I started having facials done on a regular basis and one of the facialists suggesed I use a "booster" to help my skin absorb serums and moisturizers better. I exchanged some vouchers I had for the booster they were selling (more than $150 for 120ml!!) and true enough, very emollient products absorbed right into my skin instead of just sitting on top of it. Still, that's a lot of money for so little product. A month later, I ordered the Devita RX trial set on a whim and one of the items in this set was the Clarifier. It is supposed to "Help normalize hydration levels of the skin's uppermost layers opening receptors to amplify subsequent treatment formulas". It claimed to do what my booster does. The consistency is exactly the same - watery like a toner (you're supposed to pat it on). They both have Vitamin C and fruit acis as well. So I skipped using the booster and used this Clarifier instead. It gave me the same results as the booster! And I only paid $23!! Ordered a full size after I used up my trial bottle. Doesn't sting my face or break me out. Brilliant stuff! It comes in a dark glass bottle with a spray nozzle. It's ingredients are listed as: Aloe vera gel, witch hazel extract, allantoin, essential oils of rose, sage, rosemary and chamomile, organic alpha hydroxy fruit acids from sugar cane and citrus, Japanese green tea extract. Contains vitamin C and vitamin A.
Sunscreen -Unlisted Brand - Devita Rx UltraSolar 50
Jellyblob 6/8/2012 2:54:00 PM
This sunscreen now comes in a pump bottle which is a lot more hygenic. You get 4oz or 120g for $37 which is 3xs the usual 30ml tube/bottle for a sunscreen for the face. It is very moisturizing and doesn't feel tacky on the skin. It has a thick gel-cream consistency (Organic Aloe Vera Gel is listed as the second ingredient after Purified Water) and for me, one pump is more than sufficient to cover my face and neck. I have sensitive dry combination skin and this does not irritate my skin at all. In fact, it calms my usually flushed skin when I apply it on my face. It also does not leave a white cast which is terrific for a physical sunscreen. This has replaced my UV Essentiel sunscreen from Chanel (my HG) because when I perspire, it doesn't track white streaks down my face or neck (which happens with the Chanel one). Plus, it's way cheaper and has lots of good stuff like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and grape seed extract. I also like that it is cruelty-free and safe even for children.
This is a duochrome eyeshadow that goes on smooth and looks super luxe, thanks to the gold cast in this otherwise muted purple shadow. It looks subtle but whenever light catches the gold tone in this shadow, it just pops. There is no glitter in this shadow, only shimmer. It is an absolutely gorgeous combination.
BB Cream -Skin79 - Vital BB Cream SPF50++ Hot Orange Label
Jellyblob 5/18/2012 2:19:00 PM
I gave up on Korean BB creams a few years ago because every single one of them had a grey cast. Japanese ones tend to be more yellow or "Ochre" but don't seem to have much staying power. My face shade is NW 20, it looks darker because it is usually flushed or red while the rest of me is NC 15. I usually wear an NC color to correct the redness in my face. I took an interest in this BB cream because it isn't grey (has more of a yellow tint) and it has an spf of 50. It smells a little "orangey" and the pump gives excellent control of how much you want to dispense from the bottle. It is easy to blend and it dries to a semi-matte finish rather quickly. For my dry combination skin, I have to make sure I moisturize first or I'll feel a pull in my skin with just this alone. The coverage is medium to full (it can give a white cast if you pile it one) and it doesn't oxidise at all on me. I've been wearing this for the past week because I've been lazy about doing a full makeup look and this gives me a natural, even tone that lasts for about 8hrs. Will probably repurchase but not likely anytime soon because this is a big bottle and you don't need much with each use. I still prefer the feel and application of my NARS tinted moisturizer though (but I left it in my office and keep forgetting to bring it home so I've been using the Skin79 one instead). Bonus: I wrote to Skin79 about their stand on animal testing and got this reply "Our manufacturer in South Korea, does not test on animals, or use animal by products". Hope that's true!
Primer/ Corrector -Laura Mercier - Foundation Primer Oil -Free
Jellyblob 5/18/2012 1:35:00 PM
I got this as part of the Laura Mercier box with Magazine (on the whole range and how to use the products to achieve different looks). It's something that is offered in Japan at the end of every year. Many famous brands (clothing, makeup etc) will release one each year. For reference, I have dry combination skin. The primer has a gel-like consistency and smells a little plasticky. I've found that it didn't make a difference if I had this primer on or not. It did not extend the wear of my foundation, nor did it provide a flawless canvas for my face. I wanted to love it but it just didn't work for me. It was a good thing I didn't pay for it - A generous sample came with the magazine (30ml) along with a sponge, a little pot of creme smooth foundation in Warm Ivory which I ended up loving and an embroidered Laura Mercier makeup pouch.
