Friday, April 16, 2010

Laneige Water Sleeping Pack Plus

The Laneige Water Sleeping Pack Plus came out may be a year ago and is an updated version of the original Water Sleeping Pack. And when it first came out, let me tell you, like a slippery fish it was more than a little difficult to get a hold of. Well, not difficult at all if you were willing to pay an arm and a leg, but I wasn't that desperate, so stalked for months. They had the most reasonable prices I've seen so far, but the item was constantly out of stock. The moment it comes back into stock, it would sell out again. A whole year later, I finally gave in and bought one from Ebay. Sigh...I guess I was desperate after all.

No pictures of the box, unfortunately. I was so excited I tore into the package and threw out the box before I had a chance to take a picture. Woops.

So was this product worth the Ebay desperation? I'd say yes. There are a couple of significant differences between the original Sleeping Pack and the updated Sleeping Pack Plus, so if you are looking at both and wondering which to try, I'd say go for the Sleeping Pack Plus. And by the way, Laneige just came out with yet another updated version called the Water Sleeping Pack EX. I snatched up this latest version as well the moment stocked it, so I will probably review it later in a few months.

- Texture: Compare the 2 pictures and you will see both versions of the pack look identical in color. They are identical in their light and gel-cream-like texture as well.
- Effect: both are hydrators with no oil ingredients (see the Ingredients List for the Sleeping Pack Plus below). The Sleeping Pack Plus have only a few ingredients less than the original Sleeping Pack, so thankfully that didn't change how the Sleeping Pack Plus works for my skin. When I get itchy red bumps on my cheek due to dehydration, a night with the pack on will restore my skin and get rid of the dryness. I have been using both the Sleeping Pack and the Sleeping Pack Plus end on end for many months now and I honestly don't really see a difference between the two and what they do.

- Cosmetic elegance: This is probably the most significant difference between the two and one that really win me over for the Sleeping Pack Plus. The trouble I initially had with the original Sleeping Pack was that it was so damn sticky! Only later on did I learned to use it as a hydrator instead, i.e. applying a whole lot less than the suggested amount to avoid the annoying stickiness. Mind you, the Sleeping Pack works really well in that regards, but I still can't use it as the intended sleeping pack. The Sleeping Pack Plus, however, is absolutely not sticky at all! No matter how much I put on, it absorbed so quickly and fully I would often forget I even had it on! So where as the original Sleeping Pack is limited to my use only as a hydrator, I can use the Sleeping Pack Plus as both a hydrator and a sleeping pack, just as it was intended for use.
- Fragrance: a lot of people said that they both smell the same, and while I agree they do smell a bit similar, ultimately I think they are different fragrances. First off, the Sleeping Pack Plus is not as strongly perfumed as the Sleeping Pack. Secondly, whereas the Sleeping Pack is a sharper clean scent, the Sleeping Pack Plus is a sweeter musky scent. Immediately upon application, it reminds me of the older Revlon Fire & Ice Perfume that came out in the mid 90's. Then again, this is based on my memory of what the Fire & Ice perfume smelled like and since it has been more than 15 years since I last smelled that perfume, my memory might have played some tricks on me.
- Packaging: packaging is most of the time trivial in my book as long as the product carries its own weight. I said most of the time because there are time when I buy a product solely because of its packaging. Regardless, in this case I think the original Sleeping Pack's packaging is cheap-looking and the Sleeping Pack Plus is much better packaged.

Water Sleeping Pack Plus:
Water, Butylene Glycol, Cyclomethicone, Glycerin, Trehalose, Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Vaccinium Angustifolium (blueberry) Fruit Extract, Dimethiconol, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimenthicone, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Polysorbate 20, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Polyquaternium-51, Mannitol, Arginine, Serine, Sucrose, PCA, Citrulline, Glycogen, Histidine HCL, Alanine, Threonine, Glutamic Acid, Lysine HCL, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Calcium Gluconate, Copper Gluconate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Atelocollagen, Beta-Glucan, Yeast Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Whey, Disodium EDTA, Chlorophenesin, Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Fragrance, Blue 1, Yellow 5.
***List of ingredients from Makeup Alley member fionam's review of both the Water Sleeping Pack Plus and the original Water Sleeping Pack.

See my previous Laneige Water Sleeping Pack post.

Monday, April 12, 2010

L'Occitane Hand Creams

Reminiscing my days obsessed over L'Occitane mini's, I pulled out the various hand creams I bought months ago but never tried. Yeah, that happens a lot, especially when I'm busy and become forgetful. Or I'm just forgetful, period.

- Cherry Blossom Hand Cream: probably the lightest hand cream from L'Occitane, so it may disappoint if you're looking for something more intense in the dry winter. I'm using this right now and it only helps temporarily and after a short while, my hands would feel dry again. Also, even though it's light, it does make my hands a bit clammy after a while and I'm not sure why. I don't have sweaty hands, and I don't get that with any other hand creams or lotions I use. But I do love the scent. A lot. It doesn't really smell like cherry blossoms, but it is a light and sweet flowery scent. And even though the fragrance is not strong, it lasts quite a long time! The first time I used this, I could still smell the lingering scent after a couple of hours. Love it! So yeah, despite the clammy hands effect, this is my favorite hand cream out of the bunch and I like it even better than the original Shea Hand Cream. I will definitely try other items in this Cherry Blossom fragrance!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

SkinFood Lettuce & Cucumber Water Jelly Cream

Hubby and I are on our second jar of this lovely SkinFood Lettuce & Cucumber Water Jelly Cream, so I guess it's about time I review it! I've been seeing lots of good reviews on this skincare line for a while now, plus Clarissa over at Beauty Unfolds really sang her praises for them. However, up until a few months ago I was still finishing the day time hydrator, the Clinique Moisture Surge, so as tempted as I was, I held back.

