Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I'm on Instagram!

Hello hello~!

Here's a little post to let you know that I have an Instagram account now!   I wasn't sure I would like Instagram since I couldn't get into Tumblr or Pinterest when I tried those, but I actually like it a lot!  I even update there at least once a week!  Even though work has gotten me really drained these days, I still post my nails, outfits, random tarot spreads, and just whatever I find cute or whatnot.  I'm still getting the hang of taking pictures, so I apologize that they don't look as interesting and charming as many others though, lol. 

Hopefully I'll see you over there

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Final Wrap Up


I'm sorry it's been a few weeks.  Between me being completely unsure as to how to finish everything up, then learning that I have to pack up to move in June, THEN nearly immediately losing power for a little over week and having to stay with my mom in the city (which added an hour of driving each day), I just haven't had the time.  But finally, power is back, most of my packing is done, and I can sit down and finish things up.

This has been my life for the past month.

Over the past couple of months, I've been keeping up with my new regimen, which includes double cleansing, a few essences and serums, and even a sunscreen.  It's not something I ever thought I would ever do.  I figured all that stuff would be too time consuming or expensive, and that in the end, it probably wouldn't even make a difference.  Of course, I was pretty wrong about all three.

I've tried 15 new products, not including samples.  Some were really good and will be staples for as long as they can be.  Some were only okay and will probably not be purchased again.  I learned a lot, and picked up a few of my own techniques.  I even learned that I'll have to cut quite a bit of dairy out of my diet after a terrible one week breakout happened from eating a whole quart of Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream (not all of it, fortunately!)  This little experiment was a helpful experience, and I'm happy to continue learning.

So, here are the results!

Unfortunately, I can tell you my camera didn't capture *at all* how truly bad my skin was.  I had a lot of acne scars and a lot of cysts at the time of the first photo.  The last one is the most recent.  If my skin looks smoother, that's because it is!  I hope you can see what a difference it is, because I sure can.  At work, in the women's bathroom, the lights have a pink hue to them.  As a result, all of the acne scars I had would be super magnified in the lighting.  Even in there, my marks are fading, and my skin is a lot brighter.  I may have to do something a bit more intensive, but for now, the Red Appletox is doing its job fine (and it smells so delicious!).

My skin has definitely become more hydrated, and a lot of scarring has finally lifted away.  Currently, my next goal is to find a serum to combat my acne.  I'm not getting as many pimples on the average day, but I do get bad hormonal breakouts, and I'd like to find something that can keep them from springing up, if possible.  I guess I'll let you know how that works out, but I probably won't be able to try anything until I'm moved to the new place next month.

I actually didn't have any products that I hated.  Though a couple disappointed me, besides that one sample, nothing reacted poorly to my skin.  I will definitely continue using the Mizon Water Volume EX First Essence and the Black Snail All In One Cream, as well as the Tonymoly Red Appletox Honey Cream, as I saw the most favorable results with those.  I don't think I will be purchasing anymore of Missha's Geum Sul Night Cream.  The smell is a bit much, and I didn't see much happening.  I'll also probably stop using the Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Cream once I run out.  The Appletox seems to fill that position and can be used more often, so I'll start looking into a BHA instead.  The Geum Sul Essence Booster is really nice, but I would only repurchase if it's on sale.  However, even though I'm using 3 pumps a day, I still have a lot of product left.  And I think I may replace Mizon's Steblanc Black Snail Ampoule with the Neulii Snail Bee serum, since my skin showed more improvement with it.  Otherwise, everything else will continue to be used until I find something else I try and like more.

And... that's about it.  Like I said, all I really do is work and stay home (I'm an introvert who handles around 300 people a day and has a weakness to loud sounds and heat, so I'm often pretty drained).  I still don't feel confident enough to start working on makeup skills with my skin still in healing, and I rarely wear anything that's not my uniform anymore.  I would love to say that I'm coming back for good this time, but as of right now, I don't think so, especially since I'm going to be moving in the near future.  My grandma unfortunately passed away last year (don't worry, I'm fine now), and my mom inherited her other house.  I've been living with my uncle who inherited the main house, but I'm taking the other one, now that everything is switched over officially.  I have a little bit of work ahead of me, such as saving up for things for the new house.  I'll have *a lot* more space to work with, far more than I've ever had in my life.  I need everything!

