My Current Night Time Skincare Routine

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Inspired by the many photos of skincare routines on Instagram, I thought I would talk about my own.  As you’ll see, I am still very into Koran skincare and am “sort of” following the Korean ten step skincare routine.  Like many, I enjoy Korean skincare because it is good value, effective, and focuses more on natural ingredients.  Most of the products are new and quite a few I picked up from the Nordstrom Korean Beauty Pop-Up shop a while back.

FIRST CLEANSE

I love double-cleansing as I feel it really takes off everything.  Not a big balm or oil cleanser fan, I actually love using micellar water.  I have been rotating between the Garnier Micellar Water and the Caudalíe Micellar Cleansing Water.  Although, after watching renowned makeup artist, Lisa Eldridge’s Youtube video about accidentally swallowing micellar water and realizing that one of the ingredients is antifreeze, I might be switching to a more natural version soon.  I also remove my eye makeup with the Innisfree Apple Juicy Lip & Eye Remover, which I have reviewed in a previous post here.

SECOND CLEANSE

I usually purchase beauty items based on online reviews, but I picked up the ID.AZ Dermastic Foaming Cleanser purely on the recommendation of the salesperson at Nordstrom.  I learned that this brand was created by a famous Korean skin clinic with 18 years of surgical experience (might be a plastic surgery clinic).  The products were initially made to treat sensitive skin after their skin treatments.

This foaming cleanser is supposed to be a mild cleanser that cleanses without stripping the skin of moisture.  It contains aloe vera extract, centella asiatica extract, and panthenol to sooth skin and comes out of the dispenser like a foaming hand soap.  I use about two pumps to wash my entire face.  My skin does not feel tight after washing, but I wouldn’t say it leaves my skin as moisturized as some other cleansers I have used before.  However, it definitely hasn’t made my dry skin patches flaky or red.

TONER

So has anyone tried the Korean skincare trend, the “7 Skin Method,” which involves patting on toner seven times!  I don’t have the patience to do 7 layers, but I try to do about 3 and I feel like it has kept my skin even more moisturized then usual.  To kickstart this process, I use the Whamisa Olive Leaf Mist, which is a wonderful organic brand from Korea.  This mist also keeps my skin moisturized right after cleansing and I use it as the first layer of toner as it is full of amazing fermented ingredients.  I love it because it smells great and sinks in super fast!

Then I pat in 2 layers of the VANT Phyto Skin Natural Formulation Phyto Ingredient Face Skin.  This is another Korean brand that strives to use natural formulations.  You can check out the ingredients on Cosdna here.  This toner is almost scentless and leaves your skin plump and moisturized.  The only con is that it is quite sticky after application and takes a little bit more time to sink in.  This is perhaps due to the natural ingredients, like birch tree sap, used in the formula.

ESSENCE

It went out of stock on Glow Recipe, but I had to repurchase the Yuri Pibu Artichoke Power Essence after it came back in stock.  I mean, it was one of my favourite skincare products from last year!  In short, it tightens pores and improves the elasticity of your skin.  I miss it when I don’t have it because I notice the difference.

SERUM

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Just finished the Innisfree The Green Tea Serum, which I thought was alright.  I was actually a bit disappointed because there is a lot of hype around this product.  First of all, it doesn’t smell like green tea.  I feel it almost smells like cologne!  It is moisturizing and sinks in quickly, but not moisturizing enough for my dry combination skin.  I have just started the Blithe Pressed Serum Tundra Chaga which is made of mostly chaga mushroom extract.   It is supposed to be a serum moisturizer hybrid which brightens skin.  I will have to report back later on how it worked for me.

EYE CREAM

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I am still using my longtime favourite eye cream, which is the Shiseido Future Solution LX Eye and Lip Contour Regenerating Cream.  It’s “special formulation” has kept my crows feet and smile lines from getting worse.  It is expensive, but I keep on buying it because I have this irrational fear that if I stop using it, all my fine lines will get ten times worse.  Plus, you really only need a pea size for every application.

MOISTURIZER

COSRX is all over Instagram, and I couldn’t help but join the hype.  It is known as more of a no-frills brands that offer effective formulations for a good value.  I have used their Advanced Snail 92 Mucin Power Essence, which I found to be very lightweight for a snail product.  Their Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream is another story.  It is super slimy!  This is perhaps because it is made of 92% Snail Secretion Filtrate (hence the name).  I love it because it leaves your skin looking absolutely glowing, plump, and moisturized in the morning.  My only reservations of buying it again is that the application can be quite messy.

