On Flawless

Lately I have spent a decent amount of time doing research and developed a grave attention towards a healthy, flawless skin. I’m blessed with porcelain skin, however due to a certain lifestyle I’m not proud of, it falls short of perfection. The nice thing to know is – perfection is always within reach, and so with some dedication I have found a beauty routine that works.

Step 1: Cleansing

Needless to say, cleansing is probably one of the most important things to do onto your skin. With or without products, always make sure you spend time to wash your face in order to get rid of impurities and unclog your pores. I have tried endless cleansers: drugstore brands, organic products, expensive lines like La Mer, Chanel, and even products that are only available elsewhere in the world… Not many cleansers got me excited. However, in a recent splurge at Shu Uemura in Hong Kong, I have found a cleanser that addressed my needs.

You heard what they say – if you have acne prone skin you should never use oil base cleansers. However this Shu Uemura Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil has cleared my skin like none others. It is so gentle which is perfect for my sensitive skin, yet it removes all of my make up – including waterproof mascara just like advertised. I was skeptical at first, but now I’m totally in love with this one step cleanser. I’m done wasting my Shiseido cotton pads on make up remover.

Prior to using this oil cleanser, there is another product that I was really excited about – and at a much cheaper price: Purity by Philosophy.

I tried it at my friend’s house on a girls’ sleepover night. I was in shock when she presented me with this massive cleanser bottled in 1l size. However, I enjoyed using it so much that the next day, I headed to Sephora to attain my own bottle. Due to my travel schedules, I only got the tiny $10 size one even though it’s probably much less economical. I admire the fact that they make it in that size because up until now it’s still the size that works best for me. This product is very gentle, and it leaves the skin refreshed. Recently, I have been a bit bothered by the smell so I might try Kiehl’s cleanser instead for the same effect, or invest in SK-II cleanser because after all this is the product you use most often on your skin.

Step 2: Toning

Toning is often considered the final step to cleansing. It rids your skin of any stubborn impurities, removes dead skin, and preps the canvas for any subsequent products. I have a few favorites:

–       Blue Flame Purifying Toning Mist: I got addicted to this product because of Exhale Spa. I love how refreshing and herbal it is. I usually spray abundantly on a cotton pad and apply on my skin for a nice cool treat. After some time outdoor, there is nothing I enjoy more than cleansing my skin with this product.

–       Chanel Pureté Toner: The make up artist at Chanel suggested that I buy this one day after I complained to her about my recent breakouts. I don’t think I should thank this toner for a clearer skin, but as a toner it does its job and the beautiful smell – signature of any Chanel cosmetics – is a huge plus. I’m finishing my bottle, and will switch to SK-II Clear Lotion soon, so more reviews on that later.

–       Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist – this is the only toner I spray on instead of applying with cotton pad. The smell is quite unique – very true to Jurlique products. I know this is a staple for many celebrities; perhaps that’s why I was aspired to purchase it in the first place. I’m really glad I did because it connected me to more Jurlique products – which I will go into details later.

Step 3: Prepping

If you have spent enough time at the beauty counters, you will learn that there is a step prior to applying moisturizer, and it often involves a gel base product. I think the texture helps penetrate the skin faster and it’s so lightweight that you can layer on with other products. In the case of Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel, it makes my skin feel firm and perky – I think this is quickly becoming a staple. I have to admit that on most days when I feel like my skin does not need more moisture or, god forbid, when I travel without the appropriate moisturizer, my skin depends upon this product and it always delivers great results. I use this product for both morning and night, pat it on my face with fingers and let it absorb.

Step 4: Moisturizing

For day time moisturizing, I used to love La Mer Oil Absorbing Lotion. It creates a smooth canvas finish and absorbs oil on the skin, making it perfect as a base for make up.

Currently, at night I’m using the Jurlique Herbal Recovery Night Cream, accompanied by its eye cream. There is no fancy ways to use moisturizer, you just have to remember to apply it. However, I recommend finding a moisturizer that addresses your skin care needs – for example acne prone skin, smaller pores, better complexion, etc… This is time for some trials.

