Thursday, May 17, 2018

Warmer Weather: Lighter Skincare!

Hey guys!
It's been a while! (I feel like I'm always saying that, eh?) The past few months have been super busy as I've been slowly looking for a new job without much luck; If only blogging paid actual money and I could do this full time again like I used to! Also forgive my less-than-professional photos on the blog lately and potentially in the near future: my old photo editing software is now offered by subscription only, and i'm in the process of finding another suitable editor that doesn't charge me!

But for now, back to the skincare! The weather has been getting warmer and warmer here in New England, and I've noticed that my Winter skincare routine is feeling a bit heavy lately. Since my Korean skincare hauls tend to take a few weeks to reach me, I decided to search outside of my KBeauty comfort zone to find some lighter products that would work for this hot and humid weather! 


Both of these products are new launches from two brands (G.M. Collin and HydroPeptide) that are totally new to me, so it was super exciting to give these a try and see if they fit in with my routine and stood up to my tried-and-true products.

G.M. Collin Native Collagen Gel 
($88, GMCollin.com for Spa Locations or Skin1.com for online retail)


G.M. Collin Native Collagen Gel is a product that is used as a sort of serum, although it has more of a gel-like consistency. It does do it's fair share of moisturizing without giving you that greasy, uncomfortable feel which can be even more irritating in warmer weather. The company claims that this product can restore skin and it's natural hydration balance while fighting fine lines and wrinkles. The company also suggests that it be used as a serum under a cream for dry skin or as a moisturizer on it's own for oily skin. I personally don't think that it's moisturizing enough to work alone, even on oily skin, so I would suggest using this product along with a light cream or facial lotion even if your skin is a bit oily.

One interesting bit that I found on the G.M. Collin website, is that this product has been "used for years in hospitals to treat major burns, in cardiovascular surgery, and dermatology." I did email the company about this claim and have not heard back, but I'm really wondering if this EXACT product is used, or a product with similar ingredients? Seems like a big claim from a company I've never heard of, but I thought I'd mention it anyway!

Claims:
-For normal to oily skin.
-Soothes reactive skin and promotes hydration.
-Improves the youthful appearance of skin.
-Tightens pores and soothes the skin.
-Visible reduction in wrinkle and an intense moisturizing of skin.

How to Use:
-Apply a thin film under the skin care cream for dry, dehydrated, atonic or mature skins.
-Massage thoroughly.
-Add a suitable quantity of skin care cream and massage.
-Use as an intensive program: morning and evening.
-Use as a maintenance program: morning or evening or as recommended by your skin care professional.


I found that this serum is fantastic in the summer, as some of my others are very rich and have a more oil-like consistency. This one is a light gel- very close to a Korean booster. The scent is very light and non-offending, although if you're scent-sensitive it might be a bit too strong for you. It applies smoothly and absorbs very quickly into my skin. I've been using it for about a week now and I haven't had any breakouts or changes in my skin health, however that includes any positive results as well. It's hard to tell with just one week of use of course, but I can't see spending full price on this product in the future due to it's unremarkable results. One thing I will mention however, is if you have extremely oily skin and no moisturizer seems to keep your skin even-keel, this actually might be a great product for you. It does lightly moisturize well, but for anyone with normal/dry skin it would not be enough to sustain moisture on your face throughout the day.

Ingredients:

CosDNA Analysis


NEW HydroPeptide Nimni Day Cream 

Yea...You read that correctly. $110 for a 1oz tube of day cream. This company reminds me a LOT of GlamGlow in that they put quite a few scientific "buzz words" on their packaging but not as much in the way of actual explanations of their products- not on their website or the box. They say that their scientists use epigenetic technology to create the formulas for their products in order for each one to support cellular health. However I wasn't able to see much more detail on this process or what exactly makes their products different from others anywhere on their site. When that happens, I feel a bit iffy on recommending a product, but I really loved this cream so I'll take a neutral stance and give you all the information I know as well as my personal experience! 
What I will say is: during my research I saw quite a few rave reviews from various spas and estheticians exclaiming how incredible this brand is on their clients as well as some great reviews from your everyday customers...so hey...maybe there really is something to all their scientific lingo!

