Thursday, December 30, 2010

Review: REN Multi-Mineral Pore Minimising Detox Mask

Founded in 2000 by Robert Calcraft and Antony Buck, REN is a skincare line that uses the latest high-tec bio actives and they abide by their 5 Rights Principles, which is right ingredients, right science, right product experience, right environmental impact and right attitude.

This skincare line that is free from potential irritants is rather new in Singapore (if i am not wrong), and riding on the wave of the "free from skin unfriendly irritants", REN has a cult of followers here.

I chance upon REN during my trip to the Luxasia Warehouse sale, having heard raves about this brand in the cyberworld, i snagged one to see for myself if it is indeed what it is worth.

Presenting the Multi-Mineral Pore Minimising Detox Mask which is suitable for all skin types ......

The simple white and blue packaging.

The tube of mask with transparent bottom that shows the product.

The pump that comes with a stopper.

The thick paste-like texture of the mask.

List of Ingredients:

Packaging-wise, it is a fuss-free kind of simple package with no unnecessary extras, so to me it felt just like its ecco theme. I was puzzled by the white cap-like thing that was attached to the side of the white pump initially, and was on the verge of cutting it off until upon closer look then it dawned upon me that that white cap is supposed to cover the opening of the pump so that the mask would not dry up even after capping it. Its rather ingenious to come up with that kind of design, plus there is a separate transparent sack that holds the mask in the container. There is a certain clinical feel to the packaging. Not that its bad, it will be a matter of personal preference in this case.
Scent-wise, there is a slight herbal scent when i was applying the mask to my face and the fragrance stayed throughout the entire time when the mask was on my face and it sort of lingered after i washed off the mask. I don't hate it neither do i like it per say.
Application-wise, the texture of the mask resembles those thick paste "cement", it is smooth and easily spreaded on the face without much effort. There is a slight warm sensation when i put the mask on (maybe its doing its detoxing job, i don't really know), which is quite comfortable. After a good 15 mins, whereby the mask has more or less dried, i find that using solely water to rinise it off isn't good enough as the mask has already dried and it sort of "stuck" to the skin. What i did was to use warm water to wet my Bodyshop facial sponge and gently wipe it off bit by bit, patience is required here.
After more than five usage, once per week nearly a third through the bottle, i don't really feel the pore minimising or detox effect. Maybe it is meant to be used with some other products in the same line for the effect to be obvious, but to me, the mask is simply just another mask that promised to minimise pores and to detox at the same time.
Like it enough to buy it again?
Nah, i am better off continuing my quest for THE mask that is able to do exactly what it promised.
Priced at S$56.00 for 50ml or 1.7oz fl, available at Tangs and Eccentials at Paragon Shopping Centre.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Review: Clarins Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate for Sensitive Skin

First thing first, please excuse the photos as they were taken with my old camera which isn't able to capture images very well.

Now, as i have mentioned previously, i do suffer minor bouts of eczema every now and then. The tell-tale signs of them occurring would be the sudden urge to scratch the skin near my mouth and slight redness around the corners of my mouth then subsequently it will spread to my chins forming a rather large patch of unsightly redness if i am unable to stop it while it is still at the corners of my mouth.

This skin condition started last year (i guess it is stress related) and occassionally i can sort of sense "it" coming when i am stressed out. Not only the red patches are unsightly (why of all parts of my body, it has to be the face? (-_-) ), the patches are itchy and worse if i gave in the temptation to scratch them.

I chance upon a free facial from Clarins due to a promotion approximately 4 months ago, as that was my first visit to the Clarins Institute at Wheelock, i was given a skin consultation by the Beauty specialist (the same lady who would be doing my facial) who addressed my skin concerns and then recommended the appropriate facial treatment.

Overall, i enjoyed the experience of the facial treatment, masterful strokes were applied during the facial and i was able to totally relax to the point that i almost felt asleep. After the facial treatment, I was recommended the Clarins Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate for Sensitive Skin by her (after the facial) as i expressed that my major skin concern is eczema (i had a relapse back then). This is the exact serum she used during the facial and true enough my red patches of skin near my mouth lightened significantly.

And so, i came home with my very first bottle of Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate......

Clarins Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate for Sensitive Skin.

A possible saviour to my eczema condition?

