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.

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Beauty Binds #1 – Creasing Concealer

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When it comes to beauty dilemmas, there are some that I can just let go, like finding a mascara that will actually give volume to my short Asian lashes. However, there are some beauty conundrums that I still obsess about till today. I thought I would do a little roundup of them over several posts and talk about possible solutions that have worked for me and some that have not. More than that, I really hope that you have some tips and product suggestions to offer me so I can finally let go (if that is possible).

Conundrum – Finding a concealer application method that will not only cover my dark under eye circles but will also not crease as well

I know that I am cheating a bit here by trying to solve two issues, but if there is one beauty problem that I am obsessed with fixing, it is these two. I think concealer is so important for looking fresh and awake in the morning. Even if I don’t apply foundation, I will always try to put on some concealer. I still don’t think I have found my perfect combination of technique and products yet, but I wanted to talk about a few that I have tried over the years. Some were picked up through through magazines, Youtube, and Intagram, and others were just some of my own experimentations.

Method #1 – Simply Find a Concealer That Will Not Crease

Maybe I am just asking for too much. I honestly don’t think there has been a concealer that didn’t crease on me a little bit. If I had to choose, I think that the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer would be the best concealer I have tried that will only give me minimal creasing. For an Asian brand, I find the Ipsa Creative Concealer, which is a cream concealer, doesn’t really crease that much on me. If you know of a great concealer that does not crease, I would love to know.

Method #2 – Powdering After Applying Concealer

Powdering any makeup will increase its longevity. So it should be a no-brainer that you should definitely set concealers with powder since they are usually creamier. Believe me, I have tried this technique on and off for years and I must admit I still don’t love it. I have also tried applying the powder with a brush and and pressing it in with a puff. However, it has either left my under eye area looking super dry or made the creasing even more pronounced.

Method #3 – Use a Sponge to Apply the Concealer

I have been using this technique on and off for a while. Mostly, this is because I feel using a sponge to apply concealer sometimes takes away some of the coverage. However, I do think it can help minimize creasing just because there is less product that can crease. Lately,  I have also started to dip my Beauty Blender into thicker concealers like the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, and then press it into the skin. This allows me to keep the coverage without worrying if it will get too cakey or crease.

Method #4 – Only Applying Concealer to Where You Need It

I learnt this technique last year and it is one of my favourites. Often when I watch Youtube, I see people loading tons of concealer allover their under eye area. However, sometimes, I find that it is more important to focus the concealer only on the darkest areas. This way, you use less product and minimize the chances of creasing and it looks more natural. I think the renowned makeup artist, Lisa Eldridge explains it best in the video above. She also talks about applying concealer and waiting a bit before rechecking for any creasing. She will then use a sponge to remove the excess product and smooth out the area. My only problem with the latter technique is that I don’t find that my concealer creases till hours later. I haven’t tried bringing a sponge in my purse though. Maybe I should!

I have also tried using eye primer on the under eye area and baking under the eyes, but I still don’t quite like how my under eye wears over the day. I hope you enjoyed this post of me rambling about concealer woes. I would love to hear your concealer tips and tricks.

Review: Flow Fushi Area Foundy

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

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

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

Packaging

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

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Refill with which you can twist the brush on from the original product

Application

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

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Review

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

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

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

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

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

My Current Under Eye Concealer Routine

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

Giorgio Armani Master Corrector in 2 Orange

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

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

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

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye in Medium

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

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

RMS Beauty Tinted “Un” Powder in 2-3

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

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

Trying Out a Green Beauty Cult Favourite: rms Beauty “Un” Cover-Up Review

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I have loved everything I have tried from rms beauty.  However, I have always been a little reluctant to try their concealer/foundation called “un-cover up”.  Mostly because it just seemed really foreign to me to use such a thick cream foundation on my face.  I guess I had this preconceived notion that it would feel very heavy on my skin.  Plus, it had a coconut oil base and I kept on hearing that coconut oil breaks you out and at my age, the thought having to deal with breakouts did not sound appealing to me!  So it totally did not make any sense when I just suddenly decided to buy it at local shop.

