The Last Few Drops (a.k.a Empties)

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I wanted to title this as an empties post, but I always forget details of a product when I use it up completely. Like how did smell? What was the texture? So for the products I talk about below, I am really at the last few drops or the last few uses of it. All three products are more skincare-related as it just takes a lot longer to finish makeup products.

Make P:rem Black Cleansing Water

Make P:rem is a Korean brand that aims to create effective products using quality raw materials at reasonable prices. Their brand focuses on using Nordic philosophy in its use of ingredients, technology, and design. Their Black Cleansing Water is especially striking because of the black colour that comes from peat moss, which is found in many Northern European countries. It is supposed to absorb impurities and be moisturizing at the same time. Their unique Micro-Trans Moisture technology is supposed to help the product absorb more deeply into the skin. This cleansing water is also infused with many other fermented ingredients and oils which help to moisturize and brighten the skin. You can check out the ingredients on the bottom of the product page on their website here. It is also sold with an extra bottle of the product which is great (if you like it that is).

Review: I really enjoyed this cleansing water. It does what it says and does a great job cleaning your makeup off and leaving your skin plump, moisturized, and even a little tacky. Like many cleansing waters, it is not the greatest at removing waterproof makeup, and will sting your eyes a little bit. I prefer using dual-phase makeup removers for eye makeup anyway so this wasn’t a problem for me. The packaging is very minimal, sleek, and ergonomic. My only gripe would be that the pump is quite strong, so sometimes I end up getting the product everywhere. I also wasn’t a big fan of the scent. It smells earthy, but they also added some fragrance to it which didn’t make for a very enjoyable for me.

Repurchase: Maybe. I feel the scent is a deal-breaker for me because I really didn’t enjoy it. However, if you are not bothered by most scented problems, you will really enjoy this cleansing water.

Aritaum Lip & Eye Remover

I’ve been through my fair share of eye makeup removers. I use quite a bit of waterproof makeup so I tend to like dual-phase makeup removers because they usually can get most of my makeup off. This remover from Aritaum contains fermented beans which helps to moisturize the eyelids. It is also not supposed to irritate sensitive eyes.

Review: This is a very good eye makeup remover. It removes everything from eyeshadow to hardcore Japanese waterproof mascaras. I was impressed. Usually, these type of dual-phased removers can leave your eyelids super oily, but I would say this one is definitely on the less oily side. I also a person who has eyes which will get irritated even using the sensitive version of Bioderma and this formula didn’t irritate me at all. Once again, the scent is quite a big con for me. I can’t read the Korean ingredients, but I suspect fragrance is on the list because it definitely doesn’t smell like beans.

Repurchase: Maybe. The scent again is a deterrent for me. However, it does such a good job of removing makeup and the price is more on the drugstore side, so I would probably pick this on a whim if I needed an eye makeup remover.

Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm

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You probably have seen the brand Lanolips all over Instagram. It has a lot going for it, including their super cute packaging, being 100% natural, being against animal testing, and not containing artificial colours, fragrances, parabens, petrolatum, PEG’s, mineral oils, and sulfates. Basically, it sounds like a product that is good for you. The key ingredient in this balm is lanolin, which is derived from Australian sheep. It is supposed to mimic human oils, which makes the product compatible for human use. This superbalm has multiple uses, including moisturizing chapped lips and dry nasal passages, and even helping with insect bites.

Review: I really enjoyed the experience of using this product, but it wasn’t super effective for me. The tube is very convenient to use and is great for on-the-go use. The texture is similar to Vaseline, and other similar petroleum-based balms. When you apply it on the lips, it feels very emollient and as if it will seal your lips from moisture-loss. However, the main reason I didn’t find this product that effective for me was because my lips felt great when I applied it. Yet, hours layer when the product wore off, I felt my lips were just as dry. For super dry winter where I live, this just wasn’t enough to keep my lips from getting chapping and peeling. I really wanted to love it though.

Repurchase: No. However, if you don’t live in a cold and dry environment, it might just be moisturizing enough for you.

