Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tubing Mascara Review 3: d.j.v. beautenizer Fiberwig LX review

I was hard pressed not to put the words "a.k.a the perfect way to ruin my HG" in the title, but I think it would be too biased, so I refrained. This is one of those few products that make me feel so primitive. Why? Well, you'll see...
First off, to avoid confusion, this is the current "upgraded" version of the best-selling fiberwig mascara, and the only version that's officially available. My friend told me that there was something akin to panic in the beauty crowds in Japan one day because Imju announced that they are discontinuing their best-selling mascara. Women rushed out to stock up on this mascara, and the next day, Imju announced that they are immediately releasing an updated version of Imju, and many women felt cheated because the return policy is not as good in Japan as it is in the US. Well, I later found out that this story is way exaggerated, but you get the general idea of what happened. 

What's different in this version? 
I'm sure some people are searching for the answer to this question, so I might as well give it to you. :) Fiberwig said it's now without synthetic fragrances and sulfates, and a few other things that shouldn't be in mascaras anyway. There's also supposed to be a few conditioning ingredients added in. This is supposed to lengthen better than the original fiberwig. The brush is also curled as shown in the picture, which was supposed to help with curling. 
Well, that's the official statement. What do I think? After struggling with it for several weeks waiting for it to work, I've given up. Don't get me wrong, this is still a great mascara, but in my opinion, this is not an upgrade of the old version, but a down grade. This mascara still gives me the longest lashes I could get with mascara, but not as long and as easily as the old one does. With this mascara, it's really random when I can get it working well. I've also tried a couple of other things. Adding layers while dry, adding layers while wet, using a primer, applying when lashes are wet.....you name it, I've probably tried it. 
And this is why I feel primitive with this kind of products. How can I not know how to use an upgraded version of a product when I love the old one? Am I that primitive? well... but it does make me feel better that at least some Japanese girls feel the same way I do. 
Fiberwig is now no longer on the top 50 mascaras list on cosme.net whereas it was always within the top 10s and 20s for the past years.
Although I want to go on whining about how they ruined my mascara, I still owe you the review :)

1. Smudging: This is by far the most important aspect of all mascaras to me, because before tubing mascaras, all mascaras smudged on me. Before, it was not a matter of whether it smudges, but whether how much or when it smudges. Relatively speaking, fiberwig can be said to never smudge (even this new version), except if you rub and rub or wear it into the wee hours of the morning. So an 8.5 in terms of smudging. 
2. How long does it last on my lashes: This mascara lasts for around 10 hours before starting to flake and smudge (undetectable smudging really) more. I thought it would be similar to the old fiberwig, and it's almost similar, but it's not as long lasting.  However, it would still be functioning all right, i.e. usable after 16 hours :) So a in terms of how long it lasts. 
3. Flaking: This mascara flakes on me a lot, especially when I apply multiple coats, but nonetheless, it mercilessly flakes on me, sometimes even within an hour of application. I'm not complaining, since flakes are easier to deal with than smudging, but to be fair, this only gets a in terms of flakes on me. It might be better with a primer though. In this aspect, it's exactly the same as the old fiberwig. 
4. Color and longevity of the tube: Isn't it weird that I put those criteria together since they are not so much related? But I don't know about you, but I don't care that much about either the color or longevity of the mascaras I buy, which is why I thought I'd give each of those 5 points instead of 10. In terms of color, this gets the perfect 5, since it is jet black on me. In terms of longevity, after daily application, a tube always dries up before 3.5 months. I think it's all right since you should toss mascara every three months anyway, but this might matter a lot to some. So a 2.5 in terms of longevity. Together, this mascara gets 7.5 in this section. So it's a little better in terms of longevity compared to the old fiberwig. 
5. Application: This is where the mascara freaks me out. I'm sorry, I rarely use words like that, especially when I'm not in the privacy of my own home, but I can find no other words to express my frustration. Just so I'm clear, the old mascara is not perfect in terms of application. I have to spend a good 5 minutes on it if I want to get perfect lashes, but then if I do spend the 5 minutes, I generally do get them. For this mascara, it is in no ways guaranteed. I think it might have something to do with the awkward curved brush and the fact that I can't really apply from the tip of the wand anymore, like I used to with the old mascara. Or it might be the new formula or it might be me, but I get really random lashes. Some long, some short that are really uneven and almost uncontrollable. 
I'm probably making it sound worse than it is. In a pinch, this could work if I am willing to spend 15 minutes on it to do it, take it off, and redo, but I don't have that much time to spare. Therefore, I might have gorgeous lashes one day (like I always do with the old fiberwig), and really uneven lashes the next day. This brush is smaller than the old one, but I found it gets onto my lids even more easily. However, accidental marks on the lids are easy to clean off. You either wait for it to dry and just swab off with a q tip, or do what I do: get some water on a q tip and just swap off. I like to use green tea, which I drink every morning, but just water works just as well. In terms of application, I'd say a since it takes so long and works so random. Don't get me wrong though, you can apply this in 1 minute if you just want a little length or a darkening of lashes. 
6. Length: This is where this mascara behaves best, and where I care most about each mascara other than smudging. I don't have tiny lashes, but they are not long either, so I really really care about length. This mascara gives the most length I've ever seen a mascara give if I take the time to apply it. I can actually use this to get my lashes to reach my brow. However, this does not work as well as the old one. Yes, if I really work on it, I can get the same length, but it takes much much longer and more trials. So a 9 since this is still the most length I get out of any mascara except the old one. 
7. Volume: Fiberwig always gives people the impression of not giving volume, but I didn't mind because I can make the old fiberwig give me volume by layering. This gives much more volume (after layering), but it borders on clumpiness, so it's volume I'd rather do without. So a 6.5 in terms of volume. 
8. Removal: If you compare tubing mascaras with regular mascaras, most of them would get a 10 in terms of removal, but since I'm comparing tubing mascaras, I'll make the bar a little higher. The mascara that was easiest to remove (that I've tried) is L'Oreal Beauty Tubes. It really does come off in tubes with lots of warm water (even if your hand never touches your lashes). This mascara needs you to gently touch the mascara before it fully slides off. Not bad, so a 8.5 within the context of all other tubing mascaras. 
9. Clumping: This is the second biggest issue I have with this mascara (the first being application). When I try to layer in order to get the perfect lashes in the morning, this might give me give clumpy lashes. So a 6.5 in terms of clumps. 
10. Sensitivity: This one is pretty good in terms of sensitivity. So stinging and not much discomfort should it flake into my eye. However, I am aware that some people wear contacts, so the flaking might be painful for you. I've heard people say that this is actually more sensitive to sensitivity issues than the old mascara. I'll give it a 6.5 in terms of clumping.

