Morning skincare routine

Here it is, the final entry for skincare week!

I know I seem to have worked backwards as far as sequence goes.. but that’s how my world works!

So this is going to be all about morning skincare. I basically keep it very simple and never really go overboard with any anti ageing skincare during the day time as I feel the benefits of skincare are delivered more effectively in the p.m, as skin repairs itself at night while we sleep.

Morning skincare routine Murad Lancome SK2 Clarisonic Fresh

 

 

I normally start off with a mild cleanse, as there is no makeup or dirt to be removed. All a morning cleanser needs to do is take away last nights left over skincare (if any) and clear out any dead skin cells.

For that I rely on this Murad one.

Also around three times a week I sneak in a bit of Clarisonic action skipping my Murad cleanser for some extra deep cleaning and literally sweep away any dead cell buildup. I pair it with this Soy face cleanser by Fresh.

Finally on to the good stuff,

During the a.m I like to use this Facial Treatment Clear lotion by SK2 which is a clarifying toner to refresh and wipe off dead cells and prep skin for the next step.. moisturizer!

Clarins HydraQuenchMoisturiser is something I take very seriously as my combination skin can be a real pain in the a** if not hydrated well and the dryer areas such as my cheeks can be especially uncooperative when I am applying foundation, and rebel with flakey patches. The key is to find a product that works great at hydrating as well as being light enough to not cause an oily mess on my t-zone as the day goes on.

I really love the Clarins HydraQuench range for this. It hydrates but is light enough for the daytime. It’s also a great basic moisturizer that pairs well with most serums as it doesn’t necessarily have any specific anti ageing or treatment properties that may conflict with the serums that you may currently use. It has a lovely light texture, a refreshing soft smell and absorbs really fast.

I’d highly recommend the cream gel version to anyone with oily or combination skin for effective oil free hydrating . Two thumbs up!

The next product is a fairly new addition to my routine. It’s this really nice Soothing Serum by Avène. It’s heaven sent for days when I wake up with a nasty red blemish or any irritations in general. This baby calms skin like nobody’s business! If you are plagued with sensitive skin as I am, you’d know the woes of dealing with hot, flushed red patches all over your face. The Soothing Serum calms redness caused by irritation within 15 mins and works really well for me. I just love it. (I use this before moisturizing btw and only when needed, not everyday)

Lancome Renergie Yeux Multi LiftNext up, eye creams

In the mornings I choose light or lifting eye creams. I find that my regular night eye creams are too heavy for the day time and would cause my concealer to migrate and shift as it makes the under eye area very slick.

So the SK2 Facial Treatment Essence eye cream is perfect for that. It’s a very light texture and delivers just enough hydration to create a good base for applying any concealer.

Another eye cream I really love for day time is this one by Lancôme. The Rénergie Yeux Multi Lift. I am so drawn to eye creams that lift the eye lid and deflate any puffiness. And in the mornings it’s essential to have depuffed under eyes to stop them looking tired. And this one is not too heavy and hydrates just the right amount. A big plus for me.

One more eye cream I really loved for it’s lifting action is the Clarins Defining Eye Lift. It instantly lifts up the eyelid and gives it a more youthful appearance. It also tightens the under eyes. Sadly I only had a sample of this and never really purchased it as it’s not necessarily hydrating enough to use on the whole eye area (it’s a runny liquid type serum). But I hope to purchase this in future as it did a good job as far as lifting goes, and I can use this strictly on my lids.

 

With that, I conclude my a.m routine.

Hope you found this post interesting.

Wishing you a lovely Sunday, and if you are a residing in Singapore there is a little giveaway happening on my IG (which ends tonight). Pop by there and leave a comment to win a whole bunch of Yves Rocher goodies that were so generously sent to me by Yves Rocher Singapore specially for my lovely followers. There are two sets up for grabs 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Cleansers, Cleansers, Cleansers!

