Korean Beauty: Disappointing Products 2015
Hi There!

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)
Keep on reading for full post ♥ »

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Review + Swatch: Code Glökolor x Moomin Collection
Hi There!

....guess what? I am totally still alive! A very merry happy belated Christmas to all of you and I hope you all had a great start into the new year! I didn't plan on being absent for so long - actually, I totally planned on doing posts about my trip to NYC (still coming, if anyone's up for that still), the shopping I did and many other posts but man, my life just kinda fell apart and it took me all of December and still up to this day to pull myself together, sooooo yeah. Don't wanna sound too dramatic here but it was just a lot of stress, way too many emotions and the festive season didn't really help at all.

Even though I very likely won't be able to post as often as I used to due to work and my everchanging crazy schedule (getting up at 3AM for work but need to come in for work the next day at 3PM and stay until midnight...? Sure, my internal clock is already dead, so what.) I really want to get back into blogging because I miss it & you guys so much!


So while I was laying sick in bed today and pitying myself, the doorbell rang and a very unexpected package arrived at my doorstep - a late Christmas present from my best Korean friend Susan! I asked her to get me some of the Alice in Wonderland x Beyond collection as well as the Moomin collection from Code Glökolor and because she is such a dear sweetheart she totally delivered!! That was the moment when I realized I totally didn't have any excuse to not finally blog again - being sick, having all day off, sun is shining, new fresh exciting products at hands.... so here we go! I took pictures of everything as well as swatches so you can be as excited as I am over the cuteness overload that comes with this collection, it is honestly just so cute. :)

To my surprise, the collection came wrapped like this - I instantly got excited about the blanket because who doesn't want to cover themselves with fuzzy warm moomins?! I had no idea this kind of box existed as I've never seen it online anywhere but my oh my, the blanket is THE BOMB. So fluffy and warm, I will forever treasure it huehuehue.

Everything she got me in one convenient picture: All-UID Foundation Ex in Medium 20.5 + refill, Gel-Set Lipstick in Medium Coral and a Tinted Lipbalm in Rose Pink that smells like a garden full of raspberries.


CODE GLÖKOLOR ALL-UID FOUNDATION EX

Comes with the most beautiful purple case I've ever seen as well as the standard refill. I love how much attention to detail they put even into the puff and sealing stickers!

Obsessing over the cutest puff that ever....lived...?

The design of the compact is pretty unique and quite different from all the cushion foundations that are usually inside the round packaging - in this case, this is a liquid foundation that is also applied with the standard (cushion) puff. In order for the foundation to come out, you have to push down the front button - took me about 10 or 15 clicks the first time to get any product out. The foundation oozes out slowly, so it is quite easy to get the right amount of product.

While this system certainly does look cute, especially with the little star shape, I find it a bit of a hassle, especially since I am always on the run in the morning, so I would have preferred a cushion instead. That's just my lazy personality talking, though.


Judging from my internet research, there seem to be three different shades out there: 17.5, 20.5 and 22.5 I got 20.5 which is also referred to as medium, so it was a big surprise to see that the foundation....kind of matched my skin quite well? I do think I can totally make this work as it doesn't look too bad in contrast to my own skin, especially considering that we're in the middle of winter at the moment where my skin is at its absolute palest maximum, but judge for yourself:


....can I get a big YAY for the fact that my skin is a lot better than a few months ago..? I am totally planning a post on my progress + acne fading as I get many e-mails about the topic that a lot seem to struggle with. Anyways, I was surprised to see how well this matches my skin! It's not perfect but it'll totally do - so surprised this is labelled as medium since I am NC10-15, hence very far away from being any medium skin shade.

I really really like this foundation - it feels very light and barely there and it makes my skin look like skin, just better, and not cakey at all. Absolutely did not expect that as my main incentive to buy was, let's be honest, the gorgeous Moomin design. As you can see in the last picture, the coverage is pretty good as it even perfectly concealed the red pimple that was growing on my cheek. I definitely have to touch up in between work once to keep up the coverage but overall, this is a pretty darn good foundation in my books.
Keep on reading for full post ♥ »

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....off to New York City! [+ Travel Essentials]
Hi There!

