If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll know I recently went on a vacation to the States. This means a chance for a beauty bag makeover and fill in all the good stuff that aren’t available in Indonesia (yet).
☑ The multi-purpose organic virgin coconut oil from Simple Truth (USD 17.99)
☑ 100% pure & natural rose hip seed oil from NOW Foods (USD 6.99)
☑ Eucalyptus essential oil by Aura Cacia (USD 6.99)
☑ The popular EOS smooth sphere lip balm in Sweet Mint (USD 3.29) (see all flavors)
☑ 100% natural acne solutions pore refining scrub by Burt’s Bees (USD 10.00)
☑ The classic Great Lash mascara by Maybelline in Very Black (USD 6.40)
☑ My can’t-live-without bareMinerals original foundation by Bare Escentuals (USD 27.00)
☑ T00 Faced’s chocolate bar (USD 49.00) (yay!! crossing off this item on this wish list)
☑ Caviar anti-aging dry shampoo by ALTERNA (USD 22.00)
☑ Retinol Fusion PM by Peter Thomas Roth (USD 65.00)
☑ AHA/BHA acne-clearing gel by Peter Thomas Roth (USD 54.00)
☑ ExfoliKate intensive exfoliating treatment by Kate Somerville (USD 85.00)
As you can see, the goodies cover everything from nature’s beautifiers, drugstore buys, and some of Sephora many bestsellers. I went a little crazy while raiding every section in Sephora, stuffing things into my beauty basket every now and then. Each time before I make a beeline for the cashier, I corner myself on the side and examine the stuff in the basket that I don’t really need, discarding them sadly. But overall I’m pretty happy with the stuff I got, and I got to pick 3 amazing samples to boot.
Really, really sadly, I was raised from my previous Beauty Insider status to the exclusive VIB status right on the last day before I leave for Jakarta. Why was it sad? BECAUSE IT EARNS ME 3 FINGER-LICKIN’ OFFERS ON MY NEXT PURCHASE: 1) 10% OFF EVERYTHING, A COMPLIMENTARY MAKEOVER BY THE PROS, AND FREE SHIPPING FOR MY ORDER!!! And I can’t get all 3 offers only because I no longer live in the Bay Area … Le sigh.
For now, though, I’m super excited to try on all these products and anticipate the results. The first thing I got my hands on was Alterna’s dry shampoo, which is nice because I’m falling out a massive amount of hair these days, and I’m trying my best to avoid washing it without my scalp getting all itchy and oily.
If you’ve read the blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m now aware of the ingredients section of all cosmetic products. I’ve promised you a list of nasty things I always try to avoid, which will come out soon, but keep in mind that there will always be exceptions to the rule. Some of the products I bought here do contain traces of the harmful chemicals I try to avoid, but I don’t make a big fuss about it. For the most part, these chemicals were actually meant to serve as stabilizers so the active ingredients of the product won’t disintegrate and lose their potency by the time you get your hands on them. That said, as long as they take the backseat on the ingredients list, I don’t mind as much.
Now let’s jump right in to the review.
I’ve been using the cult favorite SK-II product, the Facial Treatment Essence (FTE), as well as a few other SK-II products for over a year now. There was a period where I stop using them altogether just because I didn’t see the regime as a long-term thing. In addition to that, the brand seems to be targeting women age 40+ since it first came out.
Despite seeing improvements over my first 3-4 months, I dropped it all and resort to other brands that claim to work faster when it comes to improving and protecting the overall health of my skin. But they didn’t last long
Often, I find these fast-acting products can only work so much in the first few weeks, then they stall off until the problems appear again. Some have even left my skin worse than before, as I did with a product that completely dried off my already-sensitive skin, and that’s when I went back to incorporate SK-II slowly into my regime, and there’s never been a day gone by without a dose of Pitera ever since.
With skincare products, you know you can only incorporate new routines once in a while, even if the new products belong to the same skincare line as the one you already trust. I gave it a full year before I try any creams from SK-II. Before, I’ve only used the FTE, the clear lotion, the much-acclaimed masks, and the cleanser.
