Monthly Archives: September 2011

Kuan Yuan Lian Natural Care Whitening Mask | Review

My first review from the haul! Since serums, creams and cleansers take a long time to work, I thought I’d review the most instantaneous product that I purchased – the sheet masks!

Kuan Yuan Lian Natural Care Whitening Mask – Score:4/5

kuan yuan lian

The packaging

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pros: moisturises, lots of essence, refreshes skin.

Cons: smells a bit strong, didn’t really see any brightening effect.

Price: AU$13.80 for 10 (it is currently for sale so I paid $11.70).

Buy again: No because I’d like to try other masks first.

Overall: I actually don’t like using sheet masks. They’re very messy and you have to fiddle around with the placement of the sheet over your face. However, there is no doubt that sheet masks are better in moisturising your skin and delivering the essence/serum.

Lots of essence!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This mask has a lot of essence that you can use for other skin areas.

Slapped it on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sheet itself is quite big and I think will easily fit all sorts of face shapes. It’s a bit flabby on my face and didn’t sit properly because my jaw is quite narrow. FYI I cut the nose part of the mask because I was using a pore pack.

Overall it was a good, moisturising mask. I didn’t see any visible brightening effect. Might have to use it religiously over a period of time…

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hyaluronic kitteh’s intro + skincare regimen

OHAI hyaluronic kitteh is here!!

a quick self-intro:
Oily/combination skin which is only emphasized seeing I live in the tropics, thankfully I have no acne/eczema/whathaveyou. Generally speaking my skin isn’t too high maintenance. I hate to break the bank just to maintain my face, there are more important things requiring my monies (sadface). I love to discover products that delivers the maximum bang for my proverbial buck. I use Japanese, Korean and Indonesian brands.

My skincare interests lie in brightening products, though I should really be looking into anti-aging as well as I’m leaving my 20s in a couple of years.

Skintone is light medium, a very yellow based NC30, so western base cosmetics rarely suit me since they’re usually not yellow enough.

Right! Now on to my routines:

AM

  • Biore Pure Mild cleansing foam
  • Biokos Vital Nutrition 30s – Nutri Toner
  • Hada Labo Arbutin Shirojyun Whitening Lotion
  • Mentholatum Skinaqua UV Moisture Milk SPF 50+ PA+++ or OMI Solanoveil White SPF 50+ PA+++

Makeup: I don’t use much makeup in weekdays. I’m lucky enough that I can rock up at work in tshirts and shorts, so pairing this up with a fully made face is overkill.

  • The Face Shop Face It Oil Cut Powder Pact in NB23
  • Skinfood Choco Eyebrow Powder Cake #1
  • Burts bees lipbalm Pomegranate

Seriously, that’s all I use for my weekday office face. I have stuff in my makeup pouch that I carry around but that will be elaborated in another post. 

PM

  • Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil or  Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil
  • Caring Colours Martha Tilaar Fair White Cleansing foam or Kracie Naive Pomegranate Deep Cleansing Foam
  • Biokos Vital Nutrition 30s – Nutri Toner
  • Hada Labo Arbutin Shirojyun Whitening Lotion
  • Hada Labo Arbutin Shirojyun Whitening Essence

1-2x Weekly (or whenever I remember, the combination varies)

  • The Face Shop Herb Day Massage Cream – Cucumber
  • Mustika Ratu Tomato Mask
  • Mustika Ratu Bengkoang Roots Mask
  • Mustika Ratu Peeling Mundisari
  • Innisfree Black Head Heating Gel
  • Garnier Pure Self-Heating Sauna Mask
  • Biore/Watsons Pore pack

Aside from skincare products,  expect to also see entries about (Asian) make-up every now & then from me (arbutin kitteh doesn’t know this yet =p).

My SASA Haul

…arrived! I ordered on Monday and it arrived this afternoon. Pretty quick hey? I used the expedited shipping option (since I bought so much they automatically upgraded me… hehe).

sasa haul

Sasa Haul

The spread! (this also includes my friend’s purchases though).

