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Tuesday, August 4

Iope Air Cushion Review

photo of product
Iope Air Cushion XP SPF50+/PA+++ in N21

Cushion Foundations seem to be all the rage in South Korea at the moment, and this is the product that started it all. Since its release back in 2010, the Iope Air Cushion has been the highest-selling cushion foundation on the market. Many brands have been releasing their own versions over the years, but Iope's is still the most popular of its kind.

The thing that struck me first was the packaging. Not only does it ooze luxury, it's also functional. Everything you need is in this little compact: a mirror, a puff applicator with its own tray, and the cushion foundation itself, which is a replaceable cartridge. It's the lazy girl's dream. The package itself comes with a spare cartridge as well, which is great value for money, but makes me wonder how fast the cushions dry out.

cushion and cartridge

The main difference between air cushions and BB creams is sun protection. Cushion foundations are designed to provide superior coverage and sun protection that's easy to apply and re-apply throughout the day. The Iope Air Cushion has SPF 50++, which is enormous considering that many foundations only have a measly SPF15 or nothing at all. The formula is quite light, and doubled with the puff applicator makes it really easy to reapply throughout the day. It doesn't seem to matter how much you build the product up either, it never seems too thick or heavy on the skin. In fact, it looks like real skin.

What I really love about this foundation though, is how it looks and feels on the skin. It brightens the skin and makes it glow. It's also very hydrating. It's not so much of a 'dewy' look like what you'd expect from BB creams, but more natural. I was disappointed by the coverage though. It's very light, and struggles to cover pimples or intense redness. So it may be the lazy girl's dream, but she would need to have immaculate skin. So unfortunately the lack of coverage does kind of defeat the purpose of having convenient, purse-worthy packaging for me.

before and after, less redness and pigmentation, brightening, but not much coverage

It's not a cheap product, the price ranges from $50 to $100 depending on where you buy it. It does come with an extra cartridge though. I still haven't used up the first one yet, so it can last quite some time (bear in mind I don't use it every day). It's definitely worth it if the product is exactly what you need, a light coverage with heaps of sun protection that you can reapply throughout the day. If I was more comfortable in my own skin (sigh, maybe one day), this would be the ultimate product.

Thursday, April 16

A Whole Lot of Empties 03

Hey guys! Long time, no see. I apologise for the lack of updates this last month. I've just been in the process of moving house (again). Before we moved I did a huge clean out of my room, and when I found this shoebox, filled to the brim with empty beauty products, there was no way I was going to take these with me. So I made sure to take heaps of photos before throwing them away.

QV Exfoliating Polish
This is my favourite exfoliator at the moment. It does have those tiny little exfoliating beads, but they don't seem as rough as some other drugstore brands I've tried. My skin has only improved since I started using this.

QV Gentle Facial Cleanser
Another QV product I'm in love with. This cleanser is so gentle, and so moisturising. It's one of the few drugstore cleansers that doesn't strip my skin. My face feels baby soft after I use this! It also doubles as a really nice body wash as well.

This cleansing water is a great dupe for the Bioderma micellar water. There's only a tiny difference between the two concerning a few ingredients (namely some unknown amount of cucumber water). At a quarter of the price, the Garnier cleansing water gets the job done just as well as the Bioderma.

It was a sad day when I realised I had squeezed out the very last drops of this face mask. It was a great mask, but in my opinion, it didn't do enough to justify the price. It will be some time before I try this one again. RIP Parsley Seed Masque!

When this one ran out, I quickly jumped online to buy my next tube. This mask won't break the bank, and it really helps with reducing blackheads and congestion.

This spot remover is fantastic for eliminating those pesky pimples quickly. Unfortunately, it can be a bit too harsh to use all the time. This guy can really dry up your skin, and no amount of makeup or concealer can hide scaly skin. That's why I opt for tea tree oil for a daily basis, but without a doubt I'll be re-purchasing this one again.

