Sunday, June 28, 2015

DHC Makeup Review

When I left my exchange on Hong Kong, I wish I spent more time exploring Asian makeup/skin brands. But unfortunately or fortunately, I spent most of my exchange traveling and not shopping.

Recently, DHC reached out to me as they will be stocking their skincare products at T&T and set up an Amazon.ca shop for Canadian consumers. DHC is a brand from Japan and has already been selling to the US and the UK through their online websites. They sell direct to consumer either through catalog or online.


The products I'm reviewing are all made in Japan which is cool. I listed the retail price that DHC has on their website in USD. I couldn't find a consistent CAD comparison. Sorry peeps! But let's get started with four of their products that I'm reviewing!

DHC Velvet Skin Coat - 15g- $22.50
Read more on DHC or buy from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

First up is their makeup primer which claims to instantly soften and improve the look of your skin. This primer is suppose to minimize lines and pores, reduce oiliness, and help makeup last longer. This is one of their best selling items.

The texture of this is definitely one of those silicon primers very similar to the Smashbox Photofinish Primer that I reviewed here. I am personally a fan of moisturizing primers as I have pretty dry skin. I dislike the feeling of a silicon primer on my skin. I can definitely see this providing a smooth canvas though and I can imagine this would be good for oil control as well.

3/5 I personally really dislike the feeling of silicon primers but I see the smoothing effects and can definitely see people loving this if they like silicon primers such as Benefit's Porefessional or the Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer.


DHC Mascara Perfect Pro - 5g- $18.50
Read more on DHC or buy from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

Next is this little mascara. Mascaras these days keeps getting bigger and bigger while the packaging gets brighter and brighter. It was a nice change to see this slim silver and very simply packaged mascara.

When I pulled it out I knew I was going to love it. It has natural bristles with not a lot of gap and no noticeable mascara already clumped onto the brush. It gave me lashes a really lifted look. My lashes felt long and separated and I could build up with out worrying about spidery eyelashes. It's not going to give you a super dramatic effect though but I think this is good enough for my every day use!



I also love that I can use this for my bottom lashes! I'm finding that a lot of my mascara wands have become so big that it's impossible to use the same mascara for my bottom lashes. This is such a plus in the morning when I don't have time


5/5 It lasted all day, did not flake or smudge, and lengthened my lashes.

DHC Liquid Eyeliner- .5mL- $20
Read more on DHC or buy from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

Eyeliner and mascara are "Asian eye looks" essentials! I surprisingly don't use a lot of liquid eyeliner and usually stick with pencils. I loved the sleekness of the pen and the density of the brush tip. Unfortunately the color is not as dark as some of my other eyeliners and I feel like people usually want to use liquid eyeliners for more bold and precise looks. I think this pen gives off more of a black-brown.

Two good ones from the drugstore for a black liquid eyeliner are the Revlon Colorstay Skinny Liquid Eyeliner and the NYC Liquid Eyeliner. However both of these has a brush cap and are not in a pen format. I find the DHC liquid eyeliner much easier to use which would be great for beginners. The pen tip is much more dense and gives really good control. There was no issues with skipping and color went on evenly. It dried quickly and lasts about 6 hours before fading.





4/5 I like this for everyday wear and the tip gives me a lot of control to make thin lines or bold wings. However the color is not as black as some of my other products which could be a problem for people who want more statement.


DHC Premium Lipstick- BE111 Rose Gold- 2.4g- $19
Read more on DHC or buy from Amazon.ca



The last makeup item I received was this lipstick in a beautiful nudie rose color. There are six colors in the line and all of them are very wearable from pinks to nudes to reds. There is no scent to this lipstick and I love how when I put it on I don't feel anything! It seriously is like wearing a lipbalm but with lots of color!

The color pay off is quite good and has a lot of shine. It's like wearing a lipstick and gloss in one with the feel of a lip balm! HEAVEN! The lipstick claims to make you look younger by a fuller lip. I didn't notice that but I guess the glossy finish can make you look plumper.

Also, can we talk about the packaging? It's so freakin beautiful! The silver, gold and rose print go so elegantly together and I'd be very happy to display this on any dresser.



5/5 LOVE this! Beautiful packaging, nice color, comfortable wear.

If you take a look at their range, you'll notice that most of the makeup is quite natural and enhances your beauty. I think this is quite in line with how makeup is treated in Asian countries. I also love that their line up does not have excess. They just have one version of mascara, one liquid eyeliner etc. Because, who can really tell the difference between a volumizing, vs. curling vs. all in one mascara?

Before and After (Only using these 4 products). My eye is more defined, and skin smoother.

Overall, I would really recommend the mascara and the lipstick! The eyeliner would be good if you are a beginner and want more control or don't mind a more natural black color. The primer would be good for you if you like the silicone primer feel!

They have quite a few other items in their makeup range and I'd be interested in trying out their BB Cream, Face Color Palette, Eye Zone Treatment Retouch, and Moisturizing Care Lipstick. You can browse all of DHC's products on sale at Amazon.ca in their store.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Kiss Nail Art Kit Review and DIY

For those that know me, art is not a strong suit of mine. I love painting my nails, but most of the time it will be a solid color with a glitter overcoat on my accent finger. I've always wanted to try to do nail art with stones and decorations so I was really excited to try out the Kiss Nail Art Kits.

