Friday, August 27, 2010

Haul: Mamonde Brightening Sheet Mask

When I'm actually in Korea and there is easy access to Korean beauty brands I don't find myself particularly intrigued. Yet, when I'm in the States I feel like I've found a mini treasure when I see something like the Mamonde Brightening Sheet Mask sitting on the tiny beauty counter at my Asian grocery store of choice (currently being H-Mart in Wheaton! I'm not sure where else you would be able to get these.)

And so I got these on a whim last weekend even though I've already tried it before and didn't care for it. They're actually not that bad but the 'essence' that the mask is soaked in (and it really is soaked) feels a bit sticky on the skin. So even though there is no need to wash your face after use I find it impossible not to wash my face after using these. (I've noticed this is the case for most drugstore-level sheet masks) However, the skin does feel moisturized after use.

As for brightening I doubt there is any of that really going on but a girl can dream no? I want to believe that every little bit counts :) 

The girl at the counter was nice enough to include some Laneige samples: some eye cream and a hydrating cream. Shown above is the eye cream; one side is for the daytime, the other is for night. I'm loving the cute sample packaging!
The fresh-faced Song Hye Gyo can gaze over her shoulder all she wants- I'm still kind of dubious of the hydrating cream. I'm not sure I want to put on my face something with a longer ingredients list than a friggin Twinkie!

On another note, both Mamonde and Laneige are divisions of AmorePacific, the Korean company which has a luxury skincare/spa brand under the same name. You can consider Mamonde and Laneige the more affordable AmorePacific. AmorePacific is available at Sephora.

And no, I'm not affiliated with the company in any way although now that I think about it I had a chance to be affiliated since I went to a recruitment seminar of theirs once in college when my skin was nice and smooth and I didn't need miracle creams that are spelled creme as in creme brulee and not cream as in ice cream as if putting a french twist makes the product better which of course it does but it would be crass to acknowledge that... 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Rimmel London Royal Gloss in Peach Crush & Bubble Blush

Oh the sweet comfort of squeeze tube glosses. I picked up the Rimmel London Royal Glosses a couple weeks back and have been using them quite often. I don't really use these as a going-out lip gloss on their own though. They have no lasting power nor do they add much color to my lips. However, I've noticed they moisturize nicely so I use them when I'm just lounging around the house or want to add a little glossiness to lipsticks or lip tints.

Slanted tips + caps matching the color
Some caution is needed because the formula is watery- things can get goopy!

Peach Crush, which looks coral in the tube, is a kind-of-milky, kind-of-watery very sheer peach shade. I had hoped it would still give my lips a hint of peach but it really is basically a clear gloss on my lips. Peach Crush has a peachy scent but I find the scent less appealing than the sweet bubblegum of Bubble Blush. I think it's because there's a slight waxy scent mixed in somewhere- although I can't really pinpoint it. 

Bubble Blush is a lavender pink with slight shimmer (I could have done without the shimmer) This shows up on the lips more than Peach Crush but is still on the sheer side. It gives a slight pinky lavender tone to the lips. I love how this one smells- like bubblegum! I know I'm not exactly twelve but who says a grown woman can't enjoy some bubblegum smelling lipgloss?

True to its word! "Sweet tasting non-sticky lipgloss"
It really has a sweet taste :)

Click HERE for a review of Sweet Lust and Candy Rush (two other shades of the Royal Gloss) by the Makeup and Beauty Blog!

Monday, August 23, 2010

New: Chanel Cristalle eau verte spray

Click to open details on Chanel site

I'm in trouble. I haven't done much shopping lately (well not my regular load anyways) so my shoplist is already getting a little out of hand as it is 
and then I see this in my email! 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fresh Eat Pray Love Collection: Eat eau de parfum

I have to be honest- I did not read Eat Pray Love. But I was still excited to hear that Fresh was releasing a special collection in time for the film. Fresh is one of my favorite brands ever and I find their fragrances rarely disappoint. Sugar Lemon was my signature scent for most of my college years and a still remains one of my favorite.

Fresh stores are limited mostly to New York and so I had to order online without having a chance to try out the scents (an endeavor I would not recommend in most situations.) However, based on the description I had a feeling I would like Eat so I went ahead and took the chance.

I love the patterns Fresh uses on their boxes- always pretty, always classy and clean
I'm so glad I did because I love it! (And they were sold out the next day.) Fragrances are hard to review because everyone's preferences are different and there is no method of conveying the critical aspect, the scent, of perfume through a computer screen, but here goes:

The scent itself is sweet but not overly so. I'm not a big fan of heavy vanilla scents (although I don't dislike them) but this just has the perfect hint of vanilla. The sweetness is balanced out with a citrusy zest. The scent ends up being light and refreshing and almost girly at the same time. (One caveat: the scent does not linger as long as one would like)

Here's what the official description is:

This sweet, effervescent scent indulges in Italy’s most addictive desserts and sensual wines. Notes of bright Italian lemon and basil are balanced with creamy textures reminiscent of cannoli and tiramisu topped off with sparkling Prosecco and Limoncello for the ultimate gourmand experience.

Top Notes: Italian lemon, basil, bergamot
Middle Notes: plum, red currant, rose
Bottom Notes: caramel, meringue, vanilla

mmm... wine... creamy textures: totally get that.

I guess another thing you should know is I prefer fresh citrus scents over anything else so if to you Sugar Lemon smells like household cleaner, you and I will not agree on what smells good, so steer clear of my recommendations. Just warning you.

