Happy 2017 / Year of the Rooster! Fresh from adventuring in South Korea and Japan this past winter, I wanted to start sharing some items that had captured the festive spirit of the holidays for me. Each piece has a special story, and they also have an illuminating quality in common. They also happened to fall together into a lovely palette, as you can see below! Although I had been wanting to write this post a while back, I am happy to share that these products have remained staples in my makeup drawer, already three months into the year – thus worth sharing! Here are my winter picks:
- Erborian CC Creme is the illuminating base I had been most curious about towards the end of last year. Not only am I fan of Korean-French brand Erborian (been sharing their products with the ladies in my family, too), but I had been reading a number of strong reviews of this CC creme before trying it myself. My skincare routine really changed when I added Erborian’s gorgeous Bamboo Waterlock Mask and real-to-life Yuza Sorbet to my skincare routine last summer, so I had high hopes for the brand’s makeup, as well. Like many fans have noted, this CC creme formula combines coverage with a smooth, subtly shimmery and matte finish that blends to complement your skin tone. When I wear it on fuller application, the color comes out slightly more bronzed on my skin (typically light to light olive) – great for a warmer, tan base if I want to wear natural earthy/warm rose tones. For some, this may not be the look you are going for so I recommended sampling it in-store if possible first! Otherwise I really enjoy the matte finish and airy feel. ($44 at Sephora)
- ON:TheBody x Kakao Friends Vitamin E Lip Mask Balm is one of my favorite little guys I picked up at Olive Young in Seoul during my last-night-in-town makeup/skincare shopping. FYI, I do not have a favorite Kakao Friend at the moment, but I picked this one (with Ryan’s face) for its tasty chocolate mint scent (but let’s be honest, who can resist any of these Kakao Friends?) As a product, this lip mask is a really effective overnight lip mask that wears like a glossy layer of vitamin E goodness, with slightly more tack than honey. I have been putting this on at the end of my nightly skincare routine, sometimes after exfoliating lips, and in the morning, there is no roughness on my lips and I enjoy the added plumping effect. Keeping lips soothed and hydrated under constant siege by layers of lipstick, lip stains, lip liners and other makeup can be difficult, even for the most diligent of makeup/skincare artists. So it’s good to come across a cute, compact product that really works! ($18 at Mibix).
- Innisfree Water Glow Cushion SPF++50 with Holiday Case has been my best makeup purchase ever, hands down. I say this because 1) the duty free cost of this whole compact was beautiful, and 2) it is just as beautiful as a now-essential component of my daily makeup routine. After hearing of the convenience and cultural force that is the Cushion Compact for years (and being strongly encouraged by one of my girl friends in South Korea this past winter), I finally invested in my first cushion at the airport in Incheon. Admittedly, I knew so little about the process of acquiring one of these magical wands before I finally had my own, and so the wonderful staff at the store helped me. First, they matched my skin tone to a formula (here is “Light Beige”) and got me the cushion insert. Next, I got to pick out the cushion case (one of the best parts of shopping for your compact with Innisfree) and settled on this limited edition holiday case that has a very sweet ornamental tree on the front. Finally, I got a small stock of cushion pillows (must purchase separately) to complete my compact. The pillow actually sits comfortably on top of the closed cushion insert and the compact case cover closes around it, keeping everything together in a small, tidy compact. While in Korea, it was reiterated to me multiple times that a good compact was really all the makeup I actually needed. It turns out that this holds somewhat true for me now – since bringing it home, this compact has become the first layer that goes on my face after my skincare routine each day and it gives me the precise amount of dewiness, brightening, and coverage that I desire. It travels with me in my makeup kit and I am already preparing to order my first Water Glow Cushion refill pack. Absolutely love it. ($23 at Innisfree).
- Lipstick Queen Hello Sailor is a one-of-a kind lipstick bullet that has undoubtedly stirred some confused reactions upon first sight. I first read about it in Alyssa Reeder’s article “The Beauty of Being Mixed Race,” which spoke to me as a young woman of very similar heritage and phenotype who has struggled to locate more beauty bloggers who reflect my concerns (really a big fan of Alyssa and her writing by now). When she highlighted the color-blending properties of this formula, and its wearability on her complexion, I wondered if I too would find this to be the perfect sheer berry lip tint. In the process of holiday shopping with Ulta, I ended up with a sample size of “Hello Sailor” (I wish more things came in a sample size) and was really intrigued by the results. Firstly, this formula wears quite sheer and delivers more of a purple hue. I had seen a number of reviews by women with fair/pink complexions who brought out a strong pink/purple hue, but had not come across any reviewers with my complexion. When I wore this for the first time, it produced a faint but noticeable lavender shade on my lips. I came to realize it could be easily layered on top of a pink lip stain to make a really gorgeous (and glossy) cool berry color that complements my skin well. I’m still wearing it this way every now and then when I decide to go with cooler makeup tones in purple/lilac/pink. Really interesting because it wears differently on each user. ($25 at Ulta, full size bullet)
Since the beginning of the year, when these were my latest purchases, I have acquired a bunch of new stuff and am already working on my “spring picks” (time. is. flying.) that are bringing a bit more rose/warmth/sun into my look. Hopefully this was helpful to you, and happy Spring!
xo Jackie Sakura
What makes you bloom?