now and then i'll post a review of something that i wanted to read a review of

Reusable pads are better than disposable pads

After switching to reusable internal protection (from tampons to menstrual cups), and it being The. Best. Thing. Ever., I was curious about reusable menstrual pads. After trying them out, I am shocked to find that the whole disposable pads market is a massive con. Disposable pads are most definitely NOT superior to reusable pads.

We’re made to think that disposables are cleaner, fresher, more comfortable, more hygienic, more sterile, less embarrassing, etc, etc. Our culture tells us that periods are kind of gross, blood is gross, you need to stay fresh and clean and pretend you’re not menstruating, you need to be discreet so as not to offend anyone with your period and embarrass yourself. Disposables are seen as a grown up, sterile, appropriate way of dealing with menstruation. I think all of this is somewhat bullshit. Firstly because  we shouldn’t feel embarrassed about menstruation, and secondly because we shouldn’t be sucked in to media and marketing that convinces us to buy stuff out of embarrassment, fear, and insecurity.

But as well as all the crunchy hippy reasons that you might switch to reusable pads (environment, consumerism, chemicals, etc), reusable pads actually address all the modern, somewhat bullshit, concerns (freshness, dryness, comfort, discreetness) that disposables claim to address. And, reusables actually seem to do a lot better at these tasks.

  • Reusable pads are WAY more comfortable. Disposables are always advertised as being thick and cushion-comfortable, thin and discreet, slim and flexible. But they always feel a little bulky and stiff. Reusables don’t. They just don’t. You can’t tell you’re wearing them. They seem to mold better to your body, and because they’re fabric they breathe and move and have a nice texture. I don’t know what else to say. They are just way more comfortable.
  • Reusable pads have less smell than disposables. There’s two things that cause smell: (1) blood being exposed to air, and  (2) your vulva getting sweaty. Firstly, most reusable pad users say they find there’s a lot less blood smell from reusable pads. I personally find, unlike disposables, they don’t have any smell at all. So much for all that rubbish that pad companies spew about their disposables having scents added, and fancy-shmancy beads to draw blood away from the body, [insert technical bullshit], etc. The reusable pad addresses this with ease. Secondly, these pads are breathable because they’re fabric. Consequently you don’t get that hot, sweaty, and damp vulva feeling, that makes you constantly feel like you need to shower, and makes you smell down there. Reusables feel more hygienic as a result of (1) and (2).
  • Reusable pads are dryer. You know when you pee but don’t change your pad, and then have to put your underwear back on, and you get that cold wet feeling of the wet pad going back against your skin? Yeah? Well that doesn’t happen with reusables. They seem to be much better at drawing away the blood, and then staying warm and dry. I don’t know how or why. But it’s true. They don’t feel cold and wet, and as I said above, you also don’t get the damp sweaty vulva feeling from lack of breathability. Also, they don’t leak.

L to R: Homestead Emporium Liner (reuse), Libra Liner (dispose), Momiji Natural Light Pad (reuse), Libra Regular Pad (dispose), Homestead Emporium Super Pad (reuse).

The only downside I can see to using reusable cloth pads, is that you have to put them in a dry bag and carry them round with you during the day till you get home and chuck them in your washing machine – they’re really easy to clean. Some people might find that a bit “gross“, but if you want a superior product (which they certainly are) then I say it’s worth it. Also, [insert feminist rant about body shaming], we shouldn’t be embarrassed and made to feel that a normal bodily function is dirty. Why do some many women find the mere thought of reusables so disgusting? Because we’ve been cultured to, that’s why.

And now to quickly address the crunchy hippy reasons for loving reusables. Reusable menstrual products are better for the environment (you don’t want to know how much trash is made from disposables), they’re better for your body (you don’t want to know what suspicious ingredients go in to disposables), and they’re better for your wallet (disposables are expensive over a lifetime. Initial purchase of a reusable set might be expensive, but it’s an investment. Or, you can sew your own).