 

The Cramm Award

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Thank you to the lovely Jamie from her blog, Don’t Give a Jam, for nominating me for this award. She has a lovely blog which touches upon beauty, lifestyle, and her everyday life.  Thank you Jamie also for supporting my blog.

Rules:

  • Mention the person who created this award with a link
  • Mention the person(s) who nominated you
  • Share three things that motivate you to blog
  • Share three people who inspire you to blog
  • Share one thing you hope to do to improve the world
  • Answer your challenge question(s)
  • Nominate other bloggers and give them a fun challenge question

This award was created by Liv at theCramm.

3 Things That Motivate Me to Blog

  • I just really enjoy the process of  writing and taking photos for my blog.  I find it amazing that I get to do these two things still because they were my favourite classes in high school.
  • I love sharing my love of beauty and just having conversations about it with those that read my blog.  It has been so much fun!
  • I really enjoy learning about beauty.  To improve my blogposts, I have had to do more research about brands and their formulas.  It has allowed me think more critically about what I put on my face.

3 People That Inspire Me to Blog

  • Sounds really cheesy, but my husband encouraged me to blog during a very stressful time in my life.  I am forever grateful because I have loved it so much, and it has given me a hobby that I love doing every day.
  • Also, super cheesy, but everyone who reads my blog.  It has meant a lot to me, and your comments encourage me to continue.  Thank you so much.
  • This is a bit of a cheat, but so many other beauty bloggers inspire me everyday.  There are too many to name.  Some of my initial favourites before I started blogging include, Anna Edit (formerly Vivianna Does Makeup), Lily Pebbles, and From Roses.

1 Thing to Improve the World

  • I think if any of us try to think of all the things we can do to improve the world, it would be rather daunting.  I think it is much easier to focus on the small things that you know you can do for sure.  I decided to not own a car, and use public transportation because it is better for the environment.  For me, it is a pretty easy thing to do where I live, and I love taking public transit most days.  It is relaxing, you can enjoy the scenery, and there is always a few good bus stories to tell every now and then.

My Answer

Question: In your personal opinion, are dad bods still in?

Answer:  I know I’m in the older age range when it comes to blogging, but I’ll be honest.  I wasn’t totally sure what a “dad bod” was.  I just googled it.  Ok, yeah I think so.

My Question

Looking back on the first half of the year, what is the best thing that has happened to you or to the world?

I Tag

Sylliepie

Cat Flicks & Matte Lips

Ms. Meehnia

Polished and Inspired

Stash Matters

Thank you for supporting my blog!

Trying Out a Green Beauty Cult Favourite: rms Beauty “Un” Cover-Up Review

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I have loved everything I have tried from rms beauty.  However, I have always been a little reluctant to try their concealer/foundation called “un-cover up”.  Mostly because it just seemed really foreign to me to use such a thick cream foundation on my face.  I guess I had this preconceived notion that it would feel very heavy on my skin.  Plus, it had a coconut oil base and I kept on hearing that coconut oil breaks you out and at my age, the thought having to deal with breakouts did not sound appealing to me!  So it totally did not make any sense when I just suddenly decided to buy it at local shop.

So?  I was totally wrong.  In fact, I think it might be one of my favourite foundations ever.  I have been wearing this on repeat the last few weeks.  And no, it hasn’t broken me out.  The whole experience of using this foundation has been kind of breakthrough to me.  It doesn’t adhere to many of the usual prerequisites I expect from a foundation.  I decided to breakdown this product use these surprising qualities.

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Shade 22

It comes in a glass tub

Most cream foundations usually come in stick form or in a foundation compact.  This foundation comes in a thick glass tub with a white lid.  rms states that all their packaging is either biodegradable, recyclable, or reusable.  I think this foundation would be great for traveling as it is super compact and you won’t have to worry about it leaking.

It melts into the skin

This formula is very deceiving.  It looks thick and creamy in the tub, but it literally melts into the skin when you apply it.  One second it is there and then it disappears into the skin and you are almost like, where did it go?  It is recommended you apply it with fingers, and that is my preferred choice of application.  However, you can also apply with a brush (preferably synthetic).  They also have a really beautiful brush you can purchase specifically to apply this product if you are interested.

