Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush for a cleaner, healthier skin.

When I was invited to try out the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush, I had a good mixed feeling of being excited about it yet at the same time a little anxious too.

Well, you know when it comes to using a cleansing brush for the skin, I have read too many ghastly stories of beauty bloggers getting sensitised skin and worse, over-exfoliated skin that are drier, with rougher surface and highly clogged pores when they were using a well-known cleansing brush that kind of took the world of cleansing by storm... for awhile, that is.

Therefore, although I was excited about attending the launch, I do caution myself to not lose touch with reality - that a cleansing brush, as much as a brand says it is gentle enough for the skin, must be taken with a pinch of salt - that not everyone has the same skin condition and not every skin behaves the same way. And I was glad that them folks in Clinique didn't discount all those concerns.

This is kinda interesting. I am very new with the cleansing brush because I wasn't into the cleansing brush craze when there was a hype to own one. So, I am not quite sure how easy it is to use a cleansing brush.

The Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush sounds so easy to use. You just have to charge it for 24 hours at the first charge and you can practically use without re-charging it for at least the next 4-6 months, if you use it everyday, once a day. Isn't that just great?

The handle is also so firm to the grip and the brush is designed in a way that allows you to use it even in the shower, without getting electrocuted by the device neither will the gadget fail when exposed to wetness. It's practically hassle-free except for the first 24-hour charge.
Bristles - I was initially worried about how harsh the bristles are but when all of us tried it at the back of our palms, we could feel that the bristles are just so soft. Of course, you can't be fooled by it as when it touches your gentle facial skin, the bristles can feel a little firmer, kind of like a texture good enough for use as a daily skin exfoliator - gentle enough to be used daily for most skins but no more than once a day because it still can harm the skin if used not according to recommended usage.

Rotating bristles - One touch of the switch (where you see the iconic "C" for Clinique logo), the brush rotates really fast that you won't even feel it rotating, more like buzzing and vibrations. And Clinique made sure to get this right with innovations engineered by a leading Swiss manufacturer to develop the most gentle and effective sonic brush technology. A combination of skincare expertise and technological savvy of a leading Swiss manufacturer.

Oval-shaped - As you can see the head of the brush is oval-shaped, mimicking the shape of the palm of your hand. Because you can use the brush in replacement of the circular movement you'd normally use to cleanse the skin, reaching the narrower facial contours around the nose, hairline and chin with the angular tip of the brush. 

Texture - As cleansing is the essential step in skincare, Clinique has designed the brush to have gentle bristles on the white area, while the pale green-coloured top portion consists of firmer, shorter bristles.

Angular - Doesn't it remind you so much of those oral-B electric toothbrushes that promise you cleaner teeth? ;P

It is quite a lovely package altogether - firm grip with a handle that's just nice to hold, it makes cleansing quite convenient. 
How To Use - Of course, you're supposed to use it as the first step to its 3-step cleansing but you can really just use an existing liquid cleanser. I prefer to use it in the evening when I'm not in the rush to cleanse my skin. You're supposed to remove your makeup first and then use the brush only after you have removed your makeup, as a double cleansing step.

Just wet the brush and pour a little liquid cleanser on the bristles, press the switch and walah... you're automatically in for a lovely experience.

Just 30 seconds - The switch automatically turns off after 30 seconds. And that is all you need to have good, clean skin. I must admit I was a little naughty in my first attempt, simply because I just loved the feeling of the bristles massaging my stressed skin. After its first stop at 30 seconds, I pressed on the switch again for another 30 seconds. And then another 30 seconds. 

Be careful not to overdo it - Now them folks in Clinique cautioned me against doing it for more than 30 seconds if I were to use this daily. Well, 1 minute is fine - 30 seconds on the face and another 30 seconds on the neck area, as you really cannot leave out the neck area. But that's it. To use it more than 30 seconds can actually bring more harm than good.

I've used this for almost 3 weeks now and I must say that the though the bristles are so soft to the touch, I don't think daily use quite cuts it for me. On a fine day, the cleansing ritual with the brush feels just fine... quite heavenly, in fact. But when my hormones are acting up and my skin gets a little sensitive, I can feel the bristles scrubbing over the skin, even when I'm not even putting pressure onto the brush. And you're not supposed to, either. It kind of feels like I could actually replace my scrub by adding the brush in my cleansing ritual. Skin feels super clean and I'd wake up with smooth, moist skin, as if the skin's able to fully absorb the night moisturiser and replenished the skin.

On the first 3 days of use, my skin looked magnificent! I kept looking at the mirror on my work desk because the skin looked so dewy moist, with a healthy glow even with minimal makeup but let's just say that as per any cleansing brush, I guess some of us may not get used to using it on a daily basis. When I started to feel that my skin became a little sensitive to the feel of its bristles, I chose to use this alternate days before I see any negative effects. I'm not sure if there is any negative effect to cleansing the skin, but I'd rather not see it and maintained the good results I've been getting by using it just 3 times a week.

Clinique did mention that for some people it's 30 seconds a day, some gradually to a minute a day but for some, alternate days would be just fine. You be the judge to what your skin needs and to not over do it. They also recommend that you replace the bristle head every 3-6 months depending on your usage.

This is what you get out of a package - the brush, a stand, a booklet and a USB charger. There is no power plug with it. So, you should be able to plug it into any regular device power plug.

Ok, I'm sure you'd like to know what's the damage like... the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush retails at RM360, with the replacement bristles at RM93. Quite a big sum initially but I think the price is still reasonable compared to other brands with an almost similar system. Of course, I am entirely new in this and I may not be able to give a good apple to apple comparison.

Why does one need this? - Well, I really cannot answer this on behalf of the population. For me, I've always been using an additional tool in my daily cleansing... I use a facial sponge to assist me in my cleansing ritual because I think my skin feels cleaner rather than just the regular circular motions with the fingers. Plus, I dislike wiping my wet face with the towel I use for bathing. So, I have a separate sponge for that part of my skin. Hence, I take the brush as another tool for me to play with in cleansing.

I'm not sure if you have seen this yet but would you want to add this to your beauty secret? 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

TartÄ™ Maracuja Oil

Got this a few months back as a gift for shopping in a Sephora store during some special festive occasion and didn't even considered to use it.

I think I've been stressing my skin out after testing several skincare product in a short span of time. You can see the lack of updates recently because I've not only been busy at a new job but more so because I've somehow stopped being over-adventurous with my skincare excursions.

My skin has been good enough until early this year since I've been trying out organic and products without silicones, which meant plenty of trial and errors and finding out that natural skincare may not necessarily work as well as you expect it to work. Worse still when my skin's confused to it being oily to dehydrated to super sensitive and being so stressed out. Like I know when it is stressed out and I'd feel more stress with its condition. I get something to work well and then I add something anti-ageing to the regiment and there goes all the good results which I've been trying to maintain. It sucks...

Can't believe that I'm still in search for the right formula and trying my best to avoid committing to more skincare trials.

And tonight, I'm feeling all stressed up while I open up this deluxe sample of the Maracuja Oil which I've heard so much of... I can never use oil products for long term yet I have this small window of hope in me who'd want to believe that I'd find one that works perfectly... for more than 3 months, at least. Oh boy.

Now how do we use this thing... smells quite horrible too. 2-3 drops, ok. 

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?