Tatcha Deep Hydration Firming Serum

Happy new year dear friends! And now that we find ourselves wedged in the middle of a sneakily brutal winter (at least here in NY), I felt now is as good a time as any to share a goody that has helped to keep my skin from being the dry, flaky mess it was the previous winters (thank you aggressive heater and brisk wind chills!).

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Tatcha’s Deep Hydration Firming Serum is a light gel serum that packs quite a punch! Of course, Tatcha nails the packaging in a beautiful indigo bottle with a pump that dispenses just the right amount of product.

The gel is what I call “The Edward Cullens” effect because it sparkles! And what causes this sparkle? Oh just 23-k gold pigments that brighten and add this subtle radiance to skin. How cool is that? See pic below where I try to capture the gold shimmer:

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Although the serum goes on light and smooth, I was pleasantly surprised to experience almost an instant effect on my skin. It seems to gain strength as it stays on skin, feeling almost like a glove that locks in moisture for the deep hydration and holds skin firmly as the moniker would describe.

This product is what I consider to be a centerpiece item of the Luminous Water collection and is powered by ingredients found in the Okinawa sea including red algae which retains moisture, silk extract which gives it the weightless slip while also helping skin retain moisture and royal jelly extract which is a really healing and powerful moisture locking ingredient.

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Tatcha’s Deep Hydration Firming Serum ($95/1oz) is such a effortless yet luxurious add-on that will do wonders for dry skin and skin that becomes drier during the winter. For those looking to up the ante during this cold season yet are afraid of suffocating moisturizers, this might be your answer. The light texture does not cause breakouts and works over time to draw in moisture so really anyone with any skin type looking to increase the moisture they provide their skin can use this.

I prefer to use this at night in place of a moisturizer to let my skin breathe while waking up to really soft to the touch, plumped skin but I will also use it if I’m going out and my skin just needs to look a little more rested and cared for.

You can find Tatcha on their beautiful website and at Barneys locations in the US and Joyce Beauty in Asia.

Tatcha Soothing Silk Body Butter


Tatcha’s recent launches have been inspired “capsule” collections each with a series of products connected by a common theme. Their current launch is the new Water Collection, a collection of deeply hydrating water-based products including sheet masks for face and eyes, their dewy skin mist, and a brand new deep hydration firming serum. Interested? Check them out here and be sure to tune back when I’ve fully reviewed two of the products from the collection!

This review is for their Soothing Silk Body Butter which is one of three products in Tatcha’s striking Indigo collection that was released a few months back. This collection is brought together by incorporating the brilliant indigo plant which is rich in anti-inflammatories. If you’ll remember, blue kind of had a moment across many beauty features from Elle to Lucky over the months and every editor noted at least one of the three Tatcha products in this range for inclusion in those features.


The Soothing Silk Body Butter comes in a large 200ml/6.8oz jar which also has a protective lid to protect the product from drying and oxidizing. The shade of blue is rich and striking (yet disappears upon applying) and the texture is creamy and exceptionally luxurious. The scent is perfectly calming and clean, although I can’t call out specific notes, just know that it smells like a freshly made flowery ice cream on a sunny day. Absolutely pleasurable.

I like to keep this beautiful jar of cream on my bedside stand because it’s almost like a statement piece. After showering, sometimes I can be a little too scant with the moisture I give to my extremities and I particularly feel tightness or tautness 20-30 minutes after I’m in bed. A swipe here and there over dry, rough areas keeps my skin smooth and hydrated. There is no greasiness, just the silky fine texture of the cream as it literally melts into skin. As someone with relatively unfussy skin on their body (thank goodness!), I can’t attest to how soothing this product is, but suffice it to say that my skin feels truly very happy (plus I’ve read their reviews on the product site of how effective this has been for eczema).


I originally started using this during the winter to keep my skin moisturized and it worked brilliantly. I know this because I barely had to even think about dry skin all winter. Now I’m pleased to discover it has passed the summer test as well, no need to worry about revealing dry, rough areas during swimsuit season!

