beauty products that aren't worth the hype with - PART I

Jul 3, 2017
My space has been really quiet and I am sorry that when I finally decided to write, my dear readers have to hear my nagging but I promise, I am going to share something many of you would love to read about.

I am sure you have a list of products that everyone else tells you they are holy grail and you simply must try! But for various reasons, they just don't live up to their grand claims.

Here's my own list of much-raved-about beauty products which I've tried, not because I think they work wonders, but because everyone else on the internet (especially those beauty bloggers or vloggers) is talking about them, unfortunately, they just don't live up to the hype, in my personal opinion.

Anessa whitening essence facial UV sunscreen aqua booster SPF50+ PA++++
Many of my girl friends purchased this from Japan, and I got super excited when I found out the local Waston's stores actually carry this product, as it is probably the most popular sun screen in the market.
It has a refreshing light scent which I totally love, the texture is quite moisturizing and not too thick nor sticky. So I was pretty impressed initially, till I layered on my usual makeup base, and bb cushion or foundation cushion, it starts to cake up and ball up and it almost feels like I was playing with my boys' Plasticine and accidentally dabbed some on to my face. I thought it could be caused by those products I layered on after the sunscreen, so I tried with different combinations, for example to use only the makeup base instead of both the base and the cushion, or to skip the makeup base completely and using foundation directly after the sunscreen. In fact, I even changed different products but nope, nothing really works with this sunscreen and I just have to use it alone. It went straight into my dustbin before I could finish half of the tube. I don't think it happens to everyone but I am very certain I am not the only one, because I have a friend who is facing the exact same problem as I do!
A better alternative? Check out the Innisfree perfect UV protection cream long lasting for dry skin SPF50 PA+, it's cheap and good!

Sofina Primavista Ange Long Keep Base UV c
I am not sure if we can find this brand in Singapore, it's so famous that indeed I've heard about it since almost 20 years ago, nope I am not kidding!

But I only got to try it when my girlfriend bought me the Taiwan version when she's there for holiday. It's a lot cheaper than the original Japanese version. The packaging looks almost the same except for the color of the bottle, and the added word "ANGE". The Taiwan version is pink in color and rather dry in texture, where the Japanese one is ivory and more moisturizing. I am not impressed by the Taiwan version of the base, as it makes my skin looks rather dull and greyish. By the way I learned from a Korean beauty show that pinkish undertone makeup might turn grey in color on certain skin tone. Guess that's what's happening to me when I use this base. After removing it, my skin isn't really smooth which is a big no no to me when it comes to picking a good makeup base.
A better alternative? Just get the Japanese version, it's more expensive for a good reason apparently.

Dr Jart+ V7 Vitalaser 2.1
This ointment look-alike tube is highly concentrated to convey the ingredients that performs whitening, tone improving, moisturizing, elasticity care efficiently. 7 kinds of vitamins, A, B3, B5, C, E, F and H, are capsulated using nano liposome technology for safer delivery of nutrition. Sounds too good to be true right?! So trust me readers, next time if you get to hear about a product which delivers many skin care benefits, skip it if it's costing less than 200 dollars. I am serious, how is that possible that such a cheap product can promise you so many things at one go, when other reputable brands are selling a basic moisturizer for 100 bucks and a normal whitening serum for 250 bucks?! When I said cheap, it's because I got it from Korean at 35 SGD, in Singapore it's retailing at about 70+ in Sephora, if I am not wrong. I won't call that cheap if I were to purchase it in Singapore.
I have no idea what this products has done to my skin, I totally didn't see any visible effect, and upon application, it gives my skin a slight sheen, but not in a positive way. Because it somehow makes my skin looks yellowish, I know this doesn't sound right but I feel almost like I just apply a layer of glue on my face. 
A better alternative? Well, you need not just one, but a few products to achieve the result of what was being promised by this product so please read positive reviews of other products, especially serums on my blog. 

MKUP Real Complexion cream 
If you have not heard of this crazily raved product, or seen the magical videos of how it changes any dull and horrible complexion into a flawless looking one in mere 3 minutes, then you probably are not a big fan of beauty industry. Yes this cream is just THAT POPULAR!!
MKUP boasts of this cream as the products ladies need, for EVERYTHING! Yes they claim that it's a skincare + makeup product. For 30+ dollars you get all you need for your skincare/makeup regime? Day and Night? You kidding me?!!!!!!!!

