Talking About Tweezers

I have a grand total of 3 pairs of tweezers bought between 1988 and 2000. How can I remember the years?

From left to right: B+D tweezers, Tweezerman's Teen Tweeze and pink Tweezerman (I guess it's adult tweez?).

From left to right: B+D tweezers, Tweezerman’s Teen Tweeze and pink Tweezerman (I guess it’s adult tweez?).

1988 – the year is stated on the cream-coloured Buch & Deichmann (B+D) tweezers. In its heydays, it had visible ochre-coloured stripes running vertically down the tube. Over the years, with all the handling, the stripes have disappeared. However, the tweezers still work really well and I have no reason to discard it. Love it!

mid- 1990s – I had been to LA and later San Francisco in different years for holidays. I can’t remember on which trip, probably the San Francisco trip, I had dropped by the drug store and picked up the least expensive pair of Tweezerman that I could find. (hey, US Dollars were really high then!)

2000 – My first trip to NYC and for some strange reason, I just wanted something that I had read about in the magazines but couldn’t find in Singapore. So, a pair of full-fledged Tweezerman it was!

Shapes & Sharpness

The B+D tweezer has a slanted tip. I use the tips for fine hairs and the body for not-so-fine hairs. You can see that the Teen Tweeze is a blunt tip, not angled. It’s really gentle on the eye area and grips well. The Pink one, well, it totally means business!

From left to right: B+D, Teen Tweeze and Pink Tweezerman. See how thin the Pink tips are?

From left to right: B+D, Teen Tweeze and Pink Tweezerman. See how thin the Pink tips are?

1. Usage:

For shaping, I like to use the B+D tweezer. It has a slant tip and does a great job of shaping the brows which are over grown. Also competent with neatening, clearing away some fine hairs if I’m too lazy to pick up another pair of tweezers.

For neatening, the Teen Tweeze is good at this. Its blunt tip doesn’t hurt the thin skin in the brow areas as much as the other 2 tweezers but I can’t quite see if it’s gripping the right stray hairs. Hence, I try not to use this for shaping. Only after the shaping has been done and I can see the shape nicely, then I’ll use the Teen Tweeze all over to get rid of the excess hairs.

Best for super fine hairs will be the Pink Tweezerman. Really fabulous! Its slant tip is thin and sharp. Actually, sometimes too sharp that the fine hairs get snipped off instead of pulled out! Together with the magnifying mirror, I can really neaten up my brows nicely. (even better than what the salon can do for me!)

2.  Weight:

The lightest is B+D tweezer. It has a very light-weight metal (stainless steel?) and a nylon/plastic tip. My hands don’t get tired holding this pair of tweezers. (yes, sometimes I take quite a bit of time on one eye cos I worry about over or under tweezing).  The heaviest is the Teen Tweeze even though it’s actually shorter than its Pink cousin. I think it could be in it’s shape – the parts where my finger grip are wider / rounder.

B+D slanted tips

B+D slanted tips

Teen Tweez. See what I mean about weight?

Teen Tweez. See what I mean about weight?

See how sharp these are? The fine hairs don't stand a chance!

See how sharp these are? The fine hairs don’t stand a chance!

3.  Packaging:

I’ve been bringing the B+D with me on trips because it has a tiny footprint and its own cover. Great little package, super convenient.

The 2 Tweezermans have never gone on trips with me. The Teen Tweeze, with its overly-long protective tube, doesn’t fit into a small square pouch like the B+D one. The Pink Tweezerman would fit into the pouch but doesn’t have it’s own cover. So I’ve had to make do by slipping it into a tiny plastic bag. Ugh.

Overall

I’d say that the B+D tweezer is still my go-to tweezers for any jobs. Only when my brows are over grown or unruly, I’ll pull out all 3 along with it’s friends like eyebrow scissors, eyebrow comb, etc.

All pictures above taken with the trusty Nokia E72 (yes, the good old Symbian phone) with a detachable macro lens.

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SK-II Product Reviews

So it’s been a while since I first experience more than a week of SK-II in NYC, and then received the SK-II samples from my spa visit. Upon my initial return from vacation, I used all these products consistently for the first week, and now I’m using them intermittently as the supplies dwindle. Here’s my review of the products.

