Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

Beauty Review: For Beloved One Advanced Whitening α-Arbutin Cream Mask – Deborah Tan

According to Taiwan’s leading skincare brand For Beloved One, you have 72 hours to keep your skin from turning darker after sun exposure. Deborah Tan tries the cream mask in its upgraded whitening series.

The R&D behind skin brightening never fails to amaze me. While I still strongly believe that we should not ever attempt to whiten our skin color in the misplaced belief that whiter equals better, I think a glowing, radiant complexion is something women of every skin tone and color can enjoy.

This spring, For Beloved One, Taiwan’s best-selling cosmeceutical skincare brand, upgrades its whitening range with a low-irritant compound known as α-Arbutin. It claims to one-up traditional whitening products by targeting the skin-darkening process at skin’s basal layers and at the DNA level. Traditional whitening skincare typically only inhibit tyrosinase activity to prevent pigmentation. With Advanced Whitening α-Arbutin, sun damage is kept under control right at the formation stage where the gene expression for melanosome production is reduced.

For Beloved One Advanced Whitening α-Arbutin series

For Beloved One Advanced Whitening α-Arbutin series

The Golden Period
This is totally new to me. The folks at For Beloved One explained that after sun exposure, you have 72 hours to treat your skin to prevent sun damage such as spots and dullness from ruining your complexion.

Upon sun exposure, skin experiences 2 types of tanning – “immediate tanning” and “delayed tanning”. The first is the tan you see as a result of melanin appearing on your skin’s surface as a form of protection against UV rays. The latter is the tan that gradually appears as your body continues to produce melanin as its defense mechanism.

So if you are ever out in the open on the particularly sunny day, remember: you have 72 hours to slather on some skin-brightening goodness so your complexion doesn’t get marred by sun damage in the future.

Before (top left) and After (bottom right). Photos were not Photoshopped or touched up in any way.

Before (top left) and After (bottom right). Photos were not Photoshopped or touched up in any way.

Creamy Goodness
On a recent holiday in Penang, we found ourselves assaulted by the scorching sun while trying to hunt down a particular hawker center. I was sun-burnt and my skin felt raw and hot. So what a great opportunity to review the cream mask from this range!

For Beloved One Advanced Whitening α-Arbutin Cream Mask is a unique oil-in-water cream mask containing 3% α-Arbutin and DNA whitening patent ingredients.

When you open the jar, the mask looks like a rich night cream. Once in contact with your skin, it transforms into an essence and forms a protective film on the skin. I found the mask to have a pleasant scent and its light creamy texture felt great on the skin.

Leave on for 15 minutes then wipe of the excess and rinse your face with water.

Verdict
My skin did look immediately brighter after just one use. For those who tend to struggle with sheet masks, you will find this cream mask extremely easy to use. It comes with a mini spatula but feel free to dip right in and apply using your fingers.

Used before a big event, it helps keep your skin well hydrated and your makeup looking fresher for longer. Follow up with the essence (with a 6.5% of α-Arbutin) and lotion for a complete skin brightening regime.

For Beloved One Advanced Whitening α-Arbutin Cream Mask is now retailing at all Sephora stores. The cream mask was given to Material World for review purposes. This post was neither paid for nor advised by For Beloved One. All opinions are the author’s own.

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, and Suits. She loves masks in all forms and textures. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

 

Want more skincare reviews? Read these …
1. Beauty Review: Biotherm Life Plankton Essence

2. Beauty Review: Biotherm Liquid White Spot Focus

3. Beauty Review: For Beloved One Delight Fresh Tea Tree Night Jelly

 

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Beauty & Shopping, Skincare

Beauty Review: For Beloved One Delight Fresh Tea Tree Night Jelly – Deborah Tan

Keeping your skin light and refreshed in the heat

Keeping your skin light and refreshed in the heat

For Beloved One is a Taiwanese beauty brand with somewhat of a cult status. Its products have been mentioned on several talkshows where celebrities swear by its stuff even if they weren’t paid for it. I have tried some of its products and have always gotten compliments on how my skin looks after.

