SK-II Facial Treatment Foundation

The SK-II Facial Treatment Foundation is not available in the U.S., but I was able to get my hands on one through a friend who was recently traveling. I’ve been loyal to SK-II products for quite some time now, and I wanted to explore the ‘makeup’ options that SK-II has to offer. Unfortunately, I didn’t really like the SK-II Facial Treatment Foundation that much and that was disappointing.

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The Singaporean website that I found explains that the “look of lines is less visible, and the infused oils and nutrients give the skin a radiant and refined glow.” Additionally, it states that “With the highest concentration of Pitera™ among all SK-II foundations, this satiny foundation results in clear, even and medium coverage while locking in moisture for 24 hours. The look of lines is less visible, and the infused oils and nutrients give the skin a radiant and refined glow.”

As with any SK-II product, I had high expectations for this foundation. In fact, I hyped it up so much in my mind that it would be great that I, at one point, had traveled with only this foundation thinking I wouldn’t need any other. After the first few uses, I regretted not having a trusty foundation that I could rely on while on my trip.

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The SK-II Facial Treatment Foundation’s “creamy formula glides easily onto skin for even coverage.” In addition, the texture of the foundation is actually quite heavy because it’s thick. It doesn’t thin out and stays quite chunky even while blending onto the skin. Because of this thick, creamy texture it looks and feels heavy on the skin — it also never fully absorbs because it just sits on top of the skin without melding into the skin’s surface. Instantly, it felt awful on my skin and I felt that the makeup had actually exaggerated imperfections on my face that weren’t even that bad. Peach fuzz, discolorations, and any raised surface on the skin was made to be seen much worse, which didn’t fare well for this foundation AT ALL.

Honestly, for the price this was a horrible choice. Furthermore, despite it being SK-II and packed with skincare ingredients, I felt that my skin was worse when I used this foundation and that was quite irritating. Also, the giant tub that houses the foundation is so not practical, and these days, makeup companies are quite aware of issues with having a jar for foundation. Needless to say, I didn’t like this foundation and wouldn’t recommend it. It was not only disappointing, but it was irritating to have such high hopes for this foundation and not being able to return it since I didn’t purchase it in the states.

Made in Japan.

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REVIEW: SK-II Auractivator CC Cream

I’m a sucker for base products and SK-II products and I couldn’t wait to share this post with you. Normally, I’d spread out the base-related posts but I was too excited about the SK-II Auractivator CC Cream. “The new SK-II Auractivator CC Cream is formulated with Day Soft Aura White, to create irresistible glowing skin,” and includes 5 skincare benefits in just one step.

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• Brightening: 40% of whitening ingredients from SK-II’s best-selling
Cellumination Aura Essence, boosts skin’s inner luminosity
• Protection: SPF 50 PA++++ protects skin against future damage from
harmful UVA and UVB rays
• Coverage: The natural tint conceals spots and imperfections for
a flawless finish
• Moisturizing: The light, hydrating formulation glides easily onto
the skin
• Glowing: Iridescent micro pearl pigments instantly improve skin’s
surface glow

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SK-II claims that their secret ingredient “Day Soft Aura White complex” is part of this CC cream’s greatness. The “Day Soft Aura White complex is composed of UME extract, Niacinamide and concentrated Pitera.” This cc cream is thick in texture, but it’s easily spreadable onto the skin. It blends easily and quickly, taking away redness and blurring pores upon contact. It leaves behind a dewy film that can look greasy soon after, so I tend to powder over my t-zone when I’m wearing this product.

Additionally, the added skincare benefits of SK-II let’s me feel better about just slapping this product on for long flights, traveling, and definitely lazy Sunday’s. Auractivator CC Cream is especially light and glides easily over your skin for even and breathable coverage. I’ve both used both my fingers and a foundation brush to apply this, but honestly, I think it’s faster and better with the fingers. Something about the warmth of your fingers helps this product work better, I think.

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Because this is a CC cream, it comes in 1 shade. It’s a pretty standard neutral peachy shade that warms up to the skin and blends invisibly. It doesn’t leave a white or gray cast on my skin, but I do feel that it may just be a tad dark. However, because the formula is so blendable it’s pretty much undetectable on the skin. I highly recommend this CC cream; unfortunately, you can’t get it in the US so I’ve ordered a backup online. Remember to use trusted eBay sellers only!

This CC cream is perfection on its own and I find that I prefer it that way. Because it’s designed to color-correct, pigmentation and redness pretty much instantly go away with this product. It provides an even invisible coverage that really lets your skin shine through. In some cases, I’ve worn this underneath mineral powder foundation for additional coverage, but most of the time, I don’t really need it. The finish is dewy, so be aware when attempting to work out after apply this product lol.

Made in Japan.

REVIEW: SK-II Stempower

I’ve briefly mentioned various SK-II skincare products — like the infamous Facial Treatment Essence here and there on this blog, and I try to be careful with recommending such expensive products since everyone has different preferences when it comes to skincare. I’ve also mentioned the SK-II Cellumination Mask-in Lotion as well, and I’m not shy about admitting that I enjoy SK-II products and I’d recommend the line to anyone any day.

Overseas, the new newest moisturizing cream has been introduced — the SK-II Stempower, and the rumor in Asia is that this will replacing the SK-II Essential Power Cream. While Stempower has not been introduced in the United States yet, the Essential Power Cream is still available. I ordered my Stempower online via eBay — and, I find that SK-II products shipped directly from Asia are cheaper.

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As with most Asian skincare lines, the Stempower line includes an essence (serum) as well. However, for my personal skincare needs, I prefer just the cream for now — and I’ll probably integrate the essence into my routine in a few years. This moisturizer contains “Stem-Acanax Complex,” which is supposed to improve the skin “from within.” This product addresses issues with pores, firmness, and controlling the development of spots as well. So, basically, it alleges that the Stempower line is the ultimate anti-aging cream.

The cream is thin and spreads easily onto the skin. It also absorbs reasonably well and keeps my skin hydrated. Because I use this as my night cream, I don’t mind the slightly heavier texture. I’ve been using it for a month, and I’m really surprised with how my skin looks at night. It’s a shame I don’t have anywhere to go (lol), because my pores and superficial lines are pretty much invisible. Also, minor healing spots have gotten better and I haven’t experienced any random skin eruptions.

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I’d like to believe that this cream helps your skin look 10 years younger. But I’m happy with what I see so far and I’ll continue to use it. A little bit goes a long way, so yes, I spent a lot of money on this cream, but I’m pretty sure it will last until the end of 2014. One of the things that I appreciate the most about the SK-II line in general is that they address multiple concerns in their products — it’s not just about anti-aging. And, I know that some people have sensitivities regarding the pitera in SK-II’s products — however, for me, I haven’t experienced any unwanted spots and the scent is non-existent (to me, personally).

If you are thinking about taking the plunge and investing in some serious skin care, the SK-II range is worth dabbling in. I know that it’s not for everyone, but the quality is truly amazing with fantastic results. Now that I’ve passed my mid-20’s and heading towards 30 very quickly, I try to not buy menial skin care products; I just save my money and splurge on what works. I recommend this product and it makes a super night cream.

Made in Japan.

REVIEW: SK-II Cellumination Mask-in Lotion + SK-II Update

Previously, I wrote a post about the SK-II Treatment Essence–challenging the idea of it being worth the hefty price tag. It’s been another near two months since that post and since then, I’ve had a chance to continue using my SK-II products. In my experience, it seems that the improvements I’ve seen in my skin can be attributed to SK-II products because that’s what I’ve switched to in the last 6 months. Also, I’ve noticed that the more I add onto my SK-II collection, and I continue to use the products together, the results get better and better.

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I’ve added a new item to my skincare routine. I purposely waited to have used up all my sheet masks, because apparently the Cellumination Mask-in Lotion is a substitute. So after diligently using up my sheet masks, I placed my order for the Cellumination Mask-in Lotion to see if this product was worth the hype.

“This leave-on lotion brightens your skin tone, allowing for skin to feel soft, smooth, and hydrated. An ideal product for those who do not have the time to use a cotton substrate mask.” As a product for “radiance enhancement,” the Cellumination Mask-in Lotion is a unique product that is surprisingly easy to use.

Application guide: “After cleansing, put about 1ml of SK-II Cellumination Mask-In Lotion on your cupped palm, and quickly spread the Mask-in Lotion by gently pushing over the entire face with the palms of the hands. Blend the lotion into the skin to envelope the entire face.”

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For me, I use this by pouring a little bit of product into my hands and apply it directly to my face before the Treatment Essence, as directed. While the product is in liquid-form, it’s not as runny as the treatment essence. The near-gel-like texture is easily to scoop from your palm with your finger to apply it to your face directly.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate**, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Glycereth-25 PCA Isostearate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Centella Asiatica Extract, Nylon-12, Sodium Hyaluronate, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Parfum (Fragrance).

