Tag Archives: Skincare

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?

Finding an Aesthetician or Beautician

I am not sure how common it is in your home country to visit an aesthetician (aka “beauticians”) to help you deal with your skin problems or even deeply cleanse your skin on monthly basis. Aestheticians are not dermatologists but they are trained to understand the basics of skincare, various skin conditions as well as the products they carry in their shops. In Singapore, there are many aestheticians who also branched into providing spa treatments and massages to their patrons. I visit my aesthetician once every month to deeply cleanse my skin and to unclog my pores (esp those that are deeply seated due to my oily t-zone). It is a lot cheaper than to have to go through painful lasers, IPLs, and pixel treatments.

So how do you choose a good aesthetician for yourself?

1) Know what are your key skin concerns

It is important for you to know you key skin concerns before shopping for an aestheticians. Expensive aestheticians may not mean that they are most able to address your skin concerns. Typically, if you trust word of mouth recommendations, it would be because the person who’d shared with you had certain skin concerns and it has been addressed effectively.

2) Do you have any specific expectations of your chosen aesthetician?

For me, I will turn away from aestheticians whom try to peddle their products after my consultation. I have been to several aestheticians before and they tend to want to sell me their house products or try to have me purchase the products they carry. Personally, I am aware that I am sensitive to certain products, so I am selective about the products that I use. Some parlours went to the extent of insisting you buy from them, or that you take up session packages (e.g. S$x for y number of sessions). I am the type of customer who do not want to be tied down to one aesthetician so packages are out for me.

3) Research for aestheticians who are known to be able to address your skin concerns

Talk to people and ask them about their aestheticians! I still find word of mouth the best form of feedback because you will be able to speak with people who have first hand experience receiving treatment from the aestheticians. Find out what are your friends’ key concerns and whether they think their aestheticians have addressed their skin concerns. Of course, its also important to find out if the price fits into the size of your pocket. If all else seems to be palatable, you can try to arrange for 1 session with the aesthetician to find out if her skills and knowledge are suitable for you. You may end up trying a few aestheticians, but do make sure you give each aestheticians a fair assessment so that you can carry out a fair comparison after your trials. Sometimes, you may find that the aestheticians are more approachable, or the aesthetician likes to impose her views on you. A good aesthetician is one who will listen to your problems and work with you to resolve them.

As the customer / client, it is of course, important that you have the right mindset before you walk into a parlour. This is to ensure you are fair to yourself as well as the service provider.

1) Have the right mindset
As patrons, we need to have the right mindset when we are finding a good aesthetician to provide regular skincare treatment to our skin. Aestheticians can only provide one-off treatments when we visit them, so we are still responsible for taking good care of our skin on daily basis by eating well, sleeping well, and following the regime that is provided to us by our aesthetician. We should view aestheticians as providing that extra skincare step to and not attribute all problems to them without first reviewing if we have contributed to the skincare problem.

2) Aestheticians are not clinically certified doctors
Please be forewarned that your aesthetician should not be prescribing you controlled drugs such as antibiotics or roaccutane (if you are in Singapore). Some aestheticians may think that just because they manage to bring in the drugs, they can dispense to you. This is illegal and dangerous. Walk out that salon door if you are prescribed such drugs and report to the authorities in your country, such as Ministry of Health or Food and Drugs Administration.

I have stayed with my current aesthetician, Face Essensuals, for the last 8 years. Do share with me how it has been with yours!

Skincare Tip – Daily Skincare Essentials (Part II)

Cleansing is important, so is exfoliation to remove older or dead skin cells on the surface of our skin. Both the process of removing and the removal of the dead skin cells are beneficial to our skin and health because the former helps to improve circulation (its like massaging your skin and relevant acupuncture points along with it); while the latter improves the absorption of skincare products and enables the skin to breathe more easily.

My Essentials – Exfoliation

Exfoliation is important. It supports the renewal cycle of our skin as the renewal process becomes sluggish as we age. Removing the old skin helps to maintain that renewal process, brightens our skin and enables the skin to perform at its best. You can find out more about exfoliation here.  Most skincare experts and aestheticians will tell you that exfoliations should not be carried out too frequently. Depending on what you use, ranging from acids, to scrubs to dermabrasions, exfoliations can be as infrequent as once every month or twice a week. Exfoliation may be more frequent if very diluted compound is included in your facial wash – hence its important that you read the labels and monitor your skin condition closely before and after each exfoliation.

