Sunday, April 20, 2014

Review: 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip & Cheek Stain (Cherry)

I have very pale lips so I rely on lipstains to make myself look alive. Usually I use The Body Shop's Lip and Cheek Stain for a natural-looking tint, but recently I've had the urge to overhaul my make-up and skincare collection to natural products. Furthermore, we all know that lip products are easily ingested and I'd rather ingest something natural. When I saw the 100% Pure Lip & Cheek Stain while blog-surfing online, I had to get it.
From the website:
100% natural, 100% vegan, gluten free
long lasting, water resistant formula
colored from fruit and vegetable pigments
The formula is not as runny-liquid as The Body Shop's. Instead, it is more of a gel. I accidentally tasted it and it's terribly bitter! -gag- The colour is a pigmented red and quite pretty. It goes on evenly, feels comfortable and is not as drying as The Body Shop's liptint, and on my lips, the stain lasts till lunchtime. I quite like it, but I prefer ModelCo's Lip Tint, which I will review next week!
Top: 100% Pure Lip & Cheek Stain. Botton: The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain
Top: 100% Pure Lip & Cheek Stain. Botton: The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain
As you can see, 100% Pure is more pigmented and gel-like than The Body Shop's Lip & Cheek Stain, which is less pigmented and more watery. Since 100% Pure is more gel-like, I would prefer not to use it on my cheeks (since I have oily, acne-prone skin). The Body Shop's stain blends more easily, since it's more watery, but lasting power is better than 100% Pure's because it really stains while 100% Pure's just kind of sits on top of the skin, since it's more of a gel. But - 100% Pure's is more moisturizing (thanks to sodium hyaluronate) while The Body Shop's can be a bit drying on the lips. 
I like the cardboard tube it comes in - I'm thinking I can probably use it to contain those bits and pieces when I'm travelling, but I haven't figured out what I can use it for exactly. Well it is cute and I'm just trying to find a reason to keep it.
Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Organic Aloe Juice)*, Vegetable Glycerin, Calendula Officinalis (Organic Calendula) Flower Extract*, Camellia Sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Blueberry Skin) Extract, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Juice Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Curcuma Longa (Organic Turmeric) Root Extract*, Vaccinium Myrtillus (Bilberry) Extract, Red Wine Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Organic Lavender) Flower Extract*, Vitis Vinifera (Organic Grape) Seed Extract*, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Japanese Honey Suckle) Extract
* Certified Organic

I knocked off 2 points because the colour (red-based) is not as natural on me as a berry-based colour would be. Also, it isn't the most long lasting lip tint I've tried. Still, if you're looking to clean up your beauty and make-up regimen, the natural ingredients in this makes it worth a try!

Rating: 8/10

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Review: Too Faced Primed and Poreless Powder

I've been using Too Faced Primed and Poreless powder daily for at least half a year and am left with half of the jar. It costs US$30 for 0.16oz (about 5g?) which is pretty affordable. It's meant to be used as a "priming powder and finishing veil" that minimizes pores and imperfections for an airbrushed finish. 
The powder is very light and finely milled. I like that it is not white - it has the slightest tint of beige and looks very natural. I have oily skin so I have to use quite a lot of it to mattify the sheen on my face, but once done, my skin looks smooth, poreless and at the same time natural! My daily make-up consists of nothing but Biore Tint Milk (tinted sunscreen) followed by this powder. I find Primed and Poreless Powder pretty good at oil control too! It lasts till lunch, then after blotting away the oilies, my face looks relatively fresh again. 
It can give a powdery look in flash photos, but no white chalkiness (because it's not white)! And the best thing about it is the packaging - it has a twist plastic cover such that the sifter holes can be closed and powder won't leak out, which makes it super convenient for travelling. I always bring this on my overseas trips, very handy!

Ingredients: Silica, Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Water/Aqua/Eau, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Mica, Iron Oxides (CI 77492, CI 77491, CI 77499, Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163).

The silica really helps to make skin look flawless, while the other flower extracts are supposed to be good for the skin (soothing and anti-inflammatory). The last ingredient is Bismuth Oxychloride, which some people are allergic to. It seems to be used in a lesser quantity since it's the last ingredient, and it doesn't irritate me at all. 

