Tag Archives: Melbourne blogger

Skin Edit: Then I Met You… A Month In Review

“At Then I Met You, we believe now – in the age of distraction – it’s time to go deeper,” – Then I Met You

Have you ever experienced that instant deep connection you have towards, someone, some thing or some place, that you just can’t explain? In some sense, this is the definition of the Korean word, Jeong. There’s no literal translation of the word in English language, but the meaning behind the word it truly beautiful. To the Then I Met You team, it means a deep and meaningful connection that encourages empathy and generosity and with this ideals, the team rooted everything that they do with each products they created for their customers.

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For many people who knew me, aside from the fact that I am obsessed with skincare, I have a strong connection to the Korean culture. I am surrounded by amazing friends who are of Korean background, I enjoyed their cuisine, their language and their sense of humour. My visit to Seoul felt more like a true pilgrimage rather than a mere holiday, because it refreshes my mind and I came back inspired. I suppose it’s back to that word again, Jeong, I definitely felt that towards South Korea, especially Seoul. Guided by the same feeling of connection, I discovered Korean beauty and finally, Then I Met You. 

For the longest time, I could not get my hands on them because Then I Met You do not ship overseas. But I am so thankful that they decided to make their products available on Soko Glam, which an online Korean beauty store co-founded by the same person that created Then I Met You, Charlotte Cho. I always loved shopping at Soko Glam because of all their well curated beauty brands and trust worthy recommendations.

The products that I purchased are, The Living Cleansing Balm, as a duo with Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel, as well as the other duo consists of, Birch Milk Refining Toner & The Giving Essence. As I am writing this, the team is about to launch their latest product, which will be a moisturiser, can’t wait for it to be available on Soko Glam so I can get my hands on it too.

I have used these four products exclusively within my PM routine for the past month and these are some of my thoughts on each individual products,

  • Living Cleansing Balm

I love the sorbet like texture. I am a huge balm cleanser fan and I do rank this quite high up on the list of my most favourites, if not number 1. This balm is created with few star ingredients such as,

    • Sea Buckthorn Oil which is known to be rich in fatty acids
    • Persimmon Extract helps to capture free radicals and prevents premature ageing and photo damage. It is also an ingredients with a known skin brightening properties
    • Olive oil, grapes Oil and Vitamin E, all are powerfully nourishing oils, high in antioxidants that helps to remove oil based impurities

Why I love? The balm is easily spread on your dry skin and emulsify beautifully. When you wash it off, there are no trace of oily feel on your skin. You’re pretty much left with supple, clean and soft skin

  • Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel

The second step to your double cleansing, this cleanser features fermented rice water (sake) that meant to help clear impurities and soften the skin. It’s star ingredients are,

    • Licorice root which is an effective antioxidant and natural skin brightening
    • Rice Ferment Filtrate is rich enzymes and amino acids to nourish your skin
    • Centella Asiatica a popular ingredient that help to increase moisture content in your skin
    • Green Tea is calming and very high in antioxidants
    • Tea tree lead is antimicrobial and anti inflammatory, also gentle for acne-prone skin
    • a PHA in the form of Gluconolactone which gently exfoliates, without sensitising the skin

Why I love? Enjoys the light tea scent of this cleansing. I am pleasantly surprise by the fun jelly-like texture, a little weirded out to start with but enjoys it now. The cleanser does not foam like crazy, which I personally love because it does not feel stripping for the skin

  • Birch Milk Refining Toner

This toner is designed to be used daily that will give you more than just simple hydration for the skin. Instead of water, the base of this toner is 76% concentration of pure birch juice, so you know the team at Then I Met You do not mess about when it comes to delivering highly efficient product to us, their customers. The star ingredients in this toner are,

