BeautyProducts

Current Skincare Favorites - March 2019 Edition

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Hello everybody! So It’s been a hot minute since I’ve written about skincare - and honestly, I kinda miss it. These days, you can find most of my skincare reviews on my Instastories, as I often talk about the latest products that I’m trying all the while never forgetting to include my usual favorites. Since it’s been a while since my last skincare themed blog post, I thought I’d share my recent skincare go-tos with you all in today’s March 2019 edition of Current Skincare Favorites!


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SPF


You recognize the saying “Mom always says don’t leave the house without a sweater?”. Well, Michelle always says don’t leave the house without sunscreen! Honestly, you and your skin will thank you years later down the road when you begin to notice the first signs of crow's feet and wrinkles (I’m in my mid-20s and already spy forehead wrinkles, eek!). If I could go back in time, I would have totally started an in-depth skincare routine as early as my teenage years. However, let’s not focus on what we didn’t do in the past, but instead, what we can do in the present.

My number one go-to SPF product of all-time at the very moment is Dermalogica’s Prism Protect SPF 30. Honestly, I ended up trying this product due to an influencer campaign that I agreed to, but I also have to say that I am HOOKED on this product. Not only does it feel like a hydrating moisturizer, but it also contains SPF 30 so that your skin is protected by the harmful UV rays that the sun exudes. Additionally, it is not too sticky or chalky, but very hydrating for my skin! These days, I bring the Prism Protect with me to work if I don’t have enough time to apply it at home before I leave the house in the morning (gotta beat that morning rush hour traffic, ya feel me?). At work, I apply this SPF product liberally all over my face and neck right before I do my makeup. If I go sans-makeup for the day, then I consider this sunscreen as the last step of my morning skincare routine instead.

Buy the Dermalogica’s Prism Protect SPF 30 here.


Toners


For some reason, March has been the month of trying out more Asian skincare brands in specific, but I have no complaints about that whatsoever! Also, I asked you guys recently on an Instagram poll if you prefer Asian skincare or American skincare, and a whopping 85% of you voted for Asian skincare! I never realized that the love for Asian skincare among my followers was extremely high, but I’m also happy to learn that you guys had a chance to try Asian skincare products!

I’ve always been a long-time fan of Sulwhasoo, a high-performance Korean skincare brand that honestly made me fall in love with the actual concept of having a multi-step skincare routine. Something about this Korean brand just literally makes my face feel like a million bucks whenever I use their skincare, LOL - honestly, it has to do with the lightweight texture and post dewy glow I see when I look at the mirror after applying a few Sulwhasoo products to my face.

Two Sulwhasoo products that I’ve tried recently include the Snowise Brightening Water (aka a toner) and the First Care Activating Serum. For the Snowise Brightening Water, you can shake the bottle and pour a few drops into a soft cotton pad before gently applying it all over your face.

Before switching over to Sulwhasoo, my previous go-to toners included TULA’s Pro-Glycolic 10% PH Resurfacing Gel Toner, Bliss’ Rose Gold Rescue Toner Mist, and BABOR’s Rose Toning Essence. TULA carried the first gel toner that I ever tried, and I loved how this product was more thick and gel-like (since I’m not always a fan of too watery substances). In other words, TULA’s toner made me feel like their product actually made a difference in my skin, whereas some toners just feel like plain water. Bliss is honestly a new brand that I’ve recently picked up, but I love the floral scent that my nose picked up when I spritz a couple sprays on my face. As for BABOR, this is a German skincare brand that I’ve also been a long-time fan for and have no complaints about any of their high quality products, especially their Rose Toning Essence.

Buy the Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening Water here.

Buy the Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum here.

Buy the TULA Pro-Glycolic 10% PH Resurfacing Gel Toner here.

Buy the Bliss Rose Gold Rescue Toner Mist here.

Buy the BABOR Rose Toning Essence here.


