Review – Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask

Antipodes is a New Zealand skincare brand that emphasizes on creating products that combines the highest quality ingredients from New Zealand nature and raw super-fruit extracts with science and innovation to produce high-tech certified organic and premium formulations. Essentially it is a green beauty brand but one which also fully embraces technology to validate the performance of their skincare products.

The product that I’m going to talk about today is one that I’ve been using since early this year but I’ve never gotten around to reviewing it for one reason or another. The Aura Manuka Honey Mask is supposedly one of Antipodes’ best-selling products and I could totally see why that is so.

As usual, let’s check out its ingredients below before we continue, shall we?

Ingredients

Aqua (water), leptospermum scoparium mel (manuka honey), persea gratissima (avocado oil), glycerine, cetearyl alcohol, stearic acid, glycerol stearate, gluconolactone, sodium benzoate, calcium gluconate, vitis vinifera (Vinanza Grape grapeseed) extract, daucus carota sativa (carrot oil), metrosideros excelsa (pohutukawa) flower extract, tocopherol (Vitamin E), essential oil fragrances of vanilla & mandarin: coumarin*, d-limonene*, linalool*.

*Component of essential oil

How does the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask fare?

The Antipodes Manuka Honey Mask is touted as a luxuriously hydrating face mask, which helps leave skin soothed and intensively hydrated. Manuka honey draws moisture to the skin, whilst helping keep skin super fresh and blemish-free. I usually use this product once a week on the weekends where I’ll break out all my masks on Sunday for an indulgent Sunday facial. You’ll just need to apply a thick layer of this mask (until you cannot see your own skin behind the mask) and leave it on for around 15 minutes to half an hour before you rinse it off with warm water.

Once I’ve rinsed off the mask and stare at myself in the mirror, I was left feeling quite impressed with its results. My skin looked very calm and hydrated with a subtle glow. If I’ve got any active blemishes, the redness would subside substantially after using this mask. I like that it is both intensively hydrating as well as cleansing at the same time. It’s quite intriguing to me as most of the cleansing masks I’ve tried before will not simultaneously hydrate and cleanse my skin. Therefore this product is indeed special in this regard. I’ve also tried using this mask to spot treat blemishes and it works gently to calm down the inflammation.

I would be remiss if I do not mention the absolutely delicious vanilla and honey scent of this mask. It smells like a lovely dessert yet the scent is not too cloyingly sweet. If you’ve smelled the vanilla scent from real vanilla pods before, you’ll definitely recognize this scent in the product. All in all, this mask is definitely one of my favorite rinse-off mask!

Where can you find it?

I purchased this product from Lookfantastic SG. It retails at S$46 (75ml sized).

You can also purchase this product from Bud Cosmetics Online. It retails at S$59 (75ml sized).

Thank you for reading!

Review – The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

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The Ordinary is a brand under the DECIEM umbrella that exploded onto the skincare scene in 2016. Its range of skincare is based on no-frills functional skincare products at low prices. The brand eschews unnecessary packaging and fancy-sounding exotic ingredients for active ingredients that are actually proven to work, such as retinol, vitamin c, and hyaluronic acid etc. In fact, I had actually bought a few of their serums to try back in January 2017 but honestly, I wasn’t too impressed with the products. I couldn’t actually see much improvement in my skin from those particular serums that I had bought and I didn’t buy any other serums from them since then.

* For reference, I bought their Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA, Advanced Retinoid 2%, Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, and 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil. *

However, in March 2017, The Ordinary introduced a product that made me stood up and take notice of them again – The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. It’s reportedly a dupe for the famous Drunk Elephant Babyfacial with almost the same percentage of active ingredients (FYI Babyfacial contains 25% AHA and 2% BHA blend). At that time, I was curious about Babyfacial and wanted to try it but Drunk Elephant wasn’t easily available in Singapore and it does cost a pretty penny (US$ 80!). Therefore, I settled for The Ordinary’s product instead.   

Before we continue further with the review, let’s just check out its ingredients, shall we?

Ingredients

Glycolic Acid, Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Daucus Carota Sativa Extract, Propanediol, Cocamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Salicylic Acid, Potassium Citrate, Lactic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Xanthan gum, Polysorbate 20, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol.

How does The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution fare?

Right off the bat, I must tell you that the colour of this peeling mask freaks me out! I kept feeling that it will be a very strong acidic product due to its colour. Even though I’m an experienced acid user (LOL.. Not that kind..), I was still quite apprehensive about using it. The first time I tried this product, I used just one pipette full of product and timed its length of masking for exactly 10 minutes as directed on its packaging. While I had the peel on, I low-key felt like Countess Elizabeth Bathory – a 16th century Hungarian countess who bathed in the blood of at least 650 servant girls she had tortured and killed in order to stay #foreveryoung.

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Portrait of the Blood Countess herself!

Anyway, I did experience some stinging sensation while I had it on my face but it wasn’t severe or irritating enough to be a concern for me. When I rinsed this peel off after 10 minutes, I looked into the mirror and my skin was slightly flushed but it was not super red or inflamed. I continued with my skincare routine by layering my hydrating mist, hydrating essence and hydrating serum and finally my trusted Stratia Liquid Gold (Full review here) with a few drops of my facial oil before going to bed. I didn’t use any other actives in my skincare routine after using this product because I didn’t want to risk compromising my skin’s moisture barrier and cause either massive peeling or inflammation.

