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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REVIEW: ACTIVATED CHARCOAL MASK

Hey there, Mr. Steal Your Girl is here with a review for YOU today on the Activated Charcoal Mask. *ooooh, ahhhh*

A little disclaimer: I forewarn you, friends on the internet, that the charcoal will make a HUGE mess EVERYWHERE. Prepare to clean up your bathroom after you do this.

So I did some research on masks that help draw out impurities, because I feel like Bentonite masks aren’t quite strong enough for my deep set sebum (gross, I know).  I heard really great things about Glamglow and so I looked up its ingredients; the most important one in the mask is ACTIVATED CHARCOAL.  It’s like normal charcoal, but heated to increase its absorption power.  Hospitals give this to patients to absorb drugs or alcohol when they get an overdose because Activated charcoal can absorb the toxins before they get into their bloodstream.

If it’s edible, it’s definitely OK for the skin.  I also don’t really want to be set back $80 to get a tiny jar of Glamglow, which I totally would if I was a balla.  As well, being the Screw-the-rules type of girl, I googled if anyone has tried to make a homemade mask with this ingredient – which not to my surprise people did.

So I went and bought a pack of Activated Charcoal pills (meant for disgestive issues) at Shoppers for $10.99; I opened the pills by twisting the caps, and then mixed this with some clay mask I already had on hand (use any brand with Bentonite), and added just a tiny splash of water to get the paste mixing properly.  Then I applied it to my face and left it there for 12 minutes and washed it off using my Clarisonic.

Here’s where it gets messy.  The charcoal will get into the nooks and crannies of your skin, such as the wrinkles in your fingers and under your finger nail, and wherever your face has a wrinkle too.  It’s impossible to get all the black out without using a Clarisonic or maybe a towel if you don’t own one.  Consider yourself warned, girlfriend.

The Results?  Many of my little blackheads and sebum plugs began to come out, which is pretty cool, but the Activated Charcoal did not remove them completely.  The really interesting part was that after I used this mask, really deep/old cystic acne/sebum I had from last year that is trapped under my skin but isn’t red nor active anymore — started to come to the surface to form a pimple.  Don’t know if this is a good and bad thing that a zombie pimple basically happened, but it gives me the chance to extract it later.

TLDR;  This mask brought some the trapped sebum and black heads which are deep under my skin to the surface, but they did not disappear after I washed my mask off like I hoped it would do.  However, it may work better for some people more than others depending on how old and deep your blackheads and stuff are.  It is very drying so make sure to moisturize well after.

If you do give this a try, please let me know 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this post!

xo

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!)

HG ROUNDUP: MAKEUP AND SKINCARE PRODUCTS

All time faves Unedit

Hello! I’ve been SUPER excited to do this post for a long time – even before I wanted to start this blog, because being the perfectionist that I am, the list I was compiling in my head was never good enough. But here are my all-time HG products:

1. Bioderma Sensibio H2O

This product along with the Kiehl’s products I will talk about later SAVED my skin.  Last year I had the worst acne I’ve had all my life – erupting constantly on my cheek and chin area, with blocked pores deep under my skin.  I’m still in the process of healing, but this product takes off my makeup so gently yet powerfully.  I have combo skin that gets dry in the winter and is sensitive sometimes and my skin loves this product.  Will repurchase until I die.  Shop it here.

2.  Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser

Again, I will talk more about my battles with acne in future post, but switching over to gentler products such as this really helped save my inflamed, swollen skin.  This cleanser is REALLY worth the $26 price tag. The consistency is like a thick gel, and it does not foam up.   I clean my face with it after wiping off my makeup with the Bioderma and it leaves it very clean and NOT DRY, and without a filmy residue like a foam cleanser would.  Wiping my face with toner on a cotton pad left no residual makeup.  Also, the 150ml bottle seems to last forever because you do not need a lot of product – I bought it in December, use it 1-2 times daily and now it is August and I’m still not close to finishing the tube.  Shop it here.

3.  Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream

This product is complimentary to the cleanser, as well as the toner (which is amazing too, but decided not to list it).  Ideally you should use all three together.  This cream leaves my face so supple and smooth and feeling truly moisturized inside out – as long as I use a very little amount all over my face.  It has lasted me at least 6 months because of how little I needed.  Using too much made me oily, but it did not contribute to breakouts, although it is not oil-free.  One thing I would say is that I would not use this in the summer because it is too rich – for now, I use the Ultra Facial Oil-Free Gel Cream. Shop Ultra Facial Cream here.

