Beauty Stash

If there is one thing that I’d be an advocate of when it comes to skin care, it would be on the importance of moisturising.

There’s always a story behind everyone’s advocacy and here’s mine:

I grew up in a tropical country and have always had oily skin. When I was in my early 20’s I thought that I won’t ever need to use moisturisers on my face. I only wear sunblock when I go to the beach. I put lotion on days when I feel like it. I gave more importance to cleansing and keeping oil controlled and pimples at bay. 

I moved here when I turned 28 and I had to change my skincare routine as my skin is  exposed to four seasons in a year. On the first year I experienced winter, I saw a skincare specialist because my skin was so dry. I learned a lot of things from the skincare specialist I met: 
(1) That even if I had oily skin, moisturising and using sunblock is as important as cleansing.
(2) People with oily skin can find suitable moisturisers (i.e. water-based moisturisers).
(3) You can use oil to moisturise and it won’t clog your pores and add oiliness to your skin. 
(4) Different seasons calls for different moisturisers. I was advised to have a richer moisturiser during cold season and a lighter one during warm season.
(5) The earlier you start putting moisturisers, the better. 
(6) Drink lots of water. 

The sun is harsh these days that it leads to premature wrinkles and sunspots and worse, skin cancer, hence, I have realised the importance of wearing sunblock too.

I’ve seen men and women who look too wrinkly and “sun-spotty” for their age who love the outdoors and bask in the glory of the sun without wearing moisturisers with sunblock. It’s not about vanity really but more about taking care of the only skin we have. It is inevitable for all of us to have wrinkles and sunspots–all of us will have them as we grow older.  However, seeing people who take care of their skin well, a part of how they take care of their well-being, is always admirable.

Since I’ve met a skincare specialist, I’ve given more attention to keeping my skin hydrated. Below are a few items I trust which works well for me:

Petroleum Jelly. I use this for moisturising the lips at nightime. I also use this to moisturise the hands and feet during winter time (after putting on hands and feet, wear gloves and socks overnight).

Carmex Lip Balm. They’re the best thing that ever happened to my lips! I hoard them when they go on sale. I love that they have a variant that has SPF.

Tip when moisturising lips at night: Moisturise the edge of your lips as this will help prevent pre-wrinkles.

Daytime Moisturising with Sunblock:

BB Cream. This serves as a foundation, moisturiser and sunblock. I use them when I go out. If you want to know about BB Creams, please read my article here. I’m currently using Skinfood’s Good Afternoon Peach Green Tea and once I’m finished with this tube, I’ll be using Missha’s M Signature Real Complete BB Cream.

Sunscreen Lotion. I use this during the day to protect the other parts of my body, particularly the arms and legs. I look for a sunscreen that moisturises, doesn’t feel sticky and cause blemishes. 

Night Time Moisturising:

Sorbolene Cream. Other than moisturising with oil after bath, this works in keeping my skin hydrated during cold season.

J&J Bedtime Lotion. I prefer this during warm season as it’s light and mild. Smells great too.

Paw Paw Balm. After putting lotion on my hands, I follow it up with a little Paw Paw Balm to soothe it some more. I take particular care of my hands as it’s the most used part of my body (cooking, washing dishes etc).

Eye Moisturiser. Since it’s summer time now, I use Garnier’s Eye Roll On as it’s lighter but during winter, I prefer using Clinique’s All About Eyes.

Rosehip Oil. I used this to moisturise my face. Three drops of this and it goes a long way. If you want to know more about my Top 5 favourite oils, please click here.
As we grow older, our skin loses the ability to retain water as it once did so a little help from moisturisers and sunblocks will be beneficial to us. And please, always drink lots of water as it hydrates from the inside and has other health benefits too.

Happy Friday!
Since I’ve been married, I never had the discipline to have facials. Other than being turned off by expensive costs of having facials here in Australia, I’d rather spend my time doing other things. However, I’m aware that it is important to take care of one’s skin especially as one gets older. Then I discovered a skin cleansing gadget called Clarisonic Mia which cleans the skin more thoroughly by using a patented sonic frequency of more than 300 movements per second.  For weeks, I studied the information in their website and read lots of reviews from beauty bloggers around the world. Then I thought of giving myself this as a Christmas present when I saw a good deal online. After two weeks, my Christmas pressie to myself arrived!

There are a few kinds of Clarisonic Mias but I chose the Clarisonic Mia 2 which has 2 speeds, a one-minute pulsing T-Timer and a protective travel case.
Beauty Stash: The Clarisonic Mia 2

It also came with a 30ml Clarisonic Refreshing Gel which works well with my skin as it’s gentle, doesn’t leave my skin oily and doesn’t cause me to break out.

Beauty Stash: The Clarisonic Mia 2
The Clarisonic Mia 2 comes with a sensitive brush head (they have a variety of brush heads you can choose from) to easily introduce one’s skin to sonic cleansing. It is advised to change the brush head every three to four months.
Beauty Stash: The Clarisonic Mia 2

Charging the Clarisonic Mia 2 for the first time took 24 hours. I was very happy when the light finally signaled that it was fully-charged. 

