Speak Your Truth: On Receipts, Podcasts, & How Lifting Up One Another Benefits Everyone

I'm not sure if today's post is going to be short or long, because I'm currently curled up in my chair covered in a blanket, with only my hands peeking out as I slowly type between sips of tea and fits of coughing.  I'm not even sure when this post will go up, because I have to take frequent nap breaks as my nurse friends yell at me that I need to be resting, not blogging, before I end up with pneumonia or in the hospital.

I usually push through being sick and continue blogging into the wee hours of the morning, but seeing as my husband has to escort me to and from the washroom because attempts to walk on my own have me weaving back and forth like I'm failing a sobriety test, even I have to admit that I'm pretty sick and probably shouldn't be straining myself.  Husband is nagging me while still bringing me a constant supply of tea and soup broth; I've been living off a diet of hot liquids, the occasional poached egg, and saltine crackers.  Actually, this is pretty much me over the weekend, just with a saltine instead of a carrot:

Gif made from video here: Dito Lobito on youtube
Thankfully, not only does my husband support me by being my tea-and-soup dealer, he also doesn't complain when he trips over yet another unpacked box of Korean cosmetics, nor does he ask me judgey questions about how much I spend on my hobby (i.e. blogging) because he knows I respect my budget, nor does he side-eye me when he stumbles out for a washroom trip at 4 am on a Sunday morning and I'm still up blogging.  OK, maybe he glares at me forgoing sleep yet again, but at least he doesn't say anything?

He also made an effort to help me place and take a photo of my 'sick day routine' because I can't really stand up, let alone lean over, right now.  So this photo is courtesy of Mr. Snow, given with full credits:

Photo credit: Mr. Snow, who also patiently endured me "steadying myself" by holding his butt while he bent over to arrange these on the table and then snapped the photo.  I'm sick, not dead.
Thank goodness for cleansing water and decanting things into mist bottles, because this is as close to a 'routine' as this flu-riddled version of myself is going to get this weekend.  Did you know that sheet masks can be a way to pleasantly cool a fevered face?  Just saying.

I'm also exhausted from unnecessary drama that has been popping up lately over the last few months, but hit particularly hard this weekend- terrible timing, but is there ever good timing for people to make wild blanket accusations about the ethics of bloggers?  I'm going with no, but seeing as I was already in a haze of dizziness and flu symptoms, I was out of the resources needed to calmly ignore it and keep on living right.  Instead, I just decided to throw out some #receipts on the table so that people could stop speculating and realize that they're actively sabotaging the people who are living right, driving away people who are in it for love, not for money.

It's times like these that make me question blogging, because when the currency in which you pay yourself for your time, effort, and personal $$, is not money but love, how do you keep going when you get a facefull of misplaced anger and hate?

There's so much negativity in the beauty blogging world; so much jealousy and suspicion and shade even from within the blogging community itself.  So how do you offset that?  In my experience, it's by reaching out to one's peers as a hand in the darkness, and looking for ways to lift one another up instead of tearing one another down.

I don't think this gets talked about nearly enough, so I'm going to talk about it today.

In this post:

  • Blogging #receipts: what my blog pays me
  • The Snailcast podcast, Episode 6: The Truth about Asian Beauty Blogs and $$$
  • Countering the beauty blogging culture of jealousy, speculation, and suspicion
  • An open letter of appreciation to my readers
There's probably going to be a lot of rambling in my post.  Oh wait, there's also this:
  • What's in my "sick day" routine
Ok, grab a lysol wipe and let's do this.  I have a fresh mug of tea in which to dip gingersnap cookies, so I'm going to give it my best shot.

Blogging #receipts: what my blog pays me

As I mentioned earlier, due to some drama on social media in which blanket accusations were made towards AB (Asian Beauty product) bloggers such as myself, I decided to offer up some #receipts.  I laid out how little I recoup from my blog, so that people could stop with their tinfoil-hat-worthy ideas about how bloggers (at least, Asian beauty product bloggers like me) are somehow rolling in stacks of fat cash which justifies all manner of dreadful behaviour against us, because we're making bank that justifies the abuse.

The thing is, we're not.  The wages that my blog pays me is in love: the pride in my body of work, the connection with my readers, and the validation of their gratitude.

