Saturday, April 30, 2011

Using My Stash

Over the last couple of months since my last post, I have used up some more of my stash. Remember, I'm supposed to be using my stash and not purchasing anything as much as possible, unless it's regular products that I use.

As you can see, I actually used up quite a bit of products over the last couple of months.

*Asience Shine Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner. I did not like this at all. It was way too rich for my scalp and it really did nothing much for my dry, damaged hair.

*Philosophy Candy Cane Foaming Bubble Bath and Shower Gel and mini Vaniall Birthday Cake Shower Gel. While I really like the scents of these, I do not like the bottles that the products come in and I don't really like the consistency of the shower gels. The shower gels are really thick and it's difficult to dispense out of the squeeze bottles.

*Bliss The Youth As We Know It Anti-Aging Cleanser. This was okay but I don't like the fact that it doesn't really foam up well.

*Nature Republic White Therapy Toner. To me, this is just a regular toner. It didn't really do much as far as whitening goes. I'm not really too particular with my toners though. Even if I wanted to, I can't repurchase this since it came from Korea. If I really, really liked it, I could get my friends to pick it up for me when they travel to Korea again. It's not something that I really, really want or need again.

*Noevir 505 Line Toner. This is an emolient and moisturizing toner that I was using only at night for a while but stopped when I started using the Nature Republic toner. Since I used up all of the Nature Republic toner, I used up what little I had left of the Noevir toner. I will not repurchase a new one right now since I'm using Kiehl's Midnight Recovery and as a result, don't need to use something quite so moisturizing.

*Tony Moly Peach Hand Cream. I loved this and will ask my friends to bring this back for me the next time they go to Korea. I kept it at my office and used it during the work day. I'm going to recycle the peach container and use it to hold some knick knacks.

*Tarina Tarantino Pearl Glow Primer. I liked this at the time but I think that I will search around for a new primer. I still have a couple of other brand primers in my stash though.

*Noevir Raysela Body Protection Sunscreen. Although this is for the body, I used it on my face as well. It is very similar in consistency to other Japanese brand sunscreens. It comes in a squeeze bottle and has a shaker ball in the bottle to mix the product when you shake it. I will repurchase but not quite yet as I have had Super Goop Sunscreen Wipes that I kept in my car for in case I forgot to apply sunscreen before leaving the house. It hasn't happened in almost a year so I decided to use that first before purchasing a new Raysela sunscreen. I do have a Raysela Face Protection sunscreen which I'm using on my face since I'm not sure that I want to use the Super Goop sunscreen on my face. The Raysela Face Protection is a cream and not a runny liquid. Note: The Raysela Body Protection sunscreen is a much better value since it has twice the amount of product of the Raysela Face Protection and is the same price.

At the beginning of my post, I mentioned that I'm not supposed to be purchasing anything new unless it's a replacement. I'll have to give myself a grade of "F" for this past month. I had been doing pretty good since I decided to do this at the beginning of the year but failed miserably this past month. I made some purchases that I really didn't need to make. There was the Sephora V.I.B. sale and I made a few purchases at that time but it was all gifts for people, so that's not too bad. Earlier this month I purchased and reviewed the Neuma Hair Care line and My Beauty Diary Hello Kitty masks. There are other purchases that I made that I have yet to review.

This upcoming week is Mother's Day Week, which will be a busy one for me at work, all week long. I'll be doing scheduled posts and will check in and respond to comments when I can.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review: MBD LE Hello Kitty Mask

Ever since I had read about there being limited edition Hello Kitty My Beauty Diary masks, I had been on the lookout to buy it. I recently found out that it was being sold only in Taiwan, which is the reason why I hadn't been seeing it on my usual online stores.

The masks come in two formulations, Strawberry Milk and Honey Strawberry. I decided to go with the Honey Strawberry since honey helps to moisturize while the strawberry helps to brighten. The Strawberry Milk is supposed to whiten and brighten. Each box contains 10 masks and there are three different package designs, so you get 3 sets of each design plus one extra. I'm not sure if the 1 extra is the same in every box. They are so cute that I don't want to use it.

