[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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Skincare I’ve used up (September 2018)

I haven’t written an empties post since March…uh yeah this year has really flown! When I noticed that my pile of empties was becoming increasingly more difficult to store, I thought it was about time I posted so I could get rid of them.

I’m going to be breezing through (well I’ll try my best to) each of them, otherwise this will be very long. I’ve reviewed some of it in the past and will add a link to the review where applicable. Most of these products are minis, which I think is an affordable and smart way to try out new skincare, especially if getting samples beforehand isn’t possible.

All products were purchased by me (except for the last one which was in a members rewards box). There are no affiliate links in this post.

Simplistic Skincare – Essence wonder

empties-essence

Reviewed here.

Cost: $49 AUD, purchased from liliacandberries.com 

My thoughts since the review remain unchanged. I didn’t think it did much for my skin, even after using it up, I didn’t miss it or notice any differences in my skin. It is hydrating and absorbs very quickly. Nice packaging but won’t warrant a repurchase.

Goodal – Mild Protect Essence Sun SPF50+/PA+++

Goodal - Mild Protect Essence Sun SPF50+/PA+++
Goodal – Mild Protect Essence Sun SPF50+/PA+++

Cost: $9.81 USD, purchased from ibbi

After hearing the ladies at Glow Recipe rave about this sunscreen, specifically about it’s gel texture, I knew I had to try it. It’s a chemical sunscreen which is what I usually go for because I can’t stand dry and difficult to blend physical sunscreens. I’m sure there are more elegant formulas out there now but I just haven’t found one I’ve liked yet.

The gel consistency makes it easy to rub into the skin which I liked. There were two things that I didn’t like as much with this sun gel and the first thing is that alcohol is the 7th ingredient in the list (cosdna). I noticed this after I bought it, rookie mistake I know! I do know that alcohol is common in sunscreens since it helps make the texture more spreadable but I would still like to avoid it when I can. It wasn’t drying and didn’t smell like alcohol so that was a plus. The second thing was that it left my face dewy…borderline greasy. This could be a great thing for drier skin types but on my combo skin, I did not need the extra grease in my t-zone. Might be a better one for winter. Because of these two reasons, I won’t be repurchasing.

Fresh – Soy Face Cleanser (mini size)

Fresh - Soy Face Cleanser (mini size)
Fresh – Soy Face Cleanser (mini size)

Reviewed here

Cost: $20 AUD, 50ml, purchased from Sephora

As a second cleanser, it was a good one. Like I said in the review, it doesn’t leave my face stripped. It instead, left it feeling bouncy, hydrated and soft. Would repurchase. Keen to try more products from Fresh 🙂

MAC – Prep and Prime Fix +

MAC - Prep and Prime Fix +
MAC – Prep and Prime Fix +

Cost: $36 AUD, 100ml, purchased from Myer

This is a classic product which I will always keep repurchasing. I use it after makeup to set my face and to add a natural looking glow to my skin. It also helps melt powder into the skin, to mesh with the other elements. It doesn’t work like a setting spray (like urban decay’s all nighter) so don’t expect it to prolong the wear of your makeup. I just love the way it makes my skin look which is a good enough reason in my books. The mister on the bottle is glorious too, very fine. Good for use all year around but especially in summer because it also feels refreshing 🙂

Belif – The True Tincture Cleansing Stick (Chamomile)

Belif - The True Tincture Cleansing Stick (Chamomile)
Belif – The True Tincture Cleansing Stick (Chamomile)

Cost: I can’t access the order details but I think it was around $20-30 AUD purchased from eBay.

This was another purchase inspired by Renee (Gothamista). She compared this to the Su:m37 Rose Cleansing stick which I loved but can’t seem to find anymore. Anyway, this stick was nice, it had little bits of chamomile petals in it so it also gently exfoliated the skin while cleansing. I didn’t really feel it to tell you the truth. It did have a subtle natural smell and it was a nice sensory experience to use it. It also didn’t strip my skin but it wasn’t the most hydrating cleanser I’ve ever used either. I felt like if I didn’t apply toner right away, my skin would feel a bit tight. A stick last a really long time, mine expired before I could finish it.  I think I had it for awhile before use and didn’t pay attention to the date.

I probably won’t repurchase this. I prefer the Su:m37 Rose cleansing stick and Neogen Real Fresh Green Tea Cleansing Stick (Green Tea) over this one.