I know I’ve blogged about Abidis Peeling A recently. It has helped to smoothen my skin and allows me to use it in the day time like a normal cleanser.  However, considering the price, I still prefer to use Dr. Wu Special Treatment Intensive Skin Renewal Serum with Mandelic Acid or Cure from Japan. These two products are mild and they only remove the dead skin cells. I will post a review of Cure soon, but this has been a trusted product that I use when I find my skin to be rough or dry. I do not need to worry about it over exfoliating my skin because the product (which is water based) only reacts when it comes into contact with dead skin cells. I can use this product twice in a day without causing irritation to my already sensitive problem skin.

There are many reasons for my skin outbreak, and I did notice that my skin renewal is not as efficient after I turn 30 and many times the acne will come out red and painful. I counteracted the problem with Clarisonic which provides some form of exfoliation whenever I use it. I also make it a point not to use Clarisonic when I have used or plan to use Cure to help remove the dead skin cells – to ensure I am not over exfoliating due to Clarisonic’s more abrasive tendencies depending on the amount of pressure exerted on the equipment. I will, however, use Dr Wu’s Treatment Intensive Skin Renewal Serum if I find that my skin is still rough after using Clarisonic, to enhance the exfoliation.

As for frequency of exfoliation, I only do it when my skin feels rough despite the use of Clarisonic. However, I will not use the products every day or every alternate day because I do not believe in regular exfoliation even when the skin is in good condition. A bit of an overkill, don’t you think?

In any case, I do not use Mandelic Acid products in the day, but more at night. The next day, my skin will look brighter than before and smoother too. Nope, I do not have pieces of skin falling off like some AHA or BHA peels. :p

About Mandelic Acid (杏仁酸)

In an article published by Mark B. Taylor M.D in 1999 issue of Cosmetic Dermatology, mandelic acid is “an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) named after the German mandel (almond) and derived from the hydrolysis of an extract of bitter almonds has been studied extensively for its possible uses in treating common skin problems such as photoaging, irregular pigmentation, and acne.”  In an open trial investigation, it was “shown that mandelic acid is useful in suppressing pigmentation, treating inflammatory noncystic acne, and rejuvenating photoaged skin. Moreover it has proven useful in preparing the skin for laser peeling and in helping the skin heal after laser surgery.”  I would recommend that you read this article for more information on Mandelic Acid before you go grab a bottle to try.

What about your exfoliation routine? Did it help you address your skincare concerns?

Label Young – Sonyu Oil (Multi Skincare Cream and Oil)

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I finally opened up one of the items that I’ve purchased in my last Koreadepart haul! This time, its the Sonyu Oil by handmader which I have been itching to try because its OIL! If you recall, I love to use oil, and have been a proponent for oil on oily skin. This time round, I am on the road again to try out his cream-oil, that remains to be a rave on social media.

About the Product

The Sonyu Oil is a cream & oil product, intended to deliver non-lasting, long lasting moisture to dry skin. It is light and has a light pink shade (see inset). There is a second version that was released (and yes I bought that one too!) but this was the first of the series to be released.  The key ingredients of this oil are honey extract, propolis, aloe vera leaf, shea butter, pomegranate oil, argan oil and jaguen oil. The product does not contain parabens, ethanol, artificial colors, mineral oil, benzophenone, steroids, phenoxyethanol, triclosan, paraffins, imidazolidinyl urea, triethanolamine, petrolatum, formaldehyde, methylchloroisothiazol inone, sulfate, chloride nesin page, talc, BHA, isopropyl alcohol.

Using the Product

The recommendation is to shake the content 3-5 times lightly until the white hydration cream mix with the red face oil to form pink cream-oil. Normal skin users are recommend to apply this product as last step of skin care.  Those with dry skin are recommended to apply on skin after the wash and tone, but for oily and combination skin, it is recommended to apply this product directly on the face without toning or serums.  Users can also mix a small pea size of this product to bb creams or foundations to create glowing make up.  I have combination skin, but I feel that my skin absorbs the product better when I prep my washed face with a mist of Albion Skin Conditioner before I apply this product. To apply, I will take out a 20c coin size onto my palms. then I will spread and warm the product in my hands before I apply it onto the face. The hydration is more effective than the Shocking Pore series and I do not experience outbreaks. I also do not feel tightness when I am working in an air-conditioned room. This is not a good primer for skin with larger pores so I recommend primer to be use before makeup. My skin also do not feel as tight after washing at the end of the day.

