Tending to troubled skin

Hey, that's me!
I've been having some minor, but annoying, skin issues lately. It's just some breakouts, that I've attributed to seasonal change and probably a slight product overload. I've simplified my skincare routine a bit, in the sense that I'm now rotating my products throughout the week rather than just layering all of them on at once, haha. But I've also added a new item - which I know is really counter-intuitive if the goal is to make things less complicated. I think the addition of Innisfree's Bija cica balm has actually helped to improve my current issues, though.

Innisfree's Bija-line is aimed at treating, nourishing and protecting troubled skin. I first learned about this product through a review by Ammarah. I was really intrigued by the ingredient list. It contains Panthenol and Centella Asiatica (Pennywort), which has antioxidant and soothing properties. It's used in a lot of skin care and also in traditional medicine. The "star" ingredient, however, is bija or Torreya Nucifera seed oil. According to my Wikipedia-research, Bija (also known as kaya or Japanese nutmeg yew) is a corniferous tree native to Japan and South Korea's Jeju Island. Apparently they use to wood to make shogi and go boards, and the leaves and the seeds have ritual uses in Japanese esoteric Buddhism. Quite Interesting. Innisfree claims on their site that bija seed oil can help gently smooth skin and reinforce its natural defence system. Sounds good to me!

The balm has a smooth texture and it glides over the skin effortlessly when applied. I don't think it feels too heavy on the skin, but it's definitely very rich. Thankfully, the skinny nozzle on the tube makes it easy to squeeze out the right amount. I don't think it does much for redness, but I can feel the soothing effect almost immediately. I can see myself reaching for this a lot next winter! I do notice that my current foundation doesn't always apply that well over it. The moisturizing and nourishing effects are no joke, though, so I'm willing to put up with it. Plus I do notice that my blemishes disappear a bit faster since I've started using it. It's a bit on the pricier side, but I like it enough to purchase it again. 

So nice, I bought it twice

I ended up being a lot busier than I expected in August, so I didn't have much time to post. I started back at my internship after a break in July and also spent a lot of time making final corrections and adjustments on my thesis. I was finally able to turn it in on Friday! I kind of feel bad for spending so much time on it, since at the end I felt like it wasn't as big of a deal as I made it out to be in my head. But I'm glad I'm all done now. Though I have to admit, planning my next step after graduation is a bit daunting. But enough about me. Summer is already officially over where I am, but I thought I would come back with a final look at a couple of items in Etude House's spring/summer collection. Like I mentioned before, I picked up another shade of the Wonder Fun Park Dear Darling Tint, and I also got one of the Dear My Blooming Lips Talk lipsticks in a chiffon finish.

I got the lip tint in the shade PK002 Chewing Bubble Soda, which is a cool toned hot pink. The formula is the same as the one I got before: A lovely sheer gloss that can be built up to a bit more more opaque look. It also stains your lips, so your lips will stay tinted even after the product itself has worn off. 

Despite being such an electric shade of pink, I actually think it's a very wearable color. My lips are naturally pretty pigmented, so the sheer payoff creates a nice mauve-ish look on me. I like it! Even though it's part of the summer collection, I think the shade will work nicely in the fall too.

Can you tell which photos I took when it was cloudy?
I love the lipstick's packaging. It's super eye-catching and adorable! The scalloped detail and the little metallic stars on the case are cute as heck. Unfortunately I'm not too hot on the lipstick itself. 

I wasn't expecting the formula to be as sheer as it is, since it's a matte/chiffon lipstick. Though maybe I should have, considering the lip tints. If I want to completely cover my lips, I have to apply at least three layers of it. And even then, there will be patches where my natural lip color peeks through. The product feels really dry, so it's kind of impossible to put it on evenly. I have to make sure my lips are perfectly exfoliated and moisturized if I want to wear it, because it catches onto dry bits. I can kind of make it work for a gradient look if I dab it on, but I don't really think the color is right for me. It's a cute peachy pink on it's own, but it's too light for me. It just washes me out. Oh, well. I guess not all products are winners. If I had a proper vanity, I'd definitely put it on display though, haha.

