November Favorites – Flawless Complexion

December 7, 2011

For the month of November I was mainly focusing on achieving a flawless complexion.  If you have read my previous posts you would know my skin was breaking out more than usual over the time in US, so I have spent a great deal of time on finding the right skincare products that can clear up my skin as soon as possible (I have zero tolerance for them!), as well as fading the acne scars. For makeup I opted for base makeup that offers a slightly more coverage than what I would normally go for, so they can help me to ‘fake’ a flawless complexion on a bad skin day.

Let’s start with my favorite skincare of the month. After I was let down by Tanda Zap that failed to clear up any blemishes, I went back to my trusted formulation – Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acid. I started with the Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel, which contains potent AHA and a high strength of BHA (2%). Then I couldn’t help but buy the MD Formulation Vit-A-Plus Clearing Gel which has an even higher concentration of salicylic acid (5%), and it also includes retinol. Combined with MD Formulation Vit-A-Plus Clearing Complex Masque, I saw visible results within 3 days, after 1 week my blemishes were almost all gone and they also prevented new blemishes from appearing. All of these products are extremely harsh to the skin, so I needed an extremely gentle cleanser to neutralize the harsh effects. The Bobbi Brown Extra Balm Rinse is the savior.

At the moment I am focusing on having my skin repaired as I was left with some acne marks. The Creme de la Mer The Concentrate has recently been voted as the Best Skin Secret by Harper’s Bazaar Australia, and I can’t agree with them more. La Mer has always been marketed as a miracle for anti aging, but little did people know the healing power of their products. If  you are familiar with La Mer’s signature ingredient – the miracle broth, it was initially developed by the founder to heal severely burnt skin, and I believe this is what some of their products are best used for. The Creme de la Mer The Concentrate contains the highest concentration of miracle broth, and is mainly used for treating scars, not for anti aging. It is the best I’ve used for repairing damaged and irritated skin, as it heals wounds, and fades scars quite miraculously!

The weather was somewhat dry in the States, and now it’s cold in Sydney. So I have been using Laura Mercier’s Moisturizing Foundation, finished with either Cle de Peau Beaute Translucent Loose Powder or La Mer The Powder. For concealing, I love using the Bobbi Brown Corrector in light bisque. If I want some extra luminosity, I topped it up with YSL’s Touche Eclat, of which I have now lost count of how much of this I have gone through. The Shiseido Foundation Brush made me fall in love with compact foundations again, as I have been using this brush with either Laura Mercier Mineral Powder or Edward Bess Sheer Satin Foundation (not in the picture) whenever my skin needed more coverage, and they have worked their wonders to fake a flawless complexion.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria December 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm

interesting post!
do you use Vit-A-Plus Clearing Gel every day for the whole face?


Reika December 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I was using it twice a day when I had breakouts. These days I probably only use it twice a week as the ingredients are too potent for normal skin.


Maria December 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm

and is it OK as a makeup base? or do you use something on it?
i usually use only in the evening such creams because i don’t think they are good under make up ….


Reika December 12, 2011 at 10:55 am

Hi Maria this product flakes a little under any lotion/foundation with a gel texture. Other than that it is quite ok as a makeup base, but long term use will make your skin dryer.


Jamilla December 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Vit-a-Plus is an excellent product. I’ve been having some breakouts around my chin, so I think I’ll use Peter Thomas Roth.


Clare @ December 7, 2011 at 1:38 pm

I’ve used CDLM before but the heaviness of the cream made me break out – that was an expensive lesson! Sounds like the Concentrate might be more suited to me though…


Petrina December 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Great post – very informative. Do you still use the Peter Thomas Roth product? I only get hormonal blemishes that appear regularly like clockwork and I’m still searching for something that would prevent this.


Reika December 12, 2011 at 11:01 am

Yes I alternate between PTR and Vita A. I am not sure one product alone is enough to prevent you can tell I was using tons of them..:-P


Quynh December 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I’m contemplating whether or not to buy Peter Thomas Roth AHA/BHA Acne Clearing Gel, I get occasional acne on my nose…can you give me advise?


Reika December 12, 2011 at 11:03 am

Hi Quynh, it depends on how tolerant your skin is with AHA/BHA products. I have been using them for years so mild formulation do not work for me anymore. If you have never used any of these products, PTR alone might be good enough for prevention.


productdoctor December 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm

I recently discovered your blog and love it! You have great taste! Thank you for the recommendation on the La Mer concentrate. I have a few acne scars I am trying to clear up and am always on the search for a perfect product for this! Will give this a try!


Reika December 12, 2011 at 11:05 am

Thank you so much 🙂 Just fyi that the La Mer concentrate works really well for relatively new scars, not sure about the old ones though…


Jess December 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm

You know what, Reika? Seems like I’m having exactly the same skin issues like you! My skin has been breaking out like crazy for about more than a month now, which is not the usual condition of my skin. Yep, I have ZERO tolerance for zits neither, haha…

I feel that since I started using the Bobbi Brown Extra Rinse Balm to remove my makeup thoroughly followed by Origins Zero Oil face toner. I can actually already see a improvement, as my skin looks much clearer the past few days. I have not used any Alpha and Beta Hydroxy products yet, since I have always shy-ed away due to my quite sensitive skin.

