Review: Organic Liquid Foundation by Zuii Organic

So I’ve been looking for an organic liquid foundation for a while now. I’m currently using Kat Von D Lock-It Liquid Foundation, and I really like it. The tone matches my skin beautifully (I wear Light 42 Neutral), which finding a foundation to match my skin tone is incredibly difficult as most brands don’t go light enough. However, I wanted to find something with more natural ingredients, so I came across an Australian brand called Zuii Organic. They have a liquid foundation that is flower-based, using rose, chamomile, and jasmine extracts.

I wanted to love this foundation, because I like everything about it: natural, jojoba oil-based, and smells lovely. But it doesn’t go on my skin very evenly. Even worse, it made my skin mildly itchy. It seemed to come off very easily as well. It also carries a relatively high price tag when comparing to other foundations: around $45 for 1oz, whereas the Kat Von D foundation is $35 for 1oz. The Zuii Organic foundation coverage is medium. The Kat Von D foundation is definitely one of the heaviest foundations I’ve used, probably second only to Cover FX Total Cover Cream Foundation ($42). Kat Von D foundation lasts me easily a year, as I apply so little to get good coverage, and I wouldn’t expect the Zuii Organic foundation to last nearly as long.

On the positive side, the shades they offer for the Zuii Organic foundations go very light. If you’ve ever tried Illamasqua’s Skin Base Foundation in 02 (this was actually too light for me, but I think they’ve reformulated since I tried it), then you’ll have a good idea how light the Zuii Organic’s Light Rose is (again, turned out to be too light for me).

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    I took a picture in natural lighting of Zuii Organic’s Light Rose next to my Kat Von D Light 42 Neutral for reference.

I tried the Zuii Organic again without putting any moisturizer on to see if this would resolve the application problems I was having. It didn’t. I also found the Zuii Organic didn’t build very well. When trying to add an additional layer of foundation, I found it just left many bare spots on my face.

Sadly, this foundation didn’t work for my skin. Maybe you’ll have better luck. Zuii Organic does offer little sample pouches for their foundations, so you can try it out for relatively inexpensive. However, I will be sticking with Kat Von D’s foundation for now.

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Review: Natural Aqua Gel Cure Exfoliating Gel

The Natural Aqua Gel Cure is a Japanese exfoliating product that I used it for a couple of weeks. I used it every other day and replaced scrubbing my skin with a coarse wash clothe with this product. Its breakthrough ingredient is “activated water” according to the advertisement. I’m really not sure what “activated water” is, but anyway.

There are some things I really like about it: First, it’s very gentle. I use it under my eyebrows, and it never irritates. It’s also not too expensive: I bought a bottle for $30 on Amazon, and this should easily last three months using it every other day. As I said, I also ordered it on Amazon, and it shipped from Amazon, making it very easy to get a hold of if you live in the US.

Somethings I didn’t really like about it: The gel turns into a liquid while you’re massaging it into your face and gets a little messy. It has a tendency to run down your arms. Another thing I don’t really like is just how gentle it is. For someone who struggles with the scabbing of seborrheic dermatitis, this product doesn’t do enough to smooth the skin or remove the excessive dead layers.

This product would probably be good for someone who has surface acne (as opposed to deep acne that’s mostly under the skin). It would also be good for someone who has very sensitive skin. However, if you have seborrheic dermatitis, this may not be enough to smooth your skin.

For seborrheic dermatitis, what I prefer to do is use a lemon juice and brown sugar scrub three times a week. Just cut a lemon in half and squeeze a small amount of the juice into a small bowl. Drop a teaspoon of brown sugar into it. Take a cotton pad and drop it in to soak in the lemon juice. Using the cotton pad, massage some of the brown sugar on your face to exfoliate. After exfoliating, let it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing it off. The lemon juice will help break up the sebum and dead skin, as well as brighten your complexion and improve discoloration. I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks after trying the exfoliation gel and prefer this. It’s more effective, but be careful if you have very sensitive skin.

