Saturday, 25 March 2017

Must Love Teas!

I am never truly a coffee lover because I really don’t like the acidic aftertaste of coffee. Needless to say, I rely on tea for some pick-me-up caffeine. 

While there are some Celestial Seasonings teas in Denmark, the range is quite limited. I ordered some on iHerb and these are some of my favourites:

  • Rooibos with Pomegranate - Caffeine free red tea, ideal for evening consumption; I usually add some soy milk (or milk of your choice) to neutralise the sourness of pomegranate. It’s a very fragrant tea though. 
  • Rooibos with vanilla - Caffeine free red tea, ideal for evening consumption; I like it with a teaspoon of sugar and soy milk.
  • Honey Vanilla Chamoile - Caffeine free, ideal for relaxation and before sleep consumption. My  ultimate favorite winding-down tea. The tea is great on its own as you indulge your olfactory sensory to a hint of sweetness of honey and mysterious hint of vanilla. I am not always a chamomile fan, but this is just heavenly. I have sent to several friends in Singapore to try and they love it! I also take it with soy milk sometimes. 
  • Twinings Lady Grey - All time favorite! Get only the loose tea, the tea bags type taste a lot more bland, and if you are like me who likes strong taste (I am the “double-bagged” tea lady!), you will like the loose tea. 
I liked these okay, but they don’t make it to my favorite list - tea preference is very personal:
  • Green tea with honey lemon and ginseng - Day consumption that I alternate with earl grey tea. It’s not exactly what I like. I am not big on lemon, except when it’s infused in earl grey. 
  • Twinings organic rooibos - Caffeine free red tea. I find Celestial Seasoning’s rooibos to my liking as it has more “earthy” tones which I prefer - it’s not hard to guess since I love earl grey.
  • Twinings Pure Camomile - Caffeine free. I like it alright, nothing impressive really.

What are your favorite teas? 

Mizon Bulg Rose 90% Toner

I was using Skin & Lab Vita Energy Toner & Mist, and I have been exceptionally happy with it, but when I was shopping for replacement for the essence, I ordered this toner as well.

I have been using this toner for a couple of weeks now, and I do like it quite very much.

The light scent of rose is not overpowering and goes away after a while.

I find that it’s quite hydrating, and it’s especially great for dryer climate and colder seasons.

As the product claims, it’s non-sticky. (I don’t really know of any toner that is sticky though)

Paraben free; alcohol free

I am likely to repurchase this.

Buy it here, shipping to --

  • America, Australia, Canada, UK, and some Asian countries - Qoo10
  • Singapore - Qoo10 Singapore
  • Worldwide (mostly) shipping - eBay

Skin & Lab Bio Activating Essence vs Mizon Water Volume EX Essence

The first treatment essence that I used was SKII, it didn’t work out so well for me. I have hyper sensitive skin, and the SKII essence worked briefly for me, and then it not only stopped working, but it worked against me. 

I have been using Skin & Lab bio activating essence for a couple of years now, and I love it to bits! It prepares the skin to take in other skin products and my skin really freshens up. 

It could be my imagination, but I think my eye lashes and brows become healthier and longer too - I do pat over my eyes with this, but not with the Mizon’s because I find the Mizon’s essence drying out my eyes area.

I was out of the bio activating essence and thought of giving something else a try. My other favourite Korean skincare brand is Mizon. It’s inexpensive, but the snail cream really works wonders for me. After reading much raved reviews on this Water Volume Ex first essence, I decide to give it a try. 

I can’t say that I love this more or even equally as compared to the Skin & Lab essence. It’s not bad, but it definitely doesn’t perform better as well.

Buy Skin & Lab Bio Activating Essence, shipping to --
  • America, Australia, Canada, UK, and some Asian countries - Qoo10
  • Singapore - Qoo10 Singapore
  • Worldwide (mostly) shipping - eBay

Buy Mizon Water Ex First Essence, shipping to --
  • America, Australia, Canada, UK, and some Asian countries - Qoo10
  • Singapore - Qoo10 Singapore
  • Worldwide (mostly) shipping - eBay

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Neocell Super Collagen vs Quamtrax Collagen

One of my staple products from iHerb is the Neocell, Super Collagen, Type 1 & 3, 7 oz (198 g) Powder. I believe it has some great beauty benefits, but I am using it primarily for my degenerative discs which I am suffering from at a young age. 

It is the only product that helps with my chronic and depilating back pain. I have been recommending this to many friends and have received many positive feedbacks for should pain and other chronic joint pains. 

When I arrived in Denmark, importing from the US becomes too expensive, so I sourced for an alternative - Quamtrax Collagen. Unfortunately, it pales in every aspects in comparison to Neocell Super Collagen. 

