Mask a Day!

Hello all!

I hope you all are having a lovely January and lovely 2018 so far.

2018 is already folding out to be a great year and I’m really excited for what is to come in the next months. This year I turn 22, which is harder for me to come to terms with than I would like to admit. I’ve made a lot of promises to myself about this 2018, like how I’m going to make the year BOMB as possible, but most of them, realistically, will not pan out. I want to be more intentional, drink more water, and remember, even though I will be really busy through the middle of the year, to take care of my body, soul, and mind. One way I’m teaching myself to do that is by doing a mask every day of the year. This is just one baby step toward daily self care and relaxation. During the mask, I can’t talk much, can’t laugh, and a lot of time I will take time out in my day to do my mask while taking a bath.

These masks are going to be mostly sheet masks, of course, but also I will be doing some charcoal masks and peel off masks as well. I have a 24K Gold Peel-Off mask and a Pomegranate Clay mask right now as well as a wonderful anti-blemish smoothing mask that my mom made me (that is almost gone, I have used it so much).

I went to my local korean market and bought up a stash of sheet masks to last me for a little while. Buying sheet masks in america is kind of a pain because they are all $1.50 to $10, and there are a lot of brands I can’t get access too except online, where shipping costs are usually really high. The masks I want to use the most of are hydrogel snail masks, which usually go for about 5 to 8 dollars in Korea, but here they are 10 or more dollars if I can find them in store.

I want to go for those types of masks because hydrogel delivers the most serum into the skin, and snail is really great for repairing scarring, which is my main concern.

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The cheapest masks by far for me are the Dermal masks which go for one dollar each and the 11th is free. The gold Tony Moly mask is $10 from Macy’s and its the Intense 24K Gold Snail Hydrogel Mask. It is by far the best mask I have (I mean, not considering packaging of course, I had to pick up a ridiculously priced FIVE DOLLAR mask with Song JoongKi’s face on it).

I’ve tried all of the Dermal masks before (beside the “one for men” that came in a set I got), and I’ve tried some of the Jeju Farm ones too. I am not too keen on those. Though they are more expensive than the Dermal, they dry out very fast, so you have to be careful not to let the mask rest on your face for too long. I don’t prefer a mask that is dry within 8-10 minutes, it seems like I could just put on a serum for cheaper. That’s why I prefer hydrogel masks, you can keep them on for a long time and the skin just keeps soaking up the essence instead of it drying out the skin.

I have yet to try the other brands, I’m really interested about the placenta mask.

Other than that, like I said, I will be using the mask that my mom made and gave to me for Christmas.

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It’s a little hard to read but it is a face mask made with aloe vera gel, coconut oil, olive oil, honey, spirulina, matcha green tea powder, and vitamin E oil.

I absolutely love this mask. The first time I used it, I used it three days in a row because I liked it so much.

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It is very dark green in color, almost black, from the spirulina and matcha. It smells kind of strongly of rich green things, I’m assuming from the spirulina. It is mostly gel-like in texture from the aloe vera gel, but the oils separate from the gel a little bit so I usually mix it a little before applying it.

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Believe it or not but this is almost the thinnest that I ever applied it. Now I pile that stuff on!

I just get in the bath and leave it on for a good half hour or so, then wash it off. I feel like I kind of have to bathe with it on because of all the oils in it, it melts down the face and neck.

I’m not too keen on putting olive oil and coconut oil on my face but in mask form that I wash off, it doesn’t bother me at all.

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I really love this mask. I think it really helps with the blemishes and scars on my face, as well ask helping to even my skin tone. After using it my skin is so smooth and soft, I feel like I’m seeing my imperfections just melt away before my eyes. I am really intrigued by the type of masks that could be made with aloe vera gel as a base. It almost makes me want to just pour Vitamin E oil in my aloe vera gel from Nature Republic and douse my whole body in it.

Vitamin E oil is best for stretch marks and scars, and there women who slather it on their thighs and stomach, which I could probably see myself doing too! The other ingredients are great for hydrating the skin and adding nutrition and life with the matcha and spirulina. I’m so excited about my future with masks after this mask, I feel like this is truly the road to better skin.

(My mother is not currently taking orders as far as I know, but I’ve had people inquire about it and offer to pay money for it. Mom, what do you think???)

So, here’s to a year of doing a mask every day, and not just hoping for better skin but for time each day to relax and think and reflect and pray.

Until Next Time!

-Michelle

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Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint Review

Hello!!

On the topic of amazing things I have been gifted by amazing people, the Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint is definitely up there! Jenny, you done it again.

I definitely had my eye on this lipstick and I watched review after review of it, just thinking about how beautiful it is!

I’m always on the search for what I call a TRUE red. They are usually too pink, too orange, or too purple. A true blue red is very hard to come by! The closest I’ve gotten to is the Too Faced Melted Matte Liquid Lipstick in the color Lady Balls. That is a similar price ($21 compared to $24) and size, but the formalas have totally different feels.

The Stunna Lip Paint (in color “uncensored” but everyone calls it “stunna” even though it’s the line name; it’s the first and only in the line so far) is a thin formula that does not claim to be a dry-down matte, but I found myself assuming it would be. It is extremely thin and easy to apply, but the color is so strong that you don’t need to apply more than one coat.

It doesn’t stay on all day though, or past food. However… I don’t care! The finish is matte, even if it doesn’t dry down all the way, and just like any lipstick, I would keep it in my bag all day so if I eat I can just reapply. Unlike some liquid lipsticks, it’s easy to put a coat on top of it without it looking crusty and gross.

Absolutely stunning color though, I love it. Doesn’t make my teeth look too yellow and is so precise. It doesn’t blur around the edges like some lipsticks either. 

Here it is in some different lighting. I just love it, it can dress up any face, whether going more natural or more glam. Just a baller lipstick, would recommend, 10/10.

That’s all for now kids!! 

