All, Reviews

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream

Hello everyone! I’ve been pretty MIA these past few months and that’s solely due to my own procrastination and laziness LOL. So I’m back with a review about my absolute favourite lip product, the soft matte lip cream by NYX. I’ve seen and heard a million things about them but I only managed to pick one up from Target this summer. And needless to say, I fell in love with it.

photo (2)I got it in the color Antwerp which is this kind of fuchsia pink but doesn’t look like it online. I find that all of the colors are a bit off online when it comes to these lip products so it’s best to check them out in store. Here’s a swatch of what it looks like:
photo (5) I really love the color and consistency of this lip cream. It’s very pigmented in my opinion and the staying power is AMAZING. It dries to a matte stain and doesn’t come off for hours. I’ve seriously fallen asleep with this on and woke up with it still on my lips. It’s easy to apply and as long as your lips aren’t dry or cracked, it will look very smooth and natural. You can make the color more vibrant by layering it but if you want a natural look, one swipe is enough. They also come in a variety of colors so my next pick will be something with a bit of orange in it.

One thing about it though is that it finishes pretty quickly. Well, that may be due to the fact that I’ve used only this product on my lips for the entire summer LOL. But I wasn’t expecting it to finish so quickly and kind of look a little dry in the tube. However, since it’s only $5.99 at Target, it’s affordable to keep replenishing when you run out. I’ve also heard things about the NYX Butter Gloss so I might check that out when I’m at Target again.

Rate: 4.5/5

All, Reviews

Clinique Moisture Surge Review

Hello all! Today I’ll be reviewing the Clinique Moisture Surge moisturizer that I’ve been using for quite a while now. I’m finally done with finals and the semester so now I’m just ready to kick-start summer! Anyways, back to the main point, this moisturizer is intended to be a light moisturizer that’s not too heavy or sticky. It is gel based and has a gel like consistency but sort of  little bit thicker. It is hydrating enough for use during the spring and summer and when the weather is really humid and hot. However, if you have dry skin or combo skin I wouldn’t suggest using this moisturizer. I have oily skin but even so I have my dry skin phases and I’ve used  this moisturizer when my skin has reacted really terribly to the change in weather. That being said, this moisturizer alone will not do it if you have dry patches or have dry skin in general. It is best when layered with a serum or essence. Image

Here’s what it looks like on my hand

Image

And here’s a swatch

A lot of people have said that this moisturizer soothes redness and inflamed skin and from my personal experience, it doesn’t really do exactly that. Maybe it does if you really pack it on but I find that a little bit goes a long way to cover my face. In my opinion, it’s a basic hydrating moisturizer best suited for those with combo/oily skin and definitely not something that’s to be used alone. I like this moisturizer but I haven’t seen any extremely drastic changes to my skin when using it.

Rate: 3.5/5

 

All, Reviews

Products I’m currently trying!

Image

I got these two samples in a Clinique beauty bag that came as a free gift when you ordered more than x-dollars from Clinique or something and these were included in the cosmetic bag. I’ve heard a lot about the Clinique Moisture Surge and I just so happened to have run out of my Josie Maran Argan Oil, so I decided to start using this instead. So far I’ve been really liking it, as well as the Repairwear Laser Focus serum, which I use at night. The Moisture Surge, though it’s a gel-like consistency, is very hydrating and thicker than most gels and doesn’t leave my skin feelings parched. I haven’t seen much of a difference from using the Repairwear Laser Focus, so I will have to keep using it and get back to you guys on that.

Image

I picked these makeup remover wipes while standing in line at Forever21 and decided to give them a try. Now I didn’t expect amazing things from these wipes, but they were $2.80 and so I thought “why not?” They’ve been pretty good at getting my makeup off and they’re extremely gentle on my sensitive skin. Usually makeup wipes leave my skin burning, which is why I never used them. But these seem to work for my skin and so I’m glad.

I will try to do a more in-depth review of these products if I end up really loving them and if you guys want reviews on them, I will of course do my best to review them 🙂

All

Gradient/Ombre Lips

Today I wanted to try something new with my lipstick: Gradient lips! I love the look of gradient lips because it looks so fresh and cute. This was a trend started in South Korea and is part of the whole ‘Ulzzang’ trend and is very popular there. It’s only become a trend over here recently and I haven’t seen much of it lately because of the dark hues being worn during the winter. The purpose of the gradient lips is the opposite of a vampy, red lip; it’s more on the innocent side and makes your makeup and your face look more youthful and fresher. So to do the gradient lips, you need two colors that are in the same family, one should be lighter and the other should be darker/deeper than the other. The lighter color should go on the outer part of your lips and the brighter color should go on the inner part of your lips. Image                                                               I used these two lipsticks: Cozy Up and Purty Persimmon

As you can see Purty Persimmon is a really bright orange red color and Cozy Up is a pretty nude color that’s sort of coral-ish when you put it on.

Image

Here’s my attempt at the gradient lips.

Image

It’s kind of hard to see the gradation on camera but in real life it looks a lot more vivid.

It really looks pretty and summery and kind of like you were sucking on a popsicle or lollipop LOL. I’d definitely try to wear this more in the spring and summertime because it’s perfect for warm, beach weather. This kind of gradient lip is the type that looks good with any lip shape and flatters most makeup looks; especially young, fresh-faced natural makeup.

All

The Body Shop Tea Tree Concealer

Image

Hello everyone! I hope you guys are having a good day; we got blasted with another winter storm today and thus classes were cancelled and outside looks like a winter wonderland! I’ve been meaning to review this concealer but wanted to wait until I’ve used it a lot so I’d give a thorough review of it.

I bought this when I bought a bunch of products from the Tea Tree Line from The Body Shop. I needed a new concealer because I’ve been using my MAC Studio Fix as a concealer (it works better than you think) since I ditched my Stila concealer. I was surprised because this concealer comes in a lipstick tube and is shaped like a lipstick itself. At first the smell was a bit off putting, it smelled kind of like old makeup and I could get faint hints of tea tree here and there. After getting over the initial smell, I decided to try it and I ended up really liking it. The consistency is very good and it’s very creamy and easy to blend. It has medium-full coverage and it’s very build-able. I got mine in Shade 02 which is darkest of the 2 shades that The Body Shop offers.

Image                                            Here’s a swatch of it on my hand

It’s kind of hard to see but the consistency really sinks into your skin. One of the reasons why I like this concealer so much is because it is very hydrating and creamy. So if you try to apply it on blemishes or dry patches on your skin, it does a good job of moisturizing the dry skin and makes it pretty invisible to the naked eye. This concealer is also very easy to apply; it’s just like applying a lipstick. Take off the cap wind the tube up and start marking away. I like that I can just hold the tube and dab it on areas that need concealing and just use my finger to blend. It really is a no-fuss application.

The main point of this Tea Tree Concealer is that it contains tea tree oil which helps to heal blemishes and reduce redness. Since most people concealer blemishes and breakouts with regular concealer that may contain additional oils and parabens, I think this is a very genius idea to have a concealer that contains a blemish fighting ingredient so it acts as a spot treatment as well as a concealer. I know regular spot treatments cannot be worn with daily makeup because they are usually white gels or tinted and don’t blend with makeup; therefore this is a great alternative that could be worn when going outside.

Pros:

– Very blend-able

– Creamy and hydrating consistency

– Helps heal blemishes and conceal redness

– Easy application

– Very travel friendly

– Medium – Full coverage

– Affordable

Cons:

– There are some issues with winding the tube

– People who are sensitive to smells will not like it

All

The Body Shop: Tea Tree Oil

Image

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

All

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!

All, DIYs

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! 🙂

All

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