Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lavshuca Press Color Powder

These Lavshuca Press Color Powders are old and were discontinued a few years ago, but only recently did I started using them. Talking about catching up with the time :X These came in pretty white pearly compacts with pink iridescent sheen. A mirror and a small brush were included but I didn't use the brush at all. There were 3 colors available: YL-1, PK-1, and BE-1, but to be honest I'm not sure what was the point of the "colors".

The powder inside was divided into 2 color blocks, the left block was a pale powder that perhaps was meant to be a highlighter with some shimmers that were not really visible at all. And regardless whether the left block or the entire compact, I think both failed as a highlighter anyway. Upon application, it brightened a little, but mostly it was just an okay translucent powder and nothing more. The right block was "colored" and matte. While it was supposed to provide *some* coverage, again it was so sheer that it was practically another translucent powder. So yeah, that was why I don't really get why they even bothered having different colors or separating into color blocks inside the compact.

The powder itself was just alright. It wasn't too chalky but a bit on the dry side and nowhere as soft as I would have preferred. It was definitely not the best translucent powder I've used, not even one of the better translucent powders I have. So really, these Press Color Powder weren't highlighters but were not exactly translucent powders either and I guess in the end, I don't get the *whole* package!

- YL-1: pale ivory with some shimmers on the left, and matte, muted mustard-yellow on the right. Because individually they didn't make much of a difference, so I swirled them both together and sweep over my forehead to brighten things up just a tad.

- PK-1: pale powder pink with some shimmers on the left, and matte strawberry milk pink on the right. Again I swirl them both together and sweep underneath my eye area above the cheek bone for a wee bit of brightening.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Skin Aqua UV Moisture Milk SPF50+ PA+++

This Skin Aqua UV Moisture Milk SPF50+ PA+++ is waaaaay overdue for a review! I've been using it daily since more than a month ago, after I ran out of my Allie Comfortable Sunscreen EX WaterTouch.

Skin Aqua is a fairly new line of sun screen products, introduced only about a year or two ago. I've been dying to get my hands on these, but my usual online sources didn't carry them for the longest time. only started stocking them recently, albeit under the wrong name. The product page calls it SunPlay (another Mentholatum sun screen product line), but the accompanying picture shows Skin Aqua instead and the descriptions says "UV Mosture Milk SPF50 PA+++." Whatever, my sister brought me this bottle on her trip home this past summer, but I will probably get it from next time. Someone's clearly confused and needs to fix either the picture or the product page/description, but for $10.80 for 40 mL, I think I'd buy it anyway and hope I'll end up with the right product :)

See the list of ingredients translated from Japanese.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Soap Crazy Part IV (Picture Heavy!)

I know I'm just now posting this, but the below were all pre-holiday appetite whetting, not that I was eating the darn (albeit yummy smelling) soaps or anything...

Anyway, I'm not sure if my family/friends are all sick of soaps now since they get soaps from me a lot :X Don't get me wrong, I never ever EVER sell these soaps for money. Most are given to my immediate family or to close friends/colleagues. I only keep a few to myself and hubby to use. And yes, everyone got even more soaps from me for presents this holiday :D So there will be a major soap post coming soon in January LOL!

As usual, my favorite Anderson Soap Company.

- Oatmeal Milk & Honey Exfoliating Soap: after the very first use, hubby exclaimed "Wow, I love this soap!" and asked me if we have any more of it. Given that he rarely expresses such enthusiasm with any of the stuff I blog about, this bar of soap was impressive indeed. Its name makes you expect a warm and sweet scent, but it had a warm and woodsy scent instead, which was why hubby liked it so much. The soap itself was also surprisingly milder than most soaps from Anderson Soap Company. Loved it and will probably buy again and again.

- Peppermint Oatmeal Exfoliating Soap: this soap smelled heavenly pepperminty but not too overwhelming like the Heathen's Hearth Tea Tree & Peppermint Glycerin Soap below. I'm using this right now while visiting with my folks. Out here, it's brutally dry and I'm very thankful this soap hasn't crack up my hands yet!

- The Body Shop Daisy Soap: I bought this soap because for some reason, when I saw "Daisy Soap" I thought, cute, soap with a daisy picture on it. Little did I expect for it to smell like a freakin' daisy bush too! Yikes. I'm soooooo not a floral person and this bar went straight to my mum, who probably appreciated it more than I did.