Here are a few claims of the product from their website which I find quite unique as well:

“Apply sparingly with fingers over the T-zone area or wherever any extra coverage is desired”

Rarely, do you see a brand tell you to apply foundation only a certain area, so I found these application directions very interesting.  I don’t apply it that sparingly, but if your t-zone usually gets oily, I think applying it sparingly will minimize that from happening.  The coverage is light to medium.  It evens out your skin beautifully and covers redness.  However, I don’t find it is great at covering acne scars and pigmentation.  It can also be used as a light concealer and  I would definitely say that it is “light” when it comes to concealing.  I definitely favour it as a foundation more than a concealer as I have pretty dark circles under my eyes.

“Mineral pigments will self-adjust to your skin tone”

This claim just sounds a little too good to be true because it only comes in 7 shades.  After using it forever, I really think it does.  I’m not sure what kind of magic this is!

“Moisturizes and heals, resulting in beautiful second skin”

It is definitely moisturizing and leaves your skin initially with a satin finish.  I do agree it looks almost like “second skin.”  As the day goes by, depending on your skin type, I do find it gets quite dewy, even a little bit oily on my t-zone area.  For my dry cheeks, this is amazing because they have never looked so moisturized, but for my t-zone, it can look almost greasy.  However, this is an even fix, with some powder, and it will look great all day.  What the healing claim?  That is a bold claim.  All I can say is that I didn’t have any breakouts and my skin has looked really good the last month.

Just a few additional things I wanted to mention

rms beauty claims it will minimize pores and I can definitely vouch for that.  What about longevity? I think you definitely should powder and it lasts most of a work day.  I mean, I don’t really consider it a long-wearing foundation though.

VERDICT:  I love this foundation and would totally recommend it, not only as a green product, but just as a foundation in general.  However, I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who is looking for full coverage or a more “made-up” look.

My Favourite Blush: Coffret D’or Smile Up Cheeks Review

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I discovered this blush as part of a Christmas gift set from my sister, and I have loved it ever since.  If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love Japanese cosmetics.  They have such beautiful packaging and effective formulations.  The blush I am talking about is the Coffret D’or Smile Up Cheeks.  I decided to picked up the blush again after hit pan from my local Japanese beauty store, but it might be more difficult to purchase out of Asia.  Here are some websites that ship internationally where you can purchase it: Yesstyle and Sasa.

Coffret D’or is a department store brand from a large beauty brand called Kanebo.  They also own other Japanese brands you might have heard of like Kate, Lunasol, and Media, which I also love.  I didn’t find out till after the fact, but this blush has actually won a No. 1 spot on one of Japan’s major beauty ranking websites called Cosme (similar to Makeupalley).  I think it deserves that rankin!  Let’s start off with some of the claims of this particular blush from their website (I just used Google Translate, so if there are any discrepancies, please let me know).

  • cheek blurring (I am guessing this means pore minimizing)
  • delicate and glossy appearance
  • moisturizing formula with collagen
  • looks like natural skin after application
  • the center colour provides pigmentation, while the outer section creates a blurring effect
  • 4 shades

Packaging

Do I think this is the most beautiful packaging ever?  Probably not for a department store brand.  However, the dome shape of the clear lid allows you to see the beautiful swirled rose design stamped into the blush powder.  Plus, it also the houses the small brush that allows you to take it on-the-go.  Even though the brush is small, it is very soft, and great for the intended application of this blush.

Application

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Their website shows you that this blush is supposed to be applied using a two-step technique.  Using the included brush, you are supposed to swirl the brush in the centre portion and apply it to the centre of cheeks.  Then, you swirl the brush around the outer portion of the blush and then apply around the perimeter of your cheek to blend out the colour.  Sometimes, the pigmentation can be quite intense for work, and I will just use a big fluffy blush brush and swirl it around the entire blush pan.

Formula

The powder is very soft and finely milled.  There isn’t a lot of fallout though.  It provides your cheek with a soft glow, which is not super shimmery.  The effect is kind of hard to explain.  When you swatch it, it looks a bit frosty, but when you blend it in, it sinks in quickly, and gives a very natural glow.  I am amazed at how smooth and flawless it makes your cheeks look.  I have quite dry cheeks and it keeps them looking glowy without resorting to a cream blush.

