Sunday, January 18, 2015

Korean Skincare Products And Missha Snail and 24K Gold Filler Serum

A trip to South Korea is not complete without a shopping spree on skincare. 

Korean skincare and cosmetics are cute and cheap. I stopped over for 19 hours in Seoul and squeezed in an hour in Innisfree, Skin Food, The Face Shop, Etude House, and Missha.

Limiting myself to things that I "really" needed, I bought hydrogel facial and foot patches, cloth masks, pore cleaning scrubs and snail serum. 

 My favourite and the most expensive product is Missha's 24K gold filler serum with 80% snail slime. It was £30.50 for 11ml. The sales girl gave me 7 face masks and a box of moisturiser sachets as freebies. 

The serum comes in a syringe-like container. The slanted applicator tip is soft plastic and I use it on my eyes and forehead at night.  I've found snail slime is effective on filling out fine lines. This product contains gold flakes which I think are completely useless because gold is an inert metal. This is what it says on the back of the box.

This is my Korean skincare haul including freebies. Being in transit to London, I could only buy  items that fit in my cabin liquids bag or sachet products. These are perfect for treating myself when I'm travelling.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Before And After Review

This is a review for the Elizabeth Arden Daily Youth Restoring Eye Serum capsules. 

I'm conscious of crows feet. A friend who looks fabulous at 40+ uses EA capsules so I wanted to try them out. I found the EA eye serum capsules cheapest on and used Quidco for an extra 6.5% off.

The capsules come in a pretty gold jar. Push one side of the lid down and it pops open. Push again to close. The instructions say each serum capsule is for one application but I've found it's enough for two. You just need to be careful opening them because a lot of it spills out. 

The ingredients are: Cyclopentasiloxane, Isododecane, Triisostearyl Citrate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Dimethicone, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Ceramide 1, Ceramide 6 II, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, Retinyl Linoleate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tocopherol, Phytantriol, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Lecithin, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-14, Ethoxydiglycol, Mineral Oil/Paraffinum Liquidum/Huile MinĂ©rale, Dimethicone Crosspolymer-3, Polysilicone-11. 

It looks like a mix of oils and silicones with the stuff that makes oils "dry".

To open I pinch the neck and twist off the nib. The serum is a light scentless oil that sinks in or perhaps evaporates quickly. I apply after washing my face in the morning. (I use Missha's snail serum at night.)

I was gobsmacked with the results. After only three applications the wrinkles under my eyes were DRAMATICALLY reduced. I smile and don't get crows feet or crepey skin.  The effect lasts all day. It's like I'm cheating the signs of age!

Check out the pictures below. On the left is what my crows feet look like when I smile. The before shot is not as sharp but you can see I have definite lines. On the right is after my third application of the serum and there hardly any noticeable wrinkles.

The first thing I did was tell my girlfriend and then I bought three more jars. I have to stockpile, even if the anti-aging effect is purely cosmetic.

 Both photos were taken in natural light and I'm not wearing any makeup. I've included my smile to show you the same eye expression.

The only thing I've done to these pictures is adjusted the white balance. There's no filter, blurring or Vaseline on the lens! I haven't been paid to review this product and it was bought with my own money. 

This eye serum a worth a shout out to all the ladies 35+. Botox can wait!

Vintage Favre Leuba Watch

One of my deepest regrets is losing my Favre Leuba vintage watch. I was going through my bag on the tube and put the watch on my lap and kept on rummaging. Later I walked off the train completely forgetting about it. 

I've been searching Ebay for the same watch but sadly with no luck. But I found this Favre Leuba watch listed for 99p. I ended up buying it for £6 including shipping! It keeps time and needs to be rewound every 40 or so hours. I like the idea of hand winding watches because I like to rotate my watches often and I like hearing them tick. It's a comforting sound.

I like collecting vintage Swiss watches. It's rare to find modern watches with a slender bracelet and small face. My wrists are tiny and large dials end up on the side or under my wrist.  

The width of this watch is only 13mm. It's gold plated. There is tiny engraving that says "plaque org 10 microns". 

With my other vintage wind up watch. I bought the Rotary watch from a vintage jeweller. It was probably from the 60s. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Easiest Way To Make Shealoe

I finally found my Holy Grail of hair moisturisers. It's only made with two ingredients, shea butter and aloe vera gel=shealoe. It smooths down frizz and moisturises hair ends. You can use it as a hand and body moisturiser too.

Shealoe is easy to make it yourself at home. Make small quantities so it doesn't spoil before you've used it up.  

