Nov 17, 2014  •  In Asian, Beauty, Giveaways, Personal, Reviews

Shiseido Benefique Skincare Review and Giveaway!

It’s no secret that I’ve amped up my skincare routine in the past few months. As a result, my skin has never been softer, clearer, brighter, and smoother…and I can’t help heralding praises of Korean skincare products to everyone I know!

So impressed have I been that I started to look into popular brands and products from other beauty-obsessed parts of East Asia too: Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, to name a few.

As such, when a rep for Shiseido contacted me to see if I would be interested in trying out their latest skincare line, I couldn’t reply “YES!” fast enough.

shiseido_benefique_banner

Already available in Japan and Taiwan, Shiseido Benefique is a skincare collection that is catered to women in their 30s and 40s. This revolutionary line targets a newly discovered fourth contributing factor to aging (in addition to UV rays, dryness, and oxidation): temperature.

Researchers at Shiseido discovered that abnormal skin temperature causes keratin to build up on the surface of the skin, which not only prevents proper absorption of skincare products but also disrupts normal skin functions. The new Cellular Solution Theory seeks to improve skin functions by boosting circulation to normalize cell turnover, improve barrier function, and eliminate keratin buildup.

shiseido_benefique_temperature

 The Benefique system consists of 5 steps:

Step 1:  Hot Cleanser, 150g — a warming, deep-cleansing makeup remover that purifies skin for a smooth natural translucence. The thermal cleansing ingredients generate a warming sensation, while cleansing ingredients envelop and lift away makeup residue to reveal smooth, lustrous skin.

shiseido_benefique_hot_cleanser

This is my favorite item from the Benefique line. (And I love that Benefique uses the double-cleanse routine!) Upon initial application, the Hot Cleanser feels thick and a bit slimy. However, once you start massaging it into the face, it immediately heats up to the perfect hot-but-not-scalding temperature and feels divine. I can feel my sunscreen and makeup dissolving, the grit from my pores lifting away, and my pores opening up to prepare for the steps ahead.

Step 2:  Cleansing Foam, 125g — A rich, deep-cleansing foam that leaves skin feeling smooth and moist. To soften and prevent the skin from drying out, the cleansing foam contains sericin, a natural ingredient derived from silk with excellent moisture-retaining properties.

shiseido_benefique_cleansing_foam

A little goes a long way with the Cleansing Foam. Just a pea size lathers up my entire face, and rinses off to a squeak-clean finish I personally love, without drying out my skin.

Step 3:  Lotion I, II, III, 200mL — A brightening beauty essence water that cools skin and boosts circulation, giving skin a bright, healthy glow. There are three types of lotions based on seasonal and skin temperature. Lotion I is for hot weather and for those with higher skin temperature or oil-prone skin; Lotion II is best used during moderate weather or by those with normal skin temperature; and Lotion III is ideal for those with rough, dry skin or for use during cold weather.

shiseido_benefique_lotion

With my combination skin in mind, I use Lotion I in the mornings and Lotion II in the evenings. Although the consistency is a bit thicker than other essences I’ve tried in the past (with the II being a bit thicker than I, and the III thickest of the trio), it’s still pretty runny as you can see in the picture above, and I have no complaints about this product as it does exactly what it’s supposed to do. :-)

Step 4:  Emulsion I, II, 150mL — A brightening emulsion that contains a new lifting effect formula combining powerful botanicals in a polymer that smooths and lifts while increasing firmness and resilience.

shiseido_benefique_emulsion

As is the case with the Lotion, the consistency of Emulsion I is a bit runnier than Emulsion II. I’ve only been using the first, and it sinks beautifully into the skin while leaving a slight glow.

Step 5:  Cream, 40g — A brightening beauty cream that addresses the signs of aging to reveal lustrous, smooth, firm skin. It contains raspberry leaf extract to define facial contours by lifting the skin and correcting sagging.

shiseido_benefique_cream

Shiseido is my mother’s favorite skincare brand, and when trying products like the Cream, I can definitely see why. The initial feeling and effects are typical of a night cream (thick but penetrates deep into the skin, leaves a bit of a shiny finish), but its overnight effects leave me with firm, bright, and nourished skin every morning. And I can swear that my face feels less puffy in the mornings since I’ve started using this!

As is the case with most multi-step skincare regimens, not every product is meant to be used every time:

shiseido_benefique_instructions

My personal take is that the Cotton Pad is not necessary; in fact, although the instructions for both the Lotion and Emulsion state that the user should apply the products via cotton pads, I have been using my hands with no problem. (And I suspect I’m saving some product in the process too.)

The bottom line…

With the illness of both kids back-to-back, then falling victim to the malady myself, my skin hasn’t been quite as nice lately with the added stress, sleep deprivation, and germs festering everywhere in the house.

My package from Shiseido arrived just in the nick of time. And within just a couple of days, my skin returned to its post-Asian-skincare-discovery, radiant self. :-)

So all in all, the Shiseido Benefique line is Jenny-approved and wholeheartedly recommended for those seeking a luxurious, reliable skincare line, created by one of the oldest and most-respected cosmetics companies in the world!

shiseido_benefique_geekinheels

Unfortunately, the Benefique collection is not available at department stores, as it is an exclusive line limited to independent Shiseido boutiques. However, I can attest that it is worth tracking down, and the Benefique website has a handy store locator for this exact purpose.