This mascara gets a total of 60.5. It doesn't sound that bad, but it makes it seem worse to me because it replaced my HG, and this is far from getting to be my favorite mascara. However, I tried not to let my anger influence my judgement (trust me, I took a month to cool down and trials to share this with you). People like to say that there's a silver lining with every gray cloud. Well, I found my new HG mascara (if you consider it to be a silver lining), and it's quite as good as the old Fiberwig. It doensn't do the exact same thing: it doesn't give the same length, but it does have a few other benefits. Want to know what it is? Well...read on, I'll share it with you in my next or next next review. :) 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tubing Mascara Review 2: L'Oreal Beauty Tubes

I am sorry for the late update to my tubing mascara review series, but there are going to be around 10 reviews about the popular tubing mascaras. The second one I'm reviewing is L'Oreal Beauty Tubes mascara, and the mascara that is responsible for dragging me into my love affair with tubing mascaras. I think that I probably will us tubing mascaras for the rest of my life. I was strolling through a drugstore, and saw this. I had given up wearing mascara although they give me the length that I desperately needed, because I always end up with panda eyes within a few hours. I saw that this promises no smudging and easy water removal, yet is water resistant. Curiosity won out, and I thought why not especially since it's on sale. 
This mascara is pretty great, but it took me some time to figure out how to apply it. You apply the white end which contains the primer first, and then immediately apply the red end with the mascara inside without waiting for the primer to dry. If the primer dries, this will become really clumpy. I find that most of the length comes from the primer, and the primer also makes the application smooth. Also, for those of you hating primers, the mascara adequately covers the white with just one swipe. 

1. Smudging: This is by far the most important aspect of all mascaras to me, because before tubing mascaras, all mascaras smudged on me. Before, it was not a matter of whether it smudges, but whether how much or when it smudges. However, L'Oreal Beauty Tubes never smudges on me! Actually, like fiberwig, there might be a tiny bit of almost unnoticeable smudging if it's a really humid long day. However, I'd say that it's less prone to smudge than fiberwig, so I'll give it an 9 in terms of smudging. 
2. How long does it last on my lashes: This mascara lasts for around 10 hours before starting to flake horribly, and another 2 hours before it starts getting a little smudging. And if you wait for 16 hours or so, some tubes will fall off. But I'm guessing this is not an issue for most people, wanting mascara to last beyond 10 hours :) So a 7.5 in terms of how long it lasts. 
3. Flaking: This mascara flakes on me, but very minimally. I would say around one flake each hour. When the flakes get into my eyes, it doesn't really sting or hurt, so that's good. After around 8 or 10 hours, it starts flaking horribly to the point that I'd rather not wear mascara than have it flake. So a 5.5 in terms of flaking. 
4. Color and longevity of the tube: Isn't it weird that I put those criteria together since they are not so much related? But I don't know about you, but I don't care that much about either the color or longevity of the mascaras I buy, which is why I thought I'd give each of those 5 points instead of 10. In terms of color, this gets the perfect 5, since it is jet black on me despite having to cover up the white primer. Don't worry, it is not gray. In terms of longevity, after daily application, a tube is still usable after 5 months (not that you would want to use a mascara that long, but anyway...). My friend say it still lasts after 9 months, but I'd be horrified to let it go near my eye. Sorry I'm a freak about such things. So a 4.5 in terms of longevity. Together, this mascara gets 9.5 in this section. 
5. Application: The application is pretty fast, taking around 1.5 minutes for both eyes. I just brush on the primer, wiggle it through my lashes, and then hurry to apply the mascara before the primer dries. I don't apply multiple coats with this mascara because it doesn't really help. 
Actually the application is pretty perfect for me, the brush not being gigantic. However, I sometimes have to clean up my lids after application. So a 9
6. Length: This is where this mascara behaves mediocre. It promises 80% length, but after a year of using it, I can't seem to be able to get that length, however many coats I apply. It gives length, but I would say it's more like 30% to 50%. Now, that's not bad for a mascara, but fiberwig does better, and I need need long lashes. It's like my lashes but a bit longer and plumper. So a 7 for me. 
7. Volume: Some people love this mascara because it's the only tubing mascara that gives volume. This is almost true. The volume is nothing to write home about, just lashes that are a little bit plumper, nothing like Dior show or whichever volume mascara you love. If I have to give it to you in numbers, I'd say the diameter of each lash is longer by 20 to 30%.  So a 4 in terms of volume. 
8. Removal: This is the best part. It really slides off neatly in tubes. No rubbing involved. You just step into the shower and off it comes. Or if you wash your face in the sink, 5 splashes will get rid of most of your mascara. It's great, so a 9.5 within the context of all other tubing mascaras. 
9. Clumping: This is not really an issue with this mascara if you know how to apply it. However, if you wait for the primer to dry, or apply a second coat after the first coat dries, hello clumpy lashes! I never get this issue anymore because my brain reacts to this mascara and makes my hands super nimble. So overall, 6.5 in terms of clumps. 
10. Sensitivity: This one is pretty good in terms of sensitivity. No stinging and not much discomfort should it flake into my eye. However, I am aware that some people wear contacts, so the flaking might be painful for you. I'll give it a in terms of clumping.

As I add it up, this mascara gets a total of 73.5 out of 100. It's not bad considering my HG only got 71.5. Of course, if I were to calculate the scores for myself, I'd more than double the points I give for length. This is also why I tried to give points for each sector so that you can add it up for yourself, giving each section as much emphasis as you'd like (depending on what's most important to you). However, keep in mind that this score is in relativity to other tubing mascaras. If you want to compare it to general mascaras, I'd add at least 10 points before comparing it. :)

Laneige White Plus Renew Night Cream Review

First of all, I would like to thank Diana for reminding me to review this night cream. I wasn't going to forget reviewing it, but I almost forgot buying a backup for myself while in Korea. I've probably used up two tubs of this, and my third tub is almost empty (I'm scratching the bottom of the tub), and I almost forgot to buy my new tub! So thank you, Diana, for reminding me. 
Sorry there has been few posts recently. I've become a little bit busier in Korea than my first few days. As usual, my company leaves me to myself for the first day to adjust to the time zone (a.k.a going wild shopping for me). I usually do a half day on the second day, normal on the third and fourth, and I might have to stay up some nights during my last few days in Korea. So, as long as I'm not too busy, I wanted to review this.
I love this night cream as I love the entire white plus renew line, but especially this night cream. People has told me that the skin refiner and this night cream is the most effective in giving them whiter skin. Like I said before, I frankly don't know whether it's true because I've always used them together. However, i do notice that I always wake up with glowing skin (given that I get enough sleep) after putting this on, and it kind of heals some of my pimples, not as effectively as BP does, but very gently. BP always gives me redness after leaving it on a whole night, and gives me hyperpigmentation after a pimple heal.

Pros:
1. A little goes a long way. I really just use a pea size for my whole face.
2. Absorbs in 10 minute
3. Gives me glowing soft skin in the morning
4. heals some blemishes

Cons:
1. Sensitivity: If you are very sensitive to scents, the scent this carries might irritate your skin or your nose
2. If you use it too quickly (i.e. suddenly using it everyday or twice a day), it might be rich enough to give you whiteheads, so be patient when trying to incorporate this (and in my opinion, any skincare product) into your regimen.
3. can be too rich if over applied. 

