Sunday, October 27, 2013

Review: RMS beauty un coverup concealer

RMS beauty 'un' cover-up. $36 for .20 oz

This is my feel good concealer. The main ingredient is a coconut oil + other oils that many natural/organic beauty lovers swear by. I too love to incorporate carrier and essential oils into my skincare. Coconut oil, avocado oil, caster oil are my favorite carrier oils. I use it to sometimes cleanse, moisturizer, and treat my skin and not only have I never experienced any break outs due to these oils, I have seen awesome results thanks to these oils.

Back to the review... The reason I say this is my feel good product is that due to its kind ingredient list, you are treating your imperfections as you cover them with this product. The moisturizing ability of this concealer keeps your under eye well hydrated even those busy days you skipped eye cream. I also feel better putting them directly over acne due to the anti microbial property of the coconut oil.

Three negative things to note:
 1. This product comes in a pot. Not the most hygienic packaging.
 2. This is light to medium coverage product that will not cover strong dark circles and hyper pigmentation.
3. You MUST set this product with powder. Not only the dewy finish of the product can initially highlight imperfections even more, the product will not last on your face!!

I still love this product. I use this and By Terry concealer depending on what moisturizer I used (oil based vs. water/silicone based.... A topic that deserves its own post). Points number 2 and 3 can easily be compensated with a powder foundation.

Typically, after an oil based moisturizer, Dab dab under eyes, sides of my nose, my chin, other leftover acne marks, then light dusting of powder foundation (my current favorite is 100% pure powder) for extra coverage and setting. 

If I used a water/silicone based moisturizer, Michael Todd eye cream, then By Terry concealer, then etc.... Again, more on this theory (oil likes oil, water likes water) later.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review: YSL touche éclat and By Terry touché veloutte. Favorite high end concealers 1

YSL touche éclat and By Terry touche veloutte 

Apparently by the same creator, YSL touché éclat and by Terry touché veloutte share many similarities in terms of packaging. However, touché éclat is a pure highlighter vs. touché veloutte a brightening concealer. Please do not use touché éclat as a concealer and say you hate this product! Because it is truly a lovely product that deserves a lot of love... it is a perfect product to create subtle dimensions on the face. Especially on my flat, Asian face. Yes, you can create dimensions with something like benefit high beam... but please don't even compare... Whereas products like high beam shout out "I have highlighted my cheek bones and down the bridge of my nose. oh lala. please look. I am so fancy,"YSL touché éclat can truly fool the eyes as if you have gotten a botox (in a good way of course). However, because I do not go all out with highlighters on a day to day basis... I am more of a contour gal... I don't find myself reaching for YSL touché éclat much. (oh and a lot of us have darkness near our lips, especially under the bottom lip for some reason. this is the product of my choice for hiding those bad boys). 

However, I do reach for By Terry touché veloutte almost daily for my dark circles. It is a strange product... it is so light (liquid) yet offers moderate coverage! This reminds me of Garnier roll on concealer which I also love. I would say that touché veloutte is less coverage but more highlighting than Garnier, perfect for everyday look. I also find that less is more with this product, perhaps due to its highlighting ability. I use "one-click" and little product that comes out is still plenty to cover my dark circles for 2~3 days. Since there is a secure cap, I don't find that product left on the bristle dry overnight. However, because it is soooo tempting to brush a few strokes where I need more coverage on the face, I usually dab a little under eyes and swipe the rest down the bridge of my nose, in the corners of my nostrils, and on the center of the chin where I have the most discoloration. One major downside, however --> it is whopping $58. 

But it is notable that this product contains 0.22oz/6.5ml. 0.22oz people! 
Although it is noticeably more expensive than Garnier (15ml for $13 depending on where you get it), if you compare it to other highlighting concealers in the same family such as Clinique airbrush concealer (0.05oz $19.50), it is actually not toooooo outrageous!

I offing love touche veloutte, if you can't tell!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Review: Thisworks Perfect look skin miracle

Thisworks Perfect look skin miracle
Origins Vitazing moisturizer was my favorite moisturizer/tinted moisturizer IN THE WORLD for 2 weeks until I realized that it was breaking me out... what a short lived love... It was just a prefect one-step no brainer for lazy days. (some report it can be orangy on their skin, but I have never experienced it. I suggest avoiding excess amount of product) Since then, I have been searching left and right for a dupe.

