Favorite Skincare Products of 2020 (as a 23-24 year old)

For a lot of obvious reasons, self-care was a huge part of my life this year. I found a lot of joy in my morning and evening rituals.

And I’ve always loved skincare and makeup but I’ve never been able to more freely try and experiment with different products and dedicate time to sticking with a routine than I have this year. I lived skincare in college but due to financial insecurity, I was always afraid of not being able to replace my products. It’s a mindset I still struggle with— I always felt like, if I used something up it would be gone and I wouldn’t be able to afford to rebuy. Additionally, I was just so tired and busy all the time— what time did I have to dedicate to an extensive routine? And everyday too? No thanks. I mean, I knew my basics and I could splurge every once in a while, so that’s good enough, right? 

Now that I’ve graduated and started working, I now not only have the time to dedicate to a routine, but I’ve also finally felt comfortable enough to start my journey for my ~holy grails. Do they really exist? I don’t know. Do I really want to find them? Now I really don’t know! I’ve found a lot of happiness in experimenting with different products and seeing how they work and what works best. But also I’ve gotten to a place where I’m realizing that some products are more enjoyable to use than others. Not even in just practicality, but mostly in how they make me feel and how I feel when I see myself after using them. I’ve also found that sticking to a skincare routine is awesome and would 10/10 recommend for everyone. Also as a heads up, I have mostly combination skin.

The Plant Base Time Stop Collagen Ampoule

This product really surprised me. Although wrinkles aren’t a huge concern of mine, I hated how defined my smile lines were. I mean, I’ve tried to think about them as poetically as I could (“it’s proof of how much I’ve smiled and laughed in my life!”) but candidly, I wasn’t a fan. Within a few weeks of using this product, I saw my smile lines visibly decreased. It might be because I’ve smiled less in the pandemic, sure, but I really enjoy this project and will likely repurchase. 

Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel 

Okay so this year I’ve tried the Biore Aqua, Purito Unscented (yes I know about the scandal), Nature Republic Aloe Sun Stick, Missha Cicadin Mega Sun Protection Cushion, but this one is probably my favorite. I mean, I’ve enjoyed all of my sunscreens this year (I think they are all worth a try tbh!) but this one made my skin look SO pretty. My mom would ask me if I was wearing foundation with this stuff on, it makes my skin look that good. And because it looks so good, I’ve been actively reaching for it when I get ready for the day. It makes me feel pretty in my skin! 

Purito Galacto Niacin 97 Power Essence

I understand that people might be wary of Purito after the sunscreen debacle but I’ve used a couple of their other products (including the sunscreen) to pretty good results. One of them is the Niacin Power Essence of which I’m already on my second purchase. Although my skin was a little red when I first started using it, I’ve found it to be such an easy way to get my niacinimide in my AM routine. It’s very watery, and I used it right after I cleanse/wash my face as a sort of super toner. A little goes a long way and there’s really no scent. 

Rohto Mentholatum Melano CC Vitamin C Essence

I think this is a HG product for many and I can totally understand why. Again, with its watery texture it’s super easy to apply. I’ve used it for about a month now and it has been helping with my hyper pigmentation. No real scent and absorbs quickly. No frills, it’s a pretty good vitamin c product for a lovely price. I looked at other vitamin c products like Klairs and Glossier but this is the one I felt most comfortable purchasing at its price point and I’m glad I did! 

My skin has definitely experienced more of a rollercoaster this year then in year’s past. I had an almost year-long flare up of eczema on my hands (it’s gotten a lot better) and I’ve broken out a lot more this year too (likely due to a combination of stress, sadness, maskne, and a lot of experimentation lol) 

That being said, I’m so glad I was able to stick to a formidable routine above all else. In past years, I would just cleanse and moisturize and use other products pretty haphazardly. This year, I was pretty strict with following through on my routine day in and day out. Now it brings me sense of joy and stability. I know the day has started has soon as I finish applying my CC cream. I know the day has ended as soon as I finish putting on my sleeping mask. In short, my skincare routine has grounded me in a sense of time, for which I’m extremely grateful. If nothing else, it gave me short windows to just pamper myself a little bit everyday. 

