All I was looking for in a moisturizer is 1, to moisturize well, 2, to sink in well. Bought this after reading all the good reviews here. But it has been a total disappointment. It breaks me out in lots of little white spots, even though the texture doesn't seem that heavy. It just sits on my face all day in a shiny film. I am no expert in skin care products, but i do have more than 20 years' experience in trying lots of different brands, from high end to high street. I believe that the ingredients in this moisturizer are just not fine enough to sink in and therefore they sit on my skin and block it.
I like it. I use it after conditioning and towel drying my hair. Half on the ends and half smoothed out over the entire length. It leaves my hair feel bouncy and nourished. My hair is only slightly dry. I imagine it will make a bigger difference on drier and more damaged hair. I look forward to using this in summer when I'd like to wash my hair everyday. Washing too often can dry out my hair but now I won't have this to worry about. Compared to other leave in hair treatment products I've used, this feels by far the most natural and nourishing. Other (cheaper) stuff tends to leave a silicony coating on my hair and does nothing to condition it. And I like its soft and warm smell. Considering how long it can last, I don't think this is expensive. (I paid £28 for it)
Moisturizers -Caudalie - Vinosource Quenching Sorbet Creme
mccafferty 3/24/2011 10:31:00 PM
I don't think this cream absorbs very well. I can rub some of it off once it dries on the face. Especially if I've used something else underneather it (I usually use Advanced Night Repair under my face cream), I can rub lots of it off. In my experience this is one of the characteristics of cheaper creams. I don't think that's because I've used too much. I use two pumps, the amount I'd normally use with a cream of this light texture. So if you have spoiled skin like mine that rejects lesser quality creams, then this one is not for you. Apart from that I am not keen on the fragarance. To me it smell too synthetic and strong for a cream that's supposed to be quite natural. Aslo I don't think I've seem any improvement in my skin tone since using this cream, although in fairness I've only used it five times so far. What a shame, I was so excited that I might have found something special. Obviously I won't buy this again.
I bought it because my face is sensitive to lots of chemical sunscreens, and this one is slightly tinted which makes it a little more flattering than those un-tinted physical sunscreens. But I found it a bit too thick (well physical sunscreens always do) and difficult to spread, the colour is still too pale. By the time I covered my face with enough of this to give some sort of protection, I looked like a greasy geisha, hence I only used it when I really had to. On the positive side, if you can only tolerate physical sunscreens, then this one is not too bad compared to most, which are usually even thicker and even whiter. But for me, I have discovered Origins A Perfect World SPF35/PA+++ sunscreen. I think because it is a combination of physical and chemical sunscreen, it's thinner and easier to spread, and the colour is more natural, AND I am not allergic to it.
Cleansers -Ren - Zostera Marina Cleansing Milk Wash - Dry
mccafferty 3/12/2011 12:23:00 AM
I used this for several years. I usually rinse it off and then use my face cloth for gentle polishing and drying. However, I noticed that my white face cloth gets a bit beige in the middle after a while. I didn't think much of it as I thought that's caused by some dead skin cells trapped by the cloth as a result of the polishing. Then I moved to HK and started to use cleasing oil - still polishing off with my face cloth at the end. But my face cloth no longer turns beige. That means Ren didn't clean off my make up properly, and the colouring was caused by residue makeup! That aside, this cleansing cream does have a lovely texture and smell, and it is "gentle" for sure. I am still using it, after my cleansing oil, or on its own on days when I am not using makeup.
This review is a comparison between fancl and Shu Uemula. Since I moved to Hong Kong from the UK almost a year ago, I changed my entired skin care routine due to necessity as well curiosity. This includes starting to use Shu's cleansing oil. I had no end of blocked pores since then. (I hardly ever get a spot while I was in the UK) I blamed everything from cream to serum and to the environment. But stupidly, I didn't suspect Shu because I thought if it's so well regarded it can't be bad. Even though I know mineral oil is famous for blocking pores and I don't normally go anywhere near products containing mineral oil. But I made an exception for Shu, making myself believe that it won't be absorbed. But I was wrong! I finally started to suspect Shu and started to use Fancl about two weeks ago. And since that day I haven't had a sinle blocked pore!
