Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Paula's Choice Haul

Purchased Affiliate / Referral Link

My first Paula's Choice haul! I wanted to try out their vitamin C serum so I decided to take advantage of a $10 USD off referral for first time customers purchasing over $15 USD and their free shipping promo for under $50 USD.

What is it?

Paula's Choice is a cosmetics company that focuses on evidence based body care.


I paid $8 total for my haul. Because of the promo, there was no shipping charge for my order. I also used Ebates to get a bit of cashback.


I bought my products on Feb. 23rd, my order shipped Feb. 24th, and it arrived on Feb. 26th.


My package came in a box with Paula's Choice's logo on the outside. There was brown paper padding the top and bottom of the inside of the box.


I actually only purchased the following two items.

Resist C15 Super Booster
Full Size: $40.80 USD for 20mL / 0.67oz
Trial Size: $9.00 USD for 3.5mL / 0.12oz
I bought two vials of the sample sized vitamin C serum because I've been meaning to try one that is well formulated and includes l-ascorbic acid, tocopherol, and ferulic acid. I also needed two of the samples to be able to bump the cost of my order over $15 to take advantage of the referral credit.

But there might be a problem...

The serum is a golden yellow upon opening the product, which indicates that it has oxidized to the point where it may be too ineffective as a vitamin C serum to function as advertised.

And here are the samples!

Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant
Full Size: $26.00 USD for 100mL / 3.3oz
Sample Size: $9.00 USD for 1.5mL or 0.05oz
I'm looking for a non-drying BHA exfoliant because my current BHA exfoliant, Stridex Max Strength, is way too drying and I can't stand tightness I get from it. It also leaves a weird film and I'm not a fan of that.

Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant
Full Size: $26.00 USD for 100mL / 3.3oz
Sample Size: $9.00 USD for 1.5mL or 0.05oz
The last AHA I tried was the St. Ives pads and I didn't think they worked very well. That was also 4-5% lactic acid, while this utilizes 8% glycolic acid.

Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum with Retinol
Full Size $30.00 USD for 30mL / 1oz
Sample Size $1.00USD for 3mL / 0.03oz
I picked this because I didn't see much interesting things on the free samples selection. I might try a moisturizer or toner next time.

And here are the printed materials.

I checked to receive the 20 Beauty Myths Busted and How to Put a Skincare Routine Together so I can read what Paula has to say.

Customer Service

I contacted customer service because of the golden yellow color of the C15 Booster.
"Hi Paula's Choice, I have questions about the Resist C15 Super Booster. At which point will the product indicate that it is oxidized to a point that we shouldn't be using it anymore? Or can we still use the product even if it has oxidized to a golden yellow color? Thank you. "
They responded:
"Thank you for taking the time to contact us today! The RESIST C15 Super Booster should be a liquid, and have a clear to a light yellowish tone. Although judging color can be somewhat subjective, the issue with destabilization of high amounts of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) comes into play once this vitamin begins to discolor significantly, i.e. turning a deep yellow/orange or deep brown shade. This is a sign the vitamin C has become less active which can occur over time, hence our recommendation to use this serum within three months of opening. Since the sample size contains a significantly smaller amount, and the bottle doesn’t have the same air restrictor that the full sized bottle has, which is why the trial size turns a darker yellow color slightly quicker.

A minor color variation is normal for products that don't contain artificial colorants to maintain a consistent shade, so between batches there can be a subtle difference in shade due to the natural color of the raw materials used to make the product. This does not mean the product is ineffective or less effective than if it were completely colorless. I’ve included a visual below of different color variations for this product (all are completely safe and effective to use).

 photo unnamed_zpstdkjmxuw.png

I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Best regards,

This is exceptional customer service. They responded by the next day I had submitted my inquiry. Not only that, but they are well informed and gave a detailed explanation and all the possibilities of what could have happened for troubleshooting. I've seen similar questions and responses to and from PC's customer service, and I would say that there is consistency in the messages, which means that they are well trained on what info to give to its customers.

I think they should include a photo of when the color of the serum will indicate that it is not safe to use and I am still unsure of how oxidized my product is. Since mine is the rightmost shade, my serum may not be good to use. I am going to assume that the trial size is okay and on the verge of going bad. I will use it for testing the formula for breakouts, allergic reactions, texture, or other issues and not necessarily for lightening my pigmentation or anti-aging purposes.


Besides my vitamin C serum trouble, I will repurchase from Paula's Choice again! I am happy with my order and the excellent customer service.


