Saturday, February 22, 2014

Shiseido White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum Review

Who knew having nice skin took so much time and effort.. and not to mention money. It makes me regret not taking better care of it when I was younger and had the perfect baby soft, clear, and untouched by pimples and scars face haha. But anyways, today's review is going to be on the Shieseido White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum (wow that was a mouthful) and if you're trying to decide whether or not to slap that grand of money on the table for this product, well read on~!
Price: $170 for 50 mL
What it claims to do: "A super brightening serum created to diminish stubborn dark spots in 10 days and prevent future pigmentation from appearing." 
  • Formulated with smoothing and re-texturizing ingredients to enhance clarity and radiance for flawless, perfectly even-toned skin
  • Developed with advanced Shiseido Multi-Action Brightening System+, targeting all types of hyper-pigmentation and their causes: dark spots, age spots, acne scars and uneven skin tones. 
  • Contains ME Complex (Yomogi Extract and Angelica Root Extract) to accelerate cell turnover and diminish and eliminate melanin pigment.
"The recommended replenishment cycle for 30mL is 1 month and 50mL is 2 months."

Okay all of that above was taken straight from the site so I'm sure you've read it before, but let me point out that last sentence.. the "recommended replenishment"?! I started off with the 30mL bottle and it lasted me a year. Maybe it's because I was super sparing with the product or that I stopped using it as consistently as I maybe should have? Who knows but regardless, I'm pretty sure it'll last longer than it says there so don't be too freaked out by that last sentence. 

I originally bought this serum hoping that it would help fade my dark spots and acne scars that I had gotten from my college breakout experience, but as time went by and I continued to use this product, I realized it wasn't really doing much for my dark spots and rather I preferred to use it to "brighten" my skin. I noticed that the mornings after I had applied the product (I usually only put it on at night), my face looked more luminescent, like it had nice radiant glow to it which helped my complexion look nicer. However, when I looked close to see any removal or decrease of my dark spots, I didn't notice any notable or incredible difference. For a product that costs $170 for the full size, I was definitely not impressed by the results. Sure it does make your skin look nice, but you have to continually use it to get that effect and really, who has that kind of money to spend on something that doesn't actually improve your skin? While I'll admit this product does meet the first bullet point in that it does "enhance radiance", I don't think it gives you even skin because I can still see my discoloration from my scars and I don't think that counts as "even"! Personally, I prefer my Aloe Vera gel lotion - which I swear by in treating acne and scars - as well as a Pond's dark spot treatment which I might review if you guys would like (it's less than $10 and I can say it works better than this $170 Shisiedo "intensive" serum. I'm now also trying out an Olay dark spot serum and will let you know how that goes once I've used it long enough to determine it's effectiveness but so far it's going well!

Anyways, back to this review ...Would I repurchase this? No, definitely not because it is way too pricey and did not get rid of my dark spots. Therefore, I can't say I would recommend it to you guys to purchase. Sure it makes your skin look brighter but there are a ton more products out there for less than half the price that do the same job so I'd say save your hard earned money and go for those! So tootle-loo for now, I'll be back with another review soon (hopefully!) ^__^

Spring Nail Colors - A splash of Spring in Winter

As the last winter month draws to a close, I decided to start early on the pastel trend and get going. I painted my nails last night with some of my favorite Spring colors and decided to share them with you in case any of you are looking for the perfect spring nail colors this year!

From left to right:
-Revlon Colorstay in Cafe Pink 060
-Covergirl Outlast Stay Brilliant in Peaches & Cream  125
-Zoya in Piaf
-Revlon in Minted 85 (old bottle, they repackaged it so it looks a bit different now)
-Nicole by OPI in "Baby" Blue

