Thursday, June 27, 2013

First Look: The Face Shop » Face It Aura CC Cream » Mini Review

Photo credit to The Face Shop :)

I've been waiting to fall in love with a CC cream and have been trying out samples as a sort of CC cream speed dating, if you will. On my last trip to The Face Shop in downtown LA, I was overjoyed to find a sample of their FACE it Aura CC Cream in my bag! That being said, keep in mind that this is not an in depth review of this product, but rather my initial opinions on it.

Brand » The Face Shop
Product » FACE it Aura CC Cream 02 Natural Beige
Size » 20g
Cost » $20 USD
Website »
Would I purchase the full version? » Leaning toward a yes!

This is the size of the sample I received. It contained enough cream to apply the product for three days!

The Aura CC Cream comes in two shades: 01 Radiant Beige and 02 Natural Beige. The one I tried is 02 Natural Beige, so keep that in mind! My skin is pretty pale and I think that the lighter shade 01 would probably work best for my skin, but especially since it's summer time, those of you who are a little tanner (naturally or not) could probably go for 02. I try not to tan though, so it's 01 for me!

This CC cream is almost as thick as some of the BB creams I've tried and provides a medium coverage (maybe even between medium and full). It has yellow/peach undertones and does a pretty good job of covering up my blemishes! You can also build coverage without it looking caky. My face feels soft and moisturized immediately after applying and lasts all day.

Sorry for my messy hair! I just woke up in this pic! lol

The Aura CC Cream is aptly named as it gives my face a glowing brightness after applying! I would agree with its claim that it gives you a fresh faced look in the morning. It is lightly fragranced and is supposed to "color change" to match your skin tone. When I first applied it, it looked WAY too orange for my face, but after a minute or so it did indeed adapt to my skin tone (although 02 is still a little too dark for me). The Face Shop says it is supposed to last 12 hours. I don't particularly agree, but it's hard to tell because it wipes off so easily! The other downside I found is that it does accentuate any flaky patches of skin. So if you have dry skin, this probably won't be the best CC for you.

Overall, I really like the FACE it Aura CC Cream and am definitely considering buying it on my next visit to The Face Shop. The only thing I worry about is how easily the cream wipes off, but I love the way it makes my skin glow and appear natural looking!

Thanks for visiting my blog!


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: Etude House » Mint Cooling Eye's Cream

Sometimes, I wish western packaging was this clever. The Mint Cooling "Ice" Cream from Etude House comes in a kawaii little box with an ice cream cone cutout displaying the cream stick inside. I got this cream to help combat my dark circles, as we all know how annoying those can be!

Brand » Etude House
Product » Mint Cooling Eye's Cream
Size » 6.5g
Cost » $10 USD
Website »
Would I repurchase? » Undecided

The Mint Cooling Eye's Cream comes with two protective caps and twists up just like a lip balm. I was a little surprised to find that the cream smells nothing of mint. Rather, it has a subtle and perfumed, perhaps floral scent. This eye cream is supposed to help lessen dark circles and puffiness around the eyes with a cooling and soothing sensation. I was really excited when I discovered this cream not only because I love Etude House, but also because it doesn't cost a fortune as most eye creams do!

What I like: I've been using the Mint Cooling Eye's Cream for about a month now and it has definitely helped to relieve the puffiness around my eyes. I don't always have puffy eyes, but on those days where I haven't gotten much sleep or for whatever reason my eyes are feeling really tired it has been especially soothing. I like the idea of having extra sun protection for this delicate skin area, so it's a plus that this eye cream contains SPF30 PA++. The blue color of the cream helps a little to brighten your under eye area as well, which helps slightly with hiding the dark circles. It is also decently moisturizing and works great as a primer.

What I don't like: The cooling sensation is at times hardly noticeable. I won't deny that it is comforting, but the sensation only lasts a couple seconds and isn't very strong. The main reason that I got this cream is that I was hoping it would help to get rid of (or at least noticeably diminish) my dark circles. However, after a month I really haven't noticed much of a difference, if at all. 

If you are looking for an eye cream that relieves puffiness, the Mint Cooling Eye's Cream might be the one for you, but for those of us who struggle with dark circles you might want to look elsewhere. I am going to keep using this eye cream in case it takes longer to work, but with over a month of no real changes the outlook seems grim. Overall, I do like this eye cream for the soothing factor and if I did repurchase it it would be simply for the puffiness control, but I feel like there is probably something better out there. I'm also curious about this cream's twin product, the Vanilla Moist Eye's Cream, and wonder if they might work best as a pair.


