Wednesday, September 28, 2016

LORAC Unzipped Gold Palette Review & Swatches

This is one review that I've held off for the longest time since I really didn't have a good experience with this palette. This is probably the most negative review I have ever written but I do want to hear your thoughts once you've finished reading this post.



I have purchased the LORAC Unzipped Gold Palette on my trip to California back in August. I have held off buying any LORAC eyeshadow palettes for the longest time. When everybody was raving about the Pro Palette 1 & 2, I wasn't really on the fence about getting them because the shades were not something that I gravitate to. Whenever I buy a palette I always make sure that all of the shadows are something that I would use. If more than two shades are something that I would never touch, I wouldn't even buy the palette.

The LORAC Unzipped palette was really beautiful and it was something that I was willing to buy but just not something that I was too excited to get not until I visited an Ulta store on my trip to California. Since I have always eyeing the LORAC Unzipped with it's rosy shades, I was more excited about the Gold palette that was newly released so I just impulsivelybought the palette after swatching a couple of shades.

The palette comes with the LORAC palette comes with the LORAC Behind the Scenes Eye Primer. I didn't particularly like this primer. It was too tacky than I like my primers to be. And I honestly think there are better primers in the market.


Moving on to the actual palette, we have here 10 shadows, a mixture of shimmery and matte. Undressed, a matte cream color that is good as a base for the other shadows or as a brow bone highlight. Uninhibited is a shimmery champagne shade and Unpredictable is very similar but a little bit deeper. Undeniable is a matte, medium brown and Unedited is a matte, deep chocolate brown. Going on the second row, we start off with Unlocked a shimmery-satin ivory color. Next to it is Unlimited a shimmery pale gold, followed by Unleashed a deeper, warm gold with chunky glitters. Unwind, another matte brown which is slightly cooler in tone than Undeniable and Unedited. Lastly, Unafraid, a deep plum-brown with gold micro glitter.



Here are the swatches for the shadows. The colors are gorgeous and they swatch beautifully. They look highly pigmented and because of these swatches, I was sold on this palette.

Undressed, Uninhibited, Unpredictable, Undeniable, Unedited

Unlocked, Unlimited, Unleashed, Unwind, Unafraid
*I didn't realize that this photo was blurry when I was taking photos, sorry!*


Everything looks good so far, right? The issues started when I began picking up product with my brush. There was a lot of powdery kick-backs from the eyeshadows and it wasn't only one or two of the shadows that was doing this, all of the shadows have kick backs. I tried different eye shadow brushes and still the same result. Mind you, the brushes I used to try this out were all brushes that I use all the time with other eyeshadows and never have I gotten so much kick-backs as I had with this LORAC Palette. I ignored this issue and thought it would be alright having a messy palette as long as the eyeshadows perform beautifully on the eyes. Boy, I was so hopeful but so wrong about that.

All the shadows that I applied all over my lid with a brush didn't give me as much color pay off as it did when I was doing finger swatches, still the color looked good so I carried on. Here comes the transition shadows and the blending part of eye makeup application. Dipped my blending brush into the pan of one of the matte brown shade, again, kick backs, tapped off excess, brush on the crease and started blending away. First thing I noticed was the matte brown shadow was too patchy. The shadow on my eye was just horrible. I tried again, trying to make everything work and look good to the best of my ability and blended away. By the time I got it to look decent the all over lid shade didn't even look gold anymore! No pigment was left all over the lid. So I reapplied another lid color and tried to blend out the harsh lines with a more precise blending brush so as not to lose the color, but even with a precise brush all the pigment came off again. 

I didn't want to give up on the palette so I tried several times doing a lot of eye looks using the other shadows but I still got the same issues. For sure it's not the brushes' fault since I've tried different brushes and got the same result. The brushes I used never gave me a problem with other palettes and other eyeshadows. Even the cheap shadows I have in my collection works way better than these shadows.

I came to the conclusion that these are surface shadows - shadows that has beautiful pigmentation but doesn't stay once a you begin to blend things out. The fall outs are horrible too and it sticks to your foundation like nobody's business if you have a base on already prior to eye makeup application. 

