BEAUTY REVIEW: Hada Labo Skincare

Hi Friends!

Back in August, my parents visited Hong Kong, so it was the perfect time to exploit them and make them buy Asian skincare products for me.  Funny story is, I had actually only asked them to buy me the Hada Labo Moisture Milk that I tried a sample of and fell in love with, so I sent them a screenshot through Whatsapp of the Sasa website item page, and they bought me all the other items on the screenshot too!

An Overview about the brand from their site:

HADA LABO—which is translated as “Skin Lab”—is a technologically advanced Japanese skin care line researched and developed at the Rohto research facility in Japan. It is the result of more than 100 years of product development and the continued research efforts of Rohto Pharmaceutical Company, Ltd., a leading manufacturer of pharmaceutical products and cosmetics.Using the power of Super Hyaluronic Acid, Rohto has updated the time-honored and long-admired Japanese ritual for beautiful, younger-looking skin. This combination of high-tech, modern technology and a traditional approach to pampering application is at the heart of HADA LABO. It provides the perfect balance in your skin care regimen—and perfect harmony for your skin.

I wanted to use the products for at least a month or two before I wrote you guys a thorough review.

Here is what they got me (clockwise from top):
Arbutin Whitening Water Gel
Super Hyaluronic Moisture Milk
Super Hyaluronic Lotion (Light)
Retinol 3D Essence
Daily Face Wash

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Japanese Packaging is 100 !!

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Daily Face Wash, $13 CAD

I had raved about the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser before on the blog, and it is still my favourite.  This cleanser will not beat Kiehl’s in the moisturizing department, but it works well for a good price.  It has a creamy consistency but it foams up slightly.  These foaming types of cleansers work better than the Kiehl’s with a Clarisonic, which is good because I use that twice a week, but they are slightly drying if I don’t put on products directly after cleansing.

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Super Hyaluronic Moisture Milk, $17 CAD

This product is the perfect daytime or summer moisturizer.  It has a runny, almost milky consistency but is not watery.  This product has no colouring or added fragrance, which is awesome for sensitive skin.  It applies easily and doesn’t dry leaving a sticky residue on your face.  After using this product every day for the past two months, my face feels supple and balanced.

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Retinol 3D Essence, $31 CAD

This Essence is very affordable compared to other serums out there – the consistency is very viscous like a serum – similar to a thick gel.  When I smoothed it into my skin it felt like it became a substantial layer of moisture.  It leaves my face very soft and supple.  However, I did not feel like it had any firming or anti-aging effect which is what Retinol is often used for.  It could also be that I’m only 21 and don’t have aging skin so I shouldn’t really comment on that.

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Arbutin Whitening Water Gel, $25 CAD

This product is probably what most of you will be curious about.  This gel cream is almost identical to the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack/Mask, which I’ve been using for years.  They are both blue, but the Hada Labo gel cream actually has a thicker consistency – like thin jelly, whereas the Laneige sleeping pack is light and watery, almost not even solid.   The verdict is: I think both products are almost the same and have the same moisturizing effect.  I can’t tell the difference on my skin which is better.  However, judging by the prices and packaging, I would definitely only repurchase the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack as it is slightly cheaper per unit price and has a better packaging.

 

That’s it guys!  Leave me a comment or a like, and let me know if you’ve ever tried Hada Labo and what your thoughts are on their products.

 

Much Love,

Boki

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My Fitness Journey: The Girl who Sucked at Sports but Found Herself in Weightlifting

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(If you’re wondering) Bikini: Top – Aerie, Bottom – Victoria’s Secret

Hi friends,

I’ve missed you all 5 of you who read my blog. (just kidding)  It’s honestly been over a year since I’ve had the time to write a new blog post, but I felt inspired today to write about my fitness journey so far, and to be as authentic as possible in the Sea of Staged Perfection on instagram.

I’ve always been aware of my body even as a young girl, and wondered why I had fatter arms and bigger thighs than all the other girls.  I was never overweight or obese, but never skinny.

On top of that, I am a clumsy wreck most of the time, have no hand-eye coordination, and can’t even run properly.  (I have come to terms with the clumsiness part because my bf think’s I’m cute)

As I steadily gained weight throughout puberty into middle school and high school, I had the mindset that I am doomed to be really fat one day, because I have no talent for exercise, running, and sports.  I had uniforms in my high school, and my pants began to become too tight to breathe, and my skinny jeans too tight to button up.  Out of fear, I decided to make a change.

