Empties March 2020, skincare used up

Skincare empties (March 2020) – Korean, Japanese and Western skincare

6 months later, another empties post. You know the drill, keep on reading to see whether I loved/liked/hated any of these products.

Dr. Althea – To Be Eyeconic Eye Serum

Cost: $64 AUD, 20ml from yesstyle.com *

What attracted me to this eye serum was the packaging, I liked the idea of having the angled tip so you can dispense, apply and massage the serum directly from the product. A lot of eye creams are in jars for some reason. It claims to help with all that I and probably most people are who are over the age of 30 are searching for, a remedy for fine lines and dry under eyes. For someone with combo skin my under eyes are very dry. It contains green tea to soothe, adenosine to smooth out wrinkles as well as squalene and chamomile extract for moisturization. The product is light, didn’t irritate my eyes and I could use this alone for ample moisture. BUT, my problem with it was the packaging. I couldn’t really use that angled end to rub the serum effectively under my eyes, I still had to use my fingers for that so I found it gimmiky. Also the container is long and slim with no weight to it so it kept falling over when stored with my other skin care products. Damn it just fell over again…!

Would not repurchase.

Mac Fix+ – Watermelon

Cost: AU $25 (I think) from mac cosmetics . Limited edition. 30ml

Mac Fix+ is an oldie but a goodie and a reliable hydrating mist regardless of what scent you buy. They released limited edition scents mid last year and I grabbed the watermelon as well as the pineapple scent. I love both and they work just as well as the original. I’ve also tried the coconut one which I also liked.

Was worth a try but if I were to repurchase it would be the full size which costs $39 for 100ml, making it more bang for your buck.

SK-II Genoptics Aura Essence

Cost: $210 AUD, 30ml, from sephora.com.au

I suffer from sun spots and hyperpigmentation so I’m always looking for products to fade this damn discolouration. This serum offered brightening properties which included SKII’s patented hero ingredient Pitera.

The serum was milky, lightweight and easily absorbable. It has a light scent which was pleasant enough. I expected to see results but did not. I used up the entire bottle since it would be a crime at this price point not to. Liked it enough to use up but wouldn’t repurchase.

First Aid Beauty – Hello FAB Vital Greens Face Mist

Cost: Not sure, this mini size 30ml was in a set which is no longer available, full size is $29 from sephora.com.au

This is a nice spray, nothing unique but nice. It is cooling on skin and contains lots of plant extracts which gives it that lovely green colour. I’m not really loyal to face mists if I’m being honest since I want to try them all. The only ones I have repurchased has been MAC’s Fix +. Nothing to write home about here so will not repurchase.

Drunk Elephant – B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel 

Cost: $35 as part of the Rise and Glow set from mecca.com.au

Another one bites the dust. To hear my thoughts and praises for this product you can find a quick review of it here in my last empties post.

It’s such a good mixing product and if you use enough of it by itself, it’s quite a nice hydrating serum.

I am still contemplating on buying the full size. TBD.

DERMA E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum

Cost:  $34.99, 60ml from priceline.com.au (Australian Pharmacy)

I heard about this brand and product from Renee @ Gothamista. To date I haven’t found a vitamin c product that I’ve actually liked. I hated the Drunk Elephant C-Firma and didn’t like the smell of the Klairs Freshly Juiced drop. I’m pretty sure The Ordinary’s Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% broke me out.

Anyway I really liked this serum, texture was nice and light, easily spreadable, absorbed immediately and I really liked the fresh subtle citrus smell. I used it immediately after cleansing in the morning and as well as my complexion appearing brighter over time, my skin also felt plump and hydrated. During the summer, I would just apply this and sunscreen, skipping moisturiser.

Would definitely repurchase, it’s value for money and it’s actually effective.

Alpine Berry Watery Cream

Price: $ 73.10 from yesstyle.com *

I love this moisturiser, this is the second jar that I’ve finished and I already have repurchased. It is the perfect cream moisturiser which is perfect for my combo skin. It has a slight gel consistency making it easy to apply and spread. You don’t need a lot which is great. It contains an alpine berry complex which consists of blackberries and strawberry sprouts as well as hydrating ingredients such as glycerin and squalene. Never greasy and gives your skin a lovely glow, I will always buy this! Thanks Liah Yoo for sharing your love for this product, I’m hooked! I think this warrants a full review so keep an eye out for that if you’re interested.

Ok that’s all folks! What products have you finished recently? Do you tend to repurchase the same things or do you like trying new products out? Let me know!

Please note: links in this post marked with an * are affiliate links. They provide me with a small commission, if you should choose to use them for a purchase, without any extra cost to you 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skincare declutter – June 2019 – Drunk Elephant, J.One, Blithe, Thankyou Farmer, Sorocci + more!

When you buy a product you always hope that it works for you and your skin. So when it doesn’t, it is a little sad but at least you tried it out and gave it a good go. Some of these products were pretty hyped up so just like anything, I needed to try them out for myself.

If you enjoy any of the products that I’ll be talking about, that is truly awesome but unfortunately these did not work for me for reasons I will get into.

Blithe – Pressed Serum Tundra Chaga

This serum/moisturiser hybrid is full of tundra chaga mushroom extract which is known for hydration and providing nourishment. I’ve never tried skincare with any type of mushroom before so this intrigued me. It has a pudding texture and is brown in colour so it’s not the most pleasant texture to look at but I gave it a go anyway.

