A Peek at my Skincare Diary #1: Short and Sweet

Gasp! A Saturday post? Yeah, I forgot to schedule some new posts whilst I was panicking over an essay. I have some time to get some posts up and scheduled now, though, so you all have something to read while I am contemplating the inner workings of the mind for my degree!

I initially planned to start this series two months ago, around the time of year I share my skincare wardrobe. Instead of presenting it all as a giant wardrobe last year, I thought it would be interesting to keep a diary and record what I was using on a day-to-day basis. But then I suddenly stopped taking care of my skin, going nights without bothering with a moisturiser, although I could never forgo my thick layer of lip balm. But it meant I stopped keeping track of my skin using my diary, too.

So very slowly, I’ve been reintroducing my skincare routine based on what I am feeling. I’m not sure how long it will last seeing as my exams are really quite fast approaching and I habitually tend to wreck my sleeping and skincare around that time…

But anyway, here’s what I have been reaching for when I actually did bother with basic self-care.

Morning

Dr Organic Hemp Oil Lip Serum

After using this in the morning for at least a year now, I think I am finally using up the last of it! This has an oily but also gel-like texture that’s quite unusual, but I do like it as I want something thin that won’t interfere with my lipstick. It’s only £2.49 from Holland and Barratt, too. I wear it in the morning as soon as I have washed my face, and it stays on mostly until I get to the lipstick stage, when I press it off a bit with the back of my hand before applying lipstick. Of course, the smell will take some getting used to if you’ve never used hemp before – it can be a little unpleasant.

Etude House Moistfull Collagen Emulsion

I think this is actually the first emulsion type product I have tried, and I really like it. It’s most similar to the Western ‘lotion’ although not quite the same thing to me. It’s basically a light moisturiser and sinks in super well which is great in the mornings when I need to layer sunscreen and makeup on top without pilling but also don’t want my skin to be too dry.

I’ve been meaning to write a full review for ages but now I realise there’s not much to say! I’ve been using this for months and I’m only halfway through the bottle, but I will finish this up. I probably won’t repurchase it in favour of something with more ‘wow’ to it.

Kose Suncut Aqualy UV Protect Gel SPF50+ PA++++|Full Review Here

Something about this sunscreen texture is super pleasant so I never shy from reaching for this. It also works really nicely under makeup without pilling which I am very grateful for. However, if oil is a major problem for you then this might not be the best option at all. I really liked using this over the last winter (I just… accepted my oiliness haha) although admittedly I didn’t wear sunscreen every day… I’ll look at other options because I’m a blogger, after all, but this will definitely be repurchased in the future. It’s been over a year of sporadic use and I’m finally getting to the last quarter of the bottle.

Evening

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser| Review Here

A very gentle and pleasant cleanser! For days of light makeup only. It will also make a good attempt at non-waterproof mascaras without stinging the eyes at all which is a nice bonus, and the rose smell is lovely. I actually don’t have many rose-scented products – for some reason the M&S body product sets that haunted my childhood come to mind – but maybe that can change! My only gripe is the price for the amount but honestly, for this lovely of a cleanser, I would not mind repurchasing it anyway.

Etude House Moistfull Collagen Eye Cream

Again, this eye cream actually isn’t anything special. But I’m twenty and only looking for a standard eye cream that isn’t too rich or too thin, and it doesn’t need to have anti-ageing ingredients at this stage. This is actually the perfect consistency – sort of buttery but not greasy at all – and the scent is actually quite minimal. All that means this is super pleasant to use for me and I’d happily buy it to use again. I’ve almost reached the bottom of my tub which means I need to stop buying new emulsions and essences and buy a new eye cream!! Any suggestions for products with a similar consistency?

COSRX AHA Whitehead Power Liquid

As I often lost track of my routine I have erred on the safe side and avoided my acids. I’m trying to reintroduce it starting weekly but even that is kind of a struggle at the moment! Besides the slightly funky smell which I am sort of used to now, there’s not much to say thus far.

Lanolips 101 Ointment|Review here

Dr Pawpaw Original Balm|Review here

One of my favourite combinations recently. I like to use a thin layer of Lanolips before applying a thick layer of Dr PawPaw, which makes my lips super soft in the morning and easy to exfoliate or even just wipe away the dead skin after morning cleansing. Both are slightly pricier options for lip balm and the PawPaw I feel could easily be replaced with Vaseline or Carmex. As you can see, I currently prefer products in tubes, even over stick-type products.

