Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Skincare Routine (Homemade and mostly Organic)

Dear Beauty Diary,
I am always stressing on how it is better to use organic products. I just like taking precautions, and the safer, the better. If you're organic-loving like me, or if you don't have much money to spend on skincare products, continue reading.

100% organic products are very expensive (eg. Suki). So I have settled with almost organic products. However, the safer, the better. After doing some research, I have found out that you can make your own skincare products with natural ingredients. I shall list my homemade skincare products below.

I grab a handful of oats, mix in some water until I get my desired consistency, then rub it on my face. It cleanses nicely by gently exfoliating, and removing excess oil on the skin.

I use a handmade rose water toner with a few drops of essential oils.

Its really easy to make. Just grab a squeeze bottle, wash it thoroughly, fill it up with rose water (rose water is a good and natural astringent), then drop in about 15 to 20 drops of essential oils. I use tea tree essential oil, since it helps with blemishes. However, if you plan to use peppermint essential oil, just add in about 8 drops, since peppermint is quite strong.

Take note that the total essential oil concentration should not exceed 2%. If not, the essential oils may sting your skin.

If you don't have rose water at hand, pour yourself a cup of hot green tea, wait for it to cool down, transfer it into a squeeze bottle, then store it in the fridge. Use it like a normal toner. You should finish using the green tea toner within 3 weeks.

I use Steamcream. It is full of natural ingredients and essential oils. However, fragrance, methyl and propylparabens are present. The Steamcream website says that they use less than half of the permitted amount for these ingredients, saying that they are present in very small amounts. I don't like the sound of that, but I guess you can't get everything. A tin of Steamcream costs $25.90 (USD $20.68).

I use a bottle of sweet almond oil with a few drops of essential oils.

The oil does sound like it will make your skin really oily. I use 2 drops on my face. It does not make you look very oily, in fact, it calms down your sebaceous glands (the glands that produce oil), leaving your skin looking very healthy.

For those with oily skin
With the needed amount of oil in your skin, your skin will stop producing so much oil. This means that you'll have the solution to less oily skin! ^_^

For those with dry skin
The oil will replenish the needed amount of oil to your skin, thus making your skin look really healthy.

I use a handmade honey oats mask.

1. Place a teaspoon of honey in 5 tablespoons of hot water.
2. Get ready a container with a few tablespoons of oatmeal in it.
3. Pour in the honey water until you get your desired consistency for the mask.
4. Mix well and store refrigerated.

Apply on for 20 minutes. The mask will harden in the process. After 20 minutes, gently drizzle some water onto your face, wet your hands, and gently exfoliate. You can even eat the mask off if you want. Its hard to resist, the mask tastes so sweet and delicious. ^_^

You should finish using this mask within 3 to 4 weeks.

I use a handmade green tea with sugar scrub.

1. Make yourself a cup of hot green tea.
2. Get ready 2 tablespoons of sugar in a container.
3. Add in a tablespoon of green tea.
4. Add in another tablespoon of sugar.
5. Mix well and store refrigerated.

Pick up a small amount with your fingers and gently scrub away. You should finish using this scrub within 3 to 4 weeks.

I use a certified organic lipbalm by Mentholatum. Its $8 (USD $6.39), and it moisturises my lips nicely.

That's all for my homemade and mostly organic skincare routine. All the ingredients used in my homemade skincare products can be readily found in your kitchen, and they are all fairly cheap. Have fun whipping up your own skincare products! ^_^

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Sukin Facial Moisturiser (sensitive) review

Dear Beauty Diary,
I am finally here with a review of one of the best moisturisers of all time, the Sukin Facial Moisturiser! There's one for ordinary skin types and one for sensitive skin. The ordinary one smells of orange and herbs, which is fine really, but I decided to get the one for sensitive skin, since it smells like vanilla. I got it for $14.90 ($11.99 USD). I have spotted Sukin in many Watsons and Guardian stores, so it should be really easy to get.

