Currently Testing

newtotry

Hi Lovelies!

I know you’ve been waiting (or maybe not) for me to write a new review, but I’m not at that stage justttt yet. I’ve been testing a bunch of new different things but haven’t been using any long enough to see any sort of major reactions/changes so I’m holding off for now. But I still wanted to share with you what I’m currently testing (and loving!)

So I bought both the OHUI White Extreme (don’t be alarmed by the name!) and the HERA Aquabolic emulsions a month or 2 ago but I hadn’t really used them regularly until this month. I’m still trying to finish my damn su:m37 emulsions and apparently I’m just never going to finish them so I’ve sort of moved on.

I didn’t realize that there are two different types of the HERA Aquabolic emulsions and I actually got the one for dry skin. I would’ve preferred the one for oily/combination skin, but I’ve been using the one I have at night and it’s really nice. The OHUI White Extreme Cellight emulsion is something I’ve just now started using pretty regularly and I really like the scent and texture.

I’ve had the Primera Gel Cream for AGES and just re-discovered it in my skincare stash. I think I may have used it once or twice and just sort of tossed it aside for no real reason. But it’s REALLY nice. Gel creams are my favorite texture for creams and this one is really lightweight and perfect for summer. It’s officially hot as hell in Vietnam (it’s “summer” so it’s 3 times hotter than normal), so this is something I’ll definitely be reaching for more often.

I’ve been on the hunt for a new toner – not an essence, but a tried and true toner to use after washing my face. COSRX is a new to me brand so I thought I’d try out some of their stuff. The Galactomyces Alcohol-Free Toner was a product that immediately caught my eye, mostly for the Alcohol-Free part. I’ve really been enjoying it so far!

So thanks to a friend of mine, I’ve been getting hardcore into product ingredients. I don’t know if you know this, but I wasn’t really an ingredient junkie until recently. I just bought things that sounded interesting and looked up reviews and that was that. But I’m trying to start curating quality skincare that works, with ingredients that are proven effective, instead of just spending money all willy-nilly. She’s the one who introduced me to the world of chemical exfoliation and my life will never be the same.

I’ve used BHA products in the past without any luck. I never even gave AHAs a shot, but now, both are a firm staple in my skincare routine. I have the Paula’s Choice 2% BHA liquid and my precious Biologique Recherché P50 lotion in my stash, and both have tremendously changed my skin’s appearance. I haven’t had a major bout of acne in about 2 months. But both are expensive and difficult to get in Vietnam, so I decided to try out COSRX since their AHA Whitehead Power Liquid and BHA Blackhead Power Liquid both have great ingredients, and are inexpensive. Full reviews on all the COSRX products will be coming soon!

And last is my precious HERA Cell-Bio Sync Fluid. I haven’t been giving this a fair shot since I’ve still been reaching for my Missha First Treatment Essence out of habit but I am now committed to using it daily. My initial advice: skip the cotton pads and just apply directly to your skin. Don’t follow the weird guidelines on the side of the bottle for how much to use. I find that a few drops is more than enough to completely cover my face, which means it lasts MUCH longer. Each bottle is designed to last only 30 days which I find crazy because this essence isn’t cheap. I’ve had mine close to 2 months now and I’ve hardly made a dent in the bottle. I know this is something you will all LOVE so I’ve already taken the photos for a full review ASAP!

What have you been testing out lately? Let me know in the comments!

Life in Vietnam 2

Life’s been going swell lately. I’m full force into my new job, and I’m really liking it a lot. I’m busy, but in a good way. I’ve finally established a routine and am managing my time better. I also just found out I’ll most likely be teaching summer school again and I’m going to start again at a gym next month…so YAY. That’s about as exciting as my life has been in the past few weeks, haha!

I also recently made another amazing order from w2beauty, so of course you’ll be the first to know when I get it. Also, a reader asked when I’ll be posting my nighttime routine, and I’m in the process of testing out a bunch of new stuff so I wanted to get some time in there first to see how it all works out before I post. Unless you just want to know what I’m currently testing, then let me know!

Without further ado, here are some photos I’ve snapped with my iPhone of my life here in Vietnam. Hope you enjoy!

wine koreanbbq fruitstand starbucks froyo palms chicken cutting ciaobella phumyhung2 apartment crossiantandcoffee phumyhung secretgarden flowerswomensday happyhour crescentmall

AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel Review

amorepacific

 

A little back story first: I’ve never really gotten into AmorePacific because a) they are expensive, and b) when I was living in Korea I was just never really drawn to the brand. AmorePacific also owns Sulwhasoo, innisfree, Etude House, Laneige, IOPE, HERA, and more. I feel like all of those brands are more popular than AmorePacific but maybe I’m wrong…haha! Anyway, I was browsing Sephora.com wishing I could buy everything when I remembered that they sell AmorePacific, so I decided to see what sorts of things the brand offered. The AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel was one of the items that stood out to me the most, mainly because it had so many great reviews. If you find something with over 500+ 5 star reviews, I think it’s safe to say it’s probably a good product.

The AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel is described as “a highly effective, botanical-based brightening exfoliator made without harsh ingredients.” It’s formulated without sulfates, petro-chemicals and phthalates. It’s designed to help brighten, soften, and even your skin tone without harsh chemicals or abrasive micro bead exfoliants. According to Sephora.com, “Natural papaya enzymes work to eliminate dry, dull surface cells and toxins to reveal a soft and smooth complexion. It improves penetration of other treatment products due to removal of dead surface cells.” Good stuff!

amorepacific2

The AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel is packaged in a luxe, hard plastic bottle, containing 2.5oz of product. It has a small opening at the top that dispenses an even amount of product each time, but I find that it’s a bit too much to use at once (this shit is expensive so I’m trying to make it last!). To use, turn the bottle upside down to make some of the product filter into the opening, then pour whatever you want in your hand. When storing this product, do not keep it in the shower or anywhere it can get wet. If water gets into the bottle, it turns the product into mush and renders it useless. I’d cry if that happened to me, so I just keep it in the skincare closet thing I have.

It has a very strong fragrance, so if you have allergies to perfumes, you’re probably going to want to steer clear. It smells like a fancy ass perfume…like very literally it smells like a fragrance or body lotion I would wear daily. It definitely doesn’t smell like “skincare” if that makes sense. I don’t really use a lot of products with such a heavy scent, but that being said, it does smell pretty gorgeous and luxurious. Thankfully, once you rinse it off the scent doesn’t linger.

powdershotThe AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel is a powder that turns into a foaming cleanser of sorts when you add water. The more water you add, the more foam it creates. Add less water, and it’s more of a paste. I prefer to use less water because the foam can get a little runny and it gets into my eyes. I usually use about 2 or 3 drops of water for an amount of powder shown above. It’s not a cleanser, so this product should be used after cleansing your face as the exfoliating step. Of course, no one is stopping you from using it as a cleanser, but I prefer to have my face as clean as possible before I use it. I massage it into my skin for about a minute to 90 seconds (they recommend 45 seconds but whatever I like to live on the wild side), and rinse with tepid water. Despite it being called an “enzyme peel”, which to me sounds like it’s something super harsh and extreme, it’s incredibly gentle. It feels like any other gentle foaming cleanser would. It doesn’t burn or sting, and it hasn’t caused any irritations whatsoever for me.

foamamorepacificThe above photo is a very minimal amount of product and water. I just wanted to show you what it turns in to. It definitely gets more foamy than this!

The first time I used the AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel, there was a noticeable difference as soon as I rinsed my face. My skin felt incredibly soft and smooth, so much so that I couldn’t stop touching my face as I was rinsing the product off. After a few days of continual use, there was a visible difference. I noticed my skin was brighter, and any small whiteheads that I had disappeared. I can honestly say that it 1000% definitely works and I’m sort of obsessed with it. My makeup applies like a dream! I just feel like overall this product has been a real game changer for me and my struggle with acne since moving to Vietnam. As it stands right now, I haven’t had a single pimple in well over a month, which is a HUGE feat.

And as a die-hard member of the Church of Clarisonic, I didn’t think I’d find another exfoliator that could work as well, and this one DEFINITELY does. I mostly use my Clarisonic to get the rest of my makeup off at night with a foaming cleanser, and use the AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel every other morning to help my skin retain its glow. It’s gentle, it’s effective, and honestly, there isn’t much more I could ask for in a product. Bonus points for it being a powder, which makes it easy to travel with as well!

Now…there is a negative. It’s fucking expensive. It’s available on Sephora.com for $60, and on w2beauty.com (where I ordered from) for $67.69. I’m sure that there has to be a product out there that is similar and does the same thing, BUT. But. I do think it’s worth it. Judging by how often you use it and the amount of product you use, you could very easily have a bottle last for at least a year. Another option is to order sample sizes from ebay or just go into a Sephora (if you’re in the U.S.) to try it out before spending the big bucks. Would I repurchase? Yes, yes and more yes.

What is your favorite exfoliator? Let me know in the comments!

Shara Shara Honey Bomb All-in-One Ampoule

sharasharahoneybombHi my lovelies! Sorry for the long delay in posts. I have good and bad news. Good news, I got a new great job! Bad news is that I’ve been super overwhelmed this past week trying to juggle 2 jobs, Glamtrotting, the blog, and I also just started private tutoring. So yeah..I’m busy. But I’m trying to work on scheduling my life since that’s something I’m awful at. I’m more of a ‘figure it out as I go along’ kind of person, but that isn’t really working out. Scheduling will be where it’s at from now on.