Overall, this routine takes less than ten minutes out of my morning and evening, and hopefully I can build it up a bit more over the next few months without going too heavy as the summer approaches.

I hope you enjoyed this snippet of skincare and hopefully, as this project develops, we’ll be able to see how my skincare routine evolves and adapts to change to all the seasons!

Until next time,

X

Snap Review: Primark Hydrogel Mask

Hi everyone!

I picked up Primark’s attempt at a hydrogel mask a few weeks ago when browsing their beauty shelves with AT, and finally gave it a try a few nights ago. I put on a few episodes of my current-watching anime series, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and unfurled it to give it a try.

Casually sneaking a pic between action scenes.

I’m sure nobody is ever expecting miracles from a mask like this especially from Primark, but I’ve not tried a hydrogel mask before so this was interesting to me. It didn’t seem like other hydrogel masks that I had seen online, though. It seemed like a regular sheet mask but with a slight gel texture on one side and a mesh texture on the other. I placed the gel side on my face.

It had no unpleasant or sharp fragrance, and the essence was not too runny. It survived over an hour on my face and probably could’ve lasted longer as it was still quite damp.

Yeah. The fit of this mask was kind of horrendous. Normally even with chin fitting issues, the mask is flexible enough for me to fold it over my chin. This material is a bit too stiff for that. It was also a bit too small to go right to the sides of my face. It’s occurred to me now, writing this post, that I could have cut extra slits to make the fit better but at the time I’d forgotten I could do that.

Overall, for £2 it was a total dud. It would make sense if this was more £1. So this was disappointing, but I did like their lip masks!

Have you tried any Primark skincare?

Until next time,

X

Review: The Rosehip Specialists Rosehip Oil

Okay, so you want the full product name?
The Rosehip Specialists
Rosehip Plus Pure & Natural Rosehip Oil
Australian Certified, Organic, Cold Pressed.
For a long time, I have kept my distance from oil-based products in my skincare. Despite hearing about the benefits it might have for even oily skin, it just didn’t appeal to me. Why would I add more oil to my oily face? That said, there’s no doubt that the recent uprising of oils really interested me, no matter how I resisted.
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Originally, I was going to purchase rosehip oil from The Ordinary, who sell 30ml bottles for £9, but I spotted this in TK Maxx, the last box at the back of the shelf, for £6.99 (also 30ml) and grabbed it immediately. This particular oil has added vitamin E in the form of Tocopherol. It has a yellow, slightly orange colour to it.
From the packaging, Rosehip Oil contains:
Antioxidants Lycopene and Beta-carotene
Vitamins A,C and E
80% Essential Fatty Acids Omega 3, 6 and 9
Rosehip Oil is touted for a whole lot of benefits but the one that caught my eye was that it was also compatible for oily skin because the oils that are in it are at different levels to the ones that naturally occur in oily skin types, therefore it should help to balance the oils somewhat. That said, I can’t quite remember where I read this… (I know, I’m a bad academic). It’s also not occlusive, so I could layer it under masks and other stuff this winter!
Here are some of the product’s other claims as taken from its packaging:
Reduces the appearance of stretch marks and scars
Maintains skin hydration and softness
Improves appearance of dry and sensitive skin
Minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Promotes skin elasticity and texture
My first use of it was to add it to my Etude House Collagen Emulsion, just before my occlusive layer. I have also tried to mix it with Superdrug Simply Pure Hydrating Serum. On the first impression, it seemed to break up the product but as I kept mixing the two blended together fine. I really like it for adding some richness to my otherwise very light and layered routine.
Thankfully, it hasn’t broken me out, which was what I was most worried about. It has also helped to restore my skin’s odd dry winter patches, too, although it hasn’t done anything, of course, to help my skin’s oiliness level. Over more long-term use I found it helped reduce the prominence of some of my old acne scars.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my first foray into skincare oils and now squalane is on my list to try, too!
How do you use oils in your skincare routine?

Until next time,

X

Review: Lanolips 101 Ointment

My current stash of lip balms is at a count of seven, I think… not including the few duplicates I have. Needless to say that I don’t necessarily need any more but this is been on my radar for a while and if things go on sale whilst on my radar, I’m buying it… This doesn’t apply to all things of course and I figure things out on a case-by-case basis, but lip balms have been a total winner for me recently and I’m always curious to try what’s popular.

