Friday, November 17, 2017

Adieu #TheBlogRace

Hello from Seattle, Washington State (!), and betrayed by my body, where I'm also nursing a sinus infection. Our drive took 12 hours from Canada, and it sure as hell was a long ride... Blogging on the go is also incredibly tough when you keep sneezing and battling the cold chills.

[All the photos in this post were taken today (!), with the last bits of autumn colour and some shots of the city, aren't you lucky]

Nonetheless, if you've been following along (and I'm sure most of you have), I've been posting material relating to #TheBlogRace for the last couple of months. A fun project initiated by Vix and Laila and brought me and the others through many proverbial highs, and this is our final entry!


With trepidation we started with Instagram, and it's always refreshing to know that behind pixels on a screen, is someone with their own stories. I guess we don't usually stop and pause to think, that there may be more beyond blogger unboxings, PR gifts, amazing photos.

I remember thinking how refreshing it was to hear from Luke about being deaf and staying positive, and Chloe's dyslexia story  and now kicking ass, basically on her way soon to her PhD! It reminded me that life is life is life, and not about avocados and brunch, though it sometimes can be... Everyone was enthusiastic, and it was fun being part of something where everyone had something of their own to contribute.


It wasn't for me, at least. I'm proud of the fact that I'm a creative person by nature,  but this honestly pushed me to have fun while doing crazy fun stuff. One of my favourite posts to write was the Mooncake Festival story growing up, and this mishmash video of my week which brought a little excitement in my otherwise pretty mundane work week.

Talent doesn't translate into creative magic, and made me think about how much extra time and thought goes into a successful curated piece on social media. And for this I will always be thankful that I was able to do that, without which I probably wouldn't go the extra mile because 'I don't have enough time' or 'it looks too hard!'

I remember Jordan's magical Red Riding Hood and interpretation of autumn, and those enchanting photos which spoke to her determination and hard work in all things blogging, something I probably couldn't replicate, ha. Beth's writing was soulful and frank from the very start, and Sophie's #MeToo post struck a very strong chord with me and I'm just so proud to have known these people.


Every week, I was equal excitement and slightly worried. Mainly because I was working long hours, and I was brainstorming all these ideas and hoping I had enough time to make it work. Getting home in a cab at 10pm were the bad days, and I didn't have time to do anything else.

But when I did finally pull through, it was something I was happy to call my own. Experimenting with new mediums, thinking of new ways to convey meaning (which I will always find exciting) was something wonderful, and something that I will walk away feeling thankful for.

Our little group on Twitter was filled with gifs (probably from me, I love gifs) and cheering on for each other one, having those messages ping each day was like being in a sorority, almost. Not like I would know what being in sorority feels like...

In the end, I feel like it's not so much about the competition than the chances that we had to talk to each other, us people with real problems and woes. I've grown to admire Taj whose cultural voice is so powerful with her words equally so, and getting to know about her life and vivid imagination is such a joy. Becky gave me all the colourful feels, and Katie's journey with Ostoma was a real eye-opener. And to the rest of you all, I think it's fair to forgive me in my ill state to say that you guys have been awesome and deserve all the equal shout-outs and love. 


And what's a classic #TheBlogRace post without some thank-you notes?

Vix and Laila, you get a gif in my lame hotel room cause you're both super cool. Thank you for including me in this pet project, and giving me a good excuse to get creative and go wild with ideas. And mostly, thanks for this cool bunch of people with their quirks and jokes that I've been having so much fun with – I loved learning about the other Racers, but also you two who have been with us and writing with us.

I learnt how to be humble and kind, and there is a space for everyone's voice in this chaotic blogging community.

I gained so many new people in my life, all of whom I hope to meet IRL!

I found out that we're ordinary peeps with brilliant minds, and more fun than I was expecting ;)

Most of all, thank you for reading these often inane words, which may seem like they don't reach anyone in an internet void. To an unending journey!

Catch up on all #TheBlogRace action here if you've been missing it. I hope your week is less ill-ridden than mine!

Monday, November 13, 2017

[JOLSE] Troiareuke ACSEN A+ Cushion - A Review

It's been a hot minute since a k-beauty post appeared here hasn't it? The last I talked about Korean beauty was in my haul post and my first introduction to k-beauty products... Rest assured, the skincare fanatic in me is still very much hoarding all the latest potions and lotions. Even more so, I've met a whole bunch of fantastic people (holla #fellowshipoftheskin) through our mutual love for k-beauty – and to some extent, karaoke - to expand my knowledge about sheetmasks and more.