This is one palette I truly regret buying. I tried making it work and I honestly didn't even want to review this product but it was so horrible to the point where I feel like I got a bad palette since I never really heard anything bad regarding LORAC eyeshadows. My cousin has the LORAC Pro 1 & 2 and when I told her about my experience she couldn't believe it since the LORAC Pro palettes are her top palettes. 

I'm not saying that LORAC eyeshadows are horrible, just that I have a really bad experience with this one. Since this is my first ever LORAC product, I'm very reluctant to try out their other products now after this one. I know companies cannot always put out great products so I'm not holding this against LORAC either but it just sucks to be greatly disappointed by this palette.

I feel bad about ranting and doing a bad review on this palette however, I also want to strike up a conversation. Have you ever tried any LORAC eyeshadows and how was your experience with it? Have you ever disliked a cult favorite beauty product and what was your experience? I would love it if you tell me your stories. 


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Hansaeng Cosmetics Rin Bi-gyeol Yun Essence Review

The Korean skin care regimen is a lengthy and tedious routine that can be quite texting for an average person. However, these carefully applied products and steps have been quite a worldwide hit since Korean ladies seem to have achieved ageless beauty with it. Charlotte Cho of Soko Glam wrote quite an informative post in Into the Gloss on the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine.

Quickly, here's a run down of the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine based from Charlotte's list and then we'll head on to the review of the day.
  1. EYE MAKEUP REMOVAL
  2. CLEANSE
  3. EXFOLIATE
  4. REFRESH (TONING)
  5. ESSENCE (SERUM)
  6. AMPOULE
  7. SHEET MASK
  8. EYE CREAM
  9. MOISTURIZER (EMULSION/LOTION)
  10. NIGHT CREAM
That's too many steps don't you think? If you do follow this routine on the daily it would probably take you a good 30 minutes to an hour to finish this. I personally do 5 or 6 of the steps on the daily if I have makeup on during the day but if I'm having a no makeup day then I would only do 3 or 4 steps. 

My skin care routine have been varying lately since I've been trying out a lot of skin care products and also, for the month of August and September I've been breaking out like crazy. I normally get a pimple only during the time of the month but since my travel to California a month ago, I've been breaking out here and there every couple of days. I've also noticed more texture on my skin so I'm trying to build up a good skin care routine to help clear everything up.

One of the products that I was sent for this month was the Hansaeng Cosmetics Rin Bi-gyeol Yun Essence. An essence is basically a serum. Serum, some may argue, is totally different than essences since Korean skin care brands actually do come out with products labeled serum and essence separately. Well, the serum is more concentrated and usually is applied after toning (another added step to the already long 10-Step Skin Care Routine). The essence on the other hand, is a lightweight and less concentrated version of it but is still packed with active ingredients to help address skin issues like cellular rejuvenation, brightening, anti-wrinkle, etc. 



The Rin Bi-gyeol Yun Essence is a proud hanbang cosmetic which means it is a beauty product that contains ingredients derived from traditional Korean medicine. Among the almost endless list of ingredients here are some that might be quite familiar: licorice, black cohosh, black sesame, angelica gigas root, paeonia lactiflora, mulberry root, niacinamide, fermented ginseng, sodium hyaluronate, and macadamia seed oil. The combination of these ingredients claims to balance the oil and moisture of the skin, has anti-wrinkle and anti-aging properties, brightens and moisturizes the skin.



The bottle is quite lovely and weighty. It has a nice look and feel to it with the chrome cap and neck and the mustard color bottle encased in glass. Loving the convenience that the pump provides too! 



All I need is one pump of this essence for my entire face. The first thing I've noticed about this essence is that it is very opaque in color and has a thicker consistency than most of the essences I've encountered. I've established above that an essence is essentially a lightweight version of a serum but I honestly think this particular product can be categorized as a serum itself. Most essences also has a clear to cloudy color and has a slippery texture but the Rin Bi-gyeol Yun Essence feels more like a lotion. Another thing I've noted about this essence is that it doesn't sink into the skin like most essences, rather, it sits on top of the skin. I'm not going to say it feels unpleasant since it really doesn't bother me, although some may not feel comfortable about that sensation because it does feel very rich and heavy.


