Starting Asian Beauty

It’s taken a while for me to get fully interested Asian beauty products; skincare and makeup. Skincare has always interested me but I was never able to do much research except for high end products which I feel are a little ridiculous for  a terrible at habits teenager. Then my best friend introduced me into k-dramas, which lead to kpop which has lead to k-beauty and in general Asian beauty products though I do focus on k-beauty as it is easily accessible to me.

I’ve generally picked up a product at the supermarket to try and found it really thick and heavy and it just sits there on my skin. I would have to force myself to keep up with it even though I was excited to be doing something. Then I discussed a few korea beauty products and went hmm. Dig some digging and some more and kinda fell in love with the philosophy. Although I’m not absolutely certain what my skin is. I usually say normal skin, maybe leaning a touch to the oily side.

My focus with Asian skincare is mostly anti-aging or age halting? I guess what I mean is that it’s just maintenance and making sure it’s healthy. Other than that my other issues are large pores and redness. While my slight OCD tendencies lead me to wanting to have a full 10 step routine I feel like that would be a bit too much. In saying that toners and serums are my jam from messing around with those awesome samples you get. It’s also a part of my self care routine.

I currently have a very simple routine which combines western products and Asian products:

Oil Cleasner (PM) – Dermologica precleanse
Foam Cleanser – Still searching but switch between a couple
Toner – Beauty Water (kinda toner kinda not. I use it as a cleansing water/pH balancing toner.)
Toner -Nature Republic Hawaiian Fresh Clear Toner
Moisturiser – the Face Shop Arsainte Gel
Sunscreen (AM) – Etude House Sunprise Watery light Sunscreen.

I also thought I would do a wee bit on my current routine and why as I a complete newb chose these products. Spoiler because they looked/sounded interesting and I found some decent or no reviews. The Beauty water is an exception which you can read about here. But I‘ve finished patch testing it so I’m confident to keep using it.

Nature Republic Hawaiian Fresh Clear Toner
I chose this as I really wanted to try out an Asian hydratingish toner, even though this is on the astringent side. While I’m currently patch testing it, my first impression have been pretty good. I realise that pore size is mostly genetic but I was checking my face and my pores were way less noticeable.I’m kinda convinced that this is a temporary thing but still super happy with it. I also love the way it quickly sinks into my skin.

the Face Shop Arsainte Eco-Therapy Crystal Water Super Gel

I chose this mostly because it looked interesting. I don’t particularly like the feeling of creams on my face, so I thought I would try a gel for a change. This is supposed to be cooling and if it does nothing else other than that I’m still pretty happy.


Etude House Sunprise Watery Light Sunscreen
I’m pretty sure I chose this because it was the cheapest. I’m very impressed tbh. I’ve never liked using sunscreen. I don’t want to say I have sensory issues but I am quite sensitive to feeling something on my skin; mostly face and hands. When I was growing up I would try to be diligent about sunscreen but I really hated the feeling and would wash it off as soon as possible. Trying this left me pretty much speechless. It glided on and sunk it super fast. Well it takes 10-15 minutes for it to full sink in but I can’t really feel it on my face. And I’m not saying this is a wonder product specifically but it has opened my eyes up to AB sunsccreens and how light they are.

I have a long wishlist of things I want to try and will maybe get when I start running low on the things I’m trying. Because I’m just starting unless something makes a noticeable different to my face I’m happy to keep doing the patch testing  thing and switch things around.

I’m planning on doing an update in a couple of months with how I get on with my routine, so check back for that! 

Do any of you have a skincare routine? What does it look like?

First K-Beauty Haul

So my, technically, first haul arrived about a week ago. I had another order which has been delayed by a week so I kinda sorta broke my no buy for some less delayed gratification. Worth it.

I ordered from Hikoco, a NZ company. I placed my order on Wednesday (25/1), it shipped Thursday(26/1) and I picked it up on Friday (27/1). As I’ve only had these for a grand total of a few hours I thought I’d write a first impression on the skincare and palette.


I got the Son & Park Beauty Water, Goodal Moisture Barrier Cream and the Aritaum Styling Eye Palette in Grey Brown.

Son & Park Beauty Water

I love the scent, it’s very citrusy, wish I could get it as a perfume almost. It nice and cooling when applying it. Where I was testing it stayed a bit shiny for a while before settling into what my skin normally looks like. It was actually the first product that got me interested in skincare after trying and disliking heavier western products. So seeing in stock on a NZ site I jumped at the chance (plus the bottle is aesthetic).

Goodal Moisture Barrier Cream

I can’t quite put my finger down on the scent exactly but it’s definitely florally/fruity. The scent is very strong. I can still smell it on my face at least 30 minutes after applying it. I was surprised at how hard the cream was, but it melts very easily and blends in wonderfully. My skin is still a wee bit sticky at about 40-50 minutes after application.

