HAIRCARE HAUL: She’s a big one!

Hey everyone!

I haven’t done a hair specific post before, but I’d thought no better time then now since I bought a LOT of items to improve my scalp and hair.

I’ve tried every single product listed below, but will wait another month to give them proper reviews. All you have to know for now is I’ve been getting positive comments on how my hair has been looking! My friend says it visibly looks smoother, my mother even noticed it looks thicker and fuller, particular at the front, and I’ve noticed my hair feels super soft despite having bleached/dyed ends.

My hair:  Long (underboob length). Dark brown that gets natural highlights in the summer, tips are dyed because I’ve been growing out my natural hair – haven’t dyed my hair since December 2017. Pretty much straight 24/7 – although when I get a haircut there is a slight wave. Would say mostly my hair is 1A. Low porosity. Not thick like typical Asian hair but still considered thick (if that makes sense).

My Scalp: Used to be super inflamed when I bleached for years, to the point where I developed a disgusting amount of dandruff. Now it is fairly balanced – no dandruff, but scalp gets itchy by the 2nd day after washing. Scalp can get quite oily. I tried “adjusting” to wash my hair only 1-2x a week for a year and it never adjusted (yes, even without using heat, using SLS and silicone-free shampoo / conditioners, dry shampoo).


CALIA NATURAL

IMG_20190606_164856.jpg

Broken record intro, yes, I heard about this from Holistic Habits lol.

I actually contacted Calia Natural customer service because they actually have such a huge selection of products, catered to any hair type! After explaining to them my current scalp and hair situation, they recommended for me the Purifying line for dry hair, the Balancing line, and to do a conditioning mask every so often. I opted for the smallest sizes of their Purifying Shampoo, Balancing Conditioner, and Intensive Conditioner. I’ve used these a handful of times and holy moly, my hair feels AMAZING. I’m no stranger to SLS-free, silicone-free shampoos and such. I’ve actually been using them for years. I think the biggest standout about their products is that they are attentive to the pH of their products. Their shampoos are around pH 5.5 (like the scalp) and conditioners around pH 4.5 (like the hair shaft). I am VERY impressed with these products so far, and totally get the hype around them.


THE INNATE LIFE + HASK

IMG_20190606_165101.jpg

This brand has also been mentioned by Holistic Habits, but it was actually OrganicallyAnna’s review that convinced me to give this the Innate Life a go. I purchased their small bundle which contains their Scalp Treatment for Problematic Scalp, Herbal Hair Mask and Rose Hair Elixir. I have had an irritated scalp for years, and have always bought serums to help. Not once however, did I ever intently massage my scalp, or did I ever use something so oil-based for it before! I tried coconut oil in the past and honestly w-t-f is the point if I need to do 2-4 shampoos to get it out!? So far though the Scalp Treatment has been fairly easy to wash out, and very enjoyable to use! I love the scent of the Herbal Hair Mask, but it performs kinda meh; I’ll have to try it in different ways to see how it performs best.

IMG_20190606_165113.jpg

Usually for hair oils, silicone always performs the best for me, hence why I purchased an amazingly affordable one from Hask – their Monoi Nourishing Shine Oil. I love how a small amount goes a long way and makes my bleached, dyed ends feels soft. However, I am equally as impressed and more obsessed with the smell from the Innate Life’s Rose Hair Elixir. O-M-G, yes, you smell like roses for majority of the day if you use this in your hair. Both hair oils have great scents actually, not super strong, quite subtle, but I prefer the natural scent from the Rose Hair Elixir.


BEACH COSMETICS

IMG_20190606_165136.jpg

After giving spot-on recommendations, I trusted OrganicallyAnna with another one of her favourites, Beach Cosmetics Mellow Out Leave-In Conditioning Detangler. After having horrid results from using Carina Organics Sweet Pea Leave-In Conditioner, I steered clear from leave-in conditioners for a while. I tried a sample-size of the Briogeo one and actually seemed decent, but I opted to support a more local brand made by a Canadian actress! I’ve used this detangler the least amount of times compared to the other products, but I still enjoyed using it the couple of times I did! It’s a lovely fine spray, leaves my hair actually detangled, feeling soft, and smelling like a cookie! It’s a bit too faux-fragranced for my liking, yet I can’t stop smelling my hair and feeling delicious. Either way while it’s in my hair it’s not overpowering and I don’t smell it unless I willingly sniff my hair (admittedly more often than usual). I may consider the Briogeo one in the future but for now I’m happy with the one I just got!


