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.
Years ago, I think Sonia G’s blog, Brush Temple and forum was my first introduction to Japanese makeup brushes. I was so happy when she first announced her brush line and my ecstatic grew when she launched the new Pro Series with Beautylish. Today I have the pleasure to show you the Pro Eye set, I hope you enjoy!
About Sonia G Pro Eye Set
In my opinion, the regular/fundamental line was created certain products in mind, creating more unique brushes with shapes that haven’t been released before (or as often). The Pro series were designed to be “workhorses” for makeup artist and brush aficionados in mind. The handles are lighter, slimmer, quite similar to traditional art paint brushes. The shapes are more familiar to existing brush series, but finessed to perfection. Each brush is hand-crafted in Kumano, Japan. The Pro Eye Set retails for $150 (€~133.3) exclusively on Beautylish and you get free shipping to Finland.
Using the Sonia G Pro Eye Set
I think this set was created just for me… thanks Sonia! Haha, no, but the shapes and sizes are pure perfection for my hooded eyes. Nothing feels awkward or clumsy to use. I haven’t used these brushes for the face or sculpting eye brows, I think I have better brushes for precise powdering, highlighter etc. Personally I’d use any of these brushes (even dyed ones) for picking up and applying cream products.
The quality of the Pro Eye set is excellent, I expected nothing less from Sonia and Kumano crafted brushes. The saikoho hair is very high quality and if you haven’t used Japanese brushes before you will instantly notice how silky soft these brushes are. I have washed the brushes set several times and none of them have lost their shape, shedded or otherwise loosened up. Naturally, each brush will get a bit fluffier after the initial wash, for more info on how to wash your brushes check out this post.
With the fundamental brush set I had a slight problem with the ferule size, especially with Builder One as the ferule always poked the eyeshadow I was trying to pick up. These minimal, black ferules of Pro series are both beautiful and use friendly. Handles of the Pro Eye set are lighter and easy to use, perfect for professionals or other “heavy users”. The handle shape makes me feel nostalgic and think about watercoloring, but I do still like the more elegant, large handles of the first release..
This flat brush is slightly tapered from the sides, making it precise and easy to control for packing on color. I like to use this mainly for patting color on the mobile lid, building some intensity to the outer ‘V’ or adding highlight to inner corners. You can use the tip even for smudging or softening the lower lash line, it’s that precise. Builder Pro is dyed saikoho goat hair, making it very soft and less “floppy” than squirrel counterparts.
Blender pro is dyed saikoho goat hair. This brush is the largest and bendiest of the set, but still packed densely. I think the round ferule and only slight tapering makes this fluffy a good blending brush for larger areas and a diffused look. I usually don’t apply color with this brush, except base color which is easy to do with just two swipes. Crease pro is better size for my crease, so this brush might be the one I use the least. It’s still very nice, denser version of Hakuhodo BJ142 but less fluffy than the Tom Ford 13 for example. I think this is the maximum fluffing of Blender Pro as I’ve washed the brush several times.
This brush has an excellent tapered tip which gives control for blending. It’s less fluffy and more firmly packed than than Hakuhodo BJ142, Tom Ford 13 or Kumanofude Select Shop SS4-1, making Crease Pro universally a very good blending brush. You can apply color, blend, work on the crease or do transitioning with no problem. I like how there’s strength in the tip, making it efficient worker when blending hard-to-apply colors like dark purples and blacks. For larger lid space or very diffused placement I’d reach for the other brushes, but Crease Pro has become unreplaceable for me. Crease Pro is saikoho goat hair.
This brush is notably much slimmer and less fluffy than the popular Hakuhodo J5523 (aka softer “dupe” for MAC 217), more like a hybrid with a classic flat squirrel brush and the Hakuhodo. Worker Pro is very soft and has nice tapering on the sides, which makes it excellent for both patting on color and blending. I thought the Hakuhodo J5523 would be irreplaceable, but Worker Pro sits better with my hooded lids for placing and blending transitional color to the crease. Perfect for both cream and powder products. Worker Pro is saikoho goat hair.
This brush is unique and stunning. To this day I’ve loved Koyudo’s C011 pencil brush as it’s a bit larger and less tapered than the natural hair Tom Ford 14. Sonia G’s Pencil Pro has a very tapered tip but the round ferule is larger, making the brush a bit fatter, domed, denser and easier for firm control and blending. For inner corner highlight I still like the Koyudo C011, but for lower lash line, smudging pencils or detail work in the outer ‘V’ - the Pencil Pro is a must-have. Made of saikoho goat hair.
