Skincare Review: The Pestle & Mortar Hydrate Moisturizer

A few years ago, I could go on my inconsistent skincare routine without a moisturizer. I had always assumed that I didn’t need it since I already have an oily skin. Fast forward to now and I cannot go on my routine without it and it has led to the search of the perfect moisturizer that will suit my skin type and skin concerns like aging, dehydration, and oil balance.

The Hydrate Moisturizer from Pestle & Mortar is formulated with tri- and tetra-peptide technology squalane and promises to hydrate, soothe, and soften the skin while providing anti-aging benefits and stimulating collagen production. The moisturizer is also vegan and cruelty-free.

First off, I love that the moisturizer is packaged in an airless container as it keeps the product securely and I don’t have to scoop it out. One pump is able to cover my entire face. The moisturizer is actually creamier and heavier than the moisturizers I usually go for. It also leaves a tacky finish so I like using this at night. This almost feels like a sleeping mask for me. Unfortunately, I need a more hydrating moisturizer for my oily skin as I still wake up with an oily t-zone after using this even in these colder months. However, I like how it has made my skin soft and firm after only a month of use.

I would recommend this to those with dry to normal skin types looking for a vegan and cruelty-free moisturizer that will help soften and firm their skin.

The Pestle & Mortar Hydrate Moisturizer was provided by @pestleandmortar and @tractenbergandco. Available for $74 at

Skincare Review: Then I Met You The Cleansing Duo

I have said this countless times – cleansing is one of my favorite steps in my skincare routine. There is nothing like cleaning the skin and removing the remains of the day and starting new. Whenever I review products, I always gravitate toward the cleanser and these cleansers from Then I Met You are no exception.

Founded by Charlotte Cho, Then I Met You recently launched and introduced their first products – the Living Cleansing Balm and the Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel. With the goal of creating the most efficacious, transformative products, the brand wants to add a little extra effort in the right places.

Their oil cleanser, the Living Cleansing Balm ($38), aims to remove oil-based impurities like sebum, sunscreen, and makeup using grape seed, olive and seaberry oils. It also has rosemary, persimmon and grapefruit to leave the skin soft and clean.

This one has a slight minty smell, which built my bias more because it’s a favorite scent when it comes to cleansing products. It feels creamy and really balmy as you take it out of the tub then it emulsifies into a thick oil once it’s massaged into the skin. It is actually a joy to massage and it made me think of Charlotte Cho’s video in Byrdie Beauty a year ago. She advised how to emulsify cleansing balms – by putting little water then massaging it on your face then repeating that step a couple more times to really remove dirt and makeup. I’ve been doing it with all my balms after I watched it but it worked best with this one. The thickness of this cleansing balm doesn’t feel clogging or like it’s covering the skin. Instead, it actually feels gentle and nourishing. It removes even long-wearing eyeliners and waterproof mascaras. I once applied too much balm on my face and even when massaged, it retained its yellow color, which is actually fun to look at. I like that it really has a smooth slip and that it’s easy to remove. It doesn’t leave a film or any residue on your skin but doesn’t leave the skin too dry either. It’s just right.

The Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel ($36) promises to remove water-based impurities like sweat, grime, and impurities while brightening the skin with rice ferment filtrate and licorice extract.

While I was shooting the heavy gel-like texture of this cleanser, I thought for sure it would be heavy, that it would sit on top of my face, and leave a film if I rinse it with water. I was scared because I really wanted to like this. Fortunately, none of that happened. It emulsified into a milky lather, felt light and gentle, and it was easily rinsed with water. Predictably, this has a tea-like smell, which feels and smells relaxing. The scent, together with its gel texture makes you pause and slow down while applying it on the skin. It removes all the excess oil on my face and left my oily skin feeling soft, cleansed, and velvety. I can easily use this morning or night without worrying if this would aggravate my oily skin. This is honestly one of the cleansing gels I really love and there are only a few, like I can count them on one hand as I much prefer cleansing foams. However, I will make an exception for this. It doesn’t feel like most cleansing gels and I think it’s because of its heavier texture that doesn’t leave a residue and it gel consistency that doesn’t run and instead lathers smoothly on the skin.

Honestly, aside from the effectivity of these cleansers, what I love about them is how, with every use, you can feel the thoughtfulness of the products and the love from the creators while using them. You can just feel it in your skin – how much care was put into creating these. It made me excited about their upcoming launches.

Then I Met You The Cleansing Duo was provided by @thenimetyou. Available individually or as a duo for $68 at

Skincare Review: Venn Skincare Age-Reversing All-In-One Concentrate

I’ve been hearing about the skincare diet a lot the past few months and Venn Skincare gave me the opportunity to try it out with their Age-Reversing All-In-One Concentrate.

The brand offers efficient skincare for the modern lifestyle we are in. They aim to streamline skincare by replacing multiple steps with one product.

The Age-Reversing All-In-One Concentrate uses the brands’ proprietary Concentric Technology. The technology promises to create vehicles with multiple, concentric layers (like an onion) of hydrophilic and hydrophobic bioactives to deliver the product, water-solubilize Compound K (main anti-aging bioactive component of Panax ginseng) and effectively using it as a key ingredient, and hydrate both on the skin surface and internally. The concentrate aims to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate, firm, brighten, smooth, and soften the skin. It’s cruelty-free and free of fragrance, parabens, silicone, phthalates, mineral oil, sulfates, and color.

