MONTHLY FAVORITES ↠ AUGUST 2017

Ah, my sorry attempt to post my monthly favorites on time has failed yet again. But they are my favorites post to read and write about, so I hope my late favorites will still inspire you to grab a thing or two from what I’ve been loving last month in August! I added a little twist to the end too, just keep reading to see what.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Liquified Lipstick in cava & caramelized ($24 sephora)

Liquid lipsticks have always been my weapon of choice in the past, but the Bite Liquified Lipsticks are outside my usual ammo. Matte foundation, matte blush, and matte lipsticks were my go-to and this time around I’ve started to lean more towards a glowy and glossy finish. Bite Beauty is starting to become one of my favorite brands with their great lip products–  they even use natural ingredients! I fell in love with the online swatches of these lipsticks and I quickly made the purchase when the opportunity arose. They leave a creamy, satin finish with great lasting power and pigmentation. My lips don’t feel dry at all when I apply them, and I always keep one by my desk at work. The packaging is also super sleek. I have 4 different shades but my favorites so far are cava (a lilac pink) and caramelized (a peachy nude) — they are perfect as everyday lippies!

Cargo HD Picture Perfect Pressed Powder in #30 ($32 ulta)

I know, I know– I was totally raving about the BareMinerals foundation in July, but I think I like the Cargo pressed powder just a little more. It does a great job at reducing the appearance of my pores, while also hiding any extreme texture on my skin. Although the BareMinerals powder provided good coverage, it did have a slight tendency to accentuate texture if I didn’t apply it correctly. I also really appreciate how my Cargo powder is a lot more travel-friendly, so it’s perfect for touch ups. Additionally, I wanted to note that this maintained a matte finish for much longer than BareMinerals.

Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil Easy Shape & Fill in #3 ($24 sephora)

Oh, the eyebrows– they can either make or break your look. Thankfully, the Benefit eyebrow pencil is here to make your look. For the past year, I’ve been using powders, rather than pencils, to fill in these caterpillars I call eyebrows in. I initially thought powders had a longer lasting power, until this eyebrow pencil came into my life! Its waxy texture is not too rough, making it long lasting and easy to apply — typically I find most pencils difficult to use. Unlike other pencils, it has a triangular shape that makes application a smooth and easy process. I’ll be buying a back up of this very soon.

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle ($23.50 birchbox)

I received a deluxe sample of this detangler in my July Birchbox and didn’t really start using it until August. My only disappointment is that I didn’t try it earlier! My hair has always given me a difficult time– I have naturally thick, frizzy, and wavy hair, not to mention I’ve dyed it numerous times for the past 10 years. I struggled with finding a perfect leave-in spray/cream that would tame my lion’s mane without making it too heavy or left with little results. But this completely changed the game for me! Not only does it smell divine, but it really does get the job done. When I’m done washing my hair, I just towel dry my hair and spray this on. It makes my hair silky smooth without weighing it down. I will definitely be purchasing a full size of this when I run out.

Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner ($19.90 amazon & $25.50 sokoglam)

When it comes to Korean skincare, two terms that people can be easily confused with are hydration vs. moisture. Contrary to popular belief, these terms are actually not interchangeable and are used to describe different states of your skin. Without going into a complicated explanation, I’ll put this as simply as I possibly can — ‘hydration’ = water and ‘moisture’ = oil. A good balance of the two is usually recommended in your skincare routine, while others argue that hydration is important mostly for those with oily skin. The Klairs Toner distributes just enough hydration to my skin without making it greasy. It makes me skin bouncy and soft, and if you need extra hydration you can add multiple layers and it won’t get heavy! I would recommend this product for my oily skinned guys and gals with dehydrated skin.

