Beauty Product Reviews

Pairs perfectly with strong actives

Since using tretinoin 0.1% nightly this year, this is my go-to moisturizer. For those not too familiar with prescription retinoid, tretinoin does wonders for clearing up acne and hyperpigmentation. However, it comes at a cost of potential irritation, dryness, and flaking at least in the beginning and then again when you don't moisturize well. The consistency of this is a bit thicker but melts onto the skin in a way that spreads easily. It envelops your skin in a mild, cushiony layer of softness and moisture. Since there are no actives in this moisturizer, it is the perfect non-reactive, non-irritating paring for skin that has been through the wringer due to actives, or is simply dry and flaky.

For reference, I have very acne-prone combination skin and this moisturizer is perfect for winter and nighttime use. For oily skin, this may be too heavy at least of use during the day. It has never broken me out and always helped to minimize the dryness I usually experience from tretinoin the next day. To be honest, it isn't the most interesting or active laden moisturizer but sometimes that is exactly what you need.

Gave up on mascaras until I found this!

I wore mascara for many years while in school but ever since I've learned how to put on falsies, the effect of mascaras on my wimpy, short and straight lashes has just been disappointing in comparison. I did not bother with mascaras for many years because it never did enough for me to warrant the effort. I was definitely shocked to find that this mascara not long made my lashes visible-lengthening, thickening, and separating, but that it didn't take a million coats to get there! Since I have straight Asian lashes, waterproof is a must or the lashes will point straight down upon application. I've been able to get somewhat decent lashes with other mascaras but was it really worth sitting there applying so many layers that your arm starts to get tired? With that many layers, the mascara also starts looking clumpy, which for all my life, I accepted that to be how it has to be so my lashes are visible. Well, no more! This mascara not only builds up perfectly in a few coats but each lash is separated and non-clumpy! It does not flake, budge, smudge in any way. I trust it so much that I wore it to a wedding recently in lieu of falsies. Yes, it is that amazing and reliable, like that good friend that always comes through for you and knows the perfect thing to say.

Boost of energy without the jitters!

Being mostly a coffee/espresso drinker, I'm so surprised that I've been able to switch over to matcha lattes! While coffee does give me that much-needed boost of energy in the morning and late afternoons, this does the same but in a very calming way. I've had matcha lattes in the past this definitely feels like a higher quality, more refined version of the ingredient. I've never had the experience of being more alert but calm at the same time. It was strange initially but now, I find myself making matcha latte at least once a day. I've tried other brands of matcha from the grocery store but definitely prefer this one both with the effect on energy and the purity of the green tea taste. Would totally recommend but be warned, this stuff is highly addictive and may take the spot of your favorite coffee!

One device that does it all

To be honest, I'm fickle when it comes to skincare. There are times I'm masking almost every day of the week and there are times I can't be bothered to wash my face in the evening (huge no-no!). I'm offering an alternate perspective for this device, for those who can't commit to consistently using this several times a week for months on end. I know I'm not getting those sustained lifting, firming, and complexion improving results. For those like me, I would still make the argument that this is a great device to have on hand.

I love that this device gives me immediate results. I generally go for the 12 minutes Energize treatment, which visibly lifts and firms the skin. Since I'm in my 30's and my skin is in good condition, how can I even tell, you may ask! If you have hooded eyes like me, you will see that one brow and the eye fold are visibly lifted when compared to the other side. The eye is instantly more open and the brow sits slightly higher. This really is the best prep you can ask for prior to makeup application. Even with my inconsistent routine, this level of payoff really motivates me to at least use the device for any special occasion, which with how things are nowadays, basically every day that I actually leave the house.

To put this gently, I have a relatively round face with good facial volume that puffs up with even the slightest increase in sodium intake. The depuffing effect that this gives me is truly a godsend! It has saved me so many times the morning after I've been a bit overindulgent. There is even a lymphatic drainage program called Sculpt & Lift that helps further enhance the facial contours by stimulating facial muscles and helping direct any excess fluids so they can properly drain.

Even though I can't promise myself I can use this consistently, it was still well worth the investment for the results I get. Who knows, maybe I can slowly change my fickle ways and make it stick!

Magical Scent

The scent of this candle is magical in the sense that it not only brought back a memory, feeling, and place but enhanced the way I perceive it in my mind. It reminded me of the field of bamboo that was behind my grandma's farm in China. The same warm, yet earthy scent that envelops you without ever being overbearing. The vanilla and amber provide a sense of comfort to the room when you light it. The patchouli brings that earthiness while the bergamot keeps the whole experience light enough that you don't mind the scent lingering well after the flame is blown out. Initially, I felt a bit silly for buying such a fancy candle just for myself but it was really worth it. The scent gives me a moment of peace at the end of the day that is much welcomed.

