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    What is A Low Shampoo + Why You Need One!

    Happy Hump Day! So.. Low Shampoos! What are they? If you have a dry scalp, oily roots, dandruff, hair fall, really dry hair, and many more issues regarding your hair, you’re gonna want to hear this! I’m someone that washes my hair every day because if I don’t, my scalp could probably cook you a sunny side up (gross. Did I just spoil sunny side up eggs for you?). Washing my hair every day (well, and having it bleached twice) has made my scalp dry, gave me oily roots, and a head of hay instead of hair. After discovering low shampoo, my hair was never the same again.. Basically, Low shampoo is what is known as a “no shampoo” shampoo. No kidding. A low shampoo is a “new” type of cleanser for your hair, that doesn’t have harmful chemicals like silicone and sulfates in them.

    What is a Low Shampoo + Why You Need One!

    Inspired by the “Low Poo/No Poo” (no, not poo poo. yea, they couldn’t come up with a better name) trend, the Low Shampoo is free of silicones and sulfates. The “Low Poo/No Poo” method is, in a nutshell, to use shampoos with no harmful chemicals.

    Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), and Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALS) are surfactants that are typically used in shampoos, toothpaste, soaps, etc. Surfactants used in shampoos are to remove dirt and oil from the scalp. These sulfates are also inexpensive and very effective foaming agents. The use of sulfates in shampoos strips all the natural oil from your scalp, drying it out (hence, dry scalp (hence, dandruff) hence, hence, hence.) and causing your scalp to over-produce oil to combat the dryness (hence, oily roots).

    Silicones are used in shampoos to smooth the hair and add shine. Silicone is not one thing – it’s a large group of compounds that end in “-cone”, like methicone, dimethicone, cyclomethicone, and so on. Most silicones are insoluble in water and can build up on your scalp. Silicone can give the hair a conditioned feeling and look, but it’s not actually because your hair is healthy. It’s basically like a layer of plastic that coats your hair and makes it look shiny.

    What is a Low Shampoo + Why You Need One!

    A low shampoo is like a cleansing cream – it has the consistency of conditioner, and it doesn’t lather up. When I first started using a low shampoo, man was it hard to use. I was so used to a little bit of shampoo coating my entire head of hair because of how well they lather. Because there was no lather, I didn’t feel like it was cleaning my hair. Surprisingly though, after rinsing it off, my hair felt very light, fresh and clean. After a couple of tries, I found that the best way to use a low shampoo is to massage it into the scalp with my fingers in sections. I start at the top of my scalp, then work my way to the sides of my head, toward the lower back of my scalp, and then finally the length of my hair.

    The low shampoo that I’m currently using is the Yves Rocher Low Shampoo Delicate Cleansing Cream, and I freaking love it! It’s sulfate-free (duh), silicone-free (yes, Jiawun, that’s the whole point of a low shampoo :|) and also paraben-free. L’Oreal has just come out with two low shampoos which I’ve heard good things about as well. After using low shampoos for half a year now, my hair has never been better! I can finally wash my hair every other day (which, given the hot, humid weather here in Malaysia, is like 4 days) because my scalp doesn’t get as oily anymore. My hair looks much healthier and shinier (and not from silicone!), and feels smooth. Like, I actually have hair now. Not dead grass.

    What is a Low Shampoo + Why You Need One!

    Why You Need A Low Shampoo, like, rn.

    Dandruff is basically flakes of dead skin from your scalp and can cause hair loss. Most of the time, dandruff is caused by a dry scalp. When you use a regular shampoo, the sulfates strip your hair of natural oils, thus drying out your scalp even more, causing more dandruff. So when you use a low shampoo, a different, gentler cleansing agent is used and it doesn’t strip away all the oils.

    An oily scalp is usually caused by a dry scalp. You might be going, “Jiawun. That doesn’t make any sense at all.” And yes, that was my initial reaction too. But after some in-depth research (thank the lord (or the founders) for Google), a dry scalp that has been stripped of all it’s oil, will produce even more oil to combat the dryness, just like your skin does! (Wait a minute, isn’t the scalp.. actually just skin? This has happened once when my sister and I were discussing if you should apply lotion to your umm.. as Fergie put it, lovely lady lumps. Or is it completely normal? Have you guys ever thought about it, though? Just me? Okay.)

