Friday, 15 April 2016

The Two Cs: Chanel's Le Blush Creme De Chanel in #63 Affinite



Chanel's Le Blush Creme De Chanel in #65 Affinite is the first blush I've actually had a say in picking out. 

I have a few blushes in my collection that have all been Gift With Purchases. That does say a bit about my beauty spending habits right? Ahah.

Initially, in Hong Kong, I was in store looking to purchase the powder blush Joues Contraste in Rose Initiale. I'd seen this dainty rose pink on a few YouTubers and thought that it'd be a perfect everyday blush.

One thing led to another and I ended up walking out with a cream blush...

...despite never owning a cream blush and having no idea how to use them properly.

This also says a lot about the selling ability of Chanel SAs and also my inability to say no.




Chanel's cream blush compacts are housed in a velvet cover which is very redundant but is in line with the luxuriousness of the brand.

The main reason why I chose this cream blush over the powder one is because it blends seamlessly into my skin and it stays for, what seemed like, forever. It's a 'cream to powder' finish and it really does settle onto my skin like pure silk.

At the time of purchase, I could imagine myself going overboard during application but I was really confident that I'd be able to get the hang of it after a few goes. 




I fell in love with each of Chanel's ceam blushes - they're all equally beautiful and wearable, and I did have a tough time making a choice. I ended up with Affinite because I've never owned any make up in such an intense colour. I've always opted for low-key earth toned eyeshadows, pink lip products that mimicked the skin and bronzers that are almost undetectable on the skin. 

With a heavy hand, this medium pink stains the skin with an almost fuchsia shade and it looks best to top off a lashy eye make up look. During the day, I use it lightly to give the impression that I've had a really, really good sleep. It brightens the face and gives it a more radiant, cheerful look. When applied sparingly, the colour looks pink-peach, which is quite the interesting combination on my skin tone.

I've found that the key is to not be greedy and to start off with the tiniest amount because it is very pigmented. Next, it's important to blend/pat out very quickly because it doesn't take long for the product to settle on the skin. Luckily, the cream blush doesn't drag all that much on the skin unless your foundation is on the thicker side with multiple layers.

 


I'm still trying to get a handle over the application.

I generally use my index and middle fingers to tap the product on the highest point of my cheek, and then I move it lower. If I pick up too much, I'll use a BB Cushion applicator to spread it out. I'd say that I can apply the blush really well 6/10 times.

But because I haven't worked out a foolproof way to apply the blush, there are days where I'll opt out of using it. I am starting to experiment with a range of brushes to see if I can get a more precise application. Apparently stippling and flat brushes are the way to go.

Other than that, I am very impressed with the blush! I can see it lasting for ages because you don't need a lot. It also applies like a dream, makes you look like you were born with a natural flush to the skin and it has this wonderful knack of looking fresh for ages.


Do you use cream blushes? How did you apply yours? 



Thursday, 7 April 2016

Paw Paw Cream Battle: Lucas' Paw Paw Ointment vs Suvana Organic Paw Paw & Honey Balm



Paw Paw Cream really needs no introduction.

Everyone recognises Lucas' Paw Paw Ointment, the one in the red tube. But I wonder if you've heard about the hoo-ha over their ingredients list. Apparently, petroleum jelly is the main base for the ointment and there have been people saying that it's just an expensive version of Vaseline.

I personally don't like petroleum jelly.

At one point, I did really like Vaseline but I did start noticing that all it did was block moisture loss. It didn't neccessarily restore it. I also began to dislike the fact that it was too tacky on my skin. Other people say that petroleum jelly is bad for you because it allegedly blocks pores and slows cellular regeneration.

Off the back of that debate, is Suvana's Certified Organic Paw Paw & Honey Balm which uses beeswax as a substitute for petroleum jelly. It's also a certified organic product for those who are interested!

I have both on hand and thought I'd do a comparison to see which was better. 




The petroleum jelly found in Lucas' Paw Paw Ointment is said to be a pharmaceutical grade that meets FDA standards. It's meant to be non-toxic and safe on the skin. They also use real fermented Queensland paw paws.

Easily the best thing about Lucas' Paw Paw Ointment is that it works great on cuts and burns. At first, I was a bit skeptical of the antiseptic ability of paw paws. I equate antiseptics as being something like Betadine. Essentially, something that I would never eat. Paw paws are a fruit and I eat them with soup spoons...

Nonetheless, any cuts or burns that I get, this is the first thing that I reach for and it heals the skin so much quicker. I'm not a huge fan of slapping this onto my lips because it's too oily. The ointment literally just sits there all shiny and unnaturally glossy. Some people are into that. I'm just not one of them. 