Thank you all for your patience, and I hope to come back in the nearer, rather than distant future.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Final Week: Apples Are My Favorite!


I apologize that it's a day late.  I forgot to hit publish so the schedule would actually go through.

Anyway, this is the last week of my new products!   But it's not the last week of my challenge.  I'll continue to use my products, while trying new ones along the way. 

I wasn't sure what to expect when I first started this.  I had a bunch of wrinkle lines on my face brought on by so much dehydration (fun fact, no matter how much water you drink, your skin is always the last to know!), and so many bumps and scars on my face that had been there for many months.  I wanted to practice wearing makeup and master some skills, but I never wanted to aggravate my already upset skin.  I didn't really like the idea of caking on product until it covered everything either.  I had pretty low confidence with my face, and all I wanted was to figure out how to fix it. 

If you would like to try the Korean skincare challenge, it's not really hard, and is actually pretty fun!  My morning regimen before took about 10 minutes, which included brushing my teeth, washing my face, and putting on lotion.  It now takes around 15 minutes, and because I do it so early, I get to sit around and relax for a bit, rather than rushing around trying to get everything done like I used to.  The night routine takes about as long without the AHA. 

Today, my skin is so much better, though I know I probably have a good couple of months left before my skin is completely healed, but a lot of the scarring I had around my nose from picking at my face has gone.  My nose still has some healing, and I have some scars under my jaw, but I'm at a far better position.  If I wanted to, with a bit of concealer, I could probably start wearing makeup again!  But I think I'll wait until my skin is better.  I don't want to have to rely on concealer.  If I keep it up and find more things that work, I think I skin should be pretty healed by June! 

So, this week was Tonymoly's Red Appletox Honey Cream.  It's not really a cream, but a gel.  Right now, this is my favorite product. 

First, it smells like a fresh apple.   Seriously, like someone put an apple in a blender, then gave it to me and told me to put it on my face.  Unfortunately, the smell goes away fairly quickly.  Is this what the hand cream smells like?  It smells so yummy! 

Apparently this cream contains an AHA in the form of malic acid from the apple inside.  One of the reasons I was eager to try it was because of the apple.  Years ago I tried a homemade mask by Bubzbeauty that included apple cider vinegar, and I remember how that helped lighten a bunch of acne scars back then, so I felt my skin would respond well to it.  And yes, this product does the same thing, but without that terrible vinegar smell, lol.  Within a couple days, my stubborn marks faded significantly.  My skin seems a lot brighter, and redness went down.  And this product is only $13??  Goes to show that you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars to find something that works.

I decided to move the Appletox to mornings.   Both creams work well regardless, but I feel like the All in One cream benefits from being a repairing cream rather than just a moisturizer.  The Appletox was able to lighten my scars even during the day, and moisturizes well even when it's cold, so I think day is best.  It is fairly sticky at first, so it's best to put it on some time before going out anywhere (when I put on my Sun Milk, it takes away any stickiness right away).  I still have a bunch of samples, but I ended up buying a full version of the cream by Friday, lol.

I also tried the soaps that came with my samples, Tonymoly's Nutra Energy Foam Cleanser and Dr. Tony AC Control Acne Cleansing Foam.   I'll put them together on account of they work pretty much the same way.  Have you ever used a Dove soap bar?  I can't remember which one (I think it was the AC Control one), but I remember one smelling exactly like they melted one down and put it in a container.  It also looked and felt like it too.  Anyway, cleaning-wise, they did well.   I don't know if there were multiple uses in each sample, because it felt like there was a lot.  When I applied them at first, they were very smooth, even though I had added water, and very little foaming happened.  Then as I added water to my face to start rinsing it away, more bubbles started to form.  Maybe it's another case of "a little goes a long way".  They were actually nice, though I don't know if either of them did anything special to my skin.  I wouldn't mind purchasing them in the future, especially since they're more pH balanced.  But right now, I still have a huge container full of Dr. Bronners, lol.