If you love eyeshadow and don’t already own a sufficient amount of quality brushes, I do recommend this set despite the high price tag. Hakuhodo does make less expensive eyeshadow brushes that work similarly, but for me the Pro Eye were excellent investment as they became some of my most reached for brushes immediately. They’re so good quality, I think using soft saikoho hair also rises the price tag. If you’re a beginner I’d pick up some other brush brand first. For makeup enthusiasts or people with very sensitive skin who can save up some $ and want to invest in a good set then Pro Eye is the way to go. Have you tried Sonia G or other Japanese brushes?
I have a couple of pet topics and one of them is no other than sunscreen. Every Summer since this blog has existed I’ve tried to post a reminder about the importance of SPF (‘sun protection factor’). Every year my knowledge has also broaden and while the older posts are still useful (there are some product reviews included), I think I’ve managed to gather some good and updated information for you.
You NEED To Wear an SPF
If there’s one thing to take away from this post, it’s this no-nonsense advice: wear your sunscreen. Every day of the year, even if it’s cloudy. On overcast days, only visible Sun rays are blocked, but you still are at the risk of getting sun damage, which causes about 80% of visible signs of ageing. It’s not only for aesthetic reasons, but by wearing sunscreen you also reduce the risk of getting skin cancer. No sunscreen provides 100% protection against UV radiation, there’s always some that will reach your skin, damaging the cells below. This damage builds up over time, which can increase your risk of skin cancers. Wear sunscreen every day!
How To Apply Sunscreen
What’s the best sunscreen for you? The kind you use. I’m repeating myself here, I know. Some people detest the physical sunscreens that might have a slight flashback or a white cast right when applied. If you’re hesitant then try several types: sprays, liquids and creams. The most important point is to apply and apply enough. SPF alone in makeup is not enough to protect you, as you won’t apply a sufficient amount.
As I’m not a dermatologist and sunscreen textures vary, I cannot say a certain amount for each sunscreen, but for the face and neck I’d aim to apply 1/2 teaspoon. I personally use a physical, very creamy type of a sunscreen: I dot it on my face and neck and massage gently until the product has absorbed and there is no white cast. Remember to reapply sunscreen every few hours if you’re in sunlight and immediately after swimming or sweating.
Understand Sun Protection Factor
Studies over the years have shown that sun protection factors and actual protection percentage from ultraviolet rays don’t go hand in hand: SPF 60 is not double the protection of SPF 30. SPF15 means ~93% of UV rays are blocked, SPF30 blocks 97% and SPF50 98%. Above SPF50 the added protection is fairly miniscule, but the cosmetic properties of the sunscreen might be compromised (thicker, whiter texture).
You also need to check your sunscreen had both UVA and UVB rating. If your sunscreen says it’s “Broad Spectrum”, it means the product offers both UVA and UVB protection.
You might have seen that after the SPF and number there are products labeled with “PA” and plus ratings. PA grading system was established in Japan and is meant to inform about the level of protection from UVA rays. Always choose a product with PA+++ (or more) to get the best protection from UVA.
Susncreen and Vitamin D Absorbation
Vitamin D is produced by the body when the skin is hit by UVB rays. Theoretically, sunscreen use may lower the Vitamin D, but according to Harvard Health Publishing very few people wear enough sunscreen to block all UVB light. Where your live, skin color, weight, age, etc. also affects on Vitamin D absorption, so it’s safer to get sufficient amount of Vitamin D from food or supplements.
What To Know About Physical And ‘Chemical’ UV Filters
I use the term physical and ‘chemical’ to demonstrate the differences in these UV filters, but some people may refer it as “natural/organic/mineral” and “synthetic” and so on. Physical sunscreens protect your skin from the Sun by blocking or deflecting the UV rays while chemical sunscreen absorb them. Physical UV filters are Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, which are generally stable and safe sunscreen filters that don’t cause free radicals.
The issue in chemical UV filters is that some may irritate the skin and they have to be applied 15-20 minutes before being exposed to sun. On the other hand chemical UV filters are often cosmetically elegant: runny, light, colorless and odorless. Physical UV filters are thick, opaque and in some cases harder to apply if they leave a white cast. Some people are prone for breaking out from physical or chemical filters, so always patch test if you’re unsure if the product is suitable for you.
