Best of My 2017 Skincare (Blogversary Post!)

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!! I know it’s already the 17th on January and I should have posted my best of 2017 around December last year, buuuuut— today is my blog’s 1st year anniversary, which is more or less the anniversary of my skincare obsession, so I think it will be more fitting if I post this today. Therefore, this blog post serves two purposes. One, is to cap up my whole year of skincare and two, to celebrate the birth of this baby. Happy Birthday, Mimarosa!!!! (I hope that I can update you more often this year, and I hope you get more followers, and viewers, and readers. Lol)

Anyway, so to celebrate… I will be posting the best skincare products that I have tried this year. I will only be mentioning one product per skincare step so this post won’t be too lengthy. Please bear in mind that even though these are the best skincare products for me, that does not mean that using them all together at once is the perfect skincare routine. All the products that I will be mentioning here were used in different times along with different products, and some of them cannot be used in one skincare routine.

Sooo… let’s start!

FIRST CLEANSER – Banila Co.’s Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm

13258894_BI think this is the cleansing balm that I have used for the most part of the year. Mainly because after using my first regular tub, I bought a different cleansing balm and when I ran out of it, I decided to repurchase this one in the supersize tub. I love it’s fruity-flowery scent and I love how easily it melts on my skin. I actually broke a pledge I made with myself when I repurchased this because I wanted to try different products before settling to, yknow, one product. But I liked Clean It Zero so much that I can’t imagine myself using another cleansing balm aside from this. Thus, this year, I need to remind myself not to repurchase this later and try another balm.

SECOND CLEANSER – Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

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I have used a couple of second cleansers for the year, and to be honest, I’m not really particular with my cleansers which is why I never posted any review about them. However, if I were to choose the best one, it would be this. I like how lightweight this product is and how easy I can massage it on my face. It’s very gentle and mild, but I can say that it does its job in cleaning. Also, one bottle lasted me 10 months. That’s a good bargain, if you ask me.

 

EXFOLIATOR – Skinfood Black Sugar Wash Off Mask

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There are a lot of different types of exfoliators, yknow, chemical and physical exfoliators. AHA and BHA, etc. and these exfoliators are completely different from one another. However, I have decided to give the Best Exfoliator of 2017 slot to Skinfood’s Black Sugar Mask Wash Off. Basically because this was my very first physical exfoliant and I immediately loved it. Of course it came to my mind that I should also try another exfoliator, but I didn’t see the need to do so because I still had this. Although I also have another exfoliator from Innisfree, I didn’t like it as much as I liked this.

I didn’t want to categorize this along with my chemical exfoliants because I think they’re two completely different things. And I think of chemical exfoliants as toners and not as exfoliators. Also, I really like this exfoliator because it’s very relaxing compared to the other exfoliants I had for the whole year. (read full review here)

CLAY MASK – The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Clay Mask

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This clay mask is my second most used clay mask for the year, next to Innisfree’s Jeju Pore Clay Mask. However, even though this isn’t the most used, I consider it my best clay mask for 2017 because of its texture. It’s rich and creamy and it doesn’t feel hard on the face when it dries. Also, it has a minty feel that makes me feel refreshed whenever I use this mask. (read full review here)

 

TONER – Etude House Honey Cera Toner

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This toner is actually the reason why I am so obsessed with the Etude House Honey Cera line. I also bought the eye cream, lip balm, and essence–not all at once, though (I bought and used them in different periods.) I am just so in love with its light milky texture that easily absorbs into the skin. This also smells really good–I can’t begin to explain how it smells because it’s been a year since I last used ths but it kind of reminds me of those milk bath soaps that babies use. Also, my skin feels really soft and supple every time I use this toner.

ESSENCE – Nature Republic Honey Real Nature Essence

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I was actually so impressed at how wonderful this product is. Mainly because I bought it out on a whim. I haven’t heard of it before, but I trust the brand and I trust what honey can do to my skin so I bought it. Apparently, that random purchase was one of my best purchases for the year. I immediately noticed its effect on the first time I used it. My skin was immediately brighter and moisturized. My only problem is that I ran out of this essence after two months. This is definitely a holy grail essence for me. (real full review here)

SERUM – Dear Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop

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This serum is soooo soooo sooo amazing I think it was the one which made the biggest impact on my skin. My acne scars disappeared and my face became brighter… and I actually felt like my skin looked younger because it sort of retexturized my skin and removed all the dullness and fine lines. This is one of the best products ever. Hands down. I don’t even know how to describe it faithfully enough to make you guys realize its wonders. I guess you’ll have to get a bottle yourself and experience the wonders of this product. (read full review here)

EYE CREAM – Skinfood Salmon Brightening Eye Cream

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To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this eye cream because I am pretty much sure that this isn’t the best eye cream out there. It’s just that this one was the one I decided to purchase and it lasted me the whole year. It has a tendency to sting my eye from time to time because it’s really light and I can’t seem to measure the enough amount I should use because I always end up getting too much and taking forever in massaging it on my lower eye. However, I still appreciate this product and I consider this product the best of my 2017 because it really does its job in brightening my eyes. I mean, I get a lot of restless nights due to work but people never see any trace of stress on my face because I don’t have dark under eyes. And I have to say, not having dark under eyes when you only get to sleep three hours a night is a miracle.

