Summer Essentials

I’ll be the first to admit that I am kind of vain and that I am a little obsessed with anti-aging. Over the years though, I have learned to accept that a completely “made up” face is not always necessary when going out. I mean, I can now go to the grocery store without foundation, CC cream, BB cream, or bases of any kind. However, there is one thing I never skimp on and that is sunscreen. As everyone knows, it is supposedly the most important part of your anti-aging arsenal. Here is the arsenal I am using this summer to defend myself against those harmful sun rays.

Hurraw Sun Lip Balm

Hurraw has got to be one of my favourite lip balm brands. I love the oval shape of the tube and how it fits the shape of my lips perfectly. The formula also glides easily over my lips and is very moisturizing. That is why I was excited to try their SPF lip balm last year. I enjoyed it so much last year I decided to repurchase it this summer as well. Why do I enjoy it so much? Most mineral sunscreens leave a white cast, which is not a pretty look on your lips. This one is virtually clear and it has a lovely citrus scent. Definitely my favourite SPF lip balm!

Thinksport Kids Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+

I personally love kid’s sunscreen. First of all, they smell better than the adults versions to me. Thinksport was a brand that I stumbled upon when I was visiting our local general store. I had never heard of Thinksport before this, but soon learned that they are a brand that focuses on making “safe” consumer products. Like a lot of clean products, it doesn’t contain a myriad chemicals and is also cruelty-free and gluten-free. Most importantly, how does this sunscreen preform though? Since it is a physical sunscreen, it is definitely on the thicker side, but not that bad compared to others I have tried. My favourite thing about this sunscreen is that it dries relatively matte. I hate greasy sunscreen!

Meow Meow Tweet Deodorant Cream in Grapefruit

Yes, I am one of those lucky people that doesn’t really sweat much. So I usually will opt for a deodorant most of the time. If it gets really hot, I might switch to an antiperspirant. I have used a deodorant from Schmidt’s for a long time and thought it was about time I switched things up a bit. What can I say. I always get sucked in by cute packaging and it is no different with this deodorant from Meow Meow Tweet. This is one of those tub deodorants where you have to grab a pea-size amount of the product and rub it into your armpits. Yes, I have tried the stick version of these more “natural” deodorants, but I find they tend to crumble more, so I prefer the tub version.

This is an organic, fair-trade, and cruelty-free brand. Instead of baking soda, the main ingredients of arrowroot powder and dietary magnesium help control moisture and odor. Essential oils also give this deodorant a lovely smell that doesn’t really linger too much. I find that it is great at keeping any odor at bay. You will still sweat, but it does minimize the moisture you feel. It is a great everyday deodorant, but probably not enough if you are super sweaty.

Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream

I had seen this infamous green tube all over Instagram and have always wanted to try it. This cream is made of all plant extracts and is for those that have very dry skin. I had heard a light version of this cream had come out recently, so I did expect it to be thick. Boy, I had no idea how thick though! I wouldn’t recommend this as face cream, and maybe not even a hand cream. Like the script on the packaging says, this is meant for rough patches on hands, feet, and elbows. I love to apply this on my eczema and just dry patches on my skin. It has worked great in that capacity. Plus, it has this amazing citrus scent, which I love.

Review: Make P:rem Safe Me Relief Moisture Cream

The words “safe” and “natural” seem to be used a lot in skincare lately. Whether an ingredients has be natural to be safe is debatable, but knowing more about the ingredients that get absorbed into your skin I figure is a good thing. With only twelve ingredients, Make P:rem’s Safe Me Relief Moisture Cream sounds appealing as we navigate the endless news about the safety of certain skincare ingredients.

Background

Make P:rem is a Korean brand that aims to create effective products using quality raw materials at reasonable prices. Their brand focuses on using Nordic philosophy in its use of ingredients, technology, and design. The Safe Me Relief Moisture Cream uses 93% natural ingredients and contains 12 ingredients. It is meant for those with sensitive skin and they claim it is a non-irritating formula. Some of the main ingredients include squalene, glycerin, sage essential oil, and bergamot fruit oil. This cream is supposed to provide continuous moisture for 48 hours.

Application

Visually, this looks like quite a thick cream, and even when you pick it up from the tub, it seems thick. However, when you apply it, it actually is which lightweight and spreads out really easily on the face. In fact, you quickly learn that you need less than expected to cover your entire face. It sinks in really quickly and doesn’t feel really tacky or anything. It does a have a bit of a sage scent, but it is quite subtle and disappears quickly. Overall, I found it quite a lovely application process.

