Tag Archives: acne serum

HABA Samples Giveaway Winner Announcement!

So awhile back, I did this post on HABA Skincare and then announced a giveaway.

Without any more delay, the winner is F00dVentures!


Please email me at storybookapothecary@gmail.com to claim your mini samples!

Get Luminescent Skin with HABA Skincare Products + Samples Giveaway!

I am super familiar with HABA Skincare as I’d tried their products several years ago and I recently had the pleasure of being sent some samples to test out and review for you all.

If you’re unfamiliar, HABA is a luxury Japanese skincare company that utilizes natural ingredients in order to give you the brightest, clearest and most beautiful complexion imaginable.

HABA stands for Health Aid, Beauty Aid, so their goal is ultimately to aid your beauty and your health by using natural ingredients in their products.

Firmly in the luxury skincare category, their products can be very pricey, but a few of them just might be worth the hefty price tag!

Fair Lady Vitamin C Serum

I have tried this before and loved it and the same holds true this time!

This serum feels as light as water, but as moisturizing as any cream without the heaviness on your skin.

It sinks right in an leaves no residue behind.

This serum is meant to brighten the skin, combat skin discoloration and give you the brightest complexion possible.

I really feel it does all this and more!

Given that it is a vitamin C serum, it’s no surprise then that I found it also helped to clear up my breakouts, improves discolorations and dullness, and clear my pores.

It definitely fits the bill and delivers in the whitening skincare category, so if you’re into whitening serums, this is a great one to try that is certainly worth the money to me!

Although it will cost you $68 USD, I really feel it is worth the investment given that a little bit goes a LONG way (I’ve been testing around 2 weeks now and still have more than 3/4 of the serum left in the bottle).

Check it out – here!

G Lotion Toner

I used this toner in routine with the Fair Lady Serum and found it to be just okay.

One great thing about this toner is that it “contains no parabens, flavors, mineral oils, synthesized tar colorings or petrochemical surfactants that can irritate the skin” so it’s certainly a more skin friendly formula and it was quite hydrating to the skin so if you battle dryness, you will probably enjoy this toner.

It feels light, similar to the vitamin C serum, but instead is a bit lighter than the serum and even more water as it’s a toner.

It worked well with this serum and the White Knight Oil Control so I really have no complaints.

I think it has some whitening qualities, though, so I think if you’re into that, you will like this toner as an addition to your whitening or brightening skin regimen.

Check it out – here!

Also, I used to love this toner much more when I had oilier skin a few years ago so if you’re interested in reading that review, check it out on my old blog – here!

White Knight Oil Control Lotion

 This is the last product I tried from HABA, the White Knight Oil Control Lotion.

This really does help to control oiliness in the T zone, calm and hydrate the skin and even works well as a primer for makeup.

It does feel as though it might have some silicone in the formula, but it’s dimethicone, which is said to be a moisturizing ingredient and is considered good to some, bad to others. It really depends on who you speak to. I don’t mind it as long as it doesn’t break me out, which this doesn’t. They also include tea tree oil in the formula so that’s great and the formula is so light so if you have super oily skin, this is a nice moisturizer to use that will not make you look oily or shiny and will help keep your makeup in place while clearing breakouts.

I think that since I am more in the combination skin area now, I get less from this one.

I LOVED this when I first tried it a few years ago back when I was still in the more oily adolescent skin type area, battling oiliness and breakouts, but I really have a more normal to combination type now so I see less results with this one.

Check out my old blog review on it – here!

If you have oily skin and breakouts with lots of oiliness, I think this will definitely be good to invest in!

Check it out – here!

Other products I have tried and loved from HABA include the Micro Cleansing, Deep Moisture Lotion, VC Toner Lotion and the Squa Powder Wash Cleanser (Read review for this on my old blog – here! ).

All in all, I really love HABA’s products. They include a lot of natural ingredients in their formulas and offer products that show results. Over the few weeks I used these products, I did see a difference in the tone of my skin, experienced less breakouts, and overall a smoother complexion. My only real qualm with this company is that the squalane they use is from shark liver, not vegetable, so it’s really an ethical issue at this point of not being cruelty free. If you’re not someone who is bothered by this or to whom it matters much, then power on and try these items because I really enjoyed them and they worked well.

 I think that some of these products may be better served on oilier skin types than mine or someone who is interested in whitening type skin care regimens, but the products still work well for someone trying to brighten skin discolorations, combat T zone oiliness or simply use a gentler skincare line.

