[REVIEW] Etude House Moistfull Super Collagen First Trial Kit 3pc

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After hearing lots of great things about Korea’s skincare products, I went ahead and bought my first trial skincare kit online from Etude House. It’s the Moistfull Super Collagen trial kit, and after using it for 5 days, I can finally conclude about my findings on this product! Etude House has an entire line for the Moistfull Collagen set, but I only opted to get these 3.

I got the trial kit from cosmetic-love.com, which is a Korea beauty retailer. The box came beautifully shipped and included several skinfood samples as well! As of the writing of this post, they offer free shipping worldwide and have a special 20% off sale certain brands. Image

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The Moistfull Super Collagen set is supposed to “experience the moment of skin elasticity” and boasts of having products that contain “collagen and baobab mucin that protects your skin from dryness”. We’ll see if it lives up to its claims! ImageCollagen is a connective protein that is commonly found in both plants and mammals, but it seems like the Moistfull set only takes collagen from trees (perhaps specifically the baobab tree)?

Absolutely adorable paper pink packaging with a little diagram in Korean. Sadly, I can’t speak Korean, but I was able to find a set of instructions in English on how to use these three products. I used these products for 5 days straight before I went to bed. I’ll review them in the order that they came in.

#1: Moistfull Super Collagen Ampoule Essence 25ml

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According to the instructions, the ampoule essence is supposed to be used right after “basic skincare” (aka cleansing your face and moisturizing it). It contains a whopping 90% collagen according to the online instructions! It’s also supposed to “give smooth and elastic skin with intensive tightening care” and “sticky formation gives you feeling of moisture and elasticity”. The English translation wasn’t that great.

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With such a small bottle, you have to shake it a few times for it to get out of its bottle. It is a clear, slightly viscous liquid. But it still pretty fluid and moves around easily. It also has a very faint, citrus / clean scent.

It absorbs semi-easily into the skin. It gave my skin a shiny glow for a minute or two as it settled into my skin. A lot of it can be spread over your face, so I didn’t need a lot of product in order to cover my entire face with it. It felt cool on my skin, and afterwards my skin felt a bit sticky, but cool and soft at the same time. It didn’t exactly make my skin feel any more “elastic” though!

#2: Moistfull Super Collagen Cream 10ml

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The super collagen cream is supposed to be used right after you put in the ampoule essence. Make sure your skin is dry before putting it on! This boasts of having 63% collagen and is supposed to “double the elasticity of your skin” (many mentions of elasticity here) and is supposed to moisturize your skin.

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This cream is very thick and difficult to scoop out with your finger, so I definitely recommend buying a small spatula or spoon to help scoop it out! It also applies quite easily to the skin and has a faint citrus / clean scent. Overall it feels like a normal moisturizer, but feels a bit heavy afterwards. It also makes my skin feel a little tight (“elastic?”) and keeps it feeling very moisturized, albeit in a rather heavy way. I have oily skin, so I would recommend this moisturizer for those with dry or normal skin. It definitely kept my skin moisturized for the entire night! Image

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You can tell that it’s really thick and hard to spread out / scoop out!

#3: Moistfull Super Collagen CC Cream SPF 32++/PA++ 5g

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This is very much like a regular CC cream, except it contains 30% collagen and is supposed to “give moisture all over your tightened skin” boasts of improvements of “whitening, wrinkle improvement, sunblock”. It gives pretty decent coverage and covers most of my flaws — it is a lot like a regular CC or BB cream. It still has that nice citrus scent though! Although compared to other CC creams, this isn’t much different, but has SPF and medium coverage. It’s a pretty nice CC cream but it only comes in 2 shades. It blends very easily and very little goes a long way.

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CONCLUSION:

After using this set for 5 days straight, this is what I concluded. It is a set that is VERY good at moisturizing your skin for up to hours at a time! It also makes my skin feel very clean and soft after I apply the products, and it smells very nice too (although it scent disappears after you apply it). I wake up in the morning and my skin is still moisturized. Image The ampoule essence by itself can make my skin feel a little “tighter” and it does brighten my skin although the effect is only temporary. As for the “elasticity” that is so claimed, I didn’t notice anything significant.

However, this is a very heavy moisturizing cream set. I do not recommend it for people like oily skin like me because I found that halfway through the next day my oil production was off the roof! Image I had to constantly blot my face to keep my face from looking excessively dewy and oily, but I can vouch that it is a great moisturizing set and keeps your face feeling moisturized all day.