Another thing to note about this product is the scent. It has a strong a very strong flowery perfume smell which, to me, was a little overbearing. It would not be a huge deal if you don't mind strong scents but this is just something to keep in mind. I personally am not a huge fan of strong flowery scent and would rather have a fresh water, clean scent or a citrus scent in my skin care products.


I firmly believe that this product should be marketed as a serum instead of an essence (although they are the same but to avoid further confusion with all these Korean skin care steps and products). I'm not sure if the Rin Bi-gyeol Yun line from Hansaeng Cosmetics has a serum product in the market but this essence definitely is very close to a serum formula rather than the typical essence formula. 

I would say I had a good experience with this product although it would not be on the top of my list for essences. The Rin Bi-gyeol Yun Essence's rich formula does provide the skin with great hydration. I honestly think that you can skip the rest of the other skin care steps after using this product since it is intensely hydrating. I've used this product for a good 3 weeks and I still haven't seen quite amazing results although I did notice brightening effects. I started using this after my vacation from California and I was so tanned at that time but I've noticed whitening and brightening effects within two weeks of using this since my face is now 2 to 3 shades lighter than the rest of my body. 

The Hansaeng Cosmetics Rin Bi-gyeol Yun essence retails for 26,000 KRW ($26). For an essence I think the price is just right since you get an ample amount of product in a bottle at 50ml. 

For sure I'm going to continue using this product and incorporate it with my new skin care routine that I've been testing out lately. Would you try out this product? How many steps are there in your skin care routine? I would love to know so please write them down below. ^^



*This product was sent to me for review but as always, my reviews are honest and based on my own opinions and experience.

Don't  forget to visit the other BNTGirls, DorisLavenAlene, KimBellaBlairCharmaineMaryCeline, and Mitha

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

KICHO Argan Brush Cleanser Wipes & Cleanser Review

Am I the only one who thinks that cleaning makeup brushes are such a chore? I have quite a lot of makeup brushes and I don't clean them as often as I used to (every 2 weeks) because I travel quite often for work and I just use a handful of brushes and when I come home I just pick up clean brushes and leave the dirty ones. Once all of my brushes are dirty, that's when I clean them all together.

I was really excited when I saw my product list for the September BNT Beauty Box because it includes two brush cleanser products. I was just about to clean my dirty makeup brushes and since I will be receiving two brush cleansers to try out, I decided to wait one more week so that my Beauty Box will arrive and I will be able to fully test out these products.

The products for today's review are the KICHO Argan Brush Cleanser Wipes and the Argan Brush Cleanser.



So the first product is the Argan Brush Cleanser Wipes. I haven't seen a product like this on the market and in the box, it states that patent is pending for this product. This is very similar to a makeup remover wipe although it is twice or maybe even 3 times the size of it. 


It is free from any chemicals (paraben-free and benzophenone-free) and is made from vegetable extracts such as green tea, calendula, lemon, tangerine and others to disinfect and thoroughly clean brushes. It has argan oil to condition the brushes and keep them soft. 


The Argan Brush Cleanser Wipes is designed to conveniently clean makeup brushes and puffs. 

One box of the Argan Brush Cleanser Wipes has 5 individually packed sheet. on the back of the packaging is the product information and ingredient list in Korean but thankfully there is an English translation on how to use the product.

Instructions:
  1. Open packet and place the sheet on top of it
  2. Take your dirty brush and swirl it around the sheet to remove makeup
  3. Rinse the brush under warm water
  4. Re-shape the brush, lay flat and let it dry


Below is a small demo of the efficacy of the product. Pardon the lighting because the kitchen was dark and the lights are yellow so the colors would look very warm and yellow-tinged in the photos. 


As you can see the sheet is pretty big although one sheet may not be enough to clean more than 25 makeup brushes especially if they are mostly face brushes since they are bigger and would require more space. Although I found out through testing this cleanser wipe that you can definitely use the other side of the sheet. Just add a little bit of water to the sheet and it will clean your brushes all the same. The sheet, if I'm not mistaken, seems to be a regular cotton sheet soaked in the concentrated liquid brush cleanser, thus allowing it to cleanse the brush.


