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!

Last updated 1/1/2018

Life, Darling's Skincare + Beauty Resources Page

MY SKINCARE + BEAUTY RESOURCES
 

Skin Type

Combination: Oily T, Normal/Dry Cheeks. Before moving to the desert (and getting older! GASP!), I was a true 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!

FACE

  • 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, but reformulated)

MAKEUP

  • Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector

HAIR

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

BODY

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

HANDS

  • 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 and have been trying out the 7 Skin Method as well. 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)!

 

Cleansing

Micellar Water

1. La Roche Posay Micellar Water Ultra – DON’T RECOMMEND
I wanted to try this micellar mostly because I’m still searching for a Bioderma dupe that is available to me locally. There’s comfort in knowing my skincare staples can be picked up at the store instead of having to wait for it to ship from another country. I got a deluxe sample size from Target, and I’m almost done with it. In all honesty, it works, but not well enough. There are other cleansing waters out there that work better.

2. Nature Republic Jeju Sparkling Cleansing Water – DON’T RECOMMEND IF SENSITIVE
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.

Cleansing Oil

1. The Face Shop Facial Cleanser, Natural Rice Water Light Cleansing Oil – RECOMMEND
My favorite cleansing oil. Very light weight, and emulsiies very easily. Washes off clean with no residue. it is so effective at removing makeup and SPF. Love this stuff!

2. Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Oil with Coconut & Argan Oils – RECOMMEND
This was such a wonderful surprise to me! It is much thicker than the usual cleansing oil, but it’s just as effective and washes off easily without residue. It does have a stronger scent, but it’s pleasant enough. Definitely recommend this affordable drugstore cleansing oil.

Cleanser

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. Nooni Snowflake Whip Cleanser – RECOMMEND
Purchased this from Ulta and it is an almost exact dupe of Origins Checks And Balances Foaming Cleanser. Lathers very easily, has a very light scent, and works well at removing makeup (not waterproof, though).

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) – DO NOT RECOMMEND
I feel so mixed about this product. At first, I couldn’t figure out how to get the product to work, so i thought it was a dud. Then, I finally figured out the right amount of skin dampness needed to get it to work, and I really enjoyed it! But now, I seem to have lost the magic ratio, and it isn’t working again!  Pretty frustrating and not worth my time. On another note, I wonder if it’s actually doing anything for my skin. Does all that pilling and rolling up really have dead skin in it, or is it the product itself? I don’t know. I’ve only used one other cleansing gel before and though it worked better and more consistantly, I didn’t notice any difference in my skin either.

Toner

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!

3. Whamisa by Glow Recipe Green Tea Serum Toner – RECOMMEND
I’m really enjoying this toner. It’s what I’ve been using for my 7 Skin Method. It is a little tacky as it dries, but it seems to be doing a good job of keeping my skin hydrated. I’m almost out of my delux samples of this, and I’m going to be testing a different toner once I receive it in the mail.

4. Thayers Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner – Rose Petal – RECOMMEND
Really simple, no nonsense toner. Doesn’t dry my skin out or sting. I mostly use this in my DIY Eye Makeup Remover Solution.

Essence

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.

Actives

Devita-C Serum – RECOMMEND, BUT STILL SEARCHING
When I first started using this product, it came with a pump dispenser. Now, it includes a dropper. I don’t think I like that since air can get in and oxidize it. I’ve been using this product for a while now, since I did initially notice an improvement in my brown spots, but it looks like it’s reached its peak, and I am no longer noticing any improvement. So, I’m on the lookout for something better, perhaps with a higher percentage (this product claims 17%). I still don’t like the scent of this Vitamin C (it’s that “natural” scent some of these greener products have), but it’ll do until I find something better.

Serums & Ampoules

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.

Moisturizer

S.W. Basics Original Cream – RECOMMEND
If you’re interested in simple, green skincare products, I think you’ll really enjoy this. There are only three ingredients in this cream: organic shea butter, organic coconut oil, and organic olive oil, and it’s not just meant for your face, but your body as well. Heck, I’ve even pulled whatever excess was left on my hands through the ends of my hair with success! It is tough to squeeze out of the tube, but I do enjoy how easily it melts down once rubbed between my palms. It has a very nice, silky feeling to it when applied to the skin. I don’t think it will be very helpful to individuals with dehydrated skin (you’ll have to make sure to add your hydrating toners and serums), but it is a great way to seal moisture in.

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.

Eye Cream

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Awakening Eye Balm – RECOMMEND
I have never been lucky in the eye cream department – everything I’ve tried has given me milia. But THIS eye balm is different! Not only does it help lightly moisturize my under eye area, but it temporarily lightens my dark circles upon application as well. That was a very happy surprise. I wasn’t expecting that! Oh, and NO milia! Definite repurchase!

Oils

Evan Healy Rosehip Treatment Facial Serum – DON’T RECOMMEND
Very strongly scented oil. I haven’t been using it for very long, but so far it’s only okay – not any different or special compared to other rosehip oils. I use a mixture of this and jojoba oil when I do my facial massage.

SPF

UV PLUS Anti-Pollution Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 – RECOMMEND
My Holy Grail SPF. Very lightweight and doesn’t leave much of a white cast on my face. Since it’s Clarins, there is a not-so-subtle scent to it, but I don’t mind it (usually I’m sensitive to fragrance – it makes me sneeze. So far, this hasn’t made me sneeze!)

Tools

1. Gua Sha Jade Face Scraper/Plate – RECOMMEND
I’m fairly new to giving myself Gua Sha facials, but so far, I am loving it! I don’t have any other experience with other jade scraper tools, but this one that I ordered from Amazon* has been really nice. It’s really easy and surprisingly comfortable to use since the curves of this plate fit very well with the contours of my face.

*affiliate link

2. Neutrogena Light Therapy – N/A
I honestly cannot tell you whether this is worth getting or not, since I’m only half way through the applications. I will say, though, that it helped calm any angry spots before they got too bad. I’ll have to keep using this before I can give you a detailed opinion. Stay tuned.

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!