So?  I was totally wrong.  In fact, I think it might be one of my favourite foundations ever.  I have been wearing this on repeat the last few weeks.  And no, it hasn’t broken me out.  The whole experience of using this foundation has been kind of breakthrough to me.  It doesn’t adhere to many of the usual prerequisites I expect from a foundation.  I decided to breakdown this product use these surprising qualities.

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Shade 22

It comes in a glass tub

Most cream foundations usually come in stick form or in a foundation compact.  This foundation comes in a thick glass tub with a white lid.  rms states that all their packaging is either biodegradable, recyclable, or reusable.  I think this foundation would be great for traveling as it is super compact and you won’t have to worry about it leaking.

It melts into the skin

This formula is very deceiving.  It looks thick and creamy in the tub, but it literally melts into the skin when you apply it.  One second it is there and then it disappears into the skin and you are almost like, where did it go?  It is recommended you apply it with fingers, and that is my preferred choice of application.  However, you can also apply with a brush (preferably synthetic).  They also have a really beautiful brush you can purchase specifically to apply this product if you are interested.

Here are a few claims of the product from their website which I find quite unique as well:

“Apply sparingly with fingers over the T-zone area or wherever any extra coverage is desired”

Rarely, do you see a brand tell you to apply foundation only a certain area, so I found these application directions very interesting.  I don’t apply it that sparingly, but if your t-zone usually gets oily, I think applying it sparingly will minimize that from happening.  The coverage is light to medium.  It evens out your skin beautifully and covers redness.  However, I don’t find it is great at covering acne scars and pigmentation.  It can also be used as a light concealer and  I would definitely say that it is “light” when it comes to concealing.  I definitely favour it as a foundation more than a concealer as I have pretty dark circles under my eyes.

“Mineral pigments will self-adjust to your skin tone”

This claim just sounds a little too good to be true because it only comes in 7 shades.  After using it forever, I really think it does.  I’m not sure what kind of magic this is!

“Moisturizes and heals, resulting in beautiful second skin”

It is definitely moisturizing and leaves your skin initially with a satin finish.  I do agree it looks almost like “second skin.”  As the day goes by, depending on your skin type, I do find it gets quite dewy, even a little bit oily on my t-zone area.  For my dry cheeks, this is amazing because they have never looked so moisturized, but for my t-zone, it can look almost greasy.  However, this is an even fix, with some powder, and it will look great all day.  What the healing claim?  That is a bold claim.  All I can say is that I didn’t have any breakouts and my skin has looked really good the last month.

Just a few additional things I wanted to mention

rms beauty claims it will minimize pores and I can definitely vouch for that.  What about longevity? I think you definitely should powder and it lasts most of a work day.  I mean, I don’t really consider it a long-wearing foundation though.

VERDICT:  I love this foundation and would totally recommend it, not only as a green product, but just as a foundation in general.  However, I wouldn’t recommend it for someone who is looking for full coverage or a more “made-up” look.

Yes! I’m Trying out Another Possible Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer Dupe

 

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I know everyone is probably tired of reading these, but the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer has become such a cult favourite.  It has become an easy benchmark to compare every other doe-foot applicator liquid concealer to.  I received this possible dupe, the A’Pieu Moist Creamy Concealer, as a gift from sister.  The immediate thought I had upon seeing it was to figure out if it was a dupe for the Nars one simply because the packaging is so similar.  Like previous comparisons, I am first going to talk about the claims of each product using information from their websites.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Macadamia (new colour)

  • evens skin with lightweight medium to high buildable coverage
  • Enriched with hydrating, multi-action skincare benefits and light diffusing technology
  • creates a softer, smoother complexion
  • diminishes fine lines and signs of fatigue
  • long wearing and crease-proof
  • 16 shades
  • $30 USD

A’Pieu Moist Creamy Concealer in 4 (#4 is still a bit light for me)

  • creamy and moisturizing formula
  • helps cover blemishes, dark areas, and can be used for contouring
  • SPF 30/PA++
  • natural and flawless coverage
  • 5 shades to target each skin tone (I was using Google Translate so don’t really understand this part)
  • under $10 USD

Packaging

Such similar packaging!  Both come in the clear tubular packaging with the doe-foot applicator. One difference is the A’Pieu concealer doesn’t have the matte black handle which gets dirty so fast. Although, I must admit the matte black is very sleek though.  Another difference is that product will not gather around the opening of the packaging when you open and close it.  I often have to wipe down the opening of the Nars one so the product doesn’t start smearing on the outside.

