Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Makeup Reviews Part 1- Face

I've decided to separate out my makeup reviews, just so I'll have more posts to write about and so that scrolling won't be too much of a hassle hopefully :P

Part 1 will go to the face section. Admittedly, I am not a huge makeup user, although I am enthusiastic about it- I am a bit lazy to learn and I'm not exactly a fan of the huge, overly made-up look unless there's a special function (e.g. prom) :| So I just get by with the basics- whether for face, eyes, lips... so yeah, there won't be that much to review in terms of my personal makeup here :P

After my daily cleansing routine, I apply a bit of Etude House's BB Magic Cream all over my face. It's consistency and the like is similar to liquid foundation, but as mentioned in my previous post, it's actually an all-in-one multipurpose thing :P So I now generally use it as a makeup base of some sort, or if I'm staying in I just use it as the final step in my skincare without foundation.

I've tried using it alone- and the result is nothing short of being excellent. It makes my skin look practically flawless! Only a very little amount is required for my entire face and gives me good coverage- I wouldn't describe the coverage as being heavy, it does feel so at first when applied but it goes on pretty sheer. The label at the back of the box says it might go on white and then slowly blend into the skin tone, but I personally don't have this problem. It blends in well. It doesn't exactly mattify much on its own (Maybe because it's not the oil control version) as I can see the sides of my nose shine a little later in the day, but it's nothing really big- in fact it makes my face look a little radiant since it's so flawless :P The price is RM 45.90 for a 35 ml convienient pump-tube.

The reason I don't prefer to use it alone is because of it's not-so-mattifying properties. It means that I have to blot my face (Especially my troublesome nose!) every once in a while. Yes, I'm lazy, I love fuss-free makeup :(

And apparently I found out from Makeup For Life that BB creams, when used over a prolonged period of time, helps to improve overall skin condition. Awesomeness. Feel free to drop by and search her post on BB creams if you're interested XD But otherwise the site itself is a nice read too!

The foundation that I mainly use now is Shiseido Supplist Poreless Foundation and my shade is I20 Natural Light Ivory. The price for the case is RM 48 (It's a lovely case too!) and the refill cake plus sponge is RM 129.

It's a compact powder foundation, and once applied gives a slightly powdery look on the skin, although this does not last long. On its own, it delivers true to it's promise- giving me a refined, poreless look which I truly adore, although pores are still not 100% minimised, just shrunk by a large margin. Coverage-wise it is also not exactly heavy as it is powder foundation and gives an overall matte finish. It's not exactly as sheer as tinted moisturiser would be either. I guess I'd rate the coverage medium sheer. It's pretty sweat-resistant too- it can withstand an hour plus of vigorous Taekwondo class and I'll still come out of class looking every bit as polished as before I entered! Lasting power is good as well- I was once out for almost a whole day and after 10 hours and I still looked matte. It was only after about the 12 hour mark that I needed to blot the troublesome shine beside my nose.

When combined with the BB cream it makes me skin look even more flawless and pores are very, very minimised as when the BB cream or foundation is used alone.

The cleansing oil that I use is Shu Uemura's High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Classic. I normally cleanse my face first with this before moving on to my Cellnique Paramedical Gentle Foaming Cleanser, although as mentioned and shown above I don't use heavy coverage makeup, but I still prefer to work with a clean slate so to speak. The oil works well to remove my facial makeup, although I've not tried using it to remove my eye makeup since I have a makeup remover for that! I don't particularly enjoy the smell though- it's a, well, mineral-y and oily scent, but it does soften my skin and there's no post-wash tightness or tautness. It's RM 99 for 150 ml bottle.

Cleansing oil is generally applied on dry skin with dry hands, then emulsified with some water before rinsing completely :)

I'm going to be travelling in August for about a week, and as I'm writing my list of what to pack I am becoming increasingly conscious that my skincare and makeup products alone are going to take a lot of space, and some of them are not travel friendly- e.g. my Shiseido Eudermine Revitalising Essence. So I am in need of travel-friendly alternatives (Or travel bottles and jars, depends really), and I figure I should start with my makeup remover.

I just got this- Simple's Cleansing Facial Wipes. I like their Deep Cleansing Facial Mask and I used to use it back when I had oilier skin. Digressing, these will obviously be more convienient to use than my Shu Uemura's High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Classic. I've tried them and so far so good! They remove my makeup completely and does not give a tight, taut feeling afterwards- in fact it also claims to tone the skin as well, which it does, but I find it a bit redundant for me since I'm going to wash my face anyway. Handy for quick makeup removal and cleansing though. I haven't tried removing eye makeup with it yet, and when I do I'll do a follow-up review :P Retails for RM 17.90 for 25 wipes, but there was a 15% discount at Watson's where I bought it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Guess What!

