BlackBox SG – INNI Skincare

My ultimate skincare remedy for the festive season has arrived! Look no further if you too are worried about ruining your skin with anticipated late nights, booze and Christmas goodies. INNI by La Source Spa is a premium range created by beauty professionals from the popular beauty sanctuary, to give you results that parallel stepping into a spa.

I’m featuring 2 exclusive product sets from BlackBox SG – the INNI by La Source, and INNI Solutions by La Source. Both beautifully packaged, these will make great Christmas gifts for family and friends. Products are 100% botanical and source-traceable – its ingredient lists feature easily identifiable plant and nature-sources. To put our minds at ease, all products are also free of parabens, mineral oils, additives and preservatives as well as colouring or artificial fragrances.

You can purchase these exclusive sets straight from BlackBox SG, plus don’t forget to claim a further 10% discount by using the promo code <<BBXJEAN10>> upon checkout!

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

 

Exclusive Box – INNI Solutions by La Source

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

These products are a sneakpeek into INNI’s extensive solutions range, which target age-defense, advance whitening serum, pigment corrective and AHA renewal, amongst many other skincare troubles. All products in this set have a really clean  scent – no acidic / alcoholic smells which irritates the hell out of me. I’m big on the scents, and INNI has passed the test. Here we go:

1. Hyaluronic B5 Gel | 30ml
Provides intensive hydration by binding moisture to skin tissue. Restores and hydrates all skin types without clogging pores.
Suitability: For all skin type includes acne prone skin, male and female
Retail size and price: 30ml @$104.86
Verdict: With an au-naturale ensemble, this product is super hydrating. Gel-based, it glides on smoothly and is absorbed so quickly, it is as if my skin is quenching its thirst. Leaves no residue so feel free to layer with the rest of your routine. My favourite product from this set!

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

 

2. Youthful Glow Enzyme Peel | 15ml
A nutrient-rich exfoliant that combines the enzymatic properties of papaya and pineapple with the nourishing advantages of wholesome pumpkin. Leaves skin with a soft, refined glow.
Suitability: For all skin type, male and female
Retail size and price: 15ml @$17.66 | 80ml @$94.15
Verdict: Only tried this once – the exfoliant is powerful, and the results are as though I’ve just done a peel at a facial. Slightly drying after the exfoliation. Moisturizing products used after this peel got absorbed really efficiently.

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

 

3. Skin Rescue Serum | 15ml
An instant fix for tired and fatigued skin, this Vitamin C-based serum hydrates and rejuvenates, promoting overall skin balance.
Suitability: For all skin type, male and female
Retail size and price: 15ml @$57.78 | 30ml @$115.56
Verdict: This worked wonders for my tired and fatigued skin. I’ve been having some late nights, and my complexion is taking the brunt of hits. Besides needing hydration, a shot of Vitamin C helps lighten up any pigmentation from skin fatigue, and also boosts skin elasticity. Great especially if layering on right before bedtime.

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

 

Exclusive Box – INNI by La Source

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

This set includes item overlaps from the previous set –  Youthful Glow Enzyme Peel and the Skin Rescue Serum. I’m really in love with the white mini satchel and pretty orange ribbons! Everything about this packaging feels like I’m stepping into a spa room.

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

1. Illuminating Whitening Mask | 15ml
This unique brightening mask contains sea kelp, enzymes and minerals which work together to tone and brighten dull and tired looking skin.
Suitability: For all skin types, male and female
Retail Size and Price: 15ml @$15.65 | 80ml @$83.46
Verdict: I have fair skin in general and whitening masks never managed to achieve immediately visible effects. Or this could be because I was using this after a particularly late night. This revived my late-night, sleep-deprived zombie complexion, which instead of looking lifelessly gray, has taken on a slightly brighter tone. Will definitely try this again for more visible results.

2. Youthful Glow Enzyme Peel | 15ml

3. Skin Rescue Serum | 15ml

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

INNI by La Source - Viktoria Jean Singapore

Have never been to the La Source Spa, but from what INNI can do, the spa is definitely worth a visit somehow. Get these exclusive INNI skincare sets if you’re looking for some home-based pampering!

Named INNI – short for Infinity – the brand is founded on love for purity and wellness. All products are 100 per cent natural and made without parabens, mineral oils, artificial colorants, perfumes and fillers. Harnessing the power of the range’s signature ingredients – Australian heilmoor clay, a peat which has purifying, anti-ageing and rejuvenating properties.”

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

BlackBox SG – Winter Organics

What’s new in my beauty stash?  A box of cool face and body products from Winter Organics that I’ve been psyched to try out!

Winter Organics - Viktoria Jean Singapore

What are they:

Calendula Shower Gel 
Retail Size and Price:
 200ml, $19.90
Lather and cleanse in a field of budding marigolds, refreshing your mind as well as your skin. The organic flower extract calms skin irritation and replenishes dry skin with lashing moisture. pH5 formulation, certified organic and suitable for all skin types including sensitive/eczema skin.

Key Ingredients:
1. Calendula Extract: Gentle on the skin with moisturising properties. Beneficial for allergy prone and sensitive skin.
2. Rooibos Extract: High level of anti-oxidants to counteract the effects of premature aging. It’s anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties makes it perfect for acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions.
3. Vetiver: Anti-septic and moisturising properties to protect skin.

Verdict: Gentle flowery scent of the soothing kind. You know how flowery fragrances can get really sweet and annoying, but this one grows on you. I can foresee my family and I using this again.

Winter Organics - Viktoria Jean Singapore

Macadamia Hand & Body Lotion 
Retail Size and Price:
 100ml, $18.90
Safe for all skin types including sensitive skin, the Macadamia Hand and Body lotion uses the healing power of macadamia nut oil/milk and Tocopherol. Rich in Vitamin E and antioxidants, it keeps skin moisturised, improve the appearance of scars, helps with sunburn and other skin irritation. pH5 formulation, certified organic and suitable for all skin types including sensitive/eczema skin.

Key Ingredients:
1. Macadamia Nut Milk/ Oil: Rich in Vitamin E. Improves the appearance of scars, helps with sunburn and other skin irritation. Promotes skin elasticity, youthful appearance and restore skin’s barrier function.
2. Tocopherol: Natural antioxidant which is rich in Vitamin E that promotes cell renewal, skin elasticity and help prevent the signs of ageing.
3. Chamomile Flower Extract: Anti-inflammatory and soothing, beneficial for allergy prone and sensitive skin.

Verdict: Handy bottle to carry around in your purse or handbag. The texture can get a little thick and takes some time to absorb into your skin, but when it finally does, leaves a pleasant lingering scent. My skin was left moisturised for a very long time.

Winter Organics - Viktoria Jean Singapore

Cacao Facial Scrub 
Retail Size and Price: 100ml, $26.90
Cacao is a natural beauty superfood. With high level of antioxidants, Vitamin C, E, magnesium antioxidants, it enhances cellular regeneration to develop a healthy glow and clear skin. Triple natural gentle exfoliants of bamboo powder, argan shell powder and olive seed powder gently polishes and exfoliates. pH5 formulation certified organic and suitable for all skin types including sensitive/eczema skin.

Key Ingredients:
Triple Natural Gentle Exfoliants – Bamboo powder, Argan shell powder and Olive seed powder
1. Cacao: a natural beauty superfood. With high levels of antioxidants, Vitamin C, E, magnesium and antioxidants, it enhances cellular regeneration to develop a healthy glow and clear skin.
2. Olive Squalane: Derived from olives, it is similar to our skin own molecular structure. It’s biocompatibility allows it to penetrate all layers of skin for hydration, rejuvenation and nourishment of our skin.
3. Papaya Extract Enzymes have exfoliating properties to remove dead and damaged skin. Improves tone and texture of skin.

