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

Empties & Mini Reviews [Oct. 2016 – June 2017]

Brands Included: Missha | TheFaceShop

1. Missha Products

  • Missha – Time Revolution Clear Toner
    • A very mild AHA and BHA formulation with fermented ingredients. It has never caused any irritation and it helps with my acne a lot. My skin is also noticeably smoother after using this product. Will repurchase. 5/5.
  • Missha – Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence (Moist)
    • Features fermented ingredients, but despite its claim of being moist and hydrating, this product simply felt like an expensive water I was putting on my face with absolutely no change in the quality of my skin. Will not repurchase. 1.5/5.
  • Missha – Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Borabit Ampoule
    • One of my holy grail products. It effectively makes my acne marks fade quicker and is even hydrating. Will repurchase. 5/5.
  • Missha – Time Revolution Night Repair Vital Intensive Lotion
    • I love this product for nighttime usage because it is effective, but I dislike the shine that comes along with this product. As with all of the “Night Repair” products in this line, it features a small amount of retinol which I rather prefer since it does not dry out my skin as harshly as higher concentrated retinol products do. That being said, I did have a mishap with this product when I didn’t have an effective hydrating routine. I mistakenly used it day and night. But still, changing up my skincare routine, I found that it fades my acne scars promptly and gives me a smooth complexion. Will likely repurchase if it becomes available again. 4/5.
  • Missha – M B.B Boomer
    • My first real primer, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I enjoy the baby powder-like scent and how moisturizing it feels when I put it on my face. I had a backup for when this ran out (or expired, in my case), but I don’t use it as much these days since many of my creams double up as a primer. Will likely not repurchase for the time being. 3/5.
  • Missha – Signature Essence Cushion SPF50+/PA+++ (No.21)
    • For quite some time, this was one of my favorite cushions. I love how it improves the quality of my skin in that it becomes brighter and seems to glow from within if used daily. To this day, this is still one of the only BB cushions I know of that can go over dry patches and not accentuate them. That being said, it doesn’t have the greatest coverage. Perfect for the natural, “no makeup” look, however. My only qualm with it right now is that its currently lightest shade (no.21) doesn’t seem to match my skintone anymore. Not sure if it oxidized or my skin just became more pale. Will likely not repurchase unless my skin tans up a bit or if they come out with a lighter shade. 4/5.
  • Missha – Signature Essence Cushion Intensive Cover SPF50+/PA+++ (No.21)
    • After trying the cushion described above, I had high hopes for this product because it was supposed to have the same formulation but provide more coverage. It sounded perfect for my acne situation. However, like all “high coverage” products, this turned out to not feel hydrating at all. In fact, it only make my skin appear shiny and feel greasy. Coverage was great, but it accentuated my flaky patches like nobody’s business. Will not repurchase. 1/5.
  • Missha – The Style Fitting Wear Sebum-Cut Pressed Powder (No.1 Clear Mint)
    • One of the best pressed powders I’ve ever used. Its very miniscule mint color gets rid of redness (albeit not in severe cases), and mattifies my skin very well when it becomes oily and shiny. Even on dry patches, it doesn’t seem to accentuate them very much as one might expect. I just hate how often I have to wash the puff that comes with it. Will repurchase. 5/5.

