The weather is improving, and the Chinese Lunar New Year is approaching quietly. The Spring Festival symbolises the start of the New Year, bringing new surprises and joy. In this warm festival, the temperature of the heart brings people to resist the cold of the season and brings a glowing new beginning. In the laughter, they tell the hopes and expectations of the upcoming year, and puts kind blessings into joyful sweet gifts. . In this happy and warm season, Dr.Jart+ presents new beauty tips and brings new facial mask products: the Cicapair range, with a repairing and rejuvenating soothing mask, and a new lock moisturizing repairing mask, creating a New Year’s beauty for the skin, making you smile this New Year! At the beginning of the New Year, skinimalism starts!
Tips for perfect skin this year:
Sleeping mask: Getting your beauty sleep has never been more important. And now, with the Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Sleepair Ampoule-In Mask you can ensure your skin is repairing while you drift into the land of nod! Inspired by the legends of tigers in Asia, this mask is infused with K-beauty wonder-ingredient, Centella Asiatica (tiger grass). Get yours here.
Color correction: For those with problem-patches of redness, the Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF30 is your new hero. Pricey for only 50ml (2oz), nevertheless this product is currently getting rave reviews amongst K-beauty aficionados in the know. Get it here.
No more irritation! If your skin is dry, red, irritated by daily life and you have swollen blue veins beneath your eyes, the Dr Jart+ Cicapair Cream could be the answer you’ve been looking for! Check it out!
Double up: Always use any face cream with a serum as part of your K-beauty routine! The matching serum is designed to work with the cream and increase the bioavailablity of ingredients. Here’s the serum.
Spritz your way to perfect skin with the Dr Jart+ Cicapair facial spray available here.
These products are selling out fast because they are the new beauty trend of 2021. They may not be available by the time you read this article. Cica has taken the K-beauty world by storm and is the miracle ingredient on everybody’s lips right now, so this is definitely 2021’s hottest skincare trend.
This article contains affiliate links which do not affect the price you pay. All opinions my own.
Welcome to the weekly Thursday Photo Challenge, a weekly photography challenge for everyone who likes to take photos! Anyone can join in, all you need is a WordPress blog and a picture you have taken with your camera!
This week’s challenge is flow. This is a super open-ended one, so it’s going to be hard to choose your picture!
Mine is from an artistic waterfall in the Dubai Mall near the Burj Khalifa. The Dubai Mall is possibly my favourite shopping centre in the whole world. I really adored visiting Dubai and look forward to going again in the future.
Alongside all the myriad literal interpretations of flow, you could go metaphysical and look at the flow of life’s rhythms, or perhaps examine the impact of too much or too little water flow, cash flow or electricity flow on a community. If you’re in Minnesota or Canada, a frozen waterfall might be the way to go! I look forward to seeing what you can come up with.
Here’s how to take part:
Take a photo or search your files for one that represents the week’s theme.
Write a post, including your photo, any words of explanation or inspiration you wish to share, and a link to this challenge page.
Comment on this post with a link to your page so others can see your contribution.
That’s it! Super easy.
This challenge will stay open for one week, then next Thursday, I will post the next challenge!
Hello and welcome to weekly Thursday Photo Challenge, a weekly photography challenge for everyone who likes to take photos and share them once a week!
This week’s challenge is steps!
My steps are from the Garden of Dreams, Kathmandu, Nepal.
What photos can you come up with? Are your steps dance steps, following on from last week’s challenge? Do you have some literal steps to share, like I do? Or did you find a photo that represents the metaphorical steps in a journey of self-actualisation and personal growth? Maybe you have the steps in a recipe or beauty routine? A worn out shoe? I can’t wait to see all the inspiring images people will create!
Here’s how to take part:
Take a photo or search your files for one that represents the week’s theme.
Write a post, including your photo, any words of explanation or inspiration you wish to share, and a link to this challenge page.
Comment on this post with a link to your page so others can see your contribution.
That’s it! Super easy.
This challenge will stay open for one week, then next Thursday, I will post the next challenge!
Over lockdown, many of us have grown our hair longer than we usually would, as we haven’t been able to go to the hairdresser’s salon. This is the perfect opportunity to grow your hair and help a child with cancer.
Why do children with cancer need wigs?
Children with cancer are often undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. These treatments make an area of the child’s body too toxic for the cancer cells to keep existing, so the child gets very sick. They lose weight because they can’t keep their food down. And all their hair falls out. This makes them feel very miserable and self-conscious at a time when they are already going through a terrible ordeal.
Why can’t they just buy a wig?
Children with cancer spend a lot of time in hospital. This can either be as an inpatient, or, more commonly these days, visiting the hospital two or three times per week (or even daily) for treatment. Many children don’t live near to the hospital they are treated in. Their parents have to spend lots of money on petrol to drive to the hospital, food to eat while they are out, and accommodation near the hospital so they can visit their baby and hold their hand.
Wigs for children with cancer typically cost hundreds of pounds (or Euros, or dollars). That’s because the raw materials (good hair) are expensive and the labour to make a wig is intense (wigs have to be handmade). For decades, this has been a problem (basically, since chemotherapy was invented). In the past ten years or so, however, a solution has appeared.
Do you have very long hair?
If your hair is long enough, you can donate it to charities that make wigs specifically for children with cancer. Right now, however, the best thing you can do is let your hair grow another inch or two. Those extra inches could make the difference about whether your hair can be used in a longer wig–the most in-demand type, as little girls usually have long hair before their treatment begins, and adults rarely have hair as long, so it’s hard to get wigs at this length.
The goal is to help the children feel as normal as possible, at a time when nothing feels normal to them, so a wig close to how they used to wear their hair is very important.
Do I have enough hair to help a child with cancer?
