REVIEW: Sand & Sky Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask + Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment

Hello skincare fanatics!

Unless you have gone on a social media diet, you would definitely have been at the mercy of Facebook and Instagram’s algorithm and seen numerous videos of people prancing around with a pink (or blue) jar or letting out an orgasmic sigh as they slid some pink mousse-like paste down their cheeks. Well, if you didn’t manage to sit through the advertisements to find out what the rage was all about, wonder no more as this review will take you through the exact same products that had sent so many people into a state of euphoria.

*squeals* I'M SO EXCITED!

*squeals* I’M SO EXCITED!

Ohh hey there!

Ohh hey there!

It's the Sand&Sky Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment and Porefining Face Mask!

It’s the Sand&Sky Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment and Porefining Face Mask!

Founded by Australian twin sisters and supermoms Emily and Sarah Hamilton – who were also the creators of beauty box subscription company, Bellabox – in April 2017, Sand&Sky was born out of the realisation that there was a gap in the market for luxurious yet affordable and effective face masks, as well as their desire to showcase the efficacy of the botanical ingredients (ethically) obtained from their motherland in skincare.

So, gathering their market intelligence on consumer behaviour and experience in collating beauty products for Bellabox members, the Hamilton sisters formulated a millennial pink (😱) clay mask that contains 50% Kaolin clay (Kaolin tops the ingredient list as shown here and it is a considerable amount as compared to the 10-15% in many clay products) sourced from remote pockets of Southern and Western Australia to remove toxins and impurities from the skin, and organic liquorice to diminish the appearance of skin discolouration. Apart from organic aloe and pomegranate to tighten pores, soothe, and stimulate collagen production, this much-revered formula also includes a combination of kakadu plum and mangosteen to create a defence shield that would leave skin clear and glowing.

Porefining Face Mask

Mini brush

Mini brush

Enclosed in the box together with the pink jar (note that it’s no longer blue) of clay mask is a handy flat brush (high quality with soft bristles 😍) which I feel is a really thoughtful gesture on Sand&Sky’s part to maintain the sterility of the product during application. On top of that, it also helps ensure even coverage fast and prevents wastage while keeping our hands clean.

Everything inside the box

Everything inside the box

Protective seal

Protective seal

Protective cover

Protective cover

The product

The product

Cool when first applied, the mask – which had a subtle musty and earthy smell – became warmer as it settled on my towel-dried skin. There was some tingling sensation (but no discomfort or itchiness whatsoever) and gradually, areas where pores were most visible turned red slightly beneath the mask. Perhaps because the fan was blowing in my direction, it kinda expedited the drying time so the mask took less than 5 minutes to solidify completely.

[BEFORE] Cleansed face

[BEFORE] Cleansed face

Gonna pick up some product with the cute brush!

Gonna pick up some product with the cute brush!

How the product looks like when applied! P/S: I filmed the application process on the left side of my face - check out my Instagram for the video!

How the product looks like when applied! P/S: I filmed the application process on the left side of my face – scroll all the way to the end for the video!

When it's still moist, and before I transformed into a Chinese Opera performer

When it’s still moist, and before I transformed into a Chinese Opera performer

TAKE NOTE 📌
Clay masks are known to dry out when exposed to humidity or a drastic change in temperature. Therefore, refrain from storing the clay mask in the bathroom as this will cause it to dry faster. Instead, keep it at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. Should your clay mask harden prematurely in the jar, add a few drops of serum or water (about half of the amount of clay left in the jar) to rehydrate it.
Almost there..

Almost there..

100% dried up!

100% dried up!

Ahhhh so smooth

Ahhhh so smooth

Still, it was left on for the suggested 10 minutes before I removed it with a damp cloth in an upward motion. Just to sidetrack a bit, I cringe every time I see reviewers drag their skin down with their cloth as if having a droopy and saggy face is a worthy trade-off for a brighter complexion. As far as possible, we want our skin to be both firm and youthful, so never do that! Alternatively, if you have no cloth available at your disposal (and don’t worry, it doesn’t stain), you can easily wash it off – again, in upward motion – with warm water, which was what I eventually did when I realised that the wiped-off product on my cloth kept transferring back onto my face (the product liquifies instantly when comes in contact with water), repeatedly forming white casts with every wipe 😑

Try'na remove the mask with a damp cloth..

Try’na remove the mask with a damp cloth..

But it keeps coming back >_>

But it keeps coming back >_>

So I washed it off!

So I washed it off!

For best results..
♥ Oily skin to combination skin, use 2 to 3 times a week;
♥ Dry or sensitive skin, use up to 2 times per week

My verdict? The Porefining Face Mask delivered what it promised – a tightened, rejuvenated and shine-free complexion without harmful chemicals and the unnecessarily excessive use of preservatives, which ultimately make it suitable for sensitive skin like mine (even so, doing a patch test on your inner elbow is advisable), and safe to use in pregnancy. The results were even more prominent on my 60-year-old mother (unfortunately, no pictorial evidence as I had experimented on her out of boredom and didn’t expect it to work so well) who was absolutely amazed to see her fine lines smoothed out, wrinkles softened and an overall improvement in her complexion after use. Her skin felt silky to the touch too so for the first few minutes she couldn’t keep her hands off her face!

R E F R E S H E D

R E F R E S H E D

Smoother complexion

Smoother complexion

Pores tightened

Pores tightened

I must, however, add that this is not a cure for acne (but can be used alongside your regular skincare products). In fact, in the process of detoxification and purging, little poppable bumps – like in my case – may surface on congested areas a few days later. But they never grew beyond their initial minuscule size and they disappeared entirely once gratifyingly popped 😂

Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment

Exfoliating scrub

Exfoliating scrub

Since the tremendous success of the face mask, Sand&Sky has followed up with a second product that would complement the erratic schedule of career-oriented women: an exfoliating scrub that doubles as a flash mask which can be applied in-shower. It is also more nourishing than the original mask, making it an ideal option for those with extremely dry skin.

Likewise, the Flash Perfection Exfoliating Treatment also contains Australian Pink Clay to draw toxins, pollution and impurities from deep within the skin. But because it has more water content, it appears translucent to reveal the physical exfoliating particles when spread out on the skin. Apart from that, it has, among many other ingredients, low amount (less than 10%) of AHAs from Australian finger lime to promote cell turnover, collagen production and the absorption of moisture into the skin, bamboo stem extract to restore elasticity and suppleness to the skin, as well as rosehip seed oil for face rejuvenation and its anti-aging benefits. For the complete list of ingredients, click here.

The back of the tube

The back of the tube

Protective seal

Protective seal

The product

The product

To use, gently massage the exfoliating scrub into cleansed, moist skin (avoid eye area) in circular motion for about 30 seconds to allow the granules to remove dead skin cells. Then, leave it on for 5 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. And there you have it – radiant, sensationally soft and smooth skin in just half the time needed earlier! Plus, it also allows for better and more effective absorption of any serums and moisturisers that come after.

Scrub-a-bab-ba-bab for 30 seconds

Scrub-a-bab-ba-bab for 30 seconds

As the product loses its moisture, it also loses its opacity

As the product loses its moisture, it also loses its opacity

Only the physical particles are visible now!

Only the physical particles are visible now!

Rinse away after 5 minutes!

Rinse away after 5 minutes!

However, it wasn’t until I looked in the mirror the next morning that I saw the full extent of the effect. My face seemed like it was given a new lease of life as it appeared to be more refreshed and clear, and the newly smooth canvas made it really easy to apply my foundation. Moreover, the experience provided by the scrub was quite different from that of the clay mask. Besides the coarse texture and the fact that I had to get my hands “dirty”, the warm and tingling sensation felt when using the mask was noticeably absent this time.

Smoother complexion

Smoother complexion

Pores exfoliated

Pores exfoliated

Smooooooth

Smooooooth

For best results..
♥ Oily skin to combination skin, use 1 to 3 times a week;
♥ Dry or sensitive skin, use up to 3 times per week

With the key ingredient Australian Pink Clay present in the clay mask and exfoliating scrub, one may ask if it is necessary to purchase both. In all honesty, it depends on the intent for using the products. I would say the primary function of the clay mask is to purify and tighten enlarged pores and reverse dull skin while the scrub is mainly to exfoliate and eliminate those nasties responsible for clogged pores. Personally, I would pick the scrub over the mask out of convenience, and also because I don’t like to be rushed into finishing the clay mask before it dries out. But both products work best together so ideally, you should get the Perfect Skin Bundle (save 15%!). Bear in mind, though, that they should not be used on the same day because too much good stuff may irritate the already-delicate skin 😝

Furthermore, getting the honourable nod from PETA also meant that Sand&Sky does not test on animals, nor does it contain any animal components or by-product. Thus, if you’re a firm believer that no animals should suffer for our vanity, this reason should propel you to support this brand!

