Dec 25, 2014

French Pharmacy | London | Singapore Haul!

The long awaited post is finally here! I got an exciting loot of products I'm dying to share with all of you. For those who remembered my post: Favourite French Product, you would know that a kind friend of mine offered to get some things for me in the great land of France (and later on in London). At the same time, I have also been doing my own shopping back here in the tiny country of Singapore. Now, I do not normally buy this many products in such a short period of time, but with such great price reductions on these products, this was too great of an opportunity to miss. 

So lets get started!

From London: 

1. Tanya Burr Lip Gloss - Afternoon Tea

Retail price: £6.99 i.e. S$ 14.40
I bought for: £4.99 i.e. S$ 10.30

This was probably the most exciting buy out of the lot. I don't exactly know how to say 'I'm a fan of Tanya Burr and I love her bubbly personality' without sounding like a avid fan girl, so I won't try. Although I have to admit that having a piece of her collection makes me a tiny bit proud. Putting that aside, after having seen swatches and a handful of YouTubers wearing this, I think it's safe to say that the product itself is pretty darn good!

2. Sleek Face Contour Kit - Light
Retail price: S$ 19.00 (via Luxola)
I bought for: £6.49 i.e. S$ 13.35

Not that Sleek is unavailable in Singapore, but it always costs less to buy from the country of origin of the brand. I think that I got a pretty good bargain on this one. I have been looking for a good contour powder recently since Chanel decided to discontinue my favourite Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Base here in Singapore. I'm really hoping that this would live up to it's hype and replace my current bronzer. Fingers crossed!

From France: 

Dec 16, 2014

One Trick To Get Rid Of Stubborn Dry Lips

No products, no harsh abrasive scrub. This trick only takes less than a minute to do and it works wonders. Now that it's still winter in most places, I thought that sharing this trick with all of you would be most appropriate. This is something I try to do often after a shower because I tend to get the most horrible dry chappy lips ever. 

All you need is: 

1. A towel
2. A warm bath/shower

How to do it: 

1. Take a warm bath. Of course, the longer the bath the better. Lukewarm to cold showers works as well, just that results are not as effective.

2. After stepping out of the bath, wrap your towel around your finger and start to gently scrub your lips.

3.  Optional : Follow up with a thick layer of your favourite lip balm before bed.

This might sound really simple and intuitive, but this is by far the most effective and most gentle method I've found that gives me the softest smoothest lips. This method simply takes advantage of the every-day bath which makes this  really hassle-free and easy to do.

Why it's so great: 

The steam and the constant hydration you get during a bath helps to moisten those dry patches of skin on your lips. This means that a gentle scrub can easily remove those dry chappy skin, without having to tug and pull at the dry skin on you lips. This leaves your lips soft and smooth as ever.

I know that there is the 'Scrub your lips with lip balm and toothbrush' method and the 'Rub your lips with a Q-tip' method and so on, but I found that they left my lips really dry and uncomfortable. This method truly is something I swear by. So do try this method out after your bath later and tell me what you think!


*Lips sketch by Laura Stockings

Dec 10, 2014

Moisture Up! - Why You Need To Have Hyaluronic Acid In Your Skincare Routine

Moisturisers, I believe, are one of the most common skincare item that almost everyone has in their routine. Every skincare brand carries some sort of moisturisers in their line. It's just a basic necessity. That being said, I'm not going to discuss about moisturisers in itself, because that would be pretty general. I'm going to discuss about the king of all moisturisers - Hyaluronic acid.

What is Hyaluronic Acid? 

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance produced by the body. It can be found as a lubricant in eyes and joints. That aside, it has received a lot of attention in recent years as a moisturiser. This is because of it's ability to retain up to 1000 times its weight in water! It is even said to prevent moisture loss from the skin.

Where you can find it: 

It usually exists as a salt of hyaluronic acid. Look at the ingredient's list on your products and find Sodium Hyaluronate. You'd be surprised to know how many products that now contain this ingredient. I'm talking about your foundations, lipsticks, masks and so on.

Here's an interesting list of some unrelated products that contain Hyaluronic acid:
  • Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation
  • Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation and Concealer
  • EOS Visibly Soft Lip Balm in Vanilla Mint (strangely, only this particular flavour)
  • Benefit Lip Hydrators
  • bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation 
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Sunscreen
  • Paula's Choice RESIST Daily Pore Refining Treatment 2% BHA Gel, RESIST Ultra Light Super Anti-Oxidant Concentrate Serum, 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant

Dec 5, 2014

What Is Your Favourite French Product?

A close friend of mine is going to the iconic french pharmaceutical wonderland in a couple of days. Knowing my slight obsession for skin care products, he kindly offered to get me some!

So being situated in the tiny country of Singapore, I am not as well versed with the french market as some of you are. Although I already have the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] and Vichy Tri-Activ Hydrating Care ( which I went in great detail in my post: Clear Skin: Exfoliation Is Key (Salicylic Acid) ) in mind,  I am quite keen on trying new products.

So what is your favourite french product that you can recommend?


Note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, I am unable to directly reply comments in my previous posts.  I apologise that there are no email notifications on my replies. I'm afraid that if you have commented, you would have to go back to the posts. I have already contacted Blogger about this issue, and I hope you will be patient with me till then. I hope that all of you reading will continue your lovely comments because I do love reading and replying to them. It makes me really happy to hear your responses. Thank you and I hope to hear from you!

