The Last Few Drops (a.k.a Empties)

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I wanted to title this as an empties post, but I always forget details of a product when I use it up completely. Like how did smell? What was the texture? So for the products I talk about below, I am really at the last few drops or the last few uses of it. All three products are more skincare-related as it just takes a lot longer to finish makeup products.

Make P:rem Black Cleansing Water

Make P:rem is a Korean brand that aims to create effective products using quality raw materials at reasonable prices. Their brand focuses on using Nordic philosophy in its use of ingredients, technology, and design. Their Black Cleansing Water is especially striking because of the black colour that comes from peat moss, which is found in many Northern European countries. It is supposed to absorb impurities and be moisturizing at the same time. Their unique Micro-Trans Moisture technology is supposed to help the product absorb more deeply into the skin. This cleansing water is also infused with many other fermented ingredients and oils which help to moisturize and brighten the skin. You can check out the ingredients on the bottom of the product page on their website here. It is also sold with an extra bottle of the product which is great (if you like it that is).

Review: I really enjoyed this cleansing water. It does what it says and does a great job cleaning your makeup off and leaving your skin plump, moisturized, and even a little tacky. Like many cleansing waters, it is not the greatest at removing waterproof makeup, and will sting your eyes a little bit. I prefer using dual-phase makeup removers for eye makeup anyway so this wasn’t a problem for me. The packaging is very minimal, sleek, and ergonomic. My only gripe would be that the pump is quite strong, so sometimes I end up getting the product everywhere. I also wasn’t a big fan of the scent. It smells earthy, but they also added some fragrance to it which didn’t make for a very enjoyable for me.

Repurchase: Maybe. I feel the scent is a deal-breaker for me because I really didn’t enjoy it. However, if you are not bothered by most scented problems, you will really enjoy this cleansing water.

Aritaum Lip & Eye Remover

I’ve been through my fair share of eye makeup removers. I use quite a bit of waterproof makeup so I tend to like dual-phase makeup removers because they usually can get most of my makeup off. This remover from Aritaum contains fermented beans which helps to moisturize the eyelids. It is also not supposed to irritate sensitive eyes.

Review: This is a very good eye makeup remover. It removes everything from eyeshadow to hardcore Japanese waterproof mascaras. I was impressed. Usually, these type of dual-phased removers can leave your eyelids super oily, but I would say this one is definitely on the less oily side. I also a person who has eyes which will get irritated even using the sensitive version of Bioderma and this formula didn’t irritate me at all. Once again, the scent is quite a big con for me. I can’t read the Korean ingredients, but I suspect fragrance is on the list because it definitely doesn’t smell like beans.

Repurchase: Maybe. The scent again is a deterrent for me. However, it does such a good job of removing makeup and the price is more on the drugstore side, so I would probably pick this on a whim if I needed an eye makeup remover.

Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm

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You probably have seen the brand Lanolips all over Instagram. It has a lot going for it, including their super cute packaging, being 100% natural, being against animal testing, and not containing artificial colours, fragrances, parabens, petrolatum, PEG’s, mineral oils, and sulfates. Basically, it sounds like a product that is good for you. The key ingredient in this balm is lanolin, which is derived from Australian sheep. It is supposed to mimic human oils, which makes the product compatible for human use. This superbalm has multiple uses, including moisturizing chapped lips and dry nasal passages, and even helping with insect bites.

Review: I really enjoyed the experience of using this product, but it wasn’t super effective for me. The tube is very convenient to use and is great for on-the-go use. The texture is similar to Vaseline, and other similar petroleum-based balms. When you apply it on the lips, it feels very emollient and as if it will seal your lips from moisture-loss. However, the main reason I didn’t find this product that effective for me was because my lips felt great when I applied it. Yet, hours layer when the product wore off, I felt my lips were just as dry. For super dry winter where I live, this just wasn’t enough to keep my lips from getting chapping and peeling. I really wanted to love it though.

