Review: RMS Beauty Nail Polish in Honest

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I went through a phase of wearing nail polish so much that my nails started peeling.  To boot, I got so used to inhaling the fumes, that I couldn’t even smell the scent anymore.  I finally thought “this could not be good for me,” and decided to take a nail polish hiatus.  I just didn’t know it would last for a couple years.

This year, I finally thought that my toe nails looked a little bare, and decided to go for a formula that was a little more natural.  However, I was told by the salesperson at my local natural beauty store that most natural nail polish don’t last long.  Not sure if this is true, but I always get sucked in by those salespeople.

She indicated that the next best option is a “non-toxic” formula in which she recommended RMS Beauty’s Nail Polishes.  I got the colour Honest, which is like muted coral colour.  The creative aspect of this nail polish collection is that all the shades are already colours in their makeup collection.   So if you already own other RMS Beauty makeup items, you can totally do the “matchy-matchy” thing.

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I find that most drugstore nail polishes are usually 3-free, which means free of Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde, and Toluene.  In comparison, the RMS Beauty Nail Polish is 6-free.  Even though it is says it is a 6-free formula, they list a bunch of other ingredients that it is also free of.  The list is pretty long so I will just link it here.  Plus, it is also cruelty-free and vegan.

So how  does it preform for a nail polish?  I think it applied really well. As it claims, the application was pretty streak-free and settles and even outs well.  The brush was a pretty standard width (a good comparison would be the Essie brush).  I felt like the application was pretty similar to many less toxic nail polishes.

It is pretty opaque with one coat, but even better with two coats.  I wouldn’t say it was super shiny though, but you could always amp that up with a top coat maybe.  It lasts a good 4 to 5 days on my nails with minimal chipping.  Not really a con, but if you expected a more “non-toxic” scent, this isn’t it.  It still has that traditional paint thinner nail polish scent.  Plus, it is priced at $15 USD, which is a little more than the average drugstore nail polish.

VERDICT: I would recommend this nail polish to anyone looking for a less toxic formula.  It measures up to many other more toxic brands out there.

Recent Korean Beauty Haul

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My love for Korean beauty continues to flourish!  I am especially in love with their skincare because many of their products give such instant results.  As per my last empties post, I simultaneously ran out of several items in my skincare routine so I needed to stock up again.  I am still love ordering from the Glow Recipe, which stocks a curated selection of natural Korean skincare products.  Plus, I also purchased a few makeup items from Missha which I will talk about at the end.

Whamisa Organics Flowers Water Cream

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This is a repurchase.  I had been using some heavier moisturizers and felt it was time to switch to something lighter in the summer.  This is a great moisturizer for the summer because it absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel tacky at all.   The scent is quite subtle as well.   Plus, it just has a great list organic ingredients that have been fermented, which seems to be a popular and effective technique used in a lot of Korean skincare.

LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule

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I already use essence, lotion, moisturizer, and an eye cream.  Did I really need to up the anti and do the complete the entire multi-step Korean skincare routine?  Probably not, but I couldn’t help myself.  This ampoule promised to bring back the glow in your skin and at my age, it sounded like a good idea.  Plus, it was always in the top 5 of Glow Recipe’s bestsellers, so I had to give it a try. Packed with 50% propolis and 20% multivitamins, it absorbs quickly and is non-sticky.  Can’t wait to also try it mixed in with a foundation for the additional glow factor.

Missha Dewy Glossy Eyes in Honey Roast

 

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I am always on the lookout for a champagny or light gold metallic eyeshadow, like Stila’s Kitten, because they are great for a quick all-over shade for an everyday look.  Another great option is Shu Uemura’s Pressed Eye Shadow in ME Light Beige 825.  So I was getting some CosRX skincare for my sister’s birthday present, and spotted these Missha eye shadows online with a light gold shade. First impressions is that it is definitely not as pigmented as I hoped and has more of a puddy texture.  I think it will serve more as a glittery overlay and is really more glittery than glossy, so I am a little disappointed.

