Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Quick skincare review: Naruko Oil Out Balancing Moisturiser





Naruko Oil Out Balancing Moisturizer -S$24.90 from selected Watsons stores, Singapore and www.naruko.sg

So here's a quick review on a product I've been using for the past two weeks. 
An in depth review will come after my exams ^3^ (around end of November)
I love the light texture of this 'moisturiser'. Although it is called a moisturiser, I suspect it is more like a milky toner since it is very runny and the packaging is similar to those for toners rather than for moisturisers.

Thus, this is a super lightweight lotion that most oily skin types(like me) will find extremely agreeable. In fact, on my very oily skin days this works best at balancing my moisture. Even at night times when I use this it keeps my skin from turning oily in the morning, which is a sign of dehydration.
This moisturiser contains zinc PCA which absorbs sebum so maybe that's part of the reason why it keeps my skin less oily.

Been using this for a month now and I'm around 1/5 done with it. I think this will run out in 3-4 months, depending on your usage.
It works fabulously when applied using a cotton pad. The refreshing feeling isn't present when you use yer hands to pat it on.
It helps to control break out but I still need to wash my face during the day with cold water since my skin is going crazy in the hot Singapore weather. Absolutely craaaazy. I've been getting tons of heat rash on my face and it looks just nasty ;___; I only feel this when the sun is up and I can literally feel my skin tingling and itchy and all.

I digressed.

Anyway, this is a great product. Me likey.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quick haircare review: Essential Rich Premier Conditioner

Essential Rich Premier conditioner -$2.00 for 70ml at all Watsons outlets, Singapore. 
It comes in larger sizes too but I forgot their prices. 
Anywho, I think for common brands like this you can get them waaaay cheaper at parallel import stores like Venus. 

Here's a quick review on this product. I shall update on a  later date with the ingredients list.
Basically I think this conditioner is great for dry hair types as it nourishes well and leaves your hair silky smooth. This, like most drugstore conditioners, contain many silicon derivatives which thus account for its hair-smoothing ability. 
All you need is a small 1-2cm length squeezed from the tube. I leave it on my hair for a minute before rinsing. It does make my hair more moisturised and less frizzy, although I think for perfect hair you will need to use other hair products on top of it. 
The bad side is this product may not be so suitable for oily skin and oily hair types like me, because I've noticed I have a few pimples at the back of my neck T_T after using it for a week. 
I do not happen to like the fragrance too, which is really overpowering. I don't really know how to describe it at the moment, but shall update later. The fragrance isn't offensive but it is synthetic and strong which lingers around the whole day. 
I probably won't repurchase it since I honestly don't need something so rich. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Drink Review: Charlie's Mango Whole Fruit Smoothie


This retails for S$3.95(AUD 3.12) at Cold Storage outlets, Singapore

This is the single-serving bottle from Charlie's, an Australian brand of fruit juices.
I bought this bottle after deciding that I should be drinking healthier drinks instead of the bubble teas from Gongcha and Drink Tea(they're great, by the way).

This drink contains apples, mangoes, oranges, bananas, passionfruits and pineapples which boasts an equivalent of 2 fruit servings. It is also dairy free and does not use preservatives. According to Charlie's, they use fresh fruits for the smoothies, which is a plus point.
Most of the drink is made of apples (at least 50% I believe) so the proportions of the other (more expensive) fruits are actually rather minute.

Nonetheless, this is an extremely zesty, sweet drink. The sour-sweet taste of the fruits kinda hits your tastebuds with full force and made me scrunch my face a little. There is an evident after-taste of bananas in this drink which is quite alright as I do like the taste of bananas. (Side note: apparently bananas are full of goodness. They help to retain memory, which is great for students like me! Though, I wonder if it's just a marketing ploy by banana farmers/planters. Hah)

Texture-wise the smoothie is slightly thick just like a smoothie (hahaha.) and it isn't hard to swallow it despite the pieces of blended fruit. I absolutely cannot stand smoothies which are too thick. Makes me feel icky drinking them.

So this drink gets a thumbs up from me.

I'd think that it's expensive considering most fruit-based drinks in Singapore stores cost around a dollar or two for a single-serving bottle. However, because I compare Charlie's drinks to perhaps those served at Starbucks, I think it is decent. And not to forget that their products are wholesome fresh fruits instead of low quality fruits with preservatives and chemicals and whatnot(I paraphrased from their words, heh).
Lastly, I'm keen on trying the other smoothies by Charlie's. So far I have tried their Berry Whole Fruit Smoothie which is also fairly decent.

