Empties: Jul to Oct

Featured image: Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash

Hello. Apologies for the short hiatus… I am finally back! I am aware that I have not been posting the monthly favourite since July but this post shall compensate for the beauty category

Today’s post will be product that I have started using from July and finished at the end of October.

Disclaimer: The products mentioned are not sponsored or so.

Photo from the left to right:

Keep Cool and Soothe Toner. Brand: KEEP COOL | Time Revolution Artemisa Treatment Essence. Brand: Missha | Time Revolution the First Treatment Essence Rx. Brand: Missha | Oligo Hyaluronic Acid Calming Cream. Brand: THE LAB by blanc doux

How will I mention about the products?

I would do it in a Q&A format where I would answer the typical questions that people want to know about the product.

Before I begin, I would like state that my skin type is combination-sensitive skin.

Question and Answer

Product name: Keep Cool and Soothe Toner.

Photo credit: ALTHEA

Q: What is my first impression of the product?

Me: The bottle structure is like how a typical toner bottle would look like and the design is simple and minimalist. The toner dispense easily to my cotton pad. Overall, it was a good impression.

Q: What do I like about this toner?

A short background info about the product: Keep Cool prides itself to use natural derived, cruelty free ingredients. And they do not use synthetic fragrances, essential oils and drying alcohol.

The toner is formulated with 85% Bamboo water. So what make bamboo water special than regular water?

Bamboo water provides deep hydration to the skin and it is rich in silica content that gives your skin a radiant glow. Also, it helps to boost natural collagen production that might result in youthful and firmer skin. It is a powerful antioxidant that keeps your skin safe from damaging free radicals.

Other notable ingredient include is the Phyto Green Shower Complex that include 4 types of phytoncide-activating ingredients (bamboo, cyprus, pine, and thuja) that help to calm and soothe the skin.

3 things that I like about this toner:

  • It calm and soothe the redness on my face.
  • It is hydrating which make me feel like I am splashing cold water on my face.
  • It’s lightweight and absorbs quickly to the skin with no sticky feeling.

Q: What do I not like about this toner?

Me: There is nothing much that I do not like about the toner. But there is one ingredient, citric acid which might be potentially irritating to sensitive skin. But it’s stated at bottom of the list so I would say that concentration is rather low. I did not experience any irritation upon using it so I do not think this is a huge concern.

Q: How has my skin benefitted or not befitted from using this toner?

Yes my skin benefitted from using this toner. In comparison to the cult favourite Isn’t Tree Green Tea toner, this is more hydrating. As for sebum production, I don’t see my face getting oily throughout the day. Overall I think it does a good job keeping my skin balanced (oil to water balance). Also, I tend to have a few breakouts before/during my period and this toner does help to soothe the redness of the acne spots. But it does not prevent acne/pimple.

Q: Would I recommend it to my friend or family members?

Yes definitely would! This moisturising toner is suitable for all skin type and the price point is value for money. Normally the volume of a typical toner is between 150ml to 200ml but this comes in 2 sizes, 160ml and 350ml. I paid $20.00 for 350ml of toner and it lasts me longer for about 4 months as compared to the previous toner that I need to replenish every 2 months. For me, I used it twice a day – daytime and night time after cleansing.

Overall Ratings:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

To find out more about the product: click this link

Product name: Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence.

Photo credit: Missha Korea

Q: What is my first impression of the product?

The glass bottle gives a classy and sleek look and the design is simple and easy to understand. I like they blend the bottle cap with the bottle that give an ombre effect (dark to light). Lastly, the essence dispenses easily on my palm so overall it’s a good impression

Q: What do I like about this essence?

This essence contain only 1 active ingredients: 100% Artemisia Annua Extract. Artemisia, also known as mugwort, is a medical plant that is great for its healing and calming properties while strengtening the skin barrier.

Missha Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence is doubled fermented in an urn once at a warm temperature and twice at a cool temperature for 100 days. The Artemisia extract is retrieved using a low temperature high pressure extraction process, the solution is extraceted into a single element of higly active ingredients.

Benefit(s) to the skin:

  • Antibacterial – great for acne-prone skin
  • Anti-inflammatory – help to reduce flushing and redness or skin irritation
  • Antioxidant – help to slow down the ageing process.

3 things I like about this essence:

  1. It’s lightweight and absorb quickly to the skin with no sticky feeling.
  2. The immediate effect of reducing the redness/flushing of my sensitive skin after application.
  3. Help to reduce my pimple/acne outbreak during my monthly cycle.

Q: What do I not like about this essence?