Also, there is another product you must always have and cherish – Creme de la Mer. I only use this for emergencies now but if you haven’t used La Mer already I strongly suggest that you try at least one product. It is indeed very expensive, but I would much rather spend money on La Mer than Chanel. This comes with a small applicator that you use to scoop a bean size of the product out of the jar, put it in the palm of your hands, warm it up to “activate the ingredients” – or so they claimed – and then apply it on your face and neck. La Mer does everything for your skin!

I hope you have found this post useful, and have fun trying the products! Skin care is all about finding what works for you, and it may take years to find your staples, but don’t give up – because perfection is always within reach.

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Eye Concealers

No one is happy with the way our under eyes look. Let’s face it – the eyes tell it all: How old you are, how much sleep you get, how much sodium you eat, etc. I never get enough sleep, but dark circles and eyes’ imperfections never bothered me before I touched these products. Once you glide them on, you will question why you haven’t done this your whole life.

Let’s start with priming your eyes – with Benefit’s Stay Don’t Stray. I never used much eye make up so most of the times I skip this step. However if you use eyeliner or eye shadows, this may make a huge difference. No one likes smudges.

After that, conceal with Benefit’s Erase Paste. I bought this after watching too many Benefit’s tutorials. I was never convinced that I needed eye concealer – but this product has really worked wonders. It has a pink under tone so I use this almost strictly for eyes. Apply it with concealer brush, a little goes a long way.

Finally, I finish off with Anna Sui’s Eye Brightener. I have mentioned this product in my Anna Sui’s post. This illuminates the eyes without providing too much shimmer. It also has a very pleasant smell that’s the signature of Anna Sui cosmetics. Because it’s liquid base, it’s perfect for using on top of other products as finishing touch. Use your ring finger to dab and blend – since it’s the weakest finger, it will not hurt the delicate areas around your eyes.

Just because you are tired, doesn’t mean you should show it :)!

Anna Sui

I have always been a bit intimidated by make up brands with edgy looking products, I had this weird prejudice against anything new. I played it safe with Chanel and Dior for a long time; however this past winter I have opened up my mind and decided to try a wide range of skincare and cosmetic products. The results have been positive, I’m falling in love with the hauls of products I purchased in Asia. Now that I’m back in Boston, my addiction has not stopped – with the help of online shopping any time, any hours. You will see me posting about cosmetics mostly in the next few days. I do not intend to become a make up guru or skincare expert, everyone knows I prefer natural looking skin. However, I have never been a low maintenance girl, and who doesn’t love being flawless?

Here are a few Anna Sui products that have been added to my collection.

Anna Sui Mirror – I put this in my bag so that it travels with me. It is quite convenient, surprisingly, for touching up on the go and it makes you feel like a princess. It comes with a pouch to protect the mirror from being scratched, but my friend goes without and the mirror still lasts forever. One time I used this in a club to apply my lipstick, and accidentally dropped it. Knowing how much my friend loved her mirror, I picked it up in thumbing heartbeats only to find it in one piece. I guess I have to give this product a thumb up for being so durable, no one likes broken glass.

Anna Sui Lip Balm – It comes with the moisturizing Lip Wrap. I haven’t tried this out yet, but for an idea of what it does, you can read on here:

http://www.refinery29.com/anna-sui-lip-treatment

I have sworn by La Mer lip balm for the longest time now. It’s the only balm that doesn’t irritate my lips since I have ultra sensitive skin. However I have to admit in the winter time, I want my lips to be lathered in something else. Anna Sui lip balm is that something else – now it sits comfortably on my make up table. Because of the delicate texture (with gentle lychee smell), I use Q-tip to apply it every morning and night. It’s becoming an important part of my beauty regiment. You know how Michelle Phan always tells us to apply lip care first and foremost? La Mer lip balm doesn’t provide a thick enough layer to stand the make up application process, but this is working out beautifully for me.

Anna Sui Eye Brightener – I have been fairly conscious of my eye’s puffiness. Even though dark circles have never been my main concern, I found a routine that  delivers amazing results for my eyes, so I will write another post with reviews on this product later. 🙂