Kbeauty Review: Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Gel

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This will be more of a rave than a review. I have been using Secret Key’s Lemon Sparkling Gel for a little less than a year now and I realized I haven’t shared this awesome product on my blog yet.

Before this product, I never really used peels before, but my dried up acne leaves my skin very flaky looking (especially under makeup), so I was like, gotta get these flakes off my face because they not that cute. I have heard of Secret Key as a brand, but I never actually used any of their products before this one. There are a number of great reviews on this peeling gel, so I decided to give it a go.

I got my peeling gel from memebox.com for $9, which is a pretty good price point for an effective peel.

The packaging is a simple and practical squeeze tube, with 120 ml of product in there. The instructions and ingredient list on the back of the tube is all in Korean, so good luck with that. This tube lasted me a pretty long time (at the very least 6 months), and I use it maybe 1-2 times a week and using a generous amount each time.

The name of the product does not lie, the peeling gel does smells like refreshing lemons. The consistency of the peeling gel is like that of a normal gel cleanser, but a bit more runny.

Wet your face and rub a quarter-sized amount on, then the magic happens. After, rubbing the gel on to my face for about a minute you can see these little solid white pieces form. They are actually dead skin that the peeling gel gathered from my skin.

I was skeptical at first that the white pieces weren’t actually my dead skin, like maybe it was the gel formula that solidified from the body heat or rubbing. So I did a test because I am a fabulous scientist ofc.

To test whether the white pieces are actually dead skin, I used the peeling gel twice. The second use, that immediately follows the first, should produce a lot less or even no white pieces because, hypothetically, my first use of the peeling gel would have already washed all the dead skin off.

The test results? It is safe to say that those white pieces are in fact my dead skin (gross, but yay!). During the first use of the peeling gel, I had a lot of pieces of dead skin rubbing off my face. During the second use, I barely had any pieces of dead skin, even though I had used the same amount of product in both washes.

My final verdict on this peeling gel is 5 out of 5 stars. I use this in my cleansing routine at least once a week. It exfoliates the dead skin cells, so that the nicer and newer skin cells can surface. It also makes my makeup go on a lot smoother. I plan on keeping this one in my routine for a long long time.

Enjoy! ^_^

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KBeauty Review: It’s Skin Secret Solution Clear Patch

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Heyyy, so I’m finally back with another pimple patch review. We are now at review 4 in my pimple patch series. It’s been a while- I finally finished my last final of my last semester of grad school early today. I still have a 15-page paper to start, but that’s not due till come end of the month, so gurl, I’ll work on that later (like on the night of the deadline).

This review will be on It’s Skin’s Secret Solution Clear Patch. Oooh, so secret secret aren’t we, jk.

I ordered this off of TesterKorea.com for 3,440 KRW (3.08 USD). To be clear this is a 5 sheet pack, each sheet has 12 patches, so these are on the cheaper side. As you can see, they are kept in this super adorable cardboard-like envelope casing ❤

They have directions in English in the back, but I think we all know how pimple patches work by now. They recommend the patch to be stuck on your face for 8-12 hours for optimal results, which is pretty much in line with patches from other brands.

This is how the sheet’s individual packing looks like:

Nothing new from the outside cardboard-like packaging…

I just realized that I forgot to take pictures of the actual patches on the clear sheet(they mostly likely already made it all the way from my garbage bin to the landfills by now)!!!! Ugh, such a fail. School finals always turn me into a mess T_T

But to give you a comparison to work with, it’s so so so similar with Mamonde’s AC Balance Spot Patch.

The sheet of 12 patches run 4.5 in. (height) x 2 in. (width). Like Mamonde, there are 2 sizes to the patches- 6 of them have a diameter of about 0.5 in. and the other 6 with a smaller diameter of 0.25 in.

These patches are on the thin side, so I have been wearing them during the day more as a pimple barrier from the germy city of NYC than as to actually heal my pimples. I have been breaking out like ridiculously lately (no idea why, but I do know I looking like a freaking pepperoni pizza face), so a sheet of 12 patches lasts me like 2-3 days.

Their adhesiveness if on point, so they last the suggested 8-12 hours on your pimples. I do feel like these give a little better of a healing property to my pimples that then the Mamonde and Tony Moly patches (only a little), but still nothing beats the legendary Cosrx’s Master Patch or SkinFood’s trouble Clear Spot Patch.

