Thursday, May 28, 2020

Turn back time with retinol & salicylic acid infused skin care


Just like Cher’s famous song “If I could turn back time”, don’t you wish you can turn back time and reverse those sun damages, sagging and wrinkles on your skin? There are many skin care products in the market, all promised to do just that with their “magical ingredients” I called “Fairy Dusting” to make their products sounds like the fountain of youth, but most of them can’t deliver any good anti-aging result, instead just a pretty bottle sitting on your vanity table. 

The “magical” ingredients I swear by are ~ Retinol, Niacinamide, Salicylic Acid and Vitamin C.  These four ingredients are scientifically proven to make your skin healthy and younger looking.  Niacinamide & Vitamin C can brighten and even out your skin complexion, giving you that healthy “Glow”.  Retinol is the gold standard anti-aging ingredient that can smooth out bumpy skin, speed up the skin regeneration cycle to reveal younger skin, stimulate collagen production to minimize wrinkles and prevent skin sagging, and the Salicylic Acid (Beta hydroxy acid) work its magic getting deep into your pores to clean out all the junk and kills the bacteria in your pores to prevent inflammation and acne.  It also exfoliates the dead skin on the surface of your skin, so your skin looks fresh (instead of greyish color that lack luster) and easier for all the beneficial skin care ingredients to be able to penetrate deep into your skin for the best anti-aging result.

As a skincare product enthusiast, I am always in the market to try out new products. In this post I want to talk about the two new products I just recently bought and try that had great result on my skin. 


When it comes to fighting the advanced signs of aging, retinol is considered a superhero! That is why this cream is a powerhouse skin care product. Retinol is a powerful ingredient but very sensitive to air and lights, if it’s exposed to it for too long, it will lose its potency!  This cream use a special designed dispensing system, so the retinol is encapsulated inside the air tight so it’s protected against degradation from air and light which helps preserve its stability and maximum efficacy. 

Encapsulation also provides a more controlled release to help minimize potential irritation. In addition to retinol, this ultra-hydrating cream – enriched with highly effective botanicals – delivers other important skin benefits, like replenishing precious moisture.
In fact, when skin moisture levels were measured after applying TimeWise Repair Volu-Firm Night Treatment With Retinol, testing showed that skin hydration was not only immediately tripled, but also was still significantly higher after 12 hours.
Also always pay attention where are the beneficial active ingredients are located when you read the ingredient list on the packaging.  You always want them to be on the top 10 of the list, which means the product contain higher level of those beneficial ingredients instead of if they are listed all the way at the end that means, you are not getting those anti-aging ingredients at the efficient level to show result on your skin.  In this case, the RETINOL ingredient we want is at # 9 which means this cream is packed with the wonderful anti-aging Retinol.

Here are the full list of the ingredients :
Water, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dipropylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Glyceryl Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Isocetyl Stearate, Retinol, Punica Granatum Extract, Codium Tomentosum Extract, Tripeptide-1, Centella Asiatica Meristem Cell Culture, Cinnamomum Cassia Bark Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Butylene Glycol, Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Dimethicone, Tricaprylin, Triethanolamine, Disodium EDTA, Carbomer, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Cyclohexasiloxane, Xanthan Gum, Tetradecyl Aminobutyroylvalylaminobutyric Urea Trifluoroacetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Chlorphenesin, BHT

The Second product I love is the

I am one of those lucky people who has normal / combination skin and didn’t suffer with sever acne skin in my teen age years, but I do still get a pimple here and there and sometimes it leave a scar and discoloration on my skin.  What cause pimple is the surface dead skin fall into the pores, clogging it and cause bacteria to grow and multiply then lead to inflammation and cause acne / pimples.
Salicylic acid is recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. dermatologists as an effective acne-fighting ingredient. Salicylic acid acts like an exfoliant to promote the easy removal of dead skin cells. As such, it helps keep pores unclogged and reduce the buildup of acnes bacteria.

