First things first, a little apology is in order. I'd teased some upcoming reviews and posts, and today was supposed to be a review of my current cleansers. But see, I have this little illness where I turn any activity I'm enjoying (like blogging) into a fun-sucking chore or rigid job-like situation. One of the ways I KNOW I'm prone to doing this is by committing myself to an arbitrary schedule. It always sounds awesome at the time, but seriously there's no better way to demotivate myself than giving myself homework like that. The reviews are going to happen, and probably soon, but they'll probably go up more sporadically, and possibly in a different order than originally promised. I hope you don't mind too much. Sorry to flake like a pesky dry patch of skin.
I was inspired to do today's post by a comment left by fellow skincare blogger and adorable ursidaen SamtheBear! The cub was looking into anti-aging recommendations for her momma bear, so I asked momma nsq if she would give me permission to post her stash, and sheeee saaaaid YES!
I'm a total skincare voyeur, and enjoy peeping others' stashes. I know some of you out there must be too. I hope you enjoy!
Introducing Momma NSQ
Momma nsq is a passionate Pisces whose devotion is applied to her family, her Christianity and her life's work at Y.S. Health, a health and wellness company that does health supplements, beauty foods, and a small line of beauty products. These may be her virtues, but lucky for me, skincare is one of her vices. She'd probably never admit it, but judging from her mighty stash, she's a total skincare hypebeast. I'm kind of guessing that even though I never really gaf about skincare until recently, it was only a matter of time before I turned into my mom.
If you're curious about her skin profile, she's fair-skinned at about a MAC NC10-15. She's also pretty normal and balanced everywhere. As a mother of a 30 year old, it'd be fair to call her skin type "mature", but she has hardly any sun damage, because (unlike me) she was in the know and avoided the sun almost her whole life. She's also really sensitive to any floral and fruity fragrance, though she doesn't seem to mind herbal ones. (Probably because they smell like food.)
Here is her #ITGTopShelfie (a recurring feature on popular online beauty pub - Into the Gloss).
|Not even half her stash!|
Lunese Nano Cyclic Ultimate Cleanser with Nanotechnology, $20 on eBay
Mom doesn't double-cleanse, but rather uses a makeup remover and follows up with this soap which is intended for people with normal to oily skin. I remember when I was a pimply-faced teenager, this is the product she had me try. Don't really remember the results, but she's stuck with this soap through the years. It's made of 99.99% purified nano silver particles which are supposed to combat acne since they are antibacterial. Chitosan, a polysaccharide sourced from shellfish, is also known to have antibacterial properties. Some other notable ingredients are silica, which is great for oil absorption, and sericin which is a constituent of venom ingredients. It's also got some antioxidant firepower with vitamins a, e, and d.
Wash Off Mask
Sulwhasoo White Ginseng Brightening Mask, $79.48 on Amazon
This is a peeling gel mask that you leave on the skin, and wash-off for some gentle exfoliation. It's infused with ginseng, honey, and beta-glucan, one of the newer, shiny ingredients I'm looking to bring into my own routine for its skin immune system-boosting powers. A full list of ingredients is available at CosDNA.
Sulwhasoo Cho Hyang Terminal Solution, $24.05 on Qoo10
This is a lightweight watery essence that contains Chinese herbal medicine that is expected to help you relax. Unfortunately I couldn't find the ingredients list for this product. It wasn't listed on the back of the product as it's a deluxe sample.
Amore Pacific Time Response Skin Renewal Fluid, $180 at Nordstrom
This emulsion is "waterless", a draw for those who are looking for products without "filler" or "empty" ingredients. This just means that the main solvent in the product is not water, but rather some sort of botanical extract - in this case, it is water extracted from Camellia Sinensis, which is a fragrant flower. The claims on this product are that it stimulates collagen production, re-balances melanin regulation, and revives the skin's hydration process. On first pass through the ingredients list, I don't see anything that directly supports the first two claims, save for some antioxidants that can indirectly impact skin elasticity and brightening. (They fight free radical damage which are the triggers for melanin overproduction and damage to skin's lipid makeup). As a moisturizer, it's pretty decent, despite the alcohol in the formula, though it may not be enough for dry skin ladies on its own. Obviously I've dipped into this (and some other products) before. :D Could you blame me? Full ingredients at CosDNA. Also, daym, that price tag though. I'm going to stop feeling bad about my skincare spending habits from now on.
Renove Veetox Bee Venom Mask (Sleeping Pack), $75 at Y.S. Health
This sleeping mask contains both bee venom and New Zealand-sourced manuka honey for a boost of moisture and some wrinkle smoothing effects overnight. The consistency is not too rich, and not too thin.
