Friday, April 30, 2010

Skin food nail system- Hardener, Base, Essence

Skin food nail system- Hardener, Base, Essence

I am fully aware of how woefully short my nails are. Since I've never been big on polish, it's has never been an issue. But getting the Konad system has caused me too look at my nails as a deficiency.
since I've started using the Konad system, I have students whom, everyday ask to see my nails.
I didn't really think it's healthy to instill a beauty obsession in them so young. Definitely what's on the inside is more important than what's on the outside..... But it did make me realize that using the Konad system was drawing more attention to my nails.
So I decided to pick up some items to help my nails grow longer, and look better.

So I bought 3 things from Skinfood.
Nail Vita Essence 1500won ($1.50)
Nail Vita Base coat  1500won ($1.50)
Nail vita hardener 2000won ($2.00)

They are all in the Nail vita line, but they aren't technically a set.... I just bought them together.

Nail Vita Essence

This is a nail moisturizer. I've never seen anything like it. I've seen tons of nail/cuticle oils, but never a cream.
Between that, and the fact the Etude House Nail Polish remover leaves my nails painfully dry (ugh...), I had to buy this!
First off, it smells yummy. It's a soft, nutty moisturizer scent. Reminds me a bit of Vaseline intensive care moisturizer. Which might not sound amazing, but after nail polish remover, it's a relief.
The moisturizer is applied directly to the nails using the nail polish brush.
It is very moisturizing. My nails look shinier, and healthier after using.
But most importantly, the moisturizer does not interfere with polishes applied afterwards. I just wipe of any excess, and I'm ready to apply my Base coat.

Nail Vita Base coat
Something I've noticed here in Korea is the Nail polishes base and top coats are not much more than clear nail polishes. They seem to have no affect at all on the staying power of nail polish.
It's bizarre.
The Nail Vita Base coat is not a wast of money and time though.
As you can see from the milky pink color, it's not just a plain old clear or milky white base. According to the label it contains Vitamins and Keratin, for healthier nails.
This is good considering how much I'm changing my nail polish these days.
The polish is runny, but applies smoothly, leaving a glossy finish. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't a lot of base coats leave a slight rough, or at least matte base, to make the next coat of polish apply better?
This doesn't affect the polish either way.
What it does, is help protect my nails. It definitely helps keep them from drying out, and helps a little against staining.
So while this isn't the best base coat for staying power, I  recommend it to anyone who is looking at protecting their nails.

Nail Vita Hardener
I have used Nail Hardeners before. Mostly back in Canada, with little or no success. But I needed a top coat,   so I thought I might as well try the hardener.
It's an orange tinted clear polish, that I'm not exactly sure is meant to be used as a top coat....
any time I've used hardeners before they've indicated clearly on the bottle whether they are to be a top or base coat.
Regardless, I apply it atop my finished nails.
The results.... Not bad. If I apply the polish every day, my nails are firmer, less inclined to bending and breaking. I did successfully manage to grow them a bit longer ( I do teach kindergarten kids, so my nails take a serious beating, painting, washing my hands a million times, games, etc.).
As a hardener it's as good if not better than anything I've ever used.
But the best part is, it is the best top coat I've found for the Konad nail art!
Surprise surprise! It goes on quickly, and doesn't blur the design at all!
The only problem is the orange tint to the polish makes white polish yellow....
So it's useless over anything with white. But for all other designs its perfect!

Tony Moly Nail star - Two way Nail art pen and brush

Tony Moly Nail star - Two way Nail art pen and brush
Price: 3000won

The Nail star nail polish is really cool. It's both a tiny pen and long thing brush. perfect for Nail art. Or at least it would be if I was any good at nail art....
It comes in two colors, black and white. I picked up the black. Mostly because tony moly was out of white when I was there.
That's fine. I'm bored of white French tips, and black is way more fun :)
The super thin long brush is designed for doing tips, or long thin lines. Since I'm not very good at doing tips, my results are... Ok. The best I could hope for really.

I like better than the brush, the teeny tiny little metal tip. With it I can do really lovely drops, and even designs. With actual successful results. (yay!) Plus, attached to the bottom of the bottle is a small metal wire for cleaning the tip when it gets clogged (which doesn't happen too often).
The black polish is thicker than regular polish. But it's also really weird. It's kind of like black tar, and I have to be really careful with it. It's incredibly staining. If it get in on my cuticles, or the skin on my fingers, they will remain stained for days.... Even when applied over polish and a base coat this stuff will sink though and stain my nails. It's really intense.  And these stains will not rub off with regular nail polish remover....

