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Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

May 2017 Beauty Discoveries

June 2, 2017

may 2017 beauty

Happy June and Friday! I cannot believe it is almost summer. I’m so excited because I have some fun trips and activities planned this summer. It has been 3 months since I posted my last beauty discoveries. I took some time off from trying new products because I wanted to use up all of my current products. I love the feeling when I finish a product and can toss it into the trash! I was able to try out some great products in May. Some of these are perfect for summer!

SW Basics Toner

I always look for toners that are alcohol free and pH balancing. This toner caught my attention because it only has five ingredients. It is ideal for oily and blemish-prone skin, but also does not dry my face. My only negative is the strong apple cider vinegar smell.

Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream

I purchased a bunch of skincare from the brand Missha when I was in Taiwan. This has snail slime extract, which has healing benefits. When used in skincare, it firms and restores skin by replenishing moisture and supporting cell regeneration. It is extremely hydrating yet does not feel heavy on the skin. I have been using this every night with the Missha Treatment Essence.

Derma E Skin, Hair, Nail Oil

I received some products from Derma E to review. This oil is the only one I’ve tried so far but I’m looking forward to trying the other products. This product contains organic argan, jojoba and kukui oil. It is lightweight and does not look greasy on the skin. During daytime, I apply this before sunscreen to help the sunscreen go on easier, and during nighttime I combine it with a moisturizer. It has a thin consistency that quickly absorbs onto the skin. I have also used this on my cuticles. The price is amazing–only about $15 for the organic oils. I would highly recommend trying this product out first before spending too much money on other oil.

Coola Mineral Sunscreen Matte Tint SPF 30

This product was sent to me from Coola to review. I used to never wear sunscreen because I don’t burn easily. If I spend a lot of time outside, I only put sunscreen on my body and often neglected my face. A couple years ago, I read an article that sun damage could take 20-30 years to show up on the skin and I saw pictures of damaged skin (wrinkles, sun spots) which really freaked me out. Since then I have put sunscreen on my face every day, rain or shine. I’ve been using the Coola Sunscreen Spray for years, so I was excited to try this matte tint sunscreen. Even though there is a tint, it does not show up on my skin at all, so it will not replace a regular CC, BB or Tinted moisturizer. The formula goes on smoothly and leaves my face matte. It has SPF 30 and the ingredients include natural rose hip oil, flax seed oil and shea butter and did not break out my sensitive skin.

Coola Mineral Liplux SPF 30

The lips is another area that needs sun protection. The liplux is formulated with organic cupuacu butter and mongongo oil, which offer incredible creaminess that promotes softness and smoothness and improves the appearance of aging and thinning skin. I LOVE the Coola liplux in the shade firecracker, which is a vibrant red/pink. I gave one to a friend who has super sensitive lips and cannot wear most lip products, but this did not cause any irritation.

MAC Pro Longwear Foundation

This is a great long-wearing foundation that is perfect for photography because it keeps the face matte and does not cause any flashbacks. It is lightweight, easy to blend and looks natural. It has medium coverage, so concealer is still needed to cover up imperfections.

MAC Lipstick James Kaliardos Collection

I received this product in a PR package from MAC. There are 4 shades in the James Kaliardos collection and the one I’ve been wearing for Spring is in the shade coral bliss. It is a light coral with soft sheen. The color is gorgeous but unfortunately emphasizes the lines on my lips. Since it is a light coral shade, I think this would work best on people with fair to medium skin tone.

Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara

This does everything a mascara should do–volumizes and lengthens without clumping or flaking. Non-waterproof mascaras often give me panda eyes after a few hours of wear, but I did not experience it with this mascara.

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Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

Sephora Spring VIB Sale Haul & First Impressions

April 23, 2017

It is that time of the year again–Sephora Spring VIB sale! Sephora has two sales a year (April and November) so I always look forward to these sales. It’s a great time to stock up on old favorites or try new items. The sale ends on Monday, so you have today and tomorrow to take advantage of the 15% off. Most of my haul are new items and I’ve only had a couple of days to try them, so I will just post a quick first impression of these products and will report back later once I’ve had the chance to try them out longer.

Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser – This is a foaming cleanser with AHA. It is gentle without drying my skin. A little goes a long way and it’s great to use with my Foreo Luna.

belif Problem Solution Toner – This is perfect for oily and sensitive skin. It contains tea tree oil to disinfect and combat acne.

Shiseido Facial Cotton – This product has been recommended to me several times over the years, but I thought paying $10 for facial cotton was ridiculous. However, after trying this out I will never go back to the drugstore facial cottons. This is super thick and soft, products sit on top and don’t get absorbed so you don’t overuse products, and they won’t come apart like other facial cottons. My only regret is not purchasing these sooner!! These are pretty big, so I cut them in half which is perfect size for my toner and makes these more affordable. This was my favorite product from this haul.

