Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate: The Secret to Smoother Skin?

No, its not drunken skincare…its yeast!

Galactomyces and Saccharomyces fermented filtrates have been around for a very long time in the world of Korean skincare. Due to the vast range of skin issues these yeast-based ferment filtrates are rumored to treat, they have gained quite the reputation. The hype is similar to snail secretion filtrate: basically, name a common skin issue, and this will fix it. 

Galactomyces ferment filtrate can help with skin issues such as acne, pore size, oil/sebum management, uneven tone, textural refinement, signs of aging, and dry skin-only to name a few. 

Some think this yeast and other hangbang herb fermentation craze may stem from the many fermented foods like kimchi, commonly eaten on a daily basis in the typical Korean diet, and their positive effects on body, including the skin. Korean skincare companies caught on to the benefits of fermentation and translated this into their products, creating the first treatment essence.

 By using helpful bacteria to break down other beneficial ingredients, it is said to help with absorption into the skin , getting the benefits deeper into the pores than a non-fermented formula. Almost all hangbang companies, and most mainstream ones, have some sort of fermented step in their product offerings, usually herbs or yeast.

Another theory stems from brewery worker ‘s hands, which would reatian a much more youthful appearance than the rest of their body, supposedly due to the yeast. 

Either way, these fermented and yeast-based products have gained a lot of popularity in the Kbeauty world.

Having yet to try a pure yeast ferment filtrate, when the Ramosu Galactomyces ferment filtrate went on sale in a set of three, I had to buy it. I’ve been testing it for review since the start of September, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t like the results I’ve been seeing. 

The ingredients: Galactomyces ferment filtrate

As you can see, it’s a very long and complex formulation that makes this product so effective…

I’ve been using 2-3 shakes (approx 1/8 t) of the product twice a day for a little over a month. The product itself claims  that after 28 days “you can experience special feeling in your skin.”  I’m assuming “special feeling” is referring to smoothness. 


In the 28 day time frame, my skin slowly became more and more healthy/radiant looking (starting around two weeks in), but the effects would wear off if I missed an application. Twice a day kept my skin consistently glowy, but it would fade by the time of the next application.

Where my skin is generally well-behaved, I didn’t notice much change in terms of smoothness, however, in my troubled areas (namely my jawline where things get desert-dry, flakey, and bumpy), there was a definite, noticeable  reduction of texture. My skin in this area looked and felt more nourished, meaning less and smaller flakes and rough patches. It did not help with acne in this area (including some cc’s), but made it appear less noticeable as the surrounding skin looked a lot better.


These effects have not plateaued since the 28 day mark.


I apply it before my toner (like a first essence), and the formula is light and non greasy in finish. The second it hits the skin, it begins to absorb. This is a wonderful quality, because as it’s the first step in my post-cleansing routine, I have numerous products to be applied  afterwards, and the last thing I want to do is add more wait time to it.

Galactomyces is meant to be nutritive, making it an excellent option for stressed skin (like mine chronically is). From troubled areas to dryness, this filtrate has soothed and nourished my skin so it can heal.

By the second week of using this product twice daily, I could already see and feel a small difference in my skin. By the end of the 28 day period, my skin felt healthier, and most of the effects from both my natural and prescription-exasperated dryness  had faded. Now, my skin looks a little more youthful and bouncy, and is so much smoother to the touch in previously sandpaper areas. There is nowhere near as much flaking or peeling as before either, which is a total blessing (seriously,  it’s like no matter how many products I apply, my skin will still be dry). 🙄 This product will be 100% be staying with my through this winter.


2- the results make so glad I have 2 bottles left. Tis product has definitely been worthwhile.


Is your skin also a carniverous black hole that just sucks up product and money, but never gives you much to show for it?

What do you think of the fermentation craze? Of yeast?


Get Your Smoothest Lips Ever in Time for Fall

0SJLZHNF2N.jpgToday it finally feels like fall (sort of), and I honestly couldn’t be happier. Fall means s’mores and cocoa by the fireside, that sweet, smokey smell of chimneys burning, hot apple cider to sip on while leaves change their color, not to mention the cozy clothes and chunky knits. And we can’t forget the pumpkin spice latte, am I right?

The cooler weather doesn’t just mean better beverages and snuggly sweaters though; the refreshing chill in the air brings with it the joys of chapped lips. If you’re anything like me, the chapping factor  is maybe a teensy, tiny bit exacerbated by constant sipping on all the yummy, hot drinks.

I figured that while everyone is feeling a little uplifted with the change in weather (or from a higher caffeine intake stemming from an aforementioned Starbucks beverage), why not share some simple lip DIY’s that will ensure your lips stay smooth as silk while you enjoy all things pumpkin and cinnamon-y.

