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Skin

I tried following the 10 step Korean skincare routine for a month and here’s what happened…

So as we all may know, Koreans take their skincare routine very seriously; so damn seriously that they have a whole 10 steps to follow. I already read about the benefits of their routines and their habits and the products they use. Some are pretty pricey and some are average and their skincare varies from creams to serums to ampoules to masks. After a month of trying this out, I gotta say it’s exhausting, but after some extensive research, I do realize that it is not required to do the full 10 steps on a daily, but rather to choose what to use according to the particular needs of your skin. Here are the deets…

Step One: Oil Cleanser

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Purpose of this step: The oil cleanser is applied to dry skin; an oil cleanser to help remove makeup and any other oil-based product debris like sunscreen and pollution particles.

What I used: I recently got on the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm bandwagon thanks to many obsessive review readings. There is no particular special texture or smell for this product, but it was soft and pleasant to use. It takes a little to get used to if you do not like the feel of oil on the skin; it was definitely weird for me to have an oily film on my skin but knowing that I could wash it right after didn’t make it too bad to bear. Every night, for a whole month, I first cleansed my face with this oil whether I had makeup or not.

Step Two: Foam Cleanser

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Purpose of this step: According to Koreans, the secret to perfect skin is to make sure it is fully clean before applying any other product…therefore, double cleansing is necessary because there, for sure, will be leftover gunk on your skin after one cleanse.

What I used: I never paid any consideration to the cleanser I used as long as it never made my skin dry. So I grabbed whatever was on the shelf at the drugstore and to be honest, other than the Cosrx Cleanser which I still love, I didn’t give it too much thought, so I figured there’s no harm for me to try a foam cleanser. I decided to try the Shiseido Extra Cream Cleansing Foam and I actually loved the double-cleanse step. This rich cream foams instantly and helps clean the skin in the smoothest way leaving you with fresh and supple skin filled with health and just oomph. It really felt like my skin was completely cleared of any bad particles, leaving a clean slate to work with for the rest of the regimen. This is probably the two steps I will stick with forever because clean skin feels truly amazing.

Step Three: Exfoliator

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Purpose of this step: It’s pretty obvious why we use exfoliators. I remember being quite obsessed with this step when I was younger, because it was the only way my skin felt super clean and fresh…and I may have been abusive with it to the point where I exfoliate almost daily which put a strain onto my sensitive skin. Too much of it can actually damage the skin rather than saving it. Granted, exfoliation not only cleans out clogged pores, but it also sloughs off dead skin cells as it removes the dull layer of cells to help reveal brighter skin.

What I used: I wanted something less abrasive because I already have quite dry skin now with the pregnancy. So I decided to stick to just using a glycolic acid exfoliator instead rather than bead filled cream. Although, when I do feel like my skin needs it, I do use a cream exfoliator once every two weeks in the shower for an extra boost. With the Pixi Glow Tonic, I could easily exfoliate away with a little cotton pad and be done in like  two seconds. Although I ended up not sticking to this step, it was still beneficial as glycolic acid is the Holy Grail for exfoliation because it helps effectively remove the outermost layer of dead cells from the complexion, revealing brighter, fresher skin. Glycolic Acid can also be used to treat scarring, skin discoloration and signs of aging.

Step Four: Toner

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Purpose of this step: According to Korean skincare experts, after cleansing so many times the skin becomes fragile, so it is really important to take the time to hydrate it and this is why toner is necessary because it acts as a way to prep the skin, so it’ll absorb the following treatments better.

What I used: I stuck with just using the rose water I was using from the beginning of my pregnancy. You can pretty much find rose water in your local organic food store and not spend a gazillion dollars. Didn’t want to go all out and purchase something just to try it…I was content with the results of the rose water. I still used this step, on and off, depending on how I feel and depending on the time I have to spend to prep my skin. At the beginning, I used a cotton pad but then I felt like I was wasting so much product and wasn’t getting all the benefits…therefore, I decided to just pour the liquid into my palms and patting onto my skin and this felt much more beneficial. This step really did help my skin feel plumper and more hydrated.

