REVIEW: APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel Off Pack & Real Carrot Serum

Hello everyone!

With most shutters down and the government urging us to stay home, my shopping orientation has changed drastically over the past few weeks. Online shopping apps are creeping up on my most frequently used list on my mobile phone, so instead of saving money, my bank account is actually taking a greater hit than usual from the Circuit Breaker ūü•ī Shopee has got to be the biggest culprit of all because of their flash sales that happen every four hours and to be perfectly honest, most products sold there really are priced at a steal.

Take, for example, the APRILSKIN skincare products of which advertisements have been bombarding my social media feed lately (even though said products were launched in 2018?). What could have essentially cost me almost $50 if I had gone the traditional route (i.e. buying from Guardian) was only slightly more than half that amount during the flash sale I so happened to be camping for.

My APRILSKIN haul!

My APRILSKIN haul!

Established in 2014, APRILSKIN is a South Korean beauty brand that prides themselves on using naturally-derived ingredients in their products to prevent skin irritation. Apart from skincare products, APRILSKIN also boasts a complete range of makeup tools and cosmetics from which many devotees might have first learnt about the brand (not gonna lie – their cushion foundation looked incredible).

Based on the availability, or lack thereof, of their products on their international website, it’s safe to say that APRILSKIN is sought-after not only in Singapore and their home country, but also in other parts of the world as well. Hence, I’m very excited to see what the hype is all about! Are their products really that effective, or is APRILSKIN just a master of social media marketing? Let’s find out ūüėČ

Here's my bare face before using both APRILSKIN products - right profile

Here’s my bare face before using both APRILSKIN products – right profile

Left profile

Left profile

In case it wasn’t explicit earlier, all products reviewed on this post were paid for with my own money and Shopee had not approached me to do a collaboration.

Real Calendula Peel Off Pack (S$23)

APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel-Off Pack

APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel-Off Pack

APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel-Off Pack

APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel-Off Pack

APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel-Off Pack

APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel-Off Pack

This product in particular piqued my interest because of how gentle it seemed in exfoliating the outermost layer of the skin, unlike those that cling to the skin and make ripping them off a nightmare. There’s also something oddly satisfying about peeling stuff off the skin while being able to see dead skin cells getting removed in the process (nothing quite unusual for someone who enjoys morbid videos of pimple popping, earwax extraction and ingrown hair removal ūüėú) so I wanted to experience it for myself!

Calen.. what? If you have been out of the skincare loop like me, calendula, or pot marigold, is traditionally used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine. It has antiseptic properties which helps in treating wounds and preventing acne, and promotes skin tightening among many other benefits. ‘Pretty much explains how calendula lent itself to be the star ingredient in this peel-off mask!

What the gel looks like

What the gel looks like

The product had a scent to it that smelled somewhat like yuzu to me (it might well be the smell of calendula but I’m not familiar with this plant) although some users have also commented that it reeked of artificial fragrance. It contains visible particles which, according to APRILSKIN, are parts of the calendulas (petals, pistil, stamen, calyx, etc.) and are distributed evenly throughout the clear, gel-like sticky substance.

My Sand & Sky brush finally came in handy!

My Sand & Sky brush finally came in handy!

Application is ideally done with the brand’s Real Jelly Brush for a more even coating but since it was not included in the bundle, I used the brush that came with my Sand & Sky mask just because I am a cheapskate (it worked perfectly well, though!). Having tried several different ways of application, I found dispensing the product onto the bristles before spreading it all over the face, section by section in an upward motion, worked better. The brand also recommends applying a thin layer (twice a week), but I piled it up a little more to prevent it from ripping apart during removal. At the rate I’m going, one tube would probably last me for about two months.

After mask application

After mask application

After mask application

After mask application

When mask had dried down. I didn't want to smile and risk having wrinkles, y'know!

When mask had dried down. I didn’t want to smile and risk having wrinkles, y’know!

The product tightened over time and finally, with my desk fan pointing towards me on full blast, dried down completely after 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes as stated on the box. The peeling process went pretty smoothly and painlessly (although it wasn’t as clean as this) but not without having to lightly scratch or pinch along my jawline to locate the edge of the mask (‘reckon I lost a few strands of facial hair doing so).

Peel mask off starting from the bottom, going along with the direction of the face muscles (and against gravity) to prevent skin sagging

Peel mask off starting from the bottom, going along with the direction of the face muscles (and against gravity) to prevent skin sagging

More peeling shots because I like them

More peeling shots because I like them

Mainly my skin's natural texture and dead skin..

Mainly my skin’s natural texture and dead skin..

All in all, I didn’t think it was entirely effective in removing my blackheads (on my nose especially), but it certainly lifted tons of dead skin (mostly from my healing zits) from atop my cheeks. Although the drier parts of my face looked negligibly flaky thereafter (it definitely did not give me the glass skin depicted on their marketing collaterals after use), it appeared brighter overall and the redness of my acne blemishes had also been visibly reduced. Most importantly, it did not irritate my sensitive skin!

After removal of mask - side profile

After removal of mask – side profile

After removal of mask - side profile

After removal of mask – side profile

After removal of mask - full profile

After removal of mask – full profile

Real Carrot Serum (S$25.90)

APRILSKIN Real Carrot Serum

APRILSKIN Real Carrot Serum

APRILSKIN Real Carrot Serum

APRILSKIN Real Carrot Serum

APRILSKIN Real Carrot Serum

APRILSKIN Real Carrot Serum

By the way, this is how you can verify the authenticity of your APRILSKIN products! How cool is this?!

By the way, this is how you can verify the authenticity of your APRILSKIN products! How cool is this?!

This was included in the set, so it wasn’t like I had a choice. That said, it came timely because I was already on the lookout for a replacement for my nighttime serum when my current one runs out. However, much as I was happy to welcome this to my rotation, I was also curious – why is carrot chosen over the likes cucumber, aloe vera and tomato which are so commonly found in skincare products? Google revealed a plethora of benefits of carrots but the one that struck with me was its ability to overcome acne. Wow, today I learnt! Where have carrot-based skincare products been all my life, especially when I was battling a serious case of acne?

