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Saturday, December 29

Banila & Co Let Me Dressed BB Cream Review

While BB Creams are kind of a hot topic for me this season, and considering my previous post was a little  on the trolling side (sorry, L'oreal), I thought I would blog about another one of my favourite BB creams.

Firstly, the Let Me Dressed Glam BB from Banila & Co (a kind of cult brand from South Korea) comes in 4 shades: classic beige, pink beige and yellow beige and 2 formulas for dry (moist) and oily skin (matte).

What the Let Me Dressed BB offers:
  • Medium to high coverage, great for those like me with acne prone skin
  • SPF 37 PA ++
  • Oil control
  • Wrinkle free, which basically means it covers and improves the appearance of existing wrinkles
  • And lastly, whitening , the covering and treatment of uneven skin tone

The texture is quite thick and creamy, and feels very similar to BRTC Jasmine Cream but this one is a thousand times easier to blend, it practically melts across the face. It honestly feels and looks like a foundation (minus the cakeyness).

The coverage is amazing, it hides almost all my blemishes. Some of the larger, more swollen pimples still need to be touched up with a bit of concealer, but that's no biggie; it also lasts for quite some time. After about five hours on a regular day at work I'll touch up with a bit of powder and I'll be set for the rest of the day. But the best thing about this BB cream is that it doesn't break me out.

I haven't worn foundation in weeks, and I'm a little sad because the tube is slowly slimming down with every use and it's not exactly  cheap (or easy to find for that matter). I grudgingly paid $37 AUD for mine from a seller on ebay, but it was worth every penny; it's far from empty at the moment but I think I'll be happy to spend the extra dollars again when the time comes.

Anyone else tried Banila & Co BB creams or any of their products before? What did you think of them? Let me know below!

Thursday, December 6

L'oreal Nude Magique BB Cream Review

Okay, so there was this three for two deal going on at Priceline and for some reason I thought it would be interesting to try out L'oreal's new BB cream. Truth be told, I've been avoiding western BB creams. There's been a lot of talk about them online, and for those who have been using Asian BB creams for years would agree that the western creams just aren't up to scratch. They're merely a poor excuse for a tinted moisturiser, and are a huge step back as far as personal skincare goes.  L'oreal's new Nude Magique BB cream is no exception; Its' nothing like any other BB creams I have tried , and I'm a little confused as to why they would bother labeling it as such.

The texture is bizarre. It's a very pale coloured liquid containing a whole lot of grimy feeling beads they call 'smart pigment capsules'. Apparently these micro capsules help 'correct skin tone, cover imperfections and refine skin texture'. For a second I thought they had done the impossible and created BB cream that also exfoliates (you never know). Anyway, once you rub it into the skin the capsules begin to break up, dissolve and change colour. Just as a note, I bought the lightest skin tone available, and when I saw how pale the texture of this 'cream' was I thought I would be okay. Yeah, no. I have quite pale skin, and in summer I do tan a little on my face and arms but not enough to match the colour that this BB oxidizes to.

So once I had finally applied this to my face I read the text on the back of the tube: 
'...beyond make-up, beyond skin can have all the benefits of  skin care with the perfecting properties of make-up.' 
It took me a couple of minutes, looking back and forth between the text and my reflection to figure out that this was utter BS.

So what exactly does this so called BB cream claim to offer?
  • Sun protection
  • 24 hour hydration
  • Flaw free complexion
  • A nude look

What it actually offers:
  • A measly SPF 12 (which might be okay if you lived in a closet)
  • No hydration
  • A nude look (offers little to no coverage, so I guess they got something right)
  • A really bad fake tan
Sorry, couldn't resist.
When you compare the functions of Asian BB creams to this BB...thing, there is a huge distinction to what each offer. Asian BB creams tend to offer a whole range of skincare functions such as
  • Whiteneing/ evens out skin tone
  • Refines skins texture
  • Treats discoloration
  • Treats/ reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Heals and treats acne
  • Heals scarring
  • Offer sun protection against UV and UB rays
  • Foundation like coverage

All in all, this product isn't a BB cream at all, I know some try to pass it off as a tinted moisturiser but without any moisturising properties it isn't really that either. So what is it exactly? I don't want to be a troll but can someone please tell me why this product exists? If anyone, anywhere finds a use for this product please let me know.

