Empties Review: Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum

skincareempties

Hi world, I’m a k-beauty aka Korean beauty/skin care-aholic. It all started with a trip to Shanghai that got me hooked on sheet masks. One thing led to another and here I am, a full-blown Korean Beauty addict. I’m no expert but I do hoard…a lot. I have an absurd amount of sheet masks that I had to purchase a cart to house (I’m both proud and embarrassed about it – it is a confusing feeling, really).

Today, I will talk about an Innisfree product. I was introduced to Innisfree in Hong Kong. The store lured me in by their sheer popularity. There were so many people crammed in their store, I had to see what the fuss was about. Innisfree is known for being eco-friendly and their mostly natural products. While in Hong Kong, I purchased a few of their sheet masks. Ok, at only $1 each, I purchased ten. In short, I ended up liking it SO much I purchased another 120. Yes, like I said before, I am a hoarder and an addict. Moving on.

Because I’m constantly experimenting with new products, I rarely finish a full-sized product. However, I managed to finish TWO bottles of the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum and I’ve almost emptied out the Innisfree Green Tea Seed Eye Cream (post to follow).

Today, lets start with the Green Tea Seed Serum. You can purchase one for yourself for $20-$23 on Amazon.

greenteaseedserum
PC: Amazon.com

Ingredients
(The green Tea Extract (75.9%), Propanediol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Ethanol, Glycerin, Betaine, The green Tea Seed Oil (208mg), Prickly Pear Extract, Orchid Extract, Tangerine Peel Extract, Camellia Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia Extract, Grapefruit Extract, Orange Extract, Tangerine Extract, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cetearyl Olivate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sorbitan Olivate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cocoa Extract, Dextrin, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance)

The product’s main ingredient (almost 76%) is green tea. Green tea is an antioxidant, with anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties – to top it all off, it’s great for calming and hydration. Well DANG, OK THEN!

One little minor issue though. The product contains ethanol (i.e. alcohol) which can irritate sensitive skin. So if you fall in the sensitive skin category, I would maybe do a test run before diving in head first.

My first impression when I started using it was that it was really light. Almost too watery to be a serum? I eventually grew to appreciate it because it made layering products a breeze! It all makes perfect sense to me now. Well played, Innisfree, well played. On particularly warm days, I only use the serum and skip the moisturizer for fear of being too oily. All in all, it helped reduce some of my redness and fixed my minor dry patches.

Rating:
8/10

I had two bottles in my arsenal because I received one for free (spent so much money that they gifted me one). Now that I have burned through both bottles, I’m not sure if I love it enough to purchase another? I mean, I do like it, but do I LOVE it? I liked it enough to finish two bottles but I’m still hesitant to consider it a “holy grail”. I’ll be trying out other products so we will see how I feel then!

Do you know of any products I should try out? If so, drop me a little note and I will more than likely give it a try!

Dana-Signature

Up next: The Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum Eye Cream.

 

 

Cheap Coffee Sugar Scrubs

CHEAPDIYCOFFEESCRUB

Because our container STILL has not arrived, I decided to try something new to keep me occupied. The other day, the Mr. brought home a jumbo bag of used coffee grounds from Starbucks. The grounds are meant to be used for planting purposes but since we don’t have any plants just yet, I figured I can make some coffee sugar scrubs in the meantime! Genius, right? So, let me tell you how I made my coffee sugar scrubs for dirt cheap.

Here are a few things you’ll need:

CoffeeScrubCoconutOil
Coconut Oil – I managed to snagged this little guy for FREE when Thrive Market was running a promotion. But you can find inexpensive coconut oil at Trader Joe’s for $6.
CoffeeScrubCoffee
Coffee Grounds – FREE courtesy of my trusty Starbucks
CoffeeScrubSheaButterSoap
Soap Base – I used a 50% off coupon to Michaels and snagged this Shea Butter Soap base for $5.25. I heard goat’s milk is also a great option but I was nervous about the way it would make my apartment smell.
CoffeeScrubMolds
Molds – I got mine from Ikea for $1. The flamingos are from Hollar for $1 as well!
CoffeeScrubEsssentialOil
(OPTIONAL) Essential Oils: I got my oil from Michaels with a 40% coupon. The oil cost me $2.40 but I will never, EVER purchase it again because it smells like wet dog. Consider yourself warned.

