Review: Benefit All You Need Is Gloss Set

    I mentioned these in my February favorites video and promised here they are :D!  I'm still perfecting how to take swatch photos since the macro on my crappy-ass camera only works if the lighting is (I kid you not) PERFECT >_>  I have since discovered that using the bathroom counter under the skylight around 2pm results in the best pictures.  While I'm super pleased how the pictures I take there turn out, this means I can only take pictures on the weekend -_-  *sigh*

    What it is: A limited-edition set of six Benefit lip glosses.

    What it does: This glitzy gloss set includes three double-ended wands for a total of six shimmering shades. Glide them on with the soft cushion paddle for the ultimate luscious-lip look.

    Purchased: $15.00+3.50S&H on Ebay, retailed for $28 @ Sephora

    Packaging: Benefit is one of those brands that I feel like is limited by their odd (and mildly cheap) packaging.  Like cardboard?  The gloss tubes themselves look fine but Benefit's penchant for cardboard a la Bella Bamba, Dandelion Luminzer, and Hoola Powders visually cheapens the deal I think.  I'm nor crazy about how they stamp big, flashy prints (like the huge lips on this one -_-) on some packaging either.  I know Benefit is going for the whole retro vibe and on the whole they do a good job but on some of their stuff it comes off as so tacky :\

    Anyway, the tubes themselves are well made with doe foot applicators. The only complaint I have is that I wish they stamped the gloss names onto the tube instead of using stickers (which are already falling off).

    Scent: In the individual reviews because each tube has their own.  Overall, scent is not a problem because either it's fruity or very light :)

    Texture: NOT STICKY :D No complaints, all of them are very smooth and light.  The darker, more glittery colors are actually hard to remove :P

    Lasting Power: In individual reviews. Overall, Almost Famous and Back to the Fuchsia last the longest.  24k and I'm With the Band fades fast but leaves a nice shimmer behind.  Who Are You Wearing and Life On the List both have essentially no lasting power.  Definitely the most useless tube in the bunch.

    Swatch on LT are three swipes, swatch on the RT is one swipe.

    This is how the glosses are paired:
    Almost Famous/I'm With the Band
    Back to the Fuchsia/24k
    Who Are You Wearing?/Life On the List

    - 0.1 oz Almost Famous (copper penny)
    • Burnished bronze with gold sparkles.
    • A delicate, pleasant fruit candy scent.
    • This stuff lasts a long time, most long lasting in the set. It stains your lips almost. The downside is that it doesn't go very well with my lip color. I think it'd look better on someone warm-toned.
    - 0.1 oz I'm with the Band (golden pink shimmer)
    • A peach with fuchsia undertones and gold shimmer.
    • A pleasant fruit candy scent that's identical to Almost Famous' scent.
    • Not long lasting at all :(

    - 0.1 oz Back to the Fuchsia (sparkling fuchsia)
    • A gorgeous fuchsia with purple and silver sparkles.
    • Essentially scent-less.  I can smell a hint of fruit (and plastic from the packaging) if I'm literally sniffing it but it doesn't smell like anything really.
    • Color fades but purple sparkles remain.  Second most long lasting gloss in this set.  It's my personal favorite ^^ it adds a nice tint of color to bare lips and is a nice topper.
    - 0.1 oz 24k (sexy gold)
    • A yellow gold with golden sparkles. It's a really nice gold when you put it on but it fades fast :(
    • Essentially scentless.
    • Color fades but gold sparkles remain. Tbh I would've liked a more "chrome/opaque" look but I understand that this is much more wearable :}  I wish the gold tint lasted longer tho.  It fades to just a gold shimmer pretty quickly.

    - 0.1 oz Who Are You Wearing (passion fruit pink)
    • I would describe this as a bubblegum pink.  It's creamy girly pink gloss.  Either someone in the naming department dropped the ball or the stickers were misplaced >_>
    • A fruit scent that is fainter than Almost Famous/I'm With the Band.
    • Not long lasting at all :P In fact this whole tube is useless because it fades fast leaving behind essentially nothing :\
    - 0.1 oz Life on the A List (bubble gum pink)
    • A light, creamy peach with very faint gold shimmers. 
    • A fruit scent that is fainter than Almost Famous/I'm With the Band.
    • Not long lasting at all - fades even faster than Who Are You Wearing?  