Friday, November 23

Lush Ultra Bland Cleanser Review

I can't say I had a real fondness for Lush,  in fact, I have only ever been in the store once before and that experience only lasted about ten seconds. It was the smell, it just invades your senses (as well as the horde of customers); but when one of my favourite skincare gurus raved about this on one of her YouTube videos I decided I would give this one a go.
The texture of this cleanser is incredibly thick, and feels like your lathering oil onto your face, but as the Lush lady demonstrated in store with a swatch of lipstick (at least I think that's what it was) is that oil digs deep into the pores, and the right oils lift dirt and cleanse without clogging them. While she was explaining this to me I checked the ingredients on the back: Almond oil, beeswax, honey, olive oil… and I just remember thinking how in the world this was going to fair on my oily, acne prone skin. So yeah, I did freak out a little, but my skin had been looking quite grotty and dull recently and I was desperate to find something a little more solid that wouldn't strip my skin. 

I was pleasantly surprised by how much this cleanser improved my skin overnight. The next morning it looked brighter, cleaner, and felt incredibly soft and moisturised. On top of that, existing acne was greatly reduced.  So I will admit, I have a new found respect for Lush and cannot wait to get back in there and buy up some of their toners and moisturisers. 

I'm going to be so broke this Christmas.

Thursday, November 22

BellaBox November '12

The November '12 Bella Box arrived on my doorstep this morning and I thought I would share what I received in my batch for you guys:

Bioderma Sebium H20 Cleansing Water sample
I'm a big fan of bioderma and have been recently trying out the Sebium foaming cleanser so it will be interesting to see how this one compares.

4ME Nail polishing remover pads
I'm really lazy when it comes to my nails so this is a heaven sent.

Swisse Hand Cream with Vitamin D and Pomegranate
It's hand cream, what else is there to say?

Palmolive Luscious Mango Body Butter Wash sample
Unfortunately I don't really care much for body washes, they never smell as nice on the skin as they do inside a bottle.

Bloom Glitter Liquid Eyeliner
Cool! I don't actually own anything like this, but I think it will come in handy once the 21st birthday parties start rolling in.

Ocean Essence Nourishing Cherry Face Mask
I've never heard of this brand before, but I love face masks and don't have many that moisturise and brighten so  I'll definitely be trying this out.

Organicspa Face Exfoliant sample
Another organic product and brand I've never heard of. Sounds kind of Apparently the full sized products cost $32.95 so maybe not...never the less, I'll give it a go.

And apparently there was supposed to be a moustache necklace but I never received one of those :( oh well.

This is my third Bella box and I've been quite impressed with what they've sent me. This month would be one of the least exciting ones so far but in every box there is always an item or brand that I have wanted to try out.  I also love the fact that there is always at least one full sized product in the box every month, which is great because those products are usually worth more than the $15 monthly subscription alone.

I'm new on the beauty box band wagon and I am currently looking at other Aussie boxes to try out later, so if anyone has any recommendations let me know!

Sunday, October 14

BRTC Jasmine Water BB Cream Review

I have been on the BB band wagon for quite a while now, and now that summer is on the horizon I've been testing and using them a lot more; but today I thought I would share with you one of my favourite BB creams: BRTC's Jasmine Water BB.

Like all BB creams on the market today, well, the Asian ones that is, after long term use it's guaranteed that you'll see an improvement in your skins overall texture and tone. The Jasmine Water offers improvement in the areas of whitening (or brightening) of the skin (arbutin), the healing of scars and blemishes (zinc oxide, green tea, almond oil and aloe vera), and also the improvement of existing wrinkles (whatever that means).

I will admit, I didn't really like this product the first time I tried it, mainly because of the scent, a hint of jasmine smooshed under a lot of chemicals pretty much sums it up. Also, all the other BB creams I had tried previously had lovely scents, Skin79, Missha, hell, even the freaking snail mucus ones smelt nicer. Thankfully, I've become more accustomed to the smell because honestly, this product is too good to dismiss on scent alone. Plus if your are in the market for a BB cream that offers you a flaw-free, ghostly complexion, then this is the one for you! But seriously, those of you with darker complexions may want to stay away from this one because the colour is quite light; light beige with pink undertones.

I have quite problematic skin and the Jasmine BB cream offers medium to high coverage that actually hides your blemishes and redness. It's also incredibly moisturising and lasts for around 6 to 8 hours before it needs a touch up. This is one of the few BB creams that I can actually wear just on its own. Unfortunately, you wouldn't want to put foundation over it anyway. The cream itself it quite thick and doesn't like to collaborate with anything other than skin. When I applied foundation on top  my skin looked congested and cakey. But this doesn't really bother me to be honest, the cream does a great job of hiding my blemishes and redness by itself (as you can see below).