The only thing I had left to talk about were my mists, but there isn't much to say, since you're really supposed to use them when you need them, and I haven't really yet.  I have tried them, however.  Neither of them caused a breakout, and I guess they're doing their job.  I don't have much experience with mists, so I wouldn't be able to share much.  The Tosowoong Tea Tree mist does cool my face a bit.  Has a bit of a funky scent, but it does what I need it to do.  Mizon's Twilight Essence Mist is a strange one.  I mean, it works as a quick hydration spray (though I haven't needed it much, so I can't say how much of a difference it's making), but the product itself is like jelly!  It sprays like a liquid, but it's strange to see it inside of the bottle.  I keep them in my purse for when I need them.

So tomorrow is my wrap up.  I'm glad I ended up on a good note, because it allowed me more time to see what I would like to keep in my regimen and what I wouldn't mind giving up.  I can only hope the photos I took will accurately show how much has changed, because I can certainly see it! 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 5: A Little Disappointment


It's been a month since I started my Korean skincare challenge.   The goal was to see not only if I could keep it up, but if it could do something good for my skin, which had fallen quite a bit to the wayside.  I've been taking pictures of my skin every so often (because of course it's not enough to tell you that it's working, it's important to see for yourself!), and I'll do one final mini-review of everything I've used during this challenge.  This series is almost over....  It's kind of sad!  I have no idea what to do! 

So this week, I tried out Missha's MISA Geum Sul Night Cream.  And I have no idea what it's doing. 

When I tested it on my neck, I remember the next day how a tenacious bump that had resisted every other product had reduced quite some bit.   I decided to try it on my face a couple days later, but I couldn't tell if anything else was happening....  I guess this might be one of those long-term type of things, the kind of stuff meant to help you in the long run and not give you immediate results.   That's fine and all, but I have a lot of problems right now to work on.  It's probably only a sometimes product.

This cream is heavily perfumed, moreso than the essence booster, and lasts far longer, so if you're sensitive to scents, you'll have to avoid this.   It has sort of a woodsy scent to it, and it can get pretty annoying over time, but it gets more bearable about 10 minutes later, so give yourself some time after application before trying to go to sleep.   The product comes with a spatula to scoop out the cream with, and much like Mizon's Black Snail All In One cream, a little goes a long way.  My skin feels pretty soft (not as much as with the Black Snail cream), but the cream a more stiff, so it feels a bit uncomfortable.  It's not bad enough that I would stop using it, but like I said, I have no idea if it's doing anything as of right now.   I like the essence booster far more.  Still, it was on sale for $20, so this could make a nice pampering cream to use every few days or so.

I also tried out Missha's All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk (goodness, all those words....).  It feels weird....   I know, it's just the silica powder in it to smooth out skin, but I'm not used to my skin feeling that way, lol.  It's meant as a base for makeup, so it goes on smoothly.... but as I am right now, it can't be used for that either, because it accentuates any flaky patches! 

I still have a lot of damaged skin to shed off, so I still have the occasional peeling skin around my nose and jawline.  All of my other products have made it so that they're not as prevalent, but this product seems to get right under them and lift them up.   I guess it's great if I wanted a product to show me where to exfoliate or something....

Halfway through testing, I found out that you're supposed to shake it before using.  Sure enough, there's a little ball bearing in it to mix it up that I never noticed because it had been stuck at the bottom.  When I first tried this product, my face would feel really grimy after a shift, but once I started mixing it up, that didn't happen.  It was a fairly good product.  It would probably be better if it didn't show off any flakes on my face.  I wonder if I can use a cream over it? 

