Year End Favourites: Top 5 in Skincare

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My post for year end favourites in makeup came out pretty late, and this Top 5 in skincare is even later. I am sorry about that, but I hope you will still enjoy it. Over the last year, I have mainly focused on using Korean skincare. I enjoy their focus on natural ingredients and the effectiveness of their formulas. Some of my favourite Korean skincare brands include Whamisa, Innisfree, and ID.AZ. Through a gift from my sister, I have also really enjoyed Ole Henriksen. I tend to judge whether I love a skincare item based on the experience of application, its ingredients, and how effective it was on improving my skin’s appearance.

ID.AZ Dermastic Foaming Cleanser

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I don’t know when I started to assume that cleansers that foam up right from the bottle are automatically drying. Well, this one proved me wrong. If you love cleansers that are rich and really foam up, then you will enjoy this cleanser from one of the top skin clinics in Korea, ID.AZ. Overall, I find the experience of using this cleanser really enjoyable. It has really refreshing scent, which I find quite relaxing. The formula is not stripping, containing aloe vera extract, centella asiatica extract, and panthenol to soothe skin. This is definitely one of my surprise favourites of year.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner Deep Rich

This year, I have been super into vicious Korean toners, which are packed full of great ingredients. They are thicker in texture, and are meant to be patted into the skin. I’ve have tried quite a few over the year, but I still think this one from the Korean brand, Whamisa is my favourite. If you are big Kbeauty fan, you would have seen this brand plastered all over Instagram and for good reason. Their focus is on using organic ingredients, primarily fermented ingredients, which are more potent and easily absorbed. This toner is my favourite this year because after you apply it on your skin, it looks plumper and glowy almost instantly. It is also great for the 7 step method. My one con is that it is a bit sticky after application but I feel it is less stickier than a few others I have tried.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum

2017 was the year that I discovered Vitamin C in skincare and wondered why I didn’t start earlier. I think the reason that I hesitated to try Vitamin C was that I was afraid that I would react to it negatively. However, I realized that when you are trying any skincare, you should always patch test because everyone responds to certain ingredients differently. I tried a few Vitamin C serums this year (e.g. Wishtrend and Drunk Elephant), but I think my favourite has to be the one from Ole Henriksen for several reasons. First of all, it did not irritate my skin, which I was surprised about. Secondly, it had a lovely citrus scent and absorbed so quickly into the skin. Lastly, it provides results. It doesn’t happen right away, but with long-term use, I was surprised how smoother my skin looked under makeup. Overall, my skin looked firmer and brighter as they claimed would do. It was so good that I actually bought the full size after my sister gifted me a deluxe sample.

Belif Moisturizing and Firming Eye Cream

The first time I saw Belif products, I was attracted to the minimalist blue, black, and white packaging. Then, as I learned more about the brand, I learned their brand philosophy focused on using natural herbal ingredients with modern technology to create effective skincare line. It was then I was sold. I was having problems with concealer not applying well over my eye cream so I decided to switch to this eye cream and I have been loving it every since. This is a thicker formula but it blends it easily. It leaves a nice canvas for concealer application. It contains natural oils, like cupuacu seed butter and macadamia nut oil, which help to keep the under eye area moisturized. I also love that it is pretty much unscented as well.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Olive Leaf Mist

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2017 was also the year I got into facial mist. Well, to be honest, I just tried this one. I alway thought that facial mist could only be used to freshen up or set your makeup. I didn’t know that it could also have another use as a toner, especially with this Whamisa Olive Leaf Mist. It is so vicious that you can pat it in as a quick toner. I love how efficient this made my skincare routine as I could quickly spritz this on after cleansing and be done with the toner step. The mist is not super fine as the texture of the formula is a bit thicker, but it is packed full of great ingredients that are good for the skin. Furthermore, it actually lasts quick a longtime even though the bottle is quite small. Now that I am no longer a mist newbie, I can’t wait to branch out and try more facial mist this year.

Have you tried any of my favourites and what it is one skincare product that you think I must try?

