- ARITAUM | Cel Cushion Mask | Lifting
- ARITAUM | Bio Cellulouse Mask | Brightening
- ARITAUM | Sugarball Cushion Blusher | Posy Pink
- ARITAUM | Glam Nails Polish | #250 Ginger Brown
- ARITAUM | Glam Nails Polish | #231 Holographic Gold
- ARITAUM | Mono Eye Shadow | #97 Modern Fatal
- ARITAUM | Mono Eye Shadow | #100 Purple Jazz
- LANEIGE | BB Cushion Puff
Sekkisei’s arrival in Canada last year marked such an exciting turn in Asian skincare. For more than two decades, this Japanese line with its combination of herbal extracts has been a sought after name in brightening and whitening skincare. Inspired by the purity of snow, the range is created to impart an ethereal, radiant skin tone with beautiful translucence. From what I gathered, Sekkisei has divided the products into a regular line and an enhanced “Excellence” line which is more potent and hydrating.
Believe me when I say that I squealed out loud when I saw this come through in the mail!
As part of 3 different options for cleansing (there’s also a cleansing oil and cleansing liquid), I was really intrigued by the idea of a powdered face wash. A dash or two in the palm of my hand mixed with some water and this turns into a very creamy cleansing foam. It doesn’t foam up madly or create very dense bubbles but it’s very comfortable on the skin and there’s no dry after effects. It’s a great balancing one for combination skin especially and my face feels really supple post washing. I used this both morning and night although never as a makeup remover. This would be really excellent as a travel product since it doesn’t take up your carry-on liquids limitation and 100 grams actually lasts a surprisingly long time. It does contain a clean, light soapy-floral scent that runs through the entire range of products.
INGREDIENTS: Talc, Sodium Myristate, Potassium Myristate, Sodium Laurate, Potassium Laurate, Sodium Palmitate, Potassium Palmitate, Lauric Acid, Water (Aqua), Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Coix Lacryma-Jobi (Job’s Tears) Seed Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Perilla Ocymoides Leaf Extract, Polyphosphorylcholine Glycol Acrylate, Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Methyparaben, Fragrance (Parfum).
SEKKISEI | Clear Whitening Mask* | Full Size: 80g @ $39CAD
INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Polyvinyl Alcohol, Alcohol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Bentonite, Ppg-10 Methyl Glucose Ether, Titanium/Titanium Dioxide, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Chaenomeles Sinensis Fruit Extract, Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-Yuen Seed Extract, Melothria Heterophylla Root Extract, Butylene Glycol, Citric Acid, Diethylhexyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate, Dipropylene Glycol, Disodium Phosphate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentaoleate, Silica, Sodium Hydroxide, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum)
Another one of the brand’s best selling products, this lotion (otherwise known as a toner in western skincare) helps to prep the skin to receive the nutrients from other treatments and moisturizers to come. Lotions in Asian skincare can usually be used in two ways; either patted onto the skin post cleansing or used as a lotion mask with thin cotton sheets like a compress. After trying it both ways, I definitely prefer this as a regular pat on toner. It’s certainly refreshing but I didn’t find it very hydrating and in fact it had too much alcohol for my liking.
INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Alcohol, Glycerin, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Coix Lacryma-Jobi (Job’s Tears) Seed Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Melothria Heterophylla Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Citric Acid, Di-C12-15 Pareth-8 Phosphate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Citrate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate Triethylhexanoin, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum).
SEKKISEI | Emulsion* | Full Size: 140ml @ $59CAD
Use before your moisturizing cream (although sometimes I’ve used emulsions solo in the summer) this emulsion is a lightweight hydrating layer. It has a really beautiful milky consistency that’s smooth and refreshing and sinks into my skin with ease. The range of herbal botanicals in this mix combined with familiar moisturizers likes squalene makes this a pretty likeable option for combination to slightly oily skin but again it’s hard to miss the strong alcohol content.
