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.

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The Evolution of Friendship

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I see the term “BFF” tossed around a lot with teenagers. I wish I still had that blind faith that relationships will always last forever. Of course, if you are lucky, some friends will stick around for the rest of your lives. However, more likely than not, the friends you have will evolve like all relationships do. For example, the group of friends you had when you were a kid will be likely different than the ones you meet when you start working. People evolve and so do our friendships. It makes me sad sometimes when friendships end, but now I realize some people come into our lives temporarily to teach us something, and help us grow.

Friendships Evolve as You Evolve

Friends you made when you were in kindergarten might be completely different than those you have now. When you made your first friend, it might just be because you both liked to play dress-up. As you got older, having common interests might be the catalyst for more friendships. However, loyalty and morals might become more important than just similar interests. I think it is absolutely normal for friendships to evolve as you become more sure of who you are as a person. It is through these breakups that we begin to find out what we genuinely want in a friend.

No One is to Blame When a Friendship Ends

As with a breakup of a romantic relationship, it is much easier to place the blame on the other person. Even if one party did something completely to undermine the relationship, it always takes two to tango. I find that for most friendships that didn’t work out, it was simply because our personalities were just too different. There is often no right or wrong in these situations, just whether it worked out or not. Moreover, everyone is shaped by everything that has happened to them in their life. Often, when we step into their shoes, it is easier to understand their perspective. Even though we might not share their viewpoint, it doesn’t mean it is not valid, it is just different.

Wishing Them Well

Friendships often don’t work out and it is awkward when you bump into them randomly.  However, even though a person may not be in my life, I choose to wish them well from afar. For sure, there is often bitterness and loathing towards certain past friends. Yet, over time, I would rather choose to relinquish the good memories that we had together then continue to think badly of them. Like I said previously, there isn’t a right or wrong when it comes to relationships. It just didn’t work out, and that is it. Of course, this takes time, but hopefully, one day, you can see that it just wasn’t meant to be.

Friend-Zoned: Beauty Products I “Like”

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I am not a big fan of “friendzoning” anybody, but I thought the term suited the beauty products I am going to talk about in this blogpost. For the most part, I bought the products below because of the hype. They are “good” products, but I just didn’t reach for them all the time. In other words, I just didn’t fall in love with them. However, they weren’t so bad that I couldn’t use them at all.

Burberry Complete Eye Palette in Nude Blush No. 12

“Pale Barley” is the shade I always hear about over and over again when people talk about Burberry’s eyeshadows. However, I wanted to try more shades so I got one of their palettes instead.  So what do I like? First off, the packaging is absolutely beautiful with the Burberry checked pattern on the lid. It also comes in a velvet pouch with some tiny brushes. The four shades are very wearable (both matte and shimmer), which is typical of Burberry’s aesthetic. In fact, the plum and rose-gold shades in this palette can almost act like neutrals. The eyeshadows themselves are also silky smooth and very blendable.

So now for the reasons why I don’t love this palette. First of all, the shadows are pretty powdery and there is quite a bit of fall-out if you are not careful. You can literally see how powdery it can get from looking at how dirty the edges of the inside of the palette become. Secondly, the way that some of the colours look in the pan do not translate once applied on the lid.  For example, the lightest shade, which is supposed to be used as a highlight, doesn’t show up one my skin at all (might be better for pale skin tones). The darkest plum shade also doesn’t show up dark enough on my lid to be considered a good liner shade.

Overall, the package is luxurious, and the textures of the shadow are good, but the colour payoff is not there for all the shades. I’m thinking the single shadows might be better. Has anyone had experience with those?

Milani Powder Blush in 05 Coral Cove

This is a blush that many love, so I’m not sure if is just this particular shade that I don’t love. I’ve heard that Milani makes some of the best drugstore blushes, so I decided to pick up one when I was in the States. The packaging of this blush is beautiful with a rose embossed right into the powder. It also contains 6 g of product, which is a lot for a blush. Not to mention, that it is under $10 USD! Super pigmented blush seem to be quite popular lately, and this is definitely one of them. You literally need to dab your brush into the powder and it is enough for one cheek. The colours are also lovely and this particular coral shade looks great on my yellow-toned skin. Lastly, I find it has pretty good longevity as it is still visible at the end of a work day.

