Current Favourites

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If you have been reading my blog for a while, I usually like to do a current favourites blogpost every few months.  I use the same format inspired by Youtuber Ingrid Nilsen’s Sense of Self where she uses the five senses to interview her guests about their favourite things.

Sight

I am sorry my “sight” favourite is always a Youtube channel, but all I watch is Youtube.  However, I must mention that I finally got persuaded to watch “Sherlock,” which is like a modern take on the classic novel.  I’m only on the second season, but I’ve been really enjoying the amazing acting and clever dialogue of the show.

With so many Youtubers nowadays, it is hard to find someone who’s videos are totally original, especially when it comes to beauty Youtubers.  Violette’s channel violette_fr is a breath of fresh air in the Youtube beauty scene.  She is a French makeup artist who now resides in New York.  French girls are renowned for being effortlessly chic, and she totally embodies that.  She often applies her makeup using only her fingers and will do her makeup tutorials, not behind a backdrop like many Youtubers, but when she is out and about.  She has done her makeup at her favourite cafe, and even in the back of a car!

Smell

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I am one those people that watch those Perfume collection Youtube videos with envy because I can’t tolerate many scents without feeling feeling dizzy or have a headache.  However, luckily, there is one scent I enjoy in beauty products, and that is citrus.  It could be the scent of oranges, lemon, or limes.  I enjoy them all!  I’ve been especially loving the scent of the Ole Henrikson Truth Serum Collagen Booster, which is a lovely gift from my sister.  If you love the scent of ripe oranges, you will love this serum.  The scent is not subtle.  It literally smells like freshly squeezed orange juice, almost smells a bit like a Creamsicle too.  I look forward to applying this everyday.  It is full of high powered Vitamin C which is supposed to boost collagen and minimize wrinkles.  Initially, I didn’t feel like it was doing too much, but after using it for a few weeks night and day, I do notice that my skin, especially in my forehead area, is tighter and my fine lines less visible.

Taste

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This is my first attempt at making them at home.  They tasted pretty good!

I really enjoy tasting new flavours from other cultures.  Maybe, perhaps due to the fact, I was an Anthropology Major in university.  I especially love trying out home cooking from other cultures, like the Vietnamese Sweet and Sour soup I talked about in my last Current Favourites.  A few weeks ago, I got to try Pão de Queijo, which is a Brazilian cheese bread.  They are like the size of little cream puffs, but they kind of remind me of cheese scones, which I love.  They have a crispy exterior and are chewy on the inside from the tapioca flour.  When I start, I can’t stop eating them!

Touch

I could not really think of anything for this category, so I am going to cheat a little.  Instead of talking about something I felt, I am going to talk about my favourite feeling.  I have really loved the feeling of wearing lipstick.  Since I couldn’t really wear eye makeup when I had shingles, I resorted to playing up my blush, contour, and lips.  It was through this experience that I started to understand the power of lipstick!  It really can make a look “pop.”  I’ve been so into it that I bought my first lipliner ever, the Bite Beauty Lip Pencil.  Since I loved their lipsticks, getting their lipliner was a no-brainer.  So far, I have found them to be pigmented and easy to draw with.  Still need to continue practicing though.

Sound

For me, sound is usually a music favourite.  I either come by new music from the radio or from Spotify, and lately I have been loving Solange.  I am a latecomer in getting to know Solange’s music, but I loved “Cranes in the Sky” the first time I heard it.  It actually won a Grammy for Best R & B Performance last weekend!  Other than this song, I also love “Don’t Touch My Hair,” which talks about being proud of your own hair.  Her voice is very soothing and soulful.

Review: Milk Makeup Coverage Duo (a.k.a., The Re-Review After Reading the Instructions)

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Disclaimer:  I had written most of this review and realized while reading about the product on their website that I had not used it properly.  I thought the liquid concealer was meant to be used under the eyes, but it can also be used all over the face, almost like a lightweight foundation.

As a beauty blogger, you innately start developing criteria when you review products.  Eyeshadows need to super pigmented.  Concealers should have good coverage and not crease.  These sort of become your baseline every time you start to review a product.  In the last few months, I have been using the Milk Makeup Coverage Duo in Light quite frequently, and I thought I was prepared to write a mediocre review.  The coverage of this concealer is not really high and it does crease a bit on me.  However, instead of just focusing on performance, I realized that this is actually an all-around good product.  Here are the reasons why:

The premise behind the brand is modern, and well, likable

Milk Makeup is trying to do something a little different and I commend them for that.  Just a little background on the company.  Milk Makeup is a branch of Milk, which is a cultural hub focusing on fashion, music, photography, art, and film in L. A.  The key premises behind the brand include: multi-use products, experimentation and self-expression, minimal preservatives (this is not considered green beauty though) and cruelty-free, best ingredients, minimal preservatives, and high concept low maintenance.  I mean, there really isn’t anything not to like!  Basically, the brand is saying if you are a a trendy, modern, cool girl, you should be wearing their makeup and who doesn’t want to be that?

