Sunday, April 29, 2012

Do you look for Collagen as an ingredient in beauty products?

There are so many beauty products with collagen in the market these days.  I remember a few years ago when I first used a collagen mask, I did a little research and found out that using a topical collagen product is like layering brick on top of brick.  Very simply put, collagen molecules are too large to penetrate through the skin's outer surface to be effective and they end up sitting on the surface of the skin until they are washed away.  Some companies have introduced hydrolyzed or soluble collagen into their products and claim that they can easily pass through your pores.  However, even when this form of collagen enters the skin, the molecule fragments are too small to be able to integrate with the skin's own collagen.  They do, however, make good moisturizers.  

You can read more about it here:
Skin collagen: More than meets the eye
Collagen Creams
Wrinkle reducing collagen creams 'are a waste of money', say scientists

UPDATE 5/11/12:
A good alternative to topically applied collagen, would probably be orally ingested forms of collagen, as well as collagen injections at the doctor's office. 

Another cheaper alternative would be Vitamin C, according to reports I've read. Vitamin C is essential to the synthesis of collagen. In addition to vitamin c, using products with copper peptides also increase your collagen.

So, do you look for collagen as an ingredient in skincare?  I don't for this reason.  I think the usual big named beauty companies don't make collagen a big thing here in the US.  The only products I have bought with collagen in them are really Asian beauty products.  I don't look for them as an ingredient but there are so many collagen products that you can't seem to avoid them.  Although, they are not effective in integrating with the skin's own collagen, I think they are moisturizing maybe due to the other ingredients.  

Thanks for reading,

Read my Review: La Glace Face Repair Series Collagen Moisture Repair. Collagen creams may not be effective, but can still be moisturizing.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dior Capture Totale Multi Perfection Creme

Dior Capture Totale Multi Perfection Creme.  'Luxurious' is its other name.  'Crazy expensive' is its other.  I think I died a little when I made my first purchase.   Despite that, I pinched myself again and bought a second jar.  I confer that I only made the purchase when I had the 20% coupon from Sephora, however.  

It's $135.00, by the way.

The cream was my first ever and only Dior purchase.  I remember it was the Dior Capture Totale Multi Perfection Concentrated Serum that introduced me to Dior skincare.  If there is a near perfect serum made, then that is it.  That little sample blew me away.  It was amazing how radiant and beautiful it made my skin look.  I got so many glances walking in the street the day I used it.  And I knew I had to buy the full bottle.  

Ek! The full bottle of the Dior serum costs $145.00.   Yes, the cream is not much cheaper, but I thought since it is a cream it should last me longer.  Great rationality, huh?

The Dior cream should be used with the set.  Unfortunately, I can only tell you my opinion of the cream by itself.  It's important to mention that the whole experience of using this cream is an experience of luxury beginning at the packaging (aside from the embedded knowledge to all women that Dior is well, a luxurious satiation).  It's important to note, because sometimes we become blinded by that.  The box is wrapped in plastic, which I like, because sometimes I really fear if products been opened and tested by workers, and the box opening is just very pleasant.  

The scent is really pleasant to me, very soft and comfortable to me.  The darkish pink cream is really smooth.  You really don't need to use a lot and it is really easy to glide and massage onto the face.  It doesn't make my skin glow as much as the serum, although you should use it in conjunction with.  It is very moisturizing and nourishing.  It makes my skin more luminous, more even and definitely more youthful.  I think the texture allows it to be good for day or night use.  

However, it doesn't have any sun protection and I have to use a sunscreen on top of it.  What is good is that, unlike other creams, it doesn't really cake when I apply sun screen on top of it. 

I really like the cream and I am sure its even better and more effective if you use it with the whole set everyday.  But, at the end, its very expensive.  It's so expensive that I don't allow myself to use it everyday.  

Overall, I really love it.  It is a luxury.

Is it worth it, well, it depends on you.

Thanks for reading,


Friday, April 27, 2012

Lorac Tantalizer Baked Bronzer

One thing for sure is that I always stay away from the sun.  I lather my skin with spf 110 uva uvb sunscreen whenever I go out.  I wear a sun hat over my head that covers down to my eyes.  I even wear sunscreen at home (hey, there are uv rays indoors too you know!).  And I admit, when I use sheet masks, I tend to purchase the whitening ones.  

