My Favourite Blush: Coffret D’or Smile Up Cheeks Review

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I discovered this blush as part of a Christmas gift set from my sister, and I have loved it ever since.  If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love Japanese cosmetics.  They have such beautiful packaging and effective formulations.  The blush I am talking about is the Coffret D’or Smile Up Cheeks.  I decided to picked up the blush again after hit pan from my local Japanese beauty store, but it might be more difficult to purchase out of Asia.  Here are some websites that ship internationally where you can purchase it: Yesstyle and Sasa.

Coffret D’or is a department store brand from a large beauty brand called Kanebo.  They also own other Japanese brands you might have heard of like Kate, Lunasol, and Media, which I also love.  I didn’t find out till after the fact, but this blush has actually won a No. 1 spot on one of Japan’s major beauty ranking websites called Cosme (similar to Makeupalley).  I think it deserves that rankin!  Let’s start off with some of the claims of this particular blush from their website (I just used Google Translate, so if there are any discrepancies, please let me know).

  • cheek blurring (I am guessing this means pore minimizing)
  • delicate and glossy appearance
  • moisturizing formula with collagen
  • looks like natural skin after application
  • the center colour provides pigmentation, while the outer section creates a blurring effect
  • 4 shades

Packaging

Do I think this is the most beautiful packaging ever?  Probably not for a department store brand.  However, the dome shape of the clear lid allows you to see the beautiful swirled rose design stamped into the blush powder.  Plus, it also the houses the small brush that allows you to take it on-the-go.  Even though the brush is small, it is very soft, and great for the intended application of this blush.

Application

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Their website shows you that this blush is supposed to be applied using a two-step technique.  Using the included brush, you are supposed to swirl the brush in the centre portion and apply it to the centre of cheeks.  Then, you swirl the brush around the outer portion of the blush and then apply around the perimeter of your cheek to blend out the colour.  Sometimes, the pigmentation can be quite intense for work, and I will just use a big fluffy blush brush and swirl it around the entire blush pan.

Formula

The powder is very soft and finely milled.  There isn’t a lot of fallout though.  It provides your cheek with a soft glow, which is not super shimmery.  The effect is kind of hard to explain.  When you swatch it, it looks a bit frosty, but when you blend it in, it sinks in quickly, and gives a very natural glow.  I am amazed at how smooth and flawless it makes your cheeks look.  I have quite dry cheeks and it keeps them looking glowy without resorting to a cream blush.

Longevity

I am amazed at how this blush lasts!  I apply it in the morning and it is still there at night.  I have tried it on top of different foundations and the colour is almost as vibrant as when I applied it in the morning.  I remember the first time I used it and looked at myself after work, and I was shocked that my blush was still there.

VERDICT:  I am just in love with blush.  I just want to get more shades!

Second Look: Makeup Products that Have Grown on Me

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

Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion in No. 23

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

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

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

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Verbena

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

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

Paul & Joe Creamy Cheek Colour L001 (similar here)

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

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

Trying Out Cult Favourites

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

Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder

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

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

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage

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

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

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

Milani Rose Powder Blush in Coral Cove

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Coral Cove

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

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

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

This or That: Jane Iredale In Touch Cream Blush Vs. Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint Review

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I enjoy both of these blushes so this isn’t a true “This or That” blogpost.  For me, I would probably buy both of them.  I personally find it nice to have a blush collection that can give you options. However, if you only had the choice to buy one, I hope this blogpost can give you some insight as to which one you should buy.

The blushes I am talking about today are the Jane Iredale In Touch Cream Blush in Confidence and the Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint in Very Sweet.  Both come from brands that are committed to producing “clean” beauty products.  They both use natural ingredients and are cruelty-free.  However, their individual branding is quite different.  Jane Iredale has more of a focus on creating mineral-based makeup that is for problematic skin.  On the other hand, Tata Harper‘s line is more focused on using advanced technology to create effective formulas that are natural and non-toxic.

I have already done a blogpost reviewing the Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint here. However, I thought it would make for a more interesting blogpost to compare it with the Jane Iredale cream blush since it might be more accessible to some (it is available at Sephora).

Packaging

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The Tata Harper blush comes in a glass tub.  On the other hand, the Jane Iredale one comes in a stick form.  Both brands use recyclable paper in their packaging with Tata Harper also using recyclable glass.  I mean, I find both convenient to use, so I don’t have a major preference for either packaging.  I will say that the Jane Iredale cream blush stick completely fell out the package the first time I used it.  However, I pushed it back in and it was a pretty easy fix.  Hmm, not sure if that is a good thing actually.