In grade 12, I discovered Blogilates and the Instagram world of people’s oatmeal photos and fitness progress pics.  I finally became convinced that I have the power to change myself.  At a max weight of 132 pounds at 5’5 after a well-fed cruise the previous summer, I started running on the treadmill and doing Youtube workout videos, as well as adopting a super-healthy diet.

As much as I love eating healthy and have a passion for vegetables (and I still do now), it took a toll on my family, friends and my boyfriend, because I became scared to not “eat clean”.  I did not want to eat the same home-cooked Chinese dinners my mom made because I couldn’t input that into MyFitnessPal, felt contempt towards my boyfriend who always wanted to eat out, and brought lunch while my friends ate out on the weekends.  These things threatened my weight loss, but also it alienated me.  I checked the scale every day, and finally I was at 122 pounds, and my jeans fit once more.  I really felt like I was in control, but I was not truly happy.  In retrospect, my friends, it is indeed VERY difficult to maintain a positive mindset rather than a self-deprecating mindset in a weight loss journey.

In the summer after 2nd year in Uni, my family moved quite North of the city, physically alienating me from my friends.  I did not find an internship either, so to make myself feel accomplished and productive, I started going to the local gym.  This was an intimidating experience at first as until that point I have only really done Blogilates and have used the gym at school periodically, never daring to try heavy weights.

That summer, I finally had the courage to ask someone to set up the bar for me to squat, something I’ve always wanted to do.  The first week, I managed with much difficulty, squatting with the bar.  The second week, I tried adding 5 pound plates.  Then it increased to 10 pounds, and 25 pounds.  My max was maybe 30 but I couldn’t quite get it right.  On top of that, I enjoyed working out my shoulders and triceps (not really any reasoning behind that).  I felt strong and happy because of the progress I made.

Fast forward to 3rd year uni, school was even more stressful than the year before and due to lack of sleep and eating crappy outside food often, I had no motivation and energy to go to the gym.  I lost weight – and a lot of my muscle, and went down to around 115 pounds.  I knew I was losing muscle and looked more ‘fat’, but at the same time I didn’t feel horrible as I am light for my height I suppose.  Inside, though, I felt guilty every week I did not go to the gym.

In May of this year, I finally have an internship near my university, and what more reason to pick up a gym routine after work?  It was disappointing at first that I could not even squat 25 without failing.  I did not beat myself up, and next week I tried again.  Then I tried to squat 30. 35. Maybe 40?  I had a routine at first of Lower body (aka BOOTY day), a day for all upper body, cardio, and a day of whatever as long as I go to the gym.  I’ve gotten lazier now and sometimes more occupied with meeting up with friends after work so I try to maintain twice a week – at least completing an Upper and Lower body work out.

Writing this post to you in July, I am still in my fitness journey.  But I am no longer as guilty as the girl in grade 12 who feared Chinese food and white carbs.   I don’t blame myself for not going to the gym every day that I can; some days I don’t feel like it, but then next week I just go harder.   I don’t blame myself that I didn’t increase by the same amount of weight that I lifted the week before, and aim for small victories.  I still hate doing abs, but my love for growing my booty and doing leg workouts seems to help with maintaining a somewhat flat stomach.

If you get anything out of what I wrote in this blog post (which got pretty long, my apologies!), then it is that you have the power to inspire your own changes.  It is never too late to take care of your body, eat better, and lift weights for the body you’ve always wanted.  My friends, it is so satisfying to see your muscles grow, because that is evidence of your hard work!  Nobody can give or take it away, which is what makes it beautiful.

Comment below and share with me about your personal fitness/health journey! I would love to read about it ❤

 

Love,

Boki

 

BACK TO SCHOOL NECESSITIES!

Hey loves! School is coming up really soon (to my dismay) but I always get excited about buying new products so I will be “prepped” for the stressful life (am I right?)  I mean, do not all the pink and purple things just make you feel so girly and motivated and ready for school?

IMG_7800So without further ado, Let’s jump right into the products (From left to right):

Clean and Clear Persa-Gel 5:  This is a lifesaver for those breakouts that just creep up on you during exams, or whenever, because acne is a bitch.  I also talked about this in my HG products post!

Dr. Bronner Lavender Pure-Castille Liquid Soap:  I just bought this to try as a body wash, and I am loving it so far!  This soap is vegan, fair-trade, and organic so you know it is both good for your body and good to the world.  It will definitely last forever because I only need to squirt a small amount and then it foams up beautifully on a loofah.  I love the lavender smell but if you’re not a big fan, there are many other scents as well!  Apparently you can wash your face and hair too with it, but I am skeptical to try… If I do I will write about it in a future post!