The Sukin Facial Moisturiser comes in a dark plastic pump bottle. It contains 125ml of product in total, which I feel is a generous amount of moisturiser. Nowadays, I see many (both expensive and non-expensive) moisturisers that come in 30 - 50ml, which is plain miserable. One pump of the bottle dispenses too much product though, so I like to press the pump only a little down, to get the amount I want. By the way, the pump can be screwed down so that no product will spill out. This makes this already almost perfect moisturiser great for travelling too. The plastic bottle is also very dark and almost opaque. This is so that minimal light will react with the components in the moisturiser, which means a lesser chance of contamination. I really like this packaging! :D

Comes in a pump bottle. One pump delivers too much product though, so I always press the pump halfway down to get the amount I want.

Here's the product description:
This light and gentle moisturiser, boasts shea butter and aloe vera to calm and soothe the complexion. Rapidly absorbed to deliver essential hydration to delicate skin, whilst rose hip, sesame and jojoba oils help promote optimal moisture levels for radiant, balanced skin.

Click on picture to enlarge. The Sukin Facial Moisturiser is made up of many natural and organic ingredients. Definitely not 100% organic, but its good and much better than loads of other brands out there. The ingredient list looks so natural and yummy. ^_^

I feel that everyone can use the Sukin Facial Moisturiser. It has such natural ingredients (though of course there are some that are not so natural, but almost all of them are natural), so using on sensitive or non-sensitive skin is no problem. The cream sinks into your skin pretty quickly, and does not leave your face super oily or dried out. I have oily sensitive skin, and this cream keeps me hydrated, without giving any extra unnecessary shine. You will have a healthy, slightly dewy complexion, nothing too oily.

This moisturiser looks like a cream, but it is sort of both a cream and a gel. It spreads really easily like a gel and its almost as lightweight as a gel. Almost, but not as. Gels can swish around slightly in its container, but this cream can't. When applied onto the face, this cream feels like a cool drink of water for my skin. Remember how I said that oily-skinned people should stay away from creams? Well, the Sukin Facial Moisturiser is a hybrid cream, leaning more towards the gel side. I use this moisturiser and it doesn't break me out. Its pretty good!

As you can see, the cream is actually water-based. It is very smooth and light when applying.

You only need a little of this moisturiser each time you apply it. In fact, 125ml is a huge amount for a facial moisturiser. Also, since this moisturiser is made up of mostly natural ingredients, you need to finish using it within 6 months, as stated on the bottle. I calculated that when the 6 months is up, I will have slightly more than half of the product left if I use it only on my face. So, I have started to use it on the rest of my body as a body moisturiser. It does a good job of keeping both my face and body moist and supple.

I usually keep buying skincare products of all types, and I always use them immediately after I buy them. However, I like this moisturiser so much, I have been using it continuously day and night for 4 months! I haven't even been tempted in these 4 months to get a new moisturiser, because of this good little bottle of Sukin Facial Moisturiser. It does a splendid job of moisturising, and it doesn't make me feel like I'm drying out throughout the day. Nor do I have to keep blotting away on my face, since this moisturiser doesn't make me produce excessive amounts of oil. However, if you have extremely dry skin, I think you will need something a little more moisturising. Other than that, this moisturiser works for all skin types. :)

Oh there's also a toner to go along with this moisturiser. The toner is really great too, it works nicely with this moisturiser. However, I feel that you can use any toner of your choice to go along with this moisturiser, it doesn't really make a difference. I use my Etude House I'm Blooming Deep Moisture Mist in Canola Honey. I love that toner. However, I'll leave a link here if you're interested to read my review on the Sukin Hydrating Mist toner.

