I almost balked at the price when I had to pay around $82 CDN for cleansing oil, but I couldn't resist the cute limited edition OB packaging with the Tsuki Hime and I was in dire need of a makeup remover. I didn't feel too great paying $82 for something that contained mineral oil right at the top of the ingredients list, but for the ingredient-conscious out there: DON'T BE DISCOURAGED! This product contains sorbitan trioleate, which helps emulsify the mineral oil. In conjuction with other ingredients, the cleansing oil emulsifies with water and washes off your face without residue. Since mineral oil creates a barrier from the external environment, it was a concern of mine (especially about potential skin clogging) until I noticed the chemistry between the ingredients and felt that my skin did not have any residue left from the oil. This was also the reason why I purchased this formula; although the other formulas touted special ingredients and benefits, it seemed pointless when the product was mostly mineral oil, conditioning agents and emulsifiers. The skin simply wouldn't have much time or opportunity to absorb the so-called beneficial extracts, they would all be washed down the drain. If you are reacting to this product, I HIGHLY suggest you to check if you are using this product correctly first: it is absolutely crucial, given the type of formulation for this product. Shu Uemura uploaded a tutorial on YouTube on how to properly use it. This was also the cheapest along with the Fresh Pore Clarifying Gentle Formula, which does not contain mineral oil but seemed to have a watery texture (I don't want any drop of $$$ to go to waste by dripping all over my hands and neck!). If I were to buy the different oils in the line, it should be solely because of difference in scent and texture. I really hate lugging cotton pads, makeup remover and cleanser every time I remove my makeup, so having just one bottle of Shu Uemura cleansing oil is really convenient. It removes every last trace of makeup- like others have said, try the toner test for yourself and the cotton pad will come out clean. Not to mention the pump lock system is extra convenient. The smell is pleasantly floral, almost a little herbal. It's no white flowerbomb, so my sensitive nose didn't mind. Official instructions vary between 3-4 pumps, but was actually fine with just one. Although it is a one-step makeup removal product, my skin felt rather soft and not dehydrated at all. This is the best makeup remover I've used. Lancome's Bi-Facil was pretty pricy given the amount given and left a greasy residue on my face. Bioderma's Sensibio H2O stung my eyes, didn't remove that effectively, needed a lot of product to be efficient and was pricey for the amount given. I've tried cooking oils such as EVOO, organic coconut and macadamia- while they were economical, the packaging made it very messy and I needed to follow-up with cleansing.
BB Cream -Unlisted Brand - Holika Holika - Peach Girl BB Cream
sadorange 4/27/2013 3:58:00 PM
Packaging: Comes in a pearlized, pink tube with a sticker label. It's functional, but not the most expensive-looking thing on my vanity. It is cute so I give it that. Colour: I'm around NC17 with soft yellow undertones. I have shade #1. Straight out of the tube, I find that the colour is around N15 and very neutral; there is no discernible pink or yellow undertone. I definitely would have preferred a yellow-er undertone, but it doesn't look horrible when I apply it to my face and eventually oxidizes to my skintone. However, the plus side is that it will suit both warm and cool undertones and there is no grey cast which is a typical characteristic of Korean BB creams. Texture: This is one of the silkiest BB creams I've had the pleasure of trying. A typical Korean BB cream is what I call, well, a "balmy" texture- thick, medium-to-difficult blendability, and highly pigmented. However, this is a delight to blend! In my opinion the texture is akin to Japanese BB creams- silky in all its 'cone-y wonder. It's a complete breeze to just slap on (or in this case, blend) in the morning. It still has a thicker texture but it is super creamy. I have no idea what other reviewers were yapping about in the streakiness department: there was no streakiness