Monday, April 14, 2014

Laneige Serum Intense Lipsticks

I had a month-long obsession with Laneige and as a result, I bought several items from the brand. I previously reviewed their discontinued cleansing oil here and now I'll be posting my thoughts on their Serum Intense Lipsticks.

I'm a lip junkie it's my first time to try lippies from Laneige. The last Korean lipstick I bought was from the Face Shop. I loved my lippies from Etude House as well so I'm quite excited to try these. 

Serum Intense Lipsticks are said to deliver vibrant color that brightens up the face (hence the term LED lipstick) with moisturizing properties due to its 30% serum content, making it smooth and comfortable to wear. 

The shades I chose were LR 05 Flash Pink and LR 06 LED Pink:

At the top of the ingredients list is squalane, so I guess the serum content is true. These lipsticks are pigmented but nowhere near neon-lights proportions (which is a good thing for me). I find that it does brighten the face, and the pinks are quite wearable and suited for Asian skin.

As you can see, I have an obsession with pinks! One swipe of color each, and they are more or less the same when applied to lips.

Flash pink is a warm, everyday kind of pink. Ofcourse, the color does vary under different lighting, but in natural light, it's a muted everyday color. I find though that the color sort of "sits" on top of my lips and does not meld completely so it kind of separates with the serum.. It's not at all uncomfortable to wear, It is moisturizing and I get 3-4 hours of wear out of this. The shine fades after the 3rd hour but the lipstick itself does not dry up, I need to retouch after meals though. 

LED pink is just darker, but still muted. This one glides smoothly and stays on, and unlike Flash pink, the color melds onto my lips so it just looks and feels better, it makes my lips plump and smooth. I get around 4 hours of wear time with this and it leaves a subtle stain on my lips after eating/drinking. 

They're not the most long lasting lipsticks out there but they're great everyday shades, pigmented enough yet moisturizing. Also, they do not feel heavy or waxy. The color selection is quite good (over 20 shades I believe). Just one thing, they're a bit expensive at Php 1150.and the lipstick case is made of plastic. Not  the prettiest in your vanity table, but it does not add heft to your makeup bag because it's pretty lightweight. 

Compared to my other lipsticks, I'd say the texture is a bit heavier than YSL Rouge Volupte Shines (balmy, lightweight)  but lighter than the original Rouge Volupte and Suqqu Bright Up Lipsticks (which are creamier in feel). 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

On Cleansers

I'm quite particular with cleansers (facial washes, foams, gels, oils, etc). because I believe it's the most important step in skincare. I regularly double-cleanse (cleansing oil and/or micellar water + facial foam) because I'm acne-prone and I find that it is quite effective in keeping my face clear and smooth. 

For cleansers, I tend to favor the foam type because I like the squeaky clean feeling, as opposed to a veil of greasy "hydration" film all over my face. Maybe it's just me, but I tone and moisturize anyway afterwards, so I'm fine with it. My skin has improved drastically since I became more diligent in moisturizing and "layering" skincare. So for cleansers, I just want something that will remove all the gunk I've accumulated throughout the day. 

I used to be a Ponds girl (I've repurchased the Pure White cleansing foam so may times in the past)but I found that the formula is rather too drying for my skin now. I guess, my skin has changed now that I'm in my 30s. So I've scoured other formulas since then and I'm pretty much rotating these in my cleansing routine right now:

Cleansing arsenal, anyone?

 The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam is something I haven't been using on a regular basis, because I thought the formula is quite mild; It leaves my face quite moisturized, lathers really well, but I feel that it does not adequately remove residues of cleansing oil. This maybe suitable for girls who have sensitive skin, or for those who do not need to double cleanse. It has a slight pleasant scent that is quite soothing. As for the brightening effect, I have had this for quite a while (excuse the dirty packaging)! And I haven't noticed any brightening at all. 

Nivea Extra White Repair Pore Minimiser Foam (Whitening) is quite good-- I've used up mine, as you can see. It leaves my face squeaky clean and it lathers up nicely as well. Again, I do not count on it for whitening, but it did seem to make my complexion more refined. A nice note: it does not contain any skin thinning ingredients. Sometimes cleansers with exfoliants are quite harsh on skin so I'm wary of those.