But that does not mean I like pale colorless skin does it?  Nope.  I love using Lorac's Tantalizer Baked Bronzer to bring color as a blush to my cheeks.  This is a deluxe sample from Sephora that really lasts.  The bronzer can be used for the face and the body.  It works really well as a blush for my cheeks and to add a little color to my chin and forehead.  It has a little bit of metallic and shimmer that is just right.  You don't have to brush too much to achieve color, and you can just build up.  The color just looks so natural and makes my face glow radiantly.  And it just goes onto the skin very easily and smoothly.  Sometimes, I wet my brush and apply it so the color blends in even more.  

Overall, I love it.  My photos just does not do it any justice.  I had to make it darker on my hands let it show in the photos.  

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Murad Eye Lift Protector

Murad Eye Lift Protector.  I can't complain too much because I pretty much got this free.  I never liked any of Murad's beauty products, they just never worked for me.  Murad is not good. Okay, I've said it.  

I think the Eye Lift Protector absorbs well on to my hands but its not smooth for the under eyes. It flakes and cakes even when I don't apply eye cream underneath.  It is just very hard to get it on even when I use a little.  Very disappointing.  Even when you do get it on, it doesn't do anything for your under eyes.  Maybe because it is a very dark shade?? Overall, it is a skip, don't waste your money.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Boots Botanics Skin Brightening Toner

I've been using the Boots Botanics Skin Brightening Toner for some time now.  I got it at my local Target for around $8.39.  It does have alcohol so it may not be a good choice for some.  It has a light floral and alcohol smell.  I use it after cleansing and I usually just pour it onto my palms and massage it onto my face.  If you are gonna saturate a cotton pad and sweep it on your face, be careful not to use too much otherwise it may sting on sensitive areas.  The product does contain alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that may increase skin's sensitivity to the sun.  It says to use a sunscreen and limit sun exposure for a week after use of this product is stopped. 

I think it works in brightening my complexion.  I especially like to use it underneath my sheet masks in the evening.  After you peel off your sheet mask you can really see your skin much brighter than without using the toner underneath.  I was just using the toner underneath my MBD Gold + Marine Collagen mask and it really complemented the mask

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Beauty Diary Gold + Marine Collagen Lift Stretch Mask

The box of My Beauty Diary Moisturizing and Whitening Set came with two sheets of the Gold + Marine Collagen Lift Stretch mask.  I had a little higher expectations for this mask because it is supposed to be a special, a little higher end than the regular MBD masks.  It retails on the Sasa website for $13.00 for 8 sheets, while your regular MBD masks retails for around the same price for a box of 10 sheets.  But like other MBD masks, I don't expect too much given that it is only a little over a dollar for a sheet.  

The ingredients of the essence is similar to your regular MBD masks.  It is still a clear liquid type essence.  Although this mask has "Gold", the "colloidal gold" is the last ingredient on the list, not the first on the list.  And once again, it is around $1.30 a sheet, and expect it to cost much less in Taiwan.

The mask texture is different than your regular MBD masks.  It is heavier and thicker quality paper cotton mask with two pairs of ear hooks.  This is a good thing and a bad thing.  Compared to the regular MBD masks, the good thing is that this mask is not delicate and it will not rip.  It is actually quite tough and it will only rip if you deliberately tear at it with strength.   

The bad thing is that because it is tougher, thicker and more woven, I think it makes the essence more difficult to transfer to your skin.  In general, the mask would need to be more drenched.  And thicker essence works complements thicker, more woven masks.  

Unfortunately, other than the different material of the mask, the essence itself is similar to the regular MBD masks.  It also has much less excess serum/essence for your other body parts.  They probably manufactured this mask with the same amount of serum as the regular MBD masks, but this material ended up absorbing the essence.  

I usually use the regular MBD masks for around 1 hour and when I take it off, my face is wet and the mask itself is still quite moist.  For this mask, I wear it for 40 minutes, and my face is less wet and I don't need to massage the excess into my skin.  The mask looks like it is dry but it is still a bit moist but it seems there is some difficulty transferring from the mask onto my skin.  Despite less serum, I'm still able to reuse the mask for my neck.  

There isn't really any scent and it doesn't really leave your skin as sticky as the other MBD masks (maybe for the reason that there is less serum and my skin absorbed it well).  I think the effects are alright.  Not as visible as the regular MBD masks.  It doesn't give me the translucent brightening effects as some of the other MBD masks.  It does provide moisture but it is not as good as the regular ones.