whatsoever. This product has medium coverage when applied with fingers. Scent: This product is definitely scented, and does linger for about an hour after application. It doesn't dissipate fast, so those who are sensitive to smell, be wary of this product. I'm no fragrance expert but to me it smells like a mild, sweet musky floral (?). It's not something I would douse myself in but it's not bad. Finish: This BB cream slightly dewy, but it does not read "shiny" in any way. There are no visible shimmer particles, which I like. And holy crap, does this s*** have a serious NATURAL finish. It doesn't cake up even on my flakey days. It just makes me look like I have great skin. Simply put. this is amazing. Longevity: WTF does this stuff last long. After 6~8 hours, I might be a little shiny but I still look great and I don't need to blot. I went out with this for about 15 hours and my face still looked good. Of course the coverage diminished around the oily bits, but I didn't look like a shiny, cakey mess. Mind you, during that time period I was sitting in air-conditioned rooms, sweating outside in the heat and exercising (and by exercising, I mean shopping). The oils on my face meshed with this product in a way where it strangely enhanced my skin; it didn't create the "floating" makeup face that other products create. Bonus cheek/lip tint: I've never tried it on my lips because others have said it was very drying and my lips were in no condition to be even more dried out than they presently were. However, I did try it on my cheeks and I was pleasantly surprised. Normally bonus items that come with products are mediocre at best, but this is in my eyes is very nice quality; it's not just a cheap add-on! It's a bright, apricot-y warm pink colour that gives your cheeks a cute, flushed look. It's definitely a better pick compared to the standard cool pink for the flushed look. It does fade after 5 hours, though. However, the texture of this is really nice and easy to blend. Overall: This is a great BB cream. I think both dry and oily skin types could make this work; it's very well-rounded! However, my gripe is that there is no available option for those with very yellow/olive skintones. #2 is reportedly the same shade as Skin79's hot pink BB cream, which was both grey and pink-toned. This is my HG for now. Also, I have no idea why but this was pretty hard to find, in shade #1 at least. I had to get a friend to buy it for me in Hong Kong. Hopefully this will be resolved in the future when e-tailers start stocking this specific BB cream. This product deserves more recognition, especially more than the Aqua Petit Jelly crap.
Lipstick -MAC - Peach Blossom (Cremesheen + Pearl)
sadorange 3/29/2013 3:01:00 AM
This is my HG everyday lipstick at the moment. I have an NC15-20 skintone with pigmented AND cool-toned lips. This combination makes it very tricky for me to find a lipstick that won't look garish on me. However, this product has the right depth, lightness, tone AND consistency to work for me as a simple, pretty lip colour. The colour of this lipstick is not really peach like the name suggests. Rather, it is a neutral, cool-leaning rose with subtle shimmer. This colour is 'nude' in the sense that it is very close to natural lip colours and is light enough to slightly mute it (no concealer look here, unless you are darker). The finish of this lipstick is not like a traditional cremesheen; to me, it is a lot like a lustre or glaze, in the sense that it has sheer to medium buildable pigmentation with shimmer. To be honest, I would have preferred a creme finish instead of shimmer but the shimmer in this is very subtle and adds a pretty glow to my lips. The shimmer particles are not gritty and are pretty refined. Since cremesheens are not touted to be long-wearing, I will not take lippies off for that but I'm not really bothered by reapplying. This lipstick is not drying at all, which is a big plus for me since my lips can be chapped quite easily. They will not replace the lip balms in my arsenal, but if my lips are not cracked and are in need of a bit of moisture these will work in a pinch. As with all lipsticks you need to ensure that your lips are not flakey prior to applying, but I found that this did not emphasize the dry bits.
