Category Archives: Makeup Removers, Cleansers

Cleanse with Drunk Elephant: Juju, Pekee or Beste?

In case you can’t tell, I’m on a Drunk Elephant binge this month. I covered all the serums and moisturizers in the last post, so now let’s talk about cleansers! They recently came out with Beste Jelly Cleanser, so I decided to give all the cleansers a try. One of the highlight about Drunk Elephant cleansers is that they are pH balanced for your skin. The pH scale is 1-14 with 7 being neutral, 1 being most acidic and 14 the most alkaline (basic). Why should you care even though you are not a chemist? Because it has to do with your acid mantle.

The acid mantle is a layer of amino/lactic acids and oils protecting skin from environmental factors (bacteria, pollutants) that contribute to premature aging and irritation. Usually it has a pH of 5.5, which is the optimal pH for healthy skin. However, some soap can be very basic with pH of 9 or 10, which dries out the skin and causes it to be more susceptible to wrinkles and premature aging. If you overdose on acidic products with very low pH like peels or DIYs with lemon juice (which has a pH of 2! yikes), then your skin will appear red, irritated and may be more prone to breakouts. That’s why many cleansers and toners often mention being “pH balanced”. Even if they don’t, your skin will let you know if the products you use are too basic/acidic. For reference, pure water has a pH of 7, which is neutral. Drunk Elephant Beste has a pH of 6.1, Pekee has a pH of 6.51, and Juju has a pH of 6.34. That’s that for the science part, let’s try them out! Continue reading Cleanse with Drunk Elephant: Juju, Pekee or Beste?


Fresh Soy Cleanser for Sensitive Skin: Gel or Milk?

Soy is not the first ingredient I think of when people mention antioxidants or anti-aging. However, do you know that soy is one of the few “complete protein” that is plant-based? Your body needs ~20 different types of amino acids to function properly and 9 of them must be obtained from food. A “complete protein” must contain all nine of these essential amino acids in sufficient amount. The amino acids in soy are critical to build collagen and maintain the elasticity of the skin. Soy also protects the skin against inflammation and moisturizes due to the high level of vitamin E it contains. Also, it is a natural potent antioxidant. Research has shown that it can correct pigmentation and visible signs of aging due to environmental exposure.

However, some people who are allergic to soy in food are also allergic to soy in skincare, so get a sample to try first if you can’t consume soy. Fresh Soy Cleanser has been a long time favorite for many people with dry or sensitive skin. They came out with Fresh Soy Cleansing Milk last fall, and I finally decided to try them out this month. Aside from the soy oil/protein/extract, both of them also contain other moisturizing and calming ingredients such as rosewater and cucumber extract. Continue reading Fresh Soy Cleanser for Sensitive Skin: Gel or Milk?

Speed Review: Let’s Start with Cleansing

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a speed review, so I decided to start with my cleanser samples first. Lylysa did a wonderful breakdown of different types of cleanser, but there are a few other things to remember as well. You don’t need fancy ingredients such as antioxidants in cleansers since it gets washed off, but you do need to use the cleanser appropriate for your skin type and condition. What I do is I cleanse, pat dry, then wait for 20-30 seconds then touch my skin. If it feels dry and tight, or stuffy and unclean, then try a different cleanser. 20170108_120903

Even though some cleansers state that it can remove makeup, most cleansers can take 1+ minute to completely remove makeup while makeup removers (cleansing water, oil or balm) can remove the same makeup in 20-30 seconds. So before you ditch that cleanser because it didn’t clean, did you try removing makeup first before cleansing? Did you try massaging the cleanser for 30 seconds and rinse thoroughly? If so, then no matter what rave reviews other people give, try a different one. My favorite cleansers are Boscia Purifying Cleanser and Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser, but I’ve seen good reviews for some of these samples, so I hope to find a few more favorites this time.

Continue reading Speed Review: Let’s Start with Cleansing

Favorite Summer Cleansers: Murad and Peter Thomas Roth

My favorite part of summer are the fresh fruits and sunny weather. Least favorite part? is that my face always get sweaty and oily by the end of the day. For some people, switching from winter to summer skincare is just switching to a lighter moisturizer. For me, it also involves switching my cleanser from something hydrating to something more purifying for the pores and help with sun damage.20151110_144913

Two of my favorite summer cleansers are Peter Thomas Roth Anti-aging Cleansing Gel and Murad Essential-C Cleanser. PTR helps with anti-aging and pores via a blend of glycolic, salicylic acid and citrus extracts; while Murad helps with anti-aging by protecting against environmental and sun damage with vitamin A, C and E.

ps. So the When giveaway has ended, congratulations to Emma for winning the masks and thanks to everyone who participated! It was nice reading your comment and there will be another bigger giveaway at end of the year. =D Continue reading Favorite Summer Cleansers: Murad and Peter Thomas Roth

Skincare Musts and Essentials!

