Stressed About Being Stressed?

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Yes!  I am going to be one of those beauty bloggers who is going to blog about other topics.  I hope that doesn’t upset anyone.  I will continue blogging about beauty because it is my passion and my form of escapism.  However, I want to talk about other topics that I am also passionate about because honestly, I am running out of beauty products to talk about.

They say one of the best things about growing older is that you become more confident, wise, and independent.  Although, given the chance again, I would love to be young again.  Imagine being able to play volleyball for hours and not be hurting the next day!  I don’t know how much “wiser” I have become over the years, but I have found that I have gotten better at coping with stress though.

Here are a few strategies that have helped me have a more healthy outlook on stress.  These strategies are not fool-proof by any means, but they have guided me through many difficult times in my life.

Differentiate Between Healthy and Not Healthy Stress

When it comes to stress, it is not something that can be easily measured like your body temperature.  Plus, what is healthy stress anyway?  In my mind, I feel that healthy stress is a result of working towards something you want to accomplish.  Something that brings you joy.  For example, even though it stresses me to find time to blog outside of work, I find such joy in the blogging process that I find the stress motivating.

In contrast, I feel that bad stress brings you down, doesn’t motivate you, and just makes you feel overwhelmed.  Of course, there will always be stress that is unwanted, but necessary.  For example, you might not want to attend a family gathering where you might have to socialize with relatives that might not be your favourite people.  Even though you might not want to be there, it is important you show up because your parents want you there and family is important.

So when does it become bad stress then?  I think it becomes unhealthy when you feel overwhelmed.  I usually just end up crying.  For me, it could be taking on too much at work because I felt I needed to impress my boss.  It could be saying yes to too many events.  I’m sure everyone knows that feeling of being worn down and not looking forward to the day.  I have learned that over the years, it is important to pay attention to these warning signs before you have a complete meltdown and your mental and physical  health deteriorate.

Determine What is Your Idea of Balance

Over the years, I have found that life balance is hard, but I think I have gotten better at it.  Like anything in life, it takes work.  It is important to stop down periodically and take a quick assessment of everything in your life.  Then, determine which items to keep and drop so that the scale doesn’t tip too much to one side.  Take a close look at those unhealthy stressors and decide which ones to keep or manage better so that they become healthier.  For example, Christmas often is a stressful time for me as there are so many events to show up too.  I usually just have to sit down and prioritize those that I just have to attend.  Then, reconsider the maybes and decide which ones I feel will bring me joy.

What are your ways to deal with stress?  I’d love to know.  I have so much more I want to write about this topic so watch out for more posts if you are interested.  If you love my beauty posts, watch out for my next post as well.  Thanks for reading!

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Summer-Proof Makeup

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Most makeup doesn’t stay on me that well all year round, but when it comes to summertime, it gets even worst.  There is nothing more frustrating then putting on a beautiful face of makeup in the morning and having it turn into a makeup meltdown by the afternoon.  This summer, I have been experimenting with a few items that have become my daily beauty essentials to keep makeup from sliding off my face.

J. One Jelly Pack

This has been one of those products that have been a mystery to me for a while.  Everyone who loves it talks about its miraculous ability to firm and keep makeup on all day.  For a while, I think I just didn’t quite get the knack of it.  It is super sticky, and for a while, I would just use a little and tap it in.  I just felt like it really didn’t do too much though.

Known as the “corset mask,” it can be used as a one-step skincare routine.  Containing hyaluronic acid and fullerene, it is supposed to be moisturizing and brighten your complexion at the same time.  It’s most known for creating a smooth canvas for makeup through its firming effect and extending the life of your makeup through its “grippy” texture.

So what changed for me?  I guess, I didn’t want to give up on it, so I tried different applications.  The method that has worked for me most is to apply it in small amounts and rub it in till it absorbs into the skin.  Then, I apply my sunscreen and foundation over it.  I’m not sure if it is just summer time, but I really notice the notice the difference when I don’t wear it.  It keeps my makeup on all day even if I get a bit sweaty and I find the firming effect more noticeable.  If you have tried it, I would love to know your experiences and if you have tips with regards to its application.

