Saturday, January 24, 2015

My Skincare Routine ☺

Hi everybody!!
Today I want to share my skincare routine with you! I never had perfect skin but I must admit that my skin is probably at its best condition right now compared to years before. I always needed some kind of coverage but nowadays, I am comfortable going out bare face. Skincare is very important because it is the canvas of your face and affect greatly how you look, with or without makeup. Especially for the ladies entering early 20s, this is the time you should really start investing and focusing on your skincare.
Just a little background of my skin condition: Back in middle-high school, I suffered from acne and pores. Not severe, but enough to keep me insecure. I was an active enthusiast for popping acne and black/white heads lol. Please don't do that!! I also lived in Hong Kong so I occasionally had oily T-zone due to the hot and humid weather/pollution. 

After moving to Canada, I no longer get oily skin because of the dry weather (and thankfully the weather doesn't dry out my skin). But I still get acne, especially before that time of the month or when I'm super stressed. After a while, I started taking BCP and lost most of the acne! A reason why many girls get acne before that time of the month is due to hormonal changes, which can cause acne. In addition, stress and mood swings also affect our hormones that can cause breakouts. By controlling the hormones with BCP, you can reduce acne-prone skin and also control the mood swings. Less stress is better for your skin! Here's a fun fact: Out of the top 10 drugs prescribed for clinical depression, 5 of them are BCP and the other 5 are anti-depressants (cite: my KIN class).  For those of you that are interested, I'm taking Marvelon 21 (same  patent version: Mirvala). It is important to find the right BCP because the first one I took (Alysena) actually gave me deep, cystic acne on my cheeks every week! 

Other than that, I think the right skincare routine is really the main contributor. It is important to not be lazy with skincare routine!! It may seem long and tedious but please don't slack on it. I try to follow the entire routine 1-2 times a day. Every bit counts!

My primary concern is acne scars. I also tend to target pores, acne control, uneven skintone, hyper-pigmentation and correction.

Makeup Remover
Garnier Fresh Eye Makeup Remover
First, you gotta remove all the makeup and dirt so cleansers can really get in there. I'm not super picky because we go through them fast and most commercial ones work fine. But if I can, I'll try to avoid oil-based makeup remover. This Garnier remover works great, no complaints. 

Cleansers
Lancome Blanc Expert Purifying Foam
Olay Fresh Effects Acne Control Scrub w Mandarin & Green Tea
St. Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub
You guys, this Lancome cleanser is my absolute favorite. It's so creamy and moisturizing, but it's gentle enough for sensitive skin yet can totally clean off everything. The amazing part is that I can actually see a brightening and evening effect after every wash! Been using it for years now and will always stock up extra for sure! The next two are exfoliators with 2% salicylic acid. Sometimes I use it after the Lancome cleanser, sometimes not. I like the Olay for daily and St. Ives when I want deep cleanse and exfoliation. 

Personal tip: I use clean tissue paper to lightly dry my face (and so the paper don't fall apart). They are one-time use and cleaner than a towel for example. You really want to keep it clean so the skincare products can work into the skin. I like to keep the face slightly damp so you have time to get the toner before drying out the skin. 

Toner
Lancome Blanc Expert Ultimate Whitening Replumping Beauty Lotion
If you use cleanser, you must use toner! It's so important to moisturize and lock back the moisture in. I like to use cotton pads for extra exfoliation and cleaning affect. This one I use is the same line as the cleanser. 

Serums
Lancome Visionnaire [LR 2412 4%] Advanced Skin Corrector
Even if I don't put cream, I will always put serum! I use the Lancome visionnaire serum everyday and that's also another one of my essentials! It targets wrinkles, pores and evenness. It feels so nice and moisturizing and I feel it does visually improve my skin. Sometimes I stop here if I'm in a rush, also because I feel this serum is sufficient enough in terms of moisture and corrective properties.
Dundun Propolis Acne Buffering Fluid
Another layer of serum I like to use is this acne-buffering serum for acne-related areas when needed. It is thick but doesn't take long to absorb. It prevents and treats existing acne and also targets acne swelling, redness and fade scars. I've used regular acne cream before but it dries out my skin and turns flaky. This serum works way better, I won't go back to cream.
Lancome Blanc Expert Melanolyser (I and III) Spot Eraser
Lancome Blanc Expert Advanced Whitening Sport Corrector
In addition, I like to put spot brightening serum on my cheeks to fade acne scars and brighten up my face in general. I think sample sizes are good enough because I don't put a lot but concentrating on spots. As you can see, I haven't finish my samples before the next versions came out lol

Eye Cream
Advanced Genifique Yeux Youth Activating Eye Cream
Genifique Yeux Light-Pearl Eye-Illuminating Youth Activator
Eye cream is really crucial because the skin around the eyes are really sensitive and can dry easily, especially with all the makeup and cleansing. I used to put eye serum too but I just ran out. It's kinda expensive so I'll wait for a while.