I love this moisturiser to bits and I recommend everyone to try it. Its different from the other moisturisers I've tried. From the moment I swatched it on at the store, I just knew I had to have it. Its really cheap too, which is such a huge bonus. Sukin could make this product 3 or 4 times more expensive, since it has good quality ingredients and works so effectively, yet they kept the price down. There are just so many good ingredients in this moisturiser, which helps my skin regenerate. This is the first time I got so crazy over a moisturiser. Sukin Facial Moisturiser is my HG moisturiser, try it, I'm sure you won't regret it! ^_^

Friday, 8 November 2013

The Body Shop Brazil Nut Body Mist review

Dear Beauty Diary,
Here I am reviewing one of my favourite perfumes of all time, The Body Shop Brazil Nut Body Mist! Its called a body mist, but I would like to think of it as a perfume, since its scent is really strong, and it can last for quite some time. I got it for $19.90 ($16.02 USD), which I feel is reasonable for such a huge amount, 100ml, of delicious-smelling body mist. The Body Shop also sells other types of body mists, but I like the brazil nut one most, since its the most sweet yet warm scent.

I don't think the packaging of the Brazil Nut Body Mist is good. Its a tall glass bottle with a flimsy pump. Since its tall, its really easy to knock over. And since its glass, it may crack. I have knocked it down many times by accident. >.< As for the pump, it sprays a nice and fine mist. It distributes the scent on me evenly. However, the pump is really flimsy. I have trouble pressing it down. And it feels like it will break each time I press the pump down. Also, the pump is not screwed onto the bottle, so the pump cannot be removed. So I can't transfer some of the mist into a smaller bottle to carry around with me. Sighs.

Close up of the pump. It sprays a fine mist. :)

Here's the product description.
The fresh way to wear Brazil nut. Spray this lightly-scented body mist all over your body for a gentle burst of sweet and nutty fragrance. It’s irresistible.
  • Sweet and nutty fragrance
  • Light and fresh
  • Use all over body
I don't understand why this body mist is called 'brazil nut'. This body mist doesn't smell nutty to me. However, this mist smells all sorts of wonderful. I detect warm, sweet and familiar scents like chocolate, hot chocolate (as a choco fan, I must say that chocolate and hot cocoa smell different~) vanilla, caramel, popcorn, maple syrup and milk. Its those type of perfume that you just want to eat up. Its a sweet and playful, yet warm and fuzzy scent. Its like an "I'm home and feeling so comfortable" scent. Also reminds me of sitting on a rug by a warm fireplace on Christmas. ^_^

As a body mist, this fragrance sure lasts for a long time. It also smells quite strong. Its a medium-strong scent type of perfume. I only need about 2 spritz on each arm. You can also spray on your clothes. Once I apply it, this mist can last me for about 6 hours. At the end of the 6 hours, there is still a faint linger of the mist.

When applied, this mist feels cool and refreshing. I like to rub the mist into my arms. I have sensitive skin (I get rashes whenever I apply something that's not good for my skin), yet I don't break out or get rashes whenever I use this product. It also doesn't cause my skin to dry or flake away. So it should be all right to use this body mist.

Ingredient list for your reference

Overall, I am really pleased with this body mist. It smells so great, and lasts for a longer time than an ordinary body mist. It also smells stronger than an ordinary body mist. There's also so much product included! By the way, this body mist can last for 24 months once opened. So if you can't make up your mind as to whether to get the Brazil Nut body mist or EDT (perfume), I would say get the body mist. The perfume will last longer, but has much less product than the body mist. And you don't need to apply the body mist that often, so I feel that the body mist is a better deal.

I love this scent and can't get enough of it! ^_^

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Cream Body Scrub review

Dear Beauty Diary,
I recently bought The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Cream Body Scrub, since The Body Shop was having a sale. Its originally $30.90 ($24.87 USD), but I got it for 35% off, so it became around $20. I read many reviews about this product, with many people saying that its the best body scrub they've ever tried. Intrigued, I got one for myself (even though I have more than 3 quarters of my The Body Shop Honeymania Cream Body Scrub left. Review on that soon!).