Serums


Once my toner has been completely absorbed into my skin, that’s when I apply serum - my favorite step of any skincare routine! Serums are designed to deliver powerful ingredients into one’s skin and I can literally feel the difference in the texture of my skin every time I reach the serum skincare step.

One current serum that I’ve been obsessing over is Innisfree’s Intesive Hydrating Serum With Green Tea Seed. For the last few months, I’ve been using nothing but this serum and I’m almost out of my first bottle (and proud of it!). The green tea carries an intriguing scent, and I just love the way my skin feels super hydrated and dewy upon application.

If I’m doing my morning skincare routine specifically, I either opt for Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma Day Serum or Dermalogica’s BioLumin-C Serum. Everybody raves about Drunk Elephant products so I knew I had to try their serum out. Meanwhile, I am infatuated with Dermalogica’s BioLumin-C Serum so much that I stocked up on 2-3 extra boxes as soon as mine runs out! Talk about being a crazy skincare lady alright.

All in all, you can thank serums for that glowy complexion that all skincare bloggers show in their Instastories.

Buy the Innisfree Intesive Hydrating Serum With Green Tea Seed here.

Buy the Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma Day Serum here.

Buy the Dermalogica’s BioLumin-C Serum here.


Moisturizers


I’m so excited that I can finally share with you guys the ONE favorite moisturizer I’ve been using for the last several months - introducing Algenist’s GENIUS Sleeping Collagen! Not only did they spoil us with a sample of this product at their Christmas Blogger Brunch event, but they also gifted us a personalized GENIUS Sleeping Collagen at their 2019 event on the rooftop of The Jeffrey Hotel. And by personalized, nothing gets better than seeing the top of your moisturizer lid say “Sweet dreams, Michelle!”. Adorable, just plain adorable.

You have to try it for yourself, but I love how this moisturizer leaves my face feeling extremely moisturized and soft to the touch. The texture is thick and packed with essential ingredients to nourish your skin, the most important one being collagen. At their rooftop event earlier this year, I asked my esthetician too many damn questions (that she was more than delighted to answer, LOL) in regards to the purpose of collagen and why our skin needs it so badly. Long story short, she mentioned how the older we get, the less our body is able to produce collagen. Thus, we need to play our part and introduce collagen back into our skin in the form of a collagen-packed moisturizer. Collagen serves as the key to youthful, radiant skin and helps eliminate fine lines, wrinkles, and all other sorts of side effects that come with the natural process of aging.

Don’t question collagen, just get it.

Also, one more product that I wanted to give a shoutout to was VENN Skincare’s Age-Reversing All-In-One Concentrate. I was recently testing out this product one weekend, and LOVE the innovative idea of packing all of the ingredients of a toner, serum, and cream into one product. Talk about convenience at its finest! VENN Skincare is a luxury based Korean beauty brand, and their concentrate is designed to improve your skin’s complexion in a minimal amount of steps. Totally fell in love at first application (is that even a sensible phrase? LOL).

Last but not least, I wanted to conclude this skincare review section by mentioning a brand and product that I was referred to by one of my blogger besties, Huyen from @huyentxo. Huyen visited California not too long ago so that she can create aesthetic content (with and without me) all the while trying bomb SoCal food. Of course, when bloggers travel out-of-town, they have to carry their skincare favorites! While downloading all of the raw photos she took of me in her hotel room, I had the chance to raid her skincare stash and ended up trying her PhytoQuench Hydrating Day Lotion by ApotheCARE Essentials. This face lotion smelled absolutely AMAZING and I wish I owned a bottle myself! Not gonna lie, it’s awesome to have friends that love skincare just as much as you do so you can talk about what you love (and don’t like) about various skincare brands and products. All in all, it all comes down to both skin type and personal preference, but I write these blog posts so that I can share MY favorites with you all!

Buy the Algenist’s GENIUS Sleeping Collagen here.

Buy the VENN Skincare Age-Reversing All-In-One Concentrate here.

