Friday, 31 July 2015

Essence Color Flash Volume mascara in #01 and #04 review

Feeling like experimenting with some colour? Summer is the time to do so. 
If you are unsure if some crazy shades deserve a permanent seat in your make-up drawer, try something inexpensive, and perhaps later, when you like yourself like that, you can explore limited edition summer collections by high-end brands. 

Essence Colour Flash mascara #01
Essence Colour Flash mascaras are perfect tools to experiment with colour. 
They're super cheap.
They come in bright, fun packaging, which reflects the shade of the mascara inside.
The colours are vibrant, the wands are traditional natural bristles spoolies that do their jobs pretty well.
I've got shades #01, which is a bright green shade that looks sort of teal on the lashes and #4, which is a turquoise shade.
It says on the packaging that this mascara can be used on hair as well.

Now, while I do recommend this mascara as a sample, just to try if you like the shade or not, I must say that qualitywise they're crap.
While they distribute a decent amount of bright, noticeable, flashy colour, they don't wear well at all. They're supposed to be a 'volume mascara', but even with a couple of coats I didn't notice any spectacular volume. But I must admit that the lashes are clump-free, nicely combed out and even curled.
The main problem is that the mascara is totally unwaterproof. And I'm not talking about beach or swimming pool situations. I'm not talking weddings or emotional films. Not even summer showers. I'm talking watery eyes, a tear that forms in your eyes when you laugh or yawn. A single drop of water dissolves this mascara and makes it melt to your undereye. It also happens to stain the skin, so it's almost impossible to remove without heavy duty oil-based removers, which you hardly ever carry with you in your make-up bag. And even at night, after I've done all proper cleansing, I end up going to bed with a smudged feal liner on my bottom lashline.
And don't even dare apply these mascaras on your bottom lashline. 

These mascaras feel as if their ingredients were chalk, water and pigment, without any binding agent. 
I'm sure that if you used this on your hair and were caught in the rain, the mascara would permanently stain your clothing.
Essence Colour Flash mascara #04

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Korean goodies: Coco's Secret Recipe Pumpkin pack review

This Dearberry Coco's Secret Recipe Pumpkin was one of the most exciting Memebox finds. Not only did it satisfy my pumpkin craving, but also looked and seemed encouraging.
According to the description this mask is vitamin and beta-carotene packed and promises to replenish dry skin and brighten dull and uneven complexion.

The mask has a very peculiar spongy-pasty texture, it seems thick, but goes on smoothly and evenly. During the prescribed 5-10 minutes of application it doesn't dry to a crust and it's relatively easy to remove with generous amount of water. The mask has a very faint, sweetish kind of scent.
After wearing this mask my face feels very peculiar. Unlike any other mask I've used. I don't think my skin is terribly well moisturised. The surface of my skin feels kind of rubbery, but it's noticeably smooth and soft. My pores also look smaller. My oily skin feels cleansed and refreshed, but I seriously doubt whether dry skin types would benefit from this, even though it promises to 'replenish dry skin'.

This is a nice mask and I use it whenever I have a couple minutes to spare in the morning, but I don't think it will be missed when it's finished. I think there are better masks out there, just waiting to be discovered. 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Paula's Choice Resist Youth-Extending Daily Mattifying Fluid review

Ever since sunnier days began I've been using sunscreen. I've got tons of these, most of them Korean, but I usually have only one going on. I gave priority, however, to the one by Paula's Choice as not only does it contain broad spectrum SPF50, but also has proper skincare properties.

When it arrived, I was at first disappointed to see that the info on the product focuses on its sun protecting properties. There's no mention of skincare functions of the product, but reading the list of ingredients is a reasurring experience. This product contains, apart from active sunscreen ingredients, an incredible number of of herbal and vegetal extracts. 

This moisturiser wasn't love at first sight, but as time went by I started to appreciate what it does to my skin. The product is extremely runny, thus applies and absorbs well. I usually massage my face with a handful of this lotion, as sunscreen is supposed to be applied generously. The moisturiser feels very lightweight and offers natural demi-matte finish, though I wouldn't call it a mattifier.
This product is unfragranced, so unfortunately it smells a bit of sunscreen. 

