Saturday, 24 July 2010

Skincare on a budget: Beautyfriends sheet masks

During my share of browsing on my favourite Korean shopping oasis online, that is gmarket, I stumbled upon a Korean brand I haven't heard from before: Beautyfriends!

Well, googling a bit later I found that Kathi from Lotuspalace, or the queen of Asian cosmetic reviews, already has written something about their brand over here, so check that out for a profound review. I will be focussing more on the fantastic deal I got!


First of all, I love the name Beautyfriends. It is how I see the fellow bloggers I sometimes communicate with online. As sort-of-friends that review, show you their new and not-so-new goods, and often write entertaining articles about their finds in the field of beauty.


Well, as I wrote earlier, I was able to pick three sheet-masks from a collection of 10 sorts, and I stuck to the Marine Algae mask, which I considered to be often really soothing for sensitive skin and marine properties are often ace for anti-aging (see the infamous Creme de La Mer, a product that I do not rate so high, but it is a popular and highly raved product based on Marine and Algae properties).

I also took Pomegranate, as the fruit is also highly acclaimed in anti-aging skincare, and Royal Jelly. Royal Jelly is something my dad was really fanatic about when I was younger, as it is a super energiser and life-booster product. So I added that one in the selection of 3 masks I picked.

3 picks...I figured that I would receive 10 masks. The price is 9,900 won, approximately $ 8.48 and even a ridiculously cheap 6.50 euro and perhaps only 5.50 British Pounds. (Not xe.com right now, but you can always check for the precise rate).

No sir, or no lady...I got a hefty 30.....yes THIRTY sheet masks for only 6.50 euros!!! Wowza, in three different sorts

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I figured that the quality of these masks would be not extemely sophisticated. Somehow, that suprised me.

The sheet masks are quite liquidy...thus, it is more of a tonic-like substance than a gel-like or cream-like fluid inside the sheets. I found them to be really moistened up and there will be plenty of substance left in the satchet after you got the sheet mask out.

Scent-wise, they have a artificial scent that somewhat is reminiscent of the type of mask, so expect a marine-type-artificial scent with the marine and a pomegranate faux-scent with that mask. Nevertheless, the perfume is not obtruding and did not irritate my skin.

The shape of the sheet mask is not perfect. The mouth is not wide enough for me, so it covers a bit over corners of my mouth, which makes it perfect for people with dainty mouths. Further on, it does not reach the sides of my face, but a bit of stretching makes up for that.

The effect, nevertheless, if absolutely lovely. It perks up the skin in a slight but somewhat noticeable manner and the added moisture is really lovely when your skin feels like it could use that little bit of extra.

What the good thing is of a somewhat budget purchase with reasonable quality is that it takes less to put on a mask and treat yourself. I mean, I have SKII sheet masks as well, but they are an average of $10 per masks. That means that  I save those treatments for special occasions and really take my time to let the highly expensive substance do its magic on me.

However, daily life sometimes is a bit hasty so it is good to know that you can put on a cheaper variety, and not feel as guilty when you have to take it off after 5 minutes because you really have to go to work/study/friends/etc...Somewhat I feel not so guilty about a sheet mask of $ 0.28 being thrown away than a sheet mask of $ 10.

Still, SKII is of a better quality, honestly. It really can take me from looking tired (after hours of travelling) to ready-for-a-night-out (still need the makeup though, it is not that miracle-esque :D).

Overall, if you already are familiar with ordering on gmarket, try this package of sheet masks (and try different kinds so I can read new reviews about those ;p) and you can share so much with your friends ...or you can try the seller Kathi listed in her posts about these masks (again, the link to her post here).

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Banila Co. bon voyage Cream Blusher in 01 Sunset Glow

Today I am going to review my third and last item from the Banila Co. summer 2010 line. I have already reviewed the eyeshadow palette and a lipstick from their line in previous posts, and I have saved the most remarkable product for last.



The Bon Voyage Cream Blusher is a part of the nautical line of the Africa collection. Banila Co. has two versions this year, one with a pink leopard print, and one with nautical print.

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I picked the colour in Sunset glow.

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The packaging is just as pretty as the lipstick I have, with fresh-looking white tube with red and blue stripes.

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Opening the blusher, I was in for a suprise. I thought it would be the same concept as the NARS multiple sticks, or any other stick-like blusher. It is not! It has a pump-like flacon that is both hygienic as convienient. The content is 17 ml.