My blog cannot afford me.  Even at minimum wage, all of my blog revenue from 2015 cannot afford the time it takes to prepare, photograph, and write a single review, let alone test any products.  The amount of revenue I recoup (in the form of affiliate links, I don't accept press samples, paid posts, marketing endorsements, ads, etc, you can read more in my post about it here) is a tiny fraction of the amount that I pay out of pocket for my costs, let alone covering any of my time.  I'm ok with that, because I've never blogged for the sake of potential revenue, and that should be glaringly obvious to anyone who's read my work.

Affiliate links, if you aren't familiar with them, generate a tiny commission at no cost to the purchaser, should you chose to make your purchase through the blogger's affiliate link.  So, if you were to purchase a jar of the Beauty of Joseon Dynasty cream via a link in this review, if that retailer offers an affiliate program, I might receive back a few pennies from the purchase price of that cream.

As I disclosed in the post I linked above, my goal is to offset the cost of running this blog; in 2015 I recouped less than 7% (6.69% to be precise) of what I personally paid out of pocket for my blog costs, including products to test.  I have no lofty goals of a career in beauty blogging (I think doing what I love as a job would make me love it less) and I've deliberately chosen not to use any other forms of revenue (such as ads, paid posts, or even press samples) because money is not, and has never been, my goal.  In fact, I only want the blog to be able to support itself; that includes putting my face, time, and $$ on the line to discover new things that others can benefit from.  Exactly like the Joseon cream, which was unheard of outside of KR before I purchased it on a whim via a buying service.

The Joseon cream trend may have started with my blog, but it's expanded far beyond it. credit: #joseoncream tag on IG
Another type of revenue that has been suggested to me is a Patreon (which I had to google) or even a paypal donation option; while I'm flattered that people value my work and want to support me, that's just not something I'm comfortable with.  If you are interested in supporting bloggers because you feel you have benefitted from their work, affiliate links are an unobtrusive way to offer them something back without any additional cost to you, and that's why I've chosen that method rather than any others.  It also allows me to buy things with my own money, which works better for me, personally, as a reviewer.

However, that doesn't mean that you can't do other forms of revenue and remain very, very ethical.  That's why I'm linking the latest version of The Snailcast podcast here, so that everyone can listen to the joint wisdom of 4 different AB bloggers as they throw down some #receipts and #truthbombs that people need to hear about the realities of AB blogging economics.

The Snailcast podcast, Episode 6: The Truth about Asian Beauty Blogs and $$$

I've mentioned The Snailcast in passing, usually to disclose my connection with the bloggers whose work I cite, but it's important to note that my respect and admiration of these bloggers far predates any work I've done with them.  The Snailcast was a teaming up of peers responding to a need; a place where 4 (at times opposing) voices could be heard in a single place on topics that are nearest and dearest to our reader's thoughts- at least per their comments, emails, tweets, etc.

Every two weeks, we post a podcast episode about a topic that is driven by the topics our readers express they want to know about, or the topics we want our readers to know about.  We've been planning an episode on sponsorships and the economics of blogging for weeks, including gathering reader questions, and in light of the recent drama, we've recorded and posted it ahead of schedule.

So here it is, everything you've been wanting to know about sponsorships, affiliate links, press samples, ads, and #receipts. here it is:

The Snailcast Episode 6: The Truth about Asian Beauty Blogs and $$$

Screencap from TheSnailcast.com
There have been many, many times when members of The Snailcast have offered to answer people's questions about this topic, but people rarely ask, so we took it upon ourselves to start the conversation so that we can put people's concerns to rest.

Moreover, the reason why the podcast exists is to provide a way for inclusion, not exclusion, of more people in the dialogue; this is why the topics are based around the questions of our readers, so reach out if you have those questions!

Countering the beauty blogging culture of jealousy, speculation, and suspicion

Sadly, too often people don't stop to ask, they just hear a rumour, fire off with speculation, and then cook up theory worthy of a tinfoil hat convention, blasting it off onto the internet and damaging innocent people's reputations as they do it.  The human behind the screen is lost, and it's not just readers, it can crop up between bloggers as well.  In fact, fellow Snailcaster Tracy of fanserviced-b commented on this in Episode 3: 2015 Year-End Wrap-Up, as one of the things she'd like to see less of: blogger-on-blogger shade and sabotage.  When it happens, everyone loses.