I did used one mask the other night and here is my thoughts on it. It is your typical MBD mask as far as the size and shape of the mask. Like all of the other masks, it is saturated very well. The scent of this is really pleasant, a lightly sweet scent. I kept the mask on for about half an hour and as I usually do, I massage, pat and work the remainder of the essence into my skin and going down my neck. This took quite a bit of work! I think that the honey makes it stickier and tackier than the other MBD masks that I've used. It took a long time to work it in and I even rubbed it onto my arms! What I didn't care for was how my skin felt sticky even after it had dried. When I woke up the next morning I was glad that my skin wasn't still sticky. It was very moisturizing but I didn't really notice a brightening effect.

While it wasn't the best MBD mask that I have used, I'm glad that I was able to get it--even just as a collector's item. I'm thinking of perhaps trying to get the Strawberry Milk mask to see how that is. For your info, I bought 2 boxes on ebay.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Review: Neuma Hair Care Line

I had written a few weeks ago that I was in search of a new hair care line because my hair is seriously damaged. I decided to go with a more "natural" hair care line that is free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, phthalates, GMOs and triclosan. I decided to try the Alterna Caviar line because it is anti-aging. I tried both the volume and moisturizing lines.

My main concern with using a more natural hair care line is the fact that it will probably not lather up nicely. I had no problems with either line lathering up nicely. While both lines worked nicely on my hair, I felt that it got oily too quickly--by the next day and I am not willing to wash my hair every night. I really like the dry shampoo. I had purchased the travel sizes and it was great for trying.

I had received a sample packet of another line called Neuma. I tried it and really liked it a lot. I use the moisture line from this brand. I was able to pick up a set at the trade show recently and the set contained Shampoo (10.1 fl oz/300 ml), Conditioner (8.5 fl oz/250 ml), Argan Treatment (2.4 fl oz/70 ml), Smoothing Cream (6.8 fl oz/200 ml) and Style Extender (8.5 fl oz/250 ml). The set was on special for $79.00.

I can use only about a half dollar-sized dollop for the first shampooing and get a good lather. After rinsing, I then use a small pea-sized dollop and get a lot of lather. I use about a half dollar-sized dollop of the moisturizer. After towel drying my hair, I use 3 pumps of the argan treatment before combing out my hair. The comb runs through my hair like butter! It's been years and years since I've been able to comb out my hair with it feeling like that. I then blow dry my hair and apply a pea-sized dollop of smoothing cream when done. The next morning I apply the style extender by spraying it on my hands and apply it to my hair. I then flat iron and top off with more smoothing cream.

Even with using all of these products in my hair, it isn't weighed down. My hair is already starting to look a little healthier and is even less frizzy after blow drying. I need to trim the ends of my hair soon. The only thing that I don't like much about this line is the scent. It has some lavender essence and I'm not a fan of lavender scents. I will also use my L'Occitane Shine Hair Mask since it is also a natural line and has lavender in it. My scalp also has not gotten irritated by it like it has with some other brands that I've tried.
For now, I'm really happy with the Neuma line.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Review: Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream, Sheer Glowing

Etude House has a line of Precious Mineral BB Creams, Sheer Silky (white container) for oily skin, Sheer Glowing (pink container) for dry skin and Sheer Flawless (lavender container). These are all oil free.

I was given some sample packs of the Sheer Glowing by my friends. While I don't have classic dry skin, I do like to use products that will give moisture and hydration to my skin.

This BB cream isn't as thick in consistency as other BB creams that I use.

Despite that fact, it provides amazingly good coverage, which is not all that common in BB creams. I would say that the color of it falls more in the neutral zone, not too yellow and not too pink. Unfortunately, it does come in only one shade and I think that it's more suited to people in the NC 20 range. I fall in the NC 25 range--actually if there was a NC 27, I think that's where I'd be. Unlike most BB creams, the color doesn't turn ashy at all!