As it was the first item on my ultimate list of products I want to try this year, I finally got myself the Cate Blanchett-endorsed LXP Ultimate Perfecting Cream about 3 months ago, which came along with these fabulous samples.
Honestly, I haven’t touched an ounce of these samples even after all these months. They’re still sitting in my drawer all new and polished. I just thought it’d be great to see and compare results from the different creams that SK-II carries, so I plan to only use them once I finish my LXP Ultimate Perfecting Cream, and I’m almost halfway there by now.
Unboxing the rose-gold package, you’ll find a heavy, bigass cream along with a spatula underneath.
The spatula was meant to help you extract a pearl-sized amount of the cream, which would suffice to moisturize your whole face. It’s supposed to be standing on your dressing table all pretty like this.
However, I find the spatula totally unnecessary, seeing how fast I like my skincare routine to go and how redundant the step is. You have to clean it after using it, remember?
So let’s get right to the bottom of it: This has been a gargantuan step in terms of my moisturizing routine. It’s also a risky one, considering the premium price and all. If it doesn’t work, I’ll be wasting my dough, and I’ve been using the more commercial Vitamin E range from The Body Shop for many years. But the good news is, I’m so glad I’ve taken that giant leap that I’m even considering replacing my FTE routine with the LXP essence instead. It’s a huge price tag, but it’s well worth it.
If you haven’t been informed, SK-II’s LXP series is exclusive in the way that its products contain 8 times more Pitera content than any other SK-II products. This means the whole range (the essence, the serum, and the cream) has the most Pitera-concentrated products out of any other SK-II range. Sounds too good to be true? Well, read on.
For starters, the LXP Ultimate Perfecting Cream has the thickest, silkiest, cloudiest consistency ever. When the instructions say a pearl-sized is enough, a pearl-sized is really more than enough – I got the all-day hydration I need without the icky grease. I have an oily/combination skin, and I love that the cream is balancing out the whole tone and texture instead of just adding more density to my sometimes dry, sometimes oily face.
On a less brighter note, the rough patches of my skin didn’t instantly disappear, and it took over a week to see that the red blotches and other irritated areas to calm themselves down and even out. The cream also does nothing to prevent the breakouts from happening. But please note that all these high expectations I have weren’t part of the many things the cream was compounded to do.
I admit, its claims are pretty vague (‘ultimate treatment for skin’, ‘enhance skin’s vitality and structure’, ‘strengthens skin’s moisture barrier’), but SK-II promises results that encompasses all five dimensions of crystal clear skin: It works to improve texture, increase radiance and firmness, even out skin tone, as well as building wrinkle resilience.
With time and diligence, the cream did its magic to reveal an overall healthier look – my skin seems to be more tolerant with the air pollutants that usually cause itchiness and/or mild redness. Also, even without much sleep, I still wake up with a more rested-looking skin than before. This only happens around week 3, and the results only get better over time (it gets softer, suppler, a more even tone).
But best of all? It removes the first signs of aging I’m starting to see in the area around my eyes. Yes, it wasn’t written on the factsheet, but I dab excess of the cream around my eyes every night. After more than half a year of little to no sleep, I’ve summoned the premature lines, bags, and dark circles quite quickly. But thanks to the LXP Ultimate Perfecting Cream, the nasty things that easily made me look 10 years my senior are all but gone. It’s as if every application does the job of slowly but surely erasing the fine lines.
Here’s the deal: You definitely can’t see the improvements on a day to day basis, as I’ve only noticed the drastic improvements recently when I stumbled upon a selfie I took a few weeks before I started using the cream. But I assure you, this cream really works when it comes to conditioning your skin to combat against aging. You just have to give it time.
I’m willing to bet that you’re not going to regret making the big purchase for the LXP Ultimate Perfecting Cream, especially if you’re already in your 30s. Be patient, wait it out, and let me know how kind your skin is treating you in the next few months.