INGREDIENTS: Water, Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Clycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Dipentaerythrityl Hexahydroxystearate/Stearate/Rosinate, Squalane, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Coix Lacryma – Jobi (Job’s Tears) Seed Extract, Gentiana Lutea Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Inula Britannica Flower Extract, Melothria Heterophylla Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Polyphosphrylcholine Glycol Acrylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, C13-16 Isoparaffin, Cellulose Gum, Citric Acid, Disodium Edta, Disodium Phosphate, Lecithin, Hydrogenated Rapeseed Oil Glyceride, Laureth-7, Peg-8, Polyacrylamide, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Methyl Stearoyl Taurate, Sor
bitan Stearate, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance.
SEKKISEI | Cream Excellent* | Full Size: 50ml @ $99 CAD
Cream of the crop here is this Sekkisei Cream Excellent (from their more potent line) and it is some serious business. While being easy to spread, this is undoubtedly a thick and very emollient moisturizer which I’d only recommend to those with dry to very dry skin. Used in combination with the emulsion (which is the suggested layering method) I found it much too heavy even for the winter season so I definitely prefer using it solo. On days I plan on wearing foundation, I’d have to do a quick blot to remove excess shine prior to makeup but otherwise with regular use I found it kept my skin supple, firm and well replenished. Even better, I never needed to reapply once if I’ve put this on in the morning.
INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Squalane, Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cholesteryl Hydroxystearate, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Behenyl Alcohol, Cetyl Palmitate, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Cnidium Officinale Root Extract, Coix Lacrymajobi (Job’s Tears) Seed Extract, Cordyceps Sinensis Extract,Menthol, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Methyl Stearoyl Taurate, Xanthan Gum, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum) Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Leaf Extract, Melothria Heterophylla Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Citiric Acid, Dimethicone, Disodium Phosphate, Hydrogenated Lecithin.
SEKKISEI | Eye Cream* | Full Size: 20g @ $69 CAD
Who puts 20 grams of product in a jar of eye cream? Apparently, Sekkisei does. Beyond being a little taken back by how large this jar is, the product itself was quite decent. It has a smooth gel like consistency and a tiny dot is needed to spread around the eye contour. This is really potent. In fact, I’d be weary that it might be too rich for most people and it could cause some clogged pores so do be weary. Additionally, the mineral oil content is a no-go in my skincare philosophy so I’ve used it the least out of the everything I have from the range.
INGREDIENTS: Water (Aqua), Dipropylene Glycol, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Trimethylolpropane Tristearate, Petrolatum, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Alcohol, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla Cera) Wax (Candelilla Cera), Butylene Glycol, Ceramide Complex 2, Cetearyl Alcohol, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Citrus Junos (Yuzu Fruit Extract, Coix Lacryma Jobi Mayuen Seed Extract (Job’s Tears), Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract (Licorice), Melothria Heterophylla Root Extract, Ginseng (Panax Ginseng) Root Extract, Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate, C13 14 Isoparaffin, Carbomer, Cholesterol, Hydrogenated Lysolecithin, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Laureth 7, Polyacrylamide, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Methyl Stearoyl Taurate, Xanthan Gum, Methylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum).
After 2 months of continuous exclusive use, let’s check out the before and after results. I found that my skin had an overall smoother and firmer look but not necessarily any noticeable brightening effect. In the mirror, I would say it helped reduced some sallowness but the dark spots / areas on my face didn’t improve all that much and the products didn’t provide the type of translucency I was able to achieve from other brightening / whitening Asian skincare products. There is definitely an improvement in my skin texture so I can actually see this as a starter anti-aging line. But although I was actually complimented many times on my skin whilst I was using Sekkisei, it just wasn’t up to par of what I had thought the line would be. Too much hype? Perhaps.
Now do note that most of the products I had were part of the regular line and not the higher Excellent line but after 2 whole months, I’m ready to move on from most of it.