Another point to bear in mind is that your hair is cut above the ponytail, but the rest of your hair will stay attached to your head. There could be 6-8 inches of hair before your ponytail. When thinking about how long a wig would be from your hair donation, remember that first 6-8 inches will be needed, too. So a 12 inch wig will only actually give 4 inches of drop past the ears. And a 12-inch wig needs more than 12 inches of hair, because some will need to be used to sew it to the woven cap part of the wig, just like you need extra fabric when you are sewing, to account for the seams.
They will also need to cut the hair after it’s been woven into a wig, to turn it into a hairstyle, because it’s unlikely that your ponytail will transform itself into a perfect bob, for example. Suddenly, even a 12-inch hair donation doesn’t seem like much. So whatever length your hair is, letting it grow for another couple of inches will make a huge difference overall to what can be done with it. Just remember in the meantime to take good care of your hair, don’t bleach it intensely or dye it any unnatural colours, or it usually can’t be used.
How to do it:
When it’s time, choose which children’s wigs for cancer charity you want to donate to (some are listed below), and follow their instructions to be sure your donation is in tip-top condition. NEVER send them wet hair. It can’t be dried properly once it’s cut. In fact, washing it the night before you cut it is best. It’s also important to use top-quality scissors, as blunt scissors can damage your hair donation, so if you can, get your donation cut at a hairdresser.
If you’re impatient, of course, you can cut your hair at home, just be sure to follow the instructions about cutting your hair, which are different for each charity, and always cut above the bobble/elastic. Make sure when you cut your hair, it is tied into a ponytail with a bobble/elastic you don’t mind donating along with your hair.
However, your contribution doesn’t have to stop there.
It costs a lot of money to process your hair and turn it into a wig. Setting up a Justgiving page, sharing this with your family, friends and colleagues, and sending the proceeds to your chosen charity, is a great way to help them with the costs of making not just a wig from your hair, but other people’s too.
While in-person events are currently off-limits for many of us, you could still set up an online event, and get your hair cut live on Facebook, and get people to sponsor you to do it, then they can watch it happen.
Some hair donation places will give you a certificate to thank you for your contribution.
What has really shocked me, researching this, is that the Canadian Cancer Society isn’t linking to or telling potential hair donors about the FOUR Canadian charities giving real hair wigs to children going through chemo! And they don’t accept donations which they could have passed onto these organisations, claiming people prefer acrylic wigs. Of course, that’s fine if you’re an adult because your head size will fit something bought on eBay, but a bit useless for kids. I hope they update their site soon.
Little Princess Trust (UK) Little Princess Trust UK works to provide children across the UK with wigs, and also works with the Lauralynn Hospice in Ireland. Minimum hair length: 7 inches (as mentioned above, growing it another inch or two could make a huge difference).
The Rapunzel Foundation (Ireland): The Rapunzel Foundation is an Irish charity working to provide wigs for children. Minimum hair length: 16 inches.
Hair Harvest (UK): They pay you for your hair (minimum 14 inches) and they turn it into wigs for people undergoing chemotherapy or who have alopecia (hair loss). A percentage of the value of your donation goes to the Katie Piper foundation, who help fund wigs for people with medical hair loss.
Chai Lifeline (Canada): They deal specifically with wigs for children in Canada undergoing chemotherapy. Their hair guidelines are here. Minimum hair length: At least 10 inches (curly hair can be pulled straight to measure).
A Child’s Voice Foundation (Canada): They do hair for children with alopecia or undergoing chemotherapy. They don’t give set guidelines on their website but ask that you contact them to figure out if your hair is going to be a good match for their program.
Hair Donation Ottawa (Canada): They raise money and solicit hair donations for wigs for children undergoing chemotherapy. Minimum hair length: At least 12 inches (no bleached hair). Their submission guidelines are here.
Wigs for Kids (Canada): A hairdresser set up this charity to help children going through hair loss. Guidelines are here. Minimum hair length: 12 inches.
Freedom Wigs (New Zealand): This Kiwi business sells hair solutions for men, women and children suffering from hair loss due to chemo or alopecia. They pay you for your hair donation. While their wigs aren’t free, they are at least able to offset the cost if you donate them your hair. Minimum hair length: 14 inches (33cm)
Ella Wigmakers (Australia): This Aussie company works in conjunction with Kids With Cancer (Australia) to ensure hair donations make it to the kids you want to support.
Small Business (USA) has a great resource on the best ways to donate hair in America, since there are quite a few different avenues depending on whether you want to donate nationally or locally. Please don’t email me to add US sites to this article.
Donating your hair to help kids with cancer is possible in every country in the English-speaking world. Right now, the best thing you can do is let your hair grow one or two extra inches, because that could make an enormous difference to what the charity can do with your hair. It can take 12 donors’ ponytails and €1000 to make a wig, so any money you can raise in the process will help these vital services keep working miracles for children.
In the 1950s Britain, a district nurse used to go from house to house giving life-saving medication to people with a certain illness. The medication was insulin. The illness was diabetes. Nowadays, around the world, diabetics are injecting themselves with insulin every day. They are in better control of their illness and able to monitor it themselves.
One day, the NHS (national health service) decided they didn’t have the resources and staffing to send a district nurse to people’s homes to give them their insulin. So, instead, anyone with diabetes who was deemed capable, was taught how to inject themselves with their insulin.
But surely that’s quite hard? Surely there must be a lot of practice and trial and error, before people learn this skill?
What if I told you there wasn’t?
When I had a Caesarian Section last year, I was discharged with eight pre-loaded syringes of something called Clexane. This is a blood thinner to stop you getting a blood clot after major surgery while you are recovering. I had to inject myself with it for eight days. It was as straightforward as finding a place to put it, putting the needle against my skin and pressing the plunger down. It stung, and sometimes left bruising, but it was only for eight days so that was largely irrelevant.
But surely that only works for that one thing?
Nope. In January, my son was rushed to A + E with anaphylaxis. He has a peanut allergy. We were given an Epi-Pen and told how to use it. An Epi-Pen, like Clexane, is a pre-loaded syringe which anyone can use.
