Eyeshadow Primer Exes

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As I was brushing my teeth, I suddenly started thinking about how previous beauty products are kind of like your ex-partners.  You might end up breaking up with someone and then meeting someone else who suits you better.  That is often how it works with beauty products, so I decided to call this post “Eyeshadow Primer Exes!”:)

This post was inspired by the blog, Samarie’s Makeup for Glasses, where she did a fun and engaging post called Eye Shadow Primer Hierarchy.  This is a cumulative review of all the eyeshadow primers I have tried, so I actually don’t own some of these products anymore.

As per her post, I will start from my least favourite to most favourite eyeshadow primer.  Also, as a side note, I have super oily and hooded eyes, so these products might not work for you if you have different type of eyelid.

Canmake Eyeshadow Base

Reason for Break-up: did not meet the basic requirements

This product comes in a different packaging compared to the other ones.  It is a cream formula that comes in pan and looks almost like it could be a concealer.  I just had no luck with this one.  I have tried using it multiple times, and the shadows would crease almost within an hour.  Definitely a no-go if you have oily eyelids!

Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer

Reason for Break-Up: there are just more “fish in the sea” you can say

This is a pretty popular eyeshadow primer in Asia.  It has the typical tubular packaging with the doe foot applicator.  This one made my eyeshadow more vibrant and it lasts 6-8 hours with minimal creasing, but there are just better options out there.  Plus, like the original Urban Decay Primer Potion, it was hard to get the product out of the container.

Paul & Joe Eye Color Primer

Reason for Break-Up: the best-looking guy in the school who didn’t suit you in the end

I won’t go into specifics here, because I have already done a review here.  It is a good primer, with longevity similar to the Etude House one.  The only reason it edges out the Etude House one is because the packaging is just beautiful.

Two Faced Shadow Insurance Primer

Reason for Break-up: there was no spark

At the time when eyeshadow primers started to get popular, other than the Urban Decay Primer Potion, this was the one that beauty enthusiasts often purchased.  Compared to the Urban Decay primer, it came in a tube.  Therefore, it was easier to dispense and more sanitary to use.  It definitely boosts the colour intensity of your eyeshadow and prevents creasing for most of the day (8 hours or more).  One minor gripe was that the product separated in the tube, and you needed to shake it up quite often and blending also wasn’t that easy once it set.

Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

Reason for Break-up: not really a break-up, just “on a break”

This is definitely the best eyeshadow primer I have ever tried.  Eyeshadow lasts all day (12 hours or more) with minimal creasing.  It also comes out clear so you don’t have to worry if it blended properly on your eyelids.  I also found that eyeshadows blend the best with this primer.  The only thing that I am not too fond of is the packaging because it is hard to get the product out when you’re coming to the end of it.

Current Eyeshadow Primer: The Balm Put A Lid On It (So far, I think it is almost as good as the Nars primer.  I will do a review later on.)

Side note: I have used the Urban Decay Primer Potion.  I just haven’t owned one for so long  (I have not used it since the new packaging) that I thought it wouldn’t be fair to compare it with the other ones listed here.  Just based on my memory now, I feel it sits somewhere in the Two Faced Shadow Insurance category.

Which is your favourite eyeshadow primer?  Have any of these primers also been your ex?

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Review: BIO-BEAUTÉ by NUXE Tinted Repairing Lip Balm with Peach Pulp

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I love the NUXE Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm Rêve de Miel.  For me, I only need to apply it once before I go to bed and it keeps my lips moisturized all day.  Plus, you only need less than a pea-size each day, so it actually lasts quite a long time.

A few months ago, I spotted a new counter for NUXE’s sister brand, called BIO-BEAUTÉ.  I have been slowly moving towards using more organic and natural beauty products and since NUXE is an established brand, I thought I would give BIO-BEAUTÉ a try.

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Naturally, since I love the NUXE lip balm, I thought it would be fun to see if the BIO-BEAUTÉ version, called the the Tinted Repairing Lip Balm, would be just as good.  It comes in three scents,  Apricot Butter, Raspberry Pulp, and Peach Pulp.

IMG_1751Just a little background on BIO-BEAUTÉ, it is an organic beauty brand which focuses on using the benefits of organic fruits (high in antioxidants and vitamins) in their products.  Furthermore, their ingredients are minimally 90% natural and cruelty-free.  This particular lip balm is 100% natural and made of 45.2 % organic ingredients.

