Hi, I'm Laura! Laurantaina Beauty Blog is about high end make up, skincare and Japanese brushes. After moving back from Japan in 2014 I struggled a lot with my skin and I wanted an outlet to share my experiences, as well as my love for Japanese and other amazing beauty products.
I'm constantly asked about eco makeup products, so I'm happy to review you the beautiful highlighter** by supermodel Miranda Kerr's brand, Kora organics! Btw: I'm sorry I haven't been posting as constantly lately - I just dealt with almost 3-week-long flu/cold, but now I'm back with a lot of new and fun upcoming posts! Enjoy!
About Kora Organics
Kora Organics is a brand created by Australian model, Victoria's Secret Angel (lingerie giant's model) and self-help author Miranda Kerr. I used to be obsessed with models, fashion magazines and candid photos in my youth, but for the past few years I haven't paid any attention. I don't have a TV to follow Victoria's Secret shows - I highly doubt they even sell the brand in Finland. I still highly admire women who have made a business out of their modelling career as fashion isn't an easy business. Same goes with beauty. It "makes sense" a model would create their own clothing or beauty line, but to my understanding Miranda is also very passionate about sustainability, natural ingredients and organic life. The highlight ingredient of Kora organics is a fruit called noni, which is a "super fruit" that can be taken internally and externally. I learned Miranda has drank the juice of noni fruit since she was a child.
Rose Quartz Luminizer
Kora Organics Rose Quartz Highlighter is a cream pot highlighter with rose hued luminous glow. Can be used on the high points of the face with be used with fingers or a small brush. The ingredients are mostly organic and 98.8% of natural origin. 6g/0.21 oz of product for 28.90€/$28 (Stockmann.fi and Sephora.com).
Using the Rose Quartz Luminizer
Don't you hate the expression when someone (especially a beauty blogger) is obsessed with something? Well, I am with this highlighter. It gives the most natural sheen without being too subtle or undetected. The luminizer makes the high points of your face to stand out and glow without looking like you've applied highlighter. Perfect for the "glowing from within", seamless finish.
I'm especially happy that the luminizer is easy to blend with fingers. I very lightly dip my index finger into the cream, do two to three taps on my cheek bone and use my middle finger to blend. If you need some inspiration or tips how to highlight your face, read my highlighter tips post. My mind does a little scream every time I dip my fingers into a cream product, but that's life. I think you could use a concealer brush, a small goat hair or synthetic brush to blend and buff this product, but honestly I think softer cream products are the easiest to apply and blend with fingers. I leave my brushes for harder cream products, such as the THREE Duo Highlighter (review here).
Here's some highlighter applied on my cheekbones and cupid's bow. It blends into my foundation very seamlessly, it was pretty hard to capture on camera - congratulations if you notice anything, but take my word: it looks beautiful in real life!!
Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil*, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax*, Mica (and) CI 77891, Hydrogenated Palm Oil*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract*, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil*, Tocopherol, Iron Oxides (CI 77491), Quartz
I usually don't dig the ingredients of makeup products, but as this is almost 100% natural and organic ingredients, I thought I would paste them for you. I was hesitant to use a makeup product high in coconut oil on my face, but luckily I've had zero congestion from using this highlight. I've also had no reaction from RMS beauty products, so if they worked for you so might Kora. If you're sensitive to shea butter or coconut oil proceed with caution or ask a sample. I don't own Tata Harper or RMS highlighters, but compared to my RMS Buriti Bronzer the Kora is much more softer in texture and doesn't feel as dry.
Notice: Coconut Oil etc natural butters should be kept under 30°C / 86F to avoid melting. Finland is now having a heatwave and my highlighter is a bit soft in the middle.
The color of Rose Quartz Luminizer is icy pale pink. In these pictures it looks almost lilac, but don't worry - this isn't an "unicorn highlighter" but has just a strong white undertone. I have nothing like it, but I swatched two of my pinky highlighters and the paler side of TF's Paradise lust and THREE Shimmering Glow Duo 01 (review here).
This highlighter is a clear winner for me! I hope Kora Organics brings out more complexion products - if so, I'll be first in the line! (Please, Miranda, bring out a BB cream! Right now I'm testing Kora's skincare items, I hope to report back soon, but so far... I'm impressed. What's your favorite eco makeup item? Do you love cream products for the Summer?
**Kindly PR gifted for consideration. Images and thoughts are my honest and my own!
Today I'm so excited to share with you the one and only - Sonia G brushes! I've gotten some questions are these brushes worth the splurge, but I gave it a few weeks to properly try, test and play with these brushes for the review. I wanted to make sure I've washed them several times and tried with different makeup before giving you my final verdict, they're valuable after all. I've followed Sonia's blog for years and her Brush Temple has been a tremendous help when first purchasing Japanese 'fude' or brushes. I'm so glad she got her own line!!
Sonia G Brushes Introduction
Sonia aka the mastermind behind Sweet Makeup Temptations blog is a Japanese fude/brush connoisseur with a collection of +2000 brushes! She's not only a brush collector but truly passionate about the craft. Her devotion, love and passion for brushes and Japanese craftmanship can be read from her immaculate, fun and informational brush reviews and articles. Sonia has travelled many times to Japan and Kumano, where Japanese hand-crafted brushes are made. She is also a friend of Wayne Goss, a well-known Makeup Artist and Youtuber, whose brushes are also sold exclusively on Beautylish. In her Switzerland home Sonia has a room called the "Brush Boudoir" devoted to store and display her beautifully crafted brush collection.
Sonia's brushes are exclusive to Beautylish, hand-made in Japan. Her Fundamental Brush Set retails for $362/~€302,60 (8 brushes), also sold individually from January 2018. Right now her collection consists of 16 individual brushes retailing between $28/€23.4 and $75/€62.7 per brush.
Sonia G Brush Handles
Now to me - these handles are pure art except for the typography which isn't hundred percent my cup of tea (but I'm picky when it comes to typefaces). The wood is sustainably harvested maplee wood and coated with four layers of pigment and lacquer for a rich color and glossy finish. I love different color handles and the gradient just gives another level of luxury to the brushes. I'm very glad that Beautylish states the wood and lacquer technique, as these are a huge part of the Japanese craftsmanship that's put in Kumano Fude brushes. As the ends of the handles are rounded, I've experienced no dents or chipping of the coating (unlike with Hakuhodo S-series).
I personally like medium length handles. So far the handle length has been okay, but sometimes I find the ferules a bit chunky. For the Base One I would've preferred a shorter handle for more precision and control, but I'll talk more about it later. These handles look modern and chic, I only wish the typeface and logo (bottom of the handles) was different.. Some of you might like it though, can't please everyone!
