Finally, after months of paying for WordPress premium and getting frustrated at the shitty ‘customisation’ options available, I am flying free and moving to my own self-hosted domain. The new site has better navigation, looks tons better, and is much easier to read. I can’t wait to post up all the reviews that have been sitting and collecting internet dust.
However, if you’re one of the lovely peoples following me on WordPress and receiving feed updates on your email, once I move my host I’d no longer be part of the WordPress.com community 😦 That means that when the blog is updated, you will no longer receive email
spam notifications. So if you’re still interested in my slightly sarcastic beauty posts and reviews (Beauty of Joseon! Biore UV Mousse! Over 30 My Scheming masks! #bribery) please subscribe to the site via email while logged out of your WordPress account. It is the little button thing on the current sidebar with an email field.
T-minus a couple of days! Am dying to unveil the new site – that’s how proud of it I am. See ya on the other side (hopefully)!
I’m no backpacker. The concept of making one outfit work for three days or going without hair conditioner is unfathomable to me, which is why I end up taking the largest Samsonite I have everywhere I go. I’m just one of those people that are five seconds away from appearing on Hoarders. Maybe it’s insecurity, but I just have to pack everything I might need on top of the daily essentials.
Just for context: my makeup bag weights 7kg, and my toiletries bag 12kg.
And I’ve been travelling a bit this year, which means that even though I hate packing, I was kinda getting good at it. I used to stand around pondering: do I need a backup body lotion? What about my serum that isn’t that hydrating but smells so pretty it makes me happy? I might need it if the food sucks… Yeah and that would go on and on in circles. But now I’m just like chuck chuck chuck regular-routine-extra-sunscreen-shampoo-conditioner and I’m done.
So it could be complacency that led to my great skincare bust in Melbourne. Last week, I spent about 7 days in hipster city with my family and it was beautiful, great bonding time, et cetera, but for my skin, it was just hell.
I don’t usually like putting down a ‘regular’ routine, because most of the time I’m hauling or testing new products. That’s an unavoidable trait that all beauty junkies share: even if one product works great, there will be something that works EVEN better out there. I didn’t want to be locked down, even if it’s just here, into a list of products when I’m constantly getting interested and drawn to other stuff.
However, my skin has been recovering from a bad breakout recently (thanks to a certain famous product, grrrr), and a combination of some products that have survived the testing period and acids have helped my poor face bounce back in leaps and bounds. Sure, there are scars, and some post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), but slowly and surely, my skin is getting healthier. And because I can no longer deny that the current routine is to thank for that, I thought I’d put it down here for comparison’s sake in the future.
A couple of months ago, I found myself wondering if sunscreens really work. No, not in general, but rather whether the particular sunscreen you use work. With recent reports from the Environmental Working Group disproving the high SPF claims from established household names like Neutrogena and Coppertone, it is no longer a given to trust that our sunscreens protect as much as it says on the bottle. So I went looking for an easy, non-chemist/pro way that I could use to quickly check if the sunscreen I’m currently using really does block out UV rays the way it was supposed to.
I then stumbled upon this Science Buddies experiment that used a UV meter to test individual sunscreens. There are other ways to do it, like this Steve Spangler project that conducts testing with photosensitive beads or paper, but that seemed a little too middle school to me. I need to adult, y’know? And while I was Amazon-ing for UV meters to do this, a better option came up. SKIN ANALYSERS.
In this post:
- Function 1: Analysing skin condition
- Function 2: Measuring UV index
- A disclaimer (and how I’d be using this)
For the longest time, I never knew why the double cleansing method required a foaming cleanser after an oil-based one. I mean, I’m a huge fan of using oils to slough off the heavy duty stuff like sunblock and BB cream, but why is the foam cleanser a must? Prior to the two-step cleanse, when I used micellar water to get makeup off before regular cleansing, I’ve always preferred using a non-foaming wash like a cream or gel, simply because after lots of disappointment, I have come to associate the luxury of bubbles with a stripping wash.
Of course, we now know that the pH levels of products (thanks, Cat! This entry changed my life) make a huge difference in their efficiency, especially when it comes to cleansers. The dryness and squeaky clean feeling I hated was a direct result of the fact that more often than not, foaming cleansers have a high pH level, or one that is more alkaline. I’m going to bastardise the hard work that all these AB-bloggers have done and summarise it for slothy people like me.
- Your skin’s natural barrier is called the acid mantle, and it functions best at pH 5.5. It can range from 4.0 – 6.0.
