Thursday, October 23, 2008

Etude House Orgel Light Eyes Part II

This review is for the Etude House Orgel Light Eyes trio #02 Golden Yellow.

02 - Golden Yellow: this combination is definitely warm and summery, versus the cooler and springy trio #01 - Silver Purple. It also differs with #01 in sporting 2 duo-chromatic shades with a much softer texture and not as chalky. Other than that, it is consistent in the fact that all 3 colors show up true as they appear in the pan.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

IsQueen Moisturizing Essence Collagen Mask

I bought IsQueen Moisturizing Essence Collagen Mask expecting at least a decent piece like IsQueen Ultramicro Aqua Deep Repairing Mask, but I was fouly disappointed.

Don't get me wrong, it started out well. I liked what I smelled...for the first few seconds. It was a light fragrance, so light and weak it was poorly masking something else very vile and...fishy. Yes, this mask reeked, not of the rancid, something-had-gone-sour smell, but of defrosted frozen shellfish. My 20 minutes felt like I had slimed myself with raw seafood. Ick. Gross. What the hell did they put in there?

Other than the unbearable stench, the paper mask is the same in material and quality as the Ultramicro Aqua Deep Repairing Mask. Afterwards, my skin wasn't sticky or oily, although I had to really really fight the urge to go wash my face as the odor lingered on even after the essence was fully absorbed.

The next morning, however, I woke up to the absolute horror of an oil spill. My face was so slick and shiny and greasy I seriously could have made French fries for breakfast. Worse, right in the middle of my forehead was a huge red cystic pimple!!! Dammit! I really should have washed it off the night before! Why the hell did I put myself through this stinkin' torture? Grr... Goes to show sometimes, patience is NOT a good thing. That's it. I swear off this mask for good. Urgh.

Monday, October 20, 2008

IsQueen Ultramicro Aqua Deep Repairing Mask

My first dab into the Chinese brand IsQueen, which claims to employ Japanese NANO technology in its skincare products. Yeah, okay, not sure what that means but if their stuff is good, I'll give it a try.

IsQueen Ultramicro Aqua Deep Repairing Mask is decent. It comes with a thick and soft quality paper, almost cloth-like, mask that is better cut than others. It is lightly scented and unoffensive. After applying the mask for 20 minutes, the results is not fantastic, but it was good and refreshing. My skin was soft and moisturized with no greasy residue the next morning. No breakouts either, which is definitely a good point.

Unfortunately, that's it though. There's nothing impressive about the mask. Definitely another case for saving my money for the Hadabisei Moisturizing Masks with Collagen.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Juju Cosmetics Aquamoist Hyaluronic Acid Face Mask

My first Juju Cosmetics item, the Aquamoist Hyaluronic Acid Face Mask. Apparently it has a skincare line loaded with hyaluronic acid, but since I'm iffy about the other items, I only tried this sheet mask.

The thing I notice first and foremost with sheet masks is their cut. I am happy to tell you that I have found a sheet mask with the best cut, much better than my current favorite Hadabisei Moisturizing Masks with Collagen! It just fits like a glove on my face with little to no air bubbles and wrinkles! The quality of the sheet mask itself is also high, in that it is thick and soft, feeling more like a thick fabric than paper!

Other than the cut and the quality of the masks, however, it actually took me a few tries just to figure out how to use it. The first time I tried it, I had it on for about 15-20 minutes as recommended, then I massaged the leftover serum into my skin afterward, leaving it for several more minutes until it dries. Or so I thought. After about another 30 minutes, I felt my face, and boy, it was more sticky than fly paper! Fine, no problem. With some other sheet masks I just need to splash some water on my face (as in the case of SkinFood Honey & Royal Jelly Mask Sheet). So I did just that, dabbing dry with a towel and waited for yet another 30 minutes, only to find my face was still sticky! WTF?!? So this time, I went to RINSE my face until I cannot feel the slickness on my skin anymore. And that finally got rid of the stickiness.

So yeah, this looks like a curious case of a sheet mask that actually needs to be rinsed off after use. I can't read the Japanese instructions, of course, so I'm just guessing. I think I'm wrong too, because sheet masks almost always do NOT require rinsing, which means this Juju Cosmetics Aquamoist Hyaluronic Acid Face Mask isn't going to work for me. Because I'm rinsing off all the good stuff as I can't stand the disgusting stickiness otherwise! Good thing it didn't break me out.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oshima Tsubaki Oil

The Oshima Tsubaki Camellia Oil in Water is too light for dry skin during the winter? No problem :D Meet Oshima Tsubaki Oil - 100% pure Camellia Japonica oil!

