Dr Botanicals Japanese Orange Revive & Firm Facial Serum Review

Hi guys! It’s been awhile since my last review- I’ve been busy with my move back to Manchester and sorting a couple of muck-ups with housing. It’s a long story, but basically I wasn’t sure for a week or two how the place I planned to move into was actually legal or allowed. Why do irresponsible people exist.

So… yeah. Big mess.

It’s all sorted now and by December renewing the housing agreement should be a lot smoother. Fingers crossed! Life update over, let’s head right into this review.

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I signed up for the Dr Botanicals review program and received an invitation to review the Japanese Orange Revive & Firm Facial Serum. I just had to pay delivery, which you can redeem the value of in a voucher for your next order.

To be honest- I was a little skeptical of its claims. A lot of companies are promoting vegan/ cruelty-free skincare ranges now because consumers are now more conscious of the products they buy.

Don’t get me wrong- I think it’s a great example of consumers actively influencing company decisions for the better and i think it’s an excellent step forward for the beauty industry.

However, in many brands it’s simply used as a sort of marketing tactic given not all of their products adhere to this. But rest assured- all of Dr Botanicals’ products are strictly vegan.

And you know how people talk about their “holy grail product”?

This is it for me.

I’m not sure if this was the main purpose of the serum, but it cleared my skin up almost overnight. I was amazed. I’ve never had anything clear my skin up so quickly.

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I was already really impressed with the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin cream, which saved my skin from drying out on TWO long-ass flights (total travel time over 24 hours, you heard me- this is the long-distance life).

My skin was clearing up with the cream after a really bad case of hormonal acne, but with this serum, it worked beautifully underneath the cream and I actually had glowy skin.

The serum smells lovely and citrusy and is a tad bit sticky, which I don’t really notice since I go to bed immediately after that. I drip a few drops on my face directly (handy dropper tool keeps it hygienic!) and gently pat it in with my fingers.

dr botanicals, japanese orange, facial serum, skincare

You may not like it if you dislike strong scents. It seems a little strong for me upon first application, but fades after awhile. I have sensitive skin which flares up with some strong scented products but this doesn’t affect it at all which is great 🙂

I don’t even know how to describe how happy I am with this- I just paid for delivery on this one, but definitely going to repurchase when it runs out. Not sure if I’ll get the whole line, but I’ll look into it and possibly indulge myself for Christmas.

I’ve already caved and got myself the Ultra-Repair Overnight Regenerating Treatment (a night cream) during their sale, after reading lots of rave reviews about it. I’ve been conscious about my eye bags recently and I’m worried I’ll develop fine lines early, so I’ll see if this works for me like the serum did! I’ll probably review it another time.

You can try signing up for the review program too- I got my friend to try it out, but I’m not sure how they do selections- she never got an invite, but you can try your luck! I don’t think you need a good social media following or a blog 🙂

Here’s the link to the review program.

Top 5 Most Useful Things I bought from The Body Shop*

*of course, this is MY list, which means it is relative. Definitely, someone else has bought these product(s) and thought they were terrible and worthy of a long rant like I did here, so please don’t come after me with a rusty axe.

This is a post in response to my very cheeky post from 2 weeks ago: Top 5 Most Useless Things I bought from The Body Shop in a vain attempt to ensure I’m not sued. These purchases are things I genuinely enjoy and purchase repeatedly. I stockpile them whenever there are sales on, which means always (there is a sale every week and I don’t understand why, but I’m not complaining. The Christmas sales are the best)- so I end up with a lot of these.

Whoops.

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1. Body Soaps

I prefer bar soaps to liquid soap. There’s something simply satisfying about scrubbing it all over yourself, and I find you feel cleaner and firmer for some reason?? With liquid soaps it feels like you’re rubbing conditioner all over yourself and it doesn’t feel CLEAN. I give up trying to explain this concept because there’s obviously some science-y mumbo-jumbo and mind trickery that I am no good at so you need to try it out for yourself.

My favourite is the Chocomania bar soap. All the UK and Singapore stores have phased it out, unfortunately- but I stockpiled 5 of them last year during the sale because it was going at only £1 (50% off!). What is it with The Body Shop and getting rid of nice things?? Why can’t we ever have nice things? The US stores still sell it but it comes in the shape of a heart. Wish they’d ship it to the UK ffs- I’m running low and need my soap fix asap.
Edit: went to Canada and they don’t stock it either. Looks like the US is hoarding them all.