One day, I ran across my girl crush Lisa Eldridge using this product: Thisworks Perfect Look Skin Miracle. She used it post moisturizer to give a faint color and glow. From the moment I saw, it took me 20 minutes to hunt down the product online and make my purchase. It was expensive. I believe I purchased it around $45 but now I see a website selling for $35!!!

Anyhows, I was sooo excited to try out my new Origins Vitazing replacement as my new moisturizer/tinted moisturizer. However, to my disappointment, Thisworks PLSM did not come close to  Origins Vitazing. PLSM is a skincare addition, not a replacement. PLSM lacked both in hydration and coverage department compared to the Vitazing. It is rather a serum packed with Vitamine E, Vitamin C and Hyluronic acid. It is definitely an awesome product that instantly gives you a slight tan (for fair to light to light-medium skin) and glow (for every skin tone), but not what I was looking for.

However, PLSM still comes in handy when my face get too light compared to my body... haha Since I exfoliate my face and apply SPF to my face religiously, my face is usually off color. And when my body is tan, it does look quite odd! In one of those days, I thinly apply this all over my face (one pump concentrating on the periphery of my face, blending down the neck). This way, I can still apply heavy coverage foundation (with a shade that matches my body) only down the T zone where I need most help. This way, my face and body is still one color, while avoiding the use of heavy foundation all over my face, blending down the neck, etc.

Dewy, glowy periphery of the face (where I am normal/dry) achieved with this product and satin/matte down the T zone (where I am oily) is quite a perfect combo for my skin.
But I still need to find an all-in-one replacement. Please leave comment below if you have a suggestion!

Review: Paula's Choice BHA

My best friend
I have been experimenting with Paula's Choice products for about 2 years now. I have used her moisturizers, masks, but what impresses me the most is her BHA. Her regular BHA comes in 3 formulas: lotion, gel, and liquid. Lotion is generally recommended for dry, get for combo, and liquid for oily skin gals and guys. These 3 formulas also come in 2 different strengths: 1% and 2%. However, not too long ago, Paula's Choice has released a new miracle product called Resist BHA 9. It is a high strength BHA that can do the following 9 things:

According to the Paula's choice website:

  1. Unclog pores with the first use
  2. Diminish white bumps
  3. Minimize enlarged pores
  4. Refine and smooth skin's texture
  5. Minimize sebaceous hyperplasia
  6. Smooth and soften dry, rough patches
  7. Help balance oily skin
  8. Fade red marks from breakouts
  9. Reduce breakout

 I have oily to combo skin. I have been playing with various concentration of various formula but I thing my favorite for everyday use is 2% gel formula. As I have oily and acne prone skin, I need the whole 2% strength. In terms of the formula, I find that liquid takes too long to dry on my face. I have to wait 30 seconds or so until I move onto serum or moisturizer. Also, with liquid, I always get inconsistent amount onto my cotton pads or my hands. On the other hand, gel is easy as I need one pump to cover my entire face. Same amount, every single time.

I am a true believer in gentleconstant, daily exfoliation. This is why I swear by Tatcha rice enzyme powder to wash my face in the morning followed by BHA 2% as toner morning and night. Before I started using BHA and Tatcha products, I used to exfoliate my face weekly or biweekly using harsh abrasive exfoliator to get the thick layer of dead epidermis cells off of my face. ew. This weekly exfoliation was never good as I my face would be red/irritated the first few days after I exfoliate... there just wouldn't be time where my face actually looks brightened since it becomes irritated --> dull. And before I know it, it is time for abrasive exfoliation again!

After a few weeks of daily gentle exfoliation with BHA and Tatcha, my epidermis has come to a balance. The perfect balance where my skin adjusted to amount of exfoliation = amount of skin layer replication. For every day glow. I will never go back to the old days of harsh exfoliation!

