Tag Archives: Melano CC

UPDATE: Japan 2017 Haul

I am back home from Japan! (*≧▽≦)ノシ)) It is the first ever solo trip for me and surprisingly I am quite well adjusted to being alone with my thoughts. The only time where I hated being alone was at Aoikigahara, where I was hiking in deafening silence for 2 hours. (O∆O)

First up, some shocks:

  • I didn’t manage to get any Chifure products ‧º·(˚ ˃̣̣̥⌓˂̣̣̥ )‧º·˚ I had far less time than I thought for shopping, and Chifure isn’t popular enough to be found in every drugstore
  • Outside of the cities, drugstores aren’t so commonplace after all. At least, it is not easy to get to it with walking and public transport
  • Best part of the trip was getting in touch with my nose again, and trying out the the slightly more niche perfumes at Isetan Shinjuku as well as Ginza
  • Fell in love with the Comme des Garçons Incense series (Kyoto, in particular, is a masterpiece to my nose)
  • I stuck closely to my shopping list; I am proud of myself!!  Have a look below:

Old Faves

My original shopping list!

I bought all of them except the Chifures.

Japanese Toners

  • Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion – Found it in a limited edition bottle so I couldn’t resist getting one.
  • Hada Labo Premium Lotion – The supposed more hydrating and plumping version of the original SHA Lotion, I got it on the very last day when it is clear that I don’t have time to look around for my favourite version of hyaluronic acid – Chifure Essence (Review).
  • Kanebo Dew Lotion – The Dew Lotion was recommended by a Japanese colleague who has beautiful skin.
  • Kikumasamune Moist Lotion

Cleansers & Sunscreens

No surprises in this department at all, I have tried and loved all of them:

  • Refill for Kose Softymo Light Cleansing Oil
  • Refill for Perfect Watery Oil
  • Biore UV Nobi Nobi SPF50/PA+++
  • Biore Perfect Milk SPF50/PA+++

Serge Lutens

I was very intent on getting Sa Majesté la Rose or Chergui when I walked into the Shinjuku store, but I ended up falling in love with La fille de Berlin (“The Girl from Berlin”) upon the very first sniff. Amber, rose, musk and woods reminded me of Amouage Lyric, which is one of my ultimate favorite perfume, ever (I wrote about how much I loved it three years ago here). While Lyric is a lady, LFdB is half a wild beast and half a Shakespearean tragedy.

(On the other hand, the first hour of Féminité du Bois is a massive turnoff. It is in the same scrubber league as the first 30 minutes of A La Nuit. Both are mostly universally loved but I cannot stand them O.o)

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The Mega Skincare Empties Post

In the dusty corners of this blog, I found old posts which I drafted 2 years back which I did not post, because I was into the whole neglecting-my-blog thing. ๑•́ㅿ•̀๑) ᔆᵒʳʳᵞ

Most of the draft posts I’ll trash, because I forgot I’ve used those products (e.g. The History of Whoo Myeong-Ui-Hyang Secret Court Cream). But certain posts I think are worth sharing–2 empties posts from back in 2015, which featured an interesting range of products. Some are defunct / discontinued, but there are many that I am still repurchasing now.

So to give the old posts a new life, here I will combined 3 empties posts into 1:

  • March 2017
  • May & August 2015: Kept exactly how it is written 2 years ago, with any updates to my thoughts in italics.

Current Empties: March 2017

Melano CC Whitening Lotion (150g) is the companion to my favourite Melano CC Essence. I’ve enjoyed using this toner, but I’m not impressed by the dish soap scent. The Lotion relies on 2 derivatives of vitamin C, 3-o-ethyl ascorbic acid (EAC) as well as the standard ascorbic acid. But who knows how stable the ingredients are in such a standard toner packaging. Not likely to repurchase.

Hada Labo Super Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Lotion (150g) I have no idea how many bottles of this I have gone through over my skincare life. It is a good product to have in anyone’s repertoire, but I think users need to be realistic about expectations. This is a hydrator which provides a boost of hydration. It doesn’t deliver antioxidant or vitamins and other goodness that you skin can benefit from. I will still repurchase (on and off) as a supplement to my standard hydration serum.

