The £85 serum: Algenist Genius – Review

algenistserumWhilst scrolling through the internet for the next product to test for you guys I came across the Genius serum from San Franciscan clinical skincare brand, Algenist. At £85 for a 30ml bottle I knew this serum was not to be bought on a whim. After a lot of research I decided to take the plunge and purchase it.

The Genius serum claims to visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reduce the appearance of age spots and reduce discoloration (my main skincare concern!).

Packaging: I really like the packaging for this product. It comes in a fully opaque pump meaning it is stable to light and air exposure. Having said that, you won’t know if you’ve run out of product, till you run out of product.

Formula: The formula of the serum is really what convinced me that I needed it in my life. The formula is based on silicones and the main actives are Alguronic acid, Microalgae oil and Vitamin C. Vitamin C in skincare products are my weak spot and this product has a high concentration of it! Alguronic acid is a patented compound which is said to be responsible for regeneration and protection of the microalgae cell. Microalgae oil contains oleic acid (an essentially fatty acid in the skin), phytosterols, tocopherols and tocotrienols which are essential nutrients for healthy skin. The formula also contains a plethora of cell-communicating ingredients for the regeneration and healing of hyperpigmented skin. Unfortunately, it does contain parfum and alcohol derivatives making it unsuitable for sensitive skin.

Application: A single pump of this product is enough for the whole face. The product comes out as a clear gel that feels cooling on the skin and absorbs very quickly. I didn’t find the product to be sticky or uncomfortable.

Long term results: I used this product every night for 3 months. Within the first few weeks I saw an overall improvement in the brightness of my skin. It looked a bit more plump and radiant which is what I usually get when using a new serum. After the first few weeks however I stopped seeing any further improvement in my skin. It didn’t improve the hyperpigmentation around my mouth and eyes nor did it fade dark spots.

All in all despite the amazing ingredients and overall positive reviews I’ve read, I’d say this serum was not worth the £85 price tag. Perhaps my skin isn’t mature enough to gain the full benefits from it, but I definitely will not be repurchasing it as I have gotten better results from cheaper serums that I’ve used in the past.

Have you tried this serum before? What is your  favourite serum? Comment below and let me know!

Jay x

Estée Lauder Perfectionist [CP + R] Serum – Review

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By now you guys must know I’m a serious skin care addict and I do a lot of research before purchasing anything for my skin. When I saw the ingredients in the Perfectionist [Correct Prevent + Repair] Serum from Estee Lauder I thought “woah I need to try this”. This product is aimed at all skin types and claims to lift sagging skin, reclaim suppleness of skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. I bought the 30ml version of this from Boots for £56, making it the most expensive serum I’ve purchased to date!

Taken from the Estee Lauder website:

“Our most effective wrinkle-fighting serum ever. It significantly reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles, with exceptional speed. Supercharge your skin: Fast. Effective. With innovative CPR-75 Technology. Instantly, skin feels smooth, looks fresher, younger. 78% of women said it immediately smoothed the look of their lines and wrinkles.”

Packaging: This serum comes in a semi-opaque purple plastic container with a air-proof pump. I like that it has a pump so it isn’t exposed to air. However, the packaging should be completely opaque to maintain integrity of antioxidants.

Formula: This product contains a lot of Dimethicone so avoid if you’re sensitive to this ingredient. It contains a lot of anti-oxidant ingredients which are great at mopping up free radicals in the atmosphere that damage skin. This formula also contains fragrance (which I try to avoid as much as I can), so those with sensitive skin may like to avoid this.

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Texture and appearance: As soon as I pumped this product out into my hand I noticed the very thick silicone feel. It doesn’t spread easily on the skin even when it is warmed up in between my palms but it dries to a soft, velvety, powdery finish. This means it works really well as a primer for make-up and immediately fills in fine lines. It has a pleasant fragrance which disappears when applied to the skin.

