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

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.)

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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

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

Review: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in Vanilla

Hi everyone!

This Laneige lip sleeping mask has constantly been up there on my list to try because so many have raved about it. I never expected to actually buy it, though. It’s about £16-20 a pot, normally! WAY out of my ideal price range.

However, K-Mall, an online store based in Korea, had them on a special sale for about £7 with free shipping, too.  Isn’t that INSANE?? They offered the main berry flavour and also some of the special edition flavours like apple.

They often do cool ‘deals of the day’ where a very specific item drops steeply in price and they offer it with free shipping worldwide. Last time I checked, they were discounting many K-pop idol groups’ official calendars. It’s certainly worth checking out.

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The little tub contains 20g of product which is actually quite a lot for a balm, and I’ve barely made a dent in it in the few months I have had it and I have no doubts that it will last a year. I picked up the vanilla flavoured pot, which smells divine. The pot is sturdy and luxe and it comes with a spatula in an envelope although I think that’s a bit too much faff… I have yet to touch it, personally! I just make sure my hands are clean when it comes to touching the tub.

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This particular range contains a lot of fruit extracts and a mix of all sorts of emollients from shea butter to murumuru. It claims to melt away dead skin cells and make the lips feel smooth and elastic.

I like to use it when my lips are already sort of in a flaky condition since I have something else I prefer for when my lips aren’t flaking already, and I apply it in a very thick layer at the start of my nighttime skincare routine. Despite this sometimes it doesn’t feel substantial enough for winter time and I have been spreading a thin layer of Lanolips underneath it recently, which I feel has boosted its effects.

I might be back later this year when the weather is warmer to tell you what my thoughts are on using this in the summer compared to winter.

I’m not sure that I would ever repurchase this at full price. I keep thinking that there are probably many other products that can do what this does to my lips, and whilst this product does stand up to its claims it’s just… so pricey!

Overall, I am enjoying using this and will finish it all up, but it’s not worth the [full] price tag and other options, for me, do the job just as well.

What do you think of this balm if you have tried it?

Until next time,

X


Days since I last bought lipstick: 10

Lipstick last worn: Maybelline Creamy Matte in Brown Sugar

Review: Clio Kill Black Brush Pen Liner

Months ago, my search for a great black pen eye liner ended. I’d been looking for a nice one since I first got into makeup, trying out brands like the Maybelline Master Precise, Revlon ColorStay and Eyeko Fat pen liners, but none of these could hold up on my oily eyelids for long. Instead, I just use them for practising my wings instead of real days out.

Let me introduce to you today, the one pen liner that has beaten the rest to being my favourite.

CLIO’s Kill Black Brush Pen Liner

Brand: CLIO
Product Name: Kill Black Brush Pen Liner (not to be confused with the Felt Pen Version, which of course has a felt-tip style applicator) It costs about $9.71 (£7.46) with free shipping from
Store: Jolse – shipping included in their prices. Their orders take about two weeks to reach me in the UK.
Cost: It costs about $9.71 (£7.46).

There weren’t many pen liners with brush tips – I was surprised to find that the big favourite, Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Liner, was also a brush-tip style pen liner and since then I do remember hearing of more brands releasing brush tip pen liners but can’t remember which. Anyway, I may have actually just found a dupe for a £16 liner without really trying! GO ME.

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Colour/Pigmentation

The Brush Pen Liner is deceiving on first use because I couldn’t get any ink running out of it, but afterwards it was perfect and I got a super black line. The brush tip is also flexible and really easy to use for me and the bristles never split. I can get a quick sharp flick with this! You are supposed to clean the tip regularly to prevent debris from getting trapped and affecting application, but I keep forgetting to until I really need to, which isn’t often.

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Wear:

This is the cincher when it comes to products going on my eyelid, and this is also where this eyeliner delivers. When I rub at the swatch on my hands, it doesn’t smudge easily, however on my eyes I don’t rub that hard anyways.

