Thursday, 29 November 2012

Armani Cosmetics concealer: of Old and New

Often we are into that "new is better"-rut. Sorry to use the word "rut", however, that is what it sometimes feels like. I think most beauty-bloggers are totally triggered by everything that has "new", "limited edition" a certain moment..."anti-ageing" will ring some bells too.

I stumbled upon my old Armani concealer as for finding a swap equalizer on Makeupalley. The reviews were quite good and the swatches online even better. Receiving it, I found a quite-near HG concealer I happily brought with me during the summer holidays

So newer-better-more-improved...and all the WOW and HG stories online made me buy the latest Armani Cosmetics Maestro Eraser in colour 4. The older one is the High Precision Retouch.

Ok, the size is bigger! But is bigger always better?

So they are joined sisterly online at the Armani Cosmetics site:

A bigger size and a higher price. Also, one extra colour to choose from.


Slightly yuckie Mid-blending swatch: to show new Armani ONLY needs a TINY dot for lotsa product

Last swatch: blended (only the bottom is slightly unblended for reference)

  • The old High Precision Retouch is a better match for my skin. 
  • Both have similar to the same smoothing qualities over skin: I liked the old being diffusing enough but not too fake, and the new one diffuses similarly
  • Both have the same thin-ness: both quite liquid with a emulsion quality.
  • Maestro Concealer needs less product for more coverage
After buying the new colour I have to say I am still really impressed by Armani's outstanding quality.  However, it is quite similar in my opinion, only the older version being a better colour match. Perhaps I should visit a counter once more to swatch all colours in both types, and see if the colour numbers match up too. The new tube-squeeze formula is more hygienic than the older almost-eyeliner-like brush, but you can work with hygiene by patting your eyeliner tip on a sanitised spatula. And, it's a matter of preference as well as the eyeliner tip-applicator is really handy for being on the road and the option to apply your concealer really precisely without having to bring too many other tools. 

A fantastic new product, but just as good as the older High Precision Retouch in texture and coverage.

Friday, 23 November 2012

My Beauty Dairy 2-Step America Soothing Pack

I love my sheetmasks...I once learned that sheltering the skin from the outer elements while doing a masks enhances it's effectiveness, and sheetmasks have this element included by covering the face with a cloth.

My Beauty Diary has already been one of my favourite brands. Trying out their 2-step system was on my wishlist, and I picked the America variety as I normally need soothing and calming the most during this time of year.

There are other continents represented with their properties as well: eg. Africa being hydrating, Asia being brightening and Europe being clarifying.

I can understand why Asia would be connected to brightening (as brightening and having lighter skin is high on most Asian skincare-user's wishlist) but I wonder why America got soothing. Perhaps Obama being reelected and trying to sooth the world economy into better states?

Sasa explains it that the ingedients connected to being soothing are found in (North-)America: "marigold, cotton, mimosa, echinacea plant and Crafts essence". But, the cheaters, there is also "organic bamboo water from the mountains of Asia" being found in there. 

So what is so 2-step about this system. Simply, you use the sheetmask first, and apply their taylored face-cream afterwards.

The quality of their sheetmask is like most of the MBD varieties: although I found that it tore quite easily when I tried to place it differently on my face.

sheetmask: nothing unusual
The second step, applying facecream, wasn't the most handy way for me: (Uhoh)

step 2: cream pours out when making a small tear...not too handy
I think this step is not really necessary when having done step 1 (the sheetmask). I found my face to be calmed and hydrated enough. Nevertheless, it is a wonderful step for the dryer skintypes out there.

