I don’t often blog about skincare because it’s one of those things you have to try out for a couple of months – almost comparable to being on casual dates – and if it works for you, it’s a keeper and if it doesn’t, well, shit.
My skin has been retrograding towards the bratty, pimply sort that reigned in my 18-year-old rockstar phase. It’s frustrating trying to deal with spots at my age when everyone tells you acne should stop when you’re in your early 20s or you’re probably doing something wrong. Lies. I just happen to have overactive hormones that enjoy attacking my chin every month, that’s all. It sucks but I know people have it far worse than a few zits on the chin so I really should be thankful. I have gone through a ton of products to get to the current line-up you see here and I’m pretty happy with it – I think it’s almost perfect, it just needs that one amazing, to die for product that erases zits and the angry mark they leave behind in 24 hours. We can all dream
1. Naruko Tea Tree Oil Out Acne Cleanser – Nadz’s been telling me all sorts of great things about the Naruko skincare line and she bought me a bottle of tea tree serum to try, swearing it would absorb instantly into the skin, your skin will be matte all day, miracles will happen etc. I can tell you there were no miracles, only break-outs. It’s stupefying because everyone seems to rave about the damn serum but my skin just hated it – that’s how picky it is. Anyway, one of my readers, Shafah, works in Taiwan (where Naruko’s from) and she got me their blackhead remover to try. Now, that’s a product I like. I don’t have blackheads but I like using as a t-zone mask and mm, what a scent.
Not willing to give up on Naruko, I picked up this cleanser before I left. I’ve been using it for about two months now and hrm I don’t know..it’s clay-based and has the same beautiful scent as the blackhead remover but I’m starting to think it might be a little too drying for my skin? I like it too much to throw it away though so I use it on nights when I feel my skin’s gone cray cray with its oil production. Also works well as a mask too LOL.
2. Sukin Cream Cleanser – HOLY GRAILLLLLL. It all started with my roommate actually. My skin was a little dry one night so I asked her if I could use her cleanser instead. She’s a bit of an Estee Lauder maniac and her mom recently got her this tube of EL’s cream cleanser for dry skin. Oh my god. I never knew something so heavenly existed. It’s got plenty of squalane in it so you’re supposed to tissue it off instead of washing your face – which I did – and I woke up with nice, plumped up skin.
That same morning I had a skincare breakthrough: why haven’t I considered cream cleansers before? My skincare routines were always caught up in the cyclical remove oil, remove remaining grime and kill all spots. Maybe I really was doing it wrong – I was just stripping my skin of everything else and perhaps, if I focused on skincare that was gentle to the skin, things would get better. It did.
I didn’t want to spend so much money on the Estee Lauder cleanser and I reckoned it was going to be too rich for everyday use anyway so I bought this $10 alternative. Sukin’s an Australian skincare brand and they’re known for their paraben and sulphate-free products. I’m pretty sure you can find it in Singapore’s Watsons? I’ll get back to you on that.
The cleanser’s made from a blend of rosehip, jojoba and avocado oil with some cocoa and shea butter in it so if you have really sensitive skin (or are acne prone!), this is going to be so good for your face. You can choose to wash it off or remove it with cotton wool/tissue so I usually wash it all off in the morning but sometimes when I feel my skin needs some moisturizin’, I tissue it off. Scent-wise, Estee wins but the Sukin cleanser’s scent is a nice homely orange-vanilla. It’s just hard to win against a cleanser that smells like the petals of a hundred flowers went into each bottle LOL. But hey, at $10 – Sukin, I adore you.
3. Jurlique Calendula Cream – This is tons better than the Naruko serum imo. It’s a bit scary out of its pretty tube packaging: a very thick yellow cream that smells like plastic. But you’re only supposed to use a tiny amount, warm it with your fingers and press it into your skin. Hey presto, it absorbs instantly, soothes the skin and has such a nice matte finish. The perfect moisturiser for day. Calendula is also good for acne too, I hear. This picture also reminds me I’m running low and need to buy a new tube stat. For the first time in my life, I will be repurchasing something other than pimple cream – you know it’s good.
4. Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant – A trial tube I purchased from eBay, it’s a 15 minute mask that actually does what it says on the tube. Will be investing in a full-sized tube when I run out.
5. Jurlique Herbal Recovery Night Cream – If you think night creams are heavy, very emollient and the recipe for a potential break-out – this stellar product from Jurlique breaks that stereotype. I can never stick to moisturizers because all the previous ones I’ve tried never seem to sink into the skin but srsly, JURLIQUE CHANGES EVERYTHING. Bad news is it’s slightly expensive but worth every damn penny. That scent, that lightness – perfection.
6. Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist – I really have to credit my best girl, Amy, for introducing Jurlique to me. I never took notice of the brand until she gifted me the Calendula cream, this toning mist and a truckload of other Jurlique samples for Christmas. My skin has never looked better. The rosewater balancing mist is probably the best rose-scented item ever, after Paul Smith’s Rose, and I am OBSESSED with it. So obsessed, I already have another back-up next to it LOL
7. Alba Botanica Papaya Enzyme Mask – This works like the Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant except you’re only meant to leave it on for 5 minutes. I can’t decide which one works better though: I think the Dermalogica one is good for clearing zits while this papaya mask seems better at refining and clearing pores. This mask has a sticky gel texture to it so I only use it in the shower.
8. Epiduo gel and Clean & Clear Persa Gel 10 % – Holy grail zit busters. Epiduo gel is prescription-only so you have to see a doctor before you can get it. Unfortunately, it isn’t available in Singapore when I checked in February so boo ;( Epiduo’s pretty intense and it will make you peel like crazy but the results are well worth it! The Persa gel works really well too, without the peeling side-effect, and I’m using it so I can slowly wean off my dependency on the epiduo gel.
9. Shu Uemura Skin Purifier: still the best make-up remover ever since its conception ;p You can read a more comprehensive and comparative review here.
Not pictured: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant (review here) – it was in the shower so I forgot to take a photo of it lol. My love for it is still going strong!
Also, remember my holy grail Neutrogena scrub? I had to stop scrubbing my face with it because I now use the Clarisonic Mia when cleansing so I’m not allowed to use scrubs with particles in it sigh. Such a shame really, it’s one of Neutrogena’s best products and I would recommend it to anyone who suffers from hormonal acne, or acne in general.
Good god, this entry is way too long and look, you’ve read it all! Thank you so much for reading it all/tried to read it all but tl;dr halfway through LOL. It’s nice to be back here, rambling about my favourite things and with everyone of you as a willing audience..k this is beginning to sound like an obituary piece. It’s just been a hard month for me so far: they say the last year of uni is always the hardest and ugh, every bit of it is true. Still, I will never give up this space – it reminds me that yes, I am capable of creating beautiful things, words or pictures, and I take comfort in that somewhere in the world, you share the same dreams as I do.
This entry is for Sarah Karenina who suggested I share my skincare routine with you guys in my previous entry. Thanks for reading, Sarah! x
I swear the SAs at Shu Uemura are probably genetically engineered to make you spend as much money as possible >_> because I think I may have to resort to eating salads and sandwiches until my next pay comes in…which is a long, long time from now sigh.
Anyway as you all know, I finally got myself a bottle of the cleansing oil in A/O which is probably short for Annoyingly/Overpriced. Ok no, it stands for Anti-oxidants and as expensive as it is, I think it’s well worth the money because cleansing your face is a majorly important step in skincare!
I intended to get the smaller 150ml bottle which would probably have a more economical effect on my bank account but the SA pointed out if I got the bigger bottle, I would be entitled to their Christmas gift which came in the form of 2 deluxe cleansing oil samples (that’s already 100ml of cleansing oil for free omg!) a sakura-scented Japanese bath oil, a sample of their UV make-up base AND if I spent an additional $25, I could get the Tsumori Chisato x Shu Uemura Limited Edition Mirror as a gift. THAT WAS THE END OF IT LOL so I’m a little poorer now ;_;
Hello again, my pretty baby. I’ve not opened the bottle yet actually, I’m going to finish using the deluxe samples I got first then we can have our own little private opening ceremony for the big kahuna.