This month, For Beloved One launches a new range – Delight Fresh – of skincare aimed at keeping your skin from going insane in the summer heat. As we have learnt from another beauty brand earlier, heat damages the skin. In Singapore, the heat often cause us to sport an oily, unsightly sheen on our face. If you are not prone to breakouts, a bit of blotting with a tissue paper might freshen up your complexion a bit. But if you are prone to breakouts, the heat and the oil can lead to some massive zits making your face their summer holiday destination.

The range has a total of 4 products. A cleansing gel ($42), a toner ($28), a lotion ($48), and a night jelly ($78). For this review, I’m covering the night jelly for ONE important reason:

It can be used together with your existing skincare products. There is no need to revamp your skincare regime completely, which is what I believe most girls can’t afford to do all the time.

The product's appearance is quite scary

The product’s appearance is quite scary

Appearance and Scent

The first thing I want to bring up is how horrified I felt when I opened up the jar. Honestly, I pondered for a good five minutes whether or not to put the stuff on my face at all. As you can see in this picture, it looks like chemical sludge. The bright, genie-green gel looks like something your Chemistry teacher would tell you to stay away from. Is Flubber going to jump out of the jar and start doing the Hokey Pokey?

Got past the “Is this green slime?” part? Well, let’s talk about the smell. The jelly has a medicated smell, possibly due to the fact that the range contains (1) tea tree oil, (2) an ingredient made from an Ayurvedic herb known as Brahmi, and (3) an ingredient derived from Kopara, a marine matter found in the French Polynesia atolls known for its anti-microbial properties. I described it to my friends as a “Tiger Balm” kind of scent.

Upon Application

Nonetheless, I took a big leap of faith and proceeded to apply the jelly onto my skin. It goes on as the FINAL STEP of your night skincare regime. After applying it, I thought I’d have to sit around the house to wait for the thing to sink in. Surprisingly, the jelly was fully absorbed before 5 minutes were up. No sticky residue, no shiny layer.

Results

This jelly is supposed to control your skin’s sebum activity, helping rebalance its oil-water levels. For acne-sufferers, it is important to control the sebum levels without compromising on the hydration. You need to reduce the oil because that is what “feeds” the P. Acnes bacteria. You need to still keep your skin moisturised because, if not, your dead skin cells become stuck to your skin and end up clogging your pores.

This jelly controls all that and help soothe inflammation. If you have a particularly big zit, you can put a thicker layer of the jelly on the offensive spot for a more intense treatment.

DAY 1: I did my usual skincare regime and went to bed. The next morning, I woke up and blotted my face. The blotter ended up quite oily and that’s FIRST THING in the morning, without having done anything yet. That’s how inherently oily my skin is.

DAY 2: On top of my usual skincare, I applied a layer of the jelly and went to bed. The next morning, I blotted my face. The picture shows it all. There was an immediate and significant reduction in the amount of sebum my skin had produced that night. And throughout a good half of the day, my skin stayed matte and my makeup did not “melt off” as easily. My friends also commented on how my skin actually looked quite good.

Where did the oil all go?

Where did the oil all go? (Pictures are not digitally altered in any way)

Verdict

For Beloved One Delight Fresh Tea Tree Night Jelly, $78, at all Sephora stores

For Beloved One Delight Fresh Tea Tree Night Jelly, $78, at all Sephora stores

At $78 a jar, the price is prohibitive. Unless my skin is embarrassingly oily or my acne situation is out of control, I would not consider buying this product. BUT if you are sick and tired of waking up to crazy angry skin (I used to and it was the worst way to start a morning), you won’t regret giving this a shot. The immediate coolness you feel, the way it calms your skin … that’s really what acne-sufferers just want to experience from their skincare. And for all you know, this could be the game-changer in your acne-treatment regime, and help you win that war against your zits once and for all.

The product was given to Material World for review, all opinions are the author’s own. Please read our advertising policy here.

For Beloved One is exclusively sold at Sephora (Ngee Ann City, ION, Great World City, Marina Bay Sands, Suntec, and other locations).

