Sephora VIB Sale Haul

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I know some of you are probably onto the Black Friday hauls, but I thought I’d throw this blogpost up anyway as I didn’t get to pick up my package till last week.  From the Sephora VIB Sale, I picked up a few things to replenish some empties in my collection, and lets face it, the other items I got purely because I wanted them.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in 02 Raspberry

For me, a lip balm is always a necessity in my life.  However, did I really need to get a $25 lip treatment?  Probably not.  I was on the tail end of my Bio Beauté by Nuxe Tinted Repairing Lip Balm and was on the hunt for a new lip balm to try.  The chic packaging and adorable  “cocoon” applicator of this Clarins lip oil just lured me in.  Made of plant oils, this lip oil not all moisturizes your lips, but also gives a bit of shine and colour to them.  So far, compared to the Lancôme Juicy Shakers, I find that it stays longer on my lips.  Plus, like the name implies, the oil feels very comfortable on the lips, and coats them without feeling sticky.

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Burberry Complete Eye Palette in 12 Nude Blush

For a beauty junkie, getting a gorgeous eyeshadow palette needs no justification.  Others might prefer buying designer bags, but I’d rather buy designer makeup.  I mean, it is way more affordable in comparison!  I’ve heard Burberry’s infamous eyeshadow shades “Pale Barley” and “Midnight Brown” thrown around so much on Youtube that I had to give them a try.  A palette seemed the best way to try out more than one shade.  What can I say?  The packaging is stunning, it has an amazing magnetic closure, and the shadows are beautiful.  I chose nude blush because I didn’t have any mauve and pink shades in my collection anymore.  I remembered how much I used to love these colours!

Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water

So I bought this because I had done a previous blogpost about deliberating over which micellar water to try next.  After a long process of debating over which one to buy, it came down to buying both the Caudalie and the Koh Gen Do micellar waters.  I was able to get this one, but the Koh Gen Do unfortunately was sold out.  There was a time I used a lot of Caudalie skincare.  It is a brand that favours natural ingredients, which is something I am really into.  I found their products really effective, but just like any beauty junkie, you just end of moving on to newer products.  So far, it smells really refreshing like the rest of the Caudalie line.  We’ll have to see how good it is at removing makeup.

CAVIAR Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo

I have a super fussy scalp.  It can be fine sometimes, and then suddenly, out of the blue it will become dry, flaky, and itchy.  Nothing seems to completely help the problem, but this CAVIAR shampoo seems to keep it from getting worse.  I seem to always repurchase the travel size of this shampoo whenever I am in “S. O. S.” mode.  Even though this shampoo is aimed at strengthening and moisturizing your hair, it seems to settle my scalp somehow.  I don’t know how.  Maybe it is the caviar in that product that is doing something magical.

Lastly, of course I had to get some Shiseido Facial Cotton because I’m sure it is a guilty pleasure among many of us beauty lovers.  It is so soft and smooth on the skin, but quite luxury in price, so a perfect pick to get during the Sephora sale.  Can’t wait to try everything and report back.

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Korean Skincare Haul = What I’m Into Lately

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I think your hauls are often a reflection of what you are into lately.  I mean, I guess there really isn’t a reason for a haul sometimes.  Sometimes, you just need some retail therapy! Whatever the reason, here some of the items I hauled to replenish the empties in my skincare routine.

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So weird how I often run out of all my skincare at one time.  I basically almost had to replenish everything at the same time this month.  Over the years, I have tried a lot of skincare, but since hitting my 30s, I realized I have to really take care of myself (including eating healthier and exercising more) or things go downhill pretty fast.  I know, this makes me seem like an old lady. However, it is really reflected in my choice of skincare though.  I tend to go for more natural ingredients and spend more time on my skincare in general.  Combined with my love for Korean skincare lately, it was natural for me to haul more products from innisfree.

innisfree is a Korean brand that strives to use natural ingredients from Jeju Island in their products. I have repurchased many bottles of their Soy Bean Energy Essence, so I thought it was time to branch out and use some of their other products.

innisfree Eco Science Lotion

What appealed the most to me about this product was that it met ECOCERT standards.  It is made of 99.77% of natural ingredients with 10.45 % of organic ingredients.  The main ingredients include natural Jeju sea plants, which are known for their regenerative properties.  The vitamins and minerals from these plants are supposed to have anti-aging properties, which I totally need at my age.