Buy the ApotheCARE Essentials PhytoQuench Hydrating Day Lotion here.


Eye Creams


I’ll be honest when I say that I haven’t been over-the-top sold by any eye creams that I’ve tried out recently. However, the eye creams that I am using at the moment include BABOR’s Eye Cream (the version I use is discontinued, noooo!), Dermalogica’s Total Eye Care With SPF 15, and Innisfree’s Intensive Hydrating Eye Cream With Green Tea Seed. All of them are amazing in their own way, but in all honesty, I am still looking for that one eye cream that I’ll never stop raving about. If you have any recommendations, send your girl a DM stat! ;)

Buy the Dermalogica Total Eye Care With SPF 15 here.

Buy the Innisfree Intensive Hydrating Eye Cream With Green Tea Seed here.


Masks


I just have to be upfront with y’all and say that I’m a pretty lazy masker. If I don’t feel like I have a free 20 minutes in my day (which to be honest, I usually don’t LOL), I will not mask for what feels like an eternity. However, ever since I received a facial from the OSEA Skincare Studio in Venice, I was introduced to a bomb mask that I’ll never forget called the Red Algae Mask. Not only was this specific mask used during my facial, but it was recommended by my esthetician since it is designed to target and reduce blemishes all the while minimizing pore appearance. Because I have cystic acne on my chin, it was highly recommended that I use this mask once a week.

When it comes to OSEA Malibu’s skincare collection, I can guarantee that you will absolutely love their products due to their vegan ingredients and cruelty-free measures.

Buy the OSEA Red Algae Mask here.


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Do you prefer reading skincare product reviews or watching them on Instastories/YouTube? What are your current skincare favorites?

Talk to me in the comments below - let’s chat!


Photography By:

Huyen Tran (@huyentxo) of www.huyentxo.com


Outfit Details:

Necklace: Kendra Scott

Dress: Showpo (A lovely gift from Huyen! ;) )

Booties: ALDO Shoes


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Five Skincare Brands That I've Used For The Last Six Months

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As a lover of all things beauty and skincare, there's always this huge feeling of excitement I get when I'm about to try out a new skincare brand. How will it feel on my skin? Will this be a product I can use for months or years? Does it smell good?

These questions and more appear in my head every time that I apply a foreign cream or serum on to my hands before the application process. Now without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to the five skincare brands that I've tested and loved for the last several months.


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1. Admire My Skin - Intense Hydration Collagen Cream, Clinically Effective Retinoid Cream, Ultra-Potent Brightening Serum

I discovered Admire My Skin from a fellow blogger's Instagram page and knew that this was one brand that I wanted to try out for myself based on its natural ingredients. After all, Instagram is one of the top places where I discover new brands, whether it's about skincare, fashion, or food - so thank you Instagram for introducing me to such an amazing brand!

Admire My Skin was created by founder Amy Romero and she is one of the sweetest owners I've ever spoken with. Whenever I had a question about her products, she sent me back a prompt email reply with precise details on how each of the ingredients would play a role on my skin. Also, she is the owner of OZNaturals, another skincare brand that I partnered up and shared with you guys with last December - feel free to read last year's post here.

For a four-week span of time, I switched over my typical everyday Instytutum skincare regimen to try out these products. Just like anything fashion or food, I personally don't believe that you're obligated to devote yourself to only one skincare brand. Instead, I think you should be open-minded towards trying many brands and seeing which ones work best for your skin type. By testing out different products here and there, you get a feel for what ingredients your skin reacts best and worse to.

Thus, I would apply an respective cream or serum and wait 10 minute increments in between skincare steps so that my skin fully absorbs each application. Once per day, I started with the Clinically Effective Retinoid Cream, followed by the Ultra-Potent Brightening Serum, and ended with the Intense Hydration Collagen Cream.