Dec 2, 2014

Customise Your Own Masks: Instantly Brighten, Reduce Redness And Tighten

The best masks for your skin are not the ones you buy off the shelves. Rather, it's those made with fresh, raw ingredients. Thats why the Lush Fresh Face Masks are so popular. Yet the mask I'm about to show you is better. It's all natural, affordable, and more importantly, it is better for your skin.

What's so great about this mask is that you can customise your mask according to what your skin needs. Whether my skin is breaking out, feeling dry or just dull, this mask is always the one thing I fall back to. Don't worry about it being a hassle because once you have the ingredients at hand, making this becomes so easy. The masks are also suitable for all skin types.

 The base of all the masks is :

  1. Oatmeal : two teaspoons (Any oatmeal is fine, be it instant or just the normal ones)
  2. Yogurt : one and a half to two teaspoons


1. Add ingredients in a clean dry bowl and mix well.

2.Add more yogurt or more oatmeal until desired consistency is reached.

3. Apply on skin and leave it for around 15 minutes.

4. Those with normal to dry skin should remove the mask while the mask is still moist. Letting the mask dry out can allow moisture to leave the skin. Those with combination to oily skin may remove the mask when it has dried. I found that when the mask dries completely, it helps to remove sebum from deep within pores. Face would feel less oily throughout the day.

5. Just as you're about to remove the mask, gently massage the mask into the skin in circular motions before washing it off. This is to allow the oats to exfoliate the skin. If the mask have dried up, use tap water to moisten it. The dried yogurt can be quite scratchy, so be sure to moisten it first.

6. Follow up with your regular cleanser to ensure all traces of the mask is removed.

I like my masks thick enough to hold it's form.

It is as simple as that. Although simple and basic as it is, this humble mask will instantly brighten, whiten and reduce redness on your skin. It soothes any irritation and leaves your skin feeling so smooth after.

Who is it great for :

Those with sensitive, dry or irritated skin. Even for those currently suffering from acne breakouts.

This mask is a very gentle mask that I have been using for about three years now, especially when I was still suffering with acne. I found that I could get away with using this mask 5 times a week. Every single time, I would have a more even complexion, the redness and inflammation from the pimples would also reduce significantly.

How it works: 

Nov 26, 2014

Timeless Christmas Gifts : All-time Classic Fragrances

Christmas is finally on its way! It is my favourite time of the year and I can't wait. There's many great things great about Christmas, but one of them is definitely the Christmas shopping. You know what I'm talking about.

I think that perfumes will always be such a great gift for the sisters and girlfriends. Not just any perfumes though, I'm talking about the classics. 

You know how you're wearing a new perfume, and suddenly a male someone, stops and goes, "You smell good today.". Us ladies here would know that such scenarios are rare. Men are hardly the most observant when it comes to hair, makeup and even fragrances. Well, at least where I come from. This I believe, is the ultimate test that any perfume must pass before earning it's title as a 'Timeless classic'. This wasn't just my observation alone, conversations I had with other ladies too, confirmed this.

Nov 21, 2014

Clear Skin & Anti-aging : Exfoliation Is Key ( AHAs)

Clear skin and anti-ageing? Yes! To those unaware, AHAs can both help alleviate troubled skin and signs of ageing. 

So what is AHA? 

AHA stands for Alpha-Hydroxy acids. It commonly includes Lactic acid & Glycolic acid but it can also come in the form of Malic acid, Tartaric acid and Citric Acid.

It basically acts as a chemical exfoliant to gently slough away dead skin cells on the skin's surface while stimulating cell turnover. It is even said to stimulate collagen and elasticity of the skin. This can reduce appearances of wrinkles and may even reverse the effects of photo-aging. It is for this reason that AHAs have become a popular ingredient in anti-ageing products.

How does it help breakouts? 

Well, studies have shown that AHA has the ability to reduce acne lesions. (source) However, AHA only works on the surface on the skin, which may not be enough for the breakouts that are ongoing beneath. I mentioned in my post: Clear Skin: Exfoliation is Key (salicylic acid) that BHA has the ability to reach into the pore itself. That is why there are an increasing number of products which have combined both AHA and BHA to reap both benefits. (I like to call them hybrids) I will discuss such products below. 

The types of AHA to consider: 

I will only discuss lactic acid, glycolic acid, malic acid and citric acid because these are the types of AHAs that are more commonly found on the market. Although all belong to the same family of acids, I found them to be quite distinct in their action.

The type of AHA suitable on your skin would definitely depend on your skin's tolerance. Do take note that if you were to use any type of retinol/adapalene regularly, your skin would be less tolerant to the various acids too.

Glycolic acid: 

I personally don't enjoy using too much of glycolic acid. I found it to be the harshest acid out of the four. I don't recommend anyone to start using AHAs with this acid for this reason. Nor would this be suitable for those with sensitive or delicate skin too.

 I can usually tell when a product has glycolic acid because I really do feel the bite. However, I do find that this delivers the most impact in the shortest period of time. 

Lactic acid & Malic acid:

If you're like me, and you plan to include AHAs in your skincare routine in the long term, then you might like lactic acid and malic acid. Albeit gentle, these acids are effective as well. I would say that it took a few months to see the transformation, but the wait was definitely worth it. 

Recently, I've noticed that malic acid have been growing in popularity. You would have probably seen them in apple-related products like apple enzyme peels, apple cleansers and so on. I've talked about my holy grail (HG) / staple/ must-have skincare item : Apple Cider Vinegar here.

