Hello, I’m Marissa

28 years old. Based in Singapore.
Asian lifestyle blogger. A fan of colour and tapirs.
Chatting beauty, skincare, small businesses, self-care, wellness and Animal Crossing.

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    Testing Some La-Roche Posay Products + My Thoughts

    I’m sure by now we’ve all heard of the amazing ‘skin saving brand’ that is La Roche Posay. It’s been all over Instagram, Twitter and of course, Tik Tok.

    I’ve seen this brand in most drugstores in Singapore and I’ve always wanted to try it but the high price point put me off. I know some people may not think that $30 to $50 isn’t that expensive for a skincare product, but it is when you’re someone who has never spent more than $30 on a single skincare product.

    My routine has been filled with Korean skincare for the past year or so, and I didn’t see the need to change it up. But the influence of social media as well as random breakouts on my face happening at the same time coerced me into wanting to try this semi-high-end brand.

    With the help of Tik Tok and a lot of Googling, I found a few products I wanted to try first, and I did! So I’m here to talk to you about them.

    For context my skin type is oily, full of texture and pores and scarring from previous breakouts and cystic acne. I was on Accutane for a year previously. I’m here to give you my honest opinions!

    EFFACLAR Micro-Peeling Gel Cleanser

    The first La Roche Posay product I tried was the Effaclar Micro Peeling Gel cleanser. It is marketed as a face wash suitable for oily, acne prone skin, and that it helps remove impurities and excess sebum by unclogging pores. Just what I need for my problematic skin!

    Very unfortunately, I will not be repurchasing this again as I find it to be a little too drying for me. Even as someone with oily skin, this product may have destroyed my skin barrier a little, as my skin would feel tight after use and a few weeks later, the skin around my cheek and nose started peeling, which as an oily girl, NEVER HAPPENS!

    This probably means it was doing its exfoliating job a little too well. I needed a lot of moisturiser after, and that is not considered normal to me.

    Despite all that, the Effaclar Micro Peeling Gel cleanser is one of La Roche Posay’s best selling cleansers, so it may be that my own skin doesn’t agree with it but yours may. Still, worth a try.

    EFFACLAR DUO(+)

    The second product I decided to try was their Effaclar Duo skin treatment and moisturiser. This product is supposed to help rapidly clear existing spots, prevent their reappearance and limit the risk of marks.

    I’ve been using them on my dark scarring for quite a few months and even though the difference isn’t huge, this has definitely worked well as a mattifying moisturiser and I haven’t had any negative reactions towards it. It looks great under makeup and does not leave a greasy feel on the skin.

    It absorbs fast and doesn’t ball up for me. I’ve read other reviews where the user has said that the product balls up on their skin and I’m not sure why this is so, but it hasn’t been that way for me, thankfully.

    Probably would not purchase again because of the next product.

    Effaclar Mat Sebo-Regulating Moisturiser

    I’m all for matte moisturisers during the day as I’m an all-day makeup wearer with oily skin. I knew I had to try this when I saw it!

    This moisturiser is supposed to reduce excess sebum, instantly giving skin a long-lasting, shine-free matte finish – and it does what it says! I absolutely love it under makeup and it doesn’t dry out my skin too much like the cleanser at the start. It also claims to ‘tighten pores’, my pores are huge and I don’t see much of a difference but it doesn’t matter that much to me since I use a pore-filling primer.

    I would definitely purchase this again as I feel it works well with controlling my oils from working their way through my makeup. It hydrates, but keeps me matte for a good amount of time.

    Cicaplast Baume B5

    This amazing product known as the Cicaplast Baume has active repairing ingredients such as Madecassoside and soothing Panthenol, great as an anti-bacterial agent. It is known to soothe, nourish and protect dry skin, as well as help repair skin barriers.

    I have been using this product nightly to help repair the damage the Micro Peeling Gel cleanser did to my skin and I would say it is slowly but surely working.

    I love the texture of this product – it’s kind of like in between a balm and a cream. It is thick and feels rich, but not extremely greasy. I only use this overnight as I don’t want to get too oily during the day when I’m out and about in Singapore’s humid climate.

