Jul 20, 2015  •  In Asian, Beauty, Korean, Personal, Reviews

Some More Product Raves

Let’s start the week off with some product reviews, shall we?

Whamisa Organic Flowers Creamy Foam Cleanser

whamisa_cleanserI had been eyeing this item for a while because I ❤ Whamisa products and I had read some especially good things about the cleanser. I picked up a bottle when Glow Recipe was having their July 4th weekend sale, and WOW have I been impressed!

There are a bazillion facial cleansers out there, so what sets this apart from the rest? It is a low-pH cleanser (read here to see why the pH of your cleanser matters) that has the textural consistency of a high-pH cleanser. In other words, it is lush and foamy and cleans incredibly well…without stripping your skin of its moisture barrier.

The Whamisa Organic Flowers Creamy Foam Cleanser is everything I’ve wanted in a facial cleanser. It feels so luxurious and creamy as you massage it into your face, and rinses off to reveal super-clean yet soft skin. It is hands-down, the best foaming cleanser I have ever used!

Price: $35 for a 200ml/6.7oz bottle at Glow Recipe. A bit expensive, yes, but the bottle is huge and you only need a teeny amount at a time. Use this link (affiliate) to get $5 off your first Glow Recipe order!

Dr. Jart+ CTRL A Spot Cover

dr_jart_ctrl_a_perfect_coverA few weeks ago, I decided to start taking some evening primrose oil to help alleviate my horrible PMS symptoms. Big mistake. While EPO really helps some women with PMS (along with a slew of other issues), it did not agree with me and all I got were breakthrough bleeding and cystic acne. :cry: 

I knew the acne had to have come from my taking the EPO, because the spots were all on the lower half of my face — near the mouth and chin, where hormonal acne occurs — and I had not been using any new products that could be breaking me out. Additionally, my skin almost immediately started to get better as soon as I stopped taking the EPO.

I got lucky in that I only sustained a few spots from this ordeal. But they were large, red, painful spots and my usual concealer just wasn’t cutting it.

Enter the Dr. Jart+ CTRL A Spot Cover. This is an antibacterial concealer chock-full of beneficial ingredients: angelica acutiloba root extract, salicylic acid, arbutin, lemon extract, and vitamin C. These are all known to help treat blemishes or help prevent/fade hyperpigmentation from acne.

The texture and color are pretty darn good too! It is heavy enough to cover my acne but is not cakey, and the cool undertones really help counteract the redness associated with acne.

Price: $23 at Memebox.

BBIA Last Auto Gel Eyeliner

bbia_last_auto_gel_eyelinerThese liners are the shiz. Seriously. I think I may have found my HG eyeliners!

The BBIA Last Auto Gel Eyeliners have three benefits working for them:

1.) They glide on incredibly well.
2.) Once set, they stay and stay and stay. (Even on the waterline!)
3.) They’re affordable, at about $8/pop.

No sharpening required! All you need to do is twist the bottom of the pencil and more product slides up. But if you require a sharper point, the bottom pops out to reveal a sharpener too!

The downside? They only come in 10 colors. It’s no problem for someone like me who prefers natural colors, but I personally think BBIA could be reaching a bigger audience by releasing some brighter, vivid colors like turquoise.

I love the BBIA Last Auto Gel Eyeliners so much that I already ordered replacements for my 2 most-used colors, 02 Mellow Brown and 20 Jazz!

Price: $7.98 at Jolse, ₩10,000 (approx $8.69) at TesterKorea

VDL Naked Facial Exfoliant

vdl_naked_facial_exfoliantI first learned about this product in an old Pony’s Beauty Diary video. (Does anyone else love Pony as much as I do?) It is a physical and a chemical exfoliant, meaning that it contains granules that physically help scrub your skin as well as chemicals that penetrate into the skin to help remove dead skin and other impurities.

As such, you can use this product in three ways: (1) scrubs and rinse; (2) apply, let it sit a few minutes, then rinse; and (3) scrub, then let it sit a few minutes, and rinse. The third method will obviously yield the most effective results, but it may be too harsh for those with more sensitive skin.

I like to use this product every 2-3 days using the scrub+sit method, and it always leaves my face unbelievably soft and smooth. And I swear that all my products absorb better after using this! This is another product I immediately fell in love with, and decided I’d need to make another purchase before I run out.

Price:₩17,500 (approx $15.21) for a 100ml bottle at TesterKorea, $24.53 at W2Beauty.

Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion

mario_badescu_buffering_lotionRemember the cystic acne I talked about above? Well, I was honestly at a loss as to what to do about them because I hadn’t gotten cystic acne since I was a teenager.

(Only now do I know how lucky I should consider myself — I had forgotten how deep, inflamed, and painful they can be! I now have so much more sympathy for those who regularly encounter cystic acne.  I want to give each and every one of you a hug.)

I decided to do some research on /r/skincareaddiction, and saw a product that repeatedly get mentioned for the treatment of cystic acne: the Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion.

The directions for the Buffering Lotion tell you to shake before use. But the product is so runny and the nozzle so small that application can be tricky. The interwebz came through for me again after I read a review stating that the nozzle head can be easily popped off with your thumb.