On the one hand, I get it.  As a human being who is being honest, I get that envy is a really hard emotion to deal with.  You might look at the success of others, and think "why them, and not me?" and feel resentful of them.  In fact, I myself have looked on in admiration (and yes, at times even envy) at the work and accomplishments of Fiddy of Fifty Shades of Snail and Tracy of fanserviced-b, and felt a little intimidated by the legitimate scientific credentials and analysis of Chel of Holysnails, who was a relatively new blogger.  All of these women, when viewed with the at-times toxic lens of beauty blogging, should be my "rivals" if one was to buy into the negative stereotypes of beauty blogging.  But they aren't.  They're peers, and now, collaborators.

I worry that talking about this might be too much of a circlejerk, but I want to be real here, so I'm going to talk about it anyway.  It needs to be said.

Amazing things can happen if people lift one another up instead of trying to tear one another down.  It's so trite, but it's so true.  The Snailcast is an example of what can happen if you put forth the effort to reach out and treat your fellow bloggers like human beings.  It was eye-opening how easy it was to develop a healthy peer relationship with my fellow bloggers, and it had me wondering-- how many people foster envy and resentment in their hearts, thinking that there's an uncrossable divide between one another?

All it took was a message on social media asking for advice on how I'd recommend dealing with someone stealing their translation content to start the conversation.  Then it evolved into some #realtalk on everything from how to handle sponsorship inquiries, how much time we spend on our reviews, sacrifices that we've made, thoughts on ingredients, testing process, and what inspires us to keep going.  It's inspiring and it pushes me to be a better blogger, to produce better content, and to find a better balance between blogging and my everyday life.  (Clearly, I suck at this last point, since I'm writing this post instead of staying in bed.)

Not to mention all the pit traps I've managed to avoid by being able to ask for advice myself: "Hey what do you think of this offer from XYZ shop?"  Answer:

Not even if that product looks good.  Nope.
I think in close-knit communities like the international K-Beauty/Asian beauty product community, we have a greater opportunity to reach out to one another and develop these friendly, non-competitive connections with one another,  Amazing things can come of it, such as my collaboration with Consumer Psychologist adoredee, which dug deep into why people rely on bloggers for advice and why bloggers can't always give that advice.  In fact, adoredee was, and is, someone I frequently went to for advice on the convoluted inner workings of the beauty blogging world; her educated and honest opinions saved me from so many missteps I might have otherwise unknowingly made.

An open letter of appreciation to my readers

As much as I gain inspiration, advice, and perspective from my peers, ultimately at the end of the day, it's my readers who keep me going.

As I've said above, I blog for love, not for money, and when people reach out and tell me that they appreciate my work, that it was helpful to them, that it mattered- that's what I hold onto when it's 3 am and I'm debating whether I should just slack off on this last few paragraphs so I can go to bed.

It's what drives me to write week after week, rather just whenever I feel like it; that commitment to myself to produce quality content and the knowledge that people notice and appreciate it.  Being able to share things and have it mean something, even if it's just an enjoyable 20 minutes of their day; all these things are the true value of my blog, not money.  I appreciate you all; please never forget that.

What's in my "sick day" routine

Right so, it's a testament to my commitment to keep things on-topic that this photo (courtesy of commandeered husband) came to be; it's what I've been using when I'm too sick to stand while leaning over my sink.

Thank goodness for cleansing water; the freedom to cleanse my face while being wrapped in a blanket in my chair.
From left to right, and in order of application:
  • Su:m37 Skin Saver Cleansing Water, on a cotton pad (shown) and swiped down my face
  • Mizon AHA BHA Daily Clean Toner, in a mist bottle so I can spritz it my face without emerging from my blanket cocoon.
  • Holysnails Snowbang first essence, also in a mist bottle for blanket-cocoon preservation reasons-- this is a Hanbang essence designed for my dehydrated combo-oily skin.
  • Random sheet mask from my stash

I seriously felt so accomplished for even doing this much when I'm this sick.  The sheet mask was also nicely cooling on my aching and feverish forehead/face; I didn't chill it beforehand, just let the essence do its thing.  So much more fabulous than a cool cloth!

I apologize for how rambly and possibly incoherent this post has been; many cups of tea and a few naps happened before it was done, but the topic was so important I didn't want to let it slide.

