Allow me to beat you to the punch: “May”?? Girl, you best be accumulating your list of products for JUNE‘s “Things I’ve Tried” post given the DATE and TIME of this post.
I know, I know, please forgive me ;p
In my defense, I’ve been fairly busy these past few weeks. I’ve been looking for a new apartment and if you have ever gone through that process before you might know just how gruelling that can be, especially if you are looking for a place in a city like Ottawa, where listings come and go quicker than the time it takes me to finish a Venti iced coffee with milk. Plus, I’ve also spent the last few days watching E3 coverage all day ;p
Alas, I’ve finally secured myself a place to move in a couple months, and E3 is dying down, so now that I don’t have to fret about that too much, I can get back to posting on schedule again!
This month I tried out a few products all across the makeup and skincare spectrum, and as always, I’ve compiled some of my thoughts about them below!
For the full, in-depth review of some products I’ve tried in May, click below:
VICHY NORMADERM Hydrating Aquagel
I remember when I lived in the countryside of France for a month in the 11th grade, I’d occasionally pop into the local “pharmacie” (where they sold all their drug-store brand skincare, since the nearest Sephora was 2 hours away by bullet-train) to pick up shit for my horrific acne at the time. I remember always going into the pharmacie with high hopes that perhaps THIS time, the random fancy-lookin’ french product that I would buy would actually have a substantial effect on my embarrassing acne outbreak (turns out all that french fromage I was eating really did me dirty and absolutely destroyed my complexion). But every time, I’d always end up 30 euros poorer with a product that did fuck-all for my skin. Yet I’d always go back and try again with another product to no avail. It was like I had an impulse to simply forget all of the misfortune that these skincare products were bringing me because I was so desperate to just find a cure for my breakouts (turns out, the cure resided in the fact that I was eating too much cheese. Figures).
Why do I bother sharing this tale? Because I feel like even though I am not in France anymore and the local Sephora is just a 10-minute bus-ride away, I STILL occasionally relapse and buy the same kinds of French skincare products that they sold in France at Shoppers Drugmart. The fact that a lot of my favourite influencers rave about these products endlessly certainly doesn’t help my case.
But all of the expensive French products that I’ve bought from Shoppers Drugmart have been absolutely disappointing (except the “Kloraine” dry shampoo – I swear by that product, but then again, it’s not supposed to be for your skin ;p ).
This anti-acne gel from Vichy is no exception. I bought it a while back when my acne was flaring up a bit but didn’t really start using it until recently. And I have to say, it has done absolutely NOTHING for my acne. If anything, I’ve noticed that when I use this product over-night, my acne doesn’t repair and diminish itself as nicely as it does when I DON’T use this product. HMMMMMmmmm……
It leaves a sticky residue on my face that doesn’t ever really dry up. It makes me cringe whenever I go to sleep with this treatment on because of how it sticks to my pillows and how horribly shiny my face looks. It doesn’t work very nicely under makeup either.
Of course, everyone’s skin is different, but MAN I’ve just has such awful luck with brands like “Vichy” and “Avene”. I feel like French skincare is just not optimal for people with oily and incredibly acne-prone skin like myself I suppose…No matter how much I WANT these products to work for me, they never do.
The Face Shop Jeju Volcanic Lava Pore Scrub Foam
I’ve actually used this product before, and re-purchased it because it worked nicely and it was fairly inexpensive. I switch up my cleansing routine fairly regularly because I find that works best with my skin. By “switching-up”, I don’t mean buying a new cleanser every second Monday, but rather cycling through a variety of tried and true cleansers that I know work well for me in a manner that best addresses my current skincare needs.
So for example, my skin was looking pretty dull recently, so I reached out for this cleanser that I hadn’t used for a while for its exfoliating properties. There are a bunch of tiny little particles in this wash that gently exfoliate your skin. In terms of cleansing, this doesn’t do a good job with makeup removal, but rather it just gives your skin a nice thorough clean. One of my biggest problems with it, however, is the fact that after washing your face with water, your skin feels really sticky and not very lubricated. Ugh, I know, I cringed too, but hear me out.
