Current Favourites

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Time again for talking about my favourites using the five senses again!  For those new to my blog, I find it hard to find favourites to talk about every month, so I usually do a favourites post every couple of months inspired by Ingrid Nilsen’s Youtube Series called “Sense of Self.”

Sight (a.k.a. Current Favourite Youtube Channel)

What if you could film your life everyday and make it look like a professional movie.  This would be the perfect description of this Youtube channel called The Michalaks.  They are a family of three, Stef and Hannah, and their son Grayson who live in the UK.  At the end of one week, they release the most beautiful vlog full of the most gorgeous cinematography and music tuned to their daily lives.  How can they make a child walking down the stairs look so poetic?  If you want to see vlogging taken to the next level, you have to check out this Youtube channel.  On a side note, I know I might be really late to the game, but I have been loving Jackie Aina’s beauty channel.  She is hilarious and so up-front with her beauty reviews.  Anyway, anyone love her as well?

Smell

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Whamisa Organic Flowers Olive Leaf Mist (pictured second from left)

I am at the tail end of using the Whamisa Organic Flowers Olive Leaf Mist and I am so sad.  It was my first mist, and I enjoyed using it so much after cleansing.  It doesn’t really smell totally like olives, but it has it’s citrusy tones.  Whamisa is a brand from Korea that focuses on using organic fermented ingredients in their skincare.  Not only is it great for spritzing after cleansing and throughout the day, it can also double-up as a toner.  It leaves the skin balanced and moisturized after cleansing.  Now, I just want to get the rose scent because I have enjoyed this one so much.

Taste

You ever see a recipe and think that there is no way this is going to work, but if it did, it would be amazing.  For me, it was Anna Jone’s Kale, Tomato, and Lemon Zest One-Pot Spaghetti.  I just didn’t see how a pasta dish that took 15 minutes would taste amazing.  Boy, was I surprised!  Not only was the pasta cooked, but the tomato turned soft and gummy and coated the spaghetti to give it such great flavour.  Plus, who would think kale would taste good with pasta?  It is such a great meal when you are tired from work, and just want to whip up something quick.  You should also check out her other quick vegetarian recipes from her book, A Modern Way to Cook.

Touch

I was on a hiatus with my Beauty Blender, but I am back in love with it again.  Do you ever find you have these back and forth moments with certain beauty products?  I also have this dance with cream and powder products.  One day I love cream blush and than the next month, I’m using powder blush everyday.  Before I head off into another tangent, I think the reason I stopped using my Beauty Blender was I got tired of walking to my sink and having to clean the sponge so often. Actually, that sounds like a terrible reason because it preforms so well.  Maybe it was because I thought it lessens the coverage of the foundation a little bit.  No matter, I am loving the bouncy feel of the Beauty Blender again, and how fast I can get my foundation done.  Has your loyalty to the Beauty Blender ever waned?

Hearing

Another amazing musician from the UK that I found through Spotify.  James Vincent McMorrow is a singer and songwriter from Ireland.  I first fell in love with his music after his song Low on Spotify and have been addicted ever since.  I am no music critic, so it is hard for me to describe his music. Words that come to mind include moody, gut-wrenching, and soothing.  He also has the most amazing falsetto.

I listen to music from all different languages, and I thought I’d just add in someone else I love coming out of Taiwan, J. Sheon.  For some reason, he gives me “Craig David” vibes, who I absolutely adore.  I remember the first time I heard this song.  I thought “Who is this?”  He’s amazing!  After some digging on the internet with my so-so Chinese, I found that he lived in New York for a while, uploaded some covers on Youtube, and then went back to Taiwan.  If you love R &B, you should give J. Sheon a listen.

Current Lip Essentials

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My lips are always dry and peeling in the summer, and this year I was determined not to let it happen again.  So why is it so hard to keep my lips in good condition in the summer?  First of all, it is hard to find a good lip product with SPF.  Secondly, I never remember to reapply.  Therefore, I try to find something that I want to reapply, which means that I usually have to like the scent.  Lastly, since you have to reapply lip products quite often, I tend to favour more natural brands.  The three lippies below are the ones I have used the most the last month.

