December 19, 2014

Reducing my undereye wrinkles! It’s Skin Power 10 Formula Synake Essence Review

Syn-ake is an anti-wrinkle ingredient that became popular in Korea a couple years ago. It's a synthetic peptide that mimics the function of snake venom (and Botox too, for that matter), to basically freeze muscles and reduce wrinkles. It sounds a little pseudo-sciencey, I know, but all I can say is that it I’ve had positive results! I used this under my eyes where I have tons of fine lines and it did lessen my wrinkles. It’s not miraculous, but pretty good, I think!

This ampoule comes from It's Skin's Power 10 Formula line. The line consists of 13 different ampoules, each geared towards different concerns--some whitening, some moisture, anti-aging, and so on. In addition to Syn-ake, this product also contains adenosine, balboa tree extract, barley extract, and yeast to improve wrinkles and skin elasticity.

Brand: It's Skin
Name: Power 10 Formula Synake Essence
Amount: 30mL
Actual weight: 96g
Get it at W2Beauty: $23.60 (click here)
Expiration Date: 12 months

It doesn’t come in a box, just the glass bottle itself. When you buy it, the dropper comes protected by a plastic cap:

The glass is sturdy. I’ve dropped it three times onto hard kitchen floor and it didn’t crack or break. :)

Manufacture date:

Here is the dropper:

And as a side note, this product was kindly sponsored by W2Beauty. Included in the package from W2Beauty were these 5 samples:

It’s a thin and liquidy formula. It’s not rich. It looks thick because the droplets are slow and bulgy, but once I spread it out it’s thin and wet. Not gooey at all:

It doesn’t sting or hurt, even though I apply it around my eyes. It also doesn’t feel moisturizing; it just feels like benign liquid on my face. And as such, it absorbs somewhat slowly when I apply it over moisturizer.

It’s pretty scented; I’d say a little more so than your average skincare product. It smells like a mature woman’s perfume.

It helped!

My condition before: Before using this, my underye skin was dry and severely wrinkled. Sadly, I get undereye wrinkles from smiling and even just from blinking. Coupled with the fact that I hadn’t been using an eye cream (to test out Paula’s theory of no eye cream, which actually ended badly), my undereye skin became so crepey that if I so much as scratched there, a new crease would form where my nail touched.

After: After using this for 3 weeks, my undereye area looks noticeably smoother and less wrinkled:

Right eye:

(▲ Ignore the dark circle, just look at the wrinkles!)

Left eye:

Now, I still have a lot of wrinkles and fine lines (especially when I smile), but many of them are less obvious than before. The lines are not as deep and pronounced, and the ones that weren’t too deep to begin with aren’t visible anymore unless I’m smiling. (Look towards the center of my left eye photos.) It didn't cure me, but the difference is still noticeable, especially when it comes to applying makeup!

Milia: It has some potential to cause milia. It didn't cause me any new milia, but it did make my old milia a little larger (see the first photo.) However, this is likely my fault for using too much product, as I tend to get milia when I use too much. As a tip, if you're just using this under your eyes like me, you don't need a full drop! One drop gives way too much for just the undereye area. I'll dial back on how much I use and update again in a month or so about my milia ^^

I like it! I’m very grateful for how much it has lessened my undereye wrinkles. Granted, it’s not a HUGE change and I still have lots of fine lines there, but I’ll take what I can get!

Personally, I don’t see that there’s anything to lose in using this product. It’s a thin liquid, quick and easy to apply, and it doesn’t hurt or sting even near my eyes. And yet, it gives results. In my humble opinion, eyelid skin is the most important, and I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Would I buy this with my own money? Yes! Of course, I do want to check out other Syn-ake products, but if those don’t work as well, I can totally see myself buying this. :D

A big thank you to Alice from W2Beauty for making this review possible! Click on the photo to see the product listing:

Thanks for reading, and as always, let me know if you have questions about the review ^^

And just a reminder to join my current giveaway!

What Synake products have you tried or want to try?

December 17, 2014

Natural makeup 3

I don't know if it comes across this way on my blog, but I actually do my fair share of natural makeup! Some days I just don't want to bother with circle lenses, you know? And for me, if I'm not wearing lenses, I feel like I might as well go natural. So here are some pictures of me from the other day:

Hair is not my forte, but I'm trying to improve! I finally made use of the giant bows I bought from Korea. :3

No expression! Relaxing every muscle on my face :3

Thinking about McDonalds' mushy fries~

Yum yum yum~

About today's makeup:

Natural eyebrows are always interesting for me. It feels like "Korean eyebrows" have become the gold standard for natural Asian brows, and...I just don't like how they look on me, unfortunately!

You see, I have a low browbone compared to most Koreans. This means that I don't have a lot of distance between my eyes and eyebrows, kinda like Tsubasa. As a result, dark and defined eyebrows (like Korean brows) crowd my eyes and make me look strong and boyish. That's why I decided to try soft eyebrows--they're thick, but soft!

And I quite like them! I think their softness and light color match my round features. I might thin them out a wee bit more, and then I'll be fully satisfied. And in case anyone is wondering, 'Why even bother messing with your eyebrows? Why not just leave them the way they are?' It's because I'm searching for my optimal look. We're only young once, gotta take advantage of it! And in my opinion, natural doesn't necessarily mean the best. Take Hyoyeon for example!

How about you, is there an eyebrow shape that you just don't like on yourself?

December 15, 2014

A super gentle cleanser, Dr. Oracle the Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash Review

I'm usually 'meh' about cleansers, but this one is interesting and unique! It comes in a powder form, which coincidentally makes it perfect for traveling--no need to worry about it exploding and making a mess in your luggage!