This powerful formula also contains soothing botanicals, including extracts of Canadian willowherb, sea heather, burdock root and avocado pears.
Let’s take a look of the ingredient list of the Clear Proof Pore-Purifying Serum.  See! The beneficial ingredient Salicylic acid (2%) is high up on the first ingredient ! That means this serum is packed with lots of Salicylic acid and it has to be at least 2% to be able to work effectively!
Here is the full ingredient list: 

Salicylic Acid (2%), Alcohol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Butyl Avocadate, Butylene Glycol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Citric Acid, Cystoseira Amentacea/Caespitosa Branchycarpa Extract, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Epilobium Angustifolium Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Laureth-7, Methylparaben, Peumus Boldus Leaf Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Pinus Sylvestris Bark Extract, Polyacrylamide, Polysorbate 20, Propylene Glycol, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Leaf Extract, Sodium Metabisulfite, Spiraea Ulmaria Extract, Triethanolamine, Water, Xanthan Gum.

I highly recommend these two products if you are looking for effective anti-aging skin care products!  Here is the link you can visit the Mary Kay online store( www.MaryKay.comto check out more of their fabulous products! 

Until next time, be well and look fabulous!


Alan + Mei Mei the pug

Friday, August 12, 2016

Crème de la Mer The Lifting Eye Serum - Lift & Firm Your Eyes like Magic !

When it comes to eye beauty treatment products, I've always been skeptical & won't give into the hype easily; no matter how fabulous those "Reviews" I've read ..... well until I tried "The lifting eye serum" by Crème de la Mer, it's a magic in a bottle! (yes you will be like yeah.. yeah... you said you don't believe in reviews, well I have photo of before & after to show you in this post)

I just turned 43 this year and the Earth's gravity has not been kind to my skins in under eye area! I have very little under eye bags just 2 years ago and all of the sudden, my under eye bags getting bigger and bigger! So big, I think it can have its own zip code LOL. So desperately I am searching for a good eye cream / serum to help stopping this under eye bag madness.... I've tried so many products, from Clarins, Shiseido, Clinique.... they were all great moisturizer providing moisture for your eye area but nothing helped to reduce the size of my under eye bags and minor dark circle. So one day I decided to go to Nordstrom and got a bottle of the lifting eye serum by La Mer, just in 12 days ( I started using it on 8-1-2016) my under eye area appears much more firmer & brighter than before ! of course nothing can cure or get rid of under eye bags completely, that's something for those cosmetic surgeons on Beverly Hills to do their magics, but this eye serum has worked wonders for me!

Here is a before and after photo of me. One taken on 8-1-2016 (Left) and the after photo taken on 8-12-2016 (Right). I promise, there is no photoshop retouching, no special lightening effect, just a REAL before & after photo so you can judge for yourself.

This photo is when I just received it from Nordstrom on 8-1-2016

Here is the before and after photo in just 12 days. You can see my under eye bags are reduced dramatically and the minor dark circles are gone! Click on the photo to view in larger size (yes you'll see my pores LOL)

The texture of this serum is very light and thin, not sticky at all! I apply it around my eyes after washing my face & toner. After apply the eye serum, I count to 10 to let it completely sink into my skin then I apply my eye cream on top of it. Here is some info about of this fabulous eye serum.

A luxurious lift from La Mer. With our new interlaced Stretch Matrix Complex, this precision serum helps visibly support the “architecture” of the eye and brow area. Sea botanicals promote the natural production of elastin, helping the visible effects heighten with time. The look is rejuvenated and uplifted. Suspended in time.

With applicator, gently smooth a drop around each eye morning and evening. Follow with your La Mer eye treatments.

Size: 0.5oz $240.00

Available at La Mer Official Website

I know price tag is hefty... but a little goes a long way! I would say this bottle can easily last 4 to 6 months. If you are looking for something that can help reduce your big under eye bags and dark circle, I would recommend you to go to your local department store and get some sample to try it! I think you will be as happy as I am with the result that delivered by La Mer the lifting eye serum !