Also, BHA 9 is my miracle product. I am not quite sure about the other 8 things that Paula claims... but I can swear that it is the only product that can do one particular thing. OVERNIGHT. This is the one and only product that can erase the milia under my eyes. As I stated under my eye cream reviews, I tried a lot of eye creams that were not suited for me that actually did more harms than good. When I try too thick of an eye cream, I develop those annoying white bumps... i hate you... After a long trial and error, I have finally landed at 2~3 eye creams that I can reliable use without getting milia. Thank you lord. However, during the dark times, I always relied on BHA 9 to erase the dark past. What I do is a spot treat right on the milia. Within a day or two or spot treatments, the milia is resorbed away! so cool.

Really annoying thing is that the pump on BHA 9 pumps out too much product. This product is definitely meant to be a spot treatment. The strength of BHA is just too strong to be used all over the face everyday. I try not to waste product my spreading the left over pump over my neck or something. But I can't wait until Paula's Choice redesign the packaging!! Thank you in advance. I will always need/love you.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Review: Tatcha Deep Rice Enzyme Powder. Cannot live without!

This is my favorite morning cleanser. Actually marketed as an exfoliant, it is the product that makes the most difference in my skin care regime. The website says it is "A water-activated enzyme powder of rice bran, papaya + HADASEI-3 Bioactive Complex". This finely milled powder lathers into semi-creamy-foam when rubbed between palms with few drops of water. When evenly applied and gently massaged on to the face... the experience is... exquisite, for the lack of better word to describe it. The result is even better. When rinsed off after 30 secs~60 secs, what you are left with is a baby's bottom soft skin. You will be amazed. The results are instantaneous. With just one use. I often have to stop myself from wanting to use twice a day, both morning and night. Although I bet this product is gentle enough to be used twice daily, I like to save this product. That is how much I love it!

There are 3 types of this enzyme powder depending on your skin type.

  • Gentle powder (pink) - best suited for sensitive and/or dry skin. contains licorice extract to soothe the skin
  • Classic powder (white) - best suited for combination skin. contains pearl extract to condition the skin
  • Deep powder (green) - best suited for oily skin. contains an anti-acne, anti-inflammatory extract to fight breakouts. 

The Tatcha website says daily use of this enzyme powder satisfies all the skin's exfoliant needs. However, I do also use Paula's choice 1% or 2% BHA morning and night during my toning step as I have quite oily and acne prone skin. Results are fantastic!

Although the purchase is quite an investment: $65, I highly recommend investing in this product rather than purchasing several mediocre, harsh physical/chemical exfoliants that are just going to sit in the back of your skincare drawer. I made my first purchase during Thanksgiving of 2012. After using it daily (on average 6 days out of a week), I still have some left to carry me to the thanksgiving of 2013! Tatcha has a sampler set. Although even the sampler set is not cheap... :( you will be converted!

Since the day I added Tatcha deep rice enzyme powder and Omorovicza deep cleansing mask, I have not gone to get a facial! Why would I if I can achieve better results at home?

More info on Tatcha's web:

Review: Theodent toothpaste

Theodent toothpaste
I am not that particular about toothpastes... If they get the job done, awesome.

But I was first intrigued by... mainly the packaging.... it looks like chocolate!! This apparently is a revolutionary toothpaste in a sense that it is fluoride free. Instead, it uses a natural chemical from cocoa bean to get the job done. It is apparently okay to be swallowed! So it could be used by toddlers... Well I do not plan on swallowing any toothpastes and I do not live with any toddlers... but it is still cool to know. Who knows, maybe I will swallow my toothpaste when I am drunk one night. eww Anyways, it avoids the risks of ingesting toxic fluoride which can potentially cause several conditions such as dental fluorosis, skin rashes, etc.

The paste does not foam up. If foamy toothpastes make you gag, you should give this one a try. Also, the cap is kind of hard to take off. You can see in the picture that the cap narrows down at the end. Although there are 2 lines to aid grip, the cap just slides right off between my fingers. So I tend not to push down the cap all the way... and lastly, the is quite $$ for a toothpaste! ~$12 for a toothpaste. yikes. After the tube, I probably will not repurchase. Until I have a toddler that is.

Here is the link I bought mine:

Review: Caudalie beauty elixir

Caudalie beauty elixir
$49 for 3.4 oz $18 for 1 oz

I first bought myself a mini one out of curiosity to see what all the hype was about. At first, I was NOT impressed. Still, I am NOT too impressed. I am convinced that I doesn't do anything to improve my skin. And I dislike the fact that the 2nd ingredient after water is alcohol. Shame on you, caudalie. But until the day they stop making the product (oh god forbids),  I will continue to repurchase. In fact, I currently have 3 bottles of this under my possession. One big bottle next to my desk, one small one next to by bed, and one more in my car. Why??? you may ask.

