Month: May 2016

Battle of the Peels – Dr.DG & M61





Resurrect radiance with the appearance of reduced wrinkles, and refined pores with Dr. Dennis Gross’ iconic renewing peel, an easy and safe for at-home use version of peels he uses for patients at his NYC practice – without requiring recovery time.

Step 1 is packed with rejuvenating, powerful yet gentle exfoliating acids.

Step 2 controls the alpha hydroxy acid activity and delivers anti-aging actives, nourishing skin, keeping it balanced, smooth, and radiant – perfectly prepped for a more effective skincare routine.

Skin immediately looks refreshed and glowing. This universal formula contains a combination of five acids, ideal for first-time peel users and those of all skin types.

A quick glycolic and salicylic acid exfoliating peel with vitamin K, bilberry and chamomile.

100% paraben-free, 100% synthetic fragrance-free, dermatologist tested, allergy tested

This radiant glow peel provides deep exfoliation, resurfaces, clarifies and helps to firm the skin. Glycolic and salicylic acid help reduce pore size, reduce the appearance of fine lines and improve the skin’s tone, texture and clarity.

Vitamin K helps to reduce the appearance of spider veins and combats dry, rosacea-like patches.

Antioxidant bilberry extract helps promote an even skin tone, while chamomile and lavender assist in calming and soothing irritation.

Size of Pads and Solution Soak Level

Size 2″x 2″ square pads

Very well soaked pads

Pads are gentle on skin, like a soft tissue.

Size 2″x 3″ rectangular pads

Very well soaked pads

Pads are slightly thicker than DrDG pads, very gentle on skin.


They smell so similar, the scent I find hard to describe, it’s pleasant is all I can say and not overbearing. However, with Dr DG Step 1 the first whiff of alcohol can be strong. 



Step 1: Water/Aqua/Eau, Alcohol Denat. (SD Alcohol 40-B), Glycolic Acid, Potassium Hydroxide, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Salicylic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Soy Isoflavones, Copper PCA, Zinc PCA, Lecithin, Disodium EDTA, Alcohol, Polysorbate 80, Fragrance (Parfum), Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate

Step 2: Water/Aqua/Eau, Sodium Bicarbonate, Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Retinyl Palmitate, Retinol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Resveratrol, Ubiquinone, Achillea Millefolium (Yarrow) Extract , Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Soy Isoflavones, Phospholipids, Copper PCA, Sodium PCA, Zinc PCA, Dimethicone, Lecithin, Polysorbate 20, Polysorbate 80, PEG-30 Stearate, Octoxynol-9, Alcohol, BHT, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol

Water, Alcohol Denat., Glycolic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Salicylic Acid, Phytonadione, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit/Leaf ExtractChamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Boerhavia Diffusa (Crawling) Root Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Glycerin, Superoxide Dismutase, Ammonium Hydroxide, Polysorbate 20, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Zinc PCA

My Thoughts on Ingredient Listing

Common Acids: Glycolic (both listed as the third ingredient – with exact same preceding ingredients), Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid. Only extra addition on Dr DG side is Malic Acid.

Other Similarities include: Witch Hazel (both listed as the fifth ingredient). Whilst DrDG stops at Camellia and Yarrow, M61 goes on with a whole host of other extracts (Crawling root, lemon, ornage, sugar cane, peppermint, lavender, sugar maple).

What makes DrDG stand apart is their step 2, where they take it a notch up after exfoliating skin in Step1, step 2 intends to nourish, hydrate, plump with Vitamin A, C, E, Resveratrol, Ubiquinone, Camellia, Radish Root, Copper, Zinc and Sodium PCA!!!

Point to Note: both formulations have Alcohol Denat as their second ingredient, this is notoriously known to dry skin and basically proclaimed as big No from the top of Himalayas. But much to my surprise both the formulations have Not dried my skin at all. I’ve read somewhere in some acid heavy formulations, alcohol denat works in balancing and preserving the formulations (avoid bacteria formation). Is there truth in this statement? I don’t know, chemists please come forward to clarify.