This is a lovely lip balm.  It comes out of the tube in a gel texture that you can spread over the lips evenly using the slanted applicator.  The texture is gel-like and the finish is a little bit glossy, but not like a lip gloss though.  It feels really moisturizing, and not sticky at all on your lips.  On your lips, it will last a good few hours, but will need reapplying after eating.  It gives you a tiny bit of colour on your lips, so definitely a good one to use if you want to have a natural lip day.  Lastly, the scent is also subtle and lovely.

VERDICT:  Is this the organic version of Rêve de Miel?  Not really, but is a very good lip balm.  It is definitely one of my favourites lately.

Here is the ingredients list for the box if you are interested:

HYDROXYSTEARIC/LINOLENIC/OLEIC POLYGLYCERIDES, SESAMUM INDICUM (SESAME) SEED OIL, OLEIC/ LINOLEIC/ LINOLENIC POLYGLYCERIDES, COCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) OIL, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA BUTTER), PRUNUS ARMENIACA (APRICOT) OIL, RICINUS COMMUNIS (CASTOR) OIL, COPERNICIA CERIFERA (CARNAUBA) WAX, HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED*, HYDROGENATED APRICOT KERNEL OIL, FRAGRANCE, TRIHYDROXYSTEARIN, TOCOPHEROL, PRUNUS PERSICA (PEACH) FRUIT EXTRACT, RIBES RUBRUM (CURRANT) FRUIT EXTRACT, RUBUS IDAEUS (RASPBERRY) FRUIT, LIMONENE, GERANIOL, LINALOOL, CITRAL [+/-MAY CONTAIN CI 77491/IRON OXIDES, CI 77891/TITANIUM DIOXIDE, SILICA, ALUMINA][N0361/A]

I am still learning about ingredients, but I checked on the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics Database and most of the ingredients scored 1.  The last four ingredients and fragrance scored in the moderate or high hazard realm.  The website does say all the ingredients are natural, so I might missing something here.  Any suggestions?

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Throwback Tag: 7 Deadly Sins of Beauty Tag

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This tag was super popular in the beauty online community a few years back and I always wanted to do it.  I guess, you could call this an updated 2016 version with current products I am using.

GREED: What is your most inexpensive beauty item? What is your most expensive?


My most inexpensive beauty item is the SAEM Cover Protection Tip Concealer which you can get for as little as $2.52 USD on Amazon.  It is a great concealer for the price.  Here is my review if you are interested.

My most expensive beauty product would be the Shiseido Future LX Eye and Lip Contouring Regenerating Cream at $130 USD.  If you want to prevent fine lines, then this is your product.  Being in my 30s, this has kept my fine lines at bay.  Plus, you only need a little so it lasts quite a long time.

WRATH: What beauty products do you have a love/hate relationship with? 


My choice might be kind of surprising.  They are the Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes.  These are some of the most beautiful cream eyeshadows being produced.  Pigmented.  Long-lasting.  Blends beautifully.  Therefore, I have feeling this is just a personal preference.  This might sound weird, I don’t really enjoy the texture of it.  Every time I have to stick my finger into its mousey texture, I cringe a little bit.

Also, you only need a little bit each time, so you have to be extremely careful not to take too much.  You can use a brush, but cream eyeshadows on brushes are harder to clean.  I guess, you can say, it comes down to laziness.

GLUTTONY: What are your most delicious beauty products?

It has got to be the Shara Shara Honey All in One Ampoule.  It smells like honey.  It feels like honey.  Just don’t eat it though!

SLOTH: What beauty product do you neglect, due to laziness?

Lipstick.  My favourite part of makeup is doing my eyes.  By the time I am finished with my eye makeup, I am usually just to lazy to apply lipstick and let’s not even even talk about reapplying lipstick.  Maybe time to try out a long-lasting liquid lipstick perhaps?

PRIDE: What beauty product gives you the most self confidence?

Definitely eyeliner.  I have hooded eyes and I also wear glasses.  Eyeliner definitely makes my eyes bigger and mostly importantly, makes me look more awake.

LUST: What attributes do you find most attractive in a person?

Kindness.  Humour.

ENVY: What items would you most like to receive as a gift?

Anything really.  I love trying out new products.  If I had to really pick, it would probably be cosmetics from Japan because they are hard to get where I live.

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Review: Paul & Joe Eye Color Primer

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There is nothing wrong with the Paul & Joe Eye Color Primer in Shade 02, except it doesn’t stop my eyeshadow from creasing as long as some other primers.  As a side note though, I do have oily and hooded eyelids.

Due to the nature of my eyelids, I am always on the hunt for a better primer.  I was actually in the store looking for the coveted Paul & Joe “cat” products, when I saw this primer.  I remember trying the Paul & Joe face primer a few years back, and loving it, so I thought this eyeshadow primer was worth a try.

