#58 - Skin Edit - The Truth behind "Effortless"

So it's been too long since my last post - I honestly didn't know how long it's been since I was able to really sit down and write something. Day job is absolutely manic - so much that I no longer have energy nor time to mask everyday and you know how much I love my masking! I have still been posting weekly on instagram on products I like/mini reviews if you follow me.

This has been on my mind for a while and it's something that really resonates with the ethos/name of my blog - I Just Want Good Skin. I want to talk about the truth behind those "effortless" looks, specifically the products behind them.

I will start off by saying that no products guarantee success and the basis of good skin lies with good routines and good habits. Why I call this the "truth" is because I felt that this whole effortless thing is really effort-less, i.e. you don't need to put in effort in it. Wow, was I so wrong and you probably already know this but "effortless" isn't truly effort-less, but rather is the appearance of not needing to put an effort in it - that you are naturally beautiful.

The older I get, the more I see that the truth to looking effortless, facially, is good skin.

Good skin allowed me to look effortless because no only did I have to exert less effort in concealing, it's also made my products look like they work more efficiently than they really are (e.g. foundation).

So what am I trying to say?

It takes a lot of effort to look effortless.

Everyone's routine looks different - let's look at how many products it takes for me to look effortless in the mornings

But first, let's define "effortless" - everyone perceives this differently so for me, it's just an everyday look that takes me less than 15 minutes to put on (doesn't mean it doesn't require effort though).

Daylight only, no filter. As you can see, I'm actually not amazing at applying makeup and often skip the lips because it'll just end up coming off anyway within 2 hours!

Daylight only, no filter. As you can see, I'm actually not amazing at applying makeup and often skip the lips because it'll just end up coming off anyway within 2 hours!

 

Evenings

I start off with evenings because I believe in a solid evening routine. One that you can spend most your time on, the one where you not only wash away the day, but also get ready for the next

So let's count - going with the most basic evening (without masking)

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  1. First step cleansing: Mamonde Petal Spa Cleansing balm
  2. Second step cleansing: Heimish All Clean White Foam Face wash
  3. Exfoliant: Skinfood Pineapple Peeling Gel
  4. Toner: Benton BHA Toner
  5. Serum #1: Purito Centella Green Level Buffet Serum
  6. Serum #2: Tosowoong Sparkle Ampoule
  7. Eye cream: Purito Centella Green Level Eye Cream
  8. Face cream: Huxley More than Fresh cream

Number of products (typically): 8 (add a few more when masking/fuller routine)

The next day

My morning routines are really simple because I like to maximise sleep and minimise the time it takes to get ready before I step out the door

  1. Micellar water: Orlane
  2. Toner: Whamisa Original Organic Flower Toner
  3. Eye cream: Purito Centella Green Level Eye Cream
  4. Sunscreen: La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Comfort sunscreen

Number of products: 4

 

Make-up

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  1. Eyeliner: MUA black pencil liner
  2. Eyeshadow: The Body Shop shimmer cubes
  3. Eyeliner: Rimmel Scandaleyes micro eyeliner
  4. Foundation: The Ordinary Serum Foundation
  5. Highlighter: Manna Kadar Glo Illuminator
  6. Eyebrow pencil: NYX precision brow pencil
  7. Eyebrow gel: GOSH brow sculpting brow gel
  8. Mascara: Maybelline push drama mascara 
  9. Light blush/highlighter: Essence Light Up Your Face Luminizer Palette
  10. Light contour: Essence Light Up Your Face Luminizer Palette
  11. Fixing spray: Saat Insight Eleganz Fixer

Number of products: 11

Total number of products: 22 (2 repeated)

22 products in total it takes me to achieve this. Without the evening and morning routine my skin wouldn't be in a good condition, which means nothing, and I repeat, nothing, will stick as well on my face as it does currently, especially the base. I'm also not actually particularly good at makeup either - I understand the theory but in practice is a different thing, so I minimise my routine to something highly manageable in the mornings (and occasionally I still get it wrong!)

Obviously it's not just products, it's time spent on figuring out what works for the skin, maintaining it and having to keep listening to it and feeding it what it needs, and time spent working out what look works best for your face. Everyone is different and I am definitely intrigued to learn and experiment with even more minimal looks.

(The wing liner took me months to master though and even now I get what I call "bad liner days" so I'm not so sure I'm ready to give it up yet.)

Ultimately, my point is, that on one wakes up looking fully polished even if they look like it, and you shouldn't expect yourself to. I say this time and time over again - the skin you work on today is the skin you'll get tomorrow (I should come up with a better catch phrase!).

What do you do to achieve effortless? What products do you use? What does effortless mean to you?

#56 - Skin Edit - Goodal Waterest Vital Sleeping Pack [EMPTIED]

I am so pleased to say that I have finally used this sleeping mask up!! I absolutely adore this product but it has taken me ages to finish it. If I wasn't experimenting with different sleeping mask (or have bought a v expensive one a.k.a Glow Recipe Watermelon sleeping mask), I would be repurchasing this.

I got this ages ago through SaSa for a cheap price because they tend to go nuts on some products and cut the prices heavily, and then when you go back the next week it's at full price. Clever, get you in, you love it, never get to pay the heavily discount price again!

So, because I bought it so long ago, I don't even know if it's still available. That is a question to ask Goodal! YesStyle has listed this item as no longer available and it's unavailable on Amazon US, and I can't see it listed on Amazon UK. If anyone knows, give me a heads up! I think I've seen it on club clio and memebox but not sure if they ship to UK as I've never purchased from them.

Without further ado, here's a mini review!

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 I have used Goodal's eye makeup remover before and compounded with this product, I really do love this brand. I bought this before I was aware of ingredients and fermentation and all that good stuff for the face, not to mention I wasn't sure where to incorporate this in my routine. I have covered this before very early on in my blog - this goes at the very end of my routine to lock everything in.

Ingredients

I have lost the box for this so have had to look it up. This contains silicone, glycerin, lemon fruit extract, sage leaf extracts, wintergreen leaf extracts, pumpkin ferment extract, root/seed extract, more flower and leaf extracts, bud extracts, more ferment filtrates...etc. The whole line is ferment beauty and this would be no exception.

