Saturday, April 26, 2014

Review - Hitachi Hada Crie CM-N810


Hello!

I am back with the review for the Hitachi Hada Crie CM-N810!

Sorry for the long interval between the posts. I have been meaning to write it but I got into a traffic accident last Friday, so that threw me off schedule abit as well as left me with very bad abrasions on my legs and hands :( I am still in the process of healing, I might do a post on that if I can heal scar free or with minimal scars haha. Fingers crossed!

Back to the review, I am absolutely obsessed with this beauty gadget. I have been using this almost daily, and I can definitely see an improvement in my skin. I do still have blackheads and clogged pores, but I can say that they are significantly reduced!

I'll go through the different steps and the products I use for each step as a reference for any of you who might be confused. I was quite confused and indecisive about what to use for each step, because after reading different reviews, everyone used different products and combinations.

Do check out my introductory post HERE to check out what this gadget is all about.

There are 4 main steps to this, Cleanse, Micropat, Moisturize and Refresh

Cleanse

This has to be my absolute favourite step. I basically got this gadget for this function and it sure did not let me down.

ARE YOUR READY FOR THIS


I am absolutely appalled by how dirty my face is. I always thought I cleansing routine was pretty comprehensive, but I guess not. As you can see, the cotton pads gets cleaner after more with more uses. Day 7 is an exception though because I did not double cleanse after removing my makeup. This really shows how the gadget is able to draw out all the dirt and makeup that is clogged from my pores! Thumbs up for it! Look at how different day 7 looks from the other days. I was really shocked to see all my foundation residue on the cotton pad.

Many people have asked my to compare the Hitachi Hada Crie with the Clarasonic in terms of its cleansing power. But I think I can see the best results when I use the Clarasonic together with the hada crie. I find that the cotton pads are much cleaner on the days where I use the Clarasonic (proof that the Clarasonic does work!)

If you look closely at day 1,5 & 6, you can see that the cotton pads are very worn out and have holes in them. This will happen if the cotton pads are too thin. I will talk about the type of cotton pads to use with the gadget below!

This is my holy grail gadget now. I think because I have large pores, they are more susceptible to clogging so I really do feel much better knowing that I am thoroughly cleaning my face at the end of the day.



Bioderma
 
For this step, although there are people who just use their regular toners, I feel that cleansing waters do the best job. Most of the recommendations for this step is the bioderma as well!
 
I have tried using a moisturising toner but I didn't feel that it was as effective as the bioderma. I use the version for sensitive skin, but if you have the version for oily skin (the one with the blue liquid) I think it would work well too.
 
It is recommended to use a cleansing water for this step, so I think that the Bifesta Cleansing Waters would do a good job.
 
 
The Face Shop Rice Water Bright - Rice Cleansing Water
 
I am going to try this out when I am out of the Bioderma! Hopefully it will help with brightening as well!
 
You can also try using exfoliating toners such as the Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA liquid with salicylic acid.
 
I would not suggest using an Astringents i.e toners with very high alcohol content or pore minimising toners for this step because we are not supposed to be using alcohol based products with this gadget and since we are supposed to draw the impurities out of the pores, by using a pore minimising toner, it would interfere with that process cos the pores are not opened for the dirt to be removed. Make sense right?
 
Also if your product has a very high alcohol content, it might be too drying and harsh for your skin because this it is going to be in contact with your skin for a full 5 minutes.
 
 
Micropat
 
 
For this step as well as the moisture step the product that was most popular with the bloggers/reviewers had to be the Hada Labo lotions both the moisturising and the brightening ones.
 
 
Hada Labo SHA Hydrating Lotion
 
This is a little sample sized one that I got in my welfare pack (good job NUSSU!). I didn't get a full sized one because I had this other product that I got from Japan that was very similar to this.
 
 
I really do not know what this product is called in English, but it has a very viscous consistency very much like the Hada Labo, but I prefer the Hada Labo cos it absorbs better.
 
As much as the Hada Labo is very popular, I do find it quite troublesome to use because this whole process is 5 minutes long and the product does get absorbed into the skin quite quickly. When there is no more product left on the face, the gadget does not glide smoothly and it is not advisable to use the gadget it doesn't glide smoothly cos it will tug on the skin which, in the long run will result in your skin losing its elasticity. So in this process, I often find myself scrambling to drop more product on my face while holding on the gadget (it stops working if it is not in contact with the skin) and I look ridiculous.
 
