lancome

As with most cult beauty products, there are always two comparable products between high-end and a more accessible drug store brand from the same company. Lancome’s Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate has reached the cult status across the world ever since it was released , and it has now become the world’s best selling serum and most sought after serum in the beauty market. In the wave of its popularity, L’Oreal has released a drug store version of it named Youth Code PreEssence.

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Let’s talk about the original Lancome Genifique first. The product shown in the picture is a travel exclusive of 100ml edition of it, and I always restock them whenever I get a chance. Judging by its jumbo size, it clearly shows how much I love this product! It has been a staple base serum in my skincare routine for years. Apart from its anti aging and rejuvenating benefits, the main function of this serum is that it boosts the benefits of other products that are applied after. So I always combine this with another more powerful serum that targets at specific areas, as it helps the second product penetrate into deeper layers of skin for better absorption, then finish with a moisturizer. These three-steps never fail on me, and the result is almost immediate. I wake up with a noticeably more supple, energized and radiant complexion the next day. Most importantly I have noticed the texture of my complexion appears more refined, even and translucent day by day. I wouldn’t say it helps to shrink the pores (actually nothing does), but as it makes the skin more moisturized and plumped it definitely helps to reduce the appearance of pores.

At the moment, I am combining Genifique with the following serums in rotation depending on my skin condition.

1. Ultraceuticals Ultra Brightening Serum for brightening purpose.

2. Lancome Visionnaire for an overall anti-aging, poreless complexion. Possibly my all-time favorite combination.

3. Ultraceuticals Ultra B Hydrating Serum if my skin feels desert dry, and it helps my makeup to glide on like a dream.

4. Ipsa ME Serum for tightening and lifting purpose. If my face appears puffy, this is an instant overnight fix!

skincare_serumsWith the L’Oreal Youth Code, in terms of texture it is very similar to the Lancome Genifique. Both of them have a very fluid and lightweight texture with a mild floral scent, and they absorb into the skin immediately. It also feels the same when just applied, and the skin appears softer and hydrated immediately after use. The instant absorption allows you to prep the skin with more potent products straight after. I have finished the entire bottle of Youth Code, and combined with exactly the same products I would use with Genifique. The result is relatively great for an affordable drugstore serum as it keeps my skin moisturized and supple, however I have not noticed a great improvement in my skin’s texture and clarity compared to the result of using Genifique.

lancome-genifique-youth-activating-concentrate-vs-loreal-youth-code-pre-essence-1Genifique Ingredient List:

lancome-genifique-ingredient-listBottom Line: Both are great as a base serum. L’Oreal Youth Code is more suitable for younger women with a lesser anti-aging concern. Lancome’s Genifique is a great all-purpose serum on its own for all skin types, and you can achieve an even better result if it’s combined with other products.  I personally cannot live without Genifique so I highly recommend this product to any women over the age of 25.

Lancome Genifique in 5ml, 30ml and 50ml are available here with international shipping.

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If you are looking for a perfect taupe eyeliner, look no further than the Lancome Le Crayon Kohl in 015 Jazzy Taupe from their Holiday 2012 Collection. I didn’t think I needed any more eyeliners after I got my hands on the THREE Flash Performance Eyeliners (reviewed here), but this one is just a must have for me!

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The packaging is just downright ugly for such a high end brand. It reminds me of those really cheap eyeliners you get at the drugstore – a plain pencil type with a gold cap. No sharpener, no sponge applicator, and it was glad wrapped without a proper case… But do not get discouraged by its cover, the texture of this pencil is near perfection based on my holy grail standard of THREE . It’s a kohl pencil eyeliner with a buttery texture. If you ever wonder how soft are the THREE Eyeliners, this one is about 90% close! It gives a shimmery satin finish without any glitter. It glides on my sensitive eyes easily without tugging the skin, and stays put all day. Best of all, it is the most perfect brown taupe and it complements my mostly neutral eye shadows perfectly. I probably need a back up of it as taupe eyeliners are just so hard to come by!

Swatch of Jazzy Taupe

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Compared to Urban Decay Underground, Chanel Rose Platine (reviewed here), and THREE 01

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Le Crayon Kohl Jazzy Taupe is part of Lancome’s Holiday 2012 Collection in Australia (I believe in Europe as well..), but it is not in the Holiday Collection on the Lancome USA website. So I am a bit confused! Can any of you shed any light on this :-)

I bought this for AUD$45 at David Jones. You can also get this here or here from UK.

