My Surprising Love of Facial Soap: Penelopi Moon Junga Facial Soap Review

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I love trying out new skincare, but over the years, I kind of know what works best for me.  Rarely am I brave enough to switch out everything in my skincare routine at once.  There are always a few standbys in my routine to prevent complete skin disaster.  In my case, disaster would mean either really dry and flaky skin around my nose or tons of small bumps appearing on my forehead.   For me, this facial soap has definitely been a staple the last year, almost like a security blanket.  Mostly, I know that nothing can go terribly wrong when I use this soap.

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This savoir is the Penelopi Moon Junga Facial Soap.  I never thought I would love facial soap.  Bar soap just seems like only something you used in the shower.  However, I have now been completely converted to using bar soap on my face after trying this soap.  I had randomly picked this up in my local Asian grocery store on a whim.  I had also wanted to try a soap for some time because it usually doesn’t contain heavy duty preservatives, like some liquid cleansers do.

The soap comes in three colours: Junga (red), Marsha (orange), and Tarisa (green).  Since the site is in Japanese, I have had trouble figuring out the difference.  The red one seems to be for more problematic skin and sensitive skin.  They don’t use synthetic fragrances, artificial colouring, mineral oil, and preservatives in these soaps.  You can get an idea of their their full ingredient list on their website (You will have to translate it into English).   Just a note that this is not a totally “clean” product, but they do use a lot of natural ingredients.

Claims

From the website (after using a lot of Google translate), they claim that this soap can gently repair problematic skin to bring back its original glow.  Using the power of nature, the soap is a unique formula made from 14 different plant extracts.  Some highlight ingredients include astaxanthin which is a type of antioxidant and peach leaf essence which helps maintain the elasticity and glow of your skin.  Lastly, the crescent moon is supposed to be full of amino acids which moisturize the skin.

How to Use

I usually just buy by the travel kit from my local grocery store because it comes with the foaming net already.  It also comes with a instruction sheet which is super handy.  Basically, you rub the soap on the net and then it will foam up.  Then, you pull the foam to the end of the net into your hands and apply on your face.  It is actually pretty fun because it is amazing how much foam you get!  Then, gently later over face and rinse.

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Results

This is actually the third repurchase of this travel size set.  I actually prefer the travel set because it comes with the foaming mesh even though it is not the full size product.  I really enjoy the application.  The only con is that you do have to find somewhere to hang the mesh to dry, which might be a hindrance to some people.

After cleansing with this soap, I am always amazing at how balanced my skin is.  Presently, I have normal skin in the t-zone area and dry skin on the cheeks, but I never feel like my whole face feels tight after cleansing.  My skin feels cleansed, but not overly dry.  I feel like the finest of the foam really cleans the skin throughly, but also gently.

VERDICT:  It is not a surprise that I wholeheartedly recommend this product since I have repurchased it so many times.  It is a great first time buy for a facial soap newbie.

 

Review: Covermark Bright Up Foundation

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It seems like every beauty brand is putting out a liquid concealer.  Specifically, the type with a tube and doe-foot applicator.  I do enjoy these concealers, but I still really love using creamy concealers to cover my dark circles.  Maybe, it is just the deceptive feeling that something creamy must be more moisturizing for those fine lines.  My long-time favourite has been the Ipsa Creative Concealer, which is a cream concealer with three shades you can mix to get your perfect shade.

I thought it was time to try something different and decided to get another concealer from a Japanese brand called Covermark (This is the Singapore site since it is in English).  I thought the brand originated from Japan, but the brand developer, Lydia O’Leary is from New York.  On another surprising tangent, their concealer is actually called the <Jusme Colour> Bright Up Foundation.  I first discovered this concealer on the pages of Japanese magazines.  It is also always shows up on the Top 10 page of the Japanese beauty ranking site cosme.  I just knew I needed to give it a try.

Packaging

The concealer comes is this sturdy beautiful beige and gold packaging.  This is definitely high-end makeup.  This is reflected in the price as well which is $50 USD and above.  Just a note that it is quite a difficult product to get if you live in North America.  I have found it on Amazon and Yesstyle.

Formula

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Covermark claims that this concealer contains innovative technology that will blur fine lines and brighten and cover dark undereye circles.  It will also not crease and stay put for hours.  Finally, it is also fragrance-free and has SPF 33 PA+++.

It comes in 4 shades (B1, B2, Y1, and Y2) according to Covermark’s skin undertone theory. Basically, you either have blue or yellow undertones.  Since I could not physically get to a Covermark counter to get my undertone assessed, I just assumed I was Y1 and the colour is a pretty good match for me.  You can check out how your undertone is determined here.

The ingredients can be found on CosDNA if you are interested.  If you are into green beauty, unfortunately, this does contain parabens.

