Category Archives: Toners, Essences, Sprays

Origins Treatment Lotions and Toners!

The first thing I do when going to a mall is to dump my empties at the recycle bin in the Origins store. Every single Origins store and counter have a recycle bin. Not only are their products natural, they also supports earth friendly practices and all the sales reps I met are knowledgeable and nice. They recently implemented a rewards program where you can earn points to redeem for products, and recycle counts for points as well! I previously used Origins 95% Organic toner, United States toner and A Perfect World. Since I enjoyed them, the sales rep made samples of two treatment lotions she think I’d like for me to try. 20170201_143349

Origin has a category for toner and a category for treatment lotion. Toners are more lightweight and for oily/combination skin while treatment lotions are more hydrating and for combination/dry skin. Basically they are the same step in your skincare routine. I accidentally recycled my full size of United States toner before this picture (it’s here in spirit?).  Continue reading Origins Treatment Lotions and Toners!


DIY Rosewater!

I made rosewater! Rose’s reputation in skincare is well-earned, and I blogged about its benefit as well as some rose sheet masks in the post here. I first made rosewater and posted on BeautyTalk 3 years ago. I’ve tried many rose products, and most of them were lovely, but there’s just something so wonderful about pure, freshly made rosewater that most skincare are unable to replicate. The most time-consuming part of the DIY is to thoroughly wash all the rose petals, so make sure to set aside a few hours for this.original

First of all, as with all DIY, use the cleanest/safest ingredients and sanitize everything! Since you are putting it on your face, make sure to use roses without pesticides/chemicals. Wash all the pots, bottles, and tools you plan to use thoroughly. If you take care to be sanitary while making it and store it in the fridge, it lasted over a month before the color started to change a bit. It worked wonderfully as a toner, facial spray or even impromptu sheet masks!  Continue reading DIY Rosewater!

Going Korean, or Not? Toners Review!

My holy grail toner is Dior Toning Lotion with Velvet Peony. As with all holy grail items, there’s always the fear of it being discontinued or reformulated, so I’m always trying to find a similar/dupe/backup product just in case. I’ve tried quite a few popular toners, they were nice but didn’t impress me, so maybe it’s time to go Korean?20160219_151217

I got the Algenist Hydrating Essence Toner because all my friends love it, then two popular Korean toners off SokoGlam to see if they are any good (Son&Park Beauty Water and Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner) . They are a little different from what I expected, but quite nice, especially if you have dry skin.

20160219_151605 Continue reading Going Korean, or Not? Toners Review!

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!

DIY facial spray. Oh so simple, oh so good!

*Spritz* Spritz*…..*breathe*…..mmmm! Nothing perks me up like a good facial spray, especially after a nap or when you are feeling dry. I’ve tried plenty of facial sprays, and there’s no way I’m getting on a plane without my Tatcha Mist. But for just everyday use, I’m willing to give DIY a try. The only thing you need for a basic facial spray is: spray bottle, water and glycerin. What else you add is up to your fancy. I decided to add some aloe vera and facial oil. I was surprised at how lovely the result was! I feel refreshed and my skin felt soft and hydrated. I’m already on my 2nd bottle actually, definitely recommend!20160205_162618
Continue reading DIY facial spray. Oh so simple, oh so good!

Speed Review, December Edition. What’s Your New Year Resolution?

It’s easy to think the year’s not over yet until after Christmas, then it’s more like “alright, ok, time to prep for the new year.” So now it’s time for New Year resolutions! For last year, my resolution was to start this blog. This year, my resolution was exercise more, buy less and eat healthier. Well, I did exercise a bit more regularly and eat healthier, but I’m not good at portion control so I gained weight. While I manage to control my makeup spending, I wasn’t so good with skincare. So New Year Resolution 2016 is going to supplement that:

Eat regularly and eat less

  1. Do not skip breakfast, even if it’s just a few nuts, a bite of bread or an egg.
  2. Eat less for meals if not hungry, do not treat your body like trash can. You will not starve no matter how small the meal looks, I promise.
  3. Do not snack when bored or when not hungry, especially not after 9pm.

Exercise more

  1. Light exercise everyday, whether it’s 20 min of walking or 30 Day Challenges.
  2. Sweat 2-3 times a week, preferably the Couch to 5K program, I stopped at week 5.


  1. One in, one out. If I want a pretty makeup, use up or throw away one in the same category (gifts are exceptions). Otherwise, just save the pretty picture and move on.
  2. Don’t shop sales or hoard GWP if you have enough skincare to last a year. No matter how good the deal is, I PROMISE that they will have ones just as good next year. Except Limited Editions. =X

That’s not even 10 resolutions in total, I can do this! *determined* I’ve been using an exercise tracker and food diary starting this month. I feel my willpower weakening and get lazy sometimes, but so far I’ve been keeping it up. So what are your New Year’s Resolution?