According to APRILSKIN, this daytime and nighttime serum has been clinically tested to be non-comedogenic. It harnesses ingredients derived from certified organic carrots (carrot water, carrot seed oil and carrot proteins) to combat blemishes such as acne and whiteheads (those pesky little bumps beneath the surface of the skin which I have plenty of!) and also niacinamide (a water-soluble vitamin) to brighten the skin tone and lighten hyperpigmentation. Of course, the ingredient list doesn’t stop here but I shan’t bore you with the details.

Appearance of serum

Appearance of serum

Pump 1 to 2 times and gently spread across the face from the centre outwards

Pump 1 to 2 times and gently spread across the face from the centre outwards

After applying the serum

After applying the serum

The smell of this white, lightweight, mildly viscous cream reminded me of lemon grass – it kind of evoked a sense of tranquillity in me. But not to worry if you aren’t a fan of aromatherapy because the scent is fleeting and you won’t be able to smell a thing once it’s on your face. In terms of its efficacy, perhaps because I used it after applying the peel-off mask, I noticed that the skin absorbed it a lot better than other serums. It also didn’t leave a sticky texture behind after application, which is a rarity for Korean skincare products (for me)! There wasn’t much difference to the appearance of my skin until the next morning because I woke up to shrunken bumps and glowing skin! The results were quite unexpected, I must say ūüôä

I woke up like that!

I woke up like that!

TL;DR: Before and after (click to view image in full size) - colour-corrected (I tried) for accuracy

TL;DR: Before and after (click to view image in full size) – colour-corrected (I tried) for accuracy

In general, even though the mask didn’t perform as well as I hoped at the first try (I expected more gunk), I enjoyed the experience of peeling it off and will most likely repurchase due to this reason (it’s a good compelling reason for me to use it as I have the tendency of not using up my face mask before they pass their shelf lives ūüôä #lazy). The effects of the carrot serum were what really took me by surprise so I guess this pretty much settles it for me. Hello, new serum in my skincare regime!

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

Thanks for reading!

APRILSKIN Real Calendula Peel Off Pack & Real Carrot Serum are now available on Shopee and GUARDIAN SINGAPORE.

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REVIEW: IR√ČN Start Afresh Daily Enzyme Powder Wash

Hello everyone!

You might have heard of the infamous multi-step skincare regimen popularised by South Korea but let’s be honest – who has the time for that? More often than not, I would find myself even dragging my feet to the washroom after a long day at work to shower because I am just that dead beat, let alone going through a thousand and one steps to prep my face for bedtime. Thankfully, a local beauty brand, IR√ČN, heard my silent cries for help and decided once and for all to put a stop to these unnecessarily superfluous routines and created products which bring back the joy of skincare.

IR√ČN… er, who?

Founded by local entrepreneur, Eric Tan (also the founder of Singapore‚Äôs first traditional Japanese onsen spa), IR√ČN was conceived out of his love for his wife (hence the name IR√ČN because that’s Irene – his wife’s name – in Hungarian – awww ūüėć) who had been struggling with breakouts and eczema. When the many non-comedogenic products she had tried proved to be futile in calming down her skin, the loving husband decided to delve into the arcane world of skincare in search of a solution which led to his partnership with a skincare researcher from A*STAR. Together with the researcher, he formulated a serum without harmful chemical, synthetic fragrances, and BPA for his wife. From there, they developed seven concoctions and started IR√ČN with the aim of providing busy women like his wife a straightforward solution to common skin ailments, backed by scientific facts and research.

Launched in December 2017, the serums come in 7 formulations for wrinkles and deep lines, acne and oily skin, dehydrated skin, sensitivity, pigmentation and uneven skin tones, sagging skin, and clogged pores. Shown here are just 3 types of serum to be used with the Skin Vaporizer, a device that nano-sizes the serum to swiftly and efficiently feed the nutrient-deprived skin. If time permits, I will do a more in-dept review on this.

Launched in December 2017, the serums come in 7 formulations for wrinkles and deep lines, acne and oily skin, dehydrated skin, sensitivity, pigmentation and uneven skin tones, sagging skin, and clogged pores. Shown here are just 3 types of serum to be used with the Skin Vaporizer, a device that nano-sizes the serum to swiftly and efficiently feed the nutrient-deprived skin. If time permits, I will do a more in-dept review on this.

More than a year after their signature serums made public appearance, IR√ČN comes up with yet another innovative product – a cleanser in the form of powder.

Introducing: Start Afresh Daily Enzyme Powder Wash

IR√ČN Start Afresh Daily Enzyme Powder Wash (S$35 each)

IR√ČN Start Afresh Daily Enzyme Powder Wash (S$35 each)

Made in Japan, the Start Afresh Daily Enzyme Powder Wash is a gentle daily powder wash with triple cleansing action to remove dirt, sebum and old keratin, and is suitable for all skin types. Vegan and cruelty-free, it contains Japanese Rice Bran, a natural ingredient with soothing enzymes and antioxidant properties which effectively resurface and gently exfoliate the skin to reveal a healthy glow and smoother complexion. On top of that, it also has Sorbitol and Hyaluronic Acid to help retain moisture whilst skin is thoroughly cleansed. This is in contrast to other brands of powder wash which tend to contain talc (which causes irritation and dryness to sensitive and inflamed skin), SLS/SLES (which gives cleansers the foamy, bubbly consistency but at the same time, removes the skin of its natural oils and trigger skin irritation), non-fatty alcohol (or drying alcohols which may harm the skin’s protective surface and worsen oily skin), and fragrance.

Truth be told, I had never heard of powder cleansers until the launch last month so naturally, I was very intrigued and bewildered by it, to say the least. Isn’t powder a lot harder to work with? Won’t powder scatter and cause a mess (and this is the main reason I avoid loose powder foundation like the plague)? Like, who actually asked for cleansers, in powder form? Is this another marketing gimmick? I was sceptical. That was, until I tried and tested the powder wash myself.

As it turned out, it was actually pretty easy to use!

WATCH: Live demonstration by a staff from IREN. Notice just how much powder is needed for the wash?

The bottle is also designed to dispense just the amount required (about 1 teaspoon) for each wash, hence minimising wastage (no more oh sh*t! moments). Once the powder is poured onto the palm (and the fine-grained texture feels sooooo soft like icing sugar ūüėć), slowly mix it with some water and lather into a creamy foam. Then, gently massage it onto the face for 15 seconds before rinsing it with warm water.

WATCH: If you’re terrible at remembering how much 1 teaspoon of powder is, fret not! Just dispense the powder from the bottle only once.

But how effective is this powder wash in removing makeup?

