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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Skin Food Apple & Pineapple Gift Set

The Skin Food Apple & Pineapple Gift Set was a pleasant and unexpected extra in my most previous haul package from Korea. I love being able to try out things without actually purchasing them first.

The Apple & Pineapple Gift Set is a set for your face and hands.

-Apple Vinegar Fresh Foam: A quite thick jelly like washing gel which supposedly removes old skin cells to leave your skin glowy and soft
-Apple Vinegar Cleansing Gel Cream: Has the same benefits as the Fresh Foam but is a more moisturizing washing cream for drier skin-types.
-Gold Apple Hand Balm (Fresh Type): A smoothing hand treatment that leaves my hands soft and moisturized.
All Apple items have a very light apple scent, but not overpowering.

-Pineapple Peeling Gel: A light gel-like emulsion with very fine peeling beads.
-Pineapple Repair Cream: A lightweight gel-cream that seems to moisturize my facial skin really well. It feels very pleasant on my skin.
The Pineapple items carry a very fine fresh scent, not much pineapple but more of a soft herbal fragrance.

I don't know the RRP of this but I found it online selling for US$10-15.
It's not written on the tubes how much product they contain. I think it's 10-15ml each.

Kanebo Tabinoyado Bath Salts

While browing one of my favorite ebay seller's store I stumbled across Bath Salts in quite traditionally looking Japanese boxes. I thought they looked really yummy so I went ahead and ordered a set of 15 bath salts (in the pink box).
There are 5 different scents/3 packages each in the box. They have different yummy scents and all are refreshing. Also your bath water gets tinted in blue, green, yellow etc.

Later I found another set of Tabinoyado bath salts in another ebay shop (the yellow box). It contains 13 bags (12+1 free) with 4 different scents. These smell equally fresh and yummy and they turn the bath water a milky color.

I can highly recommend both sets of bath salts and for about US$20 or less shipped/box it's not a bad price as you're getting 13-15 baths out of each box.

According to the descpription each type of bath salts resembles one of the famous Japanese Hot Springs. It also seems to be enriched with minerals for good skin care.

Whenever I use one of the bath salts I feel I am in a Spa and I would definitely repurchase both sets. I am running low of them now anyway so my next order will be placed very soon!

Loving Freebies!

It's one of the nicest things to get a package and find some unexpected pretty samples and extras inside.

I just wanted to share pics of most of the freebies I received and will update with new pics frequently =D

You can see that I received duplicates of some items in different hauls.

Skin Food Banana Yogurt Mask Wash Off

Along with my most recent order from Korea I received one of Skin Food's regular Wash Off face masks. I am a devoted to sheet masks but I am always open for new things so the Banana Yogurt Mask Wash Off ended up in my shopping cart.

The mask comes in a simple 100ml pot and it smells heavenly of bananas and slightly sour like yogurt. It's a very smooth gel-cream type of formula that spreads easily and I find a little goes a long way so the pot will probably last me for a good amount of time.

It's a softening and moisturizing mask which isn't harsh at all (I can't use any of the LUSH fresh masks as all those start burning on my skin and leave red patches on my cheeks...ugh!). My skin feels revitalized and soft after washing the mask off.
The Banana Yogurt mask is listed under the "Luster"-masks on the Skin Food website.

I paid about US$16 on ebay but I am pretty sure it retails for less than half in Korea.

Skin Food Sugar Bloom Shadow Box vs. Kanebo Twany Glamacy Eye colors in BR04, IV-01, WT-01

I've been more into neutrals the previous months. I used to be the super bright eye makeup girl for a few years but right now I prefer a neutral polished look most of the time (which doesn't mean that I am not occasionally in the mood for bright shadows like the new Lunasol quad!)

Kanebo revamped their Twany line a few months ago and released a new brand called Twany Glamacy which offers a small selection of rather muted and neutral makeup colors good for a professional look.
If you want to purchase one of their eyeshadow trios you have to buy 3 colors individually and put them in the eyeshadow case (also sold separately). I like this system as this way you end up with colors you picked yourself and you're going to like most probably.

You're supposed to pick an accent eyecolor (there are 5 different browns), an UE (Under Eye color) and a UB (under brow color). There are 2 UE and 2 UB colors to choose from.
I picked the eyecolor in BR04, UB color in IV-01 and UE color in WT-01.

