SKINCARE

Sharing my thoughts on some of the best oils for face, body and hair that I have used so far – the Dior Prestige Replenishing Oil Serum, OUAI Hair Oil and the Omorovicza Firming Body Oil. All of them are ultra-luxurious aesthetically and the formulas are to-die-for with the most incredible scent. I have been using these 3 oils religiously every night, and they are my minimalist approach to taking care of my skin and hair in less than a minute instead of using 10 different products. They are effective, and I love how they make me feel pampered and relaxed. The amazing smell of each oil helps me to unwind from a stressful and chaotic day so I am very addicted to them.

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Dior Prestige L’Huile Souveraine Oil Serum – I have a detailed review here. It is amazing for rescuing the driest skin along with the best anti-aging benefits. My skin appears moisturized, plumped and radiant day after day. It is pricey, but all you need is one/two drops per application. I’ve been using it every day for 3 months now and I am not even half way through. Best of all, this oil is derived from premium French roses, so it will literally make you feel like you are in a fresh rose garden.

OUAI Hair Oil -I bought this oil (from here) after hearing lots of great reviews. It has a very lovely musky jasmine smell to it, and the oil is lightweight and instantly absorbs into the hair. It nourishes the dry ends and smooths out the frizz without feeling greasy and heavy, and keeps the hair looking and feeling healthy. My HD recommended me to apply a drop of oil to the hair before bed, and I’ve been following her advice which seems to make a difference to the condition of my hair in the morning. My hair feels smooth and soft, and less tangled so it takes less time to style in the morning.

Omorovicza Firming Body Oil -I had an incredible body massage at a spa recently with this oil. I loved it so much I had to get one for myself (bought here) at home! It is a luxurious body oil serum with a blend of aromatic essential oils that targets at skin firming and toning. I love the smell as it instantly reminds me of a tranquil spa. Apart from using it all over the body for moisturizing, I particularly love applying it on the neck, shoulder, and décolletage every night. The heavenly aroma helps me to relax and gives me a good sleep. The oil has rosemary and chamomile that are anti-inflammatory and helps to relieve muscle tension. I was advised to apply this oil (as I have a stiff neck and shoulder) immediately after a hot shower which will help to soften the muscle and any tight knots!

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I gushed about how amazing the Dior Prestige skincare line was lately. Along with the Huile Souveraine Replenishing Oil Serum (reviewed here), I am sharing my thoughts on this most luxurious hydrating toner/essence from the Dior Prestige White Collection Line. It is not easy to get hold of it unfortunately, as I noticed this special white line is only available in certain countries. In Asia, this product is called Satin Brightening Water, whereas in Europe it is called White Brightening Light In Lotion – but they are the same product.

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When it comes to the first step in skincare after cleansing, I always like to prep my skin with a layer of toner/essence water. They tend to offer better anti-aging benefit with more intense hydration than a normal toner does. Dior has several different types of essence water in the Prestige line (also eyeing for the Rose Essence Lotion).  I chose this because it has brightening ingredients along with their signature Rose Souveraine Absolute concentrate. For my prone-to-freckles skin type, it is always a good habit to incorporate as many brightening products into the routine as I can.

As usual, the packaging from the line is on another level – it is housed in a very weighty glass jar with a gold cap that looks so clean and pure, and instantly glams up your vanity! The consistency of the product is quite rich – like clear gel-water and a little bit goes a long way. With this product, I only need half the amount of other similar products for one application. You can either pat it into the skin and it takes about half a minute to fully absorb as it almost feels like applying a rich essence! Otherwise, you can apply it with a cotton pad for a more refreshing feel and it cleans the pores and removes any traces of dirt and makeup residues.

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This Dior White Brightening Lotion is for the ultimate hydration and regeneration. My complexion feels immediately drenched with water and appears plumped up, even-looking and brightened. It is so hydrating that I even skipped the real essence since I have this in my routine! What I also really like about this product is that it is very long lasting, even if you don’t apply other skin care products after this, it keeps your skin moist and supple for many hours.

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Overall, this is the best of the best essence water you can find in the market for normal to dry skin.