Best Websites to Shop for Feminine Petite Clothes and Japanese Fashion

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As a petite girl, I used to struggle with finding clothes that fit like they were made for my size. For the past eight or so years, though, I’ve been shopping on websites that carry Asian clothing and have found the fit to be supremely better.

Another reason I really like shopping on Asian websites is the clothing styles you can find are a lot more feminine. If simple is more your style, you can find these clothes, too. If you’re looking for something with more frills and lace, you’ve come to the right side.

I still occasionally look around to see what websites are out there that are selling Asian clothing, and especially the Japanese fashion styles that emphasize girliness like hime and lolita style. As such, I’d like to share the ones I know about with anyone else who’s petite frame is making it difficult to find clothes that fit or who are wanting to find something a little more girly than what you currently have.

YesStyle.com is my first go to for almost anything. You can find all sorts of styles on here, whether you’re looking for simple clothes, frilly items, Korean style, Japanese style, or just some basics. They have a huge amount of variety. They also sell some great Asian cosmetic brands like Etude House, Innisfree, and CANMAKE. If you know what brand you’re looking for, they sell Snow White (under Candy Rain), DreamSwing (under Altalena), and bobon21 (under GOGO Girl).

eBay is also a great place to look–if you know how. I mostly use eBay for finding the frilly, girly Japanese styles. Brands like Snow White, DreamSwing, and bobon21 are often available on eBay for competitive prices, and sometimes the selection is slightly better. It’s also a great place to find really cute Japanese style lingerie. Asian lingerie runs small, so it’s a great resource for small framed girls. For example, I normally wear a 28/30 band size, but a 32 band size in Asian lingerie fits me perfectly. There is some variation, but I’ve never bought a 32 band size from an Asian brand that was too big (even if I had to wear it on the tightest hooks).

Another resource is a store called Loliloli Shop on AliExpress. They also carry bobon21, Snow White, and DreamSwing. They also have a huge selection of accessories like socks, tights, and hair accessories. I’ve only ordered once from them, so I’ll have to write a review once I receive my item to share my experience.

If you’re savvy in shopping on Japanese websites, most Rakuten.co.jp shops will ship internationally. You can find Snow White, DreamSwing, and bobon21, as well as lots of other frilly, girly, petite brands. I’ve never ordered through Rakuten Japan, but so far I haven’t needed to either. All the clothes I’ve been looking for are available through shops that are better equipt to deal with international orders and deliveries.

I hope these have been helpful! If you have any resources you want to share, feel free to comment. As I learn about other sites and shops, I will definitely continue to update this blog.

Blephoritis Tea Tree Oil Treatment Update

So this is a follow-up to my post about tea tree oil for treating blephoritis. Luckily, I write this with good news: it’s made a huge difference. I’ve been using it for two weeks now, and I’ve seen some big changes. First, I’m not having tear attacks daily (when your eyes start randomly watering and then start stinging). I still get them occasionally, but they used to occur every day. Another thing I’ve noticed is my eyelids are starting to become sensitive again. This might sound strange, but something I’ve noticed about blephoritis and seborrheic dermatitis is how insensitive skin becomes. I used to scrub my eyelids every morning and evening with a pretty rough wash cloth to exfoliate, because it was the only thing I knew how to do. It was never painful and my skin was never sensitive after that. Now, however, I can’t use a wash cloth to scrub my eyelids anymore. It becomes very irritated, which I actually take as a very good sign. I’m seeing similar changes to using tallow on my eyelids and face (see my post on tallow for oily skin and seborrheic dermatitis to find out more).

When I first started using the tea tree oil, I applied it twice a day to the base of my lashes. I found it to be too irritating to use twice a day after about a week, so I’ve reduced it to once in the evening now. My eyelids still get quite oily during the day, but I’m hoping with time this will improve.

I have added a couple new items to my daily routine: Moroccan Rose toner and Natural Aqua Gel Cure exfoliator. I haven’t used them long enough to write a review for them yet, but I’ll post a review for those soon. Another item I really like for blephoritis or just tired eyes are hot eye masks by KAO. They’re so relaxing, and unlike taking a wash cloth with warm water, the heat lasts 10-15 minutes. It’s about $15 for 14 masks, and you can find it on Amazon in several different scents.