4.  Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Keeping it short, this eye cream is delightfully creamy and rich when you first apply it, then as you spread it out with your fingers it somehow thins out to a watery consistency.  It is so moisturizing yet not sticky and heavy on your eyes.  I would say that it is worth what it costs, considering other eye creams out there.  Also, this product works well with younger people who need an HG eye cream but not for anti-aging purposes.  Shop it here.

5.  Clean and Clear Persa-Gel 5

In all honesty, I was going to return this product because it gave me the worst allergic reaction I’ve had ever to a skincare product.  I already knew I was allergic to Benzoyl Peroxide from another medication I used to use (which was 2%), so it sounded crazy that I continued to use this 5% BP product albeit it causing my face to redden and my eyes to swell up.  I decided to keep going with it because I know my skin gets used to products.  It effectively dries out my pimples, EVEN the big foreboding cysts that take a week to mature and hurt a lot.  I find that my pimples either heal faster, never come to maturity, or dry faster so I can extract them safely.  Shop it here.

6. Benefit High Beam

I don’t know how I was okay with my makeup before using this liquid highlighter! Now I HAVE to use it – highlighting your face brings out your features and makes your face more 3-dimensional.  I love applying it on my brow bone, cheekbones, cupid’s bow, and of course, my (lack of a) nose bridge.  For me, it makes a hell of a difference when I have High Beam on my nose, because I really don’t have much of a bone there.  Only problem I have with it is that it tends to dry quickly, so blending it quickly is a must.  Shop it here.

7. Nivea Fruity Shine Strawberry

This drugstore lip balm leaves my lips moisturized, supple, and gives it a hint of a reddish pink colour which is amazing for my naturally pale lips.  Great for when you don’t want to try too hard but want to look healthy!  It also tastes like strawberry too and it is hella cheap so are you sold yet?  Shop it here.

8. Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Concealer in Light

This affordable drugstore concealer is another must-have item that brightens up my entire face and compliments my foundation.  I wear a lighter colour than my own skin tone so it brightens up my under-eye area and creates more dimension in my face.  For higher undereye circle coverage, I first lightly shade in my dark eye circles with a pink lip pencil – it sounds crazy but it works, watch this video and you will be mind blown.  Then I use the Maybelline Concealer on top and blend it out with a beauty blender toward my outer corner and as well down to my cheeks – the consistency on this concealer is perfectly thin to use on the eyes and coverage is very good.  Shop it here.

9. Cover FX Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation & Cream Concealer

I first learned about CoverFX when I was 15 buying my first foundation to cover my acne at the time – it was developed at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto to target people who suffer from skin problems like rosacea and acne.  It has been my first and only suitable foundation and I probably won’t try anything else soon.  Other foundations and BB creams in the past have broken me out and blocked my pores so I have come back to this brand.  It is quite pricey but in my opinion it is worth it especially if you are acne prone too.  It gives a dewy medium coverage and it buildable to full.  I usually put it on first in a thin layer all over, then mix it with the concealer to cover problem areas, then finally spot treat the small imperfections with the concealer.  The concealer is awesome as well; it is very thick, almost a clay-like consistency but the only downside is that its colours are limited.  I use N30 or G40 for foundation (depending how dark I am) and Light for concealer.  Shop them here and here.

10. Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder

My friend recommended this to me a year ago and I have been loving it ever since.  This powder has a pleasant smell and gets rid of facial oil so well.  After I use it my face is velvety smooth and dry to the touch in a fresh way.  I use this to set my foundation or just to absorb oil when I need to.  100% HG product!  I would definitely want to try more Innisfree’s products in the future.  Shop the powder here.

11. Biosilk Silk Therapy Serum

The ends of my hair are hella damaged and hella dry, and this product has been nourishing my hair and keeping it tame for almost a year now.  The consistency of Biosilk is a very thick liquid gel, and I apply it on wet, towel-dried hair.  Again, damaged hair cannot be repaired obviously but after I use this and dry my hair, it feels smooth and healthy and much more manageable.  Shop it here. (I prefer to buy this at a hair product shop at Pacific Mall – costs around $35.)

12. Shiseido Tsubaki Shining Conditioner

This conditioner is actually HG for making my tangled, unruly, and dry hair all smooth and shiny and amazingly soft.  It has Camellia oil which is amazing for the hair and skin.  I tend to use a lot of this conditioner so it coats my hair well and leave it in there for at least 5 minutes in the shower for it to take effect.   I am honestly a shampoo/conditioner nomad so finally finding this conditioner that I can depend on is quite awesome.  It is designed for Asian hair so if you have that it will probably work well on you.  Shop it here. (I prefer to buy this at T&T supermarket though, sometimes they have sales.)

I hope you enjoyed this post (if you made it this far), and Follow me for more stuff to come! 🙂

xoxo

Boki