I am not sure if this is just me that experienced this but whenever I put the essence on my face, it somehow would sting my eyes and get it teary. FYI: I do not put the essence on my eye area, usually I would put it on my forehead, T-zone, cheek and chin. And I have tried to put it only at my cheek area but I would still experience the eyes stinging. I guess probably the volatile gas from the Artemisia extract get into my eye and cause mild eye irritation.

This essence does have a herb scent which is rather mild but if you are not a fan of any herb scent that this essence might not suit you. FYI: This essence does not contain any artificial fragrance.

Q: How has my skin benefitted or not befitted from using this essence?

I do see an improvement on my skin. Most importantly my skin redness reduced and oftentimes, my skin has that obvious flush when the weather is too hot and this does not make my skin appear like “tomato”.

My skin is hydrated as usual and a great bonus for me would be that I did not get any Mascne (mask-acne) since I am obliged to wear a mask whenever I step out of my house. And I know that mask acne might be an unavoidable problem as we wear our mask every day to work/school. But this essence helps to prevent my face from getting mascne. But not 100% guarantee that it will help you solve the masne problem.

Q: Would I recommend it to my friend or family members?

I would higly recommend to those with sensitive/irritated/acne-prone skin types because I feel that this essence is targetted toward a specific skin concern. The price point is afforable that retails for 27,300 KRW. I got this for $25 from Shopee Singapore that directly ship from South Korea and lasted me for 2 months as I used it as a quick calming mask too.

Overall Ratings:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

To find out more about the product: click this link

Product name: Time Revolution the First Treatment Essence Rx.

Photo credit: Missha Korea

I have actually reviewed this essence back in 2019 and never regretted my choice of switching to this from the renowned SK-II facial treatment essence.

Q: What is my first impression of the product?

As usual with Missha time revolution, the essence are bottled in a glass bottle that give a sleek and classy look. And the design is kept simple and easy to understand. Lastly, the essence does easily depense onto my palm or cotton pad.

Q: What do I like about this essence?

3 things I like about this essence:

  1. It’s a lightweight and absorb quickly to the skin and leaves no sticky feeling.
  2. It has no smell as compared to a renowned facial treatement essence which contain a pungent smell derived from it’s natural fermentation.
  3. It is really hydrating and also contain anti-ageing properties for the skin.

Missha Time Revolution the First Treatment Essence Rx is the 4th generation of the treatment essence since their first launch back in 2011. This is their latest revamp of the time revolution the First Treatment Essence and what is it different from the previous generation?

This 4th gen essence contain 95% Cica enzyme ferment extract alongside with pearl reef extract and rice extract. The essence is formulated without parabens, artificial fragrances, alcohol and mineral oil. And it uses a double fermentation process that is similar to the Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence.

Q: What do I not like about this essence?

There is nothing much I do not like about this essence. Unlike the Artemisia Treatment Essence, this essence does not cause any eye irritation even if it’s placed near my eye.

Q: How has my skin benefitted or not befitted from using this essence?

I have been using it for almost 2 years and this has been a staple of mine. My skin has been more “clear” than before. My face is hydrated and balanced. I do not think it helps to brighten my skin much but I like the anti-ageing benefit that it provides.

Q: Would I recommend it to my friend or family members?

Yes I would recommend to those who want to include a facial essence into their skincare regime. I think this essence is a good stepping stone for one to purchase plus it is affordable too. I got mine for less than $50 so it is worth a try? The essence is suitable for all skin types of all ages and one bottle can last me for 3 to 4 months.

Overall Ratings:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

To find out more about the product: click this link

Product name: Oligo Hyaluronic Acid Calming+ Cream.

Photo credit: THE LAB by blanc doux

Q: What is my first impression of the product?

The cream comes in a tube form which resembles a toothpaste rather than the conventional glass/plastic jar. It is easy to squeeze the cream out from the tube. The cream has a texture like a soft balm that glides easily on your face. Overall, I has a good first impression.

Q: What do I like about this cream?

3 things I like about this cream:

  1. It contains hyaluronic acid which is an excellent hydrator to the skin.
  2. Not only it provide deep hydration but it also calm my face too.
  3. It is a light cream that does not feel heavy which is suitable to use in a humid country and it does not contain artificial fragrance too.

Oligo Hyaluronic Acid Calming+ Cream by THE LAB by blanc doux is a moisturizing cream with hyaluronic acid that deeply hydrates your skin. 