TEK BRUSHES + KITSCH

00100dPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20190606184256814_COVER.jpg

The only tools / accessories purchased in this haul! I feel like almost every channel I watched, TEK Brushes were ALWAYS mentioned! And on top of that, I haven’t found a brush that looks quite like it (well, I did, but the quality was poo-poo). I caved and bought TEK’s Oval Brush, which I have been loving! Basically a wooden brush is supposed to help massaging your scalp, help distribute your natural oils throughout your hair strands, and not cause a lot of breakage to your hair when brushing. So far the head massages have been nice and gentle, and I can’t really tell if the “oil distribution” part is doing much. Either way this brush definitely performs and is great quality! As for the Kitsch Microfiber Hair Towel Wrap – I like how microfiber absorbs a lot of water from my hair, for this has helped reduce the amount of heat I use significantly! I already had a microfiber cloth, but Kitsch offered a turban towel so I had to get it. I’m happy to report that it fits all my hair easily!

Honourable Mention: Revlon One-Step Dryer and Volumizer. Check out my Instagram post on it if you want to know more about why I love this tool!


And that’s that for the haul! I’m going to attempt to explain my haircare routine in the future, and I’ll be reviewing some of the products at a later date (I’m thinking July, since some of these products are made by Canadians!).

xo, M

WINTER 2019 EMPTIES

I should’ve had this post live back in March when it was the first day of “Spring”, but here we are! I completed my Roundup 2018 Series, and I thought for the year of 2019 I’ll section off my Empties and Current Favourites posts by season. Here are my first set of empties from January 1, 2019 – March 20, 2019!

IMG_20190420_182545.jpg


DISCLOSURE

Some products are PR samples, and are indicated down below. This post contains affiliate links. If you use this link to make a purchase, I make a small commission. Thank you if you decide to use it! If you don’t feel comfortable, feel free to google a new link.


SKINCARE EMPTIES

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser

Marcelle Gentle Makeup-Remover for Sensitive Eyes

Uriage Thermal Water

La Roche Posay Serozinc Purifying Mist

Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner (PR Sample)

Avene Skin Recovery Cream Riche

Weleda Almond Soothing Hand Cream (PR Sample)

Weleda Skin Food

IMG_20190420_181709.jpg

MAKEUP

Koji Dollywink Liquid Eyeliner

Saint Cosmetics Lucky Stiff Black Mascara (Discontinued)

IMG_20190420_182654.jpg

HAIRCARE

Acure Dry Shampoo (PR Sample)

Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo

Aveda Clove Color Conditioner

Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo

Bumble and Bumble Gentle Shampoo

Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Sea Salt Mini

Christophe Robin Cleansing Volumizing Paste Mini

Christophe Robin Color Fixator Wheat Germ Mask


Hope you enjoyed the video!

xo, M

BEST OF BEAUTY 2018: Makeup

2018 flew by so freaking fast! It’s been a personal journey for me, but let’s reflect on the interesting stuff: MAKEUP! Below are the ones that hit me in the feels when I use it (I mean that in the best of ways). I understand the product, I look forward to using them, and I trust them.


BASE

mu-faves-18-base

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream (Medium) – One of the best Western CC Creams that I have tried to date. Provides great coverage, literally makes it look like my skin but better, lasts a long time. It’s no surprise that it’s one I favour, for it’s made in Korea, the place where BB Creams became heavily popularized! I do sometimees notice my face looking paler than usual when using this, but it’s in the off lighting that you’ll barely catch me under xP

MAC Cosmetics Studio Face & Body Foundation (C2) – A great reach for when you literally want just a tint. The base is on the glowier side, so I find this more suitable for the winter time when my skin is more susceptible to looking lack-luster. I also found the coverage of this tint buildable compared to other ones I’ve tried.

MUFE Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage Foundation (Y305 Soft Beige) – She is found – a natural looking, buildable, matte-satin foundation for DRY skin. Here’s the catch – the matte look doesn’t last that long, but it wears the way I want it to for a night out, which is when I tend to reach for this. I’ve worn it for a whole day and it will get quite dewy, but heck, the finish is there when it matters most and it’s been a while since I’ve been so comfortable wearing a foundation. Since it is buildable, I can also use this to spot conceal as well. It’s not 100% non-transferrable, but definitely better than when I used to use Too Faced Born This Way Foundation!