Now, onto why I don’t love this blush. First of all, it doesn’t have the most pleasant smell, almost like plastic. Secondly, sometimes, I feel it is too pigmented. You can easily go overboard if you pick up a little too much on your brush. Thirdly, I just don’t find it blends out that well. It often looks a little patchy on my skin and doesn’t really do much to minimize pores. It is nothing major, but it just doesn’t compare to some other blushes I own.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop

I know a lot of people love this shade, but it is just not my favourite. I think this mostly comes down to preference. Some people like their highlights to be bright enough to beam into the sky, and others like them just be glowy and natural. I seem to fall into the second category because I find Champagne Pop too metallic. It also takes a bit of work to apply it in the morning. It is not a highlighter you can apply without a mirror because it can look like a streak of colour if you don’t blend it out properly. Plus, it doesn’t look great over textured skin or pores. However, when you do want your highlight to really pop that day, it is a great choice. It has the most beautiful golden metallic sheen. The powder is also finely milled and the packaging is gorgeous as well.

Do you have any beauty products that you have “friend-zoned”?

The Beauty Blogger Tag

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I am so excited! I haven’t done a tag in a while. Thank you Cathy from her blog Coffee & Concealer for tagging me. She does awesome reviews on books and beauty.  You should go check her blog out. Thank you again for supporting my blog, Cathy!

Here are the 15 questions she asked:

If you could only use one makeup product for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I think with makeup nothing beats a good base. Since concealer can double up as also a heavier foundation, I think I would choose concealer. Plus, some concealers are so fluid and lightweight nowadays, they can easily double up as foundation. Although, I must say eyeliner comes in a really close second because it really brings life to my hooded eyelids.

What is your signature scent?

Sorry for being so disappointing, but I am allergic to perfume, so I haven’t worn it for a long time. The few scents that I do enjoy in products are usually more on the citrusy side. I also enjoy the scent of roses.

What is your favorite My Lips But Better lippie?

I have been really into natural and organic beauty the last few years. I love the shade “Undone” from the brand, Kosås.

What about your favorite pop of color lippie?

I’m still not confident enough to wear a red lip out, but I’ve been loving the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche shade in Beetroot. It is a beautiful dark red. To tone down the colour, I usually work it into my lips with my fingers.

What got you into beauty/makeup?

I don’t remember the exact moment I got into makeup, but I remember getting my first 4 pan MAC palette and choosing the colours. I think I was like any other girl when I was younger. You see someone wearing amazing makeup and end up wanting to try it yourself. However, I think I really started to wear a full face of makeup late in university and when I started to work. I got inspiration from magazines and when Youtube appeared on the scene, I just became really passionate about it. It was a fun hobby and you get to look good at the same time. So I thought why not?

What is your favorite thing about beauty/makeup?

I think my favourite thing about makeup is the application. I love anything that has steps, like knitting. So I love learning new techniques and applying them to my everyday makeup routine. Also, I find putting on makeup relaxing and such a great stress reliever for me.

Are you more of a minimalist, maximalist, or somewhere in between for your skincare routine?

I try to follow the 10 step Korean skincare routine, so I guess I am a maximalist!

What is your favorite place to shop for beauty products?

Sephora. It is less intimidating than a department store and you get to play and try out makeup as long as you like.

Are there any skincare or makeup products that you find unnecessary?

I don’t find this product unnecessary per se, but it is mascara. I just don’t often use it because I don’t have the time in the morning.  Plus, I don’t have a lot of lashes and I also wear glasses, so I find eyeliner makes a greater impact for me.

What is your favorite eye makeup look on yourself?

This is so hard to answer because it changes all the time. Lately, I’ve been loving a bronzy eye with black liquid liner. I am not a big fan of the cat eye, so I like to just wing my liner out so my eyes look longer.

Glossy or matte lip?

It used to be glossy but since falling in love with lipstick, it is now matte.

What’s the most recent book you’ve read?