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The Chocomania soap comes with little gritty bits in them that serve as an exfoliator. Just like how you expect a cookie to be chocolate chip and bite into a raisin cookie instead, the little gritty bits are actually pieces of coconut shell.
Such heresy.
I wanted to bathe in the ruined dreams of broken chocolate bits.

However, if this isn’t a priority on your list and you’re perfectly happy in scrubbing yourself off with coconut shell, these exfoliator thingamajigs are perfect: you can get clean and smooth at the same time. Especially if you’re really lazy. It’s now winter and you don’t need to get your legs out so you can skimp on full-body exfoliation I guess. Though I still have dry scale-y snakeskin on my legs that show no sign of wanting to budge and probably needs some sort of industrial-strength cleaner, it does slough off some of the dead skin and makes it feel soft.

With the Chocomania soap sadly out of stock in stores everywhere here, I would recommend going for the Shea soap if you liked the scent of the Chocomania one, or the Coconut. I would recommend popping into one of the stores to sniff surreptitiously at them like a drug addict and run home to nab one of the “exclusive” and “limited-time” (read: forever ongoing) sales. It is much cheaper than buying the soaps in stores because you can usually get them for 30-60% off with free delivery even. Sales are best from November-January but you need to decide if you want to hold out for the massive Christmas sale around 20-25 December and risk having the items go out of stock, or get them earlier, but at a lower discount.

I sound like such a cheapskate seasoned shopper gosh.

At full price, most of these soaps are £2. Other ranges can go up to £4-6 if I am not wrong (e.g. the hemp one), but I prefer the basic ones.

2. Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo

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I admit I mostly bought this because I’m a huge fan of ginger and ginger tea. I had occasions of dandruff 2-3 years ago whenever I got stressed, nothing major so I didn’t think it was anything I should worry about. To tell the truth I didn’t think this would help much. You know how products promise loads of things and never actually do any? (wow what a cynical b*tch I am)

Surprisingly, it did help, and it smells amazing. The smell doesn’t last as long as the cheap ones you get from the pound store and costs four times as much but a little goes a long way and I promise you, it makes your hair and scalp feel great. It feels really cooling and a little tingly and I don’t know if I should attribute it to this shampoo- but my hair grows out a lot quicker and looks fuller. Most importantly, I don’t have issues with dandruff even though the second year of uni is stressing me out beyond belief. It would be perfect if it could help with oily scalps (the product claims to help dry scalps) but I guess you can’t have it all!

I sometimes mix it with cinnamon powder because it smells amazing together and makes your scalp less oily but make sure to rinse it out properly or you will leave cinnamon powder that looks like gritty brown dandruff everytime you move your head.

After I got a light perm 3 months ago I found that this isn’t enough to moisturise my hair, so I’ve been using argan oil (pure argan oil from my old workplace, not the one TBS is selling) and a conditioner from the Rainforest range.

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I usually get the jumbo-sized 400ml ones and I bought far too much last Christmas (three bottles). It’s Christmas again soon and I’m STILL on my first bottle. Huh. Admittedly if you’re buying it for your family it’ll go down quicker, but it is still impressive nonetheless.

Get the 250ml at £4.50 or the 400ml at £6.50.

3. Absinthe Purifying Hand Cream

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This baby is NOT cheap and I would highly recommend going in-store to make sure whatever hand cream you’re getting is something you like the smell of/ works for you. I like the smell of this as it is very fresh and wakes me up but it still needed some getting used to. One of my best friends absolutely loathes the smell though.

I like this one because it’s light enough to not leave an oily film on your hands yet moisturising enough (more than the rose one). I only switch this out for the hemp hand cream (which smells even worse) for heavy-duty moisturising during winter. I even apply it to my nose if it’s feeling really dry and I don’t have any face moisturiser on hand. It’s so light it doesn’t break me out.

In terms of how heavy the different hand creams are,  from what I’ve tried: (heaviest to lightest)

Hemp > Almond > Absinthe > Wild Rose (SPF 15)

They’ve launched a whole bunch of fruit ones but I’ve not tried those yet.

