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Archive for Asian beauty

Ch-ch-chia! The Face Shop Chia Seed Skincare


You can get your Chia pet from Amazon… or other special retailers near you….

Remember these? This was my first introduction to Chia seeds… you put them in a silly clay planter, water them and then you could just watch the “green hair” grow!

I never actually bought one.  Mom thought they were a waste of money… and they probably were…

Fast forward to modern times and I use Chia seeds as a delicious and nutritious additive to shakes, pancakes, and baked goods… I’ve even been known to sprinkle them on ice cream in a desparate effort to add some nutritive value to a lost cause….

Just a sprinkle adds extra fiber and nutrients to almost anything!

Just a sprinkle adds extra fiber and nutrients to almost anything!

To quote Wikipedia:

According to the USDA, a one ounce (28 gram) serving of chia seeds contains 9 grams of fat, 5 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of dietary fiber and 4 grams of protein. The seeds also have 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, 27% phosphorus and 30% manganese,[7] similar in nutrient content to other edible seeds such as flax or sesame.[9][10]

Chia seeds originated in Central and South America and are still an important food crop in Mexico and Guatemala.

So imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered the Chia Seed Skincare set at The Face Shop, a Korean-based skincare and makeup company.

The salesgirl assured me that the mighty Chia Seed (which uses Chia Seed Liquid instead of water) is deeply hydrating, but not oily, making it perfect for all skintypes.  In fact, she confided, she used the set herself. And her skin was very glowy and gorgeous.

So I bought the toner, lotion, cream and eye cream.  But since I haven’t used the eye cream, yet, it’s not included in the picture.  This set was not cheap, but compared to Shiseido or Estee Lauder products, it was not outrageous, either.

The Chia Seed Skincare set

The Chia Seed Skincare set

The box for the toner

The box for the toner

The box for the watery lotion

The box for the watery lotion

The box for Moisture-Holding Seed Cream

The box for Moisture-Holding Seed Cream

Asian skincare starts with cleansing (I use my usual CeraVe gentle cleanser), then a moisturizing toner, followed by a light moisturizing lotion. A heavier cream to add even more moisture is common.  This line follows the standard routine.

The Watery Toner

The Watery Toner

Watery Toner definitely describes this product.  It looks like water, yet smells a bit like fruit and absorbs quickly.  The bottle is made from a heavy glass and I had to add a label in English so I could tell the difference between the toner and the lotion since both bottles look the same.

Watery Lotion

Watery Lotion

The next product is the Watery Lotion.  It is a very light lotion that also absorbs very quickly.

Moisture-holding Seed Cream

Moisture-holding Seed Cream

The Moisture-Holding Seed Cream is a hybrid of a gel and a cream. It is the final layer of the troika of moisture.

The Face Shop claims its products:

  • Instantly hydrates skin: Spreads onto the skin smoothly without stickiness and is absorbed quickly to prevent skin dryness
  • A natural moisture drop absorbing 10 times its own weight; Chia Seeds carrying moisture and the Moisture Hug System adjust the skin into an optimal state to fully retain moisutre.
  • Organically germinated chia seeds, which draw and absorb moisture, not only hydrate but also nourish the skin to effectively restore suppleness.
  • Contains 100% chia seeds extract instead of water. Chia seeds water is extracted within 24 hours via the Fresh Method, insead of water delivers the vitality of the highly pure chia seeds.

What I experienced during 2 months of daily use:

The products absorb very quickly.  I was not so impressed with the toner.  I’ve used other toners that seemed more moisturizing, but it is a nice first layer for the other two.

The watery lotion is delightful.  It also absorbs quickly and is totally non-greasy.  During hot weather, I just used the toner and lotion during the day and that was the perfect combination.  Now that autumn is here and the weather is drying out, I use the Moisture-Holding Seed cream both morning and night.

I LOVE the Moisture-Holding Seed Cream.  It is a similar texture to my beloved Baviphat Sleeping Pack, and also absorbs within minutes with no greasy residue.

There are other moisturizing powerhouses in addition to the chia seed extract: glycerin and sodium hyaluronate (aka hyaluronic acid).  The fragrance is slightly fruity, but light and disappates quickly.

My skin is getting fussy in its old age, and this skincare regimen keeps it happy.  My skin is soft and hydrated, with no dry patches or breakouts.  I am definitely going to finish these products… will I be loyal?  Well, probably not. I AM a skincare junkie and blogger and it would be boring to stick to regimen forever.  But for now, I am very happy with the Chia Seed set and vow to try that eyecream!


Have you tried anything from the Chia Seed line?  Have you see Chia seeds in other skincare products?







The Face Shop: Aura Color Control Cream

The Face Shop now has a store in San Diego! I have to admit, I was really excited when it opened and was very disappointed that I had to work all week-end and miss the Grand Opening Celebration. But I finally made it and it was worth the wait.