Thoughts on the collection
The set and collection are definitely interesting. I feel Sonia created brushes that she wanted, needed or didn't already have for her purpose. I can imagine her playing with makeup and wondering "Why don't I have the perfect brush for my Natasha Denona glitters..." haha. Of course this is just my imagination! But her original set didn't make a complete brush collection in my opinion if you're a working makeup artist or just a brush enthusiast. I think Sonia's brushes are well-catered to people who are missing something or looking for a brush to special product or use. In my opinion you should research your existing stash both in makeup and brushes: is there a makeup product you've been dying to use but didn't have the right tool? Are you always reaching for a brush you don't have? I think Sonia's unique collection has you covered. There's such creativity and knowledge behind the design combined with beautiful Japanese craftsmanship.
My picks: Builder One, Worker One, Sculpt Three and Base One
I wanted to test Sonia's brushes without breaking my bank account, so I asked her some recommendations on Instagram. I have no experience with fan brushes so I probably wouldn't have picked up Sculpt Three without her suggestion. I immediately knew I wanted Base One; Sonia has always talked about how sensitive her skin is and previously duo-fibre stippling brushes have been too much for my dry skin. I had high hopes Base One would be soft and gentle (spoiler alert: it is)! Builder One looked very unique type of brush, firm and very narrow, but perhaps "finger-like" to pack on glitters where as Worker One seemed like a good alternative for Hakuhodo J5523.
- Dyed saikoho goat - Recommended use: powders
This brush is an interesting one and very unique. I can imagine Sonia created this brush to pack Natasha Denona shimmers and metalics as she's a big fan of ND. If you needed something with absolute control when you pack on your glitters or want to sharply smudge your khol liner, lower lash line etc. then this is a brush for you. To this day I've liked pencil brushes, but Builder One gives its user more control and definition. The bristles pick up any kind of shadow.
Needless to say, I still haven't got 100% hang of this brush as I make errors when I try to pack the side of the brush with shadow. I try to explain to my best: the ferule is fat compared to the hairs and I keep denting the eyeshadow pan with the edge of the ferule, which annoys me to bits. But I like to think that's me being clumsy, not exactly the brush's fault.
- Dyed saikoho goat - Recommended use: powders
Worker one is designed to be used as an eyeshadow blending brush and it's excellent for distributing color on the lid with one swipe. It can also be used for contouring and defining the eye, thanks to it's shape that's both flat yet fluffy and oval. I like to use circular motions for buffing the color or back-and-forth "windscreen wipe" motion to evenly blend. The shape is a bit large for working in the outer 'V' area, but you could do it in a pinch. This is like Hakuhodo J5523 (MAC 217) on steroids. With my hooded eyes I think J5523 is a bit better for blending the crease or even a more tapered brush, but if you have more space than I do - there's a brush for you.
- Dyed saikoho goat - Recommended use: powders
Originally I wasn't very interested in fan brushes as I have little experience with them - I only have some sculpting fan brushes, but not the 'traditional' kind. This brush turned out to be a surprise favorite! First, it's super soft and second, it picks up a good amount of product but lays it down with precision and control. If you have smaller features you could try this for dusting finishing powder - maybe even contour, but personally I like this with powder highlighters and even buffing (yes!) the product into the skin to make the finish the most natural. I emphasis that this brush gives you a nice amount of control and picks up the product well, doesn't feel "flimsy" at all like some fan brushes may be.
I used to love the look of duo-fibre brushes but grew to dislike them as my skin was so dry and flakey. Now I'm in a pretty good condition with my skin so I decided to give this brush a go - also because I love foundation (and contouring) brushes the most. The Beautylish site describes this fude as dense but airy, which is kind of true as the base has good density, but the length of the PBT hairs is just right for buffing foundation. I feel these hairs are soft enough for dry skin, but not ultra-soft like a kitten's paw - not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to a foundation brush. I love to use this brush for buffing foundation near my nose and chin area, it fits well into crevices of the nose for example and doesn't leave a streaky finish!
But, I feel this brush works the best with more creamy foundations as with liquids the brush might absorb the product and doesn't move the foundation as seamlessly. If you only wear tinted moisturizers and serum foundations, you might give this brush a pass. My foundation favorite for this brush has been from Chantecaille, but I imagine the SUQQU Extra Rich Cream Foundation (review here) or similar would perfect combo. I wish this brush was a bit less heavy and thick, but that's a personal preference: I like more slim handles opposite to big ones - unless they are very short. I think the thickness also makes the brush less easy to control.
Final Thoughts on Sonia G Brushes
I've had no problems with washing the brushes, shedding, whatsoever. The handles are pure luxury, I love the weight and feel of them. My only problem has been with ferules (Builder One) and thickness (Base One), but these are personal preferences. These brushes are exquisite and I expected nothing less from Sonia. I probably wouldn't be purchasing all of the brushes, but I will certainly save up and invest in a few more. If you've ever had the moment "I wish my brush did this X" or "I wish there was a tool for that Y" then take a look at this collection and cherry-pick for your needs! You might find a new treasure.
I was editing images for a cream highlighter review I'm working on and it came to my mind I should do a quick basic post on how to highlight. I've been asked to do posts on how to do a perfect base, so I imagine this also would be helpful. Today I'm focusing on glow enhancing products instead of highlighting techniques with a foundation/concealer. I hope you enjoy this post even if you're already a glowing goddess or totally newbie to the highlighter bandwagon!
Highlighting in a nut shell
Highlighting and contouring are techniques to emphasise and define your features - all the way to alternating your face shape (think about drag queens). In everyday occasions highlighters are excellent for bringing forward your favorite features and give a healthy sheen to the skin. The beauty market is nowadays saturated with highlighter products so there's a formula, color and texture for every preference and skin type. So don't fear to try it highlighting even if you're bone-dry or having oily skin!
Some common highlighter types + Products
Subtle "no-highlighter" highlighters
This is the category of highlighters before the market became over-saturated with products, as well as more subtle skin perfectors and slightly illuminating primers.
To my understanding many makeup artists still rely on the Weleda Skin Food*, which is basically a thick cream for dry skin (cuticles, chapped lips, elbows etc.) as it gives a natural sheen for "no-makeup" makeup looks. Like Vaseline, but more elegant. Laura Mercier's classic Radiance primer gives a very slight sheen on the skin, but personally I'm bigger fan of the Lumene's new Invisible Illuminizer* drops, which give the perfect lit from within type of glow. Lumene also comes in variety of tones for different skin tones.
Cream highlighters for a seamless finish
I love cream highlighters as they blend seamlessly to but still pack a punch when it comes to adding light or pure shimmer to the skin. The THREE Shimmering Glow Duo in 01 (review here) is a must-have for me as it's quick and easy to apply with fingers, but lasts long. I use either of the two shades or mix them together depending on the blush shade I'm wearing. Some eco brands (RMS, Kora, Tata Harper) also make wonderful cream highlighters that look almost wet on the skin.
