Sunday, 28 April 2013

Review: Mizon Sakura Whitening Dual Mini Kit - Mela Defense White Capsule Essence & Cream

Today I have a really exciting review that I can't find anywhere else on the Internet (or maybe I'm not looking hard enough XD) - it's a sample kit I got from my first Koreadepart order that I have used now I've ran out of my Garnier moisturiser. The kit is called Sakura Whitening Dual Mini Kit and is part of the Sakura Whitening line/program. All the items are called 'Mela Defense...'. This is exciting to me as I've never tried skincare solely dedicated to whitening of the skin tone, only products that say it's part of their benefits but never really deliver.

Whitening products don't contain harmful ingredients like bleach or lead, they instead contain natural ingredients designed to brighten your skin tone, especially particularly dark spots in your skin so your skin looks whiter because it's more glowy and bright, not because it's actually bleaching away your skin colour! /sweat Worryingly, it does say that it prevents your skin from producing melatonin though, which your body makes to combat sun damage and protect skin.

Brand: Mizon
Names: Mela Defense White Capsule Essence & Mela Defense White Capsule Cream
Price: $71.50 for the full 4pc set; toner, ampoule/serum x 2, essence & cream, usually $130 plus a free gift of Egg White Bubble Cleanser (full size). $45 on Mizon's official eBay for just the toner, essence and cream.
Where to buy: Koreadepart, eBay (Mizoncorp)

The essence says it is 'intensive care for dark spots', brightens the complexion, 'stabilized capsule prevents the production of melatonin', helps skin circulation to get blood flowing and brighten up the skin tone and forms a moisturising layer for long lasting effects.

The cream 'keeps the face transparent, enhancing the water retaining power' and keeps the face brightened and vibrant by protecting it from outside stress'.

All the items have varied benefits, suggesting they were all made to fit together nicely and enhance the whole whitening experience. I think if you're serious about whitening skincare, it's best to use the items from this line together rather than lots of different products from different brands.

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Both items come in a pretty little box and all the packaging is very lovely. It's cute but in a more grown-up way as Mizon is mid to high end and for maturer women.

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Here's the cream and essence, left to right respectively. I love the dainty pink and white packaging with the white cherry blossom silhouette on it. Absolutely beautiful! You get about 10ml of both essence and cream and I got a weeks worth out of using both together.

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Here's the essence on my hand. You can see it's a thin, clear gel with white capsules in it - neat! I use this sized amount for my whole face but it looks a little more because it slid down my hand. :P You can feel the capsules when you first apply the essence ever so slightly but they disappear almost immediately.

The essence feels watery as you apply it and is quickly absorbed. I pat half of the amount on one cheek, then the rest on the other and rub in. Halfway through, I rub my hands together to get all the essence on it and rub it all over my face.

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Here's the cream. It's a gel-type cream and looks clear in the pot but compared to white paper, is a very pale pink actually.

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It has a mottled, white substance running throughout the cream, similar to the capsules in the essence but in more volume. They don't feel like anything whilst applying.

The gel-like cream is very light whilst being applied but more moisturising than the essence. I put on a bit more cream than essence to make sure my face is as hydrated as possible. I was worried these gel-like products wouldn't be enough for my dry skin and my skin would quickly revert back to dry, flaky patches and tightness but it seems okay. My skin doesn't feel super hydrated and plump, it feels matte and silky and there aren't any dry patches. I feel like I'm teetering on the border of 'just barely hydrated' and 'not hydrated enough'.  
Both the essence and cream smell lovely - they have a cherry blossom scent, fittingly but the essence smells nicer than the cream. It smells a bit lighter and more natural whilst the cream smells a bit artificial and overpowering. You can't smell it whilst applying though.
I guess durability here means the long term effects and whether it actually whitens skin or not! :P

I took a before and after picture, which I don't usually do with skincare as you can't see the difference but I was hoping you could with this product.