Last week I received a package from Korea that contained Skin Food's Sugar Bloom Shadow Box in #2 Brown. When I opened the box I was surprised to find that it actually looks a lot like the Twany Glamacy eyeshadow trio I had ordered a few months ago.

The Twany case is
a simple midnight blue shiny compact with a mirror and 2 applicators included. It's simple and doesn't wow me really.

The Skin Food compact is a super cute Vintage-style metal box which reminds me of one of those old bonbon boxes from the 19th century. It also has a mirror and a simple applicator included.

Texture and colors:
The Twany Glamacy colors are quite pigmented with pretty soft shimmery finish. I use the darkest color in the crease, the UE color on my lids and below eyes and the UB color under my brows.
The result I can achieve is indeed really pretty and polished.
The brown is a warm taupe, a pale pinky peach (WT-01) and a soft ivory (IV-01).

The Skin Food eyeshadows are also soft and pigmented with a soft pearly metallic look but very little shimmer. I also have to say that the taupe shade in the Skin Food trio is cooler and more flattering for me.
The colors are peach, light yellow ivory and cool taupe.

The Glamacy trio gets really expensive if you buy the case and 3 individual colors. You pay 1260 Yen/eyeshadow and 1680 Yen for the case. So you'll end up paying over 5000 Yen (just below US$50) for your trio.

The Skin Food trio is quite cheap, it runs for under US$9 (costs 8500 Won in South Korea) so it's a steal.

And the Winner is:
Definitely the Skin Food trio. The packaging is cuter, the colors are better, the texture is as good as the Twany trio and the price is way cheaper.

The Skin Food Sugar Bloom Shadow Box is also available in #1 Sweet which looks like a bit odd color combination of orange, lilac and white.

VOV Castledew Color Shot Eyes

is a Korean brand which didn't get a lot of attention from me until recently when I saw their gorgeous makeup line called Castledew.
I had tried this brand 2 years or so ago, ordered some of their Color Song palettes and a couple of trios and they were alright but somehow the packaging was too ugly and cheap looking so I just put them aside and didn't use them.
But as soon as I spotted their Castledew Color Shot Eyes palettes I thought of giving the brand a new try.

I ended up ordering 4 of the eye palettes and they're really gorgeous! The texture of the shadows is quite soft and silky, color pay-off is good, about medium pigment that can be intensified with layering. There is no chunky glitter in the colors, just a pretty soft pearly shimmer.

The compacts are so pretty, they remind me of a cross between Jill Stuart and Kose Esprique Precious.

I believe there are about 6 palettes available. I skipped the pastel and blue colors.

-01 Daring Romance: Pretty and feminine combination of cream, pink, purple and taupe.

-03 White Silver: White, pale pink, light silver and medium silver. The pink could have been a bit more vibrant as it's very similar to the white.

-GD240 Mystic Gold: White, peach gold and dark brown.

-VL330 Midnight Violet: Gorgeous combination of iridescent white/pink, silver, lilac and darker purple.

I paid about US$35/palette on ebay but these retail for less than US$20 in Korea.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Skin Food All Over Muffin Cake Finish vs. Laneige Snow Radiant Blusher

As mentioned before I am a sucker for baked-type powder products, especially the pretty marbled ones. I just couldn't resist when I spotted Skin Food's All Over Muffin Cake Finish on their website. I just had to have it (also for the cute and yummy name!)

My first baked beige/golden highlighter was
Laneige's Snow Radiant Blusher which is also a gorgeous product so I am going to compare them.

Skin Food Muffin Cake: There are 3 colors available to my knowledge: A pink blush and 2 different beige tones. I decided to go for #3 as it looked like the lighter beige more suitable for my skin tone (and I shall get pink any time soon!) This is a gorgeous marbled powder that leaves a really dewy shine (you can easily overdo and look greasy!). I don't think it's really good to use it all over as the name suggests.

Laneige Snow Radiant Blusher: The Laneige Snow Radiant Blusher comes in 3 colors, too. A bronzy pink, pastel white and golden beige. The Laneige highlighter in gold (#03) has more pink tones than the Muffin Cake. The finish is also shimmery but not as dewy as the Muffin Cake. Both look similar when applied but look quite different in the pan.