Application

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A’Pieu in 4 (left) and Nars in Macadamia (right)

The consistency of both liquid concealers are on the creamier side.  The A’Pieu one is a tad more creamier and thick.  Although, they both blend out really easily, with the A’Pieu one just taking a little longer due to its thicker texture.  I would definitely say less is more for either product as it could get quite cakey if you use a lot, especially under the eyes.  I usually use like a dab or two.  The only exception would be if you used a Beauty Blender, which would take off the excess off the area.  Although, I prefer to use my fingers to blend out the product because I find the Beauty Blender takes down the coverage a notch.

Finish

They both leave the under the under eye area with a satin finish.  I wouldn’t say it was really glowy or left my under eye area moisturized.  I think I would prefer a cream concealer for that.

Coverage

I would consider both on the medium side when it comes to coverage on the under eye area.  I actually think where either product shines is when they are used to cover redness and acne.  I have had some breakouts on my chin, and they completely obliterate that.  I think they are also great for highlighting if you get a lighter shade.

Longevity

I think they are quite similar in this category.  I find that they will crease under the eyes after a few hours.  However, if you set with powder, they last a whole 8 hour work day.  After that time, you will find a bit of creasing.

VERDICT:  So is it a good dupe?  I think it is a pretty good dupe.  It is very similar in all the categories I mentioned above.  I think it really comes down the shade selection and price.   Nars definitely offers more shades.  However, if your skin is on the lighter side, MAC NC25 or below, then you should be able to find a match with the A’Pieu one.  All in all, I tend to think I’d rather pay more to find the right shade.  Therefore, I would pick the Nars one, and also I find the texture of the Nars one a little lighter.

Review: Milk Makeup Coverage Duo (a.k.a., The Re-Review After Reading the Instructions)

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Disclaimer:  I had written most of this review and realized while reading about the product on their website that I had not used it properly.  I thought the liquid concealer was meant to be used under the eyes, but it can also be used all over the face, almost like a lightweight foundation.

As a beauty blogger, you innately start developing criteria when you review products.  Eyeshadows need to super pigmented.  Concealers should have good coverage and not crease.  These sort of become your baseline every time you start to review a product.  In the last few months, I have been using the Milk Makeup Coverage Duo in Light quite frequently, and I thought I was prepared to write a mediocre review.  The coverage of this concealer is not really high and it does crease a bit on me.  However, instead of just focusing on performance, I realized that this is actually an all-around good product.  Here are the reasons why:

The premise behind the brand is modern, and well, likable

Milk Makeup is trying to do something a little different and I commend them for that.  Just a little background on the company.  Milk Makeup is a branch of Milk, which is a cultural hub focusing on fashion, music, photography, art, and film in L. A.  The key premises behind the brand include: multi-use products, experimentation and self-expression, minimal preservatives (this is not considered green beauty though) and cruelty-free, best ingredients, minimal preservatives, and high concept low maintenance.  I mean, there really isn’t anything not to like!  Basically, the brand is saying if you are a a trendy, modern, cool girl, you should be wearing their makeup and who doesn’t want to be that?

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The packaging is innovative

I don’t think I’ve ever seen another beauty product with this type of packaging.  Housed in a flat Tic-Tac-sized container, one end has a rollerball applicator for the liquid concealer, and the other end is a removable container for the marshmallow-textured cream concealer.  The rollerball is quite cooling and quick to apply under the eyes.  The packaging is also super portable.  It is slim enough that it would easily fit into a pocket and a purse for touchups.  The liquid concealer is meant for your face, while the cream concealer is for extra coverage.