Tea Tree Oil
Another great pimple fighting treatment. I much prefer the undiluted, 100% natural tea tree oil, that way it won't dry out your skin, and it's much easier to hide pimples under makeup when they're not dried up into flaky little prunes.

This is a product that has been sitting (empty) in my cupboard for years. I'm glad I kept it, because until recently I realised I had given up on snail products. I didn't have much luck with the Benton range, but this gel cream was fantastic. It really helped clear up bad skin with speed and efficiency, and I had forgotten how badly I had wanted to try the other products in this range. I wonder if they're still around…

This is the tube that started it all. If you suffer from sensitive or irritated skin, whether it's allergies, eczema, or even razor burn, this product helps moisturise and remove any irritation. I've since moved on to the lotion, but it's just as moisturising as the cream, and much easier to spread over a large surface area. It also comes in a very convenient pump bottle!

Laneige Perfect Renew Refiner
I used to hate Laneige. The first few products I tried really didn't work for me, and I vowed not to waste my money on another one of their products again. But for some reason I ended up buying this skin refiner (stupid, pretty packaging!). This product alone reversed my opinion of the brand. It didn't break me out (which was my main concern about Laneige products at the time), it moisturised, plumped up and brightened my skin immensely. I will definitely be buying this again, and I can't wait to try out the rest of the range!

Neogence C+ Whitening Serum
This product was actually sent to me by accident. I thought maybe they had sent me a sample to try (albeit a very generous sample), but I quickly realised someone had accidently added it to my order. Oh well, like I was going to complain. Truth be told, this was the first whitening product I ever tried. It took some time and research before I fully understood what that meant and tried it out. It literally cleared up and brightened my skin over-night. This is the only product I've used that made such a huge difference to the scarring across my face. Within a month they had disappeared completely. Since then they have changed up their ranges, focusing more on hyaluronic acid based products, so it's sad to think I might never be able to try this product again, but it's definitely put this brand (a Taiwanese based brand I never would have considered trying in the first place) on my radar.

This was one of the few products that I really enjoyed in the Benton snail-bee range. It was quite mild, and it took time to see results, but it did help bring a little bit more clarity to my skin. Unfortunately, I will definitely be leaving this range behind me. It just didn't seem to do enough for my skin.

I eat through rosehip oil like chocolate, so I'm surprised there's only one in this empties post. The Antioxidant + was a pleasant change from the regular rosehip oils. The extra vitamins and antioxidants gave the oil a bit more of a kick, and because the formula was thinner than its counterparts, it absorbed much faster. A little tweak that some may consider a deal maker. I had hoped to see an improvement in the acne and brightening department, but I didn't really see much of a difference between this and their pure rosehip oil.

Physicians Formula Organic Mascara
After reading all the rave reviews on this mascara I caved into the hype and decided to try it out myself. It was a huge disappointment. There were a couple of things I liked about it, it was organic, it didn't contain any nasty ingredients that could potentially damage my lashes in the long run, and I loved that it seemed to quadruple my lashes in number. But it never seemed to set. The mascara never dried, I couldn't wear this out because the slightest touch would cause it to smudge. And the parts that did dry tended to flake. On the packaging it claimed this product was non-comedogenic and wouldn't irritate the eyes, but when it flaked it really stung and itched like crazy. I'm just glad I bought this off for $5 instead of at my local drugstore for $30. The mark-up on this brand in Australia is ridiculous. This is not a $30 mascara.

One Day Tattoo 24hr Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
This has to be the best waterproof liquid eyeliner I have ever tried. When it's on, it does not budge. Seriously, no amount of water, sweat or humidity can deter this liner. You'll need a really good gentle waterproof makeup remover or cleansing oil to remove this. Liquid liners are the only liners I can work, and I really appreciate the length and fineness of the brush.

NYX Photo-Loving Primer
My first NYX product. Yup, I'm being serious, and it was fantastic. This felt identical to the Smashbox primer I had previously been using, but a quarter of the price! There were no anti-redness benefits that I could see, but I couldn't care less at that price. It did its job well.

