My Current Morning Skincare Routine

I know I know. I’ve been MIA again but I think you guys are already used to this sudden disappearance. It’s the school holidays, and it basically means I’m a full time mother and babysitter, without any break. It’s been so noisy at home, whenever I have a few minutes of quiet time, I just feel like hiding under my blanket and block out all the noises from the world. It’s an exaggeration of course, but you know what I mean. I love my kids, but I’m also an introvert who desperately needs her alone time.

I want to share with you what I’ve been using in the mornings, skincare wise. I never skip any skincare but I’d skip any makeup without hesitation.

 

 

I’ve been keeping my morning routine quite minimal by my standards. A gentle milk cleanser followed by a hydrating lotion. I’ve been using the Hada Labo Premium Lotion because it’s affordable, and it’s effective! My skin has been getting drier with some texture, and I’ve added the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Oil to my morning routine. It has helped tremendously. I just apply 3 drops before another 3 drops of Klairs Vitamin C serum.

It preps my skin just enough for the moisturizer, eye cream and sunblock to come. These are my regulars, except for the Trilogy eye cream, which is a newbie in the line up. I bought everything here, but this eye cream is sent to me by TNS Skin Lab. Let me just tell you that if you like your eye creams to be light, and to be absorbed immediately, then this is for you. It’s great for normal to oily skin, and it’s especially great for the day time when we want to apply makeup after.

I thought it might not do anything for me because of its light texture, but after using it every day the last couple of months, I have to say it actually keeps my under eyes hydrated enough without creasing my makeup. It’s not rich enough for me for night time, so I’ve been using my Zelens triple action eye cream.

This line up has been serving me well especially the Estee Lauder ANR oil. I know it says NIGHT repair, but it can be used in the day as well if you have dry skin. It penetrates deep into the skin to keep it moisturized, and it takes away some texture, for sure.

 

morning skincare routine

 

What does your morning skincare routine look like? Do you wash your face with a cleanser? I know there are many who use exfoliating pads to replace their cleanser but I haven’t tried that. What do you think of that?

It’s only 2 weeks left of 2018 and I feel like the older I get, the faster time flies. Are you all prepared for the coming festivities? 

 

xoxo Lily

 

ps: I don’t really like this new WordPress setting. My paragraphs and formats are all messed up. Please excuse the bunched up look until I figure out how to use this new thing. Urgh.

 

 

 

Basic Skincare for Teens

Do you know what stumped me most? Skincare for teens. I have an 11-year-old who is getting some blackheads around the nose, and some small comedones around her cheeks. They are scatters of small bumps and I know they annoy her because she’s doing her best not to pick on them. I remember my mom used to take me to the beauty salon to get my pimples extracted, and she would buy me creams to get rid of those pesky blackheads. Thanks to her, I never had any problems with acne scarring that affected my skin texture. I had some marks though, and they always faded in time.

 

 

So, I know it’s important that I take care of my children’s skin as well. I’ve been searching high and low for very gentle skincare for teens, something that is clean in ingredients, and suitable for skincare newbies. A few months ago, I saw TNS Skin Lab advertise a new brand, Oxygen, and I knew I found it. Well, Chloe had to try it, of course, but it’s something I would buy for her to try. TNS Skin Lab very kindly offered to send me the Oxygen Teen Starter Pack, and it’s been nearly 3 months now, and I’m happy to report, Chloe’s skin is under control.

There are still new bumps that pop up, you know, hormones and all, but compared to when she wasn’t using anything, her skin is cleaner, and there are less bumps. Her skin does not feel tight, and she can stick to using this daily. She only uses it once in the evening, before bed. We were so happy with the results that we bought another cleanser, the 2-in-1 cleanser for oily skin. She uses that only on the weekends for added exfoliation.

 

 

I notice also that it’s not easy to rid of the blackheads on her nose. For that, I bought the b-liv Off With Those Heads so she could apply the gel every night before bed. She’s good with not picking her skin, and for that, I’m thankful. Can’t say the same for Ashlyn because she’s more impulsive. Hopefully when Ashlyn’s skin starts to change and when she’s older, she has more self control.

This lineup is something I will repurchase, and change according to Chloe’s skin, of course. For now, she’s happy, I’m happy. If you’re interested to check it out, you can head on to their website <here>. No, I don’t get any commission from any of your clicks or purchases.

Do you have to worry about your children’s skin? Did you have breakouts as a teenager? What did you do? Also, just to let you know that Oxygen skincare is not only for teens. Their products are very gentle, so if you have sensitive skin, you might want to try this too.