    • Birch Juice off course. Birch juice has a skin-soothing and hydrating abilities while packed with amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants which includes Vitamin C and B3
    • Squalane derived from squalene, which our body produce naturally to maintain moisture in our skin. Squalane happens to boost cell regeneration while allowing other ingredients to absorb more efficiently into our skin
    • Marshmallow root is an anti-ageing plant extract that helps to reduce inflammation and fine lines while hydrates and protects the skin
    • Glycolic, Lactic Acid (both AHA) & PHA, both are gentle skin exfoliators, which helps to remove dead skin cells in order to encourage new skin to come to the surface. The combo also helps to counteract hyper-pigmentation and reverse the effect of sun damage

Why I love? First of all, I find the light tinge of violet of the toner to be a surprise, aside from that, this toner also has a slight fermentation scent, which reminds me a little of SK-II or Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence. I was so excited to receive this product, it happened to arrive on the day that I got my monthly acid peel done at my aesthetician, therefore the moment I pop this toner on, my skin experienced a slight tingles. Off course, it was because of the AHA & PHA exfoliating element within the toner, but thank goodness the toner is gentle enough that my skin was not irritated from he accidental double exfoliation LOL

  • The Giving Essence

The last on the line-up (for now), the treatment essence designed with over 80% naturally fermented ingredients, it hydrates your skin, but also work harder on giving your skin its youthful radiance back. Some of its awesome ingredients are,

    • Black chokeberry which apparently have the highest recorded antioxidants which contributes to skin’s youth and radiance
    • Elagic Acid protects skin from UV rays, collagen degeneration and harmful bacteria pathogens. It also said to be a safer alternative to other brightening ingredient
    • Polyglutamic acid instead of hyaluronic acid, because this water soluble holds four times more moisture
    • Galatomyces derived from fermented sake to reduce appearance of pores, blackheads and sebum, decreasing level of acne and improve skin brightness
    • Red Algae which gives the essence its amazing colour, contain a high concentration of calcium. Happens to gently exfoliates, remove dead skin cells, reduce fine lines and brightened complexion

Why I love? I like the thin, more watery texture of this essence. I can not get over how pretty the packaging looks, for all of the products, but especially this essence. Anyway, side tracked, I love that this essence is fragrance free, despite having so many fermented ingredients. Within the month of me using this essence, I have noticed the lack of breakouts on my chin, which usually occurs around the time of the month.

Final thoughts on Then I Met You…

If I can only recommend one product from the line, the Living Cleansing Balm is definitely a clear stand-out for me. From the texture, the way it emulsify and the way my skin feels afterwards, this cleansing balm is a step above the many cleansing balm I have tried.

I honestly think using the combination of the Birch Milk Refining Toner with the Giving Essence, have definitely helped my skin’s overall more radiant look. Therefore, it will be hard for me to recommend one and not the other. I have a huge amount of respect for Charlotte Cho and her team at Then I Met You because you can feel the amount of thoughts that goes into every ingredients chosen to be in their products. You feel their passion for the brand, their products but above all, you can tell they want the best results possible for their customers.

-k.

Art Journal: KAWS Companionship in the Age of Loneliness, NGV International

“It’s just a combination of letters I liked. And when your whole art’s based on the lettering you choose, you kinda figure out what ones work together. I just liked the shapes of the k, a, w, s. It has no meaning.” -KAWS aka Brian Donnelly

Brian Donnelly, or you might be more familiar with his “artist” name, KAWS, is a New York based artists. His works span from traditional painting, giant sculpture, murals exhibited all over the world in a public space as well as in a gallery space. In my opinion, KAWS arts are not limited to the stereotypical art box, he certainly pushes the boundaries of what art can be. When a random giant Mickey Mouse-like giant inflatable sculpture floats around Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong, you know his artwork goes beyond the white walls of a gallery.

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KAWS most certainly tapped into the pulse of current trends and society, his artworks speaks to current generation in a way that perhaps no artist have done before. Alongside his exhibition in National Gallery of Victoria, KAWS created limited edition T-shirts design in collaboration with Uniqlo. The small act of adding a line of fashion merchandise in collaboration with the exhibition’s sponsor caused a relatively small chaos on the 4-storeys Uniqlo store in the centre of Melbourne CBD. The hype beasts are all out and ready, lining up for hours to get their hands on these limited edition T-shirt because they know the re-sale value of any KAWS merchandise can be absolutely ridiculous.

