In one of his YT video, world renowned makeup artist, Hung Vanngo said that he loves to use vitamin C under makeup, because it’s brightening. And obviously I can’t agree more, skin prep before makeup is very very important. Even without makeup on (the way I live these days during pandemic), I love how it create that healthy glow from within (not a fake dewy look, which I hate btw). 

After all these years avoiding vitamin C in my skincare ingredients, because it irritated my sensitive and acne-prone skin, now I am a proud user. Thanks to this Vitamin C serum from Peter Thomas Roth (by the way, this is the second serum that I love from the brand-the first one is the Water Drench one). 

How does it differ from another vitamin C serum that I’ve tried and dislike? Instead of using L-Ascorbic Acid which commonly found in many vitamin C serum, this uses 20% of THD Ascorbate (Tetrahexydecyl Ascorbate). Even though this THD thing is 50 times more powerful than traditional vitamin C, but it is way more stable and with higher pH level, it is less irritating. Yes, this is not an ordinary vitamin C serum, people!

It is safe for Fungal Acne

With additional 3% Vitamin E and 2% Ferulic Acid, it is a booming anti-oxidant that delivers not just brightening purpose, but anti-aging and firming as well. It is great if you are like me, having uneven skin tone problem and texture. 

Milky texture with a slight hint of citrus scent, this is a moisturizing serum. Therefore, it won’t instantly disappeared onto the skin, but it left a moist and healthy looking skin. Which is why this is great for morning use before sunscreen. You do know that vitamin C and sunscreen is a power couple, right? Using vitamin C and sunscreen has been shown to be more effective at neutralizing free radical damage from sun exposure. 

So yes, I have been pairing this serum with my sunscreen. It is currently one of my tried-and-true favorite. Not cheap, though, but worth every single pump.

You can buy it here and get special promo while it lasts. I’d definitely repurchase this!



Local brand from Indonesia, Elsheskin latest release. 

If you are a beginner in serum, to give you less options, you might want to check them out. As both of these serums made from powerful active ingredients, natural and scientific proven.

Price IDR 215K for 20ml

RADIANT SUPPLE SERUM (for face) contains Niacinamide, Glycerin & Arbutin and it’s safe for Fungal Acne. But it does contain Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract (not in top 5 ingredients), which personally doesn’t suit me especially when my acne are still active.

IMHO, it’s best to use when you don’t have current active acnes. Please note, this serum is not dedicated to heal acne, but to even skin tone and help with hyperpigmentation. It does work to lessen the look of newly formed acne marks. I didn’t feel any stinging when I use this serum, it’s just like they claimed: light and gentle.

One week usage, on newly formed acne marks
Price IDR 199K for 15ml

As the name clearly stated, the eye serum is for night time use only, because it contains Retinol. If you’ve been following me, you’d know that retinol works well on my skin and I don’t use eye cream because it produced milia. That’s why, I like this eye serum. Do not worry that it’ll sting your eyes because of the retinol. It won’t. Just don’t apply too close to your eyes, you shall be fine.

Of course, dark circles are genetic, and won’t disappear completely by the use of any eye care products in this world. But you can simply lessen the look of it and make them look fresher. Especially in this era of wearing mask, when mask hits right under our dark circles. 

One week usage, brighter dark circles and less harsh under eyes lines





Made in Canada

Claim: Nourishes skin, visibly smoother texture & improved clarity

Plus Points:

  • Lightweight
  • Vegan & Cruelty Free

Price: IDR 475K for 30ml

My thoughts: 

  • Great if you just started on Niacinamide, it contains only 5% Niacinamide. 
  • Won’t pile up, easy to layer with almost anything (skincare & makeup).
  • Expensive, hard to find in Jakarta, Indonesia where I live.


Made in Malaysia

Claim: Visibly improve skin tone, complexion and reduce acne.

Plus Points: 

  • Affordable Price
  • Vegan & Cruelty Free
  • Ecocertified Natural Ingredients
  • Fungal Acne Safe

Price: IDR 159K for 30ml

My thoughts:

  • Recommended for those whose skin are familiar with Niacinamide already, as it contains 12% Niacinamide.
  • It doesn’t file up, but it gets a bit foamy on the first glide. 
  • Same after-feel with Glossier Super Pure serum, you can feel it’s there but not tacky/sticky.



Disclaimer: this is not a comparison review, but both are Vegan.

I agree when someone said “Serum is like the Couture of skincare”. And just in case you are still wondering, serum and ampoule are basically the same. Both belong to the same step, after essence and before emulsion/moisturizer. But I believe, ampoules are slightly thicker than serums, so in accordance with the thinnest to thickest rule, always apply serum before ampoule. And according to Director Pi, if you already use Essence in your skincare routine, you can skip the Ampoule.

