Do you know where I found this sheet mask? Right in the aisle of my local London Drugs! Some of you may have noticed that London Drugs has started carrying Korean beauty brands like Mizon, The Face Shop and now Elizavecca! The selection tends to change and I am never able to find the same things twice, but pricing is reasonable and I don't have to wait a month for things to ship from South Korea!
I last featured Elizavecca in January (here) with their hydrogel eye mask which was fun, but I didn't find great for value. I picked up the Water Lock Hydrogel Melting Mask because packaging was cute and because I do love a good hydrogel mask!
This mask is meant to "melt away" dry skin and hydrate it with grape seed oil and shea butter while smoothing and firming the skin. One thing to note is that the "smoothing" is probably the result of silicones as there is cyclomethicone and dimethicone in the essence. I didn't read the ingredients list properly and probably would not have picked this up had I known.
This mask came in two parts - a piece for the chin and then another for the rest of the face. It actually was quite thin and reminded me more of a biocellulose mask. I found the scent of the essence a bit strong and it left behind a tacky residue that even after an hour, had not disappeared. For something with silicones in it, I would not have thought tackiness would have been an issue.
There is also an ingredient that I am now having second thoughts about and this "donkey oil" which is very popular in a lot of Asian beauty products. I cannot seem to find any info on how or where this donkey oil comes from other than donkeys. I do not know if they are harmed for it. I don't know what the actual chemical name is which kind of bugs me and until I find out, I will not be purchasing anymore products with this ingredient.
Final verdict: The dimethicone in this essence alone has made me say no to repurchasing, but the way it made my skin feel was a bit unpleasant as was the scent. The actual mask material was nice and thin and fit fairly well, but overall this mask is a pass from me.
You can find the Elizavecca Water Lock Hydrogel Melting Mask at London Drugs or at most Korean e-tailers.
Ahhh, sorry this is so late, but work this week has been making me want to cry and it won't end until the end of this month which makes me want to cry a little more. Does anyone else have a job like this? I am definitely working a job that has an expiration date, but it is financially comfortable yet mentally exhausting so for now it will just have to do. I realized that I hadn't done my nails since the last ManiMonday which I had pre-done almost two weeks ago so it was time for a change. I didn't even get a chance to do Valentine's Day nails because I honestly forgot! I did think that Lunar New Year nails were in order so I found this quick and easy 101 Dalmatians-themed manicure from @juliajor and gave it go!
This manicure was pretty straightforward and great for someone like me who isn't great a drawing. I can do lines and patterns, but faces and animals are tough for me.
The How-To Nail-It:
1. Two coats of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in White Here White Now* 2. Randomly dot on black dots in different sizes with Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Hooked on Onyx* 3. Use a fine nail art brush and draw a red collar on ring finger using Maxus Nails in Inspired*. 4. Dot on a gold dog tag using OPI Love.Angel.Music.Baby. 5. Seal design in with top coat.
And there you have it! A simple and cute little manicure that works for the Lunar New Year or anytime you feel like wearing a dog-themed manicure!
I hope everyone is having a great weekend! It snowed last night which is strange for Vancouver seeing as how it was 10 degrees just 2 weeks ago and now it's -2!
How many of you are celebrating the Lunar New Year with friends and family this weekend? In my last post, I had mentioned how nostalgic I felt this year with memories of intimate family dinners, but this year, we are all doing our own thing so messages via text are as close as it will get this year in addition to a message from my dad to have kids soon as that he can spoil them with red pockets. Subtle Dad, subtle.
Many of you may have seen the beautiful Lunar New Year products that have come out, but I have to say that the prettiest pieces I have seen this year come from Givenchy with their Prisme Libre Loose Powder and Le Rouge Intense Color Lipstick! Not only are these pieces red, but feature a stunning silver-embossed genuine printed leather!
The Prisme Libre Loose Powder* ($69.00 CDN) in their bestselling shade No. 1 Mousseline Pastel, is a four colour finely milled powder that blends together to create a translucent, but radiant finish to the skin. In classic Givenchy tradition, this powder has a floral scent, but cannot be smelled once on the skin. The puff applicator is fun to use as you get to have a four Gs on your face before blending them out with a brush!
The finish the powder leaves isn't as quite as silicone-y as my IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores, but does set my foundation well enough for the day and takes away most of the tacky finish that some foundations leave behind.