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Yes, Astroboy, I totally agree with your expression here. Face palm indeed. It might a phenomenon I will not and to some extend, do not care to understand. I wonder if half of these hype beasts even enjoy KAWS, the artist, or do they perhaps know him as a designer. Perhaps the same way they know Virgil Abloh of Off-White. His exhibition in National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, is quite conceptual and showcases many of his famous works. The curator had done an amazing job arranging KAWS artworks, from the beginning of his “graffiti” on advertisements to his larger than life sculpture he created exclusively for this exhibition.

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Is it art? Is it a mere imitations? Is he a genius? Is he a mere copycat who banked on the phenomenal success of other creatives? These are some of the questions I walked away with after my visit to the exhibition. The artist, Brian Connelly, does not seem to pay too much fuss of what you think about his work. Perhaps similar to the way he choose his “artist” name, maybe he just creates and not put too much meaning into his creations.

-k

Skin Edit: Ultra Violette, discovering the home-grown sun protection brand

“Beautiful skin requires commitment. Not a miracle.” – unknown via Pinterest

For some one who never invested in putting effort on her skin in her teenage years, I can share one piece of wisdom, wear your sunscreen! If anything else you don’t care for, care for sun protection. The thing with the sun, what affects our skin the most is not so much the heat, it is the ray both UVA & UVB. Easiest way to remember, UVA = ageing, UVB = burning. As much as UVB will hurt you through burning which can potentially lead to skin cancer, UVA is all about the unseen photo ageing affect of sun rays. UVA is responsible for your pigmentation/sun spots and the terrible fine lines on your skin. Have I scared you into using sunscreen yet? Yes? Okay… read on…

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Ultra Violette is the only name you need to know, when it comes to sun protection this Aussie born brand is all over it. The founders are two women who are an alumni of the Australian beauty industry, who are so familiar with the rigorous Australian testing when it comes to qualify products as sun screen/sun protection. I believe that the fact that it took them two or more years to develop Ultra Violette, definitely means they have put their time and effort on researching the best ingredients against Australian sun, which is super harsh. I definitely feel that Ultra Violette is more of a passion project that just a mere business for these women.

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Queen Screen Lightweight Skinscreen SPF50+ UVA+UVB Broad Spectrum 50ml

This is the first product I ever purchased from Ultra Violette, because I literally see this bottle all over the social media. Points for all that marketing. I literally think about purchasing for so long, any way finally purchased and fell in love. The texture is light, milk-like, oil free formula with a subtle rosewater scent. It is a chemical sunscreen that contains Australian Kakadu Plum, which is knowns to be the world’s richest source of Vitamin C. Off course Vitamin C is the best antioxidant that protects your skin from free radical damage, all the while evening out your skin tone as well.

It has a pipette applicator and to make sure you have the best coverage, you need to use 3 pumps. Regardless, this one bottle last for a while. Queen Screen is definitely my staple, must-have, forever and until the day they decided to not make them anymore…

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Supreme Screen Hydrating Facial Skinscreen SPF50+ UVA+UVB Broad Spectrum

If you asked what the difference are between the Supreme Screen and the Queen Screen, I would say it lies on the texture and tint within Supreme Screen. The original Queen Screen has the more milk-like consistency, while the Supreme Screen feels slightly thicker lightweight lotion. I love the slight tint which gives your skin a nice glow when you use it on its own on days that you do not want to wear makeup. On its own, you can say the Supreme Screen can make wonderful primer. One of the ingredient in Supreme Screen is pentavitin which, gives your skin a boost of hydration that last on your skin for up to 72 hours.