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The packaging is innovative

I don’t think I’ve ever seen another beauty product with this type of packaging.  Housed in a flat Tic-Tac-sized container, one end has a rollerball applicator for the liquid concealer, and the other end is a removable container for the marshmallow-textured cream concealer.  The rollerball is quite cooling and quick to apply under the eyes.  The packaging is also super portable.  It is slim enough that it would easily fit into a pocket and a purse for touchups.  The liquid concealer is meant for your face, while the cream concealer is for extra coverage.

The formula absorbs quickly and is moisturizing

Other than the portability, one of the things that this product has going for it, is the texture. Applied all over the face, this liquid concealer sinks in quickly and leaves your skin glowy and moisturized.   I can put on a couple layers for more coverage and there is no problem with the product looking cakey.  Likewise, the marshmallow cream concealer basically “melts” into the skin and never looks too cakey.

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It is so fast and convenient to use

The rollerball makes it super quick to apply your base in the morning.  You just roll a few streaks over your face and then dab it in.  I mean, the rollerball is a bit small, so I might consider getting their Sunshine Skin Tint, which has a bigger rollerball applicator.  It is also super convenient to just flip the product around and dab the cream concealer under your eyes and over any other areas where you might need more coverage.  Most importantly, it is just such a great on-the-go product for touchups and just applying your makeup wherever you want.

Hmm…so here are the reasons why you might be “iffy” about buying this concealer

As I mentioned, this concealer has pretty light coverage.  It won’t entirely cover up dark under eye circles or redness from acne.  However, it can built to a medium coverage without ever getting too cakey if layered.  However, I do find both concealers do crease after of few hours of application under the eyes.  The cream concealer definitely works better under the eyes compared to the liquid one which creases even faster.  On the face though, I find that it works great as a light to medium foundation, and lasts for most of a workday.  Whenever I do a quick checkup of my makeup in the mirror, I have happy with how my skin looks.  My skin looks even without looking too made up, if you know what I mean.  It does get a bit too oily for me on my T-Zone, so I wouldn’t recommend it for someone with oily skin.

VERDICT:  I think it is a great everyday foundation and concealer, but I think where it shines is its convenience and portability.

Second Look: Makeup Products that Have Grown on Me

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They say “you only have one chance to make a first impression.”  This may be true in a job interview.  However, over the years, I have found that this is not always true.  I feel that once you get past the initial impression, and dig a little deeper, you often find beauty in someone.  Okay, I think I might be going overboard with this analogy, but the three makeup products I am going to talk about in this blogpost were definitely love at second sight.

Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion in No. 23

Initial Impressions:  I bought this over the summer, and the colour was too light.  The texture also was quite thick and started to break up and go patchy on my skin after a few hours.

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Second Look:  I just couldn’t give up on this product mostly because it had been raved about so much online.  Not to mention it was also quite pricey, and included a refill as well.  I figured I couldn’t give it away yet before trying it one more.  I am so glad I did because once winter hit the shade was perfect for me!  It really did create a flawless coverage while concealing blemishes, wrinkles, and fine lines.  For a Korean cushion foundation, it is not actually super glowy.  I would say it gives a natural skin finish.

To combat the thick texture, I found out it was much better to apply two thin layers instead of one thick one. I usually take a small dab and dot it around the face before I stamp it into my face.  It says that it lasts 12 hours on the website, but I feel this is a base that looks best on initial application.  It gets a little dry and fine lines start making an appearance at around the 6-8 hour mark.  That perhaps why it is considered a portable foundation so you can touch up on-the-go.    One last thing I really enjoy about this cushion is that the puff is beige so it never looks extremely dirty because the colour of the product matches the puff.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Verbena

First Impressions: This is a bit of a cheat, but I had to return the original Bite Beauty lipsticks (I don’t remember if they had a name) due to the strong scent that lingered after application.  I loved everything else about the lipstick, except the scent was making me physically ill.