*EDIT: I think Medium may be too dark/pink for me! It's not that I look orange with this on, but I notice that my face has more colour to it after I powder my face. I prefer a more yellow look so the red in my face is subdued. Next time I will be getting the Light Plus :/ **EDIT #2: The more I jump on to try other powders, the more I appreciate the Studio Careblend. Although other powders may have superb oil control, after a couple of hours the oils settle with the powder and starts looking very CAKEY. However, with this there's no cakeyness; I find this helps prevent foundation/BB cream from clumping together in a cakey mess. This is my HG, bumping this up to 5 lippies. May not have the best oil control out of them all, but it does what it is intended to be very well. Like I said, for a product that contains oil and is intended to be more moisturizing, the oil control is in fact very good. Claims: "Formulated to provide a smooth, virtually invisible, fresh-looking finish, this soft, cream-like powder is carefully blended to provide the skin with extra care, nourishment and comfort." I have had this since spring 2012; I have used it everyday since then and now I have made a small indentation in the product (now it's March 2013). Packaging: sturdy, comes in a standard MAC black compact. Doesn't look cheap but not too particularly fancy; you wouldn't be embarrassed to pull this out in public for touch-ups. I don't have any real complaints; the velour puff is useless, but I don't like using sponges for powder anyway. Colour: I have an NC15-20 skintone and the MAC SA matched me to Medium. I wouldn't say this shade would be ideal for people who actually have a medium skintone; might be a little ashy as it blends into my skin seamlessly. When I DO finally get to finish this pan, I will get Light Plus because apparently it had warmer undertones. Not that my face looks pink at all though, it doesn't make a huge difference on my face. Coverage: this provides sheer coverage; not much. I don't really care for coverage in a setting powder because afterall, I only use it to set my foundation. If you want coverage, just go for powder foundation... Finish: this is a demi-matte finish. When swatched on my hand, there is a noticeable natural "sheen" to it, just like skin. Nothing too garish, it does not have any shimmer particles in it! I tend to use face products that have a demi-matte/"natural" skin finish and this slightly mattifies my face without looking powdery. When used on a bare face, the silica in this makes my face much more soft-focussed and just... better. If you have relatively good skin, need a little oil control or is on the go, I think this would be a very good powder for you. Longevity: on my combination skin, on MOST foundations this lasts for about 6 hours before my oil starts peeking through. Although good oil control really is something I do look for in a powder, I thought that this powder had very good oil control for something that is marketed as moisturizing. I use my Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush (which is really a kabuki on a stick) to apply my powder, concentrating on my T-zone and the area beside my nose. I brush the excess powder onto the remaining parts of my face. Overall: I think this is a very good powder, but it's not the most moisturizing or softest one I have found. There's better for cheap; a really good moisturizing and even silkier powder is Revlon's Nearly Naked. However, the oil control on this is fairly okay. I do need something that will work a little harder against my oilies so I might get the Blot Powder next. One thing I really like about this powder is that it won't make your face anymore cakey than the product underneath it. On bare faces, it provides a very fresh-looking, beautiful soft-focus but natural look.
BB Cream -Skin79 - Vital BB Cream SPF50++ Hot Orange Label
sadorange 2/25/2013 7:40:00 PM
**EDIT: This is my official HG face product. This blew all my foundations, TMs, and other BB creams out of the water. My best friend commented that my face looks a lot brighter and better with this on :) It doesn't have an obvious makeup look at all like foundations do. I think the skincare benefits are there; I had a breakout in the morning, and by the time I washed my face it dried out and my skin looked healthier, softer and brighter. **EDIT #2: If anyone is curious about the shade but don't have any local shops to swatch this, colour-wise it is very similar to Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation in 150 Buff. Side by side, Whipped is just slightly more golden. On the face, the Skin79 applies paler. I think the high titanium dioxide content accounts for why it is so much whiter than Colorstay Whipped when applied to the face. On MUA reviews on the Whipped, Buff is commonly matched with NC15. Hope this helps :) **EDIT #3: I've changed my mind. The wear and finish of this product is completely dependent on the condition of your skin that day. If you have flakier skin, it will emphasize all that by noon and look like a sloppy mess by the end of the day. Some days it looks amazing, but those are the days when there is a perfect canvas to work with. If you don't have especially flakey/dehydrated or super oily skin, this will work out for you. Bumping this down to 4 lippies (if I could, I'd give it a 3.5). Claims of this BB cream (from the Skin79 website): "Upgraded Sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection SPF50. Strengthen's skin NMF and maintain balanced skin