Thursday, 31 March 2016

Skin Prepping For The Colder Months

Left to Right - Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser, Clinique Even Better Dark Defense SPF 50/PA++++, Foreo Luna for Normal Skin, Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream, L'Occitane Shea Butter Cream in Rose and Vanilla

At this point, I'm not sure if we'll have Winter at all here in Sydney. It's supposed to be Autumn but we've been having 25+ degrees days.

Still, I'm very conscious that I might be wrong and then we'll have a full blown Winter where my skin will shrivel up and never unwrinkle itself.

God, what a terrible visual!

Since I know colder weather is up ahead for us, I'm starting to make a mental note of the products that I'll be using to ease myself into winter. For me, skincare has always been about hydration. You'll find that a lot of issues can be remedied by using more hydrating, whether that be oil or water based, products.

Here are some of the things I'll do as we move towards the colder months.

1. Switch to a milk cleanser
When it starts to get cold, I always move onto a milk cleanser because they feel less harsh and drying on my skin. Avene's Gentle Milk Cleanser has been my go-to cleanser for years now and I'm not sure why I've never reviewed it here! It is so gentle than I can use it when my skin is feeling irritated, rough or it's looking red due to wind burn. 

Once or twice a week, I'll go in with my Foreo Luna Cleansing Device for Normal Skin and do some exfoliation. The thing I love most about the Foreo Luna is that it is very effective for deep cleansing, especially around the nose and directly under your bottom lip. I also like using it on the side of my neck for lymphatic draining!

2. Wear sunscreen
A friend of mine says she doesn't wear sunscreen during the colder months and I absolutely went into lecturing mode! Just because it's not sunny outside, doesn't mean there's no UV rays out there!

Remember to find yourself a reliable sunscreen that products against UVA and UVB - this way you're covered against harmful UV rays that age and burn the skin. I'm a big, big fan of Clinique's Even Better Dark Spot Defense SPF 50/PA ++++ in Sheer Tint. It has a high SPF and PA protection, and it has no white cast whatsoever. It's a little oily when first applied but that does wear off quickly. 

3. Opt for a rich moisturiser
When it starts to get real cold, I whip out my Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream (which is also due for a proper review!). It's essentially a heavy duty version of Dr Jart's Ceramidin Light Cream and it does wonders for weathered sensitive skin. It has a highly emollient texture and does wonders at repairing dry and cracked skin.

4. Lock in moisture with a sleeping mask
To quickly rescue my skin from the heater or wind, I reach for Clinique's Moist Surge Overnight Mask. I love using sleeping masks when I'm too exhausted to use my sheet masks. I've tried a few sleeping creams and this Clinique one is still one of my favourites - it's not too heavy, is oil free and you wake up looking like you've had 8+ hours of sleep!

5. Have hand cream on stand by
I try to also not neglect my hands! Although it costs an arm and a leg, I do have a soft spot for L'Occitane's Shea Butter Hand Creams. My favourite scent is, of course, rose but their vanilla one is not bad! I usually keep a large size on my bedside table and have miniature tubes in my handbag for when I need to reapply it during the day.

6. Always having a fresh razor on hand*
I'm a sometime shaver and I know the headache that comes with a dull blade. If you're going over the same place over and over with a blunt shaver, you're causing skin irritation and dryness. The Dollar Shave Club introduced itself to me a little earlier and they're a subscription service that sends fresh razors to your door each month. That will be pretty handy if you're a regular shaver!

Whereabouts are you located? Is it getting colder or warmer for you? 

*I was contacted by the Dollar Shave Club to write this post.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Pen Liner Stash: Muji, Clio, KissMe, Dejavu and Dolly Wink

Top to Bottom: Muji, Clio, KissMe Heroine Make, DejaVu, Dolly Wink

Ohhh where would I be without black liquid eyeliner. I rely heavily on sharp, thin black lines to give my droopy eyelids definition and structure. Without liner, I look tired and a little vacant.

I've tried a lot of eyeliners and I find that for an everyday, polished look, pen liners with a calligraphy tip works best for me. Here's a few of pen liners that I've got in my make up stash.

Muji's Liquid Eyeliner (Slim Marker Type) in Black is probably the biggest letdown. It isn't waterproof by any means, melts quickly and feathers very easily. The tip is too soft and it can splinter when you press down too hard. It's very difficult to get a clean straight line.

I highly recommend Clio's Waterproof Pen Liner Kill in Black. If you're after a liner that will really define your eyes, this is the one. It's intensely black and the calligraphy tip allows you to draw the thinnest line. Despite the tip being very flexible and malleable to how thick you want your liner, I would say that even a beginner could use this with a few practice runs. This is because the tip doesn't splay apart when you press down on it, making control much easier. However, the liner is on the wet side and may take a tiny bit more waiting time than your average liner. But this hasn't been much of an issue for me.

