The Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil

Hello folks!

If you’ve been reading my bog for a while now, you would know that I am a big fan of using oil cleansers to remove makeup. They work like a charm and there is no scrubbing and tugging involved. I like to try new oil cleansers each time I finish the current one 😀 I I have tired many Shiseido products in the past and they have never disappointed me. This cleansing oil is no exception!

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Shiseido Perfect Cleansing oil

It comes in a nice simple and elegant plastic pump bottle. The oil is very light and silky feeling on the skin. This isn’t the lightest cleansing oil I have tried (If I remember correctly the DHC Cleansing oil feels very light) but it glides very easily over the skin.

I like to take 2 pumps and massage it all over the face. If I am wearing eye makeup then I use an additional pump to clean off all that mascara, liner and eye shadow. It does the job really well and I never find traces of any makeup after using this to remove makeup. I always go in with a foaming cleanser as a second cleanse though.

The oil has a slight fragrance which has not irritated my skin so far..touch wood! If you are very sensitive to fragrances I would not recommend this one. The only other negative I have to mention about this cleanser is the price (35$)! The ingredients are nothing special..it is basically mineral oil and just like in the case of Shu Uemura you are basically paying for the brand name. Just for this reason, and my general obsession with trying out different cleansing oils and balms, I won’t be repurchasing.

Have you tried the Shiseido Cleansing oil?

Until next time,ciao!!

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Moonlab Gold Snail Vital up Essential Cream

Hello folks!

Recently I dived into K Beauty and found out I love all things snail 🙂 I tried out a trial sample of the It’s Skin Prestige Cream d’ escargot which was amazing for my skin. I just couldn’t bring myself to bite the bullet and buy the full size bottle which costs around 65$. There are so many snail creams out there, what if I find one that works just as well but is cheaper?

So, off I go to Amazon to check the bazillion snail creams they have there and stumbled upon the Moonlab Gold Snail Vital up Essential Cream. It was selling at a price of 10$ so I decided to see if they really have snail filtrate and gold in there. I found out that this cream was being sold for around 88 dollars in Singapore (Thanks Google)! So this had to be a fake one right? Nope! Turns out that the seller is the actual company that makes these creams so this was not a knock off. Maybe the company is doing some sort of promotional price and since it was only 10 bucks I decided to buy it.

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Moonlab Gold Snail Vital up Essential Cream

A few days later I got the cream in the mail. The box and the cream tub looked nice and luxe. I liked the silver lettering on the coffee maroon lid. The cream came with a nice spatula too. My first impressions were immediately dampened when I saw the expiration date on the outer box. The cream was all set to expire in 10 days! You get what you pay for 😛 That was the reason this guy was only 10 bucks.

So I decided to test the cream out for 10 days and another 10 days post expiration. The ingredient list looked real good which was one of the reasons I got it. Take a look.

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Ingredient List

It has Sodium Hyaluronate, Snail filtrate, glycerin, niacin amide…. all as the first couple of ingredients. This is the stuff my dry skin loves.

The cream has a nice pleasant smell. I can’t describe it..its not overly floral but it is a very faint floral scent which is not over powering. The texture of the cream is a bit stringy compared to the the It’s Skin Prestige Creme d’ Escargot snail cream. However, it feels really nice when applied to the skin. The cream sinks right in and my skin did feel moisturized the next day morning.

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Slightly stringy with gold flecks best describes the cream!

I am not sure if those gold bits did anything for my skin. I used to find small specks of it on my face sometimes..other than look like I went for a late night craft lesson I doubt it did anything.

Overall, it was a decent moisturizer. But was it amazing..nah. I did not find my skin looking any brighter or radiant. It did not do anything for my blemishes, redness, dullness etc. I don’t see myself re purchasing this one again ( especially not if they sell old stock that expires in 10 days). There are so many snail creams out there for me to try!

Have you tried the Moonlab Snail cream? or any of their other products?

Until next time, ciao!!

