Product Review

I have tried a lot of products and I bought most of them through Sephora. I really like Sephora because of the variety of products it offers, the free samples and the return policy. Knowing that I can return the products that do not work with my skin type is very reassuring.

Even though I've tried a lot of brands and products, these reviews are for ones that I actually finished using (and not returned to Sephora) I feel like this way my opinions are more accurate. Please keep in mind that these are my personal opinions and it may have different effects on your skin.

Age: 22
Skin type: combination
Skin concerns: acne (I get breakouts quite often and most of it happen in the chin, forehead, and cheek area)
Skin color: medium (or light? the typical Asian skin tone but a little on the tanned side)

Mary Kay - Timewise 3 in 1 Cleanser for Combination to Oily (buy): This was alright. No overpowering scent. I felt like it didn't clean that well (or at least it didn't feel clean, perhaps because of the lack of foam). For the price of $18, there are better options out there.

Shiseido - Pureness Deep Cleansing Foam (buy) : I used this for a couple years and really liked it. Love the smell, the tiny blue beads, the way it foams and it cleans well. You can actually feel the difference, unlike some oter cleanser where it leaves your skin still oily. Then (for whatever reason), it started to dry my skin out too much and I started to dry other products. However, if I have to, I would go for this one as my default and just buy a good moisturizer.

Philosophy - Purity Made Simple (buy): Even though it has very good reviews/rating on Sephora, I didn't like it. It did not leave my skin feeling clean and it doesn't foam that much. I stayed with it because I was too lazy to get another one and I got this for free from Sephora, part of their skin care challenge thing.

Origins - Perfect World (buy): Very similar to Shiesido Pureness Deep Cleansing Foam except for the smell... :) This one smells nice too (All Origins products do!) but like the other one, it cleaned my skin a little too well and left it a little flaky and dry.

Origins - Foaming Face Wash (buy): I was a little skeptical of how well this one can clean at first because it was a gel cleanser and I usually prefer the creamier ones that foam more. BUT the Origins people highly recommended it to me and said it should work well with my combination skin ... After I tried it, they were right. It cleans just as well as the Shiesido or Perfect World, but it is not over-drying like those two. So far, the best cleanser I have tried. Plus, with 80% organic ingredients...I feel like it's better for my skin.

Shiseido - Pureness Balancing Softener (buy): I used this along with the Shiseido Pureness Deep Cleansing Foam and liked it a lot. It was refreshing and smelled nice. However, I am not really conservative when it comes to toners and I use it up pretty quickly so for $24 it is a little expensive.

Sephora - Instant Refreshing Toner (buy) : Personally I don't see a lot of differences between toners as long as it is alcohol-free. This one works fine and serves its purpose, it is refreshing and has a nice faint scent to it. For the price of $12, I have no complaint.

Clinique - Moisture Surge (buy): Love this for the winter months. The consistency of this cream-gel moisturizer is nice too, it makes my skin feel more matte. At first it feels heavy on your skin but after a while it's fine. Even with my combination skin, it didn't make it feel oily. With my first jar, I used it as my sole "moisturizer", but then when my skin got drier (again, don't know the reason), it just didn't work as well. Turns out, this is not a moisturizer and it is suppose to be used in addition to the moisturizer. This is a great purchase for anyone whose skin needs that extra hydration.

Origins - Have a Nice Day (buy): Love this. Love everything about it. It is a more intensive moisturizer and although it may feel a little sticky on my skin at first, it quickly goes away and my face feels so soft! I love love loveeee the smell too, it smells like candy...but the smell is not overpowering. Also, it comes with SPF, can't go wrong with that...

M.A.C - Select SPF15 in NW25 (buy): I liked it. It gave the coverage I wanted and went on well. You will be able to feel the foundation on your face, but it is not too noticeable. I went through two bottles of this (each one probably lasted 4 to 5 months and I use it almost everyday). I used this along with the mineral foundation from Bare Escentuals. Reason why I am not using it anymore is because I was running out of my second one and decided I wanted to try something new.

Bare Escentuals - Starter Kit in Light (buy): I got this because went to the store and they did my makeup and I love the look. It was so natural and my skin felt so soft. I wanted to give mineral foundation a try so I got the kit that had all the basics. I do like it a lot, but when I have a lot of breakouts, it does not give me the coverage I want so I use it along with a liquid foundation. I love the Mineral Veil, it is a good finishing powder for the face and helps absorb the oil. The Warmth is also nice, it gives your skin a natural sun-kissed glow. I find that Mineral Veil and Warmth last the longest (you don't need a lot, especially of the Warmth).

Origins - Stay Tuned (buy): Much much better than M.A.C. The color matches my skin tone better than the M.A.C and it feels much lighter on my skin while giving me the same coverage. It is more runny than the M.A.C. and it spreads more smoothly/easily on the face. So far so good. Best foundation so far.

Smashbox - High Definition Concealer in Medium (buy): works alright, not perfect, doesn't go on that smoothly and it is wayyyyy too expensive for how much you get. Tiny tube...

Origins - Quick, Hide! (buy): Better than Smashbox, in terms of price and quality. It is more liquidy the Smashbox and spreads more easily. The color from Origins also matches my skin tone better, this is great if I didn't want to put on that much makeup and just wear the concealer and go about my day.

Sephora - Nano Eyeliner (buy): I am not really picky on this, as long as it doesn't smudge easily, it's okay. That said, the $5 nano eyeliner from Sephora is great. It's small enough to tuck into purses or wristlets. I like the black.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner (buy). This liner is nice because it does not smudge and it is pretty easy to put on after you get the hang of it. I would use this liquid liner on top and a normal eyeliner on the bottom

Clinique - Almost Lipstick in Black Honey: I am not a huge lipstick person and don't wear it often but if I had to choose one, it would definitely be this one. After you try it, you'll understand why its has such high ratings on Sephora. I have no idea why this is but the color goes on a little different on every person (tried this with two friends) but it looks good on each one. It goes on smoothly, more moisturizing than an actual lipstick and looks professional (unlike the shinier lip glosses).

L'Occitane - Shea Butter Hand Cream (buy) : Probably the best hand cream out there. The only one I have found to be moisturizing enough. Also, I love the smell... I've introduced to many friends and everyone loves it (one of them even bought 4 of the bigger tubes for her friends) - it is the perfect gift for both man/woman, especially during the winter months. It may be a little on the expensive side but the 5.2oz tube lasts for a long time (I used it almost everyday during the winter and it lasted for 4 to 5 months) and you don't need a lot at one time. You can also use it on other spots on the body that's dry and it works just as well.

Origins - Clear Improvement (buy) - not bad, I don't really have a preference for masks and this charcoal mask works well. A cheaper alternative is the Queen Helene's mint mask, which you can get at select drugstores. I have both and I alternate between them.

Oscar Blandi - Pronto Dry Shampoo (buy) - It has a nice lemony scent...much better than the baby powder I was using before. Haha. I am not a fan of the packaging becauase it is hard to spread the powder evening without having a huge clump dump out at once. It works well and 1 oz will last you a long time.

Sephora - Eyelash Curler (buy): I feel like eyeliners are all pretty much the same...this one works fine :) I guess the classic Shu Uemura is also a good choice.