Wednesday, August 17, 2016

LUKE Mugwort Nose Strip - review

*DISCLAIMER - Item(s) sent by company for the purpose of testing/review.  All opinions and words are 100% my own.  I am not being financially compensated for this review.*

I am an avid nose strip user.  Yes, I know there are people who say you should not use them, that they cause more harm than good.  Well, you know what?  I like to use them, I find them effective and continue to use them as an integral part of my skincare routine.  Well, enough of that rant.  Let's get on with the stripping ;)...

I was sent this lovely strip by Natural Beauty Skincare, a lovely site that has tons of skincare from Asian skincare with brands like LUKE, aritaum, leaders, mediheal and more.  The LUKE Nose Strips come in three different varieties (Charcoal, Mugwort and Lemon Tea Tree) and right now retail for just $0.65 cents USD!!!

Beware, nose pore closeup!!! 
Before - there is obvious congestion on my nose.  Pore size is something I also struggle with, which is why I like to keep those suckers as clean as I can.  I washed with a basic, non-abrasive face wash so that I could see the extent of the powers of the strip!

As with all skincare, I followed the steps as stated on the package:
1 wet nose
2 apply strip
3 wait 10-20 minutes
4 remove and enjoy

Its blue, its blue!
This strip dried down so quickly...that was something I was not anticipating.  It adhered to the skin nicely without needing my face to be doused with water.  I will say though, there was a weird herbal, sulfuric scent to this that was a bit disconcerting, but thankfully, subsided quickly.  Removal of the strip was just like any other.  Since this had stuck on good and proper, it did leave my skin a bit red.  But it lifted the demon scum from my pores and for that, I am grateful.

After -

Nose was cleaner and skin was smooth.  Redness went away after a few short minutes and I was happy.  That nose looks a lot more pleasant...doesn't it?


See those little "trees" sticking out?  Yup.  Goners!!!

Check out what Skin18 has to offer by checking them out HERE.  *not an affiliate link, I am not being paid by skin18*

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Give your lashes a boost with Wet n Wild's photofocus Lash Primer

*DISCLAIMER - Item(s) for this review purchased by the passenger element blog.*

WetnWild photofocus Lash Primer
I can imagine what you might be thinking...I'm busy I really need to prime my lashes also?? :/.  Well, no, you don't have to.  But let me show you why you might after reading this...

Wet n Wild's photofocus Lash Primer is widely available at drugstores and also big box stores such as Wal-Mart.  This was purchased at my local Walgreen's for $4.99 USD.  It is packaged as any typical mascara would be with a midsize spoolie on one end.  Contained inside are 0.27fl.oz/8ml of cream product.  According to Wet n Wild's website, this only comes in one color - 849B Committed a Prime.

This primers blend of waxes also contains vitamins A, E and D-Panthenol to give lashes an added boost of health while building lash length and volume!

The creamy primer formulation is somewhere between wet and dry.  It is akin to when I like to age a mascara and open it and let it sit to make it easier to layer/dry.  The brush coated lashes pretty well, aside from some clumps here and there.  It separated my lashes really well!  I was surprised to see that it did not cake up my lashes into sections.

Clean lashes - eye makeup was left without liner so that you could see the impact of the primer and mascara on its own without any help.

Lashes - Primer added.  Heavier white areas denote larger deposits of the primer.

This is one coat of primer and one coat of a popular drugstore mascara.

Lashes are slightly thickened and lengthened even more.  Mascara and the photofocus primer work well with each other.

I'm really happy with the results.  I used the mascara here the most with the primer, but I also used quite a few other mascaras, both drugstore and high end.  I did not find that the mascaras flaked at all and was really happy with the condition of my lashes after removal.  During removal, it felt as if I had used 2 to 3 layers of mascara, so the process took a bit longer than usual, but nothing that was too much or annoying to handle.  The primer does have a bit of a chemical scent that goes away rather quickly after application.

Repurchase - absolutely.  Definitely a great way to turn dud mascaras into something better!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

dear Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream SPF40, PA+++

*DISCLAIMER - Item(s) sent by 08liter in exchange for an honest review.  I am not being financially compensated for this review.  All words and opinions are 100% my own.*

As I am becoming more active about my skincare routine, I researched and fell hard for Korean beauty.  Yup, officially obsessed with kbeauty now, and though I am still a newb, I have found some products I already love and some that I am super excited to try.  One of those products is a tried and true BB Cream.  A BB Cream, or blemish balm, is a workhorse, kind of does it all products.  It does everything from color correction, wrinkle care, brightens, whitens, sun care, pore care, oil control...the list goes on and on.  Here in the states, many "bb creams" are released, but none come close to asian bb creams.