No, I'm not dead yet. In fact, I am quite alive and almost on my way to New York City when you'll read this post! I wish I could say that I prepared many posts beforehand for you to read while I'm away, but the truth is: I didn't. Not a single one. I am still dealing with a lot of emotional things right now and I currently don't have the head for doing..anything really.

So, I'm going away and try to leave everything behind, at least for a while. Getting out of the city and visiting another continent is exactly what I'm needing right now. It will be my first time ever visiting New York City (or the US, for that matter) so I am beyond excited!

But worry not, this blog won't stay silent forever! I miss blogging deeply and I can't wait to get in the right mindset again to enjoy blogging as much as I did before. Man, I tell ya, life sucks sometimes. I will probably be instagramming a lot about my stay in New York, so if you want to stay updated feel free to follow my instagram anytime :)

I couldn't leave this post empty as it is already, so I prepared a teeny list of the essential things that I got prior to my NYC trip: Some things that are pretty much essential on any of my intercontinental travel adventures.

Tamaris Mint/Glam Boots: It's finally(?) winter in Germany and we had our first snow just yesterday! Needless to say, my toes almost froze to death on my way to work. The most important thing for me to travel in the winter time is a great shoe to support all the shopping walking distances and keep my feet warm while exploring the city. Tamaris has great shoes and isn't the color of these ones to die for..?

The Girl On The Train: No intercontinental flight without a book. Never! Yes, there is a whole entertainment system on board and I have my phone, music and half of my game station with me, but still. A book doesn't only set the mind for the travel, it's also incredibly calming and a great help when you have trouble falling asleep. (Also, well hidden secret of me: I'm not big on watching movies. Like, ever. There you have it.)

Pusheen Unicorn Pants: Comfortable pants are a must, especially when you have to sit for more than 6+ hours in a row, but they still have to give you some warmth. I basically squealed when I found these unicorn pusheen (!) pants at my local H&M just yesterday - I feel like they express the inner part of my soul just right.

New York City Guide: Even though it may seem outdated to some tech-savvy people, I would never travel anywhere without a travel guide, I'm just that old-fashioned. Most of the times, I don't even use it as much, but the pleasure lies completely in reading everything at home and dreaming about the trip before it even began.

Iron Fist Love Potion Satchel: If you plan on doing some serious shopping, you'll need a roomy bag that isn't too heavy to begin with. I usually carry half of my life around with me (you never know what happens! Better be prepared, right?) so I try to find the lightest material possible - I love all my bags from Iron Fist as they are spacey, light, yet still look extravagant enough to match my personal style (plus, it matches my purple hair!)

Moleskine Travel Journey: Speaking of old-fashioned.... yes, I have all the information I need on my phone and printed out but you know what? I still keep everything I need to know in a handy travel journal, nostalgic as I am. It's the greatest pleasure to look through everything after the trip and dwell in happy memories from abroad - I usually use the journal as my personal diary, loaded with pictures, stickers, useful information and of course my shopping wishlist for myself and my dear ones.

AKG Q460 Headphones: Travelling is only as good as its background soundtrack. Since my headphones were a bit on the unreliable side lately, a good friend of mine was so kind to lend me her -amazing!- AKG headphones. They are pretty small and don't look too bulky on my head yet give off a great sound to accompany my travels.

While writing this all down, I still haven't figured out which coat to take. Weather seems to be good but my friends all said they experienced NYC ice cold, so I am very sceptical still. Will definitely report back on all the experiences I made on the other side of the world! Thank you all for being supportive and I hope you enjoyed this little travel essential post despite the lack of new content lately :) I'll be coming back on December 1st, so see you next month!

Lots of love,

Sam

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Finally Found The One: Pure Heal's Propolis 90 Ampoule Review
Hi There!

I wrote this post over a week ago and forgot to publish it. I'm a moron.

