Archive for Prescriptives

The Times – Top skincare products

Posted in skincare with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2009 by LPB

My personal views on Times fashion team’s picks:

1) Prescriptives Super Line Preventor

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Protective barrier serum that helps to give the skin an even texture; cocktail of targeted antioxidants that diminishes the look of lines and wrinkles by up to 54%.

Armed with Super Antioxidant System (SAS), it defends against the visible aging effects of free radicals triggered by environmental assaults both immediately after exposure and again up to 72 hours later. It helps strengthen skin and boost its natural defenses by helping skin bolster its collagen production to improve visible skin tone, radiance and diminish the appearance of lines and wrinkles.

I prefer Estee Lauder’s  Advance Night Repair.

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This comprehensive, high-performance anti-aging serum ( inspired by groundbreaking DNA research ) helps continuously repair the appearance of past damage, prevent future damage and deliver high levels of hydration.

This advanced formula – with 20 patents worldwide – includes Chronolux™ Technology, neutralizes up to 90%* of environmentally generated free radicals before they can affect skin’s appearance ; creates the optimal environment for repair with nature’s long-proven moisture magnet – Hyaluronic Acid ; soothes daily irritation and builds a rich anti-oxidant reserve to help replenish skin’s natural protectants.

2) Neal’s Yard rose water toner

Inexpensive, natural toner that helps to freshen up and tighten the skin.

Rose water  is an effective, exhilarating freshener that not only tones the skin but also lifts the spirit. Neal’s Yard is the most economic i had tried ; Aromatherapy Associates has a damask rose facial toner ;  Amanda Lacey & Chantecaille  both have luxurious rose tonics ( almost pure rose distillate ).

Neil’s Yard rose water contains alcohol and strictly speaking, it’s aloe juice with rose essential oil.

3) Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream

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Helps to reduce the depth of wrinkles and hydrates the skin to give the face a plumped-up, youthful glow.This revolutionary Anti-Ageing cream uses the Marine extract Padina Pavonica to transform the complexion in just over 2 weeks. Trials proved that the appearance in wrinkle depth was reduced by up to 78% and that hydration was increased by up to 45%. Skin firmness and elasticity are dramatically increased, whilst providing superior free radical protection.

Collagen is a great moisture magnet, but i don’t believe topical application of collagen enriched skin cream could revive/enhance collagen production in the dermis. I prefer creams with retinoids, peptides, alpha hydroxy acids.

4) Jurlique Biodynamic Beauty Serum

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A lightweight serum made from biodynamic ingredients ; Rich in the living energy of organic Black Elder and Licorice, this serum helps fade discolorations and brightens skin for increased radiance ; Beech Tree Buds, Hibiscus and Yeast help strengthen the skin.

Jurlique’s biodynamic serum leaves a matt finish due to the presence of starch and i don’t find it nourishing enough. Biodynamic? Sounds more like a marketing scam.

5) Eve Lom Kiss Mix

Compact lip treatment which moisturises lips and gives a dewy, subtle sheen. One application lasts a long time.

My favorite! ( at least one of ) – dense enough for protection and nourishment , yet light enough for comfort; It’s also quite “minty” on application; The only complaint is you have to dip your finger into the pot……

6) Natura Bissé facial cleansing gel + AHA

A refreshing, wash-off, gel cleanser with alpha hydroxy acids that leaves your face clean without any drying effects.

I prefer Dermalogica’s age smart version.

7) Vaishaly night cream

A light yet very nourishing night cream that is easily and hygenically dispensed from a nifty press pump.

I enjoy using Vaishaly’s product; no hypes, simple rituals, delicate scents, good enough to eat ingredients……

8) Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

Extremely gentle exfoliant that can be used every day for a brighter-looking appearance.

As I use Eve Lom’s cleanser with polishing cloth, i find this unnecessary ; However, powdery paste like Dermalogica’s  daily microfoliant  is less abrasive when skin is blemished/irritated/inflammed. Calmia has a similar version ( skin bright micro polish ), both containing fruit enzymes and acids to renew the skin.

9) Chanel Précision Lait Confort creamy cleansing milk

A light, everyday cleaning milk which is soft on the skin and effectively removes the day’s grime.