Face Cream
Lancome Visionnaire [LR 2412] Correcting Polishing Cream + Polishing Pad
Another amazing product from the visionnaire line! I love this cream because it really makes a difference when applied with the serum! I put a thin layer during nighttime because it is thick and leaves my skin with some shine. But by the time I wake up the next morning, my skin looks bright and my pores are minimized, like my skin is plumped up with moisture and goodness, no more shine, perfectly smooth skin. It also comes with a "polishing pad" but I don't really use it.

Pore Serum
Lancome Pore Expert 3D Collagen Cx
If I really bother, I'll put some pore serum (this one says to be applied at the end of the routine). The Lancome pore expert works great but idk why they discontinued it. So I've been using it sparingly now. 

Personal tip: Phew what a list! But always remember to let the first layer absorb before continuing to apply more products! Especially with spot application, you don't want the product to rub off to somewhere else when applying the next layer. I like to apply eye cream in between serums and also fan dry with my hands. And always apply from thinnest (ie. toner) to thickest (ie. cream) so everything can be absorbed. 

This was a long post but I hope you found it useful! Of course nutritious diet, drinking water and getting enough sleep can also improve your skin. But some of you requested my skincare routine so I'm happy to finally share with you! I know these products are quite expensive but they really last a long time and actually works for me. I would really recommend the Lancome cleansing foam and Lancome Visionnaire serum as the best, along with the complimentary Blanc Expert Toner and Visionnaire Cream. A little goes a long way!

Also a last reminder! My eyelash giveaway ends in a week so if you haven't seen it, go check it out!

If you have anymore questions or tips to share, leave a comment below!
Thanks for reading! 
❤Catherine

Thursday, January 15, 2015

[♥Sponsored♥] BornPrettyStore Lipsticks + Lipgloss Review

Happy new year 2015! ♥
First post of the year and I'll be reviewing 2 lipsticks and a lipgloss, kindly sponsored by Bornprettystore! I love lipsticks so I thought I'd try out a few lip products :) They also have lots of eyelashes and nail decorations too. Many of the products are definitely affordable so go check them out! And don't forget to put 10% discount code CCH10 on your purchase!

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3 Concept Eyes Lipsticks #03 and #08
Get them HERE from Bornprettystore
#03 Color: In the lipstick tube, I'd describe the color as dark pink. When applied to my lips and in photographs, the color shows up similar to the lipstick.
#08 Color: In the lipstick tube, I'd describe the color as cherry red with an orange tint. When applied to my lips, the color is similar but looks more vivid and bright in person. To my surprise, the color is less vibrant photographs.
Texture & Finish: Both lipsticks is creamy with a semi-matte finish to them. I have pigmented lips but both lipstick covers the color well! Not drying nor moisturizing, but you do need to be careful because they can emphasize crack lips. Unlike other lipsticks where applying more tend to cover dry lips, this product doesn't. 

Quality: The twist-tube is metal and has a nice feel to it. It securely clicks-in and functions just fine. The lipstick glides on smoothly and the color stains a long time. 

Overall: I have specific preferences when it comes to lipsticks. Warm lipstick colors (reds, plums, dark pinks/mauve) tends to flatters my complexion the most. Out of the two, I like #03 just because I wasn't expecting #08 to be a vivid cherry-orange color, although looks better on photographs. I get dry lips during winter seasons so that's one reason why this review was delayed. Other than that, the color last a long time so you rarely need to touch up. There are many different colors to choose from, so check them out if you like creamy matte lipsticks.

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Shimmer Pink Lipgloss
Get them HERE from Bornprettystore
Color: The lipgloss is a pale translucent pink pearl color. I've applied the lipgloss on top of the lipsticks. When applied, the lipgloss doesn't change the lipstick color (unless you put a lot).

Texture & Finish: It is not super glossy like Tsubasa's lips, but it does has a pearly shine to it making the lips look healthy and dimensional. The gloss is thin and doesn't feel sticky at all! Yay!

Quality: The packaging is so cute! I love the little flower applicator! One thing I have to mention is that it has a strong artificial strawberry smell. It doesn't bother me much because I don't notice the smell after applying but some people may not like scented products.

Overall: I think the best part is the packaging! I prefer lipsticks over lipgloss but this texture feels really light and not sticky on the lips so I wouldn't mind carrying it with my lipsticks. The gloss is subtle so it doesn't look a glob of oil and instead gives an illusion of healthy lips.

❣ Right now there is a promotion you might want to check out! ❣
❣ All lip products have up to 60% off! Have fun shopping!! ❣
Get the Lipsticks from Bornprettystore
Get the Lipgloss from Bornprettystore
Use 10% Discount Code: CCH10
Giveaway ends January 31st, 2015
Hope you found this review helpful! Also if you missed my last post, I'm hosting a giveaway with Bornprettystore! Up to 10 people can win a box of eyelashes~ 
Click HERE to enter giveaway

Thanks for reading!
❤Catherine
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