Skincare Review: Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius

Brands’ stories always intrigue me and how this brand came about is another interesting one. Founder Kendra Kolb Butler used to work at beauty companies in NYC before deciding to move to Wyoming with her family. It was there were she found wild forests of arnica and chamomile, and the fields of lavender and sage, which became the basis of Alpyn Beauty.

The brand created a sustainably sourced natural skin care line formulated with wildcrafted and hand-cultivated alpine botanicals (proprietary ingredient complex, PlantGenius) grown in the mountains of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Their products are cruelty-free, vegan, and are free from parabens, formaldehyde donors, sulfates, synthetic dyes, colors, fragrance, MEA, DEA, TEA, phthalates, palm ingredients, PEG’s, PPG’s, gluten, metallic, aluminum, triclosan, talc, mineral oil, petrolatum, and toluene.

The PlantGenius Creamy Bubbling Cleanser ($36) promises to leave the skin soft and silk using exfoliants (papaya and pomegranate extracts, glycolic and lactic acid), and natural hydrators (linoleic acid and ceramides.) It also contains vitamin c to protect the skin against free radical damage.

This face cleanser looks like a fairytale with its light shimmery pink color. You’re supposed to apply this on a dry face and with damp hands. It takes about 4-5 pumps to cover my skin and it forms into a light lather. It dries like a normal foaming cleanser would do – without any film or leftover residue. This is really surprising to me because it feels really creamy on my skin. What I really like about this cleanser is it’s so gentle to the touch but I can see its hard work once I rinse my face.

The newest addition in the Alpyn Beauty line-up is the Survival Serum ($68). It promises to be both a brightening serum and an illuminating primer. It contains mica to blur imperfections; bearberry leaf extract, licorice root extract, and vitamin C to reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation, azelaic, glycolic, and lactic acid to exfoliate, promote cell turnover, and soothe; sunflower seed oil to protect against free radical damage; tripeptide-29 to plump and diminish the appearance of fine lines; and hyaluronic acid, olive fruit oil, linoleic acid, coconut, squalane to hydrate.

It has the same raw whipped texture that other Alpyn Beauty products have and it leaves a sort of tackiness to the skin once applied but sinks in after a few minutes. Due to its consistency, this is better suited for me at night. It also offers a tingling sensation due to the exfoliators in its ingredients but it subsides after a few minutes. Due to their weight, I have relegated this as one of the serums I use at night.

After a month and a half of using this, I have noticed how this helped brighten, hydrate, and plump my skin. I can’t say that using this alone would help clear up all hyperpigmentation or brighten the skin as fast as other products would. This is more of those all-in-one support products you need as it helps boost radiance while keeping your skin bouncy and hydrated. I like using this after physically or chemically exfoliating as I feel like it is a good support serum. Due to its hydrating and plumping benefits, it helps my skin not feel tight, dry, and dehydrated after exfoliating or after applying stronger actives.

The PlantGenius Melt Moisturizer ($60) contains ceramides and squalane to fortify the moisture barrier, vitamin C to brighten and protect against free radical damage, retinal (bakuchiol) and tripeptide-29 to kick-start collagen production and diminish the appearance of fine lines, glycolic acid to exfoliate and promote cell turnover, and aloe to soothe the skin.

This #moisturizer smells grassy and has a whipped texture. It feels thick once applied but it literally melts onto your face – from a whipped texture to a runny sort of oily feel on the skin. For my #oilyskin, I can only use this at night as it leaves a bit of tackiness on my skin, almost like a sleeping mask. However, I still like using this as it feels nourishing to the skin and I wake up with bright and dewy skin in the morning.

The Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Creamy Bubbling Cleanser, Survival Serum, and Melt Moisturizer were provided by Alpyn Beauty and mba-partners. Available at

Cult Favorite: Heimish All Clean Balm

To be honest, I only found out about the wonders of a cleansing balm when I discovered kbeauty. I was just a normal micellar water person who has to waste countless cotton pads to remove my eye makeup off. Enter cleansing balms and they changed my routine forever.

The All Clean Balm from Heimish is a balm type for your first cleanse and is formulated with hypoallergenic and all-natural ingredients only like shea butter and various botanical extracts like citrus herb oil, coconut extract, and white flower complex to nourish skin while gently removing makeup and other impurities.

