Month: December 2014

Small 2014 Christmas Haul

Merry Christmas everyone! I know it’s Boxing Day, small technicality there. I was hoping I could get a post up before today but work drained me out more than I thought it would. Hopefully you all enjoyed a nice time with your family and love ones.

I managed to remain calm with the Christmas releases and only picked out a few things *pats self on back*

suqu-es1

Suqqu Christmas Set B
When I saw both of the sets on the Selfridges website I had a hard time deciding which one to go for. I reasoned that while Yukiichigo is pretty and special and delish, I know deep down that I won’t be wearing it as much as I would Tsukianzu.
I like eye shadows to be pigmented and from my experience back in the stone age days Japanese brands generally tend to do sheer washes and are more subtle than their western counterparts. This is my first ever Suqqu palette and they deserve all the raves they get. Great formula, silky and easy to blend. I’ll certainly pay more attention to their releases in the future, even if I do have to order from Selfridges and pay for the shipping.

I know the two sets are sold out and are very hard to find unless you go on evilbay (don’t). I’ll point out that Tsukianzu is quite shimmery (‘grown-up’ shimmer) because the Man noticed and made an off-hand comment when I wore it one day. But it’s a Christmas set afterall so that’s ok.

suqqu-es2

I just found the videos Suqqu has on these two sets. See Tsukianzu in action below:

I’d like to get that lip brush.

perles

Guerlain Perles d’Etoile
I got the Crazy 68 meteorites compact last year but couldn’t resist having them in their tradition pearl form. The warmer tones and the packaging sealed the deal. At the moment I think I prefer the look of the compact which seems to do an instant brightening finishing magic touch. Nitpicking, the Perles d’Etoile is a hair more shimmery when applied. Nobody but you would notice the ‘difference’ though.
Don’t cry if you didn’t get this – Guerlain Spring 2015 has new meteorite compacts and a blush that comes in variation of pink and rose ballz.

ud-liners

Urban Decay 24/7 Black Magic set
I picked this up with the Suqqu to bring the shipping average down 😛
I haven’t tried UD’s 24/7 liners before and since I use a lot of black eyeliners and I prefer my liners to be dark in general (so I can just line-and-go) this looks to be promising. Also double-ended = good for travel. I’ll review this when the time comes.
The other eyeliner set that looks promising is the set of minis from Marc Jacobs. I haven’t tried MJ’s liners either but the shades look fun and the set works out to be a better deal.

aquis

Aquis microfiber hair towel
Not makeup but beauty related. I bought my first Aquis maybe 10 years ago. It was well loved but I left it in the hotel bathroom on one of my trips a few years ago. I finally bought a replacement earlier this year and decided I want a second one. I have a full-head of thick hair that takes a long time to dry and the Aquis really helps in cutting down the drying time. Indispensable on trips when you never know how good/bad the hotel blow dryer will be.

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My Skin Battle and Current Skincare Regime – Part 1

I’ve never really posted about my skincare routine. Up until now you only get glimpses of my skincare products in the monthly empties posts. So I thought I’d put everything in one place and kick it off with this post in case it helps anyone battling the same problems. I’ve broken this into two posts because of how lengthy it was getting and I don’t want to overwhelm you guys.

From my empties posts you might know already that I suffer from hormonal breakouts and the constant presence of La Roche-Posay etc. Here’s the why.

My story:
I was one of those people who sailed through the teenage years without breaking out. I had clear (dare I say perfect) skin up until my early 20s. Clear skin, invisible pores, even skin tone and texture etc etc. And then it all changed.
I began getting these tiny spots that pop up every two days. When one disappeared, two new ones arrived. I didn’t know what to do and started trying all sorts of new cleansers/potions to no avail. Eventually I was introduced to a reputed dermatologist and he got me sorted out. One of the reasons he mentioned was something along the lines that the skin has a certain amount of tolerance but if you abuse it with products that aren’t suitable, eventually (some might take years, others days) it will reach a break point and the spots are the cumulative results and its way of telling you ‘Enough!’.

