Tuesday, December 27, 2016

REVIEW: Kustie's Body Exfoliating Jam - Rose

I love travel-sized items just because they look so cute, so there was a stage when I kept buying Kustie's Shower & Bath Gels. They are so, so pretty with all the (actual) flower petals floating inside them. Practically a fairy when I bathe in them. Haha. For those who don't know, Kustie is formulated in France and it uses 9 unique filtering technologies to select fresh flowers and create high quality skincare out of them. Their products are all infused with flower essences and of course, speckled generously with real petals.

I recently added the Kustie Body Exfoliating Jam in Bulgarian Rose to my shower routine. This exfoliating scrub comes with soft plant granules and of course, rose petals that exfoliate away dead skin cells gently. It promises the whitening and softening of your skin. While I haven't noticed any whitening effect, I like that the granules, though big, are gentle enough to not irritate my occasional eczema patches. My skin is left feeling soft and all prepped for moisturisers. And because there is so much rose goodness in it, every shower smells heavenly which relaxes me before bedtime. This also comes in Japanese Cherry Blossom which I will get if I can tear myself away from rose scents. Heh.

Kustie Body Exfoliating Jam is priced at $16.90 and can be found on Suzanni Beaute and in aLT@BHG and selected Watsons stores.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

ATM: 5 Months After Laser

Hello! I thought I give a conclusion to my laser experience because the story didn't end with me having baby-smooth skin forever. Ah, fairytales.

I went to Korea a month after my laser and when I got back, my face turned into a wreck. ಥ_ಥ My cheeks, where I did the laser, were crazy dry to the point that they were painful. And the dryness spread to my lips and even to my eyelids. I looked like I was sunburnt and no matter how many creams and moisturizers I layered on, nothing worked. In fact, my skin started getting clogged. So, I had painful, flaky skin that was breaking out. What a lovely combination (I was really quite upset btw. Just in case you can't tell. )': ).

The doctors told me I had Xerotic Eczema, which is caused by dry weather. I took oral steroids and applied a steroid cream on my cheeks, something which I really didn't want to but desperation won. And of course, steroids immediately calmed everything down. But each time I stopped the steroid cream, my cheeks would break out into red bumps after a few days. I decided to stop all steroids, go to my Chinese Sinseh and that finally ended my skin woes. (▰˘◡˘▰)

According to my Chinese Sinseh, I was actually very 'cold' but because I hadn't been sleeping well, my body would give out 'heat' when I woke up. So basically I had 'false heat' which decided to manifest itself on the most sensitive part of my body, which was my recently laser-ed cheeks. I know many people don't really believe in TCM and all its ying and yang stuff, but I really do. Like when I eat too much chips, I can feel the 'heat' emitting from my body? Haha. Of course, I don't rely on Chinese medicine entirely. There are many illnesses which you have to go to the Western doctors but stuff like skin problems, I really do think TCM is the way to go.

I was doing a lot of googling then and realised that many people's skin actually get wrecked by dry weather. This is probably the only instance when I'm glad for Singapore's humidity. Haha. Anyway, after trying a gazillion products, I thought I share with you the products that worked and are still working for me. Just in case you need them. ◡̈

  • Avène Thermal Spring Water
    I love facial mists that contain thermal spring water for a quick boost of hydration during the day. For me, there isn't any visible difference across the different brands that are available in Singapore but I read that Avène ones are great for reducing redness so I have been using this.
  • Physiogel Daily Moisture Therapy Dermo-Cleanser
    Cetaphil was my favourite for ages but then, I came across a few articles saying that it's evil so I decided to get this. This is actually very much like Cetaphil, in terms of texture. Haha. I actually don't really know if this is better, ingredients-wise. But it doesn't irritate my eczema-ridden skin and I'm not sure if it's because I'm washing my face less, but my skin feels a lot more comfortable after each wash (Whether it's with this cleanser or without.).
  • Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream
    THIS has been my holy grail. I got back from Bangkok last week and my cheeks started getting red and irritated. Just one night of this and I could see how much calmer my skin was. I have been using this everyday since and my skin has calmed down so much that I'm brave enough to introduce serums and oils to my skincare routine again. Really love this! *blows kisses*
  • Cosrx Centella Blemish Cream
    As mentioned earlier, my skin was actually getting really clogged from all the layering I was doing. I had a lot of blackheads which I tried to extract on my own, unsuccessfully. They developed into pimples, which I then bury with this cream and poof! They don't disappear immediately, but they are definitely less angry and less red the next day. This is gentle, doesn't irritate my eczema either and I just placed an order for the toner and ampoule this morning. Yay, Cosrx!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

REVIEW: Essano's Rosehip BlackBox Set

Essano is a New Zealand brand that takes pride in providing natural and effective haircare and skincare at affordable price points. Certified organic by Ecocert, this brand made its way to our island recently and has teamed up with BlackBox to come up with an exclusive kit. This kit contains

  • Rosehip Gentle Facial Cleansing Micellar Water 100ml for $8.95
    This Micellar Water is infused with soothing Aloe Vera and Rosehip Oil to clean skin effectively and gently. It works by having tiny, diligent molecules, known as Micelles, attract makeup, oil and dirt. They lift them off our skin and dissolve them as we swipe cotton pads, soaked in this magic water, across our face.
  • Rosehip Mist Toner 120ml for $22.95
    This toner contains the goodness of Kakadu Plum, which is a fruit that's chock-full of Vitamin C. It also contains Aloe Vera, Green Tea and Witch Hazel to balance our skin's pH level naturally and fight against wrinkles.
  • Rosehip Oil 20ml for $29.95
    Rosehip Oil contains vitamins and fatty acids and has been clinically proven to improve the appearance of scars, fine lines, stretch marks and sun damage. This oil, in particular, is enriched with Acai Berry Oil for further prevention against ageing.

