Cleansing Oil

Skincare Regime Update – December 2016

The last update was April and lots of changed since then. Pretty much everything I’m using is different!

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1. Hadalabo Tamagohada AHA+BHA mild exfoliating face wash foam (160ml)
2. Medicated Sekkisei lotion (360ml) – Made in Japan
3. Hadalabo Gokujyun Medicated Skin Conditioner lotion (170ml) – Made in Japan
4. Melvita Nectar Supreme eye & lip contour cream (0.5fl oz.) [almost 15ml] – Made in France
5. ettusais Premium Amino Caviar Cream (90g) – Made in Japan

1. I left my Muji foam cleanser behind in a hotel but I just want to say that cleanser worked well with my Luna. Bought this as a replacement and I don’t feel anything special towards it. I like that it dispenses ready-made foam so I save some time. I’m only *just* reading now that people have been reporting the cleanser drying their skin … perhaps that’s why my eye area have been itchy the past few days?? I’ve been using it for about two weeks now though only once a day until recently. Tamogohada = more or less the image of your skin will look like as smooth as a peeled hard boiled egg if you use this. I guess.
2. Still loving this and I will continue using this (although I’m tempted to try Albion’s Skin Conditioner). I still have one bottle of P50 left, which I’ll reintroduce when the weather gets warmer.
3. This is my extra hydration step and I’ll probably use a serum when this bottle is done, or one of the many packets and bottles of samples from different brands that I have. This particular formula (green bottle) of the Hadalabo Gokujyun range is supposed to moisturize and prevent pimples from appearing. Hormonal spots are something else so this item doesn’t really help me much there. I’m not sure if it’s sold in Hong Kong? I haven’t seen it anywhere I went (the usual suspects Watson’s/Manning/log-on don’t have it).
4. The formula is nothing special but this is my first experience with these kind of tips. On the days when I have time to slowly tap tap tap gently with the tip I do find a difference to just applying with fingers.
5.I took this with me to Hong Kong, knowing the weather is less dry than Paris. I was almost finished with my It’s Skin Snail Cream anyway and thought it’s a good time to open the next moisturizer in the stash. There are many little beads in the moisturizer (hence ‘caviar’) and you just have to make sure you rub all of them in. Sometimes there are strays and if you miss one they can appear as bizarre looking but perfectly round tiny ball of flesh. I’ve continued using this since I got back and interestingly it still does a decent job of moisturizing my skin in this completely different climate. I honestly didn’t expect it to perform this well. I’ll do a review on this separately.

I no longer have a really different morning/evening routine. Only that I throw in a makeup remover before the regular cleanser at night. That’s usually either of these: (more…)

April Empties

Been distracted from the blog lately, sorry. Expected more empties this month but a lot of the products held on. More for May then 🙂
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Kanebo suisai Beauty Clear Powder (0.4g x 32) – Made in Japan
The suisai powder is an enzyme-based powder cleanser. Almost all of the powder cleansers I’ve came across seem to be enzyme-based actually. The suisai is one of the first powder cleansers I’ve tried (I used fancl’s powder cleanser together with their entire skin care a lifetime ago, not sure if that’s enzyme-based as well though) and I’ve always enjoyed using it. This time round however, was the first time I’ve used a foaming net with it and what a game changer. I highly recommend getting one (mine is a cheap no-frills one from Muji) if you’re using powder cleansers. Instead of the low-foam paste I was used to seeing in the past, I got big, fluffy cushion-y clouds to wash my face with. It cleanses gently, face was soft and smooth and appeared brightened. The enzyme’s also supposed to help with blackheads, pores etc.
Now the suisai comes in individually packaged capsules. My box came with 32 but I believe you can get one with 14 or something. Each capsule contains 0.4g of product, so you get 12.8g total. This has a RRP of 2000 yen and is at the moment around 16 euros. I used this once a day in the evenings. If you were to use this twice a day you’d have finished the box in like 2 weeks.
Prices aside I also have a love-hate relationship with the capsules. I like that it’s pre-measured doses so you don’t struggle with how much powder to use (as I am now with my current powder cleanser). At the same time it’s a lot of waste.
Repurchase? As much as I love this it gets expensive. Unless you’re using this as a weekly special treat and/or you live in Japan and can bypass sellers and their premium on the net, I sadly think that’s the last I’ll see of suisai.

Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil (230ml) – Made in Japan
Reviewed many times before. Best of budget oil makeup remover for me. Mineral oil based though for those concerned.
Repurchase? I have a backup bottle to go, but perhaps will venture out and try other brands after that just because I’m bored.

KIKO Vibrant Eye Pencil in #603 (1.2g) – Made in Italy (?)
603 is a warm dark brown with gold pearl finish. I really like this pencil: cheap, long-wearing, beautiful shade. KIKO has phased out the Vibrant eye pencils but I suspect it’s the Intense Colour Long-Lasting eyeliner in disguise.
Repurchase? Yes!

Shiseido Future Solution LX eye & lip cream (15ml) – Made in Japan
This has a thick texture and this one time as I was using this I finally understood why people say to pat on eye creams instead of rubbing it on – when you’re older the skin is thinner and not as taut; if you’re using a thicker product instead of a gel for example, it won’t glide on. If you don’t pat, you’re only going to pull your skin and potentially cause more fine lines.
Anyway, the skin under my eyes was particularly dry during a rough period and this cream nourished it and I felt it was sufficient on its own and didn’t need to add anything else. Having said that I didn’t see any results in terms of reducing fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles and the like though. However! It did wonders for me in another way – it healed my lips overnight where all my other intensive, thick lip balms failed. My lips were dry and the skin was flaking around the mouth and I applied this all over as a last attempt (it does says ‘eye and lip cream’) and to my great surprise, it worked.

If you’re using the Future Solution Total Regenerating Cream, you can skip this because in the leaflet included you’ll find under the ‘how to use’ section that they instruct you to apply the regenerating cream around the eye area as well. Which makes this cream redundant.
Repurchase? Much as I enjoyed the whole indulging experience, no. It didn’t do anything other than moisturize and at this price point I think I have a right to expect more. The Regenerating cream on the other hand is another story.

Shiseido Beauty Up Cotton (108pcs) – Made in Japan
I’ve moved on from the supermarket variety to Muji cotton pads last year and realised just how much product I wasted with the cheap supermarket ones – it absorbed the lotion but doesn’t seem to ‘release’ it when I pat it on my face, if you know what I mean. I found I use less lotion with Muji and get more out of the cotton. The Shiseido ones are even better. The pads are sturdy but very soft. Doesn’t leave fibers on the face at all. It’s just a pleasure to use.
Repurchase? Yes

Kiss Me Medicated Hand Cream (75g) – Made in Japan
Bought this because it looks like it means business. This smells like eucalyptus. As far as moisturizing goes, I’m afraid I need something more for my really dry and rough hands. My hands have deteriorated due to too many washing and using alcohol disinfectant and other random products etc at work. They are ruined and I need industrial strength stuff now.
Repurchase? No.

[May 17 2016 – added before-empty photo below]

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November & December Empties

Happy New Year everyone! Got some nice skincare empties here in the last months of 2015. I still haven’t gotten round to posting my skincare regime and it’s constantly changing. Must get this to the top of the to-do list in 2016. Anyway first up the empties in November:

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Bouclier Bio Concentr̩ D̩tox de jour (50ml) РMade in France
This is a random face cream I picked up at Citypharma. I have never heard of this brand before but the ingredients are no-frills and straight forward, just a little more than 10 ingredients. Housed in a glass jar, it’s paraben-free and is targeted for sensitive and/or couperose skin. My skin has become a little on the drier side and I’ve really enjoyed using it. The texture is quite thick (a ‘real’ cream) but it’s really moisturizing and nourishing. Literally saved my skin when it got extremely dry suddenly from the frequent long-haul flights I did in early 2015.

Here are the ingredients:

aqua (water), aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, simmondsia chinensis seed oil (jojoba seed oil)*, glycerin, coco-caprylate/caprate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, glyceryl stearate citrate, cetearyl alcohol, oleic/linoleic/linolenic polyglycerides, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter)*, cera alba (beeswax), tocopherol, xanthan gum, parfum (fragrance), sodium hydroxide, benzyl alcohol, dehydroacetic acid, linalool, citronellol

It’s marketed as a day cream but I also use it at night. Because of its texture I’d say it’s more suitable for drier skin types and a cooler climate. Normal skin will like it in winter. It may look and feel a bit heavy for some but I do think LRP’s Toleriane left me looking more greasy afterwards. My skin just seems to love this stuff. There’s fragrance listed but honestly I didn’t detect any scent. Probably just for masking or neutralizing?
Repurchase? Yes! I bought a pack of 2 (bigger savings) and am using the second one already. Am curious about other creams from this brand now.

Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum (30ml) – Made in France
Here’s the blurb pulled from the US website:

This water-light serum delivers a revolutionary infusion of hydration: 24 hours of continuous moisturizing benefits, leaving skin deeply replenished, smooth and glowing with youth.

THE BREAKTHROUGH
CAMELLIA MICRO-DROPLETS:
Patented micro-droplet technology delivers the purest form of Camellia Oil Extract, exclusive* new Camellia Alba OFA**, to infuse skin with exceptional hydrating and plumping power.

CAMELLIA ALBA PFA***:
This remarkably pure HYDRA BEAUTY ingredient, created by Chanel scientists, stimulates skin’s natural ability to restore and retain moisture for a smooth, radiant appearance.

BLUE GINGER PFA:
To protect the benefits of Camellia Alba PFA, Chanel revealed one of nature’s most powerful anti-oxidants, Blue Ginger PFA. This exceptional ingredient acts as an environmental shield, blocking and neutralizing free radicals to help reinforce the complexion.

*International patent application.
**OFA: Oleofractioned Active.
***PFA: Polyfractioned Active. An ultra-pure, ultra-powerful ingredient created through exclusive patented Chanel technology.

On the French website it’s also suggested that these micro-droplets house the extract and keeps them in a ‘pure’ state until they are released upon application. Anyway this serum doesn’t get a very favourable review on Paula’s Beautipedia (overpriced, contains alcohol, not that special etc). But I really enjoyed using this and my skin felt ‘plumper’ after use. Not sure about the 24 hours/glowing with youth claims but it didn’t irritate my skin at all and my skin seemed to have liked it to the last drop.
The texture is like a gel, definitely not runny. 1.5 pumps is ideal but I struggle to get half a pump so it’s either one or two depending on how generous I feel on that day. It is fragranced so sensitive noses/skin types beware. I love these kind of packaging – see-through airtight bottle with the piston going up as the product is used. The biggest con is the price: at 81 euros it’s something to buy at Dutyfree or when the promo codes are just right.
Repurchase? It’s on the wishlist

The Body Shop Atlas Mountain Rose Body Butter (200ml/192g) – Made in the UK
I’m not a regular user/fan of the body butters from TBS, I think the only one I really liked was the olive one. It seems to me the texture varies with scent, like the fruitier ones are lighter. Don’t quote me on that though. Generally I prefer thicker ones for the body.
I can’t remember why I bought this (and TWO of them to boot) since I’m not a crazy rose lover either. But the texture is nice, thick enough but not balmy and easy to spread. The scent is sometimes quite sharp to my nose but otherwise this is one of the better roses in the mass market out there for sure. Apparently this used to be hard to find – oh that explains why I bought two! – but it’s been repackaged as part of a new line-up of TBS fragrances and looks to be here to stay. Can’t vouch for the EdT but if you are a rose lover looking for a body cream, definitely check this out.

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Repurchase? I still got the backup.

Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil (40ml, deluxe sample) – Made in Japan
This is a good cleansing oil, up there with the best Japanese cleansing oils I’ve tried. I like this more than shu uemura (but I had bad experience with them in the past). It’s efficient, emulsifies easily and rinses off completely without leaving a film nor stripping the skin. It’s lightly scented, like the fragrance from The Skincare range. This never gave me any problems, no irritation/breakouts.
I can’t remember where this came from, probably a GWP somewhere, but the nice thing is the pump unscrews and thus I can reuse this and transfer my other cleansing oil inside for when I’m traveling.
Repurchase? Definitely worth considering in the future after I go though my Fancl and softymo. I’ll buy this within a heartbeat if I have nowhere to get the Fancl.

Empties in December: (more…)

Previous Skincare Regime: Cleanser & Toners

This is Part 2 to this post, here I’ll be reviewing the core skincare regime I used that I felt helped my skin get back on track. A lot of the products are no longer in my current regime. This is because (1) as usual I started this post a long time ago (February!) and never gotten round to finishing it 😛 (2) I wanted to use up whatever else I have stocked up first before making repurchases, if any.
Because of this, I’m not able to take a nice group picture of the products below. In fact I can only show you 3 of the cleansers/toners mentioned. Not really worth showing, IMO. If you do a search though you should find most of them in empties posts here and there.
I’ll make another post of my current regime hopefully soon enough in the future.

