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Makeup. Fragrance. Nails. Skincare Today is Friday, April 25, 2014
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Spotlight: Radical Skincare At Escentials


Dec16

Hello and hope you are all well :)

Escentials has introduced another new niche skincare brand, Radical Skincare. Developed by 2 sisters, Liz and Rachel Edlich, Radical Skincare is a complete anti-aging range that prides itself on "unbeatable" potency results.




The mantra of Radical Skincare is beautiful ...



The Edlich sisters, with their strong background and personal interest in the science of skin rejuvenation as well as witnessing first-hand, the effects of aging on their own skin, wanted to share these anti-aging elixirs with the world. The Radical Skincare range was initially created with no intention for retail, however the results they witnessed from the formula were too good to be kept to themselves.

To this end, the Edlich sisters decided that Radical Skincare would be "committed to putting money in the bottle and not around it" - which speaks for the simple, functional, no-frills packaging and the potent, anti-oxidant packed formulas.

Each of the products in the range harness a unique technology called Trylacel. Radical Skincare products use ingredients that are very high in antioxidants like berries.



However, it's of little use jamming the formula with these fantastic ingredients if the potency decreases - over time and exposure to base suspension formulas like creams and gels, the anti-oxidant properties of the ingredients dissipates, making them less effective into protecting skin. This could be one reason why despite faithfully using anti-aging skincare for a extended period of time, the aging process still continues.

Understanding this, Radical Skincare laboratories developed Trylacel - it combines and encapsulates the anti-oxidant properties of the ingredients at maximum levels and maintains it with other reparative and soothing agents in a bi-lipid level. USDA laboratories found that Radical Skincare products were 300% more potent in anti-oxidants than other skincare brands. The following video explains the Trylacel Technology more clearly, with diagrams.

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Let's take a quick look at the product line - it is a complete skincare regime with a cleanser, serum, moisturiser and treatments.




Hydrating Cleanser - SGD$65

With 74.3% active ingredients, the cleanser works to cleanse, tone and hydrate skin in one step with ingredients such as Wheat Protein, Sweet Almond, Sunflower and Soy Oils to nourish and hydrate skin.

Anti-Aging Restorative Moisture Creme - SGD$215

With 78.85% active ingredient, the moisturiser is infused with agents like Hylasome EG10, Synovea and Uniprosyn PS-18 - in combination, these ingredients help detoxify and soften skin, while imparting radiance, luminosity and elasticity.

Peptide-Infused Anti-Oxidant Serum - SGD$275

The star-product contains 82% active ingredients that shield skin from free radicals - in-vitro tests show that it has a proven 300% more potent formula than other leading brand serums with noticeable increase in skin collagen and elasticity in a matter of weeks. This serum houses 15 anti-oxidants such as grapeseeds and other complexes that boost elasticity, firmess, hydration and fight against wrinkles.


Eye Revive Cream - SGD$180

With 80.95% active ingredients, the eye cream targets 4 eye concerns - hydrating, reducing puffiness, decreasing discolouration and dark eye circles as well as diminishing wrinkle depth up to 50% in 4 weeks. 

Firming Neck and Décoletté Gel - SGD$180

With 90.45% active ingredients, the Neck and Décoletté Gel contains Vitamin C and Aqua Cacteen that immediately work to tighten skin and improve elasticity while also evening out skintone - for a firmer, smoother, brighter neck.

Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads - SGD$135

With 94.85% active ingredients, these anti-aging exfoliating pads contain Glycolic Acid, Chamomile and AHA and BHA multi-fruit acid pads to exfoliate dulling dead skin cells, promote cell turnover and are proven to tighten and firm skin, reduce pore size and lines while preserving skin hydration and nourishment. It is also said to be suitable for sensitive skin.

Of the lot, the product that interests me most are the Age-Defying Exfoliating Pads. I'm a fan of such exfoliators and I currently use the exfoliating pads from Philosophy. I swear, with pads like these, you can really see the dead skin and what not coming off your skin and they leave skin much cleaner and clearer. 


Radical Skincare also has a video on how you can effectively use these products in your skincare regime





Radical Skincare is available at all Escentials Boutiques at Paragon, Tangs Orchard and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.

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                        Thanks for stopping by and have a jolly day ahead!

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Disclaimer: This entry contains some images and information extracted from a press file furnished by the brand and its representative. All opinions expressed are my own and unbiased. 


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Review: Filorga Foam Cleanser For A Gentle, Thorough Clean + Some Thoughts On The Filorga Medi-Cosmetique Range


Dec06
Hello :)

In this entry, I'd like to share my thoughts on the Filorga Cleansing Foam (SGD$41) and a quick look at some of their best-selling products.


Before I get into the review proper, let's just take a quick look at Filorga's background. The French brand takes its cue from aethetic medicine to fight skin problems associated with ageing - wrinkles, firmess and brightness of the skin. The term "Medi-Cosmetique" which is used prominently to describe the brand refers to Filorga's technology which marries the efficiency of aesthetic medicine with the convenience of cosmetic products.

Currently, Laboratoires Filorga are recognised as experts in the field of cutaneous ageing and is renowned by dermatologists, aesthetic doctors and plastic surgeons in over 54 countries. In 2006, it also received the ISO13485 seal of approval - this certifies that Laboratoires Filorga complies with the standards governing the manufacture of medical devices.

