Facial Products: Tried & Tested!

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Would you look at that? Blog post #2 is in session (Already? -insert shy monkey emoji-). I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone who has taken the time to click on the blog link, to share the tweets and to congratulate me on this new endeavour of mine. It’s one foot in the water but you all have been ever so supportive. Now, now, Kara. Let’s not get all sentimental on this. After all, your blog is still in the works. Here goes a topic that a number of you, internet friends, have asked me about through comments, mostly DM’s. I’ve tried to answer you in bullet points but I suppose you have more questions in mind? Hopefully this will help!

WARNING: This is quite a long post. Not every entry will be this long but I just felt the need to go the extra mile to explain these products because the details are important. If you’re okay with that, then go ahead and scroll down. Enjoy!:)

It’s about time I start delving into what makes up my skin care regimen but before that, I thought I should let you guys know that everyone differs when it comes to skin categories. I’m under the combination skin type meaning I am both dry and oily (I know. It’s complicated. Simply put, I’m oily on my T-zone and dry on the other parts of my face–especially around my nose and under my eyes). I’m aware that I go on and on and on about my facial care on Instagram but never did expound on why I consider the products I’ve posted about my must-have’s. So here I am, listing down my staples.

1. Clinique’s dramatically different moisturising gel

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There isn’t a day that goes by without me using this. This is a product that I must have with me everywhere I go. Seriously speaking, I even have the travel-size version of it just because I will never permit my face to go dry. Right after I shower from a workout, I apply. Right after I wipe off the make-up from a shoot, I apply. When I wake up from a nap and my face feels dry from lying down on the pillow on one cheek, I apply. You get the gist. Plus, notice that it says gel. Clinique has the same product but in a lotion formula. This works really effectively but I’ve found it to make me all oily pretty quickly. The gel formula says in its description that it is oil-free. I decided to give it a shot and I’m very happy with its consistency and result. Complete hydration, very light, dries fast (I hate products that take so long to dry. Especially because I always moisturise before putting any make-up on) , spreads on smoothly AND it comes with a pump (very important! I also hate it when I accidentally squeeze too much product out. What a waste). If you are of the pure dry skin type, go on and get yourself the lotion formula. If you are the oily type, girl, I highly recommend this one.

2. MAC’s Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion

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L-O-V-E. I use this EVERYDAY. I apply this once a day usually in the morning, before my moisturiser. I personally use this mainly as a toner but it seems to give me other benefits that I’ve noticed over time. Okay, first off, this is an EXCELLENT toner. It removes dirt off your face in a swipe. I’m not exaggerating. Go to a MAC store with nothing on, feel free to even wash your face before it. Look for a tester and wipe your entire face with it. You’ll be surprised at how much residue is left even after cleansing your face. Second, it is non-drying AND it provides moisture. Take note, those are two different things. “Non-drying” just means that it doesn’t dehydrate your face while “moisturising” means that it leaves your skin feeling instantly refreshed. A product can have one of the two, both or none at all. Trust me, there’s a difference. I’ve found that this softens my skin as well. This “Lightful C” line of MAC in particular (I’ll talk about their other products of the same line in another post). Off the bat, not having read reviews or their product claims, this leaves my skin feeling revitalised and bright. It smells so good as well! I love products that smell like fresh linen (Pro: makes your face smell amaaaaze. Con: those with super sensitive skin might not be too happy about this). Honestly though, it’s not cheap but it’s not that expensive either. If you’re comparing it to drugstore toners, yes, it’s a bit pricey but I promise, #NoRagrets. Just a little bit on a cotton pad is enough. It’s a big bottle of 150mL so it will last you a long time. Remember: you pay for the quality. You pay for the results.

3. KHIEL’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate

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Good for moisturising but bad for make-up. Thus, I use this only at night. What I do not like about this is that it leaves my face super shiny and this takes forever to dry and sink into the skin. What I love about this is how it makes your face feel like you’ve used a facial masque x 1000000. I use this when I’m in dire need of skin rehydration. When I’m on my period (come on, girls. Don’t get all maarte here. I’m telling you as it is. That’s a good thing. Haha), this comes in handy. I feel like my skin is so flushed out and my face is as dry as the desert. This saves my skin during those days. It’s supposed to smoothen the fine lines and “intensively hydrate the skin’s deepest surface layers”. Well, I can’t comment on the smoothening of fine lines but it’s surely on-point on the intensive hydration. If you’ve been following me on Instagram for quite a while, you’d know that Khiel’s has always been big on my list. They’ve never failed me. I put this on at night and I wake up with extremely soft skin. I’d take this with me if I were to go on a trip to a place that will suck the moisture out of my face. Haha!

