Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Skincare Routine (Homemade and mostly Organic)

Dear Beauty Diary,
I am always stressing on how it is better to use organic products. I just like taking precautions, and the safer, the better. If you're organic-loving like me, or if you don't have much money to spend on skincare products, continue reading.

100% organic products are very expensive (eg. Suki). So I have settled with almost organic products. However, the safer, the better. After doing some research, I have found out that you can make your own skincare products with natural ingredients. I shall list my homemade skincare products below.

I grab a handful of oats, mix in some water until I get my desired consistency, then rub it on my face. It cleanses nicely by gently exfoliating, and removing excess oil on the skin.

I use a handmade rose water toner with a few drops of essential oils.

Its really easy to make. Just grab a squeeze bottle, wash it thoroughly, fill it up with rose water (rose water is a good and natural astringent), then drop in about 15 to 20 drops of essential oils. I use tea tree essential oil, since it helps with blemishes. However, if you plan to use peppermint essential oil, just add in about 8 drops, since peppermint is quite strong.

Take note that the total essential oil concentration should not exceed 2%. If not, the essential oils may sting your skin.

If you don't have rose water at hand, pour yourself a cup of hot green tea, wait for it to cool down, transfer it into a squeeze bottle, then store it in the fridge. Use it like a normal toner. You should finish using the green tea toner within 3 weeks.

I use Steamcream. It is full of natural ingredients and essential oils. However, fragrance, methyl and propylparabens are present. The Steamcream website says that they use less than half of the permitted amount for these ingredients, saying that they are present in very small amounts. I don't like the sound of that, but I guess you can't get everything. A tin of Steamcream costs $25.90 (USD $20.68).

I use a bottle of sweet almond oil with a few drops of essential oils.

The oil does sound like it will make your skin really oily. I use 2 drops on my face. It does not make you look very oily, in fact, it calms down your sebaceous glands (the glands that produce oil), leaving your skin looking very healthy.

For those with oily skin
With the needed amount of oil in your skin, your skin will stop producing so much oil. This means that you'll have the solution to less oily skin! ^_^

For those with dry skin
The oil will replenish the needed amount of oil to your skin, thus making your skin look really healthy.

I use a handmade honey oats mask.

1. Place a teaspoon of honey in 5 tablespoons of hot water.
2. Get ready a container with a few tablespoons of oatmeal in it.
3. Pour in the honey water until you get your desired consistency for the mask.
4. Mix well and store refrigerated.

Apply on for 20 minutes. The mask will harden in the process. After 20 minutes, gently drizzle some water onto your face, wet your hands, and gently exfoliate. You can even eat the mask off if you want. Its hard to resist, the mask tastes so sweet and delicious. ^_^

You should finish using this mask within 3 to 4 weeks.

I use a handmade green tea with sugar scrub.

1. Make yourself a cup of hot green tea.
2. Get ready 2 tablespoons of sugar in a container.
3. Add in a tablespoon of green tea.
4. Add in another tablespoon of sugar.
5. Mix well and store refrigerated.

Pick up a small amount with your fingers and gently scrub away. You should finish using this scrub within 3 to 4 weeks.

I use a certified organic lipbalm by Mentholatum. Its $8 (USD $6.39), and it moisturises my lips nicely.

That's all for my homemade and mostly organic skincare routine. All the ingredients used in my homemade skincare products can be readily found in your kitchen, and they are all fairly cheap. Have fun whipping up your own skincare products! ^_^

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Sukin Facial Moisturiser (sensitive) review

Dear Beauty Diary,
I am finally here with a review of one of the best moisturisers of all time, the Sukin Facial Moisturiser! There's one for ordinary skin types and one for sensitive skin. The ordinary one smells of orange and herbs, which is fine really, but I decided to get the one for sensitive skin, since it smells like vanilla. I got it for $14.90 ($11.99 USD). I have spotted Sukin in many Watsons and Guardian stores, so it should be really easy to get.

The Sukin Facial Moisturiser comes in a dark plastic pump bottle. It contains 125ml of product in total, which I feel is a generous amount of moisturiser. Nowadays, I see many (both expensive and non-expensive) moisturisers that come in 30 - 50ml, which is plain miserable. One pump of the bottle dispenses too much product though, so I like to press the pump only a little down, to get the amount I want. By the way, the pump can be screwed down so that no product will spill out. This makes this already almost perfect moisturiser great for travelling too. The plastic bottle is also very dark and almost opaque. This is so that minimal light will react with the components in the moisturiser, which means a lesser chance of contamination. I really like this packaging! :D

Comes in a pump bottle. One pump delivers too much product though, so I always press the pump halfway down to get the amount I want.

Here's the product description:
This light and gentle moisturiser, boasts shea butter and aloe vera to calm and soothe the complexion. Rapidly absorbed to deliver essential hydration to delicate skin, whilst rose hip, sesame and jojoba oils help promote optimal moisture levels for radiant, balanced skin.

Click on picture to enlarge. The Sukin Facial Moisturiser is made up of many natural and organic ingredients. Definitely not 100% organic, but its good and much better than loads of other brands out there. The ingredient list looks so natural and yummy. ^_^

I feel that everyone can use the Sukin Facial Moisturiser. It has such natural ingredients (though of course there are some that are not so natural, but almost all of them are natural), so using on sensitive or non-sensitive skin is no problem. The cream sinks into your skin pretty quickly, and does not leave your face super oily or dried out. I have oily sensitive skin, and this cream keeps me hydrated, without giving any extra unnecessary shine. You will have a healthy, slightly dewy complexion, nothing too oily.

This moisturiser looks like a cream, but it is sort of both a cream and a gel. It spreads really easily like a gel and its almost as lightweight as a gel. Almost, but not as. Gels can swish around slightly in its container, but this cream can't. When applied onto the face, this cream feels like a cool drink of water for my skin. Remember how I said that oily-skinned people should stay away from creams? Well, the Sukin Facial Moisturiser is a hybrid cream, leaning more towards the gel side. I use this moisturiser and it doesn't break me out. Its pretty good!

As you can see, the cream is actually water-based. It is very smooth and light when applying.

You only need a little of this moisturiser each time you apply it. In fact, 125ml is a huge amount for a facial moisturiser. Also, since this moisturiser is made up of mostly natural ingredients, you need to finish using it within 6 months, as stated on the bottle. I calculated that when the 6 months is up, I will have slightly more than half of the product left if I use it only on my face. So, I have started to use it on the rest of my body as a body moisturiser. It does a good job of keeping both my face and body moist and supple.