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Before                                                                                After

I have a bit of red mottling without make-up on and after only a week's use of these products, I'm quite surprised! It's not a million times better but you can definitely see improvement. It's even better in real life too. The mottling is improved and my skin tone is more even, even without make-up on and is has even brightened up my under-eye circles. I have this weird little red blemish on my nose that I was hoping these products would improve but there's no change on that, sadly.

The matte, silky feel of these products has stuck with prolonged use of the essence and cream. My skin doesn't feel particularly dry but very silky throughout the day. No dry patches show up when I wear make-up either. I could do with a bit more hydration but it's not the worst for my skin. I've actually been using Be The Skin Power Nutrition toner with royal jelly in it whilst I've been using these products, hoping it will give my skin a bit more hydration alongside the essence and cream. I've also taken to spraying Holika Holika's Aqua Petit Jelly Make-up Fixer after my skincare routine now too, hoping it will lock in moisture and I don't seem to be having problems yet using either of those additional problems.

Also - look at my weird attached earlobe! LOOK AT IT. That side is worse than my right side too, worryingly. ^^; I also got rid of my weird babyfluff almost-sideburns too during the week. I do it every so often but the hair removal blade I use (it's one of those 'eyebrow trimmers' you can get from places like The Saem and Missha but can use on your arms, face, etc.) kind of pulls the hair unpleasantly and it kind of hurts. :(
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As a standard essence and moisturiser, they aren't too bad in terms of hydration, feel, long term effects, etc., even for my dry skin. I'd still prefer something with a bit more hydration, just to be on the safe side but this would be excellent for normal, combination and oily skin types.

For whitening, I was actually mildly impressed at the noticeable brightening the products gave my skin in just a week. I can imagine if you used this all the time it would have even better effects. It has made my skin look brighter and more even as well as having a lovely, silky feel to it. If this was more moisturising, I would definitely purchase the full sized items. Maybe I will try Vitamin C items next? They are supposedly good for brightening skin too, as well as plumping and nourishment. I give these products 4/5 stars!

Have you tried any whitening products? Any recommendations?

Monday, 22 April 2013

Review: Garnier Moisture Match Goodbye Dry Ultra-Hydrating Rich Cream

Today I'm going to do a review on Garnier's new Moisture Match "Goodbye Dry" Ultra Hydrating Cream, the pink type. I'm running out of it so I thought it would be best to do a review sooner rather than later!
Brand: Garnier
Name: Moisture Match moisturiser (name changes depending on type)
Type: Goodbye Dry Ultra Hydrating Cream
Price: £5.99
Where to buy: Boots, Superdrug, any drugstore/chemist really.

The Goodbye Dry type is the pink tube, formulated for dry to very dry skin, obviously. There are different formulations for different skin types; a thinner lotion for normal skin (Protect & Glow), sorbet cream (although they aren't marketing it as a sorbet any more) for combination/oily skin and they were calling this Goodbye Dry variety a balm. Strange how they've seemed to just call them all creams now?
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The packaging is okay, I guess. At least my type is my favourite colour, pink! Western packaging is always so boring and bland though, I've been spoilt by adorable Korean packaging. XD There's also the mentality of Western women that they want something sleek, sophisticated and natural looking in terms of packaging, depending on the product's angle, and they feel a bit silly and immature having cute packaging. Things like Benefit and Too Faced are about as cute or pretty as you get over here. I don't understand that mentality. XD

Oh, when I first got this product, there was a bit over half of the product in the tube, with a big gap of air at the top. Not sure if other tube style creams are like that, or have to be to prevent bursting or leaks (similar to crisp packets being filled with air) but I was a bit disappointed as it had less product in than I first thought. You get 50ml of product, or so it says, not sure if that's with the big air gap or not but it's standard face cream size.
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On first squeeze, the cream is very thick and luxurious, like a heavy hand cream! It goes on lighter than expected when you apply it on your face though.

