26 Jun 2017

A Review of 14 Useful, Raves and Meh Beauty Tools including Pobling Cleanser, Pillow Mist and Silicon Mask Cover


In anyone's beauty diary, there will be certain products that don't belong to any skincare category, but they are also a part of your beauty life. So in today's review, I'm gonna share several essential and useful tools I use to make my beauty routine easier. I will talk about why they are useful, why I used them, and for some, why I am still using them now.

Full list of products is as below:

  • Daiso Japan Reusable Silicon Mask Cover for Sheet Mask
  • Etude House Dual Pencil Sharpener
  • Etude House My Beauty Tool Double Eyelid Tape
  • Etude House My Beauty Tool Eyebrow Drawing Guide
  • Etude House Puff & Brush Cleaning Mist
  • Hanami Camelia Paddle Hair Brush
  • I'M MEME I'M Nail Care #NC001 Nail Strengthener
  • Innisfree A to Z Tool Kit - Super Food from Jeju Tool Kit
  • Innisfree Perfumed Diffuser #1220 Orchid
  • L'Occitane Aromachologie Relaxing Pillow Mist
  • Merryshop Baby Story Makeup Cotton Case
  • PoBling Pore Sonic Cleanser
  • Pobling Mini Ion Applicator
  • Watsons Compressed DIY Facial Mask Sheet



25 Jun 2017

Review: Nature Republic Provence Calendula Fresh Sun Gel SPF30 PA++


Nature Republic Malaysia closed shop! This news kinda shocked me because Nature Republic is one of the oldest Kbeauty stores in Malaysia and has many branches nationwide. This article may explain the reasons why Nature Republic is closing down for those of you who are like me, still in shock.

Actually, both my bf and I had anticipated this long time ago. As someone who doesn't really pay attention to beauty products, he also could not help to notice the serious lack of stock issue whenever we stepped into one of the Nature Republic stores nearby. You can't get customers if you don't have products to sell them right? I thought Nature Republic could survive for longer after it launched its official online store few months ago but alas there were also problems in its Korean HQ so you know things turned worse for them.


So this Provence  Calendula Fresh Sun Gel became one of the last things I bought from Nature Republic store. I bought mine from Leisure Mall outlet last year, but now I can't seem to find it in store although I have been there several times. For those who are interested, you can only get it from Korean-based retailers like Koreadepart, Testerkorea, Jolse, Sweet Corea and so on. Hermo is also carrying it but stock availability is not guaranteed.


Nature Republic uses sunflower in their last sunscreen lines. I tried the Sun Spray and First Care Sun Liquid but was not impressed. Then it came out with the Provence Calendula line. I was smart this time to test out all texture before buying so I ended up leaving the store with the Fresh Sun Gel.


Porretta SPA Water - Review: Beyond Body Healing Cream Shower and Body Healing Moisturizer


Sure many will ask me, what is my favourite Korean body care brand, since I have shared so many skincare brands before. If you read my comparison review on 19 body moisturizers I used before, you'll notice that I mentioned about illi a lot. True enough, illi makes one of the most luxurious body lotions I have ever used. But illi is also kinda like a "grocery store brand". You can find it even locally in many Korean grocery store, just like Ryoe and Mise en Scene. There is another body care brand in Korea, which is lesser known but is equally good called Beyond. I heard that it is coming soon to Malaysia so I am looking forward to that!

So, what is Beyond? Beyond is an "natural" skincare and body care that believes in “Eco Values”. I am not sure is it eco-certified because I couldn't find that information on its official website. But it promises several things such as paraben-free, animal-testing-free, minimal harsh chemicals, recyclable and eco-friendliness etc. Many brands nowadays endorse eco-friendliness in its products so it doesn't impress me in anyway but if you like anything natural then this will impress you.


I bought the shampoo, conditioner, shower cream and body moisturizer set but since I only tried out their Porretta SPA line, I will talk about the shower cream and body moisturizer first.

23 Jun 2017

Review: Mise en Scene Perfect Repair Light Serum


Less is more when it comes to body care? That might be the case for Mise en Scene Perfect Repair Light Hair Serum!