 

Tosowoong Pure Snail Mask (Skin soothing)

Hello folks! We just did a major move back to the U.S from Asia with a 14th month old and survived! 😀 The stress of moving, long haul flights and the dry weather of Boston has taken a toll on my skin. That called for a special spa night at home with a face mask and wine !

I had picked up the Tosowoong Pure Snail mask from the website Cosmetic Love a while back and since it said skin soothing decided this is the one for the current lifeless skin situation 😀

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Tosowoong Pure Snail Mask

The sheet mask was nice and sturdy so I doubt it would tear easily. The mask was well soaked with the essence but not dripping in essence like some masks which meant a no mess no fuss application. There was enough essence left in the packet to apply on my neck and hands (I usually apply left over essence from the packet all over my body).

The instructions tell you to put this on for 10 to 20 minutes but I landed up keeping mine on a for atleast 45 minutes since it felt so relaxing!! I found the mask really soothing and relaxing to keep on the face. The essence does not sit on top of the skin so there is no uncomfortable stickiness to deal with while the mask is on and also when you take it off.

My skin looked brighter and felt plump and moisturized after I took off the mask. Like I mentioned, since the essence soaks into the skin there is no overly sticky gross feeling post masking. I had applied the sheet mask at night before bed and found that my skin felt great even the next morning.

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Ingredient List

The ingredient list also looked pretty good to me which is why I decided to buy this sheet mask. As you can see there is Niacinamide  and snail secretion pretty high up on the list (yay!).

Overall, I really enjoyed using this mask and plan to repurchase this one in the near future. Have you tried any of the Tosowoong sheet masks?

 

Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer

Hello folks! It has been raining a bit here the last few days and it feels like summer is starting to say its final goodbyes. Rain or shine, I seem to have dark circles from lack of sleep these days (Thanks to a super active baby boy). I still don’t think they are as bad as the dark circles I have seen with certain friends and family, but its visible and makes me look tired so they gotta get hidden! I made an order with the UK website Feelunique back in January when they had a sale and decided to try the Bourjois Radiance concealer. I have had good luck with Bourjois products in the past, so I was excited to try this out too 🙂

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Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer

The Bourjois Radiance Reveal concealer claims to correct, illuminate and provide 24 hour hydration. Sounds good so far right? They have also written on the bottle that it contains Mont Blanc glacier water and Hyaluronic acid. Sign me up please!

I picked out the shade 02 Beige. It is a good match for my NC25 TO NC30 skin tone. I plan to use this primarily as an under eye concealer so this was a good match for that purpose.

The concealer comes in a nice frosted glass looking plastic tube. I like the luxe look :). The applicator is a standard doe foot which works well with the product. The concealer is light in texture and not too thick. I dab 2 to 3 dots under my eyes with the doe foot applicator and then use my ring finger to dab and spread it. It is a quick and easy way to get the job done!

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The doe foot applicator

I have dry skin under my eyes and this concealer does not accentuate the dryness. In fact it is hydrating and look very natural. The big question is does it do a good job concealing? Yes! It works really well for my moderate dark circles. I am not sure how well this would perform if you are looking to cover up blemishes, acne scars and really dark circles under the eyes.  Have you tired this concealer for any of those purposes? Let everyone know in the comments what you think 😀

After using this concealer I like to set my whole face and under eyes with the Laura Geller Balance n Brighten face powder. It gives the best natural look and everything looks perfect and holds on till end of day.

I do not have any negatives to mention! Looks like this might be my new favorite concealer for a while!! It conceals under eye darkness, stays put once set, has a light weight texture, no dry and crusty under eyes…pretty much checked all the boxes on my perfect under eye concealer list 🙂

Have you tried the Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer?

Until next time, ciao!!!

Holika Holika Good Cera Lip Oil Stick

Hello folks! A while back I had posted about a K beauty Haul from the website Cosmetic Love (POSTED HERE). I had picked up some fun stuff to try along with a lip balm from Holika Holika. This is my first time trying a K beauty lip balm and unfortunately I wasn’t that impressed.