Quamtrax collagen has a very fishy scent which is hard for me to ignore, it does not do the magic for my back either, so I decide to go back with Neocell. 

Many people reviewed that their nails or hair become stronger after consuming Neocell, I don’t really know about that, since my nails have always been quite strong, and I take care of my hair. It is supposed to do some good for the skin too. 

Ame Pure CIT Face Roller (Micro-needling Derma-roller)

I was on Facebook (who is not!) and the advertisement algorithm was doing its thing to target audiences whose friends liked their products. It’s a smart marketing strategy (did I not share that I absolutely adore marketing strategies?) because we may not trust the company, but we trust our friends! 

So, one of my friends liked this company and I resisted clicking through their posts that pop up regularly in my feed, but one day, I just caved. I am a beauty fanatic, I am weak!

With that one click, came a series a financial consequences. I spent hours researching into derma-rollers and micro-needling! The only thing that will justify the many hours of research effort is to actually buy and try the products - Marketing strategy 1 : Me 0. 

So, this is what the Ame Pure claims that their CIT face roller does:

CIT Face Roller

The original CIT Face Roller is ideal for the following skin problems:

  • Removal of acne scars

  • enlarged pores

  • Reduction of scars following surgery or burns

  • Pigmentation or uneven skin tone

  • Reduction of wrinkles

  • Tightening of loose skin

  • Normalization of oily skin

  • smooth skin texture


  • Each treatment course consists of 8 weeks (2 months) of rolling. 
  • To achieve optimal results, do 12-16 treatment courses.
  • Take a 4 weeks break from each treatment course and restart another treatment course. 

(Now, this part is the part that confused me before, so, it would be good to mark in your calendar and set alerts for them)
Do at least 2 times a week every second week for each course.

The schedule should look something like that:
Week 1: at least twice (Do not schedule 2 days in a row)
Week 2: BREAK
Week 3: at least twice
Week 4: BREAK
Week 5: at least twice
Week 6: BREAK
Week 7: at least twice
Week 8: BREAK

See full instruction in PDF file (enclosed with product).
The kit consists of a CIT face roller, a platinum collagen gel, and a sanitising spray. 

I chose 0.5mm needles length which should result in supple skin, reducing enlarged pores, correcting pigmentation, fixing minor scars, reduce appearances of lines and wrinkles, and acne.

For more matured skin, its recommended to choose 0.75mm needles, as the roller fixes and produces results of 0.5mm and additionally, fixes stretch mark - relevant to their CIT body roller.

Accordingly, 0.75mm needles are more effective for more severe skin problems.

As you can see, the needles are really short and Ame Pure uses surgical steel (you have to research surgical steel vs titanium needles on your own, after much research I decided on surgical steel because it’s less likely to cause infection and it is sharper than titanium so it reduces possible damages to derma cells)

âme Pure® CIT Roller is a definite skin rescue method, simple but effective and suitable for all skin types and skin tones. âme Pure® CIT Roller has laser-like results to remove stretch marks, acne scars, sun-damaged skin, lines and wrinkles.
âme Pure® CIT Roller results include skin tightening, improve skin texture, reduce pore size and improved capillary blood supply. 
âme Pure® CIT Roller creates thousands of tiny puncture wound in the skin, stimulates the release of growth factors that stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin. By creating dermal damage without the removal of the healthy epidermis, as is done in other resurfacing techniques, means that the healing time is fast and does not cause any discomfort.
Tiny micro-needles causes mini-trauma to the skin, and the skin is then induced to repair itself. This means that your skin begins to produce new collagen. The trick is, that when âme Pure® CIT Roller is combined with Collagen Gel Therapy, is the production of collagen in combination with the generation of new skin cells and old scar tissue is destroyed.
As a result, the skin becomes thicker, which reduces the appearance of scars, lines, wrinkles, and stretch marks.
In addition to stimulating collagen growth creates micro needling also channels through which any substance applied to the skin (Trans-dermal absorption) absorbed much easier. After all, the skin's job to keep things out and piercing this shield works well in breaking down this barrier for a limited period. 
This means that any topical application reaches the areas which it is intended. The accurate and minimally invasive microneedle penetration through the epidermis increases the absorption of the active ingredients in skin care products âme Pure® up to 1000 times (R 9).
Do not use if you are allergic to the surgical stainless steel. 
CIT Roller should be used only by you and not shared with others. 
Avoid rolling right under the eyes, on the eyelids and lips. 
Have you taken botox or fillers wait for 6 weeks after injection. 
CIT Roller should not be used directly on pimples, acne lesions, nodulocystic acne / pimples inside. 
CIT Roller should not be used on active herpes outbreak or any other form of acute infection or inflammation of the skin. 
CIT Roller should not be used on keloid and hypertrophic scarring (overgrowth of scar tissue that develops around a wound above the skin). 
CIT Roller should not be used on raised moles or warts. 
CIT Roller should not be used on eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and solar keratosis. 
CIT Roller should not be used with antibiotics. 
Do not use if you have used Isotretinoin / Roaccutane the last 6-12 months. 
Not to be used in the area where the radiation / laser treatment has been conducted the past 6- 12 months. 
Do not use CIT Roller, if you suffer from hemophilia or diabetes.