SHEET MASK – Etude House Manuka Honey Mask

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If you guys have been following my blog, you’ll notice that I haven’t posted any sheet mask review nor was I ever specific when I talk about sheet masks–I just refer to them as sheet masks in general. That’s because I’m still looking for the best sheet mask for my skin and I wanted to to a “10 Best Sheet Masks” post because posting about just one sheet mask does not feel enough for me. However, since I have to tell you guys the best of my 2017 in this post. I think Etude House’s Manuka Honey Mask has been the most effective sheet mask that I have used so far. I was immediately amazed by this sheet mask on the very first time I tried it because my face became really soft–like, baby soft the morning after I used this mask. Since then this has been my go-to sheet mask.

EMULSION – Etude House Moistfull Collagen Emulsion

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To be honest, I really didn’t like this product during the first few weeks I was using this. It was too sticky for me and I was new to skincare thus stickiness was a big issue to me then. However, as months went by, I came to accept the feeling that skincare gives me, and actually, I realized that this emulsion isn’t that bad! If anything, it helps in keeping my skin moisturized and prevents it from flaking, especially in the nose area. I think this product has a huge participation in making my face look dewy and healthy. To be honest, this was the only emulsion I was ever able to try for 2017 thus it does not really have any competition for being the best emulsion. However, that does not mean that it won because I had no other choice. I mean, if I didn’t like this product, I could have easily bought another emulsion. But I didn’t, I stuck with this product until its very last drop, which means it’s good enough for me.

MOISTURIZER – Nature Republic 92% Aloe Vera Gel

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Much like the Etude House Moistfull Collagen Emulsion, I really didn’t like this product at first because I had a huge breakout after using this for the first time, and then I used too much product on my face which made it sticky so I stopped using it for a while. After some research and stuff, I decided to use this product again and I was finally able to realize how useful and effective it is. It’s actually very lightweight and it easily absorbs into the skin as long as you don’t apply a lot of product. A coin-sized amount of this is already too much, since a little amount is enough to cover the whole face. (See full review here)

SUN CREAM – Innisfree Daily UV Protection Cream No Sebum 

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I have used a lot of sun creams over the whole year, but I keep coming back to this one. Mainly because it’s very easy to apply, plus it has a matte finish which makes it convenient for me to use especially when I’m in a hurry in the morning. When I started using skincare, applying products in the morning didn’t really sound appealing to me because I don’t want to deal with the shiny residue that the products might leave when I apply them–which means I will have to take time and effort to apply loose powder to make it less shiny. But this one solves that problem. It’s only 35SPF but I’m barely exposed to the sun, thus this cream from Innisfree does the job perfectly for me.

To be honest, I try to avoid buying products unless I’m running out of the current product I’m using because I know that stashing will only result to throwing away unused and expired products. And I don’t want to spend my money on something that I’ll just abandon halfway through and remember when it’s already two years old and expired. Which is why I didn’t have a lot of other options in some of the products stated above. This 2018, I still don’t know how my skincare shopping and selection will be like, but I’m now more focused on addressing my skincare problems, and not just trying on some products that looked interesting whatsoever. Last year, I got so excited with this hype that I just kept on buying and buying what I can find until I realized that I had too much already–which explains the lack of hauls in the later part of the year.

This year, I’m planning to be more careful and specific with my products. Right now, I’m doing research on my current skincare concerns which are the blackheads, scars, and pores on my nose. I hope that I can get the flawless nose that I have always dreamed of by the end of the year. And I hope you guys will be with me for that journey.

I am so excited to start another year with this blog. So for everyone who’s been following and reading this blog, thank you so much! I mean, I didn’t think that anyone would even give a damn about this blog but I receive notifications almost every day that someone has followed, liked, and commented on my posts. You guys don’t know how happy that makes me feel. I’m also happy that some of us are getting familiar with each other, I honestly don’t know where I can find an online community like a forum that solely talks about skincare–particularly Korean skincare. But I have you guys!!! And I think you guys are enough ❤

Once again. I thank everyone for staying with me this whole year. For those who has commented and left suggestions and stuff, I really appreciate everything. I still consider myself a baby when it comes to skincare and blogging, and you guys made it so easy for me to take my baby steps.

Sooo… here’s to another year of Mimarosa! And for more years to come! Also, for beautiful and flawless youthful skin!

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My Skincare Wishlist 2017

Hey guys! So a few weeks ago I posted about my My Christmas Wishlist 2017, which is mainly about everything that I wanted for this Christmas. The list only included two skincare items which are the Tony Moly Ferment Snail Skincare Set and the Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream. Of course, even though I’m all about skincare, a girl has other needs too.

However, that does not mean that they’re the only two products on my skincare wishlist–I’m obsessed with skincare, of course there’ll be more than two items in the list. I only put the two main items in my skincare wishlist because I’m afraid that if I put everything that I want, I won’t be able to get anything except skincare. (yes, I do have a life outside skincare) sooo… uhm, yeah. Here’s the list of Skincare items that I would love to have soon. I might purchase them, or bribe someone to give them to me as a gift–or just like any other millennial, ask(beg) my parents to buy them for me.

  1. Neogen Real Fresh Cleansing Stick (Green Tea)

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I have seen this cleansing stick a number of times around different skincare articles and videos, and I really need a good cleansing stick since I already ran out of my previous one. This one seems to be a good product so I thought I’d give it a try. If this was easy to find in the Philippines, I would have bought it a long time ago already. But it’s not in my trusted websites and I’m not sure where else to go to soo… I’ll just have this in my wihslist in case someone I know goes out of the country and finds this (but if you guys know a good website, please let me know.)