    Definitely would repurchase this again, especially for when I move to a colder climate like the UK. It comes in full size and a smaller sized bottle (which is the one I bought) and it seems to last absolutely forever – definitely worth your coin!

    Effaclar Serum

    We all need a bit of acne treatment every once in awhile. This Effaclar Serum was raved about on Tik Tok so heavily that I had to try it. It claims to be is a concentrate of exfoliating acids combined with soothing niacinamide that targets blackheads, pimples, marks and visible pores.

    I’ve been applying this serum to active acne spots as well as the tip of my nsoe where most of my blackheads live. Although I haven’t seem much obvious difference in the blackheads, it has soothed and calmed my active acne spots down quickly overnight.

    It is quite a sticky serum so I’m not sure how well it would work under makeup, but I use it at night as an overnight treatment. It works well for active acne spots but it’s not a miracle serum that kills all acne overnight. It does take quite awhile, but it’s still a good product.

    One letdown is that it is a very small bottle. At 30ml and costing me almost $56, I think it is pretty excessive, so I use it very sparingly.


    As with every brand, there are bound to be hits and misses. The reason I wanted to review a few popular products from La Roche Posay was because I had heard nothing but good things about the brand, and I wanted to put it to the test as I did not truly believe there would ever exist a ‘flawless brand’.

    Aaaaand, sadly, I was right! There are good products and there are bad products that I would stay away from as mentioned in this list. La Roche Posay has an incredibly wide range of products available for many skin types, but they seem to mostly focus on acne-prone and sensitive skin. There’s many more for me to try!

    Have you tried La Roche Posay or any of the specific products I mentioned in this post? What were your thoughts? Let’s discuss!


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    Fenty’s Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Foundation — An Honest Review

    The ever so popular Fenty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Foundation has been circulating on Tik Tok more than ever and as a very impressionable 28 year old, I knew that someday, I’d buy it.

    And I finally did.

    Let me be clear – I am absolutely 100% a drugstore girl and I hate spending above $30 on any single product. My foundations are usually $29.90 and below, and the most expensive foundation I had ever owned was Urban Decay’s All Nighter Foundation that is now discontinued in Singapore. Because of what a thrifty person I am, I rarely walk out of Sephora with an item as highly priced as Fenty’s Eaze Drop skin tint which retailed at $49. But aye, Tik Tok, right?

    Before I start this review, I’ll give you a very quick rundown of my skin type. My skin type is oily in the T-zone and normal everywhere else. My current skin barrier has gone to shit as I’ve been using too many mattifying products recently and they’ve dried out my skin. I’ve got lots of very dark hyperpigmentation from acne scars, as well as large pores under my eyes. I do have some active pimples at the moment, nothing too major, but they’re the annoying kind that hide deep under the skin so they can’t be popped or pimple-patched.

    Let’s get into it, shall we?

    Skin Tint Foundation

    The Fenty Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Foundation is described as a ‘light coverage blurring skin tint that delivers smooth, instantly blurred skin in just a few easy drops’. The range comes in 25 shades which is pretty good for a skin tint in my opinion, as skin tints are very easy to work around even if you get the wrong shade.

    Price

    Retailing at $49, I would say that this is quite an expensive base product. There are much pricier ones out there, but I would say for 32ml, $49 is quite hefty.

    Packaging

    Okay.. I just want to quickly say, I LOVE THE PACKAGING! I love the unique shape of the bottle and it comes in a squeezy tube which I don’t mind even though I prefer pumps.

    It is small and compact and great for bringing around with you in your bag.

    One little extra thing I like about Fenty’s products is that they are recyclable or refillable. All shipping boxes are fully recyclable, and they are also incorporating PCR material—post-consumer recycled material—into their bottles, tubes and jars whenever possible, according to their website.

    The Product

    Let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

    I am very particular with my base products and I always want my base to be perfect. Because of my many years of cystic acne, achieving the ‘perfect’ base has been hard, but I do have a routine I like to follow.

    Look at that shade range!

