Creating the Cantik Face

The only person who keeps saying I am pretty right now is my daughter. Ha ha ha. So, alhamdulillah for this daughter bestowed upon me. Without her, I’d probably be fishing for compliments on social media.

Mummy cantik

Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder but it can be created and maintained. Lately, I have been engrossed in those fast-paced Chinese vlogs on Youtube. The genre is where they have all the exciting and cute gadgets. They’re usually a compilation of TikTok videos (maybe?) portraying females going about their daily routine in the house with the help of these items. The videos are entertaining to watch. I also enjoy watching the ASMR makeup removal videos or skincare regimes videos. One of the funnier ones is Jannatul Mitsuisen. I wonder if that is her name or if it means something else.

Consistency is key

I have been very consistent with my moisturizer, sunscreen and retinol since November last year. It was one of the most significant changes to my skincare habits as I remembered purchasing my first retinol from The Originals. With time, I discovered that there are a lot of reputable brands not only from Korea but also from the States. The thing is, I have only one face. Even the small bottle of retinol lasts me for at least 8 months as the advice is to use a pea-sized amount on the face. I don’t know how the beauty influencers get through theirs so fast. Or maybe they’re the type who just purchases everything.

I am also doing double cleansing. With the oil or the balm before I use the usual foam cleanser. I always have something in my Shopee Cart waiting to be checked out as I scroll through various recommendations on Instagram reels.

My late mum really loved the ginseng based product I bought for her from Body Shop a few years ago. I tried the Red Ginseng mask from EKEL, 3W CLINIC and Innisfree. It seems that Red Ginseng across the brands all leaves the skin feeling fresh and not sticky. I am considering to get the Ginseng toner from Beauty of Joseon end of the year.

Trying Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun

As the blog’s mini headline suggested, I am easily influenced to BUY something, EAT something, or TRY something. My favourite sunscreen, from the brand A’pieu in Natural, was finishing and I wanted to get the Biore one, but since Instagram is flooded with reviews on this Korean sunscreen, I decided to try it.

After all, one of the best rules of sunscreen is to just use whatever sunscreen you like so that you could be consistent in using it daily and incorporate it as part of your individual skincare regime.

I bought myself the Beauty of Joseon Sun Relief cream from Shopee. Priced at RM 45.90. I bought other things too as part of my beauty haul. Which I may or may not write about it in my blog. I am intrigued with the Daughters of Malaya product though, cause it’s local and looks superb. I hope the formula wows me. So, maybe I will share my thoughts on that. later.

These are my recent hauls.

The haul
  • DAUGHTERS OF MALAYA, Summertime Ceramide Liquid Moisturizer, RM35
  • IM UNNY Moisture Face Cleansing Foam, RM25.80
  • 3WCLINIC Fresh Mask Sheet, Red ginseng, RM1
  • 3WCLINIC Fresh Mask Sheet, Cucumber, RM1
  • 3WCLINIC Fresh Mask Sheet, White, RM1
  • SOMEBYMI Rose Intensive Tone Up Cream, RM45
  • SKINLABS C’ENSIL A+E Serum, RM190

Why is the Beauty of Joseon relief sun product famous?

Well, it could be one helluva effective social media campaign using the right influencers to reach the target market. OR it could be a really good product. Especially when the brand says it has extra UV filters in it which in a way makes you doubt the efficacy of other sunscreens. As of now, my personal holy grail is the A’pieu sunscreen for its light, no white cast finish and a distinct ‘ I am wearing sunscreen for a youthful appearance’ scent to keep me motivated to use it. So, I am intrigued to see if Beauty of Joseon is on par with it.

Is this Beauty of Joseon sunscreen equally good? Did I love it?

I have sawo matang skin, to begin with. Honey skin? is that what people in the beauty industry call it? Meaning I’m not as fair as Irene Red Velvet or Dahyun TWICE but more like Hwasa Mamamoo. When beauty influencers said that it doesn’t leave a white cast, I am like – ‘oh? is this brightening effect not considered white cast? Cause I do look a fairer tone after application. Perhaps I need to understand better what white cast means. Thankfully, I wear a hijab – so people wouldn’t really see the difference in the colour of my neck and my face. Unless I am at home but then, nobody is watching. Ha ha. Even then, this mild white cast is somehow absorbed and you’ve left with this invisible (read: transparent) barrier that is supposed to protect your skin.