Longevity

I am amazed at how this blush lasts!  I apply it in the morning and it is still there at night.  I have tried it on top of different foundations and the colour is almost as vibrant as when I applied it in the morning.  I remember the first time I used it and looked at myself after work, and I was shocked that my blush was still there.

VERDICT:  I am just in love with blush.  I just want to get more shades!

Yes! I’m Trying out Another Possible Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer Dupe

 

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I know everyone is probably tired of reading these, but the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer has become such a cult favourite.  It has become an easy benchmark to compare every other doe-foot applicator liquid concealer to.  I received this possible dupe, the A’Pieu Moist Creamy Concealer, as a gift from sister.  The immediate thought I had upon seeing it was to figure out if it was a dupe for the Nars one simply because the packaging is so similar.  Like previous comparisons, I am first going to talk about the claims of each product using information from their websites.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Macadamia (new colour)

  • evens skin with lightweight medium to high buildable coverage
  • Enriched with hydrating, multi-action skincare benefits and light diffusing technology
  • creates a softer, smoother complexion
  • diminishes fine lines and signs of fatigue
  • long wearing and crease-proof
  • 16 shades
  • $30 USD

A’Pieu Moist Creamy Concealer in 4 (#4 is still a bit light for me)

  • creamy and moisturizing formula
  • helps cover blemishes, dark areas, and can be used for contouring
  • SPF 30/PA++
  • natural and flawless coverage
  • 5 shades to target each skin tone (I was using Google Translate so don’t really understand this part)
  • under $10 USD

Packaging

Such similar packaging!  Both come in the clear tubular packaging with the doe-foot applicator. One difference is the A’Pieu concealer doesn’t have the matte black handle which gets dirty so fast. Although, I must admit the matte black is very sleek though.  Another difference is that product will not gather around the opening of the packaging when you open and close it.  I often have to wipe down the opening of the Nars one so the product doesn’t start smearing on the outside.

Application

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A’Pieu in 4 (left) and Nars in Macadamia (right)

The consistency of both liquid concealers are on the creamier side.  The A’Pieu one is a tad more creamier and thick.  Although, they both blend out really easily, with the A’Pieu one just taking a little longer due to its thicker texture.  I would definitely say less is more for either product as it could get quite cakey if you use a lot, especially under the eyes.  I usually use like a dab or two.  The only exception would be if you used a Beauty Blender, which would take off the excess off the area.  Although, I prefer to use my fingers to blend out the product because I find the Beauty Blender takes down the coverage a notch.

Finish

They both leave the under the under eye area with a satin finish.  I wouldn’t say it was really glowy or left my under eye area moisturized.  I think I would prefer a cream concealer for that.

Coverage

I would consider both on the medium side when it comes to coverage on the under eye area.  I actually think where either product shines is when they are used to cover redness and acne.  I have had some breakouts on my chin, and they completely obliterate that.  I think they are also great for highlighting if you get a lighter shade.

Longevity

I think they are quite similar in this category.  I find that they will crease under the eyes after a few hours.  However, if you set with powder, they last a whole 8 hour work day.  After that time, you will find a bit of creasing.

VERDICT:  So is it a good dupe?  I think it is a pretty good dupe.  It is very similar in all the categories I mentioned above.  I think it really comes down the shade selection and price.   Nars definitely offers more shades.  However, if your skin is on the lighter side, MAC NC25 or below, then you should be able to find a match with the A’Pieu one.  All in all, I tend to think I’d rather pay more to find the right shade.  Therefore, I would pick the Nars one, and also I find the texture of the Nars one a little lighter.

Blue Sky Tag

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I really enjoying doing tags, so I wanted to thank Sylliepie for nominating me!  Her blog is amazing and such a great read.  Thanks for always supporting my blog!

THE RULES

1. Thank the person who nominated you
2. Answer their 11 questions
3. Tag 11 people
4. Give them 11 questions to answer

Here are your questions:

If you can pick only one skincare product to use for the rest of your life, what would it be? (Choose wisely)

I think it would have to sunscreen because it is the best anti-aging beauty product.  I know, not a super exciting answer.  The last few years, I have been really into natural sunscreens.  I have been loving the Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer.  I know this is a bit of a cheat because it also doubles as a primer.

Do you trust anyone with your life? If yes, who and why?

Pretty standard answer probably, but it would my parents.  I have trusted them with my life since I was born and they have come through in every situation where I have needed them.  They are one of the greatest blessings in my life.

