This Morning's Beauty Routine with Mini Reviews

Because I am still waiting for my AB products to slowly start arriving (while obsessively refreshing the RRS package's tracking page,) you will see that most of the things I use, are still Western products. I will have to brace myself, and add new stuff gradually, so that I can really figure out what works for me and what doesn't.
I received four samples with my order of the Tosowoong Bee (Venom) Essence a few days ago, and I am so damn proud to say that I have used only one of them! I still find it hard to imagine how I will be able to resist the gazillion samples I have ordered from RRS and not try to put everything on my face within the first 36 hours. Self-restraint has not always been my strong suit.

Here is the list and a photo of the products from this morning, with my notes below.

  • I had bought the Deoproce Pore Care Cleansing Foam before I even knew I was interested in Asian beauty products. I knew nothing about it. Why did I buy it, you ask? Because my cleanser was running out, I have ginormous pores, I liked that it had ingredients I hadn't used before (honey and black sugar, that is,) and it was on sale on (it currently sells for $6.50.) I have been using it morning and night for a couple of months, and I don't think it has made any significant (or not so significant) difference in the texture of my skin whatsoever. (I haven't broken out from it; then again, even though my skin is oily and my pores ginormous, I am not typically breakout-prone.) It gives you that (almost unnaturally) squeaky clean feeling right after using it, but it doesn't last long, my pores are still visible from across the Atlantic, there's been no change in the amount of blackheads, and my face becomes an oil field just as quickly as it has with any other Western cleanser. It is pretty thick, it doesn't foam all that well, the black sugar pieces are tiny and barely there, and because you only need a little, this damn 170g/5.7oz tube would last me for freaking ever. (I am cheap. I hate throwing away stuff unless it's doing damage. Yet, I really don't want to keep using this cleanser for months on end when I have much more interesting stuff arriving. Soon, I hope.)
  • Then I slapped the D:tox Purifying Facial Mask on my face, and left it there for a half an hour while I fed my dogs. You might be able to make out from the photo that I bought it at TJ Maxx, and given that I moved from the United States five months ago and I'd already had it for quite a while when I did, I have had it for a long time. It's nothing special. I mean, every single clay mask I have ever used, gave me the instant gratification of an oil-free face and a bit of help with my pores (which could totally be just my imagination,) but it's always very temporary. So temporary that after washing it off and being done with the rest of my routine, it usually goes away. I still use it, though, because, well, I hate throwing stuff away.
  • I washed it off with the cleansing foam again, and followed it with the La Roche Posay Effaclar Toner. I have it because it was on sale on StrawberryNET, too. As you can tell, I have used up half the bottle already, and you might have already guessed that in the long run, it has done nothing to the oil field on my face and my pores. I don't think it's worth even half of its price. Given the no-long-term-effects issue, I am not sure it's worth any money, really.
  • I followed the toner with my brand spanking new Tosowoong Bee (Venom) Essence (first impression review here.) Either my skin is starting to get used to it, or my soul is getting used to it; whatever it is, I don't feel like it's as tacky as I initially thought. I also think this might be responsible for the increased blood flow on my face (see weird before/after photo below) because I can feel it warm up my skin when I put it on. I am still not convinced I did the right thing by ordering the full-size product before sampling it first, but I am hoping that with daily use, I will see some long-term effects.
  • Finally, time for my moisturizer. It's My Payot Nuit. If you speak any French (I know like six words,) you can guess that it's a night cream. See, what happened is I was running out of my daytime moisturizer when I ordered the Tosowoong essence, and being so new, I was still utterly confused by the different names and titles that products for different steps in one's skincare, have. When I ordered the essence, I thought I was ordering the lotion. So, right now, and until my hauls start arriving, I am day cream-less. So, I am using a night cream during the day. Lame-O. I think this is probably one of the better (if not the best) Western product in my current, all-over-the-place type routine, even though it's definitely way too heavy for me for daytime wear. However, even before I added the Tosowoong essence to my routine, this moisturizer alone had made my skin ultra-soft in the morning. This was another StrawberryNET purchase from when it was deeply discounted; I don't think I'd ever pay anything near the original price, though. 
  • The plus one, that sad little lone sample in the middle is the Tosowoong Crystal Peeling Gel, which I received as a gift with my essence order. I added it to the photo because I had used it last night, so I thought that - in a way... maybe... or not? - it might have had something to do with how my skin looked when I woke up this morning. I am not sure if it's a placebo effect and it's really one of the ingredients that look like tiny pieces of dead skin once you start massaging it on your face (have you ever tried using an ear candle on a steel table? I have. Surprisingly, all the "wax" and "toxins" that it sucks out of one's ear, were there. So, yeah...) or it actually does peel away dead skin. It did make my feel skin feel - dare I say? - renewed. The sample is enough for about two uses, so I will return to it in a couple of days again, and see how it feels the second time around.
I also use a completely useless eye product by Joey NY, but it's not even worth taking a photo of. Again, I will keep using it until my AB eye products arrive because it's not giving me breakouts or making me blind; but, other than that, it's completely and utterly useless.

Now, here's my before/after-the-morning routine photo:

A good half an hour passed between the two photos (because of the clay mask,) and it's an overcast morning, so the lighting didn't change much, and I took the two photos by the same window; yet, my skin tone looks completely different. Weird. In real life, my skin tone is like that in the "after" photo on the right.
Side note: can anyone estimate what my skin color is, in terms of NW, and NC, and numbers, and what-not?

I actually like my "waking up" skin more than my skin after the morning routine; is it possible that I look more well-rested an hour after waking up than I do an hour and a half after waking up?
Of course, my main goal is comparing some photos a couple of weeks to a couple of months apart, once I have started my 100% AB routines. I guess that these photos will be fun to compare to photos I'll take in, let's say, October or November.

Which, really, is the point of this blog/beauty diary, after all.


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