SKINCARE

It is very clear that my biggest skincare obsession now is fighting against gravity. I am a firm believer in that if we start caring for our skin from an early age for preventative purposes, we can delay the skin from sagging and aging relatively. The Chanel Le Lift range is my current favorite because the products really work. I was given a couple of samples of the Le Lift Cream when it was first launched, and I loved it so much, so I bought a full-size jar, as well as the Le Lift Serum for the best optimum result.

chanel-le-lift-serum-rich-cream-review-2

 

LE Lift CREAM RICHE (bought here in Australia)– It is housed in a weighty black glass jar, and comes in 3 different textures – fine, normal and riche.

Since I have dry skin, I go for the rich version which works well for my skin in winter. It actually doesn’t feel that rich compared to other well-known heavy duty moisturizers such as La Mer Cream or Fresh Creme Ancienne. It has a lightweight creamy texture and absorbs into the skin without feeling greasy, but it still leaves a nice moist and soft touch to the skin. It makes your skin appear smooth and radiant and works wonderfully as a makeup base for the day. I have been using it every day, and it keeps the skin well moisturized even in the season transition time.

As for firming, it is a mini ‘face-lift’ in a jar for a quick fix for getting rid of morning puffiness, as well as making the face shape appear more toned and lifted. Since it has a nice slip consistency, you can massage the product in an upward motion for 1-2 minutes. If I apply this product liberally, I notice an instant tightening effect around the cheeks and jaws, and the contour appears more defined with a more V-shaped face. The lines around the nose are also less visible. Overall, I am impressed with this moisturizer and will re-purchase!

chanel-le-lift-serum-rich-cream-review-3

LE LIFT SERUM

I would give 9/10 to the moisturizer, and 7/10 to the serum. One pet peeve is that it is packed in a plastic bottle which does not equate to the high price tag.  It has a milky texture, and feels lightweight and absorbs completely into the skin upon application. It adds mild hydration to the skin and makes the skin appear more plumped. There might be some long-term benefits over a period of use (which is hard to measure anyway), but for delivering an instant result, the moisturizer is more superior for lifting. I feel the serum is giving an anti-oxidant and hydration boost to the skin and supplements the moisturizer for achieving the best firming and anti-aging results.

chanel-le-lift-serum-rich-cream-review-1

Bottom Line: I am very pleased with the result they deliver, as I see an improvement in my skin in the texture and firmness from using the Le Lift Range. Overall they are worth looking into if you are after firming skincare products that really work. Once I finish the serum, I will try out the new Chanel V-Flash which is already launched in the US but not yet in Australia.

{ 4 comments }

Here is a quick rundown on some of my favorite products from my current skincare regime. Overall I am very pleased with the results, as my skin has been looking radiant and clear with a natural glow from within all the time – like I have had 8 hours of sleep every day! The texture is smooth and supple which also makes the makeup look and sit better on my skin.

skincare-routine-regime-luxury-la-mer-chanel-le-lift-cream-dry-skin

skincare-routine-regime-luxury-la-mer-chanel-le-lift-cream-dry-skin-2

1. Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi Refining Cleansing Oil – It’s very easy and quick to remove the most stubborn and waterproof makeup thoroughly with this oil, without feeling rich and greasy on the skin. Reviewed here.

2. SKII Facial Treatment Essence (bought here in Australia) – One of my holy grails as the first step after cleansing. Been using it on and off over the past ten years, and the formula is great for all skin types, as well as all year around.

3. Chanel Le Lift Serum and Cream – Effectively and noticeably firm, and lift the skin. It gives a more lifted contour and reduces morning puffiness. Loving the range and will post a full review soon.

4. La Mer The Concentrate – Miracle in a bottle. It significantly reduces the appearance scarring, and repairs and rejuvenates the skin rapidly!

5. Creme de La Mer Moisturizing Cream –  Holy grail moisturizer that I have been using over a decade! I go for the original cream formula in winter and prefer the new soft formula during the summer time.