Claims

This is an overnight mask that stars the "double-fermented lotus flower extract", delivering moisture to skin twice as fast and locks it in. There is also pumpkin extract and AHAs that exfoliates the skin through the night, and Sage leaf extract soothes and calms the skin. as such, you wake up to a "more youthful, elastic, and glowing skin". 

Efficacy

Not gonna lie, I wasn't a huge fan of this product, but only because I didn't know how to use it (it's not you, it's me). Once I've figured out where it should go and how much to apply (not a thick layer and more like a cream), this has been an amazing product to use for my skin.

I managed to scrape the last bits of the tub to show you the consistency. So as you can see, it's a thin, gel-like product, but doesn't get absorbed like gel moisturisers (gel products tend to be absorbed into my dehydrated skin very easily so I struggle with them as I often need more than 1 layer!). However, this stays on the skin like cling film. You'll see the shiny part to my hand (right side of the back of my hand, also, spot my wrinkles I've had since I was a child). It needs to be massaged in a little for the skin to absorb it.

This will practically stay on your face overnight. It does leave a little of a sticky feeling on the face though and if you find this uncomfortable, trying less of this product. With this, less is more and you can always reapply on top if needed.

Verdict: 4.5/5

I think apart from the price, this is a great sleeping pack to use. I find it easy to forget it sometimes though just because of where I place it, but have had made conscious efforts of using this. This has helped me a lot in maintaining hydration in my face - just to be clear, your skin will probably still dry throughout the night, mine certainly does, but this has slowed down the drying for me.

You will also need to remove this mask the next morning and easily done so via a morning cleanse if you do one, or if you're lazy like me, micellar water.

This is not the first sleeping mask I've used, but it's a mask that brought me back to using sleeping masks. It goes on nice and smooth, cooling (great for summer), a little sticky but I can tolerate and your skin will absorb it through the night anyway, and you wake up not feeling that your skin is completely stripped of moisture (mine does when I don't use a sleeping mask or a thick moisturiser!)

If you're looking for a high performing, lightweight, fermented product, comfortable to wear through the night, this is definitely for you!

Have you used this and what do you think?

 

Related:

  1. Dehydrated skin, pt. 2
  2. Lightweight moisturiser
  3. Dr G Aquasis Toner and Gel Cream

 

#43 - Skin Edit - AM routine for Busy/Lazy People

Let's just be clear, I am both. Because I'm lazy, therefore I am busy... I prefer to maximize my sleep in the morning (I get up at 6.30AM for my day job and out the door at 7.15AM), I only realistically have 30 minutes to get ready. Which means unlike a lot of other bloggers, I don't go through the whole cleansing and multiple serums and essences and etc. before I put make up on (and by the way, your skin needs a little time for skincare products to sink in first before you apply make up or chances of your makeup sliding is pretty high. Personal experience....)

My day to day AM routine from when I wake up to out the door consists of: 1) getting up; 2) brushing teeth; 3) AM skincare; 4) changing clothes; 5) daily makeup; 6) straightening hair. So really, I only have 5 minutes for each task if I want everything done in 30 minutes, and thus keep my morning skincare really simple, yet effective.

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Unlike many, I don't use a face wash in the morning, nor do I layer serums on my face (occasionally I will use hyaluronic acid, but that is about it) because:

  1. washing in the morning tends to strip my face of natural oils and moisture that I prefer to stay there for the time being. This may not apply for you but because of how my skin is, I tend to be careful about over-cleansing my face.
  2. layering on multiple serums makes it difficult for my skin to have makeup applied and to be absorbed; I have previously had issues with my makeup pilling as well because of the different textures and ingredients that didn't mesh with my foundation, and other products didn't go on as well as they should.
  3. I have no time.

Therefore, my AM routine only consists of the following:

  1. Cleansing: Micellar Water/cleansing water
    Whilst I am not a fan of micellar water for the purpose of evening cleansing/makeup removing, I do like using it for morning cleansing to get rid of all the dust and dirt and any excess oil on my face throughout the night. This is super quick and easy and does the job well (for me anyway)

    I am using: Uriage Thermal Micellar Water - found this at TK Maxx and enjoying it. Contrary to the trend, I detest the Garnier micellar water and only use it because it comes in a small bottle which I can bring to the gym. Once that's finished, I am replacing all that stuff with other cleansing water...! Just cannot get along with it. And Bioderma hasn't worked for me previously.
     
  2. Toning: Toner
    After cleansing, always put moisture back on my face and again, quick and easy. If your skin feels a bit dry - mine does with the cold weather - I will use 3 layers of toner to rehydrate my skin without layering on a lot of products. My skin usually bounces back to being hydrated and soft

    I am using: PyunKang Yul Essence Toner. I really want to love this like everyone else does, but I'm 2 minds about this. This has been okay, but it hasn't been amazing like the world raves. I do like it, especially when the texture is thicker than normal toners, and it basically has no water in it, which is great for hydration. Perhaps my skin is more dehydrated than before, but I don't feel like this lived up to the expectations I have for it, however I am pleased about the price point of this product because if you do want a thicker toner, this would be great if you don't want to splurge on Whamisa
     
  3. Eyes: Eye cream
    Occasionally I skip this step too, but as we age, the skin under the eyes tend to be bit drier than the rest, not to mention this patch of skin is also thinner so I would highly recommend you target this area on a daily basis as a preventative measure

    I am using: Skin Peptoxyl Matryixyl 3000. This has got some great ingredients like Niacinimide, bark extract, nut oils and tea extracts. I bought this in a local chain drugstore (SaSa) in Hong Kong a long time ago and only when I religiously use it every morning have I almost finish using it.
     
  4. Moisturise & SPF: Sun cream, ideally water-based, or good moisturiser and SPF in foundation
    Final step of the routine, to lock everything in. A well moisturised and protected face is important before you head outside. I (almost) never leave home without SPF because of how paranoid I am about skin damage, sun spots, freckles and etc

    I am using: Sunkiller Perfect Water Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
    This has such a great texture, non-greasy so my makeup sits more than comfortably on top. Plus it's got a high SPF and PA++++ a, great for sun protection!

