rambling session: on bubbles and being relevant

I went to bed at 4 AM last night. The consequence is I had to debate with my lazy self if I really need to go to my 10 AM class this morning. And I’m glad I did. We watched Hannah Gadsby’s standup comedy show called Nanette on Netflix, in which she talks about genders, sexuality and her stories. The show is brilliant, powerful, hilarious and extremely sad at the same time. It was quite a lot for me to digest, content wise and emotion wise, to the point I wanted to cry afterwards and I had to deeply inhale a few times to get a little bit of the tension out of my head and my chest.

I looked around the class. There are 10 girls and 1 guy. He is gay. And I wondered why. Why aren’t there no straight male person in a class talking about feminism, besides my teacher. There was one, actually. He quit after the first session. He told my teacher he didn’t see any points for him to take the class and he is more into classic literatures. I was shocked when I heard that. It does matter to him and to everyone. I mean, he is a heterosexual white man and there are endless possibilities that he can do to change the world. Sadly, he doesn’t see it that way. As so many male fellas out there. They don’t see it that way.

We talked about bubbles after watching the show. Academic bubbles. How we were in the same bubble at that specific moment. In our bubbles, we have access to information, to literature, to art. We have tons of opportunities to educate ourselves, and we are willing to do so. However, outside all these bubbles, and even inside, is the rest of the world. Racism, homophobia, sexism, discrimination and ignorance exist in all kind of shapes and forms.

I now understand why I am always frustrated talking about gender equality and feminism to my friends, especially guy friends. I feel like I am not listened and understood. It is not that they are incapable of understanding what is happening everywhere, they just don’t want to, maybe they are lazy. From their points of view everything is fine and they don’t see any problems with gender equality. I sometimes wonder if they really think so or it is just so easy for them to have the privileges so they don’t feel the need to see the world in another perspective. Well, privilege is often invisible to the ones who own it.

I am lucky enough to be a part of the bubble. It’s a privilege. And there are responsibilities and duties going hand in hand with the privilege I own. I first started the blog simply as something to get stuff out of my head, but I want more now. I want to make the bubble bigger. I want to share my thoughts and I want to inspire people. I want to reach out. I have a small ambition of contributing to change the world, little by little, although I don’t have a lot of faith in humanity. Humanity is not trustworthy, but let’s not lose all the faith. Even though it is much easier to just ignore all the bullshits and pretend that things don’t matter to you, it is not the solution. Take Trumps and Brexit as examples. That’s what ignoring turned out to be.

I listened to a conversation with Paolo Giordano last weekend, and he said something like this: “When you’re at your 20s, you are energetic and you want to achieve so many things. You want to change the world. Human might have spoiled everything but you still believe you can protect the it…At that time, there is nothing worse than being irrelevant.”

So yes, please be relevant, since every action counts.


Thanks for reading. Much loves and appreciations.




rambling session: on women, men and things that matter

I’ve always wanted to write about this in a serious way but it is such a big topic and I never can just focus on one point. I don’t know where to start and where to end and what and which and who should the post covers. Well, that’s why I have this rambling session.

*little notes: I know gender matters everywhere and there’s a lot of different aspects but I write this in the context of an assumingly-binary-world in Vietnam.

So, let’s start with a little story. For some reasons, beauty pageant contest is a thing that people care about in Vietnam. There is nothing wrong with such contests, people love beauty and so do I. I normally only watch the top 5 girls answering questions. And I remembered vaguely that one of the contestants, given the question “What makes Vietnamese women different from women all over the world?”, answered that it is “sacrifice”, and she meant that since the time of wars Vietnamese women have given all what they have to take care of their family and so on. I don’t remember her exact answer, but I do remember how confused I was. On one hand, I was like “okay, well, not bad, quick answer, I am too really proud of Vietnamese moms in the history”; and on the other hand I hated that answer. I mean, we are not at wars anymore. I don’t know if sacrifice is even a positive trait. Of course, it is a choice and can bring happiness and joy, but also, there are much more of a woman than just about family life.