Note: I was not given any incentive to write about these products. Just my honest appraisal of them, from personal experience.

Images are screenshots from SK-II websites

sk-celluminate
Product: SK-II Cellumination Essence
Purpose: A light creamy ‘serum’ that is supposed to bring great clarity and luminosity to skin.
Supply: Full sized
Personal rating: 5/5
Why: I love the super light texture that’s readily absorbed, and it has NO SCENT at all. My skin has a much healthier glow, yay!
Will I buy again?: YES!

sk-dermmoisture
Product: SK-II Brightening Derm Moisturizer
Supply:
Sample
Purpose:
Moisturizer
Personal rating: 4/5
Why: I found the texture slightly ‘sticky’ compared to Hadalabo Moisture Milk.
Will I buy again?: Not for the price.

sk-repaircserum
Product: SK-II Facial Treatment Repair C
Supply:
Sample
Purpose:
Intensive serum. The ‘C’ stands for “concentrate”, I was told, not Vitamin C.
Personal rating: ?
Why: Honestly I can’t really tell if this did anything for my skin since I used so many other products, though the BFF is a fan of it. I did not remember its effects when I used it in New York.
Will I buy again?: Maybe to replace my Estee Lauder Idealist serum, which was incidentally a gift from the BFF because I used to complain (incorrectly) that all SK-II products smelled bad.

sk-ultimate
Product: SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Essence
Supply:
Sample
Purpose:
Intensive hydration, “miracle water” that’s supposed to rejuvenate skin.
Personal rating: 5/5
Why: I kid you not, whenever I used this product, no matter how tired I feel or how little sleep I got the night before, my skin is positively GLOWING and my skin just looks fresh. I now truly believe why the BFF swears by SK-II: it completely negates the visible consequences of having an extremely demanding job!

Best part is, there’s no awful yeasty smell like the regular SK-II Facial Treatment Essence! 200 times more concentrated than the regular, but less smelly. I really couldn’t ask for more!
Will I buy again?: Oh YES YES and YES, if I were OK with dropping US$250 on a bottle of facial product! So probably not for now. I’ll be sticking to its poor cousin, Hadalabo.

sk-whitening
Product: SK-II Brightening Derm Specialist
Supply:
Full Sized
Purpose:
Whitening serum. Lightweight.
Personal rating: 5/5
Why: Very light unscented serum for spots & pigmentation. It works well, to the extent that the dermatologist that’s overseeing my IPL Photofacial treatments said to stop using it, so that the lasers have good differentiation between dark/light to work!
Will I buy again?: Probably not if my spots go away with IPL. I’ll stick with Cellumination Essence and maybe try the Facial Treatment Repair C for “whole face” use.

And some other products which I tried that weren’t samples from the spa:

sk-mens
Product: SK-II Men’s Moisturizing Cleanser
Purpose:
Facial cleanser with microbeads
Personal rating: 5/5
Why: I LOVED THIS!! (Thanks BFF! I forgot to take a picture of the actual product) Cleans without tightness and the microbeads feel so good. But the BFF says I shouldn’t use this because Men’s formulation tend to be harsher. Sulk.
Will I buy again?: Probably not, because for one, it’s not even available in the USA. And well, I should trust my resident skincare/SK-II expert that this could be too harsh for my skin.

skcleanser
Product: SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser
Purpose:
Facial cleanser with SK-II facial treatment essence. Skincare while cleansing!
Personal rating: 5/5
Why: I was told to use this instead of the Men’s version (sulk). It lathers to a nice soft foam, cleans without drying and there’s no “tightness” afterwards.
Will I buy again?: Nah. US$70 to wash my face is too rich for my budget, especially when my new fave (“Shiseido’s Perfect Whip”) costs literally 10% of the price!

And… one product I would like to try is: SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion (i.e.: toner).
sk-toner
This was used during my SK-II Spa visit, and I really liked how clean it left my skin feeling, and the blend of AHAs + Pitera sound like it would do good in keeping skin luminous!

But for now, I’m sticking with my cheapie-but-goodie: Neutrogena Alcohol-free Toner!

Overall, I can see the tangible benefits and effects of SK-II, which is really impressive, I must say. I’ve purchased various products over the years – mainly drugstore brands – but have almost never see a product live up to its lavish promises. It is fascinating and amazing that SK-II does.