Jolse is one of the k-beauty websites that I've steadfastly used since my foray into Korean skincare and makeup, and Troiareuke was a brand that came onto my radar ever since it began popping up over Instagram over the past year or so.


I won the ACSEN (Acne + Sensitive!) A+ Cushion to review, and here I am excited to share my thoughts. It comes in a sleek packaging and contains skin-friendly ingredients like Niacinamide (to brighten), Adenosine (anti-aging) that a normal cushion wouldn't, and its tagline of '99% skincare, 1% makeup' totally reeled me in. Essentially, Troiareuke's products are meant to resemble more of skincare than makeup, which is why they have used more skin-friendly ingredients which works in sync with makeup.

Price wise, it's definitely on the pricier side of $38 (but still cheaper than Sulwhasoo's cushion, which is considered top of the range in the market) but I was willing to give Troiareuke the benefit of the doubt since it's marketed as a skincare product. Though there is probably comparable products out there with similar features, with a lesser price tag.

Centella Asiatica is the darling of the ingredient world right now and my skin seems to like it in the masks I've been using, and its calming properties is ideal for acne-prone skin, which promotes healing and works to rebuild the skin barrier, combatting hyperpigmentation.

For background, my skin is extremely sensitive and prone to redness, throw in pesky hormonal acne and you're lookin' right at me. I tend to be very selective with the products I use, and keep my routine minimal and I've stopped wearing makeup to work. On the weekends, I've also cut back and it's made a great difference for my skin. I have 2 cushions in rotation which I know and trust, and was excited to see how this one fared, seeing as this one leaned toward skincare, rather than makeup.

Unfortunately this cushion only comes in No. 23 (traditionally the darkest in Korean cushions, which is a shame and needs to change) but coincidentally that is my usual shade match. The cushion itself has a slight scent, which I'm not a fan of (but I'm usually not a fan of scents in products) but isn't too off-putting.

The other thing about the cushion is that it is a 'mochi cushion', meaning you only get the product you need by pressing down to release more of it. Compared to most cushions in the market, which comes pre-soaked with foundation/BB cream, this feature prevents oxidisation of the product and keeps it hygienic. I liked the idea of that, meaning that less of it is susceptible to contamination.


The A+ cushion has true yellow undertone, which was surprising. Usually #23 cushions are supposed to my match but always end up on the pinkier side,  and usually have a white cast because of the SPF.  

Applying it was interesting, and I would say this is definitely a medium to high coverage cushion. I usually go for sheer to medium coverage, just because I don't like feeling having an extra layer on my face. It goes on quite liberally, so a light touch was more than enough. 

Coverage is... good and buildable. I have severe acne scarring and it's managed to minimise most of the redness but still peek through naturally. I've been testing this for about 2-3 weeks now, but I still can't quite say whether I like the feeling of it on top of my skin. It goes on slightly more matte than what I would like (my favourite cushion remains the Sulwhasoo Brightening Perfecting Cushion), and feels a bit thick, so after the puff, I would go in with my beauty blender to continue blending it out. 

It's supposed to last a whole day but I find that it lasts around 6-8 hours, particularly because my face is oily? Nevertheless, lasting power is pretty impressive regardless. You can see my scars still visible but I usually leave them be, since they're not overly bothersome. Plus I find that layering too much makes my skin a bit too tight. 


Like I said, I still haven't decided whether I love the cushion or not. Admittedly, the coverage is great but it also tends to get a bit flaky for me due to the thicker formulation, because my skin gets dehydrated easily which doesn't make it the best canvas, despite using a primer before hand. 

I'm happy to wear this out for a nice weekend out, but wouldn't probably hack it the whole day - just because my skin tends to be sensitive after a long day of makeup. 

My preferred cushion is probably the Troiareuke H+ Healing Cushion, which is more catered towards preventing Transepidermal Water Loss, with more natural coverage and a wider shade range. I image the A+ cushion would be great if you have normal to combination skin, but coverage remains great for redness and scarring overall. 

You can check out the Troiareuke ACSEN A+ Cushion on Jolse :) 

Regardless, I'm happy to add this one into my cushion rotation! Have you tried any Troiareuke products?
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