Natasha Denona Holiday Eyeshadow Palette

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Hello!! Hello all, here I am again, back at it so soon.

Today I’m gonna be showing, reviewing, looking at the beeeautiful Holiday Eyeshadow Palette 5 by Natasha Denona. Natasha Denona is a makeup artist, as well as a makeup brand, as well as a …human person. Here she came out with the most BEAUTIFUL holiday eyeshadow palette, and she is somewhat known for her “5” eyeshadow palettes. All come in this type of component, all with 5 colors, usually shimmers and mattes with one kind of “out there” color in the bunch.

I received this from my beautiful friend, neighbor, and coworker Jenny. She knows just what I like and got me a few really stellar gifts this year that I will be showcasing here. I usually buy makeup on the cheaper side and ask for/sometimes splurge on the bigger items or more pricey items, but having someone spoil me is always oaky with me! She bought me a lot of items I might veto for myself, even if I am desperate for them. Everyone needs a friend like that!

Anyway, I have (obviously) swatched this palette a few times and used it on real quick looks in the last few days, but didn’t get a chance to really sit down and go all in until today.

I wanted to make a look somehow that would use all five of the colors. Because it would be really easy to use three or even four of them, but using them all together really seemed like a challenge that I am totally up for! The second and third color in particular are colors that I love and always gravitate toward. Deep maroons and fall oranges are so easy to work with while still making you look like a makeup pro. They work great in subtle looks and more glam looks, so I already know those two colors will be staples in my makeup routine!

So I didn’t swatch these because I find swatches to be really misleading, plus they are harder to tell with this type of shimmer. These are low color shimmers, almost glitters if you will, that have little color payoff, but HUGE reflect. The silver and the gold are great over other colorful matte shadows, but they of course have their own hint of color by themselves, just not as much pigment as a matte might have.

So I just went in today and tried to use all five as best I could.

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There is absolutely no transition shade in this palette so I went in with a transition single I have from Etude House (transition shades are important to put blend all over the eye to set your primer as well as give a good blending color to soften the edges especially for someone who has such fair skin as me and works with such dark eyeshadow colors). After that I went in with the middle maroon/orange shade and blended that in my crease from inner corner to outer corner.

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I continued to go over and over with the maroon/orange to deepen it, then went over the entire eyelid with the second color, the maroon shimmer. It blends in well on top of the matte, but it’s high in fallout and doesn’t deepen the color at all, just makes it look as though I am using one shimmer shadow.

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Then I went in with my Tarte Shape Tape concealer on a flat brush and carved out a half moon on the center of my eyelids.

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A little insert about that: I use the bronze looking brush (from my Naked3 palette from Urban Decay) for packing on shimmers. It’s flat but not too flat and holds shimmers well. I use the silver (with orange handle) angled brush for carving out whatever I need on my eyelid, and I use the black knockoff artiste brush to carve out my eyebrows.  I always use Tarte Shape Tape concealer to carve out my eyebrows and create cut creases because it is by far the most pigmented concealer. I almost threw this concealer away after I bought it though, because I was trying to use it to spot conceal or highlight. It doesn’t work well for either of those things for me. It never plays well with my foundation, and it doesn’t cover as well as carve.

 

Okay back to business,

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Then I covered the concealer with the blue shimmer shade.  I didn’t wet my brush or anything, but I went in with that bronze flat brush and packed it on. It sticks on because of the concealer, but had I waited longer I might have needed to wet my brush to pack the shimmer on.

Then I put the first color, the silver/light bronze glitter on the inner corner and up above and around the blue all the way to the center of my eyelid. As you can see, it doesn’t offer MUCH color, but allows the shadow under to shine through. I really like that!

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Then I went in with mascara, eyeliner, and put the bronze shimmer, the last shade, under my eyes for a halo/dripping effect.

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The final look!

As for the look overall, I don’t know how crazy I am about the way I went about it, I will probably perfect it in the future. Working with bright colors with other colors is always a challenge, and sometimes it doesn’t end up looking the way you quite envisioned it. Everything always looks better after a little tweaking in VSCO though haha.

Overall, I love the feel of the shadows. The matte is really easy to blend out, extremely creamy and rich with color, so versatile it blows my mind, absolutely gorgeous. The shimmers have huge chunks of shimmer in them, tons of fall out, just amazing for over other mattes or on their own, especially as far as the blue is concerned. Gorgeous all around, I am so excited to try these colors incorporated with other palettes and other colors. Cheers to makeup, WELL DONE. Cheers to Jenny who funded this, even WELLER done.

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A sneak peak of the whole look

There it is with the whole face. What? What are those lips??? What is that blazing red???? Well, guess you’ll have to stay tuned to find out!!

 

Thanks for sticking along!

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Clinique HAUL

Hello all!

Back at it, and pretty soon after a recent post, I must say. Michelle, becoming more consistent?? Surely not!

Today I will be showing you my Clinique haul and telling you about the products!

Full disclosure I did NOT buy these products! I do not have that much money. I chose them and they were sent to me. I am not rich? Clinique is pretty pricey, and though I do spend a pretty penny on skin care, I’m much more choosey about it than buying 550 dollars worth from just one brand.

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Here is the box in all it’s glory (and great packaging, it’s a miracle nothing broke).

I’ll go roughly by type and give a quick review of all the products. There are still a FEW that I haven’t tried yet, but I’ll tell you which those are and hopefully post some sort of review on them later. I received this box about three weeks ago.

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Clarifying Lotion 2 for Combination Dry Skin

I use this product twice a day as a toner and liquid exfoliator, and I have used it for about five months now. I’ve talked about it in depth before, so if you are wondering, there is a whole post called “Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion”. IT is a liquid exfoliator because it uses sodium bicarbonate along with menthol and denatured alcohol to clean out the pores both by wiping away the dead skin cells and dissolving them. It is extremely refreshing (thanks to the menthol) and I’ve seen my skin clear up since using it. It makes the face feel very clean.

