Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Kate Stick Concealer Light Beige Swatch
Kate Stick Concealer

kate stick concealer was my second concealer. maybe my third. this was a repurchase not because i think it's absolutely the best i've ever had, but simply because it worked fine for me. this is one of those purchases i did a long time ago before i know much about make up.

1. not the most creamy concealer
2. light to medium coverage, may cake if too much product is used
3. brightens pretty well
4. good for spot concealing
5. can be used for concealing dark circles if the shade was darker

Kate Stick Concealer Light Beige Swatch
this is the old packaging where the inner metal tubing is silver. the newer ones are black, and seems to be made of plastic.

the cap is held loosely by a little wedge on the plastic case, which will wear down over time. pretty soon, the cap will just fall off freely.

there are two shades available, i've gotten the shade "light beige".

image source: kate official website
the other shade is "natural beige" and is slightly darker than what i've got.

this stick concealer is meant to cover slight blemishes and dark circles naturally, according to the official website.

Kate Stick Concealer Light Beige Swatch
swatched on the back of my hand, a comparison of the unblended and blended product under different lighting.

light beige is a light peach shade that brightens my skin pretty decently. it blends out to give a matte finish.


the coverage of the concealer is light to medium, while the texture leans on the drier side despite being creamy enough to blend. it's not the creamiest concealer i've owned (the canmake is probably much more blendable), but its texture gives the product a little more coverage than my other concealers. but i will caution against using it heavily as it tend to build up quickly.

it does crease under my eye, as with all the other concealers. it does last me throughout my day when i set it with a powder. i don't feel like it accentuate dryness, nor make my eye area look dry.

the lightness in shade makes it perfect for brightening of the face instead of actual concealing of flaws. if i were to use this under my eyes, it may make my dark circles appear ashy/greyish. however, if i pair it with a darker concealer with a peachy tone, the two will work perfectly to conceal my dark circles.

i think the formula will work very well for people who require spot concealing to cover up small blemishes on the face, as the drier texture allows the concealer to cling onto the skin better. i've had success in covering up small red spots with the help of a small brush.

all in all, i seldom use it for concealing my under eye area ever since i bought other concealers, because i usually use either my sonia kashuk hidden agenda palette or my canmake colorstick, both of which are easier to blend. for spots, i'll reach out for this stick concealer because it formula seems to fit my needs.

i bought this for about HKD$60 many years ago.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Canmake Color Stick Concealer
Canmake Color Stick Concealer (09 Skin Beige) Swatch and Review

in an attempt to search for another concealer that can perform what the sonia kashuk hidden agenda concealer is doing for me, i picked this up when it was on sale at a sasa event. i got this for $5!

1. lightweight, creamy and super blendable
2. light to medium coverage for natural look
3. colour most suitable for hiding dark circles
4. not long wear formula, but stayed on for at least 6 hours on my skin with a proper foundation and setting powder

read on if you'll like more details.

Canmake Color Stick Concealer
the tube is in a colour that's similar to the content - a slightly darker beige with orange undertones.

on the tube it did suggest that this colour is meant for covering dark circles, and it has a natural skin colour.

Canmake Color Stick Concealer Swatch 09
swatched on bare skin, the left side is unblended while the right side is blended out slightly.

09 is a dark peach colour.


the coverage isn't full coverage, in fact it sheers out quite a lot after blending into the skin thanks to the lightweight formula. the coverage is buildable although i won't recommend it as this is a very creamy product, the chances of it creasing and enhancing the lines around the eyes are very high.

what i like most about this product is its colour and spreadability. it is lightweight and creamy at the same time - making it very easy to sheer out. the colour is very suitable for covering dark circles under my eyes, i'm not sure if it's because of the slight orange tone (which isn't that obvious once it's on my skin), i think it's most probably due to the slightly darker colour that made it work better than the brightening concealers i own.

the best way to use this concealer is to layer it over a brightening foundation. brightening foundations tend to make the under eye area look greyish, this concealer will return some natural skin tone to the area to make the dark circle less glaring, what you get is a very natural look at the end of the day - no more tired look eyes, but people won't be able to notice that something is weird because this lightens the appearance of dark circle instead of eradicating it altogether.