Verdict: Indeed a natural beauty superfood! This is my favourite Winter Organics product from this set because it smells good, and does wonders to my skin. After one scrub, I swear my skin glowed a little, even after an entire day in a dry air-conditioned environment. Unlike many scrubs out there, it didn’t feel rough. But don’t take this for granted, when using a scrub, always only use your third and fourth fingers so you don’t harm the top layers of your skin.

Winter Organics - Viktoria Jean Singapore

Chamomile Facial Cleanser 
Retail Size and Price: 100ml, $25.90
Refresh your skin with Chamomile Facial Cleanser pH5 for use day and night. Release the relaxing, soothing scent of a natural flower blend as you massage the cleanser into your moist skin. Soft chamomile, soothing aloe vera, sweet calendula, exotic ylang ylang, warm rosemary, and citrusy orange ingredients blend together for a luxurious natural fragrance. Our formulation of pH5 is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin and speed up acne healing time with anti-inflammatory properties.

Key Ingredients:
1. Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice: Anti-inflammatory, soothing, hydrating and toning
2. Seabuckthorn: High level of anti-oxidants, vitamins A,C,E & K and fatty omega to counteract the effects of premature aging.
3. Chamomile Flower Extract: Anti-inflammatory and soothing, beneficial for allergy prone and sensitive skin

Verdict: Chamomile always has that calming effect. When I use this to wash my face before bed, the au-naturale floral scent soothes my skin and relaxes my mind. I found the product slightly drying because after one wash, my skin felt a little tight. Then again this could be because I have been staying in air-conditioned areas for too long periods of time.  Overall I would still use this product again! Plus it’s handy enough to carry around for my showers at the gym.

Winter Organics - Viktoria Jean Singapore

Winter Organics - Viktoria Jean Singapore

Winter Organics formulations are all natural, gentle on the skin, environmentally friendly and cruelty free. Natural and organic compounds are not only biodegradable and sustainable, they also do a better job than harsh chemicals which is a cheaper alternative for skincare. Certified organic ingredients must pass more rigorous standards of purity.

You heard it here first: Winter Organics Exclusive Box is available exclusively at S$61.60/box at BlackBox SG. (Usual Price: $88). Promotional price of S$49.90 is applicable to the first 30 sets only, after which this set will be sold at $61.90.

Don’t forget! Quote <<BBXJEAN10>> to enjoy an additional 10% off this or ANY exclusive sets at BlackBox SG 🙂

Direct shop link- http://blackbox.sg/luxury/detail/everything/Winter_Organics

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

The Face Inc – Revolutionary Primer Mist

Bustling with excitement as I’m writing this – The Face Inc has just, on 1 Nov, launched its Primer Mist and I’m honoured to be able to review this!

The Face Inc Primer Mist - Viktoria Jean Singapore

Back in April, I had the pleasure of reviewing The Face Inc’s cleansing gel and active toner. I loved their lightweight texture and clear composition. And especially because it doesn’t create a layer of grease on my skin. The Primer Mist has not fallen short of expectations. It is indeed, as described on their website, a “lightweight hydration face mist that works instantly to hydrate, smooth and tighten skin in 15 seconds“. As The Face Inc suggests, the product is ideally for use before make up as a skin refresher and primer, to allow makeup to stay fresh for longer periods of time, but I spritz mine on before and after to lock in my makeup.

The Face Inc Primer Mist - Viktoria Jean SingaporeThe Face Inc Primer Mist - Viktoria Jean SingaporeRetailing at SGD68, the primer mist comes with a travel-sized spritz bottle and 2 refills (3x15ml). Shaped like a lipstick, the bottle is slim and small enough to slip into the pocket of my jeans, and even the smallest of purses, for all-day hydration on-the-go. Perhaps I’ve just found the perfect alternative to Vichy’s Eau Thermale, which I used to never leave home without.

To open, the blue top cap is easily slipped off, and a nozzle is revealed by twisting the bottom half of the spritz.

The Face Inc Primer Mist - Viktoria Jean Singapore

The Face Inc Primer Mist - Viktoria Jean Singapore

Directions for use: Hold bottle 8 to 10 inches away from desired area and spray gently. Wait a few seconds before dabbing dry, and proceed with regular make-ip application. Can be used any time of day!

I tested this out first by first spritzing onto my hand – the liquid is clear,  but not completely watery (see first picture below). After spreading out the product evenly, absorbance rate was pretty fast. Within 15 – 30 seconds it was completely absorbed into my skin (see second picture below).The Face Inc Primer Mist - Viktoria Jean Singapore

The Face Inc Primer Mist - Viktoria Jean Singapore

After application, a cool sensation persists. Zero grease/residue was left behind so it looks as though I didn’t apply any product at all and that I feel was the best quality of this primer mist. Fragrance-wise there were no distinctive smells at all, so it doesn’t irritate at all when you spritz close to your eyes or nose.

I brought this out to the gym this morning. Post-shower, this doubled really effectively as both toner and moisturizer, and even as a makeup setting spritz! Seriously given this super convenient design, even without learning about the product, I’m already sold. Just take my money already. Loving this sleek blue hydrating primer mist so much, that I’m just so glad it comes with refills.

The Face Inc Primer Mist - Viktoria Jean Singapore

Please refer to this snapshot for complete detailed directions for use!

The Face Inc Primer Mist - Viktoria Jean Singapore

The Face Inc Primer Mist - Viktoria Jean Singapore

The Face Inc Primer Mist - Viktoria Jean Singapore

Thank you, The Face Inc.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

BlackBox SG – ProActiv+

No.1 acne treatment system Proactiv® has developed a more advanced Proactiv+ – an all-new acne-care system, now gentler and more effective than before. Completely reformulated from the ground up, Proactiv+ integrates Proactiv’s Smart Target Technology to deliver active ingredients directly into the pores to fight off breakouts.

Proactiv Japan Skincare - Blackbox SG [Viktoria Jean]

Proactiv+ is a medicated acne care treatment featuring a 3-step regimen and salicylic acid. This exclusive set comes with a handy quick start guide (albeit in Japanese), and is now available at BlackBox SG. Psst… don’t forget to apply my code ‘BBXJEAN10‘ for further 10% discount off your entire purchase! ♥

I’m hosting a giveaway for Proactiv+’s Skin Refining Mask at my instagram, and am announcing the results for this tomorrow (Sunday, 25 Sep!) Simply comment to stand a chance to win.

Now moving onto my reviews.

Proactiv+ 3-Step Core System Kit Exclusive set

The exclusive set comes in a convenient box, which opens up into a pretty turquoise interior, in which the 3-step regime is laid out cleanly. Though formulated to last 30 days, I believe this will last more than 2 months.

Proactiv Japan Skincare - Blackbox SG [Viktoria Jean] 2

Proactiv Japan Skincare - Blackbox SG [Viktoria Jean] 3

Proactiv Japan Skincare - Blackbox SG [Viktoria Jean] 5

1. Proactiv+ Skin smoothing cleanser

Proactiv Japan Skincare - Blackbox SG [Viktoria Jean] 11

 

“Gentle exfoliating beads remove dead skin cells and excess oil. Contains an active ingredients salicylic acid. Kills acne-causing bacteria and helps to improve acne-causing bacteria and helps improve acne-prone skin. Smooth-textured agent thoroughly cleanses your skin.”
Retail Price: 60g, $29.90

Verdict: The texture felt too clean and even to be an exfoliator, but as it thins out against the skin, I could feel the small exfoliating beads working to smoothen out and remove my dead skin cells. Could feel and see the difference – though it’s good to remember not to rub too hard! Especially if you have bumpy acne. I’m in love with the clean, indiscernible, scent.

