Sunday, October 23, 2016

Coffret D'Or Premium Stay Rouge in RD-214

Yup, I went on eBay and hunted down a previous limited release of  Coffret D'Or Premium Stay Rouge. In my defense, it was only marked up by a few bucks (I will take it as international postage) and this formula is totally worth that extra effort. Now I just have to look pass this gold plastic tube.
RD 214 is a limited release (from summer 2015 I am guessing) so the cap and belt are in deeper pink than the permanent ones. The plastic tube is shiny and highly scratchable but I don't expect much from mid-range drugstore brand. 
RD-214 is a clear red that looks like a clear jelly. Once the top layer is warmed up, you can still the tiniest bits of glimmer (which can't be felt or seen on lips) that adds onto the juicy depth. There is no scent, unlike the summer 2016 releases. 
Revlon Lip Butter in Wild Watermelon (I wore it yesterday and was reminded of the good old days when I loved Revlon lippies and stalked their releases feverishly. It seems that they discontinued this shade as well?) with Coffret D'Or RD 214 and PK 305. To me, the warmth in RD-214 is  punchy coral red undertone (not an yellow/orange or brown based one) and it's so juicy and bright. It's actually not super warm even next to the blue-leaning PK 305.
Coffret D'Or Premium Stay Rouge (worn on a very warm and humid day). It's a glossy and mousturizing formula but not a super thick one. It got that close and thin fit that gradually fades into balmy stain (so this shade has the same formula as PK-305).
Another swatch picture taken on a dryer day. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

SUQQU Blend Color Eyeshadow in EX-27 Hanashion

 SUQQU Blend Color Eyeshadow EX-27 Hanashion was first released in Japan as an Umeda Hankyu exclusive for fall 2015. Later on, as it was making its way to UK Selfridges, some marketing genius decided to have them only available as sets. If you want this pretty purple palette, you either have to get it with the Creamy Glow Moist Lipstick EX-18(was a nice sheer coral, but it was not 40+ bucks nice) or gel liner/lipstick that were leftover from fall 2014.

It got to be one of the most effective yet repulsive (to be honest, I am repulsed by my own gullibility) marketing tactic in my recent memory. I was so put-off that I forgot about the pretty purple palette for months. It was only until recently, when I reorganized all my eyeshadow and housed them into the big Muji case, I was reminded I still have this pretty little thang.

Time to wear it while we have a bit of sunshine left. 
I tried to find some purple flowers but lilac was out of reach (the only tree within my vicinity was too tall other people's yard. I dared not mess with the New Jersey housewives) and asters were nowhere to be found. 
This is quite a departure from their original aesthetic. Not only the brand is packing more and more sparkles, the colors are also getting increasingly sweet and girly. Just look at this purple-pink-beige combo, doesn't it look just like Chanel Tisse Cambon and Majolica Majorca RS 354 Flower Girl?

 I guess it will appeal to younger customers but it also makes their color-stories less distinct from the less-expensive high end brand (and even some well-made drugstore brands). 
On the bottom right there is a soft cream that's soft pink with golden sheen. Inclusion of cream pan is one of the things I really dislike in any expensive eyeshadow (not that I like them in drugstore ones either). Not only it catches the fall out from other pans, I also feel cheated out by non-shading pan in such an expensive palette.

Aside from adding a somewhat slippery finish and a frosty base, it's nothing that I can't get from a 7-bucks primer from Canmake.

Upper right pan is a medium beige-taupe with a pink sheen. It's gentle and easy to wear and nothing unique. It's looks a rich (has a bit of everything) enough that I find it turn muddy easily when layered with other colors.

Upper left pan is a medium-light pink with a soft veil of golden sheen. It's deep enough to be used as a lid shade and reminds me of petal under the warm sunshine. It doesn't look much but it's my favorite pan. 
Lower left pan is supposedly the star of the whole palette. A medium to deep purple that looks slighty deeper on skin.  I find this shade a little awkward: It's very sparkly but at the same time, has a dry/thin texture that makes it appear blotchy by itself and a little messy on top of the other shades. I had to be really careful dealing with it. It seems that the pink brings out this pan better than the taupe beige.
With cream pan as primer. Pink as a base and a bit of purple and taupe mixed together as defining shade and I get a springlike petal look that I could wear outside.

