beauty, skin care, skin care review

My Skincare Routine At The Moment

In October, I made the move from Texas to Colorado. To say it’s been an adjustment, is an understatement. It’s a lot drier and colder up here and my skincare routine and hair maintenance had to change. For my hair, it’s still taking some time to see what’s going to work for me, but I think I found something that works for me. 

When I lived in Texas, my skin was combination most of the year and got a little dry in the corner of my nose and chin during the cold weeks (it’s Texas, we get like 3-4 weeks of winter lol). However, once I moved to Colorado, my skin just turned dry. My nose gets a little oily, but cheeks, forehead, around my eyes, everywhere else, the moisture evaporates away. Plus, I’ve always had redness near the corners of my chin and nose. I’m assuming I have the redness near my nose because of my allergies so it’s always been a little red there. As for redness starting from the corners of my mouth going down to my chin, it’s because I drool when I sleep. I’ve drooled in my sleep for as long as I can remember. Not much I can do about that. 

Enough about me and my sleeping habits! Onward to the reviews!

I’M NOT SPONSORED BY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING BRANDS OR WEBSITES THAT I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT OR MENTIONING IN THIS ARTICLE. I’M JUST A SKINCARE FAN AND ALL PURCHASES WERE MADE BY ME USING MY OWN MONEY.

**This is going to be a very long article so please keep that in mind. I apologize for the length.

Morning and Night Time Routines

I have two different routines: a morning routine and a night time routine. My morning routine is a little more simple because well…I’m lazy. Compared to my night time routine, my morning routine is pretty simple. It takes me about 30 minutes to start semi-functioning and get fully awake. 

My Morning Routine

  • Cleanse
  • Toner
  • Eye Cream
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen

My Night Time Routine

  • Pre-Cleanse/1st Cleanser to remove SPF and Make-Up (if I’m wearing it)
  • 2nd Cleanser
  • Exfoliate 1-2x a week
  • Toner
  • Essence or Sheet Mask
  • Serum
  • Night Cream
  • Overnight Sleeping Mask
  • Lip Mask or Lip Balm
  • Castor Oil on Eyebrows and Eyelashes 

Pre-Cleanse/Makeup & Sunscreen Remover: Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm

This thing…

To be honest I don’t know why I bought it, but I did. I knew it was overpriced, but for some reason I got it while shopping on the Sephora website. It does the job, it does wash away my waterproof mascara and super tough eyeliner. Other than that, I don’t really feel like this cleansing balm is anything special. It feels good, it has that going for it, but there are cleansing balms and oils that feel just as good and are cheaper. If you have the money, go for it if you want to try it out. I’m still questioning why I got it in the first place.

NOTE: I threw the container out before I finished this article so I had to use the picture from the Sephora website. Sorry!

Link to website: Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm

Overall Rating: 6 out of 10 (gets the job done, but that price though!)

Would I buy this again? No. There are other cleansing balms and oils that are cheaper and just as effective.

Cleansing balm I have my eye on once I’m out of this one: ELF Cosmetics Holy Hydration! Makeup Melting Cleansing Balm (using it now)

Cleanser: CosRx Cica Cleanser

I bought this cleanser because I fell in love with the CosRx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser and used it while I lived in Texas. However, I needed something a little more hydrating than that and my search led me to the CosRx Cica Cleanser. I read that it’s more hydrating and creamier than the gel cleanser so I decided to try it out. It’s pretty hydrating and doesn’t leave my skin dry or leaves it stinging so that was a plus for me. I don’t get breakouts unless I drink dark soda, eat a lot of chocolate (I love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Snickers), or Mother Nature comes for her monthly visit, so I can’t really say if it’ll help. I’ve seen reviews on YesStyle (the website I got it on) and some reviews said it helps. For $18, it’s a pretty good cleanser, but I don’t know if I’ll buy this again. There are plenty of other cleansers out there that are cheaper and work just as good.

One thing I noticed about this cleanser, it has a pretty noticeable eucalyptus smell to it. I failed to notice that it has eucalyptus oil in it. Fragrance doesn’t bother me or my skin, but holy crap it’s noticeable in this cleanser. I haven’t used it over or gotten it in my eyes, but I’m very afraid to (this is not a cue to buy it and try it over the eyes). It’s not potent like Vicks VapoRub, but it kinda reminds me of the smell of a candle you might smell in a spa.

