Skincare Wardrobe

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I started my initial foray into skincare when I was 19 years old. Back then, I had just completed my “A” levels (which is equivalent to high school for the rest of the world besides the UK) and I was looking for a part-time job until my first university semester started in August. A friend told me that she had started working part-time for Cosmetics Brand “B” and asked me if I was interested to join. I immediately agreed as the thought of selling products at cosmetic counters meant that I could wear nice makeup and it certainly looked more glamorous than my previous part-time job of selling men’s shoes. I received brand training, product training as well as sales training while I was working with that brand. I did enjoy it a lot even though sometimes a sales job also meant that I had to deal with horrible nasty customers who thought that you were lowly-educated since you were “just a counter girl”.

Anyway, my point is that during that time (around 13 years ago) and even till now, people were mostly sold skincare products based on their skin types (dry, oily or combination) or their specific skin concerns such as anti-ageing, hydrating or whitening (which is NOT bleaching by the way.. it actually just means evening out of skin tone and minimising hyper-pigmentation). There wasn’t really this concept of skincare wardrobe which seems to be more prevalent these days. By “skincare wardrobe”, I mean that just like you wear clothes to either suit the weather on that day itself or your requirements (whether you need to go to work or go to the gym or the beach etc.), you could also customise your skincare based on how your skin feels that day.

For me personally, that means that even though I have combination skin, I use a variety of products meant for oily, dry and combination skin types. Just for cleansers alone, I use cleansing balms (usually meant for people with dry skin), cleansing gels or foams (usually for people with oily skin) and cleansing lotions. I rotate these products based on what my skin is feeling on that day itself or if I know that I’m going to face environments that are harsh to skin (like construction sites or air-plane cabins for example). I find that having an arsenal of products to combat various skin issues helps me to take care of my skin better in a more intuitive way.

My tip for building your own skincare wardrobe is to be very aware of the ingredients which your skin likes or dislikes. This is especially important in order to avoid over-loading your skin and inflaming it. For example, my skin TOTALLY HATES any products with meadowfoam seed oil. My face will have tiny red breakouts all over whenever I used any products with this ingredient in it. It doesn’t matter what product it is, whether it’s a cleanser, moisturiser or facial oils. That’s why I can use the Shu Uemura ultime8 sublime beauty cleansing oil (which is a thicker texture meant for drier skins) but can’t use the Shu Uemura blanc:chroma brightening & polishing gentle cleansing oil (which is meant for combination skins with a lighter texture) because the latter contains that dreaded ingredient. On its own, meadowfoam seed oil is actually a very good facial oil with strong anti-oxidant and skin softening properties. However, my skin just doesn’t like it. This is why I advocate reading the product ingredient list very thoroughly even before you buy the product so that you are fully aware if there are any potentially problematic ingredients for your own skin.

I hope that you’ll have fun exploring the different products as you build your very own skincare wardrobe. Afterall who would know your skin better than yourself? Stay beautiful and enjoy the journey!

Thank you for reading!

Review – Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Aqua Booster SPF 50+ PA ++++

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I must admit that when it comes to beauty and skincare products, I’ve got a roving eye. I’m always on the constant lookout for the latest products with interesting ingredients or textures. I guess that’s why my cupboard is full of unopened products. I’ve only got one face and a limited amount of space to slather all of them at once. However the only and I really mean THE ONLY ONE product that has stayed constant with me throughout the years is the Shiseido Annessa UV Perfect Sunscreen. It’s got my heart firmly with it in the sunscreen category and I’ll always come back to it even when I try other products. In my case, I think that the biggest affirmation of a product is that I would repurchase it over and over again and have backups of it just in case it’s discontinued. That’s how much I love this sunscreen. As per normal, the ingredients list is below.

Ingredients

Dimethicone , Water, Alcohol, Zinc Oxide, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Isopropyl Myristate,Talc, Isododecane, Octocrylene, Polybutylene Glycol/PPG-9/1Copolymer, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Titanium Dioxide, Glycerin, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Dextrin Palmitate, Xylitol, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, PEG/PPG-14/7 Dimethyl Ether, Sodium Chloride, Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Thymus Serpillum Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract,Sodium Hyaluronate, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Isostearic Acid, Aluminum Hydroxide, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Stearic Acid, Hydrogen Dimethicon, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Trisodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, BHT, Sodium Metabisulfite, Fragrance

How does the Shiseido Annessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Aqua Booster fare?