The Le Rouge Lunar New Year Intense Color Lipstick* ($45.00 CDN) is a satin finish coral red creme lipstick in the shade #305. While the packaging is limited edition, the actual shade is not. The detailing on the cap is just beautiful and the formula is just as impressive. This shade of red is much brighter than what I would normally wear and is a shade that requires some really white pearly teeth. When I first wore this, I was like "Ooh, I need some of those whitestrips ASAP!" Granted, I am a big tea drinker so I am always self-conscious and aware of what type of red lipstick I am wearing.
Wearing both the Prisme Libre Loose Powder and Le Rouge Lipstick!
Final verdict: Other than the Noir Interdit Mascara (review), this is my first foray into Givenchy's colour makeup and I am now quite interested in seeing what their other lipstick formulations are like! I would be interested in trying more of the Le Rouge lipsticks in perhaps a matte finish. For a well known brand, it is one of the more quiet ones on the blogging scene and it is only in the last year that I have started seeing reviews of their products online. I have put a few Givenchy products in my Sephora cart so you might see more of them on the blog this year!
The Givenchy Lunar New Year Edition pieces are available exclusively at Sephora and Sephora.ca.
Growing up in Vancouver, Chinese New Year, or the Lunar New year, as I now need to call it because it's the new year for more than just Chinese people, is HUGE. When I first immigrated to Canada in 1988, there were virtually no Chinese people. My family and I were struggling immigrants, my parents worked hard to give my sister and I a home, clothes and toys. We were on our own save for the handful of people we knew and integrating into "white" society was how my family and I chose to survive. My parents spoke to my sister and I ONLY in English which in retrospect was a mistake as being multilingual will ALWAYS be an asset, but I think my parents were afraid that we would be ostracized just by the colour of our skin.
Thankfully, Vancouver was very open to all cultures and I wish now that we had spoken Mandarin at home. The closest I have to any Asian language is understanding child level Hokkien (kudos to those of you who know what that is!), but as Vancouver has gotten more and more Chinese immigrants, I have never been so acutely aware of what animal we are celebrating this year. The Lunar New Year is bigger now than I ever remember it in Canada and I can't help, but miss the small intimate family celebration we used to have just the four of us. I almost want to go to T&T and pick up all that food just for hubs and me!
What is also incredibly different now, is the number of North American brands that have decided to do special limited edition runs of certain products whether it'd be a new product entirely or having red and gold packaging. You may remember the Christian Louboutin Metalissime Collection from the holidays, but now only at Holt Renfrew can you get this exclusive three piece set for $305 CDN!
The set contains the Rouge Louboutin Metalissime Nail Colour, a stunning metallic red with a silky two coat formula. I purchased this over the holidays and the red and gold bottle was well worth the addition to my collection!
The Rouge Louboutin Metalissime Loubilaque Lip Lacquer is a thick, high pigment metallic red lip gloss that is high shine and gives your lips a total glam look. It's not too tacky and has an almost multi-dimensional shine because of the fine microglitter embedded in the formula.
The packaging reminds me of a dragon and though it is made of a heavy plastic, it looks just so pretty on my counter. The pointed doe foot applicator picks up just the right amount of product while being able to get right into the corners of the mouth and along the lip lines without too much trouble. This is a gloss so it will transfer quite easily.
The Rouge Louboutin Metalissime Silky Satin Lip Color* is a satin finish metallic red that I honestly did not think would look good on me. I guess I was thinking that it would be TOO metallic, but then I put it on and loved it! The metallic finish is fairly subtle and instead adds an inner light to the lips. The formula wears well through meals and is a shade of red that would be brighten up any makeup look.
The packaging of this lipstick is much heftier as it is metal and feels quite substantial.
Final verdict: Considering I bought two out of the three pieces, I like this collection both for quality and the luxe factor. I am mainly a polish fan, but both lip products were incredibly impressive!
You can find this collectible gift set for a limited time exclusively at Holt Renfrew.
Mmmm Pixi...how long were we as Canadians waiting for this brand to make its way over to our neck of the woods? I remember doing pen pal swaps with beauty lovers in the UK and the US just to get my hands on Pixi makeup and now I can just walk into my local Shoppers Drug Mart and grab all of my coveted favourite products!
When it comes to skincare, Pixi has some GOOD stuff. Ingredients are good and the products get the job done. Glow Tonic is a cult classic from the brand and I haven't talked about it on the blog because I think it is a product that gets a lot of attention as is (kind of like Hello Kitty), but if ya'll want me to break down the ingredients and do a litmus paper test, I will!