Over Black Friday, one of the other items I picked up from Boots (besides this Smashbox lip set) was the Lanolips 101 Ointment, which was on a buy-one-get-one-free offer. It’s normally £10.99 for 15g/0.52oz so a fairly pricey little tube.  Other alternatives are Glossier who offers 15ml for £10 and Dr Lipp who offers 15ml for £12. I haven’t tried the other two, and this is my first experience with a lanolin-based lip balm.

The packaging is like other hand creams or salves I’ve seen before, and is also remniscent of paint tubes. I quite like this type personally, as it’s a little more appealing than medicine style tubes and helps me to separate the cosmetic tubes to others in my head.

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When I first received the product, I was surprised to find out how stiff the product was at first and how hard it was to squeeze out of the packaging. Especially in this cold weather, it’s advisable to keep it someplace relatively warm or roll/hold the tube between your hands to warm it up and make it easier for the product to leave the tube. I imagine that wouldn’t be a problem in the summer, though. The product seems quite solid but melts onto the lips and becomes a more oily texture.

It is 100% Lanolin (the two ingredients being Lanolin and Lanolin oil), which is a natural product found in sheep’s wool. Therefore, it’s unfortunately not vegan if that is what is important to you. (This is something I have realised I have never mentioned in my reviews for you all and now I am taking more steps to include that kind of information in my posts!) As to whether it is cruelty-free, the packaging states it has not been tested on animals.

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There are two ways I like to use this so that my lips are soft in the morning or at least the dead skin is easily sloughed off. One is to slather a super thick layer on (although this is my routine for all my lip balms if I am honest). The other is to spread a thin layer and go in with a slightly thicker layer of something else. At the moment I prefer the second because I think it’s almost like it’s boosting the effect of the balm I use on top. Also, I get to use two lip balms up at once(!!).

I have always struggled to sleep on my back and not roll around which I have been trying to do for the sake of my skincare and lip balms that rub off! But recently I have found a sort of position that stops that and is also comfortable so my lip balms have actually been staying on.

Overall, I am really liking this as a lip balm and may consider buying it again!

Until next time,

X


Days since I last bought a lipstick:
Lipstick last worn:

Review: Banobagi Vita Genic Jelly Sheet Masks

I may have mentioned in my blogging process post about a draft or photo or two that was just buried in my notes and folders. Well, I dug up some photos that looked really nice and re-shot a sheet mask selfie, and boom. The pretty shots here were taken last May (!!!!!!) so for me to say that this review is overdue is a severe understatement!

The Vita Genic masks were a gift to me from a friend in Scotland who I met in October of 2016. You’d think I’d have used them all up by now, but that’s a real testament to how often I use sheet masks (i.e. not a lot). From a quick search, I can see that a pack of ten costs about £12.50 on eBay (and very overpriced on Amazon…) so they’re quite inexpensive as masks go.

The sheet mask packets are a bit big and round, so depending on how much room you have for your masks they might be a little big for your container.

I have all four varieties available:

  • Green – Calm & Balance/Relaxing, Vitamin B, containing Jeju Aloe Water
  • Red – Firming/Lifting, Vitamin A, containing Jeju Cactus/Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract
  • Yellow – Tone Up/Whitening, Vitamin C, containing ‘Jeju Halabong Fruit’ extract
  • Blue – Moisturising/Hydrating, Vitamin E, containing Jeju Oxygen Water (LOL)

The sheet is made of 100% cotton. It fits really nicely on my face. Of course the chin and nose are a bit funky but that’s always the case with me. The sheet is super comfortable and adheres well.

It’s the return of the awful sheet mask selfie!

The essence, true to the ‘jelly’ part of the name, doesn’t drip even though there is loads of essence in the packet! I’m talking 30ml! There’s enough to slather on your whole body. I used it to ‘top up’ my mask as it began to dry out, and I had enough to do it TWICE. (I probably could have managed a third time if I had another hour spare.)

Image result for twice one more time gif
TWICE.
(K-Pop gifs are SUCH FUN. Why didn’t I do this sooner???)

As for the effects? I never usually pay heed to how a mask affects my face, to be honest. I wear them as an occasional treat more than anything else, or just so I can do both my skincare and my revision in the evenings at once! I did feel very refreshed after using it although there was nothing in particular to note.

Overall, I really like using these masks and they are certainly something I could see myself rebuying in the future.

