CNP Laboratory Propolis Energy Ampule Review

Sunday, August 14, 2016

I wanted to give an update on my lazy three-step skincare routine I've been adhering to lately. It's been cleanse, the CNP Laboratory Propolis Energy Ampule, and a sheet mask (which I often find crumpled up and dry at the foot of my bed in the mornings). I've been finding that although my routine has been quite abbreviated, my skin's been holding up well due to a combination between these products, and the fact that there's still a lot of heat and humidity around these parts.

So what is the CNP Laboratory Propolis Energy Ampule? And how's it singlehandedly standing up my routine right now? We'll get into that.


Disclosure: If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

Etude House 0.2 MM Air Therapy Sheet Mask Buying Guide | The Sheet Mask That's Sold Out in Korea Right Now

Saturday, August 6, 2016

I know I haven't been updating as often as I used to, but rest assured my face has been busy testing out the many flavors of the NEW Etude House 0.2 mm Air Therapy Sheet Masks. These are the brand's new flagship masks as they've eliminated (as tears roll down my face) their previous line called the I Need You masks.

But this is not a tragic tale. Even though the I Need You masks were fairly basic cotton masks that delivered their pretty good results for pretty good prices, they could stand for some improvement. Around 1-2 months ago, I stumbled upon some articles in the Korean press that seemed to imply that Etude House delivered on improving these masks with the new line I mentioned above. The articles stated that the masks had been selling out in stores [1][2], and when I logged onto Korean online global marketplace G-Market to pick up my own set, I was notified that the seller was experiencing significant delays in sourcing their inventory. So - I turned to my trusty Korean shopping service KoreanBuddy.com and Chris (and team?) were able to go in-store and pick up as many masks as was possible for me. I snagged 11 of the 15 available mask types.

So I'm going to quickly review the updated masks, and then go into a 'buying guide' of sorts which will list out the traits of each mask (by benefit) including the ingredients list, scent, etc.

Andale!




Disclosure: If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.


Three Korean Sunscreens Reviewed: Apieu, Earth's Recipe, Goodal

Saturday, July 30, 2016

To be honest, I myself prefer Japanese sunscreens over Korean ones, because of the fact that they have a more granular designation for each sunscreen's stated UVA protection. Japanese sunscreens can be labeled anywhere from PA+ to PA++++ (4 +'s) protection, while Korean sunscreens can only be labeled ranging from one to three +'s.

In case you missed it, there is a new regulation that passed the Korean FDA in 2016 that allows Korean cosmetics companies to label sunscreens up to PA++++ (4 +'s), but those sunscreens haven't hit the market yet, and so consumers are still clueless as to whether that 2015 SPF 50+ PA+++ is actually PA+++ or PA++++. (Rumor had it that some Korean sunscreens offered the higher level of ++++ protection, but were not able to label and market the products as such).

So why am I using and reviewing Korean sunscreens when I don't even prefer them?

Sunscreens from the Land of the Rising Sun are hard as hell to source in a timely manner, without the help of Amazon Prime. Whereas there are a handful of U.S.-based retailers that sell Korean sunscreens which they can get to you in all of 3 days (hallelujah), I haven't found a Japanese retailer that does the same.

In case you find yourself in the same predicament, or you actually like Korean sunscreens for some reason or another (they do oftentimes cost less than their Japanese counterparts due to shipping, product size, among other things), do read on as I have 3 Korean sunscreen reviews for you.

If you're strictly about that PA++++ and cosmetically elegant sunscreen life, read my review of multiple Japanese sunscreens here.


Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

K'yaaa Yam Cream in Snail Jars - Ladykin Affinitic Lifting Cream Review

This month in my Memebox brand ambassador package, was this Ladykin Affinitic Lifting Cream which a) is so cute my ovaries almost burst and b) almost impossible to review impartially simply because of the little plastic snail packaging I plan to turn into a little candy jar for my desk at work. I'll give it a go anyhow.

The Ladykin Affinitic Lifting Cream is marketed as an anti-wrinkle, skin elasticity-boosting, moisturizer that offers nutrients to the skin, namely the Dioscorea Japonica (Yam) Root Extract. Among the other featured ingredients are Adenosine, and apparently extract of Red Rose Wine, which actually sounds delicious, not gonna lie.

Ladykin is not a new brand to me in the sense that I've been eyeing their products for quite awhile. They have a heavy cream that was vetted by blogger Moira at 35th of May as being excellent for very dry skin, squeal-inducing lighter creams that come in snail packaging, and equally adorable watermelon, strawberry, and mango gel products that I learned of first at Beautibi.com but are now carried at Memebox.com* as well. I'd never really investigated the brand however. Looking at their official site (at Ladykin.co.kr) I find that I kind of like their brand philosophy which is centered around the beauty of women and making it fun to use cosmetics. I think the 'fun' aspect really shines through in how they present their products.

Exhibit A...


Disclosure: There are press samples and affiliate links in this post. All opinions are my own. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Press samples and affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.



