Monday, June 30, 2008

T'estimo Layered Impact Eyes Part II

I love T'estimo. I don't love everything from that brand, but its blushes and eye shadows are among some of my most treasured items. I was very sad and heartbroken when Kanebo discontinued it and replaced it with a blah successor named Coffret D'Or. To make the matter worse, the introductory Coffret D'Or collection looks more like a generic Maybelline item rather than a mid-end Kanebo item with a huge marketing effort behind it. Come on!!!

All pictures taken indoor with flash, unless otherwise noted.


But I digress. Finally, after all this time I at last got around to trying more of the T'estimo Layered Impact Eyes I absolutely adore. I won't go into details again as I already described the generals with 03 Beige. The one I'm reviewing today is 05 Rose, which is more of a cooler palette with cooler pinks and purple. I have 4 out of the 5 palettes, and I love these so much I'm thinking of getting 04 Blue too just to have them all even though I can't manage cooler colors very well on my warmer skin tone.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

MAC Fafi Glaze Lipstick

The MAC Fafi Glaze Lipstick in Flash-n-Dash is my very first MAC makeup item :D I know, I just came out of the boonies... Did I tell you I wasn't interested in MAC because I'm put off by the packaging? I mean, everything is just so huge and bulky and black!!!


But this particular lipstick intrigued me, partly because I saw it on miss Muse and it was a beautiful yellow-based strawberry red color that I'd love to get my hands on. So I went out and picked it up and was quite happy to find it IS the yellow-based strawberry red color I'd love to get my hands on! :D


Lorac Mini Mocktail Bar

After my positive experience with a GWP Lorac Mocktail in the flavor Sex on the Beach, I decided I wanted to try other flavors of this gloss. So I got myself a Lorac Mini Mocktail Bar that came out Winter 2007.


Lorac Mini Mocktail Bar is a set of 6 mini Lorac Mocktails with some very yummy looking colors (top down from right to left): Guava Tiki, Tropical Dream, Lava Flow, Razberi Cosmo, Caffeini Martini, and Sex on the Beach.


As you can see, it looks like the 3 on the left are darker colors that look more pigmented than the 3 on the right, which are lighter colors with much more shimmers and look a bit sheerer.


They all come in the soft squeeze tubes with brush applicators at the tip. And to be honest, I like this arrangement much better than the click pen style, i.e., Stila Lip Glaze, precisely because I can control how much product comes oozing out.


So far, I have only tried 2 flavors:
- Sex on the Beach: see my previous Lorac Mocktail post here.


- Razberi Cosmo: a muted reddish raspberry color (looks more red than berry in the picture though) with fine red shimmers. The red tone disappears on me though and the gloss goes on a pinky raspberry color instead. The scent is delicious, and I like the gloss but it is a tad too pigmented and opaque for my taste. The first time I tried it on, I blotted twice by pressing my lips on a sheet of tissue my lips and the color was still very vibrant! Only when I put it on with a very light hand and layered a sheer gloss over did it look less gawdy. Not my favorite Mocktail, I'm afraid.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Suki Strawberry Yogurt Pack

My next attempt to rehydrate my skin is with the Suki Strawberry Yogurt Pack. Suki is a Japanese cosmetics and skincare brand for young teens, not to be confused with the UK organic brand Suki, named after its founder Suki Kramer.

Suki makeup items are cheap but with decent quality, and skincare items are priced just a tad higher but are still very affordable. Suki products are available in Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, but I'm not sure if they're available else where. Anyways, that's all I know about the brand. Not much, right? :D If you have more information, please do tell.


The strawberry yogurt mask looks and smells like strawberry yogurt. I must admit it was very tempting the first time I opened the jar, but then the box says, "Please do not ever eat," so...damn! Anyways, the texture is closer to Fat-free Yoplait than to a creamy yogurt. It is very light, almost gel-like, and is supposed to "nourish and removes dead skin cell," according to Sasa.com.

