Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Here It Is: Laneige BB Cushion SPF 50+ PA+++ in #14



I posted 'Should You Buy a Cushion Foundation/BB Cream' back in March and now I'm finally going to review one of the cushions that I've been using a lot this past year. It's the Laneige's BB Cushion SPF 50+ PA+++ in #14 and, surprisingly, it's been one of my favourite cushions for the warmer and Autumn months.

I'm really liking cushion BB creams and foundations because they give a clean, natural and youthful finish. They're portable, easy to use and the sponge applicator is a real star that I've been pairing with my concealer and liquid foundations.



But on to Laneige!

Usually, the BB Cushion casing is white with silver on the side but I was gifted with a limited edition compact. Laneige was doing a crossover with pushBUTTON, a Korean fashion label, and I got this awesome case with dogs (the green bits!) on it.
BB Cushions are crazy powerhouses. Most claim to have multiple functions and Laneige's offering is not any different. This cushion is said to have 6 benefits including:
  • brightening 
  • sun protection
  • hydration
  • water resistant
  • a natural coverage 
  • cooling sensation upon application


The version I have has been upgraded from Laneige's initial BB cushion and 3 notable ingredients have been added to increase the cushion's effectiveness in brightening and hydrating the skin.

MelacrusherTM technology
This patented technology helps to break down and remove melanin which causes skin discolouration. Formulated with green tea extracts and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), this assists in brightening, evening out and making the skin more radiant. 
Bead Tree Extract
This protects the skin from harmful external environmental and filter pollutants such as cigarette smoke from penetrating the skin. This will help prevent skin pigmentation and reverse any dullness on the face.

Natural Mineral Water
The water comes from South Korea's Jeju Island and is said to be absorbed into the skin faster than other mineral waters. This will give the skin immediate hydration.



I think all of that is great but, when it comes to cosmetics, I'm more interested in how they perform on my actual skin. 

I always see bloggers describing foundations as giving a 'natural finish' to base products that I've always felt to be anything but. So I'm careful with the way I describe products, considering my 'natural' may not come out 'natural' for you. But trust me, yhis BB Cushion makes you look like you're wearing nothing at all and that your skin tone seriously looks that even and healthy. 

I think the sponge applicator is what is helping the finish look so natural. I've tried it on other liquid foundations and they finish much better than using my fingers or a Real Techniques Buffing Brush. My concealer is actually looking more natural thanks to it, so it must be the sponge applicator. It's a pain to wash but I love it.

I've never used BB creams before so I'm not sure how cushions and creams compare. But compared to a liquid foundation, the cushion is great for those days when you want to go for that 'no make up' look. In terms of coverage, this is very buildable after the first application and it is possible for you to build it up to a slightly medium coverage. Otherwise, I'd say that it covers better than a YSL Touche Eclat Foundation but it's not to the extent of a NARS Sheer Glow Foundation.
 
A quick summary of the key ingredients in the new Laneige BB Cushion:
1. Melacrusher Technology – Effectively breaks down and removes the melanin veil that causes dullness of skin. Formulated with truffle yeast, green tea extracts and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Melacrusher Technology renders an extremely brighter, radiant, and even-toned complexion.
2. Bead Tree Extract – Acts as an anti-pollution whitening component that protects the skin from the harmful external environment and filters pollutants, such as cigarette smoke, to supply oxygen. It suppresses the generation of pollution antennas from external pollution to prevent skin pigmentation and turn lacklustre skin into a glowing one.
3. Natural Mineral Water – Rich in minerals collected from the green region of Jeju Island, this active mineral water is absorbed into the skin faster compared to general mineral water for skin’s immediate hydration from the inside out and for better moisturization.
- See more at: http://blog.moonberry.com/new-laneige-bb-cushion-with-melacrusher/#sthash.3VbDc7YK.dpuf
A quick summary of the key ingredients in the new Laneige BB Cushion:
1. Melacrusher Technology – Effectively breaks down and removes the melanin veil that causes dullness of skin. Formulated with truffle yeast, green tea extracts and Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Melacrusher Technology renders an extremely brighter, radiant, and even-toned complexion.
2. Bead Tree Extract – Acts as an anti-pollution whitening component that protects the skin from the harmful external environment and filters pollutants, such as cigarette smoke, to supply oxygen. It suppresses the generation of pollution antennas from external pollution to prevent skin pigmentation and turn lacklustre skin into a glowing one.
3. Natural Mineral Water – Rich in minerals collected from the green region of Jeju Island, this active mineral water is absorbed into the skin faster compared to general mineral water for skin’s immediate hydration from the inside out and for better moisturization.
- See more at: http://blog.moonberry.com/new-laneige-bb-cushion-with-melacrusher/#sthash.3VbDc7YK.dpu



What this means is that, if you have blemishes, then it will cover them slightly but don't expect them to disappear.

