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How long does it take to do a multi-step Korean beauty product routine? A lot less time than I thought, as it turns out. Gone are the old days of lazy 20+ minute AM routines, where I could leisurely apply layers of products between answering emails and sipping my coffee.

My AM routine now consists of potty dancing in front of my mirror as I slap on products while my puppy chirps and whines to be let out of her crate. It's easy to slap on a bunch of products as fast as possible, but it's trickier to have them absorb in time for your sunscreen to safely adhere to your face.


It's fast, it's fervent, it's done on a full bladder: it's my 3 minute and 47 second K-Beauty morning routine

It's also as hot and humid AF right now, which means my sunscreen wants to slide into my eyes as soon as I step out the door, resulting in me staggering around my yard trying to wipe my burning, streaming eyes like a freshly maced frat boy. I need my products in place and locked down against the summer heat, and that's a lot harder to do in the time it takes for the puppy to lose patience and start chewing her bed.

In this post:
  • It's all in the timing; a simple change made a big difference
  • Which 6 steps are necessities
  • A full face with +2 minutes extra

Trying to get all this stuff done in stages, in between her AM potty break and AM playtime, just wasn't working for me. Instead of popping outside in a hat, doing the thing, and zipping back indoors for my next step, anything less than a fully ready face resulted in me chasing her around the yard trying to dig rocks, sticks, and occasionally my shoe out of her mouth, without sun protection. Hat + chasing down a speedy tinydog = unplanned sun exposure.

Necessity was the mother of inventing a workable AM routine so fast I decided to time it to see just how long it took for me to roll out the door, ready for puppy potty & playtime in the summer sun.

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You know those shops that you always have on your radar, yet somehow never purchase from? That was me with Beautytap (née W2Beauty); it's been around for years, quietly part of the Korean-based shop landscape, a site I'd often check for new releases but ultimately bail on my cart, usually due to the high price tags and lack of distinction from the many other options I had for buying K-Beauty.

That changed when W2Beauty changed; all of a sudden they started doing smart things like bringing on top K-Beauty bloggers (like Coco Park of The Beauty Wolf and Sheryll of The Wanderlust Project) for their new Editorial section. Instead of the usual thinly veiled "advertorial" in-house blogs run by shops to shill their wares, they started publishing original content that was good, written by people who knew what they were talking about.

W2Beauty was always legit, but once it turned into Beautytap it seriously upped its game, and I started plotting out my second order before I even received the first.

Once this SWS water went on sale, it was tiiiiiiime

They also hired people who knew K-Beauty; they brought on Fiddy Snails (of Fifty Shades of Snail and The Snailcast podcast) who unleashed terrible things upon the unsuspecting K-Beauty community, like daily flash sales of fancy products that gave me flares of grabby-handitis and made my wallet weep.

All sorts of products that I'd regulated to the "if I ever won the lottery" wishlist are now regularly appearing in their daily deals, and I need Snesus because they're trying to kill me.

This was some friendly fire, y'all.

In this post:
  • Am I affiliated with Beautytap?
  • Shopping experience: pros, cons, & why I'll continue to shop there
  • Swatch & first impressions: Peripera Ink Airy Velvet #10 Dry Rose Brown
  • Swatch & first impressions: Sulwhasoo Essential Balancing Water EX

You might wonder why I'd bother doing something as old-hat as a haul post/shop review, but 1. the world always needs more swatches, and 2. there's a lot more to say about a haul from Beautytap that I definitely want to cover. Plus, hanbang. Haaaannnbaaaangggg.
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You know what I should be doing daily? Washing my face with something other than puppy slobber and the occasional half-hearted swipe of BHA exfoliant on a cotton square. Somehow, though, that hasn't quite always worked out as I planned, much like my plans to raise a perfectly trained, polite dog that doesn't jump on people's faces to greet them and isn't plotting diabolical schemes to procure bits of steak on demand.

That had quite a bit to do with why I'm reviewing the Make P:rem Safe Me Relief Moisture Cleansing Foam, but I'll get to that shortly.


Sure it says it's pH 5.5, but is it really? We've been mislead and our wallets waylaid before.

As it turns out, puppy slobber can be pretty irritating, or perhaps it's just the combination of noncon puppy tongue baths + the winter elements when it's 11pm and -18C** and you're outside huddled in your jacket chanting "go potty, go potty" like some sort of scatologically-obsessed cult member. Wind chapping is no joke, I'd almost forgotten what real winter weather is like after a decade outside Canada.

**That's just below zero Fahrenheit for my non-metric peeps out there.

It turns out that skin savaged by winter like the twitterstorm that obliterated that article about the "skincare con", isn't thrilled about the application of products. Especially cleansers (even low pH ones) gamely trying to strip the last remnants of lubrication out of your moisture barrier.

While digging through my stash (much like my dog in our doomed garden, except with less mud and no eating of unknown objects) I realized I had a full tube of the Make P:rem Safe Me Relieving Moisture foaming cleanser waiting to be used. I had bought the full size after going through several sample sachets, and remembered liking its gentle, mild foam. It's also low pH (as proclaimed proudly on the packaging) and into my bathroom it went, standing like a lone, forlorn soldier against the tide of unholy bacteria no doubt marching across my face.