The Face Shop store within Zion Marketplace on Clairemont Mesa Blvd in San Diego

The Face Shop store within Zion Marketplace on Clairemont Mesa Blvd in San Diego

The Face Shop’s philosophy is to use science to bring Nature to your skin, and there is a statement on their webpage that skin imbalances are caused from being distant from Nature. I’m sure it makes a bit more sense in Korean, but it sounds a bit like mumbo jumbo in English.  Nevertheless, the company has a reputation for using hiqh quality ingredients and the presentation is clean and appealing.

The first product I tried had been on my list for a long time: Aura Color Control Cream (or a CC cream).  I am a big fan of BB creams, but was not sure about the CC variety. How does this one perform?



In addition to all the other moisturizing ingredients, it has TREHELOSE! That’s a sugar-like compound that helps plants and certain animals survive severe dehydration… it’s also used as an alternative sweetner. I did not expect to see this on a cosmetic ingredient list… I am awed.

What The Face Shop claims Aura Color Control Cream does: “Creates a radiant and clear make-up appearance as if the skin is being spotlighted: wrinkle care, whitening, sunscreening: triple function cosmetic. SPF 30, PA++




The cream is inside the compact and when you push the button, a measured amount comes out — usually the perfect portion for my face! So hygenic!



What I say Aura Color Control Cream does: 
I chose 01 Radiant Beige and it is an excellent match for my skin. It blends beautifully and lasts for most of the day even under hot and humid (65%) conditions. It does make my skin look dewy and radiant, evening out small imperfections. I appreciate the high SPF.  And I truly appreciate that it plays nicely with other products.  This has never pilled up or streaked after using my vit C serum the way other products have.  I usually like to apply BB creams with my fingers, but this came with a handy little sponge that works great.  It all snaps together in a very travel-friendly container. I have not noticed any whitening effect…but don’t really care. Perhaps it’s the marketing spin on titanium dioxide (an effective physical sunscreen) that it prevents wrinkles and keeps the skin whiter b/c it prevents tanning… I didn’t see the usual whitening suspects on the ingredient list (Licorice or hydroquinone), but it does contain niacinimide which includes whitening as one of its benefits.

Me on my birthday wearing Aura Color Control Cream

Me on my birthday wearing Aura Color Control Cream

In short, I love this stuff! It’s got high SPF, gives light coverage, makes my skin look radiant and lasts all day.  It’s lighter in texture and coverage than a BB cream, so I will use this as long as it’s warm and bright out and then return to my BB creams in the cooler, darker months.


Have you tried this CC cream or other CC creams?  What do you think?

Blog Love: Beautyholics Anonymous

Every Monday I share a blog that I love and think you will enjoy, too.

Beautyholics Anonymous…beauty comes in all sizes, not just size 2. When I saw that tagline, I knew I had to check this site out!  And I was not disappointed.

Tine from Beautyholics Anonymous is the first to admit that she is a beautyholic… and also fond of chocolate and shopping, but not necessarily in that order. Originally from Malaysia, she now lives in Australia and while her beauty focus is mainly on Asian products, many of the products she reviews are found in the US as well.  She also covers a wide variety of other topics, ranging from ethical questions to her lists of lusts (that make me drool) to her Bloggie Wednesday series in which she answers burning questions about the practice of blogging. She has beauty regrets and has bravely admitted to the world that although she is a beauty blogger, there are a few things she can’t seem to master (I can’t figure out false eyelashes, either!)

Her posts are lively, fresh and always interesting. Check her out. You’ll be glad you did!



Monday Blog Love: Of Faces and Fingers

Every monday I share a blog I’ve recently discovered and think you will also enjoy!

Actually, I’ve been following Of Faces and Fingers for about 6 months so it’s technically not a “new” discovery… but I do want to share in case you haven’t discovered it for yourself!

Of Faces and Fingers is based in Singapore, but with a wider worldview.  Its editor, Musicalhouses has lived in both Chicago and London, but is a true Singapore girl with a penchant for BB creams, nail polish and good, girly fun! I appreciate that she admits to owning cheap cameras (The Panasonic LUMIX DMC T4 has been my workhorse and is cousin to her previous camera)… her tricks are good lighting, good angles, and good editing software (which can’t really compensate for good lighting and angles).

Many of her reviews are of Asian-specific brands or products, but still contain useful information for someone looking for similar products in the US (or on ebay).  Some are of international brands such as Illamasqua and Kiehl’s and others are useful tutorials — such as the one about fixing a broken nail with a teabag

Musicalhouses has a fresh, breezy style and does not pander to big brands.  She uses whatever looks interesting and reports honestly.  I enjoy reading her reviews and checking out her tutorials, and I know you will, too.