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Friday, April 28, 2017

Recent Empties #4 (Last one from the past year!)

This is the last empties post from my stash and non-blogging period from the past year! If you have been reading this far... thanks, I appreciate you staying with me!

Clinique moisture surge intense. Best winter moisturizer ever. Seriously, I went through all of the harsh Toronto winter with NO dry patches. That has never happened before. I will repurchase and you should too if you have dry skin! Make sure to get the "intense" version, because I tried the other one and it was drying on me.

Face Atelier lip putty. I liked this product as a primer under pigmented lipsticks, as it sheered out the pigment a bit and prevented it from settling in my lines (I have a lot of deep wrinkles on my lips). Didn't work that well as a lip balm though. 

Perricone No Foundation Foundation Serum. This was a deluxe sample. Despite its sheerness, it was way too dark for me and I needed to blend it with a white sunscreen (Shiseido blue) to make it work. It worked well though and evened out my complexion nicely without making it look like makeup. I just wish they made a lighter shade of it so I don't have to mix it every morning.

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish. This is actually a deluxe sample that just took me forever to use up. I really like it though! It smoothed out the small flakes and left lips feeling moisturized and ready for lipstick!

Lancome eyeliner (LE). This was a seasonal one and I don't recall the exact name. I'm chucking it because of what you see in the photo below. The product has weirdly shrunk inside the pencil/wood! I'm guessing it dried out (which is odd for a pencil, I thought drying out was only an issue for gel liners!). When this product was fresh, it was inky and lovely, the pigmentation of a gel liner. It had been getting flakey and dry for awhile despite me sharpening it lots. So now I see that it's just dried out. I won't be purchasing any other Lancome pencil liners due to this.

Ok I made it through the past year of empties! Phew. It really does feel good to have finished and rid these products. Some of them got repurchased of course, so they will show up again in another empties post down the road :)

I'm not sure how often I will blog this summer. I have been trying lots of new products but not many truly excite me these days. It's nice to try new products, but after awhile they all become somewhat similar. I've been recently pondering how much I spend on beauty products as well (I'm embarrassed at the amount), and how much I stress-shop. I will be doing some self-examination over the next little while and working on other stress-relief ways, such as yoga and mindfulness meditation. Will see how it goes :)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Recent Empties #3 (almost there!)

It's another empties post! The "Recent Empties" series is from the past year, so there's quite a bit and it honestly feels good to have used up (or decluttered) so many products! More room to buy more right... (noooo...)

Velour white eyelash glue. This was even worse than the black one!! It was white, named "white", and dried white...not clear! I somehow expected "white" to mean clear, because glues usually come in clear or black, but white?!?! In addition to the usual black band of the falsies, it added a white band...what da heck was the point?! I'm just angry I wasted money. Just stick with Duo. Velour makes beautiful falsies but terrible glue.

Tom Ford Oud Wood shower gel (originally reviewed here). It was just an overpriced shower gel, I don't recommend it unless you are in completely in love with the scent, and I wasn't so in love with it to want to shell out $77 CAD again (and TF since then increased the price! Most recent price on Sephora is $87 >.<). 

Shu Uemura cleansing oil shampoo. This one I highly recommend and will repurchase after I finish off some of my other shampoo bottles. It didn't strip my hair, and I could do with or without conditioner after, which has never happened with any other shampoo as my hair is fine and dry and tangles easily. 

Belvada nail polish remover. This was great, didn't try out my nails at all. I just can't find it anymore! :( If anyone knows where I can buy it please tell me! I used to buy it from ftbbeauty but it's always out of stock there now. 

That's it for now, I have one more in a couple of days!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Recent Empties #2

 Another batch from the past year :) In this one I decluttered a bunch of lippies I was not loving. I admit, I'm a bit of a hoarder when it comes to makeup. Even if I was not using or loving it, I keep thinking I will use it one day (I will like it again, or will use it for swatching purposes etc.). I suppose this is some self-improvement moving on now!

Not too much exciting products in this batch, but a couple of highlights...

Shu Umera Cleansing Oil Conditioner. For its price, it should have been amazing, but it sadly wasn't... won't be repurchased. If you have lots of money feel free to try and see if you like it as it does have good reviews. 