Overall: Really nice night cream that I will try to use year round. 

P.S. A girl on makeupalley told me that I make almost everything Laneige I review sound magical, and that it sounds a little fishy. Come to think of it, it does, but I really really love Laneige products. The ones I use are my staples, and I think that anything that's less than magical on my skin should not become my staples. However, I would like to take this opportunity to say that not every Laneige item is as magical. i've tried a few, such as its cake liner which dries too quickly, its mascara which smudges, and its cake powder which is really too cakey. I will review them in the future to give you an idea of the Laneige products I didn't love (and provide a sort of alarm bell for you in case you were thinking of buying it). 


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Laneige White Plus Renew Essence Review

I arrived in Korea yesterday, so I'm still adjusting to the time schedule. It is early early morning here, but I'm up and thinking about my blog and the reviews I promised :) (well, no malls are open yet or I'd be happily shopping there instead, since it's bound to get busy tomorrow) Everything went pretty well, especially on the plane. I usually get a few pimples, or at least a few bumps on the plane because the air is so dehydrated and hygiene conditions are less than desirable (I don't have the 15 minutes in AM and PM to primp my skin), but I didn't get them this time! I researched the pimples on the plane issue and came up with a few things to do, and I prayed for no pimples. :) I'll share those techniques with you next time in case you'll be traveling. :) 
Anyway, on to the review. I like this essence, but if you've read my skincare regimen, you know that I don't use this daily yet. Well, I actually used this daily for some time in the winter months, and stopped using them since Spring and summer, so I'm trying to slowly ease back into it. So I know this product reasonably well to review it (and if I'm wrong, I'll apologize and update). So far, I really love the essence as I found it's quite efficient in delivering what it promises: moisturizing and lightening dark spots. It also absorbs really fast, so fast that I can't apply it as I do all my skincare products. I like to put some product onto my finger and dot some on my face, and then rub/pat it in. With this product, after I'm done making the last dot, most of the first dot would have absorbed, so I have to work dot by dot. (sorry for the strange vernacular) I found this a little strange at first, but in no ways annoying. It can also actually be pretty good if you are on the go, and need it to absorb the minute you finished applying it.

Pros:
1. Absorbs really really abnormally fast
2. effective at lightening dark spots I get from past acne and BP use
3. makes my skin soft

Cons:
1. Sensitivity: If you are very sensitive to scents, the scent this carries might irritate your skin or your nose
2. Absorption speed: I personally find it to be a pro, but even I had to adjust my application techniques at first, so it might take some getting used to. 
3. If you use it too quickly (i.e. suddenly using it everyday or twice a day), it might be rich enough to give you whiteheads, so be patient when trying to incorporate this (and in my opinion, any skincare product) into your regimen.

Overall: Really nice serum/essence that I will try to use year round. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Laneige White Plus Renew Hydrator SPF15 Review

As promised, I am reviewing all the items I use in my skincare. I wanted to do the White Plus Renew lineup first before I do the cleansers and weekly treatments, etc. because I thought this sounds a bit more logical to me. So anyway, this is the review of the Laneige White Plus Renew Hydrator, which is my daytime moisturizer. It looks awfully like the skin refiner I reviewed yesterday, doesn't it? Yes, they are identical except for the little labels on the bottle.
This hydrator is thicker in texture than most daytime moisturizers you'll find. I would say its texture is really similar to a cream. I don't know how to explain this except that when you get a drop out of the bottle, it comes out in a cylinder, and will stay like a cylinder on your hand for around a minute if you don't touch it. This is partly due to how thick it is. I was really wary at first because of this texture and I used really little in fear that it might be too much for me. My skin also wasn't willing to absorb more than a pea sized amount for my whole face at first, so I only applied a little, thinking that the bottle will last me a long time. Eventually, I started applying more because my skin seemed to be a little more used to it, absorbs more quickly and you know, you apply moisturizer until your skin feels comfortable, and that's what I did. I think I doubled the amount I initially used by now, and I got no breakouts. And no, you don't have to use more and more everyday. I think I have been using the same amount for 4 or 5 months now.
I love this hydrator. This absorbs really fast despite the texture, especially when I apply this after the skin refiner (which I always do now). This has SPF 15 in it, and I think I use enough to get 15, but I still don't rely on it for sun protection, because I don't think SPF 15 is enough and because it didn't offer a PA (UVA protection) value. Like the refiner, this has a heavy scent, which I personally find to be great.

Pros:
1. Very moisturizing
2. Absorbs in a flash
3. not runny at all
4. SPF
5. makes my skin feel plump after applying
Cons:
1. Sensitivity: If you are very sensitive to scents, the scent this carries might irritate your skin or your nose
2. Heavy texture: You might find it too heavy at first, so I suggest using small amounts until your skin is used to it

Overall: I love this product. No skincare item can be absolutely perfect for one's skin unless you customize it, but if I had to choose an already made product, it is this one

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Laneige White Plus Renew Skin Refiner Review


I promised to review the white plus renew skincare products that I use a little earlier, so I am going to start now from the toner. It's called skin refiner because Koreans usually call toner by different names like skin refiner or skin softener. This is because they have different ideas of what a toner should do, and I think skin refiner sounds better than toner anyway, certainly more fancy.
This is not the usual consistency of most toners, which would be liquid with a fluid consistency like water. This one is more like a gel consistency, which I found quite pleasant once you are used to it. It's hard to describe the sensation when you apply it. It is rather cooling and pretty moisturizing. Think of aloe vera gel. It's quite similar. One of my readers told me that she actually use the skin refiner as a light weight moisturizer and I can totally see how it makes sense. The gel consistency makes one bottle lasts around 7 to 8 months, which is quite long lasting for me. Someone once told me that of the white plus renew line, the whitening power comes from this refiner and night cream. I don't know whether it's true since I've been using them together and don't plan to separate them.

Like most Korean beauty products, this comes with a pretty jasmine scent which I grew to love. There's quite a bit of a debate about how to use Korean and Japanese toners since they come in sizes that is similar to the moisturizers, and whether it should be used on a cotton pad. I think that it is best applied when you shake some out of the bottle onto your palms and then pat into your face (since Korean toners aren't meant as a catchall last step to cleansing). But here's a big confession, I use it on a cotton pad directly after cleansing. Why? Well, I don't like to wipe off the water off my face after cleansing. I like to let it just sink in. It would be better if you pat dry, but i usually don't have the time. I just wipe my moist face with the refiner on the cotton pad. This sort of prevents any wasting of the product since my face is moist and the cotton pad is more likely to absorb the water on my face than the gelish content of the refiner.