Ingredients

From sephora.com.au

* Chaga Mushroom Extract minimises the look of fine lines and the appearance of rough skin. * Fermented Olive Oil locks in hydration without heaviness. * Fermented Argan Oil softens and hydrates * Meadowfoam Seed Oil nurtures and energises skin. Inonotus Obliquus (Mushroom) Extract 60%, Water, Glycerin, Diglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Triethylhexanoin, Polyurethane-39, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Candida Bombicola/Glucose/Methyl Rapeseedate Ferment, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Sparassis Crispa Extract, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Lecithin, Butylene Glycol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Polyacrylate-13, C12-16 Alcohols, Caramel, Palmitic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Polyisobutene, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Potassium Hydroxide, Adenosine, Polysorbate 20, Disodium EDTA, Dipropylene Glycol, Methyldihydrojasmonate.

I thought this could be a 2 in one product to use in the morning since I’m always in a mad rush so anything to expedite getting ready is a god send. I used about half of this jar for a few months in fact and I just felt like it didn’t do much to my skin. I have combo skin so this didn’t work well enough as a moisturiser and I felt like it just acted like a heavier weight serum. My biggest gripe however is probably the thing that makes it unique. It’s texture is pudding like and you need a spatula to use the product and to effectively get a decent amount. It ended up being not worth the effort for such little reward.

Price

$67 AUD for 50ml from Sephora

Thank You Farmer – True Water Light Gel Cream

Ingredients

From iherb.com

Water, glycerin, cyclopentasiloxane, ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate/vp copolymer, niacinamide, betaine, squalane, pentylene glycol, piper methysticum leaf/root/stem extract, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, portulaca oleracea extract, pueraria thunbergiana root extract, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, paeonia lactiflora root extract, cnidium officinale root extract, ulmus davidiana root extract, amaranthus caudatus seed extract, soluble collagen, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, sodium hyaluronate, hydrogenated lecithin, 1,2-hexanediol, trehalose, panthenol, polyacrylamide, butylene glycol, inositol, c13-14 isoparaffin, ethylhexylglycerin, disodium edta, laureth-7, xanthan gum, fragrance, ci 15985, ci 17200.

I like the texture of this moisturiser, it’s nice and light. It also has a pretty peach colour to it. It is easily absorbed into the skin and it gives it a dewy effect which I tend to go for in winter.

What I didn’t like about it was the fragrance. It was just way too perfumy for my liking. I don’t mind scents too much especially in makeup but in a moisturiser, something that is really close to my skin, nope no way. I know that fragrance is right down the bottom but it’s so strong that it could’ve been right up the top of the list. The scent is the fresh kind of perfume but not pleasant to me nonetheless. I’d also hate to think about the effects its having on my skin. I gave it to my husband to use and he actually broke out from it.

Price

$41 AUD from lilacandberries.com (don’t think their store exists anymore)

Drunk Elephant – Lala Retro™ Whipped Cream

Ingredients

From mecca.com

Water, Ethoxydiglycol, Ascorbic Acid, Glycerin, Laureth-23, Lactobacillus/Pumpkin Ferment Extract, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Ferulic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lactobacillus/Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Ferment Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Juice Extract, Phyllanthus Emblica (Indian Gooseberry) Fruit Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Tocopherol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Acetyl Glucosamine, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, Glutamylamidoethyl Imidazole, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Tetrahydro Curcuminoids, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Glycine, Sucrose, Maltodextrin, Propanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan gum, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Isohexadecane, Polysorbate 60.

When everyone was gushing about this moisturiser, about how wonderful it was, I knew I had to try this cutely named product. Whipped cream? You would imagine that to be light and airy and fluffy.

But no, it’s texture isn’t that creamy, a little bit stiffer that the average cream moisturiser in fact. Gothamista was the only one who didn’t much care for it, said that the cream felt matte and drying and I would agree with her 100%. I bought this in a mini set, it came with something else at the time. My skin did not feel moisturised after application, which defeats the purpose of using it. I preferred to use my Marula oil from the brand for moisturisation (would highly recommend it!). There is also a slight scent which reminds me of dusty rooms which I don’t favour as well. Dry skinned influencers swore by this, opinions by which I’m now very skeptical about.

Price

This is a mini and came in a set with something else, it was from Mecca. Can’t remember the price.

J.One – Jelly Pack

Ingredients

from Sephora.com

Water, Polysorbate 80, PEG-150 Disterate, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Rosemary Leaf Water, Chamomile Flower Water, Yeast/Fermented black tea extract, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Nuphar Luteum Flower Extract, Sea Daffodil Flower Extract, Glycerin, Adenosine, Hydrolyzed Hylauronic Acid, Dipropylene Glycol, Sucrose Distearate, Cyclopentasilxane, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, PEG-8, Hydroxyethylcelluclose, Potassium Sorbate Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, PVP, Fullerene, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Sodum Benzoate, Citric Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid.

This was probably the most hyped up skincare at the time when my interest in k-beauty started. It sounded like a miracle product, a morning mask, makeup primer, full of anti ageing antioxidants.

I was always confused as to what order I would apply this. Before or after sunscreen? If it’s a mask then surely it would be before but if its a primer then it would be after then? The ladies at Glow recipe confirmed that it should be applied before sunscreen. I’ve tried it both ways and I dislike both ways.

The application method is seemingly difficult too. You rub it into your face and then tap/pat to absorb. J.One has a video on how she applies it. I mean it doesn’t sound that hard but it takes a bit longer than your usual primer. The finish is incredibly tacky which would grip makeup very well but if your next layer is sunscreen, well, yeah I don’t know. Also if you try it the other way, with sunscreen first, I feel like its just a bit much and sometimes it makes my foundation pill. I don’t agree with it’s hydrating claims either, I feel like it makes my skin feel tight.

