[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.

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[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

[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

Image CONCLUSION Image

 

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

[REVIEW] Victoria’s Secret Seduction Dark Orchid Eau de Parfum

Hey everyone! Quick review today on Victoria’s Secret Seduction: Dark Orchid Eau de Parfum (sounds fancy, doesn’t it)!? Image Usually Victoria’s Secret has flirty and sweet perfumes, and I was surprised to find out that this did not fit the usual pattern! Let’s get started with a little information on this product.

I bought a sample size off eBay for an awesome $0.50! Unfortunately they aren’t always available, but here is the search link for anyone who’s interested in buying a sample size like mine. (To do it manually, just search “victoria’s secret dark orchid” and sort by price — usually the sample sizes are the cheapest!)

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Name: Victoria’s Secret Seduction: Dark Orchid Eau de Parfum
Description: “Designed to seduce the senses, Dark Orchid is a signature blend of midnight orchid, crushed plum and oud wood. Spray on to wrap skin in dark luxury.”
Fragrance Type: Warm
Price: $52 – $68

Now, onto the actual review! Image

Packaging: Where to begin with this little sample size? It’s a small rollerball-style sample, which you press onto your skin instead of spraying. It comes with an adorable black satin baggie that has pink ties to help you store and find it. The sample size is actually quite tiny and doesn’t hold a lot of product in it, but hey, that’s what samples are for right? Image

Product: What a lovely scent! I have several Victoria’s Secret body sprays and they are all sweet-smelling, so I was surprised to find this product as a more sexy and mature type of perfume. It’s darker and warm, and has great lasting power. A little goes a long way. It has an elegant, deeper scent great for classy nights out and great for Fall – Winter. It smells like a rich wood, plum. At first it is a little strong but then it goes a little softer and turns into a classic vanilla / creamier scent, and rather sensual at that.

☛ Conclusion ☚ : ★★★★✩ 4/5 Stars

I’m in love with this perfume! I took a star off though because it’s a bit pricey for my college student budget. Hopefully they’ll be able to release a smaller bottle someday. Dark Orchid is perfect for days where you have a fancy night out or simply like to dress up. It’s not your typical sweet-smelling perfume and has a more mature scent to it. I’m excited to buy a full bottle once my tiny sample dries up. Image

[REVIEW] Make Up For Ever Aqua Liquid Eyeliner in 13 Matte Black

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Hey everyone! Image This is my first review for makeup and it’s on my very first high-end, non-drugstore product: MUFE’s Aqua Liner in 13 Matte Black! I was super hyped about this eyeliner since it has gotten decent reviews on it’s staying power. I expected something great especially due to it’s rather high price tag, but I’m sorry to say that it has disappointed me. A lot. But before we get into that, let’s learn a little more about this product in general:

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Brand: Make Up For Ever / “MUFE”
Price
: $21.00 – $23.00
Size: 1.7ml / 0.058oz
What Is It: Liquid Eyeliner
Description: “A highly pigmented, waterproof liquid eyeliner with non-stop results. Rich in polymers, this superior eyeliner offers an impeccable hold that guarantees water-, tear-, and smudge-proof color.”

Image Time to move onto the review on the product itself. I was super excited to try this out, especially since I have the dreaded hooded eyelids that makes liquid eyeliner my enemy. I am always, always on the lookout for a TRUE smudge-proof, long-lasting liquid eyeliner that doesn’t give me panda eyes. With that being said… let’s see how MUFE’s Aqua Liner held up!

Packaging: The applicator itself is rather slim, and rolls around easily in your hand. It’s lightweight and easy to carry around. It’s sleek and sexy with a glossy black finish.

ApplicationWarning: This eyeliner is not friendly to makeup beginners!  Image This is the stiffest liquid eyeliner applicator that I have seen yet. It almost feels like I’m stabbing my eyelid with a stick that has paint on it. Otherwise, it has a rather long handle which  makes it easy to see what you’re doing, but the foam tip makes application hazardous for those who aren’t used to making flawless winged lines in one stroke.

Product: I HAD SUCH HIGH HOPES. ImageOn my wrist, the liquid appears very pigmented and stays on all day, but on my eyelids it’s a completely different story. It appeared watery at first so I had to put on another coat or two to make it look truly black. It seemed to dry, but it was still no match for my hooded eyelids. Instead of smudging like other eyeliners, it started to flake away completely!  Instead of being waterproof, I’d like it to be flake-proof, please! Image By the end of a 2 hour session, my eyes were completely devoid of eyeliner (except at the ends where my hooded-ness could not reach it) and scattered with little black eyeliner flakes where it had flaked off. 😦  

☛ Conclusion ☚ : ★★✩✩✩ 2/5 Stars

PROSImage

  • Impressive staying power when not applied to your eyelids.
  • Doesn’t smudge
  • Waterproof

CONSImage

  • Stiff applicator difficult for drawing accurate lines, especially for beginners
  • High price tag
  • Not that pigmented — needs several applications in order to appear truly black
  • Flakes off easily

MUFE Aqua Eyeliner is not worth the high price tag. It doesn’t smudge, and is waterproof, but flakes off very easily if you don’t apply primer and powder! What’s the point of putting on eyeliner at all if it just disappears within 2 hours? I will NOT purchase this product again. I’ve seen better drugstore eyeliners! A true disappointment. Image

Image Swatched on my wrist — it doesn’t budge at all on here! Why on my eyes? Whyyy?

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more upcoming reviews as I continue the hunt for the perfect liquid eyeliner for hooded eyes. tumblr_inline_mjs062pryZ1qdlkyg