P. S. What's your favorite eye cream?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Review: The Face Shop » Green Tea Phyto Powder In Cleansing Foam

I'm pretty satisfied with the Green Tea Phyto Powder In Cleansing Foam from The Face Shop. Although it's not my favorite cleanser (it doesn't beat Skinfood's Steam Milk Bubble Mask reviewed here), I do enjoy it for it for its own unique qualities. Plus, I am an absolute fan of green tea!! Matcha green tea, green tea ice cream, green tea cheesecake, green tea name it! Odds are I love it (I even ate green tea pancakes earlier today). Okay, moving on...

Brand » The Face Shop
Product » Green Tea Phyto Powder In Cleansing Foam
Size » 170ml
Cost » $10 USD
Website »
Would I repurchase? » Perhaps

The Green Tea Cleanser comes in a simple yet attractive tube packaging. The product squeezes out of the bottom and comes out a thick gel-like consistency with a pearlescent shine. For some reason, when I smelled this cleanser in the store I thought it did indeed smell of green tea, but when I brought it home with me it didn't seem to smell like it at all (guess it was my imagination). It does smell good, however, but the smell is more of a simple, light, clean smell with no specific scent that I can think of.

This cleanser foams quite nicely and does a good job at cleaning off my makeup. It actually foams a lot more than shown in the picture! However, if you wear heavy eye makeup I would suggest getting some type of makeup remover to use along with this cleanser. It can sometimes require excessive scrubbing in the eye area which isn't the best for the delicate skin around your eyes. It also takes a little more effort than some cleansers to rinse off.

I do not recommend this for extremely dry or sensitive skin types. Although the Green Tea Cleanser is pretty gentle, it can be quite drying at times and if my skin is especially irritated this cleanser can slightly sting, which is never fun.

On a positive note, I do recommend this for those of you with combination/oily skin like mine. On days when my skin is oily and out of control, this cleanser does wonders. I do not like to use this cleanser every day though and am currently trading off between this and my Steam Milk Bubble Mask from Skinfood. The Green Tea Cleanser doesn't necessarily leave my skin feeling overly soft, but it is quite refreshing and does its job of getting my face clean. I also feel that over time it has helped to tighten my pores, smooth out my skin, and lessen the amount of oil I have.

I have never had any breakouts or irritations from using this cleanser (except for the rare slight stinging on extra sensitive days). Overall, I do enjoy the Green Tea Cleanser from The Face Shop, but I feel as though I would like to try something else before purchasing this cleanser again.

Thanks for reading!!


P. S. I couldn't end this post without mentioning that Kim Hyun Joong is the current model for The Face Shop. In case you don't know who is, he is a famous kpop idol and actor and is pretty dang cute (in my opinion)...just saying! :p

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Review: Tonymoly » Red Appletox Honey Cream

Yet another adorable apple from the Korean brand TonyMoly! Their Red Appletox Honey Cream comes in a kawaii red plastic apple shaped container that is quite similar to their Appletox Peeling Massage Cream, which I've also reviewed here. The containers might be similar, but the Red Appletox is an entirely different product! The Honey Cream is an excellent moisturizing cream perfect for morning or night that I'm so happy I found!

Brand » TonyMoly
Product » Red Appletox Honey Cream
Size » 80ml
Cost » $10 USD
Website »
Would I repurchase? » Yes, yes, yes!

Although I have an obsession with cute packaging, I totally understand the hesitation that some people might have that the product inside isn't actually good and the packaging is just a trick to get you to buy. However, adorable packaging aside, the Red Appletox Honey Cream is a truly wonderful moisturizer! The cream itself is definitely not as thick as our normal idea of a facial cream and I would describe it as being a little...juicy, or more of a gel cream. It smells just like a fresh tart apple with a hint of honey, which I love.

The top screws off to reveal a tiny spatula used for dipping into the cream and a plastic lid to help keep the cream from spilling over the edge and also to keep dust and germs out! The cream actually pours quite easily and you only need to dip the spatula to provide enough cream for your entire face! Perhaps if your face was extremely dry it might requiring scooping, but I've always found that to be way too much.

Notable Ingredients:
Manuka Honey Extract » from the wild trees of New Zealand. Antibacterial and immunity effect.
Royal Jelly Extract » cools down skin troubles.
Black Honey » rich in minerals and amino acid. Moisturizes and nourishes.
Apple Acid » smooths skin.
Propolis » provides antioxidants.

How to use: Apply an adequate amount day or night after cleansing. Gently pat your face to help the product absorb. Use 1-3 times a week.

Although it says to use 1-3 times a week, I have used this every night for weeks in a row and have never experienced any irritation with my skin. I think you need to get a feel for your own skin and if it is screaming for moisture I don't see a problem using it every night/day, although a couple times a week works great too! I personally only use this cream at night, because I use my Hadalabo during the day, but I honestly really love it as a sleeping moisturizer. The cream is supposed to increase elasticity, and I would agree that the Red Appletox Honey Cream certainly performs. Every morning I wake up after using this, my face feels softer and firmer!