Price

$30 from ebay.com

Soroci – Rice Embryo Moisturising Acqua Cream

Ingredients

From Amazon.com

Purified Water, Betaine, Adenosine, Y-Oryzanol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Algae Extract, Apricot Kernel Extract, Licorice Root Extract, Elm Bark Extract, Propolis Extract, Fragrance

Rice bran is well known for brightening as well as licorice root. I’m a sucker for anything containing licorice which was why this appealed to me. It is light in texture, has good packaging but the fragrance was strong and the finish was too dewy for my liking. I felt like it made my t-zone extra oily which is the last thing I needed. Probably a better one for dry skin peeps who aren’t sensitive to fragrance.

Price

$21 AUD from stylestory.com

The Ordinary – Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%

Ingredients

from theordinary.com

Propanediol, Ascorbic Acid, Alpha-Arbutin

I haven’t had much luck with vitamin C, in particular Ascorbic acid, it just doesn’t tend to agree with my skin. Since I have some pigmentation which I’m always looking to fade, when I saw that this also had Alpha Arbutin, which is naturally derived from hydroquinone, I was interested.

I used this all over as well as targeted spots but it was a bit too oily and I felt like it made my skin uncomfortable. After continued use, I felt like it was causing small bumps to form on my skin. This may be considered purging but whatever is was, I couldn’t stand it.

Price

9.17 GBP from cultbeauty.com

Mecca Cosmetica – To save face superscreen SPF50

Ingredients

from mecca.com.au

7% W/W OCTOCRYLENE, 3% W/W OXYBENZONE, 2.5% W/W BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE, 2% W/W PHENYLBENZIMIDAZOLE SULFONIC ACID. PRESERVATIVES: PHENOXYETHANOL, BENZYL ALCOHOL.  

I found the texture of this to be too matte. It made my foundation or primer pill at times or made my skin look super dry and crusty. My chin is the biggest test (its bipolar oily and dry but mostly dry) and it looked horrid whenever I wore this sunscreen. Granted I didn’t pay for it since I received it as a deluxe sample. I had high hopes for this because Mecca is really accessible for me but instead of being elegant in texture like some of my favourite korean sunscreens, it was a flop.

Price

Received in a mecca beauty loop box but retails between $18 and $40 at Mecca Cosmetica

shu uemura – POREraser CC UV under base mousse

I bought this when I was still very new to beauty. The mousse spray can packaging is gimmicky and the product actually sucks. It’s supposed to fill in pores and be a flawless base for foundation. I thought it would be cool since it seemed to be a primer and sunscreen in one. I bought the beige one, it’s supposed to be good for discolouration and redness. The texture of this is fluffy being a mousse when you first dispense it, but on the skin, it’s hard to spread around. You have to use a fair bit to cover the face and it feels drying to me, as if all aspects of hydration has been sucked up. It does not fill in pores at all, it actually does nothing particularly good for my skin or makeup application.

Price

I think it was around $50 AUD from the shu uemura store.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for hanging in there and I hope you enjoyed my rants! In all seriousness, skincare is all about trial and error, it can’t all work out and finding out is part of the fun.

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these products, always happy to answer any questions you may have too.

Skincare favourites of 2018

There were plenty of great skincare finds in 2018 making it hard to be selective. I don’t use all of these products everyday but they were (and still are) my absolute go-to products in the last year.

Cleanser – Muji Oil Cleanser

Muji Oil Cleanser

I’ve only tried two products from their skin care line and would definitely want to try more. I love the simple aesthetics and the effectiveness of their products. One stand out was their Oil Cleanser. There are two types, sensitive and normal. I have the normal one. It’s texture isn’t too runny and because I keep buying the travel size, it comes in a flip cap bottle and is relatively mess free to use. It is rich but emollient enough to easily rub on my face and rinses off completely clean. It even removes mascara and eyeliner really well. I always follow with a second cleanse anyway. It’s pretty affordable and the full size comes in a pump so will definitely buy that when I’ve run out.

Purchased from Muji.

Exfoliant – Neogen Dermalogy Bio Peel Gauze Peeling

Neogen Dermalogy Bio Peel Gauze Peeling – Green Tea

I’m currently on my second jar as I can’t get enough of it. I have the green tea version and have also tried the lemon which is a better option for brightening. I like both but prefer the lemon because of it’s fresh scent.

This is a great option for a lazy person like me. Each gauze pad is already soaked in a cocktail of ingredients such as green tea, glycerin, glycolic and lactic acid. It’s a chemical and physical exfoliant in the one little pad. All you need to do to use it is, rub the more textured side all over the face and then repeat with the smoother quilted side to fully sloth of all remnants of dead skin. Then you rinse it all off with warm water and you’re left with smooth, clear skin. Each pad is single use only so remember to toss it out after each use.

I use this around 1-2 times a week.

Purchased from ebay*

Toner – Hanskin Real Complexion Hyaluron Skin Essence

Hanskin – Real Complexion Hyaluron Skin Essence

This toner is filled with sodium hyaluronate and is hydrating without leaving any residue. The absorption rate is phenomenal which is great for a person like me who doesn’t like to wait between layers.