I try not to purchase crafts without a coupon or a considerable in-store markdown. So imagine my excitement when I saw that there was a 50% off coupon for Michaels when I started this project!!

The best part of this project was that I got to use my pretty copper measuring cups and spoons I ordered from World Market! Aren’t they preeeetty??

CoffeeScrubIngredients

I made the soap scrubs while Ittybot was taking a nap so I was trying to do it quickly and quietly to avoid any grimy little fingers dipping into the soap mix.

CoffeeScrubMeltedSoap

CoffeeScrubMix

It looks like dirty sand once it’s all packed in. Look closely, you can see some soap chunks because I wasn’t working fast enough. Who knew they’d harden fast?!

CoffeeScrubSetting

Aaaand voila! I got my little panda holder from Daiso. I really don’t know what it’s intended for but if it’s a Panda, I gotta have it!

I managed to make the scrubs for around $10! Not bad, right?! And I still have enough materials to make many more batches.

CoffeeSugarScrubs

 

Ingredients:
1 cup of granulated sugar

2 tbsp of coffee

1/2 cup of soap base

1/4 cup of coconut oil

25 drops of Essential Oil {OPTIONAL}

Directions:
1. Melt your soap base. You can do this in the microwave according to directions but I chose to melt mine in a hot bath using a pyrex bowl.

2. While the soap base is melting, mix sugar and coffee in a large mixing bowl

3. Prepare your molds because once you mix the soap base and dry ingredients you will need to work fast.

4. Once the soap base is melted add in your coconut oil and essential oil.

5. Next, pour the base into your large mixing bowl that contains your sugar and coffee.

6. Mix thoroughly and pack mix into your molds – work fast because the soap will harden quickly!

7. Let sit for about 4 hrs before removing them from their molds

 

Next time, I will skip the essential oil entirely and embrace the coffee smell!

Give it a try and tag me in the pictures! IG: @MeetTheBots

Dana-Signature

 

Get or Skip it: Skin Food’s Peach Sake Toner

getskippeachsake

Hey guys! It’s been a REALLY long time since I’ve done a “Get it or Skip it” post. I have been hoarding Asian skincare products lately so I figure it’s about time I weigh in on one.

Back in April, I went to China and purchased an obscene amount of face masks. It’s recommended to apply a toner to clean/open up your pores prior to using a sheet mask so I ordered the Skin Food Peach Sake Toner from Amazon. I have to admit that the 90% of the reason I purchased the toner was because of the packaging. I’m a total sucker for cute packaging, I just can’t help it. They have so many toners based off of different foods that I’ll need to try them all!

Skin food’s motto (as seen on their website):

“You are what you eat.”
Healthy skin starts with food.

SKINFOOD is the first cosmetic brand to root itself in food.
We believe that nutritive food results in nutritive beauty for healthy, beautiful skin.
Our food philosophy drives our product development to ensure that only the highest quality food  ingredients are used to create a more beautiful, healthier lifestyle.

Skin Food Peach Sake Toner

Here is what it claims (as seen on amazon):

  • A refreshing toner revitalizes tired and stressed skin with a few swipes.
  • Sake extracts tighten pores and minimize oil production, allowing skin to stay fresh and matte longer
  • while peach extracts boost skin’s ability to regenerate itself, leaving skin noticeably healthier looking with a radiant glow.
  • Recommended for oily and acne-prone skin types.

I have been using it sporadically (shame on me) for the past month and a half and I like it a lot! It doesn’t have an overpowering peach scent which I really like. Every time I use it, I’m a little ashamed of the dirt I see on the cotton pad but at least I know it’s doing the job! I even used it on the Mr and he was both disgusted and impressed. It really is refreshing and you can instantly see the mattifying effect afterwards.

The downside is that I don’t notice much, if any, pore shrinkage. It could be due to the fact that I don’t religiously use it like I should.

Like they said, this product is recommended for oily skin. It does strip a lot of the oils on your skin so I wouldn’t risking it if you have normal to dry skin.

Verdict:Get Or Skip it Review

At only $15, it is an affordable toner to keep in your arsenal. I say get it if you’re looking for a handy toner that smells yummy (and cute at that). But if you’re specifically looking to minimize pores then I would look elsewhere. I have read that people have noticed pore shrinkage when they use the entire peach sake line.

