Posted in Review

Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Powder- Review

When I bought the cushion foundation from Innisfree, I thought I might as well try their mineral powder.

The powder come in a light, pastel green case. It is light weight and I can see the appeal if you want to carry it with you. Its website indicates that it has minty fragrance but you really have to put it up close to your nose to smell that.

The powder itself look snow-white. However, it just kind of disappear once you start to really dab it into your skin. I would try to pick up just a little bit at a time though, as I find that too much of this powder can settle into the fine lines if you are not careful.

Innisfree-No-Sebum-Mineral-Powder-Loose

As to its claim of no sebum, it really does help control oil in hot weather. I like that it doesn’t feel like you are wearing makeup. The only gripe I have with this product is it’s applicator sponge. The applicator sponge has to fit the size of the case, which unfortunately means that you can only insert 2 fingers under the little belt the back. I find this difficult to control and the applicator keeps falling off of my finger. I think what I would do in future, is to just pinch and fold the sponge between my fingers instead of employing the belt.

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Very small powder puff
Posted in Review

Aveda Invati System- Review

Aveda sent a letter during my birth month, enticing me with a birthday gift (if I made a purchase) as well as a generous discount. I was about to run out shampoo so I thought why not.

Invati is one of their newer range of hair care. Apparently it means invigorate in Sanskrit. According to the lady in the store, this is their line specifically for adding volume to hair as it helps prevent hair loss. This line includes 3 steps

  1. Exfoliating Shampoo
  2. Thickening Conditioner
  3. Scalp Revitalizer

 

The base of all 3 have similar components. They are all built upon Ayuveric herbs such as ginseng and tumeric. Their scent was that of lavender, rosemary and germanium and plenty of other flower and plant essences.

I’ve used up all the shampoo when I started this blog so I was only able to squeeze out a little bit for the picture below. I still have plenty of conditioner left.

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Left: Invati Shampoo Right: Invati Conditioner

All 3 products have the very distinct herbal smell to it. The fragrance is pleasant. Once your hair is dried, it doesn’t leave a overpowering smell to your hair, which I like.

Now onto the actual usage experience:

The Shampoo: Like many of shampoo with emphasis on being more natural, this shampoo does not lather very well. You therefore have to use quite a lot of it or be content to just use it on the scalp alone, which is what I did. It does make your scalp feels refreshed, probably a result of the wintergreen salicylic acid. I do not really use a lot of hair products so I can’t really tell if it really removes built up or not.

The Conditioner: I find that my hair is very tangled after using the shampoo, so I was hoping hte conditioner could help detangle. This is not the case. This conditioner, while does feed some nourishment into the hair, does nothing to help detangle my hair, which means that I have to really use my fingers in the shower to smooth out the strand.

The Scalp Revitalizer: The bottle says to use this twice a day, with 16 sprays on the scalp each time. When one reads the ingredients, one realizes that the first ingredient is denatured alcohol. I am not sure I like the idea of spraying so uch alcohol on my scalp. What is Aveda doing? I thought the brand story is all about being as natural as possible. So instead, I only used the revitalizer in between shampoo day. It does make the scalp feel fresher, though I suspect this is the tingling effect from the alcohol. It also does make the hair feel more volumious, but it also gave my hair an unusal texture I can’t quite describe, an in-between feel of greasy and dry.

 

Verdict: For the amount of money this system cost, it did not feel quite revolutionary or Wow in any way. I like the way it smells, but that’s about it. 

Posted in Review

Innisfree Cushion Foundation Ampoule Cover- Review

With the popularity of Korean TV dramas sweeping through Asia, the beautiful actresses and their flawless skin became a big selling points for many Korean beauty products. I’ve resisted the hype for as long as I could but became curious when a new product called Cushion foundation came on the market.

Cushion foundation is liquid foundation in a compact form. Inside the cushion compact, you will find a sponge soaked with foundation, and you use another applicator sponge to press on it to pick up a small amount of foundation. I think this helps to pick up just a little bit of foundation at a time so the makeup does not look too cake-y and you can slowly layer it on.

It took me awhile navigating on the Innisfree’s website to figure out how to order. It turns out that you have to order the case (which does not include the cushion foundation), the filling (the cushion foundation) and the applicator sponge separately. I think this is kind of fun for someone who likes to have a case that they can keep refilling, a nod to being environmentally friendly. I ordered the Ampoule Cover cushion, and when I was checking out, I was told that I got one free cushion refill, so I chose the Waterfit to try for next time.

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There are many designs to choose from, which actually makes it bad for me coz I am very indecisive ><

Next came the actual cushion foundation. I was surprised to see that it was packed in foil. I suppose this makes sense in that everything has to be sealed to ensure quality of product.

