Update on Starting a Korean 10-step Skincare Routine

Hi, guys! … So this is my update on trying out the 10-step Korean skincare routine. I reached the 2-week mark 2 days ago, and I can say it really does work!

I saw results within 5 days of starting it. My skin is smoother, and has that shine that you see when the light hits my face. Not oil, more like a luminosity from within? It’s really difficult to explain. My skin just glows!!!

It wasn’t only me, but all of my nearest and dearest also noticed. My secretary (who has to look at me most often), was open-mouthed in surprise when I arrived to work and asked what did I do because my face looked different.  The boyfriend said I looked “revitalized” and “fresh” (his words). Even my mom noticed. And now she wants to do “the Korean thing” too! Hahaha 🙂

Yesterday I made rounds and the nurses were like “Wow! You look amazing! Nag ano ka?” (What did you do?).

That being said, I can definitely say that skincare as the Koreans do it, really does result in smooth, luminous, younger-looking skin; and so I really just have to share it!

I actually started this “experiment” after reading a few articles on said Korean routine. I researched what products were “best-sellers” in the individual brand’s websites, and also which were most recommended or most reviewed in the internet.

So, here are the steps as I do it. Not all products that I used were Korean. I incorporated what already worked for me. And not all “highly recommended” products were readily available and I had to substitute other brands (still pretty good performers IMO). This is just a rundown of what I used. If you guys want a review on any of the products, just let me know and I’ll try my best to do it.

1. Cleanse. You have to remove all traces of  the day’s makeup. f you’re using waterproof mascara, use a waterproof makeup remover soaked in a cotton ball to really do the job. After removing all your makeup, use a cleansing oil to dissolve any remaining makeup and excess oil.

I use The Face Shop Herb Day Cleansing Tissue to remove all my makeup, then follow it with their Oil Specialist Anti-Aging Cleansing Oil  (Anti-aging, people!)… I’m on my third bottle now, and I think they’ve stopped producing this line. So I think I’ll probably try the Rice Water cleansing oil next.

2. Double-cleanse. This is part 2 of the famous “double-cleanse” of Korean skincare. Wash your face with a foam cleanser to wash off the dirt and any residue your face. I use Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser in Revitalizing.

3. Exfoliate. Exfoliation removes dead superficial skin cells. This gives you fresh-looking skin, and helps your products to be absorbed better. It is recommended every 1-2 times a week only. Apparently, less is more with exfoliation.

You may use a mechanical scrub (think Skinfood Black Sugar Mask) or a chemical exfoliant. I prefer the latter because I find scrubs painful and harsh on my skin. I already reviewed Cure Natural Aqua gel here.

4. Toner. This is the last step of the “Cleanse” part. Korean toners are different than Western toners which are more astringent and/or alcohol-based. Korean toners are called “Refreshers/Fresheners” and come in a watery or gel-form. A toner is supposed to improve the pH of your skin and clear any residue left on your skin.

So you soak a cotton ball with the product and wipe it all over your face, which results in a lot of product wastage IMO… I just put a small amount of Etude House Collagen Moistfull Facial Freshener on my palms and pat it all over my face.

5. Essence. An essence is usually a watery gel, it enhances skin’s cellular turnover and prepares your skin to receive all the succeeding steps. I hadn’t even heard of an essence before I started this routine! I got small freebie bottles of Etude House Moistfull Super Collagen Ampoule Essence so I’ve been using that.

6. Serum/Ampoule. Serums and ampoules target skin’s specific issues: anti-aging, brightening, acne-control, pore minimizing, to name a few… There are a lot of serums in the market so you can take your pick.

In the morning I use Skin Food Peach Sake Pore Serum to help minimize my pores. In the evening I add their Gold Caviar Serum for anti-aging/wrinkle care.

7. Sheet mask. A sheet mask is saturated with essence or serum, and helps your skin to absorb more of the good stuff as it stays on your face for 15-20 minutes. This is as opposed to just patting it on where you use just a little of the product at a time, and what’s not absorbed just dries off your skin.

I use Watson’s Camellia Callus Cell Vitamin F Facial Mask. It’s alcohol-free, relatively cheap, easily accessible, and it gives me surprisingly plump and hydrated skin after 15 minutes!

