The Little Book of Skin Care: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin by Charlotte Cho

As I have taken on skincare more seriously as a hobby the last few months, I decided to read this book.

I have always had an interest in skincare so wearing SPF, moisturizing, and keeping out of the sun have been habits I have employed since I was a teenager. As I am Asian, a lot of the little quirks and beauty care in East Asia does not surprise or shock me.

What is nice about this book is that if you truly unfamiliar with Asian skin care and beauty, this is a good initial primer on it. I knew most of the information in the book from other sources on the internet, but it is collected here in an easy to read and cutely illustrated book.

There is a very cute section about travelling to Seoul as well. I really liked the book, but I would not necessarily follow the product recommendations. Charlotte Cho does own a curated beauty store so there are incentives for her to sell products she and her company import from Asia. Still, I recommend this book if you have an interest in skincare.

Read January 19-20, 2017.

Skin Care Routine Autumn 2016

Over the years, I’ve tried to take care of my skin. I stay out of the sun and I moisturize. I do no wear any makeup except lipstick. A couple months ago, I began a journey to delve into better skin care. This is both for health and as a hobby. I have followed and tried Asian beauty products in the past, but this was the first time when I really researched and took it to the next level.

This is a new series in posts as I explore this beauty and health regime and hobby. Warning: this is a long post with mini reviews of several products.

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First Impressions: BRTC Aqua Rush Water Drop BB Cream

 BRTC Aqua Rush Water Drop BB Cream

To test out another BB cream, I decided to order samples of the BRTC Aqua Rush Water Drop BB Cream. This BB cream is targeted for dry and sensitive skin types. It is one of the more expensive BB creams from BRTC, so before actually buying the product, I wanted to sample it.

This is not a full review since I usually need to try a product for weeks to really see how it affects my skin. Since I only had such a small packet sample of each, I managed to get about 3-4 applications of it. I could have gotten more, but an unsealed and unprotected product is probably not ideal for testing.

As a reminder, my skin is normal (dryer in winter), I use an SPF moisturizer before BB application, and sometimes my homemade Vitamin C serum. I am a MAC NC20.

Price: $3.20US for three samples from eBay seller “sing-sing-girl”. Full product regular retail is about $35US from the BRTC online store.

From the BRTC website: “Anti-oxidant, anti-aging and nourishing BB cream with nutrition from deep ocean water & 7 flower extracts. Absorbs and retains moisture, keeps skin dazzling and healthy. Dermatoligist test completed, and mineral oil free. It has SPF30 and uses AHA/BHA to “naturally lift skin cells”.

This product does not contain adenosine, a popular BB cream ingredient to whiten skin and prevent wrinkles. I would say this is BB cream is for dry, sensitive skin types who want sunscreen and some anti-aging.

Texture: Gel like, less liquid than the Lioele Water Drop.
Scent: Faint, quite subtle fruity-floral.
Moisturizing: Slightly more moisturizing as the Lioele one.
Finish: Smooth and a bit dewy, but I think that it mostly due to my Vitamin C serum which has vegetable glycerin. Most BB creams are smooth and more “matte” for me because I do not have oily skin.
Coverage: Buidable up to Medium. Less so than the Skin79 Gold. I do not use a lot, but I do have to be careful as this can make me look very pale. There may be a bit of a white cast.
Verdict: Mixed because I think this is slightly better coverage and moisture than the Lioele Water Drop, but costing eight to ten dollars more. I also found that this was harder to wash off than the Lioele. I am also becoming a bit wary with BB creams as I do not really see the benefits for someone like me who needs little coverage. I think this a decent BB cream though and good for people who have normal or good skin. It oxidized very well and left no grey cast.

Have you tried any this BB Cream or have any others to recommend?

First Impressions: Lioele Triple the Solution and Dollish Veil Vita BB creams

Lioele BB creams
On the left is the Triple the Solution sample beside the Dollish Veil Vita

I recently ordered some BB cream samples from eBay seller “sing-sing-girl”. The seller also provided extra samples of two Lioele BB creams that I have yet to try: Triple the Solution BB cream (Lioele’s most popular BB cream) and Dollish Veil Vita BB cream. While these weren’t on the top list of BB creams to try, I was pleased to do so because I did like the Lioele Water Drop BB Cream.

This is not a full review since I usually need to try a product for weeks to really see how it affects my skin. Since I only had such a small packet sample of each, I managed to get about 2-3 applications of it. I could have gotten more, but unsealed and unprotected product is probably not ideal for testing.

As a reminder, my skin is normal (dryer in winter), I use an SPF moisturizer before BB application, and sometimes my homemade Vitamin C serum. I am a MAC NC20.

Here are my first impressions.

Continue reading “First Impressions: Lioele Triple the Solution and Dollish Veil Vita BB creams”

Hand Creams

Hands

As I was perusing Sali Hughes’s recent article about hand creams, I realized that I’ve used and experimented with a lot of hand cream over the years. As someone who is dedicated to taking care of my own skin, the hands need to be treated well.

