Thursday, 30 April 2015

Korean goodies: Pure Smile Point Pads review

Over time, during my crush with Memebox I received Pure Smile Point Pads a couple of times. 

They're a kind of sheet masks which are intended to bring relief to areas of your face in need of special attention. The Neco Punch Point Pads in Hibiscus and Lemon Grass contain vitamin E, collagen, hyaluronic acid, arbutin, lemon grass and claim to provide moisture and control sebum production.
The Animal Point Pads are formulated with pineapple extracts, vitamin E, hyaluronic acid and natto gum and are good for moisturising dry areas of the face. 

The material they're made of is rather stiff and doesn't flex well to fit all areas of the face, so in consequence they can be used only on the forehead or central points of the cheeks. My dry areas happen to be on my nose and around my nostrils and there's no way of wearing these pads there. So when I tried to make any use of these following the instructions, I wasn't succeeding. 

But since what they do is moisturise really well, I cut them in half and used as undereye shields while doing my make-up. They provided this dry area with moisture and prevented my make-up from getting messed up by fallout. 

All these pads are well saturated with sticky-slimey type of essence that really does deliver. But how are they supposed to moisturise and restore skin balance at the same time? I'm not even going to comment upon the sebum control, this claim was certainly meant to be ignored.
All of them have a strong, tropical scent which  might bother some, but I found quite pleasant and refreshing. 

I wouldn't buy these again with my own funds, but I used them all up with pleasure.  

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Dior Addict It-Line eyeliner and It-Lash mascara review

This review is very long overdue and I probably should have called it Dior Addict It-Line revisited. I bought these two products last summer and now returned to them to create my spring/summer signature looks involving taupes and cobalt blues. When summer was over they went to the bottom of the drawer only to be pulled out this month and it turned out that they survived winter perfectly fine and fot the past couple of weeks I've been obsessing with them even more than last year. 

I'm not sure whether they were a limited edition or not, but I've noticed that they're still available at Sephora Poland, so I thought a review might be of interest to some.

Dior Addict It-Line eyeliner in #279 It-Blue comes in a gorgeous navy blue-black tube with the signature silver button on the top that appears on all Dior Addict products. The longer part is a fine brush which, during extensive use, doesn't became frayed and dishevelled like many others do. What I don't like about the brush is that it's a bit too flexible, which makes the application a bit more difficult. 

The shade is adorable. It's a bright cobalt blue, less marine blue that it came out in the picture below. The formula is a kind of thick gloopy substance which is fully opaque in one stroke. It offers intense waterproof blue vinyl line which is easy to remove with any make-up remover as instead of dissolving and smudging it crumbles. 
I often have issues with similar formulas as they settle on my lashes, making using a mascara impossible, but this one doesn't turn to crust on my lashes and is easy to comb out.

I generally would be absolutely satisfied with this eyeliner if it hadn't been for the fact that the packaging broke and it no longer closes properly. I can only predict that this is going to contribute to the product drying out soon, but in the meanwhile I continue to use it daily.

Dior Addict It-Lash mascara in It-blue is a wonderful mascara if you're looking for bright colour which really shows. Although it's not the best performer as far as lengthening and volume are concerned, but then they're not what I'm looking for in a blue mascara. I can't also say how good it is at holding the curl as my lashes are naturally quite upturned. But what I can say is that the mascara offers very noticeable electric blue colour, what's more, even though it's never classified as such, it has a near waterproof formula which never smudges, flakes or crumbles and is easy to remove at night. The formula is on the dry side, but it didn't dry out in time. 
I'm not a fan of this long plastic brush whose spiky bristles tend to poke my lashline in an unpleasant way, but I can overlook that if this is the price I need to pay for clump-free, evenly coated lashes.

I'm scraping the remains of this mascara off its sides and I'll be sad to see it go because, taking its super classy packaging aside, this is probably the best blue mascara I've ever used.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

OPI Holiday Stars collection review & swatches

I got this gorgeous set of mini OPI nail polishes from my beloved friend as a birthday present and for the past couple of weeks I've been wearing these continuously.

When I first saw the purple polish I thought it was an almost exact dupe of some other OPI nail polish from a previous collection. I couldn't have been more wrong. This is the most unique dark bright almost electric purple. Contradiction in terms? Not so much. It's like a dark denaturated alcohol colour. Upon closer inspection of the bottle I discovered some shimmer to the polish which doesn't translate as metallic shimmer onto the nails, but adds gorgeous sheen and dimension to the polish. The colour is easy to apply and it's fully opaque in two coats. This polish is a real stunner and a perfect addition to my nail polish collection.

