REVIEW: NALC Moisturizer All-In-One Gel for Tone-up, Wrinkle and Acne Care

Hello everyone!

With more sectors of our economy allowed to resume operations progressively, it is only a matter of time before our borders reopen and we are able to jet off again (though probably not as extensively as before), or, at the very least go on a staycation; hence perhaps it’s about time we gear up with all the travel necessities so that we would be ever-ready for an impromptu getaway, especially once the restrictions are finally lifted.

Don't we all miss finding out our boarding time and gate in front of the FIDS? (Image by Jan Vašek)

Don’t we all miss finding out our boarding time and gate in front of the FIDS? (Image by Jan Vašek)

Much as my wanderlust itch is dying to be scratched, there is always this one small First World problem that makes travelling a little less enjoyable for me, and that is packing. As one who prioritises vanity, I mean, spares no effort on the upkeep of my appearance, my toiletries usually take up a lot of room inside my luggage, and this exacerbates if my destination is experiencing the height of winter, thereby leaving a limited amount of space for other essential items, and adding unnecessary weight to my precious load. For my trip to Japan last December, for instance, I had to pack my facial cleanser, toner, exfoliator, moisturisers (one for outdoor use) and acne treatment on top of my shower products (my sensitive skin doesn’t quite jive with some of the body wash provided by hotels so I tend to bring my own) into my luggage. And let’s not forget about the unpacking after everything is done and dusted. Oh, so lazy…

Thankfully, all this is about to change with the All-In-One Gel Moisturizer (also known as Three Protect Gel) by NALC, a Japanese unisex skincare brand that was previously featured here for their amazing waterproof sunscreen.

NALC All-In-One Gel Moisturizer (S$45)

NALC All-In-One Gel Moisturizer (S$45)

Touted as a handy all-in-one medicated gel that replaces your regular facial serum, moisturiser, cream and leave-on night mask altogether, it helps to tackle three major skin issues – wrinkles, acne and discolouration – with ingredients that lock moisture in the skin (i.e. ceramides and hyaluronic acids) and maintain its supple texture (i.e. collagens and amino acids). Dipotassium glycyrrhizinate, an active ingredient in the formula, prevents acne, heat rash, frostbite, chapping and cracked skin under extreme weather conditions while tranexamic acid suppresses the production of melanin to reduce the appearance of spots and freckles.

Protective seal

Protective seal

Ingredient list

Ingredient list (click here for complete list)

The tube

The tube

You might also be interested to know that this is actually a quasi-drug (approved by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan) which ultimately means that the ingredients are recognised as effective, or more so than cosmetic products.

Medicated, another way of saying quasi-drug

Medicated, another way of saying quasi-drug

The "医薬部外品" label is what you need to look out for on the packaging to check if the product is a quasi-drug

The “医薬部外品” label is what you need to look out for on the packaging to check if the product is a quasi-drug

Moreover, it contains several natural ingredients such as white fungus polysaccharide, artichoke extract, scutellaria root extract, soybean extract, almond extract and bilberry leaf extract to promote better skin health.

Clinically proven to be hypoallergenic, this gel moisturiser is formulated without ingredients that are known to aggravate the skin (i.e. alcohols, fragrance, mineral oils, petroleum-based surfactants, artificial colouring, and parabens), therefore making it suitable for sensitive skin. In fact, this product is so gentle on the skin, it can also be applied on children of at least 7 years of age, and the elderly!

[First try] Didn't read the directions before I applied it for the first time. You only need 1/5 of this amount!

[First try] Didn’t read the directions before I applied it for the first time. You only need 1/5 of this amount!

[First try] But since it's already on my hand, let's not waste it :) Look how clear it is once it's been spread out!

[First try] But since it’s already on my hand, let’s not waste it 🙂 Look how clear it is once it’s been spread out!

[First try] Ta-dah! Barely noticeable! You wouldn't know it's there until you touch the area where you applied the moisturiser!

[First try] Ta-dah! Barely noticeable! You wouldn’t know it’s there until you touch the area where you applied the moisturiser!

This unscented gel moisturiser has a light and slightly milky consistency that spreads easily on the skin. A little goes a long way, so you would only need a small amount of it (less than 1 cm in diameter) to cover the whole face. Otherwise, you may run the risk of having to deal with the tackiness it leaves behind. However, you can dispense a larger amount (about 1.5 cm in diameter) if you intend to use it as an overnight mask (but do be prepared for any product to transfer onto your pillow).