Amore Pacific – The essential creme fluid (mini size)

Amore Pacific - The essential creme fluid (mini size)
Amore Pacific – The essential creme fluid (mini size)

Cost: $25 USD, travel size purchased from eBay.

After hearing Liah Yoo and Jude (Fiddy Snails) rave about this moisturiser, I too also needed it. Especially when I heard that it contained 150 handpicked baby green tea leaves from AP’s own tea garden and that it’s a rich moisturiser disguised as a lightweight creme. Now Amore Pacific is impossible to get here in Australia. Managed to find a travel size on eBay which I probably overpaid for but oh well. I’m actually glad I only got the travel size because the full size is around $100 USD. I liked the texture, it was light and silky. My skin did feel moisturised but not that comfortable. I think it was the scent that bothered me, it smelt quite strongly of flowers I think, not a natural smell. Wish it smelt like green tea instead. For that reason I will not be repurchasing. Overall it didn’t feel unique enough for me to want to get past the scent. The good news is that Mecca, applicable to AU and NZ (I think), will be stocking AP products soon so it will at last be easily attainable!

Drunk Elephant – Beste Jelly Cleanser (mini size)

Drunk Elephant - Beste Jelly Cleanser (mini size)
Drunk Elephant – Beste Jelly Cleanser (mini size)

Cost: Came in a “Hit it off Duo” with the Lala retro whipped cream – $29 from Mecca 

I wasn’t a fan of the Lala Retro but I did enjoy this cleanser. It is hydrating, leaves my skin feeling similar to the Fresh Soy cleanser, which is soft and bouncy. There is no scent and I like how the texture is jelly like, so it doesn’t get messy.

I would repurchase, but lo and behold, my husband overheard about how much I liked it and gifted me with the full sized product for my birthday, yay!

Drunk Elephant – Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil (mini size)

empties-marula

Reviewed here

Cost: Came in a “Night Brights Duo” with the TLC Framboose Glycolic Night Serum, $40 AUD, from Mecca

I’ve already repurchased another Night Brights Duo before I finished it. I almost bought the full size but since I’m between a few oils, I thought I’d just buy it later because it’s quite expensive. I love this oil, it’s lightweight, easily absorbable, feels nourishing as well as moisturising. I like to apply it at night after my actives or retinoid. I don’t feel like to I need to apply moisturiser either. There’s just something about it sensory wise, it feels very comforting.

Acwell – Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner (mini size)

Acwell - Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner (mini size)
Acwell – Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner (mini size)

Cost: $9.50 USD for two mini sizes from eBay

Charlotte from Soko Glam sold me on this when she curated it into their store. It all sounded pretty good, low ph, licorice and peony for brightening and green tea. Honey skin also sounded pretty damn good too and her skin is flawless! I actually really liked this toner, it felt gentle and my skin felt balanced and calm after using it. I don’t know if it alone gave me honey skin, which I still don’t have anyway. I still have another bottle left but it’s something that I liked enough to repurchase.

Too Faced – Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray (mini size)

Too Faced - Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray (mini size)
Too Faced – Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray (mini size)

Cost: Free with my beauty loop box from Mecca (member rewards thing)

I’ve wanted to try this for awhile because I’m obsessed with anything coconut and this has coconut water in it. Too Faced says you can use it three ways, as a primer/setting spray/refresher, but I used it only as a setting spray (because it was so tiny). It’s more of a hydrating setting spray than something that would cement your look to last all day. I feel like it gives the same effect as MAC Fix + and now that they also have a coconut version (which I’m currently using), I haven’t made up my mind as to which I prefer. I can’t remember if this Too Faced one smelt like coconuts but I remember it being pleasant enough. Because of its teeny tiny size, I only got to use it twice or thrice so it’s hard to remember exactly. I’ll most likely purchase the full size once my current setting sprays are used up.

Ok if you’ve made it this far, you’ve done well! Phew that was a looong post, a lot of words. Let me know if you’ve used any of these products mentioned and if you have any questions, please post them below. Until next time 🙂

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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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[Review] Essence Wonder by Simplistic Skin Care

I have been using this essence for about 6 months now and since I’m fast approaching its end, its probably a good opportunity to share my thoughts on it.

This is the first product I’ve tried from Simplistic Skin Care. I was browsing around lilacandberries.com, a k-beauty online store based in Sydney.  I couldn’t find much information about Simplistic but from what I can gather from the website, they are a company which focusses on using natural ingredients (vegan) and without harmful substances in their products. They only make products which they feel can be used in the daily lives of people, so no gimmicky products here.