This is a gorgeous burgundy purple colour, very much in the vein of my beloved China Glaze Don't Make Me Wine. It's a super glossy metallic polish with a wonderful formula that applies effortlessly, giving fully opaque and streak-free colour in two coats.

This is the least favourite of mine within the bunch, though it's undeniably very pretty. This is a deep red polish with red microglitter which hides someshat subdued under the surface of the polish. What I didn't quite like was the jelly finish which required at least 3 coats to go even. And I generally prefer large chunky glitter or metallic shimmer.  

This shade is a beautiful classic bright red that is so appropriate for all skin tones and occassions. Festive and classy. This polish applied smoothly and evenly in two coats and wore well for at least 4 days when I decided to remove it.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Korean goodies: Ladykin Mangchee Lifting Mask review

After a great success of another Ladykin product, their Vanpir cream, I was superexcited to try this Mangchee Lifting Mask. 
The name is a combination of the two main ingredients: mango and cheese, which aren't the only ones here (for more details look at the packaging below). 
The mask comes in a lovely glass jar with a metal lid. The packaging isn't particularly travel-friendly as it's rather heavy and breakable, but then a face mask isn't the most important travel essential.

The manufacturer makes numerous promises as to what the mask is supposed to do: it moisturises, soothes, calms, makes the skin feel silky and supple and look healthy and glowing.

The product has a kind of gel-cream texture which applies super smooth. I treat it like a face mask, so I usually apply a rather thick layer, which takes a while to absorb. 
According to the instruction I found in my Memebox leaflet, it's best to keep the product on overnight, so I mostly use this before going to bed. When I wake up, my skin feels plumper, but also it's covered in sebum and very, very tacky. I have oily skin and this sensation is not unusual, but is definitely stronger when I use night packs like this or face oils.   

My skin is not in the need of any extra moisture, so I can't tell how moisturising this cream actually is, but it seems to me that it's very comforting. 
It appears that this mask has nice soothing and brightening properties and makes my skin glow.
I haven't noticed any lifting effect, however.

I suspect this is a superb quality product, but I'm unable to appreciate it fully as it doesn't match my skin's needs. I prefer mud masks which help me control my sebum production and tighten my pores, but I feel that anyone with dry skin might fall in love with this stuff.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Very Victoria and Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk review & swatches

March is a birthday month for me, which means presents!
I treated myself with my birthday money to a luxurious lipstick and lip liner by Charlotte Tilbury. When it arrived I was truly mesmerised by the most gorgeous vintage-style packaging.   

However old-fashioned the packaging may be, Matte Revolution lipsticks are a modern take on the idea of matte lipsticks. They glide on smoothly and evenly as if they weren't matte at all, but the finish is very definitely matte. I wouldn't call them moisturising, but they aren't drying either. 
The wear time of these lipsticks is amazing, at least six hours including drinking. When they fade, they do so evenly without leaving any strange residue where my lips touch each other. 

The only thing I'm quite dissatisfied with is the shade I picked. I thought it would be more of a browny nude, while Very Victoria is a browny nude indeed, but with a slightly mauvy twist to it, which in practice means that in most lighting conditions it's almost exactly the same as my natural lip colour but in some it gives  me the lips of a drowned man. I favour neither option.  

Since I've been on a lip liner kick recently, I just couldn't resist getting a Lip Cheat in the most often recommended shade, Pillow Talk. Like with every single product by Charlotte Tilbury, the packaging screams class and luxury to me.

Pillow Talk is a pinkish nude shade which has this miraculous ability to adjust to almost all lip colours and work with any lipstick. It matches Very Victoria perfectly (swatched together below), though apparently there exists another shade recommenced to be used with Very Victoria.

When I used this pencil on my lips I understood what the hype is about. It glides on super smoothly without any dragging or skipping and sets instantly, creating a colour that will not budge. I use it under my nude lipsticks and it prolongs their wear time substantially, while turning them more matte than they are.

The only downside is that due to its softness I can see this pencil disappear faster than my other liners do, which combined with the fact that it's rather expensive makes it extremely uneconomic.  

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Korean goodies: Dear Mademoiselle Hair Cap review

Ever since I got this Shara Shara Dear Mademoiselle Hair Cap I thought it gimmicky and stayed away from it, but there came the time when I faced a choice try it or ditch it, so I did take the courage to use this weird thing on my head and... nothing happened.

