First Impressions: Tester Korea Haul

I am beyond excited about a new haul from Tester Korea! I have only ever shopped for AB products on Amazon, Memebox, and in person. Ordering from new websites is always a little anxiety inducing, especially when they’re located in a foreign country. I decided to order from Tester Korea because I was running low on one of my favorite products and TK had the best value for replacement.

Without further ado..

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Here is the whole beautiful order.

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Dear by Enprani – Moistful Booskin. This is my all time favorite AB product. It is a moisturizing toner that I use after I wash my face. It smells incredible, does not have any acne triggers, and leaves my skin baby soft. Unfortunately, it is really hard to come by. Fortunately, my first bottle lasted almost an entire year. I was surprised to see that they redesigned the packaging, but happy that the product smelled the same. I think the scent may be a little stronger? Either that, or the strength of the product in my current bottle might have diminished a bit over the last year. I am thrilled to have gotten my hands on another bottle of this magic elixir.

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I ordered a handful of Help My Finger Nail Finger Packs by Etude House. I get a ton of hangnails and they are a bad combination with my infection prone skin. I am hoping to use these to reduce dry skin and keep my nails looking healthy. They were very reasonably priced so I ordered a few extras to gift.

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Shiny Foot Super Peeling Liquid – TonyMoly. If you have gross feet you need this product. I have used it once before and although my feet weren’t completely perfect afterward, they helped me reduce the amount of dead skin and cracking/peeling that my feet seem to always be experiencing. I have already used one of these, so I am looking forward to posting the gross results for your enjoyment.

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This was my risky addition of the purchase. Water Color Tint by Skinfood. I can’t tell you what shade it is because it is in Korean on the website, but I went with an orange. I have been wanting to try an orange tint because I think it might work well with my complexion. I tried it out when it arrived and liked the results – but I did not have anything in matching shades to wear so I am not sure if it is complimentary. This was also my first AB makeup product purchase!

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Acne Pimple Master Patch – CosRX and AC Control Spot Patch – Tony Moly. These are both different versions of hydrocolloid patches. I have used both before – I do not 100% love either version, but these do a great job of helping out when my skin is really bad. Since I am currently going through the painful stages of using a retinoid, having these on hand is a must.

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Romantic Rose Hand Cream – ChooNee. This was another random purchase due to low cost. I LOVE the scent of this, but so far I am not impressed by the quality of the lotion. I can safely say already that I would not repurchase.. Unless it’s purely for smelling purposes only.

Speaking of, the scent triggered a smell memory for my uncle. After he took a whiff he said, “It smells like… Mothballs.. The back of my grandma’s closet!” We quickly agreed that he did not mean that the product smelled like mothballs, but whatever his grandmother used to freshen up her clothing. I honestly think it smells terrific, so my great grandmother must have had great taste.

Annnnnd finally!!!

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While I did not go to the Tester Korea website for this product, I was absolutely delighted to see that they had the Tony Moly Inked Cushion Gel Liner (also known as the HARRY POTTER EYE LINER) in stock!! I ordered two shades, a purpley shade for me, and black for a friend. I am verrrry excited to finally have my hands on this product and to give it a test run soon! I have never used a purple eyeliner and I have a ton of brown, so I thought I would switch things up a little with the purple. It is so pretty!!

So that’s it! Thank you for taking a look at these items. I will be writing a review of ordering from the Tester Korea website in the near future, but I hope you enjoyed snooping through my purchases now. Which item would you like to see a review of first? What did you have in your recent hauls? Tell me everything!

Click here to read (or skim) through all of my product reviews!

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Review: Tony Moly I’m Real Broccoli Sheet Mask (Vitality)

During a recent trip to New York City, I googled Korean Beauty shops and found out that there was a Tony Moly in Chinatown. I was super excited because I’ve never been to a KBeauty shop for a single brand. I bought a bunch of stuff but the highlight of the shop was being able to pick and choose sheet masks instead of being required to buy a huge pre-determined pack. One of the ones that I was most interested in trying was the I’m Real Broccoli Mask Sheet – Vitality. Not necessarily because of any specific benefits, mostly because of the broccoli. When is the last time you put broccoli on your face?

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I was very excited to open the mask up because until now, I’ve only used floral masks or masks with snail/bee essence. I had no idea what to expect. Would it smell like broccoli? I hoped not, but I prepared myself in case it did.

Fortunately it did not smell like broccoli or any other green veggies. It had a nice smell, similar to other Tony Moly masks. It’s a bit hard to describe the scent but it’s not too different from your generic pleasant sheet mask chemical smell.

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The mask itself was the same quality as the other Tony Moly masks I’ve used. Slightly flimsy and see through, but not flimsy enough that it tore apart while opening. These masks fit my face really well (except for my inner eye/nose bridge area) so they’re one of my personal faves.

I kept the mask on for about a half hour and enjoyed the results. There wasn’t so much liquid left that I felt like it was a waste, but there was still some essence left to pat in. All in all, the mask itself was not groundbreaking but I felt like I got my money’s worth.

Here is a list of ingredients from Ulta, in case you’re curious: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Panthenol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Chlorphenesin, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Phenoxyethanol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Carbomer, 1-2Hexanediol, Propanediol, Tromethanmine, Brassica Oleracea Capitata (Cabbage) Leaf Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Capryly Glycol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Allantoin, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Ascorbic Acid

In general, I recommend purchasing these masks. Of the masks I’ve tried they’re probably the best value – you definitely get your bang for your buck.

Have you tried any of the Tony Moly sheet masks? I would love to hear your thoughts and which masks you recommend from the I’m Real collection.

Click here to read about my nightly sheetmasking routine or click here to read about the best sheet masks to use if you want to scare your partner.

Beautiful Spring Flowers

My flower obsession gets more real every year. Here are a few that I have seen on walks during breaks at work.

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These little babies are so tiny and delicate!

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Just beautiful. I don’t have a favorite flower, but I do love seeing these more and more every spring! Do you have a favorite?

Weekly Exercise: May 15 – 21, 2017

On Monday I had the joy of taking my cousin to his very first spin class. My favorite spin instructor adjusted her schedule and is taking over Monday classes for the remainder of the month. The class itself was intense – the room was way too hot and she had us working hard which led to a lot of sweating. My cousin was in a little over his head but I enjoyed myself.

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I was excited to have my new FitBit. I had wondered if my FitBit Charge had been tracking my heart rate appropriately during classes and using my new FitBit Alta HR showed me that I was right. I was in the peak heart rate zone much longer than I was with my old FitBit, so I like that this one seems to be more accurate. I also need to figure out what I can do to get my heart rate more under control – I don’t think it’s right that it’s at the max for as long as it is.

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On Wednesday I went to spin again. I wasn’t super in the mood to be there but I did the work and made it through. It’s interesting to compare the data on the FitBit because you can clearly see that I wasn’t as interested.

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This was another lazy week for exercise although I’m glad I made it in twice. I may or may not go to the gym on Sunday, but I’m thinking that I should and that weights would be a good idea.

Goals for next week include three trips to the gym during the work week and calorie tracking.

Did you do anything fun for exercise this week?

Best Sheet Masks to Scare Your Partner

A friend recently let me know that she was looking at my blog for sheet mask recommendations. I asked her which benefits she was looking for in a sheet mask, and she responded, “I just want something that will scare my boyfriend.” As someone who also enjoys scaring her boyfriend, I instantly had a few suggestions.

#1 For those of you who have never used a sheet mask, you are guaranteed to scare your partner the first time you put one on, especially if you don’t forewarn them. That means you can use any sheet mask, even one of the basics. I am a big fan of the first sheet mask I ever used, the Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack. This mask uses snail and bee venom and is incredibly moisturizing. There are no acne triggers, and you can usually get a box of ten for a good price on Amazon.

#2 If you’re looking for a mask that is both cute and terrifying at the same time, I recommend the panda Character Mask by The Face Shop. This mask works well and is meant to be adorable, but definitely has a creepy factor. I put this on expecting to find myself completely adorable but really just felt like the Joker.

#3 For those of you who have boyfriends who have already seen you in masks, or for those of you who really want to scare the pants off your boyfriend the first time they see you in a mask, I recommend the zombie Pure Smile Special Effects Makeup Art Mask. (If you make an account here to order this product, ask me for a referral. We both benefit.) This mask was gifted to me by a lovely friend. I unfortunately decided to give it to my boyfriend and did not get to experience the joy of terrorizing him with it, but I loved watching him put it on. My boyfriend has a giant beard most of the time so it looked like his skin was literally falling off. It was lovely.

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Are you terrorized?

Have you used a mask that has terrified yourself or a loved one? I’d love to see pictures or have you send your recommendations!

Madison, this weekend is your last chance to see the Do Ho Suh exhibit locally

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to check out the Do Ho Suh exhibit at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, a free art museum here in Madison. I didn’t know much about the artist, but I had seen the exhibit advertised a couple of times over the last few months and had come across an exhibit while on vacation in another city. When I realized that the exhibit was coming to an end, I made plans to check it out right away.