I find many little things in our daily life disturbing. I hate big family gatherings when all male adults sit together, drink alcohol and have the food served, while their wives sit with the kids. Who clean up afterwards? You know the answer. I notice how that also effects kids’ mindsets. After dinner, all the girls will help clean up, wash the dishes, and the boys, most of the time, will just sit there with their phones, like it’s not their business. I hate when adults tell me that I have to know how to cook to be a good-wife-material later on. People don’t tell their sons that. But cooking is a life skill that everyone, regardless of sex and gender, should know to feed themselves, isn’t it?

It all starts at a young age. That’s why how we teach our next generations is extremely important. In my generation, most of the girls are expected to make their life choices with marriage put on their 1stpriority. Boys are not. In Vietnam, when a woman is not married at the age of 27, she will be silently judged by this cruel society, as if it is a failure. That’s why I’m already preparing my family by saying that I’m not going to get married until I’m 30, although they probably think I was joking.

We’ve been taught as if it’s our fault to be girls. “Close your legs!”, “Sit like a girl!”, “No short shorts!”, “No spaghetti straps!”, and even “Cut the banana in half!” – sounds ridiculous, but that were what I’ve heard all the time growing up, as if I’m guilty just by being born as a girl. There are news pieces everywhere and everyday about girls being raped, being harassed on the streets, on taxi, busses… and yet when I scroll down the comment section, both men and women, blame the girl for being “too sexy”, for wearing “inappropriate”, or she might be a slut. A rapist said that the girl was too pretty he couldn’t control himself. What kind of argument is that? These people have been raised thinking that women are inherently guilty, and the idea of men being unable to control themselves is more acceptable than women being sexy. I’ve never heard a man being criticized for not having his T-shirt on.

Yes, many of my male friends tell me all the time that it is also really tiring to be a man in this society. You have to pay bills, to work your ass off to feed the family, to get lots of money to get married, so on and so forth. See how most of the struggles with being a man are all related to money? It is again because of our stereotypes and mindset that men have to be strong, tough, masculine, and we tie power and masculinity also with money. On dates, men are expected to pay to prove his manliness. On a book called “We Should All Be Feminist” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi, she said:

What if both boys and girls were raised not to link masculinity and money? What if their attitude was not “the boy has to pay,” but rather, “whoever has more should pay.” Of course, because of their historical advantage, it is mostly men who will have more today. But if we start raising children differently, then in fifty years, in a hundred years, boys will no longer have the pressure of proving their masculinity by material means.

Another thing I hate about these stupid stereotypes is that it oppresses people’s feelings. Boys are taught to not show their vulnerability, fear, tears and weaknesses… and that sucks. I hate feelings and emotions because I feel too much sometimes it’s overwhelming.  And I think we all do. I don’t express my feelings often but then that’s why I know how confined and restricted it can be. After all, we are just human beings, aren’t we?

Sex is biologically determined, but gender (stereotype) is a social construction. And as it is constructed and also constantly reproduced, it can always be changed. And we need to change it, for the better.

Much love,



My last blog post was a year ago. I have no excuses, I was lazy.

Anyways, I’ve just turned 22 today.

22 is an ugly number, isn’t it? It’s when you’re not that young anymore but you’re also not that mature. I want to be like “I don’t care, I’m still young, I don’t want to do anything” and on the other hand, my best friend forever “Responsibilities” starts yelling my name. Horror story in real life.

Well, today was not that bad. After quite a peaceful day I am now sipping tea, listening to my new John Lennon vinyl, reflecting on myself and trying to put my thoughts into words, absolutely random stuff. I definitely have not changed drastically from 21 to 22, but there’re actually quite a lot of thing I’ve learned this past year.

So, I’ve been working on self-love, little by little, and I’m proud of how far I’ve come, although there are still tons of stuff to do. There are tiny problems I’ve never noticed until I started taking care of myself. For instance, I have trust issues and also commitment issues. Although I know I do have them since quite a long time, I just haven’t seen any big problems and have done literally nothing to “overcome” them, which make everything even worse at some points. It’s just extremely hard for me to trust someone and I don’t even feel the need to put my trust on anyone ever. My friends say that it’s unhealthy to live in doubts, but I don’t. I mean, I can totally trust people, I just choose not to.

However, I do see how it is unhealthy since I cannot open up to anyone and I just keep everything for myself. Sometimes I feel like there is myself for me and myanotherself to meet people, which is confusing af because sometimes I cannot even distinguish between those two, like I don’t even know when I’m being honest and when I’m hiding myself. Definitely something to work on, but of course with no pressure.