6. La Mer Reparative Face Sun Lotion SPF30 – My favorite morning lightweight sunscreen that I use as my morning moisturizer. It has the same luxury smooth texture as a moisturizer that makes the skin super soft and supple without the sunscreen grease.

7. Le Weekend De Chanel – Really like the one-step skincare system from Chanel, particularly from a busy mommy perspective. I use this product in place of all other products every weekend. It is packed with glycolic acid complex so it is great for exfoliating, detoxifying the skin for a more clear and smooth complexion.

8. Philosophy Microdelivery Overnight Peel – Whenever I feel that my skin is starting to feel ‘rough’ and the makeup looks like it’s just sitting on top of the skin, I use the peel and it removes the dead skin cells and reveals new skin with finer texture. Reviewed here.

9.GLAMGLOW YouthMud – Another great deep cleanse mask for unclogging the pores, boosting radiance and smoothing out the skin. This gives you a ‘facial-like’ result that transforms the luminosity of your skin after only one use.

 

 

{ 5 comments }

I always like to include a peel product in my skincare regime, and lately, I’ve been using the Philosophy The Microdelivery Overnight Peel. I like the results of peels from the salon, with at-home kits, as they are much gentler. I’ve been trialing with different brands, and so far I like the Philosophy the most (the result is nearly on par my favorite the La Prairie Cellular 3 Minute Peel), but based on result vs. value, this is a good option.

philosophy-microdelivery-overnight-peel-review-2

Why Peel?

As mentioned in my previous skincare posts, once you’ve passed the age of 28, your skin metabolism rate goes down by a lot. A normal skin renewal cycle is probably 14 days, but my skin is acting sluggish and hardly does any self-renewal. Peel is for peeling the dead skin cells in a more intensive way than an exfoliator, so it reveals newer skin hence it makes your skin appear smoother and with finer pores. It is also great for fading superficial pigmentations at the top debris layer.

How to Use

The overnight kit includes a liquid peel solution as step 1, and a night gel as step 2, with a small bag of cotton pads. For the application, you saturate the pads with the solution and wipe it on your face in a circular motion then leave it for 2 minutes. Then you apply a thick layer of the night gel which is a hydrating leave-in sleeping mask. The peel solution contains alpha/beta hydroxy acid and feels quite gentle and doesn’t sting nor irritate my skin. The night gel has a jelly-like texture, and it is designed to hydrate, soothe and restore your skin from potential irritation that may occur from the peel overnight. You can also add your preferred moisturizer on top.

philosophy-microdelivery-overnight-peel-review

The Result

As with most at-home peels I have used, the only noticeable result is having the skin look more smooth, glowing and luminous the next day. Peel is used for long-term results, as it helps to renew the skin at a quicker pace. I am more than half way through this kit, and overall the texture of my skin appeared more refined, even and clarified, with less congestion and more clean pores.

 

 

 

{ 3 comments }

If I could only have one skincare product, it would be the legendary La Mer The Concentrate (bought here in Australia). I first splurged on it about 5 years ago, and I’ve been hooked on it ever since though my heart bleeds every time I hand over my credit card.

la-mer-the-concentrate-review

We all know the story of La Mer, whose founder was severely burnt and he invented this legendary formula of ‘miracle broth’ that healed his burnt skin. The miracle broth can be found in most of La Mer’s skincare products, and one of the most famous is of course the La Mer Cream which people swear by its moisturizing ability as well as repairing and healing of sensitive and irritated skin.  I love La Mer cream (one of my staples), but the La Mer Concentrate is totally on another level for healing and regeneration that really blows me away. At my sad age where the natural skin renewal process has gone down drastically – you will notice that if the acne scars/marks from your breakout never goes away, then this is when I need to heavily rely on premium skincare products for stimulating the regeneration process.

la-mer-the-concentrate-review-2

 

Texture:

It has a clear milky white elixir consistency with silicone feel. Once it is applied, it makes the skin feel silky smooth and velvety (almost like a makeup primer) without feeling heavy and sticky. It also has an interesting slightly powdery minty scent.  If you look at the ingredients list, you will find a list of common ingredients but what makes this product so special is the patented treatment and process of the fermentation of seaweed, and The Concentrate contains the highest dose compared to all the other La Mer products.

la-mer-the-concentrate-review-3

How I use it:

I use it sparingly, and 2-3 times a week due to the high price tag, and mainly along the lower jaw lines for a lifting effect, and the area of the skin where it needs to be ‘repaired’. If my budget allows, I really wouldn’t mind it using it twice a day like a normal serum.

My experience:

The most miracle serum I’ve ever used for skin repairing. If I get a new breakout, and the scar never goes away without using any skincare product. With the concentrate, I apply it for 3 consecutive days on the new acne scar and it completely diminishes the mark. On old acne marks, it also helps to heal and fade the marks visibly over time. If I am having occasional dermatitis, sensitive, and irritated skin due to season transitions, this serum heals my skin and brings it back to its normal state overnight. If my skin has been ‘traumatized’ ie. extractions from facial, laser treatment, then this serum calms it down within a few days. I don’t have any surgical marks on my body, but one of my girlfriends used it on her surgery scar from c-section, and it completely healed it as well!

Bottom line:

Truly a miracle product! As a loyal fan, I always go for the 1.7 oz (50ml), and the smallest size it has is the 0.5oz (15ml). If you only use it for mild acne scarring, a small bottle will last more than 6 months. A brief mention that please do not buy prestige skincare samples such as La Mer, La Prairie etc on Ebay, as 99% of time they will be fake.

{ 5 comments }

It doesn’t matter how many new and innovative makeup removal products I try, at the end of the day I always go back to the most trusted makeup remover – the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil. This year Shu has released a new reformulated cleansing oil – the Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil (bought here in Australia) and as I was in the need for restocking, I decided to give this new formula a try.

A quick rundown on my experience with the Shu Uemura cleansing oils. They have lots of different oils for different skin types, and I have pretty much used most of them. Prior to this, my favorite was the Blanc Chroma (the purple oil) as it felt refreshing and I liked the slight brightening effect after washing. As far as I know, their best seller last year was the Ultime8 which I found to be too rich for my skin so I did not repurchase (but it is really great for dry skin).

shu-uemura-anti-oxi-skin-refining-cleansing-oil-review

I have been using the new formula for about a month now, and it is now my favorite cleansing oil. It is formulated with green tea extracts along with other anti oxidant ingredients for a more clear and radiant complexion.  The main differences in this new formula

  • no mineral oil
  • can be used with wet hands
  • suitable for removing lash extensions! (which doesn’t really apply to me)
  • more powerful removability

This oil lives up to my expectations.  I am not the biggest fan of using cleansing water for removing makeup on a daily basis as it can be a little too scrubby with the use of cotton pads, and I feel it is pulling my skin too much. With cleansing oil it is lubricating enough to not cause any friction to the skin. The consistency of this oil is lightweight and doesn’t feel greasy, and it emulsifies (turns into milky lotion) really well as soon as you add water to it. Takes less than a minute to completely dissolve the most stubborn makeup including liquid eyeliner, waterproof mascara, long lasting foundation and liquid lipstick. It makes the skin feel supple, smooth and refreshing, and leaves no oily film and residue to the skin. Of course second wash is recommended! It doesn’t clog the pores nor cause breakouts for me.

The new formula also promises to give you an extraordinary cleansing experience with a blend of essential oils that invigorates your senses while washing. To me it mostly smells like strong green tea (more like Matcha) with a hint of lavender and wood. It is quite an interesting stimulating scent, but not blowing me away.

shu-uemura-anti-oxi-skin-refining-cleansing-oil-review-ingredient-list

Overall I highly recommend this oil. It comes in 3 sizes – 450ml (as pictured), 150ml and 100ml (good for travel). A bottle of 450ml normally lasts more than 6 months with daily use.