What do you think about this brand? Have you tried any of them? If not, do you intend to? Let me know what you think in the comments below or simply take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading and stay gorgeous! 😘

Sand & Sky is now available on their website (with free delivery on all orders), ZALORA and Beauty Bay.
Products were supplied by Sand & Sky in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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Small Face Care at Yakson, the House of Golki Therapy Masters

Hello everyone!

The ‘kiasu‘ mentality ingrained in the Asian culture has led us to believe that bigger is always better. But when it comes to the size of our face, we tend to favour smaller visages which, unless blessed with this desirable face shape by birth, is only be attainable with plastic surgery, right? Well, newsflash – thanks to a breakthrough discovery by Yakson House, reducing the size of your face can now simply be achieved with a massage!

Yakson Singapore

Yakson Singapore

The first of its kind in Singapore, Yakson (literally meaning “mother’s hand”) is a Korean aesthetics brand that provides a unique range of natural and non-invasive aesthetic treatments with zero downtime. Established in 1979 with over 120 outlets worldwide currently, Yakson is also the coiner of the now-ubiquitous K-buzzword Golki therapy.

Golki therapy…?

Golki therapy, or bone therapy, is a method of remodelling the face and body through unique bone massage techniques to realign the bone structure (which shifts with age, bad posture and misuse) to its original, symmetrical shape. It is based on the guidelines set forth by Julius Wolff (i.e. Wolff’s law), an orthopaedic surgeon in Germany in the 19th century, who theorised that repetitive dynamic (rather than static) loads on the bone trigger remodelling (to adapt to the stress). Moreover, the facial massage promotes blood and oxygen flow, which in the long term increases collagen production and therefore lending a youthful glow.

S P E C I A O F F E R
New customers enjoy 1-for-1 a la carte session with free consultation at all three outlets in Singapore!

This technique, however, may not be the most ideal for those looking to achieve immediate and drastic results because a minimum of 20 consecutive once-weekly sessions of the treatment is recommended for it to reach its maximum potential. That said, a slight lifting effect may still be observed in the face after a single session. As a way of measuring efficacy of the Golki therapy programmes, a plaster mask of the face is made on the first, 10th and 20th lesson of the treatment so that clients will be able to compare and see the measurable changes in their facial structure. But this service wasn’t necessary for me since my experiential treatment only lasted for one session.

Plaster mask of one of Yakson's customers (source)

Plaster mask of one of Yakson’s customers (source)

Additionally, those with low pain tolerance may also not be accustomed to the intense pressure applied to the face (at least for the first few sessions). But as the saying goes, “No pain no gain”, and if you ever decide to bite the bullet, you can rest assured that your face will be in good hands as the therapists performing the Golki therapy are native Koreans who have undergone extensive training by the founder himself at the Yakson headquarters in Seoul before they are certified to practise in Singapore.

Inside Yakson Singapore

As a testament to Yakson’s popularity, they are often fully booked across all three outlets here so fixing an appointment with them (especially on closer dates) can be a challenging process. For this reason, the House maintains a rather strict policy on punctuality in order to fulfil all scheduled appointments and ensure customer satisfaction. In case of late arrival after the 10-minute grace period (it almost happened to me because of slow traffic along the expressway 😫), the duration of the treatment would be shortened to fit into the remaining appointment time.

To prevent no-shows, a reminder SMS will also be sent one day prior to the treatment to which the customer has to reply to confirm her (sorry guys, treatments offered in Singapore are currently catered only to females only) attendance by 6pm; otherwise the appointment will automatically be cancelled. The message was condensed to 160 characters on my Conversations screen (Samsung users will understand) and had left out the do-reply instruction (which was right at the end), so I didn’t know I had to respond until a second reminder came in a few hours later 😆

With the only slot available on a weekday morning at their Harbourfront Centre outlet (the farthest from my place of residence) then, I had to drag my nocturnal self out of bed. But at the same time, I took comfort from the fact that I would likely be able to repay some of my sleep debt during the 1.5-hour treatment. Boy, how wrong I was!

Yakson (Harbourfront Centre outlet)

Yakson (Harbourfront Centre outlet)

Yakson (Harbourfront Centre outlet)

Yakson (Harbourfront Centre outlet)

Upon arrival at Yakson, I was ushered into a treatment room where I changed out of my outfit into the massage attire (which was quite frankly pointless because I had to be naked for the body massage anyway). Rather than having a designated area for storage like the other outlets, I noticed every room at the Harbourfront Centre outlet is installed with an electronic locker. Taking centre stage in the room was a thermal massage bed which had a clear plastic covering and was heated to a comfortable temperature enough to keep the chills away throughout the session.

Treatment room

Treatment room

Sandals

Sandals

Massage attire

Massage attire

Treatment: Small Face Care

Aimed at streamlining the face for a more proportionate profile, the Small Face Care treatment promises better-defined features that will complement any hairstyle. The effects are long-term and permanent with the proper lifestyle changes and if weight is maintained (an additional course of treatment may be necessary with sudden weight changes of more than 4 kg).

Back massage

Back massage

The treatment began with a quick question from the masseuse: “Do you want [to concentrate on the] front or back?” to which I hastily answered, “back” because it had a larger surface area to work on because I wanted to ease the strain from the long hours of sitting in front of the computer. With her expert hands, she massaged my upper back, arms and scalp to relieve any tension before getting me to flip over to remove my makeup.

Eye makeup removal

Eye makeup removal

Eye makeup removal

Eye makeup removal

Foundation removal and cleansing

Foundation removal and cleansing

Cleansing

Cleansing

Towel-drying

Towel-drying

Towel-drying

Towel-drying

End of part 1!

End of part 1!

Once that was done, another lady speaking Korean-accented English – presumably the Golki therapist – took over her place and administered the next round of massage on my rib area and shoulders, working towards the collarbone (i.e. the most sensitive part of my body – was on the brink of laughter so I had to tell her to move on 😫) and both sides of my neck before proceeding to the highlight of this treatment – Golki therapy for a slimmer face.

Therapist takes over - upper frontal body massage

Therapist takes over – upper frontal body massage

I had to turn my head in this manner on both sides

I had to turn my head in this manner on both sides

Working her magic on the temples

Working her magic on the temples

Squeeze those Pikachu cheeks!

Squeeze those Pikachu cheeks!

Upward prodding

Upward prodding

Double chin, be gone!

Double chin, be gone!

My very flexible cheeks, haha

My very flexible cheeks, haha

Skilfully and carefully, the therapist vigorously kneaded into my bare skin, going back and forth five to seven times (and you know it wasn’t exactly enjoyable when I was conscious enough to count in my head, hoping to arrive at the magic number at which she would get on to the next area 😂) predominantly along my jawline and cheeks, eliciting a sense of soreness and prompting me to clench my teeth. But amidst all the upward kneading, squeezing and prodding, I could actually feel my facial structure shifting like the Earth’s tectonic plates and paving the way for a more chiseled-looking appearance (without the need for a contour kit!).

Pre-mask. My (more) prominent jawline!

Pre-mask. My (more) prominent jawline!

The other side

The other side

Following that, a soothing sand-coloured mask (made from natural and herbal ingredients) was applied on my face and left on for a couple of minutes to cool the skin. The whole treatment then ended with a few more finishing kneads (shorter and less painful this time), and cheeks still flushed from the exertion of the massage. Despite the discomfort (and the subsequent aching sensation in my cheekbones) the treatment had brought on, it was surprising to note the tightening effect it had on my skin, and how refreshed and supple my face felt after just one session.

Mask time! The mask looks like baby food

Mask time! The mask looks like baby food 😋

Letting the mask set (without flash)

Letting the mask set (without flash)

LOL looks like my foundation colour

LOL looks like my foundation colour

Finishing touches

Finishing touches

The end! How I wish there's Golki therapy for the eyes as well to make my teeny weeny Asian eyes appear bigger and brighter

The end! How I wish there’s Golki therapy for the eyes as well to make my teeny weeny Asian eyes appear bigger and brighter 😁

But a word of caution: even though the products used in the treatments are suitable for acne-prone and sensitive skin, as a former acne sufferer, I must warn that the constant rubbing from Golki treatment would be too harsh on moderately to severely blemished skin and may aggravate the condition. Alternatively, you may want to consider trying the skin treatments offered by Yakson.

Smaller face… or your money back!

To further boost your confidence about the treatment, money-back guarantee is also offered to customers (between 20 and 60 years old) who do not see any improvement in their facial structure. On top of that, Yakson is particularly transparent about their prices; they are fixed with no hidden costs and are made publicly available on their website (though prices reflected are before GST) to obliterate any ambiguity, thus giving customers a piece of mind knowing that there aren’t so-called preferential rates and they won’t be subjected to hard-sell tactics.

