Skincare Review 2020

Hey guys, missed you so much! How are you all hanging in there? As mentioned in my Instagram, there’s a lot of things that happened. With my life, I’ve been very busy with my double work and other projects. To keep things short, I’ve been contemplating if I should continue blogging. But then I suddenly realized its been 12 years since I started doing this passion and I really enjoy doing this! Its a stress reliever for me.

So I decided that I will still continue to use my platforms, this time with more purpose. I mentioned that I will only post what I honestly feel towards a product or service. If you want to know the whole details of why I’m not going to accept most sponsorships anymore, kindly head on to my IG Story Highlights. I really appreciate you reading up to now.

Now unto why you’re really here, I’m not a beauty vlogger/influencer, but like most girls, I started investing on skincare this year. We like to discover more products that has more value for us hence, I decided while doing a declutter few months ago to why not do a full review of how these products helped or not helped me in any way loll. You might notice the photos are taken from 2 different mobile cameras. I’m including mostly skincare products but I might also throw in some random products like a hair product or a diffuser ha ha. Just a quick disclaimer, I paid 90% of these with my own money. The rest are gifts from friends or freebies whenever I buy in Sephora. And one product Soji, was sent to me by a friend who is the business owner.

Lastly (still a disclaimer), since we’re talking about skincare – what worked for me might not work for you. Or what did not work for me could have worked for you.

Skin Care Favorites and Fails

Left Side: The Ordinary Niacinamide | Right: Herbivore Facial Oil Lapis

We’re starting strong with my ultimate holy grails. I had a recent breakout due to “Maskne” and I cant believe I took for granted what a friend gave me last year back in NYC. The Ordinary Niacinamide is totally worth the hype. This is my 2nd bottle already. If you’re the type of person who is always prone to sebum formation, I highly suggest that you use this. This is best used after toner and before any facial oil but not to be used with any product that has vitamin C, at least based on my research.

This is fast absorbing so I feel like it will pass as a base before any makeup as for me I only use this at night. There are a lot of resellers of The Ordinary here but be careful to only buy from reliable shops. I can link here where I bought. I trust this shop as she ships directly from the US. You can also check out her other products. I think she also has one of the lowest priced The Ordinary Products.

If you always experience flare ups or irritated skin, this Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil is a miracle worker. It has a nice light scent but its a wonder for oily skins despite of it being an oil based serum, it works by balancing the skin. It is formulated for combination, oily and blemish prone skin. When I feel like my chin is starting to breakout or inflamed, I put a tiny drop of this and it instantly calms down the inflammation. This is an expensive product but it is worth the money. I bought mine in Sephora for Php1,490 for an 8ml sized product. It lasted me for a month, I only use it as needed around 3-4x a week.

For my second purchase, I bought the trio gift set Php1,950, which I’ll put below. It includes Phoenix Facial Oil and Orchid Facial Oil.

Herbivore Botanicals Mini Facial Oil Trio

This set is a great value. I’m loving The Herbivore Phoenix Facial Oil. It encourages skin renewal which is perfect for scars and blemishes. Due to my acne, my blemishes has now started to lighten since I started using this. Of course number 1 rule is to not pick on any acne or pimple you have to avoid scarring. I use this as an alternative treat to my The Ordinary Organic Rose Hip Oil which I will discuss in a bit!

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

The Ordinary Rose Hip Seed Oil – This product is just newly bought and I’ve only used it for a week so I cant say much about it other than it doesn’t irritate my skin and moisturizes my skin well. I bet this is a more affordable alternative than The Phoenix Facial Oil specially if you are not going to use this only for a targeted area (I only use Phoenix Oil for blemished parts). Since this is a dupe and is on a larger bottle, you can use it in your whole face and neck and not go through it like water. This product is promising when it comes to regenerating damaged tissue so I already have an initial good impression. I bought mine for around Php800 from Manhattan Mart.

Drunk Elephant – NightBright Skincare Duo Set

A cult favorite not only because of their packaging and branding but also because of their high quality ingredients. These Drunk Elephant products are not cheap but I was very curious and tried to buy a reasonable size for me to try and so far I haven’t experienced any noticeable results. Its claim to fame was to get rid of the gunk of your skin. Meh, I feel like there’s more affordable AHA/BHA options out there but I cant recommend one yet. I tried the COSRX but it didn’t also help. Maybe I’m not meant for AHA/BHA though I’m not giving up yet. What about you, what do you think of these Drunk Elephant Duo Set? I bought mine at Sephora for Php1,650.

Estee Lauder – Advanced Night Repair Line Php2,500

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Trio Set I really had high hopes for this high-end product. But it broke me out. I heard from a friend that it made her break out too. I think this product will depend on your skin. My other officemate gave her great results. For me, it didn’t worked and it was money straight down the drain ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I bought this Mini Trio Set in Estee Lauder’s Lazada Flagship Store during a sale for around Php2.000. If you want to try, I suggest you wait for a sale. They always have one. What’s your experience on this product?

