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

fullsizeoutput_d36.jpeg

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.

IMG_1491.JPG

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

2017-11-14 12.19.37 1-01.jpeg

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

 

MVIMG_20171125_212423-01.jpeg

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?

 

Advertisements

Review: Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum

F79334D2-73F1-486E-8086-02C96B706A5F.jpg

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.

IMG_1507.JPG

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

IMG_1504.JPG

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

IMG_1404.JPG

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

IMG_0910.JPG

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

IMG_1375.JPG

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

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

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

IMG_1377.JPG

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

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

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

fullsizeoutput_c39.jpeg

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

AA363683-DB0B-442D-83EF-3B4FBF2CBA04.jpg

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

IMG_0610.JPG

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

8264FC0D-4A52-4449-BE99-992C9DAFD6FE.jpg

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

9C34AE56-85FD-4C6A-B174-270879C1B4C5.jpg

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.

Korean Skincare Haul = What I’m Into Lately

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

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.

innisfree

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

IMG_0159.JPG

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!  🙂

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

IMG_0132.JPG

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.

IMG_0134.JPG

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.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

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.