A Little about Skincare..

a little about skincare (4 of 2)So a while ago my friend wrote a post over at one of her social media account, it’s something about how she just got into the skincare world and all the things like toner, emulsion, moisturizer, etc confused her. I commented on her post and it turned into some kind of a discussion with some other friends as audience. I was going to send her over to my blog to have some read and maybe it will clear some of her confusion when I realized I have never actually wrote a post about skincare. So, I thought I would share some of my knowledge about skincare here. I’m not in any way professional about this kind of thing, but I’ve been following A LOT (and by a lot I mean hundreds) of beauty blogs, and I’ve picked up some things about skincare here and there.. So, here’s a little post about skincare for those of you who’s just getting into it.

First, skincare is something that you put on your skin (especially face) to care for it. Skincare has benefits for the skin. Skincare isn’t meant to repair your skin overnight, so patient is key. Lately there have been some kind of skincare and makeup hybrid like BB cream, but in my opinion, they’re more makeup than skincare. If you’re just getting into skincare, here’s a few skincare item I recommend using (in order of use) :

  1. Cleanser. A good facial cleanser is a must. As the name suggest, cleanser is used to remove dirt from your skin. I wouldn’t recommend foaming cleanser (especially the ones with Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate — I would steer clear of it) because I always feel it’s stripping the skin. Personally I prefer cream cleanser like The Body Shop Tea Tree Cool and Creamy Wash, but that’s my personal preference. Depending on your skin type, you might prefer gel cleanser.
  2. Exfoliating toner. When I was younger and I know nothing about skin care, what I know toner is something you use after using milk cleanser (Indonesians may know it from brands like Viva). A lot of the time those kinds of toner are astringents that contains alcohol. They’re meant to wipe residues from the milk cleanser and close the pore of your skin. But that’s not the kind of toner I’m talking about here. I’m talking about exfoliating toner. The kind of toner that contains acid (mostly glycolic acid — AHA or BHA) that helps the regenerating process of your skin, getting rid of the dead skin cells on the top of your skin. With continued use, this kind of toner will help bring the glow back to your dull skin. Pictured above is the Alpha Hydrox Liquid Gold, a concentrated exfoliating toner. Be advised that it’s very important to read the instruction of use from each exfoliating toner. This one in particular can only be used every other night, while some other exfoliating toner can be used up to twice a day, morning and night. Other exfoliating toner includes : Pixi Glow Tonic, Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner, Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid.
  3. Moisturizer. A good old moisturizer is probably something most people have been familiar with. A note about moisturizer : It’s meant to moisturize your skin. I wouldn’t go looking for the most expensive moisturizer that promises to give the skin everything you can dream and more, because in my opinion moisturizer is meant to only moisturize the skin. It’s going to sit there on top of the skin keeping the moisture inside your skin. If you’re after something that will help you with specific concerns, I would recommend using serum, because it’s texture will allow it to penetrate deeper into the skin rather than sitting there on top of the skin doing nothing. There’s a whole different range of moisturizer, from the cheapest to the most expensive. I’m currently using The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost.
  4. Sunscreen/Sunblock. If you live anywhere in the world where there’s sun, it’s important to use sunscreen. Especially if you’re using exfoliating toner. An exfoliating toner will make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so you’ll have to wear sunscreen/sunblock. Sunscreen is something you wouldn’t see the benefit until you start developing wrinkles due to premature aging. So, if you’re concerned about the future of your skin, just remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. than My current Sunscreen of choice is Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen SPF50+ PA+++.
  5. Make up remover. I don’t know whether or not make up remover is considered skincare, but I will put it in anyway just because it’s very important. If you’re wearing make up or even just sunscreen/sunblock, this is a must. A good make up remover will remove your sunblock or your make up completely. A cleanser won’t. There are a few different make up remover. Cleansing oil is my favorite just because it’s so easy to use. Just use one or two pumps, rub it to your face and your make up will literally melt. Wash it off your face, use your cleanser, and it’s done. Other form of make up remover are bi-phase eye and make up remover (the one with two different layer that you’ll have to shake before use), water based make up remover like Bioderma, and cleansing balm. They’re all meant to remove make up, not cleanse the skin. So, I always follow make up remover with my cleanser. I’m currently using The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil as my make up remover.

