February: Rent The Runway x Birchbox

photo 3 (4)February has been a very busy month for me. With work, looking for a new apartment, and blogging, my Birchbox this month really made my February special. Seriously, it’s the little things – in every literal sense of the word ‘little’ ’cause it’s just samples. Still, I love my Birchbox! If you don’t already know, Birchbox is a monthly subscription box that is curated from your personal beauty profile. Each month, you receive 4-5 samples of deluxe size beauty products. This month, instead of letting Birchbox surprise me, I decided to go with the guest editor box made by Rent The Runway. Here are the products I received: Continue reading

Beauty By Beauteque – Head To Toe Pink Bag

Product junkies who love receiving a little surprise every month can rejoice with Beauteque’s subscription service. Beauteque is a US-based website that sells Korean beauty products. They describe themselves as,

The sum of beauty plus boutique gives you an equation called Beauteque. The one stop shop haven of everyone’s dreams! An online store that is not just simplifying, but magnetizing the business of beauty, bringing on board elements and brands from the other side of the world, Beauteque brings together for you the East and West, as it continues to globalize.

I received my first beauty bag from Beauteque last week and am pleasantly satisfied with my Head to Toe Pink bag. The Head to Toe Pink bag has 8 products varying from skincare to cosmetic products. And as you can already tell from the name, all the products in the bag are pink! Here are the goodies that came in my February bag:

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Products from L-R: Hada Senka by Shiseido (lotion or toner), Blending Sponge, Capsule Wash-Off Mask, Femme Couture Highlighting Luminizer, Tony Moly Mascara, Etude House Sleeping Spoon Cream, Tony Moly Auto Lip Liner.

Hada Senka by Shiseido: I’ve tried Shiseido products in the past and have always loved them, so I was really happy to receive this lotion/toner in my bag. Hada Senka’s lotion works great as a moisturizer. It’s more runny than other thick moisturizers I am used to but works great under makeup since it is so hydrating. I have not tried this as a toner yet, but if you’re interested in picking up this 2-in-1 product, to use as a toner, pour a bit onto a cotton swab before applying it to your face. (Retail: $15.95)

Blending Sponge: I recently jumped on the beautyblender bandwagon late last year, so practically squealed when I saw this in my bag. If you have never tried applying concealer or foundation on with a sponge before, you must try it! To use, wet the sponge and ring out the excess water. Place a bit of your liquid makeup product on your hand and dab it on the blender. Apply the product in a quick-patting motion for a flawless finish. (Retail: $15.95)

Capsule Wash-Off Mask: Anyone who knows me, knows that I loveee face masks. I have not had the time to try these wash-off masks yet but I am excited to try it out on my day off sometime next week. The mask claims that it is perfect for dealing with pores… I’ll update you all next week when I test it out. Oh, I received 2 capsules, so double the fun with this product! (Retail $2.50)

Femme Couture Highlighting Luminizer: I’m not one to brag, but my highlighting skills have definitely gotten wayyy better lately. Sidenote: My boyfriend likes to throw actual highlighters at me when I’m doing this process in the morning. When done right, highlighting gives your face a natural and healthy glow. The packaging says that this product is a cream but it’s not thick like you would think. The product is runny and can get a bit messy if you squeeze too much so be careful! A little goes a long way. This can be used alone or mixed in with foundation. (Retail: $11.50)

Tony Moly Mascara: Just in time! I needed a new mascara so badly. So glad this came in right when I needed it. Want longer looking lashes? I’m siding with this one. (Retail: $6.50)

Etude House Sleeping Spoon Cream: I love going to bed packing on my creams, so am always excited to rotate new products at night. This spoon cream claims to brighten and moisturizer the skin around the clock. (Retail: $3.95)

Tony Moly Auto Lip Liner: Ladies! This is such a beautiful rose color! It’s a shade darker than the natural color of my lips so it’s perfect for me. I am going to be using this product as a lipstick color as well since the liner has more of a creamy texture. (Retail: $7.25)

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Overall, I am so stoked to try all of the products in my Head to Toe Pink bag. I was not expecting to be blown away by all the products, but I truly am. The deal is even better. It is nearly an $80 value bag for just $26. If you want this bag, it is available through March 15th at Beauteque. If you try it out, let me know what you think! xo


Valentia Even Glow Vitamin C Serum

I’ve been in the process of looking for a new apartment with my boyfriend so it’s been a very busy month for me. I’m happy to announce that we found a place and will be moving in next week! Even though we are moving to a slightly bigger place, I am downsizing my skincare collection. I started collecting all of my used products since I want to start with fresh products once we move into our new place. Shameless plug: a posting of all the products I finished so far in 2015 so far will go up by the end of next month. One of the products I finished in 2015 is my Valentia Organic Rosehip Oil . I absolutely loved it and am equally sad that it’s all gone. However, I decided to try out Valentia Even Glow Serum, another product by Valentia.

photo (2)The serum combines effective anti-aging and moisturizing ingredients. It contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and rosehip oil. Hyaluronic acid helps the skin retain more moisture. The result is plump, soft and hydrated skin. Vitamin C boosts collagen, protects skin’s elasticity, minimizing wrinkles, and keeps your skin looking radiant. Rosehip oil is great at improving the appearance of fine lines, scars, and sun damage.