IMG_0076.JPGSecond Look: One day, while visiting Sephora again, I saw that they had put out their Amuse Bouche collection, and really wanted to give them a try again since I really enjoyed the formula minus the scent.  I was super happy to find out that this time around the scent was derived from freshly pressed grapefruit, lemon, lime, tangelo, mint, and mandarin.  If there is one scent I can tolerate, it is citrus scents.  The mint still bothers me a little bit, but I love the product so much it is worth it.  The formula is so moisturizing even without a lip balm underneath.  I am amazed by how long these stay on the lips.  I mean, some of it comes off during eating, but there is still definitely some pigmentation left over after most meals.  I was reading on the website that pearl, silk, and red wine resveratrol prolong the wear of this lipstick.  That sure sounds super luxurious!

Paul & Joe Creamy Cheek Colour L001 (similar here)

First Impressions:  I hesitate to put this product into this post as it was part of a limited edition set, but I have been using so much the last few months I decided to leave it in.  This was a lovely present from my best friend and I liked this blush when I got it.  However, the colour was really pigmented even if you used a sesame size amount, so I used it on and off during the year.  Plus, it was one of the blushes that might have caused some bumps to appear on my dry cheek area, so I put it on hold for a while.

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Second Look:  Fast forward to the last few months, and I’m using it like almost everyday.  It is not that anything changed about the product, it is just what I wanted out of my makeup recently has evolved.  Since I have been wearing less eye makeup, due to ocular shingles a few months ago, I have loved focusing on my cheeks and lips and this cheek colour just fits the bill.  It is pigmented and lasts all day.  It has a cream to powder finish which makes it a good backdrop for a glowy highlighter I am into lately.  Plus, I have found out that since I have been using more snail products, my cheeks have been more moisturized and I don’t have the problem with bumps on my cheeks. Hope this comes out again with another holiday set or I might have to consider getting their cream blusher, which is just as beautiful.

Trying Out Lip Oils

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Suddenly, it seemed like last year, brand after brand starting putting out their version of the lip oil. Whereas the super popular liquid lipstick seemed like it could be drying, the lip oil seemed more moisturizing and thus, more appealing to me.  I decided to just dive right in and basically pick the two with the most hype and the prettiest packaging, the Lancôme Juicy Shaker in Berry Tale and the Clarins Lip Comfort Oil in Raspberry.  I didn’t really do any major research on either lip oil, but made the decision pretty much on some favourable reviews on Youtube.

How They Look

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Lancôme Juicy Shaker after initial application (left photo), after half and hour (middle photo) and Clarins Lip Oil after initial application (right photo)

Judging from their ad campaigns, I assumed that the shine from these lip oils was equal to a high-shine lip gloss! I guess, that is the power of photography.  I do think that these lip oils impart a lovely low-key shine.  However, the shine does fade pretty quickly.  The Lancôme Juicy Shakers fade pretty within a half an hour whereas the Clarins Lip Comfort Oils probably lasts about an hour.

Here’s where these lip oils differ tremendously.  The Clarins Lip Comfort Oil dulls down in shine after a few hours, but it still leaves the lips moisturized.  In contrast, the Lancôme Juicy Shaker fades pretty quickly and leaves a matte stain on your lips.  Neither of them are super pigmented, but I would say the Juicy Shaker leaves a subtle tint of colour (it would also depend on what shade you got).  This isn’t a Korean style lip tint in that the stain doesn’t last after eating.  The Clarins Lip Oil almost looks clear with a sheer hint of colour. However, since I have really pigmented lips, it almost looks just like a clear gloss on me.  Also, one other thing to note is that when the Lancôme Juicy Shaker dries down, you do see more of your lip lines.

How They Feel

I think one of the great things about these lip oils are that they aren’t sticky.  I would say that the Juicy Shaker really feels like you have oil on your lips.  I could see that this might not be the most appealing to some people.  On the other hand, the Clarins Lip Oil feels thicker and more like a gloss.  That is perhaps why I feel that the Clarins lip oil is overall more moisturizing.  After using the Lancôme Juicy Shaker all day, my lips did feel a bit dry.

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One of my favourite aspects of these two lip oils are their applicators.  The Lancôme Juicy Shaker’s applicator feels like a soft latex sponge that hugs your lips.  Of course, the “funnest” part though, is shaking the cocktail shaker shaped packaging to mix the oil with the pigment in the product.  The Clarins applicator is also a joy to use.  The “cocoon” applicator grips the perfect amount of product when pulled out of the tube. This larger than average doe-foot applicator also fits comfortably on your lips during application.

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How They Taste

Even though no one has any intention of eating these oils, you do accidentally taste them sometimes.  They both don’t have any taste I find.

How They Smell

Both of these lip oils smell like fruit, which I love!  The Lancôme Juicy Shaker smells more like raspberries and the Clarin lip oil smells like cherries.  The scents don’t linger, which I prefer.

