BIOTHERM | Aquasource Ever Plump Night (Sleeping Mask)

REVIEW | AFFILIATE LINKS

As one of Biotherm’s cornerstone range of skincare, Aquasource had expanded earlier this year to include a new night time offering. Following the popularity of night masks and nightly restorative products recently hitting the Western beauty market, Ever Plump Night* is a duo use moisturizer and sleeping mask formulated to replenish, moisturize and restore skin’s balance.
THE BASICS
Brand: Biotherm
Product: Aquasource Ever Plump Night*
Size: 75ml
Price: $65 CAD
Availability: The Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, Biotherm counters worldwide
Would I (re)purchase: Probably yes.

TEXTURE & APPLICATION
Gorgeously packaged in am ombre glass jar, Ever Plump Night* boasts dark cultivated algae extract as it’s highlight ingredient and has a marine fragrance similar to the Life Plankton Essence. In the jar, the product behaves like a semi-solid jelly but transforms into a smooth gel once applied to the skin and has a soothing cooling effect on initial contact. While Biotherm describes this as a night time barrier that feels like a second skin, this is something that you can and will feel as a slight film since it doesn’t absolutely absorb like a regular moisturizer. I don’t find it particularity bothersome but it’s probably a texture that’s better suited to the cooler season. Although blue in colour, the gel won’t turn your face blue nor will it leave any residue on your pillow give you apply the appropriate amount. A small nail sized amount is plenty. As it doesn’t quite fully absorb, I’d categorize this more as a mask product.

EFFECTIVENESS
I found this to be a great overnight plumper just like it’s namesake and there was a noticeable difference the first morning after. Biotherm is really only marketing this as an overnight moisturizer so for all its intentions I was very satisfied with the results. My skin was smooth, felt refreshed, plumped up and… dare I even say… juicy. My pores and skin texture were temporarily smoothed over and in the mirror my morning face looked well rested. There is some slightly shine since the gel is still sitting as a second layer so I do recommend you rinse off during your am routine. 
SENSITIVITY
The fragrance here while not an issue for me personally, can feel slightly overwhelming if you are new to Biotherm’s products. It does linger for about 10 minutes after application. I did not experience any breakouts or sensitive reactions but I would not layer thing over super nourishing products, especially in humid / summer seasons as it can be too heavy and potentially be pore clogging. Rinsing off the morning after is recommended.

HOW I USED IT
After my wash routine, toner, essence and in place of my moisturizer.

OTHER PRODUCTS USED
Omorovicza Mud Cleanser*, Sulwhasoo First Care Essence, MISSHA Time Revolution Night Repair

THE FINAL VERDICT

Biotherm’s Aquasource Ever Plump Night* is a great pick me up product to keep by your bedside. Whether you choose to use it nightly as a regular moisturizer or occasionally as a sleeping mask, it plumps up the skin after a hard days work and temporarily smooths over skin texture and fine lines. The gel like texture covers like a thin mask so it is something that takes getting used to but it shouldn’t be uncomfortable to use. The large format of the jar slightly offsets the price point compared to other Aquasource products. I would recommend this to those with dehydrated, combination or dry skin types and those in all age groups. The neutral scent and texture of Ever Plump Night lends itself as an inviting unisex product so do share this jar!

Chat soon,
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Review: FRESH | Crème Ancienne Ageless Complexion Treatment

This is the story of how I fell in love with a $300 face cream.

The romantic in me loves a brand with a few good stories to tell and FRESH seems to have many. This one begins with a Greek physician, Claudius Galenus from the 2nd century, who not only served the emperor but also concocted one of the first cold creams used to treat skin wounds and ailments. With this ancient recipe in hand so the journey begins…

THE BASICS
Brand: FRESH
Product: Crème Ancienne Soft Cream*
Range: Face Mask, Soft Cream, Infusion, Elixir, Eye Cream
Size: 100g (30g size also available)
Price: $328CAD/100g , $164CAD/30g
Details: No parabens, synthetic fragrances, dyes, GMOs or petrochemicals.
Availability: Sephora, Fresh online and select Fresh retailers.
Would I (re)purchase: YES! (As soon as I make this type of money)
Website: www.fresh.com

Crème Ancienne was originally introduced by the brand in 2003, Crème Ancienne Soft Cream is the modern interpretation of this centuries old formula. While the original launch produced an exceptionally rich product, the newly reformulated version was made to be more adaptable for all skin types. With a goal to preserve the history of this product and due to the delicate process of its creation, this cream is actually made by hand by monks in a monastery. Why monks you ask? Allegedly in ancient times, if a product isn’t made by a monk then it was considered witchcraft!