Mise en Scene Perfect Repair Serum swiped across Asia ever since making its first appearance in Korean Drama "My Love from the Star". And that's of course due to the quality of the products. Consumers are not blind. There must be a reason why this Mise en Scene Serum remains popular until now.

They came out with a Light Serum some times ago but I always hesitated to get it because I heard that it is meant for thinning and weak hair whereas mine is kinda thick and frizzy. It was not until Althea Korea's special promotion that prompted me to try it out.  Coincidentally, my Mise en Scene Perfect Repair Serum (Original) was nearly finished at that time, giving me the perfect reason to spend!

21 Jun 2017

Comparison Review: Illi Total Aging Care Body Lotion, Total Aging Care Smoothing Lotion, and Intensive Moisture Body Lotion


I talked about a number of body lotions that I love and hate in the past few years, which you can check out here. In this review, I wanna bring your attention to these illi Body Lotion once again and share my 2 cents on them with you guys. Three body lotions that we are gonna talk about today are Illi Total Aging Care Body Lotion, Illi Total Aging Care Smoothing Lotion, and Illi Intensive Moisture Body Lotion. They are all coming from the mother brand Illi, a hanbang cosmetics brand based in Korea. You can find its products in many places, including Korean grocery store, so it is not very “high-end” or “luxurious”, but definitely something hanbang fans will appreciate.





Comparison Review of 19 Body Lotions and Body Moisturizers


I notice that I accumulated a lot of body lotion, or body moisturizers in the past 2-3 years that I haven’t really found a chance to talk about. So, in this review, I’ll be sharing my more comprehensive thoughts on 16 body lotions, serums, and creams I have tried in the past few years and how I feel about them in general. I hope this review will be able to provide a good insight to all of you and perhaps help you to make better choices in the future.

I started looking into body moisturizers ever since I started my office job. You know, in Malaysia, they overcompensate the hot weather by turning the air-cond really low. And as an OL, you cannot really walk around too often so your blood circulation is slowed down, your resistance to coldness is lower too. Then slowly, cracks and dry patches appear on my body especially around my legs and my elbows area so I have to look for a good moisturizer for my body if I want to feel more comfortable.

I used to look for one at Watson’s and Guardian, before turning my attention to local body care shops like The Body Shop and The Face Shop, then slowly international brands such as illi.

Let’s look at some of the products I bought below:


  • Beauty Buffet Scentio Milk Plus Whitening Q10 Body Lotion
  • Belif Body Bomba Body Lotion
  • Belif Delightful Body Balm
  • Beyond Body Healing Moisturizer
  • Enchanteur Paris Double Moisture Body Serum
  • illi Fresh Moisture Body Lotion
  • illi Intensive Moisture Body Lotion
  • illi Total Aging Care Smoothing Lotion
  • illi Total Anti-Aging Body Lotion
  • Innisfree Gardenia Blossom Perfumed Body Lotion
  • Innisfree Jeju Camellia Butter Body Lotion
  • Palmers Shea Butter Formula Body Butter
  • Primera Mango Butter Comforting Body Lotion
  • Rosken Skin Repair Dry Skin Cream
  • The Body Shop Africa Honey & Beeswax Hands & Foot Butter
  • The Body Shop Fijian Water Lotus Body Butter
  • The Body Shop Shea Whip Body Lotion
  • The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Body Lotion
  • The Face Shop Secret Blossom Smooth Touch Body Oil Mist



Review: Laneige Aqua Sun Screen SPF 35 PA++


Ever wonder if your sunscreen can be as lightweight and as moisturizing as Laneige Water Bank Essence EX? Then you gotta try out this Laneige Aqua Sun Screen SPF 35 PA++! Actually it is called Laneige Aqua Sun Block SPF 35 PA++ elsewhere, but Sun Screen in Malaysia. I think that’s because by laws brand cannot call its sunscreen “sun block” in Malaysia. I think the use of “sun block” is also prohibited in US.

