Review: Etude House Sun Blind Cushion

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I am not a major cushion person.  Mostly, I think because of sanitary reasons.  However, I am loving this Etude House Sun Blind Cushion with SPF 50+ and PA+++.  Sun is the major cause of premature aging, but having to reapply sunscreen every few hours can really be a drag.  Before this cushion, I enjoyed used a powder sunscreen such as Ilia’s Radiant Translucent Powder as my sunscreen top-up.  However, I always wondered how much coverage you can really get from a quick powdering. So how do this cushion perform as not only as a sunscreen, but also as a top-up sunscreen on-the-go?

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Packaging

The cushion comes in nice, sturdy packaging.  I feel like this cushion is slightly thinner than the usual ones.  It is only a little over one centimetre thick, so it slips in pretty easily into your purse. The blue, white, and silver design gives off a beach vibe, almost like beach cabana stripes.  Lastly, the air puff inside is very similar to most Korean cushions, very smooth and dense.

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Application

Like typical cushion products, the application is fairly quick.  You dab the puff into the cushion gently to grab some product.  Then, dab it over the face to blend the product into the skin.  This sunscreen blends fairly quickly into the skin as it has a thin consistency.

Since the sunscreen is white, I feel there is a tiny bit of white cast when applied, but it won’t really affect the application of your foundation.  It also feels a bit tacky when first applied, but it diminishes as the product absorbs into your skin.

Ingredients

You can check out the ingredients on their website here.  The main sunscreens agents in this sunscreen are zinc oxide and titanium oxide (mineral sunscreen ingredients), which is perhaps why it gives a bit of a “white cast” when applied initially.

Claims

I thought I would review all of the claims that it states this product can do for you on it’s website.

Simply Dab on Frequently d0n’t worry about makeup getting smudged, soaks sebum and oily content on face while keeping makeup clear

Thumbs up on this claim!  I don’t think it would work over mineral foundation, but it goes on well over liquid foundation.  Since the formula is quite thin, you can top up a few times in a day without feeling it get too heavy.  Apparently, there is also a silica powder in the formula which helps control oil, and I notice this helps mattify your face during the day to a satin finish.  However, for some reason on their website, the model looks pretty dewy, which made me laugh.  I guess dewy sells in Korea!

Thin Yet Strong UV Protection 

This sunscreen cushion provides a coverage of SPF 50+ and PA+++.  The formula is definitely thin and absorbs quickly.  With regards to the UV protection, at first, I was quite skeptical that it would be effective because they always say you need a nickel size of sunscreen applied on your face for it to work.  However, maybe because I reapply more, I didn’t feel like I got any darker than before.

Brighten and Refresh Your Makeup – helps base last longer by clearing pores and uneven parts, brighten your skin without stickiness, and tones up darkened makeup

I find this cushion to be a great primer.  It does subtly smooth out pores and fine lines and I do think it makes my foundation last longer.  I find myself skipping foundation primer and often opting just to use this cushion as a combined primer-sunscreen.  Whether it brightens skin tone, I am not sure.  It is white, so it does seem to lighten everything a little when first applied.  Maybe that is the brightening effect.  🙂  Now, with regards to the stickiness, I do find it a bit tacky when first applied, but after absorption, it pretty much is gone.

Rejuvenate Tired, Stressed SkinSkin Calming Complex (aloe, camomile, calendula, and witch hazel) to heal stressed skin, soothes skin smoothly and softly)

For me, it is difficult to evaluate if it is does help stressed skin because I am wearing layers of skincare underneath.  I will say it hasn’t caused any breakouts or left my skin feeling dry and dehydrated though.

VERDICT:  I would totally recommend this as a super convenient and effective sunscreen and sunscreen touch-up.   One  con is it doesn’t come with a cushion refill.  Although, for the price (around $20 USD), you can’t really ask for more I guess.

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Topping Up Sunscreen on the Go: Ilia Radiant Translucent Powder Review

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Summer is here!  It is lovely to feel the warmth of sun and to wear shorts everyday.  However, for those that are into anti-aging skincare, the sun is your worse enemy.  Yes, I am one of those that wear a hat and loads of sunscreen when I go outside.  Well, except for my legs which remain pretty pale despite walking around a lot lately playing Pokemon Go.