Results

This was surprisingly moisturizing considering it felt like a lotion when applied. I didn’t try it during the dry, winter dry months, but it kept all my dry patches around my nose at bay in the spring.

Skincare Short Reviews

It is always so intriguing to me how all my skincare seems to run out at the same time. I am always left scrambling to buy new items before the last drops disappear. I honestly feel like there is some universal force working to make this happen or I am just to lazy to buy backups. Presently, as I am scrambling to buy some new skincare online, I thought I would take a break to quickly review three of the skincare products that I have emptied or almost emptied in the last month.

Naturaglacé Point Makeup Remover

I am always on the lookout for a makeup remover that not only removes makeup, but also doesn’t make my eyes sting. Naturaglacé is a natural and organic brand from Japan. I love a lot of their base products, so I thought I would give their makeup remover a try. This is one of those dual-phase makeup removers that you have to shake up before using. It contains argan oil to moisturize the eye area. Luckily for me, it didn’t have much of a scent, which can really affect my opinion of a product. It also did not leave much of an oily residue after using it. Unfortunately though, it does irritate my eyes and make them water a little and just feel more irritated in general. I did finish the whole bottle, but won’t be repurchasing.

Melvita Argan + Face Care Oil

I am totally on one of those face oil kicks. I have combination skin, with an oily T-Zone and dry cheeks and have just found that face oil really keeps my dry cheeks moisturized and looking great under makeup. I decided to pick up this one from Melvita because I love the facial oil I bought from them years ago in Asia. This facial oil contains nourishing argan oil and amino acids that help with firming. I love that the scent of this oil is very subtle and sinks in really quickly. There is nothing worse than an oil that leaves your skin feeling super greasy. It is super moisturizing and lasted four months with me using it in the morning and nighttime. With regards to the firming effect, I think it helped, but it wasn’t anything obvious. I would definitely repurchase.

Scinic The Simple Calming Toner

This is a lesson of buying something that has good ratings, but is not that compatible with your skin type. This Scinic toner had really good reviews on a Korean beauty review app, and I bought it without even reading the brand write-up. It is a solid toner for those with sensitive skin, but not enough for who is looking for anti-aging benefits. It has contains water-lily flower extract which is moisturizing, madecassoside which protects your skin barrier, and aloe vera which is soothing. During application, it sinks in quickly and doesn’t contain much a scent. Overall, it does leave my skin moisturized and soothed, but it is not moisturizing enough for someone with dry skin. I think I would prefer a toner with a few more anti-aging ingredients, so I probably will not repurchase.

Review: Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

I have always loved skincare, but I never have been too into analyzing ingredients till last year. I realized, that in order to be a “good” reviewer, I really needed to consider all the aspects of a product. This not only includes the ingredients, but also the brand’s ethos, packaging, and source of their ingredients.

I feel like Vitamin C products have been everywhere lately. I am definitely a newbie when it comes to using Vitamin C skincare products. However, my first experience with Vitamin C product was so promising (it was from Wishtrend), I decided to venture out and try more. After, googling Best Vitamin C Serums, I decided to try this one from the Mad Hippie.

You have probably have heard of the benefits of Vitamin C for our health, but how is it beneficial to our skin? After doing some research online, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to defend against free radicals. It helps with diminishing pigmentation, fine lines, and skin texture. It can also improve hydration and boost collagen production.

Brand Background

Reading through Map Hippie’s website, it is a very “wholesome” brand. It only uses “natural” ingredients and is free from a ton of, what they call, “nasties,”, like parabens, synthetic fragrance, dyes, petrochemicals, PEGs, SLS etc. They are also cruelty-free and care about the impact of the beauty industry on the environment. For example, their boxes are printed with soy ink and their facilities run on alternative energy.

Ingredients

Like the infamous Skinceuticals C E Ferulic with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid, Mad Hippie’s version uses a Vitamin C derivative, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, combined with Vitamin E and Ferulic Acid. This combination seems to really boost the effectiveness of Vitamin C. Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate may be less researched and applauded version of Vitamin C, compared to L-Ascorbic Acid. However, it is more stable and less irritating. The formula also includes Hyaluronic Acid which is great for hydration and other soothing ingredients like Konjac Root and Chamomile Extract.