“The Little Book of Skincare: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin” by Charlotte Cho ($15.94 amazon)

My growing knowledge of skincare started to kick-off with me roaming around reddit and other beauty blogs. But I wanted a more credible source to learn about the craft, so a book by an accredited aesthetician was right up my alley. Charlotte Cho’s book on skincare is packed with tons of helpful information, not only on skincare but also Korean culture, which I enjoyed a lot. She explains different topics from suggested products and ingredient uses to expectations of Korean beauty and a recommended diet, and yet it is still an easy read with the cute illustrations and casual tone she uses. I would highly suggest giving this book a read if you are just getting into skincare, I can honestly say I’ve learned so much and I can’t wait to get another book on skincare.

Chung Jung Won Organic Brown Rice & Barely Tea ($4.99 galleria market)

Not much to say here, but damn this tea is amazing! It’s has no caffeine in it but it is still rich in antioxidants. It has other health benefits as well, so I don’t have a problem drinking 2… maybe even 3 glasses of this a day. It has a delicious, slightly smokey taste to it — I usually like sipping this over ice. It helps me with my food cravings, so I find myself not snacking as much. You can probably find this at your local Korean or Japanese market.

And that’s the end of my favorites! Now on to my little twist. Okay, it’s not that crazy but I thought I could add an ‘unfavorite’ or two in each of my monthly favorites post. I did just want to make a disclaimer though — these are just products that personally did not work out for me. It is totally fine if you use these products! Here we go–

MONTHLY UNFAVORITES ↠ AUGUST 2017

Benefit Boi-ing Airbrush Concealer ($20 sephora)

I received this product as a free deluxe sample in one of my Sephora packages. Benefit claims that this concealer is lightweight and undetectable with sheer to medium coverage. It had a faint peachy undertone, so I thought it’d be great for color correcting the darkness under my eyes. Unfortunately, the formula of this concealer was way too dry and it made it pretty difficult to blend. It was super obvious I was wearing makeup with this concealer on, which is a no-no for me.

EcoTools Perfecting Blender Duo ($9.99 ulta)

I heard some positive reviews for this sponge, and since it’s a drugstore product I thought it would be a great replacement for the well-loved Beauty Blender Sponge. I got it for 20% off of Ulta, so I didn’t have much to lose. I really wanted this sponge to work out for me, but sadly it didn’t. Maybe it’s just the shape of my face, but the way that the EcoTools sponge is angled does not blend foundation very well onto my skin. Unlike the Beauty Blender, it has a flathead-like point, which made it difficult for me to apply my under eye concealer. The texture is also more firm and not as soft as its competitor, making some applications of liquid products to be a bit splotchy. Maybe I’m just using it wrong, but I’m going to continue using the sponge with different techniques — still rooting for you, EcoTools!

Did you like my short section of unfavorites last month? Let me know your thoughts. Figured it would add some variety to these monotonous monthly favorites posts. I’m trying to brew up something new for my next post– just keep an eye out!

  Calamari, out.

MONTHLY FAVORITES ↠ JULY 2017

I think I’m already beginning a trend with these better-late-than-never posts, but 7 days into August isn’t so bad to post my July favorites. This month, I tried to focus more on finding a skincare routine that best suited my skin type and wearing less makeup. Finding the right skincare routine is definitely a long process, and I have to admit I’ve been testing products on and off for the past year. But this month, I finally discovered a couple of products that really made a difference, so let’s start off with skincare first.

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch ($5 sokoglam & amazon)

image provided by sokoglam

This pimple patch is a hydrocolloid bandage that kills bacteria and heals whiteheads.  I just slap a couple of these on my face overnight, and I am not exaggerating at all when I say there is a SIGNIFICANT improvement the next morning when I wake up. The main trick on using this is that it only works on whiteheads with an open wound (so right after you pop that bad boy), it does NOT work on cystic acne or closed comedones. What this miracle product does is speed up the healing process of an open wound — so after about 7-8 hours of keeping this on your blemish, it is a lot flatter and less inflamed. This patch is the last step of my evening skincare routine. After I apply my serums, essences, and moisturizers, I take a cotton swab and wipe off any excess product on the blemish so that the patch can stick on properly.

