Jul 12, 2015  •  In Entertainment, Geek, Personal

She Saved the World….A Lot

Did you guys hear that there’s a little thing called Comic-Con happening this weekend?

No? Don’t care? Well, then…carry on.

If you’ve chosen to keep reading, let me take this moment to once again lament my not being able to attend this year. I will make an appearance in the near future. I will dress myself, and my girls, in adorably geeky costumes. (They began practicing long ago!)

As per my usual fashion, I have been closely following my favorite sites for Comic-Con coverage…and while this year’s convention seems unsurprisingly kickass, the most anticipated panels do not seem to have revealed much. :-(  (See: How ‘Star Wars’ won Comic-Con 2015 — while revealing nearly nothing) However, I did read about one little proceeding which I believed warranted a mention on this blog…

Yesterday, when a fan asked Joss Whedon — probably my favorite writer/producer/director — who his favorite character creation is, he replied, “My answer would change daily. It could never stop changing.”

But if he had to make a choice?

“How can I not say Buffy? She is the very distilled essence of everything I’m not, and want desperately to be or be around.”

Then he took it a step further by adding that Buffy is “sort of the nexus, the beating heart, of everything that I have done — or will. She gets the nod.”

Oh, the feels!

buffy_spinning_stake

I ♥ you, Buffy! And I ♥ you too, Joss!

And if you’ve never watched Buffy, take a look at this 5-min video to see why you totally should:

Jul 8, 2015  •  In Asian, Beauty, Korean, Personal, Reviews

Shangpree Mega-Review

A few weeks ago, Korean beauty e-tailer Peach & Lily reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in trying some of their products.

Um…yes please? For, you know, *cough cough* research purposes. Can I have them all?

All kidding aside, I have shopped from P&L in the past and I love their product offerings. And while I would’ve loved to stock up on some tried-and-true items, I asked if they wouldn’t mind sending me an item from Shangpree, a brand that had intrigued me since I first spotted it on their website.

Here’s some background info on Shangpree from the P&L brand page:

Seoul’s highly demanding spa-going elite have been flocking to the iconic Shangpree Spa for a first-class beauty experience for 25 years now. Every Shangpree esthetician must complete an incredibly lengthy and rigorous training process to ensure that they embody the spa’s high standards (even an esthetician with 20+ hands-on experience is required to train the Shangpree-way for 3 years before being able to provide client services)— and when Shangpree launched their product line, that same level of perfectionism was expected in every formula.

P&L hand-delivered an incredible beauty package to my front door, and I was delighted to find not one, not two, but three Shangpree items nestled among its contents.

shangpree_products

First up is the product that excited me most: the Shangpree Bitgoa Hue Essence Toner.

shangpree_bitgoa_hue_essence_toner

As you can see from the picture above, the Bitgoa Hue Essence Toner comes in a luxurious pump bottle. It’s not glass, but it’s weighty and solid, with a beautiful pearlescent white finish. I personally prefer transparent bottles so that I can see how much of the product is left, but I have read that many beauty companies forgo this route because it can lead to oxidation of the product.

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Jun 6, 2015  •  In Asian, Beauty, Depression, Korean, Personal

On the Upside…

I’ve been battling some health issues as of late. And with the addition/subtraction of various meds and therapies in an effort to properly treat the problems, I’ve predictably been in a bit of a funk.

I’ve made no efforts in the past to hide my struggles with depression, and I am not about to now. However, at this present moment, my situation is precisely what I’ve described above — a funk — and not a relapse into depression. The reason I wanted to bring up depression, however, is to point you to an article penned by one of my favorite beauty bloggers, Fifty Shades of Snail aka The Crazy Snail Lady, titled “How My Elaborate Korean Skincare Routine Helps Me Fight Depression.”

Research. Controlled experimentations. Routines and rituals. Active participation in a supportive community. I’m not sure about other sufferers of depression, but these have all been great forms of therapy for me in the past. I just hadn’t realized that my recent obsession with Korean beauty products and practices had been acting as a form of therapy — whether depressed, in a funk, or just plain having a bad day.

