My AM/PM Korean Skincare Routine

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Hello everybody! Today I have a quick post for you about how I’ve adopted a new skincare routine. I have been experimenting with products since the beginning of this year, and I think I’ve finally figured out the combination that works best for me. I have sensitive combination skin with an oily T-zone and dry patches on my temples and jaw. I also have some redness and hyperpigmentation due to eczema and acne around my jawline, mouth, and eyes. Lastly, I’m extremely prone to hormonal breakouts and closed comedones. As you can see, I needed a skincare regime that is gentle, moisturizing, won’t trigger breakouts/eczema flare-ups, and will lighten the discoloured areas. So far this routine has worked out great, and my skin is super happy! So read on if you’re interested in learning a little bit about Korean skincare!

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Swatches: Etude House Sweet Recipe Ice Cream Nails

Hey everyone!  As promised, I’m bringing you some more Etude House nail polish reviews! This batch of colours is a new addition to their Sweet Recipe cosmetics collection. Everything in the Sweet Recipe collection is packaged up like a dessert – super cute! Today I’ll be reviewing Strawberry Stars Candy and Mint Choco Chip, my two favourite flavours. I got both of these on Ebay for $4.50 each. You can easily find them for $3-$5, so don’t go to those ripoff shops that charge $9 or more.

Sweet Recipe Ice Cream Nails

Left – #1 Mint Choco Chip. Right – #4 Strawberry Stars Candy.

Firstly, packaging. As usual, Etude House hits it out of the park with fun and unique packaging. These nail polishes come in 10mL bottles shaped like ice cream cones! The cone is embossed with the Etude House logo and some decorative patterns. Even though the brush handle is shaped like a cone, it didn’t feel clumsy or difficult to use. The brushes themselves were nothing unusual – just your standard-size nail polish brush and not the broad kind that you might find in other Etude House polishes. Lastly, as I’ve come to expect from this brand…no steel balls. Sigh. Oh well! Onto the colours.

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Left – 2 coats of Mint Choco Chip. Right – 2 coats of Strawberry Stars Candy.

Etude House Sweet Recipe Ice Cream Nails #1 Mint Choco Chip

This polish is a pastel mint green with a slight blue undertone. Even without the glitter, the base colour alone is beautiful! I have a hard time wearing minty greens and blues due to the yellow undertones of my skin, but this one is perfect for me. It’s got tons of green, teal, pink, bronze, brown, and black glitter in multi-size hex,  square, and round shapes. The formula was thick and a bit chunky because it has so much glitter in it, but it applied smoothly and didn’t streak. The drying time was good on this one, even though I used a thick coat. It was opaque in two coats. It really does look like mint chocolate chip ice cream! Definitely a winner in my books.

Etude House Sweet Recipe Ice Cream Nails #4 Strawberry Stars Candy

This is a cool-toned pastel pink creme that’s reminiscent of OPI Pink Friday, my favourite pink ever! It’s loaded with pink, purple, berry, blue, holo, and silver glitter in a variety of shapes – hex, square, round, bar, and star. I know that it sounds like a hot mess when I write it out that way, but it’s really pretty on my nails! The formula was thick and not perfectly smooth due to the amount of glitter. The glitter is quite dense. On the swatch wheel it wasn’t streaky and was opaque in two coats. However, when I applied it to my own nails it was a bit streaky and transparent. I have dark nail beds though, so take that with a grain of salt. The drying time on this one for some reason wasn’t as good…I accidentally smudged my polish twice, even with Seche Vite on. Lastly, the star glitter is so few and far between that I didn’t get a single star out of the bottle, even though I painted over 20 coats of this polish. >_<

Lastly,  the wear time was great on both polishes. My nails seem to naturally resist chipping/peeling more than most people’s (no chips until about day 7-8, maybe some minor tip wear) but my nails were still looking very nice when I removed the polish. I was also pleased that these polishes came off without any fuss…rare in a glitter!

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So, what do you think? I personally really liked these polishes despite the minor issues with Strawberry Stars Candy as they’re both rather unique colours. They apply decently well, come in cute packages, and are affordable – what’s not to like? I might just have to go get the other 2 in this set – #2 Lemon Sherbet and #3 Apricot Candy. Apricot Candy looks so cute~

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Sweet Recipe Ice Cream Nails Collection

Thanks for reading – until next time!

❤ CC

Swatches: A (Tiny) Korean Nail Polish Extravaganza, Part III

Next up in my showcase of my tiny Korean polish collection are TONYMOLY and Peripera!

View Part I and Part II if you want to see some of my Etude House swatches from their Dear My Party, Look at My Candyfloss, and LUCIDarling collections!

