Monday, July 14, 2014

Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum - targets your skin concerns and works to improve them.

Usually, before I am asked to test and review new products not launched yet in our local stores, I would find out more on the product and what others think of it. I am especially intrigued with products that promise to deliver superior benefits like the Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum.

First up, the packaging of the product itself was pretty tricky to shoot. The entire bottle is aluminum-like and efforts to take a photo of it under bad lighting and inferior photography devices would pose a big challenge. Though the package feels identical to those of other Clinique's serums, ie. the Even Better Essence or the Turnaround Concentrate, the presentation is a teeny bit different... there's like an inverted 2D effect that reading the label is pretty tough. Hence, the much manipulation in the photo above on its lighting and contrast.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Defense SPF 45/PA++++

I am not new to Clinique's sunscreens. Having some bouts of sensitive skin symptoms every once in awhile since my student days, Clinique was always a go-to brand for their fragrance-free and allergy tested promise. I never really liked their chemical smell of SPF but since they're safe for my skin, I thought their sunscreen products are worth the investment.

Recently, the kind folks in Clinique gave me the Even Better Dark Spot Defense sunscreen to try. I must say I was thrilled to try it because I've used up another version of their Even Better sunscreen in a tube called, the City Block and liked it a lot (tried looking for the post but I guess I missed posting that up).

The Even Better line is known to have brightening properties and evening out skin tone. So, what better option than to have a sunscreen that not only protects skin from harmful UV rays while it treats skin. Better yet, enhancing the treatment of brightening and spot reduction if you're already using the entire Even Better line from Clinique.

The packaging is nice and cute. The small white colored bottle has a small nozzle where just the right amount of sunscreen can be dispersed with a small squeeze of the bottle. It comes in a 30ml bottle and just nice to be held in my palm.

I was more interested to check out the tinted version. I've been in the search for a nice tinted moisturiser or BB cream as I am trying to use less foundation. So, a tinted sunscreen would do just as well.

The formula in the bottle is such that you need to shake it well for the tint to come out or else you'd end up getting just clear liquid. 

Coverage wise, the tint gives a really light coverage. It won't cover your blemish marks nor conceal your open pores. What it does is that it applies smooth, you get that normal shine from an SPF and you'll either see a nice glow (if you like that healthy sheen) or you might want to layer on powder for a matte finish. For me, I achieve a matte finish when I layer this product on top of the sunscreen.

According to Clinique, the product comes in a refreshingly lightweight and silky formula which would offer a flawless, protective base that can be worn alone or under makeup. It and can also be used around the eye area. The Even Better Dark Spot Defense SPF 45 / PA++++ is suitable for all skin types and is available in two variations: Sheer, a non-tinted formula, and Sheer Tint, a subtly tinted formula. And of course, their signature claim to products that are allergy tested, 100% fragrance free, dermatologist tested and for this, also ophthalmologist tested in case you're worried about applying it on the eye area.

I've been using this for more than 4 weeks and although I don't get much coverage from the tint, I am enjoying the benefits of the Even Better promise - clearer looking complexion which I think looks immediately obvious upon cleansing my face in the evening. I'm not sure if it is due to just using the Even Better range (I'm using several items from the range) or due to the combination with a pore minimiser product which I've been using in the same duration. I do think that the several products   when used together will eventually show some positive difference to the tone of the complexion.

I definitely won't use this alone on a tiring day because the tint doesn't give sufficient coverage for me and if I compare it with the creamier tube of the Even Better City Block, I kind of prefer the tube because it is less shiny. But this one has a slightly larger amount of SPF than the City Block and some of you might prefer a more fluid formula rather than a creamy one. Plus, this one specifically treats dark spots as well. 

The Even Better Dark Spot Defense was launched in the first quarter of this year and retails at RM140. 

Have you tried it yet?

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector blurs imperfections while treating them.

I have some soft spot for Kiehl's products. They have fairly good stuff ranging from facial to haircare and baby products, and the first time they came to Malaysia, I thought they scored top marks in the service of their beauty consultants. I used many of their products before to treat acne and congestion while I super love their shampoos as they work at a fraction of the price compared to those luxury salon brands. So, when the folks at Kiehl's asked me if I was interested to test out their new Micro-Blur Skin Perfector, it was an offer I couldn't resist.

As stated clearly on its packaging, it is supposed to blur out imperfections so that skin looks perfect. At least, that was how I expected it based on its name :)

With Lipo Hydroxy Acid, Bark and Lentil Extracts, the product claims to smooth skin while reducing the appearance of pores over time.

According to Kiehl's, the common global issue of women everywhere is pores. And that, caught my attention because I do have enlarged pores on my cheeks and at times, the pores on my forehead becomes visible like nobody's business.

