February Favourites

So first week of February I packed my bags and headed to California taking with me, all my skincare essentials and makeup. I knew the weather wasn’t going to be hot and humid like Singapore. It was Winter over there, dry and slightly chilly; so obviously my current skincare and makeup routine needed to be tweaked to accommodate these changes. This post is all about the products that stood out this month helping me cope with all these changes…

…..my favourites for February.

Beauty and skincare favourites Lamer Diptyque Chanel Tom Ford

La Mer hand cream – The most hydrating hand cream I’ve ever used. This was the first purchase I made the second I got to SF. My hands were dry and felt so parched after that long flight and I needed an SOS solution to take care of them and this was it. What I love the most is, even though it’s a thick cream, once you spread it on and massage it into you hands, it doesn’t feel horribly greasy, which is a good thing. It protects your hands from loosing moisture and keeps them feeling comfortable and supple; I carried this in my handbag everyday. In case you were wondering if there was any added SPF, no. This is just purely for hydrating purposes.

Favourites Tom Ford lipstick Giorgio Armani beauty Flash Lacquer

Tom Fords Spring 2014 lipsticks – If I had to pick one thing from all the Spring releases. This would be it. I adore the white packaging. Although I initially felt the need to rebel and whine that I prefer the mahogany casing, the white was a refreshing change for Spring 🙂 And I am happy I managed to snag a few of them before they go out of stock. To me, the colours that stood out the most were Summer Fling and Firecracker. I used Summer Fling almost everyday in Feb, and still not tired of it!

Giorgio Armani Flash Lacquer in 107 – This was my favourite gloss to layer over my TF Summer Fling lipstick. I love how light and moist it is without being sticky. Such a great colour for a polished look.

Lancôme Absolue foundation – There was a reason I packed this for my trip;  back in Jan, I tried Absolue out and although I loved the texture and feel of this, I found it could get a little too dewy. So I thought since it’s deeply hydrating and has added skincare in it, why not test it out in dryer weather. It turned out to be the perfect companion! I shudder at the thought of how my skin would feel with Chanels Perfection Lumiere on.  >.<

The Body Shop Shimmer cubes – These are the cutest things ever! Although they are meant for the eyes, there’s nothing stopping me from using these pretty much on any part of my face. You see, when I was packing, I deliberately didn’t pack a daytime highlighter since I was planning on getting the Armani Belladonna that was due to be released soon. So in the mean time, I was highlighterless! It was chaos basically, since highlighters are a must have for me. So I compromised, used the lightest shade in this quad as a highlighter one day and it was love at first swipe. I also love that it’s not gonna burn a hole in your wallet!

Cle de peau Tom Ford lipsticks Diptyque

Clé de Peau concealer stick – This is by far the best concealer that I have ever come across. It’s the perfect balance between pigmentation and creaminess. I love how smooth this is without being overly emollient, and covered everything so effortlessly using just a teeny tiny amount of product. Of course it’s not a steal at $70! But given how little you need to use of this product, it would last you at least two years 🙂 Definitely a good investment.

Éclat de Corail blush by Lancôme – This along with another 3 Blush Subtil colours were packed in my pouch ready for review, and from the lot, this was my favourite. It was a very wearable, simple everyday shade which pretty much compliments any outfit or makeup look I wear. A warm peachy coral shade with a subtle gold shimmer to it. I just loved it so much!

Chanel Joues Contraste in the colour Rose Petale – Another one of my vacay purchases and I got to use it a lot throughout the month. Rose Petale is the perfect muted rose shade and I love the US formula of these blushes and was happy to pick it up. If you are used to the baked version, let me tell you the pressed one is very very different. I personally love how soft and pigmented this version is, and no longer will I ever buy another baked Chanel blush again!

Diptyque Rosa Mundi – I was just sooo excited to visit the SF Diptyque boutique just to get my hands on this, so I splurged and came home with the entire range, the Rosa Mundi Candle, Eau Rose body lotion and hand cream. The body lotion is my favourite so far. And I used it everyday. Since the Eau Rose perfume isn’t that long lasting, layering it with this helps with keeping the scent going for longer:-) Although the hand cream and the body lotion are permanent releases (thank god!) the candle isn’t. So if you want to get your hands on this, act fast!

That concludes my list of favourites for the past month, hope you enjoyed reading. What have been your favourites for February? I’d love to know!

Wishing you a fabulous March!

Michelle.

Black Gold! – GLAMGLOW Supermud and Youthmud

After reading it’s rave reviews over and over for around a year, I finally have the opportunity to try GLAMGLOW as it had slowly made its way to Sephora in Singapore. However, being the patient girl I am, I decided to wait a lil bit longer and take advantage of a super deal that Sephora US was offering (Since I was to travel to SF within a week or so), basically for the price of one, I get to try a full sized Supermud and a half sized generous sample of Youthmud!

So on my very first day in SF, I hopped over to Sephora wasting no time! (I’d suggest you do the same if you want to take advantage of this offer as it was a holiday gift pack and stocks are now running low)

 

supermud youthmud glamglow

 

* Top to bottom, swatches of Youthmud (lighter one) and Supermud.

Glamglow mud mask youthmud supermud

 

Review

First up, Supermud clearing treatment. Since my main concern was blackheads and light breakouts I decided to try this first. The SA at Sephora that assisted me with this purchase mentioned that only a very thin layer was required, so I did exactly that. Upon application, I felt a slight tingle/burn around my nose and cheeks, (but before I proceed any further, just so you know, I have pretty sensitive skin) which subsided as the mask began to dry.