My balm has the new flip-top lid with a small spatula, which is genius, if I may say so because I don’t have to find a miniature spoon to scoop the product out. Upon my first application, I like the texture of the balm itself – not too oily and messy and not too dry. Just the perfect texture to apply on the skin. The earthy herbal scent put me off at first but I got used to it. Has an oilier texture than the other kbeauty balms I’ve used but has a nice slip to it, it doesn’t drip or run, something I’ve experienced with other balms and oils. It transforms into a silky texture that feels gentle and lightweight as I massage it into my skin. It emulsifies as I rinsed and it was able to remove even my full coverage foundation and my heavy and waterproof eye makeup. It takes about two to three rinses before it’s completely off but I like how this doesn’t leave a film and just left my skin soft, not dry or greasy.

Sometimes, products are hyped for a reason. It does its job perfectly while taking care of your skin.

The Heimish All Clean Balm was provided by stylekorean global for review. Available for $18.50 at

Makeup Review: Laneige Layer Cover Cushion and Concealing Base, Two Tone Matte Lip Bar, and Two Tone Shadow Bar

I have always the skincare products I have tried from Laneige but with their makeup, not so much. Enjoying kbeauty lip products, I can get on with, their foundation and eye products have been a hit or miss – their eye products are too subtle and their foundations are too light and too suited for dry skin types. However, I don’t want to give up. I want to try what’s out there in the k-beauty world and find makeup products suited for my not so fair and so oily skin. Laneige, since they push their makeup products outside Korea, is a good brand to consider.

The Layer Cover Cushion SPF 34 PA ++ and Concealing Base SPF50+ PA +++ (that’s a mouthful, something the ABcommunity is used to) is a 2 in 1 cushion containing concealer & cushion foundation. It has an Aqua Melting Technology that melts at the skin’s temperature, an Illuminating Jewel Powder for vibrancy, and a Water Capture System to hydrate and cool the skin.

Shade 23 is still a shade too light for my skin tone but this is the nearest that I’ve encountered in terms of cushion foundations. I thought it looked a bit ashy when I look in the mirror but my phone camera was telling me another story. My face looks put-together and there are no red patches or discoloration. Looked at this from a mirror under better lighting conditions and saw the same thing. It lasts for about 3 hours before you need to retouch. This needs a mattifying primer before application but I didn’t look greasy, it just felt like it, which is more than I could say for the other cushion foundations I’ve tried It was able to cover the broken capillaries and even the tone of my skin but I need a concealer for my spots. I also like that this already has SPF so it’s suitable for everyday use.

The Two Tone Matte Lip Bar in # 4 Fitting Rose promises to act as a matte color and lip primer to create a gradient matte look without feeling dry.

I have always preferred mattes over glosses. Before I could wear any liquid lipstick, any life-sucking long-wearing lip product. I never paid any mind to reviews saying a certain lip color is too matte and too drying because no matter how dry they are, my lips wouldn’t chap. That was then. Nowadays, even though I still prefer matte, I would have to apply a lip balm overnight and before makeup to protect my lips. I had to give away the other matte lipsticks I have because my lips get dry easily now. However, I still get matte lipsticks. I still like how it feels and looks. I just have to be careful. That’s why I like this. It applies matte but it’s totally lightweight. It’s also not drying and it doesn’t crack. It’s not as long wearing as I would like but reapplying it is easy. I also like the two-tone effect of this one. It’s not severe, just a bit blurring. I can wear it to the office without anyone commenting on how contrasting the two-tone looks on my skin tone.

The Two Tone Shadow Bar in # 1 Humming Coral is a shadow bar with two colors for a quick and easy eye makeup application.

I actually found this weird at first because I don’t know if it would work but got the hang of it on the first swipe. Both shadows have shimmers on it. It’s great for fast and easy application during days when you want to add some color to your face. Of course, this still needs to be blended but it can be done with your fingers. It provides a subtle shine. My problem with this is it gathers on my lids and it doesn’t last that long, less than a couple of hours on my oily lids, even if I do three swipes. I would still need to use a primer for this to last even half a day.

As expected I loved the Two Tone Matte Lip Bar and enjoy the casualness and ease of the cushion foundation. I’m happy to have finally found a closed match shade for my skin. All these products would be great options for those who are always in a rush in the morning and would want easy to use makeup.

