Beautyknot ~ My Skin Care Diary

Archive for December 2011

I moved from hustle bustle central Bangkok to a popular holiday beach town this year and I really loved the move.

Though I no longer enjoying abundant good books in Kinokuniya at Siam Paragon, though I no longer being up to date of various workshop/exhibition in major shopping malls, though I no longer having easy access to very authentic Chinese cuisine in the city; but fresh seafood, slower lifestyle pace, less traffic jam, less stressful and beautiful beach are already made up the absence.

We were celebrating coming Christmas in warm climate here. Here is some pictures of few local seafood restaurants that we enjoy most of our weekend there. We can never get bored of the beach! And food.

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My favorite Thai food

Many watercrafts are passing by… our view is not bored

Very strong wind, we sit indoor to avoid getting wet

A cottage linked to a restaurant


Enjoy delicious food under coconut trees

Must come earlier to seize the seaside seat

Dog is the most common animal I’ve seen on beach

The tree, the beach, the sunset remembered my old school holidays

Be a pouch potato with a glass of champagne, good food, good view, good service plus steep price

Many scenic seafood restaurants are actually hidden in small fishing villages

These seats are on reservation only. What a nice  seaview lazy chair after dinner.

Sand zone, my SO said we are liked in Italy in picture (>< b)

A four-tier resort style seaside restaurant

Some Thai families could just spend few hours for their dinner time in this restaurant

I can never predict the colour of sunset

Sometimes atmosphere is more attractive than food

Another nice restaurant in a fishing village, side seat need earlier booking or try our luck

Now you know why their seafood is super fresh

Going home earlier because of high tide

Sabai Sabai ~ one of my favorite Thai song too ~

 ~ Wish you all have a wonderful weekend ~

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Image credit : Missha Korea

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Missha is a very popular budget cosmetics brand in Korea, their main targeted market is basically teenager and young adult. In past few years they started creating their premium oriental herbal Misa (美思) series for more mature group of woman. The  Misa Geum Seul series is Colorants-free, Paraben-free, Triclosan-free, Mineral oil-free, GMO-free and Dermatologist tested.

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Misa (美思) series is containing more than 80 selected medicinal herbs from Dongeuibogam (东医宝鉴,a standard of Korean medicine). The main ingredients of this Geum Seul (金雪) Series included 100% ginseng water, wild ginseng, deer antler, cordyceps, reishi mushroom and other plant extracts to nourish and vitalize skin, together with precious 99.9% pure gold for skin purification and balancing. It aims for wrinkle care and whitening, suitable for woman in 30s and above.

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Sequence of use : First essence booster -> Toner -> Essence -> Emulsion -> Cream

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This was the complimentary gift of my small Missha purchase but my Korea buyer helped me to get more free gifts since I am her big customer I guess. I do not have their English ingredient list because I was using a trial set. Missha Korea has listed their product full ingredient lists (Korean) on the web, a very long list that I was unable to translate it correctly into English. I used this series for about 3 weeks and the weather during the period was roughly 20-33°C, humidity 40-60%, cool breeze, warm & dry weather.

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The temperature during the trial period

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Misa Geum Sul First Care Essence Booster (KRW48000/100ml)

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Korea probably is the first country to introduce essence/serum as the first-step of skin care after cleansing. The concept is similar to using skin enhancer in Japan skincare and botanic face oil in western natural skincare regimen. This First care essence booster aims to soften the skin and restore skin balance after cleansing, hence increase the penetration of subsequent products.

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Enriched with 100% ginseng water, 5% wild ginseng extract, 5000㎍ pure gold/100ml and other plant extracts, it said to awaken tired skin and re-hydrated the dry skin with nutritious ginseng water. The lightweight gel-like essence was very hydrating and quenched the taut skin instantly without leaving sticky residue. The small gold flakes also dissolved easily on massaging. It was nice to use and I quite liked this.

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larger piece of gold flakes sometimes can be overlooked, needs extra finger massage to dissolve it.

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Misa Geum Sul Toner (KRW32000/145ml)

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Geum Seul toner has 100% ginseng water, 240㎍/145ml pure gold and 1% wild ginseng extract. The running liquid was a little bit gel-like feeling, absorbed into skin rapidly and feeling very hydrating. Besides, the toner has some tiny shinning particles which I think they were gold powders. As all product of Geum Seul contained pure gold, thus skin will look glowing after the application. Apparently the hydrating effect was alike to the First Care Essence Booster, when my skin was oilier and acne-prone especially the T-zone, I could just apply the booster and this toner only.

