October 02, 2015

LANEIGE Water Bank Serum Review

Heyo, long time no see. I am back with a review of a product line that I've been dying to try for nearly a year now, from the amazing people at Influenster!

If you haven't heard about it already, LANEIGE is a Korean skincare brand that has finally landed in North America! The range is now available at Sephora across North America, and I must say, I'm so excited to have this line finally accessible to me. When I saw the email to apply for this VoxBox, I got SO excited! I've been dying to try their sleep mask for a while now. See the below unboxing video to see which product of the 4-step, 24 hour hydration system that I got.

I was a tiny bit sad, because for some reason, I thought I was getting the entire set (oops!). I mostly wanted to try the sleep mask, but nevertheless, I was excited and grateful to be able to try at least one product from the line, and full size too, no less.

Like I said in the video, I was very impressed by the amount of product that this serum comes with: all 60ml of it! I use serums from Estee Lauder and Ole Henriksen and they range between 15ml–30ml of product, so this is impressive. I've been using this product daily for the past 2 weeks.

The serum itself is white and lightly fragranced. I find that the fragrance dissipates as you spread it over your face so it's not too overwhelming. I usually use about a pump and a half to cover my face and neck because I find that one pump is not enough and 2 pumps is too much. The formula itself is nice and very moisturizing. I love that it doesn't dry out or tighten my face, like I find that Ole Henriksen does. I have also applied the serum without moisturizer after and my face still stays fairly moisturized, which I am quite impressed about. I did find a tiny dry patch appear on my face after using it, but this generally happens when I introduce new products to my face, but something I don't consider a deal-braker of products.

I've always loved skincare products that have water in them because I find them extremely moisturizing and what I need. (Reasons why I love Vichy's Aqualia series *ahem*)

The product retails for $46.00 at Sephora, which, given the amount of product in the bottle, is a really good value! I've paid more for 1/4 of the amount that comes with this serum and it's only just a serum for the eyes. If I had to pick something negative about this product, it would be that the fragrance is not my favorite (but like I mentioned above, it dissipates), and my second concern really—not so much complaint—is that the bottle is glass and it's heavy. I worry that if I drop it, it'll shatter. It's honestly difficult to find anything wrong with this. The value of this product is excellent and I see this product lasting a long time.

Because this product turned out well for me, I would absolutely be interested in trying out the rest of the line (of course, including the coveted sleep mask I've been dying to try for so long). I also love that they have a sample/travel pack of the entire line! I would definitely try that out first before deciding to either go for the entire line in full size or just specific products.

All in all, I would absolutely recommend this serum! Thanks Influenster

June 18, 2015

Hawaii 2015

It's been a while since I've posted anything. It's hard to stick to blogging when people you know are no longer into it. It also gets tiring and whatnot, but because I've been having a lot of downtime lately at work, I thought I should update you all on my most recent trip. At the beginning of May, I had the opportunity to return back to my favorite place in the world: Hawaii. The island of Oahu, to be more specific. I was able to enjoy a 10-day trip, solo, and it was amazing.

Because I had been there before, 2 years ago, I had already gotten a lot of the tourist things out of the way (luau, climbing Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach, Kalakaua Ave, etc). Because I only stayed for 5 days on my prior trip, I didn't get to see the entire island, and that was my main goal for this trip. I also wanted to be able to live the Hawaiian life and relax, instead of cramming as much as possible into my days and exhausting myself. I also took the trip over my 25th birthday and thought it would be the best way to celebrate 25 years of my life: by myself, in the place I love the most.

Because I was solo, I was able to walk around aimlessly and make all the mistakes I possibly could, without feeling bad for toting someone along. It's something that I've always wanted to do and Hawaii was the perfect place to test my theory. The first few days were spent walking around downtown Honolulu, revisiting Ala Moana and just getting reacquainted with the familiar surroundings.

On this trip back, I booked my lodging through Airbnb and ended up staying in Honolulu for less than $100(CDN!!) a night. I did have a coupon offer however, that saved me even more, but I would have been paying around $100 a night...which is still a lot less than paying for a hotel. I ended up with a really nice, small, bachelor's apartment on Ala Moana Ave and was within walking distance to pretty much everything I needed. It was perfect!

