REVIEW: Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum

My interest of Dermalogica’s esspenssive Biolumin-C Serum peaked when I first tried it when I had a Dermalogica’s ProSkin30 Facial. I achieved the results below from cleansing, clay mask, toner, Biolumin-C, and a mositurizer with SPF.

proskin-facial-before-after
Gloals

My face felt very calm and comfortable for the rest of the day and I was stunned myself to see the before and after. Mind you, I was out dehydrating myself for my friend’s birthday the night before 😛

Before the ProSkin30 Facial began, I mentioned in my consultation that I was acne prone, normal to dry skin, concerned with hyperpigmentation from acne as well as preventative aging. One of the products the esthetician recommended to me was the Dermalogica Biolumin-C serum. Check out my Instagram multi-post where I took photos of my experience!

Dermalogica was kind enough to send me the Biolumin-C Serum as a gift, and I decided to give it a 2-week run to see if I would notice any noticeable benefits from it. If you’re interested in learning a bit about what it’s done for my acne prone, normal-dry skin, then keep on reading!


Product was sent as a gift, it was not sent for review purposes.
This post contains affiliate links. If you use the link to make a purchase, I will earn a small commission. Thank you if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.


BIOLUMIN-C

IMG_20181209_145308.jpg

“A high-performance Vitamin C serum that works with skin’s own defenses to brighten and firm. Advanced bio-technology fuses ultra-stable Vitamin C and Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, helping to dramatically reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Formulated with advanced technology to deliver more Vitamin C into skin. This superior formula outperforms other Vitamin C products (including those formulated at higher concentrations). Other key ingredients include Vitamin C Complex for brighter, firmer, more radiant skin, Lactic Acid to accelerate cell turnover, Sophora Japonica Flower Extract to help return skin to a calm state after experiencing oxidative stress, and Salvia Hispanica (Chia Seed) Oil to hydrate and help quench free radicals.

Price: $118 CAD
Size: 1oz
Gluten-Free
Vegan
No Artifical Fragrances and Colours
Paraben-Free
Cruelty-Free

WHERE TO BUY:
Dermalogica
Sephora
In-store at select retailers


INGREDIENTS

Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Lactic Acid, Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Extract, Sodium PCA, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5, Sophora Japonica Flower Extract, Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Trehalose, Polyacrylate-13, Propanediol, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Polyisobutene, Methylpropanediol, Carrageenan, Pentylene Glycol, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Limonene, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol

COSDNA IL

HIGHLIGHTED INGREDIENTS:

Lactic Acid (unknown %): exfoliant, humectant
Salvia Hispanica (Chia) Seed Extract: emollient, skin-replenishing, skin-restoring
Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5: skin-restoring
Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate (unknown %): antioxidant, texture enhancer
Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate (unknown %): antioxidant, skin-brightening

I haven’t been able to successfully find much online about Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phophsate or Ascorbyl Methylsilanol Pectinate, not even parroted information from other bloggers. Here are 2 links I found, feel free to share with me more info!

https://incidecoder.com/ingredients/aminopropyl-ascorbyl-phosphate https://www.futurederm.com/dr-brandt-power-dose-vitamin-c-serum-20-review/

Despite the lack of online information to us mere consumers, I’ve been informed by a Dermalogica esthetician that the bioavailability score of Biolumin-C is 21, compared to leading competitors with L-Ascorbic Acid rating at 7 and 9. In layman’s terms, it penetrates the skin better than the unknown competitors.


USAGE

First Week: Used in the morning only, used AHA toner every night with OTC Differin.
Second Week: Used morning and night, no BHA or AHA, with OTC Differin.

Fragrance: Light citrus scent. Possibly the Grapefruit Peel Oil in it. It is not strong at all and you only notice it for a second.

Texture: A runny type of serum but definitely on the more viscous side.

Application: I use almost half a dropper, placing on my forehead, cheeks, chin and neck. I make sure to massage the product all around my face and neck, and only the undereye area. I then tap the product in until it starts to feel tacky.