Powder highlighters for every occasion
Nowadays there is a powder highlighter for every situation with many textures, shades and finishes: from the barely there Rouge Bunny Rouge Highlighting Powder (mine is in the shade Goddess) to medium intensity such as Tom Ford's Skin Illuminating Powder Duo in Moodlight to the very frosty and glittery finishes. Powder highlighters are easy to use, great value for money and they don't go bad too quickly.
If you like to look like a "sexy robot" (a term standardiszed by the amazing Full Coverage -podcast) or to be seen from the space, I've heard that Becca do excellent ones. I personally prefer natural to buildable highlighters and classics such as Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Candlelight or the Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlighter 01 (ignore the name, it's not matte!!). If I feel like having more visible glitter, Chanel's Camélia de Chanel (limited edition) gives it to me in a sophisticated way. Keep an eye on Chanel's Illuminating Powders - they often bring out amazing ones! Same with Burberry, I've seen their powder highlighters with beautiful embossings being listed as LE, but they have been on the site for a while.
Liquid Highlighters for the intense sheen
As much as I love to collect powder highlighters and play with creams, liquids are wonderful as you often need only the tiniest bit and get the most intense results. Rouge Bunny Rouge does the most incredible highlighting liquids in several shades, but I've seen Charlotte Tilbury and Cover FX do similar ones as well. With a liquid highlight you can achieve either a very metallic or wet effect, depending on the product. I love to pump some on my hand and use my fingertips or a brush to stipple the product on the high points of my face and eyes too!
My best tip is to always go always for a color that you love. If unicorn tears and rainbows on your cheekbones make you happy, you do you! Now every shade under the sun has been made into a highlighter, but the basic rule is to compliment a) your undertone b) how light/dark your skin is. Let's say you're fair with cool undertones - iridescent pinks could look fabulous on you. Or perhaps you are a medium with strong yellow or olive undertones? How about trying champagnes and golds. Deeper skins can pull off most colors in my opinion, but golds, coppers with a reddish undertone would be my first choice. I personally feel I'm too fair (MAC NC15-NW13) to wear copper highlighters, so I like to stick with whites, pinks and pale champagnes, but these shades work also for deeper skin tones - they just have a stronger effect on you.
How to highlight your face
Basically, highlighting is used to emphasis and bring your features forward while contouring is to cast a shadow and push back certain features. Try highlighting your cheekbones, cupid's bow, brow bone, tear dot, forehead, nose bridge and chin. I like to make my lips appear plump and cheekbones tall, but my eyes are pretty hooded so I avoid putting an emphasis on my brow bone. By testing and playing you'll find the placements that suit your features, but inner corners of the eyes, cupid's bow and cheekbones are easy and 'safe' to start with.
When you pick up powder highlighter with a brush, tap off the excess glitter so you won't have unwanted fall down. Apply with a slim brush, such as a fan or a tapered big eyeshadow brush.
Apply cream highlighters by first dotting them with your ring finger, then blend with your index/middle finger for a seamless finish. You can also warm the highlighter between your fingers before applying.
Pump liquid highlighter on the back of your hand and apply similarly to creams with fingers or use a buffing brush (goat hair or synthetic) to blend the product
You can also highlight your face with a concealer or a highlighter 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone. Also fair matte eyeshadows work as a brow bone highlighter if you want a more subtle effect.
In the image above there are some suggested areas where to place product, but obviously you can also subtly highlight your forehead, collarbones, elbows, some like to even highlight the tip of their nose. For most faces the so called 'C' shape aka from cheekbones to temples looks very beautiful. Try experimenting and get to know your face shape! As long as you're focusing on the highest points of the face you want to emphasis, you're doing good!
Some Highlighter brushes
A large flat eyeshadow brush, a slim blush brush, anything tapered - they all work for highlighting. I believe there's no limitation how you can use a brush; even if the manufacturer has designed and named it for other purposes. Quite often I reserve the tapered candle brushes for precise powdering (such as Chikuhodo Z-2 featured here) and use other shapes to apply highlighters.
Tanseido's large eyeshadow brush YWS-12 has an angled shape, which makes it excellent for controlled and precise application. I wouldn't use any of these brushes for buffing, but a denser and more short haired foundation brush. Sonia G's Sculpt Three picks up powder beautifully and is great for smooth and even dusting of powder. You're also able to pick your wished color from compacts that are striped with highlighter/blusher/bronzer. Wayne Goss' old 14 is less precise, but picks a generous amount of product and is excellent for sheer powder highlighters and sculpting the cheekbones, adding some light finishing powder on the chin and perhaps forehead. Last but not least Tanseido YAQ-17 is my go-to for very intense or glittery highlighters as it's the least dense. One could say it's borderline "floppy", but YAQ-17 is a beautiful brush. It's flat but slightly tapered for beautifully diffusing intense products.
Thank you for reading! Phew, I can't imagine how many times I typed a 'highlighter' haha. Now I can finally get on with my next review - there's a sneak peek in the image above. I'm curious to hear if you're still loving the highlighting craze? What's you favorite product or formula? I must know!
* Marked items are PR samples kindly offered for consideration. My thoughts are my honest and my own.
I'm one of those people who can't live without heat styling my hair. I'd say I have it easy as I don't have major dandruff problem, dye or blow dry my hair, but I have slightly natural wave which makes my short bob look crazy unless I straighten it. I call my hair "like a horse's tail" because it's thick, coarse and on the dry side! Yup, I look like a pony out of the shower. Today I'm showing you how I humanize myself while protecting my hair!
Taking the heat
To avoid further damaging my hair I try to be consistent with heat protection and never straighten my hair when it's still wet. To my knowledge the flat iron increases the heat you're applying to your wet hair, damaging and making it look even coarser. You know the "swissssh" sound your flat iron makes when it touches your damp hair? It's no good. Always air dry or blow-dry your hair before flat ironing or curling your hair! Heat protective serums can also aid both drying the hair quicker, making it sleeker and easier to handle - and protect from the heat, of course.
My favorite tool - travel size flat iron
I wanted to invest in a good quality iron that would last years, but I wasn't ready to break the bank. My favorite tool is an old Cloud9 travel-sized flat iron. For my short bob it's excellent for both styling and adding loose waves to the hair. I can still divide my hair in layers and get rid of the annoying, unruly waves - even ones near the nape of my neck. My flat iron has has only one heat setting, but it works for me. It heats up under a minute and also cools down quite quickly. I've also heard that T3 makes excellent heat tools for hair, but I'd repurchase Cloud9.