I got this palette at 20% off from Skinstore so It came to about $31. I read mixed reviews on the palette and decided to take a chance anyway because I love their smudge sticks so if I took off $16 for it (at 20% off - original is $20), the eyeshadows and blushes would come up to $15. First off, if you look at the youtube videos done by Stila using this palette, you will realize that the texture is rather sheer. It can be misleading because the colors look bold and deceptively pigmented in the pan. Second, the blushes are also really sheer which is a shame because they look like nice, universal shades. Well, after swatching out the palette and being completely unimpressed, I thought, "Why not try it wet to see if the colors show up better?" Voila! - the colors popped, true to what you see on the palette! I find that it helps to dab the color on so you get an even wash (like painting with watercolors). Surprisingly pretty! After it dried, the colors stayed rather well, even after I gently rubbed my finger over them. The packaging feels really cheap and flimsy but this is not a palette that's made for schleping around (it's huge!) so that's okay. The wet brush trick also works for the blushes (some more than others) and you get a sheer wash of color that looks natural and flattering. I used a small angled brush (Shu Uemura 16DF) and dabbed the color on. For that price, it's great for a starter kit to leave on your dressing table (with a bottle of water/toner to spray your brushes with). If you can get it even cheaper at Nordstrom Rack (I think it was going for $19.99), that's the price of the smudgestick itself so the palette is essentially free!! P.S. I love the smudge stick.Very pigmented and stays put. Glides on like a dream with no tugging at all!
These lip butters are moisturizing but they don't last long because they have a lot of slip, making regular reapplication necessary for me if I want the color to show. I find it inconvenient to dip my finger into the pot whenever I happen to need my lips moisturized. Also, having to wipe off the excess from my finger is a pain - I have to be careful not to smear it on my bag or clothes as I reach for a kleenex in my bag. And it gets under my nails too (and I don't have long nails). The colors are nice (I have it in Quince and Pomegranate) but I have only been using it when I'm at home for the above reasons (when my hands are clean or when I can use a brush).
Lip Treatments -Fresh - Sugar Rose Lip Treatment SPF 15
Jellyblob 5/12/2012 2:27:00 PM
This is, hands down, the best tinted lipbalm I own. It comes in spf 15 and has a fresh citrus scent to it. The color is pigmented on me and lasts longer than most tinted lip balms I own (probably because there isn't as much slip to it as others I've tried). It has a screw on top which means you won't accidentally color the interior of your handbag with it (Yes, Clinique Chubby Sticks, I'm looking at you!). Now the bad. It is expensive which means I have to be careful not to lose it (I am notorious for that). Also, you have to be careful not to turn it up high or it will break off (the lower the better). Despite that, I will repurchase but I don't think I have to anytime soon as it does moisturize for a while. I have it in Rose (the most natural shade on me), Honey (great for when I want a nude lip to go with smokey eyes) and Passion (really red so I have to be light-handed with its application). They have a new color in Coral! Must...resist...!!
Treatments -Philosophy - Miracle Worker Dark Spot Corrector
Jellyblob 5/12/2012 1:53:00 PM
I bought this product with the retinoid pads and have been using it every night for a month. I did not see any fading of my dark spots which only lightened considerably after I used the Talika Duo. It doesn't sting and it is easily absorbed into the skin. It also didn't break my skin out but, for me, it isn't the "Miraculous all-over brightener and dark spot corrector" it claims to be. (Actually, I bought it for the dark spot corrector aspect of the cream - I am already fair as it is - unfortunately, that means any dark spot on my face contrasts greatly with it!) :(
So I am loving my UD Naked and Naked 2 palettes when a Sephora staff suggested I try this one by Stila. I told her that many of the colors seem to be repeats of the Naked Palette but caved in and got it anyway (what can I say, I'm a sucker for palettes). When I got home, I did both my eyes in the same shades - one side with UD's naked palette and the other with Stila's. The colors I used were: 1. UD's sin vs Stila's kitten 2. UD's darkhorse vs Stila's luster 3. UD's gunmetal vs Stila's night sky After lining my eyes, I took a look at my finished face. On the UD side, the colors were more metallic and bold but my cheek was glitter central. On the Stila side, it was more polished and sophisticated. Don't get me wrong, I love the Naked palettes (1 & 2) and how it comes with so many shades in it but I do find that the Stila palette also has it merits. Both are made of cardboard but the Stila one is lighter (less shades) and has no mirror. The pigmentation is stronger in the Naked palette but the Stila one allows for better control (you can sheer it out or pile it on for a bold look) and I love the smudgestick in Damsel, it is a really dark brown and is limited edition (only sells with the palette). I have already ordered In the Garden and will be travelling with these two palettes (lightweight and has a variety of colors, not just neutrals) from now on until another palette comes along to wow me! P.S. I got In the Garden from Skinstore at 20% off!
