Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Makeup Review: Garnier BB Eye Roll-on

Hearing the name of Garnier BB Eye Roll-on was an excitement. How nice the world will be with a roller-ball serum-packed concealer! You can simply swiftly massage your under eyes, dab dab dab, and leave your place with bright, sparkling eyes!!! The story is however too simple to be true...

Basically, I encounter two major problems:

1. Like most roller-ball applicators, there's hardly any way I could control the amount of BB cream I get on my under eyes. Yes, I can roll it onto the back of my hand first, but that will defeat the entire purpose of having the roller-ball, isn't it...?!

2. It's too dry for my rather dehydrated under eyes. I believe it could be good for young, hydrated skin, but definitely not for me (well well...I'm just 30!!!). It settled into creases and made me look sooooooo ooooooold...

If your under eyes are hydrated enough, the good thing I can say about this product is its sheer texture. Your eyes definitely won't be weighed down...Hmm, I guess it's also meant to be handy for retouches, but unfortunately I only see its cumbersome self...

I do look forward to the day when I can do eye massage and makeup in one go. Meanwhile, I still prefer massaging my eyes with Clinique All About Eyes Serum (HERE).

Monday, June 27, 2011

Be Kissed by Nature: Lavera Basic Sensitiv Lip Balm

I was grocery-shopping for my mum the other night when I accidentally caught sight of Lavera Basic Sensitiv Lip Balm. I have fallen in love with it since that very evening! Our local drugstores and supermarkets have just recently brought in Lavera. I actually find the quality of this lip balm nothing inferior to those launched by the counter brands, if not better! I am never a fan of organic stuff and I definitely won't rave about this being an organic lipstick. What this lip balm shows is however the power of Mother Nature, which works wonder for my pouts!

It's packed with a cocktail of natural ingredients like shea butter, olive oil, beeswax, jojoba seed oil, sweet almond oil and sunflower seed oil. I am delighted by its gentle taste of honey and the protective sensation it brings. It wraps my lips in a super comfortable, lasting, and non-sticky film of moisture that is just nice for both normal lip care and lip prep before wearing my lip sticks. I like it over my MAC Prep + Prime Lip (HERE) which is less moisturizing, noticeably less lasting, and far more pricey (this one only cost me HKD39 or USD5!!!). To top up the protection, don't forget you'll also get natural UV protection (roughly SPF 6) from the nourishing shea butter. That's not the end of the story! As with all other Lavera products, it's free from parabens, synthetics, preservatives,  petroleum-based products, and cruelty (no animal testing!). Think I'm not only kissed by Nature, but also kissing Nature!

I've already popped it into my everyday makeup bag and daily skincare compartment! =)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Makeup Review: Bourjois Blush with Swatches

Another item from my recent drugstore haul. It took me such a long time to decide which shade to buy facing 14 shades sitting right in front of me. If you think these blushes look like Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush, you are very right! Bourjois is indeed a sister company of Chanel and their blushes undergo the same production processes. Other than some distinctive shades available in both collections, the major differences lie on the fragrance and the size of the powder. I can't even tell if I'm being biased for Chanel, but I personally find the fragrance added to Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush more soothing and the powder is also slightly more finely-milled. Of course, if you are not THAT bothered by the fragrance (which is hardly noticeable after application), I shall say Bourjois blushes are very good buys! It's pigmented and sophisticated enough for you to neglect the rather trivial imperfection in the fine-but-not-as-fine texture. And look, you're paying only a quarter of the price for the sister of Chanel Joues Contraste Powder Blush!!!

From left: NARS in Deep Throat, Bourjois in Rose Coup de Foudre (16)
I just bought a Bourjois Blush in Rose Coup de Foudre (16). It's in a gentle soft peachy coral, slightly more coral than NARS Blush in Deep Throat, when applied to my skin. The shimmer is not really visible on my cheeks, but I think it does create a soothing natural flush that glows from within.  Hmm, I hope I haven't misled you to think that the powder is not fine enough, it is very fine and light! I was amazed at the huge amount of powder that my brush picked up in just one stroke! Am I that rough?!...No, no, no...I still don't think it's me, it only tells me how fine the powder is! It glides on super smoothly and it's very buildable. You can now become a girl-next-door today and a lively summer baby tomorrow with only one blush in your pocket! For me, I have added it to my all-time favorite list. Will definitely build up my collection of Bourjois blushes in my next drugstore haul!!! =)

L'occitane's New Attempt: Pivione Flora Lipstick with Swatches

I have always been a fan of L'occitane's skincare and bodycare collections. I love the way their Honey Comfort Mask and Amande Delicious Paste pamper both my skin and my olfactory nerves. With the same passion, I tested out their new Pivoine Flora lipstick in Rose Pique (02) with great passion.

The texture is quite sheer and it feels rather matt to me, without the watery sensation of many newly launched lipsticks, like Coco Shine. I shall say it's more like the kind of lipstick that we've all been familiar with for decades, plus a modern touch of sheerness. Color-wise, never judge a book by its cover! It's so much more wearable than it looks, or rather, it is very wearable. As you can hopefully see from my rubbish photo below, this pink-coral shade is somewhere between Coco Shine in Liberte (44) and Aventure (57)...hmm, closer to Liberte. The relatively intense texture of Pivoine Flora makes the color richer and more lasting than Coco Shine. Did I say it feels matt? Yes, but don't get me wrong - it doesn't look matt! The color is uplifted by some sheeny glitters which is supposed to play magic under the blazing sun. I however find it too sparkly (which is not visible on my rubbish photo, my apology). Coco Shine only shimmers, but Pivione Flora sparkles! It's great if you want more public attention to your sexy pouts.

