Winter: Black & White

Winter: Black & White

 

Temperatures in LA over this holiday season have been consistently in the 50s and 60s and I have been living in sweaters being the wimp that I am. ;) I was inspired to create this clothing set out of items I own or I am drooling over. I always love a good ankle boot, cashmere sweater, and sturdy tights.

Have a happy holidays!

 

Minimizing my Skincare closet for 2015

The holiday spirit has always brought about a flurry of shopping and beauty hoarding especially with the sale notifications that flood my inbox. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good sale, but I found this year’s barrage a little too much to bear. I still have a penchant for testing out new skincare which is why I rarely repurchase items. Although I do find items that I love and repurchase, there’s always something new that I itch to try.

However, in 2015, I’d like to be more conscious of my purchases. Here’s some of my empties from 2014:

Empties

Here’s a snapshot of my skincare closet as of today:

Cleansers

  • Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm 0.5 fl oz x 2 (This items is highly rated, but I just don’t like using black goop to clean my face. Will not repurchase)
  • Su:m 37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick 80 g x 2 (Love this. Will review soon)

Oil Cleanser

Toner – Nada. how did this happen?

Facial Oils

AM Moisturizer

PM Moisturizer

AHA/BHA/Glycolic Acid

Eye Cream

Masks (This is where it gets ridiculous)

  • Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask 1.7 fl oz x 1 (This is a repurchase. Love)
  • Omorovicza Copper Peel x 1 (On the fence. Need to use it more often)
  • Laneige Water Sleeping Pack EX 80ml x 1 (Not the cleanest ingredients, but it works)
  • Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask 100ml x 1 (Unopened)
  • SkinFood Black Sugar Washoff Mask 100g x 1 (Does the job, but its a little rough on the skin. Will not repurchase)
  • Paper face Masks: Bucket loads since I went to Korea this summer.

Sunscreen

  • LaRoche Posay Comfort Anthelios XL SPF 50 Lait 100 ml x 1 (unopened)
  • LaRoche Posay Ultra-Light Fluid Anthelios XL SPF 50 50 ml x 1 (unopened)

Face Mist

Lip Balm (Again, I hoard these like candy)

Samples – I give away most samples that I get, but these are the ones I kept

  • Tatcha Discovery Kit for Dry Skin – 3 week supply of their enzyme cleansing powder, cleansing oil, brightening serum, and ageless enriching renewal cream. (I’ve probably repurchased this 5x. Very handy for travel)
  • Sulwhasoo – 2 week supply of first care serum, firming cream, balancing water, balancing emulsion, ginseng renewing cream, CC cream.

Summary: 4 cleansers, 1 oil cleanser, 0 toner, 3 facial oils, 2 AM moisturizers, 1 PM moisturizer, 2 acids, 2 eye creams, 6 masks, 2 sunscreens, 2 face mists, 9 lip balms, 5 weeks of samples = 1 face.

As I think about my 2015 purchases, I realize that the words “face mask” and “lip balm” should probably not exist in my vocabulary since I have a supply that could last me through an apocalypse. I have been wanting to try more oils namely marula oil and prickly pear seed oil both known for being extremely rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamin C and E providing deep hydration and protection against free radicals. I’ve always been obsessed with the scent of neroli after trying out the Tammy Fender Antioxidant Creme – Neroli & Orange so imagine my excitement when I discovered African Botanics Neroli-Infused Marula Oil. ZOMG.

Here are my 2015 wants:

2015 Wish List

Have a happy holidays!

Battle of the Cleansing Oils: Tatcha vs One Love Organics and Shu Uemura vs Shiseido

My first foray into the world of cleansing oils started with Japanese cult favorites, Shu Uemura and DHC.

My Shu Uemura experience was positive and I’ll review it below, but I wasn’t sold on the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. This version not only looked like an oil (yellow in color), it also had an unpleasant smell and oily, thick texture. This oil has gotten rave reviews so apologies to the DHC lovers.

I love the idea of a cleansing oil because of the ease of use.

A cleansing oil when formulated correctly, goes on dry skin smoothly, melts all makeup off, emulsifies into a milky liquid upon contact with water and washes off without a trace of residue.

This, my friends, is the magic of cleansing oil. It is NOT smothering your face with pore-clogging oil causing breakouts. Cleansing oil goes on and it goes off taking all makeup with it.

Note: Some people have reported a sensitivity to cleansing oils with mineral oil in them. I have super sensitive skin, but haven’t had an issue with mineral oil. The Elizabeth Dehn One Love Organics Cleansing oil and the Tatcha Camellia cleansing reviewed below are mineral-oil free.