Face prepped and primed

BB cream applied to half of face. You can see it's too light for my skin tone.

Face fully covered with BB cream.

I often have products oxidize on my so I was hoping that this would oxidize and become better matched to my skintone.
This is take after 2 hours of wear, which is often the timing of when products will have oxidized on me.

Face vs. neck--really obvious difference. *sigh*

Unfortunately, it does not. I really like this BB cream. It provides excellent coverage without feeling heavy, it doesn't turn ashy and I think that it gives off a nice glow to my skin. If I ever manage to get my neck paler, this is definitely a BB cream that I would use. While I don't normally use powder, I wonder if I can use a darker shade powder around the edges of my face to create a darker shading to match. Yes, that is how much I like this BB cream.

Have a happy Easter weekend everyone!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Target Beauty Is My Bag

I was one of the lucky people who signed up in time to receive a free Target beauty bag. I got finally got mine in the mail.

As some other bloggers have said, the bag is the best item to receive. It's actually a Sonia Kashuk bag and they are selling other larger sizes in store. My bag came with hair care samples by Fekkai and Pantene, mini Nivea Express Hydration body lotion, full size Neutrogena Naturals lip balm, a Revlon Colorburst lipgloss sample and some coupons.

I was happy to have been able to receive this even though I probably won't use most of the items. Hey, can't beat the price of free!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Love Package

My friends recently returned from Korea again and brought back another awesome love package for me. They always ask me what I want and not really being into Korean products, I never know what to ask them for so I leave it up to them.

This time they brought back a cute makeup pouch from Etude House, a whole bunch of sample packets, a couple of trial sets of Etude House Collagen Moistfull, a trial skincare set of The Face Shop's the smim, two Herb Day cleansing foams from The Face Shop and a whole variety of lipbalms--Nature Republic, Etude House and Baviphat.

They have given me lipbalms from Nature Republic before and I liked them. They turned from a clear balm to pink tint which was heat-activated. I've also had some Etude House lip balms from them before too. The Baviphat ones are new to me. They are the cute fruit balms. There are two each of apple, lemon and peach. Although there are two of each of those flavors, the packaging is a little different.

Has anyone used these before. I was wondering what the difference is between the two. I can't read Korean and I've never seen these before so if anyone can help me by telling what the difference is, I'd really appreciate it.

Also, has anyone ever tried any of The Face Shop products? I haven't and I'm curious as to your thoughts on the brand.

This is a scheduled post because I am busy helping my friend all day at the trade show again. Also, this week is Easter Week so I will be quite busy at work and will be working every day, even the weekend so I'm hoping that I will have more scheduled posts for this week. I hope that everyone will have a wonderful week.


Friday, April 15, 2011

April's Brush(es) of the Month

One of my favorite brushes is MAC 224. I had bought it many years ago. It was, at that time, a good brush to use for the crease because it was tapered. Over the years with some wear and tear, it's not quite so tapered anymore but it still is a nice, soft brush and is perfect for blending and/or applying a light wash of color. This is the brush that I use to blend my eyeshadow colors together.

I had seen a sample of the Sonia Kashuk Small, Multi-Purpose Powder Brush but it had been out of stock. I went to MAC yesterday because I had been really wanting the new, LE, eyeshadow quad from the Quite Cute collection. The MUA did my eye makeup using the quad, after which I wasn't quite so impressed with it after all. One brush that he used was the MAC 217, which is similar to 224 but with slightly shorter bristles and a bit stiffer. It is perfect for using in the crease and adding to the outer corners of the eye. I decided to buy it, mostly because I liked it and didn't have any idea what I was going to get for this month's brush and partially because I felt badly about not wanting to buy the quad after the MUA did my eye makeup.

Today, I had to stop off in Target to pick something up and lo and behold, the brush that was out of stock was now in stock. I decided to pick it up even if I did buy a brush for this month. I didn't want to miss out on it again if it sells out. This brush is very similar in feel to the MAC 224. I am so glad because I've been wanting to get another soft, blending brush.

