May 21, 2015

My Korean skincare routine for dry, acne-prone skin

I don’t usually share my skincare routine, and that’s because it depends heavily on what product I happen to be reviewing at the time. But lately, my skin has been doing so well that I just had to write it down!



As of late, I can safely say that I have been acne free for one whole month. Now, I normally have at least one pimple (or cyst) on my face at any given point in time. Whenever I recover from one pimple, I wake up the next morning with a new one somewhere else (argh!) So for me to wake up without any new inflammations for 30 days straight…that was quite an accomplishment!

Without further ado, here is my current skincare routine:



From left to right:
  • Dr. Oracle the Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash (review here)
  • Stridex pads
  • Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner Deep Rich
  • Shara Shara Honey Bomb All-in-one Ampoule (review here)
  • Guerisson 9-Complex Essence
  • Guerisson 9-Complex Cream (review here)
  • Shiseido White Lucent Anti-dark Circles Eye Cream



1.) Dr. Oracle the Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash: for gentle, non-drying cleansing (review here)

I love this cleanser. It’s extremely gentle (yet effective) on my dry skin. It’s so gentle that it doesn’t exacerbate my dryness at all—something I realized other cleansers, even the ones marked as gentle, do.

To give you an example, there was a 3 week period where I had switched from this cleanser (the Dr. Oracle one) to a popular Shiseido one. My skin immediately took two steps backwards. It went back to being dry, flaky, and rough. My makeup, of course, looked terrible.

I then switched back to this cleanser and everything toned down within a few days. My skin was softer, less dry, and less flaky. It made me think that perhaps my skin wasn’t as dry as I thought; perhaps it was just that most cleansers exacerbate it.

Bascially, I love this cleanser because it’s so gentle!




2.) Stridex pads: for deep cleansing of my pores and keeping my blackheads in check

These are 2% salicylic acid pads from Walmart. They’re cheap but do the trick! If I don’t use these for a couple weeks, I see a definite difference in my skin. Not only does my skin feel rougher and flakier, but my pores, comedones, and blackheads get larger. Using these pads has helped refine my skin texture and keep my blackheads in check. I can’t be without them!




3.) Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner Deep Rich: eh, mild softening

This is a toner I recently bought off Glow Recipe. To be honest, I don’t love it. It doesn’t seem to do much except make my skin somewhat softer, though still not as much as the horse oil serum did (which I will talk about in a second!) But for the sake of completion, this is the toner I am currently using. Don’t love it though!




4.) Shara Shara Honey Bomb All-in-one Ampoule: for all around great moisture (review here)

(If you look at the picture above, you'll notice that I've transferred this moisturizer into a smaller bottle from Paula's Choice! The original packaging was a wide-mouthed jar which I didn't like.)

Other than that, I really like this moisturizer! It has a thin and lightweight texture and strong hydrating power. When I first began using it, it also made my skin softer. It hasn’t made my skin much softer since then, but that’s okay—for softness, let’s go to the next product!




5.) Guerisson 9-Complex Essence: for major skin softening!

This is a horse oil essence/serum. It doesn’t do anything in terms of moisture, but it does soften my skin. A lot. Within the first few days, my skin felt like velvet–yes, velvet! Granted, it was temporary at first. If I forgot to use it one day, my skin would no longer feel like velvet. However, with continued use (about a month), my skin now feels baby soft even if I don’t apply skincare for a couple days.




6.) Guerisson 9-Complex Cream: for helping my dry skin in general (review here)

This is the infamous horse oil cream that I love and will be ordering a second jar of very soon! When I first began using it, it helped improve my dryness by providing a thin coating of sebum-like moisture on my skin. It also lessened my dry flakes. Since then, the results have been steady. My skin generates a bit of sebum on its own and I no longer feel dry throughout the day.




7.) Shiseido White Lucent Anti-dark circles Eye Cream: for eye cream and lightening dark circles + acne scars

This is Shiseido’s anti-dark circle eye cream; I’ve simply transferred it into a bottle and stored it upside down. And because the bottle I am using is clear, I also store it in a dark drawer to avoid the sunlight.

