Estée Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foamimage

Price: HKD290
Volume: 100ml

Continuing with my new Cleansing Balm from DFS, I also bought this Cleansing Cream purely out of curiosity. Packaged in a soft plastic squeeze tube with screw top, this product is travel-friendly and perfect for most seasons 🙂 As a lightweight, mildly-foaming cleansing cream, I found that this cleanser gently but effectively cleaned my face without leaving it dry and parched 😀 It has a very natural and light, lavender and chamomile scent to it that gives the cleansing process a more therapeutic feel to it <3  

However, I would like to note here that although this is hydrating enough for me to use most seasons, I would realistically use this more often in the morning during the colder/drier months because I normally wear a full mug of makeup, and I find that the Cleansing Balm would be a better bet to remove it all, as opposed to the Cleansing Foam, which I feel is built for light- or no-makeup mugs 🙂 During the hotter/muggier months here in Hong Kong, I prefer to reach for a gel-based cleanser, of which my current fave is my La Mer Cleansing Gel <3

All in all, an excellent find from DFS <3

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balm Review

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Balmimage

Price: HKD360
Volume: 70ml

I saw this Cleansing Balm along with the Cleansing Foam at the DFS counters and I just had to try them out 😀

Meant for the removal of heavy, waterproof makeup, this is a silky, almost sherbet-like cleansing balm that one would scoop out a dollar (or a quarter, if you’re American :D) sized amount with a spatula — or clean fingers — and massage it onto the mug full of base makeup before adding warm water to it for emulsification and then finally washed off to reveal a clean, hydrated, makeup-free mug 😀 I’d like to note here that I prefer to use a separate makeup remover for my eyes, but I feel that those of you who’d like a two-in-one product, this can also efficiently remove eye makeup 😀

Fortified with lavender and chamomile for a calming and relaxing experience, I love the process of removing my makeup every night because of how soothed my senses become from the light lavender and chamomile, while my skin is completely makeup-free and left without feeling tight or dehydrated <3 If you’re a newbie to the cleansing balm world, and you wanted to try this kind of product out before committing yourself to something spa-like and luxurious, aside from getting samples, I would suggest that you try the budget-friendly Banila Co. Clean It Zero Sherbet Cleanser as an introductory but effective product 🙂

I would like to note that although the cleansing power of this product is stellar, I’m not a huge fan of the packaging as it’s not travel-friendly; it’s quite a large and cumbersome plastic jar; I suppose that one could scoop some out into a clean jar but for trips, I’d probably stick with cleansing oils because those can be easily decanted and toted along. 🙂

Estée Lauder ANR II Eye Cream Review

Estée Lauder ANR II Eye Cream Reviewimage

Price: HKD378 (Sasa) | HKD480 (RRP)
Volume: 15ml

Where do I begin with my recent discovery with the ANR II Eye Cream (Gel-Cream)…

As you all probably know by now, I love the ANR II Face and Eye Serum and I never gave the eye cream much thought as I thought it wasn’t going to be hydrating enough for my dry-ass eyes.

Fast forward to my recent Estée Lauder haul, and I got a small sample of the eye cream; once I put it on, I was hooked. I had to get the gel-cream and pair that with the eye serum; it has made my undereye concealer stays put well and my dry lines smoothed out and softened.

I have to note here that officially, the ANR II Eye Serum and the ANR II Eye Cream are not meant to be layered; they are alternative textures for people who have different preferences. However, I have noticed that if I were to use the Eye Cream on its own, it is not hydrating or moisturizing enough for my eyes; however, when I layer it on top of the Eye Serum, I feel like I’ve sealed in the moisture and prepped it well for my undereye concealer. In addition, both the ANR II Eye Serum and Eye Cream are silicone-based, which provides that bit of slip and smoothness; if you’re allergic to silicones you’ll have to be careful here.

In addition, both the Eye Serum and the Eye Cream have a soothing feel on the skin but the serum has less ingredients and also no caffeine to drain water from the skin; if you have puffy eyes and bags and you’re not overly concerned with dry skin or fine lines, you might want to go for the gel-creme instead of the serum.