Okay, now, trying it out on my face. This is how much you need. No kidding!

Okay, now, trying it out on my face. This is how much you need. No kidding!

Simply dot it on your forehead, cheeks, the tip of your nose and philtrum. There's seriously enough to go around!

Simply dot it on your forehead, cheeks, the tip of your nose and philtrum. There’s seriously enough to go around!

Then, spread it out! Be sure to spread it outwards, like how you should when you apply other products on your face, to prevent premature sagging and wrinkles ;)

Then, spread it out! Be sure to spread it outwards, like how you should when you apply other products on your face, to prevent premature sagging and wrinkles 😉

All done!

All done!

Having tried the moisturiser in the day and at night for a week already, the whitening effect seems to be the most noticeable on my skin because the hyperpigmentation left behind by maskne has lightened quite a bit. Granted, it did not really do much in preventing blemishes from me wearing my face mask for an extended amounts of time (this can’t be help, can it?), but it sure expedited their healing process. Within the third day, the zits had more or less flattened and the redness had also reduced drastically. While I can’t attest to its effectiveness in combating wrinkles (because I am lucky enough not to have any visible ones.. yet 🥺), I am confident that this moisturiser would do an equally great job at banishing those fine lines!

Most importantly, this, too, does not cause any irritation to my sensitive skin.

Before (taken on 30 June 2020) and after (taken on 7 July 2020) using NALC All-in-One Moisturizer!

Before (taken on 30 June 2020) and after (taken on 7 July 2020) using NALC All-in-One Moisturizer!

What are your thoughts on this all-in-one gel moisturiser? Let me know what you think in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

NALC All-In-One Gel Moisturizer is now available on SHOPEE. For more information on NALC, follow them on FACEBOOK or visit their official WEBSITE.
PRODUCTs WERE SUPPLIED BY NALC FOR MY EDITORIAL CONSIDERATION. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN.

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REVIEW: NALC Sunscreen Perfect Waterproof UV Protect SPF 50+/ PA++++

Hello everyone!

The closure of gyms nationwide has essentially brought my weekly workout routine to a standstill since the onset of the Circuit Breaker. Instead of allowing unwanted fats to accumulate in my body while waiting for the economy to fully reopen (which God knows when it will be), I have decided to take my runs outdoors just like every other affected gymgoer to remain active.

But there is one problem – the sun. One predominant factor that propelled me to get a gym membership was the fact that I could avoid being tanned (and not forgetting the adverse effects the sun causes). Now that hitting the treadmill is temporary out of the question, prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays would be inevitable for me when running at the park (no night-time runs because of my night blindness). As much as possible, I would try to minimise my time in the sun by heading out only in the late afternoon or early evening when the sun is half a fist from setting. Even so, having such a fixed schedule could prove to be a headache especially when an unexpected downpour occurs (or when the park gets too crowded), thwarting my plans entirely as a result. Therefore, if given a choice, the freedom to run at any time of the day would still be very much preferred.

credit: Luke Ow

credit: Luke Ow

The most straightforward solution to my love-hate relationship with the sun would be to use a sunscreen. However, prior experiences with sunscreens have left a bad taste in my mouth. Apart from breaking me out, those that I’ve used would also leave a noticeable white cast and an uncomfortably thick, greasy finish on my skin – and I’d be so tempted to rub it all off! Furthermore, sunscreens are traditionally not water-resistant and so won’t be able to stand up to sweat, which means I would have to constantly reapply it. Hence to save myself the hassle, it was either steer clear from the sun or simply brave the rays for me (and bear with the agony of sunburn thereafter).

NALC Sunscreen Perfect Waterproof UV Protect SPF 50+/ PA++++ (S$34.90)

NALC Sunscreen Perfect Waterproof UV Protect SPF 50+/ PA++++ (S$34.90)

But since NALC Sunscreen came into my life, my perception of sunscreens has taken a 360-degree turn. There’s actually a sunscreen that doesn’t do any of the irritating things above? As incredulous as it may sound, a big, fat YES – and that’s not all!

NALC Sunscreen ingredient list (click to view image in full size)

NALC Sunscreen ingredient list (click to view image in full size)

Sealed!

Sealed!

Small enough to carry around!

Small enough to carry around!

