Is there such a thing as a “hot spot” in someone’s home? I didn’t used to believe it, but the last three summers have forced me to reconsider. I swear, there’s this corner in the room where I usually do my writing that also happens to have this insanely humid air. Even if I have a fan aimed directly at me, it feels like steam is coming off that area. And there are no other rooms like it! Sadly, staying in that place for a prolonged period of time is causing heat rashes, so I’ve had to treat the area with a little help from a tin of medicated talcum powder and a bottle of In Her Element Spot Control Facial Oil (PHP 475).
In Her Element Spot Control Facial Oil
Quick Specs: 15 ml ; made in the Philippines
I think I’m starting to develop a preference for Kbeauty brand, The Saem. Back in circa 2012, it was my dad who unintentionally introduced me to it during a trip to Korea. Not usually a skincare person, he caught sight of the never-ending lineup of beauty stores and decided he wanted to try some anti-aging stuff. I saw their Gem Miracle line with shimmer pigments and pearly balls suspended in their toner and serum, respectively. This was a relatively new concept (at least, to me) at the time, and it blew my mind. Fast forward to 2016-2017, where the brand still doesn’t have a boutique in the Philippines, but they do have several items for sale in Althea Korea.
Just like that day when I spotted the Gem Miracle line, I found myself amazed at the presentation of the The Saem Iceland skincare line. In fact, it has now become my summer skincare routine.
The Saem Iceland Skincare Collection
Quick Specs: made in Korea
Welcome to The Diary of a Beauty Hoarder. (loljk… No, really…) I have the Innisfree Kale Anti-Oxidant Lotion (estimated PHP 500) here that came with my very first Althea Korea haul. And while it seems that this particular variant is no longer available on Althea, there are still other variants that can be found there.
Innisfree Kale Lotion
Quick Specs: 130 ml ; made in Korea
I can feel it: 2017 is my Year of Essence. In 2015, I was confused by all the many different kinds of Asian skincare layers out there. In 2016, I started using more types of moisturizers. And now, essence has become an integral part of my regimen. It gives a touch of moisture without feeling too thick to go under makeup or other skincare products. Where has it been all my life?!
Here’s an interesting take on essence: Cathy Doll Milky Splash Essence with Heot Gae Na Mu (PHP 649).
Cathy Doll Milky Splash Essence
Quick Specs: 50 g / 1.76 oz ; made in Korea
One of the biggest things that initially confounded me about Korean skincare was the sheer variety of moisturizer types they have. I got free samples of essences, emulsions, lotions, and creams, but I had to figure out what each one was for and in what order they should be used. Coming from a Westernized beauty background where slathering one rich cream was enough, it made me curious to see if the standard face cream would still be recognized by the Koreans as effective. Well as it turns out, they do. For why else did they invent the luxurious Dr. Jart Ceramidin Derma Care Technology Cream (PHP 1,850 / 50 ml)?
Dr. Jart Ceramidin Cream and Dr. Jart V7 Vitalaser 2.1
Quick Specs: available in 50 ml and 75 ml tubes ; made in Korea