You know how I love their Liquid Gold, so when Sephora Indonesia had a (rare) sale, I know I have to purchase this too. This vitamin serum contains powerful natural antioxidant Chia to assist in plumping and hydrating, plus Ferulic Acid (extracted from Rice Bran Oil) to help diminish the appearance of uneven skin tone. And of course, it has Niacinamide (you know it’s my favorite too) and Copper Tripeptide (Copper with Amino Acids) to prevent premature ageing and promote elasticity.

They recommend to apply twice daily, but considering the hefty price tag, I’m using this at my PM routine. I can say this is the ‘do it all’ serum for me, for its’ ability to prevent moisture loss, regulates excess oil, boost skin immunity and reduce hyper-pigmentation.

Price IDR787K for 25ml

Full Ingredients List:
Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Niacinamide, Methyl Gluceth-20, Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Ferulic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Wheat Amino Acids, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Lactobacillus Ferment, Copper Tripeptide-1, Hydroxyproline, CI 42090 (Blue 1)

I guess this launch earlier this year, but stay under the radar. But I believe this deserve some attention, people!

It doesn’t use purified water as their main ingredient, but they use 85% of Neroli Flower Water Extract, known to help soothe and calm skin with its anti-inflammatory properties.

As the name stated, it contains LHA, excellent yet gentle exfoliant (with pH 5.5) to combat clogged pores. So gentle, it can be use day and night everyday.

Texture is thick like a light gel, that’s why it’s easy to use as a spot treatment. But, I dislike the droplet as it’s slightly hard to pick up, and the size (it’s only 15ml). Other than that, I love everything about this ampoule. It instantly calms down the redness of a huge pimple within hours. Might be a bit sticky at the first application but after it absorb, it feels like nothing on my skin. Will definitely repurchase this, and using it only as a spot treatment.

Price IDR252K for 15ml

Full Ingredients List:
Citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) flower water, propanediol, 1, 2-hexanediol, methylpropanediol, niacinamide, purified water, sodium hyaluronate, sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, glutathione, hyaluronic acid, capryloyl salicylic acid, hyrolyzed hyaluronic acid, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, panthenol, carbomer, glycerin, raspberry ketone, hydroxyethyl urea, hydroxyethylcellulose, tromethamine, ethylhexyglycerin, allantoin, hydrolyzed glycosaminoglycans, butylene glycol, benzyl glycol, beta-glucan, hydroxypropyl cyclodextrin, disodium edta, plant-based ethanol.


  • First timer of using serum/ampoule? Try them as spot treatment first, then gradually apply on the whole face if needed.
  • Use it after cleansing & toning steps. Usually I need 3-4 drops for the entire face, but you can adjust accordingly.
  • If you’re not a dropper expert, just drop them on your hand and gently press onto skin.
  • If you’re using hydrating toner (the viscous one), use serum first than your hydrating toner.
  • You can layer with other serum if you wish. My safest bet is Hyaluronic Acid Serum/Booster.
  • Let the serum/ampoule sink fully into skin before moving on to other steps/layers.
  • Personally, I think it’s best to apply them in an air-conditioned room. Somehow, I feel like they absorb better and won’t sting in colder temperature.



There’s the one sure thing that I can tell you before I go in details: Both are Fungal-Acne safe.

First, let me start with Glossier. This is my third bottle, so I guess you can tell that I like it that much. This serum goes after essence step on my AM routine. Why AM (you might ask)? Because it is rare to find a serum that works well beneath everything. And this works like a charm beneath everything, skincare and makeup included. Yes this is one of my absolute skin-vestment.

Priced at IDR490K (at trustable online shop here in Indonesia) for 15ml, it is expensive but the hero ingredients: niacinamide and zinc really helped my problematic skin. It helped my skin clear and reduce breakouts significantly. Unfortunately, the company didn’t state how many percentage of Niacinamide used in this HG serum. But no worries, if your skin is familiar with this form of vitamin B3, you won’t have any problem at all.

OK, let’s move on to Paula’s Choice. To tell you the truth, this is my first product from this brand. I read some good reviews about it, so I decided to purchase it from a reputable market place in Indonesia. They named this booster, but I used it with my essence in the evening as PM routine. Why so? Unlike Glossier, this is way tackier if use alone. It is sticky (almost like glue), but not oily or filmy. You can certainly feel the stickiness, even after tapping for a while. Yup, it is less comfortable compared to Glossier. But then I learned along the way, they do recommend to mix this with other serum or moisturizer. So I did mix it with my essence and voila! It didn’t feel sticky anymore. Bonus: this is the right booster if you want to achieve that glass skin look.

