Lady Reviews | Aesop Amazing Face Cleanser, B & Tea Toner and More

Beauty, Review, Skincare

As I’ve mentioned in my Cruelty Free Cosmetics post, Aesop is one of my favourite skincare brands of all time. Established in 1987, they have since aimed to formulate skin, hair and body care products of the finest quality, using only ingredients of proven safety and efficacy. Each of their stores are uniquely designed by collaborating with a plethora of designers, always reflecting local particularities.

Their Amazing Face Cleanser has become my go to daily cleanser.The brand describes the product as a low-foaming gel cleanser for combination to oily skin, which will thoroughly cleanse and balance the skin, while absorbing excess sebum. It is also recommended for use in warmer months and for those residing in humid or polluted environments.

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 I’ve been using it for the better part of a semester and though I adore the look of the packaging (I just think utilitarian design is so lovely, don’t you?), I must admit it’s screw cap isn’t the most practical. It doesn’t hinder my experience with the product in any way, but I dislike that this type of dispenser can be a bit wasteful.

The cleanser delivers all that is promised, providing a gentle, yet effective cleansing of grime and oil (though it will not remove makeup alone). It soothes, smoothes and softens my skin, leaving behind a luminous complexion. It has a very fresh and citrusy scent, and a light texture which will not irritate sensitive skin. The product does not claim to contain pore-diminishing properties, so the fact that it hasn’t substantially diminished my enlarged pores isn’t really a drawback.

As for the B & Tea Balancing Toner, it is described by the brand as a gentle everyday toner, suited for all skin types. It is named after the inclusion of Provitamin B5 (a form of Panthenol, which helps in hydrating and smoothing the skin) and green tea extract, both of which work as antioxidants to balance skin and refine pores. The product seems to last forever – I’ve been using it (though not very assiduously) for the past six or seven months and my 200ml bottle is still halfway through.

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It feels very watery and refreshing on the skin, and helps remove whatever grime didn’t get washed off by the cleanser. As it is alcohol-free, it feels very gentle and is suited for more sensitive skin. Both the cleanser and the toner will not leave the skin feeling tight after application, being ideal for everyday use.

Though the only two products I actually purchased were the cleanser and toner, Aesop is very generous with their samples and provided me with samples of other three products: the Chamomile Concentrate Anti-Blemish Masque, the Lightweight Facial Hydrating Serum and the Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste.

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Both the Cleanser and Toner are available in 100ml (3.4 fl oz) and 200ml (6.8 fl oz) containers

The Chamomile Masque is an astringent masque which can be applied either on single blemishes or on troubled skin. It is a deeply cleansing clay-based formulation which extracts impurities, absorbs excess oil, purifies and calms the skin. The brand recommends that the masque be applied twice a week, though a single application a week seems sufficient for me. It has a very fine and smooth texture and sits comfortably on the skin. I find my skin much soothed, refined and refreshed after application, especially coupled with lighter moisturizers such as Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel (another favourite of mine. Its review can be found here) or the serum reviewed below.

The Lightweight Facial Hydrating Serum is a daily facial moisturizer ideal for combination, oily or sensitive skin. Like the Amazing face Cleanser, it is recommended for those who live in warmer climates and humid or polluted environments. It goes on aqueous, as most serums do, but stays tacky for an instant before drying down completely matte. The Sales Associate who recommended the product to me said this was due to the gel-like texture of Aloe Vera. It provides the skin with a lightweight and fresh hydration whilst helping contain excessive oiliness.

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And as for the final product tested, the Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste is also an excellent product. Fine Quartz particles and Lactic Acid offer both a physical and chemical exfoliation, which despite being very effective and deep cleansing, does not aggravate the skin. It is a mild product which provides a polished, purified and softened look and feel to the skin. It also contains Lavender and Rosemary oils, which help boost circulation and contain anti-acne, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, thus helping rejuvenate, detoxify and tone the skin. The only drawback I can think of is that I really dislike its earthy scent.

I have yet to try an Aesop product that doesn’t deliver on what is promised. If you are unsure whether the products will suit you and your skin type, do visit one of their beautifully designed stores and ask a consultant for samples! Their products are a bit on the pricier scale, but I found them to be worthy investments, and I hope you will as well.

Lady Reviews | Etude House Face Blur

Beauty, Review, Skincare

The Face Blur by Etude House is a primer which promises to even out and brighten the complexion, and cover up pores and blemishes. It is said to provide multi-filtering effects for refined, smooth and flawless skin. It should be applied as the last step of your skincare routine, and can be used by itself or under makeup. It is also a sunscreen, with SPF 33 and PA++, providing moderate protection against both UVA and UVB rays (I’ve written a post explaining such labels on sunscreen, which you can find here).

