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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