Have thoughts on any of these topics?  Hit me up on Facebook or Twitter and let me know! Or do you have something uou'd like to share with me?  Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram at @snowwhiteandtheasianpear because I'd love to see it!

All the best,

**Disclaimer: All products reviewed/mentioned in my blog, unless expressly stated to be press samples which were provided for honest review, are 100% purchased with my own money; regardless of their origin, my opinions are entirely my own.  This blog contains  both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog will receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself.  Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.


  1. Delurking to say that I am so sorry for the anger that has been directed your way. For some reason, people forget to treat others on the internet with kindness and respect, and that's such a shame. The amount of labour that you and other bloggers put into your work is staggering, and I hope that you can hold onto the love and support of those who appreciate your work.

    Please take care of yourself and try to get some rest!

    1. Thank you so much <3

      "I hope that you can hold onto the love and support of those who appreciate your work."

      As long as there are people like you, who reach out to remind us of what really matters, we will :)

  2. Coming out of the shadows to tell you how much I appreciate your candidness and blog! Please keep up the awesome work and don't let the party poopers ruin the AB party ;)

  3. Gosh! I've only just started following you blog and it surprised me to hear that people could be so vindictive and petty!

    I recently started my own blog (unrelated to k-beauty) and I was shocked by the amount of effort (and costs) involved; it's phenomenal! Your posts have helped me tremendously! If anything, if you are able to fund your passion through whatever affiliate commissioning you receive; good for you!

    Keep up the amazing work; I hope you feel better. Ignore everyone else! x :)

    1. Thank you, it's really shocking sometimes, especially if you put in a lot of effort to live right.

      On your second point about the costs- it's disturbing to think that blogging could become the purview of the independently discretionary-wealthy. :( If I didn't have a day job and be part of a dual income household, I would not be able to afford my hobby. It's a sobering thought!

  4. Another lurker here. Just wanted to say how much I truly appreciate all that you and the rest of the Snailcast members do to enhance our knowledge of skincare and the k-beauty world. All of the information that you guys have shared has been so helpful to me to resolve my skin issues.

    Keep up the great work and hope you feel better soon!

    1. Thank you so much! It means a lot to know that we're making a difference :3

  5. I agree with the above comments! Keep going, we need you. I often troll all of you guys - Tracey, Jude, you, Chel, and Dee to cobble together ideas for formulas to try (and why!) to make my skin better, clear an irritation, or just to see what's new and how product testing is going...sometimes things work, sometimes they don't, but I never panic because I know between all of you guys, someone's going to have experienced something and written a hilarious review of it! You all are awesome. So stick around. I may not comment often, but I read and re-read archives almost daily. Stay!!!

    1. <3 No worries, I'm not going anywhere! I'm going to keep focusing on putting out the kind of content that I want to see more of, and keep supporting other people who are living right too.

  6. De lurking too, I think there should be some sort of whooshing sound when one delurks...

    Remember that envy is the thief of joy, you just keep on keeepin' on :0)

    1. Haha, I'm imaging it as some sort of whoosh-pop now. I completely agree with your comment about envy- "don't let anyone steal your joy" is a saying my mother would often say, in fact!

  7. I had no idea there was so much rivalry in AB community, I kind of always assumed you guys all knew each other and got along, because this niche is not nearly as crowded as WB. Hopefully AB will eventually become mainstream enough to allow for paid opportunities that you all can feel good about. It's always nice to get paid for collaborating with brands you genuinely love and would promote anyway :)

    1. I think (at least I hope) that there really isn't that kind of rivalry in the AB community for the most part, at least among bloggers. There's always a few people who seem to think that the best way to get ahead is by tearing down the people around them, but that's always a lose-lose proposition; sure, it might damage the reputation of the person they're attacking, but it doesn't make them look very good either.

      I'm happy with this being my hobby, and using unobtrusive ways to offset the cost of searching for new amazing things to try. :D

  8. And before I forget, I just want to say thank you for putting Joseon cream on my radar. I bought one to try from Memebox so I could have it faster, and now I have three more coming from Korea ;)

    1. You are very welcome!! Do you like it, then? Tell me all about it. <3

    2. I love it! The effect actually reminds me of Bounce Cheese Cream, which I also adore, but I fancied trying something new. I spotted Joseon Cream at KoreaDepart for 9.39 and had to stock up! It's still available in the outlet section btw if you want to grab more. The non-outlet one is on sale too for 12.81 per jar. Anyway, since I love both the Joseon cream and Bounce Cheese I will probably alternate between them based on which one's cheaper at the time. My combo/dehydrated skin loves them!