TONYMOLY

TONYMOLY is another major Korean cosmetics brand. Once again, I mostly knew about them from their lotions and cosmetics rather than their nail polish… but they actually makes a ton of really beautiful and unique colours. I had a good experience with this one, so I’ll definitely be picking up more. Their website says that their polishes don’t use harmful chemicals, which I’m interpreting as big-3 free.  Take that as you will!

TONYMOLY Wonder Blue Woman #GS11

Wonder Blue Woman #GS11

TONYMOLY released a matching pair of glitter-filled jelly polishes to commemorate Wonder Woman – one blue and one red. The polish name is not a typo, by the way – it’s really called Wonder Blue Woman instead of Wonder Woman Blue, hehe! Like all TONYMOLY products, this polish comes in attractive and stylish packaging. It’s a short, fat 10mL bottle with a decorative lid. The TONYMOLY logo is embossed on the lid. The brush isn’t anything out of the ordinary, just short to match the short bottle. Lastly, there’s no steel ball in this polish…maybe this is a trend with Korean nail polish? None of my Korean polishes have the mixing ball. I’ll add one later, but it’s annoying since I don’t want my polish getting clumpy!

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Left – 1 coat. Right – 2 coats.

This colour is just…awesome. It even looks amazing in the bottle! It’s a translucent blue jelly packed with fine silver glitter and blue and teal hex/round glitter. The blue jelly is quite dark even after two coats, but I prefer to wear jelly polishes with undies. This would look great with a black or deep blue, like OPI Russian Navy or OPI Blue My Mind. The formula on this was nice. It was thick but not goopy, and the glitter spread very evenly across the nail. It seemed to dry a little bit slowly, though. All in all, though, this polish gets a thumbs up.

The best part? This polish cost less than $5!

Peripera

I really love Peripera because their packaging is painfully cute. Their scented nail polish collection has adorable cat-shaped caps! The colours are mostly pretty girly – pinks, peaches, pastels and brights – but there is a good range of dark colours available. Even though I find pastels a bit overdone, they have a vast selection of really lovely ones. They also have some gorgeous jellies and glitters. Peripera nail polish is really popular in Korea and is considered one of the better brands. I’m not sure if they’re big-3-free though. Their tagline for their polishes is ‘One coat, one minute, one week.’ Let’s see if it holds up!

Peripera Vanilla Mint #GR301

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Peripera Vanilla Mint #GR301

Peripera has very nice packaging…noticing a pattern yet? Korean brands are really fond of pretty packaging it seems. The polish comes in cute, fat 13mL bottles. The Peripera logo is stamped on the front in holographic paint. The lid is long and thin, and it’s decorated with curlicues and roses. It’s very pretty, but it’s tricky to store…the handle makes it about 1-2cm taller than your typical bottle. I imagine you’d have similar storage problems with their other funky handle shapes. The long handle is nice for applying the polish though, since I have long fingers. And I love the brush – it’s short, flat, and wide, perfect for applying in 2 or 3 strokes. This is one of the fattest brushes I’ve ever seen, and it’s nice to see it in an inexpensive polish!

Vanilla Mint is a cute sky blue colour with a strong green undertone, perfect for spring and summer. It’s not unique as minty greens and blues are very on trend right now, but I wanted to try a Peripera product. I was a bit shocked at the bottle colour – it’s not quite like the promotional picture I used to order the polish…ah well, the perils of shopping online, right? I think I can blame that on my terrible monitor.

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1 coat! Looks good already.

That aside, it’s a very pretty polish. It applied smoothly and evenly with the fat brush. The formula is quite thick and opaque, but not gloopy. They weren’t kidding about ‘one coat’ though I prefer two out of habit. It also dried to a soft shiny finish quickly despite the fairly thick coat I applied. So ‘one minute’ checks out too! I haven’t had it on for very long, so I can’t say much about ‘one week’ yet. Still, I’m sold on the thick formula and drying time alone. My nails rarely chip until day 7-8 anyway, so I’m probably not going to be the best judge of longevity for the average person…

My singular beef with this polish? It smells bizarre. It’s the regular nail polish smell with a weird plastic undertone. Thankfully it’s very brief and dissipates in about a second. I can’t put my finger on it…camphor, maybe? It’s fine when the polish is dry, but use it in a ventilated room.

You can easily pick up their standard polishes for around $5 on Ebay, but some of their more special collections (such as the cat-shaped scented perfume polishes) are a touch more expensive at around $8 and up. Very good buy for the quantity and quality you get.

