DELAROM BRIGHTNESS BOOSTER MASK (MASQUE BOOSTER D’ECLAT)

On my trip to France, Paris last year in June, I was asked by a colleague to buy a skincare product – Delarom Brightness Booster Mask. Usually I get requests for designer bags when it’s France. I went to a few pharmacies before I found the product in a pharmacy in town. Out of pure curiosity, I bought one for myself to try and well, I didn’t get to try out the product until recently. And it was love at first try.

I followed the instructions and applied a moderate layer on my face and neck. It smells of expensive upscale ingredients, like some of the products they use on you in the beauty salon, or maybe I am just biased because it is made in France. The mask is made of pink clay but it’s white in color and goes on easily. I left it on for 10 minutes and to my surprise, it kinda faded. I mean, it was like the mask was absorbed. My skin felt evidently taut which is typical after application of any other clay mask. I washed off with lukewarm water after 10 minutes and my skin was smooth, powdery smooth! And I swear that my pores were smaller and complexion brighter. I just love how POWDERY SMOOTH my skin felt.

A small 50 ml tube of the mask cost Euro 26. Unfortunately, it is not available locally. I am very sad. It is on top of my shopping list for my next trip to France.

Conclusion: Highly recommended!

Delarom is a Parisian brand, not sure if it is available in other parts of Europe outside of France. 

DELAROM BRIGHTNESS BOOSTER MASK (MASQUE BOOSTER D’ECLAT)

ODBO SUNBLOCK PACT SPF 50+

I had high expectations of Odbo Sunblock Pact and I am very happy to report that it didn’t fall short of them. I have been using Laneige’s sunblock for years with no complaints except that it gets a tad oily as the day progresses, even those oil-free, aqua based ones. Still, I stick to Laneige as they are the lightest kind I can find and doesn’t clog my pores. Plus, they smell good unlike most off-the-shelves sunblocks.

On a hot and humid day, I had to step out of the house but couldn’t be bothered to put on makeup. I decided that I have to, at least, put on sunblock. So, I took out Odbo’s sunblock pact from its packaging box, quite excitedly. It is in the form of a round compact case, much like a compact foundation or powder, but slimmer (about half the bulk) which makes it portable & travel-friendly. It is creamy in texture and white-pinkish in color. I was, initially, concerned if the creamy texture and color will blend well and if it will turn out to be oily after a few hours, especially under the blazing afternoon sun.

To my surprise, it blended easily and very well with the skin. The white-pinkish color provided some coverage as well. The end effect was smooth and matte. It survived hours outdoors (I was in both air conditioned and non-air conditioned environments) and when I returned home in the evening, my face still looks nice and matte. Love much. No feeling of stickiness from time of application to end of the day. Fantastic!

It has a slight (powdery?) scent that doesn’t bother me.

Today, I have it under my Face Shop’s CC cream and it’s doing a good job of oil control, tho’ I’m not sure if that is actually one of its uses/benefits.

Conclusion: Big love for Odbo Sunblock Pact. Effortless application, providing slight coverage, perfect for days when I don’t want to put on makeup. SPF 50+ is adequate for a sunblock. It’s light and travel-friendly. Matte finish that lasts the day and controls oil when applied under makeup. A definite item to stock up next time I’m in Seoul!

 

Odbo is from Korea, only available in Seoul and via online blogs/sprees locally. 

ODBO SUNBLOCK PACT SPF 50+

CLIO KILL BROW

I walked into Clio store to run an errand for a friend, she had asked me to buy some eyeliners as they are cheaper in Korea. I had a period of experiment with eyeliners some years ago. They always smudge, even the best of them, all claiming to be smudge-proof & long lasting. I gave up and my eyes remain eyeliner-free. Maybe one day, I will try again.

So, I was at Clio, getting the eyeliners for my friend, and like any good salesperson, she attempted to cross-sell products to me. They have this relatively new product – Kill Brow for eyebrows. I wasn’t too interested at first, ‘cos I was (and still am) very happy with my ZA Everbrows which is the BEST eyebrow pencil in the universe. Anyway, she tried it on me and both of my friends whom I was with, said it looked good. I decided to buy one (in Earth Brown) to try.

Clio’s Kill Brow is a very interesting product. It has 2 ends – a tattoo pen on one end and a brush with eyebrow mascara on the other. Yes, eyebrow mascara! The tattoo pen supposedly will tint the eyebrows for a few days if you draw and leave it on for the night, after cleansing & before skincare. I didn’t do that ‘cos I don’t like having anything on my face other than moisturizer or mask when I sleep. In the morning, I use the tattoo pen to draw my brows before applying the eyebrow mascara. No fuss with the tattoo pen. The brush, however, picks up way too much mascara and for the first few times, it was hard to get it right. I like the end of my brows to be thin and defined. It is a challenge to get that shape with the brush, or pen, for that matter. And I am pretty particular about my brows.