Housed in a heavy white jar stylized with archaic motifs, the new Crème Ancienne has a light scent, is rich yet soft to the touch and has an unique bouncy texture unlike anything I’ve put my finger on before. The consistency is very creamy and smooth but its easy to put on too much so my favourite way to apply this is taking a small dime sized amount, rubbing it between my fingers until it almost disappears and then pressing it onto my face. There shouldn’t be any greasiness left behind but skin should feel supple yet balanced.

Having used this as part of my daily routine for almost 3 months, I am thoroughly smitten. I knew it was something good after the first week but I wanted to hold off to see if it was just initial infatuation and to this morning I still look forward to putting this on my skin. 
Now I’m not certain I have that many years behind me to see this as an serious aging product but the name Ageless Complexion Treatment is actually quite fitting. What I noticed with Crème Ancienne was an immediate smoothing of my skin texture as well a noticeable firming/lifting effect which has promoted me to use this on my neck and decolletee as well. This perks up my skin, makes me look awake and fresh all in one jar. In fact, I haven’t even used a serum in at least 6 weeks. 
What I also love is the fact that this kept my skin in good balance all through the late summer and early fall season, for combination skin like mine, it’s hard to find a single product that get’s everything done. With its simple ingredients (see end of post), I’m inclined to think it’s the beeswax that’s helping to seal in the moisture yet I’ve never used a beeswax based product like this that doesn’t feel like a suffocating mask. Best yet, I’m happy to report that there’s been on breakouts, clogged pores or any other adverse reactions. In short, it’s hard for me to pinpoint a specific target area that Crème Ancienne treats but there’s not doubt that is improves the overall feel of your skin.
THE FINAL VERDICT

Look, I’m not going to convince you that you must have this $300 face cream but I will tell you that you should definitely try it if you ever get a chance to grab a sample or see it as part of a skincare set. What makes Crème Ancienne so special is a combination of high quality ingredients that many have come to expect from Fresh but also its unique texture, the way it balances the skin and gives you just that little bit that unspoken something special to your skin in a form that’s easy to use even for those who prefer the simplest of routines. I can see this as a beautiful luxury gift and in fact this would be a perfect men’s skincare product. Personally, I shall indulge in every last dollop of this cream and it would most definitely be a repurchased item when I make the type of money to afford this on a regular basis.

STAY IN TOUCH

INGREDIENTS:
LIMNANTHES ALBA (MEADOWFOAM) SEED OIL ROSA DAMASCENA FLOWER WATER BEESWAX (CERA ALBA) PENTYLENE GLYCOL CORYLUS AVELLANA (HAZEL) SEED OIL ORMENIS MULTICAULIS FLOWER WAX SODIUM CARBONATE DECAHYDRATE LIMONENE CITRUS MEDICA LIMONUM (LEMON) PEEL OIL OSMANTHUS FRAGRANS FLOWER EXTRACT ANTHEMIS NOBILIS FLOWER OIL TOCOPHEROL CITRONELLOL GERANIOL CITRAL 

Review: Tony Moly | Appletox Honey Cream

Wonderful things can come from those little samples that come with your beauty orders let me tell you. One such packet was the Tony Moly Appletox Cream, which came along with a Korean bb cream purchase and I was hooked from the first application. Having had only a mediocre experience with the brand with the Floria skincare line (reviewed here), I didn’t expect to be so taken with this little apple…quite literally…an apple.

TonyMoly Appletox cream01
THE BASICS
Brand: Tony Moly
Product: Appletox Honey Cream
Size: 80ml
Price: $12-15 CAD (₩9,800)
Availability: Tony Moly online (in Korea), eBay online (international shoppers)
Website: www.etonymoly.com
Would I repurchase: Absolutely YES!

Now that we’ve (hopefully) gotten over how adorable the packaging is, let’s look at what’s inside. The top half of the jar unscrews to reveal a plastic cover with a tiny spatula for dipping into the product (you’ll need this bit, trust me). I’d advise you to keep that plastic lid because once you lift that up, the “cream” inside is actually quite a viscous (dare I say slightly slimy) concoction which smells authentically of a sweetened apple with a tinge of tartness. You haven’t smelled anything quite like this I’m sure in a skincare product. The lid is actually very helpful for keeping the cream from spilling over the edge when you’re opening/closing the top.

TonyMoly Appletox cream03
 Now to the fun part, this moisturizing treatment (as it’s been translated) has the most unique texture. It’s the consistency of warm honey but without any of the stickiness and spreads amazingly well on the skin without the slight bit of tugging. Containing a slew of nourishing ingredients like apple extract, royal jelly as well as manuka honey this cream is both soothing and smoothing. I found it especially good for sensitive skin days, say if I over exfoliated, when I’m experiencing redness or chapped bits this comforting gel cream just feels wonderful. My skin was velvety and plump with a semi-matte finish.

