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Posts tagged review

Biotherm Life Plankton Essence

Continuing the aquatic theme today with a review of the serum-water that feels like a treatment water but slightly thicker, containing a 5% concentration of a living plankton from the Pyrenees, which has powerful anti-inflammatory powers. 

The company is so confident about its healing and soothing powers that they promise 8 improvements in 8 days of use.

  • Brighter skin
  • Less visible fine lines
  • More even tone
  • Smoother texture
  • More hydrated
  • More firm/elastic/toned
  • Immediately soothed
  • Softer skin

How to use?

Shake vigorously for a few seconds until you see the light sediment at the bottom of the bottle disappear and the liquid gets slightly cloudy.

Splash a few drops in the palm of your hand, and just pat and massage over the face.

The experience?

You’ll smell a very light fragrance - nothing strong or too noticeable. The texture is a bit slippery feeling due to the emollients in the formula but after it sinks into the skin, you’ll feel a slight surface tackiness (a la Hada Labo ads) due to the water-binding ingredients.

If you like your skin to feel dry and matte you might not be used to the sensation, but if you’re used to the surface glow from hydrating face mists and hyaluronic products, you’ll know what I’m talking about. 

My thoughts after use?

I personally can’t say if the anti-aging claims (firmness, smoothness and evenness) are significant in about a week. You definitely feel more smoothness and firmness after applying it, but any good hydrating product will do the same. 

I have no problem believing that in the long term, it will be beneficial to the skin though, because that’s exactly how antioxidants and anti-inflammatories work. In terms of the soothing and hydrating properties, this light liquidy serum does pack a big punch. Skin inflammation causes stress and damage in cells, and it’s the same whether you suffer from eczema, rashes, itching/stinging, or surface swelling. In bad cases, it can cause scarring and hyperpigmentation, 

By reducing the inflammation reaction, you actually help to protect your skin in the longer term. And because it hydrates without any oil, and it’s very gentle, the product is recommended for all skin types, including sensitive skins. If you’re oily-skinned, this can serve as a toner, serum AND lotion in one. A good option for men who don’t like using too many products!

Verdict?

At this price (S$78 for 4.2oz/125ml) I’d say it’s a no-brainer choice compared to other other “essence waters” that cost about 2-3 times the price for a similar result (and less hydration actually).

I really enjoyed using this!

Laura Mercier Summer In St Tropez Baked Eyeshadow Quad

There were requests to do a look using the Summer in St Tropez palette which i posted on Instagram yesterday, so here it is!

The palette is gorgeous; no doubt about that. But only 2 of the shades (the bottom row) look good applied dry. The 2 deep blues need to be applied damp for good color payoff. But like all baked shadows, they get beautifully intense and longer-wearing when applied with a damp brush. 

Tip: Try flatter, firmer brushes or even a concealer brush to apply the damp shades and apply damp shadows in a buffing motion. (Sweep back and forth briskly to buff the metallic shadows into a high shine.)

For this look, I used every shade damp except the chocolate brown, because I needed to keep it soft and smoky along the socket. 

Marc Jacobs Beauty Style Eye-Con No7 206 The Lolita: Simple Neutral Look

If you haven’t heard, 7 is Marc’s favorite number, which is the reason his eye palettes contain specifically that number of colors, and why there is a “No 7” in their name. 

This is one of the most popular of Marc Jacob’s 7-shade palettes; 207 The Lolita. 

Quick Review:

3 shades on the left are matte, the center is a glittery metallic, and the 3 on the right are pearl/metallic. 

I still think the same thing I said previously. That they haven’t got their matte formulas right. The darkest brown here is still patchy and hard to apply evenly, but the tan and beige are pretty good. All the metallics are beautiful as usual. It’s just the sparkly shade that is a little powdery and will fall all over the place.

Try to apply with a damp brush for intensity and smoothness.

Review: Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB and Micro Blur Skin Perfector!