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and only uses blotters for beauty experiments. She does not recommend using blotters regularly. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

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Share the beauty review of For Beloved One's new product on Facebook for a chance to win this eye cream!

Share the beauty review of For Beloved One’s new product on Facebook for a chance to win this eye cream!

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Branded Content, Contests

[Material World X For Beloved One] A Garden State – Deborah Tan

gardenI’m known for being a stress-ball – no thanks to my over-achieving personality, I guess. One of my least favourite questions in the world is, “When was the last time you took a holiday?” If you read my post last night, you’d gather that, often, it’s not because I hate going away. Rather, I’d only want to go on a vacation if I am assured I’d be “pampered”. No roughing it out for me!

Most of my days are spent “roughing it out” already. I start work at the crack of dawn and often don’t stop until 11 at night. I am – quite literally – addicted to work. If my mind isn’t on work, I feel “lost”. To get me to “relax” would take a lot … a lot. So when Shangri-La emailed us and offered Material World a staycation, Vanessa immediately asked me along.

At first I thought, “It’s ONE night. Surely all the packing I need to do for this one night is going to take more effort than it’s worth?” But a voice told me, “Look, just go. Oh, and while you’re at it, go take care of your skin, it’s beginning to look as tired as you are.” Oh, thaaanks

paradisefound

I love the seemingly “messy”, “unplanned” look of the garden

A Paradise, Found
Just one step into Shangri-La’s newly revamped Garden Wing transports you into a world away from the hustle and bustle of Orchard Road, located below the hotel. The first thing that struck me was the seemingly “un-landscaped” look of the lush garden right in the centre of the wing. Huge leaves, colourful flowers, and boulders have been laid out to give the impression of a verdant, undiscovered paradise. The effect was immediately soothing to the mind. I was ready for my staycation.

Our room overlooked the swimming pool. With the ample sunlight, fresh air, and sounds of nature surrounding us, it was easy to forget that we were only in a hotel room in Singapore. Shangri-La has lots to offer for the restless. Its gym (HUGE) is opened 24 hours a day. I walked past it at 10pm at night and spotted a couple of hunks working out in there! The hotel has enough F&B choices for the fussiest of palates. The best time to get a good workout at the pool, as we discovered, is in the morning is between 9.30am and 10.30am, before the crowd sets in. If you are looking to work up a sweat, Shangri-La has tennis courts as well.

Of course, do not go for a staycation at Shangri-La without booking yourself a spa treatment at CHI, The Spa. The Singapore Wave treatment features a combination of firm kneads and long, soothing strokes to relax your tense muscles and re-energise your body. Not bad … I could seriously get used to this …

roomIn The Mood For A Facial
So what do people do at a staycation? I found myself asking this question a couple of weeks before we checked in. Obviously, we weren’t going to “explore” Orchard Road like the tourists. So after the eating and the lounging, what else do people do? Surely time spent lazing about in the room can be put to better use.

For Beloved One provided me with a set of products to try for this staycation. Even before we approached For Beloved One to work with, Vanessa has been going on and on about the brand’s popular bio-cellulose mask. “If you stacked up the number of masks For Beloved One has sold, you get a pile of masks as high as Taipei 101!” a fact she likes to remind us.

cleansingThe Skin Needs A Staycation Too
All facials – whether at a salon or DIY – should begin with proper cleansing. Remove all makeup and give your skin a good scrub to slough away all dead skin cells. Exfoliation is necessary to help your skin absorb all these products better.

MandelicAcid

For Beloved One 20% Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum

After I’m done with cleansing, I applied a thin layer of For Beloved One 20% Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum. Mandelic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), and is derived from an extract of bitter almonds. Touted as a gentle chemical peel treatment you can do at home, this serum apparently penetrates the skin to clear acne and brighten the skin tone.