I like this eye cream because it’s rich enough to moisturize my undereye area (which is uber dry and wrinkly!) But most importantly, it lightens my dark circles and acne scars. Applying a smidge on my acne scars brings from a medium brown to a light brown. It sadly doesn’t remove them completely, seeing as the results plateau after 2 weeks, but still—I’ll take it!




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Putting all of these together, I can safely say that my skin is doing much better than it was a few months ago. Here is a picture (with foundation on.) I now have:
  • no pimples or cysts for the past month
  • more refined pores
  • smaller comedones/blackheads on my nose
  • no blackheads/comedones on my cheeks
  • smoother and softer skin overall
  • less dry flakes. I usually only have them on my nose now.
  • less dryness overall. My skin doesn’t feel lacking in moisture anymore; I’m about just right.

Now, that’s not to say that my skin is perfect! I still have redness, acne scars, and flakes on my nose. The point is that they are much, much less than before.

And in case it matters, I have also switched to eating Asian (mostly Korean) food again. Fried rice, noodles, kimchi-based dishes, marinated pork, things like that.




Again, I’m not dermatologist, but that’s what I’ve been doing lately!

May 12, 2015

A lightweight Korean sunscreen: A’pieu Pure Block Aqua Sun Gel SPF 50+/PA+++ (Dry Skin Review)

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A lightweight Korean sunscreen: A’pieu Pure Block Aqua Sun Gel SPF 50+/PA+++ (Dry Skin Review)


For this sunscreen, think lightweight. It’s thin, lightweight, and easy to spread. It doesn’t leave a white cast. It basically feels like nothing—although keep in mind I do have dry skin! And as far as I know, this sunscreen is not waterproof (or at least, they haven't indicated that it is.)

Of the 12 Korean sunscreens I’ve bought, there are a couple others that have similar texture to this one. One thing nice about A’pieu, however, is that it tends to be cheaper than its competitors. This sunscreen retails for 7,800₩ in Korea, whereas most others go from 12-15,000₩.



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Brand: A’pieu
Name: Pure Block Aqua Sun Gel SPF 50+/PA+++
Amount: 50mL
Actual Weight: 62g
Expiry: 12 months
Price in Korea: 7,800₩










It’s a skinny little tube:



front:


back:


closeup:


manufacturing date:


opening:









It doesn’t leave a white cast on my skin. It has a slight alcohol (disinfectant) scent.









Texturally, it reminds me of thin, water-based creams (as in, skincare creams.) It’s thin, watery, and lightweight. It’s easy to spread, but not to the point of dripping or running like sun “milks” do.

Here’s how it looks on my hand:


Loosely spread out:


Semi-blended & fully blended:


How the texture feels on my face: When I first begin spreading it, it it glides on effortlessly. As it starts to absorb, though, it develops a slight creamy, oil-based feel. And after blending, it does leave behind a thin veneer of oil. This causes my face to be a little sticky and shiny, but nowhere near as much as with other sunscreens. It’s more akin to the stickiness and shine you get from skincare. It doesn't last long, and I wouldn't call it greasy.

You can see the shine difference here on my cheekbone. Notice how it’s not that oily:

before sunscreen, after sunscreen:









(Does it affect makeup?)


Because it’s such a thin, skincare-like texture, it doesn’t really affect my foundation. The only difference is that my foundation looks a teeny bit dewier, as evidenced by the light on my cheekbones:

foundation with sunscreen, without sunscreen

But apart from that, it has no effects on my bumps or flakes (hence why I have flakes on both sides in that photo!)







This sunscreen also does not affect on my foundation’s lasting power; it’s the same with or without. In other words, this sunscreen does not cause my makeup to melt off, which is good!

Here is my lasting power without sunscreen:

(Used a darker color for easier comparison! Ignore the finger marks -_-)


And here is the lasting power with sunscreen:


Not much difference between these two. They both faded about the same.









It hasn’t caused me to break out, although I don’t have particularly sensitive skin.

