Envriron #FocusOnFlawlessSA Beauty Trial

Environ #FocusOnFlawlessSA Product Trial with Beauty Bulletin by blogger Roxy Hutton of CityGirlSearching-01-01.png

A little while ago I asked my dear followers over on Instagram for recommendations to help me deal with my red, inflamed, extremely dry skin and I got so many great recommendations!
A lot people recommended @environskincare products, which I haven’t used for ages.

Environ #FocusOnFlawlessSA Product Trial with Beauty Bulletin by blogger Roxy Hutton of CityGirlSearching

 
I know that the pimples I have are pretty much all hormonal (thanks to the 5 baby month bump I’m sporting) but the rest of my concerns (flaky, inflamed, red and dry skin) have got more to do with ageing (eeek #hello30) and so this delightful duo I’ve been sent in conjunction with @beauty_bulletin couldn’t have come at a better time.

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I’m going to be testing out the Revival Masque from the Youth Range, as well as the Hydrating Oil Capsules from the Moisture Range and I will be sharing my thoughts over on Instagram (@roxyhutton) in the coming weeks.

Click below to follow me over on my favourite social media platform:

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Let me know if you’re in the same boat as me and have been looking for something that actually does what it says in the box.

I’m even going as far as to share some makeup-less ‘before’ photos so you can see some exactly how my skin is looking right now (wrinkles, pimples and redness and all!) and how it changes (or doesn’t?) over the coming month.


You can follow my progress and all the other ladies participating in this trial by searching for the #FocusOnFlawlessSA.

Quick & Easy, Budget Friendly Everyday Makeup Look Tutorial Especially for the Moms - Video

Quick & Easy, Budget Friendly Everyday Makeup Look Tutorial Especially for the Moms Video Tutorial CityGirlSearching-01.png

Being a mom is hard, especially on those days when you feel like that's all you are. I'm sure it's not just me who still wants to feel like a lady, even if I've got unwashed hair and struggling to remove the smell of milk from my clothes...and this is when I turn to my makeup stash to help me feel a little more like the old me. 

I've got a very quick and easy, budget friendly, everyday makeup look which I put together (along with product recommendations) especially for the busy moms. And even though this video has been created with the mom in mind, it's certainly just as useful to those of my followers who haven't yet/aren't planning to enter the mommy stage of their lives. It won't take you hours to do, and you don't need a lot of products either. I've shared my recommendations of products I use and love, but you could create the same look using what you've already got in your makeup bag.

Click below to watch the video.

Enjoy!

x

Here are the products I mention in my video:

Foundation

  • Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream in Light

  • Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector Roll on BB Cream for eyes & blemishes

  • Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

Blush

  • Catrice Cosmetics Multi-Matt Blush in LaLaLavender

 

Eyes

  • Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Trio in Walking on Eggshells

  • Maybelline The Collosal Volum' Express Mascara in Black

I hope you enjoyed the video! Here are some of my other videos that you might enjoy too:

Skin Creamery - Everyday Cream & Oil Milk Cleanser {Review}

Skin Creamery Everyday Cream & Oil Milk Cleanser Review Flatlay by RoxyHutton of CGScreative CityGirlSearching Blog-01.png

Ever since I stumbled across Skin Creamery on Instagram (I think I found them via my friend Keri Bainborough) I have lusted after their products...probably mostly due to their gorgeous Instagram feed (have a look for yourself).

skin creamery blogger review by citygirlsearching

 

I love their minimalist approach to their branding, their beautifully packaged products, and the fact that their products are made from only the finest of natural ingredients. 

"The Skin Creamery vision is a hope; a hope to instill a daily ritual of simple self-care, which translates into a loving appreciation for who you are, just as you are."

How lovely is that?!

Skin Creamery Everyday Cream & Oil Milk Cleanser Review Flatlay by RoxyHutton of CGScreative CityGirlSearching Blog (11 of 12).jpg

In the run up to Christmas last year, I hinted at a few ideas to Farmboy of things that were on my wishlist. I had just seen that SkinCreamery were having a special offer on their shipping costs, and so the hints became less hint like and more direct. Anyway, after a little while I forgot all about the products, and come Christmas I was delighted to find a very pretty package of SkinCreamery goodies waiting for me under the tree.