Ilia Balmy Days

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I find that a lip balm with SPF is hard to find.  I suspect it has something to do with the nature of the SPF ingredients.  Ilia’s Balmy Days is definitely not a budget buy ($26 USD), but the packaging was so minimalist and sleek, I couldn’t help picking it up.  Just a little background about this brand.  It originated from Vancouver and specializes in organic beauty products with minimally designed recycled packaging.  Balmy Days is a clear lip conditioner made with 82% organic materials (mostly natural oils, like sunflower seed oil).  It has an SPF of 15 (titanium dioxide).  It also claims to be hydrating and long-lasting on the lips.

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Review

Packaging-wise, it is just beautiful.  It has the loveliest click when you close it and it even has the ILIA logo printed on the inside of the tube.  Such a lovely detail!  Now, the most important question when it comes to products with physical SPF is does it leave a white cast?  It honestly does, but I wouldn’t say it is that bad.  Applied lightly, it is barely noticeable.  However, if you load it on, you can definitely notice it.  The product feels really hydrating on the lips and lasts for a quite a few hours.  However, since it tends to sit on top of the lips instead of sinking in, it can gather in patches on the lips.  That is why it is important not to apply too much or your really notice the white cast.  I usually will apply lipstick on top rectify this problem.

VERDICT: A lovely lip balm with SPF if you want to splurge.  I just wish the lipstick bullet was slanted so it hugs the lips better.

Kosås Weightless Lip Color in Undone

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I randomly bought this lipstick in a local shop after seeing it all over Instagram.  I thought it was good, but I was so addicted to Bite Beauty lipsticks at the time, I put it aside and didn’t use it for a while.  However, I was inspired to break it out again after reading Sanida’s glowing review from her blog, Fluke.  Her blog has beautiful photographs and is really well-written.  You should go check it out!

Kosås is an indie brand from Los Angeles, California which just produces lipsticks.  The founder, Sheena Yaitanes, has a background in natural sciences and painting.  She wanted to create a line of lipsticks that enhanced a woman’s natural beauty with shades that complement all skin tones.  There are 6 lipsticks in the collection in total.  The line uses many natural ingredients, and is free from preservatives and synthetic fragrances.  The lipsticks claim to protect the lips from UV and environmental damage, prevent the formation of fine lines, hydrates, boosts collagen, and softens and plumps the lips.

Review

Another brand with beautiful minimalist packaging.  It comes in a distinctive rectangular black bullet which feels surprisingly comfortable in the hands.  The lipstick applies smoothly onto the lips and gives a beautiful semi-matte finish.  The colour is pigmented and really long-lasting.  I find that even without lip balm underneath, it still feels pretty moisturizing.  Does it come off during eating and drinking?  Yes, it does, but some of the pigmentation will remain after casual eating.  Whether it boosts collagen production and prevents of fine lines, is hard to tell, but having used it for a few weeks, my lips feel moisturized and I haven’t noticed my lips getting flaky or dry.

Verdict:  A solid lipstick where you’ll certainly find a shade that will flatter you.  I hope they come out with lip liners because if I had one little gripe, it would be that it bleeds a little during the day.

Burt’s Bee Moisturizing Lip Balm in Strawberry

There are some products that have stood the test of time.  For me, it has got to be the Burt’s Bee Lip Balms.  I have tried many natural lip balms and I always end up going back to this one.  I recently discovered the Strawberry scent which is fast becoming my new favourite.  I used to love the Grapefruit one.  Do you have a Burt’s Bee favourite scent?  Unlike the original beeswax formula, which I also love, other than beeswax, seed oils top this formula.  It also claims to be 100% natural and moisturizing.

Review

This lip balm still continues to be a solid favourite of mine.  First of all, it is easily purchased at many drugstores and even grocery stores in Canada.  The ingredients are natural.  Many of have a nice fruity scent which I like, but the scent doesn’t linger.  On the lips, it is just emollient enough, but doesn’t feel super heavy.  Most importantly, it works!  It keeps my lips moisturized and works great under lipstick.  Of course, it is not some heavy duty lip treatment, but it doesn’t claim to be one.

VERDICT:  A classic lip balm, which I have repurchased over and over again.