condition. Osmopur-N and Vital-V Complex soothe and protect skin from harmful environments for a moisturized, healthy skin." Price: I got this for $30 WHICH is not the best price you can get this for, but I think it was a relatively good price compared to other places. However, I wish I had bought this on eBay for $14! Please take my suggestion and buy it from there if you want the best bang for your buck (if you live outside of Korea anyways). Colour: To be honest, if you're darker than an NC20 and plan to use it on its own as a normal base product, I suggest you to look into another BB cream. I kind of wince when I see tanned girls wearing this BB cream on Google search; they look so ashy! I suppose if you really want to try this BB cream you can just wear it as a primer or mix it in with something else though. I'm an NC17 and this definitely is NC10-NC15 upon application; I looked ghastly! This DID oxidize to suit my skintone, but I think the effect would be rather jarring if again, you are darker than NC20. There is not as much leniency for oxidation here compared to other BB creams. This BB cream is light beige with soft yellow undertones, which are perfect for me. There is some greyness to it but it is VERY slight. It was barely undetectable until I compared my [yellow] arm next to my face. The colour did make my skin look brightened, very beautiful and "clean"-looking. Finish: This BB cream sets as a satin finish. It is slightly dewy, but not shiny. There are no shimmer particles in this, which is a big plus. After 8 hours, despite the oil shyly peaking through my combination skin, it maintained a lit-from-within glow. I found the oil control to be very good, on par with my Revlon Colorstay Whipped foundation. Very strange how my BB cream showed the very first signs of breaking down, but didn't appear as if it was melting off my face. Minus the slightly amped up emphasis on my flakies, I thought the effect was so beautiful. If you have dry areas, make sure to moisturize them very well prior to using this. **EDIT: The oil verdict is... on my combination skin, I start to get obviously shiny/oily around the 8-9 hour mark, without any blotting and powdering midday :) Also with no ugly "oil breakdown". HUGE thumbs up! Coverage: This BB cream is VERY concentrated; I would say it is easily a medium-to-full coverage. I don't need concealer when I use this. I use fingers to apply this because I don't really need to maximize the coverage with other brushes, though I think that you can also sheer this out with a damp sponge. I think that using a damp sponge to apply this would work better for dry skin types so there is a little more added moisture. Compared to other BB creams, I don't find this one particularly moisturizing. I would also like to note that PATTING this in works so much better than just buffing and massaging this into the skin; this way, it emphasizes less of the texture of your skin. Packaging: Very sturdy, cylindrical orange canister that comes with a gold pump. I have no complaints about this. However, I had previously used the Skin79 Hot Pink BB Cream in the past and I know that the nozzle can get clogged after awhile, but I am not sure if the problem still persists. Just a heads up! **EDIT: The pump squirts out WAY too much product in one go! Please use with caution! I use a little less than 1/2 of a pump for my whole face and neck including touching up on dark circles, red areas, pimples, etc. I was flabbergasted at the amount of product I had wasted that day :( Who I think this would suit: -anyone between an NC10-20 -combination to oily skin types -someone who lives in humid climates -someone with softer yellow undertones; if you are very yellow, this may be tolerable but probably not THE best choice (better than the standard "pink-grey" BB cream) -anyone who likes medium-to-high coverage
I say I'm around an NC17 with neutral-yellow undertones and Buff matches me very well. Revlon says it is cool-toned, but it definitely has yellow in it, perhaps not enough for those who have definite yellow undertones though. Other people who have reviewed this foundation also found Buff matched NC15. I don't recall how much I purchased this for, but I know it was around $15/16 at Shoppers Drug Mart. Luckily there were testers at my local Shoppers, so I was able to colour match myself. I find I have the best finish with fingers. Through this method, I get light-medium (leaning on the medium side) with a satin finish. It is quite annoying how you have to dip your fingers into the jar, but there is really no better option IMO. I imagine an airless pump would work second-best, but it would take a lot of pressure to squeeze the product because this formulation is just soo THICK. It does truly feel like a thickened Cool Whip. I would make the suggestion for Revlon to include a spatula with this product. Like others have stated, it takes a little bit longer to sit than other foundations these days but I just do my eyebrows, blush and concealer before I set it. I have combination skin and I found that for a formulation that had such great staying power, it did not emphasize my dry flakes at all. I would say this lasts 8 hours on me (without primer) before my oil starts breaking through. However, it is not horrible and it is not necessary to blot until I wear it a bit longer. This is super impressive!! A+ in my book. If you have combination to oily skin that wants a foundation that doesn't make you look super made up with medium-ish coverage, this is for you.
