25 Apr 2014

Review: Etude House Vivid Pop Stick #3 'Just Dance'

Today I'll be reviewing the Etude House Vivid Pop Stick in shade #3 'Just Dance'. These chubby sticks come in eight different shades ranging from soft peach all the way to crimson red. They can be used to create gradient lips as well as vivid, full-coverage looks. I got mine online at Gmarket for KRW7 500 for 2.4g. 

It comes in a plastic holder with a twist mechanism at the bottom end. Nothing special; pretty much just serves its purpose. There's about 4cm of product when it's twisted all the way out.

Texture and Scent:
There's virtually no scent to this lip crayon, which saddened me a little as I love lip products with sweet, fruity scents. As for the texture, I can't praise Etude enough for coming up with such a gorgeous formula! Because of its smooth, creamy texture this stuff goes on effortlessly and feels really comfortable and lightweight.

My thoughts:
As some of you might know by now, I'm not the biggest fan of lipstick as it's very drying on my lips. Chubby sticks like this one have been a welcome addition to my makeup collection! What's special about this one though, is the fact that it has a matte finish, but without the drying effects commonly associated with it. The formula is very moisturising and so comfortable to wear that it almost feels like I've only got lip balm on. The wear is pretty average at 1-3 hours, but if you're going to eat or drink it will fade, leaving a slight tint on your lips that lasts a good couple of hours.

I like how versatile this product it is. You can wear it any way you like: from a slight tint with some lip balm over it, to gradient lips and it works amazingly well for vivid, k-pow! in-your-face bright lips, because its super pigmented. The only real issue I had is with the shade. It looks more on the red side than the deep pink colour I was expecting. Luckily, I liked the way it turned out. One thing about the colours though, some of them look slightly unnatural and because of this, will only work on people with certain skin tones and colouring. Will I be repurchasing? Yes, in fact the next shade I've got my eye on is #4, so I can finally have that pretty pink colour my makeup drawer is lacking.


12 Apr 2014

Review: Banila Co. It Radiant CC Cream

CC creams have recently hit the market by storm as the next best thing since BB cream and like their marketing-gimmick, double-letter namesakes, these two products are quite similar in terms of ingredients, but differ in how they perform. CC cream stands for Colour Control or Colour Correct cream and is used as a base cream/ moisturiser under foundation or BB cream to nourish, smooth and even out skin. Although this differs from brand to brand, it is general consensus that CC creams have less coverage (if any) than BB creams. When CC cream hit stores early last year, I was skeptical to try it, but as the months passed, my hesitation dwindled I decided to get the Banila Co It Radiant CC cream as it is considered the best here in Korea (it sold out only 5 hours after its launch). At KRW25 000 for 30ml of product, it's a bit more expensive than BB cream. I got mine on sale at the Banila Co minishop on Gmarket for KRW21 250 and they also threw in a black eye liner pencil as part of the deal.

What it Promises:

The Banila Co CC cream comes in a long, soft plastic tube with a hygienic pump dispenser that dispenses enough product for a single application with each pump.

Texture & Scent:
As with the Skin79 BB cream, I love the scent of this stuff. It smells like sunscreen, but not quite as heavy and disappears after a few seconds, so it won't bother those who are sensitive to fragrance. The texture is also very lovely- creamy, yet weightless, absorbs quickly and isn't greasy at all. It has an ever-so-slightly pearlescent colour to it that reminds me of the MAC Strobe Cream I reviewed a while back.

My Thoughts:
First, I have to get something out of the way: the Banila Co CC cream is not makeup. It doesn't provide any sort of coverage like BB creams do; and it's important you know this, because I've seen many people be disappointed when they use this and they realise the only thing it leaves them with is a sunscreen-type white cast. I can't speak for other CC creams, but this one very much falls into the 'skin care' category and is at most an SPF moisturiser for all skin types, but most beneficial to those with dry to combination skin. If you have normal skin, take a pass on this one- you simply don't have a need for it. If you have very oily skin, then you might want to skip it too as it will most likely exacerbate the oiliness.