The texture is viscose without being too thick. It’s a good one for layering because it has a little body to it. After cleansing I pour a few drops into my palm and press it onto my skin. I have dehydrated skin so it’s like I’m giving my skin a big drink of water each time. It is marketed as an essence but you can use it in whatever step feels right for you. I rarely use essence every morning so if it’s a two in one, then it’s a nice bonus 🙂

Purchased from yesstyle.com*

Serum – The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%

The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%

This was the first product I tried from the brand, based on recommendations from Renee (Gothamista) on Youtube. Being a total novice, I wanted to start slow and this turned out to be perfect. I apply it in the evening after toner or essence. It has a milky viscosity and I only use 3-4 drops each time. It absorbs really quickly and best of all, it never irritated my skin. I don’t have obvious signs of ageing so I can’t tell you if it helped with wrinkles. It did, however, smooth out my skin’s texture and helped normalize my cheek area because I tend to get unevenness there. It’s also supposed to help with acne and pigmentation but I didn’t really see much of a difference in the 6 months I used it for.

It’s now been re-labelled as Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion with the same ingredients. I haven’t tried this yet but hopefully it is exactly the same because I will be definitely buying this again. I’m using their Retinol 0.2% in Squalene at the moment and I find that it’s too oily in texture so not enjoying it.

Purchased from Adore Beauty.

Face oil – Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil

Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil

I’ve used up a travel size of this oil, bought it from eBay before my local Sephora ended up stocking it (finally!). It feels lightweight, has a nice subtle scent and hydrates the skin with just enough dew. It’s moisturising too so most days during the warmer months, I will skip moisturiser. It doesn’t leave an oily residue which I love and sits well under makeup. Gives the skin a nice subtle hydrated glow. It has surpassed my love for Drunk Elephant’s Marula Oil (reviewed here), something I thought couldn’t possibly happen.

Purchased travel size from eBay * and full size from Sephora.

Eye cream – Belif Peat Miracle Revital Eye Cream

Belif Peat Miracle Revital Eye Cream

This eye cream has the characteristics of being perfection. It is easily absorbable, rich yet lightweight, doesn’t leave a residue and doesn’t give me milia. I don’t have obvious lines around my eyes but the skin in that area definitely isn’t as taut as they used to be. This cream hydrated and moisturises without causing any sensitivity to my eyes. The small jar is only 25ml but has lasted me a year and still going strong.

I didn’t know what Peat was and I’m always skeptical when “miracle” is used in a product’s name. It’s a big reason why I don’t try La Mer because their “miracle broth” sounds like a load of crock. Peat is basically dead, decomposed plant residue (sounds gross) but because it originates from moors, bogs and old glaciers, it is rich in minerals and antioxidants, hence it is considered a powerhouse ingredient for anti ageing. Whatever it is, it’s effective and I like it.

Purchased from yesstyle.com*

Sunscreen – Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50+/PA++++ 

Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50+/PA++++

This sunscreen is fairly new to me but I have used it long enough to fall deeply in love with it. It’s a chemical sunscreen loaded with hydrating, moisturising and brightening ingredients such as Niacinamide, Adenosine, Panthenol , Beta-Glucan and Sea Buckthorn Oil.

It has zero white cast and has the texture of a light moisturiser, hence it’s name “soft and airy”. I have combo skin so I substitute my morning moisturiser with this and it is enough for my skin. It sits well under makeup too which is a plus.

Purchased from eBay *

Other – COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch

This super popular product needs no introduction. I wrote a full review here. They are hydrocolloid patches and when applied to active breakouts, either dramatically flatten the pimple or bring it to a head so it can heal quicker. I used so many of these little bad boys last year especially during the bout of acne I suddenly got around my jawline. The worst thing to do is touch active pimples so with these patches on them, it prevented me from contaminating them with my fingers. I think they make a huge difference so will probably keep buying them for as long as I keep getting acne.

Purchased from yesstyle.com*

Well that’s it! You may have noticed that I didn’t include a moisturiser, essence or masks in my favourites. I’ve used some decent products but nothing that has really stood out.

What skincare product(s) could you not live without in 2018? Do let me know as I’m always looking for recommendations.

Please note: links in this post marked with an * are affiliate links. They provide me with a small commission, if you should choose to use them for a purchase, without any extra cost to you đŸ™‚

[Review] Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Intense SPF 50+/PA+++ – Is it worth it?

I’ve tried and reviewed quite a few cushion foundations in the past year or so and always still keen to try more. More lines are releasing more shades, which is really good to see, so they are more accessible for different skin tones.

I really liked Sulwhasoo’s Perfecting Cushion (reviewed here), so when people started talking about the Intense version, I was intrigued. It took me awhile to pick this up since it was very expensive and I was procrastinating for the most part.

I’ve used my first cushion (it comes with a refill) until the point where I’ve had to flip it over (if you’re an avid cushion user, you can relate I’m sure), so if you’re interested in hearing my thoughts on this cushion, please keep on reading 🙂

Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Intense
Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Intense

Claims

Source: https://us.sulwhasoo.com

An anti-aging cushion that helps your skin look firmer and younger with a healthy glow.

The precious Red Pine extract in Sulwhasoo’s Timetreasure line delivers powerful anti-aging benefits for firmer-looking skin.

This cushion features anti-oxidizing properties of plum blossom extract and help your skin look healthy and youthful.

Created with Sulwhasoo’s unique technology, Radiance Pearl Powder Complex helps provide your skin a bright and radiant glow. 

As I’m in my mid thirties, anything with anti ageing and firming claims would peak my interest. I didn’t know the benefits of red pine at first, there’s a heap of information on their website on how it’s sourced and it’s anti-aging properties.