VERDICT:  Overall, I enjoyed trying out these lip oils.  I realized though, as a category, there is a lot of variety.  These are two difference products and which one you purchase will depend on what you are looking for.  The Lancôme Juicy Shaker gives you a beautiful sheen and leaves a subtle tint. In contrast, the Clarins lip oil is more of a lip treatment that not only moisturizes your lips, but gives a more natural hint of colour.  Neither are super long lasting on the lips, so you do have to reapply after a few a hours.

Travel Tag

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The High Line in New York City is one of my favourite places in the city.  Against the hustle and bustle of the city, it is a public park built on old elevated train tracks in the Meatpacking District.

My journey in travel has evolved over the course of my lifetime.  When I was younger, I remembered one my teachers had us write down 50 things we wanted to accomplish in our lifetime.  I don’t know where the physical list has gone, but I do remember that I had written that I wanted to travel the world.  When I was a kid, I was one of those lucky enough to go to Disneyland multiple times because I had family in Los Angeles.

Then, when I finally started to make money during my university years, I decided to fulfil that travelling dream by moving to London, England for a bit.  From there, I had the chance to visit all the art museums I dreamt about visiting in Europe.  However, for the last decade, I have totally lost the travel bug, and have mostly only travelled to visit family.  Not sure what brought about this change, but maybe I thought I could find myself through travel, and ultimately I figured I could only fulfill that by looking inward.  Fast forward to today, and I feel a tiny bit of an itch again, so who knows?

Thank so much to Anna from Style Under Pressure for tagging me to do this fun tag!  You should definitely check out her version of the tag here.  She has been to so many amazing places that I would never even dream of going.  Plus, the photos she has taken from her trips are amazing. Also, her knowledge of skincare is so extensive and informative.  I have learned so much from her already.  Do check out her blog here!

Where is your favourite place you have visited?

Paris, France (Sorry, I couldn’t post any of my photos from Paris because I still used film back then) stole my heart a long time ago (it was the first city I travelled to without my family) and it is still my favourite.  There are just so many things I love about it.  Chocolate Eclairs.  Eiffel Tower (especially lit up at night).  Some of the best makeup and skincare.  Art, art, and art.  Plus, it is definitely one of the most romantic places in the world and the setting for my favourite romantic movie, Before Sunset.

As an honorary mention, I would have to say Venice, Italy.  The minute you get there, it is just so dreamy, like something out of a movie.  Plus, New York, New York, mostly because there is so much happening, so many restaurants, shows, and stores to explore.

If you could visit anywhere tomorrow, where would you pick?

Well, either than visiting family, I would probably pick Tokyo, Japan.  Being an anthropology major in university, I would love to experience the Japanese culture, which I feel is so full of oxymorons. Traditional yet modern.  Unified yet quirky.  Most importantly, I love Japanese makeup.  I couldn’t imagine being able to pick up whatever I wanted at a whim.  I would probably be broke!  Plus, I really want to get a hot drink from those vending machines!

Anna mentioned this in her blogpost also, but the ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru would be a pretty amazing place to visit since I considered becoming an archaeologist at one point in my life, believe it or not.  Sounds funny now considering that I am so into anti-aging and can’t imagine myself digging for hours in the sun.

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My family is originally from China, but I have only visited Asia last year.  This is a photo I took of the Taipei 101 tower in Taipei, Taiwan.  Such an amazing cultural experience, but the makeup was the highlight!  I could swatch and play with all the Asian makeup I wanted.

Would you rather go on a city holiday or a beach holiday?

As you probably guessed from the previous places I have travelled to, I am a city girl.  I really enjoy art, architecture, fashion, and those are mostly found in cities.

What are 3 of your holiday essentials?

Having worked many years as an amusement park ride operator in my teenage years, I think I have gotten enough sun for a lifetime.  That is perhaps why most of my essentials are related to sun protection.

  1. Wide-brimmed hat – Like Anna, I can’t live without a hat when travelling.  Often, you end up walking around so much, that it is easy to get sunburnt.
  2. Sunscreen – It is apparently the best anti-aging product and at my age that is hugely important.
  3. Internet – Sometimes, I try to remember what we did without Google Maps (We did just fine).  I love getting lost, but not all the time.  Moreover, since being a blogger, I can’t help working and checking up on my blog and reading the blogs of others.

Are you an Over-Packer or an Under-Packer?

I think I am neither extreme, but if I had to pick, I think I am an under-packer.  Except the horror of forgetting my essential skincare, I sometimes subconsciously love to forget stuff so I can go check out what they have at the local drugstore or makeup counters.

What is your favourite thing about going on holidays?