Dolly Wink Eyebrow Coat

Like many others who are into anti-aging skincare, I often wear a hat when it is sunny outside.  I find that in the summer time, it is even more difficult to keep your brows looking filled in and groomed all day.  Putting my hat on and off and just generally sweating will cause the colour to fade on my eyebrows.  So to prevent this from happening, I have been experimenting with Dolly Wink’s Eyebrow Coat.

Different from most brow gels, it comes packaged like a nail polish.  Using the brush, you can apply a thick coat of the sticky clear liquid to almost seal your eyebrow.  Alternatively, you can just apply a little bit and brush it through with an spoolie.  I much prefer the second method as it looks more natural.

So how does it work?  Applied thickly, it is almost like glue and your brows don’t come off till you want them off.  Applied sparingly, it keeps your brow hairs and brow colour in place most of the day without looking too “crispy.”

Naturaglacé Marshmallow Powder

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I used to never understand the need for powder in my makeup routine.  As I am almost 40, I am always trying to make more skin look more moisturized and dewy.  I don’t think I have purchased a powder in years.  The last one I remember having was the cult favourite Laurier Mercier Powder. So I actually got this particular powder as part of a set, and just have the deluxe size.

This powder is from a natural beauty brand from Japan called Naturglacé, which I am obsessed with.  From their website in Japanese using Google Translate, this powder is transparent, but is supposed to give your skin a radiant glow.  Like most powders, it helps to control oil and prevent makeup from fading as quickly.

This sounds obvious, but powdering really makes your makeup last longer.  However, I think a good one, not only controls oil, but also helps blur imperfections and should not leave your skin matte and cakey.  This powder definitely like that.  Plus, I also love using the puff to press in the powder to preventing creasing under the eyes.  Who knew?  I’m in love with powder!

If you have any great eyebrow gels or powders to recommend, I would to love to know since I am quite a newbie using these type of products.

Till We Meet Again: Empties and Expired Beauty Roundup

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I hope this blogpost is not going to be too boring for those that have followed my blog for a while. Before recycling my empties, I thought I would do quickfire reviews and discuss whether I would repurchase each product.  I have also reviewed these products individually and will link them below if you are interested.  Hope this is helpful.

Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint in Very Sweet

Expired: 12 months (I used half of the product)

Review: I have loved using this 100% natural cream blush because it really does plump up your cheeks and give you a natural flush.  If you are looking for high pigmentation though, this is not it. With a quick swirl of your fingers in the pot, the blush blends out evenly onto your cheeks and lasts a good 6 to 8 hours.

Rating: 4/5

Repurchase: Yes!  I would love to try some of the other colours.

Full Review

Innisfree Apple Juicy Lip & Eye Remover

Emptied: about 3 months

Review: Containing 88% natural ingredients, this bi-phase eye remover gets off even the most hardcore Japanese mascara, like Majolica Majorica.  It has a light apple scent, and can be a little oily if you don't use it sparingly.

Rating: 4.5/5

Repurchase: Yes!  Loved it once I didn't douse a ton on my cotton pad.

Full Review

Etude House Sun Blind Cushion

Emptied: about 1-2 months (consistent use in the summer time)

Review: Finding a good sunscreen top-up is hard, and this one is so convenient and quick under and over makeup.  As aspected, the product is completely white, but it sinks in well, and doesn't leave a white cast.  My only con is that you can use it pretty quickly if you re-apply often and it doesn't come with a refill.

Rating: 4/5

Repurchase:  Maybe.  I have been loving clear gel sunscreen and powder suncreens lately.

Full Review

Innisfree The Green Tea Serum

Emptied: 6 months (using in my morning and nighttime skincare routine)

Review: Made with 100% green tea, this serum's main goal is moisturization.  I really didn't love this as much as I wanted to.  It does sink in very quickly after application and leaves the skin plump and dewy.  However, it wasn't moisturizing enough for me as I am hitting 40 soon and plus, it doesn't really smell like green tea.  I think it would be great for someone if their 20s.

Rating: 3/5

Repurchase:  Probably not.

Jane Iredale In Touch Cream Blush in Confidence

Expired: 12 months

Review: I gave this blush a good review, but you know what, I barely used it.  I mean, it has some great things going for it.  It comes in a convenient tube, hA a nice cream to powder finish, and leaves a beautiful flush.  I think the main reason I didn't use it much was because it smelled like chocolate (I know some people would love that).  Plus, I just like more dewy blushes, and this one also took a little bit more blending to get it looking natural.

