Sunday, July 25, 2010

Review: Clarins's HydraQuench Biphase Intensive Serum

My very first encounter with Clarins is the HydraQuench Biphase Intensive Serum which was approximately a year ago. I am of combination skin type but suffers from dehydration every now and then, its the "troublesome"- dry on the outside, oily inside kind of skin type.
At that time, i am using one of my HG of all time- the Plantidote Serum by Dr Andrew Weils for Origins, it is still good nevertheless but sometimes it might prove to be a little rich for me, especially my skin is prone to breakouts if i am not careful. So, i am on the quest of finding a serum/moisturizer that is strong enough to keep it hydrated, something lighter but powerful.. : )
This is where the HydraQuench Serum comes into place, containing extracts of the Katafray bark (to help restore skin's hydration), Alfalfa (smoothen premature wrinkles) and rich in Omega 3, Inca Peanut oil (to restore skin's balance), i should think this just might be the 1 lightweight yet heavy duty serum/moisturizer that i am looking for.
In terms of packaging, the nice little glass bottle comes with a pump that is hygienic and 1 pump should be sufficient to cover my entire face. But with repeated daily usage, i do not know why, there seems to be a thin ring of blue gel-like substance formed just at the opening of the pump.. hmm......
Texture-wise, it is watery and slightly oily but as long as the serum is fully absorbed into the skin, there isn't any trace of oil at all. As the serum is made up of 2 parts (hence the word-Biphase included in the name), you have to shake the bottle each time before use so that the ingredients are able to "work" together.
Like all Clarins products, this serum is no exception, it is slightly scented but it is hardly detectable after application. Perfumed or scented products are never a huge issue for me, unless, 1. they are pungent, or 2. i have a irritation reaction to it, or 3. i simply hate the smell, other than the reasons above, i say if the product works for you for all the right reason, just grin and bear with it for a while.
Performance-wise, the watery serum did perform its job properly and very well at it too, i would say. There are times whereby i skipped the moisturizer and just slapped on this serum before hitting the sack. That alone is sufficient to keep my face moisturized the entire night and curb my occasional bouts of eczema.
I took my chance and bite the bullet a year and half ago for the 1st bottle and now i am into my 3rd bottle. I would need to confess that in between the bottles, i did "strayed" to other products (thinking that it might be better than this) but i will always return to the serum.
Clarins's HydraQuench Biphase Intensive Serum

The 2 layers of liquid shown

A closer look at the serum

Watery texture of the serum

After the application, where the serum is fully absorbed into the skin

Would i buy it again?
Hell, yes! Its already a indispensable member of my HG family.

Priced at S$97.00 for 30 ml, available at all Major Departmental Stores.
Main Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Paraffinum Liquidum, Isohexadecane, Isononyl Isononanoate, Dipropylene Glycol, Sodium PCA, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Benzophenone-4, Parfum, Sodium Chloride, Tromethamine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Glyceryl Acrylate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium Edta, Chondrus Crispus extract.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Paul & Joe Haul @ Isetan Scotts Singapore !!!

Paul & Joe is a rather well known Japanese brand that i rarely venture into their skincare and cosmetic line that is..... Since there is a promotion going on at Isetan recently, with the great deals available, the bargain hunter in me was aroused, and so...yes, i did a haul. : )

I am not too sure why, but it seems to me that there are quite a number of promotions going on for Paul & Joe- the recent great discount at Isetan Scotts 3rd floor whereby selected items such as nail polishes, lip liners, eye colors, cleansing milk, facial mist and their about to be discounted Dual powder foundation UV20 are on sale at unbelievable prices and now the promotion of S$38 off some of their bestsellers such as the Moisturizing serum, Moisturizing Mask, Treatment Peel-off Mask and Intensive Whitening Essence.

Well, since their mid to high-end priced products are made more affordable, i guess this is a great time to try out their products and not burn a big hole in my pocket.

And so, here are my hauls.......