Sunday Riley UFO Face Oil – This product is supposed to do everything: clear congested pores, treat and prevent acne, and smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also works for all skin type. I’ve had good experience with Sunday Riley products and I got this product because of the tea tree oil. This oil absorbs fast and does not look greasy on the skin. I’ve only used this for a couple of days, but I think this is what has calmed my skin.

Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 35 PA+++ – I wear sunscreen year round because it helps prevent wrinkles and lighten skin discoloration. I have loved every Tatcha product I have ever tried, but the products are expensive so it took me a while to purchase this sunscreen. The product title “silken pore perfecting” is exactly right. I’ve never tried any sunscreen that glides onto the skin so smoothly and does not leave any white cast. In the US, we go by SPF which is the level of protection from UVB rays, but PA was originated in Japan that indicates the level of protection from UVA rays. When looking for sunscreen, make sure it has both the SPF and PA levels. This sunscreen is a new favorite and has not irritated my skin.

Glamglow Hydrating Treatment – This is an old favorite that I love to put on before flight and during dry winter months. The hyaluronic acid locks in moisture and the raw honey/ginger root detoxify.

Marc Jacob Re(marc)able Foundation – This was the only makeup product I purchased during the sale. It was my first full coverage foundation. After wearing this two times, I like the coverage and the soft-matte finish.

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Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

February 2016 Beauty Discoveries

March 10, 2017

february 2016 beauty favorites

Thank you for the comments on my previous post about our puppy. Minne is settling in nicely but she is a lot of work! We have to watch her closely to make sure she isn’t doing something naughty. I miss sleeping in and doing my long skincare routine, but being a pup-mom has been rewarding and she has brought a lot of joy into our lives!

I can’t believe it is already March. I’ve been trying out new products and here are my February product discoveries:

Foreo Day Cleanser

When I first tried this, I did not like it. It is creamy but does not foam. After a few tries, I realized it works much better if I follow the direction and don’t put any water on my face. I apply this on dry face and use my Foreo Luna, then rinse off with water. This cleanser has probiotics and antioxidants, is incredibly gentle, and leaves my face refreshed in the morning. It is best for morning use when there’s no makeup on the face yet.

Foreo Night Cleanser

This night cleanser has a strange consistency for a cleanser. It’s a gel but runs right off my face. It does a poor job of removing oil, sunscreen, and makeup. I went through this bottle in less than 2 weeks because I put a lot of product on my face hoping it would work, but sadly it just didn’t work for me.

First Aid Beauty Purifying Mask with Red Clay

I’ve had great experience with First Aid Beauty products so I picked up this mask to try. The red clay helps reduce the appearance of pigmentation and improve the skin’s texture. After each use, I noticed clearer pores and improved skin texture. The only thing I disliked is that it’s a peel off mask. I have very low pain tolerance and it hurts when I peel off the mask because it pulls out the peach fuzz on my face. Some people will love this added bonus, but I don’t like pain! Sometimes I wash off the mask with water but it frustrates me how long it takes to remove everything.

Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Active Brightening Oil

This is an oil infused with rose petals, wild rose oil, and boosted with Super C to increase skin’s absorption of vitamin C by 1000%. The oil easily absorbs into the skin. I usually just add a few drops to my moisturizer. The fragrance on this is STRONG. It smells nice, but I dislike scented products. After a month of using, I also did not notice any reduction in hyper pigmentation. For the price of this product, I would not recommend because it did not improve my skin and there are other more effective serums on the market.

Marc Jacobs Blush

I purchased the Marc Jacobs Blush in shade Kink & Kisses during the Sephora VIB sale. This was my first Marc Jacobs purchase and I love the quality of the packaging and formula. The powder is finely milled and the color is gorgeous. The color is buildable and will look great on all skin color.

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish

I received this product as part of a PR package from MAC. The shade soft frost is a pearly white with specs of violet. It is a beautiful highlighter. I apply it on my cheekbone and the powder stays on all day. I love that it is subtle, but I can still see the highlight and a little bit of violet pops out.

Have a great weekend! The weather is getting really nice so I’m looking forward to spending lot of time outside!

Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

January 2017 Beauty Discoveries

February 10, 2017

january 2017 beauty discoveries favorites

I am very behind on my beauty discoveries this month! I have been extremely busy, but I am excited to share my January 2017 beauty discoveries. Before the new year started, I went through my entire beauty stash. I threw away products that were past the shelf life and donated product I knew I won’t use. I’m very happy with all the products I have left and cannot wait to go through them this year. Here are the products I have been using the entire month of January:

Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water

I first tried micellar cleansing water two years ago and loved the Simple Cleansing Micellar Water. In general, I think it’s important to use micellar cleansing water or cleansing oil as the first step in makeup removal and then use a cleanser. My friend recommended the cleansing water from Caudalie because it is not drying (unlike a lot of the other cleansing water out on the market) and is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. I apply this to two cotton pads to remove all of my makeup. It is extremely gentle and removes makeup without the need to rub. I typically don’t like products with fragrance because of my skin sensitively, but I don’t have any negative reactions to this and the scent is light and refreshing.