So…that’s it for now. But I’ll be back soon with another boatload of Korean nail polishes, including some brand new Etude House! So stay tuned~

❤ CC

Swatches: A (Tiny) Korean Nail Polish Extravaganza, Part II

Hello everyone! Today I’m bringing you a few more lovely Etude House polishes.

Click here to read Part I of this series! I’ve given a rundown on Etude House’s lines of nail polishes in terms of quality, selection and price.

Etude House Lemonade #CBE101, #CGR701, #CBL601, #CGR702

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Etude House Lemonade #CBE101, #CGR701, #CBL601, #CGR702

1 coat of #CBE101, #CGR701, #CBL601, #CGR702

These colours are from the Look At My Candyfloss collection, which is a set of 10 summery, cheerful creme pastels. Sadly I don’t know the English names of all of the polishes, so they’ll just be serial numbers for now.

CBE101 is a beautiful banana yellow. It applied smoothly and wasn’t at all streaky. It was almost completely opaque in 1 coat, and looked perfect with 2 coats. I’ve never had that happen with a yellow creme before! CGR701 is a very fresh yellowish-green, almost avocado like. I can’t see myself wearing this colour alone, but in combination with other colours I think it’d look lovely. Application was smooth, and it was opaque in 2 coats.CBL601 is a  soft powder blue. It was a little bit less opaque than the other colours, but it applied well and was fully opaque in 2 coats. CGR702 is nearly a dupe of CG For Audrey, but it’s more saturated has a slightly greener tone. For Audrey is bluer and slightly less saturated. I actually like this polish more than For Audrey, since it looks less washed-out on my skintone. Like the others, it applied well and was opaque in 2 coats. The formulas on these polishes was surprisingly good.

I bought all of these from the same Ebay seller, so I dunno if it was a problem with this particular batch or if this collection in general…but the brushes on some of the bottles are crap! The yellow and pale blue brushes were duds. After I started painting, little pieces of the bristles came off and got stuck in the polish. After painting a couple of layers the loose bits stopped coming off, but it still pissed me off and ruined several coats. The green and aqua brushes were ok, so I’m not sure what happened. They did get left in the mailbox for a few hours during a cold snap (-27 deg C!) so that might have damaged the bristles somehow? Still disappointing.

Aside from the messed up brushes, the packaging is well-made as is typical for Etude House. The Etude House logo is embossed on the cap of the brushes, and curliques are embossed on the bottles. They have the standard type of brushes. These are really cheap on Ebay, going for $2-4 each. Probably because the bottles are so small….I think they’re 8mL. Pick them up if you like pastels! Just be wary of dodgy brushes.

Etude House Dazzling Pink #5, Dazzling Purple #6, Dazzling Blue #7

Glitterbombs!

Etude House LUCIDarling Fantastic Nails Spangle Collection

LUCIDarling Spangle Swatches

Etude House Dazzling Pink #5, Dazzling Purple #6, Dazzling Blue #7

These 3 are from the LUCIDarling Fantastic Nails Spangle collection. Whew, that title is a mouthful! Etude House really loves their long collection names. Anyway, holy glitterbombs, Batman! The colours aren’t too unusual, but the packaging and huge amounts of sparkle were too much to resist. This collection also has gold and silver versions, but I didn’t pick those up.

The glitter is sparse, so application can be tricky. After 2 coats you get pretty good coverage, though. It applied smoothly and wasn’t goopy or sticky. The clear base dries with a slightly matte finish, but I always use Seche Vite so it wasn’t really an issue for me. Dry time was pretty good. One issue is that there’s a veeeery slight coloured tinge to each polish, which you can see in my swatches. The pink has a pink tinge, the purple has a purple tinge, and the blue has a blue tinge. I’m not sure if that was intentional on their part or if the glitters are bleeding slightly. Only time will tell…I’ve had these for quite some time and the colour hasn’t changed any, so if there’s any bleeding it’s pretty minimal. Still, something to be mindful of.

As usual for Etude House, these polishes are packaged very nicely.  They’re in very cute heart-shaped bottles with long caps. Brushes are your standard type, not extra wide or anything like that. The collection name is silk-screened on the front of the bottles instead of embossed like most of their polishes. I think they’re 15mL, which is bigger than usual for this brand! You can easily find them individually on Ebay for about $7-8 each, but I’ve seen sets of 3-5 for $12-16. $7 each is more than I’d pay for these.

That’s it for now – I’ll be back soon with more from the exciting world of Korean nail polish. Thanks for reading!

❤ CC

Swatches: A (Tiny) Korean Nail Polish Extravaganza, Part I

Hello everyone!