WATCH: Swiped Colourpop Lippie Stix (in Fab Five) once on my hand. Let’s see how much it is removed at the end of the wash!

The (disappointing, I must say) result after a pretty rigorous wash

The (disappointing, I must say) result after a pretty rigorous wash

My verdict?

From this little experiment, it is safe to say that the Super Gentle Daily Powder Wash is only great as an everyday cleanser that is best used on bare face so do remember to take your makeup off completely before arriving at this step!

That said, apart from the skin benefits of this powder wash, it has other major advantages too which jet setters can relate to – you won’t have to check in your cleanser (yay to washing up on long-haul flights!) and you won’t feel like you’re piggybacking Snorlax with something so lightweight in your hand-carry baggage. Be careful not to repackage it in a way that would raise suspicions, though. You definitely don’t want to be wrongfully detained like this lady here.

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

Thanks for reading!

IR√ČN Start Afresh Daily Enzyme Powder is now available at Face Shower Bar by IR√ČN, on IR√ČN SKIN¬†and SHOPEE.
PRODUCTS WERE SUPPLIED BY IR√ČN FOR MY EDITORIAL CONSIDERATION. ALL OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN.

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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 Рwho were also the creators of beauty box subscription company, Bellabox Рin 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 (ūüėĪ) 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 ūüėć) 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 ūüďĆ
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¬†ūüėĎ

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..
‚ô• Oily skin to combination skin, use 2 to 3 times a week;
‚ô• 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¬†ūüėā

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..
‚ô• Oily skin to combination skin, use 1 to 3 times a week;
‚ô• 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 ūüėĚ

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! ūüėė

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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REVIEW: KISpeel Skincare – Clarifying Start Toner, Hydra Micro-Raphides & Nutritive Micro-Raphides [Serum & Cream], Marine Vital [Essence & Ampoule], Cica Repair Cream & Micro-Raphides Spot Cream

Hello everyone!

As Chinese New Year draws near, it is kinda imperative that we (especially the ladies) stay on top of our skincare game and ensure our skin leading up to the grand reunion looks healthy and radiant because as much as possible, we certainly do not wish to invite embarrassing questions about our skin from (untactful) relatives whom we’ve not met in a year. If your current skincare regimen hasn’t been of much help, it isn’t too late to start a new one – with KISpeel, that is!

KISpeel, a combination of the acronym for ‘Keep Ideal Skin’ and ‘Peel’ (as in facial peels, a form of exfoliation), is a Korean skincare company that specialises in post-cleanse skin maintenance. Their strong belief in providing long-term solutions to skin woes has led them to steer clear from silicones (e.g. Dimethicone, Methicone, etc.), artificial colourants and synthetic fragrances when formulating their products.

But that is not to say that they are free of preservatives. Although preservatives are¬† essential in preventing mold, bacteria, and microbial growth in skincare products, some do way more harm than good to our health. Therefore, KISpeel has always been upfront about only including preservatives made with 1, 2-hexanediol – a solvent rated ‘1’ (low hazard) by Environmental Working Group (EWG)¬†and ‘safe’ by Cosmetic Ingredient Review¬†(which I feel is a more reliable database as it offers a more in-depth assessment of ingredients) – in their products.

All KISpeel products

All KISpeel products

As a relatively young brand, KISpeel presently only carries 9 products (but¬†yay to our wallets ūüėĀ) which they have kindly sent to me for review purposes. If you’re interested to find out more, read on!

*Prices stated do not include delivery charges

POST-CLEANSER

CLARIFYING START TONER

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner // 150ml / 5.1 fl.oz (S$24.90)

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner // 150ml / 5.1 fl.oz (S$24.90)

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner

Ingredients in KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner

Ingredients in KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner application

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner application

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner application

KISpeel Clarifying Start Toner application

Our skin becomes more alkaline in response to being stripped of its acidic mantle after every cleanse and this makes it more susceptible to damage and inflammation. Toners fill the void by restoring the skin’s pH balance and providing a base layer of hydration so that it would be more amenable to the subsequent products layered on it. But with the Clarifying Start Toner, you get more than you bargain for because it comes with other benefits as well!

Suitable for sensitive skin types, this clear, non-sticky unscented toner effectively exfoliates, soothes and moisturises the skin with Centella Asiatica Water, Witch Hazel Extract, AHA (citric acid) and PHA (lactobionic acid). Moreover, it also contains Propolis and Vitis Vinifera (grape) Culture extracts for their anti-oxidation and anti-ageing properties. Since the product is dispensed from a pump bottle, you can easily gauge the amount you’ve collected on the cotton pad (2 to 3 pumps would be sufficient) and prevent unnecessary wastage. The toner, however, tends to separate if¬† left sitting for a while. When that happens, simply shake the solution to thoroughly mix it before use.

THE HYDRA SERIES

KISpeel Hydra Series

KISpeel Hydra Series

Specially curated for oily and dehydrated¬Ļ skin (yes, it is possible to have both!), the Hydra series is mainly composed of ingredients such as Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, Witch Hazel and Propolis extracts (which are also known for their soothing and pore-tightening properties), Shea butter (which aids in cell regeneration) and Macadamia Ternifolia seed oil to remove excess oil from skin and improve moisture retention. Fragrance-free and colour-free, the products are also suitable for sensitive skin.

¬ĻDehydration is a skin condition caused by a lack of water while¬†dry skin is a skin type and caused by a lack of oil production.

It is common for oily skin to peel and feel dehydrated because of the harsh ingredients often found in skincare products that control oil.

On top of that, the Hydra serum and cream Рor as a matter of fact, the majority of KISpeel products Рalso contain Micro-Raphides. Measuring approximately half the size of a pore, these needle-shaped crystals, which are originally found in specialised plant cells (most commonly in leaves), have undergone purification to remove their toxicity so that they can safely and comfortably penetrate into the skin to stimulate blood circulation and boost cell turnover² while delivering the active ingredients. Therefore, it may produce a prickly sensation (somewhat like little jolts of static electricity) as the product is being applied onto the skin, thereby causing a momentary itch (for me at least, but it went away very quickly).

¬≤Cell turnover is the process where the skin produces new skin cells, which travel from the lowest layer of the epidermis to the top layer, and then shed off the skin (exfoliation) to prevent dead cells from building up on the skin’s surface.