I think my favourite thing about travelling is all the unplanned moments that you talk about years after the trip.  Like the stranger that helped you when you were lost or finding an unexpected gem of a place.  Or sometimes the sticky situations that you get yourself into and manage to survive and talk about for years later on (although taking a ride from a stranger is something I’ll never do again, hopefully).

What is one place you would never want to visit?

I can’t think of a specific place, but I guess anywhere where I would feel extremely worried about my own safety.

Who would you rather go on a holiday with, family or friends?

I enjoy both, but I guess as I have gotten older, time with family always seems precious since everyone is so busy with their own lives.  Also, since travelling can be stressful, it is comforting to have family by my side.

What is the most adventurous dish you have tried from another country?

Gosh, I can’t think of any.

Who do you want to do this travel tag?

Sylliepie

Tokyo Beauty Book

Hari-Harian

BeautyandtheCat’s Beauty Blog

Rejujunate

Thanks for reading!

Year End Favourites: Top 5 Makeup and Skincare

This is my first collaboration and I am excited to do it with the lovely Sylvia from her blog Sylliepie.com.  She has the most adorable blog where she discusses beauty, her daily life, and her travels.  We decided to talk about favourite beauty products of the year, narrowing it down to our top 5’s in makeup and skincare.  Go check out Sylvia’s favourites here.

Top 5 Makeup Favourites

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H & M Color Essence Eye Cream in Sirocco

Let’s face it, I have too many cream eyeshadows.  They range from drugstore (Maybelline) to high-end (Tom Ford).  However, if I had to pick one that I used the most, it would have to be the H & M Color Essence Eye Cream.  The packaging might not be the most luxorious, but it is chic and minimal, and the formula is my favourite.  The gel-cream formula glides and blends out easily on the eyes, doesn’t crease, and lasts pretty much all day.  The price of $6.99 USD is just a bonus.

msh Love Liner Liquid in Rich Black

I have been on a mission to try as many Japanese liquid liners as I can simply because they are some of the best.  As the name of blog implies, most liners smudge on me.  Out of all the liquid liners I have tried, this one is definitely my favourite.  I always make the least amount of mistakes when I use this liner.  I’m not sure specifically why.  It could be the barrel is a little more weighted or the brush is extra flexible, but it is the best also because it stays on all day, is really black, and doesn’t dry out (I’ve had mine for a year).  Definitely holy grail status.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Verbena

Unfortunately, if I don’t jive well with the scent of product, it can be a deal-breaker for me.  When I tried Bite Beauty lipsticks the first time, I just could not deal with the scent and had to return it. However, when I smelled the Amuse Bouche lipsticks in Sephora (they smell citrusy with a touch of mint), I decided to give them a try again and I’m glad I did.  Even without lip balm, they are super moisturizing and the colours are super pigmented.  They don’t last on my lips through heavy eating and drinking, but they stay on remarkably longer than I expected.  Can’t wait to get more colours!

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the Balm Put a Lid on It Eyelid Primer

I don’t hear about this eyelid primer talked about much, but it is definitely one of my favourite discoveries of the year.  For me though, eyelid primer is one of those unsung heroes.  It might not be as exciting and flashy as some other fellow beauty products, but a complete necessity for someone like me with oily lids.  For me, this products combines the best qualities I enjoy in two other cult eyelid primers.  The convenient tube packaging is reminiscent of the Two Faced Shadow Insurance and the formula has the staying power of the Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base.  It is the best of both worlds!

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Missha The Style Defining Blusher in PK03

This is completely a surprising favourite for me.  It was one of those products you plop in your cart because you needed free shipping.  Why not get a lovely pink blusher?  The shade is lovely, blends out nicely, and most of all, lasts a long time.  Plus the packaging is cute.  It has been a major staple the last few months.

Top 5 Favourite Skincare

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Yuri Pibu Artichoke Power Essence

I am not obsessed with the appearance of my pores, but this product made me understand the importance of “pore-care.”  Is that even a term?  One of the reasons that Korean skincare has been such a big hit is that you can see results pretty fast.  Within a day, I noticed the my pores were smaller and more refined after using this product.  It is pretty amazing.  This is actually a late year favourite, but I am almost done with my current bottle and ready to order a new one.

Tony Moly Timeless Ferment Snail Essence

I bought this essence at my local Korean supermarket on the recommendation of the salesperson. Mostly, because she said that they said it was fermented with gold green tea and I was really in need of an essence.  If you want to try out a snail essence that is not sticky, blends in quickly, and is anti-aging, I would recommend this one.

Innisfree Soybean Energy Essence

This has been a staple in my skincare routine for most of this year until I branched out and tried other products for my blog.  I love that it sinks in quickly and leaves my freshly cleansed face moisturized and plump.  Plus, it doesn’t have a strong fragrance and the 91% fermented soybeans have amazing anti-aging properties.