***Picture from TrueRenu.

Yes, you can say my experience with the Camellia Oil in Water emboldened me, but I've moved on to the 100% pure Camellia oil version. This one is a bit more expensive, $13-15 in a 60 mL glass bottle with a dropper that will dispense only a few drops at a time. The pure Camellia oil is still very light, much lighter than the Burt's Bee's, but it's potent as hell. Trust me, I learned the hard way. The first time I use this on my hair, I thought a few drops of this light oil weren't going to be enough, so I put some more on before the blow dry. Boy I was sorry. My hair ended up looking oily even though I just washed it :( From then on, I religiously used only a few drops. Lesson learned, and the result is super soft and gleaming hair! :D

As for body oil, the 100% Pure Camellia Oil was just perfect! Just enough to moisturize my dry skin in this fall weather without any greasy aftermath at all. I mean, it didn't even leave its own GLASS bottle greasy! You know how an oil would get all greasy and nasty once it gets on anything? Not with Camellia oil! I usually puts some on one hand, rub both hands together then apply the oil to my body. Then I'd pick the glass bottle up with my oily hands for some more, and this process would repeat until I'd moisturize my entire body after the shower. Yet the glass bottle remains clean and squeaky with no greasy residue, and I never even bothered to dry or wipe it up after use! So the oil absorbs in no time once applied to my skin as well. By the time I step out of the shower, my skin would show no traces of it, meaning no nasty residue on furniture and no ruined towels and clothing. Damn! I think I found another keeper! How incredibly lucky is that? I've got the hair and body oil for each season: the Camellia Oil in Water for the hot and humid months, and the 100% Pure Camellia Oil for the cold months. I think I'm all set, and I will probably stick to this combination for a long time unless something else better comes around. I really doubt it, though. Folks in Japan have been using this oil for generations!

By the way, the instructions for this 100% Pure Camellia Oil says it's pure enough for use as facial moisturizer, but I think I won't go there. Why messing with yet another oil for my face when I already have my lovely and gigantic jar of Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream? Besides, the Oil Cleansing Method is still working its magic for me. I suppose I could use the 100% Pure Camellia Oil as the secondary carrier oil, but that would be a waste since the Camellia oil is much more expensive than Extra Virgin Olive oil.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oshima Tsubaki Camellia Oil in Water

Here it is - Camellia Japonica (Japanese Camellia) oil! For my first experiments with this oil, so I chose a classic brand known for its quality Camellia oil, Oshima Tsubaki, and I chose lightweight product to start with, the Camellia Oil in Water.

***Picture from TrueRenu.

So why a lightweight product? Because I intended to use this as both hair and body oil, hoping to replace the greasy and heavy Burt's Bees Lemon & Vitamin E Bath and Body Oil! Two birds with one stones, don't you just love multi-purpose stuff? And plus I don't know how my hair and skin will react to the oil. I've read that Camellia oil is closest to the human skin's natural emolient, so although I was pretty sure it'll work out, I still wanted to be cautious just in case.

Anyway, Oshima Tsubaki Camellia Oil in Water comes in a 150 mL spray bottle for about $10-12 depending on where you get it. I'm sure you can probably get it for cheaper in Japan, but $10-12 doesn't really bother me. It is fragranced, but only mildly so and actually smells quite good to me, nothing too strong or overwhelming. The Camellia oil is dissolved in water, and unfortunately, it does contain alcohol, a lot of it, which turns the stuff completely watery and feels slippery as well.

That said, the Camellia oil in water did wonders for my hair as supplemental conditioner to the Shiseido Tsubaki Golden Repair's dryness. All it took was one spray into the palm of my hand, rubbing both palms together, then massage into my wet hair after the shower, focusing on ends and body rather than scalp. After the first use, my hair was noticeably softer with the blow dry. Squeaky and tangly? Before application of the oil, yes, but after application of the oil, nah. My hair combed through just fine with the oil :D Hooray!