Step Five: Essence

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Purpose of this step: The essence is the heart of Korean skin care and it considered the most important part of their entire routine. The essence is a treatment that is similar to serums, boosters, or ampoules; but it’s more watery in consistency then the rest of those products, so it comes out like a toner.

What I used: Since I have used Cosrx before as a brand and felt like it wouldn’t cause me to break out massively or have an allergic reaction, I decided to try on of their essences. I went with the Advanced Snail Power Essence but honestly, although I finished up the bottle, I didn’t feel like it made a world of a difference, I mean I don’t feel like I need to continue with this step. It did feel luxurious and diva-like to splash the essence on my face but it was just meh for me.

Step Six: Serum, Boosters, or Ampoule Treatments

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Purpose of this step: This basically where you target your major needs and use these specific products to treat all the concerns you may have with your skin. This step is to work on issues that you may have such as brown spots, pigmentation, acne and more.

What I used: Since at the moment, I am having very good skin, I haven’t changed what I use. I have been using this particular serum for ages and will continue to do so because I really do actually see a difference in my skin whenever I stop using it. This Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum is a must for me because it helps me maintain a healthy, glowing, clean skin all year round. It helps brighten my complexion and even out my skin tone. This serum step is a regular in my skincare routine anyway so I didn’t feel like I had to go all out. My skin really does feel healthy with this serum and I do recommend it to anyone looking to remove any spots and pigmentation.

Step Seven: Mask

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Purpose of this step: The purpose of your mask depends on what your skin needs. You can choose to extra hydrate, to deep-clean or whatever depending on how your skin is on this particular day. This is not an every-night step, you really only need to do it twice a week.

What I used: Masking has been a ritual for me for ages! I cannot not use a mask, you know what I mean? It’s like the only way I feel like I unwind and relax. I use masks usually to relax but whenever I feel like I need to clear up my clogged pores or deep clean my skin, I reach for the heavy duty masks. There are a couple of masks that I use and it would be too long to go through them in this post…but I can definitely do another updates posts with my favourite masks of all time. I usually just reach for the Sephora Brand Sheet Masks depending on how I feel and they work great. There is no need to spend big money on masks as long as they truly work and deliver what they promise.

Step Eight: Eye Cream

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Purpose of this step: Depending on what you are looking for, this step could focus on everything from fine lines to dark circles. Basically, if you have any under eye concerns, “there’s” a cream for it.

What I used: I was never into eye creams to start with; I tried a gazillion cream from a gazillion different brand but never truly saw the benefit of any. According to my dermatologist, eye creams aren’t necessary anyway because they’re just like your regular moisturizer with a little less concentration in the ingredeints….so using your regular moisturizer around your eyes gently is way better than splurging your money of an eye cream that won’t do much anyway. I, for kicks, used to Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Night Cream and yup, as I predicted, nothing really changed. I mean it’s nice and bougie to use it, but I won’t keep spending 78$ for something that doesn’t work all that much.

Step Nine: Face Cream

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Purpose of this step: This step is simply to lock in skin’s moisture and it is the key to supple, younger-looking skin.

What I used: Even if you don’t end up following the 10 step skincare routine, moisturizer should be worn day and night. My current favourite is the Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream and I absolutely love it because it quenches my dehydrated skin so deeply. It freaking feels amazing on and I don’t feel greasy or icky after putting it on. Sucks that it’s always sold out at Sephora. It honestly does make a difference in the way my skin feels and since I have been using it, I haven’t felt a bit dry or irritated. I cannot stress how smooth my skin feels at the moment, like better than baby-butt smooth! I promise!

Step Ten: SPF

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Purpose of this step: Koreans (Asians in general) are really really obsessed with SPF. It seems self-explanatory, but sun protection is crucial on a daily basis to maintain healthy skin. Applying SPF regularly, even when it’s cloudy, that’s the biggest differentiator in the Korean regimen.

What I used: I usually apply my SPF after my moisturizer every morning. I love physical sunscreen because they contain mineral ingredients like Zinc Oxide and so they protect from both UVA and UVB rays. The one I am currently using is the Shiseido Oil-Free SPF. I mean we all know why SPF is important and so it is really important to make it a big habit to use this on a daily even when it rains and really when the sun’s too hot and out there.