Shiseido Perfect Whip Facial Foam -- Ah, I'm currently using this one, and so far, I'm really liking it! It's a very basic, fuss-free cleanser, no whitening, brightening promises, just mild yet thorough cleansing. The foam is very, very fine, and I'm quite enjoying my cleansing routine now. This is also quite moisturizing---in fact, probably the most moisturizing facial foam I've used, but I do feel that my face is clean. In short, it's the irritating, gunky moisture kind that makes me break out the morning after. 

Astara Blue Flame Facial Cleanser is a stash that came from Truth in Aging ---- it's a gel cleanser, and it claims to be paraben-free and organic. I'm not a fan of gel-based cleansers, like I said, but this one is quite promising, with tea tree oil, lavender and a host of other essential oils. The smell is quite strong, but very soothing, like a combination of natural herbs. I'm using this for my chest and back for acne maintenance, and it's quite good in keeping the blemishes at bay. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

YSL Series: Rouge Volupte in 9 Caresse Pink

Another late jump in the bandwagon!

The original Rouge Volupte has been around for a while, and yet I never paid attendtion to it until now. I loved the Rouge Volupte Shines and Glossy Stains so might as well try this. I chose Caresse Pink (or Pink Caress) because I don't have any similar color in my stash. It's kind of a mauve-y neutral-cool pink on me, not too bright or bold, elegant and can pass for a nice everyday shade.

Again, I love the formula---typical of a luxury lipstick, it is creamy, silky smooth,  full bodied, well pigmented (one swipe is enough), moisturizing, and long lasting. Yes, I did not experience any bleeding or unnecessary slipping and sliding  with this one. It dries to a stain and leaves behind a nice color even after eating and drinking. I get a good 5-6 hours of wear out of this. 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Guerlain Meteorites Blossom Collection

Stay Young in the Sun with Belo Sunexpert and Sample Room!

Summer is here, and it's awfully hot! But thanks to Belo and Sample Room, I'm pretty covered:

We all know the importance of sun protection and I'm an advocate myself. I have a huge stash of sunblocks which I use all year round. Note that I have reviewed these  before (take a look here and here). I have used them and they're still lightweight, non-sticky, and perfect for those who do not like the heavy feel and whitish cast associated with sunblocks. I'm glad to have the Transparent Mist SPF 50 though, and I will be trying it, even if I'm quite wary of similar formulas because I get irritated with sunblocks with high alcohol content. 

Stocks are running low at Sample Room as usual, so better grab your Belo Sunexpert loot now! Better yet, join the contest to get a Belo loot like mine, with products worth Php 5000:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Laneige Deep Cleansing Oil Moisture

I'll take a break from my obsession on lip products (and even cheek products, goodness!) to review the cleansing oil I am currently using:

Bought this in Trinoma for Php 1450. I understand this is being discontinued, and will be replaced by the brightening cleansing oil. Nevertheless, I still bought it because I used up my Muji one and I was keen to try more products from Laneige. Just give a brief background, I tried their eyeshadows and concealer before, but I did not have much of a good experience so I never bothered to review them. Now that they have revamped their makeup line I'd like to give the brand a second chance.

And a third. And a fourth! My whole stash of Laneige products made me want more and more, but that's going to be discussed in my next reviews.

Anyway, back to the cleansing oil. It's the moisturizing variant, with herbal extracts. I'm quite happy that it's mineral oil free. 

First thing I noticed was the scent. I like scented products in the first place, so this was a winner. Slightly citrusy with a hint of florals. Just because of the scent I definitely prefer this over the Muji one. 

It also has a thick consistency, but not as thick as Muji. It's easy to spread, and is very emollient.
It actually has a jelly-like feel to it. When I mix it with water, it doesn't emulsify as much as I'd want it to, and turns into an off-white color. The jelly texture stays on until I rinse it off. It does not leave a sticky residue. 

I find that it's quite efficient in removing all my makeup, including sunblock, mascara, what have you. It's quite soothing as well.
As with all other cleansing oils, I still use facial foam afterwards, because I'm acne-prone and I'm a big fan of double cleansing.

