L’Occitane Hand Cream (Marvellous Flowers)

If I remember correctly, I bought these at DFS because I went to Helsinki in January. Maybe. Oops, my memory hasn’t been too great lately, and I have been feeling so tired for no reason. I was walking around as usual passing time before the flight, and found my way into Esprit where I decided to get the wool cap because I know that in cold places I always feel lightheaded when the cold gets too much for my head. I had wanted to get a nice, colourful and cheerful-looking cap when I was in Tokyo last December but decided against it because Tokyo was still bearable then. I didn’t know at that point that I would have to travel to Helsinki, where the temperatures dipped so low, the lowest temperatures that I have ever experienced in my entire life so far.

20130411-102251.jpgSince the Philosophy hand cream that I bought was a pretty small tube, I thought of getting something new to try. Unfortunately there weren’t many choices for me because I was looking for an optimal-sized tube that is more portable, which I could pop into any hand-carry bag when I travel, particularly now that we need to observe the rule on restrictions of liquids/gels/etc. brought on-board the plane.

The Marvellous Flowers hand cream from L’Occitane has a powdery, floral scent to it that doesn’t overpower. I didn’t use it when I was in Helsinki because surprisingly, the Philosophy tube lasted me throughout the week-long trip there, or probably I didn’t use it as often as I should because upon my return I did see that parts of my index finger were peeling rather badly. I only just started using this new tube in Singapore, in the office, which due to the air-conditioning, could make my hands pretty dry. I try to be more conscientious in using it after washing and drying my hands, especially now after all these trips abroad my hands really do seem to need some moisturising care. This hand cream is suitable for use in our climate here, because for me, my skin absorbs it rather well so that it doesn’t leave too many obvious greasy trails on my iPhone screen, laptop keyboard or office table top. But it also means at the same time that I have to re-apply often; I have yet to find a hand cream that does not trade-off the moisturising factor with non-greasiness.

Perhaps Philosophy comes closer to being one of those hand creams that is not too greasy but yet does the job well of keeping our hands adequately moisturised. I will give it a second try and if it is really like what I remembered, then it’d be on its way to becoming my holy grail of hand creams!

Friday is just hours away, TGIF everyone, wherever you are reading this from. Take care, and have a wonderful weekend!

Hands of Hope

The best thing to do at the airport is to shop. I don’t shop much actually, but as I usually go to the airport fairly early ahead of my flight out of Singapore, I have some time to spare which I spend along the aisles of the Duty Free shops. I check out other shops too, but since I am on an austerity drive, sort of, I can’t afford luxurious big-ticket items. Skincare and toiletries are necessities that I try to get from Duty Free shops because they are slightly cheaper, and this is a good time to buy and save time in Singapore for other things.

On my trip to Tokyo in December, I got these from Duty Free, a 30 ml tube of hand and cuticle cream from Philosophy, a special Karl Lagerfeld-edition eyelash curler from Shu Uemura, and Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Loose Powder. The last item was a replenishment of something that I am already using, the eyelash curler is more of a purchase-on-a-wimp item because of the cute-looking doll charm attached to it, and the hand cream, well, it is something that I am quite open to trying different types and brands. Skincare is not something that I am adventurous with because of my sensitive acne-prone skin condition, and also because I use mainly products from my dermatologist, but where body lotions and hand lotions are concerned, I like checking out new stuff when I can. 20130123-153331.jpg

Philosophy is a brand that hails from the US, which made its way to our shores only last year. The “Hope” series is a moisturising range of products, and I picked this up actually because I had heard of this brand, and mainly because it comes in a very handy 30ml size that I can bring around all the time, whether for travel or even in Singapore. Besides, this was priced affordably at $12 at Duty Free, so I think it’s quite a good price. 20130123-153521.jpg

Based on the SG website, this hand and cuticle cream is said to “provide long-lasting moisture for softer hands”, “soften and help protect hands and cuticles” and is a “non-greasy formula that absorbs quickly”. So I have used this for a while since December, in Tokyo (forgot to bring it to Istanbul), then in Helsinki recently and now in Singapore.

It is kind of fragrance-free, but it does have a smell to it, as my friend described it, “plasticky”, if there is such a word. Other brands of hand creams tend to have a fragrance, whether it’s lavender, rose, or something, but this doesn’t have such scents, it just has a lotion smell to it. It absorbs fairly well, but I wouldn’t say that it is non-greasy. Compared to some other brands I have used before, it is definitely less greasy, but it still leaves traces of grease-like marks when my hands/fingers touch surfaces like my phone’s screen, my laptop, etc. Other than that, my hands don’t retain the general greasy-feel that I get with some other brands.

I can’t yet comment if it really does protect and provide long-lasting moisture, because probably I wash my hands too much to determine if it lasts long enough, but I looked at my hands after I applied the cream to one hand, and compared it to the other, and it really does look softer and even fairer. Sorry, no pictures of this because I forgot, but if I can get a picture of it next time, I will try to post it here. It does feel softer too, of course. For the price, I think it’s pretty worth it, although maybe if you intend to use it regularly on a daily basis then a larger-sized tube (i.e. 120ml) would make more economical sense. For me, I like travel-sized products because it also mean that I can try more different items within a shorter period of time!

The “Hope” series have several other items that make the “Fan Favourites” list per their website. My friend has tried their Hope in a jar oil-free gel and posted a review here, so you can check out what her comments are. I might consider trying out some of their products in this range too in future, to see if they would work for my skin condition, or at least the other next thing that I am always open to try would be eye creams/gels, because dark circles, puffy eyes and fine lines… that’s another problem that I would like to tackle, the woes of ageing and how best to do so gracefully.