Saturday, January 30, 2010

Giveaway Officially closed!!!

Giveaway Officially closed!!!
Thank you everyone who entered! The winner will be posted soon!

Thursday, January 28, 2010



A Nature Republic has opened up near me (Relpacing my FAV Etude house :( ).
So I've decided to do a Nature Republic, and my new favorite skin care line Skinfood, giveaway!
Nature Republic
-Brightening and Energizing Massage Cream -Jasmine Tea
- Bamboo Emulsion (light moisturizer)
- Soap wort cleansing Cream with Rose flower (I have another of their rose items, they smell almost real, and not like an old lady!)
-Argan Nutrizer Mask
-Green Nail Polish
-Leaf Comb and Mirror set
-Apple vinegar cleansing Gel cream
Peack Sake finnishing Powder (the smoothest finnishing powder I've ever experienced. I bought two myself!)

-Je Yeon green tea sheet mask
-Etude House Hand bouquet sheet mask
-Sooyeon lipgloss
- And a TON of samples, mostly Skinfood and Nature republic but with a few others!

Here are a few more pics of most of the big items
  Rules (They suck but…. It’s free stuff!)
1. You must be a follower! (So you need to be logged in when you leave your comment so I can identify you!)
2. Please leave a comment, saying your favorite method/product or tool to get glowing skin
3. The contest is open world wide!
4. Triple entries for anyone who reposts this on their blog or twitter feed!
5. The Contest closes January 30th, and winner will be drawn the 31st.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Beauty Credit - Lovely Q10 Makeup base ma

Beauty Credit - Lovely Q10 Makeup base mat- SPF 18
Price: 8000won ($8)
Color: 02 Lavender
Size: 40ml
For I, like many of you out there, base make up or primers are not a daily step in our makeup routines.
When I first came to Korea though, I was intrigued by the different colors available in bases.
Intrigued enough to buy a green one by Etude House. Since that particular base did great things to any aberrant redness caused by winter (ie. A red nose), I’ve been dying to try the other available color, purple.

But Etude house doesn’t have a purple base in the same line as the on I purchased, only in a different line, which is contained in glass bottles without pumps.
Unless the product inside is a runny liquid, glass bottles are stupid!
Hello, slow Ketchup anyone?

The beauty credit base, next to my etude house base. See how much prettier the beauty credit one is!
The packaging is so much nicer than the Etude house Baby skin base (Pink, green and ugly!), the Beauty credit bottle is silver and purple, very class and tasteful.
And it has the added benefit of having an SPF of 18! Something the Baby skin Base doesn’t boast.
The product itself is surprisingly thick, but spreads evenly. It does clump in the pores a little bit. If you have really prominent pores I wouldn’t recommend it.
As it is for me, I put BB cream over the base, so my pores look smooth and even.

But to be honest, the product doesn’t behave like a Primer at all. It definitely doesn’t have the smoothing effect like silicone primers (for example the primer by smash box).
But this is something I’ve noticed in Korea Primers/bases.
I never use primers for their smoothing effects anyway, so it doesn’t ruin the product for me.
The only reason to use the primer is the color.
The color is super pale.
When you rub it in, the purple fades, and the primer is almost white.

On me, it looks amazing. I have super pale skin, and this gives it an uber pale glow.
It looks ethereal.
That said, for anyone darker, it might look like clown makeup. This was not the case with the green base by etude house. I’m not sure if it’s the brand or the color.

Conclusion: I will Definitely re-purchase. I can’t recommend it though, because it is suitable for very few skin colors.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Skinfood Allantoin clear mascara

Skinfood Allantoin clear mascara
Price: $4.50 (4500won)
Clear mascara might possibly be one of the most pointless makeup products out there. I have no idea why it exists… It’s not like it’s a top coat for mascara. I have one of those, although I think they are pretty pointless too.
What in the world is the point of having a clear Mascara? Seriously, someone comment and explain it to me!
I have fairly well behaved eyebrows (complete topic change I know, but bear with me). But I like to have perfect eyebrows.
Back in Canada I use a cheap New York Color (ie. Walmart) brow powder and wax.
The wax is sooo wonderful, it makes my brows lay perfectly flat without making them hard.
Here in Korea, there are tons of Brow powders, but nothing to make the brows keep their shape, or to stick down fly away hairs.
Sure I can use hair wax (I know you’re thinking well duh.) But that’s completely impractical for carrying around in my purse, or travel, or…
Hence the clear mascara.

