Saturday, April 9, 2016

NAILS | BCD NAIL ART CHALLENGE WEEK 6 - The "Grey"-dient #BCDNAILS

I am finally all caught up now with the BCD Nail Art Challenge with this week's theme being "Grey". It's a bit of a depressing colour for spring, but I promise next week's "Retro" will be filled with colour and smiley-faced emoticons! This grey gradient came from the depths of Pinterest (here) from one of my favourite nail artists, Carly Sisoka, who I consider one of the best when it comes to coming up with gradient colour combinations. When you see them you always go, "Why didn't I think of that?!"


Starting off with two coats of Barielle - U Concrete-Me, I waited until the polish was sufficiently dry and then sponged on an opaque black polish. I am using a classic nail blogger favourite, China Glaze - Liquid Leather.


I smoothed out the gradient with Ceramic Glaze - Diamond Dust* and added two matte black studs from Born Pretty while the polish was still quite wet. I have found that they stay on far longer than by "gluing" them on with top coat. Seal everything in with your favourite top coat (I am still really loving the scented ones from Rainbow Honey!) and you are done!


Check out Naomi (@bellezzabee) and Traci's (@drinkcitra) creations for this week and stay tuned for 24 more weeks of #BCDNails! Tag us if you feel like joining in!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

MAKEUP | For Beloved One Melasleep Whitening BB Cream in Ivory Review with Swatches

Earlier this year, Taiwanese cosmeceutical skincare brand For Beloved One, made its official launch into the Canadian market at none other than T&T Supermarket! For anyone that has been to the Metrotown T&T in Burnaby, you will know that it is skincare HEAVEN so if you are wondering whether a makeup launch in a grocery store is weird, trust me, it isn't! The day after the FBO event in Vancouver, I got horrifically ill with orthomyxovirus aka "The Flu" and didn't get a chance to experiment in full with the line until a few weeks after. I DID end up using one of their famed biocellulose face masks in an attempt to cool down my 104 degree fever (here) and it was VERY soothing.


I am on a foundation kick this year and though I don't review foundations and BB creams a lot, you will notice that in my makeup looks I use a few different ones. I may or may not have 20 foundations/BB creams on rotation right now...when it comes to BB creams, I'm not sorry to say that the Asians were the first to make this product AND do it well. Asian BB creams traditionally have very high coverage unlike their North American counterparts and double as skincare too. The other thing that Asian skincare is known for is brightening products. We love our dewy, flawless skin and the 
For Beloved One Melasleep Whitening BB Cream* ($49.50 CDN) is exactly that and then some. With a pharmaceutical patented formula known as "Lumiskin" as well as ascorbyl glucoside, Job's tears extract and rose hip oil, this is the everything cream to brighten, repair and perfect the appearance of your skin.  



I am treating this product more like makeup as opposed to skincare because the second and third ingredients are silicones followed by a lot of other silicones which are the main reasons for that immediate "flawless" appearance. The brightening Lumiskin complex and ascorbyl glucoside sit at about the middle of the ingredients list.   


Lumiskin is currently patented and nicknamed the "Hypnotist of Melanin" because it is able to limit melanin production and keep tyrosinase in a non-active state or hibernation state. Tyrosinase is an enzyme that catalyzes the production of melanin from tyrosine. No tyrosinase, no melanin!




The Ivory shade was a little too light for me, but I suppose that added to the brightening effect. I often run into this issue with most Asian BB creams and if you watch any tutorials on YouTube, you will see that most makeup looks involve a very "white" base. It is very much the thing to do when to comes to Asian makeup.


The texture of this BB Cream is SOOOOO NICE though. It feels cushiony and thick, yet blended out beautifully with every wrinkle melting away. My skin even felt hydrated when I compared it with the bare side of my face. This is what most North Americans would classify as a foundation. This can be sheer, but oh man can it be built up!


Wearing only the BB Cream and blush. You can see right away how much darker my neck is in comparison to my face.