Missha The Style Defining Blusher in PK03

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I have grown to love blush so much.  I used to be totally an eyeliner girl, but recently I have begun to really appreciate the power of blush.  It can easily make you look more awake and your face more dimensional.  When this blush arrived in the mail, I was amazed at how pretty the packaging was.  For a roadside brand in Korea, the packaging was made of a sturdy plastic with crystal-like etchings on the bottom.  The blush is a dusty pink, which is right up my street.  Plus, it smells great as well.

 

Current Favourites (Beauty and Non-Beauty Related)

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I thought it would be fun to do a little post about some things I have been into lately.  Of course, there will be some beauty favourites since it is my number one passion, but also some other favourites that may or may not be beauty-related.

Instagram Account

Summer vibes…

A post shared by Phoebe Soup (@phoebesoup) on

Phoebe Soup (https://www.instagram.com/phoebesoup/)

I have just recently gotten into Instagram and was scrolling through the Explore tab and I clicked onto one of her photos and have been addicted to checking her account ever since.  Phoebe is an art director and stylist in Hong Kong.  I think her username is so cute! Her Chinese surname sounds exactly like the Chinese word for soup and thus, that is how the name Phoebe Soup came about.  I just think her account is so inspirational.  Of course, the photos are beautiful, but I enjoy seeing how she plays with different compositions and backgrounds.  Plus, she combines a good mix of fashion, beauty, and food.  Definitely my favourite account lately and hopefully, I can aspire to have an Instagram account even half as nice as hers.

Youtube Channel

TheStyleCultYT (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQV6Hi_uKC-9iGnrweanYpQ)

I might be too old to be watching this Youtube Channel but the two sisters who run this channel have such good taste and editing skills.  Their fashion style is minimal, but chic.  I also enjoy their videos about books, music, and movies reviews.  The editing style is so modern, but well done, and it is beautiful how they include their own calligraphy in the video texts.

Makeup

Visee Glam Glow Eyes in BR-3

This is an older palette from my stash and I don’t think they make it anymore.  However, the colours are very similar to their new palette Visee Glossy Rich Eyes in BR-5.  If you have ever used their eyeshadow palettes, it goes without saying how pigmented, blendable, and little fall-out they have.  These are drugstore palettes as well!  I just have been loving this palette for an everyday look.  The neutral shades just work so well together to create a beautiful and dimensional eyeshadow look.  Furthermore, typically, Japanese shadows are pretty shimmery, but this palette has a lovely matte brown shade that is perfect for the outer corner.

Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint in Very Sweet

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Ever have a product that you really liked and used quite a bit morph into a product you love and wear everyday.  For me, this would be the Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint in Very Sweet.  I tend to cycle through different looks and moods just randomly.  Lately, I have been loving a super natural and glowy look and this product totally fits the bill.  Plus, it makes your cheeks a little plumper, which contributes to that healthy glow you get after a lovely hike in the forest (which by the way is not something I do much).

Food

G. H. Cretors Chicago Mix Popcorn

I am the type of person that can finish a bag of chips in an hour.  So I felt like I needed to do something about this bag habit.   First, stop buying chips, but what to do about that itch to snack.  I started eating the Boom Chicka Pop Popcorn for a while, and then moved on to this one.  However, I don’t think this is truly any healthier than a bag of Lays, but it is delicious.  Initially, it sounds like the weirdest combination, cheesy and caramel popcorn in one bag, but it totally works somehow.  I think it is because a whole bag of caramel popcorn can get too sweet sometimes, so it is nice to get a salty kick in there with the cheese.  Anyone else in love with this popcorn?

Aritaum Style Pop Brow Auto Pencil: How Does it Compare to Shu Uemura?

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Like many beauty lovers, I have been a die-hard fan of the Shu Uemura Eyebrow Pencil (Hard Formula) for many years.  I really haven’t “cheated” on it for a long time to try other eyebrow pencils.  However, since the Korean beauty store Aritaum opened up in my area, I can’t help buying something every time I go in.  Last time, I bought the Aritaum Full Cover Stick Concealer, and this time I came out with their Style Pop Brow Auto Pencil.  So how did it compare to my beloved Shu Uemura Eyebrow Pencil?

