Moisturisers

Dr Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Moisture Cushion

fullsizeoutput_402dDr Dennis Gross, the genius behind my beloved Alpha Beta Peels, Ferulic+Retinol Serums, basic skincare boosters and of course it wouldn’t be complete without basic hydration products. DrDG line had a Hyaluronic Oil Free Moisture Cushion Moisturizer for the longest time. However early 2017, DrDG launched a new version of this moisturizer called Hyaluronic Marine Oil Free Moisture Cushion Moisturizer. Obviously the packaging changed with electric blue plastic jar and metallic lid. See right there it upgraded from Toyota to Lexus!

This post intends on unravelling the differences in formulations, performance and results. First up at the heart of the formulation is ingredient listing:

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OLD Inci ListWater/Aqua/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Stearyl Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octadecane, Glyceryl Behenate, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate (12), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Phospholipids, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Saccharide Isomerate, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 80, Dimethicone Crosspolymer-3, Ethylhexylglycerin, Isododecane, Ceteareth-20, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Disodium EDTA-Copper.

New Inci list (new ingredients added are in black bold font): Water/Aqua/Eau, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Stearyl Dimethicone, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Octadecene, Glyceryl Behenate, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate (11), Caulerpa Lentillifera Extract (12), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopherol, Phospholipids, Citrullus Lanatus (Watermelon) Fruit Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Saccharide Isomerate, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf Extract, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Collagen Amino Acids, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus Ferment, Acrylates/Carbamate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 80, Dimethicone Crosspolymer-3, Ethylhexylglycerin, Isododecane, Disodium EDTA-Copper, Ceteareth-20, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Sorbitan Oleate, Linalool, Limonene, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Citronellal, Hydroxycitronellal, Citral, Citric Acid, Sorbic Acid, Phenoxyethanol.

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Predominantly what differentiates the new formulation with the old:

  • The ranking of Sodium Hyaluronate from 12th to 11th ingredient
  • Followed by Caulerpa Lentilliofera Extract aka Algae Extract, which is known to be rich in essential amino acids and B vitamins, enhancing skin’s elasticity and moisture content. Also as you pursue and compare the inci list most of ingredients remain in same order.
  • Tocopherol which is basically Vitamin E
  • Collagen Amino Acids which is suppose to plump and firm the skin
  • Finally, last two new additions to the formula include Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate and Lactobacillus Ferment (recommend reading this post to understand ferments better).

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So whilst the soul of the product hasn’t changed, a tiny make over has a new improved sexy version. I didn’t feel any difference in terms of texture, consistency and smell. Continues to be light, fluffy, and the colour is same as well.

So you ask: well did all the new additions of ingredients improve the performance? My Answer is Yes. While my experience with the OLD was nice, nothing I particularly disliked. It left skin hydrated and worked well under makeup too.

Lizard Face.pngThe NEW formulation however kicked the OLD one’s arse. Applied beautifully, absorbs immediately (also sometimes mixed with DrDG Hydration booster), and truly leaves skin plump all day. At work, the temperature control is horrible and during winters the heating sucks every bit of moisture leaving me a lizard face 👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽👉🏽

I used this through the cooler months and thoroughly enjoyed it. Its extremely rare I use the same moisturizer daily, every single day. With the new one, I didn’t miss a day. I got through it in 3-4 months. Also layering with DrDG Hydration booster worked really well. Both hydration products are light but majorly impactful.

HHW.com

xx

Winter Skincare Wardrobe

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As the colours change, and temperatures drop, the state of skin is temperamental, agitated and protesting the change. Over the years, I’ve come to a solid conclusion my skin has a mind of its own and I need to adapt it’s care needs accordingly.

With fluctuating environments of strong wind chills, to artificially heated offices, cars and homes my skin is almost in an eternally dehydrated and confused state. Whilst it’s predominantly combination skin, with an oily T-zone and drier cheeks, during winter the ‘combination situation’ is exasperated. In addition, let’s not forget to complicate matters worse with a bout of dehydration and breakouts. Now that the problem is sufficiently moaned about, here’s how I adapt my skincare regime.

Aim of the game is similar to Asian beauty routines, where a number of thin layers of hydration and nourishment products are slapped on. With this method, the skin remains hydrated and nourished for longer.

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Cleansers typically I use oils or balms to remove makeup and second cleanse. Well that wouldn’t change for the evenings. However my morning cleanses, will include a lot more nourishing cream cleansers. Some of my faves in this category are, MV Organic Gentle Cream Cleanser, Trilogy Cream Cleanser and, and Good Things Manuka Cleanser.