    Also using:Huxley More than moist moisturiser (Oh. My. God. So much love for this right now)
    Occasionally I forget that I have sunscreen (my foundation is SPF15) and I use this as a base. This has been absolutely an amazing product that keeps the skin so soft and supple without the grease despite the thick texture

That's it. 4 steps. Occasionally 3 if I skip the eye cream unintentionally. I will then get changed in order to strategically let the products sink in before makeup application. I don't know about you, but if I try to apply any makeup when the skincare hasn't sunken in yet, it's incredibly hard for me to apply and eventually have to resort to just remove everything and start over. Changing clothes gives the minimal amount of product sink into the skin for a good base. I would recommend using effective products so you don't need to wait forever for everything to sink in.

In a nutshell, this routine is not only great for lazy/busy people, it's also great as a prep for daily makeup and not burdening your skin in the morning with a lot of product. Don't get me wrong though, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using multiple products in the morning and I'm sure that a lot of products are highly effective without affecting makeup. This is really for me because of how well I know my skin - I've tried having serums and other products on before makeup and makeup hasn't gone on well or have pilled.

Also, again, in order to maximize sleep, I no longer have time to complete a routine that is longer than this!

What is your morning routine like? How early do you wake up in order to do your morning routine? Would you try this?

#40 - Skin Edit - Sh*t my partner says about my acne

So today's post is late because I've had my wisdom tooth extracted and have been sat in a daze all day, popping paracetamol and panicking about the bleeding in my mouth. As I am writing this, I am also hoping that the paracetamol will last until I have to take them next...

Anyway, on a lighter note, here are 5 things my partner says about my acne.

Don't misunderstand the title and this context and before anyone goes, "well he should be supportive", he is, just not a huge fan of spots and to be honest, neither am I. But as someone who constantly has them, I find that having a sense of humour about them is really the best way to go about it before I pop them (yes, I pop my spots. No, it's not good and you shouldn't do it. No, I can't help it and besides, my clumsy ass would have popped them somehow one way or another.)

So anyway, here are 5 things my partner says about my spots that I definitely laughed about

1. "Percy"

This is now the name of my spot(s). Especially when it's a large one.

2. Please pop that darling, he's winking at me

My partner encourages me to pop them (N.B. if you have to pop them, do it properly and get it all out). The next 3 are 

3. But he doesn't have a passport, he can't get on the plane!

This was when we were on holiday in Iceland, on the last day, when I had a giant one erupted on my face. Thank you silica mud mask for drawing all the toxins out.

4. C'mon darling, you have to get rid of that, L hasn't made a bed for him

When we were en route down south to Cornwall for Christmas and there was a possibility that there wasn't a spare bed for my spot

5. How can I miss him, he's been staring at me all night

When I naively asked if my spot was really that obvious

Thought I would keep this short and sweet because it is time for me to eat. I am absolutely starving because I'm not allowed solid foods.

What are some funny things that other people have said about your acne, if any?

#39 - Skin Edit - 2018 Beauty Goals

2017 has been a rough ride for me; although to be fair, 2016 has been as well. There has been so many changes throughout the past 2 years and I definitely feel the whole "one step forward, two steps back" thing going on. Anyway, I won't bore you with personal stuff and move on to some beauty goals/targets that I'd like to do this year. I'm not someone who is a huge advocate of resolutions as such, but it's always good to have targets to work towards to, and if they're not achieved because of circumstantial changes it's still absolutely okay. What are your goals for this year?

1. Mask more often

This is the number 1 thing that I'd like to improve this year. Since starting my new full time job, I'm finding it harder and harder to keep a full beauty routine all the time and I can definitely see signs of stress and weary in my skin - texture, breakouts, dull... Masking is one of those things you can whilst doing something else, like cooking; although it's recommended that you actually lie down and chillax. Unfortunately I am not one of those people who know how to do that and constantly have to be doing something, even if something is aimlessly browsing around the internet...!

2. Invest in more expensive products occasionally

This is going to be difficult because money is always tight one way or the other, but some products that cost more are well worth their money; such as Huxley and Olivarriet. Granted they're not the top range like The History of Whoo (which I'd love to splurge on at some point), but they're still a little more expensive than some other brands and rarely on sale. However, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy their products and would gladly repurchase - going to need a piggy bank just for these!

3. Pay (even) more attention

You'd think as a (wannabe) beauty blogger I'd do that. It's really difficult for skincare though because it's harder to prove the causal effect of certain products to the skin. I have made a start in purchasing a skin analyser that tells me what percentage of my skin is water to help keep track of how effective the routines are. I still have some question marks about this and will write about this another day. For now, I'd like to be able to really spot the difference in my skin and whilst it is difficult, making the effort in paying more attention to what products do and how my skin feels after using them would hopefully help me figure out the secret to good skin!

4. Review more products

This is really for the few people who read this, and hopefully more this year! I find it difficult to give a good review without having tried the product for a good amount of time, but will definitely make it a priority this year to write more about the different products I've tried - what worked and what doesn't. Products that I want to love, products that disappoint, new finds, and etc. This will also help me discover more new products and if you have something you'd like me to try, please let me know!

5. Plan ahead

As you've noticed, I have skipped a couple of posts this month due to being on holiday and I am not proud of it, even if no one reads this! I aim to figure out to plan ahead topics and writing for this blog to keep it more or less consistent, even if I have to be away or find myself being busy.

So these are just  a few things I've thought of on the spot and subject to change! What are your goals, beauty or not?

#38 - Skin Edit - Mask Haul!

Is it weird that it pleases me to buy a shed ton of masks because I've finished using mine? Or close to anyway, saving some of those "special" ones for a rainy day....? Brand new spanking masks to try! It's always a gamble though because I won't actually know how good the mask is until I try it and if ain't good, then all of it goes down the drain.... So I bought 3 boxes of new ones from this brand called Haruharu - fingers crossed! All below are purchased from Cosmetic Jolse

some stickers that comes with the Haruharu multi-buy

some stickers that comes with the Haruharu multi-buy

What they look like individually

What they look like individually

I've used the Petitfee Resurrection Plant soothing mask and absolutely loved it (highly recommend!)  so naturally taking advantage of the Black Friday sales, I ordered the other one in the mask series, which is the Silk Amino Serum Mask. The Plant Resurrection one is ultra moisturising and brightening. I can vouch for the ultra moisturising part (so, so gloriously moisturising!!) and it's now one of my favs! Since I have the Haruharu moisturising mask though I decided to skip on the Petitfee this time.