When I bought my Kohgendo foundations in Japan, the SA gave me samples of the cleansing water and the moisture spa gel to try, explaining that it is great for dehydrated skin (like mine). I packed it in my hand luggage and forgot about it. On the night I was at the airport lounge, about to take a shower before my flight, I realised that I hadn't brought any moisturizer with me (everything else was packed and checked in). I only had the samples from KGD. I thought, some moisture is better than none so I emptied the contents of the sachet and pat it on my face. Usually, I get really dehydrated on the plane and 3 hours into a flight, the skin under my eyes will start to get dry and crepey. Even after I have slathered on a lot of moisturizer before boarding and repeated eye cream applications throughout. To my surprise (shock was more like it), when I went to the bathroom after 4 hours into the flight, I saw no dryness at all!! I couldn't believe it!! How can something so light and watery hydrate so well?? When I got back, I ordered TWO JARS from the website (they had an offer of a free small jar of the moisture gel if you spend over $100). The jar is 100g for $62 and that is a fair price considering the fact that most moisturizers are about 40g in weight. It's amazing how effective it is and it feels so good on. My skin just drinks it up! BTW, I usually add my philosophy Turbo Booster C powder to this rather than serums because my skin doesn't sting unlike when I add it to other serums/mositurizers. Major plus - KGD does not test on animals at all and they are proud of that fact! :)
Crème -Chanel - Vitalumiere Hydra (Moist Radiance Emulsion Compact)
Jellyblob 5/12/2012 12:36:00 PM
I have this foundation in Beige 10. For reference, I'm a NW20 in summer and NW15 in Winter. Coverage is buildable from sheer to medium (my standard for coverage is a pea-sized amount, regular pea, not the mini ones, however, as this is in a compact, I just pile it on until I get the coverage I want). It is very light and feels cools on the skin when first applied. I need a primer under this because my skin just sucks up the moisture in it, especially when it gets dry during winter. The finish is a little dewey but not overly so. The only problem I have with this compact is application. I usually use a brush with foundations. Whether it is the MAC 190, 187 or 130, I find that if I do not work quickly, it gets streaky and if I go over it again with a brush, I wipe off what I had previously applied which can be frustrating. I feel it applies better with a sponge and when I mist my face after application, it dries off to a soft-focused, natural finish. Lasts through most of the day (about 6-8hours with a light dusting of Poudre Universelle in 10 Limpide) except when it rubs off a little on pressured contact (like on the bridge of my nose when I put on and take off my sunglasses). It's a great foundation but not HG for me.
This BB cream comes in a lovely pink tube that is very travel friendly (40g). I bought it when I was in Japan last winter. I have it in a 10 (in japanese, it says "brightening skin color") which is great for me because it's not the usual greyish color you get from Korean BB creams. For reference, I'm NW 20 in summer and NW15 in winter. The coverage is sheer, almost medium if you add more than a pea-size amount (like a tinted moisturiser) and it goes on smoothly. The reason why I won't repurchase is because I find that it starts to fade after a few hours, with or without a primer. The end result is blotchy-looking skin. I don't have time to check my makeup every couple of hours so this has been sitting pretty on my table. I will use it if I'm going out for a short while but not if I have a full day planned.
Tinted Moisturizer -NARS - Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer
Jellyblob 4/21/2012 4:07:00 PM
I'm usually not a fan of TMs and was only at the NARS counter to check out their blush GAIETY (which I purchased) when the SA asked if I'd like to try their TM. I told her that I didn't like the non-existent coverage that TMs give and would be happier with my own moisturizer and a sheer foundation instead. She urged me to let her put it on me and I relented. Boy was I glad I did! This TM has a high SPF and it looks so amazingly natural on my skin! It feels slightly cool on contact with my face and blends like a dream. Best of all, it has better coverage than my sheer foundations!! Doesn't settle in my pores or fine lines. It isn't as expensive as it may seem, when you consider that you get 50ml instead of the usual 30. Already purchased a second tube just in case I run out. LOVE!!
First off, this foundation is truly full coverage. It stays on through perspiration and wipings,remaining dewey instead of a patchy mess. Second, while it works on my dry-combination skin, I can see how this will be too rich on oily skins. Third, a little of this foundation goes a long way in coverage so be careful not to over apply or it'll look like a mask! Fourth, due to its dewey finish, it doesn't emphasis fine lines or settle into them. What I don't like about it is that it comes in a jar. I guess a pump wouldn't work because it has a thicker consistency than the Silk Creme foundation. A tube packaging would be nice to make it more portable and hygienic. Not HG but close.