April Favorites :: Skincare

I already posted my April makeup favorites, and now it is time for my April Skincare favorites. I love my current routine, and would have loved to put them all on this list, but I decided to post the ones that I am super obsessed with, rather then the whole routine. If you want to learn my whole routine I have a recent post on that! ONWARD!

April Skincare Favorites

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Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum- It normally takes a good 4-6 weeks for me to see a difference when I switch serums/treatments. But this one I saw just after about 2. My skin felt firm, and definitely hydrated.

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Secret Key Snow White Cleansing Foam- I love this as my morning cleanser. I bought it on a whim and I am so glad I did. have such a nice lather, leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean, and I notice that I have a much brighter complexion.

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Tosowoong Platinum Miracle Skin Tightening Pack– I am OBSESSED!!!!!!!!! I reviewed this, I bought it, I use it. I LOVE it! Has to be the best mask I use hands down!

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La Mer Creme de La Mer- This is practically holy grail status. I have used this in the past but at the time I was much younger and I don’t think my skin needed it as much. Fast forward over a decade and I decided to give it another go. Immediate results. I can definitely tell when I don’t use this. My skin hasn’t felt this healthy, or looked better EVER! Now I know it is pricey, good LOOOOOORRRRRDDDD is it pricey. But it has worked so well for me. So I will probably have this as a permanent part of my nighttime skincare routine from now on. A jar does go a long way though. With the current rate I am going through this I probably won’t need to rebuy another at until November or December.

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Tatcha Pure Camellia Cleansing Oil- This is fast becoming my favorite oil cleanser. Leave my face feeling really clean and gets off all my stubborn makeup!

I didn’t include items I have been using over and over again like my Nature Republic Aloe Vera Gel, my Innisfree Jeju Pore cleansing Foam, or my SK-II Essence, but those are always in my favorite loves list! ❤

Honorable Mentions

  • La Mer- The Cleansing Gel
  • Sea Tree Moisture Mist
  • sk-II Facial Treatment Lotion
  • Corsx Power Blackhead Liquid

 

Hope you liked my favorites! ❤

New Skincare Routine for Spring/Summer

I think I finally got the perfect routine of skincare down. I haven’t seen my skin improve so fast in such a long time. I haven’t had as much irritation lately. my pores are getting so small (areas were they were prominent are completely gone, just smooth flawless skin) and it feels so happy, healthy and hydrated! So here is an updated routine.This is my current skincare routine (with list of products).

Again,I change or try new things every few months, so I will probably be updating this blog with what I have tried and what works and what didn’t. However I am loving this routine so this may stay the same through summer.

My Skin

I have a very pale complexion, with combination sensitive skin. I also suffered from enlarged pores. I have lived in South Florida my entire life, and would wear sunscreen everyday on my arms and neck but not my face. As such I had some sun damage, and some issue with a nice texture on my skin. At 30 (I’m going to be 32 in a few months) I decided it was time to put on my big girl pants and start really taking care of myself. Diet, exercise, and SKINCARE!

I don’t like under-exxagerating how bad my skin was, because truly whats the point- I had bad skin. Breakouts, pores, flaking. All because I didn’t take proper care of it. It was MY FAULT. So when I owned up to that (rather then blame genetics) I started to see a VAST improvement.

After trying new products, and really refining my regimen  I can say that my skin hasn’t felt this healthy, or looked this good ever! I have been doing this routine for about 3 weeks now.

My Routine

Morning

  • Oil Cleanser – Clean It Zero From Banila Co. This is a great first cleanse in the morning. Sometimes I do not do a double cleanse in the morning, but if I wake up and my face is extra greasy then I do this. I can say I usually do a double cleanse in the morning. at least 5 times a week.
  • Foaming Cleanser –Secret Key Snow White Foaming Cleanser. I love this in the morning,. my complexion looks brighter and my face feels great.
  • Toner –SK-II Facial Treatment Lotion
  • Exfoliate – Cure Natural Aqua Gel (twice a week, I love this) or Freeman’s Charcoal Sugar Scrub (this one is ok, just using it up right now since I don’t like to waste product)
  • Essence – SK-II Facial Treatment Essence- Put a small amount in my hands and gently pat into my face. I let it absorb completely before moving on, BHA Blackhead Power Liquid by Cosrx – I put a fair amount on a cotton pad and dab in on my entire nose and chin. I wait for the SK-II to absorb before I move onto the other.
  • Serums –Tatcha Firming Serum, Then Red Tea Antioxidant Serum from Ole Henriksen
  • Eye Cream –SK-II Eye Cream, this one has been one of the better ones I tried. Although I am still a fan of the ETUDE House Moistfull collagen one.
  • Cream- Perricone MD Cold Plasma, this is a dream product. It smells horrible but it makes my skin look amazing.
  • Moisturizer – Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream by Tatcha.
  • I also apply Nature Republics Aloe Vera Gel all over my body and chest and neck area.