Some mornings where I could get away without cream cleanser, I resort to milk cleansers and a strong fave has always been Institut Esthederm Osmoclean or Bioderma cleansing milks. New on the block is Forest Essentials Deeply Nourishing Cleansing Paste with ground paste of almonds, pistachios, and other lush Ayurvedic ingredients which provide skin gentle exfoliation and nourishment in one step. Smells Delish too!

Acid or other forms of exfoliation is driven strictly by my skin need, of how strong of an acid I use and which specific type of acid I use.  

Combination of various Acids: Dr Dennis Gross peels (of varying strengths), Biologique Recherché P50 range, MD Sun Skin Exfoliation Pads, Peter Thomas Roth Unwrinkle Peel Pads, M61 Power Peel, Neogen Wine Peeling Gauze

Glycolic Acid: Alpha H Liquid Gold, Bravura London Calendula Toner, Pixi Glow Tonic, Cane & Austin Miracle+ Pads, Avon Anew Clinical Advanced Retexurising Peel

Lactic Acid: Kate Somerville Clinic to go,  Skyn Iceland Nordic Skin Peel

Milk Peels (the new thing!) – Primary Raw or Dr Jart+ milk peels are gentler on skin OR Pre Lab Toning Peeling tap which is essentially exfoliating with enzymes.

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“Toning Mist & Amp up with Essences” A regular toning spritz post acid to stabilize the pH level in skin. Some examples could be basic floral hydrosols such as Rose Water by MV Organic, Alteya Organic, Santa Maria Novella, Whamisa Damask Rose, Andalou Naturals, Forest Essentials, Kama Ayurveda, Just Herbs etc. Or Zinc based like La Roche Posay Serozinc. Other toners with a combination of ingredients to hydrate and provide other benefits to skin could include Farmacy Skindew, Patyka Revitalizing Toner, Sjal Mineral Kalla toner, Antipodes, Aesop or Trilogy toners.

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These toning mists are then followed by serious hydrating or fermented essences to inject and plump the skin. My absolute fave is Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Toner, and from same brand Refresh and Original are just as wonderful. To name a few others: Decleor HydraFloral Essence Lotion, Blithe Vital Treatment Essences, Earth’s Recipe Energy Boosting Toner, Missha Time Revolution The First Essence Mist, Bio Essence 24 Gold Water, Shiseido Ibuki essence, Rohto Hadalabo Shirojyun or Gokujun.

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Masks including Sheet Masks Lots of hydration and moisturizing masks, good ol’ sheet masks are fabulous in this category. In saying so, I also throw in one detoxifying or purifying mask, least once a week. I tend to incorporate this everyday if not every second day. Masks are the best way to turbo boost and treat the skin.

Serums or Ampoules are used as usual to specifically target the problem of the day/week/month/season. I have a whole separate post on Guide to Serums for all conditions and skins.

Moisturisers and Oils are the cornerstone of protecting skin’s barrier and thoroughly nurturing it with lovely oils and ingredients. Some wonders which have stood the test of time with me are; Decleor HydraFloral, Mahogany Naturals Manuka Honey Cream, Whamisa Fermented Water Cream and Nourishing Cream, Bravura London Azulene Cream, Pistache Skincare Hydrating Moisturiser, Missha Misa Geum Sul Emulsion, Yuri Pibu Asiatica, Trilogy Rosapene Night Cream.

Here’s a tip if you don’t want to invest in a separate night cream however are quite content with your  regular moisturiser, just add few drops of oil to your day cream and use in your night routine.

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Balms have a special place in my heart and stash! I view them as amplified  version of oils, and of course more lush experience as well. Strong fave continues to be Mahalo Rare Indigo Balm, followed by Mahogany Naturals Blue Lover, May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon, Mahalo Balm, Darphin Purifying balm, Decleor Rose d’Orient balm. In terms of lip balm, there was one and always be the one, Nuxe Reve de Miel. The rich beeswax coats the lips and leaves it matte. In saying so, I have a separate post on Lip Balms which explores other lip products too.

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Since I complete my evening skincare routine by 5pm, I Re-balm or Re-Oil my skin one more time before bed. Or mist SKII Overnight Essence, which is moisturizing to skin but also leaves a tingly refreshed feel on the skin. Other categories to nourish much drier skins also includes Overnight Masks which can be argued is a richer version of a night cream.

How do you plan to amp up your skincare routine for the winter?