It is not super-original way of providing blush, as By Terry and Armani have similar pumplike flacons, but it is still quite good.

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The colour that comes out is a neutral pink with some golden idirescence. It is not quite the Sunset Glow I had in mind, although a sunset can turn out pink as well

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Something more remarkable than the pump flacon for blush, is the texture. It has a similar feel as primer does. Or, the Smashbox-type of primers. Normally a liquid blush is either watery (Benefit Benetint) or milk/lotion like (By Terry and Armani). I have never encountered a liquid blush with a silicon-like feel. That somewhat makes it perfect for the skins that are not so perfect.

Blush blended out:

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The only downside, to me, is that is is quite sheer when blended out. Perhaps I mind this because with the summer my skintone has been a bit darker, so it might look more obvious when I will become a pale person again ;D.

I think it is possible to layer a bit for more colour, as the texture makes it easy to put another layer on.

I bought mine on gmarket from seller 바닐라코.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Diary of the Travelling Eyeshadow: Kiko eyeshadow in 83

 When travelling or playing the tourist I often have a different attitude towards makeup than at home. Still, I do find myself intrigued when passing a makeup store that I have never seen before or ever heard of.

During a citytrip in Barcelona I stumbled upon KIKO, a Milanian makeup brand. Well, finding new goodies can also be the benefit of travelling, so I browsed in their collection and swatched a bit of the colours.

KIKO, according to their site (here), is available in Italy, Spain and Germany. It kind of makes it tempting to have something that is not easy to get in your own country, doesn't it? That made the appeal even bigger for me to buy something.

One of my purchases has been this beautifully lustrous peacock green eyeshadow for about 5 euro. Which, so lovely, KIKO has affordable prices all over the store.



They have an attractive slogan: "Be what you want", which somewhat is a Italenglish of "be what you want to be" (but don't quote me on it, I am not a native Engish speaker either, so it might be perfectly correct Standard English).

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It somewhat reminds me of that wonderfully tacky 90's hit I used to dance on of Kristine W. (WHO? well, play the video and you'll probably know or you are just quite too young to remember, which is ok as well.)



Well, the theme is somewhat similar at Illamasqua, as they have "makeup for your alter ego". I believe KIKO is not so much about alter egos (only if you like to), but more about the choice to be the you that you-yourself wants to be... (yeh yeh, it can also be that marketing thing, but hey, let me philosophize about KIKO's deeper meaning).

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The colour is really vibrant in the pan.

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That brings me to the quantity: you receive a whopping 3 gr of eyeshadow. To compare, dear old MAC only gives you 1.3 gr.

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I really like the velvety look of the eyeshadow.

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It is pigmented enough to apply without eyeshadow base (I did not use a base in the swatch). So, with a base you can probably get even better results.

Overall, it is a cute little purchase, good quality and a colour that I enjoy, with added memories of the beautiful city I bought it from.

Too bad (or good?) that it is so difficult to get...

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Etude House Happy Teatime foaming cleanser in Lemon Tea

And while the rest of the people in the Netherlands are going totally bonkers about tonight's final Soccer wordcup match, I am too bored for words and feel like writing another review on some beauty product...

Honestly, I am slightly enthousiastic as well, and even bought one of those dodgy coloured orange dresses in order to show my nationalistic side. Ha ha ha...

Back to the review...

As if I do not have enough facial cleansers, I thought it would be a good idea to buy something from Etude House in the cleansing department. I normally steer away from the skincare range from Etude House, but somehow I have encountered some lovely cleansers (for example the Baking Soda Cleanser) that have the right balance between detoxifying the skin from the daily polution and softness to keep the skin balanced.

I like a soft Tea based scent, thus I opted for the Happy Teatime range. Happy Teatime is also divided in different kinds of teas, ranging from Aloe Tea, Peach Tea, Milk Tea and Green Tea. I enjoy a bit of a zesty scent, so I picked lemon tea.


The cleansing tubes match the scent, so my tube is a soft yellow colour, and if you would have picked the Aloe one, you would have gotten a green based tube.


For the description and the ingredients, please click on the picture:

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What is apparent from this cleanser is that you will get lots of product for your money, 120 ml. The tube is quite large, and I was confused if it was a shower gel, or such. For convienience, I placed a MAC lipstick next to it to show you its volume.


