I should’ve been dead honest when I first received Cheryl’s fb message and replied “No! Don’t pick me! I’m an utter failure when it comes to skin care. Your product will not benefit from my review since my idea of skin care is washing my face and slapping on some moisturizer* (no joke). Toner? Never heard of it. Essence? What’s that? Is it that vile black crap they force feed you in primary school to score better? Never worked on me!” But like most other kiasu Singaporeans I swooned at the idea of freebies** (Did you say free? Oh really now…) So instead I said “Sign me up please! I’d be delighted to review your product!”

Well, the funny thing is, I think I might actually quite like this stuff.

Initially, I was super duper put off by the insane amount of instructions (see all the papers!) – to me it’s akin to reading a manual on how to operate a spacecraft*** (I read all the instructions including the fine print! It even goes into detail of how big the dollop of Essence should be – 1.2cm in diameter to be exact) – till a colleague pointed out that it’s not difficult, it’s just that I’d never done it before. Apparently, these things should be second nature by now. You must remember, this is coming from me, the girl whose boyfriend has a better skincare regimen than she does. He at least bothers to wash his face every day before he goes to bed. I, on the other hand, am one of those girls that falls face down on the mattress with my makeup on. Needless to say, I don’t have the most covetable skin, in fact it’s a pretty crummy combination of terribly dry and terribly oily, how it manages to be so completely opposite on such a small patch of real estate I will never know. Damn you genetics!

Anyhoos, after I crossed that initial speed bump, I find I quite like Laneige and the program isn’t as tedious as I first thought (or perhaps I’m just getting into the swing of things – to move from a 2-step routine to 6-step long process required some getting used to). I’m in the early stages yet (4 days to be exact), so I can’t say there have been any miracles, but the product has some definite perks.

Like big bottles. One of my pet peeves when it comes to skincare is that it costs a bomb and the product usually comes packaged in the teeniest, tiniest bottle imaginable (you could make the argument that skin is an investment, but I’m not quite ready to fork over hundreds of dollars for a pot of seaweed face cream). Thankfully, Laneige comes in nice, generous-sized bottles in chic sleek white boxes (product packaging FTW! But seriously, good job Laneige, it’s so important to have packaging that accurately reflects the product and attracts buyers). Plus I like pretty things on my vanity, cos I’m vain that way.

As for performance? I have to admit it’s a pretty decent spacecraft. I’m kind of loving the toner which they call Power Essential Skin Refiner Light_EX (Step 2… told you it sounds a little like reading the manual to a spacecraft), my skin feels clean but not squeaky, and I’m wondering why I never considered using toner before (doesn’t toner also help with your pores?). I’m not entirely sure what the Balancing Emulsion (Step 3) does just yet, but the Essence (Step 4. is very very different from the Brand’s chicken thing – for one thing it’s white) absorbs really quickly, which is fantastic as I abhor products that linger and cling for too long. The Water Bank Eye Gel (Step 5) hasn’t managed to deflate my balloon-like eyebags, but to be fair, the only thing likely to cure that is a lifetime of sleep to make up for what I lost in college and am continuing to lose at work (Ohhh afternoon naps, where art thou?).

And finally, we come to Step 6, the only one in this entire regime that is familiar to me – moisturizer! After all the products that feel like moisturizer to my uneducated skin (Emulsion, Essence, Eye Gel), I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed. I don’t want to put another layer of stuff on my face, I just want to crawl into bed. But because the program (and dear Cheryl) says I must, I shall endeavour. They call it the Water Bank Cream 2_EX, but it really looks a whole lot like gel, and it isn’t as heavy as I imagined it to be, but it sure as hell stays. I’ve got mixed reviews on this one – my mostly dry as parchment cheeks love it, it really does provide “non-stop intensive hydration”; my t-zone and other random oily spots aren’t too wild about it though, which makes it tough. As I said, I don’t have the discipline or the patience to apply this stuff strategically, I just want to slap it on and hop into bed…

Which is where I’m off to right now, because nothing in the world will save your skin if you don’t have rest, water & veggies****. Will let you know how the program goes, but keep those fingers and toes crossed for a miracle! I always did want skin like Liv Tyler’s.

[Products courtesy of Laneige]

*My basics are Philosophy’s super simple skincare: Purity facial wash daily & Microdelivery exfoliating wash twice-weekly or when I remember. I’ve subbed the Laneige Water Bank range for the Hope in a Jar moisturizer.
**Terrible. I know. I’m (marginally) ashamed to admit I’m a huge sucker for freebies.
***That being said, I’m glad I read the instructions from start to finish, otherwise I’d use way too much product and reduce its effectiveness.. This reminds me of something we learned in economics eons ago, something about eating more ice cream cones doesn’t necessarily make you happier. You get the drift, sometimes less is more!
****Seriously, rest+water+veggies = skin nirvana. Unfortunately it’s pretty impossible to achieve all 3 when working a full-time job.