Select Shoppers Drug Mart | BeautyBOUTIQUE Online
Sekkiesei, Japan’s well respected skin brightening / whitening range works well to hydrate, smooth and improve skin texture while providing some firming action. With Vit-C in the form of ascorbyl glucoside as its main treatment ingredient, it also contains a great looking mix of herbal extracts and as a whole it kept my combination skin well hydrated throughout the coldest winter months. Yet while I’m usually not too concerned with alcohol in my skincare, even I was taken back by the appalling amount that is many of these products and it’s one of the reasons that really turned me off. The Sekkisei line is really a hit or miss game and unfortunately is more of the latter for my experience and especially in comparison to other brightening products I’ve used in the past. A fleeting thought did have me pondering if I would have liked the Excellent line of Sekkisei items better but for as it stands now, I’m ready to move on. If you’re keen to give it a go, I would recommend the Cream Excellent for dry / mature skin types and the White Powder Wash as a starter product for all skins both of which I’m going to keep in my personal rotation.
If you haven’t noticed, the blogging community really likes to celebrate occasions. With Lunar New Year festivities wrapping up, I thought I’d share a complete makeup look using only Asian beauty products. While I love dabbling in this category from time to time in my reviews, I know many of you are curious but cautious about what to try and how to mix these products into your own routine. The simple answer? This look.
- HADALABO | Shirojyun Whitening Toner
- LANEIGE | White Plus Renew Original Essence
- SEKISSEI | Moisturizing Cream*
- FOR BELOVED ONE | MelaSleep BB Cream* (Ivory)
- CANMAKE | Perfect Brown Eyes Shadow Palette
- ETUDE HOUSE | Sweet Recipe Chocolate Shadow
- KATE | Designing Eyebrow Palette #05
- DOLLYWINK | Liquid Eyeliner
- HEROINE | Liquid Eyeliner
- SHU UEMURA | Eyelash Curler*
- SHU UEMURA | Petal Lash Mascara*
- DOLLYWINK | Natural Dolly False Lashes
- CANMAKE | Stretch & Cover Concealer
- JILL STUART | Blush Mix N* (Sunny Holiday)
- CANMAKE | Melty Nude Lipstick (No.02)
Product: Q10 Moisture Care Foundation*
Colours: 4 shades; No. 01 Natural Ochre (shown)
Availability: DHC (US Website), Select T&T Supermarket locations across Canada, DHC Amazon Website
Would I (re)purchase: Probably not.
Housed in an easy to control plastic pump bottle, the Q10 Moisture Care foundation is targeted towards drier skin types with an extra kick of anti-aging benefits of coenzyme Q10 which is often found in skincare to help plump and firm up skin. A small clear window on the side of the packaging lets you see when you’re close to finishing the product, a minute but useful detail that I can really appreciate from many Japanese designed products. Let me say that this particular product is an overwhelmingly long time popular choice in many Japanese magazines.
The foundation itself is impressively high coverage; starting off as medium and quickly buildable to a near full immaculate finish with a velvety satin sheen. I was delighted at how beautifully smooth it was whilst still being very high coverage and easy to blend. The formulation is slightly thicker (almost a cream) and really cocoons the skin once applied. With a slightly powdery dry down however, it does accentuate dry patches if you use it with a buffing brush so fingers or a sponge (like a Beauty Blender) is my best recommendation. As well, prepping with a moisturizing/smoothing face primer also seems to help with persistent flaky areas such as my nose which (granted) never like to blend smoothly with anything. Pores and fine lines are easily smoothed over with this Q10 foundation and it should be very forgiving on problematic or more mature skin types. How beneficial the Q10 property is from a purely skincare perspective is open to debate but I doubt many of us will wear a single foundation every single day for long enough to see drastic long term benefits.
See my colour match in other brands | Here.
As you can see in my before and after photo (below) the colour match with Nature Orchre is next to perfect and here I am only wearing on layer all over the face with an extra bit under the eyes and around the chin. Note that the foundation looks darker when first pumped out, then slightly lighter when first applied but eventually settles just a tinge darker to a more natural finish. And speaking of natural, the first couple of hours wearing this was a complete pleasure compared to most traditional full coverage base products. Be forewarned that this isn’t the lightest feeling product on the skin and if you have oily skin or are used to super invisible products, this will not be for you.
