Sunday, March 28, 2010

Review: Clarins Hydra-Matte Lotion for Combination Skin

Clarins Hydra-Matte Lotion for Combination Skin

It always irritate me to the core whenever my T-zone gives off an obscene shine during mid-day whenever i am not into one of those makeup days. The super duper oily shine will show through within the first few hours and yet some areas will appear rather dry.

So, what's a gal gotta do? I need something that is both hydrating and at the same time able to keep my T-zone matte. Being a existing user of Clarins, naturally i turn to the brand and was recommended the Hydra-Matte lotion as a day lotion.

"The Hydra-matte lotion is the ideal moisturiser for combination skin. A lightweight lotion that gently yet effectively ensures the moisture balance of the skin where needed, all while effectively reducing skin shine on the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin)."

Since most of the Clarins product worked well on me, so i took the plunge and bought the Hydra-matte lotion set which consist of 15ml of the Pore Minimizing Serum, 15ml of the Pure and Radiant mask and a full size bottle of Hydra-matte lotion, despite having read mixed reviews of the lotion on Cozycot and Makeup Alley.
The thing about Clarins products is that most of the them has the same scent.. how shall i put it.. the lightly scented expensive kind of smell that one would only associate with skincare products from European countries. I know that doesn't make much sense, well that's the best my nose can pick up. I don't hate it, it just smells fine to me, anyway the smell dissipated moments after the product is being absorbed.

Texture of the lotion (a little Milky)
Texture-wise, the slightly watery white milky lotion spreads easily across the palms and is easily absorbed into the skin with some light patting. My forehead appeared a wee shiny but that could be the excess lotion, once the lotion is fully absorbed, my face felt smooth and matte, no roughness or oily patches felt.
Skin remains matte after 1 hour of application and so on, until the 3rd hour whereby i can feel and managed to blot abit of oil on my forehead and checks. By mid-day (approximately 4~41/2
hours later), there is a thin layer of oil sheen on my face, not too bad after all.
One thing to note, i used the lotion together with the Pore minimizing serum for approximately a month. The serum does absolutely nothing at all to minimize my medium sized pores which is a disappointment for me, the lotion on the other end does perform its job of hydrating the skin and in the meanwhile keeping it oil-free. My only complaint is that i have rather high expectations for it- to have better shine control ability and for longer duration.
To date, i am halfway through the 50ml bottle.... the question is will i return for a 2nd bottle?
Not likely .....If i am paying full retail price for it and i do believe there are some other products that has the potential to perform the same job at a much more affordable price range.
Priced at S$57 for 50ml. ( It was a value set i got some time around Christmas, the 15ml Pore minimizing serum and Pink Radiant mask plus the 50ml lotion)
Main Ingredients: Extracts of Linden, Green Algae, Chrysin, Alphine Willow Herb, White Dead Nettle, Zinc, Vitamin B6 and Lantana.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Review: Crabtree & Evelyn Citron Honey & Coriander Hand Therapy Collection- Hand Remedy

I received a mailer from Crabtree & Evelyn early March about their latest addition to their extensive Hand Therapy Collection- the Citron Honey & Coriander Collection.
While its existing range of Hand Therapy collection focused on the cleansing, moisturising and protecting of our precious hands from the harsh elements that we face daily, the people of C&E believed that our hands deserves the same level of care and pampering that we do to our face. Thus, the birth of this newly developed collection inspired by nature, with the aims to reduced visible signs of aging while cleansing and moisturising at the same time.

I am all too familiar with the C&E's existing range of Hand Therapy Collection such as Gardners (heavy duty series targeted at extremely worked out hands), La Source (Spa-like and most lightly fragranced series), Rosewater, Lavender, Nantucket Briar, Summer Hill and Jojoba. Just like i am a skincare junkie, i couldn't resist the pretty packaging that the Hand Therapy comes in, so i practically owned every single one item from the various collections. I always believe, 1 for the bag, 1 for the drawer at work and 1 at home.. well, our hands are precious, aren't they?
The Hand Remedy basically works the same way the face serum for our face, so it is actually serum for our hands, according to the Hand care ritual that the C&E SA advises. It is supposed to be used daily once in the day and at night, it contains ingredients that can help to even out skin tones and protect the skin from free radical damage. See the similarity here?
Packaging-wise, its a nice green with a hint of yellow, it makes sense to come in a tube form but there is too much similarity between the hand remedy and hand therapy, one might easily mistaken one for the other in the morning rush. Not too good in this sense but still pretty.