Before // After

Overall, this is one of my favourite BB creams, mainly because the coverage is a life saver for me. It brightens my skin, reduces redness, hides my acne, and moisturises my skin, and on top of that, it has helped improve my skin in the long run, but give me ten years and I'll get back to you guys on the wrinkle front.

Thursday, September 13

August Favourites

My first favourites list (yay!), and surprisingly, despite all the make up I've been buying for the last few months, it's practically all skincare. Anyway, let's get to it:

  1. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF15
Thanks to this stuff, my lips survived through winter, and I have to say, they have never felt better. They flake less, and always feel soft and supple now. It has a very refreshing scent as well, like lime and sugar, and literally melts onto your lips. I never thought I would be one to pay $30 for a lip balm but I am sold; even if the packaging is worth 90% of the price, I'll be back for more regardless.

  1. Batiste Dry Shampoo
I've never been very excited about dry shampoos...until Batiste came a long. Unlike some other dry shampoos on the market, this one is incredibly easy to use, just spray and brush. I have insanely dry, frizzy hair but because my hair is quite fine the roots are always oily by day two. This product has really saved me the trouble of washing my hair everyday, and has made my second day hair a lot more manageable. 

  1. My Beauty Diary Apple Polyphenol Masks
I love this mask, and no words can express how upset I was when I ran out of these babies. The purpose of these Apple Polyphenol masks is oil control and pore constringing, but I've found it's really helped clear up and prevent acne. It's also incredibly moisturising and smooths and firms the skin. It's designed for normal skin but I highly recommend this to anyone with large pores and acne. Also, My Beauty Diary masks are really good value for money. I don't know about the rest of the world but in Australia I pay about $12 for a 3sheet pack, My Beauty Diary on the other hand it's $13 for 10 sheets. I know, ridiculous right?

  1. Alpha-H Liquid Gold
I've been using this product for about two months now and it's now become a staple in my skincare routine. The results it gave my acne prone skin were amazing. The morning after I first tried this product I was stunned at how different my skin looked. Not only does it help to clarify your skin, fight and prevent acne it gives you brighter (almost glowing), happy, healthy looking skin. I think it's safe to say that I'll definitely be repurchasing this product in the future.

  1. Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil
Facial oils are incredibly misunderstood. For my entire life I've learned to stay away from skincare with certain ingredients in them, especially oil, so it took me a while to build up the courage and buy this product. This rosehip oil focuses on treating multiple skin problems including acne, wrinkles, scars and stretch marks; and in general nourishes the skin. After just one week I noticed that my acne had greatly reduced (and was staying away!) my scars had faded and in general my skin looked healthy and happy. As someone with combination/oily skin I only apply this at night time, but it can also be used as a daily moisturiser for those with dry skin. For an all-in-one facial treatment/serum it's very affordable. I only paid $22 AUD for 20ml. At this point, feels like I'm sold for life.

Wednesday, August 29

YSL Shocking Volume Mascara

Volume Effet Faux Cils (Shocking) - # 01 Deep Black
I've only tried this mascara a couple of times and I already consider it an all time favourite.

Despite this, there's really nothing much to say. To sum it all up it gives great volume, great length that's lasting, gives you a beautiful doll eyed look and, I never knew this was possible for mascara, but it smells really nice. Like butterflies and rainbows. Seriously.
Although I don't think it's the most 'shocking' mascara I have ever tried it's definitely the only of its kind that can boast great length and volume and still look good; and at $34 AUD I believe it's worth every penny.

Monday, August 20

Oz Cosmetics Haul

So… I went a little crazy last week on Oz I'm excited about trying out all these products so I have no regrets...yet.

  1. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer
  2. Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturiser (Nude)
  3. Prevage Triple Defense Shield SPF50 Sunscreen
  4. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15
  5. Yves Saint Laurent Shocking Volume Mascara
  6. Korres Lip Butter (Jasmine)
  7. Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Skin Perfecting Foundation (B10)
I can see some more reviews looming in the near future...

Korres Mandarin Lip Butters

Korres Mandarin Lip Butters in Peach & Rose
Lip butters have been my saviour this season, I wear them everywhere. I wear them when I'm out with friends, at work, even at home. Overall, they are great for your average, everyday use. Lipstick and lip glosses are too much of a hassle; and lip balms are colourless and boring; in the middle sit the lip butters, offering what everything else lacks: lasting colour and moisture. Of course, not all lip butters are amazing, but these Korres ones are pretty darn close to it.