The Red Appletox Honey cream is immediately soothing. I've used this when my face felt irritated or flushed and when I apply the cream it has an instant calming effect. The texture is different from most creams, but I find it light and comforting. Even though I don't use this in my morning routine, I think the texture would be great for use under your base makeup! The Red Appletox Honey Cream has worked well for me both when my skin was looking flawless and when my skin felt sensitive or irritated. Those with acne might also find this cream to be beneficial as honey naturally contains antibacterial properties, which I feel adds to its calming effect.

The only downside to this cream is that it didn't come with a full ingredient list. I've been searching for one and if I come across it I will update this post.

I think the Red Appletox Honey Cream is perfect for any skin type and has worked especially well for my combination skin. I'm surprised that the price isn't higher, but even if it cost more I would probably still buy it again. I don't wake up with my skin feeling oily and I've never had any breakouts from this cream. If you're looking for a moisturizing cream that is both comforting and gentle I would certainly consider this one. This little red apple is Beautiful Doki Doki approved!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: Hada Labo » Gokujyun Toner and Lotion

I hear that one of the Gokujyun Clear Lotions is sold in Japan every 4 seconds!! It's kind of crazy to think of it that way, but if that's true I can see why they sell that much! I stumbled upon the Hada Labo brand online some time ago and I must say that I have no regrets.

Brand » Hada Labo
Product » Gokujyun Clear Lotion (Toner), Gokujyun Milk (Lotion)
Size » 170ml (Toner), 140ml (Lotion)
Cost » $19.99 USD each
Website »
Would I repurchase? » Absolutely yes!

First things first, if you're feeling confused by the multiple names for these products, don't feel bad because I'm a little confused too. The bigger of the two is the Gokujyun "toner", which is referred to as a "clear lotion". I use this one first. The small one is the Gokujyun "lotion" aka "milk". According to Hada Labo's USA website, the clear lotion isn't actually a toner, but rather a clear lotion used to prep your face for better absorption of other moisturizers. However, it can be used as a stand alone moisturizer as well. Not sure if the names have just been lost in translation, but for the sake of simplicity, I'm going to refer to the clear lotion as a toner and the milk as a lotion for the rest of this review!

Phew! Okay, now that that's settled let's get on with it. Hado Labo is a Japanese skincare brand that focuses on simplicity and doesn't use any unnecessary ingredients like colorants, fragrances, or mineral oil. Gokujyun is the name of Hada Labo's moisturizing care line (there are two other lines, but we'll get to that later), which contains super hyaluronic acid! What is super hyaluronic acid, you ask? Well, basically it's this amazing ingredient that attracts water from the air and helps it stick to your face! Also, in case the word "acid" sounds scary, hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the human body. Super hyaluronic acid has twice the moisture retention ability of hyaluronic acid. To summarize, it keeps your face moisturized ALL day! The way Hada Labo puts it is, "one drop locks up an ocean".

Ingredients : Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Disodium Succinate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Hydroxyethycellulose, Methylparaben, PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Succinic Acid

The Gokujyun toner looks like water in this picture, but is a slightly thicker consistency. Once it is applied, your face will become sticky, but that just means that the product is working! After a while the stickiness goes away, or if you apply the lotion right after or your BB cream (or whatever) the stickiness will disappear immediately. I almost always follow this with the Gokujyun lotion, but on days where my skin isn't feeling too dry, I've used the toner alone and it kept my skin sufficiently moisturized throughout the day!

Ingredients : Water, Glycerin, Hydrogenated Poly (C6-12 Olefin), Dipropylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PPG-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Behenyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Methylparaben, PEG-20 Sorbitan Isostearate, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Propylparaben, Sodium Acetylated Hyaluronate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Stearyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine

The Gokujyun lotion is an added step of moisture to your routine. If your skin is easily dehydrated or extremely oily this is perfect for you. Many people think that if their skin is too oily, it means they are applying too much moisturizer. This isn't true at all. Your skin actually produces more oil when their is lack of moisture!

How to use: apply a small amount to your palm. Rub between your hands to "warm up" the product. Gently pat onto your face and neck until the moisturizer is fully absorbed.

Overall, I absolutely recommend the Gokujyun Toner and Lotion as I am in love with both of these products! As I mentioned earlier, there is also a whitening line that comes in blue packaging and a lifting and firming line that comes in red packaging. The price is amazing for these products because you only need a few drops of the toner and lotion to moisturize your entire face and neck so it will last a looong time!

I do suggest using these as a pair. Since I've started using the Gokujyun line the flaky bits on my face are hardly ever there and my skin is never screaming for moisture. It has helped control the oil on my face as well. Overall, there isn't much to say other than these products do exactly what they claim to do and I honestly don't think I've tried a better moisturizer before. The products are extremely gentle as they contain no fragrances or colors or harmful ingredients and are perfect for any skin type! I may have found some moisturizers for life!