Power 10 Formula VC Effector

Over to some good stuff, I was looking for an affordable Vitamin C serum and I stumbled upon this Korean brand ITS SKIN which has a wide range of serums depending on your needs. The packaging is sturdy and the product itself helped brighten my skin. I used this mostly on my neck day and night. Try to avoid this after toner as it can be quite stingy. There’s lot of sellers in Shopee and price ranges around Php390 above. I’m willing to try other products in this line. The only downside is I cant really see what the ingredients are because they’re in Korean. If you are looking for a potent Vit C, this is not something I would recommend as it says it has only Vitamin C derivatives.

Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum

I got this Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum as a free item in Sephora. They say Retinoids (a group of Vitamin A which includes Retinol) reduces fine lines and wrinkles. I’ve been using this in my undereye for 2x a week for almost 3 months now. It did help my fine lines dark circles. I just can’t take the smell of it if I put it in my whole face. Also, you cant be exposed to extreme sunlight a day after using this otherwise you would need to put on a strong sunscreen. This product is meant for reversing UV damaged skin and signs of ageing. Can you believe the full size of this product is Php7,285 at Sephora?! The deluxe sample that I got lasted me for 3 months now in all fairness. If you can get this as a Sephora Beauty Pass Reward, get it!

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer

This Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer was given to me as a Christmas gift last year and I loved every bit of it. Its the best moisturizer that I’ve ever tried. Every night I slather it as a last step to my face. It smells so light and good and my skin feels so supple and bright the next day. I’m planning to buy a full size of this one in the near future. 125ml is pegged at Php1,625 at Kiehl’s Website.

Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1

On the otherhand, Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 is a fail for me ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I tried so hard to make it work but every time I put this at night my lips are so chapped the next day. It feels so moisturized but I don’t understand why it creates so much clumps. It doesn’t work like a scrub either. It was given to me as a gift too along with the moisturizer that I liked above. For my lip balm recos please see next items ๐Ÿ™‚

Too Cool For School Break Time Lip Tint in Rose Dream

HANDS DOWN Too Cool For School Break Time is the best lip balm/tint I have tried. This makes my lips so naturally pink and hydrated for hours and hours. Sadly, I cant find it here in the PH. I bought this in the Too Cool For School Boutique in Myeong-dong, Seoul. I also cant find it overseas, I think its been discontinued. If you know someone who sells this please let me know ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Trader Joe’s Organic Virtuoso Spearmint Lip Balm SPF 15

Trader Joe’s Organic Virtuoso Spearmint Lip Balm – A really great hydrating lip balm and a dupe for Burt’s Bees. I got this for around USD3-4 each at Trader Joe’s. I don’t see anyone selling it here. If you know anyone in the US and asks you what you want, I would recommend this and the CREST Stain Eraser Toothpaste (So random right?! haha) Ok promise, no more stuff that aren’t available here.

Aritaum ginger Sugar Lip Scrub Php230

Aritaum Ginger Sugar Lip Scrub a Korean Branded Lip Scrub which I used for more than a year. Its done an incredible job and its an affordable product. IDK why lipscrubs are always expensive. This one has large sugar granules and exfoliates well. Don’t be intimidated by “Ginger” it does not have a strong scent. I almost wiped it out but haven’t repurchased it yet. This is available in Althea Korea. I am using a BLK 2in1 Liptint and Sugar Scrub which is the next one I’ll review.

BLK Sweet Lip Duo in Tulip Php300+

I started using this BLK Sweet Lip Duo last month and its doing what I expected it to do. The scrub has smaller granules of sugar so it takes a while to exfoliate. I suggest you leave it on your lips for at least 10mins before scrubbing. The scrub also is quite moisturizing. The lip tint has a great pigment but its not as moisturizing if I’ll compare it to the Too Cool For School. Its more of a lip color. If you like those type of Lip Balms go for it. For the price and value, I’d still recommend it! I will be happy to repurchase this again.

All Good Coconut Mineral Sunstick SPF 30 17g

I was looking for a facial sunscreen that has less chemicals and I bought this All Good Coconut Mineral Sunstick at Healthy Options. It smells good, handy and has what you need but damn, I couldn’t make it work. It is so sticky and not emollient at all. I don’t know how the heck I will apply this. Its so sticky that even dust and hair will stick to it. ๐Ÿ˜‚ I went back to my Skin Aqua Facial Sunscreen that I bought in Japan. It is available in Shopee.