On their website, it says that this product “brightens up eye colors and stays in place without caking, whilst banishing dryness in the delicate eye area.”  Interestingly enough, you are also supposed to apply foundation first on your eye before you apply this primer.  I am not sure if they are referring to their own foundation here.

Like all Paul & Joe cosmetics, it has the beautiful pastel-toned floral themed packaging that you just want to keep out on your vanity table.  It comes in a tube with a doe-foot applicator, which makes application super easy, but probably, not the most sanitary.

The texture is more watery, compared to other famous eyeshadow primers, like the Urban Decay Primer Potion.  It sinks into the skin very quickly and dries to a matte finish.  It remains a bit tacky, which compels one to think that eyeshadow will stick to it for a long time.

So how did it preform on me?  It does boost the colour intensity and create an even base for my eyeshadow (It comes in 3 shades).  It is hard for me to judge whether it banishes dryness in the eye area as I have pretty oily eyelids.  I have tried putting foundation beforehand, and applying different types of eyeshadows,  and it does stop your eyeshadow from creasing for maybe up four to five hours.  After a full day though, most of the eyeshadow would have creased or disappeared on my eyelids.  The oil from my eyelids started seeping through as well.

VERDICT: A good primer for those with normal to dry eyes.  For oily eyelids, it doesn’t have the longevity as other primers, like the Nars Pro Prime concealer.

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Review: Avène Micellar Lotion Cleanser and Make-Up Remover

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I love Bioderma, but it stings my eyes like crazy, even the sensitive version.  So I decided to go on a search for another micellar water.  I was strolling through the French pharmacy brand section in my drugstore and I spotted the Avène Micellar Lotion.  Since it was a marketed as a “lotion,” I was intrigued to see what skincare benefits it would offer.

The amount of product and pricing compared to Bioderma is pretty similar.  You get 400 ml, whereas the big bottle of Bioderma contains 500 ml.  Pricewise, Bioderma ($27 CAD) is a bit more expensive than Avène, but you get more product.

On Avène’s website, it is marketed as a  “Gentle no-rinse cleanser, toner and make-up remover (3-in-1).”  I do think it is more moisturizing than Bioderma.  After you wipe your makeup off, if you touch your skin, it feels moist and bouncy.

For removing makeup, it is similar to Bioderma in that it removes most makeup, either than waterproof mascara and takes a little bit more work to remove eye makeup compared to duo-phase eye makeup removers.  It stings my eyes a little bit less than Bioderma.  I am not sure why because the ingredients are very similar.  Maybe it is the Avène spring water! 🙂

VERDICT:  Overall, a solid micellar water.  The only reason I  might not repurchase is that it contains fragrance.  Since I am quite sensitive to smell, it bothered me a bit the first few times I used it.

What is your favourite micellar water?

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Twins or Friends: Maybelline Fit Me and the SAEM Cover Protection Tip Concealers

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Dupes are a fun topic and also an economical one because the dupe is often cheaper.  Instead of comparing the dupe to the original, I thought it would be fun to compare the dupes to each other.  These two concealers, the Maybelline Fit Me (Shade 20 Sand) and the SAEM Cover Protection Tip (Shade 1.5) Concealers, are often deemed as dupes for the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer.  How similar are they to each each other and which is the better dupe for the Nars concealer?

Packaging

Black lids and a doe foot applicator.  That is where the similarities end when it comes to the packaging.  As a dupe, the Maybelline concealer looks very similar to the Nars one, minus the matte texture on the lid.

The slanted doe applicator are both pretty similar.  The Maybelline might be a little smaller.

One of the joys of pulling the applicator out of the Nars concealer is that it always delivers the right amount of product on the tip.  Both the concealers have this mechanism.  However, the Maybelline one is a little messier, maybe due to its more fluid texture.

The other obvious difference is the Maybelline one almost holds double the amount of product as the SAEM one.

Formula

Here is where they are more similar.  Both have medium coverage and are buildable.  They do a good job of covering imperfections and acne.  I feel the Nars one has a bit more coverage.

The consistency of the Maybelline concealer is a little bit more fluid then the Nars or SAEM one.  The SAEM one has the thickest consistency so it also lasts the longest and creases the least under the eyes.  Moreover, because it is thicker, you only need a dab to get coverage needed.  So even though there is less product in the tube, you use less.

Shade-wise, Nar definitely has the most shades (10 shades).  Maybelline has 6 shades and the SAEM has only 3.

