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:
Does it foam, though?
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!
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.
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?
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:
Clear Pores & Soothe Skin
Brighten & Moisturize
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.
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.
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.
Forget what I had planned to review, my Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening Golden Bird 2017 Limited Edition beauty is here! It's time for photos, swatches, more photos, and also photos. Because rawr.
I'm such a sucker for metallic accents like this. The shinier, the better! #magpiethings
Sulwhasoo releases Limited Edition cushions and powders every few years, but the last few have left my enthusiasm flaccid and my wallet happy. When this magical baby showed up on my Instagram feed (courtesy of enabler Julie of @pdxbeautful) my skincare boner sprang to attention and I set out to get my hands on it stat.
In this post
Photos of the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening Golden Bird 2017 Limited Edition
Where to get the Limited Edition cushions
What cushions fit into this case for more shade options
Swatches of #11 and #13 vs Mac NC10 and NC15
I've reviewed the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion #13 and I've been using the Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening #11 for a while. I'll be doing a full review of it in the future, but right now, it's all about this cushion case.
I get asked "what makes Korean beauty products better?" all the time, and the answer is always the same: they're not somehow magically better, because you can find good, bad, and mediocre products anywhere. They are quite innovative however, and where Asian cosmetics (including Korean beauty) really shine (in my eyes) is sunscreen.
If I could send a message to myself 10 years ago, before I moved to the US and into the desert, I'd tell myself about Asian sunscreens. I used to think I couldn't wear sunscreen, period! It gave me terrible skin reactions and felt unbearable. I got away with skipping sunscreen due to the relative weak sunlight in my region of Canada, but when I moved far south to an area of Texas that gets sandstorms, premature aging from epic sun damage happened fast.
I've rudely plunked my tray in the middle of the local wild bunny buffet
If I'd known there existed cosmetically elegant sunscreens that wouldn't cause my skin to erupt in painful breakouts within hours, I'd still be enjoying the same wrinkle-free smoothness the women in my family normally have until their 40's. Not to mention a lowered risk of, y'know, skin cancer.
In this post
First impressions of 5 sunscreens from Goodal, Innisfree, & Make P:rem
So you think you might want to start a K-Beauty blog, because you're passionate about the products, you've learned so much during your personal journey, and you want to connect with others like you; and you should. Those are all great reasons to start a blog in our little Asian beauty product niche, and there are such a staggering number of products (even if you were to stick to just K-Beauty) that there's an endless supply of new products to review and discuss.
Maybe you imagine yourself drinking tea in a bright but cozy corner of your home, feverishly writing about how much you loved (or hated) a largely unknown product, so that other enthusiasts can benefit from your experience.
Laptop, tea, sheetmask, check. This is not what my workspace really looks like; it's missing me curled up in my chair, sans pants, balancing my laptop desk on my knees while I forget to drink my tea until it's cold. This is why I use tea cups with lids.
The truth is, writing posts claims only a small percentage of blogging time. The vast majority of the time required to run a blog is filled with behind-the-scenes tasks, and this has lead to the burn out of many a developing blogger.
Why am I writing this post? Since we're talking about behind-the-scenes transparency here, it's because: 1. I've been tinkering with this post in my drafts for months, 2. I was inspired to write it by Tracy's post, 3. I am working on several product reviews that are still in the testing phase, 4. I have a product I want to drag back to hell but I don't want back-to-back negative reviews, and 5. because I see a lot of new bloggers falling into avoidable hazards out of inexperience.
I'm learning constantly thanks to the kindness of others, and I want to pay it forward.
Sunscreen: like a seat belt, it's something we endure because the alternative possibly leads to death or disfigurement. Wearing it isn't optional, so the best one can hope for is that it's as unobtrusive as possible, but at minimum the seat belt doesn't mash your bosom when you wear it. This sunscreen isn't it. Sunscreens should be cosmetically elegant, meaning light and comfortable on the skin, and they should have full-spectrum high sun protection (SPF 50+, PA+++ or higher), with minimal white cast.
I was definitely feeling the hanbang-inspired packaging this came in
This is pretty easy if you use chemical (also known as 'organic') UV filters, but as they cause skin irritation and reactions for many people (including yours truly), many people with sensitive skin can only use physical (also known as 'inorganic') UV filters. Some of which are white. Literally white pigment. Nanoparticle forms of physical filters are supposed to have less white cast, but there's some debate about their safety. The point of this dry paragraph is that physical sunscreens with minimal white cast are very rare. People like me hunt them in murky corners of the internet and have underground swap networks for decants.
In this post:
Swatches on NC10 and NC30 skin
What I'll repurchase instead
Final thoughts & why I'll use it up
I had high hopes for this one, because I loved the Goodal Mild Protect Natural Filter Sun Cream SPF50+ PA+++, so surely this almost-the-same-name-but-one-more-PA-rating sunscreen should also be good? Are you looking for the perfect undead base makeup-and-sunscreen combo for your daytime Hallowe'en beach party or possibly playing Marley's Ghost in an afternoon matinée of A Christmas Carol at an outdoor theatre?
No? Then the Goodal Mild Protect Natural Filter Sun Fluid ain't what you're looking for. I'm a Mac NC10 and it looks white as hell on me. I had to double check that it wasn't meant to be a brightening cream. Re-reading the marketing copy while writing this review, I'm beginning to suspect that "light finish" isn't a reference to the texture, it's an invitation to a vampire cosplay. You'll see what I mean. *cue ominous organ music and the flapping of bats*
You know what happens when skincare bloggers get together? Shenanigans. As some of you already guessed from our Instagramposts, I've dragged my fellow snail Fiddy of Fifty Shades of Snail into some skincare routine-swapping mischief. You'll find a link to my companion post at the end of this guest post!
My Skin Is a Spoiled Princess: Fiddy's Skincare Routine Swap StoryBy guest blogger Fiddy of Fifty Shades of Snail
One of the things that alarms me the most in my blogging life is a reader's declaration that they've decided to duplicate my routine all at once. To me, that's never a good idea. Everyone's skin is different, and no one person's routine should be a template for anyone else.
Which is why, when the lovely Cat asked me if I wanted to swap routines for a few days, I hesitated for a moment, pondered all the ways that things could go wrong, and enthusiastically agreed. What better way could there be to demonstrate the pitfalls of copying someone else's routine format, or to learn that maybe we're wrong and one way really is better than the other?
Who am I and why are we doing this?This project was inspired by a Refinery29 piece in which two women swapped their makeup routines--and actual makeup products--for clicks and funsies. Cat and I, being sane and germ-averse, and also impatient to get started, decided that instead of swapping actual products, we'd adopt each others' routine steps. This is a record of what happened to me on Cat's routine.
For those of you who don't know me, either for real or in the way that Mariah doesn't know people, I'm Fiddy, one of Cat's fellow Snailcasters. I usually confine my thoughts to Fifty Shades of Snail. I'm here today at Cat's invitation to share my experience using her routine format, while she's currently camped out on my blog.
You guys are probably already familiar with Cat's skin, which is dehydrated, oily-combo, and prone to acne and clogged pores. Mine, on the other hand, leans dry. I don't have many problems with clogs or breakouts; instead, I'm battling aging and hyperpigmentation.
As you can imagine, our routines look a little different.