  • designed for soothing? Yes, it has a calming effect on the skin and didn't irritate it (and I'm quite sensitive on the field of skin lately)
  • scent: a bit of a mild chemical cucumber...I almost wanted to say "an American cucumber" as I smell this type of "cucumber"-scent a lot in American body-products. It is really light and not obtrusive. However, the people looking for a fragance-free mask will probably have to skip it.
  • anti-ageing? Not really. Although lessening irritation can also qualify as "youth-defending". However, priorities have to be made with skincare and if your skin gets red/irritated, then diminishing that element is often more important than anti-ageing. However, there are products on the market that do both, such as Ren Hydra-Calm Youth defending serum
  • 2 step necessity? Not really to me, but I use the moisturizer separate from the sheetmask and try to remember to make a really tiny tear.
  • Hydrating properties of sheetmask? plenty serum/liquid. The mask is still moisturizing enough after 20 minutes of use.
  • Size Sheetmask? It is on the smaller side on the width of the face. I'm from North-Europe and I wonder if broader face-types can fully cover the whole width of their face.

It's a lovely mask and it's quite soothing. It's scented lightly. I personally think the 2-step is a bit gimmicky, but the extra face-cream (somewhere between lotion and cream) is nice and penetrates easily. I think the quality of the sheetmask itself is a bit thin and I think it could have been designed a bit wider for the Asian market. Nevertheless, I think My Beauty Diary has delivered a wonderful mask that keeps it's promise of soothing, and the names attached to the use to the continent is really cute.

I bought my package on sasa (here) for $18.70

Monday, 19 November 2012


Lingering on other sites makes you crave new thingies. The dear "Worship" once showcased some European goodies with those old-fashioned packages (here). That made me even more curious for this tube when seeing it in Portugal

It comes in one of those metallic squeezy tubes that stays like that when once squeezed.

It has been used since 1928 by various famous Portuguese, eg. the last queen of Portugal. But the romantic part was buying it during one of my journeys.

Not so romantic, but you can buy it from this place too.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Dejavu Lash Knockout Mascara

I have been writing about Dejavu before, thus it's almost looks like a Dejavu moment. Ok, not really because this isn't the standard dejaVu fiberlash.

I basically said that I liked the original DejaVu as it is one of those easy products that both keeps the curl AND (capital letters) removes easily. Most people knowing their curl-keeping mascaras, either waterproof or Asian, will have their arsenal of removers ready-set-go in their beauty cupboards. Because how else would you remove the total stubbornness from your eyes that gladly keeps up your delicately crafted curl with the mechanic eyelash curler in the morning?

With this easy on-easy off formula of the original DejaVu compromised on volume. It lenghtened, but not as fabulous as Majolica Majorca lash Expander, or the combination of Kanebo Kate mascara-primer and some high end DiorShow or another mega plumper/lenghtener.

Then I used the Lash Knockout version and...tadaaa...I have more thickness.

Comparing brushes: thickness of the Collection 2000 Fake Lashes is similar to Dior DiorShow mascara
So it's one of those typical mid-size brushes you see in most mascara brands these days. Not those thin brushes aiming for lenght, or those comb-brushes. However, it is not of those scary, big (and sometimes not useful for defining) megabrushes either that almost seem to swamp lashes.

  • more volumising/thickening than the original DejaVu Fiberwig. More thickening than Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus (but that one is more lenghtening due to its fibers)
  • Good thickening: not the superdrama as the combination Kanebo Kate eyelash primer/Dior Show, but the removal time is less too.
  • apply carefully, as you can actually overplump in one stroke
  • Washes off relatively easily with the right temperature of water (lukewarm to warm) in tiny flakes
  • Most women probably still have to use some eyemakeup remover to remove the remains of the other eyemakeup (pencil/eyeshadow), but the stubborn rubbing to eyelashes is gone (ok, never do that...just hold the cotton pad gently with the remover to the eye and stroke delicately).
  • jet-black colour: not really glossy but neither matte.


Season changes can make my eyes more sensitive, and sometimes even the most suitable-for-sensitive-eyes removers can be too much. Furthermore, the curl-holding mascaras I often use need the stronger bi-oily removers. To skip this step (or just around the eyes for other eye-makup) I can rely on DejaVu Knockout, without compromising on thickness. It keeps a defined, full and curly lash for the whole day until I rinse my eyes with lukewarm water. The price is not too expensive for around $16, although Sasa seems to be sold out again, I found it here and here.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Review: Visee Mineral Cheek Baby Finish PK 800

My last review of the last haul was my initial favourite of the bunch.

