My current daytime skincare routine (dry/sensitive skin)

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Solidifying my skincare routine has probably been one of the longest personal processes I’ve ever went through! I have dry, sensitive skin, and am allergic to a lot of ingredients that are in heavy moisturizers, so finding a routine that works for me has taken a lot of trial and error.

I have been using my current routine for the last 6-8 months, and I finally think that I’ve found the perfect combinations! It’s a mix of budget K Beauty and high-end products from Sephora, but everything works together extremely well. My skin is calmer, more hydrated, and less prone to irritation than it has been in several years.

Toner: Mizon Intensive Skin Barrier Toner — This product has been the most recent addition to my routine. Before this, I was using a rich toner by Lancome that was good but, honestly, not the best thing for my skin. I decided to take a chance on this and ordered it from Amazon (bless Prime 2-day shipping). This toner contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which are both essential for hydrating the skin and repairing its moisture barrier. The results weren’t seen overnight, but after roughly 6 weeks of daily use, I can say the texture in my skin has diminished, my face is not as red, nor is it as easily irritated.

Essence: Mizon Water Volume EX First Essence — This is another amazing product by Mizon. It is a hydrating essence that contains snow algae extract, hydrasalinol, and moringa extract, and ceramides to hydrate, calm, repair, and soothe the skin. This product has been hard to find recently, and I’ve heard rumors that it has been discontinued, but I’m hoping Mizon will re-release it in the future! It’s a wonderful product and the best essence I’ve tried. I would hate to have to use something less effective.

Serum: Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum — This serum has been in my routine for about 4 years now! It’s packed with hyaluronic acid and grape seed extract, which hydrate and protect the skin from free radical damage. At $49 a bottle, it’s a bit on the pricey side, but one bottle lasts me 2-3 months and the benefits of using this serum are more than worth the price tag!

Ampoule: Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule — This ampoule contains 80% snail mucus extract, which has anti-aging properties and helps skin regenerate. Peptides and vitamin 5 round out this powerhouse formula to nourish, brighten, and firm the skin. I have also used this product for years, and I definitely notice a change in my skin when I don’t have it in my routine.

Moisturizer: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion — This is perhaps one of the best moisturizers I have ever used, and I’ve used it since I first started experimenting with a more complex skincare routine! It’s thick enough that it keeps my skin hydrated all day, but it doesn’t contain fatty alcohols, which is so rare in a moisturizer formulated for dry skin! It does, however, contain mineral oil, so be aware of that in case you are sensitive to it.

Oil: Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil — Finding the right oil for my routine has probably been the most difficult part of solidifying my routine. Some oils are too greasy, others clogged my pores and caused breakouts, and some just weren’t rich enough for my skin. But this oil by Drunk Elephant is a holy grail product for me. It’s not a particularly heavy oil, but it delivers a lot of hydration nonetheless. I mix 2-3 drops into my Clinique moisturizer to apply it. It really helps “seal in” the many layers of my routine and helps my face stay hydrated all day long! This oil is $72 per bottle, so there are cheaper options out there, but I do have a certain level of brand loyalty to Drunk Elephant. I respect their vision and I trust their products, so it’s well worth the price to me.

Please comment below and let me know what you think of my routine, and feel free to share yours too! I am also happy to answer any questions you might have about these products.

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May 3B Box!

Hey everyone! I got my first 3B Box in the mail last week. One of my friends who’s a K Beauty addict told me I should try this out, so I did! For those of you that haven’t heard of it, the 3B (Or Beauty Beyond Borders) Box is an Asian Beauty subscription box that gives you samples of popular products each month for only $12 per month.

may 2016 3b box

Here’s everything from the pouch. First off, I’m impressed with the amount of samples they send and the fact that you get a sheet mask too! As someone with super-dry skin, I can’t ever have too many of those.

Here’s a breakdown of everything I received:

  • Leaders Brightening Recovery Mask. This premium coconut gel mask contains Telangyn and Niacinamide to even out your skin tone and restore radiance to your skin for a glowing complexion.
  • Sulwhasoo Essential Firming Cream. This luxurious cream is blended with potent Korean medicinal herbs to instantly firm and tone while stimulating collagen for a long-term lift. Adlay millet detoxifies and promotes elasticity while pomegranate, green tea, and ginkgo fight free-radicals to maintain a youthful radiance. This can be used in place of your AM/PM moisturizer.
  • Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Essence. Propolis extract is created by black bees and known as nature’s antibiotic. It’s anti-inflammatory, great for acne-prone skin, and non-comodogenic (which means it won’t clog your pores). This essence boasts an impressive list of ingredients with 50% black bee propolis extract, 20% royal jelly extract and 10% royal black honey extract. I’ve actually been using this the past few days. I think I’ll have to wait longer to see the full results but it has helped clear up the few small pimples I did have!
  • Dewytree Blackhead Out Nose Patch. Volcanic ash from Jeju Island and charcoal extracts clean out any clogged pores and remove blackheads. I typically try to shy away from strips because they can be hard on your pores, but I tried one of these and they actually worked very well! I had a couple clogged pores on my nose that were turning into whiteheads and these cleared them right up.
  • Aritaum Fresh Power Essence Pouch Sleeping Pack. Honey is one of our top ingredients thanks to its antibacterial properties and skin-boosting antioxidants. This sleeping mask is perfect for lathering on as your last step in your nighttime skincare routine and waking up with beautiful glowing skin.

All in all, I’m extremely impressed with the 3B Box! I’m already excited to see what June’s shipment will bring. Do any of you subscribe? Let me know in the comments. ❤

Monthly Favorites – October

Hey everyone! I apologize for the lack of posting lately. I moved into a new apartment (which is absolutely amazing) last weekend, so I have been busy getting settled!

My favorites this month are mostly skincare, but as you can see, there are a couple makeup favorites too! I’ve been spending the past few months trying to revamp and improve my skincare routine, and I think I’m starting to find some products that work well for me!

monthly favorites october collage

  1. May Coop Raw Sauce. This product is relatively new to Sephora, having arrived with the surge of K Beauty products they’ve recently been pushing. Raw Sauce is an essence, which is meant to be applied to your face after cleansing/toning. It serves as an added layer of moisture (my dry skin loves that), and also helps subsequent products absorb better. This essence contains over 90% acer maple sap, which is great for adding hydration for your skin. Since I started using this product, I have noticed that my skin is softer, less red, and doesn’t feel tight throughout the day!
  2. Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Glow Palette. This palette was released a few weeks ago as a Sephora exclusive for the holidays. Since I bought and loved Champagne Pop, I decided I had to take the plunge on this as well! The palette offers Pearl, Champagne Pop, and Blushed Copper and it’s great for all skintones! The great thing is that you can mix the 3 shades to create even more shades to highlight with! You can read my full review of the palette here, but I wholeheartedly recommend this product! I have used it every time I’ve done my makeup since I got it.
  3. Sunday Riley Flora Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil. This product is definitely a splurge/luxury product, but it truly is worth the price. It’s so moisturizing, smells like roses, and makes my skin feel amazing. I can use it alone or mix a few drops into my moisturizer or foundation for a little extra oomph.
  4. Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Enriched Calming Toner. You guys. This toner. Omg. It’s my new HG! It’s made for those with Normal to Very Dry skin. Its milky consistency helps add moisture (see a pattern to my routine here?) and also soothes irritated skin and helps diminish redness. And it definitely works. I have noticed a huge change in my facial redness since I started using this toner. A little also goes a very long way, so this will definitely last a long time!
  5. Kat Von D Lolita Lip Duo. This was also released a few weeks ago, and I immediately scooped it up because I love travel-sized products, I love liquid lipstick, and I love Lolita! It’s such a flattering color for so many skintones, but on me it’s a deep mauvey MLBB. Lolita II is a terracotta brick color that is also flattering and will work for so many different fotds! You can read my full review and see swatches here!

That wraps it up for my favorites this month! I hope you enjoyed my mini-reviews. What are your favorites for this month? Let me know in the comments! ❤

Sephora & Ulta Mini-Haul

After having a busy Saturday with friends, I decided to take some ‘me’ time and do a little beauty shopping to relax today. I was mainly browsing, but I did manage to pick up a few things to try and a couple replacements as well.

As you can see, I went a little sheet mask crazy! Sheet masks are one of the latest fad items in skincare, particularly because of the rise in popularity of Asian Beauty and K-Beauty skincare products and routines. I love sheet masks because they’re hydrating (great for dry skin types) and quite pampering for a relatively low price point.

caudalie toner and living proof hair products

too cool for school tony moly boscia sheet masks

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo & Dry Shampoo. I actually meant to pick up the PHD conditioner, so I will have to go back to Ulta and exchange the shampoo. However, their dry shampoo is really great. I have pretty oily hair and it does a great job of absorbing excess oil without making my hair look or feel gummy or gross.