2. Etude House Honey Cera Emulsion

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Have I mentioned how in love I am with this certain line from Etude House? Nope? Please remind me to blog about it. Lol. Anyway, I have tried the toner, lip balm, and eye cream from the Etude House Honey Cera Skincare lineup and I am totally loving every single one of it. Sadly, I don’t know if Etude House has faced out the Honey Cera line or the local flagship stores just don’t want to sell them or whatsoever, but they have been off the shelves for months. However, they’re still available in the Etude House Global website, thus there might still be a hope for me to get my hands on the other Honey Cera products. If you’re asking why I chose the emulsion among all others, it’s because I really don’t know any other emulsion and knowing that the Honey Cera line is good for me, I think I will love this product.

But guys, if you can recommend a good emulsion, please comment down below. It would be a great help, thanks!

3. Dear Klairs Supple Preparation Toner

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I have read that this toner is great on hydration and my skin is always in dire need of good hydration. Also, I have already tried and tested the Dear Klairs brand and it has done wonders to my skin.

(related: PRODUCT EXPERIENCE: Dear Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop)

4. Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Snail Mucin Essence

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The only snail anything that I have in my Skincare routine is the Benton Snail Bee Skin and the occasional snail mask from Etude House. Knowing that Snail Mucin does wonders to my skin, I’d like to incorporate more of it in my routine. Since the Essence is the heart of Korean Skincare, I think having a snail essence will give me positive results. Yknow, I’m really picky when it comes to my serum and essence because I think these two products has the most effect on the skin, and I’m really specific with the ingredients of them… which is why I am extra meticulous when it comes to finding the next essence or serum I’ll be using.

5. Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum 

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Just like most of the products in this wishlist, I have watched reviews about this product and from what I have gathered, this is the perfect Vitamin C serum not only because the product is holy grail itself, but the packaging is totally perfect for Vitamin C. I honestly think that getting my hands on this product is literally grace from the heavens because it’s quite expensive–I don’t know if anyone is willing to spend all that money in one product when you can get like, at least 5 products with the money. Also, I don’t know where to get this product locally. But I am hoping that someday, I’ll be able to use this product and experience its wonders first hand.

There you go! I’m cutting this list to five, because if I put everything that I want in this list, this blog post will never see its end.

Honestly, I don’t know how this post can help anyone whatsoever, but I still want to put this here for the sake of sharing. I do hope you find this post entertaining. And if you have a skincare wishlist, please comment down below or send me a link if you blogged about it.

Until then,

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Product Experience: CosRX One Step Pimple Clear Pad

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This holy grail acne-fighting pad from CosRX is an instant favorite for me and my sister. I first came across this product last January when I was reading some beauty blog–I can’t exactly remember if it was from BeautyMNL or Charlotte Cho’s Klog, but I remember it saying that this will be one of those skincare products that will definitely make 2017 a better year–or something like that. Since I have a penchant for exfoliators, and I have read a lot of good things about this product, I included it on my first Althea haul and bought it for 1,000php. Before I got my package, I saw this baby in our local Watsons store and it’s remarkably cheaper at 665php each box. There was only one left so I convinced my sister to get it for herself. She’s struggling with her acne due to puberty and oily skin, thus it wasn’t really difficult to persuade her to get this product. I’m also lucky because she believes in anything that I say! Haha.

I first started using this product both day and night, and sometimes, if I have time, I would also use it in the afternoon. After two weeks of using this two-three times a day, my face became clearer and I noticed that less acne were appearing on my skin. I also went for a facial treatment after a few weeks, and the lady there told me that I don’t have that much blackheads anymore (I was wondering why they barely did any pricking on my skin) and I guess I owe that to the exfoliating power of this product.

I grew up thinking that exfoliators and pimple-clearing products may cause drying or irritation so I’m always careful in using such products. I’m actually quite unsure of how I’d use this at first because I’m afraid that I might end up with red patches all over my face–but these pads were really gentle and non-drying. Since then, this became a must-have staple on my skincare and though it’s quite bulky, I bring it with me in all my travels. Also, I do think that I need this more whenever I travel because I can also use the pads to cleanse my face whenever I’m too tired to do all of my skincare rituals.

My sister’s experience with this product made me believe in its power even more. She has tiny red bumps all over her forehead before she had this exfoliator. Now, I don’t see my sister that often so whatever change happens to her face, I notice. After a week or so of using these pads, I noticed that although her face still has pimples all over, it looked tamed and smooth. From angry red bumps they became pink and light. I also noticed that her face looks more dewy than oily. Thus I can say that this does have a positive effect on her skin.

I do have a small concern, though. I bought mine at Althea while she bought hers at our local Watsons store. I didn’t notice this before but right when I was purchasing my second tub from the famous drugstore, I noticed a difference on the boxes from Althea Korea and Watsons.

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The one on your left hand side is from Althea Korea, while the one on the right is from Watsons. As you guys can notice, the one from Watsons looks quite blurry in contrast to the very clear packaging of the one from Althea. After realizing this, I started wondering… are the CosRX products from Watsons actually counterfeit?  Knowing that the ones from Watsons are almost half the price cheaper, I started to worry.

I then started checking everything else. The material used for the box, the size, the tub used for the pads, and the pads itself–they’re all the same. All the same except for the front portion. There seems to be no difference with the product itself, because when I was still using my tub from Korea, I would leave it in my apartment whenever I go home and use pads from my sister’s tub that was bought from the said drugstore. I didn’t notice any difference at all. Plus, the one from Watsons had a very positive effect on my sisters face–she actually started panicking when there was only a few pads left on her tub and she can’t find another one of these in all the Watsons outlets that she has gone to. Thus when she saw my tweet saying that I found CosRX in SM Lanang, she begged me to buy her these pimple clear pads for her birthday.