Link to website: COSRX – Pure Fit Cica Cleanser

Overall Rating: 6 out 10

Would I buy this again? Probably not, but not against buying it if it’s on sale.

Cleanser I have my eye on once I’m out of this one: Pacifica Vegan Ceramide Extra Gentle Face Wash

Toner: HaruHaru Wonder Black Rice Hyaluronic Toner

This.

THIS is my holy grail. This toner is everything I want in a toner and it feels AMAZING! It’s gentle, hydrating, but not greasy. It absorbs into the skin nicely and leaves it feeling nice and hydrated. Plus, it’s a versatile product. Aside from being an amazing toner to use after cleansing, this toner can kind of double up as a hydrating treatment(I think treatment is the right word for this…?). 

The HaruHaru website says that customers can soak a cotton pad with this toner and leave it on their face as a treatment. I tried this, and my skin loves it. I do it once in a while and I soak about 5-6 cotton pads (the ones I have are extremely thin and I have a fat face.) It’s a nice little hydrating pick-me-up. 

Now, this toner does have a pretty noticeable lavender fragrance in it so if you’re not a fan…you can still try this toner, but in the fragrance-free formula! Yes, HaruHaru has a fragrance-free formula for those who are sensitive to fragrance and/or for those who don’t want it. Apparently, a few customers complained about the fragrance and wanted this toner without it. HaruHaru basically said, “Ask, and you shall receive!” Take your pick on which one you want and enjoy this toner which doesn’t have too crazy of a price tag at $37 for the 10.2 oz/300ml bottle and $22 for the 5.1oz/150ml bottle. The fragrance-free version only comes in the 5.1oz/150ml bottle and is $22.

Link to website: HaruHaru Wonder Black Rice Hyaluronic Toner

Overall Rating: 10 out 10 (the fragrance doesn’t bother me, but might bother some)

Would I buy this again? Absolutely!

Toner I have my eye on once I’m out of this one: None

Essence: CosRx Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence

Ever since I moved to Colorado, my skin is thirsty and crying from being dry and dehydrated. Needless to say, I need a little boost to help. So I went on an internet journey and looked to find an essence that would help me. My search led me to this essence and I decided to buy it because it wasn’t insanely priced and seemed promising. I usually use this essence at night and my skin has been pleasantly plump and hydrated throughout this winter. 

I even started using this on my boyfriend because his skin is DRY and PARCHED. I saw it was a little flakey on his forehead so I started using this along with some moisturizer for dry skin. His skin hasn’t burned or anything from me using it and his skin is a little sensitive. I’ve been using this at night and his skin is a lot softer, hydrated, and not flakey. I think essence has definitely helped along with the moisturizer I got him which is the Bubble Slam Dunk Hydrating Moisturizer.

Link to website: COSRX – Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence

Overall Rating: 9 out 10 (it’s an amazing hydrating essence)

Would I buy this again? Oh yeah!

Essence I have my eye on once I’m out of this one: Considering Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Water Essence, but not sure right now. 

Serum: HaruHaru Wonder Black Rice Serum

I’ve been using this serum for the past year and a half and I’m obsessed with it. It absorbs into the skin nicely and is pretty thin, so I think combo skin peeps can use this serum. If you’re oily skin, you can probably use this too. During my combo days in the spring and summer in Texas, I never had any problems with excess oil. This serum does have a pretty noticeable lavender scent so if you’re sensitive to fragrance, you might want to avoid this. Overall, this serum helps with keeping my skin hydrated and works well with my moisturizers. 

I recently started using this in the morning and my skin feels really good. With the way I keep the heater on, my skin needed an extra boost of hydration during the day and this helped out big time.

Link to website: HaruHaru Wonder Black Rice Serum

Overall Rating: 9 out 10 (the fragrance doesn’t bother me, but might bother some)

Would I buy this again? Absolutely!

Serum I have my eye on once I’m out of this one: None, but I’ve made this my daytime serum and started using Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Retinoid Serum at night.

