Tuesday, August 8, 2017

KATE 2017 F/W New Products
A tonne of new products from Kate this fall!

I've been entertaining my family the past week, then spending another week to recover from the loss of sleep. After not checking beauty news for a while, imagine how overwhelmed I am when I saw SO MANY new products being released by Kate!

I counted 15 new products, not including the different colour variations. Some of them are completely new, some are additional colours, while some are reformulation of existing product lines (but given a new name, so technically new, but theoretically not). If you think about it, nothing is really new anymore, as that would require a brand new innovation that has never been seen before. So, let's just take the word "new" at face value.
kate 2017 BROWN SHADE EYES N
1. BROWN SHADE EYES N | 1200 YEN

With the addition of a "Bronzer" shade, the new Brown Shade Eyes N sets itself apart from the original Brown Shade Eyes that comes without the extra pearly shade. The Bronzer shade is supposed to add more dimension to the eyes when used in harmony with the fake shade powder to create a strong contrast between light and shadow.

It comes in 6 colour variations.


kate smooth eyeliner pencil bk
2. SMOOTH EYELINER PENCIL | 800 YEN

With its new and improved formula, this eyeliner pencil is smoother than ever!

Available in 1 shade:
BK (Soft black)

kate soft black liner bk
3. SOFT BLACK LINER | 800 YEN

A new natural black eyeliner that is super sharp and long wearing, yet it can be easily removed by warm water.

Available in 1 shade:
BK (Soft black)

kate secret skin cc base zero ex-2
4. SECRET SKIN CC BASE ZERO SPF30 PA++ | 1000 YEN

This new shade EX-2 is a light green that can colour correct any redness to create a more even out skin tone that looks brighter. The product also covers pores, smooths your skin, and enhances your original skin tone with the addition of "Beauty Up Pearl" ingredient.

Available in 2 shades:
EX-1 (Pink Beige)
EX-2 (Light Green)

kate water in oil bb swatches
5. WATER IN OIL BB SPF 20 PA++| 1400 YEN

A BB cream that covers, primes, moisturizes, protects you from UV rays, it seeks to minimize your foundation routine into a one step process. Its lightweight formula is designed to smooth out pores, leaving you with glowy and healthy looking skin.

Available in 3 shades:
01 BRIGHT
02 NATURAL
04 DARK

kate stick concealer a
6. STICK CONCEALER A | 800 YEN

A concealer formulated to cover acne marks, spots, and freckles.

Available in 2 shades:
LIGHT BEIGE
NATURAL BEIGE

kate face powder A
7. FACE POWDER A | 1200 YEN

This loose powder creates smooth porcelain-like skin. Comes with puff.

Available in 2 variations:
NATURAL TYPE
GLOW TYPE

kate slim create powder N
8. SLIM CREATE POWDER N | 1300 YEN

A shading and highlighting combo for contouring purposes.

Available in 2 shades:
01 NATURAL TYPE
02 GLOW TYPE

kate 3d contrasting cheeks
9. 3D CONTRASTING CHEEKS | 1500 YEN

A glossy highlighter combined with a pigmented blush, allowing you to easily create sharp cheek bones and lift your face. Comes with a 2 way brush that can be transformed from a small condensed brush to a wider brush.

Available in 4 shades.

kate 3d parts design
10. 3D PART DESIGN | 1200 YEN

A highlight and contour combo, this is a convenient and easy to use product that allows you to sculpt your features to get more definition. The sponge tip applicator dips into the highlight/shading powder that is within the cap, making it travel friendly.

Available in 2 shades:
EX-1 (PINK WHITE + DARK BEIGE, natural type)
EX-2 (GOLD BEIGE + DEEP BROWN, deep type)

kate cc lip cream N
11. CC LIP CREAM N | 400 YEN

A clear lip cream that moisturizes and also add a tinge of colour. It also colour corrects, acts as a gloss, can be used as a lipstick base, and provides UV protection (SPF 8 PA+)

Available in 3 shades:
01 BEAT RED
04 ORANGE BURST
07 GRACE PINK

kate cc lip cream N swatch

kate cc lip cream tint
12. CC LIP CREAM N (TINT) | 400 YEN

A lip balm that changes from light pink to dark pink once you apply it onto your lips. Also has the same capabilities as the lip cream above.

