Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: Comparison Skinfood Rice Wash Off Mask and Black Sugar Wash Off Mask

I'm sure many of you have already heard about the SKINFOOD Black Sugar and Rice Wash Off Masks, but for those who haven't or can't decide between which on to choose, I have written a detailed comparison between the two products.

How to use: Massage product onto damp face for 1 minute, wait 10-15 minutes before rinsing off. I know a lot of people have misread this as massage for 10-15 minutes, don't do that! That will harm your skin if you massage it in for that long. Also waiting the full 15 minutes after massaging will help you achieve the best results. 

Texture and scent: The texture is quite gritty and coarse. Make sure your face is damp before applying this (best right after you wash your face) because it can feel quite coarse and difficult to spread if your skin is not damp enough. The scent is a medium strength sweet scent, not overpowering but if you are sensitive to scents I would stay away from this product.

The Black Sugar Mask I picked up happened to be a large limited edition size that is only available at SKINFOOD stores. If you could buy the 100g size online I would recommend getting that one first to see if you like the product or not.

Results: This mask left my face extremely smooth and soft. It exfoliated all the small bumps out of my skin and left it feeling baby-soft and refreshed. I recommend doing this once a week, but maybe twice a week if your skin is less sensitive. I have dry flaking around my nose and have no experienced that 4 days after I used this mask. It really helped remove the dead skin that is prone to flaking off.

Up next is the Rice Mask...

How to use: This is the same at the Black Sugar mask! Massage product onto damp face for 1 minute, wait 10-15 minutes before rinsing off. I know a lot of people have misread this as massage for 10-15 minutes, don't do that! That will harm your skin if you massage it in for that long. I find the Rice Mask is very gentle so it's good if you like to massage your face a little longer. Also waiting the full 15 minutes after massaging will help you achieve the best results. 

Texture and scent: The texture is very gentle and soft. Great for sensitive skin. When I have breakouts or if the weather is colder, I opt for this because it is very soft and not too harsh on my skin. The scent is a very mild sweet rice scent.

This mask I purchased online for around $10 USD for a 100g jar

Results: This mask leaves my face feeling very soft and bright. I can see that my face looks a lot healthier after using this product, probably because of the brightening properties of rice. This is good for people who want a skin pick me up, but not if you want some real exfoliation. 


If you like an exfoliator that really evens out the texture of your skin and removes dead skin, I recommend the Black Sugar mask. If you want a mask that makes your skin feel soft and look bright, I recommend going for the Rice Mask. Or if you're like me and want a little bit of both.. then get both! These masks are both really great and I find they've really changed up my skincare routine after incorporating them

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

First look & Swatches: NARS NARSissist Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette

These revolutionary shadows can be worn wet or dry and offer versatility from sheer to dramatic for a smooth transition from day to evening. They are specially formulated for crease-proof wear for up to eight hours. 

Beautiful mirror compact, great for travel but catches fingerprints easily

Some really amazing and intense colors in this palette.
Top row: Europa, Himalaya, Ursa Major, Subra
Bottom row: Andromeda, Lysithea, Giove, Sycorax

Europa - Gossamer Pink Peach
Himalia - Shimmering Topaz
Ursa Major - Chocolate Glaze
Subra - Black Orchid
Andromeda - Alabaster
Lysithea - Shark Grey
Giove - Navy
Sycorax - Black

Bottom to top: Andromeda, Europa, Himalaya, Ursa Major, Subra, Lysithea, Giove, Sycorax

Left to right: Andromeda, Europa, Himalaya, Ursa Major, Subra, Lysithea, Giove, Sycorax

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Review: SKINFOOD Buckwheat Loose Powder #23 Natural Beige

As I was shopping yesterday, I decided to stop by the SKINFOOD store to check out their items. I usually stay away from the store because their prices are about double the online prices, but I thought I'd check it out anyways. Upon recommendation from the sales associate, I picked up the Buckwheat Loose Powder in #23 Natural beige. This powder comes in three other colors:

Lavender, Skin Beige, Transparent, and Natural Beige

I was deciding between the transparent and the natural beige, but opted for the natural beige since transparent powders tend to give flashback in flash photography, yikes.

The packaging is very pretty although a little bulky. The cap is a champagne gold color and the jar is quite sturdy, I won't have to worry about it opening in my bag or shattering if I drop it.

This powder comes with a little puff handy if you are bringing this on the go, but I prefer using a large fluffy brush with loose powders.

Not very finely milled but very soft and lightweight powder.

Buffing it out with the puff but it does not look like it matches my skin tone!

Where to get:

I bought this from the SKINFOOD store, but they are also widely available online for around $7 (I paid $14 for this in the store, yikes!). 

My experience:

Fully buffed out, powder is very soft and spreads easily and evenly. Leaves a satin finish even though the powder particles are not very small. I think this is great as a finishing powder or even just to touch up during the day. I find that it looks too light if I apply a little too much so I always have to be careful about using a light hand with this product (NC25 for reference). It absorbs oil very well and reduces shine after a long day at work.


Overall, I would recommend this to others. I think this is a product everyone should have and it is quite inexpensive at around $7 for this jar of 23g. It leaves a satin finish and does its job of absorbing oil and eliminating shine. I do believe there are better powders out there, but this does a great job for the price.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur Primer Review

Hi everybody! I have another review today.

I was searching for a new face primer since the Maybelline Baby Skin Pore Eraser wasn't doing it for me. I stumbled upon a review of the Etude House Beauty Shot Primer and decided to give it a try...

The Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur has an SPF 15 PA+  which is a huge plus for a primer. This primer claims to minimize pores, refine your complexion, smooth skin, and brighten your face.