Today is Valentine's Day and hubs and I have never been one to celebrate. I baked him cookies the first year we started dating 12 years ago and then we had a conversation that we would both rather spend the money on a great meal...on Feb.15th! Now, that we are married and have been together for so long, I would rather have gifts that last like a bouquet of rose-infused Pixi Skintreats! This trio is what I have been enjoying the last two weeks and they truly are treats.
The Rose Oil Blend* is an extremely hydrating facial oil that rejuvenates, restores and provides skin with a natural glow. The oil may look light and drip quickly out of the dropper, but 2-3 drops is all you need to use this as moisturizer. Initially, I used 5-6 drops because I thought the oil was thin, but holy moly was that too much! Like most facial oils, you can also add 1-2 drops to your moisturizer which is great if you like how an oil-free moisturizer feels, but just need something a little extra. This takes a couple of hours to absorb so I prefer to use this oil at night when I have more time to relax.
The next two items had me looking at them with lovey dovey googly eyes when they first arrived on my doorstep! The Rose Caviar Essence contains encapsulated flower oils suspended in serum that melt into the skin upon application. Doesn't that sound just AMAZING? This essence is applied right after toning and even on its own, I found this quite hydrating. It felt oil-free and cooling because of the gel-like consistency of the essence, but once the flower oils break down, your skin starts to feel like a facial oil was just applied!
The Rose Flash Balm* totally surprised me with its texture because a "balm" makes you think of something thick like Vaseline, but it is so the opposite! It comes out like a moisturizer, but then starts to feel like a primer, but in a very natural way. My skin was instantly smooth and soft! This is a multi-use product that is a moisturizer, primer and revitalizing mask! I have yet to use it as a mask because I just love how it feels on and the boost it gives me skin.
At first I thought it was cyclopentasiloxane or dimethicone that was giving that smooth feeling, but it's actually tapioca starch! Pretty cool, right? Though I have used this a few times at night, I much prefer it during the day as my moisturizer before makeup because the hate is REAL when your foundation starts to pill because your moisturizer wasn't right!
Final verdict: I adore these new additions to my skincare routine. I like my hardcore serums and peels, but anything rose is just so soothing, luxurious and straightforward to use. The scent is so relaxing and if you are feeling like your skin is just looking dull and lacking in perkiness and life, rose products might be something to look into and these Skintreats are sublime and won't cost you hundreds of dollars (unless you fall in love with them and stock up!)
I always love supporting Canadian brands and if they are green and eco-friendly it is even better! Based in Montreal, Quebec, Wise launched just this past September and began when a barber colleague noticed that a number of his clients were seeking eco-conscious and healthy hair products.
This is a men's care line that I am tempted to call "green beauty" as all packaging is recyclable, ingredients are free of artificial fragrances and colors, MEA, DEA or TEA, parabens, phthalates, and sulfates and products are vegetarian (there is beeswax in the pomades). I loved the minimalist packaging and dishwasher-safe jars the moment I saw them and though I couldn't really use all of the products, my husband gladly became the guinea pig!
The Birch Bark Shampoo smells incredibly refreshing, herbal and is quite clarifying. I suffer from a very dry scalp so although this shampoo cleansed my scalp of product and sebum, I did experience some dryness along my hairline. My husband on the other hand was a big fan of this shampoo and did not experience any dryness. He liked the scent and in his very honest opinion "I would use it". Men, I tell ya.
The Sea Kelp Soap (not part of the Essentials Bundle) is handmade in Quebec by cold process saponification and is free of palm oil and is 100% vegan. I loved the simplicity of this soap and its light citrus scent. I'm not picky when it comes to bar soap so even though this was a perfectly good soap, I am more than happy to use almost anything. What MAY sell you on this is the story behind it and the ingredients used.