Evening/nighttime

  • Oil Cleanser – Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil. This leaves my face clean, and takes off all my makeup and gunk from the day.
  • Foaming Cleanser –USUALLY Jeju Clay Pore Cleanser from Innisfree, which is my holy grail cleanser. But If I wore a very heavy face of makeup I use La Mers The Cleansing Gel, which is amazing, and during hormonal breakouts I use Tatcha’s Rice Enzyme Cleanser. I found a big difference when I catered my cleansers to certain times of the month, and different instances as well.
  • Toner –Benton BHA Aloe Vera Toner
  • Exfoliate – Cure Natural Aqua Gel (twice a week, I love this) or Freeman’s Charcoal Sugar Scrub (this one is ok, just using it up right now since I don’t like to waste product) I used to just exfoliate at night but I was still getting clogged pores. Now that I do it twice I have seen a huge difference in the amount of blackheads I get
  • Mask– Either a foaming mask, clay mask or sheet mask
  • If I am using a sheet mask I skip this step/ If its a wash off, peeling or clay after I rinse it off then I will wipe my face off with the Green Tea cleansing water from Innisfree
  • Tone Again- SK-II Facial Treatment Lotion
  • Essence – SK-II Facial Treatment Essence- Put a small amount in my hands and gently pat into my face.
  • Serums –Tatcha Firming Serum, Then Red Tea Antioxidant Serum from Ole Henriksen
  • Eye Cream –SK-II Eye Cream
  • Cream– Perricone MD Cold Plasma, this is a dream product. It smells horrible but it makes my skin look amazing.
  • Moisturizer – If my skin is irritated at all I will use Tatchas Indigo Soothing Triple recovery Cream. If my skin isn’t irritated I use Creme de La Mer from La Mer
  • I also apply Nature Republics Aloe Vera Gel all over my body and chest and neck area.

 

I CAN SAY THIS. I used to dread cleaning my face a few years ago and now its one of the favorite parts of my day. And I get to do it twice!! I really look forward to it.

Again I have seen the biggest improvement in my skins overall health and appearance since I have switched up my routine. I do know a few of these items are very pricey. So if I had to only recommend one or two to add I would definitely say add the Sk-II essence and lotion, or just the essence. I think essences are one of the most important things in any solid skin care routine.

Favorite Cleansers

I have a variety of different cleansers I use depending on what my skin needs. What I use in the morning, what I use at night, what I use when I wear a lot of makeup, and what I use when I am having a hormonal breakout, or a lot of skin irritation. Here is a list of my favorites.

Oil/Balm Cleansers – First Cleanse

I do a double cleanse every morning and night. I use a different one for the morning, and different for the evening.

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Banila Co Clean it Zero- I Love this one from Banila Co. It is definitely a cult favorite for people who are obsessed with Korean skincare. I love how clean it makes my face feel. I use this one on the morning.

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Holika Holika Pig Nose Deep Cleansing oil/balm- I used this one before I used Banila Cos Balm. I really liked it, and it gave me a really nice clean. I don’t usually buy it because I have moved on to the Clean it Zero, but it does clean very well and if you have wanted to try it out I would recommend it.

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Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil- I love this oil. I use it at night to help remove all my make up, and any gunk that’s been accumulating on my face the whole day. Its’ gentle, leaves my skin feeling healthy and fresh, and super squeaky clean.

Foaming Cleansers- Second Cleanse

Just like the first cleanse, I use a different foaming cleanser at night then I do during my morning routine. It all usually depends on the amount of makeup I have worn that day, stress, and if I am having any hormonal breakouts.

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Secret Key Snow White Cleansing Foam-  This has become my favorite morning cleanser. It creates a great lather, cleans very well, and leaves my complexion glowing.

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Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing FoamTHIS IS MY HOLY GRAIL CLEANSER. I don’t know what I did before I tried this, and I hope I never have to be without it. It is such an amazing cleanser. It cleanse so deep down into my pores, leaves my face feeling nice and fresh, and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin. I use this at night, and sometimes in the morning when I am planning on wearing little to no makeup.