The Filorga range of products commonly feature 2 main ingredients:

  • Hyaluronic Acid (with high molecular weight) - this is the same grade that is used in mesotherapy and is known to supply exceptional and long-lasting hydrating, healing and repairing properties in addition to a re-plumping effect.


  • NCTF - a cocktail of 53 components consisting of 14 vitamins, 21 amino acids, 6 coenzymes, 5 nucleic acids, 4 minerals and 2 anti-oxidants to accurately target and treat cells (stimulate vital function of cells, stimulate elastin and collagen construction, overcome skin deficiencies, etc)

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Let's take a look at the Filorga Foam Cleanser (SGD$41) first.



The clear plastic bottle holds 150ml of clear cleansing fluid which dispenses through a pump nozzle.



The packaging is clear, fuss-free and very clean and is also convenient to use in the shower.



The foam dispensed is very fine and gentle - almost airy.



There is sufficient lather resulting from the foam - about 2-3 pumps gives you enough foam to cleanse the whole face and neck. There isn't any particular scent to the foam but a little got on my lips and I swore it tasted a little salty.


The cleansing foam formula contains 19 ingredients including the star ingredients of the NCTF cocktail and Hyaluronic Acid; it also contains White Lily which is said to soothes irritated skin and provides protection against free radicals.

I like this cleanser very much - it's one of those ultra-gentle facial foams but it cleanses well enough that all traces of sebum on the skin is gone post-wash. Skin doesn't feel stripped or tight but it feels very very clean. I generally use this at night - I wash my face just before bed and this has been my current cleanser choice for a while (I leave the scrubs and other deep cleansing products for my showers and morning face-washes). 

I also prefer using this at night just before going to bed because that is when I apply the most skincare - according to Filorga, skin is oxygenated and optimally prepared to receive anti-ageing skincare after using the Filorga foam cleanser. 

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The Filorga range is vast but there are 4 products that are touted as its best-sellers for a perfect complexion. Apart from the Foam Cleanser, the other 3 products include:


  • The Hydra-Filler (SGD$94) is a moisturiser that contains 94 ingredients, including a lipid-replenishing complex to boost epidermal production and re-programme the skin's natural hydration process. It also contains the NCTF cocktail and Hyaluronic Acid. It is recommended as a day or evening moisturiser and is said to be an ideal makeup base.
  • The Meso-Mask (SGD$79) is anti-wrinkle mask that also promises to impart radiance to skin. It contains 100 ingredients including the NCTF cocktail, Hyaluronic Acid, Rhamnose Sugar and an elastin/collagene complex. It is recommended to be used at least once a week (applied on the whole face, eye contour, neck and neckline) for about 15-30 minutes.
  • The Sleep And Peel (SGD$110) is a resurfacing night cream that contains 105 ingredients and acts as a cell renewal booster. In addition to the NCTF cocktail and Hyaluronic Acid, it contains 6 varieties of AHA and BHA acids to impart radiance, soften skin, relax fine lines and fade pigmentation flaws. It is recommended to be used nightly (or alternated every 2 days for very sensitive skin).

These 4 products form a complete skincare regime - cleansing, day/night skincare and a mask. In particular, I like the clean bold packaging in black and white ... well literally everything is stipulated clearly in black and white. For instance, take the packaging of the Sleep And Peel (which appeals the most to me out of the 3 other products) ....

The box gives you a little background in simple English about what Filorga is about and what Sleep And Peel does ...


Then it goes on to tell you exactly how many ingredients are present in the product and how many percent of these ingredients are active ingredients.


The only thing is that I personally prefer tube or pump packaging for creams and masks - I find it less messy and more hygienic. But this is nothing a clean spatula cannot overcome :)


And finally, I appreciate how the expiry date of the product is clearly printed on both the outer box packaging as well as the jar itself


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The New Year is just around the corner and if you're itching to try out a new skincare range for rejuvenated and revitalised skin, Filorga might be one of the many new brands now available to us, that you might want to try. It is already retailing in Sephora with a price range of around SGD$41 to around the early-$100s from what I remember.


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Thanks for stopping by and have a great day ahead!

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Disclaimer: Products featured and information were furnished to me by the brand. All opinions expressed are my own and are unbiased.


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Unsung Heroes: Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser


Nov29
Hello!

I was washing my face this evening during my shower and I realised that I've been using the Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser for years and yet, I've never really talked about it in detail.


I don't even know how many times I've purchased this - definitely more than 4 times. My Mom swiped this from me once and even she likes it.

It has a lovely scent - nothing unusual about a Clarins product - very fresh and citrusy without being artificial and cloying. Perhaps a floral-orange combination that is absolutely lovely to use both in the morning or in the evening.

I'm afraid I don't have the box and the complete ingredients list - but according to the Clarins website, it contains:

  • Moringa Seed Extract - to detoxify by removing residue and neutralises the effects of pollution


  • Orange Extract - to refresh and tone skin


  • Shea Butter - to regenerate and protect skin

Clarins calls this a "One-Step" cleanser because its key ingredients provide for deep cleansing, gentle exfoliating and toning, all in one quick step.

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The texture is a cross between a thick gel and a cream - it is dense and when lathered with water or on damp skin, the gentle cleansing agents in the cleanser produce a gentle lather.