The texture of the Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate.

A closer look after the application.

Clarins products in generally possess this generic "Clarins" scent that i would associate it with European skincare products (people who hated it claimed that the scent resembles those of soap). This Repair Concentrate on the contrary smells of some minty herbal concoction to me, its subtle and faint, yet it doesn't dissipate even after the concentrate is absorbed into the skin. Nothing to hate really, i am not a scent hater unless its really overpowering. In this case, i think even non-fragrance pro people will be able to accept this scent.

Housed in a little white frosted glass bottle, the Repair Concentrate is dispense with a pump that is commonly seen for serums of various brands. Now, i don't really like this dispenser in the sense that i tend to get more product than necessary for application to the affected areas which doesn't require a full pump of the Repair Concentrate. Considering how little of the product i actually need vs the product that i managed to get out (i did try my very best to exert the appropriate force to get just a little out)- its wastage to me as i don't need to apply the concentrate to the rest of my face. Some improvement needs to be done to the pump dispenser seriously.

The texture of the Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate is a clear watery liquid that resembles lightweight oil. For application, i warmed the Repair Concentrate between my palms and then gently massaged it around the affected areas until it is absorbed into the skin and what's left is a thin sheen of oil which i will use a single sheet to tissue to dab it off. No problem for applicationwise-good.

According to Clarins Website, this Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate is a serum that is meant for highly sensitive skin type, it is a SOS treatment item that is able to immediately calm irritated skin, clear the pores as well as minimize appearance of blotchy skin, it can also repair weaken tissues while nourishing and soften the texture of the skin.

It has been almost 4 months, during these 4 months i have almost encountered about 2 recurrence of eczema (which did not manage to escalate). I took the Beauty Specialist advice to apply the Repair Concentrate as and when i am feeling the recurrence of my eczema and i managed to curb it in control every time. The oil managed to calm the pinkish patch of irritated skin (thanks to my itchy fingers) very fast and soften it. As i have oily combination skin type, this is not an item that i will use on a daily basis on my entire face and i don't think its meant to be used that way (unless you have really really sensitive and very dry skin).

I use the Repair Concentrate in quite a number of ways:
1. To curb and control my eczema condition.
2. As a weekly facial treatment item (meaning i simply slap on the serum/oil after the usual cleansing routine and a round of clarifying mask- but that's a luxury for me nowadays).
3. Use it in place of my usual serum and then apply lightweight/water-based moisturiser when my skin is really hydrated.
4. Use it to clear my breakouts.

All in all, i love this serum to the core.

It works for my eczema condition and it serves as a treatment to my face plus the formula contains 90% of plants extracts. A highly versatile product that is already in my list of HGs.

My 2 minor gripes here - its hefty price for such a small amount of product and its need-to-improve nozzle pump dispenser.

Priced at S$105.00 for 15ml or 0.5fl oz, available at all Clarins Counter and Clarins Institute at Wheelock Place.

Main Ingredients: Lavender, Marjoram, Licorice, Mint, Soy, Avocado, Perhydrosqualene from Olive Extracts, Vitamin A and Ximenia Extracts.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Review: Urban Decay Complexion Primer Potion -Brightening Makeup Base

For those who are not genetically blessed with flawless skin or skin that needs very prepping for makeup, essentially people like me. I can't help but be thankful for the invention of makeup base whenever i need my makeup to be natural and to look as good as possible.
Although i firmly believe in taking good care of my skin, on good days my skin behave themselves and all is good, but what about days when i need that something extra to hold my foundation or makeup better?
I have been using RMK's makeup base for quite a while and i don't really have any plans to stray away from it, but i was intrigued when Sephora introduces Urban Decay's Brightening Makeup base awhile ago.
Urban Decay's Complexion Primer Potion comes in 2 types, namely Brightening and Pore Perfecting. I did swatches for both Primer Potions in the store and of the 2, Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer Potion is heavier in texture and its coverage is better than the Brightening Complexion Primer Potion, since i felt that it covers fine lines and pores better and it can be worn alone without foundation. Personally, i felt its a tad too heavy for me, thus i went with the Brightening Primer Potion which is lighter for me.
I am interested to find out if it will work out for me as i am rather satisfied with the feel of the texture and the result of the swatch at the counter and so i came home with it- the Brightening Primer Potion.

