kate is a cheap japanese drugstore brand, but like many other drugstore brands in japan, kate's products are high-quality and innovative, and it's one of my fave brands. the makeup base applies as a white cream, but it's very sheer and the whiteness disappears immediately after spreading it out. the slip is great and it imparts a luminous glow on my skin. coverage is minimal but it gives a fresh-faced look when you want to go for a natural, no-makeup day look. it does a great job at evening out my skintone (i have patches of red on my cheeks on a bad day), making me look glowy and healthy. it has SPF 26 and PA++, offering pretty decent protection against the sun. as far as i can tell, it's shimmer-free, making it a great primer for foundation and powder when i want extra coverage. but on a good day i just use moisturizer and this primer, and my face looks totally fresh. it retails for 1200 yen (i think i paid about $10 for it) and you get 25 grams of the product in a squeeze tube. i'm on my second tube of this thing, and i still love it.
i believe this was a limited edition item 2 years ago (correct me if i'm wrong), and it's probably the most useless thing that stila has ever made. i was sorting through my makeup stuff so i can put things up for swap, and i saw this again after dismissing it as useless 2 years ago. and i have to say -- it's still very much useless. this does absolutely nothing for my lashes except to clump them together and to weigh them down so much that they can't hold a curl. i tried using my regular mascara + curl + let it dry first before applying this thing, and then this just clumped up my lashes and made the curl disappear. so i got clumped-together, stick-straight lashes that were all sticking down every time. and also the "wet look" meant that it never dried and i got bits of the blue gel on my lower lids because my lashes were weighted down so much by this product, not pretty.
i searched long and hard for cheek gradation in 04 chocolate when it was limited edition and never found it. and now, even when it's part of the regular lineup, it's still hard to find since there's so much hype about it, so when i saw it in a specialty shop that sells japanese imported cosmetics, i grabbed it. good thing it lives up to the hype, i'd be so disappointed if it didn't. first off, chocolate is a misleading name as it makes it sound too dark. but it's really not. from top to bottom are a deep bronze shade, a bronze-gold, a pale pink, and a beige-white highlight, in gradational order. used together will give your skin a healthy, rosy bronze, glowing look. these are all really shimmery, so don't get it unless you love shimmer. but you can always tap the excess off or try using a stippling brush. don't use the tiny, flat brush included in the palette though, it only picks up the shimmer but not the color. try using a skunk brush, and use a light hand even with a skunk. the powder is finely-pressed and feels silky smooth. it makes my face glow but does NOT give it a tanned look. i'm naturally really pale and i never tan and only get sunburned, so tanning products all look really artificial and turn orange on me. but this simply gives you a healthy look without looking fake. love it.
Eyeliner -Bourjois - Regard Effet Duochrome Eyeliner
blueblood91 3/29/2008 5:54:00 AM
this is a fun eyeliner that combines two intense shades to give a "duochrome" look. the one i'm reviewing about is a green shade with yellow sheen called "61 Vert dore" and i have to say, it's definitely worth the money that i paid for (about $8.5, but i think sephora sells for $12.5). the two shades blend effortlessly together and complimente each other so well. in fact, i didn't even have to smudge or blend at all, and the yellow shade (not shimmery, just a sheen-y look) blends into the green shade naturally. i'd call it a fun, summer shade and the best part is, when you're in a hurry, all you have to do is apply this one eyeliner, and already it looks like you have applied and blended several shades together to create the look. it's not particularly long-lasting but it has lasted for almost a day without reapplying. took one lippie off because it's not smudge-proof. will repurchase.
Eye Shadow -Bourjois - Mini Bourjois Dose de Nacres #1
blueblood91 3/29/2008 5:09:00 AM
this color shows up as a beautiful sof t rose gold on me, you know, the kind of soft bronzy color that's perfect for the warmer months. the texture is awesome and it lasts all day without creasing. it kind of reminds me of mac pigments, which i love. like the previous reviewer, my only complaint is that they need to add a sift/stopper kind of thing on the cap to prevent it from spilling all over, i took one lippie off for that. #1 works as an eyeshadow but i also use it to highlight my cheekbones and it leaves a beautiful glowy bronzed look on my skin. although i'm sure it'll look even better on someone with darker skin. overall i love how it's so pigmented but the color is light enough that it doesn't turn orange on me, and it doesn't look like i'm trying too hard. i think i paid about $5 for it so it was definitely a steal. will repurchase.
Blush -Shiseido - Majolica Majorca Powder Blush in RD255
blueblood91 3/28/2008 8:44:00 AM
this color is described as a "flesh red" on majolica majorca's website... but there isn't anything red about it. the picture on the website is also misleading as it looks like a matte, but actually RD255 has really finely-milled golden shimmer, and it shows up as a shimmery peachy pink on my cool-tone, fair to medium skin. i agree with the other reviewers that the case is really cute, but i think it's rather sturdy and has survived for quite long in my makeup case. and i'm famous for being clumsy and dropping things, so that should be saying something. at first, i really wanted to like nars orgasm blush because of all the hype, but the price tag is just too high and it didn't really show up on me, and then i found this blush, which is similar to orgasm (peachy pink with gold shimmer) but is more pigmented but still fairly sheer that you can't over apply, and it's so much cheaper (i think i paid $8 for this). which makes it better than orgasm, IMO. it's my go-to blush now as it works with most of my makeup. will repurchase. try it, those who like peach or pink blushes will probably like this.
i don't want to speak badly about kiehl's as i generally love their products and am a crazy fan for their lip balm, but this moisturizer just sucks. it left a thin film on my skin and never completely sunk into my skin, leaving my face feeling slightly greasy the whole day. i used it for 3 days straight and then it broke my face out. my skin is usually dry in the colder months, and the weather was a bit dry, so i thought i could use a richer lotion. and it seemed to work for the first 2 days, but after that, instead of smoothing out and moisturizing my face, it left ugly mini bumps and mini zits all over my cheeks. and the thing is, my skin isn't even that sensitive normally! there are so many cheaper alternatives that work way better out there, so i will never repurchase.
Eye Makeup Remover -Boots - Botanics Soothing Eye Makeup Remover
blueblood91 3/15/2008 11:31:00 AM
i ran out of my usual trusted remover so i picked this up at my local boots. it smells okay but it feels to be on the greasy side, and somehow, no matter how much product i use, it just doesn't completely remove my mascara or liquid liner. which is strange because it's an "eye makeup remover" so i figured it would have been designed to target against mascara and such. the price is okay as it comes in a large bottle with a screw top, but i could easily have gotten a better remover at a cheaper price (japanese brands often have these innovative removers that sound all hi-tech at affordable prices). will not repurchase. will probably not even use up this bottle since it's just too much trouble to first use this, and then use something stronger for whatever this remover fails to remove.
this is my first ever nars purchase, and i went to the nars counter determined to buy the much-hyped orgasm, but i walked away with deep throat as i found orgasm to be too sheer and WAY too shimmery on me. as far as i can tell, deep throat is a more peachy, less shimmery, and slightly more pigmented version of orgasm. it gives me a healthy peachy glow without emphasizing my pores or uneven skintone. the texture is silky smooth, easy to spread and the finely milled shimmer in the product does not give you the dreaded disco ball effect but gives a rather radiant sheen that i love. will repurchase again if the price isn't so steep and the packaging in the rubber case didn't suck so much (it's still brand new and has already attracted all sort of dust particles to stick to it).
i got 3 of these in the mini cell phone accessories version, and they are SO adorable! they are pretty pigmented, and the colors that i got all show up well on my pigmented lips. i got them in taiwan, where they only retail for about usd$4! i love these and all my friends are jealous of my cute l/g phone accessories when i whip them out for touch ups! will definitely repurchase.
this liquid foundation is infused with anna sui's signature tearose scent - a scent that i absolutely adore. it comes in a very cute rose-shaped glass bottle (contains 1 oz of product) with a rose-shaped black lid - it's the dark goth princessy look that anna sui does so well. a small complaint - it would've been much better if the bottle was plastic instead so i wouldn't have to worry about breaking it while carrying it around. but i guess the glass bottle adds to the glam factor, and i always feel so glamorous and classy when using anna sui products. it has spf 12 and PA+ and i picked this product up in B00, which is a perfect color match for my fair to medium asian skin with pink undertone. and i love the fact that it's so moisturizing for my slightly dry skin, but doesn't clog my pores! the anna sui website claims that it creates a nice "doll skin" look when you wear it, and i really think it holds true to the claim! it spreads easily and does not oxidize (turn greyish) by the end of the day, and as a little goes a long way and i only use it on my t-zone, i expect that it will last me a good while. it costs 4000 yen retail, but i think i only paid about 2500 yen for it. so it was definitely a good buy! will repurchase.
as far as i know, integrate is only available in japan and taiwan. it is a relatively new branch of shiseido, and it has angelina jolie as its spokesmodel! she looked stunning in the ad for this product, so i decided that i must have it. aqua diamond rouge comes in a sleek, silver metal tube like the reviewer below has mentioned. and although it is full of tiny specks of glimmer, it is creamy and glides on effortlessly and is never drying. the staying power is average, and i need to reapply once or twice during the day. so far i have PK233 (which was an instant bestseller in japan when the product first came out) and RD755. PK233 is described as a baby coral in integrate's website, and RD755 is described as cinnamon pink. they're both MLBB colors that will work with most makeup looks. overall i love them and will definitely buy again when they come out with new colors. i think i paid about USD$10 for each.
i have canmake's highlight gradation in 02, which is a sweet little palette of 4 gradational really sheer pink-toned shimmery highlighters. this is one of the cutest products i've ever come across in the canmake line. 02 is definitely better than 01, which has a gradation of white-based highlighters. both are shimmery but 02 gives a soft shimmery glow to the face, and really makes your face pop. the pink tone is so sheer that this probably doesn't work as a blush, but as a highlighter it's pretty good. to use, i swipe my brush (my own brush, not the joke of a brush included in the palette) across all 4 colors, (try using a soft hand so you don't end up getting too much shimmer and end up with the disco ball effect) and then gently swipe across my T-zone, under my eyes and then on the chin area. i'm sure this will last me a good long while, but i will definitely repurchase if i ever run out. (what's strange is you don't see 02 on either the english or the jap version of their website, they only show 01. i wonder if 02 has been discontinued? oh no.)
Fragrances -Victoria's Secret - Dream Angels Heavenly
blueblood91 1/8/2008 9:12:00 AM
i got a free sample from shopping in VS... and i gotta say, although i initially liked it, i really didn't like the way it smells on me. i can see why some people might like it, and it probably just reacts badly with my body chemistry or something, but it smells putrid on me. the smell is just so typically VS -- it's too sweet and tries too hard to be sexy but just ends up smelling like plastic-y and fake. will not buy.
i have to admit - the packaging is what initially attracted me to buy this, but the quality is awesome. i got 700 since my skintone is relatively pale for an asian, and i apply this after my liquid foundation, and the result is so natural and flattering it almost looks like i'm not wearing any foundation. it's not cakey at all and i'm sooo in love with the rose scent, which is standard for any anna sui product.