My boyfriend got this for me nearly two years ago (the 100ml one) and it’s still around, though very squashed and crinkled. I’m not sure what I feel about these tubes because they look very pretty, but they don’t bounce back to shape and I’m definitely going to cut the tube to scoop out the remaining hand cream hiding in the cracks I couldn’t smooth out.

Get the 30ml at £5 or the 100ml at £11. I find the 100ml a lot more difficult to misplace, lasts longer, is more bang for your buck and still compact enough to fit in the small pockets of your bag.

 

4. Madagascan Vanilla Perfume Oil (15ml)

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This perfume oil is from the Scents of the World range, which is pretty popular in Asia but is apparently being phased out of a lot of western stores for some reason. I have huge issues with this. The Body Shop discontinued their original, wildly popular vanilla perfume oil to huge outcry and I was glad they brought it back in the form of this perfume oil. However… it seems like this is going the way of the Dodo again. I don’t understand it, they must not want to earn money. Stop wasting money marketing new ranges and please bring back all the good things!

Maybe it’s time to start hoarding bottles when I fly back to Singapore in June.

This perfume oil lasts for ages and is not overly cloying. Standard spray-on perfumes tend to overwhelm upon initial application and fade quickly, but this stays on for hours and hours consistently, which I love.

I often layer this with my Chloé perfume because that doesn’t last long, and I like the additional musk. Often, vanilla-based perfumes have the tendency to make you smell like a bakery but this manages to keep the vanilla note without making you out to be a breathing, living cupcake.

If vanilla isn’t quite your thing, you can check out the other scents in this range. They also come in other forms, like a body mist, shower gel, and body lotion. I bought it for $22.50 SGD if I’m not wrong, which is probably around £10-11. I’m not quite sure if you can buy it still but you could try scouring eBay.

5. Vitamin E Moisture Cream

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This is one of the best moisturisers I’ve used and it cleared up my acne for the first 2 months of usage. After that the acne bacteria probably got used to it and developed some sort of immunity? I have zero clue about how this works please don’t lecture me about it thanks #badscience

I got it before they started offering the larger 100ml size but it was a bit cheaper then, £11 compared to £12 (they’ve changed the packaging now to a very patriotic British flag design). I got it during a sale, 50% off so I got it at £5.50. I probably wouldn’t buy it at full price (why is my whole blog post about me talking about discounts? I’m so Singaporean) when there are much cheaper alternatives, but if you’re extremely frustrated with your skin and would like to try a cream that is suitable for combination skin, I would recommend giving this a go.

A little honestly goes a long way and I would like to see this cream in a pump dispenser, which will be more convenient and infinitely more hygienic than repeatedly dipping my fingers that have touched every surface possible- even if I washed my hands before application, exposure to air/dust etc isn’t very good either. I used a tiny spatula that was originally used for ice-cream to apply it, but it was a hassle half the time.

The original price for the 50ml is £12. The 100ml is £18 (admittedly the better deal).

BONUSBody butters

This post cannot be complete without the product that probably made The Body Shop so well-known all over the world- body butter!

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Before they started marketing it as such, other brands called moisturisers, moisturisers. Now, every brand is coming up with their own version of body butter in various fruity scents. Sounds fancier, I guess.

In high school, we weren’t allowed to use perfume so the girls would apply these body butters after P.E. (gym) to smell nice. Everyone had their own ‘signature scent’ and when someone happened to buy the same scent there would be inevitable bitching in class with snide remarks (ahh, how immature we were). The class would always smell like a bloody fruit salad after P.E.

Still, at least it masked how bad the guys smelt.

My favourites have got to be the Papaya (limited edition, OOS), the Raspberry, and the Shea (which I have never owned but have always wanted to). These tubs never seem to run out and I have only managed to finish one. I have 6 unfinished ones, because The Body Shop keeps sending me free tubs along with their sales, or I pick up some because they are 60% off or something and I couldn’t resist.

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I hope this post didn’t end up being a shameless plug for products. These are things I have honestly tried and loved and they worked for me. Of course, I would recommend visiting a store to try them out (the staff members are usually very generous with samples) and please, please, do patch tests for stuff you put on your face especially if you have sensitive skin. I would recommend waiting for sales and purchasing the products online, unless money isn’t an issue and you can’t be bothered with deals and sales.