It contains 2 types of micro-beads that provide the polishing and exfoliating action to clear dirt and oils in pores and on the skin surface. The micro-beads are pretty small, making it a little difficult to detect but don't be fooled by the size. You might know I hate wimpy scrubs that are essentially facial washes that masquerade as scrubs. The Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser doesn't stinge on the polishing and exfoliating action - it provides a thorough cleansing that is gentle enough to use often without leaving your skin feeling raw. 

I adore this on all levels - the scent, the way it lathers up, the way it thoroughly scrubs and cleans my skin all without leaving me feeling guilty for being over-enthusiastic about scrubbing merrily away in the shower.

I usually prefer using it on just-damp or semi-dry skin and I use circular motions all over my face, concentrating a little more on the chin, upper lip and neck where I'm naturally prone to breaking out. Of course, the experts at Clarins have a far more gentle and zen way of applying the scrub - they have devised an "Anti-Pollution Facial Cleansing Method With Water" which is the suggested method of cleansing to avoid premature signs of aging and can be used with all Clarins cleansers. I'm sharing the video here with you in case you're interested :) Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by and hope this was helpful.

Have a great week ahead!

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Disclaimer: Product featured was purchased with my own money. All opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.


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Qwic-Pic: Rose, Rose ... I Love You


Oct28

Hello :)

Roses have always been a weakness - I think they are one of the most beautiful flowers ever, not just because of the age-old association with romance and love. The soft velvety petals ... the myriad of beautiful colours they come in ... the many many uses in fragrances and beauty products ...

Pink roses are gorgeous but the ones that always make me weak in the knees are this crimson variety - the petals often have that plush velvet look to them that make them look regal.


The rose has made a huge comeback this year - there are more beauty brands including the beautiful rose in their products and fragrances. Skincare brands love the rose for it's restorative, hydrating and balancing properties and are often used in anti-ageing and hydrating products. The scent of the rose is also said to have a calming, positive effect on the user - any positive association is a natural boost to the complexion. 

The New York Times recently ran an article pointing out how the it is now the year of the Rose and how it has made a comeback in the worlds of the apothecary, beauty, fragrance and even fashion. Larry Yeo had posted a link to the article on Facebook which I read with great interest, seeing how I personally love using rose-oriented products. You can read the NY Times article HERE.

Here is my personal Ode to the Rose - the beauty and fragrance products I'm featuring in this entry are some of the rose products I reach for very often.


Starting off with Lush Turkish Delight ...



Made with a base of rose water, infused with rose oil and rose absolute, this creamy whipped body polish is a dream to use. It's like an in-shower moisturiser - after I've soaped up and rinsed off, I scoop a little of this and apply to my wet skin and massage it in. Once I've rinsed off with cool water, skin is super soft and smooth and gently scented with a powdery rose fragrance.


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When I first started off with a proper skincare (use of masques, weekly treatments, etc) when I was about 16, 17 years old, I was too scared to use anything from mass brands - I stuck with herbal, ayurvedic and DIY products only. Even my first proper introduction to the world of non-Indian or ayurvedic skincare was to Clarins - that too, because it was mostly plant-based. Ayurvedic or Indian herbal skincare often masks and scrubs that come in powdered or grain form and they will require a mixing medium to make a paste - for that, they always recommend using Rosewater. Rosewater is also recommended as a toner.


Rosewater as a toner has a cooling, soothing property - it instantly refreshes tired skin and makes it feel very comfortable. Rosewater is said to clear skin of excess sebum and is considered to also keep acne at bay.

The Khadi Pure Rosewater (right) was a gift from my chum Joey (who also gifted me a Neem / Margosa powder face pack to use with the rosewater).  The ShaRose toner (left) is from a very famous Indian Ayurvedic skincare and cosmetic brand, Shahnaz Husain and is further enriched with dates. 


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And finally, one of the fragrances I've been reaching for on a regular basis - Jo Malone's Red Roses.


To be honest, it was Penhaligon's Peoneve (reviewed HERE) that made me crave a pure rose scent on my skin - Penhaligon's Peoneve is a spritelier, spicier version of a rose fragrance and I was reminded by how much I loved rose and craved the traditional old-fashioned rose scent.

When I initially bought Jo Malone's Red Roses, it was with the sole intention of layering it with Jo Malone's Vintage Gardenia. On its own, I found Red Roses a little overwhelming and the violet leaf and lemon accords at the top notes wasn't quite what I was looking for. When I finally overcame my bias and used it on its own, I was blown away by the beauty of it - the green and citrus accords dissipate in no time, the pure rose heart unfolds like a rose blooming in fast-forward motion similar to what you see in nature documentaries. I love the YouTube clip below!

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My latest rose crush? This gorgeous Rose candle from Diptyque - the whole of Escentials at Paragon was enveloped with this gorgeous scent and it just filled me with happy thoughts. I really want to get one of these soon ... Edit: Just found out it's SGD$102!


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Here are reviews and mentions of some other rose-based beauty products I've featured on the blog so far:

 

Badger Balm Rose Geranium Soap Bar - HERE

Penhaligon's Peoneve - HERE

Penhaligon's Elizabethan Rose Shower Gel - HERE

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Skincare Collection - HERE

Lush Imogen Rose Solid Perfume - HERE

Shu Uemura Depsea Water in Rose - HERE

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Thanks for stopping by and have a great day ahead :)

 

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Disclaimer: All products featured were purchased with my own money unless otherwise stated. All opinions are unbiased and my own. I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned.