If you love the lightweight, silky texture and effectiveness of Kiehl’s  Dermatologist Solutions Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50 PA+++ (I believe it’s called Super Fluid UV Protection SPF 50 PA+++ in the US), you’ll be excited to know they finally came out with a BB cream which has the same sun protection rating.

I don’t know about you but I’m kinda glad at the return to old-school BBs with an emphasis on skin treatment, after the slew of later bandwagon products that claim to have 6-in-1, 8-in-1, 10-in-1 properties, but mainly just give coverage and hydration with minimal skincare.

Kiehl’s promises theirs has not just immediate color-true coverage but also clinically-proven results to protect and improve skin tone over time. 

Pros:

The key ingredient is the high level of stabilized Vitamin C, which can prevent oxidative stress on the skin and also clarifies uneven skintone. I haven’t used this long enough to see a noticeable difference yet but I would pick 3 straightforward promises rather than 10 gimmicky benefits. 

The coverage is very lightweight, as you might expect of a tinted sunblock, but as shown above, it IS buildable and stays natural-looking when layered. 

It’s extremely lightweight, but stays dewy and moist-looking. I would think this might be a great product for adding some natural looking radiance to dry or mature skins. 

Cons:

The first one I can mention would be the strong medicinal smell. This is completely fragrance-free but the smell might get to you. It does fade away a minute after applied, but I’m just letting you know!

There are only 3 shades available (4 in the US) and I - at NC25 - am wearing the deepest shade available in Singapore, Natural. The pigments are a nice neutral tone and seem to be quite forgiving so I believe it will fit a pretty good range of skin tones, but I’m just not sure it can cater to darker skins.

This is not greasy, but the dewy finish can be problematic for very oily skins. You will probably need to set with powder if you have oily/combi skin.

Kiehl’s Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB retails in Singapore for $52 (US$37).

Another product that might be exciting for those who are concerned about grease and visible pores is the Micro-Blur Skin Perfector, which will be launching in May 2014.

Unlike most mattifying primers which don’t really do more than just layer a lot of silicones and silica on the skin to absorb a bit of oil and create the illusion of matte skin, Kiehl’s again expects their product to be dual-function. Besides mattifying the skin instantly, it also contains lentil extracts to tighten pore walls and Lipo Hydroxy Acid (LHA) to support gentle exfoliation, which automatically reduces the appearance of blackheads. 

The thing this geek is most interested in is Lipo Hydroxy Acid, which is a popular surface exfoliant for those with sensitive skin. If you haven’t heard about it, It’s an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory acid like Salicylic Acid but structured slightly-differently so it doesn’t penetrate as deep or have the same irritation potential. While it’s not as good at pore-clearing, it does give cleaner and more even surface exfoliation so it allows women with more sensitive skin to do gentle exfoliation for radiance.

Long term use also has been show to stimulate cell renewal and to strengthen the extracellular matrix, so definitely look out for this ingredient!

Kiehl’s recommends Micro-Blur Skin Perfector as the final step in the skincare regimen, to be used after application of UV or BB Cream, in place of primer, before foundation.

What I found is that:

  • it takes a couple of minutes to reach maximum “matteness”. When you just pat it on, it still looks dewy. Resist the urge to keep applying more and more. (I was surprised when I took a photo a couple of minutes later because I initially thought, “It’s not mattifying at all!” but it did become more matte after awhile.)
  • Even if you use a patting motion as recommended by Kiehl’s, there’s no avoiding the removal of some coverage. The red/brown spots on my skin became more visible after I patted this on, even though skin texture was noticeably more matte. You’re probably going to need to follow with some concealer if you have any blemishes to conceal.

Cons: 

It does work as a mattifying primer, but only slightly. Don’t expect dramatic matte results, and don’t expect to stay matte for many hours either. 

That said, this is not a problem for me because I don’t use primers for their mattifying effect anyway. It’s just a temporary effect and a blotting sheet is my preferred choice. Remove the excess oil, don’t hide it.

