Sunday, June 22, 2014

June theme special - Eyebrow products

Due to the shortness and sparseness of my plucked brows, I've been filling them in for a long long time. I can leave the house without sunscreen or any makeup on but I do need my eyebrows!

Recently, I made these 2 purchases in June and thought I'll review them alongside the brow products currently in my stash.

1) IN2IT Waterproof Eyebrow Liner in WB03 ash brown, with a bevel tip. This product strangely still has the 'new' sticker on it, however the manufacture date is 071112 and expires on 071115. This item was purchased in Malaysia for just under RM$18. 

2) K Palette 1 day Tattoo Real Lasting Eyebrow 24h in 02. Manufacturing date: 06 2013.

My current go-to daily eyebrow product is ZA Everbrow in 03 Natural Grey. Before this, I was alternating between a cheap eyebrow pencil from Daiso Korea (see below) and the Integrate eyebrow palette in BR631 and applying it on with a synthetic angled brow brush. 

In the family, my brown shades are the Maybelline Define-A-Brow eyebrow pencil in 643 medium brown, Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil, Dark Brown 001 and ZA's Ever Brow in BR22 (old packaging). 

I'm by no means a beauty snob and I have 2 cheap eyebrow pencils in my stash to demonstrate so. Bilena Eyebrow Pencil in brown was purchased from Daiso and so was deco Olive Auto Eyebrow Pencil (however the Daiso store that deco Olive Auto Eyebrow Pencil came from was located in Korea).

Basically the shades in my eyebrow stash tend to be brown, greyish-browns and greys.

Left to Right
ZA Ever Brow in BR 22 - this brown leans red to me
Ever Bilena Eyebrow Pencil - this cheapie pencil is really difficult to apply/ draw as you may be able to tell by the residue still on my hand
Maybelline Define-A-Brow - the twisting mechanism is difficult
Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil - this dark brown leans just a little red on me, if my hair shade was warmer, it might be a great fit
IN2IT Waterproof Eyebrow Liner in WB03 ash brown - this come off as a soft greyish-brown
ZA New York everbrow in 03 Natural Grey - inspite its name, this shows up greyish-brown on me rather than just grey
K Palette 1 day Tattoo Real Lasting Eyebrow 24h in 02 - is a translucent grey on me
deco Olive Auto Eyebrow Pencil shows up as a greyish-black.
Last of all, the grey in the Integrate palette is a soft grey-brown, somwhere between IN2IT and ZA New York Everbrow in 03 Natural Grey

I do like the IN2IT eyebrow liner, it gives me an opportunity to draw soft thicker eyebrows a-la Korean drama queens as opposed to the classic slightly arched brows which I am prone to draw.

Disclaimer: I received no payment or no payment in kind for writing this blog post. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Quirky finds in Singapore June 2014

Found this today while wandering around in a mega-store.

Biore Men's pore pack - available in black or white

Biore Cleansing Oil Cotton Facial Sheets (most brands do a micellar water version of the makeup remover towelettes) 

Yoko (Thai brand) various salt scrubs

Nose hair trimmer by Kai 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

June theme special - Canmake cream cheek CL03, creamy rouge 03 and stay-on balm rouge swatches

This post is dedicated entirely to Canmake lip products. Technically the Canmake Cream Cheek is a blusher but I found it to perform best on my lips as a matte-ish stain compared to it being a blusher. These are Canmake products either purchased personally (using my own money) or swatched in late May/June.   

Canmake Cream Cheek in CL03 Clear Sunset

I was reading reviews on the Canmake Cream Cheek and the words "limited exclusive shade" jumped out at me for Canmake Cream Cheek CL03 Clear Sunset. The colour swatches of CL03 found on a few beauty blogs were gorgeous and I decided to pop into my local Watsons to see if it was in stock. It was and my handbag was more than happy to accommodate a Canmake Cream cheek on the way home. 

Front of Canmake Cream Cheek (packaging still intact)

 Back of Canmake Cream Cheek (packaging still intact)

Plastic removed! 

CL03 Clear sunset has been described as pinky-red or a watermelon red

When I first used the Canmake cream cheek, it was as a blusher. I was applying it in the car (as a passenger) and dabbing at it with a cotton bud then applying it on my face was too bright for me. It could also be my technique as I didn't have any brushes with me and could only smudge with my fingers and cover up the subsequent brightness with powder and a foam wedge. 

I have used stick cream blushers in the past and found that my personal preference for cream blushers may lie on the stick format/tube-y way. It is far easier (to me) to apply and blend cream blusher using my fingers if it was first applied on my face via a stick. I may have to experiment more with picking up and applying cream blusher using a synthetic makeup brush before any conclusions can be drawn. 

Canmake Creamy Rouge in 03 Sweet Cherry

Actually, the Canmake Creamy Rouge in 03 Sweet Cherry was my first Canmake purchase but due to online shopping, it arrived at my doorstep after I had purchased the Canmake cream cheek from a physical store. 