Be sure not to rub your eyes without first washing your hands after using products with Micro-Raphides as the stinging effect will transfer to whatever you come in contact with.

Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$22.90)

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$22.90)

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum

Ingredients in KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum

Ingredients in KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum application

Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum is a water-based milk-type serum that features more concentrated ingredients to control sebum production and seal moisture into the skin. Sleek and simple, it comes in an opaque pump bottle and, if your budget allows, can be used day and night. Weightless and fast-absorbing, it also has a non-greasy finish and does not leave a sticky residue once it settles into the skin. The serum has an emollient but thicker consistency than regular moisturising cream and can be used as an alternative or in addition to creams or lotions to enhance your skincare regimen.

Using your fingertips, take a few pumps of the serum and evenly apply it to the whole face before patting it in. However, because the serum tends to penetrate too rapidly, it may cause slight irritation to sensitive skin. In such cases, it would be advisable to wait for a few minutes for the face to dry completely from cleansing or toning before proceeding with this step.

Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$22.90)

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$22.90)

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream

Ingredients in KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream

Ingredients in KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream application

The cream, on a other hand, is made up of larger molecules and hence works more on the surface. Used at the final step of your skincare regimen, it provides superficial hydration and increases the treatment potential of the serum by locking in its potent actives with a heavier and thicker formula on top.

Taking an appropriate amount of the cream from the tub, apply over the face with some pressure to allow for better infiltration efficiency.

Casual skincare routine for oily and dehydrated skin: Clarifying Start Toner → Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum → Cica Repair Cream → Micro-Raphides Spot Cream (optional)

For combination skin type, use both Hydra and Nutritive series

For excessive oiliness and dehydration or to be used during spring & summer: Clarifying Start Toner → Hydra Micro-Raphides Serum → Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream → Micro-Raphides Spot Cream (optional)
Clear skin boot camp: Clarifying Start Toner → Marine Vital Essence → Marine Vital Ampoule → Hydra Micro-Raphides Cream → Micro-Raphides Spot Cream (optional)

THE NUTRITIVE SERIES

KISpeel Nutritive Series

KISpeel Nutritive Series

In contrast, the Nutritive series nourishes and moisturises dry and dehydrated skin with Panax Ginseng Root Extract (which regenerates skin cells and detoxifies the skin), Shea butter (to provide a heavy-duty dose of emollient benefits), Phellinus Linteus and Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil (for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties) to fight winter gloom. Similarly, Micro-Raphides form part of its key ingredients for exfoliation purposes and therefore give the same tingling effect as the Hydra series.

Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$26.90)

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$26.90)

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum

Ingredients in KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum

Ingredients in KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum application

The Nutritive serum is likewise a milk-type serum that combines a cascade of skin-replenishing ingredients to firm up the skin by restoring its natural elasticity. It has a creamier and more opaque consistency than the Hydra serum and takes a longer time for most of its greasiness to subside. When it does, it leaves a protective film on the surface of the skin for a dewy finish.

Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$26.90)

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$26.90)

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream

Ingredients in KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream

Ingredients in KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream application

KISpeel Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream application

The texture of the Nutritive cream is richer and thicker than that of the Hydra Cream which gives it a higher tendency to a leave a white cast on the skin. If that happens, lightly pat your palms against your face a couple of times until the product is assimilated. Another point to note about the Nutritive cream is that it has a faint yet discernible mildly pleasant chemical smell which your nose would be trained to ignore after awhile. To apply both the serum and cream, follow the steps indicated for the Hydra series.

Casual skincare routine for dry skin type: Clarifying Start Toner → Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum → Cica Repair Cream → Micro-Raphides Spot Cream (optional)

For combination skin type, use both Hydra and Nutritive series

For excessive dryness or to be used during autumn and winter: Clarifying Start Toner → Nutritive Micro-Raphides Serum → Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream → Micro-Raphides Spot Cream (optional)
Clear skin boot camp: Clarifying Start Toner → Marine Vital Essence → Marine Vital Ampoule → Nutritive Micro-Raphides Cream → Micro-Raphides Spot Cream (optional)

THE MARINE VITAL SERIES

KISpeel Marine Vital Series

KISpeel Marine Vital Series

Particularly in the case of modern women, the fight against the signs of ageing starts from an early age and therefore, it is no wonder that essences, ampoules and serums have exploded in popularity in recent years. But instead of having to pile on tons of skincare products to achieve a youthful complexion (like, have you heard of the 10-step Korean skincare regimen?!), KISpeel has narrowed down to just two to rev up the results and keep you from going broke.

Hydrolyzed Collagen, Caviar and Plankton extracts, and Thala Complex are the key ingredients in this anti-wrinkle and brightening series due to their ability to plump and tighten the skin while improving its elasticity and moisture content. The Thala Complex –¬†a combination of clear seawater,¬†Hydrolyzed Algin and Marine Polysaccharides (Exopolysaccharides) obtained from the coast of Brittany, France – represents a good resources of nutrients that helps promote skin regeneration and health. However, unlike the KISpeel products featured earlier, the Marine Vital series does not contain Micro-Raphides.

Marine Vital Essence

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence // 150ml / 5.1 fl.oz (S$26.90)

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence // 150ml / 5.1 fl.oz (S$26.90)

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence

Ingredients in KISpeel Marine Vital Essence

Ingredients in KISpeel Marine Vital Essence

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence application

KISpeel Marine Vital Essence application

Stored in a pump container for easy dispensing, one pump is all it takes to give your skin its needed vitality boost. The Marine Vital Essence works similarly to a serum as it targets specifically wrinkles, fine lines, and uneven skin tones but it is less concentrated and has no viscosity. Gentler on the skin, it is intended for use before ampoule or serum due to its lightweight nature and more watery consistency. Formulated without fragrance, it instantly adds another layer of hydration while fortifying the natural resilience of the skin without leaving a greasy sensation or causing irritation. Simply apply an appropriate amount of the essence evenly to the skin and lightly tap on it to help it absorb better.

Marine Vital Ampoule

KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$29.90)

KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$29.90)

Ingredients in KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule

Ingredients in KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule

KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule application

KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule application

KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule application

KISpeel Marine Vital Ampoule application

Toner, serum, essence… As if there isn’t already a maze of beauty terminology to brood over, there’s now ampoule?! Understandably, those who are new to the whole Korean skincare approach may not be familiar with these cosmetic jargon but ampoules are merely supercharged versions of serums with higher concentrations of active ingredients which can help avert a specific skin crisis¬†in relatively less time.

