Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi Cleansing Oil Review

 My first Shu oil...and I'm hooked! I'm not turning back... My first ever cleansing oil experience was a sample from Josie Maran, which was interesting but didn't hook me. Then I was using Julep's cleansing oil (brief review in my recent empties post), which got me into using oil regularly to cleanse, but it didn't do anything extra for my skin.

Shu Uemura is kinda famous for their cleansing oils, so finally I decided I had to try. I actually bought three different ones and this "skin-refining anti-dullness" gets to be the first to be trialed. I have been using this almost daily to remove my makeup for the past 3 weeks.

As you can see from the ingredients, this is a mineral oil base (think baby oil, though this seems more highly refined). I find it very liquidy, much less viscous than the Josie Maran or Julep. It does an excellent job at breaking down my makeup and then when I add water to emulsify it, it turns milky white and then rinses away clean. Yes clean, no oily residue, just feels like my face is clean. I actually don't need to "double" cleanse with this at all.

 In comparison to Julep, this one rinses away cleaner and when water is added turns much more white.  I also like the pump better. It pumps out more at a time (sometimes a bit too much, and given it's so liquid-y it can spill out of my hand), and I just need 1-2 pumps depending on how much makeup I'm wearing. With Julep I had to pump 6-8 times to wash my face, ugh.

I actually do feel my skin looks brighter and less dull, and some days I only feel the need to use concealer here and there rather than covering my whole face in a base product. However I did also start using the Clarisonic recently (will do a separate post about that soon), and I'm not sure which one is making the difference or if it's the combo. Though who cares which one was the cause as long as my skin is better right?!
I can't wait to try the others, but will go one at a time (will empty this one first before going forward).

What do you think of Shu's oils? Do you have another oil cleanser you prefer?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Best Cheapo Brush Ever...

Even though I just recently posted about my new interest in luxe brushes, I still love a good deal. I was browsing Winners awhile back and found the Eco Tools Deluxe Fan Brush for $6.99,  and thought, hey, can't hurt. 


Turns out this is the best fan brush I have ever tried! Not that I've tried that many so you have to take this with a grain of salt...Let's see...there was a super cheapo one that came in the set from makeup school (it's now gone to the garbage it was that bad), and then there was the Bdellium Tools fan brush below:

It had looked promising as the fan wasn't as sparse as the garbage no-name one. 

Unfortunately it did not perform well for highlighters or blushes, as the brush is too sparse still and just doesn't pick up enough pigment. I imagine this might be good for some very intense glittery product that one would only want a tiny amount of.

Ah now look at the Eco Tools fan brush below...So thick and plush, and so soft! I'm amazed at how soft it was for the price. There was also no shedding or dye running while washing.

This picks up the right amount of product for highlighters, and also works well for my more pigmented blushes as it doesn't quite pick up as much pigment. It's made me take out an old super pigmented Lancome blush that had previously gone underground as I found it too intense, but now I can apply it lightly with this brush for a sheer wash of color. Oh and this brush also works well with overall face powder, placing just enough product to control oil but not to cake. 

Oh oh and did I mention already that it's super soft and feels soooo nice to use?!... yup I did, but it's worth mentioning again. For $6.99, really?!  I actually returned to Winners a few times in the month after to scour for a second one, but no such luck. Then one day this past week, I finally saw one! It was sitting on a shelf right infront of a lady browsing, so I politely asked her if it was hers, and she said "nope" (thankfully, or I'm not sure what I would have done haha, maybe try to convince her why she wouldn't want this brush so I could have it instead?! But no that wouldn't be nice...). Anyways, I'm so happy now to have a back up of this. Yay hurray for a good deal on an awesome product!

Do you have a favorite cheapo brush that is totally awesome?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Another Sponge (not the best ever, but pretty good!) - Beauty Blender micro.mini

I've gone a little crazy over different beauty "tools" recently, and finally decided to try this much debated mini version of the Beauty Blender. I've mentioned this before, I love the black BB, it's really awesome for foundation and I really haven't really seen negative reviews from others (except for the price tag of course). The "micro.mini" is more controversial though as it has received very mixed reviews. Some love it, and some hate it, thinking it's way too small and a complete waste, and also that it doesn't do anything that the original BB can't do.

It comes with instructions to use it for contouring and highlighting.

This sponge is meant to be used damp like the original, and I happily saw that it expands to twice its size and becomes a softy-bouncy cushion just like the original. It's actually even a bit more soft compared to the original and feels a bit more flimsy in that regard.

