Country&Stream Honey Peel Off Pack Review Or: The Peel-Off Mask From HELL.
Hi There!

There are so many exciting things going on right now - I am in the middle of making my apartment more homely, building myself tables and a nice area in my kitchen for lots of people to sit and chill (will definitely share pictures once finished!) and I might take on new responsibilites at work as well as a payrise! Things have been really busy, but also real good. Except for the item I NEED to review today: Nothing good will ever come out of this. It's the devil in disguise (LITERALLY.) Please take a second to say hello to the most evil peel-off mask on the (Japanese) market: The Honey Peel Off Pack from Country & Stream.

Looks pretty harmless, no? Yeah, don't let the cute little chubby bear fool you. Fool me once, shame on me you say. This is the devil's child and I have no idea what the people from Country & Stream thought when formulating this spawn of evil - I absolutely loved their lip balm until I found out that it breaks me out. Duh. Guess there's a reason to lure people in with cute chubby bears.... (just kidding - I don't want to bash the brand. But man this is just bad.)



I bought this on one of my trips to Japan and thought well, you can't really go wrong with honey, right? As a big honey and propolis fan, I thought this would be a nice mask once in a while to pamper myself. Turns out this thing was created to destroy my skin. But more on that later. The packaging is to die for, as expected for a product from Japan and probably the main reason why this caught my eye. If I remember correctly, this was about 800Yen and I bought it in Plaza which is one of my favorite stores to browse for new Japanese skincare products! (Sadly, I don't know the ingredients for this as they are not printed on the tube -there was a plastic thing over the tube that I threw away a long time ago, I suspect that's where the ingredients would have been printed- but since I am not recommending this product, why bother with ingredients! Ha!)

In comes in a little plastic tube and holds 60g of product. The instructions are pretty clear: Wash your face and make sure that it is really patted dry. Afterwards, put on a "pearl-sized" amount of product on the areas displayed, leaving out the sensible eye and lip areas. After 15-20 minutes, peel it off and you are good to go! There is an underlined warning in the description that says you shouldn't let it dry too long under no circumstances. Maybe that should've gotten me thinking but well, I've been always been the adventurous kind of beauty blogger. What could possibly go wrong.....? -cough cough -

When I squeezed the product out I immediately noticed how extremely sticky it is. Like, you know honey? Smooth, velvety but slightly sticky consistency? Yeah, this is nowhere near honey - I had actually the feeling of putting glue on my face, that's how sticky this stuff is. I couldn't even really spread it across my skin because it was so immensely sticky to begin with. Needless to say, it was already quite the challenge to get enough product out of he tube. But hey, nothing can stop my curiosity.
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How to combat hyperpigmentation 101: How to really fade that shit (super long + detailed)
Hi there,

YES. ITS FINALLY HAPPENING. I know I promised this post ages ago but it never left my mind as it might just be the single most important posts I've ever typed. Without my struggle with acne, this blog wouldn't exist. If I didn't hit hard rock-bottom with my skin, I would have never went down the deep Korean beauty rabbit hole and I probably would have missed out on a lot of fun with friends I probably would have never made. Also, I finally moved into my first own apartment in July and I just got internet connection about a week ago so now it's time to finally get back into the game. Me so happy :')


There are many reasons why people develop acne and looking back now, my personal struggle was definitely more on the psychological side. I never had problems with acne before -no one in my family does- so it came quite as a shock when I developed quite severe and painful acne seemingly out of nowhere. Looking back, moving every few months to a new country, missing friends and family, writing two master theses in two different languages, working part-time and going to university in a foreign country.........yeah. I now see it might have been a little much, thank you skin for watching out for me. (No, I didn't feel particularly stressed at that time as I am very stress-resistant but I guess my skin needed to vent about my crappy life choices. I'll allow it.) 