Heat styling products routine
After I've washed my hair with a shampoo and conditioner I properly towel dry hair and let it be for a few minutes. I've heard that microfiber towels are quick and effective especially for drying longer hair, but I haven't tested them myself yet. After my hair is not dripping any more, I add some hair oil I have at hand. I've tested the OUAI and Wella hair oils, but both of them feel too heavily scented for me. They both do give a nice healthy sheen to my hair without making it look greasy. I can even apply the Wella oil on my bangs, but not sure I would repurchase because of the smell.. Here's my current routine products:
Wella Perfect Me BB-lotion*
What is a BB-lotion you ask..? I have no idea, branding I assume. I haven't used hair lotions in a recent memory, so this product was a wonderful surprise to smooth my coarse texture. I've tried smoothing "serums" and "gels" in the past, but they all have that silicon-like slippery feel. The Wella Perfect me BB Lotion has a like light cream-lotion that you can apply on dry or damp hair. I imagine this would tame frizzy locks and bring beautiful smoothness to lighter hair types.
Wella Shape Me 48H Memory Hair Gel*
I'm not kidding when I say this product made me raise an eyebrow. A gel heat protectant, really? But I heard it works wonders with the BB lotion, giving hair both protection and hold for two days. You know when a makeup foundation says "up to 110% more coverage! lasts up to 25h!" or other ridiculous claims, well, this gel doesn't lie. I apply the lightweight gel to my hair and my hair doesn't look or feel like an oil slick. The gel activates when you apply heat styling and I gotta say my hair looks pretty nice and healthy. Even the next day! I usually touch up my hair in the mornings, but with this gel I've had no need to. Impressed.
OUAI the Matte Pommade
This pommade is wonderful for that piece-y look, I like to apply it on my bangs and ends of my hair to give them some detail and separation. I like it when my hair looks shiny and healthy, but not greasy or slippery from products. The matte pommade is pretty hard in the jar and you only need the tiniest bit - this jar has lasted me for ages (at least 1.5 years and I still have a ton left). The smell is nice, floral but not overpowering (compared to the OUAI hair oil). I would prefer if it had more unisex scent so I could share it with my partner.
I haven't talked much about my hair, perfume or body products on the blog, but that's going to change. My passion for beauty isn't all about makeup and skincare, but how other aspects as well, including how we see beauty. What would you like to read about next? Nails? Brushes? Body care? Any wishes?
*Wella BB-Lotion and Memory Gel kindly gifted for consideration. Thoughts my honest & my own.
I don't publish monthly favorites although I love to read and watch them online. While I enjoy many products I think a favorite should have extra something out of the ordinary. You know the feeling - you like it enough to repurchase if it got lost, look forward to using or maybe it makes your heart beat a bit faster. I had many extra heart beats this month! It felt like an excellent time to showcase some faves of late.
Kypris Antioxidant Dew Serum
This milky serum hydrates like no other. In the beginning of the month I was wandering in stores, sampling hyaluronic acid products and hydrating serums left and right. My skin was so tight, parched and dry after winter I was in a great need of TLC. After testing sample pots and inspecting INCI my conclusion was this: buy a new bottle of the Antioxidant Dew. It hydrates, plumps, softens and brightens my skin like no other! Pricey, but was well-worth the repurchase.
Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner Deep Rich*
Whamisa is a new K-beauty skincare line for me, currently testing out several of their products for future reviews. I had heard good things about their toner in Deep Rich (available in 3 types for different skins), but I was still impressed by its natural fermented ingredients and deep hydration it gives without leaving your skin tacky. I actually prefer to use this after my toning step as a hydrating essence.
Bobbi Brown Crushed Lipstick in Ruby
After discovering Matilda and her Youtube channel I quickly binge-watched all of her videos: including a swatch video of the new(ish) Bobbi lipsticks. Initially I was interested in the color Bare as it looked like the perfect 'my lips but better' lipstick and the formula sounded like the discontinued ADDICTION by Ayako lipsticks (now branded as Lipstick Sheer?). After playing at the counter I ended up purchasing a close dupe to ADDICTION's Last Scene lipstick. Crushed Lipstick in Ruby works both as a beautiful red lipstick or a sheerer tint - and it's matte but not drying. Win!
ADDICTION Limited Glow Compact in 001 Cool Reflection
I've been loving the THREE Shimmering Glow Duo for years (review here), no wonder it's the brand's top seller. When I saw that ADDICTION came out with their own cream duo version I was immediately intrigued. At first I thought it was a limited edition, but the two shades available have been on the site for a while. THREE is a more glittery duo whereas ADDICTION has an almost wet looking white highlighter paired with a matte contour color. The creams are stiffer (compared to THREE and RMS for example), which is the only con I can think of - there's no problem to apply the shades with fingers, but for contouring a brush is more practical. Very pretty compact and convenient for travel!
Rouge Bunny Rouge Milk Aquarelle Foundation in Coconut Milk Parfait
RBR Milk Aquarelle foundation (review here) has been my staple for years, but I somewhat recently opened a fresh bottle and I had forgotten how liquid it is (my old one had gone to more gel-like texture), easy to work with, buildable and simply good skin in a bottle. My favorite way to use this is mixed with the Serene Light Skin Perfector for additional second-skin like feel and even greater wear (see me use both here).
Chantecaille Just Skin Tinted Moisturiser SPF 15 in Alabaster(?)
Base and complexion products are perhaps my favorite. When I was running out my HG foundations (the RBR Milk Aquarelle and ADDICTION Skin Care Foundation) I started sampling and testing other formulas out of my curiosity. I ended up re-purchasing both of my favorite foundations, but there is always room for new discoveries, right? My friends kindly sent me some samples of Chantecaille foundation and tinted moisturizer and I think this nameless jar is the Just Skin tinted moisturizer in its lightest shade. Very natural, light coverage that blends into my skin, doesn't wear off, fade or crack during the day. It's very expensive, but I thinkk I will purchase a tube once it's in stock!
SUQQU Designing Color Eyes in 116 Shakuyousa*
I'm convinced this will be THE go-to quad for me this Spring and Summer. I simply can't get enough of these shadows: not only the pigmentation and texture of the powders are pure excellence, but the fun range of shades keep inspiring me for new combinations and looks! Full review here.
Sonia G Brush in Base One
I have a whole post coming up about Sonia G aka Sweet Makeup Temptation's brushes, but this one is worth the extra mention. While testing out the Chantecaille foundations (the other is very gel-like) I reached for this beauty time and time again. Me and stippling brushes haven't been good pals in the past - my skin has been acneic, flakey and I feared my makeup would pill or look streaky. That's not the case, you can both stipple and buff with this brush as it's very soft and perfectly dense. The length of the synthetic PBT hairs has been well-thought and balanced with the natural goat hairs. The handle is very beautiful and luxurious, in this case a bit long for my technique and preference, but I still enjoy using it a ton.
