Monday, 21 April 2014

Shu Uemura's Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/I

Let me be the first to say that cult products rarely work for me. So when I was introduced to Shu Uemura's Skin Purifier Cleansing Oils by a friend last year, I was quite hesitant to go along with the hype. Sure, Shu's cleansing oils had a great reputation but so did a load of other cult products that just never delivered for my dry, sensitive skin. 

But I was really at my wits end, what with me going through my worst skin year and Lancome's Baume Eclat Balm-to-Oil Massage Cleanser being discontinued. My friend took me to a Shu counter and I got matched with an appropriate cleanser.

Shu oils are widely known for their superior cleansing ability. It boasts the ability to melt away make up, unclog sebum in the pores and dissolve water-soluble impurities. The oils themselves are enriched with botanical oils that not only effectively cleans but leaves the skin refined, soft and plump. 

Like I said, last year was my worst skin year ever and one look at my weathered and stressed skin, I was recommend Shu Uemura's Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/I. This cleanser is especially designed for sensitive and fragile skin. It has Licorice Root Derivative, which in Oriental medicine is used to strengthen the body during times of stress, and Amino Acids as its key ingredients. 

I had a lot of redness going on at the time and it hurt even to use my most basic moisturiser. The sales assistant said that the Premium A/I oil would help calm and nourish the irritated skin. I was super sceptical so she gave me a few sample packets to try at the time. Surprisingly, my skin absolutely loved it. The redness started to settle and it amazingly, it didn't hurt at all to use. Everything under the sun stung at the time except this!

Very surprised!

Usually, I use 1.5 pumps to remove my daily routine of foundation, eyebrow pencil, liquid eyeliner and smudge-proof mascara. Shu suggests using a very generous 4-5 pumps but even when I'm wearing a bit more eye shadow and lipstick/lipgloss, I find that 2 pumps is enough. Having said that, if I'm wearing very heavy eye make up, I will remove it first with Clinique's Take The Day Off Make Up Remover for Lids, Lashes and Lips. The oil actually stings when I get it into my eyes, so I've decided that it's better to just go in with a cotton pad first. 

I've found that the most important part in using the oil is when you start to emulsify the oil. When it turns into a milky cleanser, I really take my time to massage my face and to make sure that the make up is fully removed from my face. Mum uses this oil as well and she wasn't doing this step thoroughly, and her toner kept picking up residual foundation. So it's definitely worth taking your time with this part!

I think this definitely lives up to the hype. After using more than half a bottle, I can say that it works better than my Lancome Baume Eclat Balm-to-Oil Massage Cleanser. It cleans really well without leaving that drying, squeaky clean feeling. When I first started using this, my face felt soft and less dry than usual. I have to admit that I've stopped getting this feeling now but that's not to say that it's stopped working. Instead, it's perhaps that I've gotten so used to the results that I don't really notice it.

I've tried a few of the other Shu oils - the green, pink and yellow one. I've found that this is the best one for dry skin because the texture is the thickest out of the ones I've tried. I think the green one actually cleanses a little better but my skin feels quite dry afterwards.

These oils do cost an arm and a leg, so I only use this on days I've actually work make up. On days where I've just gone with moisturiser and sunscreen, I'll opt for a milk or gel cleanser depending on weather conditions!

Have you tried Shu oils before? What's your favourite type of cleanser? 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Clinique's Moisture Surge Overnight Mask

Hi guys! I just wanted to say a few words before I went into my latest reviews. Thank you so much to all the new followers on all of my social media platforms! It's great to see some new faces coming around. I hope you'll enjoy your stay here!

Now, onto my review!

Masks are, without a doubt, a heaven send to us people with dry skin. I absolutely swear by them and know first hand how healthy skin can look after a good mask. This is why I loved the idea of sleeping masks when I came across them a few years ago. Unfortunately, the first generation of sleeping masks generally came in a gel formula which did very little for my dry skin. 

For awhile there, I steered clear of sleeping masks but when I heard that Clinique was coming out with one in late 2012/early 2013, I was absolutely thrilled! I am very much a Clinique girl, having used and loved the large majority of their product line! I've found that their products are reliable and my skin agrees with most of their products. In fact, the Moisture Surge line is my favourite grouping out of the entire Clinique brand, so I was super excited to try the mask out!

I've used several deluxe samples of Clinique's Moisture Surge Overnight Mask thanks to generous sale assistants and gift with purchase bundles. I've loved the product so much that I've recently purchased the full size, upgrading the mask from 'skincare trial' to 'skincare staple' by purchasing the full size! 

One of the big reasons why my skin likes the Overnight Mask so much is because of its texture. It's an oil-free and fragrance free cream formula that feels a little tacky once spread across the face. But after a very short period, the cream sinks in and begins to soften the skin.

I like to rub my hands together for a little heat before pressing my palms onto my face. I feel that this gives the product better absorption and it definitely shows in the morning-after results. 

The other good thing about the Overnight Mask is its list of ingredients. There is an excellent amount of plant extracts that serve to hydrate and calm the skin. Ingreidents worth noting include murumu seed butter, wheat bran, olive extract, shea butter, mango butter and aloe leaf water - all of which, intensely hydrates, nourishes and soothes the skin. 

I generally use this around twice a week after my nightly routine. I do take my time to rub the formula in because I use quite a liberal amount. I even use it around my eyes which I'm sure some will say is a no-go zone but that's my driest area! I haven't had any irritations so far which is always worth noting!

The morning after results are pretty impressive - much better than just using a hydrating serum and moisturiser on its own. My face looks moist, fresh and hydrated. The skin feels smoother and my skin tone appears to be much more even. More surprising is the way it flattens the fine lines under and around my eyes!

I've layered this on pretty heavily when my skin is stressed out and I've noticed that it does calm my skin a little bit. But I'd say its moisturising abilities outweighs its calming capabilities. 

For now, as the weather starts to transition into a new season, I'm starting to use a small amount every night. Every time we move into a different season, my skin goes berserk for some silly reason, so I'm hoping that this mask will give my face a hand during this period. So far, things are looking good!

Clinique suggests that this is suitable for all skin types and I can vouch for it working on dry skin. But I do have a feeling that it may be too much for oily or combination skin. 

I've read a few reviews saying that this is no more than a night moisturiser but I disagree. The texture of this mask really does create a barrier or veil over your skin and hence 'masking' it the entire night. This is great news for dry skins who don't want any moisture loss throughout the night. But considering the amount of hydrating ingredients in this, this might be too much for someone on the oiler spectrum. 

I've always felt that if you're oiler, you need hydration but not in the form of something that consists of numerous moisturising butters. I think a gel sleeping mask would be a better product. 

Have you tried this Overnight Mask before? What are your experiences with sleeping masks?