5 Ways to Find Balance in Your Life

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As we get older, it seems like life becomes a balancing act.  We have to go to work, but still have to find time to wash the laundry and figure out what to have for dinner.  Furthermore, we also have to figure out how effectively to divide our time with our partner, family, and friends.  Just writing about this, gives me a bit of headache.  I mean, let’s me honest, “adulting” is often not one of the “funnest” things in life.  In this blogpost, I thought I would write about some strategies I use to cope.

Look at the Big Picture (a.k.a Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff)

When I have a problem, I often blow it out of proportion.  The world is coming to an end! Sometimes, I become the biggest drama queen in my own drama series.  When this happens, I try to remind myself that my life is minuscule in the world.  Of course, there are big problems that effect us, but most of the time, I find it is way too easy to sweat the small stuff.  It is ok that the laundry doesn’t get done today and today’s dinner wasn’t some culinary masterpiece.  I mean, gosh, take-out pizza is so satisfying sometimes.  I always hear about how we should pick our battles in life and I feel that totally applies to finding balance in our life as well.

Prioritize What is Important in Your Life

As I mentioned in my last blogpost, I find it important to differentiate between good stress and bad stress.  To me, bad stress is draining, overwhelming, and brings you down.  To stop bad stress from taking over my life, I find prioritizing really important.  I try to figure out what is important to me and what I want from my life.  When I feel that certain situations start to overwhelm me, I try to decide if it is important enough for me to be embroiled in them.  This could mean saying no sometimes or adjusting my life to in way that will no longer makes it as stressful.  We often forget that we always have a choice in how we want to live our life and how we respond to things.  Don’t let others take over the driver’s seat.

It’ll be Okay

I think I have seen some form of this phrase on multiple slogan tees and banners.  There is good reason, because it is most likely true barring some life-threatening situations.  In fact, my dentist just said it to me yesterday when I sighed after he said I might have to redo my dental bridge.  He said, “You know it’ll be ok, right?”  It is not the first time he has said that to me, and of course, he is right.  I mean, in the great scheme of things, it is really just dental work.  Even if life sometimes doesn’t turn out like how you want to, it’ll most likely still be ok.

You Can’t Have it All, All the Time

I know there will be some people that completely disagree with me.  I mean, I think it is possible to have it all.  Everyone’s perspective on “having it all” is different.  However, I think sometimes our quest to follow our dreams hinders us from valuing some of things we do possess.  We get so obsessed with having the perfect job, the perfect family, and personal success, that we forget to “smell the roses.”  I mean, you might already have it all really, you just didn’t know.

Being Slightly Unbalanced is Not Necessarily a Bad Thing

Sometimes, I feel like everyone is in search of balance.  Look at all the yoga and meditation classes that are popping up everywhere.  I just think that sometimes, it’s okay to feel a little unbalanced because the constant quest to be “zen” is stress in itself.   Sometimes, a bit of stress is motivating and helpful to our mental health.  Can you imagine if you are always relaxed and suddenly something really stressful happens to you?  You would have absolutely no idea how to deal with it.  Do that scary presentation sometimes, it might make you less stressed out in the long run.

How do you try to maintain balance in your life?

Review: Flow Fushi Area Foundy

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This is a blogpost about a girl that tried to like a beauty product so much that she bought it in two shades hoping some miracle will befall her.  No such miracle happened unfortunately.  I think I wanted to like Japanese brand Flow Fushi's Area Foundy so much simply because their campaigns were so beautiful and the packaging and concept seemed so appealing.  I mean the brush on one end is made by some master Japanese brush maker!

Why did I want to love it so much? (a.k.a., the claims)

  • the packaging is luxurious and beautiful
  • they also make a liquid eyeliner called the Moteliner which I enjoy, so I thought this would be great
  • concealer and highlighter with anti-aging properties
  • SPF 27 PA++ and protects agains environmental pollution
  • 1 shade with two different types of coverage (natural and cover)
  • translucent beige that fits every skin colour
  • covers blue and brown pigmentation
  • lightweight and illuminating
  • the brush allows you touch-up makeup without having to get your hands dirty

Packaging

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This comes in a beautiful pearl and gold packaging with two ends.  One end holds the product and a doe-foot applicator.  The other end holds a slanted brush that can be used by pulling down the protective shield around it.  You can remove the brush by twisting it off to clean or even put on a refill which they also sell.