Daytime Moisturizer: Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Cream

I admit…I got this on impulse. It smells like candy (can’t really place which candy) and the packaging got to me. Do I have regrets buying this moisturizer? No, I don’t. It’s very hydrating and my skin looks nice and plump and looks dewy. The flaky areas on the corners of my nose and chin don’t eat this up so quickly, but if it’s a very windy day they will. It’s stood up against some pretty cold temperatures here in Colorado and my face was okay for the most part. I think this product is a little too hyped up, but it’s not terrible. 

Now, what kind of grinds my gears about this product is the refillable pod. Yes, you can buy refillable pods to pop in once you’re out. But they look so small compared to the actual jar and just makes me wonder “Why is this jar so big for something that looks small?”. I haven’t tried this, but you could probably buy two refillable pods and dump them into the actual jar to fill it up. 

Link to website: Glow Recipe Plum Plump Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer

Overall Rating: 7 out 10

Would I buy this again? Maybe, if there’s a sale.

Cleanser I have my eye on once I’m out of this one: HaruHaru Wonder Honey Green Aqua Bomb Cream

Nighttime Moisturizer: HaruHaru Wonder Maqui Berry Antioxidant Cream

I’ve been using this moisturizer for a few years now and I haven’t looked back. This moisturizer is very rich and thick so if your skin is on the oily side, I would avoid it. If anyone with super dry skin is looking for one, this moisturizer will definitely help in keeping the skin hydrated! A little goes a long way because of how thick it is and this will last a really long time, especially if you use it for night (or day!) time use. Even if you use it for both day and night, I imagine this will last long. This is a really good price for 3.2 oz versus most products that have 1.7. I honestly feel like I get my money’s worth and it lasts me for MONTHS. 

I don’t have any lines or wrinkles that I’m worried about. I use this as a way to prevent aging and keep my elasticity up. I even use a VERY little amount around my eyes at night. Eyes look hydrated when I wake up. My skin looks a little glowy in the morning. PLUS! It stays on really well considering that I move around a lot when I sleep and end up sleeping facedown half the time. This moisturizer also has a scent to it, kind of lavender-ish. It’s noticeable, but it doesn’t stay around for long after applying it to the skin. 

Link to website: HaruHaru Wonder Maqui Berry Antioxidant Cream

Overall Rating: 9 out of 10 (It’s THICK, but I love it!)

Would I buy this again? I’ve bought it 3 times so…yeah

Nighttime Moisturizer I have my eye on once I’m out of this one: None, sticking to this one for now.

Eye Cream: The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream

I know there’s mixed reviews on whether an eye cream is necessary or needed. I personally think it’s situational and depends on the person and their skin. At night, I put a thin layer of my nighttime moisturizer as my eye cream. For the morning, I use The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream because my eyes are usually a little puffy and I have dark circles. Dark circles can happen for many reasons whether it’s lack of sleep, allergies, pigmentation, etc. 

I decided to try this eye cream because…why not? Also because it’s $10, not very pricey, which I love. I started using it everyday and my dark circles have diminished, but they haven’t completely gone away which is what I expected. It’s light and I love using this eye cream with my Dieux Forever Eye Mask in the morning. My eyes are usually puffy which could be from me sleeping on my stomach so my face is facing down and probably also from salty foods. Overall, I love this eye cream for the mornings and it keeps my under eye area from looking too sleepy.

Link to website: The INKEY List Caffeine Eye Cream

Overall Rating: 8.5 out 10

Would I buy this again? Yes

Eye cream I have my eye on once I’m out of this one: None at the moment, but always open to suggestions.

Exfoliant: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant

I know the name says “Daily”, but I use this exfoliant 1-2x a week. My skin is dry, but my nose does get oily and the pores on it gets clogged. I’ll see little white-ish looking stuff that looks like they’re poking out of them and if I wear makeup, it’ll look uneven because of the texture. This exfoliant has been my savior here in Colorado. Is my skin dry after using this? A little, but not much. But no matter what other exfoliant I use, I end up crawling back to this one. When I was in my early-mid 20s, it was gentle on my breakouts (I would avoid the area around active/angry red breakouts that looked ready to burst). 

Back when I worked at a spa, this exfoliant was one of the most popular sellers and one of my favorites to use. It’s great for any skin type, dry, oily, combo, acne-prone, and even sensitive. I’ve used this exfoliant on and off for years since I was 23 (I’m 31 in case anyone is wondering) and I always remember why I love it, but I also cry a little because it’s so expensive being $62. I know, let’s all take a gasp together and cry a little. BUT! There is an option to buy a refill packet for $52. I know, not much better, but just throwing it out there. 