8. Eye cream. Lightly pat eye cream over your eyes. Use your ring finger only as it is the weakest, and so will cause the least pressure and pulling on the delicate eye area. I’m currently using up my TFS Flebote Collagenic XP Total Lifting Eye Cream.

9. Emulsion. Emulsion, or moisturizer, hydrates your skin. It’s best to use a light moisturizer. I put a little emulsion on my palms and lightly pat it over my face and neck. Etude House Collagen Moistfull Emulsion is not sticky, light, and hydrating. Smells like green tea too, which I love!

10. Night cream/Sleeping pack. A night cream provides a second layer of moisture and seals in all the moisture and nutrients on your face as you sleep. Every 2-3 times a week, you can substitute a sleeping pack which is richer and thicker for better hydration. I alternate Etude House Age Defense Firming Cream and EH Collagen Moistfull Sleeping Pack.

TIPS:

  • Pat everything on, instead of rubbing it on. (Can you say wrinkles?)
  • When in doubt, start from the most watery to the heaviest.
  • If still in doubt, read the label. Most products come with instructions when to use them.
  • If you have sensitive skin, add 1 step at a time every week so you can pinpoint which product causes breakout, rashes, allergies, etc.
  •  You don’t need to get everything in a skincare line. Match your skincare to your needs. Incorporate what you know works for you.

What I have outlined here, is for nighttime care. For daytime, skip the cleansing oil, and use SPF protection instead of night cream.

I hope this helps you guys. The Manny Pacquiao/Floyd Mayweather fight is on later, and we have pay per view. Go Pac Man!!!

Later… ❤

On starting a Korean 10-step skincare routine

Hey, ladies! So I came across this article on the 10-step Korean skincare routine. http://shesintheglow.com/the-10-step-korean-skincare-routine/ .. (Sorry so barbaric. Still learning how to attach link.)

10 STEPS??!! And I thought I was spending too much time primping already! But if this is the secret to the lovely glowy skin of Korean ladies then I’m willing to try it for 2 weeks (at least).

On to my skincare products.. Upon inspection, I realized my quite-considerable stash was still kulang!.. Oh no!!! … It’s a good thing I’m in Manila now for a medical conference so I will cross the street to SM Megamall and visit Etude House… and maybe look for Laniege if I can find it..

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O, you look! I went shopping. I love that Étude House has a lot of freebies. Yey! … I won’t be eating for the next few weeks to pay for all this stuff, but that’s ok. It’s for beauty! .. *wink! wink!*…

I will be trying this out for 2 weeks so I’ll be back with an update/s. Later… ❤

Review: Sigma F80 Flat Kabuki Brush

Hey, ladies!

So, my Real Techniques stippling brush finally gave up the ghost after a year of service. The glue holding the bristles on one side loosened, and bristles started to fall off every time I’d put on my TFS CC Cream. Not nice! 😦 …

I ordered another RT stippling brush but it was taking soooo long to arrive that I got totally frustrated!.. *gnashing teeth*.. *pulling out hair*…

2 weeks to get an RT brush, but 1-2 days to get a Sigma brush?!! …AND a friend told me her dream brush is a Sigma (I’m looking at you, Marie Jo!)… *hmmmmm*… I think it is time to try Sigma!

Sigma Beauty makeup brushes have been some of the most reviewed in the blogosphere, often being compared to MAC (more expensive, and more difficult for me to get my greedy paws on)…

Browsing through all the reviews, I became more decided to get a Sigma kabuki brush. Soft, dense, durable were common adjectives. The common reaction was: “Oooooh!!! It’s very soft!”… And: “It applies makeup like a dream!”… Excited na!

I finally narrowed down my choices to F80 vs F82, and eventually decided on the F80 Flat Kabuki Brush because it looked like my RT stippling brush which I have worked with for a year now.

According to the Sigma Beauty official site:

“The F80 Flat Kabuki™ features a flat top brush head with very soft and dense fibers. Made with exclusive Sigmax® fibers, this brush provides a flawless, high definition finish with liquid or cream foundation without any absorption of product.

Sigmax® synthetic fibers are made with a special thermoplastic engineering polymer and SigmaAlloy™ 3-ring brush ferrules are made with copper and zinc.”

Ok! So I’m sold na nga! Hit the Check Out button and waited for my brush to come.. Thank goodness for local online shops. I only have to wait 1 day for my brush..

And it finally arrived!!!