Monday, October 15, 2012

(Updated!)In-depth Skincare Review: Niu Er AMPM Skin Wakeup Hydra Refresher




AMPM Skin Wakeup Hydra Refresher(120ml) - S$27.90 from www.naruko.com.sg (for Singapore residents only) 

Niu Er's AMPM range is targeted at office ladies (OLs) so the products tend to be quick and fuss free to use. This hydra refresher was a free gift as I purchased over $127 worth of products from naruko.sg. I think it was discontinued/near expiry(EXP is in Jan 2013). The site says that it is "temporary out" so I guess it's just stock replenishment. Then again, if it's really discontinued, I'll feel pretty sad since I think it's fairly good product especially in terms of its ingredients.


Upon receiving it as part of my haul, I flipped to the ingredients list and was pleased to see the huge amount of beneficial ingredients like centella asiatica(an ingredient seen in big brand like Khiel's Centella salve going at a whopping S$100 bucks a tube). There were interesting ingredients like sea salt and yucca root(a plant used by Native Americans) in there too.

The product is stored in a cardboard box which unfortunately cannot be turned into cute boxes like the Naruko range of products. Nonetheless, I may be able to turn it into something useful once I find the time to, since the box is quite sturdy.
The toner itself is housed in a simple white plastic bottle as shown above. The product is dispensed by pushing down on the cover(not sure how to describe it) and its texture is very liquidy. It's just mildly thicker than plain water and does not have a colour to it. It smells pretty nice and soothing. I think it may be the smell of clary sage, as said by some YouTuber(sorry, forgot who it was!)


As for its hydrating properties, I think it is pretty decent. I recommend it particularly for oily sensitive skin types like me. It made my skin feel slightly moisturised  but you'll still need to use a lotion/moisturizer afterwards if your skin continues to feel tight. Another plus point is that it is non-irritating to the skin. In order for the product to be absorbed better, you are advised to swipe gently in an upwards motion against your skin. The number of times to swipe is simply twice your age (I've seen it on a Naruko video, lol).
I'm not sure if it does remove dirt, because no matter which toner I use I never see dirt on my cotton pad unless my skin felt really grimy. I think it's because my cleansers (from Avene) do a fantastic job at dirt removal.
The downside is probably its size. It's just 120ml of product. I'm into 1.5months of using it and I'm left with around 25% of product! That's crazy. $27.90 (if I bought it) lasts for just 2 months. I'd call it a splurge.


EDIT: The product contains PEG-40 and Laureth-3 near the bottom of the ingredients list.
According to the net, these are by-products of a petrochemical process called ethyoxylation, which involves using ethylene oxide (a known skin carcinogen) to process other chemicals.
It also contains butylene glycol and propylene glycol, the latter is known to be toxic and a cause of concern.

Thus, I dumped the remaining amount(what a painful decision!). I will not think of repurchasing it.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

(UPDATED) Quick Skincare Review: Bio Essence Spring Water

Bio Essence Spring Water -$2 for 25ml/$12.90 for 100ml/$28.90 for 300ml at all Watsons outlets, Singapore
*update Dec 2012*: There's a 2-for-S$31.90 at Watsons.

I think this is a fairly new water spray product in the market targeting sensitive skin types.  
I wasn't keen to try this product as I insist on only using Avene's thermal water. Plus my opinion on Bio Essence isn't so fantastic since they seem to just jump on the bandwagon of skincare trends. Also, their products tend to be heavily scented using chemicals, which is potentially carcinogenic and irritating to the skin. (Sorry, Bio Essence, I really wanted to like you since you're a homegrown brand and all!)

 The plus side is perhaps their products are generally cheaper than other brands. A toner typically costs under 20 when it's on discount. And they do try to use some fancy ingredients in their products. I tried their Tanaka White cream before and it's based upon the ingredient tanaka(duh) which is used by the Burmese for sun protection. 

However for their "spring water spray" it is priced on par with reputable brands like Avene, which is severely unattractive. 

Thankfully they sell little 25 ml ones that cost just 2 bucks. But these little 25ml ones are stored in a pump bottle rather than the pressurized can like the bigger bottles. It is good in the sense that the pump bottle can be reused but bad if you consider how unhygienic it can be. Especially when you have someone inquisitive (like me) who decides to unscrew the bottle and in turn introduce germs inside. Thus you have to use this mini bottle up quickly.

EDIT 2: In fact the water smelt kooky after just 2-3 days. Thus this has transformed into a bottle storing insect repellent for me (y'know, dengue fever is really a problem these days).