Because this is a heavy cream, it does have a slightly heavy feeling on the face. It's not greasy or sticky but I feel like it has to be rubbed in more than usual to make me feel okay with it. It does make it feel like it's working though, and "babying" my skin. I guess you have to sacrifice that for dry skin, huh? XD

Whilst the cream is sinking in, it makes my nose look a bit shiny but I've had no problems with increased sebum or an oily T-zone using this item. If I feel it is a bit shine-a-matic, I rub a bit off with my sleeve and it's fine.
The advertising makes each different cream look like it's a different colour, the same colour as the packaging. The pink one looks like a thick, pink ointment, the green one looks like a fluffy mint green sorbet, etc. but this cream is just plain white. I feel Garnier went a bit overboard with the marketing, what with the different coloured creams and different names for them all, then reeling it in after they were released. =/
The cream has a relatively heavy floral scent to it, which I think is commonplace for Garnier products. It's okay but my boyfriend always comments on it at night when we get into bed and it puts him off from kissing my face and generally getting too close. It is formulated for all skin types though, even sensitive ones and it doesn't irritate my skin even though it's quite heavily fragranced. I can imagine each cream type has a different scent of different strengths.

When the cream has fully absorbed or rubbed off, like when I wake up, my skin feels moisturised, nourished and repaired. There are no dry, flaky patches and my skin has evened out pretty nicely. When I used to apply make-up with my old moisturiser and foundation, I'd have to apply the foundation immediately after moisturising, so it wasn't as drying and hid any dry spots. Now I don't have to do this and can leave my moisturiser in to absorb for a bit, as recommended.
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I've been pleasantly surprised by this cream and by Garnier. I hated their BB cream as it irritated my skin and stung my eyes, so I was really hoping that wouldn't happen with this cream and it hasn't. Instead, it pleasantly nourishes my dry skin, getting rid of any dry patches and flaky spots but it doesn't make my T-zone greasy either. It's made my skin a lot nicer to handle and whilst I'd like to try more face creams, especially from Korean brands, I wouldn't hesitate to come back to this as a staple. It doesn't replace my snail cream though!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Shop for Korean Cosmetics with W2Beauty!

Today I thought I'd show you the items I got with W2Beauty after I showed you my Koreadepart haul! I know I'm posting a lot about Korean cosmetics at the moment, I'm sorry! XD It's what I'm into the most at the moment but I am also more inspired in Sweets Deco stuff too so I'll do some craft, shop and tutorial posts showing you cute fake sweets! I'll try and get some fashion stuff out too but to be honest, I don't go out of the house much at the moment... such a hermit... I might be doing a photoshoot on May 4th though so I'll show you that too!

Anyway, I first learned of W2Beauty on Facebook, I think - they are a relatively new Korean cosmetics website and what I really like about them is that shipping fees are already included in the price of their products so you don't get any nasty surprises at checkout! You can also buy a tracking number for $2.30 or something like that, which isn't a lot at all - it's a lot more expensive to get a tracking number here in the UK!

So I first ordered from them because some powders I wanted from Koreadepart were out of stock but I am definitely going to order from them a lot more in the future! The lovely owner gives you point every time you buy items and you can also write reviews about each product to earn more points, which can go towards money off your orders or free products altogether! I'm always motivated to spend more if I feel like I'm being rewarded, which is probably a bad habit lol... ^^;

Okay, so I ordered Holika Holika Strawberry Pore Magic Cover Powder with SPF50+ in for me and a friend. I really want a powder with SPF50 in so I can top the protection up during the day and this was by far the cheapest one going. ^^ It was $13 on W2Beauty's website. Checkout was straightforward and the products arrived a day after my Koreadepart order - the Koreadepart order was sent EMS and W2Beauty's was sent regular Korean airmail so it arrived very quickly! The only reason I pay for EMS shipping is cuz my packages are too heavy for standard airmail but I will definitely be using that method from now on. The items arrived in a box the perfect size for the items, very well packaged and with a personal note from W2Beauty, thanking you for your custom. It feels very personal ordering with W2Beauty and you can ask the owner anything you need, about the cosmetics or Korea in general and she will help you!

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This is the powder I ordered, I ordered two of them.

As well as my items, I also got as many free samples with this two product order than I did with the Koreadepart order! Awesome! The owner even asked me which brands I like so she can put in relevant samples in future orders! That is amazingly thoughtful and I am willing to try anything so let's see what I got!

