10 February 2009

Vanity Fair

Hey Zeph
Such a rockin' comeback post!
I'm sorry, you can largely blame me for the drought, I disappeared into a black hole. In retrospect I can see that stopping blogging to you was among the first signs things were going downhill for me. I didn't know it would feel this good to be back - it's amazing! So, now that I am, I'd say 60% whole again, lets get going...

I have been trawling Asian beauty blogs to satisfy my recent obsession with skincare (and I can honestly say that none are as beautiful to look at and lovely to read as F&Z. Seriously, a lot of them are a complete mess!).
It all brings me to this post, inspired by travel...and vanity... and fate I suppose.

Three environments of my past, present and future, and their effect on (my) skin...

It was Madonna who said "...the air is just so moist here, it's great for the skin" about London, and when I moved there I immediately stole the phrase for my own conversations. (a) it sounds so glamourous and (b) it's totally true.
Each time you step outside in London, it's like that part of a facial where the therapist directs a fine mist at you and says "You just relax, this will give your skin a nice drink, and I'll be back in about 10 minutes". And while the city is bustling and polluted, and it tempts you to alternate super-cheap fried chicken meal packs (Perfect Chicken, Royal Oak tube station, yum!!) with your fresh itsu sashimi, even those with problem skin like me can have their year of flawlessness.
Method: Anything goes, with slapdash use of Elizabeth Arden 8-hour Cream as required.

Um.... so when I got my passport stamped coming home from the UK, did they also blast my face with dehydration flames (just made those up, scary huh?) or what...
Ok, Canberra is not the desert, but in general Australia is DRY. It is so dry, that it may just be the "scariest environment imagineable" for those who have difficult skin, like that meteor was for Owen Wilson in Armageddon. And not only is it dry, it's ridiculously hot this time of year, so I get dangerously dry and then I get dangerously oily. Yep, I find it hard here, and this time, being a stressful return home and all, it has been even harder.
Method: chemical aid in the form of The Pill, Cetaphil cleanser a million times a day, and 30+ sunblock.

People from the West have more to worry about frizzy hair-wise than bad skin-wise in the tropical paradise-city that is KL. So I am not worrying too much about my face in the upcoming adventure that will see me living there. It is so humid in Malaysia that I'm pretty sure, as has happened on past visits, I will regain lost moisture and there will be rejuvenation. Hallejulah! All that's left is to mattify during the day and thoroughly cleanse off pollution at night.
Method: 1 Starbucks Green Tea Latte and 2 litres of water per day. And I will try combination skin products like FANCL oil-based cleanser (available in Singapore) and Clarins Hydra-Matte day cream. The Body Shop seaweed range is also a good fallback in humid conditions.

So there we have it.
Life is a journey, hey Zeph?


[Thanks to MeccaCosmetica I am now testing the following Philosophy products: Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash, Purity 4-in-1 Cleanser and Hope in a Jar. The sales rep said to use them all in that order, but there is no way I am using two cleansers on my face when one is a '30-second peel' and the moisturiser to follow contains a chemical exfoliant (!) I will do Wash + moisturiser, then Purity + moisturiser. Using the samples this way should last about a week, after which I'll update this post with the result.]

Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash contains fine granules and does not a lot more than baking soda as an exfoliant - in fact, you can mix baking soda with Cetaphil and trump this product.
Hope in a Jar is light and medicine-y, it gives ok hydration and subtly evens skin tone.
Purity 4-in-1 Cleanser is low-foaming and cleans well, even heavy mascara, with rubbing.

Overall, these products are ok, but didn't deliver anything special, and therefore they are definitely not worth the Philosophy price tag. I've come to the conclusion that the Philosophy skincare range is for people who have given up their search for great products, for a simple life of basics that work. i.e Not me!!

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