Friday, July 25, 2008

SkinFood Cappuccino Mousse Foam

Wake up and smell the coffee! No, serious. With SkinFood Cappuccino Mousse Foam, you are literally waking up to your coffee-scented foaming mousse cleanser! The darn thing smells sooooooooo divine even a non-coffee-drinker like me is addicted.


Anyways, the mousse foam comes in a soft plastic squeeze tube that could be stood up like a bottle. It doesn't foam much, but it cleanses thoroughly, leaving my face soft and supple afterwards without any tightness at all! It's a better cleanser than the Shiseido Benefiance Creamy Cleansing Foam, if you would believe it!


It's also a very effective exfoliator due to the ground espresso beans inside. And while this is an excellent feature, I can't use it as often as I would like to - it exfoliates so well I could only use it every other 2 days or my face will get irritated from too much scrubbing. I prefer using it at night, and the next morning my skin would have this bright glow that lasts all day. LOVE it!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stila Lip Glaze Part III

I'm taking my sweet ass time reviewing these Stila Lip Glaze, huh? :D I've got so many and I really want to spend a good few weeks with each before reviewing, that's why.

Another full size Lip Glaze I actually bought is Spiced Maple. To my surprise, it smells like gingerbread cookies instead of maple. The texture is very similar to the Peach Cobbler, thinner and less sticky, which I really love. The color is a deep brick red with a tiny touch of brown, and although it looks really potent in the picture, it actually goes on sheerer, translucent and not opaque.


That sounds like a winner and all, and I really like the sheerness and texture, just that the color itself gives me this Wall Street banker look that's really ambitious, determined, and just so. dead. serious! Not that there's anything wrong with Wall Street or bankers or ambition or determination or seriousness, but I just hate to look so...old. It's just not me. I'm in no hurry to grow up :P I've got my whole life to, so why rush? Anyways, that means this is another one of those layering gloss. Shucks.

See my previous posts...
- Stila Lip Glaze
- Stila Lip Glaze Part II

Shiseido The Makeup Multi-shade Enhancer

This Shiseido The Makeup Multi-Shade Enhancer is my first venture into Shiseido's international makeup line. Yes, I know, I really really need to get with the program. I've used a ton of other Shiseido stuff in addition to the Japan-only products like Pureness, SunCare, and I'm currently using the Benefiance Creamy Cleansing Foam, but I don't know why The Makeup hasn't had any draw on me! I don't find their products any special, and their packaging is kind of...ugly...

And then I got into this phase when I just love everything that was in stripe, patterns, gradations, and this Multi-Shade Enhancer matched the interest so I picked one up. It came in a round dome top compact that is dark brown with golden pink shimmers spilling across the lid. Inside, there is a mirror, and lifting that up you'll see a compartment for a flat rounded brush, much like the Maquillage ones.


So that means I can sort of expect the same quality as the Maquillage stuff, right? Sigh...sadly, no. The powder itself is rather hard and chalky and I was really dismayed when I first touched it. The only redeeming points are that it's unfragranced and doesn't produce much dust with a brush sweep.


The shade I have is Sunset Glow, consisting of 5 stripes of 5 different colors (from top to bottom):
- Burnt copper: medium intensity, subtle shimmers, looks more red in the picture but goes on a coppery orange.
- Bronzey brown: low intensity, matte, goes on with a bit of a yellow undertone
- Muted salmon pink: very sheer, matte, goes on more of a peachy pink
- Very pale peach: beyond sheer, almost translucent, subtle shimmers, matches my skin so well it disappears!
- Very pale fleshy pink: very sheer, subtle shimmers, a brightening color


When swirled together, I get a very natural color, a matte peachy nude cheeks that looks like I got just a touch of sun. The shimmers disappear and don't show at all! On a cloudy day, however, it has no effect whatsoever and I barely notice any color! I guess it's the sunlight that makes the powder work. But for $25 for just the refill, I think it's not worth it. It could be that I don't know how to use the powder too, so if you have any tips, please send a few my way :D

DHC Q10 Face Powder

DHC Q10 Face Powder is my very first loose powder. I know, I should get with the program. I don't know why I waited so long to give loose powders a try. I do use loose powder blushes and eye shadows, but never thought about using a loose face powder.

All pictures taken indoor with flash.

Sekkisei Lotion Mask Tablets

This Sekkisei Lotion Mask Tablets is what I referred to in my last post.