The ingredients, according to paper slip that comes with the box: Fragaria Vesca (strawberry) fruit extract 10%, yogurt powder 0.05%, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, tocopheryl acetate. Made in Korea.


I really doubt that's all the ingredients though as there aren't any laws in Japan that requires a cosmetic company to list all the contents of a product.

The instructions from Sasa.com says:
- After facial cleansing, apply Suki Strawberry Yogurt Pack on face. Avoid the skin area near eyes and lips
- Massage gently until the facial pack is fully absorbed
- Wait 5-10minutes, rinse off with water


I like this Suki Strawberry Yogurt Pack much better than the DHC Moisture Pack. It is much more hydrating, to the point I didn't need to apply moisturizers afterwards, and that's saying something given how dry my skin is. Also, I keep this in the fridge, so putting it on feels really nice and refreshing. I use the provided plastic spoon to scoop some onto the back of my hand, then I use an un-used small blush applicator to spread it over my face. Then I massage it around until all the red beads disappear.


When hubby and I tried this together, he asked, "How come it doesn't turn green?" O.O I told him he's thinking of a mud mask, but that I'll looking into getting something that'll turn green for him LOL

Anyways, like the vast majority of Japanese product, Suki Strawberry Yogurt Pack has its retail price of 2,300 yen printed on the back of the box. Now, the kick is, I got it from Sasa.com for a mere $6.30. At first I thought they must have sold me an expired item or something, but then the original price on Sasa.com was only $16.50, so I guess it's available in Asia for a lot less than what it retails for in Japan!

DHC Moisture Pack

Okay, tell me I'm delusional, but in the heat and humidity of the Jersey summer, instead of melting away like everything else my skin is drying out like the Sahara!!! I guess my regular usage (every 2 nights) of retinoid treatment (Differin) and high alcohol content sunscreen (Sofina Perfect UV) has finally caught up with my poor dry skin. Damn, I really thought Sofina marked the end of my search high and low for a decent sunscreen! And it was working really well in the beginning too...garr!!! Oh well, what's why they say it takes up to several months to see if a product is a good fit. So on to the next less drying sunscreen I go...

The good news is that I have already ordered my Allie Comfortable Screen EX Perfect SPF 50+ PA+++ :D It is said to be less drying than Sofina, so we'll see how it goes. I'll do a review after a couple of months but will update again after several months for a progress report (sounds like we're still in grade school or something...).

***Picture form Adam Beauty.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Aube Blossom Veil Powder

Aube is a Sofina brand, and this is my first makeup item from them! I never really cared for this brand actually as their stuff is so so and not really eye catching. That is, until I saw this beautiful Blossom Veil Powder that came out as a limited edition for Winter 2007.

To think of it, the mosaic design of this highlighting powder is nothing unusual. Guerlain makes one version, Physician's Formula makes another one, and I'm sure there are a ton of other similar ones out there as I have seen them before. For some reasons though, this one caught my eye. May be it's a combination of the simple compact design plus the pretty powder? It comes in a lilac compact with a mirror and rounded brush in its own plastic case.


The highlighter is a mosaic of 5 pastel colors, 4 of which has fine shimmers and 1 is completely matte: White (matte), Gold, Peach, Pink, and a bluish Lilac.


While the powder is not fragranced, it is also not as soft as I hope it would be, so a slight disappointment there. As for the highlighting aspect, I would say it it gives me more of a brightening effect rather than of a soft focus highlight. Don't get me wrong, the brightening effect is very apparent - it lights up my face, only without any visible shimmers. I find this powder works best when I'm going for the soft matte look. I also use it to control the sparkle factor when I'm using an already very shimmery blush. Oh yeah, and I found out by accident it also works well as a base for eye shadows! I just swirl my brush, shake off the excess, and blend over my entire eye area while closing my eyes.

Canmake Lip Essence Part II

This is my other Canmake Lip Essense, in #03 Milky Pink. I honestly cannot choose between this one better or #02 Cassis Pink. I think they're both yummy flavor wise, not that I eat them or anything.


