an artist with a love for affordable skincare - living with combo skin, cystic acne & hyperpigmentation
Dupe for DE Protini Cream? (Spoiler: NO)
First off, thank you for all the love on my post about “curing” my cystic acne! I hope that it helped people as much as it helped me in my skin journey. If you read that post, you’d know that while not necessarily sensitive, I am oily and can veer into dehydrated if I overcorrect the oiliness too much. That’s why DRUNK ELEPHANT - Protini Polypeptide Cream was my angel. Perfection. I loved it. My skin had never been more ~balanced~. Chef’s kiss. 10/10. You know what I didn’t like though? That $68 price tag. I think I shed a tear when my sample size was out. (Not to mention the company’s internal drama, but I digress.) Enter Brandefy, a broke person’s savior that specializes in finding comperable dupes to expensive staples in makeup and skincare. And they tossed in this budget moisturizer saying it had pretty much ALL OF THE SAME INGREDIENTS. Obviously, I bought it immediately. And now, two days later, I can honestly say... After ONE NIGHT of using this product, I woke up with milia and small whiteheads all across my T-zone. The next night, I applied a little less to see if that helped, but woke up with more red spotting. I had noticed the texture of the Acure brand cream was thicker, less water-like than the Protini (which should have been obvious seeing as how Protini’s first ingredient is water, but hey). One AHA face wash and different moisturizer later, my skin has calmed down to where it’ll all be back to normal in a day, but this is the first time I’ve reacted to any product in this way. I’m recommending you fellow acne, oily-skin people stay away from it altogether. Dry skin babes, this might be the one for you. All I know is, at least I have a new hand cream, I guess. 2/5 ⭐️ - maybe someone will find it useful for their skin, but it’s got a limited range.
DRUNK ELEPHANT-Protini Polypeptide Cream
Gotta love that moisture - especially when you have combo skin prone to breakouts! I cycle through moisturizers constantly, never really marrying any one. However, these two just might make me want to settle down 😌 e.l.f. - Happy Hydration Cream I’ve reviewed this little guy before, but WOW I hope e.l.f. never discontinues this line. It’s the perfect light cream with hemp seed oil, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid for a long-lasting hydrating feel. All for $12 too! BANISH - Vitamin C Cream I’m using this is conjunction with the Banisher 2.0 for my acne scars, but I’ve also adopted it as a night cream! Though it’s the tiniest moisturizer I’ve ever bought, it’s so rich I barely need any to cover my entire face evenly. The ingredients are INCREDIBLE - aloe juice is the first ingredient, followed by rosehip oil and a bunch of fruit oils, with ascorbyl palmitate and ascorbic acid for the vitamin c 🍊☀️ While it is $39, I’ve been finding it worthwhile for the ingredients list ALONE!
e.l.f.-Happy Hydration Cream
✨Lips for the Basic B 😘
I hate having to be picky about what goes on my lips. I want to be the person that can just put on Burts Bees or Carmex and be on my way, but most lip products I come across have a common set of ingredients I have to avoid. Coconut oil and shea butter? Breakouts. Beeswax? Not moisturizing enough, dries out my lips worse than they were before. Lanolin? Tingles in the WORST way. After a lot of time playing around with different lip products, I have a good collection going to where I can blindly grab one and throw it into my bag with confidence when I’m in a rush. I gravitate to tinted lip balms because of their multifunctional nature, but I also love basic balms that give me that hydrated look and lip glosses that can leave a stain well after they wear off. These are my tried and true favorites for color payoff and/or hydration!
