There is no particular theme for this post but rather a general ‘my top 10 beauty products that I’ve tried and loved’, and am going to share with you all! I feel like beauty is such a universal topic that everyone can relate or learn something from. I very much enjoy watching beauty gurus’ GRWM (Get Ready With Me) or makeup tutorials to learn about new products or a makeup tips and tricks once in while. I do often go on to INTO THE GLOSS, VIOLET GREY, or the info-box below some of my favorite beauty Youtubers to find out new products and stay up-to-date (kinda) with the ever-changing-fast beauty industry. Often time, I’d much rather spending money on clothes than buying makeup. I don’t ever feel the need to go out and purchase skincare and makeup products just to have in my collection ever, so when I find something that works it stays! The last few months, I had been buying and trying out new beauty products and found quite a number of quality ones that are not only pretty in packaging but also deliver quality content. So here I am bringing you my top 10:
I’ve had such a good luck with Glossier products and the brand itself. I am probably one of their biggest fan girl as I adore their way of running and growing a business. Thanks to their almost-too-good ad campaigns, I do have to really retain myself from going to their website and add everything in the cart every time their new product launches. By now I think I am 100% familiar and know exactly what Glossier has in store and what they have to offer thanks to the endless hours of me watching people reviewing their products on Youtube. So last month, I placed a small order including this Cloud Paint in Dusk (a dusty rosy brownish nude) just to see it for myself. I love the idea of ‘painting the blush on the apples of your cheeks with your fingers’ or ‘if you can finger paint, you can Cloud Paint,’ that I see everywhere on social media. And to my surprise, the tube was so tiny, but I heard the warning ‘a little goes a long way.’ So I tried it with my fingers and the Beautyblender. Both worked amazingly! Now I bring it everywhere with me (like my little baby!) with the just-in-case thought and always end up find myself squeezing on the tiny tip of my finger and paint in the car, in the restaurant, anywhere.
Cloud Paint is also available in other colors, so shop according to your skin-tone, your preference of liking or mood, or it doesn’t hurt to own a few: Dusk is a brownish nude. Puff is a light, cool pink. Haze is a deep berry. Beam is a coral-peach. Dawn is a sunny coral. Storm is a warm rose. HERE
What is a micellar water? Bioderma especially calls it ‘Sensibio H2O’ which consists of a unique type of micelles and fatty acid esters that are similar to skin (the phospholipid layer)’s composition that captures impurities and leaves the skin clean and soft. This product was originally used and loved by makeup artists on-set where there was no need to be rinsed off. This micellar bottle used to be $40 or more as I remembered since it was so limited and new back then. But now, I can easily order one on Amazon and have it delivered the next day. I have also tried so many cheaper alternatives at the drugstores, but this one by far is the most gentle and effective micellar water I have ever used. With a cotton pad (my favorite is featured below from Muji), I’d soak the center of the pad with a few drops of this to clean my eyes and face makeup before or after I shower. I like to take a shower at night, so I find the most satisfying way to thoroughly clean my face is when I’m in the shower. For days that I have heavier makeup especially on the weekend, I have to remove my makeup with an oil or cream cleanser, shower and wash my face with a face wash, and clean it again with this Bioderma micellar water prior to applying any skincare products. It acts like a toner or is basically a toner which cleans and conditions the skin and helps with pH balance. I love that this product does not require rinsing afterwards, so I’d often bring a small bottle of it when traveling.
In case you’re wondering, here is the list of all ingredients: AQUA/WATER/EAU, PEG-6 CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC GLYCERIDES, FRUCTOOLIGOSACCHARIDES, MANNITOL, XYLITOL, RHAMNOSE, CUCUMIS SATIVUS (CUCUMBER) FRUIT EXTRACT, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, CETRIMONIUM BROMIDE, DISODIUM EDTA. [BI 446]
As mentioned above, these are the only type of cotton pads/squares that I will continue purchasing for years to come. Well, unless they invent something better, more eco-friendly, and cheaper, so these organic cotton pads work for me for now! A few months ago when I was searching for the new cotton pads to replace my Target bought ones which were super scratchy and rough on the skin, I came across these MUJI branded ones. They seemed to have mixed reviews on Amazon as people complained about these organic unbleached ones were contaminated and had bugs in them somehow. I gave it a try anyways, and it did take awhile to get to me since these were shipped from Japan. I’ve also found out that Muji makes literally everything, snacks, clothes, stationary stuff, and even home good products. My boyfriend came back from Japan and told me that Muji was everywhere in Japan. He also bought some stuff from the store there as well. I thought it was cool! So just a heads up that these cotton pads are a lot more fragile once being soaked in cleansing liquid (I used micellar water with these cotton pads) but a lot more gentle on my face compared to normal cotton pads I used at the drugstore. I use both sides of the pad and find one is good enough for my entire face. I always double cleanse my face regardless. So try it as your face will thank you!