Or if you’d rather talk beauty, let’s move onto the speed review then! I dropped the empties off at Origins to recycle before realizing I forgot to take pictures, so this will do. 13390-black-hole-1920x1080-space-wallpaper

The Peter Thomas Roth Rose Cream is surprisingly nice, I can’t decide if I like this better or Algenist Overnight better or Murad Hydrodynamic better for winter. Anyways…. Continue reading Speed Review, December Edition. What’s Your New Year Resolution?

Hydrate vs Moisturize. SK-II vs Missha Essence Review

In skincare, there are some finer details that we usually gloss over but feels kind of obvious in hindsight. The difference between hydrate and moisturize is one of them. People tend to use the term hydrate and moisturize interchangeably, and I’m also guilty of that sometimes, but they are not. Hydrate means to increase water content, it usually refers to humectants such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin that attracts water to the skin and hydrates your skin on a deeper level. Moisturizing products does include humectant and hydrating components, but more often it contains emollients such as different oil, beewax, butter and silicone that softens, smoothes, and forms a barrier on the skin to seal the hydrating ingredients in and prevent moisture loss from the environment.


And that is why, you should never look down on products that feels just like water (unless it’s actually 99% water). They may absorb so fast it feels like you didn’t apply anything, but it just works on a deeper level and can make a significant difference, especially if you haven’t been hydrating your skin properly. The best way to get all the benefits is to apply a hydrator (such as hydrating toner, essence or serum) then seal it in with a moisturizer. And today, it is FINALLY time to review the popular SK-II essence and Missha essence. Continue reading Hydrate vs Moisturize. SK-II vs Missha Essence Review

Tatcha Koyo Fall Beauty Set Review

In general, makeup products have way prettier packaging than skincare. There’s nothing wrong with a really good skincare product in a clinical, simple packaging, but pretty packaging is always a plus and makes the products a pleasure to use. Tatcha went a step above that. I like how the order slip is printed on pretty shimmery white paper and always comes with a short handwritten message. I like how each product is carefully packaged with a cute story and clear instructions. I also like how they packaged the Koyo Fall Beauty Set in a simple wooden box wrapped with thick, textured washi paper with autumn leaves embossed onto it, and finished with a gold string tie.20151106_090916

Skincares usually don’t look as pretty as others when given as gifts. I mean, it’s just a bunch of jars in a cardboard box most of the time. But the presentation of this gift set really makes it feel like a thoughtful gift and that there’s something truly special inside.20151106_09144120151106_091521

So far I’ve loved all the Tatcha products I’ve tried. The Rice Enzyme Powder and the Camellia Cleansing Oil are both skincare stables for me. Yes, Tatcha is pretty expensive, but they often have GWP if you subscribe to the mailing list, no minimum for free shipping and you can often find vouchers on Ruelala or Gilt City that gives you up to 40% off. With the discount, it is totally worth the price, and did I mention how beautiful this gift set is?

20151106_091739 Continue reading Tatcha Koyo Fall Beauty Set Review

Sephora Play October Edition: A subscription box review

It feels like everybody and their cousin have a subscription box. Some are too expensive, and some consist of too many drugstore stuff I won’t use. I got an email from Sephora about their Play box subscription months ago. It is currently in its beta testing phase so it is invite only, but Sephora carries pretty nice brands and it’s only $10, which is a pretty good deal. I didn’t get the September box, but after taking a look at what’s in it on Beauty by Jellybean, I decided to opt in for the October box. I’m not big on makeup but dewy skin totally sounds like my type.


You get billed for the box at end of the first week of the month (Oct 9th ish) and it ships the third full week of the month (just got it Oct 23rd). Sephora will send you email with teasers during that time, altho this month’s teaser wasn’t entirely accurate. The teaser mentions hottest Korean beauty and upon first product reveal they listed Becca highlighter instead of Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin skin tint, but I suppose that’s why it’s beta and they are still working out the kinks. As for the products themselves, they are pretty nice. Continue reading Sephora Play October Edition: A subscription box review

Speed Review, September Edition. Hello Autumn~~

The weather have definitely gotten cooler. It’s time to start wearing pants instead of dresses, and start taking care of what you eat so you won’t get sick. It is also a good time to start switching to your colder weather skincare and makeup. I’ve been reorganizing/purging my makeup before the holiday collections come out and found this pretty pretty Tarte palette that definitely deserves to be used more often.
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It is Tarte CC be MATTEnificent Amazonian Clay Palette. The shadows are buttery soft and wears/swatches well. They are all matte, which is rare for eyeshadow palettes. Even if you are not into completely matte look, this makes a great base to tone down the eyeshadows that are too shimmery. It is already discontinued but I figured I’d swatch it and take pictures for the Makeup Swatch Gallery anyways. If this palette is totally up your alley, Tarte does have a new palette that looks quite similar. In general I like Tarte blushes and Maracuja oil more than the other products.

But anyways! I am on a strict skincare no-buy unless I cleared out some of my skincare, so I think I did pretty  good this month. FINALLY finished some of the products that were so old they are discontinued. A little embarassing but it feels good to finally get rid of them. I did keep the frosted glass container and are already reusing them.

20150810_123416 Continue reading Speed Review, September Edition. Hello Autumn~~