I usually keep buying skincare products of all types, and I always use them immediately after I buy them. However, I like this moisturiser so much, I have been using it continuously day and night for 4 months! I haven't even been tempted in these 4 months to get a new moisturiser, because of this good little bottle of Sukin Facial Moisturiser. It does a splendid job of moisturising, and it doesn't make me feel like I'm drying out throughout the day. Nor do I have to keep blotting away on my face, since this moisturiser doesn't make me produce excessive amounts of oil. However, if you have extremely dry skin, I think you will need something a little more moisturising. Other than that, this moisturiser works for all skin types. :)

Oh there's also a toner to go along with this moisturiser. The toner is really great too, it works nicely with this moisturiser. However, I feel that you can use any toner of your choice to go along with this moisturiser, it doesn't really make a difference. I use my Etude House I'm Blooming Deep Moisture Mist in Canola Honey. I love that toner. However, I'll leave a link here if you're interested to read my review on the Sukin Hydrating Mist toner.

I love this moisturiser to bits and I recommend everyone to try it. Its different from the other moisturisers I've tried. From the moment I swatched it on at the store, I just knew I had to have it. Its really cheap too, which is such a huge bonus. Sukin could make this product 3 or 4 times more expensive, since it has good quality ingredients and works so effectively, yet they kept the price down. There are just so many good ingredients in this moisturiser, which helps my skin regenerate. This is the first time I got so crazy over a moisturiser. Sukin Facial Moisturiser is my HG moisturiser, try it, I'm sure you won't regret it! ^_^

Friday, 8 November 2013

The Body Shop Brazil Nut Body Mist review

Dear Beauty Diary,
Here I am reviewing one of my favourite perfumes of all time, The Body Shop Brazil Nut Body Mist! Its called a body mist, but I would like to think of it as a perfume, since its scent is really strong, and it can last for quite some time. I got it for $19.90 ($16.02 USD), which I feel is reasonable for such a huge amount, 100ml, of delicious-smelling body mist. The Body Shop also sells other types of body mists, but I like the brazil nut one most, since its the most sweet yet warm scent.

I don't think the packaging of the Brazil Nut Body Mist is good. Its a tall glass bottle with a flimsy pump. Since its tall, its really easy to knock over. And since its glass, it may crack. I have knocked it down many times by accident. >.< As for the pump, it sprays a nice and fine mist. It distributes the scent on me evenly. However, the pump is really flimsy. I have trouble pressing it down. And it feels like it will break each time I press the pump down. Also, the pump is not screwed onto the bottle, so the pump cannot be removed. So I can't transfer some of the mist into a smaller bottle to carry around with me. Sighs.

Close up of the pump. It sprays a fine mist. :)

Here's the product description.
The fresh way to wear Brazil nut. Spray this lightly-scented body mist all over your body for a gentle burst of sweet and nutty fragrance. It’s irresistible.
  • Sweet and nutty fragrance
  • Light and fresh
  • Use all over body
I don't understand why this body mist is called 'brazil nut'. This body mist doesn't smell nutty to me. However, this mist smells all sorts of wonderful. I detect warm, sweet and familiar scents like chocolate, hot chocolate (as a choco fan, I must say that chocolate and hot cocoa smell different~) vanilla, caramel, popcorn, maple syrup and milk. Its those type of perfume that you just want to eat up. Its a sweet and playful, yet warm and fuzzy scent. Its like an "I'm home and feeling so comfortable" scent. Also reminds me of sitting on a rug by a warm fireplace on Christmas. ^_^

As a body mist, this fragrance sure lasts for a long time. It also smells quite strong. Its a medium-strong scent type of perfume. I only need about 2 spritz on each arm. You can also spray on your clothes. Once I apply it, this mist can last me for about 6 hours. At the end of the 6 hours, there is still a faint linger of the mist.

When applied, this mist feels cool and refreshing. I like to rub the mist into my arms. I have sensitive skin (I get rashes whenever I apply something that's not good for my skin), yet I don't break out or get rashes whenever I use this product. It also doesn't cause my skin to dry or flake away. So it should be all right to use this body mist.

Ingredient list for your reference

Overall, I am really pleased with this body mist. It smells so great, and lasts for a longer time than an ordinary body mist. It also smells stronger than an ordinary body mist. There's also so much product included! By the way, this body mist can last for 24 months once opened. So if you can't make up your mind as to whether to get the Brazil Nut body mist or EDT (perfume), I would say get the body mist. The perfume will last longer, but has much less product than the body mist. And you don't need to apply the body mist that often, so I feel that the body mist is a better deal.

I love this scent and can't get enough of it! ^_^

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Cream Body Scrub review

Dear Beauty Diary,
I recently bought The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Cream Body Scrub, since The Body Shop was having a sale. Its originally $30.90 ($24.87 USD), but I got it for 35% off, so it became around $20. I read many reviews about this product, with many people saying that its the best body scrub they've ever tried. Intrigued, I got one for myself (even though I have more than 3 quarters of my The Body Shop Honeymania Cream Body Scrub left. Review on that soon!).

This body scrub comes in a tub, with 200ml of product. For a scrub, I feel that that's too little, and I have a feeling that I'll be through with it pretty quickly. I use quite a lot of it at one go, so to save money, I can't use it that often. Another thing is that this scrub is in a tub, which means you'll be dipping your wet fingers in. When water comes in contact with the scrub, the scrub will turn into something like a liquid, and it won't be so scrubby anymore. Thus, I transferred some of the scrub into another smaller container to use. That way, my main tub of body scrub won't be contaminated.

A smaller tub which I transferred the scrub into. I don't know if its clear on camera, but the scrub has taken on more of a liquid-type of consistency, since I have been constantly dipping my wet fingers in.

This body scrub is meant for people with very dry skin. I read reviews that mentioned that this scrub is very moisturising. Being lazy, I didn't want to follow up with body butter, since I take such a long time to apply body butter. Thus, I thought that if this scrub is moisturising enough, the moisture from the scrub would suffice, and I would not need to apply body butter afterwards.

To my great disappointment, this scrub is nowhere at all moisturising. I have normal to oily skin, with dry skin on the rare occasion. However, comparing to the Honeymania body scrub (the honeymania one is super moisturising. When water comes into contact with it, the scrub turns into a liquid that is very moisturising and light, while the scrub particles remain scrubby for you to scrub away), this cocoa butter one is totally disappointing in the moisturising aspect. Its very rough and pretty harsh, and the liquid that it turns into when water comes into contact with it is not moisturising at all. Look at the delicious texture of the cocoa butter body scrub. It sure looks really creamy and moisturising, but its not at all.

Sure looks creamy and full of moisture

On The Body Shop website, it says that the cocoa butter body scrub is made up of crushed almond shells, thus it does not dissolve when water comes into contact with the scrub. Ok yes I agree, the whole scrub is packed full of these shells and scrub particles. Because of this, the scrub is really hard to spread out. At first, the scrub spreads fairly easily, but it only spreads a certain amount, before the rest of the scrub becomes really hard to spread. And all these shells and scrub particles make the whole scrub really really scrubby and harsh. When you scrub fast, the part you're scrubbing actually hurts. Thus I have to scrub slowly. But the scrub removes loads of dead skin cells, since after scrubbing, my arms and legs feel really smooth. I feel really pleased with the result, I just wish that the scrub weren't that harsh.