The one I got is its SPF35 version, but Laneige also carries another SPF50+ PA+++ with the label “Premium” with better sun protection power. The SPF35 one is more suitable for indoor activities or office lady (and gent of course).


20 Jun 2017

The First Chemical Exfoliants In My Life - Review: Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid and Cosrx AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid


I talked about 3 Cosrx products that help to calm my acne whenever I suffer from hormonal breakouts previously. However, I haven't touched on the Cosrx products that help me to achieve clearer skin on a daily basis. So in today's review, I'm gonna go in depth about 2 Power Liquids I have been using in the past 8-10 months from Cosrx and my thoughts on them having used them for close to 1 year.

Of course, Cosrx is not the only brand that comes up with acne-targetting chemical exfoliants. I have tried other ones like Make P:rem, Neogen, Belif, C20, Blithe, The Ordinary, and various aqua peels, and some of them are quite good I would say! But since Cosrx is one of the first chemical exfoliants I used ("the senior-est"), and also the most raved, I wanna to make an in-depth review on the both of them, and use it as a reference to other chemical exfoliants I will be reviewing in the future.


There are two types of chemical exfoliants in Cosrx: AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid and BHA Blackhead Power Liquid. Cosrx also came out with a vitamin C serum (and there is controversy as to whether or not vitamin C should be considered a chemical exfoliant) and a PHA cream. I might not try out the vitamin C serum since I find it troublesome needing to store it in a fridge, and also might not try out the PHA cream since many report that it is quite heavy and relatively ineffective.

AHA vs. BHA

Let's first talk about the Cosrx BHA Blackhead Power Liquid since it is oil-soluble and by right you should use this before the AHA Power Liquid in the same routine.


19 Jun 2017

My Acne-Rescuing Trio - Review: Cosrx Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol, Acne Pimple Master Patch and Centella Blemish Cream


Acne isn't always my struggle. In fact, I'm blessed with pretty good skin since teen age. I might have dry lines and freckles which worsen with increased sun exposure, but never really acne. I think it is a genetic thing, or just the food that I am eating, that gives me pretty clear complexion. But my skin isn't always so trouble-free. I will get acne here and there during menstrual cycle. And when I don't get enough sleep, my acne problem worsened.

So in today's review, I will share a few things I use whenever I am suffering from hormonal breakouts. These products may not be suitable for everyone with acne concerns because my acne is caused by internal inflammation due to stress, sleep deprivation and hormonal fluctuation. I am not sure how helpful will they be if comes to genetic acne or those with bacterial infection.

Since anti-acne products I know come almost exclusively from Cosrx, so I will talk about 3 Cosrx anti-acne products in today's review. You can also read my brand overview of Cosrx products here.


Great Things Never Came From Comfort Zones: A Brand Overview and Review of 11 HUXLEY Products and Miniatures


Great things never came from comfort zones, as Huxley so eloquently puts it.

For years, Huxley has been holding true to this philosophy of getting the best things out of the most unimaginable places, including Desert of Sahara any many more.

In today's review, I will be looking at several miniatures, samples and full size products I have tried from the brand Huxley, and share my honest and unbiased thoughts on each of them. Read on to find out more about what I think about these Huxley products, and whether or not I will commit to its full size.


18 Jun 2017

Review: Bonanza Olibanum Repairing Gel Mask


It's Bonanza! For some reason I think Bonanza Cosmetics is really good at picking name for itself. Who has the confidence of calling themselves a bonanza? That's a huge promise which everyone expects you to deliver!

Anyway, back to the product. I heard about Bonanza mask 2 or 3 years back when I start venturing into skincare. A lot of Hong Kong celebrities are raving about it, including also some Taiwanese artists. Many of them claim that this mask can cool, calm and reduce redness on the skin. There are also people who say that it has helped to surface blackheads for easier removal. There are many types of Bonanza masks too. The KUM is said to be excellent at moisturizing the skin whereas the KFM is an exfoliating and moisturizing mask using bio-enzymes. You'll also see a lot of Bonanza masks on Facebook sellers even if you don't read blog. It's just everywhere!