Now that I have that out of the way, let me just say that I actually really like this cream. Not for its whitening properties (which btw, I haven't noticed in ANY beauty product like ever) and ironically, not for its colour correcting abilities either, because it doesn't correct any sort of redness I have. Well, at least not to any degree that I feel I could confirm as a legitimate claim. What I do, however, love about this product is the way it makes my skin look and feel. It quickly smooths rough skin texture and hydrates without the heaviness of typical sunscreen-loaded face cream. It works perfectly under foundation and BB cream and doesn't make me grease up in my t-zone at all. It is a perfect winter product as it manages and prevents dry patches and flakiness much better than my regular moisturiser. I also like that it gives my skin that dewy glow, without turning oily by the time midday strolls along. 

Is this an essential makeup item? Not by a long shot. The greatest irony about this product is the lack of actual colour correction, but if you can get past this it's worth a try, as it's a little life saver for those with annoyingly dull, dry, flaky skin with a rough texture.  I'll more than likely repurchase, but only for the winter season. 

2 Apr 2014

Review: Skin79 Super Plus Beblesh Balm Triple Functions - Hot Pink

I've been on a BB cream spree of sorts these last couple of months, trying out all kinds of different ones in the form of samples I get with my other purchases, as well as ones I decided to try out on recommendation from other beauty bloggers. I've actually known about the popular Skin79 BB creams (they call theirs 'Beblesh Balm') for a good while now and have no idea why I haven't tried it sooner. There are so many different kinds to choose from (almost too many), but there really is one for every skin type and preference! I decided on the Hot Pink since its one of the more popular versions and suited to all skin types, but with emphasis on oil-control. I got mine on sale at the Skin79 Mini Shop on Gmarket for KRW22 950, which (for 40g of product) is a tad more expensive (even with the sale price) than your average Korean BB cream brands. As part of the sale event, they included 5 face sheet masks as well as a bunch of samples of the other BB creams in this range. Yes, please!

What it promises: 


While I love the bright pink container and its hygienic pump dispenser, I've found that the pump can be somewhat temperamental at times, not dispensing the same amount of product with each pump and sometimes dispensing no product at all, due to air bubbles that get trapped inside. This isn't a major turnoff for me though.

Texture and Scent:
Let me start by saying I love the scent of this product! It smells like sunscreen, except a little lighter and makes me feel happy somehow (Yes. I'm a little weird that way when it comes to scents and colours.) The smell disappears soon after application though, so it won't be a bother to those who are sensitive to fragrances.

The texture is also rave-worthy. Seriously. This stuff is a dream come true for anyone who battles dry skin and has been the best product I've tried on my dry, winter skin. Its creamy, yet wonderfully light texture is an absolute delight to my skin as it gives it a much-needed moisture boost. And I must emphasise how amazing it is in terms of preventing and managing flakiness. So much so, that my mind is completely boggled at the fact that this particular version is marketed at normal to oily skin types.

My thoughts:
This BB cream only comes in one shade (it's greatest drawback) and, sadly, will only be suited to those with lighter complexions. While it initially gives that typical BB cream grey cast, it does oxidize beautifully to match my NC20 skin tone after just a few minutes. Because of its light coverage it can even be used as a primer or as base coverage under your foundation. I haven't found it to be the best in oil control (which it is marketed as) but as long as I use my Face It Velvet Skin Primer and a touch of setting powder in my t-zone, I'm good to go. It does give a lovely dewy finish, which is great for dry skin, but will eventually slightly melt in the t-zone if you tend to get oily there. [Tip: It's better to apply a thin layer as it can end up looking a bit shiny if you apply too much product.] I haven't noticed any wrinkle improvement or whitening, although as I've mentioned before, I think what these cosmetics companies mean is that it prevents pigmentation due to sun exposure thanks to the high SPF ingredients- because I've never experienced any bleaching properties with any beauty product I've used to date (and sure as hell don't want to either!)

Anyone struggling with dry, flaky, sensitive skin will know how incredibly rare it is to find a product that revives your skin and that's what I've found in this BB cream. I really love the way this it makes my skin look and feel as well as the fact that it doesn't make me break out. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it actually helps improve it. I'll probably use this more during the winter season, because my skin gets rather oily during the humid Korean summer months, but thankfully I've already found the version in this line that will be perfect for summer.

In my search for the perfect BB cream, I think I have finally found a true contender and as such, the Skin79 BB creams (note the plural... I've tried several samples of the other versions and they're really nice too!) have earned their spot on my very short HG product list.

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