Friday, 25 November 2011

Emptied or Expelled

Hopefully the first in a series: some scattershot, scatterbrained reviews of some products I've recently finished, and a few I've given up on.

(apologies for 'artistic' lighting)

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Body Cream £26 for 200ml
Very light-textured cream that sinks in immediately without stickiness. However, it was only just moisturising enough for me in extremely hot and humid weather, and the bottle lasted me just under a month, making it too rich for my blood. The scent is more thin and synthetic than that of shower gel from the same line, which I still love.

DHC Mild Touch Cleansing Oil $14 for 150ml. Ingredients.
The original DHC cleansing oil is too drying for me; I much preferred this version. Unscented, odd thickish texture, and it wasn't as efficient as my usual Fancl at removing heavy makeup. However, you can use it on wet skin, so awesome for those days when you forget to slap some oil on BEFORE jumping in the shower.

Naruko Magnolia Brightening and Firming Serum HK$200 for 30ml. Ingredients.
No brightening that I could see, but it did visibly help reduce facial puffiness and impending double-chindom (dam you, salty snacks, why must you be so delicious?) -- perhaps purely cosmetic as the v-line again went u-wards as soon as I stopped using it. Layered well with my other skincare and I enjoyed the medicinal floral scent -- may repurchase in preparation for Christmas boozefests / January comfort-eating. Two pumps daily = two months' use.

Juju Aquamoist Hyaluronic Acid Essence HK$145 for 30ml
Ingredients: Water, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben.
Great, basic hydrating serum for all skintypes -- totally weightless and actually too light for my dry skin except in extreme heat/humidity. Four pumps daily means that a bottle barely lasts a month. Will not repurchase, as I prefer the more cost-effective Mandom Beauty serum. 

Skinfree UV Mild Milk SPF38 PA+++ HK$75 for 30ml at adambeauty. Ingredients.
The best all-physical sunscreen I've tried thus far. I use it over the very thin, sensitive skin on my neck and chest and sometimes layer it over Ducray on my face to take down the shine on exceptionally hot days. It has a spreadable, light gel-cream texture which I find easier to work with than the very liquidy Japanese 'milk' sunscreens, and it's not as flat matte or drying as Sunkiller Baby Milk SPF38 PA+++, also from Kiss Me. No white cast on my admittedly pasty self. Already repurchased.

Sun Bears Cool S SPF50+ PA+++ HK$38 for 30ml at adambeauty. Ingredients.
I bought this because it was cheap and the red 'Super S' version (which has been my body sunscreen all summer since glossedintranslation introduced us) was out of stock that day. It does feel cooling and minty-fresh upon application, which is weird, but kind of enjoyable when reapplying on a sweltering day. Sets immediately to a silky, powdery finish with some white cast -- the powder has a slight tendency to rub off onto clothes/bags. Sensitives: bear in mind it does contain fragrance and menthol (but no alcohol).

Ducray Melascreen Emulsion SPF50+ €10.90 for 40ml at Ingredients.
Blah blah holy grail blah. The only high-PPD avo-free sunscreen I can stand. In winter, I switch to the cream version. I use 5 pumps daily and a tube lasts about 4 weeks. 

MAC Face and Body Foundation White £25.50 for 120ml at MAC Pro stores. 
It's been over three years, but I finally did it! :D One of my staple mixers, it works best with liquid foundations and other water-based formulations (like Lunasol Water Cream and the Sonia Rykiel cream foundation). Just a note: my bottle of this oil-and-water emulsion ostensibly separated years ago, but it worked just fine until the last drop. Shake vigorously before use and don't examine the goo too closely until you've done so.


Neosporin Lip Health Daily Hydration Therapy SPF20 $5 for 10ml.
Thin, white lotion that leaves a clear, slightly oily but unsticky film on lips. It does no more for my lips than any other okay drugstore lip balm -- keeps them hydrated for a few hours, sinks in quickly for wear under lipsticks. BUT the scent/taste is truly revolting (synthetic and bitter) and it wears off my very dry lips far too quickly.

Korres Yoghurt Moisturising Cream £19 for 40ml.
I was recommended this for the humid Hong Kong weather but it's not remotely rich enough for my dry skin. It also did not layer well with other lotions/serums/fifty layers of crap I like to slap on daily.