You can watch the youtube video here:

Okay, so most of the videos shows quite relaxed faces rolling away, what they don’t share is how PAINFUL it can get! I have a super high threshold level for pain, but this is so painful!

After rolling (micro-needling) on your face, you may get really red. I have contact dermatitis, so my skin reacts more aggressively towards even light contact like carrying a bag on my arm etc. See how red my face got? The pain is usually more intense on first few rolls (each time!), then it got better. 

The workaround to reduce pain is to get a numbing cream. I am familiar with Emla as I used to work in a cosmetic surgical clinic and we used Emla a lot for laser procedures. The trick is to leave the cream long enough, apply more on forehead though, I have found the skin with less fat under it most sensitive to pain! 

(Pardon the low resolution photo)

I can’t tell if my skin actually improved. 

(EDIT 01 Apr) I was advised that I might have misread the instructions - numbers and dates are really not my forte, and irregularity is definitely not great for me, but well, we must work hard in the name of beauty preservation. :) 

Regardless, I think it also helps to plump up my skin. So I might just upgrade to 0.75mm needles roller to see if that works better. 

Have you tried a derma-roller? Share with me about your experience. 

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Avène Eye Cream, Moisturiser and Mask

My previous post focuses on the cleansing products, this is all about hydration!

This is to replace the Korean Mizon snail eye cream. I am really not used to the small tube as compared to the generous size of Mizon eye cream. Then again, a little goes a long way for this one! 
Description:Protect the most sensitive part of your face with the Soothing Eye Contour Cream from Avène, specialists in gentle and sensitive skin care. The eye cream boasts a formula, made up of moisturising and anti-free radical actives, which works to hydrate your eye contour ensuring that the delicate skin is always left in the best possible condition. 
The powerful yet gentle formula uses the Avène Thermal Spring Water as a base, which alleviates tightness and the appearance of redness on the skin, whilst also including Alpha Bisabolol, which helps to calm the eye contour, as well as Dextran Sulphate, which calms sensitive eyelids thanks to its well-known cooling properties. Appropriate for all types of sensitive skin, the Avène Soothing Eye Contour Cream will leave you with perfectly hydrated and protected skin. A.W. Paraben-free. Non-comedogenic. Hypoallergenic.  
Apply to the area around your eyes morning and night after cleansing. Apply a small amount of the product by gently massaging and then gently dab around the eyes. 
Avene Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua). Mineral Oil (Paraffin Liquidum). Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride. Cyclomethicone. Glycerin. Sucrose Stearate. Peg-12. Sucrose Distearate. Triethanolamine. Batyl Alcohol. Bisabolol. Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides. Carbomer. Dextran Sulfate. Disodium Edta. Sodium Hyaluronate. Tocopheryl Glucoside.
Verdict: A small amount goes a long way with this, it’s well absorbed leaving the skin soft and supple. I don’t know if it helps with wrinkles or lines since I don’t have deep wrinkles yet, but I do have some fine creases due to the dryer climate in Perth. 


This is to replace my favorite Mizon snail cream. I figure I really need something more hydrating for the colder season anyway.

Nourish dry and sensitive skin with the Rich Compensating Cream from Avène, specialists in gentle and sensitive skin care. Boasting a smooth and rich, creamy texture, the compensating cream keeps skin hydrated throughout the day helping it to heal and stay soft, smooth and supple.
Plant based active ingredients make up the formula helping the cream to restore any essential lipids that may have been lost due to irritation and damage whilst improving the skin’s natural protective barrier. Pretocopheryl keeps the skin protected from external aggressors and the ageing effect of free radicals. Thanks to the Avène Rich Compensating Cream you will be left with a radiant and revitalised complexion. A.W. Non-comedogenic. Hypoallergenic. Paraben free.
Apply the cream morning and night to your face and neck after cleansing and toning.

