Stories for: Skincare

Bath & Body, Fragrance, SkincareSoap + Paper Hand Cream

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One of my favorite perfumes in the world comes naturally from a jasmine flower, which is also one of the simplest tiny blooms I’ve ever seen. The dainty little beauty creates such a lovely and unique scent it’s no wonder that it is one of the most prized flower for teas and fragrances. As soon as I opened the beautiful aluminum tube of Soap & Paper Factory Hand Cream, it was like a thousand jasmine flowers floating out. The cream itself is incredibly velvety on my hands which are so parched from getting washed a million times a day! Soap and Paper Factory is all about putting heart, soul, and beauty into their products, as evidenced by carefully sourced ingredients to exquisite earth-friendly packaging. Their products are made in New York and organic ingredients are used whenever possible. The hand cream is chock full of aloe, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and other fine natural oils. I try not to touch anything with parabens, so this one is safely void of them as well as phthalates and petroleum. Equally loveable is the pretty girly packaging- each design actually starts from a hand drawing!

Jasmine flowers release their scent at night under the moonlight, so it’s fitting this I use this as a night treatment for my hands. After all, our hands deserve to be pampered after being busy all day! The cream is long-lasting enough to hydrate my skin through the night, and with the deep-moisturizing effects, I can tell the difference in the morning. I’ve learned to be careful to moisturize every night since hands show age easily and are often overlooked. The creams come in a variety of scents and each has its own pretty package, making it a perfect gifts for mom, grandma, or even sis (if she’s nice).

 

Beauty, Skincare, Spas & SalonsDiamond Facial, A Girl’s Best Friend

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I’ve always considered myself lucky that I was born in the month of April — not only are flowers blooming (just not this year yet), but my birthstone is, of course, the diamond. Naturally, it’s always been my excuse to pass over other stones, because well, I was just born that way. When I first heard about the new 50-minute Diamond Facial at The Spa at Equinox, I couldn’t wait to try it since it combines two of my loves — getting pampered and diamonds! The “diamond” part of the facial is a collagen mask formulated to give the same effects as a diamond microdermabrasion, and it is actually platinum-infused to illuminate and revive the skin. READ MORE

Bath & Body, Mom & Kids, SkincarePlease Pass the Butter

lavI love enormous cheeks on babies, possibly because my baby has some of the fattest cheeks around town. Hubby and I joke that since they protrude so far from her face that they have to be moisturized more often! My latest obsession is Lavanila’s Healthy Baby Butter which I just love for her cheeks and body (and my hands too, while I’m buttering!). It absorbs easily and has a clean scent (without synthetic fragrances or dyes), so it doesn’t cover up that delicious newborn smell. As a plus, I don’t have to worry about the safety as it’s 100% natural and is free of alcohol, parabens, and petroleum and since it contains aloe and is hypoallergenic, it’s perfect for dry skin and sensitive skin — even eczema. Baby’s skin is comforted and richly hydrated by pure shea and cocoa butters which are blended with nourishing Calendula and Noni Juice. My little girl is soft and smooth, protected against dryness without feeling slippery or greasy.

Though the product is meant for babies, everyone in our family has been grabbing for the butter this winter, which probably explains why it’s missing at the moment… Time for a new tube!

 

Beauty, SkincareKorres Rose Facial

korresImagine this: getting a facial every night while you sleep, only you’re lying in a fragrant bed of roses. Sounds too good to be true, right? Leave it to Korres, the leading skin care line based in Greece to come up with the product that does it all: Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial. Started over two decades ago by a pharmacist, Korres’ goal has always been to use carefully sourced herbal ingredients. Greece is one of my favorite places in the world, and the natural beauty of Santorini is heart-stoppingly gorgeous. With over 5,000 varieties of plants and herbs, the Greeks have done their homework (centuries-worth!), discovering the medicinal value of their flora as natural healing remedies. I think that’s why I love using Korres — it’s like having a healthy Mediterranean diet for your skin.  READ MORE

Beauty, SkincareMila Moursi Lands at Barneys

Mila Moursi

Celebrity endorsements are nice and all, but like any savvy consumer, I take those commercials with a grain of salt. But the actual beauty products that celebrities are using…well that’s quite another story — and the one that I actually want to hear! A month ago or so I was introduced to a line of skincare by Mila Moursi, who is a legend in Hollywood, but who I hadn’t heard of before because, you know, I don’t run in those circles. She counts many of my Tinseltown crushes including Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, and Jessica Biel devotees, and the proof of how well her products work is all over the Internet. Luckily for plebs like myself, Mila is expanding beyond her A-List clientele with a new partnership with Barney’s New York. Now her line of incredible skincare is available online at Barneys.com as well as in select stores. READ MORE

Beauty, SkincareBabor 2-in-1

baborAs the seasons change, so does my skin, going from parched winter skin to a bit more oily the warmer it becomes. Transitions are particularly tricky as pores awaken and need a little extra TLC.  Babor’s Cleansing Gel and Tonic 2-in-1 is both a time-saver and a skin-saver! I first came across Babor in a luxurious European spa years ago and I appreciate that their line is evolving to meet skincare needs while maintaining top quality and integrity in formulations. As experts in the professional cosmetics industry (they’ve earned the title after over 50 years in the business!), they understand treating the mind and body with luxury and innovation.