~PLEASURE OF JAPANESE BATH~ HAHAHA WHAT?! And my eternal love for Japan just grew by 15%.
Bought my first Shu lipstick! I wanted to get the Tsumori Chisato x Shu Uemura limited edition lipstick in “Jupiter Brown” but it’s sold out everywhere! I’m a little bummed about that but the SA recommended me a similar shade which I am currently loving!I think the glass capsule concept behind their lipstick packaging is A+, always a sucker for packaging here.
Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited lipstick in BG942. Okay I know the color looks almost wtf-worthy in the tube but trust me, it’s a nice shade. Jupiter Brown has similar orangey brown-beige tones coupled with gold shimmer. BG942 is a matte and I’ve been using it everyday now, such a perfect creamy nude shade.
O HAI TSUMORI CHISATO-SAN. GENKI DESU KA?
The mirror comes in a pretty pale pink velvet drawstring pouch, love how they printed on the ribbons as well – nice touch.
I would consider myself as someone who would pick avant garde over cute any other day but I will make the rare exception for Tsumori Chisato. HOW ADORABLE IS THE GOLD FOIL IMPRINT?! Urgh too cute, too cute! I know the mirror is sold out in Japan and the US but Singaporeans, if you want to get the mirror please rush to the Shu Uemura counter in Tampines, they have about 15 pieces left. Be prepared to spend some good money, girlfriends.
The SA was really nice and gave me a stack of samples to try out, I’ve never seen so many samples in my life lol. She must have been in a good mood since I bought everything she recommended. Good, attentive SAs are the spawn of the money-spending devil!
Anyway, in non-girly purchases – I finally got myself a camera bag yesterday! YAY I’m so happy I can bring my camera out more often now. Prior to this, I didn’t have a proper bag for the camera so I didn’t like bringing it out because the first and the last time I brought it out for my lunch date at the Marmalade Pantry, it scratched the hell out of my bag which is completely ironic because here I am worried about accidentally scratching the camera/lens/whatever and the camera is in mint condition at the end of the day but my bag has been brutalized -_-
I think it looks like something out of Aliens Vs Predator haha!
Yay for neon orange insides! More yays for lil pockets to hold extra SD cards! This will really come in handy when I fly off to Australia for a holiday with my family next month! Can’t wait for it!
Randomly, I’ve been looking at my really stale links list in my sidebar and I think I should update it soon lol, I’ve reading more and more beauty blogs lately and it’s been exciting getting to know each and everyone of you! Thank you for commenting and sharing your thoughts with me, it’s much appreciated ♥
Til next time~
This is going to be one lonngggg epic cleansing oil review! I’ve chosen the following three cleansing oils: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, Biore Cleansing Oil & Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/O because I’ve used all of them at some point and I like how each of them are of a different price range so you can pick whichever suits your budget best!
Cleansing oils have been getting really popular recently, it’s quite a fascinating concept actually removing make-up, grime and dirt on your face with oil…wait isn’t that supposed to be a bad thing? Who knew that we could actually fight oil with even more oil? Genius! I have no idea who was the smarty pants behind the idea and I’m not going to go all ~HISTORY OF CLEANSING OIL 101~ on you so let’s just skip the theatrics and move on. If you are curious to learn more about the magic science that goes behind cleansing oil, I think my boyfriend, Google.com, would be able help you out!
I never actually got into the whole “OMG LET’S SMEAR OUR FACES WITH OIL” thing because all I ever needed to remove my make-up back then were a couple of baby-wipes and the occasional swab of baby oil. And then I got my first tube of Majolica Majorca mascara. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my MM mascara as much as I love my mother (I kidddddd) but it is ridiculously hard to remove! SRSLY I think it’s made of tar because the first few times I tried removing it with my baby oil, I used up 1/5 of the bottle and I lost so many eyelashes (RIP lashes, hope you’re enjoying lash heaven) that it just became such a chore to remove my make-up.