Stuff That's Touched My Face This Month - July 2016 Paula's Choice, Timeless, Maricle

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Aka the truest blog title I've ever written. This is pretty much what this entire blog is about. :-)

This month I had the chance to try out two beauty workhorses, aka products that contain very many active ingredients in the Paula's Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster, and the Timeless 20% C E Ferulic Acid Serum, and I was contacted by miniBbeauty, a Korean beauty instagram account to give an honest review of a product by a Korean brand called Maricle. The product is the Maricle Marine Pure Collagen Whitening Essence.


Paula's Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster


Disclosure: There are press samples and affiliate links in this post. All opinions are my own. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Press samples and affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.



Tosowoong Essence Cushion SPF 50+ PA+++ #21 Light Beige Review

I'm squarely on team cushion when it comes to base products. I spend much time evangelizing how amazing it is to be able to build up coverage to your particular need with the light, moisturizing layers afforded by many cc cushions. I'd reckon you could potentially put on 100 layers and still look mostly human (if you've seen those 100 layers of makeup videos you'll know what I'm talking about).

By now I assume everyone knows what a cushion product is, but just in case, I'll review - they are compacts that contain instead of powder or a foundation cake, a foundation soaked sponge. With the compact comes an antibacterial bouncy applicator puff that you dip into the sponge, and pat onto the face.

Today I'm pretty delighted to have a cushion review for you. This Tosowoong Essence Cushion was sent to me by Cupidrop.com in shade 21, Light Beige.

There are 3 shades in the range: 21 Light Beige which corresponds to an NC15, 22 Pink Beige which may be an N20, and 1 Pink Tone-up, which is like a shimmery highlighter cushion.

So let's get into the review!

Tosowoong Essence Cushion SPF 50+ PA+++  #21 Light Beige Review


Disclosure: There are press samples and affiliate links in this post. All opinions are my own. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

Summer Finds: Tonymoly and Primera Watery Creams, a Cleansing Water

Friday, July 15, 2016

So right now, on my bedside table, I have a trio of products from my summer 2016 haul, stacked on top of one another, waiting for me to declare my official verdict on them. Which I will do, with much gusto, smacking my gavelin (read: empty skincare bottles) at the end of each paragraph. JK.

Each of these products today I could easily do a full, detailed long-form review on, only in the interest of time, I've consolidated everything into mini-reviews. So let's dive right in.

Tonymoly The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream

Primera Alpine Berry Watery Cream review,  Tonymoly The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream review,  Tonymoly The Chok Chok Green Tea Cleansing Water review



Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.


Dearpacker Jeju Camellia Flower Mask - Lifting and Nourishing Review

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Happy Saturday y'all. Just a quick reminder, it's the final hours to enter my summer mask giveaway, it's international so if you're interested in trying out some fun new masks all with a fruit, flora, and veggie theme, please go take a look!

One of the masks in the prize package will be these Jeju Camellia Flower Masks from newish brand Dearpacker. Dearpacker was a mid-tier brand launched either early this year or late last year by one of the big Korean beauty conglomerates called LG Health and Household. This is the company that owns SU:M37 and The Face Shop. Dearpacker's main focus is on masks, both wash-off and sheet mask varieties. I picked up a 20 pack of one of their Jeju floral sheet masks of which there are 4 varieties: the unfortunately named rapeseed flower, cherry blossom, camellia, and cactus.


Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

Daycell Esthenique Dark Sugar Cleansing Oil Review

Friday, July 8, 2016

The following review is on a cleansing oil that contains mineral oil, so if that's a dealbreaker for you I suggest you skip this post. I don't mind myself some mineral oil in cleansing oil form as I've used products like the Banila Co Clean It Zero's without getting any breakouts and found that products with mineral oil are often really darn effective.

With that today I want to talk about the Daycell Esthenique Dark Sugar Cleansing Oil. The draw of this product for me was a very positive and glowing review I came across on one of the many Korean beauty forums I frequent - the specific one I think was the one called Yeouya. After seeing the review I did a quick ingredients search on Hwahae and found that the few people who reviewed it on the app also had great experiences with it as well.



Review Roundup: TheSaem Fruits Punch Sleeping Packs, Missha Eyebrow Pencil, TheSaem Super Seed Sheet Masks

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hi all, I'm back with a review roundup of everything that's crossed my instagram over the past week or so. I do mini reviews on IG but, for anything where you might want to find an ingredients list or more photos and details, I find that I like to cover these types of items on the blog as well.


TheSAEM Fruits Punch Sleeping Packs


These adorable sleeping packs by the brand TheSAEM caught my eye because of their packaging (omg little juice boxes squee!) but when I pulled up their ingredients list on the HwaHae app and found out the ingredients looked quite impressive and appropriate for dry skin, I checked out with them so fast I probably gave them a little bout of whiplash. The packs come in Peach, Apple, and Banana, and as you may have guessed, they contain some peach, apple, and banana in each pack, respectively. The scents are bright and loud and pretty accurate, with the banana having a bit of an after-scent that is less pleasant than the others. The consistency of the packs themselves are a gel formula that gets watery after making contact with the skin. When first squeezed out, they look and feel a bit like the famed Mizon Snail Recovery Gel, so, a clear, cloudy gel. I have to say that I'm more happy with these products for the sensory experience, the visual and the scent are all quite amazing. In terms of results, these don't really do too much besides moisturize. They each come with 100ml of product in squeeze tube format for a pretty low price so I don't mind one bit.