Autumn has a solid grip on Germany now, and while the days are growing darker I experience my skin to become more thirsty for hydration and antioxidants. My current routine is changing accordingly and my most recent addition is very worth to talk about, which is why I'll be reviewing the Pure Heal's Propolis 90 Ampoule today.



If you've been a longtime reader of this blog, you most likely know that propolis is one of my most beloved ingredients when it comes to battling my acneic skin. My skin just seems to love this ingredient so much that a high amount of it benefits my skin greatly in preventing any new acne to pop up, so I'm always on the hunt for the most efficient product and I might just have found the one. I singled this one out because a) I needed to do a haul from ibuybeauti anyways, as I ran out of my two favorite base make-up products from Luna and b) the high content of propolis (90%) just sounded too good to give this an early pass.


Ingredients: Propolis Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Water, Niacinamide, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Polyacrylate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Honey Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Caramel, Adenosine, Rose Flower Oil, Tagetes Minuta Flower Oil, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil, Elettaria Cardamomum Seed Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Limon Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil.

I was surprised to see that there are so many oils present in this ampoule, because the product doesn't feel oily AT ALL. I honestly didn't expect many or even any oil inside there but have been surprised by the contrary. That being said, this ampoule consists of 90% propolis extract, aloe, niacinamide and a heap load of different oils but not many fillers or irritants. I like. A lot.


PACKAGING


The ampoule comes in a 30ml glass dropper bottle for 13$ as well as a 100ml one for 38$ - I wish every brand would make big bottles of their ampoules and essences! Repurchasing a product that comes in a tiny bottle is always a pain due to waste of packaging as well as shipping costs, so I was super excited to see they have a bigger version of this too. I went with the small one to try it out, but -without wanting to give you any spoilers- I am already having the bigger one on my way. I wouldn't mind this to be in a plastic bottle (like the essences from Goodal for example) as I always have a hard time travelling with glass bottles, but the packaging is without doubt quite pretty to look at on the bathroom counter.


PERFORMANCE


The ampoule is kind of a liquid oil - not as runny as water, but not as thick as many oils. In fact, I don't find this oily at all and was surprised to see that there were no silicones as all in the formula as I highly suspected - my skin feels insanely smooth after using this. Due to the formula, it is not prone to spilling or wasting much product upon application. I use roughly the amount in the picture, probably even a bit less than half a dropper.

It has a faint honey scent but nothing overly too sweet or floral, which I really like. It does smell quite natural and doesn't bother my nose at all. I usually use this after my COSRX A-Sol and my Goodal Watery First Essence. It's not sticky at all and basically melts into the skin upon application which is always a big PLUS for me - I'm often working at 4AM in the morning, so I really don't have time for waiting times in between my skincare steps.

Since I've been using this (~2 weeks as of today) my skin has been incredibly calm and not acted up at all. Of course, this is probably the work of my AHAs and BHAs (more on that soon on a "found my holy grail routine" post!) but I can firmly say that this doesn't break me out at all and rather soothes my skin very well. It doesn't feel overly moisturizing, which is why I'm following this with my Tosowoong Aloe Essence and the Dr Jart Ceramidin Liquid. 

I am super content with this ampoule and must say it's my favorite propolis product of all the ones I tried (a lot better than the one from Tosowoong, COSRX, Skinfood and CPN Laboratories - more details soon in my upcoming propolis battle post :) ) I am HIGHLY recommending this to anyone who has troubled skin and/or is as obsessed with propolis as I am. Will definitely repurchase this in the big bottle and keep this as part of my routine for a long time. I bought this from Ibuybeauti for 13,21$ (big 100ml version is 38,20$). Since I always buy my Luna stuff from there as well, I make sure to spend 50$ so I can get free shipping on my order. You can also get the ampoule from Ebay for 17,21€ with free shipping! I haven't been able to find the big version from any other seller though :/

Have any propolis products that are worth checking out? Let me know in the comments! Also, feel free to drop me any questions in case I forgot to mention anything crucial.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Shopping by those links means that colorcrrush receives a small commission, which helps to support this blog - see my full disclosure and review policy here.

Have a great start into the week!
Lots of love,

Sam

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