Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: Lush Olive Branch Shower Gel - Olives or Bergamot?

This is a review of the Lush Olive Branch Shower Gel. I'm not sure where I bought this - either in the US or in the UK. In Japan, this product is called オリーブ収穫祭 (Oriibu Shuukakusai, "Olive Harvest")

What it does: (from Lush.co.uk)
Fairtrade olive oil, fresh mandarins, bergamot oil and vine leaves We've crammed the whole Mediterranean diet into this bottle – well, all bar the pasta, because that isn't lovely on your skin like the rest There’s a lot of top quality olive oil in this bottle, but it does like to sit at the top on its own. So, before you use, give it a good ol’ shake to get the oil mixed back through.

Price: $9.95, 4.25GBP, 900 JPY. Considering that the Japanese price includes tax while the US price does not, there is a high chance that this product is cheaper in Japan!


Pros:
  • This product smells strongly of bergamot, which I really like!  This is not a girly scent, and would work well for men as well.
  • A little goes a long way with this product.  I needed half the amount of shower gel that I usually use
Cons:
  • Like many Lush shower gels, this is a very watery product. Be careful not to apply too much!
  • Lush claims that the olive oil in the product will help moisturize the skin. I still needed to apply lotion.
Notes: This product is supposed to separate - Lush's website says the top layer is olive oil, and that the bottle should be shaken up before using.

Would I repurchase? Yes, this may be my favorite Lush shower gel so far!  I really like the scent!

I'm still going back and forth between my "traditional" picture composition and the "new" composition. Which do you like better?

Traditional picture

New picture

I have officially gone through my entire stash of Lush products to review!   What Lush product would you like to see next?

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Weekly Reads #69: July 28, 2012

What were your favorite posts this week?

Connect with me!I love chatting and connecting with people, and sharing interesting stuff around the web!

You can also subscribe to Cosmeddicted through the feedemail, or Bloglovin!

xoxo, K

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review: Skinfood Buckwheat Loose Powder

This is a review for the Skinfood Buckwheat Loose Powder. I bought this when I went to Seoul. 

The lighting changed the color of this product a lot. The real color is somewhere between these 2 pictures.

This product comes with a sifter (not resealable) and a puff. I don't use either.

What it does: (from Skinfood.sg)
Soft silky powder completes a radiant make up with blooming effect. Buckwheat oil prolongs blooming effect and leaves make up long lasting.

Price: Around 8000 Won (around $7)

Pros:
  • This is a finely milled powder, and did not leave my face looking cakey
  • This product is available in 4 different colors (2 skin colors, translucent, and lavender). I bought the darker of the 2 skin colors since I'm usually the darker color for Skinfood BB creams, but I should have gotten the lighter one
  • Cheap, if you buy it in Korea
Cons:
  • If you are looking for oil control, silica powder works better. It is also more affordable if you buy it online
  • I have no idea what a "blooming" effect is.
Would I repurchase? Probably not.  Silica powder works for me even in the winter, and it does not leave a white cast on my face.

Through visiting the stores in Korea, and playing with this and other products, I learned that I am not a fan of Skinfood's color cosmetics, excluding their Aloe BB Cream.  There are some interesting skin care products, although some of them are not worth the markup online. 

A few items I did like from Skinfood are their Shea Butter Hair Mask and their Fermented Pomegranate Sleeping Mask.  Click the links to see my reviews! (Warning: the reviews are old... you can see how far I've come in the past 3 years)

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Weekly Reads #68: July 21, 2012

It's been a pretty busy week for me. I feel like I had only half of the weekend since I was out so much. Plus, this week has been pretty hectic at work! Hopefully I can relax this weekend!
What were your favorite posts this week?

Connect with me!
I love chatting and connecting with people, and sharing interesting stuff around the web!

You can also subscribe to Cosmeddicted through the feedemail, or Bloglovin!

xoxo, K

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: Joe Fresh Blush in Bloom - can I wear blue pink blush?

This is a review for the Joe Fresh Blush in Bloom. This was a gift to me from Mona.
What it does:
Joe Fresh is a drugstore brand based in Canada, created by the Canadian designer Joe Mimran. They also have a few stand-alone stores, including in NYC.

Price: $6 Canadian for 7g of product.  MAC blushes are 6g of product, so this has plenty of product!


