Testing K-Beauty, Hollywood+Local Products


I like to play detective. I feel like it’s my mission in life to investigate claims that brands make. Over the years, I’ve put too much trust (and money) into huge brand promises that don't pay off. The funny thing is even when I genuinely like a product it doesn’t guarantee that I’ll buy it again – I’ve got to see consistent results over a period of time. So for my latest test, I’ve decided to test a favorite K-Beauty product, a local spa brand cleanser and toner and a best-selling moisturizer from a global brand side-by-side to see who would win my repeat business.

Photo Credit: Getty

Photo Credit: Getty


I realize the products I've chosen seem a little random. Let me explain, the inspiration for this article came out of a need to find some moisture-loving products and some basics to prep the skin. I was in desperate need of some star performers since my usual cleanser, exfoliator, serums and other moisturizing agents didn't cut it anymore. But before I jump into the details I want to add another criteria into the mix, all products I chose had to be non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) since I wanted to complement my Retin-A bedtime routine.

It's worth mentioning; retinol has the not so great side effect of drying out your face out like a mo fo’. For those Retin-A virgins out there, You Really Should Be Using a Retinoid; a Manrepeller article explains Retin-A or Vitamin A:

"Retinoids promote cell turnover. Essentially, they exfoliate and build collagen (the stuff that keeps your skin firm). By exfoliating, they clear clogged pores and reduce the appearance of fine lines, according to the AAD. They also prevent wrinkles from forming; some studies have shown retinoids can even prevent skin cancer. Pretty amazing, right?"

Like a woman on a mission, I took off to find the perfect skin toppers. First up, I was referred to the Dr. Jart+ brand (a reco from a rep at Sephora - read more about that here). I decided to pick up the Dermaclear Micro Milk Peel. With AHA, BHA, PHA, and Squalene. I had thought this would be fantastic and gentle. Next, I decided to pick up the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream. It’s a rich cream with a soothing scent and a nice slip. What’s not to love? Finally, I stopped by the Miracle 10 spa, a local medi-spa, to test out their cleanser and toner. With a tagline like extraordinary skincare, I had to put it to the test to see what kind of results I could get. 

Let’s start off with Miracle 10, a local brand (to me) from Canada. I have to say I was really surprised how much I like their Cleanser 1 (they have 2 formulas). It's light and foams up like a dream. Aloe, vitamin e and citric acid are the main ingredients listed. I would use this either before a Retin-A treatment or if you have any oils you want to clear from the skin. I would not use it in the AM and PM because it could be potentially overly drying if you have anything other than oily skin. PH-correct, hydrating with vitamin c and e make it a solid choice. 

The Miracle 10 toner was another story, in a nutshell I would not repurchase. Simply put, I didn’t find it life changing. I’m on the fence about witch hazel being one of the top ingredients in this products. I like that this is a alcohol-free, but witch hazel is equally drying and often irritating if used too much. There are other skin soothing properties included in this formula but I just didn’t feel there was enough bang for my buck. It’s a pass.

On to Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Milk Peel. This products has so many fans so I realize this revue probably won’t gain me any popularity points. In truth, I loved the results at first. As a test, I washed off the product after it dried to reveal the same dull looking skin and packed pores. To be fair, I think this product needs to be tested over a longer period than 2 weeks (used it x3 week) or you could chalk it up to a nice leave on treatment mask/primer. Either way, there are too many other powerful products for me to consider this one. Will I repurchase, that’s a no but I do have a sheet mask to report back on from this line. 

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Finally good o’l Charlotte Tilbury. Man do I love this cream. I fought with myself forever on this one. It’s really nice as a primer, it’s a feel good cream (good glowy pick me up on those shi*tty days). Unfortunately, I cannot ignore the good advice from the folks at beautypedia.com. The product is housed in a jar when it should be delivered in a pump/air tight mechanism. The jar allows the minimal antioxidants and yummy sh*t in this formula to escape and can introduce bacteria from your hands into your stache. For the price it’s a no-go but I would happily use it if I were to get it as a gift.

Let’s spend wisely ladies. After all, wouldn’t you rather treat your BFF to a liquid lunch or at least invest in something that gives us some good face?

Let me know what’s worked for you, I love recos!

“Retinoids promote cell turnover. Essentially, they exfoliate and build collagen (the stuff that keeps your skin firm). By exfoliating, they clear clogged pores and reduce the appearance of fine lines, according to the AAD.
— http://www.manrepeller.com/