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a hoarder's blog

going through my stash one swatch at a time
October 03, 2010

Product Highlight and Review: Clarins Hydra Luminous Flawless Powder Foundation & Instant Light Brush-On Perfector

If you've walked by a Clarins counter lately, chances are you might have seen their new products on display. They are the Hydra-Luminous Flawless Powder Foundation SPF20 PA++and the Instant Light Brush-On Perfector, both of which were launched in September 2010.

The Hydra Luminous Flawless Powder Foundation comes in 6 shades and retails at S$55 for the refill pan (13g) and the case is sold separately at S$20. The latter comes with a velvety red pouch embossed with the brand's name.

The two essential elements of this powder foundation: Water and light, hence Hydra-Luminous.

Water is essential to keep skin hydrated. In this respect, hydra-capsules containing plant essences of rosemary, camomile and ginkgo biloba, have been incorporated into the formula to provide a stimulating and hydrating effect to the skin to keep it smooth. Shea butter is another plant-based ingredient used to coat the pigments to ensure an ultra-soft, fine, melting texture which glides over the skin. White tea is also used for its anti-free radical action against pollution, and not forgetting the addition of SPF20 PA++ to protect the skin from the sun.

With the help of all these active ingredients, the skin is ideally prepared to reflect light. The pigments are said to be able to diffuse natural light in a way that sculpts the face. This is referred to as "3D Luminance". The rounded parts of the face are given more exposure to light to enhance contours, while the hollow parts of the face, like the sides of the nose and face, are less exposed to light to heighten contrast and refine facial contours. The 3D effect comes about as the face is thus sculpted and reshaped.

I was originally sent two shades of Clarins Hydra Luminous Flawless Powder Foundation, but they didn't match my skin tone. 01 Linen and 02 Petal were unfortunately too light for me. And so I made a trip to my nearest Clarins counter to find out what shade would suit me best. Out of the 6 shades, 04 Almond seemed to be the best match. You can totally tell the difference in shade from the pics below where the right side of my face is covered with the foundation while the other side is left untouched.


Thoughts and such and what I like about the hydra luminous flawless powder foundation:

- The easy application. I spend less time applying powder foundation than liquid foundation. I just swipe it over my face with the sponge that comes with it and smoothen it out a bit to blend. Really comes in handy when in a rush.

- The silky texture of the powder. It's like cream in powder form.

- The radiant effect. The first time I wore it and looked at myself in the mirror, I thought something looked really different. Then I realized my complexion was glow-y and lighted up. Must be the 3D Luminance in action.

- The coverage is medium. It does cover some of the marks on my face like those faded brown scars and blemishes, but doesn't a good job covering a red spot. Leave that to a concealer.

- It lasts me throughout the day. My typical weekday starts at around 8am from the time I go out to work till like 7pm on a day when I come home early. I do blot about twice during the daytime, but it doesn't wear off.

- The case gets dirty easily (fingerprints galore all over), but hey applying makeup is a messy business sometimes.


The other new product launched is the Instant Light Brush-On Perfector. There are 3 shades available: 00 Light Beige, 01Pink Beige and 02 Medium Beige and each retails at S$45 for 2ml of product. The design is like that of a pen and you need to twist the top end to allow the fluid to flow out of the brush tip.

The Instant Light Brush-On Perfector promises to deliver flawless radiance in a brush. It revives and illuminates the complexion by erasing signs of tiredness, dullness and imperfections in a flash. Sounds like a magic pen to me just from the description alone.

The main ingredients in this product are oat sugars to tighten and firm the skin, and hyaluronic acid to seal in moisture for long-lasting hydration.

So how do you use the brush-on perfector? When applied to 'light-catching' areas of the face, like the middle of the forehead, the side of the nose, the top of the cheekbones and the tip of the chin, the special pigments in the "Light Optimizing+" complex - a Clarins innovation - help to reflect light in all directions to create a blur effect that optically diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. I noticed some slight shimmer on my skin after blending out, part of the Light Optimizing+" complex perhaps?