I believe thorough cleansing is an integral part of ones skincare routine. As much as you put in effort to do your makeup, it’s also important to remove it at the end of the day and let your skin breath.

Unless you wear a lot of makeup you probably wouldn’t want to double cleanse. But making sure skin is squeaky clean before you get into bed is possibly the best beauty advice I could give anyone.

So if you are still on the look out for that perfect cleanser, maybe you’ll find something you’ll like here… So read on!

Cleansers

 

 

Here’s my stash. I know to some it may look a bit excessive, but I like to keep a wide selection at hand for my various cleansing needs. I promise you all of these purchases were necessary 😉

So what exactly are these so called ‘various’ cleansing needs?

a. Something mild, to use as a pre cleanser when I feel like double cleansing.

b. Morning cleansers

c. Heavy duty makeup removers (in my case, cleansing oils)

d. Cleansers I use with my Clarisonic

e. Exfoliating cleansers

 

Starting with morning cleansers.

My favourite is this Murad one for sensitive skin which I’ve been using for almost two years and love. It’s a gel formula and so mild; never strips my face off all it’s moisture. I love its very soft fresh fragrance and although it doesn’t lather too much, it’s very pleasurable to use.

I specially cherish it on days when my skin’s breaking out, as this never aggravates any sensitivity.

 

 

Murad Soothing cleanser

Pre cleansers

No cleanser post is complete without a mention of this miracle water. My trusty Bioderma. It’s a Micellar water cleanser, which requires no rinsing and is a soap & alcohol free formula. Also this has no detectable smell so it’s great for those who are sensitive to overly fragranced cleansers.

Personally I really love it for days when I wear little to no makeup and it’s my cheat for a quick cleanse without messing with cleansing oils. It’s also mild enough to use in a double cleanse routine.

On the down side I always see a tiny bit of makeup residue on my cotton pad after toning. So I always make sure I tone to get that last bit of makeup off.

What I love the most is this never leaves my face feeling tight or dry. A must have in everyones stash!

Bioderma

 

The makeup removers

For cleansing off a full face of makeup, I always rely on oils. They really do take off makeup effortlessly with no scrubbing. I seriously can’t believe I waited so long to try these!

Oil cleansers are usually applied on dry skin unlike regular foaming cleansers then massaged in and washed off. And my favourite cleansing oil is the SK2 one. I love that it’s so effective when it comes to taking off all makeup, no need to double cleanse. And it leaves no oily residue on your face but a soft moist bouncy clean feeling. It’s my favourite!

SK2 Oil cleanser

Also in my stash are two Shu Uemura cleansers. The POREfinist and Ultim8 (Both sent to me by Shu Uemura for review). They both do a good job cleansing off makeup but I am not too crazy about the fact that these sting my eyes. Specially the POREfinist, as it’s a finer and thinner formula than the Ultim8 it always, always gets in my eye!

Shu Uemura Cleanser

 

Cleansers I use with my Clarisonic

I only use one to be honest and that’s the Soy Face Cleanser by Fresh. Possibly their most popular skincare product. This has a very refreshing fragrance which I LOVE! I believe it’s cucumber… hmmm hard to describe actually.

It doesn’t lather up much as it’s a gel cleanser but after use I feel that it leaves the skin a bit thirsty. Not in a tight uncomfortable way but more of a ‘on the brink of feeling dry’ way.

So I am still on the look out for a more hydrating gel cleanser to use with my Clarisonic, so please let me know which ones you use with your Clarisonic. I’d love to give them a try 🙂

 

Fresh Soy Cleanser Review

 

Daily exfoliators

As much as I’d love to believe the claim that this gentle exfoliator is fine for everyday use. Good sense tells me not to.

Since skin doesn’t renew itself that fast, I feel that exfoliating everyday aka over exfoliating is just as bad as under exfoliating. That being said, the Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser smells sooo nice, it makes me want to! But of course I don’t! haha

It smells so fresh and I just love using this, but of course maybe once every three days or so, in the mornings. If you are lazy or keep forgetting to exfoliate, purchase this, it’s easy to use and you’d eventually train yourself to routine exfoliation!