From left to right--MAC 224, Sonia Kashuk, MAC 217

I'm happy that I was able to find and get two brushes for this month. As a side note, the Sonia Kashuk brush was half the price of the MAC 217 brush. I know that MAC makes good quality brushes that last for years but I believe that Sonia Kashuk's brushes are just as good. Of course, I don't have any idea if it's longevity will be equal to MAC's but I must say that I haven't had any problems with any of the brushes that I have bought.

How is everyone's weekend going so far? Mine will be quite busy so please excuse me if I am not around much. I'm hoping that you all will have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Review: YSL Touche Blush

Last month I received a love package from Lisa of Makeup and Life and it was an enormously generous love package. I was immensely touched by her generosity and it really helped to brighten my mood as it arrived at at time of some stress from worrying about my son and his fiancee who live in Fukushima.

One of the items that I received was the YSL Touche Blush in #5 Black Current. I have never owned anything YSL, which is indeed a very elegant line of products.

This blush is a powder blush that is so luxurious and ultra-fine. The unique packaging of it combines the powder with a puff which is supposed to allow you to apply the powder with a "luminous and natural glow".

The net weight of it is 0.15 oz./4.5g. #5 Black Current is a beautiful dark berry color. Berry is a color that I used to use a long time ago but haven't used dark colors in recent years. It is very much pigmented and I think this would be lovely to wear when going out at night. The powder is indeed ultra-fine and glides on beautifully. I did have some problems applying it with the puff since I've used only brushes to apply any type of powders in years and years. I also think that my problem with using the puff is that it was the first time using it so it hasn't even spread throughout the puff. Personally I think that it's a huge waste of this luxurious powder blush to squeeze it into the puff as the puff is quite thick. I will open it up and use the powder sparingly. There is a lot of product in the container and since it's a dark color and highly pigmented, I will be using only a little at a time. This will probably last me for the rest of my life!

Thank you again Lisa for such a wonderful surprise!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick

I have to admit that I'm not doing a very good job of sticking to my "Don't buy unless you need it" resolution. I decided that I "needed" to try out the new Sheen Supreme lipstick by MAC because it sounded like what I was looking for.

Sheen Supreme, according to the MAC website, has the result of being the combination of a lipstick with the shine sheen of a lipglass. It is supposed to be non-sticky, lightweight, easy to apply and comfortable. Wow, it sounds really good. I decided to go with the color "Impressive", which is a neutral gilded plum.

I was actually a bit disappointed in this. It is definitely more like a hydrating cream lipstick. It is quite opaque and I was looking for something that is a little sheer. As a result, it feels heavy. While it feels hydrating, it also feels a bit sticky . I've gotten used to a couple of lipsticks that I really like and rather than feeling creamy and hydrating, it feels like a non-sticky, slick, water consistency. I think that the only really redeeming thing about this is that it does seem to be hydrating.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Review: Physician's Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum

I had purchased this a while ago thanks to Steph of susho blogging about being able to use a mail-in rebate and you get this for free.

Picture from Physician's Formula website

This is an eyeliner with the added benefit of it enhancing the appearance of your eyelashes. It instantly and visibly boosts lash length, lash volume and lash thickness. On top of that, it also has a lash boosting complex (serum) which targets the root of your eyelashes. This is where it is most effective in providing nutrients associated with strengthening your current lashes as well as help to make your lashes grow and become fuller. The interesting thing is that this technology is based from a high-tech Japanese fomula, which is long wearing, smudge resistant and water resistant. It says on the package 24 hour wear.  It is hypoallergenic, paraben free, fragrance free, dermatologist approved and safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers. It says on the packaging that this is made in Japan. The directions do say to apply it at the base of your eyelashes in fine or bold line and to never apply the eyeliner inside the lashline (waterline/tightline). It comes in 3 different shades, Ultra Black, Black and Deep Brown.