This body scrub comes in a tub, with 200ml of product. For a scrub, I feel that that's too little, and I have a feeling that I'll be through with it pretty quickly. I use quite a lot of it at one go, so to save money, I can't use it that often. Another thing is that this scrub is in a tub, which means you'll be dipping your wet fingers in. When water comes in contact with the scrub, the scrub will turn into something like a liquid, and it won't be so scrubby anymore. Thus, I transferred some of the scrub into another smaller container to use. That way, my main tub of body scrub won't be contaminated.

A smaller tub which I transferred the scrub into. I don't know if its clear on camera, but the scrub has taken on more of a liquid-type of consistency, since I have been constantly dipping my wet fingers in.

This body scrub is meant for people with very dry skin. I read reviews that mentioned that this scrub is very moisturising. Being lazy, I didn't want to follow up with body butter, since I take such a long time to apply body butter. Thus, I thought that if this scrub is moisturising enough, the moisture from the scrub would suffice, and I would not need to apply body butter afterwards.

To my great disappointment, this scrub is nowhere at all moisturising. I have normal to oily skin, with dry skin on the rare occasion. However, comparing to the Honeymania body scrub (the honeymania one is super moisturising. When water comes into contact with it, the scrub turns into a liquid that is very moisturising and light, while the scrub particles remain scrubby for you to scrub away), this cocoa butter one is totally disappointing in the moisturising aspect. Its very rough and pretty harsh, and the liquid that it turns into when water comes into contact with it is not moisturising at all. Look at the delicious texture of the cocoa butter body scrub. It sure looks really creamy and moisturising, but its not at all.

Sure looks creamy and full of moisture

On The Body Shop website, it says that the cocoa butter body scrub is made up of crushed almond shells, thus it does not dissolve when water comes into contact with the scrub. Ok yes I agree, the whole scrub is packed full of these shells and scrub particles. Because of this, the scrub is really hard to spread out. At first, the scrub spreads fairly easily, but it only spreads a certain amount, before the rest of the scrub becomes really hard to spread. And all these shells and scrub particles make the whole scrub really really scrubby and harsh. When you scrub fast, the part you're scrubbing actually hurts. Thus I have to scrub slowly. But the scrub removes loads of dead skin cells, since after scrubbing, my arms and legs feel really smooth. I feel really pleased with the result, I just wish that the scrub weren't that harsh.

As I've mentioned above, this scrub is not moisturising. However, it does not suck away the moisture from your skin. Its like... It doesn't give or take away any moisture from your skin. Thus, I suggest that those with dry skin follow up with a body butter or lotion.

Overall, I am pretty satisfied with this scrub. After all, who said that body scrubs were meant to be moisturising? Just follow up with a good body lotion and you should be fine. I have to admit that its a little too harsh for my liking, but with the smooth skin and great results I get, I don't mind. After all, there is a price to pay for beauty, haha. This cocoa butter smells of chocolate too, and after showering, my bathroom smells so delicious.

If you don't mind not having the moisture, and don't mind the scrubby texture, then give this scrub a try!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Etude House Skin Malgem Moist review

Dear Beauty Diary,
I am here with a review of the Etude House Skin Malgem toner in Moist. In the Skin Malgem line, there are 5 toners with 1 moisturizer. 2 of the toners are astringents, which mean they are best for oily skin (they contain alcohol, which may be drying), since they clean the pores. The 2 astringents are Fresh and Smoother. Fresh and Smoother should be applied with a cotton pad. The other 3 toners can be used as either a toner or a toner + moisturizer, because they offer more moisturising benefits. They are Moist, Deep Moist, and Essential. Moist is for normal to dry skin, Deep Moist for extremely dry skin, Essential is for combination oily and dry skin. I should have gotten Essential, but the Etude House store I went to doesn't have it. :( The moisturizer is called Emulsion, where it contains serum, emulsion and moisturizer all in one. Each of these bottles cost $25.90 ($20.96 USD) each.

