i'm actually on the fence about whether or not i would purchase this again, but i'll say yes for now. PROs this cream/treatment is really hydrating. my skin is the softest it has ever been ~ baby's butt soft, i kid you not. when i washed my face the first morning after i tried this, i could not stop touching and poking my cheeks. i have combination skin, and i used this every night for the past month with no problems. it makes a great winter night cream. CONs i bought this primarily for its 'brightening', however, i saw no difference in my skintone whatsoever, which is a real bummer. also, the scent is really strong and (i apologize if i offend anyone) kinda like an old lady. like, this smells like something that belongs on my grandma. when i woke up, it smelled like something old and musty (i have a relatively sensitive nose, so that's why i could still smell something when i woke up). finally, the price: it is steep, and considering the product didn't do what i had hoped it would do, i'm not entirely sure it's worth it. however, the fact that it has made my skin uber soft, i do think it is worth considering repurchasing.
my HG bb cream ~ hands down. i always get compliments on how good my skin looks when i wear this. alright, whether or not a bb cream is a good fit for you will depend on what you're looking for in it. not all bb creams are created equal. also, Asian bb creams and Western bb creams are NOT the same. just needed to get that out there. i first got into bb creams looking for something to help heal my acne scars (the discoloration kind, not pitted variety), which i had read that bb creams were supposed to do. however, after trying out many (and i mean MANY), none really lived up to their claims (some did improve my complexion overall, but my acne scars/discoloration remained the same). then i decided to give this baby a whirl. after using it diligently for at least a month, i was surprised to see my acne scars fading. i had had a few fresh ones, so i could see with great clarity that they were actually fading faster than normal. by the end of three months, i couldn't even see them anymore. i've tried other bb creams afterwards, but none can stack up to my Lioele Triple the Solution. now, to actually talk about the bb cream itself. i'm East Asian with light skin with neutral undertones (about NC20), and this suits my skin perfectly. it has medium to full coverage, and a little goes a long way. i use about half a pump, and that is more than enough for me. it can look cakey or obvious if you use too much or don't blend enough. it also does have a heavier feel to it than most other bb creams, so if you don't like that, it's best to avoid this. however, you may find a use for this as a concealer for dark spots and under your eyes ~ who knows.
Highlighters -Lioele - Blooming Shimmer Pearl Base
vagabondking 4/15/2013 5:18:00 PM
apparently some people are a little confused as to why this is labeled as a base. for one, this product is meant to be worn under your face makeup (ie. foundation, bb cream, tinted moisturizer). yes, you can wear this over your face makeup, but it's intended to be worn under it. secondly, this product was originally intended as a sort of booster for your face makeup, specifically in the brightening department. hence, why it is labeled as a base. that being said, this product doesn't really enhance the longevity of your makeup, but it does make application a little smoother. this is also geared towards those with normal to dry skin, as it is also meant to keep skin moist. under or over your makeup though, it is really your choice. bottom line, if you are into the dewy look or want to add some 'glow' to your face, this is a great product for that.
i'm actually quite torn about this product. i have a love-hate relationship with it. i would give it a 3.5 rating if it were possible. let me list out the pros and cons of this liner first. PROs: ~ inky black colour ~ waterproof and longwearing (no smudging or fading) ~ easy to remove (with makeup remover of course) CONs ~ not very smooth application ~ cap is a little hard to remove (not sure if it's just mine) now to actually talk about my experience with this liner. this is the first liquid liner that is truly smudgeproof and fadeproof on me AND easy to remove. i've tried Lancome's Artliner and L'Oreal's Lineur Intense (or Super Liner in some countries), and while quite good, would always smudge and/or fade at the outer corners of my eyes, even with eyeshadow primer. GOSH's Art Liner and MAC's Liquid Last both have amazing staying power, but take forever to remove (well, i did say they both have AMAZING staying power), even with waterproof eye makeup remover. my HG liquid liners, Kiss Me Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner and Koji Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner, don't smudge (or flake) on me, but the outer corners (or my 'wings') always fade ~ they simply disappear! not with the Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner. with the Skinny Eyeliner, my 'wings' stay. this is the first liquid liner that doesn't budge, smudge, or fade on me, yet is easy to remove. no rubbing or tugging. just a gentle press, wait (about 30 seconds), and swipe of waterproof eye makeup remover (Walmart's dual phase one is pretty good) or a gentle massage of cleansing oil and rinse, and gone. for that, i love it! however, i find the application to be patchy at times, and the overall application is not really smooth. for example, if i happen to miss a spot, for some reason if i try to go over that spot, it ends up scraping away some of the already applied liner and doesn't apply any fresh liquid, even though the sponge is saturated like a previous reviewer said. that, i do not like. i end up having to go over the liner again with my Heroine Make or my Dolly Wink liner. for now, i probably will repurchase this, because i like that it has staying power but still easy to remove, but yeah, i'm still really on the fence with this product.
