Monday, December 27, 2010

Finished Products in November

Much belated, but here are all the products I finished in the month of November. I will do a short reviews of each one for ya :)

✔Kose Coen Rich Q10 White Hand and Finger Cream (with Pearl Extract)
 
The big blocky letters that spelled out "white" drew my immediate attention to this product. While I've tried many hand creams in the past, none other claimed to also have whitening effects. We have whitening/brightening products that helps to diminish age spots, sun damage and blemish scars for every parts of our body, so why not hands too right :) I bought the big tube from Sasa.com. After finishing the entire tube, I don't think I noticed any brightening effects on my hands. But I do enjoy its moisturizing abilities and rich formula, a perfect product to use before I go to bed every night to keep my hands moisturized all night long. It has a nice flowery scent too, which is relaxing for bedtime.
I also bought a smaller sized tube from the same brand to carry in my purse for on the go. Very convenient.

✔Victoria's Secret Girls' Night Flirty Peony and Waterlily Nourishing Body Cream
I really enjoyed using this body cream. The scent is really sweet and fragrant, the cream texture is light and not at all greasy once rubbed in. I also like the tube packaging, makes it easy to squeeze out till the very last drop.

✔Borghese Therapeutic Foot Cream
 
I got some Borghese products from a gift set that I got a while back, one of the products inside was this foot cream. I really enjoy using Borghese body products, I've tried their body cream and face masks before, they all have this very nice and refreshing scent. This foot cream is no exception. As a foot cream, it's moisturizing and gets the job done. Honestly though, do we really need to purchase a separate foot cream? Body lotion probably does the same thing right? haha I get foot creams anyway, more reason to shop. I kid! :p

✔St. Ives Naturally Clear Green Tea Scrub
This gentle facial scrub really does smell a little like green tea! Unlike the apricot scrub from the same brand, the exfoliating bits in this scrub isn't as harsh and sharply edged, and the direction actually approved for daily use. I think for a while hubby used it daily though and no complaints from him. He never watches what he grabs to use in the shower, I won't be surprised if he's using my shower gel for his face one day if I move the bottles' locations around, hahaha. Anyway, about the scrub. I used it in conjunction with its sister product, the green tea facial wash. I really like this green tea line. It claims to clear up breakouts and reduces skin irritations and redness. I think it does a good job at cleaning the face. I also haven't been getting much break outs lately and I wonder if the green tea line had anything to do with it. All in all a very good and inexpensive facial wash line that you can get at any drugstores.

✔Porcelana Night Skin Lightening Cream 
I received this product to review, so I will have a detailed review post on this coming up soon. Let me just briefly talk about it here and mention how much I loved this product. It is a skin lightening cream that claims to fade dark sports and even skin tone. It does exactly what it claims. I've noticed a more speedy fading of my acne scar on my face, and I've also been using this on my body where I had scars from when I suffered eczema earlier this year -- that's why I used up this jar to fast (I also brought it with me on my honeymoon trip and used it on my body twice a day). This product really works! 

✔Sarah Michaels Moisturizing Bodywash
Yummy yummy peach scented shower gel. Need I say more? Smells so good!

✔The Face Shop Fragrant Enamel Remover
At $2 a pop, these The Face Shop nail polish removers are my favorite to use. They remove nail polishes, even glittery ones quite effectively, and they do not have that strong acetone smell, which I really appreciated. Instead it leaves my nails smelling nice. 

✔Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
Gosh took me a year (on and off ) to finish this bottle. It is so long lasting, also because I only needed a pump of product each time for my whole face. It is a light weight gel that is designed for combination/oily skin. I like this moisturizer for my face, especially in the summer/warmer days because it doesn't leave a heavy greasy feeling on my face. I am glad I finished it just in time for the winter though, I feel like I need to layer up with something a bit heavier if I use this gel during colder months.

✔ELF Zit Zapper
Another Zip Zapper finished. It is cheap (only a $1), has very effective ingredients, easy to use and travel with, works (as an acne prevention serum or as a spot treatment), and unlike the acne creams (benzyol peroxide) that I used to use that stained numerous shirts and pillow cases,  this one won't. Need I say more? Go try it :)

✔EOS Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream
This is from the maker of those cute colorful ball shaped EOS lip balms. Unlike other shaving creams I've used, this one does not foam up. It is in a cream texture that you just smear over your skin and then shave away. It leaves skin feeling moisturized, and I haven't had any nicks and cuts from my razor while using this bottle. The pump on top makes it convenient to use. 

