Friday, November 23, 2012

In-depth Skincare Review: DIY oatmeal cleanser



DIY Oatmeal Cleanser!

Mmm, oatmeal, a staple breakfast item for many in the Western world and the sunny island of Singapore.
Oatmeal has numerous health benefits like lowering your cholesterol, diabetes and reduces risk of breast cancer. My family has been eating oatmeal frequently as of late, due to my parents' sudden health-freak mode. (actually it's just dad)
In all honesty, I do not like oatmeal unless it has been sweetened but my parents choose to serve it extremely gooey and unsweetened. Bleh.

Anyway...


I know this has probably been reviewed about countless times and I'm late in joining the oatmeal skincare wagon. But I'll review it anyway xD I've got sensitive skin and it's always getting heat bumps, rashes, redness even if I didn't use anything on my skin. I wonder if it's because Singapore is getting warmer by the year. It's almost like the Sahara desert now! *melodramatic mode*

Research has shown that Asian skin tends to be more prone to sensitivity as it's more delicate compared to the other races. I seem to have more sensitivity than the average Asian, though. For example, my skin cannot take most Western brands like Neutrogena and Garnier. Far too harsh for my face.

I've been wanting to try using oatmeal for quite a while now, but feared that it was too messy (it still is). And I've been seeing how people use organic oatmeal or oatmeal powder to do it, which made me hesitant to use the non-organic instant oat I have at home.

But then, I saw bubzbeauty's DIY oatmeal cleanser using instant oat. And she said it was alright. So I thought: Heck, I'll just use the ones available at home.


Bubz's tutorial on using oatmeal.
These days, I like Bubzbeauty a lot. She's one of the few Youtube gurus who's become so mature and real over the years. 


So here, I have instant oatmeal from Quaker that has free 100g more oatmeal! Hahaha. It costs around S$4.00 ++ depending on where you get it. And if you're using it just for face, it'll last a long, long time.



So basically what I did was to add warm/hot water to the oatmeal and wait for a couple of minutes. The good thing about instant oat is that it turns mushy real quick which is great for your skin since it won't scratch the skin. All you need is one tablespoon of oatmeal. In fact, a tablespoon was more than enough for me. You really do not need a lot of oatmeal.

Simply smear the gooey paste on your face gently and rub in circular motions like a normal face wash. Do not use it near the eyes.

I'd advise to wash your face in a plastic bowl or container instead of the sink because I don't think it'd be good to clog the sink up. Also, make sure you have a mirror around to ensure you don't make a mess out of it. I regretted not having a mirror nearby because I had oatmeal stuck in my hair! 
It was so tough to remove them.
I guess it is best done when you have the time, or are in the shower.

The effects:
  • I believed my skin looked really glowing after using the oatmeal cleanser. It was nice to rub it on too because it was so mushy.
  • I felt my pores were more refined and my skin tone looked more even. 
  • My skin was noticeably softer and smoother too.
  • It didn't cause any allergic reaction and is good for sensitive skin.



Thus, a DIY oatmeal cleanser is really pretty awesome. In fact, I'd love to use it more often but, I simply have no time to do it.


So, to save time and effort, I transformed it into a toner, by using the watery oatmeal layer and around 10 drops of tea tree oil as preservative. It should last me for a week. I store it in the fridge as well for optimal preservation.

100% tea tree oil from Thursday Plantation. I've been using it for quite a while and it's pretty good. 
I use it for toners, for disinfecting tables(mixed with soap) and stuff.




Sunday, November 18, 2012

Skincare Review: Khiel's Ultra Facial Oil Free Gel Cream


Khiel's Ultra Facial Oil Free Gel Cream S$48 (~US$39) from Khiel's outlets

This was a terrible moisturiser.
I bought it out of impulse after my friend raved about it.
This is an extremely expensive moisturiser considering how Naruko's is much better at half the price. 
I'm sad that I went against my judgment when buying this despite realizing that alcohol is the second ingredient on the list. It should have sounded my alarm bells :(
The sales guy was so pushy. He kept recommending me exorbitantly priced product like their anti acne balm or whatever it's called that costs 100 bucks. I think they earn comission, which explains their crazy sales behaviour. A major turn off.
Anyway, my friend had much better results with this and in fact she calls it her holy grail product. So I'd break down the pros and cons of this product.

The good:
  1. Oil free moisturiser! Great for oily skin types. 
  2. Interesting texture which absorbs pretty well
  3. Helps keep oiliness at bay for those with slightly oily skin.
  4. Just a small amount will suffice. One jar lasts a long time.
  5. Silicone free! Silicone, I've discovered, is terrible for people with comedonal acne such as myself cause it seems to form a film over my face which encouraged more acne bacteria to be trapped below my skin =(
  6. Refreshing smell. As blue as the plastic jar it came in.