After spending a whole month working up on this routine, I am not going to lie that it did feel like a chore on some days and it was sometimes annoying for me to go through everything daily. Whenever I felt like I needed to unwind, I love it! I loved doing the whole circus, but being real here, 10 steps as a new mum will be quite hard for me to maintain and so I will probably end up keeping 5 to 7 of these steps for the future. Quite frankly, if you do have the time for the 10 steps skincare routine, then go for it, because the benefits are really there and I do see results, but life everything else in life, it’s work and you need to be dedicated.

 

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Beauty Skin

Mario Badescu: little powerful magic potion…

So we all know the big stress we go through sometimes before a big event and our skin just goes out of control, then pimples start to surface and throw on a party on your face…it’s the most annoying feeling ever to put foundation over bumpy skin…because you know those little suckers will show up even more with foundation on top. For my wedding, I prepped myself ahead of time and knew that I needed to have one of those in hand. It is seriously magic in a bottle. I used this cream whenever I had bad skin days and woke up with healed, brighter skin.

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Whenever you have a zit or little sucker pimple on the surface just put a little on the spot and leave it overnight and when you wake up, it’s not there anymore! I am just not making this up…the drying cream is literally magic. I know it’s called drying and it does exactly that without actually drying or cracking your skin. It’s a thick cream and a little goes a long way. You can either put this on the spot directly and leave it or you can do like I do and put a very think, even layer all over the face and sleep with it. I use it as an overnight sleeping mask and when I wake up in the morning, my skin is clear and radiant.

I used this the week before my wedding because I was breaking out like crazy from the stress and because I am pmsing and getting closer to my period…sucks but when I got to the wedding day, I woke up with much clearer skin and my makeup applied evenly and I was super pleased with the results. Plus, I have uber sensitive skin, so if this doesn’t damage my skin, then I know it’s worth the investment.

This Drying Cream is made to help shrink the appearance of pimples and small, under-the-surface bumps (it really does help with that!!!!). This unique, magic product is formulated with Sulfur and Zinc Oxide to clarify skin and draw out pore-clogging impurities. It also contains a soothing blend of Aloe Vera, Biotin, Lemon Extract, Lysine, and Vitamins B and E  which all help ensure that skin remains balanced.

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This has been a part of skincare routine for the past year and it is staying there because it acutally does work…and the thing is that you don’t need to use it on a daily basis, you just use it on your bad skin days and it works perfectly fine. I went through 5 or 6 tubs of this over the past year because I was going through some stressful times but now…my current tub has lasted me 3 months and I still have loads left…it runs for 17$ USD for 0.5oz, so the price isn’t bad for something that actually works.

If you are looking for something that will beat the bad break outs without damaging or drying your skin, then you should invest in this little magic potion because it works!

 

Categories
Beauty Skin

The Foreo experience

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I’m not one to spend so much money on little gadgets and beauty tools…but my skin had a little bit of unwanted texture over the end of the summer and carried on like this till October. It was gross to the touch; almost felt like a sidewalk or something. I used to wash my face with the Olay Pro-X Microdermabrasion Plus Advanced Cleansing System for the longest time and I was quite satisfied with it. However, when I felt like my skin got drier and more sensitive, I knew that the bristles were irritation and stripping my skin for its natural oils. I stopped it for a while but I couldn’t get rid of the dead skin. I had seen and heard about the Luna device but never wanted to invest it because of the steep price (299$). I heard so many people rave about it and swear by it in their daily skincare routines. When I got notification of a 20% discount at the Sephora VIB Rouge sale, I though this is the chance to risk it and try it out. It’s now or never!

I wanted to try the product for a little while before I shared my opinion and thoughts with you guys. I have been using it for a little over 3 months now and it is safe to say that this little baby changed my life. Literally! It helped improve my skin texture, remove dirt gently, exfoliate lightly and improve circulation. I can honeslty attest that the Foreo Luna 2 changed the way I clean my skin! It’s super safe to use on sensitive, eczema-prone skin. ANDDD I use it morning and night! So far, my skin loves it.

