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The Body Shop: Tea Tree Oil

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One of my New Year’s resolutions was to take better care of my skin and so I got right on that by ordering a bunch of products from The Body Shop’s Tea Tree line. Now I have previously used the Tea Tree Toner from The Body Shop but it was just way too harsh for my skin and so I never repurchased. I needed a spot treatment and picked up this little bottle of tea tree oil. The reviews for it are great; many people swear by it and its abilities to combat breakouts. Here’s my two cents. 

In terms of controlling and helping acne blemishes go away, it does a decent job for new blemishes now popping up under the skin. But for pesky ones that like to stay a while and not go away, it doesn’t work as well. I find that it doesn’t actually perform as well as the Etude House AC Clinic Red Spot Balm and it doesn’t last nearly half as long. There’s only 10 mL of product in the bottle and after using it everyday for the past 2-3 weeks I’m about halfway through. It’s tricky to put on because you have to either use a cotton swab or your fingertip and place it on the head and tilt it so enough product comes out. That being said, you don’t really know how much you’re pouring until you see it dripping down. So the packaging is a bit iffy, in my opinion. 

It smells strongly of tea tree oil and once you put it on, it stings a bit then goes away. I do like that it’s a clear liquid so when you put it on your face you can still go about normally without having to worry about white or tan spots from other spot treatments all over your face. I know we’ve all been there and probably have freaked out a bunch of people as well. Aside from it’s decent job of clearing blemishes, I would not repurchase this product. It was nice to try to see if it works but in the end, my skin needs something a bit better and stronger. 

Pros:

– Made from Community Fair Trade organic tea tree oil

– Clear spot treatment 

– Does a decent job of combating pimples 

Cons:

– Dries out the skin

– Packaging is a bit difficult

– Finishes quickly

– Does not work as fast

Rate: 3.5/5

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Skin Care Concerns and Tips for Uneven Skin Tone and Breakouts!

Many of us suffer from a variety of skin concerns. Some of these include uneven skin tone, oily, acne prone skin and more. This post will be addressing some of these concerns and giving a few tips and advice on how to deal with these problems. 

 Uneven Skin Tone

A lot people suffer from uneven skin tone, whether it be on our faces or on our bodies or both. These can be due to age, exposure to the sun, friction, shaving and even products like antiperspirants. One way to help even out skin tone would be to exfoliate, at least once a week. It’s important to give yourself a really good scrub down to get rid of all the dead skin cells in order for newer ones to form. Most people use loofahs but what I find really works is Korean ‘Italy towels‘. They come in a variety of ‘roughness’ and really get a lot of dead skin cells off. You put your hands inside and use it to scrub your entire body. After soaking in hot water in the shower or bath for about 15 minutes, you can start scrubbing your skin. The best thing is that you don’t need to use any shower gel to give it a lather because it’s supposed to be just pure friction. Your skin will get red and it will kinda sorta hurt but you’ll be as soft as a baby’s butt afterwards. 

For dark underarms a simple paste made out of baking soda and lemon juice or water will help lighten it up. All you need to do is mix some baking soda with water or lemon juice until it forms a nice paste and apply it to your underarms and leave it on for 15 minutes. If you keep doing this weekly or every few days, you will notice a huge difference. That being said, the same paste could be used to lighten up parts like dark elbows and knees as well!

For dull, uneven skin tone on your face, a moisturizer with Vitamin C in it works to help brighten up your skin instantly. The vitamin C also helps to fade dark spots and hyper-pigmentation from breakouts as well. Face oils such as Argan oil or Maracuja oil contain a lot of vitamins and essential fatty acids which nourish and hydrate the skin, fade dark patches and spots, help with breakouts, control oil and shine and give your skin a healthy glow. You only need about a drop or two every time, so a little really goes a long way. I highly recommend trying a face oil like Josie Maran’s Argan Oil or Argan Oil Light if you’re a first timer and if you have oily, acne prone skin. Trust me, it WORKS. The oil hydrates your skin so it doesn’t feel dehydrated and needs to produce more oil than normal. With the oil production cut down, there would be less chances of breakouts because there’s less sebum clogging the pores of the skin. It’s literally a win-win situation. 