Beauty Stash: The Clarisonic Mia 2

The main reason why I opted to buy the Clarisonic Mia 2 (I really could have opted for the cheaper and basic one) was because of the protective travel case. Since this gadget is for personal grooming, I like that my Clarisonic Mia will be kept clean whenever I travel. 

Beauty Stash: The Clarisonic Mia 2
Beauty Stash: The Clarisonic Mia 2
I’ve used this for almost a week now and I’m loving it. Here are a few reasons why:
  • The first time I used it, my skin felt cleaner, softer and tighter. 
  • The brushing feels gentle on the skin and yet I feel as if I’ve had a mini-facial.
  • It gets rid of blackheads on a daily basis!
  • It seemed to have made my pores smaller, resulting to a less oily skin.
  • It gives my skin a natural pinkish glow and even if I’ve worked all day, my face doesn’t look tired. 
I’m very glad with my Clarisonic Mia 2 and I consider this the best present I’ve ever given to myself. 

If you want to know more about Clarisonic Mia and their products, please check out their website.

The Husband considers me a Shampoo-and-Conditioner Collector because whenever I find shampoos on sale, especially ones I have not tried before, I buy them. The Husband calls our bathroom, much to my embarrassment, a museum for shampoos and conditioners. 

My love for shampoo and conditioner (S&C) stems from the fact that I love my hair. I can’t afford to go to salons and have treatments (it’s just so bloody expensive here!) but I have it regularly trimmed and styled by my trusted Korean hairstylist every two months. At home, I’ve somehow collected different brands of  (S&C) because I use about 3 kinds of S&C in a week–my hair is healthy that way. 

The things I do to have healthy hair: 
(1) I do deep conditioning treatments at home.
(2) During winter, I only wash my hair with water on days when I don’t go out.*
(3) During summer, I wash my hair with baby shampoo on days when I don’t go out.*
(4) I sometimes apply Argan Oil to give additional hair moisture.
(5) I almost never use styling products.
(6) I avoid colouring my hair since I turned 25 years old.  

*I use baby shampoo or wash my hair with just water as a way to rest my hair and scalp from harsh chemicals.

I’ve always wondered when I’d be able to try Organix. I’ve seen it in supermarkets and read good reviews about the brand but I find it a bit costly. When I dropped by the chemist a few weeks ago, I saw big bottles of Organix on sale AND it has a Cherry Blossom Ginseng variant. I couldn’t resist so I bought it.

What I love about the Organix Cherry Blossom Ginseng S&C:
  • It has all the ingredients I’m fond of: cherry blossom, ginseng and rice milk
  • It smells wonderful
  • It leaves my hair soft and hydrated ALL DAY!
  • It doesn’t contain lauryl/laureth sulfates and parabens.
I hope that by the time I finish these bottles, they’d go on sale again. I’ve come to love Organix and would love to try their other variants.
I learned about BB Creams when travelled in Seoul last year but I went home without buying one.  After a few months, I decided to give it a try after reading more about the wonders it does to the face. 

Before I give you a run down of BB Creams I’ve tried, Here’s some things you need to learn about BB Creams:
  • BB stands for Blemish Balm/Beauty Balm.
  • BB Creams work as a primer, foundation, moisturiser and sunblock. All these benefits in just one tube.
  • It was originally formulated in Germany for use of patients who have undergone laser procedures and surgery.
  • In the 1980s, it was introduced in Japan and Korea.  
  • In Korea, it is referred to as “the beauty secret of Korean actresses”.

Why I got drawn to using BB Creams:
  • It is time and cost effective. I used to put sunblock and foundation before putting powder on but now, with just the BB Cream, I get to save time and money by using just one product.
  • Regular use of BB Cream has resulted to improved pores and skin texture.
  • I have found a BB Cream that doesn’t make my face too oily.
  • When applied, it makes my pores less visible.
  • I found a BB Cream that brings out the natural glow of my face, as in no need to wear blush.
  • I found a BB Cream that doesn’t cause me to breakout.
  • It is cheaper to buy BB Creams compared to other foundations made by designer brands.

Here are some BB Creams I’ve tried:
(Important Note on my Face Profile: I have an oily skin especially on the Tzone areas. However, during Winter, my skin gets dry. I have acne scars. My  face is on the fair shade of brown. I have medium-sized pores.)

Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream (with SPF 42, Shade No.21). This was the first BB Cream I used (and still using, finishing the tube at the moment) and I’m glad that it was my first choice. It’s one of the most famous BB Creams in Korea. It has medium to full coverage. Easy to apply on the face. It has a dewy finish and stays on for the whole day. If I have an event to go to at night, I just freshen up by putting powder on. When applied, my oily skin becomes manageable. Doesn’t give me pimples.
Beauty Stash: BB Creams

Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream. Easy to apply. Has medium coverage. However, it gave me pimples after use so I stopped using it on my face. In order for my purchase to amount to something (sayang ang binayad ko eh) and since it has SPF,  I use this on the back of my hand and legs until the tube’s empty.