Ever since I got back from Korea, my skin has become even more sensitive than it usually is. As a result, I have become quite wary of the things I apply on my face. I want things simple and if possible, natural, so this kit is a real godsend. I have been using the products for close to a week and here are my thoughts thus far. ◡̈

The Rosehip Gentle Facial Cleansing Micellar Water is probably my favourite product of the lot. It feels so light and removes my sunscreen, powder foundation and eyeliner easily, without making my skin feel tight or dry. For mascara, it takes a little while longer but I don't need to rub my lashes aggressively or anything like that. After cleansing, I follow it up with the Rosehip Mist Toner, but really, I spray this on whenever my skin feels thirsty or needs an extra boost. Heh. The mist that comes out is really fine so it doesn't disturb my makeup. I let it sink into my skin for a minute or two and then, gently pat dry.

At night, I mix a couple of drops of the Rosehip Oil with my moisturiser and apply it all over my face and neck. It doesn't irritate my sensitive skin and I wake up to adequately moisturised skin. This oil also works great on random dry body patches that recent late nights have given me.

BlackBox's Essano Rosehip Set is priced at $39.90 for 20 sets. Thereafter, it will be $55.90. Key in the code BBXCHARLENELEE10 to get 10% off any box that's above $17. ◡̈


Monday, November 28, 2016

REVIEW: Caring for Your Skin the Balinese Way with Bali Mama x BlackBox

Bali Mama is a natural skincare brand that was founded by 2 families, with 5 kids between them. The brand aims to make available affordable Balinese-inspired skin and body care to everyone. Their natural products are designed in Singapore and homemade in Bali, Indonesia. BlackBox brings you a Bali Mama exclusive box that contains the following products:

  • Bali Mama Body Wash (Ginger & Lemongrass) 250ml for $29
    This body wash contains anti-bacterial ginger and invigorating lemongrass to gently cleanse and refresh skin.

  • Bali Mama Body Polish (Lulur herbs & Frangipani) 200g for $27
    This creamy body scrub is enriched with clarifying Lulur herbs for gentle exfoliation. It gets rid of dead skin and leaves skin feeling silky soft and smooth.

  • Bali Mama Shea Body Butter (Frangipani) 100ml for $32
    This 'skin superfood' its formulated with Vitamin E and moisturising agents to deeply nourish and hydrate the skin. It helps even tone and reduce the appearance of stretch marks and eczema, keeping skin youthful and soft.

I'm currently trying to prep for JLPT N4 but inertia has been very real. Heh. So I'm actually kind of getting edgy from my lack of motivation. Lol. But anyway, Bali Mama has been taking some of the edge off with its beautifully-scented products. Every shower is filled with the scents of ginger and lemongrass from the Bali Mama Body Wash. It relaxes and reinvigorates my skin, leaving it nicely hydrated. The Bali Mama Body Polish is a treat I give my body once a week. It sloughs away dead skin while providing an extra boost of moisture. On nights when my skin feels a little thirstier than usual, I apply some Bali Mama Shea Body Butter. The body butter comes in a solid paste but melts easily when warmed between my fingers. A pinch of it hydrates my skin nicely and smells incredibly good.

This Christmas, BlackBox's Bali Mama Exclusive Box is available at $49.90 for the first 30 sets (U.P. $65.90). Key in the code BBXCHARLENELEE10 for an additional 10% off. ◡̈


Saturday, November 26, 2016

REVIEW: 3-Step Foot Spa at Home with Carnation Footcare x BlackBox

Carnation Footcare is a UK brand that has been taking care of people's feet for over 85 years, in more than 40 different countries. The brand provides remedies to most common foot problems with their range of licensed medicated products and devices, and products for general comfort. BlackBox has teamed up with Carnation Footcare to come up with an exclusive 3-Step Foot Spa Pack. This pack contains:

  • Carnation Exfoliating Foot Scrub 100ml for $13.90
    This scrub contains walnut shell and mineral oil to remove dead and rough skin, while keeping it soft and smooth. After washing your feet, pat it dry lightly so that your skin is a tad damp. Apply the scrub in gentle circular motions and rinse off.
  • Carnation Intensive Moisturizing Foot Cream 100ml for $11.90
    Infused with peppermint oil, this cream nourishes and relives dry and rough feet without any greasy feeling. Apply to clean feet in gentle circular motions after shower.
  • Carnation Cracked Heel Cream 50ml for $12.90
    Formulated with 10% urea, this cream rehydrates your feet with a refreshing peppermint scent. The brand promises visible results within 3 days. Apply to clean heels in gentle circular motions.

For me, I have always had rough feet from days of dancing barefooted and soccer, and not really caring for my feet because, well, they are usually not visible since I wear covered shoes. But Christmas is approaching and with a few dinners scheduled, I do want to dress my feet up in pretty strappy heels. So... This little spa kit is really timely. Heh.