Apart from the odd spots from time to time I enjoyed clear skin again but the whole spotty experience (albeit milder) returned approximately every other year. I’ve moved across the continent since and couldn’t consult my derm regularly, only on the occasions when I return to visit my family. Since those visits I’ve been using very mild products for sensitive skin (hence all the La Roche-Posay). I had one cleanser and one moisturizer, same products for AM and PM, nothing else. My skin behaved quite well in winter but summer could be a constant battle.

Unfortunately the problem seemed to have evolved last year – I was getting spots that synchronized with my period – they’d pop up just before and they take longer and longer to heal. The seasons no longer matter, winter could be just as bad. Now I’ll get new ones before the old ones have completely faded and my face just look very spotty with old and new spots 😦

I deduced that this has become a hormonal issue and while I can’t change that without taking some kind of pills, I tried supplementing my skincare routine with AHA/salicylic acid and other ingredients that have been touted as ideal for acne-prone skin, hoping at least to minimize the ‘breeding ground’ factor. These help to a certain extent but didn’t ‘cure’ my breakouts.

I’ve never seen my skin in this bad a state (I’m in my 30s now, and I always have one or two angry spots plus old scars that take ages to fade) so a few months ago I finally went to see a dermatologist and she prescribed me Adapalene cream (0.1%). This is akin to a milder version of Differin. She said to apply this after cleansing and then put on my moisturizer afterwards. She approved of my moisturizer (La Roche-Posay Toleriane) but pointed out that’s targeted for really sensitive skin that couldn’t err tolerate anything but if it works for me it’s fine. The interesting thing was she asked if I was using oils on my face and said that she noticed it’s the trend nowadays (argan oil was cited) but in her opinion it’s not for the majority. (more…)

November Empties

It’s almost Christmas so it’s about time I post the November empties before it gets embarrassingly late *ahem*. Days are dark and bleak and I’ve given up waiting for the sun for the photos.

novempties

Kiehl’s Creme de Corps (500ml) – Made in USA
This is the Kenny Scharf edition which came out in 2012 (!). Took me a almost year to use this up but then I wasn’t using this much in summer. The Creme de Corps is something I can always count on. I sway between this and Alveeno usually. CdC is richer but I like that they are both unscented.
I’m not going to buy anymore LE packaging for these kind of products (face/body care), Much as I want to it’s silly to keep this empty bottle around.
Repurchase? Yes.

Clinique Airbrush concealer – 04 Neutral Fair
This little twist-pen lasted me a looonnng time, even with daily use. I bought a new concealor as a replacement but ran back to this when I just couldn’t get it to work on me. It comes in 3 shades. Clarins’ version (the pen, not the tube which is a lot thicker in texture) is quite close and also comes in 3 shades only but is worth a look to see which is the best for you.
Repurchase? Yes, HG material!

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Soothing Protective Skincare (40m) – Made in France
Yup another tube of this.
Repurchase? Probably, when I’ve got nothing else at home or need something that I’m sure won’t irritate my skin.

La Roche-Posay Serozinc (150ml) – Made in France
Gave this product a second chance (this is a repurchase) and can confirm now that it does absolutely nothing for me.
Repurchase? No.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara (sample) – Made in France
Always a pleasure to use.
Repurchase? Yes.

POD Liquid Detox (150ml) – Made in Australia
First reported here. Not sure what’s the status with POD. I thought they are gone but somehow you can still get their products – just recently I received an email that gives 20% off here (not affiliated). The official POD website says ‘coming soon’. So who knows.

Reading what I wrote in that link I haven’t experienced any stinging this time around at all. Perhaps my skin has adapted? Has it lost its potency? I’m still not sure exactly how effective it is in delivering its promises. I still get blemishes (they are hormonal) and the ‘hormonal bumps’ while reduced, is probably due to the topical medication I’ve been using and not this cleanser. I don’t think it has ‘dramatically’ reduced those imperfections. I don’t want to write it off completely and since I have two more of these to go through I’ll keep reporting.
Repurchase? We’ll see.