Whamisa Organics Flower Eye Essence

I’ve had a problem with eye creams not working well under face makeup (e.g., makeup balls up on top of some eye creams).  However, this Whamisa eye cream has been wonderful under makeup. It not only sinks in quickly, but leaves a smooth and moisturized surface for makeup application.  It also lasts a long time because you only need a small amount per application.  As a whole, if you are looking into trying organic skincare, I would recommend this Korean line.

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LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule

This is another love from Glow Recipe, the online Korean natural skincare website.  Since it is curated line of products, I haven’t tried anything that I didn’t enjoy.  If you are looking for instant glow, this is your product.  Packed with propolis and multivitamins, this ampoule not only provides instant glow to your skin, it also revitalizes your skin and evens out skin tone.  It also another product that is great under makeup because it absorbs really quickly.  My only small gripe is that you go through it pretty quick because it comes in such a small bottle.

That’s it!  My favourites of the year.  Hope you enjoyed reading this post and have a wonderful new year!

Review: Tony Moly Ferment Snail BB Cream

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Do you have any makeup products you love during a certain time of the year, but not so much the rest of the year?  For me, it would definitely be the Tony Moly Timeless Ferment Snail BB Cream. The first time I used this BB Cream, I was so disappointed with the results, I didn’t pick it up again for a couple of months.  However, recently, I have grown to love it so much that I almost wear it daily.

This product is part of Tony Moly’s Timeless Ferment Snail line, which is part of their anti-aging line. My sisters knew that I loved the emulsion in the line, so they decided to get me the BB Cream as a birthday present this year.  To anyone interested in the emulsion, it is one my skincare favourites this year, especially if you are looking for a non-sticky snail skincare product.

Going back to the BB Cream, here are some of the claims on the brand’s website:

  • whitening, anti-wrinkling effects, and UV Protection
  • hydrating and nourishing
  • leaves amazing coverage and smooth skin texture
  • prevents skin damage with its 45% gold tea and fermented snail secretion filtrate

Packaging

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One thing I love about this product is that is looks like a squeeze tube, but when you uncap it, it actually has a pump dispenser.  This makes it much easier to dispense the specific amount of product you want.  It also has a flat-top lid which makes it easy to stand-up on your vanity table for easy access.

Application

Probably due to the infusion of snail secretion filtrate, it is a thicker base product.  It is by no means difficult to blend, but it takes a little bit more time compared to some more liquidly foundations.  I have tried applying it with my fingers and a Beauty Blender.  On a daily basis, I tend to just apply it with my fingers and the results are very good.  The Beauty Blender just evens out the texture a bit more.  During application, there also isn’t too much of a noticeable scent, just maybe a little bit of the typical florally Korean BB Cream scent.  Lastly, like many BB Creams, upon initial application, it seems to have a bit of white cast, but will eventually adjust to your skin tone.

Finish

D5E70EE6-F2DD-467D-A7A4-BE803E0FFC16.jpgThis is definitely one of those base products that look the best upon initial application.  I’m always wowed by how good my skins looks right after applying it!  For the most part, I agree with their claims, but maybe not to the extreme way they are selling the product.  This does provide good coverage for a BB Cream, but maybe not “amazing” per se.  I would say it provides light to medium coverage and is buildable.  It definitely does create a “smooth skin texture” on the skin.  It reduces the appearance of your fine lines and pores and evens out your skin texture.

Longevity

This is the one critique I have for this product.  I feel there are two types of bases.  Ones that look better as the day goes on and ones that look best right at the beginning of application.  This BB Cream sits in the later category.  This is especially true if you use it during the summer when you are prone to more oiliness due to the heat or just if you have oily skin.  After only a few hours, the product will start to break up and destroy that beautiful “smooth skin texture.”  However, in the winter, I love it!  I have more dry to normal skin now and it keeps my skin moisturized and looks good for at least most of the work day.  I think the fermented snail filtrate does an excellent job of keeping the skin moisturized.

Skincare Benefits

It is always difficult to assess skincare benefits from a base product because it is already layered over many layers of skincare.  However, it does have SPF 45 PA+++ and since using pretty consistency the last of couple of months, my skin has been looking pretty good.  I figure it certainly doesn’t hurt.

VERDICT:  I love this base during the winter time as it is keeps my skin moisturized.  It creates a flawless base for your other makeup and the skincare benefits are bonus.  The only critiques I have are the lack of colour selection and longevity.