I personally only aim to use physical sunscreens, but for everyone I encourage you to avoid using oxybenzone and octinoxate as they damage reefs and have adverse health risks to humans and environment.
You know it’s a favorite when you reach for it immediately - over shiny new things, over expensive treasures. When I started planing this post it only took me a minute or two to gather these products. Some of them I’ve already reviewed on the blog while the others deserve much more attention. I think I have a good mix of skincare, makeup and fragrance here - including new and older products. Enjoy!
I was kindly gifted Rouge Bunny Rouge Light Corrective Eye Primer*, but I didn’t do a separate review as it took me months to decide do I dislike or love it. I find out it’s the latter, but it took me several tries to get it work for me. This primer doesn’t blend too easily and sets immediately: if you don’t work fast it may look patchy. For me this creates a perfect canvas for eyeshadow and corrects any eyelid discoloration. For under the eyes I’ve been testing the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer*, which is worth its legendary status. You need a miniscule amount and the coverage is very good - for me this works also as a spot concealer.
For eyes I’ve been loving Chanel’s Ombre Premier cream eyeshadows (814 Silver Pink and 838 Ultra Flesh (LE)). I do love the old formula as well (don’t see too much difference there), but I think they have discontinued Illusion d’Ombre line, sadly. Tweezerman Lash Curlers* for Round Eyes have been life-changing. I can use the regular ones as well, but Round Eyes seem more comfortable. The curl and hold they give is excellent! Trust me.
Finally I gotta mention Kora Organics Rose Quartz Luminizer* and Clear Luminizer* for highlight. I’ve done two posts on Kora’s Luminizers: Rose Quartz is reviewed here and new shades here. So easy to use, perfect consistency. To finish my makeup I’m liking the Kicks Setting Spray* (matte). Kicks’ house brand is pretty good and I find I prefer this setting spray to Urban Decay All-Nighter.
Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum* is like a better, less expensive version of the Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly. It’s packed with sodium hyaluronate and natto gum to hydrate, plump and quenches thirsty skin. The formula has some floral and fruit peel oils, so if you’re very sensitive you might check the INCI or patch test before applying.
Summer is coming (hopefully soon) in Finland and I’m testing body products for reviews. So far my favorites have been quite inexpensive finds, which is great. Skin Treat is a KICKS exclusive brand and they have expanded from their body scubs to Bright Renewal AHA & PHA Exfoliating Treatment*, which is a light mousse that you can apply your acne-prone body areas, such as back, tights etc. Skin Treat Instant Firming Body Serum* is a very light moisturizer that supposedly firms, but I like it as a décolleté and arm moisturizer as it sinks in so quickly and I can dress right away. Before I go to bed I slather on some Flow Cosmetics Refreshing Peppermint Food Butter* on my feet, give them a little massage and put on wooly socks. The peppermint scent is so fresh and invigorating, but doesn’t disturb my evening routine.
I’ve been a fan of Jo Malone’s scents for a good couple of years and she finally launched in Finland last Autumn. English Pear and Freesia cologne is my original favorite from her. This bottle of mine is rather old and almost empty, but since it hasn’t turned I’m trying to use it up. Spring weather and English Pear and Freesia go well together, even on cloudy days it brightens up my mood without being sickly sweet. I find colognes very subtle on me, but I’ve still received compliments while wearing this perfume.
What have you been loving lately?
*Products marked with asterisk(*) have been gifted for consideration. My opinions are honest and my own. This page utilizes ad links to support this blog.
“More foundation reviews, Laura?” I swear to you, I don’t even own that many foundations. I just really enjoy testing and reviewing them, especially Asian ones if there is not enough coverage online. I probably should do a dedicated post what are my favorite product types and why - what do you think? Anyway, today we’re jumping again to K-beauty, but eco beauty style! Enjoy.
Whamisa Organic BB Pact
I’ve introduced Whamisa in my earlier post about Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Toner review, but in a nutshell they are a Korean eco beauty brand specialized in organic and fermented skincare. For very sensitive skin types these fermented products might be too active and aggravating, but Whamisa is overall a good brand if it works for you. Whamisa Organic BB Pact* (*gifted) is their alternative to a cushion foundation: the foundation dispenses from little holes in the compact, but the packaging is similar to 99% of cushion foundations. Available in 3 shades. 16g for €42.9. This BB pact has 48.16% organic ingredients and SPF 50/PA++++. Available at Jolie (FI)*, House of Organic (FI)* and Natural Goods Company (FI).
