Goodal Family Review: The Good, The Ugly And The Hyped
Hi There!

...can you believe it is already April? Berlin finally found its spring groove which means the sun is finally shining and we can run around in leather jackets! My favorite season! It also means I have to tweak my skincare routine (......IF I HAD ANY AT THE MOMENT) to help my skin adjust from harsh winter coldness to soft yet dangerous (to my anti-ageing) sun rays!

I am extremely late with this review and I apologize profoundly, especially to the amazing peeps over at Jolse, where I requested two out of three items that I'll be reviewing today. I bought the Goodal Waterest Lasting Water Oil because I read some rave reviews online and was intrigued by the descriptions I've found - an oil that doesn't feel like an oil but supposedly has all the benefits? Sounds too good to be true..? Well, we'll see about that in a second. 

I got the Waterest First Essence because I was running out of essences and couldn't think of a good replacement yet. As for the Double Bright Intense Serum, it was supposed to be the successor of my beloved Banila Co It Radiant Brightening Essence, but..... supposed. Let's start with the best out of the bunch:

Goodal Waterest First Essence

I have to say, this essence didn't blow me away at first, but it constantly earned a spot in my skincare loving heart the more I used it. I have no high standards for first essences other than that they need to absorb fast as I'm a very grumpy morning person that is always too late. 

The essence comes in a very sturdy plastic bottle and comes in a generous 150ml size that will last you a very long time - if you don't break the bottle while moving apartments. Like I did. The product comes out by lightly shaking it into your hand - no pump or anything, just a simple screw cap with an opening for the essence.

The ingredients are quite nice - it claims 80% of twice-fermented whole lotus flower extract along with other extracts as well. Be aware that this formula also contains quite a bit of alcohol, if that is a problematic trigger for you.

I personally really loved the formula of this. At first it seemed very underwhelming, but I grew to quickly love the watery formula that quickly absorbs into the skin and leaves no stickiness at all. It smelled pleasant to me - a very faint fresh flowery smell, but nothing too overwhelming. I am beyond sad that the bottle shattered when I moved places, as I only used about half of the bottle before I had to toss it out :( I would definitely consider to repurchase this as it has everything I was looking for a first essence - it's refreshing in the morning, absorbs almost instantly, leaves my skin soft and didn't break me out. Although my first Goodal encounter was that pleasant, that didn't go so well for product number two...
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Battle Royale: Top 5 Propolis Essence/Ampoule Comparison Review
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Damn, this post has been SO LONG in the making. As you probably all know, I am a huge fan of propolis, ever since the COSRX A-Sol with propolis did wonders for my acne-ridden skin. I got the idea for a huge comparison post of propolis essences after I noticed that I had several on the way to my doorstep but that also entailed that I try and use all of them for a while to be able to compare them with each other. That took longer than I initially anticipated and my recent break from blogging didn't help with that either.

In this post you'll find a thorough comparison chart of five different (mainly) propolis essences and ampoules (with the exception of the COSRX A-Sol), judged by propolis percentage, effect it had on my skin, price, quantity and of course ingredients!

What's all the fuss about anyway? 
Let's Talk Propolis 101:

Propolis is the resinous material gathered by honeybees from flowers and leaf buds of various plants. The propolis acts to seal, disinfect and waterproof the bees and their hive. For hundreds of years people have recognised and used propolis as natural medicinal and antiseptic aid for healing wounds. More recently propolis has been used in a variety of skin care products and slowly became an important part of many Korean skincare lines as its natural properties make it a unique ingredient for problematic, acne-prone or sensitive skin.

As propolis is rich in natural antibiotics and helps neutralising any bacteria or fungi that may enter the bee hive, it is a very promising ingredient for anyone with acne-prone skin like myself. Used in skincare, it is great for healing, desensitising the skin and controlling break-outs. It also is known to have a stimulating effect on tissue growth, anti-inflammatory properties and a positive influence on the immune system.

Note: If you have any known allergies against bee products, do not use propolis or proceed with great care when introducing new products for your own health's sake.

As someone who has battled with acne throughout the years, propolis was something that I desperately needed in my skincare routine. However, not every propolis essence is created equal. In fact, I was quite shocked at the vast differences between the essences and ampoules that I tried. Not only in terms of price and quantity, but especially when it comes to the crucial part of the actual propolis percentage inside the product. So without further ado, please enjoy today's battle of my Top 5 Propolis Essence/Ampoules (ingredient's list due to the restricted space below the chart)!

Note: I am aware that not all five products are directly comparable to each other; the COSRX A-Sol is the odd one out here as it is used as a toner and has different properties than the other four. However, I wanted to include it still as it is a big favorite of mine (4th bottle at the moment!)
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Battle Of The Concealers: Is the Luna Long Lasting Tip Concealer a DUPE for the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer?
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Wow, that has to be the longest title of any blog post I've ever written. May I let you in on a little secret...? When visiting New York City, I had a looong list of undercover blogging missions. Yep. You read that right. I wasn't there to amuse myself (well, mainly, but...) but I've always been thinking about all the possibilities the big apple hold for blogging! So when I saw convenient sample sizes of Nars uber famous concealer lying around at the registers of Sephora, I just had to get one.