Available in 1 shade:
06 MODE PINK

kate cc lip cream N mode pink swatch

kate cc lip oil
13. CC LIP OIL | 920 YEN

A new product never seen before, the CC Lip Oil is a coloured lip oil that moisturizes, colour-corrects, plumps, acts as a lip gloss, and can also be used as a lipstick base. 5 in 1!

Available in 3 shades:
01 RED SPICE
02 TRANS PINK
03 SHEER YELLOW

kate cc lip oil swatches


cc lip and cheek cream n
14. CC LIP & CHEEK CREAM N | 700 YEN

As with other products in the CC line, it has 5 functions - moisturizing, colour correcting, can be used as blusher, or as a lipstick base, and has SPF protection. Formulated with moisturizing ingredients such as olive oil, almond oil, jojoba seed oil, and sunflower seed oil, this product can be used on the lips and cheeks as the name suggests.

Available in 2 shades:
01 GLOW RED
02 CLASSY PINK

kate lip and cheek cream N swatches

kate color highvision rouge
15. COLOR HIGHVISION ROUGE | 1200 YEN

A matte lipstick with high pigmentation in just one swipe, it contains moisturizing ingredients such as almond oil, jojoba oil, and olive oil.

Available in 10 shades


Ending Notes:
Phew! That was quite a lot of products right!? What interested me the most is the light green SECRET SKIN CC BASE ZERO and the matte COLOR HIGHVISION ROUGE. Previously, only higher end Japanese brands made colour correcting primers, so having a drugstore option is a nice move. Also, as Japanese lipstick trend tend to favour glossy finishes, it really excites me (a matte finish lover) that Kate is being one of the first few to venture into the matte arena. All of my matte lip products are western brands not because I particularly like them, but because I just can't find any affordable Japanese alternatives! Now.. will Kate release more nude and berry shades in the future? I'm looking forward to this product line.

With the success of the Brown Shade Eyes when it was released a few years ago, this newer version is like.. lackluster. I imagine this scene taking place in Kate HQ.

Marketing team (M): We need something new to market!
Product development team (P): But the Brown Shade Eyes is perfect as it is!
M: Yes we understand, but the public likes new things!
P: Ok, how about.. we add 1 new blase shade into the palette?
M: Good idea!!!! We can sell it as a "Bronzer" shade that adds dimension! Just make it pearly.

Guys, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Brown Shade Eyes is loved for its simplicity and impeccable formula that rivals that of higher end brands. People loved it for its buttery smooth formula and high pigmentation. The three shades creates a beautiful gradation that even makeup beginners can easily master. Why complicate things??? I rather they add more colour variations, like greyish brown.

With that said, you can never please all. Just my 2 cents.

Image credits:
@cosme, biteki, Kate

Friday, July 7, 2017

mizon all in one snail repair cream review
I used it for exactly a month today. No miracles though.

Looking at my skin care corner that hasn't been touched much the past year (because my skin couldn't tolerate most things), I admit this purchase was more of an impulse buy out of desperation. I heard so many wonderful things about this cream that I decided to take the risk and give it a try. I figured, if I turn out to be sensitive to it too, I could always pass it along to my brother. It was all done in hopes of giving my face a little help in healing from my ongoing eczema woes.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

MIZON is a Korean skin care brand that is well known for using snail slime extract to improve skin conditions. I know snail slime sounds off putting, but it merely sounds disgusting because of the mental image it conjures up. If you focus on the healing benefits of snail mucin, which includes speeding up wound healing and possibly improving photoaged skin, perhaps you can overlook that preconceived distaste for the product.