When I tried the water test, I found that the liner was fairly, but not completely, waterproof. The colour lifted slightly resulting in fading, but the liner won’t run and smear horribly, which is a total plus.

At the end of the day, my winged liner looks just as sharp as it did when I first applied, without looking smudged at all. At the same time, the build up of oils means it comes off remarkably well with water or a gentle cleanser – so no scrubbing with this.

Overall, I really, really love this eyeliner, and I will be rushing to repurchase it once it runs dry. Nothing else I have tried even comes close!

If you have oily eyelids, let me know what your favourite eyeliner is, so I might check it out too!

I hope you found this helpful, and thank you for reading!

X

 

Long, Rambly Review: Canmake Perfect Serum BB Cream

Hi everyone! I have a review for you all today, for the Canmake Perfect Serum BB Cream. It’s my first Japanese makeup product, so quite exciting for me! Finding a match for my skin has been challenging so far and I’d heard on the Reddit that Japanese BBs tend to run more yellow than Korean choices so I was curious to find out.

Brand: Canmake
Product Name: Perfect Serum BB Cream
Bought from: This Ebay Seller who shipped from Japan and it took just under two weeks to arrive on economy shipping.

Cost: About £9.60 for a tiny 30ml. This is pricey for me, but I justified this by saying my current go-to foundation is £30 for the same amount so if it worked out for me, that would actually be a good saving.

Packaging:

Slightly flat, squeezy tube. The tube is about the same size as my hands which are abnormally small already, so it would be a great travel choice. It’s very pink and very pretty and difficult to capture with its foiled design.

Shade Range/Match:

There are only two shades, 01 and 02. I am about NC15-20 with strong yellow tones, and 01 is what I bought to try. It’s definitely around NC20 so if you are lighter than that I can’t recommend 01.

I have plenty of confusing thoughts about how this shade matches me. When I first tried it out it looked similar to my favourite Estee Lauder Double Wear in 1W2 Sand, although later on it oxidised to be a very orange peach colour that looked darker than my facial skin tone. It photographed fine, though.

Later, when I was taking the selfies for today’s post, I mixed it in with a little of Missha Perfect Cover BB in #21 (which is too light for me, ashy and grey-cast) (if you’re wondering, I mixed it to a 2:1 ratio) and it looked fine in real life and matched pretty much perfectly in natural light (although maybe a small difference in facial tone that I can overlook). However, it photographed lighter and makes my neck look dark. I don’t really know why.

Finally, when I did an arm swatch, it looked like Canmake 01 was lighter than my favourite 1W2 Sand! …Which I just did not understand having previously thought it was darker. I think both react differently to application on my face and arm.

Finish/texture:

This is medium coverage with a satin finish. It can be applied lightly for a light coverage base and built up to be not quite full. It has a thick cream texture but I can’t feel it on my face.

I hate taking selfies when my face is like this, but it was necessary to show you this coverage! This is the product mixed with a little Missha. (On its own, Missha has a little less coverage so I think they work together fine without affecting the coverage too much.)  It evens out my skintone really well.

I found that this applied best with a cushion puff or similar sponge-type applicator. You really don’t need much – like half a pea size for my whole face. It can settle into dry patches or other awkward areas such as around the mouth, but both sort of ‘smooth out’ and look a lot better on my skin after a little while (i.e. after the oil starts to melt it together).

You’ll still need a concealer for the undereyes, definitely. It covers my blemishes very well but for super red/pesky ones you may also want something separate. I think this does a fantastic job, overall though, and when I reach for this I’m not usually going for a flawless look.

If you tend to have flakey patches as I do around my spots, this stuff does cling to them but not… horribly? Buffing my skin a little during the morning cleanse has helped a little and overall I’m not too fussed by this.

Wear Time:

This does nothing for oil control. It does tend to disappear on my nose, and seems cakey on my upper lip but even my high end foundation does this when applied lightly, so nothing new. Powdering makes it last fractionally longer. I guess at this point I’m just accustomed to it.

