Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Review: Muji Cleansing Oil (Normal Skin)

Photo credit: Muji Europe

Description (also from Muji Europe): In Japan, oil based cleaners are generally recognised as superior. This highly effective combination of olive oil and jojoba oil blends in quickly and completely removes make-up. Gently massage 3-4 pumps onto your skin. Rinse with water after use.

Price & Amount: I bought the 200ml bottle (red label) in Singapore for $13, which is a little less than 450 pesos. The sensitive skin variant (blue label) in the same size is available in Muji Philippines for 395 pesos according to Project Vanity, so presumably this version is cheaper here. I didn't see it when I visited the store, though. There are also 50ml and 400ml versions.

Packaging: Clear plastic bottle with a pump and a no-spill clip for the pump, which is super useful especially if you have lots of bottles on your shelf that you can easily knock over with one swipe. Save it! :) I also love the simple design of the bottle. I tried translating the Katakana front label using my very rusty Japanese and came up with "mairudo oiru kurenjingu" which roughly translates to "mild oil cleansing".

Review: On a trip to Singapore, I came across the Muji store in Paragon and was super excited. I had heard of this cleansing oil online and it was the only thing I walked out of the store with. I have no regrets. :) Since the labels were all in Japanese I did a bit of Google-fu and found this ingredient list on the Muji Europe website:
Hydrogenated polyisobutene, PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, ethyl oleate, sorbitan oleate, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, healianthus annuus (hybrid sunflower) oil, dipropylene glycol, citrus aurantium dulsis (orange) flower water, water, butylene glycol, propylparaben, butylparaben, tocopherol, prunus armeniaca (apricot) juice, glycerin, prunus persica (peach) leaf extract.
One of the big points for Muji cleansing oil is that it does not use mineral oil, which can apparently clog pores. This does, however, have parabens, if you are avoiding those.

To use, pump out your desired amount and massage it on your face, taking care around the eye area. Dampen your hands with water and rub it in to emulsify the oil, then proceed to completely wash it off. I've heard that warm water is better with cleansing oils but cold water is just fine as well.

The oil has a faint oil-y, herbal smell that I actually quite like, but would probably not want to sniff more intensely. One pump is enough to clean off everyday makeup, and I add a half pump more if I'm using waterproof mascara. My eyesight gets somewhat blurry during use, but it's gone once I wash the oil off. It removes everything pretty well and does not leave my face feeling too greasy, but I still follow up with a facial cleanser out of preference.

Overall I'm impressed at how easy it is to use cleansing oil, and how well it removes makeup. Plus, it's cheap compared to other known cleansing oils in the market. I hope Muji restocks soon because I need backups and travel sizes. ;)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review: Daiso Charcoal Cleansing Cream

What? Cleansing cream? Not mask?

Image by me, please do not save or use without notice.

Why yes, I meant cream. This is not the famous Daiso charcoal mask, which is the bottle in the middle of this picture:

L-R: Charcoal cleansing foam, mask, & cream. Image from Saizen Philippines

Thankfully the cute stickers on top and English lines at the bottom help us tell the difference. The packaging can be confusing when you're faced with these in-store.

So, on to the proper review!

Description: Small tiny halls of charcoal absorb dust or pollution. It helps to clean dust from skin pores and to make up.

Amount & Price: 85 pesos for 80g of cleansing cream.

Packaging: Fat squeeze-type tube with a screw-on cap. The nozzle is covered with foil which ensures product freshness and sanitation, and dispenses a decent amount of cleanser depending on how much you squeeze. However it does not feel very hefty, as though the packaging size did not merit the amount of product inside.

Review: I chanced upon the Saizen Multiply while browsing and quite literally made a list of things to look for when I visited the store. The cleansing cream made it to my list because my skin started becoming terribly dry in November, and I had to stop using my usual facial cleansers and/or supplement them with cleansing creams & moisturizers. Ironically, this  included Pond's Pure White Deep Cleansing Facial Foam with activated carbon (gosh what a mouthful), and essentially charcoal is carbon. :) I needed something that had decent cleansing power and moisturizers to keep my skin from feeling tight after washing.

Enter the Daiso Charcoal Cleansing Cream. At 85 pesos I had little to lose by trying it out, so I grabbed a tube. The product itself is a gray cream, and if you look closely enough you will see little black specks of (presumably) charcoal. The product has a sweetish, perfume-y, unimaginative smell, which you can still sniff during and after using the product, so sensitive noses may want to stay away. I take two pea-sized amounts and that's usually good enough for my face and a bit of the neck, and I give it a good rub/massage before wiping it off with tissues or cotton rounds. There is, unfortunately, an oily film left behind, which is a bit greasier than I would like but is not as bad as Pond's Cold Cream. I always follow up with a facial cleanser so it's not much of a problem to me.

In terms of cleansing power, it easily removes the usual face makeup, but I found that it's not as effective in removing mascara. You'd really have to rub it in, and even after using this + a facial wash I still found black specks under my eyes the next morning (!!). Best to use a lip & eye makeup remover before this. For the price, though, I'd still recommend this product, and I wouldn't mind repurchasing.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Review: The Body Shop All-In-One Face Base

Description: This combined foundation and powder gives a velvety, matte base. Use this product dry for a light matte finish or wet for higher coverage. Includes sponge and detachable mirror. Dermatologically tested.

Amount & Price: 1,295 pesos for 9 g / 0.3 oz. TBS regularly has sales though, sometimes they give 40% off on this product. Or you can go for the "buy 1 at regular price, get 50% off on your next" promo which is still good value depending on what you buy.

Packaging: Plastic case in silver (lid) and TBS' signature green color (everything else). The silver lid is scratch & fingerprint heaven and isn't as easy to wipe off as a glass surface, I think. When you open the case the first thing you see is the sponge compartment, and right underneath it is a decently-sized mirror. The "detachable" part in the mirror description means that you can flip the mirror up, not completely remove it as I thought when I read it, haha. The product is found in the bottom compartment. The case overall is a bit bulky but it's still a nice size for my small hands. Ingredients may be found by peeling off a sticker underneath the compact.

I remember buying this on my birthday, when it came in a gift pack of sorts with a blush. Coverage is medium when applied dry, which I found to be enough for me. I never tried it wet, because I would usually try to use up my BB cream and top it with this when I wanted fuller coverage. I don't need much oil control but this provided for that as well; I only had to blot once during a workday. The velvety matte finish is something I particularly liked, and I never realized how much I liked this product until I started using other powders. Now I'm anxiously waiting for another 40%-off promo so I can stock up! Used everyday, this powder will probably last you anywhere between 6-9 months. There are 6 shades to choose from but they all lean on the fair-medium side, so morenas might have to look for another alternative. I have this in shade 05 and I was matched as NC20-25 (!! will have to reaffirm this) on my only visit so far to a MAC counter. Speaking of MAC, I think this Face Base is TBS' answer to MAC's Studio Fix Powder Plus foundation, which I've personally never tried. If you've tried that, this just might work for you too, and it's a bit cheaper as well. I will definitely repurchase as I really like this, and I'm glad there's a powder foundation I can come back to if my other purchases don't work out.