✔Dr. Brandt Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner Blackhead Extractor
This is an interesting product. I was drawn to it first because of its name. It sounds so convincing right? It is a gel consistency that you smear over just cleansed face, wait 10-15 minutes, and rinse off. I think it is suppose to help loosen up the sebum and bring out the gunk in your skin so they could be gradually cleansed away overtime. For me, I always follow up with extraction (either with a pore strip, a nose mask or an extraction tool) because I found that the product makes those whiteheads easier to extract. While the product is drying on your skin, you will feel a strong tingly sensation. While it is fine for me, I can imagine some with more sensitive skin to sting from this. Always patch test and try new products with caution.

Honorary Mention:
✔Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads
I did not use this product up, but my hubby did, and he was so proud that he nmentioned to me that I should include it in my monthly finished product post. So here it is! dun dun dun! :)
I actually purchased this product for myself from Sephora in the spring. It sounds like the perfect product for my oily break out prone skin. Sadly my skin didn't like it (despite the yummy peach scent it leaves my skin with). Contrary to most reviews I read about how it helped with other people's blemishes, I in fact I think broke out from using it :( I was totally bummed out and told hubby that I wanted to return it. He said, are you sure? Let me try it! Since then it has been his and he loved it! 
Would I buy this again for hubby? Probably not. He even said himself that he doesn't need to use this (he likes his Clinique one, or whatever I give him just fine), he just didn't want my un-loved product to go to waste (hahaha thanks hubs, I already told you I could have returned it!). I think though, he secretly really loved how he could just pick up a sheet, use it and toss it away. Instead of taking a cotton pad, screw open the toner bottle, dump the product on the cotton pad...all that extra steps that he already doesn't want to do if I didn't force him. hahaha.

Tossed Mascaras: I honestly never finished a tube of mascara before it is time to toss. I feel like mascaras could last forever if you keep using a tube, but then I'd rather not risk any eye infections associated with using the same mascara wand for too long. 
✔Physician's Formula Organic Wear mascara
Would not buy again. The most dry and clumpy formula I've ever used -- even before I applied it on my lashes I could see the clumpiness on the wand. The mascara wand is a rubber wand with lots of short bristles, which I could see as potentially a really nice applicator, if paired with a formula that actually works. The mascara smells like sweet honey, kind of weird for a mascara but the scent was yummy regardless. Too bad this one goes in the trash because it just doesn't work for me. I kept going back to it hoping it'd work but it has been disappointing.

✔Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara
This mascara has a nice and big applicator that applies on the lash nicely. It really helped to lengthen my lashes. The formula is a little on the wet side, which means it takes a bit longer to dry on my lashes. I have on several occasions blinked my eyes before the mascara was dry and ruined my makeup with it. Once dry it stays on fine for the rest of the day and doesn't flake. However I noticed when I remove this mascara with an oil based eye makeup remover (Neutrogena), it leaves a lot of clumpy black pieces on the cotton pad.

✔MAC Zoom Lash mascara
This is my first MAC mascara. It came as a little free sample from one of my MAC orders. It didn't work out for me at all, so clumpy! I will not be buying a full size.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sephora Hello Kitty Sweet Gloss

When Sephora had their two day preview of Hello Kitty items last weekend, I unfortunately missed out on most of the stuff. By the time I saw the email and checked, a lot of the items I was interested in getting (such as the nail polishes, brush set, perfume, and the bling bling mirror) were all out of stock. The sale was suppose end at 12PST on Sunday night. I just had to be annoying and check the collection again at 11:45PM to see if anything were back in stock, and to my surprise, some items were! One of which was this Sweet Gloss. I hesitated on the perfume though. Even though it's got the cutest packaging ever, and the scent description sounds like something I would really love (sweet fruity scent), but I still wanted to sniff it in the store first just to make sure. This Hello Kitty collection comes out in Sephora stores in mid January I believe.
On the expiration date symbol on the label, it has a Hello Kitty bow on the lid, how cute :)

The sweet gloss I picked up is in the shade Peachy. I was afraid of the packaging looking cheap with white plastic casing, but alas this lippie has a very slick yet sturdy packaging, in a slim twist up tube.
 