Which brings me to my first and most important point: Stopping the acne. Obviously, it's quite impossible to combat hyperigmentation when your skin regularly throws a rage party on your face without thinking of cleaning up after itself. Unfortunately, as manifold as the reasons for acne are, as various are the possible solutions for calming your skin. 

While the root of my problem was mainly psychological, I was also quite oblivious at that time when it came to skincare and just slathered on my face whatever I considered fancy without really thinking about what it did to my skin. Getting in place a well thought-out routine has not only helped me to calm down my acne tremendously, but to also keep it that way without the use of harsh chemicals or even antibiotics (which didn't help me anyways..).


I got ahead of myself and tried various AHAs that only made my face itchy and didn't help at all with the acne. It's definitely a lot of trial and error necessary, but products with good old BHA (beta hydroxy acid or salicyclic acid) did a good job at keeping the more deep and painful pimples at bay. Also, when my skin looked still like this the only thing that helped me is the Duac acne gel that I got as a prescription from my derm. 
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Kbeauty Summer Favorites!
Hi There!

I'm not sure about the weather where you live, but this year the summer is crazy in Germany! At least in Berlin where I live, we don't get into real summer feeling for a prolonged period of time. Most years, we're lucky to have 2-3 weeks of summer temperatures before it's more or less almost autumn again. This year however, it's been crazily hot and humid for the past two weeks and it's only been May! As a fellow vampire, I don't approve of this development.

Regardless, as I had to adjust my skincare regimen according to the melting temperatures I figured it's a good opportunity to share my favorite products for summer time! Most of them are Korean or Japanese products but I threw in some of my personal European favorites in there too.



It's probably not a secret by now that the sunscreens from Hada Labo are my absolute favorites (unfortunately, my favorites the UV Creamy Gel and the UV Moist Emulsion have both been discontinued. It's however still possible to find both of them on Ebay!). I ordered the Biore Uv Aqua Rich Smooth Watery Gel (90ml, yays!) and also can't wait to try the replacement from Hada Labo which is the Koi-Gokujyun Perfect UV Gel. The formulas are to die for, sink into the skin nicely and have never failed me. (Probably common knowledge, but still important to repeat: These sunscreens are for daily wear (as in: shopping in town or going to work) only, they are not meant for a day at the beach or a lot of sun exposure! If you are going on vacation, make sure to use appropriate sunscreens that are sweat- and water-resistent.)

One sunscreen I still need to write a review on is the Biosolis Extreme Fluid 50+, a physical-only sunscreen that I've been using for probably a year almost daily and that still is not empty! It unfortunately is too greasy and white cast-ey for daily all-face use but I put it on the parts of my face where I had the highest amount of hyperpigmentation (my cheeks) and I think this is the main reason it has healed and faded so well (yes, that post on fading hyperpigmentation is coming.) I also love to mix this with all my foundations which are usually a tad too dark for me and create the perfect pale base. I usually use one of my Hada Labo sunscreens, wait for that to sink in and then either put this on my hyperpigmentation or mix it with my base make-up.

Speaking of make-up, I am still on the hunt for a translucent powder with SPF for touch-ups. If you know of anything, please let me know! So far I have used the Bare Minerals Natural Sunscreen Powder, but even the lightest shade is too dark for me and tends to look cakey. So I mainly use one of my cushions to keep the sun protection going throughout the day.

One thing I ALWAYS use in the summer time is a chapstick with SPF. Some people easily get cold sores or blisters after too much sun exposure and guess who is one of those lucky gals...? The Avène High Protection Lip Balm SPF 30 worked great for me and can easily be bought in any pharmacy in Germany, which is a big plus! :)



I've talked about hydration before in my skincare regimen post and this part is actually not *that* different from what I usually use. My skin needs lots of hydration in forms of water instead of oil as my pore clogs easily when I use emulsions that are too rich. So I prefer gel moisturizers and light essences all year round with the only difference being that I use a facial oil once or twice a week in the winter time but don't really feel the need to once it's summer. I also tend to use sheet masks way more often in the winter time, but that might just be me.
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Are We All Mad Here? Beyond Alice in Glow Cushion Review
Hi There!