I am addicted to the experience of this mist. As corny as it may sound, I love the coolness of the fine mist, the scent of the essential oils, and even the ritual of 'stoping for a second, spritz, spritz, and taking a few deep breathes' in the middle of my hectic day. It really calms me down. Unfortunately, the scent does not last long. It disappears within seconds, 10 seconds max. Perhaps it is a good thing since I can see how some people may be quite offended to this strong scent. It smells quite therapeutic and herbal.

Unfortunately, due to its high alcohol and essential oil content (not to mention high price), I try to limit myself to 2~4 spritz per day. So far, this has worked wonderfully in my crazy crazy day.

I have never smoked cigarrattes before... but I imagine this mist and cigarettes have quite the same sensual experience. ahaha

Review: Favorite clay masks

Origins active charcoal mask and Omorovicza deep cleansing mask
I use two different clay masks on rotation. One is a clear favorite of mine. But due to its hefty price tag, I spare it for special occasions while I maintain my skin with the other for the time being.

As you may have guessed from the picture above, my absolute favorite clay mask in the whole world is... Omorovicza deep cleansing mask. $120 for 1.7oz. It comes in a hefty clear glass container. The reason I am so in love with this product is that while being incredibly effective in cleaning out pores, it is so gentle on the skin. Furthermore, this mask is rich in nutrients that will actually treat the skin as it is drawing out impurities. This is the first clay mask that does the job without stripping or pulling on the skin.  Usually, with other clay masks, I have to follow up a clay mask with a hydrating mask. The clay masks usually leaves my face so tight and it is actually quite uncomfortable otherwise. Not this Omorovicza baby. Wipe or rinse off this mask, carry on with your regular night skincare routine, and go to sleep just waiting to see the amazing results the next morning. I have read other reviews that this product brings up impurities to the surface and actually brings up breakouts that were underneath. I don't know what that means... all I can tell is my face looks brightened and healed in the morning.  What a kind mud mask.

Origins clear improvement active charcoal mask does quite the same, but with the tightness and dryness afterwards. This puppy costs $24 for 3.4oz vs. omorovicza $120 for 1.7oz.... you can do the math. To achieve similar effects as omorovicza deep cleansing mask, I just follow up Origins charcoal mask with a good hydrating mask (I also have 2 favorites that I rotate through. a blog post for later). This is not a bad substitute. It just takes more time and maybe for the price of 2 masks (charcoal mask, hydrating mask), you can maybe justify investing in one good omorovicza mask.

Also, I have also noted that you go through Origins charcoal mask quite fast. Perhaps because I use this one liberally (slab on style) and use the omorovicza one so sparingly... hehe

Review: Favorite products for contour

1. Dolce Gabana blusher in tan
2. Kevin Aucoin sculpting powder in medium
3. Nars Laguna
4. Bronzer from Lorac Pro To Go Eyes/Cheeks palate 
Special mention: Chanel notorious 

I love contouring. Actually, I am quite dependent on contouring as I have chubby face! I contour my face every. single. day. Two makeup items I cannot give up (no matter how out of time I am in the morning) are mascara and contouring. I rarely wear any eyeshadows. I sometimes wear blusher. I occasionally wear lipsticks. I try to do my brows every day. But I contour my cheekbones and nose, every single day. Now that says something. 