Citric acid:
I know that citric acid is considered to be an AHA as well, but I actually don't see any of it's effect on my skin. Maybe it's just me? For this reason, I can't recommend this as an AHA. 

Side effects of AHAs: 

Some might experience some mild irritation like redness and stinging of the skin, especially if you're new to the ingredient. Rest assured, it does get better with increased usage.  But do know your skin's tolerance and stop if it gets too much to handle. To be on a safe side, do moisturise after to minimise any irritation to the skin. 

Another important side effect that everybody using AHA should know is the increase in sun sensitivity. This side effect is present even at the low concentration of 4% and the side effect can last a week even after you stop using it. So always wear a sunscreen or use a product that contains both SPF and PA+ to protect from the UVA and UVB rays. I tend to have my AHAs during the night too, just in case.

Nov 19, 2014

I Won A Giveaway!

I love giveaways. I think it's really fun to participate in them. Because, why not? You never know.

A while ago, I participated in a giveaway hosted by Green Consience and I won myself some Leonhardy brushes! They are made from natural bristles I believe, which is really hard to come by here. You can only get such brushes retail from MAC, for an average of S$ 40-70 for face brushes, or get high end ones from Chanel, Bobbi Brown etc. My only natural brush I own is my MAC 129 and the rest are synthetic. So I was really thrilled when I won.

I was also really thankful for Karin, for sending it from Germany all the way to Singapore. I can't imagine the postage fees, so thank you Karin! It took almost two weeks to get here, and I'm so excited to test it out these few months. So far so good though!

So heres to entering more giveaways, and hopefully having one myself!


New post will be up in 2 days!

Nov 14, 2014

Clear Skin : Exfoliation Is Key part I (Salicylic acid)

Every one needs to exfoliate their skin. It is so important that we slough away those dead skin cells and stimulate cell turnover on our skin. This will help you achieve clearer skin because these dead skin cells could potentially clog those pores. Clogged pores could lead to milia, whiteheads and blackheads.

I know when I say exfoliation, many tend to have the impression of physical exfoliators which have those beads that scratch the surface of the skin. Exfoliators don't have to come in the form of exfoliating beads. Increasingly, there is a whole new market dedicated to chemical exfoliators. I'm talking about salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid and retina/retinol.

Do you remember trying a product for the first time, and it gave you the softest, smoothest skin that made you fall in love with the product? Chances are, they have chemical exfoliators inside.

I have found that many companies secretly put one of these exfoliators into their products because they know us ladies love products that takes our skin to a whole new level. I remember trying out the La Roche-Posay Sensi White Cleanser, and I immediately fell in love with how smooth it made my skin feel. Only to find later that it was because of the salicylic acid added inside!

People who know me will know I have a big heart for chemical exfoliators. I love it, I always recommend it and I use it every single day. What pains me is that products specially labelled "Exfoliator" are way overpriced. This post will hope to show you that there are now tons of companies who add effective chemical exfoliators into every-day products. Exfoliators doesn't have to be expensive, at least not anymore. In fact, my holy grail exfoliators are all drugstore.

Shocking, I know.

Be warned, this post will be a long one. Bear with me here because I have scoured tons of drugstores, websites and high-end places hoping to offer to the ladies ( and gentlemen who may be considered) a whole range of products that would cater to the different needs, and budget of different people.

I'm going to start it all off with the chemical exfoliators first. Mainly because this is the component most ladies are unaware of, and also because this is the most exciting part.

Salicylic Acid 

A type of Beta-Hydroxy Acid ( BHA), this product is commonly used in acne-fighting products because of its ability to get right down into your pores to clean things out. Most products with salicylic acid tend to contain only 0.5 % salicylic acid. The better ones offer a 1-2% salicylic acid, with 2% being the maximum you should go. I know a handful of people on the internet have tried salicylic acid, and claim that it didn't work on their skin. I believe that most likely, the salicylic content in their products were not potent enough.

From experience, I've found that salicylic acid is the type of ingredient that 'secretly works behind closed doors'. That is, you won't be able to see it treating your current breakouts. Rather, it works to slow or prevent future breakouts. 

Even though this ingredient is the most readily accessible in both drugstores and sometimes high-end places, those offering higher potency salicylic acid are not. There are also an increasing number of what I call, hybrids. Where they combine both AHA and BHA in one product, which I will mention the products in detail in Part II.

Oct 26, 2014

Clear skin: It All Starts With The Cleanse

Picture by me
Don't you just love a good cleanse? I know I do. It leaves me refreshed and energised, its just a wonderful experience every day.

When it comes to fighting black heads, white heads and pimples, the truth is, any cleanser will do.

This comes from personal experience with someone with terribly sensitive and acne-prone skin. When I was fighting those harsh and angry pimples, I found that I could get away with the gentle cleansers, the moisturising cleansers and even the whitening cleansers!

Basically, my point is, you don't necessarily have to go and get those suited for acne/ oily skin. Simply because, these type of cleansers tend to be more harsh and irritating on the skin than the usual cleansers out there. Forcing it upon your skin because of a localised breakout could further aggravate and irritate your current breakout, or aggravate other parts of your skin that is otherwise healthy.

The most fundamental rule about cleansers: Go with the ones you're most comfortable with

If you have breakouts and at the same time, dislike that ' tight and dry' feeling you get from a certain product, don't carry on using it. Always remember that your treatments don't necessarily have to come from a cleanser.