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I have had a fair share in the luxury skincare department (yep I started splurging ‘investing’ in brands such as La Prairie, La Mer etc since I was very young!), and one skincare line that absolutely blows me away is the Dior Prestige, and the Dior Prestige huile souveraine replenishing oil serum is one of my favorites from the line (bought here in Australia). My affair with Dior Prestige can be backdated to a simple chat with a friend who has amazing taste, and she told me that once you have tried Dior Prestige products you can’t go back to other brands! I was deeply intrigued from that moment, and as a crazy beauty fanatic, I started doing research and found out that despite the exorbitant price tag, the sale of Dior Prestige skincare line is consistently topping other products/brands. Another interesting fact is that apparently, Dior spends the least amount of money on advertising their most expensive beauty products. Reason being – they don’t need to because they are selling so well and women are just hooked.

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Formula

Unlike most companies who purchase pre-made ingredients from factories in bulk, the prestige houses develop and make their own ingredients with the best raw materials. In this lush oil-serum, Dior has sourced the most expensive and rare roses – Rose Souveraine, which is the favorite rose used by Queen Marie Antoinette. Only the petals are used (not the entire rose) for extractions of the oil, and Dior undertakes a unique and ultra time-consuming extraction process (like a cold-press) to ensure the oil is ultra potent and efficient. The formula is simple yet luxurious – made of 100% natural oil and contains the highest concentration of Rose Souveraine for treating dry and aged skin, that guarantees to replenish and restore your skin like nothing else!

My Experience

The packaging is to-die-for. It is housed in a sturdy crystal-like glass bottle and truly looks like a piece of art. The formula is like an oil serum, and it has the finest and silkiest consistency that I have ever used. I actually can feel the difference in texture compared to other face oils when I had it applied the first time. It is absorbed into the skin immediately, with zero greasy residue and it does not make the face look and feel oily. There is also a beautiful soft fresh rose smell that lingers on the face for a while, which makes this oil even more luxurious to use.

Immediately your skin feels deeply nourished and unbelievably soft and radiant. Overnight, regardless of how dry and sensitive your skin is, the serum will restore the moisture level back to its best. I have used it in the minus zero winters in the Northern European countries as well as during seasonal changes where my skin was dry and irritated, and the serum never failed to work as a miracle oil overnight. Over time, I can clearly see that my complexion is rejuvenated as it appears more even and plumped with a glow, and makeup glides on beautifully. Best of all, if you want to adopt a simple skincare regime, this powerful anti-aging serum is all you need after cleansing and toning, as it doubles as a serum and moisturizer, and the product alone is more effective than having multiple average products.

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Application

Use once or twice daily depending on your skin condition, or as a one-month intensive treatment. About two pumps are needed per application. The oil is 50ml so it will last you 4-5 months of daily use.

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Bottom Line

My Holy Grail and highly recommended!!

 

 

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Peel is a game changer for my skin which had suffered from congestion since the teenage years. Prior to my “greatest discovery”, my skin tended to have blocked pores (aka black/whiteheads) on my nose, chin, and the cheeks. I had tried a gazillion pore clearing, clarifying and refining lotions and creams and none of them have completely solved the problem (albeit I have seen a mild improvement that makes the skin texture appear smoother). I had even stopped putting anything on my face (including makeup) for several weeks and apart from ‘feeling extremely insecure’ it didn’t help much either. My dermatologist told me to cut out dairy from my diet as it could contribute to the excessive oil production, and unfortunately, that did not work out either.

If you have the same skin problem as me, then I highly recommend you to give peels a go! To have your skin completely renewed and pores refined drastically, a medi-salon peel is the best option. I get one once or twice a year combined with micro-needling and the result is beyond phenomenal as it clears up and shrinks every single pore. There are a few days of downtime required as your face will look ‘badly sunburnt’.  To keep up the amazing poreless baby-like skin, I have incorporated a home peel to my skincare regime. The Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel is my favorite so far as it’s strong so it works. They have 3 levels of strength – extra strength, original (normal) and extra gentle. Since my skin is used to having strong treatments,  the extra strength does a good job for me without any irritation. If you are new to the world of peel, then perhaps start with either gentle or original.

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Another reason I love using the 2 -steps peel is the convenience as there is no rinse off required. It comes in 2 bottles, and there are 30 pre-saturated cotton pads in each bottle. Dr. Dennis recommends to use them every day. As for me, I use it 3 to 4 times a week and it is good enough for me to maintain the clear skin. If I didn’t have a salon peel, I would use this every day for a better result.

The peel does not dry out the skin and there is no irritation or redness after each use. Immediately you notice your skin is more smooth and makeup glides on beautifully. Over a period – when all the dead skin cells are ‘shed off’ and new cells have renewed, I can see that my skin appears more smooth, clear and refined, and it also helps the skin to absorb other skincare products better. The clarity is improved, and it brings back a natural glow to the complexion. Best of all, the pores have become decongested and more clear.