Others have mentioned that it's good for eczema and dermatitis but it didn't work for me in that way. It actually made the dermatitis on my hands itch more.




For Suvana's Certified Organic Paw Paw & Honey Balm, paw paw extract is used instead of real fermented paw paw. 

In terms of the positives, it's an all natural, certified organic product that has castor seed oil, beeswax, coconut oil, cocoa butter, honey, jojoba oil, vanilla bean oil, candelilla wax, carrot oil, stevia extract and natural vitamin E. 

The product itself is a light coloured balm that is slightly thinner in consistency. In comparison, it applies a lot easier and is smoother than Lucas' ointment. It also smells of beeswax, which is actually quite pleasant once you get used to it.  

The product doesn't work well on cuts and burns, as in, it doesn't seem to speed up the healing process. Instead, I think it worked best as a lip balm because the rich oils and beeswax really nourishes the lips. It does wear off around the 2 hour mark for me, so I did find myself reapplying quite often. 

However, about the second week into purchasing the tube, the entire product turned into liquid oil. The picture directly above shows the texture. 

It's barely usable now, which is thoroughly disappointing.

 


The tube is super leaky now as well. I just took some quick photos and after I went to pack away everything, the area that the balm had been placed was all oily. 

I'm not sure if I purchased a faulty product!




I think each product has its own place. If you purely want a lip balm, Suvana's is definitely the way to go. Just keep your fingers crossed that you won't end up with tube like mine. If you're against petroleum oil but want something that it antiseptic, go for something else all together because Lucas' > Suvana in that respect. 

But if you're looking for something to take care of cuts and burns, I encourage you to try Lucas'. Just don't put it on your lips unless you want to look like a 14 year old who like their lips to mirror a disco ball.


What's your take on paw paw creams? 




Thursday, 31 March 2016

Skin Prepping For The Colder Months

Left to Right - Avene Gentle Milk Cleanser, Clinique Even Better Dark Defense SPF 50/PA++++, Foreo Luna for Normal Skin, Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream, L'Occitane Shea Butter Cream in Rose and Vanilla


At this point, I'm not sure if we'll have Winter at all here in Sydney. It's supposed to be Autumn but we've been having 25+ degrees days.

Still, I'm very conscious that I might be wrong and then we'll have a full blown Winter where my skin will shrivel up and never unwrinkle itself.

God, what a terrible visual!

Since I know colder weather is up ahead for us, I'm starting to make a mental note of the products that I'll be using to ease myself into winter. For me, skincare has always been about hydration. You'll find that a lot of issues can be remedied by using more hydrating, whether that be oil or water based, products.

Here are some of the things I'll do as we move towards the colder months.


1. Switch to a milk cleanser
When it starts to get cold, I always move onto a milk cleanser because they feel less harsh and drying on my skin. Avene's Gentle Milk Cleanser has been my go-to cleanser for years now and I'm not sure why I've never reviewed it here! It is so gentle than I can use it when my skin is feeling irritated, rough or it's looking red due to wind burn. 

Once or twice a week, I'll go in with my Foreo Luna Cleansing Device for Normal Skin and do some exfoliation. The thing I love most about the Foreo Luna is that it is very effective for deep cleansing, especially around the nose and directly under your bottom lip. I also like using it on the side of my neck for lymphatic draining!


2. Wear sunscreen
A friend of mine says she doesn't wear sunscreen during the colder months and I absolutely went into lecturing mode! Just because it's not sunny outside, doesn't mean there's no UV rays out there!

Remember to find yourself a reliable sunscreen that products against UVA and UVB - this way you're covered against harmful UV rays that age and burn the skin. I'm a big, big fan of Clinique's Even Better Dark Spot Defense SPF 50/PA ++++ in Sheer Tint. It has a high SPF and PA protection, and it has no white cast whatsoever. It's a little oily when first applied but that does wear off quickly. 


3. Opt for a rich moisturiser
When it starts to get real cold, I whip out my Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream (which is also due for a proper review!). It's essentially a heavy duty version of Dr Jart's Ceramidin Light Cream and it does wonders for weathered sensitive skin. It has a highly emollient texture and does wonders at repairing dry and cracked skin.


4. Lock in moisture with a sleeping mask
To quickly rescue my skin from the heater or wind, I reach for Clinique's Moist Surge Overnight Mask. I love using sleeping masks when I'm too exhausted to use my sheet masks. I've tried a few sleeping creams and this Clinique one is still one of my favourites - it's not too heavy, is oil free and you wake up looking like you've had 8+ hours of sleep!