It also contains very few ingredients, though among those few are pineapple and papaya enzymes, both of which are meant for exfoliation. But my favorite part of all is that it's GENTLE! So, so gentle!

Brand: Dr. Oracle (Korean dermatological brand)
Name: the Snow Queen Enzyme Powder Wash
Amount: 50g
Actual weight: 91g
Get it at Glow Recipe: $25 (click here) Use this link for $5 off your first purchase.
Expiration Date: 1/14/2017 (So about 2.5 years lifetime)

Directions: Simple! Put a bit of powder on your palm, add water, and rub your hands together to create a foam.


sodium sulfate
sodium bicarbonate
sodium lauroyl glutamate
cocyl isethionate
citric acid

bromelain (pineapple extract, for exfoliating)
papain (papaya enzyme, for exfoliating)
caprylyl glycol

Doesn’t contain:

animal-based ingredients
mineral oil
sulfate surfactant

propylene glycol
TEA (triethylolamin)

The box it comes in has a drawing of a castle on it:

▲ It says: "As a sub-acidic cleanser, it takes care of waste and dead skin cells for a clean skin. You will experience a moist and bright skin tone upon use. Powder may fly given the product characteristic." The rest of it is just the directions and a list of what it doesn't contain, both of which I already covered earlier. ^^


other side:

▲ This side just lists the ingredients, which I listed earlier.

The actual bottle it comes in has a simple design:

The bottle is very lightweight. And as a headsup, it’s actually only a little more than halfway filled. But judging how much I've used so far, I think it will last me about as long as any other cleanser.

It’s a fine, light pink powder. There are no irregular chunks in it:

a little pile:

spread out:

As far as its texture as a foam, it depends on how much water you add. But for the most part, it's more or less a thin foam. Here are some examples:

The amount of bubbles varies, but overall, it's still a thin foam. It's not a rich, creamy lather. In other words, when I spread it on my face, there's not a lot of "medium" in between my fingers and face. There's also not a lot of slippery, soapy feeling like most cleansers have. And as a result, the bubbles pop quickly. So when I'm actually washing my face, it basically feels like a tiny bit of water and some clusters of bubbles here and there. Here's what it looks like:

▲ You can't see much, so I've circled the areas that have some bubbles.

▲ This is what it looks like when I use the "medium amount of water foam."

▲ This is what it looks like when I use the "a lot of water foam."
More bubbles here, but as you can see, it's still a thin, sparse sort of foam.

So long story short, it's a thin foam. Really thin! :)

Gentle; extremely gentle!

I have dry skin. Many cleansers leave me feeling parched and tight. Then there are other cleansers that, while not exactly stripping, still make me feel pressured to put on moisturizer ASAP. But not with this one. It feels like I could even get away without using moisturizer afterwards at all if I wanted to. Yet, despite how gentle it is, I still feel clean--a gentle clean. I haven't broken out or gained more blackheads while using this.

The only thing is that I have to rub thoroughly when I use this cleanser. Otherwise, it can feel like the cleanser does nothing at all. Now, I'm not saying rub hard, just adequately. I can't just slap on the foam and then rinse like I do with other cleansers.

Removing sunscreen/makeup: It's able to remove all of my waterproof sunscreen:

For makeup, it removes about 50%. It takes off a substantial amount (especially considering how gentle it is), but not everything. In the photo below, you can see some grainy bits after using the powder cleanser. That's residual BB cream:

I had to use makeup remover to clean everything off completely.

As an exfoliant: It's more of a chemical exfoliant than a physical one. And by physical exfoliant, I mean scrubs and/or little beads. It doesn't really have that.

For one, the powder is finely milled, so there aren't any chunks to begin with. Glow Recipe's website recommends to add a small amount of water (1-2 drops) for an exfoliating effect. This works, but only for a few seconds. Adding only 1-2 drops creates small balls of undissolve powder which give a mild scrubbing effect, but they quickly dissolve within a seconds anyways. That said, it's still a chemical exfoliant thanks to the pineapple and papaya enzymes; it's just not much of a physical scrub.

*Tip: If you want to take advantage of the scrubby feeling before it runs out, you can start with your T-zone first before moving onto your cheeks. That way, your T-zone will get a bit of mild scrubbing before the balls dissolve. That's probably where you'd want exfoliation most anyways. (This tip is actually not mine; it's from Glow Recipe ^^)

I won't lie, this powder was a bit cumbersome to work with at first! For one, it was tricky getting the water:powder ratio just right. My hands are small, so it was very easy to add too much water. And when that water dripped through my fingers, it would take the product right down with it. >< Then there were other times when I didn't have enough foam to cover my entire face (because the foam texture is so thin.)

So if this happens to you, you're not alone! On the bright side, I did adjust eventually. You may just have to be patient in the beginning, so don't fret. :)

I like it a lot! I would almost say I love it, but to be honest, I'm not too keen on the texture. It's so thin, and I prefer using thicker foams wih my Clarisonic. But that aside, I definitely love, love how gentle it is.

It's so forgiving on my dry skin; it's probably the gentlest cleanser I've tried. (I had no idea cleansers could even be this gentle!) It doesn't feel drying at all, to the point that I don't even feel pressured to put on moisturizer immediately. And yet, it's still an adequate cleanser, seeing how my blackheads, pores, and breakouts have been doing just fine.

All in all, I am sold on how gentle it is. Even though I don't love the texture, the fact that it is so gentle on my dry skin makes me happy to use it. And I'm not usually happy to wash my face!

A big thank you to Glow Recipe for making this review possible! I'm very grateful that I had the opportunity to try two of their products, both of which I like a lot! They're both unique and left me veery pleasantly surprised :)

Thank you for reading, and let me know if you have any questions about this cleanser!

And just a reminder to join my current giveaway!