The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne. If you have read the author’s The Boy with Striped Pajamas, you will enjoy this book. Even though both of these books are set during the Nazi’s rule, they are by no means depressing.  Instead, they are uplifting and complete page turners. Plus, they are both kids books, so they don’t get too graphic or realistic, which I tend to prefer.

What is your favorite fashion item?

I love big cosy sweaters. They just feel so warm and comforting in the cold winter months.

Are you an early bird or night owl?

Definitely an early bird. I can never get any work done at night or be of use when it comes to something that involves using the brain.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?

It has be to Japan. I am so in love with their cosmetics!

I nominate:

Don’t Give a Jam

Sum & Substance

Fluke Beauty

Maggie Simple Life

Sylliepie

My Questions:

  1. What are your goals as a beauty blogger?
  2. How do you test products, whether it is skincare or makeup?
  3. What is your favourite form of social media?
  4. Do you prefer dewy or matte foundations?
  5. What beauty product do you usually skip in the morning?
  6. Is there a beauty product that you wished worked for you, but didn’t?
  7. What makes you happiest about blogging?
  8. What makes you most frustrated about blogging?
  9. Have you ever wanted to quit blogging?
  10. Do you take photos first or do the writing first?
  11. How many times do you proofread your blog before you post?
  12. Do you find your spending increase due to blogging?
  13. What do you consider as success as a beauty blogger?
  14. What do you consider as failure as a beauty blogger?
  15. If there is one thing you want to change on your blog, what would it be?

No pressure to do this tag.  I hope you enjoyed reading mine.

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?

The B+ Life (a.k.a., Achieving Balance)

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In one of my previous blogposts, I mentioned a concept I called the “B+ Life.” I got a few comments about the idea and decided to do an entire blogpost. Basically, I equate the “B+ Life” as one where you feel balanced and content. Hopefully, it will also make you happier overall.

Perfection Doesn’t Always Equate to Happiness

When I was younger, I was constantly seeking perfection in all aspects of my life. In school, I wanted to get straight “A’s.” In relationships, I always wanted to be the best daughter, best friend, and the list goes on. I often equated happiness with perfection.  Of course, sometimes, perfectionism does lead to happiness. The A+ you got through studying for days certainly brought you great joy. However, I have found that seeking perfection all the time and in all aspects of my life, didn’t always make me happy. It just made me feel stressed. That is why I think it is important to pick and choose where you seek perfection. There are some things that are just not worth the stress and this can be different for each person. Ultimately, I feel life balance is a choice and something you have re-assess continuously.

It Doesn’t Mean Your Lazy

I used to think that not living life as an honour student meant that I was lazy.  However, I have learnt that you can’t always push hard in one area of your life without undermining another.  I often find that when I focus too much on work, I tend to undermine my health and my relationship with my close ones.  So it may seem lazy to not work those extra hours at work, but it means that you have worked hard on your personal life.  I have learned that there is no price you can put on your health and the relationships you hold dear to your heart.  Plus, a B+ job means you are doing a good job, and remember, an A is always within reach when you are up for it.

Pretend You Didn’t Read Any of This

As many people already know, balance is much easier to talk about than actually achieve. Ironically, it is just as easy to become obsessive over trying to find the “perfect” balance. To be honest, over the years, I have found the game of life is sometimes crystal clear and other times completely elusive. I guess, ultimately, it is the attempt that is important. There is no way we can get it right all the time. So I think I feel the same way about the B+ life, to seek is to find, right?

If anyone made any sense of what I writing about or have reached the end of this blogpost, thank you so much!

Review: Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment

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I feel like most people are either into makeup or hair (there are exceptions for sure).  I am definitely one of those makeup people.  All I do is put a comb through my hair in the morning or on really bad days, just pull my fingers through it.  Basically, I just hate fussing with my hair.  So that is why my itchy and flaky scalp drives me crazy.  I wish it would just stay balanced all the time.  I have tried loads of anti-dandruff shampoos over the years. Many didn’t work and some worked on and off. So I am happy to report that the Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment has continued to work for me that last few months.