A few reader told me that she likes my bullet point kind of review so that they can skip all my blathering if they want to :) So:

Pros:
1. Very moisturizing for a toner
2. Very soothing: I never really learnt what people mean when they say a product is soothing until I used this product
3. Very smooth application
4. Lightening fast absorption
5. I think it makes my moisturizer absorb better/faster
Cons:
1. Sensitivity: If you are very sensitive to scents, the scent this carries might irritate your skin or your nose
2. Gel texture: I think it's a pro, but it can be a con at first when you are not used to this type of toner

Overall: I love this product. No skincare item can be absolutely perfect for one's skin unless you customize it, but if I had to choose an already made product, it is this one

My skincare regimen

Many of you have asked about my skincare regimen. I am very flattered that you want to know. I cannot say that  my skincare regimen is absolutely perfect or that is absolutely suits me, because I think that I can't accomplish that with commercialized products, no matter how expensive they might be. Regardless, I thought maybe I should share my regimen with you.
First off, it might help knowing what kind of skin I have. I have mostly normal skin with a slightly oily area around the nose. I have rather light skin, and I am happy with the color. Unlike most people nowadays, I want clear translucent skin that's white white white (but not an unnatural kind of white, just my skin color at birth that is not the least bit tanned).
Now on to the regimen. I use mostly Laneige products right now, even though I used Mamonde products for many years before I finally switched to Laneige. Mamonde is like a brand that costs half as much as Laneige, and is more basic. It was pretty ideal for my young skin.

AM:
Cleanser: I alternate between a clean and clear BP cleanser, a clean and clear SA cleanser, and Laneige's foaming professional cleanser. I am trying to eliminate the BP cleanser from my regimen because I found it causes hyperpigmentation after each pimple heals on me. I'm trying to slowly decrease the use of that cleanser until i don't need it. I will post how it goes because I know going off BP and SA cleansers are difficult moves, but moves that will benefit some skins in the end.

Toner: Yes, I use toner. I am not sure whether it's necessary, but I like the idea of it balancing my PH value. I use the Laneige white plus renew toner.

Moisturizer: I use the Laneige white plus renew daytime hydrator with SPF 15, although I don't rely on it for SPF.

Treatment: I'm trying to introduce the Laneige White plus renew essence into my regimen, but again, changing just a little of your regimen should be done slowly if you don't want to risk reactions. I found that the essence is a little rich, so it might give me some whiteheads as I start to use it, so I'm using it one to two times a week to slowly introduce it to my skin. I plan to use it daily eventually, at least in the colder months when skin is dryer.

SPF: I use the Laneige SPF 41 PA++ sunblock on most days and SPF 50 PA+++ sunblock when I know I'm going to be outdoors a lot. I touch up with the Laneige powder sunscreen 15 minutes before I go outside. It also controls some oil on my face.

Facial makeup: I made the conscious decision to not use makeup base or foundation even though they give some a glow to my face. I don't use them daily, but whenever there is a special occasion, I go with my trustworthy Laneige dual base and white plus renew foundation. There is one exception to the rule though. Whenever I test BB creams or products for review, I use them exclusively for two weeks or so.

PM:
My night time regimen is pretty simple.
Makeup remover: If I'm just wearing sunblock, I don't use a makeup remover. However, when I'm testing BB creams or wore foundation for any special occasions, I remove makeup with Laneige oil free makeup remover. It is similar to a cleansing oil but thicker in consistency, and I feel safer because it's oil free. I'll review this soon if you are interested.
Cleanser: I made the transition half a year ago into using Laneige Multi Cleanser. It makes my face squeeky clean, which can be drying at times, but I immediately follow with toner and moisturizer. Just in case you were wondering, I was using the clean and clear BP wash and SA wash before I made the transition.
Toner: I use a toner that I make myself, and I am 100% satisfied with it. I think one day, I might make my own skincare for myself (and not for commercial use) so that I can know all the ingredients that goes into it, and enjoys the peace of mind.
Moisturizer: I used to use no moisturizer at night because I thought I don't need it, but I found doing cleanser, toner and moisturizer in the morning and at night is better for my skin. I use the Laneige White plus renew night cream. I love it, and I'm about to pick up more this time in Korea.

Weekly treatments: When I finally get off BP completely, I will use Laneige's strawberry yogurt peel, but right now, my skin doesn't need any more exfoliation. I will follow up with some homemade strawberry yogurt.

Oh and I just realized that I haven't actually reviewed my beloved skincare items yet, but don't worry, I will very soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Missha Shiny BB cream Review

Sorry if it seems as if I reviewed Missha exclusively in the past few days. I just realized that I had so much unreviewed Missha product that I tried and wanted to review, but eventually forgot about. This is perhaps due to the fact that I am a little biased towards Missha. I'm a little skeptical to most popular products, and the fact that my coworkers in Korea told me that Missha is not that respected a brand made me a little unwilling to try and review the products. But now that I tried it anyway, I should share the reviews with you. 

Now on to the BB cream. I always thought of this BB cream as the little sister to Missha Watery BB cream. I think it's funny that some bloggers love Watery and hate shiny, and it's the other way around with other bloggers. I think shiny functions just as well as watery, but it's definitely for different people. 


Coverage: This offers medium sheer coverage. The color is much lighter than Missha Watery. I'd say between N20 to N25?
Finish: This is probably why the BB cream is called Shiny, the finish is SO glowy. It felt as if you mixed an illuminator with your foundation. I rarely fell that anything is too glowy since I love a glow, but this is a little over the top for me, but of course, I love natural makeup, and too much glow looks unnatural. However, I found this is really good for brightening your face after a night of little sleep (which is something beauty conscious people like me aren't supposed to do...). It doesn't make your face look like a disco ball, but it just looks not very natural. The glow photographs badly but looks fabulous in videos. A Korean coworker joked that some Japanese actresses in adult videos like to use this BB cream on their face.....and some other places...I didn't verify if it's true, but I can imagine it working well. 
Oil Control: The oil control is mediocre, not too bad, just like Watery. Around 8 hours or so. 
Spreadability: This is very spreadable, a little thicker than Missha Watery, but not by much. 
General comments: This is a pretty good BB cream that I will keep but not use for everyday. It is ideal for a night out or when you need major brightening of your skin. This is one of the few kinds of base makeup that I consider inappropriate to use in professional situations, but I'm very conservative. :) 

Missha Real Complete BB Cream Review

This is a new Missha BB Cream that came out not too long ago, and I bought it the last time I was in Korea. I couldn't wait to share this with you, but I thought to be responsible, I should wait the requisite 1 month before reviewing it so as to give you a full review. First off, a little something about this BB cream. Missha originally marketed this as a upgrade/replacement of the very popular Missha Perfect Cover BB cream, which I reviewed several days ago. However, as the campaign progressed, they realized that Missha Perfect Cover's popularity was welcome, and they didn't want to fix what wasn't broken. Therefore, they now market it as their first luxe BB cream. It promised 12 hours of wear time and a lot of benefits to the skin (just general nourishment, nothing specific, which is what I hate most about ad campaigns, promising nothing too specific). 