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Long term benefits: I’ve been using this product for three months in the night time only and I have noticed that it has balanced my skin in terms of oiliness. I have also noticed an improvement in the texture of my skin. I can’t comment on whether it has improved sagging or changed deep lines because I don’t have either yet. One important thing to note is that this is not a hydrating serum, therefore I would only recommend it to those with slightly oilier skin.

Overall verdict: Overall this serum helped balance my skin, improved the skin texture and didn’t cause any breakouts but at the same time it didn’t give me that youthful glow I got when using the Advanced Night Repair from Estee Lauder. 30ml of the product will last around 4 months if used one a day so I suppose it’s okay value for money. Honestly, I don’t think I should have bought this product just yet as I’m only 25 and don’t have mature skin. If you have oily, mature skin then perhaps this could work really well for you like it has many others and it might be one I come back to in the future when I do require that lift from a serum.

Have any of you tried this serum before? I’d love to know your thoughts on it, please comment below and let me know 🙂

Jay x

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement Serum – Review

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For the past 10 weeks I have been testing Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement as my daily night time serum. Taken from the Bobbi Brown website Intensive Skin supplement is “an advanced, multi-benefit serum that improves skin’s appearance as it helps prevent the visible signs of aging including dark spots and fine, dry lines. White Birch Extract reduces the look of fine, dry lines, while Grape Extract helps clarify and brighten the complexion. After just four weeks’ use, skin looks firmer, smoother, more even-toned and radiant.” I picked this bottle up from my local department store for £45 and have gotten around two thirds of the way through it in 10 weeks.

Packaging: This serum comes in a semi-opaque bronze bottle with a dropper on the top. I would have preferred if the bottle was fully opaque and there was less air exposure so that the anti-oxidants can remain more stable. However, I have to say I really like the way this bottle looks.

Formula: This serum is water based and contains a few silicones and glycerin which gives it a nice texture and leads to a plumping effect on the skin. Grape Extract is said to help even out skin tone and Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant (may not remain stable because of packaging), Castor oil is also present in this formula making it moisturising whilst not being comedogenic.  It is also fragrance-free making it suitable for sensitive skin. The formula is marketed for all skin types.

Texture and appearance: This serum is clear in appearance. The texture is very watery but once I pat it into the skin it becomes quite sticky. This absorbs in within seconds but leaves a sticky residue, which in my opinion makes it unsuitable for daytime.

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Effects: On the very first night of using this I woke up to more balanced skin, my oily T-zone was less oily and my cheeks were more hydrated. I also had a big red spot on my left cheekbone which disappeared within 2 days of using this and an overall reduction in redness. I’ve been using this only at nighttime only and my skin looks and feels plump and evenly toned. Together with my Paula’s Choice BHA liquid this has reduced the bumpy texture in my T-zone as well. If you have mature or dry skin however this may not be moisturising enough.

Having used this serum for a while now I can say that my skin looks more balanced and the serum has complimented the rest of my skin care routine. I know that this serum is one that I can go back to should my skin break out but I’m not sure I would necessarily purchase it again as it didn’t make me say “wow” unlike Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair.  I experienced balancing in my skin making it perfect for combination/ oily skin and an overall reduction in redness which also makes it suitable for sensitive skin. It is simple and effective skin care with some great ingredients which prevents ageing. Based on that I recommend it if you have troublesome combination-oily skin that is prone to breakouts.

Paula’s Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum – Review

IMG_3247Paula’s Choice is one of my favourite skincare brands. I like Paula’ Choice because the ingredients they use in each product are all backed by science. Having a science background myself I can’t tell you how impressed I am to have found a company that actually consults and refers to scientific journals to choose what ingredients they should be including in their products.

Free radicals are present within the body as well as in the environment. They can damage protein structures in the skin like collagen through a process of oxidation. There are a number of foods which are high in antioxidants that can slow down this process and it is important to consume a good amount of this in your diet. However, it is also important for your skincare to contain some antioxidants to combat the free radicals in the atmosphere.

Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum is supposed to balance oily skin and prevent the signs of ageing whilst also reducing signs of redness. It is packed with antioxidants and hydrating ingredients to help fight environmental damage. I have been using this serum since December as my daytime serum under my moisturiser and I’m around two thirds of the way through finishing it, so a single tube should last 6 months if used once per day, 3 months if used twice. I bought this product online from the Paula’s Choice website for £30.

Packaging: The serum comes in a 30ml opaque tube with a nozzle tip, this allows the antioxidants to remain stable without light and air exposure.

Formula: This has a number of amazing ingredients in it. It’s built around water and silicone slip agents but contains a cocktail of 6 antioxidants including Vitamin C and E, cell communicating ingredients and Hyularonic Acid which is one of my favourite ingredients to hydrate the skin (the molecule holds 10x it’s weight in water!). It is also colour and fragrance free making it suitable for sensitive skin. It is aimed at combination to oily skin as it is a lightweight formula.

Texture and appearance: This serum is clear with a slight yellow tint. I use around a 5p coin size for my whole face by warming it up within my palms and patting it into the skin. It has a really slippery texture and absorbs into the skin within seconds. I LOVE that it is safe to use around the eye area!

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Feel: My skin is left feel really soft and smooth after this product has absorbed into the skin. There is no sticky residue and it actually makes a great make-up base. My skin also looks more plump immediately after applying this serum because it is very hydrating. I use this underneath my SPF moisturiser.

This is a holy grail daytime serum for me, for the nighttime I like to use something a little heavier and moisturising. This serum doesn’t exacerbate my oiliness and hasn’t caused any reactions or breakouts. It has kept my skin hydrated and I feel confident knowing that my skin is being protected from free-radical damage. If you’re just starting to think about preventative measures you can take to protect your skin from the environment then this serum is a great place to start.

Jay x

 

Beauty Wishlist – April

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April is going to be a broke month for me I’ve got a few important birthdays coming up so I’ve had to reduce my beauty budget a teeeeny bit, but hey a girls gotta shop right? Here is my April beauty wishlist:

1) Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement – I need a new serum and this one looks really good, can’t wait to try it and review for you guys.

2) MakeUp Forever HD Foundation (153) – I bought the colour 173 recently and realised it’s way too dark for me. Unfortunately MUFE don’t do a 163 colour in the UK so I need to get 153 to mix with my current one.

3) Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation – A holy grail foundation for many, which I’ve been meaning to try.

4) Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer (SX11) – Lots of high hopes for this product. I’ve heard it’s incredibly pigmented and covers dark circles effortlessly, for £38 it better do just that haha!

5) Paula’s Choice Shine Stopper Oil Control Primer – Again I’ve read some great reviews on this and I love Paula’s Choice, so I’ll be interested to see if this will be the primer to conquer my oily T-zone.

6) MAC Powder Blush in Ambering Rose – This colour looks amazing on dark skin from the swatches I’ve seen, I MUST have it.

7) Makeup Revolution Blushes in WOW and HOT – At £1 each I’m interested to see if these blushes are any good. Reviews coming soon.

8) theBalm Bahama Mama – I need a sculpting powder and it was between this and the Kevyn Aucoin sculpting powder.  I chose this as it is cheaper obviously, so hopefully it’ll work for my skintone.

9) Makeup Revolution I ♡ Makeup I Heart Chocolate palette  – Apparently this is a very good dupe for the Too Face Chocolate Bar Palette. I don’t want to spend tonnes on an eyeshadow palette so hopefully this one won’t disappoint.

That’s all for now folks, what’s on your beauty wishlist? Comment below and let me know 🙂

Jay x

Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate – Review

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Taken from the Lancome website: “Want glowing skin in 7 days? Here’s your answer in a bottle. This innovative serum soaks into skin, targeting the 10 key signs of youth: texture, resiliency, elasticity, firmness, sagginess, fine lines, wrinkles, radiance, even skin tone, and clarity, with noticeable results in just 7 days. Advanced Génifique is the perfect first step after cleansing to reveal smoother, more radiant skin for all ages, ethnicities, and skin types. With an exclusive self-loading dropper, Génifique delivers the ideal dosage to bring back the light into your skin”.