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Holika Holika Aqua Petit Jelly Starter & BB Cream - I actually ordered the Aqua Petit Jelly Make-up Fixer, as you saw in my last post so these go hand in hand with that! I can't wait to try these out! The BB Cream is discontinued now but W2Beauty probably still have stock and eBay shops will too. Just watch out for fakes!

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Missha Super Aqua Refreshing Cleansing Foam - I'm giving this to Adele as I already have cleansers and fear it might be a bit harsh for my skin. I'd prefer to buy a cleanser that I have read for my skin type!

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Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream - I've heard really good things about this product, including people calling it their Holy Grail product! Wow! I'll give this to Suzy for her to try!

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The Face Shop Chia Seed Water 100 - I think this is the toner in the Chia Seed line? Nothing else has "water" in the name and you can get two toner types - watery mist toner and pump-action toner. Obviously you can't get a mist item in a free sample so I assume this is the standard toner. I will give this to Adele!

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Tony Moly Luminous Pure Aura CC Cream - I've been wanting to try CC cream lately and was actually going to buy this so I'm really happy I got a free sample of it! I can't wait to try it out and see how CC creams compare to BB creams! The only thing is, I've heard CC cream have lower coverage than BB creams... ^^;

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Missha Signature Complete Real BB Cream - I have a couple of BB cream samples I need to try out so I'll give this to Suzy to try out. I think I saw someone say this is one of the most full-coverage BB creams Missha have? If so, I'd love to try it in the future.

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Holika Holika Canola Honey Sleeping Pack - I got this in my last Korean order a few months back so I will give it to Suzy as I've already tried it. I think it was okay, I'll probably have to buy the full sized product to see if it works over a long time period.

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The Face Shop Face It Aura Colour Control Cream - Another CC cream that I'd like to try to compare with the Tony Moly one and BB creams.

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And finally, we got this super cute Holika Holika shopping bag with our order! So cute! I'll give it to Suzy though as I hoard nice bags like this but never do anything with them so I'll stop right there! XD

I really enjoyed ordered from W2Beauty and will do so more in the future for smaller, top-up orders in Korean cosmetics. Actually, the more items you order with W2Beauty, the better prices she can give you (because the prices also include a bit of shipping on top of them) so send her a message and see what she can do for you! I wasn't paid or sponsored to write this post or anything, I just want to help a newly started company out! I'm also doing the same with a bubble tea cafe in Derby as it's a bit quiet at the moment and I don't want it to close down! T_T

What do you think of the items I got? Anything you want me to review in particular? Thanks for reading! <3

Friday, 12 April 2013

Latest Koreadepart Haul!

Hi hi everyone! The other day I received my latest Korean cosmetics order from Koreadepart for me and two friends! I'm super excited about all the products and can't wait to try them out and review them on here!

I also got two powders from W2Beauty, another Korean cosmetics website and I will definitely be ordering from there again! The girl I am speaking to currently is super nice, helpful and sent lots of lovely samples along with the products and a Holika Holika bag too! She sent me as many samples for two products as Koreadepart sent me for my whole order! But I did get some event items from Koreadepart too, which are full size so I can't really complain. ^^ I'll show you my W2Beauty items in a post soon!

In my last Koreadepart post, I couldn't show you how the package arrived as it arrived at Rob's shop and he took everything out of the box to bring home in his backpack. So, here's photos of this order!

I think Koreadepart marks your package down if you send them a message and ask but the UK is cracking down on customs stuff so they are less likely to do it now. I asked them if they could mark the package down in a memo with payment but the full $221 and $50 shipping was on the invoice - however, I didn't get any customs charges! What?! It was delivered by Parcelforce, who I thought were like FedEx in the fact that they send you customs charges in a letter a few weeks after you receive your package (which I HATE! By the way! D:<) but they don't! So I don't know how I managed it but I managed to avoid customs on like, a £200 order...


Left is the box when I first opened it; samples are in a bag on the top and some items are individually packed in bubblewrap. Right is with the samples and individually packed items removed.