HHW.com

xx

Oui Please – Vol.2.3 Summer Escapade

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Yet another special curation, presentation, and execution by the people behind Oui Please subscription box. This edition is Vol.2.3 Summer Escapade. All essentials needed for summer artfully captured in one box.

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When this box landed on my desk, I knew it was going to be a joy ride for me to open and explore each product. I sat at my coffee table, sipping wine and going through each product in depth. Thirty minutes past and I’m still at the coffee table exploring…..The detail and care taken in packaging and presentation is unlike any subscription box on the market.

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As I opened the box, I discover this huge paper saying Rêve which means Dream. It certainly was like a beautiful dream, opening, and exploring the box.

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Number of skincare items surfaced from the box, brands like Pomone Paris and Saison D’Eden which were unknown to me have now entered my life and skincare stash.

POMONE PARIS created by a chemical engineer, Florence Selling. Pomone integrates the most recent discoveries of science and cosmetology in sensual formulas. Having met various visions of beauty, from France to South America, the founder is convinced that beauty is all encompassing. The conservatory of biodiversity, offered by the closed gardens of the Castle of Canon, inspires the choice of Pomone’s active ingredients. The Pomone formulas exclude parabens, phenoxyethanol, silicones and mineral oils.

Floral, fresh and green fragrance of Pomone skincare products evokes the gardens of the Castle and gives a feeling of bucolic escape. It has been conceived by a perfumer of the city of Grasse, with Ecocert and natural raw materials.

I received the Cream Mask, a smooth texture rich in efficient active ingredients. A mask intended to target the signs of age, firmness of the skin and provides immediate relaxation and visible benefit. The face recovers its serenity.

Inci list: apple polyphenols, powerful anti-oxidants – apple quercetin, activates sirtuins and fights against glication of proteins – malic acid extracted from the apple, firming and smoothing properties – apple seeds oil, nutritive and revitalizing – apple vegetal water or original extract, energizing and source of essential oils, oligo-elements and mineral salts.

(Source: Pomone Paris webite)

SAISONS D’EDEN is the story of a woman fascinated by plants and convinced that our bodies change with the different seasons. Our skin, which is the first organ to be confronted with these climatic changes, needs to be adequately prepared.

Johanna Fayolle decides to abandon her PowerPoint presentations and dry consultant files and to dedicate herself to the research of what nature can offer our skin, with the objective of reconciling Nature and Progress, Health and Refinement.

She creates her skin care line in collaboration with a state-of-the-art laboratory. Her priority being to recognize and integrate the influence of the changing seasons with the need for an ethical high performance. These standards are at the heart of Saisons D’Eden’s philosophy, along with respect for skin type and the use of organic ingredients, without compromise.

I received the Eye Contour Gel which claims to be highly concentrated, perfume-free, with a gel-cream texture, with eye lifting properties (Ginseng extract). An anti-fatigue  smoothened aimed to reduce bags and swollen eyes. Also claims to be hydrating to provide the indispensable ingredients for cell structure around eyes.

I also received the Spring Summer moisturizer strong on antioxidants and essential fatty acids (Raspberry and Sesame seed oils) intended to plump and hydrate skin while controlling sebum production. Smells very indulgent with discreet raspberry and white grapefruit fragrance.

(Source: Saison D’Eden website)

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Delphine Parent makes unique pieces of jewelry made from precious antiques, each patiently crafted like a canvas. Similarly jewelry is also made from gold-plated or 9 carat gold, developed in small series using personalized inscriptions, or on her favourite subjects like luck and a star filled sky on a summer’s night.

I received a necklace with an inscription of avec toi. I love its simplistic, delicate design. There is a lot more on her website, not sure if its shipped overseas, but hey….that’s why we have Oui Please boxes 😉

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Les Interchangeables has a wonderful story about a girl (founder) Audrey. As a girl, Audrey was always designing and creating on her sewing machine, with a deep-seated passion for the decorative arts. She launched her first endeavor in 2007 – an ingenious concept of interchangeable, decorative bra straps. Designed to be shown, rather than hidden, the idea was a huge success as it addressed an issue that all women could relate to.

Eventually, she approached Swarovski to partner with her to develop a new concept – the creation of a line of stretchable, adjustable bracelets decorated with crystals. Imaginative, playful and luxe, the line developed quickly and acquired “must have” status in the accessories category in France and throughout Europe.

By 2014, Les Interchangeables had become a juggernaut, with a full accessories collection and an international presence with over 2,000 points of sale all over the world, including Italy, Spain, Korea, Japan, China, Australia, Canada, United Arab Emirates, and the United States. Today, Audrey continues to innovate in the accessory space – she always has a new approach, a unique twist on accessible, luxurious and functional fashion.