as the consistency of the concealer is thin, don't expect it to work wonders like achieving full coverage.

this is not a long wear formula, so it's best to set it with a powder after using. to prevent creasing, it's best to use just a thin layer of it.

i'm really surprised at its blendability as my experience with drugstore concealers told me they tend to be slightly stiffer and thicker. this defied my expectations. now, if only it's more pigmented..

i purchased this for SGD$5 when it was on sale.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

part 2 of the allure korea best in beauty is all about skin care! just a note of caution: rankings are given by a team of judges and by no means suggest that any product is the holy grail for the entire world. it's best to use rankings as a starting reference point when you're lost in a sea of beauty products. that's how i use these beauty rankings anyway!

be the smart consumer who learns about your own personal needs before doing some research prior to your purchases!

if you're interested in the top makeup products, check out part 1 of the series!

1. cleansing oil
AWARD WINNER | HERA purifying cleansing oil
EDITOR'S PICK | SHU UEMURA porefinish fresh cleansing oil

2. cleansing foam and gel
AWARD WINNER | NEUTROGENA deep clean hydrating foaming cleanser
EDITOR'S PICK | COREANA nokdu foam cleansing

3. cleansing water
EDITOR'S PICK | AVENE clenance eau nettoyante

4. toner
AWARD WINNER | MAMONDE rose water toner
EDITOR'S PICK | THE FACE SHOP chia seed sebum control moisture water

5. facial oil
AWARD WINNER | DIOR capture totale haute nutrition oil serum
EDITOR'S PICK | KATE SOMERVILLE dilo oil restorative treatment

6. boosting essence
AWARD WINNER | SKINFOOD black sugar perfect first serum
EDITOR'S PICK | INNISFREE soybean energy essence light

7. moisture essence
AWARD WINNER | INNISFREE the green tea seed serum
EDITOR'S PICK | ORIGINS make a difference plus+ rejuvenating serum

8. moisturizing cream
EDITOR'S PICK | SU:M 37 waterfull timeless water gel cream

9. anti-aging essence
AWARD WINNER | SHISEIDO future solution LX superior radiance serum
EDITOR'S PICK | DARPHIN stimulskin plus plus reshaping divine serum

10. anti-aging cream
AWARD WINNER | SU:M 37 secret repair concentrated cream
EDITOR'S PICK | NUXE nirvanesque face and neck cream

11. whitening essence
AWARD WINNER | AMORE PACIFIC luminous effect brightening serum
EDITOR'S PICK | SK-II whitening power spot specialist

12. whitening cream
AWARD WINNER | SK-II spot care and brighten day cream
EDITOR'S PICK | CLARINS smoothing brightening night cream

13. eye treatment
AWARD WINNER | AMORE PACIFIC luminous effect brightening eye serum
EDITOR'S PICK | LANCOME absolue l'extrait eye contour ritual

14. facial scrub
AWARD WINNER | MISSHA gumsul ginseng peeling gel
EDITOR'S PICK | NEOGEN code 9 glacial magic pore mask

15. facial mist
AWARD WINNER | DR.G vita ampoule pH mist
EDITOR'S PICK | MELVITA pulpe de rose radiance duo

they also did a round up for men's skin care products which i didn't translate. if you're interested, check out their official website!

i'm very interested in facial oils lately.. i'm still doing my research though! and did you notice a trend here? the more specific products (such as anti aging and whitening) all come from the higher end brands. i guess what it suggest is this - for general cleansing and toning, drugstore brands are more than fine. for targeted treatments, it's probably better if you invest in a branded product in the form of essence and creams.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Primer
Innisfree No Sebum Primer (Swatch and Review)

if you have extra oily skin, you may want to incorporate this item into your makeup routine to help them last longer. this primer helps to soak up some oils and blur out pores, allowing you to have a smooth canvas to apply makeup on.

there are plenty of primers like these in the market, i picked this up because it's much cheaper than what i can find in singapore. these cost 10000 korean won, which is about 10USD (13SGD) as opposed to paying 20SGD for a maybelline baby skin primer. if you're familiar with the latter, then you can have a feel of what this product does.

as the name suggest, this primer is meant to get rid of excess oils.

