Category Archives: Body

The Top 5 Repurchases

It’s been a year since my last post, and since I’ve taken this blog offline. At one point last year there were too many things going on in my life. Mind you, my skincare habit has not wavered one bit. Its just that it took too much energy to keep the words and pictures going. Things were much simpler when I took to writing snippets for myself, with no regard for grammar, vocabulary and pictures.

Earlier this year while at lunch with a friend, the topic moved on to skincare at one point. The said friend commented that my eye literally light up when I talk about skincare. I don’t even do that when I talk about my job. And I like my job.

That is when I thought maybe I don’t just like skincare. Maybe a better word is I love it? I’m even passionate about it?

And then, here it is, back to blogging and nurturing this passion of mine. I don’t know how things will go yet. I can’t wait. 😀

 ♪└|゚皿゚ |┐♪└| ゚皿゚ |┘♪┌| ゚皿゚|┘♪

Over the past year, I still like to be the guinea pig and constantly try new products. But through trial and error I found a few that I return to time and time again. So today I’m bringing you my favorite 5 beauty repurchases.
Estee Lauder ANR (m)

1. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair

This is the second and third jumbo-sized brown bottle put to action. ANR has been written and raved about so thoroughly that I guess I have nothing original to add. It is not a miracle worker, but it is good for improving skin texture and firmness. For radiance, spots and wrinkles, I’d suggest using another specialized serum on top of this. Chifure Essence (m)

2. Chifure Beauty Essence

Okay, I am cheating here, this is not technically a repurchase. I’ve been using this product for only a month since I returned from Japan, but I can really foresee myself staying madly in love with it for the rest of my life. Three refill packs is already testament to that, right? Its place in my routine is pretty simple, its just a hydrating serum to boost the moisture level and reduce dehydration lines. It is similar to UNITEC Advanced Hydrating Essence in terms of texture and function, slightly thicker than the Hada Labo Lotion that many rave about, but the price is unbeatable for what it does. Sulwhasoo Overnight Mask (m)

3. Sulwhasoo Overnight Revitalizing Mask

The replacement for my beloved Hanyul Overnight Mask which got discontinued. The fragrance is not as pleasant and with far less ginseng, but it works equally well. On days when I have to work past midnight, my routine is 1. ANR 2. CPR 3. Sulwhasoo, and it works out great.

On a side note, I find myself trusting brands based on traditional medicine, such as Sulwhasoo and Hanyul almost blindly. I mean, when a brand talks about employing ingredients like “peony, Solomon’s seal, East Indian lotus, white lily and adhesive rehmannia to counter the effects of dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, diminished elasticity and dullness”, I cannot dismiss it as marketing hogwash. The products work like magic, even though it has not been supported by research.

Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel (m)

4. Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel

This sunscreen has a lightweight texture, leaves no white-cast and stickiness. However, it does dry down with a light shine that some may mistake for oiliness, but I don’t mind since I go over the sunscreen with foundation anyway.

The downside is that it contains alcohol, so a hydrating serum under the sunscreen is a must. Moreover, there isn’t that much active ingredients for UV protection. I will use it on my body and face when it is cloudy, but during full days out in the sun, this one stays on the shelf.

Fino Hair Mask 01 (m)

5. Shiseido Fino Premium Touch Penetrating Hair Mask

Earlier this year had to crop my hair shoulder-length due the damage that I had wrecked, and I decided to keep further chemical treatment to a minimal.

In addition, I picked up this hair mask again to give my tresses an extra nutritional boost. After washing my hair, I’d lightly towel dry, before combing about a dollop in my hair ends and wait for five minutes. Even on days when I wash the mask off immediately after lightly massaging the hair roots without leaving it on for too long, my hair feels looks shiny and feels soft.