Both eyebrow pencils come in 5 to 6 shades.  The big difference between these two pencils is the price.  The Aritaum one is under $10 USD and the Shu Uemura one costs twice as much.  So how is that in relation to how much product you get?  With the Shu Uemura pencil, you get 4 g of product compared to the 0.2 g you get with the Aritaum one.  Value-wise, the Shu Uemura pencil wins although it costs more up front.  However, the Aritaum pencil does have a spoolie on the other end, which might be an extra consideration for you.

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I am Asian and have completely black brows.  I have really been loving using grey-toned eyebrow pencils the last few years.  In Shu Uemura, I am using colour #5 Stone Grey.  Likewise in the Aritaum pencil, I got it in colour #4 which is a cooler grey.  I think both colours suit me well. However, the bit of warmth in the Shu Uemura pencil suits my warm skin tone a tad better.

So how do they both look?  I seriously think there is some voodoo magic in that Shu Uemura pencil. Since the product only adheres to the oils in the eyebrow, it is very hard to go overboard and the end result is so natural.  With the Aritaum pencil, it is a bit less waxy and definitely comes on more pigmented.  Thus, the end result is more defined.  I really enjoy the chiseled triangular tip of the Aritaum pencil because it is really easy to create a straight edge on the top and bottom of the brow.  Lastly, longevity-wise, they both last throughout day.  I didn’t have problems with fading or them rubbing off.

VERDICT:  I might still prefer the Shu Uemura pencil a little more because I enjoy a more natural brow and you get more value-wise.  However, the Aritaum is great for the price and will give you a gorgeous, pigmented, and chiseled brow.  I have been using it quite a bit on a day to day basis.

Great for Contouring Newbies: Kevin Aucoin The Creamy Glow Duo #4

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I’ve never really been into contouring.  More out of laziest then anything I think.  By the time I am done my blush, I just don’t even feel like doing extra steps.  However, sculpting and contouring have been everywhere the last few years so I decided to give it a try.  Being an avid Youtube watcher, the Kevin Aucoin sculpting powders seem like a consistent favourite.  Instead of getting the powder contours, I decided to get their cream contour, which seemed more natural from his Creamy Glow line which included a sculpting cream contour in medium and a cream highlighter in Candlelight (Duo #4).

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I am so happy I bought this kit because it is really great for beginners like me.  The pigmentation looks quite dark in the pan but sheers out beautifully, which means you don’t have to worry as much about making a mistake if you are beginner.  I usually just use a finger and dab onto the contour area and sheer out the edges with my fingers.  You can use a brush as well.  Since it is quite sheer, you have the choice of layering more product on if you want a deeper contour.  However, for beginners like me, it is great to make the mistakes with a sheerer product until we become more confident with our contouring techniques.

The colour is a very neutral brown that is great for mimicking natural shadows on the face.  Longevity-wise, I feel like that it lasts a good part of a day (6-8 hours).  If set, it will probably even last longer.

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Likewise, the highlighter is also great for beginners.  It gives a beautiful, subtle, light warm golden sheen.  I think it would appear differently depending on your skincare.  Like most cream highlighters, it gives more a glossy type of glow.  I use it my fingers and apply it on the high points of my face, like my cheeks and the bridge of my nose.

One of the cons of this product is the amount of the sculpting cream they give you.  I could imagine it being used up pretty fast if you used it everyday.  Plus, it only comes in one shade and will only work for certain skin tones.

VERDICT: I would wholeheartedly recommend this product for contouring beginners.  It gives such a natural contour and highlight and the application is easy to control.