Once a day, apply step 1 pad to clean, dry skin, using circular motions.

Continue application until pad feels dry.

Wait two minutes.

Follow with pad in step 2 using the same technique as step 1.

Do not rinse after either step or use products containing alcohol.

Avoid contact with eyes. Make sure to use sunscreen daily to help prevent photo-aging.

Apply peel (a pre-soaked towelette) to clean, dry skin. Gently move over face and neck while avoiding eye area. Do not rinse off.

Recommend starting 3 times a week and building up to every day.


How do I use them?

After cleansing, before hydrating toner or essence or lotion.

I do NOT wash them off my skin. These pads are very well soaked so it goes all the way down to my chest, neck, back of ears, behind my ears and if it still feels damp, on back of my hands.

I always follow with serum and oil/balm/moisturizer.

Cleanse – Acid Peel – Hydrating Tone – Eye Cream – Serum – Oil/Balm/Moisturiser



Overnight noticeable result with the tone, texture and glow is visible the following morning. I don’t use these every day and reserve them for when my skin needs to revisit to the default, basic, guaranteed result.

With this peel, I can see visible improvement in skin but not at the rate of DrDG peel. I could easily use this every night. They don’t feel as strong on skin. The skin glows and appears healthy.


30 Treatments – $88

$2.93 per peel (exfoliation and other actives for prepping skin)

At first glance, DrDG appears dearer in price, however I can justify this peel price as getting step 2 that does far more than merely exfoliating. With its added ingredients, IMO DrDG appears to be a better deal.

30 Treatments – $62

$2.06 per peel (only exfoliation) 

Individuals seeking only exfoliation, I think M61 does a fine job with more fruit extracts and oils. It really drills down to your personal preference and how far do you want to take it with peel pads.



My Bedside Essentials


An overview of what resides by my bedside. Some beauty and some random things: 

Candle – I prefer soy wax candles with essential oils, they usually burn when I’m getting ready or relaxing in bed reading on my iPad or watching tv.

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon – the shallow part of me wants to say the scent just allows me to melt and drift away. But in reality, since I do my skincare fairly early in the evening (straight after work, before cooking dinner) by the time I head in bed I feel like slapping on another layer of oil or balm.

SKII Mid Night Essence – whilst this a newer addition to the bedside, I can safely say I will be repurchasing this. It has an incredibly hydrating and refreshing feel (menthol) on skin. Warm, balmy summer nights, my skin would love this. The impact on skin is rather luminous.

Burts Bees Lemon Cuticle Balm – suffer from really bad, dry cuticles and over the years, BBees and I have been steady. It makes an overnight difference.

Body Oil – again dry body skin, that screams for lovely scented relaxing body oil. If I had my way I’d slather blue cocoon all over my body (watch me go broke in a space of 1 week….at this rate).!

P1040068Magnifying Mirror – well because I roll out of bed and analyse my skin. Honestly this is one thing I should probably get rid of, because it pushes me in an obsessive zone with my daily skin health. Also greatly beneficial for extracting blackheads and whiteheads.

Papaw Ointment – staple for many many many years. This one is an effortless all rounder, being a lip balm, cuticle balm, moisturizing nails, heels, knees….basically anything.

Hand Cream (2-3 different creams) – usually with different fragrance base to adjust to my mood. One to always be a permanent resident would be some form of a rose fragrance cream (current rose – Grown Alchemist). Also keep Alpha H Glycolic Acid hand cream, La Roche Posay, and Aesop.

Hair Brush and Tie – few strokes through my hair, fine hair is prone to helluva lotta knots therefore having a paddle brush is crucial. Also in theory I should let my hair free, but I hate/despise the feeling of hair on my neck or shoulder when I’m sleeping, so I tie my hair very loosely (basically contain it).