    This product was something very new to me because I do not own any skin tints, or any foundation that claims to be of ‘light coverage’. All of my foundations are medium to full coverage because I am very self conscious about my leftover acne scars. I was taking a complete leap of faith purchasing this with my hard earned $49, as I have always wanted to have a more ‘natural’ look on days where I’m not doing much, and to try to ditch the full coverage look. It was a scary thing for me to try.

    My biggest fear about this product was that it would be too hydrating or oily for me, as my oils start coming through after 3-4 hours of foundation wear. It is described on the website to have a ‘QuickBlur Complex for a hydrating, diffused effect’. I am pleased to say that it is actually not too oily for me, and can of course be mattified with some powder. I was so relieved to see my face in the mirror, not completely drenched in oil after a full day of wearing it. So oily skinned people, this skin tint is suitable for you!

    Coverage wise, it is what it described. However, I wouldn’t say it was sheer to the point where it looked like I had nothing on my face. Amazingly, it did give a sort of air-brushed feel to my skin whilst still giving a natural subtle glow. I am not a fan of extremely glowy complexions, and I prefer a more semi-matte base, but the finish of this skin tint was right in the middle. I was fine with it! I just don’t want to look like a glazed doughnut.

    I will say though, that I did top this skin tint off with some concealer. This is because my acne scarring is still an issue for me, as well as my dark undereye circles. So I topped my base off with some concealer and translucent powder, and voila! My base was done and I like it!

    The product doesn’t feel heavy, and it isn’t slick to the point where you feel greasy and disgusting. I actually really really like it and I would buy another bottle again.

    I’m using the shade 5, but I do find it is too cool toned for me. It’s passable after some concealer and powder, but I would like to get a more warm toned shade when this bottle runs out.

    Is it worth the hype?

    I would honestly say, yes!

    Despite the high price point that hurt me a little when I paid for it, I do feel that this product works well for me and is very versatile. You can wear it for a no-makeup-makeup look, or you can build it up with some concealer for a more covered glam look.

    The shade range is great, and they even have ‘warm’, ‘neutral’ and ‘cool’ guides in-store in Sephora to help you shade match. I would highly recommend going into the store to see the shades in person because admittedly, they don’t look quite the same as the charts online. But that is the case for most foundations!

    I can see myself wearing this daily to work, or for a hot day out, as I wouldn’t want to feel like I was actually wearing any sort of skin base product.

    The only thing I wish it had was SPF. I know we shouldn’t pit makeup brands against each other but a lot of other skin tints in Sephora had SPF in it, which I think is great. But personally, I would wear SPF anyway, so it doesn’t make that much of a difference. But if you’re one to forget to wear SPF before your makeup, it would be useful to already have SPF in your base, which the Eaze Drop does not have.

    What did you think of my review? Has it made you want to try the Eaze Drop Blurring Skin Tint Foundation?

    If you’ve already tried it, what do you think?


  • COVID-19 Isolation Diaries

    I never thought I’d write this blog post. Simply because some part of me thought I was some kind of mega superhuman who managed to avoid the coronavirus for 2 years as everyone around me caught it left, right and centre. I work in a retail and school environment and I interact with hundreds of kids and their parents weekly, and I took public transport everyday. I still didn’t catch it! Amazing.

    Come February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day, and I feel so ill that I thought I was dying. My throat felt like burning hot razorblades, I had a fever of 38°c, my body was aching and my head was throbbing. Oh no – did I catch it? I felt like I did.

    Everyone in my family took a test. Alas, my grandma and my live-in helper tested positive. They quickly went to isolate and I thought to myself, this negative test I received must be a false negative. But I waited.

    Day 1 – 14th February

    I woke up feeling like I was burning in hell. I quickly texted my boss to tell her I wouldn’t be coming in today as I was ill and that I suspected I had COVID. I took a test at 9.30am and it came out negative but I didn’t trust it. After all, I had just been in close contact with 2 positive cases.

    I went to the doctor with my mother, who coincidentally started feeling ill too. “We definitely have it!” I kept telling her. I was 100% convinced. But by this time, I had 4 negative tests.