This year I’ve been also quite overwhelmed with feelings and thoughts from myself and others. I met people that were broken hearted. I talked to some of my friends who have just witnessed their family teared apart. I heard stories about loneliness, worries and depression. I shared the same fear of seeing family members getting weaker every time you see them and there is just nothing you can do about it but blame it on age and time. I listened to people living with abusive parents. I met a 5-year-old-girl growing up without parents and has HIV in her tiny body. The way she held our hands for the first time we met and kind of forced us to go everywhere with her, how she climbed up my body demanding to be hugged and carried showed how much love she lacks.I met other kids who also were born with HIV and yet they are striving to live their best, with hopes and dreams. All of those stories make me think a lot, and I realized how strong human being are. And suddenly my problems shrink down to the size of dust particles.

See, that’s what I hate about growing up. Aging is not a problem, it doesn’t depress me. Thoughts do, though. You just automatically think more about deep shit stuff in life when you get older. How disturbing.

Alright, after 20 minutes straight typing what’s on my mind, I’ve realized that this post could be forever long and getting nowhere and no one wants to read such a novel, so I’ll just end my “birthday reflection” here. Thank you all for reading my no-point-life-story.

And also, thanks for all the birthday wishes and loves.

I love you, too.


rambling session: on today, and on “milk and honey”

To be honest, it has been an exhausting day. I’ve just got home from work. The restaurant is so crowded these days thanks to the climate change conference. Well, tiring but at least I got something to keep my mind busy.

It’s so weird because yesterday was still alright. Or at least it seemed to be so. I got my problems solved, had a nice conversation with a friend I haven’t met for a long time, worked without procrastinating and crossed out everything listed on my journal.

Today, on the contrary, was not so productive. Maybe it’s because of my 8 AM class, or maybe it’s just my mood swinging up and down, like it always does. I made a few decisions, can’t tell if it’s the right thing to do or not. One of them is dropping my Medieval Studies course after 5 times attending the class, with a little hope that it would be more interesting the next time. Well, I gave the course 5 chances, and that’s it. I still hate it, so I have to do what makes me feel right.

I spent 3 hours in a café, had two cappuccinos and wanted to be productive. The thing is, you don’t always get what you want. I left the café with my brain feeling heavy, and my mind feeling useless. I headed to the book store looking for something that could lighten my head and my heart a bit. And I chose “milk and honey”.

milk and honey – rupi kaur

I don’t think I am poetic and critical enough to write a review about anyone’s works. Some people really love this collection of poetry, some don’t agree that this is deserved to be called poetry. To me, it actually doesn’t matter. I like the message she wants to deliver and I admire her ability to transfer so much pains and sweetness at the same time and in such few words. I really enjoyed reading it although I actually expected more, but just because I’ve seen her poems all over Facebook and Tumblr being called a masterpiece.

milk and honey – rupi kaur

It’s almost 12 AM now. It’s been really a long day so I’ll end it with 3 little things I appreciated, just to ease my mind:

  1. I’ve found a childhood friend that I’ve lost contact with for almost 10 years.
  2. I’ve just bought a ticket for Oh Wonder’s concert on Monday.
  3. I talked to my mom and dad.


And that’s all. Thank you so much for reading.

Much love.



21 things I’ve learned at 21

Hi all it’s me, long time no talk. I actually have a lot of things to write about but I’m just too lazy to edit photos and stuff.

So yes, I turn 21 today and that’s why I finally got the motivation to write something. Turning 21 is pretty exciting and scary at the same time. I feel like I have to be an “adult” now and it is sure the last thing I want to be. But whatever, I’m also super young and I still have my whole life ahead of me to experience and grow.