Pixi Beauty H2O Skin Tint (No. 3 Warm) – One of the better drugstore complexion finds I have found to date. It’s not orange, it’s an actual undertone. It always gives me a lovely satin finish, with a slight blurring effect.

mu-faves-18-base-spray

Pixi Beauty Makeup Fixing Mist – At first the heavy fragrance in this turned me off, but it’s so damn good that I put up with it. Before makeup, it gives my skin a great healthy glow without looking oily, and really diffuses the texture I’m concerned with on my forehead. After makeup, gets rid of the dry, powdery look if I did overpowder.

I encourage you to check out my previous posts if any categories are missing. Like I said, I only include the ones that really hit me in thefeels the year I discovered it!


EYE AREA

mu-faves-18-mascara

Heroine Make Volume & Curl Mascara (Super Waterproof, 01 Jet Black) – Black, waterproof, buildable. I can wear it for a natural look, and build it up when I do a more eyeshadow heavy look. Seriously, the Japanese know what to do with mascaras!

Anastasia Beverley Hills Soft Glam Palette – Hands down most used palette this year. I was really fond of using Orange Soda, Burnt Orange, and Sienna this year, all year long. Lately I’ve been loving a brown smokey eye!


CHEEK

mu-faves-18-cheeks

Clinique Cheek Pop (Melon Pop) – So glad to have given cheek pops a try, and I was lucky enough to first pick out my favourite daily blush! I’ve watched Korean MUAs use them for its water-colour type finish. And they were right! It adds a beautiful hue to the cheeks and lasts.

mu-faves-18-cheek-swatches

Winky Lux Strobe Balm (Lit) – I actually like this better than RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer! While that one is natural, the WL one is thinner, hence easier for me to use on top of any base. It’s also more dimensional and I find it works as a nice base for other highlighters.


LIPS

mu-faves-18-lips

Bubz Beauty Liquid Lipstick (Girl Next Door) – The best neutral pink lip product I have come across. I can make it work with a warm and cool look, and it doesn’t make my lips look pasty or buttholey.

mu-faves-18-lip-swatches
Left to right: Shu Uemura “S RD 150”, Bubz “Girl Next Door”

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Sheer Shine Liptisck (S RD 150) – The perfect hot pink colour! Love that it leans warm, and you can wear it sheer or really build the colour. It really moisturizes my lips and I never have problems wearing it for the whole day. I’ve been searching for this colour for so long!


 

makeupfaves2018look

And there you have it, my makeup faves from 2018!! If I didn’t mention a product in a specific category, check out my previous “Best of” posts, I’m most likely still using the same stuff! In the selfie above, I used all products I mentioned (except 3/4 foundations… Cause you know, I only have so much face). List of products used are already captioned in my Instagram post.

Hope you have had an amazing 2018, and 2019 has been treating you well so far! Stay tuned for the Best of Skincare!

xo, M


BEST OF BEAUTY 2017: MAKEUP
The Best of Beauty 2016


*This post contains affiliate links.

December 2018 Roundup – I DID IT!

*clap clap clap* I have somehow managed to do a roundup for every month this year, and use up a ton of products along the way! Here are my favourites and empties for December, and stay tuned for the Beauty of Beauty posts!


Favourites

IMG_20190116_151956.jpg

Skincare

Cerave Baby Healing Ointment – The regular one isn’t available in Canada, but I swear these have similar ingredients! This is my current go-to occlusive for around my eyes, smile area and any dry spots (let’s be real – my entire face). It has 45% petroleum, mineral oil, as well as *drumroll* CERAMIDES! You guessed it lol. Basically this is less greasy to use compared to straight up Vaseline (although still greasy) and is easier to thin out or mix with my moisturizer.

Tools

Sephora Pro-Diffuser Brush #64 – Another solid recommendation from my friend. This brush is the best complexion brush I have ever used. MAC Face and Body, MUFE Matte Velvet, cream blush. powder blush, general blending… Bless this brush, for it does everything!


Empties

IMG_20190116_151752.jpg

Skincare

Benzagel 5 Acne Wash – One of the best BP products I’ve ever used. It was really gentle when I used it, lasted WAY longer than expected, and worked well with OTC Differin.
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment – Love it more than the Phytopolleine I had prior. It worked fairly quickly at balancing my scalp, and I actually found I didn’t have a need for it until I *unbalanced* it with other hair products I’ve been trying. Will probably repurchase this.