More images of the packaging

More images of the packaging

Pin-sized opening to prevent wastage

Pin-sized opening to prevent wastage

Made in Japan (and you know the Japanese don’t play around when it comes to sunscreen), the NALC Sunscreen has an impressive SPF of 50+/ PA++++ (the recommended SPF for sunscreens is 30) to protect the skin from prolonged exposure to UV radiation, which is the leading cause of premature ageing. Alcohol-free to suit sensitive skin, it also consists of anti-inflammatory ingredients and a generous amount of hyaluronic acid to lock moisture in the skin.

NALC Sunscreen before spreading out

NALC Sunscreen before spreading out

Spread outwards once

Spread outwards once

Fully absorbed into the skin

Fully absorbed into the skin

The NALC sunscreen appears pale yellow right off the bat (kinda reminded me of pus… yup, too much Dr Pimple Popper once again) but becomes colourless (goodbye stains!) once spread out. This attribute, coupled with the fact that it has a light, non-sticky and non-oily texture, makes it a perfect base for makeup to adhere to. It also absorbs nicely into the skin within seconds of application and doesn’t led me to feel like I had slathered lard oil all over myself.

Face before NALC sunscreen application

Face before NALC sunscreen application

NALC Sunscreen application in progress

NALC Sunscreen application in progress

After application! No white cast!

After application! No white cast!

Most amazingly, it has extreme waterproof capabilities (thanks to the latest three-phase emulsification technology that was employed in its formulation) to ensure that your sunscreen stays intact for a much longer time – even when you are sweating buckets from performing vigorous-intensity physical activities! 🙌🏻 That said, the sunscreen is easily removable with just your regular soap or facial wash, so simply take a shower after your workout to discard your shield 😁

My face after my 5km run in the blazing afternoon sun

My face after my 5km run in the blazing afternoon sun

With these game-changing features, I guess it’s safe to say that the future of sunscreen is officially here! Seriously, though, this sunscreen deserves more recognition than it has received to date!

All in all, the NALC sunscreen stood true to its claims and has certainly served me very well (i.e. has done a great job in preventing unwanted tanning as evident from my skin colour). Now that I am no longer held hostage by the sun, nothing can stop me from going for my runs during off-peak hours when the rays are at their strongest! WOOO! 😜😜😜

What are your thoughts on this sunscreen? Let me know what you think in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

NALC Sunscreen Perfect Waterproof UV Protect is now available on SHOPEE. For more information on NALC, follow them on FACEBOOK or visit their official WEBSITE.
PRODUCTs WERE SUPPLIED BY NALC FOR MY EDITORIAL CONSIDERATION. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN.

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REVIEW: Sephora × Stabilo Felt Liner in Chocolate Break and Summer Holiday

Hello everyone!

Sephora Singapore just held their bi-annual Beauty Pass Sale and in a bid to retain my Black status (as you could probably tell from the drop in my beauty reviews, I hadn’t really been shopping for makeup), I made some obligatory purchases which included a pair of peculiar-looking eyeliners born from the collaboration between Sephora and Stabilo! Yes, you read me right – Stabilo, as in the stationery brand of highlighter fame (they had their chance to release face highlighters but they blew it!).

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liners 2020

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liners 2020

This partnership might come as a surprise to some but considering that even Crayola has ventured into cosmetics, it goes to show that the lines between the beauty and non-beauty industries are blurring. It also makes perfect sense for Stabilo to ink the agreement because as girls transition to women (or boys to men), the need for stationery supplies diminishes thanks to electronic devices. One possible way to win this demographic back would be to appeal to their needs and I’m sure everyone needs makeup at some point in their lives 😂 Sprinkle a dash of nostalgia and we have a winner!

The eyeliner comes in 4 shades (Ink Splash, Back to School, Chocolate Break and Summer Holiday) and retails at S$15 each, or S$12 during the sale. Since I already have a staple black liner, my money went to the brown and blue (and I regret not getting the grey one now). Like the tip of your typical highlighter, the applicator is bevelled to allow for an alternation between thick and thin lines with an uninterrupted colour intensity and evenness from the start to the end of the application. The packaging is modelled after the original design of chunky Stabilo highlighers but maybe only two-third of the size (super cute!), making it convenient to bring around!