 

Breakouts

To keep breakouts at bay, I suggest using clay masks once a week or any other type of mask geared toward acne prone and oil skin. Ingredients such as tea tree, egg white, volcanic or ghassoul clay help to tighten pores and treat existing breakouts. 
 You should also cleanse twice a day, once in the morning and once at night if you have oily skin and make sure to use a gentle cleanser that won’t strip the skin of its natural oils. I like using Clinique’s Liquid Facial Soap in Mild which is geared to dry, combination skin but works just as well for my oily skin. 
If possible, try investing in a cleansing brush such as the Clairsonic or a less expensive one from Missha or buying a manual facial brush such as the Scrubbing pad from Sephora or a bristle brush like this:  This brush is also from Missha and has tons of soft bristles which help unclog your pores. Another tip for cleansing would be to work the brush against the grain of your skin. It’s better to brush both counterclockwise and clockwise depending on where you are brushing and which side of the face you are brushing. 

Spot treatments that contain calamine, tea tree oil, sulfur, or hinoki cypress really help in calming pimples and keeping them under control. I especially like Etude House’s AC Clinic Red Spot Balm because it does a fantastic job of minimizing the pimple and reducing redness and inflammation. Also their Pink Powder Spot is very popular and does a great job of healing acne. 
Another good spot treatment is Ciracle’s Red Spot Healing Cream which does the same thing and is super effective.  The important thing to keep in mind when treating breakouts is that everyone’s skin is different and will react differently to certain products. Some DIY masks that are great at helping keep break outs under control are: Sandalwood or Turmeric paste mask, Aspirin mask and Egg white mask. 

For entire skin care lines you can check out The Body Shop’s Tea Tree line and Etude House’s AC Clinic line as well as their Wonder Pore line; another great line of products is Holika Holika Soda Pore line and it doesn’t hurt to check out Ciracle’s Anti-Blemish Set and its other acne products. 

Thanks for reading! If you have any more questions or concerns, please let me know!

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How to treat dry, blistered and chapped skin during the winter!

Okay if any of you guys live in a cold climate, you know what I’m talking about. The wind and cold outside is so biting and strong that it literally chaps and ruins your skin and throws it off balance. Not to mention, the heat is on blast when you’re inside and that dries out your skin even further. Now I wouldn’t be writing this post if it wasn’t relevant because right now my face is so dry and tight and chapped and blistered, it literally looks as red as a tomato. And I’m sitting here writing this post with oatmeal on my face. Yes, I said it…OATMEAL. There’s nothing really we can do to help our skin ‘recover’ faster when this sort of thing happens because like most things, your skin needs to take its time to readjust and re-balance its natural oils. But we can help alleviate some of the inflammation and symptoms by making sure to keep to a strict routine of moisturization and of course, with the help of some good ol’ oatmeal. 

Oatmeal is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and are able to soothe skin irritations  such as dry, chapped skin. Oatmeal is also chock full of vitamins, minerals and lipids which provide essential hydration to your skin. Being extremely gentle and non-irritating, oatmeal is perfect for sensitive skin. What you can do is make a simple mask out of the oatmeal you have at home.

To make your homemade oatmeal mask you need: Oatmeal and water. If you need more hydration, you can also add in a teaspoon of honey.

How to:

1. With a generous amount of oatmeal cupped in your palm, place it under running water so that it oatmeal gets soggy and wet. Once it’s wet enough, you should be able to squeeze your hand and see a milky fluid coming out of it. This is the magical liquid you need!

2. Once you’ve squeezed enough of this liquid into a small bowl you can add the honey and even throw in the soggy flakes of the oatmeal because they still have the same benefits as the liquid. However, if you aren’t keen on being messy you can leave out that part. (Another method, which is extremely messy by the way, is to take the soggy oatmeal and its milky liquid in your palm and apply it directly to your face. You have to make sure to press the oatmeal into your skin to make it stick on there well).

3. Mix the ingredients well and then apply to your face GENEROUSLY. Dab it on, stick it on, whatever it takes. This step is the messiest because you end up getting oatmeal everywhere so make sure you do it over a sink. Once the ‘mask’ dries, your face should be feeling really tight and not hydrated at all…but that’s alright. Give the oatmeal some time to work its magic.