Repurchase: No. However, if you don’t live in a cold and dry environment, it might just be moisturizing enough for you.

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Beauty Binds #3 – Forehead Wrinkles

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This is the last of a series I have written about beauty dilemmas that continue to haunt me. In my first post of this series, I talk about how I deal with concealer that creases and in my second post, I go through tips and tricks I have tried to stop my eyeliner from smudging. In my final post in this series, I want to tackle the issue of forehead wrinkles. More than crow’s feet or laugh lines, I feel that forehead wrinkles bother me the most because they simply just cover more surface area. I don’t aim to look wrinkle-free, but I just want to look a little younger than my real age. I guess, this is my version of aging gracefully. So what have I tried so far?

Method #1 – Exfoliation

I used to be the laziest person when it came to exfoliation. After applying layers of skincare, the thought of doing another step just didn’t seem appealing to me. However, over the years, I have read many articles about the benefits of exfoliation. It helps promote cell turnover to reveal newer cells underneath. Thus, it can help create a brighter complexion. When it comes to beauty, you can’t be lazy, so I decided to start exfoliating once to twice a week. I find that it helps the skin look smoother and brighter which also helps diminish the look of fine lines. I didn’t have much luck with physical exfoliators as they tended to cause my skin to breakout. However, I have been loving Sunday Riley’s Good Genes, which smells awful, but is not irritating and really makes my skin smoother and “glowier.” It is a chemical exfoliator (AHA), which uses lactic acid to get rid of that top layer of dead skin. Do you have any favourite chemical exfoliators?

Method #2 – Vitamin C

I honestly don’t think I would have gotten into Vitamin C skincare if it weren’t for Instagram. After scrolling through endless photos of skincare routines, Vitamin C skincare products were everywhere. So I finally amped up my research game, and started to learn about why I needed it in my skincare routine. Vitamin C is an antioxidant with amazing anti-aging benefits, including evening out and brightening the skin. I found that exfoliation showed more immediate results, but Vitamin C might take a bit longer. At first, I didn’t think my Vitamin C serum was doing anything till I noticed how smooth my forehead looked after I put on foundation. So you might not want to give up right away if you don’t results immediately. My favourites Vitamin C Serums so far are Wishtrend’s Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum and Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum.

Method #3 – Pack on the Moisturizers

If you have started to notice wrinkles, you will know that the drier the skin is, the more pronounced those wrinkles look. That is why I think moisturizing your skin is a very important step. I used to go crazy packing on tons of moisturizers hoping that it would fix the problem. Sometimes it did, but sometimes I would also start to breakout in certain areas, probably due to the moisturizers clogging my pores. Lately, I have been loving layering toners using the Korean 7 Skin Method. Korean toners are usually more vicious and full of great skincare ingredients. You pat in the toner and then wait a few minutes before patting on the next layer. Basically, it is a less heavy way of infusing a ton of moisture into your skin. Afterwards, my skin looks glowy and more “bouncy” to the touch. My favourite toners for this method include Whamisa’s Organic Flowers Toner and I also love ID.AZ’s Dermastic Essential Toner.

With regards to a more traditional moisturizer, I have had a lot of luck with moisturizers that have snail secretion filtrate. They keep my skin moisturized even in the dry winter months. My favourites include COSRX Snail 92 All In One Cream and Tony Moly’s Ferment Snail Essence. If you find snail-infused beauty products too slimy, I find adding a facial oil is also a good idea because it really boosts hydration. I am currently using Fresh’s Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil.