Dejavu's Lasting Fine Liquid Eyeliner in Black would be my second favourite out of the bunch. It performs very similarly to Clio's. It's a little less black but it's still definitely an intense black that can be used at night. I actually prefer this one for the office because it's not that pitch black shade. The biggest problem I have with this liner is that it runs out of steam way too quickly. The first 2 weeks, this works like a dream and then the liquid flow is haphazard. Most times, I'll have enough liquid for one eye but not the other, so I have to reach for my Clio or Dolly Wink.  

Everyone seems to rave about Dolly Wink's Black Liquid Eyeliner but I only partly agree with the hype. It has just the right pigmentation for an everyday look and the liquid flows smoothly to the tip. Out of the 5 I own, I've gotten the most uses of out this one. The biggest problem is that the colour fades as the day goes on.

I bought KissMe Heroine Make Eyeliner Black when they were doing a huge sale and I found that it's similar to the Dolly Wink liner. Colour intensity is good for a day look and the tip is thin enough for sharp lines. But the colour fades easily and it seemed to run out of liquid very quickly. I was already looking to purchase a new liner by week 3.

What's your favourite liquid pen liner?

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Design Issues: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Foundation SPF 25


You might think that, with my love for cushion compacts, I wouldn't really have a need for proper liquid foundations. It's true that I think cushions are great because they're super easy to apply and their finishing is very natural. However, I still reach for a liquid foundation if I need to look polished.

Awhile back, I held off buying Bobbi Brown's Skin Foundation which I thought was quite good. I just kept thinking that they were on the cusp of releasing something new because they retired their Moisture Rich foundation. Lucky I waited for their Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 25

It's worth noting that some countries like the US and Hong Kong have this foundation with SPF40. I've tried asking Bobbi Brown multiple times how different the two formulas are but never got a reply. I've tested both and find the SPF40 shades to be a bit murky/gray and they tend to smell of sunscreen. The SPF 25 version that I have has a light lavender scent. 

Bobbi Brown's Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 25 blends skincare and foundation, giving you a (sort of) 2-in-1 product. It's formulated with lychee, bamboo grass and cordyceps mushroom extract with the latter being a Chinese herbal ingredient which has traditionally been used to re-engerise the body. 

I've always seen skincare within make up products as being more of a bonus than a deal breaker. The main reason why I was drawn to this foundation was because, like most serum foundations, it's more hydrating and creamier than others on the market.


If you know your shade, buy online because they're always giving out gift with purchases! I got a Bobbi To Go pack which included a mini eyeliner, eye cream and mascara. They also package it really well!

I purchased the serum foundation in 02 Sand, which I can use throughout summer, autumn and late spring. The shade looks yellow in and out of the bottle (I've heard that Bobbi Brown's foundations do lean towards yellower tones, mind you). However, on my face, it blends out nicely and almost looks ivory.
The formula looks and feels very hydrating. Despite it being a serum foundation, it doesn't give a dewy finish but it does brighten. I would have liked a tiny bit of pink in the mixture so it can give me a rosier complexion, especially on days where I'm running low on sleep. But I guess that's where blush comes in!

Coverage-wise, it covers redness very, very well. It does a pretty good job at lightening acne scars.

I'm not a huge fan of touch ups, so the foundation is on my face the moment I wake up, till the moment before I shower. I don't use powder, so it does start to break down after 4 hours of wear. Does it look terrible? I always carry a BB Cushion in case but I never feel the need to touch up. I feel that the foundation would last longer if I used powder. 

The texture is lovely and not like other serum foundations I've tried. It's on the creamy side and not liquidy at all. It almost feels like a light lotion and spreads very easily. It applies well with fingers but I like to pat it in afterwards with a cushion applicator.

The foundation's bottle design can only be described as a nightmare. 

Foundation collects around the cap, sits at the opening and the sides. Every morning, I see so much wastage and it killllsssss me because this foundation isn't cheap. I use what's around the rim and put a tiny bit more onto the palm of my hand before dotting and swiping the product around my face. It annoys the living daylights out of me because the product that is fresh out of the bottle feels softer, creamier and more luxurious.

The dropper isn't great either. Since the foundation's texture is on the creamy side, it doesn't get sucked into the dropper that easily and it takes several goes to get anything it. Sometimes, it can get so tedious that I just swipe the dropper onto my palm and whatever deposits, deposits. 

I would have preferred a pump. 

I travelled with this recently and had a gazillion rounds of tape around and all over the damn bottle but it still leaked. 

I initially thought this foundation was the bee's knees. In fact, I still think very highly of the texture, coverage and shade match. The foundation isn't a 10/10, but it is a 8/10 which, for me, is very high. It probably would be a 10/10 if the shade had a tiny bit of pink in it.

But the OUTSIDE is a different story. The poor bottle design and dropper is extremely disappointing. It's really taken away from what could have been my favourite serum foundation for me.

Which products are you having packaging problems with?