Kose is another Japanese cosmetic giant. Some of the most popular brands made by Kose include Sekkisei, Awake, Visee, Esprique Precious, Beaute de Kose, etc. In the US, only the 2 premium lines, Sekkisei and Awake, are available. Sekkisei can be purchased online at the Kose USA website, and both Sekkisei and Awake are available online at Bath & Body Works.

Sekkisei is a high end skincare medicated with herb extracts, and while I'm not at all attracted to their products, I did buy their Lotion Mask Tablets for $5 per 14-piece pack, which comes out to about $.35/piece :D These are called Lotion Mask Tablets and are meant to be used with Sekkisei Lotion, but who says you can't use them with other serums and treatments? Just pop one out, soak it in whatever you want, store-bought, homemade, whatever, and put it on your face! Lovely idea!

And of course Sekkisei isn't the only brand that carries ready-to-use sheet mask tablets. Try Ebay! The only reason I buy the Sekkisei sheet mask tablets is it fitted better than the SkinFood ones.

SkinFood Honey & Royal Jelly Mask Sheet

SkinFood is a Korean brand with a motto "Food Therapy" - totally my kind of brand :D Indeed, all their skin care and makeup items has some sort of food/fruits/vegetable element in it. Creamy cheese mask, anyone?

I think the first item from SkinFood that caught my eyes is the Honey & Royal Jelly Mask Sheet - a sheet mask soaked in honey and royal jelly goodness! According to the packaging, the honey is supposed to be "calming, nourishing, minimizes redness and irritation and makes the skin brilliant and resilient." It also claims to "restore healthy skin and help visibly diminishes fine lines and wrinkles." We'll see about all that, but the idea is nice since honey has traditionally been a good ingredient in skincare.



This is my very first experience with a sheet mask, by the way. A sheet mask is a high quality soft and fabric-like paper mask cut out to fit your face with holes and/or flaps for the eyes, nose, and mouth. It is usually soaked in a thick serum and is used as a weekly treatment with focuses depending on your needs. The vast majority of sheet masks are individually packed for one time use. Basically, you take the sheet mask out, put it on your face and let your skin absorb for the good stuff for 15-20. Then you take it off, discard, and your skin is supposed to feel better. You are supposed to use it 2-3 times a week.

I worry mostly about hydration since my skin is so dry, so all the treatment masks I buy are supposed to be intensely moisturizing. That was why I took interest in the Honey & Royal Jelly Mask Sheet, because of the nourishment the honey is supposed to provide. What I really wanted to try was the Honey & Royal Jelly Wash-off Mask, but it has been sold out in Korea so I settled for the sheet mask version instead.

And unfortunately, I have more negative things to say about the Honey & Royal Jelly Mask Sheet.

1 - The design of the mask sucks: I really hope other brands has better cut of the sheet mask, but the SkinFood one was awful! It's supposed to be one size fit all, so I know it'll be big, but I didn't expect it to be THIS big! I mean, the holes for the eyes, nose, and mouth were so big they left the majority of my cheeks and a large area around my nose and mouth uncovered! Why put on a sheet mask when it doesn't cover the dry areas of my face? May be I just have a really small face? I knew there was a reason why I wanted the wash-off mask!!!

2 - It stings: sounds crazy, but it felt like I've put lots and lots of alcohol on my face, especially around the driest areas of my face! Great, just what I need, more alcohol to dry out my poor skin.

3 - It is S-T-I-C-K-Y: and I mean sticky as hell!!! It felt like I've glossed my face with syrup! So although you're not supposed to rinse your face after using a sheet mask, I ended up splashing on some water just to relieve myself of the stickiness. Ack!

4 - It's got too much honey in it: the mask reeks of freakin' honey! That explains why it was so sticky afterwards, doesn't it? Also, some of the stuff got on my lips, and wiping it off I accidentally got some in my mouth and wow, it tasted sweet too, just like honey! But it's great when a product actually contains what it claims, right? So what the hell am I complaining about? Well, remember I hate having sweet lip glosses and balms on my lips? Let's just say I hate it 1 million times more when I have sweet stuff all over my face! Now, when it comes to the sweet stuff that are meant to be eatened, that's a different story. They'd be going straight into my mouth. Chomp. Chomp. Chomp.

5 - I woke up with dull and tired skin the next day: Gar...

Given all the bad things I listed, that's not to say there aren't anything good about this sheet mask.

1 - It doesn't break me out: this is definitely a plus. My skin is very proned to clogged pores and break outs. Although this sheet mask stings, it doesn't clog my pores and does seem to provide some moisture.

