Candice Chen (avatar)
updated 2 years ago

March-April faves!

Omg it's been a long gap from my last post. Sorry - just been a bit busy with a few projects and most days I'm out of energy by the time I get home.

I am still testing and writing about stuff of course. Just that Dayre doesn't allow me to do everythg all on my computer and cross-share easily, like I can with my blogs and Instagram etc, and after getting the posts out it's always too late in the night to post. And in the day I can't find any time to post either. 😫

Just wanted to update you guys on a few things I'm loving and some that are a bit more "meh" for me.

First up, j'Adore eau de toilette. This is meant to be a fresher lighter version of the original. (The formula is different, it's not just less concentrated.) This one has a bright delicate orange blossom in it and if you like Elie Saab le parfum this is a cross between that and j'Adore. It's more fruity. And it lasts pretty well for an EDT. As long as the regular EDP.

The husband finds it "very generic". But also "very nice".

Sometimes you don't want the most adventurous and unique scent. If you do, step far away from this or the Blooming Bouquets and Bright Crystals of the world. If you need something wearable but high quality give this a sniff.

You may find a lot of newer Diors are featuring the "holy trinity" of rose, jasmine, and/or orange blossom. Dior has exclusive rights to some of the plantations in France and is making maximum use of them.

Speaking of Dior make sure you check out the Summer Addict gloss releases.

The shades are permanent but the 3 hero shades also come with special edition coordinating Addict lipsticks and polishes.

Cosmic is a peachy coral with a duochrome rose hue
Ultradior is a sparkly fuchsia rose
Cruise is a lovely magenta pink with a subtle violet pearl

The polishes are complementary (similar undertones) but not identical to the glosses in color, and they are all really pretty too. Major crush for me.

You guys know I've been totally into cleansing creams and balms lately. And I LOVE the hot cloth cleansing method. I am a convert.

For some reason using a soft muslin cloth and hot water to wipe down the face after massaging with cleansing cream just gets everything so soft and clean. My skin is not stripped and I get to polish and exfoliate daily without getting sore and irritated like I get with scrubs and exfoliating masks.

I had thought daily wiping with a cloth would be harsh.

There are lots of great cleansing creams. Some heavier balm like ones better for dry skin and the lighter milkier ones better for oily skins. You can use any cleansing milk with a hot cloth rather than cotton pads.

Brands with Balms/salves:
Lauder Advanced Night Repair
Balance Me
The Body Shop Chamomile range

June Jacobs
Charlotte Tilbury

There are TONS more.

The thing to remember is you do not cleanse with foaming wash after.

My routine is:

1. Remove eye makeup with micellar/bi-facil remover and cotton pads
2. Massage a good amount of balm cream or milk over whole face for about a minute (take your time to massage)
3. Wet a muslin cloth in hot water and lay over face to open pores and emulsify the cleanser slightly. Then press down firmly and wipe upwards to remove.

I will rinse the cloth and repeat step 2-3 a few times. Usually by the 2nd pass there should be zero makeup residue left on your cloth.

If you massaged well it should have broken down all the makeup and dirt.

Ans if you wipe well (firm but gentle) you should take away all excess product but not dry out your skin. If you have very oily clogged skin I don't recommend using the heavier balms that stay solid at room temperature. Look for a lighter milk or lotion like Philosophy's or even Cetaphil.

Only thing if you use Cetaphil is I would remove makeup with regular remover/micellar water first. THEN Cetaphil and a hot cloth.

I don't care what the ads like to say. Cetaphil cannot break down waterproof makeup and oils well.

It is ok for people (aka not me) who wear zero makeup.

I am a believer in double-cleansing as long as you are gentle and use the right products for your skin. It doesn't mean stripping your skin of moisture. I would just never apply a pump of cleansing oil to my face to remove makeup and then rinse and say I am done.

One single pass of cleanser can't usually get rid of all the dirt.

For me massaging and breaking down makeup is one cleanse.

Going over my face a couple of times with a damp hot cloth is a second cleanse and polish.

(I just use a separate remover for eye makeup cos I don't like getting balms and milks in my eye, and I don't like rubbing around my lashes with a hit cloth. The friction always takes lash hairs off.)