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Application

According to their website, you are supposed to apply the product in a V-shape under your eyes. They have very specific diagrams of how you should do this depending on your face shape.  You can also use it to highlight in a T-shape on your forehead and in a C-shape around the outside of your eyes.  The formula is really fluid, almost like a liquid foundation.  After dabbing it on your face, you are then supposed it blend it out with the brush provided.

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Review

So I guess you must be wondering why I ended up buying two of these.  I bought the Natural one first, but found the cover too light for me, so I ended up buying the Cover one hoping it would have better coverage.  These are not cheap at 2500 Yen each (I got mine for about $30 CAD)!  I guess I just really wanted to make it work.

So was there a difference between the Natural and Cover version?  Yes, there definitely is.  I would say that the Cover version is about 50% more pigmented than the Natural version.  However, this is not a full coverage concealer.  It does not have the coverage of lets say a Nars Radiant Concealer, which is my favourite lately, or the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye.  I mean, from another perspective, I understand that the brand is selling this as more of an illuminating product so I guess full coverage shouldn't be expected.

This product is very natural-looking.  It is super lightweight and absorbs easily into the skin.  The luminously it gives is like a natural glossy sheen.  There isn't any sort of metallic or micro-glitter here.  It just makes your skin look healthy and a bit dewy.

In conclusion, if you looking for a low to medium concealer that can also be used to highlight, you might enjoy this product.  For me, I didn't find the coverage or luminosity enough for me.  However, the really deal-breaker was that it creased under by eyes within a couple hours no matter how I applied it (I used a Beauty Blender, brushes, and my fingers).  I tried powdering it as well and it still creased and even looked a bit cakey after a few hours.  The brush is good for tapping and blending in the product, but I found my fingers faster.

VERDICT:  A beautiful concept that just didn't meet exceptions in reality.  I think I will continue to use it as highlighter when I want to have a natural makeup day.

Some Recent Beauty Bits

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Just a little blogpost about some beauty products that I have purchased the last month.  Most of them are replacements for items that I have run out of it.  I try, and I mean, I really try to have a "one in, one out policy" with my beauty products.  It usually works pretty well for me, except I always order my backups way too late (like when there are only a few drops left in the bottle).  I literally have to raid my sister's skincare samples sometimes.  So I am super proud of myself that I have actually received my backups before I have completely used up my current products.

ID.AZ Dermastic Essential Toner

If you love minimalist packaging, you will love this line.  The bottle looks like it might be made of plastic, but it is actually made of glass.  It feels super sturdy and I guess it must help to keep the product inside from the damaging effects of sunlight.  I bought the toner because I just loved their cleanser.  The line is made from a famous Korean skincare clinic for those with sensitive skin.  This toner is supposed to leave your skin pH balanced after cleansing.  It is also full of botanical ingredients that make your skin feel moisturized and dewy.

First Impressions:  It has a light floral scent that doesn't linger too much.  Patted into the skin, it leaves my face so dewy and plump.  Really enjoying it so far.

Aritaum Poyan Makeup Remover

For me, I base a good eye makeup remover on whether it can remove hardcore Japanese waterproof mascaras, like Majolica Majorica.  So does this one?  Yes, it does!  This was purely a purchase driven by Instagram.  It was the one most recommended in my comments.  It is also from Korean brand called Aritaum, which owns stores that also sells brands like Iope and Laniege.  It is a bi-phase eye makeup remover so you have to shake it up.  It is made of fermented beans along with other ingredients that will not only remove makeup, but keep you eye area moisturized.

First Impressions:  It removes everything, but it can be a little oily if you use too much.  My only gripe is that the smell is quite strong.

YSL Couture Eye Primer in 2 Medium

Basically I had finished my favourite the Balm Put A Lid on It Eyelid Primer and was on the hunt for a new eyeshadow primer.  Heading into Sephora, I was already set on getting the Smashbox 24 Hour Shadow Primer because I had heard many good things about it.  Don't know what happened, but I ended up getting this YSL one instead.  Unlike most eyeshadow primers, it actually comes in a tub.  This is usually a con for me since it seems less sanitary, but since was a "couture" eye primer, I guess I couldn't help myself!   It boasts 16 hours of wear, a waterproof and creaseless formula, and also can be used alone as a neutral luminous cream eyeshadow.  Furthermore, it also boosts the vibrancy of your eyeshadows.