Just a pipette-full of product is enough for my whole face!

When I woke up the next morning, I was shocked! I noticed that a very stubborn pimple (the kind with no head and therefore cannot be squeezed out since there’s no outlet for the goo to come out) came to a head. Some clogged pores on the side of my forehead came loose and I was able to wash them off gently in the morning using just my normal cleanser. My skin just looks very clear and even overall. I was impressed indeed! After using this product for around 3 months, I find it to be excellent for clearing congestion of any kind and really helps to refine my skin’s texture. It is also particularly useful for clearing acne that reside deep within your skin and are hard to uproot. The AHAs in this product would exfoliate the skin’s topmost surface and sort of “clear” the path for the BHA to go deeper within the pore and dissolve the “gunk” in the pore.

Note that I only use this product once a week as I’m also using other acid toners and actives the rest of the time. I must also caution you not to use this product on broken skin (cause it will hurt like a b*tch! trust me!) or when your skin’s barrier is compromised (never use it on sun-burnt, peeling skin). Also, if your skin is particularly reactive, I would advise you to patch test it first. When you use this product for the first time, I would suggest that you could either reduce the amount that you use (maybe half a pipette-full instead of a whole pipette-full?) or reduce the time your skin is in contact with the product (maybe use it for 5 minutes instead of 10 minutes?). I must also emphasise that you use a sunscreen everyday as the AHAs in the product will make you more sun-sensitive.

Where can you find it?

I bought this product from ASOS Online. It retails at £6.50 (30ml sized).

You can also purchase it from their official website. It retails at US$ 12.30.

Thank you for reading!

First Impressions Review – Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil & Classic Rice Enzyme Powder

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Travel Sized Minis!

Tatcha is a Japan-inspired skincare brand from the US. Tatcha’s story began when its founder Victoria Tsai went on a trip to Kyoto and discovered “a world of pure beauty, craftsmanship and heritage” after a chance encounter with a Japanese geisha. *major side-eye here*

tenor

Marketing spiel aside, I became interested in their Water Cream (which was sold-out many times in the Sephora stores in the US since its launch) when I saw it in another of Gothamista’s skincare routine video (I know, I know… I’m easily suggestible..) and fell in love with how it looks. I mean, just look at it! It’s housed in a beautiful aquamarine tub with a gorgeous golden spatula on top. Every inch of my being itched to own it and caress it lovingly.. *ahem*

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Just look at it! It’s gorgeous!

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So beautiful! *heart eyes emoji*

Anyway, when I ordered their Water Cream, I also ordered a travel-sized version of their Camellia Cleansing Oil and got another travel sized Classic Rice Enzyme Powder as a welcome gift.

Below you can check out the ingredients for the 2 minis that I’ve gotten with my order:

Ingredients for Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquicaprylate, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Glyceryl Behenate/eicosadioate, Water, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Fragrance (Natural), Phenoxyethanol.

Ingredients for Tatcha Classic Rice Enzyme Powder

Oryza Sativa (rice) Powder, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Potassium Myristate, Cellulose, Water, Papain (papaya Extract), Camellia Sinensis (green Tea) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin (pearl) Protein, Oryza Sativa (rice) Bran, Algae Extract, Glycerin, Dextrin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol

How does the Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil fare?

This cleaning oil has a thin runny texture reminiscent of my beloved Sulwhasoo cleansing oil. You use it just like any other cleansing oil by pumping out 2 to 3 pumps of the oil on your dry hand and massage it on your dry face for a few minutes. It emulsifies easily with just normal room temperature water and also rinses away cleanly. I find that it does a pretty decent job of removing my makeup and sunscreen without having to rub my face too vigorously.

The only factor which made me hesitant about purchasing the full sized product is its price. It costs US$48 (approx. S$67) for 150ml of product and my Sulwhasoo cleansing oil costs S$50 for the same size. Therefore although I think that this product does its job well, I highly doubt that I’ll get the full sized product.

How does the Tatcha Classic Rice Enzyme Powder fare?

The Tatcha Classic Rice Enzyme Powder is a cleanser in a powder form. You’ll need to mix the powder with some water in your palms before you massage your face with the paste. Honestly I’ve a love-hate relationship with this product. I love it because it cleanses exceptionally well and my skin feels smooth and clean without feeling stripped. On the other hand, as the powder is very fine, whenever I use this product, I’ll experience having its powder “dust” fly into my nose and the sensation is terrible. I’ll be coughing and sneezing at the same time and that’s just not cool. I don’t know.. I’m really on the fence about this product, maybe leaning a bit over to the “not gonna purchase” side.

Where can you find it?

I bought the products from their official website.

The Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil retails at US$15 (25ml sized) and US$48 (150ml sized).

The Tatcha Classic Rice Enzyme Powder retails at US$15 (10g sized) and US$65 (60g sized).

Thank you for reading!