I personally won’t be purchasing this one again any time soon because I’m dying to try all the other (adorable) toners from skin food. But I do see it as a contender for a future buy.

I am currently looking for new skincare products to try out. Please let me know if you have any suggestions!

Dana-Signature

Beauty Bits: Sheet Mask Haul!

I have been very vocal about my newest obsession over sheet masks. I was approaching my 30th birthday then and I decided that it’s about time that I took better care of my skin. You don’t even want to know how bad I was prior to this revelation.

Back in April, I went to China with every intention to try out some sheet masks that was taking Asia by storm. I was a little apprehensive how my skin would react to it but rest assured, my skin LOVED it!

The first one I tried out was a brand called MG. The main reason I bought MG was because they were on sale at the Watson’s by our hotel. Unfortunately, I don’t recall what the sale was but I know they ended up being around $1 each mask. The first one I tried on my face was the Aloe hydrating mask since my skin was so dried out from the 10 hr flight.

MG's Aloe hydrating/moisturizing mask: LOVES IT!
MG’s Aloe hydrating/moisturizing mask: LOVES IT!

The packaging suggests that you leave it on for ~15 minutes but I left it on for about 45 minutes. There was so much serum left on the cotton mask that I didn’t want to waste it. And I am not ashamed to say that I collected the remaining serum inside the pouch and used it the next afternoon as a booster.

My skin felt AMAZING afterwards. I instantly became obsessed and ran back to the store about bought an additional 50-60. I’m not even kidding.

Different types of MG masks that I purchased at Watson's. Embarassed to say I got about 10 of each. The obsession is real.
Different types of MG masks that I purchased at Watson’s. Embarassed to say I got about 10 of each. The obsession is real.

Watson’s also had a sale on My Beauty Diary products. I’ve read so much about them that I decided to try a couple, ok, 5 boxes. But I purchased them with the intent to share them with my loved ones back home! The two that were on sale were: Nato bean (moisturizing/tightening) and black pearl mask (whitening/nourishing). I haven’t tried them yet but my mom absolutely swears by them. She said she noticed a difference after a week.

My Beauty Diary: Nato Bean Mask and Black Pearl Mask
My Beauty Diary: Nato Bean Mask and Black Pearl Mask

Once we were in Hong Kong, I was greeted with a beautiful Innisfree store. I’ve seen so many people rave about their products so I went in to purchase a few of their masks. I paid 10 HKD for each which is about ~1.15 euros or $1.28.

Next store I had to stop by was SaSa. SaSa is not very hard to find at all. There were literally two on every block. Hong Kong was the last stop on our China trip so I knew it was do or die at this point! I needed to grab everything I wanted before we left. The sales clerks noticed I was dumping all sorts of masks into my basket that they started to follow me. Maybe they were working on commission?

Anyway, SaSa had awesome sales on masks. I found the Innisfree masks that I had previously purchased on sale for 15/100 HKD. Thankfully, I only purchased 4 at the Innisfree shop so I went ahead and bought the rest of the innisfree masks at SaSa. Before you shake your head at me, there weren’t that many left so I only bought 15. As I was about to grab some My Beauty Diary boxes, the sales clerk suggested that I try out the Sasatinnie brand. She said that they last a little bit longer and you don’t have to do them nearly as often as MBD. She didn’t need to do much convincing since they were only 6 euros a box.

The last sheet mask stop was Etude house. By this point, The Mr. commented that I probably have enough masks to last a year so I shouldn’t buy too many here. LOL. So I only purchased a few sheet masks and a couple collagen eye masks so I can at least try them out.

Hong Kong sheet mask haul minus what I bought my mother.
Hong Kong sheet mask haul minus what I bought my mother.

Once I got home and started to package the masks as gifts, I was starting to have some separation anxiety. So I went online to Innisfreeworld to see how much they run online. To my excitement, they were having an awesome sale on their sheet masks! They were buy 10 get 10 free!! O.M.F.G. I turned to The Mr and apologized for the damage that was about to go down. It was free shipping after $75 so naturally, I had to purchase 7 sets of 10. So yes, I got a total of 140 masks in the mail.