Phone Charging Dock – well no brainer. All facets of my life are scheduled, organized and prioritized in this device. So scary as I write this….eeeeek

Drawer Miscellaneous – scratching stick (incredibly helpful for scratching my back), socks (need em), sleeping mask (don’t even know why I have this because I never use them).
Water – Always, I couldn’t sleep knowing a bottle of water is missing by my bedside.

What are your must have by your bedside? What am I missing?


Decleor HydraFloral


Decléor, a French brand established over 40 years ago, has a penchant of developing and mastering gorgeous skincare with essential oils. As pioneers of Aromatherapy skincare, Decléor combines the best of nature with scientific expertise to masterfully blend powerful, 100% Natural, Active and Pure essential oils, developing exceptional and innovative formulations for an effective and result driven Aromatherapy skincare. The oils are responsibly sourced and masterfully extracted to conserve these precious, yet fragile extracts. The philosophy of all Decléor professional treatments originates from traditional Chinese medicine and is based on the study of meridians and reflexology points.

Decléor recently launched their Hydra Floral collection to address everyday concerns of modern lifestyle where the skin is exposed to variety of pollution factors contributing to skin damage, inflammation, clogged pores, resulting in pre-mature skin aging. I was recently sent (PR sample) the Active Lotion and Light Cream to try. Knowing my love for skincare with essential oils, I knew I would fall head over heels.

Hydra Floral Anti Pollution Hydrating Active Lotion 

Claims: Groundbreaking fresh and fluid hydrating lotion activates and strengthens skin’s foundation with potent natural pro-youth extracts: Neroli Essential Oil, Moringa Oliferi and Hyaluronic Acid for an immediately hydrated and comforted feel. It delivers energy and vitality, addresses visible signs of aging, hydrates, and promotes a smooth and supple complexion.

Packaged in a beautiful glass bottle with twist top lid, the lotion has consistency, thicker than water but thinner than gel (I guess we could call it water with some density). The texture of this lotion is similar to East Asian lotions. Once patted in skin is almost immediately absorbs in skin.

The scent of this product is truly captivating. Since I’ve received this product, I’ve reached for it the most (leaving behind my Shiseido The Ginza Lotions, Estée Lauder Micro Essence, and Bio essence 24K Gold Water – reviewed here). I was away for work travel and on my way home I couldn’t wait till I patted this lotion in my skin and inhaled the glorious floral scent.



  • Plant glycerin – Super hydrated & soft skin
  • Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola) – Soothed skin
  • Natural Hyaluronic Acid (HA) – Smoothed skin ; Immediate & long lasting hydration
  • Wild Pansy (Viola Tricolor) – Lasting skin radiance and healthy glow
  • Néroli Essential Oil (Citrus Aurantium Amara – Bitter Orange tree flower extract) – Moisturized , relaxed and glowing skin
  • Moringa Oleifera (Africa, Drum Stick tree seed) – Stronger skin
  • Samphire (Crithmum maritimum extract) – Energized and clear complexion
  • Sunflower Extract (Helianthus annus) – Youthful looking skin

For AM application I pat this in skin straight after cleansing my face. However in the evening, usually followed by an exfoliation toner or an acid tone (especially fantastic after Biologique Recherché P50 – gets rid of vinegar scent). It’s excellent for hydration and instantly soothes skin (if irritated). I think this will be my BFF in summer months.

Hydra Floral 24-hour Hydration Activating Light Cream

Claims: Incorporates micro-droplets of essential oils into a water based gel to create a fresh, fluid formula that deeply hydrates and protects the skin. Combining the latest in hydration innovation with a light formula, this moisturiser offers 24-hour hydration and multi-protection. This new addition to the Hydra Floral range is soft to the touch without any stickiness for immediately visible results. After use the skin is full of moisture just like a flower. It is perfectly hydrated and fresh. Optimally protected, its beauty is preserved.