Will it Make the Podium?: D. U. P. Silky Liquid Eyeliner Review

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When I do top 3 or top 10 blog posts, it almost feels like an Olympic sport.  The next fastest speed or in this case, the next best preforming product will knock someone off the podium.  Today, I am going to talk about the D. U. P. Silky Liquid Eyeliner.  This eyeliner is made by a Japanese brand more known for their eyelash glue and eyeliners.  I only knew about this eyeliner’s existence when I saw it at my local Asian beauty store.  It had a “Cosme #1” (Japanese beauty rating site) sticker on it, so I had to give it a try.

It is a little hard to get hold of out of Asia.  I found a seller on Amazon.

So right now who is on the podium?

Goldmsh Love Liner Liquid

SilverKat Von D Tattoo Liner

BronzeKiss Me Heroine Make Smooth Liquid Eyeliner

To decide whether the D. U. P. Silky Liquid Eyeliner deserves a medal,  I am going to put it through some rigorous testing.  Here are all the criteria that I look for in a liquid eyeliner:

Packaging

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The packaging of the D. U. P. liner is super simple, just a  black plastic tube.  It has the similar brush tip as many Asian liquid eyeliners.  Not that I am huge fan of fancy packaging, but compared to the other lines on the podium, it is definitely a little lacking in this area.  Furthermore, it doesn’t have the special mechanism in the cap like Love Liner and Kat Von D do to prevent the liner from drying out.

Pigmentation

It is super black with a tiny big of sheen.  Pigmentation is comparable to the other three on the podium.

Application

This is a category where it falls a little below Love Liner and Kat Von D Liners.  In the beginning, this eyeliner was too watery and too much came out of the tip so I found it really hard to control.  When it dried out, the application was a lot smoother.

However, I feel that a liquid eyeliner has to be consistent in its application for it be considered great in my books.  Sometimes, with the D. U. P. eyeliner, the liquid doesn’t also continuously flow or might not reach the tip.  Furthermore, sometimes it will be hard to reapply again on top of liner which has already been applied. Surprisingly though, sometimes, the application would be almost as great as my favourite Love Liner.

Longevity

This liner definitely lasts as long as the Love Liner and Kat Von D liners.  For me, the smudging usually happens on the outer wing after like a 8 hour work day.  By the end of the night, most of the liner was still there, except for a little on the bottom of the outer wing.  Pretty impressive.

VERDICT

So does it make it onto the podium?  I think it will!  I going to give it a bronze medal!  It definitely is lacking a bit in the packaging and application department.  However, it definitely beats out the Heroine Make eyeliner in terms of longevity and application, so I going to have to sadly dethrone the Heroine Make eyeliner to an honourable mention.

This or That: Cream/Liquid Highlighter or Powder Highlighter

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While I was applying my makeup the other day, I started thinking about how random my daily makeup application was.  I decided to give myself a challenge to see what I considered “must-haves” in my collection.

What if I really had to choose to keep only my cream highlighters or powder highlighters.  Which ones would I choose?

To help me decide, I am just going to talk through some of my favourites and their pros and cons. Just want to put a disclaimer out there, this is not a definitive review and might be a bit of a generalization.  I can only base my decisions on the highlighters I have tried.

Powder Highlighters

PROS

One of the greatest pros about powder highlights is that you need very little for each application, but you usually get a lot of product.  For example, the popular Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders has 10 grams of products and the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed has 8 grams of product.  Especially with the highly pigmented Becca highlighter in Champagne Pop, you need so little that I have barely made a dent in it.

I feel like powder highlighters are also a bit more multidimensional when applied.  They usually have different pigments combined into a metallic sheen.  Furthermore, especially with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders, they are good at blurring imperfections.  Lastly, their longevity is usually longer than an equivalent cream product.

CONS

One possible con is that they are best applied with brushes.  It can be a hassle to find a brush, but it also can give more precision during application.  It is a bit of toss-up.  Another possible con applies to super pigmented highlighters, like Jaclyn Hill’s Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop.  If you didn’t blend those in, you would look like you have bright streaks on your cheek bones. Therefore, sometimes I find a cream highlighter is a bit faster.