They are saying they can’t get the vaccine to people fast enough in the UK because they don’t have enough trained clinicians who can do it. My question is, why are we using trained clinicians at all? Why are we not just going door-to-door, asking how many live in the house, and handing out the right number of pre-loaded vaccine syringes?
Normally, we have accepted the cultural myth that vaccines are delivered in a clinical environment such as a hospital or school, but right now, in the current state of emergency, when the whole world is depending on getting this vaccine before life can return to normal, it makes absolutely no sense that trained clinicians are the limiting factor stopping the vaccine from being rolled out. Worse than that, the mass clinics, like the one I was asked to attend for my flu vaccine in December, are a hotspot for spreading a virus like this. People will get the virus before the vaccine can protect them.
Now, some of the approved vaccines need to be stored in a particular way. But there is already capacity to maintain those storage conditions during delivery, otherwise it wouldn’t safely get to clinics. Other Covid vaccines don’t need to be stored in such specific conditions. Assuming the pre-loaded syringes can cope with the temperature at which the vaccine needs to be stored (some plastic goes very brittle under extreme low temperature), all of them could be put into pre-loaded syringes.
Nothing about this approach makes any sense. If the vaccine is the sole end-point of this mass vaccination program, it would be good if the vaccine companies re-think their delivery method, put the vaccine into pre-loaded syringes and give them out that way.
If not… then what is the purpose of this program? Is its secondary purpose to record who has definitively received the vaccine rather than who was given the correct number of syringes for their household? Why? If, as has been said, there are no plans to restrict the movements of those who have not been vaccinated, why is the vaccine not being manufactured in pre-loaded syringes and given out to people door-to-door for immediate use?
Many of my friends have been wondering how to cut their hair at home without any help. With so many of us being under lockdown this holiday season, it’s not surprising. I have done this a few times with varied results.
So here’s my top 5 ways to cut your own hair at home, alone.
First, figure out if you really need to cut your hair or if you could wait until you can next see a hairdresser. This is obviously up to you, but the things I’d consider are:
Is your hair looking really wiry and/or dead?
Has it grown so long it’s unmanageable?
Can you live with the results if your hair ends up not turning out perfectly?
What is the natural texture of your hair?
Looking at the ends, are they splitting or are they looking healthy?
If the answers to these questions don’t make you think, “I definitely need a haircut” then you can probably leave it for a while longer. If a hairdresser is an option for you, do that instead.
If, however, you are looking in the mirror and wondering when your hair started to look less Kate Middleton and more Kate Bush circa 1985, then cutting your hair at home might be an option.
There are so many ways to cut hair, I’m going to go through the main ones you can do at home. I’ve tried all of these on myself, except the last one, which I’ve only done on an ex-boyfriend (with his permission haha).
1. The Pudding bowl cut
Who is it for? Anyone who wants shorter hair. Who should avoid this: Anyone with very thick hair that curls unpredictably. Difficulty: Easy How predictable are the results? Very.
The result of this will make you look like one of the Beatles. This is a very androgynous look but was traditionally used for children by mothers. If you’re an adult man, you may prefer your hair shorter. You may not.
What you need: A plastic mixing bowl that goes over your head. The size of the bowl will determine the length of the cut. If your bowl is too small you will look like a monk when you’re finished. Scissors. Ideally, you want some quality hairdressing scissors but in a pinch, any sharp scissors will work.
Put the bowl on your head and line it up. You may like to get someone to help you, but this is doable alone. Hold the bowl on your head firmly with one hand. Cut around it. In my experience, this works best as a dry cut, because my hair curls and I like to see exactly how it’s going to turn out.
If you mess up any other haircut at home, the pudding bowl is the go-to fix to get an even, straight cut at home.
What this style looks like:
2. The bobble cut
Who is it for? Your hair needs to all go in a bobble (hairband) to make a high ponytail with at least a foot of hair AFTER the bobble. If you can’t put your hair in a bobble, this won’t work. Additionally, if your hair is a medium thickness (or more) this won’t work. And if your hair isn’t naturally straight, guess what? This won’t work. Who should avoid this: Anyone with hair that isn’t stick straight and a bit thin. Difficulty: Hard How predictable are the results? Unpredictable.
You will need: A bobble (a hair elastic, if you’re American) Scissors with a long nose.
Put your hair in a high ponytail in line with your crown (the tip of the curve at the back of your head). Tie the bobble tight so your hair doesn’t move around while you cut it. Cut in a straight line. Ideally, you want to cut once.
Honestly, having tried this, I would totally avoid this one. It’s not a good way to cut your hair. Likewise, putting it into about four to eight smaller bunches and cutting doesn’t work well, either. I’ve included it here so you have the information to make a good choice on how to cut your hair.
What this style looks like:
According to this Daily Mail article, you can look like a 70s pop star using this method, but look at the “before” and “after” pics and you’ll notice her hair hasn’t actually gotten any shorter, despite the fact she’s holding a big chunk of hair in one hand in the second pic. Genuinely, where you position the bobble and how straight you cut into a giant thick chunk of hair will both determine the success of this hairstyle. But at least if you mess this one up you can do one of the others to fix it! When I tried it, I ended up with the back really short and the sides CRAZY long then the front was short again, like a weird pair of dog ears, because my hair is too thick for this one. It’s a really fiddly style to get right (and yet it looks so easy) if you have thick hair, but will work out better if you have very thin hair.
3. The Half-Shaved Bob
Who is it for? Anyone who has at least shoulder-length hair. This is best for thicker hair. Who should avoid this: Anyone with very thin hair that needs volume. Difficulty: Medium How predictable are the results? Medium.
You will need: A bobble Sharp scissors A razor or clippers Sectioning comb/tailcomb
Sectioning from above your ears, tie the top half of your hair into a bobble. Using the razor (for a REALLY short cut) or the clippers, clip off all the hair that isn’t tied up. If you don’t have clippers, you can do this with a pair of scissors by cutting really close to the scalp but it will be hard to get such a short cut even without a razor or clippers. Check you’ve done this evenly then let the tied up hair down, and cut it level with your jawline.