The Marine Vital Ampoule in this instance helps reduce facial lines and revitalise the look of lacklustre skin. However, since it renders a stronger effect than serum, it should be used only when necessary because the potency factor may heighten skin sensitivity. It is ideal, say, on occasions when the skin requires intensive treatment (perhaps a few days before your wedding) and yet, time does not seem to be on your side. Due to its thicker and more luscious texture (but won’t leave a sticky film on the skin), this unscented ampoule is more suitable for night use and should be applied after essence.

For an extra boost: Clarifying Start Toner → Marine Vital Essence → Marine Vital Ampoule → Cica Repair Cream

COMPLEMENTS

Apart from developing a range of products to cater to different skin types, KISpeel is also dedicated in providing solutions for other cosmetic concerns such as redness, hyperpigmentation and zits, as evident by the addition of the Cica Repair Cream and Micro-Raphides Spot Cream. These products can be used in conjunction with those mentioned earlier as part of your daily skincare routine.

Cica Repair Cream

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$19.90)

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream // 50ml / 1.7 fl.oz (S$19.90)

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream

Ingredients in KISpeel Cica Repair Cream

Ingredients in KISpeel Cica Repair Cream

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

KISpeel Cica Repair Cream application

Slick and soft in texture, this moisturising cream boasts a therapeutic blend of Centella Asiatica leaf water and Centella Asiatica Extract, along with other soothing ingredients known for their healing and anti-inflammatory properties, to calm irritated and sensitive skin without leaving an icky feeling. It contains Allantoin and Aloe Vera leaf juice to stimulate the growth of healthy tissue and aid the skin repair process while keeping the skin hydrated. Multi-functional, it can also be applied on any other parts of the body (e.g. neck, that require a little tender loving care. To use, evenly massage a suitable amount of product into the skin and gently pat until absorbed.

Micro-Raphides Spot Cream

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream // 10ml / 0.3 fl.oz (S$21.90)

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream // 10ml / 0.3 fl.oz (S$21.90)

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream applicator

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream applicator

Ingredients in KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream applicator (click to enlarge)

Ingredients in KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream applicator (click to enlarge)

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream application

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream application

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream application

KISpeel Micro-Raphides Spot Cream application

Formulated with almost the same set of ingredients as the Cico Repair Cream, the Micro-Raphides Spot Cream offers targeted treatment for hyperpigmentation and pimples by soothing inflamed skin and diminishing their appearance with Centella Asiatica and Aloe Vera extracts. That said, this would only be effective with surface blemishes and not so much with more severe skin conditions such as cystic acne.

What sets this spot cream apart from the repair cream is the added Micro-Raphides which helps revitalise the skin and exfoliate dead skin cells. Likewise, the thin crystalline needles may cause a tingling sensation as it penetrates deep into the skin. But fret not, the (bearable) sting typically does not last beyond a few seconds and it will be gone before you know it.

To minimise contamination and preserve the purity of the product, the spot cream is dispensed through a convex applicator (when pressed down) which can be directly applied to the affected areas in circular motions twice to thrice a day. Unless you choose to apply the cream with your fingers, be sure to disinfect the applicator with soap or anti-bacterial wipes and then dry it after every use to keep it sterile.

Finished face!

Finished face!

All in all, apart from the tingling sensation given rise by the Micro-Raphides which I’m still trying to get accustomed to, I like that the ingredients are gentle enough on my sensitive skin. Furthermore, I really appreciate the no-nonsense approach KISpeel has to skincare as they do not allude to the need of having a myriad of products, but just the essentials! In terms of price, KISpeel is pretty much on par with or lower than most mid-tier Korean beauty brands which, of course, have a much wider distribution since KISpeel is only available online and at I’M STARTICE.

What are your thoughts about KISpeel? Would you be willing to give this brand a shot? Let me know your views in the comments below ūüôā

Thanks for reading!

KISpeel is available on Qoo10 Singapore¬†and I’M STARTICE. For more information, visit KISpeel website or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
This post is brought to you by KISpeel.

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[BEAUTY PICKS] SEPHORA Natural Allure; Feel-Good Beauty Redefined

Hello everyone!

With sustainability becoming a global business trend, even the beauty and personal care industry has joined the growing green movement by incorporating natural ingredients in their products. This news comes as music to the ears of beauty enthusiasts afflicted with troubled skin like yours truly because not only do some of the synthetic cosmetic ingredients found in many products cause skin irritation and toxic reactions, they are also detrimental to our health if used on a long-term basis.

(Scroll to the bottom of this post for an exciting giveaway!)

This season, Sephora pays homage to Mother Nature with a bounty of skin-loving goodness inspired and powered by the very best of nature as they are filled with plant-based ingredients that are absolutely gentle on the skin!

An overview of my beauty picks from the Sephora Natural Allure range

An overview of my beauty picks from the Sephora Natural Allure range

Among the brands I will be featuring from this theme are a handful of new faces such as UK brand This Works and a new product from Fresh. The key natural ingredients for each product are denoted in teal.

new

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum

Inspired by the iconic cult-favourite Rose Face Mask, the new Rose Deep Hydration Face Serum is an expansion of the Rose skincare collection. This lightweight serum absorbs almost immediately and the hyaluronic acid, angelica leaf extract and porphyridium cruentum formula penetrates deeply to restore the skin’s natural glow.

The key natural ingredient in this face serum is rosewater, a venerable elixir suitable for all skin types¬†which helps to¬†maintain the skin’s pH balance and¬†prevent excess sebum production. It can be used as a makeup base (but do allow some time for the skin to absorb the serum before applying your makeup) and the size¬†of the bottle is small enough to be carried around all day.

RETAIL PRICE: S$88 in-stores and online

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep problems in Singapore¬†as can be understood¬†from a 2014 study which showed that we are among the cities in the world with the least hours of sleep. Considering how fast-paced and stressful life can be in these current times, it is almost inevitable not to be able to unwind at the end of the day. But not all hope is lost because with This Work’s Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, you will likely find yourself having better sleep or falling asleep faster as you inhale the invigorating yet soothing scent of a combination of three pure essential oils – lavender, vetiver and wild chamomile. To experience the wondrous effect of this spray, do ensure that¬†you spritz it on a clean pillow case as you wouldn’t want such fragrance to blend with the intoxicating smell of your sweaty hair and saliva ūüėČ

This natural alternative to prescription sleep aids calms and relaxes the mind and body while you have sweet dreams at night. Some health benefits of the key natural ingredient (lavender) include¬†its ability to eliminate nervous tension and improving mood, thereby¬†uplifting your spirits in the morning. If you’re still unsure of what to get for your insomniac father this Father’s Day, then look no further and get this in your shopping cart right now!