Where to Buy the Product

The usual places of course! Koreadepart and Label Young official website.

Do let me know how you find this product by dropping me a message! 🙂

Lush – Mask of Magnaminty

Refreshing, hydrating and brightening
Refreshing, hydrating and brightening

One day I walked into the Lush outlet at Orchard Gateway and asked for their best selling mask for problem skin. The sales person recommended the Mask of Magnamity. After a quick try of the product at the shop, I made the purchase and hope to do a review on this amazing product.

The sales person told me that there are two formulas for the Mask of Magnaminty. One is made without preservatives (i.e. shorter shelf live) and the other has some preservatives. The effects are the same (she said). So I asked about the one that I’ve just tested at the shop. She said that I was trying out the one with some preservatives (and I thought the effect was pretty good!) so I went ahead and bought the formula that I’ve tried (and knowing that I will take some time to finish the pot).

Lush Mask of Magnamity (a1)About the Product

The product is in bright lime green, and has a texture of mud mixed with chopped / course grains. I took a photo of the ingredients in the pot (made by Aga – thank you!). As you can see, there are ground beans in the mixture. That explains the grainy texture amidst the creamy mud like paste. The mask also smell of strong peppermint that wakes you up, and the feeling of cool mud on your face seems to tell your brain that any inflammation is now calmed and contained. You will notice that the methyparaben is used in the list of ingredients.

Using the Product

The mask was not difficult to apply. I am aware of similar off-the-rack masks that could be hard to dispense. I was advised to spread gently on my face (avoiding the eye and mouth area) and to leave the mask on for 15mins to 20mins before washing off the product with room temperature or lukewarm water. I had used this product after my usual cleansing routine (Facial Foam and Clarisonic). The skin looks brighter and calmer, and felt smooth and hydrated. The reddish patches (my skin is rather sensitive) also seems to fade. I had followed on with my toner and moisturizer right after this to seal in the moisture.

Where to Buy this Product

Lush is available in several countries, including Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. I had noticed that most of its followers like their invigorating bath bombs.

In Singapore, you can order from Lush Online Shop, or walk into their outlets in Orchard Road and some neighbourhood malls.

Enjoy the mask!

Label Young – Shocking Oil

Label Young Shocking Oil
Oil that does not feel like oil

My Label Young Shocking Oil only has a third of the bottle left so I think I should provide my review on this product to those of you who are still thinking whether to grab this product or not.

About the Product
The uniqueness of the Label Young Shocking Oil is that this product does not feel like the oils you see in the market. Yup you heard me! It does not feel like oil but more like dense gel that becomes watery when it comes into contact with your hands. However, it delivers similar levels of moisture just as how other oils would. The product is light yellow clear liquid with tiny red, blue and yellow beads that breaks open to deliver vitamin A (moisture and nutrients), vitamin C (tighten pores and increase pore resilience) and vitamin E (keratin and ringworm CARE) respectively. Its always a surprise what colour beads are discharged from the bottle each time I pour out the contents from the bottle.

According to the product publicity, the product can be used to moisturize your hair ends, and to moisturize dry patches of skin on the body, and mixed with your bb creams to create a dewy effect.

Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, 1.2 Hexanediol, Sodium Hyaluronatte, Beta-glucan, Lemon Oil, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Argan Oil, Avocado Oil, Magnolia Liliflora Bud Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Lactose, Cellulose, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Jojobar Ester, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Carbomer, Spice, Disodium EDTA (source: Q-trading @ Qoo10)

Free from 20 Additives : Parabens, Ethanol, Benzophenone, Steroids, Artificial Colours, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Sulphate, Acid Sikrik Saline, Triclosan, Benzyl Alcohol, DM Hydantoin, Methyl Isobutyl non Jolly Teeth, Mineral Oil, Quaternium-15, Phenyl Salicylate, Dia Jolie Attend Urea, Inorganic Sulfate, Chlorobutanol, Propionic Acid. (Source: Koreadepart)

How to Use the Product
I have combination skin that is oily inside but mildly dry on the surface. I have also mentioned in my earlier post that I am a proponent for use of facial oils.