 

A The Luna is made with a thick silicone material, which makes it easy to clean, easy to use and makes it gentle on the skin. It’s waterproof! So it’s totes safe to use freely under water…which I don’t usually do, but this is a good option to have. The device comes with 2 sides, the one with the little bristles and the one with the big waves. One side for cleaning and one side for massaging your products into your skin. I do not ever use that side, but that’s an option for those who want to get the full experience. This device pulsates and allows you to clean your skin everywhere on a timed frame…which means that you do not over-clean and strip your skin or hurt it.

Now, this device claims to help improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and it helps obtain radiant, firm, youthful-looking skin. Now, I don’t know about the wrinkles and fine line, but I do know that I have radiant, healthier looking skin. What I like about it is the shape, I feel like its shape is perfect enough for you to get those little narrow ridges clean. Like around your nose or under your lips. It honestly feel like you’re getting a baby massage every time you clean your face. It gives you the right amount of clean with the right amount of fresh and plump. I feel like products skin better and absorb better with the help of this device.

I am super surprised that I would like this so much, but I really do! Plus I do not have to change batteries or charge it. I have been on the same charge for the past 3 months. This is always a plus for me!

If you’re looking into investing in the Luna device, I recommend it! Annnnd on top of it, there’s a little offer right now on the Sephora website, where you can get the Luna in a package with products for 199$. They have the sensitive skin one and the combination skin one.

It’s truly a good investment, especially that it gives you results. It’s totes a keeper!

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Uncategorized

Su:m 37 Secret Essence.

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I talked about Korean skincare in a previous post and how I also jumped on the k-beauty bandwagon to see what the hype was all about. So along with my other purchases, this was one I really looked forward to trying out because of how much hype it was getting.
It was compared to the SK-II facial treatment essence and I figured I could give it a go.
What is a treatment essence you say? Well, as an outsider looking in, I get overwhelmed because there are like a million steps in the k-beauty regimen. From eye serum, to lip serum, water essence, to leave in mask..and the list goes on. Asians are trained from a young age to take care of themselves and their skin in general as a preventative measure and I find that so inspiring and fascinating. That’s why most of the Asians I meet having amazing skin! To die for!
So, a treatment essence is the second moisturizing step in an Asian style routine after toning. They’re basically there to help your skin absorb moisture more to hydrate and plump it. When I first received the bottle, I was so impressed with the packaging, because I am a nerd like that! It feels luxurious in the hand. Unlike the SK-II essence, this one is a little more affordable and it is perfect to try it out as a “starter” to luxury brands.

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This Su:m37 essence is filled with yeasts, beneficial bacteria and a larger number of beneficial plant ferments and extracts (it has over 80 fermented plants and vegetables extracts). The smell is wonderful, it smells so soothing and pleasant. It smells floraly and earthy. I quite enjoy it, but can see how others may not. This is a watery toner/essence. The texture is very much that of water, but a smudge more viscous. It’s also clear, and slightly yellow in appearance. It feels the skin super moisturized and happy. I like to use it at night right before my serums. I pat it in and leave it to dry completely and skin in before I go to my next step and sometimes, I find that this is enough for me and I go to bed.
I have been using this since the beginning of the November and I can see a difference in my skin. It feels more hydrated and more glowing in the morning. I use this in conjunction with my Youth to the People moisture cream. I still have loads of product left, because a little goes a long way. It costs 75.50$ USD for 100ml. So will I repurchase this? I would. But not anytime soon, because I have a few more products I am curious about to try out.
Till next time x
Categories
Beauty Skin

K-beauty sheet masks

As you all know by now, I am a massive mask junkie. I love me a good detoxing/relaxing time with a good mask on. Whether it is a bubble bath or couch time with a good tea in my hand, I like to have a mask on because that’s how I feel super relaxed. I guess it’s a comfort thing. So, I went with my sissy 2 months ago to find a good burgundy lipstick at the mall and we were walking past The Face Shop. I was always intrigued by k-beauty and wanted to see what the hype was all about. So I plunged in there and got a few masks along with some face products.

I also started shopping a little online for some face products on www.jjcosmetics.com and on www.w2beauty.com.

I want to share with you my thoughts and honest opinion about theses masks. However, I wanted to use them for quite some time before I spoke about them on my blog. I have been using them since October and I’m a little meh about some of them.

