Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nature Republic Real Flower Sleeping Pack Rose

Staring at the big pink rose bud shaped jar made of plastic... at times I wonder, why did I picked this one up?
Needless to say, I don’t fancy the jar. For once, I don’t really like packaging of something I like. I think it is the fact that the pink plastic is rather sheer and I can see the outline of the tube inside. However, it is still a decent strong jar which does its job to keep the stuff inside , inside.  Not like Baviphat’s peach shaped gel cleanser which manage to spill its liquid inside my luggage.
Anyways...back to nature republic... just like many Korean stuff, it has plastic lid to hold the mask inside after you open the jar. Stuff inside is looks & feel like strawberry jell-o with bits of dried rose petal. Obviously it has serious powdery rose smell going on. Smells like dried tea roses I usually bought for my tea.  The scent definitely lingers sometime after application.

Sleeping pack is just like regular mask, but you apply it before you sleep and. Leave it on while you sleep. I do enjoy applying it, as it feels cooling & refreshing, like after I applied mist, but much more fun. Take it off when you woke up and enjoy your newly revitalized, nourished skin. Just apply the pack light-handedly, I find applying too much will (logicially) my face little sticky.
Just wash the pack with warm water to cleanse it off. I don’t read and speak Korean, so I don’t know what does Real Flower promises to make my skin. I get smooth moisturized skin, even though it doesn’t last long.
The only bummer is the fact that is sticky when it is semi-dry, because this stuff doesn’t dry.
This stuff is fun, if you are used with using sleeping pack and you enjoy tea rose scent. And, considering the only temporary effect I got, I do think it is only worth it if you pay retail price or close to retail price.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Missha Crystal Nail Polish in HGRO1

Polishes in Korea were incredible! I am spoilt for colors & brands & ultra cute packaging. But as I found out later, not all Korean polishes are the same… this one is from Missha, Korean brand famous for its BB cream. One of my favorite Korean polish. Here’s why…

See the packaging? Isnt it cute? Heart shaped bottle with wide brush. Very easy to work with. And the width of the brush just happen to fit my nail width nicely. I just need to brush once and I got all my nail covered nicely & evenly with the polish. Here’s the brush side by side with a ruler just to show you how wide it is. Stout and wide.

The color is dark-green pearl-shimmery. I am not so good at describing such complicated polish color. Bottomline… So pretty.

Ahem... please pretend not to see that blotch of polish on the side of my nail.... moving on...
And the formula is heavenly. It spreads evenly and dries fast. Pretty opaque, two coats are enough to create evenly covered nails. Somehow it has this funny floral-something smell…not the regular polish smell. I don’t fancy the smell, but it is not so obtrusive when I’m typing. The funny smell goes away after 2-3 hours.

This picture is 2 coats of Missha polish. Most Korean polish I tried doesn’t really stay long, they either chipped super easily or worn off super fast compared to OPIs. This is does pretty decent job staying on my nail. During lazy days, I use only single coat of Missha and it looks pretty even after 2 days, if I don’t do too much house work. Double coat usually stays nice longer. And mind you, I dont use top coats.

One bummer is the packaging (again). While first it looks pretty, after I open it, I couldn’t resist my urge to twist and close the bottle tightly. And the result…somehow the heart shaped stopper and heart shaped bottle body couldn’t get aligned properly, and the result is just plain funny.

Overall I like this one from Missha…a lot! While the price is more expensive than other brands I got in Korea, this is still waaay cheaper than OPIs or Essies.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Banila co. the Kissest Plumping tinted stick in LOVE

Banila co. Entered my radar only recently, since it doesn’t have any shop in Singapore. But the products looks pretty and I just cant resist to grab some...