Please keep on reading if you are interested in hearing more about this essence.

Cost

$49 AUD, purchased from liliacandberries.com 

Ingredients (from lilacandberries.com)

Amaranthus Hypochondriacus Seed Extract, Butylene Glycol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Glycerin, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glutathione, Pinus Radiata Bark Extract, Beta-Glucan, Allantoin, Trehalose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polyglutamic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Soy Isoflavones, Centella Asiatica Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA

Claims

This essence claims to:

– speeds up wound healing, soothes and calms skin
– locking in natural moisture and helps repair your moisture barrier\
– helps to moisturize and exfoliate old skin cells by penetrating to the deepest layers of your skin
– maintains your skin’s water balance which makes your skin appear healthy, moist, radiant and supple.
– evens out your skin’s texture
– soothes and anti inflammations
– improves skin’s elasticity
– reduces pigmentation and scars
– promotes collagen for a more radiant and flawless complexion
– soothes and calms your skin’s redness

Packaging

This is what attracted me to the product. The flask like yet medicinal look of it with the wooden cap was unique. Normally essences are commonly housed in cylindrical shaped glass bottles. I thought this would be frosted glass but its actually sturdy plastic. The cap is faux wood and gives it a natural effect. The label is minimal and modern, reflecting what the company stands for. I’m actually glad it’s plastic because it can be knocked about in a suitcase. I took it with me on holidays over Christmas and it was fuss free.

How to use

On the back there are three illustrated steps in korean which I can’t understand. However, the illustrations are pretty self explanatory and if you are an experienced essence user, then it’s the same principles.

Essence Wonder by Simplistic Skin Care
Essence Wonder by Simplistic Skin Care

I always use it the same way as I would use any essence. I would pour two or three drops into my palm, rub my hands together and gently pat my face for absorption. Sometimes I would follow with another layer but generally it would only be one because I have a few more steps to do in my routine. You could use a cotton pad if you were in a hurry but I wouldn’t recommend it since you waste some of the product.

Consistency

Essence Wonder by Simplistic Skin Care. Runny consistency, amber in colour.
Runny consistency, amber in colour.

Its consistency is runny. It has an intended amber tinge to it which doesn’t translate once applied. Because it’s so runny I would recommend only using a few drops (2-3) at a time and layering if you want to add more.

Essence Wonder by Simplistic Skin Care
Patted in, completely absorbs with no residue or shine.

Scent

Zero fragrance so great for sensitive skin.

Final thoughts

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

As mentioned at the start of this post, I’m almost at the end of the bottle and I’m not sad about it. Which is a bit of shame since there are some really nice ingredients in this product.

I like the packaging and the fact that it’s fragrance free and didn’t break me out. However I didn’t really see much of an effect on my skin over time. 6 months is fair amount of time to test something too and I did use this twice a day consistently. The claims seem quite extensive which is what sparked my curiosity in the first place. If anything, I did feel that my face felt and looked slightly more hydrated but that’s about it. I didn’t see any real brightening of dark spots or my skin texture being more even etc.

The first essence I used is the cult favourite Missha FTE (intensive moist) and with that one I could see immediate brightening and skin evening results. If I were to choose which one to repurchase, it would be the Missha one. They are also similarly priced and are both 150ml.

Have you tried anything from this line? Let me know what you think 🙂 Also if you have any essence recommendations for me, please let me know in the comments.

 

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[Review] COSRX Pimple Patches: What’s the difference between their Acne Pimple Master Patch and Clear Fit Master Patch?

COSRX are a k-beauty company who are well known for their broad range of skin care products which contain simple yet effective ingredients. Their ingredients lists are generally short and sweet too. Their products target practically every skin type and the type that these patches fall into are acne prone skin.

I’ve used a few products from their line but nothing has impressed me the way these patches have. I have spoken briefly about them previously in my empties post but I will go into a bit more detail in this one. I will also be comparing both patches and letting you know what the differences are.

What are they?

It’s a circular sticker which you apply onto any active pimples. These pimples can either be already open or still closed/almost ready to erupt. I suffer from hormonal breakouts so this has always been my saviour. I put the patch on before I go to bed and in the morning, the pimple is less angry and noticeably flatter. It’s a one time use product for each patch and its pretty gross when you peel it away, but pretty cool. It in no way performs miracles so depending on how big or angry the pimple is, it might take more than one patch to really settle it down.