First Impressions:  Right off the bat, I'm just going to say this isn't as good as the Balm or Nars one in terms of longevity.  However, it really evens out your eyelid and gives it a lovely glow.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner in Deep Rich

Have you ever purchased something and thought it was really good, but moved on to other things because who doesn't love the novelty of something new.  This is how I feel about this toner.  I really enjoyed this toner a few years back.  It is lightweight, but really moisturizing.  It is also natural and 97% organic and full of fermented natural ingredients. However, I didn't enjoy the smell.  Fast-forward to the present, and I see every Asian skincare junkie on Instagram talk the amazing properties of this toner, I just needed to get it again to see for myself.  Have you ever had a product get hyped after you've tried it?

First Impressions:  Still don't love the smell, but I find the texture quite similar to other toners I have really enjoyed lately.  I will have to try it longer to see how the longterm results are like.

Stressed About Being Stressed?

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Yes!  I am going to be one of those beauty bloggers who is going to blog about other topics.  I hope that doesn’t upset anyone.  I will continue blogging about beauty because it is my passion and my form of escapism.  However, I want to talk about other topics that I am also passionate about because honestly, I am running out of beauty products to talk about.

They say one of the best things about growing older is that you become more confident, wise, and independent.  Although, given the chance again, I would love to be young again.  Imagine being able to play volleyball for hours and not be hurting the next day!  I don’t know how much “wiser” I have become over the years, but I have found that I have gotten better at coping with stress though.

Here are a few strategies that have helped me have a more healthy outlook on stress.  These strategies are not fool-proof by any means, but they have guided me through many difficult times in my life.

Differentiate Between Healthy and Not Healthy Stress

When it comes to stress, it is not something that can be easily measured like your body temperature.  Plus, what is healthy stress anyway?  In my mind, I feel that healthy stress is a result of working towards something you want to accomplish.  Something that brings you joy.  For example, even though it stresses me to find time to blog outside of work, I find such joy in the blogging process that I find the stress motivating.

In contrast, I feel that bad stress brings you down, doesn’t motivate you, and just makes you feel overwhelmed.  Of course, there will always be stress that is unwanted, but necessary.  For example, you might not want to attend a family gathering where you might have to socialize with relatives that might not be your favourite people.  Even though you might not want to be there, it is important you show up because your parents want you there and family is important.

So when does it become bad stress then?  I think it becomes unhealthy when you feel overwhelmed.  I usually just end up crying.  For me, it could be taking on too much at work because I felt I needed to impress my boss.  It could be saying yes to too many events.  I’m sure everyone knows that feeling of being worn down and not looking forward to the day.  I have learned that over the years, it is important to pay attention to these warning signs before you have a complete meltdown and your mental and physical  health deteriorate.

Determine What is Your Idea of Balance

Over the years, I have found that life balance is hard, but I think I have gotten better at it.  Like anything in life, it takes work.  It is important to stop down periodically and take a quick assessment of everything in your life.  Then, determine which items to keep and drop so that the scale doesn’t tip too much to one side.  Take a close look at those unhealthy stressors and decide which ones to keep or manage better so that they become healthier.  For example, Christmas often is a stressful time for me as there are so many events to show up too.  I usually just have to sit down and prioritize those that I just have to attend.  Then, reconsider the maybes and decide which ones I feel will bring me joy.

What are your ways to deal with stress?  I’d love to know.  I have so much more I want to write about this topic so watch out for more posts if you are interested.  If you love my beauty posts, watch out for my next post as well.  Thanks for reading!

Summer-Proof Makeup

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Most makeup doesn’t stay on me that well all year round, but when it comes to summertime, it gets even worst.  There is nothing more frustrating then putting on a beautiful face of makeup in the morning and having it turn into a makeup meltdown by the afternoon.  This summer, I have been experimenting with a few items that have become my daily beauty essentials to keep makeup from sliding off my face.

J. One Jelly Pack

This has been one of those products that have been a mystery to me for a while.  Everyone who loves it talks about its miraculous ability to firm and keep makeup on all day.  For a while, I think I just didn’t quite get the knack of it.  It is super sticky, and for a while, I would just use a little and tap it in.  I just felt like it really didn’t do too much though.

