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This is finally a review of the Gowoonsesang Dr. G Brightening Balm BB cream SPF 30 PA+++, after on-and-off use of it since September (mainly because I am lazy to put makeup on and plus I like to let my skin breathe as much as possible). This is my very first bb cream!

What is bb cream?
The BB Cream, aka Blemish Balm, is the hottest beauty product in Asia right now. The product was originated in Germany and used by dermatologists to help patients who have gone through laser skin surgery soothe and regenerate the skin.
Soon after, Korean celebs started using the cream and a craze was born. Big companies then took the idea and turned it into a product widely available to the public. The new product is suitable for all skin types, especially those with sensitive and acne-prone skin. It has the advantages of both a makeup and skincare product. It can even out skintone, camouflage undereye circles, acne scars and add radiance to the skin without the heavy mask-like effects of a foundation. Prolonged used of the product will also help improve the overall texture of the skin and fade acne scars. (credits to Makeup For Life)

Additional info from the bb cream thread on soompi:
It is supposed to help with scarring from blemishes; it's original creation was to soothe/heal and cover skin after they went through intense chemical peels or laser treatments.

Now some background info on Gowoonsesang the brand:
The founder of Gowoonsesang, Dr. Gun-Yong Ahn entered medical school with the facial burn from his childhood. He treated his scar and restored skin of many patients. He gained a reputation in the skin restoration area.
He developed Dr.G by special request of a patient who wanted daily skin care after the dermatological treatment. Five skincare lines of Dr.G suitable for people in different ages, the Trouble Care Line for acne skin and Luxury EGF Line made Dr.G become a reputable top brand in Korea.

Dr.G Philosophy:
Medical formula for beautiful and healthy skin, Gowoonsesang means ‘Beautiful World’ in Korean. With the clinical knowledge, state-of-the-art technology and high quality ingredients, skincare products of Dr.G rejuvenate skin inside out.

The ingredients & description label of Dr. G Brightening Balm. Meh, not really liking the long list of some ingredients that I can't even pronounce... Click twice to get a detailed view.

Here is my review back from September:
BB Cream Brand & Name: (Gowoonsesang) Dr. G Brightening BB Cream SPF PA+++
Coverage: Medium
Texture: Thick
Shade: Comes in only one shade
Fragrance: Lightly scented
Oil-Control: Good oil control
Dewy or Matte (finish): Matte
Overall comments: This is my first bb cream ever, and I gave myself about 3 weeks to test it out. It makes my skin brighter and more porcelain-like, somewhat eliminating yellow undertones. Looks dark coming out of the bottle but blends in with my skintone nicely. Little to no oxdiation depending on the weather, excellent. Paired with my Shiseido SPF55 sunscreen ***Edit 11/16/2009: no longer use this SPF anymore as it made me break out, it has very good oil control. On days when I want to let my skin breathe, I'll just use it as a concealer on fading acne scars or red areas to even out my skin tone. The texture is thick so it is hard to blend and spread. I would suggest wearing a moisturizer underneath to make it easier to glide. Also put a pea-sized amount on your wrist and let it warm up before applying to face (<--Pearlgirl's suggestion ^^). I tried using both my brush and fingers, and for now, I like using my fingers. Time will tell if this improves my complexion.
Skin type: Combination
Skin tone: Not quite sure since I've never used MAC foundation, but NC25 in the summer, NC15 or 20 in the winter
Skin undertone: Yellow
Skincare Regime: Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil > Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap > Clinique All About Eyes Rich > unrefined pure shea butter (or sometimes sans moisturizer)

A quick update today:
I love this bb cream! Makes my skin look flawless and like a porcelain doll. Every time I wear this I get compliments about how fair and nice my skin is. Coverage is good, you can layer it on as you go. I personally need more than a pea-sized amount as it is hard to spread, maybe 3-4 pea-sized amounts. I also use it as a concealer too by just dabbing a bit more on problem spots and dotting/blending underneath my eyes to hide dark circles. At first I used a foundation brush, but I find it blends into my skin better if I just use my clean fingers. It's definitely pricier compared to Etude House, Skin Food, or Missha BB creams and it's my first one as well, but it seems like I'm going to stick to this one.