As for its claims, I think they're unnecessary as they increase our expectations and give reasons for dissatisfaction with a very nice product. 
I personally have noticed that my skin has become smoother and softer as I continue using this daily and I believe sunscreen does help prevent visible signs of aging from appearing.   
However, I haven't noticed any pore minimizing results or visibly firmer skin, so if these were what sold me to this product, I would be dissatisfied.

All in all, this is a good moisturiser with a high level of sun protection for combination and oily skin.  

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Korean goodies: Neogen Miracle Lighting Eye Lifter review

I love testing all eyecare products. My eye area is the most age-revealing area on my face and I'm constantly searching for some miracle remedy that would reverse what time has done.
Judging by the description, Neogen Miracle Lighting Eye Lifter is supposed to be such a product. 

This is a cooling roll-on type serum that promises to revitalize, smooth, brighten, depuff and lift the area. It targets virtually all concerns like dark circles, fine lines, undereye wrinkles, bloated lids, crow feet and sagging eye lids. All that thanks to the content of adenosine, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid  and other anti-aging ingredients. 

Well, I must say that this product does nothing to my skin. The roller ball works nice and smooth and is cooling indeed, but the liquid it distributes is very thin and feels like water. On its own produces more dryness and wrinkles than without, worn under eye cream doesn't influence the creams performance in any way. 
I will use this up, just because it doesn't agree with my nature to waste something I paid for, but it won't be missed.

Monday, 27 July 2015

L'Oreal Brow Artist Super Liner and Plumper review & swatches

Today I'd like to review two brow products from L'Oreal, one - excellent and already used up, the other one- good, but not for me.
The first one for some reason doesn't get as much attention of beauty bloggers, while the second one is regularly mentioned in monthly favourites. 

L'Oreal Brow Artist Super Liner is probably my favourite eyeliner pencil of all times. This is a double ended liner that consists of a liner, a brow wax and a brush located on a transparent cap. I prefer spoolies, but the brush isn't bad at all.

I picked shade #02 Blonde which is a lovely taupe shade that looks natural on my brows. The pencil is waxy and easy to use. It goes on smoothly and evenly, fills in all sparse areas without 'tattooed brow' effect. To set unruly brows you may use the clear wax on the other end. I personally tend to skip this tep as the pencil is waxy enough for my needs, but sometimes I add this extra step to feel super pampered.

This pencil is a great, affordable all-in-one solution which offers great brows in a minute. It's compact and travel-friendly, available in a drugstore next door. This is the product I reach for most often in the morning hurry and have used this almost all up. 

The other product is much more popular in the blogosphere, but I don't like it as much as the pencil.

Brow Artist Plumper is a brow mascara that is regularly compared to Benefit Gimme Brow, which is an iconic product and a point of reference, just like Anastasia Brow Wizz is for automatic brow pencils.
I personally don't think this is a dupe for Gimme Brow. Although both products are brow mascaras with small spoolies, L'Oreal Brow Artist Plumper has sparse rows of spiralling bristles while Benefit Gimme Brow is very dense. Also the consistency differs. Both claim to be fibre mascaras and you do see fibres on both spoolies, but Gimme Brow is kind of pasty and packed with fibres and Brow Artist Plumper is wet with some long threads in it. 
The difference in what they do is that Gimme Brow fills in the brows and all sparse areas while Brow Plumper clings to each individual brow hair, but the areas between remain as bald as they were before. 

To me it seems that L'Oreal Brow Artist Plumper is a tinted brow gel that helps style bushy and unruly brows that don't require that much filling but need something to hold them in place throughout the day. Mine are just the opposite. They're thin and sparse and blond and require filling in more than keeping in place.   

The shade I've got is Medium Dark, which is a bit too dark for me, but not intimidatingly dark. I like the fact that it's got a cool tone to it. 
Overall, I can see why many reviewers like this product, but in my stash it won't be missed once I've used this up.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Korean goodies: The YEON Style Y Natural Sketch Eyebrow Pencil and Powder and Eybrow Simple Tatoo review

Today I'd like to review 2 brow products by a Korean brand The YEON, which arrived under my roof but somehow couldn't get round to reviewing them, even though I formed my opinion instantly.
After almost a year I'm about to part with these two and I believe it's high time to say what I think.