Rating: 3.5/5

Repurchase: No

Full Review

Tony Moly Ferment Snail BB Cream

Emptied: 1 year (there is a tiny bit left but it has hit its expiry date)

Review: Basically, I just used this BB Cream a lot!  It claims to be whitening, provide UV protection, and is moisturizing.  For me, it was just a great base with light to medium coverage.  It is most ideal for the winter months as it can get a bit oily for me in the summer if I don't set it.

Rating: 4/5

Repurchase: Yes!

Full Review

Innisfree Eco Science Lotion

Emptied: 6 months (used in morning and nighttime routine)

Review: This is made from Jeju sea plants, which has great regenerative properties.  It is made of 99.77% natural ingredients.  I found this to be a solid lotion that was great for layering.  It absorbed really quickly and didn't have a strong scent.

Rating: 4/5

Repurchase: Yes

THREE Correcting Concealer

Expired: 12 months (based on usual expiry for cream concealers as I can't read Japanese)

Review: A great concealer palette for travel as it contains 2 shades of concealer and 2 powers.  The coverage is medium.  I found it a little dry for my skin and will crease on me after a few hours.  The powder helped a bit, but still didn't last that long on me.

Rating: 3/5

Repurchase: No

Full Review

Hope you enjoyed reading this post!  Thank you for dropping by my blog.

Another Eyeliner, Another Review: Espoir Color Painting Waterproof Eye Pencil

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Current Eyeliner Collection

It is time again for yet another eyeliner review!  For the last few months, I have been testing out the Espoir Color Painting Waterproof Eye Pencil in Womanizer.  I decided to purchase this pencil based on the sole recommendation of one my favourite Youtubers, which is probably not the best idea.  She said that this pencil was smudgeproof all day, which sounded impossible to me, but I thought, well maybe, just maybe, she might be right.  You know what happened next, I immediately hit the “add to cart” button, and here I am with, you probably guessed it, with a slightly disappointed review.

Using Google Translate, here are list of claims from Espoir’s website:

  • “slippery texture,” which I assume means that the pencil draws with really good glide
  • waterproof and long-wearing
  • high pigmentation with a delicate pearl shimmer
  • 10 colours
  • you can smudge it out and use it as an eyeshadow
  • needs to be sharpened with a separate eye pencil sharpener
  • the sponge applicator on the end can be used two ways: on its side for a sharp line and on its wider side for a smooth gradation

Packaging

It comes in a sleek matte packaging.  The pencil has a spongy applicator on one end to smudge out the liner.  The pencil itself needs to be sharpened with a separate sharpener.

Application

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This is definitely one of those gel type eyeliners.  It is quite soft and is meant to be smudged out.  Therefore, it makes sense that it can get a little clumpy when applied on the lash line.  You can get a very sharp line when it is sharpened though.  However, I am not a big fan of having to sharpen these pencils all the time.  They are so soft that they get stuck in my pencil sharpener.  Sticking it in the fridge beforehand does make the sharpening easier.

Like most gel eyeliners, this pencil has very good glide.  You don’t have to worry about it tugging on your eyelids.  The sponge applicator is great for extending and sharpening your wing, which is usually more difficult with pencil eyeliners.  This is probably one of favourite aspects of this pencil.  Since my eyeliner is black, I never did try smudging it over my entire eyelid as an eye shadow.  However, I did notice that there is a few minutes of “play time” before it completely sets.

Longevity

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As a waterproof pencil, it does wonderfully.  I didn’t swim with it, but I applied it on my hand and ran it under the tap.  It didn’t budge at all even when I tried to smudge it with my finger.  However, it is not smudge-proof on me.  After a few hours, the liner will run a little into the fine lines in the corners of my eyes.  Not bad, and I usually don’t even fix it.  At the end of an 8 hour work day, I find that the smudging will be a little more apparent.  I will usually do a little touch-up.  I do find that most of the eyeliner is still there except for the wing portion.  However, it is not a liner that will continue to look good after 10+ hours. The smudging gets pretty apparent after that time.