This Nimni day cream is formulated with what the company calls a "Collagen Support Complex" and claims it's the only technology known today that takes a "four-pronged approach" to enhancing and maximizing the body's natural ability to produce collagen while at the same time, protects the breakdown of existing collagen. 

Claims:
-Features Dr. Marcel Nimni’s revolutionary research on collagen with a revolutionary patented collagen support complex to rejuvenate skin and lessen the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

-Helps to optimize collagen production through an exclusive, patented amino acid complex.

-Key antioxidants provide environmental protection to the skin for daytime use.

-Appropriate for all skin types, especially those with expression lines and concerns with wrinkles and/or loss of facial volume.

How to Use:
-Apply a small amount to a clean face and neck. 
-May be used AM and PM. 
-Follow with appropriate  moisturizer and sunscreen.

This product is also free of Gluten, Parabens, Phthalates, Sulfates and is Cruelty Free.



Ingredients:


Cost and scientific jargon aside, I really love this day cream. I find it to be light and airy in terms of consistency, and it has a very familiar scent that reminds me a bit of classic Ponds products. Very fresh and clean. What I look for first and foremost in a day cream is that it can sit under my makeup without pilling or rolling into little balls when I apply my foundation over it. I can't tell you how many moisturizers I have tried that I have to pass on because of this issue! This cream is very light, but at the same time feels incredibly moisturizing. You need a very small amount (maybe one or two pumps) to cover the whole face/neck area. I found that amount was more than enough for my skin to feel plumped and happy after a hot shower. My foundation smoothed on over this cream with ease, and my skin stayed moisturized throughout the day. I consistently deal with dry patches on my chin and around my nose only a short time after I apply my makeup, but this cream kept my skin balanced throughout the day.

It has only been a week since I started using this product, and of course, I don't have enough fine lines and wrinkles to notice a significant difference when it comes to that, however I do have a line going across the bridge of my nose from constantly squinting. I've tried many products to help me get rid of it but it always seems to stick around. This cream seems to make it much less visible, even after just a week of use. I'm interested to see if it continues to fade, but I do have to say I was very impressed with the results!

Overall Thoughts

Firstly, I was happy to receive this products complimentary so that I could try them out and hopefully find some new summer staples that wouldn't make my skin feel heavy. I really enjoy the consistency and light scent that both products have, and they have done a great job especially when I combine them at keeping my skin moisturized but not greasy during warm days. I find that the prices are extremely high and definitely not something I would afford in my normal day-to-day purchases, however I would highly consider splurging on the HydroPeptide day cream if it continues to help fade the fine lines around my eye area!

I'd love to know what your favorite warmer weather skincare products are! 


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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post does not contain affiliate or referral links.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

I'm Obsessed with Fairy String Lights




Yes, I'm still on hiatus (only a couple months left of school stuff before I finally graduate omg!) but I had to make a post about this product as it was incredibly frustrating for me to find it! Why? Keep on reading, my loves!
I'm sure you've seen these string lights in almost every Pinterest post, but did you know that the majority of those string lights are battery operated? Yea...frustrating. Maybe it's just me, but I really can't stand having to find batteries (at least 4 AA's in the case of these lights) and then changing them out whenever one is drained just to have my pretty lights on. It seemed like no matter where I saw these lights, they were sold inexpensively, but with a battery pack. Finally, I discovered this particular set of lights on Amazon, and not only do they come with an option to plug in or have a battery pack (for those cases where you have no where to plug them in), but they also come with a small remote to control the brightness as well as strobe effects and other fun things!


