Tag: propolis

Buy This, Not That: Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pad vs. Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic To-Go

Korean Beauty Skincare Review Hydrating Toner Pads COSRX One Step Moisture Up Pad Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic To-Go That Girl Cartier

Buy This, Not That: Cosrx vs. Pixi Beauty

When I came back to Canada after my 3-year stint in Korea I was in a bit of a pickle.  Several of my Korean beauty products had been confiscated from my carry-on at the airport in Bali.  With the heat, I had used up all of my hydrating toner pads.  Granted, I clumsily packed in an attempt to avoid overweight charges.  My toners and essences took the hit and I was stuck waiting for my slow shipment from Seoul.  I went to Shoppers Drug Mart in search of some local goodies to test out.  It was especially exciting because, for the first time in 3 years, the ingredients would be in English (and French! – sometimes).  My eyes grew wide and glazed over as I saw the ever increasing prices.  What had I done?  What a mistake I had made leaving all that liquid gold in Indonesia.

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Matheus Ferrero

Battle of the Hydrating Toner Pads

Both of these pads claim to have hydrating and exfoliating properties.  One left my skin feeling like a rough astringent had been applied.  It made my more viscous products tough to apply.  The other makes my skin feel clean, but soft and supple, too.  We all have different kinds of skin, but in my experience the value of one one of these hydrating toner pads far outweighs the other.  Read through for my verdict in Buy This, Not That: The Battle of the Hydrating Toner Pads!

Glow Tonic To-Go Pads

Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic To-Go

Regular price $24.00

“Everything you love about the Glow Tonic, TO GO! Travel-friendly pads pre-soaked in Glow Tonic to tone, brighten, hydrate and gently exfoliate for clean renewed skin.”

The best routine is the one you’ll actually repeat, so toner pads are a no-brainer for a lazy K-Beauty lover like me!  These were the only ones under $50 at Shoppers, and since I needed something that day, I decided to suck it up and hope my pension came through sooner than later.  I picked out the Pixi Beauty brand based on their clean, feminine packaging and prices which I thought were high for the product type, but better than the others.  I looked them up online and found that a number of other beauty bloggers and influencers had featured the products in their feed, so I should give them a fair shot.  What exactly was in these products, though?  What was I really putting on my skin?  Is it the right product for my skin type?  Why did I spend nearly $110 on 3 itty bitty items which would probably have cost me $30 in Korea?   These hydrating toner pads cost me $24 plus tax.  A lot of the time we skim over certain products assuming because the price is low the product must not be good quality.  Now, I feel far more inclined than ever to buy Korean beauty products online.

Product Details

  • These pre-soaked pads tone, brighten, hydrate, and gently exfoliate.
    • Skin looks clearer & feels smoother.
    • The ultimate travel-friendly, gentle skin renewal
    • Formulated with 5% Glycolic Acid
    • Suited for all skin types
    • Alcohol free
    • Not tested on animals

How To-Apply

  • Use: Either in the AM and PM or when needed
    • Step 1: Cleanse your face
    • Step 2: Sweep pre-soaked pads across face , neck and décolletage after cleansing, avoiding eye area.
    • Step 3: Follow with a serum or moisturizer. (no need to rinse off)

Ingredients

Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycolic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Hexylene Glycol, Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose, Urea, Dextrin, Alanine, Glutamic Acid, Aspartic Acid, Hexyl Nicotinate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Biotin, Panthenol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Caramel, Red 4 (CI 14700). Made in USA / Fabriqué aux États-Unis.


Cosrx, One Step Moisture Up Pad, 70 Pads (135 ml)

Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pad

“It is a daily moisturizing pad presoaked in a toner of Propolis Extract and Hyaluronic Acid. It helps to fight against main features of dehydrated, delicate and flaky skin.  TIP: It is convenient to wipe off and fix makeups during the day. You can also use as a mini sheet mask on specific dry areas such as cheek or chin.  Do not use BHA products if you are allergic to aspirin.”

HOW TO USE

  1. Swipe the embossing side across the face avoiding eye area after cleansing.
  2. Swipe the softer side across the face to pick up the remaining debris.
  3. Replace the lid tightly to make sure the pads stay wet and clean.