How to use?

You open the main packaging and gently peel away one of the stickers from its sealed pack. You then carefully apply it to the pimple. Make sure that the head of the pimple is centre to the middle of the sticker. This ensures a good stick and won’t peel itself away.

An important thing to note is that the patch should be applied to a dry surface area. I try to avoid applying any skin care to the wound because if you apply something emollient (like a sticky serum or moisturiser) over it, it will not stick down properly. Once applied, try not to fiddle with it because you’ll disturb its grip.

As mentioned, I usually apply it before bed and remove it in the morning. Remove it carefully and dispose of the patch into the bin.

The differences

Ok so this is what you came here for so here it is.
Differences are in red.

Clear Fit Master Patch

COSRX Clear Fit master patch

  • Price: $6.50 AUD (from eBay)
  • Amount: 18 Patches (10mm x 18ea)
  • Claims (from the packaging):
    1. Natural and invisible cover
    2. Absorbs impurities
    3. During the daytime
  • Effectiveness: Settles and flattens active pimples and draws grossness out
  • Ingredients: (from packet:) Cellulose Gum, Styrene Isoprene Styrene Block Copolymer, Polyisobutylene, Petroleum Resin, Polyurethane Film, Liquid Paraffin, Tetrakis Methane.
COSRX Clear Fit master patch
COSRX Clear Fit master patch (exposure turned down so you can see it properly)

Acne Pimple Master Patch

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
  • Price: $5.70 AUD (from eBay)
  • Amount: 24 patches (7mm  x 10ea + 10mm x 5ea + 12mm x 9ea)
  • Claims (from the packaging):
    1. Acts as protective cover
    2. Non Drying
    3. Absorbs impurities and oil
  • Effectiveness: Settles and flattens active pimples and draws grossness out
  • Ingredients: (from packet:) Cellulose Gum, Styrene Isoprene Styrene Block Copolymer, Polyisobutylene, Petroleum Resin, Polyurethane Film, Liquid Paraffin, Tetrakis Methane.
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch

Final thoughts

The main difference are aesthetics, amount per pack and usability.

The Clear Fit Patch is transparent, making it less obvious for use during the day though I personally don’t if I need to leave the house. It also contains 6 less patches than the Acne Pimple Patch and only comes in one size. Slight advantage in usability where the backing is split so its easier to peel back to retrieve a patch.

The Acne Pimple Patch isn’t transparent, it has a slight yellow tinge to it. It contains 24 patches of various sizes. This could be a pro or con depending on who you ask but for me, its a pro. I don’t always get the same sized pimple (lucky me, boo), so its good to have options. The solid backing can be tricky to not stuff up but as long as you’re careful with it, it should be fine.

Which one would I repurchase I hear you ask? It would be the red one, Acne Pimple Master Patch. And have already repurchased, many times over! You get more for your money and effectiveness is equal since the ingredients are exactly the same. I don’t wear these out in public anyway so having a clear one would be of no advantage to me. You can generally buy these in bulk which equals to around $4.70 AUD per pack. Yesstyle and Jolse usually have sales on them so keep an eye out for those deals.

Have you tried any of these patches yet? If not, I hope this has helped you in your decision making 😀

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[Review] Leaders Sheet Masks – Coconut Gel/Himalayan/Daily Wonders range

Sheet masks were one of the first things I tried when I started k-beauty in 2017. I’ve tried a bunch and I have to say that all are definitely NOT the same. Some have been pretty average but most of have been quite good. I have even kept a record of the masks which I have used in a Google Keep so I know not to get the bad ones again.

I’ve tried a few from the brand Leaders who seem to specialise in making sheet masks.  People seem to rave about the brand so typically I knew I had to try some! The first one was the MEDIU Amino Clearing Mask. This was just ok, I remember it made my face tingle a little while it was on but it was tolerable and it adhered to my face ok too. After that one I really wasn’t in a great hurry to try anymore from the brand.

Was browsing on iHerb a few months ago and I noticed that they sold Leaders masks. These masks were mainly made of fermented coconut gel so it peaked my interest,. They claimed to be super hydrating and had varies types of effectiveness eg brightening, lifting etc. I bought a few and began to try them out over the next few months. My most recent experience was today’s.