Swisse Hair Skin Nails Oral Liquid
When my skin was going through a bad phase I decided to give this oral supplement a try. I was quite impressed with the results. They weren't instant, but I saw a huge difference in the bouncy-ness and clarity of my skin. In general I had a bit more energy as well. I didn't see much difference in my hair or nails. My nails are already freakishly strong, and my hair…well, it is what it is.

Batiste Dry Shampoo x2
Last but not least, the infamous batiste dry shampoo. I particularly like this one, that way I don't have to worry about my roots looking too white. I used to use this almost every second day, so I'm surprised I didn't eat through more these last six months.

Tuesday, March 17

Pimple Problems

I think it's safe to assume that we all hate pimples. They always seem to erupt at the most inconvenient time, but when the time does come, I like to think I'm ready for them. Here are a few things I like to use to help keep them under control.

Tea Tree Oil
The ultimate spot killer. Whether it's 100% tea tree oil or diluted with alcohol, it's great at killing bacteria and getting the job done. However, if you use diluted tea tree oil, to make sure you don't dry out the spot too much apply extra moisturiser on top of the spot. I like to apply paw-paw ointment to ensure it heals faster and avoid scaling. I usually apply this directly after cleansing, twice a day.

Rose-Hip Oil
To ensure I'm not irritating my skin with a whole lot of different products, I opt for a more simple and natural routine while my skin heals. I use rose-hip twice a day, morning and night, to ensure my skin is still getting the nourishment it needs. It's also great for preventing scars! Even though it's an oil, and it may feel very moisturising, I find that my skin can feel dry after a while. So I still apply moisturiser on top to make sure my spots don't become too dry and flaky.

Spearmint & Green Teas
Spearmint is known to reduce androgens in the body, hormonal imbalances that are known to trigger breakouts. Androgens can increase the production of excess sebum on the skin, which when it oxidises, hardens and clogs up the pores; hence pimples. I love drinking this in the evening. It tastes lovely, and it's also very relaxing. If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, try spearmint or peppermint tea. Green tea is also a great option because it contains a lot of antioxidants that promote skin health. However, because it contains caffeine, definitely avoid this in the evening. Unless your're doing an all-nighter and really need to stay awake, then go ahead.

It usually takes a while to get those pesky pimples under control, (unless they're hormonal, then that's a completely different story, and a matter for another blog post) but the most important thing is not to stress about them, not just because it causes you to break out even more, but because they're really not worth worrying about. Everybody gets them!

Tuesday, March 10

Bourjois Happy Light Luminous Serum Primer

bourjois happy light luminous serum primer
Bourjois Happy Light Luminous Serum Primer
I used to think primers were an unnecessary step in a make-up routine; until I tried one. At the time, is was the super cheap Fix & Perfect primer from Rimmel, and after one day of using this underneath my foundation I realised: hey, my foundation hasn't slipped off my face! I am now a primer convert. They really do help your make-up look better, and stay on longer; it is known.

At the moment I'm loving the Bourjois Happy Light Luminous Serum primer (man, that is unnecessarily long), which is designed to illuminate the skin and maintain hydration throughout the day. There's also a matte one available, but it was the hydration aspect of this one which drew me in, because I do suffer from dry patches with certain foundations.

The serum-like texture is easy to apply, and doesn't leave that thick and slimy feeling that other primers leave behind sometimes. This one is unnoticeable, and there are no illuminating particles in the formula either, so there's no unnatural shimmer. I was worried this primer would be too hydrating for my skin, but it never once made my skin look or feel oily. I think this primer is a great fit for those (even with slightly oily skin) who suffer from dehydration or dry patches. Overall, this primer really helps keep my make-up looking fresh and dewy all day long. 

I purchased this primer during a sale, but it regularly retails for $21 AUD. Is that a bit much for a drugstore primer? Maybe, especially since it comes in such a tiny bottle. It doesn't seem to last long. Unfortunately, because of this, I can't see myself repurchasing it again in the near future. Not until, that is, the next Priceline sale comes around.