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Review: Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Hydrolipidic Concentrate


Oct16

Hello :)

 

Rough weeks (especially these last few days) calls for intensive skincare. For a little while now, I've been reaching for Clarin's latest skincare offering, Double Serum


Touted as a "complete age control concentrate", Double Serum is meant to complement your skincare regime by feeding your skin with nutrients in a formula that is suitable and comfortable to the natural texture of the skin - what Clarins refers to as Biomimetic Skincare.


To this end, the dual nature of skin cells calls for a dual textured serum - hydric (water) and lipidic (oil). The packaging is designed such that one pump dispenses equal amounts of hydric and lipidic serum in one swift pump. Yet the 2 different serums are stored separately in 2 chambers within the packaging.


Double Serum is not a new product - it has been around for more than 2 decades and with constant research and development by Clarins Laboratories, Double Serum has evolved into a new and improved anti-aging concentrate.


Don't be put off by the "age control" tagline - ask any skincare expert and they will tell you that the skin's aging process (unfortunately) commences when we hit 25 years of age. Till recently, I always thought that these age control serums were solely the perogative of much older women. With all the lousy rest hours I am so fond of keeping, prevention and maintenance policies in the form of such nutritious serums have become a necessity for me.

Double Serum targets 5 skin concerns - hydration, nutrition, oxygenation, protection and regeneration at the skin and cellular level.


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Let's take a closer look at the 5 different skin concerns and the various star ingredients that address these ingredients:







As you can tell from the ingredients list, there are more ingredients that target skin and cellular regeneration to help boost skin firmness and elasticity. 

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Once dispensed, here is how the serum looks like - if you're lucky, it sometimes turns out in a yin-yang design :)


To be honest, I was initially a little put off by the texture of the serum - I found the lipidic phase to be rather oily and I felt it took forever for the 2 pumps to sink into my skin - 2 pumps is sufficient for the whole face and neck (what is pictured above is 1 pump). You know how it's like with the oily-skinned ones - see anything oily and it's almost taboo!

Then I discovered a "method" to apply Double Serum - applying ONE pump of serum at a time is actually the best way to do it. The one pump of serum seems to sink into skin rather quickly and the 2nd pump of serum sinks in just as fast. Maybe it's my skin? But this way, I find that instead of having the serum float a little on my skin, it just sinks in. 

*** Edited to Add: Just to clarify, this is markedly different from the usual very lightweight-gel type textures I'm used to but with the pump by pump application method, I don't feel any oily residue; as I mentioned, the serum sinks into skin and does not float on the skin. I personally prefer using this at night given my personal skintype and preference - I avoid denser moisturisers for day and stick to only a good protective sunblock and primer for my base in my daytime regime.

 

That said, for my oily skintype, I find that I can only use this as part of my night-time skincare regime - I find it a little too rich for the heat and humidity of the day. Despite this apparent heavier texture (well, heavier than what I'm used to), this has not caused any breakouts or bumps on my skin.

Since using this consistently, the major improvements I notice is really to the texture of my skin - it is far smoother and softer, even the areas where I usually depilate. There were a couple of rough bumpy spots on my neck after my last breakout 1-2 months ago (this was before trying out Double Serum - I waited for my skin to settle before trying out a slew of new skincare in case you're wondering) and these rough patches have gone away. 

There are loads of anti-aging serums in the beauty market and it's really mind-boggling to choose just one. The Clarins Double Serum is born out of 27 years of research and constant improving which makes it one of the more attractive offerings. If you're hesistant to plonk down the SGD$118 for the whole bottle of Double Serum, head over to the Clarins website HERE and register for a 7-day trial supply of Double Serum. 


Try it ... you just might like it :)

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Thanks for stopping by and have a great day ahead.

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Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to Clarins. Product featured was sent to me for consideration; all opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.


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Review: Kiehl's Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion


Sep16

Hola :)

I'm almost through with my giant bottle of my current toner - Kiehl's Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion.


Just a little clarification - I was wondering what the major difference between toners and astringents are.

Both toners and astringents have mostly the same function - to cleanse traces of dirt and remnant make-up on skin (toners and astringents are usually used post-cleansers).

  • Toners, in general, are designed to soothe and comfort skin while cleansing it and are usually supposd to be alcohol-free.

 

  • Astringents are said to be stronger (and more stripping) as they usually contain alcohol and are meant to fight pimples and acne.

The Kiehl's Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion does just that - it is a strong lotion that contains alcohol that cleanses every last bit of grime on the skin. I initially bought this because I was looking for a clarifying  toner that did not contain salicylic acid in it for daily use - I was using a blemish-lightening product that recommended not aggravating the skin further with BHAs and the Kiehl's Blue Astringent Lotion seemed to fit that bill.

 

Here's a look at the ingredients list:


Not to fear the alcohol in it - the Blue Astringent Lotion contains Sodium PCA which is a known humectant that binds moisture to the skin. Here are more details on the key ingredients, according to Kiehl's:


It also contains Witch Hazel, which is a prized anti-oxidant and natural acne eliminator.