Everyday Cream for Face & Body R345 200ml

I have very sensitive skin, and often have eczema flare ups on my hands and wrists (you can read all about my skin care routine during my pregnancy, which was when eczema really flared up, by clicking here).

Anyway, I am always really nervous about trying out body creams (and face creams because by default the cream always ends up on hands and causes a reaction) but I have been pleasantly surprised by Skin Creamery's The EveryDay Cream for Face & Body. 

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Honours the skin’s natural balance
  • Easily absorbed
  • Certified organic ingredients
  • Hypoallergenic
  • 100% natural fragrance
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I have had little to no reaction to the ingredients (yay!) and love the soft and gentle fragrance of the Jojoba oil. The cream also contains Coconut & Baobab Oil:

Coconut oil is praised for its anti-aging properties. It deeply regenerates and rejuvenates the skin thanks to its high protein content. Baobab oil is an excellent moisturiser and works to improve skin elasticity – naturally. Rich with vitamins A, D, E and F, it helps restore the skin’s natural glow. Jojoba oil contains naturally occurring iodine and is packed with anti-microbial properties. This helps inhibit harmful bacteria that cause pimples, blackheads and acne breakouts. SkinCreamery

For those of you who like to know exactly what's inside your products, here is a full list of ingredient listing:

Water (Aqua), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Oil*, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Glycerin*, Glyceryl Strearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Fruit Oil*, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Oil*, Isoamyl Laurate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Caprylate, Xanthan Gum,Dehydroacetic acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Mentha Spicata (Spearmint) Leaf Oil*, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil*, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Vanilla Planifolia Extract*, Citric Acid, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Linalool**, Limonene**, Geranoil

***certified organic ingredients

**component of natural essential oils

I also love how it leaves my skin feeling soft and supple, but doesn't leave my face looking greasy. It's the perfect day cream! 


Oil-Milk Facial Cleanser R373 200ml

I hadn't expected to also recieve this lovely face cleanser, but my hubby really did spoil me.

While I also have to be very careful with face washes/scrubs/oils (again, do to my very sensitive hands) this cleaner has been a wonderful addition to my skincare routine, leaving me again, with little to no reaction when on my hands after use!

It's got the most invigorating and refreshing fragrance which is perfect for an early morning wake up. Once dispensed, the oil quickly creams up and becomes milky, making it a wonderful texture to wash your face with. it also doesn't leave any oily residue, and also doesn't leave your skin feeling stripped. 

Here is a little more info:

  • Suitable for all skin types
  • Effortlessly removes make-up
  • Leaves skin feeling nourished
  • Soap and alcohol free
  • Made using certified organic oils
Flatlay by RoxyHutton of CGScreative CityGirlSearching Blog (9 of 12).jpg

And for those wanting to see a full list of ingredients:

Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond) Oil, Decyl Glucoside, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Glycerine*, Rhus Verniciflua (Berry) Peel Cera, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Fruit Oil*, Sodium Levulinate*, Sodium Anisate*, Adansonia Digitata (Baobab) Oil*, Sucrose Laurate, Citrullus Lanatus (Kalahari Melon) Seed Oil, Aqua (Water), Pelargonium Graveolens (Rose Geranium) Oil*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Linalool**, Limonene**, Geranoil**, Citronellol**, Citral**

* certified organic ingredients
** component of natural essential oils


The melon seed is what really gives this cleanser such a delightful fragrance. And the best part about it? It removes all traces of makeup, gently, so youre skin is left feeling zingy clean, but without any horrible tightness. Here's a little more info on one of the other main ingredients, Sesame Oil:

Sesame oil is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. It repairs damaged skin cells and deeply moisturises and strengthens tissues to improve the appearance of the skin. Sesame oil contains important fatty acids, linoleic acid and beneficial vitamins and minerals, and has the ability to penetrate deep into the skin to help reduce the appearance of scars, old or new, and regulate blood flow to the skin surface. SkinCreamery

Both products have become firm favourites in my beauty routine, and their beautiful glass packaging is the cherry on the cake for me, as they look so pretty on the shelf. And another bonus, you can purchase refill for both of these products! Yay for being environmentally friendly, and easier on the pocket when it comes time to stock up.