The Haul group photo (left to right: Dual Powder Foundation UV20, Moisturizing Facial Mask, 2 bottles of Treatment Oil and Treatment Peel-off Mask)

Treatment Oil that is versatile to be used on the face, hand, body and hair : ) @ S$32 each

Moisturizing Facial Mask @ S$25 and Treatment Peel-off Mask @ S$28

Moisturizing Facial Mask and Treatment Peel-off Mask revealed

The Treatment Oil

Total Damage: S$157.00 for 5 products

I have only started to use the Treatment Oil last night, so more in depth reviews of the haul are to be done.

So long, for now. Stay tuned. : )

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Review: Nuxe Aroma-Perfection Purifying Cleansing Gel

Nuxe is a skincare brand that hails from France which was founded in 1957. The selling points of its product range would be that up to 80% of the ingredients used are of natural origins (plants extracts and such), usage of pure active ingredients supported by research and tests as well as the luxurious texture of its products.

The above piece of information is generally what i have gathered after visiting Nuxe's website: However, being a skeptic and daredevil, i do not take words at its surface and so i have decided to give this cleanser a try - The Aroma-Perfect Purifying Cleansing Gel that is supposed to clear pores and eliminates excess serum while respecting the skin.

From the brief product description, it sounds good, especially when the ingredients are mostly derived from plants and i have previously finished a bottle of their Toning Lotion with 3 Roses (it is ultra gentle-no irritation of any sort , alcohol free-doesn't dry up my skin and it really soften the skin with a subtle pleasant rose scent). I am pleased with the results so repurchasing it is a high likelihood should i decide to change my skincare regime.

And so... a test was conducted for the cleanser.....

Nuxe's Aroma-Perfection Purifying Cleansing Gel for oily and combination skin.

Milky coloured, gel-like texture.

The cleanser comes with a lock pump that is able dispense the amount required (a single pump is good enough for both the face and neck)- a plus. The gel-like texture of the cleansing is more of like those of face lotion than a cleanser, it gives off a very nice clean subtle citrusy apple scent which is relaxing and i like that. When i add water to lather the gel cleanser, it took me quite a bit of effort to work up some foam to massage onto my face.

I think that is largely due to the fact that it is soap free and mild surfactants free, which is fine by me (my experiences with cleanser tells me the easier it foams, the higher the likelihood of the cleanser drying up my skin). However, those who are used to cleansers that produces much more foam might not be able to get use to this cleanser.

In terms of performance, i think this is a pretty decent cleanser, gentle enough for people with sensitive or even dry skin even though it states that its for oily and combination skin type (my skin doesn't feel stretched or tight after 2 simultaneous wash). I am not a heavy makeup user and i do use cleansing oil to remove my makeup first followed by a facial cleanser to make sure that all impurities are removed. I replaced my Clarins gentle foam cleanser with this to test on its cleansing ability and i found that there are hints of yellow (dirt) on my lotion soaked cotton pad with i don't normally see with my Clarins cleanser despite having tested it out for a few more times.

In conclusion, Nuxe's Purifying Cleansing gel is a good mild cleanser and i do like it in most aspects but at the price tag of S$42.00 (which is in the high-end strata for cleanser), one would expect it to be able to remove dirt entirely. In this case, it simply isn't efficient enough to remove traces of dirt entirely.

I would recommend this cleanser to those who are looking for a good gentle cleanser and those who are fond of products with ingredients of natural origins.

Priced at S$42.00 for 200ml, available at Watsons and good Departmental stores.

Main Ingredients: Aqua, Glycerin, Sodium Cocoyl, Apple Amino Acids, Acrylates Copolymer, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium Cottonseedamphoacetate, Carapa Guaianensis seed oil, Gluconolactone, Butylene Glycol, PPG-2 Hydroxyethyl Cocamide, Zinc PCA, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Review: Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask

This is THE Mask that i have been pondering for the longest time if i really should get it for this 1 single reason - its hefty price. Being in the 3 figure range, i would not have picked up this item if it wasn't for the $40 voucher that i redeemed from Sephora.
Described as the mask that releases oxygen molecules that penetrate into our skin and detoxifiers, a quick fix for dull and tired skin. To be honest i was not prepared to shell out a bomb for the product for the mere description above, but this mask was much raved about in quite a number of forums and it is the star product of Bliss, plus i am rather intrigued by the thing about releasing of oxygen molecules....
And so, there we go... i took the plunge......
The much raved about Oxygen Mask from Bliss.