    I really like Back to the Fuchsia and 24k, that one tube is a keeper.  Almost Famous is nice but doesn't match with my skintone.   I'm With the Band, Who Are You Wearing, and Life On the List are too sheer to be of any use.  I could have done without the third tube entirely.  Basically, this gloss set is straight up a 50-50 mixed bag.  I don't regret getting it because .1 oz is a good size for me (I never finish full-sized tubes) and I got a nice mix of colors.   It's very convenient too!   I'd recommend this cause for pete's sake they're selling for SO LOW on Ebay -_____-  I actually paid a lot more than I should have ($18.50) :P While I was looking for it that was the lowest price and now there are a bunch selling for as low as $7 -_-;;

OPI Hello Kitty Blueberry VS Zoya Jo

    As much as I was drawn to Blueberry from OPI's Hello Kitty nail collection for Sephora ($10), I didn't purchase it for myself because I was convinced it was a dupe of Zoya Jo ($7), which I already had.  However, Julie from PDXbeautiful gave it to me in a swap so I got to try both and learned my lesson about calling dupes without trying it for myself xD  So yep, on this lovely Sunday afternoon, I thought I'd experiment with these two colors.

    Pinkie: Blueberry, Nubar 2010
    Ring: Jo, Nubar 2010
    Middle: Blueberry, Seche Vite Top Coat
    Index: Jo, Seche Vite Top Coat
    Thumb: Blueberry, OPI Flurry Up
    No top or base coats.

    Ehhe, I was just having a bit o fun ;) I like how Flurry Up looks but Nubar 2010....meh.  It looks so much better over dark nails.

    Zoya Jo is one of my personal favorites, my 3rd favorite Zoya polish (#1=Freja, #2=Adina).  It is just a beautiful complex periwinkle blue that is surprisingly opaque.  Here's the review that convinced me to get Jo :)
    Zoya Nail Polish in Jo can be best described as: Delicate and serene looking medium periwinkle blue with subtle silver and blue toned shimmer. This calming, flattering blue is like stress relief therapy on your nails!

    Color Family: Blues
    Finish: Metallic
    Intensity: 5 ( 1=Sheer - 5=Opaque )
    Tone: Cool
    Original Collection: Twist 
    I just adore this color - the official description describes it very well, "a periwinkle blue with subtle silver and blue toned shimmer."  What I especially like is that it is not sheer, it's quite opaque just as they promise.  It's also a very complex blue, surprisingly so, and perfect for Spring/Summer.  It applies silky smooth and has a very nice, smooth finish.  No complaints.

    OPI Blueberry caught my eye after fuzkittie wore it a week or so straight xD  But from the bottle I was so sure it was a Jo-dupe so I contented myself to whinging on about how cute the bottle was xD The only official description they have of this color is an "opaque pastel periwinkle blue."  After applying it to my nail though, I'd say it's an "opaque, pastel periwinkle blue with no shimmer." It's a little harder to apply than Jo; it's a tad streakier and prone to chipping at the cuticles and tips a bit.  The formula seems a gooier overall.

    You can see how jagged Blueberry applied around my cuticles :P It's harder to apply than Zoya, the formula is goopier and the brush is harder to use. Anyway, it's easy to see that the two colors are very different! Jo is defintely a complex, deeper cornflower blue while Blueberry is a flat pastel periwinkle.

    Flat pastels are probably going to be trendier next season but I personally prefer Jo, if only because I like a little shimmer in my polishes.  Overall, both have their place and time.  Jo is a classic, spring/summer color that would be chic on all ages.  Blueberry is a fun, trendy color that would be great for the upcoming spring.  I think nail art would go particularly well over Blueberry as well. Zoya is cheaper at $7/bottle but we can't deny that the HK polish collection is just ridiculously cute in the packaging department.  It just depends on what style you're going for I think.

    Last thing, I'm pretty disappointed how Nubar 2010 looks on anything but very dark polishes :P In the end, I think both Jo and Blueberry look best worn alone without any fancy top coats. 

NOTD: Purple Glitter Gradient

    Seche Vite Base Coat
    Sally Hansen Xtremewear in Rockstar Pink 05
    OPI for Sephora Flurry Me Up
    Seche Vite Top Coat

    Hi peeps! Oh man, I slept like a baby last night....for like 12 hours straight. Fell asleep at midnight and woke up at noon today ahah my favorite way to start a weekend :}

    Anyway, I wore these nails for like....two month straight or something because it just lasted that long! This Sally Hansen glitter is insane - it is impossible to remove!! But it never chips either ^^  It literally took me an hour to remove this NOTD, I had to soak a cotton pad and leave it on each nail for 5 minutes and almost scape off the glitter ><  It was like they were glued to my nails.  But the main reason I kept this polish mostly because it's really easy to do the gradient nail look.  Just add one thin coat onto your whole nail.  Wait for it to dry (dries really fast). Then add a second coat to the upper half.  The glitter builds really fast so it becomes essentially opaque after 2-3 coats.   Then I added the big glitter specks from Flurry Up because...I felt like it xD  And viola~ gradient nails that last at least a month!

