Casual Wednesday: Welcome!


Lately I’ve noticed a pretty substantial increase in visitors to this blog. It’s really exciting, and I’m so glad people are finding me. My bottomless appetite for attention does need to be fed constantly, you know.

But I worry that if you’ve only recently come to Fifty Shades of Snail or K-beauty and Asian cosmetics in general, you may find this world a little overwhelming. So I thought I’d take a few minutes to welcome you and show you around. If you’re a little confused or don’t know where to start, keep reading!

I’m Fiddy Snails, and I run this blog. Away from here, you can find me on social media:

  • As @fiddysnails on Instagram, where I post lots of mini-reviews, daily skincare routines drawn from my current skincare wardrobe, haul pics and skincare tips, and the very occasional FOTD or sheet mask selfie
  • As @crazysnaillady on Twitter, where I do, um, Twittery things
  • As Fifty Shades of Snail on Facebook, where I swear I do answer messages, though it occasionally takes me a while
  • And as mommasharkus on Snapchat, where you can see my skincare routines in real time and peep my nightly sheet mask selection(s).

My passion, and the focus of this blog, is Asian skincare. Most of the brands I use and write about are Korean, but I have some Japanese and Taiwanese products in the mix as well. If you’re curious about why I’m so into Asian skincare in particular, I try to explain that here.

Asian skincare routine
These are some of the many things I like to put on my face.

Many of the questions I get have to do with building a skincare routine. I’ve made some resources that may help answer your questions. Start with my routine building guideΒ and go from there.

If you want to search for products by product type, use the Categories drop-d0wn menu. If you want to find a particular effect or attribute, such as anti-aging or brightening, or if you want to take a look at specific post types, such as those with affiliate links and those that feature products given by sponsors, use the tags in the tag cloud.

Enjoy your time here and feel free to comment with any questions or requests. I’m happy you stopped by!

Cosrx snail cream
Oh, and be prepared for lots of snail creams.

Is there anything I can help you with?


37 thoughts on “Casual Wednesday: Welcome!

    1. Hiya! I have only tried a little bit of Naruko, just two different kinds of sheet masks from the brand. I’m afraid I didn’t love them, but I’ve heard such good things about the company (and the founder’s skin is amazing!!) so I’m definitely going to try some of their other products, probably their sleeping jellies or something like that. And thank you! πŸ™‚


      1. Yea, I had tried their sheet masks before and it was meh. But I like their night jellies. Now I’m contemplating whether to get more night jellies from them or get the rice spa mask from COSRX.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi!
    So glad I found your blog as I now have a bunch of K-beauty products to try out. My questions are: what order have you found is the most effective in which to use COSRX BHA, AHA & A-Sol? Would you use all three products in the morning as well (assuming it’s winter/spring and not particularly sunny and you’re not planning a full day outside)? And finally: would you mix a “western beauty” serum with other K-beauty products or is there a reason not to?

    Thank you Fiddy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hiya!

      For the CosRX acids, I go AHA -> BHA -> A-Sol, in order to go from lowest pH to highest. If you add an L-ascorbic acid vitamin C serum like OST C20 or C21.5 later on, that will go first.

      I wouldn’t use acids in the morning or any more frequently than once a day. I prefer a short morning routine with fewer layers so that there’s less chance something will interfere with my makeup 😁

      And there’s no particular reason you can’t mix Asian and Western products, so go ahead and use what’s best for your skin from both worlds!

      Thanks for visiting my blog!


      1. Hello again!

        Thank you for your speedy reply πŸ™‚

        Another question…. If a girl doesn’t feel ready to go full on with the tretinoin treatment but is curious about vitamin A in skincare and tried a retinol booster or something similar – this would still be the step after cleansing and before BHA/AHA, right?

        Big thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do my retinoid immediately after my AHA and BHA actually. Retinoids are best at a higher pH than AHAs and BHAs. But on evenings when I don’t use my AHA and BHA, I put the tret on first after cleansing. And you’re very welcome πŸ™‚


  2. Hi Fiddy, I am from Austria in Europa and I found your nice blog on the recommendation of a german Blogger She worte about The cosrx cleanser! Now im obsessed ans ordered alot! Greatings form Gabriela

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What are you thoughts on alcohol as an ingredient? I have heard other say they would never use a sheet mask which contains alcohol. I have seen some top selling Korean creams contain alcohol. Also, where is a good source for finding ingredients in Korean skincare? I have used Cosdna, but am not sure if it is reliable. I recently did a search and it stated an ingredient was cancer causing, but when I cross referenced the same ingredient on Paula’s Choice it was listed as “good.”. I love your blog. I just recently started using Korean skincare and cannot believe the difference it has made. I had always used high end American skincare and skincare sold at Dermatologist and not seen too much difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi! Alcohol is not a deal breaker across the board unless you personally are sensitive to it. As long as there isn’t too much in the product, it can actually be helpful. It is a penetration enhancer and helps product dry faster (which is why you’ll find it in many Japanese sunscreens). If you’ve used products with alcohol before without problems, then don’t worry πŸ™ƒ

      I like CosDNA for getting a general sense of a product, but it isn’t infallible. Sometimes they don’t list the correct purpose of an ingredient, for example. And skin is so individual that their acne and irritation ratings don’t really mean much. I actually prefer the Paula’s Choice ingredient dictionary when I want just an overview of an ingredient (though they are very conservative in their evaluations).