TonyMoly Appletox cream
During this dead of winter, I can apply a healthy slather of this on and not wake up to an overly oily face in the morning. For my combination skin this is a good dose of moisture, oily skins may like this quite a bit too during the cold but super dry skin types will need a serum to supplement this underneath this time of the year. I tend to use this as a nourishing night treatment a few times a week but the texture would make for a great foundation base/primer as it truly instantaneously smoothes the skin almost like a veil.
Quick tip: Dip your spatula into the cream once and that should be the perfect amount for your face and neck, don’t scoop, just wipe off what’s been picked up on both sides of the wand. I made the mistake of scooping the first few times and ended up with too much product.
TonyMoly Appletox cream06
I am quite thrilled with my little apple gem here, for the price point I think it’s a standout product. After almost a month of using this with no breakouts or adverse reactions, I am thoroughly pleased. Go for this if you want something soothing and moisturizing but with a light comforting texture. It’s become one of my go-to products of the season and I’m sure will be a returning item in my routine.
TonyMoly Appletox cream05

Review: Skin79 | White Reviving Skin Radiance Moisturizer

Skin79 has been one of my favourite BB cream brands and although I’ve always pondered at their skincare, I was hesitant to jump in because quite frankly there was so little information about them to begin with. When little incident with the Tony Moly moisturizing emulsion happened (mineral oil disaster) I ordered this one fill to fill in the missing gap in my routine.

Skin79 White Reviving Cream_01
THE BASICS
Brand: Skin79 by WizCoz
Product: White Reviving Skin Radiance Cream
Complete Range: Emulsion, serum, eye treatment, cream, mask, sunblock
Size: 50ml
Price: $20-25CAD (via eBay)
Availability: eBay
Would I repurchase: Yes

I opened up the jar with absolutely no idea of what to expect at all. It claims to contain flower extracts to nourish the skin and provide a moisture barrier for hydration. I was surprised to find that the product was more of a lotion like consistency than a thick cream. (Update: It condenses a bit more in the winter into a light cream but still retains the easy to spread consistency of a lotion when on the skin.) It has a faint fragrance, reminiscent of something from Dove or Olay which provides an aromatic experience without numbing your nose. Although it did take a bit longer to absorb into my skin, it never left me feeling greasy or suffocated even during the warmer summer months.

Skin79 White Reviving Cream_04
Ingredients wise it contains a combination of niacinamide and chamomile to calm inflammation, hylauronic acid and shea butter to hydrate the skin as well as macadamia extract, lily and cactus flower to provide further nourishment. (There is also the mysterious inclusion of platinum powder for which I have no idea what it does.) Bonus points here for being mineral oil free and paraben free as well!

Skin79 White Reviving Cream_02
What I love most about this cream is the beautiful dewy glow it gives to my skin (platinum powder perhaps?), which looks really fresh and healthy. It’s not a sticky, greasy look but a moist hydrated sheen that makes my skin look naturally radiant. The skin whitening function seems to work decently, I haven’t noticed any significant unevenness to my skin this summer despite spending lots of time outdoors. (I have been coupling this with the Tony Moly Floria Whitening Capsule Essence, reviewed here.) I wouldn’t say this is particularly good for fading specific spots but it’s an excellent cream for maintaining a bright and even skin tone. The cherry on top? Absolutely no sensitivity, breakouts or adverse reactions!

Give this a go if you have normal to oily skin that is easily dehydrated and you want the moisture without the heavy feel of thicker creams. I think the light yet hydrating texture is something to be applauded for and puts this cream on par with something high end like Estee Lauder or Lancome. For dry skin types this may not be quite enough for you alone so try layering this over a heavier serum or essence. Personally I look forward to repurchasing this in the future along with more products from the range.

Have you tried anything from Skin79’s skincare range?
Share your favourite with me!

Skin79 White Reviving Cream_03

My skin type: Combination skin that is easily dehydrated, acne prone with large pores on my cheeks and with uneven skin tone (especially during the summer months). Horribly reactive to avobenzone and mineral oil.

Review: TonyMoly Floria Whitening Skincare

I made a purchase for this skincare set on a whim about 4 months ago, you may remember it from my haul video. I was looking to try out something completely new and thought I’d take the plunge into Korean brand Tony Moly. They are a large and prominent name in the beauty industry overseas, producing everything from skincare and body care to a full range of colour cosmetics. Their advertisement at the time, featuring the gorgeous pop band Brown Eyed Girls, quickly stole my heart.

