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Review: Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45 PA+++

Today I want to review my all time favorite sunscreen – the Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45 / PA +++ (pink bottle). There are some sunscreens that I like okay and will use but none has really made it to the “Love” category. I’m happy to say this one has and is now my preferred everyday sunscreen.

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Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45 / PA +++

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Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45 / PA +++

I didn’t have a great first time ordering from Missha years ago so I have pretty much stayed away from ordering from their site. Months ago, I received an email that they were offering free shipping with no minimums so I went “window shopping”. Coincidentally, this sunscreen was on sale for $8.40, down from $14 for 50ml. That was just the push to get me to try this sunscreen and I ordered 2 bottles. The shipping this time was super fast so I have attributed the first fiasco as a fluke.

First, I have tried many sunscreens, from La Roche Posay and Vichy to Biore and Shiseido. The sunscreens were either too shiny (Biore Watery Essence and Kose), leave a slightly white cast (Clarins and LRP mineral), or balled up in my neck lines (LRP & Loreal) later in the day. It is so embarrassing when this happens and I only see it after a long day. What must those people think?! shutters ]

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Sunscreen cream texture straight out of the bottom top and partially spread out on bottom

Second, this white “essence” sunscreen is not an essence in my opinion. It is not runny but rather more like a whipped cream texture so it feels super nice and light spreading on. This leaves no white cast and is not greasy. It leaves a beautiful dewy glow that reminds me of the Korean actresses’ dewy look in posters. It also feels more like a nourishing facial cream than a sunscreen. I always add an extra layer to my upper cheeks where I have a lot of dark spots and melasma. The scent is very very light, almost non discernible unless you have a sensitive nose. I actually find it very pleasant. It doesn’t smell at all like a sunscreen and it is oil free. For combination to dry, I think this is a beautiful sunscreen but for oily skin, it might just be too shiny. I have combination skin and I wholeheartedly adore this!

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Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45 / PA +++

The tip applicator is perfect because it allows for dispensing the exact amount you want and there is no waste. It is also easier trying to squeeze out all the products when it gets low.

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Claims and ingredients label on the package. Click to enlarge.

Here is how Missha describes it:

Multi-Functional Sun Care.
UV protection + skin care benefits!

Use the gentle, water resistant All Around Safe Block Essence Sun all year round to hydrate and protect skin from stress, UV rays, and harmful environmental factors.

The oil-free, mild formula contains Oriental Tea Newplex to protect the skin. Antozone-Rose and Thanaka ingredients hydrate and help maintain healthy skin. Aloe, Luffa Cylindrica, Morus Alba, Licorice, Portulaca Oleracea, and Witch Hazel Extracts soothe and relive skin, while also providing brightening, moisturizing, and nourishing effects.

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Before and after sunscreen. See how my skin is dewy and bright after but not greasy? ^^

Third, per Missha’s description, this sunscreen contain other skin care benefits such as moisturizing and brightening. It does hydrate and brighten my skin but the brightening is most likely just short term. Regardless of the other claims, I love this as a sunscreen and any of the said benefits are icings on the cake. Total love!

Lastly, according to RatzillaCosme, from 2013 on, PA+++ has a PPD of 8-16 for UVA protection. I find this adequate for everyday protection unless I’m going to be out in the sun for hours. In that case, I would layer on a physical sunscreen for extra protection. I keep one in the bathroom and one in my purse so I’m never without it. I already have it on the list to re-order as soon as they have free shipping again because I don’t think I have more than $40 to buy from Missha at the moment.

Have you try any of Missha’s sunscreens? Which one is your favorite?

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Currently Reading: The Woodcutter

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The Woodcutter on the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

I have to share this book, The Woodcutter by Kate Danley. I’m just passed halfway and I’m going to be so sad when this book ends. It is such an intriguing and engaging read! Maybe it’s just me but the story and characters here are so fresh! As soon as I start reading, I’m pulled in and I just want to continue reading nonstop. Of course, I have to stop on and off to go do other things but that is beside the point.

The story is refreshing and mysterious and a bit chilly even! I love how the main hero is called simply “The Woodcutter”. The name is so simple and yet I feel there is a great mystery behind him. I can’t wait to find out. Then there is this character that is called “The Gentleman” and “The Queen”. There are many fairy tale characters in the story and were cleverly intertwined into the plot.

Here is the description from Amazon:

Deep within the Wood, a young woman lies dead. Not a mark on her body. No trace of her murderer. Only her chipped glass slippers hint at her identity.

The Woodcutter, keeper of the peace between the Twelve Kingdoms of Man and the Realm of the Faerie, must find the maiden’s killer before others share her fate. Guided by the wind and aided by three charmed axes won from the River God, the Woodcutter begins his hunt, searching for clues in the whispering dominions of the enchanted unknown.