I also love that the beads in this are not as abrasive compared to some in the market. And it’s actually pretty mild and never leaves your skin looking bruised and rosy!

Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser

Here’s a look at texture, I didn’t take any of the cleansing oils as they are purely just oil!

 

Cleanser swatches marked

So in summary,

Murad Soothing Gel Cleanser- For those with sensitive skin and redness try this mild cleanser.

Bioderma Créaline Micellaire Solution- Sensitive / Normal to Combination, great for lazy days and travel.

Shu Uemura Cleansing POREfinist- Oily to Combination skin to take off heavy makeup.

Shu Uemura Ultim8 – All skin types and claims anti aging skincare benefits so I’d say it’s suited for mature skin as well.

SK2 Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil – All skin types to take off heavy makeup.

Soy Face Cleanser- Normal to Combination skin (Although it’s recommended for all skin types) a good everyday cleanser.

Clarins Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser – All skin types

 

Hope you enjoyed this post and I plan on doing more skincare posts in the weeks to come.

So feel free to let me know if there is anything you specifically want to see on my blog 🙂

xx

 

 

 

Discovering SK2 Cleansers

SK2 cleansers

After lengthy testing, I am finally reporting back on those SK2 cleansers I posted on Instagram last December!

As you can see I have pretty much used up most of the product and am thoroughly acquainted with it before I share my findings.

First off, let me give you a quick intro before we get on to business.

Currently there are 5 types of cleansers that SK2 offers

  1. Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser
  2. Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil
  3. Facial Treatment Cleansing Gel
  4. Facial Treatment Gentle Cleansing Cream
  5. SK2 Men, Moisturising Cleanser

Of course I haven’t reviewed the SK2 Mens Cleanser, but let me help you discover some of the others.

So today I will share my thoughts on the Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser, Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil and the Facial Treatment Gentle Cleansing Cream.

Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser

The Facial treatment gentle cleanser is marketed as a face wash type cleansing cream that would normally be used after all makeup has been removed.

SK2 facial treatment gentle cleanser*Photograph was taken with my hand prepped with a makeup base in order to show how the cleanser reacts on a face with makeup.

At first glance this product is a nice creamy consistency and smells slightly of roses. It foams up thick and without many suds, more like milkshake frothiness if I needed to describe it.

After it’s washed off, it leaves the skin feeling lightly hydrated and supple. No tight or tingly feeling. My skin felt clean and happy! Overall I’d say it was a very enjoyable experience.

*Notes- At the time I was testing this out, I actually went right into taking off my makeup with this without any pre cleansing and I must say this still cleansed my face off makeup pretty effectively even though it’s recommended as solely cleanser and not necessarily a makeup remover.

Final thoughts

It is a no fuss product and if you are dipping your toe into the realm of SK2 skincare, you can’t really go wrong with this and best of all it’s mild enough for sensitive skin (I say this with conviction as mine’s sensitive, combination skin).

Facial Treatment Gentle Cleansing Oil

 This was the very first oil based makeup remover that I tried, EVER. And now all cleansing oils have to meet this ridiculously high standard that this oil has set. It’s by far my favourite. I love the way the scent of roses washes over me when I apply this on to my face; it’s actually quite a pampering experience.

SK2 Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil

I started off by applying the oil directly on to my face (without any water) and massaging it in circular motions to help break down the makeup. Then I go back in with a little water to emulsify and finally rinse it all off.

I love how this took off every last bit of makeup. Even my mascara! (which is not waterproof btw) The convenience of not having to use a separate eye makeup remover was an enormous selling point for me, I love how convenient and quick taking off my makeup was.

P.S- if you look closely at this pic you’ll notice, as soon as the oil comes into contact with makeup it starts breaking it down before I even get around to massaging it in! Effective!