The product comes in a nice little sachet that contains hair mask in one part and a cap in the other.
The thick mask promises to repair dry and damaged hair by providing nutrition. The cap is soaked in some kind of essence which is supposed to improve the condition of the scalp.
While putting a moisturising mask on your hair and keeping it on for 15-20 mins under a cap is generally known as having beneficial influence on your hair, a scalp treating cap is something new. I don't know, however, how this is supposed to work. It's barely soaked in anything, almost wrenched dry, and apart from the moment when you're supposed to rub it onto your scalp, it never touches the skin on your head, so how is it supposed to work?
This duo didn't do anything to my hair really. It wasn't any softer, smoother, more manageable than after using my regular shampoo, not to mention helping treat my dry and super flaky scalp. 
This was fun to use, but nothing else. 

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Eyelure Naturalites 020 false lashes review

Eyelure Naturalites 020 introduced me to the world of Eyelure eyelashes and they will always be my favourites for daily fun.
They offer natural volume and length, while still enhancing eye make-up.
They're super soft, their band is flexible and super thin, the lashes are natural and ultra lightweight.
What I also like is that they come attached by their tips to a sticky tape. Thanks to this they don't get flooded with silicone that is typically used to tie them to their packaging.
They are inexpensive and come with their own, good quality glue.

Unfortunately, their advantages turn to the biggest drawbacks of the product. The lashes, being so lightweight and soft, aren't resistant to damage. It's almost impossible to pluck the glue without destroying the lashes. I can get maximum 3 uses of these and I'm extra careful.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Korean goodies: Pure Smile Pearl Essence Mask review

I've said it time and time again that sheet masks are all the same, they may differ in size and shape and the list of ingredients but in the end they do exactly the same thing: moisturise. They are soaked in heavy and tacky essence which leaves your skin deeply hydrated, but also a bit sticky.

Pure Smile Pearl Essence Mask, however, is very different from almost all other sheet masks I've used. The cloth it's made of seems somewhat thicker and the liquid it's saturated with is thinner. 
Among the ingredients are hyaluronic acid, collagen, vitamin E and pearl extract, so I believe this mask should excel at hydration and glow boosting, but it doesn't. 
Usually when you take a sheet mask off you need to pat the essence dry and wait some time for full absorption, but in this case there was actually nothing to pat. My face did feel wet, of course, but it was as if I'd sprayed it with face mist. All remains evaporated quickly and left my face dry and asking for a face cream (and I have oily skin, mind you). 
Theoretically I should be satisfied with this mask as it made a non-greasy base for my make-up, but the thing is that I didn't feel it did anything to my skin at all. Perhaps my skin did feel some regenerative power of the hyaluronic acid and collacen and vitamins and other precious ingredients, but none of them were to be seen with bare eye and that's exactly what we want, right?

So all in all, yeah, it's good it's non-sticky, but the results are kind of 'meh' in my opinion.

Aaah. I forrgot to say that htis mask is completely fragrance free.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Nizoral anti dandruff shampoo review

Today I'd like to review my lifesaver. 
For the past couple of years I've been struggling with what I'd believed to be dandruff, but what turned out to be sensitive, dry scalp. 
Dying my hair, using dry shampoos and volumising sprays has made my skin peel  like hell with flakes of up to half centimetre in diameter. Since I can't keep away from certain hair products, I started looking for some alternative solutions. 
I've tried a number of drugstore anti-dandruff shampoos, high-end scalp treatments and toners, stopped using dry shampoos and hair powders, but to no avail.
I'll now sound as if I was quoting one of TV commercials: then my hairdresser recommended Nizoral to me and everything changed.

Nizoral is a prescription-free anti-dandruff treatment that is sold in pharmacies. It is sold in full size bottles, but I buy mine in single use sachets. The whole bottle is quite expensive, but the sachets retail for approximately $1, which is highly affordable, especially that you don't use this shampoo on regular basis, only once in a whole when the need arises.

The shampoo is a pink liquid that foams less intensely than a standard shampoo. You're supposed to keep it on for 5-7 minutes and rinse.
The results are immediate. All my peeling patches are gone after a single use and they don't return for weeks. I always keep a sachet in my stash, in case the need arises, and all my problems are gone!
This stuff is truly amazing and if you have the same issues as me, you absolutely have to give it a go.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Korean goodies: Happy Bath Facial Yogurt Foam review

 This seemingly conventional foam cleanser by a Korean brand called Happy Bath is the most unusual product of this kind I've ever used. 
This Facial Yogurt Foam came in my Yogurt Cosmetics Memebox and out of 4 varieties I got the Moist type which contains apple, banana and apricot seed essences that are rich in vitamin C, vitamin A and other nutrients for replenishing and moisturising dry skin.