This product does not have a scent. Which makes me miss A’pieu a lot. Cause A’pieu kind of reassures you that yup, this is a good habit, applying sunscreen. But I do agree that this sun relief cream gives you that radiant, healthy glow instantly. It can even function as a primer. As that base in your makeup or when you choose to go barefaced. I think that is the plus point for me. Not wearing makeup but the face remains flawless. If you have good skin texture to start with.

In short, I love it but my holy grail is still A’pieu Natural sunscreen.

Skincare regime – the neverending quest for clear skin

This year alone, I have had at least 2 or 3 significant episodes of horrible mask acne. I thought the problem is solved once I re-embraced my SKII essences. Turns out the acnes are not giving up. Furthermore, they are happily fueled by the fact that I was having stress on top of lacking the proper nutrition and sleep. I realized that the trend of acne eruptions tend to happen near my assignment deadlines.

Encroaching 2022, I feel that I need to elevate my skincare regime. I will after all be turning 40 in a few years time. As of now, I have two different regimes for AM and PM. Skincare goal? To look great like Shakira or Jennifer Lopez for their age. Ahahaha.

The AM Regime

Cleanser

I decided to stick with SKII facial cleanser. If I had to use an alternative, it’ll probably be Natural’s aloe vera cleanser. I don’t get frequent breakouts with these two. Bought this as a combo with the Pitera essence on Lazada at its official store.

Toner

Goodall Vit C toner. It is so refreshing to use this in the morning as I prepare to go to work because of its strong citrus scent. The toner comes in this plastic tub with cotton pads inside. Even the last one is adequately soaked with the ingredient. You can get this between RM50 – RM60 at Shopee mall. The full price is about RM70 for at least 70 pieces.

Essence

This is then followed by a gentle tap on the face with SKII Pitera Essence. It has a fermented smell as you first applied it to the face but it doesn’t linger. I don’t use cotton pads to apply the essence.

Moisturise

I super-love this new product I discovered on Shopee. I like the cooling gel-like texture of the formula. It is supposed to help calm down the active spots and blemishes on the face. Indeed, I feel that my skin’s temperature is a lot cooler after application. In fact, I love this so much that I began to moisturise more frequently than before. It has a cooling effect even though you don’t keep it in the fridge.

Sunscreen

Applying sunscreen is also a new habit I am taking with me to the year 2022. Although I have seen lots of Reels and Youtube videos emphasizing this part of skincare before, the action never sticks. Until I discover this Apieu product. I bought 2 types from this brand. Daily and Pink Tone. I like the daily formula better as it is not sticky. The pink one has a more matte finish to it. I thought I wouldn’t be bothered by that but since I don’t wear much makeup at work, the matte finish does make my face appear a bit white-casted after using it. Hence, I’d only use it when I intend to use makeup afterwards. Or on the weekend t home where it is ok to look weird. Otherwise, I prefer using the ‘daily variant’ sunscreen on my bare face. The scent is nice too – smells trusted but not medicated. Almost similar to Natural’s sunscreen product.

The PM Regime

I tweaked certain steps in the routine using a different product. In the evening/night, I still use the same cleanser and moisturiser.

Toner

I use Wardah Lightening Toner. Wardah is an Indonesian product with good reviews so far. I trust that his brand would know what will work best for South-East Asian skin. I chose this product because it has Niacinamide in it. Niacinamide works synergistically with other skincare ingredients that I incorporated into my routine. I apply the product with a cotton pad and gently wipe it on my face. It is so refreshing to do this PM. After that, I would apply the same moisturiser I use in the morning.

Retinol

This is another new routine to my skincare regime. I am using The Originals 0.5% Retinol in the squalane product. I keep the product in the fridge and the holy advice has always been to apply it at night as it is photosensitive. Retinol helps with skin turnover thus improving acne scarring and hyperpigmentation. When I first started, I only use it twice a week as I fear that my skin would peel terribly or experience purging. My skin responded well and I was able to use it every other day. I am happy to say that my skin texture improved after consistent application for 2 months.