What is the last picture you took with your phone?

As a blogger, I am always scared to past my camera roll for others to see because it is full of endless photographs I use for my Instagram.

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I love how beautiful this soap I got from the Nordstrom Korean Beauty Pop-Up is.

Have you ever danced in the rain?

No, but I would love to!

What are you afraid of?

This is going to make me sound like I am super old, but I am often afraid that I am letting life past me.  That I am not enjoying every moment of my life.  I just find as I get older life has become one big blur.  To slow down time, I have been using this app called 1 Second Everyday to capture a video every day.  It really has helped me to stop and try to think of something to record every day. After a year, I can’t wait to relive it through the final compilation video.

Would you eat a deep-fried insect for $40,000?

I don’t know, what kind of insect is it?  If it is a small one, I might be able to do it.  It would depend if I really needed that $40,000 for something important as well.

What did you do for your latest birthday?

I can’t even remember.  I haven’t had a birthday celebration for a long time.  I am pretty sure I probably went to dinner with my family.

What’s your favourite memory?

Wow, that is such a tough question!  I think from my childhood, it would have to be visiting my uncles in Los Angeles.  We would get to go to Disneyland and they would get a Christmas tree and have tons of presents for us.  They were almost like Santa Claus to us because our family was pretty frugal when I was young.

Who’s your favourite person and why?

I will have to say my husband although he never reads this blog.  Most importantly, he was the one who inspired me to blog.  I am so glad he did because I have loved blogging so much!

What is your perfect full course meal?

Three courses of dessert probably!  If it was a typical full course meal, probably Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce.  I wish I was Italian sometimes.  Probably, like a triple chocolate mousse cake for dessert also.

I Tag (no pressure at all):

My Questions:

  1. What is your favourite Disney movie?  (obviously, I just saw Beauty and the Beast)  If you are not into Disney, what is your favourite movie?
  2. Which Disney character would you want to be?  If you are not a Disney fan, what character in a movie would you like to be?
  3. Are you the type that would have a mouse as a pet, or run as far away from one as possible?
  4. What is a song that always puts you a good mood?
  5. What is a place that brings you great joy?
  6. What is place you go to when you are sad?
  7. What are some items on your current beauty wish list?
  8. Do you think success is based mostly on hard work or luck?
  9. If you could be a celebrity for a day, who would it be?
  10. What is a beauty item on your anti-haul list?
  11. What is one beauty-related item or treatment you have done lately that has been out of your comfort zone?

Eyeliner Face-Off: Lancôme Drama Liqui-Pencil vs. Make Up For Ever Aqua Eye Pencil XL Review

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Akin to foodies who are always on the hunt for the best brunch, I am always on the hunt for the best eyeliner.  I picked up these two pencil eyeliners as deluxe samples from Sephora a few months ago and thought it was the perfect opportunity to test them out without paying full price.  I love eyeliners from Asia, but I was super excited to try some other brands as well for this blog.  The liners in question are the Lancôme Drama Liqui-Pencil (Noir Intense) and Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil (Matte Black).  I am going to start off by talking about the claims of each product (just summarized from their websites) then move onto a more in-depth review.

Lancôme Drama Liqui-Pencil (Noir Intense)

  • longwear khôl eyeliner

  • glides on smoothly and softly
  • maximum colour intensity
  • all day wear
  • liquid-like creamy texture blends beautifully
  • smudge-resistant colour
  • 16 shades

Makeup Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil (Matte Black)

  • extra long lasting waterproof pencil
  • ultra-pigmented colours
  • easy application, amazingly smooth glide
  • super precise and ultra-resistant
  • creamy texture blends easily with a brush
  • 20 shades
  • five finishes – matte, satiny, iridescent, metallic, diamond

As you can see, they are pretty similar in what they offer in comparison to other eyeliners, which is a long-wearing and pigmented eyeliner.  So lets go through my criteria for eyeliner and see how they each fared.

I’ll so just say right off the bat that I probably wouldn’t be buying either liner after trying the sample.  It is just that I have a very difficult eyelids, nothing stays on them all day.  So I am guessing these might work better on someone with less oily and watery hooded eyes.  Overall, I just felt that neither them worked well enough for me to consider buying the full size.