I do frequently wash my hands and am susceptible to the dreaded hang nails. If you do not take care of yours hand, they will become dry, red, and even crack and split. Hands can also reveal your age faster than any other physical attribute.

I put on hand cream throughout the day, but most importantly, I put some on before I go to bed especially in the dry indoor climate during winter.

Some years ago, I was a waitress and had to wash my hands constantly. It’s one of the many reasons I won’t go back to that job. I do wash dishes daily and not always with gloves. My hands can get dry easily in winter, but I am lucky enough not to suffer from eczema or dermatitis though many of the below hand creams have been reviewed and endorsed by those who do.

Here are some tips that I’ve found worked for me:

  • The best time to put on hand cream is immediately after you’ve washed and dried your hands as this seals in moisture.
  • Always wear leather or wool mittens/gloves in cold weather. I put hand cream on before going out as a double preventive.
  • Wear gloves during gardening, dishes, canning preparation (acidic fruits), and whenever possible.
  • Pay attention to cuticles and the surrounding areas as this prevents hang nails. This thin skin area gets driest the fastest.
  • Other ways of keeping hangnails at bay is to regularly push the cuticles back with an oil and always cut (never pull) them when they appear and moisturize afterwards.
  • Put a strong hand cream on before bed and if your hands are extra dry and cracking, wear moisture gloves. You can buy household cotton cleaning gloves instead of the specific moisture ones to save money.

Now for the feature attraction, some of my favourite hand creams.

Continue reading “Hand Creams”

Lioele Water Drop BB Cream review

Lioele Water Drop BB Cream

After using the Skin79 Gold BB Cream for a couple of months (5 days a week), I had more than the usual amount of breakouts. I wasn’t sure if it was the Skin79, but I decided to switch over to the Lioele Water Drop BB Cream. I really do like this BB Cream a lot, but it isn’t the one for me.

Continue reading “Lioele Water Drop BB Cream review”

Skin 79 VIP Gold Triple Functions BB Cream

Skin 79 VIP Gold BB Cream

BB Creams are now increasingly popular here in the West with Stila, Mac, and Garnier producing their own versions. I’ve known about BB Creams for a few of years now because of the its popularity in Asia and specifically those brands from Korea. I have never worn foundation and have no intention of doing so, but recently, I have curious about trying BB creams myself.

The Skin 79 brand is very popular. There is the pink formulation and this gold one. The gold is purported to be slightly more moisturizing than the pink one so suitable for normal-dry skin. Both have the anti-wrinkle, whitening and SPF 25 properties. If you have oilier skin, go for the pink model.

Price: $22CAD tax included at Pacific Mall, Markham. At that mall, it was $22-25 range, but you can definitely get it cheaper online. Ebay and Amazon has some good deals, but you must be careful as there are knockoff versions of BB creams..

How I apply: After moisturizing and sunscreen (if it’s very sunny), I pump only about 1/2 to 3/4 amount, dot it all over my face, focusing on areas where I need it most (tzone), blend and pat. The box has pictorial instructions to help you. If I have blemishes to cover, they get a couple extra dots and blend again. Since BB cream is considered makeup, I use a cleansing soap or an oil to remove it at night.

Skin 79 VIp Gold BB Cream swatch

When I first put this on, it immediately covered the mild redness I usually have on my nose and surrounding cheek area. It covers minor acne or scars; it can dull old scars.

This is light but buildable, but I did see the grey cast if I used two layers of it. This is not very obvious though. You can definitely use it as a light foundation.

Personally, it was not moisturizing enough for me. My skin is combination, but it has been particularly dry this year. This is good for hot, humid weather when my skin is oilier. I think I will try the watery BB creams next.

Pros

  • Light, buildable and oxidizes very well
  • SPF25
  • Minmizes redness and acts as light foundation
  • Affordable
  • A little goes a long way

Cons

  • Not widely available
  • Packaging is bad. it has no cap and if you travel with it, it will spill and make a mess.
  • Can be expensive
  • Not moisturizing enough for me
  • You still need to put a sunscreen and moisturizer on before the BB cream

Conclusion

Ultimately, I do not think most BB creams are for me. That aside, I think this is a good BB cream if you have normal skin. I would not wear this everyday because I don’t need to and it’s a hassle to remove it at night. There are parabens in it and other BB creams so I don’t want to use it all the time either. Skin79 is a good brand for BB creams and as an introduction to Asian BB creams. I’m not displeased with this product and it does look and feel good when I wear it.

Edit (December 2012): I stopped using this BB Cream in Oct after wearing it consistently five days a week for 3 months. I found that I got breakouts on my face from this. It wasn’t hormonal or my usual breakouts either as it would appear on my cheeks. Nothing changed in my diet or routine except this product. After I stopped using this, I tried the Lioele Water Drop BB Cream and read that many others have breakouts from Skin79 BB Cream. I know that many people love the Skin 79 BB creams, and I am not someone with super sensitive skin either. I didn’t get any adverse reactions right away, but only after consistent use.