Review: WLDKAT Mushroom Moss + Gel Cream

Hydration that doesn’t weigh you down. Loaded with mushroom extract, hyaluronic acid, and MossCellTec™, this quick-absorbing, gel cream formula helps skin adapt to environmental change, hold moisture, and control oil production for a supple glow. Ph-balanced.

WLDKAT

WLDKAT’s Mushroom Moss + Gel Cream moisturizer piqued my interest as soon as I discovered the WLDKAT Brand. It’s emphasis on mushroom and rice extracts got me excited over its long-lasting efficacy and I quickly purchased the product to test my theory out. Though the container is small, a little goes a long way, and application is easy – the gel gliding gently across the skin. Its quick absorbency made me doubt its overnight power, but surprisingly, the gel kept my skin smooth and moisturized even in times when it was the only product I applied the previous night. Moreover, the moisturizer is lightweight, so it works great for a day-time/under make-up routines as well!

Ingredient Pros and Cons

Ingredients: water/aqua, propanediol, glycerin, diisostearyl malate, cannabis sativa seed oil, isomalt, acrylates copolymer, cannabidiol, tremella fuciformis sporocarp extract, oryza sativa (rice) bran extract, helianthus annuus (sunflower) extract, betaine, polyisobutene, sorbitan oleate, sodium acrylates copolymer, lecithin, caprylyl/capryl glucoside, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, sodium acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, tocopherol, caprylyl glycol, 1,2-hexanediol, phytol, citric acid, potassium sorbate, phenoxyethanol

Significant Pros

  • Propanediol (moisturizing)
  • Glycerin (moisturizing)
  • Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil (moisturizing, soothing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory)
  • Cannabidiol (moisturizing, soothing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory)
  • Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract (aids skin regeneration, antioxidant, hydrating, anti-inflammatory)
  • Oryza Sativa Rice Bran Extract (evens skin tone)
  • Helianthus Annus Sunflower Extract (moisturizing)
  • Betaine (soothing)

Significant Cons

  • May trigger fungal acne for those who are prone to it

The Takeaway

I’m incredibly pleased with this moisturizer. Though I do wish it came in a larger container, when it comes to the contents itself, I have no complaints. Though those with super dry skin may need an extra boost of moisture at night, for everyone else, I’d highly recommend this product.

Review: The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam

‘Things being as bad as they are,’ the baker had said to the two brothers earlier, ‘this world won’t last for much longer.’ ‘I’ve got worse news for you, Uncle,’ Laal had replied. ‘The world will survive forever, with everything staying exactly as it is now.’

The Golden Legend

Summary and Thoughts

When shots ring out on the Grand Trunk Road, Nargis’s life begins to crumble around her. Her husband, Massud–a fellow architect–is caught in the cross fire and dies before she can confess her greatest secret to him. Now under threat from a powerful military intelligence officer, who demands that she pardon her husband’s American killer, Nargis fears that the truth about her past will soon be exposed. For weeks someone has been broadcasting people’s secrets from the minaret of the local mosque, and, in a country where even the accusation of blasphemy is a currency to be bartered, the mysterious broadcasts have struck fear in Christians and Muslims alike. When the loudspeakers reveal a forbidden romance between a Muslim cleric’s daughter and Nargis’s Christian neighbor, Nargis finds herself trapped in the center of the chaos tearing their community apart.

Goodreads

This was quite a complex, dense story. Rich with political history, religious allegory, and ornate description, The Golden Legend definitely has a lot to say, though unfortunately for me, I was left in the dust by its constant soliloquies. The story follows four main characters – Nargis (a widow with a secret), Helen (a Christian servant girl on the run), Imram (a friend to Nargis and Helen who aids in their escape), and Lily (Helen’s father and a wanted enemy of the government). The reader learns more about their backgrounds, relationships, and the larger political corruption around them as they try to make sense of their own humanity in times of crisis. Though I appreciated the core of Aslam’s narrative, I found it difficult to follow the specific actions and scenes of the story due to the long, long, long, loooooooooong sections of exposition between each character interaction. This meant that I often felt disconnected from the characters, uninterested in any possible tension due to never knowing how or when relationships developed or where characters were in any certain scene (both time and location). While I can definitely understand why others may rate this book highly, for me, the execution of the plot was lacking and I’d only selectively recommend this book to others.