Anyway, I just feel like writing something very casual to mark my 21st birthday, so I took a little time to reflect and share with you a few things I’ve learned. So here we go:

  1. Family is all. I love them unconditionally.
  2. Friends. I am really really thankful that I have such amazing and supportive people around me no matter what.
  3. A good coffee determines your productivity all day.
  4. It’s okay to be an introvert. 
  5. It’s okay to be average. 
  6. No one’s perfect. We make mistakes, a lot of mistakes. But that’s the way we grow up.
  7. Everyone has a different point of view. Don’t force anyone to think the same way as you do.
  8. Treat yourself. Treat yourself well. Here I mean with delicious food.
  9. Modern family is a great series. So is Friends.
  10. Have fun and enjoy being young. 
  11. Stepping out of my comfort zone is actually not that bad. It’s pretty scary and I’m still practicing it, but I like how it feels at the end.
  12. Reading is important.
  13. Always appreciate the present and cherish every moment. Nobody knows how things will turn out.
  14. Procrastinating is not a good thing but it works sometimes. I seriously need to manage my time better though.
  15. Moisturizing and sunscreen are essential.
  16. You have to let go at some points. Things, and people as well.
  17. Don’t let other people make you feel bad about yourself. They simply don’t have the right to do that under any circumstances. You don’t live to satisfy anyone and there will always be people judging you if you don’t have money, if you are not skinny, if you do not fit in, etc. Well, screw them.
  18. Traveling opens your eyes and your mind. 
  19. As a waitress/waiter, smile when you serve others, it will make the food taste better. And also, as a guest, smile and say thank you to the waiters/waitresses, it will make their work day easier. I’ve learned this thanks to my part time job.
  20. A clean house is key. I miss my squeaky clean home so much. I only realized this after living with two male flatmates and they never clean after cooking and that just irritates me more than anything. Sadly, I cannot afford an apartment alone so I have no other choice but living with that mess and never cook.
  21. I still have a lot to learn. 

That’s all. Thank you so much for reading.

Happy birthday to me.

Much love,


an untitled poem



Another day’s just gone away

without saying —




It’s time —

to sleep.

It’s finally when I can live

my imaginary life.



Sunshine will softly touch my lips,

the wind will slowly kiss my hair

and the daisies will gently –

lie down next to me.



We’ll talk til’ eventide,

then the wind will start to scratch my skin

and the daisies will suddenly cry.

And there’re droplets — in my eyes.



Is it dawn, or is it bright?

Is it day or is it night?

Am I awake or am I asleep?

Or I am —

living someone else’s life.



A random poem I wrote on a random night (that I’m too embarrassed to put it on facebook)


July 2017

let’s talk about feelings

So we’ve just hugged goodbye. Me and my mom.

I really thought that I would be fine but I guess I am not. Goodbye hugs mean hello to emptiness, hello to being alone, hello to missing everyone and everything.

Not that I don’t like hugging people goodbye but it just irritates me so much when something makes me turn into a weak, emotional and vulnerable bitch. I like being strong. Even when people say that I’m cold, emotionless or unapproachable, I’m totally fine with it. Actually I wish I could be like that because dealing with my emotions was never easy for me.

Thinking about this makes me realize that I’ve always denied my negative feelings. I’m scared to face those “difficult thingies”  so I would just pretend that they do not really matter and say to myself from time to time that I am doing well, I am happy and I am “fine”.

One reason why I hate being alone is that those annoying stuff keep coming back to me. That is why I always need someone to talk to, why I always keep myself busy with books and korean dramas or netflix. I need those distractions to push my negative feelings away and wish that they would just disappear themselves as life goes on. Well, they won’t, as I know now.

I thought I do understand myself but seems like I don’t. Sad huh?

Anyway, I don’t think I’m ready to absorb those emotions so I’m just going to write this note, post it on my blog and then sleep my mind off. It’s not healthy, I know. But that’s my way dealing with it and I know I will be just fine.

Thank you for reading.


voorlinden museum | netherlands

One thing I love about studying in Germany is our 2-month-break between each semester. I believe new experiences and adventures breathe fresh life into our heart and soul so I always try to “run away” whenever I am able to do so.

I took a bus to Amsterdam to visit my best friend right after the last final exam. We spent a day to go to Voorlinden Museum in Den Haag (which was a tough trip to be honest). It was a dark and stormy day, we missed a train, got delayed and we were freezing. However, the museum was worth it. It was really impressive, inspiring and we were like two excited kids running everywhere and posing in every corner.

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– dgna – 

new year’s resolutions | 2017

Happy New Year Lovelies,

I wish you all a wonderful 2017 with your family, friends and your loved ones. There will be so many challenges and opportunities coming up that will allow us to grow and learn more and more. My last year was beyond awesome and I definitely hope that I could keep 2017 going that great.