Blush -Tarte - Amazonian Clay Long-Wear Blush in Natural Beauty
vagabondking 3/3/2013 5:09:00 PM
not for the faint of heart. this is a bright, bold, vibrant blush. it is super pigmented, so a lighter hand may be required (especially for fairer gals like me ~ think MAC NC20 and lighter). trust me, a little goes a long way. however, it is also surprisingly natural instead of garish. despite it being a bright, pinky-red (it does look a little intimidating in the pan), it actually comes off as a quite natural flush on the cheeks. it isn't quite the 'oh, this is me naturally blushing' sort of colour (there is no such thing as shy and demure with this shade), but it gives your cheeks the sort of flush it gets when you've just come in from the cold or when your cheeks are very heated. this is gorgeous for replicating that sort of 'in from the cold' look, and i love it for when i want a bright and vibrant flush. and yes, you can wear this with red lipstick, but you'll definitely want to tone down on the eye makeup.
Pressed Powders -MAC - Mineralize Skinfinish Natural - Light
vagabondking 2/25/2013 1:05:00 PM
if you're looking for a 'power' powder (as i call heavy-duty, the whole-shebang, type of powders), that will last you 24 hours and keep you flawless throughout the day without any need for a touch up ~ realistically speaking, this powder probably isn't for you. this isn't one of those heavy duty powders that will keep shine at bay or keep you looking fresh for hours on end (you may be better off with something like MAC Blot), especially if you have oily skin. if you have normal to dry (though probably not too dry) skin, then this might work out like a 'power' powder. i have combination skin, so this doesn't quite work as well on my t-zone (especially my nose ~ i have no idea what's wrong with my nose, but as gross as it sounds, i'm sure it produces enough oil to end the oil crisis), but it's great on my cheek area (and not bad on my forehead). i normally don't put powder on my cheeks (or, well, didn't used to put powder on my cheeks ~ i originally reserved the MSFN for special occasions) because i don't really need to and i don't like a matte look on that area, but because i got new glasses that have a larger frame and hit my cheeks every time i smile, i started needing to powder my cheeks just so my bb cream wouldn't crease in that area whenever i smiled. if you're looking for a completely matte finish type of powder, then this isn't quite it. this powder isn't shimmery or pearlescent, but it gives your skin a soft matte, but luminous look ~ not quite a sheen or dewy look, but a satin kind of finish or a soft-focus finish as some other reviews say. hence why i love it on my cheeks, because i don't like a completely matte/flat look on my cheeks. it's not powdery looking, and it sets my bb creams (i use Asian ones, not Western ones, for reference) nicely. on my cheeks, it lasts well and doesn't budge, making it really good for preventing my bb cream from creasing under my glasses or transferring onto my glasses. if you have normal-dry skin or don't like looking too powdery, i think you can give this powder a whirl. however, if you've got oily skin or need a heavy duty sort of powder, this probably isn't going to be for you. also, this powder is pricey, so i advise doing your research, asking around, and really just consider it before buying it. i'm sure there are alternatives out there, but i go through powders relatively slowly (and i got a very generous gift card from one of my cousins), so this was a nice investment for me.