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Innisfree Cushion foundation come sealed in foiled pack. It’s nice to see that they actually have English at the back : P
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Innisfree Cushion Foundation Refill
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The Big Reveal

 

[Aside:When I was reading up about cushion foundation, I found out that the principle was based on these stamps used in Asia. Then my memory raced back to long long time ago, where every office desk is adorned with a case of red ink. The ink is infused in a cloth- like material and you use a stamp to pick up the pigment and transfer that onto papers. Almost everyone has a stamp with his/her name on it. Instead of signature, it is customary to use your name stamp for official documents and occasional your fingerprint.

There is a certain artistry involved in carving of the names and the material used for the stamp. The stamps can be made from wood, marble, jade, glass, or any number of material you want. It can be as simple as a piece of wood or as elaborate to have intricate pattern carved into it. For the very traditional parents, they would consult a fortune teller when a baby is born. Based on the birth date, time, and then decide the right material on which to carve its namesake stamp. I was also surprised that there are a small numbers of YouTube videos (such as this one) that discuss how to properly use the stamps and the ink so that the pattern of the stamps turn out beautifully.]

Nostalgia aside, how does this cushion foundation fare in my book? Well, I like that it’s lightweight and allow a bit of customization for yourself. The foundation itself is fragrance free which is always great in my book. The foundation I tried on is Ampoule Cover Cushion. I have to say, I was very surprised at the coverage. The cushion feels cool to the touch when applied on my face. I unfortunately did not get the right colour for my skin tone  (the pitfall of buying cosmetic online 😜) so I had to use it very sparingly and really dab it in. The result looks made- up but actually feel sheer to my face. That part is probably my own fault for not getting the right shade.

Innisfree-Ampoule-Cover-Cushion-Foundation
Amount of foundation being picked up with one dab from the cushion foundation. I find that this amount is enough to cover the entire face

 

Would I try this again? I think I will. I want to see what it looks like when I have the right shade.

What is your favourite cushion foundation? Do you frequently buy foundation online or always in store? What do you do to avoid buying the wrong shade? Share your experience below : )

Posted in Review

Shu Uemura Ultimate Natural Mascara- Review

After the disaster with Maybelline’s Great Lash, I thought it was time to do further research. I decided to try the Japanese brand Shu Uemura, as recommended by many Vloggers. I figured that an Asian cosmetic company would know the woes we face- short and straight lashes, smaller eyes where lashes constantly touches the lower lids and oilier skin (one of the pros for our delay of wrinkles lol), thus creating the smudge.

This mascara is so understated. It applies very light and the lashes remain soft and natural. It doesn’t really lengthen but it darkens enough to have a visual impact. The curls stays but not as dramatic as Maybelline’s Great Lash. Unfortunately, after 4 hours, I could start to see sign of smudging under one eye. It’s very subtle and I suppose for some people they can use it to play into that sexy smokey eye effect but that’s not for me. I really wish this would be the one but I returned it to Sephora 2 days later.

 

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Burt’s Bee Lipsticks- Review

As the weather warms up, I am feeling a bit bored with the nude. I feel like changing to something more vibrant. I always linger at the Burt’s Bee’s lip product display at Shopper’s Drug Mart and now I get to find out.

I love the packaging. It’s very cute with the little honey combs on the lid. There are many colours on offer and I chose #513 Doused Rose. Despite its use of natural fragrance oils, I find this lipstick smells like some sort of fruity bubble gum. Olfactory- wise, this is not my favourite.

Now on to the colour. The colour is pretty sheer and requires a few passes to get close to the colour in the tube. It is creamy and moisturizing and therefore does come off a bit after eating and drinking. Your lips do retain some colour. In fact, I think it looks more natural after some colour had come off. I don’t mind it not being long lasting as long as it doesn’t dry out my lips. I wore this lipstick alone without a lip balm base and my lips stayed very comfortable and moist.

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Colour of lipstick after 3 swipes

While I like this lipstick in general, I cannot get past the smell. I will probably keep searching for another formula. So close!

Posted in Review

Pixi Natural Brow Duo- Review

I must say it was Pixi’s display in Shopper’s Drug Mart that caught my eyes. Its pale green packaging looked soothing and invoked a feel good sense that comes with many of the brands focusing on the market of natural or organic beauty products. While I do prefer to use products with readable ingredient lists, one can’t help but wonder if we are all just willing participants of the clever marketing?