Price

The SAEM concealer is definitely the cheapest.  You can get it off Amazon for $2.87 USD.  So even if you get the less product, you use less as well.

VERDICT: The Maybelline and SAEM concealers are similar in coverage, but not dupes for each other.  Of the two, Maybelline is the better dupe for the Nars Creamy Concealer in its texture and packaging.  The only difference is probably the coverage, colour selection, and obviously, the price!

Out of all three, I think the Nars one is probably still the best.  However, I think the SAEM concealer is my favourite dupe.  It can get a bit cakey if too much is applied, but wins in the longevity, minimal creasing, and price departments.

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Current Favourite Beauty Youtubers (aka I watch too much Youtube)

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I think I watch too much Youtube.  I am subscribed to over 200 beauty Youtubers.  The inspiration for this post came when I was sitting amongst a group of friends talking about their favourite TV shows and I had nothing to add to the conversation.  The thing is I almost exclusively watch Youtube most of the time.

Just to give you a vibe of what I like to watch.  If I really had to narrow it down to my favourite Beauty Youtuber.  It would have to be Claire Marshall.  She is the girl that everyone wants to be best friends with because she is so cool, but yet so approachable and warm.  Plus, her videos are so creative and well done.  Other favourites include Estee Lalonde, and Jaclyn Hill.  I thought since the Youtubers I have just named are pretty well-known already, the next few Youtubers I want to discuss, might not have as large of an audience, but are “up there” in my “must watch immediately” video list.

Sharon Farrell

She is definitely one of those Youtubers I always think should have more subscribers.  Originally from Ireland, she is now living in Australia with her husband.  Being a professional makeup artist, her makeup tutorials are awesome (lots of excellent tips).  However, I think the main reason I love watching her is because there is always a cliffhanger moment when you are not sure how the makeup will turn out.  Of course, it always turns out amazing.

Harry Makes It Up

If you like watching Lisa Eldridge, you might like watching her.  She is another makeup artist based in England.  Like Lisa, she has a very soothing voice and it is a joy just to watch her do makeup.  Plus, every time she mentions a product that she keeps in her pro kit, my ears totally perk up.

What Olivia Did

Another awesome Youtube channel run by a British youtuber is What Olivia Did, who also runs a lovely blog.  She not only does videos on beauty, but also fashion.  If you like watching I Covet Thee and Kate La Vie, you might also love her (she has a bit more Zoella-like cute vibe to her though).  I especially love her style videos.  Her style is modern, girly, and trendy.  Basically, I want everything she owns, especially everything in the video of her capsule wardrobe.

ssin

ssin has a very large audience, but I thought I would mention her again because her recent videos have been a must-watch if you want to get into Korean makeup.  She is doing one brand Korean makeup tutorials each week.  They have been tremendously helpful if you don’t have tons of money to try everything.  ssin is a Korean Youtuber, but most of her videos have English subtitles.  How to describe ssin?  She is crazy, outspoken, funny, tomboyish, and most importantly talented.  I can’t think of anyone like her on Youtube.

meejmuse

Guess it is pretty obvious I am really into Korean makeup lately.  Jen from meejmuse is an Australian-Korean who has moved to Korea.  She does awesome videos replicating korean celebrity makeup.  Plus, because she lives there, you get to see the most up to date Korean cosmetics.  Her recent series covering Korean culture is also well-done and fascinating.

I am curious.  How many Youtube channels do you subscribe to?  What other beauty Youtubers do you recommend?

Top 5: Current Japanese Cosmetics

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My favourite makeup comes from Japan.  Ever since my first Coffret D’Or eyeshadow palette from the only Asian makeup store in my city 10 years ago, I have been hooked.  Now, there is more than one Asian makeup store, but I still end up buying at least one thing to try every time I go in.   So why do I love Japanese cosmetics?  Well, first of all, the packaging is just so cute, but most importantly, the quality is always very good regardless if it is high-end or drugstore.  The following are 5 of my current favourites.

Visee Glossy Rich Eyes GR-8

This is definitely one of the best drugstore eyeshadow palettes.  The colour payoff is excellent, there is very little fallout, and the packaging is cute.  The finish of the eyeshadow on the eyelids, like many Japanese shadows is somewhat glittery, but also gives a beautiful semi metallic finish.  This green based palette looks kind of scary, but the colour combinations always work and the yellow is very sheer.  It is a great palette to pull you out of a neutral tone slump.

