Wednesday, October 4, 2017

etude house prism in eyes
New eyeshadow but not really?

Etude House is introducing a new line of eyeshadows - aptly named the Prism In Eyes. They are designed to sparkle in a wide range of enchanting colours hidden in light. Get ready for fascinating glimmer and vivid colours.

This type of cream to powder, high intensity metallic eyeshadow isn't exactly new - Kiko released their Water Eyeshadow years ago. Catrice had the Liquid Metal Eyeshadow a few years back too. I'm sure there are other products just like these, but those 2 are what I heard of.

etude house prism in eyes
ETUDE HOUSE | PRISM IN EYES | 1.8G | 9800 WON

It's not available on their global site yet, so here are some details about the eyeshadow, translated from the official website:
  1. Prism colour captures light from all angles with its glitter and colour pigments.
  2. The innovative Prisma Shine texture reproduces colour and shimmer gorgeously.
  3. The HD finish makes the eyeshadow glide on smoothly, adhering tightly to your skin to give you long lasting wear.
  4. Prisma Shine has a special texture thanks to its manufacturing process. Unlike powder eyeshadows which are pressed dry, the Prisma Shine starts off as a moist gel dough. Powder, colour pigments, and pearl pigments are then added into the mix. It's then poured into molds, and left to set in a warm chamber.
Here are the swatches!

etude house prism in eyes swatch
An overview of all 15 shades. Coded them for easy reference.

The colour selection consists of browns and pinks. Most of them are either yellowish or reddish, with the exception of PP502, which appears a little less yellow compared to the rest. Boy, are those pinkish/reddish shades lovely. URGH!!! (that's the sound of me trying to stop myself from buying beautiful but unnecessary things)

etude house prism in eyes swatch be101 or201 pk001
Click to enlarge!


etude house prism in eyes swatch br401 br402 br403
Click to enlarge!


etude house prism in eyes swatch br404 pk002 br405
Click to enlarge!


etude house prism in eyes swatch pk003 rd301 pp501
Click to enlarge!


etude house prism in eyes swatch pp502 br406 407
Click to enlarge!


From the official swatches, the product appears to apply thinly and evenly. Most of them have a pearly sheen to it instead of a frosty/metallic finish (save for BR406, crystal sugar). The pigmentation is that but not that outstanding, to be honest. The promo pictures got my expectations too high - I was expecting more shimmer and metallics.

What can I say? To each their own! Some people like subtle sheen like that. I think the only reason why one person who already has a lot of eyeshadows would want to buy this is if they want to be able to quickly apply eyeshadows with their finger evenly. A creamy product has that advantage over powder eyeshadows.

The eyeshadow can be applied with fingers, or with an eyeshadow brush. Nothing else is mentioned about using it wet or dry, so I think it's really up to you to explore how you want to play around with the product. If it's anything like the Kiko Water Eyeshadow, then do expect amazing colour payoff when used wet. In fact, I think the pearly sheen of the Prism In Eyes will complement the frosty/metallic finish of the Water Eyeshadow!

Also comes with a case where you can store trios.

etude house prism in eyes palette
This entry is clearly a case of "I got sucked into the beautiful reddish shades".

I'll update the links once it's available on the global site!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

etude house play color eyes wine party
You know what time it is when you see wine shades.

It's fall, and wine/burgundy shades are in trend again! Etude House recently released an eyeshadow palette that satisfies that need for even more wine coloured eye shadows.

They're currently having an 30% off online promotion (from 16 August to 31 August). Instead of the usual price of US$26.40, you can get it for US$19.80 now! Click here to get it from their online store! I am aware I should have posted this 10 days ago.. Anyway, let's take a look at the palette.

etude house play color eyes wine party
PLAY COLOR EYES WINE PARTY | US$26.40

The palette consist of 10 shades: 4 existing shades from their Look At My Eyes series, and 6 brand new shades. There is a good mix of matte, satin, and shimmer.


At a glance, you can see this palette is reddish toned (Duh! It's called Wine Party for a reason!). The browns also have a slight reddish hue to it, as opposed to a more yellowish brown. In between we have 3 reddish shades. At the bottom we have a purple shade. In the midst of the darker shades we have 2 golden sparkly shades.


Here they are swatched on the eye individually.


I put together the swatches and the palette into one single image. Perhaps this is easier to compare the shades' intensity as compared to what you see in the palette.

Etude House's formula has always been smooth (based on my limited experience with a few of their Look At My Eyes single eye shadows), but you can see from this official swatch that they tend to be on the sheerer side. The colour looks even, so that's a plus. I actually quite like that they apply sheer, because it makes it easier to create the soft edges that should blend seamlessly into the rest of your skin.