Ingredients (Sea Kelp Soap): Aqua (water), Brassica Campestris (Canola) seed oil, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) oil., Olea europaea (Olive) fruit oil, Ricinus communis (Castor) seed oil, Butyrospermum parkii (Shea) butter, Citrus aurantium bergamia (Bergamot) fruit oil, Maris sal (Sea salt), Schinus terebinthifolia (Pink berries) fruit oil, Juniperus communis L. (Juniper Leaf/Branch) Oil, Citrus aurantium amara (Bitter orange) flower oil. Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium Leaf) Oil. Piper nigrum (Pepper) fruit oil. Fucus vesiculosis (kelp) extract. Vetiveria zizanoides (Vetiver) oil
I didn't think anything about the Neem Wood Comb until I looked up the health benefits of using one. Neem wood is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. Combs made from neem wood have no sharp edges, generate no static electricity and gently massage the scalp. It is believed to also reduce dandruff and other scalp-related health issues. It felt nice and gentle on my scalp, but would not make sense for me to use as I only use a comb for creating my part which requires VERY fine teeth. My husband liked the rounded edges of the comb and said he liked it more than a plastic comb which felt like it was "catching" on his scalp.
The Men's Clay Pomade is made with organic glacial marine clay from Northern BC and promotes healthy hair by adding moisture and shine with a medium hold and matte finish. I don't use pomades at all so I left this to my husband who said that although a little product went a loooong way, his very fine hair could not handle the thick consistency of this product. He said it made his hair feel very oily and would probably be better for a "thick head of Asian hair". He's at that age where his hair is thinning so I think this product may have reminded him of that (sorry babe).
*Note* this product also comes in a minimalist tube with no glass packaging
The Red Maple Cream Pomade I have here is an example of the minimalist tube packaging that can be used as is in the little recyclable plastic pouch or squeezed out as a refill for a glass bottle. This pomade features red maple bark extract which also provides moisture and nourishment to hair all day. THIS product hubby likes because it is lighter in texture while still providing hold for his hair. I think this packaging is so cool and there are definitely a few products in my life where I could do without the fancy packaging and just go for something like this!
Final verdict: I would LOVE if Wise made products that more women could use or skincare and body care! I love the minimalist packaging, the scent of the products, the ingredients and the eco-friendly message. I recycle like a demon at home and I think it's great when companies make the extra effort to go green. Hubby also liked the products and found pricing to be decent for the quality of the ingredients. Wise is new to the beauty scene, but they have promise and I look forward to seeing what they do this year!
That's right. In addition to a plethora of inexpensive, but decent makeup, MINISO also has nail polish which I OBVIOUSLY had to pick try. The bottles had Aerin-esque pink stone-like caps and are normally around $2 for 15mL of polish. Most of the shades I saw in the store were fairly neutral, feminine shades including this mauve shimmery beauty.
This shade is creatively called "Purple Polish" and required two coats for full opacity. I added on two black heart studs from Born Pretty and then sealed it all in with top coat. The polish formula was slightly less viscous than polishes I normally use, but was self-leveling and smooth. The brush was nice and wide making polish application very comfortable.
I would consider this to be a very girly shade and I honestly don't know if I will hang on to it because I prefer a little more drama in my polish life. I have a couple of other polishes from MINISO to share so maybe I will like how those shades look on my hand a bit more.
Have any of you made your way to MINISO to pick up some makeup yet?
I think other than Apieu and possibly Etude House, Peripera is probably the next most plentiful Korean brand in my makeup collection not only for their fun packaging and fun shades, but the actual quality of the products are so similar in consistency to my high end products that I feel like I am having fun and getting a quality product all in one!
One thing that Korean makeup always excels at is cushion ANYTHING. Honestly, North American cushion foundations don't hold a candle next to the Korean ones and the same goes for cushion blushes. I don't use cushion blushers a lot because I am always terrified that my foundation will lift, but I could not say no to the cuteness of this Peripera Cushion Blusher and its cute little girl with perfect cheeks.
I picked up the shade Happy Coral* as I do not own a lot of coral blushes and the swatches of this looked fairly neutral. The formula of this blush is supposedly made for any makeup newbie or anyone who is afraid to look like a clown when using a blush formula other than powder. Peripera describes it as a "moist emulsion that blends to permeate the skin". Ah, the joys of English translation.
The cushion itself was soft enough, but I did not feel like it was anything mind-blowing. It CAN be popped off for cleaning though and then stuck right back on for anyone concerned about bacterial growth.
You can squeeze out as much or as little as you want because baby, this stuff BLENDS. If you want very coral cheeks you can have that EXACT colour as above and just build or blend it out until you have just a whisper of colour. I had a photo of me with what I thought was a decent amount of blush, but then the camera made it look near invisible.
The texture feels like there is a water in it which is what that "moist emulsion" probably refers to. Once you start blending with your fingers, it almost starts to feel like a serum in your skincare routine.