Finish: Tacky and moisturized.

Initial Results: Skin feels smoother, hydrated, bright, plump.

Long-Term Results (2 weeks): Spot on face (with Differin) faded. Spot on neck (without Differin) faded.


FINAL THOUGHTS

IMG_20181209_145147.jpg

I like it, but I’m confused. Is lactic acid doing majority of the work? It also helps smooth skin, make it brighter, and contribute to anti-aging skincare. Is it helping the Vitamin C derivative penetrate better? Although it might be highly stable, does it just sit on top of the skin? Also, for the price, it’s asking too much of me to apply half a dropper day and night!

Despite my confusion, the product is showing results. Every Dermalogica product I have used has bettered my skin, so I am open to it being an efficacious Vitamin C derivative. They like using ingredients with endless studies proving its benefits, but also try to create innovative products using phytobotanical ingredients. Their description of Biolumin-C alone states that they formulated the serum to help the Vitamin C become more bioavailable, but unfortunately I’m not a chemist and wouldn’t know how they began to do that.

Despite my skepticism, I overall am enjoying the Biolumin-C Serum. Face feels and looks smoother, brighter, feels moisturized, works with OTC Differin, and is able to heal spots on its own (the neck spot). I feel like it cut down some steps in my skincare routine; I can pretty much use just do Cleanser, Toner, Biolumin-C, Moisturizer, SPF and call it a day (until my nighttime routine, obvs).

If you’re interested in learning more about it, Dermalogica actually talked about it on their podcast called Living Skin. Check it out here!

Do I recommend? I would recommend if this would be your skincare routine’s star player in a fairly minimal routine, and you purchase during the Sephora VIB Sale lol.
Specific Skin-Type? I think all skin types would like this. Half a dropper may be too much for oily-skinned peeps though!

WHERE TO BUY:
Sephora
Dermalogica

Hope you found this review helpful!

xo, M


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Dynamic Duo? Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop & Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Face Mask

If you follow the Korean beauty scene, the latest skincare advice is to use vitamin C and vitamin E products together in your skincare routine. They have been talked about as a power couple and it is highly recommended to combine the two to really maximize both their skincare benefits.

The Benefits of Vitamin C and E Together

  • Boosting vitamin C effects on your skin
  • Protecting skin from sun damage
  • Neutralize any free radicals that occur after sun exposure
  • Help synthesize collagen
  • Maintain the cross-links between the collagen fibers

I happen to have two Klairs products that have been recommended to go together! Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop and Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask.

IMG_3239 (2)

The Controversy Combining Niacinamide with Vitamin C

If you noticed on the Vitamin E Mask, niacinamide is one of the key ingredients. Some beauty companies advise consumers not to pair any niacinamide to vitamin C products; both combined will neutralize the other, rendering both ingredients ineffective in your skincare routine.

The only time I have heard otherwise:

  • Charlotte Cho from Soko Glam state that Niacinamide actually helps stabilize vitamin C and they’re very safe to use together
  • Paula Begoun explaining that old studies on their incompatibility were due to using unstable formulas, and today’s studies show the formulations they test with today are stable
  • Wishtrend conflicted itself; they had a youtube video saying to not combine the two ingredients together, yet on their Vitamin E Mask page, it describes how Niacinamide helps stabilize vitamin C and its own benefits are enhanced when combined

I’ve been using these 2 products as part of my night time skincare routine for a few months now, and I feel comfortable enough to finalize my thoughts on these products and how they work together.

To piece this review nicely, I’m going to start by individually reviewing the products and finalize my thoughts by how they perform together at the end. Also, because I’m reviewing two products, I didn’t include the section on claims and ingredients list, but I left links down below for you to check it out yourself.
Read More »

January 2018 Roundup

Below are 5 products I’ve been using a lot and liking in January, as well as products I managed to finish during the month! I decided to start a post series called “Roundup” so I not only talk about recent favourites, but to encourage myself (and hopefully you) to use up your current products! As a beauty junkie, it’s easy to collect and not use. I’m trying to change this habit and stop holding onto products that I know I can just buy again.