Tea is served

Tea is served

Yakson cares! Let them know how you felt about the treatment.

Yakson cares! Let them know how you felt about the treatment.

What are your thoughts about this all-new non-surgical way to achieve a slimmer face? Will you be keen to try it? Let me know what you think in the comment below!

Thanks for reading!

Yakson Singapore is located at Harbourfront Centre (1 Maritime Square Harbourfront Centre #02-17 Singapore 099253), The Star Vista (1 Vista Exchange Green #B1-24 Singapore 138617) and Wheelock Place (501 Orchard Road Wheelock Place #05-12A Singapore 238880). For more information, visit their website or like them on Facebook.
Treatment was complimentary in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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Individualised Acne Treatments at The Clifford Clinic: Hydrafacial + Q-switch Laser + Topical & Oral Therapy

Hello everyone!

LONG READ WITH SOME REVOLTING IMAGES AHEAD BUT THE INFORMATION YOU’LL SEE IS VERY BENEFICIAL FOR ACNE SUFFERERS, I PROMISE

Pardon me for sounding like a broken record, but for the sake of new readers who have only seen spotless (pun intended) pictures of me in my makeup reviews, I need to make a revelation: they were most likely photoshopped to save you from throwing up. “But why? Are you that ashamed of your flaws?” Of course I am, especially when struggling with acne as bad as this:

This is still far from the worst I've experienced

This is still far from the worst I’ve experienced

Having suffered from acne since I was 15 years old, I know firsthand the stigma attached to it. At my lowest point, I dreaded going outdoors because my pimply face would attract looks of disgust. A trip to the mall was never one without pushy salespeople reminding me about my skin condition in a desperate attempt to sell me acne-fighting products. With my confidence at rock bottom, I kept to myself as I was afraid the next conversation would revolve around my face, again. I was apprehensive about standing up for myself in conversations or arguments for fear that my acne would be used against me, and I lost count of the number of times I broke down in front of the mirror – all these aggravated by the fact that I’ve been called “pimple girl” or “mo peng” (Hokkien for pockmarked face) for the most part of my secondary school life.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne vulgaris – or commonly known as acne – is almost like an epidemic which plagues about 85 percent of teens in each generation. Depending on your luck, the condition may persist for only a year or two, or when you eventually grow out of it. But unfortunate souls like myself have to deal with it for the decades because literally nothing worked to cure it. Some topical products did help to subside a few existing cysts, but not without allowing new ones to form. Thus for 13 years, my face was constantly riddled with angry pimples and scars which no amount of makeup was able to conceal due to their dark and bumpy nature.

M Y T H   D E B U N K E D
Contrary to popular beliefs, acne is not caused mainly by poor personal hygiene although cleanliness does play an important role in skin care, and this is coming from me, whose once porcelain-smooth complexion was blemished by agonising pustules and cysts time and time again despite being a clean freak and religiously washing my face twice or thrice each day. So don’t, for God’s sake, tell an acne sufferer that she’s in dire need of a shower. It’s not funny.

The acne eruption became so extensive and severe as I grew older (how ironic, when acne is supposed to get better with age) that I had conceded to the fact that I would have to live with breakouts for the rest of my life..

..until Dr Gerard Ee of The Clifford Clinic came to my rescue. In fact, their acne treatment wasn’t one of my initial considerations because I thought my condition was already under control by the antibiotics given by my previous clinic. But as soon as the course was completed, BAM! The pimples returned in full swing. Seeing how promising their acne treatment is, I decided to take a leap of faith and entrust my face to Dr Ee.

Surprisingly, much as this condition is mostly associated with puberty, adult acne has also been on the rise globally with “more than 50 percent of women in their 20s suffering from acne, and over 35 percent and 26 percent of women in their 30s and 40s respectively” going through the same ordeal. Although the causes for adult acne are debatable, research has shown links to hormones and genetics, not forgetting stress which is prevalent in today’s fast-paced society so you never know when you’ll be affected by this distressing problem.

To gear you up for any unforeseen bumpy ride, below are some acne treatment options I had explored at The Clifford Clinic which you may want to consider trying out in times of crisis. For the handful of you who have been suffering from since adolescence, they might just be the permanent answer to your skin woes.

HydraFacial

HydraFacial® is a medical-grade treatment and the only hydradermabrasian procedure that cleanses, detoxifies, exfoliates, extracts and hydrates all at once to achieve better acne control for all skin types and complexions. A non-ablative facial treatment that uses the patented 4-in-1 Vortex Technology™, it involves a four-step process including Vortex-Exfoliation™, Vortex-Peel™, Vortex-Extraction™ and Vortex-Fusion®, each marked by a different coloured HydroPeel® tip for attaching to the handpiece. But most incredibly, the whole procedure only takes less than 45 minutes (depending on whether you have makeup on) while offering noticeable results with no downtime, thus making it a great lunchtime beauty fix.

HydroPeel® tips

HydroPeel® tips (source)

Before beginning each treatment, my therapist would carefully remove my eye makeup with a couple of drenched cotton pads, and then gently massage cleansing foam into the rest of my face. The makeup removal process is so soothing that I would admittedly wear makeup to the treatment even when there wasn’t any need to just so that I could enjoy those additional minutes of pure luxury 😝 Most of the time, I would descend into a rejuvenating sleep at this point.

Note: all images are unaltered and were taken during the first session unless otherwise stated
Melting away the eye makeup

Melting away the eye makeup

Wiping away foundation

Wiping away foundation

Taadaah! My horrible skin!

Taadaah! My horrible skin!

Cleansing stage now

Cleansing stage now

Love the massage!

Love the massage!

But I have mixed feelings about the therapist touching my neck and collarbone hahaha damn ticklish!

But I have mixed feelings about the therapist touching my neck and collarbone hahaha damn ticklish!

Towel-drying my face before HydraFacial

Towel-drying my face before HydraFacial

(P/S: Kindly pardon my unsightly double chin. These were taken before my first Sygmalift session 🤣)

HydraFacial room

HydraFacial room

HydraFacial machine

HydraFacial machine

The treatment starts off with cleansing and exfoliation using Activ-4™ serum – a combination of Lactic Acid and Glucosamine – to resurface the skin and create a clean canvas. Acid peel is then performed using the GlySal™ solution (7.5% Glycolic Acid and 2% Salicylic Acid Peel) in tandem with Vortex-Fusion® technology to slough off dead skin cells before extraction is painlessly carried out with a vortex suction nozzle (instead of squeezing – ouch!) to draw impurities out of the pores. As a finishing touch to the now-radiant skin, Antiox-6™ – a powerful formula made up of the deeply moisturizing Hyaluronic Acid and detoxifying antioxidants such as Vitamins A, E, White Tea Extract, Horse Chestnut Extract and Rosemary Extract – is applied to replenish the skin’s natural elasticity and hydration. At the same time, it also helped detoxify and protect the skin from environmental free radicals. ˢᵒᵘʳᶜᵉ The therapist then concludes the treatment with a therapeutic massage on the face and neck area.

HydraFacial (Extraction)

HydraFacial (Extraction)

Sucking out more junk from areas with clogged pores..

Sucking out more junk from areas with clogged pores..

And my zits.. horrible, horrible zits..

And my zits.. horrible, horrible zits..

Absolutely pain-free!

Absolutely pain-free!

More massage!

More massage!

Time for mask! This step was specially incorporated into the session to suit my skin, so be sure to ask for it (additional charges apply) if you're keen!

Time for mask! This step was specially incorporated into the session to suit my skin, so be sure to ask for it (additional charges apply) if you’re keen!

One more snap before I doze off..

One more snap before I doze off..

Mask removal, and a little bit of massage

Mask removal, and a little bit of massage 😍

Post-HydraFacial!

Post-HydraFacial!

HydraFacial felt vastly different from all the facials I’ve had in the past. Every session was truly a relaxing and indulgent experience and I actually enjoyed every single part of it, even taking the opportunity to catch forty winks after a long day’s work which wouldn’t be possible with traditional facials. Unlike traditional facials that punish horrible skin with an excruciating extraction process which often leaves the face looking terribly blotchy at the end (also why I dreaded facials – my face always seemed worse than before so I often wondered why people pay to torture themselves), Hydrafacial manages to achieve similar effects (i.e. immediate reduction of redness and inflammation) without putting the person through sheer hell. In fact, Dr Ee does not advocate the use of comedone extractor or any form of squeezing for the main reason that these old-school techniques can potentially lead to scarring.

Psst.. first-time customers get to enjoy HydraFacial at an introductory rate! Find out more by calling The Clifford Clinic at 65322400 or through WhatsApp at 83186332.