4. After 15 minutes (or longer if you want to), wash the oatmeal off gently using circular motions. (Oatmeal makes a great natural cleanser because it contains saponins, which are chemicals that are known for their cleansing properties).

5. After drying your face, your face should look less flushed and feel less dry and itchy than before. Continue on with your moisturization routine.

Make sure your face is properly moisturized at ALL times. In this situation, an oil would do a better moisturizing job than a thin moisturizer. Oils like argan oil are perfect for the job. Be careful not to over cleanse with any harsh cleansers and with any tools such as a scrubbing pad or a Clairsonic. Just make sure it has enough moisture to cope with. Exfoliating and scrubbing wouldn’t do any good in this situation because it would only abrade the skin even more and make it raw-er and drier.

And that’s how to use oatmeal to help your skin survive harsh winters! Trust me, it’s getting down to 4 degrees F tonight which is equivalent to -15 degrees C. Woo, sounds amazing right? Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed this post and if you have anymore winter skin remedies please let me know! 🙂

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Stila Brighten and Correct Concealer Review

ImageWhen I ordered this from Stila, I had pretty high hopes that it would do all that everyone who raved about it said it would do. I thought it was interesting that the concealer itself was made up of swirls of two colors that would mix to give your intended shade.Image On the box, it says that the coverage is medium and that it blended to a velvety finish. I like that it is formulated without parabens, oil, lanolin and fragrance. It wouldn’t irritate sensitive skin like mine. But I hated how I had to brush it over what I wanted to cover up, (blemishes) and would have to keep using the same brush head even when I didn’t have any blemishes; which would transfer oil and bacteria and all that other good stuff, and result in clogged pores and more blemishes. Kind of seems like a never-ending circle, no?
Image I got this color in Tan because Deep was incredibly dark for my skin-tone and the Light was way too light. So Tan seemed like a good choice. Upon taking it out and testing it, it has a twist cap so you’d have to twist and twist and twist until you see the brush head become tinged with makeup. This actually look a long time and a lot of twisting. But that’s understandable since it was brand new and never used. However, I noticed that I’d have to twist a lot to get even a bit to come out everyday. Now the tip of the concealer pen is a brush with very plastic-y looking bristles. It was weird when the concealer came out that I’d have to either dab the brush on my hand or put it directly onto my face, which turned out to be a problem. The colors never mixed well enough and so I ended up having to manually mix it with my fingertip, then apply it onto my face, which in the process, used up most of the concealer and I would end up having to use more. 

Also, I noticed that the coverage wasn’t all that great, the color didn’t really mesh well with my skin and so it would leave the spots I was trying to conceal looking reddish-brown; anything BUT tan…which I think is because the colors never swirled and came out properly out of the pen. I like the concept and idea of this concealer pen but unfortunately it would take a lot of tweaking to actually perfect it. The brush head is way too soft so when you try to apply it on the skin, the concealer just kind of goes back into the bristles. You guys know what I’m talking about? And the shade selections aren’t all that great as well; very few people would be able to use the shades Deep, Tan and Light without having to mix with another concealer. All in all, I ended up getting so frustrated with this concealer that I started using my MAC Studio Fix powder as concealer…and it ended up working out as so much better! If you guys really want to know how I did it, I’d be glad to share 😉 

Rate: 2/5 

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Sephora Intensive Instant Moisturizer Review

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This has been such a long awaited review ever since I got my Sephora haul ages ago. I’ve been completely swamped with midterms and school that I couldn’t devote much time and attention to my blog. Honestly speaking, ever since the 2nd week of school there hasn’t been one week where I didn’t have a midterm. Crazy I know. This is finally the first weekend I’ve had where I don’t have a midterm the following week. And to tell you the truth, it feels SO damn good to sit around and catch up on all my TV shows and shop online and just…do NOTHING. Anyways, let’s get right into the review! 