TonyMoly_Floria Whitening Line
I settled on their Floria line as I loved the concept of using plant extracts in my skincare. Though I find it hard to go natural completely, I do try to fit bits of nature into my beauty routine when I can. And because I have fair skin, it’s always a priority for me to keep it clear, bright and luminous.

As per usual, I ordered a set of the essence and moisturizer together as I feel using these two together will give me a better understanding of the line and (hopefully) better results as well. With the little information available online, I blindly bought the moisturizer/emulsion without knowing that it contained mineral oil…my skin’s kryptonite. But I’m jumping too far ahead of myself, let’s start properly at the serum shall we?

TonyMoly_Floria Whitening Essence_01

THE BASICS
Brand: Tony Moly
Product: Floria Whitening Capsule Essence
Size: 50ml
Price: $20-30 CAD (via eBay)
Availability: Cosmetic Love online, eBay, Amazon, Gmarket
Would I repurchase: Uncertain but likely not.

No you’re not imaging things, this Tony Moly essence comes as a clear gel in which suspends drops of pearl like beads. They pop once you pump out the product and when applied to the skin leaves you with a slight pearly sheen. I’m thinking they are probably pearl powder pigments (see ingredients list). While I’m usually not a fan of gimmicky tricks (like menthol in my face wash), it quickly became one aspect that really loved about this product. It’s especially nice to put on in the morning to look really bright and awake because it actually shows through irregardless of what moisturizer you apply on top. It’s lightly scented (something synthetic smelling I’m afraid) but doesn’t linger long on the skin.

TonyMoly_Floria Whitening Essence_02

The ingredients list is loaded with row after row of impressive natural extracts, on the whitening side the most obvious additive is niacinamide which is supposed to have anti-inflammatory as well as skin brightening properties and is also something I’ve seen frequently in Western brands (especially in Olay). While this product claims to reach deep into the skin to illuminate from within, I found the results to be very mediocre. Pearl and mica illusions aside, it took almost a month for me to see visible results. It did brighten up my skin a tad and give it more life but sadly not to the same translucent results as my Hadalabo. On days that I have intensively exfoliated my skin, this did sting a bit (hello, alcohol) when I put it on but otherwise it didn’t break me out or cause any other adverse reactions. With all that being said the lightweight texture was very enjoyable and provided just enough of a boost without being greasy in the summer time. It’d make a great option for those with normal to oily skin. Personally I’m quite a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to try it out properly with the emulsion together.

TIP: This essence has the tendency to feel a tad sticky and leave a film like texture on the skin. Simply pop on a moisturizer over it and the feeling disappears leaving you smooth and comfortable.

TonyMoly_Floria Whitening  Essence_03

Now to continue my story about this unfortunate emulsion, it broke me out terribly because of the mineral oil. For those who are not allergic or have no issues with that, this does feel like a wonderful product and I have a feeling would have gone well with the essence and enhance it’s effectiveness altogether. But alas I don’t have much to say because I had to put it down after 3 days of terrible red spots. However I did think it might be helpful for you all to see photos of the product so here they are below.

TonyMoly_Floria Whitening  Emulsion_01

Product: Floria Whitening Emulsion
Size: 130ml
Price: $25 CAD (+/-)
Availability: Cosmetic Love online, eBay, Amazon, Gmarket
Would I repurchase: No
This emulsion or “lotion” as I would call it feels light and creamy in texture and glides on over the skin beautifully. In fact this product feels much fancier than it’s affordable price tag and is something I might associate with a luxury brand. It also sealed off the Whitening Capsule Essence, taking away any residual stickiness and imparting supple and perfectly moisturized skin.

TonyMoly_Floria Whitening  Emulsion_02

TonyMoly_Floria Whitening  Emulsion_03

Given my limited success with testing out the Tony Moly line, I’d say this might be an option for those with normal, slightly dry or slightly oily skin and is looking for a little extra brightening boost if your skin it’s looking a bit shallow or dull. It also might work better for anyone looking to maintain bright translucent skin rather than to treat any specific spots and discoloration. Approach carefully if you have sensitive skin or if you are reactive to mineral oil (for the emulsion).

Tony Moly has a pretty extensive selection of products for the Floria line of products and there is a light cream moisturizer (in a tub) that has caught my eye. It’s also mineral oil free! Might give that a go sometime in the future and revisit the Floria line. You can find out more about the entire Tony Moly brand by browsing their global website, click around just for fun like I love to do.
Tried something from Tony Moly before?
Let me know what’s good!