Initial Thoughts: The texture is very fluid and absorbs very quickly into the skin.  My skin does feel moisturized and plump after use.  The smell is quite pungent, not sure how to describe, but it dissipates pretty quickly.

innisfree The Green Tea Seed Serum

I think this is one of innisfree’s most well-known products.  I decided it was time for me to give it try.  Unfortunately, I am not a green tea lover.  I don’t like green tea ice cream or anything green tea related.  I hope this is finally the one green tea item I will love!  Infused with 100% green tea leaves, this serum is supposed to hydrate your skin and prevent moisture-loss.  As my current serum runs out soon, I can’t wait to use this during the dry winter months.

Skin Tightening Skincare

I think wrinkles are always the first signs of aging we recognize.  However, I have begun to realize that sagging and losing elasticity from skin is just as relevant.  If you have been following Glow Recipe, an online site that specializes in natural Korean skincare, they have been raving about the Yuri Piru Artichoke Power Essence

Yuri Piru Artichoke Power Essence

Not a big fan of green tea, but I do like artichokes.  And no, this is not the sole reason I wanted to try this essence.  I think the name “advanced skin tightening complex” was the big selling-point for me.  When you are in your 30s, advance skin care sounds great!  This essence promises to improve elasticity and minimize pores.  Housed in a dropper, you would think it would be quite liquidly, but instead it comes out as a lotion (it is supposed to be waterless).

Initial Thoughts:  I love applying this onto my skin!  It leaves your skin feeling glowy and moisturized, but the most amazing thing is that after using it for a week, I already feel my pores are minimized.  Can’t wait to see what the long-term benefits are!

Propolis

I really enjoyed the LJH Propolis Ampoule and decided to give their cream a try.  As indicated on the Glow Recipe website, propolis is rich in antioxidants and provides an instant dewy glow.  It is supposed to hydrate, brighten, and neutralize free radicals.  Can’t wait to try it and report back!

Thanks for reading!  Just finally got my Sephora sale haul today.  I will have share what I got in another blogpost.

Normal to Dry Combination Skin: “Nothing Too Bad Will Happen” Cleansers

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Believe it or not, trying out a new cleanser can be an anxiety-ridden task for me.  I’ll often ask myself:  Will it dry out my skin?  Will it break me out?  How long will it take to repair the damage if things don’t work out?  Luckily, having used skincare for many years now, there are a few cleansers that I can always depend on.

Just a little background on my skin type first.  I used to have more dry/oily combination skin, but as I have gotten older my skin has become more normal/dry combination.  My t-zone area has become less oily, and my cheeks have remained pretty dry.  I mainly look for cleansers that are effective, but don’t dry out my skin.

As you’ll see in my list, I tend to favour cream cleansers because I think they are more moisturizing. Moreover, since having some bad experiences with oil cleansers drying out my skin, I have tended to avoid them.  If anyone has any recommendations, I am open to trying out some balm cleansers.

fresh Soy Face Cleanser

This is a very well-loved cleanser and rightly so.  It is just so dependable!  Not only does it do a good job of cleansing your skin, but it is also so gentle.  My skin always feels soft and smooth after using it.  Its highlight ingredients includes soy, of course, which helps maintain elasticity.  Other ingredients include rose water and cucumber extract which help to sooth and nourish the skin. Application-wise, it comes out as a fluid gel texture, and feels a bit slimy when you apply it (not in a bad way).  I don’t think I have another cleanser with this texture because it really doesn’t foam up that much.  It totally works though.

Narüko Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic Foaming Wash EX

I don’t know how many times I have repurchased this cleanser even though it is not easily accessible to me.  First of all, it has the most amazing rose scent.  If you love rose-scented beauty products, you will love this!  This brand originates from Taiwan, and was created by a local beauty expert.  This is a thick cream cleanser.  You squeeze out about 1 cm and then foam it up with water before putting it on your face.  It produces more foam than the fresh cleanser mentioned above, but it is not super foamy.  After cleaning, it leaves my skin clean, balanced, and not tight at all. Definitely one of my all-time faves.

Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash

This cleanser is very similar to the Narüko one, except maybe, it foams a little more.  Personally, I find the claims of this face wash a little “too good to be true.”  Origin claims this face wash “balances faces with dry and oily places.”  It discourages oil in the oily areas and protects dry areas. Does it actually work though?  I think, in general, it really does work.  My face does feel balanced and not tight.  Your skin after cleansing might not feel as plump and moisturized as the other cleansers I have mentioned before, but it doesn’t make dry areas worse, which is my usual problem.

