One of my cousins reached out to be recently to ask for advice about skincare.

My immediate reaction was to ask what her skin type is and what her goals were. Knowing these two things make building a skincare routine to be more effective.

There are a lot of blogs and resources out there explaining the 10 step Korean Skincare routine, these are just my personal notes and preferences.

Starting out: I advised that at the very least she should get a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

And does it matter which one she should spend more money on?

I said cleanser. There should be nothing stopping you from getting this first important step in your skincare routine.

If your facial cleanser and cleansing routine is not good, then all the products you apply afterwards will not be effective and essentially a waste of money. A good cleanser gets the job done. I know there is a lot of fuss out there over PH levels, laurel sulfates, etc., but there are a few things I keep in mind that categorize a cleanser as good in my view:

  1. It does not sting my face
  2. It does not make my face feel super dry
  3. In the process of using it, I don’t make a huge mess in my sink

Now these are just some of the basics and does not include make up removal; I am a believer in the double cleanse for when I wear makeup. There is such a huge variety of water based cleansers out there that there is very much a possibility of finding a great one that is on the budget side. And because of that, there’s no need to settle on something that works just ok.

Moisturizer is the next step in a basic routine. There are some general rules that I go by when incorporating more steps that I also apply to moisturizers:

  1. Less than 20 ingredients
  2. I am ok with more than 20 ingredients when the list is clearly listing various plant extracts
  3. Dimethicone, silicone, or fragrance is not high on the list

The type of moisturizer you choose also depends on the environment you live in. In dryer climates you will likely want to use a cream based moisturizer, where as in the summer humidity you may opt for a gel. There is also the workplace to consider, air conditioning, air movement, going in and out of hot, cold, humid, dry, zones, etc. Knowing where you are going to be for the day can also determine which moisturizer you want to use.

My general rule of thumb: just put some on, your face will thank you.

Sunscreens! Just like facial cleansers there are so many great Asian sunscreens available that sometimes it is really hard to choose just one. Please remember that a bb cream or foundation with spf in it is not a good replacement for this step. In general you should be using a large pea size, 1/4 tsp, amount to cover your face. There are a lot of great youtube videos demonstrating just how much product that is and how cakey your face will look if you try to do that with a color correcting product.

When purchasing a sunscreen you also want to make sure you are reading the spf description: broad spectrum or bust. There are three types of sunscreens: physical/mineral, chemical, and mixed. Usually I opt for mixed when looking for a good daily basic, then after that I go for a physical/mineral type. The 100% chemical type I’m not really a fan of because of the smell and the likelihood of it having unsafe ingredients, which I’ll go into more detail later in this post.

A physical/mineral broad spectrum sunscreen is your best bet for long lasting coverage with minimal side effects. But it is also most likely to give you a white cast and flash back in photos. To combat that, I like to use the mixed type. The mixed type also has the advantage of the chemical sunscreen formulas that are more liquid and easier to spread on my face.

The rest of the 10 step routine:

So there are also the serums, essences, beauty waters, moisturizing toners, acid toners, face masks, sheet masks, blackhead strips, etc. And they are all products for specific purposes. At this point you want to really focus on making sure you are:

  1. Reading product descriptions
  2. Read reviews from other users,
  3. Read ingredient lists
  4. Make sure you are not clashing any product ingredients: don’t use a physical exfoliant and then a chemical exfoliant.
  5. I find it easier to choose one skin issue to fix at a time: redness, pores, blackheads, overall texture, dark spots, brightening, etc.
  6. Especially if you have sensitive or reactive skin, spot test on the back of your neck or somewhere on your upper arms before your face.

Now for the fun parts: once you figure out what ingredients work for you and what combination of products works, you budget can be cut way down because you are no longer spending money on various products to test. And also, my favorite part, all the limited edition packaging! 😀

More Resources:

Reddit: Asian Beauty

Reddit: Asian Beauty New User Guide

Fitty Shades of Snail: How To Guide

The Beauty Breakdown

Cruelty Free Kitty


My Current Favorite Brands:

It’s Skin




My Current Routine:

Cleanser: Dr. Jart Micro PH Foam Gel Cleanser

Serum: Stratia Rewind

Moisturizer: Stratia Liquid Gold, Innisfree Cherry Gel Cream

What have I been up to?

I’ve been knitting. A. LOT. If you’re a friend on Ravelry, you’ve probably noticed my sweater knitting game has increased quite a bit. I’m averaging 1 sweater/garment a month since the beginning of the year. But now that the weather is turning nicer, I want to spend more time on my yard, gardening, etc. It also helps that Animal Crossing: New Horizons is basically like a yard work simulator. Pulling weeds there motivates me to pull actual weeds in my backyard. 

I’m one of the lucky ones. I didn’t lose my job, I’ve already been working from home the past 4 years, and my cat still loves me.

How am I coping?

Going at my own pace. Despite what may seem like lightning speed knitting, I’ve been trying to put zero pressure on myself to complete UFOs or attempt extreme knitting (hyper complex stitch patterns, trying to eek out a free pattern, or work with a material I’m not familiar with). 

I’m also taking the time to stretch. Yes, I’ve been a couch potato for quite a while now, but under normal circumstances I’d be taking 3-5 mile walks on the weekends with the nice weather. Since I’m not doing that, I am making an explicit effort to stretch and do squats on my own.


  • leg stretches x3 against the spare bed
  • 15 push ups against the bed
  • 20 squats
  • 10 horse stance 3 second dips

What are my future plans?

 More knitting? Probably. ^.^

I’ve finished spinning some nice garnet dyed BFL into a fingering/sport weight 2 ply yarn. I have plenty of yardage for my own sweater. I’ve got some basic ideas already down on paper and am excited to start on it. But first. I need to finish my current WIP which is the babycocktails pattern Luxardo


So I bought a few games on Amazon over the weekend.

The two games in question: Dragon Quest XI and Ni No Ku Ni
I bought DQ because I played the demo and was able to survive the mild clench induced headache. It’s totally worth the motion sickness.
The other game I bought because it was on sale too.

So both games I got for under $80. Under normal circumstances it would be closer to $110. So yeah, I think I got a good deal.

And since it is my birthday month, I probably shouldn’t have bought them. But being a married person with a shared bank account…why miss out on a sale?
I won’t get anything else, besides yarn…

Rose City Yarn Crawl is this coming weekend. I don’t really want to go because of the crowd and covid-19 going around locally.:(
But I also don’t want to miss out on my favorite independent yarn dyers. _heavy sigh_

I don’t know what happened, but looks like my old blog settings got messed up. I know that I was way behind on updating my site. But…I figured stuff would still work since I was just using the WP as a blog, nothing crazy going on over there in terms of software and settings. But alas, it is gone.

I’ve lost easy access to those blog posts, but I haven’t deleted the old hosting account…so technically it’s all there, somewhere, hopefully.

Ugh, 7 years of blogging all gone. 🙁 

But this does give me a good kick in the pants to get this blog to focus on something. I hadn’t regularly posted on my first blog in years. And this is a good thing! I don’t have any reason not to give this website a good focus.

What do I do?

I play video games – female perspective, motion sickness awareness

I am into fiber arts – knitting, crochet, spinning, felting

I love my cat – my little cinnamon roll of terror

I casually hoard beauty products – maybe I’ll actually do reviews? (probably not, lol)