Anyway, today I’m reviewing the super lovely Shara Shara Honey Bomb All-in-One Ampoule. The ladies at Glow Recipe sent this over in a package with the LJH Tea Tree Serum and this definitely was the product that I was the most interested in. I started using it while I was back in the US, but thought the real test would be how it would hold up in Vietnam, so I started using it consistently about 4 weeks ago.

closeupsharasharaThe Shara Shara Honey Bomb All-in-One Ampoule is a multi-tasking product that can replace your toner, serum, and moisturizer. It’s fortified with Manuka honey, Royal Jelly and Propolis Extract, and contains other awesome ingredients like bamboo extract and sea buckthorn berry extract. It’s free of parabens, synthetic fragrances and dyes, and mineral oil.

A complete list of ingredients: 

Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Diglycerin, Betaine, Pentylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-51, Piper Methysticum, Leaf/Root/Stem Extract, Phellinus Linteus Extract, Arctium Lappa Root Extract, Honey Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Propolis Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Pueraria Thunbergiana Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Bambusa Vulgaris Water, Hamamelis Virginiana Flower Water, Soluble Collagen, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch, Hydrolysate, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Disodium Edta, Caramel, Sodium Polyacrylate, Pvm/Ma Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Panthenol, Acacia Senegal Gum, Folic Acid, Ceramide 3, Cholesterol, Raffinose

It’s designed for all skin types, though I think if you have dry skin, you may have to use a moisturizer with this product as well. If you have normal to oily skin, this would be a perfect product for you. I am in LOVE!

It’s packaged in a huge amber colored plastic jar that contains a whopping 250ml of product. The jar is huge, and I’m personally challenging myself to finish the entire thing because that would be an amazing feat. The product is slightly honey colored and faintly smells of honey. It also comes with a spatula that you’ll definitely want to keep handy with such a huge jar of product. There’s no way I’m dipping my hands into it all the time!

productinjarsharaThe texture is one of my favorite things about the Shara Shara Honey Bomb. It’s a very lightweight, slightly runny gel. It’s not sticky at all, and applies like a dream. It doesn’t leave my skin oily or shiny, and hydrates without the heaviness. If you live in a hot, tropical climate like me, this may be a go-to product for you.

swatchsharaLike I mentioned earlier, I’ve been busy. I haven’t had time in the mornings to go through a complete morning routine, so I’ve been washing my face, using the Missha First Treatment Essence, then slapping this on. You only need a small dime sized amount of product to cover your entire face. It’s soothing, hydrating, and feels great on the skin. Plus, since it absorbs quickly, I can move on to my sunscreen and makeup in a snap. Afterwards, my skin is bright, glow-y, and smooth. You can also use it as a nighttime sleep mask, but I haven’t used it that way yet. I may try that tonight!

I think my favorite thing about this product by far is that it’s a true multi-tasking ampoule. If you’re a traveler, this would be an amazing product to decant and take with you on trips. One of my biggest problems is trying to decide what to bring on trips and not having enough space for all of my products, but this ampoule completely eliminates that problem. I’d feel 100% comfortable just bringing this product and a cleanser on a trip.

You can find the Shara Shara Honey Bomb All-in-One Ampoule at Glow Recipe for $40. It’s a bit pricey, yes, plus the sheer size of the product ensures you get more than your money’s worth. If you use my link here, you can receive $5 off your first order.

Disclosure: A sample product was gifted from Glow Recipe. Opinions expressed here are 100% my own. 

 

Life in Vietnam – iPhone Edition

I don’t share nearly enough photos of my life in Vietnam on the blog. Now that I have a fancy-pants new iPhone 6, I take pictures constantly, but I don’t want to flood Instagram. I’ve decided to start a little photo series here each week where I can share with you what I’ve been up to, where I’ve been eating, all the good stuff.

This week, I discovered a new cafe/restaurant in Phu My Hung called Eden Cafe. They have a delicious brunch and excellent coffee. They even have a mini library of English books that you can read while you’re there!

brunchateden2 tiles dinnerswithfriendstaco night with friends in D2

pretetflowers notredame operahouse babaskitchenYummy Indian food at Baba’s Kitchen down Bui Vien

saigonstreets apartmentliving beerclub prembistroLunch date at Prem Vegetarian Bistro

buddha saigonviews brunchatedenBrunch at Eden Cafe

valentinesday2Valentine’s Day Dinner at Cobalt Restaurant

lusine notredamesaigon 40years notredameflowers sherylljohnnysaigon quanututThe BEST pulled pork sandwiches at Quan Ut Ut

favoritecafeMy favorite Korean coffee shop in Phu My Hung

fruitsandveg afternoonlight pinkcatholicchurch refineryLate night drinks at The Refinery

I love sharing my photos, so let me know if you like this sort of thing!

xoxo

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