Super Dew-per

You know when you live in a dark hole of an apartment that natural light never touches and can't take any decent photos for days because of it?  I think I might have to get some sort of a daylight studio lamp once the days get shorter. Anyway, I'm here with a little review of A'Pieu's Moisture Nude Foundation (SPF30 PA++).

I've been using Mizon's Hydra Full Solution Water Volume Moisture BB cream for the past year, but it recently started to run out. I really like it and might buy it again some day (unless they discontinue it), but I also wanted to try a new product, something with a little bit more coverage. After looking at several drugstore and high end options, I ended up buying A'Pieu's latest serum foundation. I got mine in the shade No. 13, which is a light beige color with a yellow undertone. 

Serum-based foundations are supposed to be more lightweight than traditional ones, but have as much coverage. Many of them also claim to have skin care benefits, which makes me think of them as a kind of a spiritual successor to BB creams. The ingredient index of A'Pieu's Moisture Nude Foundation lists several plant extracts with skin care properties: Mentha Rotundifolia or Bowles Mint leaf extract (anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial), Portulaca oleracea or Purslane extract (skin-soothing), Adansonia Digitata or Baobab fruit extract (emollient, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant), Nelumbo Nucifera or Sacred Lotus seed extract (antioxidant). What drew me to this foundation, however, was the promise of a very natural, skin-like finish. 

The Moisture Nude Foundation has a very thin consistency. It's definitely much thinner than any of the regular liquid foundations I've tried. But interestingly enough, it's also very pigmented. The first time I used it I ended up applying too much, which did not look good at all. If you put it on with a heavy hand, it will end up caking up and looking all weird and grainy. A little goes a long way: I think I could easily cover up all of my biggest problem areas with the amount of product shown in the picture above. It might even be enough for my entire face. The product has a medium coverage, but it can be built up a bit. It feels smooth, albeit maybe a tad tacky to the touch when I apply it. 

The swatch from the last picture blended out.

The finish is hella dewy. I'm talking dew town. My skin is mostly really dry, but even I have to set it with loose powder and blot during the day to keep it from looking too shiny. If you prefer a matte look, it's not for you, and I'm not too sure it would work for people with oily skin. I don't mind the shininess too much, though, because it's one of the most natural looking base makeup products I've ever tried. I find that I do need to spend some time on blending it out, but once I'm done, the product sits really close to my skin. I can wear it all day without it starting to separate, pill or bunch up on me. It is prone to creasing under my eyes, though. 

For me, the biggest fault with this product is the packaging. The dispensing system is terrible. Like many other serum foundations, Moisture Nude comes with a pipette. But for some reason, A'pieu chose to go with a clicky mechanical thing at the top instead of the usual rubber bulb. It makes it really hard to control the amount of product you pick up. A single click is way too much for me. I need to empty the dropper of most of its contents and then use whatever is left in the stem. Plus I've noticed that some of the foundation is starting to coagulate and cake up around the bottle's mouth. I wish they'd just put a pump on it! 

Another problem is the very limited shade range. Like a lot of other Korean companies, A'Pieu unfortunately only makes the foundation in three shades (which I guess is marginally better than just having only one shade like a lot of base products do). Based on the pictures online, the darkest of them looks like a medium beige. That's just kind of sad. 

I've been using Moisture Nude for a couple of weeks and I've really enjoyed it after figuring out how to get the right amount. The dewiness probably makes it an acquired taste, but I think it's a nice foundation overall. 

Empties from June & July

I'm back with my second ever empties post. I can't believe July is almost over! Time flies like a discount airline. 

The Saem's Healing Tea Garden Green Tea Cleansing Water is my current favorite makeup remover. It doesn't melt off mascara or eyeliner too well, but it does a good job getting rid of the bulk of my daily face paint. This big jug was a holiday release that I got around New Year's and I got almost six months of daily use out of it. I've already picked up a regular sized one for a refill. 

I've been using Nivea's Soothing Toner for dry skin for ages. I don't like to spend a lot of money on cleansing products, because I go through them pretty fast. I like this toner because it doesn't dry out my skin and it's available pretty much everywhere.

Hey, it's Lumene's Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover again! This is a GOAT-status product for me. Lumene re-did their packaging a few months back and I think the new version of the bottle is really pretty. 