I had this feeling from the first time I ever lay eyes on my favorite concealer from Luna: It has to be a dupe for the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. The design is so strikingly similar and the coverage and texture seemed so close to each other, I was very convinced. There was only one problem: I never actually used the NARS concealer in person and all my research was limited by comparing the Luna one to reviews about NARS that I've been seeing on Youtube. Yeah. Ain't no way I'm writing a comparison post without being actually able

Hence, my joy was almost endless when I found the sample sizes for 8$ as I had been thinking about getting the fullsize just to make this post. Yay for saving another 20 bucks! I left Sepora giggling like a maniac (to be fair, I always did, no matter what I bought. Sephora is my magical happy place.) So, ready to get down to serious concealer business...?


I only own the sample size, but the fullsize tubes look almost identical. To be fair, so does probably 80% of the whole concealer population. However, something that almost stood out to me, is the 99% identical font that's being used on both products. The only difference really is the wider spacing on the Luna font. Both are in sturdy quadratic plastic bottles with black caps that have to be twisted and a doe foot applicator. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer holds 0.22 oz while Luna brings a tiny bit more to the table: 0.26 oz respectively.


The ingredients aren't too different from each other yet disctinctive still - mostly the pigments and silicones (dimethicones) are the main common ingredients. One plus point for the Luna concealer as it's ingredients list is slightly shorter (but: it contains Stearic Acid which is a common trigger for many people.)

Luna Long Lasting Tip Concealer: Water, Titanium Dioxide, CI 77891, Cyclopentasiloxane,  Phenyl Trimethicone, Talc, Butylene Glycol, Dimethicone, PVP, CI 77492, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Vinyl Dimethicone, Sodium Chloride, Aluminium Hydroxide, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, CI 77491, Stearic Acid, CI 77499, Chlorphenesin, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Tocopheryl Acetate, Parfum, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Vitex Agnus Castus Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer: Water, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Glycerin, Disteardimonium Hectorite, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Polymethyl Methacrylate, BIS-Butyldimethicone Polyglyceryl-3, Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Isotearic Acid, Polysilicone-2, Aluminum Hydroxide, Maltodextrin, Trisodium EDTA, Lecithin, Silica, Tin Oxide, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Metabisulfite, Magnolia Officinialis Bark Extract, Tocopherol, Vitis Vinifera, Mica, CI 77891 Titanium Dioxide, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, CI 77163, CI 42090.


I initially wanted to compare the two lightest shades available, but I was only able to get a sample size of the shade "Vanilla" from NARS, which is their second lightest shade available. Sadly, the Luna concealer only comes in two different shades that probably aren't usable for anyone deeper than NC25 (for reference, my skintone is NC10-15ish). So if your skin has a deeper tone, NARS has a way bigger variety on skintones, something that is still sadly missing in Asian make-up.
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Korean Beauty: Disappointing Products 2015
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I am currently off work as I was sent to the doctor yesterday; I've been battling a nasty cold for the past three weeks and I guess my body finally just gave in, so here I am. In the beginning of January no one of us could call in sick as we were very understaffed and had to help out in other stores so these people could have a late Christmas party as well so I think the viruses just accumulated inside my body until it couldn't take it anymore. Needless to say, since I'm not exactly the relaxing type, I've been battling boredom from the very first day (today). Which at least means more to read on this blog, so yay? :D

Today's post has been planned since... probably... 5 months ago but I never got around to actually write it. There have been quite a few "rave" products on my to-try-list the past year and sadly, a lot of them have utterly disappointed me. This isn't supposed to be a hate post and if these products work for you: good for you! However, I thought this could give some perspective to people with a similar skin type as myself as to which products might better be avoided, regardless of their (potential) internet hype. Also, I often don't have the motivation to make a complete post about a product that did nothing but disappoint me, so I collected them for this collective post of disappointment. (Scroll down to bottom of the post for a complete list of products that failed me that are not featured here as I already threw them out or gave them away)

When I started my adventure into Korean skincare products, this was one of the very first products that jumped out to me as everyone was talking about how great it was. I swear, I really wanted to love you. I did. But our encounter wasn't meant to be a happy one.

While I absolutely adore the packaging of this, that's really about the only thing I could love about this sunscreen. For some reason, I couldn't take the scent of this (which is probably best described as.... kinda flowery?) and it immediately put me off, even though I am not very sensitive to smells. While using this, my acne never really was able to calm down and sometimes I got a very itchy feeling on my skin so needless to say, I put this bad boy up for adoption to find it a new, more loving owner. 

Products that worked for me instead: Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence, Hada Labo UV Creamy Gel, Hada Labo UV Moist Emulsion

The Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick had a very similar fate: I REALLY wanted to love this one. I don't even know why I did, but it was incredibly hyped for its gentleness and great pH of 5.5. Now, the thing is: I hate rose scents. Hate it. Obviously I wasn't thinking straight when I purchased this (in my defense, it was in the very beginning when I just moved to Korea so my brain was basically in skincare cray cray land at the time) So yeah, that didn't work out for me. On top of that. I suspect the cleansing stick to break me out from time to time. The one thing that really put me off though, was the fact that this cleansing stick would hurt when I used it on my (active) acne. That's a huge red flag in my books; if your cleanser hurts on your acne, it probably isn't gentle enough or has ingredients your skin doesn't like.

Products that worked for me instead: Hada Labo Gokujyun Foaming Face Wash (in the pump), Sebamed Reinigungsschaum (Cleansing Foam)
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