So, I am pretty happy when Hermo contacted me to send me this product for review purpose! I always want to try out one of the Bonanza products, since it is all over the internet. So, let's get started!


17 Jun 2017

Deep Ocean Beauty Secret: A Brand Overview and Review of 12 LIRIKOS Products


Love is blind. Sometimes you don't know why you are so in love with somebody, it just happens. This also applies to product obsession. Sometimes I dunno why I am so in love with a brand or its products, but I just did.

I know I have this obsession issue with a few Korean brands, which starts from 2015. Brands like Primera, Lirikos, Hanyul, Whamisa are so inaccessible 1-2 years back, and positive reviews (mainly in Chinese) are all on the internet.So you can imagine how I feel when I cannot physically access or touch the products, merely hearing others raving about how good they feel on the skin. And that's also why long distance or cyber relationships are more beautiful than people actually staying together as a family. Your brain produces chemicals that mislead you into thinking things certain ways, sometimes more fancy than it actually is.

Well, my points having said all these are not that Lirikos products, which I am gonna share here, are bad. They are pretty good actually. But, since I was a bit obsessed with Lirikos, my opinions may be biased. It is just like how you feel using a completely new brand versus a well marketed brand. Psychologically people are inclined to think that the brands that they have been seeing on Instagram, blogs and TV ads are better than a stranger brand, which is why we have this term called "mere-exposure effect", backed by psychological research.

So, what's Lirikos all about?

Lirikos is a skincare brand that is said to be a Korean La Mer. It uses minerals and extracts from the marine world in their products, which includes seaweed, marine collagen, and even sea water! Its gorgeous blue packaging also reflects the beauty of marine-based skincare. Lirikos has been partnering with oceanographers since 1994 to study the efficacy of marine-based ingredients, and eventually comes out with this "marine placenta" technology to deliver healing effects to the skin.

Ocean and marine-based ingredients are always an obsession among many women. Many skincare products use mainly marine ingredients, such as Innisfree's Jeju Seawater, Nature Republic's Super Aqua Max, and so on, and they are well-received by the beauty community. Now Lirikos has the entire brand devoted to marine ingredients! How cool is that?

I bought all of my Lirikos products from Gmarket, but you can also get yours from Testerkorea, Koreadepart, Yesstyle etc.

Here are a list of all Lirikos products, including miniatures I've tried:
  • Lirikos Angelic Therapy
  • Lirikos Marine Collagen V Ampoule    
  • Lirikos Marine Deep Cleansing Tissue
  • Lirikos Marine Expert Restoring Serum   
  • Lirikos Marine Hydro Ampoule EX
  • Lirikos Marine Hydro Skin Refiner II (for Normal & Dry Skin)
  • Lirikos Marine Hydro Essence in Emulsion
  • Lirikos Marine Hydro Cream
  • Lirikos Marine Oxygenic Essence EX
  • Lirikos Marine Triple Concentrate
  • Lirikos Marine Triple Treatment
  • Lirikos Marine Wrinkle-Toxin Cream


Review: Banila Co. Miss Flower & Mr. Honey Essence Oil and Cream


You know there is time when everyone seems to be raving about something, but you just can't feel the good of it because it is not meant for you? This is how I feel about the Banila Co. Miss Flower & Mr. Honey Essence Oil and Cream.

I bought it after reading several positive reviews on it, which includes reviews from one of my favourite bloggers Fiddy Snails. Many people said that these are the only cures for their dry and flaky skin. Even more say that honey and propolis are both awesome things to have on your face. After seeing positive reviews from my LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule, I thought, oh well why don't I give this a try since everyone seems to be raving about it?


I bought two items in total from this line, the essence oil from Banila Co. Malaysia and the cream from Testerkorea. Both products are available at Banila Co. Malaysia for approximately RM 130 and RM 170 respectively. In2face, the Malaysian distributor of Peripera, CLIO and Goodal are the one carrying it. They have an outlet at Mid Valley and Sunway Pyramid too. You can also get it from Hermo too, which I think should hold its official distribution rights.

