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Friday, February 26, 2010

Xmas 2009: IPSA Essence Lip Gloss Set

Yep, a late Xmas review! Not because I forgot to review it but because I just scored this cute set a few weeks ago on eBay for cheap (US$20 incl. shipping)!
In all honesty I didn´t notice this Essence Lip Gloss Set from IPSA at all! I just found it on eBay and googled it and found out it was from Xmas 2009!

The Essence Lip Gloss Set contains 5 lipgloss minis, sized at 2 grams each. Not a lot but you need little so each tube will last you a while!
The tubes don´t have applicators so you either have to apply them with your finger or a lip brush. I use my fingers =)

The glosses have a very thick and sticky texture with a very glossy finish and great pigment. These give a mirror-shine finish (so nothing for windy days as your hair will inevitably get stuck to your lips!). Due to the texture these babies last very long on me, 3 hours is easy to achieve or even longer if I don´t eat or drink.
All the shades I have do have shimmer but in various degrees of intensity.
Like the majority of Japanese lip products these are unfragranced, too!

I love the well-balanced mix of colors in the lot and that the colors actually do show up instead of having the typical super sheer glosses that blend into the same color after application. I think you could mix and match the colors but I am the straight-out-of-the-tube kind of user so I will 99.999% of the time apply the color right out of the tube without mixing (but I might add a gloss on top, that doesn´t count as mixing, right?) =)

The colors are from the permanent line I believe and are as mentioned above all really pretty and wearable. I happen to own couple of the colors in the full size already but I don´t mind anyway.

E431: Gorgeous red-pink with blue micro-shimmers (not too noticeable so very wearable
H571: Medium pink with a peach tinge. This has less shimmer than the rest and is a bit sheerer.
E911: I really love this! It´s an clear gloss with a high amount of fine ivory golden shimmer so it´s a perfect top coat for lipstick, especially dark colors
H421: This is definitely my favorite color (as you might have guessed). It´s the perfect cool rosey mauve with a very shimmery wet finish. Gorgeous!
H461: A very fresh and pretty apricot coral. A bit sheerer than the other colors with very finely milled shimmer.

Overall I am really thrilled with this set and using it all the time for the previous week. I think I´ll eventually get H421 full-sized, too!

Bobodave still carries this for around US$27 if you are interested. Not really cheap as you only get 10 grams of gloss total but a nice set to try out various colors.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bubble face wash showdown... who´s the winner?

I have accumulated quite a bunch of bubble face washes (those that come out of the pump as foam) and found them all quite different so I thought of doing a little comparison between them. I haven´t done a product comparison for long time now (except for mentioning similar products in general reviews and comparing them with each other) and I thought it would be fun to compare the foam face washes.

The contestants are:
(1) Kosé Softymo Airy Whip

(2) Juju Aquamoist HA Bubble Face Wash

(3) Kao Bioré Marshmallow Face Wash

(4) DHC Moisture Fruit Foaming Wash

(5) Sana Konuka Bubble Face Wash

1. Packaging/Size/Price (what I paid):

(1) Cute Pink metal can, 180g, US$7.60 (Sasa)
(2) White/blue plastic pump bottle with lots of Japanese writings, 150g, US$9.70 (Sasa)
(3) Pretty white/pink bottle, 160ml, US$13.50 (Adambeauty)
(4) Cute pink bottle, 100ml, US$15.40 (Sasa)
(5) Very large white bottle with Japanese writings (looks nice and somehow traditional), 150ml, US$7.50 (Sasa)
Please note that some of the washes might have a lower or higher Japanese retail price.
Best packaging: DHC, because it´s the cutest bottle =)
Best size: Airy Whip and Kao Bioré offer the largest quantities
Price: The best value for money is definitely Airy Whip, Sana Konuka is 2nd!

2. Scent/Texture:

(1) Very light floral scent with a hint of hair-mousse smell (I think the gas they use for the can). Actually it´s not really fair to compare this to the other washes as this is a mousse and not really a normal foaming wash. The mousse is super soft and dense!

