Blog

Asian Beauty, Review

Empties & Mini Reviews [July 2017 – December 2017]

Brands Included: COSRX | Missha | TheFaceShop | the CREME shop | Hada Labo | SCINIC | Kikumasamune | Mamonde

1. COSRX

  • COSRX – AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
    • As somebody with oily, acne-prone skin, I found this product to work fine, but it did not seem to do quite as much as I would have hoped it would. It could be because the formulation is so gentle and I need a higher percentage of AHA/BHA, but this product would be ideal to those with sensitive skin. Will not repurchase. 4/5.
  • COSRX – Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
    • When my skin was doing particularly bad, this was my absolute go-to product. It hydrates, heals, and soothes the skin very effectively. I think everybody should try a snail product at least once in their lifetime. Will repurchase. 5/5.
  • COSRX – Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask
    • While COSRX tends to impress me more than disappoint, I was sad to find that this product did next to nothing for my skin. As an overnight mask, I expected it to act as an occlusive to seal in all of the hydration and moisture from the products I used underneath, but it felt like it would simply dissipate from my skin. I did love the texture of the actual product though. Will not repurchase. 2/5.

2. Missha

  • Missha – Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Borabit Ampoule
    • This is a holy grail item for me. With its long list of extracts I can always expect this product to hydrate my skin and make it look more radiant. And because it has a very small percentage of retinol, I can comfortably use it every night without irritating my skin but still see the benefits that retinol brings — lightening of acne scars, smoother skin texture, a more even skin tone, and less acne in general. Will repurchase. 5/5.
  • Missha – Near Skin Smart All-In-One Cream
    • I wanted to love this product so much. Its ingredient list might suggest that it could easily become a product loved by many, but for whatever reason this product did very little for me. I do not think that it truly functions as an all-in-one product, but rather, a slightly heavier gel-cream. That being said, it must be one of the very few products by Missha that had absolutely no fragrance. While it did not make my skin worse, it did seem to make it more oily and did not wear well under makeup. Will not repurchase. 2/5.

3. TheFaceShop

  • TheFaceShop – Jeju Volcanic Lava Pore Mud Pack
    • Simply put, I found this product to be very drying (and ultimately damaging to my skin more than anything else). My skin is not particularly sensitive, but this product made it feel as though it was. Will not repurchase. 1/5.
  • TheFaceShop – Chia Seed Moisture Recharge Cream
    • After discovering that my holy grail Chia Seed Moisturizing Cream had been discontinued, I decided to give this newer formulation a try. I was pleasantly surprised. Just as the original cream, it soothed my skin, thoroughly moisturized my skin without turning it greasy, and worked well under my makeup. The only thing that gets me about this product is that its scent seems more artificial (more “perfume-like”) than natural. Their first formulation will always be superior, but this is an acceptable replacement. Will repurchase. 4.5/5.

4. the CREME shop

  • the CREME shop – Chia Seed Calming Spritz Toner
    • I thought I had stumbled onto an amazing dupe for my beloved Chia Seed Soothing Mist Toner by TheFaceShop, but unfortunately, I was very disappointed by this product. It burned my skin instead of soothing it, smelled strongly of perfume, and was drying rather than hydrating. I managed to finish the bottle by using it on my body. After only a few uses, I was reluctant to use this on my face. Will not repurchase. 0/5.

5. Hada Labo

  • Hada Labo – Gokujyun Lotion (Clear)
    • This is a perfectly light toner that effectively plumped up my skin, reducing the look of the fine lines on my forehead and under my eyes. I found that it was perfect for layering when I wanted that extra bit of hydration. Will not repurchase only because its main ingredient, hyaluronic acid, can be found in many Asian beauty products that provide additional benefits. 5/5.

6. SCINIC

  • SCINIC – Honey All In One Ampoule
    • Smells amazing, feels amazing, and simply is amazing. I loved how thick this product was while at the same time it felt light on the skin because of how well it absorbed. (Note that it will feel sticky until it does fully absorb.) It soothed my skin, improved my skin’s texture, was healing, and helped fade some post-acne scars. Will repurchase. 5/5.

7. Kikumasamune

  • Kikumasamune – High Moist Lotion
    • The most hydrating toner I have ever used to date. It delivers immediate hydration upon application due to the many ceramides it contains and improves the skin with its star ingredient, fermented sake. Perfect for layering. Smells of bananas and bubble gum. Will not repurchase only because of its controversial ingredient (horse placenta) and there is a dupe of this product. Still, I cannot deny that this is an amazing product. 5/5.