I bought a 20ml bottle of this serum from Feel Unique for £29.00. I’ve been using this serum daily morning and night for two weeks now and I feel as though I have used the product long enough to give you my informed opinion on it.

Packaging : I like the packaging of this product, the glass bottle feels very luxurious and looks great on my vanity. The bottle comes with a dropper that dispenses just the right amount of serum for your face and neck. Because the bottle is made of glass it may make travelling with it difficult.

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Formulation: This serum has a couple of good ingredients in it like Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid- skin moisturiser), Adenosine (helps defend skin against free radical damage by aiding antioxidants) and Ascorbyl Glucoside (Vitamin C). There are some bad ingredients in this product too. There is alcohol in this serum which for me is a major no-no in skin care. Citronellol (fragrance) and Parfum. These three ingredients have the potential to damage and irritate your skin if used over a long term period.

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Texture and appearance: The appearance of this serum is an almost clear liquid. The texture starts of like a normal serum but once you rub it between your palm it melts into a watery consistency. This means that it absorbs very quickly into the skin and feels very light with no sticky feeling afterwards. It has a very smooth finish which I suspect is due to the presence of Dimethicone in the formula.

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Smell: I can’t quite place my finger on the fragrance, it just has that “serum smell”. Either way there is added Parfum/Fragrance in this product making it unsuitable for sensitive skin. Not sure why Lancome added fragrance in this product as it serves no purpose!

Results: The first time I used this product I woke up with brighter skin overnight. However this brightening effect stopped after the first few days and it went back to looking dull. Unfortunately as this has such a light texture I didn’t feel it was hydrating enough. Furthermore it caused a small breakout on my left cheek and chin, I suspect this is due to the perfume or alcohol in the formula. I didn’t notice any plumping of the skin or improvement in fine lines.

Overall verdict: This serum gets a thumbs down from me I’m afraid. I’m trying to cut down on fragranced products as they can cause long term damage to the skin. Also the alcohol in the formula puts me off using it again. Whilst this did cause an immediate overall brightening effect there were no longer term effects that outweight the potential damage the bad ingredients could cause. I would say that the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair trumps this serum by far.

Jay x

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II – Review

Hey folks, I bought this serum after much deliberation. Spending £49 on a skin care product was not an easy decision, but I’ve heard many good reviews on Advanced Night Repair and I wanted to give it a go myself. If you’re interested in buying this yourself the following review may help 🙂

Claims: Taken from the Estee Lauder website
• Lines and wrinkles look significantly reduced
• Skin feels smoother, hydrated, stronger.
• Skin looks younger, radiant, more translucent and even toned.
• Helps protect skin’s appearance against environmental damage.
• Helps reduce the look of past damage caused by every major environmental assault.
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Ingredients: This serum contains ChronoluxCB™ Technology, a peptide complex that tricks your skin cells into thinking they’re sleeping, which activates renewal mode. Hyularonic acid which is a great moisturiser.
Bottle: This serum comes in a dark brown semi-opaque bottle with a dropper attached to the cap. I presumed for such a high end product the bottle would be glass but it is in fact plastic and doesn’t feel as luxurious as I would have expected. I use around half a pump for my whole face.

Texture & Appearance: When dispensed out of the dropper the serum is a orange-tint gel. The serum is quite sticky at first but absorbs within seconds when you pat it into the skin.

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Smell: I can’t quite put my finger on the smell, I think it has a citrus fragrance, but this disappears once the product is absorbed.

Benefits: I didn’t notice a huge difference in my skin after the first use of this serum, but after 2-3 weeks I saw an improvement in hydration and slight improvement in firmness of the skin, complexion and radiance. Also the serum didn’t cause any breakouts.