(2) Unscented (slight no-scent-smell though, you know this slightly chemical one). Nice fluffy and rich texture

(3) Light floral scent, very dense and fluffy foam.

(4) Light grapefruit scent (in my opinion yucky), the foam is dense but not as fine as the other ones as you see some larger air bubbles

(5) Unscented (slight chemical smell) and nice fluffy dense texture.

Best scent: Airy Whip, then Bioré. I also like the unfragranced ones (Juju and Sana Konuka)
Best texture: Airy Whip by far, then Bioré and Juju.

3. Cleansing Power/Result:

I should add that I didn´t use any of these to remove makeup, I always use a cleansing oil, then the face wash and I use the face wash alone in the morning. So cleansing power means cleansing my face without makeup.
(1) Leaves my face very clean but nicely soft and doesn´t dry my skin out at all!
(2) This leaves my skin skin very clean, too. This is also mild and not too drying but not as mild as Airy Whip and Bioré.
(3) Again very good cleansing power and not drying at all.
(4) I only used this once and it left my face clean however I reacted to it so the result was a desaster.
(5) Leaves my face very clean however this is quite drying as my skin feels tight and uncomfortable after rinsing this off.
Best cleansing power: I can´t really notice a difference, all cleanse well
Best result: Airy Whip followed by Bioré and Juju.

Overall result:

1. Kosé Softymo Airy Whip is my winner!
2. Kao Bioré Marshmallow Face Wash is 2nd, I really love this one a lot!
3. Juju Aquamoist HA Bubble Face Wash is a great pick, too!
4. Sana Konuka Bubble Face Wash is just too drying for me so I set this aside, will mostly use it up as a body or hand wash
5. DHC Moisture Fruit Foaming Wash just didn´t work for me despite the cute bottle! A real pity! Also this is very espensive considering it only contains 100ml but costs about twice as much as Airy Whip!

I hope you liked my little showdown =) At least it was a colorful post =P

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kefir Whips Kefir Cream in Rose and Soap

I picked up these 2 cute glass jars of body lotion from Sasa recently as they looked irresitible. Even though they were pricey for over US$13/each I just gave in.

The Kefir Whips Kefir Creams are Japanese products but I couldn´t locate a brand name so I suppose Kefir Whips might be the brand? I don´t know anyway =P

I used to drink Kefir when I was a kid and still get one from time to time. It´s made of milk and supposed to be very healthy. You can read about Kefir here.
The Kefir Whips contain kefir and organic Caucasian herbs (written "harbs" on the label).
The jars are cute as they are reminiscent of yogurt jars. There are only 90g in one jar so it won´t last you long.

I have to say I am greatly disappointed with these. First off the texture is too lightweight. It´s more like a cream-gel (which could be a good thing) but rather sticky and not really moisturizing. But I could get over this if the scent of both creams wasn´t so horrible.

The cream in the pink pot (rose) smells super cloying with a heavy powdery rose scent with some sour tinge. Ugh! And the blue jar (soap) smells very much like a super strong musk scent which gives me a headache if I even just open the jar.

Even though I am usually using up my body care I just can´t bring myself to use those stinky creams. I just can´t stand the smell at all!
Really a pity!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Inexpensive Beauty Find: PDC Celdie Foaming Face Wash YG (Honey Yogurt)

PDC is one of those Japanese brands I hadn´t really noticed until recently. Since I love browsing Sasa I usually stumbe across interesting new stuff and among them were some PDC items so I ordered several products from Sasa and later also from Adambeauty as the product are affordable and look good enough to give them a try.

Among the products was this plain tube of face wash which I mainly got because the ingredients honey and yogurt looked so yummy and appealing to me!

The PDC Celdie Foaming Face Wash YG comes in an ivory squeeze tube and is only printed in Japanese. The 120g tube retails for 390 Yen which is really a steal!
As mentioned this contains honey and yogurt. There are also other types available and also makeup remover gels in similar squeeze tubes.