Avene Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua), Cyclomethicone, Ppg-15 Stearyl Ether, Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Decyl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, Peg-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Benzoic Acid, Beta-Sitosterol, Bht, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Chlorphenesin, Disodium Edta, Fragrance (Parfum), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract (Glycine Soja), Laureth-7, Phenoxyethanol, Polyacrylamide, Sodium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Glucoside, Water (Aqua), Xanthan Gum.
Verdit: It gives me the hydration I need for colder season. It is very light on skin yet hydrating. They have another cream that is Extremely rich compensation cream which I am quite interested to try on my next order. That would be great when winter comes. I am currently using this at night, but I might switch it up to day cream when it gets dryer and colder. 

I love mask, cream mask, clay mask, sheet masks! I managed to get some Korean sheet masks in, and I am focusing on aqua feature to hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate the skin. One of the advantages of living in Singapore is the humidity in the air; our skin tend to age quite gracefully aka resistant to wrinkles due to the humidity level. The downside is probably oily T-zone and breakouts I guess. I am getting fine lines on my skin, so I am frantically trying to remedy and reverse the effects. :P  
Description:Care for dehydrated and weak skin with the Soothing Moisture Mask from Avène, specialists in gentle and sensitive skin care. Perfect for sensitive skin suffering symptoms of redness, tightness and stinging caused by environmental aggressors, the moisturising mask will leave the skin with a healthy and radiant appearance. 
The rich, creamy formula is made up of the Avène Thermal Spring Water meaning that your skin benefits from the soothing and anti-irritating properties of the water whilst Triglycerides help to restore the hydrolipic barrier therefore nourishing dehydrated skin. The mask works to restore the skin’s natural barrier meaning that the skin absorbs more water and therefore increases the skin’s levels of hydration. Appropriate for all types of sensitive skin, the Avène Soothing Moisture Mask will leave you with soft, smooth and supple skin boasting a healthy glow. A.W. Paraben-free. 
Instruction:Apply the mask in thick layers to the face and neck. Leave for 10 to 15 minutes and remove the excess product with a cotton pad. 
Ingredients:Avene Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua), Mineral Oil (Paraffin Liquidum), Stearic Acid.Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil (CarthamusTinctorius), Hydrogenated Palm/Palm Kernel Oil Peg-6 Esters, Triethanolamine, Glyceryl Stearate, Microcrystalline Wax (Cera Microcristallina). Peg-100 Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Carbomer, Disodium Edta, Fragrance (Parfum), Phenyl Trimethicone 
Verdict: Haven’t used it enough times to know if it’s helping with my goal of remedying and reversing the fine lines - I guess preventing further damage is more plausible, while it may take a lot more time and effort to reverse the effect. I do like how it leaves my skin feeling very hydrated but not oily. Different from heavy moisturiser infused mask, this hydrates deeply and doesn’t leave any film of product. Quite impressive for a small price tag. 

Have you used Avène products? What do you use and how do you find them?

Avène Cleanse and Tone

I am gradually switching out from my Korean skincare range for reasons mentioned in my previous post.

Avène products are not new to me. Coming from Singapore, we are accessible to most of the brands, and that also means that skincare products are highly competitive too. I used to use their thermal water mist, and that’s about it.

I first discovered Micellar (water) lotion when I moved to Denmark 2 months ago and was planning some road trips, so I explored into skincare products “on the go” that are simplified but effective. I chanced upon the Micellar lotion and instantly hooked!

I have tried another brand of micellar water in prior to Avène’s, but I am definitely loving Avène’s because it smells so good! 
Description:Specially developed for sensitive skin and the delicate eye area, the Micellar Lotion from Avène gently removes dirt, make-up and impurities. Formulated with mild cleansing agents and the brand's Thermal Spring Water to support the skin's natural protective barrier, whilst leaving skin supple, smooth and soft. With its no-rinse formula, the soothing lotion prevents irritation and dryness by boosting moisture levels for healthy-looking skin and a balanced complexion. E.N. Paraben free.
Instruction:Apply the Micellar Lotion with a cotton pad to the face. No-rinse formula.
Ingredients:Avene Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua). Pentylene Glycol. Peg-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides. Disodium Edta. Fragrance (Parfum). Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil. Sclerotium Gum. Sodium Benzoate. Sodium Chloride.
  • Basically, it’s a no-rinse cleanser, so you see why it is ideal for traveling or on road trips when you want to pack light, but not compromising on skincare routine. I use this to remove basic makeup like non-waterproof eyeliner, CC/BB cream on face, and lip stain. I do use proper eye makeup remover to remove waterproof mascara though.  
    Verdict: I really love it!
    I am running out of my AHA gentle cleanser, and I am finding my skin dryer now so I decide to switch it out to something gentler and more hydrating - I still have my AHA exfoliator and mask, so I am covered in the exfoliation department.