To use, apply appropriate amount (one tea spoon) of product to damp skin, then gently massage avoiding the eye area and lips, and rinse thoroughly with warm water.

2. Proactiv+ Pore Targeting Treatment

Proactiv Japan Skincare - Blackbox SG [Viktoria Jean] 10

“Integrated with the New “Smart Target™ Technology”. It is a serum with active ingredients to help prevent acne. A gentle lightweight gel texture adds moisture to the skin. Helps improve the skin’s texture to ensure a supple appearance.”
Retail Price: 30g, $20

Verdict: The light serum gets absorbed quickly, and can be applied with heavier creams like sunblock and liquid foundation. A light tingling sensation follows after application, and I like that it only has a light, clean fragrance. Formulated as a pore tightening treatment, I felt that it was better as a acne-smoothing serum.

To be used after Step 1 (Skin Smoothing Cleanser). Apply appropriate amount (pearl size) of product, then gently smooth over entire face avoiding the eye area without rubbing and allow to fully absorb.

3. Proactiv+ Skin Brightening Hydrator

Proactiv Japan Skincare - Blackbox SG [Viktoria Jean] 9

“Moisture-rich texture containing Vitamin C derivative and botanical ingredients. Protects skin from dryness. Prevents new acne from forming and smoothens skin. Adds complexion and helps make transparent skin.”
Retail Price: 30g, $29.90

Verdict: Skin feels moisturised upon application, though when used on top of the Pore Targeting Treatment, the product takes a while to get absorbed and leaves a layer of residue. Meantime, I’ve been using this together with sunblock and BB cream. After a week of use, my skin appears brighter!

To be used after Step 2 (Pore Targeting Treatment) or a toner fully absorbed, apply appropriate amount (pearl size) of product. Gently smooth over entire face
avoiding the eye area without rubbing and allow to fully absorb.

[FREE] Proactiv Refining Mask 

When you purchase the exclusive box set, this product comes completely free!

 

Proactiv Japan Skincare - Blackbox SG [Viktoria Jean] 7

“Proactiv® Refining Mask provides pampering that an oily, pimple-prone and sensitive skin needs. The facial mask acts as an acne treatment skin care product as it contains elements such as sulphur (a proven acne-fighting ingredient) that effectively fights acne causing bacteria. The active ingredient in it absorbs excess oil, reduces the appearance of pore size, pacifies redness and improves the skin texture. It also works well on stubborn blackheads and whiteheads. Regular application of this facial mask will give your skin a smooth and radiant effect.”
Retail Price: 28g, $20.50

Verdict: I have enlarged pores on my nose and certain parts of the T-zone. After a week of regular use, it gets easier to cover up those pores with makeup. Wouldn’t lie as to say that my pores are completely diminished from sight. I do love the clean fragrance of this refining mask, and would definitely use this on a longer-term basis for more effective results.

Proactiv Japan Skincare - Blackbox SG [Viktoria Jean] 8

Overall Verdict: As with most Japanese cosmetics, this Japan-formulated series give off a clean, refreshing vibe. It is an affordable off-the-shelf pharmaceutical brand, and I’ll definitely replenish the products that I find useful after I’ve used up this 30-day supply. For all my readers, I do hope you’ll give this a shot!

Direct shop link – http://bit.ly/ProactivExclusiveBox

Quote <<BBXJEAN10>> to enjoy an additional 10% off this or ANY exclusive sets at BlackBox 🙂

Proactiv Japan Skincare - Blackbox SG [Viktoria Jean] 6

Proactiv Japan Skincare - Blackbox SG [Viktoria Jean] 4

Watch this space for more skincare reviews.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

BlackBox SG – Dr Young Skincare

Hello! Haven’t updated in a long while, but I’m still alive!

Got my hands on a bunch of skincare products from Dr Young Skincare, and had the luxury of pampering my skin with goods from their latest launch. They deserve a good long review. Thank you BlackBox SG!

More exclusive Dr Young skincare sets are available at BlackBox SG. Psst… don’t forget to apply my code ‘BBXJEAN10‘ for further 10% discount off your entire purchase! ♥

Exclusive Box 1 – Dr. Young Acne-Prone & Oily Skin (Dark Skin Base)

Targeted at troubled skin, these products focus on soothing inflamed skin, and covering up your flaws. Though generally I don’t have acne problems, I have worked these wonders into my skincare regime to soothe the occasional breakout. Limited sets are now available at $32.90/box (U.P $76.60)! Link to purchase: at BlackBox SG

Dr Young Skincare BlackBox SG 2

What’s in it:

1. AC Out Spot Toner With Herb Complex | 120ml
Contains green and white tea that protect skin, with additional 5 herbs that prevent spread of irritated spots and control sebum excretion.  Green Tea & White Tea prevents skin damage while Tea Tree Oil, Salicylic Acid and Triclosn soothe irritated areas.
Retail Price: 120ml, $36.90

Verdict: Slightly watery, with zero alcoholic scent. Faint scent of tea tree oil in the liquid, which I loooove. Used this on my seasonal, hormonal breakouts (ladies, y’all know what I mean) and the toner soothed my angry red spots – making them calm down and fade away way faster than they usually do. Advise not to skip the cotton pad during application due to extremely runny liquid. (Then again, I hate viscous toners.)

Dr Young Toner AC Spot Out

2. 2P Pearl Brightening Balm SPF35 PA++ | 30ml
Hydrating soothing B.B. cream without stickiness but light adhesiveness that makes dark/tanned skin much brighter, healthier. Provides fresh feeling on your skin all day long.
Shade:  dark skin color base
Retail Price: 30ml, $27.90

Verdict: Unfortunately the BB Cream was of a darker tone and didn’t suit mine. Will be giving this away to a tanner friend. Any takers?

Dr Young BB Cream Skincare BlackBox SG

3. Refreshing Spring Showers Mask (Damyang Bamboo) | 2pcs
Contains refreshing bamboo extracts from Damyang, which are rich in mineral and Portulaca Oleracea Extract. Also contains Flavonoid from Adansonia Digitata Leaf Extract, and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract which soothes sensitive skin.
Retail Price: Per sheet (20ml), $5.90

Verdict: Left mine in the fridge before application so as to ‘ice’ my pores – the cooling effect doubled the shiokness of this mask. Bamboo extracts in any facial product almost never go wrong. The cooling and soothing effects were good – although I was left with a slightly heavy residual essence on my skin. I actually do prefer some other varieties in another Dr Young face masks set (below).

Do make sure that the BB Cream suits your skin tone! There are two available in the selection. All in all, a very good selection of products for a targeted purpose.

Exclusive Box 2 – Dr. Young Face Mask Set (Citrus, Bamboo, Ginseng)

You know how some facemasks can never adhere comfortably to your face, or annoyingly leave a thick sheen of grease after? In my opinion a good facemask should fit ‘like a glove’, with minimal slipping, and leave little to no residue.