Anyways, personal musing aside, this brow duo is okay enough to keep but I doubt I’d buy it again. Here are my thoughts:

I like its simplistic design with the pencil on one side and brow gel on the other. There is no strong fragrance which I always like. The transparent tube allows you to see the colour (more on that later) and you will be able to know when it’s running low. Honestly though, brow products don’t really get used up that fast… or is it just me? 🤔

So here is the close up of the pencil

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I was intrigued by the choice of this elongated triangular shape and I quickly found out that I do not like it. It was not easy to control how your strokes would turn out and it could easily made your brow look too thick. Not one for fine-tuning. I had to experiment holding the pencil in different positions and still needing Q- tips to clean up.

The colour goes on smoothly and blends naturally with my brow so it’s a shame about the design.

Now onto the brow gel

pixi-natural-eyebrow-duo

The brow gel is basically a mini- mascara for the eye brow. From the outside the colour of the gel appear to be the same as the pencil, but when you apply it it was actually almost transparent.

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Colour of Pixi Brow Duo side by side

The problem is that the brow gel gave my brow an unrealistic, shiny plastick-y feel once it dried. While the brush did help to smooth out the hair and make the brow look neater, I felt that I could easily do without the gel.

So there you have it. I am keeping this for its pencil’s natural colour, but I am sure there will be other products which are easier to apply.

 

Posted in Review

Maybelline Great Lash (Waterproof)- Review

When it comes to mascara, I don’t ask it to have specific function like curling, lengthening or volumizing. I don’t care about any newly improved bristles. I don’t need any specific brand with mission statement to save the earth, use recycled package, or be chemical free.

My one and only criteria- Smudge free

I have long been puzzled by my ability to get racoon eyes despite using waterproof mascara. It doesn’t matter if I teared up or not. Most mascara cannot wait to leave my eyelashes and darken my lower lids.

It turns out the culprit is sebum (plus or minus any moisturizer or foundation I might have).

I’ve tried lash extension. While this eliminated the need to apply mascara, it was pretty expensive and I felt my eyelids had to work extra hard to stay open 😅. The lash glue did not play well with any oil- based skin product, which meant I couldn’t use some home-made essential oil products.

I’ve left my lashes alone for the past year or so. Last week I decided that enough is enough- I want to feel girly damn it! So I googled best smudge free mascara but alas, Google thinks smudge-free= waterproof and I was taken to a few pages on waterproof mascaras, some of which also swore that they were smudge proof. So I ventured out and bought Maybelline’s Great Lash Waterproof formula.

maybelline-new-york-great-lash-waterproof

The reviews I read lauded how this mascara had been around for a long time. Despite its cheap looking design, I figured that if it had longevity it must have been a good product to stick around amidst the newer, fancier sounding formulas.

I applied this mascara last night and was immediately impressed with how light the formula felt. It was also very build-able, making my lashes longer. I was further impressed that my lashes stayed curled after 10 minutes- Yes my lashes usually go straight after 10 minutes of eyelash curler and mascara application. I felt like a million bucks when I left for a party.

All fair tales do come to an end… when midnight struck and I saw myself in the mirror, my old nemeses had shown their ugly faces. I didn’t want to believe it but there they were, two unmistakable dark rings under my eyes. I wiped them off and headed back to the party. The lashes still stayed curled and long though.

It’s such a shame. I liked the way my lashes look with this. Back to the drawing board. I hope the drugstore will be able to give me a refund.

I still think this is a good mascara for people who don’t have oily skin around their eyes. For me, however, the search continues…

 

 

 

 

Posted in Review

Weleda Iris Hydrating Facial Lotion- Review

Continuing with my current love with Weleda, I bought their Iris Hydrating Facial Lotion (For Normal and Combination Skin) once I finished the Andalou Beta Hydroxy Recovery Cream.

This is the first time I’ve come across the use of Iris in skin care product so I am curious. Turns out that there are many subgenus of Iris and Weleda has chosen Iris Germanica Root Extract. According to Wikipedia, the roots extract are used as perfume and aromatherapy. It contains vitamin C and other organic acids that are being researched for their uses in skin infection and other irritation.

Other ingredients include jojoba oil and witch hazel, which is great as it act as an astringent and great for acne prone skin.

Like all of its lotion/cream based product, this came in a tube. It is lightly scented. weleda-iris-hydrating-facial-lotion

Impression: I’ve only used this for about 3 days and I am loving it. The lotion absorbs readily. My skin feels smooth, hydrated but never greasy, probably due to the witch hazel’s oil control property. It might not moisturizing enough for very dry skin but I feel that for my undecisive skin it’s pretty good. This is something I’d definitely come back to.