The Style Y Natural Sketch Eyebrow Pencil and Powder is a kind of brow styling product that is not entirely new to me. I've already used a triangular, slanted brow liner by Etude House, but this one is different as instead of a spoolie on the other end, this comes with a small powder container, located in the cap and a sponge applicator. 

The idea of the product is great. Slanted eyeliners make it so easy to fill in the eyebrows. When you hold the pen vertically, you can fill in the front of your brows, held horizontally, it draws a narrow line towards the outer edges.
If that wasn't enough, you can reach for the powder to fill in any sparse areas, build up the colour and set the cream product. 

I've got this in the shade #01 Light Brown, which is a perfect shade for me. It's a light khakish taupe which suits me well.

In theory everything is perfect, but unfortunately the quality of the product is shameful. The pigmentation of the brow product is near to zero, which wouldn't be bad if it was nicely buildable. The problem is that this pencil is as hard as a piece of plastic. It's so unpleasant and actually painful to use. Dabbing your skin multiple times with something like this to build up the colour is unnacceptable and after so many attempts the line is never neat. 

Overall, it's a great concept, but so badly executed.

left: powder, right: liner

The second product, Style Y Natural Sketch Eyebrow Tatoo, on the other hand, is a product I never expected to work for me and kind of feared to use, but turned out to be perfectly fine. 

When I first saw this product I was concerned about its gray shade and its permanent nature.What if I go wrong? Will I be able to correct my mistakes? And overall, I hate a tatooed eyebrow kind of looks. 

To my surprise, this pen, which looks exactly like most typical felt-tip eyeliners do, offers a very natural, well-groomed brows. What you do is apply this product similarly to Anastasia Brow Wiz in short strokes, which resemble hairs. The colour is sheer, which means it's hard to go overboard in one stroke, so you have full control over the application. You may want to brush the brows with a spoolie for an even more natural and well-blended look. 
I don't think this pen stains my brows, but it lasts all day without melting or smudging.  

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Dior Addict Fluid Stick in #338 Mirage review

I bought this Dior Addict Fluid Stick in #338 Mirage after a tremendous success of #754 Pandore on my lips. I was looking for something nude and this seemed to be a perfect choice. However, I found the shade highly disappointing and unflattering for my cool-toned complexion.

This turned out to be a pale peach instead of a beige nude. While this shade may look good on some, it washes me out terribly and doesn't suit my skin tone at all.
There's nothing wrong with its consistency or application, it goes on smoothly and is nicely opaque on my lips. Being a light shade, this doesn't last as long on my lips as Pandore does, nor does it stain my lips. It's a lovely product, but just not my shade.

However, you might be wondering why I decided to review this Fluid Stick all of a sudden. The thing is that I managed to make it work for me! Over the past couple of months I have acquired  a large number of lip liners, which I now use religiously. Some of them are too dark brown to wear on their own or with a matching lipstick, but topped up with Mirage they achieve the right shade. Mirage goes deeper, less peachy, more rosy brown, just how I like my nude lips to be.

I've been using this lipstick/lipgloss hybrid regularly this season and I adore it. 
Thanks to this product I also learned an important lesson: don't dump something if it doesn't work for you. Experiment and make an effort and you will be rewarded.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Korean goodies: IOPE Air Cushion XP #N21 review & swatches

Cushion foundations have invaded the cosmetic market. Invented in Korea, they have been recognized by Western manufacturers and customers with many brands like Lancome or Kiko following suit and releasing their take on this kind of product.

I've had my IOPE Air Cushion XP for a year now, but only now I feel ready to write a proper review. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this kind of product, let me explain that cushion foundations or BB or CC creams look like compact foundations, but instead of a pressed powder, under a stopper and a seal we find a sponge which is soaked with a very runny foundation type of product. What you need to do is press the air cushion puff onto the foundation-dipped sponge and then pat the product onto your face. This can be used as foundation or over make-up for touch-ups.

