Tag Archives: Estée Lauder

PM Skincare Routines (Part I): All Out Spa Night

The last time I wrote about my skincare routine was back in 2014!!! D: Going back to read it makes to rotfl because I used Cetaphil!!! Sorry, I’ve let this blog rot for far too long, an update is due.

Thing is, I don’t have a single routine. I have an entire range of products and I mix and match everyday. The routine can range from 10 products to 3 products, all depending on how much time I have and how vain I feel. So here’s a selection of some of the night time routines:

  1. The all out spa night routine (below)
  2. The lazy night routine (I’ll write later!)
  3. The zombie night routine (I’ll write later!)
  4. The sensitive emergency routine (I’ll write later!)

I’m only sticking to night time routines here, because they are more exciting. More time and do weird things to your face, and you can get away with layering more products. I might get around to write my morning routine eventually.

(Take note that the steps matter more than the featured products, because the products can easily change).

1. The All Out Spa Night Routine

Spa Routine Part 1

Steps: Oil Cleanser > Foaming Cleanser

  • Oil Cleanser: Can I confess that I have never tried cleansing balms before? I have nothing against them but I find that oil cleansers work well enough for me, and they come with pumps so I find them extra convenient. I’ve been sticking to the Senka Perfect Watery Oil because I have a few refills, but there are many other Japanese oil cleansers that work well. An oil cleanser is a must because I wear sunscreen daily
  • Foaming Cleanser: I still haven’t found a cleanser that I truly love. I am currently using up the Kose Softymo Washing Foam but I’m looking for other alternatives.

Steps: Exfoliating Toner > Fermented Essence > Eye Cream > Serum > Face Mask > Moisturiser > Sleeping Pack / Facial Oil > Lip Balm

Spa Routine Part 2

  • Exfoliating Toner: This step used to be an AHA mask or AHA treatment, but ever since Mizon AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner came along it has become AHA/BHA toner. I am currently feeling infinite affection for Mizon because the toner has treated me sooo well, and I have this urge to try more products from this brand. (But then again, I remember the mediocrity that was Mizon Snail Recovery Gel Cream…) I might try for an AHA/BHA treatment in this step in the future, but the toner is working splendidly right now.
  • Fermented Essence: Estée Lauder Micro Essence, a Western variation of SK-II FTE. Many cheaper alternatives are also available from many Korean brands, including Secret Key FTE (review), IOPE Bio Essence (review). I am unlikely to repurchase both the ME and FTE unless they are heavily discounted because I really want to try a hand at the numerous cheaper alternatives from Korean brands.
  • Eye Cream: SK-II RNA Power Eye Cream. I am still not very convinced on the formulation of eye creams. While we know that the skin around the eyes are thinner and that there are no sebum glands in the under-eyes, there is no consensus on how eye creams should be formulated to accommodate for the differences.
    For the past 3 years, I have not been using eye creams. My last one was actually Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye (review) back in 2014. Subsequently I have used my regular face cream on my under-eyes as well. A recent addition is Elizabeth Arden Eye Capsules (featured here), which is essentially too light to be a serum. I have been using SK-II for 2 weeks, and currently withhold my opinion.

Spa Routine Part 3

  • Serum: Varies, I have a number of serums in rotation and I’ll choose based on my concerns. Right now, I’m working on my second tube of Melano CC Serum (review).
  • Face Mask: Varies with what I have on hand. Been loving the Kracie Hadabisei 3D Face Mask (featured here), which fits GREAT.

  • Moisturiser: I am currently finishing up the Kose Moisture Repair Cream YAY! I do like the moisturiser but I’m really looking forward to trying other alternatives.
  • Sleeping Pack: COSRX Rice Mask is the lightest of the sleeping packs that I own, so it fits best in a routine as long as this.
  • Lip Balm: A tub of Vaseline Lip Therapy Aloe. You can tell I’m not excited about lip balms.

That is all!

One last thing, if you wear eye make up, you should stick a separate eye makeup remover to the very beginning of the routine before oil cleanser. I haven’t been wearing eye make up for ages so I totally forgot about that step.

Advertisements

In Rotation: Serums and Treatments

I made it a New Year’s resolution to update this blog regularly and my friends are holding me accountable, so here we go.

The beginning of the year is always crazy busy for me, but even then we all need to treat ourselves like the queens that we are 😉 Here’s what I’m using to pamper my skin.

in-rotation-serums

Estée Lauder Micro Essence (125ml) – I will not talk about Estée Lauder ANR anymore, you guys know it is HG. ME is relatively new in my skincare repertoire, this one being my second bottle. I want to talk about this in detail together with SK II and about treatment essences in general, but overall I can do without it in my rotation.

Chifure Beauty Essence (30ml) and UNITEC Advanced Hydrating Essence (30ml) – These beauties are excellent hydrating serums and are very similar. I last wrote about them in 2015 (here), I think I have gone through close to 10 refills of both combined. They are excellent as morning serums as they stay put and never cake under layers of sunblocks and make ups. Chifure has a slight edge as it is S$6 per refill, but it is hard to get hold of outside of Japan. UNITEC comes in a pump tube so the content is not oxidized before using, but it is S$20 a tube and there is no refill option.