You can also use a water based toner/mist such as the Avène Thermal Spring Water . If you are using a toner, I would recommend transferring into a spray bottle because it would be much for convenient for you to spritz it onto your face in the process.
 
For this step, I personally prefer using 'First Serums' / products that are meant to be used before toners etc to enhance the absorption of the following products.
 
Ettusais Skin Version Up Extra
 
I got this when I was in Japan but never really fell in love with it because I found that it takes quite a while to be absorbed into the skin and honestly ain't nobody has got time for that. But it works perfectly for the micropat mode because I do not have to keep applying more product onto my face throughout the 5 minute process.
 
Etude House Collagen Moisture - First Essence
 
I also tried this, but like the Hada Labo, I'll have to keep reapplying it.
 
Overall, I do think that the micropat function is abit of a hassle, which is probably the reason why it was removed in the newer model. But I still do it because I am very kiasu like that, and I have quite a bit of products to use up.
 
Moisture
 
For this mode the most popular products used were again the Hada Labo lotions and the SK II Facial Treatment Essence. We have to use a cotton pad with this mode.
 
Iope Bio Essence
 
Since I dont have the SK II Facial Treatment I use my Iope Bio Essence, and I really do feel its effect much more! I will add a few pumps of whitening essence to go along with it as well.
 
Alternatively, you can use your serums in this step as well.
 
Refresh
 
For this step, I just use sheet masks, mostly the My Beauty Diary masks.
 
Types of Cotton Pads
 
This may seem like a very trivial matter but I did spend quite a bit of time researching about this.
 
We definitely cannot use the cheap cotton squares as they would flake off and leave cotton strips on your face. I would definitely suggest using better quality cotton pads.
 
 
Careffour Cotton Rounds
 
I got this when I was in Taiwan. I  would split the cotton rounds into half and use half for the cleanse mode and the other half for the moisture mode.
 
I find that this is the best way to use this because using one round would make it a tad too thick for the plastic ring to fit. But there is a risk of the half cotton round tearing, so I have to be very precise when splitting them haha.
 
 
Muji Peelable Cotton
 
This works well too because the cotton pad is very well made and tightly knitted it would not flake.
Each piece peels into 4 strips and I think 2 strips works the best.
 
 
I got these from SASA and these work really well too. I just one entire piece for cleansing and 1 piece for the moisture mode.
 
Whatever cotton pad you use do not use cotton pads that are too thick because it would absorb too much of your product and risk damaging the plastic ring that attaches cotton to the gadget.
 
I would suggest splitting a thick cotton pad into 2 rather than using a cotton pad that is too thin. Cotton pads that are too thin will slip off the ring.
 
Final Thoughts
 
This was definitely an investment and a very good investment imo. I really love how it makes my skincare products go the extra mile. It is definitely time consuming but I do think that it is time well spent. Since it is cordless, we can do it while watching TV or dramas. You'll definitely have to use it regularly too see results. It is afterall not a miracle product. It's moisturising properties are also very impressive. My skin feels very moist and plump after using it.
 
I also feel that my makeup goes on better after using this.
 

 
 
 

I feel that my makeup is able to last a longer time especially if I use the moisturise mode before applying my makeup!
 
I think the best result that I can see is that the little bumps that I always have around my temples and around my cheekbones are significantly reduced. They have bugged me for the longest time and I am so happy too see them go!
 
Also, this should be used as a supplement to your cleansing routine, so please don't skip washing your face or removing your makeup. This is also not waterproof so do not use it in the shower.
 
I really use up products very quickly with this product as we will have to ensure that the cotton pads are well saturated. I tend to use more inexpensive products with this.
 
Before I forget, there are some products that cannot be used with this.
1) Oils
2) Creams
3) Alcohol based products
 
I clean the head of the gadget with rubbing alcohol after using.
 
Well this has been a long review, everyone has their own choices for their products, just choose the ones that works the best for you and you would be good to go :D
 
Till next time then!! I will try my best to squeeze in one more post before I leave for Korea with my girls! There would definitely be more hauls from my trip!
 


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hitachi Hada Crie CM-N810


HIII!