In conclusion - I really like this! Minus 1 point because I have to use a lot to mattify my face, but other than that, I find it is a really good, lightweight finishing powder for oily and acne-prone skin. 

Rating: 9/10 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Review: Fancl Liquid Foundation in 03 Light Ochre

By now, Fancl has officially closed all its stores in Singapore. It's pretty sad because I've used quite a lot of their products - Mild Cleansing Oil, Facial Washing Powder, 2-way foundation, loose powder, and their collagen supplement, Tense-Up. During their closing sales, I got a bottle of their Liquid Foundation in 03 Light Ochre, which is yellow-based and matches my MAC NC25 skintone pretty well. It retails on the Fancl.com website at US$23 for 22ml. It can last for a year unopened, and for 3 months once opened. It comes in a total of 5 shades, and the darkest shade would be about a MAC NC35 in my opinion. 
It comes in a no-frills, compact plastic bottle with a nozzle tip - I love foundations packaged like that, it's so convenient. It reminds me a little of Covermark's Essence Foundation Liquid, which I reviewed years ago here. It has a fluid texture (a little thicker than Covermark) and provides light-medium coverage with a semi-matte finish. The finish gives my skin a bit of a sheen, so it doesn't look as 99% real-skin as Covermark. I can wear Covermark without loose powder because it blends well and gives me 99% real skin, but I have to use loose powder over Fancl's liquid foundation to mattify the slight sheen to give more real-looking skin (I have oily skin, so maybe girls with dry skin won't have that problem). Oil control is so-so, it doesn't make me oily but it doesn't help keep me matte either. 
I like this foundation because it feels quite comfortable on my skin and doesn't make my skin feel dry after long hours of use. Staying power is ok when I use loose powder over it - it fades a little after an 8-hour work day (well, I have super oily skin). I like how it has no preservatives so it's supposed to be better for your skin, but I wouldn't be able to finish using the 22ml bottle in the 3 month use-by period. And another thing - I don't think it contains SPF, so if I use it in the day I have to layer a SPF underneath it. 

Ingredients: cyclomethicone, water, butylene glycol, alcohol, isopropyl isosterate, peg-9 dimethicone, sorbeth-4 tetraoleate, polyglyceryl-2 triisosterate, panthenol, hydroxyproline, polyquaternium-61, sodium hyaluronate, hydroxyapatite, steraric acid, acrylates/dimethicone copolymer dimeticone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, trimethylsiloxysilicate, mica, alumina, silica, aluminum hydroxide, dimethicone, methicone, iron oxides, acrylates crosspolymer, methyi. methacrylate crosspolymer, dea-c8-18 perfluoroalkylethyl phosphate, talc, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide

Rating: 8/10

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Review: YÜLI Cellular Lip Conditioner

I got the YÜLI Cellular Lip Conditioner free with my order during the Black Friday promotional period. It's a lip serum in a glass tube with a rollerball applicator and includes ingredients such as avocado oil, camelina oil, sea buckthorn oil, ginger lily and supercritical extract of rosehip. They're all food-grade ingredients which makes sense for a lip treatment that you're likely to ingest!
I'm not too crazy about the rollerball applicator - I have to make sure that my lips are really clean before using it, so that dead skin cells or anything on my lips doesn't roll back into the bottle. I brought it along for my Hong Kong trip and used it as a night treatment, but the air was really dry so I feel like I still need to layer a soft lip balm (the kind that comes in a tub) over it. The serum smells a little herbal-y and feels light but moisturizing. The silky texture of the serum is really addictive. 
Also, a word of advice - since it's a rollerball applicator with no proper stopper, the serum is prone to leak a little due to air pressure changes if you pack it in your carry-on. 