VERDICT:  It is a solid gel eyeliner, except that I don’t consider it super long-wearing on me.  Might work for someone with less hooded eyes and a less oily eyelid area.  (Rating: 3.5/5)

My Current Under Eye Concealer Routine

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I am not sure a under eye concealer routine really warrants an entire blogpost.  However, I posted an Instagram photo of it and thought it would be a great way to do a quick-fire review of a few products I have been almost using daily the last few months.  I have a one out and one in policy for most of my beauty products, but when it comes to concealer I seem to have no self-control at all.  Mostly, because I still haven’t found my holy grail concealer yet.  Although, this routine lately, has come pretty close.  In this review, I talk about the products in the order in I use them.

Giorgio Armani Master Corrector in 2 Orange

I really wanted this product to be holy grail, and I do like it a lot.  Giorgio Armani is known for their beautiful face makeup, especially their foundation, and this corrector is a lovely face product as well.  It claims to hydrate the under eye area and give it a “seamless uniform application.”  Of course, it also colour corrects dark circles with its Micro-fil™ technology which also has light-reflecting pearls that illuminate the skin.  It comes in two colours, pink and orange.

I have purplish under eye circles and decided to get the orange shade.  Sometimes, after applying corrector and concealer, you feel the under eye can get very heavy.  I think this is where this corrector excels.  First of all, it has the tiniest brush, which is great for targeted correcting.  It seems kind of strange initially but I love how detailed you can get with it. Secondly, the formula is very light and fluid.  It absorbs into the skin beautifully and almost seems like it is not there.  I think my only qualm with this product is that it didn’t completely neutralize the purplish colour of my under eyes.  I felt like they were only 75% covered, but the product is so lightweight that I don’t mind.

BOTTOM LINE: A lovely light corrector that does a good job of targeting those purplish under eye circles.  Rating: 4/5

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye in Medium

So is this as good as it is hyped up to be?  I would have to say yes.  It is fast becoming one of my all-time favourite concealers.  This is touted as a full-coverage concealer which covers everything.  It also has skincare benefits, like improving the look of your wrinkles, and is supposed be long-wearing and not creases.  Overall, I feel that these concealer does fulfill all those claims, but I do feel it does crease on me within a few hours.  I usually have to powder and it will be crease-less for an entire 8-hour work day for me.

I will say that this is one of those products that if you don’t get the application down, you might like it, but not love it.  I feel it is important to only use a sesame size amount for both my under eyes.  Use more than that and it can feel quite thick and will crease easier. This is not to say that the product isn’t super creamy though.  It actually blends out really well.  I find that heating it up between your fingers will make the application even smoother.

RMS Beauty Tinted “Un” Powder in 2-3

If you have oilier areas on certain parts of your face, you know that you have to powder if you use RMS Beauty’s “Un” Cover Up foundation/concealer.  The tint is their superfine powder is great for keeping oil at bay, but also providing a little more coverage.  Therefore, it became the perfect powder to use with the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye.  Using this with over the It Cosmetics concealer prevented it from creasing as fast in my under eye area.  It also makes the area smoother and as their website claims, “create a silky skin.”

VERDICT:  This combination of products has been one of the favourites in the last year.  I would recommend them all individually as well.

Bite Beauty Bits

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It just happened.  I don’t know how.  I somehow amassed 5 Bite Beauty bits in the last few months.  Not all full size of course, or I would be broke.  A few of them are travel sizes and deluxe samples.  So what is the draw of Bite Beauty for me?

The ingredients are edible

Of course, this is a huge marketing strategy of Bite Beauty.  I am not a chemist, so I cannot totally validate this claim.  However, for a brand to make this claim, it does take some guts. If you check the ingredients, they are mostly natural and some are organic.  I do tend to favour green beauty products, so this seemed like a good choice for me.

All the coloured lip products are really pigmented

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Fig (left) and Meringue (right)
So far, I have tried the Amuse Bouche lipsticks, the Matte Cream Lip Crayons, and the Lip Pencil.  I have quite pigmented lips and all the colours I own show up on my lips.  On the other hand, I don’t feel that this is a line for someone who loves a sheer wash of colour on their lips.

The packaging is matte, but doesn’t get super dirty, like another famous brand with matte packaging

I have had these running around in my handbag for a few months and they look great. They don’t attract dust and dirt, like the Nars packaging does.

