Ace of Base: A Malaysian Alien Column #10

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Here it is! The post about bases that I’d promised a wee while ago , but then packed away into the back of my mind, while I desperately tried to change gear from being a kind of hibernating elephant seal, beached on a bed of Bendicks wrappers and empty Christmas wine bottles, to a bushy tailed New Year productive squirrel. I’m still somewhere between the two, picture a walrus struggling up a tree to store some nuts.

However, it’s now nearing the end of our second week back at work, and things are looking good. More excitingly, my skin has started to calm down after throwing almost a year long tantrum . Just to re-cap, I had a build up of work and life pressure, to which I added a good spoonful of extra sauce by deciding to fly out to Brazil by myself – this was January 2014 and everything had boiled over. My insides rebelled (PCOS) and my skin just flat out gave up being skin. And instead became a defiant teenager: ignoring whatever love I smothered it, and just left (ie fell off my face in large flakes), or threw huge tantrums (erupted into pubescent worthy spots). I became very self conscious and turned to my tried and trusted friend, make up.

But make up proved to be a fickle friend.

Because of PCOS, I have hyperpigmentation – so a lot to cover up, and a need for SPF. But at the same time, being born with hyper-sensitive skin, anything with SPF causes my skin to break out. Break outs then cause further pigmentation, and the cycle goes on.

Then you add in more fun. I’m an Asian in Scotland. So when I go out to buy make up, the darkest shade ‘tan’, is literally a Whiter Shade of Pale. I would be skipping the light fandango looking like I was a shuffler from The Walking Dead.

But never fear, I persevered and eventually settled on three products that I would recommend:

Clinique BB Cream

Colour-wise, if you’re more Pocahontas than Mulan of tone it might not be best. It did look chalky on me as there wasn’t a shade dark enough, and the BB texture does sit on top of the face rather than sink into the skin. However, it has a good amount of SPF, and isn’t too heavy. The BB cream promises to be a mixture of cover and treatment, so you are doing good while hiding the sins on your skin. They also have a CC cream, which is a little richer, so made me break out more. But it’s also good.

Clinique Even Better

This was a much better colour match, but still a little warm / orange-ey to be a perfect fit for me. I tried both the liquid foundation and the compact. Both are good, but the compact is just easier to carry around and to have in your bag as a touch up. The packaging is also really lovely, so that always helps. Because it’s part of the Even Better range, it’s meant to help with addressing pigment problems, but I saw better results with the Even Better serum, to be honest.

Kiehl’s BB Cream

This brings me to my current favourite product (please, please don’t stop making this Dr Kiehl!). The Kiehl’s BB Cream. This is a light weight BB cream, that has more of a fluid feel than any other BB or CC cream I’ve tried, so the product really sinks into the skin and blends to give you a very natural finish. But makes you look like you have better skin than you normally do. It has very high SPF 50, so I feel like I am being responsible about my hyper-pigmentation. BUT THE BEST THING IS IT HAS VITAMIN C. Which treats pigmentation problems. The only downside is if you need heavy coverage, which this doesn’t do, but I think a couple of strategic splodges with a concealer would do the trick if you had more to hide. Oh, and the second down side is that it does have a strange smell, it smells like a ‘natural’ product, which is fair because that is what it is – and with no overly synthetic additions, of course it won’t smell as lovely and perfumed as the high street wonders we usually buy. But this is probably a good thing.

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