While this product can be used on any area of the face where there are shadows and fine lines, I have only used it under my eyes so far. There is indeed a brightening effect and it helps to illuminate and lighten my undereye area where there are obvious dark shadows on days where I have not had enough sleep the previous night. 00 Light Beige looks really white on me, but 01 Pink Beige provides me with a more natural look.

I couldn't help but swatch the Clarins Instant Light Brush-On Perfector next to the YSL Radiant Touch (or YSL Touche Eclat) which I had previously bought  (and kept in the drawer and not used *hides face*). At the time I had also chosen a pinkish shade as it was a better match for my skin tone. YSL Radiant Touch also comes in the form of a pen but with a click mechanism instead of a twist mechanism.

Thoughts on the brush-on perfector:

- Easy to use, easy to carry around, slightly slimmer than a marker pen.

- Smooth matte finish, no oily feeling or look.

- Using too much product at a time will require more time to blend it in. The first time I twisted the pen, too much product flowed out and because I didn't know how much to use, I applied everything, but I ended up with really white patches under my eyes that extended to my cheeks even. so yep, less is more sometimes.

- Not to be used as a concealer as its primary function is that of a highlighter more than anything else.

Learn more about Clarins here.

DISCLAIMER: All products in this entry, except for YSL Radiant Touch, were sent to me by Clarins for review purposes. I wasn't paid to do this and I'm not affiliated to Clarins in any way. Opinions expressed here are my own.

September 13, 2010

Product Review: Clarins Shaping Facial Lift lipo-drain serum

About a month ago, I dedicated an entry to the Clarins Shaping Facial Lift lipo-drain serum that I had received. If you missed that entry, click here to read about it (mainly about the active ingredients and how they work).

To recap, the lipo-drain serum works hand in hand with the "Manual Auto Lifting®" application method developed by Clarins. It is essentially a sequence of steps that will optimize the effectiveness of the serum in eliminating excess fluid and toxins accumulated on the face. There are 2 parts to this sequence as illustrated and described in the manual accompanying the bottle of serum.

So far, I have only been following part 1 during my daily application. Part 1 features 5 positions that need to be held for about 10-15 seconds on average, and that means dedicating an extra minute or so to my face every morning and night. One extra minute in the morning is not too much to invest in, but if I'm running late, I kinda rush the process by holding the positions for less than the stipulated timing, or by skipping one or two positions.

How I use it:

  • Pump one dose of serum into my hand (I've tried 2 pumps, but it's a bit too much for me, small face maybe? haha).
  • Spread over my cheeks, forehead and chin like I would my moisturizer.
  • Using the remainder that's on my hand (if any), rub my palms together to warm it up before proceeding with the sequence of the 5 basic positions.

The main position is like this: seated, elbows on knees, head down, hands holding face, after which the "massage" part can begin. The detailed explanation and illustrations in the booklet are easy to follow. After referring to the manual the first few times, it became intuitional as to what the next step is and I quickly got the hang of it.

Putting the easy application part aside, I love the awesome floral smell of the serum. Really refreshing especially in the morning! The texture of the product is also very light and it sinks into the skin without leaving an oily feel. After applying the serum, I usually apply my moisturizer and it just feels like it gets absorbed better. I've had no adverse reaction to it either, not even with my rash (remember this?). While we're at it, here's an update. Mostly cleared up as you can see, I'm just waiting for the scars to disappear too.

I have not yet had anyone tell me that my face has "slimmed down". I think it would be quite hard to tell the difference given that I've only used the product for a month, but I do feel like my eyes are less puffy over the lids and my jawline slightly more defined. It could be just my imagination though. That said, I do pay more attention now to the way that I apply products on my face, more into upward lifts than just slapping it on and rubbing it in all directions til absorbed. That's how I used to do it until recently. Yikes!

Since the method can be personalised, I think I will be concentrating a bit more on my forehead (there's a deep crease over there that's starting to bother me, the result of raising my eyebrows up all the time, especially at work), just in the hopes of smoothening it out, and also my eyes, where on bad days, my eye bags and dark circles make me look like I went through hell, not to mention the usual puffiness over the lids.