This Week's Product Lineup
Day: Cleanser, Skinfood Royal Honey Essential Toner, Mizon Water Volume Ex First Essence, Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Essence, Mizon Black Snail All in One Cream, Missha All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk
Night: Tonymoly Clean Dew Apple Mint Cleansing Oil, Cleanser, Mizon AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner, Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum (every other day), Missha MISA Geum Sul First Essence Booster, Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Essence, Mizon Steblanc Black Snail Repair Ampoule, Missha MISA Geum Sul Night Cream (sometimes)
Test: Tonymoly Red Appletox Honey Cream, my face wash samples

I've decided to try it for both day and night--not twice a day, but try it for a while during the day and then try it for a while at night.  Depending on where it feels best, I will either use it during the day and switch my All in One back to night, or use the Appletox at night.  It's supposed to have brightening qualities, which is something I need to lighten up the stubborn acne scars still lingering around.   I have 20 samples, and if it does well, I'll be glad to buy a full one.  I'm also eager to try out the Tonymoly foam cleansers that came with it.  I've only been using my Dr. Bronner's castile soap for the past few years, but maybe there's a better cleanser.

Next week is my last one of these! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 4: Developing Those "Pro" Techniques


So something pretty cool happened this week. 
Last Saturday was the start of my monthly hormonal breakout.  That morning, my skin was covered in huge bumps that I couldn't do anything about.   I figured it was just something I would have to just accept as what would always happen, and just have to wait it out, dealing with the aftermath.  I continued my regimen and figured I would have to skip my trials for the week.  After all, if it wasn't working or was harming my skin, how would I even know the difference? 

But in just a couple days, most of those bumps were gone!   They had either disappeared entirely or shrunk down significantly.  Was it the snail?  Was it the honey?  Combo of both?  Usually, my acne lasts for at least a week.  I'm sure I'll always have to deal with hormonal acne popping up every month, but it's great that my products help prevent it from being a bigger problem than usual. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 3: My First Product Miss!


Week three has finished, and my skin seems to improve every day!  I'm probably blowing through testing my products a little quickly....  My original goal was to test one product over a week, but it ended up being around 3 days each, lol.  Pretty much everything I've purchased and tried so far has been giving me great results.   It could just be that my skin is happy I'm paying attention to it, but whatever the case is, it's a lot happier. 

But, I can say that I've come across my first complete miss.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week 2: The Geum Sul Love Affair


Before I started this challenge, I worried I would have no motivation.  I've been super tired and stressed from work, and I figured I would want to just get home and not worry about some daily task.   I had to make some specific conditions in order to make sure I did it everyday.

Waking up early wasn't a problem, since I get up at least an hour and a half before I have to be at work.   The problem is I tend to want to lounge for that extra time.   I felt that if I got ready early, it would send a signal to my brain telling me to get into work mode, and I just didn't want to have to deal with that so soon, lol.  But if I waited too late, I knew I would just rush through everything, and probably skip the regimen to save time.   As for the evening, I knew if I started my regimen too late, I would be too tired to do anything and it would become a chore.   So I had to make a plan.  I told myself that I would allow for 10-15 minutes of lounging time in the morning, and then I would have to get up and do it.  As for nighttime, I told myself that I could start sometime between 7:30p and 8:30p, so when I got sleepy, it would already be out of the way.   It actually worked!  Now I'm pretty happy to do it, and I even think about it when I'm at work, lol. 

Last week, I started Missha's Misa Geum Sul Essence Booster, and oh goodness, I feel like royalty~

I think the idea behind it is to help more mature skin, like my own now that I'm 30.   It's got a lot of anti-wrinkle ingredients.  It was my most expensive purchase at $33 even while on sale, but I adored it the second it touched my skin. 

It has a pretty strong perfume scent, so if you're sensitive to that, you'd unfortunately have to avoid this.   The scent even lingers for a while as well.  Still, it's a lovely scent, like a sweet musk.  The listing for this on RoseRoseShop calls this an essence, but it's actually a "first essence"--a product that is supposed to boost other products' effects, and meant to go on before toning.   It kind of changed my plan a bit, since I was hoping for an essence to work on my skin in the evening, lol.  I put it on after my Mizon toner and AHA, since I worry that the AHA will strip away the benefits of the Geum Sul booster before it reaches anything. 

Anyway, day one of testing, and my skin felt like the softest velvet.