Find them at Jolse $11.20eBay $14.09


PEACH INGREDIENTS 
Water, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Betaine, Trehalose, Honey Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Lilium Tigrinium Extract, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower Extract, Nelumbium Speciosum Flower Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Arginine, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Disodium EDTA, CI 15985, CI17200, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Fragrance

APPLE INGREDIENTS Water, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Betaine, Trehalose, Squalane, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Honey Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter Extract, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract, Coptis Japonica Extract, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Arginine, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Panthenol, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance

BANANA INGREDIENTS Water, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Trehalose, Betaine, Honey Extract, Shea Butter Extract, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Butylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Panthenol, Arginine, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, CI 19140, CI 15985, 1,2-Hexanediol, Fragrance

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

Summer Giveaway: 'Whole Foods' Sheet Masks

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hi everyone, I have a giveaway running on my Instagram from now until Saturday 7/9 11:59pm EST. This one is funded by me and is open internationally. For more details check out the actual instagram post below!


A photo posted by kinseng (@kinsengnsq) on

The TheSaem masks are really nicely moisturizing and nourishing cotton sheet masks and the Dearpackers are kind of a unique breed of mask - really great for someone who is in a bit of a sheet mask rut and perhaps looking for a slightly different experience as the fiber of that sheet mask is different.

Also, just some personal news. I don't think I've ever shared but I'd taken a break from work for a rather extended period of time, and have been searching and interviewing for full-time work for the past few months. I feel lucky and blessed to be able to say that last week I secured a full-time position. I'm super ecstatic but also a little sad that I will probably need to scale back my blogging efforts until I am successfully transitioned into my new role. Nevertheless, I will try to keep active on my instagram, so if you want to keep up with what I am using and chat back and forth, instagram is where you will find me: @kinsengnsq. This blog will still be updated every once in awhile if I find products that merit a full-on post.

With that toodles! Until next time. The winners of this giveaway will be notified via instagram.




Disclosure: There are press samples and affiliate links in this post. All opinions are my own. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.


Manyo Factory Active Refresh Herb Peeling Gel Review

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I'm pretty lazy about my exfoliating regime, when I pick a product I want it to have an impact. I have this perception that peeling gels are mostly 'exfoliating lite' and as such, they almost never make it to my shopping cart.

I'm going to talk about you guessed it, a peeling gel today that was sent to me by Memebox. I'm one of their brand ambassadors and get to try one or two of their new skincare products every month. Without them, I would never have owned a peeling gel to feature. Oh Memebox, you broaden my horizons, and I appreciate that. :-)




Disclosure: There are press samples and affiliate links in this post. All opinions are my own. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

Hada Labo Shirojyun Lotion Trial + My Ideal Toner

Saturday, June 25, 2016

I'm not so sure the internet needs another full-blown Hada Labo Shirojyun Lotion review, but I think I might microblog my experience with it. Ooh "microblog", I feel all Techcrunch-y calling it that.

But seriously, there are many full reviews of this essence/toner. Here's a link to an excellent one done by Holy Snails, and here is a link to a thread on reddit where many people discuss their experience with it. I'd just like to add one more data point for you in case you're considering this one.


Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

NEW 2016 IOPE Air Cushions

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Reports were out that the IOPE Air Cushion was renewed for 2016 back in April. There are four cushions in all:

     * IOPE Air Cushion Intense Cover

     * IOPE Air Cushion Natural Glow

     * IOPE Air Cushion Moisture Lasting

     * IOPE Air Cushion Matte Long Wear

I wanted to share the video below, which was created by the editors over at Powderroom.co.kr, a Korean beauty forum, because I thought it was interesting. It shows the texture of the new cushion, more details on what was updated, and tests it against other cushions in the market.


In the video above, the pain points of the original IOPE cushion are shown which include,

     * It's difficult to get product out of the cushion sponge at times, especially before work. (Traffic jams when you're already late...)

     * Excess product always wipes off on your hands, leaving marks on the skin.

Introducing the IOPE NEW Air Cushion.
The video above runs 4 tests between the renewed IOPE cushions and others on the market.

     *First we observe that the foundation sponge looks different. We don't see the normal porous sponge but rather, the surface of the sponge has a honeycomb-type pattern to it, with the 'pores' of the sponge in the circular comb area.

     * The new cushion retains moisture much longer. They stamp a piece of bread with the new IOPE cushion air puff, and compare it with another cushion after 20 minutes has passed. The IOPE cushion product stamped onto the piece of bread on the left stays on longer. The moisture on the surface of the bread with the new IOPE cushion retains 68% water and 30.6% oil, compared to the competition which retains 56.1% and 25.2%. IOPE WINS.