Coverage: The coverage is very similar to the Missha Perfect Cover BB cream, but I think it's a little less than the perfect cover. If you applied a tiny amount, it can give you a good sheer coverage. This comes in three colors, the normal #21 and #23, and a lighter color. If you can't a BB cream light enough to suit you, try the lightest color of this product. The product claims that the coverage is buildable and can give you the max amount of coverage without looking unnatural. I think that while in terms of coverage, it is buildable and covers well, it's not like your max coverage natural looking foundation. 
Finish: This gives a matte finish that can turn chalky if over-applied. 
Oil Control: Is the oil control as good as it promises? I found it to be not too bad, but really just the same as Perfect Cover, around 8 to 10 hours without powder and blotting. 
Spreadability: This is very spreadable, a little creamy. 
General comments: This is a pretty decent BB cream, but I was let down because of all the big promises. The tube may seem very artistic to some, but to me, it's meh.. Also, I think it's horrible that it is priced so much higher in the US than in Korea. Yes, I am an economic major and I understand the whole concept of price discrimination being beneficial to both consumers and producers, but come on, the difference is too much to be fair. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Missha Watery BB Cream Review

Hi, girls :) I'm going to Korea on the 25th, so as I was making my shopping list, I saw this BB cream lying in my vanity drawer. I was surprised that I had forgotten to share this gem of a BB cream with you! This is a BB cream that is highly controversial. It is either highly loved or hated by some BB creams gurus, I don't recall reading anyone saying it is just a so-so product, hehe. And I'm not going to start. I have a somewhat love and hate relationship with this product that is solved by my Laneige BB cream. Sound mysterious, doesn't it? Well, read on!


Coverage: This has medium coverage. I don't think it's layerable, but partly because of the color of this BB cream is quite dark, and to layer it would be too much for my N20 skin. I'd say the color is N30ish, but if you are lighter, it oxidizes in half an hour.  
Finish: This gives a very natural glow finish, that I think looks perfect anywhere except in pictures. :( In pictures, the glow seems to be magnified so that my camera won't focus on my face, and there is always a white spot on my cheeks when I turn on the flash, so it acts as if my cheeks were a reflective surface. :)
Oil Control: The oil control is pretty good/normal. It's hard to find a word for it because it lasts perfectly until the 8 hour mark, and deteriorate very rapidly after that. I'm not concerned of that because when I tried it, I always remove it at the 8 hour mark, because like some other bloggers said, this is not the best thing for sensitive skin. When I wash this after, my face is always a little red, and if I don't wash it off at the 8 hour mark, my face is much redder..
General comments: This is a very good BB cream, except for the color and sensitivity issues. The coverage and finish are both great. The SPF is mediocre but welcome. It is supposed to be very moisturizing for your skin. I'm not the best judge because I tend to rely on my moisturizer, so I can't tell if this adds moisture to your face. 
Spreadability: This is very spreadable. A little watery like the name says, but not runny at all.
Overall, a great product I would recommend for darker people and people with not so sensitive skin. (Mine isn't that sensitive, but oh well..) So why does Laneige BB cream solve the dilemma for me? Well, I kind of liked the finish and the watery consistency of it, but not the color and the sensitivity issues. I can get the same thing out of the Laneige BB cream, for a lot less risk. 

Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream Review

I've probably promised you this review for a month, and I am finally going to do it. This has the honor of being the most popular BB cream in the U.S., but not in Korea, because I hear the coverage is a little too heavy for that, but regardless, this is a good BB cream. To be honest, I first picked this up for a girl who asked me to CP it for her from Korea, and didn't think of getting it for myself despite its popularity because its coverage is supposed to be very heavy. Well, the girl who asked me to CP it didn't have money to pay me for 7 months and I thought I'd use it myself instead. I have been using this for 2 months now (not exclusively, even though I did use it exclusively in the name of research for 2 weeks).

Coverage: Very good coverage. A sheer layer gives you light medium, while a regular layer gives you a little more than medium coverage. The coverage is very buildable too, making it capable of acting as a full coverage BB cream if you layer it up. However, I've found that it doesn't last as long with many layers. This is most full coverage BB cream I've ever tried, and I've heard that some Koreans buy this as a concealer to use with other Missha BB creams. 
Finish: This gives a semi-matte glow finish. It's hard to describe. It's not as natural as your bare skin, but I think it tries to mimic it. I found that if you pat it in, it's a semi-matte finish, and if you rub it in (which I don't like to do), it gives you more glow. Weird isn't it? 
Oil Control: Oil control is pretty so-so. It lasts about 8 hours without powder and blotting. However, my readers tell me foundations and BB creams tend to last longer on me by about 2 hours or so, so it might last not quite as well on you. I can see shine on my nose by midday, and the corners of my nose are quite oily by the end of 8 hours. For this reason, I was really glad when the two weeks were up and I could stop using it. 
General comments: This is one of the BB creams that I don't like very much, but can't find a good reason to hate. I don't like it for its coverage and lack of oil control, and the weird, less than perfect finish. Yet, I imagine those very same qualities may make this a HG for someone else, as it had for my cousin. What I like is the SPF, which is 42 PA++. However, I find that I only use a small amount of this as I don't need that much coverage, so the SPF wouldn't protect me well enough. As for healing abilities, it improves some red marks, but not as dramatically as some other BB creams I've used. I've heard that this is more acne prone for some people than most other BB creams though. 
Spreadability: The spreadability is excellent. It doesn't create any drag on my skin, so that's good. :) 

Who I recommend this for: Someone who wants an almost natural finish with heavy coverage, and someone not very acne prone (although with BB creams, you really have to try it to know if it causes acne for you). 

Tubing Mascara Review 1: original Fiberwig Mascara

I know I must have confused some of you by calling this the Original Fiberwig mascara, but it's true. About a month ago, Fiberwig changed its formula, the tube, and even the applicator in the U.S. This change took place much earlier in Japan, in January of 2010, I believe? Anyway, I am currently reviewing the fiberwig mascara that has been avaliable in US for over five years. :) Just wanted to clear this up.
This mascara has been my HG for two years, even though it had some minor faults. To make this easier to read, I thought I would give you my checklist of criterias, and tell you how this fiberwig mascara behaved in each of those areas (sort of like what I did with the BB creams). This time, I'm going to give each criteria 10 points, and tell you how much points each mascara scored in every aspect, and add up the score to give you the total scoring.