IOPE Air Cushion XP is a mineral water-based foundation, packed with vitamin B5, E and P and claims to moisturise and cool reddened skin. It has SPF 50 and is recommended for quick in-between fix ups. According to the Memebox info card this retails for $48, which is pretty much, but it comes with its own refill.

It took me so long to review this foundation because only now I have found some use for it. The thing is, this foundation is not for me.
Although I really like the concept and design, the elegant white compact, the classy feel of the product, the innovative idea, the soft scent, the lightweight feel, the natural look, I just can't use this as it's way too glowy for my skin. This is a perfect foundation for really dry skin types and the most luminous and moisturising foundation in my possession which doesn't go well with my oily skin from the very first moment.

As far as practicality of such product goes, I think it's much better for touch-ups than as an overall product as it takes a good while to pat it all over the face. Also, when the product was new the product overflowed when pressed and flooded the sponge and messed my fingers.
I tried to apply this product with the puff included and a buffing brush and strangely enough the brush didn't work at all. The puff offered an even medium coverage, while with the brush the coverage was close to none and the foundation looked streaky and migrated towards the pores. 
I used this foundation over a moisturiser and on my bare face and each time it refused to set. It left the wet, sticky finish that I don't like at all. It offered the kind of glow which in my case translates as oilslick.
Shade N21 is a fair beige which is too pale for me in summer, but will do in winter.

It seems to me that this is a perfect product for touch-ups for skin types that feel drier and drier throughout the day. I'm sure this is a way better solution than adding powder.

I just couldn't allow wasting such a lovely product, just because it was unsuitable for my skin type, so I started experimenting with it and using this as my undereye concealer. I don't have particularly dark circles, but my undereye area is prone to wrinkles related both to age and dryness, so anything that will tone the redness and add moisture is well appreciated. What's more it offers sun protection, which is rare in undereye products.   

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Bourjois Cream Blush Sun #05 Pink Sunwear review & swatches

 I'm already a proud owner and a frequent user of these beautiful Bourjois cream blushes, so when I saw that they added 2 Sun Blushes to their collection I decided to pick one to see what they're like and fell in love with it as soon as I saw it.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the product, let me just explain that Bourjois Cream Blushes come in cute, tiny pans with magnetic closure and full-size mirror. They are lightweight and super blendable, they offer skin-like finish and thanks to their cream-to-powder formula never look greasy on oilier skin types such as mine. They have a kind of grannyish scent which I'm not particularly fond of, but I'm prepared to overlook, since I like the product so much.   

#05 Pink Sunrise is a gorgeous summery shade. It looks like a cream bronzer in the pan and I think it can be used as such to create a bronze goddess kind of look. When swatched it looks like a kind of very tan peach or peachy bronze with slight pinky undertones. There's also some shimmer to it which is nowhere near obvious sparkle. It looks like golden glow instead.
On the cheeks it looks fresh, tan, healthy, glowy, summery, relaxed. I could probably add to this list a couple more words that I associate with summer holidays, but I'm sure you get the gist.  

The blush is super blendable, you can apply it with your fingers, but I prefer to use this with a dense buffing brush and dab on and then blend the edges away.  

This is a beautiful, budget-friendy addition to perk up your make-up wardrobe for the summer. 
This product line is unavailable in Poland, but you can get these from or at no shipping charge.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Korean goodies: Mayn Bio Mineraltox Mist review

I love Korean cosmetics for their quality, but also for the surprise and fun factor involved. Thanks to Memeboxes I fell in love with face mists and use them daily. 
Mayn Bio Mineraltox Mist combines a useful product with the element of the unexpected.

This incredibly heavy bottle consists of mineral water infused with lemon balm, apple mint and royal jelly and something that looks like volcanic rock beads and dissolves, drenching this water with minerals.
The mist's claims are that it not only refreshes, and invigorates, but also purifies, brightens, counteracts external aggerssors (eg. dust or alcohol consumption), clears pores, plumps skin cells and prepares the skin to absorb skincare and make-up products. Sounds more like a cleanser than a face mist to me.