According to a study, hyaluronic acid (HA) or hyaluronan is a crucial molecule involved in skin moisture, a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) with a unique capacity to bind and retain water molecules. It belongs to the extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules and the predominant component of the skin ECM is HA. HA is most abundant in the human skin, accounting for 50% of the total body HA. And skin ageing is associated with loss of skin moisture.  To prevent skin ageing, hyaluronic acid is introduced to retain moisture to the skin and reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles to create a more youthful look. Read more: here

Photo credit: THE LAB by blanc doux

You might have notice the word: “DERMA-CLEARA” highlighted in blue and wondering what does it mean?

Photo credit: THE LAB by blanc doux

Q: What do I not like about this cream?

There is nothing I do not like about this moisturing cream. And I did not experience any irritation using this cream.

But based solely on the ingredients, it does contain a few essential oils which may be potential irritants to the skin. If you know that your skin could be reactive to certain essential oils then this cream would not be suitable for you or use it with caution. It also contains silicone so if you are not a fan of silicone in your skincare product or your skin is reactive to silicone then this product might not be suitable.

Full ingredient list: Purified Water, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Tryglycerides, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Sorbitan Olivate, Vincetoxicum Atratum Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate (3010ppm), Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Beta-Glucan, Jojoba Seed Oil, Betaine, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid (5ppm), Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate(0.5ppm), Isododecane, Sodium Polyacryloyldimethyl Taurate, Xanthan Gum, Trideceth-10, Candelilla Wax, Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dimethicone.

Q: How has my skin benefitted or not befitted from using this cream?

My skin has become more hydrated. I used this cream during the daytime before applying my sunscreen help to keep my face hydrated for a longer period. I do feel that my face is much softer and radiant. This cream leaves a semi-dewy finish, not those kinds of cream that give you a dewy glow finish which some may find it looking too oily.

Q: Would I recommend it to my friend or family members?

I would recommend to those ppl whose skin need a hydration boost, normal to combination skin including sensitive skin. Perhaps oily skin might find this a little too oily for them. The price point is considered afforable as I got this for $30 for 50ml.

Overall Ratings:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

To find out more about the product: click this link

I have to come to the end of my post. Thank you for taking the time to read my post! And should you be interested in any product mentioned, feel free to look them up! Kindly stay tuned for the november favourites.


Boyfriend reviews his current skincare products

Featured image by Photo by Heather Ford on Unsplash

Hello. It’s been a while. I have been busy with my university projects hence I did not manage to post a July favourite. But I will combine them with the August favourites.

Today post is different than usual. Normally, before I post any skincare product recommendation, I would use them for 2 weeks or more to give an objective review of the product. The product mentioned in this post will not used by me but my boyfriend instead.

I would like to put out a disclaimer that all the product mentioned are bought by my boyfriend with his own money. None of these are sponsored.

I know there is a controversial of a guy using skincare product dictating them as “girly”, “feminine” or even worst “is he gay?”. I am not trying to offend anyone or the LGBT community. But I had heard people saying this in my previous job. I know in South Korea, men do use as much skincare product as women. So, I don’t think there is anything wrong with men using skincare products. I think it’s beneficial for them to use them to protect their skin for pre-mature ageing.

A short description of my boyfriend skin type/condtion. My boyfriend suffered eczema skin condition since he’s young. Fortunately, majority of his eczema occurred his body, so it hardly breakout on his face. His face type is combination – oily at the T-zone area and somewhat dry around his cheek area.

My boyfriend skincare routine is pretty much the basic that consist of 3 simple steps: Cleanser >> Toner/Essence >> Cream/Moisturiser.

I am aware that he is missing a step for his sunscreen/sunblock for his daytime routine. I tried to persuade him to put but often times, he forget to apply.

Recently, he tried to two new beauty products which are of the following:

Photo credit: Laneige Korea (Laneige.com/kr)
Photo credit: Roundlab Korea (roundlab.co.kr)

Let’s start with the one on the left which is the Laneige Homme Cream Skin Refiner All in one retails for 28,000 Won = 23.49 USD for 150ml. At the moment, this is only sold in South Korea.

Photo credit: Laneige Korea

This is the men version (2020) of their infamous cream skin refiner. If you have not heard of it yet, the cream skin refiner was the talk of the town last year (2019). I had tried the cream skin refiner and it was good and my skin had no reaction or whatsoever.

One of the main ingredient used was the white tea leaf extract which has a higher concentration of antioxidants and amino acids compared to green tea leaf extract. The only thing that I did not like was the sticky feeling after application. So I did not repurchase it, overall it’s not a bad product, it does leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated. I highly recommend for those with dry skin and it’s applicable to all skin types.

The difference between the original cream skin refiner and Homme cream skin refiner is the extra ingredients contain in the men version which are ethanol, chamomile extract and mentoxypropanediol.