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The product comes in a 1.2oz (35g) bottle with a pump which dispenses just enough product for the whole face. It is lightweight and moisturizing, with a powdery scent. The product’s texture and colour remind me of calamine lotion – a light pink, medium texture cream which spreads easily on the skin. I like to apply it with my fingers, right after moisturizer, then wait for it to be absorbed before putting on makeup, if I’m using any. Though it goes on a bit tacky, it becomes very comfortable and hydrating when absorbed, leaving the skin dewy and slightly whitened.

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My skin does look smoother and more even (both in tone and in texture) after application, though it doesn’t do much to hide my pores. It also gives the skin a healthy glow, however it is used, which is what I most enjoy about this primer. Though I did enjoy this product, I found that the lasting power of my makeup wasn’t terribly improved – though it did keep my skin from getting shiny for a couple of hours longer than usual.

An overall great product which I would recommend for anyone who loves a luminous, radiant look and doesn’t suffer from large pores; and also to anyone who would like a brighter and more even complexion without having to wear makeup. Considering that it is also a sunscreen, I’d say this product is more than worth a try.

Lady Reviews | Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel

Beauty, Review, Skincare

The Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel by Clinique is an oil free face moisturizer which promises to hydrate and balance combination to oily skin. It’s been my favourite moisturizer for close to a year – like expected of a gel moisturizer, it is lightweight, refreshing, and free of that tacky, greasy sensation one can get from a thicker moisturizing lotion.

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My skin is normal, though my T-zone can get a bit oily occasionally, and it’s also very sensitive. It’s not uncommon for me to try products which end up irritating my skin and making me break out, so finding a soothing, balancing, fragrance-free product with mattifying properties such as this one was such a dream. It is absorbed very quickly by the skin and won’t interfere with any products you put on top of it (sunscreen, primer and makeup), which makes it an ideal morning moisturizer. Though Clinique recommends that it be used twice a day, I like using other skin care treatment products at night instead of it.

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A little bit of it goes a really long way – normally, a single pump is enough for my face. On warmer days, I find that the product isn’t that effective in oil control, but in milder and cooler temperatures, the gel helps to keep my skin from developing shine for a least a couple of hours longer than usual.

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6.7oz (20ml) and 1.7oz (50ml) containers

It comes in two sizes (though I did buy a third size, of 6.7oz-200ml, in a Singaporean Duty Free shop, I’ve never seen it anywhere else): a 1.7 oz (50ml) tube, and a 4.2oz (125ml) container with a pump.

Overall, this is great moisturizer for people with oily and/or acne prone skin. It makes skin soft and smooth, and is comfortable and mattifying. It’s one of my favourite skin care items, and a product I really recommend for anyone who dislikes the texture of traditionally thicker lotions.

Lady Reviews | Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen

Beauty, Review, Skincare

Shiseido, one of my favourite skin care brands, is parent company to sunscreen specialized Anessa. I’ve only been able to find this brand physically in Japan, though their products are sold through various websites which ship worldwide.

Years ago, I hated the greasy feeling and white cast associated with sunscreen so much that I’d skip it completely. Fortunately, there currently so many satisfactory products which offer high protection and comfort, that there are no excuses for leaving home unprotected. The Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen is one of such products.

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The sunscreen is a lightweight, fragrance-free product which goes great under makeup. It is very runny and milky, and though it does go on a bit oily and wet, it is absorbed almost immediately by the skin, drying down matte and free of white casts. It also seemed to aid in oil control and prolonging makeup wear.

It is water and sweat resistant, and stays put for a long time after application, needing to be removed with an oil-based makeup remover. Sometimes I’ll apply it by early morning and find it almost intact before going to bed. Though it does make my skin soft and smooth for the most part, it can make the skin under the nose pads of my glasses go really red and dry if I don’t reapply moisturizer.

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It comes in a sturdy, golden 2oz (60ml) tube, which should be shaken well before use. As for protection, it’s UVA protection grade is the highest currently available (PA+++) with a 50+ SPF, meaning it has very high protection from both UVA and UVB rays. If you’re interested in better understanding these labels, I’ve written about sunscreens here.

I would recommend this sunscreen to anyone living in hot and humid places, or anyone who goes frequently to the beach – since it has high protection and is very comfortable and moisturizing, it can be worn anywhere, anytime. I definitely think it’s worth a try!