As always is the case with our western consumerist world, we’ve been tricked into the normalization of use of some product (disposable pads) that is actually pretty shitty: The product doesn’t really do what it says it does, we don’t need to have sterile external menstrual products, we don’t need to be embarrassed or feel insecure if we don’t use the product, the product costs a lot, trashes the environment, and isn’t great for our health. And so on. I conclude, the whole disposable pads market is a massive con.

Reusable Pads

Reusable cloth pads by Homestead Emporium (top) and Momiji Natural (bottom)

Where to Buy: I purchased Momiji Naturals through MeLuna (here), and Homestead Emporium through their etsy store (here).

Tags: Cloth pads are disgusting; Cloth pads are gross; resuable pads are gross; resuable pads are great; Cloth pads are great; why should I use cloth pads;


Clinique 8-Pan Palette (neutral territory 2) Swatches

Here are swatches of Clinique’s 8 Pan Palette called “Neutral Territory 2”

The lighter colours are VERY chalky and the darker colours are very dark. I have not been so impressed with this palette, because you can’t really do a day look with this, just a really smokey eye. I hope to try the “wear everywhere neutrals” in nude, maybe that will be better, because I do love clinique eyeshadows (and foundation)


swatches2 swatches3

Retinol + Dark Under-eye Circles + Acne


I’m going to start using some Retinol products and document how they work to address three issues with my skin:
      (i) dark under-eye circles;
      (ii) sebaceous filaments on my cheeks and chin;
      (iii) sun spots on my forehead.
I was motivated to try retinol because I understand it is (one of?) the only products that can work on genetic, dark under-eye circles. In the case of genetic under eye circles, no amount of sleep, re-hydration, de-puffing, or anti-wrinkling will affect the thin skin, veins, and sunkeness of the eunder-eye area. That’s just not the right approach. Retinol apparently works to rebuild the collagen in the skin, and so (supposedly) will thicken the skin so that the veins are not visible, and the under-eye area is not sunken. Retinol is also supposed to be one of the few medicated (as opposed to cosmetic) ingredients that one can buy over the counter. It frustrates me because the majority of eye creams or serums are aimed at puffiness. But I seem to have the exact opposite problem! I also don’t have any wrinkles!

The products I will be using:
(a) RoC Retinonal Corexion Sensitive Eye Cream (for the under-eye area).
(b) Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Anti-Wrinkle Deep Wrinkle Night Moisturiser (for the face generally).

neutro RoC

My Sun Spots:
I should begin by saying that these don’t really bother me. I find them an oddity. Especially the way that they are distributed on my forehead. The only time I really notice them is when I wear makeup/foundation. At the hairline, they are much darker than my skin and look silly when I wear makeup over them. However, they are where one would normally put some bronzer or contour. Once I put bronzer/countour around the hair line, it looks fine.

My Under Eye Circles: 
These are caused by having thin skin in the under-eye area. This is genetic and my parents have it too. It means that: (1) my veins and blood vessels show through the skin causing dark under eye circles; (2) I have a sunken under-eye area which creates shadows, again causing under eye-circles. As you will see from my photos below, this is obvious even when wearing concealer – the colouring is only half the problem.

My Acne / Sebaceous Filaments:
I’m 28 and still have acne! This drives me insane and makes me feel like a teenager. Sebaceous filaments are the things that everyone has on their nose. Only I have also them all over my cheeks, chin and cleavage. I feel that this photo perfectly illustrates my skin on a bad day. If I leave them they become darker and darker (like blackheads), and I also get small white lumps where there is a build up under the skin. But when I squeeze them out, my skin looks great for a day, and then not only do they start fillng up again, but I also get pimples and scabs caused from squeezing my skin. I use Benzac AC (benzoyl peroxide) with a fair amount of success. I have tried using prescription Differin (also a retinoidAcne and aging) which caused too much drying. The same with salicyclic acid (aka hydroxybenzoic acid), which additionally aggravates my eczema. I have found that my skin clears up the most when I am free-diving every day — it must be the salt water. However, I have not been able to replicate this in the home by washing my face with salt, or anything.



My dark under-eye circles:  

My under-eyes with loads of concealer:
(The dark under-eyes are still visible!)  