Final verdict: To me, this is the type of product I rely on for makeup where the skincare benefits are just a bonus IF they work. Though my press release shows a 1% decrease in the amount of melanin being produced in the epidermis, I do not believe I have enough hyperpigmentation to really notice a difference. As a makeup product, I loved the texture so much! It blended out beautifully and really did look like my skin, but just way better! If I can manage to get my hands on a darker shade, I would not hesitate to purchase! 


Find For Beloved One at T&T Supermarket in Canada.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

MAKEUP | The Face Shop Ink Lipquid in Orange Some and Pink Hommage Review with Swatches

Honestly, I have been making way too many trips to The Face Shop. Everything from the packaging to the pricing of nail polish, makeup and of course sheet masks, is enough to make me NEVER walk out of the store empty handed! Late last year, the Ink Lipquids ($25.00 CDN) totally caught my eye because they sounded like a combination of a stain and a liquid lipstick with the added hydration.


I received the shades Pink Hommage* and Orange Some* to review and was pleasantly surprised to discover how comfortable the formula felt on my lips in addition to how mega intense the pigmentation was! The chisel application tip makes lining the lips so easy and with my pointy Cupid's Bow, this type of precision came in handy!


The tip of the applicator has a slight reservoir, holding the perfect amount of product to apply just enough colour to both the upper and lower lips.


Wearing "OR02 Orange Some"

Wearing "PK04 Pink Hommage"

Final verdict: At first, I totally thought these Lipquids were stains. They had that same cold feeling when they first touch your lips, but then the colour that comes out is rich like a lipstick. I adored both shades even though they were so different. The only thing is that they are each quite pricey at $25 a pop and was a price point I was not expecting at TFS even though they have a wide price range of skincare. This pricing rivals department store brand pricing, BUT the quality is no less. Maybe it's just something I need to wrap my head around because this Lipquids are pretty awesome and can last all day with a touch-up or two throughout. Go in store and swatch because there are 12 shades that you need to meet!


Available at all TFS stores and online.

Monday, April 4, 2016

NAILS | BCD NAIL ART CHALLENGE WEEK 5 - Moody Metallic Gradient #BCDNAILS

Last week's Mosaic BCD Nails Challenge (here) took a ridiculous amount of time to do and I was pretty proud of myself for putting in the hours so I decided to keep them for the weekend. It put me one manicure behind for this challenge, but I will hopefully be able to make it up this week! I had a bit of rough week at work and though nothing bad happened, I was just feeling a bit overwhelmed and with Week 5's theme being "Emotion", I thought that instead of being "social media happy", I'd do a manicure that showcased how much of a moody *ahem* witch I was last week.

Using mark. by Avon's new Precious Petals Trend Mini Nail Lacquers in Steel Magnolia* and Green Thumb* as well as some Avon nail studs, I thought I'd go with conveying how icy blue my soul felt all of last week. Dramatic, I know.


Though the polishes look prety good in pictures, they were actually not very easy to work with. The first coats for both polishes applied extremely patchily, but was reasonable by the time I got to the second coat.



Avon now carries nail stud wheels, so I took these tear-dropped shaped studs and applied them to my center two nails after applying top coat.These polishes actually dry matte, so if you prefer a matte metallic finish, just dot top coat onto where you would like the studs on the nail as opposed to the whole nail.



I felt like the manicure needed a bit more, so I sponged on a gradient and honestly hoped for the best!



Check out Naomi (@bellezzabee) and Traci's (@drinkcitra) creations for this week and stay tuned for 25 more weeks of #BCDNails! Tag us if you feel like joining in!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

SKINCARE | b.liv Immerse Me Utmost Moisture Original Japan Silk Mask Review

Asian skincare is dominating the North American market and I could not be happier to find my favourites in the aisles of Sephora and in Asian cosmetics stores downtown. I wouldn't say that I necessarily stay on top of Asian beauty trends, but I have been following Singaporean bloggers for the last 5 years and reading about what's hot and happening in Asia. Back then, all of it was so incredibly foreign that I remember having to order Asian beauty products from obscure online shops. When the Malaysian-based brand b.liv (my home country!) reached out for a collaboration, I was thought, "Where have I seen this brand before?" and I realized that their parent company is Cellnique, a more "medically-targeted" line that I had read about.