As I've mentioned above, this scrub is not moisturising. However, it does not suck away the moisture from your skin. Its like... It doesn't give or take away any moisture from your skin. Thus, I suggest that those with dry skin follow up with a body butter or lotion.

Overall, I am pretty satisfied with this scrub. After all, who said that body scrubs were meant to be moisturising? Just follow up with a good body lotion and you should be fine. I have to admit that its a little too harsh for my liking, but with the smooth skin and great results I get, I don't mind. After all, there is a price to pay for beauty, haha. This cocoa butter smells of chocolate too, and after showering, my bathroom smells so delicious.

If you don't mind not having the moisture, and don't mind the scrubby texture, then give this scrub a try!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Etude House Skin Malgem Moist review

Dear Beauty Diary,
I am here with a review of the Etude House Skin Malgem toner in Moist. In the Skin Malgem line, there are 5 toners with 1 moisturizer. 2 of the toners are astringents, which mean they are best for oily skin (they contain alcohol, which may be drying), since they clean the pores. The 2 astringents are Fresh and Smoother. Fresh and Smoother should be applied with a cotton pad. The other 3 toners can be used as either a toner or a toner + moisturizer, because they offer more moisturising benefits. They are Moist, Deep Moist, and Essential. Moist is for normal to dry skin, Deep Moist for extremely dry skin, Essential is for combination oily and dry skin. I should have gotten Essential, but the Etude House store I went to doesn't have it. :( The moisturizer is called Emulsion, where it contains serum, emulsion and moisturizer all in one. Each of these bottles cost $25.90 ($20.96 USD) each.

Skin Malgem toners can be used with a cotton pad, spray or mask. How innovative can this product get?

The packaging is very simple for Etude House standards. However, the simple packaging still looks very appealing! The toner comes in a plastic translucent bottle. The plastic is pretty thick in my opinion. Each of the toners have different simple but cute designs on the front of the bottle.

Here's the product description:
[mal:gem] - the Korean word for cleanness, clarity and pureness.
Skin Malgem hypoallergenic toners promote clean, clear and pure complexion with moisturizing and pore cleansing formulas.
[Directions] Dispense solution onto toner pad and use pad to wipe all areas of face and neck.

The bottle is made of plastic, and it looks somewhat frosted. Its translucent, which makes the toner look very thick. However, the toner is actually very runny in reality.

The left Korean words with the 6 raindrops mean water. Yup, this toner-moisturizer is water based. The right word with 3 triangles means keratin.

Mouth of the bottle

I transferred some of the Skin Malgem toner into a mini Skin Malgem bottle that Etude House sells. 2 mini Skin Malgem empty bottles cost $3.00 ($2.42 USD). As you can see, the toner is actually clear.

Skin Malgem toner is actually very runny. It has the consistency of water.

After spreading out the toner

When you pour out some of the toner at first, its very runny. You can chose any way to apply it. Sometimes I use a cotton pad, other times I pour a little into my palms, rub my hands together, and pat onto my face. However, after a few seconds of applying this toner to my face, the toner becomes very sticky. Its so sticky that its comparable to the Hada Labo toner. I don't mind and even like very slightly sticky products, but overly sticky products just make me not feel like using them. :(

This toner is very moisturising too, and the advertising posters say that it can be used as a toner + moisturiser. I feel that the Sukin facial Moisturiser works really really well for me, so I use the Etude House Moist Skin Malgem as a toner. However, Skin Malgem in Moist seems to form an almost impenetrable layer that sits on top of my skin for quite some time (half an hour or so), making any products I apply on top of it not absorb into my skin, mix together, peel and form white and translucent streaks. Urrgh that is so disgusting. So I now have no choice but to use the Skin Malgem in Moist as the last step of my skincare routine. Which means I only use it at night before I sleep. I can't possibly wait for half an hour for it to absorb into my skin, before continuing with my skincare routine.

Other than the above mentioned, I like mostly everything else about this toner. It sure is very moisturising and provides sufficient moisture to my face to make it plump and healthy. I usually only need a little for my entire face, so its very budget friendly.

I have normal to oily skin, with dry skin on the rare occasion. Even though Skin Malgem in Moist is for dry to normal skin, I have been using it and nothing bad has happened to my skin. Thus I can safely conclude that Skin Malgem in Moist can also be used on oily skin. Better still, the moisture provided by Moist is just enough for those who have oily skin (a.k.a. me, thus I use this at night as my last step in skincare. I just cleanse my face, spritz on my trusty, loved and hyped about Etude House I'm Blooming Deep Moisture Mist, then pat on some of the Skin Malgem in Moist toner).

The Skin Malgem in Moist is made up of many many fruit extracts, thus all these lovely fruits (combine with a bit of perfume that Etude House included) creates a most wondrous scent. Its very sweet, light and fresh, and I'm sure almost everyone will like this scent. I don't know how to describe this scent, but its really delicious, and you probably won't be irritated by it. The scent is quite heavy though, but will be gone after you apply it onto your face.

The ingredients list, as you can see, many fruit extracts are included :)

Once again, these toners are hypoallergenic, and the Etude House advertisement posters say this is because they use a fruity base. Ah well. Compared with other skincare products, this toner does seem quite natural. Except for certain ingredients like panthenol, disodium EDTA, fragrance, etc. I haven't heard of these toners breaking anyone out, nor have I gotten pimples or irritated skin from using this. So I guess it should be pretty safe.

Tried the Skin Malgem toners? Which is your favourite? ^_^

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Etude House Look at My Eyes Cafe (eyeshadows) review

Dear Beauty Diary,
I have been very excited to get my hands on the Etude House Look at My Eyes Cafe eyeshadows. Look at My Eyes is Etude House's permanent eyeshadow line, and the word following it tells you the type of finish the eyeshadows come in. For example, Cafe is the matte series, while Icing is the cream series. The different finishes have different price tags. Cafe has 8 matte eyeshadows, and each costs $7.90 (USD $6.38). Here's the shade chart for the Cafe series.

The first 8 (first 2 rows) are the usual shades. I guess the 3rd and 4th row are the newest shades. I got BE102 (Honey Milk), BR401 (Cafe Latte) and BR403 (Caramel Latte)

The packaging is quite flimsy and looks quite cheap. When I swirled a brush in the eyeshadow, the pot of eyeshadow was moving around in the plastic pot. Anyway, its price is a tad bit expensive for a product coming from Etude House. However, the good thing is that each eyeshadow contains 2g worth of product. You'll take a long time to finish up these eyeshadows.

From left to right: Caramel Latte, Honey Milk, Cafe Latte

Here's the product description:
Smooth, silky eyeshadow that supplies eyes with a profound, dramatic look.
Guess what? These eyeshadows have a shelf life of 3 years! The packaging said 36 months, which is 3 years. Most products have 12M in that little container sign, which means you can only use it for a year once opened. Haha these eyeshadows have a ton of product, and you don't need to worry about using them up quickly, since they can last for such a long time.

