Moisturizer

Jo Malone Vitamin E Gel Review

by Reika on June 26, 2013

Along with the Jo Malone Osmanthus Blossom Cologne (reviewed here), I also picked up the Jo Malone Vitamin E Gel at the counter recently. It was a spur of the moment decision. I was a little choked at the price for such a tiny pot of product, but my gut feeling led me to purchase it, and the texture is just too good to be passed!

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After using it for a few weeks, I absolutely love this product. It is one of the best multi-purpose balms that can be used anywhere – like a little miracle pot!

What is it:

Rich and intensive Vitamin E gel is a nourishing moisturizer for dry and dehydrated skin, and it can be combined with other products to create multiple benefits for the face, hands and feet. It also works as a barrier to help protect the skin against further environmental damage.

The texture is a cross between balm and gel. It feels very emollient, but compared to the other balms such as the Elizabeth Arden’s 24 hours protector, this is much more lightweight and spreadable. It sinks into your skin when used sparingly. The product contains lots of nourishing oil such as wheat germ oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil so it also smells much better than the awful 24 hours protector, though it still has a hint of herbal scent.

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As a face moisturizer:

If your normal moisturizer doesn’t do much for  your dry and dehydrated skin, instead of upgrading to a heavier cream, all you need is to mix a tiny bit of this Vitamin E gel with your moisturizer at night. I normally warm the entire product in my palms then pat it on my face and neck. My skin feels instantly moisturized and soothed, and I am always amazed at how baby-soft and moisturized my skin is the next day.  Since it is extremley nourishing, I only use this product for my face 3 times a week. You can adjust the amount to be mixed based on your skin and weather condition. I personally think this is a must-have product for anyone who travels a lot, as it will work its wonders to protect your skin from the dry air during flights.

As a body moisturizer:

This is highly recommended by the Jo Malone SA. She makes her own body moistruizer by mixing a little bit of this with a cheapie body cream such as Nivea.

As a lip balm:

Very expensive for a lip balm, but all you need is tiny a little bit and it guarantees to heal your dry and chapped lips! If you already like the Jo Malone Vitamin E Lip Conditioner which is not cheap either, this is a more intense and an economical product.

As an eye gel:

The Jo Malone SA also recommended that this product can be used as an intensive eye gel. I personally wouldn’t use it on my eyes as I feel it is way too heavy, but it might be the right product for more mature and aged skin.

Burns, cuts and bites:

This product heals bites and relives itchiness overnight, and it also speeds up the healing process for any burns and cuts.

Bottom Line: A luxurious intensive multi-purpose savior for anyone with dry skin. It is expensive, but the whole pot will last me more than a year as it is highly concentrated and emollient. The fact that it is from is my favorite brand of Jo Malone is also a bonus :-)

Jo Malone Vitamin E Gel is available here in the US, and here in the UK. I bought mine at David Jones for AUD$170 for 30ml of product.

 

 

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Cheap and Good Favorites

by Reika on March 24, 2013

I like to do a compilation of random things I like as my weekend post. This week is all about some of the Asian beauty products I like which are excellent value for money!

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1. My Beauty Diary Masks (Camellia Mask) – They have been a staple for me for countless years. They do a great job and the paper mask itself fits my face perfectly, and best of all they are so affordable so I can use one a day! I have probably used every single series from the My Beauty Diary Mask Range and the Camellia is one of my favorites. It belongs to the premium range (so slightly more expensive) but it delivers super hydration which can keep my skin feeling hydrated for a number of days.

2. BONANZA Active Moisture Membraneous – Best selling mask in East Asia. It’s pretty cheap and comes in a huge tub (250ml). It has a clear gel texture and must be kept in the fridge. The instruction states that to get the best results, apply a layer of your preferred serum first, then apply a very thick layer of this mask for more than 30 minutes to ‘push’ the benefits of the ingredients into a deeper layer of the skin. I am not sure how it works but I do like the result! It’s very soothing (ideal for hot weather), cooling, and hydrating. The skin appears more plumped and translucent after each use. And again, the affordable price allows me to slather this mask on everyday.

3. Innisfree Mineral Shimmering Base – I am all about dewy skin these days and the performance of this shimmering primer exceeds some of the very expensive ones I own. It is hydrating and contains super fine shimmer so it sets on the skin seamlessly, adds a beautiful gleam without settling into pores/lines or making the skin look scaly which is the main issue I have with some shimmering products of Western brands.

4. SCINIC Snail Matrix Cream – Yep it’s made of Snail mucus! And it’s the hottest ingredient in the Korean beauty market for the past year, and there are thousands of korean brands that have released series of cosmetics with the IT ingredient. If you can get over the fact that it has Snail mucus…then you really should give this interesting moisturizer a try. The texture is tacky and gluey, but interestingly it transforms into a liquid-like texture upon application, and it is super hydrating and lightweight. Possibly the best $20 moisturizer I have ever used!