Trying Out Cult Favourites

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When you haven’t experimented with a brand before, I find it is best to try out their bestseller or “cult favourite” first to get a feel for the brand.  Moreover, as a beauty blogger, I feel it is always important to know how the “classics” preform, so that you can provide a baseline for your readers in your reviews.  In the last few months, I bought three of these cult favourites to try.  So did they live up to their cult status?

Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder

Believe it or not, as a makeup lover, this is the first bronzing powder I have ever owned.  Since I had no experience with bronzers, I figured it was best to go with the most renowned one.  Guerlain even calls themselves an “authority” in the bronzing department on their website, so I figured I had to get it.  The Guerlain Bronzing Powder is supposed to be mistake-proof because it blends in seamlessly to give you a natural glow.  It also has special moisturizing ingredients that don’t dry out your skin.

VERDICT:  Mistake-proof?  I would say yes unless you apply a lot.  Blends seamlessly?  For a powder, I am surprised at how easily it blends into your skin.  The colours are also very natural, not orangey at all.  Plus, the little bit of shimmer really adds a glow to your skin.  All these aspects make this bronzer a must-buy, but my favourite thing is actually the scent!

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage

This seems to be a staple in many professional makeup artists’ kits.  So when I came down with shingles a few months ago and was left with red patches on my skin, I decided that this would be the perfect solution to cover them up.  This concealer comes in 8 shades.  Each palette has two shades which allows you to mix your custom shade.  It says on their website that is is a long-wearing formula which covers “blemishes, shadows, scars, capillaries, discolourations, redness, age spots, the nose area.”

VERDICT: The texture of this concealer is so different from anything I have used before.  It is so thick and waxy.  To be honest, it took me a while to get used correctly applying.  To start off with, I have no idea how to mix the shades together to get my shade.  I tended just to use the shade on the right.

When you apply it on the skin, it really doesn’t blend out at all.  So for the must part, I tend to dab it in with my finger or a small brush and use a brush to blend out the edges.  That is perhaps why is it is best for “pinpoint concealing” (I just took this term from Lisa Eldridge) because it really is quite dry for the entire undereye.  I will sometimes use it sparingly on the really dark areas on my undereye circles.  However, it really does wonders covering blemishes, scars, and redness and lasts almost all day even without powder.

Milani Rose Powder Blush in Coral Cove

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Coral Cove

As an avid Youtube watcher, I often hear this blush being raved about over and over again and how it was amazing for the price.  Finally, on my trip to Los Angeles a few months ago, I was able to pick one up.  I think the Milani baked blushes are even more raved about, but I had to get this one because of the beautiful rose pattern.  The Milani website states that these blushes give a natural glow that “shapes, contours, and highlights” the cheeks.  This blush comes in 8 shades and is able to complement every skin tone.

VERDICT: Other than the beautiful rose pattern that prevented me from using it for a week, this blush has so many things going for it.  The price is amazing, the blush is really pigmented, and it lasts all day.  I mean, the only thing I can fault it a little for, is that it doesn’t blend out as easily and evenly as some other higher-end blushes.  However, I think it almost as good or better than some blushes with a higher price tag.

All in all, these 3 cult products did not disappoint.  I would wholeheartedly recommend all three of them to anyone who is looking to spend money on reliable products to add to their collection.

My Current Favourite Youtubers

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My obsession with Youtube continues to persist.  In the last year, I have discovered some new Youtube channels that I have loving.  I thought I would share them in case you are having a Youtuber drought and need some new channels to watch especially during those nights during the winter holidays.

Song of Style

I remember the surprise I felt the first time I used Instragram Stories.  Suddenly, I could hear and see people that I had only known through static images all these years.  Some were just as “cool” and down-to-earth as I had expected.  Song of Style, a well-known fashion blogger, is one of those people.  She has been posting more regularly on her Youtube channel and it has been fun watching her vlog behind the scenes during fashion week and share beauty and fashion tips.  My favourite videos though are where we learn more about her personal life and background.  I especially enjoyed the video where she took her equally fashionable dad on a shopping spree.  It was nice to gain some insight as to where she got her good taste from.

I Dress Myself

I know, yet another fashion blogger because I am always in need of fashion inspiration.  I am one of those people who loves fashion, but doesn’t have the talent to put together amazing outfits.  I don’t even inspire to look like these fashion bloggers, but if I am even able to take a small nugget of inspiration from them, I am already quite happy.  Yanin, who is behind the blog I Dress Myself, not only has an amazing blog, but I also love her Youtube channel.  I think I would describe her style as mainly black, minimalist, but with an edge.  My favourite videos of hers are when she does her style lookbooks in her bedroom.  Laidback, but so chic.