I finally got the Hitachi Hada Crie! I am so happy and excited about this because I have been wanting this since 2012. The Hitachi Hada Crie is Japan’s #1 bestselling facial cleansing and moisturizing gadget line!

The question I have received the most is "Is this the same as a Clarasonic?" It is definitely not.

It is a facial cleaning and massage system that makes use of ion power, to clean deeply into pores and remove more dirt. It also helps to maximise absorption of your serums and moisturisers.

Unlike the clarasonic, this is not waterproof and not meant to be used in the shower. The clarasonic uses sonic frequency technology to cleanse the skin. The Hitachi Hada Crie is not just meant for deep cleansing. It also uses ions to help your products penetrate into the skin.

Although I own a Clarasonic, the main reason why I wanted to get this gadget is because I don't think that the clarasonic is able to really suck out all the gunk that is clogged in my pores. Also the other reason why I wanted to get this is because it can help to maximise the penetration of my skincare product into my skin, which makes my money spent on my skincare products more well spent right?


How do we use it?



There are basically 4 modes and each mode takes 5 minutes.

1) Cleansing - For this mode, we attach a cotton pad to the gadget with the attachment ring and saturate the cotton pad with a cleansing water/toner

2) Micro- pat - This mode is to prep the skin with moisture for the Moisture mode. I have read in a magazine that the skin has to be adequately moisturized to absorb the other following skincare products better! For this step, we do not have to use a cotton pad

3) Moisture - This step is meant to provide 'deep' moisture into the skin. We attach a cotton pad and saturate it with your regular toner/ skin lotion.

4) Refresh Mode -  We use this once a week with a sheet mask or a thick layer of essence/serum to recondition the skin.

As you can see, it requires 15 minutes to go through steps 1-3 which is pretty time consuming. What is recommended is that if you have

5 mins: Use the moisture mode
10 minutes: Cleanse and moisture mode
15 minutes: Go through steps 1-3

I think it makes quite good sense because if you are in a hurry it is more important for moisturise your skin.

The Product



This is how the product looks like, it looks like a little plastic toy and it comes with 2 attachment rings ( to attach the cotton pads), a recharging stand and a charger.

The voltage for this is AC 100-240 V, so we can use it in Singapore.



Here it is with my rather large stash of hair gadgets.

The head of the gadget is made out of titanium to prevent allergic reactions.

There are 2 power levels to choose from. I always go straight to the strong mode, but if you have very sensitive skin, you can start out with the weaker mode.

There is an auto stop function, where the gadget will automatically switch off after each step. The button in the centre is the off/on button and once the gadget switched off, we just have to push that button and it would automatically be set at the next step.

This gadget is super smart. We have to hold it, such that our hand is in contact with the metal plates on the sides of the machine. Also the gadget would not be activated if it is not in contact with your face/skin.

Why did I choose this?

If you are not familiar with the Hitachi Hada Crie, there are 4 models available:

Older versions
CM-N810
N1000

Newer models
CM-N820
N2000

The main differences between the CM-N8XX models and the N X00 models is that the latter has cooling plates that are supposed to further help with pore minimization. Also the CM-N8XX models are cordless.

The newer models do not have the micropat function and the time for each step is reduced from 5 to 3 minutes.

The reason why I choose the CM-N810 is because
- It's the cheapest
- It is cordless which makes it much more convenient. I am able to walk around the house when I am using this
- Although I have issues with large pores, I do not think that the cooling plates can help to significantly minimize my pores. Since they are genetically large, the only way to significantly minimize my pores is through a laser treatment.

Also, I think that to reduce the appearance of pores, it is more important to keep your pores clean, so that they would not be 'stretched open' with the clogged gunk. Secondly, it is also crucial to keep your skin moisturised so that the skin will appear plumper and the pores would appear smaller.

This is why I chose the CM-N810 because it can provide me with the all the functions that I need.


Although this is the oldest model, it is still made in 2014 and of course Made in Japan.

Where to buy & How much is this?

I got this from online, from http://www.beautyshopsingapore.com. It costs 179 SGD, but with FedEx shipping, it became 196 SGD.

I have been shopping around for this for awhile now, and so far this site offers the cheapest prices. You can try out amazon, the cheapest model I found was 130 USD and since it doesn't ship directly to Singapore, I had to use alternative postal services so it added up to abit more than 200 SGD?

