Natural Beauty: Morning Calm

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I discovered “natural soap” through Etsy, when I encountered Morning Calm several years back. I was immediately intrigued, but what really got me excited was the fact that the owner, Hwasoon Kim, was formulating her soaps with traditional Korean skin care ingredients such as Red Bean, Sanghwang Mushroom, and Hwangto Clay to name a few.

Growing up in a family with three other skin care conscious women, I was naturally exposed to a wide variety of cleansers yet had difficulty finding ones that worked for me. My skin is very oily, congested and sensitive, and a lot of foaming cleansers out there that claim to be “gentle yet effective” are usually one or the other, rarely both. Surprisingly, Morning Calm soaps were both. They removed daily build-up of oil and dead skin cells, any residue left from oil cleansing while leaving my skin feeling purified and soft but not squeaky clean. I’ve been a loyal customer ever since (4 years ago).

Once I stopped using her soaps temporarily and I noticed a huge difference. My skin got dry and patchy but grimy and congested at the same time that I had to exfoliate every other day if not every day (I was using Vichy and Laneige cleaners at the time). After using her Elvan Clay Soap for two weeks, not only did my skin come back, my skin felt unbelievably softer. My other favorite is Organic Green Tea (temporarily unavailable) which also leaves skin super smooth as if you actually rinsed with green tea water.

There aren’t many variety of soaps in stock currently, but she also sells beautiful lip balms, natural deodorants, cleansing oils and more. They make great gifts too! My mom’s picky Korean friends really enjoyed them that one asked me to place an order for her.

Overall, I think natural soaps are well worth trying especially if you have oily, congested or sensitive skin. It’s sad that soap gets a bad rep these days but I swear by them. Plus, they are economical since they are solid and will last you for ages. Other natural soap shops that I recommend are Herbivore Botanicals, Long Winter Farm and Rocky Top Soap.

What are your currently favorite natural beauty product?

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Bite Beauty Butter Cream Lipstick in Heather

Whenever I walk into a Sephora, I tell myself: No lip product! If anything get eye makeup because that’s where I like to emphasize and spend most time when I get ready. Then slowly I start to notice the pinky, peachy and coral nudes, try on about 20 similar but different shades til my lips are on fire, and yeah.. one comes home with me. The same happened a few weeks ago when I went to Sephora but I ended up getting something a little different.

Bite Beauty Butter Cream Lipstick in Heather
Bite Beauty Butter Cream Lipstick in Heather

Bite Beauty’s Butter Cream Lipstick in Heather is a mid-tone slightly mauvey dusty rose shade. I tend to stay away from medium or dark toned lip colors because I think they make my already small lips look even smaller but this shade did not do that. And it’s a beautiful everyday classy color that is neither too muted or too bright.

Formula was nothing special contrary to how they advertise. It feels like any other regular lipstick on me so that was a little disappointing but regardless I love it.

Since this shade has kind of helped me get out of my usual peachy pink rut, I don’t know how many lip colors I’ll try on next time I walk into a Sephora.. : )

A’PIEU Pure Block Natural Sun Cream

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Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen used to be my sun protection of choice for a long time because it did not leave my skin oily or would not result in that dreadful white cast. Until I found this one which is like… 5 times better! It’s A’PIEU’s Pure Block Natural Sun Cream! A’PIEU is a Korean brand and I found this on eBay for about $10 including shipping.

This sunblock (SPF 45 and PA +++) goes on like a light lotion, there’s absolutely no white cast or siliconey feel whatsoever, absorbs completely, and leaves your skin feeling soft.

And the best part is that it does not have a muggy sunblocky scent, but smells like real fresh peeled tangerines! So so so so fresh!

Never in a million years did I think I would love a sunblock this much! What is your favorite sun protection?

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine #55 Romance

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For my 25th birthday, I asked for a Chanel lipstick because I wanted my first Chanel product to be, well, a little more special! (Do I sound naive?) So my sister got me a Rouge Coco Shine in #55 Romance and the name couldn’t be anymore well-fitting.

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The concoction is perfection. Neither too sheer or opaque with just the right amount of moisture that doesn’t get slippy. On my skin tone, it is a medium neutral to slightly cool toned pink that has just the tinge of milkiness to show its true color on lips (not affected by your natural lip shade) but not too much that it emphasizes your lip texture. It also has a very tiny amount of fine shimmer that naturally enhances the lips.

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It was hard for me to find a “pink” that was still pink but didn’t scream pink that is not another peachy pink (which I have aplenty) and this seems to tick all the boxes for me.

What is your favorite go-to pink lip shade?

Colourpop Blush Review – Holiday, Trickery & Olive

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I am so happy to have discovered Colourpop Cosmetics this year! After hearing many good reviews on Youtube, I decided to try out their blushes first and I am now hooked. I got three shades in Holiday, Trickery and Olive.
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The texture (very hard to describe as you all know) is a creamy, moussey, doughy powder that is best applied with your fingertips. I love the velvety texture that can be worn before or after powder and they don’t go on patchy. Plus they are super long-wearing (lasted 10+ hours on me).
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Holiday is a matte coraly peachy shade. Trickery is a pastel peach with a satin finish (has a little bit of fine shimmer particles) and Olive is a matte baby pink. So far Trickery is my favorite, it’s the perfect peach for my skintone. Olive is slightly too cool for my skin tone so I love to apply just on the apples of my cheeks over a light layer of Trickery for a little pop. 
I have been reaching for these almost everyday over high end blushes and I can’t really think of anything negative to say about them. At $8 a pop, I think these are a great way to try out both fun and wearable colors.