LORAC-Alter Ego Lip Gloss
How I finally beat my cystic acne
Before I go into my product recs, let me just say: NO PRODUCT WILL BE YOUR MAGIC CYSTIC ACNE CURE. Sooo many things went into my journey. Finally realizing I was allergic to dairy, getting an IUD, getting sleep, etc. These products are the ones that helped me take control of when the breakouts DID happen. Please put your physical and mental health first, and remember to love yourself AND your acne. Everyone gets them! PAULA'S CHOICE - Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliator This should be everyone’s HG exfoliator. The aloe vera makes this hydrating and perfect for skin thats always too dry or too oily. Salicylic acid is also the only chemical exfoliant that can penetrate the skin enough to actually help cysts. COSRX - Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 PA+++ CosRX is a lifesaver for me. I want to try every product of theirs! This one is my HG sunscreen, though. It’s a hybrid sunscreen that’s rich enough to be a moisturizer AND silky enough to be a makeup primer. It’s perfect for those days when your skin needs a moisturizer, but you don’t want to layer up your products, or you just want a low maintenance day routine. #e.l.f. - Happy Hydration Cream[products]# I am so obsessed with this skincare line. Gel moisturizers NEVER keep my skin hydrated for long, so I always reach for ones with a light oil in it. Hemp has quickly become my favorite, and this moisturizer is my HG for year-round hydration. COSRX - Balancium Comfort Ceramide Cream 80ml Perfect to put on dry patches at night! Make sure you use a moisturizer though - it only locks in moisture! COSRX - Centella Blemish Cream Great to put on a blemish to take down the redness and irritation. ONLY use as a spot treatment at night, though. It’s more difficult to blend in than a mineral sunscreen and way too thick to put all over the face. HONORABLE MENTIONS: - Double cleansing with an oil cleanser first. Your skin will thank you. - Sunday Riley Saturn Mask: good spot treatment for whiteheads and small zits - Hydrocolloid acne patches: I don’t get picky about the brand, but I use these on whiteheads and over popped acne. Just make sure to dry/disinfect it first before putting one of these guys on, otherwise you trap all of the gross stuff in there. Overall, patience was how I beat my acne. I graduated, I moved and decided to take time off of working. I adopted yoga and a better sleep routine. I cut out dairy and limited myself to one coffee a day. I made my own easy and healthy meals. And above all, I limited my skincare to a consistent and easy routine with essentials that were no-frills. I used an exfoliator twice a week and found nourishing serums and treatments that didn’t attack my skin, but gave it some extra help. YMMV in everything I said above, but I hope I helped at least a bit!
COSRX-Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50 PA+++
The perfect dewy look for acne scar rehab
My goal for the longest time has been to get rid of my adult acne and cystic acne, and long story short, I did! Now all that’s left is the scarring and hyperpigmentation. In my effort to learn to love my face again, I was determined to find the perfect tinted moisturizer or BB cream to help even out the face discoloration while also letting my newly clear skin breathe. That’s where this duo comes in! COLOURPOP - Colourpop Blush Stix I wanted to get a liquid/cream blush to help with the natural dewy look I wanted as well, but I think I should have taken as much care as I did with the moisturizer. This is a gorgeous color and blends beautifully, but after a couple hours, all that color just disappears! It’s a shame, but I’ll probably have to try something else. COLOURPOP - Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Tinted Moisturizer I did a lot of research while looking for this guy, and I have to say, I have no regrets with this one. I apply it with my fingers, smooth out some spots with a sponge, and set my T-Zone with a light powder. It lasts all day, wears naturally, and if there’s any fading, it does it naturally enough to where I don’t notice. It feels beautifully hydrating on my combo skin, and really is my skin, but better! CONS: It can sometime cling to texture (I see it around some dryer patches and around my brow area, but a bit of blending and it doesn’t bother too much). It also takes a while to sink into the skin, especially with sunscreen. It’d be nice to see this formulated with at least 30 SPF to fix that!
COLOURPOP-Colourpop Blush Stix
Dealing with hormonal Jaw Acne – What do the Dermatologists Say?
Hormonal acne is as its name suggests the product of hormonal fluctuations in the body. Mostly it occurs in puberty for most people. However, it can be caused at any stage of life if the hormones are out of sorts. This is also faced mostly by women during menopause and menstruation.
Fenty Beauty Cream Blush x Bronzer MUST HAVE
As a tester and lover of all things beauty, it was a must that I try out FENTY BEAUTY - Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in the shade ‘summertime wine’🍷and FENTY BEAUTY - Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer in the shade ‘chocolate’🍫 Now let’s talk about this texture! I used my fingers to apply both blush and bronzer and it melted into my skin. Have you ever roasted marshmallows and chocolate by a fire and the chocolate just oozes from your graham cracker sandwich as you take that first bite? That’s what this felt like. It’s a very soft application and a little goes a very long way. The size of the blush is pretty compact, but I guarantee this will last at minimum a year! The price of the blush stands at $20 and the bronzer stands at $32, which is not too shabby for the quality of the product. I highly recommend this product for those of you who love an effortless application with the tip of your finger.