2. TheFaceShop Products

  • TheFaceShop – Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil
    • Hated this product due to its drying nature and strong perfume scent. Has a high pH and many possible acne-triggering ingredients. Will not repurchase. 1/5.
  • TheFaceShop – Deep Firming Cleansing Oil
    • One of my favorites. Non-drying and has a light scent. Gets rid of grits and flaking. Will repurchase. 5/5.
  • TheFaceShop – Chia Seed Fresh Cleansing Water
    • Not one of the best cleansing waters out there, but works decently. Has a light scent that I’m in love with. Even with its huge amount of product, I don’t think it’s worth the price. Will not repurchase. 3.5/5.
  • TheFaceShop – Chia Seed No Shine Hydrating Water
    • First off, I didn’t know what “hydrating water” even was, like was it supposed to be a variation of the Fresh Cleansing Water? Was it a toner? Secondly, contrary to belief, this is not hydrating. Smells wonderful but didn’t make any difference to the quality of my skin. Better off using this as a toner. I liked the big size though. Will not repurchase. 3.5/5.
  • TheFaceShop – Blemish Zero Clarifying Toner
    • An effective, somewhat mild AHA/BHA toner. I didn’t like how strong the scent was, even though I do like lemon among other fruity scents.  Will not repurchase. 3/5.
  • TheFaceShop – Chia Seed Soothing Mist Toner
    • One of my holy grails. Scent is light and fresh. Gets rid of redness, inflammation, and irritation of the skin in cases of acne breakouts or drying, stripped skin. I just wish it came in a bigger bottle. Will repurchase. 5/5.
  • TheFaceShop – Chia Seed Moisture-Holding Seed Essence
    • Features little “beads” that explode with moisture as you rub it into your skin. I didn’t care for this product as it did not change the quality of my skin. It also tended to make my face look shiny and feel greasy, which I personally can’t stand. Smelled great, though.  Will not repurchase. 1/5.
  • TheFaceShop – Calming Seed SOS Care Essence
    • Although this product didn’t hydrate nor moisturize my skin very much, it was effective in that it could be used when my skin was stripped, irritated, or red and inflamed. It is appropriately named. Will not repurchase (because there are better, more effective products out there). 3.5/5.
  • TheFaceShop – Chia Seed Moisturizing Cream
    • Another one of my holy grails. This product manages to moisturize and hydrate my skin. Rids me of skin woes like redness, irritation, and inflammation. Smells light and fresh and does not feel heavy on the skin, nor does it make my face shiny. Doubles up as an amazing primer before makeup application, too. Will repurchase. 5/5.
  • TheFaceShop – Chia Seed No Shine Intense Hydrating Cream
    • I had high hopes for this product because it’s a newer variation of my holy grail, the Chia Seed Moisturizing Cream. Contrary to my high expectations, I found that this product didn’t soak in and just kind of sat on top of my skin. It also smelled more perfume-like than the original variant. Oh, and the best part? Despite its claim of “no shine,” it did make my face shiny and it felt greasy. Will not repurchase. 1/5.
  • TheFaceShop – Arsainte Eco-Therapy Aqua Radiance Cream
    • Had an amazing scent that I can’t begin to describe, and even though I wanted to love it so badly, it also seemed a lot like the product described above. Will not repurchase. 1.5/5.
Asian Beauty, Review

Review: TheFaceShop – Chia Seed Soothing Mist Toner

Packaging: It comes in a green plastic bottle (170ml) with a clear cap that pulls off to reveal a spray nozzle. I absolutely love how fine of a mist this spray produces. I had originally planned on including a photo of it sprayed onto my hand, but even with my Nikon D5000, it looked like there wasn’t anything there – that’s just how fine it is! Side note: The packaging was recently updated, so this is why you see two different types of the bottle in my photos (the recent one being the clear bottle), but the formulation is still the same!

Price: It goes for $27 CAD on TheFaceShop’s Canadian website. As much as I love this mist toner, I do think the price could be cheaper. I can go through it in a single month if I use it consistently in my routine (which would normally be 2x a day, multiple spritzes), but as you can probably tell from my empty bottles in the photos above, the price doesn’t hold me back from buying more!

Consistency: This product is for very, very light layers of hydration. If you’re looking for something of a powerhouse, then this product might feel underwhelming for you. However, the extremely lightness is part of why I love this product so much. It goes well under or over anything (including makeup) and gives me just the right amount of light hydration that my combo skin needs. Even after spraying multiple layers on, it never feels heavy.

Scent: I fell in love with this scent from the very first moment I spritzed it onto my face. It’s light, fresh, and doesn’t linger at all. I couldn’t get enough of the scent, so I’ve bought many products from TheFaceShop’s Chia Seed line*.

Ingredients: According to CosDNA, there are only a few flagged ingredients that might cause acne (all of which scored a measly 1), but they are present in most skincare products and are of little concern: dimethicone (emollient), butylene glycol (solvent + moisturizer), and castor oil (fragrance + moisturizer + emollient). The star ingredient of this product, which is the very first ingredient present in the list, is “Salvia Hispanica Seed Extract” – commonly known as chia seed. It is an emollient and skin conditioner, making it the perfect hydrating element. And even more, chia seeds have been shown to relieve dry, itchy, and irritated skin when applied topically!

In a study by the Annals of Dermatology, researchers found that:

[C]hia seed oil is the richest botanical source of 18:3 n-3 fatty acid currently known. In addition, chia seed oil also contains natural α-linolenic acid and flavonol, which can act as lipid antioxidants… the flavonol has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic and anti-cancer effects.

This is significant because omega-3s also make this product useful to those with troubled (read: acne-infected) skin.

Overall Review: This product is ideal for all skin types, and especially so for those with finicky, sensitive skin. As the name suggests, this chia seed toner will “soothe” your skin even when it is at its worst. Throughout my crazy skin journey, this product has been something I’ve used consistently because it delivers exactly as it promises, and I can’t see myself ever being without it. 5/5.

* Look forward to my future reviews on more of TheFaceShop’s Chia Seed line!