According to the instructions leaflet it was suggested leaving this on anywhere between 5-20 mins, I decided to leave it on till the entire mask was fully dry with no wet patches, which was around 15 mins.

I then lightly wet the mask to soften it and proceeded to wash it off in circular motions.

What I noticed was a few of my deep rooted white heads had come up to the surface. I decided to aid the process and eased them out with my fingers, which I am pretty sure is not the recommended course of action! But if it works for you, just do it 😛 But yes, it literally draws them out!

So far I have used it twice now and I find that my whiteheads and blackheads are easier to get out. And I am hoping with regular use they wouldn’t come back as this is a clearing mask. I also love that this isn’t as drying as regular clarifying masks and my skin didn’t feel like it was stretched tight over my scull! However if you have dryer skin, this may feel slightly drying, but not overly so. I would recommend immediately following it up with a hydrating cream of your choice.

In summery, I think this mask does do what it claims, clearing blackheads and breakouts as it deeply purifies pores, and I would most definitely repurchase this.

 

Next up, Youthmud Tinglexfoliate treatment. This is the famed ‘Hollywood facial in a jar’ which brought GLAMGLOW it’s star status. It promises immediate camera ready, glowing skin! So, I put it to the test 😉

Just like the Supermud this too was a nice smooth texture which applied evenly with no tugging. What stood out was that apart from it’s French sea clay and volcanic pumice, it had actual crushed green tea leaves in it. I am guessing, for it’s antioxident, soothing properties, which did give this mask a slightly more luxe feel which I quite liked.

I applied it on my forehead as that’s the most dull area of my face, it needed all the brightening it could get! Upon application I noticed that this was a bit more potent than the Supermud and had extra ‘tingle’. But thankfully faded away as it dried.

I washed this off after 10 mins as instructed and lightly exfoliated my face in circular motions while doing so, which resulted in baby soft skin that was in fact brighter. I wouldn’t say that this is the best brightening mask i’d ever tried. But it did do a pretty good job, although personally I prefer my Ren Glycolatic peel mask (which I reviewed on the blog before) and don’t plan to repurchase the Youthmud in a full size.

 

Product info-

Retails at Sephora – USD 69 for one Supermud (34g) + Youthmud (15g)  Excellent value for money! Also worth noting, you get around 17 applications of the Supermud mask from a single regular sized jar which comes to around $4 per sitting.

Also available at Sephora Singapore.

 

Lastly, wishing everyone a sunny weekend, and thank you for dropping by!

 

 

 

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 🙂

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask

Glycolactic radiance renewal mask

Today I will be reviewing a mask by REN, a much talked about skincare company that ‘uses only 100% plant and mineral derived actives and is free from skin-unfriendly synthetic ingredients *’ which means, No Parabens, Sulfates, Mineral oil, Silicones, artificial fragrances etc… And as a plus, this company does NOT test on animals which is something I love to see on product packaging!

I picked up this mask maybe about two months ago, and the fact that it was always out of stock at my local retailer was something that got me even more excited to try it! It’s like those magical words ‘Limited Edition’ is to makeup! Ha ha! So in the mean time while I waited for new stock to arrive I tried a sample of this as well as the F10 Smooth and Renew Peel mask (intended for sensitive skin).

Between the two, the Smooth and Renew mask left me so underwhelmed that I banished all thoughts of purchasing it, where as the Glycolactic Radiance Renewal mask was everything a mask should ideally be… deliver SPEEDY RESULTS!

Image

I love the no nonsense packaging of REN products, and the pump bottle is perfect as it is the most hygienic for this type of product. It also comes with a tiny little cap for the nozzle that keeps the mask fresh too. So yes, packaging gets a 10/10 from me.

The product is somewhat of a thick jelly like texture that looks like fruit puree with the most amazing nectarine orangey smell! I die!  And remember? no artificial fragrances! Isn’t that just awesome!  Then as I glanced through the ingredients list I came across Lactic acid, Papaya extract and various other fruit extracts (which explains the smell!).. all of which are known to help peel off the dead skin cells to reveal fresh youthful skin.

Onto instructions for use and findings-

Upon application the mask leaves a slight tingling sensation, though not to the point where it is uncomfortable, after I left the mask on for 10 minutes I washed it off using the soft muslin cloth that came with the product, and noticed how radiant, glowy and soft my skin felt, it was actually one of those moments when you hear the heavens sing! Mind blown!

The mask did leave a few tiny red blotches around my nose and cheeks which is expected since I do have sensitive skin, and this mask is NOT recommended for sensitive skin btw! But I sprayed a bit of Avene thermal spring water on my face and it helped curb the redness. To me the overall result was well worth that short period of discomfort of blotchiness and I also noticed that with use, my skin didn’t react as much as the first time I used the product. So to sum it up, best try a sample before purchase if you have very sensitive skin.

….and the answer to the million dollar question, would I repurchase? – A hundred times yes! This product works, and I would love to use it everyday and the only thing stopping me is that it’s only recommended to be used once a week.

Other info-

Contains 50ml/1.7fl.oz product per bottle and is available in the US at Sephora for US$ 55 and online via Strawberrynet.com for US$ 58

I purchased mine at Escentials Singapore at the Tangs beauty boutique, and is also available at Escentials at Paragon.

Thank you for reading, and please don’t hesitate to contact me if there are any questions about this product that you may want answered, as I am always happy to help! 🙂 Catch me on Instagram as well for updates on all things makeup and beauty related. Username ‘bubblymichelle’

xx, Michelle.