skincare + beauty resources

Welcome to my skincare and beauty resources page, where you can see a list of all my favorite beauty and skincare products, and what’s currently in my skincare rotation (including a mini review on each product and whether I recommend it or not). This page is updated frequently, as I like to try different products, so check back every once in a while to see what I’ve got on my skin!

Life, Darling's Skincare + Beauty Resources Page



Skin Type

Normal/Dry. Before moving to the desert (and getting older! GASP!), I was a Combination Skin type. Every now and again, especially during the Summer, I can go between Normal and Combination.

Skincare Objectives/Concerns

At this point in my life, it’s all about sun protection and line prevention. I want my skin to be healthy from the inside out – oh, and keeping my face from falling would be great, too!

  • Anti-Aging
  • Preventing Fine Lines
  • Fading Sun Spots
  • Sun Protection


Tried + True Beauty Favorites

My list of neverfail, Holy Grail products. If I had my way, I would never live without them in my bathroom, and I highly recommend them all!


  • Bioderma Sensibio H2O Water
  • Philosophy Purity Made Simple
  • Pixi Glow Tonic Glycolic Toner
  • Heritage Store Rosepetals Rosewater
  • The Face Shop – Calming Seed SOS Care Essence
  • The Face Shop – Calming Seed Soothing Cream
  • Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
  • Rosebud Salve Lip Balm
  • Clarins UV PLUS HP Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 (discontinued)


  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector


  • Shea Moisture Hair Products
  • Kenra Platinum Dry Texture Spray – it smells like strawberries to me!
  • AG Colour Care Sterling Silver Toning Conditioner


  • Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream (For Body)
  • Epsom Salt
  • Essential Oils


  • Gelish Nourish Cuticle Oil
  • Sally Hansen Pink Pong (my very first pinky-nude drugstore nail color that I’ve found to compliment my skin tone)


Current Skincare Routine: Products

In general, I follow the Korean 10 Step Routine (post coming soon!). I’ve found my skin loves the extra pampering and care with this regimen. I also like to try a lot of skincare products (there’s always something better out there, right?), so the 10 Step is my excuse for being a product junkie! That being said, not every product I’m going to list in my current rotation is a favorite. Like everyone else, if I spend my hard earned money on something that doesn’t work, I’m going to finish it anyway – unless it irritates my skin (I’ll make note of it below)!


Micellar Water

1. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water – DON’T RECOMMEND
Almost done with my bottle. It works well, and though it isn’t an exact dupe to my beloved Bioderma, it comes pretty close. The unfortunate thing, and the reason why I can’t personally recommend it is that it contains polyaminopropyl biguanide – or PHMB – an ingredient that is banned in Canada, the EU, and many other countries. If that sort of thing doesn’t concern you, then by all means, do you, but it’s been sitting in my medicine cabinet for months now, and I can’t seem to bring myself to finish it.

2. Nature Republic Jeju Sparkling Cleansing Water – DON’T RECOMMEND
This is excellent at removing makeup, but it also randomly stings my eyes! It has a strong scent that lingers for a bit. Skip if you’ve got sensitive eyes or are sensitive to smells.

1. Philosophy Purity Made Simple – RECOMMEND
Gentle and removes everything. This is one of my ride-or-die products. Check out my post for more detailed information on Purity Made Simple!

2. Destiny Boutique Charcoal Facial Detox Cleanser – DON’T RECOMMEND
I bought this at Marshall’s for $10 because I was a sucker for the word “charcoal”. I feel like the benefit to having charcoal in beauty products is it’s drawing out power, but to leave a cleanser sitting on your face? It can’t be anything but drying, right? So though I would generally recommend charcoal as an ingredient, I would not recommend it in a cleanser. I’m making my husband help me finish this up so I don’t waste moolah. Pass.

Exfoliator (Physical & Chemical)

1. Acure Brightening Facial Scrub (Physical/Manual) – RECOMMEND
I really enjoy this stuff. I would, however, recommend using it in the shower, though, because it’s a little like sand – it sticks everywhere! The first time I used it, I was at my sink, and it took forever to wash off. Since I started using it in my shower, I haven’t had that problem since. Very mildly scented, no sharp pieces, feels like a fine, wet sand but “softer” if that makes any sense. If you’re in the market for a greener, physical exfoliant, then this is a good product to try. Pretty affordable, too, at about $9.

2. Dermactin-TS Pore Refining Cleansing Gel (Chemical) – RECOMMEND
A friend of mine suggested I try this gel peel, so I picked some up from Sally’s Beauty Supply for about $9. I got this hoping it was a cheap dupe for the Japanese favorite, Cure Natural Aqua Gel. At first, I was using this incorrectly – I was using it in the shower. Don’t do that! It didn’t work for me initially because my skin was too wet! But now that I’ve started spritzing my face with a tiny bit of rosewater beforehand, it has worked amazingly – and is kind of gross. Your dead skin just rolls up into little balls when you massage it into your skin, and though there is satisfaction in that, it makes me eager to wash it off, too. If you are sensitive to active ingredients, you may want to skip this one.


1. Heritage Store Rose Petals Rosewater – RECOMMEND
Pure rosewater. This hydrosol (aka floral waters) is very refreshing. It has a light rose scent that dissipates very quickly, but if you don’t enjoy rose-scented products at all, then avoid this. I love it and have been enjoying using it for years.