08 November 2009 @ 12:50 pm
I've been drinking and applying apple cider vinegar faithfully. It has been doing wonders for repairing my skin, although I want to wait a little longer before making any solid declarations. But I'm loving it, and I am also attempting to be asleep between the hours of 11am~2pm. These days I've been hitting the pillow before 1. Which is an achievement for a night owl like me! Good skincare is more than just applying products on your skin, you must get the basics down for good skin -- which is, obviously, plenty of sleep, water, rest, and in my case, organic apple cider vinegar in moderation!

The Shiseido Majolica Majorca mascara base was back in stock, and I ended up ordering that and Innisfree Olive Real Eye Cream. Almost done with my Clinique All About Eyes Rich. They haven't sent me a dispatch notification e-mail yet, and it's been a week since I placed the order. I'm going to be sad if they end up not being able to process my order :( I just think they're really swamped due to the US free shipping deal. I have not placed my iHerb order yet, I'm going to wait it out a little longer because I always end up forgetting to add something to the order.

(Lipgloss stash in the bag: Bath & Body Works Liplicious in Mango Mousse, Smashbox Lip Gel in #5 <-- I think this has been discontinued? SUCH a shame :(, EOS organic lipbalm, and Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in Organza Pink. I also love using Liplicious Hotcakes in the winter, it smells like pancakes drenched in maple syrup!)

I got my brand new Christian Dior Diorshow Mascara (non-waterproof version) in the mail! Plus Dior Addict Ultra Gloss in Organza Pink (shown above)! I am loving the lipgloss already and adding it to my stash of old faithfuls. I'll do a review on the mascara sometime after I receive the mascara base because I want to see how they work together in terms of performance... I will tell you though, Diorshow does smudge a bit. Not as bad as the Max Factor 2000 Calorie waterproof mascara. It's waterproof, yet it still smudges and creates unwelcoming faux dark circles 6-7 hours after application. I thought the Diorshow was going to give the lashes a really dramatic look, but you can be very versatile with this mascara. One or two applications, it looks very natural. Layer as you go, and voila, you can have very bold, sexy runway lashes. The mascaras that have really worked well on my lashes so far would be Maybelline and L'Oreal. We'll see about this one!
Current Mood: contentcontent
26 October 2009 @ 04:31 am
So I'm making yet another iHerb order, and I am debating which SLS-free shampoo & conditioner to get. For now I put Aubrey Organics Blue Camomile Hydrating Shampoo and Aubrey Organics GPB (Glycogen Protein) Balancing Conditioner in my shopping cart. The GPB conditioner is Aubrey's #1 best-selling conditioner, and a lot of the reviews on it seem positive and impressive, so I think I'm going to purchase it! I have a few other things to order, and I think I'll be all set on checking out :) Do share if you know any good SLS-free S&C's that has worked for you.

I'm also thinking about placing a Sasa order too...they have a really good deal for paypal users going on right now, so I was thinking about getting a mascara base to protect my eyelashes. I'm afraid my eyelashes are going to get weak and brittle after exclusively using waterproof mascara for years. Sasa has very few mascara base products...the Shiseido MAJOLICA MAJORCA Mascara Base I wanted is out of stock, so I might settle for KATE Mascara Base. My top lemmings were Shiseido The Makeup Mascara Base or Anna Sui Mascara Primer, but nowhere to be seen on Sasa at all :(

Unfortunately the Shiseido SPF 55 lotion, despite the amazing reviews online, was just not cutting it for me with its gift of numerous whiteheads, so I swapped it on MUA for a (brand new in box) Christian Dior Diorshow Mascara wahoo! It's my first swap so hope it goes well.


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Current Mood: awakeawake
26 October 2009 @ 04:29 am

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22 October 2009 @ 03:13 am

Sometimes I'll be working non-stop, and then just a stroll in the park makes me more pensive about life. Fortunately, I have found a gem of a park near the lake that is just gorgeous during sunset. So I took a few pictures and wanted to share with you guys.

Nature is so vast, beautiful, and seriously breathtaking. It makes me embarrassed about how complicated and narrow my life sometimes seem to be, revolved around home, work, and satisfying material desires and societal pressures. Seems like there is so much out there in this world, so many places I'd like to explore, so many people I'd like to meet, so many things I'd like to experience while I am still young.  