So here's a dirty blending brush. I purposely used this as an example since it is white-haired, you will be able to fully see how well this brush cleanser wipe works. Below, is a photo of the brush after being swirled on the cleanser wipe and rinsed off with warm water.

I was amazed at how clean this brush became! Below are two more of the same brush. You can tell these are my favorite blending brushes (Sigma E25).



And the final result.

This brush is the one I use with concealer to carve out my brows whenever I make a mess out of my brows. It is a synthetic brush and I find that when used with liquid to creamy products, it sucks up the product all the way to the middle of the brush which can be quite hard to clean.

And here's another clean and happy brush.


Dense face brushes are the hardest to clean especially if you use them with liquid and cream products. They usually absorb the product to the middle of the brush and although your brush looks clean after washing them, the middle part of the brush is still filled with gunk. Back in 2012, I made a blog post on how I deep clean my dense makeup brushes and to this day, that is still howI clean them because it is the single most effective way I found that cleanses these dense brushes right down at the middle. 

I am very curious to find out if a brush cleansing wipe would be able to clean a dense face brush that has been used with liquid foundation. 


Surprisingly enough, this face brush was as clean as it should be. Although it took me quite a while when it came to swirling the brush and rubbing it all over the sheet, it wasn't as tiring or as long as pumping soap onto my hand and massaging the bristles. I checked the middle part of the brush if the dirt was removed, and alas it did! The photo above may look yellow, but believe me, it is only the lighting and this brush was extremely clean and no residue remained after rinsing it with warm water. 

Overall, I am very impressed with the brush cleansing wipes. This is such a good product to bring when you're traveling since you don't have to worry about TSA and liquid rules. If you're a makeup artist and are working on several clients in the span of a couple of days this will very much come in handy since you can quickly clean your makeup brushes. I find that the eye brushes doesn't take too long to dry as well. Just lightly rinse them in warm water, wipe the bristles with a paper towel while reshaping them and let them air dry for a good 15-20 minutes and they will be ready for use again. For face brushes, you might want to wait a good hour or two before they completely dry. 

Two thumbs up for the KICHO Argan Brush Cleanser Wipes. Definitely something that hastens brush cleaning since you don't have to go back and forth dispensing soap into your hands and massaging the brush hairs, rinsing and doing it all over again if the brush isn't thoroughly clean. My only concern is that there were only 5 sheets in the box. Since this was sent to me, I'm not sure if they retail the cleanser wipes in a bigger count than 5 per box. Other than that, I'm completely sold on this one.



________________


Now let's head on to the liquid counterpart of the wipes, the traditional, Argan Brush Cleanser. 

The Argan Brush Cleanser is made of the same ingredients as the Cleanser Wipes - free from any chemicals (paraben-free and benzophenone-free), made from vegetable extracts such as green tea, calendula, lemon, tangerine and argan oil.




There is 260 ml of product in a bottle and one thing I noticed about the brush cleanser is that there is no English instructions unlike the brush cleanser wipes. Since it is in a liquid form, I believe this would be similar to a liquid soap in use and formula. 

These are all my dirty brushes ready for washing


The bottle comes with a rubber stopper so you don't dispense too much of the product. At first I tried dispensing some of the liquid on the palm of my hand but it has a very watery formula and it easily runs down the hand. I realized that it would be much better to put some of the liquid in a cup and soak and swirl my brushes in there.




Another one of my dense face brushes that I use to apply liquid foundation. 

So what I did was pour the cleanser into a cup, making sure that the liquid was below my brush ferrule so that it wouldn't loosen the glue for the brush hairs. I swirled it around the cup and then removed the excess cleanser by pressing it to the side of the cup and then rinsing the brush in warm water. or the face brush, I actually had to go in twice since after the first rinse I can still see some dirt and foundation residue. 