But… The mascara doesn’t do anything….. At all…  It just… sits there. It’s not like actual mascara, it doesn’t seem to coat anything, or glue anything together. It basically even more useless than I thought. Which is completely perplexing to me.
So hair wax it is.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Skinfood Tea Tree Bubble Cleansing Foam

Skinfood Tea Tree Bubble Cleansing Foam
Price: $7.70 (7700won)
Size: 160ml
The Tea Tree Foam is another of the products that I picked up at Skinfood for my boyfriend to use. Although this product in particular is not from one of the Men’s lines.
Really all a men’s product is, is one packaged and scented differently.
And since the Tea tree bubble foam comes in a plain green plastic bottle with a pump top dispenser and a brown paper look label, it’s certainly manly enough.
Interestingly enough, even though Skinfood labels a number of their products in the brown paper, none of it is actually cheap brown paper.
They are actual labels. So they don’t warp or peel when wet.
So they aren’t cheap, they just look it….

The Tea tree Foam is a clear liquid, that turns into a foam when pumped out. The foam is fluffy and light, abut doesn’t foam up one the face. In fact the foam completely disappears when wet…
That seems backwards to me…. Shouldn’t it later up on the face?
Regardless, it’s very cleansing. It’s way too strong for me. It’s strips my skin and makes it even drier.
But I have dry skin to start with, and there is no reason for me to use a product with tea tree oil.
On my boyfriends oilier skin though, this is a good products. It really cleanses, but it doesn’t leave him dry.
Between this and the tea tree and lavender toner from skin food, his skin has been more even and blemishes have been greatly reduced.
In fact, it’s rare for him to have one when he is consistently using both products.
The product does have a tea tree oil scent. But I can’t notice it at all in the foam itself.

All in All, I think this is a really good foam for oily skin. It seems to hit the right balance of drying out excess oil without going to far. But it’s not for dry skin.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Nature republic - hand me love hand mask

Nature republic - Hand me love hand mask
Price: 2000won ($2)
If you have any interest in Asian skin care, you’re probably mask crazy like me.
The Asian sheet mask craze has been slow to transition of to North America, but there are lots of people obsessed with them!
Here in Korea, sheet masks have moved on from being just for the face. Sure there are more specialized ones, for the eyes, for laugh lines, fore head lines, chin sagging, etc. If there is a face concern, then there is a mask for it.
But the masks have moved on to other parts of the body, including the hands and feet.
This seems bizarre to me.
So of course, I had to buy some to try them out.

They generally come in a long packet, divided into two sections. The first contains the actual sheet mask, in a glove shape. You put on the mask, then apply the second section, the plastic glove. Which is supposed to cover the sheet mask, and keep moisture in. It’s basically the same idea as saran wrap.
So I open up the Nature republic Mask, put on the gloves. They are not huge, but are definitely big enough to fit a wide range of hands. They are moist, like a sheet mask for the face, but unlike them, the excess essence is like hand lotion,  this is white and creamy.

I open up the second half, which is an ordeal, since I wasn’t smart enough to open both sides at once, and now my hands are too slick to rip open the other side of the package.
Finally I open up part two.
I pull out two clear piece of pink, hand shaped plastic.
And stare at them in confusion.

They aren’t plastic gloves, they are hand shaped pieces of plastic, ie, you cannot open them because there is only two half gloves…
So you can’t put them on over the gloves at all.

… WTF?
So I wait 20 minutes, then remove the sheet gloves.
I rub in the excess.
My hands feel moist, but not super well moisturized.
The next day, no difference.
Nothing. My hands feel softer after using regular old hand cream!
I admit though, the whole thing might have been improved if there had been actual plastic gloves.
Has any one else experience this? Are there supposed to be actual gloves????