I will not be buying this nail art polish again. I really love the bottle, the brush and tip. But I do not like the polish inside!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Beauty Friends - Collagen Mask

Beauty Friends - Collagen Mask
Price: Free (free gift, usually 1000won)
Beauty Friends masks are super cheap. In fact I got them as freebies from Beautiplex. A store here in Korea that sells Korean, Japanese and Western brands.
I hate beautiplex, it looks like a discount store with Department store prices. Blech.

Anyways, my experience with freebie masks is medicore. They generally aren't terrible, but they are at best barely moisturizing.

With the Beauty friends mask, I was first pleasntly surprised with teh mask size, it wasn't too big, ro two small, and though it doesn't fit my face perfectly (really odd eye holes), it fits really well.
Also, when on the mask feels thicker than many others. Which is nice, and kind of warming. Like wearing a blanket....(odd I know)
But since this helps the absorption of the essence, I really like the thicker mask!

The essence itself was nice, moisturizing, but pretty generic. On the plus side, no irritation. On the negative, no significant moisturizing.

All in all it was a great value, considering it was free :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Majolica Majorica

Majolica Majorica - Bk999

I Love Mascara. I think I might have mentioned that before... Maybe...
This though, it the best, most wonderful mascara ever.
My old stand by, cheap and reliable was covergirls Lash Blast.  I have discovered, that for my lashes a comb, or silicone brush is better than a traditional brush.
But until I picked up the Majolica mascara I wasn't toally sold on the comb. They generally work well, but it's rare to find a mascara that is actually exceptional/
This mascara is exceptional.

The comb despoits color evenly, extending the lash tips, while sperating and thickening. The result after one good swipe, beautiful, thick long lashes.
It only takes a swipe or two to be perfect, any more and clumping will eventually happen, as is true with any mascara.
However, unlike other mascara's you really don't need to keep swiping. Hell, I look like I have false lashes on after two swipes.
It's perfect.
And the mascara formula is both very darkly colored and wet enough that it does dry out, in the tube or on the lash (so no lumps...).

The only fault of the product, is it's staying power. It's intense. The mascara stays on FOREVER! No regualr eyemake up remover is match for it. It's definitely the most difficult to remove mascara I've ever encountered. I have to use a heavy duty mascara remover, and sometimes I will still find traces the next day, or two days later....
But I've cried and sweated, and rubbed my tired eyes in this mascara, and it doesn't budge. It's fail safe.
I love the Majolica Majorica mascara.
Love love love!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Etude House - Orjel Light Lipstick

Etude House - Orjel Light Lipstick -
Price: 8000won ($8)
After the miss with the Etude House's Milk Screw, I was still on the hunt for a peach lip color, preferablly not a lipstick, but something with more color than a gloss.
So I tried the pretty Orjel light lipstick.

It comes in a pink, pearly tube with the Etude House characteristic swirl motif on top. Honestly the pink packaging of Etude house is all too pink and girly for me. But I tend to love their products, and I don't hate the packaging. So I keep buying stuff....

The lip color looks sooo pretty in the tube. It comes out a sheer, slightly sparkly gloss. A bit more opague and a bit less shiny than a true gloss. But really its a grogeous color, just a nice natual balance between pink and peach.
It even goes beautifully with my Canmake cream blush (the whole reason I bought the lipstick in the first place!)

The only downside to the lipstick is it's super drying. I can't figure out why. I wear it, and all of my sudden my lips are parched. I had to go out and buy a thick gloss from It's Skin, because my lips were driving me insane. I had gone out thinking I'd been just fine with only my Lipstick.
Ah well, lessoned learned.

As for the Orjel light Lipstick, I really love the color, and I will continue wearing it, with a moisturizing gloss near at hand.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Konad - Nail art system

Konad - Nail art system

I finally took the plunge and bought into the Konad system. I've been dying to get ever since I caught a glimpse of it on anonther blog. I've never been skilled at doing my nails. I've finally mastered painitng my nails smoothly, without a whole lot of mess. That's a real accomplishemnt in my books.
But the Konad results look SO amazing.
I bought my Konad items on G-market, for awesome prices. The stamper and scrapper were only 4000 won, the plates 3500won each, and the polishes 3000won.  I spent 34000 in total, and got extactly the plates I wanted to start out with an exactly the colors. Since the kits range from 16000 to 20000, for a basic one including the one sided stamper, scraper, two polishes, and two or 3 plates. My haul with 4 colors 4 or 5 plates, the double ended stamper, sponge, and scraper, along with two packs of free rhinestones and a bottle of nail polish remover, was an excellent deal.
Plus since I spent over 30000, shipping was free!