- pH spectrum reads like this: 1 = most acidic, 7 = neutral, 14 = most alkaline
- Acidic (less than pH 7) cleansers don’t disrupt your acid mantle the way alkaline (more than pH 7) do
- When your acid mantle is disrupted, your skin loses that protective barrier against acne, bacteria, moisture loss, and irritation (credit SkinandTonics).
A couple of months ago, I was whipped into a Cremorlab buying frenzy on my trip to Seoul. Right before I left, I was constantly reading raves of this seemingly hidden gem of a brand. Into the Gloss loved it (thrice). Michelle Phan adored it. The Coveteur advocated it. Glamour listed it as one of five sheet masks to try (the only recommendation under USD10). The brand also appeared in Marie Claire, Byrdie, Teen Vogue, and Huffington Post. So in my (weak) defence, it was perfectly reasonable to get excited about this emerging superstar brand.
By the time I landed, I was all fired up to clean their shelves out. And when I finally hunted them down (here’s where you can score some in Seoul), I bought at least one of every product (there was also a storewide sale on). Even for an impulsive bulk buyer like me, it was excessive considering the fact that I haven’t tried anything from the brand before. That was how sure I was that this brand was gonna be my Skin Soulmate.
In this mega long post:
- Initial attraction
- Honeymoon period
- Review of Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Melting Cream
- Review of Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Velvet Toner
- Review of Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Water-full Serum
- Disillusion (A good one, though)
For a while now, my HG Dolly Wink liquid eyeliner (I say HG, because I’ve been using and repurchasing the same one for at least three years) has been… bugging out on me. I’ve tried adding eye primer, taking out my primer, eye cream, base… everything you can think of, but whatever I do, my once perfect single-swipe-done cateye enabler starts flaking away the moment I’m done. Maybe it’s my aging eyelids (nooooo!) or there was a reformulation… It was a clear sign to say goodbye.
So I started to hunt for a new HG. FYI, I have Asian eyes, Asian lids, Asian skin, and live in a tropical city in Asia. Liquid eyeliners can be said to be the be-all and end-all of most daily makeup regimes here, because a) eyeshadows don’t last in our year round 32 degree heat and b) ain’t nobody got time for dat blending shiz in the morning.
Sticking random Rilakkuma stickers all over, because I took this photo at work out of rage and forgot about the sensitive information behind my seat. The box is so thin my thumb-to-pinky length could hold it securely.
For quite some time now, my regular eyeliner – which I’ve been using and repurchasing for a couple of years, have been flaking out on me. Literally. So in my bid to find a new HG replacement, I just had to order from Sephora US. Never mind that there are 11 Sephora stores in Singapore, because the line that I’m looking for is not stocked here (other than gift sets during festive seasons).
After doing some research, I simply had to try out the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner, and the only place I could get them online other than Sephora US was eBay. So even though Sephora didn’t ship internationally, I was determined to try.
This is a rage-filled piece on the adventures of buying from Sephora US if you’re in Singapore or any other country not on its list. Americans, you have no idea how lucky you are.
And this is how I ended up forking out SGD80 to ship this to me.
So Biore sunscreens have been pretty much my holy grail SPF for a couple of years and I’m on my umpteenth repurchase already. I can’t stand sunscreens that leave a white cast or are thick and sticky, so while Biore ones can be drying with their high alcohol content, I’ll take that quick absorption over a heavy application any day, yo. Then I make up for it with more hydrating steps within my routine. Since the day I’ve discovered Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence, I’ve never looked back.
But recently I’ve been wishing for a sunscreen mist to touch up on my SPF during the day. The thought of slathering sunscreen on my made up face every two hours make me want to burn myself, but then again, without reapplication, I might literally be burning myself anyways. So, a lightweight, high-protection sunscreen spray is just what I need.
And Biore answered my damn prayers. God, I love this brand so much. Their makeup removers are amazing too!
I love trying out new ‘cool’ stuff- the more innovative the better – the moment I get them even though I pay for that experimental and often naively optimistic impulsion in breakouts and clogged pores. Luckily, this just-for-fun review isn’t one of those times.
So I’ve had this sitting in my stash for a while and tried it out one lazy Sunday. I actually don’t know how I’ve forgotten about it given my excitement when it was first launched. I am quite Brand JudgementalTM and Shu Uemura products have always been kinda hit or miss for me. But that’s a grandmother story for another day. My point is, Shu Uemura, while I love everything Japanese and that they launch new colour cosmetics/cool skincare every season, is still a meh brand for me.
That said, the BrightSeal Whitening Carbonated Mask seemed pretty promising to me.