SPF: Dilemma Continues

I have written posts on SPF before (here & here) and here I am writing one more!

So the changes in my current environment have made me reconsider my SPF game.

In Hong Kong I basically fled from the sun. It’s hot, humid and sweaty and an air-conditioned interior was my habitat of choice.

As and when (and IF) I ventured outside into the humid soup an SPF, used over my moisturiser, was what worked.  Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen SPF50+ PA+++ was my go to as it light weight & mattifying.imgp3436

But here in the Pacific Northwest when the sun is out, it’s gorgeous …and it’s dry. I love being outdoors. Also as I am not planning to invest in a car just as yet I spend a lot of time walking around running errands  (2.5 miles to my nearest supermarket)

So investing in two separate moisturisers, one with SPF and one without SPF is not as wasteful as it would be in Hong Kong.

What I want is good hydration (along with anti-aging if possible) and an SPF of 50(PA ++++ would be an added bonus)

Unfortunately the shelves are not exactly falling over with the weight of good SPF 50 moisturisers.

My shortlist below seem to be good for dry skin and wont deliver a white cast on my NC40 skin tone.(each item listed below is linked to it’s respective review by Beautypedia).

SPF 50. 1 fl.oz. $50:Estee Lauder Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening UV Protector. The most expensive of the lot. The write up is great and Estee Lauder always kill in the skincare category given the sheer amount of cash they have to spend on research.

Will this be a birthday present ? Oysters and Champagne in Capitol Hill versus this ? Ooo it’s hard.

You know what till I am not working I must be sensible. 😦 Especially when a perfectly acceptable Clinique is available!

SPF 50. 1.7 fl.oz. $21.5Clinique Sun Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Face Cream. A no brainer given the cost! It contains a wide range of antioxidants and cell-communicating ingredients what’s more to discuss ?

SPF 40. 2 fl. oz. $30.: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer Broad SpectrumFAB has some good solid products and I like investing in them just because they do such a good job. It’s a great price point and the SPF 50-40, no biggie.

Hmm now I want both Clinique and FAB. But that would be just wasteful especially as a good non SPF, anti aging moisturiser would also be gracing my vanity.

How many bottles do I need cluttering up my vanity? It’s already one too many.

SPF 47. 2 fl. oz. $32.: Josie Maran Cosmetics Argan Daily Moisturizer w/ Sunboost ATB. I have never tried a Josie Maran product though people rave about her line. The write up is good but it doesn’t attract me, so pass.

Next time I am in Redmond I will dive into the Macys there and pick myself the Clinique. Done! Decision made.

Now below are some I found promising for those with Normal to Oily and Combination skin.

50+PA+++.  1.7 fl.oz

$48, Kate Somerville Daily Deflector Waterlight Broad Spectrum . I have used this and I really loved it. The white cast didn’t seem to bother me that much and it felt moisturising enough for the humid Hong Kong summers.

$42, Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector Sunscreen Broad Spectrum. This has a really good write-up but where do you buy it from?

SPF 50. 1.7 fl.oz

$26, Olay Regenerist Regenerating Lotion with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum. Great review and affordable ! yaaay.

$34, SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense. This one I would pass on, especially when you have the Olay. What bothers me about this one is the ‘con’ stated in the review. It states it lacks ‘antioxidants to boost skin’s environmental defenses’. Why bother ?

NB: this in no way replaces my Holy Grail Shiseido Wet Force when exercising. There is no other technology like this one in the market I believe!

I hope this is the end of SPF obsession…no more posts.

Makeup Apartheid: Hong Kong

Gist of my email to Clinique:

Hong Kong is a world city and needs to accept that people with different skin colours exist in Hong Kong. 

If MAC and Bobbi Brown are able to recognise and respect such skin tones, its a bit surprising that an Estee Lauder company like Clinique still practices such prejudiced values by consistently not stocking colours for people with deeper skin tones. 

