Thursday, December 01, 2016

Kat Rudu Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid Serum

One of my my biggest skincare concerns is hyperpigmentation (stemmed from overly sensitive skin that reacted to everything, including sunscreen) and increasingly sallow skin tone. After my successful purchase (Andalou Turmeric and C serum)  I was all of a sudden, very into products with Vitamin C. 
Here comes Kat Rudu with a humble origin (I mean I got it from Marshall for cheap around 10-12 bucks). It's supposedly from a Hollywood skincare expert's and normally retails for 32 dollars. 
The Rosemary Vitamin C serum has a watery consistency, medicinal smell (like a hospital) and comes with cloudy suspension (I assume is mostly Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate). The liquid is dispensed with a weak dropper. 

The instruction calls for a few drops each use, which is an amount that I can't spread it evenly because the serum is as runny as water.  When I did get enough to cover my whole face (one third to half a dropper full), the formula ended up being too irritating on my face, causing thinning of skin and break out (which always turns into hyperpigmentation on me). 

It could be an amazing formula but I guess my skin Just doesn't agree with it. Even if it does, it's difficult to use it up (two three drops at a time) before the whole bottle oxidize anyway. 

The English Rose Hyaluronic Acid Serum was a much more pleasant one.  Hydrating serum is something I started to play with two years ago and I use it to sooth away dry flakes, plumping up the skin before slathering on oil. It's also a good prep for body lotion on cracked skin.

This formula is hydrating but also a wee  emollient, it lets thicker moisturizer sink in better and gives something for the oil to seal in. The old school rose scent way is too overwhelming for face so I prefer to use it on my hands and legs instead. After all, there are a bunch of hydrating lotions that's easier on the nose.

Overall: The vitamin C serum is a no-go but for the price, the hydrating serum is well worth the 10 dollars. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Five Days in Bay Area Part I - What I brought and What I Saw

So as I mentioned, ealier this month, I went to the Bay Area with another friend to meet up our highschool-college buddy (the two knew each other since 7th grade) .  Here is all the random phone camera photography I did that I wasn't able to squeeze into my Instagram

I tried to add a what I hauled part to this post, but I reckon it's better to keep it separate since I bought too much craps there as well. 
 The Bay Bridge...I forgot about the Golden Gate Bridge *face palm*
A Benefit vending machine at SFO. There is also a Tom Ford counter where every single eyeshadow palette is sold out.
San Fransisco Chinatown was a very relaxing place to walk through and a paradise for bead (semiprecious, jade and pearl!) lovers. Around 90% of the damage was done here. 
Cloud above the Golden Gate Park. I miss the flowers there already (and I will have to wait for half a year before we get any bloom here). 
Cosmos from neighbor's yard
Butterfly at the Academy of Sciences. People call that glass dome a rainforest? It felt like Houston on a balmy day...
Irvin Cafe - with very reasonable pricing and great bubble tea. 
Asian Art Museum - Fairly interesting stuff bottles but could use more painting and textiles.
De Young Museum (didn't have time to go in)
My favorite piece in Asian Art Museum - The Yongzheng single colored porcelain 雍正单色釉. The Palace Museum in Beijing has more of these (fancy plates) in vibrant colors like Granny Smith green and lapis blue...It's on my must see list.

We were in the city for three days (I went to Chinatown twice because...gotta get all the beads) then drove to Yosemite to experience the great outdoor (hiked, was dying). 
Artistic log at Yosemites (I wipped out my DSLR for it) 
Artistic pinecone near Glacier Point (no I didn't do it) 
Now pretending to be a #bbloger - Skincare I bought with me (left my Shiseido cleansers at friend's bathroom and forgot to take out the Josie Maran sunscreen)

1.Andalou Vitamin C Serum
2.Akin Rosehip Oil
3. Jurluque Skin Balancing Face Oil (I mix it with rosehip oil and pad onto damp face).
4. Shiseido lash serum
5.Holysnails El Dorado (I use it on hands and nails)

Two Majolica Majorca palettes which is easy to replace and/or I have (more than 1) backups of (MJ BE-700) . I am actually wearing it today, it goes so much better with the dim lighting of Northeast winter. 
Every vacation I take, I end up packing mutiples of the same thing...This time is four sheer red: Coffret D'Or PK 305, RD 214, Lunasol Energy Red and Revlon Wild Watermelon. 
On my way back. I guess I sort of saw the Golden Gate Bridge?
Back to Jersey on the 7th

That's all for today, I promise the second part will be more orderly.