A possible replacement for RMK's Makeup base?

Urban Decay's signature Lavender-Lilac packaging.
Packagingwise, the Primer Potion comes in a tube which a twist-and-squeeze dispenser. I like the way that i am able to dispense the appropriate amount of primer that i need without wastage but the cons is that i won't be able to know how much product is left except by feeling the weight of the tube. I guess i will have to roll up the tube like toothpaste to extract the very last bits of the primer or even to cut the tube to scoop the remaining. So far so good until then.

Complexion Primer Potion- Brightening.
Transulscent gel-like texture.

Upon appliation of the Primer Potion (with Flash).

Upon application of the Primer Potion (without flash).
Scentwise, the Primer Potion smells of alcohol and something rather chemical quite strongly, of what exactly, i can't really put a finger to it, except that i hated it, luckily it dissipated as soon as the product is absorbed by the skin.
Now, i was lured by the claim that it is free from Parabens, oil-free, lightweight and it contains Matrixyl 3000 (known for its ability to minimise the appearance of wrinkles) and Hyaluronic Filling Spheres (to lessen appearance of fine lines and to moisturise skin effectively).
The rational me decided to ignore its claim and test drive its capability myself (afterall the result says everything).
For application, i don't really need much, perhaps the amount the size of those disposable tea spatula that people use to stir their tea with sugar. The primer spreads easily and is absorbed into the skin faster than you can say "Urban Decay Complexion Primer Potion- Brighening", so work it fast, otherwise you may find yourself having to get more product to cover the entire face.
Upon application, yes i do find my face brightening just that wee bit and true enough i do feel the tightening of the skin (or lifting of the skin with a little tingling effect) and the texture of my skin is really matte and smoother. Its like doing something subtle to the skin without people realising what it is exactly. I like that to be honest.
It wears almost as long as my RMK makeup base with foundation, this gives smoother texture but with weaker brightening effect (could be largely due to the fact that my RMK makeup base is tinted). If you have uneven skin colouring, this primer is not made for that purpose, better stick to a tinted makeup base.
Love it? Hate it?
I see it a Primer Potion for usage of different purpose here. It will not be a replacement for the current RMK makeup base that i am using. This is 2 different things here. I would use it on days when i want to have that slight brightening look without putting on foundation, just a puff of loose powder or press powder will that kind of day.
It is a good to have but not at the current retail price in Singapore. Its retailing at USD30.00 online on
If you are really keen on the product, i say go for a Online spree with your BFFs or a group of like-minded friends or wait for a Sephora Urban Decay promotion if there is any.
Priced at S$55.00 for 30ml or 1.0fl oz, available at Sephora or Urban Decay Online.

Main Ingredients: Aqua(Water), Litchi Chinensis Pericarp Extract, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Polyacrylamide, Algae Extract, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Butylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Pullulan, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Laureth-7, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Hexylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol and Phenoxyethanol.
Interesting facts: You can read more about the much raved about substance Matrixyl 300 on this website:

Friday, December 17, 2010

Review: Origins Modern Fusion Skin Transforming Catalyst

The Origins Modern Fusion Skin Transforming Catalyst is not something newly launched from Origins... it has been lying silently bidding its time in my drawer for half a year or so.
Although i am adventurous in my quest for my team of HGs (aka "i-can't-live-without-them" kind of skin saviours), i do not believe in miraculous products that "claimed" to "save" your skin overnight just like magic, or maybe perhaps the magical product is out there its just that i have not encounter them just as yet.
I prefer to test-drive a product for at least a couple of weeks before giving my 2 cents worth unless they give me breakouts more than once then i would stash it away until somebody who suits it comes along.
Now, the Modern Fusion Skin Transforming Catalyst is a facial serum that is suppose to restore your skin's luminosity, clarity, smoothen and soften texture of the skin as well as lighten mild pigmentations (brown spots).
Origins Modern Fusion Skin Transforming Catalyst.
Packagingwise, the serum comes in a neat bottle with pump (hygienic=good) that is able to dispense the appropriate amount of serum in 1 pump for the entire face (excess left on the hands goes to the neck).
Hardly any wastage in dispensing the serum, however like all products with pumps, it is a little tricky getting the product that is left at the bottom of the bottle... patience is the key here- just overturn the bottle and scoop what you need accordingly (not a pretty sight when the serum spilled a little around the neck of the bottle when i opened it ).
Infused with the goodness of rice which is believed to be able to combat various skin problems such as dullness, roughness etc... the serum actually smell like rice paste with a hint of citrus in it. I am guessing a very subtle hint of bergamot or something along the citrus line is part of the ingredients. Nice and pleasant scent, nothing overpowering... not bad at all.