    The doctor at our GP gave us an ART test and sent us home with medication. An hour later, the godforsaken text message came in.

    “Dear S—-853C, you have tested positive for COVID-19. You should self isolate immediately for at least 72 hours. Thereafter, you may exit self-isolation if you test negative on a self administered ART, or on day 7 if fully vaccinated.”

    I knew it! I knew I was getting false negatives. My mum tested positive too.

    My mum and I quickly isolated in the master bedroom of our flat as it had an ensuite bathroom. I felt like death, and I drank lots of water. The body aches were terrible, and the dull, numb headache was making me feel extremely lethargic. The rest of the day flew by as we slept, ate, showered and slept again.

    I also realised I had lost my sense of taste. I could still smell, but tasting food was difficult. I was apparently eating a very ‘tasty’ meal of fried rice that had 0 flavour to me, and it upset me deeply.

    Day 2 – 15th February

    I woke up with the worst sore throat I think I had ever had in my life. It was painful to the point that I couldn’t even swallow liquids.

    I also sweat throughout the night, so much to the point that my pajama top was soaked. I felt disgusting, so I showered twice on this day. I stayed in bed a lot, watched H3 podcast videos and played some games. The fever was making me feel extremely tired, so I drifted in and out of sleep several times during the day (as you will notice, I did this a lot during isolation).

    In the afternoon, my fever seemed to subside but the body aches were there. I also started developing a chesty cough. My dad bought coconuts for my mum and I to drink as it had been highly recommended.

    Had porridge for dinner and it was ideal as it was watery, soupy and warm. I would highly recommend sticking with hot, soupy meals for your COVID isolation. Fried foods are NOT THE ONE and will definitely make you feel worse.

    Day 3 – 16th February

    Day 3 coming around meant that I had to take another ART test according to the Ministry Of Health’s rules. If I tested negative, I could exit self isolation.

    Alas, the positive line was super thick and dark on my ART test kit. Not surprised.

    The moment I opened my eyes, I knew there was no way I was going to test negative. I felt HORRIBLE. The worst day by far. I genuinely thought I was gonna sink into the bed and die. The fever and headaches were crippling and the cough made it almost impossible for me to lie down and rest. Whenever I tried to talk, a coughing attack would hit me suddenly.

    I talked as little as possible on this day. Also drank lots and lots of water and coconut juice.

    Day 3 was the worst day by far. Both my mum and I had very similar symptoms. I had to take a few puffs of my inhaler as I started to wheeze from a combination of my asthma and the coughing fits.

    Day 4 – 17th February

    A glimmer of hope has appeared! I woke up with only a sore throat, a very very mild, almost undetectable fever and cold sweats. The worst downside was the cough, I practically coughed all night which made it difficult for myself and my mum to have a good night’s rest.

    The test still showed a very very strong negative line but I felt like the worst was over. I had heard from several friends who had recovered from COVID that Day 3 would be the worst day of them all and it seems like it was true.

    I was well enough to have full meals again, but my sense of smell was no where to be found. I couldn’t even smell my shampoo or soaps I use in the shower and they’re quite strongly scented. I was upset about the loss of sense of smell as I enjoy food a lot and couldn’t really enjoy it now.

    I developed a sudden horrid headache in the evening and it only went away after several hours of me writhing in pain. COVID headaches/ migraines are very very painful. I couldn’t open my left eye. I took off my glasses and turned blue light filter on all my devices I was using. It did help a little.

    Stayed in bed most of the day (where else could I go?) with some H3 podcasts to entertain me. Drifted in and out of sleep once again as my entire body felt lethargic and tired.

    Day 5 – 18th February

    The first thing I did when I woke up was to do an ART test because if I were negative, I’d have to turn up at work the next day (Saturday). I wasn’t feeling tip-top yet, but nothing compared to the hellfire that I experienced on day 3.

    My test still showed a thick, dark line.

    Slightly relieved that I wouldn’t have to show up for a 13 hour shift the next day, I’ll also say I didn’t feel as ill as the line showed. The line looked exactly the same as it did on days 2 and 3 but I was feeling miles better.