It looks a lot like my current HG eyeliner, which is the K-Palette Real Lasting 24h Eyeliner. I guess that since it's a high-tech Japanese formula and was made in Japan, the design of it was done similar to Japanese liners.  I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive with trying this out because before using the K-Palette liner, I had tried Revlon's Color Stay one and it didn't work out at all. It was really awful for me. To my delight, it is very good. I would dare say that it is quite comparable to my HG K-Palette Real Lasting eyeliner. It applies very similarly although I think that the K-Palette applies just a little bit more smoothly and easily. I believe that the pigmentation is about the same. Everything about it is the same as K-Palette. I also haven't experienced any type of negative reactions to the formulation.

P=Physician's Formula, K=K-Palette

Would I repurchase this again? I believe so. Although I haven't really noticed any visible difference in my lashes as far as length, fullness, etc., I like the thought that there are nutrients in there that can help my lashes. I haven't used it long enough to notice any difference anyway and I haven't really gone ahead and done any comprehensive lash comparisons like I did when I tried out the Trish McEvoy Lash Enhancer. I think that if it's difficult for anyone to puchase the K-Palette eyeliner and this one is easily obtainable, then it's a great substitute. The retail price of this on the Physician's Formula website is $10.95 and I can't remember what I bought it for originally but it was somewhere around there.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review: Kracie Naive Facial Cleansing Foam in Aloe Essence

I have been using the Kracie Naive Facial Cleansing Foam in Aloe Essence for a few weeks now. This is a typical cleansing foam which has some botanicals in it and it contains aloe extracts and organic aloe juice, which is a moisturizing agent. It says on the tube "tsurutsuru" which means smooth.

I received this cleansing foam as a thank you gift from rae630 who unfortunately seems not to have a blog anymore. She is a kind soul and I really liked her a lot. This cleansing foam does lather up nicely, which I like although I do know that lather isn't necessarily a good thing. It smells really nice and cleans my skin nicely. Unlike most Japanese facial cleansers, this doesn't seem to leave my skin tight after rinsing off. It is something that I definitely would repurchase but it'll probably be a long while since I have a ton of facial cleansers.

EDIT: Just so there's no confusion, this is a cleansing foam but it doesn't come out as a foam. It comes out of the tube as a cream and lathers up to a nice foam.

I have another review that I've been wanting to do but unfortunately, I can't locate where I put the product right now. Does that give you some kind of clue as to what I thought about it?.

If my posts are kind of spotty for now, please bear with me. Tax time is coming up and I really do need to start working on my taxes. *sigh* Who likes doing their taxes, raise your hand! No one?


Monday, April 4, 2011

Checking in and UD News

I went MIA this weekend because I decided to take a mini vacation. I spent Friday afternoon and evening and part of Saturday morning preparing meals for the weekend and then locked myself in one of the rooms and went on a drama binge, which didn't end until midnight on Sunday. I disabled all of my mobile alerts and kept my cell phone on silent and checked it only on occasion. I also kept the computer off except for a couple of times when I felt that I should check email. I did make a couple of comments on a couple of blogs but didn't do much more than that. I do have to go through and catch up on reading and commenting on everyone's blogs though.

It was a good break for me to do just mindless watching of dramas (mostly Japanese) and is something that I haven't done in a long while.

I'm sure that it's been blogged about on a lot of blogs already but hey, like the Geico commercial asks, "What, do you live under a rock?"--yeah, I have been this past weekend. I got an email from Sephora and was excited to see their new, exclusive product. Many people have complained about the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion being in that genie bottle. Well, they will now be carrying it in a squeeze tube!

Picture from Sephora website

Original, Eden, Greed and Sin will be the different colors available. $19.00 for 0.37 oz of product as compared to $18.00 for .034 oz of product in the genie bottle.

Since this is a new product, I'm quite sure it won't be in my local Sephora yet and probably won't be for a couple of weeks. If anyone who doesn't have access to a Sephora would like this, I'd be happy to help you purchase it. Please just email me and let me know.