1. removes shine in an instant
2. smoothes out skin
3. blurs pores

Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Primer
it comes with a small opening as you do not need a lot of the product. in fact, if you used too much, your makeup will slide across your face later. less is more with this product!

the product claims to produce a shine free face while refining lines at the same time.

i couldn't find the ingredient list, but i'm pretty sure it contains silicones and silica. they did however make it a point to tell me that it's paraben free.

the product is a colourless gel, you may have saw it in my korean haul video here.

Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Primer Swatch

looking at the swatch, you can see how it removed most of the shine and blurred out my enlarged pores. my pock mark is still visible, but at least the pores doesn't look as glaring anymore!


this does a pretty good job at reducing shine instantaneously. i haven't got the chance to really test it out enough because i don't have very oily skin to begin with, therefore i seldom use this product before applying foundation.

i can't vouch for the long lasting power of it, but i do know that you really only need a very tiny amount. if you use any more than what you need, your makeup will have difficulty staying put on my face. i tried that once and my foundation just refuse to sit on my face! it really makes my skin SO smooth that the foundation just glided right past where it's supposed to be on.

i think it would be best to use the primer, coupled with a setting powder if you have very oily skin.

my girlfriend purchased this for me while travelling in korea for 10000 korean won.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Allure Korea 2014 Best in Beauty Part 1: Make Up

i'm so slow on this..! the korean allure magazine has came up with their best beauty products for the year of 2014 since september! it's interesting to look at rankings from around the world just to have a feel of what people like, and what products are worth taking a second look at (in the event of being drowned by the thousands of competing products).

allure best of beauty aims to identify the most effective product available. it seems like allure does more than just blind tests to arrive at the winners. the editors also test out the products, review research and to consult with experts in the industry.

all the images belong to the official allure korea website, i translated the product names into english. i wish i can translate the short reviews that came along with the list.. i guess you have to trust google translator to help you out if you're interested in the comments.

part 1 consist of all the makeup products!

1. skin finisher
AWARD WINNER | VIDI VICI skin illumination SPF30/PA++
EDITOR'S PICK | HERA magic starter (02)

2. primer
AWARD WINNER | NATURE REPUBLIC botanical green tea power primer
EDITOR'S PICK | GIORGIO ARMANI UV master primer (mauve)

3. cc cream
AWARD WINNER | LAVIDA luminous solution CC cream SPF30/PA++
EDITOR'S PICK |Kate Somerville Illumikate CC Cream SPF50/PA+++

4. bb cream
AWARD WINNER | SULWHASOO snowise whitening essence BB cream SPF50/PA++ (1)

5. liquid foundation
AWARD WINNER | DIOR capture totale triple correcting serum foundation SPF25 (010)
EDITOR'S PICK | GUERLAIN tenue de perfection time proof foundation SPF20/PA++ (01)

6. powder foundation
AWARD WINNER | BOBBI BROWN extra bright powder compact foundation SPF25/PA___
EDITOR'S PICK | SHISEIDO protective compact foundation SPF35/PA+++

7. moisture compact foundation
AWARD WINNER | AGE 20'S essence cover pact SPF50/PA+++ (21 light beige)
EDITOR'S PICK | ESPOIR face slip hydrating compact innovated

8. cushion pact
AWARD WINNER | VERITE UV multi cushion DX SPF50/PA+++ (21)
EDITOR'S PICK | IOPE air cushion XP SPF50/PA+++ (natural 21)

9. loose powder
EDITOR'S PICK | YVES SAINT LAURENT souffle d'eclat loose powder (1)

10. blusher
EDITOR'S PICK | NARS matte multiple exumas

11. highlighter
AWARD WINNER | LANEIGE brush pact (3)
EDITOR'S PICK | THE FACE SHOP face it artist cube highlighter (1)

12. concealer
AWARD WINNER | CATRICE camouflage cream (10)
EDITOR'S PICK | RMK super basic concealer pact (medium)

13. lip balm
AWARD WINNER | KIEHL'S eucalyptus lip relief
EDITOR'S PICK | BURT'S BEE soothing rip balm with eucalyptus and menthol