All in all, I personally prefer layering the Eye Serum and the Eye Cream because I like how I’m able to seal in the moisture with two products from a line that I know I would not be allergic to, as well as the flexibility of using a product that leaves no residue where I can layer another rich eye cream (i.e. the Estée Lauder Global Anti-Aging Eye Balm that I’ve been eyeing for a while now <3) over it for even more moisturization.

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair II Eye Serum Review

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair II Eye Serum Review

Price: HKD398 (Sasa) | HKD580 (RRP) | HKD1045 (DFS – Travel Exclusive (2 bottles)
Volume: 15ml (per bottle)

During my first encounter 2015-12-13 12.30.39with Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair II (ANR II) line, I bought both the face and eye serum to try it out; after the first set, I didn’t repurchase them because I didn’t feel that they were doing much difference for my skin. After a period of drifting between skin care lines and not really turning up with anything even remotely positive for my skin, I decided to give the ANR II lines another go, and I’m really glad that I did.

To be honest, if you’re looking for a miracle solution overnight for the years of damage that you’ve done to your skin, this isn’t the line that you should be looking at. What the ANR II line does is preventative care and to maintain and repair what damage you have done to your skin and fight off environmental harms. As such, give this line a little time before they start showing visible results, and especially since this is really an anti-aging line, it often requires a bit more patience. Now is the time to channel, “Patience is a virtue” as your mantra as you use this eye serum (and possibly the face serum as well) <3

To start us off here, the ANR II Eye Serum Infusion does for the eye contour what the ANR II Face Serum does for your complexion, and that is to erase the signs of lack of sleep and fight skin aging. In terms of packaging, the eye serum comes in a brown semi-transparent bottle with a gold-colored cap, but it has a pump instead of a dropper like what the ANR II Face Serum does. Although the packaging is slightly different, it is very easy to use and hygienic. The eye serum is odorless, white and slightly thicker than the face serum, but just like the ANR II Face Serum, the eye serum is easy to apply and fast absorbing.

2015-12-13 12.32.06

Since this is my second go with the ANR II Eye Serum, I feel that on the first run, my eye contour simply felt comfortable — nothing spectacular. This time around, the fine wrinkles/lines that appear when I smile seems to have softened up and are less prominent, even with my undereye concealer. Without makeup, my eye contour looks and feels smoother, fresher and healthier than what it did without the eye serum. I don’t feel, however, that the changes are as drastic as the ANR II Face Serum, but it’s probably because the targeted area is a lot smaller. I mean, if you wake up with bouncy, radiant skin, it will be more noticeable, but perhaps a more awake-looking eye contour is easier to miss especially if you may or may not be more prone to getting dark circles (i.e. allergies, genetics, etc.) to begin with.

Given that I got the travel exclusive duo set, I still have another full tube of the eye serum to use, but even after this, I’m pretty sure that it will be on my repurchase list <3

Estée Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Lotion Review

Estée Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating Lotion

Price: HKD617 (Sasa) | HKD780 (Counter)2015-08-10 21.29.16
Volume: 150ml

Holy crap.

The website and reviews weren’t kidding when they said that this Micro Essence Lotion would increase moisture retention on its own, and that the results would be further amplified when used in combination with the ANR II Face Serum.

I bought this activating lotion yesterday during my SaSa haul after checking out the company website with some questions in mind:

  1. Is this alcohol- and fragrance-free?
  2. Will this be more like the Western version of a more hydrating toner as opposed to the Japanese concept of a lotion?
  3. Will the (hydrating) effects be relatively immediate or does it take a while to prove itself?

I first stopped by the beauty counter to give this product a test run before popping over to SaSa to buy it since most SaSas don’t have testers for this item. Encased in a hefty glass bottle, the Micro Essence Lotion has no alcohol in its ingredients or a (floral) fragrance. I can only describe the extremely subtle scent as part of its…fermenting process? It’s not offensive to the nose and it goes away fairly quickly upon application. The bottle itself is not travel friendly, therefore I would suggest to either use a separate travel bottle or to get one of those small 15ml bottles that SaSa sells if it’s a relatively short trip.

