Reviews and Other Stuff

Zo Skin Health Review

Years ago, I stumbled upon a skincare brand that revolutionized how we see skincare ingredients nowadays. It used to be that we could only access skincare products with a high concentration of formulas or ingredients through prescriptions. Well, that is still how it works mostly nowadays, but there are some fantastic skincare brands right now that come with medical-grade formulations accessible through popular beauty stores like Sephora or Ulta.


zo skin health review


One of the pioneers of these accessible, no-prescription, high-quality skincare products is the renowned dermatologist Dr. Zein Obagi. Remember Obagi skincare? Yes, I was and still is a fan of their stuff. Fast forward to this post, the Obagi skincare brand has branched out to produce Zo Skin Health. As in Z.O. Short for Dr. Zein Obagi. This breakthrough skincare brand continues to wow today’s young trailblazing influencers and fashionistas. Want to know why? Because every product that the brand creates is truly outstanding, with their proprietary formulations like no other. It is like every jar and tube from the brand was made to truly improve the skin of anyone who comes in contact with it.

Curious much? Please read about my favorite products from this brand below.


zo skin health complexion renewal pad review


Complexion Renewal Pads – I love this complexion pad so much because it is a gentle exfoliator comprised of glycolic acid and salicylic acid, which helps to decongest the pores. This gives a nice glow-from-within look. The mild peeling effect is perfect for everyday or every other day use. Also, this has botanical ingredients that detoxify the pores and is overall non-drying. The pad itself is non-abrasive and feels soft and smooth to the skin. There is a lovely, clean scent in this product that is refreshing. I recommend this for those who want to add acids to their skincare routine but do not want to get the strong peeling effect.


zo skin health vitamin c


10% Vitamin C Self-Activating – I love adding 10% vitamin C to my routine. This product feels like a supercharged vitamin C primer. This goes smoothly on the skin and gives a mattifying look. The exciting part about this is how it goes well as a base to hold and keep the foundation for hours. With the added vitamin C, the skin brightens with continued use. This improves my skin’s dull, uneven tone and even brightens post-hormonal breakouts.


zo skin health instant pore refiner


Instant Pore Refiner – As you can see, this product is for those of us who struggle with “pore” issues. Enlarged pores? Clogged pores? Give this a try. This product aims to decongest the pores, similar to the Zo Complexion Renewal Pad, but this has Salicyloyl Phytosphingosine, which not only decongests the pores but also minimizes their size. This has vitamins A, C, and E as antioxidants and stem cell complex. Also, this product minimizes skin oiliness and makes it shine-free with its Rosa Canina fruit extract ingredient. This improves my skin’s texture, and my pores do look like it is tightening. How cool is that?


zo skin health exfoliating polish, instant pore refiner


Acne Control – This product has 10% Benzoyl Peroxide, which is impressive because it means the product works! A 10% peroxide is enough to kill bacteria and control acne ASAP. This product is a must because it rescues the skin from any form of breakouts, keeping them invisible and well-controlled. Pairing this with a very hydrating moisturizer or a balm will keep dryness at bay, which comes with using medical-grade benzoyl peroxides.


zo skin health exfoliating polish


Exfoliating Polish – I have an obsession with this exfoliating facial scrub. This is a must-have and a holy-grail material. This ethereal blue scrub with galactical swirls warms on the skin upon contact. I am not talking about the slight warming effect; I am talking about the profound warming effect that makes you stop and look at what is inside the jar that makes it so magical. The scrub is not just any other scrub; there is vitamin C in it, and it feels like a thousand tiny particles gently exfoliating your skin and getting rid of any dead skin cells. The tiny particles are magnesium oxide crystals, which regulate cell regeneration. This has a clean soap scent, but it is not overwhelming. It smells fresh and different from any other exfoliating scrub I have tried. Therefore, you must run, not walk. Get this facial scrub ASAP.


zo skin health exfoliating polish


I recommend this brand if you want a serious skincare brand with quality formulas that genuinely deliver. This brand is endorsed by Dr. Raj Terkonda (top facial plastic surgeon) and Dr. Ed Hepworth(The king of ENTs/extraordinaire). What more could you ask for? Isn’t that amazing?

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Saint Candles Review

saint candles review


A candle with a purpose is one thing that comes to my mind when I think about Saint Candles by Ira Dewitt. Ira first started this brand of candles during one of her friend’s trying times. Nowadays, Saint Candles has become a unique philanthropic candle that supports St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.                 

Each saint candle comes in two sizes: the regular 11 oz, which costs 65 USD, and the mini 2.5 oz, which costs 25 USD. Also, each candle comes with a prayer coin to the patron saint, which is advised to be read out loud before you light the candle’s wick. The prayer coin can be kept in the wallet, purse, car or buried in your yard to bless your entire household or family.

Saint Candles come in different unique scents with varying names of saints. I can say that each candle’s fragrance is nothing like I have ever experienced or sensed before. They never smelled like any other candle brands or any candles I have sniffed at my local candle stores. Therefore, this brand of candles is news to me and a breath of fresh air due to the uniqueness of the fragrances and way of use, not to mention the intention and purpose behind each candle that corresponds to each patron saint’s name.

My favorite Saint candles are the following:


saint candles saint dymphna


Saint Dymphna: Saint of Stress, Anxiety, and Mental Health – An Irish saint known to comfort and cure the ones afflicted with nervous disorders. She is the saint of mental illness and has miraculously cured people afflicted with such health issues at her burial site in Gheel.

This candle has a top note of cherries and a base note of amber. The middle note is vanilla. The candle overall has a perfect blend of cherry and vanilla that seems sweet at first but then dissipates into a powdery amber scent as it burns halfway. I would not call this a strong scent, but more of a moderate one—a great transitional scent between Summer and Fall.