Dove Nutrium Moisture Face Foam Cleanser Sensitive (130g) is a decent foam cleanser which I’ve enjoyed using. My only anxiety comes from the fact that its pH level might be too high. I won’t know because I haven’t gotten myself pH test strips and stuff, because I’ve been busy! because I’ve been LAZY HAHAHA

HABA White Lady (30ml / Reviewis a SAP serum which is great to layer under daytime skincare. It doesn’t do much for spots but it is good for boosting overall clarity. I will not repurchase at this point, because I have 3 other brightening serums to try (Muahahaha Shiseido Haku Melanofocus, SK-II Aura and SK-II Spot)!

Melano CC Melanin Whitening Anti-Spot Essence (20g / ReviewIs much more effective than HABA White Lady in terms of spot reduction. If you’re into OST C20 (you’ll see four empties below from back in 2015), you should try this.

Flow Fushi Matsuge Biyou-eki (15g) is an eye gel and lash serum. After abusing my lashes I have stopped wearing mascara and eye liners to work, and applied this daily. No effect for now, but I’m giving it chance by using a second tube.

Shiseido Bio Performance Advanced Super Restoring Cream (50g) A HUGE NO IN CAPS. I hate the feel of diamethicones in this, and the cream is so difficult to spread and tap in.

Emptied the #shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Restoring Cream yesterday! Took me close to 2 years 😒 not wild about this, so writing a quick review about my thoughts . My skin type is normal, so generally I can use gels and creams of all textures with no problems. This one, though, should be reserved for super-ultra desert dry skin only 🌵 🌵 🌵 The cream is a lot richer, thicker and more emollient than most other creams, and it can be difficult to spread, and impossible to massage. To apply this, you need to lightly tap and dab it into the skin until absorbed. . Following the application, my skin feels soft and smooth, but don’t be fooled, dimethicone is the 5th ingredient on the list 😱 Despite the texture of the cream which is more suited to dry skin (or someone who likes to spread heavy stuff on the face), it should still give you anti-aging benefits. There is a tiny tiny bit of “morning after glow”, but it is not enough for me to justify the price 💸 . So sorry, Restoring Cream, you ain’t for me. #donotbuy . #japaneseskincare #asianbeauty #rasianbeauty #skincare #skincareroutine #skincarejunkie #skincarediary

A post shared by A Banquet of Roses (@theskinchronicles) on Mar 21, 2017 at 8:59am PDT

Old Empties Post: August 7, 2015

May - June Empties (m)

Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence (155ml / ReviewIn my previous review I said I would not repurchase this essence, but I did. And I’ve used 3 whole bottles (hides).

Hanyul Optimizing Serum (120ml / Review) has survived the Hanyul revamp, but it now comes in a different packaging. I still like it for its calming effects on the skin, but age has necessitated that I need to amp up my dose of antioxidants, vitamins and skin-repairing ingredients. While I may still repurchase it, the days of using only the Korean brown bottle is over.

C20 Vitamin C Serum (15ml) is a necessity as I am recovering from holiday sun burns. is a much more affordable dupe for the La Roche-Posay Redermic C (featured here) series and its effect is very immediate and observable. [Update March 28, 2017: I prefer Melano CC now~ seriously, try it! ] 

Hanyul Finish Essence (50ml) I have never heard of this product, nor could I find it on the official website. It is supposed to be an all-in-one serum, moisturiser and primer used as a last step of skin care. I was not expecting much, because while Hanyul has its fair share of winners and HGs, but it also produced some fails like the Eungyeol Light Eye Cream (Review). Turns out this does exactly what it says and more. As a moisturiser, provides just the right amount of moisture and protection; as a primer, my make up stays put even hours after application. It’s a bit of a stretch to call it a serum, but for S$10 this is a bargain beauty purchase. [Update March 28, 2017: Didn’t manage to find this on Gmarket again, so I couldn’t repurchase.] 

