BB Creme: The Ultimate Top 3 (June 2012)

1. Dior Diorsnow White Reveal BB Creme  SPF 50   $50 (1.2oz)

2. Clinique BB Creme SPF 30   $37 (1.4oz)

3. Estee Lauder DayWear BB Cream SPF 35   $38 (1oz)

Want perfect looking skin with one simple step in the morning? Try BB creme.

This is the product Asia has been crazed about for the past few years.  It originated from Korea, where women wanted flawless skin without looking like they have applied makeup.

The miraculous BB creme was thus invented to meet their demand.  This makeup line swept through Asia like a storm, making it a necessity for many women while giving up their foundation and sunscreen. Why?  BB creme combines the functionalities of a foundation, lotion and sunscreen all in one.   What is the difference between a tinted moisturizer and a BB creme?  All day coverage.  BB creme gives nearly full coverage while lasting a long duration, withstanding heat and humidity.

We’re happy to see the trend finally coming to North America. Global companies like Dior and Estee Lauder noticed the popularity of BB creme and released their versions overseas a couple of years ago.  While many brands are available, these large companies have an advantage over smaller ones in terms of spreading the first words to the U.S.  Henceforth, the three companies on our bestselling list all chose to have BB creme as an addition to their existing skincare lines to ease the transition into North American markets.

Dior Diorsnow White Reveal BB Creme SPF 50 has the highest level of UV protection, but limits its color selection to only one.  This BB creme is suitable for lighter skin since it was originally developed for East Asian markets. We would expect Dior to extend its color selection since it is the most popular in North America today.

Clinique Age Defense BB Creme SPF 30 has three different shades to choose from, covering a greater range of customers. It is also packed with antioxidants.

Estee Lauder DayWear BB Cream has two tinted colors. It is oil-free and delivers high performance on hiding imperfections.

A word of caution for BB creme lovers – my dermatologist advices staying away from BB creme if you continue to see acne problems or already have sensitive, acne-prone skin.  The problem with BB creme is that it gives greater makeup coverage in a matter of seconds, but in compensation is extremely hard to remove thoroughly.  Most of the BB creme products are waterproof and possibly comedogenic, which creates difficulty for our skin to “breathe”.  BB creme lovers should take time to remove your makeup in order to avoid this problem.  It is a makeup not a skincare product, even when companies advertise them that way. Lastly, although BB creme has sunscreen and moisturizer, please do your skin a favor by applying both before layering on BB creme.  You should lather up your face with a good sunscreen since the amount of BB creme we use daily is insufficient as a substitute for sunblock.

Brightening Products: The Ultimate Top 3 (June 2012)

The top three brightening products for the month has no surprises:

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector   $49.50 (1 oz), $73 (1.7oz)

Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Moisturizing Cream   $59.50 (1.7oz)

SKII Cellumination Mask-In Lotion   $75 (3.4oz)

All three star products have evolved into complete skincare lines.

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector is a gem among whitening products.  For the first time, I could see actual results as my face brightens up after a couple of days.  I use this product as a serum, after I apply toner.  A whole family of Even Better products has extended this skincare line into make up.  It ranges from lotion, cream, hand cream to foundation and concealer.  If you’d like to use serum during the day, apply tons of sunscreen or use in conjunction with Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF 20 ($44.50).  Which of the Even Better family would I choose if I could only purchase one? Definitely the Dark Spot Corrector. Besides, I would only use brightening products at night.

Let’s face it, the Japanese know how to make great skincare products.  What’s not to love about Shiseido?  Shiseido’s White Lucent line is another success that targets uneven skin tone.  It offers a friendly option when compared to other premium brightening brands.  You can choose among an extensive range of skincare products from the White Lucent line.  Shiseido is well-known for its whitening lines.  The Japanese company conducts lots of research on this area since many Asians prefer keeping a lighter skin tone.  You might also like to know, Shiseido’s whitening products are priced lower in North America. They also make an incredible sunscreen line called Anessa that’s only available in Asia. It is so effective that I did not get any suntan after a vacation in Hawaii one summer.

I used to love SKII masks but couldn’t afford the steep price tag. I was thrilled to find SKII Cellumination Mask-in-lotion last December because it nearly replicated the same consistency and result as the masks.  I believe this product is fairly new since I purchased it from Asia six months ago. I have to admit that I was a bit shocked after calculating the result for this category, since SKII Cellumination is relatively new. This is a great product and I currently use it as a toner.


Basic Moisturizers: The Ultimate Top 3 (June 2012)

Here are the runners down for basic moisturizers (priced under 0).

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion   $13 (1.7oz), $24.50 (4.2oz)

Allure Best of Beauty 1996; Best of Beauty Hall of Fame 2011; Readers’ Choice 2011-2012

Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief   $36 (1.7oz), $48.50 (2.5oz)

One ‘drink’ and skin looks and feels happier, healthier. Oil-free.

Shiseido Bio-Performance Advanced Super Revitalizing Cream   $75 (50ml), $95 (75ml)

Key ingredient Bio-Revitalizing Complex reinforces skin’s elasticity and firmness since product launched in 1988

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Serum: The Ultimate Top 3 (June 2012)

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair   $52 (1 oz), $80 (1.7oz), $130 (3.4oz)

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate   $44 (1oz), $68 (1.7oz)

Lancome Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate   $60 (0.7oz), $80 (1oz), $100 (1.7oz)

Alright, I will confess I have only tried one of the three.

I believe Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair is a staple item for many of us.  It gives our skincare routine a boost, allowing us to wake up in the morning and see a supple face in the mirror.  I’m curious about the other two serums and will try after I finish my current inventory.