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Holika Holika Good Cera Lip oil Stick

After all, Korean skincare is all about hydration and I expected this to give me nice hydrated juicy lips. I have dry lips almost all year round. This is mostly due to the dry weather conditions where I live ( my lips are happy when I visit my parents in tropical paradise). I no longer have the outer box of the lip balm but from the description given on the Holika Holika European site, this lip balm does not contain artificial colors, artificial flavors, mineral oil, triethanolamine, talc, petrolatum and benzophenone. It does contain, as you probably guessed, Ceramides! Ceramides are a fantastic skincare ingredient.. I have done a whole blog post on it (HERE). This was the reason why I picked this lip balm out of a bazillion ones I saw on the Cosmetic Love website. So I was a bit bummed when it turned out to be like any other regular lip balm. Maybe I put too much pressure on the poor lip balm what with fancy ceramide plastered on his ingredient list! Here is a full ingredient list below:

Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Diisostearyl Malate, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Octyldodecanol, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Microcrystalline Wax, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Ceresin, Meadowfoam Delta-Lactone, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Ozokerite, Paraffin, Jojoba Esters, Polyethylene, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Tribehenin, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Trihydroxystearin, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot)fruit Oil, Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Tocopherol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Ceramide NP, Monascus Extract, Water, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ceramide NP, Bacillus Ferment, Ceramide AP, Ceramide EOP

I tried this as an overnight lip mask and also wore it around the house during the day. As an overnight lip treatment it was meh..it just sat on top of my lips and didn’t do much. Using it as a regular lip balm kept my lips protected from the dry weather but it did not do much in terms of actually hydrating them or making my lips soft. It works well under lipstick so I will mostly be using it for that purpose.

I actually like the design of the tube..it is sleek and the shape of the lip balm bullet is also ergonomic.

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Nice packaging!

The texture and faint smell of this lip balm reminds me of Nivea lip balm. Nivea lip balm = childhood memories for me! I had tons of them growing up..I had the pink tinted one, some sparkly ones, the plain no nonsense blue one., the yellow one..I had every type of lip balm they released back in the day!! This one reminds me strongly of the Nivea Blue one..the unscented no nonsense one 😀

Overall, this is not a bad lip balm..just don’t have very high expectations like I did 😀

Until next time, ciao!!!

The Burberry Fresh Glow BB Cream in Medium No.2

Hello! I picked up the Burberry fresh glow BB cream on a whim last summer. I have a love hate relationship with this product and after using this for almost a year I think I am ready to give my thoughts on this BB Cream.

Burberry Fresh Glow BB Cream

As with almost all products from Burberry, this one too is packaged beautifully. I picked up the shade Medium N0.2 ( I am in the NC25 to NC30 range ) which had enough yellow undertones to work out for me.  The tube comes with a pump which is really handy and overall the packaging is very travel friendly.

I bought this to use in the summer for light makeup but unlike most traditional BB creams this has zero coverage. It maybe evens out my skintone a little bit but other than that it does nothing. Applying more than 1 layer does nothing either.

It comes with a pump.

My biggest issue with this BB cream is the texture. It reminds me of sunscreen (It does have an SPF of 20). It feels greasy not creamy like most BB creams. On the skin, it drags and does not become one with your skin..rather it sits on top and you feel like your skin is dirty! The smell also reminds me of sunscreen.

I have dry skin and found that I looked like a greasy mess within 3 hours of wearing this! I tried this BB cream in combination with a powder foundation and it was better. The greasy feeling was still there but it felt less tacky on the skin. I was able to wear it a bit longer this time around, but I couldn’t wear this for a full work day even with the powder on top.

Things were better when I tried it this winter though! My skin had become even more dry and I thought I’ll bust this out and see how it works with my even drier skin. The greasy sunscreen feeling was still there but with powder foundation on top I was able to pull this through a full work day. It acted more as a dewy base so my skin did look nice and glowy.