CNP Brightening Daily Fluid Sun Essential Fluid Formula SPF50+ PA++++ – Loved it when I first bought it because of how milky it was. However near it’s end it seemed to pill on my face a LOT! Also I can’t rely find a reliable link even if I wanted to repurchase.

Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum * – After much reflection on all the Vitamin C serums I have tried this year, I have concluded that this was the best one. Mainly because it benefitted my skin in a variety of ways, and the one major con is the price.
REVIEW: Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel * – Holy cow, this took so long to finish, I actually used it in the morning as well. I got this back in October 2017 And pretty much used it every night since (aside from testing other stuff). A little went a long way and despite the price you really do get the full value of this cleanser!

Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream 30ml – You all know I purchased the 60ml size, ’nuff said.
BRAND REVIEW: Dear, Klairs

Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream – This moisturizer will always have a special place in my heart. The only moisturizer I  could rely on when my skin was Going from oily to dry while still breaking out from getting off of BC.


HAPPY NEW YEAR, 60+ EMPTIES LATER.


TOTAL EMPTIES

January – 4
February – 4
March – 6
April – 5
May – 4
June – 5
July – 3
August – 7
September – 10
October & November – 7
December – 7

62 MO’FREAKIN’ PRODUCTS! I know my bf helped me with some, but majority of them were on my own damn face! Keep in mind I didn’t purchase all these products, some were gifts and PR.

For 2019, I’m really going to try being more diligent at using up products I have before purchasing another one. I thought I was doing pretty good, but receiving PR that I care to use after review makes it difficult.

Hope you enjoyed my Roundup series! This year I may just do current favourites and empties based on the season so the video is more focused on a topic. Stay tuned for my Best of Beauty 2018 posts, they are almost done!

xo, M


*  This post contains affiliate links.

My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018

Please read my “skincare announcement” monologue before reading this post!
I’m Finally Sharing my Current Skincare Routines 2018

Breakdown
1. Makeup Removal / Double Cleanse
2. Acne Treatment
3. Hydrators
4. Double Moisturize
5. Main Active


1. MAKEUP REMOVAL / DOUBLE CLEANSE

IMG_20180816_143541.jpg

Double Cleansing is a MUST in my nighttime routine. I first noticed skin improvements from this step alone, especially since I used to wear a cake-ton of makeup back in my early 20s.

I’m surprised with the Marcelle Gentle Make-Up Remover for Sensitive Eyes. Gentle really is all-encompassing with this. Just a quick shake and a squirt on a cotton round removes the most waterproof Japanese mascara I own with one cotton pad, doesn’t make my eyesight blurry, doesn’t leave a residue, or feel like anything for that matter after I use it.

At the top of the list, the eye makeup remover contains a few solvent-emollient ingredients such as Isododecane, Isohexadecane, Isopropyl Palmitate – ingredients that help dissolve makeup without stripping the eye area’s sensitive skin.

This eye makeup remover has been highly recommended by a few Canadian Bloggers, and I see why they love it and go back to it. It doesn’t add or subtract from my skincare (aside from makeup), so there’s really not much to it. It just works!

After I remove my eye makeup, I start off with my first 1st Cleanse using the Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm *. I only need a pea-sized amount to cover my entire face. Despite it’s thick consistency, it spreads easily and gently emulsifies after wetting your fingers.

The main oils in this product are Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, and Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil – definitely explains it’s thicker consistency and why my face feels so soft after I rinse it off! I can see why Dermalogica advertises it as a makeup remover for drier skin types.

Even with such nourishing oils, my skin doesn’t feel like it has any residue after I wash the rest of the balm off. It also comes with a silicone mitt which is REALLY nice to use with the PreCleanse Balm, but I’ve opted for my fingers to be as gentle as possible because of the actives I use in this routine.

For the 2nd cleanse, I also use a pea-size amount of the Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel * .

It contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, and Quillaja Saponaria Bark Extract –  surfactants and foaming agents that effectively clean skin. The foam that is actually creates is so small, and my skin feels like it’s softening as I continuously massage the Special Cleansing gel into my skin.

This is probably my favourite step in my entire nighttime routine. It’s gentle to use, my skin feels softer as I use it, and I notice my skin looking slightly brighter. Even when my sister used it, she liked it so much she bought the big bottle of it! The one downside would be that if you take too long to apply your other skincare products, your skin will definitely feel a tad dry. But this is avoided easily by following suit with my skincare products while my skin is slightly damp. I’m actually on the fence of whether or not to continue with Cerave’s Hydrating Cleanser once I’m done with Dermalogica’s Special Cleansing Gel, because I really like this cleanser too!
I tried Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse Routine ft. the PreCleanse Balm


2. ACNE TREATMENT

IMG_20180816_143557.jpg

Nighttime is the best time to go in with a stronger acne treatment, that way whatever irritation or redness I get will only be at night.

