Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Dr Wu Daily and Intensive Renewal Serum with Mandelic Acid

Beside moisturizing my flaky dry skin, the biggest skincare concern I have is hyper pigmentation. I consider my cheeky sunspots hopeless (I had them since third grade), my acne scars have been getting out of control the last two years. Basically, it has gotten so bad that I had to start to wear foundation to look presentable (I would rather not spend to much finding the perfect foundation because I like to waste money on fancy eye shadow and lipsticks instead).

Spot-removal is a tricky business because most of my spots were result from irritation from sunscreen and...anti-pigmentation, exfoliating and/or brightening products. A good deal of the dark marks I have are from products meant to remove them. 

I first heard about Dr Wu Mandelic Acid serum from Driveler Kate (who stopped blogging three years ago). The AHA serum supposed to have large, non-penetrating molecule that it does whatever AHAs do while being super gentle. 
I first got the 15% Mandelic Acid Intensive Renewal Serum (Mandelic Acid 18%, Tinocare GL, Sodium Hyaluronate, Biophytex)two years ago, while it was immensely effective when used as a serum (I used a few drops allover cheeks and the lighter marks are literally gone overnight), it was actually very stripping on me. I either get thinned out skin or breakout allover. It was more user-friendly when I use it as spot treatment once every 10 days or so, it became hard to remind myself on such an odd schedule that I ended up using it whenever I remember. 

Later on, I got the 6% Daily Renewal Serum (Mandelic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Pyruvic Acid, ABS Desert Blend, Pentavitin). The much lower percentage means that it's less potent (to have visible effect after a few uses but) can be used daily. AHA generally requires some wait time before I use other products, something I don't have time every night so I didn't have much use with this bottle either. 

At the end, I mixed up the two and the result is an effective target spot treatment that I can use weekly. All I need to make sure is to have a great sunscreen during the day and layers and layers of oils and moisturizer after application. While I count on vitamin C and niacinamide for the daily spot fighting, Dr Wu is a valuable little boost to my routine. 
The texture of the serum (in both percentage) is a light liquid that's just a bit sticky. It smells like callery pear (so it stinks a little) but nothing unbearable. This would be a great stuff to get when you are in Hong Kong or Taiwan as the prices on American sites is generally 10 bucks more expensive.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Jill Stuart Rouge My Dress in Berry Tutu

After holding off my desire for Jill Stuart for years, I finally gave myself the A Okay last summer. It started with the glosses then went to the photogenic blush compacts (will review eventually, I have long lag time for those), eyeshadow...Finally, why not lipstick, the type of makeup I reach for the most?

While I am too unhip for the actual Pokemon game, I generally have a "Gotta catch them all" rule when it comes to interesting lipstick design (and symphony cycles) ... That plus "Buy now regret later", I never feel bad having a pretty (useless) lipstick to stare at. 
Here comes Rouge My Dress, their second newest line of lipstick released Fall (techincally late summer) of 2015, with the most ornate design to date.  Two years later, Jill Stuart simplified their lipstick line up into something rather classy (classical Greek style) and I decided to stop hoarding here...
For spring 2016. Jill Stuart released a limited edition Rouge My Dress with four limited colors, watercolor boxes and tube that matches the color of the lipstick. And out of the four, I picked the coral pink as it looked the least pastel...
Gem cut bullet again.
When I first opened the box, I did a = =.... with my eyes. I am not sure if this design is hedious (no it isn't, the 2018 revamped Anna Sui tube is though) or I am too old for this...Even as a fan of their overkill aesthetics, I thought this was too much.
At the same time, I am impressed with the details (in a light weight and admittedly cheap material), no seam and not a chip-prone bit in sight. 
As for the lipstick, the promo image deceived me... I was expecting a coral pink cream jelly but I got a medium pastel (with obvious white base) pink that's semi sheer (reads: blotchy) and infused with a truck load of obvious white shimmer... 

While it might look good on a pale princess of Shibuya (is it still a thing or is it too 2005?), the color is just ick...
I guess I didn't completely hate it as I wore it out (to a freebie violin recital). While the color wasn't too clashing under the night light, by the end of the night it sank into every single lip line and smeared everywhere...

