#61 - Skin Edit - NAKEUP FACE Stress 0 (Zero) Toner

So I’ve been fortunate enough to have been selected by Jolse to review a toner!

God I do love toners, toners are life, they’ve been such skin savers for me, so I was really excited about trying this out.

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Ingredients

This product really boasts its ingredients - it’s a zero water toner with a relatively short ingredients list:

Seawater, Methylpropanediol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Trehalose, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Aloe Vera Leaf Extract, Betaine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Allantoin, Pentylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol

This toner is 90% deep sea water that adjusts the pH balance of the skin and the formula is mild and soothing. Also contains other ingredients like my fav centella asiatica, and aloe vera leaf extract to add to the calming and soothing nature of this toner.

I’ve not looked too deep into what sea water brings to the skin that much, but it looks like it helps with retaining the moisture in the skin and helps with skin issues like acne.

Texture

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I wish I took a better picture of the texture…

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve used such a thin toner - if you’ve been following for a while you’ll know that my favs have always been the thicker ones from Whamisa and even the Tiam B5 toner. This one is back to what majority of toners are like, watery, but the water base is different from many toners on the market.

Because the texture is so thin, i find that on occasions when my skin is more dehyrdated, I need more than 3 layers of it in the morning, but it can also be easily absorbed.

I’ll be honest, my skin prefers thicker toners I’ve used before compared to this toner. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad toner - it does everything a toner needs to do and is great for people with sensitive skin as it’s fragrance free as well. It’s got the calming element, but I do wonder how much the other extracts are working in this toner.

Efficacy

So I think I’ve delved a little of how I found this toner in the last section.

Unfortunately I don’t think I’ve tested this enough to really see what the slightly longer term results are. This is my AM toner to put the hydration back into my skin and ready for sunscreen and makeup. My sunscreen are pretty good moisturisers as well and really helps keep my makeup from slipping.

Can I say that this toner has improved how well my skin takes makeup? Not exactly. Does it work? Yes it goes. As well as I want it to? Maybe not.

I’m really on the fence with this one because I know that I’m being a little unfair on it.

My skin is dehydrated, it likes fermented skincare, it’s occasionally sensitive, and I get hormonal acne. I live in a more polluted area and commute on trains where the air is…not great. The climate is also drier here and we are still in cooler months.

I can definitely see this being a great toner for the summer and especially for places where it’s more humid because it’s less burden than thicker toners on the skin. It really does make the 7-skin method easier to complete as it gets easily absorbed.

However, if you have dry skin or very dehydrated skin, this might be a little too thin for you and I would probably go with something with bit more richness in it, or other extracts to really hydrate your skin, then paired with a good moisturiser.

Toner on its own I find hard to retain moisture, so although it’s been said this helps to retain the moisture/hydration in your skin, I would definitely not skip moisturiser (who does anyway?)

This is meant to be low pH (pH 5.8) which helps strengthen the skin barrier and protects against free-radicals. Because it’s not actually LOW pH, it’s only slightly acidic, I can layer this on my skin without worrying too much - there is no AHA or BHA in this so absolutely no problem to layer!

This toner is also a behemoth size of a toner - which is great if you want value for your money. It also means you can do a lot more with it, like soaking cotton pads in this toner and use on face like a mask. Or even just use those lil pills that expand into a mask when you soak it in water. This would essentially be a good base for a mask and would be something I’d be interested in trying (adding other serums to mix my own cocktail!).

There are plenty of anti-inflammatory ingredients within this toner, so if you are prone to acne that isn’t cystic, then this would be a good entry toner to use because it’s lightweight and calming.

I’d be interested to see what this product would be like in hotter months, but for now it’s not at the top of my re-purchase list only because of my own preferences, not because this product was a bad one.

#59 - EVENT - K-Beauty Unwrapped ft. URANG

WOW so it has been a while since I’ve really sat down to write something here. These days I’ve hung out more on Instagram where I share more beauty tidbits like first impressions, mini-reviews and features.

Today though, I want to do a good write up of the K-Beauty Unwrapped Master Class hosted by Skinsider UK, featuring an incredible brand - URANG (Ultimate Radiance And Natural Glow).

On the day we had the wonderful Karolina and Zarah (Seoulfull_star) interview Jina Lee, founder of URANG and joined by her sister Junga. I have seen this brand once or twice in Renee/Gothamista’s content but haven’t really delve in too much so it’s been a real treat to know more about the brand and its philosophy from the founder.