I must admit that I used this mist mostly to set my make-up or refresh myself during the day and hardly ever tried this on bare skin. I liked how the fine mist made my skin feel when I overpowdered it in the morning or when I felt tired during the day. The packaging was nice and handy and the rattling beads looked cool and fun. But I can't say this did anything spectacular to my skin. In spite of all the science behind the hotch-potch this didn't feel any different than plain mineral water from Vichy or La Roche-Posay.  
This was ok, but if you want to know if I feel I need to repurchase, the answer is no. 
For the time being the only face mist that figures on my 'to be repurchased list' is Caudalie Beauty Elixir.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Marc Jacobs Mod Noir Perfume review

There's no denying that what caught my interest in Marc Jacobs Mod Noir perfume was the packaging.  Made exclusively for Sephora, the bottle is a clear allusion to the brand's logo. 
It's highly appealing in its simplicity and a game of contrasts: black versus white, matte versus glossy, a ball versus stripes.
Also the box the perfume comes in is beautiful, and the bottle doesn't stand there, but half lies there, like an expensive watch in its case.  

But of course I wouldn't have bought the perfume without testing it first. 
The arrival of Mod Noir coincided with my annual summer search for something which usually ends up in a fiasco as perfume designers tend to misunderstand my desires completely. They either create scents that are sickeningly sweet or too zesty or make such bizarre concoctions that are no longer floral or release dupes of scents that were popular years back, probably hoping that no one remembers the original versions.

Mod Noir is different. It's a white floral, mainly gardenia scent, which opens fresh, even green and as the time goes by it reveals some musky base notes. It's fresh and floral and feminine and very powerful at the same time. It's lasting time is very decent, it lingers on my clothes till the next day and on my body for at least 5-6 hours.
If there's something it reminds me of , it would be L'eau d'Issey by Issey Miyake, though it's less complex in its nature and agrees with my skin better.    

Monday, 20 July 2015

Korean goodies: Purederm Pure Solution Eye Cream review

I love Korean skincare, but somehow their eye creams have never made it to my all time favourites.
Purederm Botanical Choice Pure Solution Eye Cream promises everything I need. It promises to moisturise and prevent water loss. It contains White Flower Complex, niacinamide and other botanical emolients to promote healthy look.
However,  this cream does nothing good to my dry undereye. 
There are creams that impress me for the first 30 minutes with how they go on, absorb and look under make-up, but this one doesn't do that. 
The consistency is thick and difficult to spread, especially in such fragile and sensitive area as the undereye. It doesn't absorb super thick but doesn't feel very moisturising and smoothing even for one minute. 
I use this only on my lids, which happen to be oily. 

This might be a good cream for someone very young who wishes to start using an eye cream as a preventive measure, but I don't really see the point as this can only give you wrinkles when you apply a heavy and stubborn substance like this.
The only good thing is that you get a hefty amount of 30ml instead of the standard 15ml.  

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Revlon Brow Fantasy by Colorstay in Dark Blonde review & swatches

  It's hard to believe that a couple of years ago I didn't have a single brow product. And when I started searching for something to enhance my brow shape I couldn't find anything decent in the drug store, but these days each drugstore brand has a decent brow product on offer and I must say almost all of them are really good. 

Having used up my beloved L'Oreal brow pencil I went to the drugdtore to see what they've got on offer and spotted something new from Revlon.  Brow Fantasy By Colorstay is a double-ended product. On one end there's a traditional wooden pencil, while on the other we find a tinted brow gel. The pencil is waxy, but doesn't melt upon contact with the warmth of my skin. It makes filling my sparse areas so quick and easy. While thin liners like Anastasia Brow Wiz make my brows super neat and kind of sharp, this Revlon pencil makes them naturally full and nicely shaped, the look which I currently prefer. The gel, although tinted, doesn't pack on more colour, but performs two functions. Thanks to its well-designed spoolie it combs through the brows perfectly, shaping them in a desired way and the gel keeps them in place all day long.