Application

This serum has a lightweight-watery texture and sinks in quickly. It has a very faint floral scent, which dissipates quickly. I use about 2-3 drops for my entire face. Using it AM and PM, it lasted me for about almost 3 months. I usually used it as my first step of skincare as recommended on their website.

Results

I loved the application of this product as it felt like I was just applying a hydrating serum. There was no irritation or purging stage for me at all. In fact, for a while, I really didn’t think it made any difference to my skin at all. However, we all know it takes a while for skincare to show results. After 2 months, I definitely noticed my skin texture was smoother. More obvious, was the brown spots I had on my cheeks had definitely lightened. However, compared to other Vitamin C serums that use L-Ascorbic Acid I have tried, I didn’t find the brightening effect as obvious.

VERDICT: If you are looking for a Vitamin C Serum that is non-irritating and helps fight pigmentation and improve your skin texture, I totally recommend this one. Also, if you are also getting into skincare with “clean” ingredients, this would be a good pick.

Resources

How Does Vitamin C Help Skin?

Vitamin C Derivatives – Which One is For You?

Vitamin C: The Multi-functional Skincare Work Horse

Review: Belif Moisturizing and Firming Eye Cream

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You have probably seen photos of Belif on Instagram with their distinctive black and white packaging and a bunch of ingredients and percentages printed right on the bottle. This is a brand from Korea that is inspired by 19th century apothecary techniques. They claim to use the power of herbs and modern technology to create safe and non-irritating formulas. The packaging is also designed to maintain the efficacy of the products. When I needed a new daytime eye cream, I decided that this Belif Moisturizing and Firming Eye Cream had to be my next choice.

Packaging

I really like the simplicity of the packaging. The brand has a very clean and minimalistic aesthetic. However, the packaging for this eye cream is quite deceiving. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of product, but it doesn’t fill out the whole container. The cream is just housed in the very centre portion of this jar, so I find the amount of plastic used in the jar quite excessive. Since the jar is opaque, you also really didn’t know how much product is in the jar. I literally stuck my finger down the middle of the product to gauge how much I had left.

Claims

Belif claims this eye cream will give long-lasting moisture and firmness to the eye area. The formula is not heavy and contains many natural oils, like cupuacu seed butter and macadamia nut oil. As the brand is inspired by 19th century apothecary from a Scottish herbalist named Duncan Napier, this cream also includes their Napiers AA, Moisture and Original formula, which contains their specific combination of herbs. Belif does not contain any synthetic preservatives, dyes, fragrances, mineral oil and animal origin ingredients.

Application

Even though Belif claims this formula is not heavy, I would consider this a thicker cream. However, it blends in easily, but I would say it still feels a bit tacky afterwards. To me, it almost feels like it creates a barrier to keep the eye area moisturized. This product does contain fragrance if you are sensitive to that. To me, it smells fresh and a bit citrusy. It is not that strong and since you put such a tiny bit near your eyes, you really don’t notice it. I would say I could use a pea size for both eyes so I have finally finished mine in one year applying in the morning only.

Results

I think my favourite thing about this eye cream is that it works amazing under concealer. Right after you apply it, your under eye area looks smoother and plumper and most concealers apply over it without looking patchy or dry. I would agree with their claim that it provides long-lasting moisture. I find that my under eye area looks good most of the day, without any dryness or patchiness.

VERDICT: A lovely eye cream which is wonderful to apply and works amazing under concealer.

Review: Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix

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I don’t know where I conjured up this idea that the more expensive an eye cream is, the better it is. Let’s just say I used to be spend hundreds of dollars on eye creams. It seemed that the older I got, the more expensive the eye cream became. I have basically been using an extortionately expensive eye cream for the last few years because I feared that if I stopped, those crows feet would start coming back. However, I decided enough was enough, it was time to branch out and so I picked up this Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix on a whim, which is not cheap, but half the price of my usual eye cream. Guess what? Nothing bad happened.

Claims

As with many skincare products, this product is all about innovation. In this case, this products contains a 360° Matrix Technology which helps to plump the eye area and give you a “wide-open” look. Its three main claims are that it will help repair, fortify, and hydrate your eye area.  It will reduce fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. The 360° Matrix Technology will strengthen the area around your eyes and lastly, it will hydrate the eye area for 24 hours and with its two times concentration of hyaluronic acid.