The Brand

You might have spotted the brand Briogeo while shopping at Sephora recently.  I actually first learnt about the brand through Instagram and decided to give it a try.  Briogeo is a haircare brand created by Nancy Twine.  She wanted to create high-performance haircare line using mostly naturally-derived ingredients.  On their website, I love how they list all their ingredients on their website and their EWG ratings as well.  They also use recycled or recyclable packaging, and are cruelty-free.  It sounds like there is a lot to like about this brand, but most importantly, do their products work?

The Ingredients

Let’s talk about the ingredients first.  A key ingredient in this formula is Binchotan charcoal, which originates from  Japan.  It is supposed to draw out impurities and remove buildup on the scalp. The other key ingredient is tea tree oil, which is an anti-septic and helps diminish inflammation. There are also many other ingredients, like peppermint oil, witch hazel, and aloe, which keep itchiness at bay and the scalp balanced and moisturized.

The Application

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The formula is a housed in a glass jar with a dropper.  According to the instructions on their website, you are supposed to part your hair in sections and apply 1-2 drops in each section and then massage in.  It should be applied after shampooing and before styling and should not be rinsed out.

The Review

So did it work?  I would say yes!  Straight after application, I felt like my scalp instantly felt less itchy. After blowdrying, I felt that there were definitely less flakes.  For me, this was amazing, especially during the summer when my scalp tended to flare up more.  I usually sectioned my hair into 6 parts and just used 1-2 drops in each section.  I see the model in the video using up to 5 drops, and for the price ($32 USD), I don’t think I could justify that. After 4 months, I have almost come to the end of bottle using it about twice a week.  After continual use, my scalp is a lot less irritated, flaky, and oily.  There is one worry I have though.  I went to get a haircut and they washed my hair, and of course, I didn’t bring this treatment.  Afterwards, my scalp was noticeably itchier, so I wonder if it is a product you have to continually use to maintain the effect.

FINAL VERDICT: If you feel like you tried everything to get rid of that itchy, flaky scalp, I would recommend giving this one a try.

Recent Beauty Additions

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If my birthday month wasn’t a good enough excuse to do a haul, I don’t know what is.  To be fair, there are some items in here that were birthday gifts, and some were necessities, like the first product I am going to talk about.  I mean, who doesn’t need an under eye primer?

Smashbox Photo Finishing Hydrating Under Eye Primer

I first spotted this on Instagram, and thought what?  Why didn’t someone think of this sooner?  This under eye primer has pretty bold claims.  Not only will it keep concealer looking fresh, it will also help with dark circles and is infused with caffeine to help combat puffiness.  So far, I am pretty impressed because it keeps my favourite It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye from creasing as much on me.  The slanted applicator has a soft plastic tip which you can use to blend in the product. However, I think using my fingertips is faster.  I don’t have very puffy under eyes so I can’t report back on that claim, but I will definitely see if it minimizes my dark circles.

Drunk Elephant Rise + Glow

Drunk Elephant has been a brand that I have always wanted to try, so I was super happy when my sister got a few products for my birthday.  The last few years I have been super into Korean skincare with a focus on organic and natural ingredients.  This brand is right up by alley because its main selling point is its effective non-toxic formulas.  However, if you have ever looked up the prices of the brand, you’ll realize this is luxury skincare.  I mean, they don’t have the sky-high prices of perhaps, La Prairie or La Mer, but some of their popular products are close to hitting $100 USD. So I was really happy to get this set to test out before I committed to buying the full size.

The Rise + Glow set contains two deluxe minis, the C-Firma Day Serum and the B-Hydra Intensive Gel.  The set comes in at $23 USD.  Even though my sister was shocked at how small they were when she received them in the mail, for the amount (8mL), it is cheaper than getting the full-size. As a combination, they are supposed to make your skin glowy and moisturized.  I have just gotten into using Vitamin C skincare, so I can’t wait to see if it is as good as my current Wishtrend Pure Vitamin C21.5 Advanced Serum.

Baby Juju and Baby Pekee Travel Duo

A few years back, I would probably be terrified of using face soaps.  For me, it just reminds of bar soap I use in the shower, which seems too stripping for my face.  However, since loving the Penelopi Moon Face soap from Japan and repurchasing it multiples times, I am excited to try out these face soaps from Drunken Elephant.  The Juju bar aims to exfoliate, while the Pekee bar’s moisturizes.  Both bars have a pH around 6, which is not supposed to strip the skin’s protective layer.  I hope these do not leave my face too dry, which is a common issue on my cheeks.