DIY Lip Scrub

Exfoliation followed by moisture is the easiest way to your smoothest ever lips this fall and winter season. Scrubs for the lips are made up of two essential parts: something to scrub and something to nourish.

Sugar makes the best exfoliating agent; what kind of sugar you use is up to you. I personally like brown sugar. As for a nourishing agent, oils are frequently on hand. Castor oil, olive oil, coconut oil, Vaseline/petroleum oil, and the like are all good choices. You can also use honey or even some spare flavored lip balm for tastier scrub. How much of anything you use will be up to if you want to make it fresh or store it for multiple uses. You can control the graininess by adjusting how much liquid you use in relation to the scrubbing agent. Add more liquid to make it less harsh.

Once you have your scrub base whipped up, you can customize it to your liking with essential oils like peppermint. You can also add in things like coffee grounds, cocoa powder, matcha, etc to add more flavor and smell to your “lip scrub experience.”

Some of my personal favorites:

-brown sugar and honey

-mocha (white sugar, petroleum/castor oil/non-flavored oil, and a mixture of coffee grounds and cocoa powder)

-coffee scrub (brown sugar, coffee grounds, coconut oil-great for body too!)

-brightening lemon (sugar and coconut oil, finely grated lemon zest)

Frankly, there aren’t too many limits when making scrubs. All of these can be used on the body as well. Once you’ve finished exfoliating, finish off with a moisturizing lip balm (or body lotion) of choice, making sure to really massage it in. Your lips and skin should feel baby soft and glowy, ready to take on the world, winter dullness be damned!


Need more? Elizabeth from Everything and Nothin’ did a post a little while back on preventing chapped lips that not only features another great scrub recipe, but also tips on preventing and getting rid of chapped lips as well. If you struggle with this, you should definitely check it out! Its very helpful and informative 😊


Now, go on and enjoy some quality time with the falling leaves, a pumpkin spice latte in hand.

What are you looking forward to this season?🍁🍂🎃





How I Fixed My Keratosis Pilaris

YYQ3XBYDAPMany people struggle with a skin condition called Keratosis Pilaris. This skin condition causes tiny, acne-like bumps and dry patches to form on the arms, thighs, cheeks, and buttocks; the bumps form due to an overproduction of a protein called keratin which can block pores. It’s by no means a serious condition, but it can be annoying and unsightly. Its also not really curable: it can only be managed and subdued.

I’ve struggled with these little bumps on my upper arms ever since I can remember. In grade school, I was always so embarrassed to wear short sleeves or go sleeveless. A couple of times, kids would ask “eew, what are those?!” and for my middle school self, comments like those did nothing for my self-esteem. I’ve tried countless methods over the years to eradicate these stupid SOB’s but nothing really worked. I spent my middle school and high school years in 3/4 tops and sweaters, embarrassed and self-conscious (in only the way a typical teenager can be) about my bumpy arms.

It was by no means severe (except in my teenage mind, which, well, we’ve all been there), but I didn’t register that fully until I hit true adulthood (and had other bigger things to worry about like college finals, bills, real health problems, and, of course, adult acne).

As most of my readers know, Asian (well, Korean) skincare is more exciting to me than the creation of pre-sliced cheese and bread. Along the way down that rabbit hole, I picked up two products (I’m getting to them, I swear!) that in a true stroke of luck/fate/whatever have you, I combined and applied to my arms and was like “whoa!”

Status: keratosis pilaris remission achieved!

Now that all that background is out of the way, here is the method that took my upper arms from full-on granola mode to sleeveless-ready.

I use two products: Papa Recipe White Flower Clear Up 8% AHA Gel and Let’s Cure C-ster High Performance Powder.

The AHA gel stinks to high heaven (and much MUCH worse than a typical AHA which will smell like butt to begin with) and that rotting fish odor on my face was just something I couldn’t tolerate even for the sake of skincare…and that is saying something. Being the ardent “waste not, want not” stingy person that I am, I had to find another way to use it.

Within this time frame, I also picked up my first, very sad attempt at Vitamin C and wound up with a powder formulation that was supposed to be mixed with whatever moisturizer of choice. I didn’t know anything about pH or using vitamin C at the time, and when I used it on my face for 2 months, several times a week, and was not seeing anything that resembled results, it went into the same pile as the AHA.

And then I got creative and decided to mix the two. I had noticed that the Vitamin C powder helped neutralize the scents of whatever it was mixed with and lend it a gentle citrus-y note. Figuring the AHA couldn’t get any worse, I went ahead and mixed it as a 1:1 ratio (as per the C-ster powder instructions) and slathered the slightly less terrible solution on my upper arms where it wouldn’t be directly under my nose.