So now for the products!

Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Verbena, Meringue, and Fig (34 shades)

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Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Verbana
I feel like these lipsticks are the bread and butter of Bite Beauty.  They are pigmented, moisturizing, have good longevity, and leave lovely satin finish. If there is one gripe, for me personally, is that I don’t really enjoy the citrus-minty scent, but I can see others loving it though.

I’ve already talked about the great pigmentation of Bite Beauty products, so let’s talk about how moisturizing they are.  The lipsticks contain 12 edible oils that help to moisturize, smooth, and soften the lips.  Even without a lip balm, they are very moisturizing. Although, I do find that a lip balm underneath makes them glide on a little bit easier.  I’m most amazed at how well they glide over dry and flaky patches on your lips.  Even if you forget to use a lip scrub, you’ll be fine.  However, I don’t find it totally smoothes out your lip lines, like some other lipsticks, which I don’t mind.

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From top to bottom: Meringue, Fig, and Verbana
Apparently, luxurious ingredients like pearl, silk, and red wine resveratrol help to prolong wear.  I can’t really picture how something you wear on your body works on your lips, but this lipstick lasts really well.  Within a few hours, the pigmentation does fade a little, but most of the lipstick is still there.  It lasts pretty good through casual snacking (50% of the colour is there), but of course, after a full meal and wiping with a napkin, most of it is gone.

Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Pastille (18 shades)

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Pastille (left) and 034 Lip Liner (right)
I feel like these crayons are very similar to the Amuse Bouche formula except they are more matte (obviously) and like many matte lipsticks, a little bit more drying.  I feel like when I press my lips together, my lips feel a little bit more dry.  Therefore, they work better with a lip balm underneath.  Don’t get me wrong though, these are still great for a matte formula.

Lip Pencil in 034 (50 shades)

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I am a totally lip pencil newbie.  Previously, getting me to wear lipstick was rare, let alone using lip pencil.  So my review, is just purely based on this one lip liner.  The lipstick and lip crayons don’t bleed or anything like that.  Therefore, do you really need this lip crayon?  I would still say yes because it just gives the lips even more definition if you are craving that look on a certain day.  Super moisturizing shea butter and great glide during application makes these a great first purchase for a lipliner beginner.  The only qualm, for some, is that you do have the sharpen them.

All in all, I love all my Bite Beauty purchases.  So much, in fact, that I couldn’t help picking up the deluxe sample of another Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Beetroot using my Sephora points.  Can’t wait to wear it!

Current Favourites

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I think it is about time to do another Current Favourites post since my last one was in February.  Here are a few of my favourites categorized using the five senses inspired by Ingrid Nilsen’s Youtube Series called “Sense of Self.”

Sight

Finally, my sight favourite is not a Youtube channel for once!  I barely watch television, but I’ve been loving the new Anne series.  I think it is now called Anne with an E since its debut on Netflix.  Like many, I grew up loving everything written by L. M. Montgomery.  This included her books, the Anne movies from the 80s, and the Road to Avonlea television series.  Who would have thought that in 2017, the Anne series would be remade by the Emmy Award writer, Moira Walley Beckett, who is also famous for her work on Breaking Bad.

This is definitely a remake and not a faithful rendition.  The iconic scenes still exist with more in-depth renditions of certain scenes and some tangents that are completely not from the books.  So as a longtime fan, did I enjoy the remake?  The answer is yes!  To just do a faithful rendition perhaps would have been as justified since we can just go back and watch previous movies.  Instead, this update actually keeps it fresh by focusing on modern themes, like feminism.  Furthermore, I find the changes actually keep me on my toes, as I had no idea where the story is going sometimes.  I just hope that they keep Matthew alive through for a few more seasons.  I always felt he was one of the best characters in the story.  Have you seen the series?

Smell

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Summer Essentials: Schmidt’s Deodorant in Rose + Vanilla and the Ilia Balmy Rays

As I have mentioned in previous blogposts, strong scents in beauty products give me a headache.  However, I can tolerate citrus scents and I realized, for some reason, the scent of roses in small doses.  I think it started with the Naruko’s Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic Foaming Wash EX, which had this beautiful rose scent and was great cream cleanser.  So while scrolling through my Instagram feed, I spotted the Schmidt’s Deodorant in Rose + Vanilla on Sort of Obsessed feed (she’s one of favourites) and had to go get it.