And the last of my Heathen's Hearth bars.

- Tea Tree & Peppermint All Natural Glycerin Soap: This bar made an appearance in my very first Soap Crazy post. I love peppermint anything and had wanted to keep it to myself but in the end, it became a present to a dear friend, who peeled the wrapper back to give me a whiff of the soap. The tea tree and peppermint combination was ridiculously fresh and invigorating, and soon after I went back for a second bar for myself. When I was communicating with the seller, she mentioned she had 2 types of Tea Tree & Peppermint soaps, one regular and one with activated clay, which turns the soap black. In fact, the label on the bar below had a line that was crossed out with black marker, that line was supposed to say "with Activated Clay." Now I'm fine with black soaps, but I wanted to the try the regular bar since that was what my friend let me smell and I LOVED that smell! So in the end I went with the original, good ol' regular bar.

But boy, oh, boy I got a bit of a shock when I actually got my bar. Before removing the plastic wrap I smelled the soap again and it smelled like what I had hoped. Then I peeled back the wrap and took a whiff, just like I had done with my friend's, and thought, hmm, it smelled...different. Very different. This time, the tea tree and peppermint combination was much, much, stronger than the bar I first bought for my friend. So strong that it began to smell like...gasoline. I mean, woo wee, it stank! I quickly got rid of the plastic wrap, thinking it was just the concentration of the scent that repulsed me. After all, these soaps are scented with oils, which are all pretty damn potent. Sadly, however, after more than half way through and the bar still had this lingering odor of gasoline, I concluded that this batch of soap was unfortunately botched and over-scented. Yuck. So glad my friend's bar was way better. I guess that's the risk with hand-poured/homemade soaps. Each batch is made slightly different than the last, and sometimes, that difference is killer!

- Pomegranate Vanilla Natural Goat's Milk Soap: this lovely smelling bar went to a friend in dryer climate, knowing the soap's melty nature.

- Lavender Vanilla Natural Goat's Milk Soap: this bar also went to a friend in dryer climate.

- Oatmeal Milk & Honey All Natural Goat's Milk Soap: I also have a thing for the combination of oatmeal, milk, and honey and I have several bars of soap in this exact same scent from different Etsy shops LOL! Anyway, so it was hard for me to part with this bar too, but it ended up going to another friend.

- Vanilla Brown Sugar Natural Goat's Milk Soap: I was hoping for something more original but this turned out to be the Bath & Body Works-type Vanilla Brown Sugar. Yeah, I was a bit disappointed, so off it went to yet another friend.

- White Tea Natural Goat's Milk Soap: Same here. I was expecting a tea-like scent, what I got was spiced tea, which was really too spicy for me. I passed it on to a dear friend who loves tea.

- Pelican Rice Bran Amino Soap: Pelican is a Japanese brand, but all I could find was another soap they make though, the Deitanseki Clay & Charcoal Facial Cleansing Bar for sale at, nothing else though, unfortunately. The Rice Bran Amino Soap itself was just okay. It smelled good, a light soft scent, but upon washing there was another slight odor very similar the plastic-y foamy odor in cold process soaps that I hated. Luckily, this odor didn't linger on and went away quickly as soon as my hands dried. Other than that, the soap was very drying. I've read that rice bran is a very gentle and mild ingredient in cosmetics, but this soap sucked the moisture out of my skin and turned it into a dry twig. So yeah, I probably won't buy this again.

See my previous posts:
- Soap Crazy
- Soap Crazy Part II
- Soap Crazy Part III

Sunday, December 27, 2009

SkinFood Carrot Collagen Eye Sheet

Back in the beginning of this month, I received a fabulous surprise from my friend Cacaopack, and it includes a SkinFood Carrot Collagen Eye Sheet. I promptly used it the very next week and wrote up the review below but didn't get around to actually posting it until now. And yes, I had only 1 pair so I must warn you that the "review" below is more like an initial reaction :)

The first impression was that this eye sheet was very similar to, but ultimately lighter than, the Hadabisei Under Eye Gel Masks. The eye sheet was packaged in a plastic tray sealed with aluminum foil, and this tray was then sealed in the outer packaging as seen in the picture above. Overall it gave a very clean feeling, since the final product was packaged twice, but really I thought that was a bit much.