I have never actually thought of scrubbing my feet before (I scrub everywhere but not my feet. I have no idea why.) so the Carnation Exfoliating Foot Scrub was something different for me. The walnut shell pieces are coarse because the skin on our feet, especially the heels, is tougher. It immediately smoothens rough skin and leaves my feet feeling really soft. Right before bed, I apply a thin layer of the Carnation Intensive Moisturizing Foot Cream. Despite the name, this cream is lightweight and sinks in easily and quickly. And because it has peppermint oil, there's a cooling after-effect which is a really nice and relaxing way to end the day. Every now and then, I would apply the Carnation Cracked Heel Cream. This cream is thicker and so, takes a little longer to sink in. I don't use this everyday but it's a more intensive treatment for the heels. My heels feel more moisturised and smoother than when I used just the foot cream alone.

BlackBox's 3-Step Foot Spa Exclusive Box is available at $29.90. Key in the code BBXCHARLENELEE10 for an additional 10% off. ◡̈


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SPOTTED: Get Party Ready with Crystal Clear Skin from SK-II!

Hi all! Singapore F1 Grand Prix is happening this week and as we gear ourselves up for it, don't forget to keep your skin glowing and healthy with SK-II's iconic Pitera Essentials range.

For a quick perk-me-up before all the upcoming F1 parties, the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask offers a fuss-free indulgent immersion into the world of Pitera goodness. This miracle ingredient is rich in vitamins, amino acids and nutrients and is responsible for leaving your skin in exceptional radiance and crystal clarity.

Those who seek a more complete routine can turn to the SK-II Mid-Day Miracle Essence and SK-II Mid-Night Miracle Essence. The former holds the power of Pitera in a handy bottle that's small enough to slip into any clutch. It sets makeup and keeps you fresh and photo-ready all day. Night time calls for the latter, which offers a cooling sensation to refresh your skin after all the heat and dust from the race tracks, bringing you trackside in the day to partying at night with ease!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

ATM: Post-laser Skincare Routine

After my laser with The Clifford Clinic, I tried to be very careful with my skincare. I carried on washing with Cetaphil (Which I have since abandoned. Another story for another day!) and did as instructed, patting on Skinceuticals's Phyto Corrective Gel for a week and then Foban Cream for the first 3 days. Thereafter, I switched to La Roche-Posay's Cicaplast Baume B5 and Thermal Spring Water. Outdoors called for copious amounts of La Roche-Posay's Uvidea XL Aqua Fresh Gel SPF50 PA++++, the umbrella and a lot of running to seek shade. Lol.

Here are my reviews:

  • Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Gel
    This oil-free gel is a concoction of hyaluronic acid, cucumber, thyme, mulberry and other botanical ingredients. It calms, soothes and hydrates sensitive, acne-prone skin and is non-comedogenic. I used this during the first week after laser, stopped for a while and am currently using it again because my skin decided to be naughty.

    With all the herbs in it, it's not surprising that it has a very herbal-ish scent which I love. I pat about 2-3 drops into my skin. It feels a little sticky upon application but it isn't uncomfy. After applying moisturiser, the stickiness is barely noticeable. There isn't any immediate soothing effect but I find that it does calm the skin a little and take away some redness. However, I don't find it particularly moisturising. My sensitive skin hasn't experienced any irritation and I do enjoy using it (only because it smells so good!)... But for a product that costs so much, I do expect some kind of a miracle so it's rather disappointing. :\

  • Foban Cream
    This cream is a topical antibiotic to prevent and treat infections. I applied just a thin layer and because it's cream-based, it provided quite a bit of relief for my swollen face. Anyway, this is really effective for infections. I have used this on piercing infections and they all healed nicely. But of course, please use under doctor's directions because it's a medicine after all.

  • La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5
    This repairing multi-purpose balm contains a triple-action complete formula which helps with skin recovery (Madecassoside, Copper, Zinc and Manganese), soothes dry and irritated areas (5% Panthenol) and protects the skin. It is suitable for sensitive skin and free from parabens, fragrances and lanolin. I used this as a moisturiser throughout my recovery period.

    This cream comes out thick but sinks into skin quite easily and leaves behind a slightly waxy residue. There was a little stinging upon application, but it didn't last and didn't cause any other problems. My skin was kept well-hydrated, soft and plump. And because it's a balm, it actually had a slight BB cream effect where my pores were blurred out and my skin just looked even better after the laser??? I really love this.

  • La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water
    This thermal spring water face mist really doesn't need an introduction but anyway, it is rich in Selenium (A powerful natural antioxidant.), mineral salts and trace elements that have been proven to be scientifically soothing. I was spraying this really liberally when the scabs came off sooner than they should and am still doing so.

    This is really an essential for me, especially when our sun has gone crazy. It really soothed my new skin and took away a lot of redness. And right now, it's battling dryness and heat rash for me. IT'S MY BAE.

  • La Roche-Posay Uvidea XL Aqua Fresh Gel SPF50 PA++++
    This sunscreen contains an enhanced anti-UVA filtering system with Mexoryl XL and of course, LRP's thermal spring water. It has a gel texture that's lightweight and keeps skin hydrated and refreshed. It is also non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic and is free from parabens and fragrances. I have been using this for quite some time now.

    I'm really not good with sunscreens because they are usually so thick, I feel like they are choking my pores. And usually my foundations have SPF, which I know isn't enough but you know, at least there's some sun protection... *twirls hair*. But anyway, after laser, I wanted to avoid foundations, went through my stash, found this (Yes, my stash is like an entire Watsons store. *cries*) and fell in love with it. It's feathery-light and incredibly hydrating. There isn't any sticky or greasy residue... And it just feels so good on my skin! Top marks, really.