    Rockstar Pink is a glitter bomb with blue, purple, and silver glitter.  It's very builable, lasts a very long time, and dries 8-10 minutes/coat. I recommend this polish if only because it's so easy to create gradient nails with these without the hassle of sponging.  Sally Hansen in Rockstar was actually the first Sally Hansen polish I tried along with 270 Lacey Lilac. I bought them both at Walgreens while there was a Sally Hansen BOGO 50% off.

    I was just playing around with different ways to wear Rockstar Pink ^_^  I like it best as a gradient over with no base color.  Anyway, I wasn't crazy about Lacey Lilac.  I was looking for more of a pure lavender with a blue undertone but this has a gray undertone that I think looks a little sickly.  I don't really recommend it, honestly.  Application wise it was fine though.  Pastels and lighter colors tend to be streaky I think but this applied pretty smoothly.  And here's closeup:

    You can tell I'm more of a short-nail person ^^  My new interest in nail polish has helped me grow them out a bit but I tend to cut my nails when I'm stressed (no really) so they're usually pretty short.  As for the dry skin ahah I have no excuse other than laziness xD

Swap + Zoya Adina NOTD + Randomness!

    Quick, random post tonight...really tired today ;_;  But I just wanted to share the swap I had with PDXBeautiful aka Julie.  I've been following her YT Channel since the beginning and she does great reviews on drugstore and Asian skincare products.  She's a licensed Esthetician in Portland, OR so has a very practical outlook to her reviews.   She also one of the nicest people I've met online ^_^  Anyway, we did a swap for Valentine's Day and I just wanted to share the package she sent me :D

    Here is her video of the stuff I sent her:

    Also, here's a current favorite polish of mine - Zoya Adina!  I think it's my second favorite after Zoya Freja (gunmetal) in terms of polishes I wear without glitter/fancy top coats and still looks eye catching yet professional.

    Zoya Adina + Seche Vite Top Coat

    I just LOVE the duochrome-ness of this polish!  It goes on a deep mauve lavender but flashes a vibrant apple green.  The polish itself is infused with delicate silver micro-glitters.  It goes on very smoothly and 2 coats (though I usually do 3) are sufficient. And just for fun~

    An old school Green Apple Tootsie Pop - ahh I feel young again ^_^  also I couldn't help noticing that my nail polish was a lighter version of the tootsie pop :} And as if this post couldn't get any random....For people who don't know the cuteness that is My Milk Toof - isn't the teaser just so adorable xD!?

    I haven't been this excited about a Blogger-celebrity book release since Bakerella, the cupcake pop queen :D!

    Last thing - Sasa has been grating my nerves with their obnoxiously slow shipping this time.  I placed an order with expedited shipping in January and it's still not here :P   I have to admit part of it is that I can literally see my face getting worse without it's daily sheet mask treatment :(!  In the last 3 weeks sheet mask-less, my face has gotten redder, I've been breaking out more, and my skin texture has gotten rougher.  It's a little unreal how much a difference sheet masks have made for me.  I've ordered from Sasa 4-5x before and it's always taken 3-4 weeks max and it's been almost 5 weeks this time.  I guess why I'm really troubled is because Sasa didn't provide a tracking number (never worried about it before) and it's literally been in transit for 3 weeks, which is pretty long even from HK.  This won't prevent me from ordering again from Sasa again but this really just reminds me of the severe lack of reliable Asian cosmetic/skincare retailers in America -_- *sigh* Anyway, this delay is why I haven't done my Uber-Sheet Mask Ranking video yet :(  There are seven more sheet masks I want to include in my ranking, which haven't arrived in my Sasa haul so that video will just have to wait...sorry peeps :(

Reviews: Boscia Reviews + February Favorites

    I just discovered that Boscia is a Japanese brand and that explains why their products have such a natural wholesomeness to it, I think~ I love the slightly herbal, fresh scents and how everything (except the Black Mask) seems to lean on the gentle (albeit pricey) side.  Anyway, this video is a short run down of my February Favorites and a review of the above two Boscia items.

    I was having audio problems again :P  It's so weird because I record everything in one sitting and normalize the audio on everything yet some clips come out oddly quiet.  AHHH it drives me nuts!  Almost as crazy as I get when iMovie, which is supposed to auto-save, randomly does not save certain things after I close the program.  Sometimes after I reopen videos, some of the text has been removed!  So, every time I close iMovie, I need to watch the video twice to ensure nothing got deleted -__- SO ANNOYING.  It's one glitch I can't stand and something Apple is just too damn busy to address since it comes free with MacBooks -_- Anyway, moving on...

    February Favorites
    The Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mist
    Rainy Days & Lattes' review is what motivated me to try this out.  It's very light, leaves no residue, and has slight cooling sensation.  Since it doesn't disturb makeup you can pretty much use it any time you want ^_^  with or without makeup.  The only (mild) downside is that it is rose-scented (reminds me of grannies) but it's a very delicate, faint scent so it doesn't bother me.  This is the first face mist I've tried and I must admit it's definitely a luxury I could get used to.

