SKIN SAVIORS: HADA LABO.

hada_labo_reviewOh, Monday. If you’re a regular reader of blogazine Into the Gloss, chances are those little Monday morning posts, “Because it’s Monday and we don’t want to work yet” somehow perk up my morning, serving as the perfect reminder that somewhere out there is a kindred spirit that feels the same way I do at the beginning of the beginning of a very long week: lethargic, lazy, and stuck in a daydream about the oh-so-distant weekend. If you don’t read ITG, then you have no idea what I’m talking about and I’ve probably helped you doze off back to sleep. No matter, here’s a few products to help wake you up and banish those Monday morning blues. Hada Labo is a brand off the high street in Japan that’s available in Ulta, as well as certain drugstores Stateside, and let me tell you, you need to try this stuff. The products are affordable but effective, doing the hefty work of some of the most luxurious skincare products I’ve tried. In a word, the Replenishing Hydrator* is, well, fabulous. Is there any better way to describe a serum that feels like a cool splash of water to the face, sinks in quickly, and leaves skin supple, plumped, and without any dry patches to speak of? Maybe, but come on, it’s Monday, and I don’t want to work yet. So we’ll stick with just calling it fabulous. It’s so good that a bottle of this stuff apparently sells every two seconds in Japan. The Hydrating Facial Cleanser* is a great in-between for those who love the hyper-clean feeling of a foaming cleanser but don’t like the way skin feels afterwards- think dry, tight, and generally like it’s had the life sucked out of it. Hada Labo’s offering is described as a:

  • Rich creamy cleanser with foaming action, deeply cleanses to remove impurities, dirt and oil. Rinses clean.
  • Restores and preserves skin’s natural moisture while cleansing.

Check, and check. It’s the creamiest foaming cleanser I’ve found, and it truly does get rid of all that unwanted grime either from a day of walking around town or in the morning to remove residue from skincare products the night before, and yet skin somehow feels hydrated after washing it off. My only gripe? It does have that odd scent of fragrance-free products, but that’s something I can deal with as it’s completely safe for skin that’s prone to breakouts. Both products are hyaluronic-based, making them perfect for both dry skin and oily-combination that’s simply dehydrated. Overall? Yes, you need this in your life ASAP. Simples. 

(* denotes press sample)

THE MUST-TRY LIST: RADICAL SKINCARE.

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Radical skin care is a a brand I’ve been hearing about from UK bloggers for years now, but until recently I hadn’t head much buzz about the products Stateside. Which is ridiculous, because let me tell you, they’re life-changing. Yes, I really said that. “I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it.” Lets be honest for a second here. My skincare shelf/stash is constantly overflowing with products, so coming to the point where. I’m completely committed to not just one, but THREE different products from a single brand, so much so that I won’t travel without every single one, is something to write home about. I recently got the chance to test out their Hydrating Cleanser*, Instant Revitalizing Mask*, and new SPF, the Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30*, and ladies and gentlemen, I’m hooked. I’ve been using the products steadily for a few months now to really get a feel for how they work into my routine, and at the moment, I can’t see myself ever being caught without all three in my stash. The Hydrating Cleanser* was my introduction to the brand; it was the first product I heard about from the range (thanks to Anna from ViviannaDoesMakeup), and is probably my favorite of the bunch. Though meant as more of a post-cleanse after you’ve taken off the bulk of your makeup, I’ve been using this religiously as my morning cleanser and have found that it dipoles wonders , to really brighten and plump dull tired skin. A dollop of this massaged onto dry skin is the perfect morning facial that smells lovely and feels oh-so-wonderful. Additional note: I’m a sucker for peach, and the peach shade of this cleanser instantly gets rid if those Monday morning blues. Peach or non-peach-colored, this stuff is damn good. it’s on the pricier end of cleansers at $45 a pop, but I’ve been using my tube every morning, as well as some nights, for around three months now and I’m not even halfway done with the tube. 100% worth the price tag. The Instant Revitalizing Mask* does what it says on the tin: perks up dull skin and injects a good serving of hydration while leaving skin feeling clean afterwards. The brand describes it as: “the ideal coach for the skin: it delivers the nutrients necessary for hydration and regeneration while teaching it to breathe, stock up on energy, and optimize its oxygen resources in rarefied conditions. It leaves skin amazingly revitalized, healthy, and glowing.” I must say, this is without a doubt one of the most fun products you’ll ever put on your face. Leave on for 3-5 minutes and it fizzes, pops, and bursts as the mask does its work, giving a lovely tingling sensation that tickles rather than stings. It’s the perfect pick-me-up mask for days when you need a quick fix for sallow or tired looking skin that leaves it looking refreshed and awake, as well soothing any redness or irritation you might have going on. A foolproof fix I’ll never be caught without in my skincare trove. The final product is the brand’s newest product, the Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30. We’ve all heard it before: SPF, SPF, SPF. Sun damage, they say, is the #1 source of wrinkles. But let’s be honest, no one wants to oil on yet another layer of product in the morning before we get to work on the tough job of putting on the daily face. Unless, that is, you’ve got an SPF in your arsenal that’s too light to detect on the skin, doesn’t leave a white cast, and pumps up the glow factor, making your skin look dewy and lot-from-within before you’ve applied a drop of makeup on top. Enter, Radical Skincare’s solution to the sunscreens of days past. It looks slightly pink when squeezed out of the tube, but even on my über yelllow-toned skin it blends in effortlessly and doesn’t leave an odd tint behind. It does contain a bit of shimmer to add some dew to the mix, but on the skin it’s undetectable disappearing to add a seamless glow to the face. I know, we’re getting a little glow-heavy here, but there really isn’t a better word to describe the effect this gives. It doesn’t add any oil to the skin or have a that odd silicone-y feel, but simply does what it claims to: blurs imperfections and enhances the look of skin before makeup, giving a dose of protection without feeling like an extra layer of product. Enough said.