As body oil, it was wonderful as well, absorbing almost instantly after application, probably all thanks to the alcohol. Too bad it's getting pretty chilly here, so I'm going to need something more substantial for my body during the cold winter months when my skin is most dry. But there is no doubt I've found a keeper with Oshima Tsubaki Camellia Oil in Water. I'm saving this one for the muggy summer, that's for sure! Imagine a good body oil that dries almost instantly - it's even better than the lightest body lotion on the market that will feel damp for a few minutes before absorbing! And it's more moisturizing, being an oil, albeit diluted. I think I got lucky with this one :D

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tsubaki Golden Repair Shampoo & Conditioner

After trying the Super Mild Chikara Shampoo & Conditioner, I decided to move on to the Tsubaki Shampoo & Conditioner, which comes in two different kinds: Original - red bottle with a flowery scent, and the newer Golden Repair - white bottle with a fresh scent. They both contain Japanese Camellia oil, the oil from the flower that is the namesake of the shampoo - tsubaki.

Original (red) VS. Golden Repair (white)

***Pictures from TrueRenu.

I've read about the nourishing properties of Camellia oil for hair and skin, and plus people raved about this shampoo so I thought it wouldn't hurt to try. I couldn't stand the overwhelming flowery scent of the Original though, so I opted for the Golden Repair instead. The fresh scent was a bit strong still, but it was a whole lot better than putting a bouquet in a blender and drown myself in its puree.

Sadly, the Tsubaki Golden Repair didn't impress me at all. In fact, I found it drying! After the wash, my hair was squeaking, and while it sounds "clean," squeaking hair is not a good sign - it means your hair was stripped of its natural emolient. Super Mild and Super Mild Chikara cleaned my hair well but never left it squeaky. Yet with Tsubaki Golden Repair, even after conditioning my hair -gasp- still tangled! And my hair never tangles, not with Super Mild or Super Mild Chikara, not even when I use the occasional deep cleansing shampoo to clear the build ups, which more often than not would leave my hair too clean it squeaks! So I don't know exactly what went wrong here. Any advice? I thought about trying the Original Tsubaki shampoo, but the thought of the overwhelmingly flowery scent irks me!

So yeah, unfornately I won't continue using Tsubaki Shampoo after finishing this bottle. In the mean time though, I have to supplement my hair with Camellia oil to help with the dryness and the tangles.

The shampoo & conditioner I'm eyeing next? Kao Asience, which also has Camellia oil in it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

V05 Moisturizing Hot Oil Shower Works

Another great product I've been using for years but totally slipped my mind! Back in college some 6-7 years ago, I used to know this pretty gal named Dina who had this amazing hair that looked like those in the Pantene Pro-V commercials. It was long, smooth, straight, and so glossy you'd think she'd dumped an entire bottle of shine serum in it, only she did not. So one day I worked up the nerve to ask her what she used, and she said, "Oh, it's nothing. Just V05 Hot Oil!" Yep, that sent me straight out to the store and I've been using V05 Moisturizing Hot Oil Shower Works since.

***Picture from

There are actually 2 versions of this oil, both are once a week treatment. One in a capsule-like long plastic tube with a break off seal-cap that requires heating in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes prior to using. The other is a "shower works," which does not require prior heating but will instead heat up with the shower's heat. I use the "shower works" kind because, well, I'm lazy and don't really want to bother with heating up the oil in a cup with hot water. Too much hassle for the dear old bum that is me.

That said, I also take relatively warm-cool showers during the winter and cool-cold showers during the summer. Needless to say, I never got the oil to unleash its full potential and even then, it still really helped my hair and made it much softer and shinier. The trick is to massage the oil into the hair ends, not the roots, and afterwards I just smooth my hair from the top of my head down with whatever that are left on my hands. The instructions says to leave the oil in up to 1 minute, but for someone with year round shoulder-length to long (and lots of) hair like me, by the time I'm done massaging the oil into my hair ends, it would have been more like 3-5 minutes, so I'm not exactly sure if leaving it in for too long would affect its benefits either.

In conclusion, this hot oil is really wonderful if you have dry and dull hair in need of some rescue. On my part however, I think I might move on after I finish up the few bottles I always stash as back up. Why? Because it's getting old :D I mean, I've been using it for 6-7 years now, so I just thought this might be a good time to give other hair oils a chance, that's all.

What's up next? Japanese Camellia oil :D Been using it for the past month as a supplemental conditioner for a new shampoo. Will review very soon!