However the DHC Q10 foundation just doesn’t last on my combination skin. In a quick two hours I’d start to notice creasing around my mouth and smile lines. A little further on my pores and other skin textures will start to show through again as well. I did find this to be a very skin friendly product (with oat and olive as moisturizing ingredients) and actually seemed to preserve my skin condition when I remove it at the end of the day but it just didn’t look as great past the morning hours compared to the initial application. Wearing this with a primer did help the longevity slightly but transfer still remained an issue whenever I’d touch my face or even use my phone. For those who have very dry skin or plan on using this in the cold winter season, it may not be as much of a problem but this is certainly not humid weather friendly.
THE FINAL VERDICT
The DHC Q10 Moisture Care foundation has so many good things going for it including a beautifully smooth feel, a hydrating base as well as great high coverage in a user friendly formulation. Yet if it’s not going to stay on my face then it just falls short of being a functional product in my arsenal. If it had been more long lasting then this would easily be a highly recommended product for everyone but for now I’d limit this to dry/very dry skin or very sensitive skin types unless you don’t mind touching up every 3 hours. Close but not quite a winner, I’ve got my fingers crossed that DHC may reformulate this in the future.
water/aqua/eau, cyclopentasiloxane, zinc oxide, glycerin, diphenylsiloxy phenyl trimethicone, pentylene glycol, isotridecyl isononanoate, butylene glycol, diisostearyl malate, sorbitan sesquiisostearate, PEG-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, PEG-10 dimethicone, sodium chloride, PEG-3 dimethicone, dimethicone, aluminum hydroxide, polypropylsilsesquioxane, phenoxyethanol, sodium citrate, magnesium aluminum silicate, sorbitan sesquioleate, methyl methacrylate crosspolymer, HDI/trimethylol hexyllactone crosspolymer, stearic acid, dimethicone/vinyl dimethicone crosspolymer, aluminum dimyristate, avena sativa (oat) kernel extract, tocopherol, ubiquinone, arginine, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, serine, silica, olea europaea (olive) leaf extract, ethylhexylglycerin, behenyl alcohol, hydrolyzed elastin, polyglyceryl-10 pentastearate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, ceramide 3, sodium hyaluronate, sodium acetylated hyaluronate, soluble collagen, titanium dioxide/ CI 77891, iron oxides/CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, mica/CI 77019
Skin Inc. is the first brand I’ve seen in the western mass market to bring completely customizable treatment products that you can mix and match for your own current skincare needs, without ever setting foot in a dermatologists office (there’s a place and time for that!). If you’re a frequent Sephora
stalker, I mean shopper, then you must have noticed the brightly coloured vials lined up on the skincare shelf.
I’ve spent about two weeks with Skin Inc.’s 3-Step starter kit which includes their prepping Pure Revival Peel, Custom Blended Anti-aging Serum and the Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask. Conceived in Singapore, made in Japan and available world wide, the sleek clean packaging reflects their brand aesthetic of providing simple, effective and easy to use products but there’s more than what meets the eye here.
INGREDIENTS: Water, Glycerin, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Dicocodimonium Chloride, Steartrimonium Bromide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Arbutin, Fullerenes, Uncaria Tomentosa Extract, Maltodextrin, Butylene Glycol, PVP, Isopropyl Alcohol.
Housed in a tiny vial with a dropper dispenser, this serum contains encapsulated ingredients that burst upon application to the skin to deliver a trio of Coenzyme Q10, collagen and (my skincare holy grail) hyaluronic acid to plump, smooth and moisturize the skin. What’s you’re seeing in this kit is a 10ml bottle which is the full size of one of their treatments. Skin Inc. recommends users choose 3 treatments, each highlighted by a different key ingredient and blend them into a customized serum. In this case mine was pre-blended with Q10, collagen and hylauronic acid and packaged into a 10ml whereas you’d regularly have 30ml if you blended the full sizes individually. There are 9 treatments altogether: ceramide, collagen, hylauronic acid, chlorella, licorice, Q10, Vit. A, French pine bark and Vit. C.