Etude House's description of Face Blur: 
- Covers pores and bumpy skin to make skin look flawless.
- Softening skin layer like filtert effect to give smooth and even skin layer.
- Natural whitening skin to make dark skin look bright and cover imperfections flawlessly while remaining invisible on-screen and in real life.
- Baby pixcel powder and cover powder compounds give 3-in-1 multi filter effect like adjusting light on skin. 

The packaging is very cute as it goes along with the theme of most of Etude House's items. The pump is really great to easily dispense the product as well as being sanitary! It is a pretty decent size at 1.23oz / 35g.

The formula is creamy but not too thick. It is very easy to spread. The color of the product is a light pearly cream shade and leaves a satin finish when spread out.

How I used it:
I used one pump and applied that all over my face after my skincare and moisturizer. I then applied foundation on top of my primer.

Product list:
Face: CeraVe Moisturizer, Boots Brightening Toner, Biore Aqua Rich sunscreen, Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur, Blend of Estee Lauder Double Wear and YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat foundation
Cheeks: Milani baked blush in Luminoso
Eyes: UD Primer Potion, E.L.F baked eyeshadow in Toasted, BBIA Last Auto Gel liner in V2, Kiss Me Heroine Mascara Long and Curl
Eyebrows: ABH Dipbrow in Taupe and ABH Brow Wiz in Medium Brown

This is my mug after applying the Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur. It makes my complexion a lot brighter and smoother. I also have dry spots on my face that foundation tends to cling to, but not after applying this primer!

Where to get it:
I purchased this from Jolse Cosmetics. I believe it was about $14-15 when I purchased it. There were stores that carried this item for lower prices, but I purchased from Jolse Cosmetics because I know they are a reputable seller.

My experience:
This primer is really great and gives you a very natural glow while claiming to do what it says. The primer reflects light without being shiny or shimmery. My pores are less visible and it smooths out my face for a nice even canvas before I put my foundation on. I would definitely recommend it and I feel it would be suitable for most skin tones since it is mostly transparent. The consistency is very light, and I apply one pump to cover my entire face. The formula is not sticky or thick.

The verdict: 
I think this is a really great, inexpensive primer. It gives a beautiful healthy glow while blurring pores and providing sun protection which is very important to me. I find my foundation applies a lot more easily with this and it minimizes the visibility of my pores and doesn't cling to dry skin. I highly recommend this product, and have already purchased a back up of this for my upcoming trips.

Thank you lovelies for reading my review :3

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Highlighter Review: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer, NYX Illuminator, and Banila Co The Secret Marbled Highlighter

Instead of doing individual reviews, I'm going to compile all my highlighters into one in-depth review. The highlighters I will be reviewing today are the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (luminous light), The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer, NYX Illuminator (ritualistic), and Banila Co The Secret Marbled Highlighter (03 Allure, light beige). 

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (Luminous Light):

Although the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders are actually finishing powders, I use this specific shade as a highlighter. A more suitable finishing powder for me from the ALP line is the shade Dim Light. Like with all my highlighters, I dust this on with a fan brush on the points of my face light normally hits. I like this powder a lot because it is very subtle, but does make a difference in the overall complexion on your face. There are no chunky glitters, just very finely milled powder and light-reflecting particles. This is really great for every day wear, although it does fade a little throughout the day. The packaging is quite bulky so it is not practical to carry this around with you. This item is on the pricier side, I believe $48 for this compact, but I find it is well worth the money.

Color: 5/5
Quality: 5/5
Duration of Wear: 4/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: $$$

The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer: 

The Balm's Mary Lou-Manizer is an excellent and pigmented highlighter. You only need a little bit to really add that glow to your face. Not as subtle as the Hourglass ALP, but great if you want a noticeable highlight without any chunky glitters. The powder is very smooth and easy to pick up and apply. The packaging is very sleek and good for traveling or carrying in your purse. I have been using this highlighter a few times a week for almost a year and has barely made a dent in it. There is a lot of product and I expect this to last a long time. It is well worth the money, especially since this is rather inexpensive compared to the Hourglass. I bought mine from Walgreens, but beware about buying any The Balm products online. There are a lot of fakes of this particular product, especially on eBay so read feedback before buying.

Color: 4/5
Quality: 5/5
Duration of Wear: 4/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: $$

Nyx Illuminator in Ritualistic: 

I added this into my cart as an add-on in order to get free shipping from Ulta. Boy was that a mistake. This highlighter is extremely streaky and the product is almost impossible to pick up from the brush. You can see from the photo part of the highlighter is smoothed over which is common when you use a wet brush on a powder. Strange thing is that I've never used a wet brush on this and it appears that the product has just rubbed over itself. The packaging is sturdy, the color payoff is poor, and the application is very streaky. This is disappointing for me because I generally like most of the products from NYX and I find most of their products are high quality at low prices.

Color: 1/5
Quality: 1/5
Duration of Wear: 2/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: $

Banila Co The Secret Highlighter in Allure 03:

This Banila Co The Secret highlighter is one of my all-time favorite highlighters. Banila Co is a Korean company famous for its Clean It Zero cleansing balm. The Secret highlighter is a marbled highlighter with a light beige base swirled with lavender, pink, and vanilla powder. There is very minimal shimmer, but the powder is still light-reflecting. This highlighter is definitely on the matte side, very natural looking from a distance and up-close and not chalky. I primarily use this highlighter when I'm traveling because the compact is small and very sturdy, and it comes with a mini fan brush. One downside is that the shape of the container makes it difficult to use a full-sized fan brush with. I highly recommend this product for anyone who wants a glow-from-within look and dislikes shimmer and glitter.

Color: 5/5
Quality: 5/5
Duration of Wear: 4/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: $$

 Swatches from left to right: Hourglass ALP in Luminous light, The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer, NYX Illuminator in Ritualistic, Banila Co The Secret in Allure 03

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