Except for the Zoya nai lpolish, all of the colors I used are cream finishes making them perfect for the spring! The pink nail polish (Cafe Pink) took 2 coats to be opaque (first coat is like a transparent pink but not streaky) and 3 to be a nice smooth color. I like the brush tip of the Revlon Colorstay nail polishes because they're a bit wider than a normal brush but have a rounded tip so it gets perfectly into the bottom curve of your nails! The Zoya nail polish (Piaf, yellow color) is a shimmer color with very fine microglitters and was very opaque on the first coat already but I used 2 to even it out. The Covergirl nail polish is a nice peach/coral color though I would prefer it to be a little less orange and more pink and is super opaque so you can get away with one coat but I usually stick to 2 to get rid of any mistakes. The brush handle is a bit tricky since it's a square top instead of your typical rounded one but it's not too hard to use. The blue Nicole by OPI nail polish is also very opaque but it can get a little streaky due to the brush I think so even though the color intensity is there on the first coat, you kind of need the second coat to smooth it out. And lastly, my beloved Revlon Minted.. oh I love this color soo much, it's pretty old (as you can tell since the packaging is the old one!) and I've used up a good amount, but I love it so much! It's the perfect mint green color and though it can be a bit watery/sheer and needs 2-3 coats (I can usually get by with two coats), it really gives the perfect cream finish making it one of my favorite go-to colors.

I topped all of my nails off with the Seche Viet top coat because I love the way it gives your nails a sort of "gel" like finish and it really makes them glossy and last soo much longer! Anyways, I hope I didn't ramble on too much and if you guys are interested, definitely try and find these colors at your local drugstore or Ulta because they're definitely going to be perfect for when spring comes around! I got all of them for around $4-5 each because of sales/clearances (the Zoya was only $4.50 and I got the Covergirl one, buy one get one free so it was 50% off basically!) so always keep a look out for good nail polish deals! I might post up more mini nailpolish reviews if you guys want - just leave a comment down below~! Hope you all have a wonderful day ~<3

Friday, February 7, 2014

SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion Review


Today I wanted to share my opinion on the SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion because I've been using this skincare product for a bit more than a year now and I have to say, I absolutely love it! I knew it was worth the money in about the first month's use, but I guess I never got around to blogging about it till now. Looking online, I realized there aren't too many reviews for this product so I hope I can add my thoughts to the "pot" and help out some of you deciding whether or not you should spend your money on this toner. 

Price: $60 for 5 oz (update as of 11/26/2014: I went to Sephora's website and apparently they've raised the price to $70!! If you are in Asia or have someone visiting Asia, I would definitely suggest you go ask them to buy it for you as it is about $60 USD or less depending where you go)
What it claims to do: This effective toning lotion with a mix of AHA and Pitera™ exfoliates dead skin cells and impurities. Its clarifying formula prepares the face for the rest of your skincare regimen.

I guess I should start off with the reason why I bought this toner in the first place - I'll admit, it's quite pricey - but if you've been following me on my Youtube channel, you'll know already. My first year of college, I started breaking out like crazy, and for someone like me who had previously rarely got pimples except the occasional one that I would freak out over, it was a pretty big deal. When people say that having acne really hurts your confidence, I understand - it really does. It's strange because you shouldn't have to care so much about your outer appearance but when you just have red dots and bumps all over your face, it's hard not to feel embarrassed or wonder if everyone's staring at them. To this day, I'm not 100% sure why I had that "mid-life skin crisis" but I'm guessing it was a combination of the cafeteria food I was eating (probably a 100% increase in my fat intake since back home, I ate a healthy balanced Chinese meal of rice and vegetables and some meat), the air environment (it is much drier in my college town than in my hometown), and the Missha BB cream (strange that I'd say such a specific item right? But I'll explain!). When I realized my breaks out weren't subsiding, I took action and began eating much healthier (only salads and low-fat foods) because I thought my diet was what was the cause. After about a month or two and no improvement, I was at a loss of what to do. Around that time, it was Christmas break and I went home and even my parents were shocked and a bit distressed at my skin condition. My mom decided to take me out and buy some skincare products to hopefully help my acne and we decided to purchase the SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion. The reason we chose this specific one was because I had seen Raeview (if you haven't heard of her, check out her Youtube videos or her blog - TheRaeviewer - she's writes really great reviews on lots of high end luxury products as well as drugstore makeup products!) talk about her daily skincare routine and she had mentioned using this toner and how well it worked for her. The lady who we purchased the toner from recommended I get the matching Facial Treatment Essence to go with it but I passed (though I did get a sample to try out). I began using the clear lotion that night and within a week, the redness in my pimples had decreased significantly and by two weeks, most of them had cleared away. It took about a month for them to all disappear but within that time, my skin improved so much and it was amazing. 