The silk amino serum mask looks like it's for anti-aging, using silk amino acids (silk) and this plant that is actually widely used in Chinese/asian medicine. Now, I know the Chinese name for it, so had to look up the English, which is (according to wikipedia) Ophiocordyceps Sinensis (or "vegetable worm" on the packaging). This is a fungus found in mountainous regions and parasitises larvae of ghost moths and produces a fruiting body which is used and valued as herbal remedy. For remedy, this type of plant is known for it's warm qualities, aiding energy, anti-oxidant and anti-aging, along with anti-bacterial and stress reducing.

These Haruharu masks are most intriguing when it comes to the packaging - I absolutely love the art work on the cover! I got the Moistursing, Vitality and lifing. These uses fermented horse fat - which I love in beauty products as they have done wonders for my skin! Unfortunately I couldn't find more English translated description on the box - think it's time for me to learn Korean....! Looking at the ingredients list the moisturising one contains hyaluronic acid, niacinimide, bark extracts, fruits extract, flower extracts and root extracts. The Lifting one contains collagen and various plant extracts. And the Vitality one contains root extracts, bark extracts, and sesame seed extracts. Although they all boast about the fermented horse fat ingredient, it's actually the last of the ingredient list!

So these would be interested and should last for a while. Being poorly really throws you off with scheduling and taking care of yourself so one of the things I need to get back to doing is masking more often! I do love masking though I do find it a little difficult to make the time for it - maybe I should come up with an effective/efficient way for working people to get a full skincare routine done! Still trying to figure mine out...!

#37 - Skin Edit - Blue Lagoon, Iceland

So I finally have a chance to sit down to write this... I was going to prepare a travel packing blog for last week for whilst I'm away (and hence packed for travel - carry on only!), but bottled it as I didn't think it was a worthy enough content. Also it was a lot of new products I was trying so don't want to put it out there before I actually tried and tested them.

Last week, I was in Iceland - I must have missed the memo about this place because it's so popular but the hubs and I were a little "meh" about it. Probably because of how expensive everything actually was...! Nevertheless, I bring you this week's blog and share a little part of that holiday, which is the Blue Lagoon.

You've seen the instagram pictures, you've heard about amazing things it does for the skin and here is my take. I wish my phone camera hasn't broken though to get more images...but it has so I'm afraid I don't have many images! I should really look into getting that phone camera fixed....

So, Blue Lagoon. Known for beauty properties, highly popular geothermal spa in Iceland. It's practically a luxury spa with the number of treatments and amenities available there and rightly so! It is really lovely soaking in the warm water in the winter (although your face may freeze). 

The water averages at around 37°C I believe, and is rich in minerals, particularly silica and sulfur and bathing in it supposedly boost collagen and just make you all beautiful and all that. And it's fun because you don't just have to sit there and even when it's busy, it's big enough to not be invading each others' private space.

 

I honestly don't think I need to sell you this place, but here are a few things that I think to know in advance

  1. bring a swimsuit: no brainer, but remember that you have to shower before putting your swimsuit on before you can get in
  2. tie your hair up: although if you decide to float like I did, this goes right out the window
  3. don't bother with makeup: I know we're all about the instagram life and posting images and etc and believe me, I wore makeup too, and I saw plenty of girls with makeup... but in hindsight, I really wish I didn't wear makeup, or at least wiped it all off before going in to get the full benefit of the mud mask!
  4. definitely use the silica mud mask: because if you were to buy it, it is hella expensive for a small tube!! I used the mud mask liberally on myself and the hubs....TWICE during the 5 hours we were soaking in there!
  5. bring moisturiser: I don't know why I haven't thought of this, but whilst the thermal pool doesn't dry your skin out and my skin actually felt okay, not stripped dry or feeling tight, I still wish I brought this with me...'cause there ain't any in the changing rooms
  6. consider upgrading your package, or bring a towel: because to hire one is 400 ISK. Yes, for a towel. and 1400 ISK for a bath room. No, I'm not joking. A little upgrade will get you the algae mask and 1st drink of your choice too so in hindsight, that would be what I'd do
  7. entry is expensive: it is, and pre-booking is necessary, but soak in the spring long enough and using the mask liberally will make you feel like you got your money's worth - Iceland is an expensive place in general so....
  8. everything you need to know about the Blue Lagoon is on the internet

Just a little note on the silica mud mask....if you do want to purchase it, get it at the airport, where it is duty free. If you try to buy it outside of Iceland, It costs more than double. You thought it was pricey at the store, it gets even more expensive when you leave the country...!!

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Super unflattering image of me but nonetheless, lathering that silica mud mask on. This mask is no doubt one of the best mud masks I've ever used and whilst I get why it's so expensive, if you have the cash, by all means, go ahead, but I am going to look for dupes.

Reason why this is special is because the silica mask from the Blue Lagoon is special. The ones in the tube may be processed further but this mud that I scooped out of the tub is probably the OG mud. This mask has done amazing for my skin and I know because the hubs actually noticed how good my skin looked. Pore-less appearance because of how deep cleansing it is - no blackheads left whatsoever - and skin doesn't lose moisture either. The whole age-defying thing? Yeah I can totally see this mask doing the job. I don't think this mask can do any wrong in my mind, just the sheer price of it! I don't think my skin has ever felt that clean ever, even with my favourite Kiehl's rare earth mud mask.

This goes to show that mud masks are effective, so time to go find a dupe for it! I've seen on facebook and instragram this "Sand & Sky" mud mask - has anyone tried it and how do you find it?

If you go to Iceland, I would definitely recommend spending a morning or a good chunk of your day at the Blue Lagoon. It's a good place to just chill out and enjoy yourself and definitely, definitely use the masks!