I have to admit that I was quite worried when I first shopped with beautyshopsingapore.com because there was no customer reviews I have not heard about it. But I decided to take the leap of faith and went ahead with it. I am really glad that I did!



The site promised next day delivery and true to their words, MY PACKAGE ARRIVED THE VERY NEXT DAY. I think it was sent from Hong Kong?

You can shop around online for this, or if you are living in Japan or are going to Japan, you can get it there I heard that it is cheaper!

The reviews for this gadget is up next! I will be talking more about the products I use with this and how it fares, so keep a look out for that!

Till next time then!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

1028 Advanced Whitening Essence Foundation Review





Hi!

I am being very good with my blogging schedule, I am so proud of myself *pats self on back*. Okay fine this is a super backdated blogpost. I was supposed to get this out last year? But better late than never right?

If you saw my 2013 Taiwan Beauty Haul post I did last year, you would have noticed that I got this foundation. I mentioned that it is a good dupe for the Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation and boy was I not disappointed.

I LOVE THIS FOUNDATION.

I personally do not own the GA  Maestro foundation, but I was hesitant to get it because it was so expensive. I was very drawn to it however because it supposedly is super light on the skin and makes the skin look dewy and luminous without looking like you have any makeup on. Sounds good right? BUT, it apparently has very little coverage and at this point of time, I cannot justify spending 100 SGD on a foundation that would give me so little coverage. I might get it... sometime in future maybe?

Anyway, I was so excited to try out the 1028 Advanced Whitening Essence Foundation because not only did it look like the GA Maestro, it boasts whitening skincare properties and I absolutely cannot resist foundations that doubles up as skincare.

Product Description:

According to their Facebook site,

"Here's sharing 1028 Whitening Essence Foundation SPF 30++. Formulated with a unique texture, the foundation delivers an invisible veil of natural radiance. Infused with... Vitamin C Skincare Essence, your skin is whitened as you wear the foundation."

The product comes in a very classy glass bottle and I like foundation bottles that are see through so I can see how much product is left. I am very OCD like that.



It comes with a dropper. I like this design because it is very different and it makes it very easy to control the amount of product.

 
Reviews:
 

The consistency of the product is very lightweight, it does not feel very much like a foundation but instead, like it's name suggests feels like an essence. Which is probably why it is absorbed into the skin very easily.
 
 
 


I would say that this product gives a light to medium coverage. As you can see, my skin is visibly evened out and brightened. It even manages to tone down the darkness of my dark circles and the spot on my cheek is covered quite decently I must say. Also it does help to conceal the appearance of my pores!

For such a lightweight foundation, I am very very satisfied with the coverage it provides.

It is not a foundation that provides a dewy finish like the iope bb cushion, it leans more towards a more natural finish without being overly matte.

It is also very moisturising without being overly greasy. I have oily skin and I think this foundation helps to control my oily skin by providing it with adequate moisture. I think when people think of an essence foundation, they might worry that it would be too oily or heavy, but this is not the case at all. I think this would be a suitable foundation for all skin types.

It is very easy to layer on the foundation without it looking overly cakey.

My favourite thing about this foundation is that is feels like second skin. There is a difference between a lightweight foundation and a foundation that looks like your own skin but better. Even when I look very closely at my face, I cannot see the foundation. It just melts right into my face.

It lasts a considerable amount of time as well. I blotted my face 5 hours after application and it still looks good, there is very minimal oxidation as well.

I cannot comment on the skincare properties because I am constantly rotating between my base products, I haven't used it enough to see significant improvements in my skin from this product. But it does not break me out nor clog my pores when I use it.

Pros:
- Feels like second skin: This is super comfortable on the skin even for our humid climate.
- Good coverage
- Sunscreen properties: Sunscreen is always welcome.( Since this product has sunscreen, I would not recommend it for flash photography)
- Skincare properties
- Moisturising
-Long lasing
 

Cons:
Limited Shades: I think there was only 3 shades available, and like most Asian beauty lines colour range runs quite light. I am using OC 2 Natural Beige and I do think that it is a teeny bit light for my skintone.

Pricey: I think it is rather pricey for a drugstore foundation, however I believe that I am paying for quality.




The finished look!

This product has all the properties I want in a foundation. I give it a mega thumbs up! I think that 1028 generally come out with very affordable and quality products which is why I always have to get something from their line when I am in Taiwan.