  9. I am so sorry that people have had to bring negativity into your passion and our blogger friends lives as well. There are always going to be negative people in the world that will try and bring you down but I am so glad that you have turned to your friends and family (that's us!!!) to help you because we are the ones that will always be here for you and support what you do 100%. I personally love what you do and what Fiddy, Chel, Tracey, everyone does for all of us and appreciate it more then you can ever imagine because if it weren't for all of you I would be lost in what to use for my skin care! You are my AB family. When your sick I get to pray for you to feel better, when you get good news I get to rejoice and do the happy dance with you. I will never meet you but I will follow you on your blog for as long as you write it and learn from you and I will remember you. So thank you for doing this and please keep going with your passion! I am one that bought the Joseon Cream because of you and LOVE it! Thank you for doing this for us!

    1. "I am so glad that you have turned to your friends and family (that's us!!!)" :3 Yes, yes it is. <3

      Thank you so much. (Also haaaaay Joseon cream!! <3 <3 <3)

  10. Replies
    1. TBH this is the first time I've ever made a gif, and it was so easy. I made sure to capture the most sleepy hamster moment I could find XD

      It's mesmerizing. I can't stop watching it.

  11. I have always enjoyed your blogs and blogs written by your fellow snailcasts. I feel that the opinions were always genuine and honest, I never once felt like I was reading a sponsored advertisement in any way. And since YMMV I never blindly purchase any item either. When I am eyeing a product I usually search for a few more blogs, check out sites that carry it, look at the ingredients before I make my final decision. And I must admit I have been pretty successful. 50% of my daily skincare consists of items that I bought as a result of reading AB bloggers' reviews. Before then, my 10+step Korean skincare routine comprised of mostly Sulwhasoo and to be honest I was quite content with them. So it felt exceptionally good when I scored things better than Sulwhasoo, it was such an accomplishment. My skin feels/looks better and my wallet less pressured. And it all because of AB bloggers like you(of coz and many others out there). I read about what happen to Chel/Holysnails and all and am truly disappointed and upset, but then when you read Holysnails FB page and you can really feel the love there. Please continue doing what you do because I (and many others) really do appreciate your time and effort, and especially your love.

    And one big thank you for introducing Joseon Cream...I was debating it until I saw it on testerkorea for a ridiculously low price and boy do I regret not getting it sooner. I hesitated because of the texture, worried it may be too heavy and will cause breakouts. It turned out to be the best cream I have ever use (can i say in my life?) I don't care about its colour, fragrance, texture anymore because I am only seeing the results....I use it as a night cream and every single day I woke up to soft, supple skin. The cream really penetrates into the skin..its just a miracle. I have since decanted a couple jars to my friends and I am placing my next order pretty soon. (yes testerkorea sold out and when i asked they said to wait a week or so because its a hot item....haha all coz of you Cat) I just love love love this cream so much. And thats not it, I am on the Evercos mask bandwagon too, good quality mask to be used daily, just perfect!!!! I would love to try Lovemore masks but its quite hard to source in Canada.

    Anyhow, get well soon and keep those reviews coming.

    p.s. Saw your review on Goodal SPF, I too, would prefer physical SPF, if you have any other Korean brand physical SPF that is good, please share. Coz the Goodal is kinda pricey:P

    1. " So it felt exceptionally good when I scored things better than Sulwhasoo, it was such an accomplishment. My skin feels/looks better and my wallet less pressured. " Yessssss! TBH I really do love Sulwhasoo but I can't afford anything larger than the travel sizes, haha!

      I am so glad that you love the Joseon cream. TT_TT The feels, they are intense. Also Evercos! <3 If you can't get Lovemore, have you considered trying My Scheming? They're cheaper and easier to find- you could get them from places like Sasa.com and get them shipped straight to Canada. Also haaaaaaay fellow Canadian! *hugs*

      To be honest I've loved the Goodal so much that I haven't looked for another sunscreen. KoreaDepart is sold out right now, but it's around $11, and you can sign up for email alerts: http://en.koreadepart.com/shop/item.php/1441933601/

      Take care!

