Abidis – Locion Equilibriante sin Alcohol (Balancing Lotion with no Alcohol)

wp-1486092221476.jpgOkay this is a product that I must talk about. Its Abidis Locion Equilibriante (Abidis Balancing Lotion). It has no Alcohol and aims to hydrate the skin while you tone it.

About the Product

I was told by my beautician at Face Essensuals that Abidis is a Spanish brand and they usually produce their products in small quantities. This particular product is a Balancing Lotion that is suitable for combination skin or oily skin. It has a minty flora scent and the skin feels hydrated when the lotion is applied (but not hydrated enough to be used on its own). When the watery Lotion drys out, you will feel a very thin coat on your skin that seems to seal in the moisture. You can use any moisturizer on top of this Lotion. The Lotion is bluish green in colour (I have used up the bottle in the picture) and is very watery, often leaving a mild cooling sensation after you apply for a few seconds.

Using the Product

Currently, I am using this Lotion together with my Physiogel Calming Relief Face Cream. The Lotion is not drying and beats the other Toners  or Lotions from the japanese or korean off the rack products. It did improve my skin hydration in the day and helped me stave away from acne due to dry or dehydrated skin. At night, I use another Abidis product on top of the above (less is more) to boost healing and recovery of my skin. I hope to share it with you soon.

Where to Purchase the Item

I bought this from my beautician, Face Essensuals, located at Midpoint Orchard along Orchard Road. You will not find this product on the shelves and will have to purchase through salons or main distributor for this product. The photo of the product in the picture is the old packaging and retails at S$56 a bottle. Please call Serina at Face Essensuals to order your bottle as stock is usually limited to ensure freshness.

Nivea – Intensive Moisture Body Milk

collage_20160320100130312_20160320100228754.jpgEveryone who goes to drugstore will know Nivea. It is known for its pots and pots of oh-so-luscious-and-creamy moisturising creams, and you just know that your skin will feel well hydrated once you slather on one of those pots.  If I ran out of body creams, Nivea will be the first brand that comes into my mind.

I first bought it for my mom who was warded in the hospital. The air in the room seems to be drying, and I noticed that my mom (who was already on drips) had wrinkly dry skin on her arms. So I bought one small bottle for her to slather on after her shower. The skin on her arms did seem to look and feel more hydrated so I decided to use it on myself too.

You see, the skin on my legs do feel quite dry and if I do not work it out (also known as sitting-around-and-binge-watching-TV at home), the skin oils do not seem to surface and I will experience dry and itchy skin the next day. So as a precaution, I will slather on body creams to hydrate the skin before I leave the house. However, the creams tend to take time to “dry out”, so I needed something quick. So when I started using Nivea Intensive Moisture Body Milk, it does seem to solve my problem. It was fast drying (sinks into my skin in seconds!) and I do not feel the annoying dry itch on my legs.

This is definitely my go to product but do remember not to keep it when the scent is gone or smells “wierd”. It just means the product has gone bad. 🙂

Are you a regular user of Nivea? What do you think of this product?

Happy 2017!

Alright I have taken a hiatus from blogging. Lots happened. I was busy renovating and moving, at the same them juggling with the staff management and workload. I finally moved into my new place in late November 2016 and have been working on finding the momentum in running a household.
The Lunar New Year is two weeks away and ethnic chinese will be busy with reunion dinners and packing red packets for children and singles alike. Let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a prosperous and healthy lunar new year! 恭喜发财!

Herbivore – Lapis Oil Facial Balancing Oil

collage_20160320095726448_20160320095851622.jpgHi all! Been a while since I’ve last posted a review.  I’ve been following your posts all these time so given the little pocket of time I can find in the middle of sorting out my home renovation, am doing a post of a product that I’ve used this year.

This is a product that I have purchased from Sephora USA using Ezbuy (formerly known as  65daigou). The product is priced at around USD72 for 1.2oz.

About the Brand

From Herbivore website: “We bring you truly natural, cruelty free skincare that provides results you can see and feel. We also believe skincare should smell and feel amazing and add enjoyment to your daily routine.” Products are handcrafted and produced in small quantities. In a way, you can consider this as boutique brand that is only available for sale online.  Currently this brand cannot be found in Singapore.

