The most amazing Serum : C20 (OST) Vitamin C20 Serum - Review

As I always say, great skin is always the first step in beauty. No amount of makeup caked up will help you and/or will be more important than having great skin.
I came across this little bottle on Wishtrend, which literally changed my skin and my beauty path for the best.
(Stay tuned til the end of the article for a 10% off code !)

  Wishtrend 

Wishtrend is a beauty site selling Asian skincare and makeup products. You'll find a large range of brands which are more specific to skin issues , as well as many Korean brands as Wishtrend offers latest Korean trend to the global market with specific ingredients and skin targets. The prices are reasonable, and yes, Wishtrend delivers worldwide, some of their key products are even offered with free shipping so that you can try them without worrying about delivery cost.
The website also offers limited editions Wishboxes with special offers concerning one brand or one specific target like the Pore Boxe I reviewed on the blog here. I personally like opportunities like boxes which most of the time concentrate the best product at a cheaper price than its original value and it gives you the advantage to try as many product as you can. If you don't want to miss any special boxes from Wishtrend, check out their youtube channel where Eunice gives you amazing tips and presents you each product.
One major service Wishtrend offers and I haven't seen other website doing this, is that they give you the assurance of freshness of the products with the expiration dates. And this is why I especially ordered from Wishtrend for this item :


C20 - OST Original Pure Vitamin C20 Serum

This serum is one of the best selling item on the website and it gets raving reviews all the time. I HAD to try it and I'm glad I did. 

This serum is concentrated with 20% of Vitamin C which helps in :
- Reducing the appearance of any sun damages (brown spots included)
- Boosts the production of collagen for firmer skin
- Fades and help removing dark spots and evening out your skin
- Brightens up your skin
- It anti-oxidant benefits help prevent premature signs of aging 







If you have dull, uneven skin or spots scars. This serum is meant for you !

Ordering on Wishtrend

The shipping took 3 weeks If I recall right, and it's the standard time for a package from South Korea to come to my place here in Paris. I had a few samples thrown in too:







Packaging




As I was saying Wishtrend tell you the date of manufacturing so that you can get the freshest batch of the product. Vitamin C has the tendency to go bad after a while because it's sensitive to warmth and is photosensitive.



To prevent the effect of photosensivity, the product comes in a brown bottle and it's recommended that you keep your serum in your fridge if you live in a warm environment. All of this steps , will help you get the most of your product.




30 ml of products with the basic serum packaging for 14,99$ instead of 24.99$ - Buy it here


How to use





When it's fresh, the product is clear and transparent. As time passes, you can tell that the product is starting to oxidize when it turns a strong yellow and there are a lot of crumbs of product stuck in it. After the 3 months mark my product is slightly yellow and there's only tiny crumbs in the pump, keep it in the fridge and you'll be able to use it for a longer time.

I apply the product with 3 to 4 dots all over my face and I massage it in. A lot of people experiences stinging a bit. I only experienced it once or twice when my skin was a bit irritated but, don't be alarmed and get pass that feeling. The other remark, some people has, is the fact that the product is a bit sticky and takes a while to absorb. While it's true that it's a bit sticky, I don't mind it and the stickiness is only unbearable when you apply too much product. It does take a bit more time than your general serum to get absorbed by the skin though but, if you're like me following a layering method of skincare, you should give each product some time to work and get absorbed before going for the next product.


My thoughts 


I've been using this serum for a little over 3 months now, and as you can tell from the title, I'm absolutely loving it. The main issue I suffer from with my skin is discoloration and generally uneven skin-tone, my whole body is literally a gradient of light brown. My face, in the same way, suffers from discoloration spots (those are thankfully barely visible) and suffer most prominently from : dark areas. The side of my mouth and chin are generally darker than the rest of my face.
From time to time, I'd also get a few pimples (you know what I mean) and those would leave dark scars. Now that I've started this serum, I have no pimple scars whatsoever. My uneven skin tone, is now even and brighter than ever. Last year was a pretty bad year for me and my skin, and it resulted with dull and stressed skin. I can tell you, that I don't think that my skin has been more even and brighter than how it is right now. As for the darkness around my mouth, it isn't all gone (that's not a shocker, really) but I'd say it has diminish by 60%. My skin must have been pretty bad because I do feel like I've gone half a shade lighter because of the general brightness and life it has now. I didn't break out from the product, and even though it doesn't claim that it does : I've noticed a diminution of little bumps and tiny pimples I usually have on my forehead.
This product has cleared out my skin so much that I actually like my skin naturally and I could actually go out without any foundation and I won't feel different. The general uneven skintone I had was the primarily reason for me to use foundation, but now, I could probably, just slather on some tinted moisturizer and be good to go.