The description couldn't have been more appropriate. This is the only truly moisturising and comforting facial foam I've ever met. 
The consistency and texture of the foam is completely different from any other Korean or Western counterparts. It's like a cross of a gel, a lotion and a snail mucus cream. The product comes out of its tube in round blobs that are lightweight, yet display some kind of strange viscosity. The cleanser does produce some foam, but not much, and feels slimey on the face. It always makes me feel it would be as difficult to rinse as a lotion, but no, it rinses perfectly well, leaving my skin smooth and moisturised. There's no rubbery feel to my skin after rinsing, yet the skin feels perfectlly clean.
My skin feels as if  I've used some essence rather than a cleanser. 

This is a highly recommended product for anyone with dry skin who would like to use foam cleansers. 

Friday, 17 April 2015

Ardell Glamour Demi Wispies reviewdemi wispies

Ardell Demi Wispies seems to be an iconic product for all false lash fans, but I'm in two minds about them.  

The good thing is that they're quite sturdy and the band is rather thick, which makes it almost impossible to destroy them during the application and cleaning. 
The lashes are easy to apply because the band maintains the curvy shape and even if it doesn't you can just roll them along a pencil and thay're back in shape.
The band is clear plastic and it's almost invisible once applied. 

The downside is that they're intimidatingly dramatic. While they look great in pictures, they might be too ostentatious. I wear them only when I feel a surge of courage and the situation should be the other way round, they're supposed to boost my confidence. 
The hairs are rather stiff, but they don't look plastic. 
The band is stiff as well and the lashes are rather heavy, but after a while my lids get used to that.

All in all I feel these are great special occassion lashes, though I would prefer something more discreet and lighter.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Korean goodies: Derma House Aloe Vera Moisture Mist review

I've been using face mists regularly since last year and I've come up with a simple check list to see whether these fulfil my expectations. My list contains three questions: 1. does this distribute a fine mist? 2. does it do anything to my skin? 3. Is it good for oily skin?

Derma House Aloe Vera Moisture Mist scores 2 points out of 3.
The packaging is very simple and basic, but it does the job of turning the liquid into very fine mist perfectly well. My face gets sprayed evenly in tiny drops that do not ruin my make-up.
It says on the packaging that this product soothes and hydrates, but I don't feel it does anything noticeable to my skin. Lightly scented water would offer the same temporary cooling and refreshing results. This mist is a pleasure to use, but honestly, my skin wouldn't suffer much without it.
And finally, being like water, this product is non-greasy and is more drying than sebum-inducing, that's why I can use it at any time without fear of turning into an oil slick.

I got this mist in a Memebox and I'm definitely not going to repurchase. There are many other similar products out there ands there's no point in ordering something like this from Korea.  So far only Caudalie face mist has landed on my to-be-repurchased list. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow sculpting powder review & swatches


If there was one thing to be said about Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow, it would be that the art of packaging took my breath away and left all posh competitors miles behind.

The outer part of the packaging slides sideways like an old-fashioned spectacle case to reveal another layer of matte cardboard packaging, which opens like a gift box to unravel the real gem, a gorgeous bronzing and highlighting palette locked in a truly beautiful vintage-looking golden compact. 

The powders inside are beautifully embossed with the same pattern as the lid and they also contain self-explanatory insctiptions.

When I opened the compact I was taken aback by how warm and how shimmery the sculpt powder was. 'I might be able to use it as an overall bronzer, but how am I going to contour my face with this?', I instantly thought. Strangely enough, the shimmer doesn't transfer as such onto the skin. It offers more than a satin glow than shimmer. What's more, in spite of being nowhere near those taupe, grayish, shadow-mimicking contour powders that are so hot now, the sculpt powder does sculpt the face indeed without looking unnatural or dirty. It's a beautiful multi-tasker, which can be used all over the face and in the hollows of the cheeks for a softly chiselled look. It also blends seamlessly and effortlessly on my cool skin tone. 

The highlight shade is a warm champagne shade which is pretty shimmery, so it should satisfy those of us who are looking for spectacular glow on the high bones of the cheeks. I find it a bit overwhelming for everyday occasions, but I like to make use of it on nights out. 

Overall, this is a flawless duo. Everything about it is perfect. From the packaging and the embossed design to the lovely sculpting quality of the powders. I definitely reach for the bronze shade more often, but the highlight one is also great.  

