Just some random thoughts

I resigned from my job last week.. It was the first time throughout my 12 years of working professionally that I quit my job before I get a new one.. I felt liberated and yet incredibly anxious at the same time.. I was always the planner, the careful meticulous planner who doesn’t like much surprises.. My colleagues were quite shocked that I quit my job, especially at this point in time when the economy is so bad and lots of people are retrenched or couldn’t find any jobs.. I surprised even myself..

I realized that something was not quite right with me since 6 years ago after I gave birth to my daughter.. I was slowly losing interest in things that used to excite me, it was like there’s a glass panel between me and the world.. But at that point in time, I was also experiencing major stress coping as a new mother, my family had major issues and fights with my husband over how to raise our daughter was very common.. I didn’t pay much attention to it then.. Then things got bad for me at the beginning of 2020.. I mean there wasn’t any drama in my family or my workplace but I found out that I seem to have lost the will to live. I wasn’t trying to attempt suicide or anything but life has lost its meaning for me. I felt such immense guilt especially when I look at my 2 children. I had my son in 2018, 4 years after my daughter was born. When I look at them, I knew that I love them but this love was smothered underneath this thick glass wall that kept me isolated from the whole world. I told my husband and he was dismissive at that time. I remembered that I kind of broke down at that time. He had an aunt who had depression and attempted suicide quite a few times over the years. He attributed it to her “having not much to do and being too free”. I was so angry, I could feel my anger even through this thick glass world. People do not attempt suicide because they are “too free” and “don’t have anything better to do”! Around February this year, his aunt hanged herself and this time, it was permanent. Her husband found her body and had a heart attack. He passed away too. It was a great tragedy. It was then that my husband finally took me seriously.

I’m not sure how things are going to go for me from now on. I think I will be seeking treatment. For now, I’ll be updating my blog as and when I can. I’m not sure.. Thank you for accompanying me even though I do not know you guys in person. And yet surprisingly, sometimes the deepest darkest secrets are easier to share with strangers than your own loved ones.

Review – Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream Mist

Hi guys, this is another long overdue post that I found in my “pending” folder from way back in May 2019.. ^_^” Anyway, this product is one that I found while browsing instagram back then and it was a new product at that point in time.. I had a hunch that I would like it since my skin really likes the Dr Jart Ceramidin range so I bought it online from Korea.. Since then, I think I had already gone through 3 to 4 bottles of this products so you might guess that I really do like it a fair bit! In fact, I think that Dr Jart’s ceramidin cream mist is the bomb!

So why do I like it?

Just take a look at the ingredients guys! It’s super hydrating, soothing and has loads of ceramides to repair my skin barrier. The mister itself is so very fine that it feels like a cloud of hydrating goodness descends on my skin whenever I use it. The product itself is a thin runny liquid that feels weightless on the skin. I love using this facial mist after I acid tone and it instantly soothes my skin, making it feel less of the stinging from the acid and I’m ready to go onto the next step. Major love for this product! Well done Dr Jart!

Review – Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream

Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream
I realize that I hardly take photos of products when they are new.. Heh..

So I finally want to renew my blog and found this draft in my folder and it was dated May 2019.. ^_^”

Anyway, as usual, ingredients of the product are as below:

Ingredients:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Coco-Caprylate, Stearic Acid, Coconut Alkanes, Glyceryl Stearate, Niacinamide, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Pentylene Glycol, Passiflora Edulis Seed Oil, Retinol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Brassica Oleracea Acephala Leaf Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Chrysin, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Ceramide NP, Xanthophylls, Phytosphingosine, Phytosterols, Jojoba Esters, Physalis Pubescens Fruit Juice, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, Oryza Sativa (Rice Bran) Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Carthamus Tinctorium (Safflower) Seed Oil, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Cetyl Palmitate, Trehalose, Lauric Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Glucosamine HCL, Tocopheryl Acetate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Pisum Sativum (Pea) Extract, Tocopherol, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Carbomer, Trideceth-6 Phosphate, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Ceteareth-20, Sodium Hydroxide, Laureth-23, Steareth-20, Propanediol, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Polysorbate 20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Chlorphenesin, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylhexylglycerin.

How did the Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream fare?

Drunk Elephant states that A-Passioni™ Retinol Cream is a clean, cutting-edge formula that combines 1.0% vegan retinol with nourishing, superfood-rich ingredients to dramatically diminish the appearance of fine lines, deep wrinkles and sun damage revealing a vibrant, younger-looking complexion. It is also 100% free of essential oils, silicones and fragrance. Please do note that it is not recommended for use while pregnant or breastfeeding.