Saint Raphael: Saint of Healing – The patron saint of the sick, nurses, doctors, and travelers. Although I love all the saints of the world, Saint Raphael is my favorite and my second-best favorite scent of all the saint candles reviewed in this post. This candle has iris as its top note, bergamot as the middle note, and vanilla as a base. I find this candle to be quite a heavy floral scent. The blend of iris and vanilla makes for that aromatic floral wintry vibe. The dry-down becomes light over time but lasts for days.


Ira Dewitt Saint candles review


Saint Jude: Saint of Impossible Causes – As described, Saint Jude is the patron saint of lost causes and desperate cases. When all things go wrong, choose faith over fear. This candle is for those who remain steadfast despite the impossibilities of their circumstances. As for the scent, this candle is quite similar to Saint Raphael but heavier. The heavy notes of Turkish rose overpower my olfactory senses in a good way. There is also geranium, with a dry down of oud (my brother Allan’s favorite scent :-)). This candle is perfect for the fall and winter.


Saint Padre Pio: Saint of Healing. Italy Special Edition – Padre Pio had the gift of stigmata and bilocation. Yes, you read that right—Stigmata and Bilocation (the ability to teleport). I wish I had those gifts, too. But the closest I can do is daydreaming and wandering :-). Seriously, Padre Pio was also known to cure the sick and make miracles. Thus, he is also a patron saint for the sick and the saint for healing. In other words, he is a rock star in the catholic world.


saint candles padre pio


The scent of this beautifully packaged candle is unique. A powdery-sweet-floral candle that is complex yet surprisingly simple. Complex as it is hard to discern which flower drives the top notes, and simple as it is pleasing to the senses. According to Saint Candles, the top note is gardenia, the mid note is white exotic flowers, and the base note is Rose Absolute. A pretty interesting blend, huh? I suggest you try this candle ASAP. This will be ideal to light in any season.


These are my favorite Saint Candles of the moment. If you have not heard of Saint Candles before, I truly suggest you try this brand. Each candle looks luxurious, smells fabulous, holds a religious value, and has a heart and a purpose. Think about every purchase you make from this brand and its proceeds that will help the children at St. Judes’ who deserve to live a normal life. So, grab yourself a Saint Candles and offer a prayer to them or anyone you know who is suffering, struggling, trying to make it, or barely getting by.


This post is dedicated to Kween Konna. I miss you forever, my friend.


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Merit Beauty Review + Swatches


Merit review


Hello, you all makeup enthusiasts! I am sure we have all heard about this wonderful makeup brand I am about to review. Many of you raved about their IG cult-favorite flush balm. But perhaps many of you, as well, have not tried their other “exceptional” products.


Merit Beauty review


The Merit beauty products are a staple in many influencers’ makeup trays, and there is a big reason why. Their products are multi-purpose, easy to apply, and easy to love with their various shade ranges. Not to mention the clean ingredient philosophy that the brand boasts about their products.


I had the opportunity to sample a few Merit beauty products, and here are my top favorites:


Merit The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick in cream


The Minimalist Perfecting Complexion Foundation and Concealer Stick in Cream – This multi-use concealer, which can also be used as a foundation, depending on the application, is just perfect in every way. The texture is just right. Not too creamy and not too dry and stiff. The formula blends well on the skin upon contact, giving good coverage day and night. I find this to be the perfect concealer for the undereyes because there is no caking or cracking, and it does not get runny under extreme humidity or sweat. The product is easy to apply with its twist-up application, and the packaging is well-designed and looks very luxe.



Merit Brush No. 2 Double-Sided Eyeshadow Brush

Brush No. 2 Double-Sided Eyeshadow Brush – I may have found the right eyeshadow for my small lids. I love this brush so much because it has two sides that can cater well to those with dainty lids and regular ones. I find that I can apply my eyeshadows better with this brush, and it picks up the right amount of powder or cream eyeshadow so well. The bristles are soft, and the brush is not too long, which is ergonomic for those with tiny baby fingers.


merit flush balm review


Flush Balm Cream Blush in PersimmonWarm coral copper. This is the perfect all-in-one blush and lip color for fall. The persimmon shade is so pretty and will work with any skintone. Ever since my first experience with the Merit Flush Balm in Cheeky, reviewed HERE, I have been hooked. I would love to have this product in different colors because the formula glides effortlessly on the skin. It is not too shiny or matte but more satin-like, and each color is just so downright stunning.


Merit Solo Shadow Cream-to-Powder Soft Matte Eyeshadow in Viper swatch


Solo Shadow Cream-to-Powder Soft Matte Eyeshadow in ViperMatte olive green. This is the first time I tried Merit’s eyeshadow, and I am impressed. The lasting power of the solo shadow is just out of this world. I tried the viper shade, and the color lasted more than 24 hours on me. Even after wiping the shade out, I could still see traces of it. The eyeshadow is creamy and so easy to blend and apply. I find that the product works well with the Merit Brush No.2 above.


Merit Clean Lash Lengthening Tubing Mascara

Clean Lash Lengthening Tubing Mascara – This plant-derived vegan mascara works well to curl lashes for hours and hours. I do not think I have found an excellent vegan mascara as good as this. Most of the vegan all-natural mascaras I have tried before are just meh. They never lasted long on me until I tried this. Apart from the staying power of this mascara, I also love that it does not irritate my eyes. Therefore, no eye-itchiness with this, no clumps, just beautiful, long, well-curled lashes.

Bottom line, Merit beauty products will be a staple on my desk and vanity table. I love their products because of their amazing shade range and impressive formulas. Each product released is well-curated and worth every penny. Therefore, I highly recommend them.


merit beauty


If you want more Merit products reviewed in this blog, check this post HERE.



Product samples are sent by Merit. The review and opinion in this post are by yours truly.