I also have sensitive and acne-prone skin, so I can happily say that after using it for 5 days, it did not make me break out at all. Score! Image

I have done some research as well and found out that the collagen in the products don’t actually do much. They don’t get absorbed into your skin or fuse with your skin’s natural supply of collagen. Instead, the collagen in the products mostly stay on top of your skin since it is too large to penetrate the skin. However, studies do indicate that it is great for moisturizing, which is on track with my findings!

PROSImage

  • Excellent for moisturizing!
  • Very affordable (managed to snag the set at only $7!)
  • Little goes a long way
  • Did not break out
  • Lovely, faint citrus / clean scent
  • CC cream contains SPF and offers medium-decent coverage
  • Skin feels soft and clean after applying

CONSImage

  • Did not notice any “elastic” or “tightening” differences as claimed
  • Not good for oily skin — the moisturizing was too heavy and caused lots of uncomfortable oil production
  • Difficult to get out of the bottles and containers

All in all, I think this is a lovely product if you would like to moisturize your skin. Image I believe the cream would do the job just fine by itself, since the Ampoule essence and the CC cream seem like regular products. The ampoule essence did make the cream be absorbed easier however. I would not repurchase because it isn’t suited for my oily skin. I’ll stick with my regular light moisturizers! However, I’ll keep using a little bit of the cream and essence when my skin feels dry, and the CC cream is lovely as well.

I think it’s a good thing to buy the trial kit to see if it’s right for you! It’s not an earth-shattering or revolutionary product like it mostly claims to be. It’s just average, but if you’re looking for a moisturizer, this is the thing for you. This was a great kit to get started into Korean skincare and I’ll be purchasing more trial kits in the future, so stay tuned!

 

 

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[REVIEW] theBalm Instain Blush in Toile

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Hello everyone!! When theBalm went on sale on Hautelook, I knew I had to grab one of the new, raved-about Instain blushes for myself. After waiting for about a month for it to arrive, it finally did today, and I was excited to tear it open! I ordered it in Toile, which is a strawberry-pink shade. I’ll write about my thoughts and reviews about the product here!  tumblr_me96wysoSZ1qdlkyg



Name: 
theBalm Instain Blush in Toile
Brand: theBalm
Color: Toile
Price: $22
Description: “theBalm’s long-wearing, STAINING powder blush is a fashion must have! With six shades, perfect for all seasons and skin tones, it will give your cheeks color that won’t quit.”

Luckily, since theBalm was on sale, I was able to snag it for a total of $15 ($11 since it was 50%, but there was a $3 shipping charge that I split with my friend).

Packaging: The packaging for this product is super cute. It comes in a little, sturdy cardboard sleeve which the real holder slides out of. The product itself is held in a ecofriendly, cardboard / paper mix that is very sleek and fits into the palm of your hand! It’s a lot tinier than it looks, believe me. It also comes with an adorable little mirror that will be pretty useful.

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Application: With one swipe, I can easily get it onto the apples of my cheeks or onto the back of my hand. A regular brush is more than enough although you can easily swipe with your finger as well. It also blends very easily. You don’t need to jab in your brush, just lightly brushing over it will pick up lots of pigment. tumblr_me96x7sJMZ1qdlkyg Don’t brush too hard or put on too much or else it will look like you’re a lobster!

Product: The product is also very pigmented! It shows up very well onto the skin and although it looks frighteningly neon and bright in the box, it comes off as a satin, sheer strawberry-pink color. It also has a few orange/coral undertones that looks great on my skin! The shimmer isn’t overwhelming, though, and there aren’t any sparkles visible. It is just a very lightly shimmery, sheer, strawberry pink. The “staining” part is true to the name as well, and lasts a bit longer than my other blushes. It gives my cheeks a very natural looking blush that is the perfect color for spring. tumblr_me96wv4pMh1qdlkyg

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PROS: Image

  • Pigmented, applies easily
  • Beautiful strawberry color with warm undertones
  • Nice satin finish that isn’t too shimmery
  • Gives a nice, natural blushing look
  • Super cute packaging!!
  • Lasts quite a bit longer than my other blushes

CONS: Image

  • Rather expensive at $22
  • Probably could get a similar color for a cheaper price

CONCLUSION:★★★★☆ 4/5 STARS

theBalm never disappoints with its excellent quality products! This blush is perfect for spring and gives you a natural, strawberry blush. It is quite pigmented and applies and blends easily, and has a nice satin finish. However, it’s rather pricey at $22 a pop, so I will probably not be purchasing another one unless it’s on sale!  ImageI cannot wait to wear it around campus.

My Influenster Uni VoxBox has arrived!