With Label Young Shocking Oil, I usually pour a bean size (size of 10c coin, or abt 1cm in diameter), spread it between my palms to break the beads and to warm before I apply it directly on my skin with light massaging strokes. The skin does not feel sticky after application, and I also did not experience any outbreaks after a few days of use.  There will be days when I get a little lazy and decide to apply the oil directly on my face instead of applying it after toner. Both methods worked for me. On using the product with other toners, I have used Albion Skin Conditioner in place of Label Young Shocking Toner with no side effects or outbreaks. Overall, I continue to receive the hydration from this product for 3 to 4 hours in humid environment. However, if you are working in dry, low humidity or airconditioned environment, I would recommend to follow on with one of the Label Young Shocking Creams or a light hydrating moisturizer for added layer of hydration.

I have not tried this on my hair ends but I did try to use it to hydrate dry patches on my body. No irritations experience. I must say this is quite a good product if you need a quick surge of moisture, especially on days where you feel the skin is dry or flaky.

According to the sites selling this product, you can mix the Label Young Shocking Oil with your BB Creams to create a dewy effect.

Where to Buy the Product
In my earlier posts, I have recommended a few places where you can purchase this product – online. They are:

1) Koreadepart – this online shop carries multiple brands of korean skin care products. I have had a recent Label Young haul from here.

2) Qoo10 – Search for “label young” or “labelyoung” and you should find a few vendors carrying their product range. This is not a new product so it should not be difficult to find it on Qoo10.

3) Label Young Official Online Shop (Korean) – If you can understand Korean, this is the site for you regardless of where you are. They have the most up to date Label Young product ranges on this site.

Have you tried this product? If so, do share with me what you think of this oil! 🙂

Update: Label Young has recently released Shocking Oil ver 2. I would love to try and give my review after I have gone through my recent Label Young Haul from Koreadepart! 😉

Laura Mercier – Foundation Primer & Tinted Moisturizer (Oil Free)

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Those of you out there who have been shopping in Sephora will know that the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer is the best selling primer. For a lighter version of liquid foundation, the tinted moisturizer will be recommended. I have combination skin so on days where my skin is not too inflamed, I will use the tinted moisturizer coz it does not provide a lot of coverage.

Foundation Primer
I have used the primer for a while. This is the oil free version so it feels fresh and light on the skin. The primer is in creamy white colour and one may on first instance thought they are putting cream on their faces. Fear not! For troubled skin like mine, I dont even get outbreaks. So this is a plus!!

My assessment of the product is this:
1. Very good foundation holding power! whether you are using liquid foundation like tinted moisturizers, just foundation, powder foundation or like me, using pure mineral foundation; you will love how well this foundation holds them on your face and lasts for hours!
2. Cream like texture makes it easy to apply with hand or with a sponge. Glides on like silk!
3. Comes in long tubes so gotta make sure you had closed well. Do not throw it into your bag without first putting into your makeup pouch. The cap may come of when it knocks against other items in your handbag.

Tinted Moisturizer SPF20 (Oil Free)
I thought I could use hand to apply this and that will be all. However when I do that, I realise that my skin is cakey and looks oily or shiny.

I consulted one of the Sephora staff and her advise was : use a sponge to spread or apply the tinted moisturizer in dabbing movement. Press the sponge lightly on the skin with two fingers behind the spongeand turn your wrist to roll the sponge off the point you first placed on your face, as if you are dabbing off excess on your face. Indeed the look is more natural as if I am not wearing anything on my face! This must be followed by either translucent loose powder? Or in my case, Laura Mercier Smooth Focus Pressed Setting Powder which is matt and translucent. This will turn the tinted moisturizer to look powdery and soft.

My assessment:
1. Tinted moisturizer is indeed light as promised. Not too thick so its a good option for those with minimal blemishes on the face. Gives a natural look!
2. It comes on long tubes too so remember to put it in you makeup purse with your sponge before throwing into your bag.

If you are always on the run, I would recommend powder foundation instead of liquid foundation. Liquid foundations such as tinted moisturizers can be difficult to apply for beginners plus you need to use a sponge. So busy bees out there, stick to powder unless you have oily skin. Else these two products from Laura Mercier are great for a natural look!

Estee Lauder – Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum

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This is a product for any beauty junkie or anyone who wants to try out light serums in place of the heavy eye creams. Personally, I am not sure of the effectiveness of eye gels, and I am definitely not a supporter of eye creams considering the humid climate that I am in. What I am truely “afraid” of are little oil nodules collecting under my eyes – eww!