It's been awhile but I have great news: If everything goes as planned, I will be moving into my new (and very first!) own apartment by July 1st! I've been living with my cousin for some time now and although I love her to pieces I think we are both dying for me to finally move into my own place. It's time. Like, really. Once I have a steady home again I will so get back to regular blogging. I miss it a lot but it's just not easy to do when you are living out of boxes. So please be just a little bit more patient with me for another month :)



I finally had the chance to try out the gorgeous looking Alice in Wonderland themed cushion by Korean skincare company Beyond. It's been lying around since early spring, but I had A LOT of already opened make-up that I decided to use up before I open yet another cushion and let it all go to waste. So I decided I used enough make-up these past months to finallyyyy have a good deep look at this beauty.


Ingredients: Water, Triethylhexanoin, Titanium Dioxide, Dimethicone, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dipentaerythrityl Hexa C5-9 Acid Esters, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid, Niacinamide, Tromethamine, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Chloride, 1,2-Hexanediol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Zinc Stearate, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Aluminium Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Dimethiconol, Palmitoyl Proline, Triethoxysilylethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone, Adenosine, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Magnesium Palmitoyl Glutamate, Sodium Palmitoyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Citrate, Tin Oxide (CI 77861), Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Palmitic Acid, Dipropylene Glycol, Mica (CI 77019), CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499, Parfum.

To be honest, there is a lot of stuff in here that I have never seen before so I saved the ingredients to Cosdna to check what the hell is in there (I mean really, what kind of silicone is Triethoxysilylethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone supposed to be?! That's totally my choice when someone mentions to play hangman, hurhur). Anyway, there don't seem to be any major red flags except the usual culprits such as Dimethicone and Butylene Glycol who many people are sensitive to (luckily, this excludes myself.)

PACKAGING


Let's all be honest here: We all just bought it for the packaging. But I mean, it's absolutely gorgeous in person! Disney-themed goods work like a charm on me and is one of the reasons why I always leave lots of money on my mandatory trip to Tokyo Disneyland. Always.


The prettiest puff that has ever lived.


PERFORMANCE/SWATCHES

Now, let's get down to business with all the formalities out of the way. No matter how pretty the packaging, if the coverage is just not there or it leaves my face a pimply mess I have no use for even the most sparkling goodies (sadly, my skin is a picky brat.) Luckily, for the two weeks I wore this cushion to work I did not notice an increase in acne so I guess it's safe to say this doesn't clog my pores (like the IOPE Cushion XP Cover (click for review) that broke my heart so badly...I'm still not over this loss.)

- Single Swatch-


I got the lightest color - as I always do - and was pleasantly surprised that the undertone is still bearably yellow but not overly so. While it's not a perfect match, so is almost nothing make-up wise for me and I must say that it looks more yellow on my arm than on my face.


- Comparison Swatch -


It was very hard to get a good picture showing off all the undertones as the daylight kept changing from bright sunlight to dark cloudy :/ I personally found the Alice In Glow Cushion almost identical to the C21 tone from IOPE (=leaning more yellow/neutral than neutral/pink). My favorite foundation from Luna as well as the Laneige Pore Control are a tad more light/less yellow.

However, I personally don't mind the undertone much as I feel it's not really visible once I apply it on my face. I also noticed that the Alice in Glow cushion darkened quite a bit on my forearm but not as much applied to me face. 

.....not that much of a difference, eh? I must say that the coverage is definitely one of the lowest I have had with any BB cushion and reminds me more of a CC cushion/cream. That being said, I actually do like it quite a lot but one definitely needs a more or less "solid" skin base as it will not forgive many imperfections. While I do still have acne, I have gotten over myself and don't care if they shine through so I've sported this cushion at my workplace for the past two weeks. (Also, I dyed my hair. In case you haven't noticed :D)
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