Method #4 – Facial Massage

This is a step I only recently added to my skincare routine, but I think it really does help. I have been mostly focusing on my forehead and I try to do it morning and night when I do my skincare routine. I usually do it when I apply my facial oil because it makes the massage smoother. If you find doing a whole face facial massage too time consuming, I recommend just targeting the area that you are most concerned about first. Here is a great video from Wishtrend about facial massage:

Method #5 – Apply a Primer Before Foundation

There are many primers out there that promise to fill in your pores and fine lines. However, I have not had much luck with this method. There is one primer though that I find to be somewhat effective. It is the J. One Jelly Pack which is more of a firming primer. It is quite different from any other products I have tried before as it is very sticky and thick. When you apply this clear gel onto your skin, you really have to push it in. It is worth it though because you do feel it tighten your skin and increase the longevity of your foundation. My only qualm is that it seems to be more effective with certain foundations and moisturizers. To be honest, I still haven’t gotten this product completely figured out.

Have I missed anything? Thank you for reading.

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.

Recent Purchases (a.k.a. What I am Into Lately)

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Instead of doing a straight-on haul, I thought I would sort my purchases into 3 categories of items I’ve been loving. I have been on a budget lately, so I have been particularly discerning as with what I buy. Usually, my criteria for buying items the last few months is whether I really need them, and to be honest, whether I could get a good blogpost out of it. I know “need” is a very subjective term, but I usually have a one in and one out policy with my beauty collection. Therefore, if I have just used out face wash, I will usually prioritize getting that first. Of course, it doesn’t always happen though, because I somehow have 5 eyeliners in my collection right now.

Briogeo

I know this is not a beauty category, but I have been in love with Briogeo’s Scalp Revival Line. I have already reviewed their Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment in a previous blogpost, and discussed how much it calmed my itchy scalp. One of my favourite aspects of this line is that most of the ingredients are naturally-derived. They also have a shampoo in this line, so I decided to give it a try. The dry shampoo is on my wish list next.

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Usually, I would be terrified of trying an exfoliating shampoo because they are usually too harsh for my scalp. However, since I loved their treatment so much, it gave me confidence to try this shampoo. To use, you scoop the somewhat grainy cream out of a tub and then massage it into the scalp. The charcoal helps to draw impurities and the vegetable-derived micro-exfoliators help to remove dead skin and built-up. Coconut oil also helps to moisturize the scalp.

First Impressions: It is quite messy to dig your fingers in a pot and it takes getting used to the texture because it really doesn’t foam up. However, the exfoliation is so gentle, I don’t feel any scratching at all. Somehow, after washing though, my scalp feels cleansed without feeling stripped and I feel like my hair has a little more volume than usual.

Facial Oil

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Now that we are moving into the winter months, I feel I need to really up my moisturizing game. I thought I would try out facial oils again, which I haven’t touched for a long time. Not because they broke me out or anything, but they usually smell quite strong. The last facial oil I used was from Ole Henriksen and it was lovely, but I just had a hard time tolerating the scent of the rosehip oil which was a main ingredient. Yet, I loved the thought of a facial oil because there is usually less preservatives and has more natural ingredients. So I decided to get the Fresh Seaberry Moisturzing Face Oil during the last Sephora sale because it had really good reviews and I preferred the scent a little bit more than the Ole Henriksen one. It is full of omega-rich fruit oils, like from seaberries, cranberry seeds, and camellia seeds. It is not only super moisturizing, but also has anti-aging benefits. When I tested it in Sephora, it seemed to absorb quickly into the skin, without leaving an oily feeling. Can’t wait to try it properly and give a review.

Clinique Eyeliners

 

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Clinique is a brand that is often overlooked in social media perhaps due to its non-flashy nature as a brand. I like that pricing tends to be on the lower side when it comes to luxury or department store type luxury beauty brands. I have been a long-time lover of their Quickliner For Eyes since my university years. It doesn’t require sharpening, has awesome glide and pigmentation, and stays put almost all day After trying tons of eyeliners since then, I still always have one in my makeup collection because it is just so reliable. At one time, I think I even had it in a variety of colours. Forward to today, I decided to finally branch out and try their Cream Shaper for Eyes. I am guessing this is their version of a gel pencil. It is definitely more smudgeable. These pencils have a creamy consistency and also have a hint of shimmer. However, they are supposed to still last on the eyelids. Can’t wait to test them out and hopefully not hate sharpening it because most gel eyeliners get stuck and built up inside pencil sharpeners.