8. Mamonde

  • Mamonde – Rose Water Toner
    • The highest rose-containing product that I currently know of (90.98%) that smells of natural roses and not artificially perfumed. I love that I could use it effectively as an astringent toner to remove any makeup I might have missed with my cleanser and to prepare my skin for the following products I used on top of it. It made my skin smooth and helped reduce my acne. Will repurchase. 5/5.
Advertisements
Asian Beauty, Review

Review: Clio – Kill Cover Highest Wear Pact SPF30/PA++ No.2-BP (”Lingerie,” Blooming Powder)

Packaging: The product comes in a black plastic compact (12g) with a little divider to house the puff. The packaging surprised me a lot in that it felt extremely cheap. And by looking at the photo of the puff you can see that my nails cause indentations just by holding it to apply the product. They do disappear after some time has passed, but either way, I would recommend to use a large fluffy brush to apply the product instead. While it is possible to blend out the circular rings left behind from the puff when you use it on your face, a fluffy brush applies much better (and evenly) without causing any stimulation to the face.

Price: I bought this on sale for about $22 USD on Jolse. With daily usage, this product should last three months at the very least. And considering that this product does not clog my pores, I think the price is right for what it is (but not as far as the case goes; the case still sucks).

Consistency: It feels so beautifully smooth. It surprised me, actually, because it felt a lot like a light translucent powder. I was expecting it to feel heavy on my skin because of its coverage, but it really feels like nothing is there. That is not to say there are not some downsides, however. As with most powders, I find that the powder will go on patchy if your skin is damp. It seems that the best time to use this is when your face is completely dry. You are able to build this product, but if you have oily skin, it is not advisable to layer the product later on in the day when your shine starts coming through because it is going to look patchy and cakey (even though it is so light). And if your skin is dry, or you have dry patches, it is going to cling – but not overwhelmingly so. As long as you have moisturized well and let your skin absorb everything first, it should go on just fine. It also looks great when applied over a BB cream because it does not darken your skin, but instead it adds to your coverage while at the same time removing any shine.

Scent: It has a somewhat light scent that is reminiscent of a kind of floral perfume. It also does seem to linger a bit, but it is not overwhelming.

Ingredients: A CosDNA analysis revealed that the only two ingredients to look out for is talc and dimethicone (emollient) – both of which only scored a 1 as acne triggers. Admittedly, as far as the ingredients go, there does not appear to be anything really special in this product aside from the fact that it is more pigmented than regular powders (and that was why I bought it). So, I do not have a lot to say in terms of the ingredients when it comes to this particular product, but I did decide to look into talc and silica, which appear in many powders.

According to the FDA:

Talc is an ingredient used in many cosmetics, from baby powder to blush…  [Its function is] to absorb moisture, to prevent caking, to make facial makeup opaque, or to improve the feel of a product.

Who knew? Talc tends to be portrayed as some kind of evil ingredient that should be avoided at all costs, but in actuality it is so helpful when you have oily skin like I do.

Silica (or silicon dioxide) is an ingredient that also seems to show up often in powders (this one included). I had no idea what use it had until I found a 2016 paper published by Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia (the Brazilian Society of Dermatology), which established that

silicon is important for optimal synthesis of collagen and for activating the hydroxylation enzymes, important in the formation of collagen network, improving skin strength and elasticity.

Overall Review: As you can see from my face photo above, this product is not full coverage by any means, but it effectively lessened the severity of my redness/pimples, made my tone appear even, effectively hid my pores, and removed all shine on my face. If I am to judge the actual product on its own, I would say that it is a great formula that provides ample coverage without clogging my pores/causing breakouts, but I do think it is a “high maintenance” sort of product. What I mean by this is that it seems as though it takes a lot of work to apply it perfectly. I would not want to use this on the go in fear that it might appear patchy if I used the puff. Even BB cushions require less work than this! The packaging is cheap and the puff it comes with is just useless, but still, I do like the powder itself. Will I be rushing to repurchase this product when it runs out though? Probably not. From my experience, it is better to use a BB cream/cushion for coverage, and then apply a translucent powder on top to control shine without getting cakey. 3/5.

Asian Beauty, Review

Review: Laneige – Skin Veil Base Cushion SPF22/PA++ No.60 (Light Green)

Packaging: This product comes in your basic BB cushion case (15g) with a mirror, puff, and tray to store the puff. This case is larger than the sleek ones we see more often now, but I see this as a good thing because it just means it holds more product! The accompanying puff is small but it does the job just fine. It also seems less stiff compared to other ones.