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Skin food - Gold Caviar collagen serum

Skin food - Gold Caviar collagen serum
Price: 27000 won ($27)
Size: 45ml
If you’ve read my introduction to Skinfood, then you know that the packaging of their products is lack luster at best.
So I didn’t immediately go out and buy any large items, or anything particularly interesting. In fact, the whole brand seemed completely uninteresting to me.
But included with the small things I did buy were piles of samples.
Most were small little packets., but a few larger sizes too.
And eventually I got around to opening those little sample, and actually using their contents.
I have gotten TONS of the Gold caviar collagen serum samples. Inside each package is a clear liquid, thick and heavy, with gold flakes suspended in it.
So I tried it out.
The first time, I really liked it, after a couple of sample packages(over a number of days of course, since one sample is good for two or three uses), I fell in love.
So when my once a month payday came around, I went out and bought the $27 little bottle of Serum. And I was so impressed by the serum I also bought the $27 eye cream set (To be reviewed soon!!!!)
The full size glass bottle is gold and dark purple, with a gold cap. The caviar collagen is the most sophisticated and sleek of the Skinfood products.
The cap itself is a dropper, with the button on top, on the outside of the bottle, for dispensing.
Inside, is a milky white serum, with gold flecks. Quite different from the sample, which was clear and liquid….
As soon as I opened the bottle I was horribly disappointed. The actual product looks so different from the samples.
But it’s not as though I could return it. I used it.
The serum applies smoothly.
Unlike the serums I usually use, it doesn’t absorb cleanly into the skin. The gold Caviar serum is heavy and oil based.
It’s a very heavy serum.

Generally I hate things that don’t absorb into the skin on my face.
For this I make an exception. It makes my face soft, well moisturized, and after a few days of continued use, my skin is tighter, firmer.
In fact, after using it for a day or two, I got over my disappointment that the samples weren’t identical to the actual product, and just fell in love with the real thing.
It has become one of two serums that I use. The other being the hyluranoic acid serum, which I now us in the mornings, to allow me to use the more intensive Gold serum at night.

Oh, and as a side note, the gold flecks, though obvious in the serum itself are not visible once applied.
I don’t know where they go, but you can’t see them!

Etude house Lemon sugar moisturizer

Etude house Lemon sugar moisturizer
Price: $3.50 (3500won)
After scenting the Lemon sugar perfume by Fresh (Available usually at Sephora), I fell in love with a lemony scent. Anything with title lemon sugar is pretty much an instant buy. I bought the lemon sugar moisturizer and body cream from avon (which was the most disgusting nauseatingly intense perfumed body lotion ever).
When I saw the Etude house body moisturizer I scooped it up. The scent is more lemony than sweet. But not so intensely lemon that it smells like cleaner. Honestly, it’s ok. Nothing more nothing less.
The moisturizer itself…. It’s abysmal.
For some reason Korean moisturizers are generally terrible! I don’t get it. You rub them in, they are wet, moist and nice, they sink into the skin nicely. But as soon as they dry, they give the skin a weird dry texture.
It’s like talcum powder… Your skin is smooth, but with a dry powdery sort of feeling (not actually powdery though….)
I hate it. It makes my hands feel too dry, and I have to put more and more on. I never feel better moisturized.
So I hate this moisturizer. I never use it. It bothers me. I’ve tossed it in a closet, and will forget about it…

Friday, January 15, 2010

VOV Daily Fresh - Mineral water and Pumpkin

VOV Daily Fresh

Mineral water soothing
Price: 2000won / $2
Cool mask pack for rich moisture skin. Clean and cool moisture relief by immediate moisture and mineral support on dry skin.

The Mineral water soothing mask was pretty basic as you might imagine. In no way was it remarkable.  With that said though, the whole Daily fresh line is about the best line of sheet masks I’ve run across, for the size and shape of the mask, the variety, and the super gentleness.

So even though this mask didn’t do anything beyond what the Daily fresh masks usually do, it’s a good basic everyday sort of mask.
If you buy a mask for a once a week, or special occasion use, go for a more dramatic one.
But for me, it’s a good weeknight neutral mask.

Pumpkin cooling smoothing
Yammy mask pack for slim v line face. Pumpkin’s extract helps to bring swelling down and to show a sharp face line. And it’s fresh cooling textrue provides a soothing effect and elasticity to your skin.