So here are the items

The scraper
The Double ended stamper. 
The long size makes it way better the regular. Plus the short side is perfect for touch ups, or multiple stamp patterns.
As you can see the stamper and the scraper have the Konad logo, and little butterfly. The finger indentations on the scraper are a ncie addition, though not entirely necessary.
The red side is significantly larger than the green. The red being bigger than the quarter, and the green smaller than a nickel. For some reason, the images don't stick to the green side as well, so I generally use the red side, unless I need to be extra exact.

The Plates
Plate #56 - celtic designs
Plate #66 - Cherry Blossoms, Lotus flowers, and bamboo (My favorite!)
Plate #S9 - Flowers, and Japanese designs
Plate #73 - Whole nail patterns (music, squares, etc.)
Plate #79 - Whole nail patterns (Super cute clouds, and others :) 

The Nail Polish
I purchased four colors, Pink, Purple, Black and white. However the seller sent me black pearl, and white pearl! Not what I ordered or wanted at all....
I ordered regular white again from the same seller, but got pearl again. So i ended up ordering it from a different seller....

Also interestingly enough the polishes came in two different packages, even though they were from the same seller. Two came in packages with Korean, and two in English. Mind you the packaging does not make a difference, it's just curious.

I got a few free gifts also, A sponge, for doing shaded nails
Also two packs of rhinestones, in pink and white. The are sooooo tiny!

The Review
Though I've never been big on painting my nails, unwilling to do anything than slick a quick coat of paint on them. I think this is partly due to my lack of skills, and my desire for simplicty.
After living in Japan, with the ridiculous fake, over decorate nails, I tend to like simple designs.
The Konad system gives me really pretty nails, and it's only up to me whether I want something simple and classy, or wild and crazy.
Using the system is simple, a little frustrating, but simple. You paint you nails a solid color. Then you aply the special nail polish to the plate, you swipe of the excess polish with the scraper, and press down with the stamper.
You then press the stamper onto the nail, rolling from one side to the other (for small designs just pressing down is usually fine). Then cover it all with a quick coat of top coat.

The special nail polish is super tiny. They are only 5ml, Nail polishes are usually at least double that. Plus considering these tiny Nail polishes are ~3000won ($3) each. In Korea Full sized Nail polishes cost 1000 or 2000won($1-2). Thats really expensive for something so tiny.
I thought when I was buying the system, that the size wouldn't matter. I mean it only takes a tiny little bit of polish to do each design. But that's only half true. It does only take a tiny bit of polish to do the super thin layer needed for each layer. To make that thin layer requires a gob of polish. I've tried spreading only a thin layer, but sometimes parts will dry out before it can be stamped. The thiner I spread the polish on the plate, the worse the results.
That means a lot of wasted polish for each application. Then theres the fact that half of the time you stamp a design, something goes wrong. Sometimes it only picks up some, some stick to the plate (meaning you were to slow or the plate wasn't clean enough), or the design blurs (meaning there is too much polish on the plate, or you jiggled the stamper too much), or something else goes wrong....
*sigh* the result is you have to do at least twice as many stamps than you would think should be required. It's ridiculous.

Because of the cost, the size and the limited color selection available, I've done a few attempts with regular Nail polish. The Konad special polish is really different than regular polish. It's super thick and sticky. Its like liquid rubber.
Regular nail polish is a thin liquid. So the results with other polishes are a bit hit or miss. Nail art polishes work pretty well since they tend to be thicker. Just normal nail polish also works for big designs, without intricate detail.
The problem with using any other Nail polish is it makes the whole process even more frustrating. Instead of having some bad stamps, lots are bad, and they ten stamp tends to blur a lot easier. You end up using so much nail polish, that you're not saving anyone money.  It's really just a lot easier and quicker to use the Konad special polishes. Unless I'm looking for a particular color, I don't bother.

The images last as long as regular nail polish, but look soooo cool!
It's way easier than airbrushing (obviously) and even stickers.
Once I got the hang of it, I was doing all kinds of super cool things.
Plus, since you can get all the parts on G-Market for way cheaper than it is to buy a kit, you can get exactly what you want, without paying a ton :)

I recommend this system to everyone. It is just that cool, that easy, and that affordable :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Etude House Styling Eyeliner -White

Etude House Styling Eyeliner -White
Price: 2500won ($2.50)

This liner is a white dial up liner, designed for the inner edges of your eye, your water line. Or at least I think so.