Whamisa Organic BB Pact Packaging
I was surprised when I first opened the packaging - it’s not a cushion but “a pact”! Um, a compact, I guess? Which means you put the puff on the top and gently press down, the foundation dispenses. Although this might be more hygienic way to store your foundation vs a traditional cushion compact, I personally didn’t love this dispenser because:
1) Due to the small amount of holes, you get product unevenly on your puff. 2) The puff absorbs a lot of the foundation and is difficult to clean. 3) If you only press the dispenser, it can squirt the foundation. Not cool.
I’m also asking why is the compact so simple and boring looking? Whamisa has some of the cutest packaging and colors in their skincare line, I wonder why any of the floral print wasn’t used on the BB Pact? The puff is pretty standard and okay, but again - quite difficult to clean (VS with regular cushions the puff doesn’t absorb as much product in my opinion).
Using the Whamisa Organic BB Pact
My best way of application is gently press the pact dispenser without the foundation flying all over the place. I pick up the foundation with my finger, apply on my face and blend with the original puff or a Beauty Blender*. This does defeat of the point of the pact, but I’ve found this the most nice and hygienic way to apply. I usually do like the small puffs that come with cushion foundations. I have bought them in a multi-pact years ago, so I always have some clean in my makeup stash. I wash the puff after every use with Dr. Bronner’s soap* or Marseilles soap bar.
The foundation isn’t as runny, slippery or thin as some other cushion foundations, the Whamisa Organic BB Pact resembles a regular light-to-buildable coverage foundation. I usually press the dispenser only once to get a light coverage, but this does build a little bit - it’s not dewy or translucent in finish, so I imagine more combo skin types might enjoy this as well. I’d say the finish is normal.. demi-matte when applied and gets a slightly luminous during the day (but not as much as the YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau for example).
I’m on the dry side, but still the foundation doesn’t slip, slide or “get eaten” by my skin aka break apart during the day. I haven’t noticed the color oxidizing either, which is great. Foundations that change color when they dry are a big no-no for me. So a lot of good points in the Whamisa Organic BB Pact. One thing that I will say, this foundation might emphasize large pores (if you wear no primer/powder). I personally don’t have very large pores around my nose, but I’ve noticed the added luminosity does emphasize my texture a little bit.
Whamisa Organic BB Pact Swatches
First of all, the color range is depressing. I know, some Asian brands seem to cater their shade range only to the local majority, but there is still variety from “Natural Beige” (deepest shade) to “Light Beige” and “Pink Beige”. To avoid this review turning into a rant, I’ll save it for another time and shut up for now.
21 Light is a light neutral beige with a hint of warm undertones, close to MAC NC15
I very much like this BB Pact, if you’re looking for a more natural tinted moisturizer with a slightly more coverage (emphasising the word ‘slightly’). Compared to some other cushions, I think Whamisa beats the YSL Encre de Peau cushion for me, but the Chanel Les Beiges still remains as my favorite. I think I will use up this Whamisa BB Pact, but will not run to repurchase because of the boring / odd packaging. If you can get past that, this is a nice eco AND K-beauty foundation.
If you can’t find a shade in Whamisa, I recommend checking out my Purlisse BB Cream review here. If you’d prefer to find an eco beauty foundation I have lots of new reviews coming to you soon!
PS: Cara says hello!
This foundation was kindly gifted for consideration. Thoughts are my honest and my own. This blog utilizes ad links (marked with *) to support the blog. Thanks!
I recently popped to TwistBe’s* store in Kamppi district, Helsinki, and had a long chat with Kati, one of the wonderful founders. We chatted lengthy about the store concept and how curated their product lines are, and one brand that I kept seeing in the shop was BYBI*. I’m a fan of this “Instagram chic” British eco brand, but Kati mentioned that some customers shy away from the powder masks, such as BYBI’s Detox Mask. I thought how to powder face masks would be a great idea for a blog post, so here it comes!
What Are Powder Face Masks And How To Use Them?
I like to categorize face masks in five main types
1. Balm/oil-based masks: like Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask (review here) 2. Exfoliating or enzymatic masks, for example the Evolve or Tata Harper ones 3. Hydrating masks; wash-off (read more here) and sheet masks (reviews) 4. PRE-MIXED masks that use clays, such as Mahalo The Petal mask (review here and here) 5. MIX-IT-YOURSELF masks, which we’re talking about today!
