Skincare Review: Laneige Water Science Mist Sparkling Water (Brightening)

Talk about loooongass product names.

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This was something that I actually received as a freebie from a fashion event that was sponsored by Laneige. I’m always happy to receive free shit to test out!

This is a face mist-type product, which means its not something that I have lots of experience with. The ingredients list is here, but obviously it is made out of mainly water and little else. And ‘Sparkling’ water obviously refers to carbonated water, although personally I have no idea if the carbon dioxide does anything.

The pump that comes with this bottle is FABULOUS. The mist is even and very fine and sprays over a good area. I will definitely be reusing the bottle.

There is a very definitive smell about this: it smells exactly like plain soda water, probably thanks to the carbon dioxide. I do like soda water, but frankly I feel that there’s not much difference from spraying soda water in a nice pretty bottle. It’s quite refreshing of course, and cooling, and perhaps just a little bit soothing, and of course it’s good to have more water on your skin to seal in with humectants and occlusives and such.

The price is really something to balk at though. I can’t confirm it, but it’s $54 at the Laneige boutique? Whatthefuck? You can apparently get it at Qoo10 for $29.50 plus shipping, and it does last quite a while, but it’s still by no means cheap.

I have been using this for maybe 2 months I think? Close to every morning and night, and I’m very generous with it, spraying maybe 3-4 times every time I use it. And so far, it’s about 1/8 gone. So it will lasts quite a while, I’m predicting a year, at least.

Still, I feel that it’s a bit too expensive for a novelty item that probably doesn’t do that much in your routine. After it’s gone, I would probably idk, make my own aloe/rose infused water or something and put into the bottle!

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation #52 Vanilla Review and Comparison

I didn’t buy anything at all in August, and it was driving me a little crazy, so I got a bottle of the Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation that I always wanted to try for quite a decent price. Hey, it satisfies my urge to buy  without breaking the bank!

I got it in the colour #52 – Vanilla, which is supposedly the Olive leaning shade and around NC20 in depth. It’s a thick consistency, definitely not watery. The pump is nice to control, and I can pump out a quarter pump or so easily. It smells SUPER strong – like crisp apple, citrusy and slightly floral and green, but it’s SO. STRONG.

First off, here is my bare face:

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My skin is better lately, but I have some scarring on my chin.

 

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One relatively thick layer immediately after application. Notice the chalkiness. To be fair, my Armani foundation does the same. It does have decent medium coverage – everything is evened out quite a bit and it will hide minor scars.

My first critique – It can be streaky. I always apply my foundation with the Real Techniques buffing brush, and it works beautifully with my Armani foundation, but the Bourjois Healthy Mix tends to be a little streaky with it. I have to go over areas quite a few times. It also tends to pool around the nostrils, more so than the Armani, so I have to use my fingers to even things out.

It also pools into pores a little bit. I’ve been spoilt by Armani which never does such things, but I recognize that many normal foundations may have such issues. It’s made slightly better with a primer underneath.

 

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Here it is after about 15 minutes? With brows and undereye concealer but no other produt on the rest of the face. (This is higher coverage and more product than I usually go for, for purposes of testing. My couple of scars on my chin are showing through, but honestly I don’t bother too much about concealing everything to perfection.)

It’s settled down a bit and looks much better colour-wise. Note that it’s starting to look a little dry, on everywhere except the nose. It’s not too kind to any kind of facial texture too – Note that the tiny little milia bumps I have under my eyes have been magnified to some degree ( you can hardly see them in the bare face photo.)

That’s actually a very big critique I have of this foundation. I am a big proponent of streamlining routines, so with my Armani foundation, and even my powder foundations, my morning routine consists of washing my face with water, then sunblock. Literally 0 steps, because my HG sunblock is moisturizing enough for my needs. But when I try to do that with the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation, it looks dry as fuck. And slightly cakey. Like, my skin is by no means dry. It’s normal, leaning a little on the oily side. But it looks nearly matte with my usual skin prep. It does soften up a bit with after about an hour when some natural oils of your skin mix with the foundation, and it looks less dry and more skinlike.

I did another round of testing on the next day, layering a good it of moisturizers under the sunblock. That seemed to do the trick and it didn’t look so dry anymore.

 

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The colour match is acceptable, although not perfect. You can see the difference between my face and my neck – it’s peachier and slightly darker. But WHY is it peachier? Am I so goddamn green that even a supposedly olive foundation is pink on me? I don’t mind the slightly darker, but the pinker is not so good. Then again, I mix the Armani Lasting Silk every day, so considering everything, a decent-but-not-perfect match straight out of the bottle is okay for me. I stayed over somewhere last night and it was nice to you know, take just ONE bottle of foundation.