5. Have hand cream on stand by
I try to also not neglect my hands! Although it costs an arm and a leg, I do have a soft spot for L'Occitane's Shea Butter Hand Creams. My favourite scent is, of course, rose but their vanilla one is not bad! I usually keep a large size on my bedside table and have miniature tubes in my handbag for when I need to reapply it during the day.


6. Always having a fresh razor on hand*
I'm a sometime shaver and I know the headache that comes with a dull blade. If you're going over the same place over and over with a blunt shaver, you're causing skin irritation and dryness. The Dollar Shave Club introduced itself to me a little earlier and they're a subscription service that sends fresh razors to your door each month. That will be pretty handy if you're a regular shaver!


Whereabouts are you located? Is it getting colder or warmer for you? 





*I was contacted by the Dollar Shave Club to write this post.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Pen Liner Stash: Muji, Clio, KissMe, Dejavu and Dolly Wink

Top to Bottom: Muji, Clio, KissMe Heroine Make, DejaVu, Dolly Wink


Ohhh where would I be without black liquid eyeliner. I rely heavily on sharp, thin black lines to give my droopy eyelids definition and structure. Without liner, I look tired and a little vacant.


I've tried a lot of eyeliners and I find that for an everyday, polished look, pen liners with a calligraphy tip works best for me. Here's a few of pen liners that I've got in my make up stash.



Muji's Liquid Eyeliner (Slim Marker Type) in Black is probably the biggest letdown. It isn't waterproof by any means, melts quickly and feathers very easily. The tip is too soft and it can splinter when you press down too hard. It's very difficult to get a clean straight line.

I highly recommend Clio's Waterproof Pen Liner Kill in Black. If you're after a liner that will really define your eyes, this is the one. It's intensely black and the calligraphy tip allows you to draw the thinnest line. Despite the tip being very flexible and malleable to how thick you want your liner, I would say that even a beginner could use this with a few practice runs. This is because the tip doesn't splay apart when you press down on it, making control much easier. However, the liner is on the wet side and may take a tiny bit more waiting time than your average liner. But this hasn't been much of an issue for me.

Dejavu's Lasting Fine Liquid Eyeliner in Black would be my second favourite out of the bunch. It performs very similarly to Clio's. It's a little less black but it's still definitely an intense black that can be used at night. I actually prefer this one for the office because it's not that pitch black shade. The biggest problem I have with this liner is that it runs out of steam way too quickly. The first 2 weeks, this works like a dream and then the liquid flow is haphazard. Most times, I'll have enough liquid for one eye but not the other, so I have to reach for my Clio or Dolly Wink.  

Everyone seems to rave about Dolly Wink's Black Liquid Eyeliner but I only partly agree with the hype. It has just the right pigmentation for an everyday look and the liquid flows smoothly to the tip. Out of the 5 I own, I've gotten the most uses of out this one. The biggest problem is that the colour fades as the day goes on.

I bought KissMe Heroine Make Eyeliner Black when they were doing a huge sale and I found that it's similar to the Dolly Wink liner. Colour intensity is good for a day look and the tip is thin enough for sharp lines. But the colour fades easily and it seemed to run out of liquid very quickly. I was already looking to purchase a new liner by week 3.



What's your favourite liquid pen liner?




Saturday, 12 March 2016

Design Issues: Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Foundation SPF 25

 

You might think that, with my love for cushion compacts, I wouldn't really have a need for proper liquid foundations. It's true that I think cushions are great because they're super easy to apply and their finishing is very natural. However, I still reach for a liquid foundation if I need to look polished.

Awhile back, I held off buying Bobbi Brown's Skin Foundation which I thought was quite good. I just kept thinking that they were on the cusp of releasing something new because they retired their Moisture Rich foundation. Lucky I waited for their Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 25

It's worth noting that some countries like the US and Hong Kong have this foundation with SPF40. I've tried asking Bobbi Brown multiple times how different the two formulas are but never got a reply. I've tested both and find the SPF40 shades to be a bit murky/gray and they tend to smell of sunscreen. The SPF 25 version that I have has a light lavender scent. 





Bobbi Brown's Intensive Skin Serum Foundation SPF 25 blends skincare and foundation, giving you a (sort of) 2-in-1 product. It's formulated with lychee, bamboo grass and cordyceps mushroom extract with the latter being a Chinese herbal ingredient which has traditionally been used to re-engerise the body. 

I've always seen skincare within make up products as being more of a bonus than a deal breaker. The main reason why I was drawn to this foundation was because, like most serum foundations, it's more hydrating and creamier than others on the market.


 

If you know your shade, buy online because they're always giving out gift with purchases! I got a Bobbi To Go pack which included a mini eyeliner, eye cream and mascara. They also package it really well!
 



