Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Travel / On-the-go Skincare .

When you're packing for a quick trip, what beauty products do you reach for? To be quite honest, packing my skincare and make up always takes longer than picking out my clothes. I spend most of my time rummaging through my drawers for sample-sized tubes and transferring full sized products into smaller tubs. I'm meticulous about what I pack because there are seriously things I cannot live without. 

But lugging around a beauty bag which is pretty much heavier than what's on your carry-on is not cool.

So here's my cull so far for a summer getaway! Tada! The quantity is so small that I can fit them all one small zip-lock bag!

Avene Thermal Spring Water
I absolutely love this facial spray and I buy this in bulk when I'm in Hong Kong because it's much cheaper! A lot of people say that it's silly to buy water in a can but it really isn't. This is so unbelievably versatile!

For sensitive skin people, this is a must-have product. I've been using it for about two years now and it hasn't healed my eczema/wide-spread dermatitis but when I'm going through an itching fit, this is the only thing that can stop me from scratching. It soothes and softens the skin so that it no longer feels parched, dry and in need of an itch. When I get red splotches on my cheeks and eyelids, this definitely helps to ease the heat and irritability. There are also days where my skin is so sensitive that I can't even put creams on it. On those occassions, I've constantly sprayed my face and let me skin naturally absorb it.

For non-sensitive skin types, this is a great product for sealing make up. Spray a fine mist over your make up and let it dry naturally or gently fan it with your hands for a more moisturised and dewy look. Just a quick hint - don't try to pat the water into your skin because it will only disturb your foundation and make it splotchy. I also use it throughout the day just to refresh my make up so I don't look so haggard. 

It also works quite well as a toner. The water, which is essentially softer than what comes out of our taps, softens the skin and makes it feel a lot more resilient.

Clinique Moisture Surge Extra Refreshing Eye Gel and Superbalanced Foundation in Beige
I don't think you can get this eye gel in Australia anymore and I'm not confident that this is one of Clinique's best eye creams. Nonetheless, I like to mix the eye gel with Clinique's Superbalanced Foundation on the back of my hand to make my concealer. I've tried a few concealers and found that they mostly emphasised the fine lines under my eye. At least with this mixture, they're not so obvious.

Depending on the condition of my skin, I will vary the amount of gel and foundation. But generally, the amount of gel is slightly smaller than foundation. The mixture is a lighter and diluted version of the original foundation but for me, that's acceptable. 

Clinique Take The Day Off Make Up Remover
I've previously done a review on this product and I continue to think that this is a great job of removing make up. As an oil-based product, it does leave a slightly greasy residue but it's not anything that a quick water cleanse can't handle. 

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Relief
I've also done a review on this and keep buying it over and over because, again, it's a basic staple that I just can't seem to live without. On a hot summer day or night, this is really all I seem to need. This gel feels like water on the skin and is so refreshing.

Avene Soothing Moisture Mask
If I know I'm going to be staying in a hotel with a nice-looking bath, I will bring a small sample-size tube of Avene's mask. It doesn't matter whether it's summer or winter! I will run a hot bath, spread the entire tube onto my face and dunk myself into the water. The water is generally steaming hot and the heat makes the whole room feel like I'm sitting in a sauna. Hello opened pores and hello greater moisture!

To be honest, you can do this with any cream mask. Give it a go and tell me what you think!

Avene Extremely Gentle Gel Cleanser
Another Avene product! In the winter, I like to use cream or milk cleansers. But in the summer, I'm all for using a gel. This product definitely lives up to its name as being an extremely gentle cleanser. I've used this when I've had irritable skin and it didn't set off a breakout or make my skin worse. 

Very pleasant surprise!

Two Long Salon-Style Hair Clips
I have a fringe that is quite wayward and never stays in place. So I like to bring at least two long hair clips so that I can fix my hair in the morning. 

Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Sable Brown
I used to wear black eyeliner but then it got too intense for daily wear so I switched to brown. Rimmel eyeliner are actually pretty good value. They're inexpensive and get the job done. 

The good thing with a brown eyeliner is that not only can they line your eyes, you can also smudge them out with a lightly wet water cotton bud to make an eye or eyebrow shadow.

Clinique Repairwear Intensive Eye Cream
I'm actually quite liking this eye cream. It's on the creamier side of things and feels substantial on my skin. I've gone past using gel or liquidy-type eye creams and I'm really liking how rich this feels. 

I use it both day and night as part of my skincare routine. In the morning, my gel eye cream and foundation mixture will go on top after it has been absorbed into my skin. 

YSL Sheer Candy in Succulent Pomegranate
Big fan of Sheer Candy and really wish they'd come out with more colours. I've been wearing this colour a lot lately because it's actually quite close to my natural lip colour. Wearing it does give my face a hint of liveliness and even when it's worn off, the lip stain is still gorgeous. 