RETAIL PRICE: S$32 in-stores and online
(also comes in supersize 250ml at S$66)

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up

Freshen up your morning with This Works in Transit Camera Close-Up, an all-in-one product which works (no pun intended) as a leave-on mask, moisturiser and primer, to banish any signs of fatigue and make you look camera-ready in no time. It has creamy and slightly thick texture but does not leave a tacky or greasy finish. Instead, it leaves the skin feeling hydrated, supple and smooth. Smell-wise, it reminds me of clinical hand creams Рno overpowering artificial fragrance whatsoever.

It contains hyaluronic acid and caffaine, combined with Bio Boost Рa revolutionary blend of echium and sunflower oils that restores, heals and brightens and tightens the skin.  Echium is also known for its emollient qualities and anti-inflammatory effects, hence making it extremely suitable for eczema-prone skin. This product can be used daily or as a pick-me-up throughout the day to give your face a dewy appearance.

RETAIL PRICE: S$61 in-stores and online

* * *

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

Estelle & Thild Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask

This multitasking Biocleanse Deep Cleansing Detox Mask by Estelle & Thild¬†promotes glowing skin as it protects the skin’s delicate natural moisture levels. On top of that,¬†the natural bentonite clay of this certified organic mask draws out impurities and toxins and shrink your pores while the¬†black elderflower decongests and detoxifies for a firmer and more radiant complexion.

This mask does not require a lot of your time as you would only need to let it sit on for five minutes before you can rinse it off with warm water. Given the minimal time needed, nobody would suspect a thing in the event that you feel like cleansing your face in the midst of your work!

RETAIL PRICE: S$57 in-stores and online

Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands

Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands

Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands

Looks are important, but so are our hands. We always shower our face with so much tender loving care and neglect the most valuable tool we have that is often overworked. Since our hands have fewer oil glands than the rest of our body, they are susceptible to drying out, especially in air-conditioned environment.

Application

Application

Prevent your hands from aging prematurely with the Erborian Yuza Doudoune for Hands which acts as an antioxidant barrier and powerful protective agent to reduce moisture loss. It keeps the hands soft and smooth with liquorice, yuzu peel extract and vitamin E and has a nice citrus scent. Yuzu, the key natural ingredient of this product, is also a good source of antioxidants that can help replenish dead skin cells.

RETAIL PRICE: S$17 in-stores only

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel

Dehydrated skin is a common concern but one that is often mistaken to be solely caused by inadequate water intake. In fact, the issue may well be brought about by the use of soap as their high alkaline levels could damage the skin barrier function and allow greater water loss. The solution? Use soap-free products, of course, starting from the most sensitive part of our body Рour face!

REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel is a soap-free facial cleansing gel that removes makeup, oil and pollution without the harsh effects of sulphates found in traditional cleansers. Formulated with aloe vera and rose otto oil for its therapeutic healing and regenerating qualities, this cleanser balances, tones, decongests and soothes the skin to promote healthy skin metabolism.

RETAIL PRICE: S$50 in-stores and online

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

Seal

Seal

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist

Every office desk needs a pick-me-up to get you through the work day. June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist does just that by providing a surge of moisture to refresh your skin. It contains bitter orange from the south of France to calm the over-active production of sebum especially on oily and acne-prone skin. Other ingredients such as neroli oil and a powerful patent-pending blend of tea extracts revitalise the skin and stimulate cell regeneration to combat the visible signs of aging.

RETAIL PRICE: S$74 in-stores and online

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydrating Nourishing Facial Water

Burt's Bees Intense Hydrating Nourishing Facial Water

Burt’s Bees Intense Hydrating Nourishing Facial Water

In the heat of everlasting summer in Singapore, one can never have too many moisturisers. Infused with clary sage to regulate oil production and reduce inflammation,¬†Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Nourishing Facial Water¬†is a toner that¬†replenishes your skin’s natural moisture. Applied using hands or cotton pads, it absorbs into the skin readily and leaves a visibly softer and smoother appearance.

I unfortunately didn’t find the smell all that pleasant.¬†It¬†actually reminds me of the chemical-ish smell of unscented lipsticks, though not that strong. But then again, it could just be me so do pop by Sephora to have a whiff of it ūüôā

RETAIL PRICE: S$30 in-stores only

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet (S$46)

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Illustrated instructions within the box

Illustrated instructions within the box

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet

Everything about this moisturiser – down right to the lovely baby pink packaging (I’m not ashamed to admit that I love everything pink, heh) – is just so noteworthy!¬†Formulated with advanced skincare technology, this gel-cream transforms into a liquid on contact with the skin just like a sorbet.

Application

Application

For those who are not familiar with Caudalie, it is one of the few beauty companies to harness the properties of grape seed into their formulas to maximise anti-aging properties. Suitable for dehydrated and sensitive skin, this sweet-scented moisturiser contains both merlot (a kind of grape used for making red wines) and muscat grapes from the south of France which integrate to create the key natural ingredient: Organic Grape water¬ģ. It increases skin hydration levels by 127% with each application¬†and together with other natural ingredients such as chamomile, this moisturiser soothes skin and reduces redness.

Retail price: S$46 in-stores and online

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #1 Cleansing Milk

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #1 Cleansing Milk

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #2 Citrus Rhapsody Toner Mist

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #3 Exotic Goddess Ageless Serum

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit - #4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion

Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit – #4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion

Gear up for your upcoming vacay with Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit! This travel kit contains all four of Edible Beauty’s core products and covers all your skincare needs on-the-go.

Perfect for any climate around the globe (save for the extreme ones, of course),¬†No. 1 Belle Frais Cleanser cleanses and purifies the skin with coconut oil during winter while No. 2 Citrus Rhapsody Tonique refreshes the skin with a unique blend of antioxidant rich fruits and herbs to protect you against the sun when you hit the beach. No. 3 Exotic Goddess Angeless Serum increases the skin’s elasticity with Edelweiss and No. 4 Vanilla Silk Hydrating Lotion hydrates with cocoa butter extracted from the cocoa bean when the air¬†turns dry and colder in autumn. These portable skin-lovin’ goodies may merely occupy 1/8 of your luggage space but they will definitely be¬†your go-to items to keep your skin in tip-top condition!