    Felt well enough to order a McDonald’s delivery too. Thought that was a mildly important update.

    Day 6 – 19th February

    I woke up feeling good. My throat was still a bit dry and my nose blocked but I felt way better than yesterday. The cough was still present but at least the fever was gone.

    Got up, made myself an avocado toast and did another ART test. Alas, the line was still thick and dark. It looked the same as yesterday’s test. I had only just read an article about a poor Turkish man who tested positive for 8 months and I was certain that would be me again. My mum tested negative on this day (keep in mind she tested positive on Monday, same as me).

    Sustained a mild cough for the rest of the day and moved back to my own bedroom because of my mum testing negative. I missed my own bed so much!

    Day 7 – 20th February

    Day 7 came around and I was honestly prepared for the positive line to still be there. And it was. Everyone around me had negative tests except me and I was on day 7.

    According to the Ministry of Health in Singapore, I am allowed to self-discharge after 12pm on Day 7 if I still test positive because I am no longer infectious. Personally, it still sounded scary. My positive line wasn’t super thick but it was very visible. I didn’t go back to work or go out today.

    My sense of smell was still completely gone. I had a laksa for lunch and couldn’t taste or smell anything. I put my strongest perfume bottle up close to my nose and I couldn’t smell anything. As I run a soap and candle making business, this worried me a lot. How do I make scented things if I can’t smell?

    Day 8 – 21st February

    Ah, it has been a week since I tested positive. What did this mean for me?

    According to government rule, it didn’t matter if I tested positive or negative on this day, I was free to exit isolation as I was no longer considered contagious or dangerous to people around me. I did a quick test in the morning and the faintest positive line was still present. I felt well enough to go back to work so I did.

    What was left of COVID? I had a mild cough, a very congested nose and my voice sounded funny. I also noticed I was sweating a lot (I call them the post-COVID sweats) no matter what environment I was in. I felt damp all the time, it was awful and still hasn’t gone away (I’m writing this post on day 9). Back aches were still present, and I felt lethargic, still do.

    One of the worst bits was that I could not smell. My sense of taste was not too bad, I could taste the strawberry birthday cake my colleague got me the day before, but I couldn’t smell it, nor could I smell my Jo Malone perfume. How was I meant to know if I stank?! It’s a miserable time.


    Did you get COVID? Was your experience similar to mine, or did my experience (particularly on day 3) scare you?

    Stay safe and healthy everyone!


  • Meeting My LDR Boyfriend After 2 Years Apart

    We all have our own ‘COVID-19 diaries’ don’t we? Sad stories about missing people, about not being to enjoy what we used to and living in fear of catching a potentially life-threatening infection.

    The pandemic being so brutal over the past 2ish years meant that my boyfriend of 6 years, Chris, and I, had to be apart for much longer than ever intended. Although we always knew we were going to be in a long distance relationship, nothing prepared us for the extremely long time apart we would have to endure.

    We used to see each other every 7-8 months for about 2 weeks at a time and it kept us going for the past 4 years we’ve been apart. But 2 years of not seeing each other took quite a large emotional and mental toll on us.

    How did it finally happen?

    The last time I physically saw Chris was in December 2019. It was a lovely holiday, we went around the UK as well as to Disneyland Paris for 3 days. I’m glad that was the ‘last trip’ before the big pandemic hit.

    Because Singapore and the UK opened a VTL (vaccinated-travel lane) scheme in October 2021, Chris rushed to get a ticket to come see me. Both of us are fully vaccinated and this was finally the chance we had. Previously, he could still come to Singapore but only if he served a minimum of 10 days in a quarantine location he would’ve had to pay for himself (an average of $2,000+/-) and we simply did not want to throw that large amount of money away. So we waited, and thankfully, the VTL scheme came.

    Chris landed in Singapore on the 15th of January and came to surprise me at my workplace after isolating for 4 hours whilst waiting for his on-arrival PCR test results. I screamed, I cried, we hugged. It was amazing. Nothing like being in the arms of your best friend and partner after being away for so long. I was elated.

