Sunday, November 28, 2010

Review: Rimmel Fix & Perfect Foundation Primer

This is a quick review of the Rimmel Fix & Perfect Foundation PrimerDiana kindly sent this to me!


The shade is 001 Apricot (but there is only one shade available)

What it does: (from Rimmel's website)

Create a perfect canvas for foundation application. - Skin Perfecting primer smoothes and evens out your complexion - prolongs the wear of your foundation - Minimizes Pores

Price: approx $7.59 (from Ulta.com)

Pros:
- This REALLY worked!  It made my face feel smooth and was a GREAT base for my foundation!
- Very easy to smooth onto my face.  The texture is somewhere between a cream and a silicone gel
- The shade made it almost like a tinted moisturizer for me.  If I had less flaws, I would probably be able to wear just this.

Cons:
- The color.  If you are light-skinned, your face may look orange.  It did not leave any noticeable orangeness on my skin.  For reference, I'm around an NC25.


Swatched heavily (yes, it really is this orange)


Blended


My thoughts:
I loved this, but I can easily see why it would not work for many people considering the color of the product.  I was very surprised when I first squeezed out the product since I was expecting something clear or white.  It blends into nothing for me, but I would be wary of the color if my skin were lighter.
However, other than the color, I have nothing bad to say about this product!  It worked fabulously for me!  I love the texture even more than the Monistat Chafing Gel I've been using.  It makes my foundation last very long and keeps it from getting oily!

I could not find this in the UK.  This is very strange, because as far as I know, Rimmel is a UK brand.  Please let me know if you can find it!

Would I (re)purchase: Yes!  I'm planning to buy a backup when I'm in Hawaii (in a few days!!!!)

-------------------------

I'm going to Hawaii in a few days.  What do you suggest I buy at the drugstore?  What about at Sephora?

xoxo, K

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Beauty Blogs Backstage: Jeweled Thumb

For November's Beauty Blogs Backstage, I interviewed Ivy from Jeweled Thumb

- It's almost holiday time! Are there any holiday makeup sets or releases that you are excited about?
I think the better question is what I'm least excited about! I think most everything, though I'm not the biggest fan of the MAC Tartan packaging.

- What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
Sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top so they get all caramelized and yummy!

- The year is almost over! What is your favorite product of the year from the drugstore?
Definitely Revlon Photoready! I usually can't get a color match in drugstore foundations, but this one is fantastic and definitely easier on the wallet than higher end brands.

- Where do you want to go for your next vacation and why?
Anywhere really! My husband and I haven't gone on a proper vacation since we bought a house in lieu of a honeymoon. I'm dying to go to Europe. I doubt my husband is reading this but *hint hint*!

- What are your pet peeves about makeup?
unclean testers (or when you see someone applying mascara or lip gloss directly from the tester wand!), cleaning brushes, people who open drugstore cosmetics to 'test' when there are no testers, false lashes used in mascara ads, probably more that I can't think of right now!

- What is one product that you tried because of the hype on the beauty blogger community?
I want to say I've tried every hyped product, but there's still money in my bank account so that probably isn't true. I'll just list a few, MAC Jazzed lipstick (good but dupable), NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils, MUFE anything, BB Creams, Zoya, Illamasqua ...

- What one product really impacted you this year?
I really don't think I have one! I'll say a really good moisturizer. I've tried a few great ones and it really makes a huge difference!

I really love B3; it's such a great way to meet new beauty bloggers and find great new blogs!

xoxo, K

Monday, November 22, 2010

Comparison: Flat Top Brush (MAC 187, MAC 130, Sonia Kashuk, EDM)

This is a comparison of the 4 Flat Top brushes that I own, as requested by a reader.  I will compare the Everyday Minerals Flat Top Kabuki, MAC 130 Short Duo Fiber Brush, Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Flat Blusher Brush, and MAC 187 Duo Fiber Brush.



From left: Everyday Minerals Flat Top Kabuki, MAC 130 Short Duo Fiber Brush, Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Flat Blusher Brush, MAC 187 Duo Fiber Brush

Price
EDM: $11 (buy it here)
MAC130: $40 (buy it here)
SK: $15 (buy it here)
MAC187: $42 (buy it here)

As expected, the MAC brushes are much more expensive than the Everyday Minerals or Sonia Kashuk brushes.  EDM brushes are available on their website ($11 does not include shipping). Sonia Kashuk brushes are available at Target.