I am a night shower, and I feel like have to take off everything including makeup and dirt on my face, neck, and entire body in order to have a good night sleep. As said before, I wipe off my makeup before jumping in the shower with a cream or oil cleanser, wash my face again in the shower using this Glossier Milky Jelly cleanser, and wipe off any excess mascara or products on the rim of my face after the shower and before I apply any skincare products. For lighter makeup days, I just wash my face with this cleanser in the shower and clean it one more time with the micellar water, and that is enough. This routine has always been my must in order to keep my skin clean and healthy. It has a slight scent to it, hard to describe, but definitely not strong nor annoying at all. I’d say it smells like an old-school type of skincare product, not floral nor scented which I like and is very gentle on the eyes. I love this cleanser and will definitely repurchase since it does its job (cleansing my face without the stripping off feeling or abrasive physical exfoliating ones that I used to have) and taking off somewhat amount of makeup while keeping my face feels supple and nice.
I have to give my girl Gabriella @shopsallate on Instagram a shout-out since she is the one that told me about this product. I got a chance to meet her during my trip visiting family in Minnesota couple weeks ago. We talked URL via Instagram and agreed to meet up IRL for the first time at Parallel, a new coffee shop in Minneapolis. And let me tell you she has the most gorgeous human being with the most gorgeous hair ever. I asked, and she told me she’d swear by this Wave spray from Oaui. The Oaui brand is founded by Jen Atkin, the famous celebrity hairstylist that does Kim K’s hair and almost anyone I know on the internet, and for that reason I have been hesitated to try out the brand. I mean I heard lots of Youtubers talking about a few of her products when they were firstly launched and I thought they were okay. This Wave spray, however, was probably one of the bests as it got that Allure Beauty Expert 2017 stamp on the Sephora website. So after our meet-up, I stopped by a Sephora and got myself this travel size immediately. Gabriella also told me she didn’t use conditioner just to keep it dry and texturized looking. I use less conditioner now that my hair is a lot shorter and healthier. But still, I find that I have to spray a lot of this product onto my hair to get that texturized volumizing look which in turn weighs down my hair a lot. My scalp either gets so itchy or oily most days, so any styling or texturizing products would only make it look amazing for about a day. Regardless, I have been enjoyed using it after curling or straightening to add some volume and bounce to my hair. I have also already placed an order for a full-size bottle, so you know this stuff is good!
I did a bunch of research on makeup brushes last month, and this brush from Real Technique came up quite often in the most suggested list. It was so cheap as I remembered paying about $9 for it. I use it to blend concealer under my eyes, on the bridge of my nose, forehead, and sometimes all over my face. It blends products so seamlessly and so quick and does exactly what I want. I switch up between this brush or the BeautyBlender sponge these days depending on my mood that day.
Lancome mascaras are the reasons why I have stopped buying cheap drug-store ones. I find most drugstore mascaras I’ve tried tend to have dryer formulation, run out so quicky, and never do what I want. I am not blessed with long, thick, and curly lashes like many people, just an average pair. I bought this mascara using the 15% off VIB Rouge discount a few months ago. I was down to the very bottom of their Swan-neck mascara and wanted to try their famous Hypnose drama mascara but it was not available at the time. Instead, I got this Monsier Big mascara. The tube was fat, and the wand was also fat!I love this formula as it is wet enough to coat my coarse Asian lashes and hold the curls as to how I like them throughout the day. I love how it glides on my lashes right away from just the first coat and adds so much volume to them. I hear people love it for its clumps and how it makes their lashes look fake. Be warned that it might be too wet or messy to apply if you’re not careful. I have definitely applied it quickly and it would end up being on my upper lash skin a lot of the time and that can be annoying to remove. Well, unless you apply eyeshadow afterwards, but for me I have to wear eye primer and a wash of eyeshadow. I love it for my straight and coarse lashes. Lancome mascaras are definitely what I will always recommend people. They are well-worth the price and definitely last for a long time!