The formula absorbs quickly and is moisturizing

Other than the portability, one of the things that this product has going for it, is the texture. Applied all over the face, this liquid concealer sinks in quickly and leaves your skin glowy and moisturized.   I can put on a couple layers for more coverage and there is no problem with the product looking cakey.  Likewise, the marshmallow cream concealer basically “melts” into the skin and never looks too cakey.

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It is so fast and convenient to use

The rollerball makes it super quick to apply your base in the morning.  You just roll a few streaks over your face and then dab it in.  I mean, the rollerball is a bit small, so I might consider getting their Sunshine Skin Tint, which has a bigger rollerball applicator.  It is also super convenient to just flip the product around and dab the cream concealer under your eyes and over any other areas where you might need more coverage.  Most importantly, it is just such a great on-the-go product for touchups and just applying your makeup wherever you want.

Hmm…so here are the reasons why you might be “iffy” about buying this concealer

As I mentioned, this concealer has pretty light coverage.  It won’t entirely cover up dark under eye circles or redness from acne.  However, it can built to a medium coverage without ever getting too cakey if layered.  However, I do find both concealers do crease after of few hours of application under the eyes.  The cream concealer definitely works better under the eyes compared to the liquid one which creases even faster.  On the face though, I find that it works great as a light to medium foundation, and lasts for most of a workday.  Whenever I do a quick checkup of my makeup in the mirror, I have happy with how my skin looks.  My skin looks even without looking too made up, if you know what I mean.  It does get a bit too oily for me on my T-Zone, so I wouldn’t recommend it for someone with oily skin.

VERDICT:  I think it is a great everyday foundation and concealer, but I think where it shines is its convenience and portability.

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.

Review: Covermark Bright Up Foundation

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It seems like every beauty brand is putting out a liquid concealer.  Specifically, the type with a tube and doe-foot applicator.  I do enjoy these concealers, but I still really love using creamy concealers to cover my dark circles.  Maybe, it is just the deceptive feeling that something creamy must be more moisturizing for those fine lines.  My long-time favourite has been the Ipsa Creative Concealer, which is a cream concealer with three shades you can mix to get your perfect shade.

I thought it was time to try something different and decided to get another concealer from a Japanese brand called Covermark (This is the Singapore site since it is in English).  I thought the brand originated from Japan, but the brand developer, Lydia O’Leary is from New York.  On another surprising tangent, their concealer is actually called the <Jusme Colour> Bright Up Foundation.  I first discovered this concealer on the pages of Japanese magazines.  It is also always shows up on the Top 10 page of the Japanese beauty ranking site cosme.  I just knew I needed to give it a try.

Packaging

The concealer comes is this sturdy beautiful beige and gold packaging.  This is definitely high-end makeup.  This is reflected in the price as well which is $50 USD and above.  Just a note that it is quite a difficult product to get if you live in North America.  I have found it on Amazon and Yesstyle.

Formula

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Covermark claims that this concealer contains innovative technology that will blur fine lines and brighten and cover dark undereye circles.  It will also not crease and stay put for hours.  Finally, it is also fragrance-free and has SPF 33 PA+++.

It comes in 4 shades (B1, B2, Y1, and Y2) according to Covermark’s skin undertone theory. Basically, you either have blue or yellow undertones.  Since I could not physically get to a Covermark counter to get my undertone assessed, I just assumed I was Y1 and the colour is a pretty good match for me.  You can check out how your undertone is determined here.

The ingredients can be found on CosDNA if you are interested.  If you are into green beauty, unfortunately, this does contain parabens.

Application

Since this is a stick concealer, it does go on quite thick, but it blends out really well.  Initially, I applied it to my undereye area straight from the bullet, but I later learned from their website that you are supposed to use your finger to dab the product first before applying it.  You could check out the video here.  I still remember the shock I had when I saw the “big red X” over the video of the model applying it straight from the tube!  I do think that applying after dabbing from the tube spreads and layers the product better.

