22 Feb 2014

Review: Etude House Look At My Eyes Pearl Shadow Base

Hello! I'm back after a short  break from blogging and today I'm reviewing Etude House's Look At My Eyes Pearl Shadow Base.

For those of you who don't know, eye shadow base is one of those essential items needed for when you want to create perfectly colour-popping eye shadow looks. As you can see from the picture below, it really enhances the colour of your eye shadow and, in my opinion, can even improve the look of those dreaded chalky and low-pigmented shadows.

I got the 2g pot from the Etude House mini store on Gmarket for KRW4 500. The packaging is similar to  Etude's single eye shadows which make it easy to apply with your fingers or a cream shadow/ concealer makeup brush. This base is compacted inside the pot (if that makes sense?) and has a creamy texture with a pearl shimmer, but this doesn't affect matte eye shadows.

So, let's see how it performed:

The bad news: since it has such a creamy (almost oily) texture your eye shadow is going to crease. The good news: don't let this put you off- I've found a way around this: Apply a matte skin colour eye shadow before applying this base and set it afterwards with the same shadow. It will help keep your lids oil-free all day and won't affect the colour-popping of your other eye shadows. Alternatively, you can also try an eye primer, but I'd still recommend setting the base with a neutral eye shadow as it might still crease or cause your mascara to transfer onto your lids. You can also use this base a a highlighter on your Cupid's bow and cheeks and nose- yay!

I like this base. It's not the best out there, but it's sufficient enough for my current needs as it really does brighten up my eye shadow beautifully. In a perfect world it wouldn't make your eye shadow crease, but for the price you're paying and the fact that you can work around its Achilles heel, I'm giving it 3.5.

11 Feb 2014

Etude House Petit Bijou 'Peach Touch' Eau de Toilette!

Since I discovered Etude House during my first stint living and working here in Korea, I've loved their Petit Bijou Perfume range. All three fragrances (Peach Touch, Baby Bubble & Cotton Snow) are lovely in their own way and I've owned each of them at some point.

It's been a while since I've purchased Peach Touch and since it has such soft fruity floral notes, I thought it'd be a nice change from the very floral Princess Etoinette I got not too long ago. The regular price for 30ml is an affordable KRW18 000, but I bought mine online at Gmarket during their monthly 30-50% sale period for only KRW12 000 (major win).

The Petit Bijou range was created by late master perfumer Laurent Bruyere (Amor Amor by Cacharel, Alien by Thierry Mugler, Polo Blue by Ralph Lauren) and the bottle designed by Elie Papiernik (Fragile by Jean Paul Gaultier, Cool Water Wave by Davidoff, Ultra Violet by Paco Rabanne). I really love the cute design- from the adorable packaging to the actual glass bottle with its silicon-type flower around the neck, however, it is the contents that's really captured my attention- this perfume is heavenly!

Top notes: Citrus Fruity {grapefruit, lemon}
Middle notes: Fruity Floral {peach, pink rose, jasmine}
Bottom notes: Musky Amber {musk, sandalwood, amber}

The fragrance develops wonderfully and lasts a good couple of hours before you need to spritz yourself again. It was really love at first smell for me, because (like the other two fragrances in this range) it epitomises everything girly about me. It's perfectly gentle and fresh with a shy touch of peach that makes me feel just lovely! I highly recommend this to everyone who likes a gentle fruity floral fragrance without the hefty price tag that so often accompanies nice perfumes!

4 Feb 2014

Review: L'Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil Hair Masque

Today I'm reviewing (well, actually more like raving about) one of my all-time favourite hair care products: L'Oreal Mythic Oil Nourishing Hair Masque. This miracle in a jar really saved my hair after I put it through a ton of abuse in 2012. To give you a rundown, I had been dyeing my naturally light brown hair dark brown/black since I was 15, which has been fine, but after moving to Korea where "Magic Straight" (chemically straightening) is all the rage, I decided to try it out. A few months after that, I decided that I'm tired of having black hair and wanted to go a few shades lighter, so I went to the salon and got it bleached and redyed to a reddish brown colour. But then I didn't like the red so much, so dyed it brown again and that was it. My thick, beautiful shiny, healthy hair was ruined.

I was left with dry, brittle hair with so many split ends I could cry. I then started using the Mythic Oil shampoo and hair masque and noticed a big difference. I wasn't too crazy about the shampoo as it left my hair feeling a little greasy at the roots, but the masque is the only type of conditioner to ever touch my hair now.

The Mythic Oil range contains Argan oil which is rich in Vitamin E and Omega 3 oils as well as Cotton Seed oil that helps to soften hair. This formula is paraben-free and light enough for everyday use. They are only available at hair salon's who stock L'Oreal products and while I'm not 100% sure of the price, I know it's pretty pricey (about $30/ ZAR350/ KRW35 000 for 200ml.) I got my first tub in South Africa for about that price and asked my mom-in-law to send me some for Christmas. It does last a long time though (about 4~7 months) as you only use a small amount at a time and only on your ends.

My hair has become soft, shiny and healthy-looking again and I am able to easily comb through it when it's wet- an almost impossible task with drugstore variety conditioners when your hair is extremely dry and brittle. While this product didn't completely reverse the damage, it did help to nourish and replenish lost moisture.