Sooryehan Soo Massage Cream, $27.53 at Koreadepart
It's a hanbang (Korean traditional herbal medicine) cream! No ingredients list was available for this one too. So this remains a mystery.
Sooryehan Hyo Fermented Eye Cream, $56.87 at Koreadepart
These hanbang products like to remain annoyingly obscure and mysterious. I couldn't find the ingredients list for this either, but this is comprised of fermented oriental medicinal ingredients.
O Hui The First Cell Revolution Eye Cream, $244.16 at Koreadepart
Just when I thought her stash couldn't get more extravagant, I stumbled upon this deluxe sample of the O Hui The First Cell Revolution Eye Cream. Whooooweee... Anyways, this eye cream's anti-aging claims are based around human growth factor EGF, Human Stem Cell Protein (rHSCP), and peptides. All are lauded as anti-aging breakthroughs, but I've yet to see a really robust body of research supporting these claims. Ingredients list via CosDNA.
Amore Pacific Time Response Eye Renewal Creme, $260 at Nordstrom
I'm just going to stop talking/reacting to these price tags now. To be fair, the Amore Pacific Time Response line is the one line she's been loyal to for awhile now, and they do tend to have a lot of gifts with purchase. Again like the emulsion mentioned above, this product is mostly about botanical extracts and antioxidants. Full ingredients at CosDNA.
Renove Royal Perfect BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30 / PA++, $48 at Y. S. Health
This bb cream is done by Y.S. Health, her place of work and it features royal jelly. I used to use this as well. The formula is hands down the creamiest and most emollient I've ever tried.
Amore Pacific Perfection Bloom Natural Finish Foundation SPF 20 / PA++ in 102C, 90 KRW as per Beautiful Buns' review
Amore Pacific CC Cushion SPF 50+ in 104 Tan Blush, $60 at Sephora
This is a brilliant cushion that brings a natural, radiant finish to the skin with medium-coverage. Actually my mom was the inspo for me going out and getting some myself. I've done a full review before on the blog here.
Every Tiger Mother has got some Tiger Balm, $13.78 haha. It's an all-around fixer for any aches and pains you may be having, though I think it may be mostly a placebo effect. There's this cooling menthol sensation that makes you feel like it's working. It's kind of like the Asian Windex.
|source: "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"|
Isa Knox Te'rvina Hydrating Softener, $49.96 from Koreadepart
There have been recent discussions around the difference between the products and brands that Koreans actually use, versus the ones that we use in foreign markets. It's difficult to reconcile this discrepancy, because lines/products that actually get used in Korea tend to spread through word of mouth, and it's almost impossible to find full ingredients lists, much less reviews written in English. This is one of those instances. I have noticed my mother being loyal to the ISA KNOX brand over the years. Next time she restocks, I'll make sure to grab the box and any informational inserts to perform some ingredients intell for y'all.
Lunese Cyclic rejuvenator serum, $89 at Lunese
Lunese is not Korean. It's actually an indie online-only (I think) brand. I have to say, this ingredients list... is short, snappy, and pretty droolworthy. Ingredients: Sodium Hyaluronate (moisture), Water, 1,2 Hexanediol (and) Caprylyl Glycol, Royal Jelly (moisture), Collagen (moisture), Panthenol (moisture), Alpha Bisabolol, Polysorbate 20, Chitosan (antibac), Ceresin
Guerisson 9 Complex Horse Oil Cream, $20 at Memebox
The only product that brings the ick factor. Have you noticed her routine lacks snails? This is a citrus/herbal scented cream that's based on horse oil. I have one in my stash as well, and recently did a full review here.
La Prairie Switzerland Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Lift Cream, $325 at Saks
This is a sample size obviously. I'm guessing it was a gift with purchase. It's a caviar, algae extract and vitamin E-based eye cream. All great ingredients, but an easy-to-functionally-dupe formula.
Licht Multi Stage Pact - 21 "화사한" or Swanky Beige SPF 30/PA++
I couldn't find much information on this brand and product. It is Korean though.
It's just a regular mattifying powder with some pigment for those of you lucky enough to have normal - oily skin.
This is a sample, though I swear I've seen a full-size in her stash before, maybe years ago. Again, I'm guessing it was a gift with purchase. Anyways, this is the original and most famous "marine complex" skincare product, hence its cult status and high price point. The ingredients list leads off with Seaweed, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, and Glycerin. I'm kind of (not not sexually) attracted to this as someone with really dry skin. Full ingredients list here.
Whoooo let freedom reign with my skincare spending from now on. I've somehow unwittingly stumbled upon my own greatest personal enabler. Do you know how many CosRX products I could get for this oil? I could also fill up a pool and drown myself in Garden of Wisdom oils. This is pure, unadulterated 100% green tea seed oil. It's high in antioxidants, namely polyphenols, but there are other more potent antiox's out there.