Pros:
  • VERY pigmented. A little goes a long way! I use a small fluffy blush and blend well
  • I really like the packaging. Very clean, very minimal, sturdy and easy to open. All drugstore blushes should be packaged like this! A very bright fuchsia color. I didn't think I could wear bluish pink blushes, but this is a great blush for the summer!
  • This blush does not contain shimmer (which may or may not be your preference)
Cons:
  • I think this was a limited edition color, since it is not listed on the Joe Fresh website. Either way, the color selection is very limited - the current website only shows one color.
  • I'm not sure where to purchase this outside of Canada

Would I repurchase? Yes! This product has great pigmentation, great packaging, and a great price point. This has definitely become my go-to summer blush.  If this brand were to come out with other colors, I would definitely take a look at them.  I'm really interested in some of their other products as well!

Thanks again to Mona for gifting this to me. Hope you all enjoyed my review!

xoxo, K

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Weekly Reads #67: July 14, 2012

It seems like everyone had writer's block 2 weeks ago - this week, my RSS feed has been full of great blog posts!  What were your favorite posts this week?

Connect with me!
I love chatting and connecting with people, and sharing interesting stuff around the web!

You can also subscribe to Cosmeddicted through the feedemail, or Bloglovin!

xoxo, K

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Laced Up - LOVE

This is a review for the Sally Hansen Salon Effects in Laced Up. I bought this when I went to NY.

Long time readers of Cosmeddicted know that I have a hard time painting my nails. I lack the patience to wait for nail polishes to dry. On top of that, nail polishes chip extremely fast on my nails.

Seeing all the hype about the Salon Effects in the blogger world, I was very excited to try these out.  I'll cut to the chase - THESE ARE LOVE.

This is what is included in each box:
two packets of product, instructions, an orange stick, and a nail file


Each packet of product contains 8 strips.

If you have never used these before, I strongly suggest watching a few Youtube videos in advance.

I wasn't sure about this pattern, but I ended up LOVING it.

What they do: (from Sally Hansen's website)
Sally Knows nails are the best accessory. Now, Sally makes it easy to get a salon effect any time, any place. It wears like nail polish because it IS nail polish. No dry time, so you’re ready to go.

Price:  Around $10. They are a little pricey if you buy them at the retail price. I have found them much cheaper online, though.

Pros:
  • No dry time. This is HUGE for me! 
  • No need to paint 2-3 coats of polish!
  • Lots of different patterns to chose from!
  • MINIMAL chipping!! 
These are my nails on Day 7.  This is my right hand, and I'm right handed. There is about 1mm of chipping on the tip of the nail, and 2-3 mm of chipping on the cuticle.  I usually get more chipping than this on Day 1 (yeah, I'm EXTREMELY hard on my nails).
The pattern (black lace on beige polish) also helps to disguise chipping.


Cons:
  • $10 for one manicure is kind of expensive. However, if you have short nails like I do, you can get a full manicure from one 8-piece package (so 2 manicures in one box). There are several Youtube videos on this as well.
  • These are the same thickness throughout, instead of being thinner towards the edges. They will chip easily from the sides or from the cuticle, so press down hard!
  • These are much harder to remove than normal nail polish. I suggest using the foil method to remove them, especially the ones with glitter.
Tips:
  • When applying them, remember to swipe all of your nails first with acetone. Remover with Vitamin E and other ingredients will make it harder for the strips to stick.
  • The instructions suggest stretching the strip to make it adhere better. I suggest not doing this. It makes the strip harder to handle.
  • I found the nail file included was very hard to use, so I just used my own.
  • Push your cuticles back before applying these, or steer clear of the cuticle area. This is the area that I had the most chipping.
  • There are pros and cons with using a strip which is larger/smaller than your nail. 
    • If you use one that is smaller, it can easily chip from the sides. A full coat of top coat should prevent this.
    • If you use one that is larger, it can chip from your cuticles. I found this to be harder to fix.
Would I repurchase? YES YES YES.  This is on my must-buy list when I go to the US again, and on my wish list!

These do take a little getting used to, but I really liked them! I also bought a few other patterns which I'm excited to try!

xoxo, K

Monday, July 9, 2012

Why 95% of my blog posts are scheduled posts

This blog post is heavily inspired by this article by Beautyholics Anonymous.


You may have noticed that I have a regular schedule when it comes to blog posts. Typically, I post 3 times a week - a non-review post (sometime unrelated to beauty) on Monday, a review on Wednesday, and a Weekly Reads on Friday or Saturday. Most of these are scheduled posts, which I rely on heavily.


Why do I always schedule my blog posts?  I have 3 major reasons.

1. I'm a perfectionist and cannot publish a blog post without proofreading it

I typically write a blog post, save it as a draft, and proofread it again before publishing. This helps me catch a lot of typos and awkward phrases. I am a native English speaker, but I have not lived in the US for over 15 years, and I sometimes make strange mistakes. This helps me to catch them before I publish a blog post.