I’ve been using it for around 1 year plus and I think it’s a good time to talk about it.. First of all, it’s Strong! OK? So first time retinol users, please be very careful about using it. My skin is very used to retinol, or so I thought, but this DE retinol made my skin purge for the first month and my skin was really quite dry and sensitive. I had to stop all other actives during that time because my skin just wasn’t having it! The retinol purge made all the pimples came out so I was breaking out like mad for the first month. However, after around 2 months, my skin FINALLY started to calm down and return back to sorta normal. I still cannot use this retinol without buffering and I’m only using it on alternate nights. My skin looks much brighter, smoother and clearer now. Fine lines on my forehead are also reduced. One thing that I noticed after using retinol for so long is that my skin is finally very much not prone to clogging anymore. I used to be very prone to getting clogged pores but now my skin is pretty smooth. Lastly, unlike what Drunk Elephant recommended, I really really wouldn’t advise you to use this in the daytime. Your skin is fighting against the sunshine, pollution and maybe air conditioning in the daytime. It really doesn’t need a strong retinol to make things worse. Final thoughts: Use it with caution, love the final results!

Today I learnt that a lack of interest is a sign of depression…

I can’t remember exactly when I started losing interest in stuff that I used to enjoy.. But I think it was around 3 years ago.. I first lost interest in my job, then I lost interest in all the other things that l like.. Its as if I was numb to everyone and everything. I don’t feel much sadness or joy or even much emotion. But there was an emptiness inside that I tried my best to fill either by buying skincare or makeup or clothes or bags.. I would enjoy those things for a while but then the numbness would set in again.. I told myself that maybe I needed a change of working environment so I changed my job.. For a while, maybe around 3 months, it worked.. Then the numbness came again.. I discovered that I was pregnant around 3 months into my new job but even then I didn’t feel much.. No joy or sadness or anything.. It scared me at first and then I didn’t feel anything again.. It occurred to me today that there might be something wrong with me.. I don’t really think that I’m severely depressed but I think that I’m not perfectly normal either.. I’m not seeking pity.. I enjoy reading and writing and writing down my thoughts seem to help somehow..

Review – MUN Skin Aknari Brightening Youth Serum

Mun_Aknari_1

The bottle is a bit funky looking because I’ve almost finished using it! *sorry!*

Hi guys! I’m finally back after such a long hiatus! If you’re curious about why I was gone for so long, let me just tell you that so many things happened in 2018 that my head was left spinning. I got a new job, got pregnant with my second child and gave birth, and I also bought a new house. *Eeeee* Anyway, now that I’m back, I’ve got a review of a facial oil that I’ve been using for almost 6 months or more. Read on to find out more!

Head spinning gif

Ok.. Maybe 2018 didn’t leave my head spinning to this extent.. Lol..

I’ve always somehow been aware of the natural skincare brand MUN. Although I don’t really recall how I got to know this brand, their most famous product – Aknari Brightening Youth Serum, was always under my radar for one of the skincare products that I need to try at least once. However, its luxury pricing has always put me off and I already have too many unopened skincare products in my cupboard. But as fate would have it, I saw this product sold online for a very good price and immediately grabbed it. *Sometimes I really wonder if the law of attraction is indeed true. I always seem to attract whatever that I’ve been thinking of the most.*

The Aknari Brightening Youth Serum contains just the 3 ingredients that I’ve listed below:

Ingredients

Prickly Pear Seed Oil*, Argan Oil*, Rose Flower Essential Oil *Certified Organic

How does the MUN Skin Aknari Brightening Youth Serum fare?

MUN Skin’s Aknari Brightening Youth Serum claims to transform skin from lifeless to luminous. Prickly Pear Seed Oil is extremely rich in Linoleic Acid and super antioxidant Vitamin E. When combined with Argan Oil, the duo works wonders to smooth wrinkles, repair sun damage and lighten dark spots. Aknari Brightening Youth serum also soothes inflammation, brightens under-eye circles and stimulates collagen production. Rose Essential Oil is included to aid absorption and provide a heavenly scent. The synergy of these three elegant oils will leave your skin feeling soft and looking radiant.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’ve been using this oil for around 6 months and I’m almost at the end of it. From my deligent usage of this product, you might guess that I love it and you would be absolutely right! The thing is, I’ve got a very bad habit to confess… If I don’t like a product or find it pretty meh, I’ll not use it even if it is an expensive product. I know, I know.. You might be thinking that I’m such a money wasting person who doesn’t recognise the value of money but in my defense, I’m wasting my own money, ok guys?

Anyway, how do I love this oil? Let me count the ways…

1) The MUN Aknari oil is super duper hydrating. I know.. I was surprised to realise that despite it being an oil, it is really hydrating and totally not greasy at all.. In fact, this oil is slightly mattifying and even helps to prolong the freshness of my makeup. It just leaves my skin with a soft matte glow reminiscent of a makeup primer. I’m not exaggerating guys! It really does that despite it being a a facial oil with no silicones!

2) I love just how “inactive” it is. It is weird to say this but if you are a person like me who uses a lot of products with “actives” such as acids and retinol, sometimes you just want a simple product that works without further aggrevating your skin. If my skin is throwing a hissy fit or it is more reactive than usual, I know that this product will not make it worse. In fact, it will help to soothe and calm it down. It just works!

3) I love its musky rose scent. Now, don’t get me wrong, this product absolutely does not smell like perfume at all. In fact, it smells more of the earth that the roses were grown in (thanks to the inclusion of the prickly pear seed oil) than roses itself. But the smell has grown on me and I love it.

