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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Review: iUNIK Peeling Gel & Toners

I recently got contacted by the iUNIK team and they asked me if I'd like to try 3 of their products and of course I said yes, since I'm in perpetual search for my next holy grail skincare item. Most of their products contain ferments, which break me out, so I settled on the 3 products that don't contain ferments: Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner, Tea Tree Relief Toner, & Lime Moisture Mild Peeling Gel.

This is my usual skincare routine (I've added Vitabrid's Dual Serum to the routine since then):

Here are the items I replaced with the iUNIK products:

  • All Hada Labo serums
  • CosRX BHA toner
  • Holika Holika Lazy & Easy Smooth Egg Peeling Gel

Brief background on my skin, I'm very breakout prone and often combating terrible cystic acne. I have a really oily t-zone while being very dehydrated from within, and I'm also aging. Basically, my skin hates me.

For those of you who prefer watching to reading, here's the video review:

Lime Moisture Mild Peeling Gel

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Steartrimonium Methosulfate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Caprylyl Glycol,Allantoin, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Centella Asiatica Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita(Matricaria) Flower Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pentylene Glycol , Aspalathus Linearis Extract
Price: $12.99
This peeling gel is meant to be used right after you wash your face, on a dry face. Just slather this all over your face, wait 10 seconds, then start rubbing and watch all the dead skin rub off. I've been using peeling gels for several years now, and I credit them for getting rid of the frequent whiteheads I used to get.

This is definitely the harshest peeling gel I've ever tried. I got that squeaky clean feel on my face after I used this, and that feeling scares me since it usually means that whatever I'm using is way too harsh on my face. I have to wash my face multiple times before I stop feeling things peeling off my face. It doesn't hurt me, but it definitely scared me. I used this only 3x over 3 weeks, because I felt it was far too harsh.

I'm now using it for my body instead of my face instead. If your face isn't as delicate as mine, maybe this is a product you'll like, but my face is sensitive so it's not for me.

This product contains a lot of citrus extracts, which increases your photosensitivity, so be sure to wear sunscreen religiously and avoid excessive sun exposure if you're using this.

Tea Tree Relief Toner

Ingredients: Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Water, Centella Asiatica Leaf Water, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Water, 1,2-Hexanediol, Centella Asiatica Extract,Betaine, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Caprylyl Glycol, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract, Brassica Oleracea Capitata (Cabbage) Leaf Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Extract, Raphanus Sativus (Radish) Seed Extract, Allantoin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Powder, Ormenis Multicaulis Oil, Pentylene Glycol, Aspalathus Linearis Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract
Price: $21.99  

This is the first step after cleansing for me. I apply it to a cotton pad, and then wipe my entire face with it. I do think the ingredients are great, but I think it wasn't a good idea replacing CosRX's BHA with this. Thanks to my lack of BHA, I do notice that I ended up with way more blackheads and my pores seem to have gotten larger. I think this product is probably good, but I'm not sure how to squeeze it into my routine, especially since I really need CosRX's BHA. I'm thinking I'll just use it after I pop my pimples because it does contain a lot of soothing ingredients.

Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner

Ingredients: Sodium Hyaluronate, Water, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Trehalose, Caprylyl Glycol, Thuja Orientalis Leaf Extract, Zanthoxylum Schinifolium Leaf Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Pentylene Glycol, Aspalathus Linearis Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract 
Price: $21.99 

This product made me realize how AMAZING Sulwhasoo's First Care Activating Serum is. Without the First Care Activating Serum, this just doesn't work with the Tea Tree Relief Toner. At first, I tried applying this right after I've wiped my face down with the Tea Tree Relief Toner, patting it in like I would with any other toner. What happened was that it won't get aborbed, and created this sticky, foamy white stuff instead. I thought at first that I didn't wash my face wash off properly and that's where the foam was coming from, but after this consistently happened 3x in a row, I decided to try adding my Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum back into my routine. Lo and behold, the white foam disappeared. Turns out, I need the First Care Activating Serum to get my skin to absorb this.

This product is also extremely sticky, even with the First Care Activating Serum. The serum helps a lot though. If you watched my video, you can see how much the First Care Activating Serum reduces the stickiness at the 08:06 mark. I applied the First Care Activating Serum to half my face only, and you can see that the tissue on that half doesn't get stuck that long, compared to the tissue on the half without the serum.

So yeah, I guess I'm going back to my Hada Labo hyaluronic acid serums. They're more effectively absorbed by my skin AND cheaper as well. This iUNIK serum is $21.99 for 200 ml, while my 170ml bottle of Hada Labo costs about $14-17 depending on which country I buy it from. That makes it about $17-20 for 200ml. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Review & Recommendation: Vitabrid C¹²

If you watched my skincare routine video, you'll know that I looooovveee Vitabrid:

It's really the best. I thought I should write a review for those of you who prefer reading to watching. For those of you who prefer watching, here's the video review:

Anyway, full disclosure, the Vitabrid team sent me the Dual Serum, Dual Eye & Face Cream, and 3 boxes of sheet masks to try out. I've actually regularly purchased the Vitabrid FACE Brightening Powder on my own for more than a year, and I also bought a box of their anti-aging sheet masks on my own a few months before I got this offer.

Vitabrid  C¹² FACE Brightening Powder

I don't know if they rebranded this, but I could've sworn it just said Vitamin C powder when I first bought it. I've been using this for over a year now, and it's my holy grail skincare item. I've tried so many brands of Vitamin C products and this is my favourite by far.