According to the clinic, between 5 to 10 sessions are needed to clear up the whole face but as always, results vary from person to person. Much as I take delight in getting my face pampered, Hydrafacial alone did not come close to improving my condition which I suspected had been due to inner factors. So while it helped reduce clogged and congested pores to some extent after each session, it didn’t take long for them to revert to their original state *sigh* But instead of stopping Hydrafacial altogether, Dr Ee suggested I do it in conjunction with other treatments.

Can I interest you with pictures taken during my second HydraFacial session?

Can I interest you with pictures taken during my second HydraFacial session?

After the session. LOOK AT MY FACE.

After the session. LOOK AT MY FACE.

Right side

Right side

Left side

Left side

Topical & Oral Therapy

For optimal results, proper at-home care in between visits is imperative – that’s why Dr Ee prescribed a series of topical products to me to ensure that oil production was regulated even when I wasn’t in the clinic, and hopefully treat my acne too. The first set of products ranged from face cleanser to moisturiser and acne cream. But prior experience and more than a decade of trying my luck with topical products told me that they weren’t going to miraculously pull the plug on acne, so I requested for oral antibiotics to kinda like nip things in the bud.

First set of topical products from The Clifford Clinic

First set of topical products from The Clifford Clinic

Hence, apart from the clinic’s self-formulated Balancing Facial WashBalancing Facial Cream (a really light moisturiser which restores the levels of missing free fatty acids, namely linoleic and linolenic acid, without the excessive oiliness), and Stieva-A Cream (a tretinoin cream which stops acne growth by keeping skin pores clear and making skin less oily), I was also given a month’s dosage of green capsules called Doxycycline which supposedly target and kill the acne-causing bacteria in the pores while minimising any inflammation of the skin. True enough, my face started clearing up tremendously within a few days of taking the medication (although my skin did become flaky around the chin area), giving me the confidence of going makeup-free at work. I had found my cure – or so I thought.

On Doxycycline

On Doxycycline

Sadly, the effects were short-lived. Soon after completing the course, my pimples returned with a vengeance, causing daily makeup application to be ever more challenging and time-consuming on the bumpy surface. Doxycycline was then replaced with Ermycin, another antibiotics that prevents excessive oiliness of the skin. This was supplemented with Epiduo Gel, an antibiotic-free topical acne treatment with a fixed dose combination of 0.1% adapalene and 2.5% benzoyl peroxide and a proven track record of being highly effective on acne. But likewise, the condition was suppressed only right until the very last pill. And to make matters worse, my face reacted unusually sensitively (allergy reaction?) to the benzoyl peroxide in the cream despite the low concentration and swelled like a puffer fish. Worried that it would affect my day-to-day activities (it was my busiest week of the month), I paid an emergency visit to Dr Ee the following operating day and was given a soothing cream and some medication to calm the swelling (which thankfully went down in a week).

Epiduo day 2, one day before it officially turned me into a puffer fish

Epiduo day 2, one day before it officially turned me into a puffer fish

My face was starting to itch quite badly

My face was starting to itch quite badly

AND BOOM. My face turned crusty, warm and itchier. Furthermore, I couldn't take leave from work because I had an important presentation on that day! 😭

AND BOOM. My face turned crusty, warm and itchier. Furthermore, I couldn’t take leave from work because I had an important presentation on that day! 😭

With almost every option exhausted, Dr Ee persuaded me to try Oratane, a controversial oral medication for severe acne conditions known as isotretinoin which I had been resisting because of the scores of side effects it brings about such as extreme dryness of the skin and birth defects if a woman takes it during pregnancy, coupled with the fear that my acne would flare up even more after the course (this is a misconception, by the way). Oratane is an incredibly potent medication which works by cutting down the amount of oily substances (sebum) made by glands in the skin, and if this turned out to be ineffective as well, Dr Ee would have to resort to the AGNES treatment, which involves a downtime (not advisable for my job which long sick leaves are frowned upon) and high pain tolerance.

Determined to put an end to my nightmare, I relented and started with a low dose of Oratane. In the first week, the unforeseen happened and my acne actually got worse. At that point in time, I felt kinda angry with Dr Ee for his “ill-advised” recommendation and was this close to quitting. But not wanting to leave a useless drug lying around, I decided to press on and complete the course.

One after another, the cystic pimples on my face shrunk and faded away as the days went by, leaving a baby-smooth complexion that was more glowing and flawless than before. Amazingly, I could even wear foundation for the whole day in humid Singapore and not spot a single trace of greasiness on my face! And for the first time in 13 years, people complimented my skin! But I didn’t want to keep my hopes too high only to be knocked down again by another massive breakout after the last pill so I waited..

After 10 hours, my makeup still looked the same as when it was first applied. Sorry for the lips.. couldn't control myself from picking them

After 10 hours, my makeup still looked the same as when it was first applied. Sorry for the lips.. couldn’t control myself from picking them 😭

And waited..

I am in love with my new skin

I am in love with my new skin

AND STILL NO NEW ZITS AFTER TWO WEEKS (and counting, even with a diet of fried food and late nights 😂)? Goddammit, this thing actually works! 

Excuse my French, but Oratane is the shit and I am kicking myself for not taking it earlier – it could’ve saved me from all the agony and self-loathing. My skin has never been better even though understandably, I have been getting itchy rashes all over my body. On top of that, my lips have also been chapping like crazy (arm yourselves with tons of lip balm!) and I have to refrain from using matte lipsticks. But sheesh, what’s chapped lips compared to a decade of acne-ridden skin? Lipsticks can wait 😂

However, due to its possible complications, Oratane is only available on prescription only and you’d have to sign a consent form before it is dispensed to you. For more information about Oratane and the risks involved, here is one useful link.

Q-switch Laser

So, I have finally found a solution to my acne. Now what? The truth is, only half the battle is won. Those pesky pimples left behind a strewn of irate scars to remind me that they were never going to be exterminated.

My acne marks

My acne marks 😡

Thirteen years ago, they would have gotten their way. But not anymore. To eliminate acne and its remnants once and for all, Dr Ee recommended Q-switch laser, a no-downtime method for pigment removal (e.g. hyperpigmentation, freckles, melasma) which involves emitting short pulses of high-energy laser light towards the affected area to break down the pigment molecules into smaller fragments. The laser energy is cleared away naturally by the body’s lymphatic system upon being absorbed by the skin, making it safe with no side effects. Moreover, because this treatment only requires 10 to 15 minutes, it is typically done during lunchtime and after which, patients can expect to resume their normal activities.

SCARS BE GONE!

SCARS BE GONE!

Q-switch laser

Q-switch laser

Post-laser. Eyes turned red from the sudden change in lighting haha

Post-laser. Eyes turned red from the sudden change in lighting haha

A single session is capable of lightening or removing 70 to 100% of acne scars. In my case, probably 75% of my scars were visibly lighter than before while the more stubborn ones took about three sessions to be completely gotten rid of.  In addition, this treatment is also an excellent preventive measure against acne as it eradicates the sebaceous glands and removes the bacteria that causes pimples and acne. For pre-existing acne, it helps reduce inflammation and minimise pores so the skin is less prone to leaving marks.

But all these benefits are not without some stinging sensation as the procedure is being executed especially during the first few sessions which made my eyes tear behind the protective goggles 😂 Even so, the sting was still tolerable for me and it sorta diminished in intensity with more sessions. After the treatment, your nose will also constantly pick up slight burning smell (to be exact, the smell of fried facial hair) until you wash your face.

Still, these are small change compared to the many more years I would have suffered from acne if I hadn’t gone to The Clifford Clinic.

Skin now // 8 months after first consultation with Dr Ee and 4 months after starting on Oratane. Can't be more thankful to the clinic!

Skin now // 8 months after first consultation with Dr Ee and 4 months after starting on Oratane. Can’t be more thankful to the clinic!

What are some of your experiences with acne and how did you deal with it? Also, let me know in the comments below if this review has helped you!

Thanks for reading!

The Clifford Clinic · 24 Raffles Place #01-03 Clifford Centre Singapore 048621 (Exit A from Raffles Place MRT) · Tel: 6532 2400 / 8318 6332 (WhatsApp) · For more information about the acne treatments offered by The Clifford Clinic, do visit Their website or Like them on Facebook and Instagram.
Treatments were complimentary in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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REVIEW: Coco & Eve Super Nourishing Coconut & Fig Hair Masque

Hello everyone!

Hello everyone!

As temperature rises across the world, beaches become crowded with sunbathers and swimmers armed with sunscreens to protect them against the sun’s harmful rays. While it may be common knowledge that too much sun is bad for the skin, less is known (or rather, not much emphasis is placed) about the adverse effects it and the seawater have on the hair. Since seawater has high salt content, it strips moisture away from the hair, resulting in a brittle and dull texture that causes tangling and split ends.