Retail price: S$73 online only

* * *

Dying to get something listed above but have already emptied your bank account for your summer holiday? Here’s your chance to lay claim to one of the coveted products above because I’m about to throw a…

1 MILLION MILESTONE GIVEAWAY

WOOHOO!!¬†That’s right! This site¬†has recently passed the one million mark in visits! I wouldn’t have gotten this far without your support ūüôā In celebration of this huge milestone and as a gesture of appreciation to everyone who has supported this blog, I would like to reward one reader with an Edible Beauty On The Fly Travel Kit worth S$73 (as featured above) to prep you for your next holiday!

To win, simply follow these steps:

(don’t worry, nothing too burdensome if you’re already following my social media accounts!)

1. Like my Facebook page here
2. Follow me on Instagram here
3. Comment on this post what you like about fionaseah.com or what you would like to see more on this blog! ūüôā This is for me to know your interests better! It can be related to any category I’ve covered on this blog
4. Remember to leave your e-mail address for me to reach you if you win

And guess what? This contest is open internationally because how could I forget about my foreign readers? You guys are equally awesome!¬†Postage¬†will be fully borne by yours truly so all you need to do is sit back and wait for the parcel to arrive at your doorstep! ūüôā¬†It’s that simple!

Contest ends 24 June 2016 and the winner will be notified by 26 June 2016 (GMT+8). More giveaways (lipsticks included… yup) will be coming your way to mark this significant milestone so stay tuned! ūüôā

Contest has ended! Thank you for your participation! ūüôā

Thanks for reading, lovelies! And good luck!

find out which other products made it to the ‘green’ list! SEPHORA Natural Allure is now available online and/or at all Sephora stores in Singapore.
DISCLAIMER: PRODUCTS FEATURED were sent to me for review purposes with information provided by sephora BUT OPINIONS, AS ALWAYS, ARE MY OWN.

REVIEW: Hwajin Cosmetics Homme Terrior All-In-One & Dynamic BB Cream

Move over, ladies!

Getting dolled up is no longer restricted to females, rather it has already extended to men as well with the rise of metrosexuality around the world. This¬†cultural trend, largely intensified by¬†the growing popularity of Korean pop culture,¬†sees an increase in heterosexual men investing more interest in their appearance, so much so that sales of men’s grooming products in Singapore (yes, I kid you not, it’s happening¬†right here in Singapore) have soared over the past three years! Who would have known that our men¬†would be so into eyebrow pencils and BB cushions? Wow, just wow. Maybe that explains why I’ve been seeing so many guys with enviable complexion on the streets lately – it’s the makeup! It definitely is! *sulks away in jealousy*

With more men turning to makeup to enhance their looks, it’s no surprise that cosmetics companies are tapping into this emerging market by offering beauty lines exclusively for men.¬†Many of you may know South Korean beauty brands like Laneige and Etude House, but have you heard of Hwajin? No? Well, then you may want to consider adding it to your radar.

Be sure to check out my reviews on other Korean beauty products here!

Be sure to check out my reviews on other Korean beauty products here!

Having been in the cosmetics industry for 34 years, Hwajin has a vast array of beauty products for both men and women and has continuously been developing functional cosmetic products made from selective ingredients. Most recently, its men’s range¬†Homme Terrior bagged the¬†Superior Skin Care Brand award at the 2016 Beyond Beauty Awards in Shanghai¬†for its international performance and potential leadership of the future of Asian beauty trend.

Hwajin Homme Terrior

Hwajin Homme Terrior

Hwajin Homme Terrior

Hwajin Homme Terrior

The star products¬†that contributed to the brand’s victory¬†are the¬†All-In-One and Dynamic BB Cream which BNTNews had sent me for my review. Fitted in a high-quality and¬†luxurious black textured box with a magnetic flip cover,¬†the overall packaging is a clear indication of the brand’s opulence and splendour.¬†Just one glance at¬†it and you’d know that Homme Terrior¬†is an upmarket beauty brand. The gorgeous design¬†of the packaging makes this set¬†an ideal gift for your vain male friend.

Homme Terrior All-In-One

Homme Terrior All-In-One (120g)

Homme Terrior All-In-One (120g)

Look how chic the packaging¬†is! It¬†is made of glass and feels just like Giorgio Armani cologne¬†bottle. I just couldn’t bring myself to use it (not on myself, but my boyfriend who had the honour of being my *cough* model) even though this product isn’t intended for me. The moment I¬†removed the cap, a sharp, manly yet pleasant citrusy fragrance¬†escaped from the bottle and drifted around my nose. It smelled so goddamn good, you wouldn’t¬†even need to apply any cologne on your neck. Hence, I would highly discourage those with sensitive or acne-prone skin from using it due to the¬†possibility that it contains synthetic fragrance (it honestly smells too heavenly to be natural) which may aggravate your skin condition. But for the rest of you who are blessed with near-flawless complexion, I’m sure you’re gonna love this product!

Kick-off your morning beauty regimen with this all-in-one facial serum that not only moisturises your skin but also firms, nourishes and balances its oiliness and moisture levels. When shaving, the layer of lipids that governs the moisture in the facial tissues can be compromised (source), thereby causing dehydration to the skin. This product offers the needed nutrients and moisture to your disheveled or rough skin after wash and shave to ensure that it stays hydrated. It also protects the skin from irritation and inflammation, which may cause premature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles).

The nutrients are plant-derived compounds from resurrection plants, herbs, apricot kernels and others plant extracts to give the skin a fresh, cool and clean feeling while the humectant ingredients come from patented extract mixture from herbs and licorice.

Other major ingredients:

‚Äʬ†Lemon extract: the rich vitamin C and citric acid exfoliates and cleanses the skin

‚Äʬ†Bamboo extract: the antibacterial and antioxidant effect of the bamboo sap make the skin¬†moist and healthy

‚Äʬ†Herb extract: the mixture of extracts from rosemary, chamomile, green tea leaf, licorice,¬†polygonum cuspidatum, centella asiatica and scutellaria

‚Äʬ†Iceberg water: the ultrapure water collected from Newfoundland, Canada, is used for the¬†softest and cleanest quality.