Friday, September 16, 2016

REVIEW: The Clifford Clinic's Edge Fractional CO2 Laser

(All photos are taken straight from the iPhone. No edits have been made. Apologies in advance.)

After my magical encounter with lasers at PPP Laser Clinic, I went on a slight rampage, googling and reading up whatever that I could find on the net about said magic. And even though it's all really scary because you are actually burning your face with 'no guaranteed results', I was really enticed by Jacqueline's very detailed review on The Clifford Clinic's Edge Fractional CO2 Laser. She mentioned that it was also used to remove her skin tags and that got me sitting up ramrod straight (Actually, another laser was used. But more about that later.). My face practically houses (Still a present tense. ): ) a population of skin tags. Big sigh. It's probably because I have very sensitive skin but I try like a gazillion products anyway (No one else in my family has this, so it isn't genetic for me.)...

Anyway, I wrote in to find out more about the laser and got a very detailed reply 2 days later. I decided that the service was good, trial price was good ($200) and promptly made an appointment with Dr. Chow Yuen Ho.

The Clifford Clinic is conveniently located at Raffles City and it's right at the entrance of Clifford Centre. I was actually quite nervous when I went down but then, all the receptionists were friendly and had REALLY good skin (Think: SK-II kind of crystal clarity, completely pore-less... Basically, baby skin! Like what on earth?!?) and I was like 'Okay, I'm just going to pray really hard.'.

I didn't have to wait too long before I saw Dr. Chow. He did a quick examination of my face, explained what the Edge Fractional CO2 Laser was and told me that it was actually a separate laser that got rid of skin tags. For the former, it's zapping your skin in a grid-like manner to stimulate collagen for tighter and younger-looking skin. Your skin will be red for a couple of days and thereafter, scabs will form. They are supposed to fall off naturally and reveal new skin, yay (More information can be found here.)! For the latter, it's just burning the skin tags off. Scabs will form too and when they fall off, the skin beneath will be lighter, like scars, but they will fade off in a few months' time.

Day 0: Bare face, with numbing cream on.

Day 0: Right after lasers.

After consultation, I removed my makeup, had numbing cream applied on me by a very sweet receptionist (Who has the most A-MAZING skin and she's like 40 or something. She has been doing lasers for many years now. Sigh. #skingoals #moolahgoals too. Lol.), waited a while and zapped, zapped, zapped! Dr. Chow did the Edge Fractional CO2 Laser on my cheeks and then, killed some of my skin tags across my entire face. Everything was over within less than half an hour. And boy, was my face red and a tad swollen! But I just slapped on some sunscreen from the clinic's vanity area and after getting my meds, I caught a movie with friends. And I went out the next day too. With my lobster-red face. Yes, there was some staring, especially since the redness ended quite abruptly (Because of the laser.).

For my meds, I was prescribed Skinceuticals's Photo Corrective Gel ($129), which was to be applied only for a week, and Foban Cream ($8), an antiseptic which was to be applied for the first 3 days. I really didn't think the gel was necessary because it's really expensive and it's only for a week, but then, #newproduct #beautyjunkie #wthmightaswell.

Day 1: I woke up like this.

Day 2: Fake freckles.

Day 3: In the evening.

Day 4: After removing my MU, and lots of scabs in the midst of it. MU IS EVIL.

Here's what happened to my skin after the treatment:

  • Day 0: Lobster-red and some stinging.
  • Day 1: Seemed even redder and scabs formed for deceased skin tags.
  • Day 2: Less red and lots of scabs all over face in a grid-like manner.
  • Day 3: Wore light MU to work. Lots of scabs came off while removing MU (MAJOR SADNESS. They are supposed to drop off naturally, like all other scabs.) and skin was red again. Sprayed lots of thermal spring water. Skin started to get rather itchy and I scratched some scabs off at night unintentionally (DOUBLE MAJOR SADNESS.).
  • Day 4: More scabs dropped off, including those from skin tags. Skin was still itchy and red from unintentional scratching (SAD, SAD, SAD.). Carried on spraying TSW.
  • Day 5: Almost free from scabs, save for some from the skin tags. Skin was reddish. Continued spraying.
  • Day 6: Even fewer scabs and a lot less red. Old acne scars were flattened out. Went to work with light MU.
  • Day 7: Slept late the previous night and old acne scars seemed a little more obvious (SLEEP IS KEY TO GOOD SKIN, PEOPLE.), but very much less than before. Less red. Wore light MU.

Day 10: When all the scabs have left me.

Day 12: Fully healed.

It has been more than a month since I did the laser and I had incredibly good skin. It was smooth, plump and clear, and my pores were sooo miniscule. I barely wore MU and... It was really like having baby skin all over again, something which I didn't think was ever possible. But anyway, I went to Korea and the weather mucked it up so my face is currently experiencing a major drought (Weleda's Skin Food to the rescue.). Joy. Some of the skin tags actually returned, which Dr. Chow did warn me about.

Will I do this again? Yes, definitely. But maybe annually because it won't be at a trial price anymore. ): I think the Edge Fractional CO2 Laser is supposed to be done once a month several times but I'm not sure what the effect will be like then. Like must you keep doing it for the rest of your life to maintain it or will there come a time when you have baby skin PERMANENTLY??? *twinkly eyes* Hahaha. Well, one can dream.

As usual, if you have any questions about my experience, just drop me an email at lovecharlenejudith@hotmail.com. (: I hope this was helpful!