     * The applicator puff has been renewed and now soaks up less of the foundation. The old cushion sponge needed to be flipped over and over again to get foundation onto the puff, because it would run out of product quite quickly. In the test in the video, after 1 week of use, they cut the applicator puff into two pieces to reveal that the new IOPE Air Cushion puff soaked up more product on the inside, thus theoretically, the foundation would run out quicker. IOPE LOSES.

     * The new IOPE cushion is much slimmer, and the editors were able to fit 6 new IOPE cushion cases into their pouch, compared to 5 regular cushion compacts. IOPE WINS.

     * They do an application test by getting product with the IOPE air puff, and testing how many times they can stamp it on a clean piece of foam board and comparing the performance to that of another cushion. The competitor's cushion puff stamped only a few times, and each time, it stamped messily, and it was possible to see fingerprints on the board. The IOPE air puff stamped evenly over 20 times. IOPE WINS.

     * They test the adhesion of the cushions by leaning their faces onto their boyfriend's t-shirt. The competitor's base rubs off and transfers onto the tee, while the IOPE does not. IOPE WINS.

These are available at ShopatKorea for $39.42 each. Which one will you be trying?








Disclosure:  If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.


TonyMoly BCDation Cushion+ Review (02 Skin Beige)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I picked up the TonyMoly BCDation Cushion+ foundation after hearing rumors that it was one of the bestselling cushion foundations in 2015.

TonyMoly BCDation Cushion+ Review (02 Skin Beige)


Etude House and Aritaum Eyeliners & Aegyosal Makers Swatches

Monday, June 20, 2016


Hi everyone, just a quick swatch and review post today of the following 5 products:

* Etude House Drawing Show Brush Liner in Black
* Etude House Drawing Show Brush Liner in Brown
* Etude House Tear Eye Liner in shade 1 White Tear (for aegyosal)
* Aritaum Lovely Eyes Volumer Duo in 1 Love Some Pink (for aegyosal)
* Aritaum Lovely Eyes Volumer Duo in 2 Shine Beige (for aegyosal)

I ran out of all of my eyeliners and aegyosal makers (pronounced 'egg-yo-sall', meaning cute under eye area, which in makeup speak is just adding a little sparkle underneath the eyes, just below the waterline) at the same time, so I took the opportunity to pick up a few I had not tried and tested before.

All of these products I purchased through ibuybeauti, whose name I love because to say ibuybeauti is an understatement for me and I'm sure many of you as well.

ibuybeauti is a retailer based in Korea that carries both makeup and skincare, but mainly their selection of makeup is really great. I've never had any issues with ibuybeauti items going out of stock and having to chase down a refund at all. The only thing I have been disappointed in with their site is the fact that shipping seems to take forever and a day. I shipped these eyeliners through Registered Air Mail, the slowest and cheapest shipping option, and received them 19 business days later. It's agonizing at times but I rarely use the much faster EMS service, which is an available option with the site. They also have a rewards and points system for shopping their site, but I haven't amassed enough to do anything with mine, so I don't have much to say about it as of yet.
Top to Bottom: 1. Etude House Drawing Show Brush Liner in Black
2. Etude House "" in Brown
3. Etude House Tear Drop Liner 1
4. Aritaum Shine Lovely Eyes Volumer Duo in 1 Love Some Pink
5. Aritaum "" in 2 Shine Beige

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.


Shiseido Tsubaki Volume Touch Shampoo and Conditioner Review

Saturday, June 18, 2016

I've heard great things about Asian hair care products. Actually, I kept hearing about brands like Ryeo (Korea), Daeng Gi Meo Ri (Korea), and Shiseido Tsubaki (Japan) so much that they occupied a little cranny of my mind, until it came time to replace my existing shampoo and conditioner. I was roaming around the little Japanese market we have nearby, and it carried a few varieties of Shiseido Tsubaki products, so I decided to take the plunge for my proteinic plumage. Anyways, fun story.

In terms of my hair condition, I have a pretty oily scalp that accumulates buildup with ease, and my strands are on the drier side, since I don't really nurture it as thoroughly as I do my face with respect to skincare. Because the oil on my scalp sits at or near the root of my hair, I tend to not get a lot of volume near the roots (I may be making this up, but it sounds about right based on my experience), so I picked up the Shiseido Tsubaki Volume Touch set that comes with a shampoo and conditioner.


Shiseido Tsubaki Volume Touch Shampoo and Conditioner Review



Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

5 Summer Sheet Masks Reviewed

Friday, June 17, 2016

All the way through my teens and twenties, the advent of summer without fail meant lots and lots of tanning. There was this old wives tale that tanning helped heal acne, probably made up by the same evil mastermind that spread the 'using toothpaste to dry out zits' adage. And both wreaked havoc on my skin. Back then I thought that tanning helped my skin look and be more healthy, never making the connection that intentionally damaging my skin in this way would only lead to hyperpigmentation (sun spots), lots and lots of redness, depressed and raised spots (pock marks), and all sorts of problem skin for me.