Over all, I still do think that the ones from Watsons are authentic. There might be a slight difference in the packaging because of the distribution. However, if ever it will be proven that the pimple pads from Watsons are indeed counterfeit, I will proceed purchasing my supply from Althea Korea despite the huge price difference. We should all support authentic products no matter how good the counterfeits are, because the real producers deserve the income, not the copycats.

I totally recommend this product to everyone, especially those who are struggling with acne. The mild exfoliation prevents impurities from clogging up in our pores and helps us in making our skin appear brighter, fresher, and smoother.

Hope this post helps you in your skincare journey. If you know anything about the CosRX products locally available in Philippine drugstores, please let me know!

XOXO,

Meesh 🙂

My 11-Step Skincare Routine (Part 2)

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Hello everyone! Here I am, back with the second part of my Evening Skincare routine. I posted the first one last week, click this link if you want to check that out. The first one covered the first five steps: First cleanser, second cleanser, exfoliator, toner, and essence. I this part, I’ll be showing you guys the other half of my skincare routine: The serum, face mask, eye cream, emulsion, moisturizer, and lipbalm.

Step 6: Serum

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Etude House Pink Vital Water Serum – This is the very first serum that I have ever purchased, so far I have nothing negative to say about it. It isn’t sticky nor thick, and it doesn’t really cause breakouts. It also absorbs easily, which I like. But aside from that, I have nothing else to say about this. I’m actually not sure what this does although they say that it hydrates the skin. I like the packaging, though. And it’s travel-friendly.

 

 

Step 7: Sheet Masks/Treatments

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I don’t really have a particular sheet mask that I use all the time, I have a stack of like 50 different sheet masks and I choose what I use depending on my skincare needs. Like, if I need moisturizing, I’ll use a honey sheet mask, if I have a breakout, I’ll use Tea Tree. It depends on what I have too. I use at least two sheet masks a week, sometimes I use more whenever I travel because I see to it that I use a sheet mask after a long plane or car ride. I don’t have a lot of favorite sheet masks yet because I’m still in the process of determining which I like, but I’ll make a blog post about it soon!

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The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil – This is the step in which I apply my facial treatments. But so far I only have this oil that I have raved about in this post. But right now, since I don’t get a lot of breakouts anymore, I only apply this when I feel like there’s an acne coming up, or when I feel like my face needs that extra treatment–whenever necessary. Tea Tree Oil was a big help for me in combating acne, and I can never imagine my life without it.

Step 8: Eye Cream  

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Skinfood Salmon Brightening Eye Cream – I wasn’t really sure why I bought this particular product, I was simply itching to buy something new and I wanted an eye cream that’s in a jar. I tried the tester first and I was impressed with how easy the product absorbs into my skin, thus I purchased it. After using this, my eyes looked less dull and I actually looked more alive. There’s only one thing that I don’t like with this eye cream, it sometimes gets caught in my under lashes and it’s really difficult to wipe off.

Steps 9 and 10: Emulsion/Moisturizer/Sleeping Pack

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I have four different products for steps 9 and 10. I don’t use all of them altogether, I only use two a night. My usual combination would be the Etude House Moistfull Collagen Emulsion and The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet. On days when I feel like my skin needs more moisture, I would replace the Aqua Boost Sorbet with the CosRX Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask. There are also days when I feel like my skin needs extra firming so I would use the Aqua Boost Sorbet along with the Etude House Play Therapy Sleeping Pack. The rule here is that I should never use three of any of the above mentioned products at once, and I should never use the overnight mask and the sleeping mask together. Aside from those, I am free to choose any two products a night.

Step 11: Lipbalm

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L’Occitane Ultra Rich Lipbalm – I have gone through many lipbalms before, but I wasn’t really satisfied with any of them until I had this. I would use this in the morning if it doesn’t leave a really thick shine, but my current morning lipbalm is doing a really good job in keeping my skin moisturized the whole day. And this is really good for overnight moisturizing because as it says, it’s ultra rich. I wake up in the morning with really smooth lips unlike before when it would feel dry and sometimes it would even flake and bleed whenever I stretch it into a smile. The only downside of this lipbalm is that I can’t find it individually in our local L’Occitane stores. It always comes with two other lipbalms and I’m not yet sure if I want to buy the whole set. I got this one at the Manchester Airport in the UK a few months back and it’s the only one left in the shelves. I’m almost out of this one, and it seems like I have no choice but to try and find a different lipbalm that would match this one for replacement.

So that’s it for my 11-Step Skincare Routine. It isn’t the perfect lineup for me yet, but I do have a bunch of favorites from this routine that I sure would keep in my skincare essentials. I’m pretty much sure that there will be a lot of changes in this routine over the months, so if you would like to be updated, check my blog from time to time.

Also, I’m very open to suggestions and recommendations. If you have a holy grail product that you truly love, and would recommend. Please let me know! I have a normal skin type with a few dry patches along the T-zone, which means there’s no problem with me trying different products for different skin types.

I hope you guys liked this post, if you have comments or suggestions, please let me know!

XOXO,

Meesh ❤

My 11-step Evening Skincare Routine (Part 1)

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That group photo of my babies sure looks overwhelming! Before anything else, I don’t use all of these products above at once, there are some that I alternate in using while there are some that I only use once or twice a week. It depends on my mood and my skincare needs for that day.

This is my second lineup for my evening skincare routine. I did not exactly run out of anything from the first one, I was just in that “exploring” stage for skincare (since I’m still new to this) so tried and purchased a few products that I found interesting. I retained a few items from my first routine because I found them sufficient and effective for me. I replaced a few of them not necessarily because they don’t work for me, but it’s because I just want to explore my options or because the product is too interesting for me to resist.