I used to use Weleda Birch Cellulite Oil  to massage my calves after jogging. After an ankle injury last year, I’ve had problems jogging, so any exercise that is intensive on the ankle is out of the question for now. Nevertheless, I finished it with determination since oils will run rancid after a while. Not going to repurchase.

The Asahi Suhada Pack Gel is supposed to be a lotion, emulsion, serum, cream and mask in one. I suppose it is for busy (or lazy) people who have no time for the full set of skincare routine before sleep. The gel melts into the skin and becomes almost the consistency of water as I pat it in. It doesn’t do much except provide hydration through hyaluronic acid, so I found it quite boring after a while. Not going to repurchase.

And here comes the product I was most disappointed by. I was initially drawn by the advert of Mamonde Age Control Power Serum (40g) which is so darn pretty (see above). The product’s performance however is lackluster. It did not break me out, but the only thing memorable was the fragrance, which is what you look for in a perfume, not a serum. I guess the disappointment came because of the unreasonably high expectations from such a pretty poster AHAHA. Eventually I finished the bottle by mixing the serum in my body lotion.

Old Empties Post: May 17, 2015

Project Empties

The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Rich Oil (150ml) is just a bad cleansing oil, period. The whole point of using a cleansing oil is to be able to spend time to give the face a good massage (using the Caroline Hirons method) with the oil/balm as a lubricant. This oil emulsifies so so quickly that there isn’t time to work the product in at all. It came in a set of 3 when I bought it on Gmarket AmorePacific Store, so I still have 2 more bottles to work through though. I’ve learnt my lesson now! T.T [Update March 28, 2017: Finished up the remaining 2 bottles as sunscreen removers for body, still not impressed, I have not bought anything from the Face Shop since] 

Rosette Scrub (120g) us a dupe for Cure Natural Aqua Gel, and this is not up to the standard, but it is 20% of the price of Cure so I suppose it’s alright. [Update March 28, 2017: I am still using and repurchasing this!]

Kikumasamune Sake Lotion 菊正宗 日本酒の化粧水 (500ml) was lugged all the way from Japan in June this year. It is a really good toner, lasted me a good 6 months, so I should probably have bought a few more. Naris Up Skin Conditioner Pomegranate (500ml) is not used as a toner, but rather a DIY mask in the Chizu Saeki method. Soak 2 pieces of cotton pad with the conditioner and spread it on face like I would a mask. It doesn’t do much except provide a hydration boost, so I will not be purchasing again. [Update March 28, 2017: I am currently using my 3rd bottle of Kikumasamune Sake Lotion!] 

La Roche Posay Redermic R (40g) – is my second retinol product and a great introduction to the ingredient. It is only 5%, and therefore comes with none of the drawbacks of retinol such as skin irritation and flaking. I wish I could repurchase this, but sadly it is so expensive everywhere except Citi Pharma in Saint Germain. [Update March 28, 2017: I lost the photos for the LRP empties, but you can see some photos featured in my super old routine here]

La Roche Posay Redermic C (40g) Nah. Go for cheaper alternatives like OST C20. [Update March 28, 2017: Nah go for Melano CC! ] 

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (30ml / Review) I still don’t know how I feel about this facial oil. The first few months really gives amazing results, the effect declined after a while, but even after a second bottle, I can’t decide if it is worth the money. [Update March 28, 2017: The uncertainty remains! In 2016 I used the Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate as well, I still can’t decide for sure it I will repurchase either.]

There’s nothing to be said about Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask (118ml / Review), except it is one product that does not deserve the many rave reviews floating out there in internet.

 

There you have it, my cheat 3 in 1 empties post! As I get older i go through skincare a lot more quickly than I used to (I really don’t wanna see myself aging) so I’d expect to write a lot more empties posts this year~

Holy Grail Skincare

EDIT (24/09/17)

I plan for this page to be constantly updated with a compilation of skincare products that I consider to be holy grails. I have to confess that I do have high standards !(*´∀`*)尸” and there are very few products that I consider to be HG worthy.