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Misa Geum Sul Rejuvenating Essence (KRW38000/40ml)

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This essence contained 4400㎍/40ml pure gold and 15% wild ginseng extract, you can see it was the most concentrated amid the Geum Seul line. However, I really do not favor rich and creamy essence, it seemed to be as rich as my eye cream. In humid season, I used it mostly on my neck since my combination-normal skin has already loaded enough the essence booster, toner and emulsion/cream. I had tried using the whole line together but my forehead was broke out like crazy in just few days. Nevertheless the whole line worked very well on my drier skin so I think it was best for dry skin. Except the booster and this essence has more floral scent, the rest of the products were herbal ginseng scented.

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Misa Geum Sul Emulsion (KRW32000/100ml)

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The emulsion was very moisturizing and creamy. It included 100% ginseng water, 170㎍/100ml pure gold and 1% wild ginseng extract. You may notice the toner and emulsion were less concentrated because they have more water content than other. This emulsion sometimes caused me clog pores that I would be careful with the use amount. When weather is more humid, I found it was difficult absorbed by skin together with the booster and toner. What I did is using cotton pad for application which really allowed the layers settled in skin quickly! Unfortunately the friction irritated my skin eventhough I had tried with different texture of cotton pads/ball, prompted me to give up the method after trying for two days. I think it was suitable for combination to normal skin type.

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Misa Geum Sul Rejuvenating Cream (KRW35000/50ml)

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This has 100% ginseng water, 1650㎍/50ml pure gold and 10% wild ginseng extract, said to create radiant glowing complexion and boost the skin elasticity. It was butter-like and being very creamy, I would either use this with the First care essence booster or the Geum Seul Toner only. Unlike some people using the dotting application method, I personally loved to warm and rub a rich cream in palms then massaged the skin in upward and lifting motion, starting from neck then proceed to face, forehead is last (from driest area to oiliest area). I could see my two neck lines were faded slightly in just first week! I must credited the result to the anti-gravity massage technique and rich texture of the cream, perhaps the ingredients also contribute to the improvement? Nonetheless, this was truly for dry skin only, else it caused comedogenic problem.

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I never fond of using gold in skin care but I must say this Misa Geum Seul series is comfortable to use for drier skin condition, I did not suffer any skin irritation from using the line too. My skin texture appeared smoother with tighten pores, moist and firm, and bare skin always glow healthily which I believed the great moisturizing factor played the main role of the improvement. On the other hand, I did not see my fine line faded and skin tone was not a shade lightened either, the emollient texture did give me some blackheads when skin is on oilier stage too. Overall it was still a nice surprise in 3-week trial. To be frankly I do not expect anything from this budget brand but Missha seemed to be serious in developing elegant quality skin care line with relatively affordable price, though it was overpriced outside Korea. I would be very happy to recommend this to my mum in her 60s.

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Image credit: Missha USA

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This is first review of Missha on my blog, beside from what you have known about this popular Korea budget cosmetics brand, the name Missha, is derived from Mischa Maisky, a Latvian cellist, inspired of his passionate spirit as Missha fundamental basis. Started with red blossom logo, Missha had changed their blossom logo in 2006 and aims to create quality cosmetics for modern girls.

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Image credit: Missha Korea

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This Missha M Signature Real Complete B.B Cream is launched in celebrating Missha 10th anniversary in 2010. It is the upgraded version of their best-selling red packaging M Perfect Cover BB cream (KRW15800/50ml) and the price of this pink one – KRW23800/45g is also slightly higher than the red one. This Missha M Signature Real Complete B.B Cream is claimed to be paraben-free, mineral oil-free, GMO-free, chemical-free, alcohol-free, Benzophenone-free and Triclosan-free. It also contains Ecocert certified organic ingredients – lavender extract, chamomile extract, Olivem900(emulsifier), Titanium Oxide(mineral sunscreen) and Iron Oxide (colorant).

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The M Signature Real Complete BB cream comes in three shades, #13 milky beige, #21 light pink beige and #23 natural beige, you can see the swatches of shades 13, 21, 23 here. The shade #13 is for very pale skin, while #21 and #23 would be suitable for Asian skin tone.

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I have several samples of this pink BB cream given by my Korea counterpart since I asked her opinion about best-selling BB cream in Korea. As you can see from below picture, the cream consistency is light, creamy, moisturizing and easily smoothed on skin.