I love the gold casing. Considering its price tag and general target audience (Canmake is marketed at under-30 years-old in Japan), this feels quite luxurious with the weight of the case and 'Creamy Rouge' at the side of the tube. 

The color seems a tad bright but once blotted, it's perfect on my pigmented lips. 

Swatches of both on my arm (applied with cotton bud)

As an experiement, I applied both the Canmake Cream Cheek CL03 Clear Sunset and Creamy Rouge 03 Sweet Cherry on different halves of my lips.

Left half: my original lips, without any lip color applied (I have lanolin on my lips but it's only to moisturise lips before any lip color). Right half: Canmake Cream Cheek CL03 Clear Sunset on my pigmented lips, applied with a brush (no blotting yet)

Left half: Canmake Creamy Rouge in 03 Sweet Cherry applied with a brush, right half: Canmake Cream Cheek CL03 Clear Sunset applied with a brush (no blotting for both halves yet)

30 minutes after blotting. Both halves have effectively 'melted' into my lips and makes them seem rosier/pinker than they actually are. They feel invisible and does not overly enhance my dry lips/lines. 

I do like the effect for both and will be adding them to my daily/go to makeup bag (along with a brush). 

Since we're on the subject of Canmake lip products, the Canmake Stay-on Balm Rouges were another lip products which have received good reviews. Generally and favorably compared to the Revlon (original) Just Bitten Balm stains, the Canmake Stay-on Balm Rouge can be found in 7 different shades in Singapore (including 01 which has been discontinued in Japan).

Spotted this display stand at a Watsons store

Display stand highlighting that 07 is the latest addition to the Canmake Stay-on Balm Rouge color family 

Left- Right: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06 and 07 (yes, I reorganised the testers in the store in this order). There are only shade numbers, no names/descriptions with the Stay-on Balm Rouge.

Swatches of the Stay-on Balm Rouges in the same left-right order as above (store lighting)

Swatches of the Stay-on Balm Rouges in the same left-right order as above (mall lighting but under a skylight with daylight coming in)

The colors are pretty and I found them easy to swatch e.g. they glided on easily. However, due to my own pigmented lips, I was concerned that they might not be sufficient to overcome my original color and might in fact appear more like a tinted lip balm. There have been feedback from people who purchased these who love the color and texture but those whom I know of don't have as pigmented lips as mine.

However, if I were to purchase, I might purchase it in 07-something about the berry red hue calls to me.

Disclaimer: I received no payment or payment in kind for writing this blog post. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

June theme special - Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence water base sunscreen SPF50+ PA+++ new vs original version

I originally intended to do a June theme special on sunscreens. They are the item which I tend to purchase/hoard and my recent order from Japan included 5 different sunscreens, including the popular Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence water base SPF50+ PA+++.

Much to my surprise, there was a strong smell of alcohol when I applied the sunscreen on my face. There was also a discernible silky texture to the sunscreen., which I immediately associated with silicones. Puzzled, I turned to the all-mighty Internet to seek answers and reviews. 

Paper/cupboard packaging of Biore sunscreen, front & back

The amazing Ratzilla noted similar comments in her review. After dissecting the pictures on her website, I concluded that I had the latest (2014) version of the Biore Aqua sunscreen. 

I was then determined to find the original (according to Ratzilla, 2011) version since the original version did not have the strong alcohol smell and silicone-y texture. Popping into several Watsons stores, I eventually spotted this. 

Judging from the packaging, I concluded it was the upsized version of the original version. There were a few physical similarities in the packaging of my purchase with the picture shown on Ratzilla. Based on the physical look alone, my purchase looks more similar to the original upsized version than the new upsized version.

Screenshot of new (2014) version taken from Ratzilla

However, at the back of my purchase, the manufacturing date was stated as 20140226, hence I am unable to ascertain at 100% confidence levels that this 75g tube I have is the original version. I did ask a staff personnel from Watsons whether he remembered when the 75g tubes arrived in stores and he thought it was March 2014 but declined to confirm this was a nation-wide on-counter date.

Biore original version unboxed

Batch number-wise, my 75g upsized tube was "T0000574" whereas the batch number for the new tube was "T0001124". 

 Batch number for 75g tube purchased in Singapore

Batch number for tube purchased from Japan (order placed in mid May 2014) 

I personally find that the 75g tube does not have such a strong alcohol smell and is less silky. However, smell and texture is highly subjective. 

According to Ratzilla, the ingredient list for both the original and the new version vary slightly (I counted the first difference at the 5th ingredient listed in order).

 Ingredients list for original version listed by Ratzilla 

Ingredient list for new version listed by Ratzilla

Since I have both versions, I just pick whichever is closer to me at hand to use on a daily basis. I have only been testing the Biore sunscreens for under a week now, and am unable to conclude as to their effectiveness of sun protection in the long run yet.  

