Pan that Palette & Shopping the Stash – December, Report #3

Previous report was in July (ha ha) and can be found here.

I went back to stila ITK after my holidays in the summer. Since I got a little bit tanned I mixed Wind and Desert up to get a better match on the lid. Here’s what it looked like it July:
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Now:
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I’m back to using just Wind at the moment. If I’m lucky I might see pan before 2017.

I took the Lunasol foundation with me for the summer because the shade worked better on me then. The picture in the last report was after holiday use. I went back to Maquillage not long after that. So here’s an update on that group photo:

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Taken January 2016

Now (almost a year later):

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Taken December 2016

Every time I travel I take the WnW with me. Haven’t used much of the BB this year (I use this as a brow powder). I’ve reached for it from time to time lately but nothing regular so it looks pretty much the same. I managed to use up quite a few brow pencils though 🙂

Blotting powders then:
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Now:
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That’s the Soap & Glory one on the left. That’s since July as well I believe? Probably forgot to post this last time 😛
Ok they both claim to be translucent (Sexy Mama’s “anti-shine translucent powder” vs SG’s “super-translucent mattifying powder”). I think SG might be just a leeetle bit better at oil control, but if you’re not careful it can look chalky. Sexy Mama is talc-free and tinted so you’re less likely to look ashy. If I had to choose I’d probably go with S&G as that one seems to work better on my skin.

And I’m still working on the MAC blush:

July:
mac-poised Now:

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Lunasol Chocolat Beige, MAC Poised, RMK Hot Red

Yup, not much change. But I got so bored of using Poised everyday I incorporated other blushes. Primarily those two in the pictures.

I actually took the RMK with me (due to its slim and compact size) for a solid month during my time in Hong Kong and it still looks like new. There’s only 2.2g of product in this compact. How am I ever going to use up the 6g in MAC? And that’s just a fingerprint mark in the Lunasol and not a dent. But I’m hoping it being a cream formula I’ll hit pan faster.

I really don’t know how I’ll manage to pan anything!

Skincare Regime Update – December 2016

The last update was April and lots of changed since then. Pretty much everything I’m using is different!

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1. Hadalabo Tamagohada AHA+BHA mild exfoliating face wash foam (160ml)
2. Medicated Sekkisei lotion (360ml) – Made in Japan
3. Hadalabo Gokujyun Medicated Skin Conditioner lotion (170ml) – Made in Japan
4. Melvita Nectar Supreme eye & lip contour cream (0.5fl oz.) [almost 15ml] – Made in France
5. ettusais Premium Amino Caviar Cream (90g) – Made in Japan

1. I left my Muji foam cleanser behind in a hotel but I just want to say that cleanser worked well with my Luna. Bought this as a replacement and I don’t feel anything special towards it. I like that it dispenses ready-made foam so I save some time. I’m only *just* reading now that people have been reporting the cleanser drying their skin … perhaps that’s why my eye area have been itchy the past few days?? I’ve been using it for about two weeks now though only once a day until recently. Tamogohada = more or less the image of your skin will look like as smooth as a peeled hard boiled egg if you use this. I guess.
2. Still loving this and I will continue using this (although I’m tempted to try Albion’s Skin Conditioner). I still have one bottle of P50 left, which I’ll reintroduce when the weather gets warmer.
3. This is my extra hydration step and I’ll probably use a serum when this bottle is done, or one of the many packets and bottles of samples from different brands that I have. This particular formula (green bottle) of the Hadalabo Gokujyun range is supposed to moisturize and prevent pimples from appearing. Hormonal spots are something else so this item doesn’t really help me much there. I’m not sure if it’s sold in Hong Kong? I haven’t seen it anywhere I went (the usual suspects Watson’s/Manning/log-on don’t have it).
4. The formula is nothing special but this is my first experience with these kind of tips. On the days when I have time to slowly tap tap tap gently with the tip I do find a difference to just applying with fingers.
5.I took this with me to Hong Kong, knowing the weather is less dry than Paris. I was almost finished with my It’s Skin Snail Cream anyway and thought it’s a good time to open the next moisturizer in the stash. There are many little beads in the moisturizer (hence ‘caviar’) and you just have to make sure you rub all of them in. Sometimes there are strays and if you miss one they can appear as bizarre looking but perfectly round tiny ball of flesh. I’ve continued using this since I got back and interestingly it still does a decent job of moisturizing my skin in this completely different climate. I honestly didn’t expect it to perform this well. I’ll do a review on this separately.

