Beauty Product Reviews

Great blend of AHA/BHA for any skin type.

I was a bit skeptical of this blend initially just because the total percentage total of about 10% acid seems quite strong. I decided to give it a try since the AHA I was using before was already drying out my skin too much- so what's the worse that can happen right? I was surprised when I consistently woke up to smooth, hydrated and clear skin. The glycolic percentage is 8.4%, lactic at 0.94% and 0.5% for BHA (salicylic acid) is a nice balance of what's required to refine and exfoliate the skin without drying it out. It has hyaluronic acid which pulls moisture into the skin. The scent is a natural lime extract which I don't mind at all. I alternate this serum with a retinol at night time only. You CAN use this during the day but the lime extract will make the skin a little more photosensitive so use SPF.

In my top 3 faves

I've tested out many many primers before. My faves before The Ordinary has been IT Cosmetics No.50 Anti-Aging Primer & Hourglass Mineral Veil. I love the Ordinary since it has a very similar consistency to those two and is just as effective. I actually told my husband to use this as part of his a.m skincare routine and he loves it. So bonus for the gender-neutral packaging. He did not let me take this on my trip so I had to pack my IT Cosmetics one instead.

Finally a vitamin C that works

Vitamin C is awesome for your skin. It brightens and tones it. I've been using various brands in the last few years every single morning. The problem with many of them on the market is that they are not chemically structured in a way that would be stable and thus makes it totally ineffective. My cosmetic chemist buddy has told me stabilizing vitamin c is extremely difficult and a lot of vitamin c serums out there are totally ineffective even before they bottle it. If not, it oxidizes a few days after you use it. I'm not a chemist but I definitely see a difference between using this every morning vs. not. I did a test of taking a break from it for 3 weeks once to see a difference and I noticed my skin was less bright during the day and my foundations oxidized on my skin differently. I wish I had pics to show this. I use this daily under my spf.


Did I spell milia right? I've had those little white dots around my eyes for most of my adult life. I've always had the constant battle with eye cream. Using heavier ones caused my sensitive skin around my eyes to have milia and if I used something too lightweight, I end up with wrinkly dry skin. I then had to switch over to an oil (May Lindstrom Youth Dew which is amazing too) but in the mornings, I can't wait for oils to absorb. It also did nothing for my puffy eyes. This serum absorbs so fast you actually have to plan how you want to apply it before you remove it from the dropper. I actually apply it all over my eye area and it really reduces the puffiness. It feels refreshing and doesn't mess with concealer application afterward.

Creamy consistence = so easy to apply

This is one of my faves and must have from The Ordinary. I've been using this cream retinol for 4 months and I haven't even hit half way yet. I'm usually a huge luxury skin care buyer so paying so little for retinol had me a little suspicious. It's gentle, it doesn't smell weird, it absorbs super quick and leaves no residue. I use this every other night and alternate with my lactic acid 5%. The beauty of the cream texture is that even on my very dry skin, I did not need a moisturizer on top which is a big plus. That way you're not mixing up chemicals.

Affordable Lactic Acid - finally

I've tried a large number of different lactic acids on the market. Everything from the high end stuff to stuff I found at my local health pharmacy from Paula's Choice (it was no good). I love this one because it's gentle but effective. With a lot of the higher end ones, I was only able to use it once a week due to how sensitive my skin is. I then would only see my skin texture change for one day and it would go back to looking a bit dull again. 5% works best for my skin's sensitivity. I can use this up to 3x a week without issues. I alternate nights with the retinoid from this line as well. The smell: it takes a while to get used to. It's not bad or pungent -- it smells really sweet for some reason. This product as no perfumes so the odd smell is actually a good sign!

Refines skin texture

Every once in a while, I'll get some blemishes on my chin or forehead. Blame it on randomness or hormones or my hands touching my skin too much. I use tea tree oil on it overnight and once it's over the worst phase, I use this serum to help it heal again. My skin's texture will smooth out faster and I don't get the initial pigmentation that can happen post blemish.

Not even a gloss fan

I actually really dislike gloss simply because it's so uncomfortable on my lips. I much prefer the dry matte lipsticks. However, ND's glosses are superb. They're silky and not sticky. The BLEACH color is such a unique shade and actually works well even with my slightly golden undertones in my skin. It kind of reminds me of the shades I wore when I was a teen in the 90's (which is awesome) and am excited to have a high-quality lipgloss I love.

The eyebrush is amazing

Originally, I was draw to the Lumiere set from Chikuhodo but after learning that the Rose collection is goat hair, I had to give it a try. I am a sucker for any sort of angled powder brush for some reason. I find then super versatile and adaptable for different faces and makeup collections. I'm the oddball that prefers goat hair over squirrel since I like the pick up and deposit ratio better. This Rose is is significantly softer than the Passion series and a lot softer than some of the GSN brushes (my fave brushes to use) as well. I would say they're most comparable to GSN brushes but have the shorter handle that most people like for travel and daily use. I haven't used the lip brush yet but I have to say the real winner is the eye brush! OMG where can I buy more of this dense brush. It's weasel/squirrel mix which is not super easy to find. The shape and length of the bristles are perfect for laying your base color. As you tilt it, you can use it as a crease shader. It blends well and applys well. Happy to have added this to my collection!

my great little travel foundation brush

I have a slight obsession with foundation brushes (and foundations) so anything slightly different and luxe, I will want to try it. I typically use the GSN5 for foundations and even though I do prefer long handles, I needed something that would fit into my brush travel roll. This brush is so amazingly soft, it feels like the softest squirrel hair but distributes liquids way better. It's quite small in diameter but I kind of like that since when I travel I try to bring less than 10 brushes (haha) so I can't afford to have a large one PLUS a small one for blending out under eye areas. This one works perfectly. I actually started using it as part of my regular routine and will probably need to buy another for travel!

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