Thanks to I had the chance to try a lovely bb by the name of dear Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream SPF 40, PA+++.

Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream
Here we have dear Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream!  Here are its particulars...

+Plastic Tube with screw top
+Contains 40ml of cream product
+Retails anywhere from $18 - 22 USD.  Can be found at known outlets like Amazon, wishtrend, etc.
+Contains SPF 40, PA+++
+Claims - to whiten, provides wrinkle care and sebum control

Let's just get this out of the way first....western BB creams have NOTHING on its Asian counterparts. What we get here are nothing more than glorified tinted moisturizers.  From high end to drug store, I have yet to find one that promises or delivers like I heard eastern BB creams can.

Since this experience was my first with what I deemed a legit BB cream, I had no idea what to expect.  Unfortunately, a few weeks before I received this, I had gotten a tan from helping a friend move.  And boy did I tan.  Let's just say if you know you are going to be outdoors moving with no sun cover, don't buy new foundations just days before :/.

Here we have Klairs Illuminating Supple Blemish Cream, one heavy swatch and one blended.  This was taken with no flash, under kitchen/day lights.

Here is the BB cream taken with flash photography under the same kitchen/day lights.

* Scent -  a light, pleasant combo of makeup and skincare, fades a few minutes after application.  I think even those that do not like scented products would not mind this.
* Texture - lightweight in texture, but with enough body to spread evenly.  Once blended, skin feels tacky for a few minutes.
* Application - melts nicely into the skin.  Even when applied in 2 or 3 layers (for discoloration), it layered nicely over itself and over my current concealer.  Once on, product remains tacky for a few moments.  Does dry down to a skin feel, but dewy appearance.
* Wear - This wore lovely on the skin, no primer, but I did set with a powder. 6 hours had lapsed before I noticed any immediate need to blot/reapply powder.  Skin feels soft throughout the day.  I did notice that this wore rather thickly in my hairline and stuck around that way for a while.  Brush application there seemed best for avoiding that.
* Color - As far as I know, this only comes in one shade.  Had I been the color I usually am around winter, this would have been a good match.  I did notice a heavy white cast, due to the sun protection, and also on the face, this made me look a bit grey.  It was nothing a bit of correcting with powder couldn't fix.

pre application
post application
Have been loving the feel and look of my skin during this trial with Klairs.  Look forward to seeing my skin in a few weeks and also getting my hands on some more Klairs products!

Enjoy, D

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Summertime Beauty Giveaway

Yup, it is that time again...Giveaway time!  And what for?  The past 6 months were huge for me.  In between full time class load at school, a death in the family and overall general craziness, life became overwhelming.  And many of you stuck around to see and give love to the few posts I was able to muster.  For that, I cannot thank you enough.  So, as a token of my gratitude, here are two prize packs that are available for you guys!  Yup, that means 2 lucky winners!  Follow the widget below to enter!  Because its summertime and who doesn't need some new pretties?  Good luck all!

* TonyMoly Im Real Lemon Brightening Mask
* Aurora Gel Effect nail polish in 4 Alarm Fire
* Pacifica shadow single in Treasure
* Wet n Wild Fergie Collection lipstick in Fergie Daily

* TonyMoly Im Real Lemon Brightening Mask
* Aurora Gel Effect nail polish in Old School Pink
* Peony Shadow Trio
* Wet n Wild Fergie Collection lipstick in Saraghina

a Rafflecopter giveaway

giveaway available to US residents only.  Starts 7/15/2016 - 8/5/2016.  Winners will be chosen through  Emails used to contact winners, they will never be sold.  If under 18, please get your parents permission.  Winner will be notified over various social media channels.  IF winner does not claim prize, another will be chosen.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

About Face - the basic ins and outs of my skin

So...before we even start, there will be faces of my naked skin, no filters, no creams, potions or lotions.  Just freshly washed skin.

I've wanted to do this post for such a long time.  First, because I am deep in the throws of a skincare obsession that shows no signs of waning.  And secondly, because I review makeup, I wear it and I need to get better about posting FOTD's, but it would be nice to show you what I am working with.  I am hoping that this goes far in helping someone that may share some similarities with me.

Alright, here we go...