Priced at IDR550K (at trustable online shop here in Indonesia) for 20ml, it is more expensive than Glossier, but contains 5ml more serum. Unlike Glossier, this has 10 percent concentration of niacinamide (quite an impressive dose).


Glossier recommended to use only once a day, meanwhile Paula’s Choice can be applied twice a day. For me, I apply Glossier in the morning, and Paula’s Choice in the evening.

Glossier is more viscous compared to Paula’s.

Packaging. I like Glossier more because it’s transparent bottle so I can prepare to purchase another one before it’s finish.


Clear texture

Price (both are expensive, but IMHO worth every drop)


Nice pipet bottle that looks pretty on the vanity (instagramable, too!)

Satisfying result, clearer and smoother skin (less acne popping up).

Manufactured in the US (see, not all of my skincare products are from Korea).



I remembered back in the days when my dear mother sat in front of her dressing table, applying her Ceramide Capsules by Elizabeth Arden. It was one of those beauty highlights of my teenage life, learning a skincare routine from mom. That’s why this brand held a special place in my heart. 

Their latest launch here is FLAWLESS FUTURE Powered by Ceramide™ Caplet Serum. Catered for early signs of aging, dullness, fine lines, uneven skin tone and enlarged pores, this is an unique liquid serum with mini-beads caplets. Looking like pearls, these beads will activate themselves when dispensed. Very lightweight and feel so refreshing once applied. Perfect for tired, stressed skin as it will rejuvenate them for a more energized complexion. It dried down quickly (thanks to the clear light gel texture), creating a smooth finish on cleansed face and neck. Plus, it didn’t have any scent. Yup, the formula is fragrance-free. Perfecto!

One single pump for each area, forehead, cheeks and chin is needed every morning & night before your moisturizer and night cream. It went well with my daily moisturizer as it’s way less oilier than the original Ceramide Capsules. Recommended for more normal to oily/combination skin, as somehow it did make my pores seem smaller. And I am pleased by the ideas of a freshly activated serum for every pump. Make sure to keep this out of reach from children, as I believe they’ll be intrigued by the look of the floating caplets. Yes, it’s that appealing. 

Photo: Shinta Rosvita


Seems like everything about skin care innovations, the hair will follow.

Take BB Cream for example. When BB Cream for face launched as the latest beauty trend, they created BB Cream for hair. Then they went to CC Cream, and so did hair. Well you got what I meant.

So it comes to no surprise when Kérastase created the first serum for hair. Inspired by the incontestable success of skincare serums (one of them is LANCÔME Génifique) which changed the whole skincare routine, especially for women, Kérastase created the first concentrate which generates at its source the growth of a stronger, shiner and more beautiful hair, named INITIALISTE.

You’ve probably heard about the precious stem cells? With their high regenerating power, these cells won’t be affected by aging. But, as fragile as they are, their functionality will reduced due to internal and external aggressions, like oxidative stress, pollution and UV. Guess what? Stem cells existed at the hair follicle’s level, too. Discovered by the Recherche Avancée L’Oréal after 24 years of research, the 2 stem cells pools are as precious and as fragile as skin’s. Therefore, they have to be protected and preserved, to achieve the growth of more beautiful and stronger hair at its source.

Personally, I can’t wait to try the hair serum (and dig more about it for you), which IMHO does look like LANCÔME Génifique bottle, right down to the dropper (don’t you think so too?). I’ve read from other bloggers’ reviews that it successfully made their hair feels softer and thicker, easier to style, shinier with less breakage & split ends. Now I wonder if it’s going to be love from the first use for me? Stay tune, as Kérastase and Lancôme will have bloggers’ exclusive event soon (named Super Serum Duo Pampering Day) and of course, I’ll be there.



Biotherm White D-Tox Liquid Light (Rp 695.000 for 30ml bottle).

For the never ending search of that perfect complexion, clear, even-toned, flawless, radiant, bright, glowing and smooth. If it seems to good to be true, think again. Before you (and me) give this product a try, you should know that our complexion is largely determined by light. Yup, if we can’t see that natural glow, it could be the color barriers blocked the reflection of light on skin.

There are three color molecules known as chromophores beneath the skin which impact the path of light and play a crucial role in determining the skin’s brightness, evenness and tone. Dark spots caused by excessive production of melanin, resulting a grayish complexion. Meanwhile, that yellowish sallow complexion caused by collagen glycation, which reduce its’ capability to reflect light. Last but not least is the imbalance of hemoglobin which caused a reddish, uneven complexion.

One of the Biotherm’s Whitening Care range, this latest product contains Lumina Marina Complex which targets all three chromophores. This is definitely not a traditional brightening product, with its’ ability to combat the three major color barriers. This tough yet gently brightening serum, with its’ moisturizing and weightless formulas, will help us reach our optimal skin texture and brightness.