SKINCARE

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!

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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.

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

 

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Sharing some of my favorite skincare products of late. I go through lots of products at the same time, and once in a while, I like to do a round-up post on some of the products that I enjoy using.

NARs Multi Action Hydrating Toner – A lovely hydrating and refreshing toner in watery gel consistency, with some brightening properties that help to combat the formation of pigmentation. I bought the toner because I really like its sleek and minimum packaging, and its’ reasonably priced for such a large bottle. I enjoy using it in hot weather when my skin is not so dry, and it feels refreshing, lightweight and it mildly hydrates the skin. It also helps to clarify and deep clean the pores – If I apply this toner with a cotton pad even after washing my face with cleansers, sometimes there is still dirt and makeup residues left on the pad. It reminds me of the famous Clinique Clarifying Toner, but this is an alcohol free, and a much gentler and hydrating version of it.

Jan Marini Age Intervention Retinol Plus: I was a little skeptical about introducing retinol into my regime. My dermatologist highly recommended me to incorporate this 0.5% retinol serum nightly to start with, after I complained that I noticed some pores on my face becoming raindrop shaped which is clearly a sign of aging. I finally started using it about a month ago, and all I can say is what have I been missing out on all these years!! It has made a huge difference to my skin texture, as it truly visibly refines the pores over a period of one week. My complexion is looking more even, refined and the pores are more cleared, which in a way has improved the appearance of the pores. Retinol is also great for anti-aging, so if you start to see fine lines this is also a great product to consider. Not much firming and lifting effect from using it. Next on my to-try list will be the Chantecaillie Retinol Intense +.

Sulwhasoo Activating Serum:  Reviewed here! Love this super hydrating and soothing serum which also helps to boost the benefits of other skincare products. The high concentration of ginseng also helps with blood circulation for a more youthful and radiant complexion.

Chanel Sublimage Regenerating Mask: As the mercury is dropping drastically in Australia, I am starting to appreciate this ultra nourishing mask more and more. You can see my full review here. In short, it’s a lovely luxury ultra moisturizing mask with anti-aging and regeneration benefits. It’s particularly great for those who are seeking the convenience of just using one product overnight (as a sleeping mask), and it gives you radiant, fully re-charged skin the next day.

Chantecaille Fruit and Acids Mask: This is an oldie but goodie which I really like to use once a week for exfoliating, clarifying the skin for a clearer complexion. It contains grapefruit and flower acids which help to take off the dead skin cells and re-texturises. It’s very gentle, and the result is instant to a brighter, more even-toned, radiant complexion after one use.

Fresh Youth Preserve Serum: Last but not least, I can’t believe this lovely serum from Fresh is discontinued. It’s hydrating, lightweight and is absorbed into the skin immediately. Just a really lovely serum to use in the morning, and helps the makeup go on nicely. And the best thing about it is that it smells exactly like the Fresh Soy Cleanser – like heaven! I’m addicted to the smell of all Fresh skincare products!

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Here is a quick review of the APOT.CARE OPTILASH Lash Enhancing Serum this weekend! I have never reviewed any eyelash growth products on this blog, but I have actually used many different brands in the past. So before I dive into the review for this brand, I thought I’d give a quick rundown on what I have used in the past and how effective they were. Most of the eyelash growth products I’ve used give improved results to some extent, but the most important factor to consider is how “safe” it is to your eyes as there were some effective products pulled from the market due to controversial ingredients.

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In terms of results, I was the most impressed with RevitaLash Eyelash Conditioner (available here in Australia). It is very effective and truly makes your lashes much thicker and longer after 2 weeks. This is the product that gives me the best results, as it probably increases the volume and length by 50%. However it always starts to agitate my sensitive eyes (they become more dry, gritty and itchy) after 2-3 weeks. I have to stop using it for a week for my eyes to ‘heal’, and then instead of applying it everyday I can only use it for few days a week to maintain the result. At this pace one tube can last me almost 6 months.

RapidLash Enhancing Serum – Not a bad product for half the price of RevitaLash! I can see my lashes grow longer and thicker after 2-3 weeks, but the result is not astonishing – I would say this product gives 30% of improvement. It also irritates my eyes the same way as with RevitaLash.

Latisse – The most famous eye lash growth serum. I have tried very hard to get hold of this product in Australia. The result was as good as with RevitalLash, however the irritation to my eyes was so bad to a point that I had to visit an eye doctor for prescription eyedrops! It’s not a product that I will touch again.

