Wow, this year is just flying by. Next thing you know it’ll be Christmas already. But before we panic over our Christmas shopping budget or how to slim down to make room for all the imminent holiday ham, here are my second quarter favorites this year.
1. Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder
This little powder is a godsend. When people ask me to recommend face powders, I want to point everyone to this product, but I hold back because it’s not available in the Philippines (yet), and I just want to be helpful. :s
Almost every beauty blogger, vlogger, and enthusiast I’ve come across loves the Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder. I have incredibly oily skin, so I was excited to try this when I went to Korea a few months ago. I got the loose powder pot, but it also comes in a compact for those who like a little more convenience on the go. When I put this on in the morning, I only have to touch up once in the afternoon, on my nose. My cheeks stay matte all day. All day. ALL DAY. The powder is white, but it becomes transparent once it’s blended and spread out on your face, so you don’t have to worry about looking ashy when you set your foundation. Plus, it smells minty and refreshing.
It’s cheap at around $6 for something that works so well at keeping sebum at bay. I highly, highly, highly, highly recommend this product. If you get the chance to go to Korea, put this on your must-buy list and hit an Innisfree branch anywhere. Or if travel isn’t an option for you right now, Korea Depart and BeautynetKorea are great websites you can order from. I heard they’re very generous with the samples.
2. Happy Skin Shut Up & Kiss Me Lip & Cheek Mousse
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I really love Happy Skin. They’re local, they’re fun, and their products are A+. Last quarter I featured the Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Lippie, but this time I’m going to declare my love for the Lip & Cheek Mousse, particularly this shade called Warm and Toasty. I always gravitate towards nude and rosy colors when I’m buying lip products, so naturally I picked this up. It’s a very natural nude shade. It looks a little dark when it’s wet on the wand, but when it dries…
I think I found it, guys. That my-lips-but-better color. I think this is it. It’s just a beautiful nude and peachy shade, I can’t think of anything else to say! This is what I reach for when my strong eyeshadow game is on or whenever I just want to perk up my face in the most natural, effortless way possible. It’s as moisturizing and creamy as its crayon sisters since it’s also infused with shea butter and collagen. The lip mousse glides on like a dream on both my lips and my cheeks. Dual purpose, gotta love that. If you’re in the market for an excellent nude lip product, run out and buy Happy Skin’s Lip & Cheek Mousse in Warm and Toasty. Just run. Run, I say.
3. Innisfree Green Tea Seed Eye Cream
In the beginning, I wasn’t sold on eye cream. I didn’t understand why people needed a separate product specifically for their eyes when we put moisturizer over that area anyway. Maybe it was just another marketing trick to get people to spend more on what they believe are two different products when in fact, they’re one and the same. Still, I gave it a shot. I wondered what it was like committing to a Korean skin care routine, which can range from seven to fourteen steps (cray). Eye cream is one of the prescribed products, unavoidably. Since I was buying a ton of products from Innisfree, I figured I might as well take one of their newer products out for a spin (I assume the Green Tea Seed Eye Cream is a new product since they were still handing out samples of the stuff to everyone in the store).
I used this eye cream for the first time when I had to pull an all-nighter for work. I started working around 9 in the evening and soldiered on until 3 AM. I had to get up in two hours. I guess it was a perfect opportunity to test if the eye cream will work since if it didn’t, I would have woken up looking like somebody punched my eyeballs and left them to swell on the sidewalk. The usual, no big deal. I put a liberal amount around my eyes before I went to bed and two hours later, when I looked at myself in the mirror, I looked fine. My eyes didn’t look bloated or tired. I looked pretty okay, like I didn’t take a two-hour nap when I should have had at least five hours of sleep. After that, I was sold on eye cream. Gimme suma dat eye kreme.
4. Beyond The Real Tea Tree Face Sheet
I have to use an image that isn’t mine because I just used the last Beyond tea tree mask sheet I had. Now I’m sad because like Innisfree products, this wonderful product isn’t readily available in the Philippines. SOMEONE PLEASE CORRECT THIS REALITY.
This was the first face mask / sheet mask / mask sheet / face sheet I ever used. Before my trip to Korea, I wasn’t sure if face masks really worked, but then I tried this one out and, well, look who’s a sad banana right now. I used Beyond’s The Real Tea Tree Masks for a month. My blemished skin cleared up nicely during that time. I tried other masks since then, but not one has had the clarifying effect the Beyond masks were able to deliver. I’m definitely going back to Korea for this. Crossing my fingers there’s a 10+10 set with my name on it.
5. The Face Shop Aura Color Control CC Cream
Again, an image that isn’t mine because I decided to forego taking a picture of the front side packaging because the words were scratched off already from frequent use. But! Let me show you why I chose and finished this particular CC cream.
Unlike most BB and CC creams, the TFS Aura CC Cream isn’t sold in a tube; it comes in a compact. The CC cream is dispensed through the tiny hole in the middle of the compact when you press the button. I find this so nifty because one press pushes out just the right amount of product to cover my entire face. With creams that come in tubes, sometimes I don’t get enough product or I accidentally squeeze too much out. The TFS Aura CC Cream addresses that problem. It’s also convenient if you always misplace your mirrors like me. Plus—as if I needed another reason to like this item—refills are available at all TFS branches.
But a note on Korean base makeup: Korean BB creams, CC creams, foundations, concealers, tinted moisturizers, and primers usually come in only two shades. Just two. There’s light beige for people with light skin tones and natural beige, which falls just a touch below light beige, to be honest. Sometimes there’ll be three shades, sometimes four but that rarely happens. Since almost all Koreans fall on the lighter side of the spectrum, Korean cosmetic brands don’t produce a wide range of base makeup colors because their primary market doesn’t need it. That leaves many people with darker skin tones out of the loop. The TFS Aura CC Cream in natural beige works for my skin tone, but I have bought Korean BB creams in natural beige that didn’t match my skin color at all. Korean base makeup is a hit-or-miss thing for me. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone if we’re just talking about color matching. If it works for you, that’s great. If it doesn’t, I would easily turn to Western brands like L’Oreal’s True Match line for base makeup. Great brand, wider color range, less fuss, more fun.
So, that’s it for my second quarter favorites. The next post will probably feature Korean products (again) and a lip balm that’s driving me bonkers right now. Stay beautiful, guys, outside and in.