Ahhh…. How I wish a sheet mask could give me a v line face…. But honestly….. No matter what they put in a mask, there is no way it’s going to give anyone a slimmer face.
With that said, I am not against trying lol.
The pumpkin mask though is a bit of a disaster. It starts out well, with almost no smell, and what there is, is just vaguely skin care producty. The mask applies without being too runny (like that stupid black raspberry one) And it’s slightly cooling on the face.
My first impression is good.
Then after about five minutes my forehead starts to itch a little.
The itching slowly turns to a mild burning.
After well less than 15minutes I peel of the mask, to find my face red and splotchy.
The burning wasn’t awful (not like the etude house O2 white mask), but it was definitely uncomfortable enough that I wanted it off.
I have to admit that I’m amazed that some of the VOV Daily fresh masks are reacting in this way, especially when most of them are really good….
Ah well.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I just got a package from Juju Jewelery! It's this amazing jewelery blog, with super gorgeous stuff.
I got two pairs of earrings, both done with swaroski crystals and sterling silver.
Super gorgeous, I am so going to end up ordering more.... :D

Vov Daily Fresh -Seaweed Collagen

Vov Daily Fresh -Seaweed Collagen
Sweet mask making the tired skin relaxed. Natural seaweed ingredients containing vitality of the blue sea make the tired and rough skin soothed and relaxed, and create smooth moisturized skin.

The variations between the VOV daily fresh masks are small. Some are better, so are a bit irritating, and some smell.
The seaweed collagen wasn’t overly remarkable.
It didn’t smell strongly, either good or bad, possibly, vaguely like aloe. It didn’t burn or irritate the skin, and it didn’t moisturize any more than any other sheet mask.
With that said, this is one I will buy again.
Why? It’s neutral, and non-irritating. I checked the ingredients, and it actually contains aloe.
And after one use, my skin was a little bit brighter.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Daily Fresh - Black raspberry Collagen

Vov Masks
Daily Fresh - Black Raspberry Collagen
Price 2000 won (less than $2 US)
for all skin types

Cool mask pack for  elastic and animated look. Black raspberry extract provides rich nutrition and extra moisture on skin. Collagen revitalizes skin rhythm to create healthy and soft look.
This was one of the VOV Daily fresh masks I was most eager to try.  I adore raspberries, and it’s rare to find raspberry theme items. Usually it’s strawberry or Cherry.
When I opened the package, this horrible smell wafted up. I looked around my room for a moment before realizing it was the mask that stunk. It’s smells sort of like moldy books…. Definitely like mold.
This is the first, and only VOV Daily fresh mask to drip.
When you open the individual mask package there is generally a clear gel inside. It’s wet, and it’s easy to drip some on yourself.
But once the mask is applied and smoothed against the skin, there is no running or dripping with the rest of the line.
But the Black raspberry collagen trailed in long drips down my neck. The composition seems more liquid, not as though there is more product.

Daily Fresh- Coenzyme Q10 original

Daily Fresh- Coenzyme Q10 original

Price 2000 won (less than $2 US)
-for all skin types

Essence mask pack for your best skin condition. Coenzyme Q10 for elastic skin and botanical collagen for vital skin provide a nutrition and moisture for your skin.
The Q10 mask is one of my favorite Daily fresh sheet masks. First it smells amazing, kinda like vanilla. The scent isn’t powerful or overwhelming.
The mask itself was not at all irritation on my skin. Which is wonderful because I sometimes find products with Q10 to be irritating.
The mask also did a good job of moisturizing my skin. Certainly one of the better ones.
In the morning my skin was fresh and plump.
I really think this would be a good one for dry or older skin. It seems to add the youthful plumpness that’s needed.

skin food - white chocolate mask

Skin food - white chocolate mask
Cost 1500won ($1.50)
Time on - 10 to 15min
Mask with cocoa extracts which provide elasticity to the skin

The size of the sheet mask was really wide. It streched all the way to my ears, but too short to go under my chin. Asian faces do tend to be shorter and broader, but this was a bit ridiculous, and my ears really shouldn’t be half covered by the mask. The size, shape and placement of the eye, nose and mouth holes were normal and reasonable. Therefore the mask shape is not unusable, just a little irritating.

The one thing I really expected from this mask, was a nice scent. I mean It’s choloate, white or not it should be yummy. But…. The smell was gross. Really really gross, not at all like chocolate kind of like cherry medicine and old lady perfume The scent was also stronger than I would like, even if it was attractive. Yuck.