    The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick
    Full review here.  One word: Yum. Although I am starting to wonder if my lips are getting used to the formula or something because it seems mildly less moisturizing these days :\ 

    Benefit All You Need Is Gloss Set
    I'll do a more in depth review of this later but for excellent pictures in the meantime, go to Vampy Varnish.  For now all I will say that:
    1.) Each gloss has it's own scent.
    2.) Some of the colors are gorgeously pigmented, others are quite sheer (disappointing), so this set is a bit of a mixed bag.
    3.) Packaging is superb.  I never finish full tubes anyway so these mini-tubes are perfect.  Great for traveling too.
    4.) 24K is a gold lip gloss and I literally got this whole set because I wanted a gold lip gloss ;)
    5.) None of the colors are sticky!  This is very important to me.
    6.) However, they are not long lasting at all.
    7.) Overall, I am pleased :) I pretty much have all the most basic gloss colors so no more gloss-buying ^^
    *sigh* I love Benefit~  I'm glad I waited so long to get this set too :) It was limited edition on Sephora awhile back and was retailing for $26.  I picked up mine on Ebay for $15+$3.50 S&H - score :D

    Boscia Intensifying Moisture Pack+

    Purchased: $30 @ Sephora or Boscia

    Makeup Alley Rating: 4.1/5.0 + 83% Buy Again

    I specifically purchased this for the dry skin patches I get on my face in the dead of winter.  I generally use this to spot-treat any part of my face or body that's very dry - very multi-purpose ^_^ though you can't use it for lips. This is especially good for that painfully dry and cracked skin some peeps get on their knees and elbows in winter - this has an minty edge to it so it's instant relief!  Unfortunately, it seems to me it takes at least 2-3 applications to get rid of dry body skin.   I have had no adverse reactions yet (it's been 2 months+), no breakouts, rashes etc.  You get a nice tingle when you put this on your skin so you may want to spot-test first before slathering it on your face.

    Scent: Cough drop/mint.  Quite strong.

    Texture: Light gel-cream that leaves an oily residue/sheen while it's soaking in.  The color is a light yellow.

    Effectiveness: Excellent.

    The only real negative I have is that this is a night-only treatment because you can't use it under makeup.  It leaves oily sheen so makeup sticks to it so you may need to rinse a bit in the mornings too.  Otherwise, I don't even mind the scent.  This is very hydrating and even though it's expensive I would buy it again since a little goes a long way.  This one tube will prolly last me a year at least (or even two years since I prolly will only use this in winter).  I do not regret buying this and I am very pleased with it :) I recommend this for people with either chronically dry skin or problem dry patches on your face.

    RANDOM TANGENT TIME: As for people with specifically bad dry skin on your body, I would actually recommend Karess Krafter's Herbal Salve.  I found it on Etsy during my Skin Fiasco of 2009 and while I refrain from using it on my face it is hands down, no questions asked the best intensive moisturizer I've ever used for dry skin neck down.  I ought to do a separate review post as it's one of those things you could either hate or love, but I can't resist doing a quick run down now too.
    - This thing relieves itching skin caused by dryness, bugbites, and even residual poison ivy amazingly well. And I say this as someone who's tried it on dry skin, bug bites, and poison ivy rashes ^^
    - All natural, always a plus :D Also vegan friendly with no artificial ingredients.
    St. John’s Wort – an excellent herb for the treatment of burns, wounds, sores, insect bites, eczema and itching
    Plantain – is a general wound healing herb that is especially good for bites and stings
    Chickweed – soothing, anti-inflammatory that promotes wound healing
    Calendula – soothes and aids in quick healing of cuts and abrasions

    Ingredients: Olive Oil infused with St. John's Wort, Plantain, Chickweed, Calendula, Jojoba Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Candelila Wax, Cetyl Alcohol, Vitamin E, Rosemary Oil
    Stuffed with great ingredients and just about nothing else.  Seriously.  The cetyl alcohol is just a surfactant that helps it maintain it's weird gel-like consistency I suppose :}

    - Literally has tiny pieces of herbs.  They're pretty small but this is why I don't put it on my face.
    - Has a very, very strong scent.  It's a very natural kind of smell and it'll clear your sinuses with one sniff but it is very strong and lingers for a few minutes after you apply it.    The scent is similar to Hot & Icy in the sense it has a super strong, sinus clearing smell that isn't pleasant per se but isn't an offending smell either.
    Also I'm sure everyone is aware of my dislike of "tub packaging" by now.  I hate dipping fingers into anything tho in this case it's not really all that bad since I don't use it on my face.  The texture is a gel-like pourable gel.  I happen to like it but I can see people thinking it's a little weird.  It's a transparent green (like Flubber!) and your skin drinks it up but it leaves a shiny residue in its wake that takes a few hours to soak in completely.  I don't think it's an oil-residue or a sign it's not soaking in per se, it's more like it just takes a bit of time to soak in.  In any case, the "oils" in this salve are all very beneficial stuff.  FYI this is for spot treatment not slathering all over your body, so this tub will probably last you a lifetime. So, yep....that's enough of that ^^