A little goes a long way and it lasts for a while so I personally feel like I get my money’s worth. Just please, PLEASE make sure to add water when you use this. Just put a little of the Daily Microfoliant on your hand or fingertips and add a little water to make it foam up then massage GENTLY on the face. Please be gentle, I know some of us (I’m guilty of this too) want to scrub our faces off, but please don’t. Now, if you’re feeling a little playful or want to be extra (nothing wrong with that), you can put a little bit of Daily Microfoliant in a small bowl and use either a silicone face mask brush or a fan brush with thin bristles (not one with a lot of hair!) to whip this up into a nice foam and brush it on your face. 

NOTE: I didn’t take a picture of my Daily Microfoliant because…well I forgot to and didn’t feel like getting up to grab it. Sorry!

Link to website: Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Exfoliator

Overall Rating: 9 out of 10 (that price though!)

Would I buy this again? Absolutely, even it makes me and my wallet cry while doing so.

Exfoliant I have my eye on after I finish this one: Considering Dear Klairs Gentle Black Facial Polish or I’m from Rice Mask, but knows deep down inside she’ll most likely/definitely/inevitably end up crawling back to the Daily Microfoliant.

Sunscreen: Rovectin Skin Essentials Aqua Soothing UV Protector SPF 50

I have mixed feelings about this sunscreen. It’s okay, but not great. Putting this sunscreen on, I swear I had a white cast over my skin. The redness on my cheeks looked diminished from using this sunscreen and not in a good way. It stays on for a long time. However, this sunscreen says it’s great for normal to dry skin (which I’m dry), but it seems like it’s more suited for combo and maybe oily skin. It dried to a matte finish and my nose (the only oily part of my face) looked pretty good and didn’t get too oily throughout the day. 

But on my dry spots, which are the corners of my nose and mouth, it did not look good at all. It would crust up a little on those areas and overall just felt drying. 

Link to website: ROVECTIN Aqua Soothing UV Protector

Overall Rating: 4 out of 10 (maybe it was one the I got, but sunscreen is just a “Meh…” from me)

Would I buy it again? No

Sunscreen I have my eye on after I finish this one: Frudia Ultra UV Shield Sun Essence SPF 50

Overnight Mask: CosRx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask

I’m a huge fan of night masks, especially during the winter. I need them now more than ever because Colorado is a LOT different than Texas. While I was shopping on YesStyle, I was looking at different ones and this CosRx one caught my eye. I’m already a fan of the brand so I decided to try it out because it seemed like it’s good for dry skin and CosRx hasn’t disappointed me yet.

This mask was kind of a “meh” for me. It was nice and hydrating, but not too thick. My skin did seem a little brighter the next morning, but overall it was okay. My really dry and crusty patches on the corners of my nose ate this mask up as a late night snack. It did pretty good on keeping the areas around my mouth and chin hydrated against my drool. Overall, it’s pretty good, not great in my personal opinion.

**NOTE: I would’ve taken a picture of my bottle I had of this, but I cut it open to get the product out because there was a lot still in it. So yeah, it was pretty much butchered and it wouldn’t have looked good.

Link to website: COSRX – Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask

Overall Rating: 7 out of 10 (not great, but good)

Would I buy it again? Maybe during the summer.

Overnight mask I have my eye on after I finish this one: Purito Dermide Cica Barrier Sleeping Pack

Lip Care: Care: Nel Lip Night Mask in Berry

If you’re looking for a cruelty-free dupe for the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask in their Original/Berry flavor, this is it. It’s cheaper too! The texture is practically the same. The scent is almost the same too. I got the smaller 5g jar and it lasted me for months! My lips were soft and supple the next morning. However! Even though it’s nice, you will run the risk of putting on too much and getting a little gloopy. A nice thin layer goes a long way. They do have a larger jar that’s 23g which is a little bigger than the Laneige and it’s a little over $10 cheaper. If you’re looking for a dupe for the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, look no further than this! 

NOTE: I threw the container out for this one too because I’m an idiot. Sorry again!)