Dr Young’s exclusive sheet masks set comes with 5x citrus, bamboo and ginseng-enhanced face masks, which in my opinion ranks above the usual drugstore variety. The texture of its sheets are even finer than some of my favourite Taiwanese brands (My Beauty Diary included), though not as soft or pliable. At $22.90/pack (U.P $54) for 15 sheets, this set is practically a steal. Link to purchase this set: at BlackBox SG

Dr Young Skincare - Blackbox SG

Dr Young Masks Korea

What’s in it:

1. Clear & Glowing Sky Mask (Jeju Citrus) 
Boasts the brightening effect of tangerine from Jeju Island, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, and White Flower Complex (Jasmine, Rose, Lilium candidum, Freesia Refracta, Leontopodium alpinum, Iris Versicolor Extract) to improve your skin tone and complexion. Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract and hyaluronic acid provides deep moisture to skin.
Retail Price: Per sheet (20ml) @$5.90, 5pcs/set @$18

Verdict: I’m biased towards product with tangy, citrusy scents, as it enhances the clean, refreshing effect. After a couple of use, skin seems lighter and brighter from within. Great as a boost to the pre-bed ritual.


2. Refreshing Spring Showers Mask (Damyang Bamboo) Contains refreshing bamboo extracts from Damyang, which are rich in mineral and Portulaca Oleracea Extract. Also contains Flavonoid from Adansonia Digitata Leaf Extract, and Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract which soothes sensitive skin.
Retail Price: Per sheet (20ml) @$5.90, 5pcs/set @$18

Verdict: As mentioned, the slightly heavy residue could be better. I’ve tested some lighter bamboo facemasks.

Dr Young Skincare set Blackbox SG masks

3. Nourishing Rain on Dry Skin Mask (Geumsan Ginseng) 

Saponin, which is the main ingredient of ginseng from Geumsan, ChungCheongnam-do, provides elasticity and nutrition to skin. Additionally, Medicinal Herb Complex (Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract) and Shea Butter extracts fill up skin with deep moisture and nutrition and wrap it up, which leads to healthy and glorious skin.
Retail Price: Per sheet (20ml) @$5.90, 5pcs/set @$18

Verdict: The ginseng mask is by far my favourite – after 20 minutes my face feels truly ‘prepped’ for other products in my routine. This was lighter than most ginseng masks (or masks claiming to boast the skin-loving properties of ginseng), and the aftereffect was less oily than most. The moisturized feeling lasted for about 4 hours before my face started greasing up. And that was good enough for me. Was able to layer on some sunblock after using this, and not feel that there was too much on my face.

Ginseng face masks dr young

Feel free to develop your own verdicts. With the haze returning, it’s even more crucial to give your skin some lovin’. On most days, I begin my evening skincare regime with facemasking – this step in the ritual is just really important to me, and increasingly so with bad air conditions.

Grab your Dr Young skincare sets from BlackBox SG today! What’s even better, you can quote <<BBXJEAN10>> to enjoy an additional 10% off this or ANY exclusive sets at BlackBox 🙂

P.S. I’ve missed writing here! ❤

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

BlackBox SG – The Face Inc

A peace of mind is what I got from trying out The Face Inc‘s cleansing gel and active toner. The clear, see-through consistency of both products attest to its au naturale qualities. And I just love the clean, simple fragrance!

Blackbox SG - The Face Inc

I found out about The Face Inc via this beautiful, exclusive set from the BlackBox SG, and was so glad to discover this quick facial fix at only a fraction off the market value!

Over at www.BlackBox.sg, you can grab this Exclusive Set at ONLY $26.90 (U.P $44), with full sizes included (only for the first 40 sets, while stocks last).

What’s even better, you can quote <<BBXJEAN10>> to enjoy an
additional 10% off this or ANY exclusive sets at BlackBox!

The Face Inc BlackBox SG Giveaway

Read on for a sneak peek of this exclsive set. Unwrapping this took a little longer, because I never want to ruin these boxes.

The Face Inc Cleansing Gel Active Toner

I was really fascinated by the product’s absolute clarity. Transparent cleansers are not very common, or perhaps I’ve been using way too many products with  intensive lather.

The Face Inc Blackbox SingaporeThe Face Inc Blackbox Singapore

1. The Face Inc Cleansing Gel | 50ml

Marketed as a proprietary cleansing formulation that hydrates and tones all skin types. The clear gel feels cool to the touch when applied, with a faint fragrance attributed to the gel’s cucumber extract component, that acts as a skin conditioning and softening agent. The cleanser even has mild exfoliating properties, but for that property you still need an additional exfoliator.

The sodium chloride ingredient acts as a natural astringent and antiseptic agent, absorbing moisture, firming the skin and balancing the skin’s pH level. I don’t have to worry about acidity wrecking havoc on my skin.

Retail Size and Price: 50ml, $22

The Face Inc Cleansing Gel

2. The Face Inc Active Toner | 50ml

This alcohol-free toner contains AHAs for an enhanced cleansing process. Components like Citric and Lactic Acids remove dead skin cells to reduce wrinkles, discoloration and roughness, to reveal a radiant skin. Although toners are typically applied with cotton pads, I tend to skip the whole cotton-pads thing, since a lot of the product gets wasted and soaked into the applicator anyway.

I love the tingly feeling upon application of this clear, colourless fluid. There’s even a faint fragrance that lingers after!

Retail Size and Price: 50ml, $22

The Face Inc Active TonerThe Face Inc beauty

This Exclusive Pack – The Face Inc (Clear) is available at $26.90/pack (U.P $44). Direct shop link here at www.bit.ly/thefaceinc_toning

Psst… don’t forget to apply my code ‘BBXJEAN10‘ for further 10% discount off your entire purchase! ♥

Promo price @$26.90 is applicable to the first 40 packs only, so grab yours quickly! For more information, head over to www.blackbox.sg.

Blackbox SG beauty blogger singapore

About The Face Inc:

Doctor prescribed skincare, The Face Inc comprises a range of products near pharmaceutical grade, specifically formulated to tackle the prevailing conditions of acne and blemishes, pigmentation and scars, fine lines and wrinkles. Their primary offering is a skincare range comprising of 16 products, that is of near pharmaceutical grade, their high concentration of active ingredients translates into prompt and visible results, truly efficacious.

The Face Inc Blackbox Singapore Active Toner

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Launch Party: Trulife Collagen Manuka Max

Following my review on TruLife Collagen Manuka Max, I had the pleasure of attending the launch party for this amazing new contender in the collagen market!

The launch was held last Friday, 4 March, at the homely Two Bakers Cafe on Horne Road, just opposite the Jalan Besar Stadium. Upon arrival, we were greeted by this gorgeous dessert bar!

Trulife Manuka Max desserts

If you’ve never visited Two Bakers Cafe, it’s time you should! Known for bespoke birthday cakes, artisan pastries and one-of-a-kind, crafted-to-order desserts, the cafe’s pastry chefs boast credentials from the Le Cordon Bleu. You can pretty much guess why desserts were one of the highlights of the evening. The Panna Cotta, Mini Chocolate Cake (oh-so-pretty), and the Yuzu Lemon Mini Tarts were simply to-die-for.

Trulife desserts viktoriajean

Other Trulife products, such as the Berry Eye Health, also found their way into some of these desserts. I found it novel to incorporate health supplements into indulgent food.Trulife Manuka Max Collagen Desserts

Well this is my true intention 😀

Dessert Bar viktoriajean Trulife Manuka Max Collagen

Okay back to the talk of the day: Trulife Collagen Manuka Max.

Midway through dinner we were given a short introduction to the brand and product, as a prelude to Collagen Cocktails and Desserts. Essentially, Trulife is a contemporary health-care brand which aims to answer the health and lifestyle needs of today’s society through developing products that contain a combination of herbal and western ingredients. Founded in 1971, the brand has since evolved into a custom formulator and contract manufacturer of private label health and food supplements.