I got a bunch of A'Pieu's Nonco Tea Tree Spot Patches some time ago. Sadly, I don't think they do much for me. Unlike COSRX's Acne Pimple Master patches, I didn't notice them helping blemishes heal faster. The adhesive is pretty strong, though, so they did stay on all night. Not repurchasing.

I'm a big believer in Nive Creme aka your grandma's moisturizing cream. It's a great multipurpose item! I have very dry skin, so I use it as a daily face cream. I love this stuff, but I don't think I have anything to say about it that hasn't been said before. It's one of my staples.

My second jar of Petitfée's Ruby & Bulgarian Rose Hydro Gel Eye Patch. I have a dedicated review of them here

A'Pieu's Pure Block is another product that I keep repurchasing. I have more written about it here.

The next two items aren't strictly speaking empties, but they've expired and I need to get rid of them, so I chose to include them in this post.

When it comes to mascaras, I tend to set the bar pretty low. All I want is that when I look in the mirror at the end of a day, I won't see two messy panda eyes staring back at me. This is my second tube of  the Double Needs Pang Pang Mascara by TonyMoly. I'm not sure that it noticeably volumizes or lengthens my lashes that much, but it's very cheap and it doesn't smudge. I'll most likely purchase it again.

Skinfood's Salmon Dark Circle Concealer is a big cult favorite. I didn't realize it until I checked my email for the receipt, but I've had this particular jar... way longer than you are supposed to keep any makeup, let alone makeup you apply so close to your eyeballs. And it still has a ton of product left. My concealer pot runneth over! I got a replacement, so it's time for this guy to retire.

I buy Gillette's Satin Care Pure & Delicate in double packs whenever I find them on sale. It does it's job and I've got no complaints.

Nivea's Invisible Black & White used to be my go-to antiperspirant. It doesn't completely eliminate sweat stains caused by aluminum oxidization, but I think it's the least bad of similar products I've tried in the past. I often wear white tops, so I've decided to switch to a completely aluminum free deodorant in an effort to keep my clothes wearable longer.

I'm the type of a person that can't live without hand cream, but I'm not very picky about what I use, as long as it's deeply moisturizing and doesn't irritate my skin. Natusan's 24hour Hand Cream served me well. It's alright.

Kleancolor's Wizard Pads are some kind of sorcery! They wipe of my nail polish super quickly without drying out my nails. I've actually started wearing nail polish more often because of them. I was introduced to them by my bff Whitney, and she also gifted me a whole display box of them last Christmas. You'll probably see them in a lot of these posts.

That's it for the past two months! 

Colorful shimmer shades for mermaids

My birthday was recently, and I received a lovely present from my best friend Whitney. She sent me a lot of cute make up things, including the Wild & Alluring baked eyeshadow and highlighter palette by BH Cosmetics. Since I just received it, I haven't had a chance to properly get acquainted with it yet. I've been playing around with the shadows, though, and wanted to share my first impressions.

The Wild & Alluring palette comes with nine shimmery marbled eyeshadows, a pink blush and a bronze highlighter. I absolutely love the bright color selection! All the shades are very pigmented and glide on smoothly. They're not overpoweringly glittery, but they do have fine shimmer in them. I've noticed a little bit of fall out with some shades (like the teal in the second row), but not more than I would generally expect. Because it's all shimmers, I'd probably need to reach for another palette to create actual looks.

I've included some finger and brush swatches below. My apartment's pretty cold at the moment, so I apologize for my goosebumps. 😅

I applied the shadows on bare skin. For the brush swatches I used a flat synthetic eyeshadow brush. The pink shade looks a bit patchy in this picture, because it blends into my skin tone, but in person it seems to be as pigmented as the rest of the bunch. I really like the purple in the middle. 

The peachy shade in the very center of the palette might just be my favorite! 

Because the shadows are marbled, they have a bit of interesting dimension to them. 

I'm pretty fair, so the highlighter comes off more like a light bronzer on me. I think the color itself is gorgeous, though.

I probably wouldn't have thought to pick this palette up for myself, but I think it's completely delightful! If you are on the market for some pretty shimmery and colorful eyeshadows, I recommend checking this guy out. 

Tending to troubled skin

Hey, that's me! I've been having some minor, but annoying, skin issues lately. It's just some breakouts, that I've at...