Sunday, October 27, 2013

Review: RMS beauty un coverup concealer

RMS beauty 'un' cover-up. $36 for .20 oz

This is my feel good concealer. The main ingredient is a coconut oil + other oils that many natural/organic beauty lovers swear by. I too love to incorporate carrier and essential oils into my skincare. Coconut oil, avocado oil, caster oil are my favorite carrier oils. I use it to sometimes cleanse, moisturizer, and treat my skin and not only have I never experienced any break outs due to these oils, I have seen awesome results thanks to these oils.

Back to the review... The reason I say this is my feel good product is that due to its kind ingredient list, you are treating your imperfections as you cover them with this product. The moisturizing ability of this concealer keeps your under eye well hydrated even those busy days you skipped eye cream. I also feel better putting them directly over acne due to the anti microbial property of the coconut oil.

Three negative things to note:
 1. This product comes in a pot. Not the most hygienic packaging.
 2. This is light to medium coverage product that will not cover strong dark circles and hyper pigmentation.
3. You MUST set this product with powder. Not only the dewy finish of the product can initially highlight imperfections even more, the product will not last on your face!!

I still love this product. I use this and By Terry concealer depending on what moisturizer I used (oil based vs. water/silicone based.... A topic that deserves its own post). Points number 2 and 3 can easily be compensated with a powder foundation.

Typically, after an oil based moisturizer, Dab dab under eyes, sides of my nose, my chin, other leftover acne marks, then light dusting of powder foundation (my current favorite is 100% pure powder) for extra coverage and setting. 

If I used a water/silicone based moisturizer, Michael Todd eye cream, then By Terry concealer, then etc.... Again, more on this theory (oil likes oil, water likes water) later.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review: YSL touche éclat and By Terry touché veloutte. Favorite high end concealers 1

YSL touche éclat and By Terry touche veloutte 

Apparently by the same creator, YSL touché éclat and by Terry touché veloutte share many similarities in terms of packaging. However, touché éclat is a pure highlighter vs. touché veloutte a brightening concealer. Please do not use touché éclat as a concealer and say you hate this product! Because it is truly a lovely product that deserves a lot of love... it is a perfect product to create subtle dimensions on the face. Especially on my flat, Asian face. Yes, you can create dimensions with something like benefit high beam... but please don't even compare... Whereas products like high beam shout out "I have highlighted my cheek bones and down the bridge of my nose. oh lala. please look. I am so fancy,"YSL touché éclat can truly fool the eyes as if you have gotten a botox (in a good way of course). However, because I do not go all out with highlighters on a day to day basis... I am more of a contour gal... I don't find myself reaching for YSL touché éclat much. (oh and a lot of us have darkness near our lips, especially under the bottom lip for some reason. this is the product of my choice for hiding those bad boys). 

However, I do reach for By Terry touché veloutte almost daily for my dark circles. It is a strange product... it is so light (liquid) yet offers moderate coverage! This reminds me of Garnier roll on concealer which I also love. I would say that touché veloutte is less coverage but more highlighting than Garnier, perfect for everyday look. I also find that less is more with this product, perhaps due to its highlighting ability. I use "one-click" and little product that comes out is still plenty to cover my dark circles for 2~3 days. Since there is a secure cap, I don't find that product left on the bristle dry overnight. However, because it is soooo tempting to brush a few strokes where I need more coverage on the face, I usually dab a little under eyes and swipe the rest down the bridge of my nose, in the corners of my nostrils, and on the center of the chin where I have the most discoloration. One major downside, however --> it is whopping $58. 

But it is notable that this product contains 0.22oz/6.5ml. 0.22oz people! 
Although it is noticeably more expensive than Garnier (15ml for $13 depending on where you get it), if you compare it to other highlighting concealers in the same family such as Clinique airbrush concealer (0.05oz $19.50), it is actually not toooooo outrageous!

I offing love touche veloutte, if you can't tell!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Review: Thisworks Perfect look skin miracle

Thisworks Perfect look skin miracle
Origins Vitazing moisturizer was my favorite moisturizer/tinted moisturizer IN THE WORLD for 2 weeks until I realized that it was breaking me out... what a short lived love... It was just a prefect one-step no brainer for lazy days. (some report it can be orangy on their skin, but I have never experienced it. I suggest avoiding excess amount of product) Since then, I have been searching left and right for a dupe.

One day, I ran across my girl crush Lisa Eldridge using this product: Thisworks Perfect Look Skin Miracle. She used it post moisturizer to give a faint color and glow. From the moment I saw, it took me 20 minutes to hunt down the product online and make my purchase. It was expensive. I believe I purchased it around $45 but now I see a website selling for $35!!!