Final verdict: This is the first high-end serum that I have tried and I am quite impressed. It improved the appearance of my skin slightly, but perhaps because I don’t have wrinkles to begin with I didn’t see a significant improvement. I’m not sure I would repurchase this just yet because I would still like to try some of the other best selling serums. This 30ml bottle lasted around 3 months with daily use so it works out to be quite expensive.

If you have any suggestions on what I should try out next please let me know below 🙂

Memebox – Cacao + Skin Care + Mask Edition 4 (Unboxing)

So for those of you who don’t know, Memebox is a South Korean beauty box. It is not a subscription service where you pay a monthly fee and the box is automatically delivered, however you just go onto their website and buy the boxes that you want and it begins delivery on the release date.

Each box contains 4-8 full size products or deluxe samples and costs around $23 (£13.48) each. Some boxes are a little cheaper, some a little more expensive depending on what they have in them. The shipping fees are $6.99 (£4.10) for standard shipping (15-25 business days to deliver). If you order over $75 (£44) worth of boxes you qualify for free express shipping which delivers in 3-7 business days.

Overall the actual value of each box comes in at least around $80 (£47), so it’s a great way of trying out new products which you may never get to try otherwise.

Now moving onto what I bought. I got the Cacao + Skin Care + Mask Edition 4 some time last month and it arrived today (woo!!!) *WARNING SPOILERS BELOW*

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Memebox Special #11 Cacao

MEMEBOX SPECIAL #11 CACAO
MEMEBOX SPECIAL #11 CACAO

1) Etude House Milk Talk 200ml- Full Size $7

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Body Wash that has a chocolate milk scent

2) WondeRuci Cacao Brightening Mask 100g- Full Size $38

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I may have to control myself from eating this face mask

3) Pure Smile Essence Mask Chocolate Milk 23ml- Full Size $1

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Sheet mask infused with milk proteins, cacao, vitamin E and collagen

4) Evas Vitamin Cleansing Dessert Magic Cream Soap Coconut & Cacao 130g- Full size $18

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Facial cleanser with coconut and cacao extract

5) Pure Smile Choosy Lip Scrub Chocolate 25g- Full size $11

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Aw come on! Just a little taste?

6) Purederm Nose Pore 6 Strips Choco Cacao – Full Size $6

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Nose pore strips to clear blackheads, whiteheads and dirt

Total Value of box: $81 (£47.46)

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Memebox Special #9 Skincare

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1) Nasarang Rose Balancing Toner ( 5ml sample)

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Moisturising and brightening toner

2) Verikos Advanced Power Tightening Cream (4g sample)

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Skin tightening cream to improve elasticity and glow

3) Boscians Cycle Repair Wrinkle Spot 15ml- Full size $24

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Cream to treat fine lines and wrinkles- think I’ll gift this to my mum

4) Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence 60ml- Full size $18

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Essence to cleanse help rough, damaged skin

5) Dewytree Tea Tree Porest Powder In Toner 200ml- Full size $26

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Toner for clogged pores and enlarged pores

6) Dewytree White Dew 7 Cut Extreme Serum 30ml- Full size $41

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Facial serum to tackle dark spots and uneven skin tone

7) Secret Key Super Plumping Jelly Cream 50ml- Full Size $77

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Plumping face jelly cream. Gave this one to my mum, I’m such a great daughter haha!

Total Value of box: $186 (£108.99)

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Memebox Special #10 Mask Edition 4

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1) Sua Young Berristure 100g – Full Size $40

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Face cream packed with berry extracts used as a cream or wash off pack

2) SLCOSMETIC Soo Effect Plus Essence Sheet Mask (Repair, Energise, Waterdrop)- 3 Full Sizes $2 each

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Sheet masks to repair, energise and hydrate skin

3) WHEN 10:00pm & Travelmate 23ml- Full size $28

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Nourishing night time sheet mask and day time mask to treat damaged skin

4) Skin Factory 7 Seconds Morning Sheet 7in1 150g- Full size $39

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Double sided toner, emulsion and essence face pads