To use these two products up and get them off my valuable counter surface real estate, I mixed this solution up every night fresh and applied it. Within about a month of doing this, I started noticing how soft and smooth my normally rough upper arms were getting. Within two months (the products you don’t want always last the longest right?), my arms were 98% clear-the most “normal” arm state I ever remembered achieving.

Its now been three months since arriving at this lucky fusion of crap products and my arms are totally tank-top appropriate. They are also ridiculously soft. While I do have to apply sunscreen to my arms now in addition to my face, its worth the newfound texture.

I have yet to totally decide whether or not the Vitamin C powder actually works  (its just sketchy as hell y’all), the AHA definitely does as its not only at a powerful 8% concentration, but also a powerful exfoliator which keeps keratin from building up and forming bumps.

Before I conclude this post, I just want to say that I am no doctor or scientist and I’ve also been very bad and not done any research on if these two formulas can be mixed together without preservative measures cancelling out the other, etc. I figured (for my own safety, when I first played mad-cosmetic-scientist on my vanity) that the C-ster powder could be mixed with any moisturizer of choice, and since that territory was pretty broad, I figured why not a gel? If the C-ster powder actually does work, it would work with a product with similar pH needs. When it didn’t burn my arms off or anything, I think just mixing it up fresh, every night is safe enough for my own self. I would NOT recommend keeping a bottle of this stuff pre-mixed as, despite the fact these are acids, who knows what might want to play petri dish? (And geez, whatever would grow in THOSE conditions, I would NOT want on my face even more than just typical compact cushion/hangbang serum dwellers). The powder as well, should you choose to buy it (I honestly don’t know if it does anything other than minimize the day-old fish market “scent”), you’ll find that the amount of mixing will make successful bottling near impossible.

If you do try this method, know that YMMV, I am not a doctor or scientist or any kind of person that is qualified to be doling out this sort of information, and that if anything bad happens, I refuse to be responsible (although I will feel bad, probably cry a lot, remove this post, and send you lots of care packages).So if you attempt this, you do so AT YOUR OWN RISK and release me from any sort negative consequences like legal action. Love you guys!

Anyway, now that I’ve made this sound super scary and serious (lol, sorry, you just never know!), this very strange, very lucky, and in hindsight, very stupid adventure with two products that my stingy self just couldn’t chuck in the bin led to a very nice discovery and some very nice results. Just in case anyone who reads this is struggling with managing this skin condition, I thought I would share my findings here online. To perhaps try this method at their own risk 😉

If you do so happen to try this method, please let me know how it went. I am very curious to see if this is just a me-thing or if I’ve actually stumbled on something weird-but-super-helpful. I can only tell you in this case that it gave me my arms back in about two and a half months from a M/W/F application schedule [and with wearing sunscreen on them during the day (so no burns or anything from AHA and Vitamin C photo sensitivity)].

This post is finally over, and I hope it was helpful. Please let me know if you’re interested in tying this method or know of something that worked for you! Have a wonderful rest of your day/night everyone! *mwah!*

How to Fix Broken Makeup

There are few worse feelings than dropping a large sum of money on a designer makeup something-or-other, only to accidentally break it by its second or third use. All it takes is one overzealous swipe of a brand new lipstick shade until the tip breaks off from the tube and is rolling around on the floor, or one miscalculated reach for a brush, and that brand-new contour palette is in powdery shards on the bathroom counter top. However its been broken, here’s how to fix it:


This category encompasses the majority of breakage. One wrong bump and the contents seem to fall apart. If broken compacts and palettes are a problem, luckily, they are super easy to fix.

image credit

Place as many pieces as possible back into the original pan. Add a few, tiny drops of rubbing alcohol over the mess. The powder will become very soft and pliable once the alcohol is added. Use something like a butter knife, clean fingertip, or toothpick to push and mold the softened powder back into shape. Let it dry overnight. The alcohol will evaporate, leaving the powder uniform again. It may not be as pretty as before, but it will still work just the same.

If the powder is too broken/just too powdery to reconstitute in the pan with alcohol, it can always be ground up and stored in a empty container to be used as loose powder.


Lipsticks have a knack for randomly breaking, especially, it seems, they newer and more expensive they are. Here are two things that can salvage a lipstick gone rouge.

