Today I’ll be taking a train up to Los Angeles, where I’ll be speaking at the BEAUTCHAT Beauty Class alongside some other awesome AB and K-beauty bloggers. I’ll only be in L.A. for two days and one night, but since I’ll be there for a special skincare event, I’ve had to give a lot of thought to what products I’m bringing and putting on my face. I chose products from my current lineup that I know I can rely on for the effects they produce. In my list below, I’ve also pointed out some alternatives for a few of the more expensive or difficult-to-find items. Wanna see?
Affiliate links in this post enable me to receive a small commission on products purchased and are marked with an asterisk(*). Some of the products in this post were provided by Fifty Shades of Snail sponsors and are marked with double asterisks(**).
As much as it might look like I packed my entire stash plus the kitchen sink, the contents of my single mesh bag were actually carefully chosen–I left over half of my skincare basket behind, not to mention 99% of my current cream and sleeping pack options!
Since I’m only going to be gone for one night, I didn’t bother to bring any actives. My skin won’t miss a night of those. Instead, since I want my skin to look its best right now for the special event I’m traveling to, I focused on products that I know have an immediate effect on my skin’s appearance–and a daytime routine that will work well with makeup. A beauty event that involves something called “Photo Time” is not a place for shiny slidey smeary makeup, white cast, flashback, or any of the many other things that can go wrong between moisturizer and foundation.
My Skincare Picks for Overnight Travel and a Special Event
Cleansing is non-negotiable, especially the night before the event. I’m going to need a fresh clean canvas to get the most out of the other products I’m bringing.
- Cleansing oil: A by Bom Ultra Watery Eoseongcho Cleanser**. You wouldn’t be able to tell by the name (“WATERY”?!?!?!?!), but this is a cleansing balm, an excellent one. The firm, waxy balm melts on skin into a nice thick oil; it removes sunscreen and all kinds of makeup quickly and emulsifies and rinses clean. The flowery fragrance isn’t really my cup of tea, but it’s tolerable, unlike, say, the Heimish All Clean Cleansing Balm, which I tried before this one and hated. (Coming this weekend to SKINiD)
- Alternative pick: Banila Co Clean It Zero–this classic pink cleansing balm performs similarly and is easily accessible. (Amazon*)
- Foaming cleanser: Hyggee All-In-One Care Cleansing Foam**. One of the newer releases from the makers of the One Step Facial Essences I like so much, this is a pH ~5.5 self-foaming cleanser that gets my skin soft and clean without drying it out or leaving unpleasant residue behind. Also, it has the same sweetly vegetal scent as the facial essences, and I love that scent. (Available at Beautibi in the Here to Stay skincare set)
- Alternative pick: Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Cleansing Foam, another soft and fluffy low-pH self-foaming cleanser. This provides a very comparable experience to the Hyggee, just without the awesome scent. (Amazon*)
Rapid result skincare
Essences and serums are where I look for the majority of my skincare “results.” If you’ve been reading this blog or following me on Instagram for a while, you’ll be familiar with most of my choices here.
- For overall rosiness: Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum EX**. This is my third or fourth bottle of this stuff, which gives me softly flushed rosy cheeks and a general healthy appearance. This is one of the items in my bag for which I can’t think of a suitable alternative–I haven’t come across any other product that does quite what this one can do for me. (Full review | Sulwhasoo US*)
- For that fresh, bright FTE glow: Naruko Jingcheng Face Renewal Miracle Essence**. I’m on my second(?) bottle of this fermentation essence, which reliably brightens and evens out my skin tone while providing a boost of hydration. (Full review | Naruko US* | Naruko US BOGO deal*)
- Alternative pick: Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence (Rose): An excellent budget FTE that delivers the FTE Glow. (RoseRoseShop)
- For an insta-firming effect: Oneoseven Core-Flex Cream Essence**. Oneoseven is one of the brands sponsoring the BEAUTCHAT event. This essence, which I’ve been using intermittently for quite a few months now, has a dense and creamy consistency yet sinks in thoroughly, leaving no trace of residue behind. I don’t understand how it does that. I like it for the instant temporary firming effect it gives my skin. I haven’t used it consistently enough to fully review it, but if you’re curious, my friend Julie at PDX Beautiful has! Read her review here. (Beautibi)
- Alternative pick: Banila Co Miss Flower & Mr Honey Essence Oil. Though very different from the Oneoseven cream essence, this rich moisturizing serum with fermented honey gives my skin a similar overnight firming effect. With bonus brightening abilities. (Amazon*)
- For extra daytime radiance: LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule. I’ll be mixing a couple of drops of this calming, healing, glow-boosting propolis nectar into at least one of my morning skincare steps the day of the event. As a bonus, it’ll help take away any redness I might wake up with that day. (Mini-review | Amazon*)
- For eye area lifting and tightening: Amorepacific Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence**. I’m currently testing a different eye essence (with a third one queued up and ready to go), but so far haven’t found anything that tightens up my eye skin and wakes up my eye area like this roller ball serum. (Full review | Amorepacific US*)
Extra efficient moisturizers
I expect to spend a lot of time in drying air-conditioned buildings, so I can’t skimp on moisturizers. I also need my moisturizers to multitask, since I want my skin to look 100%.