Hakuhodo Brush G511
A couple of months ago I purchased some new brushes and one of them was this "salt and pepper" style Hakuhodo beauty. I love angled, base and complexion brushes in general - as I love these makeup products too! My old favorite for contouring has been the Surratt Artistique Sculpting Brush, but I wanted to try Hakuhodo's equivalent, which is less dense, soft and of course - "salt and pepper" hairs are very cute. Works well for under the cheekbones and diffusing hard edges. If you like subtle contour, use soft powders or have small features this is a brush for you!
Surratt Classique Shadow Brush Moyenne
My favorite small flat brush for packing on eyeshadow on the mobile lid and outer 'V'. Not overly dense, has a good hair length without being floppy. Super soft workhorse! The only con is this brush is pretty expensive, otherwise I would get a second one.
Sephora and Cult Beauty just had a -15%/-20% off sale and I may or may not have picked up little something-something. I don't remember having done a haul post either, would you be interested in seeing what I have bought recently? Also I'm curious to hear what have you been loving lately?
*Products marked with asterisk are PR samples kindly offered for consideration. My thoughts are honest and my own.
There's nothing like SUQQU's new collection: the anticipation, I can feel my heart pounding when I see the promo pics, eager waiting of release and hitting refresh on the web shop. In SS18 I think the star were lip glosses and face products although there were 3 new eyeshadow palettes as well: 2 permanent and 1 limited edition. The limited edition got sold on Selfridges in a blink of an eye, but I actually found the blue-green permanent quad the most interesting although they aren't my go-to colors. SUQQU UK team kindly sent 09 Ryogetsu for me to try, here are my thoughts below!
SUQQU Designing Color Eyes 09 Ryogetsu
SUQQU's Spring 2018 collection takes inspiration from 'Kindami', which is a traditional Japanese technique of grazing silver and gold to kimono garments. This collection is serene with harmonious colors and some luxurious sparkle top-coats. The palette retails £46/~$64/~€52.6 for 0.19 oz/5.6g of product. My favorite place to shop for SUQQU is Selfridges.com as they have international shipping. If you shop there a lot, I recommend the Selfridges+ program to save you on shipping costs!
Using Designing Color Eyes 09 Ryogetsu
Now first of all, the 09 Ryogetsu palette is gorgeous to look at. But blue? Khaki? Not the type kind of shades I tend to wear on daily basis. But, SUQQU tends to make magic with every color there is, so I was willing to give it a go. Plus, I wasn't too interested in the other 2 quads as the permanent collection already had many neutral tones and ADDICTION sells a similar single shadow as the gorgeous shock pink in the SUQQU LE quad.
My brush sinks into 06 Ryogetsu, leaving a dent but there isn't major powder kick-off. I'd say the shadows are definitely soft, silky, almost - but not quite - buttery, as despite the dent you won't go through these shadows in an instant. The pigmentation is medium but buildable, on my fair skin the lightest ice blue shade doesn't transfer as wonderfully as the others.
The upper right corner glitter is more like a top coat than subtle sheen like in older generation SUQQU quads; this glitter is here and wanting attention! Although the glitters are big, I don't find the texture chunky or any fallout on my cheeks during the day. Think about Tom Ford glitter top coats: they're visible, attention-grabbing, but not wet, gaudy or all over the place. Best applied with your ring finger in my opinion!
The blue is beautiful, shy, but leaves a beautiful trace when layered with the more shimmery taupe shade. I can see it's still there, but perhaps not everyone. This is why I wish the blue had a bit more pigmentation, but I guess it will transfer better on medium to deeper skin tones (I'd love to see that!) The cool taupe is just lovely and I want to apply it everywhere. See it layered with the glitter in the picture below!
Ice blue - Icy sea foam blue, satin Taupe - Brown-grey taupe, leaning cool, satin Khaki - Neutral khaki shade leaning brown, satin White - White transparent glitter
Makeup of the day
Very basic look where I've applied the icy blue as a base shade, taupe to the outer V and crease layered with khaki to emphasis the outer corner. I like to dab the white shimmer shade with my finger on the highest part of the 'eye ball' and let it catch light. I've noticed that this type of look suits my eye shape the best, although I love darker, more smudged lash you often see in Japanese magazines and promo pics. Blush SUQQU 109 Hanairoka (reviewed here) - new SUQQU lip gloss reviews coming soon! (I took this picture before cutting my hair, in the case you noticed it is shorter in a couple of previous posts).
I think 09 Ryogetsu is a gorgeous palette, I'm really glad I got to try newer colors for me, which I haven't reached as often in the past (that's going to change NOW!). I very much enjoy the subtle color harmony and the glitter top coat. Despite preferring SUQQU's more pigmented palettes, like the new 116 Shakuyousa (review here), the likes of 09 Ryogetsu with its satin textures and a pop of glitter is what I reach for the most in everyday life. Hard to go wrong with this chic, subtle, office-friendly palette. I only wish I could come up with more creative looks with this quad. I'm open for suggestions!
Do you wear a lot of khaki? Ever tried icy blue or glittery top coat? Let me know! xx
The featured product was kindly provided for consideration. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.
When SUQQU posts a teaser of their new collection I'm immediately intrigued - especially if I see that the SUQQU Senior Makeup Artist Jorge Bazaretti has been working on it. I'm working on some posts featuring more bits from the permanent Summer 2018 collection, but as the launch of the UK exclusives approach I decided to re-schedule my posts. I hope you can enjoy this post and swatches in the case you're wanting to grab something!
SUQQU UK Exclusive Summer 2018 'Gradation Couture'
The collection is themed on "Gradation Couture" - which offers an antique floral gradation into rich modern shades. The gradation can also be seen in the blush (Pure Color Blushes always have a gradation) and the top left shade of the eyeshadow palettes (special feature). The collection mixes a variety of textures inspired by antique couture, but the overall spirit is fun, young and spontaneous. For me personally SUQQU is always elegance and sophistication so I enjoy the fresh, energized take on the Summer collection. The collection features 1 Pure Color Blush (£32), 2 Designing Color Eyes (£46 each) and 2 Extra Glow Lipstick (£25 each, all items limited edition).
Due to the popularity of this collection, the mail requests and waiting list became full in a blink of an eye. SUQQU will contact those on the waiting list if there is additional availability from cancellation. Selfridges will have 2 weeks exclusive preview from 26th April and launches on counters in Harrods & Fenwick Bond Street stores on 10th May. Check your nearest counter or keep an eye on the online shop!