Check out their site- here!

And onto the good stuff!

They sent me so many lovely and super generous skincare samples and, while I would love to hoard them all to myself, I definitely think they would be better served if shared with you all!

That being said, it’s mini giveaway time again!

One lucky winner will be given the chance to win some HABA Skincare samples!


Check out the Goods!

2 Deluxe Sized Samples Each of the Deep Moisture Lotion and the Micro Force Cleanser!

 Loads of Foil Samples of all the HABA Products including some of the products I reviewed!

PLEASE NOTE: This giveaway is open to any of my subscribers anywhere in the world. Although I received these samples free from HABA Skincare, I will be shipping them out at my own expense so please sign up! I am not rich, but I want to show my appreciation for your support and readership, and I promise you will enjoy these samples!

To Enter: 

  • Must be subscribed to this blog
  • Must be following me on Twitter @SApothecary and Storybook Apothecary on Facebook
  • Must be following @HABA_US on Twitter and HABA USA on Facebook
  • Must Comment Below the product they are most excited to try!
 One Lucky Winner will be Announced Here on 6/28/12!

Have you ever used HABA Skincare before?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Disclaimer: I was NOT given compensation to write this blog post in any way other than the free samples that were sent to me from HABA Skincare to review. My opinions, thoughts and experiences with this product are my own.

Get Your Custom Skin Care Items Handmade by Storybook Apothecary

At Storybook Apothecary, I hand craft a variety of skin care products including serums, creams, cleansers, toners, treatments, and healing facial powders for all different skin types and concerns, but did you know I also make custom items on request?

Per your request, I can make any number of formulations for a variety of issues and concerns including wrinkles, anti-aging or wrinkle prevention, moisturizing and hydrating, healing damaged skin, repair UV damage, hyper-pigmentation, acne, irritation, redness and a host of others.

I can do a skin consultation either through email or by phone where I would ask a series of questions regarding your skin type, concerns and issues for whatever custom item you want made. You can even specify which functions you would like the item to have and I can do my best to fulfill those requests.

All you have to do is ask and I will do my best to make a formulation that you will be delighted with!

Below are just a few examples of what I can make custom upon request:

  • Cream & Gel Cleansers
  • Cleansing Oils
  • Cream & Gel Serums
  • Eye Serums & Creams
  • Hand Creams
  • Gentle Hand Washes
  • Body Washes
  • Body Lotion
  • Chest & Breast Nourishing Cream
  • Foot Creams
  • Toners

…And More!

Request A Custom Item Through Etsy Here


Shoot me an email at TiannaSicilia@yahoo.com

Stay Beautiful


I’ll Talk To You Soon! : ]

Misleading Information At Cosmetic Counters

This past weekend I was out and about and found myself at the mall. I had parked outside the local Macy’s department store and therefore had to walk through the downstairs cosmetic counters in order to get back to where I parked which brings me to today’s topic: makeup, skincare and general cosmetic counter sales people.

Now, before I get going, don’t misunderstand what I’m about to say. This doesn’t apply to everyone and anyone at every store in the world. There are always special circumstances.

This mainly focuses on the big department stores where designer high end brands are sold.

That being said, I cannot stand the way most cosmetic sale counter girls do business.

It’s nothing personal; I know they’re just doing their job, but it really upsets me.

A lot of people may not know exactly how they work in terms of sales, product knowledge and customer service so I thought I should discuss this because their marketing plans are very misleading.

First off, the lab coats and general “expert” attire.

They wear this clothing to mislead customers into thinking they are experts on whatever cosmetic products they are selling, but in reality they are anything but.

 For instance, I used to buy a lot of cosmetics from counters back in the day. I used anything from Lancome to Clinique to Dior, etc. etc. I’ve tried it all.

 Yet, after doing a lot of research on skincare and cosmetics, more importantly a lot of the ingredients that go into them, I began to question sales people a lot more and I noticed something.

They really don’t know much about the products they are selling you.

This brings me to my second peeve: product knowledge and know-how.

Have you ever gone to one of these counters and tried to get an ingredient list for their products?

Or even simply ask them what’s in the products they’re trying to sell you?

They usually get really annoyed or they sort of have a mini freak out because they DO NOT KNOW what is in the products they’re selling you. They only know techniques on HOW to sell it to you, which focuses more on how it will make you look young, amazing, clear skin, blah, etc.