Okay so I am trying not to be bias or set any high expectations here, instead, I decided to just use it as a normal makeup base, I have friends who find it amazing, they said their skin is much brighter and glowing after adding this cream before their daily makeup routine. Well I must say if you have a flawless skin to begin with, maybe it's a true statement but most of us don't. So it doesn't cover all those blemish, dark eye rings, pigmentation, acne scar etc. I won't even say it helps in evening out skin tone. All it does is to make my skin look a little rosy. And the biggest concern I have about this cream, is that potentially it might clog pores, I am not good with ingredients but just by looking and feeling about the texture of the product, I can roughly tell it's going to be the case.
A better alternative? I honestly cannot find a better option with such kind of price Christian Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin is a product with similar benefit as MKUP real complexion cream, but it costs 5x the price. I didn't purchase it but I tested it out at their counter. Again all I can say is  this kind of product isn't too bad for those with flawless skin, otherwise, don't fall for such a trap. 

Stay tuned for my post on PART II please... I have more to share rant!!

introducing a new Aesthetic Clinic - The Urban Clinic

Sep 1, 2016
At first blush, the Aesthetic industry could be thought to cater only to glamorous celebrities in the spotlight. Visiting an aesthetic doctor for skin treatment wasn't something on my wishlist till a year ago, when my skin condition got really bad after using products from IDS clinic. And I got to know Dr Yanni Xu at DRx clinic, who fixed my major skin problems a year ago. And now I do have to admit, once we hit certain age, for me that's probably 35, or maybe even 32 (just that I was busy with kids and didn't really realize that), our skincare products do not work wonders and we need non-invasive or even invasive treatments to turn back the clock!

This week, Dr Yanni's new clinic, The Urban Clinic has officially opened at City Hall area. I am so delighted to become her customer once again.

The Urban Clinic has a fantastic location which is extremely convenient for me. It's just 2 train stations away from my office, so I can easily pop by for those 30 minutes quick fix during my lunch break.

If you are a frequent visitor to local aesthetic clinics, The Urban Clinic will give you a very different feel, as you won't see consultants walking around in white uniforms, or white backdrops at reception area. The interior is a lot more chic, yet very cozy and comfortable.

To me, the most important thing about choosing your right aesthetic clinic, is to find the right doctor who knows how to give you best advice based on your need. And Dr Yanni is definitely one of them. Like I mentioned in my previous post on my experience with her at DRx clinic a year ago, she is extremely patient with her clients and she listens so well! I can't tell you how important it is to have a skin doctor who listens to his/her client!!!

You might find your frown lines annoying but your doctor might think you need to have those freckles on your cheek treated immediately.  But at the end of the day, what if you have a clear cheek that is freckle free but your lines are still bothering you?!

That's exactly why I love Dr Yanni so much! She can easily point out all my skin problems based on her professionalism but instead, she asked me what is my number 1 concern about my skin. And based on my needs, she recommended 2 treatments which I managed to do within 3 hours in one afternoon.

BTL Exilis Elite - for my saggy skin, to target on jowls, forehead lines, heavy double eyelids, double chin

How it feels?
It feels like a hot stone massage. The targeted areas are usually jowls, eyes, forehead and neck. The aesthetican will run the applicator multiple times on the targeted area in certain standard motions, and moves on to the next targeted area once one area is fully treated. It can get a little bit too hot around certain part of your skin such as jaw bone, eyebrow area. The heat is bearable and you can let the aesthetician know if you find it painful, she can lower down the degree but rest assure that it still delivers the same great result. No numb cream is required for this treatment.

How it works?
It's using  radio frequency to stimulate collagen at deeper layer of our skin. It's recommended to take 2x 1 hour sessions 1 week apart for optimum result. Thereafter, a 30 minutes maintenance treatment can be done as and when you feel the need. This is a different treatment compared to the famous Thermage treatment, I can't really compare the 2 as I've never tried thermage before. All I know is that Thermage is a lot more expensive and the treatment is rather painful even with numb cream. So personally I am definitely more comfortable with Exilis since they both deliver similar result.

What to note?
Drink plenty of water as all radio frequency treatment will dehydrate your body

What's the cost?
I can only share the price I know for now as I am not sure if there's any other promotion coming up at The Urban Clinic, please note that all price quoted here are excluding 7% GST. 
1x session (1 hour) - SGD$780
2x session (1 hour each) - SGD$1480 (recommended for 1st time customer and the 2 sessions must be done 1 week apart)
1x session (0.5 hour for maintenance) - SGD$390
10x sessions + FREE 2 sessions (0.5 hour each) - SGD$3900

Lasemd - To treat my redness problem. This is what they called Korean baby skin treatment, to improve on skin texture based on individual needs.

How it feels?
It feels like a razor running through your skin so if you were to ask me how painful it is, I would say it's totally painless. Some people might describe it as a mild tingling or prickling sensation.