Photo Courtesy of Goodreads

Notable Reviews

For Those Who Enjoyed

Star Rating

3/5

Review: Sips by Teahead You’re a Peach! Green Tea

Feel invigorated when sipping this refreshing green tea infused with juicy peaches, dragonfruit, and fresh papaya. The sweet and sunny flavor is perfect both hot and iced. This tea is a real peach. 

Sips By

Oooooh yes, this is a good tea! The peach flavor of Teahead’s green tea truly pops with the papaya and apple notes augmenting the taste. The marigold and blackberry leaves help provide a fresh, liveliness to the blend, offering an overall delicious peach green tea – easily enjoyed both cold and hot. If you’re a fan of green/peach teas, I definitely recommend picking this up.

Ingredients

Green Tea, Papaya Pieces, Apple, Sweet Blackberry Leaves, Marigold Petals, Peach Pieces, Natural Flavoring

Review: WLDKAT Saffron + Oat Milk Glow Serum

A juicy lit-from-within glow. No highlighter needed. Loaded with oat milk, hyaluronic acid, and saffron extract this daily brightening milky serum soaks in immediately with no sticky residue, leaving skin looking healthy, hydrated, and beyond bright.

WLDKAT

I had my eye on WLDKAT for a while, attracted to its sustainable messaging (and the fact that it’s woman-owned) and ingredients (though I’m iffy with their stance on essential oils). A little over a month later, I’m ready to write a basic review on its highly reviewed serum. Thin enough to run down the face but thicker than an essence, this serum spreads easily across the skin, but may take a bit of time to absorb. However, once it does, it meshes easily with other products stacked on top, as the serum alone won’t be enough to moisturize the skin completely. After regular daily usage, the product claims to show a visible brightness within the skin. For me, while I definitely enjoyed using this serum, I found no discernible difference in my before and after.

Ingredient Pros and Cons

Ingredients: water (aqua), dicapryl carbonate, cannabidiol, crocus sativus flower extract, sodium hyaluronate, hydrolyzed adansonia digitata seed extract, cannabis sativa seed oil, limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, rice amino acids, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, avena sativa (oat) kernel extract, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, cannabinoids, hydrolyzed soy protein, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, squalane, tocopherol, glycerin, coco-glucoside, l-proline, sodium phytate, cetearyl alcohol, sorbitan isostearate, hydroxyethyl acrylate/sodium acryloyldimethyl taurate copolymer, ethylhexylglycerin, sodium benzoate, phenoxyethanol

Significant Pros

  • Cannabidiol (soothing, anti-inflammatory)
  • Crocus Sativus Flower Extract (anti-oxidant, fights hyper pigmentation)
  • Sodium Hyaluronate (hydrating)
  • Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digita Seed Extract (fights UV damage)
  • Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil (soothing, anti-inflammatory)
  • Limnanthes Alba (meadow foam) seed oil (soothing, moisturizing, anti-aging)
  • Rice Amino Acids (evens skin tone, moisturizing, anti-aging)
  • Aloe Barbadensis Lead Juice (moisturizing, soothing, anti-inflammatory, fights UV damage)
  • Avena Sativa (oat) Kernel Extract (moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, antibacterial)

Significant Cons

  • Might trigger fungal acne for those who have this condition

The Takeaway

This was a fun product to use and while my personal results weren’t noteworthy, I can definitely see others finding more success than me due to the serum’s impressive ingredient list. Since the price is a bit on the higher side, I may not repurchase, but I see no problem in recommending this product to others who are looking for a moisturizing, soothing serum to add into their routine.