I want to start this review by saying that I was never a believer of nudes ever working on me. Not now, not ever. I have an NC20 skin tone with pigmented, red-toned lips and many nudes tend to make me look washed out for some reason. This colour worked for me, but it seems like those who are around the same skin tone as me or lighter and have lighter pigmented lips have issues with this shade. Not for me, strangely. On me, this is a subdued, beige-pink nude colour on my lips. Now, everyone's definition of nude can vary, but I have two: 1) MLBB shades, or 2) subdued lips that are the same shade or lighter than your skin tone. I have plenty of MLBB shades, but it was really hard for me to find definition #2 nudes that worked on me. For the first time, I could wear a subdued nude colour that didn't make me look dead! Like others have said, if it works for you has a Brigitte Bardot-esque type of sex appeal. There is a healthy sheen to this color due to the amplified creme finish. It enhances my full lips and takes it up a notch. That being said, because it is a 'subdued nude' it won't take away from the rest of your whole makeup look, making it versatile. One of my favourite lipstick finishes from MAC IS the amplified creme finish. In my experience, it is creamy, has a beautiful glide when applied and truly stays put for three to four hours without reapplying. It is not drying in the least, and my lips get chapped very easily due to the climate of the Canadian plains. This is definitely a lipstick that you have to try before you buy. I was very skeptical about this particular colour, but I'm glad that I did. I was quite surprised this worked on NC40's, so I don't think this is a particularly discriminating lipstick ;)
Bought these as a set that came with a lash glue. I was out and desperately needed glue because the corners of my lashes started peeling. So I decided to make a trip to the local Shoppers. I decided to buy the set instead of the individual glue because I needed new lashes anyway. In the box, this kind of style resembles Ardell 110 lashes, which are my favourite everyday lashes. While the glue just plained SUCKED (might as well bought Elmer's glue), the lashes are really high quality. Once I put these on, I really noticed the difference between these and 110s. The spikes on these are thicker, so it makes a bigger difference on your eye. Secondly, these aren't as natural as the 110s because the cut is on the uniform, elliptical kind of shape (still not a blunt cut though). Since they are cut different and look different, I don't prefer one design over the other; just depends on my mood. However, the thing I really love about these compared to the Ardells is how wonderfully curled these are. Ardells are more of a 'natural' curl but with these, wow! The curls on these look really amazing on the eye. If you really like Ardell 110s or natural falsies but want a bit of added glamour, choose these. One thing I have to note though, the hairs on these are a bit shinier than Ardells, but they're both human hair :/ *shrugs* It doesn't have the look or shine of synthetic lashes though. I'm also really surprised at how well-made these are! Only used them one time, but other than that they held up well. On the box, it looks like I never even touched them :) Quo has a reputation for hit and miss products, but these are definitely a hit.
Lips -Revlon - ColorBurst Lip Butter in Peach Parfait
sadorange 1/1/2013 1:34:00 AM
Based on reviews, this product can be very prone to hit or miss. Sad that there are inconsistencies in batches because I would actually repurchase this color :/ On my lips, this is a medium warm pink (with a touch of peach) with gold shimmer. My shimmer in my tube was not as chunky as others have described. When I apply it from the tube it does not feel gritty, though of course was not as smooth as the cream formulas. It did apply smoothly with no problems though nonetheless. The gold shimmer, while noticeable, is NOT the standout on my lips but rather adds a nice dimension. I'd say this has sheer to medium pigmentation and can be used on days where you just want to effortlessly apply a MLBB color and not worry about it for the next hour or two. My lips get pretty chapped easily as I live in the Canadian plains which can be quite dry, so I am happy to report that this provides sufficient moisture to my lips. However, I must stress that this only helps in MAINTAINING moisture in my lips; I cannot substitute it for lip balm when my lips are dry and cracked, or else it would look horrible. Like with all lipsticks, if my lips aren't in tip-top condition I need to exfoliate. Also, I would like to mention that the packaging is super cute, although it won't be replacing YSL tubes in the looks department.