The name says it all... it is lightly tinted balm which promises more plump lips. Sounds good...
I do think the packaging is so chic... chic plastic neon pink, without looking cheap.
The texture is totally comfortable... just like your regular lip balm with mint fragrance and taste. The Kissest is not as moisturizing as regular balm, but still more moisturizing than regular lipstick.
 The fragrance is not so strong, but the taste it kinda strong. And you can feel slight tingle on your lips after applying.
The color is sheer pretty pink which I do think will suit nearly anyone. It stains my lip a little, leaving lovely pink color.
Is it really plumping? Erm.. a little bit... just a little bit. I don’t think the plumping action is really noticeable.
Minimal plumping aside, this balm is comfortable to wear and I just adore the color. like the color so much... I think I will grab another color!
In summary..
Packaging: light plastic tube with neon colors
COlor offerings: 3 colors- 2 shade of pinks and one tangerie
Texture:  similar to lip balm
Staying power: lasts about 3-4 hours (thanks to the staining property)
Is it worth it?
Yes if... you like tinted balm, you want sheer colors
No if... you cant stand fragranced products, your lips are sensitive to plumping product

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Etude House Aloha lipstick pencil Two Two Kiss in 4 Honolulu Red Shine

I fell so totally In love with Etude House’s Miss Tangerine line. When I saw they are coming up with Aloha...I cant help but grabbed some for myself without even testing them!

Dont ask me what does Two Two Kiss means... it just look pretty and I grabbed it. Pencil style - One side it is gloss and the other is tint! It smells of yummy fruity caramel, just faintly. The fragrance is gone after application and it is virtually tasteless.
While the tint & gloss looks strong and vibrant in the packaging, it is actually sheer. The tint just nice to add a little pop on my lips. It is pretty glossy when worn alone too. Both are pretty moisturizing and unfortunately, doesn’t last very long. They actually feel and apply like balm!
While the color of the tint is more magenta and the gloss is more coral, the gloss pack some subtle shimmer, not really visible when worn though. Tint is slightly staining on my skin, the gloss goes off easily.
Beside this one, I also purchased Two Two Kiss in Pink Hula Hula. Click to see the swatch. Unlike Honolulu Red Shine, Pink Hula Hula changes color slowly upon application.
In summary...
Packaging: easy to use pencil
Color offering: mainly poppy summer appropriate colors
Texture: glossy, slightly moisturizing
Lasting  power: 2 hours appprox.
Is it worth it?
Yes if... you like light, bright colors
No if... you want more pigment packed lippie, it is hard for you to get Etude House around

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tony Moly Appletox Smooth Massage Peeling Cream

Totally looks like apple, don’t you think? Complete with the stem and instructions (in hangu) as leaf. This really shows that not all fruit shaped cosmetics are alike... some brands, like Tony Moly, pays little more attention to details and shape!

I am not so sure when did the fruit shaped packaging craze started, nowadays, you cant escape them if you purchase Korean cosmetics. Tony Moly, is Korean and its shop is full of uniquely packaged stuff- like this apple. This one totally deserve its own ‘do not eat’ warning on it...
Enough about the package, lets see the product!

The English website promises :
Multi-functional cream that effectively removes Keratin and double up as a massage cream with a nourishing pack function. Containing Green Apple extract, AHA and Papaya extract, this Appletox pack provides excellent exfoliation of dead skin cells and aged Keratin. Skin is kept smooth and radiant.
Just slap this product on your clean face, then continue with gentle massaging to peel off the dead skin and dirt. With smell as fresh as crisp apple, who wouldn’t want to use this?
Even though it looks creamy and smooth in this picture... it is not. The white cream is little rough, filled with fine grains of scrbbies thats easy to work with. Just don’t use this everyday...1-2 times a week would suffice. Lithe warning, those with sensitive skin might want to massage really softly here.
After a while, it would turn a little hard and you can see the white cream would turn slightly greyish/mixed with dirt & dead skin. Rinse up with water , et voila! Cleaner, clearer skin! Just to make sure no product left on my face, I followed up with my regular cleanser and then slap on my favourite moisturizer.
I couldn’t be happier after scrubbing my face...
In summary...
Packaging: just like apple!
Texture: white creamy with fine scrubbies only felt when rubbed with fingers
Is it worth it?
Yes if ... you want effective scrubbing cream without needing to scrub really hard, you want clearer skin pronto
No if... you  have sensitive skin, you cant stand fragranced product, you don’t want to bother looking for the product via internet

Sunday, July 10, 2011

SANA Pore Vacuumer Hot Gommage

Sana...sana... sana... you never fail to bring some unique, fun borderline gimmicky product from Japan...
Now, seriously... who needs 2 sexy secret agents, complete with killer high heels and what looks like super deadly weapons to clear and make pores smaller?
Oh wait... I do need one! Hahaa...