5) Purederm Vitamin C Facial Pads 24ea- Full size $12

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Revitalising face pads

Total Value of box: $125 (£73.25)

http://us.memebox.com/ 

 I’m super excited to try these products out. This is the first time I’ve bought Memebox and I am delighted with it, the sizes of the products and the value for money is amazing. The products that you get are such high end cosmetics from new to market brands that I would never be able to afford otherwise and the packaging is so cute! If you would like individual product reviews comment below and let me know! Also I’d like to see some of your Memebox unboxings so post a link 🙂

Jay x

Korean Skincare Routine

I went to Korea this summer and one thing I noticed about Korean women was that their skin was FLAWLESS. Now I’m not talking about some 20 year old with perfect skin, I’m talking 40 to 50 years old with no wrinkles, no dark spots… nothing. It’s easy to see that Koreans are very into their skincare, there are so many cosmetic shops on every road in the big cities.

Selfie on Seoraksan Mountain
Selfie on Seoraksan Mountain

So when I came back home I wanted to adopt this skincare routine, in hopes that it will help my skin in the future. I know that different people have different versions of the routine buy here is my version broken down for you:

Day time

Step 1: Cleanse

Opt for a cleanser that refreshes the skin in the morning but doesn’t strip your skin of it’s natural oils. Massage cleanser into skin, wash off and pat dry.

Step 2: First Essence (Optional)

This step is used to inject a bit of moisture into the skin after cleansing. First essences have a very watery consistency. Pat a few drops into the skin, let absorb for a few minutes.

Step 3: Toner/ Skin Refiner

Used to bring the pH level of the skin to its natural level which is important in protecting the skin against bacteria and reducing sebum production. Use a cotton pad to wipe across face and let absorb for a minute.

Step 3: Essence

Essence is packed with targeted skin care ingredients for you concerns whether it is anti-ageing, hyper-pigmentation, dryness etc. Pat a few drop into your skin and let absorb for a few minutes.

Step 4: Gel/ Lotion/ Emulsion/ Cream

This step is all about moisturising. Gels and emulsions are much lighter compared to lotions or creams and are ideal for the summer or oily skin. One thing to note is you should always (all year round) use a cream that has a high level of SPF in it that will protect you from UVB and especially harmful UVA rays. Let absorb for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Eye Cream

The under eye area needs extra hydration, it also helps concealer glide on better. Pat into the under eye area with the ring finger.

Night time 

Step 1: First Cleanse

This step is targeted at getting rid of make-up, especially tough eye make-up. Massage cleanser into skin, wash off and pat dry.

Step 2: Second Cleanse

Just like the morning opt for a cleanser doesn’t strip your skin of it’s natural oils. Massage cleanser into skin, wash off and pat dry.

Step 3: First Essence (Optional)

Same as day time

Step 4: Toner/ Skin Refiner

Same as day time

Step 5: Serum

Serums are like thicker versions of essences but with a higher concentration of skin care ingredients to target your skin care concerns. Again pat a few drops of this into the skin and let absorb for 5 minutes.

Step 6: Ampoule, Booster (Optional)

Ampoule is even more concentrated that serums and are usually quite expensive, the booster is used with the ampoule to help it absorb better and literally boost its benefits. This step is really only necessary for mature skin types.

Step 7: Cream

Night creams usually are a lot thicker than day creams and do not need an SPF. Massage and pat in with your palms.

Step 8: Eye Cream

Again as it is night time, when your skin aims to regenerate, opt for a thicker eye cream. Pat into the under eye area with the ring finger.

Once a week:

Sheet mask

Sheet masks are absorbed with essences or serums. Leave it on your skin for 20 minutes then rub in the extra essence. Use before night cream.

Deep cleansing mask

Used to deep cleanse the pores of all the grime, sebum, whiteheads and blackheads. Clay masks are especially good for this.

Twice a week:

Sleeping pack

A sleeping pack is used after the night cream and it gives a boost of hydration to the skin. Your skin will appear plump and hydrated in the morning.

Facial scrub

This step is used to exfoliate all the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin revealing fresher brighter skin.