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liners in Chocolate Break and Summer Holiday (sealed, front)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liners in Chocolate Break and Summer Holiday (sealed, front)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liners in Chocolate Break and Summer Holiday (seal, back)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liners in Chocolate Break and Summer Holiday (sealed, back)

Rub test

Rub test

Call me bias but I don’t always have a good impression of merchandise sold under house brands so I had my reservations about these claims being translated into reality. (But eyeliners in the form of highlighters? Who can resist?!)

Pardon my unkempt brows

Chocolate Break

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Chocolate Break (S$15)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Chocolate Break (S$15)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Chocolate Break

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Chocolate Break

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Chocolate Break on primed lids

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Chocolate Break on primed lids

It was a challenge manoeuvring the tip.. This was the best I could do.

It was a challenge manoeuvring the tip.. This was the best I could do.

Ahh...the gaps

Ahh.. the gaps

Don’t laugh, but the name reminds me of how Ms Yeah created her makeup with cocoa powder in one of her many ingenious videos.

But unlike the sheer payoff of the makeup that she had concocted, Chocolate Break is highly opaque and pigmented. It has a darker undertone as compared to the colour reflected on the packaging, so it appears almost like black which makes it ideal for those who do not wish to deviate too much from wearing the standard beauty look.

There was no bleeding, and attempts to rub this matte dark brown swatch off my hand were largely unsuccessful. Even after 8 hours, the colour still remained reasonably vivid despite wetting my hands on a few occasions! This little wear test took me by surprise, so I decided to wear the eyeliner on my upper lash lines and run 5km around my estate to confirm its longevity the next day. Surely, my oily lids coupled with my acidic sweat would be able to melt the makeup away?

Post-run

Post-run

Fading away..

Fading away..

Left-side going strong!

Left-side going strong!

And you guessed it – the eyeliner budged quite a bit. But even though it barely survived the run, I was glad it didn’t transfer onto my lower lash line and give me panda eyes (throughout my run, I was so paranoid that my eyeliner would smudge and I’d attract a lot of unwanted attention from other park users!).

Summer Holiday

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Summer Holiday (S$15)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Summer Holiday (S$15)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Summer Holiday

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Summer Holiday

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Summer Holiday on primed lids (and some of it somehow transferred onto my lashes)

Sephora x Stabilo Felt Liner in Summer Holiday on primed lids (and some of it somehow transferred onto my lashes)

A trip to a faraway destination might not be an option right now because of the coronavirus (I could have been in Bangkok 😭) but that does not mean you can’t feel like you’re on holiday at home (or while heading to the supermarket, whatever)! Transport the sea to your lash lines with this calming blue hue and you’re all set for a Zoom summer party (be sure to use a poolside virtual background while you’re at it)!

When tested on my hand sans primer, Summer Holiday revealed a pigmented coat of matte dark periwinkle colour (which is true to the colour of the packaging). It was mostly smudge-proof (but not as resistant as Chocolate Break to rubbing) and had a consistent product payoff. Again, the sceptic in me wanted to see if it could held up on where they were supposed to be, so I painted on the eyeliner and went for a run on another day.

Post-run

Post-run

Almost gone..

Almost gone..

Not too bad, but it smeared more than Chocolate Break

Not too bad, but it smeared more than Chocolate Break

Either my body had produced more sweat than usual on that day or this shade couldn’t really withstand humidity because it smudged more easily than Chocolate Break. There was hardly any product left on my lids after most of it migrated into the creases, or simply melted away with my sweat.

Opacity comparison with other brands of eyeliners I own

Opacity comparison with other brands of eyeliners I own

Based on my experience, both eyeliners yielded great results until they got exposed to moisture, so I wouldn’t want to wear it to watch tearjerker films, y’know, just in case. I also wouldn’t consider myself to be a fan of the bevelled tip as it really takes some getting used to. Even as a seasoned eyeliner user myself, angling the tip correctly to draw straight thin lines (especially those feline flicks) posed as a challenge to me 😩

It’s a pity that only a limited amount of colours was released because I could see how popular this would be if there were more to choose from! Perhaps if this is a success, Sephora might consider working with Stabilo again to come up with more interesting shades – this time, hopefully with a touch of fluorescence just like the highlighters 😁

Unfortunately, I don’t think this range is released in the U.S., so if you’re living in the States, you might want to get someone to ship it to you from Asia or Europe (wherever Sephora has stores in).

What do you think of this collaboration? Let me know your views in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Sephora × Stabilo Felt Liners are now available at Sephora Singapore.

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