I am working towards that goal right now. To unbind myself and achieve the freedom to go out there and explore this world. I am thankful for the circumstances that have unfolded so far, and the generosity of people I have met along the way. I will unclutter my surroundings of unnecessary things, unnecessary feelings, and unnecessary people, have a clearer vision, and aim with direction. Time is not mine. Once gone, forever gone. Accept. Live without regret. And live differently.

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
16 October 2009 @ 11:32 am

A few hair products I've been loving lately? Well, it's a little unconventional...

Coconut oil and apple cider vinegar

What?!! I know what you guys are thinking. "They're going to make your hair a greasy, chunky, smelly piece of mess, that's what!" Quite the contrary. I'm not much of a hair product junkie, the hair products that used to exist in my bathroom are shampoo, conditioner, deep conditioner mask, hairspray, and gel. That's a meager collection compared to some hair gurus on YouTube or Makeup Alley! ^^ Along the way I experimented with shine sprays, ditched the deep conditioner mask in my hair routine, and added a heat protectant, Chi Silk Infusion. It smells really strong by the way...like cologne or perfume. Even on days when I won't wear any perfume but just apply this sparingly to my hair, my mom will complain about me putting on too much perfume! I wonder if the Biosilk Silk Therapy has a strong fragrance as well? Anyways, I'm pretty happy with Chi. Before I had used Got2B CrazySleek Flat Iron & Blow Dry, and it made my hair a bit gummy.

Right now my hair products are LG brand (Korean) Obsidian Damage Control shampoo & conditioner (put in a drop of jojoba oil in each, washing every other day), Jarrow Formulas extra virgin coconut oil, Braggs organic apple cider vinegar, Suave Sculpting Gel, Tresseme Tres Two Extra Hold Hairspray (amazing stuff for holding your waves! but is a concoction of all sorts of questionable ingredients), and Chi Silk Infusion. I do not blow dry my hair at all and straight iron my hair once or twice a week. I don't have dyed hair either.

I have a LOT of hair. My hair is thick, voluminous, and coarse. I never have to worry about flat, limp hair or using volumizing hair products. But my hair is not the type that is silk straight like Jeon Jihyun's and can turn frizzy. But lately my hair has been doing so well lately, becoming shiny, soft, and manageable. All thanks to coconut oil & apple cider vinegar! Lurking in those hair forums and communities helped me pick up a few things :)

So back to coconut oil and apple cider vinegar. Supposedly coconut oil is the oil that is most easily absorbed by hair, and it can soak it up. The softening and moisturizing benefits of olive oil, almond oil, etc for the hair is only temporary. Coconut oil is claimed to be the best nutrition for the hair. I put about half a tablespoon of Jarrow's Formula extra virgin coconut oil into my palm, dip my fingers into it, and proceed to apply it to the length of my hair from the ears down, concentrating on the ends. The thing about coconut oil is it melts in warm temperatures and turns solid in cold temperatures, so you might have to wait a bit for it to melt to your body heat in your palm. I wait about 30 minutes and do my thing, watching TV or doing computer. Then I wash it out well with shampoo and condition afterwards. My hair is so soft after this, and I've been doing it a few times every week.

Apple cider vinegar acts as a clarifying and conditioning agent, balancing the pH of your hair and removing residue buildup from hair products. This also helps with dandruff. I would recommend using apple cider vinegar instead of a harsh clarifying shampoo to remove buildup. There seems to be several ways to use apple cider vinegar for your hair, but the way I do it (for now) is after my normal shampoo & conditioner routine I just spritz a spray bottle that is filled with about 1/4 vinegar and 3/4 water, leave it in my hair for a couple of minutes, and rinse it out. No, it does not make your hair smelly and the stinky odor soon fades as your hair dries. I could see the difference right away after my first wash with APV, it made my hair so shiny and smooth!

Here is the current state of my hair right now, taken two days ago (click twice to see bigger picture). Healthy hair is happy hair! By the way this dress sold super quick, there were so many people interested! Always thankful and grateful for my customers, they put a smile on my face when they gush about how much they love the clothes :)


Current Mood: happyhappy
03 October 2009 @ 01:41 am

I'm going to have to take back my review on Shseido SPF 55 and Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil. I was on the verge of reviewing Dr. G Brightening BB Cream but was hesitant about it. I have a feeling the Shiseido sunscreen is the culprit, but ever since I started using these 3 products in my life my skin has been gradually turning bumpy, with acne and whiteheads on my cheeks. I haven't had this sort of clustered acne ever in my life, I was pretty lucky to be born with (most of the time) well-behaved skin. I have gone into caveman regime mode ie. no cleanser, no scrub, no moisturizer. Ever since laying off all 3 products, my skin is recovering and no new pimples or whiteheads forming. Ah, the things we do to our skin in hopes of making it better...that only make it worse. *fail* I guess this is a second lesson to my stubborn self that natural is the only way to go for my skin, at least.