The benefits? Instant brightened, tightened, and glowing skin — but, of course, this isn’t permanent. I think this is best used at night before the rest of your nighttime skincare, and you’ll wake up with great results! :) I recommend this product over the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask (they’re very expensive and are one-time use each). If you’re trying to decided which SK-II product is best to try first, I wouldn’t say this would be your option — especially, since this product is designed to be used with other SK-II products. This is a good add-on, but certainly not necessary.

100 ml (3.4 oz)
Made in Japan.
Retails for $75.00 USD.

Believe the Hype? SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

Skincare is such an important part of one’s makeup routine — after all, no amount of fancy, high-end makeup will look and feel beautiful when applied on skin that hasn’t been taken care of, right? While I don’t believe that you need to spend a fortune on expensive skincare, it’s more important to use what works for you. For an example, I’ve tried Chanel and La Mer skin cleaners; but, at the end of the trial period, I always come back to my trusty Cetaphil cleanser I can get at the drugstore for a few bucks.

I, personally, don’t skimp on skincare products and I don’t mind spending money on them. However, that’s my personal preference; and, I know that you’ll have yours. Today’s post is about the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence that’s been considered some people’s “holy water.” So, is it worth the price?

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“This unique pitera-rich product moisturizes to improve texture and clarity for a more beautiful, glowing complexion. It also helps stimulate the natural renewal process of the skin’s outer layer to rebalance and bring harmony to your skin. It contains over 90% pure pitera, the seemingly magical ingredient found in all SK-II products. Rely on it daily to moisturize instantly and renew skin’s surface for a smoother texture. Skin absorbs the benefits almost on contact. The result is supple, smooth, radiant skin.”

The thing about having naturally glowy skin is to keep it nicely exfoliated and hydrated. This essence does both. Because it’s so expensive, I don’t use a cotton pad to apply this — and, it’s not recommended that you do so. I sprinkle a bit in my palm, I rub my palms together, and them apply it onto my face. I pat my face lightly for faster absorption and then move onto other skincare items. This is my first step. For me, the slight scent of fermented pitera doesn’t bother me; and, either way, it disappears quite quickly. I use this only at night to preserve the product and a little bit of it goes a long way.

When I first started using this, I religiously applied it to my skin morning and night for a few days. On a daily basis, I noticed little red bumps that weren’t pimples; and they could easily be concealed with foundation/concealer. I noticed that it would continue after a week of using the Facial Treatment Essence so I started to only use it at night. However, the little bumps continued. For a few days, out of paranoia, I stopped using the Facial Treatment Essence and the red bumps stopped appearing. During this time, I contemplated taking this back — but I had briefly read somewhere that a mild reaction is normal; and, that some people reported forms of breakouts.

After a few days, I returned to using the Facial Treatment Essence and reserved it for only my nighttime routine. The red bumps never returned and I noticed my skin looking so clear — of pigmentations, pores, lines, and dry areas. I noticed that the blackheads on the nose reduced and skin felt and looked smoother and hydrated. I continued to use the Facial Treatment Essence at night for 2 months — and MAN, believe the hype. When your skin is free of debris, dead skin cells, and patchy flakes — you’re left with only your skin but better. As a process of the trial period, I deliberately stopped using the Facial Treatment Essence to see what would happen. While there were no adverse reactions, I could tell my skin looked dull and it just didn’t make me happy. I went back to using it and purchased the Facial Treatment Clear Lotion, which is an actual TONER to use BEFORE the Facial Treatment Essence.

Used together, I think yields the best results. However, it’s stinkin’ expensive. For now, I’m enjoying the products and I appreciate the results. I believe that it’s worth the hype and is a way to keep your skin in tip-top shape. My final verdict is that it’s not a necessity and it’s not worth having to pay nearly $200 every few months. Again, it depends on what your skin needs and what you’re willing to spend your money on. I’d like to finish my bottle and see how long it lasts before I decide if I want to re-purchase. My recommendation is to try a sample before purchasing, or purchase it through the Nordstrom website because they have such a generous return policy.

Ingredients:
Saccharomycopsis Ferment Filtrate**, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Aqua (Water/ Eau), Sodium Benzoate, Methylparaben, Sorbic Acid. *Pitera.
Ingredients are subject to change at the manufacturer’s discretion. For the most complete and up-to-date list of ingredients, refer to the product packaging.

*’Facial Treatment’ Clear Lotion (5.1 oz. for $60 USD)
*’Facial Treatment’ Essence (5 oz. for $155 USD)

SK-II products are made in Japan.