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How to Use:

I apply them at night. The pads are very ‘wet’ so it is enough for application to the whole face, neck, and décolletage.

Step 1 of the peel is for deep exfoliation and refining. It has higher concentrations of alpha and beta hydroxyl acids (than the original version) plus the additional of mandelic acid and willowbark extract, acids.

Step 2 immediately nourishes this newly revealed layer of skin with soothing, anti-aging ingredients. The formula more powerfully battles fine lines and wrinkles, large pores and uneven skin texture—but still without irritation.

The peel comes in different sizes. I bought them in the size 30 application, and it also comes in a mini size of 5 applications which is very affordable and allows you to experience the product without hurting your budget. I bought mine here with free worldwide shipping.

Ingredients

Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid,Citric Acid, Mandelic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Willow Bark Extract, Genistein, Chamomile, Green Tea Extract, Retinol, Phospholipids, Vitamins A, C, E, Yarrow Extract, Ubiquinone (CO-Q10), Resveratrol.

 

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SK-II is the skincare brand that I religiously re-purchase from as their star ingredient ‘Pitera’ works really great for my skin, and most of the products I have used truly deliver as what they claim. Lately, I have been using the trio of Facial Treatment Essence, RNA Power Radical New Age Essence, and the Genoptics Aura Essence, and I am loving the results, so I thought I’d do a combined review for the three of them.

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The Facial Treatment Essence is my holy grail essence water. Over the years I have used a fair number of high-end essence water and most of them were great, and somehow SKII is the only one that I continuously buy over and over.  I have praised it in many of my previous skincare routine posts, so I won’t go into the details. Overall this is an all-purpose gentle lightweight water lotion that deeply hydrates your skin for all skin conditions, and since one bottle has over 90% Pitera, it helps to exfoliate, clarify and refine the skin for crystal-clear skin. The best way to use this is to saturate the cotton pad with the lotion and leave it on the skin for a few minutes and immediately you will see your skin appear more clear and refined.

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After applying the Treatment Essence, I apply a few pumps of the SK-II RNA Power Radical New Age Essence which is their latest anti-aging breakthrough. It works to combat all signs of aging for a more firming, radiant and poreless complexion. In my opinion, this is a great beginner’s anti-aging serum for people who are in their 20s or early 30s. It has a lightweight non-sticky milky lotion serum consistency and absorbs into the skin immediately. It mildly hydrates the skin, and over a period of use, I have noticed my skin texture appears more refined with more clear pores. The serum alone did not blow me away, but I do like the overall result when it is combined with other SKII results, as I feel it also helps to boost the effect of other products. Price range and target customers are equivalent to the famous Advanced Night Repair by Estee Lauder (not for sensitive skin), or Lancome Genifique. I have used all three of them, and I would say the Estee Lauder improves the skin texture the best, Lancome Genifique is better for reducing pores and fine lines, whereas the SKII has a better repair power that heals and elevates the overall health of your skin.

The Genoptics Aura Essence is officially my Holy Grail brightening essence. I loved the result of their previous Genoptics, and recently SK-II released the Genoptics Aura Face Essence with an improved formula. The new version is more hydrating, and the texture feels so soothing and luxurious on the skin. It deeply hydrates the skin (almost like a hydrating serum), and it has a lovely milky essence lotion consistency that spreads and absorbs into the skin without any tackiness. Immediately I notice a more brightened complexion imparting a soft glow, and overnight I wake up with more plumped and radiant skin that is never dull even with a few hours of sleep. It also does a great job for whitening and keeping the pigmentation at bay. I was quite tanned after my recent Hawaii holiday, and I have now gone back to my normal shade after using this serum for a month, and my freckles have also faded. Overall I love this essence and I am already on my second bottle!

 

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Monthly Favorites!

February 5, 2017

Just a quick post on the weekend rounding up some of my favorite products over the past few months. Some have already been reviewed, and some are recently acquired that I fell in love with.

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1. Dior DreamSkin Perfect Cushion Foundation – Out of all the cushion foundations I have, this one is my top HG as it just enhances the skin to perfection! Not quite a foundation, more of a skin perfector – Reviewed here.

2. Suqqu Dual Ended foundation brush – This is the latest brush released by Suqqu, and you will never go wrong with them!

3. Zovea Nude Eye Shadow Palette – Been reaching out to this affordable palette a lot for an array of beautiful neutral shades in different finishes, and it is especially great for travel. Reviewed here.