If you want really intense colour out of this palette, you could either use a eye primer before hand, or try using a damp brush so it picks up more pigments? Layering should help too!

I notice that the shimmer in the "not-matte" shades are rather refined. Instead of having chunky glitter or a strong frosty sheen (which sometimes looks metallic), it looks as if it's a very thin veil of golden silk - spun by the mythical gold silkworm - layered over the colours. Some people like it subtle, and maybe I'm one of them! This is the kind of shimmer that gives off a faux glossy effect, without having to smear clear lip gloss over your eyes for that wet look. It also adds a lot of dimension naturally, accentuating the natural contours of your eyes (as opposed to using a matte white shade to make certain parts of your eyes stand out).

Ending Note
This looks like a pretty great palette. If I can wear makeup right now, and if I don't already have so many eyeshadow palettes, I might get my hands on this. I don't know what's up with me, suddenly I'm really into the subtle sparkles.

Given that it's currently on offer till 31st August, it's quite a good deal at US$19.80.

Image credits: Etude House

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

KATE 2017 F/W New Products
A tonne of new products from Kate this fall!

I've been entertaining my family the past week, then spending another week to recover from the loss of sleep. After not checking beauty news for a while, imagine how overwhelmed I am when I saw SO MANY new products being released by Kate!

I counted 15 new products, not including the different colour variations. Some of them are completely new, some are additional colours, while some are reformulation of existing product lines (but given a new name, so technically new, but theoretically not). If you think about it, nothing is really new anymore, as that would require a brand new innovation that has never been seen before. So, let's just take the word "new" at face value.
kate 2017 BROWN SHADE EYES N
1. BROWN SHADE EYES N | 1200 YEN

With the addition of a "Bronzer" shade, the new Brown Shade Eyes N sets itself apart from the original Brown Shade Eyes that comes without the extra pearly shade. The Bronzer shade is supposed to add more dimension to the eyes when used in harmony with the fake shade powder to create a strong contrast between light and shadow.

It comes in 6 colour variations.


kate smooth eyeliner pencil bk
2. SMOOTH EYELINER PENCIL | 800 YEN

With its new and improved formula, this eyeliner pencil is smoother than ever!

Available in 1 shade:
BK (Soft black)

kate soft black liner bk
3. SOFT BLACK LINER | 800 YEN

A new natural black eyeliner that is super sharp and long wearing, yet it can be easily removed by warm water.

Available in 1 shade:
BK (Soft black)

kate secret skin cc base zero ex-2
4. SECRET SKIN CC BASE ZERO SPF30 PA++ | 1000 YEN

This new shade EX-2 is a light green that can colour correct any redness to create a more even out skin tone that looks brighter. The product also covers pores, smooths your skin, and enhances your original skin tone with the addition of "Beauty Up Pearl" ingredient.

Available in 2 shades:
EX-1 (Pink Beige)
EX-2 (Light Green)

kate water in oil bb swatches
5. WATER IN OIL BB SPF 20 PA++| 1400 YEN

A BB cream that covers, primes, moisturizes, protects you from UV rays, it seeks to minimize your foundation routine into a one step process. Its lightweight formula is designed to smooth out pores, leaving you with glowy and healthy looking skin.

Available in 3 shades:
01 BRIGHT
02 NATURAL
04 DARK

kate stick concealer a
6. STICK CONCEALER A | 800 YEN

A concealer formulated to cover acne marks, spots, and freckles.

Available in 2 shades:
LIGHT BEIGE
NATURAL BEIGE

kate face powder A
7. FACE POWDER A | 1200 YEN

This loose powder creates smooth porcelain-like skin. Comes with puff.

Available in 2 variations:
NATURAL TYPE
GLOW TYPE

kate slim create powder N
8. SLIM CREATE POWDER N | 1300 YEN

A shading and highlighting combo for contouring purposes.

Available in 2 shades:
01 NATURAL TYPE
02 GLOW TYPE

kate 3d contrasting cheeks
9. 3D CONTRASTING CHEEKS | 1500 YEN

A glossy highlighter combined with a pigmented blush, allowing you to easily create sharp cheek bones and lift your face. Comes with a 2 way brush that can be transformed from a small condensed brush to a wider brush.

Available in 4 shades.

kate 3d parts design
10. 3D PART DESIGN | 1200 YEN

A highlight and contour combo, this is a convenient and easy to use product that allows you to sculpt your features to get more definition. The sponge tip applicator dips into the highlight/shading powder that is within the cap, making it travel friendly.

