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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Beauty Treats (Skincare, Beauty Tools, Fragrance) | January 2014

Hi everyone. This is my first blog post in 2014 and I have decided to do something different.

I wanted to do this post at the end of December when I was on holiday in Bali. I even brought my laptop and my notes with me but long story short: between relaxing by the pool reading a book, exploring the streets of Kuta and Seminyak and being sick (yeap… I got a stomach flu during the trip), the post didn't happen. 

And now we are 2 weeks into 2014??! 

Anyways, I wanted to do this post to celebrate the new year. To me, a new year is a magical moment. If the previous year was not so good, you can close that chapter in your life and look forward to the chances for a better year. If your previous year was awesome, you can start the year with great hope and motivation to strive for more in the year to come. If you celebrate Lunar New Year, hopefully you will find my ideas helpful to prep for the festivities and celebrations to come. 

As the typical girly girl that I am, no matter what I am doing, I have to look good doing it. That is why I have put together some ideas of beauty products that you can add to your beauty routine so that you can pretty yourself up while you take on the world. (*I am not a beauty expert but I am definitely an enthusiast*)  

Here we go!

SKINCARE
Skincare is a very tricky thing to recommend because everyone's skin is different. The items that I have included should generally suit most skin types but I am more so recommending the product type instead of the specific item. 
From left: Shiseido Future Solution LX Eye and Lip Contour Regenerating Cream, Laneige Water Bank Set (Christmas 2013) and Ludeya Rejuvenating Moisturizing Biocellulose mask. 
EYE CREAM. I know there are people who say that an eye cream is not 100% essential in a skincare routine as you can theoretically use a face moisturizer near the eye area. BUT, what I find is that the skin under my eyes always act differently to the other areas of my face. I have oily skin but my under eye area is SO dry that I need something a lot more emollient and moisturizing.

I think that picking a good eye cream that suits your need will be a great treat to your skin. If you use the computer a lot and your eyes get sore, a rollerball type eye gel/ cream can help to calm the area and relieve puffiness/ soreness. If you stay up late/ don't sleep well, a product that contain caffeine can certainly help (though I haven't found any products that help with removing dark circles, applying the right product do have a brightening effect). 


If fine lines/ wrinkles are bothering you (and me!), then something luxurious like the Shiseido Future Solution LX Eye and Lip Contour Regenerating Cream might do the trick. This product is so raved about online but it is certainly a treat as it is very expensive. However, a little goes a long way with this so I hope it won't be running out anytime soon. It's moisturizing without being too greasy/ thick and it feels great on the skin. I haven't been using it for long enough to see dramatic results but my skin feels supple and smooth after applying it. 

I say: Pick an eye cream within your budget that suit your skin type and need (if you have perfect baby skin, a little hydration will always help). Remember, prevention is always better than cure!

ESSENCE & MASK. If your skincare routine is on the basic side (cleanse, tone & moisturize), you might want to consider adding in some booster product to pamper your skin. I got this Laneige set around Christmas because I had to restock my Water Bank Essence and Water Sleeping Pack. They just happened to be available in a set & came with some extra goodies so why not? Both of these are lightweight, absorbs into the skin quickly and are very hydrating. 

I think that an essence can be a great supplement to one's skin needs. For example, my skin needs lightweight hydration but it also needs some anti-aging help as I am not so young. So I use a hydrating essence in combination with an anti-aging moisturizer. If your skin care routine features products that have the same function, it's just going to up the effectiveness. WIN WIN!

And masks! My essential beauty treat that makes such a difference. This Laneige Water Sleeping Pack is perfect for lazy days because you can put it on at night, sleep in it and wash it off the next day for hydrated, supple and soft looking skin. The texture is a gel so it is not heavy or messy. 

Another mask that I have been loving lately is the Ludeya Rejuvenating Moisturizing Bio Cellulose Mask. This mask is on the expensive side (RM20, approximately $7) but it is AMAZING!!. The first time I tried it, I was so impressed because my skin looks so smooth and bright the next day. Even my mom noticed and said that my skin looks very nice.

This mask is not a typical sheet mask because the material is not the usual cloth-like material. It is made of a fibre that kinda resembles "konnyaku" and it adheres to the skin very well. Also, the mask doesn't dry out quickly so I like to leave it on my face for 25-30 minutes, then take it off, fold it in half and apply in on my neck. 