I’m usually a bit sensitive to products containing AHA but this serum did not give my skin any redness and I could not detect any stinging or discomfort.

toner

For Beloved One Extreme Hydration Intensive Treatment Toner

You then follow the serum with For Beloved One Extreme Hydration Intensive Treatment Toner, which contains a host of anti-ageing ingredients to help restore firmness and radiance to the skin. With that, it’s time for another serum – the Hyaluronic Acid Tri-Molecules Moisturising Serum.

hyaluronic

For Beloved One Hyaluronic Acid Tri-Molecules Moisturising Serum

Watery in texture, it spreads easily on the skin. You can gently pat your skin as you apply this serum to improve the absorption and give your face a massage for blood circulation. My skin felt plumper after this step already.

A pearl-size dollop of the Extreme Hydration Intensive Treatment Milk Lotion wraps up the basic regime. The Extreme Hydration series is created to boost the skin’s metabolism, thus enhancing its ability to repair damages that may lead to premature ageing. For ladies in a rush, you’ll be glad to learn that you can also mix the Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum into either the toner or the lotion to save yourself a step. This series also contains Pepha-tight – a film that forms on the stratum corneum to create a “lifting effect” on the skin. Containing a whole host of amino acids, vitamins and anti-oxidants, Pepha-tight has been shown to reveal immediate firming effect that remains visible even after two weeks.

lotion

For Beloved One Extreme Hydration Intensive Treatment Milk Lotion

Finally, as a final treat for my skin, I had to use the mask that Vanessa is a fan of. For Beloved One Polypeptide DNA Resilience Lift Bio-Cellulose Mask is a game-changer when it comes to sheet mask. More than 5 millions pieces of it have been sold since its inception eight years ago. The unique texture of the bio-cellulose fibre material gives a mask that is almost “jelly-like”. The mask adheres to the face tightly, ensuring that every pore on your skin is in contact with all that anti-ageing potion on it. I took a nice 15-minute nap on my plush hotel bed, enjoying the cool serenity, trying to keep my mind off work for a while.

mask

Trying on the For Beloved One Polypeptide DNA Resilience Lift Bio-Cellulose Mask

Refreshed And Relaxed!
When I removed the mask, I loved how bright and well-rested my skin looked. There was a youthful plumpness to the skin – like every cell was flushed with moisture. I even allowed Vanessa to take my “After” photo without any makeup. The most noticeable improvement could be seen around the eyes – more lifted, brighter-looking, less tired.

This staycation – though just one night – did indeed do me a world of good. My mind, body and skin were refreshed and rejuvenated, and after a fabulous brunch at Waterfall Cafe, I was ready to face another week of work.

I continued using the Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum even after this staycation. Just last week, when I met Denise for lunch after her 3-week hiatus in Chiang Mai and Luang Prabang, she commented how my skin looked “poreless”. That was when I revealed that I’ve been trying the Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum for a week and a half. Needless to say, she too was suitably impressed.

debsafter

Radiant and makeup-free!

Thanks to Shangri-La for the staycation. To book yourself a staycation, you may visit its website here.

For Beloved One’s products can be found at all Sephora outlets. For more information, check out its Facebook Page here.

Material World worked with For Beloved One to review its products. All reviews are the author’s own and were not vetted by the client. You may read our advertising policy here.  

About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, Suits, and wonders if people mean it when they say she doesn’t look her age … Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

WIN A FOR BELOVED ONE SKINCARE SET!

FBOSetWe have FIVE sets of skincare goodies from For Beloved One up for grabs! Each set contains:
1. A full-sized 20% Mandelic Acid Renewal Serum
2. 1 pieces of Polypeptide DNA Resilience Lift Bio-cellulose Mask
3. A 30-ml Extreme Hydration Treatment Toner
4. A 15-ml Extreme Hydration Intensive Treatment Lotion
5. A 3-ml Hyaluronic Acid Tri-Molecules Moisturizing Serum
(This ENTIRE set is worth $144.40! )

To win one, simply follow the steps below:
1. In the Comment section, answer this question: “For Beloved One was created in which country?”

2. Share this review on Facebook with your friends. Remember to tag Material World’s Facebook on your post.

3. Click on this link to Like our Facebook Page. Only Material World’s followers qualify for this contest.

4. Private message us your details – name, age, gender, NRIC, and email address.

Contest ends June 28, Friday, 2013.

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