I see now that Skin Creamery also offers all their products in convenient travel sizes too...click here to take a look. So that means your skincare routine doesn't have to suffer when you are out and about. This pretty pack of travel sized products would also make a lovely gift for someone special!

Flatlay by RoxyHutton of CGScreative CityGirlSearching Blog (6 of 12).jpg

Have you tried any of the Skin Creamery's products yet? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

#BBUndercover Hair Care Challenge with Beauty Bulletin South Africa

#BBundercover hair car challenge review with Beauty Bulletin South Africa y Roxy Hutton of CityGirlSearching Blog-01-01.png

I am a little late to the #BBundercover party as I live out in the middle of nowhere on a farm and only received this package yesterday, but I am SO excited to be taking part in this challenge!

As mentioned, living out in the middle of nowhere makes it harder to get hold of products and find new beauty products to try. Because of this, the package that arrived from BeautyBulletin couldn't have come at a better time.

Having also just had a baby, my hair has taken a bit of a backseat and is NEEDING some extra TLC.

#BBUndercover Hair Care Challenge with Beauty Bulletin South Africa


I've only used the products once so far, and I have been pleasantly surprised by how soft and shiny my hair is looking...from just one wash.

I'm not mad about the smell of these products, as they remind me of another (mid range beauty) brand that I'm not too fond of. BUT I am always up for giving products and brands a second chance, so this challenge may just change my mind about the brand I referred to, if it ends up being the brand I think it is!

Needless to say I am VERY intrigued by both products and can't wait to see if my suspicions on the brand are correct!

#BBUndercover Hair Care Challenge with Beauty Bulletin South Africa

A little background on this undercover project:


A group of 'testers' have been selected to participate in an exciting blind shampoo and conditioner project. We know NOTHING about these products apart from the fact that they contain nourishing Shea butter and top quality natural ingredients. They are also suitable for all hair types (yay!).

Here's a video where I'm sharing my first impressions on this exciting shampoo & conditioner!


Stay tuned for the big reveal, coming soon!

x

My Winter Skincare Routine - Combating Winter Dryness & Pregnancy Eczema

Since the start of my second trimester, I developed really dry skin (also aggravated by the change in season) and my eczema flared up on my hands, wrists and arms. I don't have chronic eczema, but when it flares up it's incredibly itchy and I tend to scratch and scratch until my skin is red and raw. You need to try treat is as soon as you notice it flaring up, and to keep your skin well moisturised.

I also found patches of dry skin started popping up on my face, and to top it all off, those dry patches also started to break out. So all in all, I felt very for myself. Here are the products I've been using to keep my skin calm, as well as the products I've tried and recommend for keeping your ever expanding belly moisturised and stretch mark free.

A little note on eczema...there are numerous steroid based creams you can use (some that are prescription based and you need to get from your doctor, and others that are sold over the counter) but these are not recommended for prolonged use, and can weaken your skin barrier. The main culprit behind eczema is dryness...so make sure to drink plenty of water and keep your skin well moisturised to help prevent the pain and discomfort (and itchyness!) that usually shows up. 
For me, it's also aggravated by eating lots of citrus, so I have to avoid oranges and most fruit juices which also contain loads of preservatives and other nasty things that your body really doesn't need.

My Winter Skincare Routine

For the body

I wash my body with either Epimax (the Original formula or the Baby & Junior cream) or Epizone (not pictured).

After drying, I immediately cream up with Epimax (focusing on the areas of my body where the eczema is the worst...for me this is my hands and wrists)  and then I follow the below face routine before continuing with my body routine. This is to make sure my face doesn't get too dry. 

After my face is done, I then apply Bio Oil all over my tummy and boobs, making sure to massage it in as much as possible. I hate putting clothes over an oily body. I've been using Bio Oil everyday since I found out I was pregnant and have, touch wood, yet to get any stretch marks. I still have about 3 months to go so there is plenty of time for them to show up. Although I would like to prevent them, stretch marks are a very normal part of pregnancy, and almost everyone gets them.

