Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Light Cream and Super Hyaluronic Water Gel (HK$148 each citywide)
Both of these are good summer moisturisers. Free of fragrance and mineral oils, they sink quickly into the skin, leaving it fresh and smooth, but not sticky at all. The Water Gel is lighter than the Cream, and has a cooling effect, so it's a great choice for mornings or after you've spent time in the sun. The lotion has a more lasting moisturising effect, and is perfect for use before you head to bed. I personally prefer the gel: applying it feels like a cool breeze washing over my face.
My skin is rather dry and acne-prone, but these moisturisers give me the amount of moisture I need. I would use these products during the hotter months, but will have to find something more potent to get me through the winter.
Shu Uemura skin:FIT Cosmetic Water Foundation (HK$400 at Shu Uemura)
I am all for the "natural" make-up look, but this is more like "non-existent". The texture is very runny, almost like water. This isn't helped by the sponge applicator that absorbs everything, meaning even less makes it onto your face. What I did apply melted off my face within half an hour, and that was before I even had the chance to put it to the Hong Kong humidity test.
Too Cool For School Angel Foot (HK$100 at Too Cool For School)
A little of this vanilla buttercream-scented product goes a long way. It won't soften very hard skin, but if you've just scrubbed your feet, it's the perfect finish. (And if you use it regularly, it helps to prevent elephant-skin heels anyway!)
Holika Holika Aloe Shower Gel and Soothing Gel (HK$78 each at Holika Holika)
I only really care about two things when it comes to shower gels: does it get me clean and does it smell nice? The Aloe Shower Gel did both of those, and I appreciated the nice, light scent, as I don't really like spending the day smelling like I walked through a perfume factory. I was more dubious about the Soothing Gel, especially as it feels pretty slimy when you first squeeze it out. But it glides onto the skin nicely, and gets absorbed quickly without leaving any sticky residue behind, which I hate. It feels refreshing and moisturising, and does its job nicely. Also the packaging is quite pretty, which is a bonus!
Beauty Concepts Facial Treatment System (HK$98 at Sasa)
The good thing about this hand-held cleansing brush is that it's powered by AA batteries, which is more convenient than rechargeable ones. It has two settings, one gentler and the other stronger, for daily cleansing and weekly exfoliation respectively. It cleans your face just fine without over-drying it and is a competitive option: it gets the job done and is a lot cheaper than other cleansing brushes out there.
The stupid thing: it's not waterproof! So I had to wet my face and dry my hands before picking up the brush, putting a foamy cleanser on it, using it on my face, then putting it aside as I rinse off the cleanser, dry my hands and face, detach the brush and wash it separately from the rest of the machine. It's not user-friendly at all.
Faith in Face Spa Cooling Sparkling Mousse (HK$108 citywide)
This offers a cooling sensation when you rub it into your skin to help you combat this blanket of heat we're experiencing right now. It kinda works; it does cool your skin down and leaves behind a fun, tingly, icy sensation, and has a refreshing zesty scent. However, it's hard to predict where it will go when you spray it. Once you shake it well, the foam that comes out seems to have a mind of its own.
While it's a nice texture and isn't sticky once it's absorbed, you'd really need it all over for it to sufficiently cool you down, and the coolness doesn't actually last long. Great for bringing to the beach and pranking unsuspecting friends, though!
Benefit License to Blot (HK$200 at Benefit)
This is basically supposed to be blotting papers in tube form. The concept is nice, but the product needs work. You're meant to press it onto your skin where you're oily, like you would with blotting papers. It does reduce some shininess, but because the feel of this is like hardened wax, not much of it transfers onto your skin when you press it to your face. It would be more effective if you swiped it across your skin where it's oily, but then that disturbs the make-up underneath. It would work much nicer if the product was softer, and the packaging was bigger. It takes aaaaaages just to cover all the areas where I'm shine-prone.