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.

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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, Review

Review: Missha – The Style Fitting Wear Sebum-Cut Pressed Powder No.1 (Clear Mint)

Packaging: This product is very similar to the packaging of a BB cushion. As such, it is housed in a compact case (11g) with a clear, plastic tray that holds the accompanying puff.

Price: I bought this from MisshaCA for about $20 CAD, and for a long while it was also available on MisshaUS for about $15 USD, but it appears to have been taken down, unfortunately.

Consistency: This product feels very light and almost silky-smooth when pressed onto your skin with the accompanying puff. It never feels heavy nor does it make my makeup cake up at all, even after multiple applications. As you can see from the photos above, it effectively makes my skin appear matte and removes any shine I may have. I chose #1 (clear mint) because I wanted to worry a little less about my redness peeking through my BB cream, and thankfully it does this quite well, although in person it looks more white than it does “mint.” And when applied, it does not appear to accentuate dry skin patches very much (unless severe, I imagine). Last but not least, there is no ugly flashback when worn during flash photography!

Scent: Absolutely no scent!

Ingredients: According to CosDNA, there are only three ingredients that may be acne-triggering (which all scored a 1): talc, dimethicone (emollient), and squalane (moisturizer + antioxidant + emollient). The ingredients that stand out the most to me are:

  • Squalane, which helps seal in moisture and provides a barrier between your skin and environmental detriments like pollution.
  • Honey Extract, which heals the skin and provides anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties (which makes this product great for those with acne issues).
  • Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, which heals and brightens the skin, but also keeps your makeup from becoming dark/oxidizing.

Now, I know what you must be thinking: “Isn’t coconut notorious for clogging pores?!” I am thankful to report that it has never, ever clogged my pores, nor has it caused any breakouts even though my skin is rather oily most of the time and acne-prone. I think the very small amount of coconut extract that is present would not be enough to actually contribute to clogged pores, especially since this product does so well at absorbing the sebum on the skin. Of course, if you have a sensitivity or allergy to coconut or coconut-derived extracts, you may want to practice caution and avoid this product.

Squalane, on the other hand, is well-tolerated by most and I do not think it should be any cause for concern unless, again, if you have a sensitivity or allergy to it. Something important to note is that this ingredient is “squalane,” not to be confused with squalene, which is different. According to The Dermatology Review:

[Squalane] oil, which occurs naturally in the body, is also found in olive oil and in the livers of certain sharks. Squalane is not to be confused with squalene, which is the non-hydrogenated form of shark liver oil and which tends to quickly oxidize when exposed to the air.

Thankfully, Missha is a brand known for being against the testing of products on animals. The squalane present in this product comes from olive oil! And furthermore, The Dermatology Review also mentions that:

Many skin care experts and other medical professionals assert that squalane has a number of positive effects on uneven skin pigmentation, scars, and age spots. Much like retinol, this oil is believed to fight free radicals in the skin that are caused by the sun’s UV rays. This is an important consideration, because dark spots on face and hands are often caused by the skin’s reaction to long-term exposure to the sun, which creates more melanin in those areas to protect it.

Overall Review: I do not think this product receives as much love as it should. In the Asian beauty world, people are quick to point us shiny-faced sufferers to the Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Pact, but when I used that powder, it personally did not seem to last quite as long as this one does. In actuality, this product also seemed a lot more smooth and less grainy than the Innisfree one. And oddly enough, I seem to breakout a lot less when I wear this product daily, probably due to its amazing ingredients and ability to absorb excess oil. It is, without a doubt, one of my holy grail items that I hope will never become discontinued. 5/5.

Asian Beauty, Review

Oil Cleansing, Double Cleansing Method, and Review: TheFaceShop – Deep Firming Oil Cleanser

On Using an Oil Cleanser

First off, this post is technically a two-in-one because it was originally meant to demonstrate and teach you how to double cleanse using an oil cleanser, but I decided I’d do a review on my favorite oil cleanser while I was at it, too!

Secondly, take a moment to look at the photos – particularly of the close-up one of my hand. Do you see those things? Those are referred to as grits, which are small “plugs” of accumulated dried sebum (facial oil) and dead skin. I personally differentiate between grits and solitary flakes of dead/dry skin because grits are generally hard while the flakes alone are usually soft and can break apart. The grits are what’s plugged in your pores while the flakes are on the surface of your skin. As you can probably imagine, removing these things makes me feel disgusted, and yet, oddly satisfied at the same time. Routinely using an oil cleanser prevents those plugs from becoming infected and leading to breakouts, making it a useful tool for those of us who suffer from oily-combo, acne-prone skin. But dry skin types can also benefit from using a cleansing oil in their routine by removing the flakes of dead/dry skin, keeping the surface of the skin smooth and ready for makeup application.