Make sure to subscribe to their newsletter so you can catch their deals on their website! I got free shipping on my items because of that.

You can get $10 off your first purchase over $15 if you use my referral link. I will also get $10 credit. Couple it with Ebates to get a percentage of your order's total back.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Just Another Lunch No. 3

This is a lunch that I make when I run out of leftovers to pack. It is a simple, no frills meal that I make in the morning to pack for lunch.

I have:
  • A twist on the classic egg salad. I used two hard boiled eggs with Japanese mayo, salt, sugar, pepper, and cilantro to create this side.
  • Steamed peas with yellow onions, pepper and salt.
  • Jasmine rice with furikake.
The rice is easily cooked in the rice cooker, while the peas are done in a double boiler method right over the eggs in the same pot on the stove. This means that I am cooking all of my lunch at once and am still able to make and eat breakfast while prepping, waiting, and packing my lunch for the day, along with the general getting ready routine.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Etude House Play Therapy Moist Up Review

PurchasedAffiliate / Referral Link

I purchased this sleeping pack from my first Etude House Official Site Haul because I had never used a sleeping pack before. I've been using it every night for over a month after patch testing it, but I do not feel that this product fits into my routine.

What is it?

"This is a deep moisture sleeping pack that provides abundant moisture with marine mineral and hyaluronic acid for “oasis skin.”

What is marine mineral? This ingredient is from coral of the emerald colored Caribbean Sea, containing sufficient minerals for bright, moist, healthy looking skin."
As a sleeping pack, the Etude House Play Therapy Moist Up is meant to be used as the last skincare step right before bed to impart more moisturization onto my skin.


Other than the usual water based ingredients like the humectants glycerin and the advertised sodium hyaluronate, plus the silicones typical of lighter moisturizers, this product also contains hydrolyzed coral. I can't really seem to find what it does topically. I see fragrance as a possible irritant for me.


The product is dispensed through a squeeze tube, so you can control how much you product you want to use. There was plastic wrap all over the package when new as a tamper proof method.


It has a lightish medium floral scent that dissipates in about half an hour after application.


This product has a translucent, watery look to it.


This product leans on a light lotion or gel texture, and it reminds me of the aloe vera gels advertised to be used after sun bathing. It is a touch less watery than aloe vera gel, but still watery nonetheless.


1. Message gently onto skin as the last step of night skincare and finish off by lightly dabbing onto skin.
2. Wear overnight and wash it off with lukewarm water the next day.

I usually use a cream or oil as my last skincare step for my face. Because this is so watery, I would either stop using my cream or oil and replace it with this sleeping pack as the last step, or use this right before the cream or oil.

I just spread this all over my skin with the amount I would use for a lotion or cream. I avoid the eyes because it tends to sting and irritate them if I get any of the product on or near them.


I find that this sleeping pack is quite hydrating upon application. It has a wonderful cooling sensation when applied, probably due to the high water content. The effects I get with this overnight are not as good as with my usual routine that is finished off with a cream or an oil. The product might have rubbed off or dissipated during the night, and I feel that my skin is just a touch drier than I would like it to be when I wake up. I have combo oily and dry skin, and I still feel that the hydration does not last throughout the night without a heavier moisturizer over this sleeping pack.

Due to the watery nature of this sleeping pack, I do not feel it should be used as a sleeping pack. Instead, I have switched to using it as a lotion after a lighter moisturizer, and before the heavier moisturizers like creams or oils. I think the sleeping pack can benefit from a better occlusive so that it is less watery, but still maintains its hydrating effects, so that it has more staying power on the skin rather than the product evaporate off or be able to allow my skin to retain more moisture.

An alternative method I use this is just as a moisturizing mask when I am awake rather than an overnight mask. After most of the mask as evaporated off or soaked into my skin, I would just do my regular skincare routine.

I also did not break out after using this product, which is a plus. But, I did get eye irritation, even when I carefully place the product around my eyes and avoid my eyelids. I would not be repurchasing this product due to the scent and the irritation.


  • Very moist and hydrating.
  • Cooling sensation upon application.
  • Good price for amount of product.

  • Eye irritant.
  • Don't like fragrance.
  • Moisturization does not last as a sleeping pack.

I will not be repurchasing this product because it doesn't work for my skin.

Where to Purchase

Website Price
Rescue Warrior Inc on Amazon $4.01 USD
A-Poly on Amazon $5.66 USD
TesterKorea ₩ 5,400
Korean Depart $7.24 USD
Etude House $8.00 USD
Beautynet Korea $11.49 USD
Prices exclude shipping and handling costs.