But that’s not to say that you should stay indoors and not bask in the summer sun. Fortunately for us, we have Coco & Eve to mitigate the rigours of daily life (swimming in chlorinated pools, styling, frequent use of hairdryer, etc.) so even people living in the tropics (me!) will be able to boast luscious locks all day e’er’ day!

Coco & Eve

Coco & Eve

Coco & Eve

Coco & Eve

Manufactured in the U.S., Coco & Eve was founded by a few expats living in Singapore (say what? 🇸🇬 ) who saw the need for a hair masque that not only repairs their parched and damaged hair from prolonged exposure to the sun, but also provide them with the nourishment they deserve to stay healthy. Hence, the product is created using 2 main ingredients – raw virgin coconuts and figs, both of which known for their hair strengthening qualities – to restore the hair to its pure state. They do so by preventing hair breakage and split ends while promoting a healthy scalp and preventing problems such as dandruff. Furthermore, it also contains linseed, shea butter and argan oil to improve the texture and vitality of the hair.

For complete list of ingredients, click here.

Animal lovers and sceptics will be thrilled to know that the hair masque is cruelty-free and 100% vegan (in this respect, nothing carries more credibility than a seal of approval from PETA), and free of gluten, sulfates, phthalates or parabens. Get beautifully shiny locks with a conscience as the brand works with specialists and thoroughly researches their producers and ingredients – which, by the way, originate from Bali (home to the world’s largest producer of coconuts), Hawaii and the U.S. – to ensure that they are ethically and responsibly sourced without ever compromising on their quality. With ingredients so fresh and beneficial, it goes without saying that this product is also suitable for all hair types and ages (yes, children too!).

Product and brush (top view)

Product and brush (top view)

Product and brush (front view)

Product and brush (front view)

The hair masque arrived in a box brimming with tropical leaf motifs, accompanied by a complimentary tangle tamer brush with a 2-tier bristle arrangement to detangle hair and help with application of the masque. Upon unscrewing and lifting the lid of the masque tub, my nose caught the sweet aroma of coconut and then took me back to the time I had coconut ice-cream at Chatuchak Market – the hair masque seriously smells like the dessert! The tub would have been emptied in no time if the product were edible lol 😋

Smells great!

Smells great!

Product description

Product description

Following the instructions printed on the packaging, I washed my hair with my supermarket shampoo (which I just realised contains sulfate 😫 Ideally, you should use one without sulfate) and dried it with my towel before evenly applying a generous amount of product to it and brushing through with the tangle tamer. The whole application process took less than 3 minutes, but it could definitely be shorter if not for the fact I had to pictorially document it.

Let's put it to the test!

Let’s put it to the test!

Tied my hair in a bun because I was working out earlier!

Tied my hair in a bun because I was working out earlier!

So oily, so messy

So oily, so messy

Hair toned down a little after a while.. but still, slightly crazy (As you can see, I have very little hair)

Hair toned down a little after a while.. but still, slightly crazy (As you can see, I have very little hair 😭)

A little frizz here and there..

A little frizz here and there..

Close-up of my hair

Close-up of my hair

Shampooed my hair!

Shampooed my hair!

Towel-drying it..

Towel-drying it..

Let's begin!

Let’s begin!

But first, inhale the wonderful smell of coconuts..

But first, inhale the wonderful smell of coconuts..

Brush with 2-tier bristles technology (purportedly worth US$15!)

Brush with 2-tier bristles technology (purportedly worth US$15!)

Ooh, it even feels like coconut ice-cream :D

Ooh, it even feels like coconut ice-cream 😀

Applying 'em on my hair..

Applying ’em on my hair..

And then brushing them down..

And then brushing them down..

The masque acts in place of normal conditioner so after having the product on for 10 minutes, I rinsed it off with warm water and blew dry my hair while brushing it at the same time. The masque should be left on the hair for 5 to 10 minutes but the longer the better! For optimal results, you can even sleep in it (by covering it with a shower cap) and then wash it off the next day.

After the final wash

After the final wash

♥  For dry hair, use 2-3 times a week;
♥  For normal hair, use 1-2 times a week;
♥  For oily hair, use just once a week and focus the product towards the ends of the hair and avoid the scalp
Towel-drying away the excess water so the floor doesn't get wet :

Towel-drying away the excess water so the floor doesn’t get wet :\

Blow-drying to speed up the process (actually, I was just very eager to see how my hair would turn out LOL)

Blow-drying to speed up the process (actually, I was just very eager to see how my hair would turn out LOL)

SWOOSH. Not disappointed!

SWOOSH. Not disappointed!

Seriously damn smooth now!

Seriously damn smooth now!

Compare this with the one above! My hair looks more revitalised here.

Compare this with the one above! My hair looks more revitalised here.

Although the effects weren’t very noticeable on my hair (it was already rather smooth to begin with because I seldom style it nor engage in activities that put me in direct contact with the sun or harmful chemicals), it still makes a better conditioner than my existing one. Therefore, I plan to use this at least twice a week.

In addition, unlike many treatments that leave a greasy film on the hair (imagine the product transferring to the pillow and onto your face – ew!), Coco & Eve leaves nothing but naturally flowy tresses and a pleasant coconut scent to boot (I lost count the number of times I took a whiff of my hair 🤭). Running my hands through my hair, the softness it promises is also apparent. Ultimately, I think this would benefit swimmers and people with chemically treated hair.

My hair enjoys the attention from the fan

My hair enjoys the attention from the fan

What are your thoughts about Coco & Eve Hair Masque? Take a quick poll or let me know your views in the comments below 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Coco & eve is now available on their website for S$64.90. Besties kits are also available at S$99.90 each with Free shipping (delivery restrictions may applyy) on all orders.
Products were supplied by Coco & Eve in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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HIFU Sygmalift at The Clifford Clinic: Non-Invasive Facelift for a V-Line Face

Hello everyone!

Face shape is pretty much a make-or-break factor to a new look or hairstyle. Having naturally bestowed with one that is globally adored (for which I thank my Dad), my V-shape visage – characterised by a small and slim oval face narrowing down to a sharp chin and a refined jawline like a melon seed (how the Chinese descriptive term for this face shape – 瓜子脸 – is derived) – has always been on the receiving end of compliments because it is perceived to impart a sculpted and youthful appearance while enhancing facial features. In the eyes of the Koreans and Chinese, a V-line face is also a mark of feminine beauty.

But like everyone knows, nothing is eternal. As the face undergoes the ageing process, it begins to lose structure and elasticity, and slowly becomes an inverted V with a droopy jowl area and a broader lower face. Contrary to popular beliefs, these unwelcome changes can take place as early as in our 20s – or about 25 in my case as evident from my growing double chin – and are often exacerbated by late nights and an unhealthy diet, no thanks to our poor work ethics. If this were the 20th century, the loss of volume in the face would be irrevocable and only get worse as the years go by. But luckily for us, the advancement of technology in recent years has made it possible to reverse these effects brought about by ageing and, what’s more, even alter the appearance of the face by creating a more pronounced cheekbone and chin – all administered by professionals and without the need to go under the knife!

Granted, there may be over-the-counter products that promise similar results but in terms of efficacy, safety and speed, nothing honestly comes close to Sygmalift – a non-surgical, painless process that has risen in popularity among those not ready to deal with the risks of a nip and tuck. It uses combination therapy of High Intensity Focal Ultrasound (HIFU) for facial remodelling and lifting, and Cold Laser 635 nm for bio-stimulation and enhancing skin glow. Not only does it yield long-term results without the downtime, it is also relatively quicker (about an hour) and more affordable than traditional facelift procedures that can amount to thousands of dollars.

The Clifford Clinic

The Clifford Clinic

The Clifford Clinic

The Clifford Clinic

One of the pioneer aesthetics clinics to offer this newest and most advanced HIFU technology in Singapore is The Clifford Clinic where I was invited by Dr Gerard Ee to experience this wonder first-hand to hopefully address my anti-ageing woes. As opposed to traditional HIFUs which penetrate at precise depths in the skin with very focused large beams and thereby causing a lot of discomfort and pain during treatment, HIFU Sygmalift uses fractionated beams that enable them to painlessly bypass the surface of the skin and penetrate at very precise depths to stimulate and remodel collagen without the need for painkillers or application of numbing cream.

HIFU Sygmalift machine

HIFU Sygmalift machine

Before undergoing Sygmalift. This was the state of my face in November 2017 - so horribly sad! So apart from Sygmalift, Dr Ee also recommended a series of acne treatments for me to try and these experiences will be covered in my next post!