I make mine in a clean Lush mask container and that's how it's stored. It only takes five minutes to make.  If you don't have a Lush container, any small container will do as long as you can fit a beater from a hand mixer inside with space. 

The proportion of ingredients is 1 part shea butter to 1 part aloe vera gel. Keep that in mind when filling the container because you need extra room for whipping. Allow atleast double the space taken on ingredients for whipping.

1) Place 1 part shea butter in the container and microwave until it's just melted. I put it on high for 20 seconds first and keep checking every 10 seconds.

2) Add 1 part aloe vera gel and mix with a hand beater on a slow setting for 30 seconds. Make sure to hold the container firmly or it will splatter everywhere.

3) Ensuring there's enough height on the container to hold everything, whip at a high setting for 3 minutes. Don't whip any longer because the shea butter will solidify and separate in clumps.

4) Tap off the mixture from the beater into the container and let it fully cool before putting the lid on it.  

5) Clean off the beater with your fingers and apply to your hair or on your hands. Waste not, want not!

This is what it looks like after the initial mixing on slow.

You can see shea butter particles suspended in the aloe vera. 

After a three minute whipping, this is the final product. Creamy and thick like whipped cream. 

You can add a few drops of essential oil like tea tree or lavender for preservation and scent. Keep it in a cool place. I use shealoe after every wash and this is the right quantity to make without the need for preservatives. 

To use, take a small amount and warm it between your hands before smoothing onto the ends of your hair. 

Hope this helps those who want an all natural, cost effective multi purpose moisturiser. This stuff is a life saver for my dry hair.

What Henna Looks Like On Asian Hair

I used Jamila BAQ henna mixed with coconut milk, roobois tea and a splash of apple cider vinegar. As you can see the red tinge is subtle, only visible when the light is shining through it. 

The henna was in my hair for 3.5 hours and after rinsing out the henna, my hair felt really dry and knotty. I didn't seem to notice my split ends before but now I can really see then and want to cut them off!

The problem I find with coconut milk is that the colour bleeds too quickly. The henna doesn't seem to hold onto my hair and it runs onto my towel after washing for over a week. Most of the colour is gone in three weeks. I'm not noticing any moisturising benefits with the coconut milk so I won't be using it again. 

My next brew in two weeks will be strong rooibos tea brewed with alma powder for extra acidity. I'm trying to use up the Celestial Seasonings Vanilla Rooibos Tea in my pantry. Next application I'll be using alma and hibiscus tea so stay tuned for the results of this mix!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Benifex Paw Paw Ointment vs Lucas' Papaw Ointment

When I was back in Sydney I noticed new brands of paw paw ointments. I found this at Aldi and it has a striking resemblance to the ubiquitous tube of Lucas Paw Paw Ointment. 

I'm more of a fan of Lanolips but at 1.99 AUD, I was curious to see if the Aldi version was similar to the Lucas ointment which the same size tube is $5.00                                                                                                                                                                                              
Well to get straight to the point, I think the Benifex product is identical in scent, texture, moisturising qualities as Lucas. In fact, I can't tell the difference between the two without looking at the packaging! 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Three Comforting Products For Snow Weather

Happy new year dear readers! 

I've come back from skiing in Austria and my girlfriend yesterday complimented me on my skin. I said it was due to the Tyrolian tap water. Unfortunately I was not able to bring it back with me in my suitcase :(

When in the snow, the conditions are harsh on skin and after plenty of Nivea Soft, here are three products I tried in the snows that worked a treat.

1) Molton Brown Protecting Vitamin Lip Saver. This was in our toiletry packs from the chalet and it's a vital product in the snow. My lips chap easily and although lanolin is my favorite lipcare, it turns hard in the cold. So much that I can't squeeze it out of the tube unless it's kept warm. The Molton Brown Lip Saver is petroleum jelly based so the temperature isn't a problem and it does a good job keeping lips soft and protected from the wind, dry air and cold. 

2) Bioderma Atoderm Nutri Protective Cleansing Cream-I brought a sample of this for the trip and will buy the full sized version when my cleanser runs out. It's gentle and has a refreshing scent. It foams which I like for a cream cleanser. It can be used on the face and body so it saves having to carry two things while travelling. I love Bioderma products and when in Paris, I stock up because it's the cheapest in France.

3) Eau Thermale Avene Soothing Repair Mask-the exposed areas on my face is always red after skiing so it felt good to put this translucent cream on to calm it down. After 10 minutes you're supposed to wipe it off but since it feels a bit greasy, I rinse it away. This mask really does work to soothe wind and cold chapped skin-perfect for the snows!

What are your favorite winter skincare products?


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