Known as the “corset mask,” it can be used as a one-step skincare routine.  Containing hyaluronic acid and fullerene, it is supposed to be moisturizing and brighten your complexion at the same time.  It’s most known for creating a smooth canvas for makeup through its firming effect and extending the life of your makeup through its “grippy” texture.

So what changed for me?  I guess, I didn’t want to give up on it, so I tried different applications.  The method that has worked for me most is to apply it in small amounts and rub it in till it absorbs into the skin.  Then, I apply my sunscreen and foundation over it.  I’m not sure if it is just summer time, but I really notice the notice the difference when I don’t wear it.  It keeps my makeup on all day even if I get a bit sweaty and I find the firming effect more noticeable.  If you have tried it, I would love to know your experiences and if you have tips with regards to its application.

Dolly Wink Eyebrow Coat

Like many others who are into anti-aging skincare, I often wear a hat when it is sunny outside.  I find that in the summer time, it is even more difficult to keep your brows looking filled in and groomed all day.  Putting my hat on and off and just generally sweating will cause the colour to fade on my eyebrows.  So to prevent this from happening, I have been experimenting with Dolly Wink’s Eyebrow Coat.

Different from most brow gels, it comes packaged like a nail polish.  Using the brush, you can apply a thick coat of the sticky clear liquid to almost seal your eyebrow.  Alternatively, you can just apply a little bit and brush it through with an spoolie.  I much prefer the second method as it looks more natural.

So how does it work?  Applied thickly, it is almost like glue and your brows don’t come off till you want them off.  Applied sparingly, it keeps your brow hairs and brow colour in place most of the day without looking too “crispy.”

Naturaglacé Marshmallow Powder

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I used to never understand the need for powder in my makeup routine.  As I am almost 40, I am always trying to make more skin look more moisturized and dewy.  I don’t think I have purchased a powder in years.  The last one I remember having was the cult favourite Laurier Mercier Powder. So I actually got this particular powder as part of a set, and just have the deluxe size.

This powder is from a natural beauty brand from Japan called Naturglacé, which I am obsessed with.  From their website in Japanese using Google Translate, this powder is transparent, but is supposed to give your skin a radiant glow.  Like most powders, it helps to control oil and prevent makeup from fading as quickly.

This sounds obvious, but powdering really makes your makeup last longer.  However, I think a good one, not only controls oil, but also helps blur imperfections and should not leave your skin matte and cakey.  This powder definitely like that.  Plus, I also love using the puff to press in the powder to preventing creasing under the eyes.  Who knew?  I’m in love with powder!

If you have any great eyebrow gels or powders to recommend, I would to love to know since I am quite a newbie using these type of products.

Till We Meet Again: Empties and Expired Beauty Roundup

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I hope this blogpost is not going to be too boring for those that have followed my blog for a while. Before recycling my empties, I thought I would do quickfire reviews and discuss whether I would repurchase each product.  I have also reviewed these products individually and will link them below if you are interested.  Hope this is helpful.

Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint in Very Sweet

Expired: 12 months (I used half of the product)

Review: I have loved using this 100% natural cream blush because it really does plump up your cheeks and give you a natural flush.  If you are looking for high pigmentation though, this is not it. With a quick swirl of your fingers in the pot, the blush blends out evenly onto your cheeks and lasts a good 6 to 8 hours.

Rating: 4/5

Repurchase: Yes!  I would love to try some of the other colours.

Full Review

Innisfree Apple Juicy Lip & Eye Remover

Emptied: about 3 months

Review: Containing 88% natural ingredients, this bi-phase eye remover gets off even the most hardcore Japanese mascara, like Majolica Majorica.  It has a light apple scent, and can be a little oily if you don't use it sparingly.

Rating: 4.5/5

Repurchase: Yes!  Loved it once I didn't douse a ton on my cotton pad.

Full Review

Etude House Sun Blind Cushion

Emptied: about 1-2 months (consistent use in the summer time)

Review: Finding a good sunscreen top-up is hard, and this one is so convenient and quick under and over makeup.  As aspected, the product is completely white, but it sinks in well, and doesn't leave a white cast.  My only con is that you can use it pretty quickly if you re-apply often and it doesn't come with a refill.