Trulife Collagen Manuka Max 1 event

Trulife Collagen manuka Max Launch Party

The Collagen Manuka Max is their latest product, which has been pushed to major pharmacies, including Watsons and Guardian stores nation-wide, earlier this month. Each bottle of Trulife Collagen Manuka Max is packed with 7000mg of Micro Marine Collagen Peptides that have been clinically proven to help improve your skin’s structure and firmness.

Each bottle contains 7,000mg of collagen, Manuka Honey, Cynatine, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B6, as well as Zinc. Plus, put your mind at ease, as the product has no added sugar, nor any form of additives and colouring.

The new collagen drink is packed with a protein Cynatine known to reduce wrinkles, promote skin elasticity, improve nail strength and reduce hair loss. We all already know how collagen repairs UV spot damages, promotes clearer complexion, improves skin appearance, and is a valuable component of any beauty regime. More information in my previous post (link here).

Dieters, this will not ruin your diet plans – you’ll be delighted to know that the product is naturally sweetened with 100% pure and natural Manuka Honey that helps to give you a nutritional boost every day. Additionally, studies have found that Manuka Honey is actually beneficial at reducing reflux and balancing your digestive system to heal stomach and intestinal imbalances, hence aiding digestion. For me, this drink has been a delicious add-on to my daily supplement intake.

One of the chefs at Two Bakers’ Cafe gave us a demonstration on a special mocktail/cocktail recipe formulated with Trulife Collagen Manuka Max (which has a unearthly green colour, but is perfect for fancy cocktails!) We all got to try a glass of this unique cocktail.

Cocktail with Trulife collagen manuka max

Wanted to give more airtime to the yummy desserts. The unassuming cup of yellow jello-looking thing is Panna Cotta, made with Trulife Collagen Manuka Max and it was my favourite dish of the night! The frosty glass on the left is the aforementioned cocktail. And the chocolate cake is on the right with the fancy sail made of white chocolate on top.

Seriously, everybody loved the Panna Cotta dessert! The recipe for it includes a full bottle of TruLife Collagen Manuka Max to produce the honey gelee, on top of the 1/2 cup of peach juice, 1 tsp of gelatin and 2 tablespoons of water. The resulting panna cotta gelee is moderately sweet and fruity enough to pass off as a healthy jelly dessert. The panna cotta base is incredibly soft-whipped, I must say!

TruLife even revealed the full recipe, and I’m gonna try my hands at making one of these! (Psst…want the recipe? DM me!)

Trulife, cakes at Two Bakers cafeCakes at Two Bakers Cafe

We all wanted to try the fancy chocolate cake! It looks as good as it tastes.

Two Bakers Cafe cakes

Loved the spread!

Cakes from Two Bakers Cafe SG

I'm here for Collagen Max!

Those were the main highlights of the launch party.

Trulife Collagen Manuka Max launch partyWe’re loving this new handy bottle of beauty supplement.

Also gotta say, dinner at Two Bakers Cafe was amazing – I chose the Butternut Mushroom Risotto from the menu, which was the dish-less-selected as opposed to the traditional Aglio Olio. All my table neighbors could smell a heavy dash of truffle oil. And those who tried the risotto agreed it was the better of 2. Honestly the last good risotto I had was at Venice in 2013! Heartening to know a place that serves a mean risotto in Singapore.

Risotto - Two Bakers Cafe
It is a compact but carb-loaded heavyweight, so don’t be fooled by its portion here.

 

Two Bakers Cafe x Trulife

The rest who had aglio olio couldn’t help digging into my risotto. Altogether it was a lovely night mingling with the other bloggers and friends. Truly grateful to Trulife and Blackbox SG for bringing us together!

Trulife x Two Bakers Cafe Event

Trulife Collagen Manuka Max Bloggers

I don’t get why I look so bored and unhappy in this photo, because I swear I was smiling so hard. I guess the photo was distracting me from ogling at desserts and chatting with my new friends.Trulife Collagen Manuka Max Bloggers

Viktoria Jean Trulife Collagen Manuka Max

Thank you for the invite!

Trulife Collagen Manuka Max is now available at all major pharmacies, Watsons, Unity, Robinsons and Metro, retailing at $58.80 for 8 bottles.

You can also get your samples from BlackBox SG!

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

BlackBox SG – Formula 10.0.6 Review

I first noticed Formula 10.0.6 on a Priceline Pharmacy shelf in Brisbane because the brand’s bold words and bright perky packaging were hard to miss. I’m really ecstatic to try this oft-heard of skincare brand that has been around for 83 years. Thank you BlackBoxSG for allowing me to review FORMULA 10.0.6!

Psst… don’t forget to apply my code ‘BBXJEAN10‘ at checkout for 10% discount off your entire purchase! ♥

So the products I got to test were:
☆ Seriously Shine Free Mattifying Oil-Free Moisturizer (75ML)
☆ Three Times Sublime 3-In-1 Blackhead Wash+Scrub+Mask (100ML)

☆ Pores Be Pure Skin-Clarifying Mud Mask
☆ Deep Down Detox Ultra-Cleansing Mud Mask
☆ No Time To Shine Oil Absorbing Mud Mask


Seriously Shine Free Mattifying Oil-Free Moisturizer
This matte-finish moisturizer contains guarana and Vitamin B3 to keep skin smooth and shine-free all day. The energising Guarana extract recharges tired skin while the combination of Vitamin B3 and Salicylic Acid helps prevent excess oil secretion, leaving a seriously shine-free complexion. This all-new formulation is derived from a predecessor, the Aloe Vera and Bamboo Mattifying Moisturizer.

I first noticed the product’s interesting fragrance – I still can’t put a finger on what it smells like! A pleasant mix of aloe vera and eucalyptus?  With a touch of tea tree, so altogether a pleasant, clean scent. The product has a a thin consistency for people who dislike thick viscous formulae. When applied, I felt a slight stinging sensation all over the areas in contact with the cream. The stinging sensation stopped after the cream was fully absorbed into my skin within 2 minutes. The mattifying effect lasted on my skin for approximately 4 hours after application, before my face naturally became oily.


True to its mattifying properties, the cream is fast-drying and leaves no sticky residues. Under my usual sunscreen and foundation, I used this as an oil-control base to keep my shine in check. For a long time after application, the pleasant scent remained on my skin!

A component of the product -Aloe Barbaden Leaf Juice – is chock-full of vitamins, minerals, cell-detoxifying acids, and also anti-inflammatory ingredients like salicylic acid. Often described as the ‘life-force of aloe vera’, the extract helps to shrink pores and sooth acne flare-ups, while nourishing to avoid over-drying sensation. I learnt this while googling the product ingredients to find out what was contributing to that incredible fragrance.
Three Times Sublime 3-In-1 Blackhead Wash+Scrub+Mask (100ML)

Three Times Sublime was first launched in 2012. The product annihilates blackheads and clears up your skin by simultaneously removing excess oil, unclogging pores and eliminating dark blemishes. It’s 3-in-1 formula which acts as a foaming wash, exfoliating scrub and mud mask for the complete complexion overhaul.

I wasn’t expecting such a thick scrub with that many jojoba beads, but thankfully the product worked well and didn’t feel scratchy on my skin. The product smells au naturale and fantastic thanks to its Pink Grapefruit and Pomegranate formula. For 15 minutes, with the product on my face, there was zero irritation. Just a small tip: leave your Three Times Sublime in the refrigerator before application for an amazing cooling effect!

Being an ultimate time-saver, the product is ideal for the busy socialite…and basically anyone who wishes to save time on skincare. Pink Grapefruit, a subtropical citrus fruit with an invigorating and uplifting fragrance to boost your mood, is one of the ingredients, along with  Jojoba beads to exfoliate dead skin cell, leaving your skin super smooth and blemish-free.