Application

Unlike other eye creams I have tried, you use the glass wand applicator to massage the product around your eye area. Then, you can pat in the rest of the product till it is fully absorbed. The concentrate has a lovely lightweight lotion texture and glides on easily. As it is meant to be used with the massaging wand, it does take a little bit longer to absorb into the skin.

Review

I am happy to report that my eye area did not get worst after switching to this eye cream. It has kept my fine lines and puffiness at bay. With regards to dark circles, I didn’t see much of a difference. Although, I can’t say anything really has really helped with dark circles over the years. Did it help me completely obliterate my fines? Probably not, but it certainly did not make it worst. I did find the formula really hydrating and when I woke up in the morning, my under eye area looked plump and refreshed.

Overall, I was quite happy with the formula of this eye cream. If I had a criticism, it would be the packaging. Initially, it seems such a bonus that you can use the wand to give your eye area a massage. However, I found the applicator finicky. It was difficult to get just the right amount of product to apply on your eye area. You can only grab a little each time, so you do have to dip it in more than once and each time you pick up an inconsistent amount of product.

Initially, I thought you had to apply a lot of product so that the wand will glide over your eye area without tugging. Trying not to use up the bottle to quickly, I would dot the product around my eye and then blend it in with the massaging wand, which worked just fine.  Did I find the massaging a wand gimmick? I don’t think it is because it does give the eye area an amazing massage and helps to promote circulation and de-puff the area. However, I must say I don’t always have the time to do a massage everyday. Sometimes,  I just want to slap it on so I found the applicator more time-consuming than expected.

VERDICT: This is a solid eye cream. However, the issues I had with the massaging wand might keep me from repurchasing it.

Review: Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil

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So I am a face oil newbie. I thought I would just get that out of the way, so you get an idea of what place this review is coming from. I never have been particularly drawn to oils in my skincare routine. Maybe partly due to its slippery texture and strong scent. However, since I have been seeing beautiful facial oils popping up everywhere the last few years, I was curious to try them out myself.

Claims

Packed full of amazing oils, like seaberry, cranberry seed, camellia seed, grapeseed, and sweet almond, this facial oil will help maintain a youthful appearance. Seaberry, cranberry seed, and camellia seed oils contain omegas that protect the skin from free radicals, moisturize, and help your skin feel smooth and maintain its elasticity. To see the full breakdown of their ingredients, you can check out their website.

Ingredients

One reason I was so attracted to facial oils was their shorter ingredients list. Indeed, most of the ingredients in this product are oils. It is interesting to note that even though this products is named the Seaberry Moisturizing oil, which is another name for sea buckthorn oil, it is only the fourth ingredient in their ingredients list. If you are into green/clean beauty, there are a few ingredients, like BHT, that rate in the moderate hazard realm. There are also a few sensitizing ingredients, like fragrance, Linalool and Limonene.

Application

One of the great benefits of using facial oils, either than the ingredients, is that you can also use them for a great facial massage. Fresh claims that this oil absorbs quickly, but I found it took a minute or two to completely absorb. As this is my first face oil, I’m not sure if that is quick. However, those few minutes of absorption time do allow me to complete my facial massage. It does feel a bit tacky even after it has absorbed though.

The directions say to use 1 to 2 drops. I feel I need 3-4 drops to cover my whole face and neck. I must admit, it took a while to get used to the texture, but I really enjoy it now. My one con with this product is the smell. I prefer scentless products, but I can tolerate it if the product is good. However, I would say that the scent of this oil is strong! It really bothered me at first, but now I have gotten used to it.

Results

Overall, I really enjoyed my first facial oil experience. It is on the pricier side at $52 USD. However, it lasted me a good six months using it in my morning and nighttime routines. I found that it did make my skin softer and smoother. It did moisturize my skin and give it a beautiful glow during application. However, I did found that it didn’t provide enough moisture on its own during the dry, winter months for me. I still needed to apply moisturizer after it to stop my skin from getting dry and flaky in certain areas. It did really help with fine lines though in the sense that I got more motivated to do facial massage twice a day.

VERDICT: A solid facial oil. Might need to top off with another moisturizer if you have really dry skin.