Peachy looks like a pretty coral shade in the tube. On the lips though it appears pretty sheer, almost clear. The texture feels like that of a lip balm, light and moisturizing. So I guess you could classify this item as a tinted lip balm.
without flash
with flash
I really love the sweet strawberry scent of the balm, and the slim design -- the lip balm fits on my lips just right, without having to worrying about applying any products on the outside of my lips by mistake. This means I could apply this whenever and wherever without a mirror. I always admire girls that can apply their lipsticks and glosses without a mirror, I am always afraid of getting uneven spots or getting products on my skin hahaha.

Overall, I really liked this product and glad that I got it. However I have to admit, packaging played an important roll in my purchasing decision. Hello Kitty fans are breaking wallets left and right, is it me or does it seem like there are Hello Kitty items everywhere nowadays haha. I can't wait to see and play with the rest of the products from this line once they become available in store in Jan!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Review: Karmin G3 Salon Pro Straightener

Today, I want to talk about a new straightener that I received -- a Karmin G3 Salon Pro. At first I was a little hesitant to review a hair styling product because I am in no way good at styling my hair, nor do I use hair straightener often because I already have stick straight hair to start off with! I do own one hair straighter at home, and I use it once in a blue moon when I want to make my just showered hair more smooth (to get rid of kinks in my hair) or use it as a curling tool. However when I saw that Karmin G3 Salon Pro iron was ranked as one of the top hair straighteners on hairproductspro.com, I decided to give it a try. Plus it will allow me to compare my $29.99 iron that I got from Marshalls with this one (valued at $129.95).
The box it came with is a sleek black cardboard box. The box is also suppose to come with a free Heat Mat/Carrying Case Combo worth $25 with your purchase, but it wasn't in mine, so I am guessing maybe mine is a specially packaged one for review purposes only? The mat would be a really cool idea to protect your desk/vanity surface from getting burned/damaged.
 
The straightener is black and shiny, and has this super sleek and professional feel to it. It also feels really light, yet sturdy in my hand.
The straightener uses 1" wide tourmaline ceramic plates and ionic technology that will give shiny and healthy hair. It has a minimum temperature of 180F, and can reach a maximum of 450F. So you can adjust it to your desired temperature accordingly. Usually for thin hair types like mine, I never go to the highest setting because I don't want to burn my hair. But if you have thick hair that are hard to style, feel free to turn up the heat. 

Karmin plates
 
Helix by Hot Tools plates (for comparison)

What makes this Karmin straighter also a good candidate for curling hair is its special curved edge scratch resistance plates. Let me compare the Karmin plate to the Helix iron I already own. Notice how the Karmin plate is shiny, and curves around on the edge, where as the Helix one is just one thin plate that abruptly ends with a rather sharp edge? (click on the photos to enlarge) The curved edge on Karmin is what will give a kink free, smooth curl.
Once on my hair, it feels so smooth and just glides through my hair with ease. I had no idea before that a better straightener makes so much difference. I then tried with my old straighter, it didn't feel the same anymore. The plates felt like they were tugging on my hair as I dragged it through, and it also feels a bit heavier in my hands. A smooth plate means it could cause less damage and tugging on my hair, especially when you use your styling tool for curling.

Here are some of Karmin's instructions on how to create different looking styles with this one tool:
For me, I think this tool will be perfect for when I wore pony tails for the whole day, but have to change outfit and hair for a night out -- this will quickly help me to get rid of that hair tie kink in my hair for a quick style change. It will also be a good tool to bring on travel so I've got a curling iron, volumizing tool and straightener in one.

Even though I have only used one type of hair straightener before using Karmin, I have to say that Karmin is now my favorite among the two. Like I said, I am not an expert when it comes to hair styling tools, but even with the simple comparison, I now understand a good hair tool makes a big difference.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, I received the Karmin hair straightener to test and review for free. I did not get paid for this post, nor am I affiliated with the company. All opinions expressed are my own honest opinion.