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Review: YSL Couture Eye Primer

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I have been on a mission to find the best eye primer ever since I started using makeup in university. I have tried many in my lifetime. Some that of have been my all-time favourites, like the Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base and the Balm Put a Lid on It Eyelid Primer and others have not fared as well, like the Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer. If you want a complete rundown of all the eyelid primers I have tried, you can check out my blogpost here. Now, to the primer I want to review today, which is the YSL Couture Eye Primer. This is probably the one of the more expensive eyeshadow primers I have ever purchased. I figured even if it didn’t work for me, it would look beautiful on my vanity with its black and gold packaging.

Background

This eye primer comes in two shades: 01 Fair and 02 Medium. It claims to amplify the colours of your eyeshadow and keep your eyeshadow in place all day. It also evens out the colour of your eyelid and creates a bit of luminosity. Lastly, it can also be used alone to create a nude eye look.

Packaging

Unlike many eyelid primers that come in a tube, this one comes in a small glass tub with a twist-off lid. In one sense, it is great because you can use it the same way you would a cream eyeshadow. However, over time, the product does dry out a bit faster. It hasn’t completely dried our or anything, but the texture has become more puddy-like and less creamy. Of course, there is also the sanitary issue when you continually dig your fingers in a pot over and over again.

Application

I usually will just use my fingers to grab some of the product and then spread it out on my eyelid. In general, it spreads evenly on the eyelid just using the tip of your fingers. If you have some dry areas, it can go on a little patchy though. Does it even out the eyelid? Yes, it does. However, I would consider its coverage on the lighter side. Does it provide some illumination the eyelid? Yes, it does. You definitely notice a bit more of a glow on your eyelid after application as there is some micro-glitter in the formula. It is subtle and unless you have eyelids on the paler sider, it wouldn’t show up enough to use as a nude eyeshadow per se. Lastly, does it amplify the pigmentation of your eyeshadows? Yes, I think it definitely does.

Longevity

I have tested this eyeshadow primer for months, using it on one eye and comparing it with my favourite Nars primer on the other eye. I even made a spreadsheet because there wasn’t a clear-cut winner in this category initially, which pretty much means that the YSL primer holds up almost as well as the Nars one. If I were to be nick-picky, the Nars one does prevent creasing on the eyelids a little bit longer. On average, creasing occurs usually with the YSL one about 4-6 hours, whereas the Nars one can last about a whole 8 hour work day.

VERDICT: This is a good eyeshadow primer. It is not my favourite one, but I would still recommend it if you don’t mind paying for it and you enjoy using products from a pot.

Beauty Binds #4 – I Give Up

If you have been following my blog the last few weeks, I have been doing a series about beauty dilemmas. So far, I have discussed battling forehead wrinkles, under eye circles, and of course, smudging eyeliner. For my final post in the series, I want to discuss those beauty binds I have given up on solving or have not bothered with anymore. Do you have any beauty steps and/or dilemmas that you just have given up on?

#1 – Keeping my eyelashes curled, defined, and separated

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Shiseido Eyelash Curler

I have stick-straight short lashes, so it literally takes a village to keep them curled and defined. I don’t know how many tubes of mascara I have tried and how few have actually worked for me. Even those that have worked, usually take too much time and effort to remove for me to consistently use them. I also wear glasses and curled lashes become quite a hassle when they constantly hit the lens. Therefore, I have basically resorted to using mascara only on special occasions.

When I do curl my eyelashes, my favourite is the Shiseido Eyelash Curler. The shape is a bit flatter and is ideal for my more almond-shaped eyes. I find the infamous Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler tends to be rounder and I often find myself pinching my eyelids. I usually will also use the Panasonic Heated Eyelash Curler to lift my eyelashes even more and keep them curled. Even with these steps though, my eyelashes will only stay curled for a few hours. If I had to choose, my favourite mascara is probably from Heroine Make. It has a lot of fibers which help lengthen my lashes and it is very separating.