2. Pixi Glow Tonic Glycolic Toner – RECOMMEND
I want to extol the virtues of this toner forever! It’s impressively helped soften my skin – I could tell the difference after two days of use! It has a mild scent, does not sting at all, and is a very gentle glycolic. The only con is the price for the amount of product you get: $15 for 3.4 ounces for drugstore? Meh. I swear I’m buying the travel sized version! Anyway, definitely recommend if you want to try glycolic for the first time – just make sure to use ONE acid product at a time. Don’t overdo it!


1. The Face Shop Calming Seed SOS Care Essence – RECOMMEND
My tried and true! I was having major texture issues a few years back, and it all changed once I started using this product. Recommend.

2. Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Mist – DON’T RECOMMEND
So far, the convenience and novelty of applying essence with a spray is keeping me intrigued, but other than that, this product has only been okay. If you have an essence that works for you, I’d skip this.


Devita-C Serum – RECOMMEND
I don’t like the scent of this Vitamin C at all. BUT, I’m on my second bottle of this stuff because I have noticed an improvement in the look of my brown spots with this C! I’ve used two other C products before, and neither of them gave me the results that this one has. I’ll willingly deal with the less than perfect scent (it’s that “natural” scent some of these greener products have, they’re strong and linger) to get the results I’ve been getting. The bottle is opaque and comes with a pump. Very convenient and helpful to keep it from oxidizing.

Serums & Ampoules

1. Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Borabit Ampoule – RECOMMEND
YES. ALL THE YES. Every time I use this ampoule, I wake up with flawless skin. I’m amazed at how plump and line-free my skin looks in the morning (no, it doesn’t last through the day, unfortunately). Word of caution, though: the first time I used it, I simply added it to my normal routine, and got an itchy, red rash on the front part of my neck. My mistake was using it alongside my glycolic toner. Too much exfoliation! So now when I use this ampoule, I don’t use any actives and I have no problems with rashes or dry skin at all. I recommend it, but with caution.

2. Laneige Water Bank Serum – N/A
I haven’t been using this serum long enough to be able to tell you if I recommend it or not, but so far, so good. I haven’t experienced any side effects, no rashes, no stinging, nothing. It’s very light and so far gentle, but it does have a strong scent. I don’t mind that, but some of you might. I’ll update you after another month of use!


1. The Faceshop Chia Seed Rejuvenation – RECOMMEND
I Have been using this product for two years now, and it’s my go-to moisturizer. I wish it wasn’t in a jar, though – I always prefer a pump applicator. Barring that one thing, I definitely recommend. It’s more of a gel texture, so my oily friends might enjoy this. Just remember a little goes a long way.

2. Aubrey Organics Everyday Basic Daily Skin Moisturizer – DON’T RECOMMEND
I cannot get past the smell! Oh my gosh, it is so strong and lasts for hours! Ugh! The only reason I’m still using it is because I don’t want to waste my money and I need a daytime moisturizer. The pro is that it has a pump dispenser – I love pump dispensers because I hate digging into product – but it shoots out enough product for your face, neck, and entire decollete area. Just too much product most times. If you’re looking for a green moisturizer, there are plenty of good ones to choose from. This is just too much all the way around.

Sleeping Mask

Laneige Water Bank Sleeping Mask – RECOMMEND
I have really been enjoying this product. It’s straight to the point and does its job. It does have a scent that stays for a few hours, but I don’t mind it.


Acure Rosehip Oil – RECOMMEND
Boo on me, I didn’t read the label close enough, and what I thought was rosehip SEED oil, ended up being plain old rosehip oil. To be clear, I haven’t used any rosehip seed oil, so I can’t really compare this to anything except other oils I’ve used. In which case, this is a good oil. It feels lighter than jojoba, coconut oil, and argan oil, but it doesn’t sink in very well. I do suspect that it could be working with my Vitamin C serum to help lighten my brown spots, but it’s hard to say. If you’re looking for a facial oil, try it. I got this from Target for around $10-$12 bucks.

Wash Off Masks

MyChelle Pure Harmony Mask – N/A
I’ve only used this product once so far, but it was very nice. I need to use it more to see if it’s worth recommending, but so far so good.


1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen – RECOMMEND
This doesn’t compare to my ultimate SPF made by Clarins (I listed it in my favorites, it’s since been discontinued), but it is a very nice, light-weight alternative. I’m happily almost done with this bottle, and I won’t be repurchasing. Not because it’s bad, but because I’m on a mission to find the best SPF for me! I like that this is a mineral sunscreen, but for some reason, this formulation sometimes feels gritty. You do have to shake the bottle, so maybe I’m not shaking it enough. It does have a mineral-y, SPF scent – I don’t think you can ever get away from that – but at least it’s not fragranced.

2. TimeWise┬« Day Solution Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35* – RECOMMEND
Another good light-weight SPF. I don’t prefer solely chemical sunscreens because I am prone to sun spots now, but it’s better than nothing. I also wish it were a higher SPF (I prefer 40 and above). It does have a strong SPF smell to it, but it does dissipate after several minutes. A definite pro to this product is that it has a pump dispenser – so awesome! But like I mentioned above, I won’t be repurchasing. Still on the lookout for my holy grail SPF.

And there you have it, friends. As you can see, I do lean more toward Korean/Asian and greener beauty products, but I am not opposed to trying other skincare brands. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to try, and I’ll do my best to give you as detailed a review as I can. I hope you enjoyed this page. Please come back to check if I’ve added any new products to my rotation or favorites list. And if you haven’t already, check out my latest post! Thanks for visiting! Have a great day!