COSRX Two In One Poreless Power Liquid – Review / Empty

Disclaimer: The product (COSRX Two-In-One Poreless Power Liquid) featured in this post was sent by @theskincarecurator for PR consideration. All thoughts are my own.

I’ve been using this almost daily for several months now and I’m currently on my 2nd bottle (repurchased). It has a watery gel consistency but runny enough to apply with a cotton pad.

Before we had water filter installed, I used to apply one layer with a cotton pad first because water in our residence building leaves rusty brown watermarks on the dish drain. I like to imagine I was wiping rust off my face. Then I apply a second layer (one pump) directly on my skin. The toner gives a subtle cooling minty feel that I really appreciated last summer.

The product has 0.1% Betaine Salicylate (which I thought was negligible) and 88% Willow Bark Extract. I spent a good number of hours googling for studies on the latter when used topically.

Willow bark extract contains salicin. The latter doesn’t convert to salicylic acid when applied on the skin but it has anti-inflammatory and aspirin-like properties. I found this to be true for me. The overall reddish cast my face had from using retinoids is significantly reduced. Note: Redness reduction is not included in the product’s claims. Just something I noticed.

Willow bark extract also has tannins that constrict pores. My first week of using it, I did not see any improvement. My pores look better now but not to the extent that I would describe my skin as “poreless”. If you have high expectations with this product when it comes to pore (dis)appearance, I’m hesitant to recommend it.

What I did notice is that my pores looked clear and not congested. I used to use 2% Salicylic Acid at least once a week to manage ruddiness and blackheads. I don’t find myself needing the latter as often anymore.

At one point I doubted my perception and thought it wasn’t really doing anything so I stopped using it. I WAS WRONG. My face looked less ‘maaliwalas’ when I took a break. (I’m not sure there’s a direct english translation for this word but it means clean, clear, and bright). Generally, it makes me look well-rested.

Maybe 0.1% Betaine Salicylate is not as negligible as I thought. That said, I still think this product is more of a toner/astringent (like Witch Hazel Extract which incidentally also has tannins) rather than a BHA treatment product. If you’re looking for the latter, COSRX Blackhead Power Liquid with its 4% Betaine Salicylate could be the better option or look for a 2% salicylic acid product (my preferred).

Overall, I really like this as a toner used on my Salicylic Acid off days. The only con I can think of is the cost (Php 990), but I like it enough to repurchase.

Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Water 88.0%
Betaine Salicylate 0.1%

Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Water, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxypropyl Cyclodextrin, Water, Pentylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine Salicylate, Arginine, Betaine, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Allantoin, Panthenol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Carbomer, Cassia Obtusifolia Seed Extract, Menthyl Lactate, Mentha Haplocalix Extract

COSRX products can be purchased from the following official distributors in the Philippines: Watsons, Shopee (theskincarecurator), Beauty Bar, and

Unsung Hero | Japonesque Professional Lash Curler Review

It’s time to give these unsung heroes the recognition they deserve, starting with Japonesque’s Professional Lash Curler.

I was sorting and organizing my makeup collection when I realized that I am lucky to have stumbled upon a few makeup tools that do the job so well that I’m kept from exploring other options.

It’s time to give these unsung heroes the recognition they deserve, starting with Japonesque’s Professional Lash Curler.

Japonesque Professional Lash Curler
Japonesque Professional Lash Curler – No Side-Bars!

Mine is around 5-6 years old. It’s easy to hold and control. It gives a round curl instead of a hard angle.

The curler is made of durable plastic. The structure reminds me of Shu Uemura’s S-Curler, but Japonesque seems better because it’s wider and it can curl my lashes all at once.

I love that I don’t need to replace the curler pads, but the box came with one refill, in case you’d need it. The pad is made of silicone that you can just pull out and wash with soap and water.

Japonesque Professional Lash Curler - Lashes
Lashes curled with Japonesque Professional Lash Curler (no mascara)

I recommend this for people with smaller and flatter eyes and those with puffy eyelids like mine (it doesn’t pinch my lids, thanks to the absence of side-bars!).

It’s pricey at Php 850*, but for lasting this long, I think I got my money’s worth.

*available at Beauty Bar

Declutter Diary: Makeup and Skincare Boxes

Sometimes I still fantasize about becoming a prolific beauty blogger. I had been keeping boxes of makeup and skincare products for future reference and picture taking. But whenever I saw my little box pile, I got stressed! So I threw away all the boxes and I felt lighter.

Declutter Diary - Beauty Product Boxes

It represented a backlog of beauty product reviews that no one really asked for. Haha!

I think it’s time to give up my beauty blogging dreams. I still thoroughly enjoy putting on makeup and doing my skincare routine, but I don’t want to have to take mental notes on what to write in a review. What’s supposed to be an escape shouldn’t feel like a job. I will still write reviews but only when I feel like it and at my own pace.

Next weekend, I’ll go through empty skincare bottles I’ve been keeping because I thought I could write about them. 😅

Click here to see other posts in the Declutter Diary series.

30-Day Low Carb Challenge | Final Update

Last November, I tracked my food intake and did a 30-day low carb challenge. I had already been eating a relatively low-carb diet at least a year prior to this but I had been slacking. It helps to track once in a while to make sure my carb macro estimate is within target.

Since this isn’t my first time with this way of eating, it was relatively easy for me. I was already familiar with food I should eat and avoid, and I already know how to meal prep and where to get food when I’m not able to bring lunch. I’ll share my initial struggles with the low carb diet in a separate post.

The past 30 days, I averaged 54.5g of carbs (46.5g net carbs). Not so far off my goal of <50g. Yay!

I realized that I probably was averaging 75 to 125g of carbs when I wasn’t tracking.

On November 8, I weighed in at 118.6 lbs. By the end of the month I was 114.4 lbs. I lost 4.2 lbs (around 2kgs). I’m also happy to report that my blood glucose levels are nowhere near the prediabetic range. Woohoo!

Would I continue eating low carb? Yes.

I am less lethargic since starting the low carb diet and I don’t break out anymore, even during my period!

No-Buy 2019 and Makeup and Skincare Low-Buy 2018 Update

I think my 2018 makeup and skincare low-buy challenge went well. I emptied (or let go of) 135 beauty products, but acquired 85 — a ratio of 1.6 : 1. Not bad.

Low-Buy 2018 - November and December

I did better towards the end of the year which made me feel confident to attempt a modified No-Buy for 2019, which will now include clothes and shoes (and other non-necessities like fountain pens and ink). Here are my rules:

  • I’m allowed to buy true replacements.
  • For makeup and skincare — if I’m not buying a replacement, I should let go of 3 items (I know, too strict, but that’s the point). For other items one-in-one-out.
  • Once in a blue moon, I am sent skincare and makeup PR samples. I should only accept it IF it’s something I would really buy or if it’s something I know I will use (e.g., sunscreen, retinoids, vitamin c serum, etc).
  • For clothes and shoes — it’ll be a little tricky. I lost a lot of weight last year and I need to buy several clothing items that make me feel great. I can’t go more than week without doing the laundry now, which is fine, but I prefer to have buffer days. I’m planning to have 2 weeks worth of clothes in rotation, excluding workout clothes.
  • All of my purchases should be made in cash.
  • For any purchase made, I should deposit in my savings account an amount equal to the value of the thing I bought. I will open a separate bank account for this.
  • I’m only allowed gourmet coffee if it’s for spending time with my husband, family, and friends. Otherwise, I should log these solo coffee purchases and deposit the same amount in my savings account.

For documentation purposes, I’m logging all purchases, gifts, empties, and anything I let go of in my journal. I hope I can post a monthly update.