Most of the Cafe shadows are very neutral and easy to wear. They are also supposedly matte. I noticed very very fine white glitters in the eyeshadows. There's actually quite a lot of these fine glitters, but its very fine and can only be seen up close. Some of these colours, especially the lighter shade ones, are very sheer, so you need to apply a lot to see the colour. Otherwise, you need a base to allow more colour payoff.

Here are the swatches of the colours I bought
From top to bottom: Cafe Latte, Honey Milk, Caramel Latte

Almost all of the Cafe eyeshadows have warm undertones. Cafe Latte is a warm pinky brown (looks like a blush type of colour when swatched). Honey Milk is a creamy white, leaning more towards the white side. Caramel Latte is a cinnamon type of colour, and is a mix of orange and brown.

These shadows are very creamy, they glide on very smoothly and are a pleasure to blend with. No problem in the texture department. However, you need quite a lot of product, especially with the lighter shades, since they are pretty sheer.

These shadows don't stay on for very long. They fade away with time. After 2 hours or so, you need to touch up, since the colours will be very faint by then.

These eyeshadows don't have much scent in them. They smell like ordinary eyeshadows (sort of hard to describe the scent).

Overall, I find these eyeshadows ok. The whole cafe series has pretty interesting shades, so if you want a twist to your normal neutrals (like Urban Decay Naked palette), you can try out these shadows. They are also pretty matte. Pigmentation and staying power is just normal. There's not much fallouts, but I noticed that the power is so fine, it creates a cloud of powder around my face when I apply the eyeshadows on with a brush.

What are your favourite shades of the Look at My Eyes Cafe series eyeshadows? Share your thoughts!

P.S. If you haven't noticed yet, I am a neutral eyeshadow lover, I just feel attracted to all those neutral shades. I'm thinking of getting the Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye palette. This may be more of my cup of tea than one of the Naked palettes. Shall do a post if I end up getting the Too Faced palette!

Etude House Bling in the Sea - Proof 10 Auto Pencil (pencil eyeliner) review

Dear Beauty Diary,
I haven't posted for quite some time... Anyway, here I have a review on the Etude House Bling in the Sea Proof 10 Auto Pencil. Bling in the Sea is a limited edition summer line, while Proof 10 Auto Pencil is the name of the pencil eyeliners. Etude House has about 5 of these pencil liners that are permanent, but Bling in the Sea has 2 limited edition pencil liners.

Permanent line of pencil eyeliners

Bling in the Sea limited edition line of pencil eyeliners

They are pretty expensive for a pencil liner, each costs $12.90 (USD $10.41) from the Etude House stores. There are a shades of soft black, grey, dark brown, medium brown and dark purple. Bling in the Sea contains a midnight blue and a deep brown. Some of these shades have glitters in them.

Packaging wise, the eyeliner looks like a cute pen. It has 0.3g worth of product, which I feel is very little. Here's the product description:
Proof 10's waterproof eye pencil supplies clean, intense definition for a long lasting, perfect 10 smoky eye look. Comes with sharpener for fine line application.

The eyeliner I got is in BR403. Here's a little swatch of it. It has fine glitters of gold and pink in it.

This eyeliner is very creamy, I only needed 2 strokes of it on my hand to get it this pigmented. However, it is not pigmented on the eyelids. I need lots and lots of strokes on my lids for the colour to show up. Not very good here, since there is a higher tendency to make mistakes with so many strokes. However, its even tougher to use this eyeliner on the waterline. It requires so many strokes, and this is dangerous, as you may poke your eye or cause irritations to your eyes.

There's a sharpener included at the bottom of the pencil, but I have never used it. This is because the eyeliner stick in the pen is very thin, so even if it is very blunt, the line created is still very thin. As you can see from my swatch, I did not sharpen the pencil, but the swatch is still a pretty fine line.

Most pencil liners always smudge everywhere, but the Proof 10 Auto Pencil does not smudge at all. It just stays throughout the whole day. Even after rubbing the swatch on my hand vigorously, the eyeliner did not fade a bit. Its waterproof too.

There's not much fragrance in this eyeliner either, it just smells a little like plastic. Overall, I think this eyeliner is overpriced. I had trouble with it too, since there was once when I applied too much pressure (because its so hard to get it pigmented on my lids), the tip broke off. There are many other better eyeliners out there. However, I feel that its very easy to use, just swipe it on (many times). It does not require the precision of a gel or liquid liner. Not much sharpening required too. And its also super waterproof, and stays put on your lids, which is pretty impressive for a pencil liner.

All right, that's all about this Proof 10 Auto Pencil. Tried it? Share your thoughts!

Monday, 23 September 2013

The Body Shop Honeymania Lip Butter review

Dear Beauty Diary,
Look at this cute little pot of honey. Just look at it. Isn't it simply adorable? ^_^ Its the new limited edition Honeymania Lip Butter from The Body Shop! This lip butter consists of 10ml, or 9g, which I think is a super huge size for a lip butter. However, it costs $10.90 ($8.71 USD), which is pretty expensive for a lip balm. I guess its worth it though, since you get such a huge lot of product.

I also did a review for the Honeymania body butter and body scrub. Click if you want to read my reviews! :)

You should have guessed by now, I totally love the packaging of this lip butter. Its such a small pot, but it contains so much product, and has such a beautiful vibrant shade of orange-yellow. Perfect for dumping into your purse (and showing it off, haha). Doesn't the honeycomb on top of it look so enticing? Yums. The cons of having the product in a tub is that contamination can occur easily. But the good thing about a tub is that you can use up every single bit of product in it.

Since the tub does not have any product description, I got one off The Body Shop website:
This luxuriously sweet lip butter contains Community Fair Trade honey made from the nectar of wildflowers. It has a sweet, floral scent and leaves lips feeling kissably soft.
  • Sweet, floral scent
  • For softer-feeling lips

How the lip butter looks like. However, it is of a lighter golden shade in reality.

This lip butter is unlike the other lip butters that The Body Shop has produced. Even though The Body Shop calls this a lip butter, and groups it under the other lip butters it has produced, I personally feel that this is a lip balm. It has a harder texture that is more like a balm compared with the other more buttery lip butters. It is also clear, instead of the white colour of the other lip butters. While the other lip butters leave a white opaque layer on my lips, this lip butter applies on clearly, and has a beautiful lip gloss finish. I love the Honeymania lip butter much more than the average lip butters The Body Shop produces.