Bobbi Brown EXTRA Eye Repair Cream £38 for 15ml.
Perfectly adequate moisturising eye cream, which was not enough for my very dry undereyes and also did nothing for puffiness and dark circles.

Ipsa Metabolizer ME Superior W2 HK$680 for 175ml.
I tried this expensive cult product based on the passionate raves and ethereally glowing skin from some people I trust, and don't get the fuss. It's just okay. Moisturises nicely, doesn't irritate. Possibly because I apply with fingers rather than doing the recommended massage with cotton pads (my skin doesn't like so much physical agitation).

Cure Natural Aqua Gel HK$220 for 250g. Ingredients.
Another fairly pricey (it's technically drugstore -- yikes) cult product that was an epic fail on me. Did nothing for my existing flakes, and gave me more, as well as leaving my face red and tight, despite my following the instructions to the letter and applying a hard-core moisturising sheet mask immediately afterwards. Patch-testing confirmed that my skin is just far too dry and sensitive for this stuff.

I am not affiliated with any of the sites linked to, nor will I profit in any way if you click through. (I only linked to ingredients lists of the more obscure stuff, the others are available on the brands' own sites or easily googleable.)
All products were either purchased by me, or received as personal gifts from friends.
All opinions are my own and based on my own experiences of these products; I am not a dermatologist / medical professional and have no professional training in this area.


  1. I have both serums: barrier and juju, sometimes I use one in the morning and the other in the evening. always repurchase these. I like melascreen for winter, I also had their B3 facemilk, not comfy but helped me with my hyperpigmentation a lot. I hate the BB eye cream, it is thick but did nothing for my dry eyes, nothing! I was thinking about the ipsa metabolizer (I had the whitening one) but now I don't want another product that is just ok... cure burned like hell, lol. I am happy with my dermalogica daily microfo (I use it only 2x a week though) but my flakies go away. I tried a lot body stuff, almost all did nothing for my dry skin. avene cold cream was ok at least, haha.

  2. Why didn't you warn me about the BB/Cure?! Okay, I wouldn't have listened, but stiiiiill.

    If the Ipsa were priced in the Mandom Beauty range, you know I would be loving it, lol. At least I know I'm biased?

    Re body stuff: did you end up trying Haus of Gloi? I think I'll be sticking to that in future.

  3. kate, a lot of people are loving the BB cream, I saw your post about it the last time and thought: so you like that crap? haha ... you wouldn't have listen, but that's rather good than bad, lol. the white metabolizer is not moisturizing enough for me but after a month I could see a difference in my skin at least, but I agree it is too expensive for what it is (I am a serum h00r, lol). I tried my creams I had ordered, the worst part is I had an allergic reaction to them (rash, my whole chest was red and burning) and it was not moisturizing enough (I could still feel my dry skin). the perfume oils were pretty good though, no rush, etc. IDK if it's due to the creams I've ordered or all creams:( they smell so nice!

  4. I was lol when I read the part abt the "impending double chindom". I can sympathize as its a genetic trait in my family that salty food= emerging double chin. The juju is too light for me as well now and I'm just trying to use it up. I use it as a last step to seal everything in and it seems to be working well for that. I just bought the Skinfree milk as well but haven't tried it yet. I thought abt the Curel gel too but I am afraid of too much exfoliation. Based from your thoughts, I'm glad I didn't try it! I'm quite happy with my PC BHA Liquid which surprisingly soothes as well as unclogs pores. Call me impressed.

  5. LOL@ don't examine the goo too closely! I love it... I feel the same way about my F&B

  6. Claire: oh no! :( HoG pumpkin butters are the only cream to ever give me soft knees and elbows. I do stick to Aether (unfragranced) as I am not a fan of most of their scents though....

    Charisse: don't make me slap your pretty heart-shaped face. ;P I sometimes use the Paula's Choice BHA body cream on my face and it works excellently.

    Dain: thanks? heh. So very deadpan.

    LJ: look at how revolting the bottle looks in my pic! I can't believe I've been putting this on my face for years.

  7. Aw, no. It is impressive. Takes me ages to use up things.

  8. Dain: Ahh, I see! I am quite conservative when it comes to skincare but I'd bet you my entire, monstrous bloated stash that you finish makeup products more often than I do ;)