Upon opening the foil seal to the plastic tray, I immediately understood why the final product was so carefully packaged - the eye sheet itself was actually quite thin and there was minimal serum inside the tray, so the eye sheet ran the risk of drying out if not packaged tightly. Applying the eye sheet to my eyes was a breeze. They were no where as sticky as the Hadabisei ones, so I could easily adjust them until I got them where I wanted them to be. Unlike the Hadabisei, there wasn't any extra essence dripping down my cheek either, which can be interpreted both positively and negative depending on your skin. Since my skin is extra dry, so I would have appreciated a bit more essence.

In the end, these SkinFood eye sheet dried up rather quickly, in about 15 minutes. Mind you, it was also very extremely dry inside my apartment at the time (about 20% humidity content), and I will have to get more of these to try during the summer to see if it would any longer. Regardless, my eye area was decently moisturized, a bit more would have been nice, but overall it wasn't bad.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Lavshuca Summer Gradually Compact

Winter is here, so of course I pulled out the 2008's Lavshuca Summer Gradually Compact :P I don't know what kept me from using these for so long, but I finally got around to them and have been playing with the different colors in the past few months starting in the fall. And you know what's strange, I think these 2 palettes are actually great for the fall/winter and I've no remorse wearing these colors right now!

Compact 01 - Shiny Sandy Beach

Compact 02 - Windy Aqua Beach

There were 2 Summer Gradually compacts: Compact 01 - Shiny Sandy Beach (warm) and Compact 02 - Windy Aqua Beach (cool). Both came in decorated plastic packaging, while the cases themselves were thin brushed-aluminum with "Lavshuca" engraved on top. The cases had 2 applicators each but included no mirrors.

The eye shadows are more or less good quality, blendable, pigmented, and have different finishes! The far left shadow is the most shimmery, the far right is a matte base shadow, and the four in between are either pearly shimmery or semi-metallic.

While there are a few shortcomings, in general these compacts are pretty awesome and versatile with different looks and color combos, depends on how you want to mix and match. Yes, so you probably have read the same raves from many other reviews, but aside from a couple of exceptions I'm afraid I can't disagree :P

Compact 01 - Shiny Sandy Beach

From left to right:
- Sparkling gold: shimmer, very sheer. Provides a very sparkly translucent wash of gold. This shadow is not as smooth as the rest because it is packed with almost-chunky (but not glittery) shimmers. Some people didn't like this color (along with its silver counterpart in Compact 02) too much precisely because of the thicker shimmers. Some even complained of fall-outs, although I have yet to experience any. In fact, this is probably my favorite color out of the bunch since I love super shimmery (but not glittery) and sheer eye shadows. Whenever I'm lazy, which is probably most of the time, these are the only colors I would wear. They would freshen up my face and make my eyes pop without much effort :)
- Orangey copper: semi-metallic, high intensity. Very pigmented and as far as I can tell from swatching, it's warm enough to not turn me green, and no, not with envy. Cooler oranges, yellows, and greens tend to make my skin appear greenish and me sickly. But I, erhh..., still haven't tried this color yet. Color-shy here, sorry. We'll be acquainted one of these days, this color and I.
- Ivory: shimmer, very sheer. This is supposed to be the highlight color for use on the brow bones and line the inner corners of the eyes. I like this color and use it a whole lot, but unfortunately this is the only shadow in the compact that caked up! There was a tad of disappointment here, but in the end that didn't stop my regular usage.

From left to right:
- Cappuccino brown: shimmer, medium intensity. It appears to be a light taupe but don't be fooled. The shadow itself it a few shades darker than it looks, turning out to be a warm cappuccino brown that makes a nice crease shade.
- Chocolate: shimmer, high intensity. Again, this color is also trying to deceive you by appearing like a harmless light beige-brown but turns out to be dark and pigmented enough for use as a liner. Also, it looks warmer that it actually is, as it turns a cooler milk chocolate brown on my skin.
- Nude beige: matte, very sheer. So this color is supposed to act as a base and even out my lids in preparation for the other colors. Sadly, it doesn't work so well with me. In the swatch, it appears to be just a tad darker than the back of my hand, and you would think that with some blending, it will be fine. The problem is my face has a more pinkish tone in comparison to my hands, so this color turns my eyes muddy and dirty. Ick.