If you are prone to the occasional blemish like I am, you’ll love the cleansing properties that combat impurities to keep the bad stuff out (it’s naturally antibacterial!) to result in visibly clean and soft skin. The active ingredients, pansy extract and salicylic acid, are gentle enough to be used once or twice daily, working especially well if you have makeup to remove. I quickly realized after my first use that the thinner consistency makes sense due to the toner being integrated. I squirt a palmful out and then work it into a nice lather with a touch of water, then apply using fingertips in a circular motion. I guarantee you’ll feel refreshed within seconds, and it seems to do a number on minimizing my pores as well. It’s perfect for my “fickle” skin, which I call my combination skin when it can’t make up its mind whether to be dry, normal, or a touch oily. I noticed right away that my skin looked more radiant and felt smoother, and was primed perfectly for moisturizer. Hello spring, hello new skin!

 

Beauty, SkincareSK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Essence

sk-iiI’ll admit it — I’m a bit late to the game when it comes to SK-II’s newest hero product, the LXP Ultimate Revival Essence. I may have been admiring the gorgeous, rose gold bottle (which, perfectly dresses up my vanity) since I got a sample back in January — but trying it — that didn’t happen until just a week ago. But…I have a perfectly good excuse reason for that: I simply didn’t have any cotton pads that I deemed worthy to apply such a premium product. The LXP Ultimate Revival Essence is the even more luxe sister to the brand’s iconic Facial Treatment Essence (which btw, also comes in a gorgeous limited edition bottle designed by Rochas). Like the classic treatment fluid, the Ultimate Revival Essence is also loaded with Pitera, a nutrient rich broth derived from the fermentation process of yeast, but contains an 8 times more concentrated version of the miracle ingredient. The new formulation also contains a trio of moisturizers, a peptide protein that encourages collagen production, and  Centella Essence, a healing ingredient that helps repair the skin and promote a healthier barrier function. The essence is so potent, in fact, that the brand is confident you’ll see results such as brightening and clarity  in as little as three days. Speaking from personal experience, after having just used it for a week, I definitely feel that my skin is looking more radient and more importantly, didn’t break out in my usual cycle of hormonal acne during the time of the month.

Now about that cotton pad situation. SK-II actually recommends not using anything other than your fingers to apply, but for the same reason I hate splashing water over my face and prefer to use a washcloth, I couldn’t heed that advice. If you don’t mind, however, definitely just splash a little in your hands and tap directly into face (bonus: more youthful looking hands and you won’t waste even a drop of the product). But if you’re like me and need a cotton pad, check out this one, which is specially  made for toner and a worthy fit of this luxurious essence.

 

Bath & Body, Mom & Kids, SkincarePerfect Pearl

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One of my earliest memories is sitting on my mother’s bed, poring over her jewelry box and trying on her pearls while watching her in the mirror. She was applying a cream which she told me contained real pearls!  I could hardly believe it, and she laughingly explained that one day I would understand the need for quality skin care.  Now that I have a daughter of my own, I want to give her the best of the best, especially when newborn skin is so soft and sensitive.  I was delighted to discover Perfect Pearl’s complete line for baby skin created by Ying Zhou, a mother of two who wanted to incorporate the centuries-old secrets into caring for newborn skin. Asian history shows that the health benefits of the pearl have been proven through generations and pearl powder is considered a precious gift worthy of royalty. Healing, vitality, and beauty are the virtues attributed to pearls, and the soothing properties are noticeable immediately. The formulations used in the line are of amazing quality- sea pearls are carefully sourced and safety is first and foremost.  All products are hypoallergenic, fragrance free, colorant and paraben free and doctor recommended. READ MORE

Beauty, SkincareDr. Hauschka Rose Cream

dr hauschka rose day creamIt was one snowy December evening about five years ago that I first discovered Dr. Hauschka’s skincare line in the window of a beautiful vintage pharmacy in the middle of Hamburg. As I listened to the perfectly manicured aesthetician extol the virtues of Dr. Hauschka’s meticulously formulated creams in her German accent, I knew I had stumbled onto something special.  My skin was chapped and windburned when I walked in, and almost instantaneously after applying Rose Day Cream I felt soothed and rejuvenated. When I returned into the cold howling night winds, moisture was sealed in tight and my skin felt impervious to the elements!

Now many winters later, I’ve rediscovered the cream and reuniting with it feels just as good. Only a small amount is needed because the product is so rich and the one-ounce tube will last for the entire season. Extracts of rose petal, rose hip, marshmallow, St. John’s wort and avocado help soothe chapped and irritated skin. Despite the name, I actually prefer to apply the cream after a warm shower in the evening and leave it on overnight to sink in and nourish. The product isn’t called Rose Cream for nothing —  each tube requires thirty of the flowers to formulate!  The special ingredient is called Rosa Damascena and is collected from the velvety coating on fresh rose petals (think about how luxurious it feels to run your fingers over a rose petal) to form a light and breathable barrier that protects your skin. Dr. Hauschka brings quality face care to a whole new level, which explains its overwhelming popularity in Europe that is catching on quickly stateside!

Beauty, Skincare, SponsoredOlay Pro-X Even Skin Tone Protocol

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Just credit my Asian genes, but every time I see new products that claim to fade dark spots, even skin tone, or brighten complexion, I just must get my hands on them. Many say that us Asians are lucky because we are less likely to wrinkle as we age (up to a certain point, of course) thanks to genetics that give us larger oil glands that keep our skin more supple (I guess that’s a nice way to put it). On the flip side, we do have to worry (a lot) about developing age spots and skin tone discoloration. Actually  scratch out the “age” in “age spots.” I’ve been battling discoloration on my legs since I scratched too hard at mosquito bites one summer when I was 12. The sad truth is, I (and my fellow Asian sisters and brothers) are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation and melasma — which brings me back to my original point: I love trying out a good product that promises to even skin tone, fade dark spots, and most importantly, prevent them from forming in the first place. READ MORE

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