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

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

Make P:rem Black Cleansing Water

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

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

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

Aritaum Lip & Eye Remover

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

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

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

Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm

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

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

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

Beauty Binds #3 – Forehead Wrinkles

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

Method #1 – Exfoliation

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

Method #2 – Vitamin C

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

Method #3 – Pack on the Moisturizers

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

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

Method #4 – Facial Massage

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

Method #5 – Apply a Primer Before Foundation

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

Have I missed anything? Thank you for reading.

Year End Favourites: Top 5 in Skincare

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My post for year end favourites in makeup came out pretty late, and this Top 5 in skincare is even later. I am sorry about that, but I hope you will still enjoy it. Over the last year, I have mainly focused on using Korean skincare. I enjoy their focus on natural ingredients and the effectiveness of their formulas. Some of my favourite Korean skincare brands include Whamisa, Innisfree, and ID.AZ. Through a gift from my sister, I have also really enjoyed Ole Henriksen. I tend to judge whether I love a skincare item based on the experience of application, its ingredients, and how effective it was on improving my skin’s appearance.

ID.AZ Dermastic Foaming Cleanser

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I don’t know when I started to assume that cleansers that foam up right from the bottle are automatically drying. Well, this one proved me wrong. If you love cleansers that are rich and really foam up, then you will enjoy this cleanser from one of the top skin clinics in Korea, ID.AZ. Overall, I find the experience of using this cleanser really enjoyable. It has really refreshing scent, which I find quite relaxing. The formula is not stripping, containing aloe vera extract, centella asiatica extract, and panthenol to soothe skin. This is definitely one of my surprise favourites of year.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner Deep Rich

This year, I have been super into vicious Korean toners, which are packed full of great ingredients. They are thicker in texture, and are meant to be patted into the skin. I’ve have tried quite a few over the year, but I still think this one from the Korean brand, Whamisa is my favourite. If you are big Kbeauty fan, you would have seen this brand plastered all over Instagram and for good reason. Their focus is on using organic ingredients, primarily fermented ingredients, which are more potent and easily absorbed. This toner is my favourite this year because after you apply it on your skin, it looks plumper and glowy almost instantly. It is also great for the 7 step method. My one con is that it is a bit sticky after application but I feel it is less stickier than a few others I have tried.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum

2017 was the year that I discovered Vitamin C in skincare and wondered why I didn’t start earlier. I think the reason that I hesitated to try Vitamin C was that I was afraid that I would react to it negatively. However, I realized that when you are trying any skincare, you should always patch test because everyone responds to certain ingredients differently. I tried a few Vitamin C serums this year (e.g. Wishtrend and Drunk Elephant), but I think my favourite has to be the one from Ole Henriksen for several reasons. First of all, it did not irritate my skin, which I was surprised about. Secondly, it had a lovely citrus scent and absorbed so quickly into the skin. Lastly, it provides results. It doesn’t happen right away, but with long-term use, I was surprised how smoother my skin looked under makeup. Overall, my skin looked firmer and brighter as they claimed would do. It was so good that I actually bought the full size after my sister gifted me a deluxe sample.

Belif Moisturizing and Firming Eye Cream

The first time I saw Belif products, I was attracted to the minimalist blue, black, and white packaging. Then, as I learned more about the brand, I learned their brand philosophy focused on using natural herbal ingredients with modern technology to create effective skincare line. It was then I was sold. I was having problems with concealer not applying well over my eye cream so I decided to switch to this eye cream and I have been loving it every since. This is a thicker formula but it blends it easily. It leaves a nice canvas for concealer application. It contains natural oils, like cupuacu seed butter and macadamia nut oil, which help to keep the under eye area moisturized. I also love that it is pretty much unscented as well.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Olive Leaf Mist

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2017 was also the year I got into facial mist. Well, to be honest, I just tried this one. I alway thought that facial mist could only be used to freshen up or set your makeup. I didn’t know that it could also have another use as a toner, especially with this Whamisa Olive Leaf Mist. It is so vicious that you can pat it in as a quick toner. I love how efficient this made my skincare routine as I could quickly spritz this on after cleansing and be done with the toner step. The mist is not super fine as the texture of the formula is a bit thicker, but it is packed full of great ingredients that are good for the skin. Furthermore, it actually lasts quick a longtime even though the bottle is quite small. Now that I am no longer a mist newbie, I can’t wait to branch out and try more facial mist this year.

Have you tried any of my favourites and what it is one skincare product that you think I must try?