I might start going through part 2 of the sequence when I have time, especially at night or on weekends as it takes slightly longer to go through. The positions in part 2 concentrate more on draining the lymph nodes and excess fluids below the jaw and the sides of the neck, and the sequence ends with a repeat of part 1 to intensify and stabilize the results. Sounds good no?

Overall, I think the Clarins Shaping Facial Lift lipo-drain serum is a good product to start your "anti-aging" skincare regime with. Although it all sounds complicated with the massaging and stuff, it's really not. If someone as lazy as me has managed to include it in her routine, I'm sure it'll be easy for you too. The instructions are simple and easy to follow and don't take too much time to go through. It is mentioned in the manual that even if the method is performed infrequently, it is still effective, just slower in showing results. But on the other hand, you can't be super lazy and expect quick results without any work, right? At S$98 though, it is a bit steep I must admit. (But it's not too bad considering that I've purchased skincare at a higher price before. The things you do, or rather the money you spend for beauty...sigh...). Well, you could always wait for a sale to come along to get some discount or freebies to sweeten the deal. I might just replenish mine after it runs out. How about you? Are you tempted?

DISCLAIMER: I was sent this product by Clarins for review purposes. I wasn't paid to do this and I'm not affiliated to Clarins in any way. Opinions expressed here are my own.

August 07, 2010

Product Highlight: Clarins Shaping Facial Lift lipo-drain serum

I had the pleasure of receiving the new Clarins Shaping Facial Lift serum earlier this week courtesy of Jasmine and Joanne from Clarins. I am a bit late in posting this introduction as I was too tired after coming back from work everyday, but whatever, here it is! I haven't started using it yet either as I'm having this horrible breakout on my left jawline (usually it comes and goes) and it's causing me so much distress that I've decided to make an appointment with my dermatologist next week. But well, nonetheless I am stoked at the prospect of using this product that targets to lift and firm the face contour.

Growing old (much like death and taxes) is not something one can escape from, but in this day and age, finding ways to delay the effects of ageing abound. One of them is the Clarins Facial Lift serum, which aims to refine and reshape facial features for a more youthful appearance. Its effectiveness is further enhanced by using Clarins' unique "Manual Auto Lifting®" application method, developed to promote the elimination of fluid and toxins from the face, thereby smoothing away lines and wrinkles as well as reducing puffiness. This is, by the way, an improved version of the one launched in 1998, especially designed for and tested on Asian women, and thanks to today's advances in technology and research, it has been made more effective than ever.

So who has ever woken up in the morning only to find a puffy, bloated face staring back in the mirror? Well I personally have. I'd then wonder: Was the water I drank just before going to bed the cause of my puffy eyelids? Is it the stress at work making my skin look so dull? Is my age catching up faster than I thought and showing its signs on my face? It might be a combination of any of these evils. Hopefully, all these can be addressed by the Shaping Facial Lift serum when used hand in hand with the "Manual Auto Lifting®" application method.

(start of technical properties)

Firstly, how does the serum help to clear excess fats from the face? (Psst...if you didn't already know...your face is made up of five main fatty pockets: two on the cheeks, two under the jaw, and one under the chin). The secret is in the ingredients! Caffeine is a generally known ingredient for the breaking down of fats, but it doesn't get easily absorbed by the skin particularly if it's combination or oily skin which contains more sebum. Here's where Clarins' innovation comes in. With the added ingredients of sunflower phospholipids and escin from horse chestnut, Clarins Research has increased the availability of caffeine with a reinforced lipolytic action, meaning to say that now, it is much easier for the caffeine to sink into the skin. Sunflower phospholipids encourage the penetration of caffeine into the skin and allow it to be released gradually and continuously, and escin increases the availability of caffeine.