 

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This is it after about 8 hours of wear, after a long walk around the park in the sun with my little girl. Considering everything, it has stayed on pretty well. It doesn’t look horrible, and it’s not breaking up too much, and there’s still coverage. I’m relatively impressed. (The pinkness of it compared to my neck really comes through here though.)

I have not used a drugstore foundation for a long, long, long time. Like, I had a main foundation before my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua  that I was using for the longest time, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. (Checked through my very first few posts – it was Korean BB creams :P) Okay, so that means that for years and years, I was not using any kind of standard ‘Western’ drugstore foundation, so I have totally forgotten what they are like. And Armani Lasting Silk is amazing in nearly every way except colour match, so I’ve been totally spoilt.

Overall, I would say that this is probably quite a nice drugstore foundation. It’s priced higher than most drugstore foundations in our drugstores, around $29, but you can likely get it around $20 or less on Carousell (I got mine for $14.) For $14, it’s quite a nice foundation. I mean, my Armani Lasting silk is $87, maybe with a 7% discount if you buy it from Duty Free at the airport. So considering it’s about 1/3 to 1/4 of the price, it’s a pretty decent foundation. It doesn’t impress me very much compared to Armani Lasting Silk, but it’s a good drugstore option.

Pros:

  • Long wearing
  • Looks really nice texture-wise after an hour
  • Decent shade match right out of the bottle

Cons:

  • Looks terrible colour-wise upon first application
  • Looks terrible texture-wise upon first application – make sure to moisturize! A lot!
  • Easily streaks – need to really blend it out carefully. Also pools into pores
  • Smells nice, but so damn strong.

I’m on the fence about keeping this. I bought this because I was searching for a better shade match – and it’s not super great.

 

If I do get rid of it, I would get the Koh Gen Do Aqua, which is seriously green.

Using Solid Scents update!

Remember the Geek Chic The Pie Hole collection I blogged about awhile back? I’ve kinda put them aside for awhile, but recently I started using them again, and I have some thoughts!

Remember, I’m not used to solid/oil scents. My perfume experiences have usually been with mainstream EDP/EDTs. My go-to scent is Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb if I want a scent that I know smells good, lasts awhile and goes with any occasion and clothing. These gourmand scents are not the usual ones I use either.

The first day, I used Itty Bitty, which is a pumpkin pie kind of scent, with a lot of creaminess and a touch of spice to it. When I put it on (rather liberally) I was like WOAH, I smell like I’ve been baking since 5am (since I go to work at 8.30. I could smell it on myself all the way till after lunch, which is pretty decent. If I really wanted the smell to stay on I may have had to reapply a little bit after lunch, but the wear time is surprisingly good for something that looked so dubious.

The next day I used Darling Mermaid Darlings, described as a Coconut Key Lime pie. it smells more refreshing to me than coconutty, and it’s one of the stronger scents in the line. I applied it quite liberally, and because I liked it so much, I reapplied it after lunch. And as I was washing up after lunch, a colleague of mine commented ‘what’s that coconut smell?’ and I said nothing. I guess it’s not bad to smell like coconut? 😀 This one definitely smells like a pie version of the citrus/florals I usually wear, so it’s a good bridge.

Overall I’ve been pretty impressed by the wear and throw of these scents! I’ve always kind of doubted solid scents but I guess I’m proven wrong. They’re super easy to tote around and reapply too if necessary. There are some that I wouldn’t wear because they don’t smell good, or don’t smell good on me. Forensic Fairy Tale, for one, and Knitwit PI makes me smell like I baked brownies in an tyre shop or something. Overall though, I totally love them.

This series has been discontinued, but you can still buy other solid scents at Geek Chic Cosmetics. I don’t have any experience with non-foody scents from them though!

Review: Make Up Revolution Blushing Hearts Triple Baked Blusher in Peachy Keen

You may recall that I placed a Make Up Revolution Order way back in like, June. My friend finally passed it to me last weekend, and I have been playing with the couple of things I’ve ordered for myself. Side note, the Newtrals vs Neutrals palette is SUPER popular, I bought 2 extra to resell at a small profit, and I’ve already sold 1 and am pending a sale for the other, within 2 days of listing it.

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So one of the items I got for myself was a Blushing Hearts. I think they’re so twee and so fetch. The colour selection is not very large though. If you look at the rest of the hearts, they’re mostly pretty pink and I’m not big on super pink blush. That’s why I chose Peachy Keen, also because I’m kind of lacking in choice on warmer toned blushes after I destashed my Sleek Lace blush palette.