I have to use a separate brush (from my used & finished ZA eyebrow pencil) to shape my brows, after application of the mascara, and no matter how light my hand is, I still need to use a cotton bud to achieve a shade and shape that is satisfactory. I am not pleased that it takes me a longer time now to finish my makeup routine in the morning. However, I must say that it does get easier and better with practice.

Conclusion: Cons – Application requires time and practice. I can’t find this product in Singapore (tho’ I read that it should be available locally). Pros – Brows look natural and it is also very long lasting (don’t have to worry about mid-day oiliness)! Despite the longer time that I need to draw my brows now, I actually like this product and will recommend it! Especially if you like Korean style eyebrows which is the trend now.

I will probably fall back to my trusty ZA Everbrows on days that I am running short of time and use Clio’s when I have slightly more time. Time saving is always a priority in the morning ‘cos I need to catch the bus to work.

 

Clio is from Korea and is available in Watsons locally.

CLIO KILL BROW

PERCY & REED NO OIL OIL FOR THICK HAIR

I am not a fan of leave-in products for hair, mainly because I dislike the feeling of heaviness & sometimes, stickiness on my hair and also, I am concerned about the build-up over time. The heavy scent of some leave-in products is a peeve too.

My hair tends to be frizzy, especially when effect of the Keratin treatment is wearing off & I have not the time to go for another treatment. I use Style’s Moroccan Argan Hair Oil on a very random basis (read: hardly use). While it does help with the frizz, I find it a tad too heavy on the hair and I don’t really like its scent. It also doesn’t help with my head of thick hair, still feel like an afro after use. So, it went into ‘the drawer of stuff’ and didn’t see daylight until recently when I was organizing my stuff and realized it is expiring in 2 months’ time. Out of ‘the drawer’ it came. It then stood on my table with my ever-expanding line of daily skin/body care products, still underused. I guess it’s really not for me. I need something lighter in terms of texture & scent, and suitable for thick hair.

Well, P & R’s No Oil Oil for thick hair looks like exactly what I need! it’s a no oil Oil right? Specifically for thick hair? Alright, let’s give it a try.

For silky hair which is as smooth as a Singapore Sling at sunset, we’ve used our special frizz-fighting pomegranate seed oil. Not only that, it will nourish and repair your hair too, while pro vitamin B5 gives you strength and heat protection. Use on wet or dry hair for perfect results every time.

Work 1-2 drops of the oil through towel dried hair. Apply from root to tip.

Their ‘1 or 2 drops’ = 1 or 2 pumps. A pump is not a drop, okay? It’s misleading. I find that leave-in products are better applied on towel dried hair than dry hair, even though it’s often stated either way. I took 1.5 pumps on my palm, warmed it up by rubbing my palms together before applying it as evenly as I could from root to tip, on towel dried hair. I let it sit in for a while before blow drying my hair.

Result – Smooth silky hair that I can’t stop running my hand through. I have finally found a leave-in product that is light (oh yesh!!) and effective in taming the frizz. It, however, does not make my hair shine (not a concern of mine anyway). My thick hair is also more manageable as well, no longer feel like a stack of hay on my head.

I used the oil on 2 occasions, one time after washing & conditioning my hair with P & R’s Splendidly Silky products and the other after washing & conditioning with my usual salon products. If I have to compare, of course, the oil works better with P & R but that could also be due to a better control over the amount of oil I applied. So, before I say “This product is for keeps!”, which I am very tempted to, I have to experiment with it a bit more. Overall, I am a satisfied customer.

 

Percy & Reed is from London, available at Sephara locally. 

PERCY & REED NO OIL OIL FOR THICK HAIR

ODBO O2 BUBBLE CLEANSER & AQUA SOOTHING SILKY ESSENCE

South Korea is the land of bountiful skincare & cosmetics brands. Every corner you turn, there is a shop selling skincare and/or cosmetics. There is no escape. I had to clench my teeth & steel my mind in order not to grab that pack of masks that was going at 1-for-1. Instead, I went in search of a particular local brand – Odbo.

Odbo is a local Korean brand, under the same parent company of Face Shop. Some background, there are 2 major skincare/cosmetics companies in South Korea – Amore Pacific and LG Household & Health Care. Along with History of Whoo, Face Shop and many others, Odbo is under the umbrella of LG. Brands like Laneige, Sulwhasoo, Innisfree and many others belong to Amore Pacific.

There is only 1 shop in Seoul that sells Odbo products and it’s a long walk from the nearest subway station if you are not traveling with a tour group. I spent a lot, in fact, the most in that one shop and only on Odbo products. I had to, in order to justify the tedious journey I went through to find the shop. I bought their O2 Bubble Cleanser, Sunblock Pact 50+ SPF, Ginseng MasksCollagen Hydra Masks, Phyto Aqua Cream, Aqua Collagen Eye CreamAqua Soothing Silky Essence and Sleeping Pack. In bold are the ones that I am currently using. Today, I will do the review for O2 bubble cleanser and Aqua soothing silky essence.