How it works?
A consultant will cleanse your face and put on a exfoliator from their clinic brand - TUC, which is Dr Yanni's formula, to purify your skin. Then doctor Yanni will come in to perform the actual treatment procedure, which includes a few steps.
- Ampoule incubating, Dr Yanni will open a brand new ampoule to keep the solution as fresh and pure as possible, it is selected by her after consultation. I was given TA ampoule to treat my redness problem, The machine will "spin and stir" the powder and solution in the inserted ampoule which is called "incubating"
- Lasemd procedure, your eyes will be covered and Dr Yanni will use a handpiece to run through your entire face, to create multiple laser microchannels
- Ampoule is applied into the skin along with the laser treatment
What's more? You get to bring home the leftover for self maintenance, but it has to be kept in cool and sheltered place (can be put in fridge, but when you take it out from the fridge, you need to shake it well before applying). Together, a moisturizer is also given to be used at home.

What to note?
Apply sunblock to keep your skin well protected after all laser treatment. Lasemd is like combining a fractional laser + ampoules, so I was told that some patient who's been doing fractional CO2 laser frequently, find Lasemd a much better alternative as it helps with pores just like CO2 laser.

What's the cost?
Please note that all price quoted here are excluding 7% GST. 
5x session (1 hour each) - SGD$1850 (recommended package for optimum result)
1x session (1 hour) - SGD$420
** Opening speical **
1st trial session - SGD$210

P/S: please do take note that price might subject to changes so please do not quote me on that, I'm just sharing what I was told as I know my readers would want to know such information. Please just use it as a guideline.. With my previous experience at IDS and DRx, the price at Urban Clinic is indeed very reasonable, and trust me, you won't want to bargain on things used on your skin... ^_^

As for the result,  here are the photos taken inside the treatment room:

I looked really haggard in the picture on the left, immediately after the 2 treatments, my skin looked rejuvenated and lifted up in the picture on the right.

For the following 3 days I started to notice more and more obvious result on my skin, I'm totally sold and especially for Elixist I must say the uplifting effect is quite remarkable. I was told by Dr Yanni that the result will get more and more obvious in time to come and probably lasts for 6 months to 1 year.  So I will definitely take photos frequently and share more details in the near future.

What I really love about The Urban Clinic, is that the treatment are quick and there's no downtime at all, it's best for us mummies who do not have time for ourselves during the weekends or after work. And Dr Yanni said she's offering treatments that are more affordable for everyone, which is totally true because when I used to visit her at DRx, the packages easily cost over 3k but here at The Urban Clinic, instead of encouraging clients to sign up for full packages, she recommends customized solutions which are way more economical, and if a good one time treatment that costs S$200 - S$400 can give you much better result than skincare products within less than an hour, why not?!! 

Here's detailed information about The Urban Clinic if you would like to find out more:


Contact Info
252, North Bridge Road, #01-15, Raffles City Mall S (179103)  (next to the taxi stand facing Chijmes)
Phone: +65 62540407, +65 62540419

Review: Popular BB Cushions from Korea

Jul 22, 2016
So, it's been a while since I shared review here. This time I decided to be a bit more hardworking and share with my readers about my experience with a few popular Korean brand BB cushion.
Well who doesn't have a BB Cushion, right?!

So yes I'm quite a big fan of BB cushion because I am not a powder person. I prefer my makeup to look natural and dewy with minimum coverage so BB cushion is always my best bet.

Although a lot of you might feel the pictures do not do much justice, I still decided to apply 5 different brands of BB cushion on half of my face (seen in rights side of the photos), on the very same day, under the very same lighting. The left side of my face (in picture) has no make up at all so hopefully it helps you to see the effect of respective BB cushions this way.

I used these 3 products on my skin, a toner, a serum, and a moisturizer. I did not apply sunblock or liquid foundation as I just want to show you all, how my skin looks with the  BB cushion on top of my very basic skincare products.

So do take note that I only applied BB cushion on half of my face, which you can see on the right side of all the photos below.
Etude House
My first ever BB cushion. As you probably can see, I just opened a new refill pack for this review, because I've stopped using this brand for a long time. The coverage is pretty impressive, a big part of it might be because it's a brand new piece. The texture is rather drying for my skin type. Oh yes I have dry and sensitive skin. So my pores and lines are pretty visible after a couple hours. It gives a matt finish so you can't see much radiance on my cheek area, whereas the opposite side of my face with zero makeup, has this natural glow especially around cheek area. Hence I find the "heavy makeup" result is a tad too much for my liking. And I know it's too dry because my skin gets a little itchy and irritated by it after some time. The color is a perfect match for my skin color though. And the price is extremely affordable although I don't even remember how much it is.

Thought I've found the best BB cushion ever when I switched from Etude House to Innisfree. It doesn't oxidize and is pretty long lasting. It's quite hydrating and light weight, which leaves my skin radiant and dewy. But there's almost no coverage at all. You can see the 2 sides of my face looks pretty much the same in this case. And do take note that as their products are made with eco-friendly materials, they are less durable and appealing.

