December 2010 Top 5 Favorites + Review: SkinFood Red Ginseng Repairing Toner

    Omg 5 days till Christmas!  Time for mistletoe kisses, wrapping presents, writing cards, and a monthly  Top 5 favorites video!  I was a little schizophrenic between just "going over" products and "reviewing" products.  The concept of just talking about a product without reviewing it confuses me a little....

    Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel
    Purchased at: Sephora

    I feel that it's gentle yet very effective at cleaning off my face makeup (not eye makeup).  I wear BBcream, sometimes concealer, and some kind of setting powder everyday and this gets everything off without me having to scrub at my face.  I wet my face with warm water, massage one pump all over my face, brush my teeth (I do this b/c I feel like it gives the cleanser time to soak in), then rinse with cold water.  This is a makeup remover and cleanser so it saves me the trouble of doing a two-step process (makeup remover wash then cleanser).  I like that it leaves no residue, seems very gentle, yet leaves my skin feeling clean.  No breakouts.   Bottle is pretty small though....ok, I need to stop, I'll cover the rest later.

    Will do an in-depth review later.

    Boscia Luminizing Black Mask
    Purchased at: Sephora

    I picked this up b/c Fuzkittie loves this mask xD   However, she recently said that it's not supposed to remove black/whiteheads, just refine and luminize skin.   However, for me, this does remove whiteheads...I will post pics of this on my in-depth review later.  Personally, this mask removes almost all of my whiteheads and many blackheads as well.  It is a very powerful mask though and you should not use this if you have open sores/lesions or popped/healing acne on your face.   I feel that this mask really helps my skin turnover and I will definitely agree that this mask refines and luminizes your face.  The texture of my skin has really improved in the 5 weeks I've been using this (have used 4x so far).   You must moisturize like a mofo afterwards though, especially since it's winter, or else you'll end up as dry as the Sahara.

    Will do an in-depth review later.

    Skinfood Red Ginseng Repairing Toner

    Purchased at: Sasa

    Description: Skin Food Red Ginseng Repairing Toner is enriched with nutrients from red ginseng and royal jelly extract. This toner with oriental medicine moisturizes and nourishes skin, making it moist and smooth.

    Beneficial Ingredients (from video):
    - Revitalizes skin cells.
    - Helps skin circulation = reduces fine lines and makes skin firmer.
    - Adaptogen: helps the skin adjust to stress.

    Royal Jelly
    - Healing, moisturizing.
    - Antibacterial: effective for eczema, neurodermatitis, & impetigo.
    - Restores proper pH balance.
    - Contains amino acid (collagen building block) helps eliminate age spots and wrinkles.
    I ended up pretty much reviewing this in the video so I guess this will be my official review of this toner :\  That said, I really like this toner!   Unlike the Skinfood Peach Sake Toner, which is infinitely more popular (no doubt because of its delectable scent), this one actually seems to work!   To quickly summarize, here's my pros/cons list from the video:
    - Skin seems much healthier, plumper.
    - Does not dry my skin out.
    - No oily or sticky residue.
    - A little goes a long way.
    - Absorbs quickly.
    - Very reasonable cost.

    - Honey-like consistency makes toner hard to get out of bottle.
    - Herbal ginseng scent may be very off-putting (I got used to it).
    Royal jelly and ginseng has always traditionally been known to be great for skin, but I've always associated both with *ahem* old ladies because the ginseng smell is so herbal and lots of older ladies in Korea use royal jelly.   But I picked this up anyway since it said this is a "repairing" toner and I am always on the hunt for something to help my scars and the texture of my skin.   I haven't been using this long enough to comment on whether it helps heal old scars, but my skin has definitely gotten plumper and seems healthier somehow. I am going to say I've recently been using a lot of face masks too, so they definitely aided the effect.  Regardless, I haven't broken out at all from this toner and my face really took to this like a fish to water.  I used it for a week before I started using sheet masks regularly and I felt like my skin was plumping out ever so slightly and it just felt refreshed - like my face could breathe all of sudden.   Also, toners are notoriously drying but this one is not at all.  It's not moisturizing per se but it definitely is not as drying as witchhazel or the Peach Sake toner.  Perhaps because of the honey-like consistency?

    Like I said, this toner is a real pain in the ass to get out of the bottle; I've tried prying the plastic top off, but haven't been able to manage.  I guess that's alright though since too much would come out at once then, I only need 3-4 drop to cover my whole face anyway.  I don't use a cotton ball for toners btw, I just shake the bottle over my face and spread the droplets that land.  I feel like using a cotton ball soaks up too much toner and wipes off rather than applies :\  The scent is ginseng and pretty strong.  I found it very off-putting at first but I've gotten used to it really fast.  One you put it on your face, there's no scent anyway.  I put this toner on right after I wash my face or after a sheet mask.

    I would highly recommend this to people with sensitive skin who have always found toners either too harsh, drying, or completely ineffective.   This is truly a rather unusual toner and at $10.10, it wouldn't hurt to try.  And if you like it, this bottle is gonna last you awhile. I've been using this toner for several weeks and it still looks like I haven't used any :} The fact that it's hard to get out of the bottle probably helps me limit how much I'm using at once too ^_^  Also while the scent is quite herbal, I promise that it doesn't linger on your face and you will get used to it surprisingly quickly.  

    R&R Contrived Blush in X-rated
    Purchased at: Official R&R website (how to order)

    There are about a million swatches of this so I'm not going to bother.  Overall, it's just a luscious matte berry with cool fuchsia undertones - perfect for a holiday look.   I've seriously been using this blush everyday since the day I got it.  X-rated and Foreplay are hands down the best fall/winter blush colors ever.

    NYX Round Lipstick in Pumpkin Pie
    Purchased at: Cherry Culture

    Although my initial review of this color was lukewarm, I have really fallen in love with this color.  It's my second favorite NYX color after Circe.  I never thought an orange-tinted l/s would work on me but...damn.  This color is understated, yet not quite a nude lip, and markedly trendy since it has a rather unusual orange-rose hue.  The texture is creamy and leaves a glossy sheen.  Goes well with both dramatic and simple eye looks.

    My favorite look these days are understated e/s with a semi-dramatic wing, berry-colored cheeks, and Pumpkin Pie on the lips.  I feel that it's holiday-ish without being the typical bronze/gold eyes + pink cheeks + berry lips look.   It looks more natural, is easier to put on, and it looks like your cheeks are flushed from playing in the snow ^_^ Downside is that it wears off pretty quickly since it's creamy :P But it's moisturizing, which is vital for the winter months :D!

    I still want to try NYX Orange Soda (still OOS on CC), which I hear is a lighter version of Pumpkin Pie though :)

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