1) O2 Bubble Cleaner: This is one of the more interesting skincare products I have used. It boasts of deep cleansing, fights dull and uneven skin tone by infusing oxygen into the skin.

Apply a layer of the product on cleaned, dry face & neck and watch it fizz!

After the bubbles have formed, massage gently and rinse. It’s novel and fun. I am not sure how effectively oxygen is being infused into the skin but it’s fun watching it fizz. I love how well it cleanses and at the same time, it is extremely gentle on the skin.

2) Aqua Soothing Silky Essence: Out from the pump, it looks like a moisturizing cream, but once it’s applied on the face, it turns into a watery substance almost immediately and can be easily spread over the face.

It has a very light pleasant scent and I love its fine and watery texture which makes it suitable for use in Singapore where humidity level can reach 70-80% (Ugh much!). It is a lightweight moisturizer perfect for daily use.

Conclusion: Will definitely make a trip down to their one-and-only shop if I am in Seoul, just to restock. Can someone please open a Odbo store in Singapore?

 

Odbo is from Korea, only available in Seoul and via online blogs/sprees locally. 

ODBO O2 BUBBLE CLEANSER & AQUA SOOTHING SILKY ESSENCE

CAUDALIE BEAUTY ELIXIR

I am a sucker for face mists. I love love love love love face mists. From the deep deep bottom of my heart (if only my pockets are as deep as my heart).

In general, face mists help to tone, desensitize, calm & refresh and in a humid country like Singapore, I use it pretty liberally, especially if I am holed up in my room over the weekends. I reach out for that bottle of face mist almost as often as I reach out for my bottle of drinking water. I believe in hydration from both internally and externally.

I have tried many different brands of face mists, from the more economical-priced Avene, BioEssence to higher-priced, like Jurlique. Avene is decent, I like most of their products and I can’t live without their Micellar Lotion Cleanser and Make-Up Remover. Their Thermal Spring Water spray is good. BioEssence, on the other hand, does nothing for me. Some friends have given raving reviews but personally, i prefer Avene anytime. I use Avene & BioEssence on my hair ends sometimes when they are too dry, but only these 2 ‘cos they are supposedly spring water anyway. I have also tried mists from My Beauty Diary, (the lighter floral range, not the sticky aloe vera range), I was devastated when it was discontinued. Jurlique’s Rosewater Balancing Mist remains an all-time favourite. I am currently using Face Shop’s Vitamin E Face Mist which works well for me (into my 2nd bottle). I have also bought a couple of face mists from my recent trip to South Korea which I have yet to try.

When a friend introduced Caudalie Beauty Elixir to me, I just HAD TO buy a bottle to try. Big love for face mists, oh yeah~! It’s costly, no doubt. S$77 for a 100ml bottle (normal price).

The first thing I noticed about about Caudalie Beauty Elixir was the top layer of what looks like oil. My skin don’t take well to oil (a big no-no to oil based cleanser), and so, I was concerned if the mist will be alright for me. Well, no worries, no adverse reaction. I just have to remember to shake it well before use. It takes a while to get used to the scent, I can’t exactly put a word to it – minty? Beware, you will get addicted to the scent, well, I did. It gets absorbed really fast and skin feels evidently toned after use. I’m using it sparingly ‘cos it’s so precious (read: expensive). It can get a tad irritating for the eyes (even with eyes closed), so you might want to avoid the eyes area.

Conclusion: I like it! Keeping it under observation to see if it does miracles to my skin like it does for some reviewers. I would like to say that this product is for keeps, but I am still undecided, taking into consideration the cost vs benefits. So, this is under observation for now.

 

Caudalie Beauty Elixir is from France, available at Sephora locally.

CAUDALIE BEAUTY ELIXIR

CLINIQUE LASH POWER MASCARA

This mascara was recommended to me by a colleague. It claims to be long lasting, smudge-proof yet easily removed with warm water. I have an issue with smudging – mascara and eyeliner alike. I have yet to find THE eyeliner but I might have just found THE mascara.

One fine evening, I was inspired to go for a jog. I had just returned from a day out with friends and had the mascara on. Well, just nice, I could put the product to the test, right? I figured that since it’s October, Halloween month, if its claim of smudge-proof fails, I could be excused. And so I went for my 1-hour jog/brisk walk. Okay, fine, more brisk walking than jogging. Boy, did I perspire. And boy, did the mascara stay on. No smudge at all. Frankly, I was impressed. Long lasting and smudge-proof? Checked. A big fat happy tick next to it. So does the other claim of being easily removed with warm water hold true? Oh yes, it does.

This is a mascara, simple and long lasting enough for all day use. But it has none of the volumizing, curling and dramatic effects you might want for a night out. It would be perfect if they could come up with a mascara that combines everything – smudge proof, volumizing, curling, and easily removed with warm water. That would be perfect.

Conclusion: it might not be THE one, but it comes close.

 

Clinique Lash Power Mascara can be found at Clinique cosmetic counters and Sephora locally. 

CLINIQUE LASH POWER MASCARA