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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Banila Co Good Night Kiss Lip Care Essence

I always use lip balm before I go to sleep. Most of them vanish sometime during the night leaving my lips soft but not overly moisturized in the morning.

One lip balm I really love as it's very moisturizing and stays on till the morning is Lunasol's Lip Essence. It's a bit pricier and my tube is nearly finished so I decided to give a try to Banila Co Good Night Kiss Lip Care Essence which is especially formulated for night time use.

To me this is nearly identical to the Lunasol Lip Essence.
Good Night Kiss Lip Care Essence is a soft vaseline-like balm in a squeeze tube that glides on very smoothly on my lips. It has a slight petrolium-jelly taste but it doesn't bother me. They fragranced this with a fruity scent but it's not really strong.

What's the best is that the squeeze tube looks cuter than the Lunasol Essence and it contains 13ml compared to the 7g of the Lunasol.
RRP is 7500 Won (about US$8). I paid US$12.75 on ebay so it's not too bad.

Etude House 44 Dark Circle Concealer

I have to rave a bit about my newest eye-circle concealer called 44 Dark Circle Concealer from Etude House.

I've been test-driving this little gem for several days now and have to say it's right now my favorite concealer for the eye area.

This is a dual-ended concealer with a swivel-up concealer on the one side and a liquid one with a wand applicator on the other.

The solid stick-type concealer is a pale pink that provides good coverage. My eyes get instantly brighter when I use this.

The other end contains a light slightly yellow-toned concealer cream that is supposed to be used on top of the pink concealer side to blend it into the natural skin-tone.

I have to say when I use both sides together my eyes look really awake and bright and there is no dark shadow around my eyes.

The one I have is #1 and I believe there's also a 44 Dark Circle Concealer in #2 available which seem to have a pale yellow stick instead of pale pink.

I believe the RRP is between US$8-10 so it's very affordable.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

First venture into Isa Knox

And here I'll present you just another brand that's very new to me.

Someone told me that Isa Knox is supposedly a good brand but the makeup selection seems to be rather small so probably the brand is focusing on high-quality skin-care.

I found some lipsticks and other items but the items that caught my attention were the 3 eyeshadow palettes and the blush/highlighter duo.

I settled on the LUXIAN Natural Eye Shadow quad in BE310 and the LUXIAN Duo Lighter in #1 (the only available color).

Both items come in shiny light mint cases that look quite pretty and different from the black/gold/silver cases many brands tend to use.
The compacts don't look that luxurious in my opinion but still pretty and simple.
Inside the mirrored cases the powders are covered with a plastic flip-top which is more or less standard in many Korean brands. It's a very good and hygienic invention.

LUXIAN Natural Eye Shadow BE310:

This contains "Natural Pure Powder" and "Color Focus Pigment". Whatever that stuff is the eyeshadow palette is nice. It's not the most exciting and outstanding quad I tried but offers a good solid neutral look with good pigment in the darker shades and a sheerer finish in the lighter shades. The finish is a soft shimmery look without obvious glitter so it's a good neutral quad to use in more conservative environment.
I'd say this makes a really good daily makeup palette to use for work as the colors are muted and soft.
The texture is slightly crumbly but the shadow fall-out is minimal.
The colors are white, light beige peach, a slightly heather-undertoned brown and a dark neutral chocolate without red undertones.
I paid about US$29 for my palette.

LUXIAN Duo-Lighter:

This is a quite convenient and pretty item. There is a gorgeous metallic neutral pink blush with fantastic pigment (it's so strong I need to shake the crap out of my blush brush not to look overdone) and a very soft pale pastel highlighter consisting of stripes of pink, white, yellow and blue. The highlighter just gives the slightest pearl finish and is quite sheer/translucent.
The super pigmented blush has a very odd very crumbly texture when I touch it but a very fine feel when used with a brush (and there are almost no crumbles forming with the brush).
This is a great item for traveling as a universally flattering pink and a highlighter are housed in the same case.
I paid around US$27 for my Duo-Lighter.

I don't see a lot of other items that look interesting for me. Maybe the purple eyeshadow quad (and there is a pink one, too).
If I ever stumble across any of their lippies discounted on ebay I'd definitely give a try to them, too!

First venture into Beauty Credit

Beauty Credit is a very affordable Korean brand with some really beautiful items (their logo is a rocking horse! How cute!). I had never heard of this brand before until recently and when I went to their website I decided to get a few items to give this brand a try.

I have to say that the things I got are really great quality for the low prices and come in very cute packaging, too.

