I just bought my third box of Wardah Lightening Facial Serum, so obviously this is a good one. It’s a box of 5 ampoules, each 5ml, and is marketed as containing Vitamin B3 to help brighten skin. Each of the ampoules has a twist cap opening, and the liquid content is a clear gel (not too runny) with a very faint floral scent.
Niacinamide (or Vitamin B3) is the second ingredient after water in Wardah’s Lightening Facial Serum, and this was what caught my attention. Niacinamide is a very popular ingredient in products targeted for skin brightening or lightening, since it is touted to reduce wrinkles, hydrate, peel, AND help skin turnover at the same time, with many clinical trials and scientific research to prove the claims. You can read a bit more here, here or here, and googling will result in many more info about this ingredient.
Not only that, Glycerin and Aloe are also high in the ingredient list, and both are hydrating substances. Tocopheryl Acetate or Vitamin E, and Sodium Hyaluronate, another hydrating ingredient, are also present at relatively smaller amounts (but potentially still of sufficient quantities to be effective, as the list is relatively short). Housing the Serum in small ampoules is also a smart move as it reduces contact with oxygen (therefore slowing the breakdown/degradation of the ingredients).
Each ampoule of 5ml is sufficient for 4-5 applications in my experience – I use this liberally to coat my face, neck and upper chest. I use this only at night, after a thorough cleansing of my face, and the Serum is followed by a basic moisturizer to ‘seal in’ the hydration (I like St Ive’s Collagen Elastin Moisturizer). Even without the additional moisturizer, this Serum alone is hydrating enough for my oily facial skin, but I put on moisturizer on top since my neck and chest area can always use it.
So, great ingredients and packaging – but what about performance? Indeed, I see the brightening impact even after the second use! After the use of one ampoule (4-5 consecutive nights), I see significant brightening and overall evening out of skin tone.
I never use more than one ampoule continuously, preferring to switch around what I use to get the most benefits from different skincare ingredients. I usually take a few weeks before opening and using the next ampoule. So a box can last me at least 3 months. At a price of Rp54,000 for 25ml (less than US$5, and it is often on sale), this product is obviously a winner. Highly recommended and I applaud Wardah for making a good product (using internationally proven effective ingredient) at a price that everyone can afford!
I’ve just discovered Vevo has regional playlists. Currently enjoying Vevo Espana, and discovering the latest offering from Alejandro Sanz (a duet with Marc Anthony).
I started dying my hair my permanent colors about three years ago, using a permanent bubble (foam) hair dye. Previous to that, I used Lush’s hennas – Caca Rouge is my preferred color. Lush’s cacas don’t really give much color; they’re more like highlighters. So I switched to permanent dyes with the advent of the bubble foam colors – they are so EASY to use! I haven’t used non-bubble dies until early this year when I saw the Revlon ColorSilk Permanent Hair Color on sale at 50% off. I bought a couple of boxes, number 46 Medium Golden Chestnut Brown and number 30 Dark Brown (which I haven’t used yet).
This particular Revlon brand advertises itself as ammonia free, contains apple extract, with 3D color that leaves hair in better condition, etc. But you should know better than to believe claims that hair dye is good for hair. ALL permanent colors work the same: they strip the hair of its previous color (the lighter the new color, the more stripping) along with some of the hair’s building block. Basically, it’s like stripping the wall of the previous paint, so that a new color can be slapped on and hang on, true to the advertised color. Sometimes they include some oils in the dye, so that hair will seem more shiny after the process. But this effect is temporary.
So yes, permanent dyes are bad for your hair – they will leave hair dry and brittle compared to its pre-dye condition. The extent of the damage can vary, depending on the concentration of the chemical solutions in the product. Not to worry though, hair are basically dead cells once they sprout outside your scalp. They are dead, and nothing can bring it back to live. What you can do is to regularly use products that make hair shiny and frizz-free (moisturizer, masks, oils etc, including silicone-laden products). It’s a lot of hassle but hair color is so fun that it’s worth the hassle, in my opinion. One thing that you really need to avoid is to have dye on your scalp and make sure you’re not allergic to any of the ingredients. Then, you’re good to go.
Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, Medium Golden Chestnut Brown is a nice color, albeit a bit too dark for my taste. I dye my hair myself at home, and the instructions included is easy to follow. The mixture is not too runny and don’t drip. I focus on the outer layer of my hair, and the contrast with the inner layer (very dark brown natural color) is not that extreme. With the way I use it, one box is plenty for my shoulder-length hair that is thick and curly.
A few hours before dying my hair, I soak my hair and scalp with oil (usually coconut oil). Instead of leaving the oil overnight as some people do, I usually coat my hair with oil in the morning, and dye it in the late afternoon. I think soaking hair in oil helps to avoid direct contact with the scalp and avoid hair entering too far into the hair shaft and thus coloring only the surface of the hair. Whether it works, I have not idea but after 3 years of coloring twice or three times a year, my hair is dry but not particularly brittle, so there must be something in that theory.
The resulting hair color from this Revlon hair dye is relatively close to the advertised color in the box – the dye lightened the hair slightly and made it more brown, plus it completely covered the grey hair starting to sprout along my temples. The color lasted about 4 weeks before starting to slowly fade. The conditioner included with the dye is also pretty nice, it moisturized hair and made it smell nice (a strong floral scent).
