Review: YSL Couture Eye Primer

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

Background

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

Packaging

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

Application

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

Longevity

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

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

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Beauty Binds #4 – I Give Up

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

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

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Shiseido Eyelash Curler

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

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

#2 – Sheet Masks

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

#3 – Body Care

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

What are beauty dilemmas that you have given up on?

Japan Beauty Haul – Drugstore Edition

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

Visée Lip & Cheek

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

Calypso Magic Concealer

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

Excel Powder & Pencil Eyebrow

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

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

Tokyo Ponderings

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

Attention to Detail and Craftsmanship

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

Etiquette (Locals Do Talk on the Trains)

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

It’s a Shopping Paradise

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

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

Japan Beauty Haul – High End

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

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

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

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

RMK Liquid Foundation

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

THREE Shimmering Glow Duo and Triple Three Treat

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

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