From top: Coco Shine in Liberte (44), Pivione Flora in Rose Pique (02), Coco Shine in Aventure (57)

A few words of caution...

Pivione Flora is definitely not as moisturizing as it (or the sales representative) vouches. Make sure your lips are well balmed! It's also very personal whether or not you are contented with the peony fragrance it carries. Sniff it hard and don't be fooled by the custom fragrance of the shop itself! Last of all, I find the lighting of the shop (at least those that I've been to) too dim and yellowish to accurately see the color and the sparkles. If possible, move to a white light area to see the color properly before you make your purchase.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Best Oil-Control Serum from Drugstores

Because of my irritatingly oily T-zone, I've tried quite a handful of oil-control serums over the years. Many didn't work at all. On several occasions, it turned out to be such a waste of time, money, and the product itself too (!!!) since there's no way I could ever carry on using an oil-control serum that actually encouraged oil secretion! My painful serum hunt finally came to an end when I found Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner in a drugstore haul. Good things do come when you're least expecting them! It's the oil-control serum that I keep getting back to.

Unlike some oil-control serum out there in the market, this Bioderma serum doesn't leave any residue. So you won't end up with a mess when you do your makeup 5 minutes before dashing out of your place. It matifies my T-zone and forehead like a super blotting paper. I do need a mid-day retouch with my Mac Blot Powder (HERE) if I'm out the whole day. Just touch-up once and I'm fine the whole day. As with all other Bioderma products, it's hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. Quality-wise, it's definitely in no way inferior to the luxurious brands and it's worth every penny you've paid (if not more)! Hey hey, those with combination and acne-prone skin can party tonight!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Makeup Review: Dior Addict Lipstick in Nude vs. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine

I know it's a bit late of me to review Dior Addict lipstick in Nude (333) that's launched in the S/S 2011 collection, but well, it's never really too late since it's a permanent color in the collection.

It's become one of my everyday lipsticks lately because of its sheer watery finish and the healthy kinda nude look it creates, which definitely won't make me look ill! The texture actually feels like Coco Shine (HERE and HERE), but creamier, slightly less watery, and slightly more intense. It gives a comfortable sheeny touch, and like I just said (I ought to repeat!), it's in the right kind of nude! I always find the range of hues that can go under the "nude" category terribly broad. Some made me look too cold, stern, or ill. But this one sits just at the point of equilibrium that should fit most people. Honestly, because my natural lip color is more to the darker rosy side, the lighter shades in the Coco Shine range are all too sheer to cover my lip color. For this reason, I can only go for the brighter shades of Coco Shine, say Liberte (46), Aventure (57), and Boy (54). Although the trend for bold lips is back and Coco Shine is still more sheer, hydrating and foolproof, I will opt for Dior Addict on days that I prefer to have a more tender natural look. A perfect match with my summer whites! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Makeup Review: NARS Blush in New Order

New Order
Deep Throat

I wasn't really convinced by the loads of negative reviews on NARS latest blush in New Order until I finally tried it out at the counter the other day. It caught my attention when I was aimlessly flipping through this beauty magazine for a break. I thought the color is gorgeous and angelic even when I saw it at NARS counter. I thought this pretty lilac-colored blush with glitters looks practically like a purple version of Angelica (HERE). I was wrong! We all know that purple can moderate and brighten dull-looking skin, especially for Asian with yellow undertones. But this purplish blush simply disappeared on my cheeks, leaving nothing more than a bit of glitters. I shall say Angelica is like ten times more pigmented than New Order! Honestly, I don't think it did any degree of brightening or correction to my complexion...alright, the glitters perhaps...At the end of the trial session, I purchased a Deep Throat instead...=p

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Balancing regime for combination skin: Dermalogica Skin Refining Masque

One of the things I hate about summer is the extra whiteheads (and sometimes blackheads or even zits!) I get on my T-zone. It's a season whereby everything, including oil secretion, is activated! To keep my skin clear and balanced, I can't live without some sort of a purifying mask in my weekly skincare regime. And mind you, I really mean weekly. Unless you want to disrupt and impair your skin's natural functions, you won't need a daily deep-cleansing...which I shall say twice a week is the max! 

Out of the few purifying masks in my skincare cupboard, Dermalogica Skin Refining Masque has been the one I use most often. I realize it really helps keep my face clean and clear in just 10 minutes, without any tingling sensation that I sometimes get from other clay masks. I like to apply a thicker layer over my T-zone, jawline and any potential acne.  Besides the familiar oil-absorbing Kaolin and Bentonite, which are often found in purifying clay masks, this one also contains Vitamin C and E for a more nourishing treat. It's been quite an effective 'first-aid', as well as 'maintenance' treatment so far. My skin always feels fresh, balanced, and soft after use. It says, "Bye shiny nose and acne!" Hooray!!! 
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