A closer look at the texture of the serum.
In terms of texture, the serum has a slightly thicker consistency than most serums (eg. Estee Lauder's Advanced Night Repair and Origins Dr Andrew Weil's Plantidote Mushroom serum). Despite that, it spreads over the skin easily, it might be a little sticky upon application on the skin but the serum is absorbed into the skin rather quickly leaving the skin smooth to touch.

After application.

After using the serum for 2 months (twice daily), i do not see a drastic change in my skin in terms of clarity, radiance level, texture, improvement on dullness, so on and so forth. This is not a magic potion but i like it enough to buy a new bottle when i run out of it.


I like its lightweight texture (though slight thick consistency and a little sticky on application), its ability to be absorbed into the skin faster than my other HG (Dr Andrew Weil's Plantidote Mushroom serum which can be prove to be a tad oily for me on those rare days), mostly importantly this bottle of serum has the ability to perform dual tasks, both as a serum and moisturiser to me (for night usage) and my face do not have that sheen of oil shine when i woke up the next morning (i have oily-combination skin). Texturewise, i do feel the improvement, it is really softer to touch but i can't say the same for pigmentation as i don't really have brown spots at the moment (Touchwood!).

This serum suits people of all skin types with few skin concerns who would like to "enhance" the quality of their skin and lazy people like me (fuss-free), not really meant for those with major skin concerns.

It is not love at first sight for this serum, it sort of grows on me without my realisation until i have problem pumping out the serum then it hits me that i have been reaching out for it every day.

Priced at $77.00 for 30ml, available at selected Departmental stores.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ghost of Christmas Past- Christian Dior Limited Edition Collection

It's that time of the year again......

Ho! Ho! Ho! Do you hear the Christmas bells ringing closer and closer to you as the days pass?

Well, i did and was deeply reminded of it whenever the urge is here to possess the simply-too-gorgeous-to-resist collectibles are churned out by various cosmetic brands during this time of the year....
As usual, i found myself falling for the trap year after year (though i would say i am more selective nowadays : ) ) ...... this year is no exception.
Please welcome warmly Dior Minaudieres to family of "Limited Edition & Collectibles".....

L-R: Grey Gold 001 and Pink Gold 002.

The treasure within.

Treasure revealed in its glory. : )

L-R: Grey Gold 001 and Pink Gold 002
The Grey Gold is a complusive buy but i do not regret the purchase at all (eventhough my pocket is still sizzling with smoke from the purchase- a hefty S$100.00 for the palette). The colours are practical and i would say i will get quite a lot of wear out of it.
Just as i was contemplating if i should close both eyes bravely and take the plunge to get the Pink Gold Palette too (both palettes look absolutely gorgeous to me).... my dearest group of BFFs actually chip in and get that for me as my belated Birthday present. : ) Thank you gals.

Grey Gold 001 (seems to be a Sak's exclusive in the States)
Colours from L-R: Charcoal Grey, Light Silverish Grey and Light Yellow with Gold shimmer.

The Clever touch- a lid that prevents the eyeshadows from getting into the lipglosses.

L-R(Lip colours from Grey Gold 001): Lip colour in deep burgundy red-purple with gold shimmer, Lip gloss in light vanilla with gold shimmer.

Pink Gold 002
Colours from L-R: Deep Maroon red-purple, Light Taupe-Beige and Light Pink (all with gold shimmer, especially obvious in the Light Pink eyeshadow).

L-R(Lip colours from Pink Gold 002): Medium tone Bright Pink with a little red in it, Light Pale Pink (all with gold shimmer).
As i was going through my treasures, i realised that i actually started collecting Dior's LEs way back 3 to 4 years ago.... wow!
Cristal Boreal Crystal gloss Jewel from 2009.

The luxurious packaging.