You can also get this eye serum at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth AvenueNordstrom, Barneys New York &

Until next time, be well and look fabulous!


Alan + Mei-Mei the Pug

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Spirituality & Style - How You Can Look & Feel Fabulous Inside and Out

Recently I had some thoughts about myself after doing my meditation; me being a fashion designer & a spiritual person and how most of the people don’t necessarily associate “Spirituality” & “Fashion” together.  No, I am not talking about that moment when you’ve reached the “Fashion Nirvana” when you saw that fabulous Valentino couture gown down the runway LOL!

In all seriousness, when we think of spirituality, we associated with something that represent the higher power of the universe, Gods, deep meaning & wisdom of life, time and space.  On the other hand, people associate “Fashion” with superficial, materialistic “worldly” things that is not a necessity in life, but more of an excess (the image of Alexis Carrington Colby just pop into my mind).   So “Fashion” & “Spirituality” doesn’t seem like they can belong together or co-exist….  but throughout history, many costumes & jewelries were inspired by religions and spirituality with special purpose or ceremonial reason.

I started to look deeper into this and found this fabulous website that’s both spiritual & stylish ~ 

 photo Style shift_zpswwl3iv5j.jpg

The Style-Shift and was founded & created by the Minimalist Style-Sage Saundra Saulnier.  She is not only a very successful fashion designer but also a Certified Holistic Life-Style Coach and the author of the forthcoming book: ‘CUT TO YOUR CORE’ Style From The Inside Out.

 photo stylequote_zpsofpnjpw4.jpg photo stool_crop2_zpsdql6uosq.jpg
Style-SHIFT was launched as a result of her life experiences and passion for inspiring people to “style their own lives”.  She has a heartfelt purpose to generate shifts in our perceptions of what style is and how we can connect “Style to Our Soul.”

She believes there is absolutely “no disconnect” between anything we do; our thoughts, words, choices, environment, career, relationships, possessions and wellness are all connected. And when we tap into our internal guide we thrive in our genuine.

 photo Saundra Saulnier_zpsi2j3ggfj.jpg

I absolutely love her philosophy about style & spirituality! You can learn more about Saundra’s style & spiritual teachings and her upcoming book “CUT TO YOUR CORE” Style From The Inside Out. At her official website

Until next time, be well and look fabulous


Alan + Mei Mei the Pug

Monday, March 23, 2015

Proenza Schouler PS Elliot Satchel is a great unisex style bag for men !

I just received my Proenza Schouler PS Elliot Satchel from Barneys New York today.... the bag is gorgeous!! The leather is smooth but sturdy.  Shoulder is long enough to wear it cross body when you need to free up both hands (like traveling, at the airport... ect).  It's big enough to carry your laptop and documents to work, also great for weekend shopping and having brunch with your friends.  Over all it is a FABULOUS bag!

You can get it from Barneys New York 

Here are some stats of this bag

Front flap, debossed logo at back, oxidized silvertone hardware

Lined with black suede; zip pocket and two leather slip pockets at interior

Rolled leather top handles with leather keeper; detachable, adjustable flat leather shoulder strap

Signature metal turnlock closure

11.5" height x 14.0" width x 7.0" depth, approximately

4" handle drop, 20" maximum strap drop, approximately

Made in Italy

Until next time, be well and look fabulous! 


Alan & Mei-Mei the Pug

Please visit our online store for luxury candles & gifts at

Monday, January 19, 2015

Carrière Frères Industrie Paris Couture Candles - A Story of Two Brothers Fascinated by Wax & Nature

Ever since I got my first bottle of Carrière Frères candle in Paris, I've falling in love with their fabulous fragrance, the minimalistic candle jar with beautiful hand drawn graphic in front of the bottle. These candles not only look and smell beautiful, but have an interesting history behind it, too!

Founded in 1884, by the inquisitive and entrepreneurial minds of two brothers, Carrière Frères Industrie is the keeper of wax craftsmanship from the XVIII century. At the dawn of the industrial revolution, obsessed with patents and new inventions, the Carrière brothers revamped wax-making.