What it looks like:
You can see an example here and here on Pinterest here’s a preview:
3b The Layered Bob
Who is it for? Anyone who wants shorter hair. Who should avoid this: No one, but anyone with curls bigger than 3a might struggle to get a straight edge to the cut. Difficulty: Medium How predictable are the results? Less predictable than the shaved bob.
This is a variation on the half-shaved bob that leaves the bottom layer longer, and will suit people with thinner hair (or people who don’t have a razor or scissors). The key to making this work is to cut the bottom layer slightly shorter than the top.
You need: Scissors Clippers or a razor A bobble You might need a sectioning clip or fine-toothed comb
Section your hair from above your ears and tie up the top half firmly out of the way. Cut the bottom half in a straight line, holding the hair in place with a fine-toothed comb or a sectioning clip if necessary. Next, tie up the bottom half if necessary, release the top half and cut in line with your jawline (if you do it right, the top layer of this cut should be longer at the front and shorter at the back).
4. The side-by-side straight cut
Who is it for? People with long hair. Who should avoid this: People with hair that’s only a little past their shoulders. Difficulty: Easy How predictable are the results? Fairly predictable
You will need: A hairbrush Scissors
Part your hair exactly down the middle at the back and bring it forward. Brush it either side of your shoulders. Make sure there are no knots or kinks as these will affect the finished look. If your hair is curly, you might want to do this as a wet cut to make it easier to get a straight line. Using a pair of scissors, cut from the outside in. If you cut in a completely straight line, your hair will fall in a bit of a diagonal and meet in a point at the back, Instead, angle your scissors up very slightly, so you’re cutting in an upwards diagonal towards the middle. When you’ve done one side, do the other, taking care to cut at the exact same angle as before. If your hair is moving too much or bunching up in the scissors, keep it in place using horizontal sectioning clips.
What it looks like:
5. The Skinhead
Who is it for? Anyone who wants to be free of the burden of hair. Who should avoid this: Anyone who likes to keep their ears warm. Difficulty: Easy but time consuming. How predictable are the results? Very.
You will need: Clippers or a razor
Starting on one side, move the razor or clippers over your head. If you are using a razor, you will need to stop very often to remove hair from the blades.
Have you tried any of these? Let me know how it goes in the comments or tag me in your Tweets/Instagram @mamaadventurez
Note, I am not with you in your house and not responsible if you wreck your hair. Exercise your judgement and always practice safe scissoring.
I decided the best way to test the toner was to put orchid skin on one side of my body and cauliflower mushroom skin on the other side of my body.
I have been using K-beauty for a while (about 3 years now) and although I used to follow a 10-step routine, I have largely developed my own K-beauty routine which works best for my skin. But I could never quite figure out where to place the toner, and where other people said to put it (after essence and serum) didn’t work for me at all.
For the record, I’m 34, my face skin is still looking under 30 but my arms and legs have been ageing faster since my late twenties due to spending a lot of time in the sun in foreign countries. It’s the price you pay for being a travel blogger. But I’d still like to improve things and I’d heard that skin/toner was the product to use.
See, some K-beauty skin/toner products are exfoliating, using AHA or BHA to reveal the fresh skin and clear away the dead cells on the surface.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to know what’s in Innisfree products imported from South Korea because, of course, the labels are in Korean. When I bought their products in China, the labels were in Chinese. Go figure. And the American products are so translated that half the time I can’t even tell if something is the same product or a reformulation for the US market.
So anyway, on the one hand we have a bottle of gloopy toner in pretty purple packaging that is orchid scented and on the other, we have a bottle of toner in brown packaging that is… you guessed it. Cauliflower mushroom scented.
That’s about as good as it sounds.
I wasn’t entirely sure whether these toners should be left on or washed off, and toner seems to be one of the steps in the K-beauty routine you hear the least about. Maybe because no one else is sure whether to wash off their toner or not, too. Or maybe because most people doing K-beauty are, like, seventeen (I’m sorry, but statistics show most beauty bloggers are on average fifteen years younger than me) and therefore have no need for anti-ageing products.
So I used the orchid toner on my left arm and leg, and the cauliflower mushroom toner on my right arm and leg, then I left them for about ten minutes. They went on slightly sticky, feeling a bit like shampoo, meaning they definitely have things in them that should be washed off again. Like western exfoliating face washes.
I stepped into the shower and washed off. I had applied them to dry skin because they were quite watery and I wasn’t convinced that they would do much on wet skin, and I’m far too impatient to make my body damp then stand around in the Belfast November cold waiting for gloop to work.
When I came out of the shower, the difference was profound. The orchid skin toner had given a very mild effect, but the crumpled paper sort of appearance of the surface of my skin still remained when I pinched it (when you get to a certain age, when you pinch or squeeze your skin all these lines appear that you don’t usually see), and it felt rough to the touch, like it needed moisture ASAP.
The cauliflower mushroom skin toner had done something completely different. It had left my skin feeling smooth to the touch, and when I pinched some of my leg skin between my fingers, the crumpled paper appearance had drastically reduced.
My skin felt renewed and looked and felt younger.
I was very impressed. And also shocked that I had never seen anyone writing about this product because it’s incredible! I don’t know if it’s because the name cauliflower mushroom doesn’t sound appealing in English or because the packaging is a lot browner than the orchid’s pretty purple packaging (which I’ve commented on before in my review of the orchid eye cream vs. the perfect 9 eye cream).
The Innisfree Cauliflower Mushroom Skin/Toner is the best exfoliating toner for anti-ageing needs I’ve ever come across.
I don’t say it often, but Holy Grail alert! And I’ve had it sitting in my cosmetics drawer for months and never used it!