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado:  Read more about it in my HG products post, but this eye cream is very affordable and moisturizing and great as an eye cream for people in their early 20’s.  This is an ABSOLUTE MUST-HAVE for the winter, especially the Canadian winter if you live here!

Lush Mask of Magnaminty:  This is a good mask to use if you’re feeling under the weather or you (tsk tsk) slept with makeup on one fateful night.  It doesn’t dry out the skin at all and after using it, my face felt cleaner and more refreshed.  FYI, Not a miracle product, but is good to have when you need it, which you will!

No-Show Liner Socks:  I got these at Winners for super cheap; $10 for 6 pairs.  These socks are so versatile and they are a must to wear with any sneakers, flats, or low-profile shoes like Vans.  I have a pair of Vans that I love but stopped wearing because they smell so bad since I never wore them with socks.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara: I quite like the wand on this mascara because it does a great job of keeping my lashes separated.  I don’t really like the clumpy, voluminous, and spidery kind of look which some people actually prefer, so this works!  Feel free to use a mascara you love, but you NEED A MASCARA! For the many days which you will be tired from studying, mascara does a great job of making your eyes appear more open and awake.

Nivea Fruity Shine Strawberry Lip balm:  This is my all-time favourite lip balm, because it is so moisturizing, gives a sheer and shimmery red pigment to my pale and sickly-looking lips, and the smell is divine.  It was also talked about in my HG products post (sorry, I know, but it is a goodie).

OPI Sweet Heart Nail Polish: If there is only one colour you can bring to school and wear forever, it is this one.  Sweet Heart is a delicate yellow-pink creme colour that compliments pretty much any skin tone.  It is such a girly and wearable colour, I am obsessed!

Wide-tooth and Fine-Toothed Comb:  The wide toothed comb is gentle and painless to detangle knots in wet or dry hair, and the fine toothed comb will detangle any remaining knots.  Great to have on hand because tangly hair is not cute, am I right?

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer: Amazing under-eye concealer with a thin, workable consistency and medium coverage to combat the all-nighters.  I am in a quite tedious program in terms of workload, and everyone in my program will tackle many late nights, if not all-nighters working on projects.  I try my best to avoid those, but an undereye concealer like this one really helps me look awake after a horrible night of slaving over work.

Bioderma Sensibio H2o Micelle Solution:  Amazing and reliable all-purpose makeup remover that is so gentle on your skin and leaves the skin clean and supple.  I never recommend only using this and skipping cleansing, but if you’re really tired, it’s better to at least take off your makeup before bed.  Bioderma is by far the most gentle and effective makeup removing water I have ever used.  It is worth the money!

Batiste Dry Shampoo:  This is the BEST dry shampoo brand!  I’ve tried other drug store brands and they just can’t do the same thing and have horrible smells and uncomfortable residue.  It is quite expensive but I found this on sale for $6.99 at Winners, such a steal!   Honestly, there are days when I just don’t feel like washing my hair and also, washing it every day is bad, so having a dry shampoo on hand is a must.

Kirkland Green Tea:  If you knew me personally, you would know I love Costco.  Even their private brand Kirkland’s products are on point and sometimes better than branded stuff.  This tea is a mix of Matcha and Sencha, I believe. Green tea is so good for calming your body, metabolism, antioxidants, and it tastes so good!  Having a cup of tea around when I’m doing work or studying is really a blessing.  Give this product a try next time you go to Costco!  It is around $15.99 for 100 packets I think.

Aerie Nubra:  Buying this sticky bra changed my life!  I used to deal with strapless bras that keep falling off and there are so many pretty tank tops I love wearing which will show my bra straps.  This is so comfortable to wear – yes you do feel the sticky feeling on your boobs, but having a naked, unrestricted back feels so good! Make sure you clean this periodically, though.

So I hoped you enjoyed this post, if there are any necessities that you think I should bring to school, PLEASE LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS! I am totally welcome to hearing any suggestions from you 🙂

xoxo

Boki

PS Follow me on Insta! @_boks (Yay for more insta friends!)

MY FIRST PHOTOSHOOT

A friend of mine recently asked me to be his model for his portfolio, and we, along with some friends drove up to a beautiful beach called Deanlea beach in the township of Tiny.

We went an hour early at 7:30 to make sure we catch the 8:30 sunset, which was ethereal. I still can’t get over how pretty the sky and the beach were.