The first option is to reattach the remaining lipstick in the tube to the part that has broken off. Make sure to at least wipe off the outside of the lipstick, especially if has touched the floor. Next, take a match or lighter and heat the top of the lipstick that is still inside the tube. Be very careful not to overheat and completely melt the lipstick; it should be gooey, not runny. Once the lipstick inside the tube has been heated, gently press the broken portion on top of the melted portion. Use a clean finger or spoon/knife to smooth out the edges. Let it chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour. After it cools completely, its ready to be used once again!

If a lipstick breaks and dealing with it potentially breaking again doesn’t sound too appealing, creating a lipstick palette may be a good alternate option (or just a funny, rainy afternoon project!). All that is needed is a lighter or match (heat source), a small spoon or bowl, an empty container/palette (empty eye shadow ones work amazingly well), toothpicks/ butter knife, and of course, broken lipstick(s). The first step is to take an appropriate amount of lipstick (what will fit in the container) and place it into the spoon/bowl. Slowly heat up the lipstick from underneath the bowl while stirring the lipstick with a toothpick or butter knife. Keep in mind that it takes very little heat for lipstick to melt. Once the lipstick reaches a consistency that it can easily be poured, go ahead and use it to fill the palette. Lipstick expands as it cools so leave a little space for expansion at the top. Use the back of a spoon or a knife to smooth the surface of the lipstick. After it cools, it is ready to use.

This method makes it easy to use favorite lipstick shades as blushers as well.

If more lipstick shades are going to be used, be sure to clean the “mixing spoon”/bowl to not contaminate shade integrity. Customized shades could potentially be mixed and poured as well. Don’t be afraid of getting creative!

Has anyone tried any of these before? The alcohol+powder trick has saved me more than once:) Thanks for reading!



Getting Ready for School with the Pros

Hi there everyone! This week’s beauties on fire collaboration is a back to school theme. 

School is back in session for many, and getting up early to catch class is never fun. I actually wrote about? divulged? pretty much all my tips and favorite products to make those difficult mornings a little less stressful in my Back to School Beauty Guide if you’d like to check it out (#shameless self promo 😜).

However, to be honest, I’m a total morning person and don’t have too many qualms about waking up an extra half hour early to slap on a sheet mask or make sure my hair is done. Like, a morning person to the point I’ll wake up early on weekends just to sip on coffee outside or whatever and get a head start to my day. Eeeewww, I know. At least it’s coffee and not a green smoothie, right? Right?!

Anyway, back in my Ye Olde College Days (I graduated like 3 months ago lol), I loved to watch and copy looks from YouTube videos to get ready for the day, namely PONY Effect and Lisa Eldridge  makeup tutorials. Most of the time, it never took much longer than the videos themselves, and was an entertaining way to start the day-almost like getting ready with one of your friends…well, in a weird, impersonal, virtual sort of way.

If you aren’t as ridiculously as much of a morning person as me, instead of pausing every so often to replicate the steps as you get ready in the morning, you can always watch them the night before and screen shot the look-whatever works for you.

Anyway, enough with this long intro. Here are some of my all-time favorite get ready with a famous makeup artist (GRWAFMUA?) videos whose looks I still replicate to this day.




I personally love every single one of these tutorials because all the looks are fairly easy to recreate, look good on pretty much everyone, don’t require anything too crazy, and-most importantly-are wonderful for the classroom or office.

What do you guys think of these tutorials? Does anyone else love watching YouTube videos while they get ready? 

Be sure to check out the other posts for this week by clicking on the picture below:

Real Talk+Etude House Play Color Eyes: in the Cafe Swatches and Mini-Review 

Staying content and happy in life can be really hard in today’s modern culture. Juggling professional demands with staying on top of house work, keeping up with social and romantic relationships, for some:maintaining a family or at least taking care of pets, trying to keep in touch with friends and family, social media, and simply trying to have a life on top of all this is a recipe for disaster and emotional burnout.

So where am I going with all this?

Your beauty routine can help you.

For me, personally, a diligent skin routine not only got me back on track in terms of self-care, but taught me to work with myself instead of against myself…give your skin what it needs over saturating it with harsh treatments. That easily translates into healthier habits beyond the vanity table.

Using your bathroom counter top as the starting point for a healthier, happier you may be the most helpful thing you do for yourself in the next year or so.

Having said all this, picking products that speak to you, that capture who you want to be, where you want to go, in short, inspire you, has become a hobby of mine.

This isn’t to say that, like, my deodorant reflects my future career path or anything, but I try hard to pick the product that will deliver the results I need in the most aesthetically pleasing way as possible.

In steps Etude House (and no, not because my ultimate life goal is to be a princess…although I wouldn’t be all too opposed to that if it were to just happen). When I saw this palette, I saw the seamless merging of three things that always put a smile on my face: Etude House, eyeshadow, and coffee. Oh. Hell. Yes.