Final thoughts

This too like the Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser, left my skin feeling bouncy and supple. And I love it for that. As I know that not all oil from my face has been stripped off.

I’d recommend it for all skin types as a gentle but effective cleanser.

Facial Treatment Gentle Cleansing Cream

This is a cream type cleanser to take off makeup. It’s obviously more suited for those with dryer complexions and would be ideal for travel since there is no danger of this spilling.  Now the full size product is actually quite a large jar, so if you are wondering how I recommend it as travel friendly, I am referring to decanting it first of course!

SK2 Facial Treatment Gentle Cleansing Cream

So The texture of this is a thickish cream. It doesn’t seem to have that delightful light scent of rose that I loved in the other SK2 cleansers. I’m guessing it’s cos it’s overpowered by it’s typical ‘cream’ smell.  Think Avene moisturisers, it’s a comforting scent nonetheless.

I applied this directly onto my made up face and massaged it in circular motions to break down my foundation and other makeup, the texture thinned out when warmed by the heat of my skin and spread easily.

I must note that with this cream I found it a bit weird taking off my eye makeup, like applying curd all over my eyes >.< Not something I’m used to. But I guess if you are familiar with this type of cleanser, it shouldn’t be a big deal!

After, I just took a tissue and wiped off the excess and washed my face. I did feel like there was still that creamy feel, I also noticed that my mascara had migrated to my under eye and never entirely came off.  So I was compelled to go in with my Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser to clear that feeling off my face! All in all, as a makeup remover, I found this ‘ok’. Not something I would consider buying in a full size.  I believe if you plan on purchasing this, it’s best if you use a separate eye makeup remover than trying to use this on the eyes as well.

In Summery, my favourites were the Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser and the Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil. I actually went on to buy a full size of the Cleansing Oil cos I loved it so much. I adore the light smell of roses and it feels so pampering and luxurious.

Although it’s a pricy product as far as cleansers or makeup removers go, if you are a current lover of the facial treatment essence, I know this would make a lovely addition to your skincare routine.

The Cream Cleanser on the other hand I would only recommend to those with dry skin or mature skin as a mild solution to removing your makeup. It is definitely not my cup of tea though.

All in all,  I hope I left you enlightened. And feel free to ask any questions about my experience with these products. Just leave a comment below and I would get back to you as soon as I could.

*I purchased mine online as a set of deluxe sized travel samples in order to try a lot of the products at once.  This is also a great option if you have very sensitive skin and want to trial them out before buying.

You can order them at www.strawberrynet.com

2013 Favourites – Skincare

Welcome to what would possibly be the longest post of the year! Quite a few products to cover, so I am gonna give you a quick intro and get right down to it.

This is basically part of a  ‘top products of 2013’ post.  Ideally I plan to cover, makeup, skincare (face), body care and lifestyle products as a series of posts.

So for today, let’s explore skincare! And here are my favourites for 2013.

Skincare sk2 la mer shiseido clarins

 

Cleansing oil

My top find was the SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil.  It’s effective in taking off even the most stubborn of makeup with ease and I only need around 5 splashes of this to melt off an entire face of makeup.

Its subtle rose scent makes the ritual of cleansing enjoyable and luxurious. And I found that compared to other cleansing oils I had tried, this didn’t strip my face off all moisture. I was left with mildly hydrated soft skin which felt amazing! I know at the price it retails, not many people would be rushing off to the counters to purchase this, but for those who can afford it, this is one of those products that’s worth splurging on.

Toners

The SKII Facial Treatment Clear Lotion was something I’d been wanting to try for the longest time. It’s a clarifying lotion that promises to sweep off dead cells and prepare skin for optimal absorption of your moisturizer and serums etc and also help with clearing blemishes and reducing any pigmentation from acne scarring.  I like that this is non drying  unlike most of the regular toners out there (Something I have come to notice with most SKII products).  And Since I am currently sampling a bunch of SKII, this fits in very well with my regime and is my favourite toner to date.