There are varying opinions as to whether one should use this like a toner or a (Japanese-type) lotion. After trying it out last night and this morning again, I can confidently say that it would be worth your while to use a more hydrating toner first before patting on the Micro Essence Lotion. In fact, for girls with drier skin types, I would use a toner that has no alcohol in it – if you aren’t doing so already as toners with alcohol in them does your skin zero favours – and to leave your skin a little moister than usual with the toner before using the Micro Essence Lotion; I poured out 5 to 6 drops of the lotion onto my palm and pressed it both of my palms together before pressing it onto my entire face. I must stress that I’m not patting it on as it’s an essence that needs to soak into your skin; patting seems to do the opposite where you’re invigorating your skin with that motion instead.

As such, I followed these steps for the evening:

  • Kanebo Facial cleanser
  • Muji Hydrating Toner
  • Estée Lauder Micro Essence Lotion
  • Estée Lauder ANR II Face Serum
  • Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream** (technically, you could put on your eye cream first after the toner since you’ve got more steps to do for the rest of your face haha 🙂 )
  • Perricone Face Finishing Moisturizer

When I applied the ANR II Face Serum onto my face with the same pressing motion, there was a slight suctioning feeling on my skin; it was like the Lotion was attaching itself to the ANR II (or the other way around LOL) and it was staying put on my face. By the time I put on my moisturizer, I could feel that my skin was much more hydrated than usual.

The results for the next morning?

You betcha that I woke up with a healthy sheen and bounce to my skin in the morning 🙂

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair II Face Serum Review

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair II Face Serum Review2015-08-10 21.30.34

ANR II Face Serum
Price: HKD880
Volume: 50ml 

During my Vegas trip last summer, I bought the travel set of the Estée Lauder ANR II Face and Eye Serum set at the Las Vegas Premium Outlets because it was a) on sale and b) I was curious about the raving reviews. I started the set around September and finished it around December but I didn’t repurchase it because I wanted to try other new products; I’m happy to say that the iconic little brown bottle is now proudly sitting on my beauty shelf once more after my SaSa haul today 🙂 On the other hand, I chose not to repurchase the ANR II Eye Serum as I didn’t feel that it did much for my relatively drier eye area in terms of moisture retention; it was one of those serums where it didn’t irritate my eyes, nor did it really do much – for the price that this serum goes for, I feel that I could do more hunting around 🙁

Housed in a sturdy plastic bottle with a dropper, the formula is great as an all-round facial serum. To be honest, this is not a cheap product; if you don’t necessarily have major areas of concerns with your skin, you could (and probably should) try other equally good all-round serums such as the Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement. Your skin is probably still young enough to get away with just needing extra hydration and not necessarily anti-aging **shakes fist angrily**

I decided to go back to this facial serum because I remember how my skin just drank the serum all up and I woke up with much more hydrated, luminous skin, which is a marked difference from waking up with a greasy, shiny face where the face cream from the night before didn’t do much sinking in but instead just kind of stayed on my face. There’s a complete difference between luminous skin and greasy skin; you can tell that your skin products are working for you when you wake up with a slight healthy sheen to your face and your skin feels bouncy as opposed to oily and puffy. Definitely not a good look to rock 🙁

The ANR II Face Serum is a great step up in a skincare regime – as it definitely is for me. On the company website, the serum is “fragrance-free” and is ideal for “all skin types” as well as the following:

  1. Multiple signs of aging
  2. Visible age prevention
  3. Dryness, dehydration
  4. Lines and wrinkles
  5. Dullness, loss of radiance
  6. Oil-free

Courtesy of Estée Lauder  🙂

After using one bottle, my skin is undoubtedly happy with the fragrance- and oil-free aspects of the formula as Estée Lauder products are known to have floral scents; I feel that numbers 3 to 6 are addressed well and almost immediately within the first couple of applications; it would be fairer to say that numbers 1 and 2 would take a longer period of time to tell – and possibly subsequent replenishments of this product – to full see anti-aging benefits. Personally, I would include a second serum (if needed) that has a more pointed approach for problematic issues (i.e. dark spots, scarring, hyperpigmentation, etc.) as I feel that the ANR face serum is better suited for all-round moisture retention and long-term benefits. I would rather purchase from a company that is more focused on long-term benefits as opposed to marketing a product that promises to give instantaneous results; this iconic product is one of the longest standing market leaders for anti-aging and the reviews of women from a variety of age groups can attest to the long-term benefits. 🙂

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