I wish this toner was more accessible to the UK market.
I wasn’t planning on doing this, but given how good this toner is, I am going to compare it to the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peeling Exfoliator in a separate article.
Wow. So let’s look at the other products:
Innisfree Jeju Orchid essence vs. Innisfree Cauliflower Mushroom vital serum
Essence and serum are sometimes used interchangeably but actually, they can sometimes be different things, such as in the Innisfree Soybean Energy range, where there used to be a (now-discontinued) serum which was different to their mega-amazing bestselling Soybean Energy Essence (which I swear I will review one of these days). Usually, however, “serum” is the English translation of “essence” which is a shame because essence is a prettier word. In the case of these two products, the word is interchangeable.
An essence or serum is sort of like someone put all the active ingredients of a cream into a container without any of the moisturising or hydrating properties. Sort of.
I’ve been using the Innisfree Orchid Essence on my face for several months, now and if I’m entirely honest, I’m not very impressed with it. I spent ages researching which products to get to replace the Soybean Energy Serum which is now discontinued and was my favourite product ever. The research I did said Orchid was just as good.
I’m sorry if you’re a fan of the Innisfree Orchid Essence and I know it’s one of their bestselling ranges alongside the green tea seed products, but honestly I don’t like the Orchid Essence and I don’t feel like it’s doing anything to my skin. All told, I’m glad I got it in an Autumn Festival sale rather than paying full price for it.
So the bar was pretty low and tl;dr, the Cauliflower Mushroom essence was a lot better. I’m not rushing out to buy a full-priced bottle because there are so many serums out there to choose from and I don’t think it’s the very best, but at the same time I felt like it was at least doing something for my skin. It left my face feeling soft and hydrated.
I didn’t use the essence on my arms and legs because the bottle is a miniature and it’s even smaller than all the other miniatures in this set, so there isn’t much product.
Innisfree Jeju Orchid Lotion vs Innisfree Cauliflower Mushroom Lotion
After my shower, I did put the Orchid lotion on my left arm and leg, and the Cauliflower Mushroom lotion on my right arm and leg. The Orchid lotion was thinner and came out of the sample bottle very easily, whereas the Cauliflower Mushroom lotion led to me doing the Innisfree Miniature Bottle Dance, which is where I spend about ten minutes tapping the mouth of the open bottle against my hand until enough product comes out to actually use.
If you’ve ever had an Innisfree gift set, you’ll know EXACTLY what I mean. They don’t put anything in a squeezy bottle.
Anyway after many minutes I got the Cauliflower Mushroom lotion out of the bottle and applied it to my arm and leg. It was honestly worth the wait. The Cauliflower Mushroom lotion was instantly hydrating and made my skin feel smooth. The paper bag appearance when I pinch my skin was totally gone, and I credit the Cauliflower Mushroom skin/toner and lotion combo for this.
For a lotion, the effect was very impressive.
Innisfree Jeju Orchid Cream vs Innisfree Cauliflower Mushroom Face Cream
This is the last pairing in this review and I am not sure I need to really write it, at this point, because if you’ve been following this article, you can clearly see what I’m going to say. Except I’m not.
I have been using the Orchid cream for a few weeks on my face. I hadn’t opened the Cauliflower Mushroom miniatures set until today.
The Cauliflower Mushroom face cream is not as startlingly good as the Perfect 9 eye cream, which I think is my favourite Innisfree product right now. The Cauliflower Mushroom face cream is richer than the Orchid face cream, though, and which one you prefer will depend on your current skin needs.
It was super clear-cut that the Cauliflower Mushroom Skin/Toner, lotion and serum was better than the Orchid range, but when it comes to the face creams, I’m not so sure that’s the case.
The Cauliflower Mushroom face cream is a lot richer than I currently need, and my skin wasn’t able to absorb it very well, suggesting it’s aimed at ladies who are ten or fifteen years older than me. The Orchid face cream was largely ineffective. Both creams left my face feeling weighed down (if that even makes sense) and over-saturated, and neither addressed my anti-ageing needs especially well.
So when it comes to the face creams, I wouldn’t buy full sized versions of either of them. And I’m glad I didn’t (I almost bought a full size pot of the Orchid one).
Need a toner? Cauliflower mushroom. Need a lotion? Cauliflower mushroom. Need an essence/serum? Cauliflower mushroom. The Cauliflower mushroom range does these products extremely well.
But if you need a daytime face cream, I would suggest you keep looking, because neither of these quite hit the mark for me.
So I’m going to review two similar products, today. The Innisfree Perfect 9 Eye Cream and the Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream.
If you’ve been following my blog for long, you’ll know I am a HUGE fan of K-beauty brand Innisfree. I discovered them in China, where there are Innisfree stores in airports, train stations, malls and pretty much anywhere else you can think of! They have a huge presence across East Asia, and it’s because their products are great.
I bought both these products at the same time. I got a sample-sized pot of the Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream and a full-sized one of Innisfree Perfect 9 Eye Cream. I was actually really struggling to find reviews of the Innisfree Perfect 9 range online, particularly comparisons to find out what is better out of Innisfree’s many different ranges.
Basically, Perfect 9 has nine different active ingredients aimed to improve common problems in more mature skin, where the Orchid range is aimed more at women in their late twenties/early thirties, and the main ingredient in the orchid range is hyalauronic acid.
In K-beauty, it’s difficult to place Innisfree as high-street or high-end because by western standards, Innisfree is extremely high end (and is priced like that), but the true Asian high-end market is several orders of magnitude more high end and expensive than our western ranges (Nature Republic and Clé De Peau are proper high end luxury brands).
I’d say Innisfree is high end but not necessarily luxury beauty, a bit like how we would classify Benefit, Calvin Klein, or Urban Decay (compared to, say, Guerlain, Murad, Elemis or La Mer). It’s minimalist high end, if that makes sense.