Last but not least, oil cleansing is the key component to removing makeup and sunscreen (particularly physical sunscreens, like those that include zinc). The cleansing oil melts the makeup and sunscreen so they can easily be washed off the surface of your skin (see the close-up photo of the back of my hand above where I applied foundation to demonstrate this). In other words, oil cleansing may easily remove grits, flakes, makeup, and sunscreen without you having to resort to rubbing it down sore with a washcloth trying to get it all off; this method does not lead to angry, aggravated skin the way traditionally washing everything off does, making it effective even for those with sensitive skin types.

The “Double Cleansing Method” Explained

Doubling cleansing? Sounds like it might dry your skin out, huh? Well, I’ll be the first to tell you: NO, it doesn’t! Assuming you have a good cleansing oil (luckily for you, I reviewed one so you don’t have to fret!), the double cleansing method is one of the best ways to wash  e v e r y t h i n g  off without abusing your skin. As mentioned above, oil cleansing will wash off a good portion of what’s on your skin. But following it up with a gel- or foaming-cleanser will remove any leftover traces of dirt accumulated on your skin throughout the day as well as the possible film of cleansing oil and makeup left over from the “first cleanse.” As long as your oil cleanser and gel/foaming cleanser do not incorporate any harsh drying or stripping components to them, your face should feel clean at the end of your double cleanse – but not squeaky clean or tight-feeling. I personally have great success with TheFaceShop – Deep Firming Cleansing Oil and CosRX – Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser when used together.

Directions:

First Cleanse

  1. Pump out the appropriate amount of oil you need to cover your entire face into a dry hand (for me, that’s usually 2-3 pumps).
  2. Rub the oil onto your dry face, lightly massaging the skin in circular motions and focusing on trouble areas.
  3. Introduce small amounts of water as you continue to rub your face in light, circular motions until the oil emulsifies/turns milky.
  4. Once your entire face is covered in this now milky-looking oil, wash your face as you would normally with water using your hands, a konjac sponge, or microfiber cloth (these are very soft and great for sensitive skin!) – not a rough washcloth.

Second Cleanse

  1. While your skin is still wet, spread your gel- or foaming-cleanser onto your face and wash it gently with water in the same manner as the oil cleanser.
  2. Pat-dry your face gently with a towel to a damp finish and follow up with a toner.

Review: TheFaceShop – Deep Firming Cleansing Oil

Packaging: It comes in a purple plastic bottle (200ml) with an airless pump. For travel purposes, it also comes with a little clip that prevents the product from leaking (tested and true – it works!).

Price: About $17 USD on Jolse (though it’s usually always on sale and much cheaper – I tend to get it for $13 USD). In stores, it seems to hover around the same price in CAD, but not all of TheFaceShop stores seem to carry it, which is sliiiiightly inconvenient for me, but I put up with it anyway because it’s my favorite cleansing oil.

Consistency: This cleansing oil is thicker compared to TheFaceShop’s ironically better-selling oil, the Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil (which I strongly dislike and I’ll explain why in a moment). I use 2-3 pumps to cover my entire face.

Scent: It smells floral and is not overwhelming in a perfume scent kind of way.

Ingredients: A CosDNA analysis revealed that the only potential trigger is butylene glycol (solvent + moisturizer) for acne, which only scored a 1 and is lower down on the ingredient list. (Warning: If your face is sensitive to mineral oil, look elsewhere, because this is the first ingredient on the list.) A quick google search reveals that diligent use of mineral oil will remove the grits from one’s face – it certainly did for me.

Aside from its simple ingredient list, I enjoy that it also incorporates Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, or, more commonly referred to as green tea extract. A 2013 study by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, University of Sao Paulo revealed that not only did it function as a strong antioxidant when applied topically, but also that it:

increased skin moisture in the long-term study.

And further:

After 15-30 days, skin microrelief was significantly improved due to a reduction in skin roughness.

This product also features acai berry extract which is another antioxidant. Admittedly, this ingredient isn’t very exciting for me only because there are not enough studies with definitive proof that acai berries are as great as some say they are. Still, with green tea extract in the mix, I just can’t frown upon this oil cleanser.

What amazes me is that this product doesn’t receive the attention it obviously deserves. Instead, TheFaceShop’s best seller is a harsh, highly perfumed product with loads of high-potential acne triggers and irritants! (See CosDNA analysis here.) I can’t believe I actually tried out this product due to the hype around it. Had I done my homework, I would have never even tried it! (Spoiler: it sucked.)

Overall Review: Simple ingredient list aside, I’ve repurchased this product as many as four times because it works. It doesn’t leave my face feeling tight or dried out the way TheFaceShop’s Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil did (nor does it smell overwhelmingly of perfume the way that other cleansing oil does either). This cleansing oil effectively washes away all of the makeup I’ve worn for the day and also rids grits! Obviously, I highly recommend this oil cleanser! 5/5.