These masks that come in powder forms are often clay, charcoal, seed powders or some flour-based concoctions that you mix (‘activate’) with a liquid, such as water, aloe vera or honey. This might sound complicated, too much effort or messy, but trust me on this – it’s not. You’re not baking a complex cake here, you’re just mixing a ~2 teaspoons of powder with 3-4 drops of liquid. If it’s too thick - add more liquid. If it’s too runny - add more powder! Simple as that.
Why Should I Choose A Powder Mask?
I think there are two main benefits: you get to customize your mask and it’s very cost-effective. Sometimes you might want to use your clay-based mask with water for drawing out impurities or exfoliate, on another occasion you might want to choose honey or aloe for a more gentle, hydrating mask session.
Powder masks stay good for a very long periods of time as they have no water or other ingredients that tend to go off quickly. If you’re concerned of preservatives, there usually is none. You can easily travel with a small amount of the powder, no cabin restrictions on an airplane. Beauty brands also tend to be very generous with the amount of mask powder you get: luxury brands like May Lindstrom or de Mamiel tend to be very pricey, but you get a ton of product when you choose a powder mask over pre-mixed one. Get one to share!
Thirdly, I personally enjoy it a lot. I put my hair up and feel like I’m doing something kind yet beneficial for myself and my skin. If you want to make this a full self-care ritual, maybe pour the powder in a special dish, such as a ceramic cup or even a beautiful soy sauce plate and use a face mask brush to mix and apply the mask. You don’t even need to purchase a special brush if you have an old paddle foundation brush.
Some Powder Masks to Try:
I haven’t tried all of these as I still have plenty of de Mamiel Brightening Cleanse and Exfoliate left and I am definitely going to repurchase. It’s amazing, but pretty strong and intense, so I listed alternatives. BYBI is a safe bet for your first powder mask if you’re unsure, but I’ve heard wonderful things about Leahlani! (Note: some of these websites have marked the product as ml vs g, but they are all powder)
BYBI the Detox Dust 60ml / €28.9 on TwistBe (FI)* May Lindstrom The Clean Dirt Cleansing Clay 200ml / €74 on Jolie (FI)* May Lindstrom The Problem Solver Correcting Masque 250ml / €105 on Jolie (FI)* Isla Apothecary Skin Purifying Mud 85g / €38 on Jolie (FI)* Leahlani Kokoleka Detox Face Mask 100ml / €72 on Jolie (FI)* Leahlani Kalima Cleansing Powder 100ml / €53 on Jolie (FI)* de Mamiel Brightening Cleanse and Exfoliate 70g / £45 on Cult Beauty*
Have you tried powder masks? What’s your favorite?
*This site utilizes ad links marked with (*) to support this blog.
Happy Sunday! I love to review foundations, but today I also have a special announcement: for the very first time I’ve accepted a sponsor for my post! As I’ve become more serious about blogging there has been a lot of added costs (equipment, products, domain etc), so I’m very excited Oletkaunis.fi* beauty store teamed up with me for this review. Thank you! They gave me free hands to write what I want on a Purlisse product of my choice AND hold a giveaway for my readers residing in Finland! I hope you enjoy the review!
Sponsored post with Oletkaunis.fi* This post contains affiliate links & gifted items marked with (*). All thoughts honest and my own!
I’ve described the brand in my previous post (previeously called Pur~lisse), but in a nutshell the founder Jennifer Yen wanted to create a brand to combine Asian wisdom and modern skincare philosophy. They have labs in Korea, France and America to create modern skincare to women (and men and everything between) everywhere. Two years ago I had some problems with the original branding and stand behind my previous posts, but looks like Purlisse has gone through a face lift and added some new products to the line - including more BB cream shades.
PURLISSE BB Cream
What I like about the brand’s new look is its inclusivity: the Purlisse BB cream* is available in 8 shades and they run from fair to medium to tan to deep. They’ve also used a male model in the shade map, which makes me both happy and excited. The Purlisse BB Creams are also made in Korea (where most of the best BB creams are manufactured, in my humble opinion). The BB Cream comes in a convenient tube packaging and retails for €21 / 40ml on Oletkaunis.fi* (FI) and several US retailers.
Wearing the Purlisse BB Cream
I have a dry skin so I wear this BB cream over my moisturizer and SPF. The finish is beautiful, light coverage and natural (above is me with and without the BB cream). Like some BB creams or cushion foundations, Purlisse isn’t prone to get too dewy during the day, but if your skin type is very combo/oily I’d set the makeup with a little powder. I personally only use a sponge or a brush to apply my foundation, but if you prefer to use your fingers this BB cream does spread quick and easily.