The Body Shop is definitely more expensive than drugstore alternatives like Nivea, but I like the extra care they put into packaging and their various campaigns to help the environment and people in need. Plus, if you wait for the sales, some of their soaps and moisturisers can be cheaper than the drugstore alternatives too.

Read my other post where I lambast useless Body Shop products here (fairly, of course)!

Skinfood Haul!

Hi guys I couldn’t help myself-

I’ll post a quick update about all the crazy freebies I’m getting recently!

Warning: whole bunch of pics coming up

 

 

What happened is that I won Skinfood’s Facebook giveaway, and they dropped me this hamper worth $100. However, I was sorely disappointed for various reasons (like a broken eyeliner etc.) , and behaved like a spoilt unappreciative little kid and posted this long rant on their page.

 I think I must have given them a shock.

But they were extremely courteous and responsive, and I felt really overwhelmed by the kindness and helpfulness of the Skinfood personnel. When I told them that the products did not really suit me, they prepared another hamper from the new line as well as a new eyeliner in a more suitable shade. I can’t even…

Pictures from the new hamper below.

I really love the brown eye pencil, even though it smudges pretty easily and you need to touch up often. It just glides on in such a heavenly way!

(detailed review when I have the time) 

After the whole incident, I felt really shameful and won over by their hospitality, so I went down to one of their stores and bought the Peach Sake Toner and Acorn Jelly Mask by way of giving them business ;-;

 

So, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourselves but do think about how others will feel!

Gosh I feel like a bitch

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I feel that getting the eye pencil made it worth it though

DON’T LEARN FROM ME GIRLS

Products present: Gold Kiwi Hydrating Mask, Gold Kiwi Emulsion and Toner, Moisture Egg Hair Pack, Hair Loss Care Shampoo (Pomegranate), Brown Creamy Smokey Crayon, Goat Milk and Lavender Stretch Care Cream, No.2 Muffin Cake Finish (Bronzer/ highlighter), Lollipop Gloss or something (gave it away), Omja Whitening Skincare range (toner, emulsion, essence) and Watery Berry Skincare range (toner, emulsion, essence)

The Body Shop Lip Balms (Strawberry, Passionberry, Raspberry, Mango Peach)

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My lovely lip balms that I got in the mail today! Which one is your favourite? 🙂 which should I use first? It’s so hard to decide!

Video Review will be up this weekend

I’ll be posting a video review during the weekend!

It’s my first time doing this, so please bear with me >< Actually the only reason why I have decided to try it is because my DSLR is always getting borrowed and stuff… and I’m really too lazy to process pictures.

Usually I prefer to get the photo right while taking, so no editing, because it’s such a pain. I wonder how bloggers like KotaKoti or Xiaxue find so much time and patience to edit their faces because it is such a painful process!! *rage*  The most I can do is airbrush a bit over bad cases of acne  and even then it looks red. So I avoid taking pictures when my acne gets bad… 

I tried changing the shape of my face for a lark one day to try and copy the ‘doll’ look that tons of bloggers are editing their faces to… and needless to say, it failed. My chin and my eyebrows swapped positions or something, and my features went into a 180 degrees rotation. It was pretty funny but I was kinda sad too :/ Oh well!

Oh I wanted to add that I will get really irritated at my face (the grammar seems off here) if I have to spend hours editing my pictures, so I’d rather not do it because I’m stuck with this face for the rest of my life. *laughs*

Don’t worry, I will add the main points down in text too, in case I speak weirdly hahaha! Nope, no captions- I am a total failure with computers and cannot do anything other than navigating the Internet and using Microsoft Word… and turning my laptop on and off. I wouldn’t know how to insert captions, and I won’t follow a script so it will be a long and tiring process to transcribe whatever I say!

Yep, that’s it. To end off, random uncensored picture of me… 

 

Can you recognise me?? 😀

I’m the one on the bottom left! (that’s my usual expression)

Okay, okay, it’s a rendering of me in chibi form, done by yours truly. 😛

Okay it’s not as good I know, my friend azaleias (Instagram username) is HEAPS TONS BAJILLION TIMES BETTER. She hand-draws and colours everything!! The Gaara and Sasori picture was dedicated to me for my birthday hehe 🙂

Sorry for the randomness but hey, you discover new cool things with me everyday!