What have you been into lately?

 

Review: Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum

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Actives. Acids. AHAs. Before this year, these just sounded like terrifying words to me. I don’t how I came upon thinking this way, but I guess I was scared that these potent ingredients might be too strong for my skin. In some ways, I found out this was true, but for the most part, these actives have been game-changing for my skin. This journey into actives actually began after I starting following skincare Instagram accounts. Many of them used these actives daily in their skincare routines so I figured they couldn’t be that scary. Most importantly, these actives claimed to give quick and noticeable results which was a promise I couldn’t resist.

If you Google Vitamin C, you will find a plethora of evidence of how it can brighten and tighten your skin, how it is an anti-aging superstar, and how it can boost your production of collagen. The list goes on and on. I even read somewhere that it can protect you from pre-cancerous changes in your skin! However, Vitamin C can also easily break down when exposed to light or air. I often hear about it oxidizing. Luckily, I haven’t had that happen with the Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum I am have been using the last few months.

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Background

I first discovered Wishtrend through their Youtube channel as they discussed Korean Beauty in English. I soon found out they also had a website selling a curated selection of Korean beauty, and they also created items for their own Wishtrend brand. One of their best-selling lines is from a Korean brand called Klairs. I still haven’t tried anything from Klairs yet, but hope to try their famous toner soon.

Claims

This serum contains 21.5 % of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) in their formula. Since Vitamin C is quite a tricky ingredient to work with, getting the right percentage is important. I am not a skincare expert, but I do notice that one of the most famous ones from SkinCeuticals contains 15% Vitamin C, so I guess this one is on higher end. It claims to be not sticky and absorb quickly. Furthermore, they claim that the 70% Sea Buckthorn Water in the formula decreases the likelihood of irritation. To prevent oxidation, you should also keep it refrigerated.

Application

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Like Wishtrend claims, this serum is thin and watery, and absorbs quickly. It comes in a dark bottle with a dropper. It is also not sticky at all like they claim. I have had mine for a over 3 months and it is still has not oxidized. It was a bit of hassle having to walk to my fridge to use the serum, but I think the results were worth it.

Results

So what did I think? All I can is that I am converted. After using this serum for over 3 months, my skin has improved in many ways. I think the first thing I noticed is that my skin just looks more glowy. Vitamin C helps with collagen production and I found my fine lines on my forehead were definitely less prominent. I did have one problem though. It made my cheek area breakout, which never happens to me. So I had to stop using it on that area, and I never wanted to try again. I mean, I had already patch tested it on my neck for a week and it seemed fine. Therefore, if you know that certain areas of your skin are sensitive, this high concentration of Vitamin C might not be the best option for you.

VERDICT: I love the texture and application of this serum and definitely saw noticeable anti-aging benefits. However, the high percentage of Vitamin C might not be ideal for those with sensitive skin.

Current Skincare Routine

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It has been a few months since I’ve shared my skincare routine. I thought it was time to update you on some new products I have been trying. There are a few items that continue to be my standbys, like the Shiseido Eye and Lip Contour Regenerating Cream, which I feel like if I am stop using all my crow’s feet will start appearing. However, for the most part, I have been trying out some new products, including some Korean cult favourites, like the Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence.

FIRST CLEANSE

In the morning, I usually just wash my face with water. I find that my cheeks are quite sensitive and can’t really tolerate an AM and PM cleansing routine. At night time, I have been using the Aritaum Poyan Makeup Remover to remove my eye makeup. This is another solid and economical (under $10 USD) Korean dual-phase eye makeup remover. It does a great job of removing all my eye makeup and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. It removes even hardcore waterproof eyeliner and mascara. My only gripe is that I don’t really enjoy the smell, which has the aroma of baby powder to me.