I’m very impressed especially by the wear: this is one of those rare foundations you can apply and forget you’re wearing it. I’ve noticed only minimal gathering or piling on my fine lines, no moving around or color oxidizing. The finish stays natural and radiant for the whole day on me with zero touch-ups. By the end of a very long day (+8h) the foundation starts to wear off naturally, but I haven’t noticed any annoying blotchiness or breaking apart.
I usually don’t analyze the makeup ingredients, but the “beneficial ingredients” haven’t been very high up in the INCI list of old Purlisse products. So if you choose to use this BB Cream I’d do it for the aesthetic reasons and because it has a good sunscreen, not because it claims to improve texture of fine lines. Reduce the appearance, maybe, but by the end of the day this is makeup and not skincare. Sunscreen alone in makeup isn’t enough to protect you, but having some is a good plus! I checked that the sunscreen filters in the Purlisse BB Cream are reef safe (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate 6.5%, Titanium Dioxide 4.24%, Zinc Oxide 3.5%). The formula is not vegan because it contains beeswax.
Fair: Fair beige with a hint of pink undertones
Light: Light neutral beige with a hint of ash
Here’s some comparison swatches. I used concealers as you can see the differences in tones better. MAC’s NC15 is more yellow/warm than Purlisse’s light. My optimal shade is somewhere between NC15-NW13 in MAC, so the Fair shade of Purlisse blends very nicely into my skin.
Below: Me with full makeup. As a base with the Purlisse BB Cream I’m wearing some under eye concealer, La Mer original loose powder (under eyes) and Hourglass finishing powder. I’m liking!
Purlisse BB Cream SPF 30 took me by surprise. In my earlier posts I wasn’t crazy about the brand and their expensive shipping from US to Finland, but the Finnish prices are very reasonable. This BB cream is something I will gladly be wearing in the future. It’s not even 1/2 as expensive as some luxury foundations I wear on daily basis, but the application, wear time and finish is just as good. For ‘fancy events’ I like something with a bit more glow, but Purlisse will now be the tinted moisturizer in my routine. Perfect for carrying in your makeup or gym back to get ready quickly.
Giveaway and Discount code!
Oletkaunis.fi* has kindly offered a giveaway for my readers. I was allowed to pick two of my favorite products as the price: the Purlisse BB Cream* (in YOUR shade ofc!) and the new Watermelon Energizing Aqua Balm*. The Watermelon Aqua Balm is a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer you can use as a light-weight hydrator or even double as a primer for the BB Cream.
Today I have a pleasure to post another perfume review! In November I talked about the Atelier Cologne and Mimosa Indigo (review here), today the perfume house is Byredo and the scent one of its classics - Mojave Ghost. I am hoping to post more perfume reviews regularly. Enjoy!
Byredo was founded 2006 by Ben Gorham. He graduated from the Stockholm Art School with a degree in fine arts, but decided to rather create fragrances than perfumes. His multicultural background, especially travelling to his mother’s hometown in India, has inspired his fragrance. For the perfume compositions Gorham has sought the services of known perfumers Olivia Giacobetti and Jerome Epinette. Byredo has grown to be very popular during the past few years. The brand is most known for fragrance, body care and home fragrance, but also creates accessories and leather goods.
Byredo Mojave Ghost
Launched in 2014, Mojave Ghost is a oriental floral unisex fragrance. Available as Eau de Parfum, Hair Perfume, Body wash and other Body care. Personally I have the 7.5ml Roll-on oil which retails for €50 on Kicks.fi*. Btw, Mojave is pronounced as mo-hah-vee.
This scent was love at first whiff. Since Byredo perfumes are quite pricey I opted for the oil roll-on and I’ve grown to love it very much for it’s convenience and long wear-time. The roll-on is easy to apply behind ears and on my wrists without feeling greasy or oily. The scent lingers for a long time, but it’s easy to pop in a clutch bag if I’m going out and want to make sure I smell good. My deodorant choices tend to be very ecological and lightly scented, so it won’t mix with my perfume.
Mojave Ghost is described as floral, but to my nose it has the floral lightness and sort of “sharpness” without smelling too sweet. Personally I don’t find it powdery, but Fragrantica has listed this as one of the top three main accords. To me this scent is warm, the floral notes are “mature” and sophisticated with woody composition, which slowly open. I can see why the name is Mojave Ghost as it adds certain lingering and je ne sais quoi. You don’t wear the scent nor does the scent wear you - you become gently one.