I can't tell you about how much I'm loving this product. I'm even converting my sister and mother to try and adopt this amazing product. After 3-4 months, I'm halfway through the bottle so for the (really affordable) price, you get a lot. And if you keep your serum in the refrigerator, you can keep it pass the 3 months mark without the serum oxidizing.

New Product


The brand recently came out with an upgraded version of this serum. Adding 1,5% more of Vitamin C (trust me, this is a lot. There's only so much Vitamin C, your skin can support and so much Vitamin C that you can extract in its pure form). They also took out the filler ingredients that supposedly gave that sticky feeling to the product. I haven't try the new upgraded version yet, but it's said to be quicker to be absorbed by the skin with a smoother application.
I guess, I don't even need to tell you that I'll surely upgrade to the new version once I run out of the original version.

You can get the new version : Here for 24,99$

Promo Codes

Because it's not fun to talk about an amazing product without giving you the opportunity to try it with the best advantages :
  • You can get the original formula with instant free shipping (no code needed) here , and the product is permanently having a 40% off deal.
  • With orders of 55$ and more, with code WISHFEB2015 , you can get 10% off
  • Coupon Code : 033450111 - Get 5$ off of your order with ANY amount by registering to Wishtrend and writing this code in  the "friends invitation program" box in the registration form ! 
  •  
  • With ANY purchase, with the code WISHGIFTFEB2015 , you will receive the new COSRX Acne Pimple Patch's for Free.

   

There are new codes for each month, if you're reading this after February 2015,  check out the sidebar for the new codes !

 
 

NARS Chronicles : All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation - Stromboli & Barcelona - Review and Swatches

 A little before the holidays, I fell upon the info that Nars was releasing a new liquid foundation for Spring 2015. Some Middle-East based blogger posted review articles on the foundation when they weren't supposed to and the news spread throughout the whole beauty word. The foundation was released at the beginning of January on Nars' official website and I was waiting for the foundation to be released in French Sephoras so that I could return my product if the shade wasn't matching.

Just before the holidays, they also released the powder version of this foundation , and I did a review of both shades right here.



30 ml for 43€ on sephora (fr) , Nars (fr)
30 ml/1 fl.oz for 48$ on sephora (us) , Nars (us)


What the brand says


Full, natural-looking coverage with unexpectedly weightless, 16-hour wear. Highly pigmented and perfectly balanced, this breakthrough formula builds and blends effortlessly with just one drop—the result of exclusive innovation uniquely designed to deliver long-wearing full coverage, weightlessly. Shake, pump and blend in sections for complete coverage that's completely natural looking.
Pure Innovation. Exclusively NARS.
Weightless Long-wear Technology delivers up to 16 hours of wear, while always feeling light-as-air. Featuring advanced flexible polymers and first-to-market treated pigments.
  • Advanced flexible polymers move with the skin, providing extraordinary breathability and comfort.
  • First-to-market treated pigments weightlessly deliver long-wearing, complete coverage without ever masking for perfected, natural-looking skin.
Even Tone Technology is designed to instantly neutralize redness and dullness, while working long-term to reduce the appearance of discoloration for more even, uniform skin.
  • Gold and green pigments in a perfect 4-to1 ratio optically manipulate how light reflects off skin's surface, evening the complexion for instant luminosity. Green pigments negate redness on contact, while gold combats dullness.
  • Scarlet Spiderling Root Extract helps reduce the appearance of discoloration and reveal brighter, more even skin over time.


Okay, if you were lazy to read all of this up, let me sum this up for you :
The claims are such : Weightless, Long-lasting up to 16 hours, full and natural coverage, only one drop is needed, Even tone technology : neutralizes redness, dullness, long term use of this foundation is supposed to reduce de the appearance of discoloration.

Packaging

make up



Nars is finally providing a pump with the new foundation (which wasn't the case with Sheer Glow/Matte). The bottle is a frosted glass giving you that sleek and quite expensive feel to it. The cap is as always, that rubbery material Nars seems to love so much. As you can see in the pictures (or not, I tried really hard to clean them), that rubber cap gets dirty pretty quickly and it's also quite hard to remove the stains.



I'm going to be nitpicking a bit with the pumps though, I'm noting the lack of stopper in the pumps compared to the pumps purchased for the Sheer Glows. Foundation pumps tend to get messy with time and use, and with the lack of a stopper, it's a bit trickier to clean them without pushing the pump.



Ingredients

Dimethicone, Water, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Glycerin, Boron Nitride, Propanediol, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol Crosspolymer, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Isostearic Acid, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Decyl Isostearate, Isododecane, Bis-Hydroxyethoxypropyl Dimethicone/Peg-2 Soyamine/Ipdi Copolymer, Isopropyl Titanium Triisostearate, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/Polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate Copolymer, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Isostearyl Isostearate, Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Silica, Polysilicone-2, Tin Oxide, Tocopherol, [+/- (May Contain): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499)]

As analyzed on Cosdna, the ingredients in bold are acne triggers irritant : Isostearyl Isostearate (Synthetic ester Emollient) is marked as 4 as an acne trigger. 