Saturday, February 28

Physiogel Calming Relief Lotion & Cream Review

If you suffer from eczema or constantly seem to contract allergies, it can be a bit of a nightmare to find a moisturiser that doesn’t irritate your skin. Thankfully, Physiogel is now available in Australia! For years I’ve heard how great this brand is for sensitive and allergy prone skin, and had eagerly awaited its arrival on our shores after reading so many great reviews.

Physiogel have released two ranges: ‘calming’ and ‘sensitive’ relief, which are both available in lotion and cream form. So far, I’ve only tried the calming relief lotion and cream. Both are virtually identical, with the cream being a bit heavier and catering for those with dryer skin.

What I really love about the lotion is that it’s light-weight and absorbs really fast. It doesn’t suffocate the skin. The cream absorbs just as fast, but can feel heavy on the skin in hot weather.  They’re both unscented, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and PH balanced, and I find the calming relief helps relieve the unbearable itchiness that usually accompanies freshly shaved legs and allergy ridden skin. I also have quite a ‘picky’ chest, which disagrees with a lot of moisturisers, and regularly breaks out. The lotion, thankfully, hasn’t hurt the skin on my chest at all. Success! The best part though, is that it keeps the skin feeling soft and moisturised for hours.

Seriously, I have nothing bad to say about this range. Doesn’t break me out? Check. Doesn’t irritate my skin? Check. Relieves itchiness? Check. Yup, I am drawing a blank here. Not only are these products incredibly affordable, a little goes a long way, and they last for some time. I’ve been using the 400ml pump bottle religiously for four months now and have only used up 1/3 so far. As you can see, I’ve already repurchased this a few times, and thanks to the Priceline skincare sale, I now have reserves for my reserves (yes, I love it that much). If you can get your hands on it, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Thursday, February 19

Iope Essential Facial Oil Review

korean skincare facial oil iope
Iope Essential Facial Oil 30mls
Out of all the products I received in the Iope Super Memebox, this was the product I was most excited to try (I have a thing for facial oils, let’s just leave it at that). The Essential Facial Oil is a lightweight formulation designed to deliver deep nourishment and hydration to the skin.

Ingredients: caprylic capric triglyceride sucrose polycottonseedate, argan oil, macadamia oil, castor oil, dicaprylyl ether, oleic / linoleic/ linolenic polyglycerides, fragrance (check cosdna link here)

This is oil is packed with heaps of essential fatty acids from coconut, argan, and macadamia oils which help soften and repair damaged and uneven skin. And let’s not forget about all those anti-aging properties these oils carry. It’s a nice product to start with for younger users to help prevent and delay the signs of aging. I believe castor oil is the only ingredient that may cause irritation for some, but so far I haven’t experienced any problems.

The texture of this oil is surprisingly silky, and doesn’t feel thick and heavy at all. It does take a while to absorb, but if you only use this in the evening it shouldn’t be a problem. It also has a heavy lavender scent. It’s very calming and relaxing, identical to the scent of the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. Not a bad thing at all. When I use this, every morning I wake up with a really lovely glow. The skin feels plumper, the fine lines around my eyes and mouth are reduced, and my skin tone looks even. I haven’t suffered from any severe breakouts since I started using this, even when I did get a few pimples, it helped heal them much faster.

I’ve been using this oil for 6 months now, and I’ve only just passed the halfway mark. A little goes a long way with this one, and it’s definitely a product I think I’ll repurchase in the future. However, I have noticed some huge price differences. It’s usually price around $15 to $20. I have seen it as low as $12 on some sites, but I have also seen it as high as $115 on another (I bet you can guess which shameless website that is). Really guys?! In their defense, it definitely doesn’t feel like a $20 product. With the sleek, glass packaging and the results this oil gives, it definitely feels a lot more upmarket.