Most of the time, I am able to apply this around my eye area (and even directly on my eyelids) without any stinging whatsoever. The only time I experience (minor) stinging is when I am clumsy and either apply too much on my eyelids or get some in my eye. Other than that, it's gentle.








I like it a lot! Love the SPF, love the texture...I honestly have no complaints! Granted, it doesn't help my dryness, but I’m thankful it doesn’t hurt it, either.

Would I recommend this? Yes!

May 7, 2015

7 Formal Dresses You Can Actually Wear Outside (and How)

One thing I always hated about formal dresses was that, as beautiful as they are, you almost never wear them. There have been countless times where I’d go out and buy a dress—heck, even an entire outfit—only to never wear it again. And half the time it’s not even fun formal stuff I’m attending; it’s just boring receptions with boring adults!

So the next time I have to shell out money on a fancy dress, I’m picking one that I can actually wear outside. If you’re anything like me, here are 7 ideas on how to take your formal dress into a cute dolly outfit!




1. Vintage country girl out for a picnic


Clear skies, a gentle breeze, and the warmth of spring hugging your shoulders… I can imagine wearing this outfit on a date with my boyfriend, especially to a scenic park or garden! I’d tie my hair in large, tousled pigtails and apply blush all across my cheeks—you know, to emulate the sun-kissed look.





2. The cute innocent girl out to play with friends


This would be my outfit for a date with my friends, where I’m free to be myself, do whatever I please, and not care what people think!

Here we are taking a mature-looking dress and transforming it into youthful innocence. The blouse creates a peter pan collar, which to me is the epitome of innocence. The socks and shoes complement this, creating a pseudo schoolgirl look—except better, because it’s pink! I’d top it off with high pigtails with a ribbon on each side.





3. Whimsical but not too whimsical

…For days when I want to feel like a fairy but not toooo much like a fairy.

This dress is a little prim and proper, but we’re gonna fix that! The first step is to have a head full of hair—or a wig full of hair, if you’re like me! Long, luscious locks will add youth and to this mature-looking dress, while also keeping you from looking too washed out.

For the whimsical touch, we add lace on lace—i.e., the hair bow. But because I don’t want to look too out-of-this world, I keep it casual with simple Bobby socks and Mary Janes.





4. Cooling off the summer heat with a glass of lemonade


With its warm inviting color and loose billowy fabric, this off shoulder dress embodies the spirit of summer. I’d wear this while I’m out and about running errands in the heat. And after that, I’d cool off with some lemonade.

For hair, a high bun would befit a clean and refreshing look. (Because I don’t want to look sweaty during summer!) I’d scatter some flowers around my head and then attach a larger one at the base of my bun. And because I’m going for a dolly look rather than a “Greek goddess” look, I’d choose wedges instead of sandals.





5. The quiet mysterious girl


There aren’t a lot of layers or accessories in this outfit. And that’s because I’ve envisioned it for days when I feel mellow. A simple hairstyle and necklace are enough statement for that day. The shoes give a ballerina feel, which is what I imagine my mood would be like—quiet but strong.





6. The pretty girl who doesn’t need frills


This outfit is for “pretty days”—basically, when I feel pretty (as opposed to cute) and daring enough to express it in an unconventional way. (Because really, how often do people wear red nowadays?)

This dress is already quite bold, so a simple hairstyle will do the trick. The point of this outfit is to bring out the beauty you feel that day, not create it.

The socks help the outfit look more casual (and dolly, of course!), while the polka dot pumps add a bit of life. I steered away from black shoes for fear of looking formal.





7. Busy career girl


With its clean-cut edges and simple design, this dress reminds me of a successful young woman. And on days when I feel like one, like when I have errands to run or places to go, I’d wear this outfit! The headband adds a tint of youthfulness, which I think is important to maintain. The socks, of course, add the dolly touch!



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Now I will be honest, chances are you’re still going to look a little formal compared to all the people around you. And while part of that is due to the material being fancy (depending on the dress you pick), a lot if is also just the nature of looking dolly in general. Nonetheless, I still say it’s better than nothing! (With “nothing” being that you never wear the dress again at all.)