The bad:
  1. Sucks for sensitive skin types. This caused bumps all over my face which I initially didn't know the cause to. Thus I visited a doctor and was prescribed 40 antibiotic pills. I kept away from this product until much later when my skin recovered(I slowly reintroduced the products I used). Upon reusing it the bumps and tightness came back. So this was the culprit.
  2. Although it absorbs quite well it leaves a shiny layer.
  3. Didn't work for my super oily stressed skin.
  4. Lasts quite a while. Having a headache on what to do with it. Ended up as a feet moisturiser.
  5. The container is beyond unhygienic. It is in a jar! You have to scoop it using your fingers, which introduces bacteria, germs, etc. they could have included a spatula, like Naruko's night gellies(despite Naruko products being way cheaper).


In conclusion, sensitive skin people, stay the hell away from this gel cream.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Quick Skincare Review: Naruko Oil Out toner

Naruko Oil Out Toner, S$22.90 at selected Watsons outlets, Singapore and www.naruko.sg 

This is a quick review of the Oil Out toner from Naruko.
I think it is best suited for those with oily skin battling acne.
The smell of tea tree oil is much stronger than the other products in this range.
I think it is a fairly good product because it helps to suppress my acne, which this range is good at.
Additionally, this is an alcohol-free toner for acne-prone skin! How cool is that?
Most toners for acne contain alcohol, which dries out your skin on the inside. The last thing you'd want is an oily skin which is dry internally. Bad idea.
However, I would advise those with sensitive skin to avoid using this. I experienced redness and slight tingling on my cheeks, which are prone to sensitivity.
Overall, I think if you need to choose just one product from the Oil Out range to battle your acne, this would be it. 
An in-depth review will come at the end of this month (November) :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Haul: Pictures of 2012 Crabtree & Evelyn Christmas Sale






As promised, here's some photos of the stuff bought during the Christmas sale :O
All were purchased by my mother who has a soft spot for sales. Yeah.
There was 30% off storewide and 50% for selected items.

No idea why my mumma bought this but I do like the jojoba range. Very soothing smell. They call it a lavender with herbs smell but I can't smell the lavender in it. Anyway, I love the smell and it kind of reminds me of a posh hotel's toiletries. Makes one feels relaxed and pampered.
RRP S$38.00

50% off this range. RRP 38.00 
Smells green, fresh, citrusy but kinda reminds me of a random toilet soap. Wouldn't have purchased if there wasn't discount :/ 

I haven't gotten good results from aloe vera products, despite it being supposedly soothing and calming. Aloe Vera products does nothing for my sensitive skin and I think it even inflames my pimples further.

But, one stellar thing is, this range is free from parabens, propylene glycol and mineral oil. So that's great.

Other Aloe Vera range products momma got. 
I suspect she's giving them away as presents.

Yeah, this box set was on 50% off. Funny thing is, it didn't resemble the one C&E said they were selling for 50% off. It was supposed to have a compact mirror along with it but no, its not there. Good thing is this is a reusable carrier and there is a mirror attached to it (not shown in picture).

I didn't like the rosewater EDT as it is way too overpowering. I think I'd use the products without combining them lest I walk around smelling like some bouquet of roses. 
I wished I had their eau fraiche but it has been discontinued.
Or maybe I'm just not in the mood for rose fragrances.
Nonetheless, the rosewater range is highly popular, and I loved their bath gel because it smells like real roses. Delicate, sweet and utterly pleasant. 

Room sprays(eek)
My momma grabbed this because it was on 50% off I think. Usual price was $54(?) Not worth it at all, even with the 50% off since there's little use for this. Maybe she wants to give it away. :O
Well, I don't see the need for this in my home, anyway so most likely it'll be a gift. Will be good for those with classy homes and would like to introduce the element of beautiful scent to the home. I don't see such a need for my home lol. Maybe some rich tai tai(women) would appreciate this product.

Biscuits, I believe 2 for $24. My mum wants to give them away despite telling me she's gonna buy them for me *cries*

Lastly, I was quite bummed they didn't have India Hick's Island Night Living products anymore.

IT HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED.
I WAITED A WHOLE YEAR FOR THE SALE AND IT HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED.
WHAT SOCERY IS THIS? 
...
...

Yup, that's all the photos from the haul. :O
For more information about the sale that I've talked about, click here

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

(updated)Haul: Crabtree and Evelyn 2012 Christmas sale



It's the time of the year again!
You could almost hear the bells jingling.
O_o
Anyway, Crabtree and Evelyn is having their private sale this year from 14-18 November. 14-15 Nov is reserved exclusively for their VIP members and there's a storewide 30% off and 50% off on selected items like their rosewater, lily, iris and lavender box sets(so its around 50 bucks after discount! Consists of a 30ml EDT, 2 regular sized lotion and bath gel and a 50ml hand cream).

From 16-18 November it's for regular members. There will be a storewide 20% off and 50% off for some items. I believe Aloe Vera range is on 50% off. My mum bought a couple of the stuff like the shampoo and lotion. The Aloe Vera smells very green, fresh and slightly citrusy. Best part is, I've discovered the lotion is free from parabens, propylene glycol and mineral oil. Safe to use for the entire body!

This is a great time to stock up on your favourite C&E stuff since they're always so exorbitant without the discount!