In comparison with the more common 1oz bottles Fresh uses
I like the fact that these came in 1oz bottles which are shaped like 3.4oz ones. Although... I'm already wishing I had picked up another bottle. Unfortunately, Eat, Love, and the candle trio are all sold out on the website. You may still be able to track them down in stores if you live near a Fresh boutique in which case you're lucky and I envy you.. grrr

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Pink Pop & Coral Reef (Chanel Sirop)

Coral Reef is lighter in real life

Finding a drugstore lipgloss without glitter, or even shimmer is darn-near impossible, so when a nice creamy lipgloss is introduced I am immediately intrigued. Case in point: Revlon Super Lustrous in Pink Pop and Coral Reef. These were released with three other colors in the "collection," a lilac, peach and a red one which you probably may have seen photos of.

Overall, I like these even though they didn't exactly meet my expectations.

Expectation #1: I thought these would be more sheer. I was sort of hoping for a MAC Cremesheen type of consistency. Nice, soft and light on the lips. These are much more opaque and thicker in consistency. (This may actually be a good thing for most people)

Expectation #2: I expected the colors to look more natural on me. Now that's a very personal expectation but usually coral and bright pinks suit me nicely so I thought these would be more wearable. I'm sad to say that Pop Pink makes me look a little fake. I like Coral Reef better but it does end up on my lips looking borderline red than the pretty coral I was expecting from the tube. I'm still trying to make it work  it's just not the coral I was looking for.

Another swatch: Left: Coral Reef/ Right: Pop Pink
Doe foot/sponge tip applicators
Reason I still like these #1. They are good versions of what they are- An budget-friendly easily-accessible drugstore lipgloss without any shimmer but full of color. No they aren't sheer but they never advertised themselves to be sheer- that was just a personal expectation (and preference!). And the colors are still quite pretty.

Reason I still like these #2. External stuff like the scent which to me smells like a mix between creme brulee+ orange creamsicle+ cotton candy+ bubblegum. Yum... I think. (There is no flavor) I also like the packaging: A shorter stouter cousin of the Chanel Glossimers if you will. 

That reminds me- I initially thought Coral Reef looked similar in the tube to my beloved Chanel Sirop, now discontinued (WHY!!) so I took a couple of pictures and swatched them only to find that both the consistency and colors were very different. Bummer.

I didn't include any swatch comparison photos with Sirop because it didn't show up accurately.

Sirop is more pink-coral and lighter in texture

Monday, August 16, 2010

NYC Blushable Creme Stick in Pink Flash

A nice drugstore find!

You and I were meant to be. You're smooth, you blend like a dream (although you feel slightly dry to the touch) and you're a creamy coral (even though your name is Pink Flash).

I was initially introduced to you by Citrine's Blog in May this year and shortly thereafter spotted you sitting side by side with your Wild Berry sister at my local CVS. But because I was convinced that you wouldn't amount to much, I ignored you. At 3 bucks, you must be flimsy, cheaply made and/or be horrible for my skin. For weeks, I passed you by as I picked up cotton swabs or toothpaste or chips. I watched as all your Shock Value companions got sold out and the little coupons attached for one dollar off dwindled.

It kind of surprised me that you stayed so long- to me you seemed the most desirable of them all- if one were to get anything from that collection. By the time I finally decided to pick you up, it seemed everyone in the beauty world was talking about how you were sold out. It's like you were meant for me. I even picked up the very last dollar off coupon attached to the display.

Now I find myself reaching for you every morning. It's lurve :)

Limited edition

No shimmer just pretty color- its does look a bit pink on the cheeks even though its very coral in the tube.
Lasting power is pretty good. I personally think it lasts longer than the Stila convertible colors.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

YSL Rouge Volupte 29 Opera Rose, 30 Faubourg Peach

I wish I could say I loved the YSL Rouge Voluptes. There is no denying that they are beautiful to look at from the tips of its elegant mirror to the end of its intricate gold casing. Who cares if the metal is a deathtrap for fingerprints- I feel like a princess every time I pull it out of my handbag.

Yet, as much as I love the ambiance which accompanies the Rouge Volupte, I find that these do not work all that well with my lips. (Which is not to say they won't work for others, obviously.)

First, the formula tends to make my lips peel. I was in denial for about a week- I kept attributing the peeling to some other product or the weather or whatever else, since SURELY such a beautiful lipstick could not be the culprit! However, the minute I stopped using these my lips would no longer peel and then I could deny it no longer...

Second, the Rouge Volupte tends to accentuate any fine lines or imperfections on my lips. This is due to the fact that the formula is creamy and opaque- which may actually be a good thing but I find that this same positive trait can blow up in your face if you aren't meticulous in applying the color.

Third, the formula sits on top of my lips making the color look unnatural. This also owes itself to the fact that the formula is creamy and opaque. A lipstick connoisseur will appreciate the buttery opaqueness but I do recommend trying out the colors before committing. For instance, I have this problem more for 29 Opera Rose than 30 Faubourg Peach (much easier to work with)

The photo turned out much darker than the colors in real life.

I have 29 Opera Rose, which is a medium hot-pink (not too intense) and 30 Faubourg Peach which is a peachy coral (light and almost nude but not really- it creates a perfect pinky peachy color on my lips which I find strangely difficult to achieve). When I got Opera Rose I was on a hot pink kick so I went for it but I have to say I am currently in love with 30 Faubourg Peach. It looks much more natural and creates a beautiful color on my lips. 

I apply these with a light hand. Just enough that the color shows but there won't be any weird accumulation of color in the wrinkles of my lips.
These are not easy to work with (especially for someone like me who likes natural-looking makeup) but I won't give up on them just yet; I have my eyes on the new Rouge Volupte Perle in 102 Coral Sun.

Other tidbits: retail price $34, SPF 15, mango scent