Born Unready

My skincare routine + product review

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Getting ready is a lifelong battle. 

Sometimes you come out victorious. Your makeup looks #onpoint and you look a billion bucks. Other times your skin throws a mutiny and disobeys. All the makeup in the world wonโ€™t cut it and you look a mess. 

Ironically, I believe the best way to get ready is to start by getting unready. Think of your skin as a blank canvas - if you start painting on a dirty, bumpy canvas, your painting will turn out a disaster! 

Dry patches on your cheeks that flakes off with your makeup? Foundation stays on for 0.5 milliseconds before it melts off your greasy face? Fine lines from excessive facial expressions forming little creases that donโ€™t go away? 

Iโ€™ve been there, done that and I donโ€™t wanna be there again! ๐Ÿ˜‚

So hereโ€™s a low-fi โ€˜flowchartโ€™ of how I get unready to get ready:
Cleanse > Exfoliate > Sheet Mask > Moisturise > Makeup

I was so lucky to be sent some beautiful products from Arture and Ally Woo to review. I purposely worked these products into my skincare routine for 3 weeks, especially focusing on getting my skin prepared for heavy makeup ("Welcome to #bloggerlife, Vikki! ๐Ÿ˜ญ" ). Hereโ€™s the lab report hot off the press from Vikkipedia HQ: (cue CNN breaking news background music) ๐Ÿ˜‚

Exfoliate to rejuvenate:
ARTURE Resurfacing Microdermabrasion Cream

First impression:
You little beauty! Artureโ€™s Resurfacing Microdermabrasion Cream comes in a pretty blush pink paper box (Iโ€™m a sucker for paper embossing! ๐Ÿ˜‚) When I saw these cute little icons printed on the box:

  • Not tested on animals
  • 100% natural
  • Made in NZ

I felt as if I've met a hot guy on a blind date. I was sold without even trying the product! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Inside the box, youโ€™ll find a beautiful 50g frosted jar with a sturdy, metallic lid and a handy little spatula that helps grab the product so you can avoid touching it with your grubby mitts. 

The application:
The consistency is thick - itโ€™s almost like a night cream with very fine grains. Despite the thickness, the product glides on very smoothly. Coverage is great - you only needed a few pea-sized dollops dotted over the face. The instruction tells you to apply a thin layer to damp skin, gently massage in circular motions and rinse once the product dries up. The whole process doesnโ€™t take much longer than 5 mins - I really have no excuse to let myself slide on this one. Note: Itโ€™s fragrance free so fear not if you have hyper-sensitive skin.

Now, the results!
Ok I jumped the gun - I should give you guys the lowdown about my skin before I tell you what I think about the product.

So, I went to Tokyo a couple of years ago (this is relevant I promise lol) and before the trip, Iโ€™ve ALWAYS thought I have very oily skin. I was the kind of person that will make Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets look as translucent as the wrapping paper for your fish and chips.

When I walked into Shu Uemura in Shinjuku to check out the makeup (I used to spend more money on makeup than skincare - that's another story for another time!), this cute saleslady asked if I wanted to do a skin test. She held this little gadget to my face and it looked like a wireless barcode scanner at the supermarket checkout. Moments later, she flipped the gadget over to show me the graph on screen. It looked like a parabola graph with Japanese writing (Sorry if this is not the right terminology for the curve thingee - I was probably the only Asian that sucked at Maths.) She explained what it meant - apparently I have very elastic but super dry skin! The reason I get super oily is because Iโ€™m using the wrong products that dry my skin out so much itโ€™s overcompensating by producing more sebum! Mind. Blown.

So, I have super dry skin! For the longest time, I had very little trust in exfoliating products as if they've all cheated on me. Almost everything Iโ€™ve tried left a tight feeling in my skin after rinse and made my skin even oilier. 

To my surprise, Artureโ€™s microdermabrasion cream DOES NOT leave my skin feeling tight as soon as I rinse it off. It actually makes my skin feel nourished as if I've already applied moisturiser before doing so! 

Following on with my usual skincare routine and a decent sleep, my skin feels a million bucks the next day. The makeup glides on like a dream โ€“ no fine lines, no dry patches. 