  12. Didn't know anything about those, uhm, sort of accusations...but I'm sorry that Blogs like your or Tracy or Fiddy has been targeted like that. I'm a reader (not always commenter, my english level is very basic) and your blog helped me a lot. Can't thank you enough for your reviews and articles, that are a light and inspiration for my skincare routine and are responsible that, since a couple of months, my skin is pimple free and improving.

    Hope you have a fast recovery ^_^, I usually drink korean honey citron tea when caught a cold, and eat some throat candies (from Lotte) to soothe it after coughing so much.

    1. Thank you, and you shouldn't be so modest, I love that you have a bilingual blog and the products you review are nicely varied. :) Your review of the Son & Park lip crayon made me decide to get it after lusting after that shade since I saw it on their IG. Mmmm.

      Thank you, I hope I am feeling better soon too!

  13. Hi Snow!
    I adore all AB bloggers I follow and I can't be more thankful to you guys for all your colossal work!
    As for you personally, I admire your ALWAYS detailed and scrupulous reviews, tutorials, guides, comparisons, analysis... Following your knowledge and experience I'm able to avoid byuing things blindly and be more thoughtful.
    Sorry my english) I just want you to know that what you do is valued and really appreciated!

    Send you spiritual hugs, get well soon!

    1. Thank you, it matters so much that people do notice and appreciate all the work that goes into them. That's what keeps me going at 3am! <3

  14. Hello, just to say I love your blog. I read it often and would thank you: I place my products on the right order now and it makes wonder :-) Keep it up, your work is amazing, your reviews are always complete and well documented.

    1. Thank you, and I prefer in-depth reviews myself, so I try to write the kind of reviews I want to read. :)

  15. Just popping in to say that your blog has risen to the top of my K-Beauty bloggers list since I started falling down the K-beauty hole the at the beginning of January. I've directed all my friends who were gullible enough to ask me about my favorites towards you, as I spouted off way too much information about snails and pH. YOU are one of the reasons my skin is looking better, with your thorough explanations regarding layers, advice to beginners, and mistakes to avoid. Also you inspired me to use Curology, and I used your affiliate link so that I hope I could send a little bonus your way.

    Please know that your readers (even the newest like me!) appreciate the hell out of you!! I still don't even feel qualified to ask a question for the Snailcast so I just keep re-reading your blog to make sure you haven't already answered my questions. THANK YOU for all the incredible work you do!!

    1. Oh gosh, thank you! I'm smiling so hard my sheet mask is peeling away from my mouth. :3 I chuckled over this: "I spouted off way too much information about snails and pH." Oh man, I relate to this so much. XD

      "YOU are one of the reasons my skin is looking better" Aww, I am so glad that I could be helpful! And you should ask the Snailcast questions any time, we love getting them! <3

  16. Hi, I hope you are feeling better - it's a downer to feel bad physically and embattled online as well. Anyways, I've been enjoying your blog because I appreciate that you try to research reasons why certain things are done a certain way. The PH cleaner thing was a actually quite a thing in the 90ies, at least in Germany, where you can still buy low ph cleaner bars for cheap in the drugstore (one brand actually recently appeared at Costco but turned expensive on the trip across the Atlantic, apparently). I am not sure if this is the place to post this question, since it has little do with your post and may have been answered elsewhere in your blog, but here goes: What's the deal with cleansing in the morning? I totally get the rationale of cleaning your face in the evening, but what happens overnight that needs to be washed off in the morning? Is there a scientific rationale for that? Thanks!

    1. Thank you, I'm still not quite recovered yet, but hopefully soon! pH info on cleansers has been around for a very long time indeed, it was pretty surprising when I started researching it.

      In terms of morning cleansing, a lot of people either sweat a lot at night/get oily overnight, or they apply a lot of skincare at night including sleeping packs, and those can leave a film of residue that needs to be cleaned off in the morning. :)

      Many people skip AM cleansing, or just wash with water, or use an ultra gentle cleanser (I like to use cleansing waters) if they don't feel like there is a lot of build-up on the skin.

      I hope that helps! :)

  17. I don't think I have ever commented on your blog, but I'm breaking my silence to tell you two things:

    1 - I sincerely hope you feel better soon. I can only imagine how bad you must be feeling and wish you a speedy recovery.