14. color lip balm
AWARD WINNER | FRESH sugar petal lip treatment SPF15
EDITOR'S PICK | ARITAUM honey melting tint (7 coral candy)

15. matte lipstick
AWARD WINNER | MAC lipstick relentlessly
EDITOR'S PICK | ESPOIR no wear lipstick M (NY pink)

16. glossy lipstick
AWARD WINNER | GIORGIO ARMANI rouge ecstasy (301)
EDITOR'S PICK | 3 CONCEPT EYES creamy lip color (6)

17. lip gloss
EDITOR'S PICK | ELISHACOY always kiss lip glow (2)

18. lip tint
EDITOR'S PICK | ESPOIR lip stain water glow (2)

19. lip lacquer
AWARD WINNER | YVES SAINT LAURENT baby doll kiss&blush (1)
EDITOR'S PICK | DIOR addict fluid stick (575)

20. lip crayon
EDITOR'S PICK | NARS shading lip pencil (timanfaya)

21. mascara
AWARD WINNER | CLINIQUE lash power feathering mascara
EDITOR'S PICK | MAJOLICA MAJORCA lash expander edge meister F

22. pencil eyeliner
AWARD WINNER | KATE slim gel pencil (BK-1)
EDITOR'S PICK | GIORGIO ARMANI smooth silk eye pencil (11)

23. liquid eyeliner
AWARD WINNER | BOBBI BROWN black ink liner
EDITOR'S PICK | LUNA extreme liquid eyeliner (black)

24. eyebrow pencil
AWARD WINNER | SO NATURAL one touch eyebrow styler triple pencil
EDITOR'S PICK | TONY MOLY easy touch waterproof eyebrow (1)

25. eyebrow mascara
AWARD WINNER | BENEFIT gimme brow (light/medium)
EDITOR'S PICK | VDL festival brow colour (1)

26. cream eyeshadow
AWARD WINNER | BOBBI BROWN long wear cream shadow (10)
EDITOR'S PICK | RMK ingenious cream&powder eyes (5)

27. eyeshadow palette
AWARD WINNER | ESTEE LAUDER pure colour five colour eyeshadow palette (angel peach)
EDITOR'S PICK | MAC veluxe pearlfushion shadow (brown luxe)

THAT'S ALL FOR PART 1! my brain is in pain right now because i've never tried to read so much korean hangul in one sitting before. good lord. in extreme need of a rest!

hope you enjoy all these rankings as much as i do! one thing i don't understand is the difference between "best beauty" and "editor's pick". does anyone know?

Friday, January 9, 2015

What's In My Make Up Bag

i've always been interested in other's stuff, i guess it's some kind of innate curiosity that i had as i kid, but tried so hard to tame along the way because somehow, it felt "wrong" to want to peek into other people's belongings.

the internet has told me i'm not alone in this! while it's wrong to rummage through other's things, it's not wrong to look with the permission of others :P

if you're just like me, here's a look into my humble makeup pouch that i carry with me when i head out. contrary to popular belief, i do not carry my entire makeup collection with me.

What's In My Make Up Bag

1. bayonelle lip gloss

i received this as a gift from my gf. she said it's a pretty good australian brand! i'm not that huge a fan of a lip gloss girl, only using it very occasionally for added moisture. this has been with me for quite some time, but i've not ran out of it yet. i do have other lip glosses, but i carry this around with me most of the time for a very special reason.

it has a tiny little mirror as part of the packaging! this is probably the most brilliant thing i've seen, it's tiny, very portable, and always leave people staring at me when i look into the mirror because they wonder why i'm staring so intently into a tube of lip gloss. it's quite funny :P

2. blush brush from the media cheek color blush

i like its small size as i can use it to touch up my lower lid area, where concealer tend to crease because i have wonderful laugh lines there :D this come in really handy for that purpose! plus the hair is really soft too!

3. rohto c3 moist eye drops

since i wear contact lens 99% of the time, i bring this as an insurance to ensure my eyes don't get too dry towards the end of the day. this is hydrating and soothing, but not long lasting. i would love to try the lycee contact lens eye drop some day! but if all else fails, i won't mind buying this again.. matter of fact, i've just emptied it.