Beauty Stash: BB Creams

MISA Cho Bo Yang BB Cream by Missha (a.k.a. Herbal Prescription BB Cream). I got a sample of this BB Cream from an online store. This is better than the Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream as this has a matte finish. The oiliness of my skin is more manageable. The next time I buy a BB Cream from Missha this would be it.

_MBeauty Stash: BB CreamsG_4118

Power Perfection BB Cream (Natural Beige) by The Face Shop . I got this sample from The Face Shop in Townhall (Sydney). This is my favourite BB Cream as so far as this is the only BB Cream that lets my skin glow without the help of putting blush. The other BB Creams I’ve used seemed to just leave my face white. Whenever I use this, I noticed that my cheeks’ natural glow comes out. Just be quick when applying this on your face as it sets in just a few seconds. Has a matte finish so oily skin is managed well. I’m buying a tube of this in time for Summer.

Beauty Stash: BB Creams

Good Afternoon Peach Green Tea BB Cream by Skin Food. Easy to apply and has a fruity smell. Matte finish but in two to three hours, my skin gets oily.  It doesn’t cause me any breakouts though so I think this is still a good product for me. It just means I need to re-touch all the time to manage oiliness of my skin. I bought this tube recently and I think I should use this during cold season.

Beauty Stash: BB Creams

Some tips:
  • Ask BB Cream samples before buying a tube.
  • If samples are not available, google reviews on the net.
  • Ask recommendations from professionals or friends that have the same skin as yours.
  • If a brand doesn’t work for you (i.e. results to breakouts, make your skin oily etc), stop using it. You may use them as sunblock for your hands or legs as long as they don’t irritate your skin.
  • Shelf life of BB Creams is up to 8-12 months. If it smells weird or dries out funny, throw it away to avoid skin infections.

My Stand on BB Creams: I’m subjective to trying out Korean brands at the moment because in my opinion, the Koreans have figured out a way to treat Asian skin. If a brand works well with my skin and their price is reasonable, that would be my gauge in buying.
I mostly write about home, food and travel but this year, I’ve made two regular features on the blog, Beauty Stash and Style Musings, because like most women I’m also fascinated with beauty and style, and both topics are essential in living a charmed life. In Beauty Stash, I share finds and tips on grooming and staying beautiful.  Style Musings was formerly known as Fashion Fridays but it has evolved into sharing my thoughts on style and design. I hope you will enjoy these two features as much as I enjoy writing about them.

I have mentioned in a previous entry that it was only when I moved to Sydney that I followed a skin care regimen. While I did start putting skin care products when I was a teenager, it’s when I was 28 y/o that I stopped jumping from one product to another. It was all thanks to Murad
Beauty Stash: Dr. Murad
Growing up, I’ve battled with acne for most of my teenage years. It comes and goes. I even had a theory before that I seem to get an attack of acne every four years.  When I turned 25, the breakouts lessened but I was aware that I need to find products that will suit my skin needs, especially that I’m not getting any younger. So when I moved here, I seek professional help, had a few session of facials and went home with Murad products to maintain the health of my skin.

I exclusively used Murad (as in no other skin care product touched my skin) for three years. Their products are a bit expensive but I soldiered on because I wanted my skin to get better. It was all worth it as my skin did improve. I still have acne scars but  at least my skin texture has improved, it is less sensitive and it’s not as oily as it used to be. 

Murad Products I’ve Used:
Refreshing Cleanser.  A gentle but thorough cleanser. It’s perfect for my sensitive skin. I feel like I’m washing my face with milk. It also keeps the skin hydrated.

Skin Perfecting Lotion. One of the best moisturisers I’ve used so far. It’s very light but my skin stays hydrated during the day. Perfect for daytime use and when indoors.

Perfecting Day Cream with SPF30. Similar to what I felt with the Skin Perfecting Lotion but only this has SPF. Moisturiser and sunblock in 1. After learning that it’s a must to put on sunblock ALWAYS, I switched to this.

Perfecting Night Cream. Moisturiser for night time. 

Energizing Pomegranate Moisturizer SPF 15. One of the moisturisers from Murad that I used just because I got tired of the Skin Perfecting Lotion. Great for daytime as this has SPF15. I love wearing this during summer as it has cooling effects on the skin.  This is also best for combination skin as it keeps the Tzone and dry zone areas of your face balanced.

Essential C-Cleanser. The last cleanser I used from Murad. This didn’t sit well with me as I noticed it gave me a pimple of two after I use it. Although it felt light and mild, I don’t know why it didn’t work well with my skin.

If you noticed from the products mentioned, when I acquired my Murad skin regimen, I basically did two steps: cleanse and moisturise. While it is common that toning is part of skin care, I was told by professionals that it is not necessary. And it worked for me. I’m grateful that their advice saved me time and money.

I have stopped using Murad for sometime now. While I can afford their products and a few drops is all it takes to get you skin cleaned and moisturised (a tube it last loooong time), I find it a bit expensive. Murad has given me better skin and now I’m able to use other products without being prone to pimples.

Based from my experience, I’d highly recommend Murad for those who have sensitive and problematic skin. Ask a professional about Murad before making the switch.