    I only ordered Avène cleanser on my third order on lookfantastic after I have tried some of the Avène’s products. 
    The Gentle Milk Cleanser from Avène intensely hydrates dry and extremely dry skin. Specially formulated with mild cleansing agents to gently remove dirt, make-up and impurities, the milky cleanser leaves skin supple with a silky smooth texture. Enriched with the brand's kind-to-skin Thermal Spring Water to prevent irritation and restore the skin's natural protective barrier. No need to rinse, the cleanser allows you to experience healthy-looking, revitalised skin, without leaving behind any sticky residue. E.N.

    Apply with fingertips or damp cotton wool and massage lightly with light circular movements. Remove excess product using a cotton pad.
    Avene Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua). Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum). Propylene Glycol. Peg-6 Stearate. Peg-32 Stearate. Butylparaben. Carbomer. Fragrance (Parfum). Phenoxyethanol. Propylene Glycol Stearate Se. Sodium Hyaluronate. Stearic Acid. Triethanolamine. Trisodium Edta.
    • Verdict: I have only used it a few times, but so far it cleanses really well, and doesn’t dry out my skin, so that’s a super plus point. I love how it leaves the skin soft and supple. Definitely a keeper.
      This is to replace my favorite Korean toner mist (infused with vitamins!). All Avène products have a powdery scent, which is really pleasant. I am not exactly a fragrance-free person, as I find fragrance-free actually reeks of plastic and odd smell. I like some light refreshing scent that is not overwhelming, which adds pleasure (to olfactory) to the routine. 
      The Gentle Toner from Avène effectively tones skin to deliver a fresh and rebalanced complexion. Specially developed for dry and sensitive skin, the delicate toner is formulated with natural silicates to shield the skin from environmental aggressors, whilst restoring the skin's natural hydrolipidic film to maintain moisture levels. Enriched with the brand's Thermal Spring Water to prevent irritation and leave skin calm, hydrated and soothed. E.N. Paraben and alcohol free. 
      Shake well before use. Apply the toner with a cotton pad to a cleansed face. 
      Ingredients:Avene Thermal Spring Water (Avene Aqua). Fragrance (Parfum). Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate. Phenoxyethanol. Sorbitol. Stearalkonium Hectorite. Trisodium Edta. Water (Aqua). 
      Verdit: It is sounding regimented but I truly love all the Avène products that I have bought so far. I love using toner, as it wipes the last traces of makeup and impurities that could be missed during cleansing - especially that I have left my clarisonic brush in Singapore (I brought the charger instead, duh!). Cleansing is probably the most important step in the skincare routine, so I am quite particular about it. This toner is really gentle, containing no alcohol, so it doesn’t dry out the skin. All their products leave your skin feeling hydrated and soft to touch.  
The next post is on the moisturising range that I’ve bought. 

Thursday, 27 October 2016

My Alternate Source for Beauty Products - LookFantastic

 Avene on LookFantastic

I have been THE online shopping Queen back in Singapore, then I moved to Perth, Australia and even before I arrived in Perth, I had sourced out the shopping links for my beauty products hoarding to continue.

Now that I have moved to Denmark, there is minimal culture shock, except for online shopping culture shock! Well, you know about EU right? So, my past beauty stash sources are predominantly from Asian continents - think Korea! It had little impact when I moved to Perth except for some price changes - so much cheaper to buy from Korea when I was in Singapore. It’s a whole lot of tax and duty change when I move to Denmark!

For an order of AUD45, I have to pay a tax and duty of approximately AUD40! What! Ok, so I have been actively sourcing for product alternatives (I do miss my snail creams. sob sob), and new online shopping venues in the Europe (buy from Europe, and there is no tax!).

I have found LookFantastic and have since ordered thrice with them - and I’ve only been in Denmark for two months! Speedy delivery, and fabulous free gifts, and discounts! Not only that I found great discounts on there, my HG products like Alpha-H and Moronccooil are available on there too, at better prices!

1. Subscribe to their newsletter, they have different beauty bags every so frequently, you will find yourself wanting to buy something just so that you get their beauty bags!
2. With the newsletter, you will get updates not on the freebies, but also special discount codes to use (up to 22% discount) on your order. As usual, conditions apply.
3. Check your country of delivery and try to meet the minimum order to qualify for free tracked delivery.

I will be reviewing the Avene products over the weekend - 1-2 products per post. They are not sponsored products, I paid for every one of them. They are so good!

P/S: I have also found alternative source for my supplements supplies, iHerb orders got taxed too much, so I decide to put iHerb aside for now, until I am back in Australia.