Skin Malgem toners can be used with a cotton pad, spray or mask. How innovative can this product get?

The packaging is very simple for Etude House standards. However, the simple packaging still looks very appealing! The toner comes in a plastic translucent bottle. The plastic is pretty thick in my opinion. Each of the toners have different simple but cute designs on the front of the bottle.

Here's the product description:
[mal:gem] - the Korean word for cleanness, clarity and pureness.
Skin Malgem hypoallergenic toners promote clean, clear and pure complexion with moisturizing and pore cleansing formulas.
[Directions] Dispense solution onto toner pad and use pad to wipe all areas of face and neck.

The bottle is made of plastic, and it looks somewhat frosted. Its translucent, which makes the toner look very thick. However, the toner is actually very runny in reality.

The left Korean words with the 6 raindrops mean water. Yup, this toner-moisturizer is water based. The right word with 3 triangles means keratin.

Mouth of the bottle

I transferred some of the Skin Malgem toner into a mini Skin Malgem bottle that Etude House sells. 2 mini Skin Malgem empty bottles cost $3.00 ($2.42 USD). As you can see, the toner is actually clear.

Skin Malgem toner is actually very runny. It has the consistency of water.

After spreading out the toner

When you pour out some of the toner at first, its very runny. You can chose any way to apply it. Sometimes I use a cotton pad, other times I pour a little into my palms, rub my hands together, and pat onto my face. However, after a few seconds of applying this toner to my face, the toner becomes very sticky. Its so sticky that its comparable to the Hada Labo toner. I don't mind and even like very slightly sticky products, but overly sticky products just make me not feel like using them. :(

This toner is very moisturising too, and the advertising posters say that it can be used as a toner + moisturiser. I feel that the Sukin facial Moisturiser works really really well for me, so I use the Etude House Moist Skin Malgem as a toner. However, Skin Malgem in Moist seems to form an almost impenetrable layer that sits on top of my skin for quite some time (half an hour or so), making any products I apply on top of it not absorb into my skin, mix together, peel and form white and translucent streaks. Urrgh that is so disgusting. So I now have no choice but to use the Skin Malgem in Moist as the last step of my skincare routine. Which means I only use it at night before I sleep. I can't possibly wait for half an hour for it to absorb into my skin, before continuing with my skincare routine.

Other than the above mentioned, I like mostly everything else about this toner. It sure is very moisturising and provides sufficient moisture to my face to make it plump and healthy. I usually only need a little for my entire face, so its very budget friendly.

I have normal to oily skin, with dry skin on the rare occasion. Even though Skin Malgem in Moist is for dry to normal skin, I have been using it and nothing bad has happened to my skin. Thus I can safely conclude that Skin Malgem in Moist can also be used on oily skin. Better still, the moisture provided by Moist is just enough for those who have oily skin (a.k.a. me, thus I use this at night as my last step in skincare. I just cleanse my face, spritz on my trusty, loved and hyped about Etude House I'm Blooming Deep Moisture Mist, then pat on some of the Skin Malgem in Moist toner).

The Skin Malgem in Moist is made up of many many fruit extracts, thus all these lovely fruits (combine with a bit of perfume that Etude House included) creates a most wondrous scent. Its very sweet, light and fresh, and I'm sure almost everyone will like this scent. I don't know how to describe this scent, but its really delicious, and you probably won't be irritated by it. The scent is quite heavy though, but will be gone after you apply it onto your face.

The ingredients list, as you can see, many fruit extracts are included :)

Once again, these toners are hypoallergenic, and the Etude House advertisement posters say this is because they use a fruity base. Ah well. Compared with other skincare products, this toner does seem quite natural. Except for certain ingredients like panthenol, disodium EDTA, fragrance, etc. I haven't heard of these toners breaking anyone out, nor have I gotten pimples or irritated skin from using this. So I guess it should be pretty safe.

Tried the Skin Malgem toners? Which is your favourite? ^_^