I received a Swarovski crusted bracelet, excited to make it my arm candy.

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Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse does not need an introduction at all! A lush dry oil, that absorbs instantly and can be versatile in use over face, body, hair. This is beautiful travel friendly bottle.

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Nailmatic polishes have pleasantly surprised me. The opaque finish, rounded brush, smooth application and gorgeous shade selection. I’m still testing its lasting power without any chips or smudges. The brand offers a shade selection of 84 colors, and claims to be free of toluene, phthalate, formaldehyde, and camphor. I’ve been an OPI and Essie fan all my life, thanks to this box I get introduced to a new brand!!

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Atelier Cologne needs no introduction at all. I received the Vanille Intensee spray which is perfect for travel. The top notes are coriander, lime and citron; middle notes are vetiver, jasmine and oak moss; base notes are vanille, oak and amber (Source: Fragrantica).

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July of St. Barth founded in 1989 by Juliette Espinasse, the brand specializes in the creation of hats, bags, perfumes and beauty products, combining lifestyle and luxury in the French. For 20 years Juliet sews on her hats the shellfish found on Shell Beach, her favorite beach in St. Barts where she lived for several years.

As a part of this box, I received the Shell Beach body soap, which is made according to the traditional method of Marseille, with a base of coconut oil and olive oil. The formula is free of EDTA and parabens.

The most wonderful thing about this box is the discovery of new brands, innovative geniuses behind the brands. The box is wonderfully curated and presentation is impeccable. Oui Please also offer A’La Carte boxes if you don’t want to be strung by subscription box. Definitely worth exploring into however only downside is they ship only within USA and Canada. Hopefully one day they expand their realms and let people world over explore and experience these curations.

HHW.com

xx

DVine Skincare

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Recently a lesser known brand came to my attention. Skincare from Duoro Valley in Portugal. The Douro Valley is a monumental landscape that combines man’s work and nature in it’s pure state. It stands out by its geographical, climatic and mesological features, so private and unique, that irreproducibly come together for the cultivation of olives, almonds, cherries, figs, grapes and… most important of all Wines.

According to the company’s concept and mission, they explore and take advantage of the natural resources of the Douro region, known for its vineyards, grapes and wines varieties, sources proven to be rich in phenolic antioxidant compounds, with anti-aging properties.

The scientific activity of Douro Skincare focuses on the antioxidant potential of bioactive flavonoids, naturally present in varieties of grapes native of the Douro. The concept sounds similar to Caudalie that harnesses the goodness from grapes vineyards.

I trialled the Light Harvest line  Grape Floral Water Facial Tonic and Grape Power Dynamic Day Emulsion which focuses on radiance, that combines grape derivatives with a combination of natural extract.

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D’vine skincare products are manufactured complying with all the requirements of the EU Cosmetic Regulation.

Grape Floral Water Facial Tonic Claims: Tightens the pores, tones, calms and purifies the skin by removing impurities from the skin’s surface that remained after the first cleansing step.

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Ingredient Speak: The formulation would suit most skin types however sensitive skins would need to tread carefully. The formula is hydrating but the addition of added fragrance and colour may not be for sensitive skins.

In saying so, the hydrators include Castor oil, Glycerin, Rapeseed extract,  Chamomile extract, Linden flower extract, Cucumber extract,   and unusual addition of Lactic acid and Salicylic acid. Although the acids are listed after preservatives the effectiveness wouldn’t be as noticeable. I perceive it as basic, effective, calming mist, or as second tone after acid.

The scent is very peculiar of grape flavored bubble gum and packaged in simple see through plastic bottle with a lid. I went ahead and added a spritzer to make daily use simpler.

Moving onto Grape Power Dynamic Day Emulsion Claims: An anti-aging day care that stimulates the natural processes of skin’s repair and renewal, preserving its beauty and youth.

  • An anti-aging care with a fluid, moisturizing and mattifying texture, especially suitable for normal to combination skins, with tendency to oily and stains/spots – True, I used under makeup and didn’t make my face oily. Makeup stayed put, no slipping and sliding
  • Absorbs excess sebum production and excess shine of the oily or unbalanced skin and helps reduce hyperpigmentation and the appearance of brown spots – Didn’t experience absorption of excess sebum, however shine and excess oil production was under control. Reduce hyper pigmentation and appearance of brown spots didn’t improve either
  • Sunscreens help to protect the skin but this this care still requires the use of appropriate sunscreen – Agreed, I’ve always used my Biore sunscreen separately
  • A exceptionally divine care, which gives the skin a porcelain look – Ermmmm No! Far fetched claim.