Tanned against my will, freshly washed face, no product
So here is my mugshot.  I recently helped a friend move coming on a week now.  I was much paler before this and now am toasty brown.  Anymore sun and I will definitely be hitting brownie status.  But here we are...lets go down the list of exactly what nature is throwing my way!

*dark circles (horrible sleep schedule that I keep)
*hyperpigmentation (Im sure getting sun the other day didnt help, but I've been getting kind of impatient with pimples and bumps recently, so I have been picking more than I usually do)
*fine lines under the eyes (yup, its starting...but hey, I laugh and smile, sue me.  It shows!)
*texture (bumps all over the place!  I try to keep this in check and though I won some battles, I have not won the war yet :( )
*dryness - another war I have not won yet...moisturizers galore and exfoliation to boot and I have yet to find something that will kill the dryness monster altogether!
*oiliness - don't get me started.  Your typical combo-oily gal, T-zone oily poster I am!

Issues, I haz them
Let's start from the a teenager, I was lucky enough (thanks mom and dad) that I did not have a traumatic experience with teenage acne.  Mom started me on Noxema cream from a very early age, that and okay, yeah, I let her pick my face.  I attribute the condition of my skin then to those two things.  Slightly oily in the tzone, normal everywhere else, I had no trouble with any makeup or skincare I decided to add to my routine.  I state confidently that I had normal, not in the slightest sensitive, great skin.  This followed throughout my 20's, with hormonal acne taking a bigger bite out of my face, but nothing I could not handle.  Then came my late 20's to early 30's....and here is where it got ... weird.

Texture and peach fuzz galore!
In my 30's, my skin changed quite a bit.  Gone were the days where I could slather whatever lotion or foundation I could get my hands on and not experience any changes with my skin.  I started to experience sensitivities that I had not in my younger years.  Redness around my nose, dry patches on cheeks, forehead, and corners of mouth, hyperpigmentation, texture that I could not exfoliate off, increased pore size, fine lines (which I expected though).  I am sure there are a myriad of other details but hey, I'm sensitive :p.

I am hoping this gives you a good look into my specific makeup and helps you and I track what future skincare works or doesn't.  You may have my issues, maybe more, maybe less, but let's see if we can't get to a much more improved state together!  I decided to take a break from a lot of the previous skincare I was using to cleanse my skin and also to introduce new products.

You guys will see all the new things I am obsessing over soon :)

Let's start this journey...shall we?

xo, D

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Get your skin glowing for summer with Valentia's Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask

*DISCLAIMER - Item sent by company for the purposes of testing/reviewing.  I am not being financially compensated for this review.  All words and opinions are 100% my own.* *POWERED BY BRANDBACKER*

The weather is getting warmer, layers of clothes are coming off, we are shaving our legs again (come on gals, let's not be shy about that lol), and out beauty routine is looking for lighter alternatives.  Once those degrees start rising, I begin looking for skincare that will continue to treat me, as my winter routine does, but in a much subtler way.  A part of that routine is a weekly clay mask and thankfully Valentia's Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask is hitting the high marks!

Valentia's Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask is one of Valentia's newest products featuring a pretty sweet array of ingredients!
"Kaolin Clay - Clay minerals draw impurities, improve skin tone, and tighten pores for smoother, firmer skin.
Plant Stem Cells - Naturally decreases the level of pro-aging toxins and works to soothe the skin, reduce redness, and improve evenness.
Spirulina - A botanical stimulant full of vitamins that hydrate the skins surface and contributes to tissue regeneration of the skin.
CoQ - Lessens the appearance of wrinkles by reducing free radical damage and stimulating healthy collagen production.
Hibiscus & Cranberry Fibers - Both lend their anti-aging properties to firm and reinforce the skin, helping to reduce the creation of new wrinkles." - c/o Valentia
Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask

4 fl.oz / 120ml of Clay Mask contained in a plastic, screwtop tub.  Mask retails for $25.00 USD.  Can be purchased on and Valentia's website.

Granules in clay mask
Texture is that of a more wet clay mask.  Really cooling and easy to spread on the skin.  The granules are a bit bigger than I would like, but as long as I am careful, they get the exfoliation I need done without hurting/scratching my skin.  This mask is pretty scented, so those sensitive to scents may want to test first.  It is really fruity, heavy on cherry notes, and really wakes you up!  The scent does not linger on skin once removed.