Once upon a time: lovely pock marks and hyperpigmentation, reddened and tanned (read: damaged) skin

After getting turned onto learning more about skincare in my thirties, I learned that 80 - 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun [study 1][study 2] and the sun is responsible for much of the damage I had been witnessing. In light of all this, my summer habits have changed. During the day, you're more likely to see me donning all black, long-sleeve everything, inclusive of a sun hat, with a sunscreen bottle in hand, and at night you'll catch me living a 1 sheet mask per day lifestyle.

I noticed recently that the sheet masks that I favor during the summer are way different than the ones that I spring for in the winter. In the summer I always find myself reaching for masks with watery essences, made of all-natural, breathable fibers like cotton or thin silk. (I veer away from hydrogels since they can feel a bit suffocate-y due to their thickness), and with ingredients that either help to fight off and treat acne (more sun = more sweat = more clogs, for me anyway), or those with brightening power, which helps to repair the inevitable sun damage sustained during the warmer months. (The warm weather means I spend way more time outside than usual. I'm not suggesting that there are more UV rays in the warmer months. UV irradiation is year round.)

So over the past month, I've found 5 sheet masks I really enjoyed wearing in the heat that fit the bill. I have some mini reviews of each one, each discusses what makes the mask a great summer mask, and what makes it special, aka why you might want to opt for it, and any negative points about the mask.

VANEDO BEAUTY FRIENDS PEARL ESSENCE MASK ($)



Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

Innisfree Eco Beauty Tool Creamy Bubble Maker Review

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I considered leading with the title, "Pimp your Cleanser for under $2" but decided that was a throwback reference that would totally date me (2016 Xhibit keeps himself pretty much out of the public eye, more so than say a 2016 Missy Elliot), plus it's not as search-friendly as the title "Innisfree Eco Beauty Tool Creamy Bubble Maker Review" and I want many to climb on board the full-foam hype train.

WHAT'S A BUBBLE MAKER?

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I ascribe to the double cleansing method, which involves me dousing my face in an oil-based cleanser every night, and finishing up with a foaming face wash as a second cleanser. One of the factors that makes for a satisfying cleanse is making sure that I am able to work up a nice, soft, full-bodied foam to heap onto my face in order to make certain I've cleaned out every pore and crevice of pollution, makeup, and cleansing oil/balm residue.

Lately there has been an uptick of different facial cleansing tools out there, from soft-bristled pore brushes, electric pore brushes like the Clarisonic, and the Foreo Luna, foam makers that look like little butter churns that whip cleansing creams into frothy clouds (see below at left, picture c/o Memebox)...




...And the tool pictured above: the $2 wonder that is the bubble maker, also referred to as the foaming net at times.

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.


Glow Recipe $5 Referral Codes: First Come, First Serve

Friday, June 10, 2016

It's 5:00 on a Friday where I am and it's time to celebrate! It is also time for a few lucky readers to celebrate as well. I was inspired by Tracy of Fanserviced to rack up a little good karma and do a little K-beauty referral code dump.

The following 3 codes are $5 gift cards at GlowRecipe.com (U.S. Only). If you or someone you know have been planning to purchase anything from them and would like to use these codes, please have at it.

They are first come, first serve, and I'll update this post when they are no longer valid.

CODE 1: 1dff4704a9f8-cb56e744

CODE 2: 6f3ca4a19790-6c7b7s95

CODE 3: 6f3ca4a19790-5ab92ce5

Enjoy your weekend!




Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.


Rakuten Summer Promo: 500 JPY Discount Site-Wide

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know of a special 500 JPY site-wide discount at Rakuten Global Market available now until June 15th, 2016.

This discount comes at the perfect time as I'm sure loads of you will be stocking up on Japanese sunscreens for the summer. Click-through here to shop the store*,  and also, if you need some ideas see some of my reviews below for suggestions.

Atopita Moisture UV Cream SPF 50 PA++++
Mentholatum Sunplay Super Block SPF 130 PA++++
Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister Mascara
Other Japanese beauty products



There are affiliate links in this post marked with an asterisk. Shopping through these links help to support the blog at no additional cost to you. Please see my disclaimer for more about my policy on affiliate links, press samples, and sponsorships.

Get 500 JPY coupon with orders over 5,000 JPY



Are you planning to make use of this promo?
What is on your to-buy list?




Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.


May 2016 Surprising Beauty Products - For Better or Worse

Monday, June 6, 2016

Today I have a trio of products to review for you. Each of these surprised me in some way, some for the good: they outperformed my expectations and some, just could not live up to the bar I set for them.

I don't know about you but before trying out each beauty product my mind kind of places them in a little quadrant where x is the price or some sort of premium that I place on the brand name and/or ingredients list, and y is my likelihood to enjoy these products. Sorry for the nerdy little digression. But in any case, in the back of my head I pretty much already know what I expect out of most products I bring into my stash, which is why each of these products I'm going to review for you today were surprising to me.

May 2016 Surprising Beauty Products, Shiseido Senka Mineral Water UV SPF 50 PA+++ Sunscreen, Forever 21 Mega Lip Plumper, Forever 21 Lipstick Crayon Reviews

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.