Works like magic on breakouts

No exaggeration, I was absolutely floored by the results of this mask after a 30 minute application with my first use. I had a few breakouts that had cropped up the night before and when I rinsed the mask off, I was pleasantly surprised to find they had all gone down visibly. Even the most angry of the bunch had been noticeably deflated! I was inspired to pick this up since my dermatologist had prescribed a sulfur wash in conjunction with my tretinoin prescription. To give you a bit of background, I have combo but mostly oily skin that is extremely acne prone. The sulfur wash is supposed to help with the excessive oiliness by absorbing excess sebum, which in turn should help lessen breakouts as well. While it is helpful, this mask has done way more for my skin. By having the extended leave on time that I cannot get with the wash, I've seen that my skin has become much more balanced, not to mention that this will help shorten the lifespan breakouts that inevitably come up from time to time. I've only been using this for several weeks but am hopeful that it will help control the remaining few breakouts that still arise even with tretinoin.

Instantly calms irritated skin

Not only is this a soothing treat for the skin, this mask has saved my skin so many times from irritation. This feels amazing on a sunburn and will take down the redness a few notches in just 20 minutes! I've been recently put on 0.1% tretinoin for acne (a very strong prescription) and during the initial adjustment phase, I relied on this mask heavily for relief from the redness, peeling, tightness and sensitivity. I will also apply this immediately after an at home peel, just to get ahead of any potential reaction right away. To preface, I have very resilient skin from years of alpha hydroxy acid and retinoid use. If this mask can save me from what I have put my skin through, I'm sure anyone can benefit with having this in their arsenal. This is a mask I will always have in my rotation.

Fool-proof amount of pigmentation every time

I have this blush in two shades-Tu Me Fais Rougir and La Vie En Rose and absolutely adore them both! The texture of these make them extremely easy to apply and you will get the perfect result each and every time. They’re both a bit on the stiffer side but this is purposeful so that you do not pick up too much product. I have definitely had that experience of a blush being too soft, accidentally picking up too much and then having a hell of a time blending the color out. This is not to say that the stiffness hinders your ability to pick up product, as I can assure you it does not. I would honestly prefer if all my blushes were in this texture since application is literally fool-proof!

I have light-medium skin tone and the shade Tu Me Fais Rougir gives my skin so much life! I get a lit from within glow that makes me look well rested, nourished and incredibly healthy. While that all may not be true, but I can certainly fake it with this blush. What I like the most is both shades have a satin finish that mimics the texture of natural skin albeit with a barely discernible touch of luminosity but nothing over the top. Other than having the same name as the beautiful, classic French song, the shade La Vie En Rose is a great neutral color that goes with absolutely everything. It is essentially a nude blush that I think everyone should own one of in their collection, if only for the times you can’t decide which shade would go with your look. I also appreciate the slim profile packaging as it allows me to store and pack more. I can’t wait to collect more shades of these blushes!

Non-Greasy Finish Yet Moisturizing

The heavy or greasy texture of hand creams is the main factor which deterred me from using them regularly. While ingredients and formulation definitely matters, some of the best products are ones that are a joy to use. A more pleasant experience with the product leads to the likelihood that you will use it with regularity. I find this hand cream to be a winner in both categories. It has glycerin to draw hydration into the skin, shea butter to soften and a beautiful mix to oils to put the moisture back in. With this nourishing combination, you would think the cream would feel heavy and greasy but it is anything but! This formulation is beautifully put together as to impart an elegant texture that sinks into the skin quickly. I’m pleased to report that this does not leave a film on everything I touch, including the keyboard I use every working day. I have not used this enough to see the difference with my nails but my cuticles look fantastic! For someone that does not enjoy putting on a hand cream, I actually look forward to using this.

Great Smoothing Effect

Since I have straight, medium density hair that is dry, damaged and color treated, this oil is my best friend! The product is very multipurpose for me since I can use it on both damp and dry hair. While it is not the driest and most lightweight oil I have come across, I appreciate the slightly thicker feeling for when my hair is damp so it doesn’t just disappear into nothing. Not to say this is a thick or heavy oil but it has a bit of heft to it so that your hair feels nourished upon application. Because my hair is so dry, I can use this on dry hair daily and not feel weighed down.

The blend of oils used include nourishing oils like coconut, argan and macadamia as well as drier oils such as squalane and grapeseed oil. This great mixture contributes to a texture with the oil that is both moisturizing and not too heavy. If you have very fine hair and find this to be too heavy when used dry, I would try using a small amount only when the hair is damp. I highly recommend this for medium to thick hair as it can be used both wet and dry. If you have very dry, damaged and/or processed hair, this product will be super helpful with adding back moisture and reducing breakage!

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