About the Product

The product aims to reduce redness and to bring balance to the skin moisture. Ingredients include blue tansy which is also the key component for the highly raved Blue Cocoon by May Lindstrom. Other oil ingredients in this product includes Kukui Nut Oil (high in Linoleic Acid, good for acne prone skin) and Jojoba Oil (fairly balanced ratio between Oleic and Linoleic Acids). Coconut Oil can also be found in this product though if you have acne prone skin, this may or may not be of concern because it depends on the ratio that Coconut Oil is used in this product. The texture of the oil is thin and runny, and it has a blue tinge due to Blue Tansy.

Using this Product

I had used this product for 2 months. It was light and absorbed well. I had used this right after toning my skin.  Each time, I will use between 4 drops (for day) to 5 drops (for night). However, I did notice that the oil does not stay on well in humid Singapore because of, hence my skin will still feel dry after 4 hours in air-conditioned environment. As such, I will recommend to only pat on this oil after your usual moisturizer if you are going to be in the air-conditioned room for a full day. Personally I will recommend used of powder sunblock instead of emulsion based sunblock after patting on this oil as powder sunblock should stay on better.  I have not tried this product in dry temperate countries, but the reviews for this oil has been rather good.  In terms of bringing down redness, I would say that SKII Facial Treatment Essence delivers a much quicker effect (its like in 3 secs I see the redness disappear after patting on the lotion). This oil may not bring about as visible effect or as quickly. Hydration wise, I like this oil for night application and it does make my skin appear smoother the next day (not that the acne disappear but just that the rough skin seems to smoothen out).

Buying this Product

I will consider buying this product again for the hydration – though fact is a bottle will last a long time since only a few drops are used at a time. After 2 months, my bottle still seems like I’ve only a reasonably small fraction of the bottle.  You can purchase this product directly from Herbivore Beauty website or from Sephora USA website. For those of you who want to try out the  product before buying full size, you can order the rollerball version to test the product.

Have you used any Herbivore products before?

RMS Beauty – Raw Coconut Oil

RMS Beauty NrawCoconut_Cream_-_2.5oz_1024x1024
Source: RMS Beauty Official Website

I have never been a fan of coconut oil because of its strong scent. I love love love curry that contains coconut milk, but I would walk away from food containing coconut or that gives off a strong coconut scent. Ok, I’m wierd.

 

Well, interestingly, I started using Raw Coconut Oil for my night time regime just about a week ago. I was researching into use of natural oil products (I have bottles of Now Solutions oils from apricot seed oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, etc all sitting in my drawer – in mint state); wanting to find out more about oils for different skin conditions and how I can use them when my skin condition changes – and I came upon RMS Beauty.  I found RMS Beauty through online skincare stores.

You’ll ask me “hang on a minute – didn’t you have combination skin?” Yes, I do! But before you decide to trash this article, you’ll be as amazed as what the coconut oil did to my skin – without further outbreaks.

Anyway, back to RMS Beauty. Yes, the Raw Coconut Oil. On the RMS Beauty website, it said that “The ultimate organic beauty product! This can honestly be called the best makeup remover ever. Removes even the most stubborn mascara with ease. This multitasking product can also be used as a facial cleanser and skin moisturizer.” On the website, it went to explain thatCoconut oil is considered the healthiest oil on earth for its high levels of lauric acid, which is rarely found in nature. Lauric acid is what gives coconut oil its antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties, making this all-in-one product suitable for even the most blemish prone skin. This natural antioxidant is 100% pure, raw and unrefined thereby naturally protecting one’s skin against free radical damage and premature aging. Ideal for all skin types including sensitive and acne-prone skin. Nourishes skin, hair and lashes. Helps soothe sunburns.”  The RMS Beauty’s Raw Coconut Oil is “harvested fresh for [RMS Beauty] using a new and modern processing technique making it superior over store bought coconut oil. Ours is superior over “other cold pressed coconut oil on the market.

How to Use the Product

RMS Beauty recommends using your clean fingers to distribute their products on your skin.