Longevity – Lancôme

On me, both these liners will start to flake off it in bits (Lancôme) or sink into fine lines (Make Up Forever) in the outer corner of the eye after a few hours.  After a full work day (8-10) hours, they both have completely smudged on the bottom outer corner of my eyes.  Plus, I don’t find the Make Up Forever pencil that waterproof because after getting teary from cutting onions, I feel like there was even more smudging under the eyes.

Pigmentation – Lancôme

They are both very black.  However, the Lancôme is “blacker.”  The Make Up For Ever one still has a hint of grey in comparison.

Application – Make Up For Ever

In some sense this might not be an entirely fair comparison because the Lancôme liner is a khôl eyeliner.  This type of eyeliner is usually a bit more soft.  However, I found the Lancôme liner to be way too mushy during application.  Chunks of the liner would also come off the liner when you applied it.  Even worst is that when it dried, you cannot apply over top of it again to fix mistakes because dried chunks of the liner will fall off leaving a blank area on your lid.

The Make Up For Ever fared much better.  I think it had pretty good glide, although I don’t feel it is amazing like they claim.  With this pencil, you are able to redraw over the line even when it is starting to dry.

VERDICT:  I don’t recommend either one if you want a totally smudgeproof day.  Out of the two, I would probably recommend the Make Up Forever Pencil more because the application was a little easier.  Plus, the Lancôme pencil was so hard to sharpen because it was so soft.  It is probably one of those that you need to put in the refrigerator before you sharpen it.  Overall, I am disappointed that they both didn’t work for me, but I’m glad I didn’t have to buy the full to size to find that out.

Trying Some Korean Eye Makeup Removers

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I wear a lot of waterproof and smudgeproof eye makeup, so I don’t know what I would do without a good eye makeup remover.  Micellar water usually stings my eyes and is not really as effective at removing waterproof makeup.  So I usually opt to use dual-phase eye makeup removers, that can easily remove waterproof eyeliner and mascara.  I used to love the cult Lancôme Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover, which I used for many years.  However, I found that it left my eyes pretty oily after removal.  Then, I moved on to the Clarins Instant Eye Make-Up Remover.  I enjoy this one because it removes eye makeup quickly and doesn’t leave as oily of a residue.  However, over the years, I have gotten more sensitive to scent, and the scent of this eye makeup remover seems to linger.

Now, to what I have decided to purchase to remedy the issue.  So instead of doing any research, I decided to go on a Korean online website, and randomly pick two to try.  The two in question are the Mizon Natural Grain Real Oatmeal Essential  Lip & Eye Remover and the innisfree Apple Juicy Lip & Eye Remover.

Description

Mizon Natural Grain Real Oatmeal Essential Lip & Eye Remover

  • double-layered emulsion-type make-up remover
  • removes waterproof makeup
  • oil cleanses skin gently and completely
  • other layer provides moisture
  • oatmeal and various vegetable extracts protect skin around eyes and delivers moisture

innisfree Apple Juicy Lip & Eye Remover

  • effectively removes longwearing point makeup
  • polysaccharose and minerals from apples protect skin from dryness and irritation
  • has the sweet and sour scent of apples
  • 88% natural ingredients
  • Kaolin powder’s controls excess sebum to give you a refreshed feeling

Like a previous blogpost comparison I did, I am going to through certain criteria I look for in a eye makeup remover and name a “best of” for each criteria.

Best Scent – innisfree

I know this criteria is counterintuitive because I prefer products without a scent.  However, it is often difficult to find scentless products until you actually have the product to smell it for sure.  If there is a scent I can tolerate, it would be citrus scents.  Therefore, innisfree wins is this category with its apple scent.  Honestly, it is so subtle, you barely smell it unless you put the soaked cotton pad right up to your nose.  The Mizon one has a strong scent and smells pretty strongly of alcohol

Best Packaging – innisfree

They both come in 100 mL bottles.  The innisfree bottle is taller and Mizon is more rounded.  I think they both are a great size for travel since they fit easily in the palm of your hand.  The twist off caps keeps the products from possibly leaking.  I think I would just pick the innisfree’s packaging because it has a bigger hole on the top to dispense product.  Just makes it quicker to get the product out and I can stick a small cotton swab inside the container to help me remove bits of makeup left in my eyelashes.