Overall, it was not an unpleasant experience. This hair color normally retails for around Rp60,000, but is being sold with a relatively few color variation in Indonesia. My preferred color is apricot or beige which I have not seen being sold by Revlon in this series. These colors are available in other brands, in the bubble dye form, and priced about Rp120,000 – Rp150,000 (I usually buy on sale, so that would be Rp80,000 to 100,000). If there is more color selection, I’d buy the Revlon again, perhaps even this Medium Golden Chestnut Brown color, if I want to go a bit darker than the golden apricot that I am partial to.
Bottom line: recommended, especially for those looking to make a hair color change (darker or lighter) that is not too drastic, and to cover grey hair.
Ever since hearing her sing Stone Cold live, I paid more attention to Demi Lovato. Not only for the singing, but her makeup on that performance made a huge impression. Recently I tried a Kindle free trial of Latina Magazine because Demi was on the cover with gorgeous makeup. See for yourself!
I’ve copied these looks but haven’t yet been able to get the right balance for a day-to-day look that can be done quickly (sans the editorial brows, of course). But it’s a fun look, especially the last picture below – shimmery pink and taupe on eyes, peachy cheeks, beige lips and mad bronzing. Neutral with a kick, and I think this is doable with the recent palettes.
The article was also interesting. I did not realize that this time around is her second coming. Her story reminds me of Drew Barrymore, who’s been to the doldrums a few times, always coming back stronger for it.
Several years ago I got a few gently-used Himalaya Herbals products, and was blown away by how good they were. This line of product is based on ayurveda, or ayuverdic medicine, which originated in India.
Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. It originated in India more than 3,000 years ago and remains one of the country’s traditional health care systems. Its concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices. (Source)
At that time, Himalaya Herbals products were not widely available in Indonesia, with only one known store in Jakarta, so I mostly purchased them when overseas. The brick-and-mortar store then closed. But during the last year or so, Himalaya is back in Indonesia, and the good thing is, they are now widely distributed across drugstores (e.g. Watson, Guardian, etc), supermarkets and convenience stores (Alfa Mart, etc). Initially, the face washes were all that’s available, but increasingly, other products as well, e.g. moisturizers, face mask, etc.
This review is for the face washes that are sold in Indonesia, and I list them in order of preference. You will find the ingredients list for each variant at the bottom of the page.
Purifying Neem Face Wash
This has been the product I consistently used for many years now – I think it has been over 5 years. There are two version of this wash, the gel version and the foaming version. I have tried both a few times. In truth, I like them equally, and happy to purchase either one, and usually price dictates my choice, so will choose whichever is on sale or has a special bundling event. I always stock up when there is a special, as it’s a product that I continue to use. I’ve found no difference in performance between the gel or foaming Neem cleansers that I bought overseas (Singapore, Malaysia Philippines) with those bought in Indonesia. In the picture above, the tube second from the right was bought overseas.
I use the Neem facial cleanser in the morning, or in the afternoon if I have mainly stayed indoors without makeup. Unlike the other facial washes which are heavily scented, this one has a mild floral fragrance, a bit plasticky to my nose, but not to the point that it bothers me. I usually put on the cleanser on dry skin and message thoroughly over my face before rinsing off. For those concerned, note that this face wash (as also the other variants below) does contain a surfactant (i.e. a lathering agent, in this case ammonium lauryl sulfate).
Gently Exfoliating Daily Face Wash
This face wash has some small granules, said to be apricot seeds (and the ingredients list does list apricot kernels). The granules are very fine and not very abrasive, so it would be great for gentle exfoliation, although I still would not use this daily. Maybe once a day or every other day would be great. This cleanser also contains neem, aloe, etc. Sometimes I will mix a little bit of this into the Neem Facial Wash to get a bit of polishing action. The scent is very strong though, and not pleasant to my nose, as are the other washes below.
Clear Complexion Whitening Face Wash
This one is just ok. I don’t detect any whitening/brightening (and I actually do not expect any – I don’t believe that a face wash can whiten). Again, the scent is very strong.
Oil Control Lemon Face Wash
I dislike this the most as the scent is very strong. It is advertised for oily skin, but I do not detect any more cleansing power than the rest, though it does not dry out the skin either.
So, bottom line, I would recommend highly the Purifying Neem Face Wash for all types of skin as a morning cleanser. I’ve recommended this numerous times to people, and most do find this great. If you are looking for a cheap yet effective manual exfoliator, then try the Gentle Exfoliating Daily Facial Wash for intermittent use, and this should be great for teen skin which don’t need heavy duty exfoliation yet. Both products are cheap and effective.
I’m always vexed at people who quatsch when the price of a palette is higher than purchasing individual items (in terms of value per volume). Rip off! they say. Well …. no. Look at the higher price as the premium you have to pay for 1) the convenience of having all the colors in one package, which can be convenient for storage and travel; 2) the opportunity to buy more colors at less cost, e.g. if singles are @$50, and a palette of two colors with each half the volume of singles is $60, you are saving having to shell out $100 (for something you don’t know you’re going to really like or will use up, etc). In other words, the $10 is the premium you pay for lowering your risk and/or the opportunity to spend the $40 in something else.
It’s really nice when companies sell palettes at a lower per unit cost than singles, but in some cases, a higher per unit cost still makes economic sense. Like all things, not everyone will value the convenience, but that hardly makes the product a rip off (making it sound like the company is trying to steal something from you) anymore than anything else you don’t value (Hello Kitty anything, why??). Especially if the price and product volume is clearly in the labels – that’ what 2nd grade math class/the calculator on your phone is for. The best you can say is, the company over-estimated people’s values for the convenience.