Revlon Ultra HD Gel Lipcolor and Blush Collection

More Revlon goodies spotted at Rite Aid
 New lipstick range (maybe to replace the old Ultra HD line) called Ultra HD Gel Lip Color
 HD Sand, Dawn, Desert, Arabica, Pink Cloud, Sunset
 Tropical, Garden, Coral, Rhubarb
 Lava, Adobe, Vineyard, Blossom and Twilight. I haven't gotten any of those Ultra HD lipstick (because nothing was new) so I guess I will be skipping these as well, for the same reason.
 Cute display of Blush Collection
 Instablush Blush Sticks (which is quite pricy at 14 dollars) - I think I will just play with my beloved (and ancient) NYC blushable creme stick.
 More powder blush - I actually like most of the colors here (but I guess since I already have a bunch of Milani and other drugstore ones, these aren't must-have either).

Friday, November 25, 2016

Shu Uemura Sable Eye Brushes - 2R, 4F, 5R and 10 Natural

Happy Black Friday! Many e-tailers are having sales this weekend I guess I should put out some long-overdue brush reviews, accumulated from my fude adventure last year. 

Shu Uemura is one of the brands (like Shiseiso) that has been relatively easy to access in North America that sometime I forget it's Japanese. Their brushes are solid, meticulously crafted and highly functional. Unlike many other companies who uses various hair types, Shu Uemura is a brand that focus on sable and kolinsky, the precious yet low-maintenance hair that's highly effective and gentle on the skin.
Shu Uemura 10 Natural (next to Koyudo BP 027 and C006P) is a standard sized shader made with a blend of sable and kolinsky. It comes with a painted wooden handle that's easy to hold but a bit too long for my near-sighted self.  

Beside all the qualities of the hair type (stiff, directional but not uncomfortable on the lid), there is a way that they bundle up the hair, like how full the body is and how fanned out it gets at the tips, makes the hair (that's usually too silky to be grabby) very effective at picking up, holding and depositing powder. 
Shu Uemura 10 (in the middle) 
I wish I can go on and on about how much I love this particular brush but all I could say is that: It's a very well designed one that put other kolinsky eye brushes (The two Koyudo feels silkier but don't apply colors as effectively) to shame and one of the few pricier brushes I own that I feel is truly worth it at 68 bucks. 

Sometime, I am curious about their No. 11 full kolinsky, a larger shading brush that costs a whooping 140 dollars. Maybe it's all the practicalities plus added silkiness? I guess I won't find out since I can't justify dropping Benjamin on a single beauty items (even my most expensive squirrel cheeks brushes were 80 bucks a piece at the time of purchase). 

Next up, a full kolinsky just for the fun of it. 5R (R is probably means round ferrule while F is for flat)is the Jack of all trades and master of none. 
It's a half blending half pencil kind of brush that can be used for many purposes such as:

1.As a blending brush, it is too small to fluff out larger patch of color.

2.As a pencil brush, the tip is too rounded for precision. 

3.It works perfectly smoothing out dry undereye concealer (something that I never use). 

4. The size and shape is perfect for brow bone highlighting but then again I can use Daiso sponge tip ($1.5 for 12)for that. 

You can find a dozen uses for this then another dozen reasons not to. The pricing on this was funny as well, for two years or so (when I stalked Shu's site and when I read other people's review), this had been priced at 60 bucks. Last summer, it was taken down (alone with 10 synthetic, which was straight out discontinued) for a few weeks and when it made a return, it became 95 dollars...

Before firing your outrage at big corporates, the one to blame here is more likely to be US Fish and Wildlife services,who put out a much stricter rule regarding import of kolinsky back in late 2014. As a result, Hakuhodo USA stopped listing sable and weasel altogether. I suppose now the customers are eating up the cost directly (or indirectly since they can't raise the price of the already expensive 11 kolinsky) . 

I got mine from Rakuten last summer for around 35 bucks, making it the first and only successful investment I have put (Cue Hanzawa Naoki theme ). The brush was mostly useless to me regardless of the price though.
I have talked about the 2R ($17) and 4F ($21) when I compared it to similar Chikuhodo brushes. To sum it up, the Shu is much better from the small details: The 4F has small gaps between hair giving it a softer definition along the lash line. 2R has a conical shape that makes it suitable for both powder and cream. Both are effective and reasonably priced.

 They are nice to own but personally, I don't recommend either since you can get similar result from synthetic brushes that are 3 dollars each.
Group shot to show the size and length.

Overall: 10 Natural is the only one I really love and I had to struggle really hard not to get a backup during the sale. Instead, I got a brow brush, brow pencil and a tint in gelato. 

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