Beside the frosty cream primer, the rest in Hanashion are all medium lid shades. There isn't an effective base-highlight or a defining eyeliner. On the bright side, you might have a lots of fun mixing all three (well I didn't because mud).
Texture wise. Hanashion is kind of sort of finely milled, no cakey finish or excessive powder being kicked out.  The texture also happens to be the most powdery and coarsest from Suqqu I have tried. In fact, I don't find it any better than the eyeshadow by Kanebo Kate(15 bucks, yo).

Overall: It's certainly a delicate trio that's wonderful for springtimes. While I might not find it as special as the other Suqqu releases, I am very glad I got this and the bundled lipstick. Not only the two will be worn from time to time (well because they are so darn expensive), this collection managed to kill off my desire for their subsequent releases. There will be no more hoarding for the sake of research, the (newer) formula is not worth it.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Korres Lip Butter in Wild Rose

Korres Lip Butter (12 dollars a piece) is probably one of the few affordable items you can get from Sephora, making it a great for-the-heck-of-it item to get, especially when I spent too long browsing (and not tempted by anything else). 
Wild Rose is a deep neutral wine red that doesn't pull too purple or too brown. In the pot, there is a clear jelly quality that's not found in other (that look milkier) shades. 

It even looks jelly on the lips. The texture is light, moisturizing and very easy to spread (I always use a lip brush) and despite my habit of overloading products, the color remains light (as in going well with bare face and all). 

Wild Rose is a color suitable for all seasons and the light weight moisture will be appreciated for fall (not sure if it would work through multiple snowstorms though).  I just realized that Korres is another brand (like Josie Maran) with a shrinking range at Sephora, let's hope it doesn't go into the route of Jurlique.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Brightening Skincare from Andalous Naturals - Turmeric C Serum, Purple Carrot Night Cream and Meyer Lemon Cleanser

 For the longest time, skincare has always been a boring subject in my curriculum: My skin behaved reasonably well (normal most of the time, sweaty during summer) with the Texas weather so I didn't need anything special beside cleanser and sunscreen and occasional clay mask. Things took a drastic downturn when I moved to Jersey winter of  2014, when we had a string of icepocalypses. My normal-in-Houston (thin skin that's highly susceptible to climate change) suddenly required oil by the gallons and I could no longer use any facial exfoliator, without causing major redness and breakout. 

After another episode of over-exfoliation (turned out that I couldn't even handle those enzymatic powder wash) and subsequent breakouts, I was left with red, raw skin with a ton of marks/ post inflammation hyper-pigmentation).

Veteran readers of my blogs might remember from my old half and full faces pictures (yes, I do post my mug every 4 years or so) even lip swatches, that I always have a few marks here and there at any given time. Back then the pesty zits came and went quickly. Nowadays, perhaps the cold weather slows down metabolism or I am just no longer the spring chicken that I once was, those suckers stayed much longer than usual. Long store short: I realized that I needed extra in my skincare (aside from the dozen facial oils I am pouring down my face).

At the end of last year, I saw Birkie's post on brightening skincare (with glowing review for the Andalou serum) and I remember seeing it from my local Marshall's. It was only 13 bucks plus tax (a mere 1/2 to 1/3 the price of HABA White Lady, which I considered buying) so I ran to Marshall's right after work to get it. It was December 31th, a perfect day to start a new routine, as in "If I get an allergic reaction at least I don't need to show up to work looking like a pink turkey".