So this is how I use the Buffering Lotion: do not shake, but let the ingredients settle and naturally separate. The heavier, white zinc oxide will be at the bottle of the bottle. Take a q-tip and dip it directly into the zinc oxide. (The q-tip will grab onto the rest of the ingredients on its way out of the bottle.) Use the q-tip to directly apply to the spots.

The Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion really helped bring my troublesome, deep-rooted zits to the surface, and helped heal the skin more quickly. I hopefully won’t need it as often in the near future, but will keep my leftover bottle in my medicine cabinet and continue to recommend it anyone with cystic acne.

Price: $19 at Ulta, Nordstrom, or MarioBadescu.com.

Jul 19, 2015  •  In Books, Geek, Star Wars, Wishlist

Star Wars Meets Little Golden Books

Be still, my nerdy, book-loving heart!







These first six books will be released on July 28, and a boxed set will be available for purchase on September 1. You can bet I’ve already placed my preorder!

P.S. — Did you notice the details on the golden spine of each book? I die.

Via EW.

Jul 18, 2015  •  In Personal, Web

What’s Your Shade of Introversion?

How many times have you seen one of the numerous “how to understand introverts” cartoons floating around online? Or came across another article extolling the secret power of introverts?

Intentional or not, we introverts have been receiving some extra attention in the past few years. Society is finally starting to understand that introversion is not just about being shy and introspective, that extroversion is not just about being talkative and social. Rather, it is about how and where you derive your energy — from others or from within yourself?

And today, I’ve learned that it goes even deeper still. According to a model developed by psychologist Jonathan Cheek and his colleagues, there are actually four types of introversion: social, thinking, anxious, and restrained. Many introverts are a mix of all four types.


Embedded at the bottom of the article is a quiz you can take to see what shade of introvert you are. The above graph depicts the results of my test; it seems that I have no strong inclination for a particular type of introversion, but I am more socially introverted than anxious.

Be sure to head on over to the NYMag article for a more thorough description of each type, and if you have a spare few minutes, take the quiz yourself!

Jul 16, 2015  •  In Beauty, Funny, Geek, Personal, Reviews

Will Rohan Answer?

This webstrip made me LOL today because I can relate all to well! You know you’re pale when a friend makes a remark about your pale legs and you show them your tan lines to prove that this is your tan skin.


In all seriousness though, I’ve learned to accept my pale skin and now wear sunscreen every day, even when I don’t go out. I always tell my friends that Asian — especially Japanese! — sunscreen is the way to go, because the sun protection technology is more advanced, with better formulas that are usually a lot cheaper as well.

(Don’t believe me? Go read Why You Shouldn’t Be Buying Your Sunscreen in America.)

My favorite sunscreen, the Innisfree Eco Safety No Sebum Sun Milk SPF50+/PA+++, has sadly been discontinued but you can bet that I picked up a couple of extra bottles when I first found out.  ;-)  I’ve gotten J to start wearing sunscreen every day too; I bought him the Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen SPF50+/PA++++ for its light formula with no whitecast. And the Nivea Sun Protect Super Water Gel SPF 50/PA+++ is a great option for the body!

As for the girls, they love their Sunkiller Mild Baby Milk Sunscreen Lotion SPF38/Pa+++ for its cute, pink packaging. Now, they’re the ones who remind me that they need to apply sunscreen before we go out!  :mrgreen: 

For more information and reviews on Japanese sunscreen, be sure to check out RatzillaCosme!

Via Reddit.

Jul 13, 2015  •  In Aerin, Art/Design, Claire, Personal

5-Minute Pencil Studies

Once upon a time, I considered myself an artist.

I attended studio art classes twice weekly. I even considered attending an art college — and in preparation, I devoted the summer vacation before my senior year in high school with 5-hour portfolio classes every weekday.

I was accepted to some of the best art schools in the country. However, I decided to pursue a more “stable” future and decided to attend a traditional college instead. That being said, one of the reasons I chose JHU was for its affiliation with the prestigious Maryland Institute College of Art.

I only ended up taking a couple of classes at MICA, and haven’t done much drawing or painting since college. I subconsciously put that part of my life behind me.

So last week, when I felt a sudden and overwhelming urge to draw something, I first became confused…then excited! I quickly grabbed a #4 pencil and a gum eraser from my dust-covered ArtBin and turned my attention to a subject I know, cherish, and study every day: my children.


It was only a 5-minute sketch, so it’s not perfect. But I like to think that I captured Aerin’s essence well.

I showed the portrait to its subject and she immediately recognized herself and smiled, which was the greatest compliment I could’ve asked for. I then turned to Claire, but my shy older child asked not to be drawn.

But the next day, she agreed.


Claire was considerably more difficult to capture, as her features are less pronounced than her younger sister’s. Just as I had concentrated on Aerin’s strongest feature — her eyes — I decided to concentrate on Claire’s hallmark: her slightly smiling, pursed lips.

My ability to draw doesn’t seem to suffered as much as my skills with the piano or violin, and for that I am both glad and grateful. I think I will continue to draw and paint more in the future; I had almost forgotten how much joy it can bring me!