The second tip is : Go with the flow

Your skin is ever changing! Some days your skin feels great. Some days, not so much. You can switch up your cleansers on a day-to-day basis depending on your skin's current state.
I have three cleansers I alternate from depending if my skin is feeling sensitive, dry, or very oily. Well, you get the drift.

The third tip: Don't wash too much or too often

I usually stick to twice a wash a day. Washing too much may irritate the skin, and thus may aggravate your current acne. Additionally, if you have oily/combination skin, it may even stimulate your sebaceous ( oil) glands to produce even more oil, which is the last thing you would want.

The forth tip: Always use a make-up cleanser to remove your makeup!

This might seem obvious, but some ladies I know don't do this. This could risk some leftover makeup residues on your skin that could clog your pores.
I would always use a cleansing water to get rid of my makeup and would then follow it up with my regular cleanser on my face.

My favourite make up removers are the micellar solutions. It looks like water but it is actually not! My absolute favourite is the Caudalie Cleansing Water. I have the Bioderma Sensibio as well, but nothing quite beats the Caudalie one.

So enough about that, lets get on to the cleansers I think are worth mentioning!

Oct 24, 2014

Clear Skin: The Cause of Breakouts & Tips

photo by me

We've all have had experiences with blackheads, whiteheads and pimples. No one wants them. 

I myself dealt with acne for years. At one point, my forehead was covered with angry and painful pimples, even my scalp wasn't spared. At that point, I was willing to do anything to achieve clearer skin. I've tried everything as well. I went for facials, I tried the blue light technology, I even tried changing my diet!  Dairy, nuts, and anything with a high glycemic index or oil content were all thrown out. Regardless of my efforts, I had minimal success. Oh and before you ask, yes I have tried loading the vitamins as well.

After countless trials and errors, I think I finally got it down on how to achieve clearer skin. I'm really excited on this new series because all these tips have really helped my skin over the years. Of course, I still get the occasional breakout, but everything is basically kept under control. 

So here is what is coming in the next few posts! Do stay tuned for :

Clear Skin : Exfoliation Is Key Part I ( Salicylic Acid) & II ( AHAs) 

Clear Skin: Treatments

Before we get down to business, I think it's important to first establish the two main causes of acne. They are what I call the environmental induced acne and genetically induced acne

 What I call 'genetically induced acne', usually involves painful cystic acne, usually found in the deeper layers of the skin. This is compared to what I call the 'environmentally induced ' ones that are usually found on the surface of the skin. Such cystic acne, like the name suggests, is generally genetic and inherited.

Thus, for those under the 'genetically induced acne' category, it is my observation that a dermatologist's intervention is usually necessary and that the drug isotretinoin ( used to be called Ro-accutane) have been proven most effective. It works at the genetic level to diminish the size and secretion of the sebaceous gland ( say bye to oily skin!). However, it is potent and in this case, I would advise those to seek a medical opinion on it if you're interested in it, especially before any deep scarring comes into play.

Truthfully, the former are much easier to self-treat due to the reasons already discussed, although the tips from this series may soothe the latter's skin aggravation as well.

So let's get rolling!

Oct 17, 2014

One Trick For A Slimmer, V-shaped face

You have an occasion later, or none at all. You want to look beautiful and have that confidence that radiates from within. But wait, you wake up with a puffy face. These things happen,
so take heart for there is a solution. Using no products or expensive tightening facials. Just a simple, elegant home-made mask. You probably already have what you need at home!

This mask is suitable for all skin types. Even for those with sensitive skin or oily skin (which I happen to have both). 

Ingredients :

1. Half a tablespoon of yogurt ( any is fine, though I'd personally avoid the favoured ones)

2. Half to one teaspoon of instant coffee granules or left-over coffee grinds 

3. 3 quarters to 1 tablespoon of oatmeal 


4. Half a teaspoon of honey 

The benefits:

Oct 9, 2014

Cheapest way to get Real Techniques Brushes! (International - Singapore, Australia etc)

Real technique brushes was all the hype one or two years back. Tanya burr, Pixiwoo, Zoella were all using it. They are affordable, super soft on the skin and they even look great on your vanity. If you're living in Singapore, you would know that just two years ago, you couldn't get them anywhere. Real techniques didn't ship them online and I had to get mine from a little blog shop for SGD $24 that I found on Google. Now that drugstores like Watsons, Guardian and online retailers like Luxola jumped on board, one would think that the problem is solved. But it's not.

 They are so overpriced. 

In the US, Real techniques are priced US $9 for their Expert face brush, but in Singapore, it costs us SGD $ 18 ( USD $ 14.2). Not only are they overpriced, most of the bestsellers like the Expert face brush, Blush brush and Setting brush are always sold out. Plus, they don't carry the new and latest products as well!

When my mother was going Australia I asked her to pick some up for me. However, after checking online, I found that they too, were really overpriced.

 So this post will show you ladies out there how to get these brushes at an affordable price internationally. Be it Singapore, Australia or the country that you're residing in.

Oct 5, 2014

Philosophy | Brand Impression Part II

As mentioned in my previous post, I attended a Philosophy skin care workshop and was able to walk away with some travel-sized goodies! So here's what I got:

Miracle Worker Anti-ageing Moisteriser & Miracle Worker Overnight

If comparing ingredients alone between the two, the miracle worker ( left) has more essential oils ( corn, sunflower, macadamia, olive, linseed, rapeseed and sesame) while the other has more plant extracts and lactic acid (read my previous post to find out more). Although it's a different form of vitamin C in both creams, the idea of having vitamin C in both day and night moisturisers is nice as well.