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Hello, my lovely!

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Size comparison with Real Techniques Stippling Brush and Face It brush

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White metal ferrule with Sigma logo

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Very dense bristles!

It’s also very very SOFT on my face (but I don’t know how to get a picture of soft! Hehe)

Usage:

I used the F80 with L’oreal’s Tru Match Foundation, and the application was lovely! The bristles were very soft against my face, and the dense bristles made buffing the foundation easy. The finish was even and smooth. I used up a little more foundation than I usually do. I think it was because the brush was so thick and soaked up the foundation?

I next used it with my TFS CC Cream.. The coverage was still even and smooth, but I had to work more to buff the thick(er) cream in. I guess the thick bristles worked against it this time. I didn’t have the same problem when I used it with my Naturactor Cover Face Concealer. So I guess the problem was the CC Cream because of it’s sticky consistency rather than the brush itself.

My peeve with this brush was it’s handle. The long, fat handle of the F80 was just a little bulky for me. It wasn’t comfortable in my hand to use, especially when using the CC Cream.

Verdict:

The Sigma F80 has soft and dense bristles. It’s great with powder and liquids, and most creams if they’re not too sticky. It gives a smooth and even finish. It’s fully synthetic so no animals were harmed in making it.

However it is only available online, although there are several online sellers. It’s also a little pricey, although it’s supposed to pay for itself in time used. The handle is a bit bulky to use. The dense bristles would also make it hard to clean and dry.

Overall, it’s a great brush. I don’t regret getting it. And I’m actually thinking if I should also get the F82 and F84 just to complete the Kabuki set!.. Haha

I hope this helps someone looking into the F80… Have a great weekend, everyone!

Later… ❤

Beauty haul from Snoe Beauty

Hi, all! 🙂 … Look what I got in the mail! 🙂image

I was browsing through the Snoe Beauty website, and decided to order their Poudre Extraordinaire SPF 30, and Hair Heroes Dry Shampoo. Lovely people from Snoe included free samples of their soaps… I love freebies!!! 😀

The powder turned out really great. Will be doing a review on it soon..

Later… ❤

Review: Cure Natural Aqua Gel

Hey, everyone!..So what is a peeling gel? It’s a gel that removes the upper layers of the skin (epidermis) by chemically breaking it down so that it sloughs off, revealing soft new skin underneath. It uses chemicals like vitamin C, papaya enzymes, pomegranate, etc. to do it, instead of the mechanical rubbing off like what we see in apricot scrubs and
microbeads.

For the last 2 years I have been using OroGold’s 24K deep peeling (http://www.orogoldcosmetics.com/24k-deep-peeling.html) I love it! I use it 1x every 1-2 weeks, and I definitely need to repurchase soon. It’s expensive (108usd from their site) but totally worth it once you see all the small eraser-like bits of skin that the peel removes.

Then I heard about CURE Natural Aqua Gel. It’s Japans #1 exfoliator, made with natural plant extracts, and with no artificial coloring or fragrance. And cheaper at 1,500php (approx 35usd)… Hmmm… So off I went to the Beauty Bar in Ayala.

Yey!!! May stock sila!!!

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How it works:
It turned out to be more watery like a really wet lotion than a gel.

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After rubbing it in.. Can you see the little bits of skin?

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Comments: Watery, very mild, it does exfoliate, expensive but value for money

Would I buy again? Oh, yes!

I hope you enjoyed this post.. Later ❤

Happy new year!!!

Another year…

I don’t really do new year’s resolutions, but today I promise to try to be a better me.. Be on time more. Go to church more. Blog more. Read more. Exercise more. Drink more water and less coffee. Worry less. Buy less.

Here’s to a better year ahead. May it bring us abundant provision, health, happiness, and love with God’s grace.

Cheers!… ❤

New (favorite) mascara!

So, I have skimpy Asian lashes. And it has been a quest for me to find a mascara that would volumize + lengthen + curl (or keep the curl after I’ve done my thing with the eyelash curler…)

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Got the Maybelline Volume Express Pumped Up Colossal mascara from CVS (about $12) during my trip last November.. It works surprisingly well! It volumizes (though not sure it’s 12x like the claim). It lengthens (my friend thought I got eyelash extensions). And it kept my lashes curled (it’s waterproof. The secret to keeping your lashes curled).

See…?

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Later…. ❤