Introducing agent vacuumer 1, she’ll instantly heat up your pores. And her partner, agent vacuumer 2 who will vacuum out clogged build up. That’s not all... this product also contains Ghassoul mud from Morocco! Sounds like solution to my pesky blackheads.
This gommage comes in aluminium tube, looking just like your toothpaste. With toothpaste is white creamy with black dots. The scrubbies are a not too fine, not too grainy either.
Just apply on your clean dry face with dry hands. Then wet your hands a little to activate the heating action. Slowly massage while enjoying the warm sensation on your skin. Wash with water afterwards.
Be careful not to add too much water at once. First, it will goes messy and runny on your face. Second, the heating might be too shocking for those not used with self-heating masks or gommages.  Better start very small then work it up slowly.
Does it work wonders? Hmm... sadly no. It works just like any other scrub I already own and commonly available in your nearest drugstore. I don’t think the heating action helps to clear up my pores. It works as effective as regular scrubs.
Fun to use, unique concept, but not so much different than other products. Bottom-line, you don’t miss much if you skip this one.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Etude House Dr Oil Solution Anti-Shine Mist

I’m nuts about mists nowadays. Luvre to mist my face mid-day to give much needed freshness boost…

Another one from Etude House, one of my favorite Korean cosmetic brand. Dr Oil Solution is range of products from compact powders to this mist.

It promises me to moisturize my tired skin while reduce oily shine to improve foundation coverage & longevity. With ingredients such as lavender, tea, cranberry and grapefruit extract… this sounds perfect for my combo skin!

Adore the color scheme of the box and the shape of the bottle! I get retro feeling from this product. It just look lovely sitting on my office desk…

The solution inside is liquid, with fine powder suspended. If left sitting for a while, the white powder will settle down and you would need to shake the bottle first to mix the powder before spraying on your face.

I love the spray of this one. It really sprayed fine mist on my face, not squirts the product. Lightly fragranced, but not noticeable after the product dries down. This certainly give the much needed refreshment mid-day. Does it moisturize? Or reduce my shiny T zone?

Unfortunately no. my skin doesn’t feel more moisturized. Shine is still there too. I usually use this one after blotting my face, just to get the refreshing feeling.

Overall, you don’t miss much if you skipped this one. I purchased this in Korea, so the price is reasonable. However, I don’t think it is worth it if the price is more than Korean retail.

In Summary…
Packaging: simple travel friendly spray bottle with retro feel, creates wonderful fine mist
Is it worth it?
Yes if…. You like misting your face from time to time
No if… You can’t use cosmetics with alcohol (it is listed in the ingredient list), you don’t want to bother buying from the internet/local jacked up price

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Etude House Double Repair Hair Essence

I tried and hated other hair essences or serums. They tend to make my hair feel... heavy and some time oily. I dont usually get my hair care products from Etude House, Korean brand which offers alot of cute cosmetics... but hey... I did...Honestly, i don’t know why i picked this one up ...

Great news is... I don’t regret this purchase! I even grabbed another bottle the next day!
First ... I like the packaging. Simple transparent plastic pump bottle which is air-travel friendly is perfect! One squirt dispenses perfect amount of product for my ultra dried hair ends.
The serum has thin gel-like consistency, but becomes liquid enough to coat my hair easily. Feels siliconey and a little oily at the same time. Totally makes my hair feel so smooth and much more manageable! Instant love...
Slightly fragranced with soft fruity floral notes, very light. It is gone within first hour of application.
Have I told you I am totally in love with this one? LoL...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Etude House Aloha Water Veil Fixer Mist

Started with my curiosity to Evian’s mist (which I never tried until now…), I started to try mists when I saw them. But again, never get to purchase them.. thinking… those bottles would just end up sitting on my desk doing nothing, as I prefer to wash my face or use toner to refresh my skin mid-day. That’s all history now…

This summer Etude House with Sandara Park as endorser launched Aloha collection. The collection is totally suitable for summer – ice primer, poppy lip colors, waterproof mascaras… and… this mist!

Aloha Mist promises nutrients and moisturizing ingredients to replenish skin’s moisture and balance. Sounds like heaven for my constantly-exposed-to-drying-air-conditioner-skin.