2 Day Acne Turnaround Skincare Routine ft. Papa Recipe

Friday, June 3, 2016

Hi everyone, I thought I would share about the skincare I use to fight breakouts when they do happen. I've never really touched upon this topic on the blog before from a personal standpoint because it's a rare occasion - not a humblebrag - it's just that my primary skincare concern will always be balancing my skin's chronic lack of hydration and oils and, as it turns out, my skin is not that hospitable a place for bacteria propionibacterium acnes.

This routine should be helpful to others' whose primary skin concerns are usually not acne, but like me, are more focused around balancing the skin, whether it be through using primarily oil control products for those with oily skin, regular maintenance of normal skin, or moisturization for dry skin. I recommend these products for those who experience a flareup or two every once in awhile with a bout of MILD acne, things like clogged pores, closed comedones, and blackheads. This is not the routine for those dealing with cystic, hormonal and/or chronic acne. If you are dealing with any of these conditions, it's probably best to follow a dermatologist's advice, and not me, random internet person.

With that, I'll take you through my 2 day anti-acne routine that turns around my skin in no time!

THE DILEMMA OF THE WEEK

We're about halfway through 2016 (time flies doesn't it?) and I've kind of renewed my New Year's resolution of doing yoga at least 3 times a week only I managed to unwittingly amp it up a notch and signed up for an unlimited class pass at my local hot yoga studio. Well, recommitted newbie as I was, I totally forgot that wearing sunscreen or makeup into a 105 degree fahrenheit would definitely turn my normally acne-free face into clog city. My first class was Tuesday, and the following routine was performed on Wednesday and Thursday.

If you see the photos below, you'll see that my left cheek (your right) has some lovely little closed comedones sprouting all over it. By day 2, after this routine, the sprouts have shrunk, and by day 3 they were virtually gone.

Closed comedones = acne without a head and/or acne with a white head, also known as whiteheads :-)

Disclosure: Some of the products featured in the post are stocked at sister website HappySheet.org They are marked with an asterisk. 


PurpleTale Ode to Hydration Facial Cream Review

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

As excited as I get over discovering new Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese beauty brands, I know that there are way too many out there for me to try them all. That's why I am so pleased when a brand reaches out to me, making my decision-to-review process a bit simpler, granted I and the brand would have to see eye to eye on whether it would make sense for us to collaborate at all - based on many factors like whether they have any products that I and my readership might be interested in, similarity in how we might value the products in terms of price, etc. It's a rare occasion when the stars align in this way and I am able to bring to you a sponsored product review that I think will be extremely interesting to those of you with a similar skin type or taste as me. Anyway, with that, let's get into today's review.

Young-Ji, the brand owner of new Korean beauty brand PurpleTale reached out to me a few weeks, almost a month ago to see if I would be interested in trying any of their products.

PurpleTale is based in South Korea, and ships internationally within 5-15 days using UPS or FedEx for $18 to the U.S. Any customs/duties are the responsibility of the buyer. I find their website to be super simple and intuitive to use, and the most important part is that you have the option to make your transaction secure using PayPal.





Disclosure: There are press samples in this post. All opinions are my own. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

Get It Beauty 2016 Episode 16: Hair Care Recipes

Monday, May 30, 2016

Get It Beauty is a Korean beauty network television program shown on the OnStyle channel. It's hosted by (from left to right) actress/model Kim Jung Min, actress and former Miss Korea Honey Lee, and beauty editor Hwang Min Young. They are joined by special MC Luna of Kpop girl group F(x).

They used to release episodes with English subtitles, but stopped back in 2015, so every once in awhile, when I see a show with some useful beauty tips (including those from celebrities and their entourage of makeup artists), I like to translate them on the blog. Today's episode is all about hair and scalp care.



Beauty Editor Hwang Min Young tells the other hosts about how his hair is 'under the weather' because he's been dyeing it a lot and he's been stressed out over the appearance of some scalp blemishes. Everyone agrees that it's a concern, especially Luna who has to change her hair color and style for her appearances on music television shows in Korea. She laments that her hair never gets any time off. Members of the studio audience pipe in with their concerns: scalp blemishes and scabs, hair weakness due to heat styling. Honey Lee reassures them that this is the show for them as they'll learn hair and scalp care tips in this episode. The episode du jour is entitled "Hair Care Recipes."

Nooni Spring Water Seed Essence Toner, an Ideal Before Noon Boost of Hydration

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Spring Water Seed Essence Toner by Memebox's house brand nooni, is one of three products sent me for review from this line. I've been using this toner for about a month now, and have finally formulated an opinion about it so here goes nothing. Click to read the two other nooni reviews about the cleansing water here and ceramide cream here. :-)

I selected this product based on the ingredients list which boast carbonated water, olive oil, and green tea extract which I hoped with lead to a very moisturizing and oxidation and UV damage-preventing product. Second, this product is gargantuan, clocking in at 350ml, a full 200 ml more than most other toners and essences I've encountered in the Kbeauty world. (Bigger doesn't always mean better, but it surely is mildly satisfying to know that the product is such a great deal). Lastly, I was intrigued by the inclusion of quinoa extract in the ingredients list, something not stressed in their marketing message for the product.