This perfume is such a hit for me. I used to wear a lot of colognes like Jo Malone and Atelier Cologne (which I still love), but roll-on oil lasts long on me without being too intense like some Tom Ford perfumes. You won’t walk into a room with a cloud of fragrance, but leave behind a beautiful whiff. I’d love to try Byredo’s other fragrances, but I’m sure Mojave Ghost will be something I’ll repurchase.
Have you tried Byredo?
*Links marked with asterisk (*) are ad links to support the blog.
I used to skip eye makeup removers and micellar waters altogether - except for Bioderma when its hype was big on YouTube. I was sceptic if rubbing your eyes with a cotton pad would damage the skin and be very wasteful. After discovering the good removing technique and good products my opinions have switched. I might not use a separate makeup remover every single day, but I’ve tried a few from different categories. Enjoy today’s post!
Do You Need to Use A Separate Makeup Remover?
If you’re good at double cleansing and don’t wear a lot of waterproof makeup, I’d say no. But having a good eye makeup remover or micellar water in your stash can be life changing for touchups or taking off very stubborn makeup. I’ve done some looks on my friends and a couple of clients, and I’ve always liked to start with a quick micellar cleanse and a moisturizer. Having bio-degradable cotton buds and some makeup remover are excellent for fixing a cat eye or smeared mascara.
My favorite way to use a makeup remover is pour some on a cotton pad and press it against my eye, very gently. After 30 seconds or so I gently swipe downwards and avoid pulling any lashes. This should take off the bulk of your makeup and get you ready for 1st proper cleanse (such as oil, balm, etc.). Same with strong matte lipstick or lip tints: press, wait and remove. Don’t tug or be too harsh!
Next, let’s see some eye/general makeup removers I’m using:
This Swedish micellar water is a gentle and simple formulation, I personally like to use it all over the face. Especially on those days when I’ve worn a lot of makeup, I’m feeling grimy and want to do a hot cloth cleanse without staining the muslin too much - I reach for ACO. This bottle has a fine spray nozzle, which I’ve only used on cotton pads but technically, you could spritz it all over the face. Maybe not.
This micellar water doesn’t remove the most stubborn Japanese or 38°C mascaras, but otherwise it’s pretty effective. I like how it doesn’t leave any residue behind if I want to remove my makeup first and wash my face properly a little later. The bottle is big and you only use a small amount, so this one lasts for a while! As I said before, the ingredients list is short and sweet with water, emulsifier, some humectants and a couple of preservatives.
Evolve is my current favorite mid-range eco brand. Known for their hyaluronic acid serum, I’ve found some products I’ve quite enjoyed from this brand and have high hopes as I test more. While the ingredients list of this micellic cleanser include rose water, hydrating glycerin and sodium hyaluronate, aloe leaf juice powder etc. I don’t really care for the pump packaging and find it very difficult to remove eye makeup or lipstick with this product. Maybe if I wanted to remove my foundation and face makeup but keep the eye makeup and brows on I would reach for this. If you hate splashing your face with water in the mornings this could be an alternative cleanser, but personally I’m a fan of actually washing my face morning and night. I will try using the Evolve Liquid Crystal Micellic Cleanser, but I most likely won’t purchase a new one..
Aqua (water), Rosa Damascena (Rose) flower Water*, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Extract*, Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Anisate, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Mannitol, Lecithin, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Benzoate, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sodium Citrate. *ingredients from organic farming
Lancôme is famous for its cult classic bi-facil or bi-phase eye makeup remover: when the bottle sits on the shelf you can see watery and oily parts separating, you shake it and blue, a bit oily liquid comes out of the top. If you want an excellent makeup remover and enjoy a bit of luxe, this makeup remover does the job. Dry matte lipstick, pommade brows, gel eyeliner, waterproof mascara - it takes them all off. There is a little residue left behind, so I often go after with my ACO Micellar Cleansing Water if I’m redoing my makeup and only removing mascara, for example.
When it comes to the ingredients.. I can’t say they’re too good. The emollients and solvent do give the Lancôme Bi-Facil its slippery, silky feel, but the amount of perfume, citronellol and geraniol (which give the rose-y scent) can be irritating. Some of the preservatives can also be potential allergens. I wouldn’t recommend this to sensitive skin types, acne or leave this on my skin for a long period of time. It’s too bad, as the makeup remover works well, but for this price I think it’s not worth it.