After bidding a sad goodbye to my Heimish All Clean Balm, I started using the Make P:rem Black Cleansing Water. I alternated it with the Garnier All-in- 1 Micellar Water in the Waterproof Version  just in case I got a bad reaction from it. For me, the Garnier one has been a great alternative to Bioderma, and so economical too. The waterproof version is a bit oiler for me, but it does such a good job of removing all my face makeup without drying it out. As for the Make P:rem Black Cleansing Water, I find it to be a solid micellar water so far. It does a good job of removing my face makeup. Compared to the Garnier one though, it leaves my skin kind of tacky afterwards, which I hope is the peat moss working its magic and keeping my skin moisturized. It hasn’t dried out my skin so far, so I am happy.

SECOND CLEANSE

For the second cleanse, I have been using the Boscia Charcoal Jelly Ball Cleanser. It is such a fun product to unbox and use. After you pierce the outer coating that covers the jelly ball, you can wet the product and just massage it into your damp skin or foam it up in your hands before applying it to your face. I am sorry this whole post will consist of me talking about how I dislike scent in skincare, but I really don’t enjoy the scent of charcoal in this product. Now on to what I enjoy about this cleanser. First and foremost, I love the experience of using it and massaging it on my face. It doesn’t really foam that much when applied directly on the face compared to lathering it in the hands. Initially, I thought it would be drying, but instead, it has left my skin cleansed and balanced. It hasn’t left my dry cheeks red or sensitive at all.

ESSENCE

I couldn’t resist getting this product since many reviews point to the Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Intensive Moist as a cheaper dupe for the infamous SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. This is supposed to be the updated version, which contains 90% of the fermented yeast extract (Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate) derived from purple barley. SK-II also uses fermented yeast as their star ingredient, Pitera (Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate), but it is derived from sake. I am not sure if this slight differences alters the effectiveness of the product. Missha claims their essence will moisturize, smooth skin texture, and reinforce the condition of your skin. It also contains more ingredients than SK-II, like Niacinamide. Overall, I think I prefer the scent of the Missha one more, as it is pretty much scentless. However, after about three weeks of use, I haven’t notice much of a difference yet in my skin. I think I will have to report back after a few weeks again.

SERUM

I have been scared of using any actives, like AHAs, for a long time because I was so terrified of getting a bad reaction. However, since joining Instagram, and following many skincare fanatics, I learned that many of them used them daily in their routines. So I decided to finally jump on the bandwagon and give them a shot. Coincidently, my sister had a bottle of Vitamin C serum that didn’t work for her, so I decided to give it a try. Not wanting to be totally reckless, I did a patch test on my neck for a week, and it was totally fine. Since then, I have been using this one fromWishtrend Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum nightly.

You can read about the benefits of Vitamin C all over the internet. Basically, it is an excellent anti-aging ingredient that firms, brightens, and evens out your skin tone. It does quickly oxidize when exposed to air, so Wishtrend recommends you keep this in the fridge. It is a bit of annoyance to go to walk to fridge every night, but it is totally worth it. I have been using this for a couple of months and it has totally softened the lines on my forehead, and made my complexion brighter. My only problem with Vitamin C is that it made me break out on my cheeks, which never happens to me. Therefore, I think if you have sensitive areas on your face, it is important to do a patch test or use a lower dosage instead.

TONER

I know using toner in this part of my routine is kind of late. However, this toner is so viscous that I like to use it at this point in my routine. Lately, I have been using the Dermastic Essential Toner from ID.AZ. I loved their foaming face wash, so I decided to try their toner. ID.AZ is line produced from a famous Korean skincare clinic. This toner is full of botanical ingredients that leave your skin hydrated and soothed for the next step. I really have been enjoying this toner as it leaves my skin plump and glowy. It is a bit sticky after I use it probably due to the botanical ingredients. It almost has the same feel as many of the other toners from Korean brands like Whamisa and VANT, which I all enjoy.