Ethanol – It is a well-known topical penetration enhancer, which means it can be used to increase the transdermal delivery of certain ingredients into the skin.

Chamomile extract – It is known for its excellent soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Mentoxypropanediol – It is a cooling agent that derived from menthol and it is commonly used fragrance or masking agent.

How does this review goes about?

I have sent a list of question to my boyfriend and he will give his objective review about the products. P.S. He has been using these product for more than 3 weeks.

Questions and Answer

Q: What is your first impression of the product?

A: I like the simplicity of the packaging and it looked relatively cool for a guy.

Q: What do you like about the product?

A: First off, it has no smell and it is easy to apply without the use of a cotton pad. It absorbed relatively fast into the skin and it is also a 3 in 1 product.

Before Application.
Photo taken by my boyfriend for illustrative purposes only.
After application.
Photo taken by my boyfriend for illustrative purposes only.

Q: What do you not like about the product? why?

A: The stickiness after application. When you first apply it to your face, it feels like putting a light lotion/cream. As the toner gets absorb within 5 seconds, it will leave a slight stickiness to your face. Furthermore, your hands will be sticky as well, so it will be necessary to wash our hands after applying. Another downside is that it does not provide as much hydration with comparison to other toner.

Q: How has the product benefited or not benefitted your skin after using it for a month?

A: Overall, I feel that this toner has help to control some of my oiliness and kept my skin slightly hydrated. There is less sebum production during the day and slightly lesser pimples produce as well.

Q: How likely would you consider repurchase the product?

A: Not likely|Neutral|More Likely|Most Likely.

Q: Would you recommend this product to your friends or relatives?

A: I will recommend this product to other friends if they are looking for a 3 in 1 facial product and they are not fussy about the stickiness.

Q: Overall rating of the product?

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

April Favourites 2020

Hello! It’s time the month of favourites. Phew! March ended just like this. Most of the time, I was staying at home except if I am doing the grocery run. I feel that this self-quarantine does not sound as bad as it seems. Sometimes, it can be a perfect time for you to slow things down if you always have been busy coping with your work.

It’s a time for you to slowly unwind and notice the surroundings or do something that you like to do. Have you ever sat down in your rooms, look outside the windows and appreciate the outside scenery – the cloudy sky, the trees and the sudden breeze that blows through your window?

If you are new to this segment, I’ll be sharing about 2 or 3 favourites that I have used for the month of April. It can be anything from beauty, makeup, book, music or app.

(*) = affiliated link.

Favourite beauty of the month: DR.G RED Blemish Clear Soothing Cream

Photo credit: dr-g.co.kr

This cream was one of the best sellers in Korea in the year 2019. This retail for 36,000 KRW which is roughly about 40 SGD for 70ml. The price is considered affordable. Unfortunately, there is no physical shop in Singapore so I got it online. And I have a question: “Is this cream worth the hype?”

A brief background information about the brand DR.G.

DR.G was founded by dermatologist Dr. Ahn Geon-young of Gowoonsesang Cosmetics*, one of the world’s largest skincare medical group and the number one skin clinic in Korea. Gowoonsesang means ‘Beautiful World’ in Korean. According to their webpage, My Skin Mentor DR.G was launched in 2003 with a philosophy: “Dr. G guarantees a healthy and beautiful skin by continuously developing safe and effective products that are suggesting solutions for various problems based on genuine sympathy and consideration for those with skin problems.”

For more information you can read up his interview here* or visit the DR.G official website (Korea)*

When it comes to cream/moisturiser, I am very particular due to my past experiences of using the cream/moisturiser that causes me to breakout or have fungal acne aka tiny little bumps on the face after some time. I have tried numerous creams from drugstore to expensive cream such as the TATCHA Silk cream. I never really mentioned my experience with using TATCHA Creams so I am going to briefly share it below. You may choose to skip the next 5 paragraphs on the TATCHA experiences.

About 4 years back, I brought the TATCHA silk cream* (120 USD for 50ml), the name indeed sounds luxurious but it was not worth the splurge. The silk cream is a rich gel-cream that is suitable for normal to dry skin. Back then, my skin was relatively combination-dry. After using for two weeks, I started to have fungal acne on my forehead which I did not have previously. And every alternate day, I woke to a new pimple on my face. It made me question whether was it the silk cream that I recently used.

I’ll be frank with you, the silk cream felt “heavy” on my skin and I find that it was not suitable for places experiencing humid weather all year-round. But I think it is most suitable for people with dry skin type and in places that experience winter. I gave the cream to my mum and she loved it considering that she has a dry skin type plus she loved the smell of the cream (FYI: the cream contain parfum/fragrance).

