[REVIEW] Suisai Beauty Clear Powder

I hate to admit this, but when I first heard about the hype over this cleanser, I was really puzzled. I’ve never been particularly excited about my cleansers, and I also couldn’t really understand why people were so crazy over this.

That’s also probably because I don’t expect much from my cleanser – all it has to do is wash my face well without causing me to break out, and I think I’m pretty much satisfied already.


Product Description

suisai Beauty Clear Powder face wash is catching the eye of the worldwide audience with an enzyme-activated formula that whisks away impurities and unclogs pores as it protects the skin’s natural moisture. A popular choice for tourists who desire the Japanese secret to even, finely textured skin.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 27 (pack of 32) or SGD 14 (pack of 15)


Ingredient ListR

See the full list here, together with information on safety and irritants.


Packaging: This is probably one of the most convenient packaging I’ve ever seen for cleansers (samples not included). I was so tempted to buy lots of them to bring on all my travels because I just have to pack a few, and throw them away once I finish washing my face! It’s seriously so convenient to use as well, I don’t have to worry about squeezing out too much product or anything because there is already a fixed amount of product in each capsule.

Texture: As the main ingredient is talc, it’s not surprising that this comes in a powder form. All you need to do is add some water and rub, and you will get lots of foam. I really like that it lathers ‘normally’, because I feel very insecure when my cleansers don’t produce enough foam (weird but true).

Effectiveness: The first time I tried, I did kind of get why this is so popular. Don’t belittle the small amount of powder in this capsule, because it’s super effective in making sure there’s no grime, dirt, or excess sebum left on your face. My face probably has never felt so smooth and clean before – it’s miraculous!

However, I don’t mean to say that it completely strips your face so that it’s squeaky clean and feels really tight (that’s terrible btw, if your cleansers do that). That being said, it is not recommended that you use this cleanser on the daily, and definitely not in the morning AND night. Why? Because it actually exfoliates your skin as well, and you know exfoliators aren’t to be used everyday, so best to use this maybe 2 or 3 times a week.


Final Verdict

I’ll be frank: this is one pricey cleanser, and do we really need pricey cleansers? Well.

I do like this product, but I’m also the kind who can settle for cleansers that cost less and just do its job of making sure my face is as clean as it can get.

This cleanser is also probably not suitable if you have very dry or acne-prone skin, because some of the ingredients are potential irritants (see link in Ingredient List), and it may dry your skin out even more.

I’m also a little disappointed that this isn’t a cleanser that I can use everyday, morning and night. I think it’s a bit wasted, considering that it comes in such a convenient packaging.

Must-buy? Nah. Can-buy? Sure.


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮

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[REVIEW] Bifesta Eye & Lip Makeup Remover

I’ve been using Bifesta’s makeup removers ever since I started using BB cream a few years back, but it was only in recent times that I got around to trying their makeup remover that is formulated and targeted at removing eye makeup.


Product Description

Skin lotion-derived Moisturizing Cleansing Water
for thorough eye makeup removal

This product contains a moisturizing ingredient usually found in skin lotion that has high affinity with oily ingredients of makeup. Thanks to its moisturizing/cleansing ingredients, which quickly “float” and envelop oil-based makeup, you can easily remove eye makeup without rubbing, keeping the eye area fresh and moisturized.


Easily and thoroughly removes even waterproof mascara
The double effects of the water-based layer, which contains skin lotion-derived cleansing ingredients, and the oil-based emollient layer, realizes quick “floating” of waterproof mascara and eyeliner, which are then enveloped and removed quickly without rubbing.
The two types of moisturizing/cleansing ingredients that are gentle on eyelashes and the eye area protect eyelashes and keep the skin moisturized.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 12.90 (145ml, Watsons


Ingredient List

Hypoallergenic Formulation, Vitamins B & E

I’m a little concerned that the official ingredient list provides so little information, despite its claim of a hypoallergenic formulation.


Packaging: This one I have is the old packaging – I think it may be a travel-sized one that we bought a while back before they changed to the new one. The formula remains the same though!

I prefer the pump packaging that Bifesta does with their other makeup removers, because having to pour this out usually involves some unnecessary spillage and wastage.

However, I do appreciate how handy it is to bring such a small bottle when you are travelling – enough for you to remove at least a week’s worth of heavy eye makeup, but not heavy or space-consuming at all!

Texture: Frankly, I was a little surprised when I first used this. It definitely looks like a liquid, but it felt so oily on my skin. I found out afterwards that it contains an “oil-based emollient layer, [which] realizes quick “floating” of waterproof mascara and eyeliner”.