For me, I actually really like this for blending out under-eye concealer. Yes the pointed end of the original BB can do the same, but this thing is softer and I feel I get more control with it. It also just "feels" nice when I use it on my delicate under-eye area. The performance is just as good as the original for end result, but of course it takes a bit more effort since it's smaller and there is more "bouncing"/stippling involved. In this regard, it's not "too small" for me.

Do you need this?...nope, not at all. However, most things in the cosmetic world we don't "need", but heck they're enjoyable to use.  I like this sponge and I'm happy having it to change up how I apply my makeup. It costs $24 CDN for 2 of them. I've been using 1 for the past few weeks regularly with daily washing and it's still going strong.

Have you tried this? Love it or hate it? Or just enjoying it for what it is?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Givenchy Ombre Couture Cream Eyeshadow 1 - Blanc Satin Top Coat

This is my first Givenchy cosmetic purchase (I only knew of this brand to make that perfume my mother loved previously), and I am impressed!

I was browsing during the recent Sephora sale and swatched this beauty in store, and the way it lit up made me put it in my basket instantly.

These cream eyeshadows are sheer and smooth, and blend beautifully with other products. This particular shade is a "top coat", meant to add shimmer/fine on top of other eye products. 

Here's a bare eye swatch, with just one finger swipe of this onto the middle of my eyelid. 

As you can see, it gives a barely there but light-catching glittery-princessy brightness. The glitter is very fine and you cannot feel it at all. It can also be built up more with a brush. The only downside is the glitter is difficult to wash out of the brush. The upside of that is this thing lasts all day, no touchups needed.

I have used this on its own a lot recently, with light eyeliner and a bit of mascara; makes me feel girly and pretty. It doesn't emphasize my fine lines like some shimmery shadows can.

Do you use eye shadow "top coats"?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Cozzette Brushes Review: Vitality D225 - The Depositor and Divinity S130 - Round Blush

I have not been one to really splurge on brushes before, and the most expensive brushes I had previously were around the $20 range for face brushes. Especially with Real Techniques brushes being so affordable and high quality, I didn't feel the need. 

Recently I went a little crazy with online shopping during my exam period and picked up these two lovelies, which have now made me want more luxe brushes (they're like "gateway" brushes hehe).

This eye brush is from the "Vitality" line. The handle is red-lacquered gorgeousness, and is weighted just-right. Feels steady and balanced. 

The handle end is tapered and slips nicely into brush rolls. (Real Techniques are terrible for this part, yes their handle has that nice fat stand, but it makes them hard to travel with). 

The brush head is synthetic goat hair so is cruelty free. It's very dense and soft, and does a good job at depositing powder just like the name indicates.

The blush brush is from the "Divinity" line, which is weighted and shaped just like the Vitality, but is colored purple.  They advertise to be each hand made.

The handle is tapered the same way but is of course thicker.

The brush head is very soft, so soft it made my previously favorite blush brush, the Real Techniques pale in comparison. It also applies blush evenly and swirls super lightly on the face and without any dragging sensation.

These brushes have become my new staples. There has been no shedding either with washing. My poor Real Techniques brushes have gone into storage. 

The blush brush was $37 CDN and the eye brush was $20 CDN, both of which I purchased from Blur Makeup Room here in Toronto. 

As for the "gateway", of course there are way more expensive brushes out there, which I previously had no interest in, but now I'm interested to see how much better they can be... oh this is a dangerous path to go down on isn't it...

What are your thoughts on luxe brushes? Worth it or no?

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Another day of Red

I'm still a little shy about wearing red out, so I'm wearing them around the house these days for fun. I am really loving the little mini Marc Jacobs that came with the VIB Rouge kit. 

Bounced Flash

Here's some swatches of it next to Hourglass Icon and the Bite VIB Rouge lippie. These are all one-swipe swatches, and you can see that nothing will ever compare with the pigmentation of Icon!

No flash, bathroom lighting

The MJ leans slightly more raspberry than the Bite version on my arm, but on my lips it leans warmer. Interesting how color chemistry can be sometimes. You can see when I smile though that the line becomes uneven, and I think in the future I would use a lip liner on the outside lines.

Natural Lip

Bounced flash

no flash

The formula is creamy and I like it better than the Bite, which clings to dry patches and is drying after awhile. Definitely makes me want to try more MJ lippies!
Which red are you loving recently?