Boscia Charcoal Jelly Ball Cleanser

If you are an avid fan of Youtuber Tati Westbrook, you would have seen her demo this product on her channel and be tempted to buy it because it looks so fun!  Most importantly, it sounds like it really does a good job of removing makeup.  My best friend saw the same video and gifted it for my birthday.  I’ve been having some luck with charcoal products (I’ve been loving the Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal & Tea Tree Scalp Treatment), so I can’t wait to try it.

This product is not just about the formula, but also the sensory experience.  Once you wet your face, you massage the ball over your face and it will start to lather up.  You can also wet the ball and lather it in your hands before applying it to the face.  Another main selling point of this product is its use of charcoal.  It is an ingredient known for its ability to absorb toxins and impurities.  This jelly cleanser claims to cleanse and detoxify your pores.  I am a little worried it might dry out my sensitive cheeks, but it does contain tamarindus indica seed gum, which is supposed to help soothe and moisturize the skin, so I am hopeful.

L’Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise in Black

My best friend also got me this mascara, which has been getting a lot of hype online.  I am quite lazy with mascara mostly because I have short and straight Asian lashes that don’t really show up even with mascara.  However, I am quite excited to try this mascara because it promises “voluptuous volume” and length.  It also boasts that it will do this in one coat and 95% of the participants said it lasted all day.  If you have used this mascara, I would love to know what you think because I have never used L’Oreal’s mascaras.  I am hoping it will hold a curl all day.

Thanks for reading!

5 Self-Esteem Boosters

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They say “Fake It Till You Make It,” but sometimes no matter what you do, you can’t seem to bury the insecurity you feel deep inside.  Everyone has those days where you just don’t feel great about yourself and no matter how wonderful everyone says you are, it doesn’t help.  I truly believe that everyone has something to offer, but it is just difficult to see it when you get engulfed in a whirlwind of negativity.  Here are a few strategies I use when I need a little boost of self-esteem.

No one is spending a lot of time thinking about you

Everyone likes to feel important.  However, more often than not, most people spend very little time thinking about each other.  That comment about your work maybe took up 1% of their entire day.  Moreover, sometimes these comments are so offhanded that the person making them have no idea how it could affect the other person.  Yet, we could spend hours ruminating about how we are such a loser.  Take these comments into consideration, but don’t let them engulf your entire world because it probably didn’t consume much of theirs.

“Comparison is the thief of joy” — Theodore Roosevelt

Of course, comparison can be motivating.  However, more often than not, it can slowly wear away at one’s self-esteem.  For example, you find out your friend is getting married, but you are still single.  You feel happy for her or him, but can’t help feeling sad for yourself.  It is fine to compare, but making your life goal to be like another person is self-defeating because we are so different to begin with.  Moreover, we always tend to think someone else’s life is more perfect than it really is.  I know it is hard, but when you stop comparing, and look inward at what you do have, there is always lots to be grateful for.

Mistakes are a chance for growth

Criticism of any kind often affects a person’s self-esteem.  No one likes to be told that they are not as good as they think they think are.  Unless it is criticism that has absolutely no basis, more often than not, criticism is a chance to improve yourself.  Instead of looking at each mistake as dent on your self-esteem, think of it as a stepping stone to becoming even stronger in the future.  It is hard at first, but after a while, it becomes easier to take criticism in stride.  Obviously, if you are making the same mistake over and over again, you might want to reassess things.

Do something that you know boosts your self-esteem

Sometimes when you feel your self-esteem is beat, do things that make you feel good about yourself.  This might be obvious, but we often forget that we have many facets.  Instead of just focusing on the area in your life which make you feel not so great about yourself, do something that does.  For me, I usually go take a walk around the block.  It is something that I can accomplish and I feel better mentally and physically.  For me, working on this blog also makes be feel content and motivated.  Everyone has their own thing, you just have to figure out what it is.