Read More »

REVIEW: Cosrx Clear Fit Blemish Cushion #23 Natural Beige

StyleKorean sent me the Cosrx Clear Fit Blemish Cushion (shade #23 natural beige) to try out back in September. Despite posting a selfie with the product, I didn’t publish a review at the time because I couldn’t get over it not being my skin colour. I ended up wearing other products to match me so I put this cushion on hold until it was the middle of winter (which it is now) when I have a better chance at matching the product. I love Cosrx, they’re a very affordable and effective Korean cosmetics brand that really cater to us needy acne-prone skin peeps. So I was really happy to get a chance to review Cosrx’s first makeup product and share my thoughts with you now!

This post is unsponsored.
Product was sent for review purposes.
This post contains affiliate links. This means if you use this link to make a purchase, I make a small commission. Thanks for your support if you decide to use them! If you feel uncomfortable, feel free to google a new link.

All thoughts are my own, always. *casts doe patronus*


Description

“The cushion that not only covers acne prone skin but also calms and soothes

1. Contains trouble care and soothing essences to treat sensitive skin all the while providing excellent coverage

2. Provides perfect coverage to leave your skin looking flawless

3. Trouble & Acne Scarring Coverage + Calming + Care

4. Specialized for sensitive, acne-prone skin

Suggested Use:
Pat lightly over your skin using the enclosed puff
Active Ingredients:
Centella Asiatica Extract, Tea Tree Oil”
 Ingredients List:IMG_20180117_142339.jpg
Centella Asiatica Leaf Water: 2nd ingredient (21%)
Niacinamide: 9th ingredient (2%)
Tea Tree Oil: 22nd ingredient
Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract: 25th ingredient (50ppm)
$24 USD (~$30 CAD) 15g/0.52oz

Packaging and Amount

I really like the packaging. Soft square outline, sleek, and with a nice big mirror! If anything, the packaging does show off your finger prints rather quickly, but that’s only a concern for those that need to take photos of the product (like myself).
IMG_3044
The puff is pretty standard. The website says the part for the fingers is a little bigger than a usual puff. I personally like puffs, for they’re so effective at applying any complexion product evenly and doesn’t soak any of it up. Using a puff is also how you should ALWAYS apply cushion foundation by the way.
Now onto the 15g/0.52oz of product. This is a very standard amount in cushion foundations, but it does automatically give an “aww” feeling to those of us that know that a regular foundation is just over double that! Higher brands like Laneige offer a refill, so it’s a bit disappointing purchasing this wont. However I’ll touch on the amount in a bit as we continue on.

Testing the Product

Application

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For the love of Lee Min-Ho, do not press too hard into the compact. I did this the first time I used it and not only ended up with a full af coverage and cake face, I had a ton of product leftover on the puff that I could not put back into the compact! Light, minimal presses is key to making this cushion look REALLY good.

Coverage

(Lighting is altering colour of product. It doesn’t make my skin look darker by any means, it actually makes me look paler. This is one light layer applied)
Coverage is surprisingly and pleasantly natural. By that I mean, you can definitely get medium to full coverage, and it won’t look like you’re wearing product. Every time I used this cushion and asked my boyfriend or friends how my makeup looks, they could never tell I was wearing foundation.

FinishIMG_3057

The website again says matte, but I can’t agree. It’s satin finish at best. And I find saying matte will mislead the oily ones to think that this will be matte for a while. No no. You will get to dewville very fast while wearing this product! Although the product covers well even as it becomes dewy, this doesn’t help out my pores. At first it looks like it blurs them nicely but as the day goes on that look doesn’t last. It’s not like they look that awful, but it doesn’t look any better than what they originally look like. This also emphasizes dry patches off the bat. It’s particularly noticeable between my eyes!