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

REVIEW: PPP Laser Clinic's 360 Skin Solution

My skin has been bad, really bad. I'm battling this perpetual bout of flu which drains all fluid from my skin, stress that keeps coming and which results in a lot of junk food and irrational spending... Basically, adulthood. Haha. Anyway, this is giving my skin really bad PMS. Think: Pimples, acne (which I don't usually get), peeling of skin and extra sensitivity. So I was really happy and quite relieved to go for PPP Laser Clinic's 360 Skin Solution! (:

The PPP 360 Solution combines the use of lasers and light technology to give us instant, fuss-free skincare with a few zaps. It focuses on the 3Cs of our skin, Colour, Consistency and Contour, by working on skin rejuvenation, pores, pimples and scars, pigmentation and stimulation of collagen.

Before each treatment, there's a consultation with the doctor where he/she will come up with the best concoction of the following lasers and lights:

  1. P+ Intensive Laser Treatment
    As the clinic's star laser, this non-ablative intensive treatment targets the rejuvenation of skin, in both the epidermis and upper dermis. It disperses melanin to lighten pigmentation, balance skin tone for clarity and radiance, control oil glands effectively for quick acne recovery, cleanses pores deeply and stimulates collagen.
  2. Fractional Laser
    This non-invasive treatment delivers a laser beam divided into thousands of microscopic treatment zones, targeting a fraction of skin at a time. The treated areas of skin are surrounded by untreated areas and this results in visible improvement without bleeding or scabbing. This is the go-to laser for reducing pore size and acne scarring. At the same time, it also removes the superficial epidermal pigmentation for radiance and reduces wrinkles.
  3. Collagen Remodelling
    This procedure targets the collagen layer of the skin by gently heating and stimulating new growth of collagen to tighten skin and muscle tone, and reduce wrinkles.
  4. Radio Frequency Skin Treatment
    This treatment delivers radio frequency electromagnetic energy onto the facial skin via an electrode to target the upper dermis and epidermis of skin to improve skin laxity, reduce wrinkles and, lift and tighten skin for a more contoured face.

A couple of weeks back, I dropped by the Raffles City outlet for my treatment. After registering, the receptionist handed me a packet of makeup remover wipes, told me to take a piece and brought me to a vanity room with several mirrors and basins. A couple of ladies were in there, either removing their makeup or putting a mask on.

Next, came the consolation with a pretty doctor whose name I can't remember (I'm so sorry!). She explained the different types of lasers available at PPP Laser Clinic and answered all my questions very patiently. A quick examination of my skin led to a prescription of the Collagen Remodelling, Fractional and P+ lasers, which would then end with a round of Ion Infusion. This is usually done right after lasers to calm and deeply hydrate the skin. I didn't need the Radio Frequency Skin Treatment (yet) because that's more for mature skin. As for the Fractional Laser, I was a little concerned because there would be some downtime of redness so the doctor told me she would do it at a lower intensity.

The treatment was done in a long, narrow room that was filled with several beds, each separated from the other by a blue curtain. Goggles were put on to protect the eyes and then, my face was zapped! The lasers were done really quickly, with no pain at all. There was just a warm sensation on the skin. For the Ion Infusion, I was brought to another bed and another doctor administered it. This was super cooling and very relaxing... Really wish it could go on forever. Heh. Once that was done, the doctor gave me a cotton pad with a dollop of moisturiser that had sunscreen in it. I applied it in the vanity room and I was done! :D

Here's what happened to my skin after the treatment:

  • Day 0: Redness, especially on cheeks. Doc concentrated on them because I had some fresh boxcar scars and zits.
  • Day 1: Larger pores on cheeks seemed smaller and my boxcar scars were visibly less obvious. YAY! :DDD
  • Day 2: Very slight redness and some peeling. Zit on my cheek was healing faster than usual.

I'm incredibly pleased with the results, especially where my boxcar scars were concerned. They were actually quite near each other and were beginning to look like a huge crater right smack in the middle of my cheek to me. :\ So, thank you, PPP Laser Clinic, for mitigating that! :D Am seriously considering more lasers in future. *guilty look*

PPP Laser Clinic's 360 Solution Taster Pack is available at all outlets at $360. The Taster Pack includes one session of each of the following: P+ Intensive Laser, Fractional Laser, Collagen Remodelling, Radio Frequency and Ion Infusion with HA.


Monday, August 8, 2016

REVIEW: SK-II's Auractivator CC Cream

The SK-II Auractivator CC Cream was launched early last year and is part of the brand's plan to bestow upon us a crystal clear and radiant complexion. *bliss* This C.C. cream contains the Day Soft Aura White, which is a concoction of UME extract, Niacinamide and of course, concentrated Pitera. Together with Cellumination Aura Essence and other moisturising ingredients, this CC cream promises to moisturise, brighten, protect and conceal. Over time, it is also supposed to activate our bare skin's inner luminosity.

I have been using this on and off since the beginning of the year. The CC cream comes with a really huge pump dispenser, which makes it not very handy. But it is sturdy and I like that it's hygienic because I don't have to dip my fingers in the product. Scent-wise, it's light, floral and very soothing.

I take about 3/4 of a pump, dot my face with the cream and pat it in. It goes on really comfortable, like a second skin. Coverage is light - it conceals redness and small spots, but huge zits and dark circles will need additional help from a concealer. I really like it as an everyday tinted moisturiser, except that it really doesn't last especially in our insane weather. I don't really mind this but then, this makes it pale in comparison with other (less expensive) B.B. and C.C. creams. As a treatment, I haven't noticed anything visible yet.