As well as the MEDIU Amino Clearing Mask, I have also tried out:

  • Coconut Gel Moisturizing Recovery Mask
  • Coconut Gel Brightening Recovery Mask
  • Coconut Gel Lifting Recovery Mask
  • Himalayan Camellia Pore Minimizing Mask
  • Daily Wonders, Pore Gone for Good, Pore Refining Mask

I don’t have packet images for all of them since I have thrown some away in frustration.

Leaders Himalayan Camellia Pore Minimising Mask and Lifting Recovery Mask
Leaders Himalayan Camellia Pore Minimising Mask and Lifting Recovery Mask

My issues

Adherence

My biggest gripe with sheet masks is that they don’t fit on my face properly and aren’t flexible enough to bend and smooth down. These coconut gel masks do not adhere to my face. Now, I don’t have a tiny face or anything, standard size I guess, so it was strange that I couldn’t line up the masks so that could at least fit well enough. It just seemed to be too large for my face. The mouth area wouldn’t line up properly once I aligned my eyes, parts hanging off etc. I wouldn’t be able to smooth the lines out that this adjusting created, you get the picture. Of course I have used masks which haven’t fit my face perfectly too but they had been workable.

Material

I think the lack of adherence is due to the material of the masks. Its thicker and stiffer than regular cotton sheet masks, making it stubborn to adjust

On the back of one of the packets, this is the description of the material:

Premium Coconut Gel is the next generation of mask material.

This coconut mask is made from all natural fermented coconut juice, which contains Vitamins B and C. This gel material adheres perfectly to the skin and has natural soothing and hydrating properties.

I find this description to be very ironic. It emphasises that the material is made to fit better on the face but on me it’s the total opposite.

It is also described as:

a biocellulose coconut gel mask which is 10x more hydrating than a cotton mask

The ‘biocellulose’ aspect had caught my interest, the fact that it could hold way more product than a regular sheet mask and doesn’t lose much moisture while it is on your face. I recently tried a biocellulose mask from IOPE and that came out in a soggy, unusable blob, making me even more skeptical to its benefits especially when you are paying a premium for it. I have no idea if its 10x more hydrating since I haven’t been able to keep it on my face long enough to compare. Since I don’t want the ill fitting masks to create lines on my face and I don’t want to be uncomfortable for 20 minutes, I have in all instances, ripped it off and patted in the leftover essence. This essence was nothing to write home about either, was pretty thick and sticky for the most part. In my frustration I didn’t even bother to check whether it did anything for my skin.

Price

These Coconut Gel/Himalayan/Daily Wonders range masks weren’t cheap either, they range from $5 to $10 AUD. I purchased them from iHerb.  I would rather stick to Tony Moly sheet masks for around $2-$3 a pop. At least THEY fit on my damn face. These aren’t worth your money.

Final thoughts

I’ve had the same experience with all the masks I had listed earlier in the post. No one can accuse me of not giving it a good go. Sheet masks should be easy to apply and be a relaxing 20 minute treat for you and your skin.

Leaders has so far NOT lived up to the hype and I will not be purchasing any further masks from this brand.

Have you tried any of these masks and if so what has your experience been with them? I’m curious since mine was so bad!

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[Review] Shu uemura Skin Purifier – nutri:nectar gentle cleansing oil in emulsion

Shu uemura are a Japanese beauty line well known for their cleansing oils so I was excited to try this one. This product is a celebration of their 50th Anniversary of making cleansing oils so not sure if this is limited edition or not.

Since getting into k-beauty, I am a total advocate of the double cleanse method. I do it every night to take off my makeup + cleanse. I’ve used a few cleansing oils, some good and and some not so great. Keep reading to find out which category this nutri:nectar falls into.

Cost

$58 AUD for 150ml

My husband gifted it to me on my birthday in September.  He purchased it from shu uemura concept store in QVB Sydney

Ingredients

The shu uemura website states that it contains Essential oils, Acai, Magnolia and Reishi Mushroom. No ingredients list found on their site.