Price: I bought this for about $25 USD on Jolse which is amazing considering that it even comes with a refill (!). I was putting off on buying this product because there were no real reviews about it anywhere, but thankfully, I folded. My only regret was that I did not buy it sooner.

Consistency: Honestly, I was so impressed with how amazing this product felt that it made me look into buying another cushion from Laneige. It spreads and blends out nicely, and you can easily apply a lot without getting a cakey feel. And that pigment? Well, let’s just say this product works so well at covering redness that I would feel perfectly comfortable going without my BB cream/cushions. I focused a lot in the mid section of my face since the pores were noticeable and the redness was most prominent there. On the bottom right of every face photo, you can see the pimple on my chin that could have stood to have another layer on it. But as it is, the bottom half of my face was one layer while the top half had multiple layers.

Scent: My first thought upon smelling this product was that it reminded me of a soap bar. Like, maybe a Dove soap bar? Maybe Suave?.. Something of that nature. The scent is fairly strong and does tend to linger a little bit, but I really enjoy it.

Ingredients: According to a CosDNA analysis, the only things to look out for were dimethicone (emollient) and tocopherol (antioxidant). But the thing about dimethicone is that it is a silicon-based polymer, and while some people can tolerate this ingredient (such as yours truly), other people may not be so lucky. This is because silicons can clog pores and cause acne, or simply because a person might have a sensitivity/allergy to them. If you do not believe your skin can tolerate even this derivative, then I would suggest looking into another primer because dimethicone and its other forms show up many, many times in the ingredient list. But I do not want to cause any unnecessary panic in those who are not too sure about this ingredient because if you took a look at the ingredient lists of many of your lotions, creams, and makeup products, you would see that it is very commonly used. Its function as an emollient is to create a smooth texture and hold in your skin’s moisture, so this is a good thing because many primers are actually way too drying (particularly because they tend to market to those with oily skin), but this one is very moisturizing, creamy, and fresh. Despite having all kinds of dimethicones, it does not feels very silicon-like, which some may enjoy (I personally cannot stand the feeling of something silicon-like sitting on my face).

I find that its moisture is a double-edged sword, because while this does mean I can wear the product without worrying about dry patches being accentuated, it also means that its “oil function control” claim is just plain wrong, especially so for those with oily skin. (Although I could see somebody with dry skin getting away with it though.) I suspect it must be because there are no real “oil control” ingredients actually present in the product; I imagine the company’s theory was “if we provide the skin with an ample amount of moisture, then the pores will stop over-producing oil as result.” I am not saying this is wrong, but perhaps all the silicons prevent this from becoming a reality? Or maybe my skin is just fickle.

But you know what this product does have? Glycerin (solvent + moisturizer). And in a 2007 study, it was confirmed that

Glycerol-based emollients have a positive influence on the skin of patients with AD (atopic dermatitis).

and further,

Glycerol is known to increase stratum corneum (SC) hydration, improve epidermal barrier function and decrease clinical signs of inflammation.

So not only does this cushion act as a primer, but it also benefits your skin as you wear it! And we could all certainly use an extra boost of hydration in our lives.

Overall Review: This product effectively covers up redness and pores, and makes a wonderfully smooth makeup base. But it is so effective at what it does that one could easily wear this as a stand-alone product. It brightens up my skin without giving it a ghostly look. While it does not really control sebum, it does provide the skin with hydration and moisture, and even repairs the skin. I can easily see myself buying this again when I run out. 5/5.

Asian Beauty, Review

Review: Clio – Virgin Kiss Tension Lip Oil Tint (#08 Just Coral)

Packaging: It comes in a sturdy plastic bottle (5.5ml) equipped with an equally sturdy wand that has a slight groove for ease of application. Much like a lip gloss, the wand doubles as a cap that spins off to open. It picks up a perfect amount of product to apply in one go.

Price: I bought this product for sale on Jolse for just $13.16 USD. Lip tints tend to go for cheaper prices, but since this brand, Clio, is known for its high coverage products, I decided the price was right; this is a brand that does not sacrifice its amazing color payoff for a smoother application. It manages to provide

Consistency: It has a very nice creamy consistency that spreads easily. I personally like to apply the product with a light hand for a lighter, more natural look, but layering the product for a more vivid look is also possible (take a look at panel 2 before the product has been spread in the last photo to see what I mean). Because this product is not your average lip tint, but rather, is a lip oil tint, the creamy consistency does not feel thick. Instead, it feels just slightly thicker than an oil treatment lip product – like the perfect combination of a creamy lip gloss and an oil treatment product. As the product sets there is a moderate amount of transfer, but if allowed ample time to dry and stain the lips, I find that there is little to no transfer. The staying power is also moderate. While I personally do not feel the need to reapply throughout the day, people looking for a more vivid look may need to.