Korean makeup and skincare products are now well-known in the West due to the advent of American BB creams, but their nail polish brands are largely unknown.  For my first post I’ll be giving a peek at some Etude House polishes from the Dear My Party collection. Etude House is a popular, low-to-mid priced Korean cosmetics brand with ultra-girly packaging. They’re best known for their makeup and BB creams, so I was really surprised when I stumbled upon their nail polishes while browsing for makeup.

Most Etude House polishes are easy to find and you can find them in sets of 3-4 on Ebay for $10-$15 CAD. Individual bottles can be found but the price varies widely depending the colour or seller. Even though they’re pretty inexpensive and the bottles are small (~5-10mL), the quality is good and they have some amazing, unique colours in addition to the standard lineup of pinks and neutrals. There are even some solid dupes of expensive Western brands like OPI and Deborah Lippmann. They have a couple that resemble some popular indie brands as well. Lastly, they don’t contain toluene or pthalates. I’m not sure if they contain formaldehyde, though, so be forewarned if you’re concerned about it. I know their top coats don’t contain formaldehyde so take from that what you will…I’ve probably huffed 10000x more formalin from dissections and tissue specimens than from nail polish, so I’m not worried about it anymore lol.

Now…onto the polish!

Etude House #PBE104 Golden Bell

Etude House Golden Bell #PBE104

Etude House #PBE104 Golden Bell

This is a really pretty gold glitter polish from the Dear My Party collection. My photo doesn’t really capture how shiny and bright this polish is – it is super glittery. It has multiple shapes/sizes of gold glitter, along with gold micro glitter, all suspended in clear base. It looks a bit like e.l.f. Golden Goddess, but in a more yellowy shade of gold.  The formula is quite nice, very thick but not sticky or goopy. I was pleasantly surprised at how densely packed the glitter was – a few brush strokes and it was almost full coverage! The larger hex glitter didn’t curl at all. Dry time was quite quick as well.

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Left – 2 coats. Right – 1 coat.

Ignore my ugly cuticles – isn’t it pretty?! This polish looks really striking against dark colours. Here I have it layered over OPI Live and Let Die.

So shiny!

Etude House Golden Bell gradient over OPI Live and Let Die

Gold glitter is nothing new, but I’ve never seen a polish that looked quite like this one. I got it on Ebay for $4.80, but you can likely find it for $3-4. It’s a little on the rare side, though. Happy hunting!

Etude House #PPK004 Peach Punch

Etude House Peach Punch

Etude House #PPK004 Peach Punch

Another winner from the Dear My Party collection! It’s a shimmery pale pink with multiple shapes/sizes of hex and round glitter in pink, silver, and holo, alongside silver micro glitter.  It has a soft foil finish eve though it looks a bit jelly-like in the bottle…it’s almost completely sheer and didn’t show up very well on my dark nailbeds without 3 coats. Next time I think I’ll put it on top of a pale pink like CG Bridezilla. It’s super shimmery and glittery – it looks gorgeous under the light! The formula on this one is similar to Golden Bell, but a lot thicker. It’s dense and heavy, but not sticky or gloopy. The larger glitter didn’t apply as smoothly as Golden Bell and clumped a little bit, but it was easily sorted by sweeping across the nail with the brush. No curling glitter here either! This one dried a bit more slowly than Golden Bell, but I did 3 thick layers.

Pretty!

Left – one coat. Right – two coats.

Etude House Peach Punch

3 coats of Etude House Peach Punch

Like all Etude House products, the Dear My Party polishes come in lovely packaging. The polishes come in 10mL tapered bottles. It’s hard to see in my pictures since the bottles are full, but the Etude House heart chariot logo is embossed on the front of each bottle. The brushes are wide, full, and were helpful in getting the glitter to spread out evenly along the nail without clumping. I can do a whole nail in one stroke. My main beef with them is that there are no steel balls in the bottles, so they’ll probably get clumpy later. Even my cheap Sally Hansen polishes often have a steel ball included, so that’s just laziness or lack of foresight on their part.

Etude House is definitely worth a look if you don’t mind waiting for shipping from South Korea. I waited 1-2 weeks for everything to arrive.

So, what do you all think of Etude House so far? I’m already sold by these two alone, and the best part is that the Dear My Party Collection is huge and full of gorgeous, unique glitter bombs! How many dupes of well-known polishes can you spot?

GLITTER. GLITTER EVERYWHERE.

The Complete Dear My Party Collection

That’s it for now – stay tuned for more Etude House and Korean polish swatches in the near future! =) Thanks for reading!

❤ CC