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Tatcha Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder (I also like the Indigo version as well)- I love this cleanser. It is a little fickle, but once you get the hang of it it leaves the most remarkably clean skin. I use this around the time I get hormonal breakouts, it does a good job of not aggravating my skin and keeping those pesky buggers at bay.

New to the List

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La Mer The Cleansing Gel- I had heard so many amazing things about this I just had to try it out. I have been using it for a short time and I can honestly say it is worth the hype. It is on the expensive side, so I use it on days I wear a full face of makeup, or I feel like I need a ridiculously squeaky clean. If you wanted to splurge on a nice cleanser I would recommend this one. So good!

Lastly are my 2 favorite cleansing tools.

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I’m Dual Pore Brush– I picked this up from Memebox on a whim. Its such a special little brush. It cleans my face and pores very well, and is very gently for my sensitive skin. I use this in the morning.

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Kashoen Cleansing Brush– Oh baby do I love this! Seriously, this is the best facial cleansing tool I have. It cleans my face so well, feels so nice, helps with circulation, and overall is such a pleasure to use. I use this at night, and it is really helpful to create a lather with the Rice Cleanser from Tatcha. ❤

 

Those are my favorite cleansers, and I use a few others but these are my die hard ones I go to.

Mini Haul :: Random Trip to the Mall

I went to the mall to exchange a product at Sephora. I got the Benefit POREfessional primer which I love, but I have to many primers, so I wanted to exchange for something I needed. Another Cleansing oil! I also ran into Neiman Marcus and picked up 2 fun products too!

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The Goods

  • Tatcha Cleansing Oil
  • La Mer Cleansing Gel
  • Guerlain Terracotta Pause d’ete Bronzer

Ok, I wanted to try out La Mers cleanser forever and since I just ran of my cleanser and figured I would give it a go! Also I wasn’t planning on getting this bronzer but I walked past it when I was paying for the cleanser and I was like what is that!!?

LOOK AT THAT!

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here is a swatch

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it has such a lovely warmth and shimmer to it.

So excited to use this! UGH I love Guerlain!

 

Top 3 Essentials for my Sensitive Skin

I know I have stated before that I have combo skin on the sensitive side. And since I am constantly trying out new products my skin gets irritated easily. I have a few products I use that are amazing for soothing my skin during times of irritation, or breakouts. Some of these I have mentioned before, and others I haven’t!

Nature Republic Soothing Aloe Gel

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I keep bringing this up and for good reason. This little jar of goop is AMAZING! It softens the skin without being sticky (it absorbs super fast),  smells nice and refreshing, and soothes any irrupted skin I have. If I use a product that causes burning, irritation, redness or swelling (yes swelling) I wash my face gently and lather this on. My skin feels super refreshed and the redness and irritation disappear. It’s a miracle worker!

Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner

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I don’t know if this works for other people but it works amazing for me. If I try a new mask, or treatment and I notice it hurts, burns, and gets irritated  want to clean it all off (before I add the aloe gel) I usually use a foaming cleanser and then I use this toner all over my face, It always feels really nice, and it cleans off the oppressive product without irritating it more.  use this almost everyday as a toner (I am using the SK-II Facial Cleansing Lotion as well) but this is a favorite of mine for my sensitive skin.

Tatcha Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream

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This is another product I talk about all the time. I mean I adore Tatcha as a whole. Their brand is amazing, but this is the product that really made me fall in love. I use this every night as my night cream (sometimes as a moisturizer, sometimes a bit after, after my moisturizer has absorbed). This soothes my skin, leaves it feeling hydrated, plump, and looking amazing. Even after my skin is red, swollen and irritated this calms it right down and feels like a dream. I have tried to see if there was anything comparable because I use this so much, and it isn’t the cheapest cream in the world. But I just haven’t found anything like it. I just love this!

 

I use these 3 religiously and swear by them. If you want to know the others feel free to ask in the comments

Haul :: Sephora April VIB Sale

I usually do 2 major orders for makeup and skincare a year, and they coincide with Sephora’s VIB sales (20% in November 15% in April). This year was a little tame for me since I bought a lot of products from other websites and stores (Neiman Marcus, Ulta, Saks, and various websites for my Korean and Japanese skincare and makeup items).

For the pictures I only have most of the items, not all. Because for some reason Sephora decided to ship my items in 3 different shipments (they have NEVER done that before so strange).

Here we go!!!!!