Confession: one of the many terrible habits that I have is picking my face. I KNOW, I KNOW itโ€™s stupid but I canโ€™t help it! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ When Iโ€™m stressed, my hand goes out of control and starts picking at the scabs of my acne as if itโ€™s been possessed and Iโ€™d literally look like this guyโ€ฆ

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After using Artureโ€™s microdermabrasion cream diligently every second day for 3-4 weeks, my acne scars have gone lighter! They don't completely go away but the product definitely improved the hyper-pigmentation.

The Summary: Pros andโ€ฆ is there even any cons?

  • Iโ€™ve used 9832189 scrubs in the past and the texture of this product is ace - the grains are super fine and does not leave my skin feeling tight and stripped after use.

  • Effectively removes the debris and dead skin on your face. Before putting moisturiser on my face, my skin already feels super smooth and nourished straight after use. 

  • Improved my hyper-pigmentation and lightened my acne scars after using the product repeatedly over 3-4 weeks.

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The bottom line: Will I repurchase this product?
Absolutely. At $124.99 a pop, Arture Resurfacing Microdermabrasion Cream is a great investment because a little goes a long way! You donโ€™t need to use it more than twice a week. I can see myself using the same tub for at least 3 months. With all the pros (and hands on heart, I canโ€™t think of any cons) - after the stringent testing from Vikkipedia HQ, I donโ€™t see why this doesnโ€™t become one of my holy grail products! 

https://arture.co.nz/products/arture-resurfacing-microdermabrasion-cream

"Tuxedo Sheet-mask": ๐Ÿ˜‚
BENTON Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack

First impression:
Snail? You might be thinking, ewwwโ€ฆ Not me! I am a huge fan of Korean skincare. Being raised in an Asian household, sheet masks are like toilet paper โ€“ an absolute essential item. Iโ€™m so stoked that Korean skincare is gaining worldwide traction โ€˜cos it means more choices for all of us! Sheet masks are such an inexpensive yet effective way of giving your skin the SOS it needs.

The application:
As you can see, I look more like Jason from Friday the 13th than Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon but trust me - this mask is great. Once I smooth the mask over my face, it instantly feels cooling and hydrated. Thereโ€™s an ample amount of essence leftover in the sachet โ€“ donโ€™t toss it away! Get more bang for your buck by smoothing the excess essence all over your neck and chest while you wait for your mask to dry! 

Oh donโ€™t leave it on for too long. Pat in the excess essence into your skin until itโ€™s fully absorbed and follow with your normal moisturiser.

Now, the results:
I love the way my skin felt after removing the mask. (OMG Please donโ€™t rinse your face after if youโ€™re a sheet mask rookie - youโ€™ll wash away the precious essence!) My face felt instantly more hydrated and supple. 

The Summary:

  • This sheet mask is saturated with essence! Thereโ€™s enough for me to pat down to my neck and chest area (Adios cleavage wrinkles lol).
  • My skin feels super hydrated and plump after use. Great for after a hard night at work or a hard night out! 
  • I have a long face for an Asian so the mask was a tad short for my face shape, leaving the top part of my forehead exposed. It also means that my face isn't wide enough for the full stretch of the mask so thereโ€™s a bit of bubbling and not as hugging as Iโ€™d like. 

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The bottom line: Will I repurchase this product?
Hell yeah! For around NZD$30, you get 10x sheets - which means like what, $3 a sheet? Iโ€™d happily give up 1x flat white for better skin.

Check out Ally Woo for more amazing sheet masks and K-beauty products (without costing an arm and a leg for shipping if you live in New Zealand! Woop woop!): https://www.allywoo.co.nz/

No bogus bonus:
ARTURE Rose Water Glow Mist

After makeup, have yourself a spritz of rose water for a dewy finish! (Make sure you got waterproof mascara on though.) It just makes the foundation look less caked on. This little bottle of joy would definitely go in my hand-luggage when I travel at the end of the year!

https://arture.co.nz/products/arture-rose-water-glow-mist-100ml

Thatโ€™s it folks - first beauty review done and dusted! What do you guys reckon? Should I do more beauty-related posts? Your feedback is greatly appreciated!

I also have a few exciting collabos up my sleeve - feeling so blessed to be working with some amazing brands and most importantly, the amazing people behind them. Canโ€™t wait to show you awesome peeps what Iโ€™m about to get up to! xx