Take Shelter UVA/UVB SPF 30 PA+++ sunscreen

I'm actually quite impressed with the broad range of sun protection it provides. It has the highest UVA protection of PA+++ which protects the skin from premature ageing.

Also, as I was checking the ingredients (as I would usually do) , I was really surprised. On their website, Philosophy only said that there was a 'complex blend that helps neutralise skin radicals'. Nowhere did it market that there were multiple fruit and plant extracts ( namely watermelon, orange, ginko, green tea),  lactic acid, vitamin C ( in form of ascorbic acid and ascorbyl palmitate) , coffee extract and caffeine in it!

If you've been following my posts you would know that have a big love for lactic acid. I have mentioned products that contain it in my Philosophy Brand Impression and Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask recently. It's basically an AHA that acts as a chemical exfoliant to slough off the outermost dead skin cells on your skin. This is commonly used in anti-ageing products and often would leave your skin smoother and might even reduce appearances of fine lines. It's nice to know that this sunscreen would actually benefit my skin in the long run.

(To read in depth of lactic acid click: Clear Skin & Anti-aging; AHAs (pop-up window) )

I was surprised that the anti-oxidants chosen to 'neutralise skin radicals' was Vitamin C. Surprised that there was ascorbyl palmitate in it, which is decently stable. More surprised that Philosophy did not push market that there were vitamin C in it, as most brands would do.

(To read in depth on how your skin benefits from vitamin C read: 5 Reasons Why You Need Vitamin C in Your Skincare Routine)

Lastly, there's coffee extract and caffeine in it. Who would've known? A possible reason I think why Philosophy would add this into this is that they may want their customers to feel more rejuvenated after using their product. It is a known fact that caffeine can be absorbed through the skin quickly. Ladies should also know that caffeine can constrict the blood vessels under the face, which would temporarily slim down the face. However, those concerned over caffeine intake should be warned away from this product. Having personally suffered from a bloated face in some mornings, there's a home made caffeine mask I would make to effectively slim down my face for that day. The recipe for the home-made mask can be found in my post : One trick for a slimmer 'V-shaped face.  So I guess this is an added bonus to the sunscreen.

Microdelivery Exfoliating  Facial Wash

I was expecting this to be a chemical exfoliator. When I found no chemical exfoliants in it's ingredients a search online simply showed that it had exfoliating beads to physically exfoliate the skin, which I'm not too excited for.

Comparing it to other physical exfoliators, this fares pretty well. The beads are fine, offering decent exfoliation without feeling too scratchy. 

Total matteness: oil-free mattifying pore refiner

This toner aims to minimise oil production throughout the day which it did - when paired with an oil-control primer. It also contains lactic acid which provides chemical exfoliation as well.

Be warned that this can cause slight stinging sensations and is best used when chilled.

Coconut frosting lipgloss ( full sized) 

Oh my, I love the coconut scent so much. It smells so tropical and creamy, it's just a divine experience putting it on my lips. I have accidentally ate some of it ( yes, it was an accident) and it is sweet! I can't make this up. I'm not recommending any of you to taste it either, but it tastes sweet!

I don't know how else to put it but I really love this. It was really unexpected because I didn't expect much from a brand that specialises in skincare. Plus, the tube packaging isn't a very good indicator of a good lipgloss in the makeup world. It reminds me of those Forever 21 lipglosses they sell by the cashier actually.

On to the texture itself, it comes off thick and sticky on the hands, but rest assured it does not feel sticky on the lips. In fact, it feels extremely comfortable to wear. It may look awfully white, but it also does not alter the colour of your lipstick as well. The best part, it gives your lips a beautiful subtle sheen! Major plus points to philosophy on nailing that part down. I personally do not fancy an overly shiny lips that some lip glosses provide. I don't think it's flattering on me. I was quite apprehensive at first when I saw that the lipgloss had some shimmer, but the effect was minimal.

Overall, this is one yummy lipgloss that happens to be a very flattering for a daytime look. It retails for SGD $18 at Sephora. I highly recommend this if you love a good transparent gloss and the coconut scent.

So thats all for the samples! I hope this post was useful and do tell me if you've tried any of it.


Oct 3, 2014

Philosophy | Brand Impression

Something quite exciting happened on Sunday... thanks to Luxola, I was invited to Philosophy's skincare workshop! I was thrilled because I love trying new products. There were only six spots available per slot so I was really lucky to be part of the six. My only regret was that it was such a small event I never got a chance to take some pictures.

The workshop itself was hosted in one of Philosophy's store. It was just a small workshop where we got a chance to learn and try out their products. Their skincare expert was there to teach us about the brand, recommend products specific to our skin type and promote their latest product: the Miracle worker Overnight. She even went a step further to  teach us 5 steps to practice to have a 'Miraculous Morning'.

If you're curious, it is:

1. A breathing exercise : breath in for 5 seconds, then hold breath for 5 seconds, breathe out 5 seconds, hold breath for 5 seconds and repeat.

2. Never drink coffee on an empty stomach

3. Make a positive affirmation : " I choose to have an awesome day"

4. Make a positive music playlist

5. Step out of your house with your dominant foot by checking which is the dominant nostril
(the lady swears by it, although she did admit it could be psychological )

Although I'm not discounting any of the statements above. I thought they went slightly overboard with the marketing don't you think? But definitely an A for effort right there!