Etude House, a Korean skincare/makeup/beauty brand, has recently landed on Malaysian shores! I didn't know it either, until I went to Sunway Pyramid today with my sweetheart. It was quite packed with people, and fresh flowers still outside told me that it had just recently opened! I was quite excited, because I've heard about it before on LowYat.NET forums and there was a post about how their BB cream (Or Blemish Balm cream) was recently voted the number one BB cream in some Chinese or Taiwanese magazine or something (I can't read Chinese... I'm a banana :P)

In case you didn't know, BB creams are the hottest and latest Asian beauty trend right now. It all started in Germany, where it was actually formulated by dermatologists for post-surgery skin (Where it is super sensitive) to soothe and regenerate the skin. But it got popularised by Korean artistes. It can be described as a moisturiser/foundation/foundation base, and, depending on what types you buy, anti-wrinkle/whitening/sun protecting/anti-blemish/pore minimising solution as well, and can even heal acne scars. All in one tube!

These are what I bought. Their BB cream, an emery board and some crystals, but I don't intend to use them for nails. I want to bejewel something... just not sure what yet though. Their BB cream costs RM 45.90, the emery board is RM 6.90 and their crystals are RM 4.90 per packet, but I'm not sure how many are in a packet. The BB cream is cheaper than Missha's (RM 60+ if I remember correctly), and about the same price as Skinfood (RM 44+ I think)!

If I am not mistaken, there are two types for this BB cream, one for oil control and one for moisturising. I didn't know which was which since the packaging was alike and there was no English on the front of the box to indicate that... plus all the sales people were busy. It was when I came back only then I realised that there's an English label at the back and it indicates what type the BB cream is (As well as ingredients), and luckily I got the moisturising one! Silly silly me :( I don't think oil control would have suited me due to my current skin condition- which is oily on the outside and dry on the inside. Face mapping by a Dermalogica representative some time ago told me my oil control was due to dehydration, so I need more hydration and moisturising properties, personally I want hydrating/moisturing and pore minimising :P I'm worried oil control will aggravate my skin condition and make me pop up more instead, although sometimes I do have a tendency to have a shiny nose area later in the day- but it isn't that noticeable and I just blot it away with tissue or Johnson & Johnson's Clean & Clear Oil Control Films.

There's also another BB cream with added SPF and/or UV protection (The tube is blue in colour- the oil control and moisturising one is pinkish-purple), but when I tried the tester for it it felt quite sticky and left quite a sticky feeling compared to the normal ones, so I decided to give it a pass and settled for the normal one. I tried all the three tester tubes there- and the moisturising one was the by far the best for me. The oil control one felt a bit dry-ish in a way, a little but not too sticky as well. I tried them all on my jawline, of course. I have yet to fully try and test run it though, so stay tuned for reviews on it!

Oh yeah, and they gave me this pretty free comb as well!

I didn't look around much as I mentioned, it was quite packed, but they do seem to quite have a wide range of makeup and skincare products, and the concept is much more like Skinfood's, although it is mostly pink and white in decor and frilly and stuff. I personally shun pink AND frilly. Pink is acceptable at time, depending on situation and all, but both combinations of pink and frills are not. The BB cream section was surprisingly empty (Thankfully for me so I had time to test out their BB creams anyway :P), and I saw they had various other types of makeup bases too.

Although that said... Sunway Pyramid is problematic to go to with the traffic jams and all, even though it's not far from where I stay. So restocking (Shall I need to) might pose a bit of a problem to me :( Open an Etude House somewhere nearby please? XD

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Reviews Of My Skincare Products

Reiterating from my first post, I am going to start off with reviews of the products in my daily routine skincare set :D It's going to be a long post, with many items to cover though!

Let's start off with the cleansers. I have two cleansers: one for day and one for night. My day cleanser is the Cellnique Paramedical Seaweed Cleansing Gel and my night cleanser is the Cellnique Paramedical Gentle Foaming Cleanser.

Cellnique Paramedical Seaweed Cleansing Gel is green coloured and smells of peppermint, because one of the ingredients is peppermint oil, but it's main ingredients are green tea and algae. It's mainly for normal/sensitive skin, and costs RM 99 for 200 ml. I use it in the mornings to cleanse my skin from the built-up it might have or has accumulated throughout the night, and as since it has antioxidant protection it works well when you're out at the day and exposed to all sorts of pollution and free radicals. Coupled with the rest of my regiment my skin doesn't get too oily or shiny later in the day though :D

Cellnique Paramedical Gentle Foaming Cleanser is almost white-ish in colour and smells lovely- like fruits. It's main ingredients are alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and tomato, and it's mainly for normal/combination skin. Costs RM 109 for a 200 ml bottle too. I use it at nights to "deep cleanse" as AHAs can be exfoliating in a way (Although this is not abrasive at all), hence renewing my skin at the same time. Killing two birds with one stone! I can't use this in the mornings as I find that it makes my skin get oily or shiny later in the day, but used at night it keeps it clear... so yeah. A working combination here :P

Both cleansers seem to be able to last a very long time as only a little is needed for a full cleansing experience.

After cleansing, I proceed with my toner- Cellnique Paramedical Soothing & Hydrating Lotion. It comes in a convienient spray bottle- I generally spray about five sprays onto a cotton pad and wipe it all over my face, avoiding my eye area of course, and that's enough for me. It smells of ginger, and although I don't like eating ginger I don't mind the smell XD My face feels a bit tingly in a tightening way (But not drying or pulling though) after application with shrunken pores, and does feel smooth after a while. I can feel and see it calming any redness I might have after cleansing as well. It's RM 79 for a 200 ml bottle.