 

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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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The Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè (24 Hour Miracle Cream) has been a cult product amongst the supermodels and top makeup artists. Every now and then I come across magazines featuring big names (in the beauty/fashion industry) that swear by this moisturizer, so I had a very high expectation for this product. After using it for more than 2 months and having gone through half a tube of it, my personal thought was that it is over-hyped. I think people are just drawn to the fact that it is made-in-France, and as with many other French products, the Embryolisse is almost impossible to get outside of France.Embryolisse-Lait-Crème-Concentrè-24-Hr-Miracle-Cream

I am always attracted to hard-to-get products, so I scouted the internet high and low and finally found it available here (which is the only online resource I can find)! The packaging is of standard French drug store products  – simple, low key with a ‘medicinal’ aesthetic to it. It’s a lotion with a rich and creamy milky consistency, and it is fragrance free. For a lotion, it feels a little on the rich side. If I apply more than a pea size , it can feel a little greasy on my face for a short while. It doesn’t feel moisturizing enough for me if I apply anything less than that. It makes my skin feel nourished and softer immediately, and it did not make my skin break out. It keeps my skin moisturized for about 5-6 hours.

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However, it works and feels pretty much the same as many other basic moisturizers that I have used in the past (far from being a miracle cream!). For a product with such a cult status, I expected more. I prefer a moisturizer that makes my skin feel drenched  in water and plumped up immediately like Shu Uemura’s Depsea Hydrability Moisturizing Cream. Additionally I prefer a moisturizer that makes my skin glow and look “refreshed” and vitalized the next day like Creme de La Mer or Guerlain’s Issima Midnight Secret. I would consider any moisturizer that ticks one of these criteria as a keeper, and unfortunately the Embryolisse 24 Hr Miracle Cream met neither. On a different note, it works brilliantly as a makeup base. It can also be used as an emergency makeup remover.

Embryolisse-Lait-Crème-Concentrè-24-Hr-Miracle-Cream-ingredientOverall It is a very affordable and basic moisturizer that would work ‘safely’ for any skin type at any age group, and versatile enough to be used for other functions. It will be a staple for my traveling kit, but not a moisturizer for my everyday skin care.

 

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My Daily Skincare Routine – Part 1

by Reika on September 1, 2011

This is a long overdue post as I have been requested to do a rundown on my daily skincare routine many times. Well the reason I’ve been procrastinating was because I had no idea where to begin! Between makeup and skincare, I am probably more passionate about skincare although I don’t talk much about it on this blog as often as makeup. I shop and go through lots of products every month. My approach is quite open-minded so I’m always open to try new things – I am not one of those girls who thoroughly check the ingredients before making a purchase. As long as I think the product will work for my skin type I’m always happy to give it a go.

Just some background information before I embark on my skincare routine. My skin is oily on the surface and dehydrated inside. If it is not well hydrated my makeup would appear just sitting on top of my skin whilst it still produces a lot of oil throughout the day. I also have pigmentation (freckles) across my cheeks. Other than that, I don’t have wrinkles, fine lines, and no signs of loss of firmness. My main goal is to keep my skin looking and feeling fresh, supple, moisturized, firm and plumped with no visible appearance of pores.

These are the products I have been using everyday for the past 2 months. Some of these are my holy grails, some of these are new products I have been trialing through, and I like the results so I have incorporated them into my daily regime. I tend to go for products that are gentle, lightweight and hydrating with some anti-aging benefits. Anything that is too rich and oily will cause congestion or even break-outs to my skin.

As you can see I am not loyal to any brands haha..I generally prefer high end brands for basic skincare but I also have a love for Asian drugstore brands for masks (I have tons of them!).

My Morning Routine:

I clean my face with Elemis Rehydarting Rosepetal Cleanser, then I apply SK II Facial Treatment Essence generously on my face, and pat my face till it absorbs. SK II Aqua Physics Serum is full of pitera and hyaluronic acid which keeps my skin supple and hydrated all day. Finish with Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Moisturising Gel. (probably the best product out of the entire white lucent range)

For my eyes I like to use La Prairie Cellular Revitalizing Eye Gel – have gone through tons of anti-puffiness eye gels and this is the only one that really works!

My Evening Routine:

I remove my makeup with the Eve Lom Cleanser with its muslin cloth – my HG cleanser, then apply the SK II Facial Treatment Essence liberally again. Serum is an essential item in my skincare routine – at the moment I am using the Trilogy Age Proof  Nutrient Plus Firming Serum and the CQ10 Booster Serum interchangeably.  Trilogy is one of my favorite organic skincare lines that is based in New Zealand. If you are into natural skincare I highly recommend giving them a go as they are affordable and really deliver what they claim to. Moisturizer is switched to the Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Moisturizing Emulsion W – it’s designed for nightime so the texture is slighter richer than the gel version.

I also use a different eye cream at night time – the Shiseido Bio Performance Super Eye Contour Cream keeps the fine lines at bay without being too nutritional for my age so it doesn’t cause any milia. Don’t forget to take care of the neck girls! I am using the Shiseido Benefiance Concentrated Neck Contour Treatment.

That’s it for my basic skincare. I use more products as special treatments throughout the week so there will be part 2, part 3….

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