Laneige BB Cushion
I've tried quite a few different brands before I decided to get the Laneige BB cushion in N13 True Beige color. It's moisturizing so the coverage isn't fantastic, but most of the time it works perfectly fine for me when my skin condition isn't at its worst. In fact compared to the opposite side, you can see my redness below nose area was pretty much concealed with Laneige BB cushion. What I love about this product is that it does NOT oxidize! It gives this dewy and bright look and lasts for almost a day. Usually I just need to touch up on my tzone area. And it feels really lightweight, not drying till it makes my lines and pores more obvious, and not too moisturizing till it feels a bit sticky on my skin. In fact if you compare this with the 2 picture above, it does give the skin a more transparent and clear look.


I picked the color with glitters so it turned out a little bit sticky on my face. It doesn't provide any coverage, and the color has a bit of greyish tone. I am not sure if you can tell from this picture but I sure can see that. And based on my experience, that could be caused by wrong color shade or tone. In this case I think the BB cushion is in a rather cool tone but my skin is in a slighter warmer tone, hence the mismatch. I used it as highlighter on Tzone before. So do get other type instead of the Shimmer type as it comes with just one color, and it's a tad too light even for my relatively fair skin.

This is a highly raved brand so I was extremely excited when my friend helped me get it from Korea. The packing is simply gorgeous! Upon first application, I felt my skin looks flawless! It's a little bit sticky and gives a relatively "strong" make up feel, as it provides pretty good coverage and doesn't look completely natural. YOu can see from the picture in fact, especially around my nose area, the coverage is pretty good on the right side of the photo. The stickiness of this BB cushion bothered me quite a bit because same as any other sticky products, it actually dries up my skin eventually after a couple of hours. So I had to give this a miss although I really liked the effect at first. Also, I realized the color I picked, might be slightly darker for my skin, that's why it looks a little dull.

So after trying a few different brands, I found out why even the best raved BB cushion might make your skin looks horrible, because you are not getting the right color!!

Yes the wrong shade of BB cushion makes my skin look patchy, especially after the makeup settles in for hours. And when you choose the exact right shade that suits you the best, it will blend very well into your skin and melt in, that, will even out your skin tone and makes your skin look supple, radiant and natural!

And another tip for you, when you feel the BB cushion is not working miraculously like it used to, it's time to replace the refill then!

Review: Banila Co. Clean it Zero

Mar 31, 2016
I am very certain that this is a brand,  or rather say a product, that many people have heard of. It's extremely popular and highly raved, and it's rated the best of the best cleanser, from Blind Test by Korea famous makeup show "Get it Beauty".

I have been wanting to try this product for a long time. And finally I get the chance to after finishing the famous Shu Uemura cleansing oil, and another small bottle of Innisfree Green Tea cleansing oil. I was recently told by my beautician from Le Queenz, that my T-zone is oily and I have rather enlarged pores on my nose, which somehow happen to trap oils easily. Hence she advised me not to use any cleansing oil so I bought a tub of cleansing cream from Innisfree. Unfortunately, I totally do not like it. That made me recall this famous cleansing balm. so I quickly ordered a tub on Qoo10.

The product comes in a small 100ml tub, it's in sweet pink with a nice scent. The most interesting part is the balm looks like sherbet in texture, and 1 scoop is enough for the whole face if I do not have eye makeup on. If I do use waterproofed mascara, then I would add one more scoop. It melts instantly on warm skin, and turns into a lightweight oil texture. It's not the normal greasy thick oil texture you get with most cleansing oil products. And it removes everything on my face with some gentle massage.

So I've read some reviews about how difficult it is to emulsify and remove this product. Yes that's the mistake I made upon first usage. I splashed water after massaging my face with the cleansing balm, since that's the usual way I use my cleansing oil/cream/gel. And yes it emulsified the cleansing balm which is already in oil texture, and turned it into thick milky creamy stuff. Well here came the problem. It's extremely hard to remove it even after I splashed a lot more water! So I've learned my lesson, wipe it off with a cotton pad or makeup wipe! Then wash the face with water, with the residual balm on the face, it will still emulsify but the milky stuff won't be so thick and it's much easier to wash it off with just water, followed by your double cleanse routine with another foam cleanser. If you ask me, isn't that just another makeup remover? Let me tell you the 2 biggest benefits I notice with this product:
1. It keeps your skin hydrated while removing your makeup at the same time. Yes most other products which cleanse your face thoroughly, will leave it dry. But this product makes the entire face washing process enjoyable because you can see the skin getting bright and radiant without feeling any dryness.
2. It does not leave a greasy feel on the skin after wash off. Yes many other products have this problem that once you wash it off, immediately you want to use another foam cleanser because there seems to be a layer of residue which needs to be removed. I do see people using this balm for everything without double cleanse, I am not suggesting that but I do get it when some people don't bother to cleanse again with foam cleanser. Because after removing the cleansing balm, my skin feels great and I don't have the urge to cleanse it again (of course I did wash another time as double cleanse is just my routine).