Kanebo Kracie Hadabisei 3D Super Moist Mask – My favorite new find from Japanese drugstores! They have been around for quite some time but I haven’t gotten around to using it. They come in only 4 pieces per box and you can use them up pretty fast. The great thing is that the masks don’t dry out easily and contours to every crevice of your face. Seriously, it has the best fit to my face compared to most other masks I’ve tried (and I’ve tried SK II lol).

elizabeth-arden-ceramide-capsules

Elizabeth Arden Capsules for Face & Eye – The official names are Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum and Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum which is a mouthful, so lets just call them capsules shall we. A set contains 30 eye capsules which are smaller and transparent, and 30 face capsules which are larger and opaque. Each capsule contains far more serum than needed for one time use, unless you use in on your neck and décolleté as well.

I cannot recommend this item enough for normal to dry skin types. It goes on with the texture of a thin face oil, but absorbs quickly without a hint of greasiness. Within minutes you see an improvement in dehydration lines and rough patches.

The capsule packaging is great to prevent oxidation of the serum which can happen in a traditional dropper packaging, but since I break a capsule in the morning and finish it with a second use at night, that benefit is mostly lost on me.

So here it is, cheers and hope everyone sticks with their resolutions!

Estée Lauder: A Prime Pairing

Happy new year to everyone out there!

I had a particularly rough 2016 on the personal front, so it is a definite relief that my annus horribilis is behind me. Now onward to a better 2017 with more positive energy and blog posts about my passion!

(ノ^∇^)ノ゚

Sometime ago I went ahead with the Magic Ring Test at an SK II counter, which involves the simple steps of taking a close up of the skin with a camera with all your flaws magnified, and putting the resulting picture through a program which analyses the skin on the “5 dimensions of crystal clear skin”.

The results were surprising. My skin age is 10 years off my actual age! But my favorite part is the analysis of each dimension. My skin did not fare so well in Texture Refinement (i.e. hydration) and Spot Control (i.e. fading freckles, sunspots and preventing new ones), but was excellent in the dimensions of Firmness Power and Wrinkle Resilience.

A Prime Pairing (m)

And this I have to attribute entirely to the best pairing of serums I can ask for–the Estée Lauder Perfectionist CP+R Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum and Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex.

The ANR seems to have won every single beauty magazine award there is, so today I will focus on the lesser known CPR serum.

The CP + R stands for correct, prevent, and repair. It is purported to be Estée Lauder’s “most effective wrinkle-fighting serum ever”.

Perhaps what makes the two serums so distinct is the texture. ANR is very light and fluid. CPR’s texture however is much heavier, something that I would normally associate with a lotion. After a look at the ingredients list, the texture is not so surprising. Dimethicone is the first in the list, even before water. I have nothing against silicones, in fact, I like using products that contain it during the day as it fills out the small dehydration lines and wrinkles, and give the illusion of more refined skin.

That being said, I try not to use ANR and CPR in the morning. I know the skin needs antioxidants, vitamins and emollients regardless of day or night, but if I’m splurging $200 each on the jumbo sized serums, I’d want them to work without the additional stress of UV rays and pollution. For the daytime, I will focus on hydration and protection.

Two pumps is normally needed as the serum is quite hard to spread, especially when I have not used a toner before hand. With a bit of trial and error, I find the best way to apply this is after toner and ANR, when my face is still slightly damp. It becomes a breeze to spread the serum out after my skin is hydrated from the ANR. I guess because I use so much every night, it is goes down quite fast. A 100ml jumbo sized bottle can perhaps last me 6 months.

And whether I will repurchase the CPR serum… When wrinkles become a concern, definitely. But right now I have more urgent matters to take care of. Remember the dimension of “Spot Control” which my skin didn’t fare too well at? I guess its time to to work on that!

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. 😀

Skincare Routine

Routine

I’m blessed with normal skin for most parts of the year, with occasional periods when I am affected by dehydration or severe dullness. Other concerns are listed in my beauty profile (read here), but for the most part I can try out products for both dry, oily, combination or sensitive skin without my face kicking a fuss.

Skincare routine entry will have to be updated every year, I guess. I’m still on constant search for cost-effective products so I don’t always re-purchase even the favorites. Hope this skincare routine can help you out!

Morning

Routine 01

CLEANSER—I’m not particular about cleansers and unwilling to splurge on them. Cetaphil Gentle Daily Skin Cleanser is a product that is frequently on discounts where I am and it works well enough.

Routine 03

(Optional) TONER—I don’t use toners anymore, because I felt it isn’t doing so much for my skin as compared to serums and moisturizers. If I have to choose, though, the answer would have to be IOPE Bio Essence (read review). It is basically one of the many Korean dupes for SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. An inexpensive alternative is  the Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner (read review) which is moisturizing, but lacks the revitalizing properties of the IOPE Bio Essence.