Disclaimer; I received no payment or payment in kind for writing this blog post. Any opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June theme series - Summer staples

June is my birthday month and to mark the month, I've decided to commit to weekly themed posts, which makes 5 since I intend to post them on Sundays. 

To kick off this series, please take a look at my summer staples. 

My makeup routine varies from day to day. It could be pure physical sunscreen with eyebrows one day or foundation, cream blusher and lip gloss with eyebrows over sunscreen the next day. Due to the great difference, I've chosen to omit most makeup items in this post. 

These are my haircare summer staples. I rotate them depending on the situation but most of them have been in play since last year. 

Left to Right
Goldwell Nice Balance Calming Milk, purchased from Ebay UK years ago. This product was introduced on Lady First, the Taiwanese beauty/shopping show and I remember spending quite a bit of effort to track down and buy the products used in that episode. I have the L'Oreal Professionel Techniart product from that episode too (somewhere).
Toni & Guy Cleanse Dry Shampoo. Quite frankly, I bought this when it was cheap. It's a typical dry shampoo spray.
Legitime Scalp Air Tonic. This Korean hair product was purchased after I used and liked their scalp shampoo. The interesting thing about this tonic is the blunt bristles at the top similar to scalp scrubbers. The product comes out of a central nozzle and you can instantly give your scalp a massage instead of rubbing product in with fingers.
Lucido Oil Control Tonic. This was introduced on Lady First either in a summer episode of 2012 or 2013. It's a cooling spray for the scalp and alcohol is high on the ingredient list. This and the Legitime are my favourite for oily roots and scalp.
(Top) Kracie Ichikami Hair Treatment Essence. I remember purchasing this years ago due to rave reviews and the supposedly sakura scent. I found reviews of this dating from 2010/2011 and this actual product has been discontinued, so my best guess is this bottle is at least 3 years old. Due to the size (100ml), I've only found that it's running low recently. I typically use it at least once a week to tame frizz on damp hair as a leave-in conditioner.
(Bottom) Utena Matomage Hair Styling Stick. Yet another product introduced by Lady First. This one was far more tricky to identify and buy than the others as it was introduced on the show as a Japanese product not available for sale in Taiwan at that time. The usual bloggers/forums who could usually identify products featured on Lady First were stumped as the presenters were very careful not to show the product name (their usual practise). Without the product name, it was simply a bright green container that the hairdresser was smearing over the celebrity's hair. This product tames my flyaway hairs very well especially when I pull my hair back in a ponytail/chignon. 

Left to Right
Coppertone Water Babies Pure & Simple SPF50 is my current go-to daily pure physical sunscreen. This was purchased from USA and not available in Singapore. 
Happy Bath Aqua Cooling Gel purchased from Korea. Happy Bath is actually a bodycare brand under the Amore Pacific group (Sulwhasoo, Laneige etc). I usually apply it immediately after a shower and it gives me a slight cooling feeling without stickiness.
(Top) Aqurea Moisturising Cream. This is basically a 10% urea cream and it's my fail-safe moisturing cream for body (I find the texture a tad too heavy for my face). It's unscented and I find that it calms skin down immediately (I've used it on children who had insect bites/irritated angry skin). I try to keep a tube in my bag so I can use it wherever I go to moisturise my hands after washing with hand soap or splashing my arms with water to keep them cool.
(Bottom) Daiso Everbilena Eyebrow coat. Purchased at Daiso at the price of S$2 for 6ml of product, this works very well.  It comes in a nail-polish/Benefit tint container and one uses the product by dabbing it on with the brush after you've used eyebrow powder/pencil. I personally find this to seal the eyebrow colour really well, yet it is easily removed by normal makeup removers (no special lip & eye makeup removers required).
(Top) Neutrogena makeup remover cleansing towelettes, not available for sale in Singapore. I carry this around when I have a long day out and at some point, I might want to redo/remove my makeup. It's gentle on the skin and I do prefer it over Watsons house brand makeup remover wipes or unscented baby wipes inspite of the difficulty in getting it and the price. 
(Bottom) Gatsby Facial Paper . I don't tend to use this on my face often as the second ingredient on the ingredient list is alcohol. However, it is great when your face is an oil slick and your neck is sticky from being outside for a long time. The piece shown here is my backup pack, I carry around half a pack in my bag daily. 

Technically, Singapore doesn't have a summer season but late May-July usually sees very high temperatures and humidity. One day it can be scorching hot and the next it could be raining cats and dogs. Most people try to escape indoors as much as possible and this is tricky as it means entering air-conditioned spaces from a typically hot/humid exterior. I use the above products in rotation whenever I see the need, typically on hot and wet days.     

Disclaimer: I received no payment or payment in kind for writing this blog post. Any opinions expressed are my own.