Red Pine, a symbol of longevity, is known to live a thousand years. Sulwhasoo discovered Red Pine’s anti-aging component De-aging Active (DAA), which is found in a minuscule amount deep inside Red Pine leaves.

I haven’t used any skincare from their Timetreasure line, because it’s crazy expensive, so it’s a great to see that Sulwhasoo have added their premium ingredients into this cushion. It makes buying it a little more justifiable.

Korean cushions are renowned to have a glowy finish and this is no different. It does make my skin look glowy and healthy, true to it’s claims.

Ingredients:

Source: https://us.sulwhasoo.com

WATER , CYCLOPENTASILOXANE , ZINC OXIDE (CI 77947) , TITANIUM DIOXIDE (CI 77891) , GLYCERIN , PHENYL TRIMETHICONE , ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE , BUTYLENE GLYCOL DICAPRYLATE/DICAPRATE , PEG-10 DIMETHICONE , CYCLOHEXASILOXANE , NIACINAMIDE , TREHALOSE , LAURYL PEG-9 POLYDIMETHYLSILOXYETHYL DIMETHICONE , RICINUS COMMUNIS (CASTOR) SEED OIL , BUTYLENE GLYCOL , ACRYLATES/ETHYLHEXYL ACRYLATE/DIMETHICONE METHACRYLATE COPOLYMER , PROPANEDIOL , GLYCYRRHIZA URALENSIS (LICORICE) ROOT EXTRACT , TRIMETHYLSILOXYSILICATE , METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER , ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE , NELUMBO NUCIFERA FLOWER EXTRACT , REHMANNIA GLUTINOSA ROOT EXTRACT , PAEONIA ALBIFLORA ROOT EXTRACT , POLYGONATUM OFFICINALE RHIZOME/ROOT EXTRACT , LILIUM CANDIDUM BULB EXTRACT , SODIUM CHLORIDE , STEARIC ACID , TRIETHOXYCAPRYLYLSILANE , DISTEARDIMONIUM HECTORITE , HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL , POLYSORBATE 80 , HONEY , HYDROGENATED LECITHIN , BEESWAX , ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN , ADENOSINE , METHOXY PEG-114/POLYEPSILON CAPROLACTONE , COPERNICIA CERIFERA (CARNAUBA) WAX , PINUS SYLVESTRIS LEAF EXTRACT , PRUNUS MUME FLOWER EXTRACT , MICA (CI 77019) , TIN OXIDE , PHENOXYETHANOL , IRON OXIDES (CI 77492) , IRON OXIDES (CI 77491) , IRON OXIDES (CI 77499) , FRAGRANCE.

There is a slight scent, smells a bit “foundationy”, but it’s not strong and not the least bit offensive. The smell dissipates once it’s applied anyway.

Packaging:

The sponge cushion is housed in a typical cushion case but the packaging is what differentiates, making it pretty special. The gold edging and the shell-like cover with dark brown hues, gives it a premium feel. The base of the case is matte black. It feels sturdy and expensive.

Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Intense
Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Intense – Beautiful, elegant packaging

Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Intense
Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Intense

Shade:

#25 Deep Beige (matches me perfectly). This shade leans yellow/warm so perfect for my skin tone.

Color range:

7 colours, up to #33.

Seven shades designed to give you a more natural and healthy-looking skin tone, with both pink undertones for a youthful glow or yellow undertones to help neutralize dullness.

Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Intense
Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Intense – Shade #25 Deep Beige

Lasting power:

Around 8hrs with powder. If you have dry skin, you probably won’t need to powder.

Coverage:

Light to medium, buildable. I always use an airpuff for application.

Cost:

$110 AUD (with refill) from yesstyle.com *

Final thoughts:

Rating: 4/5 (really liked it!)

As mentioned, the finish of this cushion is glowy, the coverage is buildable to a solid medium and I really like that it (like most korean cushions) is infused with skincare, specifically in the anti ageing category.

If you have any imperfections that you want to cover, you will need to use concealer and powder over those spots as well, just like with any other medium coverage foundation. Speaking of powdering, with my combo skin, I generally just powder the t-zone. I haven’t worn this in the Aussie summer yet so not sure how well it would last in sweltering temps but it lasted well during autumn and winter for me.

So did this live up to my expectations and should you rush out and buy it? It’s a really good cushion and I really like it for all the reasons I’ve mentioned. Even though it does come with a refill, it is still quite expensive and this is where I don’t know if it’s really worth it. I already have a comprehensive skin care routine so having skin care in makeup is a nice plus but it isn’t a must for me. This would be very comparable to the YSL Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation (reviewed here) in terms of finish, price and wear time. But the YSL cushion is even more expensive because you don’t even get a refill. I would buy this again over the YSL.

I would say, that if you are a fan of cushion foundations, and you want to try a Sulwhasoo cushion and you like a glowy finish to your base, I would say that you wouldn’t be disappointed with this one. The Perfecting cushion has more of a satin finish and has slightly better coverage and is a bit cheaper so it’s just a matter of preference.

Have you tried this cushion yet? Let me know if you have any questions, more than happy to help 🙂

Please note: links in this post marked with an * are affiliate links. They provide me with a small commission, if you should choose to use them for a purchase, without any extra cost to you 🙂

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My favourite face oils

Face oils are a new discovery for me and I have Renee (Gothamista) to thank for my new found love with them. She loves applying oils in her routine and I can definitely resonate with her.

It’s been pretty cold here in Sydney since it’s winter so my skin has been drinking up basically anything I have been putting on my face.