Live the “B+” life

Living up to this vision of “your perfect self” is exhausting.  sometimes let yourself go, do a bit of self-loathing.  It is okay.

I am not good at cooking.  

I can’t even get my finances in order.

It is all a part of being human.  No one is perfect, whatever that truly means.  I call it “living the B+ life.”  Getting a “B+” on a report card is a good grade, but we often think it is not enough.  Give yourself a break sometimes.  Being an “A+” person is super exhausting and not always the “funnest.”  You are doing awesome already!

What are your some of your self-esteem boosters?

Current Favourites

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Time again for talking about my favourites using the five senses again!  For those new to my blog, I find it hard to find favourites to talk about every month, so I usually do a favourites post every couple of months inspired by Ingrid Nilsen’s Youtube Series called “Sense of Self.”

Sight (a.k.a. Current Favourite Youtube Channel)

What if you could film your life everyday and make it look like a professional movie.  This would be the perfect description of this Youtube channel called The Michalaks.  They are a family of three, Stef and Hannah, and their son Grayson who live in the UK.  At the end of one week, they release the most beautiful vlog full of the most gorgeous cinematography and music tuned to their daily lives.  How can they make a child walking down the stairs look so poetic?  If you want to see vlogging taken to the next level, you have to check out this Youtube channel.  On a side note, I know I might be really late to the game, but I have been loving Jackie Aina’s beauty channel.  She is hilarious and so up-front with her beauty reviews.  Anyway, anyone love her as well?

Smell

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Whamisa Organic Flowers Olive Leaf Mist (pictured second from left)

I am at the tail end of using the Whamisa Organic Flowers Olive Leaf Mist and I am so sad.  It was my first mist, and I enjoyed using it so much after cleansing.  It doesn’t really smell totally like olives, but it has it’s citrusy tones.  Whamisa is a brand from Korea that focuses on using organic fermented ingredients in their skincare.  Not only is it great for spritzing after cleansing and throughout the day, it can also double-up as a toner.  It leaves the skin balanced and moisturized after cleansing.  Now, I just want to get the rose scent because I have enjoyed this one so much.

Taste

You ever see a recipe and think that there is no way this is going to work, but if it did, it would be amazing.  For me, it was Anna Jone’s Kale, Tomato, and Lemon Zest One-Pot Spaghetti.  I just didn’t see how a pasta dish that took 15 minutes would taste amazing.  Boy, was I surprised!  Not only was the pasta cooked, but the tomato turned soft and gummy and coated the spaghetti to give it such great flavour.  Plus, who would think kale would taste good with pasta?  It is such a great meal when you are tired from work, and just want to whip up something quick.  You should also check out her other quick vegetarian recipes from her book, A Modern Way to Cook.

Touch

I was on a hiatus with my Beauty Blender, but I am back in love with it again.  Do you ever find you have these back and forth moments with certain beauty products?  I also have this dance with cream and powder products.  One day I love cream blush and than the next month, I’m using powder blush everyday.  Before I head off into another tangent, I think the reason I stopped using my Beauty Blender was I got tired of walking to my sink and having to clean the sponge so often. Actually, that sounds like a terrible reason because it preforms so well.  Maybe it was because I thought it lessens the coverage of the foundation a little bit.  No matter, I am loving the bouncy feel of the Beauty Blender again, and how fast I can get my foundation done.  Has your loyalty to the Beauty Blender ever waned?

Hearing

Another amazing musician from the UK that I found through Spotify.  James Vincent McMorrow is a singer and songwriter from Ireland.  I first fell in love with his music after his song Low on Spotify and have been addicted ever since.  I am no music critic, so it is hard for me to describe his music. Words that come to mind include moody, gut-wrenching, and soothing.  He also has the most amazing falsetto.

I listen to music from all different languages, and I thought I’d just add in someone else I love coming out of Taiwan, J. Sheon.  For some reason, he gives me “Craig David” vibes, who I absolutely adore.  I remember the first time I heard this song.  I thought “Who is this?”  He’s amazing!  After some digging on the internet with my so-so Chinese, I found that he lived in New York for a while, uploaded some covers on Youtube, and then went back to Taiwan.  If you love R &B, you should give J. Sheon a listen.