#2 – Sheet Masks

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To be honest, I have pretty much given up on masking of any kind. I am aware that many skincare fanatics use sheet masks on a regular basis. I mean, I want to be that person, but it has never quite happened for me. For some reason, I don’t mind doing a 10-step Korean skincare routine or even the 7-Skin Method, but masking is just not my thing for some reason. With the sheet masks, I hate the feeling of putting something so cold on my face. I find it too jolting to me. Then, with the wash-off masks, I literally have no excuse really. I think doing mask just takes an extra 10 to 20 minutes that I don’t want to waste and having to go back into the bathroom to remove it requires an extra step I don’t want to do possibly. Who knows really? Right now, I have few mask samples hanging around in my drawers, including a deluxe sample of Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask and L’Occitane’s masks. Maybe, I should try masking once a month to start off and see if I can do that. How often do you mask?

#3 – Body Care

I live in a city where it is only warm maybe 3 months of the year, so most of the time I am covered up in coats, scarves, and toques. At least, that is the explanation I give for not keeping up with body care. For the most, I only fully moisturize my body in the summer because there are just more limbs on display. Plus, it is just so much more convenient to moisturize when you are in shorts and a t-shirt. During the cooler months, I tend to only moisturize when my skin is dry and itchy and small patches of eczema start emerging, which is probably not that the best thing to do. However, if you are looking for some great moisturizers for eczema, I would recommend the Spectro Face & Body Moisturizer and Guérisson 9 Complex Cream. If you have any recommendations of body creams that work without being sticky, I would love to know.

What are beauty dilemmas that you have given up on?

Japan Beauty Haul – Drugstore Edition

So there is more. Several posts ago, I talked about the high-end beauty products I purchased from my Tokyo. Of course, I didn’t just raid the luxury beauty stands because Japan has some of the best drugstore makeup I have ever tried. I think that if you only purchased makeup from a Japanese drugstore, you would be very happy with the quality. Before I went to Tokyo, I had already made of list of drugstore makeup products I wanted to try using a Japanese makeup review site, called Cosme. To be surprise, they actually had a Cosme store, where they sold all the best ranked beauty products. Don’t even ask how much I spent there!

Visée Lip & Cheek

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Like many beauty brands in Japan, they are usually part of one of the bigger companies in the Japan beauty market. After some research on their website, I found that Visée is a part of Kosé, which also owns other renowned Japanese brands, like Jill Stuart and Decorté. Visée’s target market is actually young adults, which at the drugstore price point, I can see that. However, I have really enjoyed everything I have tried, so I wouldn’t necessarily consider it a teen line. I guess, since the brand concept is to create trendy makeup for a more mature, and glamorous look, the more wearable colours can suit anybody. I chose to get this Lip & Cheek because I see that it often places in the Top 10 of Japan’s cosmetic ranking site, Cosme. Unlike Jill Stuart, the packaging is black and almost has a gothic feel.

Calypso Magic Concealer

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One of the most exciting aspects of travelling is discovering new places and experiences. When it comes to beauty shopping, the most exciting thing is discovering a new beauty item with endless potential. For me, that would be this Calypso Magic Concealer. In the Cosme Store, it was rated in the Top 3 for best concealer. I had to get it, not only because it was such value, but I was hoping that this concealer would be the one! The concealer that will truly hide those dark circles and not emphasize those fine lines. As I did more research, I am guessing this product might be from a smaller brand as I can’t even locate their website. From their packaging, I know that it has won a lot of beauty awards. There are literally 5 stickers indicating the awards they have won. This concealer is supposed to address uneven skincare texture due to acne scars, fine lines, wrinkles, and pores. It also helps to even out dark under eye circles. It comes in two colours: salmon beige and pink beige.

Excel Powder & Pencil Eyebrow

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Ever discover a new beauty product and wonder how someone didn’t come up with this before. For me, that would be the New Born W Brow EX. I bought this product on a whim and I have loved it since. It is a 3-in-1 product that includes a brow pencil, brow powder, and spoolie brush. The brow pencil gives you definition while the powder is great for filling in the front end of your brow and filling in gaps in your brows. Plus, it is pigmented and stays put for most of the day. So when I spotted a similar pencil made by Excel, I had to purchase it to perhaps do a comparison later on. I mean that packaging is exactly the same except for the colour. Later on, I did find out both companies belong to a beauty brand called SANA so I guess they are just using the same packaging. However, I did manage to swatch the Excel one in-store and I feel like it is more on the waxier side, which is bit more similar to the cult-classic Shu Uemura Hard 9 formula. Stay tuned for my comparison!