This toner did wonders for my skin and continues to do so. I would say this toner is just average if it just got rid of my acne, but it's better than that because it actually prevents me from getting any more breakouts. Now I practically NEVER breakout, like even less than I did originally and even if it's "that time of the month", and I'm really not exaggerating!! I really hope I don't suddenly get a pimple tomorrow morning (haha) but I absolutely swear by this toner. Before I got this toner, I used some random "hydrating toner" my mom had given to me by some random unknown brand and I didn't feel like it did anything for my skin. But using the SK-II Clear Lotion, I really can feel a difference. I like to just tip the bottle over two times with half a cotton pad (I like to use the CVS rectangle ones and cut or rip them in half) covering the opening. Because the opening is just a small hole, the toner can't really "spill" out because it'll just drip out. I only need two "tips" of the bottle to soak the cotton pad enough before swiping it all over my face, but I know for my boyfriend, he needs at least 4 so it's really up to you and how much you feel you need to wipe your face down. I like to start from the right side of my face and move downwards getting my jawline down to my neck and avoiding the delicate eye area. I like to concentrate mostly on my nose area because that's where my face oils tends to accumulate. I apply quite a bit of pressure when I'm wiping my face because I like to really make sure I'm wiping away any dirt or oil residue that my cleanser didn't wash off. (If I didn't say this before, I use my Philosophy Purity made Simple cleanser before I use the facial treatment toner). The fun thing is looking at the cotton pad and seeing the dirt or dead skin cells that come off my face haha! 

If I were to say how long this toner would last most people, I'd say maybe about 8 months to a year? I suppose it depends how often you use it because I first started off using it day and night but then as my skin cleared up and I realized I didn't need to use it so often, I started only using it at night. Now, I just use it every other night or even less, it just depends how my skin is looking that week. Because my skin has been doing so well, I've been able to focus more on my acne scars/dark spots and trying to fade them rather than having to fight off pimples and I know it's because of this toner that my skin has been doing so well. The SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion really helps to get rid of any leftover dirt or oil that could clog my pores, and I feel like it helps my skin absorb my other skin care products better. I know the Facial Treatment Essence that you're supposed to use with it would probably also help my skin, but I don't think it's really necessary because of what great results I've gotten with the Clear Lotion alone. While I understand that the price is quite up there, I would definitely suggest this to anyone whether you have extremely severe acne or just moderate to light acne. I think one of the reasons this toner works so well is that it helps balance out your skin so that if you had oily skin before, somehow, it makes your skin produce less oil so that you'll have less oil clogging your pores. I know this is true because for my skin, I previously had combination skin with my T-zone getting quite oily some days, but now, my skin stays nice and healthy and hydrated without getting oily.

Would I repurchase this product? Yes and no. Right now, I haven't even finished my bottle as I have about 1/3 left, but even though I absolutely love this product, I don't think I actually will buy it again once I run out. The reason for this is because I feel like the Clear Lotion has really helped balance out my skin and because my skin is doing so well, I don't see too much of a need for the toner. Basically, the toner has worked so well that I feel like I don't need any toner anymore at all! Of course I know that's not true because toners really help your skin absorb the skincare products you use afterwards much more, but I think I might start experimenting around and try and find a less intense and cheaper alternative that will just keep my skin in balance and in check.

Would I recommend this product? Yes yes and yes! If I haven't drilled it in your head enough, I love this product and think it'll work wonders for anyone's skin. It doesn't just get rid of acne, it prevents it and corrects your skin so that you don't have to worry about it so much. Yes $60 is a lot, but you get a good amount of product and it lasts for quite a while. Plus, it goes against the laws of all business companies in that it works so well that you don't NEED to repurchase it! (Because we all know companies just want us to keep buying their products).

If you want to purchase this toner, you can find it at a local SK-II shop (that's where I picked up mine) or at Sephora - click here! I hope you guys enjoyed this somewhat lengthy review and found it helpful. If you have any questions about my personal experience with this toner, please leave a comment below and I'll answer it ASAP~! :) Hope you all have a lovely day <3