So my latest update:

I've been bitten by the soap bug. Not just any kind of soap that you find at the drugstore aisles, mind you. None of that Dove, Ivory, or even Aveeno crap. I'm talking about natural, handmade soap made with honest and non-synthetic ingredients. Since using up the last bit of Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap (which I will probably never buy again due to its tendency to turn into sloppy gunk), I have purchased some really interesting products:

Last one is very exquisite huh? It is Amore Pacific Sulwhasoo Herb Soap, made out of olive oil, honey, and six-year-old Korea-grown red ginseng extracts and processed for 40 days for maximum effects. It truly is a luxurious soap, I bought a smaller size so it didn't come with the pretty oriental soap dish :( I really like the smell of this, it reminds me of the ginseng jelly I used to eat. I LOVE ginseng! I use this for my face only. I threw the Naive cleanser in the trash yesterday. I have a tendency to hold onto things because its such a waste to throw perfectly fine things away, but I know if I hold onto it I'm going to try using it again and it won't do anything good for my skin with its SLS and parabens...

I haven't tried the turmeric soap, I plan on using it after I finish the coconut & papaya soap from Nubian Heritage. The coconut & papaya soap smells soo good. I look forward to going into the shower because of its yummy smell ^^ This soap contains obviously coconut oil and papaya, but also shea butter and vanilla beans. I love that it's not a smooth soap, I think it's the vanilla beans in it that gives the soap an exfoliating texture. I use this mainly for the body but also face every once in awhile.

Cleansers are overrated. Natural soap + organic apple cider vinegar toner is LOVE.
Now, if only I could get my hands on the Clarisonic face brush...and a sunscreen that my skin actually agrees with...

Current Mood: peacefulpeaceful

Shiseido would be my holy grail sunscreen during the summer. It has a high spf with stable sun protection, absorbs fast, brightens up my skin, and has excellent oil control. It's a white runny liquid, and I love how it doesn't feel like it's just sitting on top of my skin. It sinks in well. Love it! It's a welcome change from the oiliness of Kiss My Face SPF 30. However, you will need to use a cleansing oil and double-cleanse to remove the sunscreen. And since it dries to a matte finish and does have alcohol as an ingredient (but towards the end of the list), you may need a moisturizer in colder months so your skin doesn't feel dry. Supposedly this is supposed to be nourishing and hydrating by itself. In the summer my skin is good with just this, but as winter is coming, I might need a moisturizer underneath.

This sunscreen contains "Xylitol to counteract roughness and keep skin looking soft and healthy" and the antioxidant Thiotaurine. The price may seem a bit steep at first, but this bottle will last you a while. Complaint about how bottle opening is designed though, I spill sunscreen around the edges of the hole when pouring. It becomes messy... I found placing a finger right underneath the hole when pouring helps to minimize the spill. Shiseido should revise their design on that :(

**Edit 10/03/2009: I'm going to have to take back my review on Shseido SPF 55. Ever since I started using this sunscreen my skin gradually turned bumpy, with acne and whiteheads on my cheeks. I ended up swapping this on MuA.

I am currently using the Shiseido SPF 55 lotion with my Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil. The judgement is still pending on the Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil, but I think it's milder than the other Japanese oils I have tried. It is relieving to see no more eye makeup residue under my eyes after washing...takes off the face and eye makeup so well without leaving the skin dry! I have mainly used Japanese drugstore brand cleansing oils like Kanebo, Kose, etc. and they all contain mineral oil. Fancl has no mineral oil in theirs! Also their products are free of preservatives, sterilizers, petroleum surfactants, and fragrances. Since the cleansing oil is free of preservatives, they expire in 120 days once opened. I think it's a fair trade.