I purchased the serum foundation in 02 Sand, which I can use throughout summer, autumn and late spring. The shade looks yellow in and out of the bottle (I've heard that Bobbi Brown's foundations do lean towards yellower tones, mind you). However, on my face, it blends out nicely and almost looks ivory.
 
The formula looks and feels very hydrating. Despite it being a serum foundation, it doesn't give a dewy finish but it does brighten. I would have liked a tiny bit of pink in the mixture so it can give me a rosier complexion, especially on days where I'm running low on sleep. But I guess that's where blush comes in!

Coverage-wise, it covers redness very, very well. It does a pretty good job at lightening acne scars.

I'm not a huge fan of touch ups, so the foundation is on my face the moment I wake up, till the moment before I shower. I don't use powder, so it does start to break down after 4 hours of wear. Does it look terrible? I always carry a BB Cushion in case but I never feel the need to touch up. I feel that the foundation would last longer if I used powder. 

The texture is lovely and not like other serum foundations I've tried. It's on the creamy side and not liquidy at all. It almost feels like a light lotion and spreads very easily. It applies well with fingers but I like to pat it in afterwards with a cushion applicator.




The foundation's bottle design can only be described as a nightmare. 

Foundation collects around the cap, sits at the opening and the sides. Every morning, I see so much wastage and it killllsssss me because this foundation isn't cheap. I use what's around the rim and put a tiny bit more onto the palm of my hand before dotting and swiping the product around my face. It annoys the living daylights out of me because the product that is fresh out of the bottle feels softer, creamier and more luxurious.

The dropper isn't great either. Since the foundation's texture is on the creamy side, it doesn't get sucked into the dropper that easily and it takes several goes to get anything it. Sometimes, it can get so tedious that I just swipe the dropper onto my palm and whatever deposits, deposits. 

I would have preferred a pump. 




I travelled with this recently and had a gazillion rounds of tape around and all over the damn bottle but it still leaked. 

I initially thought this foundation was the bee's knees. In fact, I still think very highly of the texture, coverage and shade match. The foundation isn't a 10/10, but it is a 8/10 which, for me, is very high. It probably would be a 10/10 if the shade had a tiny bit of pink in it.

But the OUTSIDE is a different story. The poor bottle design and dropper is extremely disappointing. It's really taken away from what could have been my favourite serum foundation for me.


Which products are you having packaging problems with? 

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The Eyes Have It: Beauty People's Miss 100 Super Waterpoof Gel Liner Auto Pencil




I am a sucker for eyeliners and sales, and that's how I ended up with Beauty People's Miss 100 Super Waterpoof Gel Liner Auto Pencil.

I tend to use pen liners because my eyeshape doesn't really suit pencils. So why do I have these Beauty People's Miss 100 Super Waterpoof Gel Liner Auto Pencil? Blame it on the fact that they were on sale.

Besides, that sarcastic Snow White on the cap is ace. 



From memory, I purchased 1 and got 2 for free which was is a crazy good deal. Not to mention that it sounded too good to be true, so I wasn't expecting much quality wise to be honest.

From left to right in the above photo, I bought Glimmer Brown, Real Black and Glimmer Bronze. Both the glimmer shades have a hint of shimmer in it and the middle one is straight black.





I bought them thinking that these gel liners would be a nice alternative to the usual liquid pen liners I use. I prefer pen liners because their sharp tips helps to create a clean and neat line but I thought I'd start to mix things up with something creamier like a gel liner. 

Unfortunately, the tips aren't pointy enough for my eyelids. 



Luckily, these are perfect as eyeshadow pencils. 

I haven't found a use for Real Black yet but I'm liking Glimmer Bronze on my double eyelid and Glimmer Brown smudged inwards from the ends of my eyes. It's good enough to make me abandon using liquid eyeliner on most days.

Shock horror. I haven't gone out in public without liquid eyeliner for about 10 years now!

The combo has been foolproof for me and my Naked 1 palette is something I only reach for when I go out at night. These pencils are extremely easy to use and blend, so they're been great for busy mornings. The colours are creamy and have just the right amount of pigment to be worn at the office.

They're allegedly waterproof and smudgeproof. I've never cried with these pencils on (-_-) and I'd wager that they're about 80% smudgeproof. 

I'm really liking these liners. They're infinitely easier to blend than normal eyeshadows. They're also easier to take with you if you're travelling. I lugged around my Naked palette a fair bit last year and it wasn't the most convenient thing I had to do.

I might purchase some more shades some time down the track!


Have you used gel pencil liners before?