A look at the ingredients reveals why this does not disappointment. Glycerin and Olive derived Squalane is number 2 & 3 on the ingredients list and they’re both incredible at holding in moisture. There is actual Silk Extract, Licorice Extract, and Green Tea extract in addition to Indigo extract which is super soothing as the name would suggest.

The presentation of all Tatcha products is pure luxury and this is no exception (see instagram for video). I really consider this a worthwhile addition to my collection and in the future when I have my own office plan to keep a jar there as well. For $48 a jar, there really aren’t any reasons not to make this one of the little luxuries to enjoy in life.


July 4th Long Weekend Skin Ritual


Well… we’re finally into summer! It’s funny how all year I long for summer: vacation, travel, etc. but when it actually comes around there is nothing I’d rather do than stay indoors! Well this long weekend I’m going to a wedding in the Hamptons so I know that I’ll need to have my best skin arsenal available, especially as the event will take place outdoors in the sun!

Here’s what I’m taking:

VOSS: I admit, this is probably going to be finished on the ride over but it proves a point that hydration is the most important thing for keeping skin healthy and this is especially true during the summer when sitting under the bright sun. What makes VOSS great is that the bottle is glass (instead of plastic which can leak toxins), and it is recyclable – though I would not reuse this extensively since you can’t really clean it out. The water is also extremely pure with natural minerals that are good for skin.

Tatcha Aburatorigami Beauty Paper: A must-have for summer to leave skin with a fresh complexion. This is essential for avoiding the dreaded oily-face in pictures especially at weddings where you’re dancing or sitting outside. These papers will last the entire night and best of all, they won’t smudge or move makeup so you won’t have to worry about frequent touch ups.

YÜLI Liquid Courage: I very rarely use a product and think “this is really going to keep me as youthful looking as possible as I age” but Liquid Courage delivers that, and that is why despite testing different products – I have never strayed from this MVP. Check out their loaded mind-blowing list of ingredients to see why this deserves the acclaim. Layer this precious antioxidant serum under your moisturizer and sunscreen before you go out. Also, apply this the night before a major event for that subtle glow and brightness that this serum always delivers.

Coola Face SPF30 Cucumber Moisturizer: Why use two products when you can use one that does both jobs perfectly? Coola’s SPF30 Moisturizer is a beautifully made light cream that is both a moisturizer and a sunscreen with the recommended SPF30. The beauty of having two functions is that you won’t need to layer on products which is a blessing in the hot weather for blemish prone skin. And another bonus, Coola products are made with so many great ingredients that they’re actually called “organic suncare“, so the antioxidants in the naturals provide extra protection from UV rays that traditional sunscreens do not. There are some silicones in the formula but I’m used to this from lightwe sunscreens so I’m happy to make this trade-off.

YÜLI Panacea Elixir: Clarifying? Check. Balancing? Check. Hydrating? Check. This is a blemish-prone skinned girls dream. I’m somewhat of a devotee to this elixir because it’s deceptively effective. At first, you think it’s just light refreshing floral waters until you see your pores shrink, your skin become refined, and your blemishes subsiding. It hydrates while it purifies your skin! As a true beauty junkie, I’ve drifted away from this to use mists that are cheaper (i.e. Evan Healy) and more expensive (i.e. Tata Harper) and after playing Goldilocks, the Panacea Elixir was just right. So at the wedding if you want me, I’ll be the girl shamelessly spraying away.

Happy 4th!

Tatcha: Beautiful Skin Revealed

Every once in a while, a beauty line comes along that makes me stop in my tracks. Nowadays, it seems everyone has a new line that promises to be different and this and that, so often the message can feel a little overwhelming. Not so with Tatcha, a brilliant line that has a beautiful message that is only equaled by their exquisite packaging (I have seriously never seen a line as detail oriented and focused to delivering a luxurious experience in their packaging).


When was the last time a line just let you take a step back “enjoy the simplicity”? Tatcha is inspired by ancient Geisha beauty secrets, looking towards the past for the secrets to beautiful skin. The products use a proprietary anti-aging Hadeisi-3 complex which consist of time-tested ingredients crucial to Geisha beauty routines: Green Teas, Okinawa Red Algae, and Rice Bran Extract. The promise is simple: traditional secrets from Eastern Beauty for a modern woman.