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I bought the larger version - it also comes in a smaller bottle of 250ml which retails at SGD$45 but I found the 500ml bottle more value for money at SGD$67. 

The packaging is simple and straightforward - a semi-translucent soft plastic bottle that allows you to see the blindingly beautiful turquoise blue liquid in the bottle.

It comes with a flip-top cap and a small dispenser in the cap. I'm generally not a fan of flip-top caps given that they tend to break at the hinges after some use.


Given the huge size of this bottle and the flip-top cap dispenser, I decided to decant the Blue Astringent Lotion into a smaller pump bottle.


This is easier to deal with for several reasons. Firstly, the big bottle is bulky and clumsy to deal with, especially if you're in a hurry. 

More importantly, the pump allows me to dispense more accurately just the amount I need without spilling and dripping (and thus wasting) the lotion everywhere.

Just a tip if you're a little icky about using these pump bottles for facial products - no matter how, these plastic bottles are manufactured in some factory and you can't really tell how clean it might be - they're supposed to be but for your own peace of mind, you can try what I do. I pour a little of the lotion into my pump bottle and swirl it all around thoroughly; pour that away and presto, a nicely disinfected bottle :)

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This is not a wimpy soft, soothing toner. This is the Warrior Of All Toners if I might say - it can feel quite harsh and if you have sensitive skin, this might hurt you. The first time I used it, I felt my skin literally SHRINK (which is what is the real meaning of astringent!) and it felt really tight but the tightness dissipated after I applied my moisturiser. Still, I was terrified and regretted the decision to buy the 500ml bottle. Then the next few times I used it, my skin reacted less to it and soon, all it felt was clean and cool. It really cleans off all remnants on my skin, prepped to receive the hydrating and nourishing properties of my moisturiser.

The scent is a little clinical - think menthol, a little alcohol and camphor, which I quite like. 

So far, using this has reduced the number of breakouts I've experienced - the last breakout I had on my chin area was largely due to heatiness (major overdose on durians and chocolate), exacerbated by threading (irritated skin) - I've also been told that breakouts on the lower half of the face tend to be hormonal. I stopped all other fancy skincare and just used a combination of my neem face soap, the Blue Astringent Lotion and La Roche Posay's Effaclar Duo and it's all cleared out now. 

I find that 4 pumps of the Blue Astringent Lotion on a soft cotton pad is just about right for the whole face and neck - anything more and it just dribbles everywhere. The very first time I dispensed it straight from the bottle, I accidentally over-soaked the cotton pad and the liquid dribbled into my eye as I swiped it around my temples - that was horrifying.


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Will I repurchase? Yes, definitely - I think of all the clarifying, oil and zit-zapping toners and astringents  I've tried, this might be the best so far. I do love the Vichy Normaderm toner too - that was a staple for a long time but I love the super clean feeling I get with the Kiehl's Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion. 

 

The pretty colour helps too ... not frou-frou at all .. we call that Chroma-therapy *wink*

Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful day ahead!

 

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Disclaimer: Product featured was purchased with my own money. Review is unbiased and contains my own opinions and official information extracted from the Kiehl's website.


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Showcase: Hop Onto The Flight Of The Bumble Bee With Apivita


Aug22

Hello!

Greek beauty brand Apivita has recently launched in Singapore - located on B3 at ION (near Uniqlo and Kiehl's), it offers natural, holistic skin, body, hair care as well as health products like honey, tea and supplements.


Founded by 2 Greek pharmacists, Niki and Nikos Koutsianas for their own pharmacy in Athens, Apivita is inspired by the biodiversity of the Greek flora, the philosophy of Hippocrates and the life of the bee. It's name itself means life of the bee - Apis is Bee while Vita is Life in Latin. To this end, you will see bee products featured prominently in many of Apivita's products - nourishing honey, rejuvenating royal jelly and antiseptic propolis are star ingredients in face, body and hair care in Apivita


Even the store lighting reminds you of the importance of the bee, with the honeycomb design ...


Apivita prides itself for being mostly natural - there are some organic ingredients used in the formulations but they strive for a natural composition of between 85-100%. Many of the ingredients used are grown and harvested in Apivita's own farms to maintain strict levels of quality. All products in the Apivita line are FREE OF PARABENS, PROPYLYENE GLYCOL, SILICONES, ARTIFICIAL COLOURING OR SCENTS.

Apart from the usage of herbs and essential oils together with honey, royal jelly and propolis, Apivtia has also replaced plain water in its products with organic infusions - green tea water, calendula water, rosemary water and witch hazel water. 

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I had a little tour of the store and I was very attracted to both the chic colourful packaging and the huge range of products - the best part, what we have in our boutique in ION isn't even the entire range. I took a look at the product brochure and it goes on and on and the brand hopes to add more products to the range here soon. 

Let's take a look at some of the products available ...

Starting off with Health Products - I was surprised to see "edibles" in a beauty care boutique. I tried the tea with one of the honeys and I really quite liked it.



Similar to Phyto's hair care (available in Robinsons and Watsons), Apivita also has a haircare oral supplement with Royal Jelly



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Apivita has a dedicated kid's line which is great - it's nice when there is something for everyone to choose from. The kid's range comprises mainly shampoo, conditioner and body wash.