Caroline Hirons

If you are really into skincare, you probably know Caroline Hirons.  She is also a blogger and experienced aesthetican.  I especially love hearing her talk through all the technical aspects of skincare.  However, even though the skincare knowledge she imparts is very helpful, it is her vlogs which I love watching the most.  She is the mother of four kids, and I love the dry humour she brings as she navigates her life as a busy mom.  Plus, she hangs out with other British beauty bloggers I avidly watch, like Lily Pebbles and Ruth from a Model Recommends, which is always so fun to watch!

Jennifer Wan

I feel like many of the beauty gurus with bigger audiences tend to talk about certain brands over and over again.  With Jennifer Wan, I feel like I really get a more comprehensive review of many different types of beauty brands.  She is one beauty junkie though!  She often talks about brands that I have not even heard of.  In the last year she has started vlogging as well, and her openness about her dating life is frank, relatable, and hilarious.  One of the channels I have probably followed for over 5 years (I had to sneak this one in even though I have watched her for a while).

Rachel Nguyen

I know, another fashion blogger who has gotten in Youtubing (is that a word?).  She is the face behind the blog That’s Chic.  I’ve always loved her style, but her vlogs are what started my obsession with her channel (you probably notice a trend by now!).  I love watching her as she navigates her laidback Californian life with her friends and family.  She always seem to be having the best time!  Plus, I love her ending segment where she answers her viewer questions.  If you love Song of Style, I have feeling you will love her as well!  Plus, she is friends with Claire Marshall which is my favourite Youtuber, so she has become a must-watch as well.

If you have any other Youtube channel recommendations you think I would love, please comment below.

Sephora VIB Sale Haul

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I know some of you are probably onto the Black Friday hauls, but I thought I’d throw this blogpost up anyway as I didn’t get to pick up my package till last week.  From the Sephora VIB Sale, I picked up a few things to replenish some empties in my collection, and lets face it, the other items I got purely because I wanted them.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in 02 Raspberry

For me, a lip balm is always a necessity in my life.  However, did I really need to get a $25 lip treatment?  Probably not.  I was on the tail end of my Bio Beauté by Nuxe Tinted Repairing Lip Balm and was on the hunt for a new lip balm to try.  The chic packaging and adorable  “cocoon” applicator of this Clarins lip oil just lured me in.  Made of plant oils, this lip oil not all moisturizes your lips, but also gives a bit of shine and colour to them.  So far, compared to the Lancôme Juicy Shakers, I find that it stays longer on my lips.  Plus, like the name implies, the oil feels very comfortable on the lips, and coats them without feeling sticky.

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Burberry Complete Eye Palette in 12 Nude Blush

For a beauty junkie, getting a gorgeous eyeshadow palette needs no justification.  Others might prefer buying designer bags, but I’d rather buy designer makeup.  I mean, it is way more affordable in comparison!  I’ve heard Burberry’s infamous eyeshadow shades “Pale Barley” and “Midnight Brown” thrown around so much on Youtube that I had to give them a try.  A palette seemed the best way to try out more than one shade.  What can I say?  The packaging is stunning, it has an amazing magnetic closure, and the shadows are beautiful.  I chose nude blush because I didn’t have any mauve and pink shades in my collection anymore.  I remembered how much I used to love these colours!

Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water

So I bought this because I had done a previous blogpost about deliberating over which micellar water to try next.  After a long process of debating over which one to buy, it came down to buying both the Caudalie and the Koh Gen Do micellar waters.  I was able to get this one, but the Koh Gen Do unfortunately was sold out.  There was a time I used a lot of Caudalie skincare.  It is a brand that favours natural ingredients, which is something I am really into.  I found their products really effective, but just like any beauty junkie, you just end of moving on to newer products.  So far, it smells really refreshing like the rest of the Caudalie line.  We’ll have to see how good it is at removing makeup.

CAVIAR Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo

I have a super fussy scalp.  It can be fine sometimes, and then suddenly, out of the blue it will become dry, flaky, and itchy.  Nothing seems to completely help the problem, but this CAVIAR shampoo seems to keep it from getting worse.  I seem to always repurchase the travel size of this shampoo whenever I am in “S. O. S.” mode.  Even though this shampoo is aimed at strengthening and moisturizing your hair, it seems to settle my scalp somehow.  I don’t know how.  Maybe it is the caviar in that product that is doing something magical.

Lastly, of course I had to get some Shiseido Facial Cotton because I’m sure it is a guilty pleasure among many of us beauty lovers.  It is so soft and smooth on the skin, but quite luxury in price, so a perfect pick to get during the Sephora sale.  Can’t wait to try everything and report back.