Designing Color Eyes 116 SHAKUYOUSA
SUQQU translates this eyeshadow palette as 'Burning Sand'. It has a gorgeous, gorgeous pigmentation and a variety of finishes from delicious matte coral and orange, shimmering copper and satin purple taupe and purple. The shadows are inspired by the summer-sun setting skies, hot sand on beaches and contrasted by the purple-burgundy. I think SUQQU and Jorge nailed this palette: it has a great variety in both finishes and color. The shades play together beautifully, pack a punch in pigmentation and blendability is excellent. There is little powder kickoff, when you press your brush into the pan so I wouldn't say these are too hard pressed. Despite loving top coat glitters I like that this coppery glitter shade (top right pan) has some decent color as well. There is no dud in this palette. Best of all, I feel inspired looking at this palette and I can come up with multiple interesting looks.
Kouki is inspired by the summer flowers of the semi-tropical islands of Japan (think of, say, Okinawa). I immediately thought about Japanese peaches or 'momo' as the color is very fresh and juicy - if you've never seen a Japanese peach they are huge in size and most delicious fruit there is! Extra Glow lipsticks are not glass-like glossy or have any pearl, but their moisturizing texture gives a beautiful, healthy and plump sheen on the lips without feeling heavy. That being said, they aren't very long-lasting on the lips and might slip and slide a bit. If you suffer from chapped lips and enjoy a wash of color with a single stroke, these conditioning lipsticks might be a hit for you.
I used top left pan and did a gradation on my mobile lid, shading the taupe color near inner corner, purple in the outer corner and copper shimmer pressed on the top with finger. A couple of swipes of 110 KOUKI lipstick and 106 HANAIROKA blush (review here). Eyebrows also SUQQU the Volume Brow Mascara (review here).
Might sound cheezy, but I can feel the warmth of the Sun and sand under my toes when I look at this collection. SUQQU UK always does an amazing job with their playful, chic and evolving collections, drawing the inspiration from the Japanese roots. I'll definitely do my best to grab the rest from this collection! Madly in love with these items, especially 116 SHAKUYOUSA eyeshadow quad!
What items are you eyeing for the Spring?
The eyeshadow palette and lipstick PR samples offered for consideration. Thoughts my own.
You know, I have a firm love for Japanese makeup, eco skincare and the one and only - Rouge Bunny Rouge. Their Neo-Victorian whimsy and style always remains beautiful and captivating, while the product performance is among the very best. This Spring RBR has come up with new interesting launch of foundation Color Matching Concentrate and a new look called 'Venetian Red': inspired by poets, painters, art and their creativity, beauty and passion (I'm all about it!!).
Now, I'm nowhere as stunning as their model in the Create Look guide, but here I am - still trying to recreate the Venetian Red look while rocking my R/H jumper. If you fancy taking a peek at my older RBR inspired creation, see the Rebel Princess Rhapsody here. RBR kindly sent me some of the products and sample sizes to try from this look, but in all honesty I had already bought most of them with my own money. I took a couple of 'creative liberties' here and there while creating the look after their instructions. I'll talk you through!
As the instructions suggest, I'll add a generous layer of the Tinted Luxe Balm in Pinch of Nude to condition my chapped lips. I really enjoy this balm as it feels very light and plumping on the lips without being too slippery or oily. Perfect for prepping the lips or underneath a lipstick to sheer out the color. Full review & swatches here.
I love the RBR Milk Aquarelle foundation (review here) and I'm on my second bottle. If you repurchase a foundation it does say something about it! The Milk Aquarelle has a light to medium buildable coverage, I usually buff just one layer mixed with the Serene Light Skin Perfector for a luminous, even finish. The coverage hides most of my acne scaring, but lets some imperfections shine through so the end result is very second skin-like. You can use Serene Light as a primer, but personally I mix it with my foundation. It does something magical to the end result, I can't quite put my finger on it (which is why I haven't written a full review yet), but using this makes my skin look even, bright and refreshed. I can't live without it!
Sadly, the Milk Aquarelle foundation's shade range is very limited - but RBR brought out a novelty product this Spring: the Colour-Matching Concentrate in Sonnet, which is essentially a foundation mixer. It comes in a convenient small pump bottle, but don't let the size deceive you - this stuff is VERY pigmented! Only a smallest drop is needed for adjusting your foundation. Perfect if you're a makeup artist, a medium-tan and need to adjust a foundation shade, or your skin significantly deepens in the summer time. I'm too fair to get much use out of this Concentrate as a foundation mixer, so I've used the tinies drop as a bronzer to add some healthy definition to the outer perimeter of my face. I add this on the top of my temples and cheek bones, after contouring with my Natural Defining and Contouring Liquid in Dusk (review here).
I cover my dark circles with the Luminous Skin Wand in Orionis. I imagine this product is supposed to be RBR's counterpart to YSL's Touche Éclat, but there is enough coverage so I can use it to conceal my dark circles. The formula is very light both in texture and coverage, but amazingly it banishes the tiredness from my face. Just to make sure there is no creasing, I set the concealer with my beloved Diaphanous loose powder and Chikuhodo Z-2 brush (reviewed both here).
Highlighting and Blush
The instructions on RBR website suggest to add the Highlighting Liquid before your blush, so I'll try it.. for science. Sea of Showers was a new shade for me. I always feared that a nude, champagne-like highlighter would be too tan for me but I was wrong! It suits perfectly with my slightly bronzed base. Sea of Clouds (pure white) still remains my favorite shade for my pale complexion, but I'll definitely use up the sample of Sea of Showers. I'll dab the highlighter on my cheek bones, temples, nose bridge and cupid's bow with my fingers.
Next, with a clean finger I'll dab the color of blush wand in Rubens on the apples of my cheeks and blend towards my ears. I used to sketch streaks on my cheeks with the actual blush wand, but I've learned that finger application works is the nicest for me. It can be used as a lipstick or an eyeshadow as well! I did my friend's makeup the other weekend using the shade Manet and she looked stunning. Last but not least, I'll take a squirrel hair highlighter brush and apply some highlighting powder in Goddess (I didn't have the suggested Sweet to Touch) to the high points of my face with a Sonia G fan brush.
Eyes and lashes
This look is inspired by classic art, the name 'Venetian Red' borrowed from the earthy red of Renaissance paintings. This theme speaks to me, as I used to sell fine art supplies as my part-time job for almost a decade! Although my own paintings are mainly digital, I have firm love for traditional materials (oils, aquarelles, pastels), classic painters and their muses. RBR knows how to draw inspiration and make it their own.