Until next time,

X


Days since last buying lipstick: 34

Review: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser and Cloud Paint in Dusk

Ah, Glossier. With the effortless-cool-girl target audience (which is everyone. I mean, I’m not cool but I sure as hell want to be as cool as all of you), dare I day ‘millennial’ relatability and minimal aesthetic, they’ve become another new hip brand on everyone’s radar.

I shied away from buying any of their products, though, because I felt that many of their items were designed with those in mind who are practically flawless and don’t need much help. It would be great if all I needed in life was a sheer something. Rational thinking says no to the entire brand, but the marketing was successful at making me put the whole brand on my wishlist. It makes me feel a little… petty. I felt biased against the brand before I even tried anything from them.

That said, the Milky Jelly Cleanser and the praise surrounding it was the one thing that made me cave in during their Black Friday promo. I could have picked up more items, but I was still a bit unsure.

It’s a cruelty-free gel cleanser costing £15 for 177ml (£8.47 per 100ml) which is really expensive compared to my current go-to, the Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean Deep Cleansing Milk which is £8.00 for 350ml (£2.29 per 100ml)!!! I’ve only been using it as I feel like it but I feel the bottle is depleting so fast and with regular use I’m not even sure it would last me a full month.

The packaging is minimal, of course, and it looks very cool on my desk. It has a rose scent that isn’t strong at all and the gel texture is really pleasant to use in the morning to wash the skincare residue off. It doesn’t dry out my skin at all after cleansing.

I was only expecting a decent morning cleanser from this or a second cleanser type product. I was not looking for a heavy duty cleanser that could erase my toughest makeup. Due to my oily skin, most makeup becomes so slippy, it can be wiped off at the end of the day anyway. However, it managed to take off that makeup quite well (a test-swipe with cotton showed nothing at all).

It even took off my non-waterproof mascara without stinging my eyes. My Soap and Glory cleanser does sting my eyes so this is where the Milky Jelly Cleanser comes out on top for me. I may just be tempted to repurchase this… sometime in the future.


My friend Q and I (look, we talk about makeup and money a lot, okay?) (I mention her a lot but I’m almost certain she’s one of the friends that don’t read this blog lol) were having a lengthy chat about this Glossier sale and she let me try out her Cloud Paint in Dusk. She said she didn’t use it a lot, though, and that it worked better when applied with a stippling brush. I thought that was curious because I heard all of Glossier’s products are supposed to be finger-friendly.

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My first attempt at using it confirmed all my fears about the brand. The blush is lovely, sheer and so natural looking but it disappeared in my oily mess of a face in about two hours. In my second try with it, it lasted 4 hours, although it is winter at the moment, so I’m not sure it would hold up in the summer at all.

I have to be careful that I don’t dab it into nothing, too. Overall, it was a little disappointing.

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TL;DR the Milky Jelly Cleanser I like, the Cloud Paint, not so much.

What do you think of Glossier?

Until next time,

X


Days since I last bought a lipstick: 31
Lipstick last worn: Lancome 06 Rose Nu

I Think My Moisture Barrier is Damaged.

…and I haven’t been using acids! WHAT.
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My skin was in a state of dryness just after Christmas where just about my whole family looked at me and went, ‘why are your cheeks so red???’ Making me panic and check the mirror and yes, my inner cheeks were unusually red. Now, I am prone to a state of ‘Asian flush’ when I drink (we were all reminded of that during the Christmas lunch…) and my family compared it to that too, but I hadn’t been drinking!

It’s true that acids aren’t the only cause of damage to the moisture barrier (I’ve been browsing horror skincare tales on Reddit too much, really) and in my case, it was most likely the winter cold or something else. Either way, not pleasant.

The signs I noticed were:

  • unusually smooth skin that didn’t match the rest of my face in texture. It was even like dry lips, but not flaking! It didn’t feel overly tight, though.
  • The unusual flushing.
  • Itchiness! I felt the strong need to scratch my inner cheeks sometimes!
  • At its worst, my usual go-to products stung my cheeks on application.
  • Some people have mentioned over-oily forehead before as a sign but my forehead is always, always oily. It has, however, felt textured quickly after cleansing which I can’t be 100% sure is unusual.

I’m already writing up plans for the annual skincare routine post but for now, it’s been stripped back a few layers. There’s not much in my routine at the moment to help with fixing a damaged moisture barrier but this is what my next payday earnings will go towards 😉

Until next time,

X