In terms of texture, since it is "serum", the consistency is a little on the watery side, much less creamy than the hand therapy and so it is easily absorbed into the skin, doesn't feel greasy at all and no sticky residue. There is no overwhelming fragrance, it is lightly fragranced, i can detect mainly the smell of fresh grass (maybe its the coriander) , a hint of lemon and a faint smell of Thyme. No honey smell here, though its name says citron HONEY.
My hands felt softer and smoother, minus the slight greasy feeling that i get most of the time after application (the Gardner range). Although i am supposed to follow up with the Hand therapy (can be from any series), i decided to skip that. Well, it is moisturising enough for me, i felt, perhaps i will complete the regime with the Hand therapy on days my hands felt like rough paws. As of now, the hand remedy seems to be sufficient for me, love the grassy citrusy smell (a great change from the usual standard floral fragranced range, subtle enough for the group that favours non-fragranced products).
Do i like it enough for a second tube?
Hm... yes, on days that i felt like pampering my hard worked hands.
The Citron, Honey & Coriander collection consist of :
1. Scrub Cleanser 250ml
Price: S$38
2. Creamy Cleanser 250ml
Price: $38
3. Hand Remedy 100ml
Price: S$45
4. Hand Therapy 50g, 100g and 250g (comes with pump)
Price: S$20, S$33 and S$65
5. Hand Recovery 100g
Price: S$40
Judging from the main ingredients below, I think this is the most nature-inspired range to date from the Hand Therapy collection.
Main Ingredients: Water, Ceterayl Alcohol, Glycine Soja (soybean) oil, Trehalose, Glycerin, Caprylyl Methucibe, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea butter), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) oil, Jojoba Esters, Tocotrienols, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Citrus Medica Lemonum (Lemon) Fruit extract, Coriandrum Sativum (Coriander) fruit/leaf extract, Honey (Mel)(Miel) extract, Pisum Sativum (Pea) extract, Phytosterols, squalane and Squalene.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Review: Chanel Precision Activateur Eclat Originel Energizing Radiance Nanolotion vs Clarins Aqua Essence Morning Energy

Chanel Precision Activateur Eclat Originel Energizing Radiance Nanolotion

Chanel Precision Activateur Eclat Originel Energizing Radiance Nanolotion - well, this is quite a mouthful to utter for a facial product

To put it simply, this is a energizing treatment lotion that one can put on in the morning and at night. It contains vitamin C, E, seaweed extracts and Yuzu water to revitalise one's skin. For me, i use it mostly in the morning after i cleanse my face and before toner, in some sense i personally think of it as an equivalent of Clarins's Aqua Essence Morning Energy.

Clarins Aqua Essence Morning Energy
Clarins's Aqua Essence Morning Energy is solely based on plants extracts (in fact the whole line of Clarins's skincare is based on plants extracts), it too restores skin radiance and it tones and preps the skin ready for makeup as well. It contains green coffee, white tea, ginseng and redcurrant to tone, moisturise and smoothen skin. It smells a little fruity and rather refreshing in the morning, the lotion (water-like) is easily absorbed into the skin in the morning, effectively ''waking'' up the skin.

On the other hand, Chanel's Activateur Eclat Energizing Radiance lotion is transluscent with bits of tiny orange beads, it has a gel-like lightweight texture, due to the Yuzu, it has a slight citrusy fragrance. One does needs a little bit of patting for the skin to absorb the lotion and moments after the application, my skin felt rather smooth.

Before application of the lotion (Chanel).

Texture of the lotion (the orange bits are the Yuzu extracts).

After the application, the skin looks slightly brighter and firmer.

It is a close fight between Chanel Precision Activateur Energizing Radiance lotion and Clarins Aqua Essence Morning Energy....

Love both to the core. But i would use the 2 for different purposes, Clarins's for preping skin the morning before makeup and Chanel's when i felt my skin needs more moisture and needs to look more supple.

Holy grail materials in the making for me.. : )

Chanel Precision Activateur Eclat Originel Energizing Radiance lotion: Price unavailable as it was a gift from a friend.(150ml)

Main Ingredients: Vitamin C, E, Seaweed extracts and Yuzu.

Clarins Aqua Essence Morning Energy: Priced at S$65 for 100ml.

Main Ingredients: Redcurrant, Green coffee, White Tea and Ginseng extracts.