I got an eye cream, concealer, foundation, 2 marbled baked blushes (yep, always those marbled things =P) and a regular pressed blush.

-Acerola White Eye Cream:

I have to admit that I mainly chose this eye cream out of Beauty Credit's selection due to the cute tube and the cheap price.
This comes in a white squeeze tube with pump dispenser which is a great way of packaging in my opinion (many BB creams use this style of tubes). There are Acerola fruits printed on the tube. Really cute!

But the cream is excellent, too! It's supposed to whiten due to the high content of Vitamin C found in the Acerola fruits. I don't know if it really whitens but that wasn't what I was looking for anyway. I wanted a good eye cream that's not too heavy to smooth the the area around my eyes to make makeup application easier. I always use eye cream as for me it's a vital step for even makeup.
The Acerola White Cream really makes the skin around my eyes very soft and smooth and makes a great base for eye concealer, eyeshadows etc.
The tube contains a whopping 30ml of products! That's about double the size most eye creams come in! What a steal as it retails for only 14800 won (around US$15).

-Lovely Q10 Foundation Moist SPF25:

I picked this as it comes in a very pale color (#13) and I haven't tried many Korean foundations yet so for 7800 Won (about US$8, I paid however US$14) it seemed to be a good inexpensive pick so it wouldn't be much of a problem if the color doesn't match.
I have to say #13 is a great pale shade that works very well for my fair complexion. The coverage is medium I'd say and even application is a breeze. The finish isn't dead matte but not really dewy or shiny either.

It's not a heavy foundation but it's definitely moisturizing and making my skin feel very soft and smooth.
Overall I am very happy with this as it's a good basic foundation that comes in a cute hygienic pump-bottle.
There is also a matte version of this available if you're oilier or prefer a matte finish.
Contains 40ml.

-Lovely Whitening Concealer:

It's been a while since I purchased my last liquid concealer in a squeeze tube. It seems most concealer come either in stick form or in a lipgloss-style wand tube.
It's a quite thick concealer with really good pigment that covers really well so a good color match is needed.
I am happy to report that the lighter color (there are 2 to choose from) is a nearly perfect match for me. It covers well and doesn't cake up on rough patches of my skin.
Really great stuff I have to say!

The squeeze tube contains 15g and costs only 6000 Won (a bit over US$6). I believe this will last very long as it's so pigmented and 15g are a generous amount!

-Lovely Oven Blusher:

This was the first item that attracted me as I am really loving baked marbled blushes and eyeshadows. I just think that baked blushes give a gorgeous slightly metallic but not overly glow to my cheeks most normal pressed blushes can't achieve.
The Lovely Oven Blushers come in round black compacts with silver flowers on top that change to rainbow colors when the light hits (more or less like a CD).

Like many baked products these are on the harder side but still give good pigment so 2 swipes on each cheek is enough for a soft glowing flush of color.
What I really like about the Beauty Credit Lovely Oven Blushers is that the brush rests on a little clear plastic cover on top of the blush that flips open so it's not the typical flimsy plastic sleeve you just remove. So this is much more convenient than other baked blushes I have.

I got 2 colors:
02: a lovely peachy pink (not as rose as it looks in the pan)

03: a soft muted orange that's not too loud or bright

Contains 12g, RRP is 13800 Won

-Lovely Cheek Color Mix:

The last item I got is another beautiful blush. The color is a mix of various dots in pink and white (I got color PK01 Pink Mix). The texture is rather rough but the blush shows up as a beautiful pale pink. This might be too pale for darker skin tones but perhaps could be used as a highlighter.

I love the cute satiny white case, too!
I can't see the weight of this listed. RRP is 7500 Won.

Overall I am very satisfied with the items I got and you can bet that this is not the last lot of Beauty Credit items I purchased.
The only thing this brand is lacking is a nice style of eyeshadow palettes or something. They have singles but I wasn't that attracted so skipped them.

Deals of the week =D

Yesterday I got a package with really really really good deals!
I got the Cle de Peau Serum Blanc Extra AC for US$29.99 instead of the retail of 8400 Yen (About US$80)

Furthermore I received 6 Ettusais lipglosses for US$27 whereas each gloss retails for 1575 Yen (about US$15/each)

Sometimes there are really great deals on eBay!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Shu Uemura Fleur de Source palette & Eau de Toilette

Hmmmm...yea. I had decided to skip the Shu Uemura Fleur de Source palette as it's so bright I might not wear it that often.