The first place I visited outside of Honolulu was Kailua. I had briefly driven through Kailua during my previous trip, but hadn't gotten to explore anything. I had rented a kayak and did some kayaking for the first time ever on the Pacific Ocean. While it was pretty easy, I didn't last very long because we were hit with a little bit of a storm with high winds and rain, thus making me return to shore within an hour. After the rain had cleared and I had gotten some lunch, the kayak rental place was nice enough to let me rent a bicycle to cycle around the town with. I think I had more fun cycling around and taking in the beautiful scenery of Kailua and neighboring Lanikai, than I did on the ocean haha. I seriously began to question what I was doing living in Canada.

A few days later, I had gone on an island photography tour as a way to 1) get to see the entire island, 2) get to see all the scenic parts of the island, 3) learn some new photography tips. We started at 7am on the east coast of the island. There were lots of clouds and wind, which created a very interesting mood. We started at Makapu'u Beach and spent a few minutes here. It was absolutely beautiful and quiet. We stopped at a lot of beaches and lookout points. I couldn't believe how much beauty there was on such a small island.

One of the things that I wanted to do for myself with this trip was to get myself out of my shell and make sure that I didn't waste too much time being spent indoors. I won't lie though, it did get lonely at times, especially being in a honeymoon and family vacation destination, so going for many walks with my camera was a good way to keep myself busy. Oddly enough, I did get a lot of people applauding my bravery for being there alone or a lot of people thinking I was local as well haha.

The island is so incredibly rich in culture, especially from Asia and Polynesia. I was just constantly blown away by the preservation of all the cultures you could find everywhere you went. I even made the trek out all the way to Kaneohe to visit the beauty Valley of the Temples. It's so gorgeous that you wouldn't feel so bad about dying if you were to be buried in this place. I know I would love to be.

The main purpose of my visit to the Valley of the Temples was to see the beautiful Byodo-In Temple. For any of you Losties out there, it's the temple where Sun and Jin got married. It was beautiful! But a lot smaller than I had expected. You could even go inside the temple to be greeted by a giant Buddha statue and the fragrant scent of incense. There was even a bell on the premises to ring for good luck and a little gift shop as well.

A few days after my visit to the temple, was my birthday. Normally I am not a fan of such a day, but I figured since 25 is a milestone, I should suck it up and do something extra special. I woke up and treated myself to a tasty breakfast of a coconut macadamia soufflé pancake at a nearby restaurant. A few hours later, I was on my first ever helicopter tour!! I was so excited for it. I had originally booked my tour with another company that boasts having the doors of the helicopter off. Unfortunately they had to cancel my booking because their helicopters were out of commission for repairs. It was sad, but I wasn't going to let it ruin my day. I'm glad I went through with it because the views from a helicopter are stunning!

I had even gone to a concert that night to see local Toronto-based band Silverstein for the first time. I was so impressed that when I came home, I went to see them on the following Friday.

The next day I had made the 2 hour bus trip to the North Shore. Haleiwa, to be more specific. The little surf town was adorable! I walked up and down the little strip they had and visited a bunch of shops. I even passed by the infamous Matsumoto's Shave Ice, but wasn't in the mood to have any, despite the short line-up.

I didn't spend too much time there since there isn't very much to do if you're not surfing/swimming. It was still very cute and a very memorable part of my trip as well.

My trip was finally coming to an end, so I spent my last full day there shopping my heart's content. I was so happy that Lupicia was open this time around since last time I was there, they were closed for renovations. I picked up a bunch of tea and Hawaii exclusives as well. I did most of my souvenir shopping this day as well and managed to grab some things for friends/family. I then decided to walk over to the Hilton Hawaiian Village to watch the firework display, as a sort of send off to myself. It was really nice. I was so sad to be leaving...

Unfortunately my return home was a little stressful as I had almost missed my flight because the shuttle service I had booked had missed my stop, leaving me forced to take a cab. Ah well. The entire experience of the trip definitely trumps that little incident. I had a 10 hour layover in Seattle, WA to look forward to. Unfortunately it was overnight, so I didn't get to see much of Seattle. That being said, I think Seattle and even Portland are on my radar for my next possible trip.