Application

With the Tata Harper blush, you just swirl your finger in the tub and dab on the cheeks.  You are supposed to dab the Jane Iredale from the tube and then dab on the cheeks, but I didn’t read the instructions like usual.  I just put the product straight on the cheeks and then blended it out.  I personally think it works well with either technique.

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Jane Iredale (left) and Tata Harper (right) not blended out

Both blend really easily for a cream blush.  I think the main difference is that the Jane Iredale blush shows up like the colour in the tube before you blend it out on your skin.  It is more pigmented in colour and you can built up the colour more.  I must say that both blush are not super pigmented and give more of “natural flush.”  The Tata Harper blush really doesn’t build up much colour even if you apply a few layers on your skin.

What about the scent?  I feel like this will totally be a personal preference.  The Jane Iredale blush smells like chocolate basically.  It sounds great, but as a person that doesn’t enjoy fragrance in products that much, I didn’t really love the fragrance after a while. The Tata Harper blush smells like coconut water and berries.  Both scents don’t linger too long after application.

The Final Look

I enjoy using both blushes depending on the look I want to achieve that day.  To be honest, initially, I really wasn’t used to such a sheer formula for a blush.  However, over time, I really loved the “natural” and “healthy” flush these blushes gave me.  Like it claims on their website, the Jane Iredale does give a cream to powder finish.  Both give a subtle glow to the cheeks.  I won’t consider either one dewy though.  I think the big difference is that the Jane Iredale is more pigmented and a little less dewy.  The Tata Harper one is less pigmented but does give the subtle plumping effect or as it claims on their website, “the voluminous look of youth.”

Price

They are almost the exact same price.  The Tata Harper blush is $36 USD and the Jane Iredale is $35.

Longevity

I was surprised that both blushes last a good 8 hour work day on me.  They might not be as vibrant as when you initially applied them, but the pigment is still there.  Of the two, the Jane Iredale does last  a bit longer perhaps due to the cream to powder finish.

VERDICT:  I recommend both of them if you are wanting to get into natural cream blushes or if you want achieve that healthy flush look.

Just a note that both blushes can be used on the lips and the Jane Iredale one could also be used on the eyes.  After trying it on the lips, I find that both products were best suited for the cheeks. Both didn’t feel very  moisturizing or pigmented for my liking as a lip product.  I haven’t been able to wear eye products so I haven’t tried the Jane Iredale item on my eyelids yet.

Makeup Edition: Gone Green and Haven’t Looked Back

I think the best and most frustrating things in life always sit in the “grey” area.  Ideally, if all beauty products were amazing and good for us, then that would be the ultimate.  However, with everything in life, I find it is best to find a place of balance.  For example, I tend to use more natural and organic products when it comes to skincare and body care.  However, with eyeliners, I still haven’t found replacements for my favourite non-green products.  Once in a while though, I find makeup items that fit that “ultimate” category and haven’t looked back.  Just on a side note, I am aware green beauty is more on the luxury side, so if anyone has any cheaper alternatives, I love some recommendations.  Plus, I not at all an expert on green beauty, so I am sure I missing out on some even more “ultimate” beauty products I haven’t discovered yet.

Cream Blush

I think if you are just starting out with trying out green beauty, I think cream blush is a good place to start.  I have really enjoyed all the ones I have picked up.  My favourite is probably the Kjær Weis’ Cream Blush.  They have a great colour selection, good pigmentation, and the packaging is beautiful and refillable.  Most importantly, their cream to powder formula has great longevity and blends out beautifully.

When it comes to green beauty, I think they really excel when it comes to blushes that give you that natural “I just came back from a run” flush.  Wasn’t sure about the Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint in the beginning because it didn’t seem that pigmented compared to other blushes I have used.  However, now that I have been using it for a while, I really enjoy that natural flush it gives, and it really does plump up the cheeks, which is a plus.  Lately, I have also been trying out Jane Iredale’s In Touch Cream Blush.  This blush is in a stick form making application super convenient.  It also gives that natural flush that I am really into lately and it smells like chocolate.