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It’s SO PRETTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And so much easier to swallow for 5 GBP, rather than Too Faced’s ridiculous $20+++++. Even my sister, who turns her nose up at all this preposterous make up packaging, admitted it was pretty cute.

Colour wise, the left most and right most shades look mostly identical to me with the very very very most minor differences. They’re very bronzey shades, while the middle shade is a mauve-ish shade. It looks far darker in real life than on the website.

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Here are the swatches of the individual colours, followed by a blended out super heavy application, plus an unblended mix of all the colours. You can see the overall effect is a very warm pink. It actually goes fairly dark quite fast – be careful! It’s really pigmented, and very smooth and buttery, so it can be quite disastrous if you’re not careful.

I also have one critique – it’s not that easy to swirl the 3 colours together. Usually what I do with other blushes is to touch my brush to the surface of the blush like, once or twice very gently. I’m on the fair side and I like a light touch to my blushes. With this, if you touch it once, the application on the face can be a little weird because the colours haven’t mixed, but if you swirl it you risk getting way too much product. It requires a bit of practice to get the perfect amount of product onto the brush.

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Here’s a closer look at the individual swatches. Notice a few chunks in the first and third colours – they are slightly glittery. And all 3 are SUPER shimmery. If you don’t like shimmery blushes, or if you have lots of cheek texture, skip these.

Below is the application on my face (eye makeup from my Singles Cruise #3 challenge!) Click pictures to enlarge:

This is a far heavier application that I usually go for, so that it would show up well on camera. I was having a pretty shitty skin day, and I didn’t put my usual ultra-smoothing foundation, so there was a fair bit of texture. And boy, this does emphasize texture like WOAH, especially if you apply too much. Be very careful, guys. I wouldn’t be worried if I was using my Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk and having a normal or good skin day. But if you’re near your period and breaking out like crazy, skip it for those few days.

Colour wise, I’m pretty happy. It kind of straddles the line between a blush and a bronzer for me – you can tell it’s pretty warm, but it’s still fairly pink. I like to use this for a healthy, glowing look. Just don’t overdo it and the texture doesn’t come out. Since it’s so shimmery you can also skip the highlighter.

Overall, I like this blush – it looks great on my vanity (but my daughter keeps trying to steal it.) I’m glad I only paid a couple of dollars for it, and it looks nice on me.

I wouldn’t be purchasing anymore, as the other colours don’t interest me, and the 5 GBP price tag does show, in the chunky glitter and propensity to texture. It’s definitely not as refined as some of my favourite blushes, but it’s a nice blush. Do check them out!

Alcina Hyaluron Gel 2.0 Review, or why I prefer Asian skincare.

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A loooooooong time ago (like a year), I went to a press launch event for Alcina, which I mentioned on my blog. This serum/gel moisturizer/whatever has actually been sitting in my stash while I finished up other stuff, but I finally cracked it open a couple of weeks ago. You can buy Alcina off Sephora SG, although this particular product seems to be OOS at the moment.

My initial impressions of the line at the launch was that it was kind of boring, but they had some very impressive products, in the makeup department at least. I was also rather skeptical of skincare, because I always feel that Western skincare products lag a little behind Asian ones.

Looking at the CosDNA analysis, this product is already rather unimpressive. The 7th ingredient is Phenoxyethanol, which according to what I have learnt from MusicalHouses, is usually the first preservative and present in concentrations of around 0.1%, so anything listed after that is usually present in tiny amounts. Everything before that is kinda meh – glycerin and all. At least it has Sodium Hyaluronate as advertised.

 

The bottle comes in a very thick double walled container, although it only has 30ml of product. The pump and bottle is nice enough, no complaints. One full pump gives me sufficient for my whole face. It’s a relatively thick, clear liquid gel consistency – thick enough not to drip everywhere. When you rub it in you actually see white streaks – must be the surfactants or something. But the white streaks rub into the skin. It does absorb quite fast, like it says it will, but leaves a slightly sticky finish behind (likely the glycerin.)

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I do feel that this is a nice enough product that plumps up and hydrates my skin sufficiently, especially if I seal it in with a more occlusive product. I don’t see any particularly spectacular improvements, but it does hydrate my skin well. Then again, my skin is quite normal, not oily or dry, so if your skin is dryer it may not be sufficient for you.

The issue I have with this is the price. The listed retail price is like $75, which I think is motherfucking daylight robbery. I mean, Hada Labo (whose whole line is filled with hyaluronic acid) is below $20. Hyaluronic acid is just not that amazing or exotic an ingredient, you know?