Let me start out with Chanel's limited edition (no longer available) notorious. This is a good place to start because this is a prime example of how a contour shade should be. The purpose of contouring is to create shadow. If you look at your face, your natural shadows have gray almost purple undertone. No tint of red or orange. However, although this product is perfect in theory, this product did not make my top 4 because of the following reasons. First, it is not pretty in day light. This product is best suited for pictures or filming with the camera angled straight to the front of the face. When viewed from the sides in day light, this stripe of gray/purple looks as weird as a stripe of orange down the middle of your face. At least people will assume that your makeup has gone wrong when you walk around with orange stripe. With a gray stripe, your face just look dirty. Unless applied with very skillful hands with the exact right tool, this product will not be your friend in day to day life. It just takes too much effort! Plus, it is almost impossible to get your hands on this product, so don't be so sad. I have mine stashed in the back of my makeup store. I couldn't possibly throw it away because it was so expensive but I am pretty sure I will never use it.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the bronzer from my Lorac palate (choice #4)  runs a bit orange. This product is NOT meant to be used as a contour, hence the name bronzer. However, I had to put it in the list because of the quality of the powder. It is sooooo creamy. If you have ever used Lorac eye shadows from their Pro palate, you will no what I mean. You will have to be very light handed. I suppose one of its down sides can be the fact that it is too pigmented for everyday use when you apply makeup in a rush. However, although this is technically a bronzer, it does not look too odd as a contour. What I typically do is to outline the shape of big 3 down the sides of my face and use this mainly as a bronzer that can give me cheekbone definition as well.

Next in the list is my Nars Laguna (choice #3). $36 for 0.28oz. I am sure everyone has heard of this product or even has one in their collection. This is just a goodie. This is the only product in the above list with some shimmer in the pan. However, on the face, it is undetectable. It is just perfectly pigmented for everyday use. Strikes a bit on the orange side in the spectrum of gray to orange. However, it looks perfect fine as a contour in day light. Similar to the above bronzer from the Lorac palate, I outline the shape 3 and use this is a bronzer/contour duo. I love using Real Technique's blusher brush for this.

Next is my old love Kevin Aucoin sculpting powder in medium (choice #2). $44 for 0.23oz. Kevin Aucoin has been known as the the person for contouring in the makeup industry. As you can see from the swatch above, Kevin Aucoin's medium powder strikes the side on the gray in the spectrum of gray to orange. While being not as daunting as channel's notorious, this product still maintains shadowy tone to create perfect shadow. The product looks good from all angles in day light. The only downside is that the product may seem a bit muddy, especially if you have light skin tone. I do not have this problem unless I get too excited and apply to heavily. Further, once this product is on your face, it is very difficult to tone it back down. Even with a clean, dense kabuki brush, it is not easy to "erase" your mistakes with this one. In terms of favorite brush to apply this one, I love using Elf's $3 big paddle brush!

Finally, I get to talk about my favorite Dolce Gabana blusher in tan. This product is interesting that it is actually marketed as a blusher. The only but a BIG downside of this product is the price. $45 for 0.17oz. You get the least amount for product for the most $... and I feel like I go through the product the fastest with this one. If you get over this... this is the more user friendly version of Kevin Aucoin's sculpting powder. In the swatch above, the picture came out quite purple for this one. However, in real life, this one runs just ever so slightly on the warmer side of Kevin Aucoin. But still perfectly capable of creating natural shadows in the hallows of your face.

Before I leave, I just want to mention one more thing. Why do I contour my face and nose everyday? why is it so important to me? I have very round features on my face. Round eyes, round nose, round face... this comes with both good and bad sides. Some of the good things are that people say I look very nice! haha But because of these features, I also look couple years younger than I actually am. And for work, I would like to look sharp and charismatic! This is why contouring my nose will always have a special place in my heart :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Hi peeps! 
My name is June and I love all sorts of skincare and makeup. 
After many years of watching youtube videos and reading beauty blogs, I finally decided to let myself be out there as well. I am well aware that beauty blogging community is a well saturated one... but since all my passion for makeup/skincare was getting too out of control for me to keep only to myself... I was just not satisfy with my morning and night doses of makeup/skincare as I did my daily routines... I want to talk about makeup. Share what I know about skincare. All the time. 
 I do not think that I will highly advertise this blog. In fact, even if I wanted to, I don't even know where to start! Whether I get one reader, or thousands of readers, I finally decided that I need to start talking about it for my own sake. I hope this makes sense! haha

I am a 24 year old Asian girl living in the midwest. What I do during the day has nothing to do with beauty community, but I spend countless hours reading/learning about makeup and skincare products at night. I love trying new products out of curiosity or based on other peoples recommendation. I have tried and accumulated quite a stash of products over the years. If my trial and error can be a help to somewhere out there, I am thankful!

If you guys can give me comments or feedbacks for this newbie, it will be greatly appreciated!!!! 

