So this post has been a long time coming. To be honest, every time I went shopping for new cosmetics, I found myself buying all of my favorites again. I hadn’t really tried anything new. There’s a reason why things like the SkinFood Black Sugar Foam Scrub have sort of a cult following.
And then winter happened.
And shit got real.
I have very oily/combo skin in the summer, and in the winter, like most people, my skin gets super dry and tight. Luckily, most of the cosmetic stores in Korea know this too, and have launched special winter care lines. I can honestly say I haven’t had the slightest bit of dry skin this winter. I also bought some new nail polish, eyeshadows, some acne cream, and other random things. Part 1 of the winter beauty review will focus on skincare, and Part 2 will focus more on the makeup and extra random stuff. Without further ado!
Innisfree Almond Sugar Scrub (5/5). Everyone needs a scrub in their beauty regime, and especially in the winter. Dry, flaky skin is not the look. This scrub from Innisfree is quite lovely. Whenever I use it, I feel super luxurious. I think it’s the texture, which is a bit creamy. The granules aren’t super rough, and it has a great almond smell. If you have sensitive skin, this would be perfect for you. I actually use it every day because it’s just that gentle. Get it!
The Innisfree Jejubija Anti-Trouble Spot Essence R (4.5/5). I picked this up when I had a nasty, nasty, PMS pimple (you know the ones that come on your chin and they’re huge and red and painful). I actually ran into Innisfree, walked up to the closest saleswoman, pointed to my face, and said, “How can I fix this?! Please!!” She pointed me to this stuff, and I’m eternally grateful.
It’s basically an emergency spot treatment for those ridiculous pimples that need a little help going away quickly. You have to put it on with a Q-Tip, DO NOT put it on with your fingers. It’s a thick, almost calamine lotion type of texture. If you put it on with your fingers, it’ll take a million years to come off, so don’t do it. I usually put it on at night so it can have a full 7 to 8 hours to work its magic. In the morning, your pimple will be mostly gone. It’s a miracle worker!
The Face Shop Face It Velvet Skin Primer (5/5). Now, I know I said I swore by the Etude House Primer, and I do love love love love love it, but I wanted to try something new. A new Face Shop opened up by my house recently, and I’ve never really tried their stuff, so I thought I’d give it a try. According to the saleswoman, the Velvet Skin Primer is the #1 best selling primer in Korea. And I can see why.
I truly believe that primer is a must have in any beauty regime, especially if you wear foundation or face makeup. A good primer should smooth out your skin texture, create a flawless base that you can apply makeup to, and help your makeup stay put for hours. I think that the Velvet Skin primer does a great job at all of these things. It’s very lightweight, not sticky, and easily absorbed into the skin. It also has a really pleasant scent. The packaging is great, and actually a much better value than the Etude House Primer, as there is more product. I was having to buy new Etude House Primer about every 3 weeks. I’ve had this for well over a month, and there’s tons of product left.
The Face Shop E’thym Collagen Water Moisture Cream (2/5) I was in the market to try a new moisturizer after my Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Cream ran out. I was hesitant to try this because the Nature Republic moisturizer is just SO good that really nothing can compare. The saleswoman told me that the E’thym Collagen moisturizer was perfect for winter, yadda, yadda, so I decided to give it a try.
And it’s just…meh. It’s not terrible, and it’s not great. It’s just average. It has a very runny, yet very creamy texture (I know, doesn’t make much sense, but that’s how it feels) that doesn’t absorb into the skin that well. It also had a really strong scent that I felt like I could smell on my face all day. Once it did absorb, it gave my skin a really nice glow. And my skin was definitely never dry using it. I just couldn’t get into it. I gave myself about 3 and a half weeks to try and get used to it, but then I caved and repurchased the Nature Republic moisturizer. So, basically I’m saying by the stuff from Nature Republic.
Etude House Nutrifull Shea Butter Sleeping Pack (5/5) So first things first…what is a sleeping pack? A sleeping pack is basically a mask of sorts that you apply after you’ve washed and toned your face at night. Korean cosmetic companies have a multitude of different sleeping packs, some designed to brighten, tighten, reduce pores, control shine, etc.
The Etude House Nutrifull Shea Butter Sleeping Pack is a part of Etude House’s winter organic shea butter collection, designed to supply optimum moisture during the arid and cold, winter months. I am beyond obsessed with this stuff. OBSESSED I TELL YOU! The instructions say to apply it at night after cleansing, and in the AM, cleanse your face with warm water. It’s supposed to supply the optimum amount of moisture and make you look like a goddess in the morning. And it does! I almost don’t want to wash my face because my skin looks so good. I skyped with my momma the other night and she even commented on how great my skin was looking (Hi mom!). It has a really nice scent, and the texture is divine. It’s rich, creamy, and thick. A little goes a long way. If you have extremely dry skin, (and even if you don’t), pick up some of this and treat yo’ self! I’ve been using it every night since I’ve bought it and I can tell you that my skin is looking radiant.
Smashbox Sheer Focus Tinted Moisturizer (3.5/5) and Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer (5/5). Yes, neither of these are Korean cosmetics, but I get so many questions about what face makeup I use, that I thought I’d include it.
If you are dark skinned, you will not, I repeat, WILL NOT find Korean face makeup in your color. Does not exist. I can buy eyeshadows (which I’ll review in Part 2), but blush, bb cream, bronzer, etc., yup, that’s a no go. There are no Korean brand BB creams in dark colors. They are rarely even in tan colors. In the States, there are a few different companies that make BB creams for dark skin, but it’s still a very small selection, and I’ve never tried them. So what do I use?
I use both the Smashbox Sheer Focus Tinted Moisturizer and the Laura Mercier Oil Free tinted moisturizer. Out of the 2, the Laura Mercier moisturizer is my hands down favorite. It’s absolutely incredible. It’s wonderful in the summer. I’m currently using Mac Mineralize Foundation in NC45, but whenever I just want to run to the store or I’m too lazy to do a full face, I’ll use my tinted moisturizer. The coverage with the Laura Mercier product is great, and it really evens out your skin tone. It doesn’t break me out and it doesn’t leave my skin super slick and oily like a lot of tinted moisturizers do. It’s not watery at all, the texture is rich and creamy, just like a moisturizer should be. Be warned, it is a bit expensive, but totally worth the price. If you’re in Korea, certain department stores sell Laura Mercier, but they don’t sell the darker colors. I’m a Tan in Laura Mercier, and a Medium in Smashbox, for reference.
Have any of you used any of the products I’ve recommended? What’s been your favorite? Let me know in the comments!