INGREDIENTS

Propolis Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Betaine, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine Salicylate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil

Had to pick up some essentials before leaving Seoul. Yes, you can get most of them in Canada, but aren't they gorgeous against the marble in our luxurious bathroom at @seouldragoncity @novotelhotels? Thank you @cosrx for hooking me up! ♡ 1. #cosrx One Step Moisture Pad – pads smell amazing and are full of a liquid which gently exfoliates and softens the skin with 0.5% BHA and 79.14% propolis extract. Leaves my face looking soft and dewy and feeling fresh! 2. @chanelofficial Joues Contraste Blush in Rose Glacier- actually smells like roses and is a less shimmery version of @narsissist orgasm. 3. #Chanel Les quatres ombres multi-effect quadra eyeshadow. I haven't worn green eyeshadow in a while. With blue eyes this quad is perfect for my almond lid and blends amazingly well! 4. @leegeehaam_global Grow Matcha Green Tea Clay Pack – tightens and leaves skin soft and bright. I'm not one for strong scents, but I like a little something something and this one totally hits the spot! 5. @lanvinofficial Modern Princess – cheesy name, great, light scent for daytime! Pink lady apple for a clean and crisp fragrance and white musk, vanilla orchids, jasmine, and freesia flower. 6. @banilaco_official #CleanItZero is my favourite make-up remover bar none. It's a balm that you rub between your hands to turn it into a silky, naturally exfoliating oil remover. This product takes off even the most stubborn mascara! 7. @burberry fresh glow luminous foundation – goes on looking like my own skin is perfectly flawless! 8. @diormakeup #Dior #LipGlow in Holo Purple. When you've got a giftcard, do the FUN thing! 💄// #travelwithcosrx . . . . . . . . . . . #imagineyourkorea #Korea  #seoultrip #kbeauty #koreanstyle #beauty #데일리 #맞팔#맞팔해요 #새벽 #서울 #선팔 #셀카 #소통 #웃스타그램#인스타그램 #인친 #일상 #일상스타그램 #좋아요#팔로우#팔로우미 #행복스타그램 #행복해

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I first tried the Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pads at the Novotel in Seoul.  Cosrx partnered up with the Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan (Seoul Dragon City) and placed their Korean skincare goodies in the uber luxurious bathrooms.  What a genius idea!  I was hooked on several of their products right away, including these hydrating toner pads!  You’ve seen Cosrx on my site before.  They have the most fabulous cleanser which isn’t on the market quite yet.  This cleanser is gentle and doesn’t leave a residue.  The same can be said for these hydrating moisture pads (the Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pads).  You can use them for spot treating, prepping for more viscous parts of your skincare routine, or tidying up makeup gone wrong. After trying the Pixi Glow To-Go pads, there’s just no comparison.  Cosrx Moisture up pads are a big BUY THIS.

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BUY THIS: Cosrx One Step Moisture Up Pads, NOT THAT: Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic To-Go Pads

I’ve made a chart for you of the different ingredients in both hydrating toner pads.  You’ll notice that there are a few overlapping ingredients.  For the most part, the Pixi pads have a lot more colouring (I’m not sure why – they’re white), fragrance, and additives.  Personally, I prefer a shorter list of ingredients with elements I actually understand.  For example, I know some beauty bloggers work with natural ingredients like lemon which can be extraordinarily drying and damaging to the skin.  I prefer to leave that to the professionals (Cosrx).  Why Pixi is putting caramel and red dye in their white pads is beyond me.  I’ve left the Pixi at my parents’ place to use the couple of times a month I go visit, but for daily use opt for the gentler, more nourishing blend.