Scent: I find it a bit difficult to describe the scent of this product. It definitely has a fresh component to it, but is not strong in the way you might expect a skin product to be. I think what might be more important to note than the scent would be the taste, which is akin to accidentally licking your lips after applying foundation that managed to get on your lips in its application. It tastes like makeup; not terrible nor particularly strong, but you would definitely not want to try and lick your lips after applying it.

Ingredients: When it comes to lip products, I am never too concerned with the ingredient list because there is nothing I am allergic to, but I do like to know how the product intends to keep my lips feeling “moisturized” while still providing color. It is unfortunate that I could not find a full ingredient list anywhere at this time for those who are concerned about possible allergic reactions with certain ingredients… So if you have any sensitivities or allergies to be concerned about, I might avoid this one for a while until an ingredient list shows up.

In the first panel of my last photo I present my lips just as they always are naturally, which is generally very dry (and often cracked) as I do not drink as much water as I probably should, nor do I exfoliate my lips, use lip masks, etc. This makes it difficult for me to find lip products that provide enough moisture to accommodate my issues without requiring me to sacrifice color payoff. So when I found this product, which is just what I had been looking for, you can only imagine how excited I was. The selling point for me was when I read that it would treat dry and cracked lips. Well, I would not say it is a lip treatment by any means, but it does not contribute to even drier lips, which generally causes clumps and clinging. In the third panel of my last photo, you can see that it does not accentuate any dry bits or cracks and there is very, very minimal clinging. In person, the clinging is not even visible unless one were to get right up in your face to look at your lips. And the reason for this amazing formula? I may not have been able to find a complete ingredient list, but I did, however, find out that this product contains a “7 red oil complex” which is made up of the following:

  • Rosa Canina (Rose Hip Seed) Oil
  • Camellia (Tea Seed) Oil
  • Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil
  • Geranium Maculatum (Spotted Cranesbill) Oil
  • Safflower Seed Oil
  • Borago Officinalis (Borage) Seed Oil
  • Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Oil

These oils contain vitamins that not only moisturize, but also mildly exfoliate the dead skin on your lips. And because they are oils, they also help create a protective seal/barrier on your lips that promotes healing. These are exactly the kinds of ingredients you should be looking for in lip products if you want to see amazing results.

Overall Review: In case it was not already very obvious with my glowing review, I am in love with this product. It gives me the moisture my lips crave and need while still providing an amazing color payoff. I no longer have to worry about my dry patches and cracked lips compromising such a beautifully colored lip product since it does not accentuate these flaws, but instead corrects them. Finally, I can enjoy a color other than my usual natural, muted pink. I cannot recommend this product enough. 5/5.

Asian Beauty, Question

Q: Would you happen to know why when I use toner my skin burns (though I’m not allergic to any of its ingredients)?

Anonymous asked:

hello! would you happen to know why when i use toner my skin burns (though i’m not allergic to any of its ingredients)?

Response:

There are a few reasons that your toner might cause a burning sensation; most notably, if you do not have any known sensitivities to any of the ingredients in the product, chances are that it is simply too strong of an astringent toner for your face. In which case, I would strongly advise that you switch out your current toner for one that is less strong or simply formulated better.

Some common ingredients to look out for might include alcoholcitrus extracts or essential oils (grapefruit, lemon, orange, etc.), or actives (AHAs, BHAs, retinol, etc.). These things are not bad in themselves, but if there is too much in your toner your skin will react badly, whether that be through a burning sensation, skin tightness, peeling, redness, or skin that starts out looking matte but moves to a more oily/greasy appearance over time. These are all signs you may be over-exfoliating your skin using this astringent toner.

Another thing to look out for is when that toner causes the burning sensation – does it happen all the time? Or does it only happen if used after a specific product? If it’s all the time, then it’s time to get a new toner. If it only happens after washing your face, the culprit could actually be your face wash – does it contain any alcohol, citruses, tea tree oil, etc.? Be sure to use a face wash that doesn’t cause your skin to dry out, especially if you plan on using an astringent toner afterward.

Best of luck!

Janine