First all, the spray itself. It is aerosol can, unlike most mist I see coming from Korean brands, which are regular spray. The problem with regular spray is, it doesn’t nebulize the product enough, I some time end up with tiny water droplets on my face, instead of evenly and thinly sprayed mist. That’s usually rather disappointing for me. Aloha’s aerosol can gave me that thin even mist on my face, which almost instantly evaporates, making my skin feel cooler. Very refreshing indeed!

While it is good for the office or outdoor use, it wont be suitable for frequent flyers. Aerosol cans are no nos in airplanes….

I cant detect any fragrance on this one. Wonderful thing is… it is not sticky or makes my face oily. It is simply refreshing. I sprayed some generous amount on my fingers and tested it… no sticky residue at all.

This is totally suitable for mid-day pick-me-up! This is totally gonna be my mid-day staple for a while. Definite repurchase (if they can mail the stuff here…)

Baviphat Snail Cure Mask Sheet

I do think this is the latest beauty fad (or may be trend?) in Korea recently. Not sure how recent is the snail wave started, but judging from the ubiquity of snail creams, mask and other stuff… this snail wave is going to stick for sometime…

Now, if I were not to receive this as a sample when I purchased other Baviphat stuff, I don’t think I would voluntarily slap on something snail slime related on my face or body or anywhere near me. Especially with that innocent looking snail happily sitting on aloe plant on the packaging illustration.

First… how the heck do they get so much snail slime from? I never heard of any snail farm except for those destined for chic French restaurants.

That aside… snail slime is said to contain many many good stuff for skin. Ho hum….

Baviphat’s mask contains snail slime and aloe vera leaves to recover skin’s balance and increase moisture retaining capacity of the skin. Honestly, I am having hard time not to scratch my head while trying to understand what does Baviphat means with this statement slapped on the back of packaging:

‘the contents of snail slime leached substances and aloe vera leaves abstracts which recover the stability of unbalanced troubled skin due to the stress, increases the moisture retaining capacity of skin and keeps moisturizing skin long-lasting’

Confusing English aside… the instruction to use is pretty much similar with all other sheet masks… clean your face, then carefully open … carefully… not to tear the mask sheet. The mask is cotton/paper sheet, pre-soaked with essence/serum. They varies from just nicely wet to dripping wet, depending on the brand.

Then unfold it… also carefully, as some masks are pretty thin and tears easily if you handle it roughly. This Baviphat one is made of non woven material which is pretty tough. There’s hole for your eyes, nose and mouth. So far, I haven’t found any mask which suits my small face nicely…most are too big. When it happen, just move it around to make the sheet. Now, sit back and relax for 15-20 minutes. Read your magazine, continue watching TV just don’t do anything that require too much movement… it might fall off. At times I left mine on for an hour or two…

When done, just take off the mask and pat your skin so the left serum/essence get absorbed. You can continue with your regular moisturizer. Most of the time, I wont, at times some brands proves too sticky or too moisturizing for another helping of moisturizer.

Back to Baviphat… I was half expecting funny smell of snail of this one. Thank God … I am wrong. The mask smell more like aloe vera leaves than anything snail. The essence on this one is pretty slimey compared to other masks I’ve used. Is that the snail slime? Considering the other content is aloe vera, this slimey stuff might as well be aloe vera gel. Thick fresh Aloe vera leaves are simply filled with gel-like substance when cut.

Beside refreshing feeling (which is totally expected after wearing sheet masks), my skin don’t feel better. It just feel moisturized… moisturized by loadz of aloe vera gel to be exact. You know that slightly sticky feeling after slapping aloe vera gel- yeah… like that.

Bottom line… I don’t think I would purchase this one.

For those interested…here’s the ingredient list…
Water, glycerin, butylene glycol, portulaca oleracea extract, carbomer, triethanolamine, collagen, betaine, polysorbate 80, sodium hyaluronate, methyl parabe, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) water, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, allantoin, sodium pca, snail secretion filtrate, sodium polyacrylate, hydrolyzed elastin, disodium edta, natto gum, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, tocopheryl acetate, perfume, propylparaben.

Eeppsss!!! Snanail Secretion is really part of the mask!!!