Singapore stocks and accepts people of different skin tones why not Hong Kong?
Clinique has consistently failed in this aspect. I have supported Clinique for the past 20 years because of their amazing skincare products and for me the Moisture Surge CC cream is perfect for my skin’s needs.
I am not so bothered that Japanese and Korean companies do not cater to “brown people” but Clinique is a an American company and needs to practice racial harmony like their counterparts in UK and USA
I also read that Cliniqu CC cream moisture surge is the BEST one amongst all CC creams in the market.
I would like to try Light Medium, Medium and Medium deep to know which one suits me and then order if possible.
Atleast keep DARK shades so we can atleast try and then order

Samples: Bonjour Cosmetics Hong Kong

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I don’t need to tell you the Sasa explosion that Hong Kong is currently experiencing. As much as I love this twinkling pink glittery heaven of cosmetics it’s still un-nerving to see them mushroom like 7/11s around every street corner. No one needs that much makeup.

I have been in HK a long time and I can safely conclude that this explosion is thanks to our neighbours from the North.

I remember it used to be the Japanese that went around HK in huge Chanel, LV and Prada shopping bags. Now it is our cousins from the North.

And they are equal opportunity shoppers. Not just Prada and Chanel, they love a bargain like any of us and at any given time can be seen in Sasa buying everything that can then be stuffed into gigantic shopping bags.

Sasa has probably never had it so good, resulting in rapidly multiplying Sasa stores, and off-shoots like the Sasa outlet and the never seen before mega Sasa. A shop goes out of business and a Sasa comes up in it’s place.

Thanks to Sasa’s success we have a me-too. Bonjour Cosmetics. Competition is always good. And in this case even better !

Bonjour is less classy than Sasa (oh Sasa I remember your humble beginnings) and especially now that Sasa has become too high and mighty for something things it’s great we have Bonjour.

Great because Bonjour is not too posh for ‘samples’.

Samples from Clinique, Guerlain, Elizabeth Arden, Estée Lauder and the like. Tiny 3ml and 5 ml samples that all have “NOT FOR SALE” clearly written on their packaging. Not for Sale samples that we can ‘buy’ for a small price.

I don’t mind. HK is notoriously stingy, or rather has a ‘No we dont (wont)’ attitude when it comes to giving away samples in the actual stores. And selling them at these cosmetic shops is legal.

They are not out of date or expired. They are the very same samples that a Sephora, a House of Frasier or Macy’s would give away happily, even if you were merely loitering around their counters.

In HK nothing is free and I have learnt to live with that. So I don’t complain when I pay HKD 69 for a sample of Advanced Night Repair to try out before I go ahead and buy the full size for around HKD 900+.

These samples are the best way to try out products and brands. Buy them once, buy them twice. If it works buy then  buy  the full size.

In the past I purchased and re-purchased samples of Advanced Night Repair before I splurged for the full size one. Around the same time I also sampled the Estée Lauder Even Skintone Illuminator before deciding it was a load of rubbish !



My recent Bonjour haul was cleansers, especially for eye makeup, and eye creams.

I am disappointed with both the Body Shop eye makeup removers they offer and while I know I can always rely on Maybelline, I bought these samples to test out the high end brands without spending fat wads of cash.

Same with the eye creams. Thanks to Paula Begoun I know that any anti-aging formula can not be in a jar and yet most companies are still offering it in jars. So I am still on the look out for the perfect eye cream.

Clinique’s Even Better Eyes Dark Circle corrector is my current favourite and I am on my second bottle, but because its tinted I don’t like wearing it at night before bed. So I bought the Clinique All About Eyes serum and cream samples to see if they are effective. Both are supposed to fight puffiness, so lets see.

While Clinique and MAC are my go to brands for skincare and makeup, I don’t believe in spending silly money for things like cleansers, make up removers and moisturisers. Drugstore brands like Maybelline, Garnier and Olay are good quality and equally effective.

Body Shop is proving to be pretty poor in some of its product pay off, so I have relegated it to the toiletries only department.

But sampling high end to work out just what the hype is all about is great fun.

Thanks to Bonjour’s samples I have discovered  winners and duds.

I love the Estée Lauder Lip Conditioner and between Benefit’s Porefessional and Clinique’s Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector, Benefit wins hands down.

(Benefit was not a sample. It was a mini from a Christmas present )

Bonjour doesn’t sell mini samples of makeup. Its mainly around the skincare range.

The one in TST just before Granville is a good one.