*A sum up of my 2016: Hey 2016 | dgnaxoxo*

It’s finally a new life chapter and we’ve all got new stories to write. It really has me thinking about my goals, about things that I want to do and places that I want to visit. So here are my 10 things I want to accomplish in 2017:

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#1. A new language: I tell myself so many times that I want to pick up another language but it always ends up with me spending way too much time on the internet (shame on me, i know). Anyway, I do really want to be able to speak several languages and I think I will start with either Spanish or Korean this year. I am interested in both but I probably should not be too greedy because I also need to work a lot more on my German.

#2. Dance classes: I really miss grooving, moving and practicing. I am taking a hip hop class but it is going to end in February and I also want to learn something new. This is a little bit embarrassing to say but I want to take a pole fitness class. It will be really really hard for me because I am totally not confident with my own body but I’ve wanted to do pole dancing for years so I just think that if I don’t start this year, I’ll never do it. Challenge accepted!

#3. Guitar: I don’t know if it’s too late to learn a new instrument but I’ve always loved watching people singing and playing guitar and I’ve always imagined myself being able to do that. So if I have time, I would love to take guitar lessons (we all know that “I don’t have time” is a terrible excuse).

#4. Travelling: There are so many alluring cities and countries that make me want to hop on a plane immediately and go there. Unfortunately, my bank account doesn’t seem to support the idea. So well, here is my travel bucket list for 2017:

  • North Rhein-Westphalia, Germany: It’s not really travelling but there are some cities near Bonn like Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund,… which are definitely worth spending my weekends.
  • Belgium: I swear I have to go to Belgium this year. It takes less than 4 hours by bus from where I live to Brussels and Bruges and the tickets are not expensive at all. I got my best friend living in Amsterdam and we want to go there together, so hopefully we will make our first trip happen.
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands: Visited Amsterdam once but I haven’t explored the whole city yet. I bet it will look much more beautiful in spring or summer so maybe I’ll see you again, Amsterdam! (actually I want to visit my friend but I don’t want to say that, too cheesy eww)
  • Copenhagen, Denmark: I don’t know why but I’ve always wanted to go to Copenhagen since day 1. Colourful waterside townhouses, museums and galleries, boats and canals,… Copenhagen will be such an amazing destination for summer time. All I need is a travel partner. Or should I try travelling solo for the first time?
  • Rome, Italy: Tickets booked today! I want to visit Cinque Terre as well but I’m afraid I do not have much time.

#5. Part-time job: I am having one that allows me to work from home with flexible schedules but I actually want a job which requires communication so that I could improve my German speaking skills. And I need money for my trips. And cosmetics.  And clothes. And FOOD! (there’s just never enough money for food. NEVER!)

#6. Be healthy: I swear some of my friends are definitely laughing right now since I say this every single year (or even every single day). I am not going to promise anything because I don’t believe in myself either. I just can’t give up on food and chocolate and all those loves of my life so (perhaps) I would (try to) work out more. (To be honest, I have absolutely no motivation to get myself out to the gym). And drink more water, of course.

#7. Books: 2016 was the year that I tried to read more than before. I need to develop a better reading habit and read even more.

#8. Blogging: To open a blog is one of my 2016’s resolutions and I’m proud that I finally made it by the end of the year. I hope that I would be able to keep this blog going with fresh content and also with better writing skill.

#9. Stop procrastinating: This is the hardest thing for me because I got used to procrastinating since forever. I really do feel like a mess sometimes (or always) and the stress is so real. I also want to start planning things or try bullet journaling. Hope it would help.

#10. Call my family more: I feel very guilty not calling my family as much as I should. I miss them but I rarely call them first and it actually makes me feel super super bad. I’ll sure call them more often. Mark my words.

Well, that’s it for my new year’s resolutions! I think that I will be more inclined to make these happen if I write them down and share them with you guys. I would also love to hear yours! Let’s check it again together at the end of this year!

Stay beautiful,


current skincare routine winter 2016

Hi Lovelies,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. In today’s blogpost I am going to share with you guys all the skincare products that I have been using in the winter time.

