Missha Haul (my first experience with Korean beauty!)

Since I jumped on the beauty-crazed bandwagon earlier around this time last year, I heard about BB cream and how it's a miracle in a bottle: it's a primer, moisturizer, light foundation, skin healer, sunscreen etc. and I heard about how crazy popular it is in Korea because of its "whitening" properties...I don't agree with Asia's obsession with being fair skinned. Trust me, I'm Filipino and when I went to Manila earlier this year I saw billboards everywhere for whitening products and surgery with the "before" picture as dark skinned but depicted as lumpy and undesirable. It's sad really. Anyway, some claim that the "whitening" properties actually mean healing scars and helping with hyperpigmentation. BB cream actually originated in Germany to help people recover from plastic surgery.

Anyway, I tried a few Western BB Creams, such as Revlon (huge disappointment, too sheer), Maybelline (some complain about the smell but I love it, but again, too sheer), Smashbox (my favorite I've tried) and Tarte (the one I'm currently using, it gives good coverage but I noticed my pores are more prominent). I was talking to a new acquaintance from SFA who is also Filipino and her heart had a spot for Asian beauty products, and she wrote down a list of brands for me to try since I was intrigued. I've heard that the Western BB creams were more like tinted moisturizers and she agreed. I decided to sign up for Missha and order some loot on their 40% off Thanksgiving sale.

I got 2 of the Perfect Cover BB creams. One I ordered is a full size (50 ml) and the other one is a mini size I got for spending $40+ (I also wanted the free shipping). It comes in only 5 shades: 13, 21, 23, 27 and 31 (from lightest to darkest). I got #23 thinking it would suit my skin tone for the winter and then I could get #27 for the summer. It turns out, #23 is a tad too light for me. I wore shade C4 for MAC's Face & Body Foundation and I am using 128 for MUFE's HD foundation. I guess I should've gotten the #27, but I could also order it another time and mix that along with the #23. I really do like how this BB cream feels light on my skin and offers medium coverage without looking cakey like the Western ones. My skin looks and feels dewy. Some people complain that it gives off a grey cast when you first put it on, but then after 5-10 minutes it oxidizes to your skin tone.

Did I mention it is 42 SPF? I'm THE WORST when it comes to applying sunscreen, especially because us lupies are extremely sensitive to the sun. I don't flare as bad under the sun itself, but when it's summertime, I'm extremely sensitive to the heat. I hate Sacramento's 90–110 degree summer weather.  BB creams have helped in that sun protection for my face but I admit I have to apply some sort of barrier for my body too.

Koreans are known for having flawless skin, and again it's speculated that it's because plastic surgery is a hit there. I personally wouldn't have it, but their 10+ step regimen is being more known here in the States. It's just that our day-to-day lives are extremely fast paced and we only have time to to cleanse, tone, exfoliate (on some days) and moisturize. Also, we take action whenever a spot or wrinkle comes up, and their approach is more preventative. They cleanse twice, once with a cleansing oil (to remove the makeup) and another with a foaming cleanse. Since I don't have a cleansing oil, I am just using olive oil and then the Near Skin Extra Renew Cleansing Foam. After that I tone with my LUSH Tea Tree Water spray then use the Time Resolution Blanc Control Essence. Some days you can use a sheet mask but I haven't tried that yet so instead, I use my LUSH Mask of Magnaminty after I exfoliate with the Ocean Salt (just for the night though). Then I moisturize with the LUSH Imperialis.

I've only done this for 2 days but my face feels pretty soft and I have a little less redness. My redness won't completely go away because it is the classic lupus butterfly rash. I still have some pores but that could also be because I've been under stress and haven't been sleeping well. Junk food certainly doesn't help either.

I also got the Nose Pore Cleaning Patch Set. I've always had problems with whiteheads on my nose but recently I got blackheads as well! I've tried Biore strips but they didn't work. So I wet my nose and used a strip and let it sit for 15 minutes. After pulling it off, most of the crap was on the strips! It worked! I would say like it got rid of 90% of the whiteheads and blackheads, not all of it. It's not something I would use frequently but next time I'll try steaming my face first to see if that will make it more effective, next time those pesky comedones pop up.

And finally I got the Super Aqua Refuel Limited Edition set for free because I spent $40+. It comes with 3 10 ml creams: the Ultra Waterfull Cream (to moisturize), Cell Renew Snail Cream (to improve skin damage and strengthen) and Nutritious Cream. I'm probably not going to use these because I've been moisturizing well (a few weeks ago I haven't, and my skin felt super uncomfortable) so I'm probably going to gift this for Christmas (I won't say who though).

I urge you to give Korean products a try! Especially if you are a huge BB cream fan and want more than just the tinted moisturizer type of thing that the Western ones seem to offer. I know I'll be looking into the serums and the sheet masks in the near future!

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