Valentia says that they spent almost a year testing different formulations of this serum- 17 in total. They say,


The results have been overwhelming.
– “Immediate softer skin and more consistently so with continued use”
– “Evens skin tone”
– “A healthy, radiant glow first thing in the morning”
– “Old acne scars and sun spots are quickly beginning to fade”

How To Use: Shake lightly for 1-2 seconds to mix all the ingredients (they tend to separate). On a clean face massage softly some drops of this serum until they get fully absorbed. Allow to dry before applying moisturizer.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: This is definitely different from the vitamin c serum face serums I have tried in the past. First, it is oddly thick and creamy, so it doesn’t look like any serum I’ve seen or used before. Second, it feels a bit sticky after it has dried and takes a bit to absorb into the skin. Nearly two months of using it, I have not noticed any extreme differences. I tend to reach for this serum at night since it has such a sticky feel to it. As a result, my face looks hydrated and smooth in the morning. Overall, I love that this serum lightened up my acne scar on my cheek and works great post-breakout. However, thumbs down on the stickiness, wish I could wear it during the day but it doesn’t work under makeup.

Do you use a serum in your skincare routine? What’s your favorite? Tell me in the comments section below!


Beauty & Sun Protection Factor

I’ll be the first to admit that I always  forget to slather on some sun protection factor (SPF) before leaving the house in the morning. SPF is a sunscreen’s ability to block ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the skin. UVB rays contribute to sunburns, and at its worst, skin cancer. In an effort to take better care of my skin, I’ve been mindful of incorporating SPF into my beauty routine anytime I can.

If you’ve shopped for SPF creams before than you’ve probably noticed the SPF ratings. Most sunscreen products come in SPF 15, SPF 30, and SPF 45. SPF 15 products block about 94% of UVB rays. I own mostly SPF 30 products, which blocks 97% of UVB rays. SPF 45 products block about 98% of rays. My doctor and most dermatologists I’ve talked to recommend SPF 30 products since the difference between it and SPF 45 are not much different. However, keep in mind that none offers 100% protection.

Here are some products I currently own with SPF, AKA some of my faves:

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Sun Si ‘Belle: This is a light and non-greasy sunscreen protector. I love that it’s paraben free, gluten free, chemical and toxin free. It’s a tinted cream but leaves a bit of a white cast so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this product to wear under makeup. (SPF 30)

ELF POWDER: This is my go-to SPF product because I always powder my face after my makeup routine in the morning. I love this powder because it goes on effortlessly and I can easily apply more throughout the day without messing up my makeup look. (SPF 45)

SWEET SCIENCE: This one is the tiny, tiny, tiny container in the photo. I got this product as a sample in my Birchbox and absolutely love it! It is a silicon free, tinted moisturizer that works really well under makeup. I also love that it does not leave a residue behind. This can be worn with or without foundation. (SPF 35)

DR. JART: This is my tinted BB cream that I use when my skin is feeling a bit oily in the morning. Extra bonus points that it’s also free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. Great for wearing with makeup. (SPF 30)

ELF FOUNDATION: I wear very little foundation. I don’t really like covering up my face with makeup unless it’s a special occasion. I probably grab this foundation once a week, on a night when I’m going out or going to an event. I love the light coverage it gives and touch-ups are really not needed with this product. (SPF 15)

MAKE: This primer is one of my favorites! It’s white but dries up translucent, and since it feels light-weight on the skin, it’s perfect to wear under makeup.  (SPF 30)

Clearly, I only remember to SPF when it’s a part of my beauty routine.

Do you wear SPF every day? What products do you use? Tell me in the comments section below!

Toning Up My Face With InstaNatural

First, I should say that I usually love InstaNatural’s products. Their skincare products are not only natural and affordable, but I find them to be very effective. If you have not tried any products from their line, read my previous review of their Dead Sea Mud Mask, it’s my favorite product from InstaNatural.

This week, I’ve been using InstaNatural’s Pore Tightening Vitamin C Facial Toner.  The toner is made up of natural ingredients, but the main two are: Witch Hazel – to purify the skin and reduce the appearance of pores, and Vitamin C – to strengthen the skin and reverse signs of aging. Facial toners has been my thing since early 2014, when I decided to step up my skincare routine. Skincare on fleek!

photoFIRST IMPRESSIONS: When I first tried the toner, I thought it was refreshing. I love any product in a spray bottle but I don’t think it works for toners. You can spray this directly onto your face, but I suggest just spraying it into a cotton ball to conserve more product. If you don’t mind it then you can spray it directly onto your face, but I promise your bathroom will smell like freshly peeled oranges or wood cleaner – I can’t quite place a finger on the smell.  I didn’t notice any extreme pore-minimizing after the first couple of uses, but my skin definitely felt tighter and my pores were slightly less noticeable. My only criticism on this product it the smell. Thumbs down. If you are sensitive to strong scents, I’d steer clear of this product. It has a really pungent orange-pine type scent that isn’t suitable for everyone.

Overall, I’d say that this toner is great for removing excess oil, and minimizing pores. If you don’t mind the smell, pick this one up and give it a try. Retail: $17.49.

What toners are you using in your skincare routine? Do you have a favorite toner product? Tell me in the comments section below!