I’ve never been particularly keen on cleansing oil, to be honest. I know it’s supposed to be good for you to use oil-based cleansers when you double cleanse, but I could never bring myself around to doing it. I really dislike the feeling of oil on my already-oily face – it feels like an impending breakout, no?

Oil near my eyes just felt like a even scarier thing for me. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I really did not quite like the idea of an oily makeup remover on my eyelids. And oil on my lips? Oh no!!!

Effectiveness: Despite all my gripes about the oil, I have to acknowledge this makeup remover’s strong cleansing power. All it takes is one cotton pad and a decent amount of this makeup remover, and I can thoroughly clean any eyeshadow, waterproof eyeliner, and lip tints easily.


Final Verdict

If you always do elaborate eye makeup looks, cannot live without your eyeliner, or love to use lip tints that don’t budge, it’s probably time to invest in this makeup remover from Bifesta.

The oily texture needs some getting used to, but for those who are already using cleansing oil in their double-cleansing routine, this should be nothing new for you.

I’m thinking of repurchasing a bigger bottle of this in future (I’m currently using banila co.’s Clean It Zero to wash off all the stubborn eyeliner) – let’s just hope that I will learn to accept the oil in the cleanser over time!


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮

[REVIEW] Muji Light Toning Water (Moisture)

Many of us have seen beauty products retailed at Japanese discount stores (Daiso, Miniso), and of course, Muji. Frankly, I’m a bit skeptical about trying beauty products from Daiso and Miniso because the testers are always in such a bad state, and the ingredients look a lil dubious, but at Muji, I know that they maintain a certain quality standard, thus their products are safe to try.

Recently, I got around to trying beauty products from Muji, partly because I was running out of my toner and wanted to try something new. I’ve tested this for about one month, and finally got down to writing this post ~


Product Description

Skin care series made using natural water from Kamaishi in Iwate prefecture. Provides fresh hydration for sensitive skin that dries easily. Contains purslane extract, grapefruit seed extract and Lipidure (polyquaternium-51), a material containing a large amount of moisture, as skin protection components. Low-irritation, making it gentle on delicate skin.

*Fragrance free *Non-staining *Mineral oil free *Mildly acidic *Paraben free *Alcohol free *Allergy tested (however, it is not guaranteed to be allergy free for all users.)

How to use: After washing, take an appropriate amount in hands or onto cotton wool and massage into entire face.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 10.30


Ingredient List

Water, glycerin, DPG, PEG-32, glycosyl trehalose, hydrolysis hydrogenated starch, purslane extract, polyquaternium -51, grapefruit seed extract, PCA-Na, citric acid, citric acid Na, allantoin, BG, phenoxyethanol

Interestingly, trehalose is actually ‘considered useful because of its rehydrating and water binding properties, as well as its antioxidant powers’ (Source).


Muji LIght Toning Water Moisture

Packaging: I LOVE THIS BOTTLE! My preferences for beauty products run two ways: either super cute, or super minimalist. I actually prefer that my skincare products have minimal, straightforward packaging, because it looks very ‘natural’ – much like how most of us would like to see ‘natural ingredients’ in our products.

Just looking at this bottle already makes me feel like the toner is very pure, soothing, and natural. It’s probably also because the liquid inside looks just like water, but you get my point – great packaging makes for the best marketing!

Texture: It feels exactly like water, so much so that sometimes I wonder if I’ve been cheated by Muji and all that’s inside this toner is water. But a texture like water is great news for everyone with sensitive, oily, and clogged skin! It gets absorbed very easily and feels very good on skin.

Effectiveness: I’ve never had any breakouts from using this, and in fact my skin looked a lot fresher after repeated usage. This could be partly attributed to the fact that they don’t use any fragrances and alcohols in their formula, both of which are really not great for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

I’ve tried quite a few toners before and I would say this is almost as good as my favourite COSRX toners, but at a slightly lower price.


Final Verdict

Take it from me – buy this! In fact, after having tried this, I now want to try every other product in Muji because I’m so impressed by the quality at the price I’m paying. It’s as good, if not even better, than most other toners in the market. I’m quite surprised that not many people have actually raved about this, but maybe now they will after I have recommended it… HAHA (I’m just joking, I ain’t that influential).


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮✮

[REVIEW] Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel

I know this sounds ridiculous coming from someone who lives in a country where it’s summer all year round, but I never, ever did consider the importance of protecting my skin from the sun until I learned about Korean skincare. It’s a lot more than just about being fair – you have no idea how harmful the sun’s rays are to your skin, especially if you have pigmentation issues.