I have had these bad boys up around the small window in my room for a few months now, and they have continued to glow strong- my first set that was battery operated ended up dying after just a month of regular use. Since I've had less time to test and explore beauty products during my college time, I've become more and more interested in home decorating- unfortunately I lack the funds to really make my home look Pinterest-worthy! Having said that, I had to give a shout-out to these string lights real quick on my blog because I've become that obsessed with them. Just placing them around my window or along the top of a curtain rod, even wrapping them around hanging plants etc has made my home look so much more warm and cozy. What I particularly love about the copper wire lights is that they are smaller than regular Christmas lights and the wire makes it easy to form the lights around anything your heart desires! I did purchase these and there are no affiliate links in this post, just wanted to let some of you know they existed in case you were like me and grumpy about all the cheap, short-lived battery pack lights out there! :)

If you want to snag a bunch of these like I did, you can grab them on Amazon HERE! They are currently under $18 at the time of this post, but the price tends to fluctuate- Well worth the few extra dollars compared to the cheaper ones- these are built to last!

Until next time! <3

-Rachel


All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Althea: My New Favorite Place to Shop for K-Beauty!

(Althea provided this haul complimentary so that I could share it with you all!)

It's been awhile since you guys have heard from me here on the blog, but I am making a special exception for this particular company, and you'll soon see why. As you all know, I've been taking a hiatus from blogging while I'm working on my Psychology degree. I've been keeping in touch mostly through instagram, so if you still want to see what I'm up to and what I've been trying out in terms of products, make sure to follow me over there!

While I've been busy this past year with moving to a new city, working tirelessly on school work and trying to be a good house wife (I'm not...but I try!) I've received quite a few invites from companies to review their products, all of which I've turned down. Some of have been nice enough companies, others have been sort of shady ones that I would have turned down regardless, but I just didn't want to commit to a full blog post and review when I just didn't have the time. But then, Althea contacted me.

Right off the bat, what I loved about their invitation to work together was that they didn't force particular products on me. They wanted me to essentially browse their website, see what they had to offer in terms of stock, prices, and overall ease of use in terms of the site itself, shipping etc. They allowed me to choose products I was interested in, and made the entire process very easy. I'll admit, I did consider almost turning them down as well due to how busy I am, but I really and truly wanted to share this website and this company with you because I think they're the real deal. Why?

1. Affordable Prices
2. Free Shipping INTERNATIONALLY on orders over $50
3. $10 coupon code when you sign up, plus $10 in credit once you make your first order
4. Guaranteed Authentic Products
5. 30-Day Return Policy

The last time I made an order directly from Korea, it was from a different site that is is known for their very inexpensive prices. They also recently adjusted their shipping options, so there aren't very many cheap options for large orders. I spent about $100 (same as the value of what I got in my Althea haul that you'll see below) and the shipping cost was over $50. I couldn't believe that the cost of shipping was HALF of the cost of my entire order. It made me wonder how much I was actually saving by buying through this particular website, and I was kind of bummed to find my only other options were US-based companies who were overcharging heavily for products and STILL charging shipping, however less expensive.

When I make a k-beauty order, it's usually upwards of $100. I don't spend anywhere near as much money on beauty products as I used to, but I try to limit myself to two different types of orders. The first being when I need to stock up on already well-loved products that I'm running low on, and the second being when I'm getting a little bored and want to try a bunch of new and exciting products. The latter type of purchase comes less often nowadays, however it's mainly due to the insane shipping costs on my favorite sites. I'm super happy to see Althea offering free shipping on orders over $50 because that completely eliminates my issues!

So before I ramble any further, let's do a little unboxing! It would take me quite awhile to try all of these products, so I'm not really calling this a review in terms of the products themselves. I'll tell you why I picked it out, how much it costs on the Althea site etc. If anything does happen to blow me away, I will always post about it on instagram!

While I used this opportunity to grab some needed items (think nail polish and makeup remover) I also snagged a few items I've never tried before as well as a couple standbys! Also, you gotta check out the prices (listed below) for some of these products! Really fantastic especially when you consider the free shipping as well!

The Goods!