I’m going to cut this post in two parts because this one will be really long, and I might bore you guys somewhere in the middle of the post if I give it all in one go. For this part I’ll discuss about the products I’m using for the first five steps: First and second cleanser, exfoliator, toner, and essence.

Read: My 2016 Skincare Routine

Step 1: First Cleanser

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Banila Co.’s Clean It Zero – At first I really wasn’t thinking of doing some double cleansing because I don’t think I need it since I don’t really use makeup. But then lately I became more conscious of my skin and I started using concealer, and thus I found the need to embrace double cleansing in my world.

This was among my top choices for a cleansing balm but it was always unavailable online so I thought of using a cleansing oil instead since I already tried a sampler from one of Etude House’s cleansing oils. However, while I was strolling down the mall, I found this and I purchased it without having any second thoughts. I really enjoyed using this product, it did improve my skincare routine because my skin started absorbing the other products that I apply after I started using this easier –it effectively breaks that barrier that cannot be removed by my regular foaming cleanser but at the same time it keeps my skin healthy by not stripping off all the good oils. I really love this product because it feels very luxurious to apply and it has a scent that I can go on smelling the whole day. I can’t exactly pinpoint if it’s floral or citrus(y), or a mixture of both. All I know is that I love it. I want a perfume that smells like this gem.

Step 2: Second Cleanser

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Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam – This cleanser is highly recommended for people with oily skin. This isn’t the perfect product for someone like me who has normal skin with dry patches along the nose area, however I didn’t see that as a problem while I was using this. Some say that it might be drying for my skin type, but I think the moisturizers and the other products that I use along with this compensated for it because I don’t feel any dryness at all. However, I am not saving this product from negative criticism. I’d be honest, its not my favorite and I don’t think I will be repurchasing this cleanser once I’m done with it. Simply because it has small beads in it and I don’t really feel comfortable with them especially when I have an ugly acne on my face–I feel restricted from massaging the product on the surface of my skin. It terms of effectiveness, this cleanser does its job well in cleansing, and my face instantly feel refreshed after using this–like all the layers of sunscreen and dust that my skin gathered the whole day were gone.

Step 3: Exfoliator 

Exfoliation is something that I have always been mildly obsessed with. I have not tried any clinical procedure that involves exfoliation–like peeling, whatsoever. But I always get hyped about exfoliating products because I’ve always thought that it is the key to smooth and flawless skin–much like how sandpaper is to wood. My primary goal in skincare is to remove the tiny bumps on my nose that totally looks weird whenever I have makeup on (because it becomes obvious), so I was hoping that exfoliation can help me with that problem thus it is one of my main focuses whenever I go skincare shopping. I’m currently using three exfoliators–one daily, and the other two once or twice a week, depends on my skin condition.

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CosRX One Step Pimple Clear Pad – Both my sister and I use this product. Between the two of us, she’s the one who has oily and more acne-prone skin. After a month of using this daily, her acne lessened and her face started bearing a healthy, dewy shine. In my case, I use this one to three times a day (I’ve Googled it, it’s safe for normal skin.)–depending on my skin condition. I only use it thrice if I have a breakout and my skin needs more care than it should. Otherwise, I use this once or twice during regular days. It is indeed effective in clearing pimples and it prevents breakouts from happening. I went for an Advanced Acne Facial Treatment two weeks after using this and I was actually disappointed because they didn’t do much on my skin. They said that I didn’t have a lot of blackheads and other impurities for them to remove. I feel like I just wasted my money on nothing, but at least I found out that this product really did help clear my skin from the inside!

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Skinfood Black Sugar Wash Off Mask – I use this mask once or twice a week. Usually after I get back from a travel, because we don’t know what kind of pollutants our skin can gather from different places. I leave this on my face for at least 15 minutes and gently wash it off with water. My skin would instantly look lighter and feel smoother after application. What I love the most about this product is the scent, this smells like roasted sugar with a hint of citrus–or honey with it, I couldn’t tell. But the fragrance is really sweet that sometimes I’d stay in my bathroom longer because I would just sniff on this product.

Innisfree Green Barley Gommage Peeling Mask – This one is a really interesting exfoliator. I use this less often than the Sugar Mask–usually when I have a very alive and angry pimple on my face because this one is less abrasive than the other. This peeling mask does a good job in removing dead skin cells as it shows physical results–by physical, I mean physical peeling. It’s fun because you can see lumps of your dead skin cells form as you gently massage this product on your face. Sometimes I use this product on my underarm for exfoliation.

Step 4: Toner

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Etude House Honey Cera Toner – I am so in love with the scent of this product, I sometimes dream of it. This toner has a milky consistency and is very easy to apply. After putting this on my face, I feel an instant surge of moisture because it easily absorbs into the skin. I have never felt any stinging sensation whenever I apply this toner. Anyway, I think this product is what a toner should really be. Relaxing, refreshing, and hydrating. I actually didn’t understand how come this was a toner because I always thought that toners are supposed to remove excess dirt and must be used with a cotton ball. However, upon research, I found out that toners are supposed to tone the skin, in preparation for the next skincare steps. I think this baby does a good job in that. I’m almost out and I really want to repurchase it, I just can’t find it anywhere in both local and online stores.