I suppose this will work great as a makeup base too. People with normal skin types and who only need coverage for a short duration will enjoy this little treat.


Sunday, July 31, 2016

REVIEW: DHC's Lip Cream

A couple of weeks back, I was waiting for a friend, decided to pop by Watsons and proceeded to spend an hour going through all the skincare aisles. Haha. Some things just do not change. Anyway, DHC was having some discounts and I got the Lip Cream... Which really isn't inexpensive ($17) but it was accompanied with another deal.

DHC Lip Cream contains Lanolin Oil, Squalene, Olive Oil, Panax Ginseng Root Extract and Aloe Vera, among other ingredients. All these help to add and lock in moisture so that you get healthy lips all day. Just like all lip balms, it can be worn alone, under lipsticks as a primer or over them as gloss.

When I first opened the lip balm, I thought nothing of it. It looked just like any other lip balm, except that it was encased in a pretty peach tube. I slathered some on before bed, liked that it felt like a second skin on my lips (Neither too thick nor too gooey.) and slept. The first thing I noticed when I woke up was that the lip balm was completely absorbed and my lips were well-hydrated. And they stayed that way for a large part of the day even though I didn't reapply it! This made me buy 4 more tubes. Hahaha. But only because Watsons was selling it at $13.00 for a couple of days and it's $10 on Qoo10. The only downside, besides being expensive, is that it doesn't contain SPF... Which is a real pity. :\


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

ATM: Buying Beauty Samples from Qoo10

Beauty products are always coming out and as a beauty junkie, I'm very naturally interested in them. But they usually come full-sized and are expensive, especially if they end up not working for you. :\ So I really appreciate brands that dole out samples. Of course, this doesn't really benefit them but I do keep a lookout for them more than the others. Okay, it isn't like they care about this. Haha.

Anyway, a few months back, Mich was telling me how Sulwhasoo's Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Essential Oil made her skin glow like never before and I wanted to try it so badly. But as much as I love the brand, it's really just too expensive. ): I was searching for prices all over (Airport, staff discount yada yada.), when JH told me about Qoo10 and how you can buy samples from there. ♡

And that's how I ended up with the above, which is just the tip of the iceberg (I have a whole box full of them in my drawer. :D). I got most of my samples Momo Skin, which ships really quickly from Korea. It probably took only about a week, if I remembered it right. And I'm so happy with them! Not only do I get to try products at a fraction of their prices, things are also kept really hygienic with the much smaller portions. As for the prices, they are a lot cheaper. :D One thing though... I do find the sachets a tad troublesome because they aren't resealable. So I got empty bottles from Muji to empty the sachets in.

I know that some people aren't comfy using samples. No expiry dates are printed on the samples but the retailer promises 100% authenticity and that their samples are all produced only a few months back. I haven't encountered any problems with mine, and they smell and feel exactly like how they should. Of course, do purchase only if you're completely okay with them. (: Otherwise, just wait for sales!


Monday, July 4, 2016

ATM: Dealing with Hair Loss

Earlier this year, I had quite a bit on my plate and started dropping a lot of hair. I do drop more hair during stressful periods but I had never woken up to a pillow covered in hair strands. Yes, it was crazy frightening and it only compounded the stress I was going under. Gosh, I hope I never go through anything like that again. *shudders*

Anyway, I told some friends about it and I realised that hair loss is actually quite a common problem. For some people, bald spots start developing and for others, it's general hair loss. Mine was the latter and I visited both Chinese and Western doctors. Both doctors said that I didn't have enough blood so my body wasn't absorbing nutrients. It was distributing blood to the more important organs, so things like hair and nails were left out. The Chinese doctor prescribed medicine that 补血, while the Western doctor gave me iron tablets and vitamins (Consultation and supplements cost me 90 friggin' bucks. *curses*). Yes, I took both at the same time since the latter was just vitamins (Did check with the Chinese doctor first.). I also bought a couple of hair tonics to drown my scalp in.

So... Did the above work??? Yep, I'm back to dropping my usual amounts which I don't even notice so yay! :DDD *jumps and throws imaginary flowers around* (:

Here are the 2 main products I used during that period and am still using:

  • Yohmo Tonic
    This was recommended by a shop assistant at a Chinese Medical Hall which I happened to pass by. It smells like a warm, kind grandfather who just came out of a shower... Lol! It's flowery and I really have no idea how to describe the scent. It's okay but it isn't something that I would wear in the day because it's rather strong. And grandfather-y. Lol! I don't know why but that word just pops into my head every time I smell it. Lol. Anyway, this has quite a number of raving reviews online and yeah, I think this did help my hair grow quite a bit. I was dropping baby hair too (Never, in all of the XX years of my life. )': ), but not anymore. In fact, I have new ones sprouting out! :D
  • Country Life's Maxi-Hair
    This was given to me by the Western doctor. I can't remember how much it was but iHerb stocks this too. It has B Vitamins and Biotin, among many others. I didn't experience any adverse reactions to this and it helped curb the hair loss and boost hair growth for me. Anyway, it's just vitamins that are also good for the nails and skin. Haven't seen any improvements in those departments yet but I'll be carrying on with this for a while.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

SPOTTED: SK-II Dream Again Pop Up @One Raffles Place

I used to be quite a bit of a perfectionist, and would only pick battles that I could win because I didn't want to deal with failure. So, many little dreams were dropped along the way here. Now that I am a little older and time is slipping by really fast, I realise that I don't want to go away not having done the things that I want to. It seems a bit of a waste and a little silly now to give up things just because I'm scared I won't be good at it. I wouldn't know if I don't try and even if I do fail, all I need to do is to work harder. After all, it's the journey to success that moulds us, no?