Comparison of handles
Length: EDM < MAC130 (16cm) < MAC187 (18cm) < SK (20cm) 
No major difference between the brushes, except for the EDM brush.  The EDM brush has a very short handle, similar to many kabuki brushes.

Thickness: SK < MAC130 < MAC187 < EDM
The Sonia Kashuk brush has a curved handle, which may or may not be comfortable for you.

Materials: EDM - Bamboo, MAC 130/187 - wood, SK - plastic



Comparison of bristles
Density: MAC187 < MAC 130 < SK < EDM
The EDM brush is very dense.  It may take more than one day for this brush to dry after washing it!  

Length of bristles: MAC 130 < SK < EDM < MAC187

Material of bristles: EDM & SK - Synthetic, MAC130/187 - Duo Fiber (Synthetic & Natural)

Softness of brush: EDM is the softest, followed by SK, MAC 187, and MAC130

Overall:
These four brushes are not very similar.  I use each for a very different purpose.

EDM - great for applying and buffing mineral foundations, and will give full coverage.  I have heard of this being used for liquid foundations, but I've personally never tried it.

SK - LOVE this for applying and buffing in liquid foundations.  I could probably use this for mineral foundations for a medium coverage.  I'm not sure of how to use this as a blusher brush, which was the original intent of this brush.

MAC130 - great for cream blushes!  I could probably use this for liquid foundation, but I would imagine it would take a lot of time since the head is so small.

MAC187 - the famous dual fiber brush!  I use this for stippling on liquid foundation to get an airbrushed finish.  I also use this to lightly apply bright blushes.

Have you tried any of these brushes?  What do you think of them?


xoxo, K

Friday, November 19, 2010

Quick Love and Pearl Milk Teas

A very kind subscriber sent me a love parcel before I left Japan.  Thank you so much!


Queen Helene Gentle Oatmeal and Honey Scrub
I had been very interested in this product for a while, so thank you for sending it to me!

She also sent me this lovely package of gifts from Canada!
Thank you so much!



I've been tweeting about the pearl milk teas I've been enjoying in China. Something from Starbucks is about $4-5 here, which is about the same as in the US. I didn't consider it expensive until I saw what local girls drink... Pearl Milk Teas that start at 5 RMB (about $0.70 USD) .

I only remembered to take a picture after I started drinking this!
You may think that things in China are cheap. However, as the economy has gotten better, the cost of everything has gone up. Clothing is the same price as in Japan. Everything that is imported comes with a 30% price increase. I wouldn't consider it cheap to live here. Food is the only thing which continues to be cheap!

I'm so excited about my trip to Hawaii!  What do you I suggest I buy from the drugstore?

xoxo, K

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review: Lush Coal Face Cleanser

I received a sample of the Lush Coal Face Cleanser during my MAJOR haul in the UK.  Lush UK gives out a lot of samples and freebies, which is a great way to try new products.


(This product is called "Black Beauty" in Japan and looks very different from the picture below)


What it does: 
Cleansing and balancing. The ground up charcoal comes from sustainable woodland in the UK and it is very good for your skin. It helps to absorb excess sebum and acts as a mild exfoliator. The sandalwood and softening liquorice help to improve the condition of the skin. Liquorice root decoction is antibacterial, but also moisturises the skin.
(from Lush.co.uk)

Price: £4.15/100g (UK), $11.95/3.5 oz (US), 1080 JPY/100g (Japan)
This translates to $0.067/g (UK), $0.12/g (US), $0.13/g (Japan).  As usual, the price in the UK is much, much more affordable.

Pros:
- Smells like sandalwood.  I personally really enjoy this scent, but this is a personal preference
- Foams up very well
- Left my skin feeling very refreshed

Cons: 
- Leaves a black mark on wash cloths which is slightly hard to remove
- This contains coal.  Therefore, I would not recommend this product if you have dry skin

Would I repurchase?  Yes!