I give these little ones a 4 out of 5 stars– I definitely see a reducing of swelling and redness of pimples after having a patch on it for a day. Also, they are priced nicely, so if you are looking for a subtle day-time pimple patch to protect and semi-conceal your face pepperonis, theses are the ones to go with!

KBeauty Review: Mediheal PDF AC Dressing Ampoule Mask

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I ordered a few facial masks from Hollar.com (surprisingly they do carry a small lineup of Kbeauty products, I was like- whatttt whatchu guys doin’ here). The masks I bought are from Mediheal. I never tried this brand before, though I know it’s a pretty popular one, so I was like let’s see if I have been missing out on anything. They were like 2.25 to 2.50 USD each- typical face mask pricing.

I’m going to jump into a short review of the P.D.F A.C Dressing Ampoule Mask that I used last night. Whoever names Mediheal‘s masks must be obsessed with acronyms, like I get that you like them acronyms but damn gurl.

This mask’s formula is aimed towards acne-prone skin, which I needed because my skin has been breakin’ out the past few months. It’s like a pimple party is getting it on up here.

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Here are some fuzzy a** photos

Here are some better shots of the packaging I took this morning if you like to do duh package reading.

Packaging is sleek and cute ofc (when it comes to Asian skincare when is packaging not cute).

The mask is soaked, like drenched soaked, and there is a mild perfume-y scent to the ampoule. The sheet is on the thicker side of masks and it almost has a gel-like feel to it. The shape of the mask fitted my face nicely and I left it on my face for like 30 to 40-ish minutes, until the mask started loosing it moisture.

After I took off the mask, I patted my face to help absorb the residual ampoule sitting on my skin and that stuff would just not go anywhere. The formula was just slipping and sliding on my face. It felt so heavy, greasy, sticky, and tacky. I tried massaging it into my face for a few more minutes and then, I left it sitting for another few more minutes (in hopes that it will dry or be absorbed into my skin), but no girl no. I ended up wiping it off with a tissue.

It made my hands all tacky and when I took the better/clearer photos of the packaging this morning, the empty package was stillll feelin tacky. Just ugh. Why would you do this to me, Mediheal? What have I ever done to cross you?

After, I wiped the excess sticky ampoule off my face it felt a bit more comfortable. Went to bed and woke up this morning with typical morning skin. I don’t see any difference in my skin from the mask, no improvement but also no …dis-improvements (is this a word? but you kno what I mean).

All in all I would not buy this PDF AC mask again, but I’m still going to try out the other masks that I ordered from Mediheal (crossing my fingers that those won’t be as sticky). For giving no difference to my skin, that nightmare tacky/sticky feeling it gave me was just not worth it. I give this mask a 1 out of 5 stars. #stickyaf

KBeauty Review: Nature Republic Bee Venom Emulsion

HeyHeyHey, I’m back with another Korean skincare product review. As you’ve probably already noticed, there’s all sorts of crazy ingredients in these Asian skincare products, like snail secretion, donkey milk, mushroom necks, snake venom, etc., etc.- you name it, they use it.

So ofc, there’s got to be a bee venom product out there right? Abso-fcking-lutely. This brings me to the leading lady of today’s review: Nature Republic’s Bee Venom Emulsion

So, my reasons for trying out this exotic concoction is: one, I’ve tried the Mist Essence from this line and it was amazeballs and , two, it claims to be for acne-prone skin because it contains salicylic acid to fight breakouts and 70% bee venom to unclog pores/buildup.

I purchased this from a Nature Republic store location in NYC for about 30 USD and I have to admit this is a pretty stupid spur-of-the-moment purchase. I could’ve looked up this product online and see that it easily retails for no more than 15 USD. So the store location up-charged me by a 100% for this- thanks for that, now I’m going to avoid that location like I’m avoiding a fcking plague.

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The bottle of product is a bit taller than 7 in. (~17.78 cm) and the mouth of the bottle is not the most conventional opening for any type of skincare product. The bottle is made of a hard plastic that you can’t squeeze, so the only way to get product out of that opening is to shake the bottle until something spills out (hopefully in an appropriate amount).

