Recent Roundup

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I thought that I would do a little roundup of things I have purchased, loved, and used up. I still enjoy blogging, but I have been really obsessed with Instagram this year, and post more regularly there. If you are interested, my instagram is itsmudges.

Recent Purchases

Herbivore Hydrate + Glow Natural Skincare Mini Collection

Herbivore is a brand that is hard to resist. It has the most beautiful and chic packaging. Their brand focus on safe and effective skincare also feels modern and appealing. I had previously never tried anything from Herbivore before so I thought this set was a perfect overview of some of their bestsellers. This set contains four products: Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisture Creme, Phoenix Regenerating Facial Oil, Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist, and Brighten Pineapple + Gemstone Glow Mask.

Quick Impressions and Review: I have used up the Creme and love it. It smells lovely (not like roses though) and gives you this dewy glow. I would say it would be a great summer moisturizer. Out of everything I have tried in this kit, the oil is definitely my favourite. It doesn’t smell to strong, sinks in beautifully, and is so moisturizing. My dry cheeks have been loving it. I am still getting used to the mask as it is different from my really moisturizing Korean mist toners. The mask is lovely as well. It is a bit tingly, but gives you the most beautiful after you wash it off.

Melvita Face Care Oil

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My love for facial oil continues with this purchase from Melvita. I was introduced to Melvita when I picked it up in Taiwan a few years back. Previously, I noticed it featured in a lot of Japanese magazines I read. Melvita is actually a brand from France that has been around for 30 years. They specialize in organic high-performance formulas in skincare. This particular face oil highlights the anti-aging benefits of argan oil and amino acids. As I was reading their website, I learned that argan oil is full of omegas and sterols which nourish and maintain the youthfulness of your skin. I am excited to use this oil as it says it is a dry oil. I hope it will sink in quickly unlike some other oils that will cause my makeup to shift throughout the day.

Sidmool AC Bye Trouble Skin Handmade Soap

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I love facial soap so I am always on the hunt for a new one. Being a longtime lover of Korean skincare, I realized I had never tried any of their facial soap. So I decided to pick this one up by Sidmool. This soap contains olive oil and snail mucus as its top ingredients and is geared towards acne prone skin. I will report back after I have used it for a while. Also, if you want to be environmental, bar soap is usually touted as the better choice than liquid soap.

Conscious Consumerism

To be honest, I don’t even know what the best term for this is. There seems to be an endless amount of terminology to describe this action. There is ethical consumerism, environmentalism, green beauty, and the list goes on. Over the last few years, I have just become more aware of what I buy and how it affects the world. I am not a saint or anything, but if I can do a few things to help the world, I thought why not? Here are a few actions I have taken to become a more ethical shopper.

Just Buy Less

I find that this is harder said than done, but I feel I have just gradually bought less over the years. I guess, having a mortgage kind of jumped started this process. I started having a one-in and one-out policy with most of my beauty products. I mean, it is not perfect or as streamlined as I wish, but I try my best. For example, I usually only own one blush, but then I do spit it into a cream and powder blush.

Refillable Makeup

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Nowadays, I tend to pause I think before I buy anything. It allows me to reflect on whether I truly need something, and most importantly, how my purchase will effect the environment. There are more brands that are putting out refillable makeup which I think is such a great idea. Many times, the case is so pretty, you don’t even want to throw it out. Some brands I have been loving with refillable makeup are Kjaer Weis and MiMC.

Green Beauty

Of course, the obvious way to be more ethical is to buy from brands who claim to be more clean, green, and sustainable. I know, a lot of these words have been thrown around without much respect for the original meaning and some brands just use it as a form of marketing. However, I would like to believe that there are some brands that truly want to make a difference. It is important to do your research. On the other hand, I don’t think any brand is perfect, and being conscious about your purchasing decisions doesn’t mean I nitpick every single thing that the brand does. Some of my favourites are Herbivore, Kosas, RMS Beauty, and Kjaer Weis.

If you are interested in reading some in-depth reviews of some products I have tried lately, check out my review of the RMS Beauty Signature Set in Pop Collection and Belif Moisturizing and Firming Eye Cream.

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Review:RMS Beauty Signature Set in Pop Collection

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One of my favourite things about browsing the Sephora website is checking out their beauty sets. I find that it is such a great way to get an overview of a brand. I have actually been loving my Herbivore set from them latey. Today though, I really wanted to talk about the Signature Set I got from RMS Beauty in Pop Collection. If you have read my blog for a while, you will know that I love their cream highlighter and base products. However, there are a few items I still wanted to try from their line, so I decided to get this set.