The #03 Milky Pink is a pretty milky fleshy pink that reflects a hot pink pearly sheen. It goes on sheer though, so just ignore the fact that it has a color :D Also, it's supposed to have "Strawberry flavor," but again I'm still smelling that nice and sweet Japanese chewing gum LOL. I love it either way.


See my previous Canmake Lip Essence post.

Stila Lip Glaze Part II

I finally tried a couple more of the Stila Lip Glazes I have, YAY!

My previous Stila Lip Glaze post was for Apricot, a mini Lip Glaze from the Gift of Glaze Set from Winter 2007.


Stila Gift of Glaze Mini Glaze Set (from left to right): Candy Cane, Grapefruit, Apricot, Nutmeg, Brown Sugar, and Vanilla.


Apricot

By the way, a mini set like this one is a great way to sample several popular Stila Lip Glaze flavors. I was curious but wasn't going to drop $20 for one, so this was great fun in addition to getting 2 limited edition flavors (Candy Cane and Nutmeg). And plus I have a rather short attention span, so I actually prefer the mini sizes so I can use them up more quickly and move on to the next flavor. I'm horrible, I know. They come out with similar sets every holiday season I think, so try one out if you're interested in sampling!

This review is for the Vanilla from this set. It smells like vanilla, surprise surprise! But I must say, this one is a LOT less sticky than Apricot, so I wonder if the texture changes with each flavor? Gar...I hate inconsistencies!!! Anyhoo, it goes on a gold shimmery translucent nude color, pretty, but not my favorite. I prefer my glosses without any shimmers at all. If you're into that golden sunkist look, this would make an excellent gloss!


The next one is a -gasp- full size I actually bought!

Peach Cobbler: smells divinely sweet and peachy! The picture makes it look more pink, but it's actually is an orangey peach color that reminds me of a pumpkin (?!) because it looks a bit murky in the tube. No worries, it goes on a beautiful nude peach and brings out my natural lip color. My only complaint is that it is a just a touch opaque and I like my glosses more on the translucent side. This one is even less sticky than the Vanilla, and it is also a bit thinner in texture. It feels identical to Lancome Juicy Tubes and I like it a lot! This is the full size version, by the way, not a part of the mini set above.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Stila It Gloss Trios Part II

I finally got around to trying more of the Stila It Gloss! Both glosses belong to the BCA It Gloss Trio (left to right) with Courageous, Enticing, Inspiring.





- Courageous: a muted peachy orange with gold shimmers. It turns translucent with just a tad of frost on me. Taking gezebel's advice though, I dabbed some lipstick on top of it and am very pleased with the semi-metallic result! Another definite keeper!




- Enticing: a very pretty rose with silver shimmers. Again, this turns frosty on me - what's with Stila and frosty lip glosses? I have TONS of high shimmers glosses but it seems the ones that go all frosty-ballistic on me are Stila's. WTF?!? Anyways, I'm not upset, just a tad surprised. But I do like this color so I will have to layer with lipsticks to subdue the frost.




See my previous Stila It Gloss Trios post.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

FANCL Cheek Color Part II

Did I tell you I love itty bitty little blushes? :D These FANCL Cheek Colors are tiny refills that can be put into the sold separately cases and they are freakin' adorable! The refills come in their own clear cases and I prefer to carry them around that way since they are so space efficient!

Anyways, what I began to collect is the seasonal limited editions of these blushes. Every spring and fall, FANCL puts out a limited edition cheek color that comes in really cute patterns or motifs. Even the clear case these blushes come in have special decorations. I only have 2 so far though since I only started recently.

With that said, I absolutely adore what I have! These blushes are sheer, so I love them just for that :D If you are looking for pigmented blushes, these aren't for you. They are shimmery, but not glittery, and they provide a glowy touch of color instead of a "blush."

Fall 2007 - Pink Rose: come in 3 different colors in a checkered pattern of rose, a pretty feminine pink, and white. When swirled together, they give me a rosy glow.