There are plenty of equally efficient cleansing milk out there, which your bank manager will agree……

10) Dr Sebagh creme Extreme Maintenance

Ultra-rich cream specifically designed for very dry or sensitive skin. Absorbs easily.

Great cream, worth every penny, in my opinion.

11) Estee Lauder DayWear Plus multi-protection antioxidant creme SPF 15

An easily absorbed daily moisturiser with antioxidants and the bonus of an inbuilt SPF 15.

This kind of formulation might be a breakthrough in the 90’s, but what’s so special about it nowadays? I demand my day cream to have antioxidant properties and sun screens ( including sufficient UVA protection )

12) Ila face mask for revitalising skin

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Clay-based mask infused with Damascene rose otto and Argan oil that draws out impurities without drying the skin. Gives the face a bright glow.

Best mask i had ever used! Even outdone Eve Lom’s……

13) Lancôme Flash Bronzer

Idiot-proof bronzer that quickly develops an even, natural, sun-kissed glow.

I prefer Dior’s or Guerlain’s.

14) The Organic Pharmacy Honey and Jasmine mask

Organic mask that is deeply hydrating for dry, parched skin. Use as a mask or leave on overnight.

Runny upon application + sticky when dry = messy

15) No7 Protect and Perfect night cream

The legendary cream from Boots: this restorative, replenishing cream delivers long-lasting hydration and a smooth, fresh appearance.

Never try this before! I prefer Olay’s

16) Spiezia organic facial cleanser

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A 100% organic product that is approved by the British Soil Association. A deep cleanser that removes heavy make-up, leaving your skin feeling super-soft.

Addictive! An effective yet nurturing cleanser, nice texture, soul soothing aromas. I almost replace my Eve Lom’s with this!

17) Dr Haushka Rose Day Cream

Deeply nourishing day cream made from biodynamic ingredients. Great for dry skin or for very cold climates.

I find this a rather basic moisturizer, not worth the hypes/claims.

18) YSL eye make-up remover

A gentle yet highly effective remover that doesn’t sting the eyes. Also contains pro-vitamin B5, which coats and strengthens the lashes.

Lancome has better versions.

19) Guinot Anti Fatigue Yeux eye gel

Relaxes and soothes heavy and swollen eyelids and helps to reduce the appearance of fatigue.

I had never tried Guinot’s product.

20) Darphin Purifying Balm

Gorgeous-smelling, plant-based balm that helps to prevent breakouts.

I prefer blemish sticks by Clarins or Clinique. Tea tree oil does the trick as well.

21) Garnier Ultra Lift eye cream

Visibly reduces the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes.

I use La Mer.

22) SK-II skin refining treatment

Lifts away layers of dead skin cells to leave radiant, clear-looking skin. A discernible improvement can be seen after a month’s use. No added fragrance.

Overpriced cream that has a very tiny portion of BHA – save your money. Dr Sebagh’s masque once a week delivers better result than daily use of this marketing gimmicks.

23) Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

Revitalising, creamy gel that tightens the skin and adds a natural glow. Great as a base before applying make-up.

It may be a great product in the 80’s…… We have better and deserve better!

24) Sisley Broad Spectrum Facial Sunscreen, SPF 30

Colourless, high-protection sunscreen which absorbs easily and is non-greasy.

Pricey sunscreen, i would rather spend the money on air ticket.

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Make up tips for dummies?

Posted in makeup with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2008 by LPB

While surfing the net, i came across this article by the non-blonde, it’s kind of like the 10 make up mistakes you should avoid if you want to look great. I agree with most of the rules, but  as my usual rebellion self, some rules are meant to be broken!

1. Not Using Primer-
Eye primer and face primer not only make your makeup last longer, but they provide a smooth, receptive canvas for other products. You can use less foundation and get a better coverage. And they prevent color migration.

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Laura Mercier & NARS are the best, in my opinion.

2. Concealer Before Foundation-
If your applying concealer to problem areas (zits, spots, uneven patches) before foundation, chances are that you’re using more product than needed. Start with your foundation and spread it evenly. It gives some coverage and evens out things. Then add just enough concealer and blend it into your foundation. The result is more natural looking and far less likely to look caked.

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A stick foundation with medium to full coverage could be used as a concealer, just choose one shade lighter than your all over shade and apply it with a concealer brush, i like Bobbi Brown ultra versatile stick foundation.