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The Goods

pictured

  • SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion
  • SK-II Facial Essence Treatment- I got the new limited edition bottle, so pretty!
  • Chosungah 22 Dual Lip Tint & Gloss in Cashmere (I did a review earlier)
  • Chosungah 22 Dual Lip Tint & Gloss in Velvet
  • Tatcha Dewy Skin Mist – I bought the travel size previously and FELL IN LOVE so I got a full size too!
  • Tatcha Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream
  • Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35
  • Make Up Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation
  • Touch in Sol Style Neon Super Proof Gel Liner in Burning Sunset
  • Yves Saint Laurent Couture Palette in Color 3

Not pictured

  • Hakuho-do + SEPHORA PRO Wedge Sloping Powder Brush (Kusabi)
  • Hakuho-do + SEPHORA PRO Large Teardrop Pointed Powder Brush (Otsubu)
  • Hakuho-do + SEPHORA PRO Fan Cheek Brush (Ougi)Lancome Miracle CC Cushion – Color Correcting Primer in Purple
  • Benefit Cosmetics The POREfessional Face Primer
  • Sephora Collection Solid Clean: Solid Brush Cleaner

I have a picture of the first 2 brushes, and the YSL palette.

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The boxes are really nice

I have wanted to try Hakuho-do brushes, and I have been intrigued by these for awhile. I am not expecting the works of a real Hakuho-do, but I like that they partnered with Sephora for these brushes, and guess what… they are SYNTHETIC! I had mixed feelings about that but I read and watched some reviews so I figured I would buy a few.

Also it was buy one get one free! They are limited edition so if anyone is interested I would go grab one or two before they are gone!

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Sloping Powder

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Large Teardrop Brush

And this amazing YSL Palette!

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I really love that range of colors. Its really flattering for my brown eyes!

I also tried the Lancome cushion primer in the store, I was super impressed. I am looking forward to using that as well!

Anyway super duper excited for these! ❤

 

Kashoen Brush Unboxing

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I got the rest of my Kashoen Brushes. I ordered these from ALEXICIOUS which is an amazing company with high end products from Japan. They have everything, including Kashoen Brushes. I could be wrong but I think its one of the only places to get them online.

I am a huge sucker for makeup brushes, and I wanted to do a small order to see how these worked, before I invested a lot more in a more full set.

I got a small makeup brush set (that comes in a pretty pink silk pouch) and a cleanser brush. I have the Cleanser brush set from Tatcha (WHICH I AM LOVING!), and read that the cleansers are good for powder and bronzer, thus why I got a second!

I am going to show you how they come because good golly the packaging is just STUNNING and I am a sucker for packaging!

The Kashoen Cleanser Brush

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This is a beautiful wooden box, that has the name and decal etched onto the box, it has some designs on the side too! So lovely! And ensures it arrives safely! ❤

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after opening the box.

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Wrapped in rice paper

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I got the one with the red handle because I just fell in LOVE with the color!

The bristles are super duper soft, and it is such a pleasure to hold. I like the little chain so I can hang it while it dries. Love love LOVE!

Little Hana Basic Brush Set

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The box.

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You can barely see, but the paper has the pretty floral decal printed in pale pint all over it.

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After you open the box. The attention to detail when it comes to packaging these is insane.

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Outside of the silk pouch. It’s a pretty ballet shoe pink.

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Inside.

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The Brushes

  • Cheek Powder Brush
  • Eye Shadow Applicator
  • Eye Shadow Brush
  • Comb and Brow
  • Lip Brush

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And here is the set put together.

I haven’t had a chance to try the makeup set set. It is a very petit set, perfect for my bag or travel. If I love them I may invest in the larger more extensive set in the future! But I am OBSESSED with the cleanser brushes!

I am also wanting to try some Hakuhodo, and Chikuhodo brushes as well. so I may get those in the future as well.

I hope you enjoyed this unboxing! ❤

Unboxing – My Kashoen Brush set from Tatcha

Ok ok, I think its safe to say I positively adore Tatcha products. I also LOVE makeup brushes and cleansing brushes. So when I learned about this limited edition set from Tatcha that features a Kashoen cleansing brush I was so there!

For those of you unfamiliar with Kashoen brushes, they are handmade brushes from Japan, that have been being made since 1883. Their brushes are divine, and I got to feel one (my friend has one) and i have been dying for a few ever since. I could go on and on about them and their brushes, but you can visit their site to learn more. I had ordered a few from Japan (just a small order) and I wanted to get an additional cleanser because I heard they are also perfect for loose powder. so when I saw this set from Tatcha I was so excited!

I also ordered a travel size of their Dewy Mist because I wanted to try it out, and they also sent me a freebie of their rice enzyme powder, which is amazing for cleansing (and perfect use for this brush!)