I’ve decided that applying oils is my favourite step in my routine and it’s due to some fantastic discoveries which I will be sharing today. I normally apply it after my serum step and before a moisturiser, in the PM. If you’re interested in finding out what they are, please keep on reading.

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil

This oil is one of Renee’s (Gothamista) favourites and I bought it pretty much because of her.  I’m slowly trying out Drunk Elephant’s range and buying minis makes it more affordable since the line isn’t cheap. The Nightbright Duo (also includes T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum), which is still available, from mecca seemed like a good starting point.

Claims:

from drunkelephant.com

Like rehab for your skin, this wonder-working, luxury facial oil, high in critical antioxidants tocopherol (vitamin E), tochotrienol, phenolic compounds and flavinoids, and rich in omegas 6 and 9, helps to moisturize, rejuvenate and nourish skin while restoring a youthful glow. Straight from the “pip” of the marula fruit, our Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil is untouched by any chemical or fragrance, natural or synthetic and remains in its purest form.

Ingredients:

Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil

Why I love it:

Cold pressed is a technique where the oils are obtained by pressing fruit and seeds, which retains its nutrition and efficacy. I love the fact that it is cold pressed and how lovely and pure this oil is. It feels nourishing, moisturising and comforting, like a warm blanket to my face. It doesn’t literally make it feel warm or anything, it just feels pleasant. It does give me an overall glow and best of all it is the most fast absorbing of all the oils I will be talking about. For some reason I thought it might feel heavy and not absorb on my combo skin since it has “luxury” in its name, but it’s quite the opposite. It still takes a minute to absorb but leaves no residue. Light enough to use during the day for people with drier skin. There is no scent.

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil – very runny texture

The packaging is in a pump since I have the mini size and I generally use two pumps into my palm, rub my both my palms together and press it into my face. I use this technique with all the oils, only the amount of oil used varies.

I’ve been using retinol and AHA serums (interchangeably) at night so applying this over the top and sometimes with no moisturiser, really agrees with my skin.

Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil – rubbed in, quickly absorbed.

Price:

I purchased this in a Nightbright duo which also has the T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum for $40 AUD from mecca.com.au. Both are 8ml. I recently re-purchased this duo because I love both products so much and adore the practical pump packaging. The full size packaging has the standard pipet applicator.

The oil by itself is available in two sizes:
$58 AUD 15ml and $105 for 30ml from mecca.com.au and from the brand’s website drunkelephant.com.

Urang Whitening Blue Oil Serum

Urang Whitening Blue Oil Serum

I’m going to sound like a broken record but this is yet another oil which Renee recommended. Man this woman’s influence on me is sending me and I’m sure all of her subscribers, broke! As usual, as soon as she had mentioned it the second time, I was trying to find it online. Only ohlolly.com stocked it. Being in Australia, we’re disadvantaged in terms of accessibility of products which are only sold in the US.

Their official and only stockists, ohlolly.com has an absurd shipping fee which I refused to pay and this oil from Urang is already quite expensive. I scoured ebay and found a seller which also sold the mini sized versions so I pounced and here we are.

Claims:

from ohlolly.com

A masterfully blended, all natural face oil serum that brightens, heals and protects skin. Wonderfully lightweight and hydrating, Brightening Blue Oil Serum quickly absorbs into skin to energize and transform dull skin into a radiant complexion.

Ingredients:

Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil, Tocopherol, (-)-alpha-bisabolol, *Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil (*Organic ingredient)

Why I love it:

There are only four ingredients in this product, all of which claim to hydrate, even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and hyper pigmentation. The latter always catches my eye because I have PIH from pimples as well as sun spots, both of which I am forever trying to find magical serums for. I also love anything with green tea and it’s the first ingredient. Tocopherol is a form of vitamin E and alpha-bisabolol is from the bark of the candeia tree in Brazil. I’ve read that bisabolol is also an active derived from the German Chamomile.

Urang Whitening Blue Oil Serum
Urang Whitening Blue Oil Serum – slight tinge of blue and is runny.

I have used quite a bit of this product already and I do feel like it brightens my skin. My whole PM routine is about brightening anyway so it fitted right in. It’s also hard to tell if this has really helped because I use other brightening products too. My skin does feel plump and healthy after use and I simply enjoy using it which are enough reasons for me. It’s a very pretty oil, I love its beautiful blue colour which is naturally from the chamomilla recutita flower. There is a slight scent but it’s very soothing and light. There are no artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances in this oil which I appreciate. Also important to note is that when Korean products are advertised as “whitening” they mean brightening. There is no “tone-up” effect to this product, thankfully since I despise those kind of products. They’ve actually now renamed it to be “brightening” now probably to avoid any confusion.

Urang stands for (Ultimate Radiant + Natural Glow) and the creator Jina Lee is an holistic aromatherapist and wanted to create a brand which would have natural, organic products and for them to safe for the whole family, since she is a mother herself. I haven’t come across any Korean brands with this type of notion and it’s really great that Urang has. The brand is also vegan and cruelty free. Urang sounds like the Korean version of RMS Beauty! I am definitely keen to buy the full size version (the packaging is so beautiful!) and try other products in her line. If only they were more accessible internationally!!

Urang Whitening Blue Oil Serum
Urang Whitening Blue Oil Serum – Rubbed in, is fast absorbing

Price:

I bough the travel size 15ml from ebay *, $28.12 USD.

Available from ohlolly.com:
$35 USD for 15ml and $59 USD for 30ml.