Pros: 

I would still pick this over regular primers in a heartbeat, just cos of the additional skin regulating properties. A good primer should either make your foundation look better and last longer, or help treat/protect your skin. It shouldn’t JUST look matte.

Kiehl’s Micro-Blur Skin Perfector will retail in Singapore for $52 in May 2014. (I don’t have details on the US release at this time!)

Rainbow! My Makeupgeek Eyeshadow and Pigment Swatches and a Super-Quick Review

Ah…. what’s better than affordable, beautiful shadows?

I picked out 24 shades and 4 pigments from the Makeupgeek (MUG) line for review, and here they all are. You’ve already seen me use Latte shadow and Afterglow pigment in a red eyeliner look a while back.

But I figure I should swatch everything and let you see them before I forget. 

All swatches are done on bare skin, without primer, without wetting.

My verdict:

Love the pigments I got. Liquid Gold is just incredible, and I can just imagine Paparazzi applied wet as a thick sparkly liner. Both the soft champagne shades are beautiful as well, though one is sheer and sparkly, the other is satin.

Shadows-wise, I did find some of the matte and sparkly shade felt a little gritty when touched, and Stealth, Bitten and Latte were probably the patchiest of the shadows here. You have to make sure your lids are either completely dry, or else covered with an even layer of primer so that everything goes on evenly. And press/pack your matte shadows on. Don’t buff these.

The black shade, Corrupt, on the other hand, felt gritty and grainy, but it went on beautifully and was absolutely jet back even without a base. Worth getting out if you can’t seem to find a good black shadow.

As for the metallics, most of them are beautiful and smooth. My top picks are: Homecoming, Cosmopolitan, Nautica, Shimmermint, Pretentious, Twilight.

For those of you outside of the US, Makeupgeek.com ships internationall and prices start from US$6 for smaller orders. 

Dior Addict Fluid Sticks: Gorgeous, Lush, Slick Liquid Lipsticks!

There’s a plethora of lip creams being launched lately, and there are slight differences to each range, but I have to say I’m very impressed by Dior’s new Addict Fluid Sticks.

They remind me slightly of YSL’s Glossy Stains in texture, except the color is much more intense and doesn’t stain. The formula is water-based, not wax-based, and it goes on watery and slick, but the solvents evaporate quickly, and you’re left with an almost gel-like film on the lips which is high-gloss, but not greasy or sticky feeling.

The applicators are nice and easy to use; nothing as tricky as the YSL Babydoll Kiss & Blush applicators, which is a major plus, since you need to get these on relatively quickly for nice even coverage. 

Wear-time is decent; I had no problems wearing it to the 7-hour mark before I wiped it off for a late lunch. The sheen does wear away a bit after a couple of hours of talking, pressing the lips together, and sipping from a cup, but most of it does stay on.

The 4 “It” shades Dior recommends for the season are variations on coral, and all swatched above:

338 Mirage - coral-toned beige

551 Aventure - pink-hued bright coral

575 Wonderland - pink-toned red coral

754 Pandore - bright poppy red

Of course, there are always coordinating “It” nail shades too.

551 and 754 have matching polishes, but the other 2 nail shades are slightly different. 338 Mirage is a bright orchid purple instead of beige, and the last nail shade is a gorgeous candy pink, 575 Wonderland (which incidentally DOES have a matching Fluid Stick, but it’s 439 so check that out instead of the 575 lippie).

My bet is on 551 and 439 being the hot favorites for the lips, and 575 Wonderland being the winner for the nail category (or at least tying with 551)!

P.S. a note on that last picture; I recalled Aventure looked a little familiar, and found an Innisfree Creamy Tint Lip Mousse No 3 (lip swatch in the link), which looks very similar in tone, if a little brighter, less glossy and more opaque than the Dior. (The Innisfree texture is closer to the Shu Uemura Tint In Gelatos, although there isn’t an equivalent color.)

If you’re in Singapore and on a shoestring budget, these are something to look at as they cost S$47 each.

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