I know for a lot of people, skincare can be more of a burden than a point of happiness. If you’re the type of person who finds no joy in their skincare routine, I really hope that you can find products that are not only effective, but are also fun and joyful to use. Ultimately, I hope you can find a self care routine that makes you feel good and lets you carve out some time every single day to physically go through the motions of caring for yourself and cherishing yourself. Because you’re worth it and you deserve it! 

Additionally, I bought all these products from YesStyle. Please feel free to use that link or my code 2T9PJW so we both get some perks! I’ve had an easy time ordering from YesStyle and the shipping is always so fast (like less than a week).

Me in 2020

A small life update:

I haven’t updated in over a year!

How wild. I’ve been wanting to get back into writing when the pandemic started but y’know, it just didn’t happen.

2019 was a bad year and 2020 was generally worse. I’ve been reflecting a lot recently because it was my birthday– I started this blog when I was 21 and I’m 24 now.

It’s not that life has gotten any easier, really, but I look back and think about how I’m much more comfortable with myself now than before. Despite the difficult in this past year, I feel comfortable giving myself some props. I’m employed, I got my license, I still have people in my life who I love and who love me back. I’ve also started antidepressants (my mom said that I lost a lot of my anger).

I’m bummed by how 2020 turned out but I’m grateful for how I’ve survived and continue to grow– I know this is due to luck and privilege.

I’d like to update this thing much more regularly. I still love makeup and I’d like to write more.

Colorgram: TOK Hit Pan Palette Review

When Olive Young opened its international online store a couple of months ago, I was lucky enough to receive some freebies as part of its K-beauty tester giveaway.

One of the products I received was the Colorgram: TOK Hit Pan eyeshadow palette. I’ve been interested in this brand because of IZ*ONE and their endorsement. I think visually and conceptually, IZ*ONE tends to be among the top in terms of aesthetic cohesiveness and consistency. I love their consistent use of florals and pastel colors, as well as the generous use of tulle. In terms of makeup, their use of muted peaches and corals are always stunning.

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So, of course, I’m excited about the makeup brand that endorses them. Starting off, I want to say that I loved the packaging. It was holographic and very eye-catching. About the palette itself, I sad kind of annoyed there wasn’t a mirror. I think that if there was a little mirror in the palette, it would be perfect to use on-the-go, but it’s not that big of a deal.



The colors themselves are perfect for daily wear, and I think it’s a solid starter if you’re just getting into Korean style makeup and beauty. The hues are soft, muted, and feminine and are easily buildable. I especially like the glittery color on the bottom right. The dark brown in the bottom center is perfect for lining your eyes.

It’s not super vibrant and pigmented– I think if you’re more interested in Western-style makeup the palette won’t really be up your alley.

I do like it a lot, but now that I’ve had it for a while, I’ll say that I just don’t reach for the palette a lot. I’ll always go for something else. But like I said if you’re just getting into K-beauty and don’t want to concern yourselves with a lot of palettes this is a great starter with a good amount of usable colors.


Missha’s Velvet Wish Stone Tints

I’ve been really into velvet type lip tints after discovering Innisfree’s Vivid Cotton Ink series a couple of months ago.

In this velvet lip journey, I discovered Missha’s Wish Stone Tints.

On the left is BR01 and on the right is RD01. For daily wear, I prefer the BR01, especially because I’m attracted to dusty rose colors.

I will say that these colors are very very bright, especially the red tone. The scent is pretty intense… I think it’s cherry?

The formula is pretty thick, and it feels a little unfortunate when you’re eating. Like it clumps up in an annoying way.

But I do like the vibrancy, and I love how cute the packaging is. I know packaging isn’t everything, but I do like the Line Friends collection and the stickers really brightened my day. I also have the Line Friends palette, which was quite nice.

