Monday, December 30, 2013

Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-puffing Eye Massage

Used this 5mL Clinique All About Eyes Serum De-puffing Eye Massage as daytime under eye moisturizer during my short trip. It was from a nice GWP I got back in 2012, from which I also got the Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm 04 Mega Melon.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Lancome Tonique Radiance Clarifying Exfoliating Toner

If it weren't for my quick trip I wouldn't have a chance to try this 50mL travel size of Lancome Tonique Radiance Clarifying Exfoliating Toner. Whenever I see a product with "clarifying" in its name, I automatically assume it's for oilier skin and would probably be harsher on my dry skin. It was from the Nordstrom Spring 2012 GWP, along with Creme Douceur Cream-to-Oil Massage Cleanser and Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector reviewed previously.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sothys Paris Normalizing Beauty Milk

Along with Sothys Paris Desquacrem, I also tried (twice) this Normalizing Beauty Milk sample from the same GWP pack. 

Because it's called "Normalizing Beauty Milk," I assumed that to mean "mild" and so I used it on the third mornings after the retinoid treatment the night before. I started with dry face and rinsed off with water instead of toner as per instructions. It has a similar texture as Bliss Clog-Dissolving Cleansing Milk, may be a tad thinner but still an opaque white milk. It's also scented, but this doesn't bother me.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sothys Paris Desquacrem

Sothys Paris is a new brand for me and I was curious enough to pick up a full size Hydradvance Hydra-Nourishing Mask along with Dr.Ci:Labo Enrich Lift Cleansing & Massage and Stila Seeing Stars Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner Set back in March. At the time, Sothys Paris was giving out a nice set of GWP, which included a few sample cleansers, moisturizers, as well as their prestige line Secrets de Sothys. I have only tried the sample cleansers so far, one of which is the Desquacrem. I got 3 uses out of that packet!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil

Got a 15mL/0.5fl oz. deluxe sample of Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil that I took with me on a tropical trip a couple of weeks ago. It lasted hubby and I for about 3 days with liberal use since we were slathering on sunscreen onto our faces and necks. I've been curious about the argan oil stuff from Josie Maran and appreciate the chance to try this.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bliss Clog-Dissolving Cleansing Milk

Took this 30mL/1fl oz. travel size of Bliss Clog-Dissolving Cleansing Milk with me on my trip to visit my folks. It lasted me about 10 days with nightly and every third morning use, which was just perfect!

This is a milk cleanser that can be used wet or dry. Like a cream cleanser, it does not foam. It doesn't rinse completely clean either, but this doesn't bother me. It is mildly scented with a light milky citrus scent which I don't mind. Since I use it as a follow up cleanser after my oil cleanser, I can't comment how well it "dissolves clogs" but it works well enough. That said, my skin is still dry afterwards, but I blame the super dry climate here and not the cleanser. If I were home in SF, this milk cleanser would have been quite moisturizing! If there is a good sale, I might try a full size of this!



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel

Update Sunday, December 22, 2013.

Received 15mL/0.5fl oz. deluxe travel size of this Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel that's literally a miniature of the full size. It comes in a mini frosted glass pump bottle with square base and a clear lid over the pump. So adorable!

Other than the cute factor, I'm happy to report that a year after my first trial, I still have the same good feelings about this serum ^.^ I pulled out the bottle when it got a tad too dry in the apartment, and it's been doing a great job keeping my skin soft a supple. I should have taken it with me on my family visit because it's super duper dry where my folks live. It would have gotten along well with the rest of my dry skin-battling arsenal. Now if only they sell this serum in refill pouches. Why not reuse the nice glass pump bottle? 

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Original post Sunday, November 4, 2012.

Okay, I'll confess. I went without moisturizer for the first couple of weeks of my arrival in Taipei. It was mid to late September but was still so humid even the Hadanomy AquaPlacenta Concentrated Mist by itself felt heavy and turned me into a grease ball by the morning! So going from layering several skincare the "Japanese" way in Japan and while visiting my folks in a super dry climate, I was down to just sunscreen remover (Pond's Pore White Cleansing Oil, only a couple of uses left!), cleanser (Rosette Cleansing Paste, just emptied and started a new cleanser!), toner (SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion for nights, will review soon, and Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 for mornings), and finishing up with a super light essence (SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, will review soon too) in Taipei.

Thank goodness it finally cooled down just a couple of degrees Celsius starting mid October and I was able to add another super light serum to my routine, the Jurlique Herbal Recovery Gel. This is a nice 2.5 mL sample that I've been using daily, every morning and every two nights, for the past 3 weeks.  

***Picture from Jurlique USA.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ichikami Moisture Hair Treatment

It's been 9 months and I'm finally done with this 100g tube of Ichikami Moisture Hair Treatment! It came from the Ichikami Moisture Set I bought back in March, and hubby and I have since gone through that bottle of Moisture Shampoo, the Soft and Smooth Shampoo, a 400L refill of Super Mild, and currently finishing up another refill of Macherie Moisture Shampoo.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lancome x Alber Elbaz Color Design Palettes

Bought two Lancome x Alber Elbaz Color Design Palettes shortly after 505 Sparkling Intoxication, partly for their color combos and their cute cartoony compacts. I got a handful of generous GWPs also, which was nice.