I am pretty good at putting on sunscreen in the summertime, but reapplying is another thing. Apparently, you are supposed to reapply every 2 hours.  That is so hard to do!!!  I try to apply every 4 hours maybe, to be honest.  Here are some of my trusty sunscreen top up products:

Powder Sunscreen

The face is the hardest part of your body to top up your sunscreen especially if you have to apply over foundation.  I haven’t gotten into topping up with sunscreen cushions yet, but they seen like another good alternative.  Personally, I love using powder sunscreens that come in a tube with a brush.  You can quickly open them up and dust all over your face.  I honestly don’t know how much protection you can get from a powder, but I would like to think it does something.

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Lately, I have enjoyed using the Ilia Radiant Translucent Powder in Moondance.  This is one of those powder sunscreens that don’t provide any extra coverage.  However, it is great for sunscreen top up, and also getting rid of the shine while giving you a bit of glow.

Obviously, I love it for the packaging as well because it is totally up my street.  It is white, minimal, and sleek.  The other great thing about the packaging is that brush is attached magnetically so you remove it to wash it.  What an ingenious idea!  One of the critiques of the packaging though is that it is hard to get the product out.  I guess it works like a shaker and it comes out as you use it.  I think it has its pros and cons, but sometimes it is nice that not tons of product is coming out and you can slowly add on more if you need it.

If you are looking for a powder sunscreen that comes out easily (you literally see powder flying around) and has higher SPF, I would recommend Peter Thomas Roth’s Instant Mineral SPF 45.

Stick Concealer

Over the rest of body, I usually use a typical cream sunscreen.  I am still loving the Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream SPF 30, mostly because it smells like creamsicles.  I ended up getting the accompanying stick concealer (SPF 35) a few weeks ago.  When I reapply with the stick sunscreen, I usually do the put it over the skin and then rub it in with any other body part except the palms of my hands (I hate sunscreen on my hands).  I find a stick concealer is also great at reapplying sunscreen on those areas you usually forgot like your toes and the back of your hands.

Badger is known for their natural ingredients.  This sunscreen does a good job of protecting me from the sun.  It contains 22.5% of zinc oxide as its main sunscreen agent.  However, I do notice that sunscreens with higher concentrations of this ingredients tend to be quite thick and leave a white cast.  In this regards, I find the stick is definitely easier to blend in and less tacky on the skin.

Lip Sunscreen

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I find my lips get really dry during the summer.  I am thinking it must be from the increased exposure to the sun.  It has been difficult for me to find natural and organic lip balms with a high SPF.  I have been using Juice Beauty’s SPF 8 Lip Moisturizer.  It smells like berries and applies on smoothly without any shine.  However, it has such low SPF and wears off easily from eating, so it hard to remember to continually reapply it.  I would love it if you had any great recommendations for an SPF lip balm.

Thanks for reading!  🙂

Sunscreen: Coola vs. Suntegrity

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I flipped the Coola sunscreen over because the lettering was rubbing off.

Since sunscreen is the best defense against aging, I try to be pretty religious about applying it daily on my face.  I am a big lover of Japanese sunscreens, which are super lightweight and great under makeup.  However, lately, I have trying out some less “chemically” sunscreens I discovered from the Detox Market website.  Just a little background from their website, it is a store that sells “pure products” with “safe, glowing ingredients.”

Today, I am going to compare the Coola Face SPF 30 Cucumber Matte Finish (not sure if this is discontinued because it is not on the Coola website anymore, they have a similar product called the Face SPF 30 Unscented Matte Tint) and the Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer.

Ingredients

Both of these products have organic ingredients, but Coola states that all their products are at least 70% organic.  Suntegrity emphasizes that their sunscreen is not toxic and “UV Chemical Free”, whereas Coola uses the word “natural” more as their main selling point.  Both are also mineral sunscreens (Coola 3.2% titanium oxide and 1.8% zinc oxide and Suntegrity 20% zinc oxide).

Both also emphasize their skin care benefits in their products as both contain antioxidants and skin beneficial ingredients such as rosehip oil (Coola) and aloe vera (Suntegrity).

Price

They both contain exactly the same amount of product (1.7 oz/50 mL).  The Coola sunscreen ($36 USD) is a bit cheaper than the Suntegrity one ($45 USD).

Application

This is the category where these products are so different!  The Coola sunscreen almost has a light, airy, and almost whipped texture.  It blends into the skin pretty quickly and doesn’t leave any hint of a white cast.  It leaves the skin matte, obviously hence the name, and also pretty dry to the touch.  The only drawbacks are that it will ball up upon application over certain skincare and you have to shake it up quite a bit or else it will separate when dispensed.