My skincare regime has turned very simple lately as my skin is behaving rather sensitively. I have been faithfully using only  my Clinique eye cream and a bit of shea butter/vitamin E or no moisturizer at all. Chucked my Kanebo cleanser awhile ago, trying to slowly go SLS-free. I started using Amore Pacific Sulwhasoo Herb Soap last night, and I really like it! I seriously think my scalp & skin hate Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate and gets very irritated.
Current Mood: hungryhungry

Boscia Smoothing Facial Polish

I got the Boscia Smoothing Facial Polish as a sample from Sephora. Caudalie is a creamy exfoliant with more effective beads, this one has a light gel texture (reminds me of aloe vera gel) with gentler beads. Again like Caudalie, Boscia products are botanically-based and preservative-free. Interesting tidbit -- they were created by Fancl, the Japanese brand known for their gentle products :)

This scrub is very gentle and light and is perfect for oily and combination skin types. It is an effective cleanser as well, and I prefer this over Caudalie's scrub because creamy products makes me get whiteheads and milia. I would use Boscia in the summer and Caudalie in the winter. At $25, this is not the most economical product in the world, but it is still a quality product. However, I am looking into other alternatives besides scrubs, like Clarisonic Skincare Brush or a microdermabrasion cloth. Means less chemicals being used since you use these with a cleanser.

Perricone MD Nutritive Cleanser

This was given to me as a gift. The nutritive cleanser contains DMAE and Alpha Lipoic Acid, which are ingredients that not only provide anti-aging benefits, but also reveal a brighter and smoother skin surface. The target market for Perricone's skincare line are probably middle-aged and older women.

I have read a bit of Perricone's books, so I'm a little familiar with his approach to skincare. I agree that you should work from the inside out, eating nutritious quality food and taking important supplements like omega-3, CoQ10, vitamin C, etc. But I do not agree with his cleanser. It has a really strong babypowder smell, and I'm not fond of products with strong fragrances (esp floral, gives me a headache). The cleanser is a clear, slick liquid reminiscent of Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, and you will only need a little bit because it lathers so well. My skin doesn't agree with this, and I don't know why...but it feels like I'm washing my face with kitchen detergent when I use this.

Current Mood: awakeawake
12 September 2009 @ 01:32 am

1. They look for and find opportunities where others see nothing.

2. They find lessons while others only see problems.

3. They are solution focused.

4. They consciously and methodically create their own success.

5. They may be fearful, but they are not controlled or limited by fear.

6. They ask the right questions -- the ones which put them in a positive mindset and emotional state.

7. They rarely complain.

8. They don’t blame, and take complete responsibility for their actions and outcomes.

9. They always find a way to maximize their potential, and use what they have effectively.

10. They are busy, productive and proactive.

11. They align themselves with like-minded people.

12. They are ambitious.

13. They have clarity and certainty about what they want.

14. They innovate instead of imitate.

15. They don’t procrastinate.

16. They are life-long learners.

17. They are glass half full people, while still being practical and down-to-earth.

18. They consistently do what they need to do, regardless of how they are feeling on a given day.

19. They take calculated risks.

20. They deal with problems quickly and effectively.

21. They don’t believe in, or wait for, fate, destiny, chance or luck.

22. They take action before they have to.

23. They are more effective than most at managing their emotions.

24. They are good communicators.

25. They have a plan for their life and they work methodically to turn that plan into a reality.

26. They become exceptional by choice.

27. They work through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

28. They have identified what is important to them and they do their best to live a life which is reflective of those values.

29. They have balance. They know that money is a tool and ultimately, it’s just another resource.

30. They understand the importance of discipline and self-control.

31. They are secure in their sense of self-worth.

32. They are generous and kind.

33. They are happy to admit mistakes and apologize.

34. They are adaptable and embrace change.

35. They keep themselves in shape physically.

36. They work hard and are not lazy.

37. They are resilient.

38. They are open to, and more likely to act upon, feedback.

39. They don’t hang out with toxic people.

40. They don’t invest time or emotional energy into uncontrollable things.

41. They are happy to swim against the tide.

42. They are comfortable with their own company.

43. They set high standards for themselves.

44. They don’t rationalize failure.

45. They know how to relax, enjoy what they have in their life and to have fun.

46. Their career is not their identity, it’s their job.

47. They are more interested in what is effective than in what is easy.

48. They finish what they start.

49. They realize that not only are they physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well.

50. They practice what they preach.



Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative