It’s been a busy month of new beauty, a new job, and wrapping up the latest issue of Composure (my last — sob). But in the middle of what should have been a calm, post-holiday month, I’ve been testing products like crazy, which may account for the sudden itchiness I feel around my jawline. I had to pull back a bit and whittle my skincare routine down to my tried-and-true, but in the process, I discovered some amazing beauty that I may not have otherwise known about.
So here are some of my favorite discoveries from last month.
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair tiger grass color correcting treatment
Color correctors have been everywhere these days, but I’ve generally been less than impressed with them. At best, they’re too sheer to cover my dark hyperpigmentation and PIH; at worst, they create little opaque puddles in my pores. My go-to cushion compact does a better job of neutralizing redness and dark spots.
Until I tried this color correcting treatment. Made with Centella asiatica extract, a big ingredient in Korean skincare for its anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, and acne-calming properties, Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30 is more a treatment with SPF. But the thing I love about it most is that it actually works to color correct without settling into pores. I apply this rich green cream mostly on my cheeks, and instantly, all redness is gone. It’s not like my skin looks green either — it just looks like skin that I was born with, with the perfect amount of glow, to boot. It’s enough to (almost) make me go makeup-free.
A big bonus is that Centella asiatica calms irritation, so that weird bit of itchiness I’ve had along my jawline this winter is instantly tamped down. And because of its mineral/physical sun filters (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide — the gold standards in sun protection), I like that it’s protecting my skin from any infrared or other potentially dark spot-inducing light from my computer screen, especially when I’m working at home without a stitch of makeup on.
Mizon Snail RECOVERY GEL CREAM
I’ve realized that when it comes to my T-zone, I have to treat it like the spoiled, bratty, acne-prone teen that it is. (As opposed to my age-ridden cheeks, which abounds with the long-term effects of youthful indiscretion — in the sun, that is.) So while I’ve found that Mizon Snail Eye Cream is really not hydrating and hardcore enough for my aging eye area, this matte gel-creme made up of a whopping 74% snail secretion filtrate (it’s the first ingredient listed) is perfect for my temperamental T-zone. It’s light, it’s not sticky, it hydrates really well, and it’s not at all oily or greasy. So while I still have to use two sets of moisturizers — one for my oily T-zone, one for my dry cheeks — at least the ones for my T-zone are Millennial-level affordable at $10.
On a side note — I never would’ve tried this snail cream if I hadn’t gotten it in my Bomibox subscription. Just goes to show — those beauty subscriptions are not a bad idea!
Smashbox Insta-Matte lipstick transformer
This is the coolest product. Insta-Matte is a light gel that you tap onto any cream lip color on your lips, and instantly it turns it into a matte lip color. It’s pretty amazing and allows you to double your lipstick stash. Best of all, instead of drying and cracking like a typical matte lip color, this gel keeps my lips hydrated and soft, all while giving me the of-the-moment matte lip.
Ouai Finishing Créme
I was excited to try the new hair care line Ouai (pronounced “way”), and I was not disappointed. This Finishing Creme is so easy to use. It’s a rich cream that provides some texture while smoothing strands and keeping my hair soft and touchable. I’m a super lazy hair person, so I love that I can just rub a dollop between my palms, apply by twisting one-inch strands of hair, and lightly shake out for a naturally undone look. I also like that it’s a cream, not a spray, which gives me more control. I’m also staying away from hair products in spray form ever since I realized that many of my favorite texturizing and dry shampoo sprays give me little pimples along my jawline and mouth. (Ugh.)