The product retails for USD16.09/SGD23.46 on iherb. It contains 75g of product.

mizon all in one snail repair cream ingredients

It claims to be made of 92% snail secretion filtrate. I took a look at the ingredient list and it's rather long. Assuming their claim to be true, then there is 8% of "others", part of it is what I would call fillers and stabilizers that make the cream from separating into its individual components. Of the 8%, it also includes plant extracts, polysaccharide, as well as polypeptide. But it's all the way at the bottom of the list, so are they there for functionality? Who knows.

mizon all in one snail repair cream review
It comes packaged in a protective paper box. So fancy in its foil finish!


mizon all in one snail repair cream review
The cream is housed in a brown tinted glass container which is rather weighty.

The container itself has double leakage prevention – an extra plastic lid to keep the products in, and plastic film wrap keep the lid in place. I didn't manage to get a photo of it this time round as I happily opened up the cream before remembering to snap photos. Next time maybe?

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

mizon all in one snail repair cream review
A look into the glass container. Nothing special! What were you expecting?


The cream is whitish, lightweight and has a gel texture. It spreads easily, so a little is enough to cover my entire face. Because it's mostly water, it absorbs very quickly too. It hydrates effectively, but doesn't keep my skin supple for too long, so I usually end with a layer of facial oil (currently using argan oil) to lock in the moisture.

mizon all in one snail repair cream review
The cream got all over the sides because I lay it on the side to take photos for this entry. It's normally neater than this!


The product is fragrance free. But if I take in a deep whiff, there is a sterile scent to it, perhaps with a tiny tinge of floral scent. It's by no means unpleasant. You won't be able to smell anything after you spread it out on your face.

75g is actually quite a generous amount. I use it twice daily on my face and neck. After 1 month, it's down to half the original amount, so I'd say a container would last me about 2 months.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS

I believe it was some reddit post that got me interested in this product. They've been raving about how much it helps to heal their wounds, get rid of redness, and how it fades their pigmentation after using it for a while. Even though my skin type (dry/sensitive) is different from theirs (dry/oily/acnetic), but mine has a lot of wounds too, albeit a different type. I wanted to try my luck. If 22 bucks can give my skin a boost to have a breakthrough in my eczema recovery (I've been in for the past year), why the hell not!?

The cream didn't irritate me most of the time, unless I broke my skin is flaring. It might sting a little bit, but it dissipates quickly. It doesn't make me itch, or uncomfortable as it sinks in so quickly. I believe this cream is meant to be a "primer cream" for the later skin care products, as such it is only logical that the cream isn't all thick and heavy. I add this to my minimal skin care routine now, before I apply my facial oils to give it that moisture surge.

After years of dealing with eczema, I know well enough that there are no miracles (except steroid creams, which are a no-no for me). But I still hoped nonetheless, that the cream can do something more for me. I really can't tell if the snail filtrate did anything more for me than a regular gel cream does. Maybe it did, maybe it didn't. There isn't any comparison for me. But that didn't stop me from liking this cream. Compared to the other gel creams in the market, the MIZON All In One Snail Repair Cream offers more product for about the same price as its competitors, making it a rather economical choice.

In the past month, my face flared twice even as I used the cream. My skin continued to go through its flare-dry-flake cycle. All I can say is that while the cream didn't help get rid of the inflammation in my skin, it didn't make it worse.

I like that it's lightweight and highly absorbable, leaving behind supple and smooth skin even if it's only temporary. It's intended to be used as a first step in your skin care, so layer it with something else if you want more.

Will I repurchase it? I think I might! But I'll decide again when I'm actually done using it for 2 months.

I believe people with dry and oily skin will have the best results from using this cream. You can get it from iherb with my referral link if you wanna give it a try! If you're a US resident, then you can get it at a lower price at amazon!

UNRELATED SIDE NOTE
I've been getting myself busy with graphic design and stuff, hence the lack of updates! Otherwise I'm still alive, and healing. Still not able to wear face makeup though. But lipstick, yes! So maybe I'll finally write about a few lipsticks I tried next time.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Soaked in my own perspiration as this entry is being written.

Summer is here, the heat is rising, and my sweat is dripping. What makeup lovers and everyone else need this summer is a lightweight sunscreen that offers you protection from normal daily UV exposure - one that doesn't feel thick or heavy because the last thing you want is sunscreen melting off your face, mixed in with your personal brand of perspiration. If you need industrial strength sunscreen for extreme sports, then these probably isn't the entry for you.

