Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My christmas 2013

So I'm kinda back! Exams are basically done, and I have a couple of days to just chill out. "Chilling out" basically means hibernating for a few days. 

Though I won't be home for Christmas, the tree is up and the house has a festive mood going on. Since this is the first Christmas blogging, I thought I'd show you a sneak peek into our Christmas decorating shenanigans - mainly, my tree. 

The Tree 

Every year, I'm basically the one who decorates the tree - and we usually put it up like, December 26th. Really, really late. 
And we keep it up till March... lol. #lazy

I'm the one who puts up the tree, and I'm also the one who picked all the ornaments out. Our house doesn't really have strong Christmas family traditions, you see. So none of our ornaments have a particular story, or were made by ourselves.

The more ornate ornaments were handmade... just not by us...
That makes it just as special, right?
...lets pretend it does.............

On a side note, we don't have a Christmas stocking tradition! I have never had a stocking in my entire life.... :(
Do you get stockings stuffed? 

Some of you guys might remember, but I wrote a "facts about me" post a few months back. In it, I mentioned that I was obsessed with anything handmade. That includes ornaments, lol.
So when I saw all these fancy ornies (lol...ornies) in a store, I jumped on them and hoarded them all.

There are a few ornaments that weren't purchased, but came in little chocolate baskets as decorations. I just stuck them on the tree. Recycling! 

On a side note, LOVE those Chocolate baskets that everyone gifts during Christmas. I can gobble everything in a basket by myself, hohohohohoho.
(On another side note, those baskets look so full, but basically it's just a single chocolate bar and a pack of hot chocolate mix... humph.)

The strand of pearl/crystal/glass/plastic balls (or whatever they are) are basically the only thing on the tree that is "ours". No Christmas tree of mine is finished without The Strands.

I have no idea where we got them, but we've had these strands for the longest time. I remember playing with them when I was a baby.
I also remember "leashing" my baby brother with them and dragging him around the kitchen.

Cabbage... flower... cabbageflower.

One of the "recycled" ornaments is this white cabbage-y looking flower thing. My mom went to this random flower arranging class a few years ago, and came home with a basket... of fake arranged flowers.

When that basket eventually fell apart, I kept the biggest parts and stick them on the tree every year. I'm such a good hoarder recycler. Pat on the back, pls.

Oh my goodness The Shiney. Look at all that glitter oh myyyy. Oh myyy. My eyes just feast on the glitter and I find an inner happiness in the depths of my cold hard Christmas-deprived soul.
Am I scary yet

More random pictures

That's enough of the tree, now let's look at the random little knick knacks! (i.e. I went camera-happy and just took a few more random, stumble-around-the-house-while-pressing-the-button photos).

These 4 little houses are Christmas houses! Can you tell?
My cousin bought us these last Christmas, and they're actually so cool. Each house has a tiny button, which plays music when you press it. The houses are sold separately, but if you have all 4, there's a special "set" effect.
I LIKE. *___* 

(And the random Santa on the side is from a wine bottle. Lol.)

This is a former Godiva chocolate basket, which we got as a gift a few years back. Everything inside was really, really yummy... there was just so little of it. I was sad.
But the sled packaging thing was really cute, so I was happy.

(And the random bow on the sled is from... I'm not sure, but I picked it up somewhere and stuck it on there.)

I'm pretty sure my mom made this half-wreath thing, but I can't be too sure. It looks like she made it. I'll have to ask her about it.

My friends, this is my dog's worst enemy.
She's absolutely terrified of this mini Santa figure (I think it's because it towers over her, and she's scared of big stuff).
It's hilarious, though. Every time I bring it out from the basement, she goes running. 