This moisturizer is the thicker more hydrating version of the Instant Moisturizer, which I have previously used before and loved. It was perfect for spring and summer because it moisturized well and didn’t feel heavy on the skin. However now that the weather has took a drastic turn (It snowed really hard last week already) I needed to up my skincare routine and go for a more hydrating moisturizer. This moisturizer did win out over the Josie Maran Argan Oil Light and the original Argan Oil! For starters, it smells really good! However, when you apply on your skin it absorbs and doesn’t leave your face smelling like Sephora. It is very hydrating; it’s perfect for oily/combo skin that need moisturization as the weather gets colder.  

It is pretty gentle on the skin, as it says on the box, it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. It has little iridescent particles in it that kind of leave a shimmer on your skin so it illuminates, but it is a VERY subtle effect. You’d have to stare at yourself up close and personal in the mirror to tell. It is non-comedogenic and formulated without parabens and oils so it hasn’t made me break out. I can always trust Sephora brand products to not break me out because they don’t contain any parabens and other harmful ingredients. Also, it’s thick enough to be worn as a night cream and light enough to be worn during the day. It all depends on how much you put on.

It comes in a jar container without a spatula, so it’s not as hygienic as pump moisturizers or the ones that do come with spatulas. However, I always put my moisturizer on as soon as I get out of the shower, making sure that my hands don’t touch a lot of surfaces to collect bacteria. 

All in all, I really like this moisturizer. It’s affordable and it moisturizes well if you have oily/combo skin. It doesn’t leave your face oily or tacky and doesn’t feel heavy. 

Rate: 5/5

 

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Stila Haul!

Hey guys do I’m back with another haul and I’m so excited to share all of these goodies with you! So Stila was having their incredible Fall sale and I couldn’t resist getting my hands on these!ImageSo I picked up their long wear lip color in Serenade, Coquette, Flushed and Lover.ImageI also got the prime pot in Taffy. This stuff literally doesn’t come off after you put it on!IMG_2908-tileAnd since I recently ran out of concealor, I grabbed their Brighten and Correct ConcealorIMG_2931And a white smudgestick waterproof eyeliner and convertible eye colorIMG_2929 Here’s what the lip colors look like out of the boxIMG_2924-horz

And of course, here are the swatches of everything except for the concealor (will be doing a review of it later on).IMG_2935The colors are amazing. Lover is so pigmented but I personally love Flushed and Coquette. I think they’re perfect for Fall and Winter when you don’t want to be wearing really bright colors on your lips. Super natural and moisturizing as well!IMG_2920Stila was also kind enough to throw in a samples of their skincare set and a sample of their color balm lipsticks.IMG_2919Overall, I’m happy with this haul. Can’t wait to use all of these products now!

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Noxzema Ultimate Clear Anti-Blemish Pads

Hey guys! I’ve been MIA for quite awhile because I’ve been so caught up with school and everything else. It’s not a joke when I say that school consumes my life, literally! But I really wanted to make this post because I hate not posting anything for a long period of time. So here goes!

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 I started using these after I picked them up at Target a while ago, mostly because I love pads like these that not only cleans your face but also takes off your makeup as well. A huge plus was that this has 90 pads so it should be well worth the few bucks spent. They are marketed as “helps to clear pores, remove excess oil and treat and prevent breakouts.” These anti-blemish pads that contain salicylic acid 2% so it’s basically like a topical acne treatment for your entire face. Something that totally surprised me about these pads was the amount of dirt it gets off of your skin. I tried these on my neck and back and was blown away with how much ‘dirt’ was on my skin, even though I shower twice a day. How ridiculous is that? I couldn’t believe it so of course I tried it on other people and got the same results. These are super deep cleaning if it can manage to do that. These are also good for if you have pesky little bacne breakouts, swipe it over and cover the area with it and just go about your day, and you will see a huge decrease in the size of your breakouts. 

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These are quilted and may feel a bit rough but it really helps to exfoliate your skin and get rid of the dead skin cells. They contain denatured alcohol, but honestly I haven’t experienced any lasting stinging sensation with these than I have with the Stridex pads. It does burn a bit when you apply it because there is alcohol in it but it comes off as more of a cooling sensation rather than a burning sensation. It goes away after a few seconds and doesn’t seem to irritate my skin. Did I mention that these pads get off all of my face makeup at the end of the day? Well they do. Huge plus for that too. If I ever feel oily I can just dab one of these over my face and it takes away the oil that has accumulated. Overall, I really love these pads. They’re inexpensive and they really get the job done. 