Ingredients: R.communis (Castor) oil*, S.chinensis (Jojoba)oil*, P. americana (Avocado) oil*, R. rubiginosa (Rosehip) seed oil*,C. sativa (Camelina) oil*, Supercritical Extract Blend (P. granatum (Pomegranate) seed*, R. rubiginosa (Rosehip) seed*, H.rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) seed and berry*, V.planifolia (Vanilla)* and H.spicatum (Ginger Lily)^^), Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Non-GMO

Would I purchase it again? At US$26 a tube, I have to consider it carefully! I like the feel of the serum (it feels like it sinks in better) but it really wasn't enough alone in winter. I still have to layer another balm on top of it. However, it does soothe cracked lips and it is a worthy splurge! 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

DrGL Restore Gel Mask Review

DrGL is a skincare line by the famous aesthetic doctor and socialite, Dr Georgia Lee. I spotted the Restore Gel Mask on Luxola (S$68 for 240ml) and decided to give it a try. (I bought it during a Luxola sale.) It is a soothing, light-blue gel that can be used as either a mask or a moisturizer. It feels a lot lighter than Laneige's sleeping pack. I like the dual-purpose nature of the Restore Gel Mask. To use it as a mask, apply a thick layer over the face, leave for half an hour, and wipe off excess. To use as a gel moisturizer, apply a thin layer all over face.

It's a light blue gel with a calming scent and feels very cooling and soothing on my skin. While it is a little sticky, it feels very light and is perfect for acne-prone, oily skin. I imagine it would feel like heaven on sunburnt skin or after a scrub. It feels especially lovely and calming when I use it on overseas work trips, when my skin is imbalanced due to climate differences or dry cabin air. If your skin is inflamed or imbalanced, give this a try! 
When I use a light layer of this as a day moisturizer, it feels hydrating enough for Singapore's hot and humid weather. It definitely won't be enough for dry winter climates. I think this is a pretty budget-friendly, dual-purpose product. Why budget-friendly? Laneige's sleeping pack costs about S$45 for 80ml (1.77ml per S$) while DrGL's Restore Gel Mask costs S$68 for 240ml (3.53ml per S$). Of course, Laneige is more moisturizing and luxurious, but the Restore Gel Mask is a great, multi-tasking alternative, especially for younger oily/combination skintypes that don't need too much moisture.

Ingredients: water, scutellaria baicalensis root extract, paeonia suffruticosa root extract, glycyrrhiza glabra (licorice) root extract, butylene glycol, glycerin, carbomer, coceth-7, ppg-1-peg-8 lauryl glycol ether, peg-40 hydrogenated castor oil, rutin, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, disodium edta, centella asatica extract, gardenia florida fruit extract, beta-glucan, guaiazulene, arginine, aloe vera. 

I was bored and did a google of the ingredients because I haven't come across some of the flower root extracts before, and came up with the following:
  • Scutellaria baicalensis - used in Chinese medicine and has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-allergenic properties
  • Paeonia suffruticosa - used in Chinese medicine and helps to heal skin
  • Glycyrrhiza glabba (licorice) root - used in Chinese medicine and helps with skin cell regeneration; anti-inflammatory and hydrating
  • Centella asatica - also known as Gotu Kola (which is used in Yuli Skincare's Cell Perfecto PM!), it is supposed to boost collagen production, reduce fine lines and heal scars 
  • Gardenia florida fruit - contains the anti-oxidant ferulic acid (which we all know is good for skin!), helps to firm skin and enhances moisture retention
  • Guaiazulene - a colour-additive that provided the blue colour and fragrance in the gel, has a score of 0-4 in EWG's database (low hazard)
And the common ones that I always see:
  • Glycerin - humectant, score of 0 in EWG (low hazard)
  • Carbomer - increases viscosity with a score of 0 in EWG (low hazard)
  • Chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract - we all know chamomile is soothing and healing!
  • Beta-glucan - promotes wound-healing and reduction in scarring
  • Aloe vera - heals wounds and soothes skin
The other chemical stuff, I got the following information from EWG's database:
  • Butylene glycol: solvent with a score of 0-1 (low hazard)
  • Ppg-1-peg-8 lauryl glycol ether: surfactant/emulsifying agent with a score of 3 (low hazard)
  • Coceth-7: surfactant/emulsifying agent with a score of 1 (low hazard)
  • Rutin: skin-conditioning agent with a score of 0 (low hazard)
  • Disodium edta: chelating agent for viscosity with a score of 0 (low hazard)
  • Arginine: naturally-occurring amino acid used for skin-conditioning, with a score of 0 (low hazard
In conclusion - I think the ingredients list looks really good, I'm impressed! I do think people with sensitive, reactive skin would enjoy it. Recommend! :)

Liebster Award

I got nominated for a Liebster Award by Sasha, thank you so much!