Benzagel 5 Acne Wash is probably the best Benzoyl Peroxide product I have tried. The ingredients are no nonsense and you only need a small amount to effectively treat your face.

As the name suggests, it has 5% Benzoyl Peroxide, a very effective ingredient at killing acne bacteria quickly, and doesn’t pose the problem of bacterial resistance with continued use. I opted for the wash form that Benzagel offers because washes tend to be gentler than treatments, but just as effective if you use it long enough.

I use about a nickely to quarter-size amount and make sure I properly massage it evenly on my entire face, concentrating on my breakout prone areas. I do this for a couple of minutes until I rinse it off. I’m surprised for a small bottle it is still going! If I use it for too long I do notice my face becomes slightly drier, but most definitely nothing as severe as what I experienced in the past.

After doing this step for just over a month, I reintroduced acid toning into my routine, alternating with the wash. Since I am using Differin, I didn’t know what to expect in terms of irritation, so I stopped using my ByWishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water * until I felt confident enough to incorporate it back into my routine. I can’t do without an acid toner because nothing works faster when it comes to smoothing out the texture on my skin.

As the name suggests, it contains 5% Mandelic Acid, the largest molecule and considerably gentler acid in the AHA family. It also helps with breakouts because Mandelic Acid is supposedly slightly lipid-permeable (don’t quote me on this).

Although I haven’t experienced heavy sensitization to my skin, I do notice that my skin is slightly more sensitive to this acid toner than it was prior to Differin. (Note: I stopped using this toner because I have been testing out a hyped up one that I will be reviewing soon. I’ll finish up this one once I’m done the testing period.)
REVIEW | [ByWishtrend] Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water


3. HYDRATORS

IMG_20180707_183504.jpg

This step is the same as my morning routine! I’ll just be linking my morning routine here so I don’t repeat myself. This step is just as essential at night as it is morning, so I’m happy the products come in decent sizes at fairly affordable prices.


4. MOISTURIZE

IMG_20180816_143637.jpg

Again, very similar to my morning. While my face is still tacky, I go in with Hada Labo’s Perfect Gel, following with Mad Hippie’s Eye Cream. But to seal everything in, I follow up with a heavier moisturizer like the Cerave Moisturizing Cream.

I would typically finish off my nighttime skincare with an oil, but because I am using a retinoid, I opt for a heavier moisturizer to counteract the dryness from it. So far, it’s been working! Of course, Cerave’s Moisturizing Cream contains Ceramides, helping to moisturize and assist with my skin’s barrier function. It also contains petrolatum making it slightly more occlusive.

Despite how much thicker it is, this has never caused congestion! My boyfriend even uses it as his daily moisturizer. A bonus is you get a big tub of it and you don’t need a lot for it to work.


5. MAIN ACTIVE

IMG_20180816_143658.jpg

I’m glad I moisturize my skin well beforehand, because I do get quite dry with Differin. So far I have been using it for over a month and I can say I have seen some results. I have stopped using an exfoliating toner to make sure before I brought it back into my routine!

Differin contains 0.1% Adapalene, a retinoid specifically targeted for the treatment and prevention of acne. It is supposed to be more tolerant than its big brother, Tretinoin.

Although I apply this on top of my moisturizer, I find it still has shown results in the month or more that I’ve been using it. I have not gotten a huge cyst from the Crimson Wave (unless I really don’t maintain consistency), my skin looks smoother even without layers of hydrating product, and my hyperpigmentation is lightening up on my cheeks and under my jaw. I tried using it before my hydration step, and I just find my skin looks more red, gets dry really fast, and I don’t feel as satisfied with my skincare. I’m going to continue using Differin as the last step in my routine, and keeping Vitamin A as a constant active in my nighttime routine in general after I run out of Differin.


This nighttime routine has been working great for me, and I am so happy I’ve been seeing results. Paired with my morning routine, I can’t remember the last time or if I EVER felt so content with my skincare routine, enjoyed everything about it, AND saw results.

I really hoped my routines helped you out!

Be sure to check out my AM Routine: My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018

xo, M

If you want to see the texture of the products and in action:


This post contains affiliate links.
DISCLAIMER, PR, AFFILIATES