I was out of my RBR brow liners, so I used my Dior Brow Styler in Dark Brown instead and sketched my brows with feathery strokes. I only fill-in where needed and keep the look straight and natural. The Dior brow liner was super hyped up on YouTube and I like it, but it hasn't blown my mind. After finishing the Dior I think I'll got back to RBR as it's less expensive and the color is equally good. Lately I've been enjoying semi-brushed up brow and the SUQQU Brow Mascara gives me the hold I need (review here).
I start the eye look by applying the Brightening Liner Duo in Glacier Flower to my lower waterline. Using the Duo Cream Shadow in Gossamer Wing (which is one of my staples and I'm almost out of it) I create the kind of "no-eyeshadow" eyeshadow. Instead of mixing the two shades together I feel my hooded lids need more definition: using the doe-foot applicator I apply the lighter shade on my mobile lid and darker shade to the crease and blend with my finger. Then I sharpen my lip pencil in Marco and line my upper and lower lash line, keeping the inner corners bare. As the lip pencil is very soft, it's easy to massage the red color between the lashes without actually tight lining. I curl my lashes using the Surratt curlers (review here) and apply generous coats of Modelling Mascara in Red Nightfall. I think Magnitude Mascara in Ruby was a similar limited edition shade from last year, so I swatched it for comparison. RBR site suggests using the liquid highlighter to line the eyeliner for a metallic effect, but I use it to brighten my inner corners instead. Usually I would do this with the Brightening Liner Duo, but the liquid highlighter gives more "oomph" to the look.
(I mistakenly wrote 'Aura' in the highlighter picture, it's actually 'Goddess'!)
I wipe off the Tinted Luxe balm with a tissue and sketch my lips with the lip pencil in Marco (same I used for the eyes). I feel I wanted to emphasis the lips a bit more and decided to use one of my favorite lipsticks: the Color Burst Lipstick in Word of Mouth on the top. The match is excellent, Word of Mouth just gives a bit more brightness and healthy gloss to my lips. You could also use a touch of the Blush Wand applied as a stain - depends on the look you're going for! Finally, I give myself two spritzes of the RBR Chatoyant fragrance. This isn't a perfume I would wear daily, as on me the musk and vanilla base notes are quite heavy. I still enjoy it when I'm feeling "fancy" haha. Instead of disappearing into thin air this fragrance lasts on me for the whole day, which is excellent. Read more about the scent & notes here.
Thank you for reading! This post was pretty chatty, but I'm contemplating if I should post my everyday motd looks + simple product list more often? I would love to hear your thoughts! Also, if you desire to purchase any RBR items you can get 20% off by using my code RBR-lauraloukola20 (non-affiliate!!).
This post is not sponsored, but does feature some pr samples kindly sent by Rouge Bunny Rouge. My thoughts remain my own & honest. The links are for your convenience and do not contain ads.
I can finally feel it - the Spring is here! The days are getting longer and brighter in Helsinki, but unfortunately it's not pretty and blooming just yet (we got snow just this week.. yuck). For me Spring time has always been the most stressful and busy season. On some days I want just crash in bed, maybe it's time for a self-care weekend & blog post soon? When I'm feeling more energized, I've been playing with some new Spring/Summer beauties. I have a lot to share, so stay tuned for upcoming posts! Today I'm sharing two gorgeous blushes from SUQQU's latest collection.
SUQQU SS18 Kindami collection
The inspiration for SUQQU's SS18 Color collection was inspired by Japanese kimono and "kindami", which is a traditional technique of grazing gold and silver to kimono garments. Very glamorous, radiant and feminine theme - just like SUQQU usually is. The collection is fairly large and consists of eyeshadow palettes, cream eyeshadows, liners, nail polish, totally new lip gloss line, lipsticks and 3 new blushers: 2 permanent and 1 limited edition. See full item lists and descriptions here (SUQQU Atelier Tumblr). I'm reviewing the last blush from this collection once I get my hands on it! The blushes retail £32/$34.00 for 7.5g/0.26oz of product. I bought mine on Selfridges, which ships internationally.
Using Pure Color Blushes
I've talked about SUQQU's blushes multiple times and they are stunning. I haven't met a dry or patchy blush in this formula although I've tried many and in plenty of color variations from both limited editions and permanent collection. I'd say the pigmentation of these blushes is buildable: one swipe with a soft brush (such as squirrel hair) gives only a soft veil of color, but a couple of layers give a good color payoff. The old SUQQU blushes were hard to overdo, but with Pure Color Blushes it's easy to get too excited and keep applying, haha. Luckily these blushes blend beautifully, so you can adjust the opacity and sheen to your liking by adding the control color (right side).
I usually start by adding finishing powder on my cheeks and start building color using the left side. Using swirling motions I either apply the blush on the apples of my cheeks or blend towards the ear for more elongated look. Finally I blend the blush using the right (lighter) side of the blush, diffuse the edges and add a beautiful sheen which also brings dimension to the look. In my demo pictures I'm not wearing a highlighter, just SUQQU's blush! Really liking this formula and how you can adjust the amount of color.
Wearing SUQQU Pure Color Blush in 106 Hanairoka
Wearing SUQQU Pure Color Blush in 09 Ayakagerou
Pure Color Blush in 106 Hanairoka* (Limited Edition)
106 Hanairoka (106 花色香) is a fresh red combined with soft, creamy pink-peach. This blush mimics the natural flush and redness in the skin, as if you had just been outside in crispy air or blushed. Healthy-looking and sophisticated "adult" red; not very sweet despite the lighter end of the blush being a creamier shade. When swatching with finger this blush applies a bit stiffer compared to Ayakagerou, but still easy to blend and apply. Hanairoka doesn't shy away and is easy to over-apply when you get excited about the crispy red tones. The result reminds me of ADDICTION's Cheek Polish in Revenge, except SUQQU's has more sheen and dimension to it. On my skin the look is a bit sunburnt as the shade is close to my natural redness. Sometimes I like this look as it makes me look healthy, but I need to pay more attention to concealing my real redness on my cheeks and perhaps use a foundation with more coverage. I could also adjust the blush better for my skin by using the lighter peachy side of the blush, but usually I get too excited and just slap on the red! I would imagine this blush looks stunning on medium to deeper skin tones as a pop of color.
Pure Color Blush in 09 Ayakagerou
When the sneak peeks of this collection were posted, my eyes went straight to the cool brown-beige blush 09 Ayakagerou (09 彩陽炎). In pictures, it almost looks like a contour and highlight shade, but wasn't marketed as such so I expected the beige side have some micro shimmer. In person 09 Ayakagerou has some reddish undertones, but looks nothing like a bronzer to me. For fair to medium skin tones it looks perfect as a defining "no blush" blush to add depth and definition to the face. Understated, but a very beautiful shade that compliments multiple lip and eye looks: imagine a strong red lip and glossy eyes or perhaps dark smokey eyes and mauve lips with this blush!