 

 

And there you go! My top 5 repurchases, and possible my favorites at the moment. And darn its so fun to play around with a proper camera. 😀

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Review: Weleda Cellulite Oil

An update from the last post about cellulite, I’ve lost quite a bit of fat along my body, but lost only 2kg, that means I must be gaining some muscle mass. Yay! Those cellulite remains when I squeeze the thighs, of course. Deviant, stubborn things.

Weleda Cellulite Oil 01

After my run and shower, I like to spend at least 15 mins on massaging my calves. I feel like it helps loosen the tightness the remains even after full rounds of stretching. This is where Weleda Cellulite Oil comes handy. You can see it comes in a greenish-tinged oil, a very fluid texture and quite easily absorbed on wet skin. It is also nice to massage using the oil as well. I enjoy the scent which I cannot place, probably citrus but a bit woody too. I will not go into its effects, because like all cellulite products I don’t expect them to work. It can probably replace a body moisturizer, but its slightly too greasy for my liking.

Weleda Cellulite Oil 03

Weleda Cellulite Oil 02

It’s  also quite expensive for a mixture of oils. With my budding interest in DIY, I tried mixing my own concoction after studying the ingredients list above. I used apricot kernel oil, jojoba oil, rosemary and lavender essential oils, but the scent is just not the same, duh. I tried replacing birch with cedar, because I couldn’t find birch essential oil. It’s one of the stupidest ideas I’ve ever had, shall not go into that.  

I expected my DIY to be cheaper, but it isn’t really–I don’t buy the carrier oils in bulk, I don’t own essential oil collections, so to whip something up I have to specially buy a bottle of essential oil. Not very smart of me, I guess I’ll have to continue experiment to finish what I have.

I will not repurchase this, maybe will go tinkering with my test tubes a little more.

Ingredients List: Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Betula Alba (Birch) Leaf Extract, Ruscus Aculeatus (Butcher’s Broom) Root Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Limonene*, Linalool*, Geraniol*, Citral*.

Soap & Glory Slimwear & the Firminator

Soap & Glory 01

I love S&G. Their vintage packaging is lovely, the products smell great and they’re affordable too. It is a wonderful brand for body products, because there are gazillion different exfoliators, body wash, body sprays etc. I love their firming and anti-cellulite products in particular.

As I’ve said in the Clarins High Definition Body Lift review (read), I don’t expect much from firming body products, but I won’t stop trying them either. I will re-purchase as long as it works as a moisturizer and smells decent. The S&G Slimwear is one that I’ve tried before, and this time, I picked up the Firminator too.

S&G previously discontinued the Firminator but re-launched a re-formulation early this year. I purchased both products in September 2013 from Sephora, so the Firminator is of the “new” formulation. “New”. Really?

Soap & Glory 02

The new Firminator sure looks different from the old The Firminator All-Over Intensive Body Contouring Gel, which is a thick light blue gel. I have not tried the discontinued version, but a quick search on Google should be enough to find you old reviews. The new Firminator claims to be “proven to help visibly firm, tone and reduce the appearance of orange-peel skin”, with the aid of “peppermint and litsea cubeba citrus toning oils”. Looks great, but the texture and scent seem suspiciously like the Slimwear!

A quick comparison show similar ingredients list, with the noted exception of Peppermint Oil and Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, which is included in Firminator but not Slimwear. These two are far far down on the ingredients list, meaning they are contained in low concentrations. Really, does minor change warrant the ten bucks increase in price of the Firminator? Slimwear is no longer featured on the official website, so it is likely that S&G has decided to discontinue it and release the tweaked version as Firminator.

I enjoy using the Slimwear and Firminator, I really do. They smell refreshing and yummy, cooling on the body in the morning and even better after a post-workout shower. I don’t see, smell or feel difference between these two, and gosh, I should have stocked up on those cheap Slimwear. Of course you can argue that ingredients list is not equal to actual formulation, but really, I can buy three Slimwears for the price of two Firminators, why would I be concerned about those low-concentration ingredients?