Active ingredients: P103084924-hour Hydration: Wild pansy extract, Samphire Extract and Neroli Essential Oil, 24-hour Protection: Moringa Oleifera Proteins and Sunflower Extract

Interestingly the formulation has Alcohol Denat however it doesn’t dry the skin at all. Another addition which got my attention was Salicylic Acid (14th ingredient).

Housed in a thick bottom glass jar with a twist open lid, the texture and consistency is light, whipped and almost gel like. I used this under makeup and at night after my serum. Whilst the moisturizer absorbs instantly without a sticky or greasy feel, it made my skin oily during the day. Of course, number of other factors should be considered as humidity and spending a Lot of time in centralized heating tends to make my skin oilier. In terms of hydration, it worked well in conjunction with hydration serum. In isolation, it performs well too, however my skin needed more. For my PM routines, I follow this after some acid and treatment serums and the results are wonderful. No congestion or dryness noted with this cream. There is a richer version available for drier skins.

Personally, the star product for me from this HydraFloral collection is Active Lotion. I’m hooked on it and will purchase it once I’m through with this bottle.

Have you tried this collection or any other Decléor products you highly recommend?



SNEAK PEAK: Urban Decay VICE Lipstick


Holy Smoking Bloody Hell!!!! Urban Decay are revamping their whole lipstick range and introducing 100 shades of which 74 are brand new colours. With Ruby Rose the face of the campaign you know it will be seriously BadAss! The lip lovers are going to have a ball with this one!


I was sent 10 lipsticks by Urban Decay in various formula’s with accompanying lip liners to complete the look.


Urban Decay lippies are enriched with Aloe Vera, Jojoba, Avocado and Babassu Oils to nourish and soften the lips.


Vice lipstick is in a modernized version of UD’s original lipstick case which looked like ‘Shotgun Shell’. The packaging is gorgeous faceted gunmetal case with a gold base and debossed lettering on packaging. The only pain would be finger prints on the packaging, but no one would care about that on a day to day basis.


The smart thing is they have the shade matched labels for ease of finding.

Of the 6 finishes, I have here 4 finishes ranging from Cream, Mega Matte, Comfort Matte and Metallized. The other two are Sheer (a punch of colour with a sheer, shiny finish) and Sheer Shimmer (slightly transparent finish with a floating pearl and a smooth texture).


The lipstick features brand new bullet design, with embossed “UD”. There is something incredibly exciting about unused untouched lipstick bullets (is it only me?!) Moving onto most important thing, Swatches!!!!


Cream –  The original creamy, badass luxury

Top swatches are two swipes, however below vertical swatches are one swipe.

Naked – a beautiful muted rosey pink, perfect for everyday looks. Could also qualify as someone’s MLBB (my lips but better) shade.

Firebird – just as name suggests, bright fuschia pink

Rock Steady – classic neutral red


Mega Matte – Super Intense MatteScreenshot at May 07 12-26-54

Right swatches are two swipes, however left swatches are one swipe and they’re still a decent colour payoff.

714 – Bright blueish undertone red (Just look at Ruby rocking her 714).

Pandemonium – Classic purple shade, check out Ruby’s video on link


Comfort Matte – Creamiest Matte (which it sure is, I would have mistaken it for cream formula)

Top swatches are two swipes, however below vertical swatches are one swipe.

Backtalk – This shade is my perfect MLBB, dusky mauvey pink

Disturbed – Deep creamy maroon, (reminds me of Milani Black Cherry)

Menace – I would call this “The Pink”


Metallized – Cream with a high level of pearl

Top swatches are two swipes, however below vertical swatches are one swipe.

Conspiracy (brown) – Caramel brown

Big Bang (pinkish) – Bright pink with flecks of glitter


Final Line Up and First Impressions

Gorgeous cutesy packaging, with seriously pigmented shades, one swipe delivers decent colour laydown.Once applied, it stains the lips, which again indicates high pigment and fabulous pay off. They’re really creamy and I didn’t experience any pulling, dragging or tugging. Whilst I don’t have all 100 shades, of the 10 shades it appears there is a shade for every age, every colour and every one!