Overall, this has great coverage and would be ideal for normal, slightly oily skintypes at NC20 or a little darker. It’s a shame the shade range is not bigger because I think it’s a great product that covers imperfections really well without being matte and completely full coverage. It’s also a cheaper alternative to my current favourite.

My main reason for buying this was for the coverage and yellow toned shade so it’s a total shame that I am a little too light for this at the moment. Maybe in the summer I’ll fit it a little better (but not if my sunscreen can help it!).

Thanks for reading! Let me know if you want to see reviews of the other BB creams mentioned here as I haven’t reviewed those here before.

X

Review: CosRx Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol

Sometimes, I am just not feeling up to doing a review for certain products. That is, unless I have repurchased because I don’t normally repurchase and it means that I can’t quite live without it or haven’t found something that is like it. CosRx ‘s A-Sol is one of those things. I purchased my first half-bottle from someone in the Reddit community who didn’t quite get along with it, and my second bottle is here now!

By the way, Fiddy from Fifty Shades of Snail has a fantastic review of this product here.

CosRx’s A-Sol is an unusual product in that it doesn’t really follow traditional routine patterns. It’s an undefined product. It’s not strictly a toner or a spot treatment. It can be one or both. It may be too drying for use as a toner, though.

This product contains Natural BHA to control oil while helping to clear recurring pimples. A non-drying acne treatment solution for sensitive skin.

Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol is a skin-type solution product that solves the daunting problem of complex skin trouble with a combination of Propolis, AHA, natural BHA and natural moisture-retention ingredients, as well as helping with control of sebum and clearing of dead skin cell. Natural Skin Returning A-Sol contains little oil, helping with managing sebum and pores, to give the skin cleanliness with no shine or trouble.

Well, first off, I’m gonna say ignore that second sentence. Look at these ingredients!

Propolis extract, Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Lactate, Lactic acid, Water, Glycolic acid, Betaine Salicylate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Cassia Obtusfolia Seed Extract, 1,2-hexanediol, Ethyl Hexanediol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil

The packaging also states that the main ingredients are Propolis Extract at 60% and Betaine Salicylate (a gentler form of Salicylic Acid) at 1%.

It contains quite a bit of alcohol, so depending on your skin sensitivities, this can be super drying and definitely not for sensitive skins. My own skin is very non-sensitive, so I haven’t experienced much to that effect.

To me, it smells of alcohol and tea tree. My new bottle seems to smell more alcoholic than my first one.

As mentioned, I have been using this for almost a year now and this new bottle is my second. I’ve found it to be a pretty potent acne preventative and good at healing existing spots, too. However, it doesn’t do much for huge red swollen things in my experience. I slather it all over my acne-prone areas (as in, the entire central area of my face) after cleansing and follow it up with something hydrating.

So let’s revisit the claims of the product

  • Control oil – I never expect anything from shine-control skincare, so no surprises for me when I discovered that this, too, did nothing.
  • Helping to clear recurring pimples – hell yes. It won’t do all the legwork, but it certainly helps to calm and heal fresh spots.
  • Non-drying – unless your skin doesn’t like alcohol. Fine by me, though.
  • Sensitive skin – again, alcohol (and to some extent the small amount of tea tree oil).
  • Control of pores – again, no expectations here. I have the BHA power liquid that has done wonders for that.

Packaging

This comes in an opaque white 100ml bottle with a pump and clear lid. With my first bottle, I noticed that the liquid seemed to get all over the pump and lid despite not getting anywhere else and I’m not messy with my skincare.

With my second bottle, the lid and pump were already a mess, which may be a shipping problem rather than a product problem. It also seems that the bottle isn’t filled with product all the way to the top. It’s a minor gripe, to be honest, but my BHA and AHA bottles were filled to about 3mm from the top whilst this one is only filled to 10mm from the top!

Overall, I really do love this product for spot treating, and nothing else. One bottle lasts me a year-ish as well so I consider this a great investment in my routine.

Thanks for reading!

X