Review: Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer

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I know that getting older is supposed to have its virtues. However, it also means having to deal with crows feet, and sagging skin. I am slowly trying to come to terms with this, but in the mean time, I still want to age gracefully. This brings me to my review of Smashbox’s Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer. I was still having trouble with concealer creasing in the fine lines in my under eye area. I found that most concealers looked great the first few hours, but getting it to stay that way all day was difficult. I saw this primer at Sephora one day and picked up because it seemed made for this problem.

Claims

Containing caffeine, peptides, and optical diffusers, this under eye primer diminishes puffy eyes and dark circles. It also enhances the longevity of concealers and prevents them from creasing. Furthermore, it also targets anti-aging concerns in the under eye area, like wrinkles and age spots.

Packaging

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I personally really loved the packaging. The squeeze tube kept the product sanitary and it was easy to control how you much you wanted to squeeze out. The slanted plastic tip is a bit flexible, which allowed you to use it directly under your eyes.

Application

I found that the slanted applicator worked well to dispense and dab the product onto the skin. However, I found it even quicker just to dispense the product onto my fingers and then dab it on the under eye area. I think it really just comes to preference. The texture is lightweight and blends easily into the skin. It only comes in one shade, which is a pearly light pink colour. When blended it, it was basically transparent, leaving behind a subtle glow.

Results

This is one of those products which I really wanted to work for me, but it didn’t except for providing a little extra moisture in the under eye area. However, I could see it working for someone else who might have issues with puffy under eyes and maybe still in their 20s. I really gave it a good try. I used it everyday for a month and even created a spreadsheet examining how it worked on top of foundation and without eye cream etc. I was that keen on making it work.

I think the main reason it didn’t work for me was because it just didn’t make my concealer last longer. I still found that the concealer would crease about the same amount whether I used this primer or not. I couldn’t really test out whether it helped with puffiness under the eyes as I don’t really have that issue. However, I can attest that it did do much for my dark circles (as there aren’t many products that actually do). What about brightening the under eye? I think it might be more apparent on a lighter skin tone. I have a more olive complexion and I don’t feel like it made much of a difference.

VERDICT:¬†This under eye primer might be more useful for those with puffy eyes and who are looking for a bit more moisture in the under eye area. Sadly, I won’t repurchase it again.

Year End Favourites: Top 5 in Makeup

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I know this one is kind of late, but I love reading year-end favourites blogposts, so I thought I’d join in the fun. As I tend to have a one-in and one-out policy when it comes to purchasing beauty products, I feel I haven’t tried out enough to have a favourite in each category. So instead, I am just going to talk about my top 5 makeup products of the year.

KATE Super Sharp Liner

As my blog name implies, I have an obsession with finding the best eyeliner. So I am going to start off by talking about what may be one of my favourite liquid eyeliners ever. If you have read my blog for a while, you would know that I have been devoted to drugstore Japanese eyeliners for a long time. This one from KATE did not fail to impress as well. Like other Japanese liquid eyeliners I love, this eyeliner has a brush tip which makes application super smooth and precise. However, unlike other Japanese liquid liners, the pen itself is super lightweight and doesn’t have that shaking mechanism in it that keeps the liner from drying out. I half thought it would dry out within a few months, but it is still going strong after 5 months. Most importantly, it rivals my best liquid eyeliner, Flow Fushi Moteliner, for longevity. Either than a tiny bit of smudging in the outer corner (mostly because I have watery eyes), this liner stays on pretty much till you want to take it off. If you are interested in my other favourite liquid eyeliners, you can check out my post, The Best Liquid Eyeliners I Have Ever Tried.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

This base product needs no introduction as it is well-loved by many. I know it is not an exciting new beauty launch, but seriously, this is the one base product I used the most last year. It is just so dependable. Infused with skincare ingredients, like¬†hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, it keeps your skin so moisturized for a base product. In the last year, I have tried applying it with both a Beauty Blender and my fingers and I must say I still love applying it with my fingers. I do find that the Beauty Blender tends to thin out the coverage a little bit. I would consider this be a foundation with medium buildable coverage. It does an excellent job of smoothing over pores and fine lines while providing a bit of glow. It also has really good longevity even in hot weather. In my eyes, it can basically do no wrong, except for maybe the shade selection (it has 7 shades). Lastly, I would probably add It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye in my Top 5 as well, but I didn’t want to overwhelm this post with one brand. What can I say? It is an excellent concealer. It has great coverage, is super creamy, and lasts forever because you use so little each time.