Those are five skincare items I would recommend for newbies. The order of use are :

  • Morning skincare routine : cleanser – exfoliating toner – moisturiser – sunblock – continue with make up if you want.
  • Evening skincare routins : make up remover – cleanser – exfoliating toner – moisturiser

If you have sensitive skin, you might want to use the exfoliating toner less. Depending on your sensitivity, you may only be able to use it once a day or once every a few days. Just remember to read the instruction of use, then keep an eye on how  your skin is reacting to it. If it’s seems okay you can continue with the directed instruction, but if it’s not, reduce the usage. If it’s still not okay, stop the usage. You may want to switch to toner like Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence, which basically preps your skin before further skincare treatments like serum and moisturizer.

As you can see, The Body Shop is dominating my skincare routine, it’s mostly because that’s what I can afford. Here in Indonesia, The Body Shop is kind of the middle ground between Indonesian drugstore skincare and high-end skincare. It’s not the greatest, but it’s good enough. It’s not completely natural, but it’s got good better ingredients than most drugstore skincare we can find here in Indonesia.

I think that’s all you might need if you’re just starting with skincare (and not have specific concerns), I may write another post about other additional/optional skincare items for those who want to up their skincare game. If there’s anything you’d like to ask, please feel free to comment. If I wrote someting wrong, do comment below, I’m open to critics as long as it’s politely said. I hope this post helps!

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Review & Swatch // Lipstick Queen in Sinner Coral

Lipstick Queen Sinner Coral (1 of 1)

Lipstick Queen Sinner Coral (2 of 1)

Lipstick Queen Sinner Coral (4 of 2)

So some of you might have seen the Lipstick Queen in Sinner formula appeared on my birthday wishlist post. Turns out my friend Ema bought it for my birthday present! How kind of her! She isn’t so much into make up, so she did ask me what shade I wanted. At first I wanted Pink, but then she sent me a picture of the swatch and it looked so much cooler than I thought. She then asked whether or not I wanted Coral because she thought it looked better. At first I’m concerned that it would look too similar with MAC See Sheer (It’s the one she got me last year!), but she assured me it doesn’t and so she got me Coral.

Oh, and that was like a day or two before she got back to Indonesia from her stay in Australia. So the next day after she got home, we met up and she gave it to me along with some really cute souvenirs for my sisters and my mom. Of course I was most excited about the Lipstick Queen! I go ahead and tried it on and I was surprised by how pigmented it is! I know that Lipstick Queen said it’s 90% pigment, but still I didn’t expect this level of pigmentation! It’s insane. Although it’s very pigmented, it’s actually quite easy to blend. I’m not really comfortable with a bold shade, so I just swipe a little in the center of the lips, a little in each corner of the lips, and blend it. The color, as I have expected, is quite similar with my MAC See Sheer, but it’s brighter and much more pigmented. So, no. It’s not ‘basically the same color’.

I don’t usually like matte lipsticks, but this isn’t totally matte. It has a tiny hint of shine, which I really don’t mind. I usually apply a thin layer of my Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip balm underneath this lipstick (well, all lipsticks actually!) and I either dab and blend or I swipe when I want a full on bold lips. The staying power is great. Even when I worn it sheer, I can still see some color after I eat. When worn full on, the color does fade after I eat but I’m not one to fuss with my lip color, so it’s totally fine! I have never tried wearing it without any lip balm underneath, but with a layer of lip balm, my dry lips can survive this quite matte shade very well. All in all, this is such a very nice lipstick and I’m totally going to buy more if I ever visited a place with Lipstick Queen counter!

Do you own any Lipstick Queen lipstick? What formulation and color do you like best? Do tell in the comments down below 😀