What I bought:

O’slee WHITE MEDI Perfect Whitening Serum (40 ml)
PDC PURE NATURAL WHITE Whitening Essence Lotion (210 ml)
Sana SOYA MILK Arbutin Toner (200 ml)
IsQueen CRYSTAL WHITE SERIES Crystal White Night Repair Cream (50 ml)
IsQueen Whitening Essence Collagen Mask Twin Pack (3 piece)
OMI SALANOVEIL SPF50 +PA+++ White UV Cut Lotion (40 ml)
HadaLabo TAMAGOHADA Daily Face Wash (130 g)
Kuan Yuan Lian NATURAL CARE Whitening Mask (10 piece)
HadaLabo SHIROJYUN Arbutin Whitening Essence (30 g)
Kose SUNCUT Essence In UV Protect Milk SPF50 PA+++ Waterproof (30 ml)
b.liv by Cellnique COMEDONE REDUCING Off With Those Heads Blackheads Sebum Gel (45 ml)
Mentholatum ACNES Nose Pore Strip (10 piece)
Bonus : O’slee ROSEHIP Rosehip Whitening Mask (1 piece)

Yes it’s a lot, but most of these are actually low to mid-range brands… The most expensive one is probably $20! Some of these products are repeat purchases but most are new. This should last me until mid next year *fingers crossed*

Looking at the names it makes me seem like a whitening freak. Maybe I am? -__- Well to make it clear I don’t exactly idolise or want pale skin, but my reasoning is, since I’m in my early 20s and I don’t have any specific skin problem (e.g. acne, wrinkles, dehydration) I might as well take the chance to do “targeted” skincare – which is brightening in my case! Anyway I don’t believe that any of these products has the ability to “whiten” your skin… IMO brightening is optimising the luminosity and brightness of your skin – at least reverting sun damage and dullness.

The products that I will be using straightaway are:

O’slee WHITE MEDI Perfect Whitening Serum (40 ml)
Sana SOYA MILK Arbutin Toner (200 ml)
IsQueen CRYSTAL WHITE SERIES Crystal White Night Repair Cream (50 ml)
HadaLabo TAMAGOHADA Daily Face Wash (130 g)
b.liv by Cellnique COMEDONE REDUCING Off With Those Heads Blackheads Sebum Gel (45 ml)+

Also please forgive me for changing the theme every so often as I am still looking for the best one to display review posts.

Clarisonic Mia | Review

 

I’m terribly sick. My head is ringing cos my ears and sinuses are blocked -__-

Well that means more time for making posts!

Continuing on cleansers, I would like to review a lifesaving tool – the Clarisonic Mia.

The Clarisonic range consists of the standard Clarisonic, Mia, a small, travel-size version, and the Clarisonic Plus, which comes with a body brushing option.

For more information please go to the Clarisonic website.

I bought the Mia as I was budget-conscious and after looking at all the features, I concluded that the Mia is essentially the same thing, except smaller and with only one speed setting.

However, if you are diligent enough to brush your body as well and you have the budget, go for the Plus.

I bought mine at skinstore.com for about US$115 or so as it was on sale. Also bought 2 replacement brushes (for normal skin) as well. The standard one costs about US$195 and the Plus US$225. Clarisonic is available in Australia at DJ but I didn’t even bother to look at the price…

 

Clarisonic Mia – Score: 5/5

Pros: cleans really well, prevents break outs.

Cons: can be expensive, have to buy replacement brushes ($20-30) every 3-4 months, not readily available in Australia.

Buy again: Not until it breaks, which I hope is not in another 5 years or so =P

Overall: This was actually quite a quick purchase. I read about it in a beauty blog, researched for 1-2 days and bought it straightaway. I was sold by the rave reviews and the concept seemed good to me…

I use the Mia once a day for one minute (default setting) with a foaming cleanser at night, after using a cleansing oil. I start from the forehead and work my way around my face in a circular motion.

It has made a big difference in the cleanness of my open pores and it has generally prevented breakouts. Well I don’t really “break out” but my problem is more towards congested pores.