Cleansers -Shu Uemura - High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula
mccafferty 2/24/2011 12:45:00 AM
Since I moved to Hong Kong from the UK almost a year ago, I changed my whole skin care routine due to necessity and curiocity. Since then I had no end of spots. I blamed everything from creams to serums and to the environment. But I didn't turn my suspicion on this cleansing oil for the simple (but stupid) reason that, if it's so well regarded, it can't be bad - despite knowing the fact the mineral oil is well-known for blocking pores. But eventually I decided to check this one out. So I switched to Fancl which doesn't contain mineral oil to start with. Since then I didn't have any more blocked pores! By extension of this fact, there must be a lot of truth in what another reviewer said about Shu's cleansing oil - mineral oil will enlarge your pores. So even if you don't find it blocking your pores, over time it might stretch them. Beware!
THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE "MELTING RICH" VERSION. It took me a little while to get used to it. At first I was applying it the way I normally do - put three dots on my cheeks and forehead, and then message in with my fingers. I ended up chasing some white slippery lumps around my face (it only melts well when it meets something very warm) and takes ages for it to get all rubbed in. Then I read in an interview with SKII about the correct way to apply any rich cream: one should warm up the palms first, then put the cream in the palm, rub together gently for the cream to soften, then put the palms onto the face, and then message in with finger tips... I did it this way, and the cream becomes a pleasure to use. As for the quality of the cream: my skin looks radiant, youthful and smooth recently. It's not greasy, just a good oil/water balance for my dry skin. No nasty scent. But will it buy it again? I am reluctant only because the cream goes down extremely fast. With the recommended method of applying it, a jar will last me about three weeks when used twice a day (face only, not including the neck). So it works out to be very expensive. And my palms become the biggest winner. I also have the lighter version of this cream, which is just called "SKIN SIGNATURE". I intend to use it in summer when my skin becomes combination type. If I like it as much as the richer version, I may well repurchase. (The lighter version is half the price of the richer one, per ml)
It moisturises well without being greasy, and sinks in quickly. I have faint lines under my eyes, this cream makes them less obvious, even at the end of the day. Make up goes on well after I've waited just a little while. But the cons are, 1, it stings if it gets into my eyes; 2, package is fiddly. I prefer pump bottles; 3, consistency is quite thick, so I can't give my eye area a gentle message which I normally like to do. Repurchase? I haven't decided yet. I am dithering between this and Shiseido's bio performance eye cream, which is more basic, but I like its texture and packaging, and it doesn't sting. Update: I doubt I will be repurchasing this. I noticed that I am using very little of this eye cream compared to the amount I would normally use for fear of it running into my eyes and sting them. So my eyes are not getting enough moisturisation and look a bit dry.
Treatments -Shiseido - Bio-Performance Super Corrective Serum
mccafferty 12/15/2010 4:26:00 AM
I don't use this serum everyday. I normally use Christian Dior's One Essential (I love it) followed by Estee Lauder's ANR. But once or twice a week I will use this for a change (evening only). Every time after using this serum, I notice my skin seems to become a little smoother. I think it's due to the mild exfoliating property in the serum. (That's part of reason why I am not using it every day - for fear of it thinning my already thin skin further). Because I am not using it exclusively, I can't be specific about what it does to my skin in the long term. But personally, I somehow believe that this one is actually packed with effective stuff. So I will continue to use it - from time to time. One small point, the consistency is too thick for my liking. I have to either use 3-4 pumps to cover my entire face or, if using only 2 pumps as recommended by the product label, I have to dampen my face first to avoid pulling my skin.
Didn't see anything amazing. It actually seems to pickle my face a bit, and breaks me out. (I used raw organic honey) And it worries me because sugar is suppose to be the second worst thing for our skin after UV. My worry may well be unfounded, but until I know for sure that it's not actually damaging my skin, I will stay on the safe side, ie, not put honey on my face any more.
