Sunday, June 28, 2015

Sum37 White Award Bubble De-Mask

So I actually bought this sample as a whim because I just wanted to try something from Sum37 given how much love it seems to get but I have commitment issues...especially to full sizes of new products out of fear it will aggravate my overly sensitive skin. So yay for samples! I love that it lets me commit to a few tries without the high cost.

Front of the packet

Back of the Packet (translated by me below)
White Award Bubble-De Mask
[Brightening + Pore Deep Cleansing 3-in-1 effect]
Fermented Ingredient NAPS (N-Acetylphytosphingosine) and Acai Berry ingredient are combined to give skin clarity and to comfortably calm skin. After spreading, the tiny bubbles deep cleanse wastes from pores through this wash off type brightening mask.

Directions/How to use:
After cleansing, pump from the container, avoiding the eye area, spread the pack about 2mm thick all over your face. After 5~7 minutes, wash it off completely with warm water.
*Recommended Use 1~2 times a week. *Don't store at high temperatures.

Freshly squeezed out the sample packet, it looks like a cleansing gel. I spread it (rather thinly instead of the recommended 2mm)

I feel like that looks more like 1mm thick rather than 2mm..hmm what do you think?

Starting to bubble up....

As you can see, it starts pulling away from the skin, hopefully grabbing onto the dirt and grime that's inside my pores xD

After about 7 minutes, all the bubbles disappear~~ and you wash it off~

All clean~!

One thing I want to note is that you do need to work fast when spreading. I did find it easier to apply on a wet face than on a dry one although I would still recommend spreading on one side of your face first rather than all over because the bubbles rise up fairly quickly and if you disturb what you've applied, the bubbles will come out uneven.

Product: 4/5
Thankfully no bad reaction. It was a lot of fun to use and just for that reason I recommend people try it. After all, who doesn't like bubbles?! I think the product itself works fairly well as I did feel like there was a temporary brightening effect and left my skin a bit more transparent. The bubbles do make sounds, almost like soft popping/crackling sounds when it grows/shrinks. And it's a really interesting feeling that I have a hard time describing with my limited vocabulary. xD Time to go study a dictionary...

Value: 3/5
At ~$50 (50,000won) for 100ml (full size), it's definitely on the pricey side. You can find it online for a little cheaper.

I bought the sample packet for about 80 cents from Style Korea from my previous haul and the sample packet contains around 4~4.5ml which doing the math, makes buying the sample packets cheaper than the full size by...a lot. I got about 3-4 uses out of one packet but I guess depending on the size of your face/amount you use how much usage you can get will vary.

Overall: 4/5
I would and have repurchased them again in sample sizes. If I was rich I would shell out for the full size but at my current stage in life, it's a luxury I can only afford in small packets, pun intended ;D

Sunday, June 21, 2015

First Empties Post

Personally, I love reading empties post. Until the past couple of years, I was never able to really finish a product. I usually had moved on to something newer before I could use something up. But as I came to realize my beauty stash had grown to ridiculous new heights, I resolved to try to finish up products before purchasing new things. Although this hasn't completely happened to the extent I want it to and probably never will, I did find it easier to finish up skincare products, specifically face creams (as you can see in the photo). There is a certain sense of achievement that comes with finishing full sized products, moreso especially if you didn't love the product. Honestly, most of these products will probably warrant their own individual posts soon but a quick summary of thoughts for now.

IOPE Bio Essence Intensive Conditioning:
So this was a highly hyped IOPE product and one of the first SK-II dupes that was created before all the brands released their own version. I actually bought this in Korea due to the crazy hype it received. I thought it was ok the first few weeks I used it. It did feel a little like it conditioned my skin, but overall I felt like it wasn't worth the money and felt like I was putting on water towards the end of the bottle.

Verdict - will not repurchase as I find I prefer the Hera Cell Essence version over the IOPE one

Belif The True Cream - Aqua Bomb
I LOVE this cream. To be honest, I have yet to try something from Belif that I didn't like. Between this and the true cream - moisturizing bomb, I prefer the aqua bomb because it's a gel type cream which I find my skin likes better as lotion-y creams tend to be heavier and more suitable for drier skin types which I most definitely am not. I like the smell and it's citrus-y and fresh but if you don't like fragranced products, it might not work for you.

Verdict - already finished 4+ jars...taking a break to explore cheaper options as I tend to go through face creams in about 3 months

Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream
So this is my other back-up cream that's on rotation. I don't like this one as much as I like the Belif one but it's also much more affordable. The Belif cream is $38 on Sephora where I can buy this cream at a Nature Republic store (in my Korean market) for about $15. These come in 3 different versions - a pink one for dry skin, the green one for combo skin, and a blue one for oily skin. However, the reviews for the blue and pink one don't seem to be as good as for the green one which is a Get It Beauty Korea winner. This is also fragranced like most Korean skincare products. It's a thicker gel than the Belif cream and smells more cologne-y. It's a great basic moisturizing cream that does its job.