But being thrilled with the great quality of the Fleur de Rose palette I finally caved and got the Fleur de Source palette.
And I found the Fleur de Source Eau de Toilette on eBay for a good price so I decided to give a try to this, too.

Both items are Limited Edition for the 25th Boutique Birthday.

Fleur de Source Eau de Toilette Natural Spray 50ml:

The website says: "Pure, serene and refreshing cool feeling in a 100% natural origin fragrance with a floral spicy note. Watery papyrus and Egyptian basil essential oils evoke cool beauty."
I think it's a really woody scent that has a refreshing note when first spraying on. It dries to a soft spicy herbal scent on me. It's not heavy or strong scent and I wish it'd last a bit longer as about 2 hours after application I can hardly smell it.
Comes in a heavy very simple glass bottle with a blue circle printed on.
Retails for US$85, I paid about US$58 incl. shipping

Fleur de Source Pressed Eyeshadow/Highlighter for Eyes 8.7g:

As I noted above I had no intention getting this as I wasn't sure how the pigment and quality would be (in my experience the pre-made palettes are below mediocre). I was attracted by the colors but I haven't been so much into brights lately so I settled for the Fleur de Rose palette instead as it seemed more versatile.

Anyway after trying the rose palette and seeing swatches posted by several people I had to get the Fleur de Source palette for myself.
It's indeed a very gorgeous palette and perfect for the Spring and Summer months.
The shadows come in a gorgeous white metal case with a blue circle. Very pretty and sturdy!
All shades are metallic/very pearly and show up really well except the first khaki shade which is a bit sheerer but still a gorgeous metallic shade.
As there are 7 colors in the palette you have endless possibilities how to wear it.
The colors are: Soft khaki, muted seafoam blue, warm reddish brown, lime green, champagne, bright aqua and soft sky blue.

Retail is U$65, this is approximately what I paid.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Skin79 Super+ Beblesh Balm Golden & Pink version comparison

When I started getting into BB Creams I was pondering whether to get the pink or golden Super+ BB cream from Skin79.

I finally settled on the Gold Label VIP Gold Collection as it seemed to have more great ingredients like gold and caviar extract.

Furthermore I was told that the pink version is dreadfully dark so it wouldn't be suitable for my pale skin-tone.

The VIP Gold Collection is a perfect color match for me so I decided to jump into the cold water and order the pink one, too.

Now I am going to compare both:

Both BB Creams come in a great bulky pump-dispenser bottle which looks really luxurious and prettier than most of the regular squeeze-tubes. So packaging is equally good in both versions
Regular retail for the
Super+ Beblesh Balm Gold Label is a whopping 53000 Won (about US$55) and 52000 Won for the Super Plus Beblesh Balm Triple Function (Hot Pink collection) as listed on the website. I paid less than US$20/each on ebay so they're not that expensive in my opinion.
It seems that most Skin79 items are actually freaking expensive if you pay their retail price but come in extremely discounted kits or are sold from time to time at 70-80% or so off (like discounted from 50000 Won to 10000 which is a HUGE amount)

The golden version contains Adenosine, Arbutin (whitening and anti-wrinkle), UV-A and UV-B sunscreen (SPF25 PA++), Gold and Caviar extracts, Osmopur (various plant extracts), Phyto Complex and some other things good for your skin.
The pink version contains Adenosine, Arbutin, UV-A and UV-B protection (SPF25 PA++), Osmopur (various plant extracts) and Phyto Complex.
Both claim to be whitening, wrinkle-reducing and protecting from the harmful sun rays.
While the ingredients listed on the boxes are very different/in different orders both BB creams feel about the same to me.

I was really scared the pink version might really be the "dark chocolate" color it was described to me.
In fact both are about the same color and if my eyes are not wonky then the pink one seems to be even slightly lighter.
Both creams are rather neutral-slightly pink toned and pale so they blend into my natural skin color perfectly.

Both offer sheer-medium coverage so major skin troubles won't be covered.

To me both feel the same when on.Both are slightly thicker creams that spread evenly without much effort.

All in all they're pretty equal to me. The pink bottle looks cooler but the added caviar and gold extracts make the golden seem more luxurious.
Anyway, either is a good choice in my opinion.

Swatches in artificial/flash light:
Gold collection is on top and pink version on the bottom:

Under bright daylight: (Gold is left, pink is right)

My daily staples =)

I got asked if I use any daily staples as I have so much makeup...