4. kate mineral powder foundation

i'm only carrying it to touch up the area under my eyes as it tend to crease. i don't usually touch up other part of my face (except for my lips) because i'm bad ass like that. i don't apply foundation on my entire face, so the chances of a meltdown is greatly reduced. i don't like to add anymore powder to my face after i'm done with my makeup because i like the dewy and glowy look as the day goes by, you know that effect you get when powders meld into your skin to look more like your skin? i adore that! natural look FTW!

5. vaseline in a contact lens case

i bring vaseline with me everywhere i go because it's a multi function item - lip balm, wound protectant, skin protectant, emergency makeup remover. days without lip balm is a tragedy, so i make sure this little thing is with me at all times. on the right side is a DIY red lip balm - i mixed vaseline with a really unflattering red lip stick so i can give myself a tinted red lips look in case i forgot to bring my lipstick of the day out with me for touch ups.

6. lipstick of the day

it changes depending on which one i'm using that particular day! the one in this photo is the maybelline so nude in NU34S. it's the only thing that i know i'll need for sure because face it - lipstick aren't meant to stick onto your lips throughout the entire day. is it that hard to just reapply when necessary? here's where the vaseline comes in handy - it's perfect for removing lipstick before reapplying it again!

7. sanitary pads

don't judge me for putting them altogether, sanitary pads are probably cleaner than my makeup products (before they're used and soaked up)! it's for emergency situations - just in case it arrive unannounced. and my girlfriends will probably thank me for that when they need it!

8. eyeshadow (optional)

i seldom carrying my eyeshadow out with me unless i know it'll be an extremely long and hot day for me. i usually just really need that shimmery shade which i use to highlight my inner corners of my eyes! if my eyeshadow creases along my eyelid folds, i just pat them out evenly with my finger and i'm good to go :P

What's In My Make Up Bag world wide love

i got my makeup pouch from a japanese brand called world wide love. i've never hear of this brand prior to getting this pouch. the year was 2009, i was at a gigantic AEON shopping mall with my grandmother in hong kong, it houses a slew of japanese brands. so i was walking around aimlessly holding my grandmother's hand, and all of a sudden this neon green coloured pouch with cute skull pattern appeared in front of my eyes. i could not ignore it because right next to it is a sign that has my favourite four letter word - SALE. i can't remember how much discount there was, probably more than 50%. i end up paying around 50HKD for this pouch!

this pouch didn't begin it's life as my makeup pouch - it used to hold my other miscellaneous items. my previous makeup bag was much larger, but proving to be too much for me as i find my shoulder aching as i carry my 2kg bag around town. i'm bringing too much makeup when i head out, stuff i didn't even get to use once i'm out of house! so i down sized to this pouch and it's just perfect.

it's small size restricts me on the number of items i bring. for example, i do not need to bring my mascara out with me because there's no way i'll reapply it throughout the day (it'll turn clumpy!). absolutely no need for that lash curler too (my lashes will become too crunch and may break!).

the pouch is as long as my phone.

and as thick as my phone's width too.

i've been on the look out for a new pouch but haven't seen one that felt right for me yet. this is still really functional, other than the fact that i should really give it a good wash!

what's in your makeup bag? if you've an entry on that, leave a link below so i can see it!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015


@cosme, japan's leading community based review site has released their listing for the year! in part 4 of this series, i put together the list of basic skincare items!

the yearly ranking differs from the weekly "kuchikomi" (reviewed/talked about) ranking as the products are chosen by a panel of judges instead of the community. products featured in this series doesn't not automatically translate to the most popular items! if you're interested in the most raved products, you're better off checking out the kumikomi ranking.

i've spent some time compiling a few of them into something neater for reference sake :) there is actually a english version of the ranking, but they are lacking in a lot of information.. as in, they only show you the number 1 product. :/ i prefer seeing the top 3 at the very least.

all images are taken from the @cosme website.

