HAUL: TonyMoly Korean Beauty

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Korean beauty products have become the biggest trend in the U.S. lately. One of the biggest Korean beauty brands is TonyMoly, who has everything you can imagine from face masks, peels, sheet masks, lip balms, creams, makeup, etc. They have skincare products for every skincare concern be it wrinkles, acne, dryness, redness, or sensitive skin. This brand recently launched in Sephora when the Korean beauty products became a popular thing. I hadn’t tried this brand till now. The packaging is obviously ultra adorable (it’ll make you feel like you’re thirteen all over again).

Egg Pore Care Set

Price: $28

Key Factors: Egg-powered ingredients such as Egg Yolk (lots of Vitamin A!) and clarifying Egg Shell Powder.

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I’m Red Wine – Gel Eye Patch

Price: $6

Key Factors: Helps tighten and purify skin.

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Mini Fruit Lipbalm Peach

Price: $10

Key Factors: Shea Butter and Witch hazel, helps lock in moisture and hydration.

I’m Hand Cream – Cherry Blossom

Price: $6

Key Factors: Rejuvenates skin.

Where To Buy It: https://tonymoly.us

Are you a fan of Korean beauty products? Which ones are your faves?

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Review: Medusa’s Makeup Afterglow Facial Serum

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I’ve been a fan of Medusa’s Makeup for awhile, because not only are their products edgy looking and all around awesome, but they’re vegan which is always a plus in my book. They recently debuted a Facial Serum, and being heavily into skincare I was happy to find it in my September Beauty Box.

Packaging: A cute glass bottle with a dropper dispenser.

What It Does: Keeps skin hydrated, use morning or night.

Active Ingredients: Grapeseed Oil and Grapefruit Oil

Benefits: Grape seed oil is non-comedogenic, treats acne, tightens skin, helps diminish dark circles around the eyes, moisturizers, and reduces scars. Grapefruit oil can help curb hangovers, headaches, mental fatigue, and depression. It is also known to treat acne, prevent oily skin, and help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Verdict: This serum is amazing! Especially if you have oily or acne prone skin as myself. It is lightweight enough that if can be worn under makeup in the mornings, although I prefer to use it at night before going to bed. It’s never sticky and smells fresh, so if used in the mornings, it feels very refreshing. I find that this serum helps curb my oily skin, leaving glowing but NOT oily skin, looking youthful and fresh-faced. I absolutely recommend this especially if you have problem skin and wish to keep your skin hydrated without clogging up your pores even more so.

Price: $16

Where To Buy It: Medusa’s Makeup Site

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Review: Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

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If you’ve been following my blog, then you know that I have a soft spot for skin oils. I know that it may seem counterproductive to use oils if you have oily skin (like I do), but in reality, in some weird way, drying out oily skin actually creates more oil than applying oils. So when I received this product in my latest Allure Beauty Box, I was thrilled to try it out.

Packaging: A gorgeous glass bottle with a dropper dispenser.

What It Does: Moisturizes, eliminates redness, fights wrinkles, makes pores smaller, and improves damaged skin.

Active Ingredients: Retinol and chamomile.

Verdict: Now, I know that some people may not be into this oil because it does have some fragrance to it (and maybe it can be irritating to sensitive skin). But the fragrance that it does have is due to natural essential oils from neroli, blood orange, ylang ylang, and vetiver. But if you don’t have sensitive skin, then this oil may be perfect for you. I really loved how it made my skin feel so velvety soft in the mornings (after applying it at night) and also making it plumper. It truly gave me the dewy skin that is oh so coveted by the beauty world. What I love is that the oil is very lightweight, and it’s perfect even for acne-prone skin as myself. I highly suggest to check it out if you need an oil, but if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to skin oils, then check out my favourite Vitamin C oils here.