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I tried to capture the colours as though I’ve seen in real

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I have never tried the red one so I personally cannot comment but from tons of reviews I read online, the red one gives better coverage than this pink one. I first tried the shade#23 and it was very natural looking but I found it too dull for my skin tone, meanwhile the lighter shade#21 creates natural radiant tone which I preferred. The coverage is medium, buildable to high coverage and it imparts nice glowing complexion. The glowing finish is beautiful but not when my skin is oilier. Compared to BB creams I have used, this seems to be a lighter version of Hanskin Super Magic Cream (voted as Top 3 best BB cream in 2007 Korea) and creamy, glowing version of my old-time favorite Palgantong Vita White Super Cover BB cream. Amid the three, my vote will go to this Missha BB cream although it is not all-rounded.

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。╰☆╮ Testing ╰☆╮ 。

(note: All my makeup base testing pictures in this format means, left and right images are cropped from the same picture, I just hide my nose & lips)

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Did you see a reason why it was so sellable? (^^0)  Smooth and moisturizing consistency, good coverage, very long-wearing, inexpensive, non-irritating to sensitive skin yet it did not work for me in humid days. Sigh. It left me a bump on my cheek at the end of the very humid day (I used this after skincare), the BB cream (without powder setting) melted and sat into pores when I was in sun, my skin shined too much after few hours in humid weather (not oil-controlling) but no oxidation had been noticed, my makeup caked slightly after few hours even with powder setting, my freckles still get darkened after 30minutes spent in dazzling sun, it also highlighted my fine lines on dry area despite it said creating flawless complexion for 12hours. OK, it was my fault not having perfect skin. Nevertheless, it worked quite nice in dry season actually. Anyhow, its very long ingredient list scared me away.

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Last but not least, I want to show you an AMAZING makeup tutorial of this cute girl. I found her page during my search for Missha BB cream and bookmarked her page link too. However the Window7 or the anti-virus software of my laptop was fairly unstable/sensitive that this kind of incident happened number of times within a year, I lost few programs including her page link. I had tried hours to search the page again to no avail, so if you know her original page link, please let me know so I can credit this tutorial & images to her. Oh~ I just adore her makeup skill! Incredible!! (oo o)

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Click images to enlarge

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Ingredient list :

Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 7.2%, Zinc Oxide 3.8%

Inactive Ingredients:

Water, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Cyclopentasiloxane, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Butylene Glycol, Propanediol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Arbutin, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hydrogenated C6-14 Olefin Polymers, Cyclohexasiloxane, Sodium Chloride, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Sorbitan Isostearate, Caprylyl Methicone, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Mica, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Ozokerite, Sorbitan Olivate, Alumina, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Hexyl Laurate, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Aluminum Hydroxide, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone/Methicone Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Propylene Carbonate, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Lysine, Histidine, Arginine,Aspartic Acid, Threonine, Serine, Glutamic Acid, Proline, Glycine, Alanine, Valine, Methionine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Tyrosine, Phenylalanine, Cysteine, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Squalane, Glycerin, Ceramide 3, Cholesterol, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Stearic Acid,Oleic Acid, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Beta-Glucan, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Vigna Radiata Seed Extract, Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-yuen Seed Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Scrophularia Buergeriana Root Extract, Ganoderma Lucidum (Mushroom) Extract,  Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Rhus Semialata Gall Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Fruit Extract, Camellia Japonica Flower Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Extract, Linaria Japonica Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Oldenlandia Diffusa Extract, Bambusa Textilis Stem Extract, Iris Ensata Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Water, Prunus Avium (Sweet Cherry) Fruit Extract, Morus Alba Root Extract, Coptis Japonica Root Extract, Acorus Calamus Root Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract, Asarum Sieboldi Root Extract, Angelica Keiskei Leaf/Stem Extract, Psidium Guajava Fruit Extract, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Seed Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Fruit Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Cornus Officinalis Fruit Extract, Luffa Cylindrica Fruit Extract, Bletilla Striata Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Lycium Chinense Fruit Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion) Rhizome/Root Extract, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Fruit Extract, Salicornia Herbacea Extract, Litchi Chinensis Fruit Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Oenanthe Javanica Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract, Hordeum Vulgare Leaf Extract, Lecithin, Polysorbate 20, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Copper Tripeptide-1, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Bacillus/Soybean Ferment Extract, Perilla Ocymoides Leaf Extract, Talc, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Xanthan Gum, Dimethicone, Adenosine, Methicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tropolone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, CI77491, CI77492, CI77499.

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My sister gave me a sample kit of Korea UGB which consisting of Peeling Gel, Facial Essence Collagen Mask and Aqua Cream. I read about this brand online before because some beauty bloggers had done review on the Aqua cream but when I asked my counterpart in Korea, she actually never heard about this brand. Sounds like some cosmetics brands in Korea are mainly targeting foreign market only.  f(“ .)??