THREE Balancing Foam

This is a cream cleanser I tried recently, and I thought I would love it because it was really similar to the others I have mentioned in this list.  This is a Japanese brand that prides itself in using mostly quality natural ingredients in their products.  So did I enjoy it?  I would say yes.  The texture and application are similar to the other cream cleansers I have mentioned.  The only con for me is the smell.  I guess, they use a lot of natural oils in their products, but I was not too fond of the “gingery” smell.  And yes, like the name implies, it does leave your skin “balanced.”

I just also wanted to mention that one of my all-time favourites lately is the Penelopi Moon Junga Facial Soap, which is surprising since it is not a cream cleanser.  I have done a review here if you are interested.  If you love lots of foam and have more sensitive skin, you will love this!

Thanks for reading and if anyone has some great balm cleansers for dry skin, I would love some recommendations!  🙂

This or That: Jane Iredale In Touch Cream Blush Vs. Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint Review

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I enjoy both of these blushes so this isn’t a true “This or That” blogpost.  For me, I would probably buy both of them.  I personally find it nice to have a blush collection that can give you options. However, if you only had the choice to buy one, I hope this blogpost can give you some insight as to which one you should buy.

The blushes I am talking about today are the Jane Iredale In Touch Cream Blush in Confidence and the Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint in Very Sweet.  Both come from brands that are committed to producing “clean” beauty products.  They both use natural ingredients and are cruelty-free.  However, their individual branding is quite different.  Jane Iredale has more of a focus on creating mineral-based makeup that is for problematic skin.  On the other hand, Tata Harper‘s line is more focused on using advanced technology to create effective formulas that are natural and non-toxic.

I have already done a blogpost reviewing the Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint here. However, I thought it would make for a more interesting blogpost to compare it with the Jane Iredale cream blush since it might be more accessible to some (it is available at Sephora).

Packaging

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The Tata Harper blush comes in a glass tub.  On the other hand, the Jane Iredale one comes in a stick form.  Both brands use recyclable paper in their packaging with Tata Harper also using recyclable glass.  I mean, I find both convenient to use, so I don’t have a major preference for either packaging.  I will say that the Jane Iredale cream blush stick completely fell out the package the first time I used it.  However, I pushed it back in and it was a pretty easy fix.  Hmm, not sure if that is a good thing actually.

Application

With the Tata Harper blush, you just swirl your finger in the tub and dab on the cheeks.  You are supposed to dab the Jane Iredale from the tube and then dab on the cheeks, but I didn’t read the instructions like usual.  I just put the product straight on the cheeks and then blended it out.  I personally think it works well with either technique.

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Jane Iredale (left) and Tata Harper (right) not blended out

Both blend really easily for a cream blush.  I think the main difference is that the Jane Iredale blush shows up like the colour in the tube before you blend it out on your skin.  It is more pigmented in colour and you can built up the colour more.  I must say that both blush are not super pigmented and give more of “natural flush.”  The Tata Harper blush really doesn’t build up much colour even if you apply a few layers on your skin.

What about the scent?  I feel like this will totally be a personal preference.  The Jane Iredale blush smells like chocolate basically.  It sounds great, but as a person that doesn’t enjoy fragrance in products that much, I didn’t really love the fragrance after a while. The Tata Harper blush smells like coconut water and berries.  Both scents don’t linger too long after application.

The Final Look

I enjoy using both blushes depending on the look I want to achieve that day.  To be honest, initially, I really wasn’t used to such a sheer formula for a blush.  However, over time, I really loved the “natural” and “healthy” flush these blushes gave me.  Like it claims on their website, the Jane Iredale does give a cream to powder finish.  Both give a subtle glow to the cheeks.  I won’t consider either one dewy though.  I think the big difference is that the Jane Iredale is more pigmented and a little less dewy.  The Tata Harper one is less pigmented but does give the subtle plumping effect or as it claims on their website, “the voluminous look of youth.”

Price

They are almost the exact same price.  The Tata Harper blush is $36 USD and the Jane Iredale is $35.

Longevity

I was surprised that both blushes last a good 8 hour work day on me.  They might not be as vibrant as when you initially applied them, but the pigment is still there.  Of the two, the Jane Iredale does last  a bit longer perhaps due to the cream to powder finish.

VERDICT:  I recommend both of them if you are wanting to get into natural cream blushes or if you want achieve that healthy flush look.

Just a note that both blushes can be used on the lips and the Jane Iredale one could also be used on the eyes.  After trying it on the lips, I find that both products were best suited for the cheeks. Both didn’t feel very  moisturizing or pigmented for my liking as a lip product.  I haven’t been able to wear eye products so I haven’t tried the Jane Iredale item on my eyelids yet.