 

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Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Eye Cream- Review

Usually I prefer gel- consistency around my eyes, but I really liked Weleda’s Gentle Cleansing Milk that I thought I’d try some of its other products.

This comes in a small toothpaste- like tube. I really like the packaging of the nice pastel rosy colour. It’s a very nice and soothing colour. This is a cream that’s suppose to help with the first sign of lines, so I figure it would not be too heavy.

Weleda-renewing-eye-cream

This cream boasts rosehip oil, eyebright (Euphrasia, which is an herb with anti- inflammatory properties) and sweet almond, it is fragrance free (I can’t smell anything). I looked up Euphrasia, apparently it has been used quite a bit in homeopathic eye drops to treat eye infection but WebMD cautions that it may cause infection if applied directly to the eye. So far I have not experienced any problem and found the cream very soothing. I think perhaps if people used the wrong preparation and smear it into the eye it could potentially cause a problem.

Despite being a cream, it is actually very light and absorb readily. There is no residues and the skin does indeed feel smooth after application. As to whether or not it could really softens the first lines I am not sure since I’ve already got 2nd line and 3rd lines happening before I started this. I think when using skin care products I never look for a miracle but more for something that will enhance and keep my skin healthy and happy. That’s more important. : P

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Vivier Seequin 4IDS Liquid Gel Serum- Review

The place I went to for facial recommended this serum to use between treatments.

This serum boasts a high 4% hydroquinone, which helps with pigmentation and age spots. It also has vitamin C in L-asorbic acid, which is supposedly more effective.

The serum has great packaging. It comes in an opaque brown bottle and the label on the bottle pretty much obscure any potential photo- damaging to the serum inside.  The dropper is made of glass. I don’t know if it’s just something they put in to make the product look more prestigious or actually to keep the product stable. I think it’s the latter as the acid in the serum will probably eat away a plastic dropper.

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The serum is of a clear, light straw color. It’s very liquid- y with a little bit of stickiness that disappears a few minutes after application. It glides on smoothly with no greasy residual. It has a smell that I can’t quite place. I suppose it smells a bit like vitamin C.

 

My Experience:

I find that this serum actually helps with oil control, not a benefit that I was looking for but nonetheless great. Does really lighten and makes my spots disappear? I have to say that my spots are still visible. However, there is an overall glow to the complexion after using it and the pigmentation are a bit less visible. I don’t know it is because the pigments are actually disappearing. I find the pigmentation tend to look lighter when the skin is in a healthier condition, i.e. when it’s well hydrated or just after a good night’s sleep. So I supposed in a way, if this serum provides good nutrients and keep the skin in a very healthy state, it can achieve the same. I’ve only used this serum for a few days so it could be too early to tell as well.

 

Caution:

When using this serum, you need to make sure you wear sunscreen during the day time as the skin is more sensitized to light. Therefore I will probably not use it during the summer time or during beach holidays. Also, if you were going to do anything rough with your skin like microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing, chemical peels, etc, it is recommended that you not to use this serum 1 week before and after the treatments.

Posted in Review

Review- Lancome Tonique Doucheur Softening Hydrating Toner Alcohol- Free

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Lancome Tonique Douceur Toner

This product is a classic to me. Not because I favourite it above other toners, but because of pure nostalgia. You see, it was the first toner I ever used.

My mother doesn’t shop her skin care in drug stores. Perhaps it’s too overwhelming for her with the sheer volumes of products and having to read the tiny prints of English on the jars and bottles herself. Or perhaps she just likes to go for the big brands. She’s always shopped at The Bay, with dedicated salesperson for each brand behind the counters.

As I went through the awkward teenage phase and required more skin care than just water, she bought me the blue-bottled facial cleanser, toner and lotion. I don’t know if it was based on recommendation for a teenage skin from the salesperson, or if it was the cheapest one or they came with promotional gift set (My mom is all about value/dollar!). She bought herself the pink/white bottled Christian Dior.

We have since moved away from having a whole range of skin care from the same company, but she almost always have a bottle of this blue liquid on her counter.

The toner is light with Lancome’s signature rose bouquet. It definitely makes my skin softer but its hydration power is just so so. This is one of those “better than nothing” product that I reach for and it will likely show up time to time in my skin care regime just because…

What’s your first ever skin care product?

 

Posted in Review

5 Popular Lipstick Colors That Truly Look Awesome on Everyone | Glamour

Six women, five beloved lipsticks—get their honest opinions below!

via 5 Popular Lipstick Colors That Truly Look Awesome on Everyone | Glamour

This is a very detailed review on lipstick colours, complete with girls with various skin tones and how the colours look on them.