I had tried the potted version of this deodorant before, but found it quite messy to use. You have to dig into the product with your fingers.  I have tried the twist-up version, but it was still quite crumbly.  However, the new version comes with a spatula makes it less messy and more sanitary too.  This is a plant-base deodorant that really works for light to medium sweating (it won’t get you through a gym session).  It feels almost like puddy, melts into you skin quickly, and you also need very little so it lasts a long time.  Plus, I love getting a whiff of the rose scent when I move sometimes during the initial application.

Taste

Cornbread!  I love cornbread!  I have definitely had it before, but I don’t think I started to love it till my coworker brought in her homemade cornmeal muffins.  Fresh out of the oven, they tasted warm with hint of sweetness from the corn, and then you also get a hit of the grainy texture from the cornmeal.  It is such an interesting mix of sweet, and a bit of savoury too.  I am surprised I love it so much since I am love super sweet things, like chocolate mousse and triple chocolate ice cream, but this is my new favourite.  I’ve also tried a more cakier version of cornbread and liked it so much that I had a piece every single day last week.  If you enjoy cornbread, do you have a favourite version?

Touch

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Two of my Favourite Powders: RMS Beauty Tinted “Un” Powder and Naturaglacé Marshmallow Powder

I don’t know what kind of magic this is, but when I dust my skin with the RMS Beauty Tinted “Un” Powder, it leaves my skin feeling so smooth!  This powder is so fine and it is also supposed to have light reflective qualities as well.  It is amazing how it can smooth out the texture in my skin.  Furthermore, it is also “tinted” so you can also use it to touch-up throughout the day.  Love it!

Hearing

I have never seen X-Factor, but I so in love with James Arthur’s “Say You Won’t Let Go!”  I know this song is playing everywhere, but I love the simplicity of the accompaniment, and the emotions he is able to portray with his voice.  I still think England comes out with some of the best music in the world.  Can’t believe how addicted I am also to Harry Style’s new songs as well.  Don’t really want to admit it since I’m not that young anymore, but I figure it is ok, since I am just crushing on his music, right?

My Current Night Time Skincare Routine

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Inspired by the many photos of skincare routines on Instagram, I thought I would talk about my own.  As you’ll see, I am still very into Koran skincare and am “sort of” following the Korean ten step skincare routine.  Like many, I enjoy Korean skincare because it is good value, effective, and focuses more on natural ingredients.  Most of the products are new and quite a few I picked up from the Nordstrom Korean Beauty Pop-Up shop a while back.

FIRST CLEANSE

I love double-cleansing as I feel it really takes off everything.  Not a big balm or oil cleanser fan, I actually love using micellar water.  I have been rotating between the Garnier Micellar Water and the Caudalíe Micellar Cleansing Water.  Although, after watching renowned makeup artist, Lisa Eldridge’s Youtube video about accidentally swallowing micellar water and realizing that one of the ingredients is antifreeze, I might be switching to a more natural version soon.  I also remove my eye makeup with the Innisfree Apple Juicy Lip & Eye Remover, which I have reviewed in a previous post here.

SECOND CLEANSE

I usually purchase beauty items based on online reviews, but I picked up the ID.AZ Dermastic Foaming Cleanser purely on the recommendation of the salesperson at Nordstrom.  I learned that this brand was created by a famous Korean skin clinic with 18 years of surgical experience (might be a plastic surgery clinic).  The products were initially made to treat sensitive skin after their skin treatments.

This foaming cleanser is supposed to be a mild cleanser that cleanses without stripping the skin of moisture.  It contains aloe vera extract, centella asiatica extract, and panthenol to sooth skin and comes out of the dispenser like a foaming hand soap.  I use about two pumps to wash my entire face.  My skin does not feel tight after washing, but I wouldn’t say it leaves my skin as moisturized as some other cleansers I have used before.  However, it definitely hasn’t made my dry skin patches flaky or red.

