Photographing people normally isn't within my comfort zone. I find more solace in quietly snapping images of inanimate subjects than interacting with living ones. But when I do, candid shots are my preferred style—time that stands still, encapsulating the exact moment for what it was and not how anyone wants to pretend to be.

Everyone visits Pike Place when in Seattle. Most go to grab some bites, look around, take quick photos, and be on their merry way. Frequent visitors may make the marketplace livelier, I would say the people of make Pike Place alive.

lavlilacs Pike Place, Seattle, Washington Piano Man Johnny Hahn

lavlilacs Pike Place, Seattle, Washington Beecher's Handmade Cheese waiting lavlilacs Pike Place, Seattle, Washington Beecher's Handmade Cheese making

lavlilacs Pike Place, Seattle, Washington Mee Sum Pastry accepting

lavlilacs Pike Place, Seattle, Washington Starbucks watching lavlilacs Pike Place, Seattle, Washington Starbucks chatting

lavlilacs Pike Place, Seattle, Washington Simply the Best smiling

Kill Nothing But Time

lavlilacs Skagit Valley, Mount Vernon, Washington RoozenGaarde purple tulips

To take nothing but pictures
To kill nothing but time
To leave nothing but footprints
A change of pace from what I have been posting thus far in 2018. It has actually been almost a year since I last edited non-beauty, travel related photos. I guess I lacked the motivation to share since those posts aren't generally the most viewed on the blog.

An unsaid resolution I had for this site, along with trying to post at least once a week, was to share whatever the heck I wanted regardless of how well or terrible it would be received. I am not an influencer nor monetize from this teeny blog. It is and has always been, first and foremost, a place where I stored my thoughts and memories.

I have done fairly well with the consistency goal (until this month); here goes to shyly greet the ever more personal side of my life (even if I randomly share images from years ago).

lavlilacs Skagit Valley, Mount Vernon, Washington RoozenGaarde sign

15867 Beaver Marsh Rd, Mt Vernon, WA 98273

lavlilacs Skagit Valley, Mount Vernon, Washington RoozenGaarde tulip field
lavlilacs Skagit Valley, Mount Vernon, Washington sky lavlilacs Skagit Valley, Mount Vernon, Washington RoozenGaarde child tulip field

My family and I visited the Pacific Northwest three years ago to the day. This was a trip of many firsts. It was our first time to Seattle, Vancouver, and nearby cities. It was the first overnight trip we'd taken together in six years. It was the first trip we rented a car and drove around. It was the first trip I had the job of setting some kind of an itinerary.

So much responsibility. So much stress. So many options. So many people's different interests to consider. So many unanticipated meetings and reunions with friends and family. Maybe being ferried around on bus tours wouldn't have been that bad?

The peace and nature that is the Pacific Northwest though, is an environment that is hard to stay stressed in. All the greenery and bright skies are hard to be grumpy in. Of course, Seattle is known to be rainy but it uncharacteristically was not when we visited. I can never imagine living there because of the potential allergy attack I would have to all the pollen but for the brief week or so we were there the lively colors and relaxed lifestyle (when compared to New York City) was a breathe of fresh air.

Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick

lavlilacs Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick Review

I wasn't even looking to buy cleanser at the Peach & Lily sample sale. One whiff of the bar soaps spread across the table and my mind was wavering...kind of refreshing, definitely light and fruity. I had never heard of the brand Abib before and bar soaps are very far down on the cleanser wishlist; who knew scent could be such a big trigger?

I have faint memories of asking the person manning the area which of the four types (black, grey, pink, and ivory) she recommended and was told she only tried the black one but liked it. There wasn't much of a description at the time in-person or on the website because they had yet to release the brand officially. Somehow, against my typical shopping habits, found Abib's Facial Soap in Black Brick in my basket and with me at home.

Abib describes itself as a brand "dedicated to perfection and purity" whether in their products or as tools to help one achieve said traits. They seem to focus heavily on high performing ingredients.

lavlilacs Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick packaging

Peach & Lily's description:

While minimalistic in its design, there's nothing basic about Abib's Facial Soap Black Brick. Chock full of charcoal, it provides a deep (yet gentle) cleanse eradicating dirt from pores and helping to curb excess sebum production. Hazelnut oil, lemongrass essential oil and witch hazel keep the soap balanced by helping to hydrate, purify, and calm skin. Unlike most soaps, Abib's Facial Soap Brick microfoams to better penetrate pores and helps keep skin healthy.