I tend to favour Asian sunscreens because they label theirs very clearly just how much UVA protection they have. UVA is the one that ages the skin and increase the risk of skin cancer. You see why I prefer to know how well protected I am against UVA now?

Below are a few sunscreens I chose to feature after surveying ranking sites. Comes in a variety of prices too!

ANESSA | PERFECT UV AQUA BOOSTER | SPF50+ PA++++
60ML | USD 32

Highly water and sweat resistant, this sun screen is tested to provide 80 minutes of in-water protection! With the addition of skin care essence, it's able to moisturize dry skin caused by UV ray exposure. Can be use on both the face and body.

BIORE | UV AQUA RICH WATERY GEL | SPF50+ PA++++
90ML | USD 9.15

The packaging might have changed, but the formula is still light weight, giving you long lasting protection from UVA and UVB without the heaviness of usual sunscreens. Can be easily washed off with body wash or makeup remover.

BIORE | UV AQUA RICH WATERY ESSENCE | SPF50+ PA++++
50G | USD 9.40

I feel like this watery essence was the best innovation when it first hit the market. A watery sunscreen was unheard of before this, and we're all doomed to a life of thick and oily mess.. This is extremely light weight as it is absorbed by your skin rather quickly, leaves no white residue behind, making it the perfect product to use before your make up. I've tried this years ago and my mom loved it too, read more here.

Oh! This is also a crowd favourite among Asian Beauty Redditors! I saw them hoarding these because of some shipping issues recently.

NIVEA | SUN PROTECT WATER GEL | SPF50 PA+++
140G | USD12.27

Probably the most value for money out of all, you can slather all 140g of this moisturizing sunscreen all over your face and body. The consistency of the sunscreen is like a moisturizing toner, so that pump might come in handy. Designed for normal usage, it doesn't appear to be water resistant, so if you work in an office with air conditioning, this watery gel should be perfect.

LANCOME | UV EXPERT YOUTH SHIELD BB COMPLETE 1 | SPF50 PA++++
30ML | SGD 75

A sunscreen that is designed to cut out not just UVA and UVB rays, but also pollution! Shade 1 is white and brightens the skin to create a glowy and uniform skin tone. Shade 2 is tinted.

At this price tag I might as well splurge on the Chanel CC cream, as I have witnessed the latter work its magic to give my girlfriend a glowy complexion that looked so natural like her own skin.

I added the Lancome sunscreen in because it is currently ranked #3 on the @cosme weekly ranking, and #2 on Taiwan's urcosme weekly ranking. Must be quite lovely for it to be ranked so high, right?

I think this is formulated for the Asian market, as I couldn't find it on Sephora or Amazon. Also, the PA++++ rating IS adopted by the Japan Cosmetic Industry Association after all.

LA ROCHE-POSAY | UVIDEA XL AQUA FRESH GEL | SPF50 PA++++
30ML | SGD 38.9

Apart from shielding you from UV rays, the thermal spring water in the sunscreen protects your cells from free radicals. The light weight gel is non sticky and non greasy, making it great as a make up base.

Again, this appears to be another product made for the Asian market because I can't find it on American/European websites!

KISS MY FACE | FACE FACTOR | SPF30 BROAD SPECTRUM
59ML | USD 9.97

One of the best sellers on iHerb, this sunscreen has 40 minutes resistance, and is paraben and oxybenzone free! Reviews of it have been mostly positive, and most users found it non greasy, doesn't leave behind a white cast, and is easily absorbed.

But how much UVA protection does it offer? I don't know :(

Personally I would prefer a higher SPF of 50 because I can't be bothered with re-application. But the SPF50 version of this sunscreen is found to be a lot thicker than the SPF30. I assume if you're reading this blog, the chance of you wearing makeup is high, so the SPF30 might vibe better with your need for a lightweight sunscreen that doesn't interfere with makeup.