    An overly oily scalp can actually cause dandruff (which causes excessive hair fall) as well. Since there are no sulfates in low shampoos, the scalp will not be overly stripped. The low shampoo will clean the excess oil off your scalp so your hair won’t look or feel greasy, but there will still be natural oils in your scalp that nourishes your hair.

    What is a Low Shampoo + Why You Need One!

    If you’re in the UK, you can get L’Oreal’s new Low Shampoos on Boots for £5

    Low shampoos are a pretty new concept, so it’s a little bit harder to come by. I’ve only seen two brands – Yves Rocher and L’Oreal – come out with them. But I expect them to be a huge trend, especially now that L’Oreal has just released their version. If you come across a low shampoo, definitely try it out! You will see the results in a couple of washes, and your hair will thank you.

    Have You Read These?

    2016 Beauty Favourites: Makeup

    Lilac Ash Brown Hair

    How to Blow Dry Long Hair

    Thanks for reading, xoxo

    Jiawun

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    2016 Beauty Favourites: Makeup

    Happy New Year, beauty nerds! How has 2017 been treating you? Today we’re talking 2016 beauty favourites. It’s a little late, but (hopefully) still acceptable in the month of January, right? I’ve round up all the products that I’ve used and loved in 2016, and these are the crème de la crème of beauty for me. These products aren’t necessarily new launches in 2016, but they’re the products that I’ve discovered in the last year. Today we’re talking makeup, and I’ll be sharing my skincare favourites from 2016 with you in next Monday’s post.

    2016 Beauty Favourites: Makeup 2016 Beauty Favourites: Makeup

    I’ll be talking about my 2016 beauty favourites from each category (highlighter, primers, blushes, etc). These are the products that I’ve loved and used non-stop in 2016. Most of these have a separate post on how amazing they are, so I will link to the review of the product if there’s one. I’m just gonna come right out and say that this is going to be a very lengthy post, so grab some popcorn (or a salad, whatever floats your cravings boat). Without further ado, lets check out my 2016 beauty favourites, and see if you spot any of your faves!

    2016 Beauty Favourites: Makeup | Primers

    Smoothing Primer: Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser ($6.99)

    I use this almost every single day before applying my foundation. Often compared to the Benefit Porefessional, they both do an amazing job at pore-filling and smoothing out the skin. However, I find that the Maybelline Baby Skin wins by an extra mile by helping my makeup last longer throughout the day. It’s affordable and it works wonders! This product comes as no surprise because I’ve featured it in more than one post. Check out how it helps to keep skin oil-free when achieving a glowy look for oily skin, how it compared to the Benefit Porefessional, and why it is one of the best budget beauty buys.

    Radiant Primer: Becca Backlight Priming Filter ($38)

    This product is truly a gift from the glowy skin gods. Maybe not the glowy skin gods, but Becca does come pretty close. This product is amazing for a healthy glow that radiates from within the skin. I mix this with my foundation to create perfect glowy skin that lasts on my oil slick of a face. It’s lightweight, it’s not greasy, and best of all, it smells like freaking coconuts! Oh, and it doesn’t break me out. Which is always a plus. I’ve used this on an off in the beginning of 2016, but almost every single day that I wear makeup in the later half.

    2016 Beauty Favourites: Makeup | Foundations

    Serum Foundation: Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide ($48)

    I’m all about the lightweight, serum makeup! The hot, humid weather all year round here makes thick, heavy makeup almost unbearable for me. This foundation is very liquidy, super lightweight but has medium to full coverage. The finish of this is mostly matte. I say mostly because it has light reflecting particles in it that gives a gorgeous matte yet not flat finish to the skin. This foundation lasts the entire day on my oily skin. I couple this with the Becca Backlight Priming Filter as mentioned above to give me glowy skin that lasts all day.

    Liquid Foundation: Lancome Blanc Expert Fresh Brightening Foundation

    As you guys could probably tell by now, I’m obsessed with achieving bright, radiant, healthy looking skin while still having my skin look like skin. This foundation does exactly that for me – it’s lightweight, brightening and looks like my second skin. I love the Lancome foundations that I’ve tried. Another honorable mention is the Lancome Teint Miracle foundation, which has been my ride or die in the first half of the year, until it ran out.