 

xoxo Lily

 

 

 

The Herb Farm Experience

I usually keep my expectations in check when I try new brands, especially skincare. I am also impartial when it comes to whether the brand is organic or natural or not. As long as the product works, as long as the company is ethical, as long as the founder does not go on a crazy rant on social media, I’m good. And yes, about that, I guess I will not be restocking the Hylamide C25 booster anymore. Oh well, plenty of vitamin Cs around. I just don’t want to support someone who belittles the customers. Or fires a staff on Instagram (WTF!).

Anyhoo…

The Herb Farm is a family business in New Zealand, and as I was reading up their story and philosophy on their website, this small phrase struck a chord – “… a business that works in harmony with the environment.” Their whole story from how they started small, to having the children grow up and becoming part of the business, to respecting nature, nurturing while sowing, somehow touches my heart. Maybe they have a good writer but if this is a business that stays true to their words, then I want to support it.

Thank you to TNS Skinlab for giving me this opportunity to try, because guys, from the few new skincare products and brands I’ve been testing, The Herb Farm takes the crown!

 

The Herb Farm Normal Skincare Minis

 

If you just want to try out the brand, I suggest getting the skincare minis (RM139). They have 2 sets – one for normal/dry skin and another for combination oily skin. I have here the normal / dry kit and in it there is a softening rose cream cleanser, rejuvenating facial toning mist, smoothing exfoliating powder and nourishing rose face cream. All these are sold full sized individually of course, but these deluxe sample size is enough for you to trial for about 2-4 weeks. The cream cleanser cleans thoroughly without drying out my skin while the toning mist smells subtly of roses. It doesn’t smart my eyes even though I sprayed with my eyes open (don’t ask, just happened). I like to use the rose face cream during the day because it is quite light in texture even though it looks like a paste when I scoop it out. It sinks into the skin rather well, unlike some other moisturizers I’ve tried that just sits atop my skin, making me feel uncomfortable. This keeps my skin feeling comfortable the whole day, without being too rich.

 

The Herb Farm Normal Skincare Mini

 

My favourite in this set has to be the exfoliating powder. You need to scoop it out, place it on your palm, then mix it with 2 squirts of cream cleanser before massaging it on your face. The powder looks gritty but it actually feels really fine on the skin. After exfoliating, my skin immediately looks brighter and oh so smooth! All these products have a very subtle natural scent – not overpowering or offensive in any way.

 

The Herb Farm Radiant Face Cream

 

Next up are 2 anti ageing products: Radiance Boost Facial Serum (RM159, 20ml) and Echinacea & Blackcurrant Radiant Face Cream (RM159, 50ml).

Usually for a serum, we get 30ml or 50ml, but I noticed that The Herb Farm only offers 20ml serums. The Radiance Boost Facial Serum is a brownish thick liquid that smells a little smoky and musky at the same time. It is recommended to use this serum around the eyes, face and neck as well, and I’m all for serums that can be used around the eyes! This serum is not greasy, and is absorbed almost immediately without leaving much of a trace on the skin. It is rich in antioxidants to fight against free radicals, high in bioflavonoids to defend the skin against stress and pollution, hydrates, evens out skin tone and brightens as well. I’ve been using this serum daily and nightly for a couple of weeks now, and my skin did not act up.

However, let’s be fair. You guys know I’ve always taken care of my skin, using multiple serums, face oils etc. So, when I stopped my routine to try this out, I do notice my skin is not as plump. To counter that, I re-introduced my face oil at night, and all is well.

 

The Herb Farm face cream

 

That said, I really like the Echinacea & Blackcurrant Radiant Face Cream. It is a thick cream that melts in your palms, feels rich but not greasy. It makes my skin look so soft and yes, I like this better than the Rose Face Cream. I sometimes add my face oil to this cream and I sometimes use the oil alone, but either way, mixing this cream with oil makes it so much more luxurious! That’s because I have drier skin, and I sleep with the air conditioning on. I’ve used this face cream in the day under my makeup as well, and it does not affect the wear of my foundation. In fact, it primes my skin for the foundation to follow. Did I mention I really like this?

 

The Herb Farm Skincare review

 

After I used up the Radiant Boost Facial Serum, I might pick up the Renewal Advance Facial Serum to try. It is pricier, RM179 for only 20ml but it’s supposed to help promote the formation of collagen and improve skin’s elasticity and texture. Sounds like the help I need!