I have a lot more to share, so I have been slowly documented my haul on my Instagram. You can check it out if you are interested.

Tokyo Ponderings

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I thought I would try something new on my blog. I don’t travel that often, but when I do, I come back with not only a lot of beauty products and gifts, but also a lot more understanding of their culture. This includes everything from their food to their architecture. In this blogpost, I wanted to share my findings and questions I had after I returned. I found that some experiences were what I expected and others a bit different than I initially thought. Hopefully, this might give you a little background about Tokyo if you decide to take a trip there one day (or if you already live there or are more familiar with Japan, please tell me if I am wrong about something).

Attention to Detail and Craftsmanship

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Before I went to Tokyo, I had heard a lot about the quality of Japan’s craftsmanship. I also had firsthand experience of this in their packaging and the overall quality of their beauty products. However, to see it firsthand was a wonderful experience. The first time I stepped into the basement of a Tokyo department store food hall, I literally was overwhelmed by the beauty of the food. Each stall focused on one type of food usually and everything was beautifully made and packaged, from the desserts to the bento boxes. Later, I also found that certain restaurants only specialized in one type of food, like tonkatsu, or fermented fish. People would line up early just to eat it. I was surprised at how much I appreciated this dedication and now I just want to go back for the food. I thought I was only there for the shopping!

Etiquette (Locals Do Talk on the Trains)

I didn’t specifically do a whole lot of research before I headed to Tokyo. However, over the years, I had followed quite a few Youtubers who lived in Japan and they all talk about how you shouldn’t talk on the trains. However, I found that it is quiet when you ride the trains, but locals do talk in hushed voices. I always think it is interesting how we build up impressions of others just merely through what others say. Having ridden in some really packed trains, I found the Japanese to be very respectful and polite. It is amazing to me with how many people packed into the trains, no one was yelling at each other for pushing into them. Instead, all I heard were people saying “gomen nasai” (sorry in Japanese) sometimes. However, it doesn’t mean that the Japanese are very different from North Americans. They are just like you and me. They laugh, chat with their friends, and like to be tap away at their phones when riding on the trains. No matter where I go, I often struck by how similar we all are.

It’s a Shopping Paradise

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I was lucky to get this limited set from my favourite Japanese natural brand THREE.

From reading (more like looking) at Japanese magazines for years, I knew that there were many things to buy in Japan. I just had no idea how much! It is literally a shopping paradise. They not only carry Asian brands, but many Western brands as well. If you  have also been in their drugstores, they usually also have a huge beauty section, so even if you have a lower budget, there is something for you. Let’s talk about clothing shopping! I actually didn’t buy as much clothes compared to beauty products, but the general style there is a bit more on the girly side. They are very beautiful with their ruffles and bows, but it didn’t quite fit my fashion style. However, I was amazed at how many small independent brands there were. In one shopping tower, there could be tens to hundreds of small boutiques selling clothes from their own line. I wish we had more of this in North America because I feel like the our fashion world is dominated by several large brands. I totally went over my budget and I didn’t regret it.

Japan Beauty Haul – High End

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I just came home from Tokyo and I am so excited to talk about the beauty products that I purchased. With most vacations, I am often worried about whether my suitcase might be overweight. However, since I spent the bulk of my budget on beauty products, my suitcase was pretty light compared to usual. I am a big fan of Japan beauty products because of their quality, effectiveness, and of course, their beautiful packaging. Like other aspects of their culture, their attention to detail and constant search for innovation are also seen in their beauty products. I feel they are some of the best in the world. I will split the haul into two posts with this blogpost focusing on higher-end products.

Naturaglacé Emollient Cream Foundation, Point Make-Up Remover, and UV Protection Base

As you can tell by the number of products I bought, I am big fan of this brand. Naturaglacé is one of the first natural brands from Japan. Flipping through Japanese magazines the last few years, I have noticed that green beauty has become more popular. During this trip, I even found dedicated sections in department stores for green beauty. I wish we saw more of that in North America. This brand’s concept is to create products that are 100% natural. The second part of their name “glacé” loosely translates to “glossy” ( I used Google Translate), which I assume means that their products will give you a healthy glow.