By now after reading the above paragraph, you should know that I love this product and actually I do have a story behind the reason why. If you had read an excerpt of me under “About Me”, you would know that I’m working as a civil engineer. Civil engineers design, plan and construct all manner of things such as buildings, roads, bridges, land reclamation, railways etc. Many people are surprised when I told them that I work as a civil engineer as they would always exclaim “Why are you so fair?! Ain’t civil engineers supposed to be very tanned because they are working on construction sites under the hot sun all the time?” Ladies and Gentlemen, this product is the reason why I didn’t burn to a crisp or tanned when I need to go out into the hot sun for site inspections. Even though nowadays, I don’t really need to be constantly on site for quality inspections or monitoring, in the early years of my career, I was on the construction site everyday. I was noticing that my pigmentation problems were getting worse and my skin tone was looking more and more uneven even though I do use sunscreen everyday. I wasn’t using the Shiseido Annessa sunscreen at that time yet. Somehow I went looking online for strong sunscreen to help to combat my working conditions and I came across recommendations for this product. And the rest, as they say, is history.

When it comes to sunscreen, I must recommend that you also use the appropriate amount everyday. The common directions is to apply sunscreen “liberally”. But how much is “liberally”? For me, I try my best to use around 0.5 teaspoon (equivalent to around 2.5ml) for my face and neck alone. Hence, one bottle (60ml sized) of this sunscreen usually lasts me for around one month based on my own rate of usage. As the texture of the Shiseido Annessa sunscreen is quite fluid, my face doesn’t feel sticky or suffocated even when I use that much. In fact, it dries quite nicely to a matt finish ready for makeup. It also doesn’t leave a very strong white cast to the face, it’s more of a gentle glow.

However, I must caution that this is a very water resistant sunscreen which, in my opinion, cannot be completely washed away by just a normal gentle cleanser. In fact, if you believe it, the latest formulation of this product states that with the Aqua Booster Technology, the UV protection veil becomes even more effective when bonded with sweat or water. I always use either a cleansing oil or balm as the first cleanse to remove sunscreen and makeup before I use another cleanser to wash the skin itself. I’m just paranoid like that as I’m very prone to clogged pores.

Where can you find it?

The Anessa range is actually not available in Shiseido counters in Singapore. That is why I usually stock up at the Shilla duty free shops in Changi Airport where they are selling it. It retails at S$33 (60ml sized) and S$43.80 (90ml sized).

Update: Anessa is now available at Watsons store in Singapore! It retails for S$39.90! 

Or if you have friends visiting Japan, you can beg them to buy it for you. It retails at 2678 Yen (around S$33.68) the last time I bought it from Tokyo.

Thank you for reading!

Review – Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick

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I’ve heard about the Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick for quite some time. Ever since I saw it on Korea’s famous beauty show “Get It Beauty”, I’ve been lemming over it. Unfortunately as the brand wasn’t easily available in Singapore, I couldn’t manage to get my paws on it for the longest time. That was until I was shopping on iHerb for my usual vitamin supplements and I saw this being listed! I actually rubbed my eyes to see if I was dreaming! So into the shopping cart it went and I promptly checked it out. Now that I’ve been using it for some time (around one month), I feel like I could give it a proper review. As usual, let’s check out the product ingredients, shall we?

Ingredients

Glycerol, water, orange peel oil, lime peel oil, lemon peel oil, green tea seed oil, coconut oil, basil oil, ylang ylang flower oil, majoram oil, fermented damask rose extract, apricot seed oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, betaine, stearic acid, lauric acid, camellia oil, tocopheral, rose flower water, potassium hydroxide, lauryl betaine

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How does the Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick fare?

Looking at its ingredients, one would expect this cleanser to be relatively mild with some skin-loving plant extracts and oils. If you look at the photo above, you can even see some rose petals included inside the cleansing stick. *Pardon the grubby look of the product.. I do not review products until I’ve used them for some time..* HOWEVER… I can’t, in all honesty, say that I like this product even though I’ll use it up. The thing is, my skin actually feels slightly dry and uncomfortable using this cleanser. I’m not certain the reason why though. Many people have used it and claimed that it’s life-changing or something! My skin usually can tolerate foaming cleansers quite well and in fact, I prefer foaming cleansers as my second cleanse. That being said, many people have used it and liked it a lot so you might want to give it a try. Sadly, this won’t be a repurchase for me!

Where can you find it?

I bought the Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick from iHerb for S$37.41. I heard that the brand Su:m37 is now available at the Shilla Beauty Loft in Changi Airport so you can check it out there too!

Thank you for reading!