Anyhows, I was sooo excited to try out my new Origins Vitazing replacement as my new moisturizer/tinted moisturizer. However, to my disappointment, Thisworks PLSM did not come close to  Origins Vitazing. PLSM is a skincare addition, not a replacement. PLSM lacked both in hydration and coverage department compared to the Vitazing. It is rather a serum packed with Vitamine E, Vitamin C and Hyluronic acid. It is definitely an awesome product that instantly gives you a slight tan (for fair to light to light-medium skin) and glow (for every skin tone), but not what I was looking for.

However, PLSM still comes in handy when my face get too light compared to my body... haha Since I exfoliate my face and apply SPF to my face religiously, my face is usually off color. And when my body is tan, it does look quite odd! In one of those days, I thinly apply this all over my face (one pump concentrating on the periphery of my face, blending down the neck). This way, I can still apply heavy coverage foundation (with a shade that matches my body) only down the T zone where I need most help. This way, my face and body is still one color, while avoiding the use of heavy foundation all over my face, blending down the neck, etc.

Dewy, glowy periphery of the face (where I am normal/dry) achieved with this product and satin/matte down the T zone (where I am oily) is quite a perfect combo for my skin.
But I still need to find an all-in-one replacement. Please leave comment below if you have a suggestion!

Review: Paula's Choice BHA

My best friend
I have been experimenting with Paula's Choice products for about 2 years now. I have used her moisturizers, masks, but what impresses me the most is her BHA. Her regular BHA comes in 3 formulas: lotion, gel, and liquid. Lotion is generally recommended for dry, get for combo, and liquid for oily skin gals and guys. These 3 formulas also come in 2 different strengths: 1% and 2%. However, not too long ago, Paula's Choice has released a new miracle product called Resist BHA 9. It is a high strength BHA that can do the following 9 things:

According to the Paula's choice website:

  1. Unclog pores with the first use
  2. Diminish white bumps
  3. Minimize enlarged pores
  4. Refine and smooth skin's texture
  5. Minimize sebaceous hyperplasia
  6. Smooth and soften dry, rough patches
  7. Help balance oily skin
  8. Fade red marks from breakouts
  9. Reduce breakout

 I have oily to combo skin. I have been playing with various concentration of various formula but I thing my favorite for everyday use is 2% gel formula. As I have oily and acne prone skin, I need the whole 2% strength. In terms of the formula, I find that liquid takes too long to dry on my face. I have to wait 30 seconds or so until I move onto serum or moisturizer. Also, with liquid, I always get inconsistent amount onto my cotton pads or my hands. On the other hand, gel is easy as I need one pump to cover my entire face. Same amount, every single time.

I am a true believer in gentleconstant, daily exfoliation. This is why I swear by Tatcha rice enzyme powder to wash my face in the morning followed by BHA 2% as toner morning and night. Before I started using BHA and Tatcha products, I used to exfoliate my face weekly or biweekly using harsh abrasive exfoliator to get the thick layer of dead epidermis cells off of my face. ew. This weekly exfoliation was never good as I my face would be red/irritated the first few days after I exfoliate... there just wouldn't be time where my face actually looks brightened since it becomes irritated --> dull. And before I know it, it is time for abrasive exfoliation again!

After a few weeks of daily gentle exfoliation with BHA and Tatcha, my epidermis has come to a balance. The perfect balance where my skin adjusted to amount of exfoliation = amount of skin layer replication. For every day glow. I will never go back to the old days of harsh exfoliation!

Also, BHA 9 is my miracle product. I am not quite sure about the other 8 things that Paula claims... but I can swear that it is the only product that can do one particular thing. OVERNIGHT. This is the one and only product that can erase the milia under my eyes. As I stated under my eye cream reviews, I tried a lot of eye creams that were not suited for me that actually did more harms than good. When I try too thick of an eye cream, I develop those annoying white bumps... i hate you... After a long trial and error, I have finally landed at 2~3 eye creams that I can reliable use without getting milia. Thank you lord. However, during the dark times, I always relied on BHA 9 to erase the dark past. What I do is a spot treat right on the milia. Within a day or two or spot treatments, the milia is resorbed away! so cool.

Really annoying thing is that the pump on BHA 9 pumps out too much product. This product is definitely meant to be a spot treatment. The strength of BHA is just too strong to be used all over the face everyday. I try not to waste product my spreading the left over pump over my neck or something. But I can't wait until Paula's Choice redesign the packaging!! Thank you in advance. I will always need/love you.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Review: Tatcha Deep Rice Enzyme Powder. Cannot live without!

This is my favorite morning cleanser. Actually marketed as an exfoliant, it is the product that makes the most difference in my skin care regime. The website says it is "A water-activated enzyme powder of rice bran, papaya + HADASEI-3 Bioactive Complex". This finely milled powder lathers into semi-creamy-foam when rubbed between palms with few drops of water. When evenly applied and gently massaged on to the face... the experience is... exquisite, for the lack of better word to describe it. The result is even better. When rinsed off after 30 secs~60 secs, what you are left with is a baby's bottom soft skin. You will be amazed. The results are instantaneous. With just one use. I often have to stop myself from wanting to use twice a day, both morning and night. Although I bet this product is gentle enough to be used twice daily, I like to save this product. That is how much I love it!

There are 3 types of this enzyme powder depending on your skin type.

  • Gentle powder (pink) - best suited for sensitive and/or dry skin. contains licorice extract to soothe the skin
  • Classic powder (white) - best suited for combination skin. contains pearl extract to condition the skin
  • Deep powder (green) - best suited for oily skin. contains an anti-acne, anti-inflammatory extract to fight breakouts. 

The Tatcha website says daily use of this enzyme powder satisfies all the skin's exfoliant needs. However, I do also use Paula's choice 1% or 2% BHA morning and night during my toning step as I have quite oily and acne prone skin. Results are fantastic!

Although the purchase is quite an investment: $65, I highly recommend investing in this product rather than purchasing several mediocre, harsh physical/chemical exfoliants that are just going to sit in the back of your skincare drawer. I made my first purchase during Thanksgiving of 2012. After using it daily (on average 6 days out of a week), I still have some left to carry me to the thanksgiving of 2013! Tatcha has a sampler set. Although even the sampler set is not cheap... :( you will be converted!

Since the day I added Tatcha deep rice enzyme powder and Omorovicza deep cleansing mask, I have not gone to get a facial! Why would I if I can achieve better results at home?

More info on Tatcha's web:

Review: Theodent toothpaste

Theodent toothpaste
I am not that particular about toothpastes... If they get the job done, awesome.

But I was first intrigued by... mainly the packaging.... it looks like chocolate!! This apparently is a revolutionary toothpaste in a sense that it is fluoride free. Instead, it uses a natural chemical from cocoa bean to get the job done. It is apparently okay to be swallowed! So it could be used by toddlers... Well I do not plan on swallowing any toothpastes and I do not live with any toddlers... but it is still cool to know. Who knows, maybe I will swallow my toothpaste when I am drunk one night. eww Anyways, it avoids the risks of ingesting toxic fluoride which can potentially cause several conditions such as dental fluorosis, skin rashes, etc.

The paste does not foam up. If foamy toothpastes make you gag, you should give this one a try. Also, the cap is kind of hard to take off. You can see in the picture that the cap narrows down at the end. Although there are 2 lines to aid grip, the cap just slides right off between my fingers. So I tend not to push down the cap all the way... and lastly, the is quite $$ for a toothpaste! ~$12 for a toothpaste. yikes. After the tube, I probably will not repurchase. Until I have a toddler that is.

Here is the link I bought mine:

Review: Caudalie beauty elixir

Caudalie beauty elixir
$49 for 3.4 oz $18 for 1 oz

I first bought myself a mini one out of curiosity to see what all the hype was about. At first, I was NOT impressed. Still, I am NOT too impressed. I am convinced that I doesn't do anything to improve my skin. And I dislike the fact that the 2nd ingredient after water is alcohol. Shame on you, caudalie. But until the day they stop making the product (oh god forbids),  I will continue to repurchase. In fact, I currently have 3 bottles of this under my possession. One big bottle next to my desk, one small one next to by bed, and one more in my car. Why??? you may ask.

I am addicted to the experience of this mist. As corny as it may sound, I love the coolness of the fine mist, the scent of the essential oils, and even the ritual of 'stoping for a second, spritz, spritz, and taking a few deep breathes' in the middle of my hectic day. It really calms me down. Unfortunately, the scent does not last long. It disappears within seconds, 10 seconds max. Perhaps it is a good thing since I can see how some people may be quite offended to this strong scent. It smells quite therapeutic and herbal.

Unfortunately, due to its high alcohol and essential oil content (not to mention high price), I try to limit myself to 2~4 spritz per day. So far, this has worked wonderfully in my crazy crazy day.

I have never smoked cigarrattes before... but I imagine this mist and cigarettes have quite the same sensual experience. ahaha