Step 5: Essence

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The Body Shop Drops of Light Pure Translucency Essence Lotion – They say that the Essence is the essence of Korean Skincare. It’s funny how I have a non-Korean product for this step, and I’m not sure if using this would be better or not because I haven’t tried a Korean Essence yet. However, after a few months of using this, I can attest that it does give what it promises, my skin looks brighter and radiant–it gives an instant glow especially when there’s light. This isn’t my favorite product, I don’t hate it either, but after I’m done with my two bottles* of this, I’ll start curating for a Korean essence so I can compare which product is better. My skincare routine isn’t strict to only-Korean products, although I want to try having an all-Korean routine soon because after all, this obsession is inspired by the 10-step Korean Skincare Routine.

*I have two bottles because this was on my Christmas list, and two of my aunts gave me the same thing. 

So that’s it for the first 5 steps of my 11-step Evening Skincare Routine. Please stay tuned for the next 6 steps which I will be posting somewhere next week. It’s going to be a long post so I hope you guys will like it.

The next six steps can be read here!

If you guys have some product recommendations, especially for the essence, please let me know.

I’ll talk to you guys soon! XOXO,

Meesh ❤

My 8-Step Morning Skincare Routine

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This whole thing is the reason why I look forward to waking up in the morning. I may have mentioned before that as much as possible, I want my face to be clear of any products during the daylight, but almost everything that I read regarding skincare heavily emphasizes the importance of using sun cream. I didn’t care much about using SPF before because I’m only exposed to sunlight for a maximum of thirty minutes a day–my office is a good 15-minute walk from my place. But when I received an SPF lotion from my aunt (not the one featured in this post), I took it as a sign that I should start curating for a morning skincare routine. I tried using a few other products in the morning before I came up with this lineup, it wasn’t easy for me because my face would sometimes end up sticky and greasy the whole day, and I just feel totally uncomfortable that sometimes I skip putting products altogether and simply apply SPF instead. But after a few trials and errors, I was finally able to come up with a lineup that was perfect for my morning skincare needs.

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Calmia Rooibos No Wash Cleansing Water (First cleanser)– First thing that I do in the morning is to apply this on my face with a regular facial tissue. I gently wipe the tissue on my face until I’ve covered everything. I know that double cleansing in the morning may be unnecessary for some people but I just like removing all the excess product that I have applied on my face the night before while I prepare myself  in the morning. And also, there are days when I don’t immediately take a bath in the morning. Sometimes I’ll do it after two hours or five hours–depends on my schedule for the day which may cause last night’s products to stay on my face longer if I don’t use this cleansing water. I don’t want to do all my skincare rituals in the morning without taking a bath first because I know that they’ll be washed away after a few hours and I will have to reapply them. So I just do my first cleansing to keep my face fresh for the meantime.

This cleansing water is indeed effective in removing product residue. Before I had this product, my face would feel slimy whenever I wet it with water every morning. To be honest, sometimes I don’t feel like I’m washing my face enough in because it would still feel loaded with products. But now, not only does my skin feel cleaner and lighter, I would also instantly feel refreshed after using this cleansing water.

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CosRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser (Second cleanser)– I remember the first time I heard of this product, I wasn’t interested with it because it looked like it came from the pharmacy. But while I was doing my research on the best skincare products, this baby kept on appearing and thus I wanted to know what all the hype was about and purchased it from Althea Korea. Goodness gracious this product is heaven sent! It’s really light but not runny, and even though this is supposedly a gel cleanser, it foams up when you massage it on your face. It also has this amazing therapeutic tea tree scent which made me love this product even more.

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Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner (Toner) -This is a mild alcohol-based toner that promises removing impurities and tighten pores. I wanted to stay clear of alcohol-based toners because they might cause dryness to my skin. But so far this product has not done any harm to my skin and it absorbs really well which makes it perfect for the morning routine.

 

 

 

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CosRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol (serum) – I use this right after my toner and then wait a few more minutes before I proceed to my next step. I find this product very effective in helping me deal with my acne scars and prevents incoming breakouts from happening. I know that there may be a risk of using this product along with an alcohol-based cleanser (drying+exfoliation), but so far no harm has been done to my skin. After all, this BHA claims that it’s non-drying. Yes, there was flaking, but the flakes only appeared in the areas of my face that had acne which means this product is doing it’s job well. Also, I never feel any stinging sensation whenever I use this product.

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Etude House Honey Cera Priming Eye Serum – Etude House’s Honey Cera Range is my favorite range of products from the said brand basically because of its scent. Which is why this product was on top of my wishlist when I was looking for an eye cream. I love how the applicator gives me a cooling effect whenever I glide this product with it beneath my eyes. It is also easily absorbed by my skin and so far I hadn’t had the experience of my eyes stinging because of this product. After using this for weeks, my eyes appeared more brighter.

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Onsaemeein Perfect Moisture Cream (Moisturizer) – True to its name, this product is indeed the perfect moisturizer especially in the morning time. It has a light creamy consistency that somehow looks like paste diluted with water. Once you start massaging this on your face it turns into watery liquid which makes application even and moisture absorption better. This product also locks in the moisture of the skin to keep it hydrated the whole day.

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It’s My Sun Cream (SPF)– What I love with this sun cream is that it does not leave a sticky film on the face, making it feel like there was barely any product on it. This product has a faint SPF scent which I don’t really mind although I’m not a huge fan of it–I guess it’s just something that all SPFs have. Anyway, this is not really that easy to apply. It does not leave a white cast, but you have to massage the product on your face for a few minutes before it becomes clear of any visible traces of the cream.

