All posts filed under: Tried and tested

Origins Flower Fusion Sheet Masks 

Origins is stepping up its game with new offerings (that come quickly and furiously) to lure Millennials; and its latest launch is a series of $5 quick-fix sheet masks. They tick all the right boxes. Made with sustainable bamboo pulp sheets, which are of the right thickness and absorbency level to soak skin in a watery gel serum. Although you are only supposed to leave this mask on for 10 minutes, it was still relatively damp when I removed it after 20 minutes. The material clings well to the face, so reading or Instagramming while masking with it is a breeze. The sheets are of the perfect size and shape. Many masks are too large for my face (I hate it when sheet masks get onto my hairline); this one wraps nicely just on the edge of my visage. Sealed in colourful packets, these are made with flower waxes and essential oils which make them extra pleasurable to use when all you want to do is relax. With colourful flowers as its theme, there are …

Urban Decay’s complexion primers and sprays

Beauty junkies – especially the variety who love going all-out with their make-up and need it to stay on all day – swear by Urban Decay’s complexion primers and sprays. We do not wear as much make-up, but still think these products are must-haves. Especially, the Hydra Charged Complexion Prep Priming Spray with soothing and moisturising niacinamide and coconut water. Apply it as the last step of the skincare routine, before you start on your make-up. It will give the skin an extra dewy glow, while the complexion make-up would go on super smoothly. Love it. The other Setting Sprays also do as they promise. Spritz it on as a finishing touch when you are done with your make-up, and it will last all day. The sprays offer your face moisture while fixing the make-up to the skin. If you have combination skin, use the De-Slick Complexion Primer that mattifies skin, very sparingly. Just apply a small amount on the T-zone, nose, and chin, before applying your make-up to keep those areas oil-free. Alternatively, gently …

Cle de Peau Beaute’s latest suncare collection

The Japanese are obsessed with staying fair. And that is clear from luxury Japanese beauty label Cle de Pau Beaute’s new luxurious five-piece skincare-suncare range. All formulas are lightweight, moisturising and nourishing, and does not leave behind a sticky after-feel or white cast on the skin. The UV Protective Cream SPF 50+ PA++++ ($165) is made for the face and body, and contains a nourishing blend of skincare ingredients: Asian ginseng extract, wild thyme extract, ginkgo biloba leaf extract, hibiscus flower essence, as well as mangosteen extract. Besides protecting the skin from harmful UV rays, this blend hydrates, and keeps away the damaging effects of air pollution. It is also subtly tinted so you can wear it on its own for skin that looks naturally even and glowing. While the UV Protective Cream Tinted ($120) is pretty much a high-end BB cream: it offers sun protection, moisturisation, skincare ingredients, as well as medium coverage for flawless-looking skin. Choose from four shades. There are two versions of the UV Protective Emulsion for Body ($110 each): one with …

Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Brightening and Smoothing Moisture Treatment

To complement its award-winning Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution serum (19 awards, 4 million bottles sold), Kiehl’s has launched its new Brightening and Smoothing Moisture Treatment. The star ingredient in the skin-clarifying Spot Solution is Activated C, a Vitamin C derivative formulated to be more stable and effective in brightening. To create the Smoothing Moisture Treatment, Kiehl’s chemists worked on a gel-cream made with Activated C and Glycolic Acid.   The Glycolic Acid used in the Treatment softens skin without aggravating it (although this ingredient is usually used in harsher peeling products); preparing it to better absorb the Activated C for skin that is more even in tone. To moisturise, peony and white birch extracts are added.   Just a pea-sized amount of this rather slick gel-cream is enough for the entire face. It took some time for me to massage the formula into my skin, as it is relatively thick. But once it was absorbed, my face was left with a satin-matte finish. This makes it perfect as a make-up base. I layered this on …