The face wash in YG has slightly sour yogurt scent, there is not much of a honey fragrance to be detected at all. I quite like it but I can see how some might dislike it. It´s a regular foaming face cleanser which lathers up nicely and cleanses my skin very well albeit leaving it slightly dry. It´s still less drying than some other washes like the ones from Naive and other brands though.

If you are searching for an inexpensive foaming face cleanser this would be a good pick, maybe you would like to check out one of the other types like Royal Jelly (which is on the way to me) or Sea Salt.

All in all good value for money. You can get this on Adambeauty or Sasa (the exact same one is right now out of stock though). Alphabeautyuk on eBay is having this, too (for less than US$6 plus reasonable shipping).

Other PDC items to be reviewed are the Famy Body Lotion and 2 hand creams, some of the Pure Natural items and some more Celdie stuff.

DHC Mild Touch Cleansing Oil

I noticed that this (relatively) new cleansing oil from DHC is getting rather mixed reviews online so I couldn´t resist trying it out myself.
I was intrigued by the cute bottle as soon as I spotted this product online. DHC is really coming up with pretty stuff the previous period, I hope they will continue this way! I just love cute products more than their usual boring simple packaging style.

The Mild Touch Cleansing Oil comes in a sweet baby pink bottle with pretty ornaments printed on. I like how there is nothing written on the front of the bottle except the band and product names.

This cleansing oil is one of the thickest I tried so far. It reminds me a bit of FANCL but is probably even thicker so it´s almost like a oil-gel. It´s not a clear oil as it has a slight milkiness to it. I suggest taking 2 pumps per application and then just massage your face with the oil. The cleansing oil has a very pleasant non-greasy texture and lifts my makeup and other dirt very easily. According to Sasa you can even use this with wet hands in the shower and it will not affect the cleansing power. I haven´t tried that though as I always use dry hands when I use cleansing oil.

It has a light herbal lavender scent which I really love as it smells like real lavender (the Mild Touch Cleansing Oil includes lavender oil)!
What I like most about this oil is how it leaves my skin clean but moisturized. Normally cleansing oil leaves my skin feeling normal to slightly dry so I always follow up quickly with moisturizer but the DHC oil doesn´t give me that feeling. If I use the oil and don´t slap on a cream after 5 minutes I am still fine! I would say this is the most moisturizing cleansing oil i tried to date (please note: moisturizing doesn´t mean greasy at all as the oil doesn´t leave an oily or greasy film at all!).

You can get this on Sasa for US$16.50. I think (the US website) lists this for about US$14. I got mine for US$12 on eBay but paid shipping in addition.
The bottle contains 150ml so price-wise this is just around the majorty of other cleansing oils. It´s a bit cheaper than FANCL but a little more expensive than say Kanebo Kracie Naive or Kose Softymo.

Here is the ingredients list. It seem there are neither parabens nor mineral oil in the formula and all in all it doesn´t have too many ingredients which is a plus for me!

All in all I highly recommend this stuff and will definitely considering a repurchase (I have about 4 or 5 other unopened cleansing oils here though so have to try and use those first!)

Kosé Addiction: Compact Case II and 4 more eyeshadows

I know it took me some time to write up this review but I somehow had to make up my mind a little before posting this.

After being so thrilled with my first 2 eyeshadows from Addiction (review here) I decided to pick up 4 more colors so I could fill up a 6-pan case and have my own Addiction palette.
This time I was not as lucky with the colors I picked as 2 of the colors aren´t really my thing but the other 2 are just as great as the first 2 I got.

I wrote about the overall texture of the shadows and the different finishes in my previous post so please click here to read more.