Rating: 4/5

Repurchase:  Maybe.  I have been loving clear gel sunscreen and powder suncreens lately.

Full Review

Innisfree The Green Tea Serum

Emptied: 6 months (using in my morning and nighttime skincare routine)

Review: Made with 100% green tea, this serum's main goal is moisturization.  I really didn't love this as much as I wanted to.  It does sink in very quickly after application and leaves the skin plump and dewy.  However, it wasn't moisturizing enough for me as I am hitting 40 soon and plus, it doesn't really smell like green tea.  I think it would be great for someone if their 20s.

Rating: 3/5

Repurchase:  Probably not.

Jane Iredale In Touch Cream Blush in Confidence

Expired: 12 months

Review: I gave this blush a good review, but you know what, I barely used it.  I mean, it has some great things going for it.  It comes in a convenient tube, hA a nice cream to powder finish, and leaves a beautiful flush.  I think the main reason I didn't use it much was because it smelled like chocolate (I know some people would love that).  Plus, I just like more dewy blushes, and this one also took a little bit more blending to get it looking natural.

Rating: 3.5/5

Repurchase: No

Full Review

Tony Moly Ferment Snail BB Cream

Emptied: 1 year (there is a tiny bit left but it has hit its expiry date)

Review: Basically, I just used this BB Cream a lot!  It claims to be whitening, provide UV protection, and is moisturizing.  For me, it was just a great base with light to medium coverage.  It is most ideal for the winter months as it can get a bit oily for me in the summer if I don't set it.

Rating: 4/5

Repurchase: Yes!

Full Review

Innisfree Eco Science Lotion

Emptied: 6 months (used in morning and nighttime routine)

Review: This is made from Jeju sea plants, which has great regenerative properties.  It is made of 99.77% natural ingredients.  I found this to be a solid lotion that was great for layering.  It absorbed really quickly and didn't have a strong scent.

Rating: 4/5

Repurchase: Yes

THREE Correcting Concealer

Expired: 12 months (based on usual expiry for cream concealers as I can't read Japanese)

Review: A great concealer palette for travel as it contains 2 shades of concealer and 2 powers.  The coverage is medium.  I found it a little dry for my skin and will crease on me after a few hours.  The powder helped a bit, but still didn't last that long on me.

Rating: 3/5

Repurchase: No

Full Review

Hope you enjoyed reading this post!  Thank you for dropping by my blog.

Another Eyeliner, Another Review: Espoir Color Painting Waterproof Eye Pencil

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Current Eyeliner Collection

It is time again for yet another eyeliner review!  For the last few months, I have been testing out the Espoir Color Painting Waterproof Eye Pencil in Womanizer.  I decided to purchase this pencil based on the sole recommendation of one my favourite Youtubers, which is probably not the best idea.  She said that this pencil was smudgeproof all day, which sounded impossible to me, but I thought, well maybe, just maybe, she might be right.  You know what happened next, I immediately hit the “add to cart” button, and here I am with, you probably guessed it, with a slightly disappointed review.

Using Google Translate, here are list of claims from Espoir’s website:

  • “slippery texture,” which I assume means that the pencil draws with really good glide
  • waterproof and long-wearing
  • high pigmentation with a delicate pearl shimmer
  • 10 colours
  • you can smudge it out and use it as an eyeshadow
  • needs to be sharpened with a separate eye pencil sharpener
  • the sponge applicator on the end can be used two ways: on its side for a sharp line and on its wider side for a smooth gradation

Packaging

It comes in a sleek matte packaging.  The pencil has a spongy applicator on one end to smudge out the liner.  The pencil itself needs to be sharpened with a separate sharpener.

Application

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This is definitely one of those gel type eyeliners.  It is quite soft and is meant to be smudged out.  Therefore, it makes sense that it can get a little clumpy when applied on the lash line.  You can get a very sharp line when it is sharpened though.  However, I am not a big fan of having to sharpen these pencils all the time.  They are so soft that they get stuck in my pencil sharpener.  Sticking it in the fridge beforehand does make the sharpening easier.