1. Smudging: This is by far the most important aspect of all mascaras to me, because before tubing mascaras, all mascaras smudged on me. Before, it was not a matter of whether it smudges, but whether how much or when it smudges. However, fiberwig never smudges on me! Actually, there might be a tiny bit of almost unnoticeable smudging if it's really humid at the end of the day. So I'll give it an 8.5 in terms of smudging. 
2. How long does it last on my lashes: This mascara lasts reasonably long on my lashes, but it's not like it would really stay put until I take it off. I would expect this to last a good 12 hours without much problem, but when it hits the 15 hours mark, it might flake a lot or behave not as well as it did when you first put it on. But then who needs a mascara to stay put for more than 12 hours, right? Well, I did occasionally, on my plane to Korea, wanting to not reapply my mascara on the plane, but I did end up reapplying it every time. :) So a 8 in terms of how long it lasts. 
3. Flaking: This mascara flakes on me somewhat, probably because I apply multiple coats, but nonetheless, it mercilessly flakes on me, sometimes even within an hour of application. I'm not complaining, since flakes are easier to deal with than smudging, but to be fair, this only gets a 3 in terms of flakes on me. It might be better with a primer though. 
4. Color and longevity of the tube: Isn't it weird that I put those criteria together since they are not so much related? But I don't know about you, but I don't care that much about either the color or longevity of the mascaras I buy, which is why I thought I'd give each of those 5 points instead of 10. In terms of color, this gets the perfect 5, since it is jet black on me. In terms of longevity, after daily application, a tube always dries up before 3 months. I think it's all right since you should toss mascara every three months anyway, but this might matter a lot to some. So a 2 in terms of longevity. Together, this mascara gets 7 in this section. 
5. Application: It's hard to judge application since everyone has a different idea of what good application is, but I'll just judge from my perspective. I don't have that much time in the morning, and this mascara takes a good five minutes to apply (if I want perfect length). The brush is gigantic and I sometimes brush onto my lids, so it takes some time to clean up my lid (good thing I don't wear eyeshadow everyday). However, accidental marks on the lids are easy to clean off. You either wait for it to dry and just swab off with a q tip, or do what I do: get some water on a q tip and just swap off. I like to use green tea, which I drink every morning, but just water works just as well. In terms of application, I'd say a 7 since it takes so long. Don't get me wrong though, you can apply this in 1 minute if you just want a little length or a darkening of lashes. 
6. Length: This is where this mascara behaves best, and where I care most about each mascara other than smudging. I don't have tiny lashes, but they are not long either, so I really really care about length. This mascara gives the most length I've ever seen a mascara give if you take the time to apply it. I can actually use this to get my lashes to reach my brow. So a perfect 10.
7. Volume: Most people hate this mascara because it doesn't give any volume, but then it never promised any on the packaging. On a side note though, imju markets a volume mascara just like fiberwig. It's called Lash Knockout, and you can find it on ebay. I find that contrary to popular opinion, this gives me some volume after 3 or 4 coats, but I don't really like the effect since I want natural looking lashes. However, in my experience, it gives as much volume as dior show if you apply it really thickly. The trick is to wait it to dry 60% after the 3rd or 4th coat when you've got enough length, and then brush from the bottom of lashes to the tips. You'll get volume. So a 6.5 in terms of volume. 
8. Removal: If you compare tubing mascaras with regular mascaras, most of them would get a 10 in terms of removal, but since I'm comparing tubing mascaras, I'll make the bar a little higher. The mascara that was easiest to remove (that I've tried) is L'Oreal Beauty Tubes. It really does come off in tubes with lots of warm water (even if your hand never touches your lashes). This mascara needs you to gently touch the mascara before it fully slides off. Not bad, so a 8.5 within the context of all other tubing mascaras. 
9. Clumping: This is one of the biggest issues I have with this mascara. Your lashes may clump after the 3rd or 4th coat, but if you quick, you can brush it out with the applicator. So this is definitely not clump free, but clumps can be prevented some times. If you just apply 1 or 2 coats though, don't worry about the clumps, it's nonexistent. So overall, 7 in terms of clumps. 
10. Sensitivity: This one is pretty good in terms of sensitivity. So stinging and not much discomfort should it flake into my eye. However, I am aware that some people wear contacts, so the flaking might be painful for you. I'll give it a 6 in terms of clumping.


As I add it up, this mascara, which was my HG, gets a total of 71.5 out of 100. It's much worse than I thought, but I place more emphasis on some aspects, such as lenght. Also, keep in mind that this score is in relativity to other tubing mascaras. If you want to compare it to general mascaras, I'd add at least 10 points before comparing it. :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tubing Mascara, and the start of my quest for the perfect tubing mascara

I am sure most of my frequent readers would know that I LOVE tubing mascara and eyeliners. Ever since I  came of age, I tried to find a mascara that would give me those long beautiful lashes, only to find that most mascaras smudge mercilessly on me, even the most smudge proof ones. After several years, I gave up, until L'Oreal marketed its new product called L'Oreal Beauty Tubes. There was a promotion going on, so I thought why not? I got a tube, and I was hooked. The mascara stayed there with no smudges until I removed it, and it comes off in tubes with warm water, relieving my worries that it would irritate my lashes or cause fall offs.
I was very pleased for one year, but then thought, there must be better ones out there. This is when I came across fiberwig, a mascara that gives more length than L'Oreal Beauty Tubes. This eventually became my HG item, but I am still looking for a mascara that might give me more. Therefore, I am going on a quest to try mostly every tubing mascara out there, review them every week, and find one that fits me perfectly. I hope that by sharing my quest with you, you can find one that you love as well. But perhaps, I am getting ahead of myself, and should first explain what is tubing mascara.

What is tubing mascara?


Tubing mascara is a kind of mascara that slide off with warm water in tubes. It is generally smudge free, and water resistant (given that the water is cold). This new kind of mascara prevents you from having to use eye makeup removers and a few minutes of rubbing to take off mascaras. The application method is generally different from regular mascaras. You cannot wait for the coats to dry before adding more coats, or you increase the chance of clumping (versus you have to wait for each coat to dry before adding more to prevent clumping for regular mascaras)

What are some tubing mascaras?


I am trying to create a full list, but so far, I have:
1. fiberwig Original
2. blinc kiss me mascara
3. L'Oreal beauty tubes
4. Clinique High impact curling
5. Clinique Lash Power
5. TF Lash Injection
6. Cargo Texas Lash
7. Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined
8. Trish McEvoy Lash Curling Mascara
9. Fiberwig XL

In the next few weeks, I will try to review each and every one of them, in order to help myself and you to find the perfect tubing mascara. Let me know if I should include some tubing mascaras available only in Japan and Korea (and ebay) as well.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What skincare habits you should definitely form


Okay, confession time, I am a skincare addict. I started having skincare regimen when I was 10 years old, and my mother started smothering moisturizer and sunscreen on my face before I even turned 1 year old. I remember that when I went swimming with my friends when I was in primary school, my friends would jump in to the pool/sea, and I would stay in the locker room patiently waiting for my mother to smother sunblock on me and wait for the requisite 15 minutes for it to absorb. Or when my friend come to my house for a surprise visit past 8:30 p.m., they would more often than not scream when me or my mother open the door because our face is covered in masks. There are many similar anecdotes like that.

My friends often ask me if this regimen I'm keeping is too troublesome, and I must admit that it really is. It's hard to devote so much time and energy to your skin, and avoid doing some things that most people enjoy in deference to your skin, but I think it pays off. My mother is now almost 50 years old, and she has yet to see one wrinkle or one piece of sagging skin. Whenever we go shopping together, most people refer to her as my sister rather than mother. Some of my readers have asked what skincare habits I have, and I decided to share this article. There are a few habits that are crucial in my opinion, and also many more which others deem to be important, but I personally doesn't think is that important, and I'll explain why.