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My Latest Skincare Routine

by Reika on October 24, 2012

My updated skincare routine as requested by my readers. To recap, my skin is dehydrated inside but can look oily outside. My main skin concern is dehydration and skin congestion around the t-zone area. I am also at a sad old age where my skin metabolism rate has gone downhill – as it takes forever for any scar to heal. I do get occasional breakout so I always incorporate a powerful serum which increases and stimulates the cell turnover rate as it is vital to speed up the skin renewal process so it helps to clear up my scars within a short time.

MORNING:

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I always use a gentle, non-foaming cleanser to cleanse my skin in the morning. At the moment I am using the Lancôme Galateis Douceur Gentle Softening Cleansing Fluid. I bought the jumbo size (400ml) so I can use a generous amount of it everyday with a special massage tool. It’s gentle and makes my skin super soft after washing, and in conjunction with the massage tool it helps to eliminate the water retention of my morning puffy face. Followed by Lancôme HYDRA ZEN Anti-Stress Moisturizing Aqua Gel which is just an average hydrating gel-to-water type toner. It comes out like gel and transforms into water upon touching the skin. The Clarins Shaping Facial Lift Serum is my absolute must-have for the morning – I have gone through tubes and tubes of it. The smell is relaxing and it helps to lift and sharpen the facial contours. Dr Brandt Pore Effect is applied over the t-zone (reviewed here). The last step is to apply a thick layer of my all time favorite moisturizer Dr. CiLabo Aqua Collagen Gel. For those of you who haven’t heard of the brand – Dr CiLabo is a celebrity dermatologist in Japan. The collagen gel is the signature product of his line, and the story behind the product was that he was very frustrated that he could not find a perfect moisturizer for his elite clients so he developed his own! It was so good so he started selling this to the general public. I got hooked on since it was first released which was 10 years ago! It is lightweight, absorbs instantly, plumping up my skin, stimulate collagen and most importantly keeps my skin staying hydrated all day long. Clinique All About Eyes feels quite soothing to the eyes and moisturizes as well.

NIGHT:

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The cleanser and toner used are the same as my morning routine. The Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector is my recent favorite anti-aging serum. The patent ingredient is the LR 2414 (aka jasmonic acid) which enhances the skin’s natural self renewal processes. It minimizes skin imperfections, pore sizes and improves skin’s overall texture. I really love it because it works for clearing up my scars. With this serum the new scar forms a scab and then comes off with a faded mark within days. La Mer’s Crème de La Mer Moisturizing Cream is another all time favorite moisturizer. If Dr CiLabo Collagen Gel is the perfect hydrator, then La Mer is one level up for giving me an incredible luminous complexion. The key to using this moisturizer effectively is to activate the ingredient by emulsifying this thick cream. I found that the enclosed instruction never worked for me. Here is a little discovery I made – warm up the cream when there is still some Lancome Visionnaire remnant  left in the palm. Within seconds this moisturizer turns into a fluid elixir-like texture so it absorbs into the skin immediately. The combination works like a dream, and I really love the way my skin looks every morning – clear and luminous :-) For the eyes I use La Prarie’s Cellular Eye Contour Cream.

WEEKLY TREATMENTS:

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SKII Facial Treatment Mask once a week, and SKII Sign’s Eye Mask once every fortnight.

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Accessories Report: NEON INJECTION

by Reika on May 28, 2012

noir-jewelry-Neon-Crystal-Pendant-Necklace-pinkNoir Jewelry Neon Crystal Pendant Necklace – bought it here, a similar one here

pink-neon-makeupClockwise: Essie Pink Parka; Lancome Rouge in Love Lipstick in Rose Boudoir; Shu Uemura Lip Gloss in Radical Fuchsia

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Lancome has released a new range of long-wear lipsticks Rouge in Love (you can get them here in the US). Each lipstick retails for $45 in Australia. The entire range is divided into 3 variations of pigmentation, referred to as a “mood” by Lancome. I bought:

- the lipstick in 322M Corail in Love , and it falls into the mood of Jolis Matins: “Pretty morning” ready-to-wear, and luminous fresh day shades that recreate daylight on the lips, for subtle and soft brilliance, due to the precious mother-of-pearl.

- the lipstick in 340B Rose Boudoir, and it falls into the mood of Boudoir Time: Trendy, punchy “it” shades that give color to the lips thanks to the intense contrasted mother-of-pearl. These shades offer an intense bright color reflection. Perfect to start the evening right.

I have skipped the most intense range as I thought the pigmentation was just way too rich for my liking – Tonight is My Night: Sophisticated, pure intense shades to give depth to lips and brighten a night out, for a deep lacquered effect and luminous color, thanks to gold mother-of-pearl.