As you cans see from my swatch it applies beautifully to the skin, very white, very opague. However on the waterline, it's not so successful. It doesn't really show up at all. If I aply it on my eyelids or the inner corner of my eyes, no problem, a bright crisp white.
But on the water line... Useless.
It's a shame. As an eyeliner I can't fault it, but who uses a white eyeliner for the outer rims?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Etude House - Sweet Appleade Body lotion

Etude House - Sweet Appleade Body lotion
Price: 6000won ($6)
Size: 300ml

Torn between the peach body lotion and the apple(my favorite scent usually!) I picked up both, in different forms (sort of justifying the double purchase....).
And while body oils aren't really my thing, this sort of body lotion is!
I ADORE food scents. This one is yummy. It's not a realistic green apple smell, it definately smells like candy. But it's not overpowering, or sickly sweet. It's a really nice smell, well balanced.

The moisturizer is pretty basic, it's light, creamy and moistrizing. It's no better or worse than the average body lotion I find here in Korea. The only difference is the scent and packaging.
But since it's pretty inexpensive for a body lotion (for some reason here in Korea they are really expensive.... Like $10-12 just for a regular size of lotion that at home would be $4 or 5...), plus I love the scent, it's a great buy for me. I will be buying the body wash, foot spray, body oil.... etc....

Monday, April 12, 2010

Etude House Milk Screw - 04

Etude House Milk Screw - 04
Price: 3500won ($3.50)

I've become absolutely addicted to my cream canmake blush. It;s just the perfect peachy pink, that's so wearable for everyday.
I picked up the Etude house milk screw,a lipstick, to go with the blush. I really need a peachy pink gloss, on cream to naturally pair with the canmake blush. My lips are naturally quite pink, so it can look a bit off with a peach blush...

So I picked up the Milk screw. Why in the world is it called a milk screw? Really a terrible name for anything.
It's not quite a lipstick not quite a gloss. It applies beautifully sheerily.
And then turns pink....
It's a color change product!
When I tried it in store I quickly swatched it, and it showed up peach. I didn't look back later and realize it turned pink.
The pink is very pink, It's not peachy at all!

And honestly, it's a bit too bright for me to wear.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Etude House -Creamy Peach Chou Body Oil

Etude House -Creamy Peach Chou Body Oil
Price: 7500won ($7.50)
Size: 150ml

I still haven't decided how I feel about body oils..... On the one hand, after a shower they help retain moisture, and make my skin beautiful and soft. On the other hand, they are messy, staining, dripping, oil slick creating disasters waiting to happen.
Plus, if I use one any time except after shower-time, I just end up with dry skin topped by a mess.

But.... I bought the Etude house Chou body oil anyways....
It comes in a nice convient pump bottle, and though it's small compared with my Nivea Avocado oil for a similar price, the convience definately is a benefit (My Nivea bottle always seems to be slippery and akward, and I keep waiting for it to shoot from my hands and create an oily avocado scented calamity)

Inside the oil is surprisingly light, and absorbs surprisngly well. I can actually use it at non shower times, with out too bad of results. 
Maybe I was wrong about body oils? I HATE the Nivea Avocado oil, but maybe it's just that paticular one? What do you think?

The Chou body oil is also deliciously scented. It's not the realistic peach of Tony Moly's Peach hand cream, It's a more sugary, candy peach smell. But I don't find it to be sickeningly sweet, and though it's strong, it dissapates quickly, leaving just a light scent of peach close to the skin.

In the end, I'm not sold on body oils. I like this one for after a shower, but otherwise I'd rather have a good cream(preferably a butter)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Etude house mini haul

Etude House mini splurge

I ran out of  mascara. So I HAD to go buy some more. I couldn't possibly live without Mascara!
.... Um.... I am only half serious.
Anyway, my lack of mascara sent me to Etude house to pick up a new one, and I ended up splurging on a few things....
Sweet Appleade Moisturizer
Creamy Peach Chou Body Oil
Lash Desiging Viteara (Vital or Vitamin Mascara)
Milk Screw in 04

The AC Clinic kit, Hello Kitty pouch and Wing pen were free gifts :)

Canmake Cream Cheek

Canmake Cream Cheek -
Price 600yen ($6+)Most people familar with Japanese cosmetics will be familar with the drugstore brand Canmake. I generally don't pick up their things, because they always look so tiny for the price. But after hearing that the cream blush is good, and being entranced by the pretty peach color, I picked it up last time I was in Japan. The packaging is really small, it's bigger than a dollar coin, but not by much....
Inside is a dense cream blush.
A dense, BEAUTIFUL blush.

This is my absolute Favorite blush ever! It is just gorgeous. Seriously gorgeous. It's super pigmented, but super blendable. I take the tinest bit on a finger tip, and rub it ontop my cheeks. I can totally build and adjust the amount of color to my liking. 
And oh the color, it's just gorgeous, it's bright, but not too bright, it's sweet but not childish. It's peach but not orange.
It's jsut too beautiful. I'm tempted tp buy 5 and hide them away, in case this color is ever discontinued. It is just that gorgeous. Everyone should have one.