A Closer look at the claim stated on the box.

The viscous pinkish pearl liquid mask before all the reaction starts.

The oxygen in the mask starting to "act up".

Minutes after the mask without application of any product.

Packaging-wise, the white plastic feels a little hefty compared to other 100ml masks, it comes with a small pump that dispenses the mask little by little each time depending on the amount you need, so no worries about spillage or over dispensing, which is good in my book. There is no gap around the pump so i suppose it is air tight, which is also a plus too as the integrity of the product is maintained after each usage with no fear of contaimination.
Scent-wise, it has a slight citrusy lime-sorbert kind of fragrance which is not too overpowering. I am fairly ok with that, just felt its a tad too weird, making me craving for lime
Texture-wise, it comes in the form of liquid with rather thick consistency that spreads quite easily over the skin.
So far, so good......
Now, the final test.....
I pumped a little each time, trying to figure exactly how much of the mask is required to cover my entire face and this is where the not so good part begins to show...
As i started the application, the mask starts to show signs of "releasing oxygen" almost immediately upon contract of my skin ( the liquid starts to turn milky, i can feel and see little bubbles foaming), so as i was dispensing and applying the mask, i am trying to spread it evenly across my face and at the same time battling against the foams building up.
The application is too messy for my liking. When i am finally done with the application, i can almost see a rather thick layer of foams (that releases oxygen molecules, i presumed) formed, feeling all that tickish bubbling action and hearing it in action too...(i kid you not).
Approximately 5 mins after the froth forms and all that action done.. i rinsed the mask off. I don't really see any reviving of my skin, perhaps a little bit brighter.. yes... but to be honest i can't really tell if the oxygen molecules are really pentrating into the skin.
I did some googling and this is what i have found- Oxygen is supplied to the skin through internal circulation but there are investigations carried out that have shown the possibility of penetration of oxygen into human is through topical application. (see
To be fair, i put on the mask 2 times a week (instruction: a max of 3x weekly) for 3 weeks... so far everything seems to be like what it was before. I do not see any noticeable brightening or reviving of the skin, maybe i did not use it long enough for the results to show. Perhaps i will give it another go one day, at least while the bottle lasts. Waste not, want not.
Conclusion, if it wasn't for the voucher, i would not have bought it, despite the numerous tries i did at Sephora i wasn't convinced to purchase it at the full marked-up retail price at Sephora.
The product is not able to justify its price tag in my books, so its a no-go for me. However, if you really really want to try it for yourself, i would say- start a spree with your girlfriends and get it directly from Bliss or ask a friend in States nicely to help you with the purchase.
Priced at S$105.00 for 100ml, only at Sephora (Singapore).
Main Ingredients: Aqua, mehtyl perfluoroisobutyl ether, sorbitol, cocamidopropyl betaine, methyl perfluorobutyl ether, sodium laureth sulfate, chondrus crispus (carrageenan), cyclopentasiloxane, glycerin, fragrance, cyclohexasiloxane, limonene, phenoxyethanol, benzyl alcohol, potassim sorbate, xanthan gum, coco-glucoside, sodium PCA, tocopherol, oryza sativa (rice) bran extract.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Guerlain Lipsticks Haul

This is a major lipstick haul in my books. I was never a lipstick kind of girl until i got to know a deal that is simply irresistible to any girl.

Well, here are the pics of my abnormal impulse haul on that day.....

A round up of the haul.