Ingredients

Pixi Beauty “Glow Tonic To-Go” Pads: Acne-Fighting, Brightening, Anti-Aging
Safe for Oily Skin, Risk for Dry or Sensitive Skin
Ingredients: Purpose: Notes:
Water/Aqua/Eau Solvent
Glycolic Acid Whitening, Ph Adjuster, Buffering Agent, Exfoliant Anti-aging, Good for Oily Skin, Bad for Sensitive Skin
Butylene Glycol Solvent, Skin Conditioning, Masking, Fragrance, Humectant (retaining or preserving moisture), Viscosity Controlling, Viscosity decreasing Agent Good for Dry Skin, Comedogenic Rating 2- slight chance of clogged pores
Glycerin Solvent, Perfuming, Fragrance, Humectant, Viscosity Decreasing Agent, Hair Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Denaturant Good for Dry Skin
Sodium Hydroxid Ph Adjuster, Buffering Agent, Denaturant
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Skin Conditioning Good for Sensitive Skin
Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water Skin Conditioning, Drug Astringent – Skin Protecting Good for Oily Skin
Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract Skin Conditioning
Hexylene Glycol Solvent, Skin Conditioning, Perfuming, Surfactant (foaming agent), Fragrance, Viscosity Decreasing Agent, Emulsifying Comedogenic Rating 2- potential to clog pores
Fructose Humectant, Flavoring Agent
Glucose Humectant, Flavoring Agent, Skin-Conditioning Agent- Miscellaneous
Sucrose Skin Conditioning, Humectant, Flavoring Agent, Soothing
Urea Skin Conditioning, Humectant, Antistatic Agent, Buffering Agent
Dextrin Viscosity Controlling, Viscosity Increasing Agent, Binding Agent, Binding, Absorbent, Bulking Agent
Alanine Skin Conditioning, Masking, Fragrance, Antistatic Agent, Hair Conditioning
Glutamic Acid Fragrance, Humectant, Antistatic Agent, Hair Conditioning
Aspartic Acid Skin Conditioning, Masking, Fragrance, Antistatic Agent, Hair Conditioning
Hexyl Nicotinate Skin Conditioning, Emollient, Antistatic Agent
Panax Ginseng Root Extract Emollient, Hair Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Tonic
Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning, Deodorant
Disodium EDTA Viscosity Controlling, Chelating (bonding) Agent
Biotin Skin Conditioning, Hair Conditioning, Antiseborrhoeic (breaks up oils/ removes flakes)
Panthenol Skin Conditioning, Antistatic Agent, Hair Conditioning Promotes Wound-Healing, Good for Dry Skin
PPG-26-Buteth-26 Skin Conditioning, Surfactant, Fragrance, Emulsifying, Hair Conditioning
PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil Perfuming, Surfactant, Fragrance, Emulsifying
Phenoxyethanol Fragrance, Preservative
Fragrance (Parfum) Masking, Perfuming, Deodorant
Caramel Masking, Fragrance, Colorant, Cosmetic Colorant
Red 4 (CI 14700) Cosmetic Colorant
Cosrx “One Step Moisture Up” Pads: Promote Wound-Healing, Acne-Fighting
Low Risk for All Skin Types
Ingredients: Purpose: Notes:
Propolis Extract Skin Conditioning
Butylene Glycol Solvent, Skin Conditioning, Masking, Fragrance, Humectant (retaining or preserving moisture), Viscosity Controlling, Viscosity Decreasing Agent Good for Dry Skin, Comedogenic Rating 2- slight chance of clogged pores
Glycerin Solvent, Perfuming, Fragrance, Humectant, Viscosity Decreasing Agent, Hair Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Denaturant Good for Dry Skin
Betaine Skin Conditioning, Humectant, Viscosity Controlling, Antistatic Agent, Hair Conditioning
Cetearyl Olivate Hair Conditioning
Sorbitan Olivate Surfactant (foaming agent), Emulsifying
1,2-Hexanediol Solvent
Betaine Salicylate Antimicrobial Agent, Exfoliant, Keratolytic (remove warts, calluses and other lesions) Acne-Fighting
Panthenol Skin Conditioning, Antistatic Agent, Hair Conditioning Promotes Wound Healing. Good for Dry Skin
Allantoin Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting, Soothing Good for Oily Skin, Good for Sensitive Skin
Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer Viscosity Controlling, Emulsion Stabilizing
Sodium Hyaluronate Skin Conditioning, Humectant Promotes Wound Healing. Good for Dry Skin
Ethylhexylglycerin Skin Conditioning, Deodorant
Sodium Hydroxide Ph Adjuster, Buffering Agent, Denaturant
Xanthan Gum Skin Conditioning, Viscosity Controlling, Viscosity Increasing Agent, Emulsion Stabilizing, Binding Agent, Binding, Surfactant -Emulsifying Agent, Gel Forming
Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil
Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil Masking, Fragrance

iUNIK Korea: Summer Skincare for Sweaty Sallies

Sugar Beach Toronto Pink Umbrellas Muskoka Chairs Skincare Summer
Sugar Beach in Toronto

 

It’s been one scorcher of a summer here in humid Toronto.  I’ve heard back in Seoul it’s been record-breaking for humidity, too!  If you’ve read any of my other skincare articles, you’ll know I’m a “no muss, no fuss” kinda gal.  When I moved to Korea, I tried to improve my soap and water habits.  Why wouldn’t I take advantage of the best skincare in the world?  That said, I didn’t have time for 12 steps including a mask every night.  I’m busy and actually have to make time to sleep.  I make an effort to keep an hour or more of fitness 5x a week part of my routine.  Nobody of sound heart and mind is going to lug 12 bottles and jars to the gym.  When it comes to skincare, I want to keep things simple.  If there are too many steps, I lose interest and bail.

ThatGirlCartier Summer Skincare Seoul Toronto iunik vitamin hyaluronic acid vitalizing toner moisturizer cream serum that girl cartier

Toners, Serums, Essences – OH MY!

Back in April (I’m writing this in mid-July), a company called iUNIK reached out to me to review a few products.  They’re a 10-year old company located in Paju, which is the city closest to the North Korean border.  They claim to make products designed simply and for the whole family.  “With minimalism finding skin happiness contrary to the times of excess supply age.”  I have no idea what that might mean, but the word “minimalism” drew me right in!