Overview

This Pop Collection set contains five products. It comes with two of their cream blushers, Lip2Cheek, in shades Demure and Beloved. It also includes a cream highlight in Magic Luminizer and a bronzer in Buriti. The last product is the Simply Vanilla Lip & Skin Balm.

Packaging

Unlike other products in their line which are housed in glass tubs, the packaging for this set is made of plastic. The packaging is chic and minimal being all white with only their brand name printed on the front. There is no indication of what type of plastic is used in the packaging, so I am a little worried about how recyclable it is compared to their glass tubs.

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Application

If you have watched RMS Beauty videos or read their website, you would know that they recommend you apply their products with your fingers. They praise the benefits of using your fingers or what they call “skin to skin application.” I personally really enjoy applying their cream formulas with my fingers. I find that the bronzer and highlighter are very creamy and blend out easily. I would say the blushes have a more putty texture and take a little more work to blend out. The balm is also very emollient and blends out easily.

Review

I am going to go through each product individuality and review whether I would purchase the full-size. There were definitely some hits and misses from this set for me.

Bronzer in Buriti

This was one of the surprising hits from this set. Since it only comes in one colour, I really wasn’t sure it would work for me. I am around a MAC NC 25. As claimed on their website, this bronzer is not orangey at all. In fact, it is more of a warm brown. It looks darker than it applies on the skin as it sheers out quite a bit. I am amazed at how well it blends out on me. It really gives me that summery glow from within look.

Would I Buy the Full-Size? Yes!

Magic Lumizier

Many of you might already be familiar with their Living Luminizer. Many celebrities love to wear it. It is also one of my favourites because it gives you a beautiful dewy glow. I must admit that when I started using the Magic Luminizer, I didn’t love it. I think I was so attached to the Living Luminizer that I didn’t see its merits right away. Unlike the Living Luminizer, it has a slight metallic sheen. I feel it takes a little longer to blend, but it is worth it because I was surprised that it had such great longevity for a cream highlighter. I think this highlighter gives a more subtle glow, which is perfect for a work day.

Would I Buy the Full-Size? Yes!

Lip2Cheek in Demure and Beloved

Their cream blushers seem to have a lot going for them. Are they pigmented? Yes! Are they long-lasting? Yes. However, since they have a more putty texture they are a bit harder to blend. They also can appear a little bit patchy on the cheeks. I do enjoy both colours. Even though the shade Beloved looks really intense in the pan, it does give you a very healthy glow. I just take a tiny dab and it is enough for one cheek. Demure is a lovely pink shade which is great for everyday wear. It can be easy to overdo either shade so I usually start off with less and add more if I want to build more intensity. Overall, the blushes wear really well throughout the day. I just wish they were less patchy.

Would I Buy the Full-Size? No.

Simply Vanilla Lip & Skin Balm

Unfortunately, I am not try able to give a fair review of this product because the vanilla scent just got too strong for me. I am quite sensitive to scents and you smell it for a while after you apply it. It applies on smoothly and dries down on the matte side. It is one of those lip balms where you feel a layer of product on your lips as it doesn’t really sink in. I did try to keep it on for a few hours and it does feel moisturizing. I would just not purchase full-size because I disliked the scent.

Would I Buy the Full-Size? No.

Do you have any favourite RMS Beauty products?

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.

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.

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.

Beauty Binds #2 – Smudging Eyeliner

 

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This is the second post in my series about beauty dilemmas. If you are interested, you can check out my first post about tips and tricks I use to stop concealer from creasing. It only makes sense that since I named my blog, Smudges, that the next beauty dilemma I am going to talk about is dealing with smudging eyeliner. After many years of testing out multiple eyeliners, I think I have now resorted to the fact that most eyeliners will smudge at least a little bit on me. I understand that my hooded eye shape and watery eyes just makes it a bit harder for eyeliner to stay put on me. For me, eyeliner usually starts disappearing on the outer corner where I wing out my eyeliner. So here are a list of tips and tricks I have tried over the years to keep my eyeliner from smudging.