What's left of the Innisfree masks after gift distribution. Needless to say, I'm covered for a little while...
What’s left of the Innisfree masks after gift distribution. Needless to say, I’m covered for a little while…

Innisfree sent a bunch of amazing samples of their skin care products and I’d have to say that I liked everything that I tried. I am pretty darn excited for my next order!

I sent a lot of masks to my mom as soon as I got back and then sent some to more friends and family after I got my Innisfree order. I hope they like them as much as I did!

What are your go-to masks? I’m already planning my next haul so please share!

Dana-Signature

Get it or Skip it: Kiko’s Night Balm

getitorskipit

I wanted to write a very short review on a new product I tried out. Frankly, I don’t like reading long drawn out reviews because seriously fellow busy bees, who has the time!?

On black friday, Kiko cosmetics was offering a 30% discount. Of course I had to jump on that! I came across the kiko night balm which was listed as a “best seller” and had pretty good reviews from what I saw. I’m a bit of a lip balm addict so I went ahead and ordered myself one.

When the package came, I was excited to give it a try that night. To my dismay, the balm maybe lasted 20 minutes tops. The next morning, my lips were dry and chapped. I had better luck using my husbands lip balm.

I could have very well gotten a bad batch, but I’m not sure I’ll give it another chance to find out.

Final verdict:

kikobalmskip

Dana-Signature

Travel Must-haves: Dubai & Maldives Edition

In just a few short days we depart for another fantabulous getaway. This time, we are traveling to Dubai and Maldives. Such a dream come true!! Today, I started to gather stuff together to pack and I thought I’d share some items I consider “must-haves”.

dubaitravel

1. Sarong (purchased in Positano, Italy): Because I’m not gutsy enough to walk the beaches in just my bikini.

2. Clampless Curling Iron (Remington/Kruidvat): For the beach waves!

3. Flip-Flops (Havaianas/Amazon.com): Finally retired my sanuks and bought these cute flip-flops from amazon.

4. Bikini (Pull and Bear): Um, duh. Why else?! I packed 8 and I hope to buy more while we are there. Hi, I’m Dana and I’m a bikini hoarder. Nice to meet you.

5. Sunglasses (H&M): I don’t bring expensive sunglasses because I’m notorious for breaking and/or losing them. I love H&M’s affordable sunglasses.

6. Passport (H&M): Frequent travelers should dress up their passports. Just sayin’.

7. Mascara (Younique): I hate dealing with falsies while on travel. Younique’s 3d mascara is perfect for length AND volume without all the fuss. Get yours here.

8. Eyeliner (Rimmel/Kruidvat): I mean, you just gotta!

9. Highlighter (Benefit’s Sun Beam/Sephora): There is no sun in Holland right now so I need to enlist a little help. I LOVE Benefit’s Sun Beam. It gives me a little golden shimmer for the beach so I don’t look so bleh.

10. Hair goodness (Healthy Sexy Hair: Soy Renewal): I bring this along to tame my frizz and add some texture to my beach waves.

11. Chapstick (Berry M: Cor Balmy/Boots): This stuff is amazing. It’s both hydrating and it gives my lips a little shimmer. It smells so good I could just eat it – maybe I do.

12. Hydrating Mist (Juice Beauty/Ulta): I like to carry this with me while I travel so I can give myself a spritz when my skin needs a little refresher.

13. Nail Polish (Beyu/Douglas): Chose mint and white nail polish for this trip so I’m bringing these bad boys along just in case my nails need a touch up.

14. Contouring Kit (Sleek/Sleek.com): My go-to contouring set while I’m on the go!

15. Blush (Kiko Milano Glow Touch in Intuition Peach/Kiko Milano): To add some quick color to my cheeks before heading out to the beach! Good for cheeks AND lips! Another tidbit, I scored this for only 3 euros. I like cheap.

16. Fuji instax Camera (Amazon): I’m on my 2nd smash book and the instax camera is great for doing quick pictures to throw in there. And who doesn’t love instant cameras anyways?!

17. Sony nex 6 (Amazon): Saved the best for last. I cannot go on ANY trip without a camera. I downsized from a Canon 7d to a much lighter Sony nex 6. This little guy doesn’t do too bad!

Tomorrow I’ll do a post for Ittybot so stay tuned!

Dana-Signature