Before undergoing Sygmalift. This was the state of my face in November 2017 – so horribly sad! So apart from Sygmalift, Dr Ee also recommended a series of acne treatments for me to try and these experiences will be covered in my next post!

Preparing to receive the therapy

Preparing to receive the therapy

Let's get started!

Let’s get started!

Suitable and safe for all ages and skin types, this treatment is perfect for facial rejuvenation as well as for saggy cheeks, crow’s feet, jowl and laugh lines reduction. Depending on your age and skin condition, it is recommended to be done once a week over a span of 3 to 6 weeks. Admittedly, my skin hasn’t quite reached a state of crisis so intensive care wasn’t necessary for me. Thus, I was only required to undergo 2 sessions of Sygmalift nearly 3 weeks apart. Results of skin tightening and lifting can be observed progressively within 40 days and are expected to last up to 12 months. In fact, there was already noticeable difference during my first session which followed after my Hydrafacial (but that’s another story and shall be told another time 😉).

From the chin

From the chin

To the jawline

To the jawline

And then to the cheekbone

And then to the cheekbone

Notice that my face is slightly lifted on the right now?

Notice that my face is slightly lifted on the right now?

Both times, my makeup would have been entirely removed by the therapist performing the Hydrafacial on me prior to the Sygmalift procedure (otherwise, I’d have to remove it myself), so there was always a sparkling clean surface to work on. Upon applying a layer of cool gel all over my face (as a conductor for the beams to penetrate better into the skin as well as to reduce friction), the therapist firmly pressed the handheld device down onto one side of my jawline (it may take awhile to get used to the pressure), slowly and smoothly sliding her way up to the cheekbone. The whole process involved repeating the same set of steps at one targeted area several times before proceeding to the next, and because it was so therapeutic, I tried very hard to fight off my drowsiness in the middle of the treatment just so that I could keep tabs on what was happening. But my perseverance level plummeted by the second session and I subsequently slept through the next 😂

Moving on to the left side!

Moving on to the left side!

From this picture, you can tell roughly how much pressure is exerted onto my face

From this picture, you can tell roughly how much pressure is exerted onto my face

Done! My face felt a little swollen after the procedure but it was just temporary

Done! My face felt a little swollen after the procedure but it was just temporary

The treatment comprises two parts – the first being the focal ultrasound which helps reduce the fat and lift the muscle while the second the laser to stimulate collagen production and tightening. The latter would require me to wear laser-protective goggles and put my ability to take pictures without a sight to the test 😂

Wiping off the cool gel in preparation for the next part of Sygmalift

Wiping off the cool gel in preparation for the next part of Sygmalift

Putting on the safety goggles...

Putting on the safety goggles…

Part 2 begins now!

Part 2 begins now!

Post-Sygmalift

Post-Sygmalift

So, did I fare well? LOL.

On that day I underwent my final session, I had my passport photo taken and was pleasantly surprised at how much sharper my chin and jawline had become as compared to how I looked previously in 2012! But considering that I have also started frequenting the gym and engaging in more intense exercises, I must say that my weight loss does play a part in reducing the chubbiness of my face as well.

November 2017 (left) and 2012

November 2017 (left) and 2012

As an added bonus, here's me throughout the years XD

As an added bonus, here’s me throughout the years XD

Although no downtime is associated with this treatment, there is still bound to be some sort of aching along the jawline from the continuous pressure of the therapist on the device. But the feeling was mild enough to be ignored without causing any inconvenience and it generally subsided by the next day, leaving no signs of bruising.

For the most part, Sygmalift is relaxing and pain-free, and I would recommend it to those in dire need for a “facelift” but have low pain threshold. It is also great for those who do not have the luxury of taking long leaves because effects are (almost) instant and does not require any time to heal.

What do you think about Sygmalift? Let me know your views or experience in the comments below!

Do stay tuned to find out how, with the help or The Clifford Clinic, I successfully got rid of my acne. Thanks for reading!

The Clifford Clinic · 24 Raffles Place #01-03 Clifford Centre Singapore 048621 (Exit A from Raffles Place MRT) · Tel: 6532 2400 / 8318 6332 (WhatsApp) · For more information about HIFU Sygmalift, do visit Their website or Like them on Facebook and Instagram.
Treatment was complimentary in exchange for this review but all opinions expressed are my own.

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REVIEW: Aperire 아페리레 Skincare – Vitality Shine WATER-FULL Vitamin Cream & GOOD NIGHT Vitamin Whitening Mask; Super Origin MIRACLE DAY Root Essence & BOUNCING Root Cream

Hello everyone!

It may have been more than a decade since K-beauty came on our radar but the trend is still going strong with a roll-out of a variety of innovative skincare products that tap into consumers’ growing demand for all-things natural and/or organic lately by industry leaders and startups, like Aperire.

A subsidiary of SOOA Natural founded in 2013 that specialises in cosmetics research and development, Aperire 아페리레 (pronounced ah-peh-RI-reh, Latin for “uncover” or “open”) is a South Korean beauty brand comprising a range of skincare products for whitening (Vitality Shine) and elasticity (Super Origin) apart from makeup. Despite their brief history, Aperire has already built up quite a standing in the indie Korean beauty scene and generated a fair bit of coverage in the media. Following their recent expansion into Singapore, I was honoured to receive first dibs on the brand’s Vitality Shine and Super Origin series – all of which (with the exception of an ampoule) would be explored in this post.

Aperire products

Aperire products

Housed in deluxe see-through brown containers made of solid glass, the packaging feels nothing short of quality even before submerging my fingers into the product. To protect them from breakage, they are sold in sturdy boxes with clear English description at the front. However, what really impressed me was the level of comprehensiveness in explaining the functions (e.g. anti-aging, whitening) of the products on the packaging, as well as the appropriate time of the day to use them, which is extremely helpful to those who are new to the whole Korean beauty world.

What for / When / Who

What for / When / Who

Even so, you probably need tried-and-tested reviews of the products to decide if they are for you. Fret not – that’s what this post is for! And as an added bonus, there’s also a quick video of me demonstrating their uses at the end of this post, so be sure to check it out! ☺

*All prices stated do not include delivery charges and have been rounded up to the nearest dollar. Prices online may differ from physical store.

VITALITY SHINE (Whitening)

An untiring advocate of natural ingredients, Aperire believes that multivitamins are the best way to provide vitality and energy to the skin which is an essential step in improving skin radiance and combating aging. Therefore, they have included real multivitamins (such as A, B, C, E, H and K) in their Vitality Shine series to enhance the whitening and moisturising effects while boosting the vitality and elasticity of the skin. The skin also becomes brighter and lighter with extracts of lemon, grapefruit, rose hip, Kakadu plum (all of which are rich in Vitamin C) and white willow bark (which has exfoliating properties).

Aperire Vitality Shine series

Aperire Vitality Shine series

Most importantly, as the key highlight of this series of 3 products (Water-Ful Vitamin Cream, Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask and Vitamin C-30 Real Ampoule – not covered here), it contains extracts of seaberry fruit (or sea buckthorn) which is a rich source of vitamins C, E and P as well as malic and citric acids to help keep skin smooth and healthy.

WATER-FULL Vitamin Cream

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (50ml / 1.7 fl.oz / S$34)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (50ml / 1.7 fl.oz / S$34)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (core ingredients - that's all that's stated 🤔)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (core ingredients – that’s all that’s stated 🤔)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Ful Vitamin Cream (full ingredient list extracted from Qoo10 - very poorly constructed in my opinion, so let me help you pick out the important ones below)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Ful Vitamin Cream (full ingredient list extracted from Qoo10 – very poorly constructed in my opinion, so let me help you pick out the important ones below)

Infused with notes of citrus, this lightweight vitamin cream instantly brings vitality to tired and dehydrated skin by supplying an abundance of moisture without the oily residue with seaberry fruit extract (that also accounts for 75% of the ingredients) along with the aid of Glycacid Eco (a biotechnologic derivate from vegetable matters, labelled Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans in the ingredients) which helps to improve intradermic penetration and water retention. This in turn ensures that the skin is kept moist for a longer period of time, thus lessening the necessity for frequent reapplication.

Ideal for sensitive skin, it also contains extracts of centella asiatica (for its skin rejuvenation properties), ganoderma lucidum (or lingzhi mushroom, which helps reduce skin inflammation, puffiness, wrinkles and free radical damage, while promoting cell regeneration) and acerola (for its wrinkle-fighting properties) on top of those mentioned above.

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (application)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (application)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (application)

Aperire Vitality Shine Water-Full Vitamin Cream (application)

Suitable for use in the day and at night, the cream can be layered on top of the ampoule (not reviewed) in the same series to seal in all its goodness and maximise its absorption.

