Friday, 28 February 2014

First Impression: The Smim 3D Radiating Moisturizing Solution Ampoule

Hello Princesses!

Today I'm going to be talking about The Face Shop, The Smim 3D Radiating Moisturizing Solution Ampoule. This is a very long name for what I consider to be a very confusing product! I got 4 of these sample sachets in a sample bundle from the super sweet Lani Loves! ^.^
I love samples, but the only bad part about using so many Korean cosmetic samples, is that they are almost always written in Korean (funny that), and never have ingredients or how to use instructions on them. These samples were no different, except for the fact that they were also super hard to research! >< Google was turning up almost nothing for this product, and the information I could find was badly written, hard to understand and contradicting. The only credible English information I can find is from the International The Face Shop website and from Tester Korea, and they don't exactly have the same information.

What Does It Do?
(International The Face Shop information)
"A moisturizing + radiating ampoule that meticulously replenishes skin with moisture creating translucent skin. Also contains pink tone radiating powder that makes pale skin look healthy, delivering instant radiance.

*Natural fermented moisturizing ingredients
*Lactobacillus, soybean fermented extract, buttercup, mistletoe extract
*A fermented moisturizer that goes through the process of 2 step fermentation (liquid-solid fermentation) maximizing the efficacy
*Excellent skin hydration, irritation soothing, calming effects
*Highly moisturizing wrapping film
*Moisture wrapping – Hyaluronic acid
*Hydration wrapping – Bean derived lecithin, triglycerides (main ingredient of skin lipids)

How to use
- Pump 1~2 up to designated line and apply evenly onto face before essence and gently pat for full absorption"(1)

(Tester Korea information)
"THE FACE SHOP Smim 3D Radiating Moisturizing Solution Ampoule

Volume : 8ml*4EA

Ingredients : : Niacin amide, Shea butter, Strawberry extract, Yogurt, Grapefruit extract

Ultimate brightening solution ampoule with a 3D Radiating Moisturizing Solution capsule. This is a 28day solution capsule that corrects your irregular skin toners - dark, uneven tone and pigmentation. A fermentation ingredient from quintuple strength cloudberry and a triple strength kefir moisturizes your skin intensively
and lightens your skin tone.

Apply one or two pumps to the palm of your hand and spread it on your face and gently pat it to be absorbed before use of a essence, every morning and night. You may use 1 bottle for a week depending on the grid lines." (2)

What bothers me the most is the lack of definite ingredients. I find it highly unlikely that this product only contains Niacin amide, Shea butter, Strawberry extract, Yogurt, Grapefruit extract like Tester Korea states, which is completely different to the Lactobacillus, soybean fermented extract, buttercup, mistletoe extract that The Face Shop states. I have absolutely no idea what's in this product!
The Ampoule comes out of the packet a creamy white colour and turns a gorgeous pinky purple opal colour on my hand. It has a a moderate citrusy scent and a thin texture that spreads easily over my skin., I often found that I had too much product rather than having too little. I find that the Ampoule absorbs moderately fast, but leaves a sticky residue on my face for what seems like forever, (but is really only about 20mins). The Ampoule is really light and moisturizing, works great as a night cream or as a makeup base, but it does make my skincare regime take longer in the morning because I have to wait for it to absorb.
It's very expensive, at $46NZD a bottle, and comes with a full line of products which I am really interested in. I think it's unlikely that I will buy the whole line myself as it's very expensive (and I have a LOT of skincare products already), but I have to say that the line does intrigue me!

I can't say for sure that all the claims are true (because i don't know what the claims are, and because I only used it for about 10 days) but I can say that my skin felt more hydrated, soft and supple, and it didn't give me any allergic reactions (thank goodness because I still have no idea what's in the product)!

Would I Purchase This Product?
I would like to try more of this product! It's pretty expensive, and it's highly unlikely that I will actually run out of moisturizers (goo hoarding at it's best!) but if it's ever an option for me, then I would love to try the full sized product! It made my skin feel really smooth and hydrated, without feeling oily or greasy.

Has anyone else tried this product? I'm so curious to find out more about it!

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Review: Doxy-50, Doxycycline

Hello Princesses!

Today I'm going to be talking about my experience with the Acne medication - Doxy-50, Doxycycline. This is my very own experience with Doxycycline, which may be different to other peoples. This antibiotic needs to be prescribed by your GP, so if you are interested in Acne medication please go and talk to your GP first! ^.^ If you guys haven't read My Skin Story, please do, because it will help you better understand this review. 