The shea butter and sunflower wax in this product helps maintain moisture for a lot longer than Revlon's colourbursts, they lasted for at least two hours on my lips before drying out. They also contain SPF15, and yes, your lips need protection from the sun too, so this is another huge plus. The scent is light and practically unnoticeable, and for those who like to eat their lipbalms, no matter how hard they try, good news, it tastes like nothing!

They're available in five basic colours : colourless, peach, pink, purple and rose.

Unfortunately it's somewhat hard to track down these stick butters online. I purchased mine off ebay for $5 each but I know you can also purchase them from Asos and Korres' official site for $10 each. That may sound somewhat expensive but it's half the price of what I paid for those Revlon lip butters. Ugh.

Saturday, August 18

Missha's Mega EX Volume Mascara Review

Mega EX (Cat) Volume Mascara by Missha

During my most recent Yes Style haul I decided to try out a couple of South Korean cosmetic brands. Missha's Mega EX (which I am going to assume means 'EXTREME') mascara was one of them. I picked up the Cat Volume one, but they also have a Doll and Fan volume; but what really intrigued me about this mascara was the packaging. As a visual design student I tend to have a weakness for sleek, shiny things and when I saw this mascara, I don't know why, but I couldn't help myself.

The packaging is, well, plastic and looks even more so in real life, and the brush looks so hairy  it looks like I stuck it in a pile of dust, which I probably did now that I think about it. After going over my lashes 4-5 times it starts to clump a bit too much for my liking, and although you can work it to give your lashes quite a bit of length it lacks that 'MEGA EXTREME' volume the name implies. Its staying power is pretty decent though, in fact, even after my regular eight hour shift there was no smudging and the length hadn't dropped off either.
Before | After
Overall, it's not a bad mascara. It almost looks natural from afar, so It's great for those lazy days at home or when you just don't feel like dealing with your messier, high-end mascaras. Considering that I only paid $14 AUD for it, I think I got my money's worth, but if I had the cash to go back and buy another one at its regular retail price ($19) I'd probably put it towards a better mascara for a few dollars more.

Thursday, August 16

Revlon Lip Butters Review

From left: #080 Strawberry Shortcake,  #085 Sugar Plum, #040 Red Velvet,

As my first post (yay!), I thought I would start off with my latest beauty obsession: lip butters. We're in the middle of winter at the moment in Australia so my lips are always in need of some TLC, hence my madness-educed splurge on lip balms this season. Having tried the Korres Mandarin lip butters previously, and seeing practically everyone in the beauty blog world giving them a go, I thought why not?

Revlon's Colourburst lip butters come in a huge range of colours (well, huge for a lip butter range), so it's safe to say there is a colour for everyone. My lips are a little redder than most of my fellow pasty's out there, so I tend to go for the darker colours (Red Velvet, Sugar Plum). Priceline were having a 2 for 1 sale at the time so I decided to try out a lighter colour (Strawberry Shortcake). I don't know about anyone else but I found the spread of the pink looked very inconsistent on my lips. Unlike the other colours, it tended to just sit in and highlight the cracks on my lips whether or not I applied lip balm before or after. It also has a slight shimmer to it which I never noticed while purchasing. So here's a word of caution, some are shimmery! :( I thought I was going mad when I first put this on my lips. The problem is at first glance at the product you won't notice it (can't even see it in the close up below either), it was only when I put my glasses on and looked at it in the sunlight did I see the incy-wincy glittery particles. Funny how something so minuscule can make such a huge difference.

From top: #040 Red Velvet, #085 Sugar Plum, #080 Strawberry Shortcake

On the other hand the Red Velvet and Sugar Plum (non-shimmer based) smoothed out my lips for a bigger, fuller look and I've been wearing them everyday since I bought them, even if I am bumming around my house in my jammies most of the time…

Unfortunately, they're not the most moisturising lip butters on earth. They feel nice and nourishing on application, but in most cases I've had to reapply it within an hour with a little balm to avoid my lips drying out completely.

The colour is definitely buildable, but as someone who personally likes my lips to look more natural than anything, I find myself applying lip balm over the top to avoid my libs being too vibrant during the day; and this is what I love about lip butters. It's a lipstick and moisturiser in one.

Overall, I really like this product, maybe not as good as the Korres Mandarin lip butters but you have to admit, these babies look great in your purse (and won't break as easily). Plus I love it how you can just smack it on and go. No blotting, no layering, no brushes, nothing. Love it.