I've also used this as a blush by swiping a tiny bit onto the back of my hand, rubbing the colour out and mixing it in with a tiny, tiny bit of Clinique's Moisture Surge. Gently pat it onto your cheeks with clean fingers and you've got yourself a pretty blush!

What's in your beauty bag when you're off for a quick break?

INSTAGRAM: thisisvalentine_

Friday, 23 November 2012

Three Mini ( aka Non Essay Style) Reviews .

Hello everyone!

Goodness me, it has been a VERY long time since I last blogged! How are we all? Hope everyone is well! I'm slowly catching up on blogs and seeing everyone's new products and outfits - loving everything I'm seeing. Sorry for my excessive absence! I've gone back to uni for my Masters and it's been a rollercoaster ride - no joke! You think spoon feeding is what they did in high school but nooooo. Spoon fed is what happens in Undergrad, ladies and gentlemen! Masters is literally DIY!

On the bright side, I've been microblogging a fair bit on Twitter and Instagram. Admittedly, I've been tweeting some dry humour and Instragramming uninteresting photos. But something is better than nothing, right?!

Anyway, I'm baccckkk and to ease myself back into blogging I'm going to do Three Mini Reviews. Need to brush up on my non-essay writing skills!

via Lancome

Have you ever taken Lancome's 7 Day Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate Challenge? Over the years, I've tried the challenge about 4 times thanks to some generous sales assistants. Lancome boasts that the concentrate can revitalise skin, making it visibly younger in just 7 days. Skin is said to look brighter, softer and much more radiant. These are huge promises in my books.

With all concentrates, you're supposed to use them day and night in between your cleanser and moisturiser. The product is a lightly scented, clear gel-like essence that spreads quite easily onto the skin. It is quickly absorbed but I like to wait a little awhile to allow my skin to drink it in before putting on my moisturiser.

Results can be seen in about two days. My skin was noticeably brighter and 'more together', which is Valentine-speak for being more nourished. I continued using the concentrate until the end of the challenge and cannot say that there were any other improvements. So I'm inclined to think that the differences were really subtle. In hindsight, my skin looked like it had been slightly stretched, which I didn't appreciate.

After I stopped using the concentrate, my face went back to normal. I haven't actually bought a full bottle to use yet and probably won't in the near future. This is because I feel as if the improvements I saw were very superficial. My skin didn't actually feel softer during the 7 day period. It makes me think that the concentrate never sunk into my skin properly. 'Looking' younger is important but personally, I rank having soft skin higher.

I used to never get pimples! Even when I got stressed, which was quite often, I wouldn't have a breakout. Most people spend their teenage years battling breakouts but I never had those experiences. I mean, I had my own problems to deal with - sensitive skin was and still is a pain in the ass. 

But this year I've been breaking out like mad!

I'm always lecturing my brother, who's prone to breakouts, about popping his pimples but now I literally stand there in front of the mirror analysing how I'm going to pop mine. It is a nightmare!

And because my brother probably pities me, he left a Clinelle's Blemish Care Gel on my dresser the other day with a note saying 'Put this on after you pop your pimple(s)'. 

This stuff is king. Seriously, no joke. Kinnnggg. Squeeze a bit of gel out, gently rub some on the red area and then go to sleep! By the time you wake up, the area is no longer red and swollen-looking. It definitely speeds up recovery. How amazing is that?

There are probably two downsides to this product. The first one is that it doesn't seem to work as well on areas that aren't full-blown pimples yet. Secondly, from what I know, you can only buy the product in Hong Kong and Malaysia.

I've being using a lot of Avene's products over the past two years and really like what I've tried so far. One product that I must rave about is the Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream SPF 20 I'm using now. First and foremost, this is a moisturiser with the added benefit of sun protection. I like to use this one in the daytime and at night, I use Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream which is the same thing, minus the SPF.

It's a simple and gentle product that does its job. It comes out as a light fluid that spreads easily. Once applied, there is a slight white cast which is honestly unnoticeable unless you're analysing your face up close. In terms of moisturising abilities, I apply the cream liberally during the summer and spring. It's not nourishing enough for the colder months and I find myself wearing a thicker cream underneath.

The best thing about this cream is that it helps to settle and soothe sensitive skin. It really helps to alleviate the redness associated with sensitive and irritable skin. It does take a couple of days since the improvements are gradual. But it sure beats waiting it out and not putting anything on your skin. 

I don't think it's a must try for people who don't have sensitive skin. If you have non-sensitive skin, there are plenty of moisturiser/sunscreen combinations out there that have higher SPF. But if like me, your skin is often red and irritated, I would definitely give this a go.  

Okay, I'm on a roll! Be back soon!

INSTAGRAM: thisisvalentine_