Price: $105

Where To Buy It: Sephora.com

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Review: 3M Nexcare Acne Covers

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June is Acne Awareness Month, and in lieu of that, I’ve decided to dedicate this week to acne prevention. I’ll admit right away, I’m a picker. Whenever there’s a pimple, I can’t help but pick or squeeze it, which of course worsens the situation (usually infecting the nearby areas) and causes redness, bruising, and scarring.

But ever since I’ve found these miracle workers, I haven’t been tempted to pick at my pimples anymore!

What It Is: Absorbing acne covers

What It Does: When placed on a pimple, the covers work like a sponge to absorb pus and oil.

Verdict: I don’t know what sorcery this is, but it WORKS. I’ve tried various others acne covers from other brands, and they rarely worked as well as these. These covers actually absorb the pus from the acne overnight, even cystic acne! I can’t begin to tell you how miraculous these are! They’re a true godsend in zapping zits overnight. All you have to do is wash your face, then apply the cover directly on the pimple, and in then in the morning you remove the cover and you’ll see all the pus has been absorbed on the cover while the pimple is gone! If you haven’t tried these, do yourself a favour, and GET THESE NOW!

Price: $5.98 (if you subscribe to 5 products) or $6.29 for one time purchase

Where To Buy It: www.amazon.com

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Review: Korres Pomegranate Balancing Cream-Gel Moisturizer

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I’ve previously tried products from this brand before, and I truly loved it. I like how they use all-natural ingredients, and from the products I tried, they’ve actually made my skin way better in both look and texture. So bonus points for that!

Being someone who’s always had oily skin, trying to use moisturizer has been almost impossible as all the ones I’ve tried tended to be too rich and break me out. And who wants to look like a pepperoni pizza, right? So when I received this moisturizer made specifically for Oily-Combination Skin in my Allure Beauty Box, I was tempted to give it a go.

What It Is: Cream-Gel Moisturizer for Oily-Combination Skin types

What It Does: Delivers ultra-hydration whilst minimizing pores and creating a matte, yet luminous complexion.

Active Ingredients: 5% Pomegranate water, Pomegranate Extract, Alpine Willowherb, Tannins, and Polyphenols

Verdict: Oily-acne prone skin gals, this product is for YOU! This moisturizer is THE BEST I’ve ever tried. Not only does it keep my skin hydrated, but it also mattifies the skin without it looking dull, but rather refreshed. From the very first application the cream felt luxurious and thick, but when applied it actually felt rather lightweight. It also has a very faint, yet clean smell to it. The packaging is simple, yet sleek. I really love how it makes my skin feel less oily, but plump with hydration and ultra-fortifying. I don’t have issues with big pores, but this product also helps with minimizing pores and giving them a smaller appearance. I highly recommend this cream if you’re looking for a moisturizer for oily and acne-prone skin.

Price: $34

Where To Buy It: https://www.korresusa.com

By: Azzurra Nox

Review: Too Cool For School All-In-One Egg Mellow Cream

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If you follow my blog, then you’ll know that I swear by Vitamin A for having good skin. Having said that, one of the key ingredients in this moisturizer is egg yolk (which is rich in Vitamin A and proteins that nourish the skin). The nutrients found in eggs not only help nourish dull skin but it also brightens it. It also gets rid of acne (again, because of the Vitamin A) and because it also contains a natural antibacterial that fights acne. Since egg yolk is mostly made up of water and fats, it actually helps lock moisture into your skin cells, leaving skin feeling incredibly soft and supple. What more could you ask from a single ingredient?

What It Is: Firming Moisturizer

What It Does: This moisturizer is supposed to work as a serum, priming moisturizer, eye cream, neck cream, and sleep mask. It also targets dryness, dullness and uneven texture, and firmness.

Active Ingredients: Egg yolk, Collagen (great for anti-aging), albumen (egg white), Niacinamide, and omega oil for proper hydration that visibly plumps the skin.