Review: Michael Todd intensive organic eye cream

Michael Todd intensive organic eye cream $38 for 0.5 oz

Again, I am not the right person to review eye creams for their ability to remove fine lines and wrinkles (I just don't have enough of them at this point)! However, my main concerns for rating eye creams are their ability to hydrate without causing milia. 

And this eye cream beautfully strikes the fine line between the two. It is enough hydration to leave my under eye area well hydrated throughout the night, yet it is not too heavy to the point where it causes milia. The packaging is also worthwhile to note. The product comes out with a funny looking pump whereas the other two eye creams below are in regular tub containers. It is definitely the most hygienic option since the product is not exposed to air or your finger. Also, the web says it is 90% made out of organic ingredients. If you  are more kin on organic skincare, you do not miss out on this product. Even if you are not, you should still try this product! 

Like the other products, I have not yet experienced elimination of puffiness of reduction of dark circles. Honestly, I don't think there is such a product out there that can do these things. At least with the current technology in our beauty industry. 

My favorite morning and night eye cream. Just a good all a rounder! 

Bottom line
Price **
Milia *****
Hydration ****

Review: Ole Henriksen ultimate lift eye gel

Ole Henriksen ultimate lift eye gel $38 for 1oz

THIS eye cream has one of the best hydrating power. of. all. times. This is a very fresh, clean looking transparent blue gel that is cool to touch. The under eye area definitely feels hydrated, brightened, and calmed the skin around the eye. However, similar to Origins Ginzing, it did not reduce any puffiness around my eye. Caution: you only need the tiniest bit of this gel. Gently tap into the product to get the smallest bit, and that much will be plenty for both of your eyes. If not used sparingly, it will move your under eye concealer. If used to generously, which I am tempted quite often with this beautiful blue gel, I make these tiny milia that are super annoying. They are small enough that I can get rid of them at home with chemical exfoliants (larger ones, must go to the dermatologist), but this is a major down side of this product.

Again, I am in my mid 20s and I don't have enough wrinkles to tell whether this product reduces the visibility of wrinkles. But what I can say is that my under eye areas looks and feels moisturized.

This is one of the most economical eye creams out there. It is $38 for 1oz, which is double the size of a typical eye cream. Considering that you will only need the tiniest amount, you can use this product twice a day, daily for year or two. Or more. Crazyyyyy

Bottom line
Price *****
Milia *
Hydration *****
Under makeup ***

Review: Origins GinZing eye cream

Origins GinZing eye cream $30 for 0.5 oz
This eye cream is quite famous amongst the online makeup community. It almost works as an makeup item as the pink, purple iridescent-ness of the cream perfectly primes the area for the under eye concealer. It works brilliantly a highlighter in that area as well. With this product, the under eye concealer has something to cling to and applies more flawlessly. I did not see any changes in terms of staying power of concealer with this eye cream. However, this product did not live up to its claims that it reduces puffiness.

I do not feel like this product has the same hydrating ability of the other two eye creams, though. I prefer to use this one only in the morning for that reason. When I apply it at night, skin around my eyes feels little dehydrated by the morning. HOWEVER, this product is awesome that it does not cause milia. YAY.

Bottom line
Price ***
Milia *****
Hydration **
Under makeup *****

Favorite Eye Creams

Yes, eye creams. Do they actually do something? I do not know. I guess the only way to tell is for them do conduct a controlled (which is almost impossible in this case) 50 year study following women who used them vs. women who didn't. so yea. good luck with that.

I suppose I can let you guys know in the future, if I do decide to stick with this new hobby of mine, blogging, after comparing my wrinkles with my sister's in 50 years. Whereas I have been using eye creams since I turned 20, my sister does not.

Although I am not completely convince that extra nutritions for your delicate under eye areas do actual any goods, I do believe that your under eye needs to be well hydrated. Can I take a moment here that the best "anti aging" method is to use sun protection? yes, sunscreen under your eyes as well. If it irritates your eyes, wear sunglasses, caps, etc. 

The reason I choose eye creams to hydrate my eyes vs. regular face moisturizer, is because my under eye skin is very prone to develop milia (does annoying tiny white bumps!) when I use wrong products under my eye area. Milia is commonly found in infants and it is known to be caused by excess mother hormones when the infant was in the mommy's uterus! However, adult milia seems to be related to using too rich of a moisturizer on the delicate skin of the eye. I will reserve How to get rid of milia at home for another blog post.