This was a really nice facial cleanser for my combination skin.  It left my skin feeling very fresh and smooth.  I wasn't expecting much since this was just a freebie, but now I want to buy some!


Notes:
- I used this as a facial cleanser.  I removed my makeup with an oil-based cleanser ahead of time.

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

PS: yes, I'm still living in a hotel in China.  I'll be doing so for the rest of the year, probably!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pressed Barry M Dazzle Dusts and Swatches

I pressed the Barry M Dazzle Dusts that I bought in the UK.  I have another blog post about Barry M Dazzle Dusts here.


9 - Pale Silver

Pale Silver swatch

3 - Pink Gold

19 - Pale Blue

24 - Old Gold

44 - Bronze

Swatches: Pink Gold, Pale Blue, Old Gold, Bronze

69 - Sapphire

91 - Silvery Black



96 - Gold

102 - Burgundy Noir
(oh dear, there's some Gold pigment mixed in!)

Swatches: Silvery Black, Sapphire, Gold, Burgundy

Barry M Dazzle Dusts are 4.50 GBP (around $7 USD) each, and I found them at practically every Superdrug and Boots (The selection tended to be better at Superdrug, though).  Barry M seems to be discounted often.  Superdrug had them for a 3 for 2 and Boots had a "buy 3 for 10 GBP" sale.

Barry M Dazzle Dusts come in small containers, but each container is PACKED full to the very brim.  Be very careful when opening the containers for the first time. There is no sifter, and since the packages are FULL, they will spill if you aren't careful!

I noticed that most of the local drugstore brands in the UK sell loose eyeshadows. Some examples are Sleek, Collection 2000, and Gosh.  Loose eyeshadows must be very popular in the UK!

Interested in other brands, I bought a few Sleek Eye Dusts and pressed them as well.
 
Glory, Vintage, Dirty

From left, Glory, Vintage, and Dirty

Sleek loose eyeshadows are not as finely milled as the Barry M ones.  They come in bigger containers (roughly the size of a MAC pigment) and are only 3 GBP (less than $5).  They do contain sifters, but on two of the three that I bought, the sifter was bent in the middle and a lot of the eyeshadow spilled out of the container.  Even though there is no sifter, I think the Barry M Dazzle Dusts have better packaging and are worth spending the extra 2 GBP.

As you can see from the swatches, these eyeshadows are VERY pigmented, especially the Barry M Dazzle Dusts!  I really love using them, and they are much easier to use in pressed form.

xoxo, K

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Review: Lush BB Seaweed Fresh Face Mask

I've reviewed several of Lush's Fresh Face Masks, so I was really excited to try a new one.  I bought this when I was in the UK.


What it does:
All skin types can benefit from this nutritious mask, containing seaweed and seaweed absolute to refresh and restore. Kaolin will cleanse the pores, honey is a gentle antiseptic to keep spots at bay and soothing aloe vera will calm redness. (from Lush's UK website)

Price: 4.95 GBP ($8) for 75 g (UK), 1650 yen ($18.50) for 50 g in Japan
I mentioned before that the UK price seemed to have decreased. I checked with an SA who confirmed that they've lowered their prices.  Yay for us!

Pros:
- leaves my skin feeling moisturized
- gently exfoliates my skin (the exfoliation is very, very gentle)
- no strong scent. It does smell slightly pasty.

Cons:
- contains pretty big chunks of seaweed, which was a turn off for me.

Would I repurchase? probably not!

It's a great mask if you want an all-around nice mask which does a bit of everything, but the seaweed bits drove me nuts!  Here's a picture from the Lush website where you can see how big the bits are.   See the black pieces under the girl's nose? I didn't like slathering that on my face. I also didn't like washing it down the drain!

Notes:
- all of the cons of Fresh Face Masks in general apply to this one as well.  They do not contain preservatives.  Therefore, they need to be stored in the refrigerator and need to be used up within 2-3 weeks, or they will go bad.

Hope you enjoyed the review!

xoxo, K

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Up & Down #8 / A Piece of Me... in November 2010

Ups:
- Barry M Dazzle Dusts (yes, I still love them!)


- Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Facial Peel
Thanks to Yinnie for enabling me!

- Finally getting an iPhone 4 (my first iPhone!)
(not my picture)
Let me know which apps you recommend!