The release of excess fats from the face is a slow process because of the existence of a protein barrier around the fat cell which makes access to fat-release enzymes difficult. Clarins has found a way to get around this by introducing an extract from the blue button flower. The latter is able to disorganize this protein barrier and encourage the access of fat-release enzymes. This way, fat gets split up and is easily eliminated. Baccharin is another active ingredient used by Clarins to help inhibit the transformation of cells (which do not store fat) from being active and capable of storing fats. Oat sugars are also introduced to provide a lifting and firming effect to the skin and Alchemilla, which is a stabilised Vitamin C, helps in controlling hyperpigmentation.

Elimination of toxins is further optimized by the Manual Auto Lifting® method. Together with caffeine and escin from horse chestnut which help to release fluids and reduce puffiness, it is easy and effective and takes just about 3 minutes to do. The method is further described with illustrations in the booklet accompanying the product.

(end of technical properties)

If you want to find out more about the product, do check out this link: http://shapingfaciallift.clarins.com/sg/eng/

You are welcome to approach any Clarins counter to find out more and even get a trial supply: http://www.clarins.com.sg/skintime/index.php.

In case you're wondering, the Clarins Shaping Facial Lift lipo-drain serum retails at S$98 for 50ml, available at all Clarins counters.

I'm gonna start using the serum this coming week and will update about the effects on my face thereafter. Hoping for good results! hehe.

If you have any questions, pls feel free to comment. Thanks for reading this rather lengthy post and hope it didn't bore you too much!

DISCLAIMER: I was sent this product by Clarins for review purposes. I wasn't paid to do this and I'm not affiliated to Clarins in any way. Opinions expressed here are my own.

June 14, 2010

questionables: odo black head off stick

This is not really a review, just a random entry on a product that's been hanging around on my bathroom shelf for a while now and has turned invisible to my eyes even though it's there. I bought this quite long ago (you can still find it at Watsons and they also have a lime green tube which is a milder version of this one) and it's one of those products that I can't be sure of in terms of efficacy. I bought it cos it sounded promising and easy to use.

It looks like a lip balm stick, and instead of applying it on your lips, you apply it onto your face. The instructions are in japanese, and I lost the translated instruction sheet long ago, but I guess it's fool-proof enough to understand how to use. Basically, you just need to rub off the product on congested areas where you have blackheads and they're supposed to come off or something. Yep, as simple as that.

I rubbed it over my right jawline and cheek area, and it produced tons of flaky stuff with each stroke of the product against my skin. I thought well, obviously it would come off when rubbed, it doesn't mean that it's working, it could just be the product getting used up, so it wouldn't matter where i rubbed, right?

Well..noo. Cos I rubbed it over my forehead (excuse the immensity of my pores there) and nothing came off. I also tried my nose and it didn't work there either. It merely smoothened out my skin and made it look matte.

So what's my conclusion? For one, it's not something I'd buy again (it wasn't exactly cheap if I recall). I bought it merely out of curiosity. I think there are tons of other products out there what would work towards this same end, and might be more effective. Has anybody else tried this?

Some other links/reviews:


March 21, 2010

The Body Shop Honey & Oat 3-in-1 Scrub Mask

So today being a lazy Sunday and all, I decided to do a mask at home. It's been such a long time since I've done one cos I tend to forget to do it on a regular basis. So I went to find which masks I had open and found this one: The Body Shop Honey & Oat 3-in-1 Scrub Mask. As you can see I'm more than halfway done with it, which is a good thing cos it means I can open new tubs after this one's done. :)

I like masks that can be spread on the face and washed off more than sheet masks.

For this mask, I believe it's the smell that drew me to it and made me buy it. It smells really yummy. The consistency is just right, not super liquidy that it would drip all over the place. This product doesn't dry up like the warming mineral clay mask (also from TBS) that I was using alternatively with this one. It started hardening after a while, so I had to finish it up ASAP. It was getting harder and harder to squeeze it out of the tube. But to be fair, I also love the clay mask cos I like the warm sensation on my skin upon application and it makes my face feel so clean after it's washed off.