    Boscia Smoothing Facial Polish

    Purchased: $25 @ Sephora or Boscia

    Makeup Alley: 4.1/5.0 + 71% Buy Again

    I honestly just got this out of curiosity.  I really like Boscia products overall so I just wanted to try something new.  This had very promising ratings on MUA so I just picked this up with my order.

    Scent: Delicate lemongrass.  It's very pleasing, delightfully natural smelling, and subtle.

    Texture: Very intriguing exfoliating beads indeed.  They looking like clear little bubbles and were a pain to photograph.  They felt like "soft" balls that don't dissolve - very gentle.  Apparently these balls are mannan granules:
    Mannan is a plant polysaccharide that is a polymer of the sugar mannose.
    Detection of mannan leads to lysis in the mannan-binding lectin pathway.   It is generally found in yeast, bacteria and plants. It shows α(1-4) linkage. It is a form of a storage polysaccharide.
    Hmmm...not particularly enlightening ;) but it is definitely one of the most unusual exfoliants I've used.  It's really hard to describe...they're just like soft, non-dissolving beads O_o  It does feel quite good though!

    Effectiveness: I would say it's effective but not that effective.  This is ultimately a very gentle scrub that I can use up to 4x a week with no adverse effects (though recommended use in 2x a week), so it almost borders on ineffective. It definitely works and would be a very good option for those with very sensitive skin, but for those trying to get rid of scars it may be too gentle. 

    I do think this is a good product, don't get me wrong.  Using it is like a spa-experience: it smells lovely, the beads feel really soothing, and it does work - it foams really nicely to boot (which is pretty unusual for a face scrub I think).   It's just that for the price it doesn't impress me all that much.  This is one of those products I enjoy using but personally would not re-purchase because I am sure there other equally effective and cheaper products out there.  I would only recommend this to those with highly sensitive or dry skin.  As for me, I'd rather explore a bit more ^^

The Body Shop + Kiehls Sale Alerts

    It's crazy late but I just had to make a quick post because of two amazing sales going on right now:

    1.) The Body Shop is having their Semi Annual Sale, buy 2 Skincare products get 1 full-size product FREE and on top of that FREE shipping on ANY order (usually it's $50+).   The free shipping is just for President's Day Weekend (aka it ends 2/21).  Also don't forget, Ebates gives 5% cash back!  Sadly, it's no longer 10% cash back since that was just a promotion but still better than nothing :}  I'm going through a TBS phase right now and lemming the Wise Woman Eye Cream - anyone have thoughts on it?  It has great reviews on Makeup Alley.

    You know the drill now
    1.) Ebates (my referral link if you don't mind)
    2.) Click through Ebates to The Body Shop to get 5% cash back
    3.) Add 3 skincare products to cart (no coupon code needed for free shipping this weekend)

    And you get 3 full size products w/ free shipping + 5% of your order back :D

    2.) Kiehl's is a pricey brand, no question. But right now they're having the best sale I've seen from them so far.  Basically if you buy any Age Fighting product (the most popular ones below):

    ...and use AGEFIGHTER coupon code... get FREE shipping on any order (usually $50+) AND a full size Strength Deep Wrinkle Filler (which I'd give to my mom ehehe).  Luckily Kiehl's is on Ebates too for 4% back too.  I've been dying to get the Repair Skin Overnight and I think now's the time:

    You get 3 free samples with every order (you get to pick) + a bonus sample of Rosa Artica, which is a limited time promo for this new product I believe.

    FYI I've been getting mixed news on the deadline of this offer.  My email says this promo code ends on 2/21 (aka the end of President's Day which makes sense) so I dunno when this will end really.... In case that promo ends early, use code JOLT if you purchase the Rosa Arctica to get Free Shipping + deluxe Midnight Recovery Concentrate & Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ at Kiehl's (Ends 04/01/2011).   Obviously, AGEFIGHTER is the better promo tho ;)

    So yep, just wanted to share these real quick before I go to sleep ^^

Review: TonyMoly + The Face Shop + Missha

    I think I only have one or two things left to review from my 2010 Korea-trip haul now :D They're all sunscreens and not "popular" items people want to know about so yahhh ^_^v  I also made a few small orders of more sheet masks (I know, I'm insane but I actually used ALL the ones I ordered last time and my skin has really improved from 3-4 months ago).  I purchased a number of masks from lesser known Korean brands like Cosline, Skinlite, and VOV along with the usual MBD and Silk Whitia.  I can't wait to review them but Sasa has been taking forever - almost three friggin weeks (they were exceptionally slow this time, it's usually just 2 weeks) but it should be here in a week or so.