I was honored to receive my own kit that allowed me to try the Tatcha Ritual. It included a full sizes of the Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder and Original Aburatorigami, as well as samples of the One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, Deep Brightening Serum, and Supple Moisture Rich Silk Cream.


After spending time with each of the products here are my impressions:

One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil: A wonderful cleansing oil to remove makeup and water-proof sunscreen from face. It felt lighter than the typical cleansing oil and the scent was very light and fresh, both qualities that I think are due to the Camellia Oil. Camellia Oil is better than normal cleansing oils because it is very rich in antioxidants while also being very nourishing to skin due to high fatty-acid content. Rice Bran Oil is also used which is high in skin-softening Vitamin E. These are very fitting oils to use as they both have long history in Asian culture (the Camellia Seed oil is extracted from the same plant that makes teas), so I can definitely see how the Geisha have mastered incorporating this into their routine over time. Although this is a cleansing oil, there are emulsifiers which cause the oil to turn milky upon contact with water, so the oil will wash off easily.

Deep Brightening Serum: Like all of Tatcha’s products, this serum is very light and sinks quickly into skin. However, like most serums, it does tend to leave my skin with a sticky film (which is why I always follow up serums with a facial oil or moisturizer). The first time I applied this serum, I could ‘feel’ it go to work. It’s hard to describe as there wasn’t a tingling or adverse reaction, but I knew it was doing something. That initial sensitivity subsided after continued use. The main actives that any brightening should probably accredited to are from the Rice family as both Rice Bran, Rice Starch, and Rice Germ Powder figure into the ingredients. Rice is indeed known to be a skin brightener, and although I don’t have sunspots or age spots to speak of (fortunately), I do imagine that continued use of this product can lighten their appearance.

Supple Moisture Rich Silk Cream: I was initially concerned about using a moisturizer in the warmer months since I already have oily skin but as a dedicated beauty blogger, I decided to chance it – and I’m glad I did. No breakouts to speak of and my skin is very balanced. I like to use this during the day under my sunscreen which can be pretty drying when used alone due to the silicones. This moisturizer isn’t just a simple cream, but almost a gel-cream consistency which allows even those of us with oily skin to use this without fuss. There are many active ingredients including Royal Jelly Extract (wonderful for replenishing collagen loss), Silk Protein, Wild Thyme (great for acne prone skin), Ginseng root, Algae Extract, and Green Tea Extract. Just looking at the list, I feel it is the perfect moisturizer for all skin types due to a delicate but well-formulated balance of great ingredients. Gel-creams such as this are my favorite because when done right, they provide the moisturizing properties of a cream but the cool, weightless feel of a gel.

Original Aburatorigami Blotting Papers: these natural papers are made from leaflets of the Abaca Leaf, and infused with gold flakes throughout. You might be wondering what sets these apart from other blotting papers, and I did too when I first saw them. It turns out that these natural leaves are incredibly balancing, so they absorb excess oils without leaving skin stripped (and therefore producing more oil). I was quite surprised at how absorbent they are, and 1 sheet definitely can go for an entire night without being completely used.



Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder: I saved this for last because it is my favorite product in the entire line. It’s a water-activated powder that exfoliates and cleans skin without harsh abrasives. This powder is truly addictive to use and is unlike any other product I’ve used before. Simply pour half a teaspoon in the half of your hands. Add water and it turns to a cream. It lathers up a great deal, and feels like a very gentle milky cleanser once applied to the face. I hesitate to even call this an exfoliator because it truly is not a “grainy” scrub, but rather a gentle creamy cleanser suitable for most sensitive skin types. The enzymes are very effective and the first few uses I saw it get rid of blackheads around my nose that most cleansers cannot seem to handle. The entire use process is very fast and simple, so if you’re put off by powders, give this a chance. Upon washing off you’ll notice your skin balanced (somehow this removes excess oil without stripping skin) and soft without being irritated. I find myself bypassing my usual cleansers for this.