Always on the hunt for the latest and greatest, I was excited to receive their Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum, Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner, and Beta Glucan Daily Moisture Cream.  They also sent me their Lime Moisture Mild Peeling Gel, but it was a miss for me and I only want to bring you products I would buy over and over again.  The whole time I was in Korea, I admit, I had no idea what the difference was among toners, serums, and essences.  All of them felt fairly similar to me.  The only thing I knew for certain was that they went on before your moisturizer.  The biggest takeaway?  All of the above prepare your skin to absorb the lovely little goodies found in your moisturizer or cream, or even other serums and essences if you choose a multi-step routine.  Here’s how I apply my favourite iUNIK products.

 

ThatGirlCartier Summer Skincare Seoul Toronto iunik vitamin hyaluronic acid vitalizing toner that girl cartier

Skincare Step 1

Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner $21.99
​Hyaluronic Acid 45%
Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruits Extract 5%
(Whitening Functional Cosmetics)

The Claim: “This gel type toner can help to make powerful vitalizing and moisturizing with Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruits Extract 5% and Hyaluronic acid 45%.”

The Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner has no scent.  This toner is really watery and doesn’t have the astringent feeling I tend to associate with others.  I’ve been using it for months now and the bottle looks like it’s barely taken a dent, so great value there!  In my experience, toner can be exfoliating.  This toner is intensely hydrating, instead.  If you put it on your hand you might think it will leave a sticky feeling, but it doesn’t at all.  You’re left with plump, nourished skin!  A lot of people shy away from the word “acid” thinking that it will damage the skin or strip it away.  Hyaluronic acid actually acts as a moisture-binding ingredient in skincare – perfect to prep and prime your skin for whats next, right?

ThatGirlCartier Summer Skincare Seoul Toronto iUNIK Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum That Girl Cartier

Skincare Step 2

Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum 
Propolis Extract 70%, Double Functional Cosmetics (Whitening & Wrinkle Care)

The Claim: “This Effective Optimal Synergy Serum includes the unique and optimal ratio, Propolis 70% and Vitamin C (Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract) 12% by iUNIK. It can make Calming & Brightening for Sensitive Skin.”

The Propolis Vitamin Synergy Serum actually smells like honey!  I’m surprised that other bloggers referred to it as viscous or thick.  Like the toner, it wasn’t at all the consistency I expected.  In fact, it was also quite watery in my opinion.  Maybe my skin is just super thirsty constantly, but it was absorbed quite quickly in a thin layer.  My skin immediately feels as though it’s been soothed after application of this skincare product.  The look of my skin after application is bright and dewy.  There’s a definitely glow-factor with this serum!  In this summer heat, I can’t be waiting around for my skincare to settle.  The combination of the toner and the serum soak up quite quickly and I’m ready for my third, and final, step.

Skincare Step 3

Beta Glucan Daily Moisture Cream $14.99

The Claim: “Amazing skin moisturizer Beta Glucan, Super Moisture Recharge.  This cream can help to make moisturizing dry skin and improve skin barrier function with Beta Glucan.  Improve skin barrier function calming and protecting sensitive skin. Moisturizing. Light Skin. Skin clearing. Whitening and wrinkle care.”

Beta Glucan is active in cereal and fungus and is found to lower cholesterol.  In skincare products, it reduces redness and soothes sensitive skin.  I had horrible skin as a child, but throughout my teens and adult years have been fairly lucky.  I get quite a bit of dryness/ redness around my t-zone (my nose especially).  Since adding the iUNIK Beta-Gulcan Daily Moisture Cream to my routine the redness and sensitivity has reduced significantly, but is still ever-present.  My face has a dewy glow and feels supple to the touch without feeling greasy.  In the summer especially, I can’t stand that feeling of your moisturizer sweating off.  Thankfully I haven’t had to with this product.  I’ve been using this moisture cream Monday – Friday mornings since April, and the bottle is only starting to dwindle now.  This product is unscented.

 

My iUNIK Skincare Verdit

Now that I’m back in Toronto, I’m making an effort to live my best life naturally.  I had my hair fixed so that moving forward I’ll be letting my natural brown locks grow in – gray and all.  We’ll see how long that lasts.  I don’t have quite as much time in the morning as I did when I was in Korea.  The gym has taken priority over looking entirely polished and put together.  Unless I’m client-facing or going out on the town, I’ve stopped wearing make-up entirely.  Because of this, I need to treat my skin the best I can.  The ease of use, glowy complexion, and unbeatable pricepoint makes iUNIK an exceptional skincare line.  My morning routine is a lot easier with this trio of iUNIK tools!

Skincare Review: Leegeehaam has quick-drying formulae which I love when I'm in a rush.  My skin feels soft and there's never any hint of shine.

This article was written in unpaid partnership in exchange for an honest review of iUNIK products.  ThatGirlCartier.com only features products or services I genuinely adore and would repurchase again and again.