Overall, I think this is a solid product that is formulated decently and performs well. It unfortunately is godawfully boring, and godawfully expensive. I can’t recommend it to anyone based on the retail price, knowing that Hada Labo is like 1/3 the cost. I will be finishing mine up since I got it for free, but I wouldn’t be repurchasing.

Singles Cruise Take #3 – Bright and Cheery

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This is my selection for take #3 of the Singles cruise. Refer here for the original introduction!

I got another colourful but not ultra bright selection of colours.

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Here are the swatches. Every single shade was amazing this time round.

Light: Pale frosty white

Medium: Warm chocolate brown

Dark: Jewelled dark purple

Pop: Shimmery mid blue.

I actually did 2 different looks this time round!

Look 1: slightly more dramatic. Frosty white at inner corner and just a bit on the browbone. Pop of blue in the centre of lid, warm brown on the outer corner and in the crease, purple to line all around the eye.  Click on the pic to see a close up.

Look 2: White in the corner, blue in the middle of lid, purple at the edge in a smoked wing kind of shape. All confined to the mobile lid only. Brown to shade the lower lashline for some warm contrast. This looks is cuter and most of the colour is hidden by the mobile lid, which makes it much more wearable.

 

Here’s a full face of look 1 (which I went with in the end because it’s harder to adapt Look 2 to Look 1 xD)

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(Sorry I was having a particularly shitty skin day, hormonal acne :(((((( Plus I didn’t put on any lipstick hahaha.)

 

I still find this singles cruise exercise with pretty fun! I’ll likely do more, but my arrangement of depotted singles in my palettes have already been super messed up haha.

Cheap and Good: Daiso Hyaluronic Acid Sleeping Pack

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Daiso, the famous 100yen/SGD2/whatever local currency, is a haven for well, everything. You can get anything from utensils to gardening products and accessories and clothes. There’s also a rather large selection of skincare and makeup. There’s a really cute post where this blogger bought a whole range of their make up. They actually had some decent stuff in there.

I uncovered this Daiso Hyaluronic Acid Sleeping Pack in some random corner of my house. It’s manufactured in 2013, so I guess I’m really YOLO about this whole thing, but it hasn’t broken me out or anything so we’re all good.

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The ingredient list is not very spectacular, as expected with a $2 product. Ethanol is quite high on the list, and the mask does smell a little like alcohol, but I don’t find it drying or irritating. At least it has quite a fair amount of Hyaluronic acid, and hydrolyzed collagen, which is good for moisturization and plumping of the skin. I find that it does help to hydrate my skin and make it bouncier.

It’s a transparent gel kind of product, but it feels a little bit stiff and not like a watery gel, probably due to the lots of carbomer. It’s easy to spread though and feels cooling on the skin. It remains a little sticky, but does dry down eventually after around 15-20 minutes. I usually use a fairly large amount because it’s so cheap anyway. As I spread this, I do feel it getting more and more watery – perhaps it is drawing water from the air, as I have experienced with humectant heavy products, so it does work.

I find that this is a decent product from Daiso – it doesn’t work miracles, but if you’re not sensitive to ethanol, and you desperately need a moisturizing product at the last minute, this is a good and cheap option. I will definitely be using this up, even if I may not necessarily buy more in the future.

Personal update

I’ve been a little overwhelmed with real life recently. Our family took over this canteen/restaurant thats open Monday to Saturday. My mum is down there Monday to Friday (since she isn’t working otherwise) and I’m there on Saturdays. Plus, I’m still teaching my tuition student, who has his exams in September or October, which reduces fun make up wearing time to like, zero.

(Our stall is at Tanjong Pagar MRT in the Central Business District, B1 (the same level as the 7-11 when you’re exiting.) It sells fish soup beehoon and like, salmon set and saba set and sambal seafood sets. It’s pretty tasty and do come and visit if you are in Singapore! It’s crazy busy during lunchtimes, so I’ll suggest coming outside of lunchtimes. Saturdays open 6am-6pm and I’m there like the whole day, which explains the no make up 😦

I’m still trying to do reviews and stuff but it’s just no fun when you have to wash off make up straight away or something. So it will be natural makeup from me for awhile. I will still try to find things to post, and I definitely hope I will have some things to post about. Just putting it out there so everyone knows!

Maybelline Master Sculpt Contour Palette – Light/Medium

This was given by a friend – she has a round face and wanted to try contouring, and bought this. She didnt think it worked for her, so she very kindly gave it to me. This is in the shade Light/Medium, there should be a Medium/Dark available as well.