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My first Influenster VoxBox has finally arrived. It’s the UniVoxBox that’s designed specially for college students, and they sent me a bunch of free samples and awesome coupons to try out too! I wrote a previous blog post about this Vox Box before it actually came out, so you can head on over there to read more about it. Image

My thoughts on this box? Pretty great! For a free box, the stuff they included was very decent. 

I’m most excited about the tampons though, those things can be expensive LOL. And with summer coming up, there will be lots of swimming to be done (as well as a lot of tampons used). I haven’t tried out the Real Tea yet, but it will definitely come in handy when I run out of bed too late to get breakfast. 

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The pen is a regular pen, with a very fine point! It glides effortlessly and they included a coupon to buy another pack. I might actually take them up on it.

As for the makeup, the foundation is very creamy and spreads easily. It was medium coverage and matches my skin tone pretty well! The lipstick is a bright fuschia (which isn’t my favorite color, to be honest) but I’m excited to try it out and see how it works out. The nail sticker thingies are in a horrible pattern that I wasn’t a fan of at all, sadly. I will probably be giving those away to my sister.

All in all, my first Vox Box has went awesomely and I can’t wait to see if I’ll qualify for another one! Image

 

March Ipsy Box 2014 + Swatches!

My March Ipsy box finally arrived, and I am happy to say that I am pretty pleased with this month’s beauty box. Although there were only 4 items, I was still satisfied because the quality of the items are pretty decent. So without further ado, this month’s beauty box!

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In this month’s Ipsy bag, I received the following:

(1) NYX Love in Rio Eyeshadow Trio in The Brazilian
Price
: $5.99

ImageLove, love, love that Ipsy included a wearable, everyday shade mini eyeshadow palette this time! I could definitely see myself wearing this around everyday. The colors included are a dark matte brown, a shimmery toffee, and a light pink highlighter. ImageThe pigmentation honestly isn’t all that great. The dark matte brown has the best pigmentation, whereas the toffee has only average and you can barely see the highlighter. It’s a lot better if you wear primer underneath it though! The included eyeshadow brush isn’t that great either, it’s just a regular drugstore one.

(2) Chella Eyeliner Pen in Indigo Blue
Price: $24.00

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This is a liquid felt tip eyeliner in Indigo. I was a little apprehensive about wearing a dark blue eyeliner, but it turns out that it looks pretty natural from afar and doesn’t even look like blue until you’re close up! Image The ink is phenomenal and has really great staying power. It also dries very quickly. The tip is very fine, so it might be hard to draw a nice thick line, but is perfect for drawing thin ones. I love trying out new things, so I’m excited to wear this out more. I would definitely not spend $24 on it though– maybe if it was half off!

(3) Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Get Ready
Full Size: .12 oz $18.00 // Sample Size Price: .053 oz $7.95

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Although this was in mini size, I have to admit that I was very impressed with both the color and the formula for this lipstick! It was so rich and creamy and leaves a beautiful dusky-rose glow on your lips that is simply gorgeous. It’s a little purplish too. I really like this one. Image

(4) Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer
Full Size: 1.3 fl oz $22.00 // Sample Size: .4 fl oz $6.77

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I tried using the Pixi primer on my NYX Rio palette, but it didn’t really work. My UDPP worked as usual and brought the colors out really beautifully. Honestly, this facial primer is a little too shimmery and oily for daily wear and it doesn’t seem like it helps much in bringing out the colors or keeping the staying power on. It’s very light and shimmery though so I might use it as a highlighter?

Anyway, I’m very, very happy with this months Ipsy and I can’t wait for April! The total price of this months bag is over $40, which is great considering that I pay only $10 a month to try out these new products. Image I have to say that my favorites this month must be the eyeliner and lipstick though. Hooray for  beauty boxes!

[REVIEW] TonyMoly Backstage Gel Eyeliner in Black

ImageAfter waiting 2 weeks, my anticipated TonyMoly Gel Eyeliner finally came from Korea… with samples too! After thorough researching and rave reviews, I decided to get my first Korean gel eyeliner and I’m happy to say that it is worth the wait and the price. This is great basic eyeliner! Image

I ordered this eyeliner from Cosmetic-Loves‘s store on eBay. Right now they have a promotion right now with free shipping worldwide and a $2 coupon code “cosmeticlove”! Awesome!! Image It came with a skinfood sample and 2 caviar eye wrinkle samples. You bet that I’ll be shopping from their store more often.