Mask stays wet for longer than most clay masks to aid in allowing you to exfoliate.  Once you are dong applying the mask to your skin, it does dry down.  I found it nice that this mask did not get super hard and I was still able to move my face.

Once removed, skin GLOWS!  And is super hydrated.  I had the added benefit of those granules at work that gave me a super smooth feel to my skin.  Skincare I used after this mask sank in better and makeup application was smoother and looked less cakey and textured.  Pores were cleaner, this really does a nice job at drawing out impurities without drying the skin.

If you are one to turn clay masks away, please give Valentia's Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask a chance.  A clay mask that helps with drawing our impurities, helps with texture and also hydrates?  Sounds good to be true, but it is with this lovely mask!

To learn more about Valentia and their range of products, go HERE

To purchase Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask, go HERE

Visit them on Facebook HERE

**links provided for convenience, I am not financially compensated for clicks**

*DISCLAIMER - Item sent by company for the purposes of testing/reviewing.  I am not being financially compensated for this review.  All words and opinions are 100% my own.*

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Moisture and radiance with Valentia's Royal Rose Hydrating Serum - review

*DISCLAIMER - Item sent by company for the purposes of testing/reviewing.  I am not being financially compensated for this post.  All words and opinions are 100% my own.*

As Spring is about to make its entrance...we leave behind the layers of clothing, sweaters, boots, etc.  But there are some who also like to make a complete switch of their skincare routine to something a little lighter.  Well, here's another option from Valentia to help hydrate your skin with the help of the lightest serum!

Valentia Royal Rose Hydrating Serum
 Valentia Royal Rose Serum aims to hydrate and nourish your skin naturally.  Let's check out some specs first...
1.18 fl.oz/35 ml of serum contained within a glass bottle with pump dispenser
Sturdy packaging and easy to press pump
retails for $35.00 USD

"Royal Rose Hydrating Serum - a lightweight serum that boosts moisture and resilience while soothing and calming the skin.  This hydrating and nourishing serum will deeply moisturize skin, provide antioxidant protection, soothe and nourish dry skin, smooth skin tone and texture and boost skin radiance.

Specially selected ingredients work together to achieve optimal results:
Rose Damascena - One of the most nourishing and skin friendly natural oils, providing balance, moisture and a variety of vitamins and minerals to the skin.

Niacinamide (vitamin B) - This potent vitamin has been clinically proven to fade away hyperpigmentation, sun spots, acne.

Rosehip Seed Oil - Naturally rich in vitamins C & A, these essential fatty acids work quickly to lock in skin's moisture.

Evening Primrose Oil - Provides light, non-oily moisture to the skin, never clogging or irritating the skin.

Bearberry - Reduces melanin production, thereby lightening the skin, revealing a brighter complexion.

Lavender - Heals the skin, treating pimples, wounds and sores." - Valentia

Royal Rose Hydrating Serum - ingredients
I am in the process of researching the ingredients that are currently in my skincare routine so that I have a more thorough knowledge of which ingredients may be causing a flare up, or that my skin just does not react well with.  If you type "skin ingredients database" into Google, you will find a few.

Royal Rose Hydrating Serum texture
The texture of this serum is fantastic.  An opaque liquid, once blended into the skin, turns into a clear and very lightweight, very slippy texture.  What's really amazing is that this light serum moisturizes as heavily as it does.  It absorbs quickly into the skin and leaves behind not a shred of a film and skin looks and feels bouncy and fresh!  As I introduced this into a pretty lengthy and involved skincare routine, it was nice to see that it played nicely with my other items!  No changes, piling, etc.  This is pretty heavily scented like roses, do note that it does wear away and you are left with a subtle rose scent after dissipation.  Those that are really sensitive to scents may want to note that.

Freshly moisturized and feeling awesome!
Once applied to the skin, again, skin drinks it in without any film left on the skin.  I have forgotten primer and applied my makeup base over just this and it works wonderfully.  It has not oxidized my concealer or foundation.  It instantly hydrates and over the time frame of a month, I have noticed dark spots due to acne scarring fade slightly, which is a huge plus!  Perfect hydration for the spring into summer months!

To learn more about the Royal Rose Hydrating Serum and other awesome Valentia products, go HERE.

To purchase Royal Rose Hydrating Serum, visit amazon HERE.

Happy skincare, everyone!

*DISCLAIMER - Item sent by company for the purposes of testing/reviewing.  I am not being financially compensated for this post.  All words and opinions are 100% my own.*