In this post:
  • Product details
  • Ingredients
  • Does it foam, though?
  • Cleansing demo
  • Overall thoughts

I suppose not everyone is as concerned with the qualifications and performance of their cleansers as I am, but everyone's got their kinks. Mine is for low pH cleansers that snuggle my skin's horny layer with soft suds and sultry scents, and I'm not ashamed. Let's roll!

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Good all-physical UV filter sunscreens are hard to find. "Physical" filter (also known as "inorganic") sunscreens  are sought by people with sensitive skin and/or reactions to chemical UV (also known as "organic") filters, such as yours truly. The most common recommendation request from phys-only sunscreen hunters is for a high protection rated sunscreen with no white cast.

Sadly, with phys-only sunscreens, that just doesn't exist. One of the two options, Titanium dioxide, is literally used as white pigment. Think back to your trusty tube of Titanium White in art class. That's your sunscreen filter bro giving your paints the "whitest white" and also making your sunscreen search hell.

When my former favourite all-phys sunscreen was possibly reformulated (it's not, but more on this later) and I was blown away by a chemical sunscreen I could actually use from Make P:rem, I needed to get my ass in gear and test out some new all-physical options, stat. But I can't review the (orange cap) one I've been using. More on that later too.

So here's a first impression of the Make P:rem UV Defense Me Blue Ray Sun Cream SPF50+ PA++++. That's right, four PA ratings.


Our backyard wild bunnies were displeased that I plunked this down in their bun buffet patch.

(Incidentally, if you'd like to see one of the bun patch bunnies in action, I tweeted a short video of one that visited during this post here.)

In this post:
  • Why this is a first impression instead of a full review, aka I'm lightly brined by unfortunate developments
  • Differences between the orange (Natural) and blue (Blue Ray) cap versions
  • First impressions of the Blue Ray Sun Cream
  • White cast swatches on NC10 and NC30 skin tones
  • Is it worth it & where to get it

I was initially put off buying this version because I'm highly suspicious of anything "cooling" because that usually means either 1. massive amounts of alcohol, or 2. added menthol, which can be highly irritating.

Just give me a high-rated sunscreen with physical (inorganic) filters that's pleasant to wear, doesn't break me out, and has minimal white cast. So how does the Make P:rem Blue Ray Sun Cream stack up?
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I don't travel well. Or rather, I don't prepare for travel well. I always feel stressed out of proportion about the packing stage, and having a multi-step skincare routine complicates even a simple weekend trip by car. Rather than fuss with what skincare to bring, I just grabbed necessities off my sink.

Does anyone else have issues with the sudden appearance of skin troubles during travel? It's like one's cycle; always picks the worst possible time to visit. With that in mind, I prepared for a skin rebellion just in case. They say that what you prepare for doesn't happen, after all.


I managed to snap these in between intermittent summer showers.

It fit in a ziploc, at least. A large one.

In this post:
  • Sunscreen
  • Double Cleansers
  • Clear Pores & Soothe Skin
  • Brighten & Moisturize
  • Nullify Blemishes
  • Cushion and Concealer
  • Mist because it's @#^$# hot out and heat makes me crabby

Also, these photos will not only feature "Skincare I Brought With Me to My In-Laws' House" but also "Random Items I Pilfered From My Bemused Mother-In-Law's Decor For Photo Props" and "Gifts Of Quirky Things She Correctly Thought I'd Like, Such As Old Books And Shiny Things" because hey, you work with what you have on hand when you're travelling. It's ... a metaphor. Something about necessity, or something.

Anyway, here's what I brought to keep me safe, sane, and with as few surprise pimples as possible.

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Summer skincare usually consists of cleanser, chilled sheet masks, maybe a BHA chemical exfoliant to battle my oily and sweaty pores, and mists. Lots of mists. 'Tis the season for mists, because it's hot and humid and everyone is miserable, and mists are light and most importantly, refreshing.


Benefit of photographing a mist: you can use it in between shots to cool off. Which I dd. A lot.


Although this is a fancy full size bottle, I've actually used (and emptied) a travel size of this mist before. You might recognize the travel size from posts such as K-Beauty & Portion Control: Why Sometimes Good Value Can Be a Bad Idea, and Winter is Coming: Plotting My K-Beauty Skincare Routine for Colder Weather.


In this post
  • Product details
  • Ingredients
  • 4 ways I use mists
  • Where to get full and travel-sizes
  • Final thoughts


Unfortunately, I have no idea where my travel size bottle has gotten to; it's probably sill buried in an unpacked box somewhere, like 99% of my post-move beauty stash. However, during the recent snail rout in NYC, I received a gift bag of goodies from Amore Pacific and conveniently a full size of this mist was in it.

So while bottle in these photos is from Sulwhasoo, it's a product I've already purchased and used on my own. It's no longer sold on their US site regardless. I haven't opened this one yet, but I'll happily commandeer it for photos.

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