Surprisingly I don't hate it (because I have had lipsticks that are far worse), I guess the packaging designers are doing their job.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Cosme Decorte AQMW Eye Glow Gem

If you pay attention to Japanese magazines and instagram accounts (just a simple hashtag search will lead you to a tons of, mostly over filtered, pictures and swatches) you might have seen these  Cosme Decorte aqmw eye glow gems. Recently I noticed that they will revamp the range (into gaudy gold...why) so I better get the review out. Luckily many shades are kept while the range expand so I am not that late.

These shadow pots promise gem-like sparkle in a sophisicated glossy finish. I love most of the Kose eyeshadow I have gotten (from Esprique, Visee to Jill Stuart, it rarely dissapoints) so I had high hope for their high end offering.  
The eyeshadow is packaged in a lightweight but solid tub that feels like acrylics (clear  jar) and ABS plastic (black part). There is a clear window with vine design on the lid. The AQMW is in the center, acrynom for (wait for it) Absolute Quality Mircale Wonder...or is it Awesome Quality Marcel Wanders? 
Each box also has the nice paper box with vine imprint. They are easy to store without feeling cheap I don't get why they have to do the gaudy gold next spring.
 
The texture of the Eye Glow Gem isn't the first of its kind, a spongey dome like Missha Jewel Star Eyes and Maybelline Bouncy Blush. It smells like Benetint (just a some sort of rose) and has a far superior texture once you swipe your finger across it.

 The shadow has a cream to powder finish that adheres to skin with very good color pay off (while retaining the clarity), no slip, or powdery fall out. My favorite part is that on the eyes, the powdery part melts right into skin, leaving no distinct boundary/ patch of color. I can achieve a gradation without too much effort on my part, all I need is a quick swipe of finger.

Yay for complex shimmer!

Currently there are 10 shades in the still-young range. I started collecting them since the beginning of the year, skipping the mauve pink and gold. Early summer, two new permanent shades were added BR383 (straight taupe) and BR384 (reddish taupe).
BL 980 is a periwinkle with pink sheen and it pulls very blue on me (so yeah...fun but make me look sallow when I am really tanned). It's still somewhat wearable though.

GY081 is a gorgeous purple taupe that's just a little smokey. It's great on its own (with this blendable formula) and perfect for winter.

GR780 is an golden olive that's just green enough to not become  (yet another) boring neutral but muted enough for work. The color is complex enough that it gives me same kind of effect as a khaki brown palette.
BR380 is a medium warm brown that's defining without being heavy (none of them is too dramatic), it's actually perfect for summer days. BR381 is an orange brown that has been rather trendy, blended out it's actually not too different from BR380. 

BE382 is a lovechild between rose gold and skin beige. It's polished without being boring or super metallic. Another lid wash to pair with brighter lipsticks.
Overall, I do love these and at 28 dollars a pop (I wait for eBay flash sales to buy them anyway) the quality to be as good as Chanel Illusion D'Ombre (but with better texture). I will probably pick up some new shades next spring.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Canmake Perfect Stylist Eyes in 16 Double Sunshine

Isn't the name just perfect?  Especially when we barely get any sun after the daylight saving ended. 

Canmake has been releasing a lot of new products this year and being mostly single-digit priced, it's easy for me to get carried away. 
Two of the new Perfect Stylist Eyes were released this summer (after an extremely popular burgundy one released last fall). Since the golden brown combo reminds me of a Majolica palette I like a lot, I decided to pick this up. 
For a budget palette like this, the packaging is very sturdy (Excel could learn a thing or two from it) with no loose or flaky bit. There is even a small mirror (not the coated plastic one that gives you migraine) on top that you don't see with drugstore brand. 
 
The perfect stylist eyes are designed that when you start from upper left pan, you can go clockwise or counterclockwise for two distinct looks. The center is a glitter top coat to light things up.  On the lower left it's a very warm golden brown that's too yellow for daily wear (I feel like Monkey King with his fiery gaze wearing this).  The right is a nutty brown looks khaki but shows up coppery. The liner is an olive brown that's easy to wear.
While the base is a tad more satiny and top coat is clear, the other have the same finish, making it a little flat. Otherwise it's still tasteful enough if I apply carefully within my small lid space.
With gold on lower outer corner and everything else on upper lid. While the color is summery and overall texture is OK for the price, I think I prefer spending a few more bucks on Majolica Majorca, Visee and Excel (those with far better texture that are comparable to highend). 
I think I will reach for it on sunny days since the color is still fun to play with.

So I like it but don't recommend.
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