Got the Blues: NIOD CAIS Review & CAIS2 First Look

I got the blues…and I’m happy about it.

Blue skincare is one of my obsessions. Most often, blue is associated with anti-inflammatory azulene (from blue chamomile) or with skin-regenerating copper peptides (not to be confused with copper metal).

My latest obsession, NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum (aka CAIS), falls into the latter category. Can you blame me for loving it? It’s like gazing upon a sea of hopes and dreams.

Continue reading “Got the Blues: NIOD CAIS Review & CAIS2 First Look”

Don’t Be A Stranger – Camu-Camu White Essence

If you got the pun-tastic title of this post, you have a “thoreau” understanding of my terrible existential pun and we need to be best friends. But who needs relationships anyway when you’re eternally basking in your cosmic aloneness?

In case you can’t tell from the tone of this post, it’s Renee returning after a long period of absence. By absence I mean laziness and sinking into existential despair over the meaning of life and why does my skin continue to do what I don’t want until one day it will slip off my skeleton?

But on to a more cheerful subject which is my LA visit recently, where I ONLY managed to blow $150 on cosmetics. This AB stuff has gotten exponentially expensive over the years wtf.

Behold my acquisition, to soothe my angst. YES I partially got it because of the name, but it doesn’t contain any real pieces of Camus

Camu-Camu White Essence by DHC

Continue reading “Don’t Be A Stranger – Camu-Camu White Essence”

The MOARdinary: Deciem in London’s Covent Garden – Store Photos & Review

Sandwiched unassumingly between Chanel and Dior at London’s Covent Garden (aka beauty heaven–just see the list of beauty shops) is a bright, airy Deciem store featuring practically all the brands under the Deciem umbrella.

Deciem
5B The Market Building
Covent Garden
London WC2E 8RF

Continue reading “The MOARdinary: Deciem in London’s Covent Garden – Store Photos & Review”

You’re Ball I Need: Thank You for a Winning Campaign for My Balls

I started my campaign for sunscreen balls needing 3,500 votes. Just yesterday, the final vote was cast, meaning that my balls can move to the next stage in Volition Beauty’s process: testing and refining prototypes to make the balls of my (and I hope your) dreams. Awww yeah!

I’m so excited, but above all I feel #blessed (saying that un-ironically mostly un-ironically). Thank you to everyone who voted and everyone who encouraged others to vote. ❤ Whether you were there on Day 1 or Day Whatever Yesterday Was (it’s been a loooong campaign) and whether you posted on social media or voted under your cat’s name, you’ve been essential to a successful campaign–way more so than my ball jokes (which will continue thankyouverymuch).

Stay tuned as I shape and tweak my balls into a final product.

All the BALL Things: News About My Balls & Volition Beauty

My idea for sunscreen balls feels like a neverending quest–even though the voting campaign only started in the spring. Good news: Volition Beauty has lined up a lab to start making prototypes. BUTT my balls won’t move any further unless the vote goal is met. So pleeeaase vote HERE. Only a week left! My balls thank you.

In other news, Volition Beauty is now sold at Sephora in select stores and online. Could my balls be on display and in your hands at a Sephora one day? I can only hope heh heh.

Continue reading “All the BALL Things: News About My Balls & Volition Beauty”

Peach, Please! 2017 Peach & Lily Sample Sale

Brace your wallet: Peach & Lily has announced its third annual sample sale on Instagram @peachandlily!

In case the IG post doesn’t show up…

DATE: Wed. September 27, 2017
TIME: 8am-8pm (or while supplies last)
PLACE: 393 Broadway, New York, NY 10013 Continue reading “Peach, Please! 2017 Peach & Lily Sample Sale”

Tea-tree Dish: Naruko Tea Tree Overnight Blemish Clear Powder Review


Normally, just hearing “tea tree” dries me right up. Tea tree oil saps the joy out of skincare as fast as it does sebum from skin. With its medicinal smell and astringent qualities and with my dryish skin, tea tree has never been at the top of my list.  (Oily-skinned folks might beg to differ. Michele at Unboxing Beauty even reviewed allll the tea-tree stuphs here.)

But recently, I was in search of a loose powder to prime my skin for mineral powder (my go-to foundation in summer).

Just the (Makeup) Tip : Struggling with powder foundation applying patchily and unevenly? In addition to washing your brushes, try applying loose translucent powder beforehand (I apply after sunscreen and before mineral powder). This creates a smooth canvas and sops up residual dampness that would otherwise cause the foundation to stick unevenly to skin.

Naruko Tea Tree Overnight Blemish Clear Powdercaught my eye at Beauty Tips in Monterey Park, Calif. (As an authorized retailer of Naruko, Beauty Tips has by far the largest selection of Naruko I’ve seen in a brick-and-mortar. All available to swatch!)

Continue reading “Tea-tree Dish: Naruko Tea Tree Overnight Blemish Clear Powder Review”

GIVEAWAY: Sample my balls! *Ends Sunday*

Volition is running a giveaway for everyone who votes for my Sun Pearls SPF 30 from now through the end of Sunday (July 2, 2017). Make sure to vote here and you’re automatically entered to win. One vote/entry per email. The giveaway is open to the U.S. only, but anyone can vote…and I hope you will!

The prize is Volition’s Illuminating Body Milk and Thanakha Radiant Bronzer (worth $75) and…MY BALLS (priceless)! That’s right, the winner will get a sample prototype of my sunscreen balls once it’s ready. Read more about the inspiration behind them in this post.

I’m currently in the middle of a weeklong trip and wish so badly I could have just packed 7 balls and checked SPF and day moisturizer off my list. Instead, I packed a brand-new tube of Biore Watery Essence–because I wasn’t sure whether my partly used tube would last the trip–and a mix of sample packets and jars of cream.

This is the last big push behind my balls. The campaign is almost up and I have several hundred votes to go, so thank you for every vote! And thanks to everyone who has already voted.

Read more about the other prizes here. Just in time for summer!

GOOD LUCK & tell your friends!

~Vote here~

The randomly selected winner will be announced on Monday, July 3rd.

P.S. Volition doesn’t test on animals and recently became PETA-certified. ❤

DRYland in the Sun: Acseine Super Sunshield EX SPF 50+ PA++++ Review

This all-physical, alcohol-free sunscreen first appeared on my radar (as many Japanese stuphs do) when 2catsinjapan posted a review on her blog, My Asian Skincare Story.

Serum like? Non-sticky and non-greasy? Pump dispenser? It sounded great…except for the price (4,320 yen or about $40 USD for only 22g; Acseine site currently shows it at 4,000 yen). I ended up buying and testing a ton of cheaper Japanese sunscreens instead.

Fast forward 2 years, and 2catsinjapan raves again about it. My interest piqued–and determined to try MOAR sunscreens so I can make the best sunscreen balls possible–I ordered it off of Amazon.  Surprisingly, it was very close to Japanese retail price at “only” $46 US.  (Note: This is Super Sunshield EX even though “EX” doesn’t show up on the front of the bottle or box.)

Unfortunately, this turned out to be an expensive failed experiment.

Continue reading “DRYland in the Sun: Acseine Super Sunshield EX SPF 50+ PA++++ Review”