    2016 Beauty Favourites: Makeup | Foundations

    CC Cream: Kicho CC Cream in Green ($29)

    I typically hate CC Creams because they offer no coverage at all, and usually give my face a white ghoulish look. However, I really liked this one because it has a decent light coverage and corrects the redness on my skin really well. Even though this is the green version, the actual product doesn’t come out green. It’s glowy, doesn’t feel tacky on the skin and feels lightweight on the skin. Check out my in-depth review of this from a couple of months ago.

    BB Cushion: Laneige Pore Control BB Cushion in #23

    If you’ve been reading my blog for quite some time now, this probably came as no surprise to you. I raved about this product from the moment I started using it and I’m actually on my fourth refill now. One of the reasons I love this Laneige BB Cream is because of the shade range. They have a good variety of shades to choose from while other BB creams are usually too light for me. This BB Cushion has medium coverage and a glowy, radiant finish (of course). Because it is a BB Cushion, it is super portable and convenient to bring around for touch ups. Check out my in-depth review of the Laneige BB Cushion for before and after pictures that show the coverage of this.

    2016 Beauty Favourites: Makeup | Concealers

    Brightening Concealer: Physician’s Formula Nude Wear Touch of Glow ($7.76)

    This isn’t a high coverage concealer, it’s a brightening concealer that helps to brighten the under eye area and can be used on the high points of the face as a highlighter. I wear this when I’m not looking for that flawless, right-out-of-the-magazine-photoshopped look, which is most days. It really helps to brighten up my face and is the perfect product for the no makeup makeup look.

    High Coverage Concealer: The Saem Tip Concealer in #2 ($5.55)

    I only discovered this concealer at the second half of 2016, but instantly fell in love with it. I’ve heard so many good things about this concealer and how it’s a dupe for the $$$ NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, but at less than $4. It’s super creamy but very easy to apply. It doesn’t crease, look cakey or feel heavy on the skin. The coverage of this concealer is amazing – it covers everything. Dark circles, acne, redness, whatever you may want to cover, it’ll cover. Check out how it compares to the more expensive Laneige Cushion Concealer, and see it in action!

    2016 Beauty Favourites: Makeup | Highlighters

    Becca Highlighters in Champagne Pop (left) and Rose Quartz (right) ($38)

    Becca highlighters are buttery soft, pigmented, and super gorgeous! Of course I couldn’t mention Becca highlighters without mentioning Champagne Pop. Champagne Pop is a gorgeous gold highlight that is intense and works beautifully on my medium skin tone. Rose Quartz is actually a limited time holiday release so I cheated a little because I’ve only used this for one month. But then again, I used this for at least 25 days out of the 31 days in December. Rose Quartz is a pink-toned highlight which I’m a huge fan of! It doesn’t show up as a streak of pink, but as a light champagne pink colour on the skin. It’s super gorgeous and makes my skin look glowy and healthy. The only downside to these Becca highlighters is that they break so easily! When I got Rose Quartz, it was already broken. But I fixed it in a few simple steps!

    2016 Beauty Favourites: Makeup | Eyeshadow Palette

    Tarte Tartelette in Bloom Palette ($46)

    2016 was the year of eyeshadow palettes for me! I tried out so many new ones, but I have to say the one that I kept reaching for was the Tarte Tartelette in Bloom palette. There are warm and cool shades, both shimmery and matte in this palette. This palette is so versatile and can be used for so many different looks. The eyeshadows are super buttery and pigmented and have a very small amount of fall out. This is the palette I use for my everyday eye look – I use one of the matte browns in the crease and sweep Firecracker all over my eyelids for the perfect bronze neutral eye look. Best of all? It smells like chocolates, yum!

    2016 Beauty Favourites: Makeup | Eyeliners

    Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper ($20)

    I got this in 2015, but only really started using it in 2016. It’s everything you will ever want in an eyeliner – super black, smudgeproof, easy to use and long lasting. It’s a pen eyeliner with a brush tip that is very precise and easy to create a wing with. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with eyeliners because of how they smudge on me in our hot, humid weather. This Kat Von D Tattoo Liner doesn’t smudge or fade, and lasts throughout the entire day until I decide to take it off. Check out how this compares to my former favourite, the Dollywink Liquid Eyeliner.