They recommend for you to use 5 pumps daily, however I do find the size of Supreme Screen to be quite small, travel friendly, but will definitely ran out quickly if you do 5 pumps. What I do is 3 pumps of Queen Screen as base before applying 2-3 pumps of my Supreme Screen

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Extreme Screen SPF50+ Hydrating Body + Hand Skinscreen UVA+UVB Broad Spectrum with 4 Hours Water Resistant

The latest to have been born into the Ultra Violette family, this hand and body sun protection is the reason I am regularly using sun protection for my hands. To be honest, as much as I am an advocate of applying sunscreen on the face, I know how much I lack in applying sun protection on the rest of my body. Despite the many advancements facial sun screen, being light and smells good now, body sun protection unfortunately, not as exciting. Well, not until this one arrived. Extreme Screen has a texture similar to that of the Supreme Screen, however without the tint. The coconut scented sunscreen is so light, you will think that you’re not wearing anything at all, except when the sun hits you and your skin sparkles cause of the extremely smooth glitter-like particle ingredients mixed in to the cream.

You are meant to leather this everywhere, all over your body! But I only ever use it on my hands unless I am planning to stay outdoor for a prolonged period of time. Extreme Screen  contains soothing aloe vera, which can help reduce the redness post sun exposure and Vitamin E, which can help to repair skin for a more youthful look. As a chemical sunscreen, Extreme Screen has no white-cast or grease-feel on

Interested? You can get your hands on these babies online from Ultra Violette website, simply click here. If you happened to live in Australia and prefer to feel the products before purchasing anything, Ultra Violette is now available in Sephora Australia. 

-k.

Skin Edit: February 2020 Favourites

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” – Marilyn Monroe

How is February treating everyone? On a global scale, we have a pandemic affecting various countries that we still have no cure for. We have seen people panic in a massive scale which resulted in ridiculous behaviour that unfortunately includes racism and devastating backward thinking of so many. I wish to inform everyone, that this space is created with positivity and love, I don’t care who you are, where you’re from (and no, this will not continued on with the lyrics to Backstreet Boys famous hit, As Long As You Love Me), you are welcome here, you are in a safe space and you matter. Let’s get on with the business of sharing with you, few of my favourites for this month…

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As a skincare obsessive human, let’s start there eh! February is the month of intense weather changes and plenty terrible air pollutions days in between. Hence, anything that will repair and protect skin barriers are welcome…

  • Using the combination of Face Oil and Hydrating Toner/Essence in my PM routine, straight away after double cleansing, before continuing on with the rest of the routine. At first the concept baffles me, however the logic behind this method of madness made so much sense to me. When we double cleanse our skin, especially when you use oil cleanser e.g. cleansing balm, you essentially will be taking off any excess sebum off as well. Hence why it made sense to quickly replenish with good oil, before applying anything else, to encourage better absorbency of your other treatment products. My go-to this month are L’Occitane en Provence Immortelle Divine Youth Oil combine with Hanskin Real Complexion Hyaluron Skin Essence, the thicker texture of the essence really worked well with the oil, with just a quick warm up on the palm of your hands, gently pat across your face and you are good to go
  • Krave Beauty Great Barrier Relief, a skin barrier repairing serum. With so much air pollution and free radicals going around due to the weather condition, I am so relieved that this serum is giving me the protection my skin needs. It contains Tamanu Oil, which is believed to help regenerates skin and addresses various skin problems e.g. hyper-pigmentation or acne scarring. Within the formulation, they have a combo of NMF+Ceramides, Squalene and Phytosterol, which mimic a healthy skin barrier. Finally, Niacinamide, the current darling of the skincare formulator cause it is in everything. It is said to be the reliable mom of the skincare world, as it repairs barrier with anti ageing benefits whilst being gentle on the skin
  • Eye cream was never something I cared about too much, as I believe whatever you pop on your face will naturally travel up to your eye areas. But definitely no harm in owning a preventative measure when you do find the right products for your skin. Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel is where it’s at for me. Squalane is a stable form of an amazing moisture replenisher for our skin, which derived from squalene, that occurs naturally in our skin, therefore you know, it will nourish and get rid of those annoying fine lines due to the lack of oil production surrounding our eye areas. The eye gel also contain Swiss apple stem cell extract which has an age defying properties such as, reducing the look of fine lines and wrinkles