It is nice to note that point 1 is actually a commonly used method to ease anxiety, and was personally taught to me years back as an exam tip. (To allow the brain to receive more oxygen for increased alertness)

On to the actual brand impression, here's what I thought of the products I tried on site :

Miracle Worker Overnight - age-resetting, anti-ageing moisturiser

First and foremost, I really dislike how most of Philosophy's moisturisers comes in a jar. As mentioned in my review on Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Ash Mask,  jar packagings are a rather unhygienic way of storing a product. At the price of SGD $85, I think they can do more.

On the actual product itself, the moisturiser was very light and fluid in consistency. I would feel safe putting it on myself knowing that I wouldn't look greasy in a few hours time. My guess is that they modelled it after their bestselling moisturiser : Hope In A Jar. There was definitely a scent to it, which was neither pleasant nor unpleasant, but I definitely detected some slight plastic hint in it. To each his own, some may even like it.

This product supposedly has an "age-resetting complex" from a rare algae in France and a "next generation Vitamin C", or so I was told. Not sure how true it is, but I'd take it with a pinch of salt.

Checking the ingredients, I like that there are fruit extracts (orange, lemon and apple) and that there is lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) commonly used in anti-ageing products to reduce appearances of wrinkles. (read more about AHA below) On the other hand, I'm not that big fan of the alcohol and fragrance added to it.


Even though I have not tested the product on myself, but just judging from the texture alone, this is pretty decent because of how lightweight it felt on the skin, rather than the usual thick night creams many have encountered.

Due to the presence of the lactic acid, your skin will most likely appear smoother from the exfoliating effect it provides, some fine lines might even lessen. This is especially so if you are new to the ingredient. However, there are many products out there with this same ingredient for a cheaper price. As for the effectiveness of the algae and vitamin C, it is hard to say. This algae is supposedly quite new, and little is known on how stable this 'new' type of vitamin C is. If you're considering on getting it, my advice would be to try it in their stores or Sephora, and if possible, get a sample.

Microdelivery peel- in- home vitamin c/ peptide peel

This was the next item she recommended to us. This was promoted as a 'complete skin makeover in just 3 minutes'. With vitamin C/ Peptide resurfacing crystals, it is said to exfoliate while delivering vitamin C and peptides into the skin. As the beauty assistants were demonstrating the products on our hands, I was quite impressed when I felt a warm sensation, as if the product was really working. I was also loving the citrus scent coming from the scrub as well. I could immediately see why so many ladies love this product so much.

Later when I actually did some research, I found that the warm sensation was actually just an acid-base reaction which we all know, gives off heat. In Step 1 was the sodium bicarbonate ( commonly known as baking soda) which is slightly alkaline in water, while step 2 was the salicylic acid, which, according to Paula's Choice, is pH 2. So don't be fooled by the warm sensation ladies!

However, out of all the products I tried there, I believe that this was the product that delivered what it promised the most: exfoliation. Not the vitamin C or the peptides, but namely the crystals which acts as exfoliating beads as well as the combination of salicylic acid and lactic acid.

The combination of the three would guarantee smoother skin per every use. Salicylic acid or BHA, is a common acne-fighting ingredient as it exfoliates into the pores and surface of the skin to fight blackheads, whiteheads and acne. (To read more about salicylic acid and products that contain them in my post: Exfoliation Is Key ( Salicylic acid) )

Lactic acid is the gentle AHA that exfoliates the outer surface of the skin, making your skin smoother. You can see why this combination of acids and crystals works well on so many others. With the additional warming sensation and the citrus smell, this is definitely a pampering treat for the skin- if you can tolerate the price tag of SGD $ 109.

Personally, this isn't a product for me. I'm a firm believer of chemical exfoliation and I tend to stay away from any physical exfoliators. Though I know ladies who love physical exfoliants, I'm not one of them. I actually find them too abrasive and harsh for the delicate skin. I also found this product to be too overpriced for an exfoliator, even with the vitamin C peptides. No doubt, this is slightly more of a luxury item, not a must-have for your skin.

Turbo booster c powder - 99.8% topical vitamin c powder

This little bottle filled with powder was one of the few products that caught my eye on the display. The idea of mixing vitamin C into my daily water-based moisturiser sounded really great. As far as I know, there are little in the market that offers such a powdered add-on. When I asked the kind beauty assistant to test it on my hands, the powder turned the serum used milky white. And 10 minutes later, there were even some chalky residues of the powder on my skin. Oh the horror.

I also knew that many topical vitamin C were actually unstable and would break down before it could fully be effective on your skin. There are mainly three types of vitamin C: L-ascorbic acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate and Magenisum Ascorbyl Phosphate ( MAP) with the L-ascorbic acid being the most unstable and MAP being the most stable. Willing to blame that little bit of chalky error on the choice of serum used, I kindly asked the spokesman if the vitamin used was stable. She then proceeded to tell me how their vitamin C was more potent than most vitamin C products in the market and after beating around the bush a little bit, she admitted that it actually wasn't that stable.

When I went to Philosophy's website to check the ingredients, I found that it was ascorbic acid ( similiar to L- ascorbic acid). Some mentioned that because the product is in powdered form, it makes it more stable. It does sound possible but I still wished that it was made of MAP instead. As of now, there's just too much uncertainties about it's stability to make a purchase.