I got the following 4 colors:
Snow Venus (S), Nostalgia (P), Keshil (P) and Stardust (P).
Snow Venus (S): To my horror this turned out to be a cream shade. There was no indication anywhere that this would be a cream! It´s a very sheer off-white with a slick and a bit greasy texture so I only use this just below my brows as I am afraid it would crease. The color itself is pretty but I am just disappointed that it´s a cream shade!

Nostalgia (P): To me the online swatch looked like this would be a lighter pink-tinged taupe brown shade. On me it turns into a golden brown, almost on the mustard side so wearing this on my lids is impossible. I can blend it into my crease but I am not overly happy with this color. Also this lacks luminosity compared to the other P shades I tried so far!

Keshil (P): This is probably the best color of the lot. It´s a gorgeous deep gray bordering black with a nice metallic finish. Finding such dark color with such nice finish is something rare in my opinion as most deep grays and blacks look rather flat.

Stardust (P): This is similar to Keshil however it does have some micro-glitters and a barely noticable purplish tinge to it. It´s also a good highly-pigmented color but Keshil is just better.

Here you see the compact case. I filled it with my 6 shadows.

Top row (from left to right): Snow Venus, Nostalgia, Flash Back
Bottom row (from left to right): Sandcastles, Keshil, Stardust

You know it often happens to me that I like ceratain eyeshadows or lipsticks very much but then it ends up that only the first batch was great and I am disappointed with the 2nd one I might order enthusiastically. I think I should just keep what I like and not order more if I am not 100% sure it will turn out great!

Overall I only love 3 of the shadows in my 6-pan case...not a good thing really!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Spring 2010: Aube Couture Designing Premium Rouge (all PK shades)

I think Aube Couture makes really nice lippies. Honestly lipsticks from Aube Couture, Maquillage, Lunasol and Coffret D´or pretty much never fail in my opinion. Color- and texture-wise those brands just know how to do a good lipstick or gloss!

Aube Couture´s newest addition to their line is the Premium Designing Rouge which is a liquid lipstick. There are 16 colors to choose from, all muted and natural thus easy to wear.

The lipsticks are grouped according to their color-tone (vertically from top to bottom on the table: pinks, roses, reds, beiges) and by the intensity of the color (sorted horizontally from left to right as bright/light, natural and deep tone):

The Premium Designing Rouges retail for 3200 Yen (about US$35) but Aube Couture is discounted by about 20-30% in Japanese drugstores so you will probably pay around US$25-28 there. Gooddealer and Ichibankao carry this lipstick if you are interested to purchase online.

I was lucky to find the 4 pink shades on eBay for a good price so I didn´t hesitate and placed my bids and I won all 4.

The Premium Designing Rouges come in pretty silver/pink tubes. You just twist the cap and pull the wand out (Aube Couture even gives us a graphic instructing how to open the cap lol!)

The shape of the applicator is a bit diferent from what you might be used to. It´s sort of triangular and made of a nice soft fuzzy material so it really distributes the color very evenly.

The texture of the lipsticks (or glosses as the Premium Designing Rouge is like a cross between liquid lipsticks and gloss) is very creamy, moist and not sticky at all so they´re really comfortable. Lasting power is good, longer than the average slick (but not sticky) gloss but not as long as a regular lipstick. These wear off evenly though so a reapplying this can be done easily anytime.
The finish is glossy and moist and the color generally shows up though the bright and natural colors are on the sheerer side, the deep tone has a bit more pigment.
These aren´t scented or flavored, too.

Colors: As mentioned above I got all the 4 pink shades however only PK164 is really what I would consider pink, the others are more on the peachy or beige side in my opinion! When applied all look pinker as they let my natural lip color shine through.

PK161: Natural tone. Soft peach shade with fine shimmer

PK162: Deep tone. My favorite color. It´s a color like my lips but a little deeper. Contains fine shimmer.

PK163: Bright tone. Very light fleshy peach with a hint of pink and a little shimmer.

PK164: Bright tone. Light muted pink with fine shimmer.

So overall these are great lippies and I will indulge in more colors if I find a good deal coming along.

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