Urban Decay optical Illusion Primer

I bought this Urban Decay Optical Illusion Complexion Primer more than a year ago from Sephora, I don’t think its available anymore – its just okay. The texture is very similar to Benefit’s POREfessional. The difference is that it has more stuff in it like Rosehip and Argan Oil. Does it make my makeup last longer? With or without it, my makeup stays for the same amount of time. My thoughts here is that just go for a pure face serum instead if you are willing to pay for the price of this one.

Banila Co Dear Hydration Double Capsule Essential Toner Php977

This Banila Co Dear Hydration Double Capsule Essential Toner is quite a good stuff. It hydrates, cleanses and primes your skin specially before applying makeup. The size of the bottle is large enough too. Its now been with me for a year! I bought this in Incheon Airport as part of a Duty Free gift set but its available here in the Philippines ๐Ÿ™‚

Drunk Elephant E-Rase Milki Micellar Water

Another free item from Sephora and another disappointment from Drunk Elephant ๐Ÿ˜ฆ it has an unpleasant smell and my Nivea Micellar Water does a better job in removing my makeup and dirt. Wait, Whaaat? Its Php1,580 for 200ml.

To be fair, the Ingredients looks high quality in case you want to have a Micellar Water and Replenishment treatment at the same time. It says that this micellar water is made with ultra-mild micelles, replenishing fatty acids and antioxidant-rich, non-fragrant plant oils (marula, baobab, mongongo, wild melon seed, ximenia seed, passion fruit and sweet almond), E-Raseโ„ข nourishes skin while dissolving and lifting away makeup and dirt, is barrier-supportive and may be used anytime you need a quick skin refreshment.

Dunno for me, you don’t need this much ingredients in a Micellar Water. I just need something that will do the job of cleansing my skin post-washing.

T. N Dickinson’s Witch Hazel

Why isn’t anyone talking about this T.N Dickinson’s Witch Hazel? For the price of the small Thayer’s Witch Hazel (you know the one with Cucumber scent), you get this big bottle of same Natural Witch Hazel. This is a staple to my night routine. It deeply cleanses and treats my skin. You can buy this at Healthy Options.

If you’re coming from Thayer’s, you may have to adjust for a while since this is a stronger formula. A little goes a long way on your cotton rounds.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Line

Saving the best for last and then we’ll proceed with random items. Lol.

All this time, I finally found the solution to my breakout. It was just this Body Shop Tea Tree 123 Clearer Skin Set. It was the one that saved me from my Maskne! I started to use this as a late afternoon facial cleansing routine and I haven’t had any breakout ever since! I feel like it cleanses my skin thoroughly plus if I feel like a cystic acne is faring up, I dab on a QTip quickly the Tea Tree Oil. Its on sale right now for just Php716 at Body Shop’s website. I rest my case.

Mise En Scene Perfect Serum Rose Edition

This Mise En Scene hair serum is my ultimate favorite. It acts as a detangler and my hair couldn’t be any more softer. The scent is so light yet it lasts all day. Its got that sweet, floral scent which I loveeee. I put it while my hair is still damp before having my blow dry. It also acts as a heat protectant! A dream come true right? This was a recommendation by an officemate and I’m so thankful I got this! Watch out for their sale in Lazada ๐Ÿ™‚ They’re on sale regularly like once a month.

Soji Ethyl Alcohol Moisturizer and Minty Spray

Its alcohol season year round and when my friend sent this to me. This product blew me away first by its scent, its like I was taken to a spa and its not a chemical scent either. The alcohol game has never been the same again. The most important thing is that it did not dry my hands even. I use this before my skincare to ensure my hands are clean, it is my special favorite alcohol.

Scentful Living – Aroma Diffuser in Sweet Pea

I do not intend to end this post with a disappointment but it is what it is. This is my first ever room diffuser and I’m so sad that it didn’t meet my expectations. Cant even smell it after a yard. It also sucks up the oil crazy, 85 ml will just last you for less than 2 weeks. I super loved the smell though. Its very similar to Jo Malone and L’Occtinane’s Cherry Blssom Fragrance. This is priced at Php449 for a small bottle at Scentful Living.

And that’s it! I really hope this review will help you on your search for your best skin care! Please let me know your experiences too about different products. I would love to know your thoughts.

Stay safe x
Follow me on instagram: @heyjaey | Email me here:

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in Godโ€™s sight. “
1 Peter 3:3-4

Disclaimer and Transparency Clause: Information such as prices, brands, ingredients are subject to change without prior notice. This review is based on a hundred percent โ€œheyjaeyโ€ hands on experience and personal views. We may or may not be always on the same page but hey thanks for dropping by anyway! Feel free to drop in some comments/suggestions.

Published by HeyJaey

I have been blogging for 11 years and have seen the ups and downs of internet marketing. I love blogging about travel and comfort food while I work full time as a Digital Marketing Manager for an IT Company. On my free time I play the piano and love to do online window shopping. I am obsessed too with city lights at night.

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