Naturaglacé has rebranded over the last couple of years and I love the new pastel paint smudges on their packaging. After the rebranding, they have actually introduced a few more base products. After discussing with the salesperson using broken Japanese, I decided to get the cream foundation because it has a dewy finish and has anti-aging properties. It also comes in a tube which I love! I’m also always up for trying a new dual-phase makeup remover. I am still on the hunt for one that is pretty much scentless and will not leave the eyelid too oily after cleansing. Lastly, I got their sunscreen because I still haven’t found a natural sunscreen that I love. Wish me the luck that this might be the one.

RMK Liquid Foundation

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From one end of the spectrum to another, this foundation is not natural or organic, but RMK’s base products are some of my favourites. I tend to buy green beauty but I haven’t found the green replacement for this brand’s base products yet. Have you ever dreamed about repurchasing a certain foundation for years? For me, this is that product because I finished their Gel Creamy Foundation a few years ago. I had bought it online and guessed my shade correctly only to forget to write it down. Fast-forward to today, it has been so amazing to go to the counter and find my shade again. This time I got their Liquid Foundation which has a natural skin finish and is supposed to be waterproof and long-wearing. So far, I have found this foundation to be really natural-looking allowing your skin to show through. It might not be for those that love a heavier base though.

THREE Shimmering Glow Duo and Triple Three Treat

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If you are looking for a luxury beauty brand with beautiful packaging and a natural approach to beauty, then THREE is your best bet. All the packaging is super sleek and minimal. The matte grey packaging doesn’t get super dirty like the Nars packaging. The brand has a natural and organic lean, but none their products are 100% natural. For example, their skincare is has at least 85% naturally-derived ingredients. Like many green brands, their ingredient lists include many essential oils, so if you are sensitive, this might not be the brand for you.

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Since I had tried out their foundations before, I decided to pick up their Shimmering Glow Duo. I have always been more fond of a glossy-type highlighter over those that are too metallic. My favourite glossy highlighter is still RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer. This cream highlighter is supposed to give you a more natural glow and will blend into the skin seamlessly changing into a powder form. When I purchased it, I didn’t know that the formula changed to a powder form, so  hopefully that won’t take down the glow of the product. I also picked up this awesome set called the Triple Three Treat which included deluxe samples of three of their products. They include their the Whisper Gloss for Eye in Cement Serenade, Lyrical Lip Bloom in Movement Feel, and the Epic Mini Dash (cheek colour) in Post Pink. I can’t wait to try these out and report back.

Beauty Binds #3 – Forehead Wrinkles

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This is the last of a series I have written about beauty dilemmas that continue to haunt me. In my first post of this series, I talk about how I deal with concealer that creases and in my second post, I go through tips and tricks I have tried to stop my eyeliner from smudging. In my final post in this series, I want to tackle the issue of forehead wrinkles. More than crow’s feet or laugh lines, I feel that forehead wrinkles bother me the most because they simply just cover more surface area. I don’t aim to look wrinkle-free, but I just want to look a little younger than my real age. I guess, this is my version of aging gracefully. So what have I tried so far?

Method #1 – Exfoliation

I used to be the laziest person when it came to exfoliation. After applying layers of skincare, the thought of doing another step just didn’t seem appealing to me. However, over the years, I have read many articles about the benefits of exfoliation. It helps promote cell turnover to reveal newer cells underneath. Thus, it can help create a brighter complexion. When it comes to beauty, you can’t be lazy, so I decided to start exfoliating once to twice a week. I find that it helps the skin look smoother and brighter which also helps diminish the look of fine lines. I didn’t have much luck with physical exfoliators as they tended to cause my skin to breakout. However, I have been loving Sunday Riley’s Good Genes, which smells awful, but is not irritating and really makes my skin smoother and “glowier.” It is a chemical exfoliator (AHA), which uses lactic acid to get rid of that top layer of dead skin. Do you have any favourite chemical exfoliators?