My face feels cleaner and much smoother with the Clarisonic. It really does prevent whiteheads and blackheads… although my nose seems to say otherwise!

For an investment of $115 and one minute a day, I can safely say I love the Clarisonic! I have converted one of my girlfriends to the Mia and she swears by it too.

 

ps. …who also thinks that the Mia looks like a Lamprey? Google image search if you want a brain scar…

Cleansers: in restrospect | Review

So instead of cleaning my room I’m here again! Thought I would write as much as I can now before I lose interest.

Today I will be reviewing some cleansers. I have noticed that my skin is getting flaky, and the eczema on my nose has started flaring up again within the past few days.

And I know why. Because I’ve switched to my Shiseido cleanser again!

Whenever my nose flares up the alarm bells ring and I immediately switch back to good ol’ Cetaphil.

On to the reviews… To summarise, today I will be reviewing 6 foaming/rinse-off cleansers.

1. Shiseido The Skincare Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam
2. Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam
3. Shiseido Pureness Foaming Cleansing Fluid
4. Cetaphil wash (standard)
5. Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser
6. Avene Cleanance Soap-free Gel Cleanser
 

1. Shiseido The Skincare Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam – Score: 3/5

Pros: Smells nice, foams up very well, only small amount needed, cleanses adequately.

Cons: Pricey, dries my skin out, flares up my eczema (although this has only been from last year. I was using it before that and I was fine!).

Price: AU$29.50 (Strawberrynet), AU$61 (RRP) – RRP in Australia is disgusting. Go buy this one online!

Buy again: No

Overall: Too bad this one suddenly dried me up and triggered my eczema. I actually quite liked it. Now I have half a tube left in the cupboard =(

 

2. Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam and 3. Shiseido Pureness Foaming Cleansing Fluid – Score: 3/5 

Pros: smells nice, lathers, cleans quite well.

Cons: dries me up, didn’t do anything revolutionary for my skin.

Price: AU$49.50 & AU$30 (Snet), AU$73 & AU$?? (RRP).

Buy again: No and No

Overall: I bunched these two together because they essentially did the same thing to me. I liked The Skincare one better. I haven’t touched these two since my skin became temperamental. The Pureness one is especially drying on my combination skin. Only use if you’re definitely oily.

 

4. Cetaphil wash – Score: 5/5

Pros: moisturises, fragrance-free, minimal ingredients.

Cons: doesn’t cleanse adequately on its own, doesn’t lather.

Price: About AU$20 for 1 litre.

Buy again: Yes

Overall: My default go-to cleanser to use in conjunction with the Clarisonic. A dependable gentle cleanser for those who don’t have a specific skin problem or those who doesn’t use makeup/sunscreen. I really only use this to have some sort of an “emollient” for my Clarisonic and to cleanse the residue of the cleansing oil. It’s good to use in the morning as well.

 

5. Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser – Score: 4/5

Pros: glides very nicely (sounds weird), mild, doesn’t dry your skin, doesn’t irritate your skin.

Cons: expensive, doesn’t cleanse adequately when you wear makeup or sunscreen.

Price: AU$47 for 250ml (Snet), AU$53 (RRP).

Buy again: No

Overall: This is an expensive version of Cetaphil. However I have to say it glides on much more smoothly and it has a nicer consistency. When I wash with this in the morning I still retain my “just woken up” even-toned, calm skin. However it is too expensive when I get the same result using Cetaphil. I don’t know why I bought this actually.

 

6. Avene Cleanance Soap-free Gel Cleanser – Score: 3/5

Pros: smells awesome, cleanses well.

Cons: drying.

Price: AU$25 (RRP).

Buy again: No.

Overall: Other than the fact that it smells awesome, there is nothing special about this cleanser. It’s quite drying on the skin. Good for summer if your skin can stand it.

Fingers crossed a part 2 will be coming up sometime in the future!