So until Philosophy changes the formula of this product, I would personally give this a miss. Besides, nothing can quite beat a healthy diet rich in vitamin C for good and healthy skin!

Note: To date, I have yet to find an affordable vitamin C product. However, those keen on getting your hands on such stable vitamin C products should know that brands like Estee Lauder make products with very stable Vitamin C. The products includes: Perfectionist [CP+R] Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum, Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum,
CyberWhite HD Advanced Spot Correcting essence serum correction,Idealist Even Skin Tone Illuminator and Idealist Pore Minimising Skin Finisher.

Conclusion : 

While some of the products at philosophy are effective and promising, namely the chemical exfoliants like micro-delivery triple-acid brightening peel, microdelivery peels and retonoid pads, I still find them to be quite overpriced. There are definitely more reasonably priced and effective alternatives on the market without having to fork that much cash. I still don't personally use Philosophy products for this reason, although I will give the samples I received a go.

I have shown the samples and the brief overview of it here : Philosophy Brand Impression part II

PS. Philosophy is hosting another skincare workshop to the public on 15 October 2014 at TANGS (singapore) from 6.30 - 8.00pm! Just thought that some ladies out there would appreciate it:


* credits: photos above taken by

Sep 29, 2014

Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam | Review

Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam

As mentioned in my previous post on my review of the Innisfree Super Volcanic Ash Clay Mask,  I managed to receive some decent sized samples from their volcanic ash line. After a slightly disappointing experience with the clay mask, I admit that I had no expectations for this. To my surprise, I really enjoyed using this product. In fact I think that this cleanser is the best out of the set of cleanser, toner and mask!

It's promise:

A pore cleansing foam with Jeju volcanic clusters to attach to sebum and purify pores.


Apply an appropriate amount onto wet hands and work into rich lather. After massaging, rinse off with lukewarm water.

The product itself: 

 - Tube packaging

 - Has a subtle scent, which is both fresh and pleasant, without being overpowering

 - Consistency of the cleanser is thick
   ( Similiar to that of the Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Face Wash)

 - has 'scoria beads' aka. volcanic ash for light exfoliation

 - Lathers up to a nice thick foam

What I like about it : 

Deep and thorough cleanse:

This cleanser is really nice because it is thick and lathers really well for a thorough cleanse of the skin. I especially like it for days where my skin is overly oily or if I've had a 'heavier-than-usual' make-up day. I also liked that I could easily control the consistency of this cleanser where I could have a 'light' cleanse by adjusting the amount of water I mix it with. This makes it totally skin friendly for day-to-day use.

My favourite way to use this product is to spend  a good 5 minutes massaging this product into the skin, making sure it gets right down into the pores. I would then proceed to shower and only rinsing off the cleanser only at the end. I found that it was gentle enough to leave it on my skin without getting that stinging sensation some cleansers provide. My skin then felt so clean and smooth at the end without feeling overly dry.

Ingredients : 

It has been a habit of mine to check the ingredients list of the products before I use them. To my surprise, the ingredients of this cleanser fares well. Not only does this have fruit and plant extracts, it has little or no alcohol content as well.

They don't publicise this, but the fruit and plant extracts includes: Green tea ( camillia sinesis ) , Satsuma orange (citrus unshiu), Japanese camellia ( camellia japonica), Prickly pears ( opuntia coccinellifera)  and Orchid. I can't say the same for the fragrance in the cleanser though. Considering the price of this product at SGD $13 for 100ml, this is a good and afforadable cleanser.

Water, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Myristic Acid, PEG-32, Butylene Glycol, Potassium Hydroxide, Lauric Acid, Hydrated Silica, Lauryl Glucoside, Volcanic Ash (Jeju Scoria), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Orchid Extract, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Glyceryl Stearate, Disodium EDTA, Lauramide DEA, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Mannitol, Silica, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Polyquaternium-7, PEG-100 Stearate, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance

The Bad:


I found that the 'scoria beads' disintegrated before it had time to exfoliate my skin. So I wouldn't recommend this product if your sole intention is the physical exfoliation.

Oil control : 

With the volcanic ash in the cleanser, I expected some form of oil control with this product. Innisfree have heavily marketed it's volcanic ash line as one which is effective in this area. Yet it failed to deliver on this aspect.

Who will like it :

-Generally, I would have to say that those with combination to oily skin would really enjoy this product. As deep of a cleanse this provides, it could possibly have that 'tight and dry' effect on those  with normal to dry skin if used on a day to day basis. Otherwise, I can see it being used as an occasional heavy duty cleanser for those with normal skin. As for those with dry skin, I wouldn't recommend this at all.

All in all, I really enjoyed using this product. Sadly, I've just finished my 30 ml sample after a good 3 months of thorough usage. I do look forward to purchasing a full size in the future.

If you want to read more about cleansers and which other products I recommend to clear any breakouts you can check out: Clear skin: It All Starts With The Cleanse


Sep 28, 2014

Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask | Review

Innisfree has seen a huge success since it opened its stores in Singapore in November 2013. Needless to say, I only first heard of them when I went to the hairdresser's in April. As they fussed with my hair, I picked up one of Her World's Magazines and stumbled upon this volcanic ash mask. I was immediately intrigued. I mean, I've never heard of any volcanic ash mask before that day. I didn't even realise how big this product was internationally, until I was watched a YouTube video of the New Zealand Youtuber, Shaanxo, give this exact same product to ItsJudyTime when they swapped products. I remembered thinking: did the hype seriously reach all the way to New Zealand?