Enter Biore Cleansing Oil. If you are new to cleansing oils, I would really recommend this because it’s cheap, it works really well and removes everything including my mascara! I like the fruity..almost grape-like scent it has and the only thing I don’t like about this product is that it stings a little bit if it gets into your eyes which er happens to me a lot because in order to remove my mascara, I massage it gently into my lashes to make sure everything gets off so there’s no escaping the slight sting. I’m actually used to the sting so it doesn’t bother me as much. Honestly it doesn’t HURT, it’s just a little uncomfortable because haaai girl I’ve got some oil in my eyes.
DHC is a japanese skincare brand new to Singapore but they’re quite well-known worldwide for their focus on harnessing the potential goodness that fruits etc like olives and acerola have and infusing it in their skincare. Wow. I feel like I’m writing a beauty research paper lol! Anyway I’ve gotten some samples of their insanely popular DHC Deep Cleansing Oil and have used them all prior to this review! It’s slightly pricier with a bottle costing about SGD$40. I’m guessing they’re trying to justify the price because they’re making use of some good quality extra virgin olive oil?
The cleansing oil has a very distinct scent which I don’t like at all because it just smells like regular EVOO to me. The oil has a thick consistency but it wasn’t hard for me to spread it on my face. It’s quite gentle to the skin and moisturizes even! Unfortunately, (haha here comes the baad) it didn’t remove my mascara at all so I was kinda disappointed with it. It removed everything else perfectly though so if you have sensitive skin and don’t use heavy-duty mascara, grab a bottle! As for me, I don’t think I’ll ever purchase this.
So last but not least, we have the Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/O (god, that is such mouthful!). I’ve always been curious about Shu’s range of cleansing oils, partially because they come in such pretty packaging and they have a different type of oil depending on what your skin needs! They have one for everything imaginable! Oily skin, dry skin, ageing skin, skin-whitening! I asked the SA at my local shu counter for some samples of their most popular cleansing oils: the blue bottle (whitening) and the green bottle (anti-oxidants for ageing skin). I’m very much aware that I’m only in my really early twenties but anti-oxidants are great for you at every age k!
Shu Uemura’s cleansing oils are, I won’t lie, really REALLY expensive with the premium oil 150ml bottle priced at SGD$68 and the 450ml bottle going at an astronomical SGD$155- whoo can you see Saturn already? ;P So just what is the big deal about it? Why is it so fricking expensive?
It’s my holy grail. Total HG material. The oil has a thin, smooth consistency which makes it very easy to spread over the face and it removes my mascara like no other. Just rub it gently into your lash line, everything dissolves instantly (definitely faster than Biore!) and get this – IT DOESN’T STING! And usually most women wash their faces with another facial foam to remove the oily residue from their cleansing oil but you don’t need to double cleanse if you use this because it works as a facial cleanser as well and there isn’t any oily residue left; your skin is clean and so soo soft. It’s got a comforting green tea scent and omg packaging, packaging, pretteh packaging!
Cut to the chase:
Biore Cleansing Oil: Cheap, Good at removing all make-up but stings eyes and leaves a slight residue on skin.
DHC: Mid-range, Gentle for sensitive skin but doesn’t remove heavy-duty waterproof mascara.
Shu Uemura: OH MY GOD IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND GET A BOTTLE. Your skin will LOVE you for it! Even if you can’t afford it, run to your nearest Shu counter and ask for samples!
I hope this is helpful if you’re new to cleansing oils! Anyway I finally purchased my first proper bottle of the Shu Uemura cleansing oil this week and got some other stuff from them as well, beauty haul entry up next! Wishing all my muslim readers a Happy Eid Adha, enjoy the long weekend!
Til next time~
img credit: shu uemura, dhc & biore.