Spring 2008 - Peach Pink: again comes in 3 colors, this time arranged in dots to form a cute flower shape with a golden orange in the middle and pale lemon as rounded petals. The rest of the blush is a beautiful peach and swirled together, it gives me a translucent and glowy peachy cheeks.




Aren't they just adorable? Apparently previous to these FANCL came out with some really really cutes! Oh well...I missed them. Shucks!

See my previous FANCL Cheek Color post.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lancome Bi-Facil

I think I've been taking this wonderful Lancome Bi-Facil for granted, which explains why I'm reviewing it now after years of use.


***Picture from Lancome USA.

Bi-Facil a clear liquid eye makeup removers with 2 layers, a silicone layer on top of a solution. To use, you must shake well to mix the 2. It is perfumy with a strong rose scent that I had to get used to. But I've been using this for so long now I don't even notice the scent anymore.

This eye makeup remover has yet to fail me. It takes everything off quickly and effectively with just a sweep or two of the damp cotton ball. Afterwards, I dab my eye area with a tissue to clean of the excess liquid and my lids would feel comfortable like I'd just moisturize the area.

Lancome usually gives out small bottle of Bi-Facil with almost every GWP, and even that tiny bottle lasts me a long time. Every time I buy replenish my supply of skin care from them, I would end up with replenishing my supply of Bi-Facil as well. Let's just say I've never had to purchase a full size :D

FANCL Highlighter

I love the itty bitty little FANCL blushes, so when I spotted this FANCL Highlighter, I thought it wouldn't hurt to try. Boy am I glad I gave it a chance - I think I've found THE best day highlighter in little stripy beauty!



The highlighter is rather simple looking. It has shimmery stripes of white, pastel pink, yellow, and blue. And a swatch of it didn't look anything special. But then I swept it on, and boy I was impressed. It's just like my beloved Victoria's Secret Mosaic Highlighter but a few wattages lower, making it the most perfect day highlighter ever!!! No grease, no oil-slick looking t-zones, no powder settling in between lines and pores, just beautiful soft focus glowing goodness! By the end of the night, the highlighter blends in with my skin, just like the Victoria's Secret one! LOVE!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Laneige Snow Bloom Blusher

My very very first Korean makeup item, isn't that exciting? I'm branching out and trying new things - omigod!!! I know, I'm a total 3-year old right now. Not to mention dorky. I'm a complete novice with this makeup thing in comparison to some, but hey, I have to start somewhere, right? Tadah - I present you the Laneige Snow Bloom Blusher!

I first saw this beautiful blush at facial-shop.com, and it mesmerized me, but I was still skeptical at the time. The website didn't have a *real* picture for me to look at. The one it had was obviously digital. So I scouted around and found a post miss Muse did on Laneige's Spring Collection: Snow Bloom. Still no *real* pictures, however, and I wasn't sold until I stumbled upon a beautiful picture from a well-seasoned Japanese and Korean makeup collector from Makeup Alley :) See why I like that place? :D

Anyways, so I went for it and tore into the package when it arrived. My first impression was...big, bulky, and heavy. The case is translucent white on top with raised prints of snow flakes and opaque white at the bottom. And it came with a brush and mirror. I guess I don't like the case, but with that said, I do like the fact the blush pan is held very securely in place by a magnet and not sticky glue. What genius! Why can't all makeup be held in place by magnets? That would make things much easier to remove and cleaner too without all the gooey mess the glue leaves behind! Although, as soon as I beamed at the thought that I can take the blush pan out anytime and put other things in, I was hit with the fact that whatever I will put in next will ruin the magnet with glue...Garr...


The blush itself is beautiful and soft! Overall, I would say pigmentation is low intensity and can be layered to reach medium. But then I prefer my makeup sheer, so I am very happy with it in this aspect. Also, the powder is unscented, which is wonderful! And I love the way the colors are laid out: I can swirl the whole thing together for a peachy pink glow, use just the top 3 colors when I want peachy cheeks, or use the lower 3 colors for pinky cheeks. Awesome! I usually carry 2 blushes (a peach and a pink) with me anyways, and this blush caters to my mood by giving me both options!