So, Vitabrid has a patented Vitamin C formula that releases their Vitamin C continuously over a period of 12h instead of all at once, so your face is exposed to a constant dose Vitamin C 24/7 if you're using this twice a day, instead of just one huge dose, twice a day.

This comes in a powder form, which you can mix into any serum or moisturizer you're already using. Now, this is BRILLIANT, because here are the advantages of this powder form:

Keeps the Vitamin C stabilized

If you have a Vitamin C serum, you're actually supposed to use it up within 3 months, because Vitamin C oxidises and becomes less effective. I've even had my skin turn yellow from an old Vitamin C serum. This powder form lets you freshly mix your vitamin C right before you use it, so you get the most effective dose.

Less chances of a bad reaction

Sometimes, there are ingredients within a serum that we're allergic or sensitive too, and it's not even one of the active ingredients we want. It could be a fragrance, a preservative, or even a stabilizer. That's why it's awesome when we can incorporate this into a serum we know for sure we're not allergic to.

Cuts a step in you skincare routine

I use LOADS of serums (3) before my face oil, creams, masks, etc. The hard part about that kind of routine is that your face sometimes can't absorb that much products. Sure, my Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum helps me absorb a LOT more products, but being able to combine 2 steps into 1 really helps.

The only disadvantage to this powder version that I can think of is that some people may hate the idea of mixing your own serum every single time.

I found my skin ended up looking better on Vitabrid than any other Vitamin C product. Since I can mix it into Hada Labo –my favourite, holy grail, super comfortable hyaluronic acid serum–this is the most comfortable formula-wise too. And I'm not sure if I just got used to Vitamin C, but I've never experienced any stinging with this product, unlike with other products.

So far, everyone I've introduced this too have liked it, and I've bought a total of 11 bottles of this since I discovered it a year ago, just because people keep taking them from me. So now I make sure I always have spares.

Anyway, of course such an amazing product comes with a's expensive. $60 for 3g of product. 3g of product usually lasts me 2-3 months though, so I think the price isn't that bad.

Vitabrid  C¹² Dual Serum

This has vitamin C too, as well as peptides. Peptides are something I've been meaning to incorporate into my routine since they're awesome for anti-aging, so the offer from the Vitabrid team to try their peptide serum for free came at a right time. Now, one thing about peptides & vitamin C is that they're not that stable together and best used within a month after mixing. That's why this serum's design is brilliant. The serum comes in the form of a bottle where the vitamin C and peptides are kept separate. Twisting the bottom of the serum releases them into each other and you'll just have to shake to mix. Each bottle is meant to last you a month, and a pack of the dual serum comes with 3 bottles.

Ever since I started using this serum, I noticed that there were less tired looking photos when I take my selfies for instagram. I didn't realize how big of a difference this made to my skin, until I took a look at the picture I took before I started using the new Vitabrid products:

Yup, the change happened in just 45 days. My skin looks plumper and tighter.

This is now a forever item in my skincare, I need to buy more of it, I LOVE it.

Vitabrid  C¹² Dual Eye & Face Cream

So this is meant to be used as both a face cream and an eye cream. If you watched my skincare video, you may remember me raving about how my Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream EX is so awesome, it makes great eye creams look terrible because nothing can work the magic it works on my face. Seriously, once I switch to a different eye cream, the hollows under my eyes return. I've tried it with 4 different eye creams already and got the same results with all 4. Sulwhasoo is just that great. So I tried this as an eye cream without too much hope and....yup, the hollows under my eyes returned within 2 weeks. I don't think it says anything about Vitabrid's product, it's just that Sulwhasoo is wayyyyy too good.

As a face cream...unfortunately, it didn't work out for me. Now, the FACE Brightening Powder, Dual Serum, and Dual Eye & Face Cream all contain adenosine, adenosine is yeast derived, and yeast breaks me out. I knew this coming in, but I thought since I'm ok with the FACE Brightening Powder, Vitabrid may have manufactured a type of adenosine that doesn't break me out. So I went for it. And I broke out.

The breakout stopped when I discontinued this, but was still using the Dual Serum, so I think my face can handle a certain level of adenosine. Just the FACE Brightening Powder & Dual Serum is fine, but once I add this moisturizer, my face throws a tantrum and erupts in a bazillion pimples to show it.

I don't think I'm missing much though, because I don't really like the texture of this product –it feels heavy and greasy. My face has been spoiled by too many lightweight but effective moisturizers, so it feels really uncomfortable on my face. I'm now using it on my elbows and knees though, and they've gotten wayyy softer and smoother, so I do think it's relatively effective. Just not effective enough for me to tolerate the breakout or the greasiness.

Vitabrid  C¹² Sheet Masks

I got to try 3 types of sheet masks!

  • Peptibrid Dual Mask Brightening Luminous 
  • Peptibrid Dual Mask Soothing Balancing
  • Vitabrid Dual Mask Age-Defying Firming

Yes, these masks are awesome. I have no complaints quality-wise. They're extremely generous with this serums too, so I easily have enough leftover serum to coat almost my whole body. The catch is that these masks are about $35 for 5 pieces. $7/mask is still too expensive for me, especially when cheaper $1-3 masks still work just as well. I think I may see the need to splurge on these once I'm older, but at this moment, I don't think I'd splurge on them yet. Don't get me wrong, I love these. If someone offers to send me a lifetime supply of these with the condition that I wear one each day, I'd totally jump on the offer. But spending my own money? I need to make more first...

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Review: M.O.B Cosmetics (BAHASA)

Aku barusan nyoba Ulti-Matte Lip Cream & Luxury Faux lashes dari M.O.B Cosmetics! Ini review & swatches nya!