I know this is a wordy post, and if you read every word, you’re a champ. I haven’t been excited about a new brand for a while so this has been a pleasant surprise. I want to explore more of this brand, which means I need to make a trip to my TNS Skinlab soon. I noticed from TNS Skinlab’s website that they didn’t bring in all the products available (compared to The Herb Farm’s official website), so I hope that’ll change soon! From what I’ve tested, I’d be interested to look at their Hand and Body care products too.

Have you heard of this brand? Oh I hope you will try it!

 

xoxo Lily

 

 

Ingredients

*left Echinacea & Blackcurrant Radiant Face cream, right Radiance Boost Facial Serum

 

An Overview of Botany Naturals Skincare

To be honest, I haven’t heard of Botany before. It is established in 1995 in Australia, and initially produced all natural spa products for salons. Botany has a range of natural skincare products and essential oils and today, I’ll share with you what I think about some of their skincare products. I have with me Botany Naturals Hand & Body Wash Lemon Myrtle, Botany Naturals Creme Cleanser, Botany Naturals Hydrating Mist, Botany Naturals Refining Serum and Botany Naturals Refining Night Creme. You can find these products online if there isn’t a TNS Skin Lab store near you. The prices range within the RM100-RM200 range, and I notice there is discount at the moment at their online store.

 

 

I am not usually very fussy when it comes to hand and body wash, but I notice that this doesn’t dry out my skin. This hand and body wash has blackwood wattle in the ingredients which is supposed to have anti-inflammatory properties, and is suitable even for sensitive skin. However, this has a strong lemon scent that doesn’t really appeal to me. There are other scents as well, so maybe some of them are more pleasant. To be absolutely open with you though, I probably won’t spend over RM100 for a body wash that to me, works just like any other body wash at a quarter of the price. I have normal skin and I have yet to discover any body wash that works against my skin. Perhaps just some hotel soaps that are particularly drying, and that’s the reason I sometimes (if I remember) just bring a moisturizing Dove bar when I travel.

 

 

My favourite of the lot has to be the hydrating mist. The spray is wonderful because the mist comes out soft and I love the subtle rose scent. I like to use this right after cleansing, before my face oil. If I decide to skip my face oil that day, I just follow it with a serum and moisturizer. Talking about cleansing, it took me a few tries to finally enjoy the cream cleanser. I need 5 pumps of the cream cleanser to thoroughly clean my face. I find that it works best on damp skin. If skin is dry, the cream cleanser remains dry and it drags the skin a little. There are manuka honey and ginseng in the ingredients, and I know my skin loves them. There are also rosehip, calendula and witch hazel, all of which are great at soothing and nourishing the most sensitive skin. The only gripe I have is the strong ylang ylang scent which I have never liked. However, because it cleanses my skin so comfortably, I am willing to tolerate it 🙂

 

 

The refining serum is a lightweight gel that absorbs into the skin with no fuss. I like that it has stabilised vitamin C in the ingredients as well as rosehip to moisturize the skin. I haven’t noticed any brightening or smoothing of the skin, but I have always used vitamin C in my skincare routine anyway. I’m glad to report that my skin has been behaving well since the inclusion of Vitamin C and I will ensure it is an ingredient I always have in my skincare. Out of the 4 face care products, I have to say I enjoy the night cream the least. It is a thicker cream texture that sits on top of my skin, for a long while. It does not absorb into the skin completely, and the layer sitting on top feels slightly uncomfortable.

Overall, it is a brand I’d recommend. I see there are some essential oils at reasonable prices too, so I might pick up some the next time I’m at TNS. I’ve been enjoying having some lovely scent in my room 🙂 Is any one of you from Australia? Have you heard of this brand before?

 

xoxo Lily

 

 

 

 

Last Empties of 2017 and Updates

Hello hello!! Hope you had a lovely time yesterday! We don’t celebrate Christmas, so we had a quiet holiday at home and it was quite relaxing. I just want to document the last empties of 2017 before moving on to 2018. I wanted to see how many things I use up and it’s good to know how much skincare I actually consume. Most of the products in the photos below are reviewed here, so just do a quick search if you’re interested. There are a few things I repurchased, such as the Hada Labo Premium Lotion and the Anessa sunscreen. I enjoy them both immensely, and they are friendly to the wallet. The same goes to Senka Perfect Watery Oil and Antipodes Manuka Honey mask. These are my skincare regulars because they’re tried and tested, and never disappoint.

