Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kanebo Freshel Mineral BB Cream UV

IOPE was my first foray into Asian BB creams (see previous review here), and since then I have definitely been more on the lookout. Without any request from me though, one of my best friends brought this back for me from her trip to Taiwan (isn't it awesome when friends do that...).  I was super excited to try another BB cream from Asia, this time from Japan.

I had actually never heard of Kanebo before, and a quick google search showed Kanebo has 4 different BB creams. This one is supposed to be the higher UV coverage and matte finish. Refer to Kanebo website for the others.

My friend bought me "MB", which is the darker shade. The lighter is called "NB", and Kanebo's BB creams come in these two shades.

As you can see, this is quite a thicker/stiffer cream compared to more liquid-ey ones on the North American market. The shade suits my face quite well, and doesn't make me look grey or pale. I do find it a bit too yellow, but it's not noticeable once I put bronzer/blusher on. From other reviews it seems the NB is a lighter and less yellow shade, so if you're paler than I am or more neutral/pink undertoned I would go for that shade instead. 

Coverage is sheer and buildable to medium with a second layer, but definitely evens out the skintone nicely on the first go.

In terms of blending, this has to be the best amongst all BB creams I've tried. I really see NOTHING on my face other than great skin. Most other BB creams will blend better and look more skin-like than foundations, but I always see "something" on my face. With this, it really makes me look twice and recall that I actually did put something on. Yes it is that amazing...

Have you tried this brand or any other Japanese BB products before? And I thought my BB/alphabet thing was over...still hanging on!

I have no idea where you can buy this in Canada in store, but you can definitely get it on eBay or have a wonderful friend lug it back from Asia for you :) 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Topbox September 2014

Hello again Topbox... $12/mo for deluxe samples to try out

I was super impressed to see this... a seemingly giant tub of a very expensive cream from Lancome.

This next product is odd.... I have never heard of illumalift before. This is supposed to be some kind of cream brightener, and it advises to put on dark areas, such as under and over eyes, nasolabial folds, etc.

It doesn't come with any packaging, which I didn't mind since I have a few Z-palettes sitting around. If you don't have a empty palette however (and most consumers don't), not sure where they expect you to store this... 

 The color is white-ish-yellow on the skin and blends to almost nothing. It does brighten my nasolabial folds slightly, however doesn't do as good of a job as a more well-known brightener, such as YSL's Touche Eclat.  It turns my under-eyes a bit grey unfortunately, due to my dark circles being more brown than blue. If you have more blue circles however this would work well for you (think color theory).

Now we turn to more highlights of this box... look at this cute packaging! It smells a bit too strong but so does all spray dry shampoos to me. It works, gets rid of that greasy look and smell, however makes my hair a bit too smooth and difficult to style for updos.

Lastly...this has got to be the cutest nailpolish packaging I have ever seen!


Advertised as $15 per bottle...a bit much for non-luxe nailpolish but the bottle is super cute and heavy. Will have to see how the formula is if it's worth buying down the road...

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sephora Hourglass Reward & Hourglass Opague Rouge Lipstick - Icon: Swatch and Review

I recently traded in 500 Sephora points for the Hourglass set. 

It was quite a good deal, came with 3 foundation foils and 4 deluxe sample sized products below. 

I was most interested in the mascara and the 2 lip products, as I already have the primer (previously reviewed here).  Unfortunately the lipstick was not a good shade for me as I don't do well with more skin-toned nudes (they make me look ill). However I tried it on my mom and it looked much better on her.

What I adored though, is the liquid lipstick in the shade Icon, described as a "blue red".

 These lip swatch photos really do not do this shade justice... if you ever have a chance to try this in store I highly recommend you do so. It is the most deep, rich, and sophisticated red I have ever worn. In person, it has this depth to the redness that is difficult to capture on film.

with bounced flash
My best description, a bit morbid...(stop reading here if you're queasy) that this reminds me of the color of arterial blood. I don't mean the blood that you see when you cut your finger (that's venous blood), which is less oxygenated and thus runs more purple/brown-red.

natural sunlight
This reminds me of the blood that would come out a big artery, fully oxygenated, alive, and a rich bright, blue-toned red.

My morbid color description aside, this matte shade is gorgeous and eye-catching, and had incredible staying power throughout the day. It barely faded after 2 meals and required a remover to take off (which I rarely need with lipsticks as they're mostly worn off by end of the night). It isn't entirely transfer-proof unfortunately, as I pecked my hubby on the cheek and it did leave a slight stain.

 Some downsides... the rich pigment means this is a very unforgiving product to use. As you can see in the swatch I didn't draw my lip lines very well with just using the soft applicator, which is hard to control. I recommend using a lip pencil first to outline the lips properly. 

It also emphasized my lip lines (you can see that more clearly in the natural sunlight photo where I'm not smiling). Note that this is different from a product that catches in the lip lines (ie. deposits more pigment in the lip lines), as the pigmentation is very even here (probably the most even I've ever seen).  I did try this with a gloss which mitigated that (although destroyed the point of having a matte product).

Overall, if you got the time to spend on your lips and love a statement lip, you're going to LOVE this. If you like more MLBB/no-fuss lips and don't have more than a few seconds to put on lipcolor, this isn't your friend, not even close.  For me, this is going to be special occasion only.