Yes, I do have several daily staples (though currently I use more BB Creams than the 2 foundations listed):

-Maquillage Moisture Climax Foundation (winter) - on my 3rd bottle now
-Maquillage Lasting Climax Foundation (summer) - on my 2nd bottle now
-Majolica Majorca Pressed Fantasia 24h Powder (to set my eye concealer) - I used up at least 4 refills of this in the previous 2 years
-Banila Co Eye Love Primer - got this just 2 months ago and the lighter color has already quite a dent
-Inoui ID Concealer Duo in the lightest shade - most of the light color is finished, have 1 back-up
-Maquillage Eyebrow Powder compact - hit pan just a week ago (I use other brow powders, too, but none as much as this)
-Kate Supersharp Eyeliner in BK - used at least 4 pencils up. I use this with most other liners as only this one allows me to line super close to my lash-line. I have other similar pencils but this is still my fave
-Maquillage Lip Refiner or Lip Essence - my Lip Refiner is almost finished, the 2nd tube of Lip Essence is mostly empty now, too
-T'estimo Eye Bright Base - got the tube 2 years ago and it's nearly finished now

There are a few other items I use quite often like my RMK Eyebrow mascara in mocha, Canmake Brow gel, Etude Browfix etc.

I don't have any staples in color cosmetics as I have so much I change daily.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Banila Co Eye Love Cream Shadow

I pass most cream shadows as a majority of them suck and are more tricky to apply than powders.
A good cream shadow has to dry down to a powdery budge-proof finish for me or it's useless as it will crease.

My favorite cream shadows are Shiseido's Hydro-Powders and PN Sparkling Eyes. All of them dry down and don't crease on me.
Other good cream shadows (in tubes with doe-foot applicators) are Esprique Precious' Glamorous Glossy Eyes, the dual-ended ones from Sonia Rykiel and Visee Aqua Shining Eyes.

I wasn't really intending to get an Eye Love Cream Shadow from Banila Co as I had no idea what the formula would be like.
But I spotted a gorgeous cool grayed taupe (#04 Chaos) so I decided to give it a try.

I am SO glad I got it! It's the most gorgeous metallic cool gray-taupes (it's more gray than taupe) ever! And best of all it doesn't crease at all on me!

It's a very intense metallic color and spreads easily. The texture is rather hard and slightly sticky but one swipe with my finger will show intense color and 2 layers on my eyes are enough for shiny gray-taupe eyes.
Once the color is applied and set (after about a minute or less) it doesn't smudge or budge at all.
I wore this for about 10 hours today and still there is no sign of fading or creasing.
I pair this with a highlighter like
Vidi Vici's Highlight pots (they retail for much more but are useless for wearing all over the lid as they crease!) or any pale powder shadow.

I am actually considering getting a back-up of this. There are 3 more colors available and one or another might end up in my stash soon =P
RRP is 8000 Won (about US$8) so the Eye Love Cream Shadows are a steal if you can get them at retail price! (I paid US$13 or so, and it's sooooooo worth it!)

Banila Co has proven once a gain that it's one of the best highest-quality Korean brands I tried so far!

Skin79 BB Diamond Collection

From today on I am the proud owner of diamonds. Well, I have diamonds but none that I can smear on my face.

I got the pretty Diamond Collection from Skin79 from Gmarket as I noted below and I'm very pleased that a week after ordering the kit I am able to review it.

My main worry was that the BB cream and other items would be too dark and/or orange-toned. I read in other places that Skin79 BB creams are the darkest on the market and not suitable for light skin-tones.
Honestly the ones I have tried as of today are all some of the palest BB creams and among the least yellow-toned so they're perfect for me.
You'll soon find me doing another BB cream comparison as I acquired quite a few more since my last BB Cream post.

The BB Diamond Collection contains 8 products and I also got 1 full-sized and one trial-sized gifts with it. The kit costs 69000 Won (around US$70) which is the same price as on the official Skin79 website.

The individual retail prices seem to be very high (like over 50000 Won for the BB cream etc.) but some of the products in the kit are discounted on the website right now. However the kit still saves some €€ and I believe it's a fantasic value for he price (the value of the 8 Diamond products is almost 300000 Won so around US$300 which is an outrageous price!)

Sun Protection Balm Moist SPF50+ PA+++:

This is an interesting product. The box claims that this sun protection balm is stronger than other sunscreens and that it has a double effect against UV rays. It's a thick light purple solid balm that you apply with the enclosed sponge after your skincare.

This goes on really smoothly and feels smooth and light. It goes on clear, I haven't noticed any white cast when wearing this.