The rules that come along with this award are as follows:
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post
  • Display the award on your blog (the picture)
  • List the rules in your post
  • State 11 (random) facts about yourself
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger on their award post
  • Nominate 5-11 bloggers who have under 300 followers (you can't nominate the blogger who nominated you)
  • Come up with 11 questions for the bloggers you nominated to answer
  • Let the bloggers you nominate know that they've been nominated by leaving a comment with your blog link on their blog
I don't really read many blogs so I will just answer the 11 questions, they are hard - 

1. Who is your biggest inspiration?
I can't just name one. People around me inspire me every day, in little ways. When I see my Facebook feed, when I see my WhatsApp texts, everyone is working hard to achieve their dreams. Little things like that inspire me to become a better person, to have more willpower, to be more hardworking, to be a kinder person. 

2. Illustrate your perfect, ideal day
I'd have a nice breakfast while reading the papers, do some yoga, meet friends for lunch and a catch-up session, take a dance class, do some pilates, and cook dinner for my lover. (:

3. What is your favorite restaurant and what is your favorite dish to get from there?
I like Imperial Treasure's (Chinese) soups. Delicious, yummy broth simmered for hours and hours. Pure goodness. 

4. How many languages do you speak?
3 - English, Mandarin, and (a little) Japanese.

5. What is your ideal career?
Something that would allow me to create things, so that I will never get bored. 

6. Are you flexible?
Yes, I'm more flexible than the average person, but just normal compared to gymnasts/dancers. I can do the front splits, oversplits and a few degrees off a side split. My upper back is a little stiff though, right now I'm trying very hard to touch my head with my toes!

7. What is your favorite type of make up to wear (mascara, foundation, etc.)?
I love wearing blush - it gives a pretty flush and I have to smile when I apply it to my cheeks so it makes me happy at the same time! :)

8. Do you have a good relationship with your mother?
Yes I do, but sometimes it's frustrating too!

9. Would you rather go sky diving or scuba diving with sharks?
Sky diving. >_< But I probably won't, I'm too scared!

10. Do you have any pets?
No. :( I really want a dog like Shunsuke though!

11. Why did you start your blog?
I have a bad memory so I needed someplace to document the beauty products and things I've used. 

Have a happy weekend everyone. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream Review

I have been trying to switch to natural products since about half a year ago, and was searching for a good eye cream because my undereye area was just... so dry! I searched MakeupAlley for a good, natural eye cream and chanced upon 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream. It comes in 2 sizes - 1oz (30ml) squeeze pump tube and 0.5oz (15ml) tube. I decided to get the smaller tube at USD11, because the packaging is more convenient and most of the eye creams I used previously were also just 15ml but lasted me a long time! 
I've been using this for almost 4 months and am almost finished with the tube. It smells delicious - like sweet vanilla coffee! The texture is a little creamy, whipped and buttery. It is a little bit oily for daytime and I feel like my undereye concealer (Cle de Peau) doesn't stay too well on top of this eye cream. However, it feels pretty moisturizing.
The website states that it's clinically proven to de-puff and brighten dark circles, lessen lines and wrinkles, and makes you look more refreshed and awake. Well, after 4 months of use, I don't really notice my eyes getting brighter (I have serious dark circles - the brown type). But I do notice my undereye area getting smoother. Also, due to my deep double eyelids and my tendency to eye-smile, I get crow's feet when I smile! :( But recently, my sister mentioned that she doesn't notice them on me anymore! So perhaps this eye cream helped a little in that aspect. :) It's pretty inexpensive so I might repurchase it again. The only thing holding me back is that because of the natural formulation, it's a little too oily/heavy for day use. 

And just a tip - I would definitely purchase the smaller 0.5oz tube over the larger 1.0oz squeeze-pump tube. The shelf life is 6 months, and the small tube lasted me 4 months, so I wouldn't be able to finish the large tube within 6 months. 

Ingredients: Organic Aloe Juice, Organic Rose Hydrosol, Organic Rosehip Oil, Organic Green Coffee, Vitamin E (tocopherol), Vitamin C (Sodium Ascorbate), Extracts of: Coffee Cherry, Rosemary, Oregano, Thyme, Goldenseal, Vanilla Absolute, Candelilla Wax

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