Jina is an incredible woman; her brand URANG strives to bring consumers the best possible formulated products withe best ingredients. This started with aromatherapy and one of Jina’s first products is soap.

Jina spoke a lot about how aromatheraphy helps our health (physical and mental) in general and what benefits it brings to us, and bring us to why URANG uses essential oils in their products.

The event itself was also a product launch of the new ampoule, with a texture that feels so smooth and formulated with everlasting flower water and amino acids. I love how candid Jina spoke about how this product came about - she told the story of how she’s had her child and not lost the baby fat post-partum and just wanted a product that would make her feel pretty - we’ve all been there and I can tell you that you do not need to give birth to feel this way!


We got to test the whole range of URANG products at the event and as much as I’d love to have purchased the whole line at full sizes (I’d be broke), I went with only 3.

Naturally I went with the new product! Was sold by Shereen at @theywayofthesnail on the true rose repair essence and definitely wanted to try one of the oil serums, so went with the anti-ageing one which is the vitamin oil serum. Girl needs to rewind time as much as she can!!

Skinsider UK and URANG have very generously gifted all of us a travel kit which is AMAZING because I will be travelling in the next month and the following and cannot wait to try out the rest of the range. I have a feeling that blue oil is something I will be putting on the list to purchase.

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It truly was a great and humbling experience at this event and I cannot thank Karolina at Skinsider UK enough to having me and to put together this fantastic master class with a terrific brand at a stunning venue. What better way to spend an afternoon just surrounded by luscious products and beautiful human beings.

URANG has won me over in its brand philosophy - although I am still all for synthetics, I can appreciate the amount of effort to source the ingredients and formulate these products and I already cannot wait til this brand drops another new product! It’s been hinted to be sunscreen!

Have you tried this brand before and what do you think of it?

#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?

#57 - Skin Edit - PURITO - Green Level Buffet Serum and Eye Cream [REVIEW]

IT HAS BEEN A WHILE... since I found time and energy to return to these blog posts...I have slid off but I am coming back and will make more effort in getting these pushed out!

Today is all about PURITO, who I won the review event! And I am forever grateful because I have fallen in love with their products! Effective and affordable, all that's missing is more widely accessible!

The brand philosophy is to provide "safe and honest cosmetics that everyone [sic] can have faith in applying them"; products are also cruelty free. This is a brand that truly focuses on the ingredients and not fancy packaging - skin care that is safe, honest and works.

I was sent the Centella Green Level Buffet Serum and Centella Green Level Eye Cream and I am so excited to write about them!

Centella Green Level Buffet Serum

(Clear product in image)

Ingredients (full list below): This product is filled with the good stuff, with Centella Asiatica Extract coming in first on the ingredient list (49%)! Centella Asiatica is now my favourite ingredient to soothe the skin from inflammation and has been far more effective on my acne than tea tree and other acne products I've used. No joke! This also contains peptides, niacinimide, more extracts from centella asiatica, making the anti-inflammatory part even more effective

 Centella Asiatica Extract (49%), Water, Dipropylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glycereth-26, Carbomber, Carbomer, Sclerotium Gum, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Caprylyl Glycol, Panthenol, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Pancratium Maritimum Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA, Adenosine, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Ceramide NP, Sodium Hyaluronate, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Madecassic Acid, Palmitoyl Hexapeptide- 1 2, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Dipeptide-7, Palmitoyl Dipeptide-10

Claims: nutritional serum that protects skin from environment by reinforcing skin barrier.

Efficacy: So. Good. Honestly I don't think my skin has been any better and I haven't even been masking much since I've been so busy. It's unfortunate that my image documentation of my face is not successful, however hands down this would be one of those serums that I will use over and over again.

I still get spots, but with this serum the inflammation goes down the next day (after continuous use for at least 2 weeks). It's so effective in battling against spots for me for the past few weeks I've been using this. This is great for sensitive skin as it's got peptides that helps with skin barrier repair. 

I definitely feel that my skin is smoother and skin texture improved because of this serum, and it also feels less sensitive - which is one of the main change I've integrated into my routine to test this out.  It's easily absorbed, feels really light on the skin (perfect for summer), not sticky and calms the skin down pretty much immediately. Highly recommended, especially for those with sensitive skin as this will help calm it down and rebuild skin barrier, and effective against pollution.