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The exhibit is an intricate setting. The artist traced his apartment in New York City and then constructed the apartment with delicate fabric. Some parts of the fabric are sparse and others are more detailed.

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The exhibit was really beautiful and one of a kind. I highly recommend taking the opportunity to see it this weekend before it leaves Madison.

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It was definitely a great way to spend a day out with one of my besties. We also found a secret toward the end..

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Looking for more things to do in Madison? Check out my recent post about the beautiful flowers at the UW-Madison Arboretum.

 

Weekly Exercise May 1 – May 7, 2017

I didn’t post a weekly exercise update last week as I was not in the mood.

This last week I was similarly not in the mood to exercise. I was very stressed out with work and other general life issues, and decided not to force myself to go to the gym when I didn’t want to.

I did make it to the gym twice during the week.

Wednesday: I took my dogs to the dog park and had a wonderful afternoon with the two of them. My little dog has gotten significantly more blind since last year and was refusing to get out of the car. I had to fight with him and he is very bitey, so I ended up doing a fancy maneuver. I didn’t take any leashes with me, so I took out my key chain, looped it around his collar, and pulled him out of the car with it. After I got him out of the car he was very excited to park, but I think I might need to stick to the small dog area with him or keep him on a leash.

My big dog was the total opposite. She completely lost interest in running/chasing balls and would just keep walking whenever I tried to get her attention. Then when we got to the end of the park she decided she was a puppy again and went running into the lake. I was pissed because I don’t like soaking wet dogs riding in my expensive car but she was so adorable and happy to be in the water that I let it slide. I ended up throwing the ball for her and she would swim out to catch it. Baby’s still got it!

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It was nice to get out and do some walking with my doggos. After the park I went to spin class. It was not the most difficult class and I only ended up burning 500 calories or so. I didn’t push myself, but I did enjoy the gym session and I felt much better about life afterwards. Anna and I went in the sauna and did some extreme sweating.

On Sunday I was able to take a longer walk than usual while babysitting, and I enjoyed the time outdoors.

After nannying I went to the gym for spin class, but had not realized that the gym had moved to the summer schedule. No more Sunday spin. I was a little heartbroken and decided to do weights instead. I realized when I was doing weights that I have plateaued at my highest lifts for everything but not because I can’t build more muscle. I have plateaued because I do not life consistently. I definitely want to lift more regularly so that I can actually build strength rather than maintain.

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I had dropped a few pounds by Wednesday but was back up to normal weight by Sunday. Mostly not surprising considering that I was not eating well, especially while nannying.

My goals for this week are to plan meals, eat healthy, and track calories AND to make it to the gym three times. My boyfriend is graduating this weekend so healthy eating and gym time will be sparse.

What are you proud of from this past week?

Madison, it’s time to go to the Arboretum!!

If you live in Madison and think that flowers are beautiful, you absolutely need to head to the UW-Madison Arboretum RIGHT NOW.  The flower trees and bushes are in full bloom, and even the magnolias are present and vibrant. I have a few pictures to share but they’re nowhere near as beautiful as the blooms are in real life.

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I missed the magnolias last year so I was really glad to see that they were still on the trees this year. The leaves are starting to fall, so I wouldn’t expect them to be around after next weekend.

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Second favorite. Unbelievably gorgeous.

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As you can see, there is a lot to love at the Arboretum right now. So grab a loved one and head down!

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This is my favorite picture from the visit. How beautiful.

Travel: Speeding Tickets in Netherlands and Germany

In December my cousin and I took a trip to Europe. After a little bit of planning, we realized that it would be more cost effective to rent a car than it would be to take the trains. While renting a car for almost two weeks comes with a lot of costs, it offers a lot more flexibility as far as destinations, side trips, and travel time. It also was way less stressful than the trips that I have taken where I have relied on buses and trains.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of not strictly following the speeding laws while I was out of the country. For the most part, I stayed within speed limits and did my best to avoid breaking traffic laws. At a few points, I was a little loose with the speed of the car, especially after driving on the Autobahn in Germany.

After arriving home, I started to see charges from the rental company on my credit card. Each was for around $30-35, and all were unanticipated. Needless to say, I started freaking out. Soon after, I started getting expedited letters in the mail from the car rental company. I thought that these letters were the charges for the speeding tickets and I was upset that I had received the tickets, but glad that each charge was under $40.

Then I got an actual ticket in the mail. I only received one physical ticket from the Netherlands, for a charge of 394 euros. I also received a letter in the mail from Germany stating that I had broken the law but that the government had decided not to prosecute.