    For people who skipped the end ^^ there were some general announcements:
    1.) Giveaway to win a UD Naked Palette (w/ pencil) ends in 10 days (2/28).  Minimum donation of $5, that's it :)
    2.)  I've opened a little Blogsale (tab in the horizontal menu) with a few items I am weeding out.  Most of these products aren't necessarily bad - they just don't work for me and I figure it's better to let people who might want to try these for pretty darn cheap if I say so myself ;)
    3.) I have v-log channel of ridiculousness.
    4.) And...hi real-life peeps!  You guys know who you are ^_~  And uhhh, try not to laugh at me too much hehehe >0< Like at my overuse of emoticons @_@

    TonyMoly eggpore Blackhead Out Oil Gel + Silky Pore Balm
    Full review here.

    The Face Shop Oil Blotting Papers

    I don't like these.  I've seen these go on Ebay for as low as .99/packet (not including S&H of course) but even so, I don't think these are worth buying.  The famous Boscia blotting papers are just so superior, even at $10/packet.  The texture, feel, and paper-y scent of the TFS sheets literally makes you feel like you're blotting with brown lunch bags :\  The only positive I have to say about these is that since they're thick, they don't tear easily even when soaked with oil ;)

    The Face Shop Gold Eyelash Curler

    This is the eyelash curler I use at the moment but I'm not particularly fond of it.   It works and fits my eye well (much better than American brands) since it's flatter, but it is tarnishing and it's been less than a year :( And that is all I have to say about this.  Maybe the silver color will be fine but the gold one - stay away :P

    Missha The Shining Stick Eyes
    Full review here.

    Lots of 'nays' in this batch review, unfortunately. I don't recommend the TonyMoly Blackhead Out Oil Gel, the TFS Oil Blotting Papers, or the TFS gold eyelash curler.  I recommend the TonyMoly Silky Smooth Balm only to those with small textural scars and wrinkles.  The only thing I do recommend for everyone to try are the Missha The Shining Stick Eyes.  However, considering how difficult it is to get in America, I'd add that you should only buy it online if you can get it below $8 USD at least.  Anything more, you may regret it since there have been people saying it creases a lot on them (why it doesn't on me I'm not sure).

Review: Missha The Shining Stick Eyes

    ...though it wouldn't have hurt them to spell "shing" right -_-
    This was my first experience with an eyeshadow in stick form.  Even though I bought these last summer, I didn't start using them till this January because I just wasn't interested. Now I use the white one daily ^_^

    Purchased: In Korea at a Missha shop.  Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to get online for a reasonable price. Most charge at least double.

    Cost: It was only 4500won ($4.00 USD)/each at the Missha shop.

    Packaging: Quite nice, sturdy, and easy to use.  Cap fits on well and it's just overall well-made. One thing I really like is how the rounded edges of these shadow sticks just roll into your crease.  This is very helpful for Asians where the "hollow" above your eyes (aka the "crease" between your eyeball and browbone) is harder to find.   These also don't need to be sharpened since the rounded tip is how they are supposed to be. I have never experienced any fallout or clumping with these either, which is a huge plus.

    Texture: Remarkably creamy for a shadow in stick form.

    Staying Power: They're not as long-lasting as Urban Decay or MAC shadows but they are quite comparable to drugstore shadows such as Maybelline and Almay. The BR02 lasts longer than WH01.

    Color Payoff: Surprisingly good pigmentation.   It's also buildable.  The white one has large glitter particles and a shimmery finish while the brown just has pearl finish with a faint purple flash.

    Blendability: It's not the most blendable shadow ever but it blends pretty well with minimal streaking considering it's in a hard stick form.  I wouldn't say it's "silky smooth" when it comes to blending but I wouldn't complain about it either.  It's very acceptable.