Cleansing Milk

This is from the Take the Day Off line from Clinique that includes the cleansing milk, cleansing oil, cleansing balm, makeup removing stick, makeup removing wipes, and makeup remover. This is a product I use at counter every single day to remove makeup. I use it on every client and I use it on my own hand about 2 million times a day after swatching products for customers to see. I leave this product in my makeup room because used with a cotton ball or a Q-tip it is more useful as an eraser rather than an actual makeup remover for all over the face. It doesn’t foam or anything, its almost just like a lotion.

Sparkle Skin Body Exfoliator

This product doesn’t really leave the skin sparkly, and it’s honestly just as good or mediocre an exfoliator as all other exfoliators. It’s too harsh for the face but I use it on my legs in the shower.

Liquid Facial Soap in Extra Mild

I was honestly a little disappointed by this product. The formula is too similar to the cleansing milk for me. It doesn’t lather at all, it doesn’t feel like it cleanses at all, though it does KIND OF remove makeup. I thought it would just be a really gentle cleanser, but it doesn’t do anything, it’s not a useful product. I can’t imagine myself finishing this product since it doesn’t cleanse the face, so I’m not sure what to do with it.

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Two more products from the Take the Day Off line,

Take the Day Off Makeup Remover for Lids, Lashes, and Lips

This is a product that some might better recognize if it were packaged as a Neutrogena product. Neutrogena is known for copying many of Clinique’s ideas and marketing them at a much lower price. It’s a good idea, except that Clinique is formulated for sensitive skin, as it is allergy tested, Neutrogena is NOT. This product is good, and I do find that it breaks down waterproof mascara and hard-to-remove products like that better than the Neutrogena alternative. I used to use strictly the Neutrogena alternative to remove my makeup, now I use more balms.

Take the Day Off Micellar Cleansing Towelettes

These have also been copied most closely by Neutrogena. Concerning cleansing wipes, I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, I hate them. I just… hate them. They somehow always leave my face feeling still dirty, with not all my makeup removed, and they always irritate my skin. The texture of the fabric itches and burns my skin regardless of brand, and I don’t think that they do their job, especially for the price. These, however, are the first wipes I was not disappointed by. I have tried a multitude of drug store brands, and this was the first one that hasn’t bothered my skin. They are 14$ for 50 towelettes, which is such a good price for high end skin care. They are soft in texture and they remove makeup well. I would repurchase these since makeup removing wipes are SO convenient. I use them most often when travelling, when taking off foundation that didn’t work when I’ve already done my eye makeup, and when I am just SO dead tired, or sick, or have a migraine, I will swipe this all over, then go in with my micellar water, then my clarifying lotion, then my moisturizers. I rarely skip cleansing for this, I have done it maybe twice, but it’s nice to have the option sometimes.

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Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+

I have heard a lot of things about this moisturizer in my time at Clinique, but here’s the major break down of everything about it, good and bad: It is the original formula since 1968 when it came out except when they added the “+” which signifies the addition of hyaluronic acid, it’s second ingredient is mineral oil, it does feel somewhat greasy, and there are two forms of it, this one, for more dry skin, and the gel, for more oily skin. Both have mineral oil.

The main complaint is the greasiness, if I do hear a complaint, but this product has truly stood the test of time. I don’t have anything negative to say about this product except that I used it for about a month and I noticed small bumps, areas of congestion, and blotchiness more often during that time. I have since stopped using it. I don’t think it’s a bad product, but I didn’t see good results when I was using it, it might work for some other people, I will probably end up giving it away.

Fresh Pressed Renewing Powder Cleanser with Vitamin C

Honest truth be told, I never sold this product in my 6 months with Clinique. Not once. Vitamin C is too strong a product to suggest to just anyone. It causes redness, dryness, and irritation on SO many people, even people who don’t think of themselves as having sensitive skin. I have not used this product on my face, but I’ve tested it on my hand. It’s an exfoliator, so I think it’s too strong to use every day. It’s recommended to use just in the morning. I will give it a try as soon as I can and let you know!

Moisture Surge Overnight Mask

I was excited to try this mask since sleeping packs are not common in the US, I thought this might be similar to that. What I’m always looking for is a really thick night moisturizer that will hydrate me all the way until the morning. This is somewhat like that, not TOO thick, but pretty good at hydrating throughout the night.

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Take the Day Off Eye Makeup Remover Stick

I love this! I don’t use it for eye makeup, that kind of seems difficult. BUT! It works great on lips! It’s tiny so I can carry it around in my purse on days when I’m wearing matte liquid lipsticks or stains that are hard to remove. All I need is this stick and a little tissue or toilet paper. I just put it on like I would a balm, and it completely breaks down my lipstick, then I simply wipe it off without disrupting my face makeup! I absolutely love it.

Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator

This is from the popular moisture surge line, just like the overnight mask before. It’s a thick gel for very dry skin. I got the intense because my skin is on the dry side and because the regular moisture surge is just a gel. This also works wonders on cuticles and thin, broken fingernails. I would just use this as a day moisturizer since its still just a thick gel.

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Next to makeup!

Just Browsing Brush-On Styling Mousse

This is similar to the Gimme Brow from Benefit. It comes in four colors. It’s like a small spoolie brush like in a mascara and the mousse in it is similar to mascara. It helps to make brows look more full, realistic, and dark. Sometimes using just a pencil can be 2D, this helps the hairs to stick out and stand out against the color of the pencil. I always use a little darker mousse than pencil.

Bottom Lash Mascara

The little silver tube is the famous bottom lash mascara! Exact same component as the previous product, but this is actually mascara, and it isn’t waterproof exactly, but it doesn’t smudge, doesn’t transfer, and goes onto the tiny bottom lashes really well. I like this product a lot, but I don’t find it necessary.