Serums / Boosters / Treatments

My Holy Grail serum is without a doubt my precious Lancome Visionnaire bottle, or two rather! I have one in a travel friendly 1 oz size and also the larger 1.7 oz size which I keep permanently at home.

This is what I turn to when my face starts acting up from any lazy cleansing or unhealthy eating habits. Whenever my skin feels irritated I just dab a generous amount (as an SOS treatment) on the affected area and overnight it either clears or reduces irritation.  I also use it day to day to maintain supple and refined clear skin and with prolonged use it erases blemishes and helps maintain a brighter complexion.

Recently I added the La Mer Treatment Lotion to my skincare stash. And this one is an extra step that I include in my moisturizing routine whenever I feel my skin needs extra hydration. It’s a relatively new product by the brand and I was keen to give it a go. It is a thicker clear lotion, which instantly absorbs into the skin and prepares it to receive any further serums or creams.

Moisturizers

When it comes to hydration, La Mer does it best! The La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream is something I never skip when it comes to night time skincare.

If you are having trouble deciding between the original Cream, the Soft Cream and the Gel Cream I feel that even if you do have combination skin the soft cream texture works best and not the gel formula; all you have to do is adjust the quantity you apply. I say this because, although the gel texture is great for your over enthusiastic t-zone, it’s not heavy duty enough for the dryer areas such as your cheeks. Only the oiliest skin types should go for the gel cream version.

So addressing one of the most FAQ’s, Is it worth it?  I can safely state it is! Not only does it moisturize, it improves and refines your skin over time with it’s incredible regenerating properties. I have found I have far less flaky patches since I’ve started using this and it makes my skin look rested and plump.

My trusty Clarins Hydraquench Cream-Gel is my favourite for light hydration  for the day time. I wear this under makeup and it instantly refreshes my cleansed skin and preps it for a smooth surface to apply my base. It is NOT greasy at all; in fact it is one of the lightest yet most effective moisturizers I have ever come across. And I love the mild energizing scent this has, not one of those unbearable floral scented creams!

Anti ageing/ anti wrinkle creams

I discovered the SKII Wrinkle Specialist last year. Although every time I was at the counter and I asked for a sample I never received one due to ‘lack of stock’. After months of waiting I finally decided to take the plunge and made my purchase at the Duty free.

Thankfully, this works! My expression lines were visibly reducing within a weeks use. And although I keep rotating a lot of my serums and treatments, I always remember to sneak this in time to time. Very happy with my purchase!

Eye creams

By far the hardest cream to zero in on, and I have literally been hopping from counter to counter in search of a good one that’d work for my concerns, wrinkles and hydration.

And 2013 was a good year and I found a great product for hydration and basic anti ageing, enter Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Corrective eye cream. It only took me two tiny samples to decide this was gold! {Figuratively and literally (the packaging)!} My under eye area has never felt this refreshed and rested in their entire lives!

To me, hydration is key to preventing wrinkles, and this will definitely stop mine from getting worse. Although I haven’t noticed much of a wrinkle reducing action from this, I still firmly believe this is a really good investment!

Lip treatments

I haven’t really been on the look out for lip balms or treatments per say, but with a recent Neimans haul I received this little sample of Sensai Cellular Performance Total Lip Treatment.

It’s such a light texture that it’s easy to disregard it as a worthy contender, but I can vouch that it can cure any roughnes or flaking dry lips as good (if not better) than those lip balms with a thick emollient texture such as the one by La Mer.

What I need to emphasize though is that this is not just a lip balm.. It’s a treatment, like a serum for the lips if you may, which is marketed as a collagen synthesizer to maintain youthful plump lips.

It comes with instructions for a relaxing application method with an acupressure massage technique to stimulate the area around the lips to increase blood flow and ease out the onset of lines. Wish I had the patience to keep at it though….

 

With that I conclude my round up of favourites for the skincare category and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post and also of any products that you have found to work for you.

 

And lastly, thank you for stopping by 🙂