Available in 2 shades:
EX-1 (PINK WHITE + DARK BEIGE, natural type)
EX-2 (GOLD BEIGE + DEEP BROWN, deep type)

kate cc lip cream N
11. CC LIP CREAM N | 400 YEN

A clear lip cream that moisturizes and also add a tinge of colour. It also colour corrects, acts as a gloss, can be used as a lipstick base, and provides UV protection (SPF 8 PA+)

Available in 3 shades:
01 BEAT RED
04 ORANGE BURST
07 GRACE PINK

kate cc lip cream N swatch

kate cc lip cream tint
12. CC LIP CREAM N (TINT) | 400 YEN

A lip balm that changes from light pink to dark pink once you apply it onto your lips. Also has the same capabilities as the lip cream above.

Available in 1 shade:
06 MODE PINK

kate cc lip cream N mode pink swatch

kate cc lip oil
13. CC LIP OIL | 920 YEN

A new product never seen before, the CC Lip Oil is a coloured lip oil that moisturizes, colour-corrects, plumps, acts as a lip gloss, and can also be used as a lipstick base. 5 in 1!

Available in 3 shades:
01 RED SPICE
02 TRANS PINK
03 SHEER YELLOW

kate cc lip oil swatches


cc lip and cheek cream n
14. CC LIP & CHEEK CREAM N | 700 YEN

As with other products in the CC line, it has 5 functions - moisturizing, colour correcting, can be used as blusher, or as a lipstick base, and has SPF protection. Formulated with moisturizing ingredients such as olive oil, almond oil, jojoba seed oil, and sunflower seed oil, this product can be used on the lips and cheeks as the name suggests.

Available in 2 shades:
01 GLOW RED
02 CLASSY PINK

kate lip and cheek cream N swatches

kate color highvision rouge
15. COLOR HIGHVISION ROUGE | 1200 YEN

A matte lipstick with high pigmentation in just one swipe, it contains moisturizing ingredients such as almond oil, jojoba oil, and olive oil.

Available in 10 shades


Ending Notes:
Phew! That was quite a lot of products right!? What interested me the most is the light green SECRET SKIN CC BASE ZERO and the matte COLOR HIGHVISION ROUGE. Previously, only higher end Japanese brands made colour correcting primers, so having a drugstore option is a nice move. Also, as Japanese lipstick trend tend to favour glossy finishes, it really excites me (a matte finish lover) that Kate is being one of the first few to venture into the matte arena. All of my matte lip products are western brands not because I particularly like them, but because I just can't find any affordable Japanese alternatives! Now.. will Kate release more nude and berry shades in the future? I'm looking forward to this product line.

With the success of the Brown Shade Eyes when it was released a few years ago, this newer version is like.. lackluster. I imagine this scene taking place in Kate HQ.

Marketing team (M): We need something new to market!
Product development team (P): But the Brown Shade Eyes is perfect as it is!
M: Yes we understand, but the public likes new things!
P: Ok, how about.. we add 1 new blase shade into the palette?
M: Good idea!!!! We can sell it as a "Bronzer" shade that adds dimension! Just make it pearly.

Guys, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Brown Shade Eyes is loved for its simplicity and impeccable formula that rivals that of higher end brands. People loved it for its buttery smooth formula and high pigmentation. The three shades creates a beautiful gradation that even makeup beginners can easily master. Why complicate things??? I rather they add more colour variations, like greyish brown.

With that said, you can never please all. Just my 2 cents.

Image credits:
@cosme, biteki, Kate

Friday, July 7, 2017

mizon all in one snail repair cream review
I used it for exactly a month today. No miracles though.

Looking at my skin care corner that hasn't been touched much the past year (because my skin couldn't tolerate most things), I admit this purchase was more of an impulse buy out of desperation. I heard so many wonderful things about this cream that I decided to take the risk and give it a try. I figured, if I turn out to be sensitive to it too, I could always pass it along to my brother. It was all done in hopes of giving my face a little help in healing from my ongoing eczema woes.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

MIZON is a Korean skin care brand that is well known for using snail slime extract to improve skin conditions. I know snail slime sounds off putting, but it merely sounds disgusting because of the mental image it conjures up. If you focus on the healing benefits of snail mucin, which includes speeding up wound healing and possibly improving photoaged skin, perhaps you can overlook that preconceived distaste for the product.