The reason I wanted to give a full review for the OPTILASH is because this is the only effective serum that I have used with absolutely no irritation to my eyes! The formula has been ophthalmologist and dermatologist tested, and I am glad that it truly worked for me without any side effects! It works the same as any other lash serums – just apply along the upper lash lash once a day, and don’t worry about the lower lash line as the product will get to it when you blink your eyes. I started to see my lashes became thicker after about a week into using it, and the optimum result is seen after 3 weeks as my lashes are about 40% thicker, fuller and longer than. As the brand promised, this is a very gentle yet effective formula. It doesn’t sting if it gets into my eyes, and I have been using it for more than a month now with no discomfort experienced. The other bonus is that the price tag is much more friendly.

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Other information about Optilash

- Made in France

- Optilash is prostaglandin-free, prostaglandin derivative-free, hormone derivative free.

- Optilash enhancing serum formula is suitable for sensitive eyes, and can be used even with contact lenses.

- Optilash can be used by pregnant women

With all the products above, I did not experience darkening of the skin around my eyes.

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If you are not the most enthuastic korean beauty fan, you will probably be confused of what brand and products to get as they all look and sound the same, and some can be a little gimmicky (at least to me!). One brand that guarantees premium quality and a luxury user experience would be the top rated Sulwhasoo. I haven’t tried that many products from the brand, but so far everything I have used has blown me away, including the Perfecting Cushion Foundation (reviewed here – the best cushion foundation in the market!), the ultra nourishing Gingseng Renewing Cream for the driest skin (packed with high concentration of ginseng), and my latest additions were the  First Care Activating Serum and the Snowise EX Brightening Mask reviewed in this post.

Long time readers would know that my all time favorite masks has always been the SKII , and it has now been officially replaced by the Sulwhasoo Brightening Mask (currently on backorder at Nordstrom!). I ran out of paper masks when I was holidaying in Hawaii, so I shopped around and decided to give the Sulwhasoo a try.  The next day I went back to the same counter and purchased two more boxes as they were so good!

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The mask is for hydrating and brightening use, and it does both jobs exceptionally well. The main ingredient is the fermented ginseng essence, which gives a “treatment equivalent” result. For brightening, it claims that it will leave your skin luminous and more translucent than ever after just a single use. Most paper masks always make your skin appear brighter after use, but the difference with this mask is that the immediate brightening effect is better, and leaves your skin appearing visibly  more translucent, youthful and even-toned after use. The brightening effect is also prolonged for a few days. If you have the budget of using the mask 3 times a week, they will dramatically improve the tone and luminosity of your skin from deep within more so than makeup products. I was literally sun-baking everyday for 2 weeks when I was in Hawaii, I used the mask every 2 days and my complexion became even brighter (existing freckles did not darken) after my holiday so I was very pleased! It also helps to hydrate and plump up your skin. If you have normal to dry skin, this mask is sufficient for keeping your skin hydrated with some anti-aging benefits. If you have very dry skin, I think the SK-II is still a better option.

The sheet mask has the ‘skin-like’ paper-gel texture, and it is extremely thin and completely adheres to the face regardless of your face shape (no bubbles!). The mask is fully soaked with milky essence, and it stays moist for up to 30 minutes. I normally leave the mask on for 20-30 minutes for the optimum result.

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The Sulwhasoo SA also successfully convinced me to purchase their best seller the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum. We all know the Koreans have the most complex skincare system, and this product is designed to be used as the first product of the entire skincare regime. It is a serum which helps to deeply hydrate, plump the skin immediately, as well as for boosting other skincare products for ultimate results. The purpose of this product is very similar to the famous Lancome Genifique. It has a honey colored consistency with a soothing herbal smell, feels lightweight and non sticky and is absorbed in to the skin immediately. It is very hydrating, especially if you feel your skin is becoming accustomed to the products you are using for a while, this boosting serum helps to give them a kick and offers extra moisturizing effect. Even on its own without using any other serums, it’s a lovely gentle serum that helps to replenish essential moisture and nutrients for all skin types and suitable for all age groups.

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Kate Somerville makes some interesting and unique skincare products that always catch my attention. I haven’t used many of her products, but I truly like the ones I have used thus far. This post is the review for the products I am using at the moment – The Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment has been my holy grail for years, and the Dermal Quench Liquid Lift is my new discovery which I am quite pleased with.