I like the fancy-ness of Santa's outfit. He's carrying a fancy shmancy snowflake, while wearing a fur trimmed robe thingymajig. #fashionablesanta

Santa is carrying a bunch of fruits and a bunch of ice-frosted tree branches! #natureman

I bought this snowglobe when I was in 6th grade. I had a snowglobe phase. 
On a random side note, the falling "snowflakes" are HUGE. Why are they so huge? If snowflakes were that huge in real life, it would be quite scary. 

So that finishes today's review! I really liked rambling today, hehe - it's a nice breath of freshness from the usual product reviews. 

So! What about you?
- Have you decorated yet? 
- Do you decorate? 
- What are some of your Christmas traditions?
- Do you have stockings? (I am so jealous.......)
- Do you go "all out" with Christmas decorating? 
- What does your tree look like?
- Do you have special ornaments that you made yourself? 
- Do you buy 100% of your tree ornaments? 
- Why am I asking so many questions?
- Can you tell I'm excited?

If you wrote a Christmas/holiday-related post on your blog, please link it in the comments below! I'd love to read it! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

[Review] Laneige Original Essence White Plus Renew

I'm curious - are you happy with your skin?
Can you say that you don't need any skin-related oomphs?

I'd have to say that I definitely need some extra oomphs to make my skin look nicer. I (usually) don't go to school with makeup on, so the least I can do is have nice, bright, clear skin. It's like... a public service thing, lol.
We don't want anyone screaming over my midterm/final state-of-self. 

Anyways, today I'll be talking about a Laneige product; this is the "Original Essence" in the White Plus Renew line. This product is from the popular online store, "ibuybeauti" - one of the few online stores I trust 100%, and personally purchase from.

Laneige's "Original Essence" is apparently their #1 top seller - on their website, they list it as the #1 most popular and purchased product. 
(#2 is the famous Water Sleeping Pack, #3 is the equally famous Laneige Cushion.)
I've seen lots of reviews for this product, and dang. It looks like a lot of people have had positive experiences with it.

This product has also won a number of awards as well, such as an award from Naver, and the Ceci k-beauty awards. 


"For the most beautifully radiant skin via 6 functions; lustre, moisture, brightness, evens skin tone, slows melanin rate and reduces dullness."

- For all skin types
- Day and night use 
- L-proved remedy
- Camellia Sinensis Leaf and Yeast extracts 

7 years of research has gone into this product. Approximately 1,200 women in Asian cities were asked what they think about beauty, and many of them responded that "bright and flawless skin" was the most important (and desirable) feature to have. 

A partnership with "L-proved remedy" and Laneige's own "Melacrusher" and boom - Laneige's Original Essence (White Plus Renew) was born in early 2013. 

The product claims to "up" your skin 2 tones up - in 2 weeks, with a whole package of benefits. Evening skin tone, reducing dullness, you name it... it claims it. 

The "Melacrusher" technology works on your skin to actively remove the melanin veil on your skin. (Melanin is natural to your body and is the "thing" that gives colour to your skin, iris and hair.) Laneige states that 4 "mild ingredients" are used in the product to give you a complexion 2 tones brighter. 

- 40ml of product in each bottle.

Price and "ibuybeauti"

You can buy this product at ibuybeauti for $44.99. This is definitely one of the cheapest and fairest prices I've seen for this product. I have seen this exact same product selling for $70 in other stores.

I think it's also worth noting that ibuybeauti includes a number of freebies! Samples and face masks, and sometimes they add in bigger freebies as well, depending on how big your order is.

I recently purchased my Dr. Jart toner/lotion set from ibuybeauti... and good lawd. I thought I received the wrong order because of the number of freebies in that box, seriously (you can see a picture of that haul in my Twitter images).

Customer service is extremely fast as well, and they are completely reliable in service, reliability and authenticity of the products. Many of the items are the lowest I've seen online (ex: Laneige Original Essence, and the Dr. Jart ctrl-A set).

Definitely, definitely, definitely one of my all time favourite stores.

My skin... before.

I really wanted to try this product because of all those claims. We're in going into Winter now, and my skin really shows it. I get dull, crackly skin. It looks gross and it feels "bleh". 

