops of Simple toner, and apply it to areas of breakouts on my face)
Serum: YÜLI Cell Perfecto PM (for night)
Moisturizer: DrGL Restore Gel Mask

My skin's oil production has really become more normalized after this regime and I don't get cystic acne now. Over the next few months I will update this post with links to the detailed review of these products! 

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