Cream/Liquid Highlighters

PROS

Cream highlighters just give a different look.  You can almost achieve a glossy finish with some cream highlighters.  Almost a little sweaty looking, but in all the right places.  My two favourites, the RMS Living Luminizer and the Kevin Aucoin Candlelight Highlighter in the Cream version, both give this effect.

I also find that cream highlighters are just a little easier to blend out.  You just have to apply with your fingertips and tap and blend with a clean finger.  Of course, you can always use brushes as well.

CONS

In general, one con is that many of the cream highlighters I have tried are a bit less pigmented. Although, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid really packs a punch.  Furthermore, during the summer time, you get so sweaty, you might not want to look even more “glossy.”  Lastly, I have found that the cream highlighters I have tried are less multidimensional.  Just an aside, the scent from the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector’s liquid version do linger a bit if you are sensitive to scent.

VERDICT

This is almost like picking between your children because they are all great products.  After much consideration (as if this is truly that serious), I think I would choose to keep my powder highlighters because there is more product, they last longer, and I enjoy the metallic glow a little more. However, cream and liquid highlighters are great to mix up in your everyday look.

If you only could keep one or the other, which one would you pick?

Till We Meet Again: Skincare Empties

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I am always a bit terrified writing about skincare because I am not an expert on ingredients like other bloggers.  Plus, I layer quite a few products when I do my skincare routine so sometimes I am not sure which products are actually making the biggest difference.  With these points in mind, I thought it might be nice just tell you my general thoughts about these empties.  Hopefully, it might provide you with a little insight into whether you should purchase them or not.

Lately, I have been quite into Korean skincare, especially from an online shop called Glow Recipe. Their premise is to curate a selection of natural Korean skincare that has been tested and tried by their staff.  So far, I have really enjoyed everything I have purchased.  I have also included an empty from Tony Moly as well.

On another note, isn’t strange how often you run out of a few of your skincare products at the same time?  Like previous posts, I will grade the products and talk about whether I would repurchase them or not.

Grade: A (beauty products I would repurchase)

Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner

This is a lovely toner made with organic flowers as its main ingredient and 97.5% of the ingredients are organic.  It does have a floral scent (chrysanthemum).  However, the scent is not too “florally” as it is mixed in with the pungency from the fermentation process they use to make this product.  I am sensitive to scent, so I had to get used to it a bit in the beginning, but the scent doesn’t linger that long.  You just need a few drops in the palm of your hand and it suggests that you pat it in with your hand.  It is not the quickest absorbing toner, so I will usually do a quick face massage while it is sinking into the skin.  This toner is really moisturizing and is a great toner to use after cleansing to leave your skin moist and bouncy.

shara shara Honey Bomb All In One Ampoule

If you feel like having a lazy skincare day, this would be the perfect product for you.  It is touted as a 3 in 1 product: toner, serum, and moisturizer.  I feel like it could suffice for all three, but in the winter time, I still feel like I need a few more products.  It totally smells like honey and feels like honey.  Sometimes, I almost want to take a lick.  It does remain a bit tacky after you apply it, I presume because of the honey.  It does settle down a bit after a while.  Lastly, you don’t need that much each time so it lasts a really long time even if you use it for both your morning and nighttime routine.

Tony Moly Ferment Snail Essence

As you can see, I am really into fermented skincare.  I know this product sounds super luxe because the snails are fed gold green tea.  However, the price is not in the hundreds.  This is actually a repurchase.  Considering it contains 80% snail filtrate, it really isn’t sticky or gooey.  The texture is almost like a gel.  Plus, an added bonus for me is that it really doesn’t have much of a scent.  Most importantly, it does everything it says.  It is super moisturizing (great for winter) and improves elasticity.  One thing to note is that it remains a tiny bit tacky after application if you touch your face.  I guess that is protective layer they allude to which acts as a moisture barrier.

Just as an aside, all these three products I have not had problems applying under makeup.  Have you tried any of these products?  I would love to know what you think of them.