Beauty, Skincare

Water You Washing Your Face With?

You spend hundreds of dollars on serums and creams, but only after you’ve scoured Google for ingredient lists and beauty reviews. But are you just as discerning with the water you splash on your face every morning and night?

The inspiration for this post was a Eureka moment that didn’t come from the skincare-obsessed me. Instead, it came from my sister, the, um, skincare-unobsessed one. On a trip to Malaysia, she insisted on washing her face with a huge bottle of distilled water. I thought that was unnecessarily decadent. I mean, washing your face only takes like 10 seconds for most of us. Does it matter that much?!

Well, newsflash, it does. If you’ve had persistent acne or irritated skin, your innocent cleansing routine with tap water may be the culprit.

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Beauty, Merche Reviews, Skincare

Merche Reviews: Scinic Iceland Water All In One Ampoule

When your skin suddenly decides to turn from combination to dry and dehydrated, the search for an oasis to quench your skin can be exasperating. I know, because this is exactly what Iโ€™m still going through.

My first go-to products were hydrating toners like Hada Laboโ€™s and Biodermaโ€™s Hydrabio Tonique. They helped, but in just a few weeks I started to feel I needed something richer and more hydrating.

The answer? An All-in-one (AIO) Ampoule. Well, according to my emergency rummaging through the archives of Reddit. These AIO babies are a hybrid of the light texture of toner, but packed with the nutritious ingredients of an essence.

And when a product reviews as โ€œhydratingโ€, โ€œanti-inflammatoryโ€ with magical โ€œglacier waterโ€? Honey, you bet Iโ€™m ordering that in 10 seconds. Continue reading

Beauty, Merche Reviews, Skincare

Merche Reviews: Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence

Ever since I was a little girl, my evening TV dramas were always interjected by these advertisements of beautiful Asian women, gently splashing their porcelain face with some sort of mystical water.

Well, that product was none other than SK-IIโ€™s renowned Facial Treatment Essence, of which the little me had concluded were only entitled to the wealthy and sophisticated.

Most of you probably share my sentiment. Heck, even the rest of the Asian Beauty industry does, because there are affordable dupes of SK-II’s essence everywhere. And Secret Key’s Starting Treatment Essence is one of them. Continue reading

Beauty, Merche Reviews, Skincare

Merche Reviews: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

Once upon a time, I used to be a micellar and bi-phase girl when it came to removing makeup. Every night, it was just my girls Bioderma, Bifesta, and me. Just the idea of smearing oil all over my face when it was already oily and grimy itself was such a turnoff. You feel me, right?

Iโ€™m not sure what pushed me to the other side though. Continue reading

Beauty, Ingredients 101, Skincare

Ingredients 101: Oils

Before I started The Merchenary, one skincare category always daunted me โ€“ Facial oils. 3 years ago, I made my foray into facial oils by using a few drops of pure coconut oil every night, as suggested by a very brief research on the trusty interweb. What ensued were large closed comedones on my already dry, flaky skin (ya thanks, Retinol).

“What?! They said coconut oil is supposed to moisturise. Your skin is only dry temporarily because it’s freaking out…”

“If it’s dry, then why is my skin all clogged up?”

“It’s justย purging, you dumdum! Now poke and squeeze them out, yeah?”

Such was my nightly dialogue with my reflection as I helplessly scrutinised and poked at my skin. Sigh. But thankfully, things changed.

3 years later, I’m no longer that foolish. And in order for you not to make the same mistake I did, here is a holistic guide to all things face and oil.

  • What about oil is so good?
  • What are oils?
  • What is in oil? (fatty acid compositions and comedogenic ratings)
  • Which oils are best for my skin type?
  • How do I add oils to my skincare routine?

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Beauty, Gifts, Makeup, Skincare

15 Under $15: The Ultimate AB Budget Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Nothing times an inaugural post better than a festive season (my blood actually runs red and green), and no festive post is better timed with a Holiday Gift Guide. And with that, The Merchenary is proud to announce our 15 Under $15 Budget Holiday Gift Guide,ย filled with lil’ Asian Beauty stocking stuffers for people you most likely have to gift to. (Note: This guide is also prescribed if you’re on a thrifty Black-Friday-induced budget.)

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