It is available in Singapore at all Sasa outlets for 34.90 SGD.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Bonanza Whitening Black Membranous Mask + How I Extract Blackheads

 
 
Hi!
 
Today I want to do a review on one of my absolute favourite masks the Bonanza Whitening Black Membranous Mask. This is longgg overdue, I briefly mentioned about doing a review in my Taiwanese Haul post HERE.
 
 
I heard about this product sometime last year and I had to get it when I was in Taiwan. You can find it easily on Taiwanese beauty websites or on Sasa.com. It is pretty pricey, it ranges from 30-40 ish SGD depending on where you get it from.
 
 
What is it?
 
In Taiwan, these sorta masks are generally referred to as Jelly Masks or 冻膜 which are very popular nowadays. This mask contains black bamboo which is great in controlling sebum production as well as provide deep cleansing properties.
 
According to sasa.com
 
" Bonanza Whitening Black Membraneous provides an ideal way to gently exfoliate the skin. It is perfect for all skin types. It can remove impurities, deeply clean pores, leaving your skin smooth. It can also provide natural mineral nutrients to the skin and boost up blood circulation"
 
The main reason why I was so drawn to this product is because it was able to solve 2 of my major skin problems that is clogged pores and dull skin.
 
 



This is how the product looks like, it is this black jelly like mask which feels super cooling and comfortable on the skin when applied on. The black is from the bamboo extract although it looks quite gross, it is plenty good for the skin! This is also very good as an after sun care because the hydrating properties of the jelly mask will help soothe the skin.
 
 
According to the instructions, we are supposed to apply a super thick layer (about 0.5cm) and leave it on for 40 minutes. It is important that the mask does not dry out completely or it would lose it's effectiveness.
 
After the 40 minutes, scrape off the mask with the provided spatula. It is best to scrape off as much of the mask as we possibly can or it would be quite difficult to rinse off.
 
I love this mask!
 
My skin feels so hydrated and it is visibly more evened out. Of course the brightened skin effect only lasts for a few hours like most masks, but with regular use I certain it would be effective *positive*.
What I love about this mask the most, is that all my blackheads, whiteheads would rise up to the surface. Sounds freaky I know but when I touch my face I can feel these little gritty bumps which are actually the clogged gunk in my pores. It is super easy to extract the black and white heads after that.
 
How I Extract Blackheads
 
I normally use another method when using this mask. I learnt this from a Taiwanese blogger, you should check out her post HERE. Her post is super informative. I only use half of the products she uses. She is so good and hardworking with her skin care routine. One of my favourite Taiwanese bloggers!
 
As its name suggests, the Sandwich method requires 3 steps,
 
1) Using a toner to soften the skin so that the masks can absorb better
 
2) Apply a thick layer of your jelly mask
 
 
 
3)  Using these paper masks and a toner of your choice, apply it over the jelly mask. I would normally leave it on for about 30 minutes.
 
This method is supposed to enhance the absorption of the jelly mask and maximise its effects.
 
I like using this method because it is very messy to leave the jelly mask on without a paper mask on top haha. Plus I can wear my glasses over the paper mask so I am able to do stuff while having the mask on. My skin feels more moisturised after using the Sandwich method of apply masks!
 
Once 30 minutes is up, I would rinse of the mask and then I will start extracting my blackhead with those blackhead removing tools you can get at any beauty supplies store.
 
I LOVE extracting my blackheads after using the jelly mask because everything just comes right out! Previously, before I started using the jelly mask I do extract blackheads myself very regularly and it really was quite damaging to my pores because I would tend to exert too much force because it was so difficult to get the blackheads out.
 
One very important tip when extracting blackheads is not to exert too much force or you may risk 'damage' your pores and make your skin peel. Worse it may cause scarring from the damage done. It is always good to soften your skin and prep it before extraction.
 
*I would not recommend extracting blackheads/whiteheads yourself if you have very sensitive skin. Do go to a professional if you are not used to doing it yourself.
 
After extraction, I would normally spray on some moisturizing mist to soothe the skin. Alternatively, you can apply some aloe vera gel. I would normally apply some skin repair serum such as snail essence during my night time skin care routine on days when I do extraction to increase the cell turnover and skin repair functions.
 
That's all for today! Till next time!!