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Rituals… Lipbalm – I actually don’t know if this lipbalm is available individually. This came with Qatar Airlines’ amenity kit for business class passengers–and I’m not that business class passenger, it’s my aunt and she just gave me one of her kits. Anyway, I don’t know what’s with these airline freebies but I always like their lipbalms because their fragrance-free and they do keep the lips from chapping unlike other lipbalms that I have encountered. I also use this at night when I put on a clay mask or a sheet mask because there are times when I feel my lips dry up whenever I put on masks.

and that’s all for my morning skincare! I don’t usually put on makeup, but there are times when I use concealer on areas where I have pimples and redness. I love this lineup because I don’t look like I just applied a bunch of products on my face when I go out and face the world. It only leaves a dewy finish that I love. I have not spent a long time with this routine yet so I can’t really say if these products has long term effects, but as of now I am totally loving it.

If you have any product recommendations for a morning skin routine, let me know!

XOXO,

Meesh 🙂

UNBOXING: Althea Anti-Pollution Box plus CosRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol (also, an LBC rant.)

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I have always dreamed of opening a box of goodies filled with random items. It kinda gives that feeling that I’m receiving a present–although it’s from myself, I didn’t handpick the products inside the box and I don’t know if I’m going to like it or not. So it’s as if I just received a gift from someone else. It has the uncertainty of liking everything in the box but at the same time all the things in it are something that I’d be glad to receive.

Which is why I am so happy that Althea has special edition boxes–in which each month they come up with a certain theme and gather 6 or more products in that theme, put it in a box and sell it in a heavily discounted price–much like a subscription box, but with Althea Boxes, you just have to choose the boxes that you want to have. You are not compelled to subscribe monthly and pay for boxes that you might not be interested with. Also, these boxes usually come with full size products but they have almost the same price as subscription boxes. Subscription boxes on the other hand, are filled with sample-sized products with only one or two in full size. I can really say that Althea boxes are really inexpensive and worth the investment

When I placed an order on Althea’s Anti-Pollution Box, I was originally thinking about purchasing a sunscreen and a cleansing oil in Etude House. And since I am a skincare crazy woman, I was also thinking of buying some other things like a new eye cream, moisturizer, etc. (whatever I may find interesting) as well. And I know that if I get both the sunscreen and cleansing oil, I will not have enough budget to buy other products. For a moment there I was crazy thinking of what items should I prioritize when I go shopping, and that’s when I thought of this Anti-Pollution box. It has both the cleansing oil/balm and the sunscreen that I want, and it has other products that looks quite interesting as well. So without batting an eyelash, I went to Althea’s website and purchased the box along with CosRX’s Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol (these babies sell out like crazy so when I saw them available, I immediately put it in my bag!)

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The Anti-Pollution Box costs 1,450php at 71% off (originally worth 5,020php) while the CosRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol costs 810php. I also used 150 points and a coupon code that they gave me from my previous purchase. All in all this package only costed me 1,972.3php. I saved 3,857.7php!

Click here if you want a discount from Althea.kr 🙂

I wasn’t really expecting on getting the limited edition Chinese New Year box because I placed my order on February 1st, but I’m glad I was able to get the box! It had an Angpao along with it so I guess I will be going back to Althea within the month (the discount coupon is only available until February 28th)

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The box has a few dents, which is obviously unavoidable because of the shipping–and I’m totally okay with it because at least I was still able to get my hands on this box. I almost went gaga thinking that this box might have been lost in the shipping or even worse, stolen.

My first purchase in Althea was really smooth, I got the items in less than 10 days. Although the delivery man had trouble looking for my house–but that was the only problem I encountered with that transaction. This one, on the other hand, gave me sleepless nights.

Upon checkout, they gave me a notification that shipping may be delayed due to the holidays. Well, yeah, I was expecting that but I was also kinda hoping that Althea will still be the amazing online store that she is and would give me a fast transaction with only one or two days delay. But then again a week has passed and still they didn’t email me that my package has been shipped so I kinda worried and emailed their customer service. Their customer service representative immediately replied the day after but he only told me that my package will be delayed–which honestly wasn’t the answer I was hoping to get. I sent them a question asking what is the specific status of my purchase and they gave me a generic answer. I was a bit disappointed, but gladly the “Your Althea.kr order has been shipped” email arrived in my inbox the next day. I was immediately relieved.

Days before that I decided to change my shipping address because I’m thinking that no one might be home when my order arrives so I emailed them to deliver it in the nearest LBC branch so I can pick it up there instead. This request was processed immediately and the shipping address was changed. Kudos to Althea to that!

However, when my package arrived, I was out of town and a guy from LBC called me, asking for some clarifications regarding the shipping address. I then asked him if I can still pickup my package on Saturday (he called on Monday, February 13th) and he said that all packages has 10 days pendency before they return the package to the sender.

So the whole week I was busy doing some work stuff, LBC kept on texting me every day to get my package, and I did reply saying that I’ll get it on Saturday. I was thinking that things were going smooth for me until…

I decided to track my order.

It says on the LBC website that my package was already claimed by me. WOW. And it was already 1am that time so I can’t contact LBC regarding the status of my package. I got really worried, I can’t sleep–I immediately started thinking about life, my previous mistakes, my dreams that never materialized into reality and how I was unhappy about some things going on–basically I just had an existential crisis (well, I do have existential crisis, but it was enormously heightened that night). I had to bother a few friends through text and chat because I really needed someone to talk to. At around 3am all my depressing thoughts lowered and I was able to sleep– but not quite peacefully because I woke up two hours later. By that time I was already thinking of accepting the sad truth that my package is now gone and I just have to go on with my life and forget about it. On the other hand I was ready to prove that it wasn’t me who claimed my package in case it was indeed claimed by someone pretending to be me. I was already thinking of presenting them the text messages that I sent saying that I’ll pick it up Saturday and showing them my boarding pass as proof that I wasn’t in town to claim my package. Basically I was in the middle of giving up and fighting. I’m getting so worked up just because of this. I even hated myself for ordering too many skincare products. I thought this was my punishment for being vain.