Pretty Easy Liquid Eyeliner Pen

This is a great product! It’s $21 and it doesn’t budge all day but is still easy to take it off. It’s like a tattoo, and the tip is a very small brush, not a felt tip, so you have high control and can make an extremely fine point. Very good if you are into winged eyeliner, which I am.

Pore Refining Solutions Instant Perfector

This product is essentially a pore filling primer. There are all sorts of primers like this from almost every brand. The smoother from Estee Lauder, the porefessional from Benefit, the Pore Filler from NYX, la base pro from Lancome, the list goes on and on. This is around $21-$24 and it’s a good one. I prefer it to the porefessional but I think it’s equal to the pore filler. So, if you’re looking for a good product for your nose, cheeks, and chin, this is a good one! I would first suggest the pore filler though, because that one is about a third of the price.

Intense Lip Liners

These are three colors of the lip liners. I bought these because I like the colors, it’s rare to see that brown color in a lip liner, and the prices are fairly reasonable for Clinique. These are a newer formula than their original lip liners, so they have a better color payoff but I think at the cost of their creaminess. They are not as moisturizing as I would like. I still use them since I like the colors.

Lash Building Primer

This primer is great! I use the Lancome Cils Booster or this one, and I like both of them. Using a lash primer has really changed my mascara game. I never wear falsies and I used to honestly forget to put mascara on some days because it was so unimportant to me. But since I started wearing primer, my lashes stay up longer, look longer, maybe have become longer? and separate more easily. I also feel like getting the mascara off at the end of the day is easier if I go in with the lash primer first. All around a great product. If you are unsure about paying the $19 or so dollars, try a cheaper one first and see if its the type of product you’d like to add to your routine. Also, whenever Lancome has gifts (every six months, different at each department store), and in each of their gifts they give out a sample size of the cils booster, if you want to try it out.

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Even Better Glow Light Reflecting Foundation Broad Spectrum 15

This is Clinique’s newest foundation line, my color is Breeze (the second or third lightest of 30 colors, I believe). It has SPF 15 and has a dewy finish. It’s moderate coverage and a pretty watery texture. I do like this foundation but my face is a little oily to keep it on in the T-zone, so I have to set it with a lot of powder. The color match is really good for me though. These retail for $28.

Buff Foundation Brush

Clinique has two foundation brushes, the flat foundation brush and then this, the stippling type of brush. I really don’t like using brushes on foundation, but at counter we can’t use sponges so I’m trying to practice with brushes more often. It’s just harder for it to not look streaky and separated.

All About Shadow Single in Chocolate Covered Cherry

This is a matte shadow that is a deep brown with maroon undertones. I love this color for a brown smokey eye in the crease. I don’t like Clinique’s All About Shadow shadows, they are powdery and blend out to nothing, and aren’t true to their colors. I only use three. They are At Dusk, Nude Rose, and Chocolate Covered Cherry. I have many colors similar to At Dusk and Nude Rose, but Chocolate Covered Cherry is a more unusual color, so I snagged it for myself.

Lid Pop in Aqua Pop, Petal Pop, and Cream Pop

The lid pop line that come in the small rounds with the daisy design pressed on the surface have a newer formula. They are almost all duo-chrome with really strong colors and nice shimmers. Aqua pop is a green blue duo-chrome that does NOT have any shimmer in it, but shifts color based on lighting, so it does give the illusion of shimmer. Petal Pop is a light pink with cream reflects. I use this as a highlight sometimes! Then Cream Pop is a little shimmery cream color that’s good for inner corner highlight on the eye.

Cheek Pop in Peach Pop

absolutely love this blush color, and it works great as an eyeshadow too. Finding blush colors can be so hard, and this one looked bright in the pan but on my cheeks it’s really natural and doesn’t stand out too much. I really like it and use it every day now.

 

That’s all for my ridiculously long post and big haul, but I hope you enjoyed and maybe learned something or got some ideas of products you would like to try! I really enjoyed writing this and hoped it helped some people! (I know I’ll be going back to look at this down the road to remember what I thought of some of these products)

Until next time!

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Juvia’s Place Saharan II Palette

Hello all!

Back at it again after the holidays! How was everyone’s respective holidays? I really enjoyed this year and let me tell you I RAKED IT IN. Haha! I wrote a really extensive list that included many makeup items, so I did end up getting a few things that I’ve had my eye on (as well as some things I’ve had my eye on that I didn’t think to put on my list, more on that later).

One of the biggest and BADDEST things I bagged this year, from my sweet brother in law, was the Sararan II palette from Juvia’s Place!

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You guys already KNOW how I feel about my other Juvia’s Place palette that I have (partially pictured beside), so when I saw this palette on the website a few months ago, I knew that I had to snag it somehow! The colors, especially the bottom three, are just. so. GOOD! I love a good palette with a wide range of colors as well as some mattes an some shimmers.

Just like the Zulu Palette, this palette is creamy, extremely pigmented, and so easy to work with. It blends into my skin, it stays all day, it blends well with other colors, it is just the real deal as far as eyeshadows go.

So far I’ve done a few looks with it (some that I took great pictures of, some that I ended up taking pictures of in the bathroom at work), both complete GLAM and more soft looks. It’s really versatile!

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This is a look I did just a few days ago, using the three shades on the bottom of the palette. It was a completely matte look finished by some creative white liner. I have to admit I was definitely inspired to do this look by @jvongphoumy on Instagram.

I used the NYX white liner on this look and it was actually quite easy because the liner brush is so small that with small strokes, I finished this whole eye look in about 30 minutes.

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With my handsome husband

The very next day I did a much more natural look with the shadows, using the lightest shimmer (on the top left), and the bronze shimmer (on the top right), with just a hint of the middle shade on the outer corner to darken the crease.

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YIKES! This is the bathroom pictures, and the light definitely doesn’t do anything justice. I’m including this picture along with another picture of the same day so you can see just how much lighting affects makeup.