Shiseido Ibuki SPF 15 Emulsion. I really liked this and went through two bottles and bought one for my mom. It's a runny texture but soaks into the skin nicely, leaves a bit of a sheen so may not be great if you have oily skin. My skin used to be combination but now is just dry dry dry, this is good for me :)

I have finished my last IOPE cushion refill! I really liked this product and used it almost daily for a long time. Despite it being great, I think I'm ready to move on just out of boredom and wanting to try other things. I may come back to it later, and thus would recommend it to anyone who hasn't tried it yet! It's glowy though so be only for those who like that.

Benefit They're Real mascara is one of my favorite mascaras. I have gone through a full size tube and this is a deluxe sample (I have many of these from Sephora, yay!). It holds curl and doesn't smudge on my bulgy asian lids :)

That's it for now, until the next batch :)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Recent Empties #1 (It's been a long time!)

It's been a long time since I've written a post! Work has been very busy, and I had returned to school. I'm finally on summer break, and it feels good to write again. I know it's just cosmetics, but I find it de-stressing to review :)  

I've stopped photographing a lot of new products I have been using, somehow haven't felt that excited to share. I have however maintained my photographing of empties, so have almost a years worth to share! This is the first batch... I will share some brief thoughts about the products that stand out, good or not (if I don't mention it then it means it was "meh" either way). 

The Murad vitamin C daily moisturizer was really good! Not too oily-looking, though wasn't quite enough for the tough winter months...

The Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water... feels amaaaazing, and though very expensive, feels better on my skin than Bioderma. Too bad it's all out of stock for the Sephora sale :(

The two Benefit products were complete duds...I'm glad they were only deluxe samples and I didn't shell out money for them.

The Velour eyelash glue was also a complete dud (I posted awhile back about it exploding). I have tried to use it a few times after and it just performs poorly. I do not recommend!

The Balm Apples Cheek & Lip cream was not good for the lips but awesome on the cheeks! It blended out so nicely with a duo-fibre brush (though less good with fingers for some reason). 

MUFE mascara, great balance between length and volume and held curl for me.

The Freshstart dry shampoo was useless except for infusing its perfumey smell to my hair. It didn't rid the oil at all and somehow made my hair look more more limp. I don't recommend at all!

Oh YSL Tint-in-Oil... I had so much high hopes for you I bought 3...It was so slippery and watery and an awful taste kept seeping into my mouth (despite being very careful not to apply it too close to the inner part of my lips). It looks ok only, not worth the gross taste. 

Lancome Bi-Facil, hands down best remover. Have gone through many bottles.

Dr. Dennis Gross daily peel. This was a deluxe sample, and even though it was the gentle version it still stung. My face is just too sensitive for any peels or acids I think. It's got great reviews though so if you're not sensitive give it a try!

That's it for now, I got a couple of other batches to post soon... :)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

My 1st MAC purchase (what?!) - Huggable Lipcolor in Commotion and Mineralize Skinfinish in Other Earthly

That's right, I've never bought any MAC products up until now... crazy right? I mostly buy makeup from Sephora and department stores, and never ventured into MAC stores. Since The Bay now carries MAC, and recently had some items on 30% off, I thought this was a good time to check things out!

Had to go for a lipstick right :)  The Huggable Lipcolors had mixed reviews when I looked up other blogs, so I went with a raspberry-plum shade that I know likely will work on me. It's called "Commotion".

The texture is really interesting. If I try to swipe it on my lips like any other lipstick, the bullet is "sticky" and tugs on my lips quite uncomfortably. So I found the best way to apply this is by dabbing rather than swiping. The result is a sheer glossy (for a lipstick) finish that fills in lines and makes my lips look plump and healthy. It lasts until I eat but leaves a light stain. 

I swatched it amongst some of my other raspberry-plums. Temptalia calls this shade "highly dupable", which is true, however the finish is unique!