After rinsing this off, when you massage your wet palms into your face to remove all of the residues, it feels as if your hands are dragging across your face in a very rough manner because the skin on your face isn’t holding onto the moisture of the water very well. This not only makes for a very unpleasant feeling, but I can’t imagine your hands dragging that hard against your skin to be a particularly good idea for people with sensitive or acne-prone skin like myself. For that reason, it’s best that this face wash is used in the shower because that way your hands will also be cleaner than they would be if you just gave your face a quick wash in the sink, and the water from the showerhead can rinse off all of the soapy residue – so no hands are needed!
It is a great exfoliator though! It lathers up nicely and it isn’t too rough of a formulation for my skin either which is a plus! As always, I will use this every one in a while when my skin is looking and feeling dull.
Miniso Pomegranate Face Mask
I swiped this from the Miniso (a Japanese dollar store kinda thing) when I visited my parents after I finished my exams a while back. Not going to lie, the random “CLEAN & VITALITY” motif kinda sketched me out, as with the “mask sheet” instead of “sheet mask”, but I played it up to the fact that the slogans and marketing for some Asian products just get lost in translation sometimes ;p
All in all, it was a decent sheet mask I suppose. It smelled nice, and it felt soothing on the skin. Did it cure my acne, my social anxiety and my addiction to caffeine? No. Did it contribute to my overall skincare health and reinforce my efforts to keep my acne at bay? Perhaps. It’s always hard to tell with these sheet masks since they are a one-use deal. Seeing as it was like, less than 2 dollars, I would still likely buy this again!
Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in “Craft”
I’ve always been a big fan of deep purple/red hues for my lips. Admittedly, they aren’t the most “en trend” shade, nor does it happen to correspond with a lot of my clothes, but for some reason, I always gravitate towards this lipstick shade. Even when I think I’ve found a nice colour of lipstick that ISN’T this shade, I’ll return home from Sephora and then realize that it looks exactly like all the other lip products I already own :’) Whoops
Anyways, I’ve never actually used a lip product from ABH before, so I was pretty hyped to try this out. Previous to this, my favourite liquid lipstick line was from Kat Von D, but despite those lipsticks staying on my lips ALL DAY, they also dried my lips up like crazy. Granted, I don’t wear lipstick often, but when I do, I wear Kat Von D lipsticks. In the past two years of wearing almost exclusively Kat Von D, I’ve gotten 5 or 6 serious sores right on the inside of my lips. Like, crazy painful ones that blister up and get huge and look like white sponges of absolute nastiness. They are awful, and I do blame the fact that these lipsticks just dry the LIFE out of my lips, even when I make sure to hydrate throughout the day. It’s honestly too bad because I LOVE their colour selection and they stay on all day.
Well, lo and behold, I think Kat Von D’s wig has been SNATCHED from ABH. I was surprised by how creamy the formulation was, and how smoothly it applied. The formulation is incredibly pigmented and the colour is very radiant and beautiful. My only qualm with this liquid lipstick is that it doesn’t have the longevity of Kat Von D’s lipsticks, but at the very least it has not completely obliterated my lip, so that’s a loss I’m willing to take if it means I don’t get any more of those godawful sores. Plus, it just feels a lot lighter on my lips, and it doesn’t feel crusty at all the way some more intense lip products may feel. I would highly recommend this line of lip products, and I am definitely going to be purchasing more!
Black OPI Nailpolish (Never Have Too Mani Friends)
Ok but how cute is the hello kitty motif? I grabbed this at a “Winners” a while back and I really used it a lot in May. OPI is my favourite nail polish brand because of how quick the formulation dries, and how pigmented their shades are. I only wish they had the shade selection that Essie has, and then it would be a dream product.
I don’t have much else to say besides the fact that I’ve been rocking some basic black nail polish on the days when I feel extra edgY ;p It’s a solid polish, and since I bought it from Winners it was like 6 dollars tops.
That’s all for May, I suppose you will hear from me soon enough to showcase my “Thing’s I’ve tried in June” 😉 Hope you all have been staying cool and hydrated during these nasty, humid Summer days ahaha.