So let's get right into it.



Disclosure: There are press samples and affiliate links in this post. All opinions are my own. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

Neogen Code9 Lemon Green Caviar and Tox Tightening Pack Kit Unboxing & First Impressions

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hi everyone, today I have a quick unboxing and first impressions of the Neogen Code9 Lemon Green Caviar Essence and Tox Tightening Pack Kit, sent by Memebox, through their Brand Ambassador program. This is my first time using a product from the Neogen brand so I am/was excited to see how it works out.

Neogen Dermalogy is actually kind of like Club Clio in the sense that it's a beauty conglomerate and houses multiple brands. So Neogen Dermalogy is the momma brand and there are 3 brands in all - Neogen Dermalogy, Code9, and RE:P. All three brands are certified cruelty-free as designated by the Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free standard that was launched earlier this year.

For awhile whenever I thought about Neogen, the images that came to mind were all-natural, fruits and antioxidant packed skincare that came in the simplest and chicest of packaging. But boy is this Code9 brand offshoot a departure from this image. You'll see why below.

According to Memebox...
This is a multifunctional solution essence infused with lemon extract, green caviar, multivitamins and 55 kinds of natural organic extracts that brightens, firms, hydrates, nourishes and tightens the skin in just a single use! This essence is paired with a 100% pure cotton gauze pad that has a cushion sheet and patterned pad that effectively detoxifies and exfoliates the skin. This advanced concept allows nutrients and active ingredients to be fully absorbed by the skin. With continuous usage, it transforms the skin into smoother and more youthful state.


Disclosure: There are press samples and affiliate links in this post. All opinions are my own. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.




Get It Beauty 2016 Episode 15: "Aging Backwards"

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Get It Beauty is a Korean beauty network television program shown on the OnStyle channel. It's hosted by (from left to right) actress/model Kim Jung Min, actress and former Miss Korea Honey Lee, and beauty editor Hwang Min Young. They are joined by special MC Luna of Kpop girl group F(x).

They used to release episodes with English subtitles, but stopped back in 2015, so every once in awhile, when I see a show with some useful skincare tips, I like to translate them on the blog. Today's episode is all about tips and tricks to make everyone think you're aging backwards.


The hosts try to guess what the three celebs pictured on the jumbotron screen have in common. 

The show starts by introducing 3 Korean celebrities (Song Joong Ki, Kim Tae Hee, and Kim Hee Ae); the hosts are asked to guess what they have in common. The commonality is that they are known to be 'babyfaces'. Host Honey Lee introduces the topic, stating that people may be born babyfaces, but it's possible for anyone to rewind the clock by using the tips presented on today's show, the "Her Time is Flowing Backwards" special. This episode is all about cultivating beauty and skincare habits that will have everyone guessing your age.

Cherry Blossom Makeup Look & Aritaum Product Reviews

Monday, May 23, 2016

One look I've been seeing trending on Korean beauty Youtube channels has been this bright pink and cherry red look, often dubbed the "Cherry Blossom" makeup look/tutorial. The look brings the focus onto the cheek and lips as it features heavy handed pink blush and a glossy red (often gradient) lip. I recently noticed that two of the makeup products I purchased not long ago are actually great building blocks for this particular look, so I thought I'd give them a quick review, along with a FOTD of what the cherry blossom look I'm referring to above looks like.

The two products I picked up (pictured below) are the...

Aritaum Sugarball Velvet Blusher in 04 Peach Crush
Aritaum Water Sliding Tint in 06 Wild Strawberry

aritaum sugarball velvet blusher and aritaum water sliding tint review cherry blossom korean beauty look

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

Nooni Root Therapy Cleansing Water Review, Gettin' Fizzy With It

Saturday, May 21, 2016

I received the Nooni Root Therapy Cleansing Water from Memebox through its brand ambassador program and will be reviewing it for you today. But long story short, I had a very YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary, or less than stellar) experience with this product, so I will be brief with this review.

Nooni is Memebox's own in-house skincare brand that launched towards the end of 2015. They first came out with an oil-based cleansing balm and now have added this cleansing water, a toner, a cream, and various other types of skincare to their lineup. 

This particular cleansing water is fortified with the essence of various plant roots and carbonated water sourced from CheongJu, South Korea, and it is meant to remove makeup as a first cleanser. It can also be used to remove oil cleanser residue, so as a second cleanser. The featured roots are lotus (high in antioxidants), fig (actually not that great of a skincare ingredient, it is a potential irritant), and beet root (another antioxidant). I'm uncertain of the benefits of carbonated water to the skin, but when you shake the bottle up, it's fun to see it fizz and bubble over.


Disclosure: There are press samples and affiliate links in this post. All opinions are my own. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

Get It Beauty 2016 Episode 12 - Sun Care and UV Defense

Friday, May 20, 2016

Get It Beauty is a Korean beauty network television program shown on the OnStyle channel. It's hosted by (from left to right) actress/model Kim Jung Min, actress and former Miss Korea Honey Lee, and beauty editor Hwang Min Young. They are joined by special MC Lizzy of Kpop group Orange Caramel and After School.