Rate: 4.5/5

 

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Clinique’s Liquid Facial Soap Review

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After using several cleansers in the past I think I’ve finally found the one that is perfect for my skin. And surprise surprise, it’s from Clinique. I love Clinique products because they’re fragrance free, dermatologist tested, super gentle and doesn’t irritate sensitive skin. Don’t let the word ‘soap’ deter you from trying this. It’s anything but harsh. When I first tried it, I was amazed with how super gentle this cleanser was, yet still effective. Even though I have oily skin, I’ve found that the mild type facial soap for dry/combo skin is much better for my skin. It’s a lot more gentler on my sensitive skin and it cleans my skin well without stripping it of its natural oils and leaves my face feeling tight and dry. Since summer ended, my skin began to act differently since it wasn’t as hot anymore. It became drier and I even needed a more hydrating moisturizer to make it feel ‘normal’ again. This cleanser was perfect for that period because it’s initially directed towards people with dry/combo skin. Also since I’ve started using this cleanser, I’ve noticed a decrease in the number of times I broke out. I went from breaking out from what seems like every week or 2 weeks to once a month. I honestly thought that no cleanser that wasn’t super duper expensive could help clear up breakouts and keep them at bay, but this has proven me wrong. 

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The cleanser is clear and liquid-y (as the name suggests) and foams a little bit when lathered. I like the foam that it produces because it feels natural and not overdone like most foaming cleansers do when they ‘foam’. When used with my scrubbing pad it effectively removes my makeup and everything else on my face. I don’t even feel scared about using this cleanser on my eyelids…that’s how gentle it is. 

Overall, I love this cleanser. I’m definitely going to keep using this cleanser especially during the upcoming fall and winter months. A full sized bottle (it’s huge) is only $16.50 and you only need a dime sized amount to cleanse your face with so it definitely is economical and worth it. 

Pros: 

– Gentle

– Cleanses effectively (takes off make-up, oil, dirt, etc)

– Non-drying

– Fragrance free

– Great for sensitive skin

– Doesn’t break your bank 

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Mini-Beauty/Clothing Haul

Image So I desperately needed to get a new moisturizer because I was reduced to scraping the little bits left of my old one, and so I went to the mall yesterday. Surprisingly, it was quite busy, maybe due to the fact that it was a Friday and that all the school kids were now out of school and decided to head over. Instead of just picking up a moisturizer I happened to pick up some other things. ImageI went to target and got these Noxzema Anti-Blemish Pads and picked up a concealer and blotting papers from E.L.F. ImageMy next stop was of course…Forever21. I absolutely LOVE their leggings. I literally live in them. They’re so comfy and they don’t look like leggings but like pants. They’re all 95% cotton (YAY) and only 5% spandex. I hate, hate, hate wearing spandex, except from when I’m working out, because it just clings too tight and urghhh, you guys know what I mean hahah. So I picked up these two leggings and I must say I adore the prints. One of them even has zips on the sides of the ankles. Well worth picking up a few of these, because as it gets colder, you’ll need these warm leggings. I then finally headed over to Sephora to get a moisturizer. Prior to going, I had read reviews of some of their most popular moisturizers and I determined to choose between two: Sephora’s Intensive Instant Moisturizer and Josie Maran Argan Oil Light. I tested them out, and even asked the opinion of two sales associates and the winner was the Intensive Instant Moisturizer. ImageImageI was really excited about trying the Josie Maran Argan Oil but when I tried it and let it soak into my skin, I could still see a subtle oil sheen. And as a person with oily skin…that is a definite no. So I went ahead and got the Intensive Instant Moisturizer. I previously used the Instant Moisturizer and loved it but never got a chance to repurchase, so now as the weather is getting cooler and my skin is (surprisingly) getting a bit drier I went for the Intensive because I wanted a bit more hydration. I will be reviewing this moisturizer in the coming weeks or so, so stay tuned for that!

Have any of you guys tried the Josie Maran Argan Oil as a moisturizer? What do you think about it? 😡