Both creams come in identical packaging, it’s a plastic jar with a screw-top lid. It doesn’t look as fancy as the Nature Republic Ginseng Royal Essence Watery Cream but it’s also easier to store the Innisfree jars and to find space for them on my crowded dressing table (Americans, a dressing table is literally the table you sit at when you’re getting dressed. You put cosmetics on it and sometimes it has a mirror).
The Orchid packaging does appeal to me a little more because it’s purple, which is my favourite colour, whereas the Perfect 9 range is all brown, not my favourite. Perhaps this is intentional, because older women aren’t necessarily going to want bright colours on their dressing table? I don’t know. When I’m fifty, I think I’ll still like purple more than brown.
The full-sized jar of Perfect 9 Eye Cream comes with a protective inner lid made of white plastic. The Orchid miniature jar doesn’t. This is usual for miniatures from Innisfree, I know, since I’ve had about 4 sets of miniatures at this point.
The scent of the Perfect 9 Eye Cream is what I’d consider a generic floral scent. The Orchid range obviously smells like guess what? Orchids, haha.
To my mind, neither scent is particularly strong or overwhelming but I have seen some reviews for the Orchid range by people complaining it’s overly-perfumed. I react badly to a lot of cheap western fragrances (I can’t use 80% of all deodorants because my nose and eyes start running and I feel like there’s a hairball at the back of my throat), and I’ve never actually come across a K-beauty product with a scent that caused me issues.
Both creams are thick, you could turn both jars upside-down for several minutes and no product will fall out. The consistency is that of a very rich cream but somehow they still manage to not be overly-greasy. I wish western beauty companies would take notes from K-beauty because I cannot believe the amount of western “anti-ageing” creams that are useless because they’re oilier than putting butter on your face.
The Perfect 9 Eye Cream is a little thicker than the Orchid Eye Cream, but there’s not much in it.
The Perfect 9 Eye Cream is a little darker in colour than the Orchid Eye Cream, but both creams are creamy coloured and opaque, meaning you can’t see through them.
For some reason, their appearance reassures me that they’re made of proper ingredients. My Innisfree Orchid Essence really throws me for a loop because it’s completely colourless which makes me wonder what’s effective about it (which is frankly silly because colour and opacity don’t determine how well a product works).
When you put them on your skin, they sit on the surface for a few minutes (especially if you have just used toner, essence etc) then disappear.
When to use it
I tend to use these at night time, around my eye area, and I pair them with the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask Lavender or the Nature Republic Ginseng Royal Silk Watery Cream.
Okay, so up to now, the two creams are almost identical. You might be forgiven for wondering if Innisfree just puts the same stuff into different jars.
The Orchid Eye Cream is a gentle moisturising cream and when I use it, I don’t notice a vast improvement in the texture or elasticity of my skin. However, it definitely improves the moisture in my skin, which is usually prone to dryness.
I was surprised that a cream containing hyalauronic acid didn’t have any kind of noticeable plumping effect, even when I use it with all the other orchid products in the range.
The Perfect 9 Eye Cream is literally the best eye cream I have ever used. Since using this cream, my skin has been transformed. I used to have deepening lines around my eyes which were especially noticeable when I smiled.
Since using the Perfect 9 Eye cream, those lines have faded significantly. I know this is a long-term effect because they stay faded on days when I use other products.
My full-sized jar of Perfect 9 Eye Cream is almost empty, and my trial size jar of Orchid Eye Cream is almost full. This is because I keep reaching for the Innisfree Perfect 9 Eye Cream over and over again, its results are fantastic and I’m really happy with this eye cream. I hope they keep making it for years to come.
There’s nothing wrong with the Orchid Eye Cream, per se, it’s just not got the incredible transformative power of the Perfect 9 Eye Cream which I think is the best thing you can put around your eye area once ageing starts to take hold. I can see this being effective for older women, not just women my age (34).
Overall, when that jar of Perfect 9 Eye Cream runs out, I’m going to order more of it. Given that there will be a 6 week delay before it arrives from South Korea, I’m going to have to use up the Orchid Eye Cream in the meantime.
I do also have the Innisfree White Mushroom range in miniature, so I’ll review those, too, in a separate post, and I will discuss how they compare to these.
Have you tried anything from the Innisfree Perfect 9 range, yet? I’d love to hear about their other products. Let me know in the comments!
This guide to travelling with beauty products is going to cover every different type of travel, including taking cosmetics on airplanes (carry on only and checked luggage, domestic and international), high altitude travel with cosmetics, including mountaineering, and protecting cosmetics from extremes of temperature, especially during overland travel with beauty products or flights to/from hot countries.
My cosmetics go nearly everywhere I go, and you’d expect nothing less since I’m a travel and beauty blogger. I’ve had to make up my own solutions to some of my travel-with-cosmetics problems because the hacks most people came up with only work for very specific situations. I’m in the process of writing a separate article on how to decant literally every cosmetic, and will update this article with links when that one is done.
This article contains:
Carry-on beauty hacks for travelling light.
Checked luggage beauty hacks to protect your cosmetics (and your other stuff).
How temperature and altitude affect cosmetics: Read before going ANYWHERE (especially overland)!
Carry-on beauty travel hacks:
When you’re travelling with only a carry-on, your cosmetics need to be as pared down as possible. I know when I pack for a longer getaway, I’m always in a dilemma because I want to travel light but my cosmetics case could easily fill half a normal-sized suitcase, never mind a little carry-on bag.
All airlines worldwide have limits on how much liquid you can take onto planes these days, which makes it even more complicated for women to travel and look their best.
Here’s how to pack cosmetics for 7 days with a carry-on:
Shampoo: Instead of a bottle of shampoo, take a shampoo bar. You could make your own, using one of my recipes such as my green tea shampoo bar, or buy a ready-made one. When you only have one sandwich bag at the airport in which to put all your liquid cosmetics, a bar makes sense.
