Sunday, April 24, 2016

My Skincare Routine

My skincare routine is something I get asked about quite often. 
I have a bit of a skincare product obsession, so I thought I'd write about my favorite products!

Let me be honest with you -- the number one thing that has helped my skin is hormonal birth control. I had fairly bad acne around age 17-19, but as soon as I went on birth control - POOF. It was actually amazing the difference it made! Some people may find that hormonal contraception wrecks havoc on their skin, but it turns out my acne was completely hormonal (tip: acne along the jawline usually is - that's where almost all mine was). If you've tried many products to no avail, it might be something to ask your doctor about.

With that being said, my skin is also "normal", i.e. not overly oily or dry. The products I use may not be right for your skin type. I always suggest looking up reviews on specific products to see what people with similar skin types say about them. The majority of my products are available at Sephora, and their website has a great reviews system.

Morning Routine

My morning routine consists of three or four products, depending on the day.

My cleanser is boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser. When searching for a new cleanser, I specifically was looking for one that deep cleaned pores, since enlarged pores are one of my main concerns (thanks, genetics!). It has ingredients that draw out impurities and oils and then tightens pore walls. It also has a small amount of glycolic acid, which is an AHA (chemical exfoliant) to make skin brighter and more radiant. AHAs are also shown to improve collagen density - aka fight the aging process, which is also a concern for me at age 27.

About twice a week, I also use the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. This stuff is pricey, but it is AMAZING. I first got it as a sample and seriously fell in love. The main ingredient is lactic acid, which is another kind of AHA. It also has a bit of salicylic acid, which is a BHA (the other kind of chemical exfoliant). It definitely lives up to the "intensive" name, so I would be sure to follow instructions and not use it more than twice a week.

Next up is moisturizer! I think this might be the only product I use not from Sephora lol.
I use Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer for sensitive skin. I don't actually have very sensitive skin, but I'm extremely sensitive to scents and didn't like how the regular one smelled.
I'm not 100% devoted to this particular moisturizer, but I don't dislike it and haven't found one yet that I prefer.

Finally, I use Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protector for face as sunscreen. It's very important when using an AHA to use sunscreen, as it can increase photosensitivity. The sun is also the number one cause of aging! This has SPF 42 - you should look for a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. I like this because it's oil free and goes on very light - you can't tell it's there at all! I use it right before putting on my makeup.

Night Routine

In addition to some generic eye makeup remover and the above cleanser, there are two main products I use at night.

The first is Origins High Potency Night-a-Mins Skin Refining Oil. This is another of my holy grail products - I got a small sample from Sephora and was instantly hooked and bought the full size not long after. This also has salicylic acid, and it also has vitamins C and E which are antioxidants (and therefore anti-aging). It has been the number one help for my enlarged pores - they no longer bother me, to be honest. All thanks to four or five drops of oil after cleansing!

I follow up the oil with Korres Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial as an intense moisturizer. I've tried the Night-a-Mins moisturizer, and while I liked it, didn't find it as hydrating. My skin is more radiant with the Korres product. It also smells amazing! My skin is so dewy and healthy looking when I wake up in the morning after using this.

Occasional Use

I also like to use a mask once or twice a week.

Usually, this means a sheet mask because they're so easy and there's zero mess. For the most part, I get mine at a local Korean beauty shop called Pretty & Cute - most of their masks are under $2 a piece (marked up from the original price, but still very cheap). I also do like Sephora's sheet masks, but they're pricier. I really only purchase them when I have a discount code or need to add something small to my cart for free shipping. The above is only a small portion of my current stash lol.

I also have some wash-off masks I really like - Origins Clear Improvement (the one on the right) and Origins Original Skin (the one on the left). Clear Improvement makes my skin so incredibly soft! I usually use it right before a big event. Original Skin I've only used once (just got it a couple weeks ago) - it has a physical exfoliant (jojoba beads), so I don't want to use it too often because I don't want to over-exfoliate!

So remember how I said I have an obsession with skincare products..? That obsession includes samples.
The above is my current stash - not including minis of things I have full sizes of.
Many of the products I use above I originally got samples of and really liked, so I try to use a sample or two every week or so. They're also really great for travel!

I actually just signed up for Play by Sephora, their new subscription box, so I'm excited to get a bunch of new deluxe samples every month!! They sent me an email last week saying I was off the waiting list, which made a crappy week just a little bit better haha.

Do you have a favorite skincare product?
I'd really love to hear what your holy grail product is!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Baby Ponytail - Indie Brand Review

It's been a long time since I published a blog entry!
I have some ideas floating around in my head (and several drafts already written), but I just don't have a lot of energy to put into writing these days. I enjoy blogging though, so I'm making a fairly small goal of publishing once a month.

A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Claudia, the designer for an indie lolita brand called Baby Ponytail, asking if I would be interested in receiving a piece from their (then) new collection, Mermaid's Castle in exchange for some publicity. The photos looked super cute, so I agreed!

There were some hiccups in production, but I finally received my jumperskirt last week - on my birthday no less~! It was nice timing haha.

Last weekend, I went downtown to the Portland waterfront with my friend Katie to take some photos in my new jsk~

I love that aspect of Portland's geography - the river cuts the city in half, which makes navigation super easy for someone like me who always gets lost haha.

We got really lucky with the weather that day! It's been raining almost every day since October, but it was dry and pretty warm - we even got a bit of blue sky!

 I wore my Lockshop Sylph wig because it reminded me a little of the mermaid's hair in the print!

Most of the rest of my coordinate is from Angelic Pretty, except the cardigan (offbrand/Gymboree), wristcuffs (Chess Story), and shoes (Secret Shop).

The print is so vibrant!

You can see my birthday manicure here! It doesn't photograph very well, because it's mostly just glitter and sequins haha. So sparkly!! 

We came across this garden in front of an office building with some pretty trees! I love how much I stand out against this background~

Keep reading for a full review~!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

♡Recent Purchases♡

I've been neglecting this blog recently...truth be told, I've been low on inspiration u_u
While I continue to search for that spark, here are my recent purchases within the last few weeks!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Room Tour

My blog has been pretty wordy recently, so I wanted to post something mostly pictures and less heavy content!
I also recently cleaned because I had friends over, so as someone on Tumblr requested, here's a short tour of my bedroom~

For fun, see if you can find all the Rilakkuma/Korilakkuma items - there are 22 (visible), if you count each Rement set as 1. ;)

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Art of Casual Cute

Getting dressed up in lolita is a lot of fun - but it's a lot of work and not the most comfortable, and it's really not appropriate for every situation.
Many lolitas then turn to other more casual cute Japanese fashions. There are a number of labels out there for styles under this very wide umbrella (for example, himekaji, otome-kei, Larme-kei), but they're all about being cute in a very wearable sense.

Ank Rouge
The transition between dressing in lolita and dressing casual cute can be tough for those who entered the general world of fashion through lolita. Lolita is a very structured, rule-centric fashion, while other fashions tend to be much more open-ended. For this reason, a lot of lolitas feel lost when trying to create outfits outside of the rules and confines of lolita fashion.