Directions to application: Apply to freshly cleansed and dried skin. Apply a thin coating over face and neck, avoiding eye area and allow mask to dry for 10-15 minutes. Dampen face and neck and massage gently until skin feels clean and smooth. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Pat skin dry. For best results use three times per week on alternative days.

Mud Masks
☆ Pores Be Pure Skin-Clarifying Mud Mask
☆ Deep Down Detox Ultra-Cleansing Mud Mask
☆ No Time To Shine Oil Absorbing Mud Mask

I managed to test all 3 mud mask trial kits. Formula 10.0.6’s Deep Down Detox Ultra-Cleansing Mud Mask was my absolute favourite – the product smells refreshingly warm (I love the fragrance!) with its sea-salt, bergamot and orange combination. There was a heating sensation which tingled my skin which I didn’t find unbearable at all. In fact, that’s when you know the product is working its magic.

The Deep Down Detox Ultra-Cleansing Mud Mask is beige-pinkish in colour, and completely opaque. The cream glided onto my skin with easy finger application. The hard part comes when getting the product off! After leaving the product on for 15 minutes, the layer dries and hardens, making it harder to remove. Just a tip: use warm water and a soft washcloth (which I usually do for all liquid face masks).

I noticed significant difference from ‘pre mud-masking’ to ‘post mud-masking’ – my skin was visibly brighter and my pores weren’t as visible. I can even forgive the slight drying effect that comes with the detoxification process, because my face felt thoroughly cleansed of all the impurities from makeup and accumulated sun damage. For just 10-15 minutes of your time every week, the effect can be amazing. This is great for anyone feeling as though your skin can hardly breathe from the amount of makeup you’re putting on everyday. Loved this product so much that I’m planning to get a full-sized tube of Deep Down Detox!

Directions to application: Apply to freshly cleansed and dried skin. Apply a thin coating over face and neck, avoiding eye area. Allow mask to dry for 10-15 minutes then rinse thoroughly with warm water. Pat skin dry. Use 1-3 times per week.

No Time To Shine Oil Absorbing Mud Mask is one of those face masks that works perfectly after a day out in the sun. The product consists largely of sea kelp and calendula – a little flower that packs a reputation for healing, soothing and antiseptic qualities. Sea Kelp normalizes the skins moisture content and helps heal blemishes due to antibacterial qualities. Concerns over sun damages are allayed at the end of the day when this mud mask helped soothe my skin. Despite its oil-absorbing claims, the product does not dry out the skin. I’m particular about product fragrances, and this one has an herbal deep-sea scent which I love!

Pores Be Pure Skin-Clarifying Mud Mask  clarifies the skin by eliminating impurities and clearing blocked pores. With the help of Strawberry, Yarrow and Rosemary, Pores Be Pure works to provide your skin with instant complexion perfection. The product is packed with antioxidants, which in any case is great for your skin and health in general. I found this product mediocre, and didn’t detect significant skin-clarifying results on my first usage. Perhaps I just need to use this a couple more times for that to show. Nonetheless, there is a mildly sweet scent to this product which matches the pink packaging and girly strawberries content.

All in all the mud masks are great value-for-money in terms of face masks. I do greatly recommend the Deep Down Detox!

About Formula 10.0.6
Jesse G Bell brought Ten-O-Six to life in 1933 with the first hero product lotion. The brand took off in 1950, when the product hit Seventeen magazine in the US, promoting complete complexion care. In 2008, the brand underwent a revamp into their current vibrant packaging, perky product names and even more star products to banish blemishes. The current range includes skin care products specifically designed to promote clear, healthy skin.

The range is now exclusively sold at selected Guardian Pharmacies in Singapore. You can also find incredible Formula 10.0.6 deals at BlackBox SG!

Visit BlackBox SG for more skincare magic!
Get the exclusive set with all the above products: Here.

Don’t forget to apply my code ‘BBXJEAN10‘ at checkout for 10% discount off your entire purchase! ♥

Check out my past review of TDF skincare sets, also available at BlackBox SG.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

The Ultimate Cheat-Sheet To Decluttering Your Vanity Space

(Article originally published on HIPVAN, January 26.)

All beauty lovers face the same problem: they find their room gradually being taken over by skincare and makeup products. Lipsticks all over the desk, toner bottles under the bed, sunscreens in the bookshelf and a skincare stash littering the floor. Does this sound like your bedroom?
Come every Chinese New Year, creating order in your vanity space is possibly one of the most neglected duties! For convenience, many ladies leave their beauty stash out in the open, all of which goes into a shoebox somewhere during relative’s house visits.
Watching beauty YouTubers organise their vanity space have inspired many solutions for decluttering beauty essentials. Once you begin organising that beauty space, a little bit of OCD will possibly get you addicted to keeping lipsticks, brushes and skincare products spick and span, nothing out of place. (Psst… All the products below can be found at HIPVAN.) Here’s our 10-step cheat-sheet to a more organised vanity space:

1. Check That Expiry!

The HipVan Blog

Don’t be afraid to throw out unfinished products that have been around longer than you can remember! Skincare products (serum, lotion, face cream) are typically good for 1 to 2 years upon unboxing. As for makeup, the shelf-life depends on the nature of product. Throw out mascaras after 3 months of use, lipsticks after a year, and compact foundations after 2 years or more. A good rule of thumb to follow before purchasing full-sized skincare products is to test out miniatures, before deciding if you would use the product often on a long term basis.

 

2. “You spin my head right round…”

The HipVan Blog

(Click on image to see the product)

Too many knick knacks lying around, are they making your head spin? YouTube Vloggers have started trending the craze of spinning vanity organizers for a while now! The Tabletop Spinning Vanity Organizer holds over 100 pieces of your everyday beauty essentials, arranging them in specially designed compartments for ultimate efficiency. What’s more, it spins (so you won’t have to!) for easy access to your skin care, cosmetics, or other grooming supplies conveniently!

 

3. Let’s Hit The Bar

The HipVan Blog

(Click on image to see the product)

In the midst of spring cleaning, don’t forget your skin needs defense against the drying, clogging effects of dirt and dust. Mini Beauty Bar might just be aptly named when used to store the perfect thirst-quenchers that your skin needs. The double-tiered crystal-clear acrylic drawers will keep contents visible and organized while adding the perfect sparkle to your room.

 

4. Tender Loving Care (TLC)

The HipVan Blog

Your products need a little TLC in order for them to love your skin. The first thing you touch before applying the products to your face is the exterior of the product aka the bottles. Do wipe down the surface of your skincare products during spring cleaning to avoid the transfer of bacteria to your face! Precautions are worth it.

 

5. Stack Them Sky-High

The HipVan Blog

A smart way to save on space and still keep a neat vanity space is storing your vanities in stackable acrylic drawers. Most acrylic organizers are build in such a way that they can be stacked on top of each other, so make use of this idea to build your own Empire State of Beauty.

 

6. Brush Up On Your Cleanliness

The HipVan Blog

Brush cleaning can be a chore, but not having your brushes cleaned at least once a fortnight breeds germs and other unspeakable dirts. Powder residues will also build up in your vanity space, making your storage area altogether unhygienic! Make sure to use shampoo or a brush cleanser for frequently-used makeup brushes. Also keep your brushes neat and tidy with the Swirly Acrylic Makeup Brush Holders

 

7. Spin Me

The HipVan Blog

(Click on image to see the product)

Want a fun unconventional way of storing your beauty products? This 4-Section Acrylic Swivel Organizer saves a whole lot of space and still keeps storage fun by having the swivel function in each tier. Store more than just your skincare products! This is a fun way to keep your jewellery, lipsticks and hairclips in plain sight.