Application

Since this is a stick concealer, it does go on quite thick, but it blends out really well.  Initially, I applied it to my undereye area straight from the bullet, but I later learned from their website that you are supposed to use your finger to dab the product first before applying it.  You could check out the video here.  I still remember the shock I had when I saw the “big red X” over the video of the model applying it straight from the tube!  I do think that applying after dabbing from the tube spreads and layers the product better.

Coverage

This is a medium to high coverage concealer.  It is able to completely cover my dark circles.  I sometimes will layer a bit more on some darker areas.  Considering how thick the formula is, it layers really well.

Longevity

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end sometimes.  Up to now, this products sounds perfect.  I mean, when I apply it in the morning, I always love how it looks.  The coverage is great and it is quite moisturizing.  It says that it “lasts for hours.”  This is true in that I feel like it looks pretty good for 4-6 hours.  However, by lunch time, I already feel it looks a little cakey and there is a little creasing.  I have tried applying powder, but I don’t feel like it makes a huge difference.

VERDICT:  This is a good overall concealer in that it has good coverage, blends well, and layers wonderfully.  The only cons are that it is not super long-wearing and that it doesn’t come in a comprehensive number of shades.

Fashion Favourites: It’s All in the Details

Let’s put it out there.  I don’t think I could ever be a fashion blogger.  First of all, the posing.  That just seems really difficult to me!  I mean, I did a photoshoot once, and I realized how hard modelling actually is.  However, I do enjoy fashion.  Maybe not, in the “I need to continually seek out what’s hot and new” mindset, like the passion I have for beauty.  I kind of know what I like when it comes to fashion, but I always want to break out of my comfort zone.  Also, I always look at fashion bloggers and think that it would be great to look like them, but somehow never quite get there.  Not sure if it is out of insecurity or lack of passion.

Just to give you a little insight into my fashion style, I put together some of my favourite fashion details using some of my current purchases.  I feel with fashion, it really is “all in the details.”

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Ruffles

I have always loved ruffles.  Despite the the wax and wane of fashion trends, I seem to always have something in my collection that has ruffles.  I find that ruffles can add something a little special to an ordinary fashion piece.  This love is further verified by me pinning so many of the ruffle pieces Delpozo’s 2017 Spring Ready-To-Wear Collection on my Fashion Inspiration Board.  I especially loved Look #6 with the ruffle bib and Look #33 with the cascading ruffle skirt (I have embedded the pins at the bottom of this blogpost).  I purchased this sweatshirt from J. Crew recently during their sale and loved the ruffle accents around the collar and sleeve.  I was worried that it might be too much, but it looked good on the model and I was sold.  So far, I am really enjoying it because it really elevates a simple grey sweatshirt into something “a little more.”

 

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Cute Prints

I am one of those people that wear a lot of neutrals, so I find that cute prints can really “jazz” up an outfit.  This could be in the form of a cute print on a reusable bag (I am currently carrying one covered with watermelons from Baggu) or it could also mean an overall print on blouse or sweater. Also from J. Crew (yes, I couldn’t help myself, they had free shipping), I decided to buy this  cherry print sweater.  I thought the cherry pattern almost looked like a random dot pattern from afar, which made it more wearable.

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Plain T-Shirts

I know this is not a detail per se, but lately, I have really begun to notice how important basics are to a look.  Single basics, like a plain t-shirt, are really important building blocks to create an entire look.  The catalyst for all this sudden enlightenment, if you can call it that even, has been my love of an app from originating from Japan called WEAR.  Users post their outfits and you can follow users and like their photos.  I am been mostly looking at the photos of Japanese users and loving their minimalist style.  For example, they would pair a long cardigan, a white t-shirt, jeans with amazing accessories and it looks so chic.  These looks inspired me to purchase a simple coral t-shirt lately with a bit of texture running through.  Now, I just need some amazing shoes and a bag!

I am still learning about how to embed photos, but here are a few of the looks I love from the Delpozo Spring 2017 Collection I mentioned above.

Current Favourites

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I thought it was a good time for another “Current Favourites” as I haven’t done one since the middle of August.  I am going to use the same format inspired by Youtuber Ingrid Nilsen’s Sense of Self where she uses the five senses to interview her guests about their favourite things.

Sight

I don’t binge watch anything.  Even if I start watching a TV show or Asian drama, I rarely watch more than a couple episodes a day.  However, I have totally been binge watching all the videos this couple have been making on their channel called 2hearts1seoul.  Sarah, who is Canadian, and her husband, Kyuho, from Korea, vlog about their everyday life in Korea.  I really enjoy their vlogs because I get to learn more about Korean culture.  This is something I particularly love since I was an Anthropology major.  Plus, they are just so chilled and their videos are also beautifully filmed and edited.  Altogether, it gives me a little insight, as a Canadian, how I would experience life there with a similar cultural perspective.