    How did it feel?

    I was so happy and it felt like everything was right again. I had felt a sense of loss, sadness and great disappointment in everything over the last 2 years. As a homebody, introvert and someone who doesn’t have many friends, Chris was a main figure in my life for company, heart to heart talks and love.

    It also felt very refreshing to finally have a 2-week break from work – a place I had been coming to 5-6 days a week consistently for the past 2 years because I was trying to save the little leave days I had for this trip.

    Did anything change?

    Because Chris and I kept such close contact over the last 2 years apart with video calls, care packages and much more, I felt like I had been with him all this time.

    Over our 6 years together, we had definitely changed as people and it is only normal. I can honestly say we’ve changed for the better, become more empathetic, become more understanding, and more hardworking. Two peas in a long distance pod. Despite the physical distance, we never drifted apart.

    That being said, I had a couple of hours of feeling extremely shy around him because it was like ‘meeting for the first time’. But it quickly went away as I knew, this is my Chris.

    What was the hardest?

    Communicating effectively posed a challenge a few times during our time apart. It is hard to communicate to the best of your ability when you are unable to meet and can only talk via video call or text message.

    When we were younger, things were worse. I feel like I was pettier, I was more easily angry, frustrated and impatient. Now, I feel like I’m simply a ~chilled out~ version of what I used to be. That doesn’t mean we don’t have silly little arguments every once in awhile, we definitely still do – but all that is normal and some would even say, healthy.

    We will always have things to work on as no relationship is perfect.

    On a much lighter note, sleeping next to someone in the same bed is something I definitely need to get used to.

    How did it feel when he left?

    Sigh. It was a big fat sigh.

    When I say it never gets easier, I mean it. We’ve done this so many times, we’re practically professionals – but it never gets easier. Everybody keeps telling me, “You should be used to it by now!” or “It must be a breeze!”.

    The short answer is no, it isn’t easy. Yes, it has gotten easier, but only because we’ve found ways to cope. I occupy my lonely evenings with soap-making, watching long YouTube videos, playing Scrabble Go on my phone for hours with a bot, or simply.. sleeping. He focuses on catching up with podcasts, playing his favourite video games and seeing a pal once in awhile. These are all habits we’ve formed over the years with that much time on our hands.

    How has your life changed since then?

    On the 17th of January 2022, he popped the question at Gardens By The Bay’s Floral Fantasy exhibition – a beautiful place filled with colour, flowers, nature and soothing background music. I cried , but I was happy because I knew where my life was heading – back to the UK.

    Since I left in 2018 after graduating from the University of Lincoln, I had always dreamt of going back. 300 job applications later, I started to lose motivation. Most companies that could sponsor a work visa simply preferred not to because of excess fees. But I was determined to go back – I had enjoyed my 5 years of living there so much and I love the UK. Chris’s proposal meant I had something to work towards now and that was saving money for the ‘big move’ to live with him.

    For so long I have wanted to have my own independence in the form of no longer living with my parents, owning my own home and being responsible for all aspects of my own life. And I finally think it’s coming! I always found it hard for myself to grow as a person in Singapore as all of the abovementioned were not a stone’s throw away.

    What happens now?

    I save, save and save.

    I have an incredibly low income for someone who works a minimum of 44 hours a week. Most times I’m embarrassed to tell people what I earn. Despite that, I’m generally quite disciplined with my savings. The ‘savings culture’ in Singapore has been ingrained in me ever since I obtained my first paycheck. I never let my savings dip below $100.

    Moving across the world is a big commitment and one that costs a lot of money, the kind of money a girl in their late 20’s would struggle to handle. But I’m doing it anyway, because if I never try I’ll never know. This ‘tough road ahead’ may be the one thing that changes my life for the better.

    No more spending money on things I can’t afford, no more spending money on impulse buys, no more spending money on unnecessary meals out. I can do this! I like being home after all. Will there be a lot of sacrifices to be made? Yes. Will I have to forgo the ‘little pleasures’ for this big plan of mine? Yes. But is it worth it? We’ll wait and see!