Blossom Jeju 100% Pure Camellia Dry Oil

Blossom Jeju 100% Pure Camellia Dry Oil
Blossom Jeju 100% Pure Camellia Dry Oil

Claims:

from blossomjeju.com

This legendary, 100 percent pure Camellia Oil is rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids to deeply hydrate and nourish skin.

Grown organically in Jeju island in Korea, the multitasking formula contains astonishing healing, conditioning, and antiaging properties to create a youthful-looking complexion.

Ingredients:

Camellia Seed Oil

Why I love it:

I first tried the Camellia Soombi Essence Oil from this brand which I really loved. It was another one recommended by Renee. Since that oil is expensive I decided to try this version which is marketed as being a dry oil. I think it’s actually better than the Soombi because there is no fragrance and is also half the price. It is fast absorbing and can be used during the AM. I only use two drops if I layer makeup over the top. Otherwise at night, I can use three drops.

oil-blossom-swatch

Camellia seed oil is known to be light but hydrating and full of antioxidants. All products in the Blossum Jeju line are sourced from Jeju island, which is also known as Korea’s “Hawaii”. It’s common for many k-beauty brands to source ingredients from this island. Definitely an island I would want to visit if I ever visited South Korea.

Blossom Jeju 100% Pure Camellia Dry Oil
Blossom Jeju 100% Pure Camellia Dry Oil – also fast absorbing, I put a bit too much here but it leaves a slight dewy look.

Price:

$36 AUD, 20ml from ebay

Whamisa Organic Flowers Face Oil

Whamisa Organic Flowers Facial Oil
Whamisa Organic Flowers Facial Oil

When I was first discovering k-beauty, I read and watched lots of Glow Recipe articles and videos. Sarah and Christine really know their stuff and one of the major brands that they curate is Whamisa. They are well known for fermenting ingredients in their formulations so of course I had to try for myself. This product has fermented flower filtrates as well as a nice blend of oils. I bought a few products from ebay since Glow Recipe’s shipping is pricey to Australia. This oil is probably my favourite product that I have tried so far from the brand. Whamisa also now has an Aussie website so products are much easier to attain, yay! 🙂

I’ve seen this oil in different packaging too, a frosted clear bottle instead of the brown bottle which I have. Not sure which is newer but I’m fairly certain the products are the same.

Claims

from whamisa.co.uk

Organic argan and camellia seed oil star in this miracle blend of natural and organic oils which also includes olive fruit, jojoba seed, carrot seed, evening primrose and flower ferment filtrates.  Improves skin’s immunity, elasticity and protects from environmental damage. Creates a natural barrier locking in nutrients and hydration.

Ingredients

from whamisa.co.uk

*Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, *Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, *Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, *Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Seed Oil, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil, *Lactobacillus/Chrysanthemum Sinense Flower Ferment Filtrate, *Lactobacillus/Nelumbium Speciosum Flower Ferment Filtrate, *Lactobacillus/Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Rhizome/Root Ferment Filtrate, ***Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, ***Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, ***Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Anibae Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, d-Limonene, Linalol

Why I love it:

This oil has significantly more ingredients than the other three oils. And because of this, the fragrance is also more apparent. It isn’t offensive or synthetic, it smells natural. It does disappear once you apply it to your skin so it doesn’t bother me. Companies adding artificial fragrances bother me. There’s a great mix of organic oils in the ingredients list, Argan and Camellia Seed both at the top, it’s a good way to get a cocktail of them in the one go.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Facial Oil
Whamisa Organic Flowers Facial Oil – Runny consistency

This is probably the least absorbing of the four, on my skin anyway. I generally use this in the PM and only use one or two drops because it is a heavier formula. For my combo skin, I am at the risk of looking greasy if I use anymore than this. With the right amount, my skin feels moisturised and I don’t even need a moisturiser when I use this.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Facial Oil
Whamisa Organic Flowers Facial Oil – rubbed in. Skin does look a bit shiny and takes a few minutes to absorb.

Price:

$25.99 USD, 30ml from ebay *

Have you tried any of these oils? If so let me know your thoughts 🙂 If you have any recommendations for me, I would love to hear about them 🙂

Please note: links in this post marked with an * are affiliate links. They provide me with a small commission, if you should choose to use them for a purchase, without any extra cost to you 🙂

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[Review] Wishtrend – Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum

I use Vitamin C for two main purposes, to lighten post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (PIH) and Post Inflammatory Erythema (PIE), in layman’s terms are sunspots/freckles and dark acne scarring. Ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid, in its pure form is generally a great antioxidant for this purpose since its a major skin brightener. 

I used Wishtrend’s Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum for about 4 months and I’m ready to share my thoughts on it.

About Wishtrend

Wishtrend is a online k-beauty store who are under the same Wish Company umbrella as Klairs. They sell products under their own brand as well as curate other well known k-beauty brands such as Mizon, Skinmiso and more.

Cost

$26.35 AUD, purchased from Wishtrend’s eBay Store *

Ingredients (from wishtrend.com)

Hippophae Rhamnoides Water (70%), Ascorbic Acid (21.5%), Sodium Lactate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Ethyl Hexanediol

Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum
Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum – ingredients list and instructions

The short ingredient list was appealing and is what captured my attention. A past Vitamin C serum I had used also sold by Wishtrend, the TIAM My Signature C-Source, had a much larger ingredient list which freaked out my skin and gave me cystic acne 😮

Claims

The product seems to have undergone a reformulation though I can’t compare it to the original since I never used it.

With an upgraded formula with more of the effects but less the ingredients, 
the Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum has been transformed to have even greater hydration and absorption without the stickiness. It conditions and restores balance to replenish and retain moisture in the skin with the optimal 21.5% of pure vitamin C.