2 - There are lots of serum in each packet: if I don't squeeze a bit out of the sheet mask before putting it on, I will end up with stuff dripping down all over my neck. So for every 2 sheet masks I use, I have enough extra serum to soak a new sheet mask tablet (will review these soon)! You'd have to be very careful about using a jar with a tight lid, all sanitized with alcohol, of course.

It's really too bad the SkinFood Honey & Royal Jelly Mask Sheet didn't work out for me since it's a really nice idea for a weekly treatment. Perhaps I'll try a different brand. Onwards!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

3 Custom Color Specialists

I got an inquiry today about a discontinued lipstick, and I thought of 3 Custom Color Specialists. I first read about them in Real Simple and have been subscribed to their emailing list for a quite a long time now. I guess I never really paid any attention to any of the emails I was getting, that is, until the inquiry I received today.

The anonymous reader asked me about a discontinued Lancome lipstick, Le Rouge Absolu Creme in Rosiere, which I reviewed several months ago. She wanted to know where she could find more of it since Lancome no longer carries the line or the color. The very first thing I thought of was 3 Custom Color Specialists. Why? Because, true to the brand name, they make custom color cosmetics! Nifty, huh? Do you have a lipstick, gloss, eye shadow, blush, you name it piece of cosmetic you love so much but is no longer available on the face of this planet? Like wise, do you have a color you wish they'd make in a lipstick, gloss, eye shadow, blush, you name it piece of cosmetic? If so, check out the Custom Blending section on their website!

For a discontinued cosmetic item, you have 2 options:
1. Search their archive under each category of lipstick, conceiler, eye shadow, powder, nail polish, blush, etc., using a brand name (like Lancome) and a shade name (like Rosiere). If the discontinued item you love is made by a mainstream brand, chances are someone else before you have already requested the shade and your search will yield a match, meaning 3 Custom Color already have the color and formular on file. All you have to do then is order it!
2. Send in a dime size sample or the actual item (or what's left of it) in its packaging. It will be returned to you along with its clone!

For a color you wish to customize into a special cosmetic item just for you, you can send in a sample of the color in the form of "a splash of nail color in a baggie, a piece of fabric, a paint chip, a photo from a magazine, two lips colors blended together to create the ideal shade...anything!" - or so the website says. For those who love personalized things, this can be great fun!

Whether you are recreating a beloved item or customizing a special item, there are options for packaging (wand applicator, pot, or tube), texture/finishes (matte, semi-matte, creamy, sheer, gloss), and/or add on for special effects (shimmers versus opalescent).

No, I'm not working for 3 Custom Color, nor do I get any commission here, I just think the service they offer is kinda cool! And actually, there are several other indie cosmetic brands that offer this service as well, but the only one I could think of is 3 Custom Color. I've always taken this sort of things for granted, of course, because I'm not a loyal lover of any specific color or cosmetic item, but that doesn't mean everyone else has a short attention span like me. Also, another draw back for me is the price. With 3 Custom Color, you'll have to order a minimum of 2 units of whatever cosmetic item you're trying to replicate or create, for $55 for the first 2, and $18.50 for each additional unit. A bit pricey, I know, although it's still a lot cheaper than many high end brands. So I guess no duplicating or creating anything for me...yet... :P

However, with all that said I am eyeing several things from 3 Custom Color, as they do offer their own makeup collections and whatnot:

- Light Brights Lipsticks: I've got to have these lipsticks - see how bright yet translucent, sheer, simple and uncomplicated they are? I can almost see right through them - awesome!!! They are available in 4 super sheer but buildable neon pop shades: a tangerine (Area), warm coral red (Danceteria), "pinky peach" according to the website (Limelight), and cool berrish hot pink (Palladium). And best of all, they can also be used as a cheek stain. That's it, they are ALL mine. Mine!!!!


- Light Brights High Shine Gloss: Same concept and colors as the lipstick above, only in a gloss, and a lovely one at that. They have none of that shimmery or opalescent mess, and they are also very mine! I'm a total sucker for simple translucent glosses :D

***Pictures from 3 Custom Color Specialists.

- Lip & Cheek Stains: these are "dewey and balm-like," the website says. Whatever, 2 of the warm shades sold me so it doesn't really matter what the website says LOL. I'm so in love with Poppy (bright orange) and Mom on the Go (bright yellow-based red).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Stila It Gloss Trios Part III

Man, it took me for-frickin'-ever to try out all 3 of my Stila Travel It Gloss Trio, but I did it! Hooray!