The fit of the mask is okay for me.  You put on the first top pair of ear hooks and wear the second pair of bottom ear hooks to "lift" the area behind your chin.  I don't have a fat face nor droopy skin in that area, so I'm not sure if it really helped lift that or not.  I think if you have that problem and used these type of ear hook masks continuously, it would help lift that area.  After wearing the two pairs of ear hooks, the mask is tight and snuggle, but not suffocating.  It fits for me, but the mask is not universally perfect for all.  However, it is still a cotton paper mask, so don't expect it to be tight like a bio cellulose mask.  The chin area was a tad bit big for me and left some bunching.  The eye openings are kind of small and they are a little close together.  I also think that because you have to stretch the mask a little that it doesn't stick in the areas on the side of your nose and you end up pushing the mask down there.  

Overall, my thoughts are neutral for this mask.  I am not disappointed because the mask didn't break my wallet.  I got it for around $1.06 a sheet with my set.  Personally, I would stick with the regular MBD masks.  But I think that if I need "lifting" I would buy this again.  

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Women's Secret - Lingerie from Madrid Spain

Here in the US we have Victoria's Secret, in Madrid Spain they have Women's Secret, a very flirty and feminine lingerie company that also have swimwear and streetwear collections.  Oh, how I wish I could go to Europe!  I love European stuff more than American stuff. I'm loving their stuff more than Victoria's Secret.  Victoria's Secret is way too bold and fierce sexy for me; I'd rather shop at Aerie's.  

I was first introduced to Women's Secret when my aunt gave me a whole bunch of samples from the company.  Their pajama prints are so pretty and cute.  I seriously wear them outside in the summer.  I don't really care, they look too pretty and they some don't even look like pjs.  They don't seem to have international shipping but check them out, I really like their stuff!

Friday, April 20, 2012

'FOUR' Your Eyes - Rilastil Lady Eye Contour Cream, Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream, Origins No Puffery Cooling Mask for Puffy Eyes, and Kao Steam Eye Mask Unscented

Four eye products that I am currently using or recently finished that I would like to share and to talk about.

Rilastil Lady Eye Contour Cream
Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream
Origins No Puffery Cooling Mask for Puffy Eyes
Kao Steam Eye Mask Unscented

Rilastil Lady Eye Contour Cream

The Rilastil Eye Contour Cream is one of the other samples I received during my free Duane Reade beauty consultant.  I received three of these small samples in total, quite generous of the DR lady.  It retails for a whopping $80.00 on line.  I am near the end of my last sample packet and each sample has lasted me around 2 weeks.  

So, just a little about the brand, Rilastil.  I have never heard of it until the samples and I think I would probably have overlooked the company because of its mundane packaging appearance.  I don't care for packaging as long as it works, but Rilastil really does not stand out to catch my eye.  Rilastil is an intensive line of Italian skin care products.  

What it says in the back of the packet:  
Special formulation to treat the region around the eye.  Regular use reduces the formation of microwrinkles and improves the appearance of puffiness and dark circles around the eyes, especially in the case of stressed and weakened skin. Fragrance free.  External use only.

Ingredients: Aqua, Cetearyl Alcohol, Oleyl Erucate, Glycerin, Simmondsia chinensis Oil, Cera alba, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydolyzed Wheat Protein Olivate, Gyceryl Oleate, PEG-100 Stearate, Helianthus annuus Seed Oil, Oryza sativa Bran Oil, Myristyl Myristate, Dimethicone, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 II, Ceramide I, Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Dipeptide-2, Chrysin, Phytosphingosine, Cholesterol, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Daucus carota sativa extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinyl Palmitate, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Ethyl Linolenate, Ethyl Linoleate, Carbomer, Xantham Gum, Steareth-20, Glycine soja Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Arginine, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Disodium EDTA, BHA, BHT.

Vitamins A, E, and F, Ceramides, Chrysin, Palmitoyl Peptides Nickle, Cobalt, Chrome, Palladiu and Mercury tested.

Dermatologically and Microbiologically Tested - Non Comedogenic

di Ricerche Biochimiche - Milano - Made in Italy - Quality has a name

Do you research all the ingredients in the products you are using?  I think what stood out to me the most when I was copying the ingredients was "cholesterol": a term we all recognize.  I couldn't find much, but this is all I got from "The barrier function of skin depends on the stratum corneum extracellular lipid matrix, which includes ceramides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids. Smaller amounts of cholesterol sulfate and cholesteryl oleate may be present. Cholesterol in cosmetics can help maintain the skin’s normal function. It is also a stabilizer, emollient, and water-binding agent (Source: Journal of Structural Biology, June 2007, pages 386–400)"

Back to the review of Rilastil eye cream.  I honestly have to say, I really like it.  It's really good.  The texture of the cream is quite thick and rich.  You only need to use a little.  Unlike other weak eye creams, you can see the difference within a few days of use.  With repeated and continued use, now that I am near the end of my third packet, I can tell you that my under eyes are less puffy and my dark circles and lines are not as apparent.  I always have puffy eyes in the morning when I wake up, but when I use this at night before bed, I wake up with non puffy eyes.  It is very intensive, rich and high quality.  