It's a good cleansing oil, but it's expensive in a way, and Muji is much cheaper. Thing is, I prefer cleansing oils with a thinner consistency that emulsify well when mixed with water and will turn milky white. So I'd have to say that the best I've tried is the Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil, followed by the Shu Uemura Fresh Pore Clarifying. Laneige though is a good one for beginners, plus the scent is a winner! And it's a bargain compared to Sulwhasoo and Shu. I'm willing to try the upgraded versions of this. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Post Valentine's Day Gift

From Tijon,  a lovely surprise:

It's actually a gift from a contest/giveaway courtesy of Perfumeshrine. A beautiful pen with perfume atomizer!

And ofcourse, I had to fill mine with one of my favorite perfumes, or better yet, my most complimented perfume:

I do believe in the power of fragrance. I just wish I can blog about it more.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review on Su:M37 White Award Line

After my success with Sulwhasoo I decided to try another high-end  Korean skincare brand, this time from LG (Sulwhasoo is from Amore Pacific),  Su:M37. FYI, Su:m means the skin's respiration, and 37 is supposedly the ideal temperature for fermentation. Hope in a Blog has an excellent introduction of the brand. Lucky for me because it's my first time to try naturally fermented skincare. What I also like about this brand is that it's free from preservatives, artificial colors and fragrances (though it does smell quite pleasant to me). 

White Award claims to firm, brighten and moisturize the skin, making it luminous and glowing. Active ingredients include  fermented  NAPS(N-ACETYLPHYTOS-PHINGOSINE) and Acai berry. NAPS is part of the natural defense system of the body and has anti-inflammatory properties, while Acai berry is an antioxidant. 

I have the White Award trial kit which includes the clear toner, essence lotion, detox mask, luminous treatment, and luminous recharging cream. Aside from this kit, I also have the whitening intense program (not shown). The kit is quite generous and I have been using it for 2 months now and I have not finished them, except for the luminous treatment. 

After cleansing, I use the products in this order: toner - luminous treatment / whitening intense program - lotion - luminous recharging cream. In the morning I use the lotion and save the luminous recharging cream for night time use. I use the mask once a week. 

Here is the breakdown of my product experience:

Clear Toner - It's watery and easily absorbed. It has a mild scent, not at all like alcohol. It's quite mild and very refreshing on the skin. I love putting this on right after I cleanse, to seal the moisture and soothe my face.

Luminous Treatment - I believe this is an essence type which has been discontinued. This has a lotion-like texture, quite runny, and has a very mild scent. It also makes my skin glow. 

Whitening Intense Program - As its name suggests, it's designed for intensive whitening. I love the texture of this, it's non-greasy and easily absorbed by the skin. with continued use, it does make the skin bright. 

Essence Lotion - I love this watery lotion for day use. It makes my skin glow, literally! and not the artificial glow you get from mica or other minerals, it's the "lit from within" kind.The runny texture is also easily absorbed. 

Luminous Recharging Cream - One of my favorite night creams, it plumps up my skin and is not too greasy at all. It makes my skin look smooth and well rested. 

Detox Mask - I didn't believe it at first, but when I applied this, it formed tiny bubbles and became quite foamy. When I rinse it off, my skin is visibly brighter. 

What I noticed about the White Award line is how all products are easily absorbed by the skin. And like Sulwhasoo, it seems to work from within, rather than provide immediate and artificial results. In short, you get what you pay for. The longer I use it, the more my skin becomes brighter and smoother. Yes, it helps banish pimples! I have to deal with occasional breakouts every month due to my period, but I find that when I used this line, the pimples I had healed quickly and it made my skin clearer for longer. The brightness of the skin is quite apparent too, after a week of use. So I'd say it works fast. 

Compared to Sulwhasoo's Snowise Ex, the brightening effects of Su M:37 work slightly faster, and it helps clear up blemishes too. However, Snowise Ex is a lot more hydrating and soothing. White Award is ideal for the summer because of the lighter texture. I don't really have a lot of dark spots anymore so I'd say it worked to make my skin clear and bright.  I go out without makeup or concealer, and I don't use my foundations anymore. 

The downside is, it's not available in the Philippines, and it's expensive as well, like Sulwhasoo. Luckily they have trial kits and are quite generous with samples. I'm very impressed with Korean skincare and I haven't tried anything else.