Nars do claim that this foundation is non comedogenic, oil-free , paraben free. 

How to use



Nars says it on the packaging but you really don't want to forget to shake the bottle really well before applying your foundation. As it comes in a serum consistency, the formula separate itself after a while and you can see it through the bottle as well, so remember to shake well before using.
François Nars' technique to apply foundation is always to fingers, the representative NARS makeup artists show videos with them using fingers to apply the foundation. However, I found that the Weightless foundation sets very quickly and is hard to blend when you use only your fingers. If you're used to dot your foundation all over the face, you won't be able to do that too, unless you blend with an incredible speed. 

I tried this foundation using a beauty blender once, it looks more natural but as always, you'll have to use the double amount of product and you're loosing that full coverage capacity. With the beauty blender, I found that the foundation was more comfortable to wear on my current dry skin.

The shades

 

 

 
After seeing the swatches, I was afraid that Barcelona would be too light for me. As it counterpart in Sheer Glow is the exact shade for me, Barcelona in this All Day Luminous Weightless foundation is a tad too dark. It's really slightly too dark but it's dark enough that my face look like I have a brown/tan cast all over it. I decided to go with the shade lighter, and do what I hate to do : Mix both shades to get the perfect shade.



Stromboli is from what I can tell a bit more yellow that it's counterpart in Sheer Glow. It's definitely too light for me, but as I just said, mixed with Barcelona, it brings back the yellow in my skin.

Here's the shade Barcelona in the Luminous Foundation (on top) compared to Barcelona in the Sheer Glow version (at the botom). I couldn't properly take a picture of the difference of both shades, they are both very similar but you can tell that the Luminous one is a bit darker and more peachy/almost brown undertones whereas the Sheer Glow one is more golden. The pictures are terrible and are most likely showing the exact opposite of what I'm saying, but here it is nonetheless :


My thoughts

Nars claims that the foundation suit any skin types but as I mentioned previously, my skin is pretty dry right now (it isn't currently dehydrated as I stated in previous articles though) and even with great preparation before the foundation, I found that it didn't work that well with my dry skin. It kind of accentuates the dry spots on my cheeks and looks obvious. Whereas, blended, the Sheer Glow looks extremely natural, I do find that this new foundation, doesn't look that natural. I do have to say, that it's because I'm used to the extreme natural finish the sheer glow currently gives me, but maybe it's because my skin is dry, but I do find this foundation noticeable. And you definitely do no want, anyone looking at you and being able to tell if you're wearing foundation or not. As a result, if you have a skin that is quite textured, you might want to test this foundation first, before purchasing it.
    As Nars was stating, one pump is really enough to cover your whole face, an extra half of it might be needed if you use a brush with it. It is full cover, but the brand succeeded in making the foundation non heavy and pretty much "weightless" on your skin. If you are like me, and you don't like full coverage foundation, you can sheer it out by applying less and blending it well. It dries semi-satin finish, it's not glowy or luminous as the sheer glow can be and as I said, isn't extremely natural looking as a finish. But it still looks like skin, it has the finish the Sheer Glow would have with a tiny amount of powder on.
    The one major flaw this foundation has, it settles into your fine lines ! Now, keep in mind that I'm only 20 years old, I do not have any wrinkles whatsoever but this foundation had the awful tendency to set into my laugh lines, my under-eyes fine lines, the corner of my nose and last but not least.. I might be frowning too much but it also settled into the lines on the forehead (I didn't know I had..) I get after I frowned. I only set my nose and forehead with some Banana powder but even with that, it has that awful tendency to highlight those areas and make me look older than I'm. In this case, if you're older or just have many fine lines, you might want to test the foundation first as well. It also settles into the pores of my nose, and let me tell you, it really looks bad after a few hours of wear.

As far as longevity goes, I'm that one student who can actually have 16 hours-long days sometimes. I wore this foundation a couple of times but I didn't get to test them out for more than 10 hours or so. It holds for the classic 10 hours but my nose would get shiny by mid-day (but that could be because of the primer, without primer, I noticed it would go on better). I'd also notice that the foundation gathers in some area and make it look so obvious that I'm actually wearing foundation. Lastly, the foundation didn't oxidize on me.



This foundation would probably be a great foundation for the summer time, when my skin goes back to normal type. As I can't give a proper review on that part, I might do a part 2 of this article to talk about how this foundation last up in summer on my non dry skin.