On top of this, I've been experimenting with a bunch of nail polishes lately. I'm not sure if it's just me, but nail polish makes my skin EXTREMELY dull, like I'm a walking corpse. I kid you not. (Seriously, is it just me? Do I have an allergy to nail polish I don't know about? Hmm.)

On top of that... I was majorly breaking out. I think it was stress and hormones, but it was a huge mess. This review is actually a bit late because I've had such a crazy issue with zits, and I had to take a break off using any products (other than the bare, bare, basics) for a while. 

...basically, I look lifeless. 
So any product that claims to fix this issue is immediately on my radar. 


If you're big on Asian cosmetics and skincare, you've probably heard of the immense craze over "whitening" products. Please note that I won't be (deeply) discussing any controversies in whitening/brightening products in this post. If you've got any opinions about the matter, feel free to leave a comment! 

I'm not using this product to look "like a white girl". I'm using this product for the reasons mentioned above - to brighten and give my skin a... sense of life. To look like I'm a living human being, and not a walking dead person. 
A "yellow" person could have dull or bright skin.
A "black" person could have dull or bright skin.
An "olive" person could have dull or bright skin.
A "white" person could have dull or bright skin.
I'd personally like bright skin over my dull. 

How to Use 

I started using the product in early November, and have been using it until now. Though the instructions say to use the product every morning and evening, admittedly I wasn't too diligent with it. There were some days where I just scuttled off without using it. Scuttle scuttle!~

The essence is easy to use, and it's pretty thin and lightweight. It's not creamy, nor does it sit on your face and feel like it's clogging up every pore. It absorbs pretty quickly and leaves my face feeling soft and moisturized.

Before and after 

To be honest, I'm a little "iffy" on showing you these pictures - I tried my best, but lighting was just so difficult to get right. (Taking the "before" and "after" pictures were difficult to get under the same lightning at the time.)

All in all, this isn't just a "claim" product. Laneige's Original Essence offers many different benefits, and I can say that it actually works. Though it's not too clear in the before/after photo, it really did brighten up my skin. It reduced the redness on my face, and helped fade away dark spots.

My experience 

I honestly think that this product works. To recap, the 6 claims were:
- Lustre
- Moisture
- Brightness
- Evens out skin tone
- Slows melanin rate
- Reduces dullness

I've actually seen these claims actually work out. The redness around my nose and cheeks are most effected, and it's definitely improved. My skin has generally brighten up and any little dark spots I had on my face faded significantly. I definitely saw the product working.

I'd have to warn you, though - Laneige claims that you see progress in as little as 2 weeks. Some people have seen results in 2 weeks. I didn't. It took longer for me to see results (this may be because I skipped a day or two). I started seeing results in the 3-4 week mark.

This product has made enough of a difference to see not just by myself, but by other people as well. My family (who sees me everyday, and wouldn't notice anything unless it's huge), has seen a change.
Friends have also noticed a difference and said my skin's definitely improved and it's "less red and stuff".

It works - and if this is a kind of product that you need, I think it's worth giving a shot.

- Visible change
- Moisturizes skin
- Brightens up skin tone
- Evens out skin tone, reduces redness
- Helps to fade out dark spots
- Doesn't feel greasy
- Absorbs quickly

- Pricey
- Need to be diligent and use this regularly to see results
(not really a "con", but just a warning for the lazier people, hehee~)

Note: I don't give half marks. 

It's one of the better skincare products I've tried so far, and one of my favourite products from Laneige. It works, and I've seen the changes!

...I'm so picky with ratings, and because my ratings are only out of 5, it's difficult to rate a product sometimes (I never give half marks). There's a big difference between a "4" and a "5" though, and I don't think this product deserves a whole point lower.
You feel me?

What about you?
Do you use "whitening" products? Would you be interested in trying this?
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