The lip butters and the tinted lip balms of The Body Shop have dried out my lips. My lips were left totally sapped of moisture. They made my lips flake out, and I could actually peel off the hardened layers of dead skin cells from my lips. It was so gross. It took days of using my toothbrush to exfoliate my lips to get it back to its original condition. I am so disappointed with The Body Shop lip butters and tinted lip balms. It was especially disheartening, since the Shea butter lip butter smelled like vanilla pudding and all sorts of sweet desserts, and yet it was so drying. And even though they smelt really good, they tasted horrible. :(

I was really shocked by the Honeymania lip butter, since it has a different formula that is packed with honey, and does not dry out my lips at all. I love it. It has a hard texture, so its pretty hard to get it out of the pot. I use a cotton bud (Q-tip) to scoop it out, before applying onto my lips. It smells and tastes exactly like honey, people, not kidding here. The honey is of supreme quality, and tastes so good and sweet, I always end up licking off the excess lip butter I applied. I know you're not supposed to consume it, but its so hard to resist. It tastes delicious. If only The Body Shop sold edible honey, I would go and buy some jars, since the honey in the lip balm tasted so good.

This is a moisturising lip balm, but it does not provide a whole ton of moisture. It moisturises my lips and leaves it soft and supple, which suits my needs. I don't have very chapped lips (not counting the times when The Body Shop lip butters and tinted lip balms dried and chapped them out), so I can't tell if this lip balm helps if you have very chapped lips.

Usually, brands do not suddenly go about totally changing the formula of a product. Because that would mean a lot of money invested into the research, and changing its image, etc. Advertisements that say products have made significant changes are just advertisements. Changes are made, but the base structure is still there. Which means that if you don't like the old product, it'll be very hard to like the new product. So here are 2 reasons for why I think The Body Shop's Honeymania lip butter has a totally different feel to it:
1. The original formula is still there, but the ingredients are present in lower concentrations or in lesser amounts, since there is a lot of honey in this lip butter. On your lips, you can totally taste the honey.
2. After receiving feedback and realising half its customers don't like the formula, The Body Shop really went to make changes to the formula of the lip butter.

I can't think of any other reasons, and this is just my guess, they may not be true at all. However, no hard feelings, I love the Honeymania lip butter, and am using it daily. I am just surprised at the different texture and moisturising abilities.

You can apply as much of this lip butter as you want. Just don't keep licking your lips if you apply too much. Who can resist the taste of honey on your lips for hours? Yes, this lip balm takes about half an hour to sink in. However, even though majority of it sinks in, not all of it sinks in, which leaves a delicious honey taste behind. I like lathering it on in the morning and at night.

Ok that's all for this review. I know there are many out there who have experienced the same problem with the other ranges of The Body Shop lip butters. You may dislike those lip butters, but give this little honey pot a try. Its so delicious, and the formula is so good. Its different from the other lip butters. Tried it? Do share!

The Body Shop Honeymania Body Butter review

Dear Beauty Diary,
I love The Body Shop and I love honey too, so when I read about The Body Shop coming up with a honey range, I raced to grab some of its products. The official launch date was 18 September, and I got the products immediately. Which explains for the early date of this review.

The Body Shop's products are quite expensive... Not expensive like high-end brands, but more of the mid-range brands type of pricing. This body butter, like all the other body butters The Body Shop has come up with, is $30.90 ($24.68 USD). However, The Body Shop does have frequent sales, and during these periods, the items become relatively cheaper. For example, right now (so go and grab your body butters), The Body Shop has a sale of buy one body butter and one body exfoliator of the same range for $39.90. The original price would be $61.80, so I think its very worth it. In the end, I grabbed a body butter, body scrub and a lip balm, all from the Honeymania range. You can click here to read my reviews on the body scrub and lip balm! By the way, Honeymania is a limited edition range.

I love the packaging of the body butter. Its in the same tub as all the other The Body Shop body butter. This tub is a bright yellow-orange colour, which is super attractive. The plastic also feels really nice to touch. The lid is a screw off type of lid. The only cons of a product being stored in a tub is that contamination can occur easily. But a tub also means that you can use up all the product in it. This body butter comes in a huge size of 200ml. Many people say that 200ml is too small, but I beg to differ. With beauty products coming in and out of your life so fast, how is it guaranteed that you will finish up one whole product before the expiry date? Unless you are a hardcore The Body Shop body butter fan. Sorry for the moment of snottiness there, I got a little carried away.

The tub doesn't have any product description, so here's the one I got from The Body Shop website:
"This luxurious Body Butter has a rich, floral scent. Each pot contains Community Fair Trade honey made from the nectar of thousands of wildflowers. Dip in for skin that feels silky soft.
  • 24-hour hydration
  • Leaves skin feeling softer and smoother
  • Buttery texture
  • Rich, floral scent"
The posters at The Body Shop store claims that lots of honey is used in this product. Well, the body butter does have a very distinct honey smell. However, I would like to clarify that one honeybee can only produce 1/10 of a teaspoon of honey in its whole entire life. So even if the advertisements sound so good, and make you think half your body butter is made up of super luxurious honey, think again. But that doesn't mean I don't like the body butter. In fact, I love it. Just wanted to make it clear about the advertisements.

The texture of this body butter is medium-firm. Those who love The Body Shop body butters will understand what I'm talking about. There are firm and hard body butters like the Coconut and Shea ones, and there are also those, like Mango, that are of a runnier texture that feels like whipped cream. This Honeymania one feels soft and a little firmly squishy on the surface. If you gently push your finger into the body butter, the cream underneath it will feel softer. I love this texture, and this is my dream texture of The Body Shop body butters. I wish they made more body butters of such texture.

Many people say that the texture of The Body Shop body butters are affiliated to their moisturising abilities. I am not so sure about this... However, here's the theory. People say that if the body butter is of a firmer texture, it means that its more moisturising. If its of a creamier and runnier texture, its less moisturising. These body butters are made for people with normal to dry skin. If you normal or oily skin, you can check out The Body Shop body lotions. So, if this theory is true, it means that the Honeymania body butter is for those is normal-dry skin, since its texture is somewhere between firm and creamy.

Its up to you to chose how much product you want to apply. For me, I feel that a thin even coat on my arms and legs are sufficient, since I feel that the Honeymania body butter moisturises really well. This body butter leaves my skin feeling soft and supple, giving it a nice, bouncy texture. I did not experience any dryness, dry patches, redness or flaking. After application, most of the body butter sinks into the skin, but not all of it sinks in. Some of it remains on your skin for the entire day. Well, I guess this is good, since it means that your skin will be moisturised for the whole day.

I don't know why, but I always leave scents to the last part. Oh well. Anyway, I absolutely love how this body butter smells. It smells of really good quality honey, along with a sweet, floral scent. The floral scent does not smell artificial, it smells like a garden full of sweet floral flowers. You know, you can tell if a type of honey (the edible kind) is of good quality by smelling it (and if you eat honey regularly). The Body Shop Honeymania honey smells so divine and of super good quality. Together with the sweet, floral scent, it makes this body butter smell so delicious.