The Raw Coconut Oil will turn very watery in the normal room temperature in Singapore. As it comes in a pot, you can either put the pot into your fridge so that it turns solid and you scoop it out with a metal spatula. OR you can continue to leave the pot on your dressing table but re-bottle the watery oil into a glass dropper bottle for easier dispensing and hygiene. I haven’t found the time to re-bottle the product, so I have been using straight from the pot by lightly dipping the tips of my two fingers in the product (like how a dragonfly would to touch the water) and quickly spread the runny product onto my face. Remember, 2 drops is all you need unless you want to use it as a mask or makeup remover. (Yes, Raw Coconut Oil is multipurpose!) It is perfectly fine to leave your Raw Coconut Oil in room temperature. Just don’t put it under the sun. Simple. 🙂

I started using the Raw Coconut Oil on the day after I had my facial to clear the horrible pus and acne on my face. It had been a very very stressful period at work and my face was breaking out – my chin, my forehead and it was progressing to my cheeks. What pain! My aesthetician did a good job to drain them and to try to calm the redness on the first day. But the redness was still there on day two – and you would know that this can go on for a few more days.

After washing my face with my facial foam and Clarisonic, I pat dry my skin and applied 2 drops of this oil all over my face. I didn’t apply any toner at all. However, I do have to make sure the oil is absorbed into my skin and no residue is left behind.  The product gives off a faint coconut oil scent and the scent was gone after 2 hours or so. I went to bed as is. When I woke up the next morning, my face didn’t feel as oily and the redness seems to have calmed down. I continued using the product for the rest of the week and I did not break out nor did I experience any discomfort. The oil was more hydrating than when I use creams or lotions (I had been using the California baby lotion for a few months now as my moisturizer).  The scabbing from clearing the acne also came off easily and I did not have any scarring.

Do remember though, that you should not use coconut oil in the morning if you are wearing make up. It does not hold the make up in place due to its naturally moisturizing compounds.

Where to Buy the Product

The product can be found on the official website for RMS Beauty and drugstore.com / beauty.com. You can  – and for those of you who are in Singapore – you can go through 65daigou.com to order your items coz drugstore.com / beauty.com do not ship internationally. You can also use MyUS service to bring your goods from MyUS address to Singapore (as stated on the beauty.com website).After searching around for any RMS Beauty product presence in Singapore; I discovered that it can be found at The Naturally Better Company at Millenia Walk. They carry the entire range, including the Un-cover Up foundation that is all natural and give a dewy glow to the skin. I bought Un-cover Up from the same store as well but as I have a few tubes of Bareminerals Complexion Rescue, I think I’ll keep the small pot in my drawer for now.

Other Thoughts

You might wonder – Can I use Coconut oils from other brands or even food grade coconut oils? Sure! However, do take note that there is a difference between pure unrefined coconut oil, pure refined coconut oil and fractionated coconut oil. Fractionated coconut oil is mostly in liquid form and has a much longer shelf life because the compounds that would make the coconut oil rancid after a certain period of time was removed in the process (in simple terms). You can read more about Fractionated coconut oil on OrganicFacts.net). You can also read more about different types of coconut oils at Livestrong.com.

 

Happy 2016!

I had taken a long break from blogging. In most part it was due to the stressful and heavy workload that came with my new promotion at the beginning of 2015; which left me pretty much drained on weekends and badly need to have some sleep time to recharge. The other part was due to my house hunting endeavour which, hurray! It finally paid off! I managed to secure a resale flat near our workplace which will enable me to beat all the morning traffic jams and buy me more sleep time to compensate for the long work hours.

I thank you for reading my posts although the posts were not as as regular. Knowing that my posts are followed and are useful references to help you decide whether or not to use or purchase the product matters a lot to me.  It drives me to be a responsible reviewer/blogger.  My future posts may continue to be less regular as we embark on this long process to complete the purchase transactions, planning for renovations and prepare to move into our new home. Whenever I can, I will continue to share with you my reviews and occasional thoughts about what’s happening in my life.

My best wishes for you in this New Year will be good health and lots of laughter in the new year!

Till I post again, take care!

Make Up Forever – Instant Brush Cleanser

image

I am super excited about this find at Sephora and cannot wait to share with all of you. If you are a regular user of makeup brushes, you must read this post because it is going to make your brushes so clean in few minutes such that you can use the same brush for other colours on your palettes.