Ending note:
Please be reminded that I made this post with the normal daily folk in mind, so these sunscreens aren't gonna be the most water resistant stuff out there. These were designed for some slight sweating, like the ones that get worked up by you walking down a sunny street to get your lunch, or when you have are walking from the bus stop to an indoor space. Ideally the water resistant ones might be able to last you through a sweaty outdoor concert in this weather, but that's really pushing the limit. And to wear these to the beach and expect NOT to get a burn? Maybe if you're really diligent about reapplying it.. Otherwise, brace yourself for a disappointment.

Another PSA: If you know you'll be in the sun for extended hours, then reapplication is a must. Especially if you're wearing skin exposing clothes. The best kind of sunscreen is physically covering up yourself with clothings, and sunscreens should be the second line of defense. Get this right and you'll be able to enjoy the sun with minimal damage and harm.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

THE FACE SHOP X DISNEY 2ND EDITION
More collaborations!

Is it deja vu? I thought I already blogged about this collaboration before.. Then I realize it's the 2nd edition of the collaboration. 3 new cushion cases, and 2 new products!

It seems like it's been released in Korea since March, and is only hitting the Taiwanese shores this month. I tried looking for online retailers to link but failed to find any.

THE FACE SHOP DISNEY  BB POWER PERFECTION CUSHION SPF50+ PA+++
THE FACE SHOP | BB POWER PERFECTION CUSHION SPF50+ PA+++ | 20000 WON | 15g

A high coverage BB foundation that feels light weight, it hugs the skin closely while moisturizing it. Contains hyaluronic acid to make skin appear plumper and more defined.

THE FACE SHOP DISNEY CC LASTING CUSHION SPF50+ PA+++
THE FACE SHOP | CC LASTING CUSHION SPF50+ PA+++ | 20000 WON | 15g

A long lasting CC cushion that is sebum resistant, it's able to cover pores and uneven surfaces. Formulated with moisturizing ingredients to create a glowy look that isn't sticky.

THE FACE SHOP DISNEY CC COOLING CUSHION SPF42 PA+++
THE FACE SHOP | CC COOLING CUSHION SPF42 PA+++ | 20000 WON | 15g

Containing 60% moisturizer, the CC Cooling Cushion effectively hydrates your skin with the help of botanical extracts. It maintains the water/oil balance to enhance your natural glow. Infused with "snow oil", it cools down your skin as you pat it on.

All three cushions are available in the same 3 shades.

Then again, if you've ever tried Korean foundations, they are usually very fair/pale, so I doubt the difference between these 3 shades is gonna be huge.


An overview and comparison of the three different cushions.

THE FACE SHOP DISNEY CUSHION PRIMER
THE FACE SHOP | CUSHION PRIMER | 10000 WON | 25g

Using this primer before the cushions helps cover any pores or fine lines, prepares your canvas for the perfect foundation application. Infused with botanical extracts, it hydrates your skin so other products can stay on your skin better, allowing your make up to stay on longer throughout the day.

THE FACE SHOP DISNEY CONCEALER MULTI PALETTE
THE FACE SHOP | CONCEALER MULTI PALETTE | 20000 WON | 0.9g X 6

A concealer for your every needs, all included in one small and cute case! From left, there are 2 shades for colour correction (light green and brightener), 2 shades for correcting dark circles (ivory beige, natural beige), 1 shade for contour (deep brown), and 1 shade for brightening/highlighting (light pink). Comes with a dual sided brush for precise application and blending.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


New eyeshadows!

I'm a little (2 months *cough*) late on this :P Visee have released two new products this season: a brand new (or not?) eyeshadow line, and a new mascara.

It's not much, but it's something!

Introducing, the GEMMY RICH EYES, and LASH LONG MANIA.

visee gemmy rich eyes
VISEE | GEMMY RICH EYES | 1200 YEN

Formulated with "Gemmy pearl" ingredients to create the iridescence of gems fragments. The top left and bottom right shades are pearly and clings onto the skin well, while the bottom left shade blends like a silky cream to add depth to the eyes. The top right shade creates a translucent veil of shimmer, perfect for topping it on the center of the lids without making the eyes look frosty or metallic.

As per other Visee eyeshadows, these are infused with moisturizing ingreients like hyaluronic acid and mineral oil.

