CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?
I can’t, to be honest. A lot has happened since I last posted on this blog. I left Phuket in March and moved to Atlanta, GA. I’ve been here nearly 5 months. Initially, I was super excited to be home – I ate my life away and spent way too much money at Sephora, but those tiny pangs of depression started eating away at me. There have been a lot of tears and a lot of frustration, but I’m getting better. I’m finally feeling settled and have a nice work and life routine.
So, let’s get to why we’re all here. My current favorite skincare products! Easily the best part about being back in the US is the easy access to skincare products. No more worrying about how much the I’ll be charged for customs or if I’ll even get the products at all. I’ve been able to fill my collection with a bunch of stuff I would’ve never gotten my hands on abroad. It’s the BEST. I’ve found some real bomb ass gems!
All items that were provided as gifts and for review will be listed with an asterisk (*). I have not, and will never accept money for reviews. All other products were purchased by me. Also, this post features affiliate links. Please view my disclaimer for more information.
Now that that is out of the way!
First up, we have the Thank You Farmer Back to Iceland Cleansing Water*. This is my go-to to use before I go to the gym because I cannot stand for my face to be dirty before I work out but I also don’t want to wash my face with soap because I’m just going to wash it again. It’s very gentle, cleanses really well and leaves my skin clean, soft, and slightly hydrated. It also removes eye makeup pretty well and doesn’t sting the eyes. It’s very similar to the Son & Park Beauty Water (another one of my favorites), so if you like that, you’ll love this one too.
So we all know that I’ve used the Biore sunscreen for the last like 2 or 3 years and had a minor (aka major) obsession with it. I thought I wouldn’t really find a substitute until Tracy from fanserviced-b told me about the Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel. I’ll literally buy anything she tells me to (hey girl!) so as soon as she told me about it I put it in my Amazon cart. It’s incredibly lightweight and sinks into the skin almost immediately. It isn’t as drying as the Biore is and wears much better under makeup for me. I’m also a HUGE fan of anything with a pump so…this is a clear sunscreen winner for me.
One of my long time favorites is the Hyggee Fresh Essence*. Jen from Beautibi sent me this while I was still living in Phuket and it is the absolute most perfect summer time/hot weather moisturizer. It’s a staple in my morning routine. It’s actually a three-in-one product – a toner, essence, and serum in one. It has a soft, lightweight gel texture and sinks into the skin like magic. I mix it with The Ordinary 23% Vitamin C suspension on days I’m not planning on wearing makeup in the morning.
The Laniege Mini Pore Blur Perfector* has been another summer staple for me. I use it as the last step of my skincare routine in the morning (after sunscreen, before makeup), to slightly mattify and blur the skin. It does act as a primer of sorts, meaning that it does help blur imperfections and pores, but it’s not going to keep your makeup on all day. I like it because it’s that perfect middle ground between a dewy finish and the ultra matte/flat finish. I know my skin is oily but I’d almost rather be a little on the oily side than super matte.
AND NOW. Girl. The Laneige Special Care Lip Sleeping Mask* is incredible. I’m obsessed. It’s a night mask for the lips! I have incredibly dry, flaky lips that I have to keep moisturized constantly and whenever I use this at night (aka every night), I wake up with pillow soft lips. The texture is similar to vaseline but with a bit more “oompf”. It just feels a bit more hydrating and nourishing than your regular lip treatment. It has a subtle fruity scent and is slightly tinted pink. I sometimes use it in the daytime too! It’s not suitable to wear under lipstick in my opinion because it is quite thick, but I love it when I’m just lounging around the house. The mini spatula it comes with is also to die for! So cute!
P.S. Laniege USA has graciously offered a code for my readers to use to receive a special gift with purchase. Use the code SHERYLL on us.laneige.com to receive a deluxe Lip Sleeping Mask with every purchase. Also, they offer free shipping over $50 AND you can also receive a limited edition Laniege In Flight Kit with your purchase of $50 and more SOOOO get your life ok!
And next we have my acne fighting baes from Garden Of Wisdom – the 8% lactic acid pads and the 2% salicylic acid pads (the writing is a bit faded on that one, sorry!). The lactic acid pads were recommended to me by Tracy (hey girl!) and she told me it would feel like I’m burning my face off in the best way. That’s a pretty accurate description. The lactic acid pads are NOT FOR BEGINNERS or people that have sensitive skin. Proceed with caution. My skin is made of steel so these don’t bother me really but they are STRONG. It’s literally lactic acid and water. That’s it. No humectants or skin soothing ingredients. But listen. I have had really bad breakouts on and off since I’ve moved back and these lactic acid pads have saved my life. They help keep those nasty under the skin bitches from coming to the surface and make my skin SO soft and smooth. I have to use a slather my skin in sheet masks and heavy moisturizers afterward but they are so worth it.
The BHA pads kinda remind me of what would happen if you soaked Paula’s Choice BHA liquid into cotton pads. They are really effective at leaving my skin soft and smooth but be warned, they can leave a bit of an oily sheen on your skin, so I only use them at night. I like them because they are easy to travel with, they leave my skin balanced and help keep my hormonal acne at bay. Both products are NO FRILLS and get the job done. It’s really simple skincare at its finest.
Which brings me to the final set of products from The Ordinary. Everyone and their mom has heard of this brand at this point so I’m not going to get into that much (I want to write in depth reviews of these anyway) but I gotta admit I was pretty skeptical. Anytime I see a brand all over social media all of a sudden my little red flag goes up. But I read the reviews and watched the YouTube videos and got some unbiased recommendations so I decided to bite the bullet and… GIRL.
All of the products from The Ordinary are unreasonably cheap which also made me kinda side eye them but there’s a reason for that. Like Garden of Wisdom, most the formulations from The Ordinary are bare bones and straight forward. You aren’t going to find any fragrance or special fancy skin soothing ingredients. But you will find some effective ass products so, hey.
First is the Vitamin C Suspension 23% HA Spheres 2%. I was hella worried about this because the reviews talk about the texture being similar to sand paper. While yes, the texture is quite gritty, that problem is easily solved by mixing it with a water based moisturizer or putting it on while your face is damp. The only other issue is that it IS greasy/oily. I can really only use this at night or when I’m not wearing makeup during the day .. BUT THE RESULTS. GIRL. It’s like a whole new damn world. My skin is so bright and my acne scars have faded significantly.
Second is the 30% and 2% BHA peeling solution. Another slam dunk. It’s a thin, watery red liquid – spread it on and leave for 10 minutes and then marvel at how soft, smooth, and BRIGHT your skin is. When I first tried it I legit gasped out loud when I washed my face. It’s a bit drying, so follow up with a nice sheet mask and a soothing moisturizer. I also wouldn’t recommend this for first-time acid users. Start with the 5% or 10% lactic acid and work your way up. I also wouldn’t use this more than once a week – over exfoliating is almost worse than not exfoliating at all.
And last, but certainly not least is the Azelaic Acid 10% Suspension. You can read all about this wonderful, beautiful acid on the klog, but listen. You need it in your life. It fights acne causing bacteria, reduces inflammation and helps regulate oil production. The texture of this product is a bit tricky too – it’s a dry, thick paste that takes a bit of effort to rub into the skin. I find that it’s easiest to apply in sections. This is another product that has really saved my skin from the brink of hormonal acne meltdowns. I already ordered another one, along with the *gasp* 30% VITAMIN C. MY FACE IS READY.
Whew. This is long. But necessary. I’m so happy to finally be blogging again. Leave me some comments, okay?