It’s a little awkward to store because the bottom is flat, but that’s not to say that the container isn’t sturdy or anything. Closes and twists well, just can’t really prop it up on its own.

I would recommend if you really want vibrant color, but just to mindful of how easily it can wipe off. Also if you don’t like unscented things I don’t really recommend it.


Palty “Tiramisu Chiffon Light Beige” Hair Dye Review

Hello hello hello!

I hope you’ve been well.

The quarter has just started for me, and I feel… alright.

We have two subleasers in the other room in our apartment so adjusting to that is different, especially because I’ve become so antisocial as of late. I don’t have the same energy to meet people anymore, but I think that’s… kind of normal? When I was a freshman and I talked to seniors about this type of thing they also lost their pizzazz for meeting new people. I want to be excited again, but I’m more hesitant than when I was a freshman. But maybe that’s just getting older.

I’m taking 20 units again which I’m a little bit more nervous about because I’m to be making major strides in my thesis this quarter so… I mean godspeed! But I’m taking really cool classes (in my opinion) so I hope to fall in love with learning again.

Anyways I wanted to do a review of a hair dye kit that I used over my winter break. It’s been about two weeks and I like the results, although they aren’t what I really wanted.

It is a Japanese hair dye called Palty; I’ve used it so much throughout my teenage years haha. They changed the formula recently, but the effects are still pretty similar. I used the color called “Tiramisu Chiffon Light Beige”– it’s a pretty long and pretty cutesy name.

I dyed my hair over the summer with the same brand, and I believe I dyed it a shade called… Bitter Cappucino. I’m not too sure that specific color still exists anymore, though, because it looks like they took out a lot of the original shades.

This is what was inside the package:


The box came with English instructions (as well as Korean, Chinese, and Japanese). It had a nice pleasant scent– a combination of fruity and floral. The scent really surprised me because Palty used to have a strong chemical scent– not necessarily bad, but not nearly as soft and pleasant as the new ~formula. The dye didn’t come with conditioner like it used to.

The application is really easy. Just put Cream (1) into Oxide Water (2), shake it (for like 30 times, I think?) and then replace the cap with the brush and brush the dye into your hair. The instructions said to leave the dye in for 20-30 minutes but I ended up doing an hour haha. I REALLY wanted drastically lighter hair, though I know it would be unlikely.

This was my hair before dying it:


It was primarily brown, and this pic doesn’t show it all that well but my roots were pretty black.

This was my hair after:



As you can see, there’s a little bit of a difference. I definitely see a little bit of a blonde tint but not as much as I would have liked.

I didn’t get a good pic of my roots but they definitely lightened.

There wasn’t much damage despite the fact that my hair did lighten a little.

Overall, I would give this dye a 3.5/5. Really easy application, a very pleasant scent, and an alright color.

Let me know if you have any questions, I’ll definitely try to answer them to the best of my ability. I wash my hair a lot (I know I shouldn’t!) but the hair color has still lasted pretty well.

Spring Finals Week 2k17; Study Playlist


Sending my languid hellos from the heavy tides of FINALS WEEK

I’m currently with some of my dear friends at our college’s science library! It has a nice view/aesthetic that I can’t currently enjoy so there’s that. I have too-strong Vietnamese milk coffee with me and an itching to be anywhere but here, which is a pretty typical Final’s Week for me. I, for one, quite enjoy the look of a desk in disarray, or evidence of a chaotic study session. I like the image of the scattering of papers, the havoc of pens and highlighters of every color strewn across the table top, lackadaisical letters sloppily following the lines, half-drunken coffee cups, and worn out keypads.

I’ve been a bad egg– yesterday night I went to a party instead of studying. I’ll just treat it as (pre)self-care. I have two finals Monday: French and Ancient Pompeii. Sacrebleu, am I right?

Anyways I’ve been listening to some straight jams to get me through the misery. I’m compiling them here so give them a listen if you have time! I’ll edit the list as the week goes on. :^)

Let me know if you have any suggestions! There’s not much of an order to the songs… I anticipate slower/sadder songs later on in the week.