I've had this palette for a little over a year and a half and to me, this palette is almost perfect. Compared to the Naked 2, I feel like the original Naked palette is more cohesive and organized when it comes to the color schemes and choices. You get a great variety of variations of warm colors with a few blending shades and a few cool colors for good measure. All the colors work together in harmony to create a look. In contrast, the Naked 2 takes more effort to come up with colors to create looks with because 1) the organization and 2) the majority serve as lighter lid colors and can make your eyes look extremely shimmery. The eye makeup won't have that WOW factor, even if you're going for subtle eyes. The only cons I can think of are 1) while the glitter in Sidecar is more minor compared to Maui Wowie or Midnight Cowboy, it's not my favorite finish. It's a bummer because it's such a gorgeous color. 2) the foiled letters on the cover rub off easily. This is purely aesthetic, but I like to keep my palettes in pristine condition. 3) It's not a problem for most people apparently, but I find that Virgin is waaay too shimmery as a highlight shade. I have a very minor burn scar on my brow bone, and it emphasizes that. The formulas were excellent across the board, making it very easy for beginners to blend.
Loose Powders -Make Up For Ever - HD High Definition Loose Powder
sadorange 11/23/2012 6:16:00 PM
This is my HG powder, it sets my makeup, never cakes up like other powders, you only need a little bit and it controls the oil in my T-zone. Why the 3 star review though? Because this is overpriced for what it is. This is basically just silica microspheres. Honestly, if you're lemming this and guffawing at the price for such a tiny jar, get it from TKB Trading. Seriously. This jar has 10 g of product for C$35. A sample size form TKB is a whopping.... 6G. WTF. FOR $1.75. For the same price you could get around 7 ounces of product. I know there are also other companies that use pure silica microspheres, so this is crap for ANY budget. One good thing I have to say though is that the sifter holes are small enough to sift through the perfect amount of product, doesn't make a huge mess.
I will NOT be without my Pink In The Afternoon lipstick! This is my HG lipstick- everything about it is perfect to me. It doesn't clash with my NC20 skintone and does not turn into a crazy color once its on my pigmented lips. Perhaps my lips look brighter than Audrey's because of the natural red tones in my lips, but it's gorgeous nonetheless. However, if I wanted the fresh, paler lip in Breakfast at Tiffany's, I could always use lip concealer. The formula is absolute perfection- creamy, glides onto my lips easily while being pigmented, all the while having great staying power. I also love how the lipstick isn't so soft that it moves around in the tube or when I apply it. Major bonus- I have naturally chapped lips and this lipstick does NOT dry them out! Dry lips and lipstick is never a good look. On top of that, it is at a very reasonable price point which makes me feel less guilty on stocking up. I'm so excited to try other colors in the Super Lustrous line. I prefer this formula over the Lip Butters. EDIT: Just bought my first Amplified Creme lipstick formula from MAC and I've noticed how similarly this applies as Revlon's Super Lustrous formula. If you want to check out MAC but don't want to pay as much money, the Super Lustrous line is definitely your best alternative. The only difference I find is that MAC lipsticks have a mild vanilla scent while Revlon has no discernible taste or smell, which is EXTREMELY rare and definitely a plus in my book.
To be honest, I did NOT expect to like this! The first time I sniffed it, I was put off by how sweet this stuff was, and quickly became uninterested. Fast forward to when I got a bottle as a gift, I don't know if it was chemistry or personal taste at the time but I love this stuff! It can smell sweet at the top notes, but the greens quickly balances out the sweetness and the perfume becomes very light and fresh, with a little bit of a cupcake accord. I did not like how sweet Pink Sugar was, and depending on your body chemistry, if you like your gourmand fragrances to be young and fresh, give this one a try.
I know this color wouldn't show up on skintones darker than me, but I love it! It is my HG brow highlight. I am an NC 15-20 but my browbones tend to have a pinky undertone due to the thin skin on my eyes, and the yellow in this color really balances it out. It really helps round out my look. I don't like shimmer on my brows so this is perfect for me. It can be powdery, but I use it to my advantage when I find that the crease color is too dark/has been blended too high. I use a blending brush to do this and it really diffuses the color. The powderiness doesn't really show up on me because I am quite light. However, I would not recommend this if you are any darker.
The 239 is one of my first eye brushes and although my brush collection is growing, MAC's 239 is my favorite brush to apply lid colors with. The brush is paddle-shaped, dense and flat which makes it perfect for packing on eyeshadows and pigments. If I wanted to, I could do a whole eye with this one little brush! The bristles are sooo soft, it makes me want to pet it all day! I have recommended this to family and friends and they all love it. I have not had a single hair shed from this brush. I plan to get another 239 because I just love it so much! :)