About this Product
The Instant Brush Cleanser is a spray cleanser that allows you to refresh your brushes quickly especially if you want to reuse the brush for other makeup. Two squirts is all you need for a clean brush bristle especially with its wide spray angle that delivers fine mists.

Using the Product
Indeed you can spray this product on your bristles, run the bristles on a piece of tissue a few times and the bristles are good as new. However this can be challenging if you live in humid country like Singapore where bristles take longer time to dry. The Sephora sales staff shared that actually you can just grab a piece of tissue paper, squirt twice on the tissue and the run the bristle on the tissue a few times. Voila! Your brushes will be clean and dry! I have tried this method and testify that this worked. Now I no longer need to wait for weekends to wash my brushes! Goodbye dirty brushes!

Where to Buy Product
I bought from Sephora. One bottle can last quite a long time if you use two squirts per brush for say 3 brushes a day. Quite sure you can buy this product from any Make Up Forever counters.

Do give this a try and let me know what you think! 😉

Sephora – Express Cleansing Wipes

wpid-collage_20150807211030965_20150807211202322.jpgI am in this posting mode to catch up on past slacks (yes, been horribly busy at work and coping with flu bug that hit me for a week, followed by a nasty bout of sinusitis which I am still nursing as I type. Well, busy or ill, we need to still make sure we take care of our skin so here I am sharing another review on the Sephora Express Cleansing Wipes.

About this Product

This is another Sephora disposable product that I find it very handy and convenient to use. The wipe is thick and moist, and cleans my face in just 1 to 2 sheets. I bring this around with me when I have to refresh my make up, when I run out of makeup removers, or when I have to wear make up on business trips (better than to bring along a big bottle of makeup remover and risk having it leaked in my luggage!).  Its been my trusty makeup remover when I travel overseas – yeah!

I tried to include a picture of the ingredient’s list but I think its rather small to see for now.

Using this Product

Open the packet and just draw out any number of towels/wipes that you need! Its that simple! My skin did not break out or develop any rash (though if you do, please stop and consult your doctor). It cleans off both my liquid and mineral foundation just as well, and waterproof eye makeup. I have also used this to wipe off sunscreen on my entire body when I had to be outdoors most of the time. Good product!

I usually follow up with a double cleanse of my face though I do recall using it on its own once (coz I was so tired) and went straight to bed. My skin remains good! You can fold the wipes into triangles and try to remove your eyeliners and it will work as well. Just that the product might be a bit stingy if it gets into your eyes.

There are of course other makeup remover wipes out there. I have tried Botanicals and Neutrogena previously but I still find this product most effective for me.  I would recommend using this with the Sephora Targeted Eye Remover Swabs if you wear eye liners.

Where to Buy this Product

At Sephora! Its one of their house brands.

Check them out and let me know what you think! 🙂

Sephora – Targeted Eye Remover Swabs

wpid-collage_20150807214213790_20150807214336209.jpgI do not wear a lot of eye makeup most of the time, but if you read my earlier posts, you’ll notice I do love Clio Kill Brown and Kill Black liquid eye liner, its Shadow Pencil and Gelpresso. These are long lasting, waterproof, eye products that stays for at least 6 to 8 hours a day, and I have also previously mentioned in my post that Bioderma may not be able to remove them as easily. So here I am reviewing the disposable and highly convenient swaps that would, definitely, help you remove that thin eye liner that is so close to your lash line, and to enable you to have quick fixes to remove that accidental stroke of liner or shadow around your eyes!

About the Product

I love Sephora’s house brands, in particular its cleansing products such as Triple Cleansing Water and wipes. They are effective, hydrating and convenient. In fact, second washes are not required! This particular product is interesting because the cleansing solution is already packed in the plastic tubing of the cotton swap. All you have to do is to break at the point where you see the blue line, and the cleansing solution will soak through the cotton swap on the other end. The product is gentle and moisturizing and cleans effectively and quickly. You can check out the ingredient’s list which I’ve shown in the picture in this blog.