I'm not sure how much of the kid's range is currently available - the snapshot of the brochure below shows the entire range available. I personally wouldn't mind trying the Rose and Honey Conditioner :)


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In terms of Hair Care, Apivita has a wide range of herbal-infused shampoos and conditioners, including an anti-ageing variant





I was a tad disappointed to see that the brand did not bring down the hair dyes for sale in our local boutique - I was totally looking forward to that, seeing how I dye my hair often.

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In terms of Body Care, Apivita has several ranges to choose from - I like how the different variants tackle different body concerns



Here is a closer look at some of the variants available in store


I forgot to take a whiff of the Body Refresh - it has aloe and fig and I love fig! If you like jasmine scents, you must check out Body Euphoria - it has a strong, sensous jasmine scent about it.

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There is a large range of Skincare that is FREE OF SLES/SLS, PARABENS, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, SILCONES and MINERAL OILS. The range of skincare covers several skin types like Normal to Dry, Oily to Combination, All Skin Types.



As you can see in the image above, I like how Apivita even indicates the percentage of natural ingredients in the skincare products.

There is also a prized variant in the skincare range called Queen Bee - the star ingredient is Royal Jelly and the Queen Bee products are rejuvenating and meant for slightly more mature skin or skin that is in need of revitalisation.



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One of the things about Apivita that I was attracted to the moment I walked into the store was this wall of facial and eye masks



There are 2 categories - Express Beauty and Express Gold. Express Beauty is the classic line while Express Gold uses a higher concentration of intensive, premium ingredients.

 


The Express Beauty masks like Express Beauty with Honey retail at SGD$58 for 12 sachets while the Express Gold like Express Gold with Royal Jelly retails at SGD$72 for 12 sachets.



There are 12 decent sized sachets inside each box


I just used Express Beauty with Propolis today and there is enough product in one sachet to generously cover the whole face and neck. When you do the math, each application of Express Beauty mask works out to be SGD$4.83 while each application of Express Gold mask works out to be SGD$6 - very reasonable.

These are also great for travel - just pop in 2 or 3 sachets in your toiletries bag and you're done. 

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Speaking of travel sized - some of Apivita's products are also available in travel-sizes, like this shower gel and conditioner.


This works well for 2 reasons - one, you can always pick up travel-sized products for a trip or staycation without having to decant products. Two - it's a good way to try scents and products without committing to a huge bottle and a whole lot of cash. 

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I checked with the store - Apivita has a try-before-you-buy policy on some products so depending on stock and availability, you might be able to get samples to try before purchasing. There are also testers available throughout the store.


When I asked, I was told that Apivita's product range is mid-ranged and affordable - around the range of Kiehls. I have asked for a price list and I will update the entry when I get hold of it.

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Overall, I think this is a great new brand to explore - my first experience with Apivita was from a care package I received from a dear reader, Dafne, in Greece - and she mentioned that Apivita was a great Greek household name, like Korres. I'm glad to see it here - 2012 is really the year of great new brands making their presence felt here!

 

From Apivita, the products I'm most interested in are the Queen Bee range and the Express Gold Mask in Rose and Royal Jelly - there is just something about Royal Jelly that makes me want to try it - I have all sorts of shimmering gold coloured fantasies running through my head each time I hear "Royal Jelly" :P

Pop by and have a look-see ... you never know what might intrigue you!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week ahead!

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Disclaimer: This entry contains information extracted from the press file provided by the brand. I am not affiliated to Apivita. All opinions are my own.


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Showcase: Clean Skin With REN


Aug11

Hello!


A little while ago, I had the opportunity to get a closer look at REN Skincare at Escentials. I've never used anything from REN save a couple of the shower products from the Morrocan Rose range


REN means "clean" in Swedish (and they later found out that it also means "honourable endeavour" in Chinese) and both these terms encapsulate what REN's skincare line stands for - a committment to delivering products born out of new technology, effective and sophisticated and yet, free from all skin unfriendly ingredients. Every REN product has a label on it that reminds the consumer what the product is free from:


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REN has neatly categorised and colour-coded it's skincare range into 2 large categories - Skin Types  and Skin Concerns

Under Skin Types, there are 5 sub-categories:



So depending on which skintype you have, you can narrow down your choices to that particular range


Products with Grey labels can be used by All Skin Types, Blue labels are meant for Normal Skin Types while the Mustard-Green labels are for those with Combination Skin.

It also has 3 sub-categories with products dealing with specific skin concerns such as Radiance, Anti-Ageing and Blemish Prone.


The products with Orange labels are often geared towards exfoliating and radiance-revealing


You can find out about the entire range of REN skincare products HERE

 

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To get the best use out of the products, the key is to not only pick the correct products for your skintype and skin concern but to use it in an effective way. Rui Branco, REN's Director of Education, demonstrated a cleansing and soothing skincare ritual, with emphasis on facial massage and lymphatic drainage.

Remember, upwards and outwards is the key to a lifted visage!


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I got to play around with some of the products and let me share with you a couple that caught my eye. 

I didn't manage to snap a picture but the cleansing gel in the Combination range looked and felt great - the Mayblossom T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel which is an anti-bacterial formula to for skin prone to oiliness and breakouts in the T-zone (how about the U-zone?)


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The No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm is another interesting product ...