My acne:
Also see this
CheekAcnechin copy

My Sun Spots:
(Not super obvious here – it’s hard to get a good photo)


…. coming soon… 

REVIEW: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+


Originally called “Yellow Moisturizing Lotion”, Clinique’s DDML was first created in 1968, and is one of the most recognised beauty icons in the world! So why have they changed it?

“DDML stands alone – it’s over 40 years old and in that time the formula has never changed. It’s a cornerstone of the brand and for that reason we wanted to ensure it had the optimum efficacy we could provide. It was designed for the 1968 environment, but patients I see now have different skin complaints due to changes in the environment. We wanted to respond to that.” says Dr. David Orentreich, Clinique’s guiding dermatologist.

For an article that is critical of the value of DDML original, see here. This article points out that really there’s not much to DDML original, and it seems surprising that so many people love it! It would suggest that it was “about time” that they changed it.

I have had mixed reports (even from Clinique themselves!) about whether this will be replacing the DDML original, or just be a third item added to the DD line. I’m pretty sure it’s a replacement, and the people who said it was an addition were misinformed.

The new formulation of DDML+ does not have parabens. Parabens are a bit of a buzz words in the beauty world at the moment. They are said to exist in cancer cells and hence we should be avoiding products with parabens as they may be linked to cancer. The problem is that this was a preliminary trial with a small sample size, and more investigation needs to be done. See here and here and here for some critical discussion about parabens and the evidence for and against.

My review and (horrific) experience with the new DDML+ :

I received a small sample of DDML+ in the mail to try out. I did my usual two steps of the skin care routine and then applied the DDML+. First, it stung. The texture felt thicker than the original and it did not sink into my skin and disappear like the original did. It felt mildly tacky and sat on my skin like a heavy moisturizing cream usually does. I left it on for 3 hours and as i had dinner and watched TV it felt increasing itchy! At the end of the night I was in a fair amount of pain (stinging) and discomfort (itching). I looked in the mirror and whatdoyouknow? My face was seriously red, a little swollen, and I had some little bumps (like hives) forming on my skin. I tried this another three nights in a row, just in case the reaction wasn’t caused by the DDML+, but  I had the same reaction every time. The third night, I admitted it to myself: I can’t use this new DDML+, and I even cried a little bit! I HAD AN ALLERGIC REACTION 😥 I had to go and get my steroids 😥

Now, you might say that it doesn’t make sense that I would have a reaction to the DDML+ since clinique do extensive allergy testing on their products. Firstly, how extensive really is this allergy testing? Cosmetic companies are only able to use products that have already been approved by pharmaceuticals and undergone serious scientific testing. When it comes time for the company to test the product, they already know its components are safe because they’ve been approved for use. They only have to test the product on a few testers to see if they like it. In fact, if you ever read the fine print from clinique’s (and most other cosmetic brands’) you will see that they often say things like: 58% of women reported an increase in skin suppleness after just one application* *As reported by 22 women in the trial. 

Secondly, I sort of think the whole allergy testing of products is bollocks anyway. I am (moderately) allergic to cats, tomatoes, yeasts fungis and moulds, to penicillin, certain perfumes, cetaphil, clinique make up remover, nivea lipbalms, and so on. Yet I am not allergic to petroleum, lanolin, wool, cheap banana boat sunscreen, dogs, dairy, gluten, and so on. Some of these things are natural and some aren’t, being natural (or not) is not what matters. Being safe for some people is also not what matters, since people are allergic to different things.

I can only hope that Clinique decides to keep the DDML original and continue to sell it along side the DDMG and the new DDML+. In case they don’t, today I bought two more pump bottles of DDML original to tide me over while I search for a new HG moisturizer.

Let’s check out the difference in ingredients:

My understanding is that ingredients must be listed in order of quantity, so the lists of ingredients would suggest that some of the ingredients are still there, but in different quantities. I have underlined the ingredients of DDML+ that are not in DDML original.  Apparently the DDMG gel, since it is fairly new, is already the “plus” version, and so it will not undergo a reformulation. I will underline the ingredients in the DDMG gel that are different from DDML+.

