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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!

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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

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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.

 

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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.

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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…

 

 

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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?

 

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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.

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Brand Review – The Ordinary by Deciem

Beauty over Forty

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I first came across “The Ordinary” in a You Tube Video by Wayne Goss.

At the time I was already full into the swing of researching retinol, micro-needling, hyularonic acid, AHA’s, niacinimide, petides etc.. I had already spent hundreds of Euros on well researched best-performing products. Fortunately I had not already spent thousands.

Deciem, owner of the brand has set itself a goal of disrupting the beauty industry. In The Ordinary they are offering known effective key ingredients at an astoundingly affordable price. Products I have tested include 2% Retinol, A Peptide complex, cold-pressed Rosehip oil, 10% Niacinimide with 1% Zinc, 10& Lactic Acid with 2% Hyularonic Acid, A stable suspension of 23% Vitamin C with 2% HA, 2% Hyularonic Acid + B5. The most expensive of these was the Retinol, cost 8 GBP! for 30ml. I have also recommended the Ordinary products to colleagues of mine, due to…

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Review- Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Pearl Exfoliator

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Andalou Natural 1000 Roses Exfoliator

I am almost out of this exfoliating gel.

This is reasonably priced with a soothing gel that glides on easily on your skin. I looked on their website and couldn’t figure out from the ingredient list what the pearls are made of. They are very gentle. I sure hope they are not made of microbeads or ground walnut shells.

The packaging is very typical of exfoliating scrubs. The gel is a very beautiful girly pink that’s almost transparent with little red “pearls” in it. You can definitely feel the pearls against your skin if you tried to push too hard. Unlike some other scrubs, the skin definitely stays moisturized with no excessive stripping of your natural oil.

There is a faint rose smell to this gel.

While I do like this product, there is not too much of a wow factor. I will probably repeat this one if I don’t find anything else better 😉

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Review- Andalou Natural Fruit Stem Cell Oil Control Beauty Balm

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Andalou Natural BB Balm

This is a very thick textured Beauty Balm. This also comes in a tinted version but I wanted something for daily wear as sun screen.

The tube design  ensures product stability. It has a citrus-y fragrance which was light and refreshing. I however, could not get over the texture. It is very thick and difficult to spread. If I wasn’t careful, I’d look like I was wearing too much white powder.

I also do not find its oil control claim that well. It moisturizes well in the winter but I think it’d be too thick for me in the summer.