Shopping Diary April 2017




As much as I love my Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun, after I did from research while looking for a good body sunscreen I decided that I’d like to have a sunscreen rated “PA++++” for my face for days when the UV index is high (which is most of the summer, tbh). I don’t know how my skin will react to any of these – aside from possibly irritating it with the avobenzone in the A’Pieu sunscreens -, so it might be a pipe dream, but maybe not.

  • Nivea Sun Protect Plus UV Milky Essence SPF50+ PA++++ One of the reasons I’ve never tried Japanese sunscreen before is because of the high alcohol content that’s common to them; I’m just worried they’ll dry out my naturally dry skin even more. Alcohol is still pretty high up in the ingredients list of this one, but it’s described as a “moisturizing” sunscreen (we’ll see about that). However, it’s supposed to be tenacious and good for use while swimming (one of my favourite summertime activities), so that’s good.
  • Rohto Skin Aqua Sarafit Essence UV SPF50+ PA++++ Basically the same reasoning for the Nivea applies here. This one has alcohol as the second ingredient, but it’s also got HA, collagen, and amino acids which are supposed to be moisturizing. The bottle is a lot bigger than I was expecting – about an ounce more than my bae Missha -, and only about $7 though shipping from Japan was sloooow. I ended up waiting about 3-4 weeks for both Japanese sunscreens (oddly they were mailed a week apart, but arrived on the same day).
  • A’Pieu Pure Block Sun Gel Aqua SPF50+ PA+++ Honestly? I saw it on FifyShadesofSnail’s Instagram and it looked sort of interesting, and then it was 30% off when I was placing my RoseRoseShop order, so into my cart it went. I might end up keeping this in my purse for my hands, so I can easily reapply after washing them. I’m really bad about that.
  • A’Pieu Power Block Daily Sun Cream SPF50+ PA++++ This was more or less the reason for my RRS order. I saw that A’Pieu had a sunscreen rated “PA++++” – one of the first Korean sunscreens on the market to offer that much protection – and freaked out. I needed it. NEEDED IT. Thankfully this version (there’s another “essence” type) is free of “cyclops” type silicones which would majorly fuck up my skin. However, it does have avobenzone, which has been a problem for my skin in the past.


  • The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% I’m all about niacinamide. I mean any ingredient that can treat acne, aging, uneven skin tone, and dullness all at the same time is going to have a place in my skincare routine. My only concern with this is that is contains carrageen, which is very acnegenic. Which, why would you put that in a product that’s main claim is treating acne? Whatever. I plan on mixing it in with my Missha FTE, just enough to kind of ‘boost’ it, so we’ll see.
  • Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 Normally I use Hylamide Low Molecular HA, but I decided to try this since it’s made by the same company and quite a bit cheaper. I’m not saying they’re dupes (they’re not), but I wanted to try it regardless. Vitamin B5 (panthenol) is another water attracting humectant like HA. I’ve used B5 serums in the past and liked them, so we’ll see how combination works here.

Essences & Toners

  • Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Hyaluronic Acid Lotion Yeah, I’m doubling up on the HA train. Honestly though, this time I year (spring/summer) I hit the HA hard, so neither of these will go to waste (assuming they don’t break me out). Unlike The Ordinary serum, this could possibly be a dupe for Hyalmide since they have similar formulas. We’ll see.
  • Missha First Treatment Essence Intensive This is a repurchase for me. I’ve been out for about 6 weeks, and despite using Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence and Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence, my skin has suffered for it. My skin is just dull and lifeless and uneven without it. Lesson learned, I’ll stick to this.
  • The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution Most days I don’t have a problem using Lotion P50, but occasionally my skin needs something a little gentler. This is at the right pH (3.5-3.7) to be effective, but has a lower percentage of acids (7% instead of 12%), so in theory is should be gentler, though my experience with The Ordinary’s acid products hasn’t been the greatest.
  • Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 Obviously, this is a repurchase for me. Normally I order from Shop Rescue Spa, but this time I ordered from Vicki Morav and the shipping was much quicker and they were a bit more generous with the samples.



  • The Ordinary 100% Plant Derived Squalane I’m a big fan of face oils. Squalane is a supposed to have high emollience, but not be comedogenic. It’s a saturated oil and there’s some dispute about whether saturated oils are better/safer for your skin than unsaturated, but squalane is at least a better option than coconut oil, which is the saturated oil most commonly recommended.
  • A’Pieu Nonco Tea Tree Emulsion I got this to use during ‘that time of the month’ when my skin always breaks out a little regardless of what I do. I’m a big fan of the Nonco sheet masks, so I’m hoping this will have a similar/greater effect since it’s a leave on product. I haven’t used it on my face yet, but on my hands it’s very light and watery and seems like it would be great for layering.
  • LALA Le Soleil Double Skin Therapy It’s no secret that I’m a fan of hydroxy acids, so of course I had to give this cream a try. Basically it’s glycolic acid in a base of fatty alcohols and glycerin, with a little squalane and HA thrown in for extra moisturizing. There’s a garden basket of natural extracts, plenty of peptides, and even a little yeast for good measure; basic k-skincare stuff.

Beauty Tools


Sheet Masks

  • A’Pieu Heat On Hot Pack These are supposed to be heating patches that contain mugwort to help ease menstrual cramps. Unfortunately they’re about a week too late, so testing will have to wait, but I love the idea of them.
  • Goodal Refine Pore Modeling Mask (not pictured) I was planning on waiting to try this out, but unfortunately there was a hole in the seam of the essence packet, so I had to use it ASAP. The tl;dr of this is that it really didn’t do anything and was super unimpressive. I’ll review it on my Instagram if anyone is extra curious about it.
  • Goodal Moisture Barrier Mask Because I am an idiot I will, at some point, trash my moisture barrier again. It’s just bound to happen. Hopefully, when that happens this mask will help repair the damage.
  • Goodal Nature Ampoule Mask These were an impulse purchase with my last RRS order, but this time they were essential. The Aloe variety was kind of a dud for me, but the camellia, ginseng, and silk were amazing. These are definitely some of my favourite sheet masks now, and I’m going to cry bitter tears when they’re not on sale anymore.
  • Goodal Sparkling Clear Black Charcoal Mask As much as I love the Nature Ampoule masks (a lot) I love this one so much more. This works like gangbusters on breakouts, even the hormonal kind. Lately, when I’ve wanted my skin to look extra good I use Andalou Naturals Pumpkin Honey Glycolic Mask and then follow up with one of these sheet masks.
  • It’s Skin Prestige Rose de Black Mask I am a sucker for anything rose, but these masks are exceptionally good. The rose scent is true, but not over powering, so it’s a nice sensory experience, but the NMF, adenosine, and niacinamide are real powerhouse performers. It’s Skin does a whole line of Rose de Black products I’d love to try, but a lot of them have ingredients that would freak my skin out 😦
  • Papa Recipe Bombee Rose Gold Honey Mask I’ve been curious about Papa Recipe’s Bombee masks for a while, but never really wanted to commit to a 10 pack. So of course since this is only a 5 pack and has rose in it I was sold. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but I think the A’Pieu Sweet Honey House sheet masks are supposed to be a dupe for these.




So, I did exceed my budget of $150, but not by as much as you might think. Ordering directly from Korea and shopping the sales keeps the costs much lower, even with international shipping factored in.

So… Grand Total…

including shipping…



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