I say: Young & perfect skin don't need so much work but I am sure not many of us mere mortals are so blessed. So give your skin a little extra nutrition and boost using products like essence/ masks. 

P/s: What is you must have essence/ masks? Let me know!!

BEAUTY TOOLS
There seem to be a gadget for everything these days, skincare included. I am a laggard when it comes to actual tech-things but I love trying out new skincare tools. I will share some of my favorites with you today~

And… I actually had quite a good laugh putting together this section of the blog post because so many inappropriate jokes popped into my head. Not my fault. You'll see why in a sec. 
From left: Refa Carat Platinum Electronic Roller, (top) Clarisonic Aria Cleansing Brush, (bottom) 24k Golden Pulse Beauty Bar & Foreo Luna Cleansing Brush.

FACIAL MASSAGE TOOL
I first encountered the Refa Carat when I was getting my hair done in a salon. It was casually propped up in a display unit in front of me and my thoughts were:"Gosh. What is that thing?". Then when I figured out it is in fact a massage roller, I wondered if the person who designed/ approved and made the product saw what I saw. 

I never thought I would have any intention to buy this thing until I tried it. You hold the stem, careful not to block the solar panel and use the balls *insert inappropriate jokes* to roll you face, from bottom to top. The effect was rather pronounced because my face became lopsided right after the massage because one side was so much more lifted. This product can also be used on other parts of the body for lymphatic drainage/ lifting and it is waterproof so it can be used in the bath/ shower. 

The special thing about this roller is that the solar panel can generate micro-current on the surface of the spheres, so it stimulates the skin and muscles as you massage to improve circulation. I mainly use this on my jawline and over time, I noticed an improvement in the contours of my jaw. 

This thing cost an arm and a leg though. But if you need some minor lifting and you can afford it, it works!



Another facial massager that I am in love with at the moment is the 24k Golden Pulse Beauty Bar. I have seen this product appearing in Japanese magazines and Taiwanese beauty shows for the longest time. So when I was on a plane and saw this in the catalogue, I had to have it. 

The product description on cosme-de.com (PRODUCT LINK)
I have had this for several months and I have been using it everyday since. I find that my skincare sinks in much faster when I use the Beauty Bar and the sensation of the vibration against the skin is very comfortable. Also, since the Beauty Bar is plated with 24k gold, it is gentle and non-irritating on the skin. 

The Beauty Bar is also expensive but worth it!

I say: Do a 3-5 minute facial massage everyday after your skincare routine (even just with your hands). I learned that doing so can help to improve circulation and product absorption, hence can help to better the health of your skin.

CLEANSING BRUSH
I take face cleansing very seriously. As a person who wears makeup regularly and have oily skin, my skin is prone to breakout as long as I am not super diligent with my cleansing routine. 

I think that cleansing with tools: including cleansing brush (electronic/ non electronic), flannel, silicone cleansing pad, conjac sponge etc, is better than cleansing with bare hands. Reason being, when I wash my face without the help of tools, I always find makeup residue when I wipe my face with a toner afterwards.  
I got the Foreo Luna cleansing brush on my birthday and it has been my primary cleansing brush since. (P/s: I have no idea how to pronounce this brand, but all I see is "fore o" and it vibrates *insert awkward laugh*). 

The reason that I like this more than my Clarisonic is that this feels so much more gentle on the skin because the silicone padding isn't as harsh on the skin as the nylon fibres on the Clarisonic brush but it cleanses just as well. In addition, there is no need to replace the brush head in the Foreo Luna. And, most importantly, the battery life of the Foreo Luna is AMAZING! A single charge can last up to 450 beauty treatments so it is super convenient. 

Aside from cleansing, the groovy side of the Foreo Luna is meant to be used for a collagen stimulating massage. I am not sure if it really works but I think the massage mode feels quite nice so I am not complaining.

As I have mentioned, I also have the Clarisonic, which I have a love hate relationship with. 

1. LOVE: The Clarisonic gives a very thorough deep cleanse.
   HATE: Although I use the sensitive brush head, the Clarisonic still feels too abrasive/ harsh on my sensitive skin. If I use it everyday, it actually hurts my skin.

