November 30, 2016

Butterfly Pea Tea

One of the ladies I met through a soaper's group sold a few pots of Butterfly Pea plants last Summer.  I purchased two from her, out of curiosity. It was a buck each anyway. No flowers yet at that time and it took a few months before my first bloom (above) appeared. Isn't it gorgeous?

With little luck I have when it comes to plants, I'm happy that this is low maintenance. All it needs is sun and water everyday. I'd say this comes second to my Aloe Vera in terms of surviving my black thumb.

The flowers looked familiar and I wasn't sure why. After reading up on it, it dawned on me - I had this in a salad at some point. Fancy! I also found out that these are taken as a tisane (floral tea). So I tried it and here's the result:

Freaking cool, right? 

I dropped one freshly picked flower in a cup and poured hot water over it. Right before my eyes, I saw the water turn blue slowly. It was a pretty awesome sight to behold. According to what I read online, the color will change to violet if you add some lemon juice. I have yet to try that.

What does it taste like? With just one flower in this cup, a very faint nutty taste. It gets stronger as you add more. But my plant doesn't bloom fast enough to get six flowers in there... maybe because the weather is colder?

A lot of online articles claim that drinking this tea has health benefits but this post explains why and cites research behind it. Yay! I'm going to need to spend time nerding out on this newly discovered information.

November 28, 2016

REVIEW: IOPE Enzyme Powder

IOPE is a high-end brand in Korea famous for their cushion foundation. Its the brand's best-seller. I haven't read about their skincare products but I was curious because it seemed good.

As I'm on a self-imposed beauty no-buy, I've been going through my stash of products a lot slower than I used to. Excited as I was 18 months ago to try out the IOPE products I purchased, I had to restrain myself. It's only recently that I was able to get the IOPE set out since I ran out of other products. The Enzyme Powder is the first one up for review.

If you're familiar with Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant, this is a similar product. Similar but not identical. Similar in that it contains rice powder (enzyme) and in the way it is applied to the skin.

This product dispenses as a powder. The opening in the bottle was quite wide and I was afraid of taking too much but somehow, that never happens. All is good!

The instructions say it should be a quarter-sized amount but I use less, like nickel-sized to be exact. Then I add three drops of water to make it into a watery paste.

It doesn't look like much but when you start to wash your face with this, it lathers. And you only need a little to get your entire face clean.

Is it a cleanser or exfoliant?

The answer is both. I use this after removing my makeup with cleansing oil. This is so effective in removing the dirt in my skin - it feels really clean but not squeaky dry. You know what I mean? Its a tad gentler than Dermalogica's version and it makes my skin a bit smoother too.

The only thing I am not a fan of is the fragrance. It has an aquatic and pine-y scent. It's not a deal breaker though, because its not cloying.

The verdict: this is my favorite exfoliant to date. I love how my skin feels after & it works well with the other products in the IOPE skincare range. 

I purchased this at Amore, a beauty store inside the building of this huge Korean grocery in TX. They have other Amorepacific brands in there like Sulwhasoo & Laniege. Good stuff.

A question for you ladies (and gents) who are on beauty no-buys... How do you cope? My heart breaks when I see something beautiful that I can't buy. But I've been good at keeping myself away from temptation! And fellow beauty bloggers, any suggestions on how to keep my blog alive inspite of this no-buy? I'm terribly shy about showing my face.

September 29, 2016

REVIEW: The Saem Healing Tea Garden Green Tea Cleansing Water

Thanks to the popularity of Bioderma, we're seeing a lot of cleansing waters pop up from different brands. Now, I do love my Bioderma Sensibio but I feel that it costs more than what its worth. I've tried Biore, which is more affordable, I like it but it left a bit of a film on my skin. In search of a happy medium, I've come across the cleansing water of korean brand The Saem.

September 18, 2016

BBC Round Up for 09.16.16

In case you missed it, newsworthy posts from the beauty blogosphere:

  • Color Me So Crazy: Formula X has a sweet new gel system and I have it to show off to you!
  • Beauty by Miss L: Yase Cosmetics Serum with Rhodochrosite Extract & Day Cream with Hematite Extract are freshly made natural products that have only up to 3 months and they need to be kept in a fridge. Leelo from Beauty by Miss L tested these for a 1.5 months and now shares her thoughts.
  • Makeup Obsessed Mom: Need a quick foolproof method to straighten your hair at home? Check out Stacie's post now.