1. Unwrap soap.
2. Wet brick and gently work into a lather with your hands.
3. Massage foam over face, hands, and neck (careful to avoid eyes and mouth).
4. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.
5. Follow with toner and the rest of your skincare routine.
6. Can be used both morning and evening.

Sodium Stearate, Sodium Laurate, Sodium Myristate, Sodium Palmitate, Glycerine, Sorbitol, Stearic Acid, Lauric Acid, Palmitic Acid, Gevuina Avellana Seed Oil, Canola Oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Peel Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Sapindus Trifoliatus Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Apium Graveolens (Celery) Extract, Charcoal Powder, Castanea Crenata (Chestnut) Shell Powder, Fragrance

Soap 100g / 3.53 oz.

Abib (Korean retail): ₩18,000
Peach & Lily: USD $19.00
StyleKorean: USD $18.00

lavlilacs Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick opened


Their packaging is minimalistic. Their products itself also look minimal, as in cleansers are plain blocks of soap and creams come in prescription like tubes and are colorant-free. The same cannot be said for their ingredients list but they try to make it appear so by printing only a carefully select few on the packaging itself. I don't have a major problem with it as long as the full ingredient list is available elsewhere.

All of Abib's Facial Soaps come in a small pouch made of a fibrous, thick paper. There isn't any helpful information on the packaging to describe how the Black Brick would be helpful for a particular skin concern. The ingredients list is super condensed and uses mainly scientific names.

lavlilacs Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick bare no packaging

lavlilacs Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick lather suds swatch

Color, Texture, & Scent

The bar of soap is completely black. The edges of the fresh soap are surprisingly more sharp-feeling than expected. It is smaller than an average body soap in length and width but taller by height. (There doesn't seem to be a big difference quantity-/weight-wise.) Abib's soap feels waxy to the touch and has a fruity scent. The smell can sometimes be overwhelming, especially on days I feel extra sensitive. It generally isn't a big issue for me. The facial soap doesn't create a lot of foam. I only get a smaller lather and a bit of suds when rubbing the bare soap against damp hands.

lavlilacs Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick foaming net lather swatch

How I Apply

I use the Black Brick in the PM only after removing my makeup/sunscreen with a cleansing balm or oil. I wet a foaming net and rub the Facial Soap back and forth a few times onto the net. Knead the net together to create foam (like in the above photo). Squeeze all the foam off the net and massage onto my face. Rinse off well with water.

Thoughts & Recommendations

Abib promises the Black Brick to cleanse and purify pores with the charcoal while calming with a bunch of other ingredients. I don't generally put much thought into these kinds of claims because I only need cleansers to remove excess makeup remover residue. With that said, I haven't noticed an improvement or worsening of my clogged pores and redness while using the cleanser either.

The Facial Soap is a nice basic cleanser. It does what a cleanser should do and isn't irritating to use. I did not get a squeaky clean feeling after rinsing nor did my face feel immediately dry. However, the waiting period between cleanser and toner is far shorter than other cleansers I have used in the past. My face starts to feel very parched if I don't apply something hydrating within a few minutes of cleansing. The soap also leaves an unpleasant sudsy/residue-like feel on my hands that I haven't experienced before with facial cleansers.

Bar-style soaps may not be for everyone. There is some maintenance with them in the sense that it should ideally be put away or covered between uses. The bars should also be rinsed and placed on something elevated to help with drying and avoid collection of excess water. I personally think bars work best with a foaming net as the lather without is insufficient.

I think this small bar of soap would last me just as long as a tube of cleanser would. Given the option though, I would not repurchase a bar soap (unless the price was right) purely because of the convenience of other types of cleansers (whether it be a stick, foaming, gel, etc.). I could leave those on the counter and not have to worry about bacteria. If given the option, I probably would not repurchase this particular soap because the residue-issue and how quickly my face starts to dry out. Abib Facial Soap - Black Brick may work better for those with oilier skin or those who don't wait around after cleansing before moving onto the rest of their routines.