From Guerlain's Kiss Kiss Extreme Series

The Kiss Kiss Extreme series is a wee drier than the Precious colour series, i would say the color payoff is slightly stronger and not as soft compared to the latter. Application-wise, it still glides on the lips smoothly but maybe application of a thin layer of lipbalm would be better. I choose 1 orangey red , 1 beige and 1 rosy nude pink... love the colours.

From Guerlain's Kiss Kiss Baby Series

This Kiss Kiss Baby series is more of a lipbalm than lipstick, it is very sheer like those lightly tinted lipbalm so its moisturizing and there isn't much of a color payoff to be expected. 240 and 241 are the nude colours in the series, it is very soft and natural, just a tinge of color on the lips upon application. It has a rather strong vanilla or something sweet kind of scent, which i don't hate but at the same time don't particularly like either. Its not something that is absolutely necessary for me but a definite luxury indulgence. : )

From Guerlain's Kiss Kiss Precious Colour series

The Kiss Kiss Precious Colour series has a very smooth texture, it doesn't emphasize fine lines on your lips if you have any and most importantly it applied like a dream. Good colour payoff too, elegant and soft color tone. Cuirve Fusion is a rich medium warm red while Peche Frivole is a warm peach red with a hint of orange, i think both are flattering for most skin colours. As for Envie de Beige, i just can't resist another good nice beige that i can foresee myself reaching for it every other day.

Series with codes.

From left to right: Orange Encore-121, Beige Sans Fin -140, Plus Que Jamais Rose-160, Honey Nude-240, Rosewood Nude-241, Cuirve Fusion-529, Envie de Beige-540 and Peche Frivole-542

Love every single one of them to the core... an absolute love.

Priced at S$42.00 to S$49.00 for 3.5g (except from Kiss Kiss baby its 3.4g) at all Guerlain counter.

MAC In the Groove Collection Haul!!! - Stereo Rose, Petticoat and By Candlelight

Yes! Yes! Yes! This is the collection i have been waiting for...

I know i am supposed to be on a "Blushers and Highlighters" ban as imposed to me by my dear koibito.. just exactly how many blushers or highlighters do you need? I just can't bring myself to answer her with a justified and well-reasoned answer, except for the... you know.. 1 for a rosy look, 1 for a sunkissed look...

I have been behaving myself, until when i knew that the "In the Groove" collection is going to re-release quite a few much raved about and coverted items such as the urban legend of all...Stereo Rose.

After the Marine life duo blush episode, where i am just simply flabbergasted that its sold out in the whole of Singapore in a mere 2 hours within the opening of all MAC stores islandwide. This time, i just let fate takes its course.. if i managed to snag either Stereo Rose, By Candlelight or Petticoat, i would be satisfied and be a happy deer for the rest of the month.

However, as chance would have it, i managed to get all 3! Yes yes, the trios burnt a hole in my pocket but they are well-worthed the hole in my books. Its really fate, i tell you, as i just walked in a MAC store near my workplace and asked the MUA casually- Do you still have the stocks for Stereo Rose, By Candlelight and Petticoat?

When she answered yes, and not just 1 last Stereo Rose but a few... you simply can't imagine how elated i was... wow... somebody up there must have liked me. Haha....

Enough of my rambling, here's pics of my haul that fateful afternoon......

Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish (A much anticipated re-release)

A warm coral with a hint of golden brown sheen. The copper veining in mine is not so obvious.

By CandleLight Mineralize Skinfinish (A re-release from Warm and Cosy)

A soft pinkish beige sheer finish with a subtle sheen of pink.

Petticoat Mineralize Skinfinish

A Gorgeous deep dark pink-copper veining with a finish that is very much pinkish.

Swatches of Petticoat, By Candlelight and Stereo Rose.

All in all, i love love love the trios... so, i broke the ban for them, what's a girl got to do? They are so gorgeous in their own rights!

Priced at S$46.00 for 10g (except By Candlelight which is 9g) at all MAC stores (snag them if you can, these won't be in stock for long).

Update: Stereo Rose is officially sold out islandwide as of 9th July (Friday), which is the day i got mine.