What I think is crucial:
1. Sun care: "I cannot stress how important suncare is to a girl" my mother used to tell me, and her mother used to tell her. My grandmother is a Manchurian and her family believed that it was proper for a girl to stay indoors at all times. It was partly because they wanted to prevent her skin from coming in contact with the sun and other harmful substances, and also partly because they were overtly conservative, and wanted to prevent her from coming in contact with people they don't want her to know or know too well. Regardless, my grandmother stayed indoors, and generally stayed in a well shielded carriage whenever she had to travel. When it is absolutely necessary to walk, she carries a parasol, and wear long sleeved clothing that covers everything except her hands and face. She passed on this good habit to my mother, who reinforced it before giving it to me.
My mother always tell me to try to use sunblock everyday on all areas of exposed skin, reapply every two hours, use a SPF higher than 30 and PA +++. "Do not leave any skin out" she always tells me. I have quite a few lip balms with SPF in it to wear, and now, I try to choose lip colors with SPF whenever possible. Easy to neglect areas are your ears, and back of your neck. Your scalp might also be a susceptible area for some, but for me, it's always well covered by my hair.  Whenever possible, she would prefer that I wear hats and carry a parasol. 


2. Wash off everything you put on your face before the end of the day: My mother always told me that it's okay if I want to wear makeup (as long as I make it natural), but I shouldn't if I'm not responsible enough to take it off at the end of the day. Make sure that before bed, remove every trace of makeup you put on that day. It doesn't matter how tired you are, you have to do it. The Japanese like to do a double cleansing to remove heavy facial makeup, I find it unnecessary for me currently because I don't use foundation that much, and my Laneige multi-cleanser is quite enough to remove my sunblock. However, when in doubt, do the "toner test". Put toner on a cotton pad and then wipe across your face, if the toner comes out clean, you did your job of removing all trace of makeup. If it come up yellow, it's generally foundation. Pink is generally blush, and gray is generally sunscreen or sweat. 


3. Do not touch your face whenever possible: Our hands is the part of our body that comes in contact with the most substances, and consequently, the most germs. Try to keep those hands away from your face. If you must, wash your hands and sanitize before touching your face. Also, holding your face or touching it constantly might bring on wrinkles, which is something you didn't don't want. It might also smear your makeup if you are wearing any. 
If you have trouble developing this habit, try putting on a soft mask (soft mask means masks that do not dry) for 3 hours.  Honey is often quite effective and beneficial. Whenever your naughty hands come in contact with your face, you will have to wash it. (with honey, you can't even wipe it clean on a papertowel). 
If you develop this habit, you will be more conscious next time before picking on a pimple also.


4. Do not put anything you don't know well on your face: Your face is the worst place to experiment. Whenever I get a new skincare item, I would put it behind my ear for some time, and if it had no reactions, only then would I apply it to my face.When I want to try on foundations or other items before buying, I generally think about it, check the reviews and the ingredients. I would never try something on by impulse. Also, if someone gives you a bottle of something that has functioned well on your skin, check the expiration date and whether the seal is broken before actually using it. I know this might sound hurtful to some friends, so do it privately. I trust and love all my friends too, but I just feel safer double checking anything that comes in contact with my face.



That's mostly everything I deem absolutely necessary. I know you would be bewildered because I said nothing about toners, moisturizers, exfoliants, cleansers and most importantly, developing a regimen. This is because I do not believe this is absolutely necessary for everyone.

Cleansers: My mother lived though an era where all the cleansers are super harsh, so you either do without or over clean. My mother chose the former, and just washed with water, unless she wore foundation (which is something she rarely did), and she still has beautiful skin.

Moisturizers: Skin has a natural ability to moisturize. Sometimes developing a regimen takes away or diminishes that natural ability. It is up to you whether you want to regulate your moisturization, or let you skin do the work (which it does wrong occasionally). I like to regulate it myself, but using your skin's natural ability is a good option as well. However, it is absolutely necessary to use moisturizers when you moved into a drier climate or is in a drier area that what your skin is generally used to. It can take your skin some time to adapt, and you should aid your skin during this transition period. 


Exfoliants: Some dermatologist, including the one who opened up dermtv, believe that exfoliants are essential. Some even believe that exfoliants should be used daily. Is it true? I'm not an expert, so I cannot comment on that, but like moisturization, skin has a natural ability to exfoliate, only it does not do it as regularly as some people deem necessary. It generally takes 28 days for a full cycle of exfoliation, and that is quite sufficient in my opinion. However, if you would like to have softer skin for some special occasions, go ahead and use that exfoliant. Or if you have some tanned skin that you want to go away fast, go ahead and exfoliate. Just do not do it too often. 


Toners: Yes, I use toners. In US, they are marketed as a fall back safe guard almost to have your face clean. In Asia, they are marketed as something that balance the ph value and may contain some acids that does some mild exfoliation. I use the Asian kind, since I believe some American kinds are too harsh. There is no research done to prove that it is absolutely necessary to balance the PH level of your skin for you to have good skin, but I do it anyway because I know it can't be harmful at least. If you are using the US kind however, I think they are unnecessary if you use the same amount of makeup and the same capable cleanser everyday (try not to actually rely your toner to remove anything). But it can't harm to use it, as long as you moisturize. 


Okay, I am sorry for this horribly long article, and I hope it is helpful to some people. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ladies, I'm going to Korea on the 27th! If you want me to CP anything,tell me!

I just wanted to announce that I just heard from my boss I will be going to Korea on the 27th. A lot of you has asked me to get something for you from Korea (CP) since many Korean beauty items are not available in US. I will be happy to get anything for any of my lovely readers. So if anyone still wants me to CP anything, do the following:
1. Make a wishlist
2. Email me your wishlist at aquabeautydream@gmail.com or comment below BEFORE September 26th 
As soon as I see your message, I'll ask my friends in Korea to check the prices for you, and get back to you. Please confirm which items you still want after you get my price list. :)