Coffret D’or Smile Up Cheeks

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I have hit pan on this blush, which pretty much sums up how much I love it. I have done a full review of this blush in a blogpost here. I love that it comes in the cutest packaging, is pigmented, and looks multi-dimensional when applied on the cheeks. You can just pick up the darker colour in the middle or also swirl the lighter colour on the outside to create a more dimensional look. It also lasts all day on me and I am always surprised to see it on my face at the end of a work day. Now, I just have to go pick up another colour since I have just hit pan!

RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up

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If you love green beauty, natural, organic makeup, whatever you call it, you probably have heard of RMS Beauty. I love everything I have tried from the line, especially their “Un” Cover-Up base product. I am still super surprised with how much I love this product because the ingredients seem so simple. The main ingredient is coconut oil along with other seed oils, beeswax, and cocoa butter. I’m usually using foundations with ingredient lists of over 20 items. That is perhaps why I am so amazed at how lovely this foundation/concealer is. It just melts into the skin giving you a natural and glowy finish. Moreover, it also diminishes the appearance of your pores while still keeping your skin moisturized and luminous. I bought their makeup palette lately and can’t wait to try their other products. Oh, and they also have lipsticks now too.

SANA New Born W Brow EX

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I thought I had tried my share of brow products, but what do you know? I have found something new lately. It is a 3-in-one brow product that incorporates a pencil, powder, and spoolie. This SANA New Born W Brow EX is another Japanese drugstore gem because it takes the place of three products when you travel or are on-the-go. You can also use it to create different brow looks. You can use the pencil and powder separately or combined to create a more defined brow end and diffused brow front. It also lasts all day on your eyebrows and has good pigmentation. I have heard Excel also makes a similar product and can’t wait to do a comparison.

Santa’s Gifts

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I have been away over Christmas, so I know this post is a little late. However, I thought it might still be a good reference for gift ideas in the future. Plus, I thought you could learn a little about me through the gifts I received. If you have read my previous post, “The Christmas Tag,” you will know that I much prefer to receive gifts as I find it so stressful to buy for others. Plus, I just love the surprise factor of opening a gift.

Beauty Blender Keep.It.Clean Kit

I have been a long time lover of the Beauty Blender so I was excited to receive this kit. It includes: 1 cleansing mitt, 1 mini blendercleanser solid, and 1 sample of liquid blendercleanser. I have used the solid cleanser to wash my brushes and sponges for quite a few years now. At around $22 CAD, it is not the cheapest solid cleanser, but it is super effective at cleaning sponges and brushes. I actually prefer it over the liquid cleanser, which I feel takes more work. However, the most exciting part of this kit for me was the cleansing mitt. I have only seen this used on Youtube, and have never tried it myself. The palm of my hand will often get dry from using it as a surface to swirl my brushes to clean them. I’m hope the texture on the mitt will speed up the cleaning process as well. Do you use a cleansing mitt, and do you have favourites when it comes to cleansing mitts?

tileMate

The first thing my sister said to me after I opened this gift was: I hope you are not offended. To which I replied: I wanted to buy one for myself! I lose everything. If it is not permanently glued to my body, there will be a high chance that it will be lost. In fact, I have lost so many umbrellas in my lifetime I have lost count. So what is tileMate? Physically, it is a one-inch piece of plastic that you can adhere to anything to track its location using Bluetooth technology. Using your phone, you can make the tile ring to locate items like your remote control or even your car. It can also make your phone ring even on silent. The only con is that it needs be replaced after a year and I feel like I need more than one!

Records

I miss the world of mix-tapes. I love the thought of giving someone a piece of who you are through music. Years back, I remember this was a pretty common gift when couples started dating. Now, we still have playlists that we share with each other. However, there is something more precious when a memory is shared in a physical object. Every time I pick up that record and play it, I will remember the person that gave it to me and the meaning it had. Do you collect records and what are some of your favourites?

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break, and all the best in the new year!