Spoilers ahead: I will maintain my initial enthousiasm about it, only more nuanced:

The idea is that I used to like MAC and the likes, and then came the Lunasols, Rouge Bunny Rouge, Le Metier de Beaute and the superb Burberry Beauty on the scene. Those fantastic blushers made MAC a bit meh. I can still understand its massive appeal, but being more spoiled is just that you reach for the ones you like better. I think the other niche snobs afficionadas know what I am saying ;-)

And then again there is my like for Japanese cosmetics and my undying curiosity to try out new blushers. Moreover, I had a steady love for mineral makeup for a while when my skin was really on the edge, and I loved the way it got it calmer on both inner and outer level. So the word mineral brings up really positive connotations, although I hardly use it anymore.

Basically, minerals are beautiful, especially when your skin is not really happy, but the slightly chemical foundations can make you look slightly more polished. So when my skin got better and happier I tried some more chemical foundations, and stuck with them. Similar with blush.

Makes me think of it: is the Visee Mineral cheek a true mineral? Probably not (still not fluent with the language on the box), however, the element of mineral must be present or otherwise why would Visee promote it quite clearly?

Ok, return to the blush itself instead of all the mineral-chat. It has a hygienic tube-like distributor. Mind this is more hygienic than the Lavshuca Girly Whip Cheek I showed you a couple of days before.

Highly pigmented, I already said that in my first preview.
Which basically stays that way on the skin:

When I blended it, I had the memory of my Kose Addiction Cheekstick in Revenge in mind. So what else to do than compare the two?

Swatches: on bare skin/no foundation

This first one is slightly blended :
 Which basically says my memoric powers were right! They are really similar with the difference in finish. Both are vivid corally pinks with a slight neon-ish undertone. The only thing is that Addiction cheekstick looks slightly more pore/line diffusing than the more gel-like Visee Mineral cheek.

Completely blended:
In blended state the difference is even less visible. However, the Addiction Revenge probably has more silicones or other fillers that makes the skin looks slightly more polished. Still both blend well and give out a lovely and quite regular flushed complexion.

I tried the Visee on lips too: it gives out a vivid stain but the gel-formula also makes the lips feel dry (so bring out the lipbalm to top up). Opposite to Kose Addiction, which is a true hybrid 1 (original review here
(1. noting that I only found this in the colour and formula of Revenge and not so much with Rose Bar).


I liked this blush on first sight, although I was quite shocked of the vividness of the colour. I placed a couple of tiny dots on the cheeks and it blended quite easily and without being blotchy. Not all of these gel-like products do that: I personally do not have that much luck with the Becca Beachtint variety.

It becomes a peachy pink with a slightly neonish undertone after 20 seconds of blending. It makes my paler winterskin look fresh and slightly flushed in a good way, as it is a part of my fantastic healthy life (ahum). I like the fact it has no glitters or shimmers. The promise of baby finish is quite true too.
What I like most of it, is the potential to work on darker skintones. If you blend it less vigorously as I did, the pigment will look vivid on a darker complexion too: that is not something that every brand can say about their blush simply being targeted on lighter skinned complexion only.
The durability is about 5 hours with a slight fading after that time, depending on the base underneath (it works on non-foundation skin too).


I like it a lot and think it would be a fantastic summer product as well, although I haven't tested it waterproof-ness. Perhaps my Australian or other Southern hemisphere readers can do that for me as they have a delightful promise of summer approaching (not jealous...ehm). I am thinking about buying some other colours too, for example the more subtle rosy mauve PK 801 looks enticing. The price is right for $13.50 over here.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Review: Lavshuca Girly Whip Cheek PK-2

Cute, girly and in an affordable pricerange: I really understand the appeal of Kanebo Lavshuca as a brand.
This time the focus on the kawaii factor is nothing to be dissapointed about: check out the adorable box in candy-floss colours and the most adorable heart at the cardboard end. 

In my last post I had the case of mistaking a lipgloss for being a cheek-product.