Here is a really lovely extract from my favorite pregnancy website & app, What to Expect:

More than half of all expecting women get these pink or red (sometimes purplish) streaks; you'll most likely notice them across your belly, butt, thighs, hips, and breasts.

WHAT CAUSES THEM?

Stretch marks are actually tiny tears in the supporting layers of tissue under your skin as it's pulled tight to the limit during pregnancy. Susceptibility has lots to do with genetics: Chances are, if your mother got them, you probably will too - while if she sailed through her pregnancies with smooth skin intact, you'll probably stay as smooth as your baby's bum. Rapid pregnancy weight gain can also make you more likely to get stretch marks. And darker-skinned women are less likely to get stretch marks as fair-skinned gals (plus they're not as visible on dark skin).

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Try as you might to avoid stretch marks, there's no proven way to treat them or to stop them from zigzagging their way across your body. Fortunately, they won't stay so vividly hued forever. After delivery, they usually fade to a less noticeable (and more easily concealable) silvery gray color. Meanwhile, try to wear them with pride.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Whether or not you get pregnancy stretch marks is usually a matter of genetics - but there are a few ways to try avoiding them (or at least to slow down the stretch):
  • Moisturize: Cocoa butter certainly won't hurt (though no stretch mark cream is the miracle cure it's touted as). If nothing else, moisturizing daily will help with the dryness and itchy skin associated with pregnancy (plus it's fun to have your partner rub some onto your belly!).
  • Nourish your skin from the inside: Plenty of vitamin C foods in your pregnancy diet may also help keep your skin toned and less subject to stretch marks.
  • Watch your weight: Keep an eye on that scale during pregnancy and put your pounds on slow and steady instead of in big spurts. Keep in mind that eating for two doesn't mean literally eating twice as much - so as much as possible, try to follow the general recommendations for caloric intake during pregnancy.
  • Wait it out: Of course you wanted a solution yesterday. But keep in mind that your dermatologist can offer treatments such as Retin-A or laser therapy after you give birth. (Neither is safe for pregnancy - plus, the stretching ain't over till it's over.)

For the face

I wash my face with Epimax (the Original formula or the Baby & Junior cream) or Epizone (not pictured). I use a soft facecloth to remove as much dead skin as possible, without stripping my skin.

Then I tone with my all time favourite toner...Natur Vital Rose Water Toner (I've only ever found this at Dischem and it is often out of stock. When I do find it I make sure to stock up! It's super gentle on skin, smells heavenly, doesn't have a whole lot of yuccky chemicals and retails for about R55. I usually apply this with a cotton pad, but while on holiday I used a squirt bottle which sprays the toner in a fine mist (it was just one of those cheap travel bottles) but I've found I prefer spraying the toner on as opposed to wiping it on with cotton wool. This toner also works well as a gentle makeup remover.

After toning I use my new favourite serum, Malachite Jojoba Oil which works amazingly as an intensive skin treatment/essence/serum. I've been using it for the past 3 months and I just love it! I stock up on mine at the Bryanston Organic Market in Joburg, but you can but it online by clicking here. I use it everyday, morning and night, and it leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft and supple. And it smells incredible!

Next I apply cream (Epimax or Epizone) and then if needed use my little jar of Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream on areas that are really sensitive (like the sides of my nose and around the corners of my mouth). Click here for a full review on this lovely Korean beauty product. 

For day time, I finish off with my favourite suncream, the Missha All Around Safe Block Soft Finish Sun Milk (unfortunately another Korean beauty product that I stocked up on while living in Korea...I wish we could get our hands on products like these here in South Africa!). 

So there you have it, a comprehensive list of what I've been using to combat winter dryness and eczema (which I am pretty sure has a lot to do with the pregnancy hormones surging through my body right now).

Are there any other great products you would recommend for dry skin or eczema? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below! 

SUM:37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick Korean Beauty Review

SUM:37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick Korean Beauty Review

SUM:37 has somewhat of a cult following in South Korea.

I feel like I say this about nearly every Korean beauty brand, because, if we're really being honest, the Koreans know a lot about beauty, and (at least in my opinion) make some of the worlds best beauty products.