TONER

So has anyone tried the Korean skincare trend, the “7 Skin Method,” which involves patting on toner seven times!  I don’t have the patience to do 7 layers, but I try to do about 3 and I feel like it has kept my skin even more moisturized then usual.  To kickstart this process, I use the Whamisa Olive Leaf Mist, which is a wonderful organic brand from Korea.  This mist also keeps my skin moisturized right after cleansing and I use it as the first layer of toner as it is full of amazing fermented ingredients.  I love it because it smells great and sinks in super fast!

Then I pat in 2 layers of the VANT Phyto Skin Natural Formulation Phyto Ingredient Face Skin.  This is another Korean brand that strives to use natural formulations.  You can check out the ingredients on Cosdna here.  This toner is almost scentless and leaves your skin plump and moisturized.  The only con is that it is quite sticky after application and takes a little bit more time to sink in.  This is perhaps due to the natural ingredients, like birch tree sap, used in the formula.

ESSENCE

It went out of stock on Glow Recipe, but I had to repurchase the Yuri Pibu Artichoke Power Essence after it came back in stock.  I mean, it was one of my favourite skincare products from last year!  In short, it tightens pores and improves the elasticity of your skin.  I miss it when I don’t have it because I notice the difference.

SERUM

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Just finished the Innisfree The Green Tea Serum, which I thought was alright.  I was actually a bit disappointed because there is a lot of hype around this product.  First of all, it doesn’t smell like green tea.  I feel it almost smells like cologne!  It is moisturizing and sinks in quickly, but not moisturizing enough for my dry combination skin.  I have just started the Blithe Pressed Serum Tundra Chaga which is made of mostly chaga mushroom extract.   It is supposed to be a serum moisturizer hybrid which brightens skin.  I will have to report back later on how it worked for me.

EYE CREAM

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I am still using my longtime favourite eye cream, which is the Shiseido Future Solution LX Eye and Lip Contour Regenerating Cream.  It’s “special formulation” has kept my crows feet and smile lines from getting worse.  It is expensive, but I keep on buying it because I have this irrational fear that if I stop using it, all my fine lines will get ten times worse.  Plus, you really only need a pea size for every application.

MOISTURIZER

COSRX is all over Instagram, and I couldn’t help but join the hype.  It is known as more of a no-frills brands that offer effective formulations for a good value.  I have used their Advanced Snail 92 Mucin Power Essence, which I found to be very lightweight for a snail product.  Their Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream is another story.  It is super slimy!  This is perhaps because it is made of 92% Snail Secretion Filtrate (hence the name).  I love it because it leaves your skin looking absolutely glowing, plump, and moisturized in the morning.  My only reservations of buying it again is that the application can be quite messy.

 

The Cramm Award

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Thank you to the lovely Jamie from her blog, Don’t Give a Jam, for nominating me for this award. She has a lovely blog which touches upon beauty, lifestyle, and her everyday life.  Thank you Jamie also for supporting my blog.

Rules:

  • Mention the person who created this award with a link
  • Mention the person(s) who nominated you
  • Share three things that motivate you to blog
  • Share three people who inspire you to blog
  • Share one thing you hope to do to improve the world
  • Answer your challenge question(s)
  • Nominate other bloggers and give them a fun challenge question

This award was created by Liv at theCramm.

3 Things That Motivate Me to Blog

  • I just really enjoy the process of  writing and taking photos for my blog.  I find it amazing that I get to do these two things still because they were my favourite classes in high school.
  • I love sharing my love of beauty and just having conversations about it with those that read my blog.  It has been so much fun!
  • I really enjoy learning about beauty.  To improve my blogposts, I have had to do more research about brands and their formulas.  It has allowed me think more critically about what I put on my face.

3 People That Inspire Me to Blog

  • Sounds really cheesy, but my husband encouraged me to blog during a very stressful time in my life.  I am forever grateful because I have loved it so much, and it has given me a hobby that I love doing every day.
  • Also, super cheesy, but everyone who reads my blog.  It has meant a lot to me, and your comments encourage me to continue.  Thank you so much.
  • This is a bit of a cheat, but so many other beauty bloggers inspire me everyday.  There are too many to name.  Some of my initial favourites before I started blogging include, Anna Edit (formerly Vivianna Does Makeup), Lily Pebbles, and From Roses.