Using the Product

Take out a swap, break at the blue line and let the solution soak the cotton swap at the opposite end. Run the soaked cotton swap over the liners, shadows, little mistakes you make and voila! You can move on! There is no need to wipe the same spot with water etc. This product does not cause outbreaks (I didn’t experience any irritation or allergies etc), and doesn’t sting. The solution feels like one of those oil-water removers that you would have bought for eye and lip makeup remover.

Where to Buy the Product

Only at Sephora! Of course, a cheaper option is to dip your cotton swaps into the oil-water eye and lip makeup removers, but I find this a lot more convenient and fuss free. Especially if you need to have a quick refresh of your eye make up!

Skincare Tip – Using Oil Based Make up Remover

Some of us may have experienced outbreaks after using oil based make up removers. My first oil based make up remover was a Shu Uemura Makeup Removal Oil (I can’t remember the actual name now) more than 10 years ago, when I purchased based on recommendations and without researching into what works best for my skin then. My colleagues at that time raved about the oil and how amazing it was in removing makeup – so I bought it and tried to follow the instructions. My skin broke into more acne and I refused to use any oil based make up remover – not until the last couple of years where I start to fall in love with facial oils.

Having both problematic and sensitive skin, micellar water would be the most recommended makeup remover in the market for me. However, I could not resist the reviews online so I bought the Senka Cleansing Oil to try more than a year ago – only to put it back on the shelf because again I experienced outbreaks. This is where I switched back to Sephora Triple Cleansing Water and Bioderma Sensibio. Interestingly, during my last vacation to Bali a month ago, I decided to give Origins Cleansing Oil a try (ah that bug got me again!) because the ingredients list said its all natural oils (no mineral oil). I braced myself for a round of outbreaks (again).  Interestingly, the experience changed my mind and my understanding on using cleansing oils. This is what I learnt during and after I returned from my trip to Bali – after using Origins Cleansing Oil for a full week to remove my sunscreen.

1) Be generous with the amount of oil you use

Use any amount you think your face needs. The important point is you need sufficient oil to soften the day’s grime and lift the grime off your skin.  Think hydration.  After a long day, you may have makeup that becomes stubborn after mixing with perspiration or oil. Use generous amount of oil (I usually use about 2 tablespoon) and gently spread it on your face, to help you ‘moisten’ the dryer patches and help ‘lift’ the makeup. Spread and massage the entire face with fingers, gently (we don’t want wrinkles and lines!). You will notice how nicely the makeup gets lifted by the oils. Massage for about 1 minute in circular motion. When you want to remove your eye makeup (esp eye shadow and primer), use your ring fingers and glide gently around the lids and eye sockets). As you massage, you may feel some little “grains” on your fingers. Take a look – these could be dead skin or hardened white heads that “popped” out as your fingers massage the now hydrated skin.

It dawned on me that my past outbreaks could be due to the lack of oil used on my face. It was not sufficient to breakdown the day’s grime and makeup hence end up clogging my pores. Well, so much about trial and error and second chances!

2) Remember to Emulsify – Slowly and Gently

After the massaging (some of you may prefer to perform “acupuncture” by pressing on selected acupuncture points on the face to enhance blood circulation so that can take more than 1 minute), remember to wet the face (with oil still on it) and again in circular motion, help the oil emulsify and be lifted off your skin.  I perform two step cleansing so this is followed by a foaming cleanser and my clarisonic to “shake out” any residue in the pores after emulsifying.

Always emulsify your cleansing oil thoroughly so that it can be cleansed with water thoroughly. Cleansing oils are not for those who are always in a hurry. The particles takes time to be lifted.

3) Mineral oil vs. Natural Oil – Hydration test post double cleanse method

I am comparing Senka Cleansing Oil (mineral oil based) vs Origins Cleansing Oil (natural oil based). For the second wash, I always and only use Senka Perfect Whip Foam and clarisonic. The result? Senka Cleansing Oil may come from the same family as Perfect Whip Foam, but the post second wash hydration level paled against the post second wash for Origins Cleansing Oil. My skin feels more hydrated after using Origins Cleansing Oil and Perfect Whip Foam. Mineral based Cleansing oil not as good as Natural Oil based Cleansing Oil? I am not sure. For this I will need you to test and let me know what you think.

So what do you think? Do you have similar experiences?

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