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The number rule of my makeup bag is multi-functional products are king (or queen, up to you). Hence all my favourite this month seems have the ability to multi-task or make my life super easy,

  • RMS Beauty “un” cover-up Cream Foundation (shade: 33) is so straight forward to use, blend with fingers because the warmth of your hands just melts away the foundation into the ultimate moisturising, medium coverage foundation ever. It gives such beautiful finish without your feeling caked or greasey
  • Face Powder by Lizzie Parra in medium beige is an Indonesian makeup brand created by an absolutely adorable beauty blogger named, Lizzie Parra. I have tried few of her creations, but by far this setting powder is one of the more impressive product she created. Gives my oily skin a lovely matte, later on dewy complexion and set my foundation nicely
  • Nudestix Nudies Matter All Over Blush Colour in Sunset Strip is one of three Nudestix items I picked up from Sephora at the start of February. This particular colour, Sunset Strip, is such a beautiful shade of peachy coral and I could not stop using them as blusher, on my lips or a light flush of natural eyeshadow colour
  • Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Fair/Medium is not a new purchase, however it is a recent re-discovery inspired by me watching the absolutely gorgeous Lily Aldridge’s natural everyday makeup tutorial on Youtube. I realised, while watching her video that I actually have most of products she uses, hence the obsession with this palette came back to me, in a big way this month. The bronze just give you the healthiest flush of “I just step in from a whole of basking in the Sun”- kind of glorious tan, while the highlighter gives you that glow on all the right places
  • I am not a lip balm person, I must say the sticky texture of a lip balm really bothers me, which is exactly why I am so surprise about this Laneige Lip Glow Balm in Peach. I might have allow it to be a favourite cause I am loving anything peach related, but this does hydrates my lip and not too sticky or overly glossy
  • For lips, I have been using mainly my MAC matte lippy in Chilli, but this month, I am loving the whole nude lip, or #MLBB life by using this NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Walkyrie. With my trustee balm underneath, this lip pencil stays on for way longer than any lipstick would on me, so I am loving this

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With my recent passion for intensive hair care regime, I have added this Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer to my routine. I know we shouldn’t wash our hair everyday, but I can’t help it. I could not stand the feeling of un-washed hair, which is why I think I need to go the extra mile to protects and nourish my hair. After hair oils, I spray this all over my hair before I proceed to blow dry them. I love the convenient of a spray and I also appreciate that the scent of this product does not attack me with a severe headache, like some other hair products tend to do

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In the scent department, I have a body cologne and a desk diffuser to talk about, because I have been using them non-stop this month. My prediction is they will be a long time favourite of mine long after February too,

  • Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey, did I mentioned I had an obsession with anything peach smelling lately? This is the ultimate peach scent in a bottle. The scent is soft with a slight sweetness of a ripe nectarine in summer, with a slight citrus kick that reminds you of a warm, summer afternoon you spent away laying down on a hammock while sipping a peach ice tea on the veranda, with the sound of crickets surround you. I just love that I can extend the feeling summertime give me by just using this fragrance
  • Essensorie is a Melbourne-based brand that creates beautiful essential oil based beauty products. Their Desk Diffuser in Geranium Bergamot has got to be on their best scent. I can’t get over how pretty this is! The dried flower petals are infused with geranium bergamot essential oils, all you need to do is shake before you open them. Place them on your desk for a whole day of a calming aroma…

The last but not least, a February favourite list will not be complete without the recommending you a favourite read. I am so in love in Paris, the city, ever since my first visit there during my childhood. Everything about that city, the people, their love for their arts, and their architectures just fascinates and completely floored me, I have been back there five times and always plan to go back for more. This book, In Paris: 20 Women on Life in the City of Light by the ultimate Parisian woman, Jeanne Damas and Lauren Bastide, gives me so much life. With its insider tips and places to go to for that perfect French kiss, a hidden gem of a bar or just a general tea on the lives of women living in Paris, this book has it all. If you love Paris, or if you know someone that loves Paris, this book a must-have.

What are some of your favourites in February? Made sure to let me know in the comment section down below 🙂

-k.