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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!