Here is a review of four cleansing oils that I’ve tried recently:

4 tested cleansing oils from L to R - Elizabeth Dehn One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil, Shu Uemura Premium A/I Cleansing Oil, Shisheido Perfect Oil and Tatcha Cleansing Oil

Cleansing oils from L to R – Elizabeth Dehn One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil, Shu Uemura Premium A/I Cleansing Oil, Shiseido Perfect Oil and Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil

Mineral-Oil Free Cleansing Oils

1. Elizabeth Dehn One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil

Ingredients: Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Di-ppg-2myreth-10 adipate, Polyglycerol-3 beeswax, Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) seed oil* (and) lecithin* (and) Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil* (and) Papain*, Carica papaya (papaya) seed oil, Tocopherol (natural non-gmo vitamin e), Proprietary natural & organic fragrance

Price: $38.00/4 fl oz – $9.50/fl oz

Cleansing Power: Decent, but it has the weakest cleansing strength out of the 4. It doesn’t remove heavy foundation or eye makeup so that’s a no-no for me.

Scent: Amazing. Pina Colada!

Texture: Thickest texture out of the 4. I prefer a thinner texture, but not watery.

Overall: I’d give it 3 1/2 stars out of 5. I LOVE this for light makeup days and it has the cleanest ingredient list out of the four above.

2. Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil (The WINNER!)

Ingredients: Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquicaprylate, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Glyceryl Behenate/eicosadioate, Water, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Fragrance (Natural), Phenoxyethanol.

Price: $48/5.1 fl oz – $9.41/fl oz

Cleansing Power: Gets everything off if you massage the oil well.

Scent: Pleasant, clean scent.

Texture: Thin, but not watery. Perfect IMO

Overall: I’d give this a 4 1/2 stars out of 5. It would be perfect if the ingredient list was a little cleaner (looking at you phenoxyethanol!) Absolutely will repurchase.

Regular Cleansing Oils (Contain Mineral Oil)

3. Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/I

Ingredients: Paraffinum Liquidum / Mineral oil zea mays / Corn Germ oil carthamus tinctorius / Safflower seed oil peg-20 glyceryl triisostearate ethylhexyl stearate simmondsia chinensis / Jojoba seed oil persea gratissima / Avocado oil dicaprylyl carbonate ethyl oleate c12-15 alkyl benzoate isopropyl myristate isopropyl lauroyl sarcosinate isostearic acid arginine stearyl glycyrrhetinate tocopherol capryloyl glycine sea water sorbitan trioleate polysorbate 85 glycerin capryl glycol / caprylyl glycol linalool parfum / fragrance

Price: $36/5 .1 fl oz – $9.41/fl oz

Cleansing Power: Gets everything off.

Scent: Neutral/No Scent

Texture: Happy medium

Overall: 4 stars for the cleansing power. Ingredient list is NOT clean.

4. Shiseido Perfect Oil (found on Amazon)

Ingredients: Isostearic Acid, Alcohol, Mineral Oil, Water, Peg-10 Isostearate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Peg-12 Diisostearate, Peg-8 Diisostearate, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Tocopherol, Fragrance.

Price: $12/5.1 fl oz – $2.35/fl oz

Cleansing Power: Gets all makeup off.

Scent: Neutral/No Scent

Texture: On the watery side, but still works well

Overall: 3 stars. This is a bargain compared to the other oils, but the ingredient list leaves much to be desired. It hasn’t, however, caused any breakouts.

I may not try anything new in the near future because I am happy to repurchase the Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil for now.

FYI, Tatcha will be having their 20% Friends and Family Sale online at www.tatcha.com from November 28th – December 8th. I’d recommend trying out the Ritual Discovery Kit for $59 if you want to try out a 2-week sample kit containing their cleansers (powder and oil), brightening serum, and moisturizer.

 

SALE! Pollen and Wax sale June 11 – June 15th

My inbox exploded in little hearts today when I clicked on the Pollen & Wax newsletter. Bee will be moving to a new studio and there is an ongoing sale (June 11 – June 15th)! Items are moving fast and my fingers went in hyper drive.

Some items are already discounted and Bee also included a coupon code for an additional 10% off the entire order: YAYSUMMER0614

Pollen and Wax Sale Picks

Pollen and Wax Sale Picks

Yes, yes, I know. I splurged last month on Pollen & Wax. But, there’s always new stuff that I haven’t tried, namely the above!