- working in a great new organization!
- a working VPN!!

Downs:
- complications in moving/finding an apartment/etc  (as expected!)
- not having an address! (related to above)
- leaving for work at 6:30 AM

-----------------------------------------------------
It's the time of the month to join Notes from the Toothfairy in A Piece of Me!

This month...

I like: that work is exciting!  I really love working for my new boss!! (I hope I can continue saying this!!!!)

I don't like: certain complications about this move.  Yes, I said this in my Up & Down, but it's really annoying.

I want you to know: that overall, life is good!

I've planned: ummm... nothing.  I know I need to go back to Japan within November, but I have NO idea on when I'll be able to go.




How is your life this month?


xoxo, K

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sleek Twitter prize

In mid-August, I won a twitter giveaway hosted by Sleek Makeup.  Sleek is a drugstore brand in the UK which is well known in the blogger world for their eyeshadow palettes.

The original prize was a set of 20 brushes and an eyeshadow palette with Swarovski crystals.

The brushes with a brush belt
I haven't had a chance to use these yet.  Sleek hinted that these were going to be released soon.  At this point, I don't think Sleek has any brushes available.

Sleek i-Divine Palette with Swarovski crystals

Inside - the Graphite palette
I'm curious why they decided to decorate this palette.  The Graphite palette is a limited edition palette which has already been discontinued and is not available on the Sleek website, nor did I see it in any stores in the UK.

Due to some mishaps at Sleek, the prize package wasn't sent out for a month.  Sleek kindly apologized to me, and added to my prize as a way of making up.  The extras were a couple of lip glosses and one of each of i-Divine palette that they had in stock!


Pout Polishes (lipglosses)
I slipped these in a package for someone!

i-Divine Original palette

Storm palette

Sunset palette


Chaos palette


Acid palette

Circus palette (Limited edition, already discontinued)

Bohemian palette (Limited Edition, already discontinued)
Many thanks to Sleek for their generousity.

Separately, I bought the Safari Palette, which is also limited edition and has already been discontinued.  Surprisingly, I was able to buy this at almost the retail price.

Safari palette (Limited Edition, already discontinued)

I'll be getting a lot of use out of these palettes!

xoxo, K

Monday, November 1, 2010

Fyrinnae eyeshadows

I've heard so many raves about Fyrinnae that I had to make a purchase.
 
(clockwise from top left:  Trickery, Evocation, Mystic, and Snow Leopard)
The eyeshadows are $2 for a sample size, which is 1/.3 teaspoon or 1/4 teaspoon depending on the color.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the eyeshadows before I pressed them.
I also got some Pixie Epoxy.  I was excited to see what the fuss was about!
These are $7 each for the full size.

Swatches
Top row: dry
Bottom row: over Pixie Epoxy
From left: Evocation, Trickery, Snow Leopard, Mystic
Note - because some of these colors are duochrome, the eyeshadows may look different in person.  For example, Evocation is a taupe color.  In the swatch above, it looks green.

Over Pixie Epoxy, the eyeshadows were slightly brighter.  This may not be a fair assessment because swatches of these eyeshadows after pressing are probably more pigmented then dry swatches.  I use glycerin as part of my pressing medium, which is one of the main ingredients of Pixie Epoxy, so this may be one of the reasons.

However, the best part about Pixie Epoxy is that it helps the duochrome to show well!  Plus, it helps the colors to stay vibrant for the whole day!

Now, let me rave about the customer service!
When I read blogs about Fyrinnae, their wonderful customer service is always mentioned.  It's not just "good", it's exceptional enough to be mentioned specifically in a blog post!

I emailed Fyrinnae after placing an order, because the website said that it would take 20 business days to ship my package out.  I was worried that it wouldn't get to me in time before I moved.

After just a few email conversations, we agreed that they would email me when my package was ready to send out.   I could let them know at that point where to send the package.

Fyrinnae were prompt in replying and thoroughly answered all of my questions.  I felt that I was communicating with an actual person, instead of those automated replies that we often get from online companies.  I felt comfortable knowing that my package would not be lost. 

This is a company I would recommend to anyone!


Both domestic and international shipping is free on any orders above $20!


xoxo, K

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