However, if you are expecting this product to lighten dark spots or eliminate wrinkles, I will be very honest and tell you that I didn’t experience any effects of that sort at all. To me, it is just a beautifully lightweight and hydrating facial oil that soothes and calms my skin. Sometimes, I guess that’s exactly what I need.

If you are wondering whether you need this product, I would say that if you don’t mind paying for a premium quality oil with all eco-certified organic ingredients, then go ahead and indulge. However, you can definitely get a good facial oil at a cheaper price. Just buy the best within your own budget.

Mun_Aknari_2

It’s a beautiful lightweight oil that leaves your skin matte with a soft glow

Where can you find it?

If you are based in the US, you can purchase it from their official website, The Detox Market Online or Beauty Heroes Online. It retails at US$95 (20ml sized).

In Singapore, Living Naturally Co stocks this product. It retails at S$139 (20ml sized).

Thank you for reading!

Review – Zelens Provitamin D Treatment Drops

Hi everyone, I’m finally back with a new post! Sorry for disappearing from my blog for so long but now that I’m back, let’s start with a review of a product that I’ve been using for the past 6 months. Yes, 6 months! As always, when I test a product for a much longer period of time, there’s a reason for it. Read on to find out more!

As always, the ingredients list is as below for your reference:

Ingredients

Coco Caprylate/Caprate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanosterol Esters, Caprylyl Caprylate/Caprate, Isoamyl Laurate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Lipids, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Linoleic Acid, Phospholipids, Octyldodecanol, Isoamyl Cocoate, 7-Dehydrocholesterol, Plankton Extract, Ganoderma Lucidum (Reishi) Extract, Agaricus Bisporus Extract, Lentinus Edodes Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Glycolipids, Lecithin, Linolenic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Tripeptide-29, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Ethyl Linoleate, Ethyl Linolenate, Ethyl Oleate, Arachidyl Propionate, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Pelargonium Graveolens Leaf Oil, Citronellol, Geraniol, Linalool

The ingredients list is very interesting to me because unlike a normal oil, you would find that this product actually has both Linoleic Acid (omega-6) as well as Linolenic Acid (Omega-3) listed. Now why is that special? Typically, oils have a composition that consists of a mixture of Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Lauric Acid and Oleic Acid. These acids, also known as free fatty acids, are the reason why applying facial oils to your skin might have greater benefits to your skin than just preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL). For example, lauric acid is strongly antibacterial and is useful for treating acne. Oleic acid is a barrier disruptor (meaning it can help to restore skin moisture barrier), while linoleic acid can fade pigment. By and large however, most facial oils in the market would not have ingredients list that consists of the free fatty acids listed as such. Additionally, there’s this concern that facial oils do not breakdown efficiently enough onto the skin itself for the skin to reap such benefits (read here for more info!). Therefore, when you have a facial oil with free fatty acids already broken down for you, you know that it’s quite special indeed! Enough with the ingredients analysis, so how did it fare for me?

Reference from @goalstogetglowing instagram

How did the Zelens Provitamin D Treatment Drops fare?

Zelens Provitamin D Treatment Drops is a light facial oil enriched with Provitamin D and bio-mimetic lipids similar to those found naturally in the skin that helps to restore the skin’s natural barrier and build skin’s resilience. It also claims to help protect against microbial attack (helping to keep blemishes at bay and control skin conditions such as dermatitis), wards against environmental stresses and helps to fortify skin’s fragile fabric.

So, did it work for me? Well, my answer to that would be both yes and no. To be honest, I could only use this product whenever I feel that my skin’s moisture barrier is compromised or when it’s feeling a bit drier or more sensitive than usual. Using this product at night over 2 or 3 days would help to restore my skin to a healthier state without fail. It’s kinda like a fail-safe skin repair and restoring oil for me.

However, when I try to use this product while my skin feel quite healthy, I would discover that it causes me to breakout a little. I’m not quite sure why this situation occurs for me though. This situation frustrated me and I was on the fence for this product for some time. I wanted to test it over a much longer period of time and it wasn’t until 6 months later that I feel confident enough to sum up my thoughts in this post.

I think that if you have ultra-sensitive skin with a compromised skin barrier, you should find this oil to be quite life-changing. However, if you already have relatively healthy skin, you might not see much benefits from it. Nowadays, I would use this product on a weekly basis after using the aha/bha mask as an excellent skin-restoring oil to repair my skin and protect it while it’s in a slightly weaken state.

A light-textured treatment oil

 

Where can you find it?

I bought this product from CultBeauty Online. It retails at £115.00 (30ml sized).

Thank you for reading!

Review – Make P:rem Safe Relief Cleansing Foam

makepremsafereliefcleanser

If you have been reading my blog for some time, you might realise that I’ve been trying my best to use low pH cleansers for some time (If you are interested to find out why low pH cleansers are much better for your skin, click here). Today I have another sexy low pH cleanser to introduce to you guys – Make P:rem’s Safe Relief Cleansing Foam. This product is a SLS-free cleanser with a pH of 5.5. It claims to gently work on sensitive & irritated skin to cleanse and remove makeup without stripping the skin. I was alerted to this product when I saw it in the skincare routine of @snowwhiteandtheasianpear on Instagram. Coincidentally, I’ve been browsing the Korean Beauty app HwaHae a lot recently just to check out new launches in Korean beauty as well as to look out for products which are receiving much love amongst the Korean consumers. This product has been consistently getting very high ratings and my interest was piqued. So how did it fare for my combination dry skin? Read on to find out more!