Update (6/11):  I went to LA for a brief trip last week, and luckily found a Midnight Recovery Sample that I had stocked in my travel bag.  After flying, my skin is usually very dry and unfortunately get a tired look just as I reach the destination.   I started using the sample with a lot of  hope since this is selling so well.  The serum is clear, thick and free of fragrance.  I used half of the sample and it was more than enough for my entire face. When I woke up in the morning, I found my face brightened and refreshed. This was like finding a treasure.  On the second night, I decided to skip my toner and just use Midnight Recovery serum along with my eye and facial cream.  My personal experience is that during summer, you can probably just use the serum as a toner. It works wonders!  Another keeper on my list.


Eye Cream: The Ultimate Top 3 (June 2012)

La Mer Intense   $165 (0.5oz)

Cle de Peau Beaute Intensive Eye Contour   $250 (0.5oz)

2012 CEW Beauty Insider’s Choice Award Finalist

Shiseido Future Solutions   $130 (0.5oz)

2011 CEW Beauty Insider’s Choice Award Winner

Honestly, I have only tried two out of the top three.

As an avid La Mer fan, it is ironic that I don’t crave La Mer eye creams.  Having tried both La Mer Intense and La Mer Concentrate, I still go back to my Shiseido Future Solutions.  The silver wand that La Mer eye cream provides is pretty, but I don’t see how that will enhance absorption.  The best way to apply eye cream is to dab below your eye, on your eyelid, and at the corner near your temple.  Then, use your ring fingers to gently massage your eye area in a circular motion for a few times.  Heat from your fingertips will enhance absorption.  As always, you should apply toner and serum (if any) before applying your eye cream.

Shiseido Future Solutions is the best eye cream product in my opinion. It is the 2011 CEW Beauty Insider’s Choice Winner. I like its rich consistency and subtle, flowery fragrance.  I have yet to try Cle de Peau Beaute Intensive Eye Contour. Lots of people rave about this product but the steep price tag is scaring me. I will try it one day! Cle de Peau Beaute is often referred to as the “top-of-the-line” of Shiseido cosmetics.   Have you tried this brand before?  Enlighten us, please.  Is it really worth it?


Luxury Moisturizers: The Ultimate Top 3 (June 2012)

Are you tired of researching laboriously for the ultimate beauty product? Have you ever wondered how you may ever save yourself time and energy to get the absolute best moisturizer without resorting to reading tons of online reviews or spending money on new products you saw on magazines?

Here is your answer: has done the work so you won’t need to.

We have extracted top three beauty products in different categories by tabulating weekly best-seller results from four major U.S. department stores and a French beauty-chain conglomerate.  We also study user reviews and take into account reputable beauty awards. While we realize that numerous beauty products exist and new, innovative ones release annually; there has to be a methodological, scientific way to assess the creme of the crop.  And we think we have found it.

We have also decided to keep up with the latest trend by choosing “top three” products monthly! That’s right!

Here comes the “Top 3″ Luxury Moisturizers of the month:

1. La Mer Creme de la Mer   $140 (1oz), $265 (2oz)

2. Shiseido Future Solutions LX Night/Nuit   $260 (1.7oz)

3. Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Intensive Lifting Creme   $170 (1.7oz)

La Mer Creme de la Mer is one of those all-time favorites you hear about again and again. My first encounter was in my mid-twenties. My manager at the time had an unusual glow on her face for a couple of months. Mind you, we had a very hectic schedule and working 10-12 hours per day was a norm.  I asked what her secret was, and she smiled appreciatively and told me it was all La Mer.  She had gone on vacation and went back home during winter. At that time, her mom’s friend visited and my manager couldn’t resist asking for her beauty regimen because she appeared at least twenty years younger!  That lady simply said La Mer, and proudly said she had been using it for years.  My manager immediately switched to that and three months later, I was asking her the same question!   As you can imagine, I was sold. I bought my first jar that week.  It is divine. No regrets. You’ll notice the difference in 2-3 months. In winter, the cream works perfectly. I no longer see my nose peeling during dry seasons.  During summer, I would switch to La Mer lotion (there are even two types, Moisturizing Lotion or Oil Absorbing Lotion; selling for $220 each, 1.7oz). You can even get a gel version, The Moisturizing Gel Cream ($265, 2.0 oz).

Shiseido Future Solutions is another one of my beloved lines. I have only tried the night cream samples after purchasing my Future Solutions eye cream.  The cream is rich and yet not too heavy on skin.  It moisturizes well. Fabulous results but pricey.  A daytime cream is also available ($240, 1.7oz).

One of my good friends works at Estee Lauder Corporate Group and she highly recommends the “platinum” Estee Lauder skincare lines. After doing some research I purchased my Re-Nutriv cream.  The Estee Lauder skincare line has the most confusing brand names ever.  Many of the them are labeled Re Nu-triv(!).

Allow me to clarify:

  • The most expensive Nu-triv line is Ultimate Lift Age-Correcting cream ($260, 1.7oz).
  • The second most expensive is Intensive Lifting Cream ($170, 1.7oz). See featured above as top three.
  • Then, the Replenishing Comfort Cream ($135, 1.7oz).
  • Lastly, there is the golden packaged Re Nu-triv cream line ($85, 1.7oz) not to be mistaken for the platinum Re-Nutriv lines.  The two classic Re Nu-triv creams, Light-weight and Intensive Lifting, are both selling at the same price.

Got it?  I have tried the most expensive one (hit me).  The lifting part really appealed to me since sagging skin is one of the first signs of aging.  The cream is lighter than both La Mer and Shiseido Future Solutions.  It absorbs quickly, leaving without a trace and does not make your face appear oily.   I wouldn’t say it lifts your skin but I noticed a firmer facial contour.  I would think the Intensive Lifting Cream would achieve similar results.

So, which of the above is your absolute favluv?

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