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

The 2 combos I got were 100 Taupe Craze and 503 Mint Jolie

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lancome Color Design Palette

These Lancome Color Design Palettes came out in spring 2011 (I think...), but at the time I wasn't at all interested. To be honest I was never really into Lancome eye shadows to begin with. Having played around with several GWP palettes in the past, even though the colors are pretty I found their texture and finish consistently dull and lacking. Not to mention these Color Design quints are expensive at $49 a piece. A bit much for blah, no?

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.


Fast forward to this summer, and Lancome launched an assault campaign in collaboration with Alber Elbaz, forcing blinders on my peripheral vision with eye-poking, attention-grabbing emails every time I checked - thou shalt lookest (or at least googlest)!!! So I did. Out of all the color combos available, I found 505 Sparkling Intoxication most interesting, thanks to the review from Rouge Deluxe. So I picked it up to try along with 100 Taupe Craze and 503 Mint Jolie housed in the limited edition compacts by Alber Elbaz. I will review those 2 in a separate post.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Nivea Lip Butter

Citrine first recommended these Nivea Lip Butters to me back in March, and she herself reviewed two of these a couple of months later, right around the time Ulta offered a nice GWP promotion, just the excuse I needed to pick these up to try for myself along with the limited edition Revlon Lip Butters ^.^

I like the short list of ingredients but I was taken aback a little how small these tins are! They are so thin! I took my beloved (and sadly discontinued) Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Soothing Lip Balm out to compare and the tin is exactly half the thickness. That said, I also compared their contents and found each Nivea tin contains 0.59oz./16.7g, which is just slightly less than the VS tins with 0.6oz./17g each. Nivea is a couple of dollars less than VS when it was still retailing, and no doubt you can get Nivea for even cheaper with coupons and promotions. To me this means Nivea is efficient with their packaging, bringing down the retail cost. Definitely a plus and not at all a minus!

Smooth Kiss (top), Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss (bottom left), and Caramel Cream Kiss (bottom right). All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

VivoDerm Natural Skincare Facial Toner

This 120mL/4.4fl oz. VivoDerm Natural Skincare Facial Toner is from the Dermstore Fall 2012 Super Luxe Grab Bag #4. I guess the element of surprise is the best part about those mystery grab bags, because I've never heard of this brand before and probably would have never gone out of my way to seek them out and try their products.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Cure Natural Aqua Gel

This Cure Natural Aqua Gel was all the rage when I was in Japan. Not only it was pricey for a peeling gel (2,650JPY/250g pump bottle), it was always sold out at my local drugstore. There was always some kind of info-mercial about it on TV, with ladies gushing about how awesome it is. Of course I was curious what the hype was all about, but at the time I was preoccupied with Tabibijin Tea Peeling Gel, which lasted for a long long time. So I didn't get around to buying this Cure one until right before going home. I bought mine in a 2-pack via Amazon JP, which does have better pricing if you're curious yourself and you live in Japan ^.^ (I'm not affiliated!)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Pangea Organics Facial Toner French Rosemary & Sweet Orange

Mum in law gave me this 120mL/4fl oz. spray bottle of Pangea Organics Facial Toner French Rosemary & Sweet Orange late last year right before I moved to SF. I traded her a bottle of Boscia Balancing Facial Tonic ^.^

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Boscia Intensifying Moisture Pack

I started using this 80g/2.8oz tube of Boscia Intensifying Moisture Pack a few weeks ago since it's gotten really chilly and dry. Yes, in conjunction with Nuxe Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute and a couple other peeling masks. This is a full size I received as part of the Boscia Surprise Beauty Bag promotion in July.

Boscia Surprise Beauty Bag promotion.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Paul & Joe Lipstick and Lipstick CS

I've been staying away from Paul & Joe for a long time, not because I'm not interested but because I'd be in trouble if I get started ^.^" They keep coming out with one limited edition collection after another, which I'm a total sucker for, not to mention many of those items are always super duper cute!   

Anyway, last winter 2012 I actually caved and bought a few items from Beauty Habit right after moving home from Taipei. But then I had to pack again for SF, and so didn't get to the stuff I bought until now: Face & Eye Color CS 73 42nd Street, 74 Empire State, and 75 Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan Collection released fall 2011, and Color Powder CS 79 Les Tourtereaux released fall 2012. This year another death blow came in the form of an adorable kitty blanket GWP, also via Beauty Habit, and so I decided to give some of the Lipsticks and Lipstick CS a try. 

Top: the 2 orders from Beauty Habit, last winter and this fall. All pictures taken in natural light without flash. 

Face Colors and one more Lipstick refill ordered via Beauty Bay.

The evil kitty blanket that's found a permanent home on my couch. It's so, so, so soft and measures 44 x 26 inches.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Nuxe Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute

Along with Boscia Luminizing Black Mask and Exuviance Rejuvenating Treatment Masque, I'm also using this 15mL/0.52oz. deluxe sample tube of Nuxe Masque Creme Fraiche de Beaute. I got this tube from the spring 2013 GWP promotion via Beauty.com.

Now that it's gotten colder and drier, this supposedly moisturizing wash-off mask fits the bill, and so I've been reaching for it and the likes much more often than the peel-off variety. This mask comes out of the tube a pinky ecru cream and is to be massaged onto clean skin, leave to absorb for about 10 minutes, then either massage in or remove with toner. I actually massage it in first, then wipe off excess with a warm and damp facial muslin cloth.

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