 

 

 

{ 3 comments }

I always include an eye cream in my skincare regime, particularly for the morning when I like to use a light eye gel/lotion for hydration as well as for anti-puffiness. One of my favorites is the La Prairie Cellular Revitalizing Eye Gel which really does its job as it claims, and the price tag is not as jaw-dropping as the other products from the line! This is my third bottle and as you can see it’s nearly half way through.

la-prairie-cellular-revitalizing-eye-gel-review

The eye gel has a refreshingly aqua blue gel texture that feels non-sticky and is absorbed into the skin immediately. It mildly hydrates and smooths out the delicate skin around the eye areas, and it doesn’t leave a film or make the skin too slippery so it makes a good base for under the eye makeup. What I love about this eye gel the most is that it gives an interesting sensation upon application. It feels very cooling on the eyes, which is expected from most eye gels for anti-puffiness. However this eye gel also gives a warm tightening feel at the same time, and it makes you feel that it is doing its job by eliminating the excessive fluid from the applied areas. After 2-3 minutes the sensation disappears, and my morning ‘tired looking’ eyes look visibly more ‘awake’ and less puffy with the skin appearing slightly tightened. Best of all, it doesn’t cause milia (the stubborn white heads around the eye areas if the eye cream is too rich). If you suffer from puffy eyes in the morning then I highly recommend to give this eye gel a try!

la-prairie-cellular-revitalizing-eye-gel-review-2

 

 

{ 4 comments }

I had a wonderful vacation at Phuket for 10 days which I am currently organizing some pictures to post soon. It never feels long enough but that’s what makes our vacations so special in our lives (well unless you are a celeb or a global jet setter blogger!) As for me, I am happy with our holidays every 6 months, and I thoroughly enjoy the entire planning process including what to pack! This post is for sharing the skincare products that I brought with me on holiday. Since the destination is a hot tropical island, I brought lots of lightweight hydrating and brightening serums/lotions, and because I love taking pictures I like to have products that keep my face looking firm and lifted so more photogenic… Last but not least, lots and lots of sunscreens are a must.

My favorite beach bag is bought here

acation-holiday-beauty-skincare-products-2

vacation-holiday-beauty-skincare-products

CLEANSERS

Using the Bioderma Micelle Water (travel size) for makeup removal. I love the Ren Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel so much so I bought a full size of this. It’s a rose-infused gentle gel cleanser with a fresh rose smell that feels extremely soothing and refreshing which makes it a perfect morning cleanser. It doesn’t strip any moisture off, and keeps the skin supple and fresh. Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is one of  my HG cleansers for night time use, so I have to bring a travel size along with me. It’s a cleanser and an exfoliator in one that purifies the skin and deep cleans the pores without feeling harsh and drying on the skin. The Clinique Clarifying Lotion 1 is a refreshing toner for sweeping away any dead skin cells, and completely removes last traces of dirt and oil collected in your pores. In such a hot weathered place, I prefer to use multiple cleansing products just to keep my skin very clear and clog free.

SERUMS and MOISTURIZERS

I prep my skin with the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum – it’s a highly potent treatment lotion that immediately hydrates the skin and boost the benefits of other skincare products, (detailed review here). Followed by the luxurious Chantecaille Bio Lifting Serum (reviewed here). It’s hydrating, soothing, anti-aging and provides a lifting effect to the face. During the day, I also apply the Tracie Martyn Face Resculpting Cream which is their signature product from the line. This is the travel friendly size which was made exclusive for Net-A-Porter. It can be used on the face as well as on the body for an immediate sculpting and firming effect. I have quite mixed feelings about it, as it works much better on the body than on the face for me. If you are after a face firming lotion for less than $100, nothing beats the famous Clarins Shaping Facial Lifting Total V Contouring Serum.