The texture of the emulsion is super nice- it’s light and just the right amount of creamy. The problem is that is doesn’t absorb well, it just sits on my skin like a sticky and moist film. You can see that I applied the emulsion on the back of my hand and, after massaging & patting into my skin, it leaves a shiny finish. Normally, products that my skin drinks up leave a nice matte-ish and smooth finish. When I apply this to my face, the shiny and sticky finish is even more apparent than compared to the back of my hand. I feel like a total grease-ball. Just ugh -____-

As for the scent of the product, it’s not overpowering, but it’s a strong refreshing scent of something similar to ginger and honey. Maybe this is what Nature Republic imagined bee venom to smell like. Not a bad scent at all, I actually quite like it. The scent doesn’t linger long, give it an hour or so to fade almost completely.

This emulsion is said to be for acne-prone skin, but it’s really hard to imagine it helping my skin with the way that it just sits awkwardly on my face. The formula makes me oilier that I already am and I am a very, very oily-skinned person. I feel like the greasy product will just clog my pores more so than it already is and lead to breakouts.

I don’t plan on using this routinely, maybe only for my dry winter skin days. I give this disappointing emulsion a 1.75 out of 5 stars because of its hard to absorb formula and the horrible bottle design. Especially for the price that I paid, this emulsion is def not worth it.

KBeauty Review: TheFaceShop x My Other Bag CC Ultra Moist Cushion

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A few months back I vacayed in China and Thailand, which was an amazing eye-opening experience and, ofc, there was obligatory weight-gain from all the mouth-watering food I have gorged down. I also brought back some souvenirs for my family, friends, co-workers, etc.- which I kept minimal, very minimal. They were not offended in any way though because they knew, as per usual, I had another priority to fulfill. I had to save luggage space for something more important- BEAUTY PRODUCTS *o*

I know I can just order them online when I’m back in the states, but it’s just different ya know. I enjoy going to the actual stores to take in the beautiful product displays, be assisted by the beauty associates, sampling products, and shopping the better in-store promotions.

I happened to pass by TheFaceShop while I was in Guangzhou, China and got a few items on promotion that I wanted to try out. They are a Korean beauty brand, but I’m sure they’re like all over Asia by now with the current Hallyu/Kbeauty hype. I tried to exercise some self-control, but, gurl, you have to understand how hard it is when they’re priced so damn nice and packaged so darn cute.

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Of my hual, I will be doing a review of the TheFaceShop x My Other Bag CC Ultra Moist Cushion today. TheFaceShop was running a promotion, so for RMB 99.00 (~UDS 14.33), I got the CC cushion with a free cushion refill- not a bad deal at all ^_^

A little background on this CC cushion, the original cushion looks like this:

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But TheFaceShop launched a collaboration with My Other Bag and upped their game in the CC cushion’s packaging, while the CC cushion formula remains unchanged.

The cushion comes in this fancy little drawstring ❤

As you can see, the CC cushion has been revamped with inspiration from My Other Bag‘s Sophia tote. I’m in love with the packaging and I’m not gonna lie- it was the chic packaging that pushed me to make this purchase. The little drawstring that it comes in is super handy, it fits the CC cushion as well a number of other items, so I now use it as my makeup bag.

The product is kept in the white plastic area of the cushion, which can be pushed out entirely from the bottom when you are done & ready to refill. I don’t know how much a refill retails for, but I assume it would be cheaper then buying another CC cushion- otherwise I just don’t see the point of refills.

The refill I got for free with this purchase is wrapped in this shiny foil package and, thank the lord, there are pictures explaining how to replace the refill. I would have clawed at the cushion for hours without the picture instructions, since almost everything is in Chinese which I, sadly, can not read.

Now that I have bombarded you with enough pictures of the packaging, lets talk about the actual CC cushion formula. This cushion runs in 2 shades and I purchased the lighter one, #v201 Apricot Beige. However, I felt like I should have purchased the darker shade instead- my face has gotten noticeably darker from the time that I have spent in the sun (it may have been all snow and cold in NYC, but it was blazing hot in Guangzhou & Pattaya). Since I don’t want to scare people with a ghost white face, I apply this to the higher points of my face and let it aid me in my contouring.

The formula is on the light-weight side and because it’s more on the moisturizing side, as the name suggests, it gives my skin a subtle glow/dewy look. This formula doesn’t help much in covering the more pigmented blemishes and acne scars, so a concealer is def needed if you have some bad boys to hide.

On the plus side, this works great on evening out your skin tone to give you a nice uniform finish. I applied the cushion on the right half of the back of my hand above, and you can see the visual difference. The formula is light enough, so that even when I zoom in on the area that I have applied the cushion, there isn’t a visible layer of product caked onto my skin. I think one of the reasons that the product applies onto my skins so naturally is due to the super soft & smooth cushion sponge.