Aesop’s 30th, and the new Primrose Facial Hydrating Cream

This month, Aesop marks its third decade in the business. The understated beauty label from Australia was launched from a hair salon in 1987, because its founder Dennis Paphitis wanted haircare products with essential oils that would keep his customers calm. The haircare products proved successful, and he moved on to creating hand and body formulas, as well as skincare. The basic idea behind Aesop? Using fewer but better ingredients in a smarter way. Thirty years on, the brand is famous for its effective formulas (that always soothe frayed nerves with calming scents) packaged in simple pharma-style bottles and tubes. All sold in beautifully distinct boutiques with exceptional interior design – just like how Paphatis designed his original salon as a sanctuary for his clients. It is fitting then that Aesop marks its 30th anniversary with a simple jar of cream. No limited edition collection, no celebrity endorsements, no fancy sets. With sage leaf, rosemary leaf, and lavender stem as the star ingredients, the Primrose Facial Hydrating Cream is made for normal, dry, and stressed …

Lush V-Day collection

In the world of bath and body care, there are few indulgences like the beautifully-scented soap bars from Lush. This V-Day, the animal cruelty-free label offers a new range of colourful and fun options for bath time (on your own, or with your lover). The Over and Over Bath Bomb ($13) is perfect for a bathtub frolick. It is a cocoa butter coated lime and fennel oil bomb that explodes into a whirl of pink, orange and gold in the tub. The colourful silver-tinted, pastel-hued Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar ($14) is infused with relaxing lavender oil, and sexy neroli for a slick bath time. While the Cupid Bath Bomb ($10) is another option for an indulgent soak in the tub. Blended with rose, bergamot, and violet lead absolute. The new Kiss Me Quick Wash Card ($9) is super fun. Imagine a bar of soap but in the form of a thin business card. Made with fresh apple pulp, lemon and lime oil, and scented with ylang ylang, it is perfect for that getaway vacay with …

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte Lipstick

This new range of lipsticks from Shu Uemura are easy to wear, and come in bright, poppy shades. Just one or two coats provides full-on colour. The lipsticks have a matte finish, but they also have a creamy texture that does not feel too dry on the lips. However, as with all matte lipsticks, if you don’t exfoliate your pout first, the dry flakey skin will show. I like to prep my lips with a layer of balm first, so that my lips look smoother and more plump when I have a bright shade on. These relatively long-wearing lipsticks also offer a full-on stain, so you have to spend less time touching up the lipstick throughout the day. See swatches here.

Wella SP Luxe Oil range

If you spend hundreds each time at the salon to get that picture-perfect (permed/ coloured/ bleached/ highlighted/ balayaged) locks, haircare products from the supermarket shelves just won’t cut it.  When your hair has undergone so much chemical treatment, regular shampoo and hair masks are inadequate in treating the dryness, frizziness, and other signs of damage. That is why I always invest in good professional haircare products. They may be pricier, but they make my hairstyle (colour and texture, especially) look salon-fresh for longer. Wella’s signature Luxe Oil SP range is a trio that works for me. I bleach my hair once every couple of months. And the products keep my hair supple, conditioned, smooth. The mask sinks right into my dehydrated locks without weighing it down; while the oil slicks frizziness, and keep flyaways in place. With a good haircut from my regular stylist, and the Wella Luxe Oil SP collection, I spend less time getting my hair ready in the mornings, and bad hair days are almost non-existent ✌🏻️

Porcelain skincare

Homegrown local brand Porcelain is best known for its deep cleansing and skin-clarifying facials.  Its owner is also a huge proponent of make-up free skin; and she has great skin as proof of the quality of her own products and services. I gave Porcelain’s three gel formulas over a shot over the festive period, and I liked the results.  My favourite is the Pure Botanical Soothing Gel that contains aloe vera gel and herbal extracts to hydrate, heal, and protect. Once the gel was massaged into my skin, it left it tight, firm, and matte. My pores also looked visibly tighter. Over the weeks, this gel also helped to make my skin looked clearer.  However, I prefer to apply a more moisturising serum or cream on top of the gel, so that my skin feels less tight. Because the gel’s texture is light and barely-there, it also works well to lock in moisture under a make-up base. Both the Balance Hydraclear Gel (for treating acne-prone skin, contains willow bark extract, cupaucu seed butter, witch hazel extract, …