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I like to judge the makeup by its packaging, and unfortunately I do not like the packaging of Rouge in Love. I cannot really pinpoint the reason (maybe it resembles an aluminum tube..) but they just look cheap next to my arrays of other high end lipsticks.

Please note that the two lipsticks I bought look strikingly similar when they are side by side, but they show up completely different on my lips due to the difference in pigmentation.

322M Corail in Love is a foolproof peachy pink shade for everyday use without any shimmer. The formula is good but I won’t say it is blowing me away. It applies nicely, feels lightweight and non-drying and leaves a semi-satiny sheen to the lips. The lasting power does live up to my expectation, as I get to have 4-5 hours wear even while drinking in between. My only pet peeve is that I consider it as a full coverage lipstick (completely covers the natural colors of your lips), as opposed to what I expected which was a luminous finish. If I apply only a sheer wash of the color, it looks almost matte on my lips. In the swatch below I had to swipe it over my lips a few times to get a sheen.

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340B Rose Boudoir is unique and beautiful. I can’t find any dupe of this from my stash of lipsticks. It shows up as a true warm neon pink on my lips. The pigmentation is rich and intense, but in the meantime it stills feel feathery light on the lips. I have not tried other shades in the Boudoir Time range, but I thought Lancome has given the perfect description for Rose Boudoir – it is young, trendy and punchy. One of those “IT” shades that will just make you the center of attention from the crowd. It will be my default “party shade” from now on! The phenomenal lasting power is truly cocktail proof.

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Group Swatches:

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Foundation Primer Reviews

by Reika on March 30, 2011

Rather than talking about new makeups all the time, I would like to show you some of my old favorites – starting from Face products. Foundation primer aka Makeup base is not considered as an essential makeup item for some girls. As for me – I can’t live without foundation primer. I have one for every skin condition I can possibly have. Using a primer together with a foundation perfects my skin for a flawless and radiant complexion.   On a good skin day, I would only use a primer and skip the foundation.

So here is a group picture of all the primers I am currently using..actually I have to admit I had no idea I own that many primers!

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I don’t regret buying them all, each of them serves a different purpose.  My foundation primers can be broken down into 4 categories:

1. Oil Controlling

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Mac Prep and Prime Skin Base Visage: amazing product, hides my pores without feeling cakey and silicony – keeps the oil at bay for 8 hours! I only use it on my t-zone.

Shiseido (bought it in japan, no English name) : No swatches because this one is only exclusive to Asia,  it used to be my HG until I found Mac Prep and Prime.

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2. Radiance and Natural Glow

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Chanel Base Lumiere - my absolute favorite! It contains no shimmers, but it imparts a really beautiful glow to your skin, gives a “your own radiant skin but better” effect.

Dior Radiant Base – a light pink fluid with tiny shimmers.  My second favorite as the shimmers are not noticeable once it is sheered out – gives a beautiful pinkish glow.

Lancome Fluid Illuminator (LE) – a beige fluid with fine shimmers, can be used alone or mixed in with foundation. It is too shimmery for my liking – I only apply it along my cheekbones in summer time when my face is tanned for a bronzey look.

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3. Color Correction

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- Shiseido Control Base: a light green fluid designed to correct the redness in your skin. This one is amazing..I only use it when my skin looks dull. A tiny amount would turn your complexion into “you have just slept 10 hours”!

- Giorgio Armani fluid sheer no 5 - recommended by GA’s makeup artist at a makeover event. It is a peachy fluid, very pigmented so I can’t imagining applying it all over the face. I like to use it on my cheeks to create a natural flush.

- Etude Pore Smoothing Peach Base (korean brand) – a purple fluid that brightens up your complexion by a few shades. I won’t recommend using it all over the face unless you want a geisha look. Again it’s a good product for a dull skin day.

These products were heavily swatched in the picture. The effect on your face would be a lot more subtle than shown in the picture. Even for my whole face I would use less than what I used for swatching.

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4. Primers with sunscreen

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Shu Uemura UV Under Base: it’s been a cult favorite in Asia for ages – can be used as sunscreen, makeup base or tinted moisturizer. On a good skin day, I would only use this product on my face – very sheer but evens out skin tone.

Kanebo Lunasol UV Essence: A makeup base with spf of 25 , has the same texture as a serum. It absorbs into your skin like a serum, makes your skin look hydrated and glowing, leaves no white cast on your skin like other suncreens do. The best sunscreen I have ever come across!

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LASTLY, my Nars  is one of the best all purpose makeup bases.

nars-makeup-primerIt hydrates your skin, creates a perfect canvas for foundation and makes the foundation look better and lasts all day long.

nars-makeup-primer-swatchOMG..what a super long post!! Now I need some TV therapy..

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