There are also some times when I edit and I realize that I forgot to mention something in the blog post. By proofreading at a later time, I can catch these mistakes before publishing the blog post.


2. Scheduling helps me to provide content on a regular schedule


Every blogger has probably gone through times when they are brimming with inspiration, when they can write blog post after blog post of interesting content. On the other hand, we have all probably had writer's block as well. As every "how to write a good blog" article mentions, it is important to provide regular posts. By writing articles when I am inspired, I have blog post drafts that I can then edit and space out as scheduled posts.


3. The weekends are my only "private time"

Many of you know that I typically work 12 hours a day, or somewhere near that. I wake up at 5 AM, and try to go to bed by 10 PM.  Everything that I do related to my blog tends to happen on weekends, including taking pictures and editing them, writing blog posts, and commenting on other blogs. If I want to post any more frequently than once per week, scheduled posts help me to do so.


If you are a blogger, do you do scheduled posts? Or, do you post as you write?

xoxo, K

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Weekly Reads #66: July 7, 2012

Happy 4th of July for everyone in the US! Nothing much going on recently - trying to make some improvements in my overall mental and physical health.  It's Tanabata today in Japan, so hopefully the sky will be clear tonight where you live!


What were your favorite posts this week?
Connect with me!
I love chatting and connecting with people, and sharing interesting stuff around the web!

You can also subscribe to Cosmeddicted through the feedemail, or Bloglovin!

xoxo, K

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Review: Lush Sugar Scrub - a solid sugar scrub?

This is a review for the Lush Sugar Scrub. This was a gift from a fellow blogger. In Japan, this product is called パンチでシャワー (Panchi de Shawaa, "Shower with Punch"). I have no freaking idea how they decided on that name!!!

What it does: (from lushusa.com)
Our solid Sugar Scrub is tough on cellulite and unwanted bumps, but kind on your skin. It’s no nonsense attitude doesn’t waste any time getting down to business; sweetly exfoliating with Fair Trade sugar and stimulating circulation with fennel and ginger. It’s not all rough stuff though; calming lavender has a balancing effect and encourages healthier skin. Get yourself wet in the bath or shower (but don’t let the bar get under the running water). Scrub, scrub, scrub and rinse away! You’ll be left with smoother, cleaner and radiant skin.

Price: 2.75 GBP in the UK, $5.95 in the US, 580 JPY.  This product is about 30% cheaper in the UK.

Pros:
  • I like sugar scrubs because unlike salt scrubs, they will not cause a burning sensation if they get near cuts
  • The lavender oil moisturizes the skin, but does not leave a greasy film
  • Does a good job at scrubbing the skin
Cons:
  • I don't think the concept of a solid sugar scrub works well. As the product claim says, do not get this near running water, because the sugar will absorb water. Even if I don't use this near running water, it absorbs moisture from my wet skin and absorbs water
  • The problem with it absorbing water is that either the sugar will melt (making the bar sticky), or it will melt and then dry (causing the sugar to clump together)
  • I ended up grating pieces of the sugar scrub and storing them in an air tight container.  Too much effort for me - I could just buy a sugar scrub in a jar.


Would I repurchase?  No. While the product works, the concept of a solid sugar scrub does not work well.

Some people have given positive reviews for this product. If you used this product before and liked it, please let me know how you used it!

xoxo, K

Monday, July 2, 2012

Up and Down #25: July, 2012

Do you know about split pants? Split pants are the mystery of China to me. Parents in China seem to think that "fresh air is healthy for the baby's butt".  Also, they are worried that the weather is too hot for the baby.  I understand this part.  It's 35 deg C (95 deg F), and I'm sweating non-stop.  But can you believe that most parents believe that people who do not use split pants on their babies are "bad parents"?  By "parents", I'm talking about people in their 20s and 30s, not people in their 50s!

I recently got into a conversation with a few coworkers on "when is a child too old to be wearing split pants".  Lots of interesting discussion there, but to be frank - seeing a 5 or 6 year old kid stark naked is not a rare phenomenon here. Really, isn't 5 a little too old to be naked in the streets?  I live in a city, not in the middle of the countryside.

(Insert deep breath here)  On to my Ups and Downs!

Ups:
Simplified makeup.  
For the first time in my life, I've realized that simple makeup works. Minimum foundation, minimum eyeshadow!

L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows in Iced Latte
A one step eyeshadow that looks great!

My DSLR
I've been loving the 50mm f/1.8 lens that I bought.  I read in several places that this was the lens I should learn on, and it really has been great! However, I can't focus on swatches on my arm with it. I'm still working this out!
 (stock photo. The camera is the correct one, but the lens is not)


Downs:
Still stuff going on at work. Oh well!


How was your June?

xoxo, K

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