So, moment of truth, the moment I arrived in the airport, I immediately rushed to my LBC branch to pick up my package–or to debate with the people there– I was calm the whole time because I was still hoping that it might just be an error on LBC’s side and it turns out that IT WAS INDEED AN ERROR.

My package was unclaimed. No one signed my name in that list that they had. I COULD HAVE NOT HAD MY MIND GOING CRAZY IF I DIDN’T TRACK MY ORDER ON THE LBC WEBSITE.

SO LBC, IF YOU’RE READING THIS, GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER. 

Although this error gave me so much stress and triggered the emotional damage that I’ve been trying to conceal since the beginning of time, I’m just glad that I was able to have my hands on my precious skincare products. I don’t know how LBC handles cases of lost or stolen packages, but I do hope that they give great compensation because even though my babies were safe, we don’t know what might happen next. I still have a lot of plans for my online shopping which needs a lot of LBC’s involvement.

This is just one mistake, or possibly misunderstanding. I still trust the Hari ng Padala.

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Look at all them pretty things! You guys have no idea how happy and how relieved I am to see them. I thought I lost them forever, but now they’re safe in under my care.

These are all the products inside Althea’s Anti-Pollution box. I won’t be discussing each product one by one here so if you want information on them, click this link.

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They put the CosRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol in a separate box since it’s not included in the Anti-Pollution box. I’m happy about this because that means more boxes! I use these things for storage because I’m a mess at all times. And they’re pretty, who wouldn’t love them?

I’m still thinking of how I would incorporate these items in my daily and nightly skincare routine. Since all of these products are light, I think they’re perfect for morning use, but of course some of them will be used for my evening routine too. I can’t wait to start using all of them. You guys are definitely going to see more of these products in my future posts.

Before I end this post, here’s a link that will give you a nice discount from Althea.

Until then! XOXO,

Meesh

Althea Korea Skincare Haul

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Korea is very famous when it comes to skincare.  As I was looking for the perfect products that I wanted to use for my face, I came across this website that ships Korean Skincare Products straight from Korea to the Philippines! And apparently, they were on a sale that time, I get 1000php less if I purchase 3000php worth of products–which means I only got to spend 2000php on all those items in the photo above! It was a really good deal so I didn’t think twice and placed my order. Also, I had been eyeing some of those Korean products for quite some time now and there’s no other way to get my hands on them but through online purchase. Seeing all these products before my eyes really made me happy because I felt like I was finally a part of the skincare community whatsoever.

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The product arrived 8 days after I placed my order, two days earlier than I expected! According to the website, the product should arrive in 10-15 days. I’m relatively new to online shopping so early delivery really amazes me.

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The box was really pretty and durable. It can be reused as storage or if you’re planning to wrap someone a gift for their birthday and the gift didn’t come with a box, you can use this. Just hope that they won’t expect for products from Althea!

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This is how the box looked like when I opened it. The products were all securely wrapped in bubble wrap and it was all arranged neatly to fit the box. It’s nice how pink and green dominated the whole picture because they really complimented each other–which made the package look like candy.

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Above is a list of the products that I bought. This list was on the pink plastic packaging of the box. I will explain why I bought each and every product starting with the very first one on the list above.

  • Nature Republic Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel – this was actually the very last product that I added in my bag. I needed to reach 3000php so I can avail of their promo and after totaling everything that I put in my bag, I only reached 2,900-ish so I had to add something more. I was thinking of adding a few sheet masks instead, but I realized that those things are readily available in the nearest mall so I decided to check the website’s best sellers instead and add the most interesting and inexpensive item that I can find there, and I found this product.
  • Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask – I have read a lot of reviews about this product and the Super Volcanic one, so I decided to purchase one for myself.
  • Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Foam – I simply wanted to try another product from Innisfree and I found this. I have also heard a lot regarding how volcanic ash from Jeju Island can help prevent acne and acne is one of my major skincare problems.
  • Innisfree Green Barley Gommage Peeling Mask – I have always been interested in exfoliating and I wanted to try a peeling mask because it seemed to be fun to use. So I searched for a peeling mask in their website and came along this one. It’s Innisfree and it’s one of the products that I’m quite familiar with due to the recommendations that I’ve read online so I chose this one.
  • COSRX Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser – This product was one of the reasons why I was looking at online shops because this is so famous among skincare enthusiasts and I am sure that this isn’t locally available in my place. There are a lot of skincare products that I would love to have my hands on but sadly, most of them were out of stock. I am just so relieved that this one isn’t so I immediately put this is my bag without hesitation.

After receiving my first bag from Althea, I was already thinking of getting another set of products from them because of the good service that I received. I cannot wait and experience these Korean skincare products on my face. I am praying that I’ll have no regrets with this set of products because they all look so promising and I have a very high regard on Korean products.

However, this does not mean that I’ll be limiting my skincare products to Korean products instead. I’m still open to use western and local products which is why I’m planning on purchasing from a different website before I purchase an all-Korean set of products from Althea once more… but let’s see about that. The variety of Korean products look so exciting.

If you’re planning on making a purchase on Althea, here’s my referral link which will give you 350php off your first purchase. Enjoy! 🙂

XOXO,

Meesh