I am giving this product a big thumb up as it's so easy to use, removes 100% of my makeup and leaves my skin clean, supple, soft and bright. A little bit goes a long way. I am expecting one tub to last me a good few months so it's not expensive at all. Finally I enjoy double cleansing every night, yes in the past I was doing it for the sake of doing only!

Review: My true experience with Victoria Face Lift

Mar 18, 2016
It took me a long time (nearly 4 months) to decide, on sharing my first and definitely the last experience with this facial salon at the newly renovated Whitesands shopping center.

I first got to know about this place through Kiss92. As my family is royal Kiss92 fans, I've been hearing their special offer of this "FREE NON-INVASIVE FACE LIFTING FACIAL" deal. All I need to do is to message my particulars to Kiss92, and true enough, I got a call from a consultant at Victoria Face Lift (Whitesands Branch) and fixed my appointment on a Friday afternoon.

The salon looks pretty gorgeous and I felt very comfortable the moment I stepped in. The service was nice although, I wasn't feeling good when I saw 3 or 4 consultants chit chatting at the reception area. I was then brought into a private room to meet my consultant. She's pretty with beautiful skin, and has this very chatty and bubbly personality. She's friendly yes, but over friendly for my liking. I knew she's going to be pushy the moment she took out a piece of paper and started listing down the steps of my facial.

Okay, so...
Do not ask me about the name of the facial.
Do not ask me about the duration of the facial.
Do not ask me about the machines used.

Basically, I was not told any details about the above, all I knew was, the "FREE" session I got through Kiss92, consists only 4 steps which is the super basic cleanse, extract, tone and moisturize. So, how would you call that a face uplifting facial if the steps are so basic? And guess what, to enjoy their 12 steps signature facial (which is exactly the reason why I was there), I need to top up an additional amount of S$288, and that's still before GST (which I only found out upon making payment)!!! Alright I do not blame Kiss92 for this at all, I am sure they've done their job by informing us "T&C applies", but still, this is the exact reason why I decided to share my own experience now.

Feeling like being placed on a chopping board, I didn't have much time to reconsider before agreeing to the top up amount. The consultant did a scan of my skin and described it as "completely lost elasticity". I've tried out so many different kind of skin analysis before, I know how collagen looks, they should be diamond shaped and although it's true that certain parts of my face, the "diamond" looked rather out of shape, overall it's definitely not as bad as she described. But I guess that's the only way to make me believe in their service, so I am not too bothered.

Then, I was ushered into the facial room, which to my disappointment, is a single room but rather small. The facial itself took around 1 hour+. My consultant is fast but a little rough so I won't say I enjoyed the whole process. And the result? Yes I do see a little bit of lifting result when she compared my before and after photos on her machine. But, the photos are my bare face photos which, by simply washing and massaging my face for no more than 10 minute, I probably can achieve the same kind of result. Okay, right, maybe not as great but I am just trying to say, the result from their facial will wear off within a short period of time, so it's NOT permanent! And i have absolutely no confidence that it will stay permanent even if I were to sign up for their 3k+ package and visit them regularly.

Yes here comes the steep price tag. I would say it costs as much as, or probably even more, than my laser package with Drx clinic. But hey, even if it's cheaper, I am in the good hands of professional doctors with Drx. So I totally could not see the point of paying such a huge amount for a facial package that has totally nothing to impress.

Let me be honest, the worst part of the facial experience, must be post treatment when I was asked to go back into the consultation room again, and the consultant whipped up with all sorts of permutations based on the standard package price. When I said no firmly to every single item she's trying to sell me. Within 5 minute, she provided me with different special offers, from 100 dollars top up for 1 more treatment, to 100 dollars top up for 2 more treatments, then to 12 dollars top up for just 1 more treatment, and finally to another absolutely FREE treatment, which by now, you should have known that there's definitely no such thing as FREE with them. I left the place eventually after grabbing the free sample of 3 signature products from her, seriously I couldn't remember how I managed to step out of that room anymore.

So I know this review might raise a lot of concerns but I am just being honest with my readers here. I searched on the internet for their reviews and true enough, most of the feedback is that this salon is very hard selling so, I am not saying their treatment is not good, in fact all their before/after pictures are extremely convincing. Personally I just feel Le Queenze wins hands down with their facial service for sure!

Review: IOMA skincare from Paris

Oct 29, 2015
As promised, I am back to introduce this new range of skincare products I've tried recently - IOMA, said to be the first and only evidence based skincare products in the world, from Paris!

Their star product, Ma Creme is such a unique formulation and it's pretty cool to observe how the sales girl prepare the customized day and night cream based on my skin analysis result. 