For product performance I do like that it gives a cooling sensation to calm my sensitive skin down. (my cheek area is prone to redness). It isn't as calming as Avene or Vichy's thermal water. I don't know about its claims about it being good for hair and stuff though. Seems gimmicky.

The downside is the price. Unless they're around 40-50% cheaper than the big brands, I'm never buying this product. For example Avene's THERMAL water is a very old brand and its thermal water source is certified as a site beneficial for skin. For Bio Essence, "spring water" just reminds me of some random spring water source in Malaysia. In fact, it even smells like those mineral water you get at the stores for 50-70cents a bottle(not sure the exact price since inflation has been creeping up.)

EDIT: Actually, I do think this is akin to just plain ol' water but with small amounts of soothing trace minerals. If you'd compare the "rich in trace elements" claim, you'd see that for elements/its constituent ions like Na+, Mg2+ and Ca2+, Bio Essence has (mg/l): 0.134,0.327,1.45 mg/l respectively while for Avene it is 4.8, 26.7, 51.3 mg/l. Thus Bio Essence's "rich in trace elements" claim is laughable, although it may be because there is no established standard for "rich in trace elements".
Well, that's all for this post! I hope you guys liked it. If you've tried Bio Essence spring water spray, do tell me if it's great or not for you! :D
Thanks for reading!
XOXO
ThatWhimsicalBlogger!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sweet Review: Läkerol Lemon Tea Flavoured Sugarfree Pastilles


Läkerol Sugarfree Pastilles (Lemon Tea flavour) retails at ~S$1.95 at all major supermarkets
Well, I love lemon teas so I thought I'd love this.
This is a new flavour rolled out by Läkerol.
The sweet claims "natural tea flavour" which sounds promising since I'm someone who prefers "natural" stuff. 
However, I still can't see how this is lemon tea flavour, considering it doesn't taste like lemon tea. If you've tried their lemon flavoured Pastilles before, this tastes just like it. There is a very very very minute taste of tea that is almost non-existent. Thus this actually tastes pretty weird. I didn't like their lemon Pastilles as it was an artificial lemon flavour that simply doesn't sit well with my taste buds. I wouldn't repurchase it. 
Läkerol Pastilles in general are quite pleasant. I happen to like their mixed berries, cassis and grape flavours. 
Unfortunately, I think Läkerol needs to improve the ingredients. Increase that natural tea flavour they so happily proclaim, I'd say.
On a side note, I have never experienced the laxative effect of Läkerol candies although my friend says her sister experienced diarrhea after consuming two packs of the candy in a day. :0

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Quick Skincare Review: Niu Er [ampm] Skin Wakeup Hydra Refresher




This retails for s$27.90 at www.naruko.sg
I got this as a freebie after spending above $127 (as the product is expiring soon.)
This is a quick review of the product. An in depth one will come later.
I love the ingredients in this product. They are packed with a variety of good stuff ranging from sea salt to clary sage.
However, in terms of performance I find that it is quite mediocre in hydration. It does moisturise my skin partially, but you'll still need a moisturiser. It is non-irritating.
What I really dislike about it is its small size. 120ml of product! I've used it for barely a month and it's about half gone. That's crazy. I use it twice daily and I don't even use half the amount prescribed by the website, 120ml for 27.90 is just expensive in my opinion. I find that I do not see any dirt on the cotton pad, possibly because my cleansers do a great work at removing the grime and dirt.
Verdict: love the ingredients, not so much the actual delivery but am keen to try the other ampm products if given the chance and money.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Drink Review: MOS Burger Iced Lemon Tea

MOS Burger Iced Lemon Tea -S$1.95 (S) at all MOS outlets, Singapore
Here's another lemon tea review, and this time it's from MOS burger.
MOS currently has 27 outlets in our sunny island which is great considering the pretty awesome food sold there and the cute bubbly furniture in brown, red and green. 
I love good lemon teas, and this one is fairly decent. One to two moderately thick lemon slices are added in to give it that lemony zest. 
The taste of real lemon is evident in this drink(obviously due to the lemon slices), coupled with the taste of tea. This isn't top quality tea but a rather mass-based tea yet it still tastes pretty good. Also, it tastes better with ice than without(which I tend to request for the latter). 
My only gripe is the sugary sweetness of this drink that makes me feel diabetic if I consumed more than a small size amount.
Perhaps they could have made it without sugar added and then customers can choose what amount of sugar syrup to add. After all, research have shown we love to be given choices. So having a choice in the sugar level will certainly boost customers' satisfaction.
Le lemon slices. 



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