Routine 02

SERUM—A water-based serum that should help to improve overall appearance of the skin, or address any specific concern you might have. This is the one area I am most particular about, as this is supposed to supply the most restorative ingredients for the skin. I am still left with two weeks’ supply of Hanyul Optimizing Serum (read review), which works okay. If you have the budget, go for Estee Lauder ANR (read quick review), hands down the best serum that I’ve tried.

Routine 04

BB CREAMTechnically a makeup product, but sun protection is an important part of skincare too, I’m squeezing this in. I’ve been using Hanyul Rich Effect Revitalizing BB Cream for two months, and so far it has been great. It is almost sweat-proof, stays on throughout the day and has high UVA/UVB protection. On the downside, only two shades are available and the color has a heavy yellowish undertone. I will do a longer review after using this for another three months at least.

Evening

Routine 05

MAKEUP REMOVER—Bioderma Sensibio. This is fantastic, and nothing can compare to Bioderma when it comes to removing makeup and sunscreen. Everything just melts right off. When I’m out of this, I will just using plain Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is also acceptable (and dirt cheap and yummy). Beware of using oils if you have oily skin though. There are conflicting opinions on using the oil cleansing method for oily skin types, but just to be safe, I’d say micellar solution is one where you cannot go wrong.

CLEANSER & SERUM—Same as morning.

Routine 06

MOISTURIZER—I prefer emollient creams rather than gels moisturizers. Hanyul Rich Effect Revitalizing Cream (read review) has worked the best for me and I’ve already finished one tub. The Hanyul Rich Effect Cream I have just started using but skin’s been loving it so far. Both help to improve the appearance of dull skin and minimize faint dehydration lines. If they are difficult to get hold of, the La Roche-Posay Redermic C is great too (see below).

Routine 07

(Optional) EYE MOISTURIZER—I honestly don’t think it is necessary to have a separate eye moisturizer. I haven’t used one that is so spectacular that I want to purchase over and over again. The closest would have to be the La Roche-Posay Redermic C Eye (€29 for 15ml), but the full sized La Roche-Posay Redermic C has similar formulation, and is so much cheaper (€34 for 40ml).

Routine 08

(Optional) SLEEP MASK or GEL MOISTURIZER—This is purely for “bad-skin-days” when a single emollient moisturizer is not sufficient, and I experience a tautness in my face. Most sleep masks, plus gel moisturizers are formulated to supply moisture and do little else, i.e. no anti-oxidants or minimal skin-repair ingredients. The Laneige Water Sleeping Pack_EX is great. Many premium brands have hydration ranges, such as Guerlain Super Aqua, Biotherm Aquasource and Vichy Aqualia Thermal, but they work similarly for thrice the price, so there is no need to splurge on this category.

Weekly / Occasional Treatment

CLAY MASK—To reduce any shine in T-zone. The masks not really that different except for their prices and scent, any of these that I’ve reviewed (read reviews). A cheap clay powder like the Now Foods European Clay Powder work just as well.

SHEET MASK—L’Herboflore masks (read review) are Taiwanese treasures that are also total nightmares to get hold of. The Aritaum Fresh Essence masks, which you can find on Gmarket are also great.

If you have your own “skin saviors”, let me know! I love to experiment!

Quick Reviews I

October 2013 Empties

These are the empties for the past few months. I can’t bring myself to do detailed reviews because I’m already moving on to other products. Just thought I’d write a few lines for each of them.

DHC Kakonjuka Cream (40ml)

I’ve used this as a night cream for two months and woke up everyday to well-rested skin, though to be fair I do not have major skin concerns to begin with. The texture of the cream is great, not too thick and reasonably easy to absorb. It is definitely too heavy to use in the daytime in tropical heat. There is a faint smell of mushrooms but nothing too unpleasant.

Repurchase: No.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair (100ml)

This is the pre-reformulation jumbo-size bottle. I am way too young to use this (still in my 20s), but someone’s gotta finish what Mom started before it expires. I’ll not talk about its effects, because it is magic in a bottle and I’m sure everyone already knows it. The 100ml lasted for over more than 13 months, which isn’t really hygienic. Even with the dropper I’m sure some dust is getting in there. It’s best to get the regular 30ml which should last 3 to 4 months.

Repurchase: No. Maybe when I hit my 40s.

Thayers Rose Petal Alcohol Free Witch Hazel (355ml)

This toner has a lovely scent and leaves skin slightly damp and ready for serums. I’ve used up three bottles, but now I am not sure if a toner is necessary. My skin felt okay after skipping the toner and hitting the essence or serum straight after cleansing.

Repurchase: No. I may not use toners at all.

Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Gel (50ml)

I loved it at first–it is suitable for tropical climate, it is relatively light, easy to absorb and smells divine. But halfway through the tub I realised that while it does hydrate, it does little of anything else. I did not notice the well-rested effect as with DHC Kakonjuka Cream or any improvement to the skin over the long haul. It can be easily substituted by other hydration-only moisturisers like Laneige Water Bank Gel Cream and La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Light.

Repurchase: No. I’ve learnt to demand more from my moisturisers.