About 4 months ago, I was getting tired with my struggles with moderate acne, so I decided to talk to my GP about Acne medication. My older brother had been prescribed Doxycycline for acne problems when he was 16, and now at 23, he's still acne free with baby smooth skin (super jealous), so I asked my GP if I could have the same medication as he did. My GP recommended that I use the oral antibiotic with a topical treatment, but after using ReTrieve Cream and having it strip my skin and leave me flaky and gross, I decided to try Doxycycline for a month by itself. 
Doxycycline took my skin from this;
To this!
(Both pictures are taken using the beauty function on my camera and different foundations.)

"Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic which is commonly used to treat a variety of infections including acne, rosacea, Lyme disease, chronic prostatitis, sinusitis, pelvic inflammatory disease and ricketsial infections. Doxycycline is an option for people with moderate to severe inflammatory acne, or mild inflammatory acne that will not respond to other treatments.

Doxycycline works by hindering the growth of the bacteria - in this case, Propionibacterium acnes, which is responsible for inflamed acne breakouts. Oral antibiotics like doxycyline are especially useful in helping to clear back and body acne. Doxycycline is often used along with other with topical treatment, such as benzoyl peroxdide or Retin-A. Doxycycline is best for those with inflamed breakouts. It won’t clear up blackheads, whiteheads, or comedonal acne." (1)

The worst part of my acne was the cyctic acne, hormonal acne and allergic reactions.

 (Allergic reaction)
(Minor cystic acne) I'm sorry that this angle is so weird, not sure what's up with that one! 

I was constantly plagued by irritating acne, and I just couldn't seem to get rid of it! I know it doesn't seem like a major problem, but in daily life it's very frustrating. I felt like I needed to wear makeup to go to the supermarket, because once you get out of your teen years you shouldn't have acne right? I always felt embarrassed to show my face when my acne was bad, because I could never completely cover it with makeup, there would be redness, pores, weeping pimples and scabs where I had popped pimples (naughty, I know!) and it just made me feel so gross and unappealing. For blogging it was just as bad, if not worse. The photo's always showed my acne as worse than it really was, and even through a beauty filter on my camera, you could still see the redness, scars and acne that I couldn't cover with makeup. To keep myself sane, I Photoshopped my pictures to make my skin look nicer so nobody would want to vomit when they saw my photos or make fun of me. I've never tried to hide my Photoshopping, and I have absolutely no shame that I did Photoshop my photos.

I took Doxycycline for 3 months and these are the results that I have experienced so far! I started my Doxycycline almost straight after I finished my Omija Whitening Skincare, so the before photos are what used to be great skin for me! If you want to see how bad it used to be, check out the Omija Whitening Skincare review! Feel free to click and enlarge the photos for more detail, if that's what you want!
 Forehead: Before and After

 Side of face: Before and After
 Chin: Before and After
 (This was a great chin day, and a good lip day!)
 Full Face: Before and After

There is absolutely no Photoshop or retouching done on these photos, apart from minor exposure tweaking! I took the After photos one week after finishing my Doxycycline course, during my womanly time (coughcough) and subsequently gorging myself on sugary food. Before I stopped taking the Doxycycline, my skin looked so nice, soft and smooth!

There are a lot of side effects that you can experience while taking acne medication, and I was fortunate enough to have very minor side effects. I experienced minor photo-sensitivity, moderate de-hydration and extreme dryness of lips. The lip dryness is quite irritating, because it means that I can't wear half of my lipsticks, and my lips look like shriveled prunes with bits of skin flaking everywhere. Ick. But it could be worse, and I'm glad that it's not!

During my Doxycycline course I learnt a lot about my skin. I still had hormonal acne, but it was only the small whitehead pimples you can see in the After photos. I also still got the same whiteheads when I ate too much sugar, something that Doxycycline won't help with. I haven't had any cystic acne or large pimples since a month after starting my Doxycycline course! A lot of the blemishes still on my face are scars which have been majorly reduced by my strict Rosehip oil regime. I'm currently working my way through all my skincare testers, but I'm missing my Trilogy skincare so much! These are the products that I used during my 3 month course of Doxycycline.
My absolute favorite is the Trilogy Rosehip Oil! It kept my skin moisturized, helped to fade my scars and hyper pigmentation, reduced redness and made my skin feel super bouncy and soft! These products are absolutely amazing and I cannot recommend them enough!

