Review: Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Stay-Matte Hydrator

Hi everyone,

Today I will be blogging about one of my favourite products which I have been a loyal follower of. Clinique launched their Pore Refining Solutions range in August 2012 which comprises of Correcting Serum, Instant Perfector and the Stay-Matte Hydrator.

I was battling large blackheads on my nose as well as extremely oily skin last year. After hearing about the oil-controlling prowess of the Hydrator, I headed to Clinique to get one. Fun fact: this was the first Clinique product that I have ever purchased!


This product promises shine-free and matte skin for 8 hours after application, while providing hydration for the skin throughout the day.

Compared to other moisturizers, this Hydrator has a more watery consistency which promotes faster absorption into the skin. The effect of this product is instantaneous. My skin feels matte, albeit a bit dry, after applying this product!


This product is an absolute HG for oily-skin folks and those in hot and humid weather. Although I still need to blot once during the day to ensure my face is completely shine free, my face emits less sebum and oil compared to other days when I decide to skip the Hydrator.

With reference to its pore refining capabilities, I have yet to see a significant difference from this. Granted, my blackhead situation has drastically improved from last year but I suspect this improvement to be from other products as well as a change in my cleansing regime. But, that’s a story for another day. 🙂

A word of caution: This is not a replacement for your moisturizing regime. Although the Clinique sales assistants assured me that the product will provide adequate hydration needs for your skin, I still feel that its not enough – my skin feels tight and dry if I’m solely dependent on the Hydrator.


Ingredients List

Review :

  • Helps keep oily shine away. Skin feels more matte and smoother to touch.
  • HG for oily skin.
  • Not very effective in the pore-refining qualities.
  • Good supplement in your moisturizing regime but not as a replacement.

Application : Cleanser -> Toner -> Serum -> Day Moisturizer -> CC Cream -> two pumps of the Hydrator. I only use the Hydrator during the day because that’s when I need it the most.

Price : RM165 for 50 ml at all Clinique counters in Malaysia.

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Review: Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF30 VS Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF35

Hi everyone,

When most of the girls I know hear about the word BB Cream (and now, CC Cream), there is a collective exasperated groan across the room. BB Creams, which stands for Blemish Balm or Beauty Base or Blemish Base,  are advertised to be a multi-skincare/makeup product – make up base, primer, foundation, tinted moisturizer and sun-block. Depending on the type of BB Cream, skincare benefits include UV properties for sun protection, whitening and blemish-correcting elements. It seems every single brand has their own version of this cream these days!

Recently, I was browsing through MakeUpAlley and discovered that there is a new type of cream in the market – CC Cream which stands for Colour Correct or Colour Care. One of the first few pioneers in the market were Rachel K and Chanel – which is primarily available only on the Chanel website and Chanel Asia stores (Korea, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore, to name a few). Recently, Clinique has joined their ranks by launching a CC cream of their own under their Moisture Surge line.


Instead of only reviewing the newly released Clinique CC Cream, I thought of comparing it with my existing Bobbi Brown BB Cream for a more informative review.  Let’s start off with their respective promises, shall we?

Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 PA +++

  • Covers imperfections and evens skin tone.
  • Draws moisture to skin and help control oil.
  • Brightens dull skin – instantly and over time.
  • Helps reduce the look of wrinkles.
  • Shields skin against UVA/UBV rays.

Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30 PA +++

  • Sheer, light-scattering optics help neutralize imperfections by reflecting light away from flaws – creating the look of more even-toned skin.
  • Diminish redness.
  • Brightens dulness.
  • Yellowness becomes a natural glow.


I had the Bobbi Brown BB Cream for about a year now  but the tub is still more than half-full. During my first few uses, I used it just by itself since I’m more of a bare-faced girl. It has a warm undertone (swatches in a minute!) with a super creamy texture. Although it is quite blendable, I find that it takes more time and attention to make sure that you don’t have awkward streaks on your face. I realized that this product tends to oxidize after a few hours – leaving a slightly white-pale overcast on the face if no touch up is done.



Bobbi Brown BB Cream – light (left) vs Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream – natural (right)


Bobbi Brown BB Cream (left) vs Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream (right)

As you can tell from the above picture, the Bobbi Brown BB cream has a warmer, more radiant, undertone compared to Clinique CC Cream which has a pink-brown undertone. Although the colors of the swatches are clearly distinguishable, once blended, you can hardly tell the difference – it matches my skin tone perfectly. The consistency of both creams are similar but I personally prefer Clinique’s consistency as the texture is easier to blend (think: moisturizer).


Both creams matches my skin tone perfectly. By the way, if you can’t tell the difference between each side, I had trouble too! I partially blame it on my poor lighting and photography skills. I’m saving up for a good camera – I swear!

So, what’s the verdict?


 Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 Clinique  CC Cream SPF 30
Color 5 shades : Extra Light, Light, Fair, Medium, Medium to Dark 3 skin tone shades: Natural Fair, Natural, Natural Beige2 illuminating shades: Fresh Pink, Fresh Peach
Coverage Moderate Sheer to Moderate. I like how it give you that “no-makeup” makeup look.
Application Spreadable but need slightly more time to ensure an even application. Very spreadable. Done in less than a minute.
Staying Power Tends to oxidize especially in hot & humid countries. Leaves a rather unflattering white overcast. Does not keep oil at bay. I had to blot once in the afternoon to avoid any greasy shine.
Finish Matte finish. Dewy finish.
Price RM150/40ml RM120/40 ml
My thoughts This BB cream is a staple make-up base. I like how it gives moderate coverage and once foundation and powder have been applied, it looks very good. It has a very distinct sun-block scent.I will be wary about using it just by itself due to the oxidization issue. However, if you’re lucky enough to live in drier and colder climates, this BB cream will be pretty much flawless. I use this as part of my everyday skincare regime after my moisturizer before I head off to work.Very natural look – I love how people hardly know that I’m wearing this but in reality, the CC cream gently corrects my redness. More suitable for people who prefer less make-up.


What are your thoughts on BB creams and the new CC creams in the market? Are they worth the hype?  Do leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

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Review: LANEIGE Water Sleeping Pack EX

I first heard about this sleeping pack from a friend of mine who asked me to accompany her to the LANEIGE outlet at Isetan. I didn’t think too much about it at that time until after my first facial session with Sothys told me that I have oily and dehydrated skin (horror!). I have to admit, I don’t use moisturizers on a daily basis as I felt that slapping on any form of moisturizer will cause my face to look like a greasy frying pan.

I suppose that facial session really gave me a wake up call – I should seriously start taking better care of my skin instead of my standard cleanse and toner approach. My skin troubles are oily skin, enlarged pores at my t-zone, uneven skin tone and a patch of acne scars which resulted from a bout of hormone imbalance during my university days. After doing a bit of online research, I realized how much I’ve been missing out all these while! Well-hydrated skin promotes higher skin cell turnover, boost skin recovery as well as decrease the amount of excess sebum (i.e. oil) that your face produces.

ImageBack to the LANEIGE Water Sleeping Pack EX, I purchased it after going through a few misses (Clinique’s Dramatically Different Gel and Moisture Surge Overnight Mask). I was so impressed by the sample swatch at LANEIGE, Mid Valley that I purchased it right away! I was also told by the SA that this is THE STAR product that LANEIGE built it’s fame on over the years. That’s ought to count for something, I reckon? 😉


Description: Sleeping pack that gives intensive hydration, vitality and brightening effect during sleep.

The sleeping pack comes in a sturdy blue jar that holds 80ml worth of product inside. It also comes with a tiny spatula for you to scoop out the goodness from the jar – it’s meant to be hygenic but sometimes I do grumble and wonder why can’t the packaging be in a pump bottle.

ImageAt first glance, the sleeping mask is a light blue gel texture with a slight floral scent. For an overnight mask, I was very happy as it wasn’t creamy and rich – I’m particularly sensitive to the feeling of ‘having-something-on-my-face’. It’s quite ridiculous, I know, but I tend to sleep better at night knowing that nothing will be transferred to my pillow.

One spatula worth of sleeping pack.

I’m quite happy to report that in contrast to it’s appearance, upon application, this sleeping pack instantly becomes very watery and easy to apply.

ImageAs you can tell from the above picture, one tiny spatula of sleeping pack covers quite a bit of skin – I could almost spread it to my entire forearm. After applying it, I could feel that my skin is well hydrated as evidenced by the watery sheen. It absorbs very quickly (about one to two minutes) to my skin and it doesn’t feel sticky or distracting afterwards.

 The Details

Review :

  • I could clearly feel that my skin is supple and well-hydrated the next morning. It lives up to its promise – overnight hydration.
  • Very easy to apply. No sticky feeling.
  • Soothing floral scent.
  • It doesn’t provide a brightening effect (as stated on the back of the jar) on my skin but I’ve no complaints.
  • My main gripe of this product is the packaging. It is quite a pain to wash the spatula every time you need to use the product to avoid bacteria build-up.

Application : I was told by the SA who attended to me to use it twice a week. Cleanser -> Toner -> Serum -> Moisturizer OR Sleeping Pack. Since my skin’s dehydrated, I amp-ed it up to three times a week. No harm, no foul. 🙂

 Price : RM100 for 80 ml at all LANEIGE counters in Malaysia.

Have you used LANEIGE’s Water Sleeping Pack or other LANEIGE products before? Leave a comment, I love to hear from you!

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