Aritaum Styling Eye Palette in Grey Brown

I love this palette. It is tiny 9cm x ~4.8cm x 1cm (~3.6″ x ~1.9″ x ~0.5″). The colours aren’t that pigmented especially the lighter 2. In saying that they do show up (slightly) on my pigmented lids. The shimmer glittery shade is impressive and my favourite on first look. Since I’ve had it a wee bit and I’ve been playing around with it (i.e. wearing it everyday) I have an entire review with swatches here.

Aritaum Styling Eye Palette Review

I’ve been on the look out for a good neutral palette, and by that I mean something that contains everything I need for whatever eye look I’’m going or. Currently I’m using the Too Faced Natural Eye Palette. Which I do like the colours, bar 2. And there’s a few I don’t really use but my everday look is perfect. But I wasn’t sure how I felt about the pigmentation which is alright but I do also kinda wanna try the eastern ‘natural’ look. I debated between this and  a Clio palette but this suckered me in with the shades and a review.

This is my favourite everyday palette. Before I was using the Too Faced Natural Eye palette but they did look more makeupy if that makes sense. The Eye styling palette is perfect for that no makeup makeup. I’s also very small so I think it would be good for travelling. The packaging is a nice sturdy plastic and it clicks shut nicely.

At first I was a bit put off by sheer shadows, so I jumped in with this and I absolutely don’t regret it. These shadows are buildable and show up on my pigmented lids. I use the lighther shades on lazy days all over my lid and a little bit into my crease. If I’m doing a bit more effort I’ll usually put the second shade over my lid and then the third in my crease and blend to give a bit more definition. A full out look involves all the shades pretty much. I’ll pat the 2nd shade all over the lid, 3rd in the crease and the 1st as a transition shade going up to my brown bone and then the 4th on the outer v. Finally I’ll pat the 4th shade all over my lid to add some shine.

Shade Reviews

Airlike – I’m surprised at how much I like this shade. It’s a light peachy pink shade. I like applying it all over my eye as a one eyeshadow look. It’s sheer when you first put it on but you can build it up to a pale pinky colour.

Mild Sun – I have mixed opinions about this shade, it’s a light taupey brown but with a tiny hint of yellow undertone. I like patting this all over my lid but sometimes it can look a bit too grey.

Desert Sun – warm soft brown. I should really start using this as an all over

Rainy – I wanted to like this shade so much. It’s a deep reddish brown with gold glitter. In a finger swatch is looks okay. But when you apply it with a brush it’s very sheer and looks like a warm brown with a bit of glitter. So I’d recommend foiling it and then patting over the top. In the pan it looks quite a bit red but it doesn’t look that red when swatched or applied to the eyes. 

L-R Foiled with dry on top, foiled, patted on, swiped on, finger swatch

The Big Night – Your general cool dark brown. This is perfect for creating shadows to add defition to your eyes. I can’t tell if this is more pigmented or it just shows up more because it’s a darker. colour


Final Thoughts
This  would make a good beginner’s palette if you’re looking to practise techniques. I chose this because of the matte shades, however I am now second guessing if I want to get any other palettes as they have more shimmery shades. And even though I like the range you can make with rainy I wouldn’t be impressed if I needed to go through that for a whole palette. However I could see them working well a one shadow colours. The shadows can be quite fallouty if you pick up a lot so I definitely recommend starting with smaller amounts and building up the colour.

What is it: Aritaum Styling Eye Palette
Price: $18NZD
Would I repurchase: Yep
Rating: 4/5

A Month with my Hobonichis

So it’s been a month since I started using Hobonichis and I love them. While I’m not suddenly productive like I wanted to be. When I do use them and check them I’m kept on track.I’m still using both the Weeks and the Techo and I’m working on developing a system that helps me maximize my usage.


As I mentioned in my planning post I use the Weeks to give me a weekly overview and work out on which day I need to do what. I’ve found it helpful for assignments as I can write down individual goals for everyday so it’s a bit more manageable. I mainly use it as a study planner. I’m also thinking of getting another one specifically for an academic tracker. On the right side of the pages I just write out notes, ideas or things I need to look up. I use the top section for weekly things I need to get done. I have also been known to write down weekly goals on the right page.


I’m not really doing much in the Techo to my disappointment. I’m sure when uni gets into full swing I’m going to regret saying that. At the moment I have it mentally divided with the top left section where I write my appointments and task for the day. From the last line after the moon state I start writing notes or things I’ll need to reference in the future. I also have the bottom half from the 12 mentally blocked off for notes. 


Lastly I have my Avec. This is just my journal where I write down things that happened during the day. For example the modified pain scale for me to refer to in the future so I’m consistent with pain ratings. I also glue things in here and watercolour. Which is why I chose the Avec as I didn’t want a full size getting so thick I would be annoyed using it.