After - My skin was left very sticky, even after rubbing the excess of product. My forehead though was slightly tight and noticeably smoother. A surprising result from an inexpensive sheet mask.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Skin food grape seed body wash

Skin food - Grape seed oil body wash

A light gel body wash, with small brown exfoliating beads, and a mild but uninteresting scent. It wasn’t moisturizing, or particularly cleansing, and the exfoliating beads were surprisingly hard to get rid of.

There is nothing about this product that would make me want to buy more!

Skinfood brand introduction

Skin food Brand Introduction

Skin food is a Cosmetics and Makeup brand in Korea that is focused on ‘Food therapy’. All of their products have food names in the titles, and various fruit and plant extracts.

Honestly the idea doesn’t appeal to me. I want products that are going to give me beautiful youthful skin. What’s in it really doesn’t matter.

The packaging off all their products is simplistic, and designed to look like cardboard containers, and for a lot of it, to look like food containers. Some of the stuff is attractive…. But in general…. NO.
Or at least not to me.
I hate to say it, but packaging is kind of important to me. I want something that looks pretty and works well.
Sure I have lots of items that have utilitarian packaging. But if I’m trying something new I’m drawn to the beautiful.
So even though the brand Skinfood hasn’t appealed to me, I have picked up a couple of basic items to try.
Sheet masks, wash off masks, nail polish, etc.A few things that you can’t go wrong with.
But thrown in with those few cheap items were samples, oodles of samples.
And to my surprise, the samples are AMAZING!

The avocado toner and emulsion set is soft, gentle, and super moisturizing.
I found myself going back to it often. So I’ve gone out and bought a few more things.Then a few more, and a few more. Just about every item is Wonderful.
The skin care is some of the best I’ve used here in Korea. The Makeup…. It’s of good quality, but not very exciting. But oh the skin care .

I highly recommend this Brand! You can find it on G-market, and eBay easily. But It’s a pretty popular brand, and I’m sure there are other online places that carry it!

Missha -Easy styling make up kit in retro scarlet

Missha -Easy styling make up kit in retro scarlet 
Price :15000won($14.99) on sale 8000($8)
I hate pre-assembled make-up kits with cream/gloss and powder products.
The only way an eye and lip palette works is if the products are all creamy, with no powders.
And to make things worse, now there are eyeshadow palettes with creams and powders!!!
It doesn’t work! The powder crumbles, or creates dust, even if you are super careful!!!!
So why in the Hell did I buy a kit containing lipstick and powder eyeshadow?????
Well….. My Korean is not very good.
In the Missha store this is this whole little counter with single eyshadows in disposable packaging. They are meant to be inserted into an empty palette.
Right next to they eyeshadows, there are the empty palettes, two types, a big one and a small one.
And oddly, right mixed in was the Makeup kit….
There is nothing else on the counter but these eyeshadows and empty palettes.
Quite honestly I had no idea.
So I got home, and was perplexed. This is the sort of thing I would never buy, in colors they I am not inclined to use… But considering I was expecting it to be an empty palette, I can’t complain too much.

The easy styling makeup kit contains two lipsticks, one in red and one in orange.

There is a cream eyes shadow in a sparkly mauve, and two powders in a light purple hued blue and a dark purple.
To me it seems like a weird combination.
The red lipstick is a nice retro color. But the bright bright orange? And to put the two together?
Then the pale blue eyeshadow along with the mauve cream?
I mean I get some of the colors together.
But wouldn’t a black cream liner have been a better choice? Or something that goes with orange???
I mean picture the blue eyeshadow with the orange lips….

Also included in the kit are two brushes. A dual eyeshadow/cream eyeshadow applicator and a lip brush.
The lip brush is a good addition because the lip colors are lipstick, not lip gloss, not even lip creams.

With a gloss you can get away with applying it with your fingers (although that’s another reason I hate combo kits). If you attempted to apply these lip colors with your fingers you would make a serious mess.
With all that said the composition of the lipsticks is really nice. They are quite dry, and very matt.
This works for the retro look in my opinion. The red color is actually an excellent red. The tone is a bit cool, although neutral enough that my warmer tones can wear it attractively.
The orange possibly might have been included to warm up the red…. Maybe? When mixed though the red is pretty fluorescent.