The Laneige Layer Cover Cushion SPF 34 PA ++ and Concealing Base SPF50+ PA +++, Two Tone Matte Lip Bar, Two Tone Shadow Bar were provided by

Brand Overview: Bioderma Sebium Line

I think we all know Bioderma and what their Sebium range is. For those who don’t, Bioderma is a French drugstore brand that has been around since the 1970s. Their sebium range offers anti-blemish treatments that directly act on oily skin types with the Fluidactiv patented complex. This complex regulates sebum quality, keeps pores from becoming clogged, and limits the formation of blemishes.

Bioderma’s Sebium range, catering to those with oily and blemished skin, with their Fluidactiv complex, has the complete routine. Here’s what they are recommending to cover the first three steps of your routine.

Sébium H2O is a make-up removing micellar water for combination or oily skin. It aims to regulate oil to prevent clogged pores and clear up the skin. This is my first #bioderma product, my first micellar water, and my first ever documented empty. I had high expectations on this one and it fulfilled them – it’s gentle, it removes makeup, and it works perfectly with my #oilyskin. I love that it comes in different sizes. There was a time in my life that I had all sizes located in three different places.

Sébium Gel Moussant aims to cleanse the skin and limit the formation of blemishes. It contains purifying agents, zinc sulfate and copper sulphate, to clear the skin and limit oil production. The Gel Moussant smells like Sebium h2o. It has a soft gel texture that forms into a mild lather. This feels really gentle on the skin. I use it as a morning cleanser and it can effectively remove last night’s dirt without stripping my skin.

Sébium Gel Gommant is an exfoliating gel that aims to refine the skin texture, tighten pores, and brighten the complexion. It contains micro-beads, with glycolic and salicylic acid, to act on pimples and blackheads. I was never a fan of microbeads and scrubs so I used this one that much. It’s a matter of preference, honestly. I would rather exfoliate with wash off masks. However, I had to say that this exfoliating gel feels gentle and clearing. I mostly pull this one out whenever I feel like my skin is clogged. Also, I only use this on the problematic parts of my face.

The Pore Refiner is a correcting concentrate that aims to tighten pores, refine skin texture, mattify, prevent blemishes, and preserve the skin’s natural radiance. I’ve been using this on and off for about 2 years now but never got around in reviewing it. It’s a good everyday mattifier and it blends well to medium coverage foundation. It can help mattify my skin for about 6 hours.

Mat Control is a moisturizing product that aims to regulate shine, refine the skin texture, and tighten pores. Like the pore refiner, this dries instantly. It makes me feel like it’s easier to apply sunscreen, less tacky when I use this. It provides a nice canvas. Made my forehead oily after about 4 hours during warmer weather, more during the colder months.

AI Correcteur claims to eliminate pimples and brighten the complexion with zinc gluconate, enoxolone. The first two products, I’ve tried but this is a revelation. I love the green corrector attached to the tint. It also has a small mirror, which makes it very handy. It was able to eliminate redness around my nose but only for about 2 hours. It has a hard texture that blends best with my fingers, which is apt with the handy packaging. The tint is very runny and has a watery texture. Best applied with a buffing brush. The light, which doesn’t really seem light, color suits my skin. It dries quickly and creates an even complexion. Lasts for about 4 hours and that is already set with powder. This great for short weekend errands.

Overall, I think it’s nice that a brand offers effective and inexpensive products specifically for oily skin types. This is a great intro to skincare, especially for teens who have skin concerns.

The Bioderma Sebium products were provided by BiodermaUSA. Available at

Cult Favorite: Jordan Samuel Hydrate

It was only when I got into skincare that I found out you can be oily and dehydrated at the same time. It panicked me – am I dehydrated (yes)? Do I slather oil (depends)? What do I use? I researched and researched.

So when I read that this bad boy contains Hyaluronic acid, stabilized Vitamin C, and hexapeptides with cucumber, tamarind, and passion flower extract to give you healthy, dewy skin all day long, I was sold.

I use the Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate Facial Serum morning and night and I have noticed that my skin is less greasy in the afternoons and after I wake up. My skin feels like it just drank 8 glasses of water. It’s the first hydrating product that I’ve tried and I’m thankful for teaching me about hydrating oily skin.

I thank Instagram for letting me discover this gem of a product.