b.liv already has some hero products, mainly targeting blackheads and pores as the foundation of the brand rests on "pore management solutions". The packaging and website feel fun and youthful with product names such as "Off With Those Heads" and "Feel No Sluggish" to give you a bit of a laugh! I was sent a few things to try, but based on my skincare needs for the last month, I wanted some moisture! The Immerse Me Utmost Moisture Original Japan Silk Mask* ($2.50 USD each) was introduced in 2011 and provides skin with a massive dose of hydration with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and cogongrass extract, known for imparting immediate and lasting hydration.




Though it says that this mask is for extreme dryness, I think any skin type will enjoy this mask. I wasn't sure what to expect with "Japanese Silk", but the mask feels soft and almost spongy. The scent of the essence is pleasantly neutral and I used Ms. PBunnieP's tip of soaking the packet in warm water so that the mask wasn't cold when it touched my skin. I can't be the only that equates the initial coldness of applying ANY mask to the ripping of the first wax strip when getting a Brazilian!


After 20-30 minutes, I removed the mask and my skin was a bit sticky, but SUPER bouncy and soft. I actually hopped into the shower and noticed that my s
kin was not dry even after rinsing off with water! My skin did not feel tight like it normally does when coming out of the shower and I barely needed much moisturizer!



Don't I look beautiful?


Final verdict: This mask did surprise me in that my skin STAYED hydrated even after having a shower where my face was in the water! The Japanese silk texture felt a little more plush than the conventional sheet mask and seemed to hold quite a bit more essence as well. I was worried that this brand would be hard to get a hold of, but b.liv offers free worldwide shipping on all purchases $50+ which let's face it shoppers, is pretty easy to get to!

Available at http://www.bliv.com

Friday, April 1, 2016

MAKEUP | Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss in Diorama, Princess and Mirrored Review & Swatches

There's a new gloss in town. The Dior Addict Ultra-Gloss is a new formulation for Dior referred to as a "hydra-plumper gloss" that promises volume, shine and an iridescent sparkle that is easy and comfortable to wear. With "hyaluronic acid spheres" that capture and keep moisture in, lips stay hydrated and plump. All I know is that my lips were quite shiny and with 18 new shades, there is definitely something for everyone.



I received the shades: Mirrored*, Princess* and Diorama* ($42.00 CDN) all of which were totally wearable everyday shades. I felt comfortable wearing them both at work and on a casual day off at IKEA (yes, I wore Princess!).



These three glosses are glittery, but not gritty. The shine is fairly evident from the swatches and is a non-sticky gloss with a decent wear time of around 3 hours.


Wearing "Mirrored" - a bronzey pink.



Wearing "Princess" - a pale bubblegum pink.



Wearing "Diorama" - a rosey mauve. This was practically the same shade as my lips!



Face:


Diorskin Forever Fluid Foundation in 030* 
Dior Fix It 2 in 1 Prime & Conceal in 002*

Brows:

Dior Diorshow Brow Styler in Universal Dark Brown*

Eyes:

DiorAddict Fluid Shadow in 665*
Diorshow Pro Liner*

Diorshow Mascara in 090 Pro Black*

Cheeks:

Diorblush Sculpt in 002 Coral Shape*
Diorskin Nude Air Illuminating Powder in 002 Glowing Nude*


Final verdict: I loved these colours as well as the shine they gave. My lips felt hydrated in the sense that the moisture felt sealed in, but I know what to expect when it comes to wearing a gloss. I appreciated the non-stickiness and I have come to be satisfied with a wear-time of a few hours when it comes to gloss. My favourite of the trio would have to be Diorama and Mirrored and I wouldn't mind getting a shade that was a little more dramatic because the ultra glossy shine is really quite something!


Available at Dior counters nationwide.

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