Verdict: As you can tell, I have quite an obsession for overnight masks (you can check out more here), mostly because I suck at waiting out the 15-20 minutes required for face masks and who doesn’t want to wake up to amazing skin? This moisturizer (that also acts as an overnight mask) has fives uses and is packed with multiple benefits in one convenient package. I mostly use this on my face and neck, but it could also be used for the eyes. This cream has a pleasant scent (anyone who has ever used egg on their face knows how sticky and smelly it can be!). What can I say? The moment you apply this cream, your skin will look visibly plumper and will be insanely soft. But don’t worry, the effects last until the following morning. I woke up to softer skin and with no sign of redness or inflammation whatsoever (which can sometimes be the case for us acne-prone skin types). This moisturizer is a godsend to those of you that have dry or flaky skin, but it’s light enough that even those of us with extremely oily skin (as myself) can reap the benefits and won’t clog your pores!

Price: $36

Where To Buy It: Sephora.com

By: Azzurra Nox

Skincare: Is Foundation Ruining Your Skin?

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When asked what foundation I use, many people are surprised when I admit that I don’t use any and haven’t really worn much of it (save for the few times I’ve had to for photoshoots) in years. I attribute my good skin days to various things, but NOT wearing foundation is at the very top of the list. If the thought of leaving the house without makeup is enough to make you cringe, then you may be damaging your skin. This is the age of Instagram, Beat Face, and Full-coverage foundation. But what damage are all of these cosmetics, namely foundation, really doing to your skin day after day? The terrible truth is that if you have problematic skin (dryness, oiliness, or acne-prone) then you aren’t doing your skin any favors by adding layers and layers of products on top of it.

Oily Skin

If you have oily skin you’ll soon found out the hard way, that foundation and oily skin DO NOT mingle. Using liquid foundation may actually create a thicker coat of oil on your skin, meaning your skin will look slick with oils, rather than dewy. If the thought of going foundation-less is unfathomable, then opt for mineral foundation or lightweight pressed powder.

Dryness

Although liquid foundation may increase the oil in oily skin, it does NOT act as a moisturizer for dry skin. It actually creates more flakes and dryness! So you’re better off using a tinted moisturizer, or adding a smidgen of foundation or concealer to your favorite moisturizer and using that instead.

Acne

Though makeup hasn’t been proven to cause acne per se in people who aren’t acne-prone, it does, however cause acne to flare up in people who have acne-prone skin. And I know that many people who have acne, turn to foundation as a way to create the appearance of flawless skin, but it’s a Catch 22, where the more foundation they use the more new blemishes it creates, in turn, making someone continue to use foundation. If you suffer from acne, try to discover the root of your problem (meaning is it due to diet, hormones, or stress?) with the help of a dermatologist. Don’t just try to conceal the problem with foundation, it’ll only wreak havoc on your skin.

Unrealistic Expectations

Learn to love your natural skin! Wearing foundation every day not only does it damage it, but it will give you unrealistic expectations of how your skin should look at all times. You can have amazing skin without it having to look airbrushed or Instagram worthy. Instead, try to take care of your skin by keeping hydrated, sleeping at least 6-8 hours a night, turn to a more plant-based diet, and keep up with a skincare routine that best suits your skin type.

Amazing skin isn’t easy to have, but with some work and dedication (and less makeup!) it’s easier to achieve than thought possible.
So give your skin a break and go foundation-free, and keep foundation ready for those moments when you really need it (school photos, weddings, etc.).

By: Azzurra Nox

Want to kiss your acne goodbye forever, then READ HOW VITAMIN A CAN CURE YOUR ACNE!

Skincare: DIY Cucumber Mask!

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Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good face mask! Not only are they luxurious in feel, but they always make me feel as though they are truly combating my skin concerns (oiliness/acne) whenever I’m using skin masks that target those concerns. But with so many companies coming out with face masks, not all face masks are created equal, and many of them are loaded with chemicals or unnecessary colouring agents and added scents.

So what does one do when you’re aiming for an all-natural face mask? Simple, do it yourself!