This concentrate is meant to be applied after cleansing and replaces your toner, essence, serum, ampoule, moisturizer, cream, and face oil. Granted that’s a lot of products to replace for someone who’s has a maximalists view of skincare. I created my own routine revolving this concentrate by double cleansing then going straight to an active before using this. I do that every other day and still went on as usual on the other days.

At first, I really felt meh about this. However, my hand reached for this more and more as times passed, going to my simplified routine more and more. It feels like an emulsion so I like applying this before a sleeping mask. It leaves a velvet finish that feels a bit thicker but not to the point that it bothers me. It has a nice slip, almost like silk on the skin. It just takes a bit of time to completely dry down but feels really silky on my skin. It has a bit of a medicinal smell but it doesn’t linger. It doesn’t feel blocking or suffocating, you know some products you’ve tried that seems to cover all your pores. It doesn’t feel like that. I actually feel likes it’s going in the skin, like a tall drink of water, nourishing and hydrating my skin. After a couple of months using this, I have noticed its smoothing and softening benefits on my skin. It also helped in keeping my skin plump, clear, and bright.

As for the skincare diet, I think I have way too many skin concerns to tackle and skin issues to prevent to completely veer away from toning, treating, hydrating, and moisturizing but I get the idea. For my oily skin, however, I need hydrating products to complement this as well as actives that will really treat dark spots quicker. For me, this concentrate is a great support for my actives and treatments. I find that this soothes and moisturizes my skin effectively after exfoliating and applying strong acids.

I would recommend this concentrate to those who want to brighten, hydrate their skin and want anti-aging benefits in one product. This is a one and done product for those who don’t want to spend so much time in their skincare routines.

The Venn Skincare Age-Reversing All-In-One Concentrate was provided by Venn Skincare. Available for $185 at

Cult Favorite: I’m From Ginseng Serum

Ginseng is a staple in Korea. It has been known to be used for improving overall health, strengthen the immune system, and help fight off stress and diseases. I have never tried it orally but not I’ve tried it as a skincare ingredient.

The Ginseng Serum from I’m From contains promises to enhance blood circulation and replenish nutrients to the skin. It uses 7.98% ginseng extract created in Geumsan Country in Korea to increase elasticity and help purify the skin.

This is a viscous gel-like serum that applies thick onto the skin. I have oily skin and I usually steer clear from thick products. Yes, this is thick but it doesn’t feel blocking or suffocating with applied to the skin. It smells like ginseng and the scent lasts for a bit as it dries to a thin, slightly tacky film. I know it sounds a bit icky but this is one of the most nourishing serums I’ve tried. I never knew my oily skin would enjoy something like this until I tried it. I feel like this compliments the treatment serums I apply beforehand and helps my moisturizer in hydrating my skin. Like it helps reenergize my complexion after using a strong acid beforehand. I feel like this is equivalent to some of the face oils I use, with less fuss in terms of absorption. After about a month of use, I have noticed that this helps plump and nourish my skin and have come to like using this after using a tingly active or some deep exfoliating.

The I’m From Ginseng Serum was provided by I’m From and Wishtrend for review. Available for $28.80 (now on sale at $21.60) at

Skincare Review: I Woke Up Like This Rice Rebalancing Cleansing Water and Turn Over Rice Perfect Oil Foam Cleanser

With skincare products targeted to those with sensitive skin and pregnant women, I Woke Up Like This uses a mild botanical formula that promises to be safe for the skin and for the baby inside.

The Rice Rebalancing Cleansing Water contains rice ferment filtrate(Sake) to nourish and purify, riboflavin from rice extract to soften and prevent irritation, and edelweiss extract to protect the skin.

This is one of the lightest and most water-like cleansing waters I’ve tried. It doesn’t feel heavy and it feels so gentle but it develops into a light oil-like texture once it is massaged onto the skin. It easily removes base makeup and leaves the skin feeling moisturized. It was also able to remove shimmer and matte eyeshadows and eyebrow products in two swipes, eyeliners with four. This surely saves me time because I don’t have to use a makeup remover before cleansing.

The Turn Over Rice Perfect Oil Foam Cleanser has rice bran extract to discharge waste, vitamins and amino acids from sake to nourish and restore the ph balance of the skin, riboflavin from rice extract to soften and prevent irritation, rice bran oil for a natural glow, mari antitoxin to purify, alginic acid absorb impurities, and spirulina – platensis to nourish and firm the skin.

This is a gentle foam cleanser that is great for the morning. Doesn’t dry or strip the skin. It leaves my face feeling soft and moisturized but not oily. However, this doesn’t remove excess oil so those with oily skin might deem this to be a little too gentle. I would recommend this to those with dry or normal skin type looking for a gentle foaming cleanser that cleanses the skin without drying it.

These cleansing products would suit those with sensitive or dry skin types as it helps moisturize the skin while cleansing it.

I Woke Up Like This Rice Rebalancing Cleansing Water and Turn Over Rice Perfect Oil Foam Cleanser were provided by I Woke Up Like This as PR. Available at