IMG_9910.jpgIngredient Speak:  Whilst the second and third ingredient is most commonly used in sunscreen, doesn’t make this a sun protection emulsion. Wearing a separate sunscreen is recommended by the brand. The next couple of ingredients are silicones followed by Great Mullein extract, Olive oil, Grapeseed oil, Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin e, Shea butter, Grape seed extract, Cranberry fruit powder, finishing off with some preservatives. Again the addition of colour is noted with CI 16255 and CI 42051.

The colour is veryyyyy faint grey purple and smells like grapes dissolved in plastic. I realize this sounds horrible but actually the scent is quite pleasant. The texture is not as runny as typical emulsion, but more like a thicker lotion. The tiniest bit goes a long way and absorbs well in skin. Some days I have applied dual layer and haven’t noticed any piling. Packaged in a glass bottle with a pump and retails for EUR 67 for 50ml= USD 73, not sure if its worth that much. However for a niche Portuguese brand its worth that much. Personally I would invest $73 in a decent serum, just my personal preference.

Hope you enjoyed my take on a lesser known skincare brand in the Western world, but always a joy to experiment with brands not commercially available in USA, UK or Australian market.

HHW.com

xx

J.One Jelly Pack

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ja jiwonYet another ingenious Korean Beauty creation by Ha Jiwon, popular Korean actress and K-beauty trendsetter.

Claims to be a multi-tasker that firms skin, hydrates, and ‘grips’ makeup all in one for a flawless, plump complexion.
Spoiler: YES I agree with every single claim! It performs as promises.

Glow Recipe explains how it works:
The unique jelly texture melts into the skin with gentle patting, creating an ultra smooth canvas for flawless makeup application. Fragmented hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates while fullerene acts as an “oxygen magnet” to brighten complexion. The makeup gripping properties also helps the silky smooth application of any foundation or sunscreen used afterwards. The Jelly Pack is also nicknamed the ‘corset mask’ for its instantly tensing and firming effect. For their video click here.

At first, I was immensely skeptical of this product, its claims and ingredients. Then I played with it on back of my hand and I thought I’m definitely going to hate it. But I knew Christine from Glow Recipe loves this product and truly recommends it.

The packaging is a solid opaque plastic bottle with a pump. Disadvantage I cannot see when the product will come to an end and at what stage I need to stock up. Yes it’s become a staple for my makeup routines especially in summer.

With an open mind I gave it a go the following morning on my face. I dispensed 2 pumps of the schmicky clear odourless gel on index finger. Then spread evenly on face, it felt like spreading sticky honey on face. Unlike regular water or oil based serum it didn’t absorb or melt in skin.

Once schmeared all over, instructions said pat pat pat. Once the patting motion started, it felt sticky. Not in a disgusting way but not in a pleasing way either. My skin felt like that sticky schmicky tape ready to trap whatever I slap on next. In a matter of few seconds, the skin was dry, smooth and firmed from a sagging ol prune to nice juicy grape.

I used my L’oreal Cushion foundation with Real techniques sponge and it felt like the product clung onto the skin so well. Finished makeup, applied my Soap and Glory Kick Ass Powder and set off for the day. I did blot my face at lunch and everything appeared to be in place.

P1040494Fast Forward to 6pm: makeup was intact, product hasn’t moved at all. I’ve tried this with all my bases (see my morning routines) below. It was worked really well with all bases. In terms of application tools I used RT sponge, brushes and good ol’ fingers. I found sponge and fingers worked best with lots of patting motions. Much to my surprise this product photographs really well.


Ingredient Speak:

The formula is Free of:  Parabens, Synthetic Dyes & Fragrances, Mineral Oils.

Not only has my skin appreciated a decent primer but also loving how firm, taut and hydrated my skin feels. From an ingredient speak perspective the fourth inci is Niacinamide, you know how much that tickles my soul. Addition of Rose water, Rosemary water, Chamomile water, Fermented Black tea (works as humectant), Cogon Grass root extract, Water Lily Flower extract, Sea Daffodil Flower Extract, Glycerin, Adenosine, Hylauronic Acid with a blend of some preservatives and thickeners.

Suitable for all skin types, although dry skins might need a little bit more. In fact, I don’t know how it will perform in winter given my skin is a bit more demanding.

All in all, thumbs up from me unless winter skin makes me change my mind.

HHW.com

xx