Then came January and I finally used up the big jar of Clinique Moisture Surge with hubby's help (erh...he used most of it, actually), so I was ready and was quite happy to move on. I think I'm not going to go back to the Clinique Moisture Surge again. Yes, it was wonderful and the big jar lasted months for me (and fewer months with hubby using it too), but it's also $34 for the 50 mL and $46 for the 75 mL. And to be frank, I got bored of it, so it was due time to move on anyway.

So that makes this SkinFood Lettuce & Cucumber Water Jelly Cream a timely newcomer. I bought mine on Ebay (where else? sigh...), and paid $17, $3 shipping included, so I'm assuming retail is probably a lot less, around $10 may be? Too bad Gmarket is so Mac un-friendly, unless they've changed their ways and became an equal opportunity vendor to all computer users worldwide. Any Mac-users having any luck?

Anyway, the jelly cream came in a 50 mL in a pretty translucent glass jar with an iridescent green tint and an aluminum twist off lid in a similar tinted color. It did not come with a box, but it was factory sealed. Clarissa told me the more recently made jars now have a list of ingredients in English printed underneath the Korean one and pealing the label at the bottom of the jar will reveal its magical content. Well, too bad my first jar was dated 20091229, so no, it didn't have an English ingredients list. Actually, even my 2nd jar, dated 20100308 (fresh stuff!) didn't have an English ingredients list, so may be only the ones Skin Food is exporting to Singapore have it. Damn!

By the way, unlike what we're used to, Korean products have the manufactured date printed on their items and NOT the expiry date. So your precious cosmetic item did not expire in 2009, it was made in 2009 and should last for at least a couple of years :) Yeah, that freaked me out a bit at first until I was able to confirm this somewhere...don't remember where, but I'm pretty sure that's the manufactured date.

Now on to the product itself. Hubby loves it, hands down. I like it too, although by itself it's not moisturizing/hydrating enough for my dry skin. For now, I am referring to it as a moisturizer/hydrator because unfortunately, I'm Korean illiterate, so without an English ingredients list I can't tell for sure which it is. Regardless, it is exceptionally light and an absolute pleasure to apply, especially if you store it in the refrigerator. It really is a water jelly cream, and it absorbs instantly leaving no traces behind whatsoever, except for the comfort, of course. It is scented, but the fragrance is crisp and clean, infused with cucumber, very pleasant. In fact, it feels so good on I totally forget that if I were to use this jelly cream by itself, it would be limited to daytime and summer use only.

In the past drier months, I have been layering it over the SkinFood Lettuce & Cucumber Water Drop Essence. The Water Drop Essence is a lot more potent but is not meant for use by itself either (will also review shortly), so together it makes a good pair with the jelly cream, at least for my skin although every now and then I still get some dry flakes. Even then, when I ran out of my alcohol-free and less drying Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Moisture Milk SPF50+ PA+++ sometime in February and had to go back to Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX Watertouch, this Water Drop Essence and Water Jelly Cream combo struggled to balance the drying alcohol in Allie and I started getting more than the occasional dry flakes, especially around the nose, mouth, and chin.

But you know what's funny? I actually like using the Water Drop Essence and Water Jelly Cream combo with Allie, because the finish turned out so much nicer than it did with Mentholatum Skin Aqua. With Mentholatum Skin Aqua, I got a dewy finish that can turn a bit shiny by the end of a long day. But with Allie, it was completely matte from start to finish no matter how long the day was! Honestly, it kept the matte-ness even better than Clinique Moisture Surge did! More than that, the Water Drop Essence and Water Jelly cream combo did the exact same thing on the days when I didn't go out and hence, skipped sunscreen, so even without the help of Allie's alcohol it still kept my skin nice and matte throughout the day!

So I'm guessing all this means that if the hot and humid summer were to come, this jelly cream will become my skin's best friend. By then, I doubt I will need to keep layering it with the Water Drop Essence, but I'll have to see first how well it can handle the alcohol in Allie on its own. Also, the SkinFood Lettuce & Cucumber line still has several other super interesting items, and I do plan to give most of them a try in attempt to figure out a combo/routine that will work for my skin throughout the yearly seasonal change.

The list below is not complete, because the line has several makeup items as well such as the Watery Base, Watery Foundation, Mild Pact, Matte Finish Gel, etc. Also, these are all I'm aware of. If there are more that I've missed, please tell me :)

The SkinFood Lettuce & Cucumber skincare line includes:
- Water Mist: in an aerosol spray bottle. I'm totally skipping this as I still don't get the point of products like these.
- Toner: for use after cleansing. Skipping this one too. Not a toner person.
- Massage Gel: for use after toner. I might try this one. It's sort of like an "instant" massage-in mask.
- Water Drop Essence: for use after toner and can be layered under the emulsion or the jelly cream. I'm currently using the latter combo. Will review soon.
- Water Jelly Essence: for use after toner and can also be layered under the emulsion or the jelly cream. Will definitely try this!
- Emulsion: basically a lotion, for use after toner and can be layered over the 2 essences above and under the jelly cream below. I'm most excited about trying out this one due to the various things I can experiment it with! Clarissa sent me its list of ingredients in English and I was able to verify that it is a moisturizer containing Argan and Sesame Oil. I wonder how it will deal with my sunscreens!
- Water Jelly Cream: for use after toner and can be layered over the essences as well as the emulsion. Currently using this on top of the Water Drop Essence.
- Water Essence Mask Sheet: you know, for some reason I was never into SkinFood sheet masks. I tried the Honey & Royal Jelly Mask Sheet before, and the experience sort of left me not wanting to try any other SkinFood masks. Kinda sad, but there are so many other sheet masks much more deserving of my attention.

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