In my opinion the Brush Cleanser Wipes actually did a better job of cleaning dense face brushes than the the Brush Cleanser itself. I think this is due to the fact that the dirt sticks to the cotton wipe while with the cleanser, the cup that I used is smooth and has no ridges to help the dirt come off or adhere to. The brush cleanser also doesn't bubble up or foam like liquid soaps do. Cleaning the eye brushes with the Argan Brush Cleanser was fast and easy and it removed makeup completely. I also like that there was a subtle 'clean' scent to the brush cleanser. 

It didn't take too long for the brushes to dry as well. It took about 2 hours for the big face brushes to completely dry and the smaller eye brushes took about 30 minutes to dry. The brush hairs are soft and smooth like newly bought brushes so that's a huge plus.


All brushes now clean!


Both the KICHO Argan Brush Cleanser Wipes and Cleanser are really good products although I personally prefer the Cleanser Wipes than it's liquid counterpart. 




*This product was sent to me for review but as always, my reviews are honest and based on my own opinions and experience.

Don't  forget to visit the other BNTGirls, DorisLavenAlene, KimBellaBlairCharmaineMaryCeline, and Mitha

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

LAFINE Vegetable Foam Cleansing Review

I really enjoy putting on makeup in the mornings even when I have absolutely have nothing to do but just sit around at home. I would experiment with makeup looks from natural to glam. But as much as I love putting on makeup, I also like the feeling of removing all the gunk on my face at the end of the day and thoroughly cleansing my skin. 

Today's review is on the LAFINE Vegetable Foam Cleansing product which claims to cleanse, exfoliate and nourish the skin. 


Let's start off this review with the packaging. The packaging for this product is the same as the previously reviewed LAFINE Vegetable Firming Massage Cream. The box features a photo of tomatoes, carrots, cucumber and parsley which is the main ingredients for this product so it already gives you a gist of the product. The product is labeled as Vegetable Foam Cleansing which I firmly believe they should change into Vegetable Foam Cleanser. Vegetable Foam Cleansing just sounds like something is missing at the end and they should add another word but if they change 'cleansing' into 'cleanser' that would give the consumer an actual idea of what that product is for. If you haven't read my previous review on the LAFINE Vegetable Firming Massage Cream, that one has a product labeling error because the actual tub was labeled as 'Foaming' instead of 'Firming' which really confused me. This time around there was no labeling error and aside from the word 'Cleansing,' there's barely any mistakes on the English translations on the box.  


Made from carrots, cucumbers, parsley, water parsley and tomatoes. There's green and red granules that you can visibly see that gently exfoliates and provides nutrients to the skin. It also has papaya extract that helps cleanse and smooth the skin. This cleanser claims to remove any makeup residue on the skin and will give you a nice, fresh and dewy look. This product is also free from parabens, benzophenone, talc, animal oil and triclosan. It also has a very faint, fresh garden smell to it that you barely notice.


To use this product, make sure that you have clean hands and dampen the face. Take a dime size of the cleanser on you hand make rich foam and massage on the skin. Rinse off with lukewarm water, followed by cold water and pat your face dry with a towel. 





Although it is recommended to take off the makeup first before cleansing, I like putting new cleansers to the test and see how well they would do in removing makeup including waterproof eyeliner and mascara. For this demo, I left my makeup on and proceeded with using the foam cleanser as per instructions. 


In the photo above, you can see how well this product foams up and it had turned into a darker color, removing my base makeup. for the eye area, I made sure to use gentler circular motions to prevent pulling on the skin and getting premature wrinkles. 


And the final photo above is the end result! It took away all the makeup even the waterproof eyeliner and mascara! My skin felt really smooth, supple and really clean. This product foams up very nicely and it doesn't dissipate that fast unlike other foam cleansers. It's so easy to use and definitely something that I would recommend getting since it doesn't leave your skin feeling dry at all despite the thorough cleansing. 

The LAFINE Vegetable Foam Cleansing retails for 13,000/KRW ($13). I've seen this product on Amazon retailing for $23.99 which is double the price it originally retails for but you can definitely check it out if you're interested in trying this foam cleanser. 

This product is a nice treat to the skin. Use the LAFINE Vegetable Firming Massage Cream after washing the face and you'll sure to get bright, extremely moisturized and supple skin!