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As with most beauty products in the market these days, shopping for an exfoliator can be a little confusing as they are all promoted with a fancy name! Generally speaking, there are only 2 types of exfoliators. The most basic ones are the physical scrubs that contain micro grains that works to scrub the dead skin off. It is suitable for younger and oily skin. I like it on the days when my skin feels a little rough. If you have sensitive, thin or acne prone skin, you might find them to be too scrubby. The second type is the chemical exfoliator which contains a main ingredient that helps to dissolve dead skin cells and help the skin to renew at a quicker pace. I find them to be more effective as I age, as they give my skin an instant boost of radiance and clarity. The common ingredients in the chemical exfoliator include different types of hydroxy acids or enzymes. I have used them all, and I find enzyme works the best for my skin, hence I love Kate Somerville the most as enzyme is the key ingredient in her signature product. Other similar products that include enzymes that I also adore are the Tracie Martyn and the Pevonia.

The Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment has a dark green rough mud-like texture (which also feels slightly grainy) with quite a therapeutic minty herbal smell. I like the original version as it is quite intensive, and it gives a little tingling sensation upon application but no redness for me. There is also a gentle version available. It is dubbed as a ’2 minute facial at home ‘ as you apply a thin layer of this product on the skin for 2 minutes (preferably in a steamy environment), and rinse it off. Instantly you feel your skin becomes much smoother with clogged pores slightly more cleared up, and more radiant and glowing with the result comparable to as if you just had a mini facial. I have gone through tubes and tubes of it, and I am still very impressed with the result after each use!

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I was after a lifting and firming lotion, so I thought I’d give the Liquid Lift a try.  It is an anti-aging product that claims to have breakthrough technology with a blend of hyaluronic acid and other powerful complexes, that helps to increase skin moisture level by 100%, and dramatically improve the appearance of lines and sagging skin. It comes in an aerosol bottle, and you need to give it a shake before use. For application, you spray the face and apply 3 strips to each side, and followed by massage immediately. It has a mousse (foam) like texture, and becomes watery-gel when you start massaging the face. It feels quite lubricant and lightweight but not sticky, with a cooling sensation so it helps to de-puff which makes a good product for a quick massage for the face. Takes about 1-2 minutes for the product to be completely absorbed into the skin, and the complexion feels very hydrated and supple afterwards that feels equivalent to a hydrating serum. As for lifting effect, there is no taut feeling to the skin after use, but I do notice my complexion appears slightly lifted. However I am not sure if that was due to the product, or the massage! Nevertheless as long as the product combines with the method delivers the result, I am happy!

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I often get asked about my updated skincare routine from my readers, and it seems a very big job for me to consolidate everything I use into one post. I am currently in the process of shortlisting a handful of products that I absolutely love. In the meantime, I like to share with you a selection of products that I am bringing along with for my upcoming 2 weeks vacation in Hawaii! These are the trial and tested products that I pulled from my current skincare selections (not just random samples), and they are mainly for keeping my skin clear, congestion free, hydrated and lifted (so more photogenic) on a hot destination.

best-skincare-routine-tutorial-normal-oily-skin-reviewCLEANSE:

TATCHA One Step Camilia Cleansing Oil: My holy grail cleansing oil for removing makeup. One pump is all you need for removing the makeup completely, and it emulsifies well and most importantly it doesn’t make my vision blur for days if it gets into my eyes accidentally.

SUQQU Eye Makeup Remover: It removes the eye makeup including waterproof mascara easily, and is super gentle for my sensitive eyes.

TATCHA Polished Rice Enzyme Powder:  Love this gentle powder exfoliator that also helps to brighten. It totally deserves a separate review post for it.

MASKS:

GLAMGLOW PowerMud DualCleanse Treatment: It is currently my favorite deep cleansing mask. I love it so much so I bought a mini size just for this trip. It is gentle (doesn’t sting), but very effective for lifting all the impurities and clearing out the pores.

SK-II Facial Treatment Mask: My go-to paper mask for ultimate hydration and glowy skin. I plan to use one a day so it helps to reverse the damage from the sun, and keep my skin hydrated and brightened.

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DAY & NIGHT:

La Mer The Reparative Face Sun Lotion SPF 30: If you want to simplify your skincare routine, this is possibly the only product you need in the morning. It is La Mer Moisturing lotion + SPF30 sun protection. This milky lotion is less richer than their famous cream, so it is light enough to use in the morning with the same repairing benefits as in all La Mer products.

La Mer The Mist: A very refreshing and hydrating mist that is great to use during the day to replenish the moisture and keep the skin cool.

Dr Ci LaboVitamin C Special100 Series: Pure vitamin c oil that moisturizes and also helps to improve pigmentation and brighten up the skin. It’s great for mixing in with other products.