      When I need to look at ingredients for Korean products, I use the Hwahae app (mobile only). It’s great! Like CosDNA but much slicker and more modern interface.

      I hope that answers your questions and I’m glad Kbeauty is making a difference to your skin! What products are you using right now?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for your reply! I had read on some blogs that alcohol was terrible. It has probably been in everything I have been using. I have never checked ingredients of US skincare. I will check out the Hwahae app. Right now I am using: Clean it Zero cleanser, Neogen Green Tea cleanser, Son and Park Beauty Water, BHA (morning) AHA (evening) by Paulas ChoiceTime Essence First Essence, Power 10 Formula WH Effector, Waterest Moisture Barrier Cream. HOLIKAHOLIKA Petit BB Cream. I do have a few other moisturizers and snail products I am testing too. πŸ™‚ I had been using Obagi Skincare for lightening, but I am having very good results with the Korean products (which has really surprised me!). I will probably not continue with the Obagi. Is there anything missing in my routine? I am still learning!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ooh, that looks like a really good routine! What do you think of the Neogen cleanser? I’d been eyeing that one and the cranberry(?) flavor recently.

        Stick with what you have for a couple of months more and then evaluate if you should change anything. It does look like you’re doing good so far. Do you have a sunscreen though?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. So far I like the Neogen cleanser. I have never been much of a fan of the foam pump dispensers because I always thought it was all air! The cleanser is very mild and seems to be doing a good job. It is a crazy bottle. The bottom of the bottle has tea leaves in it. I would like to try one of the other ones just to see what is in the bottom! πŸ˜‰ The BB I am using is an spf30. Since it is grey and winter, I was thinking it was fine for now. I am shopping around for a higher spf though. Any favorites??

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I just started falling into the AB rabbit hole and I love your blog, especially because it seems like we have very similar skin.

    A couple questions: Do you think sheet masks really do much? I’ve only used a few so far and while they’re relaxing and soothing idk if they do much more than give me a little boost of tenporary hydration. (This doesn’t stop me from being completely obsessed with then BTW)

    The other question is which skin moisture tester do you use? The nerd in me really wants to make a spreadsheet tracking my product use and moisture percentage over time


  5. Hi Fiddy! Someone on Memebox Addicts Facebook page posted a link to your older review on Missha’s sheet masks this week. I’m so glad to learn I wasn’t alone in my loathsome attitude towards their Pearl mask. Bleck! Most of my original purchases came from Missha because of their sale on Black Friday. While I love the Time Revolution First Treatment Essence, those masks are a drag. I have a Time Revolution 2-piece mask that I haven’t tried yet, plus several collagen and hyaluronic acid masks, but they keep getting shoved aside for other things. Guess I’ll bust one open tonight and see if I should just use the essence on my arms instead (and throw away the mask). Congrats on all the new views! I try to mention you and the Snailcast team whenever appropriate. All good things, Tracy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Tracy!

      OMG Missha sheet masks. Why are they so godawful? I don’t love Missha, but the couple of products of theirs that I’ve used (besides the Super Aqua snail line) have been solid enough, so it’s such a disappointment. If even more downmarket brands like Etude House can pump out quality sheet masks, why can’t Missha?

      I remember the FTE masks. They didn’t do much for me, but they weren’t heinous like the others. Maybe you’ll have a good result!


  6. Hello~
    C: followed you on Twitter.
    I just wanted to thank you for showing me the light of my own personal skincare heaven that is cosrx -^^-! I’ve probably committed more skincare taboo the past 23 years of my life than anyone you’ve ever met but lately I’ve decided it’s time I gave my face some tlc and started working on getting that PIH taken care of while my skin is still young enough to accept an interference attempt and before it gets bad enough that I actually need to put on the latex gloves and get all heavy duty on it ;;. Your blog (as well as Holy Snails and Snow White and the Asian Pear which I found thanks to you so triple thanks here~) has helped me tremendously and I’ve basically fallen in love with cosrx now thanks to my first try with the rice sleeping pack after reading your review on the honey and rice. I’m now in the process of converting most parts of my routine to a cosrx way of life haha ^^;. I am very happy I found your blog and am very thankful for the tremendous amount of time and effort you clearly spend keeping it up and running for everyone! I probably won’t ever post much but I just want you to know I’ll be happily following you in the background from now on~

    Thanks again,

    Liked by 1 person

  7. let me just say im hooked hooked to your site i really learned a lot from you. and also its very rare to find a passionate blogger that is in the same age range as me. im 34 by the way with combination skin filipino chinese living in the philippines :). i have tried some of your recomended products and so far no breakouts for me yey! and indeed they are amazing. tried cosrx aha n bha liquid, snail essence great great great! my goodal is on its way. so excited to try it. keep up the great work. you are helping a lot of people. so thank you very much. by the way have you tried swanicoco? im interested in trying their 90% ginseng ampoule and their other ampoules also heard great reviews about this company. cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not tried Swanicoco but I’m interested in that ginseng ampoule–I’m curious to try more ginseng products in general now. And I’m glad you like my blog!