    2016 Beauty Favourites: Makeup | Mascara

    Non-Waterproof Mascara: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara ($23)

    This mascara is one of the best I’ve ever tried. It’s amazing at volumising, lengthening and keeping my eyelashes curled. In one coat, my lashes look longer, fuller, and super black. I love this mascara for the effect it gives my lashes, but it’s not waterproof. I’m thinking of getting the waterproof version of this mascara, but I’m not sure if the formula would still be the same and it’s $$$. If you don’t have oily skin though, this would be a great mascara to try out.

    Waterproof Mascara: Maybelline Falsies Big Eyes Mascara ($7.99)

    I didn’t photograph this because I totally forgot since it was in my bag. This Maybelline Falsies Big Eyes mascara is probably my favourite mascara of all time. It’s double-ended, one side for the upper lashes and one for the lower lashes. It does everything the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara does (but slightly less black), but it is completely waterproof. It doesn’t smudge or flake and lasts throughout the entire day. It’s effective, and super affordable so if you’re looking for a new mascara to try, check this one out! Check out my in-depth review to see how amazing it makes my lashes look in just one coat!

    2016 Beauty Favourites: Makeup | Liquid Lipsticks

    Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita & Lolita II ($20)

    2016 was a good makeup year here in Malaysia. Sephora finally brought in Kat Von D, Becca, Hourglass, among many other amazing brands. I finally picked up two of the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks in Lolita & Lolita II and quickly fell in love. It’s the best formula of liquid lipstick I’ve ever tried, and I’ve tried my fair share. It dries in a matter of seconds, feels super lightweight on the lips and is not drying. Not only that, it stays on really well through drinks and light meals as well. I wear Lolita II on an almost daily basis (lol), and wear Lolita when I have more of a dramatic makeup on. I featured these in my Best Dark Nude Lipsticks post if you haven’t seen that already!

    Sephora Creamy Lip Stain in 13 Marvelous Mauve ($14)

    This Sephora Creamy Lip Stain in 13 Marvelous Mauve is one of my favourite liquid lipstick shades ever. It looks pretty close to KVD’s Lolita, but dries a little bit brighter than the KVD. The formula of this is also very comparable to the KVD, it’s lightweight, dries fast and isn’t drying on the lips. One thing I love about the formula of this is that it doesn’t accentuate the fine lines of my lips. I also featured this in my Best Dark Nude Lipsticks post.

    Shop the Post!

    20 hours later, we have reached the end of my 2016 Beauty Favourites: Makeup post! Hopefully it was helpful to you and you found some new products to check out! Let me know in the comments if you spot any of your faves! Also, what are your 2016 Beauty Favourites?

    Have You Read These?

    How to Fix Broken Makeup

    Save Money While Shopping

    Skincare Routine for Combination Skin

    How to Deep Clean Makeup Brushes

    Thanks for reading, xoxo

    Jiawun

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    Catalina Geo Lash Power Volumizing Mascara

    Happy Christmas Eve, beauty nerds! I hope you’re having a wonderful day filled with joy, laughter and of course, family! Unfortunately, I caught a cold a couple of days ago and I’m not feeling the best. However, I’m still looking forward to a good feast and spending time with my family and friends. Anyway, on to today’s post: a review on the Catalina Geo Lash Power Volumizing Mascara that I got from my BNTGirls December box.

    Catalina Geo Lash Power Volumizing Mascara

    The Catalina Geo Lash Power Volumizing Mascara is a volumising (I’m torn between s and z, since the name spells it with a z, but we follow the British spelling here in Malaysia) mascara which claims to be a 3D Volume Effect with its excellent volumising function. It boasts a 12-hour wear time that creates long, voluminous lashes with no clumps. Not only that, it also claims to be smudge-proof, but easy to remove. Sounds amazing, right? Are these claims actually true, though?