Image-1

It’s ranked No. 1 amongst all the cleansers!

As usual, ingredients for the product are as below for your reference.

Ingredients

Water, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Glycerin, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Coco-Betaine, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Hydroxyacetophenone, Sodium Chloride, Polyquaternium-67, Potassium Cocoate, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Oil, Sodium Acetate, Rubus Arcticus Callus Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethyl hexylglycerin 

How does the Make P:rem Safe Relief Cleansing Foam fare?

The Make P:rem’s Safe Relief Cleansing Foam is a creamy foaming cleanser that is formulated with less than 20 low-hazard ingredients to provide soothing relief to dry, sensitive, and irritated skin. Ingredients such as Glycerin are mixed with extracts like hydrating Coconut, anti-aging Sage, and even healing Artic Raspberry to completely cleanse and soothe your skin.

Although it claims that it could help to remove makeup, I wouldn’t recommend using it to remove waterproof or heavy makeup as it’s actually quite gentle to the skin. Otherwise I find that it works very well as a 2nd cleanse to gently remove all remains of my makeup remover such as cleansing oils/ balms, as well as my skin itself. Another property of this cleanser which makes me rather happy is that although it doesn’t foam a lot, it does foam and somehow, my skin seems to like foaming cleansers better than milk cleansers. The only thing which I need to maybe caution you is that the cleanser does have a musky smell due to the inclusion of sage oil and bergamot oil. It doesn’t really bother me much but I’m just putting it out there cause I know that some people are sensitive to smells. Otherwise, I’m actually really happy with this cleanser overall. It’s low-pH, cleanses well without dehydrating my skin and it’s very reasonably priced for its size (150g). Highly recommended!

Where can you find it?

I bought this product from Qoo10.sg. Although the price seems to vary amongst sellers, I bought it at S$24.90 (150g sized).

Thank you for reading!

Review – Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II

Sometimes I guess things really do come back in a full circle. I remember when I was just getting into skincare, I would sneakily use either my mum’s or older sister’s Advanced Night Repair serum and tried to see whether the hype about this product was real. Well, I was around 19 years old and didn’t really have much to repair (lol lol), so the effect that I saw was just better hydration.

In February this year, while I was waiting for my flight to Beijing in the airport, I decided to browse the Shilla duty-free stores. As my husband can attest, that was a dangerous move for my wallet as I would always walk away with something. That something included this product – the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II. I was curious about how it would fare for my skin after all these years so I bought it to try.

Back in 2013, I realised that this super iconic serum had a revamp. Estee Lauder had reformulated their Advanced Night Repair serum into Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II. The key improvement lies in their patented ChronoluxCB™ Technology. Apparently this ChronoluxCB™ Technology helps not only protects skin cells from damage in the first place but also helps them repair themselves from damage quickly (sorta like Wolverine powers in a skincare serum format.. super fast regenerative ability.. lol..). However when I began to think further, I realised that this sounds very similar to the claims that antioxidants typically have on the skin. So what makes this patented technology different from other antioxidant serums? I was curious and decided to dig deeper. What I found out surprised me and I thought that I should share my findings with you.

Now at this point, you should know that I’m not a dermatologist, a skincare chemist or a cosmetic scientist. I’m a civil engineer who’s a skincare enthusiast and my interpretation might not be totally accurate.

Before we begin, you might want to take a look at its ingredients list below:

The thing which caught my attention about this ChronoluxCB™ Technology was that Estee Lauder claims that it helps to boost the catabolysis activity in the skin. Apparently, catabolysis activity helps skin cells eliminate internal debris that can cause cellular damage, which in turn optimizes cellular performance and helps increase skin’s overall repair. Considered a critical ageing pathway, the efficiency of the catabolysis repair process declines with age and becomes de-synchronized from the night. Together, with skin’s circadian rhythm, the discovery of this natural cellular repair function reinforces the critical link between night and skin’s natural repair processes. The ChronoluxCB™ Technology seemingly  helps support the natural synchronization of skin’s nighttime renewal process so that skin renews its appearance at exactly the right time with patented “clock gene” technology.

Note: Originally the catabolysis activity was studied by scientists for the symptoms of dementia and how a decline in catabolysis activity in brain cells could lead to this condition. However, Estee Lauder wanted to study if the same theory could be applied to skin cells as well.

I know… It sounds incredibly like some hogwash PR marketing dribble.. When I first heard it, I couldn’t help but to raise a sceptical brow. So in order to quench my desire to cut through the marketing bullsh*t, I decided to search for more information and see if this ChronoluxCB™ Technology was really the sh*t.

rihana

Is ChronoluxCB™ Technology really the sh*t??