However, for the price tag of 44$ I think this BB cream is way overpriced and Burberry should go back to the drawing board with this one! My L’oreal True Match Lumi foundation from the drugstore is far superior in terms of performance. It gives me the glow, feels like skin and has medium coverage.

Overall, I did not enjoy the Burberry BB cream and find that there are far better BB creams out there!

Until next time…ciao!!

The skincare ingredient must have : Ceramides

Hello folks!!

Sorting through all the anti ageing skincare products in the market, I am pretty sure you might have come across the term ceramides at some point. They are often touted as miracle workers for ageing and dehydrated skin. So what exactly are ceramides?

Imagine that the brick and mortar structure you see in the picture below is the outer later of your skin. If the bricks are to be your skin cells, then the ‘glue’ or mortar holding your skin cells together is ceramide.

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Brick and Mortar (image source: wikicommons)

To nerdyify things a bit.. the intercellular spaces between skin cells are occupied by lameller sheets. The major lipid component of these lamellar sheets is ceramides. In addition to ceramides, cholestrol and free fatty acids are also found in the lipid domain. Together, they play an important role in maintaining skin hydration by preventing water loss and holding on to moisture. Unfortunately, as we age our ability to produce ceramides decreases and hence our skin gets dry and dull. Ceramides also play an important role in keeping our skin firm and thus when the production declines with age, our skin starts to sag 😦

An important thing to note is that ceramides refer to a family of molecules, in other words there are many different types of ceramides occurring naturally in our skin. There are 9 different types found naturally in human skin: they are labelled ceramide 1 thru ceramide 9.

So how do we go about choosing the right moisturiser that helps us maintain firm healthy moisturized skin ?

Ideally, for ceramide creams to work optimally to restore skin balance and function , cholestrol and fatty acids should be present along with ceramides . As you may recall, these 3 components together form the majority of the intercellular spaces between the skin cells naturally.

Ceramides found in skin care products are usually synthetic or plant derived. When looking through the ingredient lists, you will  notice that ceramides are often labelled in the following fashion:

Ceramide 1 : Ceramide EOS
Ceramide 2 : Cermamide NS = N-stearoyl sphinganine
Ceramide 3 : Ceramide NP = N-stearoyl phytosphingosine
Ceramide 4 : Ceramide EOH
Ceramide 5 : Ceramide AS
Ceramide 6 : Ceramide AP = α-hydroxy-N-stearoylphytosphingosine
Ceramide 6 II : Caproyl sphingosine
Ceramide 7 : Ceramide AH
Ceramide 8 : Ceramide NH
Ceramide 9 : Ceramide EOP
Ceramide E : Cetyl-PG Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide and Hexadecanamide

If you are curious to know more about the different ceramide containing moisturizers in the market, I suggest checking out the following website : https://www.verywell.com/ceramide-moisturizers-1069550. The author has detailed 6 ceramide containing moisturizers.

Is there proof that ceramide containing moisturizers work?

Now this is where things get a bit complicated. There are so many different types of ceramides and depending on the other ingredients present, the concentrations etc the story can change. Here is a sampling of different studies showing the efficiency of ceramides as a skincare ingredient:

There are of course, more studies outlining the efficiency of ceramides as a skincare ingredient. As I mentioned earlier, this is just a sampling of different types of studies done with ceramides which prove that they can be effective in fighting atopic dermatitis, wrinkles and also hyper pigmentation.

After reviewing quite a few research publications, I personally believe that ceramides can be a beneficial skincare ingredient. Have you tried any ceramide creams? If so what do you think of them?

References:

  1. Hashizume H. Skin aging and dry skin. J Dermatol. 2004 Aug;31(8):603-9.
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12553851
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12492545
  4. http://www.cir-safety.org/sites/default/files/cerami122014tent.pdf
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24656726/