The gel-like cleanser is also a soft yellow colour:

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Now to the actual review:

What I like about this cleanser is the soft scent. It has more lemony elements in it than tea. Although, it smells like one of those cheaper, generic kind of tea brands that sell lemon tea, so in that option it is similar. The scent is not obtrusive, however, it is not explicably zesty or a real eyeopener.

The gel/cream gives a lovely foam when in contact with water. It lathers up in a good way and lots of people love a good, foaming product in order to get that clean feeling.

Unfortunately, I found the cleansing properties to be too harsh. The first couple of try-outs were lovely, but after two days I experienced that the cleanser STRIPPED the skin on my face too much. After cleansing, I would get that matte, slightly rough feeling on my skin.

I had to easy my face with soft toners, also to remove a kind of plasticy layer that the cleanser had left (weird story, but it felt like a certain plastic layer had been applied to my face).

Overall, I am not going to use this cleanser for my face again. It makes a good brush cleanser, and my brushes have that soft lemon scent afterwards.

For a softer Etude House cleanser with also a slightly lemony scent, I would rate Etude House Baking Soda Cleanser a better option.

It was not an expensive buy. I bought this one for $5.33 on ebay, and my brushes will be quite happy with them.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Banilla co. Bon Voyage Kiss Collector Lip Stick in PK553 Tequilla Sunrise

Yesterday I posted about Banila Co.'s new Summer 2010 line. The line, divided in a leopard printed version and a nautical theme version, has already been a hit for me considering the eyeshadow palette in Africa.

Well, I bought something for the cute pink leopard line, so how could I not buy something of the nautical line? He he, ofcourse I did.


I was attracted to the colour portrayed in the online promotional picture of the lipstick. It looks like a wonderfully peachy colour.

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And, I am always interested in something that colours and moisturizes my pucker in a beautifying manner, so I added this lipstick to my banila haul.

The theme of this year that Banila Co. picked is Bon Voyage Africa. Weirdly enough, they named their lipstick Tequilla Sunrise.

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Not that people in Africa do not drink any Tequilla Sunrises, but it has more of a Mexican or Latin-American connotation to me.

The tube itself is as wonderfully in the red, blue and white stripes as the box. The colours are really refreshingly nautical.

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The colour of the lipstick is a peachy nude and quite similar as the colour portrayed in the promotion picture.

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This is a colour that is often a favourite with a lot of beauty bloggers who opt for a natural/nude mouth. The peach in it makes it alive (instead of the liver-toned mouth that some nudish lipstick can have).

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Personally, it is a bit lighter than my natural liptone at this moment. So on me it looks like a kind of lipstick that is more pale-peachy nude than it looks on the swatch. The swatch is accurate, though! It is only that my liptone is quite rosy.

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Texture-wise, it is quite moisturizing, but not as moisturizing as the Shiseido Maquillage lipsticks (but they are exceptionally moisture-bombs I ♥). This lipstick is more moisturizing than, for instance, MAC lipsticks and that makes it a confortable wear.

I think that the pigmentation is medium. It covered all of my rosiness in my mouth. It is not exactly sheer, neither very opaque. Medium, indeed.

I have bought this lipstick on gmarket, item no. 189068595, for 13.000 won or $ 10.97 (here). There are three more shades of this line, each in a natural-toned hue.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Banilla Co Bon Voyage eyeshadow quad in S08 Africa

Banila Co. has been one of my favourite Korean brands I have encountered over the last couple of years. Although they do not release as oftenly as Etude House, they often have some suprisingly cute Summer collections that have good products quality-wise.

Last year I was completely fan of their Copacobana collection. And honestly, the Copacabana bronzer is still a staple in my bronzer wardrobe. It has that mix between brown and rosy that makes a believable bronzed flush for the slightly lighter skintones.

Banila Co., like me, loves to travel. This year their collection is called Bon Voyage (good journey in French)


Banila Co. has divided the Bon Voyage in two themes this year.

The first is a nautical theme, with no fixed destination. That is probably the best thing about travelling by boat anyway...the total freedom of placing your boat at any place possible (as long as the authorities permit you to do so).

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The second theme is called Africa and has their packaging adorned with pink leopard print.

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I picked up the eyeshadow quad from the Africa collection. I have liked Banila Co. eyeshadow consistency before, and I preferred the colour composition of Africa over the Nautical. Nautical consists mostly of sea-like blues and Africa has a more nature inspired colours.

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First, the packaging is so cute with the pink leopard.