#32 - Skin Edit - Dehydrated Skin Pt 2. - Products

So last week I shared what dehydrated skin does to me; this week is about the products that I have tried that helps with this dehydration condition. Obviously these are only suggestions and are products that have worked for me - you know your own skin best so if these don't work, try something else :) My skin is combination, oily, sensitive and acne prone and this page may contain affiliate links - it doesn't change how much you pay but it helps me out a little :)

Current routine, also a terrible flatlay

Current routine, also a terrible flatlay

 

1. First Step Cleansing

I try to use products that doesn't strip away moisture when I clean my face, and I like my face squeaky clean, hence I double cleanse as part of my every evening routine. I combine balm/oil cleanser with a foam cleanser, here are my favourites so far!

Heimish All Clean Balm is my all time favourite cleansing balm - it gets rid of all the makeup but doesn't leave the skin feeling stripped of moisture. It's gentle, yet effective and works in one go. Balms are generally quite thick I find that I don't need a lot of this to remove daily makeup and for heavier shoot days, I use a bit more or double up cleaning just to make sure I get those 6 inches of makeup off my face. Honestly it's done absolute wonders for me and I will always come back to this cleansing balm (this is a repurchase, even when I love trying new things!) because I know I can rely on this!

Clio Micro Fessional Cleansing Oil Balm is what I currently use and almost hit bottom with this! Again, one of those glorious balms that leaves your skin feeling squeaky clean without stripping the moisture. Compared to the Heimish All Clean Balm though, I personally would prefer the Heimish one just because of how my skin feels afterwards.

I know right, yet another product that does this! I tend to find that products of this texture tend to give me that sense of cleaniness without stripping the moisture. I've tried gel before, but I never felt like my skin was clean enough, and I've tried oil, which left me feeling clean, but not necessarily moisturised sometimes, depending on the product you use. Also I tend to go through oil a lot quicker than balms so for me, this type of product works really well.

2. Second Step Cleansing

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Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick was/is one of those cleansing sticks that every blogger loves and it really is lovely on the skin. They don't love it for no reason! I'm very new to stick cleansers so I wasn't actually sure if this worked, but it did and it foams up nicely and with the low pH it helps with strengthening the skin barrier. This is perfect for travel and I would definitely consider this as part of my travel kit, but would I repurchase this? Probably not, I don't think this has personally made it to the top of my 2nd step cleansing list and to be honest, I'm still looking for one that I would for sure repurchase!

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Heimish All Clean White Clay Foam is my current second step cleanser that I use every night. I like that it sqeezes out like clay, but definitely foams up when you start massaging it into the face with a little water. This isn't stripping at all and it's really comfortable to use this as a 2nd step cleanser. Because it's got clay in it, it gives another layer of deep cleansing after the cleansing balm that I use, it's like having a mini clay mask session without having to leave it on the skin to dry and wash off. And the best thing is? My skin never feels tight after cleansing with this

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Skin Watches Enzyme Powder Wash is great for travelling with! It's in powder form so it's a lot lighter, and you can put it in your hand carry if you want to because, hello, not a liquid! You don't need much of it to mix with water to create a lather which you can then massage into the skin. Because it's got papaya enzyme in there, it's also great for sebum control and a little bit of "detox" on the skin, plus it works as a gentle exfoliant. AND doesn't strip the skin of moisture. Who said squeaky clean skin has to come with a price - believe me, I've used cleansers that have left the skin pretty dehydrated!

3. Toners

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Olivarrier Dual Moist Toning Lotion is one of my favourites and currently using. No alcohol, low pH and absorbs into the skin so well. It's perfect as a toner to rehydrate the skin after cleansing and for the 7-skin method to make your skin look like glass (apparently glass skin is the latest trend...). This was sent to me for review purposes and I wouldn't hesitate to promote this because this really helped with hydrating my skin when I was in Cornwall. With the 7 skin method it served as a mask as well because, believe it or not, I did not have time to complete a masking routine in the evening!

I'm going to be honest, this Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner I have yet to try, but I've heard some really great things about this so thought that I should include it here. Review to follow when I get around trying it...

Bonus toner that I haven't got an image for because it's been a while since I've used it - it's when I first came across the 7-skin method, I tried it with this toner and it is oh so amazing! The DECLEOR Aroma Cleanse Essential Tonifying Lotion is wonderful at rehydrating the skin and you don't need to worry about using a lot of it when you get the large bottle. With the 7-skin method, this toner makes your skin glow so much that it won't go unnoticed. Make up goes on like a dream. This toner also soothes the skin after a stressful day and the fragrance doesn't feel artificial as it comes from an essential oil rather than added in artificially.

3. Serums

I really should start using more ampoules, but with The Ordinary by Deciem, I rarely find the need to. You really cannot beat the price of these super effective products either!

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The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 gives surface hydration as well as under the skin hydration. We all have products that contain some form of hylauronic acid in it, but this serum is at a higher concentration, hence gives "multi-depth hydration". It's quickly absorbed by the skin, perfect for dehydrated skin. In fact, I think it'd be great for any skin because every type of skin need that deep hydration. Your skin will feel plumped and soft, and you can use this for both morning and evening before creams.

4. Masks
 

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It is honestly difficult to recommend masks because you really have to try it yourself to know. Even though I have some go-to masks, I am always discovering new ones that are amazing. However, if you're a cheapo like me and want a high performance hydration mask, these 3 are my go-tos. I am really sad because I'm running low on the Coconut mask (thin sheet, super hydrating, lots of product. You skin will thank you) but I think it's time for me to go back to some other brands and try new ones. Although I am very inclined to order these again!

Innisfree it's real bamboo mask is ranked pretty high on the hydrating list. I thought the aloe one was good but this? This is even better for hydration. Ignore that person who tells you that oily skin you should be using Aloe or Mugwart or whatnot from the range - THIS is the one you should really go for. Oily skin may be a sign that your skin is dehydrated and the one thing that will help with controlling that sebum is rehydrating your skin so it reaches the balance between oil and water. This bamboo mask does a better job than the aloe one, in my opinion, at rehydrating the skin and keeping it hydrated

Petitfee Resurrection Plant Soothing Gel Mask is one of my recent favourites. It's thin, jam packed with the serum and just so hydrating. My goodness, you can see the difference before and after using this face mask. It's got desert plant concentrate and berries, so not only does it hydrate, stops moisture from leaving, and it also brightens. I'm not so sure on the brighten bit, but the moisture bit is defo real.