"Choose between a lightweight base for day, or a regenerating night base, before adding your eight serums drop by drop to your tailor-made prescription. With a total of 40,257 different formulas, you can ensure that Ma Crème is perfectly suited to your skin’s needs."

Back in September, I suddenly realized that my skin condition was showing a slight sign of deterioration after switching to the entire range of DRx products for less than 2 months. I am not exaggerating but I know my skin well enough after all the trial and error over so many years, I think doctor brands, be it IDS, or DRx, are a tad too strong for my sensitive skin although they might provide great result for a short period of time initially.

Hence, I've decided to switch back to the whole range of SKII products I've been loving for more than 10 years. And for a start, I took out all the samples I've received from them and started using for about one week. Just as expected, I certainly felt my skin texture is getting smoother as DRx products somehow gave me the same small red bumps around my nose bridge and under eye area just like IDS. And SKII seemed to work well on those sensitive areas. I set my mind to visit the SKII counter but guess what, when I was there, I saw this brand IOMA which I did read up and found nice reviews about not long ago.

I spent about 15 minutes doing a skin analysis at IOMA counter, their analysis is rather comprehensive as compared to may other similar assessment I did before. The machine basically assess our skin condition in 12 areas and give a score from 1 to 15, 1 being perfect and anything above 10 means need caution!

And here's my conclusion about the effectiveness of their products, based on the result illustrated in these results received on 3 occasions over a month.

To make the result easier to read, let me just compare the areas which have improved greatly:
Sagging: from 5, to 5, to 1
This, has nothing much to do with IOMA in my personal opinion because on the day of my last skin analysis, I just did my 2nd session of laser treatment which gives the face uplifting effect, so I am sure the result is from there.

UV Damage: from 12, to 9, to 5
This is probably the most amazing result I could expect from IOMA products. For the past 1 whole year, I've been finding ways to treat my pigmentation. And the IOMA White Revelation Bright Pearl Essence (SGD$250), is by far the best ever whitening product I've tried. It's to be used for both day and night, one pump each time and 3 pearls in the bottle will burst. The essence is extremely hydrating! That's the reason why I love this product so much because almost all whitening products I've used in the past, made my skin dry! And the brightening effect is almost immediate. Within a month, the UV damage has dropped from 12 to 5 gradually, isn't that amazing?! Even laser treatment didn't give me such promising result. Of course the patch of pigment on my left cheek is still visible, but I am very confident that I could conceal it better with simple makeup. And I've just purchased another set of this Pearl Essence recently, which comes with a Dark Spots Elixir (SGD$78), I have not tried it so I am not able to give any feedback on that at the moment.

Clogged Pores: from 7, to 6, to 2
I believe this is a result of my recent facial at Le Queenz, but of course I've been more diligent in deep cleansing my face with IOMA Absorbent Mask (SGD$95). It's a little more gentle on my skin as compared to my recent favorite volcano mask from Innisfree. I love to use their Beneficial Mask(SGD$95) right after that for calming and restoring purpose. Although my skin redness level has not really dropped based on the analysis, visibly I do see huge improvement around my Tzone and I stocked up another 2 more tubes of Beneficial Masks right away. 

Eyebag / Eyelid from 4, to 4, to 3
I was a bit surprised to realize my upper eyelid problem might be even more serious than my lower eyelid problems as in general, I do not have dark circles. Fine lines and wrinkles are byproducts of ageing and fatigue so it's rather inevitable. But during my first analysis, the kind sales girl pointed out that due to gravity, my upper eyelids are dropping, though not very obvious nor severe, it's a clear sign of ageing and she recommended their Flash Youth Eye Contour Concentrate (SGD$150), which is designed to focus on neglected upper eyelid area. I have to say I love this product to bits. It brightens my eyes instantly and improves blood circulation, because I can feel my eye area getting a little hotter each time I apply this eye cream, and immediately my eyes feel relaxed and that makes me feel like applying it again and again!

Interestingly my fine lines / wrinkles increased during my most recent assessment. And all I could say is, hydrating, hydrating, and hydrating!

Because right before the skin test, I went for my laser treatment and as usual, nurses at the clinic only applies a thin layer of sunblock after the treatment so I didn't get the chance to apply my full range of skincare products. As my skin hydration level dropped (from 2, to 1, to 3), I believe it affected the result on fine lines and wrinkles too! I am still using my favorite Hydrator from DRx clinic, but one bottle (SGD$70-80) can only last me for about 3 months. So I am looking for alternatives and do leave a comment to me if you have any great moisturizer to recommend!

I've switched my entire skincare range to IOMA and I must say I am very satisfied with the result so far. Next step is to switch my facial cleansers to BABOR which I used and fell in love with instantly at the Le Queenz salon during my facial.

IOMA products are not extremely expensive but they don't come cheap easier. But luckily, with a lot of promotion going on at Robinsons Raffles City, it's pretty easy to get some promotional sets which are more value for money. 