Read on to find out more about why these aren't for me.

Review: Missha Aqua Sun Gel SPF50+ / PA+++


I am actually very picky when it comes to sunscreen. I used approximately 40 different sunscreens in the past, and repurchased some of them several times, so I know exactly what I am looking for in a sunscreen and why. You can read my Sunscreen 101 (basic knowledge), Sunscreen 201 and 202 (overview of 36 sunscreens), and Sunscreen 301 (comparison review of 36 sunscreens) for more detailed information about sunscreen and how to pick and choose the one that best suited your skin.

If you read this Taiwanese article, you will know that many sunscreens out there in the market don’t have sufficient sun protecting power, even though they are all labeled SPF50+ PA+++(+). Since I don’t have any machine to measure those, I always make sure that I bought sunscreens from reputable brands, and apply a sufficient amount of it (1/4 tsp or 1.23ml).

Most of the times, I will check the labels and see if it contains some of the sun filters that I am looking for, such as zinc oxide, tinosorb S, meroxyl, and avobenzone. These are all effective UVA1 sun filters, which can prevent more dark spots and wrinkling of the skin. Sunscreen is NOT a skincare product so it cannot reduce existing dark spots on your skin, but it can prevent it from getting worse.



This Missha Sun Aqua Gel, is my recent favourite discovery. It not only contains some good sun filters, but is also extremely lightweight and cosmetically elegant to use. Read on to find out more about it!


15 Jun 2017

Sunscreen 301: A Comparison Review of the Texture and CP Value of 36 Sunscreen / Sun Protection Products



TEXTURE

Let me be clear here. There are literally hundreds of sunscreens out there, so not all are made equal. Some sunscreens are in the form of a watery gel, some more silicony, some feels like body lotion, whereas some are more creamy and richer in consistency. So I will break these sunscreens down into 4 major categories in term of consistency, namely (1) watery/silicony gel, (2) lotion, (3) cream, and (4) powdery liquid.


Sunscreen 202: A Comparison Review of 36 Sunscreen / Sunblock / Sun Cream I Used Part II


I have talked about basic sunscreen knowledge in my sunscreen 101 post.

Next, I also shared my overview of 18 different sunscreens in my part I review, which you can see here.

In this review, I will continue my review on the other 18 sunscreens below:
  • Kose Sekkisei Sun Protect Essence Gel SPF50+/PA++++ ★★★★★
  • Laneige Sun Screen Aqua SPF35 PA++  ★★★★
  • L'Oreal Paris UV Perfect Super Aqua Essence SPF 50+ PA++++ ★★★★☆
  • Loveisderma UV Shield SPF 50+++ ★★★☆
  • Mamonde Calendula Everyday Sun Cream SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★☆
  • Mamonde Water Drop Sun Jelly SPF30 PA++ ★★★☆
  • Missha All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel SPF50+/PA++++ ★★★★★
  • Missha All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk SPF50+/PA+++ ★★
  • Nano White Omega Day Shield SPF50 PA++ ☆
  • Nature Republic California Aloe Sun Spray SPF50+ PA+++ ★☆
  • Nature Republic Provence Calendula Fresh Sun Gel SPF30 PA++ ★★★★
  • Nature Republic The First Sun Liquid SPF50+ PA+++ ☆
  • Neogen Day-Light Protection Sun Screen SPF 50 PA+++ ★★★★★
  • Neogence Mineral Soothing UV Protection Emulsion SPF 30 PA+++ ☆
  • Primera Skin Relief UV Protector SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★
  • Senka Mineral Essence UV SPF50+ PA++++ ★★★☆
  • Senka Mineral Perfect UV SPF50+ PA+++ ★★☆
  • The Face Shop Aqua Sun Gel SPF40 PA+++ ★★

Comparison Review: Belif First Aid Transforming Peel-Off Mask vs. Mild and Effective Facial Scrub


I think it is quite clear that Belif is a soothing and skin repairing skincare brand using only natural herbal ingredients. Since it is so gentle, its exfoliating lines, both the more chemical "peel-off mask" and the physical "mild and effective scrub" are kinda obsolete in my opinion. Too gentle to be effective, I think.