Coffret D’or Color Blush PK (similar here)

This was a surprise hit for me because it was part of a limited edition set.  However, I am practically addicted to it.  It is a dual coloured blush with the lighter shade being kind of a highlight.  The  two pink colours mixed together give this beautiful luminosity when applied.  Plus, it lasts and lasts and lasts all day on your skin.

Integrate Heart Melty Eyes BR712

Basically, this is a quick look in one.  Using your fingers, apply the bronze cream eyeshadow first, and follow up with the brown powdered eyeshadow on your eyelids and the look is done.  The cream eyeshadow applies easily and blends out well and the powder eyeshadow is pigmented and has great longevity.  A great everyday eyeshadow combo.

Majolica Majorca Puff de Cheek OR302

No one can argue that the macaron packaging is adorable.  Moreover, it is a lovely apricot coloured blush similar to Benefit’s Coralista.  That is perhaps when I love it!  The blush is good quality, and a staple in my everyday makeup lately.

msh Love Liner Perfect Volume Treatment Mascara

Bought this mascara on the suggestion of the sales person without reading any reviews and ended up loving it.  Obviously the cult favourite mascaras from Majolica Majorca and Herione Make hold the curl better and have better volume, but this mascara is very good.  Plus, it just removes with water, which is much more ideal for everyday wear.  Last but not least, it does not clump or smudge all day.

If you have tried Japanese makeup, what are your favourites?

Twins: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner and msh Love Liner Liquid

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Almost nothing stays on my eyelids.  Can’t really blame the products when your eyelids have everything going against them.  Hooded.  Oily.  Watery.  And I have tried a lot liquid eyeliners.  From ones that say 24 hr. wear to long-lasting and smudgeproof, these two liquid liners , Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper  (sample size in photo) and msh Love Liner Liquid in Rich Black, are the best I have tried in terms of longevity and ease of use.  I thought it would be fun to compare them since they are shockingly similar, but one is from a Japanese brand and the other from an American brand.

IMG_1637Packaging

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They both have the pretty standard liquid liner packaging.  The big difference is that one of the pen cylinders is matte and decorative and the other is shiny and elegant.  Other than that though, they are almost identical, down to the special mechanism in the cap that keeps the nib from drying out.  The Kat Von D liner is surprisingly made in Korea, so I wonder if they are made from a similar factory in Asia!

The brush tip applicators are exactly the same.  Very similar to most of the Japanese liquid liners, like Dolly Wink and Heroine Make.  If I were to be nick picky, the Kat Von D brush tip is a tiny bit stiffer.

You have to shake both of the pens before application and they sound exactly the same.

Application

Both liners apply super smooth and are very black.  The brush tip makes it easy to control the width of the line.  Removal is average, usually takes more than a swipe with a makeup remover.

Price

They both are about the same price in the $20 CAD range.  Depending on where you live, one might be easier to get than the other one.

VERDICT: If there was a secret blind test, I don’t think I could tell the difference between them.  It really depends which one is easier to access for you and whether you want a matter finish (Kat Von D).  Lastly, the only thing that might sway my vote one way or the other is that msh has just come out with a colour collection with 5 colours!  Drool.

Review: Givenchy Teint Couture Embellishing Concealer

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Givenchy Teint Couture Embellishing Concealer is not one of the highly talked about concealers online.  However, it was ranked pretty high on cosme, a Japanese beauty ranking site, so I thought I would give it a try.  I am not sure how the ranking works, but I noticed that it is often quoted on stickers of many Japanese beauty products.  Therefore, I figured it must hold some authority in the beauty world in Japan.  (The site is in Japanese, but you can translate the page to at least see the beauty categories)  Interestingly enough, I noticed that this concealer was made in Japan, so I don’t know if that has influenced it’s popularity in Japan.

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The one feature that makes this concealer innovative is that it is dual purpose.  It is a highlighter and a concealer product in one.  It has an extra pink strip on the stick that is highlighting.  The formula is quite creamy and easy to apply.  However, being in my 30s, the formula is a bit drying and does get into my fine lines in my undereye area a little bit.

Overall, I think this concealer has a decent coverage and longevity.  I think the main concern for me is that it only comes in three colours.  I have it in No. 1 Ivory.  It is a bit light for me, but the next colour is too dark.  Moreover, I think the pale pink stripe just doesn’t suit someone with yellow undertones, even if you use it purely as a highlighter.  This is surprising since the Japanese beauty audience seems to love it.  The stripe is an innovative idea but sometimes if you want to use only one side to highlight areas or conceal blemishes, you might accidentally use the other side.  Basically, it is a little fussy.

VERDICT: I liked it, but I didn’t love it.  May be more suitable for those with a pink undertone.