Plus I think you can always get your VIP card if you chalk up 300 bucks during this period. I'm not too sure. Check with the store staff :)

And, for those keen on going, do try to go during off peak hours or choose weird locations without the crowd. For example, my mum went there at 10am in the morning when it wasn't so crowded. :D the queues are maddening if you have seen them before!
I think Marina Bay Sands' outlet will be quite deserted. I think.

That's all for now
I shall update with pictures soon!
Stay tuned~~
Update: Click here for the pictures :D
P.S: you can check out their catalogue from their website! 

(Updated)My Opinion: Sephora Singapore



EDIT: Ok, so I was pretty harsh about Sephora in my original post so I thought I'd try to be fairer and less emotional via breaking down the good and the bad of Sephora Singapore.

The good:

  1. I've heard raves about Sephora.
  2. I've seen their huge beauty supplies at the Orchard ion store ranging from brands like John Masters to even Crabtree and Evelyn.
  3. I'd have thought it was the ultimate shopper's paradise for cosmetics, skincare and other beauty products.
  4. My friend loved it. It's like her shopping heaven
  5. You get brands not sold in Singapore, like Urban Decay and Burt's Bees alongside reputable brands like SKII, Clarins, Clinique and Estee Lauder.
  6. I love their boxes of mini item for sale near the cashier, it's like an adult version of candy you get at supermarkets. So tempting and cute. I bought a Burt's Bees lip balm that came along with a lemon butter cuticle cream for 9 bucks. The balm itself costs 8 which is...what? The cream costs a buck? (But it's small.)
  7. Membership is available with any purchase. It can be used in Singapore and Malaysia. $1 per point or 3RM per point. Every 250 points accumulated entitles you to a 10% off, which, in my opinion, means crazy hauling. Yeah.
  8. The store is huuuge at Ion orchard. I feel like I'm in a shopping mall of its own.

The bad:

  1. Its customer service sucks. I was left feeling utterly snubbed and pissed after four saleswomen decide to conveniently ignore me and my inquiries despite me asking them. Two of them were even just chatting by themselves. At best, one of them smiled at me and proceeded to ignore me. I have this impression that it's because I was not carrying a branded bag as their saleswomen would be so eager to say "WELCOME LADIESSSSS" when women with branded bags stroll in.I know this is a materialistic world we live in, but hello, YOU'RE A DAMN SALES STAFF. It's your job to service customers. I went into Sephora thinking of purchasing a couple of hundred bucks worth of stuff only to be snubbed because I wasn't dressed as well.
  2. Prices are way way way higher here. My friend got a mini Philosophy cleanser cause the original size costs S$37(US$30.2139) when it costs just US$10 on Sephora's US site. An urban decay eyeshadow retails for S$30 when it costs US$18.
  3. No free samples. We hear about how US bloggers rave about the tons of samples they received. No such luck here, dude.
  4. Too much lighting and glitz. Made me feel dizzy.

In all, if the bad outweighs the good, stay the hell away from Sephora. I'm staying away as much as possible since I place HUGE IMPORTANCE on customer service. 






Saturday, November 3, 2012

My Opinion: Watsons Private Member Sale(s)



Heya!
I popped by a Watsons member sales a couple of days back; it was their 2012 Christmas private member sales. It's about a month away from Christmas! Yeaaaah.
Finally, Hougang Mall was added to their outlets which offer the sale and it happened to be a convenient location for me.
The store at Hougang Mall was packed and squeezy with tons of people searching for a good deal. 
I'm gonna break down the good and the bad of Watsons' private member sales here, considering I've been to a couple so far +_+

The good:
  1. There are many products on discount. It's like the discounts which are rolled out in one year are compiled and given to members on that day itself.
  2. Many discounts are around 5% more than the discount given for products. For example, instead of the usual 20% off for Avene products, you get a 20+5% off for members. This is fantastic if you're stocking up on the products.
  3. Brands which have huge discounts are like Bio Essence and Himalayan Herbals. Great for the fans of these brands.
  4. You don't have to fight with non-members to buy stuff. 
  5. You have the thrill of staring at discounted stuff and sourcing for the best bargain(if you like these kinda things)
  6. It is especially fantastic if you happen to pop by non-peak hours
  7. You get to try new brands at discounted prices 

The bad:

  1. Honestly, popular brands will not have discounts for their products. For example, the new Shiseido Ma Cherie collection I've been eyeing and Naruko products.
  2. Even after discount, you can get some products are a cheaper price from other shops selling the same thing. For example, sanitary pads can cost S$6.95 for 20 pieces and I could get the same darn thing for S$2.40 at a parallel import store! 
  3. If you're not going to buy tons of stuff, the cost of queueing does not outweigh the benefits
  4. Some people are just too hard up for sales. I recall attempting to check the one at NEX out for their previous member sale and oh-my-lord there were around a 100 people queueing up. Seriously?!
  5. Watsons hold sales pretty frequently and sometimes after their "member" sales some products are offered at the same deal for the general public. Meh.
  6. A lot of people hold Watsons card. So the member sale isn't a very private affair.


Bottom line is, for me, the sale's great if what you're looking for is on discount. :/
Feel free to talk about your own experience from these sales :D
I'd love to hear them

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