What do your dreams mean to you? Are you living yours? Come June 21st, SK-II has a special surprise in store for you at One Raffles Place! It will be from 11am to 4pm and hint, kids like the super adorable one above will be there. #changedestiny #dreamagain #skii

Don't forget to drop by, especially if you're in that area! :D


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

REVIEW: Weleda's Skin Food

Very recently, my skin went through a period of dry spell. My face crinkled like paper when I smiled and my skin was breaking out and peeling like crazy. This usually happens when I have flu and am losing a lot of fluids. So even though I'm always getting stuff from iHerb which I really don't need (Heh.), I was really thankful that I carted out Weleda's Skin Food.

Formulated with nature's goodness, Weleda's Skin Food is a remedy for dry and rough skin on the face and body. It contains extracts of Viola, Chamomile and Calendula, which were all traditionally used to soothe and repair skin. And Into the Gloss called it the La Mer dupe. Yes, this is the reason why I bought this. :D

Texture-wise, this is thick and creamy like really good yoghurt... Which also means that it's not quite suitable as a daily moisturiser for most of us in Singapore (Which is not in China, btw.). But if your skin decides to turn into a desert, then yes. This is 'La Mer'. This is magic.

I basically spammed this at night, leaving two off-white streaks across my cheeks where drought was the worst. But of course, I went easy during the day. My skin drank this up quickly and within a week, the crinkling and peeling disappeared. Now that my skin is okay, I use just a tiny bit because well, given the formula, too much does indeed clog pores. :\ BUT I'm still keeping this by my side because #ageing #matureskin. Heh.

Weleda's Skin Food retails at $20 and can be found here on iHerb.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

RAMBLINGS: Hello world (again).

Wohoo, it's finally the holidays! The past ten weeks have been very trying so I'm really glad for some time off to do the things I love... Which includes this little space. Heh. I'm really sorry for the sparse updates! :\ But anyway, I have been buying and trying a ton of products and will be writing about them soon (Like this diaper cream I have been slathering on my face. *nods*). So keep watch! xx


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

RAMBLINGS: Death is just sleep.

'Goodbyes are not forever, goodbyes are not the end.
It simply means that we will miss you
until we see you again.'

Small Grandaunt decided to sleep for a very long time on April 23rd at 2.30am.

On Friday night, C and I were supposed to catch a movie when Kai Ma texted to say that Small Grandaunt wasn't really responding anymore. I was going to go later in the night but C said to go now and I texted Josh immediately. When I reached, Small Grandaunt had stopped fidgeting and she couldn't close her eyes. She was heaving. Josh arrived a while later with my work laptop. He, Nigel and I spent the next hour or so reading Bible verses that Charmaine prepared. And when we read, Small Grandaunt actually made some noises of acknowledgement.

Kai Ma and Nigel were going to stay over, and I was debating if I should but I was really tired. In the end, it was decided that Josh and I would go home to get some rest, before returning early in the morning. I said to wait for Small Grandaunt's next blood pressure reading which was at midnight. When it came, the nurse kept going in and out to consult another nurse. Kai Ma thought something was very wrong and we called our aunties and uncles down.

In the meantime, I called Cheryl and told her to speak to Small Grandaunt. I waited desperately for Dad's and Mum's flight to hit Amsterdam and I said Mum should call now. Mum finally did, after what felt like an eternity (No fault of hers.). When both of them spoke, Small Grandaunt made the same noises she made earlier. Our aunties and uncles all came down, save for one who was a tad late. Granduncle spoke to her one last time on the phone. He sang to her 'You are My Sunshine' and when the call ended, Small Grandaunt stopped heaving and breathed gently. And her heartbeat went softer and softer until it was no more.

When Small Grandaunt was warded into the hospital, I didn't think much of it because she had been in and out several times. The following two weeks were my most hectic ever at work (Though colleagues were doing a lot for me.) and my body is still taking the brunt of it. But Mum was away and I knew she would want to be there for Small Grandaunt, so I tried to go down whenever I could, especially in the second week. I held her hand, read Bible verses to her, played Christian songs... But Small Grandaunt was very, very tired. I kissed her forehead whenever I said goodbye, save for the last night because I didn't say so. Last Wednesday, before I left, she gave my hand a squeeze and I know now that it was with a lot of difficulty.

Throughout the two weeks, never once did it occur to me that that was the last time I would ever see her or spend time with her. I just wanted to do what I thought Mum would have done. I didn't think. Death always seemed so far away, you know. When I think about the two weeks, I think of how scared I was. And then, I think about how even more scared Small Grandaunt must have been, especially when she had to sleep alone at night and she had always been fearful of hospitals. There are a million 'I wish I had...'s running through my head.

When I think of how I was still holding onto Small Grandaunt's hand last week, my chest aches and it feels heavy and ripped. But Small Grandaunt had told Kai Ma she wanted to go home, home being Heaven. And we are all comforted by that.

Small Grandaunt, we love you, we keep you in our hearts and we will see you again. <'3


Monday, April 25, 2016

REVIEW: The Face Inc's Cleansing Gel and Cleansing Milk

A product of France, The Face Inc offers skincare that is near pharmaceutical grade. Skin woes like blemishes, pigmentation, scars and fine lines are treated with the highest concentration of active ingredients, so that they are eliminated gently in the quickest possible time.