I no longer have a really different morning/evening routine. Only that I throw in a makeup remover before the regular cleanser at night. That’s usually either of these: (more…)

October & November Empties

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OCTOBER
Steam Cream (75ml) – Made in Japan
Reviewed here and here. 2016 is the year of the monkey. This one has an expiry date of November 29. Anyhow you can actually go through a tin of these rather quickly, especially if you multitask them (I use it mainly on hands and body). I still haven’t really tested it on the face, even though it says it is suitable for all skin types including sensitive. The essential oils and strong fragrance make me a little wary of doing so. To recap, the steam creams have a really glossy and light consistency. It will visibly slide (slowly) if you tip it on its side but it shouldn’t be runny. It’s more like a lotion than a cream. The selling point is that it’s vegan and all natural. But propylparaben is the last ingredient.
This is my third jar. I don’t actually love it that much, I just took advantage of a special offer. Their prices do seem to climb every year though.
Repurchase? No. But I have one last tin to go. Maybe I’ll make a gift out of it.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (150ml) – Made in France
I’ve tried Baptiste and one from Timotei and Klorane remains my favourite because your hair doesn’t ‘crunch’ up if you overdo it (Timotei) and it doesn’t leave your hair looking grey (Baptiste). The scent is pleasant enough, a bit powdery but not overwhelming or in-your-face (Baptiste). I do like the scent of the Timotei best though but that’s just personal preference.
Repurchase? Yes

Bath & Body Works Ultra Shea Body Cream in Sparkling Limoncello (226g) – Made in ??? [Surprisingly not printed on the tube]
I picked this up during my holidays in the US in summer. It feels like a body butter, kinda reminded me of bliss’. I like these kind of formulas best for the body, and used this without problem right after purchase as it isn’t overly heavy. While it doesn’t deliver the “24 hour moisture” as it claims it’s still very a very decent product especially when you consider the price of these (usually with deals/savings). I really find it comparable to higher end body creams. The only challenge is finding a scent that you like. I’ve noticed the selection is generally on the sweet side, sometimes very fake and often quite ‘loud’. Luckily there are no sparkles in this lemon scented cream. I think the sparkling is there to imply how fresh this smells. Those with a critical nose might complain it smells like Pledge but it really isn’t that bad.
Repurchase? I got 2 more creams in other scents to go.

Lancome Bi-Facil Instant Cleanser Sensitive Eyes (15ml Sample) – Made in France
The classic two-layer eye makeup remover. No irritations with this, quite gentle and didn’t leave my eyes too greasy or dry. Worked pretty well all in all. Smells a little of roses.
Repurchase? This was a GWP but who knows, if I need a dedicated eye makeup remover one day I might turn to this.

NOVEMBER
IOPE Enzyme Treatment Powder Wash (50g) – Made in Korea
Reviewed here.
Repurchase? Probably not. I like that it’s gentle but there are so many cleansers out there to try.

It’s Skin Prestige Crème d’Escargot (60ml) – Made in Korea
This is supposed to be one of the popular cult products with people reporting rapid fading of scars and whitening effect while using it. First things first I don’t like how clunky the jar is. Same story with the Nature Republic cream (scroll down). It’s ridiculous how much plastic is used for the jar:

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It’s as wide and almost as tall as the XL Clean it Zero and wayyy heavier

They made it really hefty as well. This empty jar weighs 275g!! Ridiculous. It’s frustrating for people who just want to haul the stuff back home from Korea. Takes up too much room and weight.
For those with sensitive noses, this is perfumed. It’s quite strong but fades quickly. I can’t compare the perfume side to side but this reminds me of the shampoo Finesse, back in the day.