And on the upside? My skin has never been better. I’ve always had okay skin thanks to genetics, but now…

Well, take a look.

asian_skincare_glow
I’ve done and gotten all dolled up for y’all, using mostly Korean makeup. (List of items below.)
I was too lazy to use a proper camera so the image quality isn’t the best, but you get the idea.

This picture was taken eight hours after first applying my makeup in the morning…and I made NO TOUCHUPS, not even blotting paper! (Yes, good skin really helps your makeup look better and last longer!) In case you’re wondering, here’s the full list of makeup worn:

  • IOPE Air Cushion XP Matte Finish in M21
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Dark Brown
  • Clio Waterproof Pencil Eye Liner Kill Brown in #2 Brown
  • Peripera Ah Much Real My Cushion Blusher in #4 Shy Pink
  • The Saem Saemmul Tint Aque in Red
  • Tonymoly Petite Bunny Gloss Bar in #4 Juicy Cherry
  • Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder

What have I been doing differently since the last time I shared my skincare routine? Mainly, more science. Researching ingredients and using what works best on my skin whilst staying clear of chemicals/additives that do not play well with my skin. The addition of acids and vitamin C. Being more pH-aware.

SCIENCE, guys. There’s a reason it works!  8-) 

Here is my current skincare routine:

AM:

  1. SU:M37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick
  2. OST C20 Vitamin C Serum*
    (wait at least 20 mins afterwards to allow my skin to fully absorb the serum)
  3. Mizon AHA & BHA Daily Toner
  4. LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule
  5. Goodal Super Seed Oil Plus Balancing Emulsion
  6. Innisfree Eco Safety No Sebum Sun Milk SPF50+ PA+++

PM:

  1. Banila Co Clean It Zero**
  2. SU:M37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick
  3. Mizon AHA & BHA Daily Toner
  4. COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
    (wait at least 20 mins afterwards to allow my skin to fully absorb the acid, and for my skin’s pH level to normalize)
  5. COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid
    (wait at least 20 mins afterwards to allow my skin to fully absorb the acid, and for my skin’s pH level to normalize)
  6. Mizon AHA & BHA Daily Toner (only if the acids have left my skin sticky)
  7. LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule
  8. Shara Shara Honey Bomb All-in-One Ampoule
  9. A mask, mostly sheet masks but occasionally wash-off masks (I’ve been on the #1일1팩 train for a few weeks now)
  10. Whamisa Organic Flowers Water Cream
  11. Nature Republic Saccharomyces Ferment The First Eye Cream

* My current bottle of C20 is running low, and I have ordered the C21.5 as a replacement. The C21.5 is supposed to be an upgrade from the C20 and supposedly absorbs faster, which I’m very much looking forward to!
** I JUST starting using a new cleansing sherbet, the Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbet, this week and I’m LOVING it so far! I actually like it better than the Banila Co, but since it’s only been a week I decided to put the Banila Co on the list instead.

I am fully aware that this is A LOT of steps. Especially when you consider the fact that I used to only use a cleanser and maybe a lotion (only if my skin felt dry) before I got into Korean skincare. And the 20+ extra minutes of waiting time in the morning and 40+ extra minutes at night? It’s a good thing I hardly ever go out!

BUT. It’s so worth it to me. To have some semblance of control in a life that too often seems out-of-control. To keep myself distracted (in a good way). To force myself to pamper myself. The glowing skin is just an added perk at this point!

Besides, it’s not like I lie around doing nothing during those waiting times. :-)  I actually like to use the 20-30 mins after applying the BHA at night to clean the kitchen and do the dishes. And the 20-30 mins after AHA are usually used to tidy up the living room and get the girls ready for bed.

I also like to chase my daughters around the house with a sheet mask on, pretending I’m a monster or a ghost. They used to be scared of me whenever I used a sheet mask, but now they love it! Additionally, both girls enjoy helping me apply lotion, or assist me in other ways like Aerin has recently with the Lindsay Modeling Rubber Mask.

Please let me know if you have any questions about my current skincare routine, the products in it, or are having trouble locating any of the items on this list. As is the case with practically any product review, YMMV, but most of the products in my routine are those that are beloved by many over at /r/AsianBeauty and I can’t recommend them enough!