My friend JP as well as his photographer friend Kenneth shot me standing in the water.  Honestly, my feet starting to hurt after stepping in the rocks for so long, but it was worth it for the pictures!  For my first time, I think a lot of the pictures turned out quite well.  Here are some:


  

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Hope you enjoyed the pics and make sure you check out JP’s portfolio here and Kenneth’s here!
Til next time 🙂
xoxo
Boki

REVIEW: MINK EYELASH EXTENSIONS + PICS!

Hey lovelies,

This post will be about my experience with Lash extensions.  My first time getting them was in June 2014 at an Chinese-run Spa through a Groupon, and this year I have gotten it twice at another Chinese Spa through Groupon.

Keep reading if you are a lazy girl who doesn’t like wearing a lot of makeup but would love to wake up pretty and actually tell people you Woke up like Dis.

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June 2014

This was my very first experience, and I got 50 lashes done as per the Groupon (which I won’t name the place).  It was my first time so I pretty much let the lady decide how she will do it, and it looked stunning.  As you will see later, this set was more natural because the extensions were shorter – I believe 11 or 12mm as the longest pieces.  Unfortunately, I was not taught how to maintain the extensions and they tangled up so badly and fell out quickly and also some stuck together.  I found that after the lashes were gone, my original lashes became more sparse and were shorter than my natural lashes. Not cool.

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After a horrible experience the first time a year ago, I was convinced by a friend of mine to try another lash place, which does 50 or 80 lashes, and I caved in and went for the 80 lash extension.  You can tell from the picture that these lashes are much longer and more dramatic.  From the side they look hella long and I love it.  These were 10-13 mm extensions.

I laid on a spa bed and the owner of the place worked on my lashes for approx. 40 minutes and told me to keep my eyes closed and wait for another 10 minutes to let the glue dry.  She actually left the room and made me wait at least 20 minutes but it was fine.

So unfortunately, I still did not know how to take care of the lashes, except to not get them wet for as long as I could which was a disaster.  I basically didn’t let water get near my eye area for the first several days and would only wipe around it, and a lot of eye gunk developed (obviously) and got caught in these lashes, and were pretty hard to get out.  I tried my best not to touch them for the longest time but that backfired on me.  They got EXTREMELY tangled, and looked worse than last year because of how long these lashes are, and many lashes got stuck together and some extensions got stuck to two natural lash hairs that I had to cut them apart.

TLDR: They looked horrible by week 2, started to fall out a lot by week 3 and 4, and during week 5 and 6 I was left with maybe 5-10 lashes left on each eye and had to compensate by applying mascara and eyeliner to hide the awkward and sparse lashes.

It isn’t recommended to rub your eyes or wear eye makeup or eyeliner and DEFINITELY not Mascara with the lash extensions because when you take the makeup off, the rubbing will cause some lashes to fall off – no good.

So after 6 weeks and ripping some of my lashes out (ouch), I was free of extensions but the addiction was already in my blood.  I got the Groupon again, with the owner telling me it’s the last time I can use the Groupon and not pay regular price (whatever).  This this an employee did my lashes.

She did not do as good of a job as the owner, and only told me to wait 5 minutes to let the glue dry after she was done.  SO BAD.  I knew the glue was not dry enough yet when I got rushed to leave because it left an acute stinging feeling in my eyes for the next hour or two, and a lash kept getting caught on a bottom lash every time I blinked.

However, this time I took superb care of these lashes and they’re holding up much better than the previous time.

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All you need is your blow dryer and a Spoolie (take the free ones from Sephora, girl). After a day or two of keeping the lashes pretty much away from water, I let them get wet.  Immediately after I get out from the shower, I blot them dry by placing a face towel under my eyes and then closing my eyes onto the towel to soak off most of the water.  Then I use my blowdryer at the lowest strength and cool setting and literally Blow dry my lashes while brushing them through with the spoolie.   I brush down to keep them flowing in the same direction, then brush up to separate the individual lashes.  This way, it extends the lifetime of the lashes.

3 weeks later

This is a picture of my lashes three weeks after the procedure – they still look pretty tame and less has fallen out compared to previous times.

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4 weeks.

At four weeks they are somewhat less tame and there’s a significant difference in fall out

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Here’s how they look from the side – very dramatic!
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Me playing with a puppy but damn look at the lashes

I hope you found this post useful and maybe you’ll be inspired to get your own lash extensions too! Enjoy 🙂

xoxo
Boki