The CC cushion holds a generous amount of product and it comes out easily onto the cushion sponge with a little pressure. As a FYI to prevent over-packing the product onto your face, the cushion sponge holds more product then it looks like it is. Pressing the sponge into the cushion roughing 2 times, maybe 3, is enough to cover my entire face.

After 6-8 hours, I noticed the product starting to move. Because I have oily and combination skin, the product started collecting on the creases of my skin and the drier areas of my face- NOT a cute look -__- Thus, if you expect a long day out and about, I recommend a touch-up after the 4-5 hour mark (before the products moves to a point beyond fixable with just a quick touch-up).

As for the scent of this CC cushion, it has a nice, refreshing fragrance to it. It’s nothing too overpowering.

I give this CC cushion a 3.75 out of 5. It’s great for creating a natural look, like for work or a daytime outing- but I don’t think that this will fly well for your nightime clubbing adventures. You’re going to glow like a ghost under those colorful club lights. The packaging is 10 out of 10, but I just can’t with products that start to collect in my skin creases. Like, it’s fine it the product just rubs off my face over time due to oil-blotting or me unconsciously touching my face, but please don’t all crowd into my skin’s imperfections and make them all the more apparent.

***Bonus: I also got a free pack of extra cushion sponges because I spent over a certain threshold at TheFaceShop with my haul. Aren’t they just to die for? Winnie the Pooh-themed cushion sponges, how can they shake my heart like this T_T

These are great for this CC cushion because their refill packs do not come with cushion sponges of their own. I can also imagine using these super soft sponges with other products.

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KBeauty Review: Mamonde AC Balance Spot Patch

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My latest obsession are acne patches and I have been buying them left and right. I can literally count them like they’re stacks of money. I love the idea that these little patches are like the one-stop-shop for pimples. They claim to provide the following benefits:

-act as a barrier from dirt, pollution, and bacteria

-draws out and absorbs acne secretion

-treat and heal acne

-conceals acne

-prevents acne scarring

Don’t they sound like pure fking magic? Yes, they do- that’s why I hoard them. So, today I will be reviewing Mamonde’s AC Balance Spot Patch. I recently finished the pack, so I figured it would be perfect timing to review it now before I forget all about it. I ordered this online from TesterKorea.com for 1,500 KRW, which is roughly 1.36 USD (their stuff is priced rather reasonably, plus I had a free shipping code ^_^). Let’s start with the packaging:

It’s a thin aluminum package, roughly running 4.5 in. (height) x 2 in. (width).

As noted on the front of the packaging, it contains 12 acne patches and they come in 2 sizes. Six of them have a diameter of about 0.5 in. and the other six with a smaller diameter of 0.25 in. How considerate of them to provide two sizes for our varying sizes and shapes of pimples- I’m so moved T_T (jk, I’ve seen other brands provide even more sizes).

The patches are super thin. I took some close-ups to show just how skinny they are. They’re almost like… rice paper? Sorry, I’m bad with providing comparisons.

As for what they claim to do, I noted the passes in green and the mehs/fails in red.

-act as a barrier from dirt, pollution, and bacteria

The patches are for sure keeping out the dirties from my pimples. I put them on my pimples after I wash my face in the morning or night and they are adhesive enough to stay on till I am ready to peel them on. The back of the packaging says to leave them on for 8-12 hours, so that’s precisely what I do.

-draws out and absorbs acne secretion

I noticed that these patches work best for your pimples that have been popped. They will suck out all the remaining secretion and help relieve swelling.

-treat and heal acne

I didn’t feel the patches do anything for treating or healing my acne in particular, especially my hormonal cystic ones. So don’t expect your pimples to disappear overnight just because you stuck one of these things on. For my tiny pimples though, these patches did seem to clear them in about a day or two (but this is only very, very slightly faster than if I hadn’t used them).

-conceals acne

On the packages it states that the patches are “transparent film”, but as you can see in the close-up image above, they are not 100% transparent. That’s okay though, it helps me blur my pimples, so no one can see them from afar.

-prevents acne scarring

Only my hormonal cystic acne gives me scars and these patches do absolutely nothing to help prevent that, nor do they speed up the fading of scars. Thus, don’t bother using these patches for this purpose.

Overall, I give these babies a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Part 2: SkinFood Trouble Clear Patch

Part 3: TonyMoly AC Control Spot Patch