In my search, I came across the patent that was filed in 2009 by Estee Lauder about their ChronoluxCB™ Technology (Click here for details). While I was going through their patent, I was quite surprised to find out that their patent was actually for the whole composition of the ANR serum and not just one aspect of the ChronoluxCB technology. In fact, the patent was for “a skin care composition comprising at least one keratinocyte CLOCK or PER1 gene activator and at least one DNA repair enzyme; a method for inhibiting damage to human keratinocytes due to environmental aggressors by applying a composition comprising at least one keratinocyte CLOCK or PER1 gene activator and at least one DNA repair enzyme; and a method for repairing DNA damage in human keratinocytes“. The Chronolux technology mentioned in the patent actually refers to a peptide named Tripeptide-32.

To my utmost astonishment, I discovered that the ingredients list on my bottle of ANR serum does not even have that ingredient. However, I saw that the ingredients list on their official USA website does include that ingredient so I’m kinda stumped as to what happened. To clarify, my bottle of ANR serum is bought from the Changi Airport Duty Free Shop so I’m certain that I didn’t have a fake product. 

In any case, although Estee Lauder likes to emphasize on the Chronolux technology aspect of their ANR, their testing was based on the whole composition of the ANR which includes ingredients such as Bifidus Ferment Lysate and Lactobacillus ferment, which are the repair enzymes. Therefore it should work to a certain extent in the repair of the skin.

How does the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II fare?

Despite my misgivings about the bold claims made by Estee Lauder, I do think that this serum is a good overall “anti-ageing” serum. Whenever I use this serum, I will notice that my skin looks more rested, calmer and slightly brighter. Despite the fact that it doesn’t claim to be a hydrating serum, I do find this product to be quite hydrating. Sometimes, I would even skip using my hydrating serums if I use this product at night. One thing which surprised me about this serum is that it has a “heft” to it. It is not at all a watery serum. Hence, I think that oily combination skins might want to keep this product in their nighttime routine only because it feels slightly tacky before it absorbs into the skin.

Since it is not an “active” serum in the sense that it contains AHA/BHA, retinol or Vitamin C, I do not think that it’s fair to expect this serum to have super drastic effects on your skin. Nonetheless, if you are around mid-twenties to early thirties and are discovering that your skin looks and feels slightly drier or more tired than usual despite eating and sleeping as per normal, maybe you would like to give this serum a try. This serum will give a gentle boost to your skincare routine without the harsh and sensitizing effects that “true actives” would have on your skin. The thing about using the Estee Lauder ANR serum is that you’ll need to give it time to work. As I’ve mentioned earlier, it is not a “true actives” serum so it works much slower. Nevertheless, give it time and you should see your skin looking more refreshed and less dull or tired.

Now I know that my review might make you think that my feelings towards this product is kinda meh (lol!). But I’ve already purchased a 100ml sized of it even though I’m only halfway through my 50ml product so make of that what you will.

Where can you find it?

I bought this product from Changi Airport Duty Free Shop. However, you can purchase it from any Estee Lauder beauty counters. It retails at S$122 (30ml sized), S$170 (50ml sized) and S$217 (75ml sized).

Thank you for reading!

Foundation of Skincare: Double Cleansing

TOP.gif

This picture has no relation whatsoever to my post.. I just really love Big Bang’s T.O.P.. Lol..

Double cleansing is a phenomenon that has blown up over the past few years in the western beauty world. This was very surprising to me since I have been doing the act of double cleansing since I was 19 years old (FYI, I’m going to be 33 years old this year!). Essentially I have been following this routine for 14 years and had also, perhaps naively, thought that everybody was more or else doing the same thing as me.

So what is double cleansing? Well, it is exactly as its name implies – you cleanse your face twice! I worked part-time for a beauty brand during my university days and vividly remembered an encounter with the beauty counter manager who tried to explain the concept of double cleansing to me. She asked me whether I have the habit of showering everyday. At that time, I was mortified and thought that she was hinting that I smelt kinda funky. However, she carried on to ask me another question. She asked if I wore my clothes while showering. I replied “Of course not!”. Then she started to explain that double cleansing is akin to the act of removing your clothes before you shower. Just as removing your clothes before showering/ bathing is essential to washing yourself clean, using a makeup remover to remove your makeup/ sunscreen before you wash your skin itself is important for your skin to be thoroughly cleansed. This concept has stayed with me ever since.

TOP with no clothes.gif

T.O.P agrees that you should remove your clothes before you shower!

Double cleansing is the foundation of a proper skincare routine. If your skin is not thoroughly cleansed of all the dirt and makeup or sunscreen that accumulates throughout the day, all other skincare products layered on top would not be absorbed properly. If I’m going to be very harsh, I could even say that it’s useless applying all your expensive serums or moisturisers if you are not going to wash your face thoroughly.  

By now, if you are convinced that you want to start double cleansing, I have a few tips to get you on the way. The first cleanse would usually be used to remove your makeup or sunscreen. My first cleanse typically consists of either cleansing oils or balms to remove my super waterproof Japanese sunscreen as well as my makeup. Sometimes I would use micellar water as my first cleanse if I’m wearing a non-waterproof sunscreen or light makeup.

Here’s a bunch that I’d used before and really loved.