Have you tried anything from Radical Skincare?

JANUARY BIRCHBOX UNBOXING.

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january birchbox unboxing 3The first Birchbox of the New Year has just arrived, and I have to say, I’m a little less than excited about the products. I’ve been holding out hope for some higher-end bits since I first got my subscription almost a year ago after hearing Ingrid from Missglamorazzi raving about her subscription in her unboxing videos. Somehow, she always seemed to get great samples; I was waiting for some Laura Mercier, maybe a little Nars lovin’ to come to my mailbox when I finally realized it wasn’t happening. This was three days ago. I love shopping on the Birchbox shop; they have an excellent point system and some really great products stocked that are hard to get anywhere else, but it’s just not worth getting your hopes up for every month. So, I’ve made the decision that my March box marking an entire year of subscriptions shall be my last. I said it. I’m cashing in my points and looking for the Vegas of beauty subscription boxes. Problem in point? I can’t find Vegas. If any of you have suggestions for beauty boxes that run more on the high-end scale of things, please please please let me know below. Onto the products, this month I received deluxe samples of Fekkai’s Glossing Range Shampoo and Conditioner. I’ve used these before, and while they are nice, I think they’re overpriced for what they do. I much prefer the results of the L’Oréal EverCrème Range to the slightly flat finish these left on my hair, and it doesn’t hurt that you can get both the shampoo and conditioner for under $10. I also got a sample of the Coastal Scents Revealed Palette, which was probably my favorite sample for the month. The shadows are buttery smooth and uber-pigmented, not to mention long-lasting. Burt’s Bees also made an appearance with their Day Lotion. This has a lovely cucumber scent that reminds me of summer, but feels heavy and sits on the skin rather than sinking in for a good half hour. I tried it in place of a night cream a few times, thinking it would be nice and light, and woke up with an oil-slick nose. Not exactly sexy. I can understand a bit of oiliness in the morning, both because of residue from whatever night cream I’ve used and due to my slightly combination skin, but we’re not talking a little bit of morning dew here, people. NEWS ALERT: Happening now, the BB (See what I did there? Burt’s Bees…) Oil spill. On my face. Foundations everywhere currently in mourning due to sudden breakouts.

january birchbox unboxing swatchesBirchbox seems to be smitten with Harvey Prince fragrances, and for good reason; they smell absolutely fantastic. Included in January’s box was the Journey perfume, which is sweet with a kick of blackcurrant to keep things a little spicy. So there you have it. Sadly, it’s the beginning of the end for my Birchbox subscriptions. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below with your recommendation for high-end beauty boxes!

THE NEW THING VOL. 3: KEVYN AUCOIN THE CREAMY GLOW BLUSHERS

kevyn aucoin blushersHappy Saturday everyone!

Apologies for my absence; I haven’t been on le blog in over an entire month. I’ve just been so busy with school lately and haven’t had the time to post anything at all, let alone take decent photos of products or buy anything new. BUT. If you’re still following me thank you so much for sticking around even though I disappeared for a few weeks. I’ve gotten into a good routine with schoolwork, so I promise to be much more active and post at least a few times each week; I’m putting together a blog schedule to regulate everything and be just that bit more organized. But I digress. Onto the products.

Oh, how I do adore cream blush. It’s just one of those things that’s so easy and effortless to use on the daily, and I love the look of a glowy, flushed cheek. I’ve been lusting after these Kevyn Aucoin the Creamy Glow ones for at least six months now, having spotted them first on one of my favorite blogs, ghostparties, written by the lovely and ever-gorgeous Kate. While professing her love for the little bright pan in the shade “Liquifuschia”, she mentioned picking up another shade, “Tansoleil”, a stunning peach-y apricot, so naturally I had to have them both. A bright pop of pink AND an apricot blusher? Yes please. The price, however, is not so perfect. These retail for $26 a piece, so naturally they’re not the most budget-friendly option, hence my waiting forever and ever to pick them up. But when the brand popped up on Hautelook, selling both for just $14 a piece, I knew it was meant to be, and, lo and behold, they were sitting on my dresser a week later being photographed for this post.swatchesOnto the review. These last FOREVER on the cheeks without any sort of setting spray or translucent powder over top, so they’re a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to pile on the products and still get a gorgeous glowy cheek. Once applied, they dry down to an almost tacky finish, but that goes away after a bit and leaves a gorgeous flush. The pink shade, “Liquifuschia”, is not for the faint of heart, being an almost 70’s-inspired hue that, at the very least, is sure to make a statement. However, color-shy girls fear not; it blends beautifully and sheers out effortlessly to a lit-from-within rosy glow. “Tansoleil”, on the other hand, is a lovely apricot shade great for anyone with warm skin, and gives an incredibly natural flush, even though pigmentation on both of these is out of this world. Final thoughts? It’s love.

While these aren’t on sale anymore, you can pick both up here.