Monday, September 13, 2010

VOV Color Stick Eyeshadows


From my Urban Decay Giveaway, a reader told me that they would like to see more articles about the VOV Castledew brand. I will make sure the acquire more of this amazing line next time I go to Korea, but for now, I have a fabulous item to introduce: The VOV Color Stick Eyeshadows.
I really liked this concept when it from MAC. I prefer to sleep that extra ten minutes in the morning than carefully go over my makeup, so i thought the idea of eyeshadow sticks sounds nice, since I don't have to waste the time on grabbing and cleaning an eyeshadow brush. So laziness is basically my incentive, but I'm sure you can find many more reasons why you should try those products.
This product is quite similar to MAC's, except that it is a little more pigmented, a little softer, stays on a little longer, and lastly, costs a fraction of the price. It sounds ideal, doesn't it? Well, read on for the pros and cons.
The size of this is pretty perfect. I can just swipe on my lids, it would fit perfectly. What I also like to do is to swipe them under my brows to highlight the arch (well, not those three colors, but a white pink color I also have). Something I've seen a lot of coworkers do is to buy the brown color and swipe it under the eyes, as an ultra-thick eyeliner or something. It really looks pretty nice. :)
However, those eyeshadows are not without faults. The sticks are softer than MACs, but they are still not soft enough, since when I swipe it, it doesn't really hurt, but I feel that there is a sort of drag that might damage the delicate skin if you use it daily. However, I've been told that if you apply moisturizer/eye cream before using this, it would stop the drag. I haven't tried this yet, because I prefer to let my skincare products completely sink in before doing makeup so that they may give me the full benefits, but I suppose it won't be too troublesome to just dab a little more of my eye cream before the eyeshadow the next time I use it.
Another con of this product is the glitter. i don't know if I should call it shimmer or glitter because my friends actually say it should be called shimmer, rather than glitter. However, whatever it is, it is not subtle enough for my office. It's like the glitters on the NARS Angelica blush, not too much, but it's definitely visible. The glitters are silver.
Staying power is 7 or 8 hours on my brow bones, and 5 hours on my lids without primer.
Summary:
PRO:
1. Cheap price: $4 if you buy more than 5
2. Great concept, very convenient
3. Okay lasting power
4. Great pigmentation for the price
5. Comes in 15 beautiful colors, much more than MAC's


CON:
1. Hard consistency
2. Too glitter/shimmery for me! But I'm way too conservative in terms of makeup. If something doesn't look as if I can be born with it, I won't use it...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Urban Decay Naked Palette Giveaway

I was talking with my friends last Friday, and one of them told me that every blogger who loves her subscribers should put up a naked palette giveaway. I was dubious of the idea, but then I had a naked palette on hand, given to me by my SO. He thought that I would love the palette, since it's so craved by the beauty world (yes, he heard it from guy friends), and I was touched by his effort. However, as I opened it, my craving was killed, because it just wasn't "naked" enough for me. It's more neutral than naked, and I kind of prefer a natural polished look. Also, because I work in law, I don't have the luxury of wearing even a neutral look too often. Therefore, I'm doing a blog giveaway on this palette.
(btw, just in case you are wondering, SO gave his whole hearted permission for me to give away this palette)
The palette is brand new. It has been opened, but not touched.
Rules of the Giveaway:
1. Be a subscriber to this blog
2. Please comment to this thread and tell me what kind of articles you would like to see more on this blog. 
3. Please post something about this giveaway on one website(it can be your blog, a makeup site you go to, twitter, etc.) , and supply the link in your comment. Thank you! 
The Giveaway ends 2 weeks from now. I will choose a winner through random.org and once I announce the results, please give me your address within 4 days. If I do not receive word from you, I will choose another winner through random.org
Thank you! If this goes well, I'll do a ripe peach one next time :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Mamonde Pure White Skin Softener and Emulsion

First of all, sorry for the hand there on the photo. The bottles are round, so it was absolutely necessary to hold them while taking the photo. That being said, this has been my staple for 7 years, together with the base and foundation I reviewed earlier today.
I started using the earlier versions of this product when I was ten, and I used them for 7 years. I had no complaints for them whatsoever.
Both products come with a rather heavy jasmine scent that I like. However, if you don't like the scents, it disappears within a few minutes, so it shouldn't bother you. I use the softener first, after cleanser, and then the emulsion. I didn't like to put the toner on a cotton pad because my mother thought it was a waste of product, and besides, on the website, it instructs you to put it on your hands, and then pat it into your face with your hands. It worked excellently this way for me, although I am sure it works just as well with a cotton pad, having tried it a few times myself. The toner absorbs into my skin in a flash, and then I pat in the emulsion. The emulsion was probably the fastest absorbing one I've ever used. It absorbs by the time when I finish brushing my hair, which is less than a minute. This is probably what I loved most about this product. It absorbs quickly, leaving no residue behind, with only a very moisturized and refreshed feeling on my face.
Being a teenager, what I found most valuable about this product is that it is very trustworthy. I dealt with some pimples when using this product, but it was very relieving to know that this product would never ever give me pimples.

Mamonde 10 hr brightening base and foundation


i can't believe I've put off reviewing this for so long since it's been my stape for over 7 years. Of course, the 10 hr foundation only came out two years ago, but it was an upgrade version of something else I've used for a long time. But I suppose I should first introduce Mamonde.

Mamonde is a skincare brand from Korea under the line of Amore Pacific. It is quite famous within Korea, with a much larger following than Laneige, but Amore Pacific decided not to market it outside of Korea, except in some Asian countries. Most products from Mamonde are relatively cheap, but of high quality. Most products are around $15 retail, which is about one half the price of most Laneige products. I've heard three years into using those products that this brand was designed for people in their 30s, but I've had no problem with using this product. In fact, I only used products from this brand solely for  7 years, from the age of ten.

When I was ten years old, a relative gave my mother a few bottles of Mamonde skincare. My mother was of the belief that skincare should start early, so she gave two bottles to me. A toner and a moisturizer. I started using them daily. I didn't think much about my skin back then, but I remember that I had nothing to complain about the products.

Later, when I was 12ish, my mother gave me a bottle of makeup base. You must consider it funny that I wore makeup base without foundation at the age of 12, but actually, many Asians do that. You see, makeup base is slightly different from primer in that it is supposed to protect you from the pollution, dirty air, and filter out some of the sun. It might be the equivalent of a nowadays sunblock, but back then, people wore sunblock to filter the sun, and makeup base to filter out the pollution. And that's what I did. I used to put on too much, and look very white since the makeup base is green, but it was a beautiful white color that my classmates envied me for.

Later on, I began using the foundation on days when my family had important events. I don't think I needed foundation back then, but it was a light/sheer coverage foundation, so it didn't really matter. I think the foundation gave my skin a dewy texture that was near perfection, and so I wore it.

I kept buying those two products, makeup base and foundation for many many years, until I was 17 and decided to switch into Laneige, a more expensive brand that was supposed to be for people in their late teens and early twenties. As you all know, I had no regret going into Laneige, but truth be told, I don't know why I switched from Mamonde other than the fact that Mamonde products were supposed to be for older people. I got the same results, but with a higher price tag from Laneige. Hopefully, years later, I will think that the higher price of Laneige helped preserve my skin. :)

Sorry for rambling on. I just loved this brand so much that I had to rave about it. And I thought it might be easier to read if I gave a few keypoints about the products.

Makeup base:
Pros: 
1. lasting 10 hours without powder
2. correcting my skintone whenever I slept too little the night before and makes me look fresh
3. I think it protects my skin from some air pollution
4. The added SPF is very welcome


Cons:
None...The earlier versions can make you look very white if you over apply, but the current product does not


Foundation:
 Pros:
1. lasting more than 10 hours coupled with the makeup base, without powder or blotting
2. very natural finish that makes it easy for others to believe I've got flawless skin
3. buildable coverage
4. spf


Cons: Might ball up if you over apply
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