CREAM

I am so on the fence about this cream from VANT. It smells great (fruity), lightweight, and sinks in quickly. Perhaps because it is so lightweight, I don’t think it will be moisturizing enough for me over the winter. I have already noticed dry patches around my forehead and nose. I mean, it has great ingredients like squalene and shea butter which help maintain moisture. Plus, once again, like many Korean beauty products, it contains many botanical ingredients. Bottom line is that it is a solid moisturizer, but might not be enough for super dry and dehydrated skin.

EYE CREAM

I have been loving the Belif Moisturizing and Firming Eye Cream! It is quite a thick consistency, but it leaves my undereye area so moisturized and plump for concealer. At nighttime, I am still devoted to my Shiseido Future Solution LX Eye and Lip Contour Regenerating Cream, which is expensive, but has kept on my fine lines at bay all these years, so I can’t give it up.

Review: Grown Alchemist Intensive Body Cream

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The last decade has been so exciting with the amount of natural and organic brands that have arisen. In fact, there are so many that I can’t keep up with all of them anymore. I have tried many of the more well-known ones, like RMS Beauty and Tata Harper, so I decided to try a brand that I haven’t heard of it. It was only later on that I found out this brand is actually quite well-established.

Brand Background

The brand I am talking about is Grown Alchemist. I really wanted to get something from the Nordstrom Natural Beauty Pop-Up shop a few months ago, and picked up this Intensive Body Cream from the brand. I think I was mainly attracted to the “Aesop” feel of the packaging. Grown Alchemist originates from Australia and focuses on using organic ingredients. Using modern technology, they create products that work naturally with our bodies. Here is a link to their philosophy page if you are interested.

Packaging

Grown Alchemist’s packaging is made with high quality ingredients that help preserve the freshness of their formulations. This body cream is housed in a non-leeching aluminum tube that helps it from being contaminated from air, sunlight, or chemicals. Of course, aluminum is also highly recyclable, which is good for the environment.

The packaging is very minimal with a san-serif typeface on a solid background. It is very reminiscent of the Aesop brand packaging. All the ingredients and background information about the product are printed directly printed on the tube, which is great especially since I often lose the outer cardboard packaging.

So do I like the packaging? To be honest, I am on the fence about it. For a body cream, I like that you can easily dispense the product on your body by just squishing the tube. You don’t have to deal with contaminating the product as with other body creams in a tub. However, the formulation of this body cream is quite fluid and often too much comes out. As with all aluminum tubes, it is also hard to get the last bit out and the tube can get pretty deformed if you do not roll it up from the bottom (a.k.a., that would be me).

Ingredients

The main ingredients in the body cream are rosa damascena, açaí, and pomegranate. All these ingredients contain antioxidants that help to moisturize, firm, and smooth the skin’s appearance. They also help to repair the appearance of damaged skin.

Formula

For a body cream, the formula is quite lightweight, almost like a lotion. The scent is lovely. I am not sure how açaí smells like, but it has a rich berry scent mixed with the pomegranate. I don’t feel it has much of a rose scent though. I wouldn’t say the scent is too strong, and it really doesn’t linger too much.

Application

I really enjoy applying this body cream. It blends in almost instantly and doesn’t leave your skin greasy at all. I was quite surprised because intensive body creams usually take a while to sink in. However, perhaps because it absorbs so quickly, it doesn’t give the usual feeling of this protective layer on top of the skin from a really moisturizing body cream. Instead, after you apply it onto a particular dry area of skin, it still feels quite textured and dry. Whereas, with some other body creams, the area feels smoother and more hydrated.

Results

I like this body cream, but I wouldn’t consider it as an intensive body cream. It is one of those body creams you want to reach for and apply because it smells great and it is not sticky or greasy. Over the summer, I used it regularly and it left my skin moisturized. However, the patches around my ankles and elbows still were quite dry despite using this daily. For those areas, I had to resort to using other heavier body creams.