From the top:
- A beige nude with gold shimmers. This color looks sparkly in the pan but it actually goes on quite subdued. Turns a bit peachy on my skin.
- A coral peach with very very fine pearly shimmers. Looks matte and goes on with a very slight touch of pearl. On me, it looks more orange than coral or peach.
- A shimmery white with a pink pearly sheen. It doesn't look it, but it's the most shimmery shade of the bunch! Makes a fantastic highlighter for the inner corners of the eyes!
- A pretty rosy pink that is completely matte. Surprisingly, this color turns a bright pink with hints of fuchsia on me!
- A fleshy pink iridescent shimmers. Again, it looks shimmery in the pan but is quite subdued upon application. Goes on a very sheer and pale pink.


Final verdict: I love it! The blush doesn't look quite pristine in the picture above because I couldn't resist messing around before taking the picture. Can you blame me?

Onwards to my next Korean makeup item...Teehee! :D

Friday, June 6, 2008

Canmake Lip Essence

More Canmake goodness :) The Lip Essence is available in 3 flavors and "colors":

Left to right:
- 01 Clear Lip Essence: cherry flavor
- 02 Cassis Pink: cassis flavor
- 03 Milky Pink: strawberry flavor


***Picture from Canmake Tokyo.

Lip Essence can be worn alone as a gloss or as a base, and it feels rather substantial, not too thin but not too thick and absolutely not sticky. The gloss/base claims to heal chapped lips. I almost never have chapped lips so I can't say anything about the claim, but I do think it's moisturizing. As for the "color," there is not much of one if you ask me. But I don't really mind sheer glosses at all, so no complaints here :)

I am currently using #02 Cassis Pink. It's a hot pink with very fine carnation pink shimmers and goes on sheer. I don't know about the "cassis flavor" though, probably because I don't know how cassis supposed to smell or taste like. But I do like the flavor a lot. To me, it smells like...Japanese chewing gum, sweet without actually tastes sweet. Very nice, and very cheap (if you're in Japan), so I'd say it's an awesome buy.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Shiseido Benefiance Creamy Cleansing Foam

So Benefiance is marketed to women in their 40's, but that doesn't mean no one else can use it! :P I like their Creamy Cleansing Foam. A lot. Actually, a good friend of mine, who's my age by the way, introduced it to me. She said she uses it because it smells nice. And I went out and bought a tube of it the next day. What can I say? She's a pretty little thing and she sells.


***Picture from Shiseido USA.

At first, the fragrance was kind of strange. But then before I knew it, it grew on me. My first impression is that it smells like an old woman's lotion. But then when you give it a better whiff, it has this very gentle powdery scent. Very soothing. I've been using it for the past 2 years now. I stopped for a while because I thought it was drying out my skin. But then we all know who the true culprit is - the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection SPF 55 PA+++. Yes, the goddamn sunscreen. I gave my barely used bottle away to tweenage brother, and what do you know, it cleared out his acne - yes, it's THAT drying!!! But it's kind of cool he actually uses it. He used to be like, "Sunscreens are for sissies!" Now he's like, "Hey, my sunscreen's running out! Crap! Gotta swing by the Shiseido counter get a new bottle (and make my other sister pay for it)!" Brat.

Anyways, back to the topic.