TATCHA launched the water cream* in 2017, I remember purchasing the cream (68 USD for 50ml) online back in late 2018 as it was marketed out as a lightweight gel-cream that was perfect for combination to oily skin type. Comparing the price, the water cream was more affordable than the silk cream. The experience using the TATCHA water cream was okay but nothing fantastic. It’s a lightweight cream that does its job to keep your skin hydrated leaving a non-sticky feeling. Neither does it cause any breakout nor prevent any pimple from coming out. It did nothing to my redness even though there was a split moment of a cooling sensation.

Overall, this is just an average oil-free cream. The selling point was that it contains GOLD as an ingredient in the water cream which is supposed to be anti-oxidant and perhaps giving you that glowy skin. I highly doubt that that is real gold added to the cream. But why add gold in skincare products? I don’t think that the gold would be absorbed by the skin, it would probably sit right on top of your skin that’s all. There was a news article* about the water cream reviewed by a dermatologist. The water cream lasted me for 4 months and I did not repurchase it.

I am not trying to trash TATCHA and just to let you know I used to loved TATCHA products and I want to be honest about my thoughts on their products. For those who actual loved their cream, you can continue using it. However, there are better affordable cream out there that can give you a similar result. 🙂

Let’s focus on the star product…

I have been using the DR.G soothing cream for 3 weeks which I think is substantial to give my honest thought about it. This cream is suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin. My skin type is combination-sensitive and occasionally I do have pimples.

I used this every night even though it was instructed to use it twice daily. So far, I had a pleasant experience, the cream is a lightweight gel texture and I would wake up with a nice glow on my face that did not look too greasy.

The cream absorbed relatively fast into your skin and it did not leave any sticky feeling aftermath. It also soothes my redness, not instantly, take about 5 minutes after application to see the effect.

What I like about this cream:

The cream is fragrance-free and essential oil-free.

I feel that fragrance and skincare should not come together because they don’t complement each other. I know skincare company add fragrance to mask a certain chemical smell or as a marketing technique to attract the consumer to buy their product because of the aroma fragrance.

Since last year, I have decided to make a change to minimise the fragrance content in my skincare products to as little or no fragrance. There is a good reason why. Your skin doesn’t react to a fragrant product from using it for a day, a week or even a month. It’s the prolong exposure that can potentially sensitised your skin and aggravated your skin condition.

You can read more about why you should choose fragrance-free products here: post written by Paula’s choice*

The cream is alcohol-free.

I feel that alcohol can be drying especially toward dry skin and be potentially irritating toward sensitive skin. But not all alcohol is bad for the skin. There are good ones which are classified under fatty alcohol such as Cetearyl, Stearyl, Cetyl and Behenyl alcohol that are not drying or irritating to your skin at all. In fact, they act as emollients which protect your skin and help it to keep moisture in.

The cream contains 5-CICA Complex™ that is specially formulated by DR.G. The 5-CICA Complex™ comprised of 5 skin-soothing ingredients:

  1. Madecassoside – wound healing, skin soothing and anti-oxidant properties
  2. Asiaticoside – wound healing and anti-oxidant properties
  3. Madecassic acid – skin regenerating, wound healing properties
  4. Asiatic acid – moisturising and wound healing properties
  5. Centella extract (aka Tiger grass) – anti-inflammatory properties

However, the cream is not silicone-free which is not necessary a bad thing.

When it comes to silicone, people might automatically assume that it is bad because it can clogged pores. However, this is not true. Silicone is both hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic and not known to sensitise the skin.

Silicone will not penetrate into the skin but it forms a breathable barrier on top of your skin providing beneficial properties such as conditioning properties, emolliency, and ability to prevent moisture loss. Furthermore, they can make the skin appear smoother and more radiant due to their light-reflective properties.

The main takeaway for me about this cream is beside it give my face a hydration boost but also did a good job in controlling any breakout. What I meant was a lesser breakout especially my hormonal breakout that it’s something I cannot control. For my existing pimple, it does help to reduce the flare-up of the pimple.

Back to my question whether is this cream worth the hype? Yes! It is worth the buy especially if you are sensitive – acne-prone skin and you wanted a gentle moisturising cream. This might be the one for you. So if you are interested, feel free to check it out online!

My rating for this product:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Disclaimer: I find this product beneficial to my skin but it may or may not works for everyone. Kindly understand that every individual has different skin type and texture. I recommend that you do some research before purchasing the product or patch test on your skin before usage. This is not a sponsored post too.

Click on page 2 for more favourites.