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This was taken in my car, with natural lighting, and the same camera, on the same day. In this picture it’s easier to tell that it was shimmer eyeshadow, and the green is definitely POPPIN more. The green shade is from he Zulu palette, and the darker blue is from the Saharan II palette.

So far, I have really loved working with the palette, it’s been a real fun time. I love being able to create really colorful looks and more natural days. My makeup has so much to do with my mood and where/what I’m doing that day, and I just love being able to express myself in this way. I will continue to use this palette and experiment with it in different ways!

Until next time!

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Overcoming Insecurities

Hello all, back at it.

Four years ago almost yesterday, I got in an accident with a dog. I got bit in the arm by this dog, and it was actually a pretty bad bite. I’ll spare the gory pictures and descriptions, but I ended up having to get ten or so stitches to close the cut. It was on my arm just above my elbow, and it’s left a scar on both the inside and outside of my arm, where the dogs top and bottom teeth went in.

The point is, that’s when I had to give up my dream of being a model. UGLY CRY.

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It’s faded a lot and shrank, but it’s still pretty prevalent. Sometimes I forget that I have it, but then I feel it or see it. It feels weird. The scar on the outside of my arm is like a thin layer of skin covering an indent. It feels hollow on the inside. It’s weird. I don’t like to touch it.

But I’ll tell you what: it didn’t stop me from wanting to become a model (mainly because that has never been a dream of mine), it actually is a point of confidence for me. It’s big and kind of ugly but by golly it’s a good story.

The interesting thing about this is it’s the most noticeably WRONG thing with my body, and yet it doesn’t make the list of things I’m self conscious about, and it never did.

Just like everyone on this earth, I have so many things about my body that I’m self conscious about. I’m really tall for a girl. I’m 5′ 11″ at my tallest but I tell everyone 5’9″.

I’m taller than my husband, James, by about four inches.

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It’s okay because we’re still pretty good at being the PERFECT couple.

When I was younger people often used to ask me if I played basketball or if I was Russian. I’ve met a lot of Russians in my life and none of them were as tall as me, I don’t know where that stereotype comes from. “Oh, you’re a tall white girl, let me equate you to another group of people who are white and tall some of the time.”

A lot of people are white. A lot of people are tall. They have nothing to do with each other.

Well, I don’t play basketball and I’m not Russian, and I don’t do ballet and I didn’t drink a lot of milk growing up, but I’m still tall. People always used to tell me that “well, you’ll have to MARRY someone who plays basketball guffaw guffaw guffaw,” and honestly that was the hardest part of being tall, having it reflect on the people I knew and had relationships with. I knew I would have to marry a man who was either tall or extremely comfortable with his height.

But then, I realized I would just have to marry a man who was, like, NOT a jerk. I had spent years being bothered by it and self conscious of it and wishing I was shorter, when suddenly I realized that my height was 100% not my choice and something I couldn’t change no matter how much I wanted to. So, I just got over it.

That sounds really simple and almost offensive to people who really struggle with things like this, but that’s just what I did, and it wasn’t simple at all. Embracing the sentence, “oh, I can’t wear stuff like that,” and not letting people make me feel bad when I said, “I’m too tall for that,” all took work. I know that I am more beautiful and I feel better when I embrace the fact that I AM tall enough to be a model, and I AM tall enough to be good at basketball, and I AM too tall to wear crop tops.

My other biggest insecurities are almost all on my face: one of my eyes is closed more than the other at all times (???) and my forehead is like, soooo big.

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My left eye is always closed more and it blinks before my right????

By far the weirdest thing about me is that one of my eyes is more “slack” than the other. I didn’t notice it until I was about 15, and honestly maybe it wasn’t a thing before that. That’s the main scare here, is I’m worried it’s getting worse overtime and some day one of my eyes is just going to be completely lazy and almost-closed at all times.

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Maybe other people think it’s really slight, and it might be, but to me it’s really obvious. Especially when I get pictures at the wrong time right during a blink and one of my eyes is closed and the other one is open. Ew, weird! I’m really careful about the way I take picutres, the angles, the lighting and everything. I have to be careful about the way I do my liner too because if I make it just SLIGHTLY thicker on my right eye, it makes my right eye look just ridiculously bigger. I’ve gotten really good at playing angles and whatnot, but sometimes it’s still pretty obvious.

I used to think about getting surgery for it a lot. What kind of surgery is that? A half face lift? It’s stupid that I even considered it, but it was something I thought about a lot.

And here’s the weird thing that made me feel better.

HD movies.

I have a lot of idols and people I really admire and think are beautiful, and a lot of them are actors. Wow, well you know what? Thanks to the technological innovations of the film industries, I can now see that MANY of my idols and loved ones have uneven eyes. Most people don’t have completely symmetrical faces, but having a symmetrical face is one of the most desirable aspect of attractive people, so everyone is TRYNA have a symmetrical face. But wow, movies get REALLY close up these days. This could be glass-shattering moment for you, it’s like seeing that picture of Tom Cruise with the line down the middle of his face that goes STRAIGHT through his front tooth.

From then on, I’ve just been more careful about the way I do my liner, and the timing of my photos, but other than that, I never think about it. It doesn’t have control over me anymore, even though nothing changed except my attitude.

My forehead on the other hand,

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WOW! It is HUGE.

This is where makeup comes in

CONTOUR THE CREEEEEEPE OUT OF THAAAAT.

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Halo hair is important for making the face look smaller. Hair pulled back enlarges the look of the face.

And hope to the Lord in heaven above that I am not slowly balding.

 

Makeup did have a lot to do with me getting more comfortable with the size of my forehead. I know that my forehead is BIG, but I’m more comfortable with not having bangs the older I get. I like me with bangs and me not with bangs, but most of all I just hate dealing with bangs, so a lot of the time I go without them.

Both contouring the forehead and creating bold eye looks and darker eyebrows helps to bring attention away from the forehead, so learning those skills has come in handy (and is continuing to come more in handy as I learn more).