I started using this product more regularly when my beautician commented that she’s beginning to see lines under my going 40-year-old eyes. That spun me into panic mode and I began to apply this on slightly more regular basis (say once every 2 to 3 days – note:  I do not have a habit of putting on eye creams or gels).

This serum is light (yup thats what serums are supposed to be) and the colour of the serum is a light beige in colour. The texture is slightly creamy but light. It glides on my eyes when I apply it with my ring fingers. Living in humid country means the serum will stay on the eyes a tad longer than if I am in a temperate or low humidity country. The sales lady has told me before that if its for hot and humid countries, the serum could just be the right product to use for my eyes – so here goes. I will typically just go lightly over the sections where serum has been applied, and finish the application by putting my warm palms over the eyes (ahhh… feels comforting!)

I am not able to tell if it has been effective with reducing the visible lines under my eyes. I am hoping that my beautician, who with her more objective eyes, could tell me if the lines have disappeared. :p However, given the reputation of its facial lotion and eye cream, I am putting my buck on this product together with a lot of faith! 😀

Fingers crossed!

Update on 3 Jan 2014

From my recent visit to my beautician, she discovered that I’ve developed some milia seeds under my eyes. I am not sure if its because I have been using the eye serum so I googled the internet and discovered that there are other users of this product who also complained that they had developed milia seeds under their eyes as well. Though not conclusive, I have chosen to stop using this serum. Perhaps its just not suitable for use in humid environment and perhaps the product is still too rich for my skin. Let me know if anyone of you have used and had fabulous results! 🙂

Albion Skin Conditioner

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Albion Skin Conditioner is an established brand.   I am not sure if this is sold outside asia, but this was brought into Singapore less than 1 year ago. A very popular skin toner / conditioner, this bottle has proven to be as effective as SK-II in its own way.

Skin Conditioner (aka Skin-Con) contains job’s tears and promises to deliver 6 effects (extracted from its website):
– Adds firmness and moisture to skin that tends to dryness
– Wards of flushness after sunburn or snowburn (I think it means reduce redness)
– Cool sensation wards off flushness (again, I think it means reduce redness)
– Tightens the skin / keeps makeup in place
– Comfortably hydrates, so skin feels fresh and pleasant (I think it means hydrates the skin making it feel fresh and comfortable)

I had used bottles after bottles of SK-II Facial Treatment previously to help bring down the redness on my skin (I swear it worked wonders on bringing down redness but I will talk about it in another  review); but what drew me to this product is firstly, the scent – it was light and fresh. Second, it is the texture of the lotion – no sticky feeling after use (do not be fooled by the milky lotion!). Third, it will be the cool refreshing feeling it gives when it is put on my skin. Last, the after effects – my skin feels moisturized and smooth after application. Makes me believe that my skin condition isn’t as bad after all! 😀

Albion Skin Conditioner comes in sheet mask (more concentrated) for those who like to put on masks as part of skin care routine. I usually get them as samples as part of my purchase from Albion. I would usually DIY by soaking a cotton sheet mask pellet into the lotion and put on my face for 10mins, or to use cotton pads (those that allows you to divide into thin sheets – maybe I should do a review of what I use in another post) and lay them on my face.

Albion Skin Conditioner can  be used on its own, just like SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. I have not used their other product range, though I would love to try out their Albion Herbal Oil (its on my wish list!) since I am a proponent for using oil on oil (ie oils on combination skin or oily skin). Would love to give a review on their Herbal Oil!

Decleor – Aromaessence Ylang Ylang

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I was introduced to facial oils by my beautician who had been with me for the last 3 years. I have combination skin and am always in the company of adult acne. When mu beautician firs handed me a small bottle of facial oil from italy, I noticed that it does not help to bring down redness on my skin, though the texture of the oil was watery with minty scent and of my liking. So I embark on the journey tp find the facial oil that worked with my skin.

After much search on the internet, I went on to purchase Decleor Aromaessence Ylang Ylang. I also bought the Aroma Purete Shine Control Oxygenating Fluid coz the sales lady said these two are the best combination.

Having tried a number of italian, french and japanese products, I must admit this is probably one of my star purchases. I noticed that the acne on my chin started to subside (I can finally see my chin free of acne) and the redness has started to be less visible. The scent of Ylang Ylang is mesmerizing and relaxes me. I also followed the video on Decleor website on how to apply the serum. Loved it! You can sew that I am nearing the end of my bottle so am definitely going to stock this up!