Read More

28 Day #ChangeYourSkin Challenge with Kiehls & BeautyBulletin ~ First Impressions

28 Day #ChangeYourSkin Challenge with Kiehls & BeautyBulletin ~ First Impressions

I am so excited to share this post with you all today as I have been selected to be part of the Kiehls & BeautyBulletin #ChangeYourSkin campaign. I am joining a small group of bloggers and influencers for the next 28 days & we will all be sharing our thoughts on the following 5 Kiehls products: 

  • Midnight Recovery Concentrate
  • Powerful Strength Line Reducing Concentrate
  • Clearly CorrectiveTM Dark Spot Solution
  • Ultra Facial Cream (R355):
  • Ultra facial Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado
Read More

Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam {Review}

InnisfreeJejuVolcanicPoreCleansingFoam

I am always on the look out for new skincare products and when a friend gave this one to me I was super excited to share it with you. I go through phases with cleansing products, sometimes preferring to use an oil cleanser, then changing it up to a foam while alternating with scrubs. Winter time is when I find oil cleansers to be the best for my skin (my favourite has been the Klairs Black Sugar Cleansing Oil) and summer time is when I like to switch to foams. 

This Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam from Innisfree has been great for my skin. It's lightweight while still containing exfoliating beads to really clean and remove  impurities from the skin. It's still very gentle and doesn't leave my skin feeling raw or looking red. It does leave my skin feeling a little tight after cleansing, but this goes away immediately after applying my toner.

The foam itself is velvety soft and really easy to apply as it comes in a squeeze top bottle. You only need a small amount and so this product really will last you a good while before you need to stock up again.

Innisfree Jeju volcanic pore cleansing foam is formulated with Jeju volcanic clusters to adsorb sebum and purify pores and is formulated to leave your skin looking matte. As the Jeju Volcanic Pore range of skincare products is formulated for oily skin,  I wouldn't recommend this product for anyone with very dry skin. If you have oily skin or enlarged pores, then you are going to love how deeply this foam cleanses your skin and really works deep down to clear pores of dirt and impurities.

InnisfreeJejuVolcanicPoreCleansingFoam

Have you ever tried this cleansing foam? What did you think of it? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Video: How to make your Nail Polish Last Longer & a *GIVEAWAY*

HowoMakeYourNailPolishLastLonger

Hello everyone and welcome to my first Youtube nail tutorial. In this video I will be showing you how to make your nail polish last longer.

All you need is

-a base coat

-a colour polish

-a top coat

 I'll be using Innisfree's Eco Base Coat, Innisfree's #108 colour polish, The Face Shop's gold glitter colour polish & The Face Shop's Gel Touch Nails top coat. 

Click on the video below to start watching.

*Make sure to watch till the end for the GIVEAWAY!!

You can enter the giveaway by either commenting on the video above (you might need to open the video up in Youtube itself to comment under it) or you can leave your comments here on my blog in the comments section below.

Rules:

-Giveaway is open internationally!

-Giveaway closes at midnight on Thursday February 12th & the Winner will be announced on Friday February 13th!

-Share this post on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram for more entries (please make sure to use the #citygirlsearching hashtag and tag me in your posts so I can keep track of all your entries).

GOOD LUCK!

Innisfree Eco Beauty Tool Brush Cleaner

InnisfreeEcoBeautyToolBrushCleaner

When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes? I used to be terrible at cleaning my brushes (which is actually shocking considering what your brushes go through, the dirt the attract and the fact that we use them to apply makeup onto our most delicate area, our face. Ideally you should deep clean your brushes once a week (click here for a post on how to do just that) and then do a quick clean after every use.

But let's be honest, most of us don't even have the time to properly apply our makeup in the morning, never mind spend the time needed to clean each brush after use. That's where this little tool from Innisfree comes in. It's a spray cleaner. Simply pump a few sprays onto a tissue and your brushes, dab your brushes onto the tissue in a swiping motion and voila...Clean brushes!

Cleaning your brushes like this can in no way offer you a full cleanse like the deep cleaning can, but it's far better than doing nothing and will at least clean off most of the germs and bacteria that can cause breakouts and other nasties on your skin. 