When I was a teen, I had greasy skin and hated anything glowy, dewy, or luminous. A decade later, my skin is a lot drier and I’ve realized that greasy oily skin is not the same as dewy glowing skin. I started the blog to keep track while searching for my holy grail products. Hundreds of products later, I have found some essentials, and learned a lot about skincare along the way. My journey is by no means complete, but The Glossier‘s beauty essentials challenge inspired me to share my philosophy and essentials so far on the blog. Glossier is a beauty brand that focuses on simple beauty products with good ingredients. I haven’t tried their products before, but their blog Into The Gloss is one of my favorite with clean layout and good contents. But anyways, skincare! First of all —

Never skip skincare at night.

Even if you don’t wear makeup, all the dirt, bacteria and oil from the day can clog your pores, not to mention the environmental stress that ages the skin. Your body also repairs itself during sleep so it is especially important to do your skincare before bed. After all, you can either spend hundreds on anti-aging skincare later, or take advantage of your body’s natural repair and renewal process by doing your skincare every night. Another bonus for me is that the skincare routine helps me to relax and unwind at end of the day. And wouldn’t you rather waking up to healthy glowing skin rather than dirty dry skin?20160420_121844

One product that really helped to make sure I do skincare at night is Koh Gen Do Cleansing Water. I’ve tried dozens of makeup removers in liquid, water, oil and balm form and this is one of the best. It’s no rinse so you can use it anywhere anytime, to fix your makeup during the day, before cleansing, or half asleep in bed at night. It leaves the skin feeling clean, comfortable and hydrated. I don’t recall ever going to bed without washing my face, thank to the bottle of cleansing water I keep by my bedside. On days where I’m too tired or busy, I would just do cleansing water, moisturizer, and sleep. I’ve actually got more bottles than pictured lying around with liquid in it for traveling. And speak of traveling — Continue reading Skincare Musts and Essentials!

Irritated skin? Try Sunday Riley, PTR or Erborian Cleansing Balms!

It’s been SO COLD lately! Negative degree weather is already bad enough, add harsh wind and ice on top, it’s a perfect recipe for red, dry, irritated and wind-chapped skin. While I love my cleansing water, cleansing balms are definitely more moisturizing and I need every bit of hydration/calming I can get. The three balms that caught my interest are Sunday Riley Blue Moon, Peter Thomas Roth 24K Gold and Erborian so I got samples of them to test.20160201_152254

Without further ado, let’s get to it! Continue reading Irritated skin? Try Sunday Riley, PTR or Erborian Cleansing Balms!

Looking for natural cleansers? Try Oz Naturals Ocean Mineral Cleanser

I got into Korean skincare last year, and is getting more interested in natural products this year. I recently joined BrandBacker, where you get to choose what products you are interested in trying/reviewing (instead of doing a bunch of stuff and sent things you may not like). Anyways, as I was browsing, Oz Naturals caught my interest. Oz Naturals products are cruelty-free, paraben free, sulfate free, mineral oil free, lanolin free and gluten free. I usually don’t care about all that, since most products with those claims are either expensive or ineffective. This cleanser is reasonably priced at $23, especially for the amount of good/non-filler ingredients it contains (organic aloe vera and rosehip oil? yes please~~~) so I was excited to try it. Disclaimer: Whether a product was provided for free or bought by me have no influence on my opinion of the product.

20160201_150126 Continue reading Looking for natural cleansers? Try Oz Naturals Ocean Mineral Cleanser

Speed Review, January Edition. And Spring Collection Swatches

There were so many beautiful powders this year, from Burberry’s lace patterned highlighter to YSL’s Boho Stone collection. I couldn’t resist swatching the array of beautiful Dior Spring collection laid out in front of me while at Nordstrom. The little floral patterns on the blush and eyeshadow powder didn’t go away in one swatch as I had feared. Aside from the blush, all the powders are pretty shimmery. I posted a little video on Instagram to better show the shimmer.