Review: KissMyFace Vitamin A&E Ultra Moisturizer

I never do it intentionally but sometimes it just so happens that I get too product happy, changing up my skincare too frequently or using too many products causes my skin to go into shut down mode. This usually includes a combination of dehydration, flaking/peeling skin, red spots and extreme sensitivity. In the past I’ve always counted on Cetaphil’s moisturizing cream to get me through the tough times but I’ve since discovered a new product that might beat out the cult favourite.

KissMyFace Vit A and E Cream_01

Kiss My Face is a brand that I’ve seen on the shelves of my local drugstore for many years yet it’s not a brand that attracts much attention. In between the large shiny array of L’Oreal and Neutrogena bottles, a small line of four face creams just doesn’t catch the eye. But for what it lacks in terms of packaging pizazz, the product inside this tube is one of the best you can find in the drugstore. Kiss My Face is a natural skincare brand dedicated to producing skin loving products that are also earth loving, using concoctions of carefully blended plant/fruit ingredients, this is a step up from your basic aloe vera gel.

KissMyFace Vit A and E Cream_02

THE BASICS: 
Brand: Kiss My Face
Product: Vitamin A&E ultra moisturizer
Recommended for: Oily, combination, normal, slightly dry skin, acne prone skin.
Size: 118ml / 4 fl oz.
Price: $4.99 CAD
Availability: London Drugs (in Canada) or select whole/natural food stores
Would I repurchase: Yes
The moisturizer itself comes out a pearly white colour and smells faintly of nectarines and olives, more of a thick lotion consistency than a cream. I found it easy to spread but a little time consuming to blend and having a tendency to leave white patches on the skin if I wasn’t careful to rub it one area at a time.
While the label read “ultra moisturizer”, it surprised me by not being the least bit greasy and during the first few uses I kept applying more and more product, thinking that it absorbed way to fast and I was going to get dehydrated soon. Well, that was certainly unnecessary. It left my skin with a soft matte finish, as if I’d just put on a light lotion rather than an “ultra moisturizer” yet my face was balanced just right for the entire day. It smoothed out any dry areas with just enough moisture while not being too heavy in my t-zone, a great feat for anyone with combination skin like me. I wouldn’t call this a winter ready moisturizer (especially not in Canada) but for the rest of the year it will do just fine.

KissMyFace Vit A and E Cream_03

What’s more to love is the mix of natural ingredients that make up this moisturizer, 95% of which I can read without a cosmetic dictionary and many of which are commonly known to be extremely beneficial to the skin. Coconut oil has long been used to treat dry skin and is a popular natural skincare ingredient, used as a massage oil or moisturizer it’s meant to help smooth wrinkles, keep skin elastic and be anti-bacterial. Squalane is a type of saturated fat/oil naturally produced by the body to keep itself plump and healthy, something that I’ve seen frequently in creams and moisturizers. Aloe, calendula and chamomile provide relief from sensitivity and itchy skin. The ever popular vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate) has regenerative properties, helping to heal damaged skin and minimize scarring.

KissMyFace Vit A and E Cream_05

Natural based skincare products can be extremely pricy and with this whole list of skin friendly plant extracts I would have expected this product to be at last three to four times it’s selling price. But beyond the technical details this ultra moisturizer provides instantaneous relief when my skin is going through a rough time, I’ll apply it day and night after my regular cleansing routine and usually within three days my skin is pretty much back to normal. The dry patches are gone, the red rash is faded and I can delve back into my explorations. This cream has become my new secret weapon and while it doesn’t do any fancy skin brightening, pore tightening magic, it’s just what I need when I want my skin to be “normal”. 
A side note: Personally I find this doesn’t provide enough slip to use under foundation and so my base products doesn’t seem to blend as well. However if you have normal/oily skin or if you use powder foundation, this shouldn’t be a problem at all. 

KissMyFace Vit A and E Cream_04

Overall, a highly recommended niche product that would be welcomed in any beauty cabinet. A good product for men as well since it has a matte finish and doesn’t smell like girl, I think it would do well to soothe any nicks from the razor too. If you have oily, normal or combination skin and want something simple but effective, give this one a go!

Haul: Korean Beauty items!

I am so ready to finally share this video with you, it’s been in the works for ages but through the package waiting, getting sick and video editing it took a long time to get everything together. However, here it is!
This haul is a gathering of different Korean items I’ve added to my collection in the past few months. A mix of new skincare and a BB creams which will come in very handy during the muggy summer weather. And as promised in my last Asian beauty haul, this one is in Chinese….with sub titles as always. Enjoy!

I can’t wait to start photographing these new items, do let me know what reviews you’d like to see first!

Ciao,