I'm absolutely gutted that I haven't documented this with a proper camera but I don't think I can stress how good this product has been for me so far and without hesitation I would use this over and over again. 

I've been using this solid everyday for over 4 weeks and the bottle still feels pretty full so this will last a while (depending on how large your face is - I use 2 pumps but you may need less/more). This is priced at around £12 and I've been advised by Purito that UK residents can buy it off eBay but I have also seen this on BeautyTap.

As with all skin care products, this one is not going to be one of those miracle products and this will be one of those that steadily works over time

Verdict: 5/5!!

Centella Green Level Eye Cream

Ingredients (full list below from BeautyTap): product is filled with the good stuff like the serum, with Centella Asiatic Extract being in first place, pepetides, other centella asiatica extracts.

Centella Asiatica Extract, Water, Hydrogenated C6-14 Olefin Polymer, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Cetyl Alcohol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Methyl Trimethicone, Dipropylene Glycol, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Dipentaerythrityl Hexa C5-9 Acid Esters, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Cetearyl Olivate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-12, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Dipeptide-10, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, Sorbitan Olivate, Stearic Acid, Polyglyceryl-2 Stearate, Tromethamine, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Panthenol, Carbomer, Stearyl Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Cholesterol, Acetyl Glucosamine, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Ceramide NP, Pancratium Maritimum Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Alteromonas Ferment Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Disodium EDTA, Adenosine, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil

Claims: protect skin barrier around eyes, vitalize wrinkles and help skin elasticity

Efficacy: Eye creams are always so difficult to judge whether it works or not and you really, really need to give it time to. I feel like the eye are is an area that when you start seeing wrinkles and other imperfections, it's difficult to reverse the effect because the skin is thinner around there. I also wear glasses so there will be patches where I have more skin texture.

I thought the Benton fermentation eye cream has changed my eye cream game but when this Purito came along, boy was I so pleasantly surprised.

I was skeptical at first but over time I have noticed that the skin around my eyes have been smoother and the skin texture, especially around where my glasses sit, has smoothed out. Usually I see a difference when that area is pretty hydrated but as soon as my skin gets dehydrated, it's back - kind of like a chicken feet texture.

The texture is my main concern, but remember that we get texture for different reasons - exfoliating that area hasn't particularly helped me but hydration definitely has, and so have peptide serums. This eye cream combines it all together (minus exfoliating!) and is a product that works

This eye cream sells for approximately £9-10 and you can get it through ebay and BeautyTap.

Verdict: 5/5!!

Below is my skin now. There was a lot more chicken skin texture going around my eyes and skin after using both eye cream and serum

I absolutely loved these PURITO products and the ethos of the brand is how I feel about skin care - affordable, safe and honest, steadily developing - products that work. I wish they were more readily available and have their own distribution to the UK because I truly believe that many people can benefit from this brand.

At present, we can get it through ebay and BeautyTap and that is about it. Let's hope that these will stay! 

Thank you again, PURITO, it has been an absolute pleasure using these products and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these to anyone!

#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

 

#51 - Skin Edit - Blossom Jeju Camellia Soombi Deep Repair Moisturizer [SKINSIDER UK] [Review]

Another week, anoter review! This week is the Blossom Jeju Camellia Soombi Deep Repair Moisturizer, kindly provided by Skinsider UK for review purposes. You can check out their product on their site here

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Packaging

You know it's a premium product when you love the packaging this much...! That statement may not be entirely true but you can count on me loving this packaging. The whole bottle feels luxurious - white and gold, a pump that dispenses the product out easily, a cap that fits right back on and no product residue at the pump, and the bottle feels heavy - like a glass bottle weight. I always have to err on the side of caution using this, like how I use my Whamisa toners because I'm such a clumsy being, but I do really love the packaging and it's just me who's clumsy. I'm sure most of you don't have such problems like I do!

Brand

So, I watch enough Korean drama to know that the island of Jeju is one of the most popular places to visit in Korea, but also that it is a volcanic island containing ingredients that are great for skincare. You've seen other brands like Innisfree contain a line of products that is from the Jeju island, only this brand is created by an individual, Sungha, not only inspired by the island, but also found ingredients on the island to create these products.

The ideal behind the brand is using their flagship ingredient, Camellia Oil, to create products that is natural, high performing and protect the skin from the environment, restore and maintain natural vitality and radiance.