    The WH01 is ideal for a subtle inner corner highlight or just putting it on the ball of your eye for a bit of dimension.  This is how I use it.  It's doesn't go well over foundation as a highlighter for your nose tho and the glitter particles chunk up when you blend it.  Nonetheless, I like white quite a lot for my eyes.  BR02 is a less versatile but it's more long lasting and excellent for a subtle "no makeup" look.  I like to use this color just along my upper eyelid and the outer corners. Together both these pencil eyeshadows work well together to create an easy everyday look since all you need to do is 'scribble' on your eyelid and smudge ^_^

    For ~$4/each, these are great.  Very convenient and I am surprised how often I use these, the white one especially is a staple of mine for the center and corner of my eyes.   I would certainly buy these again; I'd prolly buy one of each if I was in Korea.  I really like the stick form and while they are rather expensive if you think about it (aka you get 4 eyeshadow colors for ~$7-8 in a Maybelline Quad), it's really not that bad when you consider the packaging and convenience that goes with it.  They're rather hard to get in America though, I've seen these being sold on Ebay as high as $18/each, which is just ridiculous :P
    - Overall, both pencils are a good balance between creamy but not "too" creamy.
    - No fallout, streaking, or clumping. Not powder-y in other words.
    - Surprisingly good pigmentation.
    - Sleek packaging. I really like the idea of eyeshadows in stick form now :)
    - Lasts as long as a drugstore eyeshadow.
    - Not a huge color selection but has many basic, wearable colors (10 total).
    - Doesn't crease.
    - Has a nice pearl/shimmery finish.

    - Large glitter particles in WH01 make it unsuitable for face highlighting.
    - Difficult to get online.
    - Not moisturizing like they claim :\ Though only heaven knows how an eyeshadow can be moisturizing :P But in that respect, it doesn't flake/have fallout or anything.
    Overall, I do recommend these.  I like them quite a bit and having 2-3 colors in your purse is very convenient without the hassle of brushes/sponge tips. Also here's a a full copy of the original Korean ad for these:

    #05 shows various looks you can do with these color sticks.  All the colors are mentioned by their color code (Ex: WH01) so you can easily figure out which color sticks go with each look.  I would translate the looks but I don't think enough people will be able to get their hands on these for the instructions to be useful :\  Maybe I'll do it in the future when these become more readily available.

Review: TonyMoly eggpore Blackhead Out Oil Gel + Silky Smooth Balm

    Finally got around to reviewing these - eggs from the ever popular eggpore line xD There are three eggs in the line:

    I don't have the tan egg in the middle - the Tightening Pack (Cosmetic Candy's review of all three) - but I hear it's pretty good.  Normally, these eggs are used in the order shown above to "maximize" effectiveness.  The white egg removes blackheads, the brown egg tightens your cleaned pores, and the golden egg is a MAKEUP (not a skincare) product that fills in enlarged pores/wrinkles/textured scars to create a smooth canvas for makeup.  I have no particular reason why I only picked up two of the three eggs...I think I just chose based on color ^^

    Purchased: In Korea but these are easily bought online via Sasa ($12-$14.60) or YesStyle ($17-$18).  Sasa has better prices, as usual.

    Packaging: Nice n' sturdy.  Each egg is pretty big, it can be a bother to store really.  Otherwise it's well-made and very cute.  However, I deeply dislike how I have to dip my fingers into the jars. I know I border on germ-o-phobic but considering the fact that blackheads stem from dirt, it just seems counter-intuitive to have pore-reducing products in a jar form where there is ample opportunity to infect it with dirt and such >.<  But that said - just wash your hands or use a spoon.

    Also WHERE ARE THE SEEDS ;_;? In retrospect, of course they wouldn't include seeds with a makeup item but I found it strangely disappointing :(

    Blackhead Out Oil Gel

    Containing Egg elements and Magic capsules which remove dead skin cells and excessive sebum. The oil gel effectively purifies the whiteheads, blackheads, excessive sebum and trapped dirt in the deep pores. Pore trouble care solution helps to purify the skin, manages dead skin cells, provide nutrients and protects skin from further damages. It also improves various skin troubles with its unique lightweight jelly-like texture and helps to keep skin looking clean and clear. Camellia Flower extract soothe and calms the skin. - TonyMoly
    Scent: Strong artificial flowers?  Not a bad scent but it's not pleasing either since it's quite strong.

    Texture: Gel-like with an oil-y feel.  Or as TonyMoly says, a "jelly-like" texture.  Has little orange balls (TonyMoly calls them "magic balls" *oooo*) and grains of sand? in it.

    Experience: It definitely has an oil slick feel to it.  The smell was quite strong out of the jar but faded after you put it on the face.  Below you can see my brother's nose (he is my perennial guinea pig ^_~) who has a blackhead problem on his nose :P He touches his face way~ too much.  Anyway, he washed his face and dried it.  The gel oil went on clear but while massaging for a bit, it foamed into a milky white. 