Smell

I am really late to the game when it comes to the Guerlain bronzers.  However, I had no idea they smelled so good!  I am not usually into floral scents, but I love smelling this bronzer every time I use it.  I finally checked on Sephora and it smells of bergamot, mandarin, gardenia, and vanilla.  Anyone else in love with this scent?

Taste

In the last few months, my husband introduced me to Vietnamese Hot and Sour Soup at our favourite South East Asian restaurant and I was surprised how much I loved it.  We had taken home the leftovers and I found myself pouring it out and heating it up to drink a few times a day.  For those who haven’t had it, it tastes very different to the Chinese style hot and sour soup, which is pretty full-on in flavour.  How to describe the flavour?  Well, I have been still trying to figure out the ingredients.  I think so we far we have figured it out that it gets its sweetest from pineapples.  The sourness is from tomatoes and maybe lemons and the spiciness is from chiles.  Then, add some prawns, herbs, and beansprouts and that’s the soup!  I am sure there are some other ingredients that we don’t know, but it is so delicious.

Touch

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I love the idea of the Lancôme Juicy Shakers.  It is just such a fun idea.  However, I am even more surprised by how much I love the feel of the sponge applicator.  It is so smooth and soft and it hugs your lips just perfectly.  I don’t recall any other lip product having that type of applicator.  Anyone else in love with the applicator?

Hearing

I listen to a variety music from difference genres and languages.  My favourite song the last month is from a Taiwanese singer called Yoga Lin called Tiny Part of You.  Here is the English translation of the lyrics if you are interested.  He started his career by winning a Taiwanese Singing Contest and many of most famous songs are touching, haunting, and beautiful.  This particular song comes from his newest album “Sell Like Hot Cakes”.  I don’t completely understand the lyrics, but I get the sense it talks about unrequited love and the feeling of wanting to be a part of someone’s life little by little.

Thanks for reading!

A Whole New World To Me: A’Pieu X Rilakkuma Water Light Tint in CR01 Review

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The world of lip tints seem like a complete mystery to me.  Photos of Korean models wearing these bright and juicy colours seemed so adorable.  However, could I, a thirty-something year old, actually still pull off such a cute and trendy look?  I think so.  It is different than what I am used to, but I love the bright and cheerful look it adds to my everyday look.

Here is my first experience with a lip tint and I am reviewing the A’Pieu X Rilakkuma Water Light Tint in CR01 Unripe Grapefruit.

Packaging

Obviously, super cute, because of the Rilakkuma packaging.  As expected, some of the lettering did start to rub off after being in my bag for a while.  Once you untwist the lid, you will find a flat shaped doe-foot applicator.  The applicator has a nice teardrop shape which makes it easy to get to the corners and edges of your lips.

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Now, here comes the main reason I will not repurchase this lip tint.  When you twist the lid off, sometimes the plunger that seals the container (this is hard to explain) will also pull off.  I can’t explain how many minutes of my life have been spent trying to get that plunger out of the lid.  So you if want to purchase this lip tint, try not to twist the lid close super tight or it will drive you crazy!

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Application

When applied on the lips, the formula almost has a cooling effect which totally surprised me. Having no previous experience with lip tints, I didn’t even take off the excess product before application the first time I used it.  Boy, was that a mistake.  I have now learnt to take off the excess on the inside of the tube.  Other than being cooling, it has almost a gel texture that glides really easily over the lips.  The formula is not sticky and feels quite moisturizing on the lips.  Lastly, it smells super fruity (it doesn’t linger though) and tastes alright if you do swallow it.

The Look

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Shade CR01 Unripe Grapefruit

The look of this lip tint is really a whole new experience for me.  It makes your lips glossy, but definitely not as “high shine” as the publicity stills on their website.  I guess, due to the tint nature, your original lip colour does still show through the tint.  Therefore, how the lip tint colour shows up on your lips will depend entirely on each person’s lip colour.  I also do feel that your lip lines show a little more than a with using a more conventional lipstick.

I think how it wears over time is the most interesting effect of this lip tint. At first, it goes on with a bit of a gloss, and then it fades out to a more matte look.  The edges of the lips will fade first with most of the pigmentation remaining in the centre of the lips.  It really does give that I “sucked on a lollipop”  look.  It’s pretty, but did take me a while to get used to.

Longevity

For some reason, I assumed lip tints actually stain your lips permanently.  Maybe, some of them do, but this particular one doesn’t.  The colour also does not last that long on your lips.  After a couple of a hours, most of the initial colour is gone.  Furthermore, after eating or drinking, you will definitely have to reapply.

If your lips are in good condition, you will not have to apply lip balm underneath.  The formula is quite moisturizing when initially applied.  However, I found that if you reapply quite a few times during the day, your lips do get quite dry.  Therefore, if you use this a lot during the day, a lip balm underneath is definitely recommended.

VERDICT:  A pigmented and flattering first purchase for a lip tint newbie.  However, I will not repurchase due to the frustrating packaging and the lack of longevity on the lips.