Old Favorites

First things first, I had to grab a few things that I love and I'm starting to run out of. Its kind of funny because years ago back during the first big k-beauty boom, I had dozens of the TonyMoly Tony Tints. I rarely used them and ended up giving lots of the away. However, I discovered an amazing use for them! Whenever I wear a berry or red shade of lipstick, I always apply the red Tony Tint to my lips first. I let it dry completely, then apply my lipstick. This allows my lipstick to last ALL day with very little need to reapply. And even if the lipstick starts to wear off a bit, the stain is still there on your lips so it's hardly noticeable! 

I purchased a few of The Saem Healing Tea Garden cleansing waters sometime last year as I was testing whether or not I could be lazy and not use a regular cleanser. I tested out wiping off my makeup with a cleansing wipe, then actually cleansing with a cleansing water, and it seemed to work very well! Since this line of cleansing waters go a long way and do not irritate my skin, they've become an instant favorite of mine Plus, they're super affordable!

I've been using the Holika Holika 3 Second Starter in 'Vita Complex' for close to 2 years now. I was using a more expensive booster, but this one was not only more affordable, but did an amazing job immediately moisturizing my skin. As soon as I step out of the shower, I can feel the skin on my face tightening. If I don't apply something to it immediately, I start to get dry patches around my nose and on each side of my mouth. I apply a few pumps of this booster to my face right out of the shower, and it keeps my skin moisturized until I dry off and begin my morning skincare routine. Love this. Gotta have this at all times.

Finally, I grabbed the Skinfood Salmon Brightening Eye Cream. This is a newer favorite of mine, as I had piles, and I mean piles, of eye creams that I accrued over the years of blogging. I started giving them away or tossing ones that didn't work well for me and finally got to this one. I'm not a fan of the concealer from this same line, so I wasn't expecting much, but man...this stuff really does brighten my dark circles! I've paid much more money for a high end brightening eye cream that doesn't work nearly as well as this little guy- so now he's become a regular repurchase for me!

Buy From Althea:



Creams Galore!


Another product I had a plethora of during my blogging glory days was jars of cream. Endless jars. But I soon realized that many of them were not fit for my skin type, were breaking me out, or simply did not do a good job moisturizing. It's shocking to say it, but I have ZERO creams left in my stash. This is why I went ahead and got 3 creams I had never tried before in this haul. First was from a brand I had never tried before, Jill2. This is the 7am Energizing Morning Cream, and something about that name really appealed to me as someone who cannot get out of bed after 4 alarms. It soothes and moisturizes skin and controls sebum with cinnamon extract. It's a gel-type cream which I really love to use during the day as they are less thick but still just as moisturizing! This is part of a line of products that includes a toner and an essence as well, so if I'm digging this, I might just check out the other products!

Another new to me product/brand is the Perfect Moisture Cream from ONSAEMEEIN. This cream contains trehalose which is apparently a desert plant that helps wrinkle improvement, and draws water in similar to Hyaluronic Acid. This is one of those gel creams that gives you those little water droplets as you rub it in, similar to my old time favorite sleeping pack from Lioele. 

Finally, a favorite brand of mine, Mizon. I have yet to try this Water Volume Ex Cream, so I thought this would be as good a time as any! This is another gel cream (can you tell I kind of love them?) that has a lightweight texture and quickly absorbs into skin without leaving behind a residue. I am always looking for residue-free moisturizers because some of the products I apply after my moisturizer can sometimes pill up and look nasty if the moisturizer I'm using left a residue. 

Buy From Althea:


Hair Products


Something I'd never thought I'd get into is hair products. Sure they're great, but I can always remember feeling a little bit of a let down when I'd see them in subscription boxes rather than more skincare goodies. Things have changed! Now that my hair is back to it's natural honey-blonde color, it's more difficult to keep it looking moisturized and not frizzy. I also suffer from my hair being super fine and thin. So...frizzy, oily, thin, fine hair. It's a mess, y'all. Innisfree always tends to have some quality hair products, so I decided to give the Green Tea and Mint Fresh Shampoo a try. It's clarifying and control oil but also provides the scalp the moisture it needs so that it doesn't get flaky. 

The Moisturizing Hair Mist is infused with jeju green tea, hyaluronic acide and xylitol, which apparently together hydrate your hair and remove frizz. 