Skin Food's product comes in a cardboard compact with a brush hidden in the bottom. Laneige's Snow Radiant Blusher comes in a pretty laser-disc like compact but without brush.

I paid US$30 for the Laneige product and US$35 for the Skin Food Muffin. I know that the Skin Food Muffin Cake retails for less than half in Korea but I don't know how much Laneige costs.

I honestly can't name a favorite, I just love them both! Probably the Laneige item is better value for money as it comes in a sturdier and more elegant compact and gives a slightly more subtle highlighting finish.

First venture into Banila Co

Banila Co is a cute Korean brand with a rather small but pretty assortment of items.
I think the quality is quite good and the items are affordable.
The first thing I usually try out from a brand I am not familiar with are their eyeshadows, especially palettes if available as I am not so much into singles.
So I purchased some of Banila Co's eyeshadow duos, 2 singles, a lipstick and an eyelid primer to get a good impression of the brand.

-Two Eyes Eyeshadows:
I love all sort of baked products like blushes, highlighters and eyeshadows. Two Eyes Eyeshadows are baked duos with a great texture and shimmer so they just look beautiful when applied.
26 Floral Bouquet:
Spring 2008 color duo. This is a bit harder than the other duos but still has good color pay-off. Also this comes in a pink compact instead of black. Pretty pink/light aqua duo.
22 Midnight Castle: My favorite duo. A very sparkly dark silvery charcoal and a sparkly pink.
08 Fall in NY: Pearly olive green and golden beige. Perfect for fall I guess!
13 Miss Daisy: Sheerest color out of the lot. A light pink and lavender.

-Eyelights Shadows: Single shadows in the same style packaging as Shu Uemura. I have 2 colors #14 Ocean Navy - a very pigmented dark blue and #15 Gray Grace - a light-medium silver gray.

-Kiss Collector Shimmer Stick: A pretty lipstick in bright bubblegum pink but it applies very sheer on my lips so it just gives a gorgeous light soft pink gloss to my lips. The color I have is SPK541. It's a little bit drying though so it's not the most fantastic lipstick out there.

-Eye Love Eye Primer: This has become a daily staple for me. It's a concealer duo formulated specially for the fragile eye area. It has a good concealing strength but it's smooth enough to spread it easily. Both colors work perfectly with my pale complexion which is a surprise since the darker color looks so dark in the pan I was hesitant to try it. A definite repurchase for me!

Price-wise Banila Co is not too expensive. The eyeshadow duos cost about US$8 or so /each. The lipstick and primer are a bit pricier.

Shiseido Maquillage Fall 2008

Fall collections are usually my favorite releases as they offer the smoky dark colors I really dig. I was quite excited when I got the offer to purchase the Maquillage fall collection especially considering that it's not released before mid July 2008 (isn't it great to try something out first before others can buy it? =P ).
It's a nice collection consisting of eyeshadow trios, lipsticks and blushes.

-Forming Shiny Eyes: This is an interesting new product in the MQ lineup. It's a small pot containing a powder shadow duo (highlighter and dark color) and a cream shadow base in an extra compartment. The shadows are very silky and medium pigmented with beautiful intense pearl shimmer. the lighter shade is more pigmented and shimmery than the accent color.
There is also a small drawer with an eyeshadow applicator in the bottom of the pot.
51: Emerald/lilac-y white; white cream shadow)
52: Cool blue-toned violet/yellow gold; pink cream shadow
54: Dark plum/light golden peach; pale pink cream shadow
55: Dark gray/golden pink; silvery cream shadow
I didn't get 53 which seems to be a brown/golden combination.

-Design Cheek Color: A blush consisting of 4 color from light to medium in pink or orange so you have a highlighter and blush in 1 compact. It seems quite shimmery but I haven't tried this yet really so can't say if it's just a glittery overspray on top. You need to purchase the Design Face Powder case separately (it's available in black and white). There are 2 colors: 70 (orange tones) and 80 (pink tones).

-Color Fix Climax Rouge: 12 new colors added to the range. Color Fix Climax Rouges are pretty glossy lipsticks with decent staying power. I purchased 3 colors from the fall line-up:
PK394 (a pretty muted pink), RS208 (a cool-toned lavender pink), BE305 (a neutral creamy beige brown).