About my skin: I think I had terribly oily and acne-prone skin in middle school and my skin type somehow changed to dry combination skin when I got older. I did not use any skincare products until I came to Germany, when my skin reached its worst state: red, dry, sensitive, flaky and chapped (I swear it cracked when I smiled). Then my cousin let me try her neutrogena cream, which made me realise how magical skincare products were. Mind blown!

It’s almost 2 years now since I started a proper skincare routine and I’m so thankful that I did it because I’m much happier with my skin now (although it’s absolutely not something good for my bank account).

Okay I should write about my routine now or this post will be way to long !

Step 1: Double Cleansing

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DHC Deep Cleansing OilThis is already my second bottle. It removes all of my makeup easily and gently and doesn’t irritate my skin at all. I find this product is rather pricey but I had to purchase it again. I tried some cheaper alternatives  but the one from The Face Shop clogged my pores and broke me out while The Body Shop Camomile silky cleansing oil has an unpleasant scent and it’s not so effectively when it comes to waterproof mascara.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial CleanserI’ve been using this cleanser only for a few weeks. I like it but I don’t love it. It’s a foaming cleanser containing alcohol so it more or less strips my natural oils and makes it a little bit dry afterwards. Probably not going to buy it again.

Step 2: Toner


Hada Labo Hydrating LotionThis product is my skin’s best friend. It contains no alcohol, fragrance, colorants,… and moistures my skin without any irritation. Nothing, but love.

Step 3: Exfoliating

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Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid: It was a little bit scary putting acid on my face for the first time but this chemical exfoliant changed my life 2 years ago (when I had like 2kg blemishes on my face). I use this 2 – 3 times/ week before bed. It helps unclogging my pores and making my skin smoother. I hate the scent though, it smells like nail polish remover.

Step 4: Serum

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InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum: I have only used this Vitamin C Serum for a couple of weeks but I think my skin is getting brighter and it also lightens my acne scars. This serum absorbs super quickly on my skin, doesn’t break me out and I also don’t feel tingling at all like when I used the OST C21.5.  One more plus point for this serum is it doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge since it’s a different form of Vitamin C.

Step 5: Essence

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Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence: I personally think that this product is a little bit overhyped. Although it does a good job hydrating my skin and improving newly damaged skin area, redness around my nose area is not noticeably reduced and I’m also not sure about the skin-lifting and whitening functions as written on the product. Anyway, for all these natural ingredients with such a low price, I couldn’t ask for more.

Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel: Another product from Benton. This gel helps soothing my active breakouts and also helps them heal. It’s really relaxing applying this product because of the cooling effect and it also absorbs really quickly.

Step 6: Moisturizer

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Claire’s Guerisson 9 Complex Horse Oil Cream: I bought this when I was in South Korea and this product has saved my flaky skin in winter time. It absorbs really quickly, doesn’t greasy at all and has a nice scent. Plus, it looks fancy and comes with a spoon so that I don’t have to use my finger and let all the cream goes onto my nail (gross). Anyway, I highly recommend this cream for people who have super dry skin like me. It really helps.

Step 7: Spot treatment

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The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil: I have a love – hate relationship with this product. As soon as I find a pimple popping on my skin, I have to grab this product immediately. I apply the oil directly on my pimple with a q-tip and it really calms the pimple, reduces its size and also redness. What I hate about this product is it dries my skin out when my skin absolutely doesn’t need anymore dryness. And I hate this stupid packaging.

Step 8: Sunscreen (Daytime)

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Shiseido WetForce Expert Sun Aging Protection Lotion Plus SPF 50+: This is expensive as hell but it’s really worth it. Best sunscreen I’ve ever used. It’s not sticky, chalky or greasy at all, it’s matte, smells super nice and absorbs super quickly. It makes my skin a little bit white after applying but then it blends into my skin after about 10 minutes. Again, the stupid packaging makes it really hard to control the amount of product that I want to pour out and it gets really messy.

So yeah that’s it. I actually don’t use all these products twice a day. In the morning I would like to keep it simple (or I’ll be late for school) by using only toner, sometimes Vitamin C serum, moisturizer and sunscreen. I hope you guys enjoyed reading my routine as well as my quick reviews about these products. Please tell me if you have any better products to recommend, I would love to try it out.

Thank you very much and stay beautiful,