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Name: 
TonyMoly Backstage Gel Eyeliner in Black
Brand: TonyMoly (Korean)
Price: $10~$14
Description: “Super-smooth gel eyeliner gives you a fine or blended line: apply thickly and let set, or smudge quickly for a smoky, shadowy look. Dries to a waterproof finish!”

Luckily, cosmetic-love listed mine as an auction on eBay so I was able to snag it for only $6. There are lots of sales on Korean products online too! Now let’s get started with the review!

Packaging: The packaging for this product was really neat and space efficient. Image They had a tiny expandable brush that fit nicely into the cap of the gel. It’s designed such that the gel will take a long, long time to become dry. It’s kind of in an odd shape though because of the brush so it might be a pain to lug it around, but the brush that’s included is also of really decent quality (it isn’t foam!) and is packed in very elegantly. I am a fan of this adorable packaging.

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Product: A gorgeous, deep, matte black! The color is very thick and richly pigmented and goes on a very nice deep black. Also, this thing won’t budge. I’ll let you know that I’ve tried many different eyeliners already (MUFE Aqua Liquid Liner, Urban Decay 24/7, drugstore) and at least some of them would panda-eye me or flake off due to my slightly oily and slightly hooded lids. This is one of the few ones that don’t budge after it’s dried. Image It stays in the general same shape and only smudges slightly. I love it! But make sure you set it with eyeshadow or powder to make sure it won’t slip and slide as much.

It’s rather difficult to remove, even with my Maybelline makeup remover. It’s waterproof so water won’t make it budge either. You will have to rub makeup remover or wash your face to get it off, but this staying power is phenomenal and the pigmentation is great!

Application: The product glides on very easily, very smooth and thick, and usually only needs one coat for a rich black line to show up. The brush tip is very soft and it is somewhat flat so it’s not that difficult to get a thin line with it. Plus, you can extend the brush if you like your brushes longer. The brush only tugs a very tiny bit if you pull, but generally it is a very easy application of the product onto your eyes with the brush. I like it!

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PROS: Image

  • Pigmented, rich black matte color
  • Includes an eye liner brush
  • Space efficient packaging
  • Affordable price
  • Doesn’t smudge a lot or flake, dries easily
  • Decent application with included brush

CONS: Image

  • Difficult to remove because it simply won’t budge
  • Not travel friendly due to awkward shape
  • Long shipping time if you buy from Korea (I guess that could be a con?… not really)

CONCLUSION:★★★★★ 5/5 STARS

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Get this eyeliner! It can be pretty affordable and I think even Urban Outfitters sells this in store too at $14. Although I’m new at gel eyeliner I had a great experience with this TonyMoly eyeliner. I’ll be trying out other Korean makeup too. The pigmentation is awesome, the packaging is great, and the staying power is awesome. I can’t wait to buy this in other colors as well. Overall, I am very happy with this product and it’s probably one of the best purchases I’ve made in a while. Image

Forgive my face. I’m wearing: Missha Perfect Cover #21, Pixi Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched, Wet n’ Wild Color Icon Blush in Pearlescent Pink and TonyMoly Gel Eyeliner in Black

[REVEW] POPBeauty Plump Pout Lip Gloss in Fuschia Freesia

UPDATE: After emailing POPBeauty about the burning plastic smell of the Plump Pout Lip Gloss, they replied and offered to replace it with a full-sized lip gloss. Hooray! It arrived today and smells like cupcakes and vanilla and seems to be a different product almost entirely. I’m still more of a lipstick girl, but thumbs up to POPBeauty for having great customer service.

Hi guys, a quick review on POPBeauty’s Plump Pout Lip Gloss that I received in my Ipsy bag this month! It’s my first neon pink lip gloss and I was pretty scared at first haha.

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Brand: POPBeauty
Description:This plumping pout perfector combines the high-shine of a lacquered gloss with the long wear of a stain and is packed full of lip-plumping peptides and avocado & jojoba oils.”
Retail Price: $16.00
Shade: Fuschia Freesia

I was kind of apprehensive about putting this lip gloss on at first. I’m must more comfortable with matte nudes and natural colors, and this bright pink lip gloss seemed pretty terrifying to be honest. Image

I didn’t need to be afraid though. It came onto my lips violently pink, but after a few minutes of rubbing it around it settled in nicely and became a nice pink color! I might wear it a few more times. It’s definitely very creamy and is very pigmented and glides onto your lips smoothly. But it smells like burning plastic, which is a mystery to me.

Would I buy this again? Probably not. But since this came in my ipsy bag I won’t say that I’m disappointed. I might even use it a couple of times. Image Neon pink is just not my favorite color. Well that’s a quick review and swatch for you! Talk to you guys later, I have a midterm tomorrow.