The beautiful crystals on the pendant.
The white silverish lip gloss (it is actually transparent upon application, just a hint of shimmer on the lips).

Lady Dior Radiant Couture Touch-up for Face, Checks and Lips from 2007.

The velvet pouch that house the hefty "bag".

Love this, love this, love this....

Versatile colours to be used as highlighter, blusher and lipcolours.

A closer look.
What can i say?
But to proclaim myself as a victim of gorgeous collectibles (i know i can't sleep and will keep on thinking about the lovelies if i don't lay my hands on them..)
Oh well.... this is my vice.
What's yours? : )

Friday, December 10, 2010

Haul: Jill Stuart Loose Powder in 03 Shimmer and Mix Blush Compact in 09 Little Bouquet

There is nothing better to cheer up a long day other than receiving something pretty and something that you have been lemming for the longest time.....
Thanks to my sister's lovely friend who was in Hong Kong last week, i finally had my wish fufilled (i have been dying to lay my hands on Jill Stuart's Mix Blush Compact...... ) : )
Presenting the little haul that made my day : D Looking forward to use them soon.

The signature pale pink paper bag with black ribbons.

L-R: Loose Powder and Mix Blush Compact.

The lovelies revealed.

The pot of loose powder. Love the intricate design on the lid and around the pot.

There is a plastic sheet to seal the pot and the loose powder is lightly fragranced.

Loose powder in 03 Shimmer (it has a pinkish tone to it).

20g of loose powder, made in Japan.
Mix Blush Compact in 09 Little Bouquet.

Totally captured by the delicate packaging : )

09 Little Bouquet (a warm peachy blush) and the dense round brush that comes with it.

A closer look at the brush.

A Closer look at the blush.
Due to the favourable exchange rate, i have gotten these 2 babies at a good price:
Mix Blush Compact: HKD 330 = S$56.40 (after conversion)
Loose Powder: HKD 330 = S$56.40 (after conversion)
Ironically, Jill Stuart is way more expensive in its country of origins (Japan) compared to Taiwan and Hong Kong, even U.S. , all thanks to the strong Yen.
Initially i was very tempted to ask my sister to help me snag those lovelies earlier when she was on a business trip to Japan, but i gave up the idea just a day before she left.
Much as i wanted to try on Jill Stuart's stuff, i am just not prepared to shell out alot more $ due to exchange rate differences. Its just absurd, imagine the Mix Blush Compact is about S$70+ (Japan's pricing after conversion to S$) vs S$50+ (Hong Kong's pricing after conversion to S$).
Nevertheless, if it is a limited edition item that is only and solely available in Japan plus it is so so so unique and darn pretty that i would kill to have it..... then it would a different story all together : D

I will definitely do a swatch if time allows... can't wait to use them : )

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Haul: Givenchy Haul @ Prestige Warehouse sale !

I shall not say much in this post...... for a picture says a 1000 words and i do believe the following pics say alots.....
Just a mini haul here.. : )

Givenchy Mini haul.

L-R, T-B: Prisme Again! Blush in 05 Smiling Brown, Eyeshadow in 18 Island Sand (Limited Edition), Sari Glow Blush in 44 Maharani Orange (Limited Edition), Prisme Again! Compact in 05 Happy Sun and lastly Vernis Please! in 167 Elegant Pearl (Limited Edition).

The lovelies out of their box.

Sari Glow Blush in 44 Maharani Orange-Limited Edition (S$25.00). Love the intricate indie design on the compact.

The pretty light silver overspray over the blush.

A lovely orange that is unique, elegant and with intensity that is easily buildable.

A compact refill in 05 Happy Sun (S$15.00)

It is a nice neutral.

Pretty even in the pan.

Prisme Again! Blush in 05 Smiling Brown (S$25.00).

Already started on the blush even before i can sit down to post this.

The useful brush in the drawer below the blush.

Le Prisme Eyeshadow in 18 Island Sand-Limited Edition (S$15.00).

A lovely splash of browns. Love.

Contains 3.4g of eyeshadow which is almost twice of MAC's. : ) A steal !

Vernis Please! Nail Color in 167 Elegant Pearl- Limited Edition (S$10.00).

A cool hue of slivery gray. Me like : )
Total Damage: S$90.00 for these 5 Givenchy Babies. : )