Updated June 18 2008:
Got 3 more lippies:

PK357 (light golden peachy pink),
RS349 (a pretty metallic medium berry pink), RD700 (a satiny red-beige):

Kanebo Lavshuca Summer 2008

The collection released by Lavshuca is one of the most exciting releases this year in my opinion. It's a small but gorgeous collection of beautiful summer goodies!

The heart of the collection are the 2 eyeshadow palettes called Summer Gradually Compact. There is neutral (in a golden case) and a cool palette (in a silver case) and both are equally pretty! Some of the colors are metallics and there is 1 glitter shade and 1 matte defining color in each palette.
When you purchase the palette the case is empty and you have to put in the trays with the eyeshadows yourself so you can mix and match or fill the case with other items later.

-01 Shiny Sand Beach: A beautiful array of neutrals for a polished summer look.
This comes in the golden case. Contains a glittery gold, warm copper, light cream ivory, taupe beige, neutral chocolate and matte muddy brown. When I saw the first pics I was convinced this would be too warm to wear but the palette is pretty neutral so it's very pretty even on cool-toned ppl like me.

-02 Windy Aqua Beach: Comes in the silver case. Contains a glitter silver, light seafoam green, ivory (a bit lighter than the one in 01), medium blue with a touch of green (it's not a baby blue but not an aqua either), medium fresh blue and muddy brown matte shade (same color as in 01).

All colors are quite pigmented and blend beautifully. The metal cases are lightweight but sturdy. Each palette with 5.5 g retails for around US$18 so it's a good deal for 6 high-quality eyeshadows.

-Rouge Essence Bar: There are 2 new shades for the summer, I got PK-4 which is a gorgeous muted natural pink with a satin finish and good pigment compared to the other Lavshuca Rouge Essence Bar colors.
Costs around US$15/each.

Kanebo Kate Summer 2008

This year Kate released a small but pretty collection of items for the summer. Being a real fan of Kate for about 3 years now I just went ahead and purchased a good part of it.
There are 3 new Dual Carat eyeshadow duos and a new range of lipsticks called Rouge Trance S (8 colors). I purchased 2 of the Dual Carats and 3 of the lipsticks and all items are gorgeous.

-Dual Carat eyeshadow duos: Actually this series came out for fall 2006 but the range has constantly been revised.
There are 3 new palettes for summer 2008: GD-2 (didn't get this one) WT-1 and BK-1. I didn't have the intention to order WT-1 since it's just a white/white duo but after spotting the gorgeous model's look on the Kate website I couldn't resist ordering it. It doesn't look as gorgeously metallic in real life as it does on the model but it's still a very pretty shimmery summer look. BK-1 is a dark and light silver duo. Both duos have a lot of fine shimmer and glitter throughout and look gorgeous applied. Pigment is medium I'd say.

-Rouge Trance S: Gorgeous buttery glossy lipsticks with a sheer pigmentation. Those look great and feel fab on lips. Definitely recommend them! There are 8 very soft and wearable colors available, I got 3 (from top to bottom): RS1, PK8 and BE5

Kate items retail for affordable prices. The eye palettes can be bought in Japan for less than US$10 if you get the 25-30% off in the drugstores there.

Shiseido Maquillage Summer 2008

The Shiseido MQ collection this year isn't impressive as it only consists of some nail polishes and nail care stuff, a mascara and base and a mascara remover in a pen.

Nonetheless the items I purchased are good and worth checking out.

-Mascara Combing Remover: This is a very interesting item. It's waterproof eye makeup remover in a click-twist pen. You just have to twist the back of the pen and the gel is dispensed on the brush. Comb your lashes, let it work for a minute and then wipe off with a cotton pad. This works surprisingly well. It takes off most of the mascara (I wear waterproof mascara most of the time) so the rest can be easily removed with my regular face cleansing oil (from FancL).
Costs 1575 Yen.

-Full Vision Lash Base: This is a good lash base with fibers to lengthen your lashes. It has an awkward brush which works well though. Retail 1890 Yen.

-Full Vision Mascara: This is a lengthening mascara. Alone it's a bit too little drama for me but it looks gorgeous if you layer 1 application of this over a volumizing mascara like Majolica Majorca's Lash Enamel Glamour. This has the same odd mascara brush like the base. Costs 2940 Yen.

Review of the fall collection is coming up soon! It's not officially out until July 17!

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