Just by eyeballing this, I can tell that it’s way too warm to be a contour. And here’s the swatch below:

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You can tell it’s leaning orangey. It’s an alright bronzer colour, and I use it as such, not as a contour. It’s also rather pale – my arm is darker than my face, but the contour is not much darker than my arm. The highlight is a white-gold, but it’s rather chunky and is too powdery – I think it doesn’t have quite enough binders in it.

There is a brush included. It’s quite firm but rather scratchy. Works in a pinch but I wouldn’t really want to use it.

Here’s some comparison swatches between all my bronzers/contours:

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Left to right: NYX Taupe, Zoeva Rose Golden blush palette contour shade, Maybelline Master Sculpt Contour shade, Alcina Bronzer darkest shade, Alcina bronzer middle shade.

Okay, seriously. This is marginally darker than the middle shade of the Alcina bronzer. No wonder I feel like I have to build it up to see a significant effect. It’s just not quite dark enough, and I’m already pretty fair. I guess this works better for people NC15.

On the face – left without, right with. This is the right side of my face, which I very rarely photograph, I’m like Ariana Grande 😛 You can see a bit more warmth along my jaw and my cheeks in the 2nd photo.

3/4 view: left without, and right with. The edges of my face have warmed up a little and there is slightly more definition.

One thing I noticed was that the contour shade seems to have residue build up on it quite quickly. After about every use, I would get very little pigment and would have to scrap away the top layer, which is why you can see my finger nail marks on it. This is goddamn annoying, of course, but it’s not a complete dealbreaker. The ‘contour’ also has some shimmer – see what I mean about it being a far better bronzer than contour? The contour is a little on the dry and dusty side, but because it’s much lighter than most other bronzers, it doesn’t result in a lot of blending issues or whatever.

The highlight side is conversely, much more subtle than the highlights I’m used to, and chunkier. When I use this, it’s almost like I mattified the top of my cheekbones. Absolutely bizarre. I guess I’m used to the dewy sheen of cream blushes and highlighters, and the super glowy sheen of my other powder highlighters.

Overall, I think this product is decent. It’s good as a subtle, cheap bronzer, and I can’t complain because I got it for free. I would use this in place of contour on lazy days I don’t want to look too done up, and it works great as a quick bronze because it’s impossible to overdo. I wouldn’t run out to buy this, but I like it enough to use it up. However it’s not super great quality – evident in the highlighter coming off on the brush in chunks, and the contour shade being kinda dusty and dry.

Changed My Mind AND Cheap find: GNC Moisturizing Vitamin C Cream

There is quite a bit of story behind this moisturizer. If I recall, I was still on my Paula’s Choice moisturizer (emptied here.) My husband bought some stuff from GNC, and they gave him this cream FOC. The US GNC site shows the price as something like $2 USD, but in Singapore it’s listed as $15.95. Not expensive, but not cheap either, considering you can get COSRX’s well reviewed moisturizers at $16 plus shipping.

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When I first used this, I definitely had some misgivings. It’s a house brand moisturizer, after all. Looking at the ingredient’s list, it looks to be a pretty basic occlusive moisturizer. For some reason, the ingredients on my packaging differ from the Singapore one, but is quite similar to one listed on the US website: [still with differences though – and it costs $2]

Other Ingredients: Water, Ascorbic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Myristate, Petrolatum, Propylene Glycol, Glycerol Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Dimethicone, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Diazolidinyl Urea, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Carbomer, Methyl Paraben, Triethanolamine, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Propyl Paraben, Fragrance

In general, there’s a lot of fatty alcohols, petrolatum and some waxes, which makes it a nice occlusive moisturizer. I honestly don’t know how much vitamin C is in this thing, but if you got it free like me, or at $2, you probably wouldn’t care.

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The texture is pretty lightweight, like a gel cream. It sinks in quite fast and doesn’t leave much of a residue, so I think most people can use this cream.

The first time I used this, my skin was tingling for awhile, and it was mildly itchy. I was rather worried, but there was no lasting adverse effects and the itch subsided after awhile. I also woke up with nice, soft skin. It didn’t break me out or anything, for sure. I suspect it may be because of the niacinamide in my CosRX Galactomyces Whitening essence that reacted with the Vit C? In any case, now I put on some other stuff between using these 2 and I haven’t had the same reaction.

I’m pretty surprised by this moisturizer, and I’m glad that it’s pretty nice ! Although at the Singapore price of 10+, honestly I think you’re better off just buying a Cosrx moisturizer. If you do happen to get this for free though, enjoy!