Both of these tickets came in different languages (Dutch and German) so I had to rely on friends to translate for me. I still haven’t gotten a full translation of the German letter so if anyone can help with that, I would appreciate it.

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Autobahn life

A lot of people have asked me how I managed to break the speed limit on the Autobahn considering that the Autobahn has no speed limits. Unfortunately, the Autobahn has speed limits in construction zones. My cousin and I had missed a turn and we were trying to figure out how to get back onto the correct highway. While we were discussing it we neared a city that had construction, and the speed limit dropped to 140km/hr. We were not going insanely fast because there was traffic, but we were probably close to 160. We did notice the red light from the camera go off and we were both super pissed/stressed.

I am not 100% sure when I got the tickets in the Netherlands. It appears that it was the morning that we dropped the car off. I don’t know if it happened while we were driving to Amsterdam or while we were filling up for gas at the airport. Regardless, I was 38km over the speed limit which is equal to 23mph over. This makes sense, but is still super frustrating.

I decided to appeal the tickets and charges to both the rental car company and the Netherlands government. I changed my credit card number so that the rental car company would stop charging me and I sent them an email stating that I did not agree with them charging me an average of $35 four times to send me one ticket and one warning letter. The response was: You owe us for the charges that did not process and we will not refund any of the money to you. I then appealed the charges to my credit card and showed that I had been charged multiples times for two actual offenses, and they refunded the charges. I did get recharged for one of the transactions but in the end I only ended up paying one out of four.

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I wrote up a nice letter for the Netherlands and had my darling friend Kim translate it into Dutch. I sent the letter in February and received a response at the beginning of May. I can’t read the letter but I can clearly see that the charges have not been waived and I owe the Netherlands 396 euros. Fortunately the due date isn’t for a few weeks, so I am going to wait until after the French election next week in case the Euro ends up crashing.

The lesson of all this? Renting a car while traveling is great. Just make damn well sure that you know the traffic rules and that you don’t break the speed limit!!

Review: Rodan and Fields Mini Facial

I was recently able to try the Rodan and Fields products thanks to my friend Sarah. I had not previously heard of this brand but I did a little bit of research and it looks like a brand I could really get behind.
Sarah sent me a mini-facial kit. I was extra excited when the products arrived because she put them in the cutest packaging. Basically after I post this I will be doing a google so that I can find out where to buy similarly cute packaging.

 

First I unpacked the products. I loved the way that they sent the samples. The tiny capsules are a good way to not waste a ton of plastic/paper on packaging and I found that all three of the products were very easy to open and dispense. I also enjoyed the fact that there was a step by step guide that told me what the products were and how to use them.
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The microdermabrasion paste (step 1) was very interesting – I don’t usually use scrubs so this was a new experience for me. I did not really care for the smell (it wasn’t scented, just chemically) and while I was using the paste, some got in my mouth and it tasted salty. I was also a little worried when I read the directions because it said not to use on sensitive skin. I can never figure out what the blanket “sensitive skin” statement means, but it usually concerns me given that my skin is quite acne prone.
The paste itself did a great job. I massaged it into my face for about 1min 30 seconds (I like to get what I can out of a sample, lol) and when I rinsed, my skin felt very smooth and moisturized.
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Next I took out the blue capsule, which was Night Renewing Serum. This product also worried me because it didn’t come with information and I am genuinely terrified that things will have acne triggers. However, my fears went out the window as soon as I put the liquid on my fingers and applied it to my face. This product is amazing. It spreads quickly and has a matte texture after use. It felt very luxious and fancy. I would likely buy this product if I could confirm that it would not make my skin breakout. I definitely wish there would have been more of this because I absolutely loved the way it felt.
Afterwards I used the lip treatment which had a vanilla scent/taste. I did not think that the lip treatment was any better than the night time lip treatment that I currently use. There was a bit too much of the product so I overapplied and felt a little gooey. But lets be real – that was more of a personal problem than a product problem. I don’t think that I would purchase this product because I’m not the biggest fan of vanilla lip treatments and I prefer the flavor of the product I am currently using. However, if you’re looking for a good lip treatment with vanilla flavor, this might be a good option for you.
All-in-all this was an enjoyable experience. Of the three, I would be most likely to purchase the middle product. I did start to experience a breakout the next day, but my skin is so unpredictable that I can’t say for sure whether it was because of the Rodan and Fields products or for some other random reason. I know that the company has products that are ok for acne so I will look into those.
If you’re interested in receiving a sample kit so that you can try these products, please send me an email and I will connect you with Sarah. You can also check out her R&F website.
Have you ever tried these products? What are your favorites?