My Beauty Diary Sheet Masks (~$14-$22 for 10 amazon)

image provided by amazon

I was always a wash-off face mask kind of girl, until I realized that there is such a thing as having dehydrated skin. I always thought the main skin types were normal, oily, combination, and dry skin and I labeled myself as a member of the oily skin club. Thanks to /r/asianbeauty  I realized that my oiliness may be rooted from dehydration due to overexfoliation. Put simply, when you exfoliate your skin too often and constantly use oil-eliminating products, it causes your skin to dry out and overproduce oil — thus making you shine like crazy! Ladies and gents, oils can be good for you. That being said, sheet masks have been extremely helpful in helping me restore my moisture barrier and the My Beauty Diary ones are packed with tons of serum! They have various types of masks suited for different skin types but my favorites so far are the Imperial Bird’s Nest Mask and Apple Polyphenol Mask — one for firming and hydrating and the other for brightening and clarifying, respectively.

Daiso Silicone Moisturizing Mask ($1.50 daiso)

image provided by amazon

This goes hand-in-hand with my sheet masks! I think I have an oddly shaped head, so sheet masks tend to fall off my face. I put the Daiso Silicone Moisturizing Mask on top of my sheet mask (beware — you’ll look like Freddy Krueger) to keep it in place so that I can also do other tasks while I’m waiting for it so soak in. It also prolongs the effect of my sheet mask since it prevents the serum from evaporating into the air too quickly. It’s made out of silicone, so I just rinse it with water when I’m done using it and let it air dry until I’m ready to use it the next time — affordable and reusable.

BareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 ($29 sephora)

image provided by sephora

Foundation is my favorite makeup product to test out — liquid foundation to be exact. So it was a little difficult for me to turn a new leaf and get on the powder foundation game. This month I tried to steer clear of using liquid foundation, since it can get a bit heavy and clog your pores. The thing about most powder foundations is that they can easily get too powdery and cakey, but the BareMinerals foundation doesn’t do that! I get medium coverage with a satin to demi-matte natural finish. I don’t feel like I’m suffocating my skin when I use this, so it’s perfect for everyday use. It also makes me feel a lot better knowing that it doesn’t have too many ingredients in it. I use shade golden medium 14, it’s a pretty good shade for me and I’m in between a NC30 and NC35 in MAC.

2017 Sephora VIB Rouge Brush (free after becoming VIB Rouge)

image provided by sephora

I love using this brush specifically with the BareMinerals foundation. Initially, I used a large fluffy face brush to apply powder foundation, but now I actually prefer using a small brush. It’s not too tightly packed and it’s not too fluffy — it’s right in between. I find that using a smaller brush helps me get more precise in areas where I need to add a 2nd layer of powder for more coverage. Plus, it’s travel friendly so it’s perfect for touch-ups!

Colourpop’s Nail Polish in One Wish, Two Wish ($6 colourpop)

image provided by colourpop

The “holo” trend has been in the beauty community for a while now, but it took me a while to find the perfect holo nail polish until Colourpop came out with their new nail polish line this month. With just two coats, you get a metallic rainbow sheen — perfect for summer! I keep my jewelry fairly simple, so having this pop of holographic glitter adds a colorful accent to my hands. Its lasting power is nothing impressive, it typically lasts about 5-6 days until it starts to chip with a base and top coat. But I am mainly in love with it for the color!

That’s it so far for my July favorites this month! It’s a couple of days late, but that doesn’t mean these products should go unmentioned. I’m still testing out some other skincare products, and I need to wait a couple of more weeks until I decide how I really feel about them — so I’ll save those for my August faves if they make the cut. Keep an eye out for my next post, I’ll either be talking about my trip to Seattle from last week or do some unboxings. Leave a comment if you had a preference and what your favorites were for July  :).

P.S. I just wanted to give a special thanks to my friend, Leslie, for making my logo! Isn’t it just the cutest?