Monday, December 20, 2010

♥ November Favorites ♥

Holy cow, the last time I blogged was still around Thanksgiving time, and all of a sudden it's almost Christmas, where did all the time go! Sorry for MIA for the past few weeks, I've been so terribly busy. I've been feeling so guilty that I haven't had time to blog, because I have soooo much to talk about! So let's get started with my last month's favorite products before it's way too late! And from here on I hope I can resume my normal blogging schedule, at least I will try! I've got a lot of the pictures organized already, so hey, at least that's a good start right?

So in the month of November, which now seems so far far away already, I really enjoyed using:

♥ Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzing Powder with Real Cocoa -- 
 
First of all, this powder smells SO YUMMY! Like chocolate, and I have the urge to lick it! This powder has no shimmer, and no orange, and is perfect for me! It's smooth and goes on well. I've been contemplating on getting this for a while now, but have heard both good and bad reviews about it. To me though, this is the perfect contouring powder, and I am glad that I decided to give in and give it a try anyway. You really don't need a lot each time, i just use a big fluffy brush and dust the powder right below the apples of my cheeks and extend it towards my jawline, along my cheek bone to give my face more definition.  The compact is nice and sturdy (the latch was very tight at the beginning and I had trouble opening it! But after a few uses, it is okay now), with a big mirror. On the mirror, it prints "why be beautiful when you can be gorgeous". I thought that was adorable.

♥ Rock and Republic Classic Tinted Primer SPF 20 -- 
This primer has a mousse consistency, its light and airy formula makes it super easy to apply and smooth out. I love how it also has SPF in it. I purchased this during Rock and Republic's 50% sale, started using it in September and still haven't finished. I can't tell how much product is left because the bottle is opaque, but it does feel significantly lighter now (another empty soon I hope? :p). Since the product is tinted, just it alone on my face already could help brighten up and even out my complexion a bit if I am not trying to achieve a full coverage makeup day. It is by no means a tinted moisturizer though, because it is super sheer and is more of a primer (glides on smoothly) consistency than a moisturizer. So on most mornings I'd just apply this, dab on concealer under my eyes and blemishes, dust on finishing powder and done! Super simple and quick. The pump bottle dispenses just the perfect amount of products each time. As far as oil control, it does a decent job, for me 2 to 3 hours at least before I need to blot (I blot several times a day), but the same goes with a lot of products I use because I have such oily face. During the winter time I don't actually need to blot as often, maybe once a day and I'm good to go.

♥ ELF Nourishing Cuticle Pen --
This is another great $1 find from ELF. I got mine from Target on a whim, but ended up really loving it! I will have to remember to stock up next time ELF has a sale. It is a pen shaped product that dispenses the cuticle oil through the highlighter shaped tip. The cuticle oil contains avocado and almond oils, with vitamin fortified E, A, C and pro-vitamin B5. To apply, I just apply the product along each of my cuticles and then lightly rub in. It is not super oily, and is pretty easy to absorb, yet it leaves my dry cuticles with a much more moisturized and nourished look. Because of it's pen-like applicator, I could achieve a very precise application without the mess as compared to my usual brush-on cuticle oils in a bottle. It also dispenses just the right amount of products so there is no need to rub the product in super hard.  This is great for on the go because it's light and slick. It's scent-free and color less, so it won't stain if you accidentally rubbed your fingers on anything you are holding.

 

♥ LUSH Snow Fairy Lip Tint --
 

Being a LUSH Snow Fairy scent fan, I have this urge to get every products available in this scent. For those of you who aren't too familiar with LUSH, they come out with a few classic holiday products very year, my two favorites being Snow Fairy shower gels (sweet candy scent), and Snowcake soaps (almond jello scent). Over the year they also come out with various products scented just like Snow Fairy, so far I've tried a few bath bombs with this sweet scent that I can't get enough of, a solid perfume, a lip scrub, and now this lip tint in the same scent. Even though it looks super bright and pink in the container, it actually goes on fairly clear on the lips. But if I wipe it off with a white tissue, I could see a trace of pink tint to it. The consistency is that of a lip balm, and it feels pretty moisturizing on the lips. However when I first purchased this, I was very discouraged by the fact that I have to use my finger to apply. The balm was also pretty waxy and not soft at all. Which meant it was really hard to take out enough products on my finger tips no matter how hard I rub. It wasn't until I talked to Catherine about it and she told me her trick -- take the tin and rub the product on your lips just like applying chapstick. The warmth from your lips will melt the product much better than finger tips, plus no dirty finger involved in the process. I tried that and it worked out wonderfully. Now I have it next to my computer, and throughout the day I find myself grabbing it to apply some on my lips. hmmm smells so good! What will happen when I used enough of the product that I can't use my lips anymore? hmm I will think of a way when that happens :p For now, it works great, so thank you so much for the great tip, Catherine! :) 
 