Ingredients

I may not be an expert in ingredients but I am thoroughly impressed by the first ingredient on the list: Camellia Japonica Flower Extract (66.63%). This comes before water and glycerin, and also what puts the brand at a higher price point. The list also contains Camellia Japonica Seed Oil (2.96%) and a great blend of fruit and nut oil, seed oil, root extracts, peel extracts and at the very end, fragrance.

Immediate Feeling and Effacacy

Honestly I struggled with this product, because it doesn't make me immediately love it. in fact, I was so confused about this at the beginning. My idea of a moisturiser is a lot thicker because I use it most often in the evening and during the day I still use slightly heavier moisturisers and/or sunscreen. This product's consistency is quite thin and smells amazing. I will put my hand up to say that I am not someone who likes heavily fragranted product - this moisturiser isn't heavily scented but my god the scent is divine. The combination of the floral, fruit, peels...etc. in the ingredients all meshed so well and created this scent that calms me down.

The Camellia Soombi Deep Repair moisturiser is quite a lightweight moisturiser, which means it gets absorbed into the skin very quickly and if you have dehydrated skin, you will feel like your skin just drank a good amount of water.

So what confused me?

For some weird reason I have experienced a little tightness in my skin after applying this. So after the initial moisture surge, my skin felt tight, a bit like it's dehydrated, and goes away when I apply the second layer. However, after using this continuously, this seems to have gone away so potentially this product has repaired skin barrier and made my skin more able to retain moisture.

Okay let's just ignore my historic skin reading for a bit...and the level of inconsistency I measure my skin! This is what my skin is like 4-5 hours after I've done a quick 3-skin method and 1 layer of this moisturiser. My skin is classically dehydrated (if that even is a thing...!) and previously by this time it would have dropped to less then 30%. Now, this may be because of the 3 skin method, but to a certain extent I definitely feel that the moisturiser helps to lock some of that moisture in. It's difficult to determine because of my preconception that because it's a thin moisturiser, it's not as good in locking the moisture in like some of the other thicker creams that I use. The only "tight" area when I did this reading is actually around my eyes (I have applied eye cream but recently I'm thinking my eyes need something stronger and serums...)

So you can see that I have applied the product to the back of my hand and I took a reading probably 15 minutes after. The other hand hasn't got any product on it (again, my hands/skin is notoriously dehydrated). You can see the stark difference in the readings 31% versus 12%.

Is this for me?

Good question, also one I can't answer. Reason being that because this is a natural product, it contains a lot of different extracts and oils that your skin may not be tolerant to - natural isn't always good, e.g. coconut oil has worked absolutely terrifyingly on my skin and I have never, ever used it again on my face or hair. There is coconut oil in this product, but it hasn't affect my skin, and most likely because it being furhter down the ingredient list as well as the entire formulation of the product that has worked, and despite some ingredients that I thought would be heavy (shea butter, mango seed butter, olive fruit oil...), this product is far from it and has absorbed into my skin really well. However, I do need 2 layers of this to feel hydrated and if I use this in the evening, I also layer a thicker moisturiser and sleeping mask on top.

The price point for this is also higher (£45.00) than some other moisturisers, including my favourite Huxley (~£30.00) moisturisers, which are thicker but does not feel thick at all on the skin. If you have the budget for this, I would definitely recommend trying this, especially for the coming months where it will be warmer, or to combat the changing weather. I have used this in a "transition" season/weather and it has helped with my skin be more tolerant of my environment - I sleep and live within a very dry indoors too and my skin normally struggles to retain moisture, especially when the heating is on.

If I wasn't such a hopper and curious to try so many different products, this is high up on my list to purchase. Not only does it look luxurious, it also feels luxurious with an incredible ingredient list. You can buy this from Skinsider UK (who have provided this for review purposes; my opinions are my own), and I have seen them do sale/discounts and bundles for their products. I think if this was paired with another product, e.g. serum, mask, toner, it may be a popular and decent set to have on the shelf.

I say this often - one product does not always work well on its own, rather you will need to pair it or use it with other products within your routine to really bring out the qualities of the product. Each product have their own function that supports other products you use for your routine.

I would absolutely love to try the essence toner and use the 7 skin method to see if I can give my dehydrated skin some love and to achieve the "glass skin" that is so popular these days, and to pair it up with this moisturiser.