Will I re-purchase either? If Slimwear is still around, definitely. The Firminator maybe.

Slimwear Ingredients List: Aqua (Water/Eau), Ethylhexyl Stearate, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cyclohexasiloxane, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum (Fragrance), Methylparaben, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Limonene, Menthyl Lactate, Ethylparaben, Dipropylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Propylene Glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, Dimethicone, Steareth-20, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Simethicone, Morus Alba Leaf Extract, Citral, Linalool, Propylparaben, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Dipeptide-2, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Tocopherol, CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 42090 (Blue 1)

Firminator Ingredients List: Alcohol, Butylene glycol, Cetearyl glucoside, Cyclohexasiloxane, Sodium polyacrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium stearoyl lactylate, Sodium ascorbyl phosphate, Methylparaben, Limonene, Menthyl lactate, Ethylparaben, Dipropylene glycol, Tocopheryl acetate, Propylene glycol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Glyceryl acrylate/acrylic acid copolymer, Hesperidin methyl chalcone, Dimethicone, Steareth-20, Panax ginseng root extract, Morus alba leaf extract, Silica, Citral, Chlorhexidine digluconate, Potassium sorbate, Dipeptide-2, Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, CI 19140 (Yellow 5), CI 42090 (Blue 1)

Clarins High Definition Body Lift

Clarins High Definition Body Lift 01

I’m sure 90% of the women out there agree with me, cellulite is one of our worse enemies.

I exercise at least 3 times a week and keep my diet in check, but the damage of my youth is done—I have cellulite along my entire thighs and buttocks, along with ugly stretch marks from my massive weight gain during puberty.

I know I cannot expect them to magically disappear. If cellulite creams really do work their wonders, the world will be cellulite-free already. Many products though promise that when used as part of a diet and exercise plan they help to speed up the process of breaking down cellulite. The Clarins High Definition Body Lift is one of them:

Clarins High Definition Body Lift 02

The Product

A body cream for the hips, thighs, and buttocks that visibly corrects stubborn cellulite while smoothing, firming, and redefining. Clarins breaks the vicious cellulite cycle with the first slimming treatment that visibly corrects the appearance of cellulite. It targets cellulite before it starts visibly smoothing hips, buttocks, and thighs for a slimmer silhouette. It hydrates and softens skin, reshapes, lifts, tones, and visibly improves skin firmness.

The peach colored cream contains small red granules that end up all over your bathroom floor as you massage. There is also a tendency for the cream to peel off like dead skin after massaging for a while. I have tried exfoliating prior to application, but the effect is consistent no matter what I do. Perhaps there is some form of film-former included in the formula, I don’t know. It smells heavily of menthol, really unpleasant, but thankfully doesn’t linger.

To test the effect out, I massaged it onto my right thighs and right buttocks as instructed. You can find the official Clarins anti-cellulite massage here. If it works, I should see a visible difference between my right and left legs at the end.

The Verdict

At the end of 400ml, my legs did appear thinner, the gap between my thighs wider, but I believe that is a result of the consistent exercise and diet, not Clarins. There is no discernible difference between my left and right thighs, nor my left and right butt cheeks. There is still the same amount of cellulite appearing on both thighs when I squeeze them.

Maybe 400ml is not enough for the product to work its magic, maybe I don’t exercise enough, or maybe you cannot really have such high hopes for anti-cellulite products. Many reviewer will go at this point: “It helps with skin elasticity”, “It helps in improving skin tone” or “It is moisturizing”. But the fact is, the main selling point of anti-cellulite products is to reduce the appearance of cellulite, and many clearly fail to deliver.

Will I buy High Definition Body Lift again? Nope (Re-purchase is also not possible, Clarins has replaced this with the New Body Lift Cellulite Control).

Will I give up on anti-cellulite products? Nope. I’ll still be seduced by the promise of ugly thigh dimples gone, but of course with much lowered expectations.