Packaging

The serum is housed in a dark glass bottle with a red label. You get 30 ml of product and a dropper as the applicator. It seems like this type of packaging is common amongst Vitamin C serums. I guess its more cost effective than using (innovative) packaging like Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma Day Serum. With this type of packaging, its easy to let air into the product, and since ascorbic acid is naturally unstable and can easily oxidise, you need to make sure you keep this serum in the fridge (instructed on the box) and seal it up as soon as you’re done. 

How to use

Since I keep the serum in my fridge I need to remember to walk over there and grab it. This was a pain and something I never got used to doing. I have a full time job and not a lot of time to get ready in the morning (because I prefer to sleep) so having to go grab it was always a nuisance.

There are some in instructions in English on the back on how to use but this is how I use it. After cleansing and drying my face, I would dispense two or three drops into the palm of my hand. I would then frantically close the bottle to prevent air from entering the bottle. Then using my index finger, I would start to spot treat areas where I have pigmentation spots caused either from the sun or acne.

Once I’ve spot treated the affected areas, I would rub my palms together and pat the leftover product onto the rest of my face. This stuff absorbs fast so you need to work quickly. I would then promptly return the serum and its box to the fridge in fear of oxidation. I would then continue with the rest of my routine. There is an area of debate whether niacinamide and vitamin c would lose efficacy if used in the same routine, so I just tend to not use essence (mine contains niacinamide) in the mornings when I’m using vitamin c, just as a precautionary.

Something to note which is quite important is that ascorbic acid can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Especially in such a large dose as this one. If you are using this during the day, you HAVE to wear sunscreen. Its a non negotiable. This is also the case when using any type of acid which chemically exfoliates the skin. Update: Acids increases sensitivity because you are basically shedding skin. Vitamin C actually boosts the effectiveness of your sunscreen so it’s still important to wear it. 

Consistency

Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum - ingredients list and instructions
Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum – watery consistency

It is runny with no viscosity which I see as good and bad. Good because it’s easily absorbable and bad because it can get tricky with application (the whole trying to screw the cap back with one hand thing). The good outweighs the bad in this case.  True to the claims, it does not leave any sticky residue.

Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum
Pure Vitamin C 21.5 Advanced Serum – patted in, no residue or stickiness, true to the claims.

In its freshest form and by keeping in the fridge, the colour should remain clear. If this changes to anything else, it means the serum has oxidised and is no longer effective. As mentioned, I had mine for 4 months and it still maintained its translucency.

Scent

Smells very slightly of chemicals which dissipates on contact with the skin.

The TIAM My Signature C-Source, smelt like oranges which I didn’t mind either, the product just didn’t work for me.  I’ve also used the Klairs Freshly Juiced, and while the name sounds like something that would smell pleasant, it smelt like iron which was unpleasant. The Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum also smelt like this (why?!).

Final thoughts

Rating: 3/5 (it's ok but will not repurchase)

I was afraid that this serum would break me out like the Tiam one did but luckily it didn’t. It also didn’t cause any irritation.

In terms of effectiveness, I didn’t see any significant changes over the 4 months I used it. I applied it every other morning because it had such a high percentage of ascorbic acid. I liked its elegant consistency because it felt like nothing once applied and also appreciated that it had little to no scent.  Perhaps my overall skin did appear brighter but I needed more than that, especially at 21.5%. With humectants such as sodium hyaluronate and panthenol within the ingredients list I would’ve expected to also feel some hydration but I didn’t.

Not seeing any significant lightening of my spots wasn’t the main issue I had with it, and its probably not all this serum’s fault. As I mentioned, using vitamin c during the day can cause sensitivity to the sun. I ALWAYS wear sunscreen but I felt like with such a high dose of ascorbic acid, one application of sunscreen in the morning just wasn’t enough. I work in an office and only pop out a couple of times before the sun goes down. I know these are lame reasons but I just don’t reapply sunscreen. I felt like I was getting more sensitive to the sun (we are closer to the ozone hole here in oz) and I’m pretty certain that this vitamin c serum is what was causing it. I saw a couple more sun spots appear and my PIE and PIH just weren’t getting any lighter even though I adequately slather sunscreen on my face. Don’t get me wrong, when I do get regular sun exposure I do reapply, but on work days when I have a face full of makeup, I just don’t.

I guess I could still use it at night but I already have serums which like to use and have proven to be more effective (for different purposes). I have also read that using vitamin c serums during the day can also have other benefits like helping fight free radicals and protection against environmental pollutants.

I think that this has been my final experiment with vitamin c serums for awhile. The fact that it’s also so (so!) high maintenance deters me from using it. Keeping it in the fridge and limiting its exposure to air is a pain because I’m simply lazy. They usually have a life span of 3 months (less if you don’t refrigerate) anyway so having to repurchase would also get expensive and annoying. Again if I did see results I could possibly continue to overlook the inconveniences and repurchase but the cons really outweighed the pros.

I’m perfectly ok to use skincare where ascorbic acid (or its derivates) isn’t the main ingredient like in moisturisers and serums/ampoules so I’m not dissing it completely. I’ve just concluded that my skin is too sensitive for it when it’s in its purest form which is sad 😦

Have you tried any vitamin c serums and how did they work out for you? Would love to hear about your experiences in the comments 🙂

Please note: links in this post marked with an * are affiliate links. They provide me with a small commission, if you should choose to use them for a purchase, without any extra cost to you 🙂

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