3. Too Dark Foundation-
And I’m not even talking about the dreaded oompa loompa look. Between the weird lighting in department stores and our own tendency to look for coverage, it’s very easy to choose too dark a foundation. Next time you’re at your favorite counter ask for a sample of a foundation that’s one shade lighter than what you’re wearing. Test it under normal conditions. Chances are you’re not as dark as you though.

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Totally agree on this, and the best thing you could do is to get you foundation custom made. Prescriptive exact match color system not only customizing your shade, it also let you choose the coverage, finish  & skincare formula!

4. Not Using a Lip Liner-
Seriously. If you’re wearing a dark lipstick, be it a sexy red or this season’s vampy browns, you need a matching lip liner to outline and keep your lip color in place. Not doing so results in a sloppy look and color bleeding. Also, a liner in a natural shade would do wonders for your neutral colored lipstick and would make it last longer if you use it to fill the lips.

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I personally think that using lip liner is great if you want a perfectly polished finish that will last forever. However, with some good lipsticks, i could usually get away with a natural, nicely stained pout.

5. Bright And Shimmery Blush-
A blush is supposed to give you a naturally flushed look. Do you know anyone who actually blushes in shimmery coral? Consider a mutes rose or a gentle plum. If you want extra shimmer add it subtle where and when appropriate (which is rarely over your cheeks).

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NARS  multiples defy this rule; most of the shades  will give you a glowing sheen when you use them as a blush – you know, the angelical halo effect.

6. Old Mascaras-
Yes, I know the tube isn’t empty yet, but there’s a good reason you’re told to toss your mascara after three months. All the air that’s getting pumped inside every time you deep the brush in to it doesn’t just make it a breeding ground for bacteria, but also dries the mascara out and makes it clumpy.

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Yeap, old mascara is messy & clumpy. Buy some great yet inexpensive drug store brands like Maybelline or Max Factor; My mantra is thrifty on mascara & generous on foundation.

7. Black Eyeliner-
Don’t get me wrong: I love black eyeliner. It’s sexy. However, even someone with my coloring doesn’t need a very contrasting color for daytime. It can look very harsh, and if you’re fair skinned or blonde it might look overdone and garish. There are so many better options, from the almost-black-but-not-quite to caramel. they will give you the contouring and definition in a modern, non-Amy Winehouse way.

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Well, i loves pitch black eyeliner; as i am lucky enough to get a natural finish/definition by wearing mascara alone, i want a dramatic look if i am bothered enough to apply  liner.

8. Skipping Powder-
Powder has somewhat of a bad rap that’s not necessarily justified. Of course, you don’t want to go overboard or to look ashy (the result of too many “translucent” powders that are actually more white than naturally colored). But for a truly polished and natural face, you need a good finishing product that would even things out even more than before and would keep things in place. Opt for a pressed powder (easier to handle, less likely to look ghostly, travels better) that has a color to match your undertone. Apply with a good, thick brush.

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I am a believer in using pressed instead of loose powder; Trust me, if you choose the right product and apply it with a professional face/powder brush,  the finish will be stunning & long lasting. I also use this technique to tone down blusher/bronzer. MAC is great when it comes to shades diversity, Clinique & Bobbi Brown have the sheerest finish.

9. Penciled Eyebrows-
A penciled eye brow looks painted and weird. Even if you found the perfect color. It always surprises me to see how many women (otherwise well-informed and makeup savvy) make this mistake. Choose an eye shadow color that matches your hair color and apply with a thin, stiff brush using tiny strokes.

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I like Chanel’s as you could blend the shades to customize the intensity. Model Co. is great as well – usethe coloured wax to tame/groom the brow , follow by the powder to set and color your primed brow.

10. Clinging To Discontinued Products-
I know you loved that perfect eyeliner/lip gloss/stick foundation the evil people at the marketing department decided to discontinue. You loved it so much you wrote the company and had them send you every last scrape of it they had in their warehouse and then you haunted eBay for months searching for more. I did it, too. But it’s time to let go. There are new and better formulas, updated and subtler shades and lots of new awesome products. There are constant improvement in textures and modern pigments. today you wouldn’t touch even the most luxurious lipstick or concealer from 10 years ago. They just don’t measure up to the ones on the market today.