 

8. Playing Hooky

The HipVan Blog

(Click on image to see the product)

The Bow Dress can do so much more than it looks! Sticking to the fun side of storage ideas, this hookable Bow Dress can be hung up in your wardrobe to stash products that are used with lesser frequency, yet still keeping the products within your sight. This way, you can still view all your beauty stash at a glance. Let’s get hooked up!

 

9. Cutting Corners

The HipVan Blog

The Acrylic Corner Organiser saves you a tonne of space by taking up the most underrated spaces: the corners. Utilise every corner of your desk, table-top, room edges!

 

10. Size Matters

The HipVan Blog

(Click on image to see the product)

Keep your storage light and simple with the Acrylic Triple Tier Mini Storage Box – this baby is perfect for miniature sized skincare testers. The diameter is also perfect for cotton pads, cotton wool, nail polishes and nail-art paraphernalia.

So now you have your space organised, no more excuses on stocking up your favourite beauty brands this CNY season!
For more information, visit BlackBox Singapore at blackbox.sg to get your beauty miniatures.

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[MUA] ‘Bruised Eye’

This I call the “Bruised-eye”, inspired by late nights and unfortunate accelerated growth of dark eye-bags. I used to believe blues and greys would make a pale girl look like she’s a foot from her grave, but it’s all in matching the right lipstick shade. In my honest opinion, I haven’t gone quite bruise-eyed enough. I could have gone deeper if this hadn’t been a casual gym day.

Viktoria Jean Li Makeup
Brows:
Banila Co. Brow Auto-Pencil in Red Brown
Banila Co. BrowCara in Deep Brown

Eyes:
Too Faced Cosmetics Return Of Sexy eye palette Blues
Makeup Forever Waterproof Cream Eyeshadow in Aqua Black

Cheeks/Shading:
Physician’s Formula Magic Mosaic in Warm Beige/Light Bronzer

Lips:
Fasio – Sparkling Wine

Foundation:
Banilo Co. CC Cream
Amila Pure Satin Matte Foundation in Cool #1

I’ve had this Too Faced palette for 2 years now, and the shades never go out of season. The browns are great for a nude, warm day look; the purples work perfectly when I feel a tad bolder; and the blue/greys are my go-to cool-tones. Though it’s bulky to carry around, I used to travel with these because without them I feel unarmed. My favourite shades? The shimmery gold, and glittery midnight black.

The Return Of Sexy palette

return of sexy too faced palette

So they got a little smudged after working out. asian smokey eye viktoria jean

makeup blogger

  This FASIO lippie was purchased in Japan a good 2 years ago, and I don’t even remember the exact shade name. The sparkly purple is pigmented just adequately to coat my lips with a thin sheen.

fasio lipstick  Love how this sparkles on my yellow-tinged fair skin. Yay to mauve lippies with blue-undertones.

So I had a great run. A day of good endorphins demands a snap.

I’d better go to bed to salvage this bruised eye situation.

Goodnight y’all.
xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[THAILAND] o17. AYUTTHAYA – OF RECLINING BUDDHAS AND WISHING WELLS

Following a seafood-induced food coma and a brief exposure to Thai Buddhist rituals at renowned Wat Phanan Choeng, our local Thai friends took us on yet another cultural tour – the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, also known as Wat Lokkayasutharam. At this point it would be useful to note there are more than 2 Temples with Reclining/Sleeping Buddhas in Ayutthaya – one of which is indoors at Wat Pho, and 2 others are documented below.

In good faith, devotees typically purchase incense sticks for prayers, which came with flowers, candles, joss-sticks and 2x2cm flecks of gold paper for ‘dressing’ the Buddha. A huge test of devotion often involved patience for adhering the flimsy pieces of gold, bound to escape like seeds of the dandelion in the wind.

The first thing about ‘Sleeping Buddha’ at Wat Lokkayasutharam that amazed me was its absolute size, followed by the sense of peace upon seeing the gentle unassuming smile of the sacred giant. Putting aside fatigue of travel and accumulated stress, an aura of serenity took precedence as all else fell into the background. Away from the bustling city was this figure of faith on which many troubles were unloaded, to which hopes and dreams were articulated.

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Gold Flecks on the Reclining Buddha

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It suffices to say that the Kingdom was wealthy, to be in possession of enough to construct multiple such shrines in praise of its gods. IMG_6665

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Within the shrine more surprises were in store. Wishing wells, treacherous stairs, relics from another life. To make a wish at this particular wishing well, you have to conquer a tough flight of stairs.

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Wishing well for the weary – only by conquering a treacherous flight of stairs could you be deemed eligible to cast your wish

If one reclining Buddha wasn’t enough, we visited and prayed to yet another, this one albeit with a much brighter smile in my opinion! Don’t you feel instantly cheered up by this mega-watt beam? For a truly cultural experience this part of Ayutthaya is definitely not to be missed. I thoroughly enjoyed immersing the the local customs of praying and showing respects to local monks, as well as learning to different eacf part of the city from another by events that went down post Burmese-invasion. I don’t think there was any other way I could have learnt more from the trip.

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xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

10 SECRETS TO GOOD SKIN

Shh… I’m letting you guys in on what I do to keep my skin minimally flawed and young-looking.

I’m not without vices – my lifestyle certainly does a great deal of harm to my skin. Constant travelling, difficult climates, dry-air in airplane cabins, late nights, sleepless days, junk food and irregular meals, social drinking and partying – all these adds to the daunting task of damage-control, and to maintain my current skin conditions.As I get older I’ve come to realize the importance of a good skincare regime. Party season has come and gone. January and February is the time for healing and pampering the skin you’ve subjected to abuse. Over the years I’ve tried many products, methods, and these are the ones I’m gonna keep:

 

1. CLARISONIC for cleansing the skin.
If like me your work requires a high volume of makeup, the highly raved-about sonic skin-care cleansing brushes works wonders unplugging clogged pores. I got hooked onto using my Clarisonic MIA ever since I got mine from L.A. and now it’s a necessity in my day-to-day regime. I get my replacement brushes (you’ve got to change them once every 3-4 months) each time I hit the States, since it’s way cheaper in SEPHORA USA. I don’t use fancy cleansing foams: a respectable store-bought brand like Innisfree, The Face Shop or Laneige would suffice for me. The rotating motion of Clarisonic brushes gives me all the reassurance that my skin is being taken care of.

 

2. SHEET-TYPE FACE-MASKS
At least 3 times a week I engage the usual suspects who take really good care of my skin: 我的心機 (My Scheming Beauty), 我的美麗日記 (My Beauty Diary), Innisfree, Etude House, Laneige, ODBO, Acwell. In under 25 minutes I can get a variety of results depending on whether my skin feels especially dry and tight, or oily and clogged.

I get them from COSMED Taiwan, Watsons Hong Kong, and from the big brands themself in Seoul. Try not to purchase them from online stores as there’re tonnes of scams out there peddling the fakes. Yes! Even face-masks are fake these days.
On days when I do apply my face-masks, I see visible differences.

 

3. SERUM LAYERING
Like lots of people I face the dilemma of deciding which type of serum to use. Well, it never hurts to layer them. I use a good combination of 2 – 3 serums (without toners, because honestly I fail to see the use of toners) from a customised variety. I love Vichy’s Idéalia Life Serum, Laneige’s White Plus Renew Essence, Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum and Turnaround Concentrate, Innisfree’s Green Tea Seed Serum, DHC Japan’s PQQ Up-Gel and Vitamin-C Serum, Bio-Essence Radiant Youth Essence etc. Just remember to leave a good 10-second gap between each application.