Best at Removing Makeup – tie

Drumroll to the most important criteria for a eye makeup remover.  This is going to be a little anticlimactic because they are both really good!  You only need to swipe once with a soaked cotton pad to remove most pencil liners, and maybe twice with a waterproof liquid liner.  Sometimes, I would just soak a couple seconds with either product and everything comes off.

Best at Leaving Eye Refreshed After Removal – Mizon

I don’t enjoy eye makeup removers that leave your eyes super oily after removal simply because I don’t like the feeling.  Moreover, sometimes, I want to remove the makeup to put something different and it is difficult to do that if lid is oily.  Since there is oil in both products, it will get a little oily no matter what especially if you use too much.  However, the Mizon one tends to leave the eyelid a bit drier after removal.  I mean, the innisfree one is not too oily after removal either if you don’t accidentally use too much.

Best at Removing Japanese Mascaras – innisfree

Japanese mascaras are notoriously difficult to remove.  They both remove the Heroine Make mascaras after a couple of soakings with a cotton pad.  The innisfree one just does it a little bit faster.  I wouldn’t say either is super quick at removing Japanese mascaras though.

VERDICT:  The winner is probably pretty obvious by now.  innisfree just wins on scent and packaging and is very good at removing eye makeup.  Plus, the ingredients are bit more natural which I appreciate.

 

Get to Know Me: Favourite Non-Beauty Youtube Channels

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I have been wanting to do more blogposts to let you know me a little better.  I considered doing a “50 Facts About Me,” but it just seems truly daunting to think about so many facts about myself.  So I decided to talk about some things I am into outside of beauty by sharing some of my favourite Youtube channels.  If you have any Youtube channels that you watch that you think I would like, I would love some new recommendations!  Hope you enjoy this post!

I love animals, and especially enjoy watching dog rescues

There are not many animals that I dislike.  Although, I must say insects are a bit hard for me.  I find that a day spent with animals will automatically relax and make me happier.  I don’t have any pets of my own, but like many people, I love watching animal videos.  They always say you are either dog or cat person.  I used to be a dog person, but over the years, I learned to love cats as well. Lately, I’ve been binge watching a Youtube channel called “Gone to the Snow Dogs” about a couple that own 3 Huskies.  I love watching her make homemade treats for them and bring them on all sorts of adventures.  It always brings a smile to my face.

I also love watching dog rescues, like Vet Ranch.  Their channel stresses the importance of dog neuter and spays in light of the problems with dog overpopulation.  They focus on taking dogs that might otherwise by euthanized, and often giving them straightforward medical procedures that make them completely adoptable.

I love learning about other cultures

As I mentioned in a previous blogpost, I have a degree in Anthropology.  Therefore, I always love learning about the intricacies of someone’s culture, either from actually going to someone’s home to try a home cooked meal, or actually travelling to a place and immersing myself in their everyday life.  I haven’t travelled much the last few years, but I still love learning about other cultures through Youtube.

Lately, I have been watching a lot of travel food channels.  I have especially been loving the ones that try street food in Asia.  As my parents are from China, I often wonder what types of food they eat in other areas of China, either than the Cantonese food I grew up with.   I feel that often at a restaurant, you only might taste the “star” dishes of that country, but you never really get to try out the diversity of food that actually exists if the you visit the country.

That is perhaps why I love watching The Food Ranger.  He lives in China presently, and he will often go to small villages to try out the local specialties.  He will often try the same dish, but in a different region of China.  It is totally fascinating for a cultural buff like me to see the diversity of food in the world.

If you love The Food Ranger, you will also love Mark Wein’s channel about food in Thailand.

I am learning how to cook

I only officially moved out a few years ago.  My mother did most of the cooking all my life. However, I got married a few years ago, and I realized I should really learn to cook better.  I figured food just being edible is not good enough if you have to eat it everyday.  Let’s be honest though, “not very edible” and “barely edible” have been quite common terms in my home the last few years. Like many who have to come home and cook after a full day of work, I love recipes that are quick and taste good.

One channel that is not really a cooking channel, but I thought I would recommend here is Karlie Kloss’s Youtube channel.  Not only is Karlie a famous model, but she loves to bake and also talk about coding.  I find her recipes super easy to follow and there is one particular recipe I use a lot, which is her Chocolate Chia Pudding Recipe.  Super grains are huge the last few years, but actually finding recipes that you wholeheartedly think are really tasty are quite difficult.  I love this pudding because it tastes like having dessert in the morning.