Updates: March 18, 2016
I've been using IOMA products for months, and I have finished my first bottle of Pearl Essence and 1/3 way into my 2nd bottle, I still love it as much. But for their Ma Creme, I've stopped using both the day and night creams, as there's no significant improvement and the creams are rather sticky, especially the day cream.

Review: Le Queenz customized facial

Oct 1, 2015
Sorry to leave this space rather quiet recently, but, I am back with so much to share!!

Yes I have switched up my skincare go-tos lately, on a whim, luckily the result was way better than expected and I will share more with you about that cool new range of products I tried in another upcoming post.

For now, let me talk about my facial experience with this beauty salon called Le Queenz at Tanjong Pagar Plaza. You surely won't miss it though it's nested at a corner on level 2, it looks rather classy and outstanding within that old laid back building. It's by far the best facial I've tried, out of the.. 3 times I've done in my entire 36 years of life!

Alright so basically I am not really a fan of facials, I guess that's clear enough by now. The unbearable pain during extraction is always my #1 concern, let alone the red lobster face with marks after the facial which might lasts for days or weeks. Another thing is, for a full time working mother with 2 young kids at home, I seriously do not have the luxuries of time even if it's just 1 - 1.5 hours, once a month. I am not exaggerating, there's just no way I could leave kids at home and go out alone on weekends, and for weekdays, it's a habit to rush home after work as I only have about 1.5 hours bonding time before they go to bed, that's extremely precious to me, needless to say.

Then, I decided to look around for a beauty salon around my office area so that I could simply make use of my lunch break for some great treat. Yes all full time working mummies would definitely agree with me that lunch break is probably their best ME time for shopping, girls' meetups, gym, and of course, facials! With a little bit of luck, I chanced upon this review on Ms Charlotte Lum's blog, and decided to fix an appointment with Le Queenz right away. Yes the salon is very near to my office and I have many other options nearby, so why Le Queenz?!

Ms Charlotte Lum has the answer to that on her blog post, basically at Le Queenz, they do not practice the traditional way of extraction by poking and squeezing around your face. Instead, they use advanced machines to do the job, thus it's effective, yet painless. And the experience surely didn't disappoint at all. In fact, this is the best ever facial I've ever been to and I was so glad that I decided to pay hem a visit despite the not so pleasant experience with facial in the past at other places. And by quoting Charlotte Lum's name, I paid S$48 for a trial of their customized facial that worth S$168 inclusive of GST!

As I am not a frequent visitor at salons, I was a little embarrassed and nervous when I first entered the salon. But the staff there made me comfortable with their warm greetings and smiles. The environment is pretty cozy though I didn't check out their different kind of treatment rooms. I was too excited to try out the facial and totally forget about paying attention to the details for blogging purpose. The facial lasted for exactly 1.5 hours. And I must mention their bed is super duper comfortable! It's better than those places I visited before (SKII boutique, Healing Touch spa and DRx clinic). Of course the facial experience is way better too because I could see immediate result and left the place with a more radiant and clearer skin, without the need to put on any makeup or cover any red marks at all!

Again I am going to let the picture speak for itself..

The right picture was taken the day before my facial (sorry I totally forgot to take another picture right before the facial but I guess the picture on the previous day should serve the same purpose).
The left picture was taken right after my facial, yes I walked back to my office with my bare face, no makeup at all and can you believe it?! Yes my nose area is a little red as my beautician Tracy did squeeze my whiteheads a bit, imagine I've never really done facial in the past, my pores are quite disastrous, luckily Tracy commented that my face is very clear and only my nose area is a bit clogged. I took the chance to capture the result of extraction, gross yes, but I am so happy!

So the amazing result led me to sign up for my first ever facial package right away, for S$1289, you get 12 sessions and each session is about S$108, I find the price pretty decent because they do not just use machine to extract blackheads/whiteheads, they also use machine to help skin better absorb the enzyme from their customized ampules.

Tracy did a brilliant job massaging my eyes. I am blessed that I do not have dark eye rings but I do have puffy eyes and as I grow older, my upper eyelids start to get droopy and after Tracy's hand massage, my eyes instantly brightened up with slightly lifted eyelids!!! In fact not just my eyes, my whole face felt tighter and more lifted and even my laughing lines looked lighter. I think the result is not just temporary because on the 2nd day after my facial, my eyelids are still looking good!

And if you are wondering whether Le Queenz staff are hard selling just like most of the beauticians you've met at other salons before, I would say no, they aren't. Tracy shared with me that they use Babor brand of skincare products for all their treatments, but after knowing that I do have my own choices of products at home, she didn't even mention about switching to their products for my daily regime at all.

