After DHC’s Olive Virgin Oil comes the oh-so-famous Bio-oil (~$16 for 60ml)! Being voted one of the best skincare products in various countries, the product is now available officially in the US. Since I figured some of you would be interested in trying it, I went and bought a bottle at Boots today. I will be using this twice every day as instructed and I will update regularly so I can share my experience with you guys.

For years, I have heard many good things about Sisley, a high-end skincare line from France. And now that I am in my mid-twenties, I paid a visit to the closest Sisley counter at House Of Frasier looking to splurge on a nice eye cream for myself.

Initially, the sales assistant had recommended Sisley Eye and Lip Contour Complex for younger skin but since I wear eye makeup on a daily basis and my eye area is on the drier side, I wanted something richer to prevent wrinkles and help with puffiness and circles – hence the Sisleya Eye and Lip Contour Cream.

The eye cream is formulated with a high concentration of active ingredients including Padina Pavonica algae extract, Matricaria, Licorice, Wheat proteins, and vitamins E, B5 and F to moisturize, tone, reduce the appearance of wrinkles and prevent the appearance of under-eye puffiness and dark circles. The texture felt slightly thicker than other eye creams I have used but still really easy to spread and easily absorbed. It also did not feel greasy and it worked great with my concealer.

I have been using this for almost a few months now but it only took one application to see a difference. My eyes were instantly more toned, moisturized and less puffy and over time, I think my undereye circles have faded a little too. Definitely worth the hefty £80 price tag!

Taking it all off is probably one of the most tedious yet unavoidable chores for all you makeup addicts out there. Today I will cover briefly how you can take everything off without spending hours and hours in the bathroom.

Face Makeup
The best way to take off all facial makeup is to use a cleansing oil followed by a foam/gentle cleanser. My newest faves are Kose Softymo Super-cleansing Oil followed by Clean and Clear Daily Pore Cleanser.

Eye Makeup
To remove eye makeup effortlessly, pick a duo-phase eye makeup remover like Lancome Bi-facil or Ponds Bare and Repair. Simply soak a cotton pad with the remover and press against your eyelid for 10-15 seconds. Next, dip a Q-tip soaked with remover, close your eyes and gently go back and forth on your lashes to remove any remaining mascara. Whatever you do, remember to use *extra* care since the skin around your eyes is only 0.5mm thick.

Lip Makeup
The best way to remove lip makeup is to use a remover made specifically for it (try the one by Kanebo). If you can’t find it, simply use cleansing oil or Ponds Cold Cream.

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It has been absolutely sizzling here in Chi-town for the past few days so I wanted to do an entry on sunscreens and clear up some of the misconceptions about them.

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Blackheads, whiteheads… people shudder at the thought of them yet half of the people out there prolly have them. If you are one of the few lucky ones who do not, congratulations and good job on keeping your skin free of blackheads and whiteheads! As for those who are less fortunate, don’t fret! Read on for a couple of solutions on how to treat/prevent them.

What Are They
Before we start, let’s first get a better understanding of what blackheads and whiteheads are. Basically, they are comedones – sebaceous follicles which are clogged with sebum/oil, dead skin cells, and possibly small hairs and bacteria. The only difference between a whitehead and a blackhead is that a blackhead is an “open” comedo with a visible dark head caused by oxidation while a whitehead is a “closed” comedo with a whitish or skin coloured protruding plug caused by cellular debris at the follicle opening.

Solutions
Here are a few things you can do to treat/prevent blackheads and whiteheads:

1. BHA (Beta hydroxy acid)
Unlike AHAs, BHAs are lipid soluble meaning they can dissolve dead skin cells not only on the surface but also in the pore. This makes blackheads easier to extract and helps to prevent new ones. BHAs work best at concentrations of 1% to 2% at an optimal pH of 3, diminishing in effectiveness as the pH increases beyond 4.

2. Benzoyl peroxide
BP has an anti-bacterial effect and may also decrease the chemical reaction that changes the lining of the hair follicle. This may help reduce the plugging that causes comedones. Benzoyl peroxide may be used for a mild case of comedones or to help prevent formation of others.

3. Tretinoin (Retin-A, Avita, Renova)
Tretinoin is a derivative of vitamin A and works by increasing cell turnover and reducing the “stickiness” of the sloughed cells. It causes expulsion of the plugged material and converts closed comedones into open comedones. The material in these newly converted open comedones can be easily extruded. Tretinoin can be irritating though so please use with care.

4. Extraction
This can by done on open comedones either at a beauty salon or at home. This process is performed using a device called a comedone extractor which is a small, metal, circular instrument that is centered on the comedone and pushes down the surrounding skin, causing the plug to extrude. To help make extraction easier, steam your face with a facial steamer or a pot of hot water for 10-15 minutes to loosen embedded blackheads.

*Credits to About.com