5. Moisturisers

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Huxley Secret of Sahara Cream: Anti-Gravity is my new favourite. It's thick, so you don't need much of it, and it instantly hydrates the skin and locks it in. It's not oily so doesn't create a sticky film over the face. And it smells great, without being overpowering. I chose the anti-aging one, because, well, I need it. There are other products in this range and I'm confident that they will be just as effective! This is great for the winter as it's got Cactus oil and cactus extract that helps defend the skin against the cold and dryness that winter brings. Personally though I think I would happily use this during the summer. Gel "creams" are never really enough for my skin so I tend to like denser creams.

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Skin Ceramic Donkey Milk Argan Oil Steam Cream is one of my absolute favourites. I keep telling myself to buy steam cream off steamcream.co.uk and I still haven't got around doing it because I keep getting moisturisers from the sites that I order other things...One day, one day. This cream is just so glorious - it feels amazing on the skin; it's not too dense but don't underestimate it's moisturising power - it hydrates and locks it all in and leaves the skin feeling so lovely and soft.

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Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre. Make-up artists' favourite. And I can definitely see why. You don't need a lot to rehydrate the skin with this moisturiser and it really keeps the skin moisturised; use too much though and your skin may feel a little heavy, but this goes for all moisturisers out there! I use this before heavy makeup application because it creates a smooth and soft surface for makeup to adhere to and it's done wonders for the makeup. I tried this when I started seeing the makeup artists I work with use this on me and hey ho, always listen to a professional!

6. Sleeping Mask

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Honestly, I rarely use sleeping masks. Just never fully incorporated it in my routine and haven't tested many I would happily leave on my face overnight. This one that I'm getting through these days is the Goodal Waterest Vital Sleeping Mask. This has more of a gel-like consistency so it doesn't add heaviness to all the products I use before this final step. It also doesn't leave stickiness to the skin after application like the Vichy one has done before, so I feel safe sleeping in this. This does a good job in locking the moisture in over night because I've woken up in the morning not feeling as dehydrated as I have done without using this. However, this hasn't been part of my routine for a while because I haven't injected it in my habit. Autumn/Winter will be a good time to start trying to use this every night to see if this dehydrating thing improves over time.

So that's it for today! Did you find this helpful? I appreciate it's not a lot of new products that I'm introducing and I will keep trying more products to add to this list. Albeit short, I hope you find that you agree with some of the products I've listed, or suggest some new products for me to try out :) Hydration is the most crucial part of my beauty routine and goal and I am always on the lookout for products that help with it, because who doesn't like their skin to glow and feel plump and soft ;)

#31 - Skin Edit - What dehydrated skin does to you...

Because we're all fans of lists right ;) so here are more! My skin has been so dehydrated lately I just have this urge to talk about it now. Listing a few things I've experienced with dehydrated skin and how it affects me as a human and routines I added in/amended to help fixing the products. I will cover products next week to make it more focused/structured :)

1. Oily skin

So here's the thing, dehydrated skin and oily skin are 2 different things and you can still have oily skin when your skin is dehydrated. Essentially dehydrated skin is not determined my genes, i.e. not permanent, whereas dry skin is (how I understand it is how much oil your skin secretes). My genes dictate that I have oily skin, so when my skin is dehydrated, it starts to secrete oil in attempt to "moisturise" itself, which is...not really ideal. If you're in the same boat as I am, then we are looking at restoring that balance between water and oil in the skin so it doesn't secrete facial oil and cause you other skin troubles.

2. Flaky makeup

Personally I think dehydrated skin is one of the main factors to why makeup doesn't "stick". I've learnt from a young age that you need to prep your skin before makeup application but never quite understood what I had to do until I learnt more about my skin and what makeup artists do prior makeup application.

Hydrating makes your skin softer, which means that the surface that makeup goes on is smoother and because it's hydrated and moisturised, makeup tend to grip on better as well.

When I had bad dehydrated skin, it was super evident when I applied full coverage foundation. That stuff just cakes and turns patchy literally right after application....with primer. At first I thought it was the foundation that has stopped "working", but in reality, it was really my skin that needed help more than anything. I've tried the foundation again with better hydrated skin and it has gone on without a problem

3. Rough texture and lines

I've touched on this in my previous point, but dehydrated skin can cause some rough texture on your skin. These could be little bumps and fine lines. We all have fine lines, but dehydrated and dry skin accentuates that even more so than how it actually is because the skin lacks the moisture/particles that holds up the cells and plumps it up.

Granted that occasionally my bad skin is not down to dehydrating, but it is the most common cause to my bad skin. This can be not drinking enough water, not using enough hydrating products in the routine, not masking and not making sure that moisture is locked within the skin.

4. Acne

If you have oily skin, you may be more prone to acne when you have dehydrated skin because your skin secretes more facial oil to combat the dehydrated-ness. We all know what this means - more clogging, more inflammation, more spots.

and finally.....

5. Discomfort

Okay, I don't know about you, but when I love a hot shower and with the hard water where I live plus the temperature I shower in, it's really a given that my skin is dehydrated (trying very hard to change that habit). When I step out of the shower, I know for sure my skin is dehydrated with how tight it feels and how I have a strong urge to scratch it like I've got an itch. I know it's dehydrating because as soon as it touches water or toner again, it instantly feels okay again.

I am really not a fan of how dehydrated skin make the skin look and feel - dull, lifeless, itchy, tight...it honestly is just awful. Thankfully I use products and routine that puts that moisture back into the skin (before it evapourates during the night in my sleep....)

What other effects do you experience when you have dehydrated skin? Do you know how I feel or do you have more to add? What products to you use? What routine do you use? How do you make your skin stay hydrated?

#28 - Huxley - Secret of Sahara: Anti-Gravity [Impression]

So recently I've emptied my horse oil moisturiser and dove into buying a more...pricey moisturiser. Huxley has always been on my list to try and this moisturiser does not disappoint!