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According to Korea Tourism, UGB is a house brand of Ani Place, using Korea ginseng as their main ingredient. The brand is also available in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. I got the latest (Sept 2011) Korea retail prices from a Hong Kong forum, from their discussion the price was soaring nearly 27% within this year!  (” w)

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UGB Facial Essence Collagen Mask (KRW38000/8pcs)

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The mask sheet was very wet and adhered to skin extremely well. I was wearing the mask and doing my work in front of my laptop, and did not realize the time had passed by so quickly. My goodness, I wore this mask sheet for nearly an hour! Still it well-adhered to skin, only the mask sheet became more drying. Although skin was a little bit sticky touch right after removed the mask sheet, the skin was very nice hydrated and soft, the pores also looked slightly tighten due to hydration.

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As my sensitive skin had not sensed any skin irritation at all, I paid extra attention to its ingredient list and trying to figure out why. Noticing it contains several skin calming ingredients, one of them is Centella Asiatica Extract which is an oriental herb that used to treat variety of ailments, promote wound healing, improve blood circulation and scar appearance. The Centella Asiatice (a.k.a tiger herb or gotu kola) is also the main ingredient of Kiehl’s Centella Skin Recover Salve and Clinie Teatree series mask (no wonder I felt very familiar with this ingredient, haha)

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I massaged the remaining mask essence until it absorbed and then followed by applying a light BB cream, the mask essence kept my combination skin moist all day long. Overall I am happy with its excellent moisturizing effect and the quality mask sheet.

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Ingredients:

Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Centella Asiatica Extract, Chrysanthellum Indicum Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Natto Gum, Wheat Amino Acids, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Collagen, Betaine, Sodium PCA, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Niacinamide Amylodextrin, Calcium Pantothenate, Maltodextrin, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pyridoxine HCL, Silica, Allantoin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Disodium EDTA, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Methylparaben, Parfum.

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Aqua Cream  (KRW38000/50g)

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This aqua cream simply reminded me of Bihada Ichizoku Finishing Aqua Gel Cream. The aqua cream is gel liked and becoming dewy upon massaging on skin. Comparing to Bihada Ichizoku’s, this has strong ginseng scent (dissipated after few minutes) and apparently  it generates smaller water droplets on massaging.

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The cream became fairly watery after breaking into droplets and sank in skin rapidly, leaving a smooth veil. Since I used it once, thus I would not be able to comment more. I personally did not fond of this type of aqua cream, I felt it was too light that cannot protect my sensitive, easily dehydrated skin. I applied Biore sunscreen and compact powder after using the aqua cream and my skin felt uncomfortably dry after few hours. It might work better for oily skin.

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Peeling Gel (KRW38000/50g)

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The product claimed to gently peel the dead cells off with cellulose and vegetable ingredients. It is very lightweight and has ginseng smell too. This is to be used on cleansed and dry skin, apply appropriate amount and gently massage on skin. The gel would quickly turn dewy and become flaky as shown in my below pictures.

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Frankly I have kind of feeling of rubbing many rubber particles on skin since my skin soaked up the gel hydration quickly. As my skin was not dull that could not justify the peeling result, so I also tested this on the back of hand. I must admit the instant result did impress me, the hand appeared a shade lighter (temporary only) than the other hand. As I have no ingredient list of this peeling gel, that was no way to tell what made the skin appeared whiter. In addition, I felt my skin was quite drying afterward and those annoying blackheads on my nose bridge were still sitting there gloatingly.

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This type of exfoliator was nothing new to me because that was main reason of why Ginvera marvel gel was so popular in SEA region many years ago. Please do not mistake the white flaky particles as skin dead cells (though they look similar), the concept of this kind of exfoliator is actually using those soft particles for physical exfoliating.  This type of exfoliator cannot work on dampened/wet skin else it will not generate those rubber-like particles, while dead skin cells can actually be rubbed off easily by fingertips from wet skin, which my mom always asked me to do in shower when I was a kid.  Some cosmetic brands also included humectants to soften skin or fruit acids to loosen the binding in between dead cells so the subsequent physical exfoliation can be done more easily.

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As a whole, I think UGB is a nice trial and loveable for oily skin. The reason of its soaring price is unclear, anyway, according to the HK forum, UGB is always on promotion “Buy 5 Get 1 Free” in Korea so for those who like this brand, it is really a big saving if you happen to shop in Korea.

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My apology

Hi, many things have been keeping my mind and time occupied these days, thus I need more time to response to all comments. Please bear with me, thank you.

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My Skin Profile

Sensitive, combination skin type, visible blood vessels, freckles, easily dehydrated, dry and having fine line undereye, occasional breakout, visible aging pores.

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