Blush -Tarte - Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed Tarte Blush
vagabondking 2/16/2013 8:19:00 PM
if you are looking for a bright, vibrant flush ~ this product definitely isn't for you. this product does, however, give you a super NATURAL, healthy flush of colour. this blush is a really nice plummy nude colour (even though tarte says it's nude, you can see it has a plum tone to it) that gives you a very natural looking blush, like it is actually your cheeks naturally flushing. i know some people like their blush to be obvious and all, but i generally don't (there are times when i've done the brightly flushed 'in from the cold' look though, but it's rare), so this blush is fabulous for me. for reference, i am East Asian with light skin (think MAC NC20) and neutral undertones, and this shows up as a nice, rosy sort of colour. it makes a very good 'everyday' sort of blush. it's just beautiful. it is buildable though, so if you're into obvious blush simply layer until your desired intensity. as for the 12-hour claim, i have to be honest, i can't say because i don't wear makeup for that long of a duration in the first place, but i can say that it lasts at least 8 to 9 hours on my combination skin without fading or sliding.
firstly, i think i need to set some things straight. there is a difference between the Original Fairy Drops mascara, and the Fairy Drops Scandal Queen mascara. a lot of the reviews seem to be for the FD Scandal Queen mascara, and not the original one, even though the main picture is for the original formula. the original formula comes in a bright pink tube with white and blue artwork. it does not contain any fibres. it can only be found in Asia or online (and is actually inexpensive). actually, it has also been discontinued. the one sold at Sephora is the Scandal Queen version (and is totally overpriced). it comes in a metallic tube with red artwork, and is formulated with fibres. so they are actually not the same. same brand, yes, but not the same formula. that being said, i'm going to talk about the Original Fairy Drops mascara, which, yes, has been discontinued, but i felt i must do its memory some justice. the packaging for the original one says this: "FAIRY DROPS Mascara’s brush is particularly designed. Lumpy brush ensures perfect contact with every lash for volume, curly and no clump eyelash look. Water-proof formula works to resist water, sweat and sebum. Long-lasting wear is guaranteed. " lofty claims, but it lived up to them all. this mascara was my HG (i use past tense, because as i mentioned before, it has sadly been discontinued). i got a tube while i was living in Hong Kong where the climate is hot and humid pretty much the whole year. this mascara thickened, lengthened, and defined my lashes beautifully. all without the use of fibres. it also held my curl and lasted with no smudging or smearing whatsoever. it was also surprisingly easy to remove (with eye makeup remover, of course). i also never experienced any irritation when i wore it (and i only wear mascara when i'm wearing contacts/circle lenses). i had tried countless other mascaras, but none were able to stack up to my Original Fairy Drops. i even tried the FD Platinum mascara and the FD Volume Burst Waterproof mascara, but it just wasn't the same and the fibres bugged the hell out of me. it just makes me so sad to see it go.
BB Cream -L'Oreal - Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream
vagabondking 9/18/2012 2:32:00 PM
First and foremost, Western BB creams are definitely not the same as Asian BB creams (and I'm not simply talking about colour range here). Western BB creams tend to be more like over-hyped tinted moisturizers rather than actual BB creams. BB creams are originally supposed to have skincare benefits and offer all-in-one performance, but many of the Western BB creams tend to be a little lacking in both, and end up working more like tinted moisturizers than anything else. That being said, I got this as a sample (thank God! because after trying this, I am glad I didn't have to spend money on it). It's good to know that I'm not the only one who turned into an Oompa Loompa after trying this. I am East Asian with light-medium (a little more on the light side, like MAC NC20~25) skin, and I got a sample in the shade 'Light'. I was a little concerned that it may be too light on me, since Doutzen Kroes (the L'Oreal model who wears 'Light') is fairer than I am, but I figured it would be a good test for the 'self-adjusting' technology it touted. While it did make my skin look nice and even (I don't really have that many blaring imperfections in the first place though), and gave me a nice glow, it turned me orange. I liked the way it looked on me the first moment I put it on, but then it darkened within a couple of minutes, and it looked like a bad experience with fake tanner (something that I have never actually tried before, but have heard can be ugly). I don't know how much some of the other reviewers used, but I only used a little bit (probably about the size of a dime or penny) and it did not look pretty. This may work better for those with darker or warmer skintones, but if you have light skin, you may want to consider going a shade down (if possible ~ I don't know how that will work if you have very fair skin). Who knows? Maybe this is simply one of those hit and miss products where it will work great for some and just bomb for others. I just had the unfortunate luck of falling into the bomb category :(
Primer/ Corrector -Urban Decay - All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray
vagabondking 5/2/2012 12:45:00 PM
there are no words or emoticons to express how happy i am with this product! i have combination skin, and makeup stays on me just fine except for my eyeliner. my eyeliner almost always smudges after a couple of hours (i happen to have good days once every blue moon), even with primer (they for some reason seem to lose efficacy after using them for a bit), especially at the outer corners. but no more. this spray has been a godsend! i just close my eyes and mist this over the eye area (about two to three pumps, generally one over each eye ~ don't laugh, i sometimes miss), and my eye makeup stays flawless until i take it off! it does what it says it does. thank you Urban Decay and Skindinavia for creating this fabulous spray! word of caveat: everyone has different body chemistry, so what might work for one person may not work for someone else, even if you have the same skin type, so i highly encourage anyone who is thinking of purchasing this to buy the trial/travel size first so you're not shelling out ~$30 for something you're never going to use again because you find out you don't like it (hence why you should also keep receipts so you can return it if you're not satisfied). i myself bought the travel size first to see if it was actually worth it for me, and hello! i was so happy with it, i went out and bought a full size. but seriously, try it before you buy it.