DDML original ingredients:

  • waterclinique-dramatically-different-moisturizing-lotion
  • mineral oil
  • sesame oil
  • propylene glycol
  • TEA stearate
  • glyceryl stearate
  • lanolin alcohol
  • petrolatum
  • methyl paraben
  • propyl paraben
  • yellow 5
  • yellow 6
  • red 33

DDML+ Ingredients:

  • water
  • parafin mineral oil
  • glycerin
  • petrolatum
  • stearic acid
  • glyceryl stearate
  • sesame oil
  • Urea~wmills v0 @ 11/30/2012 @ 1:05 PM
  • lanolin alcohol
  • triethanolamine
  • barley extract
  • cucumber extract
  • sunflower seedcake
  • propylene glycol dicapratate
  • sodium hyaluronate
  • butylene glycol
  • pentylene glycol
  • trisodium EDTA
  • phenyloxyethanol
  • yellow 6
  • yellow 5
  • red 33

Ingredients that have been removed are: • TEA stearate, • methyl paraben, • propyl paraben.

DDMG gel ingredients:

  • Water
  • Dimethicone
  • Isododecane,
  • Butylene Glycol
  • Bis-Peg-18 Methylether
  • Dimethyl Silane
  • GlycerinDDMLG
  • Brown Algae Extract
  • Yeast Extract  (well, that’s out for me then!)
  • Cucumber Extract
  • Barley Extract
  • Sunflower Seedcake
  • Caffeine
  • Trehalose
  • Sodium Hyaluronate
  • Tocopheryl Acetate
  • Chamomile
  • Polysilicone-11
  • Silica
  • Propylene Glycol Dicaprate
  • Oleth-10
  • Laureth-23
  • Laureth-4
  • Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate
  • Carbomer
  • Tromethamine
  • Disodium-Edta
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Methylparaben
  • Yellow 5
  • Red 4
  • Yellow 6

“The ingredients we’ve added are all found naturally in the skin and are there to improve efficacy. It’s a great product anyway so we didn’t want to do anything too dramatic, or to alienate existing customers” – Dr. Tom Mammone, executive director of Clinique research & development.

This to be seems rather funny given there are SO MANY differences between DDML original and DDML+

Clinique foundations for yellow based skin tones

Do Clinique make yellow based foundation shades?

People often say that they love the formula of Clinique’s foundations, but why on earth won’t they make any yellow-based foundations for those of us with golden or MAC “NC” based skin tones?!
I have wondered this for years, especially because Clinique has been the only foundation whose texture/formulation doesn’t look outright weird the way it sits on my skin, but sadly their colours are never quite right!

Then I saw this advertisement on the USA Clinique website …


… which got me thinking, “What is this ‘Favourite Shades From Asia’?”. So I did a little investigating. And, as it turns out, Clinique sell different foundation shades in Asia, and many are yellow based!!!! In fact, different shades are even sold between the US, UK and AUS sites!

This is Clinique’s Taiwanese website. You can click on the foundation type that you prefer, and see how the shades differ from those they list on the western (UK, USA, AUS) sites. The good thing about the Taiwanese site is that (unlike other asian Clinique sites) it lists the shade names in English, which means that you can do a swatch search for the yellow toned colours. And, although it is not quite as good as trying them in store before buying, you can purchase these other colours from alternate retailers in importers, like on eBay.

They have even more shades on their Japanese website but unfortunately on the japanese website they do not say the shade names in english, which makes it harder to search for swatches.

Yellow Toned Shades in Even Better foundation:


After looking at the Taiwanese Clinique website and then seeing the swatches of Even Better’s shade “63 Fresh Beige” (a shade available in Asia) on this blog here (and to the left) I decided to take a chance and order a tube online from a website similar to eBay. When it arrives I will post a swatch comparison here with my usual Clinique Even Better in “01 Alabaster VF-N”  – which is not perfect since I am a colour match for MAC NC25, but the neutral shade can help avoid some sallowness.