  8. Hiya Fiddy!

    I asked this on another post but didn’t get a reply. Hopefully I’ll have more luck here!

    How does the COSRX Advanced Snail 92 AIO Cream wear under silicone heavy sunscreen & foundation?

    Is it moisturizing/hydrating enough for normal/combo oily skin to use as a standalone in the morning?

    Thank you and sorry to be a bother :O

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it would work fine for your skin type as a day cream, and as for your other question, I’ve found that it wears smoothly under both silicone- and water-based products. Sorry I missed your question before!


  9. Hi!! I found you while desperately searching for any feedback on the brand, Nature Republic. Actually, I found you from another blogger whose name escapes me now. (Sorry)
    Back to NR- I just returned from a flagship store here in Sacramento,Ca. I was ABSOLUTELY thrilled to find a k-beauty store in my area…it was like I found a Unicorn or something. Anyways, even though I haven’t really heard of Nature Republic, (all research to this point was gleaned from YouTube reviews), I picked up their snail toner and face wash, also a crap-ton of sheet masks.
    Do you have opinions on this brand? Products you would recommend or things I should stay away from? Is this compairavle to tye US store- the body shop? Any advice is very much appreciated. Also, interested in higher end kbeauty.
    * this blog post was very helpful for navigating your site, thank you.
    34yrs/oily combo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. IMO you hit it right on the head with the Body Shop comparison, I think. I haven’t really been super impressed with their products–there seems to be a lot less focus on the natural ingredients and a lot more fragrance and typical fillers–but I don’t think it’s a bad brand by any means! Just not quite what they market themselves as, much like Innisfree. They could be a good intro to AB πŸ™ƒ


  10. Just wanted to comment that I found your site and discovered Kbeauty, or Abeauty, back in Nov. I’ve bought lots of the products you’ve recommend & love them! I’m still trying to figure my skin out as I didn’t do much “skin caring” before.

    I love your blog! and tell people all about it, when they’re willing to listen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing! I’m so glad you love what you’ve gotten so far!

      when they’re willing to listen

      Finding people who are “willing to listen” is what led me to start this blog in the first place, hahaha.


  11. I know sunscreen is super important, but how do you protect your lips from UV? Do you use regular sunscreen or is there special sunscreen for lips?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Excited to say I just jumped onto the Asian skincare boat! πŸ˜€

    I took a while to let go of my high-ish pH Cetaphil facewash and found myself only oil cleansing with Clean It Zero balm (mostly because I haven’t gone to the store for a while). Is this frowned upon?

    PS: love your site! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi, I’ve just recently started reading your blog and over the last month started using Korean skin care, so there’s a lot I don’t understand. My skin has been the best it’s been for a long while although this is probably to do with a prescription vitamin a cream I’ve started using. I’ve started using SUM: 37 essence, Mizon snail cream, Benton BHA toner, Benton essence or serum? and trying different masks. I was getting hormonal acne around my jawline, just under my chin and by my collar bone (not those places all at once, certain times of the month it would flare up and then clear up, very frustrating!). It completely cleared up for a whole month which is amazing so I’m definitely sticking with Korean products. Could you recommend any other products for me? I’m going to try the vitamin c product you use and maybe the COSrx AHA product. I was using the NIOD copper peptide serum is there a similar or more effective Korean product to switch to or other ingredients to look out for that are firming?

    Sorry for the very long comment πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I just wanted to let you know I founf yoir blogs after trying a few mildly-snail products and finding that I wanted MOAR SNAIL in my snail product (I had already been sold on bee spit), and did find and try several brands that I would never have known about except through your reviews. I’ve also tried my first real active ingredients after much hem-hawing and found that there is no reason to be scared of BHAs (they’re not all going to burn like Stridex).

    Also I peeped that hada labo in the back there! Is that a discontinued gokyujyun????

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, it’s a new one! Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Lotion with 5 molecular weights of hyaluronic acid. I’ll be reviewing it soon. And welcome and thank you for reading! πŸ˜™


  15. I love your blog, Fiddy! Can you recommend a nice moisturizer that doesn’t have hyaluronic acid in it? I can only use it very sparingly, and it seems like it’s in absolutely errrrrrrythang. Thanks πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

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