Method #2 – Vitamin C

I honestly don’t think I would have gotten into Vitamin C skincare if it weren’t for Instagram. After scrolling through endless photos of skincare routines, Vitamin C skincare products were everywhere. So I finally amped up my research game, and started to learn about why I needed it in my skincare routine. Vitamin C is an antioxidant with amazing anti-aging benefits, including evening out and brightening the skin. I found that exfoliation showed more immediate results, but Vitamin C might take a bit longer. At first, I didn’t think my Vitamin C serum was doing anything till I noticed how smooth my forehead looked after I put on foundation. So you might not want to give up right away if you don’t results immediately. My favourites Vitamin C Serums so far are Wishtrend’s Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum and Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum.

Method #3 – Pack on the Moisturizers

If you have started to notice wrinkles, you will know that the drier the skin is, the more pronounced those wrinkles look. That is why I think moisturizing your skin is a very important step. I used to go crazy packing on tons of moisturizers hoping that it would fix the problem. Sometimes it did, but sometimes I would also start to breakout in certain areas, probably due to the moisturizers clogging my pores. Lately, I have been loving layering toners using the Korean 7 Skin Method. Korean toners are usually more vicious and full of great skincare ingredients. You pat in the toner and then wait a few minutes before patting on the next layer. Basically, it is a less heavy way of infusing a ton of moisture into your skin. Afterwards, my skin looks glowy and more “bouncy” to the touch. My favourite toners for this method include Whamisa’s Organic Flowers Toner and I also love ID.AZ’s Dermastic Essential Toner.

With regards to a more traditional moisturizer, I have had a lot of luck with moisturizers that have snail secretion filtrate. They keep my skin moisturized even in the dry winter months. My favourites include COSRX Snail 92 All In One Cream and Tony Moly’s Ferment Snail Essence. If you find snail-infused beauty products too slimy, I find adding a facial oil is also a good idea because it really boosts hydration. I am currently using Fresh’s Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil.

Method #4 – Facial Massage

This is a step I only recently added to my skincare routine, but I think it really does help. I have been mostly focusing on my forehead and I try to do it morning and night when I do my skincare routine. I usually do it when I apply my facial oil because it makes the massage smoother. If you find doing a whole face facial massage too time consuming, I recommend just targeting the area that you are most concerned about first. Here is a great video from Wishtrend about facial massage:

Method #5 – Apply a Primer Before Foundation

There are many primers out there that promise to fill in your pores and fine lines. However, I have not had much luck with this method. There is one primer though that I find to be somewhat effective. It is the J. One Jelly Pack which is more of a firming primer. It is quite different from any other products I have tried before as it is very sticky and thick. When you apply this clear gel onto your skin, you really have to push it in. It is worth it though because you do feel it tighten your skin and increase the longevity of your foundation. My only qualm is that it seems to be more effective with certain foundations and moisturizers. To be honest, I still haven’t gotten this product completely figured out.

Have I missed anything? Thank you for reading.

Beauty Binds #2 – Smudging Eyeliner

 

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This is the second post in my series about beauty dilemmas. If you are interested, you can check out my first post about tips and tricks I use to stop concealer from creasing. It only makes sense that since I named my blog, Smudges, that the next beauty dilemma I am going to talk about is dealing with smudging eyeliner. After many years of testing out multiple eyeliners, I think I have now resorted to the fact that most eyeliners will smudge at least a little bit on me. I understand that my hooded eye shape and watery eyes just makes it a bit harder for eyeliner to stay put on me. For me, eyeliner usually starts disappearing on the outer corner where I wing out my eyeliner. So here are a list of tips and tricks I have tried over the years to keep my eyeliner from smudging.