Caudalie Moisturizing Toner. This is a repurchase but it’s my HG toner. It’s soothing, gentle, and removes all traces of oil, dirt, and makeup. I’ve tried several toners and while they did the job, none of them were quite right. Most were too harsh and drying, and some just smelled god-awful. I will repurchase this forever!

Boscia Tsubaki Oil Deep Hydration & Sake Brightening Hydrogel Masks. I’ve been wanting to try these for a while and finally decided to take the plunge. These are two piece masks, designed for a custom fit to your face. The Tsubaki Oil mask claims to replenish, soften, and deeply hydrate, while the Sake mask will brighten, firm, and hydrate. I’m really looking forward to trying these!

Too Cool for School Egg Cream Mask. I’ve seen a lot of rave reviews about this mask by a variety of people online, including Ssssamanthaa from Batalash. The mask claims to “instantly hydrate for a bright and radiant complexion.” Really looking forward to trying it and telling you all about it in a sheet mask review post in the future.

Tony Moly I’m Real Aloe & Makgeolli Masks. I mentioned Tony Moly Sheet Masks in my September Favorites post. The Aloe masks are by far my favorite and I will continue to repurchase those. Ulta had several different “flavors” of the Tony Moly masks in stock, so I picked up the Makgeolli one to try out.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts about them?

Monthly Favorites – September

Hello everyone!

Who else is happy that it’s Friday? I am definitely looking forward to a fun weekend filled with football, tailgating, shopping, and a little R&R after this long work week!

This post is going to be all about my favorite products for the month of September. I can’t believe it’s already practically mid-October! Where has 2015 gone?! I am happy it’s fall, though, as fall is my favorite season for several reasons. I love the cool weather, I like to layer, and fall/winter makeup colors are simply the best.

september favorites selection tom ford anastasia beverly hills starlight sheet mask sleeping pack eye cream lip pencil brow gel asian beauty

My favorites this month were a pretty even mix of skincare and makeup. I have started delving into Asian Beauty products since I’m trying to revamp and improve my skincare routine. With that being said, let’s dive into my September favorites!

  1. Tom Ford matte lipstick – Pussycat. Okay, so this lipstick has quickly become one of my favorite bullet lipsticks ever. The formula is amazing: so creamy and non-drying, which is rare for a matte lipstick. The color is a beautiful mauve that works for the office or for going out at night. It’s long lasting and doesn’t bleed or feather. I get 6-8 hours of wear from this lipstick before I need to do touch-ups.
  2. Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator – Starlight. I ordered this product shortly after it launched because I’d been looking for a white powder highlighter. This highlighter is a nice white gold color that would work for a decent range of different skintones. Starlight is also quite buildable – you could apply it lightly for an all over, soft glow, or build it up for a bright sheen on your cheekbones. It’s finely milled and there are no visible glitter pieces after applied.
  3. Tony Moly sheet masks. I ordered a bunch from Kollection K (much cheaper than Sephora) and have found these to be really great masks. My favorite is the aloe sheet mask (not pictured, this was my last one), but I’ve yet to try one that was bad or harmed my sensitive skin. They are a great addition to any skincare routine.
  4. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel (deluxe sample). I got this sample with a Sephora order and it has blown me away. I have long, generally unruly eyebrow hairs and this keeps them firmly in place all day long. 10/10 will purchase the full size when I run out of this, because I do not want to be without it!
  5. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil – Dolce Vita (deluxe sample). I first tried the Velvet Matte Pencil formula with Sephora’s birthday gift this year and I was pleased with how great the formula was. The formula is consistent between shades, which is always great, and Dolce Vita is the perfect warm, dusty rose color to wear to work or for when you want an understated lip color.
  6. Ole Henriksen Ultimate Lift Eye Creme (deluxe sample). This was the first eye cream I’d ever tried, and I really like it. It’s light, deeply hydrating, and non-irritating. There is a light scent, but it fades quickly and doesn’t bother my eyes at all. A little of this goes a very long way, so this sample size will easily last me for a few more months.
  7. Too Cool for School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack. I bought this after reading many good reviews and doing ample research. I use this as the last step in my nighttime skincare routine. It’s deeply hydrating and doesn’t seem to clog my pores (yay!). The only downside I’ve found is that it doesn’t smell like pumpkin! It smells very lightly like soap, which isn’t bad at all.  I was just really hoping to have a pumpkin scented cream to slather on every night!

That wraps it up for my September Favorites! I hope you enjoyed these mini-reviews and that they inspired you to try new products. I really enjoyed curating this list, so I will definitely be doing this every month now!