SkinLite Hydrating Cucumber Masque

Whenever I have time to put on a mask, I prefer sheet masks over wash-off masks. I just think the sheet masks are a bit more convenient in that I don't have to rinse my face afterwards :D What? You didn't know I'm a lazy bum? Still, I do give wash-off masks a chance every once in a while. There are good ones out there, I'm sure!

That said, I have 3 words for this SkinLite Hydrating Cucumber Masque - what a waste! Honestly, it was a waste of my money, time, and energy massaging it on and washing it off. It did absolutely nothing! And I'm not looking for improvement, I'm looking for mere change! There was no change whatsoever before and after. If my face was tight and dry before, it was still tight a dry after. What's the point of this mask again? There isn't one!

The Hydrating Cucumber Masque has a rather interesting texture. It's really very...pulpy. I suppose they are trying to give you the idea that you are wearing a mask of cucumber puree. At least it sure smells like cucumber, listing cucumber extract as an ingredient. It's just too bad I find it neither hydrating nor worth a try. Blah.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Burt's Bees Lemon & Vitamin E Bath and Body Oil

Woops, it never occurred to me I should review this Burt's Bees Lemon & Vitamin E Bath and Body Oil even though I've been using for almost 2 years now. In fact, I didn't even remember it until I was putting out my winter clothes, all of which smelled like...oil.

***Picture from

I have dry skin. Everywhere. Not just on my face, my hands, but all over. Body lotions and creams just have no effects whatsoever on me as I would be itchy and patchy all the same. So when I started using DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, I thought about using a body oil too!

But first let me side track a little :D You know what, I just noticed many of the stuff I'd posted on this blog, I've been using for around 2-3 years. I think it all has to do with the time I spent working in Japan, well, 2 years ago. What can I say, the experience changed me. I remember myself before going abroad to live in a country whose culture and language I knew nothing about (it actually wasn't that wasn't like I camped out in the Sahara or anything...). Nonetheless, before the trip, I was boring, bland, and ignorant as hell. Well, I still am all that, just a lot more opinionated and picky about my dullness and stupidity. Anyhoo, if you're wondering why I've been using a lot of these stuff for about 2 years, that's why. Before Japan, I was clueless...and could not care less.

Okay, back to Burt's Bees Lemon & Vitamin E Bath and Body Oil :D Basically, I settled on this body oil because all the other options didn't sound very good to me. I tried baby oil, and it was greasy and made me smell like a baby's butt. I tried Neutrogena Body Oil, and it's main ingredient is sesame oil, which made me think I'm rubbing Chinese food all over myself. So I ended up with Burt's Bees.

Over all, I wasn't too impressed. It was as heavy and greasy as the baby oil, just that the lemony scent made me feel better about being oil-slick all over. The detrimental aftermath of it, though, was, well, the oil itself. It was everywhere! It soaked through my clothes and towels and made them all smelled like oil. It even ruined several of my satin pajama pants and stained my cream-colored canvas couch! I still can't believe I put up with it for almost 2 years! That's it. Time to try something else. I. Quit.

Super Mild Chikara Shampoo & Conditioner

Very early into the start of this blog, I posted a mini review to Super Mild Shampoo & Conditioner. After 2 years of faithful usage, I decided I should try this special edition called Super Mild Chikara Shampoo & Conditioner over this past summer. I like Super Mild, so I figured Super Mild Chikara shouldn't be too bad.

***Picture from TrueRenu.

Well, let's just say it's not bad at all. It's actually better, making my hair even softer than the original Super Mild formula does. It probably has something to do with the soybean oil, which the original formula doesn't have. I love just how light and soft my hair feels afterwards, whether I towel dry or blow dry. This effect lasts even through the next day when my now long hair tends to get heavy, sometimes even oily.

The only thing I can see improvement in Super Mild Chikara is its scent, which, in my opinion, is a bit too...feminine. Not girly, but womanly, if not motherly. If I remember correctly, the ad for the shampoo and conditioner even says something to the effect of "...nurturing, like mother's milk." Where as the original Super Mild comes in a fruity (green) or floral (pink) scent, Super Mild Chikara comes in only 1 scent. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't smell bad, it smells quite good. There's nothing wrong with a feminine smelling shampoo either. Just that it was marketed to "families," so I was just surprised it wasn't more gender neutral. I guess it depends. I know both hubby and I don't mind the smell, but I could imagine others might.

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