What I Love
- Effectively reduced my acne
- Very minor side effects
- Inexpensive: $22 for 3 months
- Easy to take: small pill size
- Worked well without topical treatment

What I Don't Love
- Made my lips pretty disgusting
- Couldn't go outside for very long due to photo-sensitivity

Final Thoughts
I really like Doxycycline! I did a lot of research on Acne medication before choosing Doxycycline and there are quite a lot that can give you depression and a lot of nasty side effects, so I'm very fortunate that I had very minor side effects. Doxycycline helped me clear up my existing acne, but it doesn't help with hormonal acne, allergies or blackheads. I would recommend Doxycycline to people that have minor to moderate acne (even though it can be used for severe acne)! 

I've been prescribed another 3 months of Doxy-50, so in 3 months I will do an update post for you all! If you have any questions about my experience with Doxycycline, feel free to ask in the comment box down below and I will try to help you the best that I can! ^^

Monday, 24 February 2014

Manicure Monday: Glitter Skittle

Hello Princesses!

Today's Manicure Monday is a Glitter Skittle! ^.^ My original idea was to use my Kleancolor glitters or the skittle, but it turns out that I don't actually have five matching Kleancolor glitter polishes, so I had to use OPI's Last Friday Night on my ring finger, and Teenage Dream on my thumb to complete the Skittle!
The Skittle looks a little wonky (Last Friday Night is sheerer than the rest of the glitters), but I think it still looks pretty cute! ^.^

Friday, 21 February 2014

First Impression: Lush Big Shampoo

Hello Princesses!

Today I'm going to be talking about Lush's Big Shampoo! This is such a cult Lush item, but I was unsure if it would be suitable for my hair because my ends tend to be very dry while my roots and scalp can get very oily. I talked to the lovely Lush ladies, and they filled a tester pot for me to take home and try! (The tester actually lasted me a whole month!)

What Does It Do?
"Sea salt shampoo for shine, softness and big endowments. This pot of oceanic goodness is 50% sea salt to give limp hair the volume it deserves, with seaweed infusion to soften and fresh lime juice for shine. After using Big, your hair will be bouncing back to life." (1) "Over half the base of Big shampoo is made with sea salt, giving massive volume to hair in need of a boost. Sea salt is also full of minerals and de-greases hair, removing dead skin cells and dirt without stripping natural oils for a fresh, squeaky clean feeling. We balance the sea salt with seaweed infusion, extra virgin coconut oil and avocado butter for soft, nourished locks. Finally, fresh citrus juices are squeezed in for incredible shine. It's no wonder this one is a best-seller!

Size matters: Suitable for all hair types, but especially for limp locks. Once you go BIG you never go back.
Shine on: Fresh lime juice delivers instant shine and leaves your hair feeling extra clean.
One of your five a day: Full of vitamins, minerals and trace elements, Tooth Wracked Seaweed strengthens damaged hair." (2)
Big contains sizeable chunks of sea salt contained in a thick gel like base, just like a regular shampoo. The scent of Big is absolutely divine, it smells very fresh and summery! Apparently it supposed to smell like Mandarin, Neroli, Orange Blossom and Vanilla, and since I'm terrible at describing scents I'll just go with that!
Using Big proved to be slightly challenging for me the first time (not sure how much that says about my intelligence!) because the majority of the sea salt just fell straight off my head when I tried to shampoo my hair like normal. I also over-estimated the amount I would need to use, and ended up with a lot of foam on top of my head and salt all over the shower floor. -.- You only need a very small amount to cleanse your hair thoroughly, but you have to be slightly mindful that the sea salt won't really dissolve on top of your head without the help of hot water, so it's inevitable that some will just fall off your head.

Big made my hair feel super clean! You know that clean feeling after you have your hair washed and cut at the hairdressers? Exactly like that. Big removed all of the product build up in my hair (gross, I know!) and left my scalp feeling oil-free, soft, and voluminous. It didn't dry out my ends excessively, but I would recommend using a conditioner on your ends afterwards.

I found that Big helped my hair stay grease and shine free for 2 days, (normal shampoo stays grease free for 1 day) and it just smells so yummy! The smell stayed in my hair for one day (including sleeping on the wet hair, and making my pillow and the entire bathroom smell like big) so if you don't like the smell, that may be a negative deciding factor for you!

Would I Purchase This Product?
Absolutely, positively yes. Big costs around $30NZD so it is on the pricier side of shampoo's, but trust me, it is so worth it! The pots are quite sizable, and it does last a while since you can use less of it. If you are looking for the perfect summer shampoo to keep your hair grease and shine free while smelling amazing, I would definitely recommend investing in a tub of Big!
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