This trio (top to bottom) consists of: Enchanting, Fetching, and Savvy


- Enchanting: a nude pink with gold pearly shimmers. At first glance, I thought it would wash me out because of the pearly finish, but it turns out to be a translucent gloss, so it works! Yesh - I love it when that happens!!! :D Also, may be it's just my imagination, but this formula is again a bit less sticky and the brush applicator tip is just divinely soft! Applying it is a breeze with the added bonus of feeling the velvety brush applicator massaging my lips. One thing I do know for certain is that because the gloss has a pearly finish and the shimmers are so fine, it feels absolutely smooth and buttery on my lips!


Within this trio, Enchanting and Fetching are clear winners, it seems. Savvy is good too, but it won't work for me unless I layer it over lipsick, so that's a bit of a drawback since I have to be in a very specific mood to wear lipstick. All in all, sorry to say but I like this set much better than the BCA It Gloss Trio!



See my previous posts...
- Stila It Gloss Trios
- Stila It Gloss Trios Part II

T'estimo Layered Impact Eyes Part III

This is palette 01 Brown, and although I've seen people describing it as a neutral palette, I think it's rather warm.

All pictures taken indoor with flash, unless otherwise noted.



Sunday, July 13, 2008

Laneige Strawberry Yogurt Peeling Gel

Laneige Strawberry Yogurt Peeling Gel is actually a very misleading name. To make it worse, it was categorized as a mask. When I first saw it, I immediately thought of those peel off masks, only this one would be strawberry yogurt scented. Sounds yummy, right?



I guess I was so excited I bought it before reading the how-to-use instructions carefully, and it turns out to be an exfoliating scrub instead :( Not that I don't like scrubs, but I was really disappointed when I realized I wasn't going to get to peel anything off my face. The instructions on Sasa.com says to:
- Apply an amount of 2 cm in diameter to clean and dry face
- Massage for 1 minute then rinse off with warm water
- Use 1 - 2 times a week



What I found interesting is that the peeling gel itself isn't exactly a gel. It's more like a pudding in texture with fleshy pinkish granules that are supposed to disappear during the massaging process. The strangest part is that as soon as you start massaging the gel onto your face, the gel starts to ball up and becomes like a grainy scrub, all the while the pinkish granules disappear! The only thing I kind of don't like about the gel is that the scent leans more towards the yogurt rather than the strawberry, i.e., the scent is a bit too yogurty and sour for my taste. Either way, my skin was really soft and well moisturized afterwards, so I guess it works well.

Lifecella Essence Eye Contour Mask

Looking around for face masks and such, I got suckered into trying the eye masks too and made my first attempt with this Lifecella Essence Eye Contour Mask. Lifecella is a Hisamitsu brand. Never heard of 'em? Well, if you've ever used Salonpas before, you've used a Hisamitsu product before. I didn't know that either, until this purchase, of course.



The description from Sasa.com says its essence contains Ceramide and Trehalose, and I've no idea what they are except for the fact that they are supposed to help with wrinkles. The box comes with 5 pairs of the eye contour masks soaked in a generous amount of this essence - it was so wet it started dripping down my cheeks! The instructions say to apply for 5-15 minutes after face wash or shower. Made in Japan, by the way.



Anyway, it's okay. I didn't see any Earth-shattering effects but it was moisturizing and it made my eye area comfortable and supple afterward. I would still apply my usual eye cream, but I like it. Plus it was on sale with a promotion buy 4 get 1 free at Sasa.com. I can't not like that! :D

I might try out other Lifecella masks now after trying this as they all look every interesting! :)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A FOTN for July 4th Weekend!

A very early July 4th weekend, I might add, and let's just say this coming long weekend is most welcomed! Bleh.

And old friend from hubby's high school days lives about 45 mins away from us, and tonight he came down for dinner with his girlfriend. We went out for Chinese and had a feast! And here I am a few hours later already hungry again...



Face:
- Amazing Cosmetics Powderset (t-zones only)
- Aube Blossom Veil Powder
- Laneige Snow Bloom Blusher, the pinks

Eyes:
- T'estimo Layered Impact Eyes palette #5 Purple

Lips:
- Canmake Lip Essence #3 Milky Pink
- MAC Fafi Glaze Lipstick Flash-n-Dash


The finished product - tahdah!!! Well, not that you can see much, as always. The lighting is so bad too, made me look all pissy even though I was in a good mood, serious! Light was still out at the time, but it was actually 8 PM!

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