Method #1 – Simply Find an Eyeliner That Won’t Smudge

I have tried a lot of eyeliners in my life time. There are a few eyeliners that have stood up the best on my eyelids. For pencil eyeliners, this would include Clinique’s Quickliner For Eyes and Etude House’s Play 101 Pencils. An honourable mention for me would be Stila’s Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner. I have been wearing the Clinique liner since university and I love the glide of this pencil and it is also is a turn-up pencil so you don’t need to sharpen it. It pretty much stays put all day expect for the wing part of the liner which tends to smudge a bit on the bottom of the eye. The Etude House one actually has better longevity, but like many gel liners, it dries out pretty quick. My favourite liquid eyeliners are Kate Super Sharp Liner and msh Love Liner. Both of these liquid eyeliners draw beautifully and also last almost the whole day.

Method #2 – Wear Eyeshadow Primer

If you want eyeliner to stay put, your eyeshadow better stay put as well. Since I have oily eyelids, I pretty much have to wear eyeshadow primer every time I do an eye look. My favourite eyeshadow primers are the Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base and the Balm’s Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer. The Nars one is amazing for keeping eyeshadow crease-free all day and it blends so smoothly onto the eyelid. I have not found one better than the Nars one. However, if you want something a bit more hygienic thats comes out of a tube, I would recommend the primer from the Balm. It’s performance is almost as good as Nar’s primer. I have also tried putting primer on the outer corner of my eye where I would wing out the liner to prevent smudging, but my eyes are so watery, it doesn’t really help.

Method #3 – Don’t Wing Out Your Eyeliner

This is a technique I often use when I am just fed up with my eyeliner smudging on the outer corners. I know, winged eyeliner is such a beautiful thing. It elongates your eyes and gives your eyes more definition. However, it is such a hassle sometimes to check to see if it has smudged that I actually don’t wing my liner sometimes. I will just end it at the outer corner of my eye. Sometimes, I actually prefer this look as it makes my eyes look rounder. Most importantly, I don’t have worry about smudging as much.

Method #4 – Carry cotton buds

Recently, I have started to carry tiny cotton swabs and even cotton swabs with eye makeup remover to fix smudges. Usually, when I am lazy, I will just wipe the smudged eyeliner away with my fingers. Sometimes, I will also use a tissue or even a paper towel if I am desperate. However, tiny cotton swabs are perfect for this job. My favourite are from Muji and I have also discovered Muji’s Cleansing Cotton Buds which I also enjoy if you are wearing waterproof eyeliner.

If you have any tips and tricks dealing with smudging eyeliner, please share below!

Beauty Binds #1 – Creasing Concealer

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When it comes to beauty dilemmas, there are some that I can just let go, like finding a mascara that will actually give volume to my short Asian lashes. However, there are some beauty conundrums that I still obsess about till today. I thought I would do a little roundup of them over several posts and talk about possible solutions that have worked for me and some that have not. More than that, I really hope that you have some tips and product suggestions to offer me so I can finally let go (if that is possible).

Conundrum – Finding a concealer application method that will not only cover my dark under eye circles but will also not crease as well

I know that I am cheating a bit here by trying to solve two issues, but if there is one beauty problem that I am obsessed with fixing, it is these two. I think concealer is so important for looking fresh and awake in the morning. Even if I don’t apply foundation, I will always try to put on some concealer. I still don’t think I have found my perfect combination of technique and products yet, but I wanted to talk about a few that I have tried over the years. Some were picked up through through magazines, Youtube, and Intagram, and others were just some of my own experimentations.

Method #1 – Simply Find a Concealer That Will Not Crease

Maybe I am just asking for too much. I honestly don’t think there has been a concealer that didn’t crease on me a little bit. If I had to choose, I think that the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer would be the best concealer I have tried that will only give me minimal creasing. For an Asian brand, I find the Ipsa Creative Concealer, which is a cream concealer, doesn’t really crease that much on me. If you know of a great concealer that does not crease, I would love to know.

Method #2 – Powdering After Applying Concealer

Powdering any makeup will increase its longevity. So it should be a no-brainer that you should definitely set concealers with powder since they are usually creamier. Believe me, I have tried this technique on and off for years and I must admit I still don’t love it. I have also tried applying the powder with a brush and and pressing it in with a puff. However, it has either left my under eye area looking super dry or made the creasing even more pronounced.