And of course a collection wouldnt be complete without a lip liner to pair with lipsticks.


Swatches from Top to Bottom: Naked, Rush, Conspiracy, Gash, Hex, 714, Jilted, Anarchy and Pandemonium. Here we have one stroke swatches, smooth, soft, pigmented application. Obvs can be used all over lips too in place for lipstick.


Over the course of next few weeks, I will be talking in little bit more in depth about my experience with these lipsticks and lip liners over in my Instagram feed.

Screenshot at May 07 12-26-29

Vice lipsticks ($17) will be available from 5 June at Sephora, Ulta Beauty and select Macy’s stores. Or online at Sephora, Ulta, and


Luxury Oils & Balms

P1030287.jpgMy love, admiration and respect for oils and lush balms is known to every shred of living organism on planet earth. Generally the variety and choices of these lush treatments vary between high, mid and low end. Below are my chosen indulgences and absolute treats for my skin. The price points are insane, however the one off feeling they provide is irreplaceable with instant gratification.


May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon would come as no surprise to absolutely any skincare lover. Before trying this product, I heard umpteen number of rave reviews but always held slight skpeticism. Eventually I folded and indulged and much to my surprise (and secret high expctations) all claims, rave reviews, gushes, & hypes stood true.

The balm is a treat for the skin. It smell insanely divine and melts away all the stresses. It helps calm my skin down from any inflammation, irritation, redness, or dryness ($160 50ml – $3.2 per ml).


Mahalo The Rare Indigo Balm is my joy ride. As soon as I open the jar I find myself sniffing the pot like K9 unit at the airport. I take forver doing my routine with this bad boy, because I spend more time sticking my snout in the pot than actual application on skin. Very easily carried away, but a little goes a long way. The texture and consistency of this balm is what make it sooooo unique and delectable ($110 30ml – $3.67 per ml).


Darphin 8 Flower Nectar is a walk in a garden. Slightly different texture to regular oils but good heavens this oil is Flowery Dreaminess… Glorified! Darphin also have individual flower facial elixirs like Chamomile, Rose, Jasmine, Niaouli, Tangerine, and Orange Blossom. Now imagine a congregation of all these lovely florals coming together for an orgasmic union. I reserve this oil for when I truly need a pick me up, when I feel world is crashing down on me (yes hormones I’m referring to you) or when my skin has behaved so darn well it deserves an incredibly euphoric treat ($150 15ml – $10 per ml).


Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi Oil was a complete surprise in a 12ml bottle. Picked up with zero expectations and it surpassed everything else. Ingredient wise, possibly the most unique on this list (refer to my review, you’ll know what I mean) and has a certain richness about it. This brand came at my forefront because of this oil and I can unbashedly admit it was “the discovery” of 2015 for me (INR 1,890 Rs157.50 per ml, USD $53 12ml – $4.4 per ml).


MV Organic Skincare Rose Plus Booster Oil is an oldie but always a Goodie!! I’m an old lady at heart and soul and I’m obsessed with anything Rose. But we know rose scents are so awfully plagarised in the market and we’ve all come across hideous, synthetic, nauseating, vile versions of rose. All that….until you come across this unsuspecting bottle of rose heaven. Blended with Camellia, Jojoba, Rosehip, Rose Damascena Oil, Geranium, Rosemary, basically a pinnacle of perfection. Top marks for its versatility in use with a cleanser, mask, oils and creams. Skin is calm, stable and “sensible” the following morning (USD$120 $3.42 per ml, AUD$99 $2.8 per ml, GBP £72.00 35ml -£2.05 per ml).

Hope you’ve enjoyed this read, tell me what are fave oil indulgences? I would love to expand this palette.