I've been growing out my hair since 2013 and it even protects and repairs my new hair against the hard water in our apartment building (another sneaky culprit of hair damage!) I can honestly vouch that this product is worth every cent. The wonderful results, amazing smell and quality of this stuff is why I will continued to rave about it for years to come and recommend it to everyone whose hair needs some TLC.


3 Feb 2014

Review: Etude House Color My Brows Eyebrow Mascara in #4 Natural Brown

Today I'm reviewing Etude House's Color My Brows eyebrow mascara and I have to admit that when I first saw this stuff I was really confused! People put mascara on their brows? Whyyy?! Maybe I was stuck under a rock or something, but I had no idea that such a product even existed until I saw it in the store. But being the beauty addict that I am, I was also intrigued and had to try out this cosmetic anomaly.

After some investigating, I learnt that eyebrow mascaras are quite nifty little things. They can be used to fill brows, lighten or darken brow colour or to set the brows to keep them in place after filling them in with your pencil or brow kit. Pretty cool, right? I thought so too!

Color my brows comes in an extended five colour range: #1 Rich Brown, #2 Light Brown, #3 Red Brown, #4 Natural Brown and #5 Blonde Brown. I chose #4 Natural Brown as it's a tad lighter than my natural eyebrow colour and helps lighten up my brows after I fill and shape them with my Perfect Brow Kit. This makes them look more natural and also sets them in place until I remove my makeup at night. A little word of advice, unless you have almost invisible brows, don't opt for a darker colour than your eyebrows as this might look a bit harsh/ masculine on your face, especially if you have thicker brows.

The packaging is very simple. It comes in a bottle similar to mascara, except a little shorter, with a spool brush for application. As the spool tends to grab a lot of product, I'd recommend wiping off the excess before applying it to your brows as it might be too thick and clumpy and you'll end up looking a little ridiculous. To apply, sweep the brush from side to side or up and down and gently brush the product onto your brows. If you have thicker brows, you can even use it to shape the direction of your brows and it will set it nicely in that position all day. I bought mine in store for KRW 6000 which is a decent price considering how long it lasts. I've been using it for three months already and there's still tons of product left.

I really like this product and now consider it a staple item in my makeup routine. If you've read my other posts, you'll know I'm a big fan of eyebrow grooming and this little gem finishes them off perfectly. Do I recommend it? Absolutely! If you're as serious about your brows as you should be as I am, go get some straight away, my lovelies! ;)


1 Feb 2014

Review: Bourjois Healthy Mix Radiance Reveal Foundation in 52 'Vanilla'

I often see Bourjois foundations in the makeup tutorials I watch online and decided to try the popular Healthy Mix Foundation, which has recently been reformulated to provide more radiance. Since I've never tried the original formula, I can't comment on the differences, but as far as packaging goes, the new version comes in a glass bottle while the original came in a plastic bottle.

The new formula promises to give skin a radiance boost and leave it looking flawless for up to 16 hours. According to the Bourjois website, it is enriched with a fruit therapy formula to enhance your complexion and contains apricot, melon and apple for radiance, hydration and to protect your youth (Protect my youth?? Um, okay- that's one way of putting it!). It is also enriched with crystalline pigments for evening out the complexion while letting in natural light for a healthy looking glow.

I  purchased the 30ml bottle online at Gmarket for KRW35 000. It comes with a pump dispenser for easy, hygienic dispensing and I use about two pumps per application. There are eight shades to choose from and I chose 52 'Vanilla' which looked like the best match from the available shades, however still a bit on the yellow side (perhaps 51 Light Vanilla would have been better?). My skin tone is neutral, meaning I have both warm and cool undertones, so I could still manage to make it work for me, but I think this shade is better suited to those with warm undertones. It has no SPF, so remember to apply some beforehand.

This foundation has a lovely fruity smell which disappears quickly after application and the liquid consistency is really great and feels super lightweight on my skin. It can be applied with your fingers, a makeup sponge or any type of foundation brush and provides medium buildable coverage. It doesn't cover dark circles or blemishes, but does even out skin tone. I would however recommend using a good primer with this foundation as it doesn't cover up visible pores very well.

The initial finish is dewy and really lovely, but after an hour's wear, my problems with it start. Firstly, this foundation oxidises on my skin- a huge turnoff! For those who don't know what oxidation is, simply put: It's when your foundation turns a darker or orange colour because of the reaction between specific ingredients in your foundation and the natural oils on your skin. My second problem is the fact that (wait for it) it exacerbates the oiliness and dries my t-zone out at the same time! I've used this foundation in both warmer (and now) colder months and I've found that in winter time when my skin is pretty dry all over, it tends to accentuate any flakiness I might have around my nose and cheeks. I tried using different moisturisers, primers, setting powders and blending techniques, but none helped me counteract the problems I was facing with this foundation.
What a disappointment!

I really wanted this foundation to work for me and had really high hopes for it, but alas, we weren't meant to be. While it applies wonderfully and feels great initially, I just can't get over the awful reaction it has with my skin. I think this is one of those foundations best suited to those with normal skin and warm undertones. I guess I'll just have to keep on looking for The One... wish me luck!


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