Like most gel eyeliners, this pencil has very good glide.  You don’t have to worry about it tugging on your eyelids.  The sponge applicator is great for extending and sharpening your wing, which is usually more difficult with pencil eyeliners.  This is probably one of favourite aspects of this pencil.  Since my eyeliner is black, I never did try smudging it over my entire eyelid as an eye shadow.  However, I did notice that there is a few minutes of “play time” before it completely sets.

Longevity

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As a waterproof pencil, it does wonderfully.  I didn’t swim with it, but I applied it on my hand and ran it under the tap.  It didn’t budge at all even when I tried to smudge it with my finger.  However, it is not smudge-proof on me.  After a few hours, the liner will run a little into the fine lines in the corners of my eyes.  Not bad, and I usually don’t even fix it.  At the end of an 8 hour work day, I find that the smudging will be a little more apparent.  I will usually do a little touch-up.  I do find that most of the eyeliner is still there except for the wing portion.  However, it is not a liner that will continue to look good after 10+ hours. The smudging gets pretty apparent after that time.

VERDICT:  It is a solid gel eyeliner, except that I don’t consider it super long-wearing on me.  Might work for someone with less hooded eyes and a less oily eyelid area.  (Rating: 3.5/5)

My Current Under Eye Concealer Routine

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I am not sure a under eye concealer routine really warrants an entire blogpost.  However, I posted an Instagram photo of it and thought it would be a great way to do a quick-fire review of a few products I have been almost using daily the last few months.  I have a one out and one in policy for most of my beauty products, but when it comes to concealer I seem to have no self-control at all.  Mostly, because I still haven’t found my holy grail concealer yet.  Although, this routine lately, has come pretty close.  In this review, I talk about the products in the order in I use them.

Giorgio Armani Master Corrector in 2 Orange

I really wanted this product to be holy grail, and I do like it a lot.  Giorgio Armani is known for their beautiful face makeup, especially their foundation, and this corrector is a lovely face product as well.  It claims to hydrate the under eye area and give it a “seamless uniform application.”  Of course, it also colour corrects dark circles with its Micro-fil™ technology which also has light-reflecting pearls that illuminate the skin.  It comes in two colours, pink and orange.

I have purplish under eye circles and decided to get the orange shade.  Sometimes, after applying corrector and concealer, you feel the under eye can get very heavy.  I think this is where this corrector excels.  First of all, it has the tiniest brush, which is great for targeted correcting.  It seems kind of strange initially but I love how detailed you can get with it. Secondly, the formula is very light and fluid.  It absorbs into the skin beautifully and almost seems like it is not there.  I think my only qualm with this product is that it didn’t completely neutralize the purplish colour of my under eyes.  I felt like they were only 75% covered, but the product is so lightweight that I don’t mind.

BOTTOM LINE: A lovely light corrector that does a good job of targeting those purplish under eye circles.  Rating: 4/5

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye in Medium

So is this as good as it is hyped up to be?  I would have to say yes.  It is fast becoming one of my all-time favourite concealers.  This is touted as a full-coverage concealer which covers everything.  It also has skincare benefits, like improving the look of your wrinkles, and is supposed be long-wearing and not creases.  Overall, I feel that these concealer does fulfill all those claims, but I do feel it does crease on me within a few hours.  I usually have to powder and it will be crease-less for an entire 8-hour work day for me.

I will say that this is one of those products that if you don’t get the application down, you might like it, but not love it.  I feel it is important to only use a sesame size amount for both my under eyes.  Use more than that and it can feel quite thick and will crease easier. This is not to say that the product isn’t super creamy though.  It actually blends out really well.  I find that heating it up between your fingers will make the application even smoother.

RMS Beauty Tinted “Un” Powder in 2-3

If you have oilier areas on certain parts of your face, you know that you have to powder if you use RMS Beauty’s “Un” Cover Up foundation/concealer.  The tint is their superfine powder is great for keeping oil at bay, but also providing a little more coverage.  Therefore, it became the perfect powder to use with the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye.  Using this with over the It Cosmetics concealer prevented it from creasing as fast in my under eye area.  It also makes the area smoother and as their website claims, “create a silky skin.”

VERDICT:  This combination of products has been one of the favourites in the last year.  I would recommend them all individually as well.