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The quad consists of 3 powder shades, and one cream based colour. The powders are a mix of bronze, mossy olive and cloudy blue. The cream colour (left under) is a deep brown colour with golden specks inside.

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The powder shadows apply like a dream: they are incredibly buttery in texture and glides over inperfections. I absolutely love the glow that is in them...they are so shimmery and wonderful. Almost like the perfect summer composition for a eyeshadow palette.

The cream is also suprisingly good (left under in the swatch picture). Normally the cream products are not that fantastic or something I would reach for, but the brown, golden specked colour and the consistency of the cream promise to make a fantastic waterproof eyeshadow or eyeliner (although I haven't tested the waterproof-ness yet).

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Overall, I absolutely am madly enamorated by this palette! Luv Luv Luv it!

I bought this palette on gmarket over here. It is not cheap (22.000 won or $18.43 at the time of writing), but both cute and fantastic qualitywise. I suspect it will pop up on ebay as well.

Etude House Highlight Me Body-balm

After a reasonable while resisting the temptation of Gmarket, I decided to make a small order for the sake of research of my blog.

(ok ok, and my own shopping curiosity...)

I often check out if Etude House has some new additions to their line. It is difficult to keep track of their latest releases by their website (etudehouse.co.kr), because they do not seem to update recently about their new releases.

So I often look at the gmarket shop and click on 'recently listed' to see if....something is recently listed is new.

They actually had something interesting last time. They added a new body-oriented line with products for slimming, toning and other body related cosmetics under the name 'Hot & Cool'.


Also, a body highlighter that looks rather similar to Benefit's line: The cute retro inspired girl and a brightly coloured box.


The message is as cute as ever: Brighten your body, brighten your charm.

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It is not really promising you the world or worldpeace or to be as bright as Einstein, but your charm will be brightened.

(mmm, I'm not sure about charm aspect, but I'll get the idea).

First, the fact I was lured in was of that wonderful bunch of extras Etude House promised me. Anyway, I have ordered from Etude House before, and they can be fickle with their promises (or, I have misread something in Korean that has some regulations about shopping for at least a certain amount of cash before receiving them).

They promised me this:

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Looks lovely, ah?

And all I got was this:

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It contains 2x 2 ml of their Total Age Repair line.

I am not going to complain further about this...but you can see the difference between the promise and the actual delivery.

I have more things to be slightly iffy about.

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I have made a picture of the side of the box. It is quite large and bulky, which I normally do not mind, as long as it has as much inside as what it looks like.

In this case, there is a whole lot of empty space, or space that has a powder puff inside.

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That powder puff also is incredibly useless to me, because the actual product is a bodyBALM. How on earth would you like to apply a bodybalm (read: CREAMY product) with a puff that targets for POWDER?

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However, I am also quite happy about the actual product...(I put this in large letters, because the texture and consistency of the balm is actually really workable and gorgeous).

Only, I would say that is too subtle for body highlighting!

(Did I actually use the word subtle and highlighting in one phrase? I always mention how glitterly and too shiny some products are)


It makes a fantastic FACE highlighter in my opinion....

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The balm gives a sheer white glow on the skin. There are not obvious sparkles or specks to be seen, just a subtle glow that can enhance cheekbones, browbones or the cupid bow of the lip.

If you still like to use it for subtle body highlighting, the collar bone around the neck or you can shade and highlight the cleavage for optical volume, or place some highlighter on the shins of your legs to make them slimmer.

I have found this tip on glamourmagazine online: 'Can you guess which beauty tip these Victoria's Secret models use here to look a bit sexier?", which uses body highlighter as well (here).

Well, if they would actually NEED it to look sexier...blah...(chants: not jealous, not jealous).

Anyway, it is also a relief to know that these women are prepped for a fashion show (and are in the makeup seat for quite some time).

Overal conclusion:
Positive:
  • The product itself is such a lovely, whitish highlighter that suits a large variety of complexions and skintones due to its sheerness. 
  • I believe it is more suited for facial highlighting, but it can be a subtle and delicate body highligher as well.
  • The texture is quite balmy, thus perhaps people with combination or oily skin will prefer to opt for a powder highlighter instead
  • The can is cute looking with the retro image
  • The price is reasonable: around $9 including shipping. 
Negative:
  • The can is too bulky, with little product inside
  • The powder puff is absolutely useless
  • Etude's gmarket shop does not have it listed anymore(?)