But quickly he finds that one murdered maiden is not the only nefarious mystery afoot: one of Odin’s hellhounds has escaped, a sinister mansion appears where it shouldn’t, a pixie dust drug trade runs rampant, and more young girls go missing. Looming in the shadows is the malevolent, power-hungry queen, and she will stop at nothing to destroy the Twelve Kingdoms and annihilate the Royal Fae…unless the Woodcutter can outmaneuver her and save the gentle souls of the Wood.

Blending magic, heart-pounding suspense, and a dash of folklore, The Woodcutter is an extraordinary retelling of the realm of fairy tales.

 

Seriously, if you want to read something different but just as good, give this a try. If you’ve read it, let me know what you think. I seriously love it so far!

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Nature Republic mini haul

I went to a Nature Republic store today and planned on buying the snail foam cleanser that I have been testing and loving. Unfortunately, they’re out and will probably get some next week. I then looked around since I’ve never been to a Korean skin care / beauty store and everything is just so neat and prettily set up. I noticed most of the Asian skincare / beauty items have such pretty pretty packagings. Hey, it’s the little things. :)

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The emulsion housed in a heavy glass bottle. 

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Side by side of the Nature Republic emulsion and the Laneige

Though they didn’t have what I want, I grabbed a few things that I did not plan on getting but will do nicely for now. I ran out of the Laneige Bright Plus Emulsion days ago and have been using the Kose Sekkisei cream as an alternative. I’m not really feeling that one. This Aqua Super Aqua Max White C Waterful Emulsion was on sale for $6.99 for a 150ml bottle. Whew what a mouthful! Anyway, I needed an emulsion and this has vitamin C and is brightening so it sounds like a similar replacement. I love the Laneige but it is also 5x the price of this one though I found out I’m not a fan of the Nature Republic’s opening. Instead of a pump, it just have a small hole and you have to smack it pretty hard on your palm to get a bit of the emulsion out. I have to be doing it wrong somehow…

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The pretty blue bottle of hydro ampoule

The 2nd item I picked up is the Original Power Hydro Ampoule to help with extra hydration. It was on sale for $12 for a 30ml bottle. This cute bottle has a dropper (yeah!) so you can dispense the exact amount desired.

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Fingers crossed for this magic remover to really work like magic

For the last item, I picked up the Magic Remover Makeup Gel since it was on sale for $3.90 for a 100ml tube and the reviews were pretty favorable. I’m almost out of The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil and have not yet purchase a back up so I will use this as a replacement. That is the plan anyway.

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The generous samples of foam cleanser and snail booster and emulsion

Last but not least, the super friendly sales lady gave me these samples because they didn’t have the snail foam cleanser. She was such a great help answering my questions while I was there.

I’m pretty happy with the prices and had an awesome first time shopping at Nature Republic. I can’t wait to go back next week!

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Clarins Bright Plus products

I love Ebay. I love Clarins. I also love it when I can find great deals on Clarins (or other products) through Ebay. Win win for me! :D

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Clarins Bright Plus HP Intensive Brightening Smoothing Serum and Mask

This came in the mail two days ago – the Clarins Bright Plus HP Intensive Brightening Smoothing Serum and Bright Plus HP Intensive Brightening Mask (.28 oz x 8). I paid about $32 for these items including shipping and they were listed as new.

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8 individual tubes containing .28 oz of product

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Clarins Bright Plus HP Intensive Brightening Mask

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Clarins Bright Plus HP Intensive Brightening Mask cream

 The masks are all individually sealed and should be use twice a week for 4 weeks, hence the 8 tubes are single doses. I received one of the tubes as a sample a while back and let me tell you, it lasted me at least 4 uses and 2 of those times I thought I put too much on. There is no way I can use one tube each time so they will last way longer. Yeah me! Anyway, I finished up that sample and really missed not having it afterwards. I’m thrilled to have won this set. I just love the barely there scent, the luxurious and easy to spread cream, and how it seems to instantly brighten up my complexion once rinsed off. I don’t know if there’s any long term benefit but I enjoyed it very much. Enough that I want to use it continuously! I am going to commit to twice a week for 4 weeks just with this mask to find out.

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Clarins Bright Plus HP Intensive Brightening Smoothing Serum

Now, the serum I have never try but since it was from the same seller, I decided to bid and won! The pump bottle is 1.06 oz and the serum smells very nice too. I will use this in the morning just on my spots before my moisturizer and see if there’s any “brightening”. Even if it doesn’t do much, I won’t be crying buckets of tears since I didn’t pay full price.

Thumbs up to Ebay!