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The Character masks were 5$ CAD each. But there was a promotion where you buy 4 and get 1 for free. I ended up getting 5. The cute part of these masks is the fact that they’re characters and they’re printed. So when you put them on, you get into character. It’s so Korean! It’s why I feel in love with them before using them even.I also got the Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack from Benton on the W2Beauty website. I bought the 10 pack one for 20$ USD. The packaging is not as cute as the other masks I purchased..but nonetheless I tried them and here are the verdicts:

Each mask has a different benefit; some were hydrating, some were moisturizing, some were brightening, etc..etc… Just like Sephora masks, these bad boys had something to offer. The hydrating ones were my favorite. For me, the character masks were much better in the sense that they offered me more hydration than the Benton one.

The character masks were more serum infused. When I got them out of the package…I still had loads of serum left in it, which meant I could keep the remaining product to use it more. The faces did what they promised to do, which is hydrate, brighten and moisturize. It says to keep it on for 15 minutes, but I always left it for 30 because of greed! Haha! Not even! Sometimes I left it for longer, because I would go on about my day and forget it was there. It never fell down. When I took the sheet off, my face always felt plump and super hydrated, which made it easier for me to apply my tinted SPF and not looks like a cracker.

The Benton masks on the other hand were not my favorite…and I have tried plenty, but these definitely did not make on the “to repurchase” list. First of all, it’s obviously super sticky, because there’s snail  secretion in there. I thought it wouldn’t bother me, oh! but it does. I could not stand how sticky it was on my face. The consistency bother me some much, that I never gave them a chance. Every time I would put one of these on my face, 5  mins in, I would remove it and throw it out. It was weird on the face, it was sticky but did not stick. I always felt the sheet rubbing around and I needed to stick it every 2 seconds because it came off. I know it sounds weird, but it was drying more that hydrating for me. I felt itchy and just did not like it at all. The serum that was left in there, I used, but still did nothing for me. Maybe it wasn’t a type of product that worked for me. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for you out there. We’re all different and our skin is different. So what doesn’t work for me might work better for you and vice versa.

Final verdict, if you have sensitive skin like me (prone to breaking out when trying new products), I would recommend the Face Shop masks because you get your money’s worth. I did not like the Benton masks and I will not repurchase them anytime soon.

 

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Beauty Skin Uncategorized

The perfect daily SPF

I never was a SPF girl because I always thought it wasn’t necessary as long as I do not hang too much in the sun. But that has been quite impossible these past few months since I have been traveling a lot to the Middle East. My skin texture was affected way too much by the unprotected sun exposure. So I figured, it is really time to invest in a good SPF that will not break me out or leave a white cast on my face. A couple of weeks ago, I went into Sephora looking for that perfect SPF cream. There was a wonderful beauty adviser that showed me a couple, but ended up suggesting this one:

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Clarins’ Multi-Protection Tinted Sunscreen is exactly what I have been looking for. I give me SPF 40 protection and a little tint without being too heavy or without making me look like I am wearing makeup.

It’s a super lightweight formula! It’s the perfect year-round, oil-free SPF 40 anti-pollution sunscreen. What I love about this is that it shields the skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays, pollution, and free radicals ANDDD it lightly covers the skin.

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I got this at a local Sephora and unfortunately cannot find it online. The Sephora online website has the regular Clarins SPF (not tinted).  But it would be available here for those who are interested. You pay 42$ for 1.7oz. A little goes a long way and so, for the price, you get quite a bit of product. I have been using it for about 2 months now on a daily basis and still have loads left!

I recommend this product if you’re looking for a powerful sunscreen formula that acts as an slightly tinted shield. It will definitely help protect the skin from the appearance of dark spots and future aging. It delivers broad-spectrum protection and antioxidant defense. This formula is formulated without parabens and it is dermatologist tested! It is also oil-free which is perfect for those with oily and combination skin. It leaves you matte without too much shine.
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The only small thing that I hate about this is that when my face is really dry, it shows too much on my cracked skin. So for those who suffer from dry skin need to moisturize deeply before applying this. Other than that, this is a great product to add in your skin regimen.

 

So if any of you are in the market for a new SPF, I recommend this little baby! You will not regret it!