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Korean goodies: I Want Dark Knight Deep Cleansing Black Oil review

Today I'd like to review a Korean cleansing oil which I neither received in a Memebox nor ordered on e-bay but just bought in a drugstore next door.

I Want Dark Knight Deep Cleansing Black Oil comes in very intriguing packaging. Matte black cardboard box with glossy letters holds a bottle with a dispenser which distributes the right amount of olive-coloured oil. 

This oil doesn't diasppoint. Like almost all oils I've used so far Dark Knight is lightweight, applies to my face without feeling oily or greasy. It breaks down even the most stubborn waterproof mascara creating black mess all over my eyes, but with a splash of water it turns to milky lotion and rinses all impurities perfectly well, leaving my face silky smooth.
 I have oily skin so I like to double cleanse and remove whatever residue is left with a foam cleanser and thus I can't tell whether used on its own this causes breakouts or not. Followed with a foam cleanser it did not.

This oil cost 45PLN (about $12) which makes it more expensive than Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil and less expensive than The Body Shop Camomile oil and about the same price as other Korean oils sold on e-bay.

The only disadvantage of this oil is that its main ingredient is mineral oil. I don't have any issues related to that and most of cleansing oils contain it, but it's a cheap ingredient and I would very much prefer to get high quality natural extracts in my skincare. 

I'll definitely repurchase this oil as it's good, relatively affordable, readily available and its successor turned out to be completely unreliable. But more about that in another review. 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polishes in B-Girl, Red Eye, Sugar Fix + top coat review and swatches

I'm a great fan of gel nail polishes so when Sally Hansen came out with their own 2-step concept of no-light gel nail polishes and top coats I desperately needed to try these out.
Not without some reservations did I get the first two and the reason why the last one arrived under my roof was that I thought that having invested in a rather pricey top coat I would need more polishes to pair it with to spread the cost.
I had my doubts about the top coat as it promised shine and long-lasting wear time, but no advertising mentioned that it was quick drying and I'm so much used to the comfort of speedy mani that my Seche Vite offers.
The second problem was that the shade range on offer is limited to some of the ugliest shades in the world, out of which I managed to pick 2 decent shades and there's also one more that tickles my fancy, but it's shimmery and I'm currently not in the mood for shimmers.

After using these three polishes plus their top coat I noticed nothing out of the ordinary. 
All three polishes are good quality polishes that give full and even coverage in 2 coats. They apply easily thanks to their wide brush.
The top coat is not of the speed-dry kind, but the drying process didn't take too long and I didn't destroy my mani while waiting.
As for the shine, I would say it was decent, but the Seche Vite offers better.
Wear time pretty much depends on the condition of your nails, so in the case of the first two polishes my nails looked good for at least 4 days, then I got bored with the colour and removed it, but the third one started to show signs of wear and tear almost instantly. 

 #240 B-Girl is a nice mint shade very much in the vein of the cult classic by Essie called Mint Candy Apple.

#470 Red Eye is a tomato red which is warm and sunny enough for the summer.

#370 Sugar Fix is unavailable in Poland and it's a gorgeous bright, warm, periwinkle blue. This one wore worse than the other two, but this might have been due to the condition of my nails. 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Korean goodies: Revecen Volumizing Mascara review

After the tremendous success of  an unknown Koream mascara by Hope Girl on my lashes, I pulled out this volumising one by Revecen out of my Memebox stash with excitement, which unfortunately didn't last lery long.

Here's what the mascara claims to do: 

I don't question its valuable contents like natural wax or vitamins, the thing is that the formula of this mascara, combined with its wand make the worst mascara I've ever used. So far, whenever I criticised a mascara I mainly blamed it for not giving me enough volume or smudging, but I cannot recall a situation when a mascara failed to perform at all.

It has a flattened curved applicator with the traditional kind of bristles poking quite disorderly in all directions. It reminds me of one of Maybelline Falsies wands, which didn't work for me either. It does sort of work on my upper lashes, but coating the bottom ones is simply impossible. 
The formula is very thick and gloopy. It looks like it has some fibres in it, but this doesn't translate into any results. The mascara clumps all my lashes without giving them the promised volume. Adding extra coats results in more clumps. It acts as if it has been in use for at least 6 months, but it was brand new and sealed. Applying this thing means struggle I'm not prepared to accept in the morning.

The only thing that is good about this mascara is that it's waterproof  and doesn't smudge. But on the other hand, it tends to flake.

It's a big no no and it's going straight to the bin.