Lipstick

For lipstick, my favourite has to be from Ilia.  I started out with their lipsticks that came in their sleek matte metal tubes.  I was just amazed at how creamy and pigmented they were.  They give a semi-matte look on your lips and come in some beautiful colours.  Then, I moved onto the lip crayons which I thought wouldn’t be as creamy because of the stick formula.  However, I was surprised to find that they are just as creamy and the sharper tip allows for even more precise application.  I was also going to put the Burt’s Bee Lipstick in this category.  However, mine has congealed into hard clumps in the bullet after a few months.  Anyone else have this problem?

Cream Highlighter

This is a little bit of a cheat, but for the most part, I have switched over to natural cream highlighters.  Actually, I really have one, but I love it so much, I use it all the time.  This is the infamous rms beauty living luminizer.  As indicated on their website, this highlighter gives a “satin-pearl” sheen to the skin.  This is subtle.  It is not an ultra glowy Becca highlighter, but I feel it just gives the right amount of natural glow and brightens up your face.  Plus, it lasts a lot longer than you think.  I still see it on my face at the end of a work day.

Do you have any beauty products where you have switched to green and never looked back?  I would love to know.  Thanks for reading!

Review: MISSHA The Style Defining Blusher and M Dewy Glossy Eyes

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I did a Korean haul a few months ago.  Yes, another Korean beauty haul!  I thought I would review a couple of the MISSHA items that I had picked up on a whim from that haul.  I had picked up the MISSHA The Style Defining Blusher in PK03 and M Dewy Glossy Eyes in Honey Roast.  A quick summary is that I loved one and the other one was so-so.

MISSHA is a Korean roadside beauty shop that is most well-know for their BB Creams and their SK II dupe, the Time Revolution Treatment Essence.  I actually haven’t tried any of their products for a while.  I think the first BB Cream I tried was their M Perfect BB Cream that came in the red tube and I remembered loving it.  Like many other Korean brands, their products are readily available through their international websites (Canada and United States).

MISSHA The Style Defining Blusher in PK03 ($10 USD)

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I am surprised how much I love this blush.  Mostly, because I had never read any reviews prior to buying it.  The blush comes in 10 shades.  Some of the brown toned shades could also be used for contouring as well.  For $10 USD, it comes in this super sturdy clear plastic case with crystal like etchings on the back of the case.

The powder is smooth and silky.  At first, I was kind of disappointed that it didn’t swatch very pigmented on my hand.  I am used to those super pigmented blushes like Nars, for example, where you only have touch it and it comes off so pigmented.  However, it shows up well on the cheeks and you don’t have to worry as much about overdoing it.  All this is great, but it is the scent that keeps me coming back for more.  I love the fruity scent and this blushes lasts and lasts on me.  I am always surprised to see it is still there at the end of a work day.

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MISSHA M Dewy Gloss Eyes in Honey Roast ($12 USD)

I bought this shadow hoping it would be a great one shadow over the eye look.  I am sad to report it isn’t what expected.  I guess, that is often the problem of buying products online.  This product is marketed as being able to create a “wet, glossy look with sheer shimmer.”  I never did get the wet and glossy part, but shimmer, it definitely has.  There are different sizes of glitter in the shadow and when it hits the light, it almost looks multidimensional.  So much shimmer in fact that it is difficult to wear it alone in the daytime.  Also, when you remove it, the glitter kind of gets everywhere.

I have never tried Colorpop before, but I have a feeling this shadow has a similar texture.  It kind of feels like puddy when you touch it and doesn’t bounce back into shape.  The shadow almost feels like a cream shadow.  I also think that it is best suited for an over shadow glitter or to define the inner corners of eyes.  It last pretty well throughout the day.  I just find myself not reaching for it as much because it is probably more suited for nighttime looks.  Yes, I feel like a grandma.  I mean how times would I need to create a nighttime look in a year.

Swatches

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VERDICT:  Both are quality products for the price.  However, I just love the blush more.

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.

 

Twins or Friends: Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint and Kjaer Weis Cream Blush Reviews

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Two dusty pink cream blushes from two lovely organic and natural beauty brands.  One is the Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint in Very Sweet and the other is the Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Blossoming.  Both look very similar in the pan, but are they twin beauty products or merely best friends that look similar from the outside?  On a side note, I will only compare them as blushes even though I know Tata Harper is also a lip tint.

