Some Recent Beauty Bits

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Just a little blogpost about some beauty products that I have purchased the last month.  Most of them are replacements for items that I have run out of it.  I try, and I mean, I really try to have a "one in, one out policy" with my beauty products.  It usually works pretty well for me, except I always order my backups way too late (like when there are only a few drops left in the bottle).  I literally have to raid my sister's skincare samples sometimes.  So I am super proud of myself that I have actually received my backups before I have completely used up my current products.

ID.AZ Dermastic Essential Toner

If you love minimalist packaging, you will love this line.  The bottle looks like it might be made of plastic, but it is actually made of glass.  It feels super sturdy and I guess it must help to keep the product inside from the damaging effects of sunlight.  I bought the toner because I just loved their cleanser.  The line is made from a famous Korean skincare clinic for those with sensitive skin.  This toner is supposed to leave your skin pH balanced after cleansing.  It is also full of botanical ingredients that make your skin feel moisturized and dewy.

First Impressions:  It has a light floral scent that doesn't linger too much.  Patted into the skin, it leaves my face so dewy and plump.  Really enjoying it so far.

Aritaum Poyan Makeup Remover

For me, I base a good eye makeup remover on whether it can remove hardcore Japanese waterproof mascaras, like Majolica Majorica.  So does this one?  Yes, it does!  This was purely a purchase driven by Instagram.  It was the one most recommended in my comments.  It is also from Korean brand called Aritaum, which owns stores that also sells brands like Iope and Laniege.  It is a bi-phase eye makeup remover so you have to shake it up.  It is made of fermented beans along with other ingredients that will not only remove makeup, but keep you eye area moisturized.

First Impressions:  It removes everything, but it can be a little oily if you use too much.  My only gripe is that the smell is quite strong.

YSL Couture Eye Primer in 2 Medium

Basically I had finished my favourite the Balm Put A Lid on It Eyelid Primer and was on the hunt for a new eyeshadow primer.  Heading into Sephora, I was already set on getting the Smashbox 24 Hour Shadow Primer because I had heard many good things about it.  Don't know what happened, but I ended up getting this YSL one instead.  Unlike most eyeshadow primers, it actually comes in a tub.  This is usually a con for me since it seems less sanitary, but since was a "couture" eye primer, I guess I couldn't help myself!   It boasts 16 hours of wear, a waterproof and creaseless formula, and also can be used alone as a neutral luminous cream eyeshadow.  Furthermore, it also boosts the vibrancy of your eyeshadows.

First Impressions:  Right off the bat, I'm just going to say this isn't as good as the Balm or Nars one in terms of longevity.  However, it really evens out your eyelid and gives it a lovely glow.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner in Deep Rich

Have you ever purchased something and thought it was really good, but moved on to other things because who doesn't love the novelty of something new.  This is how I feel about this toner.  I really enjoyed this toner a few years back.  It is lightweight, but really moisturizing.  It is also natural and 97% organic and full of fermented natural ingredients. However, I didn't enjoy the smell.  Fast-forward to the present, and I see every Asian skincare junkie on Instagram talk the amazing properties of this toner, I just needed to get it again to see for myself.  Have you ever had a product get hyped after you've tried it?

First Impressions:  Still don't love the smell, but I find the texture quite similar to other toners I have really enjoyed lately.  I will have to try it longer to see how the longterm results are like.


Review: the Balm Put a Lid on it Eyelid Primer


So how does the Balm Put a Lid on it Eyelid Primer  compare to the Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base?  That is always the first question I ask when I try a new eyeshadow primer.  The Nars one has been my favourite for a while and nothing comes close to keeping eyeshadow from fading or creasing on my eyelids (if you want to check out other eyeshadow primers I have tried collectively, you can check out my post here).

I will now say something controversial, since I know the Nars one is well-loved, I think I like this one a little better.  All in all, I think they are both great.  I really think it comes down to whether you prefer certain small details in either product.


The Nars primer comes in a tube with a doe-foot applicator and the Balm one comes in a squeeze tube.  Personally, I have always found it hard to get the product out of the Nars tube when you are getting to the end of the product.  I found myself swishing the applicator back and forth in the tube trying to get the product out.

Therefore, the Balm wins in this category because it is easier to squeeze the product out and also to control the amount you want.  Plus, a squeeze tube always seems  a bit more sanitary since you don’t have to continually put the applicator in and out of the tube.


the Balm primer comes out of the tube in a beige paste.  The texture is quite silicony, similar to the  Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.  On the flip side, the Nars one is more of a cream texture.  They both blend into the skin easily and are invisible when blended into the skin.


With both eyeshadow primers, I apply the product on with the applicator or with my fingers and then blend in with my fingers.  With the Balm primer, you have to wait 1 minute before you apply eyeshadow on top of it.  After the eyeshadow is applied, I feel the eyeshadow blends out even better with the Balm primer.


This is the category which makes these two primers the best I have tried.  Despite having hooded and oily eyelids, both these primers kept powder eyeshadows from fading and creasing all day (well 16 hours minus sleeping time).

I have read on other blogs, like temptalia, that this primer is less effective with cream eyeshadows.  I agree to a certain extent with her review.  For example, my Charlotte Tilsbury cream eyeshadow showed a bit of creasing within a few hours.  However, with certain certain cream eyeshadows, like my Shiseido one, it pretty much stayed on all day, so I am think really depends on the quality of the cream eyeshadow.

VERDICT:  Even though the Nars primer wins a teeny bit in the longevity category, I prefer the Balm’s packaging, application, and how well eyeshadows blend over it.  I think this is my new favourite eyeshadow primer.

Eyeshadow Primer Exes


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

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

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

Canmake Eyeshadow Base

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

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

Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer

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

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

Paul & Joe Eye Color Primer

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

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

Two Faced Shadow Insurance Primer

Reason for Break-up: there was no spark

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

Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base

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

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

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

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

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

Review: Paul & Joe Eye Color Primer


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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