    He said that there was no residue and there was no irritation. On the downside, we didn't see much change at all :\  Given the pics above was after only one treatment but still....   The blackheads look a little smaller, but I don't know if that's me hallucinating. My brother thinks it didn't change at all :\  We've given this 2 more tries after the pics above and I still didn't see any drastic changes.   My brother's blackheads are pretty severe in my book so I expected to see a more noticeable improvement :P

    - remove dead skin cells and excessive sebum 
    • <--- It did remove as much oil and dead skin cells as it would've if I'd just washed my face with soap and water I think.
    - purifies the whiteheads, blackheads, excessive sebum and trapped dirt in the deep pores 
     <--- it did remove some blackheads.  My brother doesn't have to any whiteheads but those are usually easier to remove.
    - purify the skin, manages dead skin cells, provide nutrients and protects skin from further damages 
    • <--- This is something that you can only confirm over time and tbh I sort of doubt it.
    - improves various skin troubles with its unique lightweight jelly-like texture 
    • <--- This IS a moisturizing sort of product since it has an oily component.  But "improve various skin troubles"? Sounds vague to me.
    - helps to keep skin looking clean and clear 
    • <--- As would any product that removes blackheads.
    - soothe and calms the skin  
    • <--- Uhmmm I guess it could but I wouldn't put this on irritated skin intentionally.
    Eh...Korean skincare packaging can be so wordy -_-

    I don't recommend this.  Given that my bro's blackheads are severe, the fact that we saw only minimal improvement (if any), I doubt people with fewer blackheads will be satisfied.  Overall, I just think it's an ineffectual product.  You'd probably get better results just steaming your face/massaging your face with a hot cloth.

    Silky Smooth Balm

    Art skin gel balm type primer conceals the enlarged pores, fine wrinkles and minor scars to give the skin a velvety smooth, soft and silky look. The combination of Porous powder and Selemin AN manages the excessive sebum and tightens the enlarged pores. Applying the balm helps the base makeup to be applied and glide on smoothly. In addition, Camellia Flower extract and Skin Growth Complex manages dead skin cells and strengthen elasticity of skin for an optimum skin-tightening effect. - TonyMoly
    Scent: Very mild, delicate floral?  Not quite floral but it's very faint and pleasing.

    Texture: Velvety, silky texture.  It's silicone-based so it has a smooth slickness when you rub it on your face.  Your face doesn't "absorb" this primer as much as it sinks into any pores/wrinkles and fill them in.

    Experience: You use this after moisturizer and before foundation.  If you've tried the Lioele Secret Pore Rich Balm or Boscia Skin Perfecting Primer, this is pretty much exactly like those.  All fill pores nicely and set transparently so any skin color can use it.  You can wear this alone and it helps smooth out your complexion by filling in the "holes" that create "shadows" on your face (those with pitted scars know what I mean ^_^).  However, it will not cover colored blemishes though this does allow things like concealer and foundation to cover colored blemishes more easily since it creates a smoother canvas.  I think that these primers are prone to caking so just remember a little goes a long way.  And keep in mind, this won't fill in anything wider than 2-3mm wide.  I have some pitted scars around my temples and this does settle in those hollows but so "much" balm settles in there that it rolls off when I'm putting on BBcream or powder.  So, yeah.  This will only work on enlarged pores and small scars.

    - conceals the enlarged pores, fine wrinkles and minor scars to give the skin a velvety smooth, soft and silky look 
    • <-- I would say yes :)
    - manages the excessive sebum and tightens the enlarged pores 
    • <-- arghhh...pores cannot "tighten"!  But yes, there was a tiny bit of oil reduction, prolly since all the pores are being blocked by this balm ^^
    - helps the base makeup to be applied and glide on smoothly 
    • <-- Yes! Very much so.
    - manages dead skin cells and strengthen elasticity of skin for an optimum skin-tightening effect  
    • <---uhmm...what? I'm not sure how this "manages dead skin cells."  I think over time this may strengthen skin elasticity and skin-tightening, but I'm not sure.

    This is one of those products that I do think works pretty well but I wouldn't buy again for personal reasons:
    1.) The effect of this balm is minimal on me because large pores/wrinkles aren't a problem (colored scars are).
    2.) I'm too lazy to add an entire step to my makeup routine for what I think is a fairly minimal effect.
    3.) I'm not crazy about the idea of using a primer with a silicone base everyday.  I feel like my skin won't be able to breathe (tho I admit that could be me being overly paranoid).
    I would recommend that people try this if they specifically have enlarged pores and/or fine (not severe) wrinkles.  Little ice pick scars would be nicely covered by this too.   If you have general acne scars (aka red spots) or deep, wide scars this will not work well for you; you will be better off with concealers.  If you have rough patches on your face this might work though I'm not sure since I don't have rough patches myself.

    If you like the Lioele Secret Pore Rich Balm ($27.50) or Boscia Skin Perfecting Primer ($28), this is a very good dupe, especially since the TonyMoly primer is quite a bit cheaper.  The Lioele version smells a bit more fruity and the Boscia has its trademark clean scent.   All three fill in pores and minor scars quite well, a little goes a long way, and can be used by those of any skin color.  Honestly, after trying all three, besides the scent I'm convinced that these primers are all the same :\ 

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