Buy From Althea:


Makeup/Cosmetic


 I've been cutting back on how much makeup I buy, and solely on a mission to simply find my favorites and continue to buy them. However, I needed me some makeup remover. I usually buy one from Missha, however this Skinfood Milk Shake Point Makeup Remover has always been something I've wanted to try. I love the packaging! It claims to remove makeup (including waterproof) without irritation while hydrating the skin. it's a two part formula with a water-type liquid and an emulsion that you shake up prior to use.

I also noticed that Petitfee had a lip mask! I loooove Petitfee brand eye gels (they are amazing) and this looked a lot like a less expensive version of the popular Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, so I had to try. It contains vitamin E and Shea butter, doesn't have much of a scent at all (which I like) and is to be worn overnight and removed in the morning. I'm interested to see how it compares to it's more expensive counterpart!

Finally, something from Missha that for some reason I had never knew existed and still don't know what to expect with. The BB Boomer. What a name, right? But what the heck does it do? I'm a BB Cream obsessor. I love it. I love it more than foundation or any other goop you could put on your face. So I was super excited to see something called a BB Boomer! This product is essentially a cream that helps the adherence of ones BB cream. It contains a bit of a shimmer to brighten the skin and contains antioxidants and moisturizing ingredients to help benefit your skin as well. It's essentially an amped up primer for BB creams. I'm down. 


 Buy From Althea:




Nail and Etc 


Here's the stragglers. The last of the bunch. Stuff I needed, but also stuff I wanted to test out. Althea included 4 packets of the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam as a bonus, so I wanted to include those in the photos even though it's not something I chose myself. 

I noticed a brand called Calmia offering some cotton pads. I don't normally stray from my Skinfood ones, but hey- why not give these a shot? Not much to say about them. They're...well, cotton pads. They don't shed or pill at all which I already love, so I can't complain!
 
Next up are some nail products from With Shyan. I tried this brand of polish many moons ago through Memebox, and I really loved the quality. I'm going to a wedding this weekend and I was hoping to find a really pretty dusty pink shade to wear and this one really grabbed my attention. I already knew I loved the formula so this was a no-brainer. 

Then, I noticed they also had a nail polish remover. It's Raspberry scented, It's one of those awesome removers in a jar with a sponge, and claims to take 1 second to remove polish. The last part isn't true, but it definitely removed it noticeably more quickly than my current remover to the point where I tossed my old bottle out.

 Buy From Althea:



Overall Thoughts

Everything in this haul cost a total of $110.70. Since Althea offers a $10 off coupon code (WELCOME20) for your first purchase, the total came to $100.70 with free shipping. I got WAY more product than I would from many sites for that cost, and that's because of the affordable pricing and the great free shipping offers. As I mentioned above, the constant issue I find is that prices are bottom dollar on many Korean sites, but the cost of shipping ends up shooting the overall cost of my hauls up. If I browse US-based websites, they are way more expensive than sites like Althea, and while their shipping is less expensive, you end up paying even more in the end. I love that Althea is the best of both worlds. Free shipping and affordable prices. Plus really great offers for new customers with the $10 coupon and $10 credit. I came out of my hiatus specifically to work with this company because I really believe in what they're doing. I appreciate their affordability and free shipping, especially internationally!

What I would love to see in the future is Althea expanding their line of available products. Right now it's a little small in terms of what they offer. If you're on a mission to purchase specific items, there's a chance they might not be available. Althea as it is now is a great place to browse and fill your cart with some new products or some old favorites and save some money! I also noticed during the time I was browsing their site that some products did not appear in certain searches, but did in others. For example, I would see a cream when I clicked a brand name, however that cream would not show up if I clicked the "creams" menu. If those small issues can get worked on, this is going to be a place where I make regular purchases. I'm super excited to tell you guys all about this site and I hope you check them out! 

Browse Althea's Website HERE.
Create an account HERE (it's free and easy) and get $10 off your first purchase with the coupon code WELCOME20, then get $10 credit to use on your next purchase!


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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post does not contain affiliate or referral links.