On the Clinique US site, they list a lot more shades for the Even Better foundation than they do on the UK and AUS sites! But, they don’t tell you what the undertones are, they only tell you the depth and finish of the shade. However, on the American Sephora website they have, for the Even Better foundation, the same number of shades as the Clinique US site, but they also explain which foundations are pink, neutral, or gold toned – which is super helpful.


Next month I will be visiting the US. I will check out some of the Even Better shades that the Sephora site lists as being yellow based and fair to very fair, such as “Honey” “Cream Whip” “Golden Neutral” “Golden” “buff” and “Vanilla”. Hopefully I will find my holy grail colour, buy it, and place a swatch here. Or even better, get some swatches of all these colours while at the store).

Here are some links to reviews with swatches of some Even Better yellow toned foundations in:

  • 14 Cream Whip VF-G. (See here where a commenter suggests this is like NC20. Beige shade, gold undertones)
  • 04 Cream Chamois VF-G. (See swatch here and hereVery brown looking. IMO looks like NC30 or NW25! Warm beige, golden undertones)
  • 25 Buff VF-G. (review here and here, NC25-30? Yellow Shade, gold undertones)
  • 63 Fresh Beige F-G. (Swatches here and here. Colour from Asia. NC15-20?. Pale yellow shade)
  • 07 Vanilla MF-G.  (Swatch here.  Warm neutral, gold undertones)
  • Golden Neutral MF-G. (Swatch and review here. Yellow shade, gold undertones)
  • 06 Honey MF-G. (Swatch and review here. Warm beige, gold undertones)

Here is a swatch comparison from Strawberry net:


There are more  golden based tones that this. Interestingly, the Clinique UK site shows that Even Better has two shades that look yellow based, “linen” and “cream rose”, neither of which appear on the US or the Sephora page. A review of Linen (which turns out to be VF-N, neutral beige with neutral undertones) is here, and a review of Cream Rose is here.

Foundation Swatches

To the left  are swatches of…

LEFT: Chanel Vitalumiere in 20 Clair Cameo.
CENTRE: Clinique Even Better in 01 Alabaster VF-N.
RIGHT: Clinique Even Better in 63 Fresh Beige F-G.

I consider the Chanel a perfect match for my skin, but dislike the formulation on my skin as it sits in my pores strangely.

cliniqueAnd here are swatches of Chanel VitaLumiere in 20, and Clinique Even Better in 04 Cream Chamois, 01 Alabaster, and 63 Fresh Beige.

Clinique’s CC cream in yellow based “Natural Fair”:

There is three shades of CC cream that are “from Asia” two are colour correcting (pink based, and peach based) and one is yellow based, perfect for yellow based skin. Here is a blog where a woman review Clinique’s CC cream in the “Natural Fair” shade available in Asia. Some people have said that while this shade is yellow based it is also a little dark for many people, I’m guessing it is moderate fair in depth, maybe NC30? I will add a photo of a swatch of my own here if I can.

Here is Clinique Even Better 25 Buff, compared with Clinique even better 01 Alabaster, compared with Clinique All About Eyes Concealer in Neutral Fair, compared with Clinique AirBrush Concealer in Neutral Fair.




Clinique SuperMoisture:

Here is a review of the supermoisture make up in “61 Ivory” a yellow based colour that we don’t get in the western world. Note that while there is an ivory shade in the western shades it is “04 Ivory” which is not a yellow based colour. The Clinique UK site shows a “63 Fresh Beige F-G” instead, as a yellow based colour in the supermoisture.

In Conclusion:

It seems to me that if you have your holy grail foundation formula in Clinique, but haven’t found your perfect colour match because you’re yellow based, the thing to do is some investigating. Check out the Asian versions of the Clinique website and then google to find swatches of those colours, or check out the sephora website which says more about the shades and then check out swatches online. Once you’ve done that, you can consider taking a chance by buying it online, or hoping you’ll make it to one of these mega Sephoras that have all the shades they show on their website. I HOPE THAT WAS HELPFUL!

I will update this blog post when/if I find anything else related  🙂