These are all good, but for me, the overall “winner” is.. ACO! I will be purchasing a new one once I run out of it. Gentle, effective, non-drying and good packaging. The price is also very good in my opinion. Sadly the Evolve one is too ineffective and Lancôme has some questionable ingredients, for me anyway. I will use them up, but then I’m done with them. I much prefer reaching for ACO and my cleansing oils/balms to remove makeup.
Do you have a favorite makeup remover? Especially for touchups? I’ve seen that BYBI recently released one, I can’t wait to check it out!
*ACO and Evolve cleansers were gifted for consideration. All thoughts are my honest and my own. This site utilizes ad links to support the blog.
Last Spring I blogged about Kora Organics Rose Quartz Luminizer and fell in love (review here). You can imagine my excitement then they brought out new shades! While the Rose Quartz is lovely, it might not be suitable for every skin tone. In today’s post I’m swatching you all the shades, but for more detailed information check out the original post! I asked these items from a PR company for review, so I did not purchase them myself.
Kora Organics and Luminizers
Founded by the model Miranda Kerr, Kora Organics’ philosophy is to be a holistic brand that not only creates beautiful products for the skin, but also pampers the mind with positive affirmations. Their special ingredient is the Noni Fruit, an antioxidant rich food, which Miranda started ingesting as a child. Some of their products are also infused with Rose Quartz for “good vibrations”. I don’t know about that, but whatever makes you happy! Kora Organics are certified organic (COSMOS). The luminizers come in 3 shades: Rose Quartz*, Clear Quartz* and Amethyst*. 6g for €29.9 at Kicks.fi*
More Thoughts On the Luminizers
I still agree with my original review - Kora’s highlighters are excellent. They are quick, easy-to-use and blend effortlessly with fingers. After applying blush I dab some highlighter on the high points of my cheeks, nose bridge and cupid’s bow. For tips how to highlight your face check out this post. I’ve noticed that Kora highlighters don’t move my makeup (blush, foundation) underneath as some liquid or creamy highlighters may do. This isn’t a real issue, but I will say that the Rose Quartz one changed the texture little over the summer (the surface isn’t as smooth).
The colors are quite subtle and you might think the swatches look very similar, but IRL there is a more notable difference when light hits the highlighters. I can still wear the Amethyst Luminizer without looking like a purple unicorn as the base color is more subtle. I’d recommend choosing your shade according to which color you like the best, as they are all quite cool toned.
Kora Organics Luminizer Swatches
Rose Quartz - a light pale pink with an icy hue
Amethyst - a light lavender with cool tones
Clear Quartz - a white clear highlighter that looks wet when blended.
I love these highlighters, they’re so quick and easy I find my hand reaching for them all the time. I prefer Kora’s softer formula to RMS or Tata Harper - I do not have their luminizers, but I’ve tested some other their “pot products”. I can’t pick a favorite shade easily, but right now I’m quite liking subtle, wet-looking highlighters so I’d might go with Clear Quartz.
This week has been swatch-heavy, but new topics next week! What’s your favorite cream highlighter?
*These products were kindly gifted for consideration. This site uses ad links for supporting the blog.
I really like SUQQU’s Glow Touch Eyes liquid shadows. I can’t believe they launched already in October last year, how time flies! I’m on the same lines with my original review, which you can check out here. This post short and sweet is mostly just sharing swatches of the shades I’ve accumulated recently. Enjoy!
SUQQU Glow Touch Eyes
A quick recap if you missed the first post: SUQQU Glow Touch Eyes is a liquid or creamy liquid eyeshadow that comes with a lipgloss like packaging and a doe-foot applicator. The lasting power of these shadows (with an eyeshadow base) is very good, much better than SUQQU Deep Nuance Eyes (review). These shadows are available in 6 permanent shades and retail for £24 for 7.5g on Selfridges (my shopping place of choice).
Sadly some of these shadows were discontinued/not permanent, but they might pop on the Selfridges site.. Isetan and Umeda Hankyu sometimes have their own limited editions and they usually aren’t promoted in the UK very loudly, but do appear (late) on the online store. Anyway, I wanted to share them if you find something comparable from your collection or in the future releases. These shadows don’t tend to have multi-colored glitter or very deep nuances to them, but appear very pretty on the lid.
01 Ginzora: a white shimmery silver
06 Kiramomo: glowing peach with golden glitter
101 Teriaka (LE): Brown with burgundy undertones and golden glitter