I finally got to retire my 6 years old eyelash curler from Sisheido after adding this cute little fancy number. It was $30! Again, this Troy Surratt lash curler is an award winning tool and It is hand-calibrated in Japan that I found from IntotheGloss’s best of 2017 list (one of my favorite beauty editorial destination for cool and new beauty product search). I was on a search for one anyways, so I bought it and never looked back! I felt heavy and high quality on the hand when used. The clamp fits perfectly on my eyes, squeezes gently but tight enough to give my lashes their needed curls. The tip here is that you want to make sure you squeezes your lashes 3 time, one being close to the lash line, one about a milliliter away, and on being another minilieter away to make sure that they are not crimped. It is worth the hype and well-worth the $30 price tag!!! Not to mention I love how it is black and matte, kind chic, kinda fancy.
This is another fancy, pricy but well-worth it! I have always been unhappy with drug-store toothpastes for various reasons. Colgate has super fake minty after-taste, and those whitening Crest toothpastes hurt my poor sensitive teeth. Most leave my mouth feeling like I have not done a very good job at cleaning and brushing my teeth to be honest. I found this Davids brand circulating the internet sometime last year and couldn’t justify the price. I ended up pulling the trigger and was so glad I did! I bought two tubes from the DERMSTORE, try it and fell in love with it from the very first time. I love the little metal key that it came with to get every bit of product out (so old-school!) and its metal container. It is a vegan toothpaste for those who are wondering. It has a very gently minty flavor and leaves my teeth feeling clean (not stripy clean) but clean in a good way as they have been gently exfoliated. If you have sensitive teeth like me, I do also highly suggest you to try these softer bristled tooth brushes from Dr. Collins Perio. I love this combo!
Product information: Natural Toothpaste To Safely & Effectively Whiten Teeth, Remove Plaque, And Freshen Breath. Smooth & Creamy, Non-Gritty. Blend Of Premium Domestic Mint Oils For Exceptional Flavor. EWG VERIFIED, 98% USA ORIGIN Ingredients For Superior Quality And To Support USA Jobs. Fluoride Free, SLS Free, Sulfate Free, Vegan, Includes Xylitol For Healthy Enamel. Kid-Friendly – Kids Love It Too. Recyclable Metal Tube & FSC Certified Packaging. Free Metal Tube Key Roller/Squeezer Included.
These two are the last but no mean the least! Tarte Shape Tape is a no joke foundation. It is full-coverage!!! I have been using the Nars radiant creamy concealer and the soft matte complete concealers and are very loyal to the brand for years! I felt like change with the season change, so I decided to branch out this time. And there was no other stronger competitor to Nars concealer other than these Tarte Shape Tape ones. Almost every Youtuber I watch on uses Shape Tape, I talk about Shape Tape all the time, and I get tired hearing them mentioning Shape Tape. The wand that it comes with is a dove-foot shape and unusually fat. I’d use the pointier end and lightly do the product on my under eye area, some around the sides of the nose, a few small dots on the center of my forehead, one on the tip of my nose and chin. And that is it! I have learnt to bake my concealer for those weekends that I am out shooting and hanging out for a long day and that lasts me for a long time with no creasing nor concealer moving anywhere. I bought two very similar shades which I didn’t think I need to, but they were so similar that I just ended up using them both. Shape Tape is the real deal, guys! Plus Tarte is a vegan brand, so their products are vegand and dermatologist tested and approved.
Yay! Congrats for making it till the end! I hope you’ve learnt a product or two and try them out! Let me know some of your holy grail beauty products in the comment section below as well! Feel free to give my Instagram a follow if you have not already done so, @antrieu! Have a lovely and productive week!
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Photos by Toan Chu