They pioneered the famous Carrière night-light, which burned for six hours with a constant beam and without smoke, and turned the indoor candles into an object of comfort and quality. Awarded a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1889, the "Madeleine" candles, Carrière Frères Industrie has supplied them to the Basilique du Sacré Coeur ever since.

Erudite and demanding the Carrière brothers developed and modernized the manufacturing secrets they inherited from past wax masters. They selected the finest waxes and the most durable wicks, and brought them to the masses. Fascinated by Botanic, they strenuously sought out a formula for a purely vegetal wax. The result was a recipe, free of paraffin and other petrochemical derivates, which does not produce smoke or unpleasant odours, and is easily blended with perfume. This wax, still used today in the fabrication of our Carrière Frères candles, allows for their slow combustion and clean burning.

Carrière Frères Industrie botanical candle - Lilium Regale - Royal Lily

Centuries of botanists and explorers have enriched Carrière Frères Industries scented candles. Soliflore scents, inspired by exotic or indigenous oils, and reminiscent of the romantic “language of flowers”, in vogue during ‘la Belle Epoque’. The candles evoke the flower markets of Les Halles of Paris, where at the turn of the XIX century, the most beautiful and rare specimens were brought from faraway lands. The Century was avid of sensations of intoxicating bundles perfuming cargo ships, freight trains, and the backs of porters.

Carrière Frères Industrie botanical candle - Damascus Rose

Damascus Roses, Jasmine of Grasse, rare Tiaré, Ebony, Vanilla, vertigo of spices… traders and audacious merchants garnished the baskets of flower girls with these small treasures to accessories ladies necklines and gentlemen’s buttonholes, and in turn introduced new colours to wealthy Hausmannian homes. From that day on, Paris would never expect any less than for the world’s fragrances to drop at its doorstep, and Carrière Frères candles captures the rare essence of botanical aromas.

Carrière Frères Industrie botanical candle - Lichi Sinensis - Lychee

These fabulous couture candles are so hard to find and is only available at few fine boutiques in the U.S. ! You can get it from our favorite luxury candle store at

Until next time, be well and look fabulous!


Alan & Mei-Mei the Pug

Please visit our online store for luxury candles & gifts at

Photo courtesy by : WatsonKennedy / Frenchblue / Carrière Frères Industrie

Sunday, January 18, 2015

SK-II Cellumination Mask-In Lotion is Luminosity in the bottle!

I live in the beautiful California, where every day is sunny and perfect for the beach! The weather is great but the constant sun exposure has left some marks on my skin. Also because of my acne marks, it made my skin tone looks uneven and lack of luster. So I’ve been looking for some skin brightening products that will help me to get rid of the dark acne marks and make my skin tone more even looking. I recently got a bottle of the cellumination mask-in lotion, OMG! is like a "Magic" in a bottle!

Many might be confused about what exactly is this for? It’s light & liquid consistency makes it not really a mask (but it does offers mask-like hydration benefits) or a lotion texture kind of moisturizer… but it is a very great Toner / Softner for all skin types.

The whole Cellumination collection (Cream, Mask-In Lotion & Aura Bright Essence) delivered just as they advertised! A brighter, crystal clear skin that has an “Aura” glow from within (maybe that’s why they make the bottles has this rainbow aurora borealis effect) and adding luminosity to your skin.

Here is the commercial from Asia for the SK II 2 Cellumination Aura Bright essence

Not like other brand’s "Whitening & Brightening" products, this cellumination mask in lotion contains a nice mix of water-binding agents, an anti-irritant, the cell-communicating & whitening brightening ingredient such as Niacinamide, and vitamin C (ascorbyl glucoside).

I just used it for 1 month and already seeing a big difference! My acne scar has faded dramatically and the uneven skin tone has transformed to a more even and “brighter” shade! It hydrates and brightens my skin, just having a healthier glow to it. Here is my before and after photo just after 1 month uses of the Cellumination Mask-in Lotion ( I use it twice a day, morning & evening). I promise! there are no photoshop effect or touch-up on the photo!

