Hey everyone! Yesterday's post was the last Monthly Skincare Snippets of 2014 so I thought I'd do a summary post. Here I mention the skincare line I used, the prescribed skin type or promised effect, my BBT score, some quick thoughts and the memorable pieces from each line. Hope you all learn something new here!
Shiseido Aqualabel (4 steps) made me fall even more in love with Shiseido. The Japanese simply live with quality whether it is with their skincare, cosmetics or food. It has a waterproof container, is handy for travel and has airline-approved volumes. I still can't forget about the Creamy Oil Cleanser and Milky Mousse Foam!
The 6-step Laneige Essential Care was my first exposure to layering. Though the set was meant for oily skin, the wonderous Water Sleeping Pack_EX replenished my lost moisture and then some.
March - Rest Month
I was in shock from the 6-step skin care. Coming from a no skincare background, with sporadic episodes of cleanser and cleanser-moisturizer routines whenever I felt like it, I didn't realize that 6 steps was too big of a leap.
I'd always felt like Clinique was a very unassuming brand and this set proved the same. It's effective but not terribly exciting. The 3-step (excluding eye cream and face mist) regimen worked well enough despite the singular moisture layer, though maybe that speaks of its sufficiency. I still remember the pleasant bounciness of the Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator.
I was excited for shu uemura 5-step (turned 6) Hydrability regimen. I'm thinking Japanese skincare is my spirit skincare but this proved me wrong. Of my shu tester splurge, this set is the most suited for dry skin. The opalescent TSUYA Essence is a definite keeper.
Of the whole 2014, I keep going back and forth whether this should remain a 4 / 5 or should be demoted to 3.75 / 5.
The 4-step Burt's (excluding eye cream) was a pretty good starter on organic skincare. I officially tried my first non-foaming cleanser and unlike hypoallergenic cleansers, this one proved pretty alright. I still prefer foaming cleansers but at least BBDW didn't leave me with residue. I am still impressed with the Serum and hydrating matte-ness of this line.
By this point, I'm realizing that 4-steps are my comfort zone while realistically, my skin was only markedly improved by a 6-stepper. It doesn't sound like much of a difference but after this whole year, I can safely say my "attendance record" is much, much better with a simple 4-stepper.
Taking a breather off my good streak, I settled for a super short 3-stepper for July. I was close to burning out and also worried about expiring goods so it was perfect timing anyway. I feel bad about grading it a 2, because I feel like this minimal skincare can work AMAZINGLY on combination / normal skin types. That said, it just wasn't enough for me.
I still feel strongly about the strong mentholation of the Beauty Elixir and still wish the Divine Oil worked better on my face. It smells really nice but I've found a new home for it and hope it's appreciated there!
The 4-step Kiehl's Ultra Facial trial made me realize that Kiehl's is one of those brands that doesn't mess around. They get shit done, they do what they say, whatever it may be that they stuck on the label. I wish I had gotten a true UF trial as some samples were out of stock. No favorites here, this trial was awesome all-across the board.
September - ZA Perfect Solution (anti-aging), 4 / 5
ZA is part of the Shiseido group so I'm insecure about rating it a 4. I feel like there are personal biases getting in the way. Still, what can I do? It honestly is an effective 4-step routine for me. Though the Toner and Moisturizer were pretty blah on my dry skin, I've come to accept that the Shiseido group gives 50% on their drugstore lines, haha. The Collagen Cream's bouncy goodness remains in my fondest memories.
This 3-6-step personal definition of skincare hell gave me the most grief and fulfillment. It was extremely high maintenance yet also the most educational MSS of the year. I learned so much about my own skin and how hit-or-miss trendy skincare can be. I'm still a fan of the Brilliant LoveHeart Sparkling Powder Set and i belivyu Sparkling Sugar Scrub though having taken photos-in-action yesterday, I am reminded of how irritating Bubble Pop self-foaming cleansers are to me.
November and December - Hiatus
I couldn't even finish October. I stopped on the twentieth, I think. This is one of my longer blogging breaks though I don't regret taking it. Monthly Skincare Snippets and saying yes to way too many events absolutely burned me out.
The highest mark went to Laneige Essential Care Trial Set. I feel iffy favoring a set not made for my skin type but it was the one that left my skin in the best condition. In fact, whenever I had to travel, it was the kit I brought along with me! I'm glad scoring was mostly consistent; this is in fact my favorite set of the year.
The lowest mark went to Caudalie 2013 Favorites. This is also consistent with my experience. I remember having lots of flakes during this trial, close to the likes of when I wasn't doing any skincare at all.
- Eye cream helps with dark circles - The cynic in me refuses to believe my obsidian bags have any hope but eye cream actually does help with darkness. Don't expect miracles though, but at least now my bags are concealer-able.
- Makeup Remover - Cleanser - Toner - Mask - Essence - Serum - Ampoule - Moisturizer - Sleeping Mask / Pack - That's the full routine. It's not always going to be complete, thank god. If you're confused, go by consistency; the thicker creams go over the lighter and waterier gels. Sunscreen is the last layer before makeup, primer can be worn over makeup.
- Lack of irritation isn't always a good thing - Just because you're not breaking out, doesn't mean your skin is at it's best. Demand more from your skin care if it's going to cause you so much effort anyway.
- Stare at your face - I started the project thinking I needed 2 weeks to settle into a skincare routine, but I know my skin so well now that I can pinpoint irritating skincare steps mid-routine, maximum three days. I thank the pressure to observe changes within a deadline for this newfound skill.
- Be kinder to yourself - I'm afraid to fall into patterns of laziness, so when I wilt upon seeing upwards of 5 bottles of skincare waiting to be used, I tell myself 'this isn't your night.' I try to be tough on myself by saying 'you definitely can't skip tomorrow' but sometimes, I end up doing so anyway. What's worse, I eventually burn out and resent my routines. The better solution for me is to stick cleansing wipes in my skincare bag, and do at least that if I don't feel like going through a whole routine. Sometimes, I even end up doing the whole routine anyway because wipes leave me feeling annoyed enough to overcome the laziness!
I'm pretty happy with this series that I've decided to extend the one year trial into an ongoing, permanent series, yay! I didn't realize how many skincare sets I was able to try had I not written them side by side. I'm happy with the variety and the rich wealth of information I picked up through first-hand experience.
I'm glad that my skin is benefitting despite my crazy trials and I'm glad to keep learning about skincare that works for me. I've made great progress with my skincare stash and since I've tried them beforehand, I'm able to give better recommendations and share actual products to appreciative friends.
My year-end hiatus extended up to January so let's look forward to the February 2015 post, shall we? :)