I realised this can get really lengthy so I’ll just review the cleansers and toners in this post and do the moisturizers etc in another. Products with names in bold means I’m still using them/they’re still around.

The Day Routine:
– POD Liquid Detox
– La Roche-Posay Serozinc / Darphin Intral Toner
– Hydraluron / Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Antioxidant Serum
– LRP eye cream / Shiseido
– LRP Toleriane moisturizer / Algenist
– some sort of acne treatment if needed (Effaclar Duo or topical treatment)

The Night Routine:
– 1st cleansing: Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil
– POD Liquid Detox
– Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10%
– Hydraluron / Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Antioxidant Serum
– LRP eye cream / Shiseido
– Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid Moisturizer OR Algenist (alternate evenings)
– Adapalene cream

POD Liquid Detox
Back story: I first read about this on an Australian blog (logical since POD is an Aussie brand) and the blogger attributed improvements to her skin partly to this cleanser. Upon googling it I found more positive reviews but more importantly, discovered that POD was going out of business and was having a liquidation sale. So I bought 4 (or was it 5?) bottles of this. I’m no longer sure what the status of the company is as there seems to be some activity but the official website is gone.
I’ve reviewed this in the past and it’s in many of my ’empties post’. But just to recap POD claims to ‘cleanse, tone, exfoliate’ the skin thus ‘reducing blackheads, blemishes, sun damage’ so you’ll get ‘an even skin tone’. It achieves this with ‘a triple-enzyme that breaks down dead skin, dirt, make-up and the pollution of the day in a foaming cleanser that does not leave any residue’.
Among the ingredients are quite a few essential oils (fragrance), potential irritant for those with really sensitive skin. (more…)

Autumn Empties +

IMG_0038The first part of this features recent empties while the bottom half is a salvaged post dated probably early 2015 😛

Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil (120ml) – Made in Japan
This is a special limited edition packaging I got at the beginning of the year. I mentioned somewhere before (oh it was the Empties Galore post) that they have a much longer shelf-life now than before. I think it used to be that unopened, you can keep them for 1 year after date of manufacture. Now it’s like 3 times longer. I don’t know that this all means because their slogan has always been no preservatives etc. I didn’t notice any change in the formula however, so who knows.
This is still my HG cleansing oil. But! I’ve noticed cleansing oils being rather similar and generally good performers once you’re at the mid to high range (price-wise). I’m using a sample of the Shiseido one and it’s also really good. The only thing is the relatively smaller size. You go through this a lot faster than others. I think this lasted me maybe 2.5 months.
Repurchase? I have one more backup.

Kotoshina Face Lotion Brightening – Green Tea (30ml) – Made in France
This deluxe sample came in as part of the Japan skincare/beauty set I got at Le Bon Marché end of 2014 (part of the Japan month. This year they did Brooklyn, I must say it was a disappointment). I’ve never heard of Kotoshina before (leads to official website, Japanese) but they are a Kyoto based company that specializes in green tea, and their products use the famous Uji green tea from the area. Skincare products are manufactured in France. The details of this lotion (in Japanese and 1 line of English on the right) is here. Housed in a glass bottle, this lotion is certified 100% organic (European) and smells quite strongly of green tea – ingredients are: water, aloe extract, glycerin, perfume, glyceryl caprylate, camellia sinensis leaf extract, camellia sinensis seed oil … and many more herbal/flower essential oils. This is a very watery lotion and I’ve used this with a cotton pad. I really enjoyed using this actually and find the scent soothing. It lingers a little after use. It did seem to brighten the skin after use. Obviously sensitive skin beware as it’s chocked full of essential oils and extracts. It’s 4200 JPY for 150ml on the website, which is about 30 euros? Not cheap then.