GOOD NIGHT Vitamin Whitening Mask

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (90ml / 3.0 fl.oz / S$60)

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (90ml / 3.0 fl.oz / S$60)

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (core ingredients)

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (core ingredients)

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (full ingredient list extracted from Qoo10. Click to enlarge)

An all-in-one whitening and lifting gloss formula, the sleeping mask functions as an essence and night cream to help the skin receive its necessary nutrients as the mind falls into deep slumber, making certain that you wake up to glistening, well-rested skin in the morning. It has a slight zingy ginger scent which my boyfriend argued was more of a mix of lavender and vanilla.

Infused with seaberry fruit extract (70%) and 9 types of multivitamins (10% “Multi-Vita9” includes Vitamin A, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin F [linolenic acid], Vitamin K3, Vitamin E, Vitamin H [biotin]), the cream is composed of minuscule double-layer vitamin C capsules which dissolves into the skin when the product is being worked around. The primary coating helps the vitamin absorb and moisturise deeply while the secondary acts as a sealant to ensure the freshness of the vitamin within the capsule.

And that’s not all – slathering the mask on your face essentially also means reaping the benefits of ingredients – in addition to those listed above – such as adenosine (a soothing and skin-restoring agent), extracts of acerola and macadamia seed (a hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic type of carrier oil known for its moisturising, regenerating and softening properties), argan tree kernel (which has a rich blend of essential fatty acids, antioxidants and vitamin E) and avocado (for its hydrating and softening properties) oils.

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (actual product)

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (actual product)

Vitamin C capsules in Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask

Vitamin C capsules in Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (application - notice how small the capsules have become!)

Aperire Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask (application – notice how small the capsules have become!)

After using the Root Essence (discussed below), apply Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask to the forehead, cheek and chin and massage gently into the face and to allow better penetration of the capsules.

Unlike sheet masks which eat into 15 to 20 minutes of your bedtime (because it has to be removed by the stipulated time), the whitening mask requires just 10 seconds to apply and can be left on the face overnight. Since it penetrates into the skin well enough and does not have much of a sticky texture, it won’t transfer to your pillowcase when you sleep too!

Skin repair during sleep:
Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence → Vitality Shine Water-full Vitamin Cream

SUPER ORIGIN (Elasticity)

Taking cue from the idea of getting to the root of problems with roots, the Super Origin series boasts the use of Root Complex (or Rootcureplex™, a term proudly coined by Aperire) – a combination of nutrients from five kinds of root extracts namely lotus root (to improve skin elasticity and brighten skin tone), yam root (which contains a large amount of phytomucin and amino acids to strengthen weakened skin barrier to retain moisture and promote skin elasticity), dandelion root (to suppress the production of melanin for a whiter skin and for invigorating purposes), saururus chinensis root (for a smoother and firmer skin) and taro root (a rich botanical mucin component that brightens, and strengthens skin elasticity) to combat aging and restore the skin’s elasticity from within.

Aperire Super Origin series

Aperire Super Origin series

Roots are said to provide more concentrated nutrients than ingredients derived from the fruits of plants simply because they, being buried in the depths of the Earth, have better potential to attract and retain minerals that are unattainable by parts of the plant above the soil. And there’s no better way to experience the immense benefits of roots than to use the two (only!) products in this series – the Miracle Day Root Essence and Bouncing Root Cream!

MIRACLE DAY Root Essence

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (130ml / 4.4 fl.oz / S$46)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (130ml / 4.4 fl.oz / S$46)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (leak-preventing stopper)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (leak-preventing stopper)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (core ingredients)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (core ingredients)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (full ingredients extracted from Qoo10 – please click to view image on a separate window)

The most sought-after product from Aperire, the root essence effectively helps treat sagging and dull skin by restoring its natural elasticity, evenness and youthful appearance with Root Complex (which makes up a whopping 81% of the ingredients). Furthermore, it has sugar and fruit acids to enhance the moisturising effect of the product, giving the skin a smoother complexion.

Scentless, clear and lightweight like water, most of it absorb into the skin as soon as it is applied without leaving a sticky finish, thanks to the lactobacillus (to improve skin barrier) and fermented soybean extract (for its antioxidative and whitening activities) in the ingredients that are obtained from a rigorous fermentation process, giving rise to their diminutive texture and ability to penetrate deep into the layers of the skin.

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (application)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (application)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (application)

Aperire Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence (application)

Upon cleansing the face in the day or at night, soak a cotton pad with the root essence before wiping the skin with it. Towards the end of this step, press the pad lightly against the skin for it to absorb the remaining essence. Then, follow with the rest of your products in your beauty regimen.

BOUNCING Root Cream

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (50ml / 1.7 fl.oz / S$39)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (50ml / 1.7 fl.oz / S$39)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (core ingredients)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (core ingredients)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (full ingredients extracted from Qoo10 - please click to view image on a separate window)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (full ingredients extracted from Qoo10 – please click to view image on a separate window)

A triple-function root cream that whitens and boosts skin elasticity and moisture, it permeates the skin with 58% Root Complex to enhance the skin’s overall vitality while making up for any deficiency of ceramide. Enriched with strong moisturising power, the cream forms a protective barrier that plumps the skin and protect the skin from dryness for a long time, giving it a healthy, glass-like appearance. Imbued with a faint earthy smell, it has a slightly heavy consistency but does not leave an oily finish upon application.

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (application)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (application)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (application)

Aperire Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream (application)

The root cream is recommended for use after applying the root essence. Taking an appropriate amount of the product, massage it to the face and areas that feel dry to maximise its absorption rate.

Combined daily skincare routine:
Super Origin Miracle Day Root Essence → Vitality Shine Vitamin C-30 Real Ampoule → Vitality Shine Water-full Vitamin Cream → Super Origin Bouncing Root Cream → Vitality Shine Good Night Vitamin Whitening Mask

The products, although generally served me okay, had apparent packaging flaws. I, for one, do not like how overly condensed the ingredient list is crafted on the box (only showing the core ingredients) and the lack of effort in translating the information printed on other parts of the box and container to English. As a result, I had to keep Googling for them and make my own assumptions (which, if I had to state them here, would have been backed by scientific studies).

Moreover, despite the fact that most of the Aperire products are lightweight in texture, they may get uncomfortably heavy when they are piled atop one another on the skin. Hence, a suggestion would be to allow time for each product to settle completely into the skin for five minutes before layering it with the next.

If you’re interested to watch the products in action, check out the video below! Please pardon my pimply face – that’s the result of snacking on too much Chinese New Year goodies 😣

What are your thoughts about Aperire products? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or simply take quick poll! 😊

Thanks for reading!

Aperire is now available on Qoo10 and I’M STARTICE. For more information, please visit Aperire website or like them on Facebook.
This post is brought to you by Aperire.

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REVIEW: OMEDI Skincare – Secret White (Phyto Serum, Intensive Emulsion, Oasis Aqua Crème, Moist Capture Eye Crème) & Soonsoo Cleansing Balm

Hello everyone!

In this day and age where beauty companies are sprouting up left and right, there can never be enough skincare products to experiment with. Recognising that not everyone has the financial wherewithal and time to do a dummy run with new arrivals in the market, I have decided to take the liberty of slathering what have been sent to me on my acne-prone face to enable you to make more informed purchase decisions. So, allow me to shine the spotlight on another underrated South Korean brand, OMEDI, which had kindly provided me with five of their post-cleanse products.

Hailing from Seoul, OMEDI (subsidiary of Natural-Korea which has over 15 years of experience in cosmetics research and development) is best known for their pragmatic approach to skincare. Their philosophy – grounded in the belief that treatments should be customised to meet the needs of individual skin requirements – is reflected in the skincare systems they have developed to address the fundamental causes of skin concerns. In fact, OMEDI even has a self-assessment survey (in Korean only, unfortunately) in place on their website to help customers determine their skin type and needs before proceeding with any purchase.

Just a fraction of OMEDI products..

Just a fraction of OMEDI products..

Additionally, OMEDI respects the physiological balance of the skin. Hence, products the brand offers tend to be more inclined towards decelerating the aging process rather than reversing its effects. With an aim to fortify and sustain the skin’s natural protective barriers against damaging environmental factors, the products in their systems – a complementary combination of cleansers, moisturisers, protectants and other treatments – work in synergy with one another to deliver visible results. Clinically tested and specially formulated without preservatives, mineral oil and synthetic additives, OMEDI strives to be the ultimate resource for achieving healthy and resilient skin.

For the first time in the history of fionaseah.com, this written review has a video accompaniment. Scroll down to the end to watch the products in action! 😁
 *All prices stated do not include delivery charges.