Final verdict: Asian makeup is always about natural beauty so even though this blush can be fairly pigmented, it is really intended to be more of a flush. It did not disturb my foundation which was also a plus. It IS pretty foolproof for a cushion blusher so that I can agree with, but I generally prefer my blushes to be more pigmented. I like having the one fun cushion blush, but I don't think I need more of this type of blush. Unless it comes in an even cuter package...
The Peripera Cushion Blusher is available on eBay and most Korean e-tailers.
It's not just during Valentine's that I like pink. I am generally quite feminine and have to control myself when it comes to how much pink is actually in my life because we all know how it looks when your bedroom, clothes and accessories look like they've been lifted from the set of "Legally Blonde'. I have secretly always wanted a fluffy pink pom pom pen especially back when I used to be in the Organic Chem lab. Would YOU trust the girl writing down her crystal yields with a fluffy pen? THAT'S what I thought.
So, Avon has been killin' it with these A Boxes and though I haven't had a chance to show you all of them yet, I think they are such a lovely way to get introduced to Avon and what their products are all about because ladies and gents, there are some serious winners in these A Boxes!
So, the "Power of Pink" A Box* was actually for October and Breast Cancer Awareness (my bad for timing), but luckily all of these products are part of Avon's regular product lineup so you will be able to purchase them no problem!
Each A Box always includes a variety of skincare, body and makeup products all revolving around the theme.
This collection includes deluxe sizes of the Skin So Soft Soft and Sensual Body Lotion and Creamy Body Wash which I thought would be crazy floral and give me a headache, but the creaminess of the scent really balances it out making this quite soft and comfortable to wear. The "afterscent" it leaves on my skin reminds of being wrapped up in a flannel blanket on the couch with my favourite kitty.
The True Color Glossy Tube Lip Gloss in Pink Burst is a full-sized candy-scented tinted lip gloss with a high shine. It's not too sticky, but it is a classic lip gloss in that there will be transfer and you WILL have to reapply. You can sheer out the colour as much as you want, but I prefer a gloss like this paired over top a lipstick.
While I like the formula of the Avon True Colour Pro+Nail Enamels, I still prefer the gel-like effect of the 7 in 1 Gel Finish polishes more. This full size shade of Pastel Pink is also a great spring shade and though I don't wear these shades on their own very often, they are awesome for nail art because they can be opaque with just a dot or in one coat.
It's funny, but the moment I smelled Prima, I thought of a co-worker who must be wearing this scent because it smelled incredibly familiar. With top notes of plum, bergamot and pear, the fruit lover in me is satisfied, but then you have the florals come into play with rose, candied iris and jasmine. This is a winter/fall scent for me and can be a bit much for a hot summer day.
Who has a long weekend this weekend? I unfortunately am on the Wednesday of my work week so no holidays for me, but I hope you guys all have a great weekend!
You can find any of these products at www.avon.ca or through your Avon Representative.
There are some beauty products that I stalk like crazy and when my husband showed me a clip of the Kanebo Evita Beauty Whip Soap on Reddit two years ago, I knew I had to have it and you will see why later on in the post because the skintertainment factor for this Japanese cleanser is through the roof!
I honestly don't have too much to say about this product other than I hunted it down on eBay last year and actually just saw it at my local T&T supermarket 2 weeks ago! This is an aerosol cleansing foam for all skin types which emerges from its can in the form of a rose! You can see the beginnings of a rose in the dispenser as well as the two PUSH buttons on the side.
All you need to do to dispense the foam is to press down evenly on both sides and BAM! You have your rose! This foam is incredibly thick, almost like shaving cream, so a little really does go a looong way! You can keep on pressing if you want, but I have found that once you see a fully formed flower you have more than enough cleanser to go around!
The foam truly feels luxurious and almost "plump" as you spread it over your entire face. I avoided my eyes, but took the cleanser down my neck. I have dry/normal skin and though my skin felt fantastically smooth after I rinsed off, it did feel a touch dry and I definitely felt the need to moisturize.
If you would like to see the rose formation in action check out the video below because it is so incredibly satisfying to watch!
Foamy Rose Face Wash - YouTube
Final verdict: I paid about about $25 for this and for a skincare lover like myself, I have no regrets because I get such a kick out of using it! It does the job of a cleanser and also smells like roses which adds to the novelty of it all. This cleanser is definitely not a necessity, but it sure is fun!
The Evita Beauty Whip Soap is available at T&T Supermarkets and various Asian e-tailers.
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