4. Chanel Le Rouge Lip Crayon – Best formulas for lip crayons ever! Reviewed here.

5. Cle De Peau Radiant Fluid Foundation – It gives a beautiful natural radiant second-skin finish that lasts the whole day. Review to come soon.

6. Sisley Double Tenseur Moisturizing Gel – My HG daytime skincare lotion as well as a makeup primer that hydrates and lifts the skin instantly. Reviewed here.

7. SK-II Genopitcs Aura Essence – A hydrating and brightening serum that gives the skin a beautiful radiance and glow. It truly works overnight as well as over the long run. Review to come soon.

8. Baby Quasar MD Plus – Can’t live without this tool and even got my mum hooked on to it. It is expensive but it’s the best beauty investment I have ever made for anti-aging treatment at home. It’s easy to use and gives a pro-salon result over a short time. Review to soon.

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You know it is true love and is in the holy grail category when I have a backup of the same product. Case in point – this Sisley Paris ‘Double Tenseur’ Moisturizing Gel. I was at the Sisley counter a few months ago and was mainly interested in their newest foundation. It turned out I did not like the foundation but got blown away by this new product which is a skincare and makeup 2-in-1. In fact I loved it so much that I bought a second one a week later (bought here)!

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Basically, it’s a skincare lotion that can also be used a primer as it delivers a lifting effect both immediately as well as in the long-run . Sisley recommends to apply this product as the last step in your skincare regime, and just before you apply the foundation. It’s a miracle product that gives an instant lifting effect, and makes you look instantly refreshed and awakened. I am not sure what’s the technology behind this little bottle of gem, but according to Sisley, this gel creates a 3D mesh on your skin as a second-skin effect, and as it retracts, it gives a lifting sensation.

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My experience – yes it works amazingly! I can see a noticeable difference before and after. It just instantly makes the jaw lines appear more v-shaped, and best of all the lines around the nose is improved. I have used lots of lifting face products and this one by far delivers the most outstanding results for me. Ever since I have incorporated this gel in my makeup routine, I feel my complexion appears more youthful and refreshed, and I can guarantee I will be using it for another few years!

The Double Tenseur Moisturizing Gel has a silky clear gel texture and it absorbs into the skin immediately. It has a mild herbal scent and mildly hydrates the skin which preps the skin for foundation. As a skincare product, it goes well with the other products I am using – there is no flaking, no stickiness and feels completely weightless. As a makeup primer, it works well with all types of foundations. I have used both liquid and powder foundations and they all sit nicely on the skin.

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Bottom Line: Highly recommend if you are after a lifting product that truly works. Available here in the US, and here in Australia.

 

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Cle De Peau Beaute is one ultra-prestige skincare line that I am always curious about. Unfortunately, Cle De Peau is not available in Australia, and buying them online from overseas is also not an easy job. After hearing lots and lots of raves on one of their star products – the Essential Correcting Refiner (also available here), I finally managed to get my hands on it a while ago, and I love it to bits as a gentle clarifying toner for re-texturizing and pore refining my combo skin.

It is specifically formulated for treating the pores and skin congestion (black and white heads). It can be used on all skin types (except for very dry), and the philosophy is to balance the water and oil level of your skin to keep the pores clean and clear for a refined complexion. I know many of us suffer from combo skin (oily and dry at the same time), and this little purple bottle of water may be your perfect solution to treat two skin issues at the same time.

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The lotion has three key ingredients. The super hyaluronic acid for hydration, and refining and illuminating complex for retexturing the skin for a smooth and radiant complexion, as well as oil absorbing powder for oil controlling all day. It also contains alcohol (as with most famous Japanese essence lotions such as the SKII, Kose Sekkisei Lotion or Albion Skin Conditioner which I also adore), and I personally don’t mind it as my skin is not allergic to it.

I have used products with absorbing powder before, and I wasn’t so impressed as I find them quite drying. With the Cle De Peau, it is hydrating and clarifying at the same time, and most importantly it clarifies and deep cleanses the pores. For the application, give the bottle a good shake, then pat the lotion onto the skin. Immediately your skin feels hydrated, refreshed and incredibly velvety smooth, and the complexion appears more even-looking and refined with a semi-matte finish.  For treating the problematic areas such as the nose and chin, I then wet a cotton pad with the lotion, and wipe the cotton pad in a circular motion, and you will see it dissolve the dirt and oil on the surface. Over time, this product helps to unclog the pores and minimize the white/blackheads.

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