Also, I realized that I can use variety of under eye concealers without it looking caked up if I properly prime the under eye with eye cream. If you want to read more about my top 3 eye creams, stay tuned!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Review: Clinique take the day off

Clinique take the day off
I do not know why... but I never had any luck with Clinique. Say foundation, eyebrow pencils, etc... I suppose their lip products were okay for me. Maybe it is from the PTSD as the result of the Clinique 3 step system... the toner, specifically.... I think that product should be illegal... Or perhaps it was the face-caked-with-wrong-shades-of-makeup ladies behind the Clinique counter (please do not take any offense. It was just the case of the Clinique counters around where I live. I am sure they are lovely peeps). Anyways, this is the reason it took me (a balm cleanser junky) some time to finally take a leap of faith.

I was so pleasantly surprised! Clinique is known for not using any artificial fragrances to hide the  "chemical" smell from the ingredients. Well the idea is brilliant. But what if the chemical scents make the customers gag? To my surprise, this product was almost orderless. Good enough.

It is also the most economical choice of the three cleansing balm line up. $28.50 for a 3.8oz tub, not too shabby. The product has not separated into oil and solid, unlike the emma hardie cleansing balm. It is a hassle free, not too wallet threatening, and no brainer cleanser for everyday use. It does the job of removing the makeup brilliantly. However, I have not noticed the wow effect of EH and Omorovicza cleansers. And I can only use this product as a cleanser (definitely not a hydrating mask material). Unlike the other two products, I do not want to leave this product on my face any longer than I have to.

However, it is an awesome 1st cleanse product (probably the only practical choice to be used as 1st cleanser... the others are too pricy to quickly cleanse off my face as a 1st cleanse). Especially when I am too tired to double cleanse, this cleanser seems to effectively removed every traces of makeup without any residue (but you must! must! properly remove with warm wash cloth). I am good to slap on my night skincare, go to bed, and still wake up without a single breakout.

Out of the three (Clinique, EH, Omorovicza cleansing balm), this is the first product that I will repurchase when I am out. If I had to choose one product with limited budget, I will choose this product. If a cleansing balm newbby asks for a recommendation, I will recommend this product. Although this product does not have the wow factor compared to the other two, I believe this is the most practical choice for everyday use.

Oh and I just realized that this product was rated as the BEST by paula's choice! yay

Review: Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm

Emma Hardie amazing face Moringa Cleansing Balm
The very product that opened the world of cleansing balms for me... thou has converted me...

You must understand what this means. I am a freak with my skin. To rub a thick Vaseline like crap all over my face AND rub it off with that rough washcloth??? no ways no ways. Even the thought of using a grainy, physical exfoliant on my face brings chills down my spine. But then how was I converted to cleansing balm + washcloth?

well.... the initial credit goes to After seeing her almost exclusively use this cleanser for months, I decided to finally bite the bullet.

Please excuse my shabby, cracked container. I am really not a fan of this chunky, plasticky doorknob. The lid cracked the first week I started using it. Plus the product started to separate (oil and the balm) within days. Wait... I thought you liked this product... you may wonder.

Yes, yes! I love this product. Despite all the unattractiveness from the outside, I love the versatility of this product. I can use this as a morning cleanser, 2nd cleanser at night (after a quick first cleanse with an oil product), and a hydrating mask.

My favorite way to utilize this product is to use it as a combo of 2nd cleanse + hydrating mask. When I get home at night, the first thing I do is remove my makeup. After a quick oil cleanse, I apply a generous amount of this cleansing balm on my face. I then carry on with my life for a few hours. When I am ready to go to sleep, I massage my face to enhance the circulation to my face, wash it off with a warm washcloth, and apply my night skincare products. The results in the morning = @.@

Although this sounds like a lot, it actually is quite time saving. The initial oil cleanse takes off my waterproof makeup in seconds. And the 2nd cleanse/hydrating masks negates the need for a separate time/product for a weekly hydrating mask. Although I do have many other hydrating masks... hehe... sometimes life gets too busy for conventional hydrating masks! The best part is that I can walk around with this balm on for hours, even for my combo/oily skin. You can definitely control the amount of this balm to suite your own skin type.