Here's a little trick for you guys. The Body Shop also released a perfume with the Honeymania range. The perfume and the body butter smell very similar, the perfume just smells a tad bit stronger. When I took a whiff of the perfume from the bottle at The Body Shop store, I didn't find it too pleasant. However, when I sprayed it onto my skin, I smelled like a walking honeycomb with flowers growing on it. It smells that good. So if you're tight on your budget, I recommend you to just get either the perfume or the body butter. I prefer the body butter, since I get both the moisture and the delicious honey scent. As mentioned above, not all of the body butter sinks into the skin. Some of it remains on your skin. Which means that you'll smell like honey and sweet flowers for the whole day. ^_^

If you're not into honey, I recommend you to get Brazil Nut range from The Body Shop. It smells super divine. The Brazil Nut body mist and body butter smell very woody and nutty, with notes of chocolate and caramel (according to my nose). I love The Body Shop Honeymania range, I feel that its one of the best ranges The Body Shop has. I recommend everyone to get something from the Honeymania range, its worth it. :)

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner review

Dear Beauty Diary,
I finally bought the Sukin toner and moisturizer, and I am extremely delighted with how organic it is (it is not 100% organic, but still mostly organic), how budget friendly it is, and how great its results are. By the way, I have already done a review for the Sukin Facial Moisturiser, click on the link to read my review.

Sukin packaged its toner in a 125ml mist bottle. I got this for $14.90 at Watsons. There's the toner for sensitive skin and another for all skin types. I picked up the one for all skin types.

As mentioned above, this toner comes in a mist bottle. I don't mind the idea of mist toners, but I must say that I don't like the pump for the mist in the bottle. Its a very unstable pump. Most of the time, the mist comes out in spurts, and its like water droplets. On the rare occasions that the pump works, the mist is very heavy. And the pump is very short, so only small sections of the face can be sprayed at one go. Sighs. Well, at least the toner still gets onto my face.

Here's the product description:
This alcohol-free, skin hydrating mist combines chamomile and rosewater to help soothe, tone and cool tired skin. Use after cleansing or whenever your skin feels tired or stressed. Perfect for hot days, long flights or long days in an air-conditioned environment.
[Application] Close eyes and spray onto face and neck area for an instant refreshing feel. Can be used on face and body, over and under lotions, creams, oils, gels and make-up. Use throughout the day to refresh and hydrate dry skin.
[Ingredients] Aqua, Rose Damascena Flower Water (Rose), Glycerin, Chamomila Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (Chamomile), Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid.

Organic lovers. Look at that ingredient list. Its as simple as that. Its as organic as that. Ok, the only non-organic things there are Glycerin and Phenoxyethanol, which is something like alcohol. But this toner is only $14.90! Its very cheap for a toner of 125ml, and purely organic skincare like Suki is super expensive.

Suki and Sukin. They sound the same. They are not related though. Suki is the 100% purely organic skincare and cosmetics brand, where everything there is super duper expensive. Its like mid-range to high-end pricing. Sukin is almost 100% organic, but the price is so cheap and its totally worth it. I recommend Sukin, if you happen to come across anything from Sukin, just buy it (if you have the money with you at the moment).

This toner is a water-based toner. It feels exactly like water. If not for the strong scent of this toner, I would have mistaken it for water. When sprayed onto face, it feels refreshing, leaving a cooling sensation behind. However, because of the little amount of product dispensed with each pump, I usually give myself 6 pumps of the bottle. When patting the toner into my skin, I find that there is a slightly sticky feeling. Its a very very slight sticky feeling. However, if you chose not to pat it in, you won't be able to feel that sticky feeling.

This toner wears very comfortably on the skin. It absorbs really quickly too, and you feel nothing after the toner has absorbed into your skin. It also leaves no residue behind, there is no sticky or greasy feeling as a result.

I don't feel that this toner gives a whole load of moisture. I don't get my moisture from this toner, I get it all from my moisturizer. Therefore, be careful not to use this toner alone, you must follow up with a hydrating moisturizer. But this toner does not dry out your skin. Sure it is not very moisturizing, but it does not suck away the moisture either, so its ok as a toner. Throughout the day, you can apply this toner. However, I feel that this effect is just for giving your skin a nice refreshing touch, and definitely not a nice boost of moisture. It calms down your skin nicely.

This toner has a very strong scent. But after looking at the ingredient list, and knowing that Sukin does not add any artificial fragrances, I know that this scent is from one of those plant extracts used in this toner. After unscrewing the cap and giving the contents a nice good sniff, I can say that the Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner smells exactly like a strong good cup of chrysanthemum tea. Even though chrysanthemum is not one of the products used. Still, I love the smell!

As a toner, this Sukin Hydrating Mist Toner gives a great refreshing touch to the skin, prepping it for my moisturizer. It also calms my skin and has really helped in managing my acne. It reduced redness and has smoothed out my skin. I spritz this on quite frequently, since it has natural and healthy ingredients that keep my skin happy. I recommend this toner to everyone! :D

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Etude House Dear Girls Be Clear Moisturizer review

Dear Beauty Diary,
I have a little review on the Etude House Dear Girls Be Clear Moisturizer, which is part of Etude Houses's Summer 2013 collection. Its a day moisturizer with SPF30, PA++, and its main function is to whiten and protect the skin from UV rays. Its also somewhat organic, since the cover has this "5-Free, 5-Vitamin, 7-Organic" label, but its all in Korean, and I can't read it. Its retail price is fairly cheap, since its $10 ($7.84 USD). There's only one type of this moisturizer, without others made for other skin types, or without other shades. However, the packaging, as usual of Etude House, is super cute and girly.

Close up of the cutesy design :)

This moisturizer contains 50g and comes in a pump tube form. Here's the product description:
Formulated with a non-sticky gel type moist base, this whitening + UV protective moisturizer lightly glides onto skin, promoting a milky-white bright complexion.
[Directions] Every day after morning cleansing and toning, smoothly apply along skin texture. Lightly pat to finish.

Firstly, I don't agree with the product description. This moisturizer is a white cream that doesn't blend well into your skin, so it looks white, chalky and pasty on your face. If you layer a BB cream or foundation on top of this moisturizer, it'll make your face look super white, because of the white base of the moisturizer. However, this depends on what type of product you layer onto your skin. If you're lucky, your foundation may work well with this moisturizer, thus giving your face a healthy and radiant glow.

By the way, I know that many people love whitening products and products that make your skin look whiter. I don't feel that this moisturizer whitens, it just makes you look super pale. And especially for Asians, who have darker skin tones with yellow undertones, looking white (not the natural kind of peachy pink white), pale and chalky is not nice. I know, because I am Asian, and this moisturizer just didn't look nice on me. Sighs, oh well. Good thing about the moisturizer is that its very lightweight, even though its in a cream format. And well, I guess you really have to have very fair skin in order to look good with this product.