Regardless of age, a lot of women are unhappy about the appearance of open pores and most likely, these women are either in the mature age or that they have oily skin. In most cases, it's both. 

"Pores and imperfections become more prominent as skin is exposed to daily aggressors throughout the day, resulting in a rough and uneven texture. With these customer needs in mind, Kiehl’s chemists created an innovative new solution that instantly smoothes skin, providing a ‘soft-focus,’ more uniform appearance while delivering lasting skin-perfecting benefits," said the brand in a statement.

Frankly, I've tried many products aimed at blurring imperfections and they are usually meant to be used as a primer, before putting on concealer/foundation. I've not come across one that also acts as skincare. I was intrigued at the claim that with consistent use, the product will improve skin texture and quality, over time. 

I must say I love the packaging. Kiehl's packaging is always minimalistic but with the feel of quality. The Micro-Blur Skin Perfector comes in 30ml plastic squeezable tube which is so cute and small. I especially like the snap on cap which is very convenient to use as the tube is so small, you can just flip it open with your thumb while you squeeze out the product and snap it close. Hence, retaining its freshness and minimising the risk of oxidation as you can snap the product close immediately.

As you can see, the product comes out jelly like with a slight tint. Not to worry though as the tint seem to disappear the moment you apply the product. Notice my wrinkly slightly-aging skin.

And this is a photo without filter. Notice how the lines on the part of my hand which I've applied the product, are totally blurred almost to a perfectly smooth texture? I say, this product is awesome.

Of course, with any products that claim to "blur" out lines or pores, one must wonder if it contains heavy traces of silicone. And lo and behold... the product does. It is packed with all sorts of silicones and Dimethicone appears as the number 1, top of the chart, ingredient. Sigh. I was wary of it but for the love of curiosity of all things beauty and in the name of Kiehl's, I relented. I must try it because this product is applied as the last step of your skincare regime.

As I was cautious of the silicone contents, I first used it only under makeup. Right after application, the skin feels so fresh and cool. The product actually contain some kind of cooling properties and the skin feels revived almost instantly. I quite like that cool feeling.

The product is meant to be applied last which means that if you're using sunblock or BB cream, it is supposed to be applied after those layers. It is formulated to be used during the day but it can also be used at night. For me, since it contains silicones, I preferred not to pack pore-clogging factors before bed so that I can wake up with a fresh looking skin. But, I did try it out for 3 nights because pore-clogging ingredients would usually show me negative reactions within 3 days. I guess I had high hopes for the LHA (Lipo Hydroxy Acid) content that's supposed to give skin gentle exfoliation. Well, let's just say, silicone is not really my best friend.

Their clinical tests show very good results to the consumers, where more than 85% saw improvements in their skin tone, texture and less oiliness. I wouldn't really discount those results because I know a lot of women who can tolerate silicone products. For me, my skin is just selective - I can tolerate silicone in SPF, primers and foundations as they act as a barrier of protection for my skin on top of the many layers of toner, serum and moisturiser. 

The product is light-weight and water-based so you hardly feel anything. In fact, though it contains heavy traces of silicone, I didn't feel like the skin was suffocating. The skin truly appreciate that cool feeling it provides and that feeling lasts quite a bit. I haven't really seen improvements in the appearance of pores (I've been using it for the recommended 4 weeks) but I did notice some improvements in my skin texture. However, I am also using some awesome products currently and this product may have helped contribute to the improvements when combined. I also did notice that immediate "blurring" effect upon application and didn't make my skin dry after removing it at the end of the day.

The Kiehl's Micro-Blur Skin Perfector retails at RM110 for the 30ml tube. 

Were you aware of this new product from Kiehl's? 

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Clinique Chubby Stick Intense added to my collection of favourite lip colours.

I've raved before many times in here, twitter and Instagram how much I love my Revlon chubby sticks. I have so many colours from their collections that could probably last me another 5 years though in general, the lifespan of lip colours (depending on how you use and store them) is only for a good 1-2 years. But the fact that I use the term "chubby sticks" instead of lip crayons or balm stains shows who coined the term more effectively. And I believe that a lot of beauty enthusiasts out there also take this term as a general name for these beauties that resemble a pencil but in a fatter, chubbier form.

Naturally, when the term chubby sticks is in place, one couldn't help but want to own one from the brand that made it popular ;)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Is the Estée Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion worth the hype?

When I got the Estee Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Treatment Lotion, I thought the launch was timely. I was neglecting my skin in many ways since November of last year because my skin was behaving erratically (possibly due to the various types of skincare I was trying out, partly also possibly due to some hormonal changes) and I decided to keep my skincare regime simple. Simple, meaning, no makeup, no serums, no toner too. By early of this year, I noticed that I developed a long fine line under my right eye and my skin wasn't looking that good although it was [almost] problem free.