[REVIEW] Mini Daiso haul!

Hi everyone! I just got back from a mini shopping spree with some spare change from Daiso. If you don’t know what Daiso is, it’s basically a Japanese dollar store where everything is $1.50! Image Most of the items are pretty high quality and they sell everything from slippers to makeup to kitchenware.

That being said, I was excited to try out some of the Daiso makeup for $1.50 since I heard Asian dollar store makeup is safer than American ones. I’m not keen on putting cheap stuff onto my sensitive skin, but I was pleasantly surprised.

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Items from Left to Right: Daiso Charcoal Cleansing Foam, Daiso Charming Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown, Daiso Cosmetic Paper (250 Sheets)

Price tag for each item? $1.50. Image It’s amazing how much you can get at Daiso for so little. But does the quality hold up to the amazing price?

(1) Daiso Charcoal Cleansing Foam Review

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Small tiny balls of charcoal absorb dust and pollution. It clears dirt and sebum in pores. Make bubbles with water, softly massage and wash out.”

Charcoal has been getting really popular with skincare and makeup products, touted with its magical benefits that wipe away dirt and oil. I have oily and sensitive skin and I’ve heard good things about this product, even though it’s so cheap, and was excited to try it out. They have a Daiso Charcoal Face Mask and Cleaning Cream as well, but I decided to try this first before buying the other two. Image

The packaging for this product is very simple.It’s mostly in Japanese, although there is an English translation on the back that gives simple instructions on how to use it. You twist off the tube and squeeze a small amount of product into your hand.  The consistency and color of the product is a grayish color, slightly thick and a little runny. It has a very faint, clean soap smell. It lathers easily with some drops of water but it doesn’t turn into a foam with just hands, disappointingly (perhaps it will with a Clarisonic?).

After washing it off my face felt pretty tight. I could feel it did a deep clean. However, after a few more minutes and washing my face with some more water, my skin turned a bit soft. This cleanser is great for people with oily skin like me since it strips away your sebum skin layer (or so it claims). However by doing so you must remember to moisturize so that you don’t overexcite your skin into producing more oil than it needs. This cleanser is recommended for people with combo or oily skin, or otherwise it’d dry out your face too much. 

I haven’t broken out yet, though, which is a plus. For $1.50 it seems to be a pretty decent face wash and it can’t be beat for the price! Image

(2) Daiso Charming Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Brown

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I bought this eyebrow pencil because — hey why not? It has a little eyebrow brush at the end too, which makes it perfect for travelling. What makes it even better is the fact that Daiso provides a lovely, sturdy little aluminum case that fits the pencil perfectly so that it’s safe and clean while you travel! Definitely a fan of this packaging and I’ll be carrying this around in my purse. Image

As far as pigmentation goes, it’s mediocre and isn’t particularly creamy or anything. The color goes onto my eyebrows easily enough and blends, but it’s very light and rather difficult to see and smudges off easily. The pigmentation could be a lot better. Image I think I’ll need to put it on thicker if I need it to work. But as far as $1.50 goes it’s not an awfully terrible eyebrow pencil, and the packaging really makes this worth it!

(3) Daiso Cosmetic Paper Oil Blotting Sheets (250)

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“Desktop oil blotting paper which is designed as traditional “washi” paper box. It’s especially suited for office and makeup table. gentle to skin, and it is arranged in an “open-heart / cross” design for easy dispensing.”

I had been looking for oil blotting sheets and was pleasantly surprised to find them at Daiso! Oil blotting sheets aren’t meant to be rubbed on the face, but rather, patted so it can remove shine but not essential oils necessary for your face to remain healthy. If you rub it it will also smudge your makeup and wipe oil everywhere!

These Daiso dispensing boxes are made of cardboard and have a cute little dispensing fold thing so that you always have an easy way to get another sheet. The sheets themselves number from 100 – 300 in Daiso. It’s made of a simple little yellow sheet that turns transparent once it has absorbed your oil, and it does its job. Since I have oily skin I find it takes 2 papers for my face to be completely shine free. These are a cheap alternative to other oil blotters and it comes in an adorable box that you can set on your table! Image

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For $1.50, I really can’t complain about the quality of these products, but they’ve surpassed my low expectations and perform surprisingly well. My sensitive oily skin is saying thank you! I can’t wait to pick up some more Daiso makeup goodies when I’m back. They aren’t anything like high-end makeup, but are convenient for travelling and for basics. For the price and the quality it simply can’t be beat. I love Daiso. Image