The list below I painstakingly typed from the packaging: Please reference my site if you use this.

ethylhexyl palmitate, acqua, glycerin, caprylic/capric triglyceride, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, propanediol, peg-20 glyceryl triisostearate, sucrose laurate, sucrose palmitate, sodium methyl stearoyl taurate, salicylic acid, tocopherol, sodium hydroxide, linalool, citronellol, geraniol, ganoderma lucidium extract, isopropyl lauroyl, sarcosinate, isopropyl myristate, dicaprylyl ether, dicaprylyl carbonate, euterpe oleracea fruit extract, butylene glycol, maltodextrin, hydrolyzed opuntia ficus-indica flower extract, citric acid, perilla ocymoides leaf extract, magnolia liliflora flower extract, sodium benzoate, phenoxethanol, potassium sorbate, ethylhexyglycerin, parfum.

It is non-comedogenic and has been opthalmologically and dermatologically tested.

Claims (from their website)

This extravagantly nourishing fusion is carefully composed to reboot skin barrier function while resisting the environmental stress. This cleansing oil in emulsion created with the power of nature help even dry delicate skin feels conditioned & strengthened.

Packaging

Like their other cleansing oils, the bottle is plastic and has a good pump. It is housed in a sturdy, slim and pretty pink bottle, though the product is semi-transparent.

shu uemura skin purifier nutri:nectar
shu uemura skin purifier nutri:nectar

Consistency

Its consistency is thicker than any liquid oil cleanser I have used. It is semi transparent in colour and looks a bit like gel. Because its an emulsion, it doesn’t run down my palm when I pump it out.

Emulsions can be described as a lightweight moisturiser/lotion which 
koreans apply before their more heavier moisturiser for dry skin 
types or used alone for oilier skin types.

Anyway, so the texture is alike and I quite liked that because there is no wasted product and its relatively mess free.

shu uemura skin purifier nutri:nectar
shu uemura skin purifier nutri:nectar

Scent

Their website describes the scent to be healing and comforting, as if taking a deep breath in the forest.

I would agree that it is comforting but not as refreshing as taking a deep breath in the forest as such. It is a complex smell, smells a bit florally (magnolia) but also with a hint of maybe lavender or derived from the mix of essential oils. Its not an obnoxious smell, I find it be quite pleasant and soothing.

How to use

I would usually use this at night as my first cleanse to remove my makeup. The instructions on the bottle say to pump 3-4 pumps into dry hands, then apply it in circular motions to a dry face. I only need 2 pumps, 3-4 is a bit excessive, especially for such a pricey product.

I would then massage it into my face, gently rubbing it in using circular motions as instructed. If you have used any liquid cleansing oils, the application method is the same. Then I would jump into the shower and apply a small amount of water to my hands and continue to massage my face. Adding water emulsifies it and turns it slightly milky. I would continue to massage for about 5-10 more seconds then I would rinse my whole face in the shower. My skin would feel soft, moisturised and smooth afterwards, no sticky residue at all.

shu uemura skin purifier nutri:nectar
shu uemura skin purifier nutri:nectar

To finish off the double cleanse, I would follow with a foaming cleanser. Loving the su:m37 Rose Cleansing Stick at the moment.

 

Final thoughts

Rating: 4/5 (really liked it)

I’ve only used about a quarter of the bottle (been using other oils as well in fear of this running out too soon!) and I already know that I really like it. The mess free application is great and you don’t need a lot of the product.

As mentioned earlier, it makes my face feel hydrated and soft afterwards without leaving any residue. I could probably do without a second cleanse when I use this but I always follow with a second cleanser anyway. I enjoy the fragrance, but if you don’t like fragrance in skincare you might not like this one.

I docked one star off due to its price. $58 is a bit too much for something that is just basically a makeup remover. I have used cleansing oils and balms at maybe half that price point which do the job just as well. I know that the shu uemura website (us) has regular sales which is great for people in the US. For us Aussies, shu uemura products are hardly ever on sale unless Sephora (the range is limited) or David Jones are having sales.

If you like the brand and you’re interested in trying out this cleansing oil in emulsion, I would highly recommend you to do so. It is also sold in a larger bottle (450ml) but if you are just curious I would recommend buying this size first.

Happy cleansing!

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[Review] Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream

I have been using this cream for about 6 months now and now that its almost empty, I thought it was about time that I shared my experience with using it.

This cream isn’t a new release. But it was new to me and was the first korean cream I purchased and used as a sleeping pack. This cream can be used a couple of ways and is a packed full of great ingredients. The fact that traditional korean herbs (described as Hanbang) were used also spiked my curiosity. Who wouldn’t want to slather something on their face containing herbaceous ingredients used in ancient times. Also a big fan of Niacinamide and Hyaluronic Acid which are two of their starred ingredients. Gothamista recommended it in one of her videos so I gave into the hype and purchased it.