Review: Betraying Big Brother by Leta Hong Fincher

Nearly one out of every five women in the world lives in China—more than 650 million women in total. Any major demographic shift as a result of women choosing to reject marriage and children—or perhaps even to rise up collectively against the Communist Party’s oppression—will inevitably reverberate throughout the global economy.

Betraying Big Brother

Summary and Thoughts

On the eve of International Women’s Day in 2015, the Chinese government arrested five feminist activists and jailed them for 37 days. The Feminist Five became a global cause célèbre, with Hillary Clinton speaking out on their behalf, and activists inundating social media with #FreetheFive messages. But the Feminist Five are only symbols of a much larger feminist movement of civil rights lawyers, labor activists, performance artists and online warriors that is prompting an unprecedented awakening among China’s urban, educated women. In Betraying Big Brother, journalist and scholar Leta Hong Fincher argues that the popular, broad-based movement poses the greatest threat to China’s authoritarian regime today.

Through interviews with the Feminist Five and other leading Chinese activists, Hong Fincher illuminates both the challenges they face and their “joy of betraying Big Brother,” as Wei Tingting—one of the Feminist Five—wrote of the defiance she felt during her detention. Tracing the rise of a new feminist consciousness through online campaigns resembling #MeToo, and describing how the Communist regime has suppressed the history of its own feminist struggles, Betraying Big Brother is a story of how the movement against patriarchy could reconfigure China and the world.

Goodreads

Queen Leta Hong Fincher has returned and once again I am STUNNED by her short but powerful examination of feminism in China. I have nothing negative to say about this book. Despite its small size, Fincher expertly details the imprisonment and activism of China’s Feminist Five and how their actions have reverberated throughout the country. To further explain their impact, Fincher lays out China’s historical and political background and how the rise of the feminist movement intersects with other resistance issues (such as labor rights and online censorship). Though reading Fincher’s previous book – Leftover Women – will definitely provide great context for this read, it’s not entirely necessary as Fincher’s writing is incredibly clear and accessible. Overall, I’m impressed by both Fincher’s insights and the structure of this work – together providing an insightful study that anyone can learn from.

Photo Courtesy of Goodreads

Notable Reviews

For Those Who Enjoyed

Star Rating

5/5

Review: Cederbos Organic Rooibos Chai Tea

The elegant Cederbos Organic Original Rooibos Tea is made of the highest quality, natural organic Rooibos leaves.

My Red Tea

Already acquainted with My Red Tea’s other sample flavor, I was excited to try their Chai take on their classic Rooibos Tea. Sipping this, I can detect strong berry undertones that, though powerful, aren’t overly sweet, making it perfect alongside savory or sweet dishes and easily enjoyed both hot or cold. Though the “chai” is less recognizable (feels weird saying that the “chai” flavor isn’t as present in the tea, when chai = tea . . . but I digress), I still find the blend enjoyable nonetheless. If you’re looking for a wildly unique and unexpected tea, then this sachet may not be for you, but if you prefer simple but elegant blends then feel free to pour yourself a cup!

Ingredients

Organic Rooibos Leaves

Review: Donginbi Red Ginseng Cleansing Oil

Gently remove makeup, dirt, and oils without experiencing breakouts. Our hydrating cleanser flushes out impurities to leave your skin moisturized, smooth, and glowing. The skin-renewing Red Ginseng extract leaves your skin well-nourished.

Amazon

I wasn’t sure what to expect when purchasing this cleanser. Its high price but impressive ingredient list made me feel conflicted upon receiving. Still, after about 2 months of usage, I still have nearly half the product left, justifying (at least, in my opinion) the price. This is an oil cleanser, so how much you use upon application is dependent on your personal preference using the functioning pump. The oil itself is thin, but sticks to the face rather well, lathering slightly when rubbed. Altogether, it provides a fulfilling cleansing experience – wiping the skin skin clean without drying it.