There are two different types of exfoliators in Belif. One is the First Aid Transforming Peel-Off Mask using natural AHA ingredients whereas the other one is the Mild and Effective Facial Scrub using very refine scrubbing particles. Both are designed for sensitive and dull skin.

Good News for Oily/Combination Skin! Comparison Review: Guerisson 9 Complex Cream vs. Light Cream


Good news for all oily skin folks! Now you get to try the Guerisson 9 Complex Light Cream!

To be honest, I bought the Guerisson 9 Complex Cream (Original) from Hermo several months back but always don't have the motivation to talk about it. I guess that's because I used store it in the office and forget about using it all the time. It so happens that Hermo contacted me a month ago asking if I am interested to try out (and give my opinion on) their newly launched Guerisson 9 Complex Cream (Light) which I almost unhesitatingly give my nod! So now, you guys get to read this comparison review on both creams! Yay!

14 Jun 2017

Sunscreen 202: A Comparison Review of 36 Sunscreen / Sunblock / Sun Cream I Used Part I


I talked about basic sunscreen knowledge in my previous blog post, so today I will share a brief overview of 30 over sunscreen, sunblock, sun cream, sun milk, sun spray, whatever you wanna call them, with all of you! I will break the review into two parts for your reading convenience. I will also talk about my final thought at the end of my part 2 review so you can skip all these and jump right to that for the conclusion if you can't wait!

Here are the products that I will mention in this part 1 review:
  • 3W Clinic Intensive UV Sunblock Cream Waterproof SPF 50 PA+++ ☆
  • AMPM 10 Peptide Ultra-light UV Lotion SPF30+ PA++ ★★★★☆
  • A'pieu Pure Block Aqua Sun Gel SPF50+ PA+++ ★★☆
  • Belif Almighty Sun Powder SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★☆
  • Belif UV Protector Fresh Sunscreen SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★
  • Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ PA++++ (2015 version) ★★★★☆
  • Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ PA++++ (2017 Version) ★★★★★
  • Biotherm UV Supreme SPF 50 PA+++ ★☆
  • Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★★☆
  • Hada Labo Air Aqua UV Day Emulsion SPF50/PA+++ ★★★☆
  • Hada Labo Perfect UV Gel SPF50+ PA++++ ★★★★★
  • Hera Sun Mate Essence Gel SPF40 PA++ ★★★☆
  • Innisfree Eco Safety Daily Daily UV Protection Cream SPF35/PA++ ★★★★
  • Innisfree Eco Safety No Sebum Sun Milk SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★★
  • IOPE UV Shield Sun Protector SPF 50+ PA+++ ☆
  • It's Skin 2PM Sunblock SPF50+ PA+++ ★★★☆
  • Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF 50+ PA++++ ★★★★☆
  • Kiss Me Sunkiller Perfect Water Essence SPF 50+ PA++++

13 Jun 2017

Review: Sulwhasoo Ginseng Care Kit


The adventure into Sulwhasoo is not complete without looking at its ginseng products. I have shared some of my thoughts on Sulwhasoo’s ginseng products in my previous reviews. Today, I am gonna talk a step closer into these ginseng goodies by looking at the ginseng line as featured in its premium Ginseng Care Kit. You can get this premium ginseng kit from the purchase of Sulwhasoo ginseng products, especially its ginseng cream. You can get this from Gmarket, Testerkorea and even RoseRoseShop sometimes, depending on stock availability, but keep in mind that they are not cheap though.


There are 5 products in total in this Ginseng Care Kit:
  • Sulwhasoo Capsulized Ginseng Fortifying Serum 8ml 
  • Sulwhaoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Essential Oil 5ml 
  • Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream 3ml 
  • Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream 5ml 
  • Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream Ex Light 5ml 

This kit is sufficient to give you a comprehensive grasp of all the ginseng luxuries in one go.

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