I have some pimple scarring that is starting to fade but, with the cushion on, you can still see them. However, because my skin tone looks more even with the cushion on, they kind of fade into the background and I look more 'put together'.

I don't like to retouch a few hours later because I found that it can look cakey. That's one of the biggest cons because cushions in general don't last very long. This one lasts about 4-5 hours and then it starts breaking down. But I don't really mind it because, when it starts to wear off, it still just looks like my own skin. I also don't wear powder with any of my base products because my skin looks drier with it.

Having said this all of this, when it's an important occassion, I will opt for a liquid foundation that lasts the day.




The (not so good/clear!) swatch above is #14 Pink Beige, which I've been told is pinker and not a colour that people commonly purchase. I own the yellower shades #13 True Beige and #21 Natural Beige, but they've been too light and a bit too dark respectively. I am quite fair and there is a tendency for fairer skintones to be more neutral or to have some pink in the mix. This is why I was given #14 by a friend to try. 

The colour isn't a perfect match but I actually don't mind because the pink is very flattering on me. It suits me better than #13 but it still slightly too light for the summer months. It's perfect when the weather starts to cool and I start to get paler and paler. 

Surprisingly, the cushion stays put on my face during the warmer months and is moisturising for the early winter months. At the height of winter, I need to moisturise pretty well otherwise any dryness will be emphasised because the cushion sits so closely on the skin.





Like most BB Cushions (with the exception of Innisfree, I think!), this one comes with a refill and a brand new sponge applicator is included. If I use the cushion everyday, it will last me around 7 weeks. But if not, it could last me around double that.

I really, really recommend this cushion. I think this would be perfect on normal and dry skin types. I'd imagine that combination skin types might not like the dewy look and would like something more matte. However, it's not the most hygiene cosmetic product, especially if you retouch around midday.

The biggest issue people will face is trying to find the right shade. I have a couple of cushions from a range of brands and I'm the happiest with this #14.

My advice is try as many cushions in person as possible. Believe me, #13 in one brand is not the same as #13 in another. Trust me. Read about the different finishes out there because, no, not all BB cushions are the same. There are subtle differences that will make a difference!


What are you thoughts on cushion BB creams/foundation?





Saturday, 13 June 2015

Rose Addiction Cont'd: L'Occitane Shea Butter Rose Hand Cream



I mean, it's very possible that I've taken this rose-scented beauty items addiction a bit too far, especially when I'm forking out $10+ for a travel sized hand cream...

But this is L'Occitane's Shea Butter Rose Hand Cream we're talking about. Surely, I can be forgiven! Alongside Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramide, Shea Butter is one of my favourite skincare ingredients. It's intensely hydrating and perfect for when your skin feels tight, parched and stretched. 

There are several things that I love about this hand cream. Firstly, the texture is a thick balm which coats your hands in moisture and softens the look of cracked knuckles and fingers. The thicker textures does mean that you have to take some time to massage it into your hands, otherwise there can be some oily residue. But, because the cream is so rich, the massage actually feels really nice and it's definitely not a hassle to spend a minute to really enjoy the moment!


 
Of course, I love the rose scent - it's the best smelling one out of all my rose beauty products. It smells just like roses without being overly sweet or bright. Once out of the tube, it can feel a bit too strong but it dissipates as time goes on, leaving behind a very pleasant lingering scent.

When I first got my hand creams, I put some on before I went driving and the scent was stuck to the steering wheel for a full day. It made the car smell amazing!

What are your favourite beauty ingredients? 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

My Holy Grail: Foreo Luna Cleansing Device

 

About 6 months ago, I jumped on the cleansing device bandwagon. People have been using the Clarisonic for years but I never got into it because even the sensitive brush head was a bit too much for my thin and fragile skin. I also didn't like the whole having to purchase a new $50+ brush head every 3 months.

So I was so excited when I found out about the Foreo Luna because you don't have to replace the brush head at all! But at the time, no one stocked it in a physical store and I always like to touch and feel products before purchasing. So I held off until Joyce Beauty in Hong Kong brought them in stores. I literally flocked to the Admiralty store where the sales assistant tested the device on the back of my hand and I was sold after 1 minute.

I didn't end up buying it from Hong Kong because no one could tell me precisely where the Luna is made. One SA told me that it was made in America. Another said it was designed in Sweden. A Sales Manager said that it was made in Europe...somewhere. I mean, admittedly, I went in store a few days after they'd started to stock the device but you'd think that they would have received adequate product knowledge/training to tell you where it's made.

