the ordinary skincare review
If your'e a skincare aficionado, chances are you may have heard of the relatively new skincare line that's been receiving rave reviews from beauty influencers lately. Simply named The Ordinary, this brand is smashing mainstream brands via its frill-free products vis-a-vis insanely affordable price. I mean, you can easily hoard the entire line for less than $100 and not feel guilty about it! The hot and burning question is, are they worth the hype? let's dissect each one as I present the high's and low's, grab your unicorn Starbucks and let's sip the deets!

I ordered my stash direct from the company Deciem which is the mother umbrella to ten other brands. Their slogan "the abnormal beauty company" defies what seems to be the norm in the beauty world: high-faluting, patent-pending, tongue-twisting technology and all other marketing jargons imaginable to mankind. Their website although very informal is well thought-out and conveys a modern approach to skincare. Offhand, you can tell that the demographics they are clearly targeting are the young, hip and skincare-conscious millennials. Add the affordability, now you understand why this company is cashing it in big time. Specifically The Ordinary, no need to spend huge amount of money in R & D (research and development), just use the time and tested ingredients albeit anecdotally (clinical studies in over-the-counter skincare are severely lacking if there's any), then package them in droppers to convey a medical look and feel! 

So I mentioned about ordering straight from the company, well I wasn't impressed with the shipment and delivery! Although it was clearly stated in their website that due to the popularity of their products timely delivery isn't guaranteed, I still had high hopes. Two weeks passed and I still haven't gotten any notifications so I emailed their customer service. They apologized the next day and shipped my products thereafter. It took another week for me to receive my order. As of this writing, they are now sold thru Beautylish which has a good reputation when it comes to shipping (in 3 days on average) so you may try that route instead. I have also found out that certain products are sold at ASOS, I have no experience ordering from them but I see a lot of beauty and fashion influencers doing hauls from that site, at least we know it's legit!

I would've hoarded more but the other products I am interested in are sold out at the time of purchase. Hence I only settled for 7 (5 from The Ordinary, 2 from Hylamide, the slightly elite line of Deciem). I've been using these products close to 3 months, enough to give you a short-term impression. I will divide this post to several parts because it will be very lengthy and I don't want to bore you so stay tuned for the next part.
affiliate links provided in case you're curious to try
the ordinary skincare review
The Ordinary High-Spreadability Fluid Primer ($7.90, 30ml). Per website description, "new generation primer that's lightweight like serum which helps makeup spread better as well as avoid uneven and dry accumulation of pigment around the eyes or skin; also acts as non-oily moisturizer". Vegan, cruelty-free, water-free, oil-free, nut-free, alcohol-free. Contains silicone.

Ingredients: Hexamethyldisiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Caprylyl Methicone, PEG-12 Dimethicone/PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Tocopherol

Highs and Lows: If you own several other primers that contain silicone/ dimethicone, you will immediately notice that this particular product is thinner in terms of consistency. It is easy to spread and does not ball up when applied on the face or rubbed onto the skin. However, if you have enlarged pores, this does not fill them compared to "thicker" opponents like Clinique, Benefit, Smashbox, even Murad so do not expect some dramatic blurring to happen. While the use of silicone or dimethicone in beauty products is generally safe, certain sensitivities are probable so proceed with caution. If you experience breakout or allergy, stop using it. Personally, I am not impressed with this product. As mentioned, it did not "blur" my pores. As a primer, it did not contribute to the longevity of my makeup (I have combination skin). And while it claims to be a moisturizer, I'd rather use a different product that's not dimethicone-based.
the ordinary skincare review
The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% EGCG ($6.70, 30ml, right side of photo). Per website description, "contains high concentration of caffeine, supplemented with highly-purified Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside (EGCG) from green tea leaves. Independent studies have shown that topical use of each of caffeine and EGCG can help reduce looks of puffiness and of dark circles in the eye contour. Additional studies have shown that caffeine can also reduce the appearance of cellulite. Nut-free, oil-free,  vegan, cruelty-free, silicone free pH 4.50-5.00. 

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Caffeine, Propanediol, Maltodextrin, Glycerin, Epigallocatechin Gallatyl Glucoside, Gallyl Glucoside, Hyaluronic Acid, Oxidized Glutathione, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Polypodium Vulgare Rhizome Extract, Cetraria Islandica Thallus Extract, Sphagnum Magellanicum Extract, Urea, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Xanthan gum, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Propyl Gallate, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Ethoxydiglycol, Benzyl Alcohol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol.

Highs and Lows: Dark circles are caused by several factors such as genes, certain ethnicities, aging, years of unprotected sun exposure, unhealthy lifestyle, and some medical conditions. As previously mentioned, clinical studies on topical skincare are very limited and everything we read or hear is generally anecdotal evidence. If you are really serious to banish dark circles especially as a result of aging (thinning skin and loss of volume under the eyes), there are aesthetic procedures you may want to consider such as dermal filler or laser (I will tackle this in another post). One nice thing about The Ordinary is their disclaimer found on the website " 1. Hollowness in the eye contour as a result of structure of sub-dermal tissues like fat and bone can result in visible shadows under the eyes. This shadow, which is not to be mistaken for dark circles, cannot be addressed with topical skincare including this formula. 2. Fat deposits under the eye contour can create permanent puffiness in this area. This type of deposit cannot be improved with topical skincare, including this formula". While the disclaimer seems to contradict its claims, I like that they are somewhat transparent to their customers, that is if you pay close attention to fine print. I have dark circles but they have become more obvious the past month (aging!) so while I wasn't relying on this product to solve my problem, I was particularly interested in using it for under eye moisturizer. It's very lightweight but since my under eyes demand for more moisture, this product isn't enough to give the hydration I desire. If you haven't cracked yet under the eyes, you may like it but for women of certain age like myself, this turned out to be a dud. 

So there, part 1 isn't a win! Stay tuned, it might be another story.

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