The thick, greasy looking balm feels more like a soft butter and starts to breakdown the moment you spread it out. In the collage below, you can see how emollient it looks (#2) and when water touches it (#3 and #4), it emulsifies into a milk. I was taken by how pleasant it smelt and how comfortable and soft skin felt post-cleansing - no greasy feeling at all.


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A couple of products from the Radiance range also piqued my interest - the Glycoatic Radiance Renewal Mask (orange label pictured below) and the Resurfacing AHA Concentrate.


I have a personal liking for such products - I find that continuous usage of products with AHAs, Glycolic Acids and so on (of course, within a safe concentration) really helps my skin - I deal with minor breakouts around the chin, nose (and sometimes the neck!) as well as uneven skintone - coupled with useless sleeping habits, my skin thanks me for a dose of these resurfacing products.

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REN has just launched a new sunscreen - Photoactive Sun Veil SPF 15 (SGD$79 / 50ml) which falls in the All Skin Types range.


The sunscreen comes in an opaque pump bottle with a small pump dispenser that controls how much is dispensed.


Photoactive Sun Veil uses submicronised Zinc Oxide to protect the skin against UVA and UVB radiation but is free from chemical sunscreen and nano particles. 


I liked the fact that the base was actually Damascus Rose Water. It also contains flourospheres from Morinda Citrifolia - otherwise known as Noni (Indian Mulberry and actively marketed as Tahitian Noni Juice) - these flourospheres are capable of absorbing UV rays and turning them into visible red light which boosts the expression of elastin - firmer, revitalised skin. Noni is also prized for it anti-inflammation, anti-acne and moisture retention properties when topically applied to the skin.


The sunscreen itself is light and spreads easily on skin; it absorbs fast and there isn't a greasy, sticky feeling or a feeling like it floats on skin.


From what I've noted so far, there isn't a white cast on skin when I'm wearing the Photoactve Sun Veil.

That said, I really wished it was a higher SPF - SPF15 seems miniscule in comparison to the SPF 50 I'm used to. That said, the folks at REN indicated that this can be worn over makeup too - just pat it on gently.

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I'm looking forward to exploring the REN range a little more - I usually start by trying out the cleansers and I have my eye on the Radiance range. The Glycoactic Radiance Renewal Mask was on my wishlist I posted on Instagram earlier this month


Have you tried anything from REN? Any favourites? Or have you been itching to try? Share! :)

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend and week ahead

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Disclaimer: Product featured was given to me for consideration. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone. Information on REN and Photoactive Veil extracted from press kit provided.


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Showcase: The Origins Plantscription Family


Jul24

Hello!

I've used several products from the Origins line - Modern Friction for Face and Body, Zero Oil Toner, the Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask and some of the base and point makeup (when it was available in Singapore - they had very pretty eyeshadows and the lipsticks used to come in pink casings). However, Origins has 2 other very famous skincare ranges - Mega Mushroom developed by Dr Andrew Weil for Origins and Plantscription. 

Origins has boosted its Plantscription range and is now a complete anti-ageing arsenal - it currently comprises a face cleanser, a toning lotion, 2 eye treatments and a serum.

 

The star ingredient used in the entire Plantscription range is the use of Anogeissus. Native to West Africa, Anogeissus is worshipped by the West Africans for its anti-microbial and wound-healing properties. Origins prides it for its ability to protect collagen and boost skin's natural poduction of glycoproteins known as Fibrillin, which results in a firmer, younger-looking complexion.


Previously, the Plantscroption range comprised the star product, the serum and an eye-treatment. The range has now been expanded as a complete skincare routine. Let's take a closer look at the products in the Plantscription range.

 

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Plantscription Anti-Ageing Cleanser and Treatment Lotion - NEW!


The Anti-Ageing Cleanser (SGD$53 / 150ml) is smooth, creamy and lathers well; so far, I find that it's a very gentle, neutral cleanser - neither is it overly moisturising or hydrating and neither does it strip skin and make skin dry. It contains Anogeissus, Oat Protein, Jasmine Flowers and Aloe Vera.

The Anti-Ageing Treatment Lotion (SGD$58 / 150ml) is a light milky-looking toning lotion - it feels soft and comfortable on skin, similar to how the Japanese and Korean softening lotions feel and aims to deliver softening and conditioning benefits to the skin as a prep to receive the nutrients from the subsequent skincare products to be applied. It contains Anogeissus, Jasmine Flowers, Caffeine and Aloe Leaf.


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There are 2 eye products in the Plantscription range. Both eye products retail at SGD$78 / 15ml. The Eye Treatment is an existing product in the range while the Eye Cream is NEW.


The Anti-Ageing Eye Treatment is light-weight and more of a gel-creme texture as you can see on the right. Apart from Anogeissus, it contains Kombucha (fermented black tea; repairs cross-hatching around eyes and saggy eyelids), Scutellaria (to improve skintone) and Magnolia (anti-irritant and reduces dark circles.


The Anti-Ageing Eye Cream in comparison is much richer in texture and is said to be an ultra-hydrating eye cream. It contains Anogeissus, Centaurium (restores elasticity), Cucumber (reduces dark circles), Squalene (rich in essential fatty acids) and Jojoba (moisturises and restores skin's protective barrier).