Link to website: CARE:NEL – Berry Lip Night Mask (can also buy this on YesStyle.com)

Overall Rating: 10 out of 10 (perfect dupe and I just love this.)

Would I buy it again? Absolutely.

Lip mask I have my eye on after I finish this one: Smith’s Rosebud Salve (not a lip mask, but I saw it was cheaper and want to see how it works when I put it on at night.)

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! I hope this was helpful and somewhat informative. I also use some skin care tools, masks, and other things. I think I might do a review on those products, and maybe do some hair product reviews. But for now, I think this article is long enough. 

Have you ever tried any of these products? If you have, what do you think of them? If you haven’t, do you plan to try any of them? Leave a comment!

-simplesarah1629

beauty, skin care, skin care review

Is it worth it? Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer review

Hello, everyone! It’s been a while since my last beauty product review, but I’m back with another one!

So, for the past month and half, I admit that I’ve been a little lazy when it comes to my morning skin care routine. It’s a process that I usually don’t mind, but my anxiety has been through the roof for a variety of reasons. Admittedly, there also might even be a small dose of depression mixed in with it. My skin care routines, day and night, took a big hit and my skin started suffering from it. Thankfully, I was equipped with what I think could be a game-changer for those with normal-dry skin.

Okay, so a little history on my skin care routine when I get anxious. When my anxiety hits, I tend to forget to take care of myself and become plain neglectful with my mind racing a million miles a minute. Unfortunately, my skin is the one that suffers the most from it. I go days without properly washing and moisturizing my face, forget to put lotion on my body, and there are some days where I don’t do any of this, AT ALL. Trust me, a small voice is in the back of my mind  yelling at me to take care of myself when I’m like this, but I tend to ignore it. After I managed to get myself out of this funk, I go back to my normal morning skin care routine and my skin is back to looking healthy. Alright, enough about me, let’s move onto the product review! 


Photo by me

I got the Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer from a little holiday pack that my mom had given to me for Christmas and it’s been sitting on my skin care shelf since then, unopened and waiting for it’s time to shine. While I was in my funk, I felt and saw some dry patches around the corners of my nose and mouth, and my skin looked dull. While I was at war with myself, my beady, little eyes started scouting for something on my shelf to help me with the problem. In reality, I was looking for a quick fix before my mind wandered elsewhere and I would forget. My eyes landed on this little product and I read the back of the bottle to see if it is what it claims to be. I was intrigued after reading it and thought, “Surely, it can’t work that well.” A toner and a moisturizer in one product? Can this little bottle really be as good as both?

Well, I personally have to say yes. I put this product in my hands and patted it on my face like instructed, and I have to say, my face looked a lot better! My dry patches were now hydrated and didn’t feel dry and rough like they normally do. Overall, my face was glowing. The product didn’t feel heavy on my skin nor was it sticky. I was shook! It left my skin looking dewy, though some might think greasy or oily. However, I felt like it gave my skin the glass skin look that is popular in Japan and South Korea. 


Before: no cleansing or anything | After: using the Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer only. Sorry for the poor lighting, but it’s the best I can do with my phone and no filter was used for these photos. 

Alright, let’s move onto the ingredients and how they benefit the skin.


Screenshot from sephora.com

Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam)

This ingredient helps soften and hydrate the skin. It’s a very popular ingredient that’s used for both skin and hair products since it kind of provides a moisture barrier that helps keep the skin’s natural moisture sealed in and prevent environmental damage. 

Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract AKA Green Tea Leaf Extract

Has antioxidants that help improve the appearance of sun-damaged skin and has anti-aging properties. It can also help with moisture and even out skin tone. It can also help reduce sebum production and has antibacterial properties which can help treat oily and/or acne-prone skin.

This product is marketed towards normal-dry skin and I think it helps, but it’s not the most moisturizing product. If you have very dry skin, this might not work for you and you might need something a little thicker. My dry patches were hydrated and didn’t get flaky, but the redness was still there and once I washed my face, they would tighten up and go back to being very dry. However, if you don’t have this problem, this might be good if you need something quick and on-the-go. Laneige has some kits with a small bottle of this in them so it’s worth trying out without worrying about spending a lot on one item that might not work out for you. 

Have you tried this product yet? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let me know.

-simplesarah