*This product was sent to me for review but as always, my reviews are honest and based on my own opinions and experience.

Don't  forget to visit the other BNTGirls, DorisLavenAlene, KimBellaBlairCharmaineMaryCeline, and Mitha

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Juvia's Place Nubian Palette Review & Swatches


I have an amazing discovery! It's the Juvia's Place Nubian Palette to satiate my warm neutral eyeshadow obsession. 

I actually discovered this palette through Jaclyn Hill. She's one of the few YouTubers that I follow on Snapchat and a couple of days before I went to visit LA, she snapped some palettes from Juvia's Place. She said in her snap that she saw this from NikkieTutorials. She swatched the palettes and i was instantly sold. I immediately went on the website and bought the Nubian Palette. I went to LA for a week and when I came home over the weekend I excitedly played around with this palette.







Packaging is cool although I would love it even more if there is a mirror on this palette. The shadows are smooth and blendable and the shimmery shades are extremely pigmented. There's 4 matte shades and 8 shimmery pearl shades. 

I also would have appreciated it if these shades were named for easier reference. Anyway, let's go through the swatches and breakdown of all the shadows starting from the top row. 

The first shade is a pale gold with a pink duo chrome finish. That's the best way to describe this particular shadow. On the pan it looks like a light, golden champagne shade but swatching it, you'll see pink reflects on it. My photo just don't do this shade justice but it is one of my favorite shades from the entire palette. 

The second shadow is a warm, toned down orange. You could also say it is a deep mustard color. It is a great shade to add warmth to your eyes and a good blending and transition color. It is one of the few mattes in the palette as well.

Another matte transition shade is this warm light brown shadow. I must say that the mattes in this palette is not as highly pigmented as the shimmery shades but they are extremely blendable and buildable which is fool proof if you're someone who isn't that good yet with makeup.

My favorite shadow out of all the shades here is the next one which is the golden peach shade. It is very shimmery and pigmented almost like a foiled shadow. It has a very soft and silky texture and in my opinion, is best applied with a finger. This is also a great face highlighter for an extreme glow.



The first shade in the middle row is another beautiful shade. It is a shimmery rose gold shade that is just so gorgeous on all skin types. 

The second shade is a shimmery warm gold. Another really pretty shade that catches on the light really well. 

The next shade is a warm red-brown still vibrants but leans more satin than shimmery in my opinion.

The last shade is a stunning, shimmery copper which is very similar in texture and consistency as the golden peach shadow right above it on the top row. These two shades are more like foiled shadows and is great for an all over lid color.



The bottom row are darker shadows that are great for lining, deepening and defining the eyes. 

The first shade is a medium brown with a satin finish. This color is more neutral, not too warm nor cool. This one is not as pigmented as the other shimmery satin shades but it is a great color that gives both softness and definition to the eyes. 

The second shade is a warm chocolate brown matte shade that is good to deepenthe crease. Again, this is not an intense and pigmented matte shade but it is very buildable. 

The next shade is a hard shade to describe. It is a deep and warm, brown black shade that has a shimmery satin finish.

Last but not the least is a matte charcoal shadow which is the only shadow that leans on the cooler side of the spectrum in this palette.



I love how versatile this palette is which can definitely take you from day to night. The colors compliments all skin tones so whether you're really fair or really dark, these shades will pop. Although at first I was disappointed in the matte shades since it wasn't as highly pigmented as the other shimmery shades, I personally think that it was the best way to go for these shadows. If the matte shades were more pigmented than what they are right now, it is so easy to go heavy handed on those shades. Since the matte shades are meant to be transition shades, a lighter pigmentation of these shadows, their buildability and blendability is what actually make them such incredible shades. I also want to mention that I've noticed little to no fall outs and my brushes doesn't kick off a lot off powder either with these shadows. These are the signs of good quality powders and I'm extremely happy about this palette.

The Nubian Palette retails for $35 but is on sale right now for $23.50 at Juvia's Place. At this price point, you won't be disappointed with the product that you're getting. It's such an amazing find and it trumps the two other palettes that I bought on my trip recently which will be in another review.




*This product is not sponsored*