For those who wants to know the ingredients of this product

Aqua (Water), Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate, Glycerin, Niacinamide (Brightening & whitening), Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Glycereth-25 PCA Isostearate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Ascorbyl Glucoside (Vitamin C for brightening & whitening), Centella Asiatica Extract, Nylon-12, Sodium Hyaluronate, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Extract, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Parfum (Fragrance).

I highly recommend the Cellumination mask-in lotion to use as a toner. With great result like this, I am going to go buy the rest of the Cellumination collection for a complete brightening benefit.

Cellumination Mask-In Lotion

Available at Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue

Cellumination Aura Bright essence

Available at Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue

Cellumination Cream Illuminating Moisturizer

Available at Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue

Until next time, be well and look fabulous!


Alan & Mei Mei the Pug

Please visit our online store for luxury candles & gifts at

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Crème de la Mer the Miracle Cream of the Sea - My 1 week Transformation Review

I’ve heard all of the amazing reviews and miracle stories about the legendary face cream " Crème de la Mer " ever since I was in my early 20s. Now I’ve just turned 40 this year, I start to noticed my face starts to droop & sagging downwards, enlarge pores & uneven skin tone; due to old age but also daily stress from work during the day and staying late at night finishing up my design projects. So one day I decided to splurge and treat myself a bottle of Crème de la mer! OMG! the "miracle" transformation stories you’ve been hearing are all true and plus more! I am truly impressed by the result I got just with 1 week use of the original moisturizer version of the crème de la mer!

So before I show you my before and after photo of my zoom in close up shot of my face, let me tell you a little history about the crème de la mer. Half a century ago, aerospace physicist Dr. Max Huber suffered burns in a laboratory accident. Neither medicine nor science offered the benefits Dr. Huber sought, and he began a personal quest to transform the look of his skin. 12 years passed. 6,000 experiments were conducted. Finally, he perfected the precious, nurturing Miracle Broth™ using sea kelp, which he incorporated into the very first La Mer formula, the Crème de la Mer.


They harvest the sea kelp at Vancouver Island, BC. They fermented sea kelps for 3-4 months (like fermenting grapes to wine) and this is what went into creating the main ingredient, Miracle Broth. Here is a video about the process.


Here is the photo of my face before using the crème de la mer (left) and 1 week later (right); and what a big difference! As you can see I have some redness and irritation on my skin on the left also the wrinkle on the side of my nose, under my eye bags and some age spot on my cheeks. After 1 week day and night usage of crème de la mer, the cream calms my irritated skin! The redness has faded, my skin tone looks more even, more clear and has a healthy glow to it! The skin around my nose & cheeks feels more firmer, less sagging also the wrinkle next to my nose and under my eye bag is not as visable. I am totally beyond satisfied and impressed by this “miracle of the sea” crème de la mer’s healing power!

Click on the photo to see larger size to really see the difference!

La mer also just has the new “Treatment Lotion” came out about 2 weeks ago, of course I’ve already order one bottle! It’s a miraculous source of vitality, the essential first step toward transformation. Like “liquid energy,” this rich and silky hydrator visibly awakens the complexion and drives moisture deep into the skin to improve texture and even tone. Skin is perfectly prepared to receive the full benefit of the La Mer regimen that follows. I use it right after I wash my face as a toner to prep my face to absorb all of the nutrients from the crème de la mer I am going to apply on to my face next. It feels amazing!! Click here to buy it from crème de la mer official online store ~ Crème de la Mer Treatment Lotion

I know la mer products are pricy, but for me it’s worth every penny! You should go to the la mer counter at your local mall and ask for a bottle of sample, you’ll be amazed by how fabulous your skin will look after just one week of use!

Don’t forget to visit the official website Crème de la Mer  

Until next time, be well and look fabulous!


Alan & Mei Mei the pug

Please visit our online store for luxury candles & gifts at
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