I used to think that my BB cream (with SPF 50 and all) were good enough, until I stopped using them to unclog my pores and switched over to foundation. When I saw that my Innisfree one only offered SPF15, I knew it was finally time to invest in a good sunscreen. My experience using sunblock and sunscreen is usually that of white, sticky, oily creams that I only apply on my limbs when I’m doing outdoor activities under the hot sun. However, I was happy (and you would be too!) that these days there are so many different sunscreens available in the market for different skin types.


Product Description

New and Improved Biore Watery Gel SPF 50+ PA++++ has now improved to water and sweat proof with strong resistance against water and perspiration! It now gives you longer lasting UV protection and has a high staying power on skin with its UV veil. Unique Micro Capsule releases moisture upon application, leaving skin with a cool, light feeling. With Hyaluronic Acid & Citrus extract to keep skin hydrated and healthy. It also has a shiny veil effect to brighten skin. For Face and Body.

Official Retail Price in Singapore: SGD 18.90


Ingredient List

Water (Aqua), Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Lauryl Methacrylate/Sodium Methacrylate Crosspolymer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Xylitol, Dextrin Palmitate, Hydrated Silica, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Glyceryl Stearate, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, C4-14 Perfluoroalkylethoxy Dimethicone, Aluminum Hydroxide, Potassium Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Agar, Fragrance (Parfum), Polyvinyl Alcohol, Isoceteth-20, Sodium Methyl Stearoyl Taurate, Aminomethyl Propanol, BHT, Sodium Stearoxy PG-Hydroxyethylcellulose Sulfonate, Glutamic Acid, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Disodium EDTA, Maltose, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, CI 77891

You’ll see that the star ingredients are bolded for easier reference, but they rank low on the list. What’s even more disturbing is that fragrance actually ranks above them – not a good sign for sensitive skin!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Packaging: I really like blue packaging for skincare, because it’s usually a sign that it is moisturizing, or watery for better absorption by oily, clogged skin (case in point: LANEIGE). It’s a plastic bottle that you can squeeze for the product to come out, but one problem I find with this is that it’s very difficult to control how much product you squeeze out. The first time I tried this, I ended up having way too much product on my fingers by accident. I would much prefer something more controllable, if you get what I mean.

Texture: When they call it ‘watery gel’, they literally mean ‘watery gel’. I would almost call it water, except that it’s a bit thicker. I do like how it gets absorbed very quickly by the skin even though it’s not quite as thin as water, and doesn’t feel oily afterwards. There is a slightly sticky sensation upon application, but it doesn’t stay for long.

Effectiveness: It’s tough to check whether this product is really fending off the harmful sun rays for me, but I’ll evaluate this based on its product claims:

It now gives you longer lasting UV protection and has a high staying power on skinDefinitely agreed on the high staying power. Although I usually layer it under makeup, I did attempt to apply nothing but this sunscreen on my face and went out for a few hours. Definitely still found traces of it on my face after I came back home.

Unique Micro Capsule releases moisture upon application, leaving skin with a cool, light feeling: Yes, yes, yes! This product is absolutely moisturizing. I almost thought that I was applying moisturizer instead of sunscreen.

With Hyaluronic Acid & Citrus extract to keep skin hydrated and healthyHydrated, definitely. Some of my acne scars have also lightened a little over the period of time I have been using this.

It also has a shiny veil effect to brighten skinDefinitely. I was initially really afraid that the white-coloured gel would leave a white cast on my skin, but it turns out that my fears were unfounded. Initially, it will look a little white on your skin, but eventually subside (not disappear, big difference) and get absorbed by your skin so that all that’s left is a healthy-looking glow. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?


Final Verdict

This product lives up to its claims, so I’d definitely call this a worthwhile investment.

I know it’s a little hard to stomach the extra step of applying sunscreen on your face everyday (yes, even if you’re just going to work and likely to stay indoors for 9 hours). Even I can get very lazy about this, but I’ve seen friends with fantastic skin, and one product they use in common is SUNSCREEN.

If you are new to using sunscreen and have no idea what’s good for your skin type, I definitely recommend this. It’s good for all skin types, and especially those of us who are prone to getting our pores blocked. You now have no excuse not to use sunscreen because you are worried that it will cause a breakout.