This CC cushion is a glowy cushion compact that color matches an NC10-15. Word to the wise, avoid if Niacinamide makes you break out. BUT absent from the list is stearic acid, simple alcohol, and fatty alcohols. So what's your radian (angle) here? This looks like a really great cushion for the acne-prone, save those with Niacinamide sensitivities!
ISA KNOX Turning Point Serum
I'm not sure this is available to foreign Kbeauty fans. I couldn't find it for sale anyway. Lucky for me, as I'm starting to get winded writing this post. Damn, momma.
Elizabeth Arden Prevage Anti-Aging Treatment, $162 at Elizabeth Arden
This treatment bases its anti-aging claims around one of the (not THE) most powerful antioxidants around, Idebenone. It's a bit of a cult product for those with mature skin. This is also a mainstay of my mother's routine through the ages. It's also got Thiotaine, another powerful antioxidant that's been getting some press in the dermatology rags lately. Ingredients here.
Ampoules / Cream Value Set
Charmzone Skin Town Gold Cream and Gold Ampoule Set
Charmzone is a classic Korean beauty brand that enjoys a lot of popularity in Korea. These little jewels feature gold and arbutin. Gold isn't really looked at as an excellent skincare ingredient from an anti-aging viewpoint, but recently has been shown to have UV absorption properties and may become more prominently featured in sunscreens from prestige brands. This is also a whitening/brightening product with a measure of arbutin in it. I wish these traditional Kbeauty brands would work with me here. I couldn't find an ingredients list even in the product insert. The packaging though, it just makes you FEEL things.
Crusty Old Nail Polish Because She's Human
It's from O.P.I.
Clio Professional Clio Powder Compact in Sweet Pink
This is also something that may have been discontinued recently as (a) it's almost empty and (b) I don't see it listed on any storefronts or on the official Clio website.
Olay Anti-Aging Eye Roller, $19.99 at Drugstore.com
Have you noticed a trend in my mom's routine? She sure has a ton of eye creams and eye products. It's what inspired me to pick up an eye cream of my own. This one is mostly just a moisturizer, but also has some Vitamin C in the form of Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate. Ingredients available here.
Missha M BB Boomer, $15 at MisshaUS
This I remember. We picked this up at an Aritaum shop in Seoul last year. It's quite good. I've used it myself. It's got a semi-matte finish and isn't too thick. Ingredients are also listed at MisshaUS link I listed above.
Missha Signature BB Cake in 23, $30 at MisshaUS
This is a really convenient way to carry your bb cream with you on the go. It's got the convenience of a cushion compact, and the coverage of a BB cream. The color 23 matches an N15-20. It's a bit on the cooler side so those with pinker tones may enjoy it. The ingredients are listed at the MisshaUS storefront.
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream for Dry, Sensitive Skin $10.99 at Drugstore.com
Cetaphil is one of those brands that get all the hype because it's dermatologist-recommended. It's a favorite of skincare addicts everywhere. It's a really no-frills face lotion besides the little injection of vitamin E at the very end of the ingredients list. Ingredients are here.
Color Cosmetics / Other Makeup
The mainstays in her makeup bag are the Lancome Hypnose mascara, the Clinique High Impact mascaras. Her eyeshadows are almost always been Lacvert (popular but old-fashioned Korean brand). I've seen these in her bag for the past 20 years. Her lipsticks hail from all over the place, but I think I've seen Laneige in her bag the most often.
So in conclusion, thanks again to SamtheBear for the inspo (if you read this). It really brought me back to the days when back in junior high, I'd creep on her stash and emerge smelling like herbs and with bright blue panda eyes, from liberally sweeping on / applying eyeshadow colors that were en vogue at the time. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!
If you couldn't get enough, let me know and perhaps I could do a follow-up, like an interview with my mom. If you have any questions you'd like for me to ask, comment down below!
Also, please don't feel bad if you can't or won't invest the same amount of money on skincare. There are plenty of value products to be found that are just as effective. And remember, skincare is a pet hobby for both my mother and myself. Because we spend on skincare, we are skimping elsewhere.
And lastly, we're not fighting aging tooth and nail. It's an inevitable part of a life well-lived. And wrinkles are a sign of a life well-emoted! So these products and efforts are really more to nourish and protect the state of our skin to the best of our ability.
Have you ever raided your mom's stash? What did you find? If you haven't, what do you think you'd find?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Also, the Y.S. Health products were received by my mom free of charge as she works for the company. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, see my disclaimer and policies.