Verdict - already finished 3+ jars

YSL Toning & Cleansing Miscellar Water Nude Make-up
So I'm taking a break from cleansing oils for cleansing waters and I had a deluxe sample size of this from a previous Sephora purchase. It did a great job removing my makeup and it did not irritate my skin despite being heavily fragranced. I know it seems kind of weird but it did seem a little bit like luxury water, possibly due to the smell. I want to say it has a rose-perfume-ish smell. It says not to rinse off afterward, but since I believe in double cleansing, I'm not sure how it will work if you don't rinse it off.

Verdict - would repurchase if I won the lottery

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Summer Haul~~

Ahhh~ I can't believe it's summer already. I've been meaning to post more regularly but laziness won out. However, I plan to do my due diligence and post more regularly now! Aiming for once a week! If not, once every two weeks >_< *fingers crossed*

Soo about a month back I ordered my Hanyul Optimizing Serum (review here) from Amazon through a seller called honestskin as they carried it the cheapest. Sadly, after I received my order, I realized their website stocked it much cheaper (I'm guessing since they didn't have to pay Amazon commission) T_T although it has since sold out -_-"

And I believe earlier this month, Honestskin came back revamped as Style Korean. For some reason, I find it a lot harder to remember Style Korean than honestskin although luckily the latter still has a web forwarding address. Anyway, without further ado, some haul pictures!

It came in a rather huge box xD

There was a TON of bubble wrap in this box.

Freebie Samples! The Laneige kit was a special for puchases over $50+

My purchases carefully mummified in bubble wrap!

Laid out without bubble wrap!

Here's the breakdown of products ordered:
Ryeo Habitmo Damage Care Shampoo & Conditioner
Sum37 Secret Programming Essence Samples (1ml x 10)
Sum37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick
Belif First Aid Overnight Brightening Mask
Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Moisture Cream - Combination
Sum37 White award Bubble De Mask Sample
Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity for Sensitive Skin
Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur SPF 15/PA+
Etude House Cherry Lip Gel Patch (I wanted to try the Tony Moly one but it was sold out)
Skin79 Hot Pink BB Cream sample (1ml x 30)
Skinfood Black Sugar Mask

1 - I feel that their prices are very fair and definitely on the low end. Among the lowest of the online retailers I have found and often below Korean retail prices.

2 - Their response time was great. So the reason I placed this order was because I had wanted the Ryeo Shampoo & Conditioner but when I checked the previous night, the conditioner was Out of Stock so I figured I would just get the shampoo. And my cart somehow mutated and then I placed my order on Thursday at 10:39am PST which is 2:30am Korean Standard Time. And of course, right after I placed my order, I decided to check for the conditioner again and it was in stock this time! I was so mad. I feel like this happens to me all the time. I was so upset and I wanted to cancel my order so I sent an email/chat message (I love places that offer chat functionality...although I'm always on at the randomest hours so it usually isn't usable). I got a prompt email at 5:30pm PST (~9:30am Korean Standard Time - They are open from 9am-6pm KST) letting me know that they cancelled my order. And then I promptly repurchased with my conditioner! :D

3 - SUPER fast shipping time! I did pay for DHL 3-5 day shipping as it was cheaper than EMS and same time and the total weight of my order was too heavy (due to the shampoo/conditioner) for the regular airmail. I ordered Thursday night 8pm PST (which is Friday 12pm KST) and received my items Monday! So about 4 days! Which is faster than I get some of my domestically shipped items!

4 - Wrapped super carefully. I do think they could have used less bubble wrap -_-

5 - Good Manufacturing Dates. All of the items that I checked were manufactured within this year.

1 - They didn't let me know that my order shipped and I was never sent a tracking number although I do believe this was because it was the weekend as the item was received at 6:30pm KST which is after their office is closed and I believe they close for the weekend. When I checked today, the shipping information was updated although by this time I had already received my items.

2 -  Many things on their site do go out out of stock quite frequently

3 - Website could use some proofreading overall. It doesn't bother me but I know this bothers some people.

4 - Shipping costs. I think the shipping is fair if you are buying a lot of items but ebay will probably be a better route if you are getting one or two items.

Overall: (tl;dr)
I was very pleased with my experience (especially with the shipping time) and definitely plan to order from them again! Time to go play with my goodies~~ and eventually put up some reviews ;D

They are having a grand reopening sale til June 21st~ so definitely check it out