Conclusion

This moisturiser is a solid 4/5 for me and I would definitely recommend this as a day moisturiser under your sunscreen and/or makeup; and would be a 5/5 if it was even more hydrating for my skin, i.e. I don't need to use 2 layers of it. This being said, this may be environmental factors and my original skin condition. I'd like to know if long use of this product is truly "anti-aging" and if there is a way to track if it really deeply repairs my skin to retain moisture better.

Skinsider UK provides a lot of information about the product - I would highly recommend looking at the ingredient list to see if there are potentially any ingredient that may irritate your skin in this product.

Have you used this? What do you think of this and what other comments would you add?

 

#46 - Skin Edit - My acne-prone skin [REAL TALK]

Today marks the end of the month - this is just something I noticed and nothing to do with the content of this blog.

Let's start again.

Today is going to be the day I "bare it all"; I've been struggling with wanting to post this for a very long time because this involves sharing some awful images of my skin, and how awful my skin was/is. I've never been insecure about my skin until I was in my adulthood, where acne just started popping up left, right, centre (mostly around the mouth area). 

If you have acne prone skin, you'll know how it feels - makeup doesn't go right, you're supposed to not use cosmetics so your skin can breathe, but you'll end up using full coverage because you hate how your spots look, and then the makeup starts to be cakey, especially around the spot, and you can never conceal a bump.

You know what I mean right.

What today is not about is how to "cure" acne. Because the reason why anyone would have acne differs and what works for me doesn't necessarily work for you. 

Today is all about showing you all the gross and awful images of my skin. Only cropped, unretouched on the phone and various lighting. My old phone has an automatic skin-smoothing capability so it's not that my skin is poreless, but because it's been digitally blurred before I even brought it through any app.

So brace yourself, here goes. After these horrific images, you'll see 5 things I've done to combat bad skin like that.

These are my skin at some of its worst times, taken at different periods so I would have broken out, then healed, then broken out in different areas at a different time. How bad it has been has varied over time, but the more than acne is that the rest of my face wasn't in a particularly good condition.

Wow. 

Real talk -  it took me hours to trawl through my google photos to look for all these archived images, because no one takes selfies when their skin is THIS bad. I took them for my own reference, to get an objective perspective, and to accept it for what it is and start moving forward.

It is absolutely DEPRESSING having skin like that. Because even though 70% of my face is actually fine, but who cares about the good? It's always the bad parts that stick out, literally, and I just don't have the skill to conceal and smooth and generally spend 2 hours in front of the mirror trying to get it right only to have it all patch up 2 hours later (or less).

Not only was my skin spotty, they also left some deep scarring in which some I am still trying to get rid of - it gets harder as you grow older! My skin was textured, bumpy, I had whiteheads, blackheads; it was dehydrated, oily, irritated... it was as if I had literally all the problems everyone has on that one skin, or at least I felt like it!

Following is when my skin has gotten better and after a whole year, I have transformed my skin - i still have hormonal breakouts and deep scarring, but the breakouts have eased off.

The bottom line is that Good Skin Takes Time.

It took me a whole year (at least) to fully transform my skin to what it is today. I appreciate every single makeup artist who have told me my skin was great and it is my pleasure to tell them that I have worked so hard for it. I appreciate that my skin wasn't dire in your eyes, but when you have bad skin/spots/whatever, no one else's opinions actually matter to you. 

Because honestly, when I had skin like that, I really didn't give a sh*t what everyone else say and only cared about how I saw myself and what I will do about it. 

"Good skin" can be defined differently by different people; the meaning differs between you and others. I want good skin because it's easier for me to be confident about myself, because it can reduce the amount of time I put makeup on, because I can roll out of bed and not needing to spend a huge amount of time getting ready just so I can go out to grab a few bits. I want good skin because I want to be able to use many different products, instead of limiting myself to certain ones because they work better for my skin. My curiosity for makeup and skincare is a strong enough motivation for me to have good skin.

Here are 5 things I have done in the past 2 years to transform and maintain my skin.

Take what you need and don't expect to learn anything ground-breaking because these are not unique tips. You probably already know these, but are you doing them and doing them regularly? Be honest. Good skin is the byproduct of good habits.