1 Thing to Improve the World

  • I think if any of us try to think of all the things we can do to improve the world, it would be rather daunting.  I think it is much easier to focus on the small things that you know you can do for sure.  I decided to not own a car, and use public transportation because it is better for the environment.  For me, it is a pretty easy thing to do where I live, and I love taking public transit most days.  It is relaxing, you can enjoy the scenery, and there is always a few good bus stories to tell every now and then.

My Answer

Question: In your personal opinion, are dad bods still in?

Answer:  I know I’m in the older age range when it comes to blogging, but I’ll be honest.  I wasn’t totally sure what a “dad bod” was.  I just googled it.  Ok, yeah I think so.

My Question

Looking back on the first half of the year, what is the best thing that has happened to you or to the world?

I Tag

Sylliepie

Cat Flicks & Matte Lips

Ms. Meehnia

Polished and Inspired

Stash Matters

Thank you for supporting my blog!

Trying Out a Green Beauty Cult Favourite: rms Beauty “Un” Cover-Up Review

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I have loved everything I have tried from rms beauty.  However, I have always been a little reluctant to try their concealer/foundation called “un-cover up”.  Mostly because it just seemed really foreign to me to use such a thick cream foundation on my face.  I guess I had this preconceived notion that it would feel very heavy on my skin.  Plus, it had a coconut oil base and I kept on hearing that coconut oil breaks you out and at my age, the thought having to deal with breakouts did not sound appealing to me!  So it totally did not make any sense when I just suddenly decided to buy it at local shop.

So?  I was totally wrong.  In fact, I think it might be one of my favourite foundations ever.  I have been wearing this on repeat the last few weeks.  And no, it hasn’t broken me out.  The whole experience of using this foundation has been kind of breakthrough to me.  It doesn’t adhere to many of the usual prerequisites I expect from a foundation.  I decided to breakdown this product use these surprising qualities.

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Shade 22

It comes in a glass tub

Most cream foundations usually come in stick form or in a foundation compact.  This foundation comes in a thick glass tub with a white lid.  rms states that all their packaging is either biodegradable, recyclable, or reusable.  I think this foundation would be great for traveling as it is super compact and you won’t have to worry about it leaking.

It melts into the skin

This formula is very deceiving.  It looks thick and creamy in the tub, but it literally melts into the skin when you apply it.  One second it is there and then it disappears into the skin and you are almost like, where did it go?  It is recommended you apply it with fingers, and that is my preferred choice of application.  However, you can also apply with a brush (preferably synthetic).  They also have a really beautiful brush you can purchase specifically to apply this product if you are interested.

Here are a few claims of the product from their website which I find quite unique as well:

“Apply sparingly with fingers over the T-zone area or wherever any extra coverage is desired”

Rarely, do you see a brand tell you to apply foundation only a certain area, so I found these application directions very interesting.  I don’t apply it that sparingly, but if your t-zone usually gets oily, I think applying it sparingly will minimize that from happening.  The coverage is light to medium.  It evens out your skin beautifully and covers redness.  However, I don’t find it is great at covering acne scars and pigmentation.  It can also be used as a light concealer and  I would definitely say that it is “light” when it comes to concealing.  I definitely favour it as a foundation more than a concealer as I have pretty dark circles under my eyes.

“Mineral pigments will self-adjust to your skin tone”

This claim just sounds a little too good to be true because it only comes in 7 shades.  After using it forever, I really think it does.  I’m not sure what kind of magic this is!

“Moisturizes and heals, resulting in beautiful second skin”

It is definitely moisturizing and leaves your skin initially with a satin finish.  I do agree it looks almost like “second skin.”  As the day goes by, depending on your skin type, I do find it gets quite dewy, even a little bit oily on my t-zone area.  For my dry cheeks, this is amazing because they have never looked so moisturized, but for my t-zone, it can look almost greasy.  However, this is an even fix, with some powder, and it will look great all day.  What the healing claim?  That is a bold claim.  All I can say is that I didn’t have any breakouts and my skin has looked really good the last month.

Just a few additional things I wanted to mention

rms beauty claims it will minimize pores and I can definitely vouch for that.  What about longevity? I think you definitely should powder and it lasts most of a work day.  I mean, I don’t really consider it a long-wearing foundation though.

VERDICT:  I love this foundation and would totally recommend it, not only as a green product, but just as a foundation in general.  However, I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who is looking for full coverage or a more “made-up” look.