So that’s the general rundown of the line. For full disclosure, the line uses a lot of natural ingredients but it isn’t a 100% Clean line like those on NMDL. There are instances where I would prefer formulating with less alcohol, phenoxyethanol, silicones, etc. but that doesn’t take away from my general love of the products as they are. If it seems I am gushing about their products, it’s because I am a fan. Despite my outspokenness, I do enjoy writing about things I love and this line is one that I absolutely adore. All the products are so gentle and seem to be lovely to my skin. I applaud the brand consistency and the focus on the product experience. After my experience with their ritual, I’m now interested in more of their range including their Hydrating Mist and Lifting Mask.

Has anyone else used Tatcha? What do you think? I love discussing new lines, so drop a comment!

Mother’s Day At Home Spa Routine


I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day has always meant a day of pampering for my family as we indulge in a day of brunch, shopping, & facials. Since I’ve been at school, I haven’t really been able to take part in the festivities since it also falls right around finals. This year I was quite fortunate that my family was in town for the weekend. Making us of our limited time, we went to many great new spots around the city and also made use of the wonderful products I had at home to treat ourselves to a little skin indulgence right at home!

The routine begins with clearing the face of everything so we can really treat the skin. This is a two step process that begins with using a gentle clay based cleanser Sunday Riley’s Ceramic Slip which really takes off excess oils and impurities. Then I opened my new bottle of Tatcha’s Gentle Rice Enzyme Powder, a delightful powder that turns into a creamy mixture with a few drops of water right in the hands. This fragrance-free powder helps to exfoliate and get rid of buildup/dead skin in a wonderfully gentle way that does not make skin feel anything abrasive. Think of this as a lighter version of May Lindstrom’s Clean Dirt in that they’re both powder cleansers that foam with water, only this is much better suited for sensitive skin and is a much cleaner product to use (not in terms of ingredients but actual making and washing off). After this step, skin is completely clean and thanks to the gentle nature of the products – there is no feeling of tightness.

Now we prepare the Dr.Alkaitis Organic Universal Mask. For my skin, I applied a few drops of water and some manuka honey into the mix for it’s acne fighting anti-bacterial properties. My mom used Royal Jelly which is much more suited for mature skin with its anti-aging collagen boosting properties and also used a few drops of the nourishing Modern Alchemist facial oil by Yuli to add another boost of anti-aging treatment. Once prepared, the mask looks so good – a very fresh green hue. We apply with an old makeup brush, a trick learned from May Lindstrom, to evenly spread the mask and wait 15-20 minutes for it to work its magic.

Once the mask hardens, it is time to wash off. The honey delays the onset of tightness so it really helps the nutrients absorb into skin and I recommend using it for these powder masks. Upon washing off, my moms skin was smooth and soft and so was mine. It just looked so rested with redness gone and lines plumped. At this point skin is both fed but also open to receiving the treatments so I take advantage and liberally spray Yuli’s Metamorphic Elixir on my face and my moms to add in a boost of hydration and anti-aging actives. We gently pat that around our skin until it is fine and soft. While skin is still moist, we apply two pumps of Arcona’s Night Worker PM Repair serum that is loaded with Vitamin C to boost skin’s immunity and stimulate collagen synthesis during sleep. This serum smells like peaches due to pumpkin, peach, and apricot extracts which add an antioxidant kick. You’ll want to layer on a moisturizer over this although it is quite thick for a serum because the texture is a little sticky. The final step is massaging the nourishing Yuli Modern Alchemist facial oil with its bio-retinol complex and omega-lipid complex to lock in moisture and infuse skin with a dose of anti-aging nutrients. This has becomes my mom’s holy grail facial oil for its power to make her skin look more youthful and brighter, even I can feel that her skin has become smooth, soft, and plump. I don’t use this a lot for my blemish prone skin and mainly use it when my mom brings it with her but I love that I can use it sporadically to treat my skin when it really needs that extra replenishment and pampering especially around finals without worrying about breaking out.

Follow this regimen with its rich skin nurturing actives and I promise that by the morning your skin will look like you just came from the most indulgent spa experience ever.