Well, apparently so.

With all the hype going on about the Jeju volcanic ash line, I couldn't resist getting my hands on it any longer. Thankfully for me, there was a promotion going on at that time with the Innisfree Super Volcanic Clay Mask. It came in a 'Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask Set' along with samples of Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam (30 ml) and its Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Toner (70 ml) for the same price! Score!

Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

Its promise:

'Jeju volcanic scoria intensively absorbs sebum and clarifies pores'

Directions :

After cleansing, apply skin toner to refine skin texture and gently smooth entire face, avoiding eye and lip area. After 10 minutes, roll using fingertips and rinse off with lukewarm water.
( 1-2 times per week) 

How I applied it :

I found that applying it direct didn't work for me at all. It didn't cling on nicely on my skin and some even landed on my sink. So what I did was that I placed a thumb size amount on my palm and made a paste with tap water. After spreading evenly around my T-zone area, where I get the oiliest, I let it sit for 15 minutes. Then washing it off and following it up with my regular cleanser. This is just a precaution to remove all traces of the mask on my face.

First Impressions :

  • Jar packaging; which isn't very hygienic
  • a pleasant scent
  • more 'moist' than an average clay mask
  • yet quite dense; some clay masks I've used was lighter in consistency than this one
  • No visible effect on my pores and oil control from first time usage
Now on to the actual review. I tried these products thoroughly for a little over three months now, and I can only conclude that it wasn't able to live up to its hype. Before I explain why, here are some of the commendable aspects of the product that I found.

-made a nice dent in it after three months-

The Good:

- A little goes a long way:  the method where I mixed the mask with water meant that this product would last me a long time

- Considering how long a 100 ml jar would typically last, at SGD 21,  this is a very affordable product

-  I like that there are lactic acid in the ingredients. Lactic acid is a gentle alpha- hydroxy acid ( AHA) which is a chemical exfoliant that sloughs off dead skin cells on your skin, without having to use harsh exfoliating beads. (Major plus points!) It's good to note that AHA's are commonly used in anti-ageing products to improve the appearance of wrinkles as well.

The Bad : 

Oil control :

This product has been heavily marketed as one that absorbs sebum. Like many ladies out there with oily skin,  I use clay masks with the intention of easing oil production throughout the day. This is especially important if there's an important event the next day and I want to feel confident without having to worry if my face was getting shiny. After multiple use of this product, it is safe to conclude that this product does not help with oil control at all. This is strange because even though I wasn't too sure of the abilities of the volcanic ash,  I was so positive that the kaolin clay added to it would have helped to control sebum. The fact that it didn't meant that you might want to have a go at other masks in the market for the ladies out there with combination to oily skin.

Tightening of the pores:

Enlarged pores typically comes with oily skin, and I am no exception.  I had high hopes for this clay mask, especially having seen reviews where some ladies swears by its ability to slough off their black heads. However, it did not clear out my pores nor did it tighten it. 

The packaging:

It is a typical jar packaging which I do not like for hygiene reasons. Constantly dipping my fingers into it meant that it could potentially introduce bacteria to it. I also don't like that I have to use my fingers to scrape out the content of the jar, which by the way, gets harder when the product gets drier over time. ( I do know that Innisfree sells a plastic spatula for SGD $2, however it's too large to fit into the jar, which in my opinion, makes it no different that a plastic spoon.)

Also, it isn't exactly air tight as well - this means that even after two months ( well, in my case ) ,  it would significantly get drier. Not a good sign of a good mask if you ask me.

To conclude : 

Being one of the first few to introduce a volcanic ash mask into the mass market, I can understand the reason for the hype behind the Innisfree Super Volcanic Ash Mask.

Another possible reason for its popularity are the ladies with dry to normal skin who wants a clay mask that isn't too drying. Such that it does not give the 'tight and dry' feeling that some clay masks provides. This sensation is typical for oil absorbing products and would explain the lack of ability to control oil. On this aspect alone, this mask would be an enjoyable mask to use for many.

All in all, I guess it all boils down to your skin type and your preference. As for me and my oily skin, I would give it a miss. I believe there are better clay masks out in the market for me. My favourite clay mask that I would recommend to those with oily or acne-prone skin is the Formula 10.0.6 Pores Be Pure mask that I mentioned in my post : Clearskin: Exfolation Is Key ( Salicylic Acid).

On a side note, I have found another Korean brand called PureHeals that sells Jeju volcanic ash products in Sephora. It's interesting to note that it's Volcanic Pore Refining mask are of the same price range as Innisfree ( retails at Sephora for SGD 24)  Curious if any have seen and tried it? Let me know in the comments section down below,  I would love to hear from you!


The start of Claudlyy

Hello there!

I finally decided to start my own blog about all things skincare and makeup. Why you may ask?
Because I cant stop talking about it. Makeup and skincare is such a big passion of mine, and I want to share it with others who too, have this same passion.

You know, I never realised this, but my friends would swear that I could go on and on in detail about products and brands and more products. They were the ones that suggested I turn to social media as an outlet to satisfy this passion I have. Though, I kind of suspect that they just want to finally have some peace.

Regardless, I hope that you'll embark on this journey with me, as I learn the ropes of delivering beauty content to you. I also hope that you'll guide me along, with your comments on what is good and bad, or share the content that I post if you thought that it was helpful. Finally, a big thank you to all who are reading my first post.


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