They used to release episodes with English subtitles, but stopped back in 2015, so every once in awhile, when I see a show with some useful skincare tips, I like to translate them on the blog. Today's episode is all about how to fight the aging and imperfections brought on by UV radiation. This is the sunscreen and sun care episode.

Honey Lee says 'you may have been born with great skin, but there's no such thing as having been born with strong skin'. She'll coat you with UV protection through the advice given in today's episode.

Lizzy of After School and Orange Caramel

[Memebox] Nooni Advanced Repair Therapy Cream Review

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Hi all, it's been a while since my last full-size skincare product review. I like to rotate products into my skincare routine every 2 - 4 weeks to make sure that I can pinpoint whether or not a particular product is giving me great results, hence the delay. But today I'll be reviewing the nooni Advanced Repair Therapy Super Revitalizing Cream sent to me by the lovely Memebox team.



Disclosure: There are press samples and affiliate links in this post. All opinions are my own. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

Mamonde Vivid Touch Moisture Lipstick in 08 Orange Flower Review

Monday, May 16, 2016

Warm weather is almost upon us once again and with it the promise of many joyous occasions like weddings, barbecues, picnics and more. Face it, there will be many occasions to wear a bright spring/summery lipstick to brighten your mood and your makeup look. In my last Aritaum haul I picked up a lipstick to help me get into a spring/summery mood and it is this Mamonde Vivid Touch Moisture Lipstick in 08 Orange Flower. I haven't seen much information on these lipsticks online yet so I thought what the hey why not give the internet that rare beast, the k-beauty makeup review.


Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate link is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.

Aritaum Salon Esthe Bio Cellulose Masks in Moisturizing Hyaluronic Acid and Brightening Pearl Reviews

Friday, May 13, 2016

I'm going to review the final two masks from my Aritaum mini haul for you today. These are the Aritaum Salon Esthe Bio Cellulose Masks in Moisturizing Hyaluronic Acid and Brightening Pearl. They ended up in my basket because it was a) the only sheet masks at the store were from Salon Esthe or Mamonde, the latter of which has mixed reviews and mostly b) these are neeeew and I always manage to convince myself that the English-speaking internet neeeeeds more reviews of new K-beauty products. So yes, for those of you who are still interested, let's just get right into the short reviews for today.

Aritaum is a brand that's under the Amore Pacific umbrella of brands and they carry mostly makeup items, however, earlier this year they launched a brand under the Aritaum name called Salon Esthe, and it features mostly skincare items - namely different types of sheet masks and wash-off mask packs. In terms of the Bio Cellulose masks, there are 4 kinds - Moisturizing Hyaluronic Acid, Brightening Pearl, Lifting Collagen, and Soothing Teatree.

Biocellulose masks are the fourth generation of sheet masks, which have evolved from paper, to cotton, to hydrogel, to biocellulose. One of the reasons why biocellulose is supposed to be technologically superior to the prior types of masks is because of the way the fibers are cultivated and manufactured - they're supposed to be antibacterial, so great for those whose skin is sensitive or acne-prone. In terms of feel as Tracy of fanserviced coined this term, they feel like face condoms. Or to be more accurate, they feel like a thin, clingy film not unlike the Leaders Cosmetics Coconut Gel Masks, which you've seen me review here before on the blog and may have tried yourselves before, as they are quite popular.

Salon Esthe Bio Cellulose Moisturizing Hyaluronic Acid Mask

These masks come in silver foil packets and have the name and a design printed on the front along with the type of mask it is - each mask design is the same except for the color of the design. The foil makes it feel all future-y.



Get It Beauty 2016 Episode 11: The Beauty Layering Episode

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Get It Beauty is a Korean beauty network television program shown on the OnStyle channel. It's hosted by (from left to right) actress/model Kim Jung Min, actress and former Miss Korea Honey Lee, special guest emcee Luna from Korean pop girl group F(X), and beauty editor Hwang Min Young.

They used to release episodes with English subtitles, but stopped back in 2015, so every once in awhile, when I see a show with some useful skincare tips, I like to translate them on the blog. So without further ado, today's episode is called the Beauty Layering Episode and it's all about mixing and matching products.



Goodal Calming Wash-Off Pack with Rose Review

When my skin is a flaky mess, as it has been over the past week or so (tretinoin and potentially a little overexfoliation), I tend to avoid using wash-off packs - you couldn't get me to go near one with a 10 foot pole~ There is however only one mask I'd make an exception for in this particular circumstance, and that is the Goodal Calming Wash-Off Pack with rose.

This mask is one of the most gentle, hydrating, and skin-balancing wash-off packs I've ever had the pleasure of using and a great one to have in stock if you're a fellow dry skinned lady (or gent). So you've probably already guessed, today is a very favorable review of this particular face mask.

Source: Club Clio USA

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post. Purchasing through an affiliate lin is one way you can choose to support this blog at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk. If you're curious about my policy on press samples, affiliate links, and sponsors, please see my disclaimer and policies.