♥ MAC Pearlglide Intense Eye Liner --
I can't rave enough about this new find from last month. I loved them so much that I purchased Black Line (black with gold and green shimmer) and Lord It Up (bronze with shimmer) the first time, then went out to get Black Swan (black with pearl) to add to my collection. These are actually limited edition products that came out with the A Tartan Tale collection (haul post coming up soon!). So I made sure that I got enough until MAC decides to come out  more with another collection in the future. 
These liners are one of the softest and most pigmented liners I have ever used. They have a gel-like consistency that seriously glide on the skin, without pulling or tugging. What's even more amazing is that unlike UD 24/7 and even my beloved MUFE Aqua Lines, which still smudge a little bit by the end of the day on my oily lids, these are super smudgable while drying, but once dry, are so smudge-proof, it's amazing! The only bad thing about these liners is that because of the chunky glitters in them, it's not safe to use on waterline or tight line. I had once or twice applied it too close to my eyes and it started to hurt. So please do not get them in your eyes!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

We celebrated this year's Thanksgiving east-meets-west style at a good friend's house -- we made dumplings and enjoyed a yummy turkey.

I was also pretty excited to find out that my friend is also a makeup/skincare lover like me. We chatted about all the makeup deals for Black Friday, and exchanged some of our favorite face masks. These sheet masks she gave me are made with silk woven sheets. They are incredibly soft and thin, probably the thinnest and most conforming sheet mask I have ever used. Instant love! I did a quick search online but couldn't find this anywhere, going to have to bug my friend to get me some next time she goes back to her hometown.




She also gave me an Origins Mega-Mushroom Eye Serum to try out. I hope this works well!

Hubby and I didn't really go to any in-store Black Friday sales this year, we figured we probably have a slim chance fighting through the crowd. Instead, we stayed at home and made a few online purchases. The item I am most excited about is the new camera hubby bought me, which means, better photos for my blog! :D

This is what we enjoyed that night while shopping online. Wong Fei-Hong spicy peanuts (found this in my local Asian market) is the bomb! It's got just the right amount of spice, hmm so yummy! The persimmons are fresh from father-in-law's garden. We also like to buy fresh coconut by the case, they are so yum and a healthy snack (you can scoop the flesh out with a spoon too, hmm I want some right now!)

I'll end this post with some random purchases from this weekend:

I bought this UGG Water and Stain Repellent for Sheepskin and Suedes to spray on my UGG boots so they don't get dirty from rain and dirt easily. I can't believe I have never used this until now. You just spray this all over the outside of your boots, let it air dry for a day, and then you are good to go.

This bow bracelet is from H&M, it's just too adorable I can't pass it up!

Got my Happy Meal for this cute watch! They have a collection of Sanrio characters to celebrate the 50th year anniversary. I originally wanted Hello Kitty but they were all out, but this Chococat watch is cute too :p Go get yours before they run out!

My new purse, I've always wanted a light colored purse since I have way too many black/brown ones. This one is so roomy and soft. I am loving it!

I'll end the post with our breakfast from today:
This is imitating a famous northern China street food called 天津煎饼果子(TianJing JianBing GuoZi). It is made with a crepe covered in egg mixture, and wrapped around a crispy Chinese Doughnut (You Tiao), slathered in savory sauces. This seriously brings back good childhood memories -- the first (and only) time I ever had this was a trip to Beijing when I was 6, and I remembered it till now!

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving this year too, and that you scored some awesome deals from Black Friday. To my readers who are not in the US, hope you are having a relaxing and safe weekend :)