Method #3 – Use a Sponge to Apply the Concealer

I have been using this technique on and off for a while. Mostly, this is because I feel using a sponge to apply concealer sometimes takes away some of the coverage. However, I do think it can help minimize creasing just because there is less product that can crease. Lately,  I have also started to dip my Beauty Blender into thicker concealers like the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, and then press it into the skin. This allows me to keep the coverage without worrying if it will get too cakey or crease.

Method #4 – Only Applying Concealer to Where You Need It

I learnt this technique last year and it is one of my favourites. Often when I watch Youtube, I see people loading tons of concealer allover their under eye area. However, sometimes, I find that it is more important to focus the concealer only on the darkest areas. This way, you use less product and minimize the chances of creasing and it looks more natural. I think the renowned makeup artist, Lisa Eldridge explains it best in the video above. She also talks about applying concealer and waiting a bit before rechecking for any creasing. She will then use a sponge to remove the excess product and smooth out the area. My only problem with the latter technique is that I don’t find that my concealer creases till hours later. I haven’t tried bringing a sponge in my purse though. Maybe I should!

I have also tried using eye primer on the under eye area and baking under the eyes, but I still don’t quite like how my under eye wears over the day. I hope you enjoyed this post of me rambling about concealer woes. I would love to hear your concealer tips and tricks.

Review: Honest Beauty Truly Kissable Lip Crayon

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If you are starting out in green and/or natural beauty, lip products are always a good way to go because there are just so many good choices. Some of my favourites include Bite Beauty, Kosäs, and even Burt’s Bee. Today, I am going to review one of my recent finds from the States. I have been meaning to try out some beauty products from Honest Beauty, but they are hard to get out of the United States. To my great surprise, you can now easily pick up items from their line in Target. I wasn’t sure what to get so I decided to get their Truly Kissable Lip in Sheer Rose Kiss and their Everyday Primer because they both received nods from Allure magazine (and I love Allure).

Background

Honest Beauty is a brand created by the actress Jessica Alba. The main keywords used in their brand marketing are “safe” and “effective.” It is important to note though that they do not claim to use natural and organic ingredients. Their policy indicates that they do not use parabens, paraffins, silicones, talc, petrolatum, mineral oil, or synthetic fragrances. If you want to check out their ingredient lists, they are listed clearly for each product.

Claims

This lip crayon is supposed to provide a sheer wash of colour giving a natural look on the lips. The formula is lightweight and will glide onto your lips for a quick and convenient application. The ingredients will also keep your lips and moisturized and cushioned.

Ingredients

The main ingredients of this lip crayon are coconut oil, murumuru butter and shea butter.

Packaging

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It has the standard twist-up lip crayon packaging. Like many twist-up crayons, there is always the risk of closing the lid improperly and ruining the product inside. This is happened to me on many occasions and I have ruined the original sharp point of the crayon. That being said, the packaging is quite sturdy and has withstood all the tossing around in the bottom of my purse unscathed except for a tiny crack in the lid.

Application

With its rounded crayon tip, it is quite easy to apply on your lips precisely. They even recommend that you can overdraw your lips to create volume without any problem since it is a tint. The texture is very balmy. It almost feels like I am applying a regular lip balm. I find that I don’t even need to apply a lip balm underneath it since it is so moisturizing and will not enhance the flakiness of dry and peeling lips.

Review

I really enjoyed this lip crayon. In fact, it was constantly on my lips for a few weeks. I think the main reason I love it so much is because it is so convenient. You don’t need to apply a separate lip balm underneath and it keeps my lips as moisturized as if I am using my favourite Burt’s Bee lip balm. Furthermore, don’t be fooled by the word “sheer” in the name because I would consider the pigmentation equal to a regular lipstick. However, this means you will need a mirror when you apply it. If there is one possible downside, it would be that it doesn’t wear super long. However, I guess you really shouldn’t expect that from a lip tint. It is interesting in that it has a tad of a shine for the first hour or so and then after that, the colour starts fading and it looks more like a matte stain. It holds up pretty well through casual drinking, but won’t last through a meal. I tend to wear it like a lip balm, reapplying it every few hours.

VERDICT: If you are looking for a moisturizing lip balm with more than just a tint of colour, I would totally recommend this lip crayon.