Method #1 – Simply Find an Eyeliner That Won’t Smudge

I have tried a lot of eyeliners in my life time. There are a few eyeliners that have stood up the best on my eyelids. For pencil eyeliners, this would include Clinique’s Quickliner For Eyes and Etude House’s Play 101 Pencils. An honourable mention for me would be Stila’s Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner. I have been wearing the Clinique liner since university and I love the glide of this pencil and it is also is a turn-up pencil so you don’t need to sharpen it. It pretty much stays put all day expect for the wing part of the liner which tends to smudge a bit on the bottom of the eye. The Etude House one actually has better longevity, but like many gel liners, it dries out pretty quick. My favourite liquid eyeliners are Kate Super Sharp Liner and msh Love Liner. Both of these liquid eyeliners draw beautifully and also last almost the whole day.

Method #2 – Wear Eyeshadow Primer

If you want eyeliner to stay put, your eyeshadow better stay put as well. Since I have oily eyelids, I pretty much have to wear eyeshadow primer every time I do an eye look. My favourite eyeshadow primers are the Nars Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base and the Balm’s Put A Lid On It Eyelid Primer. The Nars one is amazing for keeping eyeshadow crease-free all day and it blends so smoothly onto the eyelid. I have not found one better than the Nars one. However, if you want something a bit more hygienic thats comes out of a tube, I would recommend the primer from the Balm. It’s performance is almost as good as Nar’s primer. I have also tried putting primer on the outer corner of my eye where I would wing out the liner to prevent smudging, but my eyes are so watery, it doesn’t really help.

Method #3 – Don’t Wing Out Your Eyeliner

This is a technique I often use when I am just fed up with my eyeliner smudging on the outer corners. I know, winged eyeliner is such a beautiful thing. It elongates your eyes and gives your eyes more definition. However, it is such a hassle sometimes to check to see if it has smudged that I actually don’t wing my liner sometimes. I will just end it at the outer corner of my eye. Sometimes, I actually prefer this look as it makes my eyes look rounder. Most importantly, I don’t have worry about smudging as much.

Method #4 – Carry cotton buds

Recently, I have started to carry tiny cotton swabs and even cotton swabs with eye makeup remover to fix smudges. Usually, when I am lazy, I will just wipe the smudged eyeliner away with my fingers. Sometimes, I will also use a tissue or even a paper towel if I am desperate. However, tiny cotton swabs are perfect for this job. My favourite are from Muji and I have also discovered Muji’s Cleansing Cotton Buds which I also enjoy if you are wearing waterproof eyeliner.

If you have any tips and tricks dealing with smudging eyeliner, please share below!

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.

Year End Favourites: Top 5 in Skincare

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My post for year end favourites in makeup came out pretty late, and this Top 5 in skincare is even later. I am sorry about that, but I hope you will still enjoy it. Over the last year, I have mainly focused on using Korean skincare. I enjoy their focus on natural ingredients and the effectiveness of their formulas. Some of my favourite Korean skincare brands include Whamisa, Innisfree, and ID.AZ. Through a gift from my sister, I have also really enjoyed Ole Henriksen. I tend to judge whether I love a skincare item based on the experience of application, its ingredients, and how effective it was on improving my skin’s appearance.

ID.AZ Dermastic Foaming Cleanser

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I don’t know when I started to assume that cleansers that foam up right from the bottle are automatically drying. Well, this one proved me wrong. If you love cleansers that are rich and really foam up, then you will enjoy this cleanser from one of the top skin clinics in Korea, ID.AZ. Overall, I find the experience of using this cleanser really enjoyable. It has really refreshing scent, which I find quite relaxing. The formula is not stripping, containing aloe vera extract, centella asiatica extract, and panthenol to soothe skin. This is definitely one of my surprise favourites of year.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner Deep Rich

This year, I have been super into vicious Korean toners, which are packed full of great ingredients. They are thicker in texture, and are meant to be patted into the skin. I’ve have tried quite a few over the year, but I still think this one from the Korean brand, Whamisa is my favourite. If you are big Kbeauty fan, you would have seen this brand plastered all over Instagram and for good reason. Their focus is on using organic ingredients, primarily fermented ingredients, which are more potent and easily absorbed. This toner is my favourite this year because after you apply it on your skin, it looks plumper and glowy almost instantly. It is also great for the 7 step method. My one con is that it is a bit sticky after application but I feel it is less stickier than a few others I have tried.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum

2017 was the year that I discovered Vitamin C in skincare and wondered why I didn’t start earlier. I think the reason that I hesitated to try Vitamin C was that I was afraid that I would react to it negatively. However, I realized that when you are trying any skincare, you should always patch test because everyone responds to certain ingredients differently. I tried a few Vitamin C serums this year (e.g. Wishtrend and Drunk Elephant), but I think my favourite has to be the one from Ole Henriksen for several reasons. First of all, it did not irritate my skin, which I was surprised about. Secondly, it had a lovely citrus scent and absorbed so quickly into the skin. Lastly, it provides results. It doesn’t happen right away, but with long-term use, I was surprised how smoother my skin looked under makeup. Overall, my skin looked firmer and brighter as they claimed would do. It was so good that I actually bought the full size after my sister gifted me a deluxe sample.

Belif Moisturizing and Firming Eye Cream

The first time I saw Belif products, I was attracted to the minimalist blue, black, and white packaging. Then, as I learned more about the brand, I learned their brand philosophy focused on using natural herbal ingredients with modern technology to create effective skincare line. It was then I was sold. I was having problems with concealer not applying well over my eye cream so I decided to switch to this eye cream and I have been loving it every since. This is a thicker formula but it blends it easily. It leaves a nice canvas for concealer application. It contains natural oils, like cupuacu seed butter and macadamia nut oil, which help to keep the under eye area moisturized. I also love that it is pretty much unscented as well.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Olive Leaf Mist

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2017 was also the year I got into facial mist. Well, to be honest, I just tried this one. I alway thought that facial mist could only be used to freshen up or set your makeup. I didn’t know that it could also have another use as a toner, especially with this Whamisa Olive Leaf Mist. It is so vicious that you can pat it in as a quick toner. I love how efficient this made my skincare routine as I could quickly spritz this on after cleansing and be done with the toner step. The mist is not super fine as the texture of the formula is a bit thicker, but it is packed full of great ingredients that are good for the skin. Furthermore, it actually lasts quick a longtime even though the bottle is quite small. Now that I am no longer a mist newbie, I can’t wait to branch out and try more facial mist this year.

Have you tried any of my favourites and what it is one skincare product that you think I must try?

Review: Smashbox Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer

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I know that getting older is supposed to have its virtues. However, it also means having to deal with crows feet, and sagging skin. I am slowly trying to come to terms with this, but in the mean time, I still want to age gracefully. This brings me to my review of Smashbox’s Photo Finish Hydrating Under Eye Primer. I was still having trouble with concealer creasing in the fine lines in my under eye area. I found that most concealers looked great the first few hours, but getting it to stay that way all day was difficult. I saw this primer at Sephora one day and picked up because it seemed made for this problem.

Claims

Containing caffeine, peptides, and optical diffusers, this under eye primer diminishes puffy eyes and dark circles. It also enhances the longevity of concealers and prevents them from creasing. Furthermore, it also targets anti-aging concerns in the under eye area, like wrinkles and age spots.

Packaging

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I personally really loved the packaging. The squeeze tube kept the product sanitary and it was easy to control how you much you wanted to squeeze out. The slanted plastic tip is a bit flexible, which allowed you to use it directly under your eyes.

Application

I found that the slanted applicator worked well to dispense and dab the product onto the skin. However, I found it even quicker just to dispense the product onto my fingers and then dab it on the under eye area. I think it really just comes to preference. The texture is lightweight and blends easily into the skin. It only comes in one shade, which is a pearly light pink colour. When blended it, it was basically transparent, leaving behind a subtle glow.

Results

This is one of those products which I really wanted to work for me, but it didn’t except for providing a little extra moisture in the under eye area. However, I could see it working for someone else who might have issues with puffy under eyes and maybe still in their 20s. I really gave it a good try. I used it everyday for a month and even created a spreadsheet examining how it worked on top of foundation and without eye cream etc. I was that keen on making it work.

I think the main reason it didn’t work for me was because it just didn’t make my concealer last longer. I still found that the concealer would crease about the same amount whether I used this primer or not. I couldn’t really test out whether it helped with puffiness under the eyes as I don’t really have that issue. However, I can attest that it did do much for my dark circles (as there aren’t many products that actually do). What about brightening the under eye? I think it might be more apparent on a lighter skin tone. I have a more olive complexion and I don’t feel like it made much of a difference.

VERDICT: This under eye primer might be more useful for those with puffy eyes and who are looking for a bit more moisture in the under eye area. Sadly, I won’t repurchase it again.