Rating

Ease of use: ✮✮✮✮✮
Effectiveness: ✮✮✮✮
Value for money: ✮✮✮✮

mustbuy

SKINCARE SHOWDOWN: The Japanese mochi-hada versus the Korean ulzzang glow

SKINCARE SHOWDOWN

The Japanese mochi-hada versus the Korean ulzzang glow

(guest post by Yanna Zhang)


THE CLASH

Fire with fire. Because, how else would two major competitors fight if not head to head?

Perhaps it doesn’t come as such a big shocker to us when these two similar Asian countries are highly competitive in which skin care routine will guarantee the most beautiful and ethereal results.

A whole culture based on their keen ability and skill to be ahead of whatever trend is in the beauty industry. Their K-pop idols practically embody the agelessness and radiance the vain crave. With their 10-step skin care routine being a sure formula for that much desired white glow, the Koreans have been crowned the ultimate masters of skin care.

For a nation that is big on the minimalist, the Japanese, on the contrary, do not hold themselves back in the skin care routine area. Passing their traditional secrets on getting mochi-hada white skin from generation to generation, they have long since polished and perfected their routine for plump, youthful-looking skin. Someone who is not new to the competition of the beauty industry is the Japanese country.


JAPANESE SKINCARE: HOW IT WORKS

Broken down into a basic outline, the Japanese put more emphasis on prevention rather than absorption.

  1. Starting off with emulsifying oils and balms (removes make-up residue and oil), the routine would consist of double cleansing with the following foam cleansers (removes sweat and dirt).
  2. Skin conditioners or “lotions” then hydrate and soften the skin – serums or “beauty liquids” following soon after for no other purpose, but to whiten dark spots and diminish redness.
  3. The last being the highly-important sunscreen or protection against UVA and UVB.

What’s that? Expecting more? Well, that’s it. Sensei would be so proud.

Extra tip: My mother taught me how to use the power of using rice water for better skin and hair just as the Japanese do. Not only does it leave the skin feeling smoother, but also plump and dewy.


KOREAN SKINCARE: HOW IT WORKS

Misconception aside, the 10-step routine would not necessarily require all ten products for every single day. The Korean lather-rinse-repeat program would typically consist of:

  1. Oil cleansers and foam cleansers would the ultimate first to the long road of Korean skincare.
  2. After cleansing, that’s when they do exfoliating products to remove dead skin cells. Duh.
  3. The most important of all: toner. Newsflash. The Koreans love their toner as it makes it easier for the skin to absorb the next products.
  4. Essence for hydration and serums and/or boosters for dark or red spots.
  5. Face masks are the next step. Whether clay, peel-off, or other, the face mask industry thrives on how frequent the Koreans use face masks. I have one product review on Innisfree
  6. And if you think this routine was near over, bam, eye cream. Time to get rid of those droopy, saggy, miserable-looking bags and turn them into aegyo-sal, the currently trending cute, puffy under eye bags.
  7. Face cream, the figurative hair net keeping all the products on your face, is then applied to guarantee maximum absorption.
  8. To top it off, they finish the routine off with SPF for protection against the sun. Of course, we wouldn’t want to ruin all that hard work by leaving our skin exposed for harmful ultraviolet rays, would we?

PICK YOUR POISON

With the more minerals and vitamins (one of their products is literally labeled ‘essence’), the Korean skin care routine is said to result in glowing, radiant skin while the Japanese had a more plump, youthful-looking and more on the white side complexion. While it may seem easy to mix and match, the two routines would actually have significant differences in the results.

We also have to take note of the highly noticeable routine efficiency. Everyone wants to know, “is it worth our time?” Being a busybody personally, I would dislike having to diligently follow the lengthy Korean skin care routine for radiant, young skin I could get from the Japanese routine, anyway. But, the idea of attaining the much envied glowy look from the Korean skin care is a little tempting.

I mean, why not? Their Korean idols look like such visions that it would be only normal to idolize them for the intricate procedures they go through. But, you do you.


FINAL SAY

With their shorter list of products, the Japanese skincare routine is said to be the better recommended program for beginners – or those who don’t have the diligence to persevere the many steps of K-beauty like me. The typical Korean skin care routine, having more minerals and essential ingredients and product variety, more recommended for those willing to go through the hard work of it and desiring the natural glow it provides.

I think, overall, there is no definite winner as it will always be in the eye of the beholder which seems more appealing and attractive to them. While the two beauty industries have always been argued about and debated on, it only ends up highlighting how much technology and innovation they have had in the beauty and cosmetics industry of the world.

So, who’s the winner? Who deserves that Iron Throne (heh, did you get the reference)? I’d say both of them did. Along with all the other countries who have their traditional, culturally diverse beauty routines as well.

With that, concludes our skin care showdown.