VERDICT: There is a lot to love about this body cream. It smells lovely, does not feel greasy, contains organic ingredients, and the packaging is made of an easily recyclable material. However, if you are looking for something that intensively hydrates those stubborn dry patches, this isn’t it.

I Really Wanted to Love You: 3 Beauty Products That Didn’t Work For Me

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Whether a product is hyped up or had good reviews, there certain products that you really expected to work, but just didn’t. These are the type of products I am talking about it. These are not products I gave up on after one try. I gave them multiple attempts and still they just didn’t work for me. However, as always, everyone’s skin type is different, so they might still work for you.

Heimish All Clean Balm

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I was seeing this cleansing balm all over the internet, and everyone was raving about how it was even better than the Banila Co. one, which was already a cult favourite among Korean skincare fans. So I purchased it without any reservations because I thought it would finally be the product that would make cleansing oils work for me. You see, previously whenever I used cleansing oils, it would always dry out the sides of my nose and my cheek area. However, this balm claimed to keep your skin moisturized after cleansing so I thought it might work for me. I do feel that after cleansing, my skin didn’t feel tight, but it didn’t leave my skin moisturized and plump like other cream cleansers I have used before.

Heimish also claimed it would be great for sensitive skin.  However, it left my cheeks red and sensitive after using it a few days in a row. I decided to give it another try after some encouragement from Sylvia from Sylliepie. Sorry, Sylvia, the same thing happened! I am sad that it didn’t work for me, but it I know many people love it. It has a the cutest packaging and the spatula is conveniently tucked inside the lid. The ingredients are also so nourishing, including 10 natural oils plus shea butter and coconut oil. I think, for now, I am staying away from oil-type cleansers. I don’t seem to have any luck with them.

Innisfree Eye Primer

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I am a eye shadow primer junkie. Every time I hear about a new one, I want to pick it up.  As per the name of my blog, eye products just tend to slide off my oily eyelids, so eye shadow primers are a must! My next guinea pig in question is the Innisfree Eye Primer (At the time I write this review, I don’t see it on their main website anymore, so I wonder if it got discontinued.  I can understand why). I enjoy most Innisfree products, especially their skincare (I have repurchased their Soybean Essence many times). However, I hate to say this, but this is probably one of my least favourite primers ever.

This primer’s packaging is similar to the Nars primer with a doe-foot applicator. One difference is the doe-foot applicator comes to a slight point with flat sides. It is a light peach colour which blends clear.  The texture is on the light-side, like a light cream. One problem with this concealer is it can get a bit patchy, and it takes a bit of time to blend out.  It also has a slight fruity scent, which I am not too fond of.  I much prefer unscented primers.

It claims to enhance the vibrancy and wear time of your eye shadows while also preventing creasing.  I think it definitely does increase the vibrancy of shadows. However, the one big problem for me, is that it doesn’t control the oil production in my eye lids. Within a few hours, I see oil seeping though and the eye shadow breaking down on my eyelids. It also settles right into my crease. I much prefer my Nars and the Balm eye shadow primers, which are my two favourites.

Earth’s Nectar Jojoba & Tea Tree Scalp Oil

I picked up this scalp oil hoping it would be a contender to curing my itchy, sensitive scalp. I think this is a case where it wasn’t because the product didn’t work, but it was just notsuitable for my scalp. Earth Nectar is a haircare brand carried by Sephora. Their brand ethos is to produce natural and innovative products for curly hair. So I should have known from the start, the brand might not work for me because I have stick-straight hair. However, they claim that this scalp oil was ideal for curly or straight hair, so I decided to give it a try.

To apply, you spray the oil into your palm and massage it into your scalp. To increase blood circulation in your scalp, you should also massage your scalp 10 to 15 minutes every two weeks. It can also be used as a deep conditioning treatment by wrapping a hot towel around your head for 10 minutes. The jojoba and tea tree oil are supposed to help control oil production, combat dandruff, and help support hair growth. The tea tree oil scent is pretty strong during application, so if you don’t like tea tree oil, you might not enjoy this oil. Massaging the oil into the scalp feels nourishing and refreshing.