The Prestige Beblesh Balm:

I've seen this on eBay in regular pink squeeze tubes but the one in the kit comes in a very elegant pink bottle.
The 3 benefits of this product are:
-Wrinkle Improvement
-UV Protection SPF25 PA++ (UV-A and UV-B)

It contains Adenosine, Arbutin, Diamond Powder, Jewel Complex Powder of Ruby, Amethyst and Pearl and some plant and other ingredients (I see Caviar, Aloe, Camellia and some other stuff listed on the box)

This is a really light-toned BB cream that leaves a dewy shine. The coverage is sheer-medium so if you have real skin troubles this will not suffice to cover it well.

Perfect Cover Beblesh Balm:

This is a concealer with more coverage than the BB cream. The box says it's for covering blemish parts, freckles etc.
I was astonished about the odd color of this. It's a strange orange-yellow rather dark cream. The even weirder thing is that it applies rather light and just slightly peachy on my skin so I can actually use it. It blends in well into my natural skin-tone.

The concealing strength of this is good but I didn't apply too much as I don't want the yellow tones to get obvious.

Luminous Pearl Beblesh Balm:

The box says that this is a trendy pearl BB Cream that has a light and moist feeling and brilliant pearl to make skin appear luminous.
It comes filled in a big brush with push button on the bottom. It's like the Silky Highlighter BB Touch from Lioele but the Skin79 version is lighter and sheerer so it's a better color match for me.

It's a shimmery pearl cream you apply on the forehead, nose bridge, cheeks and chin for highlighting effects.

UV Screen Pact SPF22 PA++:

On the box it claims that the powder pact effectively protects against UV-A and UV-B rays and that Diamond Powder, Jewel Complex (Ruby, Amethyst and Pearl) give a radiant finish.

A pressed powder compact to use as last step. In my opinion a powder is needed if you use all the other items I described above as otherwise you'll end up looking greasy.
The UV Screen BB Pact is a medium-coverage powder but it's a tad bit yellow. Ir blends into my skin-tone but it's not the best powder pact I tried. Also the puff that comes with it smells like fish (yes, fish). It's just the material it's made of but it's a yucky smell so I applied this with a brush.
The result is satiny skin with a very light yellow undertone. Due to the slightly yellow tint this is my least favorite item of the lot.
This got cakey after some hours of wear so it's definitely not the best powder out there.

Star Glow Cheek:

This is a really cute blush compact consisting of white, beige, pinky peach and orangey peach. The overall result is a soft shimmery peach which is really pretty and flattering.

The box states that this consists of natural pink and orange to express a 3D effect with fine pearl to create glossiness and shimmer. It supposedly gives more radiance and vitality as a finishing touch for facial makeup.

Like all the products this contains diamond powder and the Jewel Complex.

Star Glow Ball Powder:

This is a highlighter that is pressed into little pastel-colored beads like Guerlain Meteorites or other similar products released by many companies.

According to the box this makes your skin look bright, shining, mysterious and attractive. It gives a translucent effect and corrects facial contours.

All in all this is a nice basic shimmery highlighter that applies as a translucent white on me. It's a pretty addition to the kit and a good finishing touch after applying the other items.

Luminous Body Bronz Balm:
This is a soft shimmery bronzing gel for the body, especially the arms, legs and shoulders.

Contains caviar extract and Q10 to moisturize and nourish the skin.
The color of this is a light peachy bronze, it looks really pretty when applied.

One of the gifts in my kit was the Intense Classic Balm UV SPF20 PA++ which is a basic BB cream.
It has the benefits of UV Protection, Calming and Concealing.
On the box it says it is perfect for covering acne, couperose, vitiligo, age spots, sun spots and dark circles.
It's not pore-clogging and soothes irritated skin and furthermore it fights against free radicals.

This has a very fine herbal scent and comes in a rather light pinkish color, similar to the other Skin79 BB creams I tried from Skin79.
From swatching it I'd say it gives medium coverage but I have to try it on my face to confirm that.

The other gift was a miniature Super+ BB Triple Function SPF25 PA++ in the Hot Pink version (which I just ordered and received today, too).
I love the Korean companies for giving us cute sample tubes in useful sizes even with a small string to attach it to your mobile phone, key bunch or purse. I have now 2 BB creams, a sun cream and 2 lip glosses to attach to whatever I want hehe.

All in all I am really thrilled with the beautiful kit and know that I will get good use out of it.

Of course I haven't tried these items on the long run so I can't say if they will irritate my skin or not (as it's quite sensitive). Someone told me that she got red bumps from using Skin79 products so sure it depends on your skin-type.

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