All of these dresses were taken from Cheap Evening Dresses UK. They sell cheap prom dresses online for all shapes, sizes, and styles—large, small, cute, sexy, you name it. So if you’re in the mood to lust after some gorgeous dresses, head on over here!


One of my other favorites ^^


This was a sponsored post. I have no experience as a true customer from this retailer. ^^




Thanks for reading! How about yourself? What would you have worn with any of these dresses?

May 3, 2015

Comfy, natural, everyday lenses: Sio Color Silicone Hydrogel Lens from Klenspop Review

Now these are a pair of comfy circle lenses! I know I’ve said that before about this pair, but that was before I tried these. These lenses are made of silicone hydrogel, which is a new technology that to allows for a softer, thinner lens, more moisture retention, and more oxygen permeability. And I have to say, I do feel the difference! These are the closest I’ve gotten to everyday lenses, even more so than the pair I reviewed last time.



These lenses are kindly sponsored by Klenspop!








Brand: Belmore (Korean brand)
Name: Sio Color Black
Diameter: : 14.2mm (actual color diameter is only 13.1mm!)
Water Content: 45%
Base Curve: 8.7mm (not 8.6mm like most lenses!)
Price: $30.00



Link here









Each pair of lens from Klenspop is packaged into a box like this:


front:


back:


top:


Inside is a Ziploc baggie containing the lenses, tweezers, and a case:

The vials:
front:


side:


back:


Closeup of the packaging label:


top:







Design: Here is the design:
As you can see, there is quite of bit of clear rim on the lenses. So even though they are technically 14.2mm, the actual color enlargement is only 13.1mm.


Color on Dark Eyes: On my dark brown eyes, it basically looks black. You can see a bit of grainy detail when I look to the side, but it’s more or less an opaque black.








Here is how they look on me:


It’s a minor enlargement, but definitely still noticeable in real life. (Not to mention it makes my eyes are a lot darker/more opaque as well.) In my experience, it’s been enough to make people look twice but still not enough to startle them.

However, for reference, I have medium-sized eyes. People with large eyes (i.e. a lot of white showing) will likely find this enlargement too small (especially on camera), though it should be adequate for people with medium-to-small eyes, especially for a daily look.







Lens thickness: These are among the thinnest and softest circle lenses I’ve tried:

Don’t pay attention to the thick edges in the back; it’s just the way the shadows make them look. To get a better idea of how thin the edges are, you can also scroll back up to the first close up under “Color, Design.”

Comfort on me: For the most part, I feel nothing when I wear these.

I sometimes feel discomfort when inserting them, but that’s almost always because I’m in a rush to insert them while also wearing makeup. Removing them and carefully re-inserting them usually does the trick, although it can sometimes take a few tries.

These lenses don’t cause me blurry vision unless I am in an area with dim light or using the computer. Using the computer causes my vision to get blurry and my eyes sore. But as far as looking at non-screened options, my vision is unaffected by the lenses.









I love them! These are definitely my favorite lenses in terms of comfort. They’re even more comfortable than my last pair from Klenspop, and I can honestly imagine wearing them every day (although I still wouldn’t wear them for more than 5 hours a stretch, personally.)

I know the size doesn’t seem that big, but I still maintain that they are adequate for “daily dolliness.” They’re only a wee bit larger than my actual iris, but the blackness adds that extra oomph of unrealism.

If there are newbies out there who want to dabble in circle lenses, I would highly recommend starting with these! They’re a modest size and definitely more comfortable than many of the colored contacts I’ve tried.

Would I recommend them? Yes! If I were to spend money on lenses, I would definitely go for silicone hydrogel. They cost a bit more than other Korean lenses ($30 as opposed to $15), but the price is still comparable to many other lens vendors out there.
















A big thank you to Klenspop for making this review possible! Check out their store for other silicone hydrogel lenses straight from Korea:






Thanks for reading! ^^