  1. Double cleansing: 
    I have always cleansed my skin with oil, then foam/second step cleanser. What was different was the product I was cleaning my skin with. The product that really transformed my skin for the first time was Vichy's Normaderm Face Wash. This is for acne prone skin as it contains salicylic acid, a BHA, which works inside the pores to help clear. Eventually I was able to move on to other k-beauty washes that don't contain salicylic acid, although I do try to use face washes that have a lower pH or enzyme wash to help the skin build its barriers
     
  2. Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate:
    If there is one thing and advice I would give, is to use everything hydrating.  From cleansing to toning to sheet-masking and all the way through to moisturising. Your skin may be dull not because you haven't exfoliated enough, but because it isn't hydrated enough. The trend in Korea is to have "chok-chok" skin, which is the dewy-ness that is trending in the west currently, and this is achieved by non-other than hydrating. There are so many products out there that claims to do so many things and when I get confused why no products are working for my skin, I will always go back to hydrating, the only way where I have seen worked in fading my scars and reducing spots as it restores the balance between oil and water in the skin
     
  3. Know your skin
    This doesn't come easy, but there is so much resources on the internet these days, and instagram is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to beauty and skin care. Know your skin first and diagnose what your skin type and skin condition is, before identifying what can potentially cause problems with your skin. Chances are that if you are breaking out, there may be another underlying problem.

    For example, for me, my skin condition is dehydrated, but my skin type is oily. So when it's dehydrated my skin will product more oil to compensate for the lack of water. How to "fix" this? Hydration through sheet masking and doing it intensely for 7 days in a row.

    Figure out what the problem is before trying to figure out how to solve it - if you do this for your job or for other aspects of your life, why wouldn't you do the same for your skin?
     
  4. Don't touch your skin so much
    It's tempting, but don't. Your hands/fingers are covered with gross bacteria, grime, and etc. Honestly sometimes you can't help it but not touching your face, or only touching your face after you've cleaned your hands, is going to help by not pushing any additional dirt into your skin.

    I have admitted this before, but I pop my spots. I make sure that not only the pus comes out, but also the "head" of it pops out (otherwise it will regrow). But I do not use my fingers to pop as I may smear the bacteria to other parts of the face. I use cotton buds to gently squeeze everything out and wipe, rather than using my potentially dirty fingers and make the spots flare up again because of contact with bacteria.
     
  5. Remember that good skin takes time; good skin is the by-product of good habits
    Even if you naturally have good skin, this still applies to you. 

    This is going to be cheesy, but I firmly believe and have gone with this motto to keep myself motivated. I strongly believe that you work for the skin that you want tomorrow. I know this sounds intuitive, but ask yourself if you really live by this, or do you want instant results? Retinol doesn't work over-night, hydration loses over-night, your body doesn't eject toxins instantly...etc. You get the hint. Your skin will not miraculously change over-night to perfect, porcelain skin so the efforts you put in today, you will reap results at least a few weeks away

    Of course, there are certain products that would help you overnight/instantly. When this happens, chances are that it's directly targeting areas where you have neglected over time. For example, if you haven't exfoliated in several weeks, then the first exfoliator that you use is going to have more effect on your skin than if you exfoliate 3 times a week.

    Over the years, I have really learnt that my skin is the byproduct of good habits. These could be little things like, always removing makeup before I sleep, double cleanse in the evening, use micellar water in the morning, always tone, masking often...etc. I will always believe in this because of the good beauty habits that I have trained myself to have.

    Figure out what your beauty bad habits are and think about ways which you can change them. You may not see instant change, but if you try to keep track, you may just be very pleasantly surprised.

So this is it. I have never shared these images with people before as I am certainly not fond of sharing no-makeup selfies, but in this instance, just to show you how bad my skin was, here you go. My skin has gotten worse/better and I am working everyday to move to good skin.

What does good skin mean to you? Why do you use good skin? What good/bad beauty habits do you have and may change?

 

#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.

IMG_4808.jpg

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?

#42 - Skin Edit - It's not you, It's me

Let's be real here, how many times have you bought a product or have used a tester, only to find out that it doesn't really suit your skin? By then you may have already spent a fortune on those products and naturally, you can't return them.

I definitely have, especially with foundations.

For example, the tester for my Urban Decay All Nighter foundation was amazing. It really was, my skin looked absolutely flawless in camera with just one layer of this gorgeous full coverage foundation. So I bought the full sized product (30ml) for £27 to use on my wedding day. Something was fishy about it on my wedding day, where it was patchy and I haven't experienced this with the tester. Thankfully it wasn't anything major and the day went by without a makeup disaster.

