Tuesday, November 6, 2007

US/European, Otherwise Non-Japanese Brands

Nothing adventurous here :P I never really ventured beyond the mid-end department store brands. For US/European brands, I mostly use skincare items and lip colors. Very few actual makeup items, so...

CURRENTLY USING (in conjunction with others)

I started using this line only recently. I had a generous sample lying around for months but never got around to using it. After everything else pretty much dries out my skin, I thought I'd give it a try...and then ended up buying the full size!

Gentle Daily Cleanser

Pros: A very gentle cleanser, good to use as a follow up after a cleansing oil. It is light in texture, foams well, and cleanse well and at the same time, isn't stripping. My face feels moist after rinsing.
Cons: Given it comes in a 200 mL bottle, it is also $30! Also, the instructions says to use 2-3 pumps but I find just 1 pump to be more than enough to foam and clean my face.

***Picture from Kinerase USA.

I have a history with Clinique, a history of struggling, rather, since high school. I find some of their products works well with my skin, some don't do much, and some are just plain hellish. Also, my skin has changed over time, so some of the products that used to not work with my skin now do. Did I say it was a struggle? Yeah. Pretty much still is.

Mild Clarifying Lotion
Pros: Alcohol-free, the only toner so far that doesn't irritate my combination-dry skin. My face feels very refreshed and comfortable afterwards. I believe it helps with moisture absorption as well as I notice my moisturizer takes longer to sink in the morning when I don't use the toner. Very affordable.
Cons: Clinique only makes this toner is a smaller size bottle, so I have to restock every few months. A small inconvenience, but still is one.

Dramatically Different Lotion
Pros: Hydrates well without any allergic reaction, irritation, or clogged pores on my dry cheeks and chin. A bottle lasts a long time, 7-8 months for me!
Cons: Too oily for my forehead!

***Pictures from Clinique USA.


Pure Focus Gel Cream
Pros: Moisturizing and matifying! It hydrates my oily forehead and nose and keeps them grease-free at the same time. Nice!
Cons: Dries out and irritates the hell out of my cheeks and chin. And while the jar lasts me a whole year, it's also $46! That's a bit much for a simple gel-cream moisturizer...

Aquafusion Lotion
Hubby uses the SPF 15 version of this lotion and I only use it every now and then when I'm lazy with my routine.
Pros: it is scented, but the fragrance is so fresh and clean, I love it! Hubby would smell like he was fresh out of the shower with it on.
Cons: unfortunately, the same fragrance also irritates my skin :(

HAVE USED IN THE PAST (in conjunction with others)


UV Plus Protective Day Screen SPF 40
I used this before moving into the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion SPF 55 PA+++. I was amazed at the white runny and light texture, even thinner than the Shiseido lotion! Unfortunately though, it is not very substantive and a wipe is all it takes to get it off your skin. I guess it's not meant to be a sunscreen even though it has been made to believe it can be one. And it makes my face really really oily even though it's supposed to be oil free. Add in its itty bitty size for the price tag of $36 and I never turned back.

***Picture from Clarins USA.


7 Day Scrub Cream
This scrub is very creamy and, therefore, is not as abrasive as some exfoliators can be. However, it is so creamy that it left behind greasy films and caused me some clogged pores.

Clarifying Lotion #2
This toner leaves a fresh tingling sensation, and I think it helped zapping my breakouts and kept my skin clear as well. It has alcohol though, and as much as it controlled excess oil on my forehead, it also wrung the rest of my face dry!

***Pictures from Clinique USA.


Pure Focus
I used to use several items from this line during my early college years when my skin was still very oily. As with the Shiseido Pureness line, I wouldn't dream of going back to the Pure Focus Cleanser and Exfoliator now as they are even harsher than the cleanser and exfoliator from Shiseido Pureness.

Aquafusion Cream
I used both the non-SPF and the SPF 15 versions, and they used to work well on my skin. That is, until one day - poof! - my skin decides it doesn't like the fragrance (which I love) anymore! Gave the rest of my jars to hubby, but he likes the lighter texture of the lotion better.

Gel Clarte
3 Words: do not use. Even if you could fry an egg with the oil on your face, this cleanser is the equivalent of spraying your face with bleach and then scrubbing it with sand paper.

Estee Lauder
To be honest, this entire brand seems gimmicky to me. Other than a very few makeup items (blush, lipstick, and gloss), I dislike everything else they make. I tried their Soft Clean Moisture Rich Foaming Cleanser, and while it is a bit more moisturizing than the Shiseido Benefiance Creamy Cleansing Foam, it's so loudly fragrance I might as well wash my face with perfume. Also, it stings even when I don't have a cut on my face!

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