This has been a welcome addition to my dresser. It has a wonderful, light and clean fragrance that leaves your brushes feeling soft and smelling nice for the first use after cleaning.

You can find yours at your local Innsifree store for W6 000. 

Introducing Innisfree, my new favourite Korean Skincare & Makeup brand

InnisfreeSouthKorea

Lately I have been spending more and more time wondering down the aisles of Innisfree, one of Korea's most loved skincare and makeup brands. Innisfree  is known for being South Korea's first all-natural brand, and is one  of the few Korean brands that use organic ingredients certified by France's ECOCERT organization. 

I have just found them on Instagram, and wanted to share their beautiful feed with you. You can follow along here @innisfreeofficial

A friend and I spent a rather unhealthy amount of time (and money!) at Innisfree yesterday, and I can't wait to share my reviews of these new products with you.

Here Is what I picked up this weekend: 

Have you tried anything from Innsifree? Any recommendations on products your love? Leave me a comment below, I'd love to hear from you!

The Face Shop Velvet Skin Primer {review}

TheFaceShopVelvetSkinPrimer

I found this little gem via fellow beauty blogger Kate (who is also teaching English here in Korea) who blogs on over at Kate Loves Pretty (for lots more beauty reviews head on over to her pretty blog). Kate has a similar skin type to me (more on the oily side) and even thought we have left winter far behind I have a few dry patches that most foundations, especially BB creams, cling to those little unsightly flakes of skin around the nose. That's where a primer comes in.

This particular primer is oil free and scent free, while blending effortlessly into the skin. Once applied it creates a smooth canvas for you to apply your makeup, keeping everything neatly in place. It is packaged with a hygienic pump dispenser, just one pump provides the right amount of product for your face.

TheFAceShopVelvetSkinPrimerReview

Wondering where a primer fits into your skin care routine? It goes under your makeup, but over your other skin care products. So, in order: moisturizer, sun cream, PRIMER, then foundation/BB cream. I find that the matte like texture of this primer works just as well with a light dusting of powder for a very effortless and natural look (when my skin is behaving itself). 

The texture is light and velvety, leaving my skin feeling soft, supple and moisturized. I don't use it everyday, but when I do I am reminded of why I love it so much. If you have oily or combination skin, and want something to stop your foundation or BB cream from settling into creases and fine lines, that keeps your foundation staying put and feels wonderful on your skin, then thisis the primer for you!

I bought mine here in Korea on Gmarket for w1200 a few months ago. 

Do you like reading beauty reviews? Are there any product reviews that you prefer (skincare, makeup, nail polish?). I'd love to hear from you!

SkinFood Black Sugar Scrub Foam {review}

SkinFoodBlackSugarScrubReview.jpg

My review on the SkinFood Black Sugar Face Serum is one of my most popular posts to date, and this lovely scrub goes hand in hand with it. 

This scrub is part of SkinFoods most popular range of products, their Black Sugar range. And their is a reason is has developed such a cult following...it's amazing! 

The packaging is a gold coloured tube, with SkinFoods classic designed labels on the front and the back. The twist off cap is slightly annoying, as when your hands are full or product, the last thing you want to be worrying about is screwing the lid back on. It would be far easier if the cap was a flip lid, but this annoyance is minor. But do be warned, the contents of the tube do settle over the course of a day and it's best to shake and tube before using or else when you open it you'll be welcomed with only liquid and scrub particles. 

The scrub itself has tiny grains of black sugar and feels gritty upon first application. But after lathering, the gritty particles melt and the scrub becomes a rich creamy foam. This means that the product is very gentle on your skin, and suitable to be used everyday, or 3 to 4 times a week (depending on how sensitive your skin is). The first few seconds of application are where the real exfoliation will take place so make sure to scrub on the areas you want to fully exfoliate (like the nose and chin areas for me) before the scrub becomes foam.

The scent is amazing, as with all of the other products in this Black Sugar range it's refreshing and sweet, with a hint of citrus to wake you up and leave your skin reeling revitalised. 

After use, my skin feels clean, and super soft, without being left too dry. My skin has definitely been brighter, and the product itself is very effective at removing dead skin cells off the surface of my skin. I will most certainly be repurchasing it, along with the serum. 