Next comes serum in form of Shiseido Eudermine Revitalising Essence. Previously I used SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, but at RM 289 for a 150 ml bottle it was getting pricey, so I sought for an alternative and found it. Plus, it's also one of the Japanese prized beauty secrets anyway and one of Shiseido's oldest product :P It's way cheaper at RM 149 for 125 ml and comes in a really lovely glass bottle with stopper and packaging! Honestly, it works just as well if not better than the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence for me. The smell is lovely, it's fast-absorbing, softening, moisturising and doesn't make my skin look very oily or shiny later. In fact it kept my skin more matte than usual. And using it on a cotton pad (Dab on cotton pad three times for me) is much better and more saving than pouring it on the hands and applying it to the face as opposed to the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. The reason I'm using a serum is because my facial skin is rather temperamental- open pores with some dryness and oiliness as well (Hence two cleansers as well), and serums help keep my skin in check and Shiseido Eudermine Revitalising Essence does the job well to me :)

My moisturiser is SK-II Aqua Physics Hydrating Gel, a product from SK-II I really love. A truly hydrating moisturiser that works for me. It has a gel-like texture and consistency, but unlike most gel moisturisers it delivers its moisturising properties well. It may feel a little sticky upon application, but after a while it "soaks" in the skin and skin feels soft and smooth, and that feeling literally lasts the whole day! It's RM 205 for a 50 g jar, and very worth the money though since the last jar lasted more than 4 months for me- as I also only used very little to apply on my whole face. I've tried Creme de la Mer's The Moisturising Gel Cream sample, but it didn't hydrate well enough for me as my skin felt taut instead, so yeah... sticking with my SK-II Aqua Physics Hydrating Gel :P

For my eye area, I either use the leftover Creme de la Mer's The Moisturising Gel Cream sample or Origins A Perfect World For Eyes, although I generally use the latter. I forgot how much it costs since I got mine for second hand and cheap, but I think it's RM 100+ for a 15 ml bottle, although like all good items you only need a bit of it. I like how the skin area around my eyes feel smooth after application, and doesn't affect the eyeliner I apply afterwards should I use it. The antioxidant effects offered are a factor that got me buying it too >_>

I complete my daily skincare routine with Shiseido Pureness Pore Minimising Essence since as mentioned I have open pores I'd like to take care of, and this product helps a lot. It smells very nice and has a a cooling effect, and you can really see the pores shrink once it is applied. Of course, pores don't immediately disappear and/or shrink forever (They almost never do), but over time it did help me reduce their size. Another plus is that it also helps keeps skin matte and smooth. This costs RM 93 for a 30 ml tube- but since you only need to apply it to areas affected by enlarged pores, it's a no-brainer that it can last quite a while.

Once a week, I mask with Cellnique Paramedical Intensive Soothing & Hydrating Masque. My only gripe with it is that it's a wipe-off mask, not a rinse-off, and wiping the mask off, although it is a gel-like texture and consistency, can prove a daunting task and I don't feel it's thoroughly "clean", so I tend to rinse a little after wiping. Otherwise, it's a highly hydrating mask, and whenever I get blemishes it really works to soothe out the redness and swelling of the pimple. On normal skin days (And blemished days as well of course) it makes my face look rather glowing and radiant, and keeps the skin soft and supple. The price is RM 99 for a 50 ml pump-tube.

I also scrub once a week, using the Shiseido Pureness Pore Purifying Warming Scrub though not on the day of using the mask. It's RM 79 for a 50 ml tube. This scrub is used on dry skin and applied with dry hands, and once applied is warm, but not burning. Instead, it's quite soothing. The texture is grainy and takes a little getting used to, but after rinsing you can feel that the skin has visibly softened up, and true to its name and range pores are again minimised. Followed up with the rest of my skincare products, my skin does look flawless! It's recommended to be used once or twice a week, but due to my skin condition I only use it once a week. Excess scrubbing is also not recommended, so massage it on for only about 30 seconds.

Next I'll be reviewing my makeup products. Not like they'll be a LOT of products to review, but yeah :P

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

First Post!

Hello and welcome to my first post here. As mentioned, this is going to be a blog solely dedicated to reviews of makeup and skincare products I have bought and/or tried. Inspired by Skin Deco, but since I'm not an avid makeup user there will not be tutorials or anything like that. If you want tutorials you can link to her site, there's a lot you can learn from there!

I've named this blog Muse Of The Moment because beauty products are, well, like muses. This post may feature one (Or two, or several!) items, and the next will feature a different item, and so on. Unless it's a follow up review, but still :P I've decided to make a beauty blog partly also because I didn't want to cramp my original blog (mnemosyne) with too much girly stuff.

So yes, let's start with the basics.

My current daily skincare routine set.

From left to right (back row):
Then from left to right (front row):
Traveling will be hell with this many items XD I shall slowly review the items from my daily usual skincare set before moving on the other items, but for now I will just be introducing them! Stay tuned!