2014 @cosme Ranking best base primer makeup

2014 @cosme Ranking best powder foundation

2014 @cosme Ranking  best liquid foundation

2014 @cosme Ranking best concealer

2014 @cosme Ranking best loose powder finishing

2014 @cosme Ranking best bb cream

2014 @cosme Ranking best cc cream

if you don't already know, there are 3 more entries before this! part 1 is all about base makeup, while part 2 is all about eye makeup. part 3 is all about the other makeup. click on the respective links to check them out if you're interested in the rankings!

that's all for my cosme yearly ranking special report! did you find these useful at all? let me know what you think! i really enjoy seeing them organized in such a way. :)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Kate Mineral Powder Foundation OC-B
Kate Mineral Powder Foundation OC-B Swatch and Review

call me a risk taker, i bought this from adambeauty without any idea how the actual colour look like. the word "mineral" drew me to this series. i didn't like the previous foundation powder i was using as it's too cakey (why am i surprised? i bought the canmake concealer foundation UV!).

i really like the white and simple casing too. i added some crystals onto the face to personalize it :D

this powder is supposed to be moisturizing as they have infused some olive oil, jojoba oil, and almond oil into the concoction. what's more amusing is the "W effect", i have no idea why they term it as that, but they mean for the powder to 1) protect the skin from friction, 2) cover up pores by diffusing light.

1. finely milled
2. light to medium coverage, buildable
3. not cakey
4. leaves face feeling very smooth
5. not long wear
6. matte finish

Kate Mineral Powder Foundation OC-B
the casing has a mirror within, a piece of plastic sheet to separate the sponge from the powder. i never opened the sponge though, not a fan of using sponge after my bad experience with the canmake foundation (i feel like sponges apply too much powder too quickly).

afterall, i actually use foundation powder to set my concealer, not really for the coverage anyway. this was a few years ago, before i actually studied the differences between the different type of products. i always think that marketers were trying to get me to buy things i don't need you see.. so getting this fouundation is akin to killing 2 birds with 1 stone - getting some coverage when i need it as a foundation, and setting my concealer with a little bit of coverage.

Kate Mineral Powder Foundation OC-B
OC-B is a bright ochre colour - the lightest shade they have in the collection. it looks rather peachy in the pan, but on my skin it takes a slightly different shade. japanese makeup brand makes it easy for us to differentiate between foundation shades. all ochre shades are neutral. if it has a "beige" embedded, it's warmer and yellowish.

this series has a total of 3 shades according to their official website. B is the lightest, while D is the darkest.

Kate Mineral Powder Foundation OC-B Swatch
on my skin the powder looks less peachy, instead it has a whitish cast. under flash, it appears a little pink.


the powder is much more smoother than the canmake one i've used in the past. in fact, i was really happy with my purchase, the powder is fine and smooth, it makes my skin so smooth after application.

on the official website, they claim they accomplish this smoothness by encasing mineral particles with a coat of kanten, which also helps with moisture retention. of course i can see that on the powder with my naked eyes! (hahaha i'm just kidding) i don't know how true it is, but i won't deny the effects i experienced - smooth skin like a baby's butt. as for moisture retention.. take that with a pinch of salt - just how moisture retaining can a powder be, really?

as for covering pores, i managed to achieve that with the help of a flat top brush. i can't say much about the light diffusing properties, in fact, i sometimes feel like the powder made my face look very one dimensional. perhaps it's due to the matte finish, and the slightly whitish cast when seen under certain lighting.

the powder provides a light to medium coverage, depending on how much you slap on. it can cover my blemishes (slight hyperpigmentation) when i buff it with a flat top brush. dusting the powder will result in an even lower coverage.

the powder definitely looks a lot better after it soaked in some of my oils throughout the day. but at the end of a long day, my face doesn't look as bright anymore. i'm not sure if it's because i've sweated most of the powder off or what.

as this is not a long wear powder, do expect it to come off when you perspire, especially if you tend to rub your face with a tissue. light patting is fine though, some powder may come off, but not all.

i bought this from adambeauty, it was a while ago and i've forgotten how much it cost, but it was having a special bundle promotion that time, i got the case and the powder at a much lower price than if i were to buy it separately.

will i repurchase this? not at the moment, as i want to try another one before i can do a comparison.

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