    2 - I just wanted to express my appreciation for what you (and Fiddy, Tracy, and Chel) do. I'm about six months into my K-Beauty obsession and all your posts have been invaluable. Your thorough, intelligent, honest, and straightforward reviews and guides have helped me to navigate the crazy, amazing, overwhelming, rewarding, confusing, and sometimes sketchy world of K-beauty. I've learned so much through all your efforts and sacrifices (such a dramatic word, but what else could I call risking a major breakout from testing a new product?) and I'm sure a lot of other readers would say the same. I hope that the drama and the accusations (seriously, what's up with people?) don't bring you down too much but if they do, do remember that you have legions of readers who appreciate the thought, time, and effort that you put into this blog.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! Knowing that people appreciate the work that goes into it matters a lot. <3

  18. Hi Cat,
    I too am new here and was at my wits end with the dehydrated dry skin.
    I live in the desert of the Southwest. Since feb when my kb recommendations from you Fiddy and Chel started arriving I have been seeing a light at the end of the tunnel finally my skin is plumping up. I used to throw so many expensive moisturizers at it- nothing. Till now I have to say I could just camp on your doorstep as a groupy but that might be annoying. By the way I am 56 way too old to take part in blog conversation but I wanted to convey my sincere appreciation. If you ever need to test something on older dry/dehydrated skin hee hee I am your gal.
    I adore you and wish you so much success and happiness. Wish we could beam the trolls and miseryfolk to another dimension. Blessings.

    1. Oops, it looks like my reply to this was eaten, because I don't see it here. :( Thank you for your kind comments, and it's exciting to hear that your skin is responding well to the products that you are using!

      Take care :3

  19. Pretty lady, you are endlessly appreciated by me as well. Like so many others here, I would be lost without your honesty (and the complete generosity of your time). I feel very fortunate to have found you and the #snailcast "crime fighting" team. In a world where even so-called friends covet their secret products (and trash on the ones we openly express interest in), I feel as though I have four close friends who let me sit in the corner and listen to them talk about things that matter and the things so many people don't understand. I'm looking forward to listening to the new podcast tonight (while sheetmasking, of course), and I'm hoping you're feeling better. But, honestly, girl, damn, you're dedicated!

    1. :3 thank you so much, it's really heartwarming to hear that, because that's what we wanted- a way to invite people into the conversation and for us to be more casual and informal with people in a way that doesn't really come across via the written word.

      Take care <3

  20. Fellow Lurker here as well,

    Just popping out to say your blog is what got me into Asian skincare and really looking closer at formulations rather than "Oh, everyone seems to like this product, so it must be awesome for me!" trap. It's been very helpful and refreshing and I feel like I have a better grasp on my skin and what works for me now rather than spending on products willy nilly in the hopes that the magical unicorn tears will appear.

    Keep up the good work and sending prayers your way that you feel better and less zombie like soon!

    1. I'm glad that I was part of your fall down the rabbit hole, haha! Also this: "It's been very helpful and refreshing and I feel like I have a better grasp on my skin and what works for me now rather than spending on products willy nilly in the hopes that the magical unicorn tears will appear." Yessss, hi five! Made my day.

      Now I am going to go back to napping after I finish this soup. <3

  21. I came here from reddit but I do enjoy your contributions to the K-Beauty community so glad you're not too discouraged by the naysayers. On a side note, do mist bottles have to be airless as well? I'm trying to turn some weird gourd water that someone gave me but I wonder if the random mist bottles on ebay will suffice...

    1. Thank you! :)

      Hmm, I am not sure if there are airless mist bottles-- I assume no, because the pump action needs air to work but I'm not a cosmetic packaging expert by any means. :)

  22. I found thing post while I was, as usual, window-shopping late at night while le boyfriend is snuggly tucked in snoozing XD and it's really surprising to hear these stories. At the same time, it has always surprised me so many people assume that running a blog means piles of cash, pouring out of old socks and crowding the bed. My blog started because I had too much fun with Kbeauty not to share it, and to this day it remains a hobby that I pay for 100% out of my own pocket. I enjoy your blog so much because I feel the actual passion for what you're writing about, and like you said yourself, it's that passion and peoples' positive response that makes it worth while.

    I wish I had old socks full of money, then I wouldn't be bookmarking a million items I want with a sad sigh, knowing I'd be able to get like 1/100th of them XDD