    It was never going to be a smooth sailing road for me, and the advantage I have is that I have always been mentally prepared for it to be difficult, so it doesn’t come as a huge shock to me that this is what I have to do for myself and my happiness.

    Good luck!

    Thank you, self. I’ll need it.


    Coming from a Southeast Asian family, there is a lot I could talk about with regards to topics such as how my parents handled it, how I spoke to my parents about such a life-changing decision, their level of acceptance, my thoughts on filial piety and leaving your family, how I as an only child am managing to do this, etc. The list goes on.

    I’ll definitely write more about that in detail in another post, but for now, I am just happy to have reached this point in my life where I have something very clear to look forward to.

    In the meantime, I’ll need all the luck I can get!


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    Top Skincare Picks Of 2021

    2021 has surely gone by like a blur and I’ve had my fair share of trial and error with different skincare products. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being a skincare junkie!

    For reference, I am an oily skinned gal, with lots of texture, pores, and the occasional breakout. I was also on Accutane for about 8 months which helped, but now that I’m off it, the oiliness has come back in full force, so none of the products I’ll be talking about will be for dry skin.

    Enough rambling, let’s chat products!

    Please note that all products linked are discounted specially for you and if you purchase any linked item, I will get a tiny bit of commission! If clicking links aren’t your thing, do use code MARISSA420 at checkout on YesStyle for discounts on all products storewide!

    Manyo – Pure Cleansing Oil

    One of the most important parts of my skincare routine as a regular makeup-wearer is cleansing oil. You need to get a good cleansing oil that suits your skin type to get all the day’s gunk off your face.

    Manyo’s Pure Cleansing Oil is a new addition to my routine and I love it! It is rich in amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins. There isn’t much of a fragrance to it, it smells very subtly like lavender which is one of my favourite scents. It isn’t the most lightweight, nor is it extremely greasy, which I like for the end of the day. You don’t want to be using a cleansing oil that’s too drying even if you have oily skin.

    I also love the packaging and label design – plus points for that! I can’t wait to explore more of what Manyo has to offer as this is the first product of theirs that I’ve ever tried and it has already been promising.

    SomeByMi – Snail Truecica Miracle Repair Serum

    If you’ve followed me on any other social media account, you’ll know how much I rave about this serum. Snail serum? Wtf is that?!

    This repairing and lightweight Snail Truecica Serum has to be my favourite find of the year. I absolutely love it and I’ve repurchased it 3 times, and I’ve also recommended it to a bunch of my friends and colleagues.

    This serum contains naturally derived ingredients such as sage extract, willow bark extract, allantoin and snail secretion filtrate. If you’re concerned about how ‘cruelty free’ this item is (as I was when I first looked into it), we’ve been told that in order to get the best quality snail mucin, the snails must be left alone, be healthily fed and with a calm composure, which sounds to me like there is 0 cruelty to the snails involved. And we love snails here!

    I mostly use this serum at night as I refrain from extra products on my face during the day because I am a human oil slick, and this fits right in before my moisturiser and I swear it makes my skin glow and look healthier the next morning. The consistency isn’t extremely oily, but it is most like a thick liquid (almost gel-like), and smells great too. It is extremely soothing and supposedly has anti-wrinkle properties too!

    COSRX – Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

    Another snail serum – what?!

    COSRX is a staple brand in my skincare routine for good reason, they have such a wide variety of affordable products as well as products for every skin type and problem.

    This Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is an amazing night serum that I use all the time. I even bought one bottle for my boyfriend because it is that good. Containing as much as 96% snail mucin, this product’s consistency is extremely snail-like (lol!) and by that I mean it has a stringy, slippery, slimy consistency that I can deal with. It just assures me that this product is chock-full of snail-y goodness.

    This serum also include sodium hyaluronate, allantoin, panthenol and arginine, which provide additional hydrating and elasticity-enhancing effects – amazing for skin regeneration!

    COSRX – Aloe Soothing Sun Cream

    I have to admit TikTok has played a huge role in a lot of skincare products for me this year and this is definitely one of them! COSRX is a brand that’s been very popular in Singapore for awhile now, and I’m glad I finally tried their Aloe Soothing Cream with SPF50 after TikTok convinced me to.