Just for my readers' convenience, I would like to share that they do provide professional eye brow service and based on my research, Elaine is the beautician who's absolutely great at that. And here's their contact if you would like to make appointment: 6244 0228 / 8533 2336. You know I seldom include such information like contact details in my post as I am not a "celebrity blogger" who gets sponsorship for blogging. But I noticed there are not much sharing about Le Queenz experience online and personally I feel they deserve some limelight for such professional service that absolutely delivers great result!

back to DRx for.. combi laser!

Sep 18, 2015
So, after trying out DRx's Q-switched laser treatment for 3 sessions, I could see some slight improvement on my pigmentation, which you probably might be able to notice from the pictures I posted in my previous post here. I mentioned that I didn't really like the treatment that much as it leaves my skin a little dry, and it doesn't really help when I pair it with the whitening products from DRx, as most whitening products make our skin dryer, especially doctor brands in my humble opinion.

Being someone who is super sensitive to skin condition changes, I decided to stop their whitening range before my skin condition deteriorates further as I was so worried that it will get back to the IDS time again.

Then, I called DRx to check when will my first doctor, Doctor Yanni be back and to my greatest pleasure, she's back from maternity leave on that very day I called. I booked an appointment with her immediately and the next morning, I was at her room being her first customer of the day, she looked gorgeous as a new mum and she greeted me with brightest smile, I knew, my choice of switching back to her, was absolutely right!

Dr Yanni always says my skin type is very similar to hers, hence she's really able to pinpoint my concerns and gives me the best advice. She agreed with my observation about my dryness problem after the Q-switched laser. And put me right back on the combi laser again. What she said makes perfect sense to me was that, when my skin turns red easily, especially during menstrual period, skin is prone to inflammation, which is one of the root causes of skin aging. So by switching back to combi laser, it will tame the inflammatory skin and help with skin rejuvenation process.

She also agreed with Dr Angela, whom I've been seeing during Doctor Yanni's maternity leave period, that my skin texture is good in general so if I would like to look even younger, Ultherapy could be considered for uplifting effect to treat the saggy skin. I will consider that probably in another 1-2 years time I guess.

I asked her about the importance of standard facial as I've never been doing regular facials. She advised me to consider it if I notice bad clogged pores, white or blackheads, as those facial will help to deep cleanse the skin and prepare it for better absorption of the skin care products. But for the time being, she feels it's not compulsory as she believes I've been religiously taking care of my skin with regular scrubbing and mask-ing.

I left the clinic with a much clearer and supple face after my combi laser treatment. I am not sure what I am up for next but for the time being, I am extremely happy to be back on my combi laser again with Dr Yanni!

DRx Q-Switched laser treatment

Sep 4, 2015
Back in May this year, I've blogged about my experience on Combi Laser treatment with DRx clinic. Upon completing the 5x treatment package, I was extremely satisfied with the result but I decided to stop the laser for a while. So what happened next?

Well I went back to DRx again in August, after noticing the fact that the skin condition cannot be maintained without any treatment at all. Overall it's still not as bad as my IDS time but, I have high expectations and wished that my skin condition can be perfect even during ovulation period. Yes basically it's relatively good for half a month, but once ovulation starts, my skin looks dull and dry, with more obvious lines and pores.

Well when I said so, I am not kidding. The 2 pictures below say it all. The one on the left was taken during ovulation period an the one on the right, was taken around 4th day during my period. Look at the deep lines and enlarged pores, as well as the dull looking skin color in the left photo. So even though the combi laser worked great for me, it still can't do much with my hormone changes.

So this time, I switched to another doctor, Doctor Angela who seems really popular, as Doctor Yanni is still on maternity leave. Doctor Angela expressed more concerns about my pigmentation and warned me that if I do not treat my melanin properly,  my pigmentation might get worse as I age. So at the end of the consultation, I signed myself up for another laser package, 10x Q switched laser to treat my pigmentation.

Since then, I've been visiting her every 2 weeks. This treatment is definitely not as enjoyable as the combi laser treatment I did before. Although there's no numb cream required, it's indeed a little painful as she uses the equipment on my skin. My eyes are covered so I am not sure about what kind of equipment is used, but I do hear the "piak piak" sound and there's often a burning smell especially when she's focusing on my pigmentation area.

As for the result, I am not so sure yet but here's a picture to share with you all. Most of my friends commented that the pigmented area do look better after 2 treatments.

What I do not really enjoy about this treatment, is not the slight discomfort/pain it caused, but rather the fact that my skin do not look much different after the treatment, unlike the combi laser which gives almost instant result. And my skin tends to be a little try and prone to breakouts somehow though it's not serious at all. I will update my readers again after my 6th and 10th treatment.

In general I am still happy with what DRx helped me to achieve so far, but I am definitely hoping for even better result as my skin has been aging really fast this year. Stay tuned for more updates from me in the next couple of weeks please!