 

4. OVERNIGHTERS
I never let my skin go dry in the night. After the serum shots I plump up my skin with heavy creams, especially at night. I trust Vichy’s Idéalia Night Cream, Kiehl’s 24-hour Moisturiser, Bio-Essence V Face-Lifting Cream, and Laneige’s White Plus Renew Night Cream. In the day, I rely on just a thin layer of sun-block after the serum.

Confession: I have lazy days whereby I skip all the serum and face masks steps and go straight to sleeping masks. In those instances, Laneige’s Sleeping Mask and Vichy’s Night Detox masks come in really handy.

 

5. COLLAGEN BOOSTS
I’m a big fan of Meiji’s Amino Collagen, but I find it troublesome having to dissolve it for ingestion, and for travellers who don’t always have the luxury of luggage space, powdered collagen is a hassle. Kinohimitsu’s pack-of-6 BB Beauty Drink (Blended Bird’s Nest with Acerola Cherry) is a shot of collagen I take every few months. In between these courses, I try to take SATO’s Hakubi White C pills which are way easier to take around the world with me. Honestly, this seller at Qoo10 sells Kinohimitsu at a way cheaper price than I’ve actually seen in Japanese pharmacies.
A colleague once told me that collagen takes effect from the day you start taking them, so your skin is preserved from the time you begin to ingest collagen. Do yourself a favour and start early! You don’t have to take them everyday but once in a while, the stuff does wonders.

Confession: I dissolve my Meiji Collagen in coffee to replace my milk and creamers.

 

6. TEAS TEAS AND MORE TEAS
My favourite BB Detox Tea from Kusmi Tea is my go-to morning drink (in place of my regular cappucino) after every late-night party accompanied by drinking. Also on my list are Pukka’s Detox Tea from the UK, and Arifoğlu 9-in-1 (Arifoğlu Dokuzu Bir Yerde 9 in 1 Karışık Bitkisel Çay) from Turkey. It’s no secret: green tea, yerba mate, rosemary and thyme are great for your skin in the long run. They also give you plenty of hydration, minerals and anti-oxidants.

 

7. OMEGA-3 FISH OIL SUPPLEMENTS
No way you can do without this. Unless you live in Norway and eat fish for breakfast lunch and dinner, all day everyday. I’ve only recently started to take them on a daily basis and discovered good small changes to how my T-Zones no longer secrete sebum so unwontedly and frequently.

Confession: I love smoked salmon, cooked salmon, fresh sashimi, raw salmon, steamed salmon and salmon with buttered, battered crusts. Basically anything salmon, but I suspect that has little to contribute to good skin in the long run if you’re always eating them pan-fried or oven-baked.
8. MULTIVITAMINS
This is another no-brainer. Without the essential vitamins your body simply cannot function. When the basic functions go into hibernation mode, your skin condition is compromised. So help yourself: take your daily multivitamins. I go for ALIVE! Women’s Multivitamins or Centrum.

 

I’m sure way more females have extensive skincare regimes and secrets. Do share and I hope these are little tips to pick up along the way. Your skin doesn’t get any younger. I don’t have the most perfect skin, but I try.

Viktoria Jean Li

 

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] A NIGHT AT THE VATICAN

Probably the only time you can catch the night scene outside St Peter’s Square is if you spend the night at Vatican City, or if you’re reading this as I’m about to show you a couple of my night scene captures. Outside St Peter’s Basilica on the day we arrived, there was a huge preparation for an important religious mass that would take place the day after, hence in the evening and well into the night, throngs of people gathered outside St Peter’s Square, setting up temporary food stalls and flea-market style cabins showcasing collections of costume jewellery, fine jewellery, art, tourist mementos, souvenirs, little collectibles of Vatican’s finest architecture, and flowers – from fine skinny stalks to big fluffy bouquets. As midnight approached, the crowd thinned, and melancholic street-lamps were just about the only ones creating shadows on the sidewalks. This is Vatican City at night, for you.

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xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] 10 SNAPSHOTS OF VATICAN CITY

Bringing to you a quick showcase of the world’s smallest independent state – all 109 acres (44 hectares) around St. Peter’s Basilica and the palace of the Vatican. In and around are beautifully preserved cultural sites, lush green gardens, and museums which feature some of the world’s most famous sculptures and paintings. Home to architectural inputs of Bramante, Michelangelo, Giacomo della Porta, Maderno and Bernini, its chapels and homes distinctly echoes of Baroque and of the Renaissance.
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St. Peter’s Basilica:

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xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] VATICAN CITY – A VIEW FROM THE TOP

The view from the top of Vatican City’s St Peter’s Basilica was exhilarating, breathtaking, and worth the claustrophobia-inducing flight of stairs we had to take to the top. Once in your life, or perhaps through somebody else’s eyes, you should see Vatican City from its proudest heights. Here are some pictures I snapped, enjoy! P1040925 P1050009 P1050005 P1050003 P1050001 P1040990 P1040984 P1040983 P1040971 P1040966 P1040964 P1040961 P1040956 P1040950 P1040949 P1040947 P1040946 P1040944 P1040942 P1040941 P1040940 P1040939 P1040937 P1040935 P1040933 P1040932 P1040930 P1040927

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] ST PETER’S BASILICA

We were both blessed and unlucky to have arrived in Vatican City the day before a huge and important event for the Catholic Church. Many parts of the basilica were closed due to preparations for mass. On the upside, we got to witness the procession which arrived to prep the church up. There were massive tables, grand velvet chairs and draped upholstery.

Due to a 3GB flurry of photographs I’d taken of Vatican City, there was a need to split my posts on St Peter’s Basilica into 4 separate pieces (and more to come!).

In chronological order (previous postings):
[ROME] THE VATICAN CITY
[ROME] INNER TRIMMINGS OF THE VATICAN CITY
[ROME] LIVING, BREATHING ART

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Body of a great matyr
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xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] LIVING, BREATHING ART

Ancient art, very much still alive today. The pure gold in reflecting sun’s rays ignites a sense of silent power that only a calm basilica would bring. Mass in this majestic interior must have been a truly empowering and significant event. Am amazed at how this Panasonic Lumix GF6 of mine was able to capture this beauty in all its stunning glory.

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xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

[ROME] THE COLOSSEUM

Rome was not built in a day. Pardon the cliche but it’s all I could think about right here and right now. The Colosseum is the icon of Roman masculinity being the site of many heroic battles fought within its colossal proportions. I’ve had the nagging suspicion that the Colosseum’s root word comes from Colossus, the legendary bronze statues of Helios at Rhodes, to complement it’s majestic size. I can’t help but imagine the sheer amount of bravery it must have took for gladiators to step onto that battle arena, knowing that this could jolly well be their last fight. I’ve also in my mind’s eye likened the battlefield to the modern day World Cup stadium. It’s just as grand, and it takes every amount of courage and pride a soccer player could possibly muster just to step onto a soccer field – all in the name of glory.

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xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

Retail Therapy | SEOUL DAY THREE

오늘은 명동에 갔다. 새로운 부츠 안경 메이크업과 몇 가지 책을 샀다.
집 내 물건을 가지고 새로운 가방이 필요합니다 ~ ㅋ ㅋ

Behold my loot, in the span of 2 hours at Myeong Dong. It’s really not a lot, actually.

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Amazed by the good quality of my new spectacles! LookOptical only took half an hour to get it ready.

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xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

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