At one point, I asked them straight out whether it was made in China and they all said no before reassuring me that it was EITHER an American or European product.

Right...

More about that later. Yes, there is a part 2.



Hong Kong doesn't have the best consumer guarantees (you want a refund? at most places, there's no such thing...), especially when compared to the Australian Consumer Law. That's why I decided to purchase mine online at David Jones. It came within 2-3 business days of ordering and it was very nicely presented.

I purchased the Foreo Luna in Normal/Sensitive.


 
 
The company says that the Luna offers deep cleansing via T-Sonic technology, with the device delivering up to 8 000 pulsations per minute. This is channeled through silicone touch points which unclogs 99.5% of dirt and oil, and 98.5% of make up residue. These are huge claims!
The Luna can also be used for anti-aging as lower frequency pulsations coming off the back's silicone waves can smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Even bigger claims!

The front pulsates for 2 minutes before switching off and when you press the middle button again, the back of it starts vibrate. It has multiple speed settings which you can adjust to suit your skin type. I like to use it on the lowest or second lowest.

The device is waterproof and one USB charge will see you up to 450 uses. I've had this for almost a year and I haven't charged it at all. 




Foreo says that if you use the device for 3 days, you'll see clearer and more healthy skin. Now, I think I'm pretty good at cleansing my face... but apparently not because after one use, I noticed a dramatic difference in my skin's texture. 

It was smoother, softer and brighter. I have these tiny milia-style bumps above my chin and directly below my bottom lip. They're not visually noticeable but they bug me on a whole different level. After I used the Foreo once, I noticed that they were much smaller and some had disappeared. It was crazy! The whiteheads and blackheads that I couldn't quite remove with Innisfree's Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask either disappeared or came to the surface, and with a few more goes of the Foreo, removed themselves. I was really, really surprised!

I used it once a day religiously for about two weeks and my skin really looked a cleaner and brighter than any amount of exfoliation. My pores also looked smaller. The results were actually quite dramatic. Skincare products absorbed better and foundation seemed to settle on my face easier. I was recommending anyone and everyone to buy one for themselves at the time.

This has become a product that I can't live without! I use this 1-2 times a week in place of exfoliation. I find that this is especially good after using my cleansing oils as it's great at removing any oil/milk left behind. I'll use it in the morning as well if I need to extra presentable that day. I also use it on the sides of my neck on days when I wake up super puffy. I find that the pulsations helps lymphatic draining. It's actually a very obvious process - right before my eyes, my cheeks and eyes just debloat!

Some people notice breakouts when they start using cleaning devices and I did too. But I'm prepared to say that it was due to my poor diet and lack of sleep. The Foreo also didn't stop me from getting pimples because, again, my diet and lifestyle was pretty chaotic last year.  




The back has the anti-aging silicone waves that can be used as a face massager. I've really taken to face massaging and I use this for nights when I can't be bothered using my hands to massage in serum/essence/left behind sheet mask liquid into my face. It works just as well as my hands but the pulsations on my face feels so much more relaxing!

I'll also use the back on the sides of my neck and underneath my jaw because I've always had a double chin (hereditary, unfortunately!). It doesn't help that I bloat easily and that area always feels like it's heavy with who knows what. The anti-aging side definitely helps to decrease the amount of fluid in there.





So onto Part 2 of 'Where is the Foreo Luna actually made'!

Before I purchased the Luna, I actually emailed the company directly to ask where it was made. To my surprise, I received what felt like an automated response about how the company is working on expanding their production facilities in the USA and that a very limited number of products are actually assembled in the USA. 

I wasn't very satisfied with that response, so I contacted them again, explaining that I had received many different versions of where the Luna is made from sale assistants and that this has made me cautious of purchasing the Luna. A reply back stated that Foreo is currently manufactured in Suzhou in China. 

To this day, I'm not sure why I wasn't given this information straight from the beginning. 

Sure, I agree that there are customer segments who feel uneasy when told that a potential purchase is manufactured in China. I admit that sometimes I am a part of that group, depending on what the product is. But what makes me even more uneasy is the fact that both sale assistants and company weren't able to volunteer that information about the manufacturing location from the onset. 




Having said all of that, I highly recommend the Foreo Luna. It does deliver amazing results and it feels great on the skin as well. My face is looking brighter, cleaner and much more even now. A few of my friends have also bought the Luna and they love how its a cleanser and facial massager.

The price of the Luna might seem higher than other cleaning devices on the market but you don't have to replace anything with this. I also find that it's a whole lot less abrasive on skin when compared to brush cleaners. 


Are you using cleansing devices?