    Catalina Geo Lash Power Volumizing Mascara

    Packaging

    Firstly, lets start off by talking about the packaging – gorgeous! It comes in a gold, reflective tube with metallic gold floral details all around it. Because of this, it looks super luxurious and expensive. However, it doesn’t feel as luxurious as it looks. It looks like it’s made of metal but it definitely isn’t because it doesn’t have that “weight” like the YSL Lipsticks have. It’s still the most gorgeous packaging on a mascara that I have in my makeup collection though!

    Catalina Geo Lash Power Volumizing Mascara

    Brush

    The brush on this claims to be “One-Touch Volume Up + Curl Up”. The wand is a normal length, not too long or too short, which is perfect for a neat mascara application. The applicator itself is a firm brush instead of those spiky, plastic ones. The brush is a medium size and works well to apply mascara to the top lashes. However, it is a little big for my bottom lashes (but of course, my bottom lashes are pretty much non-existent lol).

    Formula

    The formula of this is quite wet to begin with, but dries very quickly after you apply it to your lashes. Because it dries so fast, you have to work very fast with it to avoid clumps. The mascara is very pigmented and is jet black, which I love. The mascara lasts the entire day on me without smudging, but is very easy to remove with a cleansing water.

    Results

    The lengthening and volumising properties of this mascara are amazing! I should’ve taken pictures but my eyes are in a horrible state at the moment because I’m feeling a little under the weather. I’ll update this post with a picture when I get a chance to, though. In just one coat, my lashes look double the length and volume! However, it does look a little bit clumpy even with just one coat. Since it dries quite quickly, it’s really hard to avoid clumps. Not only that, this mascara does not hold the curl of my lashes. I’m not sure if it’s because I have super stubborn lashes as is, but it makes my lashes fall stick straight right after applying the mascara.

    Overall, the Catalina Geo Lash Power Volumizing Mascara is an okay mascara. It’s definitely not the best mascara I’ve ever tried but not the worst. I like the brush on the mascara very much because it coats my lashes well in a few swipes. It’s very lengthening and volumising, and it stays on all day. But, the inability to hold curl and the clumpiness is a huge downfall for me. Unless you have super curled lashes to begin with, I wouldn’t recommend this.

    Other Posts You Might Like:

    How to Fix Broken Makeup

    Catalina Geo Color Capsule Makeup Base

    Thanks for reading, xoxo

    Jiawun

    *PR Samples. This is sent to me for review purposes from the BNTNews team as part of the BNTGirls box. BNTGirls is a group of bloggers that receive and review Korean beauty products. To read my full disclosure, click here.
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    THELAVICOS Nutrition Hydro Gel Mask

    TGIF, guys! Today’s post is a review on another Korean skincare product that I got from my BNTGirls box for December. Today we’re talking about THELAVICOS Nutrition Hydro Gel Mask. Can I just say how much I freaking love sheet masks, and how much more I love hydro gel masks? Hydro gel masks are those that look like they’re made with gelatin (lol I honestly don’t know how else to describe it. Help a gal out, Google!) that stick really well on the skin and looks like a second layer of skin after you apply it.

    THELAVICOS Nutrition Hydro Gel Mask

    This one that I got is the THELAVICOS Nutrition Hydro Gel Mask for Whitening & Anti-Wrinkle, and it came in a box of 5 sheets. The description of this reads, “Nutrition total skin care resolves various complex skin concerns at once to make skin youthful by providing total care”. I don’t typically look for products that whiten my skin or anti-wrinkle products (just yet), but I really like anti-aging products that improves skin elasticity. I was hoping this mask might be helpful for that. Since it claims to resolve various skin concerns, I was also hoping it would help to hydrate, brighten and smooth my skin.

    THELAVICOS Nutrition Hydro Gel Mask

    This mask comes in two parts – one for the top of the face from the forehead to the nose, and one for the bottom from the upper lip to the jawline. When I first opened the packaging of the mask, it was quite messy. The mask is very saturated with the essence (which is great), but it was so slippery that the backing of the mask actually came off in the packaging. This left me with the pieces of hydro gel masks which are so slippery that I can barely hold, let alone put it on my face. After struggling for what felt like 802 minutes, I finally got the mask on.

