SKINCARE

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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It is the time of the year where everybody has lots of social gatherings planned, and we all want to look at our best! I have been good with my diet (trying to eat very clean food so I can fit into my party dresses and look less bloated), and most importantly I picked up some skincare products and tools that will instantly transform the appearance and texture of the skin to a better condition, and preps my skin to be party-ready (radiant and smooth).

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Baby Quasar MD Plus – Salon therapies definitely give you an instant skin transformation, but they are pricey and requires down time. At-home beauty tools are always a cheaper option to try, and they are far more effective than solely relying on the skincare. My latest addition is the Baby Quasar MD Plus. I have had it a few times in salons, and I finally decided to get the home version. It is not cheap, but I like the result it delivers and it is a gentle tool to use. It emits 4 different wavelengths that deeply penetrate,  stimulates collagen reproduction and over a short time your skin appears firmer with an improved density. I will do a full review on the tool soon, but in summary, this tool makes my skin appear  plumped up and more youthful looking with a glow instantly.

Kate Somerville Exfolikate – Still my HG exfoliator. I use it more intensively 2 weeks before the events/parties. It makes my skin as smooth as a baby’s bottom, and prevents congestion from clogging up.

GlamGlow TingleExfoliate Treatment – Another HG skincare item. A deep cleaning and clarifying mask that brightens and detoxifies the skin. Skin looks ultra clear and luminous after use!

Cle De Peau Essential Correcting Refiner – Best of the best pore refining lotion in the market! Full review coming soon

SKII Facial Treatment Essence – Alternating Cle De Peau with SKII, this famous highly concentrated Pitera liquid lotion deeply hydrates, clarifies and brightens for achieving crystal clear skin.

Suqqu Massage & Mask Creme – Face lift in a jar and is equivalent to the result of having a facial. It is a nourishing and moisturizing mask that gets rid of water retention, instantly creates a slimmer and more toned jaws and lifted cheeks and eyes following the enclosed GANKIN massage techniques.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream – Best seller from Charlotte Tilbury that she uses on Celebs and models before events. It cheats the appearance of 8 hours sleep and gives a plumped, glowing, youthful dewy complexion in a flash!

Chanel Le Lift Cream – Reviewed here. My go-to moisturizer for recontouring and refining the complexion.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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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!

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