Left to right: Burberry Kisses Bright Plum (slightly more pigmented and creamy with less sheen)
MAC Huggable Commotion (the glossiest and most tacky in feel)
Marc Jacobs Boy Gorgeous (the most pigmented and matte of these)
Tom Ford Violet Fatale (the most comfortable and lightweight of all these)

Next I chose one of the Mineralize Skinfinish which I also hear a lot about. 
I was very disappointed by the shipping, as it had unfortunately been knocked around and there was chunky glitter everywhere (had even escaped to the box). I was concerned this was going to end up a chunky glittery-highlighter, and I was partially right. 

Presentation is gorgeous, and the sections are large enough I can use the shades separately, however I discovered that is not the best way to use this...

When swatched, I was not impressed...the silver and gold-bronze were super glittery and chunky, and the middle rosy shade was chalky. When I put them on my cheek separately, the 2 glittery ones looked terrible, they were hard to blend out and stuck as chunky glitter on my face. The middle shade just didn`t show on my cheeks. I was about to sigh and give up until I read from others that they like this best blended altogether. So I took a dense synthetic brush and swirled it all around. The result was...well... kind of out of this world! It`s hard to describe, altogether it looks like a rosy highlighter that is sparkly rather than glittery (sparkly in a nice way!). It isn`t subtle, but also doesn`t scream glitter like when the shades go on individually. I love it! 

Overall, this has been a good first foray into MAC and I`ll definitely be picking up some more from the 30% off sale!

Share with me your favorite products from MAC!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Shu Uemura KYE Collectioon: Brow Palette in Cappuccino/Dark Rose

This the last of my KYE haul, and unfortunately is the biggest disappointment for me. I was so excited about this product, and felt like it would be a slightly-edgy-but-not-so-out-there thing to do to have dark rosy brows. The packaging is still cute, and feels nice and hefty in my hands, but that's about as far as it goes.

It contains Cappuccino, a light grey-mauve tone, and Dark Rose, which looks so beautiful in the pan. 

The instructions here to use Cappuccino to draw and Dark Rose to blend, makes no sense to me. As it turns out, Cappuccino is so lacking in pigmentation that I could not get it to show up on my brows at all.  Even on my arm, it look a lot of layers to even show any kind of shadow! 

Dark Rose is more pigmented, so it make more sense to actually use that to "draw" my brows and then go over it with Cappuccino to blend. I really was so excited and wanting to love this, but once I finished my look, I realized the shade is exactly like those eyebrow tattoos the Asian aunties used to have, that same reddish-brown..ugh! (Sorry you might have to be Asian to understand what I'm referring to). It just made me feel old, not cool at all.

This likely will work for you if you have reddish-brown hair though!

I'm ending on a down note I guess, but by far the best of the KYE collection so far for me was the cushion blush, second is the tinted lip balm. I'm only glad I got this brow palette on sale and didn't pay the full $55 CDN for it, eeks. The KYE collection does have a indigo-blue shade in the brow sword, which I might try (no "auntie" look there) but not sure if I will end up going for it as it may be a waste of money on something I may not end up using a lot of... we will see =P

What has been your most recent product disappointment?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Shu Uemura KYE Collection: Sheer Color Balm - melt in orange

If I for some out-of-this-world reason, I would have to only live with one single type of makeup item, I would choose tinted lip balms. They're easy to use to brighten my lips and complexion, moisturizing, and require no effort to blend. So of course I had to pick up one of the tinted lip balms from the Shu x KYE collection!

Normally I choose "safe" colors like peach and pink, this time I thought I'd brand out a bit and try the orange. It does look shockingly orange in the tube, however I was a bit disappointed it just turned into regular peach-pink on me (both on my skin and on my lips).

Despite my disappointment in this not being a very "out there" shade, I'm happy with the formula. It's thin and moisturizing, and on the glossier side. The formula reminds me most of the YSL Candy balms, which continue to be my favorite tinted lip balm line.

Also, how cute is the packaging?! Not "fancy" like YSL, but makes my eyes happy when I pull it out to use :) The cap is also fairly tight so I'm not concerned about it coming off in my purse.

Overall, this is a solid buy in the luxury tinted balms world, for $36 CDN. If you love tinted balms like I do, this is a great add to your collection! If tinted balms aren't your thing, skip this :)