Ok I just found the leaflet that came with the beauty set and it seems this usually comes in a spray bottle, although you can use it on a cotton. It hydrates, protects brightens.
Repurchase? I wouldn’t mind at all but it seems to be only available in Japan? (more…)

Recent Haul

Japanese stuff first:

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1. Kos̩ Medicated Sekkisei Lotion Excellent Рthis one contains 2 more premium ingredients. I hear this has some anti-aging properties?
2. Kos̩ Medicated Sekkisei Рthis is the regular, classic version.
The Man was on a business trip to Korea, he was very busy. So I bought #1 on my own and surprise surprise he managed to get me #2. That’s why this is looks a little Sekkisei overkill. I’m using a new bottle of #2 (not photographed) so I’m good for a long time.
3. Kos̩ softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil Рtried and loved. My budget choice.
4. Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++ – “a lightweight, water-based, high protection sunscreen with hyaluronic acid + royal jelly essence + citrus mix to help moisturize the skin. Can be used with primer, under makeup. Doesn’t leave a white cast.” This was voted as one of the best in the Japanese @cosme awards. Japanese sunscreens tend to be very light yet efficient and I’ve always preferred them.
5. Hada Labo Skin Conditioner Medicated Gokujyun – in addition to the moisturizing goodness of the classic skin conditioners, this one soothes irritated skin and prevents spots (hence medicated).
6. Hada Labo Shiroshizuku – this is a brightening serum/moisturizer
7. suisai Beauty Clear Powder – an enzyme based powder cleanser with moisturizing properties that cleanses pores, helps remove blackheads. I’ve used up boxes of this before and really like how smooth it leaves the skin feeling. Convenient for travel too of course.
8. Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick – this is a small, handy hair styling product. The green one here is for strong hold. I think they have a pink one.
9. Rohto Lyc̩e eye drops Рfor contact lens wearer. Lightly cooling.
10. Lunasol Full Glamour Lips in #36 – already featured in the Nude lipstick post. This is a really, really moisturizing formula. I’m going to pick up more of these lipsticks when I can. So impressed! #36 is a new colour.
11. Lunasol Coloring Creamy Cheeks in EX01 Chocolat Beige – cream to powder blush. Doesn’t smell like chocolate (I hear the eyeshadows and lipstick/glosses do). Beautiful colour that mimics perfectly your own flush. Very natural. It’s on the sheer side layers wonderfully.
12. Maybelline Lashionista mascara in black – this mascara adds fibres to your lashes, making them look longer/more volume.
13. Shiseido Integrate gel liner in black – bought to try having read good things about it.
14. Kos̩ Fasio Smart Curl Mascara V Рvolume
15. Kosé Fasio Powerful Curl Mascara Long
16. Vis̩e Super Slim Gel Liner Рcurious to compare this with others
17. Kate eyebrow pencil in BR-5
18. Kate slim gel pencil in black  – staple
19. Shiseido Maquillage Dramatic Melting Rouge in RD425
Hidden between #15 & 16:
20. Kos̩ Fasio Quick Dry Gel Liner in black Рagain want to compare with liners

I can’t remember when I started reincorporating Japanese skincare products into my regime, but for the last (almost) 8 years I’ve relied on European brands (specifically French drugstore) which my skin seemed to have preferred. Perhaps it’s the drier/cooler climate here, who knows. Nonetheless I’ve been getting deluxe skincare samples steadily (cleansers and toners mostly, then moisturizers) and with my recent experience of Sekkisei, I’m once again ready to embrace Asian skincare products.

Iope skincare:

haul10-15b

Haven’t tried these yet. Will report in time …

European stuff:

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The small tube is Sephora Brow Thickener.

A close-up of the Bobbi Brown:

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Intense Pigment Liner in Midnight.

Reviews to come!

The Body Shop Chamomile Cleansing Oil & Cleansing Balm

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[Spoiler: If you have to pick one between the two, go with the balm.]

I’ve always wanted to try a cleansing balm. Not the Eve Lom kinds, more Clinique Take the Day Off. [Actually I wouldn’t mind trying the Eve Lom types too but I can’t imagine doing that in the morning when I’m always in  hurry – yes, I know what some of you are thinking but I’d rather get a few more winks than wake up earlier than necessary ha ha :P] Unfortunately Clinique’s pricing is super marked-up here (like MAC and Lauder stuff) and I’m mot willing plonk down my money when I know I’m being gouged. After 2 years of wanting to try it, I still haven’t gotten my hands on the Clinique balm. At this rate I don’t think I ever will.

Anyway when I started reading good things about the Body Shop Chamomile balm I decided to give that a go instead. I also picked up the cleansing oil in the same range since people seemed to like it too and you never know, you just might hit gold right?

Well. No. (more…)