If you ask for an ingredient list (and I recommend you do!), you will likely find they do not have one readily available if at all and they certainly couldn’t tell you more than 1-2 ingredients that are even in the product or how they function. In fact, usually they will simply say “I don’t know, I’m not sure, etc.”

There is also another reason for not having the ingredient list available: they DON’T WANT you to KNOW what’s in their products!

 That’s right, parabens, bismuth oxychloride, carcinogens, etc. This is why it’s not readily available. Another reason is that their main ingredient is usually water. A formulation that is over $100 has a main ingredient that is 80-90% water, 2-5% active ingredients (lab engineered) and 5-10% preservatives and fillers to make the shelf life pretty much indefinite.

This means that they have a watered down product that may or may not help your skin at all, might clog your pores and will last longer  than you. The use of preservatives helps to ensure that they have very little waste to deal with so they lose little to no profit because they can mass manufacture the products which can then sit in warehouses for decades even before it reaches the shelves where consumers can buy them.

The use of fillers helps a product to spread more in order to make the consumer believe they are getting much more product than they actually are.

Now, I’m not going on a tangent about this because I want to put sales women on blast. I really don’t. I’m not mad at them or hold some animosity toward them at all.

In fact, they are just doing their job which is usually commission based and their sales have a direct impact on their check so I understand.

I really do, but it does upset me on a huge ethical level in terms of corporate greed because I really believe that they should know what’s in the products they are trying to thrust at me and that these cosmetics companies should have some ethical accountability for consumer safety and quality in their products.

It truly frustrates me that they don’t and, especially, that they put great aesthetic efforts into making you, the consumer, believe that they do (lab coats – “I am a skin doctor”).

In fact, research shows that these salespeople are really only taught sales techniques. Many times they don’t know anything more about it than you do.

Aside from the high end cosmetic counters, I have found that places like Sephora, MAC and Ulta have a lot more product knowledge to offer.

They don’t know much about harmful ingredients in cosmetics that I have seen, but they do know a lot more about what can help skin and many times, they are makeup artists that have been trained or have gone to school for it.

Also, there are various companies out  there that work very ethically and put a lot of work into the quality in their products.

So, I guess what I’m getting at is I hope that everyone can be more aware and informed when shopping for products that are going on their face.

Given that your skin is a huge part of your body and directly absorbs whatever you put on it, it’s pretty important.

Lastly, things to think about when shopping at cosmetics counters or in cosmetic stores and questions to ask your sales associate/makeup artist/skin “expert”:

  • What’s in this product?
  • What does the product do exactly?
  • Can I see an ingredient list?
  • What is the return policy?

There are many more questions you could ask the next time you find yourself at a cosmetics counter and I hope you do ask them.

 It’s important for your skin health as well as your overall health to know.

 Your skin and body will thank you for it.

What have you guys experienced at cosmetic counters?

Anything similar to my experiences or have you found better product knowledge?

Feel free to share your thoughts on this!

I’d love to discuss it with you all!

Stay Beautiful


I’ll Talk To You Soon : ]

Late Night Formulating

So this is kinda a crappy photo, but hey, I have a Droid X2 and it’s not known for it’s picture taking abilities.

Anyhow, this is a picture of a custom serum I made really quick for myself.

This is just a bit to give you an idea how I can make a custom serum for you and your skin needs.

It’s just to give you an idea of how my acne formulation could look (the one sold here), depending on what you want. I can also make acne serums in a more creamy opaque formula, but I personally prefer gel type serums to creams as I find creams can be heavy and, with summer coming, my oily to combination skin doesn’t need a heavy cream or oil.

This serum is in a base of sea kelp ultramarine, honey and aloe so it’s very hydrating and calming, but without being overly oily or heavy.

I’ve gone ahead and added organic botanical extracts such as Eco Certified Green Tea Extract and Eco Certified Sea Fennel Extract as well as an herbal extract blend for oily acneic skin that includes burdock root among others for added antioxidant benefits meant to help clear skin by calming irritations and slough off dead skin cells to increase cell turnover which not only helps to detox clogged pores, but also helps to generate collagin and elastin.

All in all, I’ve basically created a light night serum that will help to brighten my skin by lightly exfoliating my skin, hydrating and calming irritations and encouraging cell regeneration in order to prevent and treat fine lines and any free radical damage on my face.

Super tired so goodnight for now!

Stay Beautiful


I’ll Talk to You Soon!

Want A Custom Serum?

Contact Me On Etsy Here.

Or Shoot me an Email at TiannaSicilia@yahoo.com