And then it was another test shoot that I was doing... oh that was bad.... real bad. Not only did it patch up all over the face (forehead, cheeks, nose, chin...), it was also really difficult to work with the product . I had to wipe my whole face off and reapply the makeup - yes, it was bad enough that this was the best action to have taken!

So what went wrong? Well, whilst I am no longer fond of the product, but I have learnt to work with it; my skin had to be very hydrated and moisturised (well-prepped) for this product to work well. Was it the product's fault? Or was it mine, when my skin changes, becomes drier and this product no longer functioned as well?

I am 2 minds about this. On one hand, I feel that this should have worked regardless, that's the marketing and advertising, and that I have also invested in this product. Granted, it's onto the most expensive foundation out there, but still, I am expecting for the product to actually be worth the amount of money I paid for for it.

On the other hand, a product doesn't cater to my skin condition all year round. It's not a thinking thing and it certainly does not know my skin well. All products have some form of a shelf life too, just because it worked well when once new, doesn't mean they will always work in the same way. So maybe, it's not the product, it's me.

Now I'm sure not everyone will agree because, well, a product is supposed to do what it markets to do, and I get it, but no skin is made equal. One product would work amazingly for me whilst terrible for someone else and it is times like this we have to ask ourselves, is it really the product, or is it me?

Here are 5 examples:

  1. Foundation: how well the foundation goes on your skin depends on not only the product itself, but also your skin condition. If your skin is dry, chances are that thicker, full coverage foundations will patch up a lot quicker and you may have to prep your skin very well before applying it. There are also other factors such as the tool you are applying the foundation with, and what primer/moisturiser is layered under. There will be some products, like my Urban Decay All Nighter, that are a lot more unforgiving than other products, e.g. NARS, Illamasqua, MAC, Make Up Forever (and now we know why make up artists rarely have Urban Decay foundations in their kit!)
     
  2. Moisturisers:/oils: there are some "holy grail" moisturisers out there, and then there are some popular ones, then there are some cute ones... it's often hard to decide what is best for your skin and this is one of those products that you find you may have to change throughout the year for your skin to benefit from the product. Some moisturisers/brands that other people like may not suit you. I would say this is 50/50 - you have to pick one that works for your skin rather than just pick one that everyone likes. Occasionally you may have to break your perspective on certain type of products. For me this is steam cream - I had an amazing one from Skin Ceramic, and now I have one from Secret Key that I'm not necessarily liking, even if it's a steam cream. There may also be ingredients within moisturisers that may not work well with your skin at all and at this point, is it really the product? My skin does not mesh with oil at all, and I have even tried squalane, but this doesn't mean that these oils do nothing, it's just me.
     
  3. Exfoliators: so this one may be just me... when I first started using AHA and BHA exfoliators, I didn't think that my peel was working and dismissed the product for a while. Learnt that it should be used on dry skin rather than damp has changed my perspective on the product. Sometimes with products like this, it's not the product, but us not using it correctly for the product to really work
     
  4. Make up removers: whilst I will always condone a balm cleanser, this may not work for you. Many people I know use make up wipes and I am just not convinced that the wipes truly remove all make up because it doesn't work for me, whilst other people I know find it work well for them. Perhaps it is their make up habits, but even with light make up I definitely feel that I need some thorough cleansing before I feel that my skin is squeaky clean (and to prevent breakouts). Are the wipes bad? For me it is and I cringe every time I hear someone uses them solely for removing make up, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they are ineffective, especially for those who enjoy these products and feel it works for them

    (I still do not using solely make up wipes and I will always stand by this!)
     
  5. Toners/mists: honestly there are some toners and mists that are highly raved about and highly rated but I just cannot get along with them. One of which is Caudalie mist that everyone seems to love, but this product is far too fragrant and contains alcohol which doesn't sit well on my skin, nor do I enjoy the smell of it. That being said, there have been toners that I have enjoyed that have alcohol, but worked well on my skin (even though I still despised the smell). Time and time again I will give it a second chance because of travelling, but the fragrance is not something I prefer. Is this the product? No, this is definitely me

 

So, in conclusion, before your dismiss a product, ask yourself whether it truly is the product, or is it yourself that is the problem? Does the product just not work for your skin, are you using the product correctly, or are you using it under incorrect conditions?  This is why I will always trial a product for 3-4 weeks before writing up a review, unless I really love it upon first use, or would want to write up a first impression blog.

What are your thoughts? Do you give your products a second chance? How many circumstances are because of you and not the product?

#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?