Skin experts recommended that we start using retinol in the late 20s. Not to be mistaken with its stronger cousin, retinoid – retinol are easily available over the counter as any other skincare product. There are concerns about using retinol-based products in pregnancy. I feel this is something that one should discuss with their physician. Those with really sensitive skin are advised to a retinol sandwich where you apply moisturiser-retinol-moisturiser in that fashion.

Extra TLC

Eye mask

I decided to give the eye mask a try and bought this Gold Collagen Eye Patch online. When I first used it, I could feel my under-eyes burning. Weird though because it was cooling (even though I did not put it in the fridge) and yet it stings like hell. I use these masks rarely – once a week.

Eye heat patch

This is a wow product and very easy to use. They practically heat up once you remove them from their packages. You put it on the eyes like a pair of sleep goggles and soon you’d feel this warm, steamy sensation on your eyelids which is so relaxing especially after a tiring day using your electronics. If only they could consider making them recyclable items instead of disposables. I use this every Sunday night as I prepare for work in the new week.

Foot Mask

I saw a few adverts which show how the skin of the foot would peel off after a few days using the masks. Mine however does not have the same effect. But it does moisturise and brighten the foot instantly. My foot was a few shades lighter when I removed the mask – it’s like I am wearing socks!. Callus was easier to remove as I run my foot under the running water. I have yet to have smooth baby feet but with a few more weekly foot mask sessions, it would get better.

Face Sheet Mask

I am currently trying a few brands and there are at least 2 brands that I super-love at the moment. Will elaborate on that much later. Maybe next year? I am also taking a particular supplement to help with my skin. If it works, I will give my review in another blog post. That too will have to wait.

My mask acne cleared up – finally

Remember my Hermo Haul some time ago? I was on a quest to solve my acne troubles. Well, the problems solved but the star product wasn’t from any of the items I bought. Some of the skin care products helped but you could tell they were more as an adjunct and did not lend any significant improvements to my skin’s condition. I tried and implemented a few new things to my schedule/regime.

Lifestyle changes

  1. Drink more plain water – I am refilling my water bottle more often at work since we have the dispenser machine at the workplace. That helped a lot
  2. Manage time better – sleep better, plan my assignments so I wouldn’t have to cram every single thing in 2 weeks or so
  3. Change my 3 ply mask more often – it is now recommended to double mask to protect ourselves from new, vicious strains.

Self love

  1. I bought loose flowers for myself from this online florist – The Fine Flowers. Staring at the fresh flowers reminds me of my happy days as a medical student. Back then, I got mine from our local supermarket like ASDA. Loose flowers ni kira normal and keperluan utk omputih. In Malaysia, flowers mcm for special occasions je.. hence the steep pricing. Sedeh sis.
  2. Explore good music that uplifts the mood – as you can tell, my current obsession is BTS. If I can get over Take That and NSync when their time comes to part, I am sure I would be able to do the same for BTS. But please, tunggu sis naik 40. ha ha ha.

Invest in good skincare product

For now, from my previous hauls.. I am really loving Goodal’s Vitamin C toner pad and Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask. In fact, I am repeating the order for Goodal although it costs quite a bomb. It’s about RM88 without discount. Which means, another Hermo Haul coming soon. So, what is the star product that managed to solve my mask acne problem. It is actually a Japanese product that most Malaysian women have grown accustomed to. I have used this product before and due to it’s hefty price, decided to switch to a Korean brand. Turns out, these products are superior and well received because they do what they say.

It is SKII.

Sk-ii Pitera Welcome Kit By Sk-ii - 3 Pc 2.5oz Facial Treatment Essence 1oz  Facial Treatment Clear Lotion 0.5oz Rna Radical New Age Cream, 3 Count- Buy  Online in Bahamas at bahamas.desertcart.com.

Bought the welcome kit from an online store

It worked wonders in less than 2 weeks – I was delighted. Even the acne scars have become less pigmented. Throughout using this product, I didn’t use other beauty products, not even makeup except for the facial cleansers. I guess SKII is here to stay until I am 40. It has been giving me a youthful look so far. LOLS.