Most of the blemishes have already dried, but the scars are still visible. Now… I think I’m in need of the La Mer concentrate! Btw, how do you feel about the Crème De La Mer? I have used the La Mer Gel Cream about a year or two ago, but I wasn’t really impressed to be honest.


Reika December 12, 2011 at 11:08 am

O..I know your pain Jess! I am so glad to hear that your skin has improved since you started using the bobbi brown cleanser 🙂
I really adore La Mer products, I use them probably only once a year due to the high price tag but they have done wonders to my skin. I will do a review and comparison on CDLM.


Cafe Bellini December 7, 2011 at 7:54 pm

I bought the La Mer creme this week. I thought I’d give it another try, as I also have some acne scars. I’m not familiar with the Vit A Plus – sounds scary if it’s harsh, as you say – but might be tempted to try it sometime!


The Girlie Blogger December 7, 2011 at 10:45 pm

I am also striving for flawless complexion – so hard to come by. I want to try Laura Mercier products. I hear they work well.


Walls December 8, 2011 at 12:17 am

Aww, I am sorry to hear about your skin woes, Reika! I had a disastrous September/October, and it took so much patience because I have very sensitive skin that scars easily and shows every imperfection. Being fair means that everything is noticeable and there is really not much to do except to hang tight and use some good old reliable concealer while the skin heals. I am sure, though, that you are still looking gorgeous. I am looking forward to seeing more of your US haul and to seeing those products in action. Keep well!


Reika December 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

I have exactly the same type skin as yours! sensitive, fair and scars easily!!


onlyfr33b33 December 8, 2011 at 4:34 am

I’ve decided I’ll never have clear, scar free skin until I get a real job LOL


Gladys December 8, 2011 at 5:52 pm

All yours favorites ares spectaculars! I like it so much!


Dovey December 9, 2011 at 5:01 am

Flawless skin is such a good theme. You’ve inspired me to focus more on this too 🙂


Reika December 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

Thanks Dovey. Looking forward to your post on flawless skin 🙂


Julie Fischer December 9, 2011 at 6:07 am

Incredibly thorough reviews – thank you! I’ll be checking out Vit-A-Plus tomorrow.


Grace December 10, 2011 at 9:57 am

Great post. I also recently bought Shiseido foundation brush (I had read lots of things about it my final sign to buy it was your review^^) and I am in love! I think it ended all other foundation brushes for me.


Adyss December 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Do you think that the YSL’s Touche Éclat is worth the splurge? And how do you think exactly about the Bobbi Brown Corrector? As I’m investing in a great concealer and highlighter, I’d like your opinion! Lovely post, also!


Reika December 12, 2011 at 11:15 am

That’s a very tough question Adyss. YSL touche eclat doesn’t cover much, it’s mainly for highlighting and I like the way it blends into my skin and the color matches me perfectly.
BB corrector is excellent for correcting dark circles. It’s very creamy and I have to set it with loose powder. Else it slips and it will make my eye makeup smudges terribly.


Sandy December 12, 2011 at 12:37 am


How do you like your Chanel LES 4 OMRES new purchase? Do you like Prelude better? or Dunes better? I am an Asian also and I am looking to buy a natural color eyeshadow palette but just couldn’t make up my mind…. Any suggestion from you?

Thanks a lot!


Reika December 12, 2011 at 11:16 am

Hello Sandy, for now I prefer Prelude better as I think cool neutrals look better on me. It depends on your skin tone, if you have warm skin tone, dune would look better and vice versa.


onlyfr33b33 December 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Just wondering, have you ever used Caudalie’s vinoperfect radiance serum? Could it be a cheaper substitute for La Mer? I have a lot of acne scars, and I’m trying to fade them away, and I definitely don’t have the budget for La Mer yet!


Reika December 15, 2011 at 4:24 am

Yes I have used it! It didn’t work on me…


onlyfr33b33 December 15, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Oh, that’s too bad. What about Clinique laser repair or simply better dark spot corrector? I’m trying to find something within my budget. I hate the look of acne scars =(


Reika December 16, 2011 at 2:20 am

May I ask how old are your acne scars. They would be much easier to treat if they are relatively new (less than 6 mths). I’m not a fan of clinique skincare so I can’t comment on that. Have you done research on the new Lancome Visionnaire? I heard it’s really really good! Also check out reviews for Estee Lauder’s advanced night repair.
If the scars/acne marks are older than 1 year, save your money on IPL instead of wasting money on skincare! It gets rid of discoloration completely.


onlyfr33b33 December 16, 2011 at 3:14 am

Most are less than 6 months. It takes forever for a scar to fully heal (they usually end up healing), and I’ve gotten much better about not picking at them. I just want to speed it up. IPL sounds like a good option though! I’ll look at Estee Lauder. I’ve never used that line of products.

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