    It is lightweight and seems to be great for all skin types. Smells amazing too – I can’t pinpoint exactly what the smell is but it’s great as I’ve had some sunscreens that have simply smelled awful. The scent doesn’t linger, so if you are sensitive to fragrances, I wouldn’t be too scared of trying this out. “Fragrance” is listed as the 2nd last ingredient in its contents, so the overall % isn’t very high.

    Aloe vera is known for its soothing properties and that is the main ingredient in this product which I love! My face has quite a bit of redness in certain areas so anything that can help soothe it is a plus!

    Sephora Collection – Salicylic Acid Serum

    Salicylic acid has been a staple in my skincare routine for as long as I’ve started taking care of my skin. When I first discovered Sephora’s new Good Skincare collection that promised “clean” ingredients as well as eco-friendly packaging, I was sold! I’m a sucker for that stuff.

    The Sephora Good Skincare’s Salicylic Acid serum is a really affordable and effective serum for people who suffer with oily skin and acne. I personally sometimes use it on the back of my arms too for the texture that’s caused by ingrown hairs.

    It is super lightweight, lightweight enough for me to even use during the day, and doesn’t leave a tacky feel on the skin which is awesome for the humid Singapore weather. One small 30ml bottle has actually lasted me over 8 months now, and it was very affordable to purchase. I’m definitely looking to try out more from the Good Skincare collection so that I can review them as it has all been very promising.

    The Body Shop – Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask

    I’ve also talked about this great little product before and it is none other than The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask.

    This is one of my favourite wash-off masks of all time and that’s saying a lot because I think I’ve tried more than 40 face masks in my time. It is a clay mask with bits of green tea leaves in it for gentle exfoliation. It also has tea tree oil in it which is a staple ingredient for oily, acne-prone skin!

    The charcoal bamboo also helps suck out impurities in the pores and the fact that it tingles when its on the skin gives me the illusion that it really works – but will you ever know if the impurities are physically sucked out? You tell me! I love it either way, as it leaves my skin feeling extremely clean after. I use this about once a week.

    My only problem with his product is that the green tea leaves can sometimes clog the sink, and because the mask has such a high clay percentage, it can dry out pretty quickly. Other than that, it is the perfect cleansing mask in my opinion.

    AXIS – Y – Mugwort Pore Clarifying Wash Off Pack

    AXIS-Y is a new brand I discovered late into 2021, thanks to the wonderful app that is TikTok.

    I love pore clarifying masks and this Mugwort Pore Clarifying Wash Off Pack works the charm! It has little aduki beans in it for that soft exfoliation effect.

    This great little mask pack is cruelty free and vegan friendly, free from artificial colours, mineral oil, fragrances and parabens, I would be confident to label it as a ‘clean’ beauty item, and it contains one of my favourite skincare ingredients –  hyaluronic acid! Hyaluronic acid can speed wound healing and promote healthier, glowy skin.

    Cerave – Foaming Facial Cleanser

    TikTok convinced me to buy this facial cleanser for the second time! I actually had it before, and I got bored of it, but then I realised that simple was better!

    Cerave’s Foaming Facial Cleanser is a dermatologist-tested facial cleanser that is extremely gentle and great for protective the skin’s natural barrier. I guess I got bored of it because it was that gentle that I didn’t see any extreme changes in my skin, but why was that a bad thing to me? I should’ve focused on the fact that it didn’t actually break me out, like a lot of skincare products do.

    This cleanser features ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide – all ingredients that are great for me and my skin in particular! One 355ml bottle will also last you MONTHS!

    Why did I ever doubt you, Cerave?!


    Like always, I will be continuing to try, test and review more skincare products in the next year and forever (more?) as it is and will always be an obsession of mine to find better, affordable skincare.

    Which of these products intrigue you? Have I made you want to try any of them? I also want to know what your favourite skincare products of the year have been, whether it is K-Beauty or not! Let me know in the comments.