Available in 5 shades.

visee lash long mania
VISEE | LASH LONG MANIA | 1400 YEN

A film type mascara designed to lengthen, curl, and separate your lashes in just one swipe. It has three types of fibres in order to achieve length in one swipe, and "Real Black Powder" to create intense, dark lashes. Formulated with lash care ingredients like hyaluronic acid and squalane, It's also easily removeable with warm water.

Ending thought:
The eye shadow is reminiscent of KATE's diamond eyes from many years ago. That transparent but pearly/shimmery/glittery shade (top right) that adds dimension very naturally, because it only reflects light when it is hit by light at certain angles. Unlike highlighting with an opaque, lighter shade to forcefully lift that area up regardless of lighting, I much prefer enhancing the eyes while still abiding by the laws of nature.



Hopefully, this has a better formulation than KATE, because I remember the diamond shade was rather scratchy and hard to pick up from the pan.

Sure, it's not a look for everyone, but definitely for those who likes subtlety.

As for the mascara, I just realize the "MANIA" line of their mascara are all film type mascaras that can be removed with warm water.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

ETUDE HOUSE PLAY COLOR EYES CHERRY BLOSSOM
It's cherry blossom season, on your eyelids!

What a gorgeous day it is! Finding out Etude House is releasing an eyeshadow palette that's pink! It's so new it's not even on the global site yet It just went live on the global site today.

They're having a launching special from 5th April to 12th April, instead of the original price of US $26.40, it's now going for US $18.48! It even comes with a jelly lip patch as a free gift if you order it before the promotion ends!

ETUDE HOUSE PLAY COLOR EYES CHERRY BLOSSOM
ETUDE HOUSE | PLAY COLOR EYES CHERRY BLOSSOM | USD 26.40

A new palette containing 10 lovely shades that's cherry blossom themed, each containing 0.8g of product (according to the korean site). The colour ranges from romantic pinks to wearable browns to easily create pinkish eye looks. The eyeshadows are soft and silky for easy application.

This actually looks like an expanded version of their 2016 Christmas collection, My Little Nut Fantastic Color Eyes eyeshadow palette in the shade Lucky Red Little Nut. Except the latter is geared towards a more reddish tone, hence the burgundy, while the former stays pink and light.

ETUDE HOUSE | FANTASTIC COLOR EYES (LUCKY RED LITTLE NUT) | 14000 WON

Right? They do have some semblance to each other!

ETUDE HOUSE PLAY COLOR EYES CHERRY BLOSSOM

The names of the different shades are in Korean that's too complicated for me to translate, so I left it as is (you can visit the global site as they have translated them into english!). The colours chosen for this palette has a good mix of matte, shimmer, and pearly shades. The overall colour scheme is light and fresh, in line with the cherry blossom theme.

ETUDE HOUSE PLAY COLOR EYES CHERRY BLOSSOM swatches
Click to expand!


I've did some photoshop magic to stitch together this franken-swatch photo. The swatches are taken from their official site. The swatches looks even and smooth!

As you can see there are a few matte shades (2nd-4th from bottom) that are wonderful for creating gentle depth, and shimmery shades for added dimension. Two metallic shades that appear almost frosty (5th and 6th from top).

This swatch merely gives you an idea of the colours. Below is a swatch on the eyelids for better idea of how they actually look when blended out.

ETUDE HOUSE PLAY COLOR EYES CHERRY BLOSSOM swatch
Click to expand!


They don't look as pigmented on the lids, probably because they applied it with a brush instead. Overall the shades looks like a gentle wash of colour that can be easily blended into the skin to create that soft look. Nothing too over the top for this cherry blossom inspired palette, afterall, cherry blossoms are pretty in their soft pinks, are they not?

Ending note:
This is a beautiful palette if you want soft and romantic eyes. I believe it's meant for creating diffused look, hence don't expect it to be super pigmented. Subtlety has it's perks. Of course, if you want the colours to be more vibrant, an eye primer might probably do the trick!


I'll admit my heart got swayed for a split second, suddenly desiring this new found beautiful object! Then I recall I already have a pink eyeshadow palette that I haven't been able to use for a long time.... 

My money get to live another day.
 
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