Actually, the reason I decided to switch sunscreens was that the Coola sunscreen starting balling up into little bits when applied over my skincare (shara shara Honey Bomb All In One Ampoule). The application of the Suntegrity sunscreen is completely opposite to the Coola one.  It is a thick cream (maybe due to the higher amount of active ingredients in it) that it takes quite a while to blend in and definitely leaves a bit more of a white cast when applied.  It is also more tacky and doesn’t really completely dry down throughout the day.

Scent

One other huge difference is that the Suntegrity sunscreen has a pretty strong scent and the scent lingers for a few hours or more.  I feel it smells like creamsicles.  I am pretty sensitive to scent, and it took a while to get used the scent.  It still bothers me a little till this day.  On the other hand, the Coola has the “unscented” scent (haha) with a hint of cucumber maybe.  It definitely doesn’t linger.

Longevity

Both of these last quite a long time on the skin.  I would say the Suntegrity sunscreen lasts a bit longer since it is also touted as a primer.  Even though the Coola websites says that this sunscreen will give a “line-blurring finish,” I feel like Suntegrity will even blur out your pores more maybe due to the thicker formula.  Also, because of the thicker formula, I feel it is a bit more moisturizing.

VERDICT:  I think both of these sunscreens are quite good.   Both have their pros and cons.  If I had to pick, I would probably choose the Suntegrity one, but I really had to get used to the scent.

Summer Essentials Haul

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I must admit I am not a summer person.  I much prefer fall.  I don’t enjoy being sweaty and hot.  However, I must say I love finding an excuse to purchase some summer essentials. These are just some of things I purchased recently because I really needed them.  🙂

ILIA Moondance Powder with SPF 20

I first heard about this powder through the lovely blog The Healthy Haus and when I saw it in the store, I just had to get it.  I find that it is really difficult to top up your SPF every two hours especially if you are already wearing foundation.  This has a twist-up brush which dispenses the powder from the tubular container (great to bring on the go).  The packaging is beautiful, and it is also supposed to bring some luminosity to the skin.  Plus, it is great to use simply as a powder to take some of shine away during the day.

Juice Beauty SPF 8 Lip Moisturizers

I think a lip balm with SPF is always a good thing to have during the summer.  I decided to try these from Juice Beauty.  They come in a pack of three shades: Naturally Clear, Playful (a rosy shade), and Joyful (dusty pink shade).  They smell like berries and provide a bit of a tint to the lips.

schmidt’s Natural Deodorant Stick in Bergamot + Lime

I have been really into natural deodorants the last few years and this deodorant usually comes in a jar.  I just recently found out that they came out with a stick version. The jar version is a little fussy in that you had to dip your fingers in to grab a small amount and massage into your armpit area.  This deodorant is great for every day use and stands up pretty well even if you walking around casually on a summer day.  On initial application, clumps to go off the stick, so you do sometimes have to massage it in.

RMS Beauty Nail Polish in Honest

To be honest, I haven’t worn nail polish all that much the last few years.  I used to be a nail fanatic and wore nail polish all the time.  However, my nails got so weak and breakable that I went on a detox and never looked back.  Since sandal season has started, I can’t help craving a bit of colour on my toe nails.  I actually didn’t know that RMS Beauty made nail polish.  Each colour in this 6-free formula matches a shade in their collection.  So far, it smells like regular nail polish, but the salesperson told me that the formula is non-toxic. She said that is really difficult to find a natural nail polish with good performance.

Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream SPF 30

For sunscreen, I figured that I since I am applying it all over my body, I usually choose something natural.  This product is certified natural and 98% organic.  This is actually a repurchase.  Even though this sunscreen is for kids, I bought this sunscreen last year and loved the creamsicle scent.  It is quite a thick cream and takes a little more time to blend it. Otherwise, I really enjoy it!

Karma Naturals Nail Polish Remover

I was introduced to this nail polish remover by the salesperson that sold me the rms Nail Polish.  I find that all non-toxic nail polishes pretty much still smell like nail polish. However, this is such interesting experience because it is primarily soybean oil based, so it doesn’t smell or feel like more traditional nail polish remover.  It totally works though!  I haven’t tried it on other nail polishes, but since it also moisturizes the nails, it is a lovely new addition to my collection.