My shade is Dark Blonde, which is absolutely perfect for me. It's pigmented enough to fill in sparse areas in my brows and shape them nicely without making them look clownish or overdrawn.

The only downside is that I can see myself repurchasing the product soon as the pencil is only few centimetres long and will be gone after about 10 sharpenings or less. I'll use it up way before the gel. The whole product looks large, but it's highly misleading. Although this is a drugstore product, if we take amount to price ratio into consideration, it may turn out that this is actually more expensive than brow pencils by MAC or Anastasia Beverly Hills, but of course the brow gel is an added bonus here.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Korean goodies: Purederm Shower Jelly in Brightening Milk review

Today I've got a fun product that should make all fans of Korean gimmicks perk up their ears.

The thing in question is Purederm Shower Jelly. This is something I've seen for the first time in my life and have read all the descriptions super carefully to figure out what this is and which part of my body to use this on.
Well, apparently, this is a kind of soap. It comes in a tub and it has the most peculiar texture. It's kind of stiff, yet jelly like, reminded me somewhat of Turkish Delight or milk jelly.
The product comes with its own mesh bag which makes it easier to use and store, the downside is that the bag is not a drawstring one and you need to hold on tight near the opening to prevent the soap from escaping the bag.
The soap produces nice foam, has a subtle milky fragrance and the mesh bag works as a gentle exfoliator, which doesn't change the fact that this is just a soap and does nothing special to my skin apart from washing it. This thing doesn't dry out my skin, but it doesn't moisturise or nourish it either.

The selling point is definitely the fun factor involved, but I really don't need this soap in my life and am not going to look for a replacement on the net.  

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

L'Oreal Visible Lift Blur Concealer in #302 Light review

I got this L'Oreal Visible Lift Blur Concealer purely because of the claims that it makes.
This promises to optically blur and diminish imperfections using their patented Opti-Blur technology. Such things always make my ears perk up as I am a hopeless believer in make-up magic, unfortunately more often than not, sadly disappointed.

So let me start with the good things I have to say about L'Oreal Visible Lift Blur Concealer.
  • I like the shade, which is brightening under my eyes, but doesn't look like any kind of crazy Kardashian contouring.
  • The concealer goes on smoothly and looks very nice under my eyes.
  • The packaging is a very convenient squeezy tube.
  • The amount of product is exceptional. The tube contains 20ml of product, which is the same as Maybelline Dream Wonder foundation. I actually have tried it all over my face and I must say this made a nice full coverage foundation.
What I didn't like is that:
  • this product owes its blurring properties to its silicony nature and feel
  • as time goes by, this product becomes very drying under my eyes and instead of concealing wrinkles, this makes them come to play
It seems that the advantages outweigh the drawbacks, but it's the final result that counts and I really don't like how this sucks out moisture from my undereye, making it feel uncomfortable and look tired and wrinkled. So all in all this is a no no for me, but somehow I'm keeping this concealer, hoping to find some alternative use for this product.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Korean goodies: Cheek Room Lip Balm #05 Cherry Clover review

I don't suffer from dry lips and lip balms aren't a must-have for me, but I use them first of all because I like having something on my lips (without them I would be parading with a full-on lipstick at home) and because I want to keep mu lips in tip-top condition.

I never buy my lip balms, however, most of them come from subscription boxes or are some kind of freebies. The Cheek Room Lip Balm is one of such products. 

This balm came in one of my Memeboxes and instantly caught my attention with its super cute design which is right up my alley. I love its adorable vintage tin packaging and the small clover leaf inside. I have no idea what it does, but one thing is certain: the clover's texture is much harder than the balm it's embedded in.

Not only is the design nice, but also the product itself is of incredibly pleasant. The balm is quite lightweight, delicately candy-scented and I feel it makes my lips nourished and moisturised. 
It promises also to plump and revive the suppleness of chapped lips with the help of olive oil, shea butter and jojoba oil.
But what I like most about this balm is that, to my surprise, this clear pink substance tints my lips with very natural pink colour (and the finger I apply the balm with as well).

This is my favourite lip balm so far, from the packaging to what it makes my lips look like.