My typically dry and hyper pigmented skin has been acting up with the advent of warm weather here in SoCal and I’ve been fighting an oily t-zone and occasional acne.

I’ve tried (and loved!) the Apollo Cleansing Milk and I’m on to the Peridot Cleasing Oil, Sumi-e Detox Clay and the Magnus Blemish Serum.

I’m so excited to share this bit of news and I hope more people will get to know and try Pollen & Wax!

 

 

 

Review HG Toner: Orion Facial Tonic from Pollen & Wax

Pollen & Wax is an artisan hand-crafted skin care line that I first read about on Seed to Serum. I’ve read nothing, but rave reviews and I had to try it out for myself.

I have been on the lookout for a good toner and decided to try the Orion Facial Tonic from Pollen & Wax. This tonic was recommended for congested, combination, stressed and confused skin types. Haha, that isn’t your typical skin description, but I felt it described my wacky time of the month skin to the t.

I was sold on the scrumptious description about the Vitamin C and antioxidant content as well as the brightening and clarifying effects.

Orion Facial Toner is packed to the rafters with an energizing blend of herbs and essentials. Licorice, sea kelp and white tea brighten and even skin tone. Hibiscus and rose hip deliver a hefty dose of vitamin C, a powerhouse that supports collagen production, fights sun damage and aids in brightening and clarifying. 

Ginseng, a stress-busting adaptogen and rose, beauty’s most treasured ally, soothe and heal. MSM, an organic sulfur, brightens skin, battles inflammation and works in synchronicity with the rest of Orion’s gorgeous herbals, helping them penetrate deeper into the skin.

The high content of adaptogens and antioxidants in Orion make it specially suited for any skin type, in particular for combination, congested, confused, troubled or stressed complexions. pH-balanced to support the skin’s naturally acidic protective mantle to aid in healing and repel infection and inflammation.

Orion Facial Tonic & Apollo Cleansing Milk Duo

Orion Facial Tonic & Apollo Cleansing Milk Duo

Ingredients:

Extracts of: Kelp (ascophyllum nodosum), Licorice Root (glycyrrhiza glabra)*, Red Korean Ginseng (panax Ginseng)*, White Peony Tea (camellia sinensis)*, Rosehip (rosa rubiginosa)*, Hibiscus (hibiscus sabdariffa)*, Rose Petals (rosa damascena)*, Aloe (aloe barbadensis)*, Vegetable Glycerin, Apple Cider Vinegar*, Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Potassium Sorbate, MSM, Essential oils of: Elemi (canarium luzonicum)*, Lavender (lavandula angustifolia)*, Lemongrass (cymbopogon flexuosus).*

*certified organic

By now, you may have noticed my obsession for kelp in the form of a seaweed mask here and toner here. I’ve found that products with seaweed somehow work well for me and I usually experience visible effects on my skin after use.

Scent

I’m not great at identifying scents, but this scent is pleasant to me. Rest assured that it doesn’t smell anything like kelp which is the first ingredient on the list.

Price

A 1 oz  bottle cost $15.60 and lasted approximately 3 weeks. I’ve since purchased the 4 oz bottle for $33.40. The larger size is clearly the better deal, but I’m a sucker for sampling items first before purchasing full sized items.

Packaging

It comes in an amber glass bottle with an atomizer.  The nozzle spray is somewhat powerful and I’ve found that 2 – 3 sprays on the face and decollete  is plenty.

Rating

I would rate it a solid 5 stars out of 5. This is a Holy Grail toner for me and the results speak for themselves. The 1 oz bottle came in handy while I was away on a long work trip. This has been the first time I’ve gone on a work trip and come back with my skin in better condition than before I left. I typically come back from a trip having to recover from the consequences of late nights, stress, dry airplane and hotel air, and general skin moodiness.

When I returned from this trip, I was surprised to notice that under my usual lighting conditions at home, my skin actually looker better. My pores appeared smaller, the acne breakout that I was recovering from had left minimal acne scars, and my skin tone appeared brighter.

After I finished my 1 oz bottle, I immediately got the larger 4 oz bottle. A couple of spritzes before my face oil day and night and my skin is a happy camper!

Pollen & Wax goodies

Pollen & Wax goodies

More on Pollen & Wax in the future! I will be reviewing the Apollo Cleansing Milk as well as the Provence Complexion Clay and the Sinatra Blue Face Serum. Ok I lie. I want to try everything. Can you hear my wallet sighing?