Cost

$36.95 AUD, purchased from stylestory.com.au

Ingredients (from StyleStory)

Water, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Dipentaerythrityl Hexa C5-9 Acid Esters, Hyaluronic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Hydrogenated Lecithin C14-28 Alkyl Acid, Stearyl Alcohol, Behenyl Alcohol, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Adenosine, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Cetyl Peg/Ppg-10/1 Dimethicone, Stearic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Polyacrylate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Centella Asiatica Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, EGF 2-Nano, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Ceramide 3, Trehalose, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Raphanus Sativus (Radish) Leaf Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Cucurbitaceae (Gourd) Extract, Orchid Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Phytosphingosine, Ceteareth-20, Glyceryl Citrate/Lactate/Linoleate/Oleate, Fragrance, Honey

Claims

This product claims to reduce the visible signs of ageing, plump, brighten and soothe the skin.

Packaging

The packaging on this cream is as divine as the cream. The traditional look of it with the pink paper on top and string makes it look really appealing and different.  You can see it here at stylestory. The jar is glass and is so elegant and simplistic. You get 50ml of product.

Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream
Pretty glass packaging. The cream itself is light and silky.

How to use

I read that you can use the product in three ways, as a sleeping pack, moisturiser or massage cream (on your face).

I used this as a sleeping pack as my last step in my skincare routine, after my treatments. I don’t use an emulsion because I don’t need one.

I have combo skin and found that I had to apply the thinnest layer for it to work as a day cream. It also needs a minute to absorb which is why I chose to pack it on at night instead 🙂 Usually in a great rush in the mornings :(.

A little does go a long way. I normally scoop one spatula amount onto the back of my hand. Then I dot around my cheeks, forehead and chin and massage it in. I then pat it gently into my face to help with absorption. It needs a minute to completely absorb and dries down completely so don’t worry about waking up with a sticky pillow (eww). Its a little high maintenance to apply in my opinion, its not a slap on then go kind of product.

Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream - texture
Stringy texture, like honey

 

Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream
Just patted in. Will completely absorb and look less moist.

Consistency

Its consistency is quite weird, looks a bit like honey (but is white), so when you touch it, it drags up with your touch. Once patted in, your face feels incredibly soft and smooth. Kinda similar application method to the J-one Jelly Pack (which I think is also a little high maintenance to apply). When I woke up the next morning, you can feel it on your skin acting as a barrier when you go to wash it off. My skin feels nice, smooth and bouncy.

Scent

There is a slight fragrance, which I can’t put my finger on. It smells pleasant and doesn’t bother me which is saying something since I’m a bit fussy with scents in skincare and makeup. You can’t smell it once its absorbed into your skin.

Final thoughts

Rating: 4/5 (really liked it)

I am almost to the end of the jar and am a bit sad. You can probably already tell that I really like it! I loved how lightweight it felt on my skin and enjoyed checking out my face in the morning once I woke up. I felt like the claims rang true. It did brighten and hydrate my face but not sure about the anti ageing part. I probably have to buy it again to prove whether that part is true. I am currently testing out other sleeping packs but I do like this one enough to repurchase. Its quite a special product and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a not-so-average moisturiser.

Have you tried this interesting cream? Would love to hear your experience with it.

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Pores – can you really minimise them with skincare?

Pores has been a skin concern for me for a long time. I had teenage acne which enlarged the pores around my nose. I’ve been more concerned about them of late probably because they look a bit saggy (this occurs with age unfortunately) and are a bit more obvious.

Rather that opting to minimise/blur them using makeup which is what I do anyway, I wanted to see if I could use skin care to minimise them. I’ve tried a few skincare products claiming to be “pore reducing”, “pore minimising”, “pore diminishing” etc. I’m sure those of you out there experiencing the same problem has heard all the claims as well so I won’t get into that. I used these products for at least a month to give them a fair chance.

Disclaimer – I know that pores cannot be erased once they sprout, I don’t live in a fantasy world. I know its a lifetime thing which you just need to accept. But it doesn’t stop me from seeking products to minimise them nonetheless.

Feel free to jump directly to a specific product using the links below:

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Correcting Serum

The claims (from clinique.com.au):

Lightweight, oil-free serum clears out pore-clogging debris and oil. In 2 weeks, you’re looking at 58% smaller pores. You’ll see a tighter, smoother look-guaranteed.