Homme Terrior All-In-One (application)

Homme Terrior All-In-One (application)

The fluidity of this colourless serum leans more towards the runny side, hence it can be easily spread all over the face. Using both hands to massage the serum into the skin, the face appears visibly smoother and calmer after the product has been fully absorbed.

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream (40g)

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream (40g)

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream

The information pamphlet that came with these Homme Terrior products claims that this multi-functional BB cream can improve the skin tone with its natural and healthy colour while vitalising the skin at the same time. It is also purported to take care of any skin problems with just a single application of the BB cream. Sounds very ambitious but is it really?

The BB cream contains Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, or Botox-like Peptide, which is known to have a strong firming effect. It has the minimum side-effects of Botox but keeps its function at maximum level.  The small molecule of the peptide penetrates the skin more easily and directly increases the elasticity of the muscular tissues.

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream

For a start, the shade of the BB cream¬†seems¬†a tad¬†too pale¬†for a typical Singaporean male’s skin tone which falls somewhere in the medium range (blame it on our tropical climite). It has an opaque coverage, hence it does leave an apparent veil of colour¬†on the skin.¬†I was unable to¬†tell from the sea of Korean words on the back of the tube if there were other shades available. But judging from the English information that came¬†with these press samples, it doesn’t seem like it. For¬†a cosmetics company to¬†create a one-size-fits-all product like BB cream is absolutely absurd, if that is really the case.¬†The¬†strange chemical smell the product emits¬†is also a put-off for the user.

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream (application)

Homme Terrior Dynamic BB Cream (application)

Petty faults aside, the BB cream does it job well in concealing skin imperfections such as large pores and acne pits. I was amazed by how effectively it can fill up those holes on the skin surface to give it a smoother appearance. If only it was in the right shade, though.

So what are your views about this brand? Would you recommend these products to your male friends? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! ūüôā

the homme terrior collection has yet to be made available for sale. i will update here as soon as i get hold of its release information. in the meantime, please check out hwajin cosmetics website for more men’s beauty products.
DISCLAIMER: PRODUCTS FEATURED ARE PRESS SAMPLES BUT OPINIONS, AS ALWAYS, ARE MY OWN.

REVIEW: WELLAGE White Aqua Roll Mask Pack

Hello everyone!

Residing in a¬†city with tropical climate like Singapore has its ups and downs. I, for one, have been on the receiving end of the negative effects of high humidity¬†ever since puberty hit me. As a result of my dehydrated skin (aggravated by my lack of water-drinking habit),¬†moisturisers and other¬†products that help to restore my skin’s natural moisture balance¬†have become an intrinsic part of my skincare routine.¬†The latter includes facial masks which I have a love-hate relationship with because they can get very¬†messy during application.

But I was recently introduced to one¬†which is not only¬†idiot-proof, but also¬†does not leave my bed or the lower half of my body wet.¬†That’s none other than the White Aqua Roll Mask by WELLAGE,¬†a skincare company¬†based in South Korea that prides themselves on formulating¬†“bio cosmetics with NeuroScience”.

WELLAGE White Aqua Roll Mask Pack

WELLAGE White Aqua Roll Mask Pack

Description in Korean

Description in Korean

Anyone who had seen me unbox my beauty samples from BNTNews would have been equally¬†intrigued by the way¬†the masks are presented. Individually packed in aluminium sachet, the masks are securely kept¬†in a¬†plastic cylindrical tube with Korean instructions on how to use the mask printed on it. Illustrations are also provided for those who don’t understand a single word of Korean. Each tube contains 10 sachets.

Packed in individual sachets

Packed in individual sachets

No scissors required - these travel-friendly sachets open up nicely when you rip both sides apart.

No scissors required Рthese travel-friendly sachets open up nicely when you rip both sides apart.

Facial sheets are rolled up using a thick straw-like stick as the spine

Facial sheets are rolled up using a thick straw-like stick as the spine

Made of quality Cupra fabric, these WELLAGE masks are able to hold moisture for a longer time due to its strong cohesiveness and elasticity and therefore, do not dry out easily. Suitable for sensitive skin, these properties enable the mask to supply nutrients to the facial skin without causing irritation. Furthermore, the mask uses a special technology known as semi-microsome Рa finer version of liposome (tiny bubbles that are capable of encapsulating material beneficial to the skin) Рto stabilise its 25 functional ingredients and help them penetrate into the skin for longer-lasting moisture.

Illustrations are also printed on the sachets for convenience sake

Illustrations are also printed on the sachets for convenience sake

Unlike typical sheet masks that come in flat, rectangular bags, these ones from WELLAGE remove from the sachets fast with minimal to no drippage of mask gunk because all the serum are settled at the bottom of the packaging. Placing the mask on my forehead with its top edge aligned along the hairline (as depicted in the illustrations above), I gently pulled down the stick on which it is coiled, towards my chin. This minimises unnecessary contact with the mask and thus ensuring the hygiene and purity of the product at all times. At the same time, it also prevents accidental tears which has happened to me too many times during the unfolding process of facial masks I used previously.

Application

Application

Application

Application

The mask surprisingly fits on my face perfectly without the need for much adjustments.¬†I had to pour out some of the serum from the packaging onto my palm¬†to¬†dab it on the mask because it¬†was feeling a little stiff and dry from the lack of serum in it. It is an additional step, but a necessary¬†one, I feel, which could modify the “wetness” of the mask according to my¬†preference.¬†No wet spot was observed on my bed and my neck remained dry throughout the 20-minute experience. And the end result? A dewy and more refreshed appearance of the face.

This product is not quite readily available outside of South Korea so perhaps you guys could keep a lookout for it if you’re travelling because from what I understand, WELLAGE does have stores/counters in certain Seoul shopping malls. There is also a black version of this mask pack presumably for men, though.¬†Korean readers who have tried this brand of facial mask, what do you think of it?¬†Share your thoughts with me in the comments below! ūüôā

Thanks for reading!

WELLAGE White aqua roll mask pack IS AVAILABLE ON WeLLAGE.CO.KR FOR 35,000 WON but is currently on sale for 24,000 won for a limited time only.
DISCLAIMER: PRODUCT FEATURED IS A PRESS SAMPLE BUT OPINIONS, AS ALWAYS, ARE MY OWN.