SECRET WHITE

In a bid to fulfill most Asian’s desire for fairer skin (which regrettably is still somewhat closely associated to beauty and superiority in today’s context), OMEDI has introduced their Secret White series that purportedly promotes skin lightening and minimises fine lines and wrinkles. There are quite a number of products under the same umbrella (as can be seen on their website) but the focus for this review will solely be on the four I received.

OMEDI Secret White series

OMEDI Secret White series

Skin suitability scale - I may be wrong but based on what was communicated to me, if the blue bar is filled within the range of 0-4, then it is for oily/normal/elastic/pure (not sure what this means) skin, and vice versa. So in this instance, if the blue bar is within the 3-7 range like the topmost one, then this product is catered to normal skin.

Skin suitability scale – I may be wrong but based on what was communicated to me, if the blue bar is filled within the range of 0-4, then it is for oily/normal/elastic/pure (not sure what this means) skin, and vice versa. So in this instance, if the blue bar is within the 3-7 range like the topmost one, then this product is catered to normal skin.

Interestingly, an indication of suitability for use of the product (based on skin type) is specified on every packaging while certain ones like Intensive Emulsion and Phyto Serum are further segregated into four types – Extra Control (blue-coded – for oily skin), Sebum Balance (green-coded – for combination skin), Basic Moist (pink-coded – for normal skin) and Hyper Hydro (orange-coded – for dry skin)- to cater to different skin needs. OMEDI had mistakenly given me those in the Basic Moist subcategory which, for the record, may be a little too mild for my combination skin. As a result of this mix-up, I kinda lowered my expectations for the products to be fair. But let’s see…

Phyto Serum 

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (35ml / 1.18 fl.oz)

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (35ml / 1.18 fl.oz)

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (ingredients)

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (ingredients)

Formulated with botanical extracts (Calendula Officinalis, Camellia Sinensis leaf, Ginkgo Biloba leaf, etc.) and bio-humectants, Phyto Serum has a lightweight consistency which enables it to penetrate deep within the skin to improve moisture retention. Soft to the touch and slightly pellucid in appearance, it enhances the skin’s texture and alleviates dryness. Enlivened by subtle floral notes, it settles into the skin rather quickly without leaving a tacky or greasy finish, thereby forming a barely-there shield that I am comfortable to sleep in. Therefore, this has become my go-to serum whenever I am in the mood to pamper my skin.

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (application)

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (application)

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (application)

OMEDI Secret White Phyto Serum (application)

For maximum results, apply a suitable amount of the serum after cleansing and toning to the whole face or blemished spots and neck twice daily. Then, follow with moisturiser with SPF in the day and a nourishing one before hitting the sack.

Intensive Emulsion

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (120ml / 4.05 fl. oz)

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (120ml / 4.05 fl. oz)

Every OMEDI product comes with a safety seal like this

Every OMEDI product comes with a safety seal like this

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (ingredients)

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (ingredients)

In general, emulsions are a more watered-down version of moisturisers that soften the skin and, depending on the brand, may be used to create a moisture barrier to lock in the products that were applied prior to that.

An inessential step that can be omitted from the daily skincare regimen if budget and time do not allow, the Intensive Emulsion contains emollients derived from botanical sources (such as Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Calendula Officinalis extract, wheat germ extract, black bean extract, Allantoin and seaweed extract) and other organic bio-minerals to replenish moisture to the skin while promoting a soft and supple complexion. Lightweight in texture with a moderately greasy finish that dissipates over time, the product has the same scent as the serum and does not leave a white cast on the skin.

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (application)

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (application)

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (application)

OMEDI Secret White Intensive Emulsion (application)

According to the instructions stated on the packaging, a pearl-sized amount (i.e. one pump) is sufficient for the entire face and neck and should be applied to freshly-cleansed skin in the day and at night. However, I chose to use the emulsion after the serum because the texture of the former felt discernibly thicker.

Oasis Aqua Crème 

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (200ml / 6.76 fl.oz)

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (200ml / 6.76 fl.oz)

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (ingredients)

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (ingredients)

Critically acclaimed for its soothing and revitalising benefits, this oil-free aqueous cream contains rich nutrients of Soybean Lecithin (which is high in vitamin E content), pure Aloe Vera gel and botanical oils to stimulate the appearance of collagen in the skin and prevent the damaging effects of free radicals, making it ideal as a daily moisturiser for chapped and sensitive skin.

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (actual product)

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (actual product)

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (application)

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (application)

OMEDI Secret White Oasis Aqua Crème (application)

Apply an adequate amount to the face using the spatula provided and spread it out into a thin layer with the tips of your finger during the day and at night The cool, lightweight citrus-scented gel melts immediately into the skin upon contact to provide a burst of freshness and hydration to replenish water loss, leaving the surface refreshed and rejuvenated with little to no oily residue. As a matter of fact, it literally feels like congealed water on my skin! It comes in a fairly large tub that will keep you hydrated all winter, or in the case of Singapore, for months of sweltering heat.

Moist Capture Eye Crème

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (30ml / 1.01 fl.oz)

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (30ml / 1.01 fl.oz)

Protective seal

Protective seal

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (ingredients)

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (ingredients)

Easy to apply and convenient to carry around, the eye cream can be dispensed from the squeeze tube directly to the under-eye region through a pointed tip to minimise cross-contamination while also allowing for better control of the amount of product that comes out. It is laced with a floral scent similar to those of the emulsion and serum and has a thicker and more gluey consistency.

Suitable for sensitive skin, it contains physiologically-active ingredients such as botanical extracts and vitamins to enable deeper penetration to nourish the stressed and vulnerable area surrounding the eyes. At the same time, Sodium Hyaluronate and the biomaterials present in the ingredients secure moisture and create fullness, knocking a few years off the face to give a more youthful appearance.

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (application)

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (application)

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (application)

OMEDI Secret White Moist Capture Eye Creme (application)

As the final step to your nighttime routine, use your ring finger (which has muscles weak enough to give the optimal amount of pressure without tugging on the most delicate area of the face) to dab a pea-sized amount underneath each eye or onto the neck to smooth away fine lines. For maximum experience, store the eye cream in the refrigerator as cold temperatures will typically aid in reducing puffiness of tired eyes and relax your senses.

Daily skincare routine:
Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (optional) → Phyto Serum → Intensive Emulsion → Oasis Aqua Crème → Moist Capture Eye Crème

SOONSOO

The Soonsoo (순수, meaning “clean” or “pure’ in Korean) series offers cleansing products, such as peeling cream and cleansing oil, essential for setting the stage for the subsequent steps in the skincare regimen. However, this review would only discuss on the efficacy of the cleansing balm.

Cleansing Balm 

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (200ml / 6.76 fl.oz)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (200ml / 6.76 fl.oz)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (ingredients)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (ingredients)

A texture-transforming balm, this luxurious botanical cleansing balm provides a thorough cleansing experience that removes all traces of makeup – even the most stubborn of mascara – in just one application. The moment it is applied onto the skin, it metamorphoses from a solid to a molten liquid, releasing the oils contained inside the previously rigid structure of the balm to dissolve and melt away any impurities.

With antioxidants (such as Camellia Sinensis leaf extract) and moisturising ingredients (such as Shea butter) infused in this silky smooth formula, the balm is leaves the skin with a radiant finish upon rinsing with water. Gentle in nature, it is also ideal for faces that have undergone skin resurfacing procedures including microdermabrasion and light chemical peels.

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (actual product on the spatula provided)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (actual product on the spatula provided)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (application - before)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (application – before)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (application - smearing the balm on my makeup)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (application – smearing the balm on my makeup)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (application - after)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (application – after)

 

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (full application process)

OMEDI Soonsoo Cleansing Balm (full application process)

To use, take a suitable amount on dry palms using the spatula provided and massage over makeup in circular motions until most of it has been dissolved. Then, emulsify the balm with wet hands and rinse off with lukewarm water. That’s it – no complicated steps involved and neither would you need pick up additional amounts of the balm to completely take off all the makeup! Who knew makeup removal could be so simple?

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the balm, I briefly tested it on my most smudge-resistant waterproof makeup (i.e. Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner) and – voilà! – not a single trace of product left on my hand! But how does the balm perform on a fully made-up face? Check out the video below to find out!

The overall experience of using OMEDI was mind-blowing despite the fact that the some of the products weren’t supposedly catered to my skin type. My only gripe is that the packaging (and website, perhaps) could have included instructions in English as well for the benefit of their international customers. That said, this product trial has certainly made me a fan of OMEDI, and I urge everyone to give this brand a shot. But until OMEDI finds a way to be more user-friendly to people who can’t comprehend Korean, you may need to rely heavily upon Google Translate to retrieve the information you need.

What are your views about OMEDI products? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or simply take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

OMEDI is now available at I’M STARTICE (BIG BOX). For more information, please visit their website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
This post is brought to you by OMEDI.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for bite-sized beauty updates!