So ladies, let me present the super short list of my skincare HGs! ゝ(▽`*ゝ)

I. The Already HGs

i.e. True loves, not actively searching for anything in the same category

Chifure Essence (review)

  • Added: June 2015
  • My go-to hydration serum for daily use, even when I’m battling bouts of dryness, sensitivity or the rare acne
  • Very very affordable boost of instant hydration

Rohto Melano CC Medicated Intensive Spot Correcting Serum (review)

  • Added: December 2016
  • Current on tube number 2, best AA serum used thusfar (Edited September 2017, I moved it from Potential HG to HG status after finishing 3 tubes and moving on to tube number 4)
  • Stable formula, excellent packaging, can be layered under other skincare products
  • Crazy affordable for a vitamin C serum

II. The Potential HGs

i.e. Love them, but the love needs to withstand the test of time

Mizon AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner

  • Added: February 2017
  • Beautiful beautiful exfoliating slash pH adjusting toner

Hanyul Baek Hwa Goh Intensive Care Cream

  • Added: February 2017
  • Rich, emollient, luxurious texture
  • I wake up to well-rested and glowing skin

III. The ex-HGs

i.e. Loved them madly, but they’ve passed on

Hanyul Rich Effect Cream (review)

  • Added: March 2014
  • Killed as part of Hanyul revamp here. Note: The Hanyul Seo Ri Tae Anti Ageing Cream is NOT the Rich Effect Cream! The texture is completely different!

New on the Hit List: Rohto Melano CC

Warning! This is a new entry to my potential HG list: Rohto Melano CC Medicated Intensive Spot Correcting Serum (¥1,058 for 20ml). Potential HG is when I love the product like a litter of newborn kittens, but as a rational woman I have to exercise restraint and see if this love can withstand the test of time.

And can you believe it, my Holy Grails tag currently features 1 product which has been discontinued, which is why potential HGs are so exciting.

rhoto-melano-cc-01

HAHA FOR A VITAMIN C SERUM OF COURSE I HAD TO USE A LEMON AS A PROP

The product claims to suppress melanin production and prevent spots, freckles, acne and breakouts, which topical application of vitamin C is proven to do. The vitamin C variety in this serum is ascorbic acid, which generally has the drawback of stinging upon application and a sometimes nasty citrus scent. Back in 2015 I had a stint with the OST C20 Serum, which features ascorbic acid as well. That baby stung (burnt) and made my skin look extremely greasy.

I can safely say that there is no stinging observed with Melano CC, but it does have the standard citrus scent. Like my dish soap. ARGH. Housework is not sexy.

The first time I used it, I applied it all over my face and man it got tingly and warm. Also, it has a rather oily texture so application to the whole face isn’t particularly appealing. BUT give it 5 mins and all the serum will be absorbed, and you can proceed to layer the rest of your skincare. I generally use it on my cheeks where I have some discolorations and freckles.

rhoto-melano-cc-03

THE TINIEST NOZZLE THAT YOU’LL SEE IN A SKINCARE PRODUCT

It comes in a silver tube with a tiny nozzle that dispenses the product in teeny drops. This is a great design for dispensing unstable compounds like ascorbic acid. Its been 3 months, and the serum still comes out clear, while OST C20 turned an ugly orange within a month of opening. While I had to keep the OST C20 in the fridge immediately after opening, I find that I don’t really have to do that with the Melano CC, though it is a good habit to practice for all vitamin C serums.

I’ve been using the serum consistently since last December and I’m almost done with the tube!

A quick comparison with other vitamin C serums

I have only used one other type of vitamin C derivative: the sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP) aka HABA White Lady (review), but the Melano CC is a very good re-introduction to ascorbic acid. It trumps the OST C20 Serum in every single way. The packaging allows for more stability, it doesn’t sting and it doesn’t leave a sticky finish. Most important of all, I don’t need to have this mad scramble to finish the product before it oxidizes. Oh and the price is comparable to OST C20!

On a side note, I really want to try magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (MAP), which is supposed to be more effective than SAP.

Where to buy

I bought my 2 tubes on my trips to Japan, but you can also find it here on Qoo10 Global and Rakuten Global.

Other reviews

The fantastic Ratzillacosme wrote a glowing review of this serum.