Also, I’m planning to start a video blog to accompany my posts. I mostly want videos to go with my reviews, so if you’re more of a video person, check out my channel and stay tuned! I hope to have my first video review posted within a week.

Tallow For Oily Skin and Seborrheic Dermatitis

I’m really excited to get to do this review, because I feel like I’ve really hit the jackpot with this find. To warn you upfront, it isn’t glamorous, and it’s a little bit strange, but it really works. If you’re struggling with oily skin or seborrheic dermatitis, you will want to read on.

Let’s start with what tallow actually is. As I said, it isn’t glamorous, but I’m going to tell it to you straight: it’s beef fat, usually blended with olive oil and essential oils for ease of application and scent. What are the benefits of beef fat for your skin?

Fatty acids! Tallow is full of naturally occurring fatty acids that your skin needs to repair itself and stay plump and moist. Fatty acids are also natural antioxidants, which helps fight aging and acne and seborrheic dermatitis (both of which are caused by inflammation). Most beauty products rely on adding fatty acids to them, usually by either by extracting them from natural sources or by making them synthetically. The nice thing about tallow is that all of the fatty acids are naturally occurring and are readily available for your skin to absorb and use them.

Vitamins! Tallow also is full of naturally occurring vitamins. I don’t think I need to explain the importance of vitamins to you, but I’ll point out a couple of important ones for your skin. Vitamin A (retinol) is essential for helping with acne. Accutane, a prescription drug used for severe acne, is really just highly concentrated and very readily absorbed vitamin A. Vitamin E (you’ll see this often listed as tocopherols) is an antioxidant and moisturizing agent. This vitamin is great for helping skin stay moisturized, as well as fighting aging and any inflammation-based problems.

Collagen! I know collagen has in the past been a bit of a negative word, but collagen is essential for the skin to rebuild itself. It’s a building block for cells, which means you’ll want readily available collagen for your skin to help keep it youthful and healthy.

What about the cost? Tallow is actually very inexpensive. A 2oz jar of organic tallow from grass-fed cows will cost about $25, but you use an extremely small amount of tallow on your skin. I estimate even used generously, a 2oz jar should last about six months or longer.

Why is organic tallow from grass-fed cows so important? For cows to be healthy, they need to be fed grass. Cows cannot digest corn or grains (this is what they’re fed on industrial farms) and become malnourished when they do, because they cannot absorb any nutrients from this. If the cow cannot absorb nutrients from its food, the fat in the cow will have no vitamins or fatty acids in it. This malnutrition will also cause stress on the cow’s body, leading to the production of all kinds of things in the fat that your skin will not thank you for. Speaking of stress, it’s very important for cows to be able to graze freely. Being locked in pens for 24 hours a day is also very stressful and not good for a cows health. An unhealthy cow will not produce good milk, good meat, or good fat.

A little bit about my person experience with tallow: I was very skeptical at first, but I’m always exciting to try something new for my poor, desperate skin. I read some reviews online where people who had problems with oily skin said it did wonders for them, and even some people claimed it erased blackheads. Intrigued, I jumped online to see what different places sell good quality tallow. I ended up going with Vintage Tradition and purchased their Almost Unscented balm. The reason for this was it sounded like with the essential oils it had in it, it should have a warm, woody scent. That ended up not being the case, and the scent is too light to really cover the smell of the tallow up well, but it still is amazing for my skin. My next tallow will be the Pretty Girl with a floral scent.The consistency of Vintage Tradition’s tallow is a lot like unrefined shea butter, and it needs to be rubbed with your finger to be able to get a little bit out to apply to the skin.

After using it for a couple of weeks, I noticed my skin is so smooth and soft. My makeup goes on smoother, and I even apply tallow lightly under my makeup because it helps it go on so much better.  I used to get rough patches when applying my foundation, because of the seborrheic dermatitis. Now the only rough patches I get are under my eyebrows. My foundation seems to stay on a little better, too. My skin also is a little less oily, and I’m hoping after several months of use to see my pores get smaller and my skin get less oily throughout the day. At night, I apply the tallow a little heavier over the Topix Replenix CF Cream, and after showering I apply it on the most dry-prone areas over my favorite Madara body lotion.