I also love Sorted Food, Cooking with Dog, and Gordon Ramsay’s channel.

If you have channels you love, please comment below!  🙂

Haul: Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

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As I was writing this haul post, I realized there was an overarching theme to all the items that I have purchased recently.  They were all types of items that I have never tried.  Items that take me out of my beauty comfort zone.  I also realized that I had a lot of misconceptions of these products that are totally unwarranted.  I hope you enjoy this haul.

Dolly Wink Eyebrow Coat

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I have never worn brow gel.  Mostly, because I had this preconception that brow gels made your brows stiff and unnatural.  However, lately, after hearing how great the Glossier Boy Brow (they don’t ship to Canada) is from all these beauty gurus on Youtube, my interest to tame those few unruly brow hairs grew.  Since I notice that many Japanese brands put out many brow mascaras, I thought that this Eyebrow Coat from Dolly Wink was worth a try. This is not like a typical brow gel. It comes in a tube with a flat brush that looks like it should be used to paint nail polish.  The formula is supposed to be waterproof and smudgeproof and has hyaluronic acid to moisturize the brows.  It also dries quickly and is not sticky once dried.

Initial Thoughts:  It smells really strongly of alcohol.  I am still getting used to the application, but it really does hold those brow hairs.  Almost feels like you put glue in brows.  Is that how brow gel is supposed to feel?

rms “un” cover-up

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Cream foundation?  Haven’t used it and haven’t really thought about trying it.  Would it feel heavy and cakey?  However, if you have been reading my blog for a while, other than Asian beauty, I am super into Green Beauty.  Currently, my favourite Green Beauty base products are the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder and from Japan, the naturaglacé Foundation Puree.  However, I have always wanted to branch out and try some other “green” foundations.  I heard the rms “un” cover-up is kind of a cult product in the Green Beauty world, but also kind of a Marmite product.  It claims to not cover up, but enhance the radiance of your own skin.  It is lightweight and melts into the skin while minimizing pores.

Initial Thoughts:  I am truly surprised at how lightweight this is considering it is a cream product. Like the brand claims, it basically melts into the skin.  My only concern is that the coverage is quite minimal, almost like a tinted moisturizer.  I will have to continue testing it out to see how it wears throughout the day.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Olive Leaf Mist

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This is my first face mist.  I can’t really explain why I never really got into using face mist, except for pure laziness.  Plus, it was almost extra money that I had to spend on another part of my skincare. So what changed me?  Well, I heard that this Whamisa face mist could be used as a toner after cleansing.  I got this idea initially from Anna from Style Under Pressure blogpost here, where she talked about using it this way.  She has also discussed that this is a quick way to keep your skin moisturized before the next step in your skincare routine.  An added bonus for me is this mist contains 92.5% organic ingredients and it is water-free so it is packed full of fermented ingredients that will keep your skin moisturized.

Initial Thoughts:  I love how refreshing and moisturizing this mist is.  I think I am still having trouble with the spraying technique though.  I feel like sometimes I am missing parts of my face.  If you have used a face mist before, just wondering how many sprays you use?  Plus, how saturated should your face be?

Heimish All Clean Balm

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I must admit I haven’t used an oil cleanser for maybe like ten years.  My only encounter with one was using the cult Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil many years ago.  I remember it left my dry cheeks dry and my nose area flaky after a while and since then I haven’t even attempted to go near the stuff again.  However, since joining Instagram, endless photos of the beautiful packaging of the Heimish All Clean Balm reeled me in.  I usually use micellar water and a separate eye makeup remover to remove my makeup, but a cleansing balm seemed like a quick way to remove everything at once. Other than the beautiful packaging, this cleansing balm is supposed to be great for sensitive skin (which appealed to me), and really effective at removing all remnants of makeup (I use quite a lot of waterproof eye makeup).

Initial Thoughts:  It must be the curse of the oil cleanser.  First of all, I don’t know if I love rubbing this into my eyes.  Even if I do it gently, I feel like it irritates my eyes a bit, and leaves my eyesight a little blurry.  Also, after removal, my skin doesn’t feel totally clean and like there is a film of residue left over.  Is this normal?  However, most importantly, it left my cheeks red and irritated again.  So I am putting it away for while, and hoping that it was the rose hip oil that I started using at the same time that caused my face sensitivities.

Any thoughts of your experience with these types of beauty products would be appreciated.