The giveaway…

Shiseido has very generously offered one Geek in Heels reader their own set of Benefique products! That’s right — you can win THE ENTIRE Benefique line shown below:

shiseido_benefique_skincare_collection_giveaway

The retail value of these 8 items is over $500!  8-O 

And as you can see, because you will be receiving all three Lotions and both Emulsions, you can stash some away for the warmer months, or gift them to others.

Even if you’re not interested in the Benefique collection for yourself, this set would make a great gift, especially with the holidays coming up!

To enter this giveaway, simply use the Rafflecopter widget below. Not sure how to use Rafflecopter? Watch this 52 second video for a tutorial on how to enter a giveaway using Rafflecopter. There are 7 methods of entry, with the first method (commenting on this blog post answering the question “What is your most pressing skincare concern?”) being mandatory while the third method (Tweeting about the giveaway) can be used once per day:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway will end on Tuesday, December 9th, 2014, at 12:01am EST, at which point a winner will be randomly chosen and announced here. If the winner has won the drawing via a fraudulent or illegitimate entry (i.e., not commenting on this post, using different accounts to enter multiple times, using a Twitter account that is only used to enter contests on a frequent basis, using the same Tweet URL to enter multiple times) I have the right to choose another winner.

Sorry, this giveaway is open only to residents of the U.S. who are over 13 years old.

Please use a valid email address and/or Twitter handle so that I can contact you if you win! If the winner fails to respond within 48 hours of my contacting them, another winner will be selected.

Good luck, and thank you for entering!

Nov 15, 2014  •  In Geek, Personal, Science, Web

I Am Vincent van Beethoven

I’ve already shared this on Facebook and Twitter, but I found it so fascinating that I need to blog about it too!

Map Your Mind is an online quiz created by GE neuroscientists and BrainMic which tells you which famous people’s brains are most like your own.

map_your_mind

I know all personality tests — especially online ones! — should be taken with a grain of salt, but I was thoroughly impressed by this quiz’s design, interactive interface, research, and the accuracy of the results from just 12 questions. The fact that each answer was accompanied by a short neuro-psychoanalysis totally gave me geekasms too. ;-)

According to Map Your Mind, I am a #brainchild of Vincent van Gogh and Ludwig van Beethoven (hence the title of this post).

map_your_mind_results

In case you’re having trouble reading that, it says:

You get your introverted side from both Vincent van Gogh and Ludwig van Beethoven, which proves successful artists and entertainers can be introverts too.

Your energy comes from Ludwig van Beethoven, the prodigious German composer and pianist whose influence on music is immeasurable.

You get your perfectionist, moody side from Vincent van Gogh, the influential Post-Impressionist painter whose eye for even the smallest detail made him one of the most successful artists in the world.

Which is pretty damn accurate, if I do say so myself!

Go on and take the test, and share your results with me in the comments section. Is your assessment accurate?


Stay tuned for a HUGE giveaway Monday!  :-)  :mrgreen:  8-)  ;-) 

Nov 10, 2014  •  In Art/Design, Geek, Personal, Star Wars

Lightsabers

I’m still sick. Actually, I’m sicker, with a fever that reached 102.4° last night.

The good news is that the girls are doing much better. Their fevers are down and the remaining symptoms are those that are typical of end-stage colds (runny noses and coughing). Since the progression of Aerin’s illness so closely resembled that of Claire’s — except two days behind — I’m hopeful that I’ll feel better in a couple of days too.

As is usually the case, this poor blog remains neglected while my family continues to recover. However, when I came across this Imgur gallery of lightsabers, I knew that I had to share it with my readers.

Three things of note:

  1. This collection only seems to span the prequels (boo).
  2. The lightsaber shown as Obi-Wan’s is not actually his original. His first was lost during a battle with Darth Maul, and his second (a replica to his first) was lost when he was captured on Geonosis. The one depicted in this gallery is the one Obi-Wan uses in The Clone Wars and in Episodes III and IV.
  3. Is it just me, or does Darth Sidious’ lightsaber look eerily like a penis?

Enjoy!

lightsabers_yoda

lightsabers_count_dooku

lightsabers_qui-gon

lightsabers_obi-wan

lightsabers_anakin

lightsabers_mace_windu

lightsabers_darth_sidious

lightsabers_darth_maul

Via Imgur

Nov 6, 2014  •  In Entertainment, Funny, Motherhood, Personal, Scary

Sharing is Caring [Sick Edition]

First cold of the season. Claire to Aerin, and Aerin to me. Fun stuff.

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While my family continues to recover, here’s some more fluff to fill my poor, neglected blog…

First and foremost, DID YA HEAR? DID YA HEAR?!??? Benedict Cumberbatch announced his engagement to director-actress-singer Sophie Hunter via a traditional newspaper ad yesterday.

benedict_cumberbatch_engaged

I’ve made it no secret that I have a major crush on Mr. Cumberbatch (J even calls him my boyfriend. As in, “Did you hear that your boyfriend is going to be the new Doctor Strange?”), so I was naturally devastated by the news. :cry: 

We’ll always have this moment, Ben…

sherlock_molly_kiss
Possibly the sexiest GIF ever created.

Did you like my Oprah-themed meme at the beginning of this post? Here’s another humorous graphic featuring Oprah, courtesy of NickMom:

oprahs_favorite_things_vs_moms_favorite_things

Last, but not least (at least not size-wise), the Discover Channel announced that it will air a special called Eaten Alive, wherein “Naturalist and wildlife filmmaker Paul Rosolie [will enter] the belly of an anaconda in a custom-built snake-proof suit.”

8-O  Seriously???

Here’s the trailer, in case you’re interested:

Eaten Alive will debut this Sunday at 8/7c.