With all the science out of the way, I must say that this is a really nice serum and along with the customizable ability it certainly falls within my top picks if you’re all about straight to the point products. Although the sample size only allowed for a short testing period, I immediately noticed a plumping and smoothing effect on my skin after a few days of consecutive use. The watery texture will be a pleasure to use especially for oily skins and contrary to my initial fears about gel-like serums, this one did not pill what so ever and makes for an excellent layering product with your other skincare products. I wouldn’t say this is a very effective hydrator if you have super desert dry skin this particular blend should be great for everyone else. The cherry on top? It does not seem to contain any silicones however do note that ubiquinone (a controversial ingredient in some countries) is midway in the list.
INGREDIENTS: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Soluble Collagen, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Ubiquinone, Sodium PCA, Serine, Glycine, Glutamic Acid, Alanine, Arginine, Lysine, Threonine, Proline, Sorbitol, Betaine, 1,2-Hexanediol, Algin, Carbomer, Alcaligenes Polysaccharides, Phytosteryl/Octyldodecyl Lauroyl Glutamate, Hydrolyzed Lecithin, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Polysorbate 80, Titanium Dioxide CI Pigment Green 50, Iron Oxides, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol.
Sealing everything together is the Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask, a thin gel-like 30min to overnight treatment mask that’s formulated to clarify, hydrate and brighten the skin. Highlighted ingredients here include deepsea water, soy bean extract and again hylauronic acid. The formulation is gentle and soothing on the skin while still being lightweight and very comfortable to sleep in overnight. Together with the serum my morning face looks clear and refreshed that I sometimes just skip washing with a cleanser in the morning because it looks great straight out of bed. Just a spl
ash of water to remove the mask and pop on a fresh moisturizer. For my personal taste as a sleeping mask, it could have been a bit more hydrating/thicker but I can see the thinner formula as a welcoming change for those with normal to oilier skin or those who live in humid climates.
INGREDIENTS: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Algae Extract, Natto Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Potassium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium EDTA.
Reaching the end of these bottles, I am definitely impressed by the beautiful textures of these products, a detail that I’d normally attribute to my Asian skincare items so it certainly shows that Skin Inc. made a good point to have these produced in Japan. The non-fussy list of ingredients are a nice change from the heavily loaded and complicated string of who-knows-what that’s in many modern day high end products.
If you’ve been eyeing up this brand in your local Sephora, I’d recommend the Customized Serum to get you started as I think this is their most unique product. Personally, both the Revival Peel and the Hydrating Mask fell short of top tier in my own skincare regime as there are similar products I’ve used in the Asian market. Altogether, Skin Inc. has set a great first impression for me and I’d especially recommend you look into them if you’re on the oilier or sensitive side of skin types.
Flash Reviews : These are my initial thoughts and/or first impressions on beauty samples that I have been trying out. I try to give you as much information as possible but this may not be as comprehensive as full fledged review. I hope these mini posts will give you some basic information and details on certain products you’re interested in even if I haven’t had the usual full experience with them yet.
You’ve heard about me talk about bb cushions for a while now and you may have even read my reviews for a few of them. Since then I’ve really grown to love them for easy on the go application and convenient touch ups, all without getting a single finger dirty. Today we’re delving into one of my favourite Korean brands, Laneige and their award winning BB Cushion.
Having had a little hiccup with the IOPE No.21 which had a pale cast, I was rather worried the Laneige version would be too light as well but it actually blended in very nicely with my (NC15-20) skin and helped to even the colour with my neck. In these photos I am wearing one layer of the foundation but it is certainly buildable. I’d rate the coverage at light to medium which will easily take care of some redness, light discolouration and minor blemishes. Dark circles and prominent spots will require additional concealer but I’ve rarely worn any when using the Laneige cushion as I find the coverage perfect for my daily use.