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Was surprised to see that the jar is sort of bell shaped, hiding more product. I guess my experience with the belif moisture bomb sample scarred me. But don’t be fooled, the beveled plastic makes the container look bigger than it actually is.

Within the first two months of use I noticed:
– whitening effect: I was slightly tanned during my holidays but that faded in an alarming speed.
– complexion is more uniform

As for fading scars, I’m sure it helped but I didn’t get crazy fast results like others did. Maybe it’s a question of age??
I like this cream despite of the scent. I thought this would be really heavy and more suited for winter use but surprisingly it’s well adapted for warmer months and even more humid climate without feeling heavy on my skin, which is on the drier side now that I’m older. It didn’t break me out at all and I’ve had no negative reaction from using this.
Repurchase? Yes. And I actually have the Ginseng version of this at home.

Not pictured above but I also have two pencils:
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Dejavu Fiberwig Lasting-fine eyeliner in Black
I mentioned this here (where you can see a comparison photo of various black liner nibs too). The reason I didn’t reach for this despite having the best staying power ever is because it gunked and clumped my lashes whenever I use it. So much so that it drastically impedes my application of mascara afterwards. My lashes would be all bunched up in crazy ways and it was just impossible to put mascara on properly. I’d have to comb the lashes out first if I even manage to undo the mess, and then try to apply mascara. But no matter how much you comb you can’t get all the gel liner out so each time I use this liner my lashes end up looking funky/clumpy/less lashes than I have. It got so frustrating that I just stopped using it, so sick was I of having to babysit this thing each and every time. And time consuming this was. It’s really a shame cos this thing didn’t budge at all and wore like steel.
Repurchase? No no no.

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Koji Dollywink eyebrow pencil (with Tsubasa Msauwaka)
This is ancient and was probably in the first lineup of the range. The packaging has changed – they’ve printed some designs on the body of the pencil but otherwise everything else looks the same. I’m hoping the formula is too because this pencil is not too soft and not too hard, it has just the right amount of wax to draw the brows properly. Lasting power is normal. Nothing lasts all day on my brows, but powder tends to go first and then pencils. Oh! I almost forgot. The longest lasting one has to be the little tube of Make Up Forever brow gel thing. But you need to pay more attention and time when using that.
Repurchase? It’s cheap and thus definitely warrants a repurchase.

Addiction by Ayako Haul

*ahem* I’ve been away on holidays, hence the silence again but more importantly it’s also how I got my paws on some Addiction shadows!! To compensate this will be a really long post so get ready!

I am so excited about these cos I’ve been wanting to try them since forever and the brand finally opened a counter in Hong Kong where I happened to be 🙂 Too bad I missed out on the opening GWPs, I heard there were some nice things.

Addiction by Ayako is a beauty brand in the Kosé family. Ayako was NARS’ creative director before starting Addiction. I found an interview with Ayako here on Haru’s website, my source for all Japanese beauty news 😉 Addiction has changed the packaging of their eye shadows when they (re)launched their eye shadows – all 99 shades at once. Some shades were retired, but I’m not sure if there’s a difference in the formula. Perhaps someone can comment?

Before I get into the shadows I purchased, I want to mention the LE Christmas Winter White set:

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pic from official website

This set was going for HKD550 (or thereabouts, IIRC) which I feel is a good price. Inside the compact you get 4 shadows and a blush:

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pic from official website

I was there the first day on the launch but after some thoughts, I passed. My reasons? I don’t use nail polish, and am not a fan of lip glosses, even if this one is black and thus more interesting. So there goes two products. The compact is nice but the blush shade is really more of a highlighter as the colour wouldn’t show unless you’re really fair and pale. And I don’t need another highlighter. Once I eliminated the blush shade there’s little reason left for me to get the palette even if the four shades of shadows are beautiful and practical and work really well together. This set is really a good deal and if you’re someone who uses all the products I highly recommend it. I should have asked the ladies if you can pop the highlight out and replace it with a blush instead (especially if you already own a blush from them). That would make this more versatile. Actually the gloss and polish would make kick ass as stocking stuffers even if you don’t use them. Oh well!

