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While we know that the measures implemented during the Circuit Breaker are necessary, we still miss a lot of things that we used to be able to do. But if there’s one thing some of us actually love about the Circuit Breaker, it’s spending more time at home – because it also means more time to properly care for our skin and hair.

Daily Vanity did a poll on Instagram recently and it turns out that most people find that they improved their beauty routines during the Circuit Breaker period, spending more time and using more products than before.

In fact, I set out to step up on my routines too when our team first started working from home in February, because I know I no longer have anymore excuse to slack off. Also, I thought it was a good time give new beauty products a shot now that I had the time to do so.

With these objectives in mind, I got my hands on five skincare and haircare products that I’ve heard so much rave reviews on, but never had the chance to try them out before. These are all available from Sephora, which has an amazing online shopping site, so you can cart them out anytime you want.

Read on to see what I’ve tried during this period and what I thought about them.

Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar

Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar Review

I’ve been wanting to try a cleansing bar for the longest time but never got to it because cleansing bars just sound like an awful lot of work. This one from Erno Laszlo, a celebrity-loved cult brand, is one of its most iconic products, and has 4.5 stars (from 39 reviews).

I was already left with a great impression when I first opened up its packaging. The black soap was housed in a gorgeous box that looked very good in my bathroom.

The soap lathers into a gentle foam and has a subtle, therapeutic scent. It was able to remove all grime and grease that I felt on my skin at the end of the work day, although my skin did feel a little tight after rinsing off too. I think it probably work better for someone with oily skin than on combination-dry skin like mine.

The formula is said to contain 26 natural minerals from dead sea mud to help remove dead skin cells so your skin looks more radiant.

I can see myself continue using it on days that my skin is particularly greasy. Take note, though, that it stings quite badly if it gets into your eyes – I learnt this the hard way.

Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar retails for SGD60 at Sephora.

Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence

Fresh Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence Review

I’ve heard so much good stuff about this essence, and given that I’m a big fan of Fresh’s skincare products (and who isn’t, really?), it’s really a surprise that I have yet to try it.

This product had received 4.5 stars from 276 reviewers, so you know that they have a loyal following for it.

The essence has an extremely lightweight texture that my skin drinks up instantly all the time.

Powered by kombucha (fermented black tea), this essence is said to help improve moisture and skin luminosity – both benefits were noticed by me since using it. It hydrates my skin thoroughly and leaves it looking and feeling soft and glowing, so that it’s all ready for the other serums that I apply thereafter. Its relaxing scent is a nice bonus that I certainly enjoyed.

Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence retails for SGD108 and is available at Sephora.

Mount Lai De-Puffing Rose Quartz Facial Roller

Mount Lai Rose Quartz Facial Rolling Tool Review

Mount Lai stocks a range of beauty tools. I’ve already tried their Guasha Facial Lifting Tool and liked it. But guasha massage techniques can be quite troublesome to follow, so I thought that a regular facial roller would be a much easier tool to use on a day-to-day basis.

This roller comes with a bigger end for broader areas (like your cheeks) and a smaller end for harder-to-reach or more delicate areas like the lymph nodes behind your ears and collarbones or the eye contours.

This is officially the most used product for me among these new items because it’s so easy to pick it up and spend a few pampering minutes with it.

I find that my face is less puffy since using it and it also seems to help my skincare products absorb better. Its pretty appearance certainly doesn’t hurt too.

Mount Lai De-puffing Rose Quartz Facial Roller retails for SGD56 and is available at Sephora.

Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo

Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo Review

I have used many anti-dandruff shampoos before and most of them work well in getting rid of dandruff. The only problem is that many of them make the hair drier – so you although don’t get dandruff anymore, you’re left with bad hair.

Like the good anti-dandruff shampoos I’ve tried before, this one from Shachajuan performs well in getting rid of dandruff and doesn’t leave the hair feeling too dry. However, I feel that there are more affordable options in the market that does the same level of decent job.

Compared to cheaper brands, this smells better and leaves the scalp feeling very fresh – thanks to the menthol in the formula. So if the overall experience is important to you and you’re willing to pay a premium for it, this will make a good purchase.

Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo retails for SGD38 and is available at Sephora.

Joon Saffron Hair Elixir Pistachio + Rose Hair Oil

Joon Saffron Hair Elixir Review

You can see actual saffron in the formula – so that’s pretty cool. But with its good looks and the use of an expensive spice like saffron, I had initially wondered if this product is nothing more than a gimmick.

Spoiler: I was proven wrong.

The oil is slightly thicker in consistency compared to some other hair oils I’ve tried so it doesn’t spread as easily. It also leaves a slightly greasy sensation on my hands after application. In other words, a poor first impression.

However, what made me become a convert was because of how incredibly smooth and soft my hair felt after application! My hair felt like how it would have felt if I had just done a hair mask. This is certainly going to be a mainstay in my stash from now.

By the way, it also offers heat protection against styling tools and UV rays, which is an amazing plus point.

Joon Saffron Hair Elixir Pistachio + Rose Hair Oil retails for SGD73 and is available at Sephora.

Other new trials during the Circuit Breaker

And I wasn’t the only one who have tried new products during the Circuit Breaker. A corridor test among a few of my team mates at Daily Vanity says that many of them find they spend more time on their beauty routines now than before. They have also managed to try out new products during this period. Here’s a peek at the products they’ve tried and what they thought about them.

Nicole tried 3CE Velvet Lip Tint in Going Right

3ce Velvet Lip Tint Going Right Review

“I usually don’t use lip tints because my lips are on the drier side and many of them highlight the fine lines, but this is not drying at all! It has a velvety and airy texture on the lips like the Peripera ones, but they fade evenly and nicely. While many Korean tints are in bright pink or orange, which I find not very wearable, the shade range for the 3CE ones are great for daily wear because they’re way more muted and flattering.”

3CE Velvet Lip Tint retails for SGD30 and is available at Shopee.

Tesia tried Clinique Moisture Surge 72h Auto Replenishing Hydrator

Clinique Moisture Surge 72h Auto Replenishing Hydrator Review

“This is non-comedogenic and really helps to hydrate my skin. Now, my skin doesn’t feel dry in the day, and I can layer on my sunscreen without getting that sticky sensation. It’s not too creamy or oily, which feels great on my combination skin!”

Clinique Moisture Surge 72h Auto Replenishing Hydrator retails for SGD60 and is available at Sephora.

Mel tried a Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool

Gua Sha Firming Tool

“I bought one before the circuit breaker from Lazada (I didn’t want to buy an expensive one as I feel that they’re all the same). Now that I have more time and energy in the morning and evening, I try to incorporate it into both my day and night routines. Using this tool actually takes up a lot of effort and patience!

After incorporating it for about three weeks or so, it had become a part of my skincare routine; I even use it for a facial massage while watching Netflix! In terms of its efficacy, I think it does help in terms of lifting, and I can see this effect right after the massage. After using it for a longer time, I also noticed that it helped my face and neck feel more relaxed by relieving muscle tension from working at a desk for eight hours every day.”

Gua Sha Facial Lifting Tool retails at varied prices at Lazada.