First Cleanse (Cleansing Oils/ Balms/ Micellar Water)

  1. Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil (Read full review here)
  2. Dr Lewinn 4 Fusion Cleansing Oil (Read full review here)
  3. Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (Read full review here)
  4. Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water (Read full review here)

For my second cleanse, I usually prefer using low-pH cleansers. Some of them are foaming cleansers and some are more milky/ creamy in texture. Below are some products that I’d used before and loved.

Second Cleanse

  1. Oskia Citylife Cleansing Concentrate (Read full review here)
  2. Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser (Read full review here)
  3. Omorovicza Moor Cream Cleanser => I didn’t really like this cleanser much at first but after I’d gone through one whole tube of it, I find that I kinda missed using it. It’s actually a very nice cleanser. (Read full review here)
  4. Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser (Read full review here)

I hope that if you are reading this and had not incorporated double cleansing into your skincare routine yet, this post will inspire you to start. Join us in our glorious world of double cleansing, won’t you?

TOP wink.gif

Review – NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex 2 (MMHC 2)

NIOD’s Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex (MMHC) was one of the first few products that I had reviewed back in May 2017 when I just started my blog (Read full review here). I knew at that time that Deciem was in the midst of revamping the formula for MMHC and was about to release MMHC2 in a few months time. I’ve always wanted to try MMHC2 for the longest time but got distracted by some other hydrating serums along the way that I never got to it.

Well, as luck would have it, during the Chinese New Year period in February this year, I received a discount code from ASOS for 15% off. When I saw that the NIOD MMHC2 was listed on their website, I went for it and grabbed 3 bottles in one go. Heh! Now that I’ve been using it for around one month plus (and already more than halfway through one bottle), I think that it’s time for me to reveal my thoughts on this product. Will it live up to its predecessor? Will it exceed it? Or will it be a disaster? Read on!

Ingredients

Aqua (Water), Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Butyroyl Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium Acetyl Glucosamine Phosphate, Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate, Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3, Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract, Salvia Sclarea Extract, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, PCA, Sodium PCA, Betaine, Sodium Lactate, Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside, Gallyl Glucoside, Algae Extract, Sodium Salicylate, Lecithin, Polyglucuronic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sclerotium Gum, Pullulan, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Citric Acid, Magnesium Chloride, Silica, Polysorbate 20, Ethoxydiglycol, Propyl Gallate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol.

How does the NIOD Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex 2 (MMHC 2) fare?

NIOD’s Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex 2 is the second generation of MMHC, combining 15 forms of hyaluronic compounds to visibly hydrate skin. The formula offers a multi-dimensional approach to topical hyaluronic supplementation by combining 15 forms (vs the 12 forms of HA in the original MMHC) of hyaluronic compounds, hyaluronic precursors and a hyaluronic support technology in a peptide-charged delivery system. It offers water-based hydration and helps skin surface look plump, elastic, comfortable and uniform.

So what’s so special about MMHC2? Well, Deciem had included an extremely rare direct form of hyaluronic acid amongst the 15 hyaluronic compounds. In the world of beauty, the term “hyaluronic acid” is used loosely to refer to “sodium hyaluronate” which is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid. When brands refer to “hyaluronic acid” in their information and marketing materials, in almost every case the reference is to forms of “sodium hyaluronate” which appears in the ingredient listing of the products. In fact, I had only encountered hyaluronic acid in its direct form before in Jordan Samuel Skin’s Hydrate serum (Full review here). While several sodium salt forms of hyaluronic acid are included in MMHC2, the formula also includes 1.0% direct hyaluronic acid which appears as “hyaluronic acid” in the ingredient listing. Direct hyaluronic acid offers pro-repair support far beyond basic water hydration that sodium hyaluronate offers, resulting in improvements to the elastic appearance and the general healthy look of skin.

Below is a table of comparison between the ingredients in the original version of MMHC and MMHC2. You can definitely see the inclusion of hyaluronic acid as well as a rise in the position of the various hyaluronic sodium salts (which translates to higher levels of hyaluronic sodium salts added in the revised formula).

MMHC 2

MMHC (Original)

Ingredient

Ingredient

Aqua Aqua
Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract Hydrolyzed Yeast Extract
Glycerin Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer
Hyaluronic Acid Dimethyl isosorbide
Sodium Hyaluronate Glycerin
Sodium Butyroyl Hyaluronate Sodium Hyaluronate
Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate
Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum
Disodium Acetyl Glucosamine Phosphate Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract
Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate Sodium Butyroyl Hyaluronate
Pseudoalteromonas Exopolysaccharides Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3
Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6
Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract Ceratonia Siliqua Gum
Ceratonia Siliqua Gum N-Acetyl-D-glucosamine-6-phosphate disodium salt
Myristoyl Nonapeptide-3 Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate
Plantago Lanceolata Leaf Extract Betaine
Salvia Sclarea Extract Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate
Arginine Ethylhexylglycerin
Aspartic acid Cetyl hydroxyethylcellulose
Glycine Pentylene Glycol
Alanine Potassium Sorbate
Serine Citric Acid
Valine Sodium Benzoate
Isoleucine Lecithin
Proline Magnesium chloride
Threonine PPG-26-Buteth-26
Histidine PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
Phenylalanine Polyglucuronic acid
PCA Chlorphenesin
Sodium PCA Phenoxyethanol
Betaine
Sodium Lactate
Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside
Gallyl Glucoside
Algae Extract
Sodium salicylate
Lecithin
Polyglucuronic acid
Xanthan Gum
Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate
Sclerotium Gum
Pullulan
Cetyl hydroxyethylcellulose
Propanediol
Pentylene Glycol
Dimethyl isosorbide
Citric Acid
Magnesium chloride
Silica
Polysorbate 20
Ethoxydiglycol
Propyl Gallate
Dehydroacetic Acid
Benzyl Alcohol
Potassium Sorbate
Sodium Benzoate
Ethylhexylglycerin
1,2-Hexanediol
Caprylyl Glycol
Phenoxyethanol