Friday, February 13

Bourjois Flower Perfection Foundation Review

flower perfection foundation in shade 52 vanilla
Bourjois Flower Perfection Foundation in No.52 Vanilla
I can’t believe after all these years I haven't even posted a review on one of my favourite foundations. This is the foundation that gets me through the long, hot months. Bourjois Flower Perfection is a high coverage, matte foundation great for oily, acne prone skin.

The foundation has quite a creamy texture, and goes on very smooth. It also comes with a sponge, but I find this a very redundant feature, the formula dries quickly so you run the risk of caking yourself up if you take too long. Also, a sponge isn't exactly the most hygienic way to apply makeup, so I tend to use my fingers or my real techniques buffing brush. This foundation lasts all day for me, even when I've been running around at work for eight hours; it stays put. It can get a little shiny, nothing a little blotting or powder can't fix, but to be honest, I love the natural glow it gives the skin when it's been on for a while. It also contains SPF15, in the form of titanium dioxide. This doesn't seem like much, but at least they've used a physical UV filter instead of chemical. 

before foundation left, after application right
I find that many foundations break me out, this one being the exception. When researching the product I found that it contains hardly any skin or acne irritants (check out the cosDNA rating here). I guess that explains the lack of red bumps I usually find on my face the day after. I highly recommend this for those with oily/acne prone skin who are looking for a high coverage foundation to cover their spots.  This just ticks all the boxes for me, it covers everything, it’s long lasting, doesn't break me out, and it makes my skin look flawless.

I have been really impressed with Bourjois products across the board, and really don't mind paying a little extra for them anymore. I can usually find it at Priceline for around $30, but you can get it cheaper online from Asos and Life & Looks for $15. I've already repurchased this foundation twice, this is my third bottle! That’s how much I love it.

Tuesday, February 10

Priceline 40% Off Skincare Haul

skincare haul from priceline

As much as I tried to resist the 40% off skincare sale (you know, the usual ‘I don’t need it’ argument), I eventually caved. Unfortunately I caved a little too late, and by the time I went in store a lot of the products I was looking for were sold out! So I ended up braving the slow and gruelling process of ordering online, which, unless you’re really, really desperate, I do not recommend. It took 10 minutes to load the homepage alone, so you can probably imagine how long it took me to finally process the order. But five days later, when the package finally arrived at my doorstep, it all seemed to be worth it. Here’s what I got:

Physiogel Calming Relief Lotion - $11.99
This is a fantastic moisturiser for anyone who suffers from eczema and dry, sensitive skin. I may already have a large pump bottle of this that is nowhere near finished, but it’s one of the only moisturisers that doesn’t sting or irritate my body. With 40% off, it doesn’t hurt to stock up.

Tea Tree Oil - $4.19
Whether it’s used as a spot killer, ingrown hair destroyer, or insect repellent, there’s always room for tea tree oil in my life.

Antipodes Rejoice Light Facial Day Cream - $29.39
Jam-packed with collagen producing ingredients, I thought this ‘light’ facial moisturiser would be a nice addition to my summer regime. I can tell you now, it smells heavenly.

Natio Lip Balm SPF 30+ - $2.97
Natio lip balms are really, really, lovely, but quite expensive for the amount of product you get. 4 grams doesn’t last long for me, but I love how they’ve released one with SPF 30+. Now I have one for daytime and night time! That’s not sad, is it?

Neutrogena Hydro Boost - $14.99
This was one of the products I couldn’t get my hands on in store. I’ve heard some great things about this moisturiser and have been itching to try it for some time now. It looks very similar to the Iope Essential Moisture Relief Cream (minus the heavenly scent). Even though it’s labelled ‘hydro boost’ it seems quite light, but I’m hoping it will help with dehydrated skin.

Moreish Argan Oil - $17.99
I’ve been curious to try Moreish ever since it hit shelves here, and even more curious to try out argan oil for the first time, which, like rose hip oil, is one of those all-in-one organic skincare products.

Antipodes Juliet Brightening Gel Cleanser - $19.79
I have a bit of a thing for brightening products, so when I heard Antipodes had one, which also happens to be organic, I couldn’t resist.