Colour

23# natural beige is a very close match to the palest I can get, and this winter got me looking quite pale! When I originally tried this product I was definitely a medium skin tone, so the contrast of my face and everything else was too great. Hence, why it took so long for me to review this product! I wasn’t happy with the colour and I felt it unfair to judge that part of it because it was clear that it couldn’t blend into my skin properly. Now that I fall in the range of light in foundation shades, this colour matches my face spot on! I’m happy to see no funky kinda undertone *cough GREY* and it doesn’t make my skin look too white that there’s still significant contrast to my body.

Wear

Without powder or setting spray, and not doing many daily things, this will last a solid 8 hours on your face. That’s like a school/work day so it is a pass for me in longevity. Once it decides to actually fade, you can’t really tell on places where there is one layer of product. I put an extra layer on my chin (most problematic area), and I could tell by the end of the wear test that I had extra product in that area. I felt like I had a foundation goatee!

Extra Notes

Application for dry skin slightly problematic:
  • will cling to dry patches
  • reapplication will emphasize it more
  • using a setting powder will REALLY emphasize dryness
Oily skin problems / dewy problems:
  • This cushion becomes super dewy, you will be doing check-ups quite frequently.
  • It may fade faster, since it faded on my dry skin in time.
  • It doesn’t emphasize texture. It may emphasize the big bumps on your skin if you have, in which case, I would really precisely set certain areas to make sure that isn’t the case.

Between humid to dry weather, it’ll last longer in drier weather. It doesn’t look like you’re melting in humid weather, but if you’ll be outside all day, expect to touch-frequently.


Overall Opinion

IMG_3040

Despite the 15g of product, a little goes a long way with application to get good coverage. I’m also this shade for a certain period of time until I fall into the light-medium/medium range again, so it’ll last me the time I need it. Also, I personally pay $40-$60 CAD for foundation in general, so the price isn’t too awful for me.
I feel like the skincare ingredients actually worked. Any redness I have before applying the cushion is gone by the time I do my skincare routine. It doesn’t make a huge difference on my pimples, but it’s always a plus when a complexion product doesn’t contribute to clogged pores or exacerbating the problems of your current acne!
It still looks natural despite the medium to full coverage. I’m always aiming to look as natural as possible when applying makeup, so I feel like for anyone who has more acne than I do will be really happy with that!
Overall, the Cosrx Clear Fit Blemish Cushion is like a Monet: from far away it looks okay, but up close, it’s just a huge mess (please get my Clueless reference).
By this description I mean, it looks really good at a distance; makeup doesn’t look melted, I have a nice natural dew going on, and my skin still looks like my skin despite the medium to full coverage.
However, up close is where all the issues I have with this cushion. It really emphasizes my dry patches. As the day progresses, and my T-zone naturally gets oily, the product just remained in my pore area and everywhere else it disappeared. Also, when I layered the product on my chin, my most red and problematic area, it looked like I had a foundation beard at the end of the day and you could tell that you’re using something to cover up.
Despite the natural medium to full coverage, good colour match and undertone, and not aggravating my pimples, I can’t bring myself to want to buy this. The knitty gritty of how the cushion foundation looks bothers me too much. Part of me thinks it’s just not good for my age, because my skin seems to show more problems if I wear something with heavier coverage. If you’re younger than me (I’m 27 as I write this), this most likely will look better on you.

It’s quite a bit of a summary, but I do hope this review helps you decide whether or not the Cosrx Clear Fit Blemish cushion is something you’d want to buy!

Where you can buy the Cosrx Clear Fit Blemish Cushion:

StyleKorean

VIDEO VERSION:

 I hope this review helped you out! Let me know in the comments below if you recommend any other cushions for us acne-prone peeps!
xo, M

BEST OF BEAUTY 2017: MAKEUP

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Another year, another round up of beauty products I have loved for 2017! And by love I mean… When I think about these products, it gives me the glo on the inside. I’ve actually discovered so many products in 2017, the skincare round up is a different post all-together! I don’t think it’s possible for me to live minimally. So much to try, not enough faces!

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