Conditioner: Another unnecessary liquid. The way I see it, there are three ways to solve the conditioner issue. Either buy some when you land (potluck as to whether you’ll find any as soon as you need it, so not great if you’re going long-haul), make your own conditioner bar such as my easy natural hair conditioner bar recipe, or forego the conditioner completely and use coconut oil instead.
Deodorant: Take a deodorant bar. The only good one I’ve found (ever) is the Lush Aromaco bar which is unisex and actually works as advertised, unlike most natural deodorants. Unfortunately, I don’t have a homemade alternative yet.
Toothpaste: If you can get to a dentist before you travel, they almost always have free samples from toothpaste companies, and these are perfect for travel. If not, a full-size tube will use up your liquids allowance, but you may have to suck it up or buy a new tube when you land. No one wants dirty teeth.
Lotion: If you’re staying in a hotel, you’ll usually get a new tube of this every day. If not, my conditioner bar, above, doubles up as an intensive on-the-spot treatment for very dry skin (use sparingly).
Face cream: If you’re going to South Korea, absolutely under no circumstances take face cream. They have face cream. And it’s better than anything you have at home. Otherwise, decant your face cream into a smaller pot such as a mayonnaise pot (these tend to leak less than the cheaper “travel cosmetics bottles”) or a miniature jam jar. Remember to label it.
Sunscreen: Take a travel mini if your face cream doesn’t contain an SPF. You can also make powder sunscreen using zinc oxide but it’s not suitable for dry skin like mine.
Foundation: Take a cushion or a powder foundation, or boldly go natural with no foundation. A cushion with a high SPF is great for hotter countries.
Eyeshadow: An eyeshadow pencil is your best option so you don’t have to worry about powder breakage on the flight or use up that precious liquid allowance!
Eyeliner: Is very small, so unless you’re seriously pressed for space, just take liquid eyeliner if that’s your go-to, and put it in the baggie at security. Otherwise, an eye pencil can double up as a brow pencil if you choose your shade wisely and take a makeup pencil sharpener.
Highlighter and contouring kit: Ditch. Not worth the extra space in your makeup bag. If you want to contour, very lightly apply your brown eyeliner or eyeshadow pencil to the areas you need to contour and blend, blend, blend until it’s looking natural. White eyeshadow or concealer doubles up as highlighter if needed.
Lipstick: These are often classed as liquids. I prefer a tinting balm with an SPF unless I have a very formal occasion or a cosplay to attend.
Mascara: Get a miniature sample of your favorite mascara either from a store like Bloomingdale’s or from Amazon. It takes up way less space than a big chunky plastic mascara tube. I prefer waterproof brown mascara for travel, and I pair it with Mascara Melt-Off by Too Faced.
Perfume: If you can’t get a travel miniature, just leave it at home. It will only attract unwanted stray men.
Blusher: I use the Benefit Do the Hoola miniature.
Pore strips: If you’re prone to blackheads, especially if you’re traveling to a hot country, take some Bioré pore strips.
And here’s what you don’t need when travelling with a carry-on:
Spray Deodorant: Buy this when you land. A big spray bottle will use up your liquids allowance with carry-on luggage.
Dry shampoo: It’s actually really bad for your hair and unless you’re going for an interview when you land you could just shower, instead.
Setting spray: Seems useful, but if you’re in a situation where your makeup won’t stay put, consider whether you need it on your face or not. In the sort of heat that makes makeup migrate down your face, your pores are open, leaving you undefended against blackheads and spots.
Lip plumper/lash growth serum/false lashes: I love all of these, but unless you’re travelling for a big event, you can live without them for a week.
The first time I travelled with a checked bag, we were moving to China. I stared at my open suitcase thinking I could take anything at all and it would all fit in this ginormous case.
Unfortunately, I soon learned that wasn’t true. I also didn’t know about excess baggage, so I thought I could only take this one case and a carry-on. In case anyone else has never been on a long-haul flight, you just pay for more suitcases and it’s not an abominable amount (about $80-ish with the US airlines; about half that in China).
On the plus side, I’m not a huge fan of traveling with tons of bags and, if you’re a solo female traveller (or a lone female heavily-pregnant traveller, as I was on one infamous long-haul flight from China to Helsinki to Heathrow), you will absolutely want as little crap to carry as possible because you will have to lift your bags at various points.
Take all cosmetics out of their boxes/packaging. If you’re Youtubing, film the unboxing video before you pack! Remember to keep any applicators/spare parts and photograph any instructions in case you need them later.
Decant unwieldy products into smaller, lighter containers.
To avoid leaks, wrap any cosmetics in cling film/saran wrap and put them in a waterproof cosmetics bag before putting them in a checked bag. Especially ampoule type sleeping packs!
To minimize damage, keep powder cosmetics and any container that won’t easily wipe clean in a separate waterproof cosmetics bag to your liquid cosmetics! Store these in another part of your case.
Put anything like books, electricals, clothes that may stain, etc, in packing cubes or supermarket bags to protect from cosmetics or food leaks. The supermarket bags can then be used to go food shopping when you reach your destination! I had a carton of wine explode in my suitcase once because I packed it wrong on a 17 hour flight, and the mess was not pretty! I was gutted because it was the nicest wine I ever tasted, too (a Californian Pinot Noir, if you’re curious).
Protect your cosmetics from damage in checked luggage by wrapping them in (bagged) clothes, so if your bags are dropped or crushed, your cosmetics are safe.
How heat affects cosmetics during travel
The issue with taking cosmetics in checked bags isn’t so much space, but whether the conditions your bag will be in are safe for cosmetics. For example, at Dubai Airport, temperatures can regularly hit 45 degrees celsius, sometimes reaching higher, and while your bag is on the tarmac waiting to be loaded onto a plane, things could melt.
Most cosmetics are intended to be kept between 10-25 degrees celsius, so any major divergence from this could cause the active ingredients in anti-ageing creams to become… well… inactive. Essential oils also have problems when they get too warm.