This face mask is aimed at soaking up oil and calming inflammation, and better suited for those with oily or combination skin type. Those of you with dry skin might find this mask a bit more drying and thus not as helpful to your skin type.

There’s a load of DIY face masks on the internet, but this one is truly easy peasy! I’m not one to try to get too fancy with crazy ingredients, so this is one you can whip up in less than three minutes tops!

Ingredients:
Half a cucumber (blended to make one tablespoon juice)
One teaspoon lemon juice
One teaspoon turmeric

Directions:
Blend all the ingredients in a blender till they’re all mixed together, or you can place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix the ingredients together manually.
Then once you have the mixture, spread it all over your face (keep away from the eye area and eyebrows and lips) using a cotton ball or foundation brush.

Time: Keep this on for 15-30 mins. Don’t exceed 30-mins. though otherwise the lemon can be too drying to your skin!

Final step: Once the time has elapsed, rinse the mask off using lukewarm water and pat dry with a towel.

Bonus: Use this mask 2-3 times a week (to save time you can apply this before taking a bath! I love being able to multitask since I hate waiting!).

Benefits of the mask: Cucumber promotes healthy skin, while the lemon juice targets the oiliness and acts like a natural astringent, while the turmeric penetrates into the pores and soothes any inflammation there may be (and oily and acne-prone skin is ALWAYS harboring some kind of inflammation).

By: Azzurra Nox

Peels: Why does your skin need them?

 

IMG_0882With so many skincare products floating around nowadays (masks, serums, moisturizers, etc.) it’s no wonder that a gal (or even guy!) may feel stumped as to where to begin and why they even need a certain product in the first place. But have no fear! My aim is to make this journey easier for you, and today the focus is on one of my favourite skincare products: PEELS.

What are Peels?

It’s another form of mask (usually one you can leave for up to 30-minutes to overnight) that allows for deep exfoliation of the skin. Facial peels will remove the top layer of skin, meaning that it’ll get rid of any dullness or imperfections by exposing the newer skin to the surface.

Chemical peels are the most potent, and depending on the strength of the acid is how deep your skin will be exfoliated. The higher dose of acid, the greater chances of getting fantastic results.

What are Peels best for?

If your skin concerns are: aging, acne scars, melasma, and hyperpigmentation, then chemical peels are the best thing that could happen to your skin. The only downside? Do NOT sunbathe up to a week before or after a peel, and don’t forget your sunscreen!

Which Chemical Peels are best for you?

Oily skin – Salicylic acid based peel

Aging skin – Glycolic acid based peel

Dry skin – Mandelic acid based peel

Recommended Peel: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula

This peel visibly transforms your skin in just THREE days!

Benefits of this peel are:

  • firmer, smoother skin
  • smaller, tighter pores
  • a radiant, more even complexion

Key Ingredients: Glyconic Acid, Lactic Acid, Malic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Retinol, Resveratrol, Genistein, Chamomile, Green Tea, Phospholipids, Ubiquinone, and Vitamins A, C, E

Verdict: Dr. Dennis Gross’ peels come in two steps. The first step is a surface refiner, meaning that you apply this one to prepare your skin. You leave the product on for two minutes before applying step two, which is the deeper treatment. The deeper treatment is targeted to penetrate deeper into the pores, exfoliating and removing the top layer of skin. I usually use peels at night, so I can keep them on overnight, and wake up the following morning to brighter, smoother, and supple skin. If you’re in search of having the softest skin ever without blemishes, then I truly recommend a peel! And this one, in particular, is one of my favourites because it targets the majority of skin concerns: aging, dullness, and acne! So do your skin a favour, and treat yourself to a peel!

Price: $27.98 (5-count on amazon.com)

Frequency of Use: It’s usually recommended to do a peel at least once a week if you have problematic skin, but if you don’t, then even twice a month or once a month is enough to reveal brighter softer skin.

By: Azzurra Nox