Garniere Make Up Remover - $5.99
Another staple that I needed to stock up on. There’s really nothing much to say about this make up remover. It gets the job done. Quick and easy, with little fuss.

Santuary Spa 5 minute thermal detox mask - $11.99
I think it was the idea of a thermal mask that sold me. I’d never used one before, but thought this would be really nice to use once winter comes around.

So, who’s already preparing for Priceline’s next sale?

Tuesday, January 27

A Beginners Guide to Skincare

Recently, a couple of my friends have asked for my advice concerning their skin. I usually ask what the problem is and what products they are using, but the usual answer these days seems to be “Just face wipes”, to which I respond with silent shock before crying “That’s it?!” Let’s face it, some people have immaculate skin and do absolutely nothing for it. For the not so fortunate, we have to work hard to keep our skin looking good. However, I think those bad habits will eventually bite you in the arse (probably in the form of fine lines and dull looking skin).  So for my friends, and anyone else who wants to start looking after their skin before dealing with irreversible damage, I thought I would post this beginners guide to building a basic skincare routine.

Your skin picks up a lot of dirt and grime throughout the day (including makeup), so it's probably a good idea to wash it every morning and night. Unfortunately water doesn't cut it, like dirty dishes, our skin needs something a little more concentrated to help clear out our pores. And as for packaged face wipes, I would recommend leaving those for traveling or days you have no access to clean water. They contain heaps of alcohol that strip the natural oils and PH levels of your skin. Instead I would opt for a micellar water (Bioderma, Garnier, La Roche Possay). With a few wipes it will remove 98% of your makeup and it’s much gentler on your skin.

Twice a week, usually after you cleanse, you can exfoliate. This removes all the dead skin cells that have built up over the last few days, it encourages cell turnover and also brightens dull, and sluggish looking skin. Some exfoliators have beads or grains that loosen the dead skin, and because they can be quite harsh on the skin should only be used twice a week at most.

Tone (Optional)
Straight after cleansing you can use a toner. A toner removes all the leftover dirt, makeup, and any residue left after cleansing. Personally I don't like toners, particularly western ones. Like face wipes, they contain a lot of alcohol that strip your skin. In Asia, they have 'essences', which are used the same way as toners, but usually work to put back the moisture that was lost after cleansing. Interesting, hey? Regardless of skin type, I recommend something with more moisturising properties, or a toner without alcohol at least. 

A treatment product, which comes in multiple forms like a serum, concentrate, or oil, targets a very specific concern in a way the products above cannot. Whether its acne, wrinkles, pigmentation, or dehydration, there’s something for everything. I personally think rose-hip oil is a great treatment to start off with, it's one of those all-rounder products that treats acne, sun damage, it has anti-aging properties, and it's organic!

The fourth and final step in any routine is to moisturise. Not only does it restore moisture to your skin, keeping it soft, smooth, and young looking, it also acts as a barrier to protect skin from daily grime and pollution.

Masks (Optional)
Masks aren't always necessary, but sometimes they’re just nice to use. They usually take a bit of time to dry or penetrate the skin (10-30 minutes, sometimes overnight) and can be really good for winding down in the evening. Like serums, there are many different products for different problems. If you have blackheads or suffer from breakouts, clay masks are great at drawing out impurities. For those with dry, dehydrated skin there are sleeping packs that you can apply over your moisturiser and leave overnight. For everything else there’s cloth masks, not the most glamorous looking, but damn does your skin feel good afterwards.

Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to tell someone what to use and what would work well for their skin, so finding the right products take time and money, so it’s always important to do a bit of research before forking out all of your hard-earned money.

Hope this helps!