Compact 02 - Windy Aqua Beach

From left to right:
- Silver: shimmer, very sheer. Same as above, this provides a translucent wash of silver, but is rougher than the rest of the eye shadows. But just as its gold counterpart in Compact 01, it's also my favorite of the bunch.
- Mint green: shimmer, low intensity. This is a very pretty pastel mint that's semi-pearly. This color also did not turn me green.
- Champagne: shimmer, very sheer. This color also gets lots of use from me and, surprise surprise, has the same caking problem as the ivory one above. May be it's the formula? Anyway, again this minor set back didn't stop me from using it all the freakin' time.

From left to right:
- Pool Blue: semi-metallic, high intensity. For some reason, this seemingly pretty peacock blue turns a bright pool blue on me! I want the peacock blue, damn it!
- Denim: shimmer, high intensity. Looks like an ink blue but turns out to be denim. This as the liner color and the silver as wash is a perfect paring for lazy ol' me!
- Nude brown: matte, very sheer. This one is worse than its nude beige counterpart - it's actually warmer, and therefore gives me the sunken eyes look. Yikes!

I usually prefer warmer colors, but I think Compact 02 is actually more neutral than it looks. I know it was supposed to be "cool", but it would not have worked too well with my very warm skin tone if it was that cool. Anyway, for this reason, I find myself reaching for Compact 02 much more often than Compact 01. I guess I'm gradually and slowly learning the ways of the blues (and greens too).

Lavshuca Cheek Color Select Part II

Yes, what an odd time to wear orange blush (it's snowing and sleeting outside right now for goodness's sake), but I've using my Lavshuca Cheek Color Select in OR-1 anyway :)

Actually, this blush turned out to be not so bad, given the nasty weather I'm getting. Whenever it gets gray here, my skin turns ashy too and this actually brought me back from the dead. I thought it would turn up orange or peachy on my skin, but it didn't. It didn't give me sun kissed cheeks either, just a tiny bit of fleshy and natural color that wasn't pink or peach.

Yes, that means it was sheer, but not as sheer as PK-1, plus it didn't have the highlighting factor PK-1 does. Mean while, RD-1 would make me look like I'm trying too hard. So yeah, even though it sounds strange, OR-1 is just about perfect for me right now!

From top to bottom:
- Off white with shimmers
- Pale peach with shimmers
- Pumpkin with shimmers
- Buttery yellow with shimmers
- Bright mandarin orange with few shimmers, almost matte. It brighter than appears in the picture below (taken with insufficient lighting, sorry!).

See my previous Lavshuca Cheek Color Select post.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy December!

I was having another busy day at work minding my own business and my colleague stopped by my desk with a white package, "This is yours." She said, putting it on my desk.

I was mystified, since I did not expect anything to come in the mail today. At the upper right hand corner of the package, it says, "Mask," so I thought it was the stage masks I had ordered for a client. Then I flipped the package and read the from-address and saw Singapore - heeeeeyyy, I know that name!

So I tore into it, of course, although nicely, with a pair of scissors. Inside was another envelope with pink hearts in silver circle. "Merry Christmas" and smiley face was hand-written on it in black marker. I gasped, speechless.

My girlie friend Cacaopack over at Beauty Unfolds took me by complete surprise - look at what she sent me! How sweet and lovely is she?

Nooooo wayyyyyy, for me?!?

Inside the envelop was these wonderful items she knew I'd totally appreciate:
- 3 Etude House Moistful Sheet Masks (try these chilled on a summer day!)
- A Watsons Bird's Nest Essence Facial Mask (better hide this quick cause my mum will probably fight me for it!)
- A SkinFood Carrot Collagen Eye Sheet (will try these and review ASAP!)
- A pretty purple gift box with ribbons and bows, inside of which is necklace with my initial, filled with a pearly drop!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Clarissa! You didn't just make my day, girlfriend, you made my MONTH!!! What a way to start December, and you bet I'll be laughing all the way!

*hugs and kisses*

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