However, I’m sure that if you are reading this review, you would be more interested to know whether the MMHC2 is as hydrating as MMHC or even more so. Well, I can definitely confirm that this version is indeed a far superior formula than the original one. How could I tell, you may ask? It’s simple. I find that on days that I use this serum, the fine dehydration lines on my forehead are very much lessened and my cheek area looks more lifted and plump. Most importantly, the hydration actually lasts throughout the day. This serum, like its predecessor, also comes in a watery formula which sinks into my skin nicely without interfering with the rest of my other skincare products. Since hydration serums are a non-negotiable part of my skincare routine (that is, I must use a hydrating serum in both my day and night routines)it is imperative that there’s no “rolling” or “flaking” even when I layer other products over it. 

If you are looking for an excellent hydrating serum which does exactly what it claims to do, I would highly recommend that you give this product a try. Because this serum has such a light watery texture, it would also be suitable for all skin types.

Thank you for reading!

Review – Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser

sunday riley ceramic slip cleanser

Hey guys, sorry for the lack of new posts recently. I’ve been having some writer’s block and really don’t have any inspiration for blogging (or taking photos and thus the stock photo as above! Sorry!). I’m also in the midst of changing my job and had been really busy trying to handover my current scope of works to my colleagues. What can I say? Sometimes life gets in the way… Anyway, lately I’ve also been experiencing a situation that feels quite foreign to me. You know, I’m usually constantly on the lookout for new products to try and see if they are better than my current stash but recently I’ve been pretty content with my current skincare routine and haven’t been motivated to rope in new products to try (even though my stash of new skincare products is probably enough to last me for one year!). My skin has also been in a pretty well-balanced state with no major problems and I just don’t wanna jinx it by adding new stuff that my skin might not like.

Anyhoo, today I’m gonna review a cleanser that I’ve been using since January this year and that is the famous Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip cleanser. I first bought it because I saw that it was tested to be a sexy low-pH cleanser (which is totally my thing!). However, after I’d received my cleanser, I saw some newer reviews stating that Sunday Riley had changed their formula and that the new formula’s pH level was tested to be higher than the old one. The old formula had a pH level of 5.0 (which is really excellent) and apparently the new cleanser is around pH level of 6.25?! Now, don’t get me wrong.. A cleanser with a pH level of 6.25 to 6.5 isn’t too terrible (although it’s not ideal). Researchers have found out that acne tends to grow well at pH values of between 6 and 6.5 but when the pH level of skin drops to 5.5, its growth significantly decreases. Therefore skin at pH 5.5 is better at preventing the growth of bacteria than skin at pH 6.5. Oh well, I’ve not tested the pH of my bottle but I think that mine might be the new formula. I’ll explain in a bit.

As usual, ingredients are below for your reference.

Ingredients:

Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocopolyglucoside Tartrate, Sodium Cocopolyglucoside Citrate, Montmorillonite (French Green) Clay, Moroccan (Rhassoul) Lava Clay, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Oil, Piper Nigrum (Black Pepper) Fruit Oil, Botswellia Carterii (Frankincense) Oil, Jasmine Officinale Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Caprylyl Glycol.

How does the Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser fare?

Sunday Riley described this cleanser as a lightly foaming cleanser containing a cocktail of vitamins, minerals & essential oils to tone and balance normal to combination skin. Refined French green clay draws out impurities while vitamin C reduces the appearance of discolouration and stimulates collagen production for a plumper, dewy complexion. Black pepper promotes circulation, sandalwood combats areas of sensitivity, jasmine soothes and restores while frankincense encourages healthy cell growth for firmer, porcelain-smooth skin. TLDR; it’s a clay-based cleanser that foams. Heh!

I’ve been using this product as my second cleanse after I removed my makeup in the evenings. Due to the inclusion of Frankincense and Neroli oils, this cleanser has a slightly musky smell. Thankfully the smell dissipates quite fast and doesn’t linger. Now, the thing which intrigued me about this cleanser is that although it is clay-based, it actually has some foaming action going on. The foam is rather wimpy though but I guess it helps to ease people with combination/ oily skins who are used to foaming cleansers into using this kind of clay-based cleanser instead.

foam

Do not expect such vigorous foaming action!