The Creamy Cleansing Foam does what it claims. It washes well, but doesn't fry my dry skin. Did I mention it smells nice? It does not create a soapy or bubbly lather, but rather a creamy one. And you don't need much at all for a nice wash. Just tiny little bit will do for the face. I also use it to wash my neck (front and back) and chest, so I use about pea-size dollop. I use it twice a day in the morning and at night, and it lasts for months and months and months. If I counted correctly, my last tube lasted me a whopping 8 months!! So yes, it's expensive, $33 a tube, but for 8 freaking months it's worth every penny.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

DHC is a Japanese brand with a good North American following, even though most of their sales occur via monthly catalogues and an online shop. They are known for making olive oil-based skin care products, of which the Deep Cleansing Oil is a best seller with a huge fan base, myself included :D



***Picture from DHC USA.

Actually, I've been using this Deep Cleansing Oil for almost 2 years now. For a while though, I stopped and switched to FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil because I thought it was too drying. It turns out to be the sunscreen I was using, the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection SPF 55 PA+++, that was drying out my skin. After I changed my sunscreen to Sofina Perfect UV SPF 50+ PA+++, my skin recovered and I switched back to DHC.

I have tried 3 different cleansing oils: DHC, FANCL, and Shiseido SunCare Ultimate Cleansing Oil. By far, the Shiseido one is thinnest in consistency, then FANCL, and DHC is the thickest. The stuff looks, feels, and (somewhat) smells like olive oil! It took a while to get used to, but I ended up liking that smell more than the fragrance in the Shiseido and the strange sour smell in the FANCL (no, it hadn't gone bad, it just smells like that!).

I'm glad I went back to this DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, actually. My face feels refreshed and clean afterwards, and now that I'm not using the Shiseido sunscreen anymore, I see that the cleansing oil doesn't dry out my skin at all! I only use this cleansing oil at night to remove my sunscreen, and it takes 1.5 pumps (the instructions recommend 1-2) for me to take everything off of my face. If I wear eye makeup, I use a separate eye makeup remover first and leave the rest to the cleansing oil. Afterwards, I follow with another gentle cleanser as recommended. A bottle of 6.7 oz (200 mL) lasts me 3-4 months.

Victoria's Secret Very Sexy Diamond Luster Face Powder

A couple of months ago when I was combing through the Victoria's Secret website to look for my beloved Beauty Rush Soothing Lip Balm, I spotted this pretty cheek palette instead - the Very Sexy Diamond Luster Powder. A couple of weeks or so after I got in the mail, Miss Muse put up a post about it, and from her I learned Victoria's Secret put out a collection every year. I had no idea!!! I guess I never paid much attention to Victoria's Secret makeup to begin with...


Anyway, I'm glad I got a hold of this Diamond Luster Powder. It's beautiful! It comes in a sleek and petite little black compact with a mirror, and the powder itself comes in a combination of 5 colors in motifs of gemstones in different shapes and cuts. So pretty! The package says it has *real* crushed diamond powder in it, but I really doubt it so I'll just pretend I never read that :)


Anyway, the powder is not as silky as it could be, which is really too bad. Also, it is meant to be a highlighter despite looking like it would pass for a blush. It goes on sheer with a peachy gold sheen and will give a very slight veil of color after some layering. And although the packaging makes you think the powder will be glittery, it is not. The shimmers are very finely milled, so the sheen is very dewy and if I overdo it, the sheen turns metallic on me. I also like the fact that I could use the colors individually for my eyes, especially the gold the and pale pink in the middle.


There are 5 colors in this palette:
- Top left and right corners, and lower right corner: a metallic gold, low intensity. Makes a beautiful eye shadow.
- Upper left side, and top middle: a fuchsia pink, metallic pearl, low intensity
- Lower left side, and most of the right side: a peach, metallic pearl, low intensity. Makes a nice eye shadow too, just a bit trickier to use since it turns a bit orangey on my eye area (and yet stays a pretty peach on my cheek!!).
- Middle: a very metallic cloud pink, very sheer. Also makes a beautiful eye shadow. I love this color best on my eyes with the gold. I would put the gold on my lids, and then this pink on my crease and wow - beautiful metallic eyes!
- Bottom left, towards the middle: a orangey copper, metallic pearl, medium intensity. Looks like a reddish brown, doesn't it? Don't let it fool you. Also, this color is the most pigmented out of the lot.

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