Coverage

This is a medium to high coverage concealer.  It is able to completely cover my dark circles.  I sometimes will layer a bit more on some darker areas.  Considering how thick the formula is, it layers really well.

Longevity

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end sometimes.  Up to now, this products sounds perfect.  I mean, when I apply it in the morning, I always love how it looks.  The coverage is great and it is quite moisturizing.  It says that it “lasts for hours.”  This is true in that I feel like it looks pretty good for 4-6 hours.  However, by lunch time, I already feel it looks a little cakey and there is a little creasing.  I have tried applying powder, but I don’t feel like it makes a huge difference.

VERDICT:  This is a good overall concealer in that it has good coverage, blends well, and layers wonderfully.  The only cons are that it is not super long-wearing and that it doesn’t come in a comprehensive number of shades.

Review: THREE Correcting Concealer

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I have been an avid reader of Japanese magazines for a long time.  Just on a side note, if you are interested, I thought I would mention that you can download many Japanese magazines off the Apple Newsstand (some of my faves include Baila and Maquia).  I have always seen this brand being featured in the Beauty sections.  Later, I learned from my sister that this brand is a luxury beauty brand from Japan, which focuses on using natural ingredients in their beauty products.  I have tried of a few of their products.  Some have been hits (foundation and skincare) and others have not become my favourites (eyeliner).

I already really enjoyed their foundation, which I have reviewed here, so I decided to give their concealer a try.  Their products are a bit difficult to get out of Asia (Here is a link from Amazon). However, I noticed that there are not too many reviews on this line in English so I thought I would put in my two cents for those who are interested Japanese cosmetics.

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Packaging

Like the rest of their packaging, it comes in a matte dark grey packaging, which is very sturdy. Similarily, to the Nars packaging, it can get quite dirty easily though.  This concealer palette comes with four different pans (it comes in two shades).  It includes two of shades of concealer (both yellow-toned), a setting powder, and also a highlighter powder.  It comes with a mirror and some palette brushes.  I think it is a great palette for travelling because it basically has everything you need for concealing.  Just a note, that for an natural brand, the ingredients in this particular product are not that natural, which was a little disappointing to me.  For example, methylparaben is like the second ingredient on the list.

Application

For me, the texture of this concealer is quite new to me.  I have been using more liquid (Nars) and creamier (Bobbi Brown and Ipsa) concealers lately.  The THREE concealer has a more waxy and thick texture.  It is a little closer in texture to the cult favourite Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer (although with less coverage, I feel).  Initially, I thought the texture would make it difficult to blend into the skin.  I am surprised to report though it blends really easily into the skin with your fingers.  However, I found that applying with the two small brushes supplied, it was slightly harder to blend out.  I really feel that the warmth of your fingers made a different in helping it melt into the skin.  It is important to note that it doesn’t spread out like creamier concealers, so I feel the best way to apply it is by tapping and dabbing into the skin.

I love the cute little powder brush included.  It is the perfect size to apply the powder to the undereye area.  The powder is really fine and mattifies the area, but it doesn’t make it look too dry. For me, I don’t feel like the highlighting powder really showed up on me and didn’t much of a difference to the overall finished look of the concealer.

Coverage

I would say this concealer has about medium coverage.  It claims to cover dullness, age spots, and undereye circles.  I feel like it has a good coverage, but doesn’t completely cover my undereye circles or freckles.  For acne, I think it might be a bit drying.  Although, it doesn’t really claim that it is meant for that use.

Longevity

The concealer does stay on for a most of the day (I always do use the powder included which helps).  I think my main problem with this concealer is that it will crease and look a bit dry in the undereye area after 3-4 hours even if I apply eye cream (might be more appropriate for younger or less wrinkly undereyes-gosh I feel little sad saying that).

VERDICT: It is a good all in one concealer palette.  However, it lacks in coverage and might be more suitable for younger undereye areas.  There also might be better products for half of the price.