Because the lipsticks are so matt the wear time is amazing. They lasted through eating and being out for a few hours, without reapplying.
The cream eyeshadow also fared very well in the wear-ability. It lasts for much much longer than cream shadows usually do.
It is also a very dry cream. It’s also quite translucent.
I find this odd, I assumed it would act like an eye liner.
But maybe it’s meant as an eyeshadow base.
The color in the pan is really pretty, but when applied it kind of looks like a sparkly bruise.
This is mostly due to the transparency. With a couple of layers the color does show true.
The powder shadows are silky smooth and really beautiful . When applied to the lids and shaded together they are really really beautiful.
They do not last as the rest of the make up in this kit.
So oddly you have to reapply the powder eyeshadow before the lipstick…
I think this is mostly because they are so silky and soft.

Conclusion: Though this kit is not something I meant to buy, and the colors are a bit odd, I liked the actual components so much I bought the kit as a gift , in a different set of colors!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Missha single eyeshadows and palettes

Missha - Single Eyeshadows and empty Multi shadow case
Small shadow -3500won, ($3) On sale $1
Large shadow - 4200won ($4) On sale $2
Small Palette- 9000won ($8.5) 0n sale $3
Large Palette- 1500won ($14)  On Sale $5
I adore pre-made eyeshadow palettes. I think my eye for colors is pretty good, but with most pre-made palettes they are quick easy and create beautiful results. Well, when you get them from good Makeup brands.
The make your own eye shadow palette thing is not something I’m really into… There are a few colors I use a lot, but then I just buy a couple of singles.
The Missha single eyeshadows and empty palettes were on sale, for 50% off.
That’s sooo cheap. Plus the brand’s few pre-made sets looked…. Ugly.
So I bought two empty palettes, a small and a large, and an assortment of colors. I bought a couple that I use all the time, and some random colors just to mix things up.
The palettes themselves are really nice.

The large one is a pale(almost white)sparkly pink on top, with the usual Missha mirror finish on back.

The palette is sturdy plastic. Inside the mirror takes up the whole of the cover. Large enough to actually do ones make up.
The case fits 4 large eyeshadows and four small. The liner that holds the shadows in place is a stiff sponge, making them stable but relatively easy to switch out.

Also included is the standard eyeshadow applicator.

The smaller case is done completely in the mirror finish. Which of course picks up finger prints like crazy.
But when it’s polished it looks so sleek….

The inside is hard plastic, unlike the larger palette. But the back has small holes to depot the eyeshadows. I prefer this personally, even though use eye shadows tend to make a mess when tipped upside down. Still it’s better than the sponge, because I tend to be clumsy, and more than a few times have I accidentally gouged a chunk out of an eyeshadow.
The mirror and applicator are also included in this size.
Both were on sale. I paid $5 for the large and $3 for the small. Completely different from the original price.
I purchased 11 eyeshadows in total.

Small -VL207 (dark purple with small blue sparkles)
- BR204 (Bronze with gold sparkles)
- GL202 (Acid green with white sparkles)
-WH301 (white with white sparkles)
-KH201 (looks wine in the pan but applies as a dark slightly metallic brown)
- Unknown number (dark slate grey)

Large- No. 10 (grey/ midnight)
-GL02( warm shimmer gold with some white sparkles)
-BE01 (Shimmer bronze with no sparkles)
-08 (Dark shimmer bronze and light shimmer pink)

The main difference between the small shades and the larger, is the fact the small ones contain sparkle. The only larger shade I bought with sparkle, the gold, has barely any.
And I realize I bought two nearly identical colors, but bronze is the color I wear most. So it only makes sense!
The shadows are smooth and silky. They apply beautifully. They are a tiny bit powdery. Though this varies by color. The two liner colors are of a different composition and apply almost like a cream. They are not at all powdery.
The most sparkly are also the most powdery, the small green, bronze and white.
The shadows in general have very good color pay off. The bronze and white being the least. As for lasting power, they are pretty average. The last the whole day for me, fading somewhat but still looking lovely.

Though I really like my new shades, and the palettes to put them in, they aren’t special enough to pay full price for. If they ever go on sale again, I will definitely pick up more shades.