Swatch of the moisturizer

Ok, this is a moisturizer, but to me, it doesn't moisturize well. However, its not drying either. For dry skin types, this mositurizer may prove to be a little drying. So I suggest using a moisturizer before using this cream. I guess this cream will just become your sunscreen. And yes, I used to use this cream as a sunscreen, since it has SPF in it.

I feel that you need to apply quite a lot of product in order to cover your whole face. For me, I used to use 3 pumps of this moisturizer. However, I realised that no matter how much or little product I use, this moisturizer turns very oily after around 3 hours. I don't really like that.

I keep saying I used to, because I stopped using this moisturizer... Along with many other cosmetics or skincare products that I bought in the past. Its because I have gotten very jittery lately, and keep insisting to myself that I have to use products that are as organic as possible. Pure organic products, such as Suki, is extremely expensive, and I can't afford to haul the whole collection. Shall share in another post which almost 100% organic products I use, for all you organic-loving fans out there.

Etude House says this moisturizer is organic, but after looking through the ingredients list, I could still find ingredients like metals (eg. titanium dioxide), fragrance and a whole lot of polymers. All of these are getting absorbed into your skin and bloodstream. Heavy metals cannot be deposited out of your body, they will just remain in your liver, and may lead to problems with your liver after long usage. Fragrance irritates your skin, and artificial fragrance are made out of esters, a combination of alcohols and carboxylic acids. Polymers are many carbon chains linked together, and you never know the sub-groups or linkages, which may contain harmful products.

I learnt all of these in Organic Chemistry. Not that I am trying to point out Etude House's flaws, since many many many cosmetics include such ingredients. Which is why I got the chills after learning Organic Chemistry a few months ago. If you think all of these are a load of crap, no one's stopping you from continuing to use non-organic products. After all, loads of women use such cosmetics daily, and they haven't died of diseases linked to the long usage of such products. As for me, I just like taking precautions.

Mixed feelings about this moisturizer now. Want to share your thoughts about organic/ non-organic cosmetics?

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Cure Natural Aqua Gel (exfoliator) review

Dear Beauty Diary,
I have an awesome product to share about that is widely loved by many! Its Cure, a famous Japanese exfoliator. Now, this exfoliator is a little on the expensive side. But I still think its very worth it, since this exfoliator contains 250g of product, and one pump is about 1g, so this exfoliator will last you for a long time! ^_^ I got this in Watsons for $49 ($38.48 USD). This exfoliator comes in only one type. Usually, you see brands that give a whole choice of moisturizers, toners, cleansers, exfoliators, etc, stating things like "for dry skin", "for oily skin", "for trouble skin", etc. However, there is only one type of this exfoliator, and its supposed to work for all skin types. For my combination normal-oily skin, I find that it works really well.

First up, in case anyone doesn't know what's an exfoliator or why its good to exfoliate, I shall do a little introduction on that. With exposure to the sun (or basically any other factors), your dead skin cells will form a hard layer at the outermost layer of your skin. There's nothing bad about this, the dead skin cells are protecting you from UV rays and all. However, if you wanna look pretty... Exfoliate using an exfoliator to get rid of this upper layer, which reveals the new and young layer of skin beneath it, which is very fresh and looks wonderful. Then use sunscreen instead to protect your skin from UV rays of the sun. So much effort for beauty, but we girls still do it. An exfoliator, as you can guess, aids in removing the upper layer of skin.

Now that you know more about exfoliators and exfoliating, take a look at the Cure Natural Aqua Gel exfoliator!

Very simple packaging and hygienic packaging, everything to love about.

The product description is all in Japanese, so I can't provide much information, so sorry about that. >.< From what I can read in Japanese though (picked a little Japanese up from watching anime), I know that the product is made up of 90% hydrogenated water, natural ingredients, and there is no added colour or fragrance.

To use, wash face and towel dry. Best to be used twice a week, and this exfoliator can be used on the whole body. Be careful not to get the exfoliator into your eyes, if it does, wash out immediately. Don't store in high temperatures. If allergies occur, stop usage. Umm I think it says best to finish using within 6 months.
Whew, reading all that Japanese and trying to figure out what it meant was tough. All that information is based on words that I can read, so of course there are some things that I didn't address, because I don't recognise all the words.

The packaging is very simple, but its really the best form of packaging for this product. The product has a jelly-water base, not really like the gel that the product description claims to have. This would be totally unpractical in a squeeze tube, because everything would keep leaking out. In a pot? No way, since its so hard to scoop it out, as the product is watery. But remember to clean the remaining product off the pump after every usage. Because when in contact with air, the gel hardens, thus clogging the mouth of the pump.

This gel is quite watery, and has a sort of jelly texture to it. Its also sort of an opaque white colour. I think the product description says that you need to rub it into your skin gently for about a minute. When I tried that out, small white balls appeared, and apparently, that's your dead skin cells. What I love about this exfoliator is that its made for even sensitive skin, because its 90% hydrogenated water (which just means that its water based, and that water makes up most of this product), and unlike so many scrubs and exfoliators which contains micro beads for exfoliating, this exfoliator does not contain any of that.

Normal exfoliators have chemicals which work by dissolving protein in your skin to remove the outermost layer of skin. This is actually very harsh and bad for your skin! Can you bear having all your essential proteins on your face and skin being dissolved? No way, so I got this exfoliator, since it works by lumping all your dead skin cells together, which forms the upper layer of your skin. Oh by the way, micro beads in normal exfoliators are bad for people with large pores, acne and sensitive skin. The beads irritate the pores and cause them to expand. The beads also irritate pimples and cause them to pop sometimes, which is bad too, as the bacteria is exposed and it'll spread around, causing even more pimples. For those with sensitive skin, allergies and inflammation may occur.

Basically, here's the difference between the Cure Natural Aqua Gel exfoliator and normal exfoliators.
Normal exfoliators work by using chemicals to dissolve your upper layer of skin. This means the good and fresh skin cells, along with the dead skin cells, are removed and damaged.
Cure exfoliator works by lumping all your upper skin layer dead skin cells together. Then you wash off the residue, which is your dead skin cells.
Conclusion, Cure is a much healthier and safer choice.

When I use this exfoliator, I always pump 2 pumps for my face. I apply small dabs to different parts of my face, before gently massaging with my fingertips. Since this exfoliator is quite pricey, I don't think I can afford to use it on my whole body. So I usually pump an extra pump, the third pump, for any other parts of my body that has loads of dead skin cells (usually my heels). I use it twice a week, and its really effective for getting rid of my dead skin cells. Oh, remember to wash your face with warm water after exfoliating!

This is an exfoliator, you won't expect moisturising abilities from it. I really don't know how to tell the moisturing ability of this exfoliator. I mean, I won't leave it on my face for a long period of time. But it doesn't dry me out at all, so it should be fine.

There's absolutely no scent to this product. The product description already said that there are no added fragrances.