- For day: Amorepacific Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel**. This oil-free hydrating gel creme is surprisingly plumping and retains the moisture in my skin nicely, so I can skip a hydrating step or two in my day routine without losing my bounce. And it’s blue. Blue is cool. (Mini-review | Amorepacific US*)
- Alternative pick: Naruko Dermalane 1000-Molecule Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Cream, a hydrating water drop cream that gives my skin a nice drink that lasts all day. It’s not blue, though. (Naruko US*)
- For night: Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask EX. This was my first ever Sulwhasoo product–I got a freebie gift with purchase travel size tube, fell madly in love, bought myself a full-sized tube, and haven’t looked back. It’s a smooth, medium-weight moisturizer that leaves my skin even, bright, and glowy the next morning. (Review | W2Beauty | Amazon* | Sulwhasoo US*)
- For eyes: Unitouch Cherry Blossom Massage Eye Cream**. This is actually a newer addition to my routine, so I don’t have much to say yet about this Taiwanese product besides that it’s a nice, non-greasy eye cream that lightly moisturizes and fills in fine lines well. It doesn’t mess with my eye makeup, and my eyes don’t get crepey by the end of the day. Full review may come later, if I find it’s notable enough to cover in detail.
- Alternative pick: Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream is insanely cheap and works fine for a bit of hydration and plumping around eyes. Also, snails. (Amazon*)
Of course I’m going to mask the night before the event. Maximum results desired!
- Exfoliator: Dr. Althea Diamond Peeling Solution**. A combination of gommage peel and sea salt facial scrub, this citrus-scented exfoliator in the convenient pod packaging is a lot scrubbier than I normally use. I do like this kind of thing occasionally, though. It gets my skin incredibly soft and smooth as well as perfectly primed for the rest of my skincare. (Mishe Beauty)
- Sheet mask: Hello Skin Jumiso Water Splash Mask. Talk about a lucky purchase–I mostly bought this brand’s masks because they’re cute! I raved about the Water Splash Mask on Instagram the first time I used it–this is one of the softest, most velvety mask sheets I’ve had the pleasure to put on my face, and the essence leaves my skin ridiculously hydrated and milky bright. It is a little perfumey, but nothing I can’t handle, and it stays wet for nearly an hour. That makes it perfect for leisurely hotel room masking. (Kultfinds)
Special event sunscreens
For once, I don’t have much to say about my sunscreen choices. I’ve been working through the stash of sunscreens I was sent for my W2Beauty sunscreen feature. I’m down to the ones I disliked. Most of them feature a heavy, gloppy finish and white cast for days, and the only one left that dries clear also happens to dry with a greasy shine like a face dipped in cooking oil. (Graymelin Moisture Sun Essence**, if you’re morbidly curious.) None of that is going to work for me, so I found a sunscreen I’d previously been sent by Shiseido’s US PR and had rejected for being too low-SPF.
The Shiseido White Lucent All Day Brightener** is only SPF 23, but when I swatched it on my hand, it dried down light and non-greasy, and the initial white cast completely disappeared, leaving behind a kind of beige sparkle that can be easily addressed with my base makeup. Mostly, I’m just glad for the lack of grease and white cast. For extra fun, I’m throwing in the Shiseido White Lucent OnMakeup Spot Correcting Serum**, which is basically a tiny tube of SPF 25 foundation packaged as a sunscreen touch-up. It might come in handy. Who knows?
Alternative pick: I really wanted to bring the A’pieu Pure Block Aqua Sun Gel** that was my favorite out of the dozen-plus sunscreens I tested, but I don’t have any on hand due to wanting to “finish what I have” first. (W2Beauty)
I haven’t packed my Saturday outfit yet or given any thought to the rest of what I might need for the night or the next day, but now that my skincare is settled, I feel ready to go. Check my Instagram over the weekend to see the makeup I’m taking with me, the routines I put together from these products, and whatever shenanigans I get up to in LA! And stay tuned for the next phase of this blog. I’ve heard your feedback and am shifting direction to more reviews of affordable products, so I’m going on a quest for the best budget-friendly K-beauty and AB skincare I can find. Lots of fun ahead!
I should really do laundry and pack now.