Treatments (Eye) -Shiseido - Bioperformance Super Eye Contour
mccafferty 11/22/2010 8:47:00 PM
It's not a miracle eye cream, but an honest, well designed basic eye cream. I would have given it 4.5 stars if I had the choice. It does its basic job pretty well. Pump bottle design is perfect. It's hygenic, and one pump is just right for both eyes - like the instuction tells you. The cream itself is rich enough to smooth out fine lines, but not too rich so it doesn't give my spots or puffy eyes (well, slightly after a night). Takes a little while to sink in (any cream of that texture would do that on my skin, so I can't blame it), so eye shadow has to wait. But I've tried plenty of high end eye creams, some are more than double the price. I don't think they perform signficantly better than this one. So I am going back to this one. As other reviewers said, it is probably more suitable for medium to dry skin type.
Last winter I was staying with a friend in London. I forgot to bring my usual trusty lip balm (REN in tub form, by the way) and the indoor dry air made my lips chap. I went through my airline freebies (elemis, dermalogica, molton brown), and my lips got worse and worse. The familiar story - skin gets softer and more comfortable immediately after use, but once the protective layer is gone, the dryness got worse. In the end I need to think twice before managing even a hint of smile. So I accepted my friend's offer and tried her La Mer lip balm. I was totally impressed. I put it on whenever I could remember that evening (because I rather enjoyed using it!), and gradually I could feel my lips got better. Overnight I put a thickish layer on, and the next day, the lips were completely healthy again! After that, all I needed was an occasional layer of balm like I would normally do. Much as I love my REN lip balm, I don't think it would have worked as fast as that. Would I buy this? Normally a natural oil (ie, not petrochemical derivatives) based balm would keep my lips in good condition even in dry weather. So I'd rather save this money. But if for some reason my lips get into seriou trouble again, I will run straight for it.
Moisturizers -Shiseido - Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizer
mccafferty 10/28/2010 10:38:00 PM
Just learnt from a well-known dermatologist that there are three sides to moisturisers. (I guess we've kind of known this from plenty of moisturizer advertisements around us) Firstly, it's things like hyaluronic acid (and lots of others) whose function is to draw moisture to the skin's outmost layer from deeper inside the skin or from the air when humidity is high. Secondly, it's ingredients like vitamin E (and others) that repairs skin's own moisture barrier. Then there is the oil to stop water from evaperating. When choosing a moisturizer, one needs to find one with the right balance of those three to suit her skin's needs. So come back to this cream, it works very well for me right now. As I am in my late thirties, my skin's ability to water itself gets weaker, so all year long I need a moisturiser that can hydrate. As we head into autumn, my skin produces less oil, so I need something that also suppliments my natural oil production. So with it's balance of "super hyaluronic acid" and some oil, it suits my skin right now. I guess it might be a bit rich for me for summer. (At first I was worried that its gel/cream consistancy might not be enough for my dry skin, but technology has moved on!) Haven't used it for long enough to know whether it repairs my skin's weakened barrier, but my skin does feel plump and moisturized after using this. It reminds me of how my skin looked when I was younger - well balanced, dewy but not greasy. Can't comment on the other benefits the company has promised, and I am not expecting much either. I tend to leave the miracles to serums. By the way, I think its water holding ability is better than Estee Lauder's Hydrationist. Also, as it's not that rich, people with even drier skin might need to try Super Restorative Cream. Pricewise, I get it with 25% discount (HK$450) from drug stores in Hong Kong. At this price, I think it's not bad.
It does give my skin an almost porcelain-like texture in the morning. (I do use a few layers of expensive serums underneath though. It seems to seal the serums in and make them work harder while not blocking my pores.) Not bad for the price. I can see why it's their best seller. I think it's particularly good for summer when I don't really need a moisturizer but I do need something light to seal in the serums. I wish I could use it every night. But it has some slight exfoliating ingredients and my skin is already thin. I guess it's not for no reason that the company actually advises using it only 2-3 times a week. The only cons are, firstly, as always, I'd prefer it to come in a pump bottle. But it's not a big deal. Secondly, it gets rubbed off easily. So once I got this on, I try to avoid any facial contact. So it's probably not the most romantic product to use.