If there are insecurities that you are struggling with, remember that everyone has insecurities, and everyone deals with them in different ways. There are still things I’m insecure about that I haven’t dealt with yet, and there always will be, I just remember to love myself and remind myself as much as I can that I am doing well, and I am okay! I try to be nice to myself most of the time, as being mean makes everything way worse.

I love you all, be safe and stay warm!

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Makeup Looks

Hello All, Michelle again.

This week I’ve had some more time on my hands since my job is now part time, I have had more time to focus on myself and try new things! We recently had a pretty good sale at Macy’s on beauty, and during that time I purchased a few items that I’ve been looking at for a long time.

I have been looking at different foundations to invest in, as I usually use drugstore foundations. There’s nothing wrong with a lot of drugstore foundations, but I have never found a foundation that satisfied me completely. I always have a problem with having to wear the lightest color and even it yellows on me or is just too dark, or getting too oily throughout the day, coming off, being too thick, being too light coverage.

So, I tried Lancome, Estee Lauder, Too Faced, Clinique, Tarte, and finally Bare Minerals. I have never worn any Bare Minerals products but I and tried some of their liquid foundations before and they all seemed very yellow on me, but finally I tried the lightest color (that we have) in the BarePro liquid foundation from Bare Minerals (Dawn). It has SPF 20 and I absolutely love it so far. I’ve been using it for about two weeks now and so far it’s preformed really great.

Then I got the translucent setting powder from Laura Mercier. Of course I have heard so much about this powder, but I’d never used it before. It’s expensive so I hadn’t splurged on it yet but the sale was a perfect time to snatch it up!

I also got two new bottles of the All Nighter setting spray by Urban Decay. I already knew I loved this product but it is HARD to buy.

So, with just those three products I REALLY stepped up my makeup game!

But I’ve been really into shimmers lately! I usually stick to matte eyes and don’t do much with highlighter either but I’ve been changing it up with single-shimmer lid colors and high shine highlights. I’m into it! It’s a look.

First, I did this look with the green shimmer from the Juvia’s Place Zulu Palette. I don’t know what the color is called, but here’s a picture of the whole palette.

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The green in the middle! I used JUST that on the lids. It’s definitely my first time using just one shade on the eyes (that wasn’t a light neutral) and WELL BOY DID I LOVE IT.

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I used the pink shimmer on the inner corner and then under the eye I used the blue shimmer. I really thought I would never be using those bold shimmer colors but I really enjoyed the whole look. I did it with a light dusting of the pink shimmer on my cheekbones, nose, and cupids bow. I really liked it and finished it off with a wing eyeliner from my black liquid eyeliner from elf.

The lips is two holiday shades from Clinique that I combined for the lollipop look.

The next day I decided to try it again, but with just the blue shade on the lid.

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Well, I definitely didn’t like this color as much. I did a WAY stronger highlight this day with the same pink shade from the same palette but this time I wet it with my setting spray. You can’t tell from the filter in this photo but it was REALLY strong like way too strong because it was very pink. I did like the lip look though!

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This color really did some tricks on my eye color, but I didn’t dislike it. Throughout the day I didn’t like it as much though because the blush was so strong, it made me look like some of the older ladies that come into Macy’s sometimes asking for a new “rouge” every month.

I also started carving out my eyebrows with the Tarte Shape Tape and it’s the only thing that the Shape Tape has worked on for me. It’s so full coverage and thick so it’s too much for under the eye for me, but it works GREAT for the eyebrows.

Then, just today, I tried a look with one of the shimmer colors, Quirky, from the Laura Lee Los Angeles Cat’s Pajamas palette.

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I used a highlight shade from a random gift with purchase Ulta Beauty gift with purchase. When it’s wet from a setting spray, it really shines silver and I really love it.

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Today I used the Pat Mcgrath limited edition lip gloss that came paired with the nude matte liquid lipstick. I really like the lipstick and the gloss (today was my first time trying it alone) but they weren’t good together. I’m going to experiment more on the gloss with other lipsticks though.

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The gloss has little flecks of shimmer in it so it went really well with the look from today.

I’m excited to try out more looks and colors! I have so much fun experimenting and playing around, and I hope you guys like seeing the fruits of my labor, hah!

Until next time, ma dudes!

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Organizing My Bathroom Products

Hello all!

Back at it!

So, I have this bathroom cabinet, and it’s actually kind of an awkward shape for storing products since it’s hard to lay products down in a shallow drawer without it getting unorganized really fast.

Here it is beforehand:

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Yikes!! The general organizing rule as of right now is: mediciney body things on the left, skincare on the right. BUT it doesn’t always work out that well and I can’t tell what I even have in there anymore!!

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This is the cabinet above that,

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and here is the cabinet above to the right. YIKES!!! It makes me annoyed every time I look in there because I don’t know where anything goes! Plus, on products I use a lot (Q-tips, cotton pads, etc) it’s hard to tell when I am out or when I have more hidden somewhere.

So, to organize! I thought of a lot of different ways that I could organize things, but the problem is that all of my bottles are different sizes, and laying them down just results in the way it already was. So, in the end I decided to use the right cabinet for the majority of my products that I have doubles or triples of.

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First on the top left, I have my foaming lemon hand soap. I have three of those bottles, because I bought them all together on Black Friday when they were having their buy three get three free deal which I took more than advantage of. I LOVE lemon scented things, as I have said probably a million times, but I always buy whatever lemon scented soaps they have there when they have a big sale.

Then next to that is the White Citrus Body Wash, which is a lemon-lime body wash. I’m using it right now and this is a back up. So far, I really like it. It isn’t moisturizing or anything, but it sure does smell great.

Then I have the lotions. I have about four lotions lined up there. I think I maybe bought one of them, the rest are gifts from Christmas and random events, but I think they are all Bath and Body Works. Theres’ Japanese Cherry Blossom, Beautiful Day, A Thousand Wishes, and Lemonchello.