I love getting their packages because everything is so pretty. They put this pretty purple tape on the outside, so I always know which package is theirs!

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Their invoices are always so beautiful. They print it on beautiful rice paper.

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Another nice touch, a handwritten thank you letter on the bottom of every invoice. ❤

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Love this stuff, very nice freebie!

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So excited to try this out! I threw it straight into my purse!

I also got some samples too. One of the Indigo recovery cream. I like having samples of this because they are perfect for travel. Especially if I am only going out of town for 2-3 days. A sample lasts me that long. I also got their eye cream, and cleansing oil.

OK onto the Brush set! They call it Polished, and I think it is such an appropriate name!

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This is a REALLY  nice box

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OK first, excuse my messy kitchen counter, but if I tried to unbox this anywhere else my cats would get in the way….remember the last time. Also here is a picture of the instructions, and that tiny little hand knotted package is the brush. How beautiful!!!!

Also did I mention how nice the box is, its so nice!

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OMG you guys, this is the prettiest, sweetest, softest brush! I can’t wait to use her! Those Bristles are like the soft belly hair of kitten angels!

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The Lacquered bowl. This is made to be used with the Rice cleanser, which is so fun they made this set for that!

And Finally…….

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The set put together. How PRETTY!! I am in absolute LOVE!!

I need to clean off a space on my counter, so for right now I put it back in its sturdy box, but I should have this set up in the next few days!

I am so in love! I will write a proper review once I really get to using this brush. And I can’t wait for my other brushes to arrive as well!

Skincare Tips :: Improve your Routine with an Essence

So when I jumpstarted my skincare routine I spent a lot of time looking into what products would be worth adding (in matter of time and money spent) and what might be overkill. I remember learning about essences and thought that it might not be important, so I skipped it for a few months. I got an essence to try as a deluxe sample and decided to give it a whirl, and oh buy was my mind changed! Now it is an integral part of my skincare routine, and I kinda kick myself for thinking it wasn’t important.

What is an Essence?

An essence is a concentrated treatment that is usually liquid or gel (can be in other forms but rarely)  that works to help revitalize complexion, decrease/minimize fine lines and wrinkles, and helps with uneven skin tones. They work really well because they address the issues on a cellular level.

When do I add it into my routine?

I would recommend applying your essence after your toner and before your serums, or moisturizer. I have heard some people add it before their toner, but I use it after my toner.

Should I see a difference right away?

That depends on you and your skin, and what essence you are using. Generally Id say you should see real results within 28 days (when you have newer skin) but for all the essences I have used I have seen results in as little as 3-4 days.

 

I love essences, I am practically obsessed with them. Its one of the skincare products I have no problem dropping huge bucks on. I love and adore my SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. But by no means do you have to spend a fortune on them. I listed below some popular essenses and links to where to buy them. I recommend giving them a shot!

  • Missha Time Revolution Essence – Available at certain beauty websites, and Amazon!
  • SK-II Facial Treatment EssenceSephora
  • Hera Cell EssenceKoreaDepart.com
  • Innisfree Soybean Energy EssenceAmazon

There are so many other essences out there, give them a shot! If you have a favorite, comment below. I’d love to check out different ones! ❤

 

Tatcha :: Sensitive Skin Ritual Discovery Kit

Ok, I was running low on my Indigo Recovery Cream but I have a few night creams coming, so I didn’t want to buy a whole container just yet. However I have wanted to try some different Tatcha products so I decided to get their Sensitive Skin Ritual Discovery Kit. They do these kits with travel sized products and it is a great way to test out their line without investing hundreds of dollars! It has the cutest little jar of the cream which will hold me over until I get the other creams in the mail (International shipping, even EMS takes forever)

The Kit!

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They have such beautiful packaging. The shipment comes with your invoice printed on pretty rice paper with a hand written thank you note! Way to step up the game Tatcha!

Comes with-

  • PURE-ONE STEP CAMELLIA CLEANSING OIL
  • SOOTHING RICE ENZYME POWDER – FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
  • LUMINOUS -DEEP HYDRATION FIRMING SERUM
  • INDIGO -SOOTHING TRIPLE RECOVERY CREAM

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I am really REALLY excited to try out these guys. I have used their Rice Powders before and they are so nice at cleaning skin. But I have wanted to try their Cleansing Oils and The serum!!! I will let you know how they all turn out!

They also send samples too ❤

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BONUS!

When I was trying to take these pictures my cats decided they wanted to investigate, and sit on everything!

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Why you sit on the instructions? WHY!!! You have an entire world to sit on!!! Why this!?