Thursday, January 15

Naruko Tea Tree Purifying Clay Mask & Cleanser

naruko oil out tea tree clay mask and cleanser
Naruko Oil Out Tea Tree Purifying Clay Mask & Cleanser in 1

Not so long ago I reviewed and raved about the Aesop Parsley Seed masque being my favourite clay mask ever. Well, it was, until I discovered this 3 in 1 mask, cleanser, and exfoliator from Naruko. Sorry Aesop, but you've already been replaced. What can I say?  The Tea Tree Purifying Clay Mask is a three in one product, you can use it as a mask, a cleanser, an exfoliator and is designed for those with oily/combination, problematic, blackhead-ridden skin (yay, that's me!). 

You can use this as an everyday cleanser (where you can leave it for a few minutes before washing off), but I only used this as a mask twice a week. I layer a heap of this stuff onto my face, concentrating most of the product around my t-zone where most of my blackheads are, then leave it to dry for 20 to 30 minutes. Because it's quite thick, it can take some time to rinse off, but the little granules speed up the process by helping break-up the clay. The grains double as an exfoliant as well, but don't feel harsh on this skin (unless you're rough, of course). Then comes my favourite part, the cooling sensation, which leaves your skin feeling cool and fresh.

The results are staggering each and every time I use this mask. There is a huge difference in the blackheads around my nose, cheeks, and foreheads. This mask visibly diminishes the appearance of pores and blackheads, and with frequent use, helps keep the acne and those occasional clusters of breakouts at bay. The scent is strong, but heavenly: a mix of tea tree and mint, a huge welcome after a hard day at work.

I like this mask so much I've already ordered my second tube through for $10.50 AUD. Cheap-as-chips compared to the hefty price tag of my former-beloved Aesop mask.  They also have a peeling gel, and an anti-acne SPF50+++ sunscreen I would love to try. While the tea tree range is almost exclusive for those with oily, combination skin, Naruko also offer repairing, moisturising and whitening ranges, all at incredibly affordable prices.

Saturday, January 10

Iope Essential Skin Boosting Serum Review

essential skin boosting serum
Iope Essential Skin Boosting Serum, 40ml

Late last year I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Iope Super Box from for a very reasonable price. Out of all the products I received, I wasn't overly excited about this serum, and wrote it off as moisturising product my skin didn't need. But even oily skin can become dehydrated. I still experience dry and flaky patches of skin around my cheeks and nose, which become blatantly obvious when I wear makeup. All you want to do is just peel it off, but that just makes it worse. When it finally dawned on me that maybe I did need some moisturising products in my skincare, I decided to give this product a go. This serum claims to boost hydration and prevent dehydration. It also works to maintain the right balance on your skin by strengthening its natural healing power and "moisture lock-in capability".

Ingredients: Water, alcohol, butylene glycol, cyclopentasiloxane, dipropylene glycol, glycerin, PPG-17, cyclohexasiloxane, dimethicone, nacinamide, squalane, lactobacillus (soybean) ferment extract, dimethiconol, phenoxyethanol, tromethamine, acrylates (c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, carbomer, fragrance, ethylhexylyglycerin, monascus (rice) ferment, saccharomyces, barley seed ferment filtrate, disodium EDTA, alpha-clucan oligosaccharide, witch hazel, soybean.

serum swatches: light and watery texture
This serum has a light, watery texture that absorbs into the skin fast, without leaving any trace or icky film on the skin. My skin feels plump and soft after I use this, but what I really love is that it's not too moisturising that I can't use my serums afterwards. It has a light, floral scent on par with the rest of Iope and Laneige products, and doesn't irritate my skin (or my senses!) The pump is absolutely fantastic as well, it dispenses the perfect amount of product, and although it does come in a frosted bottle, it's possible to see how much is left with proper lighting.

Results weren't immediate, but after a week of regular use I noticed a huge difference in the dry patches around my cheeks. They had basically disappeared. When I wear foundations and BB creams now, I hardly notice any flakiness or scaliness anymore, nothing huge I feel obliged to tear away from my face anyway. It also hasn't caused any congestion or breakouts, and although my skin is still oily, I have been breaking out a lot less lately, and I think it's because I've finally lost my battle with sebum-controlling and oil stripping products and moved on to more moisturising products that actually keep my skin balanced and healthy.