All in all, I would highly recommend this to anyone. Whether you have skin problems or not, you can’t go wrong with tallow from a high quality source. My mom and sister even started using it after I had been the guinea pig for the first week. So check it out and tell me what you think!

Curly Product Review: Aveda

Aveda has found its way to the salon I frequent the most, and since they have a curly hair line, I thought I would try a couple of products.

First, a little background about my 3A curls: they’re thick, and there are a lot of them. My greatest battles are with frizz and volume. It has low porosity, and so I’ve been using a keratin and Agadir oil shampoo until recently when I switched to the Keratin Complex shampoo and conditioner.

I haven’t tried any Aveda shampoos or conditioners, but I have tried one of their volume-reducing masques: the Smooth Infusion Smoothing Masque. It worked like a charm! My hair volume was definitely under better control, and it made my hair really soft. It was easy to use and fuss free, though a little bit on the expensive side. However, it also really made me break out around my ears and frizz was still a bit of an issue.

Now, I’ve included the Aveda Be Curly Curl Controller. It’s also good for reducing volume, and it doesn’t bother my skin like the masque does. It’s a little bit difficult to say how much the Curl Controller is doing for me and how much of it is from the Keratin Complex treatment I recently had done (more on that in a later post). Either way, I’ve started mixing the Curl Controller in with my Redkin 16 Hardwear styling gel to soften the crispy effect of the gel and to help keep the volume under control. If you have trouble with hair volume, I definitely recommend trying it! If you don’t have breakout-prone skin, it would be worth trying the Smoothing Masque as well.

Blephoritis Not Clearing Up?

For a few years now, I’ve struggled with blephoritis. Small surprise considering I already have oily skin and seborrheic dermatitis. For the past few years, I’ve taken good care to have good eyelid hygiene: wash twice a day with facial cleanser, scrub with a washcloth to remove any dirt, and moisturize with an oily skin-friendly product. The doctors always tell me this should be good enough, but it hasn’t been. It’s only gotten worse over the past couple of years, and I’m at my wits end. My eyelids are puffy and there are splits in my eyelash line. My eyes get dried out from the puffiness of my eyelids. I have tear attacks, where my eyes start randomly watering and stinging and then watering more (and they happen at very bad times like when I’m driving). So I got on the internet, because so far the doctors have been only useful for getting antibiotic and steroid eyedrops from–which never solves the problem.

What I found was quite surprising. Another common cause of blephoritis is an allergy or infestation of skin mites (demodex), which naturally reside on the skin and help remove buildup. These skin mites can also cause the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis. With an allergy, like an allergy to dust mites, this would obviously cause swelling, which leads to clogged pours and all of the other problems encountered with blephoritis. I would guess with an allergy, one of the most common symptoms is probably itching, which I’m not sure all blephoritis sufferers have this. I entertained the idea that maybe a mite allergy or infestation was the problem, so I kept reading to see what solutions might be.

They were quite simple: good eyelid hygiene (check) and a 5-35% tea tree oil solution. I could have spent $50 on a tea tree cleanser for my eyelids, but I already had tea tree oil sitting around the house, so I decided to try that first. I diluted it to approximately 5% with sterile eye wash water and applied a drop with a dropper to a cotton ball and dabbed it onto my eyelids, making sure to get the eyelash lines. I had immediate relief from the itching, which really surprised me. I didn’t expect results, or at least no results that quickly. I’ve continued doing this twice daily for three days now and already have had fewer tear attacks and less eye dryness. If you haven’t tried this for your blephoritis woes yet, it’s inexpensive to try and may be the solution you’ve needed all along.There’s also the option of looking for a demodex cleanser online, which can get more expensive, but may be a better option for some. If you think your seborrheic dermatitis may be a demodex-related issue, it would also be worth trying the tea tree cleansers to see if it clears things up.

I plan to write a follow-up post in maybe a month and hopefully will see a reduction in swelling and pore clogs.