2. LOVE: The vibration of the nylon bristles can really remove any bits of impurities hiding in the pores.
   HATE: The brush head needs to replaced every few months and it is not cheap. 

The battery life is also a weakness of the Clarisonic. It's supposed to hold 20 something minutes of use per charge but it really doesn't. Also, I bought the Aria because of the battery life indicator (I am a bit OCD like that, I need to KNOW if something is about to run out/ die), but the battery life indicator will show that it has battery left (white, instead of amber/ red); but it will just suddenly die on me. 

I am still recommending the Clarisonic because it is pretty much one of the best tools out there in terms of deep cleansing. Just don't use it everyday because I think that will be too much for the skin. 

I say: I think that face cleansing is one of the most important step in your skincare routine and facial cleansing tools can certainly make washing your face thoroughly much easier!

FRAGRANCE
I love candles and perfumes but I don't tend to get them very often because good candles and perfumes are very pricey. So unless you are the lucky ones who receive these as gifts, why not treat yourself to a nice scent to make you/ your room smell lovely. I find a good scent to be an instant mood and confidence booster. 
From left: Jo Malone Cologne (Nectarine Blossom & Honey and Wild Bluebell) and Diptyque Gardenia Candle.

These Jo Malone Colognes are the MOST EXPENSIVE perfumes that I have ever bought in my entire existence. Though expensive, I would say that getting these was a very pampering experience.

The boutique staff was very friendly and extremely helpful. She really took the time to experiment with different nodes and combinations to match my very crappy description of what I was looking for. In my exact words "fruity and floral, but not too strong. Like a fresh kinda sweet." I love how Jo Malone fragrances can be layered and combined to create a complex and unique scent. My not-too-discerning nose decided on the combination of Nectarine Blossom & Honey + Wild Bluebell, which actually did smell "fruity and floral, but not too strong. Like a fresh kinda sweet."

It also came beautifully wrapped in a luxurious gift box and lovely paper bag. So it is a perfect gift to treat yourself to in the new year. Jo Malone fragrances last a very long time when you wear it, so I don't think there is much need to reapply throughout the day. I once used it and the scent lingered on my shirt for days!

I think I bought my first candle when I was 18 or 19 and I have been a candle-holic since. I think being deprived of a lovely smelling room (you know, when I was younger, my parents think candle burning in my room= setting the house on fire) contributed to that addiction. I think the flickering candle light and gorgeous scent is so comforting and relaxing when you are lounging around at home. One thing though, candle prices are quite ridiculously jacked up in Malaysia. So it makes it even more of a treat when I do get one!

I got the Diptyque Gardenia candle months ago but I haven't burned it yet. I'm still waiting on a special occasion but I have had Dyptique candles before and I know they are amazing, otherwise I will not recommend them to you~

I say: Fragrances are definitely an investment but since scents are a very powerful memory and emotion trigger, it is worth it to invest in a good quality signature scent for yourself and your space!

I hope you enjoyed this post. A makeup and nails edition "Beauty Treats" will be published soon so stay tuned!

If you would like a more in depth review post on any of the products, let me know in the comment section and I will review it in future posts.


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Disclaimer: The recommendations that I am making in this post are based on my personal experience with the products/ brands mentioned. I cannot guarantee that you will like what I like and what works for me might not work for you. Hence, if you are interested in the products mentioned, it's better to do more research or try them out if possible before purchasing. 

The products mentioned are purchased by me of gifted to me by others who went out and bought the items. I am in no way affiliated or being compensated for mentioning these products. 

3 comments:

  1. Wow *0* I want so many products here lol! You're so luckyy. I have the Jo Malone Wild Bluebell and adore it >.< Would love to own the nectarine one as well :) Also, I have Clarisonic Mia 2 but it didn't come with a stand :( Wanted to get Aria but it's so much more pricey~ Thanks for sharing! Just followed you~


    xx Stella
    www.blushing-daisies.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Do you have any suggestions for makeup (foundation) that is not too bad for the skin? I have been trying to look for a nice one!! Very helpful post by the way! :)

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  3. I have the same Shiseido eye cream! I loooove it so much so I'll probably buy it again once I run out :) You bought some really cool things! That cleansing brush thing looks interesting. I've seen some at my markets in K-town so I might pick one up.

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