Doing a little finger swatching with the foundation reveals a creamy consistency which gives is great blendablity yet it feels thin, light and comfortable on my skin. I do notice that it never really sets completely (as most cream/compact products would) and remains somewhat pliable which does mean that if you wear glasses, those pesky bridge marks are inevitable.
My main (and only) disappointment with this bb cushion its lack of long lasting power. It doesn’t break down or melt off per say but that fact that it never trul
y sets means that it rubs off everywhere with everything I touch. Plus this also means that it does crease a little into smile lines. In the fall to winter season, it lasts a good 5 hours on my combination skin an it is easily retouched if needed. I do tend to like it better when worn with the Laneige Water Base CC Cream which helps with smoother pore coverage and also seems to extend the wear slightly.
You win some, you loose some but the Laneige BB Cushion is mostly a winner in my books! The texture and blendabilty really impresses me and the fact that it provides a natural satin glow yet keeps my skin moisturized all while feeling lightweight is exactly what I need this time of the year. If you are looking for quick everyday coverage (the type you can do while standing on the bus) that looks great in all lighting situations then you certainly need to give this a try. Best suited for dry to combination skin rather than oily skin. For the fact that this has great colour match and does not cling to my dry patches, the Laneige bb cushion edges out the IOPE slightly for me and I will most definitely be picking this up again either in this variation or trying out another from the range.
Rejoice my fellow beauty lovers! I’m so excited to recently find out that one of my favourite Korean brands Etude House has just opened up their website for international shipping. Of course this calls for a little further digging and I’ve got all the details for you below.
Popping the dot com extension into your url bar and you’ll head straight over to Etude’s international global website. For those who have been familiar browsing the fun filled Korean site (.kr), you’ll notice that the layout is much more simplistic and easier to navigate. All text are in English and you can shop by category, new products and best sellers.
The global site carries all categories of Etude products including cosmetics, skincare, haircare and accessories however it only stocks a limited selection of the total varieties of product available in each category. Granted what they do offer are the popular products and I expect the offering to increase in the upcoming months as they build more traffic and experience.
As an avid eBay hunter, I’d say the prices are quite decent with a few items even being lower than what you would find on eBay. As a whole I do find eBay prices to be more competitive as many sellers are all vying for your attention (and money) so they are more keen on pushing down prices for that reason.
With string of prestigious awards to its name, it’s no wonder that the IOPE Air Cushion Sunblock (foundation) is one of the most well known and the new darling in the foundation world. It has won the 2013 product award from SURE Magazine, Cosmo Korea as well as Allure Korea. When I had my eyes on trying the cushion trend for myself, it was an easy choice to start with IOPE.
Product: Air Cushion Sunblock XP SPF50/PA+++ / Natural
Shades: S22, N21, N23, C21, C23
Price: $43-50CAD (via ebay)
Availability: AMORE Pacific Shops, eBay, select Asian retails online.
Details: Each boxed set comes with 2 x 15g of product, refills may be purchased separately, refill sponges are also available.
Would I repurchase: Undecided.
This product boasts a few functions, from moisturization and sunblock to skin whitening and wrinkle control. It’s advertised to contain 35% “Moisture Bright Essence” for skincare and is also said to be long lasting up to 12hrs in addition to being sweatproof. The cushion aspect is also supposed to be somewhat innovative but if you recall, Almay once put out a Nearly Naked Touch Pad Liquid Makeup that is exactly the same concept in a screw top lid without the mirrored case and sponge. In short, this sounds like a compact version of a multi-functional bb cream.