The product retails for USD16.09/SGD23.46 on iherb. It contains 75g of product.

mizon all in one snail repair cream ingredients

It claims to be made of 92% snail secretion filtrate. I took a look at the ingredient list and it's rather long. Assuming their claim to be true, then there is 8% of "others", part of it is what I would call fillers and stabilizers that make the cream from separating into its individual components. Of the 8%, it also includes plant extracts, polysaccharide, as well as polypeptide. But it's all the way at the bottom of the list, so are they there for functionality? Who knows.

mizon all in one snail repair cream review
It comes packaged in a protective paper box. So fancy in its foil finish!


mizon all in one snail repair cream review
The cream is housed in a brown tinted glass container which is rather weighty.

The container itself has double leakage prevention – an extra plastic lid to keep the products in, and plastic film wrap keep the lid in place. I didn't manage to get a photo of it this time round as I happily opened up the cream before remembering to snap photos. Next time maybe?

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

mizon all in one snail repair cream review
A look into the glass container. Nothing special! What were you expecting?


The cream is whitish, lightweight and has a gel texture. It spreads easily, so a little is enough to cover my entire face. Because it's mostly water, it absorbs very quickly too. It hydrates effectively, but doesn't keep my skin supple for too long, so I usually end with a layer of facial oil (currently using argan oil) to lock in the moisture.

mizon all in one snail repair cream review
The cream got all over the sides because I lay it on the side to take photos for this entry. It's normally neater than this!


The product is fragrance free. But if I take in a deep whiff, there is a sterile scent to it, perhaps with a tiny tinge of floral scent. It's by no means unpleasant. You won't be able to smell anything after you spread it out on your face.

75g is actually quite a generous amount. I use it twice daily on my face and neck. After 1 month, it's down to half the original amount, so I'd say a container would last me about 2 months.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS

I believe it was some reddit post that got me interested in this product. They've been raving about how much it helps to heal their wounds, get rid of redness, and how it fades their pigmentation after using it for a while. Even though my skin type (dry/sensitive) is different from theirs (dry/oily/acnetic), but mine has a lot of wounds too, albeit a different type. I wanted to try my luck. If 22 bucks can give my skin a boost to have a breakthrough in my eczema recovery (I've been in for the past year), why the hell not!?

The cream didn't irritate me most of the time, unless I broke my skin is flaring. It might sting a little bit, but it dissipates quickly. It doesn't make me itch, or uncomfortable as it sinks in so quickly. I believe this cream is meant to be a "primer cream" for the later skin care products, as such it is only logical that the cream isn't all thick and heavy. I add this to my minimal skin care routine now, before I apply my facial oils to give it that moisture surge.

After years of dealing with eczema, I know well enough that there are no miracles (except steroid creams, which are a no-no for me). But I still hoped nonetheless, that the cream can do something more for me. I really can't tell if the snail filtrate did anything more for me than a regular gel cream does. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. There isn't any comparison for me. But that didn't stop me from liking this cream. Compared to the other gel creams in the market, the MIZON All In One Snail Repair Cream offers more product for about the same price as its competitors, making it a rather economical choice.

In the past month, my face flared twice even as I used the cream. My skin continued to go through its flare-dry-flake cycle. All I can say is that while the cream didn't help get rid of the inflammation in my skin, it didn't make it worse.

I like that it's lightweight and highly absorbable, leaving behind supple and smooth skin even if it's only temporary. It's intended to be used as a first step in your skin care, so layer it with something else if you want more.

Will I repurchase it? I think I might! But I'll decide again when I'm actually done using it for 2 months.

I believe people with dry and oily skin will have the best results from using this cream. You can get it from iherb with my referral link if you wanna give it a try! If you're a US resident, then you can get it at a lower price at amazon!

UNRELATED SIDE NOTE
I've been getting myself busy with graphic design and stuff, hence the lack of updates! Otherwise I'm still alive, and healing. Still not able to wear face makeup though. But lipstick, yes! So maybe I'll finally write about a few lipsticks I tried next time.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Soaked in my own perspiration as this entry is being written.

Summer is here, the heat is rising, and my sweat is dripping. What makeup lovers and everyone else need this summer is a lightweight sunscreen that offers you protection from normal daily UV exposure - one that doesn't feel thick or heavy because the last thing you want is sunscreen melting off your face, mixed in with your personal brand of perspiration. If you need industrial strength sunscreen for extreme sports, then these probably isn't the entry for you.

I tend to favour Asian sunscreens because they label theirs very clearly just how much UVA protection they have. UVA is the one that ages the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. You see why I prefer to know how well protected I am against UVA now?