The bad thing is the big price, for $80.00 (.51 oz), there are alot of other good choices in the market.  I wouldn't be so quick to splurge on a full sized bottle of this.  I think I should walk around Duane Reade and see if they will give me another free beauty consultation and more samples hehehh.

Rilastil Lady Eye Contour Cream - Very thick and rich texture, just need a little

Skyn Iceland Icelandic Relief Eye Cream
Yes, I tear open my sample to get every last drop of cream that is left!!

I also had the chance to test out a sample packet of Skyn Iceland's Icelandic Relief Eye Cream from  The full size retails at $45.00 for a .049oz jar.  On the Sephora website, that is the only product they have by the company and the words "Biospheric Complex" is no where to be found on the sample packet.  Hmmm, is it the same product??? Because under the comments section, some are saying that the full sized jar is not cooling and effective as the sample packet. Those comments made me a little hesitant to make a purchase because I really like the sample and I would be really disappointed if it was not the same.  

It only took one little sample packet of this for me to love it.  The texture is alot lighter than the Rilastil cream so it is easier to apply.  And it does have the gentle cooling sensation that I really like.  The cooling sensation lifts my eyes up from feeling tired and alleviates the puffiness.  It keeps my under eyes looking really hydrated and supple and that is what helps make my dark circles and wrinkles less apparent?  

Overall, I like this more than the Rilastil, its less intensive, but it feels more hydrating and the cooling is nice.  I just hope the full sized jar is the same and does not disappoint. 

Origins No Puffery Cooling Mask for Puffy Eyes

I have been using the Origins No Puffery Mask for a period of time now.  It retails for $22.00 for 1 fl. oz bottle at Origins.  

The texture is a nice clear gel-like emulsion.  It doesn't have much of a scent.  I use this on and off. It is a small bottle but it can last of a while and the gel has not lost its "cooling" power over time.  

You can use this product in two ways:
As an eye mask: apply a generous amount to your undereye area (I apply over my lids too).  You just need to pat it on, no need to massage it in, it will sink in by itself.  Wait 5-10 minutes and tissue off.  Or I just leave it on and not tissue off if I am gonna be staying at home.  But if apply too much and do not tissue off, you may see a thin layer of gel once it dries.

As an all day treatment: apply sparingly and leave on underneath your regular eye cream.

Overall, I like this cooling eye mask.  It is really great when my eyes are feeling tired.  I instantly brighten up.  It helps with puffy eyes a little bit but nothing dramatic.  I sometimes use this as an eye mask when I go to sleep and my eyes are not puffy when I wake up.  

Kao Steam Eye Mask Unscented

I kind of made this steam eye mask purchase out of impulse at the asian pharmacy.  I think they sell it at Sasa as well.  

Basically it is a heating mask for the eyes.  Heating and cooling the eye area helps to reduce puffy eyes.  Like other heat masks, the heat is activated when you tear open the package and the chemicals in your heating pack is exposed to oxygen; also in other words, this is one time use.  I think this product is too expensive and I would just opt to heat your area with a towel and warm water inside.  

I don't think the mask fits well.  It is a Japanese product and it is made for Asian faces.  If the bridge of your nose is a little bit high, the heating area is not gonna sit well over your eye lids.  You also need to be careful not to use the mask too long, the heat may cause inflammation. It did for me, I got little red bumps on my eye lids and it took a week to get rid of them.  I wouldn't just wear it with the ear hooks for 10 minutes straight on, but rather 3 minutes on off.  

I just don't think that it is worth buying.  Not worth spending money on something you can do with a towel and warm water.  Plus, I still prefer cooling. 

I bought the scentless one, they have ones with lavendar scents and other scents


Tore apart the ear hooks.  See the shadows of the heating packs?

The ear hooks

Vivienne Tam's Wine Bottles from Hong Kong's Wine and Dine Festival November 2011

I was on vacation in Hong Kong in November 2011 and was able to catch their annual Wine and Dine festival.  I just wanted to share the wine bottle statues images designed by Vivienne Tam.  

Review: Laneige Water Sleeping Pack_Ex

I bought the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack from (also a Hong Kong based online shopping company, but they don't have retail stores) for around $23 or $25 awhile back.  I have been using this on and off usually when I am too tired to use a sheet mask.  