MASKS

I have dozens of paper masks with me (a mix of high and low end) on holiday, as the plan is to use at least one per day. As ironic as it sounds for spending most of the day at the beach and the pool during vacay, I don’t want to be tanned because my skin is prone to pigmentation! So every 2 nights I use the Sulwhasoo Snowise Ex Brightening Mask (reviewed here), It’s the best brightening mask I’ve ever used, as it definitely prevents my face from being tanned under long time sun exposure, and it helps to brighten up by one to one and a half shades after long term use. For hydrating and instant radiance boost, I like to use the SK II Facial Treatment Mask. A budget friendly brand is the Korean SNP Masks. I have used lots of theirs animal masks and liked them all. My favorite has to be the rabbit – it’s a multi purpose product that serves as a brightening beauty mask as well as keeping my 3 year old entertained by having a rabbit-faced mommy!

SUN PROTECTION

Using the french drugstore brand LA ROCHE-POSAY as they are rated very highly in a Japanese beauty magazine. Overall they are pretty good. The UVIDEA XL Melt In Cream SPF50 PA++++ is for the face that has a milky lotion texture and is non-greasy and feels light weight on the skin without feeling like having sunscreen on. The Anthelios XL Ultra Light Fluid SPF50 (best seller) is for the face and the body. It is slightly richer, so I use it on my body as well as for my son as the formula is made for sensitive skin and feels light on the skin so it doesn’t clog the pores and leave a white film on the skin.

BABY

Highly recommend the LA ROCHE-POSAY Baume B5 Soothing Repairing Balm for babies/toddlers. It helps to heal sensitive skin, rashes and insect bites.

 

 

 

{ 7 comments }

The Chantecaille Bio Lifting Serum is an oldie but goodie. It’s such a classic prestige skincare product from Chantecaille that has been around for many years, and has never been reformulated as it just works, and people always go back to it. This is my second bottle, and it will always be a staple in my skincare regime to fight against gravity!

chantecaille-bio-lifting-serum-review-1

The Bio Lifting Serum is a powerful anti aging serum for skin regeneration, collagen rebuilding and promotes skin density and firmness visibly. It definitely sounds like a magic potion to those of you who are seeing the loss of volume and collagen in your face as you age. This is probably my biggest fear for aging – I can live with fine lines and pigmentation, whereas as soon as your cheeks drop and lose the plumpness, this is the first sign that gives away your ‘real age’.

On average, women start to lose collagen from the age of 28, and I always think this is a good age point where you need to start investing in some serious skincare products for prevention as well as correction purposes. Most prestige skincare products target at the age group of 40+, but why wait until then when you can resort to some powerful products now to slow down the breakdown of collagen, that help to maintain the skin firmness and contour at its optimum state?

I have personally used a lot of luxury skin lifting products, and the reason I like the Chantecaille the most is because it delivers an instant result for lifting. For  such an expensive product, it’s always good to see a visible immediate result.  With this serum, it gives a slight taut feeling to the skin upon application. Instantly my complexion appears more lifted and the contour appears more defined, and the skin also feel more firm.  Best of all, the serum is lightweight enough to be applied around the eye areas, which also gives a lifting effect that makes your eyes appear less tired.

As with all Chantecaille products, this serum is hand made in France, mainly based on botanical ingredients and is paraben free. It has a patented active complex of peptides, rose stem cells, hyaluronic acid for a powerful anti-aging product. Apart from the outstanding lifting effect, this serum also delivers long lasting hydration. In an air conditioned environment, for my dry skin this serum keeps my skin hydrated and supple for the whole day. The consistency is light, but concentrated and 2 drops are sufficient for the entire face and neck. It spreads smoothly, smells like fresh roses, and completely absorbs into the skin, and also helps the makeup to glide on beautifully.

chantecaille-bio-lifting-serum-review-2

The Chantecaille Bio Lifting Serum is available at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus in the US, and NAP worldwide.

 

{ 1 comment }