Below are a few sunscreens I chose to feature after surveying ranking sites. Comes in a variety of prices too!

ANESSA | PERFECT UV AQUA BOOSTER | SPF50+ PA++++
60ML | USD 32

Highly water and sweat resistant, this sun screen is tested to provide 80 minutes of in-water protection! With the addition of skin care essence, it's able to moisturize dry skin caused by UV ray exposure. Can be use on both the face and body.

BIORE | UV AQUA RICH WATERY GEL | SPF50+ PA++++
90ML | USD 9.15

The packaging might have changed, but the formula is still light weight, giving you long lasting protection from UVA and UVB without the heaviness of usual sunscreens. Can be easily washed off with body wash or makeup remover.

BIORE | UV AQUA RICH WATERY ESSENCE | SPF50+ PA++++
50G | USD 9.40

I feel like this watery essence was the best innovation when it first hit the market. A watery sunscreen was unheard of before this, and we're all doomed to a life of thick and oily mess.. This is extremely light weight as it is absorbed by your skin rather quickly, leaves no white residue behind, making it the perfect product to use before your make up. I've tried this years ago and my mom loved it too, read more here.

Oh! This is also a crowd favourite among Asian Beauty Redditors! I saw them hoarding these because of some shipping issues recently.

NIVEA | SUN PROTECT WATER GEL | SPF50 PA+++
140G | USD12.27

Probably the most value for money out of all, you can slather all 140g of this moisturizing sunscreen all over your face and body. The consistency of the sunscreen is like a moisturizing toner, so that pump might come in handy. Designed for normal usage, it doesn't appear to be water resistant, so if you work in an office with air conditioning, this watery gel should be perfect.

LANCOME | UV EXPERT YOUTH SHIELD BB COMPLETE 1 | SPF50 PA++++
30ML | SGD 75

A sunscreen that is designed to cut out not just UVA and UVB rays, but also pollution! Shade 1 is white and brightens the skin to create a glowy and uniform skin tone. Shade 2 is tinted.

At this price tag I might as well splurge on the Chanel CC cream, as I have witnessed the latter work its magic to give my girlfriend a glowy complexion that looked so natural like her own skin.

I added the Lancome sunscreen in because it is currently ranked #3 on the @cosme weekly ranking, and #2 on Taiwan's urcosme weekly ranking. Must be quite lovely for it to be ranked so high, right?

I think this is formulated for the Asian market, as I couldn't find it on Sephora or Amazon. Also, the PA++++ rating IS adopted by the Japan Cosmetic Industry Association after all.

LA ROCHE-POSAY | UVIDEA XL AQUA FRESH GEL | SPF50 PA++++
30ML | SGD 38.9

Apart from shielding you from UV rays, the thermal spring water in the sunscreen protects your cells from free radicals. The light weight gel is non sticky and non greasy, making it great as a make up base.

Again, this appears to be another product made for the Asian market because I can't find it on American/European websites!

KISS MY FACE | FACE FACTOR | SPF30 BROAD SPECTRUM
59ML | USD 9.97

One of the best sellers on iHerb, this sunscreen has 40 minutes resistance, and is paraben and oxybenzone free! Reviews of it have been mostly positive, and most users found it non greasy, doesn't leave behind a white cast, and is easily absorbed.

But how much UVA protection does it offer? I don't know :(

Personally I would prefer a higher SPF of 50 because I can't be bothered with re-application. But the SPF50 version of this sunscreen is found to be a lot thicker than the SPF30. I assume if you're reading this blog, the chance of you wearing makeup is high, so the SPF30 might vibe better with your need for a lightweight sunscreen that doesn't interfere with makeup.

Ending note:
Please be reminded that I made this post with the normal daily folk in mind, so these sunscreens aren't gonna be the most water resistant stuff out there. These were designed for some slight sweating, like the ones that get worked up by you walking down a sunny street to get your lunch, or when you have are walking from the bus stop to an indoor space. Ideally the water resistant ones might be able to last you through a sweaty outdoor concert in this weather, but that's really pushing the limit. And to wear these to the beach and expect NOT to get a burn? Maybe if you're really diligent about reapplying it.. Otherwise, brace yourself for a disappointment.

Another PSA: If you know you'll be in the sun for extended hours, then reapplication is a must. Especially if you're wearing skin exposing clothes. The best kind of sunscreen is physically covering up yourself with clothings, and sunscreens should be the second line of defense. Get this right and you'll be able to enjoy the sun with minimal damage and harm.
 
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