Tried the Cure Natural Aqua Gel exfoliator? Share your thoughts!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Maybelline Mineral Pure Concealer review

Dear Beauty Diary,
Sorry for the lack of updates! >.< Going to kick start more reviews with a concealer from Maybelline~ I got this quite a while ago, so I forgot how much it actually cost. All drugstore makeup in my country is expensive, because of the shipping fees I guess. So this concealer cost about $14 ($11 USD). I'm not sure how much product there is in it, since I don't see the grams anywhere on the product. There are 2 shades for this concealer, no. 1 in Light and no. 2 in Natural. Since this is a concealer, it should be about 1-3 shades lighter than your skin tone, depending on your preference. Therefore, I got shade 1 in Light. This concealer is in a liquid form, and as a liquid concealer, I think it works really great. Psst, this concealer is a great dupe to the Shu Uemura one, they work really similar!

I don't see any product description on the packaging, so sorry I can't provide information on that. I shall just write what it says on the bottle.
Pure Concealer Mineral, Healthy Natural Concealer, with micro-minerals.

This concealer comes in a little tube. The cap is a screw-off lid, where you will find an applicator attached. I'm fine with this packaging, as you can dab the concealer directly onto your face without using your hands. However, you need a brush or your hands to blend out the concealer. Plus points for hygienic packaging, since this is so much better than the product being stored in a tin or pot. Even though it does not come in a pump form (which I feel is the packaging that would offer the most in terms of hygiene), not many concealers come in a pump form, as there's only a little product for each concealer.

Here's the applicator, the concealer is in a liquid form

In terms of application, a little goes a long way. I only need 3 dabs for each of my dark eye circles. When I applied more than 3 dabs for each dark eye circle, I ended up having so much product, I had to blend it to my cheekbones, and I was left with a super pale cheeks. I feel that you can use this concealer on any part of your face, but I think that cream concealers would work best, as it provides more coverage.

Its really up to you to pick which type of concealer you want. Liquid for less coverage, but has easier application and requires easy blending; cream for more coverage, but you really have to blend it out, and I find blending creams a bother, as they are quite hard to blend. Rubbing your eyes are bad, because you introduce bacteria to your eyes, and also tug on the fragile skin there at the same time, leaving you with an earlier development of wrinkles and lines. So I like using this concealer on my dark eye circles, as it greatly lessens the chances of you having to tug on your skin the way you have to to blend out cream concealers. 

I like to blend this concealer with my hands better, as the heat from your fingers will melt the concealer, giving you flawless and natural looking skin. With a brush, the stray hairs would create streaks and cause an uneven application to your face. That's what I feel at least.

This concealer is quite buildable. Why quite? Because you have to wait for the concealer to settle on your skin, before you can apply another layer on top. If you just apply layers over layers, you will have to keep blending, and you will end up with a face full of concealer. Wait for it to settle (or sort of dry to a matte finish) before applying another layer.

Somehow, I realised that this concealer has yellow undertones. But I'm Asian, so this works well with my skin. If you have pink undertones, you can try other concealers I guess.

This concealer has a runny texture, and dries down to a matte finish. Its super runny, with no sort of consistency of any kind, nor does it have a gel or cream type of texture. Its also very lightweight.

This concealer has good coverage, and is definately buildable. It may appear quite sheer at first, but you can build it up for more coverage. Hmm there is no SPF in this product. But since most people apply foundation or BB cream, those will provide your SPF, so all's well.

I don't think this concealer is very oily. I mean, it doesn't break me out, nor does it dry out my skin. It also does not have those irritating gritty particles when I'm trying to blend it out, so less chances of skin inflammation, especially if you have sensitive skin. I don't feel that this concealer is very moisturising, but good enough, since I don't get flaky or dry skin after application. Maybelline dubs this as a natural and mineral concealer, which, of course, is really great.

Maybe its my nose, but this is weird. This concealer smells of strawberries dipped into cream. O.o I mean, it definitely smells like Maybelline's liquid foundation, but I also detect a sweet, delicious smell in it. Its not very strong, nor is it very sweet. But I love this faintly sweet smell! Haha or maybe its just my nose that's tricking me.

Hope my little entry has given you some insights on how to pick a concealer. And if you liked what I've described about the Maybelline concealer, why not give it a try? :)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

I recommend Teens' Nature and Sukin

Dear Beauty Diary,
I'm so sorry for the lack of updates! >.< Have been trying and testing out some new products for quite a while. Today's entry will be about some 2 brand recommendations from me.

For all you teenagers out there, I hope you understand that adult-range skincare (including BB and CC cream) is not suitable for your skin. This is because there are too much "nutrients" infused in these products, which is way too strong for your young skin, and continuous usage (few usage for those with sensitive skin) may result in blemishes, red pigments, breakouts, and all things bad. Adult-range skincare also causes your skin to age faster! :( Teenagers should use products that are more natural and mild to keep skin healthy. I found out a great brand from South Korea for you teens. Its Teens' Nature, a skincare company that uses very organic compounds in their products, with a wide range of flowers and vegetable extracts, such as broccoli, mushroom, almond, vanilla, lotus, etc, included in their products. Sounds good right? And the products are fairly cheap too, they are all priced around $15 each. ^_^ However, the catch is that you have to order online. I think is very reliable and sells a wide range (if not full range) of Teens' Nature skincare. One of my favourite South Korean singers/actresses/models, Bae Suzy from Miss A, uses Teens' Nature! ^_^ She is the ambassador of the brand, but she herself believes in the products. I highly encourage you teens to try out Teens' Nature if you are interested in skincare.

Suzy with Cocktail cream from Teens' Nature

For everyone (no matter your age) who wishes to use more organic skincare products, take note of this~ 100% organic products are very very expensive, and those who wish to own organic products may feel disappointed. Not to fret! There are many skincare lines out there who sell mostly organic products. To you people who love organic products but are a little tight on your budget, these mostly organic products are better than 0% organic products. There are many drugstores around, and I feel that among all of them, Unity has the most range of organic products. When you compare the products that Unity puts up to sell, you'll realise that they are very different from those of Watsons and Guardian. The latter offers a huge range of products, maybe that's why they are preferred over Unity. However, Unity selects the more organic kind of products for sale. Examples inlcude Cetaphil, Steamcream, Hada Labo, Phsiogel, and more.

After pouring through the ingredient lists of all these mainly organic products, I found out that Sukin, an Australian skincare brand, has the most organic ingredients! I tried on their moisturizer tester, and man it works amazing. It has a very distinct smell (I've never come across it from other brands), and is a lightweight gel type of lotion. It softens skin very well too, and provides a huge load of moisture. Looking at their ingredient list, I was surprised to find how much flower extracts were included. You can check out the ingredients from Sukin's website, I'm super excited to try out Sukin's products! Great news, each product is priced around $15. After saving enough money, I shall get the toner and moisturizer (click on the links for my reviews~) from Sukin. After testing it out for a week or so, I shall do a review on it, so stay tuned! :)

Close up view of Sukin's moisturizer