An example of the individually packed items. Round items like bottles, some boxes and all the thin, cylindrical items and boxes were packaged together for space efficiency and extra protection!

Here's the event items and samples we got!

Y.E.T. Fix You Synergy Ampoule in Pore Care type for spending $30 or more on Y.E.T products. This'll be going to Adele as neither me nor Suzy have problems with our pores.


Amore Pacific Ryeo Heukyunsaenggi Shampoo for buying any item from Amore Pacific brands - this will be going to Suzy as she bought a Mis en Scene hair mist so I thought it'd be fitting to have more hair stuff from the brand! <3

Here's everything laid out, including samples - that's a lotta stuff! :o

Wanna see everything I got? For me, personally:
Missha Nail Remover Container - I'll be putting homemade toner in it, rather than nail polish remover and I'll be decorating it to make it unbelievably cute!

This is my first venture into higher end skincare, recommended to me by Airi's blog! Coreana Senite Polynesian Intensive Cream and a free Coreana Senite Pure Nokdu Mask to boot!

The Face Shop Face It Moisture Pore Balm - a smoothing primer for drier skin types so it doesn't clog pores or try to control shine and oil, like other combo/oily skin primers do.

Tony Moly Face Mix Skin Foundation in #21. This is slightly more expensive than I used to spend so I can't wait to see if it matches up or is better than my cheaper products! Actually, I went for quality over cheapness for everything in this order so I want to see results from everything!

Holika Holika Aqua Petit Jelly Make-up Fixer - I ordered a Baviphat make-up fixer with my first Koreadepart order but it was discontinued somewhere between me ordering it and my order being packaged up so I got a refund instead. T_T This looks good and is formulated for dry skin too, making your skin appear bouncy, fresh and jelly-like!

Missha The Style Pearl Eyeliner in white - these are really popular at the moment in Lolita, Gyaru and general Korean 'icon' looks for making your eyes appear big, sparkly and cuter! I got the cheapest pearl liner available, just to see how it was before I splurge and I like Missha The Style items anyway!

Etude House Surprise Concealer Kit in Flaw Coverage and Dark Circle Coverage types! I'm really into custom mixing shades for your face ever since I saw the make-up artists at Deal or No Deal use items like these. Yeah okay, they were from MAC Pro but hey, I'll start small! ;)

Etude House Sweet Recipe Baby Choux Base in #2 Berry Choux. I wanted pretty much everything from the new Sweet Recipe line but I reigned myself in as I don't need everything, especially when I have highlighters and brown eyeshadows already. I've heard mostly good things about this base and it's the right shade for me, unlike my The Face Shop Lovely Me:ex Base (lilac) so I can't wait to try it!

Etude House Sweet Recipe Dear My Jelly Lips-talk Lipstick in JPK003. Etude House have some funny names for their lipsticks but I saw some people recommending this shade for fair skin so it looked good! I also wanna try the tint one too, JPK001.

I got another lipstick shade I wouldn't usually go for but I saw it applied on lips in the stock photo for this and fell in love! It's It's Skin Colour Play Platinum Lipstick in Deep Wine and I must admit, I love the colour! It looks great on my skin, it's deep and rich and makes me feel sexy! XD

I also got two packs of these Y.E.T. Easy Funny Nail Stickers because they have the absolute cutest design ever! They had a selection of adorable designs and I wanted to get them all but they're a bit pricey for nail wraps/foils/stickers/whatever so I got the cutest to begin with and will get the others if I like these or they prove to be popular in my store. Yes of course I'm going to make false nails with them and sell them in my store! My customers need the cutest items possible!

So what did my friends get? Suzy got:

Mis en Scene Style Green Face & Hair Mist, which qualified for the Amore Pacific shampoo. I wonder how this is on both face and hair? Does it provide texture to hair or simply refresh/cool it?

Crema Caracol Original Snail Cream - let's see how this fairs compared to my Secret Key snail cream!