Ingredient Pros and Cons

Ingredients: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cety Ethythexanoate, Hydrogenated Polydecene, PEG-20 Glyceryl Trisostearate, C13-15 Alkane, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba)Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Styrene/Butadiene Copolymer, PEG-10 Isostearate, Polybutene, Panax Ginseng Root Oil, Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Water, Ganoderma Lucidum(Mushroom) Extract, Rehmannia Chinensis Root Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Leonurus Sibiricus FlowerLeaf/Stem Extract, Lactoba cillus/Fermented Soybean Extract, Imperata Cylindrica Root Extract, Asper gillus Ferment, Glycerin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Water, Butylene Glycol, Propa nediol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Beta-Glucan, Ethyl Hexanediol, Ethythexylglycerin, Alcohol, Fragrance(Parfum)

Significant Pros

  • Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil (moisturizing)
  • Panax Ginseng Root Oil (hydrating, evens skin tone, anti-aging)
  • Panax Ginseng Root Water (hydrating, evens skin tone, anti-aging)
  • Panax Ginseng Root Extract (hydrating, evens skin tone, anti-aging)
  • Ganoderma Lucidum (Mushroom) Extract (anti-inflammatory, antioxidant)
  • Rehmannia Chinensis Root Extract (anti-inflammatory)
  • Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract (hydrating, soothing, anti-aging, antioxidant)
  • Lactoba Cillus/Fermented Soybean Extract (aids skin regeneration, antioxidant)

Significant Cons

  • Fragrance (Parfum) (skin irritant)

The Takeaway

This cleanser pleasantly surprised me! I was really doubting that $40 price tag (especially when it comes to cleansers, which are washed off), but honestly, if you ARE interested in taking a plunge into a slightly more expensive skin care product, this wouldn’t be a bad product to start with. I can see this product being compatible with dry, combo, and oily skin, so I’d advise your own budget preferences to guide you when considering picking this up.

Review: Serena Singh Flips the Script by Sonya Lalli

As fun as it was tracing a book cover, I think I’ll return to basic illustrations since they don’t look as prescriptive and I don’t want to infringe on copyright (I DO NOT own the original illustration).

I’d discovered that I did have time for a fuller life. Because it was other people that made life meaningful.

Serena Singh Flips the Script

Summary and Thoughts

Serena Singh is tired of everyone telling her what she should want–and she is ready to prove to her mother, her sister, and the aunties in her community that a woman does not need domestic bliss to have a happy life.

Things are going according to plan for Serena. She’s smart, confident, and just got a kick-ass new job at a top advertising firm in Washington, D.C. Even before her younger sister gets married in a big, traditional wedding, Serena knows her own dreams don’t include marriage or children. But with her mother constantly encouraging her to be more like her sister, Serena can’t understand why her parents refuse to recognize that she and her sister want completely different experiences out of life.

A new friendship with her co-worker, Ainsley, comes as a breath of fresh air, challenging Serena’s long-held beliefs about the importance of self-reliance. She’s been so focused on career success that she’s let all of her hobbies and close friendships fall by the wayside. As Serena reconnects with her family and friends–including her ex-boyfriend–she learns letting people in can make her happier than standing all on her own. 

Goodreads

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I connected with Serena as a character (an ambitious woman with no social life and no desire for children lol), I liked her friendship with Ainsley and how this relationship was such a main focus in the novel. In comparison to many other romances in the contemporary genre, this book seemed to veer more so on general fiction as opposed to romance due to its central theme of isolation in one’s 30s. Though there definitely is romance, this aspect isn’t the most important part of Serena’s life, which was a really unique and refreshing take. If you enjoy character studies but want to dive into romance, this may be a good contender. For this reason, unlike others, I actually found the plot pacing and romance well-structured. Some people noted that the romance felt tacked on and not well-developed, but for me, it made sense in relation to the book’s focus. My only qualms with the novel occurred towards the end. I felt like the twist with the family wasn’t resolved well and it left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. Despite this, I’m still happy to have read Serena Singh Flips the Script and would definitely recommend it to others.

