Month: September 2016

banila co Clean It Zero

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This is the original (but oversized) version of the Clean It Zero makeup remover? cleanser? It contains 180ml and is made in Korea. Regular size is 100ml.

I’ve previously used up the Purity version for sensitive skin. The first thing I noticed with the original is the berry fragrance, and a slight pink colour. It seems to transform even faster into a liquid than the Purity version although I’m not 100% sure of this – it could be my hands were particularly warm or something. I’ll report back in the future.

Cleansing power is pretty much the same. Sometimes I feel it’s better to use a separate eye makeup remover, just because my eye makeup (liner and mascara) tend to be super hard-wearing and thus takes more work to get them out with just the balm. But they all come off with the rinsing anyway.

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You get a spatula as usual and a plastic ‘lid’ that also acts as your spatula tray to put over the jar opening. I don’t really like this cos the tray gets greasy eventually and you’ll have to rinse it out from time to time. Nowadays I just keep the spatula separate.

Between this and a cleansing oil I’ll probably stick with a cleansing oil because it’s easier to travel with and more convenient to use with no lids or spatula to fiddle with. It doesn’t perform better than my cleansing oil either so I don’t see the advantage of switching to this in the long run. Not sure why this is so popular. Perhaps the cute packaging?

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BCL Browlash EX Long Separate Mascara – Hello Kitty Limited Edition

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I admit I bought this because of Hello Kitty. I’m not someone who seeks out HK merchandise but I guess I thought the HK makes a nice change from regular boring mascara packaging. Plus it seemed to be a best-seller in Japan.

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I’m not sure why it’s got the word ‘browlash’ in it but make no mistake this is a regular eyelash mascara.

This appeared to have everything I like in a mascara:
– comb, a special design with rows of 4, 3, 4, 3 etc going down.
– waterproof, sweat proof
– easy to remove with warm water (film type)
– separates the lashes
– length

Here’s a close up of the comb:

Ok I usually go for volume but that’s ok. I find the length and separation to be true, lashes are long and defined. It never clumped and I didn’t have problem with it smudging once it’s dry either. My lashes do look a bit sparse at times … the extra length somehow highlights what’s lacking. I suppose I’d prefer the teeth to be longer in the middle – sometimes I feel like I’m brushing the lashes with nothing. But apparently this sloped design helps fix the curl at the roots. I didn’t get a super strong curl though.

What fails this mascara for me is that the formula is super wet and it takes a long while to dry. It’s probably the wettest mascara I’ve ever used. I inevitably smudge the under eye area every time I used this simply from blinking normally. It became super annoying and I dreaded using this everyday. I grabbed this mascara with me on holidays untested, since the Fasio one irritated my eyes I thought any mascara would be an improvement. I tried it again upon my return but just gave up a few days ago out of frustration. I really don’t have time dealing with smudges in the morning rush.

I won’t throw it out just yet, I’m willing to give it another chance on my weekends or something. Maybe I’ll let it dry out a bit on its own and see what happens. If you can handle the formula, this is actually a great lengthening mascara.

Made in Japan, 7g.

Update + Holiday Travel Makeup (or What I’m Taking I Took with Me)

I’ll be off in a couple of weeks for my summer holidays, which I haven’t had in years because of work and all. Needless to say I’m super excited. However this also means I won’t be blogging much during that time, so I’m afraid the blog will be even more quiet than usual 😛

I started this post before I left, intending to share what I planned to bring/use but I ended up being super short on time with last minute packing and random little things to organize so I never got around to finish writing and posting it. So to anyone wondering where I’ve been, now you know.
Ever since my return work’s been super hectic and I just didn’t have the energy nor time to do anything proper here. I’m going to have more free time after October though, with some big life changes ahead. So fingers crossed I’ll have more opportunity to update the blog regularly thereafter 😉

I had a three-week holiday and I went on a road-trip in the US. There were lots of driving and intense heat as we rolled through the states of NM, AZ and CA. It was a lot of fun seeing how the landscape changes from state to state. I had three pouches, one for skincare, a small one with the minimal daily makeup I need and the last one was all the other extra good to have makeup options like a nicer foundation (I took the Dior serum), a long-lasting primer, highlighter, bronzer, eye shadow palettes, liners in different colours, lipsticks and another shade of blush etc.

Well I ended up using maybe one or two products from that third good-to-have and also the heaviest pouch. I could have left that at home. With the heat in summer I didn’t feel like applying much foundation and other bells and whistles stuff. There wasn’t much point prettying up when I’m just mostly in the car either. Lesson learned.

Here are what I used on a daily basis:

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Sunscreen
Bioré Watery Essence – this is my daily face sunscreen and kinda doubles as a primer.
Shiseido Expert Sun Protection Lotion – this is for the body and what I took on the beach and outdoor hikes. It was a new bottle and between me and the Man we used half of this bottle up.
Powder
Maquillage Snow Beauty II (LE) – daytime for setting and night time for keeping stickiness at bay. I like using this powder, if you’re interested they release a new version every year and you should start checking online for this year’s version now if you want one. Pre-orders are in September I think?
Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot – this can look chalky if you’re not careful but it seems to perform better on my skin than the Balm’s Sexy Mama in terms of blotting power.
Eye primer
Too Faced Shadow Insurance – really like the small squeeze tube packaging, but sometimes the product separates when you skip a day or two of using it. Maybe it’s just my tube?
Eye shadow base colour
Wet n Wild Brulee – it’s the perfect size for traveling with. However it was a bit light towards the end of my trip when I picked up some colour.
Eye liner
Kate slim gel pencil – long-lasting and doesn’t require sharpening
Mascara
BCL Browlash EX Long Separate Macara (Hello Kitty LE) – Because the Fasio irritated my eyes, I thought I’d take another one just to be safe. I’ve never tried this mascara before and as it turns out its formula is pretty wet and takes a while to dry. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Cute packaging though and I’ve always liked comb mascaras.
Brow
Kate eyebrow pencil – again, no sharpening
Blush
Chanel Sunkiss Ribbbon (LE) – multi-colour for variety. I went with powder instead of cream thinking it might melt in the heat.
Lips
Dior Addict Lip Maximizer – because it has a cooling and tingling effect, I thought it’d be nice in the heat haha. This will be the first time I finish a gloss! Or any lip product that’s not a balm!
Scent
Estée Lauder Azurée Soleil – I dug this up and decided this is the year I’m going to use it to the max. This was released maybe 10 years ago and it was a collaboration between Tom Ford and EL years before TF launched his line. Azurée Soleil is like the version 1.0 of the now familiar Bronze Goddess scent. It’s labeled as a skin scent and it stays close to the skin without leaving a cloud of sillage. It’s a very elegant interpretation of a beach scent, by that I mean the tiare, coconut association. Perhaps Terracotta from Guerlain would be the closest in spirit among the perfumes available in the market now. I bought this when it was released and it was forgotten in the back of the wardrobe for years and so the juice still smells as it should. I don’t know how much people are selling this on evilbay but I don’t think it’s worth whatever exorbitant prices people are asking.

Others
I brought along my Suqqu eye palettes and only used them a handful of times, if that. This started before I left for the holidays but I’ve been applying them with *gasp* my fingers and it might be my preferred way of putting these on. Sacré bleu, I know! I go in with a blending brush afterwards if I need edges taken care of. I find this to be super fast and the colours come out more vibrantly, and I feel I have more control and avoid over blending them.

I had planned on buying beauty stuff, like brands I don’t have access to here/costs more etc but oddly enough I didn’t. Buy anything. At all. Just didn’t see anything exciting enough to make me take my wallet out. I was hoping to check the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea foundation but it seemed this item isn’t sold in every Sephora. I saw it once but didn’t have time that day and then never saw it again. Anyway I’m kind of glad of this, it’s like I’ve finally made peace with new makeup releases and all the frenzy around limited editions. I’m gearing more towards skincare at the moment, but it’s a pendulum that’s swung before so it won’t be long til I get hooked on colour again I’m sure 😉
Luckily so far none of the holiday collections piqued my interest. We’ll see !

July Empties

Please bear with me – I’m playing catch-up with my empties post. Since there aren’t many from August those empties will be in the September post 🙂

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Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity for Sensitive skin (100ml) – Made in Korea ?
Lasted around three months, this is a cleansing balm for makeup removal. Like the Body Shop’s Camomile cleansing balm in idea, but with a better texture that instantly melts when you start rubbing so there’s no tugging or harsh rubbing involved. Very efficient at makeup removal, took everything off with no problem. My skin was never irritated nor felt dry afterwards either. A pleasure to use.
Repurchase? Yes, I have the regular version in maxi format to go.

IOPE Ultimate Hydro Cream (50ml) – Made in Korea
Cool upon application so it’s refreshing especially with a light, gel texture. Mildly scented with an aquatic type fragrance. Most importantly it does its job at moisturizing and my skin never felt dry. I really enjoyed this even if it’s not a one-of-a-kind product. IOPE isn’t readily available where I am so off the top of my head I would take a look at Laneige’s (obviously) water bank range, Biotherm, and even drugstore brands like No.7, L’oreal. I feel like I’ve seen similar products from these brands in the past before.
Repurchase? Yes if I come across it again.

Shiseido Medicated hand cream (100g) – Made in Japan
Bought this at the same time as the Kiss Me medicated (reviewed here), which now that I think about it is probably their attempt to make something like the Yu-Be cream. I found the Shiseido more effective. Texture-wise it’s not heavy but provides decent moisturizing. It’s got some kind of moisturizing beads in it. This is a medium strength hand cream I feel, and is not half bad at all. Good for those needing more oommph than a lotion but not anything heavy like the Yu-be. Yu-be is where I like my hand creams to be. The best thing I like about this though is the packaging – it comes in a jar but has a flip-lid opening/closing system so you won’t struggle screwing the cap back on with slippery moisturized hands afterwards. I might decant other creams into this jar …
Repurchase? Nah.

Steam Cream (75ml) – Made in Japan
Used and reviewed in the past. I’m using this as a hand and body moisturizer. It’s more hydrating than the L’Occitane lotions. You really have to like lavender to use this range.
Repurchase? I’ve still got two more jars of these.

Nature Republic Snail Solution 70 Eye Cream (20ml) – Made in Korea
This little tube took me forever to use up, more than six months I’m sure. It’s just a regular eye cream, run-of-the-mill, not better or worse than the average offerings. I felt I could use more hydration TBH but most eye creams like these I’ve tried deliver similar results (ie. not much) and I’ve found in my experience that you need to go to those in jars, and pay a little bit more to get more. Best eye cream (tube or jar) I’ve used those is the one from Astalift. Too bad it seems they’ve pulled out of everywhere outside of Asia.
Repurchase? No.

Kosé Fasio Powerful Curl Mascara Long (7g) – Made in Japan
I wasn’t particularly wowed by this mascara. And I’m starting to think there’s something about Fasio’s mascaras that doesn’t agree with me because my eyes get irritated when I use this. Same thing happened with the last Fasio mascara I used. It must be the fibers or something. I think I will stick with other brands.
Repurchase? No.