I picked up a total of seven eye shadow shades, purchased separately on different occasions. They are HKD 140 each, with 1g of product. You can buy an empty compact separately that could hold 4 shadows or a bigger one to hold 6 shadows. Note that the size of 1 blush = 2 shadows so you can customize whichever way you want. I almost got a compact but didn’t in the end because for me out of sight is out of mind.

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  1. 085 Shanghai Breakfast (P) A mauve with a gold and red gloss
  2. 082 Taxi Driver (P) A smooth grayish mauve
  3. 069 Flash Back (P) A grayish brown with a smooth gloss
  4. 040 Dolly Bird (P) A steel gray with a wet luster and sparkle
  5. 039 Yesterday (P) A light lavender gray radiating pink
  6. 043 Dangerous Liason (P) A deep purple shimmering with red and silver
  7. 109 Red Lily – Gold orange tinged with red, like the lilies of Northern Europe (limited edition)

It’s a bit of a pain to get the English names. They are not printed on the display panels in Hong Kong, nor on the boxes/sticker on the back of the cases. I had to cross reference them on the Japanese website. Having English names would make it so much easier to remember what I’ve got and what I’d like to try.

Swatches: (more…)

Santa Maria Novella Hand Cream

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image from Le Bon Marché

Santa Maria Novella has for a long time now, installed a big corner at the Bon Marche in Paris. If you would like to read about its history you can find it here. It used to be pretty hard to find unless you head to Italy but it seems they’ve really expanded during the last few years.

I’ve always wanted to try their products, especially their perfumes but given my collection at home I’m not sure if that’s a good idea. I picked this up as a gift for a very kind lady and thought I’d splurge on the same thing for myself since hand creams are something I use everyday.

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Back to the cream. This smells like lemon cookies. Not the Bath and Body Works type of lemon but a true zesty and juicy lemon. Absorbs super quickly into the hands and doesn’t leave a greasy film at all. If my hands were bone-dry the cream sinks in immediately; when used after washing I get to rub them in slightly longer. But it’s definitely one of the fastest absorbing hand creams I’ve used. My hands feel like they’re protected from the elements after application.

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I also tried the ‘Pasta di Mandorle’ which is an almond cream for hands and nails. It has a much thicker, heavier and greasier consistency targeted for really dry skin. It comes in a smaller jar but costs more per ml than the hand cream although you probably won’t be using much each time. It would be a nice cream to use at night just before bed in winter.

Ingredients:

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The only thing hindering a repurchase is of course the price.
Made in Italy, 100ml.

Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes

I only got my first taste of these this summer (August to be precise), so yes I’m really late to the party! I was tempted to get the Spring 2015 but didn’t. I never saw the previous LE releases of Platinum and Spice and others at the counters here in Paris, they probably just flew out of the shelves. Fully made peace with never owning one of these (rationale being I’ll never finish them anyway) but when TF released them as permanents I wavered. Now I have three:

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L-R: Platinum, Burnished Copper, Spice

Spice is the third cream color I picked up within two months. I got this with Modern Mercury because Selfridges shipping 😛 I first tested the waters with Platinum – found one on a blog sale and followed that with a purchase of Burnished Copper. You can see the older releases are bigger and contain more product than the now permanent ones. The smaller pots hold 5ml/0.17oz are like the size of a gel liner. I’ve actually used Burnished Copper a couple of times already but the pot looks untouched because this shade (and Spice too) is super pigmented and you really only need the tiniest amount!

Here are swatches of the three:

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L-R, lightly blended and normal: Burnished Copper, Platinum, Spice

For the light swatches, I intentionally used a minuscule amount and blended it out as a light wash (although I seemed to have used too much for Spice); With the ‘normal’ swatches, I stopped adding product once I achieved the kind of intensity I’m comfortable with on my lids. You can push them further and they’ll be thicker and more opaque. Also you get a fair amount of play-time with these before they dry and settle.