Review: Omorvicza Thermal Cleansing Balm

Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing balm
First things first - This balm is so freaking $$$. 
$105.   Excuse me??? 
Is this worth the spurge?
If $105 for a skincare product is within your budget, heck yes. This is one of the most luxurious, gentle cleansers that will treat your skin as you cleanse. says: "This uniquely natural black balm glides on clear to remove all make-up and impurities without stripping the skin, to leave it radiant, soft and silky-smooth. Amazingly gentle, this balm removes even the most resilient make-up without irritating the delicate eye area. For Sensitive, Dry, Oily, Combination/Normal" 

To add my personal experience, everything they say is true! I have never come across a product that lives up  to the marketing statement! This product does not strip the skin yet leaves the face so clean. You will wonder "why the heck did I wear makeup in the first place" as you realize your face is more radiant as the makeup is taken off your face with this cleanser. This product has very organic scent. It somehow reminds me of grass butter.... haha I am very bad at describing scents. I like the scent of emma hardie cleanser the best. I can see how some people may need an adjustment period for omorovicza thermal cleansing balm. Yet as you use this balm, the process of cleansing your face becomes a ritual. Massaging this silky smooth balm on your face with the odd-yet-relaxing scent, even the those how are rough on their face will start to softly treat your face like a baby. This product is perfect to create spa-at-home. 

I have tried several products from omorovicza including the lip balm, deep cleansing mask, instant plumping cream, night cream, and queen of hungry mist. My favorites of the list are deep cleansing mask, thermal cleansing balm, and the queen of hungry mist. This is definitely a brand with bright future. I really do hope that the company grows to make more superior products. The customer service is one of the best. Let me know if you want reviews for other products. Anyhows, back to the thermal cleansing balm....

If $105 for a piece of skincare product is out of your budget, there is no way ANY pros can justify this product. Yo face is important. But food for yo face should not come before food for yo tummy, clothes for your kids, bills for your living, etc. This product is amazing. One of the most amazing skincare product I have ran into. But this is still no miracle. This product will not make you look 10 years younger. This product will not suddenly turn you into someone who you are not. 

And for those in the middle (including myself)... we are the skincare cray crays. If I spot some skincare product I want but decide against purchasing it, I will dream about it. It sounds silly... but I derive so much pleasure from trying out different skincare products. I do not spurge on bags. I do not spurge on shoes. I do not spurge on cars. My skincare and makeup routines are rituals. Looking forwards to doing my morning routines helps me get up from the bed. If this sounds like you, I think this product is worth the shot. 

Because of the price, I do not use this product to cleanse my face on a daily bases. I will probably use this cleanser one week out of the month. On other days, I will rotate through my 2 other cleansing balms (Clinique and emma hardie) and other oil cleansers. The week I use this cleanser tends to align with the week I am PMSing when I have breakouts. 

I especially enjoy double cleansing my face with this gorgeous balm cleanser to get the full benefits. I give a quick first cleanse with oil or gel (I prefer oil). Then I follow up with my thermal cleansing balm. I massage my face good 3 minutes to get the full skincare benefit from this product. I do not like massaging my face with the first cleanse because I hate the feeling of rubbing all that makeup over my face! 

Favorite Cleansing Balms

 Cleansing balms.... if you have never tried one before.... keep it that way. Once you enter the world of cleansing balms, there is no way out!

As a person with combo/oily skin, I used to be all about gel cleansers. Gel Cleansers for Oily Face. ewww, I know. About 2 years ago, when I felt like one gel cleanser was not enough to take off all the daily makeup and SPF 50 sunscreen, I entered the realm of oil cleansers. I have tried many oil cleansers, but it was not until The famous Shu uemura oil cleansers that I fell in love with OCM (oil cleansing method). I have gone through a long phase of trial and error, trust me. However, long story short, I realized that oily cleansers are actually better for my oily skin!! This is when I decided to give balm cleansers a try. Today, balm cleansers remain my favorite method of cleansing my face. Morning and night.

My favorites are (in no particular order) Clinique take the day off, Omorovicza thermal cleansing balm, and Emma Hardie amazing face moringa cleansing balm. There are pros and cons to all 3 and I have different uses for all 3 of them. To be continued...