FENTY BEAUTY-Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush
Kosas Tinted Oil Foundation
For starters : I bought this myself, I was in no way influenced by the brand in anyway. That being said I was secondarily influenced by instagram. I first heard about @kosascosmetics when many fellow bloggers were given PR. I reached out the the brand and got some samples of their tinted face oil (enough to figure out my shade). From the samples I liked how light and dewy the formulation was so decided to give the full size a try. I already had a medium dewy coverage foundation I liked (@tartecosmetics rainforest by the SEA water foundation) so I waited to buy it until I was out. The above photo is me wearing shade 3.5 with @supergoop unseen sunscreen as primer. After testing for a full week here’s my final thoughts. COVERAGE: Per the brand this is supposedly medium coverage, however I would definitely call it LIGHT. It helped some of my overall redness but you can definitely still see it. I also feel like it doesn’t cover hyperpigmentation well so I wouldn’t count it as medium. I tried multiple application techniques including anywhere from 3-10 drops blended with my fingers or a beauty blender. Using the beauty blender I definitely noticed less coverage as much of it absorbed into the sponge. However because of less product I was less shiny with this application. WEAR: I tested this foundation in a high-stress environment (my 15 hr overnight shift at the hospital). During this time I sweat, stressed, and slept. I did notice some transfer to my pillow as well as less coverage the end of the night. However I did like that there was never any caking and it defiantly looked like I wasn’t wearing any makeup. Overall: I’m going to return this. I’m already an oily gal so I don’t need the extra dew that this oil formula gives. I’m quite sad because I can see how if you are dry/normal this can give you a healthy glow with subtle color correction. I need more redness coverage in a foundation and this basically slides off my face. She feels nice and didn’t cause any breakouts but it doesn’t warrant the $42 price tag for what it does for me.
Kosas-Tinted Face Oil Foundation
Have I mentioned how much I love the Kosas Cosmetics Wet Lip Oil Glosses? I’m typically not a lipgloss fan but this is a hybrid lip treatment and gloss that is packed with peptides that plump and hydrate, all while providing a juicy slick of color. You’ll find killer ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Peptides (to protect your collagen), and Evening Primrose Oil. Because my lips start peeling the moment it gets cold and continue until the spring, it can make it very difficult to wear lipstick but these have just enough of an oil texture that it leaves my lips looking plump and hydrated while camouflaging the dry flaky bits. The Fruitjuice color is exactly what you would think. It leaves you with the perfect fruit juice stained hint of a magenta lip. Jaws is a gorgeous, glossy, cherry juice stained red that I am loving for a minimal yet festive holiday lip right now! Dip is a neutral pearly nude that even a “non-nude lipstick“ wearer can pull off. I speak from experience because I literally can never find a nude that doesn’t make me look like the crypt keeper but this one is the perfect #MLBB shade with just the right amount of gloss. Kosas Cosmetics has knocked it out of the park once again with these formulas and has totally converted this non-lipgloss, non-nude lip wearer! Kosas - Wet Lip Oil Gloss
Kosas-Wet Lip Oil Gloss
I am so beyond excited to try out these candles by Otherland you guys have no idea This brand is not only so aesthetically pleasing- but these candles are no joke the best scent I’ve ever come across 👏🏼 In this beach club collection you have: 🍒 Stone Fruit which is explained as beach plum, peach scent and brown sugar 🤤 🍒 Freshwater pearl with sea crystal, salt water and crunched shells 🍒 Matchpoint which is reminded as cucumber, tennis ball, and cut grass 🌱 These smell so good I wish I could explain it to you 😭
UNFILTERED fresh, flawless skin 🌸
A trifecta of products I use to get my skin looking fresh, flawless and pretty, QUICK. I bought the touch in SOL - No Poreblem Primer when I was in Japan, I kept seeing it popping up on my feed and it was cheaper than in American retailers so I picked it up and man am I glad I did, it’s so good! It blurs my skin so beautifully, it’s not magic so my pores don’t “disappear” but it does a good job at minimizing them while still keeping my skin looking like skin and not super matte/looking dry. Definitely recommend. It’s priced better on websites like Yesstyle! The COVERGIRL - Vitalist Healthy Elixir Foundation I picked up on Rawbeautykristi’s recommendation, first of all because I love Kristi, she’s the funniest ever and second because this is a dewy drugstore foundation! And it actually looks gorgeous on the skin, and it looks better the longer you wear it in my opinion. Mine is in their old packaging, they changed it after their rebrand and also added more shades! The COLOURPOP - Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Concealer I reviewed already, so I won’t get much into detail just know that I love how creamy and easy to blend it is 💛 The last slide is my skin with these three product only, I didn’t set with powder or added highlighter just so you can really how everything looks! Lmk if you‘ve tried any of these and how do you like them!
touch in SOL-No Poreblem Primer