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Kjaer Weis cream blush outer box
Starting from the most logical standpoint, which one is more expensive?  It would have to be the Kjaer Weis blush coming in at $56 USD.  The Tata Harper one is $36 USD.  You can say that both are considered more luxury beauty purchases.  However, if you have seen the box that Kjaer Weis comes in, you might think it is worth the price.  It is so beautiful, almost reminiscent of a box that could hold jewellery.  I still put the blush back in every time I finish using it.  Moreover, if you are into product design, you will enjoy the beautifully designed metal case that holds the product itself designed by Marc Atlan!  If you have a minute, it was fun perusing his design portfolio.

In the packaging, they look very similar in colour.  However, they are different in many ways.  Texture-wise, they are both quite creamy.  The Kjaer one is smoother and it just takes a dab to easily grab the product on your fingers.  With the Tata Harper blush, you have to swirl you fingers around quite a few times before you get sufficient product on your fingertips.

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Tata Harper (left) and Kjaer Weis (right)
You can use fingers or brushes to apply this product.  I usually use fingers.  Both products blend out pretty well after application.  However, this is where the similarities end because the pigmentation and finish of both products are complete opposites.  The Kjaer Weis blush is pigmented and dries down to a more powder finish.

The Tata Harper one is definitely less pigmented, and has a dewy finish.  To be honest, when I first used the Tata Harper blush, I was surprised at how sheer it is.  It was really hard to built up the colour.  It got me thinking that maybe I had gotten used to the idea that blushes had to be highly pigmented.  However, I found the natural flush that the Tata Harper blush creates is also very beautiful.  Their website said it should also be a little plumping, which I felt it accomplished.

Longevity-wise, I feel they both last about 6-8 hours.  However, it was somewhat hard to tell with the Tata Harper blush because it is quite subtle.

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Tata Harper in Very Sweet (the Kjaer Weis is almost an empty, so don’t have a shot of it complete in the packaging)
What about the scent?  I feel like the Kjaer Weis blush is pretty scentless.  The Tata Harper blush has the smell of coconut water, but mixed with a berry scent.  The scent wears off pretty quickly.

Lastly, how environmental is the packaging?  The Tata Harper packaging is made from recycled materials and the Kjaer Weis blush can be reused as you can buy a refill.

VERDICT: I would recommend both blushes.  It all depends on what look you want to achieve.  I personally like having both so that I can change up my look whenever I want. 🙂

 

Till We Meet Again: Empty and Expiring Products

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Empty posts are almost like the final grade on a report card.  You have been observing and testing them for an extended period of time and have developed a great familiarity with their performance. So which of these beauty products got the top marks?

Grade: A (beauty products I would repurchase)

Coffret D’or Color Blush Pink (similar here)

This one hit pan a while ago and is starting to crumble into pieces.  I feel this is the true sign of love for a product.  This lovely pink blush with highlighter came with their special edition eyeshadow palette.  The blush is pretty on its own, but swirled with the highlighter, provides the most beautiful glow to your cheeks.  Plus, it lasts and lasts and you’ll catch yourself staring in the mirror at how great your blush looks at the end of the day.

Ipsa Creative Concealer 

Love their foundations and also love this concealer palette.  This is probably my favourite concealer.  In the palette, there is a darker shade which is like a corrector and two other shades which can be mixed in the provided pan.  The coverage is great for concealing dark circles and it has the right amount of creaminess that it won’t sink into fine lines.  The consistency is similar to Bobbi Brown’s famed Creamy concealer, but a little less creamier, and thus, increases the longetivity of the product on the skin.

Kjaer Weiss Cream Blush

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Kjaer Weiss Cream Blush in Blossoming

Let’s get the packaging out of the way since it is stunning.  The other great thing about the packaging is that it is reusable, and you can just buy the refill when you want a new one.  This is a lovely blush from a quality natural and organic brand.  It looks like it might be super dewy in the pan, but it surprisingly gives a more satin glow when applied.  Application is easy since it melts into the skin and blends out easily.  It also lasts a good 4-6 hours on your cheeks.

Innisfree Soy Bean Essence

Many compare this one to the SK-II essence.  I don’t think the results are as remarkable as the SK-II one, but I really enjoy this essence.  It absorbs very quickly, is odourless, and is also very moisturizing.  Plus, it is cheaper than SKII and is paraben-free.

Grade: B (enjoyed, but would not repurchase)

Canmake Color Stick Concealer in Apricot

This is a great concealer for the price.  It does a decent job of correcting dark undereye circles.  It is also easy to use out of the tube, and blends in quite easily.  Just remember not to put on too much because it might get cakey.  I probably won’t repurchase just based on the fact that I need a bit more coverage for my dark circles.

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?