The tube is 160g, and costs -+ W7300 (thats around $8) here in stores in South Korea. 

SkinFood Black Sugar Face Serum {review}

SkinFoodBlackSugarPerfectFirstSerum.jpg

South Korea is known world wide as one of the leading producers and innovators of skin care products (and I will add stationery to that list too! Have a look at what I have in my store if you need convincing of the cuteness of the stationery here). Their most affordable flagship brands being The Face Shop, Innisfree, Tony Moly & Etude House. When we were first living here back in 2010, SkinFood was also very popular, but it seems to have taken a dive now and no longer seems to be producing award winning products. Or so I thought until came across their Black Sugar Skin Perfecting Serum. This particular bottle (pictured above) is from their Gold edition which was launched to celebrate their 10th Anniversary. The original packaging is a little less bling than the black and gold, but the box it comes in is just gorgeous...see picture below:

SkinFoodBlackSugarSerum.jpg

So what is a serum and do you really need one? Serums are formulated to target specific skin problems. They are oil or water-based products and have the ability to penetrate deep within the layers of your skin, so that you get phenomenal results. Unlike other skin products, serums have a higher concentration of active ingredients and usually come in a creamy gel form. The most common benefits of serums include hydration, increased nourishment, brightening of the skin, and acne prevention. They also help in strengthening skin cells. While other face creams contain only 5 to 10 per cent of active ingredients, a face serum can contain up to 70 per cent! (Idiva Beauty).

So, do you really need to add a another step to your beauty routine? Entirely up to you, but I have and I just love this one from Skin Food. This is my second bottle and I will be adding this to my 'must' buy beauty list. 

*just a little note, as serums are jam packed with active ingredients, sensitive skins should be extra careful as some irritation may occur. If possible, try samples first before investing, as most serums tend to be on the pricey side. 

SkinFoodBlackSugarSerum2.jpg

What is special about this serum?

Most of the box is written in Korean but this is what I can read:

  • it is made from Brazilian black sugar extract and is free from harsh chemicals often found in other serums: acrylamide, benzophenone, mineral oil, silicone oil, sulfates and talc (this can only be good right? The less chemicals the better!)
  • It's claim to fame: sloughs off dead skin cells, hydrates skin from the inside out, brightens and adds a healthy glow and increases skin’s resilience. It claims to be an “All-in-One” serum as it acts as an exfoliant, toner, moisturiser, and anti-aging product.
  • it comes with special cotton pads (I have yet to use them but as they are always out of my reach in the bathroom *reminder to self to move to a more reachable place!) but from the reviews these cotton pads do seem to be 'special'. They are double sided...one side being slightly netted to remove flaky skin...and the other side soft to allow full absorption of the product into your skin. The 'netted' side acts as a bit of an exfoliator, but I still choose to use a weekly scrub to really  help remove dead skin. If you have very sensitive skin (and have already tried this product to ensure you don't react) try using this product with regular soft cotton pads.

How to use it:

After cleansing your face, pat dry and immediately apply the serum using a cotton pad. Allow for full absorption into the skin (two - three minutes) and then follow with your regular eye cream, moisturizer and sun block. I skip out my regular toner as this serum acts like a toner without leaving my skin feeling dry. As it is winter right now, and only when my skin feels like it needs it, I make use of The Face Shop's Mango Seed Essence spray toner for a little added moisture.

My skin isn't left with a stinging sensation and doesn't feel look or feel oily after using this serum. The fragrance is very light and has a mild, sweet scent that doesn't linger. You will be surprised as how much dirt and makeup is left on your skin even after thorough cleansing, this is why the double sided cotton pads are useful when used. As for the anti ageing benefits, I can't say for sure whether my fine lines (oh the joys of heading into your late twenties!) have dissappeared, or whether I have stopped noticing them after my husband has helped me to worry less about the smaller, less 'significant' issues us women tend to focus on.

My skin is brighter, my pores are less pronounced, I have seen a decrease in pigmentation (it's still there, but definitely less noticeable...although it is winter here and I have spent less time in the sun and more time applying my sunblock too!) my skin is smoother and more moisturised and feels healthier every time I use it.

