Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My current skincare 'routine' - Elemis, Sunday Riley, Dermalogica and SK-II

I don't think my 'skincare routine' has ever consisted of this many products until now.  My first skincare 'splurge' was before I got married, 7 years ago, when instead of treating myself to a facial as many brides-to-be do, I decided to buy a few Dermalogica products instead, which included the Daily Microfoliant, the Special Cleansing Gel and the Smoothing Cream (which lasted me almost 7 years - that's how often or how much I used it, I did say I was lazy!).  Prior to that I just used whatever cleanser/moisturizer I'd find in the supermarket, or whatever product my mom would have around the house

I am by no makeup or skincare blogger, reviewer or connoisseur by any means, but I thought I'd share my current (and many long-standing) favourite skincare products (and save my favourite makeup products for another post), to justify all the time I spent reading countless reviews on each of them:

Warning: lengthiest and wordiest post in a long time.


SK II Cleansing Oil

I am too lazy to use a eye makeup remover and cleanse, so I simply use the SKII cleansing oil to do it in one go, it features a ""Lock and Lift"" formulation which allows oil to transform with water to gently lift away make-up and impurities from the skin.  I have previously used different brands of cleansing oils, but this is my favourite, especially because it doesn't make my eyes 'cloudy' (I wear contact lenses) and blurry after use.  My skin feels clean but not dry, and it does a good job of removing my eye makeup (and if it hasn't, I use a little of the oil on a cotton pad, as if it were an eye makeup remover, which I then rinse off).  I was recently surprised when I was told I should cleanse in addition to cleansing with the cleansing oil, and do so occasionally, I love Sunday Riley's Ceramic Slip cleanser as again, it is not drying, but leaves my skin soft and clean.

Available at Nordstrom, Sephora and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Dermalogica Microfoliant

I used to use this every morning, since discovering it 7 years ago.  I once ran out of this stuff, and my skin quickly showed me I needed it, so I swiftly repurchased (hubby also loves this).  I feel my skin is brighter and clearer with this, and only stopped using it daily when a SA at Mecca told me I shouldn't use this before an oil, as it'd cause breakouts.  She also said for it to really work I should leave it in for at least 2 minutes or so, as it is a 'chemical' exfoliant, rather than a 'physical' one.

Available at FragranceNet and Adorebeauty.


Sunday Riley 'Juno' Transformative Lipid Serum

This stuff is seriously amazing.  I had read all about Kahina Oil, but when I went into Mecca to buy it, only to find it wasn't stocked in that particular store, I was given a sample of this and was sold. Having just returned from an overseas trip, my skin reacted badly to coming back to the dry Australian weather.  After using a few drops of this at night, my skin went from being pink-ish, blotchy, bumpy and uncomfortable and itchy to glowing, smooth, and even-toned.  It even allowed me to go without foundation most days! I love being able to do so.  It smells a little like a salad dressing, but the smell quickly dissipates (plus I love its natural smell).  I merely warm two drops in the palms of my hands and press it onto my skin after cleansing at night.  The next morning - voila - glowing clear skin!

I raved about this product to my sister, and when she couldn't find it in stores (sold out) in the UK, she bought Sunday Riley's 'Good Genes', which I have since tried, and absolutely love.  This product makes my skin so smooth and glowy, I love it!

Available from Sephora and Net-a-Porter (seems they changed the packaging into one with a dropper!)

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm

I use the Elemis Illuminating Flash Balm in the morning.  I now skip cleansing in the morning (just rinsing my face with water), or when I do cleanse, I use my Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, followed this balm under my makeup.  I have used the Clarins Flash Balm before, but this isn't like that.  This is like a lightweight moisturizer that imparts a glow under makeup that is not shimmer-related, it just looks radiant and healthy.  I find it acts like a primer under my foundation, and makes my makeup look...better, without going oily, and also last longer.  Very occasionally I will use a drop of my Sunday Riley Juno under this if I'm feeling particularly dry or dull-skinned.  

Available at Nordstrom and Elemis.


Elemis Absolute Eye Serum

Another Elemis product that peaked my interest was their 'eye creams'.  For the last 20 years I keep meaning to use an eye-cream regularly, but simply keep forgetting to do so.  Prior to this I was simply using the Garnier roll-on eye cream purchased at the supermarket, only because I saw my sister using it, and thought it looked straightforward enough for me to use.  I then discovered the concealer version of that roll-on, which guaranteed I remembered to use it, as that is one thing I absolutely need: concealer for my very dark circles.  I had run out of the Garnier roll-on for a few months, and thought it was better late than never to have a 'proper' eye cream.  This serum is great, my undereye skin feels refreshed and hydrated, I would like to think it also looks less puffy and dark.

Ok, so I haven't taken a before and after picture of my undereye circles to see whether this makes an actual visible difference, but the reviews I read on Makeupalley and elsewhere assures me these have worked on others well.  What I do know is that it is easy to apply, and I have been using it every night.  It is liquid and not oily, and is easily dispensed with a dropper, which is what I love about this product. I use one drop under each eye, and it is easily absorbed, doesn't feel oil or greasy, and doesn't sting my eyes.  

Available at Elemis.

Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Renewal

This is the actual 'eye gel' that I use over the serum, and again it is easy to use and easy to apply (easily absorbed, not greasy, oily or stinging to the eye - no milia issue either, which I know is the complaint of many eye creams).  I dispense a tiny amount and pat it under and around my eyes, it sinks in immediately which is great.  I am not a fan of having to work in an eye cream, and like it when a product is quickly absorbed.  I think the line(s) under my eye seem smoother and perhaps the bags less puffy, probably in combination with the serum (above). 

Available at Elemis.


Ok, I have included this 'Berry Glow' Pressed Juice in the pic below, because I love eating berries, not only because they are delicious, but because I like thinking that the abundant antioxidants in them are doing my skin good (blueberries in particular).  I also love eating salmon fillets (skin ON - crispy after barbecuing them, with the flesh pink in the middle), and I try to drink plenty of water.  Antioxidants + Omega 3's are great for good skin.

 Now, as the years clock by, I think it's time to roll my sleeves up and put a little bit of effort in my skincare regimen.  Wear a hat, put on sunscreen...and not take my 'Asian' genes for granted (my mother has great skin, and both my grandmothers did too, although they have/had great skincare regimens).

What about you?  What are your favourite skincare products?
 L to R: SK-II Cleansing Oil, Dermalogica Microfoliant, Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm, Sunday Riley Juno Lipid Serum, Elemis Absolute Eye Serum, Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Renewal
My tools to fight my uber-dark undereye circles
 Travel essentials
all pics by me.

I am quite curious about the Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine cream, their Enzyme Resurfacing Night cream and theirCellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules - I love how Elemis uses lovely Marine/Natural ingredients.  Has anyone used any of these products?


  1. Lovely photos. I like how you arranged the products. I'm not familiar with the Elemis brand but I'm always open to trying now ones. Currently, my standbys include coconut oil at night and Creme de la Mer for day. Sunscreen is Chanel UV Essentiel SPF 50 - great for pale girls in sunny climates. :)

    1. I have heard so much about Creme de la Mer! I must save up and try it someday...

  2. just curious about your steamer, how do you like it? which brand?

    1. Hi, apologies for the delay in my reply. The steamer is the Jiffy Esteam, and I like it a lot. I also have the full-sized Jiffy steamer at home, but the portable one is not only great for travel but for light items like silk dresses/tops/etc ;)