SINGAPORE - Praise be, phase three (heightened alert) is here. To survive the past month indoors, I turned to pampering products both old and new.
Thann Eastern Orchard Aromatherapy Shower Gel, $33
The renewed cabin fever during "circuit breaker lite" got me extra down and reignited my wanderlust. So I have been travelling vicariously through my personal-care products, particularly body wash.
This one reminds me vividly of a Thai spa, transporting me back to those carefree pre-pandemic days when I could zip off for a weekend getaway in Thailand to recharge - a few times a year.
It is formulated with organic grape seed, organic argan oils, yuzu and neroli essential oils for a delicious aroma-therapeutic experience. Stepping out of the shower, I am soothed, less antsy and ready to try facing another uneventful day at home.
Info: Available at Thann Paragon, 03-45 Paragon Shopping Centre, and Thann's website
Drunk Elephant Protini Powerpeptide Resurf Serum, $116
Take skincare recommendations with a pinch of salt, but this newer launch has cemented its place in my top five Drunk Elephant products.
From the same family as the brand's much-loved Protini Polypeptide Cream, the milky serum is formulated with a blend of 11 peptides and 10 per cent lactic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid, or AHA) to aid in gentle exfoliation and improving skin texture.
I used to carefully plan my AHA or BHA (beta-hydroxy acids) treatments around the days I planned to stay in - to avoid the extra photosensitivity the next morning that comes with using chemical exfoliants.
But now that I hardly leave home, I have been using this more "recklessly", as and when I feel like my skin needs a little pick-me-up.
I wake up with visibly smoother, softer skin - the latter is probably thanks to the plumping peptides and moisture-boosting ingredients such as snow mushroom extract.
Regardless of whether you are staying home or not, remember to apply sunscreen the morning after.
Info: Available at Sephora's website and select Sephora stores including Ion Orchard
Bite Beauty Daycation Whipped Blush in Melon Mojito, $50
Lately, the three make-up products I use - if any at all - are blush, concealer and eyebrow tints.
When it comes to blush, powder just feels a little too formal for home wear, while some creams can leave you looking oily as the day progresses.
Canadian make-up brand Bite Beauty's first blush product is the perfect hybrid. Squeeze out a dot of the whipped cream and dab boldly onto your cheeks for a buildable, natural flush of colour.
I reckon the shade Melon Mojito is versatile for multiple skin tones - the slightly pearlised sheen also creates the illusion of lifted cheekbones and catches the light.
It dries down to a matt finish and has good lasting power. I also love that it is eye-safe and a fuss-free, fingers-only substitute for eyeshadow.
If you can get past the price tag (you get roughly 9g of product), nab it.
Info: Available at Sephora's website
Foreo UFO 2, $428
For the past facial-less month, I took matters into my own hands and pampered myself at home.
Foreo's upgraded handheld masking device is a glorious treat in lieu of in-person facials. It has the full spectrum of eight LED light therapy colours with skin-benefiting properties such as brightening a dull complexion (green), treating acne (blue) and helping with inflammation and healing (purple).
These lights are paired with cooling or heating sonic pulsations to help the serum from your face masks better penetrate into the skin. I particularly enjoy the icy cryo-therapy - a new feature said to reduce puffiness and firm skin - which lets me skip the extra step of storing my masks in a fridge.
All it takes is a few minutes to complete a treatment and for me to feel slightly more well-rested. The brand's soothing Green Tea mask drips with so much product, I can flip the sheet over and run the device over my neck for a second use.
You can also use this with sheet masks from other brands and customise your treatment on the accompanying app, choosing the light, pulsation level and temperature.
At a steep $428, it costs almost the equivalent of a short-haul holiday, but well, we aren’t going on one any time soon.
Bjork & Berries Herbalist Hand & Body Wash, $55 for 400ml
I never thought I would recommend a bougie hand wash, but the pandemic has changed us all.
This Bjork & Berries one has a fresh yet woody scent I simply cannot get enough of. One day, I found myself washing my hands seven times in three hours just so I could keep sniffing my fingers like an addict.
I am shot weird looks from my sister, who cannot fathom the finer things in life.
And anyway, all I do these days is wash my hands. Receive a food delivery order; sign for a parcel; get dust on my hands from decluttering my room - it is straight to the bathroom for a thorough wash. The least I can do is make the experience enjoyable.
For this hand wash, a little goes a long way and it lathers well, so I use this sparingly.
Info: Available at this link