For Beloved One Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum 20% . It is the newest ingredient that surpasses the effect of BHA+AHA which is trending everywhere in Asia now. It gives a deep exfoliation (like a mild peel effect) to the skin, and it is the most effective I have ever used for clearing up pores, and preventing pore congestion. If you notice your skin is not as smooth, or has white heads, and congested pores but difficult to remove, then this serum brings all the dirt and impurities to the skin surface and help to dissolve them after 2-3 uses. Continuous use will help the pores to stay clear longer. I use it twice a week, and always mix it with the vitamin c oil to make it more diluted and apply it over the areas prone to congestion.

Beauty Bar 24K Gold:  My favorite portable beauty tool for de-puffing and a temporary more lifted look (reviewed here).

Methode Jeannue Piaubert Visagist Facial Slimming Roll-On: This brand makes the best slimming and contouring body products. I was excited to find out that they also have a slimming skincare product for the face. I bought this in Europe earlier this year, and unfortunately I can’t find any stockist online.

HAIR & BODY:

Jurlique Hand Cream: Holy grail hand cream that I have repurchased over and over.

Original Mineral Frizzy Logic Shine Serum: A weightless serum that repairs the hair and control the frizzes. Similar to Argan oil but I prefer this one.

 

 

 

 

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Today’s review is for the supremely luxurious Chanel SUBLIMAGE Regenerating Mask. I don’t use skincare products from Chanel as much as with their makeup, as I always prefer brands that are specialized in skincare rather than generic beauty brands that do everything. However after trying out several samples from the SUBLIMAGE series, I was totally blown away by the performance.

One of the products that wowed me the most was the Sublimage Lotion (it just made my skin look so good!), but I didn’t buy the full size version as I had way too many serum lotions to get through. I was convinced to buy the Regenerating Mask as I was in need of a wash-off type mask and the SA claimed this was more intensive than the lotion, and it could also be used as a sleeping mask.

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As with most high end masks, it comes with the most luxurious packaging that makes you feel very pampered every time you apply this over the face. It has a set of standard tools such as a mask brush, a scoop, and a small pamphlet with massaging techniques included to make a prestige skincare product.

It has a thick and heavy cream texture that moisturizes even the driest skin, and smooths out the dry lines within few minutes. Different to the gel mask, this is much more nourishing and anti-aging. Since it’s so expensive I always use it a as sleeping mask so I can get optimum results. The formula is very rich, so I only need a very small amount to cover the whole face and I leave it on my face for at least 30 minutes before I go to the bed. It has quite a strong signature Chanel floral rosey scent that makes it smell enchanting.  My skin feels extremely supple and smooth with a radiant glow the next day similar to having an intensive moisturizing facial. It takes away all the dry patches and makes my complexion look fresh and rejuvenated. No brightening, lifting and repairing effect observed.

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Overall I recommend this product for those of you who are short on sleep, and are wanting your skin to look at its best the next day; or if  you don’t have the time for a long skincare routine and  just want to use one product at night that gives you the similar result as with 10 products. For people with oily skin, this mask may be too rich for you.

I bought the mask here in Australia. It is available on Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus Online in the US.

 

 

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The Clé de Peau Beauté cleansing foam is one of the best foaming cleansers I have ever used which deserves a proper review post.  This is the cleanser that would testify ‘good skin begins with good cleansing’. I have been using this on and off for the past 10 years, and every time I go back to it , I always feel my skin’s condition is improved.

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I would call this a deep cleansing cleanser for every day use as it does the most thorough cleaning job – it takes off every single trace of impurities and makeup, and it purifies to the bottom of the pores so it makes the them look very clean. Your complexion appears exceptionally clear, brightened and full of radiance after washing with this compared to the other cleansers. It comes in 2 variations – Gentle Cleansing foam that is designed for normal to dry skin, and the Refreshing Cleansing Foam for normal to oily skin. I am using the gentle version which works really well for my dry and sensitive skin. It makes the skin feel squeaky clean and refreshed without stripping off the moisture. It has a clean and delicate flora soapy scent, and has a creamy white paste texture that lathers up to the creamiest and most dense and emollient foam.  The resilient lather feels uber luxurious and velvety against the skin. It is on the expensive side, but a little product goes a long way and this tube will last you a very long time.

The ingredient list

Bottom Line: If you are still on the look out for a perfect foaming cleanser, give this one a try! The Clé de Peau Beauté cleanser is available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and SAKS in the US.

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