The biggest thing I have noticed is I no longer have a problem with flaky, dry skin around my nose area. I alternate between a lighter lotion and heavier cream for night time use and even when using foundation there has been a remarkable decrease in flakiness. I used to exfoliate nearly every day during winter time in the hopes that the skin on my nose area would stop flaking, but it didn't help one bit. Since using this serum this is no longer an issue for me and that makes this product worth every last cent.

The full size serum retails for W24 000 a bottle (+- $24) and currently includes a free travel size bottle of serum, a cute tube of hand cream and a big box of the 'special' cotton pads.

Have you tried this serum? Do you have any other Skin Food recommendations? I'd love to hear your thoughts below! 

x

The FaceShop - Mango Seed Collection {review}

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Following on the success of my last purchase of TheFaceShop skin care products (the Chia Seed Collection), I went ahead and bought two items in the Mango Seed collection. Well, to be fair on my purse, there was a fabulous promotion whereby upon spending an extra W2000 (about $2) for the cream, the store included a full size Mango Seed Essence. So I thought what the heck, I've never tried an essence before (it didn't matter that I had no idea what an essence was) into my little shopping basket it went.

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Mango Seed Heart Volume Butter

This particular cream is the 'Heart Volume Butter' and apparently, when massaged into your skin while following a particular set of massage techniques (notice the picture above with those very specific moves lol) leaves your face plump and full of volume. Sounds amazing. But can it really be true? Most of the skin care products I have seen in stores here in Korea are sold alongside images of facial massage techniques and exercises, and patting and rubbing of the face. In essence, the more you massage the products into your skin, the more you are increasing the circulation, and, in a very small way, 'plumping' up your face and I guess, decreasing wrinkles. But, it's all a bit much for me. I already use a wide range of products on my face, I simply do not have time to make sure each one is applied with just the right amount of plumping and patting and massaging...but that's up to you :)

What the box promises:

Promise of mango seeds for Good Moisturization
1. Contains extracts of mango from Sudan (really?)
2. Contains ingredients obtained through fair trade
3. Moisturization and long lasting radiance
4. Say Goodbye to dry skin - 5 Solutions : puffiness, itchiness, poor absorption of makeup, poor elasticity, redness
5. Formulated without 7 additives (but what are these additives??)
6. Dermatologicallyt Tested

I was rather disappointed with the moisture content of this cream. It goes on beautifully, and smells amazing (this may or may not be a good thing for you, and you may not want to be smelling like a freshly picked piece of fruit all day). I say fruit as the fragrance was definitely not mango, but rather a light and fresh summery smell. I also had to use quite a lot of product to cover my whole face. As the jar only contains 50ml of product and goes for on average, a price of W22 000 a pop, you don't want to be having to restock after only a few weeks worth of use.

I found that my skin was better moisturized after the Chia Seed lotion (and lotions are technically a lot lighter than creams). I have read that for more moisture, you can apply cream after using lotion to combat extra dryness. I have combination skin, but winter has set in here in Korea and I always find the skin around my nose area gets dry very easily during this time of the year. Which is why I had such high hopes for the Mango Seed range (which is also more pricey than the Chia Seed range).

I now use this cream at night, in place of a night cream, and I do always wake up with very radiant looking skin (but that's probably more to do with the amount of water I drink and the number of hours of sleep I try to get).

I think this Volume Butter would be best suited to normal skin types, and for those people who are in the warmer seasons. It hasn't given me any extra moisture that I was hoping for, but does leave my skin feeling silky soft and smelling wonderful.

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Mango Seed Spray Heart Volume Essence

I'm not entirely sure what this spray is supposed to do. There are no English instructions on the box it came in. I use it as a spray on toner to revitalize and add moisture to my skin. Alone I find it's not enough no that's it winter here. I spray it on my face straight after cleansing, and then apply a toner after, and then follow up with my SkinFood Black Sugar Skin Perfecting Serum (review to follow soon). It smells great, and definitely gets lapped up by my skin after cleansing. I haven't noticed any brightening or extra volume in my skin after the past few weeks of use. But, as it only cost me an additional $2 it was worth a try.

Are there any other Korean skincare brands that you enjoy using?

 I'd love to hear from you x