Quick sum up :
Don't forget to shake well and get your shades tested as the shades can run a little lighter/darker , more yellow or less compared to the Sheer Glow shades. If you have normal to oily skin, this foundation will probably look good on you. If you're struggling with fine lines and dry skin, the foundation might be looking less natural on you and could have a tendency to gather in some area and crease. Nars offer a large range of shades, so you could easily find your shade in the rage. Pumps are finally included and the packaging looks classy and sleek. Ingredients wise, dimethicone (sillicon) is at the top of the list, so sensitive skin should be aware of this. A few other components could also worsen acne.


Other NARS reviews :

Sheer Glow (Barcelona)
Audacious Lipsticks (Vera & Audrey)
Luminous Powder Foundation (Barcelona & Stromboli)



Tiny Haul : Lush and their bath bombs


I went into Lush many times, but I never purchased anything. I love the concept, the products seem pretty promising but the prices and the short-term life of the products never really spoke to me. This little bag, is actually a little birthday gift from my sister, it's not a haul per say but it's close enough.





 Now, I'm never been a bath person either. It's just not my thing but my bathroom got revamped right before my birthday and a new bath tub called in for a little bath with some Lush magic.


My sister apparently went into the store and said something like : "She's in the middle of finals. She needs to chill" (Which I really needed !). Basically, all of these bath bombs have the particularity to soothe and get you into that chill and stress free atmosphere.




 On the picture below, the little green bar is a sample of some jelly like soap bar called "Miranda". I didn't like the smell nor did I like the soap finish of it.




This one right here is called "Twilight" and has the particularity to be pretty big compared to other regular bombs. The effervescent trick of it was pretty cool and it left the water purple. Those little white/creamy dots on it are actually shimmers and you're left with soft and barely-there shimmers on your body afterwards.




 This yellow bath bomb is called "Cinders" and although I don't remember the smell, I do remember that those red parts didn't really do much (supposedly It would pop, but I didn't see any of that) and do keep in mind that you have to wash your tub afterwards, as it leaves a yellow cast making it seem like your tub is dirty as hell.




The last one is called "Floating Island" and isn't a sphere like the two others and doesn't have any uniqueness to it. I haven't tried it yet so no effect whatsoever to tell, but the lack of color would probably result in me, not being that excited to watch the effervescence of it in the water.




Fairly quick article. The price of the bath bombs vary depending on the weight and the particularity of it, but they usually retails between 2€ to 6€ and are great gifts ideas.

Tony Moly - Floria Nutra-Energy 100 Hours Cream Review


I received this product in my Tony Moly Special Memebox , and I've been using it ever since until I ran out of it !




Nutra-Energy 100 Hours Cream





What the brand say

  • Moisturizing system to prevent drying of the skin :
High nutrient cream, completing the clinical trials of 100 hours lasting moisture, forms a soft moist moisture barrier to prevent moisture loss.
  • Containing capsule having the fermented argan oil, upgraded nutritious energy
The fermented argan oil capsules which fermented argan oil more than 100 hours, deliver enhanced nutrition, elasticity, moisture to skin.

  • Nutritious and dense volume skin care
Filling skin with nutrients such as safflower extract 56%, Vitamin B9 to make your skin healthy



As you can see, the brand advertises the cream as a "100 hours lasting moisturizing". Even without trying the cream you can guess that this quite a bold marketing.

Packaging



The cream comes in cream colored bottle with a somewhat pearly colored lid. Mine came a bit damaged in the Memebox and the lid wouldn't properly shut too. Apart from that, the product is dispensed with a pump which delivers a small amount of product , as seen on the swatches below :


One little flaw I've encountered with this packaging is that you can't tell when your product is up unless you remove the lid.

My thoughts  

As you can see, once blended into the skin, the product doesn't leave any shiny cast and by the look of it, the skin absorbs the product well. It didn't feel greasy, heavy and it blended easily. 
The product is marketed with argan oil capsules in the cream, but I'll be really honest and say that I didn't even notice those capsules, I know some other people saw these but either I'm blind or it really wasn't noticeable. This part aside, argan oil is a well loved ingredient and I even currently use it in my skincare routine. Argan oil is excellent for moisturizing purposes , it absorbs easily, is high in Vitamin E and is non-greasy. I liked using this cream just before applying my makeup to keep my face hydrated and especially non-greasy or heavy so that my makeup would be applied smoothly and would last longer. 
However, the 100 hours lasting moist marketed with this product wasn't conclusive for me. It's winter season here in Paris, and by mid-day my cheeks would feel really tight and dry. The cream didn't moisturize well enough or at least really didn't last. 
I would say it's a great cream as it is quickly absorbed, non greasy. Perfect for normal to oil skin, even for troubled skin as argan oil is a key ingredient to ease up mild acne. However, dry to really dry skin types would probably need a more moisturizing product than Tony Moly's Nutra-Energy 100 Hours Cream.


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