First of all, can anyone look at the case without instantly thinking of their favorite cozy coffee cafe or smelling a dark, rich roast? It’s literally like your morning coffee…but for your face.

This palette has gotten a lot of love on a regular basis…should have cleaned it up a bit more for the photo but was too excited over this post-so my apologies! But one month strong and I’m still reaching for it more than any other one…let that be the proof.

The colors themselves are lovely basic essentials. I have blue eyes, so browns help my eyes pop. When I first got the case, the shadows were protected by a plastic insert that had the most adorable coffee/latte drinks printed on the along with, well, coffee-related names. Now if only they smelled like their titles (mmm, cafe mocha and honey milk )…

Etude House Play Colour Eyes In The Cafe - Hikoco - Korean Beauty, Skincare, Makeup, Products in New Zealand - 2

Here are some translations of the colors and a good view of the shades: Image credit

The colors all work really well with each other which is such a plus!

Even though I had to wait over a month for this palette to ship to my country (#kbeautyproblems), I am so glad I bought it. It’s by no means high-end in terms of quality,  but the pleasure I get from its super cute packaging and it’s wide range of simple, pretty, totally-spending-the-afternoon-in-a-coffee-shop-appropriate looks, makes me really glad I splurged on some shipping charges and got this favorite addition to my collection.

This review isn’t so much about recommending this particular product (although it’s really great and you should go buy it if you’d like!), but recommending using the things that will regularly add more pep to your step.

Things won’t make you happy; even all the Tony Moly and Etude House products won’t ever magically make your life turn into the life of your dreams. But treating yo’self to things that regularly put a smile on your face and help you feel you can take on the world? 100%worth the investment.

So go slay ’em readers! Take on the world!

What products or rituals help you channel your inner-awesomeness? What do you think of the palette?

What’s in My Bag?

I always love seeing posts and videos addressing the “what’s in my bag” tag. I’m not very much a snoopy person, but I feel that a person’s purse can reveal a lot about them, making me feel like I know a certain vlogger or blogger better, and it is also a great outlet for picking up product recommendations and discovering new cute/useful things I probably wouldn’t otherwise. I never thought I’d ever be running a blog let alone be doing one of these myself. Oh, life’s surprises 🙂

I’m pretty minimalist when it comes to carrying things around. Its usually just my wallet, my phone, my makeup bag, and my keys, plus whatever essentials I may need to lug around that day (books, laptop, etc).

So my makeup pouch is what makes up the majority of what I carry. I tend to keep all of my makeup stuff grouped together in this simple white pouch or a larger clear one when I need more than just touch-up supplies. I *always* take at least my cushion compact (w/SPF containing foundation/bb cream), my Ciracle sebum control powder, a comb, my super-cute macaroon lip balm, and whatever lip color I’m wearing that day. What usually happens is a bajillion and one lip products wind up living in this pouch because I can never remember/be bothered to take them back out. I try to keep oil absorbing sheets and breath mints/gum in there as well.

If I know that I’ll need to stay decent-looking all day, say I have to observe classes or meet with a bunch of students that day, I’ll go ahead and bring concealer and either a brush, or more often, my travel-size makeup blender-so convenient! Any “finicky” makeup, like an eye shadow or blush that I know tends to fade fast, gets stuck in here as well. If I’ll be outside a lot, walking and such, my sunscreen comes with me too.

I always try to have a facial mist with me like this adorable bunny one from TonyMoly. Hydration is so important!

Just in case anyone is wondering why someone with dry skin is carrying around both oil absorbing sheets AND a sebum control powder, its not really for my skin, but for combating what the weather does to my face. From essentially March to late September, Florida is so freaking hot and humid, it destroys your makeup and any hope of a matte finish. I have to use a lot of hydrating makeup products (like foundation and concealer) to not emphasize and exacerbate my dry skin, but the creamier the product, the more the humidity takes it from “dewy-fresh” to “OMG-this girl needs to go take a shower, I was blinded by the sun gleaming off her sweat? highlight? pores? do I want to know?”

Basically, I use the facial mist to (cool the f*** off) help remove extra makeup, then blot it off once it evaporates/absorbs with an oil absorbing sheet (which is much gentler than say, a paper towel or piece of separated TP). Then, after I touch up with a little foundation or concealer, I finish off with the Ciracle powder which has amazing staying power and tends to give my face a longer chance at surviving the 90%+ humidity in 90+ degree (F) heat.

Well, there you have it: my first ever “what’s in my bag.” If you all decide to do one of these in the near future, I would love to read/watch them! Let me know in the comments below 🙂 What’s currently in your bag?