09 AYAKAGEROU - cool, muted brown with slightly red beige undertones with champagne highlighter-y side
106 HANAIROKA (LE) - bright healthy red with a pinky highlighter shade, combines to a chic reddish pink
SUQQU's blushes don't disappoint and I'm especially smitten with 09 Ayakagerou. I have my eyes on 09 Momodaidai, which I will surely grab when it comes available again online. Despite being limited edition, I've recently seen 106 Hanairoka this on SUQQU's Japanese website - your best chance to grab it is to email a counter or a personal shopper. The blended side is quite near 03 Sumiayasake, which was also recently discontinued.
How do you like SUQQU's new blushes? Did you decide to get any?
*Pure Color blush in 106 Hanairoka was kindly gifted by SUQQU UK for a review. My thoughts are my own!
I hate to admit, but I'm one of those people who do sheet masks while sipping wine (always white) with a straw. Sometimes I play video games while masking (any Overwatch fans here?), sometimes I sit back in my bed, cuddle with my cat and answer comments. Nothing feels better than hydrating, cooling sheet mask after a long day. Here's a review mishmash of some of the masks I've tried!
My Sheet Masking Routine
I prefer to do sheet masks in the evenings and keep the mask on as long as possible. I don't keep a silicon or other plastic mask on top of the sheet, I feel that the sheet masks I use are good enough alone. If I'm in a hurry an need a 10-minute pick-me-up I slather with an essence (Korean "7 skin method" style), do a facial massage or use a wash-off mask using samples I'm having around. The beauty of masking is in the instant results: more glowing, hydrated, plump and soft skin - that's what I'm expecting from my sheet masks. While there are more special and specific ingredients advertised I feel that those focused on hydration or brightening give my dry prune-like skin the best results.
I've tested a ton of sheet masks during during the years and I tend to be somewhat picky... I will try anything, but I've found some very inexpensive gems (around €1-2/$1-3), which have raised my bar. As sheet masks are one-time use only I believe the individual price shouldn't be too high. Of course it's nice to treat yourself once in a while, but I think great results can be achieved with frequency and quite inexpensive masks. That being said, I have not tried masks worth of +15 euros. I have my doubts, but I'm willing to test a SK-II or Estee Lauder's mask in the name science: if my mind gets blown I shall eat my words. Meanwhile, I'm saving my pennies for serums and such.
To keep a track of all the masks I've tested, I use a GoogleDocs spread sheet.. talk about being a beauty nerd. I hope you enjoy these reviews, in this post I'm having a nice variety of masks from different countries as well some eco masks. I've graded all masks from 1 to 5, the ingredients are also listed below!
Naruko Snail Essence Intense Hydra Repair Mask
I enjoy Taiwanese masks and this is one of the best ones I've found. This is - if you don't mind "slimy" products. Yes, when you touch the essence and pull your hands apart you can see slimy strings - like in the Alien movies or Japanese lube (which they actually used in the movies, to my knowledge!). The essence is on the more thicker side and the sheet itself feels like a hydrogel. Before you get too weirded out, believe when I say this mask is fun to use and incredibly soothing, moisturizing and evens out your skin. Your skin will feel amazing afterwards. In my spread sheet I've simply typed "HG". Purchased from ebay.
I've tried several of these Taiwanese masks, but some of them have left me underwhelmed. If you dislike "drippy" sheet masks with enough essence with the rest of your body, these might be for you. The size and feel of the sheet have been nice, but I personally dislike when sheet masks have a disposable extra sheet. Although the masking experience has been okay, I've often felt tightness after taking it off. Not too special for my taste - except the Mandelic Acid Brightening Silk Facial, which is wonderful. I'm getting a whole box of those. Very gently tingling and exfoliates while hydrating. Next day I had mild pilling before using a peeling gel. Liked this "flavour" a lot! Purchased from ebay.
Mandelic Acid Brightening Silk Facial 4.5/5 other varieties 3~3.5/5
Blue LuLuLun Violete 7 day mask (Rich Moisture Type)
I got to say, the branding of LuLuLun is just darn cute. These Japanese sheet masks can be bought there everywhere, I probably grabbed mine while shopping in Loft. Personally I'm not a big fan of these masks. While multi-packs are good value and can be shared with a friend, I think the quality of these masks isn't too high. The sheet feels very light like a tissue and doesn't sit well on the skin. I prefer masks that are more doused in essence. I would only repurchase these to share with friends on a sauna night or quick use during travel. Sold in Loft and drug stores such as Matsumoto Kiyoshi in Japan.
I was kindly sent some Pur~lisse's products to try and while I didn't become a fan of their skincare I did enjoy the sheet masks quite a lot. The essence light and milky, feels nicely cooling on the skin. The sheet is fairly large and a good fit on my face (I prefer slightly larger sheets) and feels very soft. Not too doused or dripping with liquid. Also, doesn't include any extra plastic sheet, which I'm not a fan of. While the mask feels nice, I wouldn't pay $8 for it. I didn't care for the fragrance, while it wasn't overpowering I was still bothered by it.
It's been a while since I've tried a hydrogel mask and I expected it to wobble and dip apart, but Whamisa's 2-piece mask is nicely durable and didn't slide around. That being said, I did manage to get something (mask or essence) in my eye while adjusting the mask, which stung a little. The fermented smell is far from your usual powdery sheet mask fragrances, but I kinda liked it. The mask feels beautifully cool and the ingredients list is impressive. I wish this had been a bit more hydrating for my raisin skin, but otherwise a good mask. Something I'd take to an airplane thanks to its cooling properties (and to scare the staff). In Finland you can find Whamisa in eco shops and green cosmetics stores, such as Natural Goods Company).
The sheet is on the larger site, even for my face, but I didn't mind it as I didn't get any product on my hair or anything. If you feel that some Asian masks run too small to hug every contour of your face, maybe this could be an option for you. The mask didn't drip but stayed fresh and hydrating for long. I really liked the feel of the organic cotton sheet and trying more "natural" sheet mask. No any instant feel of firmness, but as long as my skin feels plump and hydrated I'm good. While I very much enjoyed the mask I find it too pricey for my taste (I sheet mask so often), but worth of checking out if you're into more eco and 100% cruelty free skincare. (In Finland you can find Naveen in Pur stores or Luonto.life web shop for example)
I hope this post was helpful to you - perhaps you found a new sheet mask or two to try? I'll gladly post more reviews in the future. What are your favorite sheet masks? I'd love to hear! Have a wonderful April!! xx
**Kindly gifted for review by Pur~lisse, Natural Goods Company shop and Luonto.Life. My thoughts are my own and honest. The links are for your convenience, non-affiliated and don't contain ads.
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