They didn’t have a lot of fallout, and the pigmentation of the powder is medium. The blush provides a natural, soft wash of color. The eyeshadows are pigmented enough so you can distinguish between the yellow, green and blue but sheer enough to not look childish or costume-y. The eye pencils are creamy and pigmented, they are easy to apply with pretty good staying power after it sets.

I also couldn’t resist swatching the Chanel Sunkissed Ribbon blush. The blush itself is smaller than the palm of my hand, so you can’t realistically pick out individual colors to use. The powder is soft, pigmented and does provide a very flattering warm dusty rose blush. While the colorblock stays, the ribbon pattern goes away fairly quickly. If you are looking for the pink/white pearl highlighter, it is currently available on Chanel website and


However, I was not in luck since the stores didn’t have what I wanted. And my skin has been so dry it’s drinking up skincare like a sponge, so I’ve been pretty much dousing it with oil. It’s amazing I’m not a grease ball and haven’t had a breakout yet *knocks on wood*. I don’t want to see any oil for at least a month….. oh who am I kidding, I’ll probably start playing with them again next week. Anyways, onto the speed reviews…


Continue reading Speed Review, January Edition. And Spring Collection Swatches

Speed Review, November Edition. L’Oreal Go 360 Clean

Can you believe it’s December already? Time for last-minute crunch at work and being spammed by holiday discounts and sets everywhere. Since I absolutely hate having fancy skincare going to waste, it’s also time to organize my stash. I spent the weekend taking out ALL of my skincare, and I mean all, from cheap free hotel thing neglected in the corner of bathroom to fancy holiday sets that I haven’t opened yet. I categorized them according to season (lightweight gels, lotions and oil control stuff for summer, creams and hydrating masks for winter etc) as well as checked the expiration date on everything. Moisturizers and serums I no longer care for becomes body lotion, facial cleansers I don’t like becomes hand soap, and masks have been generously applied from the face down to my neck and decollatege. I don’t have expiring toners, so I’ve been making good progress.


But there’s one cleanser that I’ve forgotten that I do like. L’Oreal Go 360 Clean Deep Facial Cleanser. I mean, it’s just a normal gel cleanser that foams up, nothing special and a little drying on my combination skin (more appropriate for oily skin). However! I love using it as a brush cleanser, the reason being the little silicone pad it came with. As much as I like using pretty brushes, I don’t enjoy standing at the sink forever cleaning them. Depending on the products used and when you last cleaned, it can be difficult to get all the makeup out of the brushes.

The little silicone pad is AMAZING at getting the stubborn makeup out! It helps to prevent makeup stains and makes washing brushes faster and easier. I put some L’Oreal cleanser in my palm, dab my wet/damp brushes in it, then swirl on the silicone pad a few times. Voila! 5-10 second is all it needs most of the time, a bit longer for getting cream and liquid products out (foundation, concealer, lip color etc) but so much faster than just using fingers! The cleanser and pad are pretty much my brush cleaning kit and only cost ~$6 ish. The pad is a bit too small for fluffy face brushes, so if you like how it works then you can splurge for the larger silicone Brush Cleaning Glove or Mat from Sigma. All my friends who got them loves them, but I’d rather spend money on pretty things so the little cheap silicone pad works plenty well for me.

ps. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Even if you are not interested in the products, a comment on how you like the blog so far is appreciated! Thanks!


As for the speed review for the month, I’ve been focusing on my stash of packet samples, so here’s the review for the assortment of things I tried. Continue reading Speed Review, November Edition. L’Oreal Go 360 Clean

Test test 123: Dr. Jart+, Origins and Dior Cleansing water review

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I’m obsessed with cleansing water. The reason why I love cleansing water more than other makeup remover is that they are also no-rinse, so they are great for nights where you are too tired to wash up or want to remove your makeup when there’s no place to wash up. Sure, wipes do the same thing but many of them contains alcohol so they are not quite as nice on the skin and one wipe may be too wasteful or not enough depending on the amount of makeup you are wearing. s1670306-main-hero-300
Koh Gen Do cleansing water has been a favorite of mine for years. However, I could not resist the temptation of the new products and have started to wonder if there is anything even better than KGD out there. The three cleansing water that I’ve got my eyes on are Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water, Origins Mega Mushroom Micellar Cleanser and Dior Instant Cleansing Water.  Continue reading Test test 123: Dr. Jart+, Origins and Dior Cleansing water review