    THELAVICOS Nutrition Hydro Gel Mask

    A few minutes after putting it on, I felt a slight tingly sensation on the drier parts of my face. My skin has been horribly dry these past couple of days. It started to feel more and more tingly. After a couple of minutes, the tinglyness subsided and my face feels cool and fresh. The instructions on the mask says to leave it on for about 20-30 minutes and I took it off around the 25 minute mark when the mask felt like it was dry.

    Results

    After taking the mask off, my skin looks so much brighter! I think the tinglyness on my dry areas was actually the essence working in that area and hydrating my face because my skin looks so glowy, bright and hydrated. I don’t think it whitens, but it does brighten by hydrating and removing the dull, dry skin on the face. This mask is amazing after a long day, especially in the 35°weather right now, because it feels cooling and refreshes my face.

    Overall, I really like this THELAVICOS Nutrition Hydro Gel mask and I’m thinking of repurchasing when I run out. It’s a great relaxing mask that helps to hydrate and brighten, all while cooling down and refreshing the skin after a long day out.

    Have You Read These?

    Mulbit Vitamin Sparkling Mist

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    Thanks for reading, xoxo

    Jiawun

    *PR Sample. This was sent to me as part of the BNTGirls box for December. BNTGirls is a group of beauty bloggers that receive and review Korean beauty products from BNTNews Korea.
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    Mulbit Vitamin Sparkling Mist

    I love myself a good face mist and I have to admit when I saw this Mulbit Vitamin Sparkling Mist, I was super intrigued. Honestly the word “sparkling” in the name really caught my eye because I’m easily amused like that lol. Anyway, this Mulbit Vitamin Sparkling Mist came in my BNTGirls December box, and I’m reviewing it for you today! I think it’s quite a cool concept, but some might find it to be gimmicky. Either way, lets find out!

    Mulbit Vitamin Sparkling Mist

    The Mulbit Vitamin Sparkling Mist comes in a gorgeous sparkly blue box and houses two bottles – one contains the “vitamins” and one is an empty (well, initially) spray bottle. The spray bottle looks very luxurious – it’s a glass spray bottle with gold accents. There are 4 different pastel coloured vitamins in the bottle, and they each have a unique use.

    Different Colour, Different Use:

    Green: Anti-wrinkle

    Blue: Skin Reproduction

    Yellow: Skin Whitening

    Pink: Skin Condition Management

    Mulbit Vitamin Sparkling Mist

    How to Use:

    Basically, you’re supposed to fill the empty glass bottle with two-thirds of warm water, and then drop in a vitamin of your choice. Once you drop the vitamin into the water, it fizzes immediately (hence sparkling mist) and starts to melt. Then, I leave it to melt for a good 5-10 minutes and then secure the cap back on the bottle. If the vitamin has not fully melted or done fizzing, you have to reopen the cap in 1-2 hours to release carbonated gas. If it is not released, the increase in pressure can ruin the spray. To me, this is both cool and also a little bit tedious. Because there are no preservatives in their vitamins, you can only keep the spray you made for 4 days, and then you’ll have to remake with another vitamin.

    Results

    I like the spray bottle that comes with this. The spray is a fine mist that distributes evenly across the skin. Depending on the colour of the vitamin you use, the colour of the spray differs as well. As you can see from the pictures above, the blue creates a gorgeous ocean blue colour. However, I’m sure you can imagine the colour that the yellow creates (I actually showed this on Snapchat, follow me there (@Jiawunn) for what I like to call science experiments lol, but with makeup. And send me ALL your makeup snaps too, I’m on there 24/7. Yikes!).

    The actual product though, sadly, is a huge miss for me. It smells amazing, it has a very light scent that smells and feels fresh on the skin. However, it didn’t really do anything for my skin. After using this product almost daily for a month, I haven’t been able to notice any sort of difference on my skin. It doesn’t break me out, but it doesn’t do anything to my skin either. This Mulbit Vitamin Sparkling Mist was a huge let down because I was really excited and wanted this to work.

    Have You Read These?

    Catalina Geo Lash Power Volumizing Mascara

    Biconi Glow Facial Serum

    Catalina Geo Color Capsule Make Up Base

    Thanks for reading, xoxo

    Jiawun

    *PR Samples. This product was sent to me as part of the BNTGirls box. BNTGirls is a group of bloggers that receive and review Korean beauty products.
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