i have oily lids, so my eyeliner/dark eyeshadow is forever smudging on me, so i pretty much need primer like i need air. i've used both Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Urban Decay Primer Potion, and while i love them both, they are quite expensive. in my quest for a cheaper alternative, i've tried NYX's HD Eye Shadow Base and regular Eye Shadow Base, which both ended in relative disappointment. i also haven't been able to find E.L.F where i live, so i pretty much resigned myself to never finding that good alternative. then i saw this while perusing for bb cream online, looked up some of the reviews (on here and elsewhere), and decided to try it out for myself. at less than $10 CAD, i figured it couldn't be worse than the NYX HD shadow primer (which i had gotten for about the same price). best decision EVER. okay, so i may be exaggerating a little (i'm sure i've made plenty of other really good decisions before), but the point is, i have not regretted getting this primer at all. no smudging. my shadows and liners (liquid and pencil) stayed put except for some very minimal smudging at the outer corners after a long (say . . . at least a good 8 hours) day. if i use my Bobbi Brown gel liner, then not even any of that outer corner smudging at all. the texture is quite creamy, not as thin as TFSI or UDPP, but spreads just as easily and doesn't feel greasy or anything. i think the only con about this would be the bottle and applicator, because it's similar (in a sense) to the old UDPP bottle and applicator, and i'm afraid i won't be able to reach all of the product once i've used it more. i love this primer though and i will definitely be repurchasing this when i'm done.
i liked this at first because it was sheer and the colour (which is supposed to be neutral), was a perfect match for my NC20 skin. i used it for a week, and then all hell broke loose. it gave me milia all over my jaw. none of my other bb creams ever did that. they never even broke me out. this one was just no good.
i hate blush. it always looks so fake to me, so i never wear it. this, however, is fabulous. i'm East-Asian, NC20 ~ NC25, and this gives me a really nice glow with just the barest hint of colour, and simply looks so natural. when i first tried it out, my coworkers kept telling me i looked a little different, but they couldn't really tell why, except that i was 'glowing' (they didn't even think of asking me if i was wearing makeup). if you're looking for a subtle touch of colour, then this is a great product. oh, but chuck the brush and use another, because the brush it comes with sucks (mine kept shedding on me).
i used this every night for about a month, and my lashline has definitely gotten fuller and darker. my lashes don't necessarily look thicker (perhaps the increase is too gradual?), but i do appear to have more lashes now and my lashline is more apparent. in terms of length though, i see no difference. i think this works quite well as a lash conditioner as my lashes do appear shinier and healthier, but like others have cautioned, don't expect miracles.
BB Cream -MISSHA - M Watery BB Cream SPF25 PA++ [DISCONTINUED]
vagabondking 3/28/2010 9:56:00 AM
i actually like this bb cream very much. it's a little darker than my skin tone (i'm an NC 20), but it still blends nicely and gives my skin a really nice glow. it looks and feels natural to me. it's light and sheer, and doesn't feel like i'm wearing makeup at all, which i really like. however, this does get runny, and i need to shake it up before i use it. also, despite being for normal/combination to combination/oily skin, i find that it doesn't really have any oil control. this also probably isn't for those who want or need more coverage, because it is quite sheer. if you're looking for an everyday bb (as in when you only need to even out your skin tone but don't care for much else, like when you go to school) then this is a pretty good pick.