A normal terry cloth towel (like the stuff you get on planes after taking off) works fine for most. If you are sensitive or just want to be gentle with your skin get a muslin handkerchief. Brands like The Body Shop have muslin cloths and Balance Me ( includes a cloth with their cleanser.

But if you're in the market for something even better, check out Aurelia's bamboo muslin ( They include one with their Miracle Cleanser but you can buy a box of 7 separately.

It's the silkiest softest muslin I've tried. Not so silky that it can't polish and clean. But much gentler than regular musin. And it's also bacteria resistant.

The rationale for selling 7 is you use one a day and chuck everything in the washing machine. I only cycle between 2 cos I will hand-rinse each one after use with a bit of dettol wash, wring it out and hang it up in the toilet. They dry so fast I can use them again the next day.

Also in sg, we have soft water so it cleans better.

If you are in another country with hard water from taps, you might want to chuck your cloth in with your laundry once in awhile to get rid of build-up, or at least dunk them in boiling water once a week to get them really clean.

Generally I found they last for ages if you wash them well after every use. No need to scrub and rub like mad either.

And even if you have your own fave cleansing cream/balm already I still recommend trying the Aurelia bamboo muslins. They're such a pleasure to use.

It's so searing hot in Sg right now. Perfect time for whitening skincare cos we are not only more prone to sun damage, we are also more prone to scars and marks from clogged pores (all that picking) and acne.

Remember my love for tranexamic acid? I recently learnt that Taiwanese drugstore brand NARUKO has an Apple Seed and Tranexamic Acid range. And it's not cheapo formulas with a token amount of tranexamic acid and antioxidants for marketing purposes.

This stuff is heavy duty and darned good.

The star product is the serum, which contains 3% tranexamic acid, and a load of antioxidant vitamins so it doesn't just block melanin synthesis and dark spots, but also treats and repairs the skin.

The range also comes with a treatment lotion/water which has a LOT of niacinamide (#2 on the ingredients list) which is a healing anti-inflammatory ingredient, as well as TA.

As far as I can tell, Apple Seed + TA range is only available online on as I couldn't find it in Watsons.

The online store has a lot of exclusives not available offline (including Apple Seed + TA sheet masks and NARUKO makeup). And you can find discounted package prices for a lot of things as well.

But honestly the Apple Seed range is enough of a reason for me to recommend the store. Come on - it's SG$36.90. I love my Sloane S6.5 but that is almost 3x the price. 😣

NARUKO is a very underrated skincare brand in general. I like the sound science and affordability that defines the brand.

There isn't a specially priced set for Apple Seed & Tranexamic Acid (this entire Rose HA set is $70+ instead of the usual $90+) but I will keep hoping.

Another important thing. Suncare. If you are looking for a good light non-sticky formula with SPF50 PA++++ protection this is one of the best onea on the market.

From now until end April, you can bring an old/empty bottle of sunblock in-store and get a trial tube in exchange. You contribute to recycling efforts and get to try a really good block. (Or get a small tube to bring on the plane etc.)

They've also launched a new mineral formula which is matte. Really truly matte. And slightly tinted.

So it evens out the complexion a tiny bit, mattifies, and is great for sensitive skins.

My only 2 issues with it is it costs over $70 for a bottle. And it only has PA+++. That's common - most SPF50 blocks and products only have PA+++.

And this doesn't really work under makeup. My foundation went patchy and peeled off when I wore this beneath. If you want it IN PLACE of a tinted moisturizer it will work. If you need coverage on top, this might not.

And end of the day, if my skin tolerates chemical screens, I can pay $50+ for the original UV Defense which is just as fresh feeling and works under makeup, PLUS has an extra PA+ for UVA protection, then it doesn't quite make sense for me to pay $20 more for less.

Hot weather makeup. It's a pain to maintain. If you LOVE the idea of cushions but you need something that actually does a decent job of lasting on oilier skin, check out Lauder's new Double Wear BB Cushion.