I really feel like I'm really late to the k-beauty game but at the same time there is so much to learn about these different brands and I'm really pleased that they are (somewhat) accessible.

So just a short first impression to this product.

I love it.

Yeah, that's it, really! I'm really fond of this - I still haven't come across a moisturiser that makes me think wowholy grail! Yet. Whilst this isn't a holy grail for me yet but I would happily buy another tub of this when I empty it.

This cream is formulated with organic sahara cactus oil (so it says) to strengthen the skin and creating a lifted and plumped appearance. With the amount of hydration it gives, you can feel the difference. Lifting though, is another story - I'm sure that will take some time! 

This cream is rich, yet light and not oily and keeps your skin moisturised. You don't need a lot of this for your whole face either, which is great because...well, you can use it for longer. I have sensitive, acne prone and oily skin and this hasn't fuelled my skin to break out, nor did my skin became dehydrated again after a while - it happens when I try gel moisturisers, which clearly are not "strong" enough fro my dehydrated skin!

The smell is light but not artificially fragrant but it does have a really lovely smell that doesn't overwhelm you. It's always a such a treat to use this last in my routine. 

This cream is easily absorbed, but does not clog. Although I do layer on serums and ampoules and masks beforehand, I still feel that this cream makes a difference when it comes to hydrating, and locks all the good stuff in well.

I'm definitely keen to try other products from the same brand! I got this from Cosmetic Jolse. They do some really sweet deals from time to time and stock many different asian beauty brands. Definitely check them out and if you have a haul, show me! I want to see what you've got.

 

 

 

#27 - Beauty Edit - 5 mistakes I've made in beauty, and the solutions

No pics today because I am going through a bad skin phase! This is what happens when you start a new job and not used to a brand new routine - I went from a night owl to a 6.30am wake -up (5.30am if I want to go to the gym), so I definitely feel like it's taken a toll because I have less time to do a full routine.

Regardless, thankful that I do have a job that keeps me alive... (until I spend it all on beauty products anyway).

ANYWAY.

Here are 5 mistakes that I've made, and occasionally still make, and what I did to rectify them

1. Only cleaning face with water in the morning

We forget how much dirt and dust and etc. is on the bed, on the pillow and in the room, especially if there is no ventilation, i.e. stale air. All these are still considered pollutants for the skin and I've legit woke up with dirty face. Historically I've rinsed it with water, but have found it not being clean enough as a base for further makeup and skin care. Dirty skin creates a barrier for products and stops them from going through and for me, makeup doesn't bode well on top of dirty skin.
Rectification: Cleaning my skin with cleansing water/micellar water/toner with a cotton pad does a far better job than just water. The hard water we have here in the UK really shouldn't remain on the skin anyway and in my evening routine, I wipe it off the same time I apply toner with a cotton pad. After cleansing water in the morning, I will apply toner, eye cream and moisturiser and let that set in for good few minutes before moving on to make up.

2. Not masking enough

For a masking addict like myself, this is hard to imagine, but I never used to mask frequently and regularly and only "saved it" before big days. What I didn't understand is that good skin is the byproduct of good habits and you need to be masking regularly/frequently to really see the effect of the product. Applying hylauronic acid one day make make your skin look amazing for that day, but it won't sustain til the next, and the following. With all products, regular use is important to see the long-term impact and your skin will tell you if it's not suitable for you relatively quickly.
Rectification: I consciously made the effort in masking more frequently and when my skin is feeling dull and just bad in general, I mask consecutively for a few days and see immediate improvement. Sometimes you just need to pay some extra attention to your skin, work in new habits in your routine.

3. Not listening to your skin

I know, this sounds really obvious, but you'd be surprised how many of us don't do it. there are certain products that would work for you and certain that don't and this applies for everyone. I mean, everyone. There will always be a general guideline or rule of thumb as to what products are best for what, but these don't necessarily dictate that these products are definitely going to work well. It may do, but would it work as well for you compared to your friend who has recommended it? We also get stuck in a routine sometimes and forget that our skin changes through the year, through age and through state of mind, diet...etc., and we wonder why the usual stuff isn't working lately. If it isn't working, you should take some care to explore what didn't work, what the reaction is, and observe your skin for a while to try and figure it out.
RectificationMy skin makes it really easy for me to know what doesn't work, but I now make the extra effort in observing what other feelings I have on my skin. Is it particularly oily, why, what has changed, what I've added in my diet that's caused me to break out (usually deep fried foods and junk food!). And I acknowledge that this problem is unlikely to be a one-day thing, so whatever I do to try to combat it, I will have to make the effort in doing it for a few days consecutively at the very least, and then see if the situation improves.

4. Not having a routine

I know, hard to imagine, but it took me a while to realise that I really have to take care of my skin. They say that your skin stays at the age you start taking care of it and I see so many young girls these days who don't take care of their skin properly, e.g. removing makeup with only makeup wipes, that, by the way, don't remove all the makeup!
Rectification: have a routine. There are so much I want to do with my skin - anti-aging, hydrating, whitening/brightening...etc. It's not possible nor effective to fit products that do everything in to one routine though, so I separate them and know what products are for what functions (especially for serums) and use those products when I decide on a routine that day.

5. Not regularly cleaning makeup tools

It's easy to neglect this when your schedule is hectic. There are many models who I know own brushes that look like they haven't been cleaned in months! You should be cleaning brushes and sponges after every use, but it's hard to do that when you have a day job and need to get up early in the morning, tired by the evening, then have to cook and etc. But this is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, so the longer you leave it on the brush  (which is now mixed with makeup and facial oils/skin), the dirtier your brush is, and that's just really, really, terrible for your skin. You might as well dip your face in a dirty puddle.
Rectification: wash. your. tools. If you don't have time, brush cleaner and isopropsyl alcohol 99% are your best friends. Get rid of the builk, and then work on the details and deep clean later. This should be a no brainer, really, but after witnessing these models' tools, I genuinely did not want to touch their faces!

 

That is all folks, hope you had an amazing weekend! What mistakes have you made and what have you learnt from them?

#24 - Skin Edit - My "Pick-me-Up" Routine

Ever had days/weeks/month(s) where you've just been so tired and neglected your skin? Or that your mood is down and you'd really want a pick-me-up or a pamper?