SPOILERS BELOW ——————

I also was a bit confused, if not sad, to see Serena say throughout the novel that she doesn’t want kids . . . and then end up dating a guy with kids . . . I don’t get it. She says that she “fell in love with them” and I’m like . . . so do you actually want children or are you just against pregnancy? Because she seemed to be okay with the prospect of interacting with them for the foreseeable future. Sigh . . . There goes another childfree romance hope . . . lost in the wind.

Photo Courtesy of Goodreads

Notable Reviews

For Those Who Enjoyed

Star Rating

3.8/5

Review: Adagio Daydream Tea

Our oasis from modern life fits in a teacup! Daydream herbal blend incorporates soul-soothing herbs such as passionflower, lemon balm, and lavender for handling daily stress and emotional support. Softly minty and delicately floral with a bit of tanginess from hibiscus flowers, this blend is the perfect afternoon or evening retreat from your busy day.

Adagio

What a disappointment . . .Though I had hoped this blend would have a slightly spicy fruity taste, I ended up sipping a cup of dull, diluted berry water. While the flavor isn’t explicitly unpleasant, it isn’t memorable. Personally, I think a tea this light would do better as a cold beverage rather than served hot, but even then the ingredients may not be powerful enough to be considered refreshing. If you really want to try this tea, then go for it, otherwise I’d advise skipping this.

Ingredients

Orange, Hibiscus, Rooibos Tea, Peppermint Leaves, Licorice, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Passion Flowers, Milk Thistle & Marigold Flowers

Review: Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum

Target hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone with Discoloration Correcting Serum from Good Molecules. Version 1.1 is formulated with an advanced form of tranexamic acid to visibly improve the appearance of dark spots, acne scars, melasma, and sun damage.

Beautylish

I honestly only bought this product to get free shipping on my Beautylish order. At $12, Good Molecules’ Discoloration Correcting Serum is an affordable method of addressing hyper-pigmentation, its main ingredient Tranexamate being the main factor in doing so. Overall, I enjoyed using this product, finding the application easier than its counterpart in The Inkey List due to its watery texture which absorbs easily in the skin. After about a month of use, I’ve definitely noticed my dark spots fading, surprisingly pleased with the simple efficacy of the serum.

Ingredient Pros and Cons

Ingredients: Water – 77.0%, Butylene Glycol – 5.0%, Propanediol – 5.0%, Glycerin – 5.0%, Niacinamide – 4.0%, Cetyl Tranexamate Mesylate – 2.0%, Cetearyl Alcohol – 0.8%, Ceratonia Siliqua (Carob) Gum – 0.4%, Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum – 0.4%, Phenoxyethanol – 0.2%, Ethylhexylglycerin – 0.1%, Caprylyl Glycol – 0.1%

Significant Pros

  • Glycol – 5.0% (moisturizing)
  • Propanediol – 5.0% (moisturizing)
  • Glycerin – 5.0% (moisturizing)
  • Niacinamide – 4.0% (fights hyper-pigmentation, evens skin tone)
  • Cetyl Tranexamate Mesylate – 2.0% (fights hyper-pigmentation, evens skin tone)

Significant Cons

  • nothing wrong here

Takeaway

While I definitely enjoyed using this serum and would easily recommend it to others, it’s hard not to compare this product to The Inkey List‘s treatment which is at a comparable price point with a variety of other beneficial ingredients. For this reason, I’d recommend checking out The Inkey List first, and if you don’t find success with that product (or if you’re allergic to some of the ingredients/the product is sold out/find application too cumbersome etc.) then feel free to implement this product into your routine instead.