Belif Eucalyptus Herbal Extract Toner

I’ve become a fan of belif, a Korean skincare line. I love the aqua bomb and sheet mask, so I decided to try the toner. I love that belif have products for specific skin type. The eucalyptus and apple mint help minimize surface shine and soothe breakouts, so it is great for oily skin.

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser

The Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque has been part of my skincare routine for years. I love how effective Amazonian white clay is at unclogging my pores, but I only use the mask once a week, so I decided to get this cleanser, which also has the Amazonian white clay. This cleanser exfoliates so I don’t use it everyday. When I do, I gently clean in circular motion with my hands (do not use this with a Clarisonic or Foreo). This has done a great job of removing black heads and minimizing my pores.

Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm

I was thrilled to receive this product in my Sephora Play bag because this is an expensive eye cream so I probably would not have tried it unless it came as a sample. Beneficial ingredients include alguronic acid, vitamin C, caffeine, cucumber, aloe, and green tea extracts to minimize fine lines and wrinkles while decreasing puffiness and dark circles. I don’t have fine lines or dark circles, but this eye cream does reduce my puffy eyes and does not interfere with my makeup application. I enjoyed the sample but definitely don’t think it’s worth the price. I have used other eye creams that are cheaper and just as effective in reducing my puffiness. However, if you have issues such as fine lines and wrinkles, then I suggest getting a sample at Sephora or Nordstrom first to see if this gives the result you want.

Sara Happ Luxe Lip Gloss in Fuchsia

This product was sent to me in a PR package. I have been a Sara Happ user for over 5 years. I have talked about the lip scrub exfoliators on this blog several times, which is one of my favorite beauty products because it gently removes dead skin while keeping the lips hydrated. I have used the original lip slip so I was excited to try this in the shade fuchsia, which is vibrant and flattering. The formula is hydrating and I plan on purchasing a neutral/pink shade for every day wear.

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Best of Beauty 2016

January 13, 2017

Happy Friday! I hope the new year is off to a great start for you. I tried many makeup and skincare products in 2016, so I want to quickly list my favorites! I am not posting a review on here since this would get way too long, but all of these products I’ve blogged about in the past, so if you want more details just type the name in the search bar. I picked 1-2 products from each category and they are organized by the order of application.

Skincare
Makeup
Tools

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Beauty, Makeup, Skincare

December 2016 Beauty Discoveries

January 1, 2017

december 2016 beauty

Happy New Year! I hope 2016 was a great year for you and that 2017 will be even better. I have a New Years blog post coming up, but I wanted to get this December beauty discoveries post out first. I have a few beauty discoveries that I used in December to share:

Foreo Luna 2 – This cleansing device was on my wishlist for two years and I’m so happy I finally purchased it! The performance is very similar to Clarisonic. I wanted to make the switch from Clarisonic to Foreo because I was sick of spending so much money on the Clarisonic replacement brush. I would highly recommend getting a cleansing device (there are cheaper options such as the Clinique Cleansing Brush and Foreo Play) because they deep cleanse the skin and can improve wrinkles and fine lines.

CosRx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner – I’ve been trying more and more Asian skincare and CosRx is a new brand I’ve discovered. CosRx focuses on simple and natural ingredients, and the products focus on specific skincare issues (dark spots, blackheads, blemishes, dry skin, oily skin). The best part is the affordable price point! Since this toner is infused with AHA/BHA, it exfoliates the skin, removes dead skin, and helps prevent blackheads and whiteheads. It’s gentle and I use this twice a day.

BECCA Backlight Priming Filter – I usually apply mattifying primers but since my skin has looked more dull this winter, I have been reaching for this primer more and more. The formula is lightweight and dewy without being shimmery. This primer can be used alone or with foundation to blur imperfections and to create a healthy glow.

La Prairie Cellular Treatment Loose Powder – This powder is very expensive, but you actually get a lot of products. It comes with two containers–one large container and one travel size container. Together they are 2.2oz and will probably last me over 3 years. This is the best powder I have tried for oily skin (even better than the Laura Mercier Translucent Powder) and I just love finishing up my makeup look with this setting powder. It absorbs excess oil, gives a matte finish, does not cause creasing, and lasts all day!

Glossier Balm Dotcom Cherry – I have been carrying this balm with me everywhere. The formula has antioxidants and natural emollients. The castor seed oil locks in moisture and the beewax protects the lips. It is also not-sticky/glossy.

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