It is quite an effective cleanser and my skin usually feels clean and soft after using it. However, as I’d stated as above, I suspect that my bottle is the new formula because it does feel slightly drying during times when my skin is acting up or when I’d gone a little hard on my actives routine. My husband loves using it for his combination oily skin though and it’s now permanently stashed in the bathroom that he’s using.

Where can you find it?

I bought the cleanser from SkinStore Online. It retails at US$45 (125 ml sized).

You can also purchase it from Sephora Online (US store) and Cult Beauty (UK & International).

Thank you for reading!

Is the Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence worth the eye-watering price?

img_1417

Isn’t it lust-inducing?!

I first learnt of the Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence while I was watching Gothamista’s video in which she used this essence in her morning skincare routine during the summer of last year. When I saw this product, I was attracted to it immediately and knew that I’ve gotta get it (Do you believe in lust at first sight? That’s how I felt about this product!). However, I went online to search for reviews on it and couldn’t find much information (probably because it’s kinda a new product). My lust for it also kinda stalled when I saw its price on Sephora (US$145 for 120ml!).

eye widening

Literally my reaction when I saw its price!

Like the handsome stranger that you met briefly on the train ride during the morning rush hour, the memories and the feelings of that encounter with this product got pushed to the back of my mind as months passed by. It wasn’t until September last year (in 2017) that my friend asked me if I wanted anything from Korea as she had another friend who’s going there for a holiday. Immediately I thought of this product and asked her to haul one from Lotte Duty Free shop for me.

Ingredients

Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin

If you just look at its ingredients list as above, you’ll note that this product is basically made out of glycerin (a humectant) and green tea extract (a strong antioxidant).

How does the Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence fare?

Amorepacific’s Vintage Single Extract Essence is described as a skin-enhancing essence sourced from single extract, antioxidant-rich green tea that has been naturally fermented and aged to pre-tox and purify skin before ageing occurs. The antioxidant-rich green tea was harvested from AMOREPACIFIC’s Dolsongi tea garden on Jeju island. The handpicked leaves used to create the original single extract are fermented for 50 days, aged in traditional Korean earthenware for another 50 days and extracted for 24 hours, using the patented Full Body Extraction, to create a concentrated skin superfood. The fermentation process really maximises the potency of the EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) in this green tea extract. EGCG is a powerful antioxidant which protect cells from damage.

See the video below from Amorepacific on this product! I swear this advertisement is so effective and makes me want to rush out to buy it immediately!

 

Even though I’ve had this product for around 6 months, I only really started cranking down to using it seriously around the end of January this year (2018) since I was using the Sulwhasoo First Care Serum previously. So I’ve been using this product both in my day and night skincare routines for around 1.5 months and I’m ready to share my thoughts of this product with you.

Amorepacific’s Vintage Single Extract Essence is similar to a First Care Essence/ Serum in that you’ll need to use it in the first step after cleansing your face. For the first 2 weeks that I was using this product, I only pour out a few drops from the glass bottle and pat it into my skin. However, I later decanted it into a plastic spray bottle to spray it all over my face instead. There are 2 main reasons why I do so. Firstly, the product is extremely liquid, almost water-like, and I would find it seeping out through the gaps of my fingers. D*mn if I’m gonna let my floor gain all these anti-ageing super anti-oxidant benefits instead of my skin! Secondly, my 3 year-old daughter is now extremely curious about the “magic” potions that her mama keeps on the dressing table. She likes to pretend that she’s using them the same way as her mama does. To my absolute shock and horror, I caught her trying to shake the glass bottle of this particular product (that costs US$128/ US$145 a bottle, mind you!). For my own peace of mind and my daughter’s safety (in case she breaks the bottle and gets cut by the glass shards), I decided to decant it instead.

Anyway, as I was saying, the product is extremely liquid and it smells of tea (like duh!). I literally feel like I’m spraying my face with tea everytime I use this product. My initial impressions of this product was that it is lightly hydrating, softening and seems to help boost the absorption rate of my subsequent skincare. To be honest, I didn’t really see much results for the initial 2 weeks that I was using this product. I was just enjoying the sensorial experience of using this product. After 4 weeks, I find that my skin was significantly softer. I wanted to test if this new texture of my skin was due to this product so I stop using it for a few days just to see if there would be a difference. I noticed that although my skin still looks relatively ok, the feel of it was really quite different. Although my skin still feels smooth, it didn’t quite have the velvety softness that it had before.

However, the pressing question is this: is the difference in the softness of the skin a big enough factor for me to repurchase, considering its price? To be honest, I’m not certain either. Currently, I’ve got 3 new essences in my stash that I’ve not tried out yet. I’m not sure if the performance of those essence would be better than this essence but, they are certainly cheaper than the Amorepacific one. To date however, it is the best essence that I’ve used before. I might do a comparison post of all the essences that I’ve tried sometime in the future.

Where can you find it?

I asked a friend to purchase it from Korea. It retails at US$128 (120ml sized) at Lotte Duty Free shops.

Alternatively, you can also purchase it from Sephora (USA) or Nordstrom Online. It retails at US$145 (120ml sized).

Thank you for reading!