Coming up

Upcoming product trials:

PM cleanser: I’ve found that Shiseido cleansers tend to be drying on my skin. I’ve currently got two, the Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam and the Pureness Deep Cleansing Foam. However Cetaphil seems too gentle to dissolve all the oil from the previous cleansing step. With all these made-up reasons, I decided to buy Hadalabo’s Tamagohada AHA+BHA Facial Wash which acquired rave reviews everywhere I looked!

Hada Labo Tamagohada

PM serum: I’ve proudly finished two isQueen bottes since February. The next contender which is on its merry way from Hong Kong is O’Slee’s White Medi Perfect Whitening Serum and Hadalabo’s Shirojyun Arbutin Whitening Essence. However I have also staked my dollars and time in a seemingly wondrous product called b.Liv (by Cellnique) Off With Those Heads serum. Google these products for more detailed info! So my plan is to use the b.Liv first (I think it’s more like a deep-down serum rather than a sit-on-top serum if you know what I mean) then follow up with O’Slee. Keeping Hadalabo for the next few months when I finish O’Slee.

O’Slee

Hada Labo Arbutin

b.Liv

Masks: I’m hitting the bottom of my TonyMoly mask and decided to jump into the sheet mask bandwagon! So I have purchased two different masks: isQueen Whitening Essence Collagen Mask and a Taiwanese brand called Kuan Yuan Lian. The product is called Natural Care Whitening Mask.

isQueen

Kuan Yuan Lian

I’m not going to do a full description now but will do so as I use them in the future.

Very informative first post | Current regime

I’m bad with introductions!

Skincare blog. Sometimes makeup blog, we’ll see… Mostly asian skincare brands.

Run by two delirious people: arbutin kitteh and hyaluronic kitteh (you can read our separate posts by clicking on the author pic on the right hand side).

There is a high possibility that this blog will be much neglected in the future. However the whole point of the blog is to vent and/or rave about skincare products that no one else cares about in real life so it is more of a skincare diary.. but hopefully whatever I post here will be helpful to you too!

On to stats.

Skin: combination, a bit oily in summer and gets dry and flaky in winter/recurring eczema problems on nose and cheeks/congested pores and scarring problems/focusing on brightening and reducing scars/NC25-30

Current routine

AM:
-Cetaphil
-Shiseido Pureness Balancing Softener
-Optional – Hadalabo Arbutin Whitening Lotion
-Laneige Water Bank Cream 2_EX (if overly dry)
-Mentholatum Sunplay Skinaqua UV Moisture Gel SPF 25 PA++ or OMI Solanoveil White SPF 50+ PA+++

PM:
-Kokuryudo Hipitch Cleansing Oil or some other random cleansing oil
-Clarisonic Mia + Cetaphil or Shiseido Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam
-SUKI Q10 Whitening Toner
-isQueen Crystal White Essence
-Optional – Hadalabo Arbutin Whitening Lotion (if overly dry)
-Laneige Water Bank Cream 2_EX

Weekly or twice weekly:
-Cleanse as usual with cleansing oil + Clarisonic
-TSAIO Organic Peeling Gel
-St. Ives Daily Microdermabrasion Scrub
-Innisfre Wine Peeling Massage Cream
-Random pore pack/nose strip (my recommended brand is KOSE Softymo Softy Nose Clean Pack which is almost always OOS in Sasa!)
-TonyMoly Tomatox Brightening Mask or Mustika Ratu Bengkoang Mask (Indonesian brand)

Once every two weeks:
-Dermaroll with 1.0mm needles on scars
-Vitamin E

I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis. Probably once every two weeks or less – only when my skin is crashing.

As you can see I’m a total asian skincare wh– *ahem* devotee. And my skin is very high maintenance. The moment I drop any of these routine products I will break out.

At the moment my staple routine is definitely cleanse – tone – serum – moisturise with regular scrub and mask. My skin is not sensitive so I like to switch products around as long as the basic routine is the same. Unfortunately for my open pores and easily congested skin the more effort = the better my skin is!

Some of my products are almost finished, so I will do another post detailing my future changes as I am now patiently waiting for a BIG box of SASA goodies which I just hauled a few days ago =)