Collagen in our bodies degrades even in average room temperature, although in cosmetics it’s safe to about 45 degrees celsius (120F to be precise) when collagen breakdown’s reaction rate increases [reference] to the point where it can be broken down within about 6 hours.
Hyaluronic acid is even more susceptible to heat damage – just 30 minutes at 50 degrees celsius causes 81% of the hyaluronic acid in a product to break down [reference – PDF download of research paper]. This actually happened to me when I took my By Nature New Zealand eye cream on a long round the world trip including Kathmandu, Dubai, Istanbul and Athens in the August heat during the 2018 European wildfires. By the time I got back to China, the creams were no longer effective and when I looked into the science, I found out it must have been all the airports where my bag sat waiting to be loaded onto/unloaded from planes. Anything with hyaluronic acid should say home or go in your carry on.
Peptides like Matrixyl are the most resilient to heat exposure. Even at temperatures of 100 degrees C, they won’t break down! [reference]. Peptide creams with no other active ingredients can go in your checked bags with no problems!
Vitamins fare even worse! Vitamin C breaks down from 30 degrees C (86F) [reference]. That same reference states pro-vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), found in many haircare products, is also very heat sensitive.
Vitamin A (a retinoid that converts to retinol) is partly affected, too – after 3 months at 45 degrees C it degrades by about 30% [reference], which isn’t an issue for anyone in transit, but will be a consideration for archaeologists and aid workers, and anyone else camping out in warm climates for prolonged periods who uses retinol cream. On your return to a cooler country, you may need to replace retinol-containing cosmetics. The same reference shows Vitamin A also loses 10% of its potency when stored at 13.5 degrees C for 3 months, up to 34% loss of potency after 9 months.
On the other hand, most other cosmetics can stand to be frozen – in fact, they will often reach freezing temperatures during transport. When I worked for Avon (cosmetics company) my deliveries would regularly arrive frozen.
The main exception to this is Coenzyme Q10, aka Q10, a well-known anti-ageing ingredient which is actually very difficult for your body to absorb. It won’t absorb properly if it’s anything other than body temperature and at low temperatures, it forms crystals and becomes ineffective. In fact, it’s less effective at any temperature below 48 celsius (10 degrees hotter than body temperature), although this is likely to be a temporary effect that will go away when the cream is warmer [reference].
So using this science, we can see that most anti-ageing creams need to be carefully packed in a stable temperature to protect them. For this reason, I reiterate they must be taken to hot countries as carry-on luggage to maintain their effectiveness.
Anything containing Q10 or retinol also needs to be in your carry on when travelling to or from very cold countries. Anti-ageing creams are usually expensive and packaged in bulky or heavy containers so I recommend leaving the container at home and decanting your product into a smaller jar with enough for your trip.
How does altitude affect cosmetics?
There was very little published research about the effect of temperature, I had to cross apply studies on food or other biological applications of certain ingredients, and there’s even less work done on altitude.
Kinetic theory tells us you can increase the effectiveness of any chemical reaction by increasing temperature or pressure (or both) of a reactant. This is why products break down in heat.
But this means they will also break down under very high pressure (e.g. when diving, but who takes their cosmetics SCUBA diving?) and that low pressure (e.g. at high altitude, on mountains or high cities like Lhasa, Kathmandu, or most parts of Peru and other areas in South America) will usually make things less reactive. Except for one issue…
The boiling point of water is lower at altitude. All other liquids are affected in a similar way. This means the temperature at which ingredients will denature will also be lower at altitude (the pressurised cabin of an aircraft doesn’t count here).
Most high-altitude areas are quite cold, but some, such as Kathmandu, can get hot at certain times of the year, so don’t leave your cosmetics on windowledges or anywhere without air con. This is especially true of Lhasa, which is over 3600m above sea level (that’s 11,800 feet).
Cosmetics also have a bad habit (due to the low-pressure environment) of working their way out of jars at high altitude. This is more likely in the low pressure cargo hold of some planes rather than on land but if you’re doing Everest, the last thing you need is to faff with cosmetics (my recommendation for cosmetics to take up a big mountain like Everest or K2? Just SPF 50 sunscreen, chapstick with an SPF or coconut oil, and some soap for hygiene).
If you’re overlanding, you might not even know you’ve reached high altitude, so pack your cosmetics well and don’t take any big expensive ones, just in case they get ruined.
Humidity is another consideration for travelling with cosmetics. Powder cosmetics suffer most from this. They can go hard and difficult to get onto an applicator or brush, or they can even dissolve. You could keep powder cosmetics in a makeup bag with a sachet or two of silica gel to protect them. Keep silica gel away from babies and pets.
Humidity will also affect electricals. Beauty devices are more robust than a lot of devices, however, so are unlikely to stop working unless they actually get wet (aka 100% humidity).
If your bags are likely to get wet, e.g. travelling in a rainstorm or typhoon, put beauty devices in a plastic bag and surround them with clothes to absorb any potential liquid. Also keep them well away from any part of the zippers as these are the weak point in most bags and suitcases, where water is most likely to get in.
In a campervan or other long overland adventure, humidity is the biggest danger to your cosmetics because you’re breathing in your vehicle and causing the air to become saturated with water vapour. This becomes very problematic at night (you’ll see the windows steam up from it).
You can get a non-electric dehumidifier which uses crystals, they’re available at most bargain stores like Home Bargains (UK) or Dollar Tree (US). It could be worth taking one of these with you and putting it somewhere where it won’t get knocked over (they get messy and then they cause more issues than they solve because the crystals are toxic). Keep these well away from children or pets.
So there you have it, the science behind exactly how to pack to take the best care of your cosmetics while travelling, which cosmetics travel well and which ones you can do without! Some cosmetics are seriously expensive, so if in doubt about whether you can safely pack them, leave them at home (especially if they’ve been discontinued and are therefore irreplaceable).