Yet, on that same note, it is also a billion-dollar brand for a reason. Moving forward, I foresee using a select couple of SK-II products, and, as much as I would like to, I definitely have no intention or ability to switch my entire skincare regime over to their line. Well, unless the MegaMillions are calling my name……

But if you have the means to, I say, go for it! SK-II  products REALLY WORK!

2nd Session: IPL Photofacial

3 weeks ago I tried my first ever IPL Photofacial, thanks to Groupon. I was told to expect darkening of the freckles, and that they would gradually fall off.

No dice. Nothing happened. Nada.

So today, the nurse upped the power from 15 to 20. I definitely felt more discomfort, but it was still bearable, thanks to the generous amount of cooling gel applied to my face.

Again, I was told to expect darkening of the spots over the next 5-7 days, until they gradually slough off and fall from my face. That’s the desired outcome, at least.

Here’s what my skin looks like now, with nothing but SK-II Cellumination Essence on. I generously slathered the serum on after the treatment, to help combat dryness from the intensity of the laser.

photo
The spots are definitely darker than when I first went into the medspa this morning, and there’s some redness as well. Thankfully, I don’t feel any pain. I’ll definitely follow up with a facial mask tonight to replenish moisture, plus a generous dose of Hada Labo moisturizer!

I hope it works… Fingers crossed and we’ll see what happens in a week.

1st try: IPL Photofacial

Fresh from our recent travels, I’ve been paying extra attention to my skin. So of course, Groupon kickstarts the year with a slew of beauty/fitness deals, and I buy, on impulse, a package for IPL Photofacials, hoping to help arrest the worsening freckles/sunspots after our extended beach vacation.

Today I had the first session, and I’m glad to report that my skin isn’t any worse for wear, and I had nary any redness!

ipl1

This machine was quite loud, surprisingly, though it didn’t hurt too bad. I had a cooling gel slathered all over my face to help minimize discomfort.

I was informed that over the next 7-10 days, my freckles/spots may begin to darken to the color of coffee grounds before gradually flaking off (!!!!), so I need not panic. Here are some do’s and don’ts that the doctor shared with me:

Do
– Cleanse as usual, but do so gently
– Moisturize!
Use sunblock dutifully

Don’ts
– Do not use a cleaning brush or washcloth to scrub your face
– Do not pick at the “scabs” (darkened spots waiting to fall off)
– Stop using intensive whitening products
– Avoid facials / microdermabrasion etc

This is how my skin looks today after the treatment, without any make-up on. The spots and specks are quite obvious.
20130105-093421.jpg

I found my face seemed really dry after cleansing, so after toning with Neutrogena’s Alcohol-free toner, I put on a paper mask (foreground), part of my Christmas gifts from the lovely Miss Dressy:
ipl3

The mask was very well absorbed, as I patted the residual toner onto my face (count to 100 while doing so and it will dry to a slightly tacky finish).

I smooth 2 drops of Cellumination Essence onto my face and my skin, probably parched from the lasering, lapped it all up. Then I added a thin coat of moisturizer.

Let’s hope nothing too crazy happens to my skin over the next few weeks. My next appointment is at the end of the month, and I sure am excited to see if this really works to downplay the appearance of these spots!

Best of 2012: BB & Belts

I can’t believe another year has passed! Since the launch of The Clueless Closettes blog, I’ve been more mindful of what I wear, what I buy, and how I present myself in general. Here are my two favorites:

Best Beauty Buy: Clinique BB Cream

products0 11

I finally jumped onto the BB cream bandwagon, and Clinique’s version certainly hasn’t let me down. I wear it every day and love how it helps my skin look so much better with so little effort.

Best Fashion Discovery: BELTS!

Prior to this year, I hardly owned any belts as accessories, only wearing a 15 year-old beat up leather belt from Singaporean chain Giordano. With my inauguration as one of the fabulous Closettes, I started discovering the versatility, utility and instant ‘style upgrade’ appeal of belts.

belts

In 2012, I went from owning 3 belts to 12. Woah. I certainly am looking forward to mixing and matching these inexpensive belts with existing pieces of clothing to create new and better looks!

I’m really excited about all the sartorial opportunities of 2013. Here’s to another year of being fabulous!