My skin journey: adult acne, aging gracefully, and going makeup free

Today, I wanted to talk about something slightly different. Lots of empties to talk about but I have been wrestling and considering this topic for quite a while. How do you feel good in your skin if you have acne and as you get older?

With lots of blogs out there addressing adult acne and aging skin concerns, today I wanted to give you a bit of both, my tips for both, what actually helped me, and how I went from insecure about my skin to feeling proud of the skin I am in, both metaphorically and literally.

But first, a quick little trip down memory lane 2011 (pink dress w/ turquoise flowers) – 2013 (white T-Shirt) – 2015 (black and red hoodie) – 2017 (blue and purple scarf) – 2019 (white and blue T-shirt)

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Drugstore Eye Makeup Empties


Essence – Dip Eyeliner in Black – Waterproof, Essence – I ❀ Stage Eyeshadow Base, Wet’n’wild Photofocus Eyeshadow Base, Catrice Rock Couture Extreme Volume Mascara in Black – Waterproof, Essence hi!lighting Eyeshadow Mousse in 04 hi! mauve, Heroine Make Long & Curl Mascara

It always takes me ages to actually go through colour makeup. As you can gather from this blog, I am pretty good at using up my skincare well within its expiry window – but when it comes to makeup, it always takes me quite a while to finish up anything at all, especially when it comes to highlighters, eyeshadows, blushers and lipsticks.

I will also admit to using makeup past its expiry dates and past recommended time periods after opening products. :O I have not yet encountered any problems. That is not to say that I never will and I will update the blog should I ever get an infection, so that you can tell me ‘told you so’ in the comments. πŸ˜‰ That being said, I am very strict and careful about the way I store my makeup (= in a dark, cool place away from humidity) and about using clean makeup brushes and sponges which I wash thoroughly each use or every other use, so perhaps that has been my saving grace so far. But admittedly, I am somewhat conscious and afraid of using expired makeup.

For this reason, I will never be a makeup hoarder or collector. I only buy new makeup if I run out of something. I use pretty classic or neutral shades in my everyday makeup, so I never feel tempted to buy new makeup releases – I have stopped wearing makeup on the weekend completely – and I never feel like experimenting much or changing up looks. If I know that I already have a colour very similar to the one product I am craving, I just don’t buy it. End of story.
At the ripe old age of 30, I kind of know what I like and what suits me. I have tried lots of different things over the past 17+ years of trying or wearing makeup, and I know what works for me at this point and what doesn’t.

But let’s get onto the reviews!

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Recent Lip Balm Empties

DHC – Lip Cream, Kamill – Touch Orange & Grapefruit, Bouquet Garni – Citron, Neutrogena – Nourishing Lip Care in Nordic Berry, Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1, Smith’s Rosebud Salve, Uriage – Xemose Stick Levres

Whee, quite a few lip balm empties. Come winter, I go through these through water – though I do, generally speaking, tend to use lip balms up rather quickly. Most of these are Western brands, though some are Korean. Let’s get started!

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Review: Glamglow face masks (mini trio, travel size)

Supermud Clearing Treatment Mask

Gravitymud Firming Treatment Mask

Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment Mask

So this was unfortunately long before I thought of taking pictures of products prior to using them, or even taking pictures of me actually using all the masks. I only got a shot of myself using the firming treatment.

Hence, these rather crappy pictures will have to do for now to prove that I actually finished the masks, and I can’t even find the clearing mask empty! Shame on me, I will do better next time. Read on for my thoughts on these masks.

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Too Cool for School’s new makeup looks eerily similar to Charlotte Tilbury’s, and here’s why I personally have a problem with that

Too Cool for School’s Fixing Cover Foundation vs Charlotte Tilbury’s Charlotte’s Genius Magic Powder – Let’s talk Packaging Design.

The other day, as I was scrolling through my social media feeds, I saw that one of my favourite brands – Too Cool For School – had released a new cushion foundation.

If you’re not familiar with the brand: It hails from Korea as far as I can see, and has always been perceived by many consumers as to be on the forefront of new trends, featuring innovative, creative designs, skin-loving ingredients and brilliant makeup.

As I stared at the image, I could not help but think that their new cushion foundation reminded me of something. And then it clicked: There was a Charlotte Tilbury product that looked quite similar. Let’s have a look and check out Too Cool for School and Charlotte Tilbury’s designs side by side:

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Blog Review: Korean acid toners and treatments

Dermaclear Micro Milk Peel // Dr Jart

AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner // COSRX

V10 Peeling Pad // BRTC

Dr. Troubex Blemish Pads // Tosowoong

Seeing as I felt really good about compiling a bunch of products into one review rather than going into far too much detail individually, here is another cluster review of Korean acid toners and treatments.

By default, when I visit a physical shop (Lalavla, Olive Young or LOHBs) here in Korea, the majority of acids is offered in the shape of presoaked pads. This of course is enormously convenient, if perhaps not super great for the environment – but if you prefer to use acid toners with cotton pads rather than your hands anyway, then I guess this won’t bother you much. I will have to concede that I love using presoaked pads myself, as they usually come in at a reasonable price and are great to wipe on after cleansing your face.

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Review: Korean Facial Cleansing Gels Galore!

5alpha Control Cleansing Gel (Lee Ji Ham), Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser (COSRX), Cica Micellar Cleansing Foam (Neogen Dermalogy), Dermaclear Micro pH Foam (Dr Jart), Cleansing Perfecta (CNP Laboratory)

As the products I want to talk about keep piling up, I have decided to shift my focus from several short posts a week to one more substantial blog review per week. As such, I have also decided to group products per category to allow for comparison.

Do note that all of the below are packaged as gels. Some of them foam up when lathered with water, some don’t – more on that below.

A quick note on how I use gel cleansers. I use them either as a first cleanser in the morning, or as a third/fourth cleanser at night, preceded by eye makeup removal, a cleansing water and an oil cleanser.

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