Burnished Copper is an olive/khaki, these kind of shades are a weakness of mine. This and Spice has noticeable fine gold shimmers. I’ve only worn this a couple of times so far, further comments to come.

Platinum is something you can use daily. You can certainly use it alone but I find the shade/look I’m after benefits with a deeper brown/taupe to give it more definition. Lately I’ve been using Platimum with a light wash of MAC’s Sea Worship (an extra dimension formula, it blends seamlessly with the finish of these cream colours) in the outer-V at the end. I’ve also used a random Bourjois shade (from this trio, if you want to know. Scroll down towards the bottom) and the brown from Suqqu’s Yosaizora (summer 2015 LE). For evenings I’m thinking NARS Mekong or something like that. I guess what I want to say is you probably have a million browns at home you can use to complement this 🙂 It’s not the most exciting colour of the range but it’s a workhorse type of shade. I’ve experienced some fallout with this but none after it’s dried and settled. I think it’s from the blending-to-death rubbing and patting that I do.

Spice is a very warm brown. I dismissed this at first to be honest. But I based all my purchases on the potential frequency of use and well, you can’t beat a brown. Same with Burnished Copper, I’ll comment later if there are issues with this.

For those wanting an alternative to brown I would suggest looking at Opale – this is a really beautiful shade and can double as a cream highlighter on the cheekbones/brow bone/inner corner of the eyes. This is definitely multi-purpose, so perhaps more value for money.

When I was looking at swatches online for research I thought I would get Midnight Violet but when I swatched it in person, the more I looked at it the more I understood that what draws me is how dark it is, and it reminded me of the LE Spring 2015. I have Chanel Mirifique as well (sadly ignored), so I passed. Also my eyelid area is too small to really show this shade off.

Anyway I think these cream colours deserve all the raves and praises you read about. I tried the Charlotte Tilbury ones at the Selfridges counter last year but the one I applied creased on my lids within a couple of hours so I haven’t been very keen on those since. In hindsight perhaps I should have explored all other options/offerings from other luxurious brands but TBH I was fixated on these and I know I’ll end up getting one even if I do find a better alternative.

ETA – 21 October 2016
I’ve been using more of Spice and Burnished Copper and surprisingly I’m liking Spice more and more, it might just be my favourite out of the three. They both have a very teensy bit of fallout if you over blend, but it’s noticeably less than Platinum. In terms of the wear I get, they wear well and I’m happy enough but they do not wear like iron on my lids. However they just fade somewhat but do not migrate or budge, so you won’t find it under the eyes. I really appreciate this cos that’s the biggest problem I encounter with cream shadows and those in a stick forms, they all tend to migrate south and I get panda eyes.

August + September Empties

AUGUST

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Shiseido Integrate gel liner in BK999 (0.28g) – Made in Germany
I bought this cos it seemed to be a favourite among Japanese beauty magazine readers. But the size of the nib is too big for my liking and unlike a pencil it can’t be sharpened. Also the performance is inconsistent – sometimes it smudges, sometimes no. Despite no change in the steps leading to or out prior.
Repurchase? Nope.

Kate slim gel pencil in BK-1 (0.12g) – Made in Japan
Now this is a liner I know I can count on. I took this with me on my holidays and with daily use it lasted around one month. This has less than half the product of the Integrate liner though.
Repurchase? Staple.

Here’s a comparison photo with nibs from different liners. The UD acts as your average, typical pencil liner. You can see the Integrate is just slightly slimmer than that. Visée is the thinnest (mentioned a few entries below). KATE and dejavu are the same in diameter. I’ll write about the Dejavu one eventually but lets just say for now that I don’t reach for it often despite it having the best staying power.

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Top-Bottom: Visée, dejavu fiberwig, KATE, Shiseido Integrate, UD24/7

(more…)