The whole Double Wear range is meant to last. With this you get a demi matte finish, minimal oxidation, and it actually SETS. If you are used to liquidy cushion foundations you might find this formula a bit thick. It's almost like a tackier cream formula and you do need to blend a bit.

But it does last. Even for normal, combi and slightly dry skins this is fine. It's not really drying or powdery. It just doesn't look as dewy as most cushions.

Coverage is also mediumish. Not as high as the Shu cushion, but you can build up. And it does stay in place quite a bit longer than the Shu.

Now Bourjois's new City Radiance foundation. I really like this one. Considering I probably like almost every foundation they've released the last few years this is not a huge surprise.

If you like their Mat finish foundation but want a slightly less powdery, more "natural" finish, you will love this. The coverage is about medium-ish. I dunno why but I look at the tube and thought it would be very sheer. It's not. There's actually pretty decent coverage.

Kinda reminds me of Healthy Mix.

It's matte but not powdery matte. And it sets and feels very fresh. No tackiness or shine.

There's a City Radiance concealer as well but unlike the foundation it only comes in 2 shades 1 and 2. The formula is quite lightweight and it comes in a "gloss tube" package with a doe foot applicator. Ok but not mind blowing enough for me to say much about.

I did also do a tutorial using the Tom Ford Honeymoon palette. Ahhh this beautiful annoying thing which is always out of stock...

The images are higher res on so I'll share just the swatches and complete eye look here.

The key is - it's really not as red as it appears in the palette. The red has a lot of brown undertones so it comes off more of a rusty coppery color.

I applied quite a bit of the "red" shade in this look and it's just a russet tone.

Which is fine by me though part of me wishes it was a bit more dramatic haha. Still this makes it much more wearable for daily occasions.

If you are sparing with the burgundy and red shades the 2 bronze/gold shades are very neutral and flattering too.

Every shade in the palette has a neutral undertone that helps it to work well with natural skin tones and not look overly dramatic.

P.S. I wore Ardell 122s in this look. I still love 120s most but these are nice as well.

Next - Revlon's Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor.

Hmm..... Am I the only one that found these to not be matte at all? Not that that's a bad thing. I find these very comfy to wear. But they're a cream that doesn't set and have a creamy finish on my lips. Not sure where the "matte" came from?

These are a nice break from the usual liquid lipsticks that suck all moisture from your lips. But I would just call them liquid lipsticks or liquid lip creams. Not Matte anything.

Now here's a little hint about a few things I'll be posting about sometime soon.

I can't share all details yet so you kinda have to guess but all will be revealed soon.

Some of you might have seen some leaked news about this brand.

But keep an eye out for the official announcement happening soon.

I recently went for a spa session at Fullerton hotel with cult spa brand Aromatherapy Associates, and am working my way through a sampling of all 10 of their award winning Bath & Shower oils.

Each one caters to a specific need or mood. (Destress Mind, Inner Strength, Support, etc) So far my faves are the Revive Morning and Revive Evening oils. (And I know it's weird but I'm mixing a drop or two into my perfume oils to wear as fragrance!)

I haven't had a chance to try their facial skincare tho.

They have a face oil that's next on my list!

And... yeapp. Another vague hint.

If you are a fan or makeup fanatic you probably have some guesses what this might be about, so watch this space.

Lastly I'm waiting for an order of Snake Oil.

Lol. If you're not into indie perfumery and gothic kitsch you probably don't have a clue what this is about.

Snake Oil is a bestselling perfume from a house called Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. It's an indie perfume house which specializes in concentrated oil based perfumes with weird and wonderful stories and visuals. Think of dark magical tinctures, witches, elves and devilry.

Every scent comes with its own amazing story and writeup. It's just a very fun way to explore perfumes and individuality.

Check out the and see for yourself.

I'm a fantasy fan and I love RPGs and all that "nerdy nonsense" so this all appeals to me a lot. BPAL has a lot of diehard fans among the Goth community but you don't need to be one to have fun exploring their scents.

And oops I never covered RevitaLash Advanced here on Dayre did I?

Go to Period. Have the full review there and the info you need on why some lash serums work, and what to expect when using them.