Y.E.T Pitapat Erase Gel - I think this is a make-up remover/scrub/cleanser? It promises to erase dull skin and revitalise you, anyway! Y.E.T. have really cute, unique art and packaging, second only to Too Cool for School in my opinion! TCFS had an event going on when I placed my order and I really wanted to get it but there wasn't really anything I needed at the moment... :(

Y.E.T. Dew Lit Eyes Pearl Liner in White. I want to see if this is better than my Missha one as it's more expensive - if so, I'll get this one next time!

Holika Holika Oil Queen Cotton Make-up Fixer - it'll be good to see how both the Oil Queen and Aqua Petit Jelly make-up fixers compare!

Holika Holika Wine Therapy Sleeping Mask in Red Wine - this packaging is so cool and awesome! I really like the look of it so I want to try one next time I place an order, perhaps one for dry skin?

This also looks super cool, it's Holika Holika Gonyak Soft Jelly Scrub! It looks similar to the Caolion Moisture Peeling Massage Gel I got from Peach and Lily but more solid and jelly-like, aka more fun! I will definitely add this to my order next time!

This is Holika Holika Hot Body Firming Cream - I feel like me and Suzy have some sort of brand rivalry going on, ha ha! Like, I am Etude House and Suzy loves Holika Holika! This cream is kind of like Icy Hot in my opinion but I don't think it is really! It supposedly burns fat away from your body - interesting, I hope it works! Wish I could apply it to my face and get a slimmer face! *gasp* Maybe I could use it on the tops of my arms? That would be awesome, I'll have to see from Suzy if it works!

And an Etude House products for Suzy too! See, I was only joking about the brand rivalry! I have just bought a powder from Holika Holika too! This is Etude House Lip Perfume in Apple but it's not really a 'lip perfume', it's a breath freshener in a yummy apple flavour! I'd probably just spray it like those sour spray sweets you got it as a kid and drink it all... XD

And Adele got...well, mostly things with faces on. XD She's a sucker for cute packaging but aren't we all?!

Tony Moly Pocket Bunny Mist in Sleek, for combination/oily skin. Isn't this packaging perfect for Easter? I'd love to put them in Easter goodie bags but different skin types would make it hard. XD I want to try the Moist one for dry skin next time!

Tony Moly Petite Bunny Gloss Bar - kind of inbetween a lipstick and lipgloss, it makes me want to get the cherry one next time.

The Face Shop Lovely Me:ex Mini Magic Pink Powder Mask, for controlling breakouts and excess oil on your face. I recommended this to Adele a little while back. The packaging is so adorable!

We also got lots of lovely samples, which I've divvied up between us all, hopefully according to our skin types!

Secret Key Snail & EGF Repairing Cream & Synake Ant-Wrinkle & Whitening Cream - I ordered these exact products for me and my mum in my first order! Spooky! These are for Suzy as I technically already have them. XD

Skinfood Gold Caviar Collagen Cream and Watery Berry Serum. Suzy can have the Watery Berry serum as she tried the eye cream last time and I don't think this line is enough for my dry skin.

Holika Holika Miracle Real Skin Finish and Nature Republic Ultra Steam Cream. I think the Real Skin Finish will suit Adele's skin best and I quite like the look of the Ultra Steam Cream - it has 'hot steam technology' and shea butter for severly dry skin! Not saying my skin is severly dry though, as that just makes me sound like a shrivelled old prune... XD

Innisfree Canola Honey Pack & Cream and Green Barley Clear Scrub. I'll take the cream for my dry skin and Adele can have the scrub as I think it'll be best for combination/oily skin.

And finally, Dermal Q10 Enzyme Collagen Essence Sheet Mask. Suzy can have this as collagen is great for plumping up skin and I have the snail essence type of these anyway.

All in all this was a great order as everything was done a lot quicker than last time (I caught them at Korean thanksgiving holiday last time lol), I knew what to expect and nothing was out of stock so there were no refunds! There was the Holika Holika powders that were out of stock but I ordered them from W2Beauty instead and they arrived a day later so no harm done! I'll show you W2Beauty's greatness next time! Hope this wasn't too long and boring a post for you, see you next time! <3