Here are how the textures look like - you can tell that the Eye TREATMENT is definitely more lightweight.




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And finally, the star and original product in the Plantscription line, the Anti-Ageing Serum (SGD$118 / 30ml)


The genius that is the Plantscription Anti-Ageing serum is that it is said to have the power of a leading anti-wrinkle prescription ingredient but without the adverse effects of photosensitivity, skin shedding, burning, stinging, redness, dryness, flaking and itching. It is formulated with Anogeissus, Seigesbeckia, Rosemary extract, Vitamin C and Peptides which together, help build collagen and elastin in the skin, reducing depth and length of wrinkles. 


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The new products in the Origins Plantscription range - the cleanser, treatment lotion and the eye cream will be available at all Origins counters from Aug 2012.

 

Thanks for stopping by and have a good week :)

 

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Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to Origins; all opinions mentioned are my own. Technical information extracted from press kit furnished by the brand. 


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Unsung Heroes: Featuring MAC Lip Pencil, Biore & SK-II


Jul20

Hello hello!

I thought I'd do this - a little of a shortcut though ... 

There are loads of things I try and some turn out to be awesome and become long-time favourites or daily staples. And I've yet to feature or declare my love for how these simple products have become staples I can't quite live without. They make my life easier and better. Here's the first installment featuring my MAC Lip Pencil, Biore bi-phase eye makeup remover and SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.

Let's start off with MAC Lip Pencil in SPICE



I LOVE this Lip Pencil for many reasons. First, Spice is the perfect colour - it somehow goes with all my lighter coloured lipsticks. From the medium rose nudes to the latte browns, the browned pinks, the pinks ... I just need this ONE lip pencil and I'm good to go.


The texture is great - it is a little on the dry side but since I always let lip balm soak on my lips as I'm doing the rest of my makeup, the lip pencil does not tug and pull on my lips when I use it.

I only use my lip liners and pencils to line the outer rim of my lips - and the formula of Spice is perfect. I don't ever have a bleeding or feathering of lip colour, no matter how glossy or slick the lipstick or lipgoss is. 

It's perfect in all aspects - I can't remember how much I paid for it but I'm pretty sure it's under SGD$30 - it's served me super well and I'm definitely re-purchasing this shade when I run out.

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Next, we have my absolute staple - I use the Biore Makeup Remover for Eye and Lip almost exclusively now. 


There are a couple of other makeup removers I've used and like - the Laneige eyemakeup remover for waterproof eyemakeup (click HERE for that review) as well as the Sephora bi-phase eye makeup remover. But of all that I've tried, I find this Biore one the best.

It removes waterproof and stubborn eye makeup much more easily - I just need to hold a remover-soaked pad on my eye lid and the mascara breaks down - very stubborn ones like the Heroine Make mascaras take more effort but it still works. I still use a cleansing oil for the whole face (to remove all my foundation, etc).

Just a very simple demonstration - remember the longevity of the MUFE Aqua Creams and Aqua Shadows? Here's one shot from my Instagram feed


So here is a heavy swatch of the MUFE Aqua Shadow in matte navy


And here is it after it's been attacked with a Q-tip soaked with the Biore Makeup Remover


And totally clean after removal with a cotton pad


I've come to love this so much that I have at least 2 back-ups at home - the last time I ran out of it, I actually ran out to get it much to my Mom's annoyance. 

The Biore Make Up Remover for Eye and Lip is easily available everywhere in Watsons, supermarkets even - but I prefer to purchase it at Ocean in Chinatown. It retails for about SGD$10.50 there while it's at least $12-14 elsewhere.

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And finally, my SK-II Facial Treatment Essence.


When the ads for SK-II first came out many many years ago, my former colleagues and I always giggled at the "toing toing" description. I used to work in a place with loads and loads of files in a filing archive and often had to deal with lots of OLD OLD OLD files and papers. I used to get highly irritated skin with tiny tiny bumps everywhere. That was when I first tried SK-II - a former colleague, Miss E, told me I could get a consultation and some samples and I should try to see if I had any allergic reactions. That was back in 2005-2006. 

I used the samples with no adverse reactions and I realised that the Facial Treatment Essence calmed my skin - the tiny teeny bumps went away. Skin feels soft, smooth and revitalised with prolonged use. And since my first experience with the essence, I ALWAYS have a bottle of the Facial Treatment Essence in my mini-fridge.

I don't use it alllll the time - my oily skin needs an astringent toner with AHA or salicylic acid to mostly behave. But when my skin is acting up and I get the bumps (when the body's really heaty), the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence always rescues it. I've tried a bunch of the SK-II products like the masks and eye cream (the Signs range) but I find myself always re-purchasing the Facial Treatment Essence. It's not a daily staple but it's a staple alright.

I usually apply it straight to my face but I recently heard that it's actually better to apply it with a cotton pad. 

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So there you have it, the first installment of these Unsung Heroes - there's a whole lot more to come!

I hope you enjoy and find these mini-reviews helpful; do let me know if you share the same "heroes" as me!

Thanks for stopping by and TGIF! 

Have a great weekend!

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Disclaimer: All products featured, except MUFE Aqua Shadow in matte navy and small boxed bottle of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence (laying flat), were purchased with my own money. I am not affiliated to any of the brands mentioned. All opinions are my own.


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