Colour issues aside, the IOPE Air Cushion Sunblock XP is a must try for those with dry to combination skin who desire a quick everyday skin friendly product that’s gentle and covers well. The soft texture makes it comfortable on easily dehydrated skin yet feels lightweight for its opacity and I do love the healthy glowy finish it gives to my skin without the use of shimmer or glitter particles. However pass on this if you live in a humid climate, have oily skin, mature skin needing wrinkle coverage or require your makeup to stay on for long periods of time. And let’s make it clear that I do not see this as heavy duty sweatproof. It’s not quite a perfect item and I’m still going to try a few more cushion products to see the variety out there but I like it enough that I will finish using this for the winter and possibly try N23 as well.
Pores are the bane of my existence.
While you can cover everything from discolouration to dark under eye circles, skin texture (and pesky pores included) is the hardest to conceal. Though there isn’t a permanent way to shrink pores via topical treatments, I could use all the help I can get in with a little extra skincare. Korean brand Tony Moly would be a familiar name if you’ve dabbled in Asian beauty products or have seen a few of my other TM skincare reviews. Their ever popular Floria line (based on plant and flower ingredients) has expanded into various sub-categories to cater more specific skin needs.
Brand: Tony Moly
Product: Floria Pore Energy Essence*
Price: $30 (?) via YesStyle
Availabilty: YesStyle online
Would I (re)purchase: No
Now if you’ve a long time reader of my blog, you’ll know exactly what I’m about to say here…this product broke me out. Plain and simple, once again my skin has chosen to express its great unhappiness with silicone heavy products by showering me first with a few red dots then with some large and loud painful spots. I’ve tried this on two accounts and ended with the same distressing result so unfortunately this is a miss for my skin type. However, I do know that not everyone has silicone intolerance so do consider your own skin type and history.
Last thing to note is that while this essence does provide light dose of moisture and does not dry out my skin, it doesn’t seem efficient for dry skin, those with easily dehydrated skin or the upcoming winter weather.
The Tony Moly Floria Pore Energy Essence falls into one of those niche categories of “great product, just not for me” and for this I’m no longer using it as part of my personal skincare routine. If silicone heavy products aren’t an issue for you, then consider this a very lightweight skin smoothing, pore minimizing essence that does deliver noticeable results. Unlike many alcohol heavy, astringent products this does not dry out my skin during the process but is much better suited to those with combination or oily skin. The consistency and immediate satisfaction means you can also use this as a light primer for your foundation and the unobtrusive fresh scent easily makes this an unisex product.
SKIN NOTE GEL MASK
With sheet masks being the staple in many people’s skincare routines for their ease of use and fast working effects, Etude’s new generation of masks now come in a gel sheet. Infused with skincare ingredients ranging from deep moisture to pore tightening, they come in a boxed set of 5pc and because there are no liquids to worry about dripping down your chin, you are free to get back to business without missing a beat. These will also make excellent airplane treats during long flights when you really prefer not to make a big fuss while wearing a mask.
A new wave of primers seem to have hit the market, this time with a focus on anti-pollution properties and urban stressors. The Dust Cut line (which also includes a face spray) is formulated to act as a protective barrier against dust and other potentially harmful particles floating in the air. The key is to prevent them from adhering to the skin in the first face so they can also be rinsed off easily during cleansing.
Etude’s Collagen Moistful line is one of their top selling series of products featuring super powered collagen to plump and hydrate the skin. With that, they’ve recently added a CC Cream containing 30% of this much loved ingredient which has a sheer to light coverage and will help extend the hydrating effect of your moisturizer.
Perhaps it’s the pretty pink packaging or maybe it’s the wearable coverage but Etude’s Precious Mineral BB series has truly taken the beauty market by storm ever since it’s launch. It’s gone through at least 4 re-releases and it’s latest reincarnation is called Blooming Fit which boasts oil balancing effects while still providing a glowy look with pearl extracts.
Thin in texture with good coverage and a lightweight feeling, this new Skin Fit foundation seems like a great summer option especially for those living in very hot climates. From swatches I have seen online, the texture is quite thin and it has a slightly powdery dry down similar to that of Benefit’s Oxygen Wow Foundation.
Now that I’ve got your attention, which product would you try?