Some of the reviewers on the clinique site said that they saw improvement within a week which is what sparked my curiosity. I bought this when I was very new to skin care and taking note of ingredients was not something I initially did.

Even on the first application, I knew I didn’t like it. It felt globby and thick and didn’t seem to absorb into my skin. It made the area look slightly oily and since I already have combo skin (oily t-zone), it was not a nice thing to see. I applied it in the evenings and each morning after I noticed the area being a bit inflamed and my pores were still as large as ever. My skin does get a bit sensitive but very rarely.  It might be the Alcohol Denat which has a skin irritant level of 5 (from cosdna.com). The globbiness is from the Dimethicone and since its the first ingredient there must be lots of it. There’s actually two types of it in this product. I’m used to seeing pore minimising primers contain Dimethicone but when in a serum it doesn’t feel right. Also the “pore filling” primers, for the most part, actually does an ok job to minimise pores.

My verdict: 

Rating:  1/5 (Hated it!) 

This serum, did nada/nothing to improve the look of my pores. It just made my skin a bit inflamed.

Ever since this last experience, I have not purchased anything else from Clinique. The sales ladies are not skin experts but they wear lab coats as if they are. The lady who helped me at Myer pretty much just took my money since I already knew what I wanted, but also gave me zero advice. The cost of this product was $60 AUD, not worth it. 

Skinmiso Pore Corset Serum

The claims (from wishtrend.com)

+ 20 minutes of thorough pore tightening therapy.
+ Optimal hydration balance to regulate sebum.
+ Perfect for people who have 
   enlarged pores or oily looking skin.

Just like the Clinique serum, this product also had rave reviews. I bought this from a reputable seller on Ebay for $32.55 AUD. I had high hopes.

The texture of this serum is watery but has a bit of viscosity. I applied a couple of drops to the base of my thumb first then used my finger to pat it into my pore areas. It absorbed fine into my skin and at times I would feel a tingly sensation. I guess this is the time when the pores get “tightened”. My skin sure felt a bit tight but I didn’t see any difference in the size of my pores. The sensation dissipates after a few minutes and my skin is left feeling kind of tight.

My verdict

Rating:  2/5 (Disliked it) 

After using this for over a month, there were no visible signs of my pores being minimised. Since it does not irritate my skin, I will continue to use it a couple of times a week and will update if I see any differences. However, I am not holding my breath.

Caolion Pore Original Pack

The claims (from sephora.com.au):

The original formula contains glacial clay to draw out impurities and to tighten enlarged pores. It’s enriched with 100 percent Alaskan glacial water to maintain skin moisture, while menthol provides a cooling effect to soothe and calm troubled skin. The appearance of reduced pores makes skin look smoother and revitalized.

I read that clay masks can help clean out the pores which in turn will help reduce its size.

Since I was just starting to establish a skin care routine I thought I may was well give this a go since I had never used clay masks before. This was the first k-beauty product I have purchased so I remember it fondly.  I got it from Sephora for $31 AUD.

The mask is thick and can be applied with either fingers or a beauty spatula. I started off using my fingers and it spread nicely considering its texture. There was an immediate cooling sensation which felt quite nice. Would be awesome especially in Summer.

I focused the application on the pore affected areas (around my nose) and spread it outwards to my cheeks and the rest of my face. I usually leave it on for 15 minutes, until its completely dry, then I rinse it off with warm water. My skin is left feeling clean and refreshed. I use the mask for at least once a week.

My verdict

Rating:  3/5 (Liked it) 

I have almost used up the whole container (50g). A little goes a long way with this mask. I felt that even though my pores looked a bit smaller immediately after rinsing my face, this did not last. By the time I had finished my skin care routine, they looked their normal saggy size again. I have kept using it because I like how clean my face feels afterwards and it does feel like it is deep cleaning out crap from my skin. Once I’ve used it up, I will be looking to try other clay masks. The Neogen Canadian Clay Mask is hyped up so might try that next.

Final word

None of these products minimised my pores, only the clay mask did temporarily. There is no quick fix to pore minimising if any exists at all. I realise that many companies claim to do it (to rope you in) but after testing these products, I am a believer of just adopting a good skin care routine. I’ve only just started to incorporate aha/bha exfoliants into my k-beauty routine so might see how this has any affect on my pores. Will update if it does.

Has any of these products worked for you? Let me know in the comments 🙂

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