 Andalou Tumeric + C Enlighten Serum is one of the many products from their brightening range. The spot treatment is equivalent to the essence in a multi-step routine, as a booster for moisturizer.
Let's take a look at the ingredients: There are lot of healthy and yummy-looking components. With moisturizing aloe, sunflower oil and glycerin as base. Their gimmicky nonsense fruit stem cells is rather high up the ingredient list, then followed by anti-inflammatory turmeric extract and Vitamin C (namesake ingredients). Even though orange oil is at the very bottom of the list, it makes a big presence to my senses (nose and face) and did sting my face for the first few nights. It could just be my battered up skin and/or other ingredients though.
The Turmeric + C Serum has a yellow tint and light lotion texture that's mildly sticky/greasy thanks to the oil. To me, it's moisturizing on its own. Not that it stopped me from smearing half a pump of oil on top. I imagine for people living in the south (and southern hemisphere, where it's spring-summer at the moment) this could be potentially sticky and too oily.

After the first three or four days of using this (when it stung my face), my skin slowly adjusted to the formula and I started to see  brightening effect. The effect was only on newer/pinker marks and it plateaued after a few weeks. Nevertheless, it combated some of the sallowness and evened out my overall skin tone. What I really like about the serum is that (I assume it's) the turmeric extract really calmed down my skin and reduced future break out. The somewhat oily formula adds the perfect dose of moisture in the not-too-cold winter and an overly air-conditioned office space so my dry skin has a use for it, for most parts of the year (except July, August and part of September when it felt like living under a dog's breath).

With two pumps per application and two applications per day, each 30ml tube lasted me for around two months. I am on my fourth tube right now and have hoarded several backups whenever I saw them in Marshall's or TJ.  By the way, I didn't take the glamour shot of the half bottle to show usage. For my photo session, I took a brand new box sealed (with Marshall's sticker)box. When I opened it by the tree...
It came without label. (Yeah, I know I am exposing the brand new bottle to ditect sunlight. It will survive.)
Now to the next product. On the same trip, I also picked up the Purple Carrot  + C Luminous Night Cream because I didn't have a moisturizer on hand.
 Instead of sunflower oil, this one has flax and borage oil in place of sunflower, which I assume make the texture lighter and less sticky and cranberry juice is what gives it a sharp scent and purple color, not from the purple carrot. Beside all the plants extract, there is also olive-based squalane, which I assume is good stuff (as HABA sells just squalene, sourced from shark liver).   
The texture of the Purple Carrot night cream is a very light gel that feels like a quick sip of water for my skin. It smells like fresh green grapes and gets absorbed on the skin in a jiffy. It's so light-weight I don't notice its extact effect. As long as I used the Turmeric C Serum, using or skipping the night cream made no difference on my face.

Anyway, I finished my first tub rather quickly without knowing what it does. I suppose that it would be great for folks with oily and dehydrated skin? Anyway, the second tub shouldn't be hard to finish given I love the smell and have lots of surface area on my entire body.

By the way, I have a habit of backing up when I find items I don't hate because the stocks in discount stores is never continuous. 
Lastly, here is the Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser. It's a non foaming and non-sticky type of cleanser. It has an opaque jelly texture that reminds me of the Burt's Bees Royal Jelly Facial Cleanser(that they just had to discontinue), but less fluid. It makes a wonderful gentle winter time face wash,  when I don't have a lot to get off. 

It's gentle, effective (never tried it with waterproof sunscreen though) and leaves no residue. My only gripe is that I need one or two pump per wash so a full bottle runs out in just a few weeks. In terms of price per use, it's no less expensive than my HG Shiseido cleansing foam (when each tube lasts 6 to 8 months of twice-a-day uses) so I don't see a compelling reason to keep multiple backups. 
 Ingredient list. No arm swatch because lazy (to run back to bathroom to wash it off).

Overall: I do like all of them and have obviously repurchased all three. The brightening line certainly neutralized the sour taste in my mouth (from their facial spray).

A side note, I have briefly reviewed the  Clemetine + C facial spray(also in the same brightening range)  last year and said it stung the heck out of my eyeballz. Anyway, I later found a way to finish it up (on my face, not down the drain): After decanting in a small bottle and applied with square cotton (both Muji), it's rather effective as a second cleanser/lint remover. So, not completely useless after all.
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