Today I have the opposite feeling with the Lavshuca Girly Whip: Doesn't this one look rather shaped like a dainty lipgloss tube?
And check out the wand...if the product on it wasn't so opaque and creamy it could be another lipgloss (or one of those velvety lip-products that are out these days)
Ok, before going to swatch-land, what does it state on the box?

Ok, the English part as I'm not that fluent with the Mandarin nor Japanese yet: 

The cautions are slighty on the obvious site, but I like them still being stated and for the English (read: American) public they have to be certain they don't get any lawsuit-cases behind their pants for not having listed any warnings.

 I was a bit aware of trying out this one: it has some visible gold-hued sparklies inside and I wasn't too sure how this would show on my skin:

The product itself has the most velvety consistency and has the feel of a high end primer on the skin
Blended out:

I think it is more of a pinky highlighter than a blush and it reminds me a lot of the Lunasol Cream Cheeks EX 4 in Tender Glow Pink (review/swatch here)


When I received my 3 lovelies last week (here) I tended to like the Visee Mineral Cheek a bit more as it was more targeted in colouring cheeks instead of highlighting. I compared the two and perhaps I shouldn't done that, however, I wanted to show my readers how something targeted as a cheek-product can be sooo different.

Anyway, I have stepped over my initial fear of sparklies and have to say I LOVE this one as a pink-toned highlighter on the upper cheeks, and also as a anti-dark-circle diffusing product under the eyes. The velvet consistency glides over less-perfect skin and doesn't sit in pores or the undereye wrinkles. Perhaps you can see the sparklies in direct sunlight or in those areas where they have budgetized on lightening (metros, etc), but it's not NARS Superorgasm-glittery terrritory so I think it's wearable.

It is also so easy to carry around with you as it really has the size of a lipgloss.

The only con I can think about is the hygiene factor: but similarly as a lipgloss there are ways to apply it on a sanitised spatula and then on the skin.
However, because it's relatively cheap you can also use this a couple of times the original (direct) way and toss it away when you suspect it's not so hygienic anymore.


A surprise LIKE for this one. Cute, the colour and texture is not just perfect for younger skins but for the slightly maturing ones too, travel friendly and the price is not too expensive for $14 (here)

Monday, 5 November 2012

Kanebo Kate Cream in Rouge Lipgloss PK-1

In my last Japanese cosmetic-haul I ordered the Kanebo Kate Cream in Rouge in PK-1. I was fully under the impression this would be another launch of a creamy/liquidy cheek-colour various Japanese brands have come forward to lately.

It was also the nozzle that gave me this impression: I haven't seen Kate doing this type of squeeze nozzles for lipglosses, so my impression was that I could get cheeky with another colour.

And I basically didn't get out the google translate function, nor did I get the dictionary of Mandarin Chinese out.

Out of the packaging the tube doesn't really suggest otherwise:
Anyway, the purpose of the contant came clear (or opaque in this case) when I squeezed out a sort of sticky blob of neutral/cool pink:

I hardly wear lipglosses these days. I still use them every now and then to give my lipstick some dimension, only not the stickier, opaque ones as those often need to be used without a lipstick.

Let me give out a more neutral review/verdict for the lipgloss-interested:

As you can see with the swatches above, the initial 'blob' is quite opaque in that sweet pink that a variety of girls/women like. If you get it sheered out in the swatch next to it it still leaves out a sweeter pink colour that DOES change the colour of your lips. My normal colouring of my lips is rather flushed, and this one brings out that paler look with that poutier effect. Thus, it is medium opacity on the lipgloss scale. 

It has some mintiness inside that feels really refreshing on pre-winter lips. The gloss is the sticky variety. Think MAC clear lipgloss.


Due to its thicker texture it last about an hour longer on me than the average lipgloss. Still, that would be about 2 or 3 hours, depending if you consume anything.

Pricewise, Kanebo Kate almost always delivers fantastic quality for the price and this one is another example. Fantastic lipgloss for the fans and I if I knew it was a lipgloss I had gotten it in a darker colour. I think I will mix some MAC or other pigment in it to make it less pink and slightly darker.

Availablity :

I bought it on (here) for HK $ 75 or $11 at the current rate.