4. Origins’ Original Skin Renewal serum with Willowherb

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This product gives me the glow I want when I’m brave enough to go somewhere with zero make-up on. If you are wondering what makes this different from the MAC Lightful C Softening Lotion that I’ve mentioned above, there are 2 main differences I’d like to point out. Uno, this does not act as a toner AT ALL. It does not remove the dirt off your face and I would not use this with a cotton pad. I’d pump this once or twice on two fingers, dot it all over my face then spread it with both hands. Dos (Is that even right? Using “uno” now seems so much cooler and I’ve never used “dos” before as an ordinal number but whatever. Haha!), this has a very fine shimmer effect. Anyone who I have talked about make-up or nail polish with knows that I stray away from anything with shimmer, except of course if it’s meant to be a highlighter. I’m a matte kind of gal and well, this serves as the ONLY exception–LITERALLY THE ONLY EXCEPTION. The “glitter” or “shimmer” is very subtle so I suppose that’s what I should give the “glow” credit for. It smells good as well, that’s another plus. Also, I think it’s very essential to mention that Origins is a brand that takes pride in its use of natural products. It’s formulated WITHOUT parabens, sulphates and phthalates and is free of synthetic fragrance and synthetic dyes, petro-chemicals, GMOs, and triclosan. BOOM. For organic product junkies, a path my Mother is veering me towards, here you go!

5. kieHl’s Micro-blur Skin Perfector

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THANK GOODNESS FOR PRODUCTS YOU CAN APPLY OVER MAKE-UP. What a dilemma it is to have a face you have worked very meticulously on and yet unable to retouch after. You question touch-up’s and you hesitate to blot your face because it might ruin the foundation/powder you have spread on so evenly, the contour you have brushed on so carefully or the blush you have already gently blended in with your highlighter, right? Well, you have Kiehl’s to thank for this product. It’s lightweight, it minimises the appearance of pores and it refines the skin’s texture; I also have no idea how they did it but it’s made in a way that when applied over a baked face, it won’t ruin whatever make-up you have on. It’s amazing. They made me try it during a Kiehl’s event and can you just imagine the hesitation then? I still needed to take photos and there was no way I was going to ruin my make-up even before getting an Instagram-worthy photo! The lady who I was assigned to was nice enough to give me the facts about it to assure me that it’s safe to apply this without messing anything up. True enough, I tried it on and my make-up remained intact. The creases under my eyes lessened and my face did look more evened out. This is good for retouches especially for those who are conscious of their pores. Good thing I listened to the skin expert!

6. KIEHL’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

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The last but not the least out of my SKIN care product staples. I don’t think I really need to explain why this is a favourite. I think everyone has seen this on a number of people’s must-have’s and I completely understand why. This is a product you use overnight, by the way. If I have a shoot the next morning or if I have an event that I’m required to arrive with no make-up on but still look fresh, this is what I put on the day before. It’s a concentrate that has a number of essential oils and distilled botanicals packed into one formula. It comes with a dropper so just a few squeezes and you’re good. This is a bit pricey for the 30mL bottle it comes in but it’s worth every cent. Kiehl’s states in their product claim: “works with the skin’s natural nocturnal activity – when skin is most receptive to repairing itself from daily aggressors – to dramatically restore skin”. I was sold on just reading that. It’s not like a toner that you have to wait until it dries completely. You have to massage it gently and wait for it to sink in, especially if you twist and turn at night. Don’t put it to waste. Sayang naman. Baka it will end up on your pillow lang. It works. It helps. The reason why it’s a customer favourite is completely valid.

So there you have it: six of my skin care favourites! Don’t worry. I’ll be blogging about facial masques, eye creams, make-up, etc. next time! Sorry if my posts are a bit lengthy. I’m really going the extra mile to describe these products, so you wouldn’t have to research on them and have to experiment yourselves! I hope I got to answer most if not all of your questions. If you have more inquiries, feel free to comment! I will answer you right away in case the others are wondering the same thing.

REMEMBER: Always take care of your skin! Anyone can look like an artista in full-on make-up. Iba pa rin ang natural beauty. Everyone is born beautiful so let’s do our part and take care of what we are blessed with. I loooove make-up. You know that! But I personally believe that clear, healthy skin is one of the best assets of women ( men, too!). SKIN IS IN.

Until next time! Let me know what else you want me to write about. Maybe food the next time around? I’d love to hear from you.❤