So did the tea tree oil help with the dandruff situation?  I think it definitely did a little, but my hair just got so oily after using it. Basically, I just felt like washing my hair right afterwards. I’m sure other hair textures would enjoy this product, but it was just not for me.

Thanks for reading! Do you have any products that others love, but just didn’t work for you?

Some Recent Beauty Bits

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Just a little blogpost about some beauty products that I have purchased the last month.  Most of them are replacements for items that I have run out of it.  I try, and I mean, I really try to have a "one in, one out policy" with my beauty products.  It usually works pretty well for me, except I always order my backups way too late (like when there are only a few drops left in the bottle).  I literally have to raid my sister's skincare samples sometimes.  So I am super proud of myself that I have actually received my backups before I have completely used up my current products.

ID.AZ Dermastic Essential Toner

If you love minimalist packaging, you will love this line.  The bottle looks like it might be made of plastic, but it is actually made of glass.  It feels super sturdy and I guess it must help to keep the product inside from the damaging effects of sunlight.  I bought the toner because I just loved their cleanser.  The line is made from a famous Korean skincare clinic for those with sensitive skin.  This toner is supposed to leave your skin pH balanced after cleansing.  It is also full of botanical ingredients that make your skin feel moisturized and dewy.

First Impressions:  It has a light floral scent that doesn't linger too much.  Patted into the skin, it leaves my face so dewy and plump.  Really enjoying it so far.

Aritaum Poyan Makeup Remover

For me, I base a good eye makeup remover on whether it can remove hardcore Japanese waterproof mascaras, like Majolica Majorica.  So does this one?  Yes, it does!  This was purely a purchase driven by Instagram.  It was the one most recommended in my comments.  It is also from Korean brand called Aritaum, which owns stores that also sells brands like Iope and Laniege.  It is a bi-phase eye makeup remover so you have to shake it up.  It is made of fermented beans along with other ingredients that will not only remove makeup, but keep you eye area moisturized.

First Impressions:  It removes everything, but it can be a little oily if you use too much.  My only gripe is that the smell is quite strong.

YSL Couture Eye Primer in 2 Medium

Basically I had finished my favourite the Balm Put A Lid on It Eyelid Primer and was on the hunt for a new eyeshadow primer.  Heading into Sephora, I was already set on getting the Smashbox 24 Hour Shadow Primer because I had heard many good things about it.  Don't know what happened, but I ended up getting this YSL one instead.  Unlike most eyeshadow primers, it actually comes in a tub.  This is usually a con for me since it seems less sanitary, but since was a "couture" eye primer, I guess I couldn't help myself!   It boasts 16 hours of wear, a waterproof and creaseless formula, and also can be used alone as a neutral luminous cream eyeshadow.  Furthermore, it also boosts the vibrancy of your eyeshadows.

First Impressions:  Right off the bat, I'm just going to say this isn't as good as the Balm or Nars one in terms of longevity.  However, it really evens out your eyelid and gives it a lovely glow.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner in Deep Rich

Have you ever purchased something and thought it was really good, but moved on to other things because who doesn't love the novelty of something new.  This is how I feel about this toner.  I really enjoyed this toner a few years back.  It is lightweight, but really moisturizing.  It is also natural and 97% organic and full of fermented natural ingredients. However, I didn't enjoy the smell.  Fast-forward to the present, and I see every Asian skincare junkie on Instagram talk the amazing properties of this toner, I just needed to get it again to see for myself.  Have you ever had a product get hyped after you've tried it?

First Impressions:  Still don't love the smell, but I find the texture quite similar to other toners I have really enjoyed lately.  I will have to try it longer to see how the longterm results are like.

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.