I am a beauty addict and I take joy in buying and applying skincare products. It is not really about getting something which works and stopping there, but I enjoy the whole luxurious process of pampering my face.
I do not like to use those boring doctor type skincare, especially those which claim you can ONLY use theirs and nothing else. It simply strips the fun out of skincare.
I have been through many brands and for some of them I used only 1 or 2 products, whereas there are some which I’ve used a whole range. They include Shiseido White Lucent, Biotherm Aquasource, Sekkisei, Sekkisei Supreme, Hada Labo, Naruko, Estee Lauder, Laneige, Mario Badescu and others which I can’t recall right now.
Even though I know of many kose fans out there, somehow the Sekkisei range doesn’t work for me. I tried almost everything, even the eyecream. Even the famed product Seikisho White Mask do not work for me at all. I have resorted to using it all on my boyfriend’s face because it makes me break out all the time. Moreover when I use it, it simply doesn’t picks up anything for me! I must add that in the first have I do not have blackhead problems (even when I had pimples, I just didn’t have blackheads) so it could be that I didn’t have any heads for the mask to remove in the first place. However, the Supreme face wash was not bad.
For low cost but good products, Hada Labo and Naruko fits the bill. I currently do have them but have stopped using them for a while because I got sick of using it. (hahaha)
My usual routine for day would be: Cleanser -> Lotion -> Moisturiser -> Eye care -> Sunscreen
My usual routine for night would be: Cleanser -> (Wash off mask) -> Lotion -> Serum -> (Sheet mask) -> Moisturiser -> Eye care -> (Sleeping mask)
So here’re my recommendations:
Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil
I am a makeup addict and removing makeup is an important step. There are many types of makeup removers but the only type I ever trust to remove makeup effectively is oil cleansers.
I used to think all brands are equal, until I tried one from Kanebo which was just not the same. The oil doesn’t emulsify well and leaves a residue. This is never the case with Shu Uemura and hence I’ve pledged my loyalty. It is inexpensive as one bottle lasts forever. It takes about a year and a half for me to finish one 450ml bottle! I think this is probably the only product which I’ve stuck by for years because I’ve yet to find something which comes close. I used to use the Fancl cleansing oil but this one’s better.
Shiseido White Lucent Cleansing Foam
I can’t say this is my HG cleanser but it works fine for me. I think this is soap based (you can know whether it is soap or surfactant based by looking at the ingredients) as it leaves my face slightly squeaky after cleansing. It isn’t too drying though. I use the Clarisonic Mia 2 and this foam up very well so it complements my Clarisonic very well. Whitening properties is a plus because I am a whitening freak.
Cure Aqua Gel
I used to use this but not anymore, since my Clarisonic works to exfoliate my skin. This is very gentle, really good. However, the size is unrealistic for the recommended usage period of 6 months after opening.
Shiseido White Lucent Softener Light
I use this with Muji cotton pads (not all cotton pads are equal! You are seeking your doom by using those lousy ones). Put a 20c – 50c coin amount on the cotton pad, making sure it is soaked, and pat it on my face in an upward motion. It is best to pad 150 times. Think of it as polishing your skin. Make sure your skin drinks up all the lotion.
Hada Labo SHA Lotion
Pour a 20c – 50c coin amount on your palms, slightly rub them and pat on your face repeatedly until fully absorbed. This is hydrating no doubt, but I prefer the Shiseido one because patting with cotton pad can ‘polish’ my skin.
Naruko has various milky lotions and I have yet to find just ONE which I really love. This step is to be applied using a cotton pad after toner. In Singapore’s humid weather, and if you don’t suffer from dry skin, a milky lotion is sufficient as moisturiser. Hada Labo had this too, but no love for that. Most Asian brands carry milk lotions.
Shiseido White Lucent Serum
Serums are to be applied after milky lotion or toner, before moisturiser. I use this to maintain fairness and to keep spots at bay.
Laneige Waterbank Serum
I have this in a small travel size and I kind of like the hydrating effect. I have not experimented much with other hydrating serums though.
HABA White Lady
I really like this vitamin C serum but don’t use it anymore since it has to be stored in the fridge, and the fridge is 2 storeys down making it a hassle to use everyday. It works well for whitening!
This is the best moisturiser ever. It is very hydrating and is non sticky. I only use gel type moisturisers since it feels better. Laneige has a similar product but it’s no where near. This one feels very fresh on the face and I like the refreshing feeling.
Shiseido White Lucent Moisturising Gel
This one’s texture is good too, and it has whitening properties. It is not as hydrating as Biotherm’s though. I still love this product and use it very often!
Shiseido White Lucent Protective Moisturiser SPF 15
For the day I swear by this. Even at home you need some form of SPF and this is perfect. It works well under makeup too, holding makeup in place. Some moisturisers tend to make makeup streak but no issues with this because it is non-greasy.
Laneige Water Sleeping Pack_EX
I love this product to no end. Use it after everything but usually skip moisturiser if I use this. Skin will be very hydrated the next morning. If you sleep with air con this is a good barrier to protect your skin from the dryness.
Naruko Magnolia Night Gelly
This has firming properties and the texture is like Laneige’s – it won’t be too sticky so it’s good. However, I find the hydrating properties to be not as good. Comparing to the Face Shop’s raspberry roots sleeping mask, I would prefer this one. However, Laneige’s is still better. What I like about this is the floral smell and the firming properties.
My Beauty Diary Black Pearl Mask
I swear by this mask. It gives me a radiant and fair face. I use it after toner. I use this every other day. Other masks from this brand is good too. For the price, this is highly recommended. Taiwan host Barbie Hsu mentioned that using cheap masks every day is better than using one expensive one once a week. Local actress Fann Wong is also a fan of My Beauty Diary!
Lush Fresh Face Masks
Wash off masks are actually really good too. If your concern is beyond hydration (oily skin, big pores, rough skin etc), you should not be using sheet masks and should look for wash off masks because normally sheet masks only serves to hydrate while wash off masks can do more for the skin.
Lush has pretty good ones but they don’t keep long and is overpriced in Singapore. I like Cosmetic Catastrophe.
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye
This is for prevention purposes and I use this only at night. I do not have wrinkles but I hope this can keep it at bay. I feel a slight tightening effect when this is applied.
Estee Lauder Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator
I use this in the day. The cold stone tip is very cooling when applied to the eye area, so I guess this can help reduce puffiness and stuff.
Kheil’s #1 Lip Balm Mango
This is my favourite lipbalm as it is the only one which can soften my chronically chapped lips, without feeling sticky. I like the mango flavour best. The vanilla one tastes really weird.
Naruko BB Sunscreen SPF 50 PA+++
I like how this gives slight coverage yet is non sticky or greasy.
Clarins UV Plus HP SPF 40
For just sunscreen without any colour, this works really well. It isn’t too thick so not much white cast.