If you're interested in seeing more photos from my trip, visit my Flickr page.

January 17, 2015

Memebox Superbox #80: Pumpkin Pie Cosmetics

I've been hearing a lot of about Memebox for quite some time now and I finally took the plunge in purchasing a box. I had seen boxes that I wanted, but were too late to order since they were already sold out, so I took at look at their upcoming boxes and since it was around October/November that I ordered the box (yup!), it was time for pumpkin season, so I decided to order this box. Generally their site has disclaimers about when the boxes would be shipped out. Mine was slated for a December 12th shipment. I didn't get my box until this year! But for free shipping, it doesn't matter really.

Let's start at the beginning though, shall we? What is Memebox? It's a site that features these themed boxes, full of full sized Korean beauty products from beauty/make-up to skincare. They also have a webshop where you can purchase any of the products featured in their boxes, individually, if you really liked what you received and don't know where to buy them.

Upon opening the box, I am greeted with a double-sided info card with product information (in English ^^) and even directions on how to use everything. I was a bit confused as to why this box was called "Pumpkin Pie" because it only appears one product has pumpkin, but upon reading the description of the box, it's suppose to feature "other yummy ingredients that you'd find in a pumpkin pie". Read on...

Dearberry | Coco's Secret Recipe Pumpkin
How cute is this packaging??? Unfortunately it's the only real "pumpkin" item in this entire box. This is supposed to be a "wash-off pack", made with real pumpkin extracts. Pumpkin is great for the skin as it's full of vitamins and beta-carotene—great for dry skin! This is also said to brighten the skin/complexion. It's basically the equivalent of using a face mask: you apply it after a cleansed face and keep it on for a few minutes. I look forward to using this because sometimes it's a little difficult to do much when you have a cold sheet on your face.

Insobeau | Multi Complex V-Line Repair Sleeping Mask
I was pretty excited to receive this type of product because I LOVE sleeping packs! I've been eye Laneige's Sleeping Pack for a while but this came just in time to try something new. Don't get me wrong, I love my Vichy Night Spa, but I've been dying to try a Korean brand version for a while. This product in particular contains rich nutrients and protein from its egg (!!) complex. It melts quickly into the skin with minimal stickiness to revitalize and firm dry, tired skin overnight. It contains a blend of adenosine, peptide, argan oil, collagen, albutin, and ceramide (a lot of things I don't know about :x). I have already used this product and found it similar to my Vichy one, however the texture was a lot more thick and less gel-like. I wasn't sure if this was because the product was leaking a bit when I opened my box or not... Either way, this product worked well for me.

Enesti | Shea Butter Hand Cream & Verbena
This stuff smells so great! I have already used it quite a few times and it does a great job of keeping my hands moisturized and smelling great, without being too strong. It absorbs into the hands quite well, albeit a little thick.

Tonymoly | Gold Black Sugar Mask
Like the name suggests, this is an exfoliating sugar mask using black sugar. I have yet to use it, but I am hopeful it'll be effective. Unlike most exfoliators, you keep the product on your face for 10-15 minutes before washing off. Looking forward to this one.

Enesti | Day to Day Rice & Milk Foaming Cleanser
I've heard a lot of good things about rice/milk cleansers, so I'm definitely looking forward to trying this out as soon as I'm done with my egg cleansers—yes, I don't like opening all these products before finishing one. This particular product claims to gently cleanse away all makeup residues and skin impurities while also clarifying uneven skin tone for a brighter, more youthful complexion.

Overall, I'm SUPER impressed with memebox! The price ($29.99) is definitely right for the amount of full-sized products that you get to try. I am a little disappointed that a "Pumpkin Pie" themed box only features one actual product with pumpkin, but after looking back to see "the other ingredients you'd find in a pumpkin pie" (eggs, lemon & verbena (?), sugar, milk), I'm still pretty happy with the products I received and will definitely be using ALL of them!

Next time, I would maybe select a faster shipping since it took a while to get here (although it could have been holiday rush time as well;;) or probably select a box under their "ready to ship now" tab.


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