I will be honest and say that the retinoid cream does not smell the greatest when being applied, but my preference in skincare revolves around floral or muted scents. However, I did find that the retinoid cream absorbs pretty fast into my skin, making it feel baby soft after just one minute. In contrast, the brightening serum had a more dewy and wet feel to it. With the serum, Amy advised me to use the "spot treatment technique", which involves applying just a little bit of the serum to a small area of your skin just in case it reacts badly to the new treatment. I only made sure to apply this serum to my chin, as that was my main target area to combat dark spots.

Over time, my skin stayed baby soft by applying this three-step process daily, but you have to continuously use these products every day for a couple of weeks to actually see positive results. If I had to share with you my favorite parts about this brand, it has to be its cruelty-free innovation and its guaranteed hydration.


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2. Instytutum - Oyster Renewal Serum, Lifting Cream, Eye Cream, Alive Water

Instytutum has been the holy grail of skincare that I've been using for the longest time now, which is approximately more than six months in total. If I ever stop using Instytutum, it's because I am temporarily trying out other products to see how they work, but I will always stay a loyal fan to this particular skincare brand.

Not only are all of their products minimally and beautifully packaged, but I can confidently say that I know their products guarantee results. My favorite products has to be their Oyster Renewal Serum, Lifting Cream, and Eye Cream, which makes up my entire morning and evening routine! If I'm ever sweaty from the gym or feel that my makeup needs a refresher, I spritz their refreshing Alive Water on to my face for that effortless, dewy look.


3. BABOR - Limited Edition MASTERPIECE Ampoule Set

When I went to the Pala Casino Resort & Spa Influencer Event, we were introduced to BABOR near the poolside of this luxurious hotel. BABOR is a German brand that packages their skincare in the classiest of glass bottles - ideal travel sized skincare bottles, product development through green electricity production, and cruelty-free means sounds like a win-win in my book!

We were able to try a couple of samples at the resort and I found it cool that you have to snap the glass bottle in half to use it. You're supposed to use one bottle per application and apply the serum to your face and neck. At the end, you're left with dewy, radiant skin. I highly recommend purchasing the Limited Edition MASTERIPIECE Ampoule Set if you're looking for a convenient skincare brand for travel!


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4. Pixi Beauty - Glow Tonic

I've seen Pixi Beauty products both on Instagram and fully stocked at my local Target, but one thing that I haven't seen was a PERSONALIZED Glow Tonic until I received one on my doorstep one morning! The added customization feature was enough for my curiosity to strike since the bottle literally calls out my name, hah. Using a single cotton pad, I apply the Glow Tonic all over my face until I have a refreshed and dewy look. Thanks Pixi Beauty for that extra hydration my skin needs before I apply the rest of my evening skincare regimen!


5. COOLA - Eco-Lux 8OZ Sport SPF Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray

Similarly to BABOR, I discovered the COOLA booth at the Pala Casino Resort & Spa Influencer Event. Not only do they offer multiple sunscreens in different scents, but their packaging is entirely made up of my favorite color! My favorite sunscreen has to be the Eco-Lux 8OZ Sport SPF Guava Mango Sunscreen Spray for its fruity smell and lightweight and misty application process. Whether I'm heading to the beach or on a quick dog walk, I don't forget to spray this sunscreen all over my body.


And that concludes the five skincare brands (and various products) that I've been using for the last couple of months. If you have any skincare brands that you'd like me to try out, please let me know in the comments section below. Until then, I'll talk to you guys soon!

*Disclaimer: Admire My Skin sponsored this post, but all opinions remain my own.

Much Love,

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December Beauty Favorites

December Beauty Favorites

I always find my everyday skincare routine changing based on my surrounding weather conditions. It's finally cold in SoCal, which means hello to drier skin and chapped lips, eek. However, this also gives me the perfect excuse to try out some new products to see what works best for my skin! In today's post, I share a couple of skincare favorites that I have used for several months along with a few new items I've picked up this holiday season!