Just for the record, the only brands I know of that scientifically make your lashes grow are Latisse, RevitaLash and Lilash.

Most of the rest are just hair conditioners. Yea - even that crazy expensive one from Prevage. I can't believe how much they are charging.

Sorry Elizabeth Arden but what exactly is in your lash serum that warrants that price tag?

Other serums have peptides and extracts and conditioners too. And the point is these don't make lashes grow longer. They can possibly strengthen your hairs and stop them from breaking or falling prematurely.

But if you don't contain a prostaglandin analog, it is BS to say that you can make my lashes "grow".

Some people hAve brittle lashes and need conditioners. But that's a lash preserver. Not grower.

Anyway - rant over.

OMG I kinda feel a bit drained from work these days. You know when nothing is wrong but even small things will stress you out and you dread Mondays. Maybe I just need a break and some time off to regroup ya know?

I would quit and do something makeup related if I didn't feel it might kill the joy somewhat haha. Random.

Anyway - hope you guys have a great evening!!

Day 104

Wednesday, 13 Apr 2016

199 50
zmik13 (avatar)

zmik13 Hi Candice, I'm headed to London soon.. Was wondering if there are any skincare or beauty products I should look out for ? And what would u rec fro Charlotte tilbury that I have to explore? Thanks a lot!

2 years ago

fxlicia (avatar)

fxlicia hi Candice, i have dry skin and Clinique really dried my face and made it flaky (even when i followed up with Clinique's own moisturizing products). it happened to several friends of mine too and we all saw an improvement when we stopped using Clinique's facial cleanser. does that happen to you if you don't use the hot towel method?

2 years ago

awriann (avatar)

awriann I'm so glad you featured Naruko! It's such a great brand with beautiful recyclable packaging. They don't have parabens or nasties in their skincare either. Their night gellys are amazing. The rose range is my favourite because of the subtle rose scent which is refreshing yet not overpowering. Their tea tree range got me through my oily, pimply teenage days.

2 years ago

awriann (avatar)

awriann Sorry I'm such a huge fan of the brand. P.S if anyone is interested in buying, you can also get it at JB super cheap. It's at the mall everyone goes to near the immigration points? They stock it at watsons there and they also have a store there with the full range

2 years ago

pinkpluspinky (avatar)

pinkpluspinky Hi Candice, would you say the naruko apple seed serum is a dupe for the sloane s6.5? Also, do you think the Body Shop muslin cloth is a little rough? Or is it me only? Thanks!

2 years ago

makeupbox (avatar)

makeupbox @pinkpluspinky I need to test this a bit longer. I feel Sloane works a little tiny bit faster for me but it doesn't contain as much antioxidants. The Naruko is good for daily protection and repair. Especially considering the price. As for the body shop's muslin, yeah slightly. But most muslins have that feel. The Balance Me one is a bit finer but not a lot. I was scared of them at first but my skin seems to be ok with it. But I would still put my money on the Aurelia ones if you want something gentle.

2 years ago

makeupbox (avatar)

makeupbox @awriann thanks for sharing!! Yeah I tried their Job's Tears range previously as well. It's not a "sexy" brand and they don't advertise a lot so we always forget them haha. And I had no idea there were so many products online! Thanks for the tip on the JB mall! Do you know if they have the Apple Seed range there?

2 years ago

makeupbox (avatar)

makeupbox @fxlicia i cant use their other cleansers! You are right they are quite drying! But this sensitive skin cleansing milk is the only one that my skin can tolerate. It's not my fave to be honest. But it's ok so I'm using it up LOL. I think most of their formulas tend to be a bit harsh.

2 years ago

awriann (avatar)

awriann @makeupbox I'm actually going to JB tmr! I'll comment again if I see it 😊

2 years ago

makeupbox (avatar)

makeupbox @zmik13 the mascara, Filmstar Bronze n Glow, Blushes, and lipsticks!!! You can check out Aurelia skincare too; i only tried their cleansing cream, cloth, and oil but I hear a lot of raves about their skincare. Also maybe look out for Wayne Goss brushes, Eylure lashes, and all those drugstore makeup brands that are so much more ex here!

2 years ago

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