So, I just spread a layer all over my face, massaging the oat bits onto my skin, and let it dry for like 15-20 mins before rinsing off with water. This mask makes my skin feel so refreshed and so soft and smooth afterwards that I myself couldn't believe it just now. This retails for SGD29.90 for a 100ml tub. I don't know if it's considered pricey. But if you do and wanna give it a try, just wait for in-store promotions. It'll be worth it.

Disclaimer: This is in no way an advertisement and I wasn't paid to write this. Just my personal view. And I bought it with my own money.

February 15, 2010

Clarins Truly Matte Foundation review

I bought this foundation last week from Tangs during the last 12% rebate sale. I swear I didn't have any intention of buying any makeup products. I had gone to town that evening (something that I rarely do on a weekday given the distance my workplace is from town) with only one mission in mind: to collect my Transdesign China Glaze haul from a friend with whom I had shared a spree. I later found myself in Tangs just because I was already in town and because it was the 12% rebate thingie..yeah..Any excuse to go shopping. haha.

So, there I was walking around the beauty counters thinking that I had nothing to buy. I didn't even stop at MAC since there was nothing else I wanted to get from the current collections that wasn't absolutely necessary. And then my feet led me to the Clarins counter. Ever since my friend at work told me that the secret to her matte, non-shiny skin throughout the day was due to her Clarins foundation, I've been wanting to try it out. She went with me once to Metro to do a swatch, but I wasn't keen on buying it then cos I was trying to control my expenditure. Anyway, there I was at the Clarins counter, asking for the BA abt the shade that would suit me best, and next thing you know, I was at the cashier paying. This, by the way, retails at SGD52 for 30ml, much more affordable if you compare to MUFE HD foundation 30ml at SGD75.

I have used MUFE HD foundation on a few occasions since the day I purchased it (which frankly is not so long ago, my entry on it is pretty recent and upon checking my receipt, I effectively bought it on the 30th Jan), but there's nothing that I want to particularly rave about on this product thus far. Maybe I need to use it more, I don't know. However, this entry is dedicated to Clarins Truly Matte foundation and I just wanna tell you how impressed I am with it after just ONE wear. Yes, I've worn it just once yesterday for Chinese New Year visitation, in the hot hot weather and blazing sun that we've been having for the past few days and it totally withstood the test of humidity and sweat for me.

It comes in a squeeze bottle instead of a pump bottle, so you gotta be careful not to pour too much at one go if you don't intend to use so much. The texture is very "liquid-y", much like MUFE HD. It blends effortlessly in no time (comparatively, MUFE HD took a while more to settle), the finish is matte, almost powdery like, and doesn't feel dry on my skin. I topped this off with my Benefit Matterial Girl loose powder to go the extra mile. It lasted me pretty much the whole day, with the T-zone getting oily in the late afternoon.

Here's a summary of this foundation from the web:

This non-oily foundation offers coverage without build-up, radiance without shine and a fresh, natural look anytime. Fine, supple texture melts into skin to even out tone for a perfectly flawless complexion.



- Silicon microbeads: reinforces ‘matifying’ action

- Clarins patented Autofocus Complex: adapts to changes in climate/lighting

- White Nettle and Sweet Chestnut extracts: provides skin with maximum softness

and from the bottle itself:

Recommended for combination or oily skin. Anti-pollution protection. SPF 15. Oil-free.

(MUFE HD doesn't contain any SPF, so you gotta apply it separately or better still if your moisturiser already has SPF)

The only thing that I don't like about this product is the fragrance, but it disappears after a while. You don't get to smell it once it's on your face. So here you go, my first few impressions have been nothing but positive.

And the next ones on my wishlist of foundations: Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation and Shu Uemura Face Architect foundation, both of which are highly raved by Sophia (retailtherapy). I hope I don't succumb to my lemmings during the next sale though. I believe the ones I have on hand will definitely last me for the next 6 months or more.


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This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I don't get paid to feature any particular product and if that ever happens, I will be sure to let you know. Everything posted here are products that I have purchased with my own money on my (online) shopping trips. Views and opinions expressed on this blog are my own and fellow bloggers'.

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