Then on the lower level I have (on the left) my extra cleansers that I mostly bought in Korea that I haven’t had a chance to use yet (though I’ve tried out most of them). I have the Tonymoly Snail Gel cleanser, two of the apricot seed cleansing oil, then one Clinique Mild Facial Cleansing Soap, and that Skin Food Bitter Green Clay to Foam cleanser.

Then a row of masks, I have the pomegranate clay mask and then the gold peel off mask.

Next is the row of night/thick moisturizers, I have the Tonymoly Avocado rich cream, the Tonymoly I’m Real Lemon lotion, and then the Yes to Cucumbers night cream (which smells terrible and I hate).

Then, finally, the balms. I have the Banila co. Clean It Zero balm and the NYX cleansing balm.

I found a lot of products that are old or that I really really didn’t like (and were almost all old too), that I ended up throwing away.

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Sorry for the blurry picture, gross, but this is the Toms sensitive soothing mint tooth paste.

I absolutely hate natural toothpastes, I don’t know why I even try. It tastes bad and then two minutes after you’ve brushed your teeth it feels like you haven’t at all. Not effective, neither James nor I liked it, so I threw it away.

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This is The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Sorbet. I bought this more than two years ago after a trip to Honduras and I absolutely loved the smell of it but HATED the feel. It wasn’t even that cooling and when it dried it didn’t soak in, it pilled up. So, I only ended up using it a few times, since I far prefer using my aloe vera gel. I looked at the product expiration and it said 12 months after being opened, so I didn’t hesitate to throw this away.

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This is the weirdest stuff?? It’s a spray micellar water that feels like a makeup remover, doesn’t feel cleansing or refreshing at all, and was actually weirdly painful to spray on the face. Completely useless, I probably used about half of it up as a makeup remover, but I would spray it right onto a cotton pad. It is just weird, it’s expired, and who knows the products in here? What is this brand? Another great TJ Maxx buy on my part.

That’s all for the things I threw away. Next for the interesting things!

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I found another TWO sample packets of the Soon Jung Sleeping Pack from Etude House. I am in LOVE with this stuff and I’m so glad I found two more packets! If only I could just find this product to buy… It makes my skin feel like mochi, it’s soothing, moisturizing, plumping…just, it is the sleeping pack to end all sleeping packs. It is a product that I want everyone to use, and I would just love to see what it would do to my skin over an extended period of constant use. If anyone finds this product for purchase in America, let me know!

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Next is this toothpaste which was actually a gift from a friend of mine. She said this brand, to Koreans, is like “the Chanel of toothpaste”. I have a hard time wrapping my mind around what that means, exactly, but I’ve been using it for a few days now. I hated it the first time I used it, it smells like dried flowers and tastes like mints mixed with roses. Not my favorite! But fortunately after spitting it out and rinsing my mouth, it leaves a really clean, minty fresh feel that leaves me feeling live I’ve got brushed teeth all day (which is how it should be, Toms).

And now for the final product!

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Tada! On he left I put all of my masks/samples in a little clear bag, then on the right I stored all my candles (for my baths hehehe) and my bubblebath and my bath salts, as well as my hair pins and ties. Then I have extra random skin products, extra deodorants, and nail products.

I hope you all enjoyed!

Until next time, my dudes.

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Makeup from Myeongdong

Hello again all! I’ve been pretty consistent about this, look at me go!

As promised, here is the second part of the Myeongdong post, the one about the makeup! While shopping in Myeongdong I went to a few shops and had a few things I knew I wanted to buy as well as a few things I wanted to try. Most of all, I wanted to test things out, look around, and emmerse myself in the atmosphere! I know at work I’m surrounded by makeup, but I’m used to it and the trends and styles are all expected and overplayed. In a new place, I could see what the trends and styles were and see what cute and useful things I could get.

So, on to the haul!

And thankfully, I HAVE tested and used all of these products for a few weeks, so I will include reviews as well.

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Left to right: The Luminous Goddess Rainbow Highlighter from Tonymoly, Eyeshadow blending brush from Etude House, “Look at my eyes” eyeshadows, one shimmer and one matte from Etude House, Dream on Powder from Etude House, Cheektone Powder from Tonymoly, Cashmere matte eyeshadow from Etude House, A shimmery silver (gift with purchase) from Tonymoly, and a shimmer eyeshadow from Banila co.

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Brand 16 liquid matte lipstick, Brand 16 lip liner, Tonymoly Easy Touch Auto Lip Liner (in four shades), Tonymoly Perfect Lips Flat Bar, Etude House Rosy Tint Lips.

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Here are the swatches,

1 of 7: This is the shimmer eyeshadow from Banila Co. I really like this shimmer, and the reason I picked it out is because most shimmers I own, and ones I’ve seen from American companies are VERY pigmented and very shimmery. What I wanted was something with a lot of shimmers but that still looked skin color. I wanted to see my skin through it, or be able to put it over another shadow and have it come through.

2 of 7: This was the gift with purchase shade, which I have only used on my eyes once. I thought I wouldn’t like it when I first saw it because I do NOT like gray and silvery shimmers. I really shy away from the smoky gray look, but once I put it on I realized it was more of a brown tan than a gray. I really like this color, I used it on the center of my lid once in a look and was really happy with it.

3 of 7: The darkest shade I got from Etude House, this shade is SO NICE! I actually just received the Laura Lee Cat’s Pajamas palette, and this shade works really well with it. It’s perfect with any cranberry eye and I love wearing it with the first shimmer shade.

4 of 7: The lighter transition shade from Etude House. I love to use this shadow before anything else on my eyes. It’s the perfect for blending and the color works with almost all of the eye looks I do.

5 of 7: This is the hot pink shimmer shade from Etude House. It’s way less shimmery and hot pink than it looks in the pan. It doesn’t work with a lot of other shades that I own, but I want to try it with the Zulu Palette later.