Did you get this set? Let me know what you thought of it, or share with me your favorite statement red lip product!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Review: Face Atelier Brush Buff

I've talked about a few different cosmetic products from Face Atelier on various posts already, but what I haven't yet shared is my HG on-the-spot brush cleansers (for use either between clients when you didn't bring enough brush sets, or for yourself day to day between the more "serious" washings with a brush soap/shampoo). I generally keep 3 on hand (one in the work kit, on in my personal kit, and one backup).

If you aren't already familiar, Face Atelier is a Canadian brand based out of Calgary (my favorite Canadian city, despite the erratic weather...). They're quite popular with MUAs particularly for their foundations, which are dewy and amazing especially for mature skin (a favorite for mother-of-the-bride for bridal artists!)

Other than saying this brush cleanser is da bomb...thought I'd show it in action

Here's a dirty Real Techniques blush brush. If you know these brushes you know the tips are white, which are generally the worst for staining and difficulty returning to it's whiteness.

I spray the brush and the tissue behind it,

and we have white tips again.

Here we are with a similar styled powder brush

and good and white...

If your brushes are being used daily I recommend doing deep cleansing with brush soap or shampoo once every 1-2 weeks (1 week for liquid products, 2 weeks for powder) in addition to this daily spray cleanser to prevent buildup.

Overall, HG product for me that I will purchase over and over again. You can buy this for $21 CDN from Face Atelier directly online.

What's your favorite brush cleanser?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Lancome Creme Douceur Massage Cleanser Review

Great makeup requires great cleansing... afterall, doesn't matter how great you look in the day, if you don't take it all off at night you're opening the door to blemishes, clogged pores, blackheads, ick...

I love cleansing oils, how they work and how they feel, but find them a touch messy/runny to use as they're sometimes hard to contain in my hands and occasionally drip. Then I came across this thing of beauty from Lancome...

It's described as a cream-to-oil cleanser.  I'm intrigued...basically it comes out of the tube in the consistency of a cream, but once applied feels just like any other cleansing oil and works the same way (apply to dry skin, then wet slightly and lather up, then rinse off).

No mess...just gorgeously clean skin without any drying effects thereafter... I love it. This is also super gentle in the eye area and removes all my undereye concealer (I don't use it for eyeshadow/mascara as I prefer to use Bi-Facil for that).  Lancome has made another solid product indeed and this is a great option if you're like me, wanting the effects of oil without the mess!

Do you like oil cleansers? Or regular ones? Or something in between? Let me know what's your favorite!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer Review

I love me some concealer... it's what makes one of the biggest differences in my makeup routine towards looking like a "better" me (one that is more awake and alert with those dark circles banished).

I haven't tried many Tarte products before, but I'm a sucker when a product says "creaseless" since I am getting fine lines under my eyes and have had trouble with other concealers in this area.

This concealer is THICK. It's shockingly thick, as in felt like it should have been advertised as a cream and slabbed into a tub rather than in a squeeze tube pretending to be a liquid product.

Despite the initial shock, look at that coverage... you really only need a tiny amount of this, and it's full coverage indeed. This is also moisturizing for me and doesn't highlight the dry patches I have under my eyes (yay circles and bags and patches, I got them all!).  It blends well and I'd say is nearly creaseless for up to 10 hrs or so. There is a some cakiness that starts up after that but hey, it's end of the night, I'm usually home by then and can touch up if I need to go out again.

Overall, awesome concealer indeed. Just be careful to not use too much, as you can see the very small 1/4 pea size amount I used on the back of my hand is way too much for anyone's under-eyes no matter how dark your circles are. Shade range is also quite wide with variety of undertones (unlike other concealer lines we know of that come in 3 shades...), so most people should be able to find a good match. At $29 CDN from your local Sephora-land, with this insane amount of pigment/coverage, this little tube gonna last a long time...

Have you tried this? Let me know what you thought or share with me what your favorite concealers are!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

EOTD: Tom Ford Quad - Cognac Sable

Cognac Sable isn't known as one of Tom Ford's more "natural" palettes as it's more shimmery and particularly has one very glittery copper shade that is difficult to use day to day. However, it is possible to put together a very natural look using all 4 shades if the copper is tapped onto the middle of the lid only, giving a surprisingly sheer but noticeable glimmer when blinking. 
See my original review of this quad here.

I thought I'd also show how well Tom Ford's eyeshadow holds up, as the eye photos are taken 8 hours after initial application, with no primer underneath (and I also have oily lids).

The numbers correspond to where the shadows go
1 - inner corner highlight
2 - pat on the center of lid as the last step
3 - crease color
4 - liner (can smoke out if desired)

Finish the look with brown eyeliner and black mascara, and off we go...

artificial lighting with no flash

bounced flash

from further back...

The overall look is classy and fairly natural looking, with the noticeable copper glitter when blinking. Depending on how much makeup you wear day to day, this could be worn to work if you skip the copper, or add the copper for a dinner out.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Empties #2

Wee another empties post! I only started these last month and now really enjoy collecting what I'm about to toss to give a final word... Click the jump to read on friends!