So I've recently started a new role and although my evening routine helps with winding down and relaxing me at the end of the day, I do still need a more thorough facial to help me through the following me. Skincare, for me, is a good reminder that I am still taking care of myself and paying attention to what my body is telling me - through times of stress your skin may react differently, or if you have been eating different or been in different environments.

I work in a not so well-ventilated office and there is a lot of stale air due to lack of air circulation; this makes my skin feel really irritable and unclean and I've started to run through this routine (give or take a step or two) once over the weekend as a reminder to restart myself and ready for the week to come. I thought I'd share my routine and products I've used (and some thoughts on the products) with you, especially now that I'm going through a phase where I'm suffering from spots and irritated skin.

 

1. Cleansing

Double cleansing has been part of my routine for ages now and even in the evening wind-down I still do a double cleanse to really take off the makeup and the dirt that clogged up my face during the day. I always use a balm and then a foaming/lighter cleanser and love how my skin feels squeaky clean afterwards.

I've started using the Clio Microfessional Cleansing Oil Balm and Skin Watches Enzyme Powder Wash and absolutely love them. The balm is so effective in cleansing the skin (much like my all time favourite, Heimish) and doesn't leave the skin bone dry afterwards. Same with the Enzyme Powder Wash - I was skeptical when I first tried it, but after several times I'm so in love with how clean this product makes my skin feel afterwards, again, without drying out. It also gently exfoliates your face (not enough to serve as an exfoliator though!)

2. Exfoliate

I tell everyone I speak to that I've completely come off any exfoliators that are in a scrub form. I've recently started trying this skin food skin peel in hope that it would be a more accessible and cheaper version of my favourite Wonderbath Salon de Tte exfoliation pads.

Impression? I don't love it, but I don't hate it. It definitely is more accessible and affordable and it does do its job. Effective? I'm not too sure and may have to go a couple of weeks without exfoliating to see how it really performs. My Salon de Tte pads are extremely effective in exfoliation - I've tested this after 1-2 weeks without exfoliating and I can see the little bits and pieces coming off almost immediately. You have to really work this Skin food peel into your skin for a few minutes before seeing the little bits that are dead skin.

I feel like this would be good for those with sensitive skin and to be fair, after washing it off I do feel that it worked, even when I couldn't see it. Also, not too irritating or dehydrating at all. Always a plus!

3. Clay Mask

For me, a good clay mask really draws out all the impurities and "detox" the skin. The Kiehl's rare earth clay mask is my favourite and this is actually a repurchase! You can use this everyday or as per your skin tolerance. If used continuously I would recommend using it on only parts of your face rather than the whole. I use this on the whole of my face as this is a once a week thing for me at the moment.

4. Exfoliating pads

Not gonna lie, after using this I did feel like this was a bit excessive, but I thought that my skin needed further exfoliation because my skin feels congested. Yeah, probably not a good idea, but I thought to introduce these pads anyway. They're okay so far, I still need to test them out for longer before I know if I will repurchase

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5. Serums

To make serums more effective, I tend to layer my serums under the sheet mask that I will put on next. I have quite a few so I tend to sort how I use them by function, e.g. anti-ageing (retinoid, matrixyl); brightening (vitamin C); hydration & sebum control (hylauronic acid, niacinimide)... Occasionally I just go with what I feel like, like this time.

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6. Face mask

I'm a huge fan of sheet masking and have written about what I do to make masking more effective. Masking is a huge part to my skincare routine and whilst I have different masks, they all focus on hydration and this is really effective in plumping up the skin with water.

7. Eye cream and Face cream

To wrap it all up and lock it all in

And that ends my lil pampering routine! I know some people prefer to go have facials done but I get bored so easily that I like to be doing something else whilst I have a sheet mask on my face for a good 30 minutes, or watch something on YouTube.

What do you do for your routine? Do you have one or would you be starting one?

#20 - Beauty Edit - Cosmetic Jolse HAUL

So much joy when you buy a lot of stuff and they all come at once and you just spend time rummaging through and trying to decide what you want to use first! Maybe I should start with this because I'm almost done with this type of product....or maybe THIS because it just looks SO pretty!

Which one are you? I think most people are both and I'm so excited to share this K-Beauty haul from Cosmetic Jolse with you. 

As with most hauls, it's just gonna be straight forward and I'll put product names below :)

So let's get this out the way first, I've spent USD 153.80 (~GBP 120) on my order. That's right, I spent so much that I qualified for international EMS Shipping. And a shed load of samples. Oh this makes me so happy even when I'm broke AF.

Most of the products I've gotten this time are completely new to me. The only ones that aren't are the innisfree bamboo masks, which was on sale and some of my favourite masks ever (and I ordered enough to bump myself over the threshold for free international EMS shipping). Really excited to review all these other products for you so keep your eyes peeled!

Product List:

  1. CLIO Micro Fessional Cleansing Oil Balm 80ml
  2. Husley Cream Anti-Gravity 50ml
  3. Wish Formula Optima 7 Pad 50 sheets
  4. Innisfree It's Real Squeeze Mask (Bamboo) (3 sheets per pack)
  5. Petitfree Resurrection Plant Soothing Gel Mask (10 pieces)
  6. Skin Watches Enzyme Powder Wash 60g
  7. Purebees Galactomyces 80 Eye Cream 50ml
  8. Heimish All Clean White Clay Foam 150g
  9. Heimish Refresh Water 365ml
  10. SkinFood Pineapple Peeling Gel 100ml
     

And now....make no mistake, these are SAMPLES

I bought so much that Jolse put in a lot of samples in my box. Including that handcream. I can't wait for a time where I travel and have some of these in my kit! I'm terrible with samples as I'm such a hoarder - literally stash everything away until I actually absolutely have to use it.

Have you bought from Jolse? What was your experience? I'm going to try to buy from different sites and eventually bring out a post of different ecommerce platforms available. I may not be able to cover all of them (also without sufficient funds) but will do my best to cover how I feel about some of these sites that offer a wide range of products, to smaller, independent sites that may not stock a huge variety.

Til next time!