6 of 7: This is the blush color I got from Tonymoly. It’s much more pink than peach. I would prefer a peach. It’s bright and a little too obvious for me. I use it on my eyes though.

7 of 7: The Luminous Goddess Rainbow Highlighter!! I love love love this. The individual colors are big enough for me to use just one of them, but I like to use all of them. They can be subtle or really noticeable based on how much you use and which colors you use. I love it!

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These are three of the Tonymoly Flat Bar. I love these colors and they are SO smooth in application. They are really easy to use, really easy to make them exact, and they have pretty long wear. They don’t dry out my lips either.

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These are the Tonymoly Easy Touch Auto Lip Liner. These are the product I wanted to buy when I went back! I bought the red, brown, and pink (last three colors) when I was there last time and thy are the products that turned me on to lip products in general! Before these I had never used a lip liner before, and these were really nice, and they still are! I got doubles of each the colors, including the red wine color. They aren’t as creamy as they could be but if I prep them right, they stay on really well and stay looking vibrant al day. The red is my favorite of blue based reds that I own.

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These are the Brand 16 products. I have never heard of Brand 16 before this, but they had the most gorgeous pictures up of this 1+1 deal of liquid matte lipstick and a lip liner. The huge picture of the perfect matte lips in front of the store totally got me, and I had to go back and go in. I looked at all the colors of liquid lipstick but only four of them were in the 1+1 deal so I got that pinkish color and the best matching lip liner, a much darker nude. The lip liner is SO creamy. But almost too creamy? It slides around a bit, which is sad, but it just goes on so well. The liquid lip does NOT dry down. It reminds me of the soft mattes from NYX. It is feels so soft all day and doesn’t have a sheen, but it definitely isn’t transfer proof.

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Here is a very blurry picture of it on my lips.

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Last but not least is the Rosy Tint Lips from Etude House. It looks more bright orange in the picture than it is. It’s more of a nude. It comes with a strange fuzzy applicator, which would be fine except that the product is kind of hard to get out. It’s hard to make it exact with that applicator, but I wear it with a lip liner and it looks pretty good. It’s soft and smooth and ends up like a stain.

And there it is kids! Hope you enjoyed this one!

Until the next time my dudes.

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Beauty Shopping in Myeongdong

Hello all!

Just as promised, a post about shopping in Myeongdong!

So my husband, his brother, and I all went to South Korea for my sisters wedding and to visit family, and during the two weeks we spent four days in Seoul and the rest in Busan. While in Seoul, we had a very full schedule. We visited my old school, Hanguk University of Foreign Studies, went to Hongdae, Kyungbok Palace, Insadong, Myeongdong, and and Incheon. And, on our way back to through Seoul from Busan on the last day, we stayed a night in Myeongdong so we could shop some more!

Before going to Korea, I set aside a good amount of money over a few months that was specifically for beauty items in Korea, since it’s been so long since I’ve been there and I knew it would be a while until I went back.

The main things I was looking for were these specific lip liners from Tony Moly, a good makeup removing balm, and a good cleansing oil. I also wanted to see what else was the hot commodity, test out new things, and just immerse myself in the beauty culture once more.

This post is going to be just for the skin care products I bought, I will use a second post for the makeup products (mostly lip liners)!

So,

for the products!!

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Tonymoly, Etude House, Banila Co., a bag of socks.

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Of course I had to get the Clean it Zero cleansing balm by banila co. I’ve only tried it twice since I got it but it is silky smooth, not to greasy, and doesn’t feel like vaseline, so I like it. There were a few different types but I got the original since I’ve wanted to try it for so long.

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Then, (actually before I saw the last one, just because I forgot which brand that one was from and thought I wouldn’t be able to find it), I bought this Pro Clean Moisturizing and Fresh Cleaning SOFT Sherbet Cleanser. This, I’m assuming, is going to be similar to a cleansing balm, maybe softer. I’m excited to try it out, but I’ve got a few balms lined up.

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I’ve heard great things about all of these products as well. The snail line from Tonymoly is something I tried out last time I was in Korea and truly loved it. It helps with smoothness in texture so well. It helps with scars, which is something I need. I tried the gold snail cream last time, and this time I will see how the Cleansing Gel is.

Then for the Moistufull Collagen products, I didn’t have a ton of money to spend on different moisturizers when I was in Korea last time, but I really wanted to try this line! I have been looking for a good eye cream and I LOVE a good sleeping pack. The “night creams” in America are not the same as sleeping packs.  A sleeping pack is almost like a mask. It is very thick in texture and covers the skin completely. It’s something you can FEEL and doesn’t soak in fast. It takes all night to sink in and when you wake up, some leave a residue and some are soaked in completely and just leave the skin feeling plump and moist. I’m hoping this is one of the latter.

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Then I got this on our second trip to Myeongdong because I was sure I would regret not getting a Cleansing Oil. I went back to Tonymoly and asked which their best was, and they told me this one. Well, I’m not sure if I believe it because it was a 1+1 deal. Apricot Seed though? We’ll see, I can’t wait to try it!

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I also got two nail polishes and a few more masks that I’ve already used, the foot peeling mask, and nail polish remover and, then, all these samples!

I actually got two sets of the Soonjung sleeping pack mask from Etude house. I used the other set and I LOVED IT! I will wait until I’ve used up all the sleeping packs that I already own but I loved it so much, I can’t wait to get it and try it more! When I used this one, I asked James to feel my cheek in the morning and he said it felt like mochi. He wasn’t wrong! My skin was so plump and squishy and boincy? I can’t wait to use up the last of these samples.

The gold sample is the snail cream I used last time, I really loved it when I used it then, so I’m excited to try it again. I remember it smelled SO good.

So that’s all for the skin care haul! I hope you all enjoyed. Once I try all the products, I will post reviews of them!

 

Until next time my dudes!

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