 

 

After using up the Bobbi Brown Instant Long Wear Makeup remover, I purchased the Shiseido one just because I haven’t tried it before. So far so good. I can’t tell the difference between the two, really. I managed to clear up most of my skincare back ups, so I’m going to do a one in one out in the future. That way, I don’t hoard, but sometimes I get skincare samples, so that will throw things off a bit. We’ll see how it goes. I don’t work with that many brands anyway, so that really shouldn’t be a problem!

How has 2017 been for you guys? Mine just flew by. I don’t even remember what happened except that the beginning of the year was hard and sad, and then it got better and things kept changing. There have been ups and downs, but that’s how life is supposed to be anyway. At the moment, I’m neither here nor there, meaning I’m not too driven to do anything in particular. I’m quite content where I am right now, and just floating here for a bit longer feels good to me. Chasing a clear goal can be tiring, so right now, when I’m writing this, I’m in a state of mind that says “what ever will be, will be”…

It might be different in the next few days, because we all know I’m fickle like that. What about you? Do you have anything you want to do, any goals you want to achieve, anything in particular you want to chase after? Are you very driven to do or achieve something in particular, or are you like me and just floating around for a bit until something pops up? Tell me in the comments because I’d like to know!

 

xoxo Lily

 

 

Review: Sunday Riley C.E.O. Moisturizer

I purchased this Sunday Riley C+E antioxidant protect and repair moisturizer from Cult Beauty a few months back. My skin really likes Vitamin C, so I thought why not. It is a 50ml tub and it retails for GBP60. After tax rebate of 20%, I paid GBP48 for it. It comes in an orange tub, and the cream smells like orange fizz. Why must all Vitamin C skincare smell like citrus? I don’t mind… but there are many other fruits higher in Vitamin C than oranges. And I digress.

 

Sunday Riley CEO moisturizer review

 

The cream is heavier than I thought, and it is also not as emolient. For me, I like to use a spatula to scoop it onto my palm, then warm it up between my palms before pressing it onto my face and neck. If I massage it in, I find that I’m dragging my skin around. It also sinks in better if skin is slightly damp so I always use this on top of an essence.

 

Sunday Riley CEO moisturizer review

 

This is how much I use for my face and neck and I don’t usually use this much cream. The reason I use this much is because it is best used within 3 months. I think the vitamin C will oxidise and won’t perform as well, so once you opened it, use it within 3 months for best results. That means you have to use this every day and every night for about 2 to 3 months, exclusively. I like to change my moisturizer according to my skin’s needs, so having to consciously use this exclusively doesn’t sit well with me. I know many people don’t have that problem, and many just use the same skin care day in day out, but I’m really fussy with my routine. And I’m spoiled, I guess.

 

Sunday Riley CEO moisturizer review

 

There are a few key ingredients in this cream. The Vitamin C (5% THD Ascorbate) used is claimed to be the gold standard because it is powerful, stable and significantly less irritating than other forms of Vitamin C like L-Ascorbic Acid. Vitamin C in skincare promotes natural collagen, brightens the skin while providing anti-oxidant support to fight damages caused by sun exposure.

Exopolysaccharides, derived from French Polunesian Kopara, helps protect the skin from visible effects of pollution exposure, shielding the skin from PM2.5 micropollution particles found in smog. Lime Pearl Extract, the lime pearls extracted from the caviar lime, are a natural source of AHA so skin is exfoliated very gently and subtly. Last but not least, Bisabol, derived from Chamomile, helps to calm the reactive and sensitive skin. It soothes the skin, and is often found in baby products.

 

Sunday Riley CEO moisturizer review

 

With all that said, and after using this cream exclusively the last 2 months, I can tell you that it has kept my skin bright and even. I am not using any brightening serum, and have only been depending on this moisturizer. However, after using it day and night for about 6 weeks, I find that the really sensitive parts of my face, such as the area around my nostrils, sting a little. So I just avoid that area when I use this moisturizer. I only have a few uses left of this cream, and would like to repurchase because it is effective, but I will not because of its 3-month usage window. I feel like I’m racing with time to use this cream, having to make sure I use it within the time frame. Given the price, I also want to actually use it up before 3 months is up.

However, if you’re one who can use up a 50ml tub of moisturizer easily within that time, then I suggest you look at this. It has kept my skin bright and even, and even the slight hormonal breakout disappears more quickly than usual. And just to let you know that during this time, my routine has been cleanser – essence – collagen serum – CEO moisturizer – eye cream. That’s it.

Do you like Vitamin C in your skincare? Have you tried any you like? Do you use moisturizer exclusively until you use it up, or are you like me and like to change things up a bit? I also have a habit of using different moisturizers for day and night. What about you?

 

xoxo Lily