The mask texture is a light blue gel-like emulsion.  Not the sticky, gluey type of gel, but the gel-like emulsion that is thick but smooth to apply.  When I first opened it and scooped it out I was a little disappointed because it is just a water based gel.  Yes, even though it is called the "Water Sleeping Pack", I was kind of wondering, how much of a percentage of the ingredients is water.  If it is mostly water then I am not getting the most out of my bucks.  

The floral scent may be a little strong for some, its okay, I'd rather it be lighter, but it does disperse once applied so it is not too bad.  

I usually use this when I am too lazy or tired to wait for a sheet mask.  This is how I use it: after cleansing>toner>serum>moisturizer or argan oil>Laneige Water Sleeping Pack.  Because it is gel based, after about 5-10 minutes after application, you will see how hydrated, supple and radiant your skin looks.  

Overall, I like this sleeping mask.  I can see that my skin is still hydrated in the morning.  However, I still prefer sheet masks more.  I think it is the pampering feeling that you get from sheet masks.  But I think this is great for those lazy, tired days where you can just lather on and go to bed.  

Almost finished!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

C.O. Bigelow Lemon & Pomegranate Lip Cream

This is my new favorite lip moisturizer!  I got this during the new year sale at The Bath and Body Works for buy two get one free ($7.50 + $7.50/3 = $5.00).  I got it along with the natural shea butter flavor and the lemon flavor.  I haven't tried those yet, but I am really liking this lemon & pomegranate one.  

Right away, I love the smell and the taste (haha, no, I am not licking my lip balms but it does seep into your taste buds a little).  I personally really love eating pomegranates because they are so delicious and has great antioxidants.  But I will also be honest, the lip cream, as Bigelow calls it, does not smell or taste like pomegranate, it's more like lemon and grapefruit.  Either way, I love the smell.

Though the lightly pink color won't show up on your lips when applied, the lip cream is moisturizing.  I don't like solid lip balms because I don't think they work well for me, so this is great that it is the liquid-y type.

On another note, I also like the name C.O. Bigelow.  It sounds very whimsical don't you think?? Kind of like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.

Thanks for reading 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cute Japanese Erasers

 I love Japanese stuff.  I just wanted to show off my collection of japanese erasers.  Kawaii!

The lids of the noodles open up to reveal noodle erasers within!

 And you can take the noodle and place it in the cooking eraser. Haha so cute

Thanks for reading

Review: My Beauty Diary Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Mask

I got this on the Sasa website in My Beauty Diary's Whitening and Moisturizing Set.  Otherwise, it retails at around $13.20 for an individual box.

My Beauty Diary HYALURONIC ACID MOISTURISING MASK contains HYALURONIC ACID. Hyaluronic Acid is the king of hydrators. Only 1 gramme of the Hyaluronic acid is capable of retaining up to 6 liters of water. It can be produced naturally by the body. It provides continuous moisture to the skin. However, with age, the ability of the skin to produce Hyaluronic Acid decreases drastically leaving the skin wrinkled and sagging. By using iMy Beauty Diary HYALURONIC ACID MOISTURISING MASK stops the degenerative process that sets in with aging, while revitalizing damaged tissue, leaving your skin moisturized and young-looking. 

how to use it
After cleansing and toning, apply on face. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes and then take it off. Gently pat on face until the remaining essence is fully absorbed. 

HYALURONIC ACID: high moisturizing effect.

suitable for
all skin type / dry and delicate skin

Another My Beauty Diary mask review.  I have been using MBD masks for many years now and I thin that this is one of my favorite MBD masks along with the Arbutin Whitening mask.  Like other MBD masks, the mask texture is the thin cotton paper mask and the fit is near perfection for my face.  It sticks well to the skin because it is drenched in clear liquidy essence.  I just need to push down the sides of the nose area down till it sticks.  I also always use MBD masks for at least an hour lying down, and after that I fold the still-wet mask in half and use it for my neck.  Some say that there isn't enough excess serum, but I think that it is quite sufficient.  

I like the mask because it is near scent less and it does hydrate and moisturize.  When I wake up the next morning, my face still looks and feels hydrated and it helps my morning skincare products sink it more.  I really love MBD masks, but like other MBD, are they the best?  Probably not, but it does what it is supposed to do at an affordable cost.  But If you can splurge, you should use MBD masks everynight.  I tried that once for a week with this Hyaluronic mask, and my skin was so soft, supple, and radiant for the whole week. 


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