For the past month, I have been alternating between the Cleansing Gel and Cleansing Milk, and here are my thoughts:

  1. The Face Inc Cleansing Gel 50ml for $26
    Formulated for all skin types, this clear gel smells like pureed flowers. It contains Sodium Chloride, which is a natural astringent and antiseptic agent that helps firm up our skin and balance pH. I haven't exactly noticed any firming, but it is quite moisturising and does leave my skin very soft. Apparently some exfoliation goes on too, but it is rather slight.

  2. The Face Inc Cleansing Milk 50ml for $26
    Also made for all skin types, this cleansing milk doubles up as a makeup remover. It smells like the gel, except a tad milkier. It removes my everyday makeup gently, softens my skin and doesn't leave it feeling the least bit dry. If I have to pick a favourite, this would be it because I'm at the age when my dear skin is thirsting for moisture constantly.

This cleansing duo is available as a set over at BlackBox for $29.90. Check it out here and don't forget to key in BBXCJ10 to receive a discount of 10%! :D


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

REVIEW: SK-II's Facial Treatment Gentle Cleansing Cream

During one of my many packing room adventures, I found a tub of SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleansing Cream. It is a makeup remover that is, of course, filled with the goodness of Pitera and White Willow Extract. Made for combination to dry skin, it's said to remove all traces of impurities while keeping the skin hydrated. And because my skin decided to go all desert mode on me, anything that has the word 'cream' currently sounds like heaven to me (Edible ones have always been so. *nods seriously*). I have been using this on and off for a couple of weeks now.

The cleansing cream is like semi-melted snow and being SK-II, it feels and smells luxurious. What you are supposed to do is to scoop a little and make lather with some water. What I do is scoop and apply it directly onto my face. Haha. I did try the 'right' way but it didn't feel as good, so whatever works for you. Heh.

This removes all my daily makeup which is just sunscreen, light foundation and eyebrow pencil. After washing, my skin is left velvety-soft, hydrated and not the least bit tight, which means I really love this. Except that it's SK-II and hence, rather pricey. The drugstore oil-based ones work just as well, sans the velvety feel, so I guess this is a once-in-a-long-while treat for my skin.


Friday, March 11, 2016

ATM: My Updated Skincare Routine

Hello lovelies. (: I'm finally back! Heh. Well, I actually never really left the online beauty community. I have been contributing to Daily Vanity, which is the best beauty magazine ever. *flips hair* Haha heh. Do check it out here. :D

To mark the end of my hiatus, I'm going to update you on my latest core (Because I do still try other stuff.) skincare routine. Now that I'm a little older, I find that my skin is drying up quicker than the Sahara desert. Just a couple of weeks back, my skin was peeling everywhere and it wasn't like I was sunburnt. Meh. Anyway, here goes! (:

  1. Innisfree Green Tea Pure Cleansing Water makeup remover
    My skin loves Innisfree so I bought this after my lovely experience with the Apple Juicy Emulsion Lip & Eye Remover, and because this is green tea and the bottle's huge. It removes makeup cleanly, including very resilient Japanese mascaras. It does, however, leave behind a very thin layer of residue.
  2. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser cleanser
    Cetaphil is my beauty S.O., seriously. This fellow has been with me since I was 15 and I will never let her go. It's gentle, soap-free and doesn't irritate my schizo skin. And Ruby Rose loves this.
  3. VDL Beauty Treatment Oil treatment
    This is magic. Made up of seven different types of natural oil, it sounds pretty heavy. But nope, it sinks into the skin easily. I basically spam this into my moisturiser and just slather it all over. It makes my complexion really smooth, clear and radiant. Just opened my second bottle!
  4. DermaVeen Moisturising Lotion moisturiser
    DermaVeen is my guardian angel. It saved me from my rash, and it is now saving my skin from cracking up like an earthquake. I have like 3 backup bottles and am praying everyday that some kind soul will bring in the face range from Down Under.
  5. Hiruscar Post Acne Gel scar gel
    Over the holidays, I had a massive zit that just would not quit. It was really pushing the whole 'Christmas is a time of giving' to the limits, except that what it was giving was very unwanted. So I kept squeezing, all the way till end of January (Wtf.) and then, the tiny monster decided to leave a boxcar mark so that I will never forget him. *screams* I just started applying this. Fingers cross that the mark will smoothen itself out somehow. ):

Of course my list does not end here - I'm a beauty junkie at heart. Heh. When I feel hardworking and want to pamper my skin, here are the products I use:

  1. Skinfood Black Sugar Scrub Foam scrub
    If you don't like the residue that Skinfood Black Sugar Wash-off Mask and Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Mask leave behind, then this is perfect for you. Just like the other two, the scrub isn't too coarse and leaves my skin feeling baby smooth, sans the slight 'oily' feeling.
  2. SK-II Facial Treatment Essence toner
    Like this needs any explanation. Haha. Whenever my skin needs a little perk-me-up, I swipe this on. (:
  3. Biomed Pure Detox Mask mask
    This mask was recommended to me by a very persistent Watsons sales lady a couple of years back. She told me how she applied a pore pack after this mask and all those annoying blackheads and whiteheads were removed from the roots. There was photographic evidence and the heads were really long. So I bought it and it was exactly what she said! This is my 2nd tube, but only because I'm so lazy. Heh.
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