The larger one is the Kiss Salon Secrets Nail Art Pro Tool Kit and contains all the starter items you need to create beauiful nail art. The smaller kit is the Kiss Salon Secrets Luxe Accents Kit which contains 6 different types of decorations.


Kiss Salon Secrets Nail Art Pro Tool Kit ($16.99)- Since I don't have any other nail art tools per say, I really appreciated how this set put everything together and have all the essentials in one place.

-Nail Wheel & Holder: I love this! It comes with two sets so I can swatch my nail colors and practice designs on these. The middle of the pink holder also opens so you can plop a bottle of polish in it.
-Glue: The glue is really strong and you need to be careful it doesn't get on your fingers or it feels terrible for a couple of hours. But very effective!
-Charms & Jars: There are two bow charms that are adorable but too high (will discuss it later), the glitter is nice but it's quite messy so be careful. I like the jars and will definitely be re-using them!


-Sponge: I haven't used this yet but this is suppose to be for gradation looks. I think other makeup sponges would work too?
-Tweezers, Scissors, Pushing Stick: The tweezers were super helpful for picking up small charms. I didn't use the scissors yet and there was a duplicate of the pushing stick in the other set.

Overall I think it's worth it because I would have picked up the nail wheel, holder, nail glue, mixing jars, glitter, and tweezers separately if I wanted to get started in nail art. 


Kiss Salon Secrets Luxe Accents Kit ($6.99)- There are six different types of charms in this kit as well as a pushing stick. I really like the variety except the two bigger charms look really awkward and chunky. I feel like they would be TOO 3D on the nails and especially considering that I have smaller hands, it would just look funny. I do really like all three charms on the left side as well as the rainbow colored ones on the right side.

You can see what I mean here. The bow from the other kit as well as the sugar stone and marble stone just raise up too high.I feel like it would be inconvenient to wear that on my nails. The bow is sooo cute though! I might save these for other DIYs.

Super Easy Nail Art DIY


I used the glue to draw a semi circle towards the end of my nails. Using my tweezers I picked up these clear stones and placed them side by side creating a curve. I think this turned out looking really classy for something SUPER easy to do! The nail kit gave me the tools I needed to get started with nail art!

If you are interested in these, you can find these at Walmart and London Drugs as well as Target if you are in the states.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Finish 5 By Fall TAG

Some of my favorite YouTube videos to watch are declutter series and seasonal pan projects. This year I rounded up some fellow Canadian Beauty Bloggers and we are attempting to do the Finish 5 by Fall Tag/Challenge.

Guidelines
1. Pick 5 items (extras are okay) that you want to try to use up
2. You have until the first day of fall- September 23, 2015 to make as much progress as you can
3. Make an update post about halfway through (optional) and a final reveal on September 23!
4. I'll be using #cbbfinish5 to track my progress, and I'd love for you to use the same!
5. Good luck and have fun! Hope you'll rediscover favorites or just clean out some space in your collection ;)

I will show you guys the items I picked as well as when I picked up the item if I can remember it. For the first five items, I will be tossing them at the end of the project if I don't finish it up! The three extras I have are items I'm going to work hard on using up but I will still keep if I don't finish it.

My Five Eight Items


1. Vicious Bakery Lipgloss- May 2014 so it hasn't been too long. I'm just halfway past it so hopefully use it up soon. It's a bit frosty so it's not the most flattering.

2. Buxom Lip Cream in White Russian- November 2014. It's still full but I'm excited to use it. The color is quite pale compared to my lip but I'm making it work.

3. Maybelline BB Cream- June 2014. I looovee this bb cream but it's only good for my summer skin color. It expires December of this year so I want to use it up this summer. I have about half left

4. Maybelline Great Lash Curl- Early 2014. I know I should really throw this out but it keeps on working! I opened it a while ago but haven't used it that much.

5. MAC Sheen Supreme in Asian Flower- May 2012. This is embarrassing it's 3 years old. It's a beautiful lilac but it needs to go after this summer.


6. Essence Gel Eyeliner- September 2014. Beautiful teal color. I haven't used this much but I want to see how much I can get through. And i love putting colorful liner on my lower lashline in the summer.

7. Abercrombie & Fitch Perfume 41- I don't remember how old this is but I want to use it up so I can try out some new scents! This is very "cool" smelling and reminds me of beach and boys haha.

8. Benefit Bella Bamba- May 2012. I can't believe I've had this for 3 years! I've barely made a dent! I definitely won't be finishing this product but maybe I can hit pan?! :O

Current Status
Where I am currently for the items I can mark!

If you are doing something similar definitely let me know and I'd be sure to follow your progress!

I'm so excited for some other Canadian Beauty Bloggers to join me! I tag the following people:

Alanna from Classy On the Run

Chelsea from Olive & Ivy

Sandra from Sandie's Stash


Maria from  Pink Petals

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Benefit Cosmetics Roundup 2015


Benefit Cosmetics is one of my favorite brands! It definitely was the first High End brand that I purchased makeup from. I originally wrote a round up post back in 2012 and I wanted to update it with some more reviews and new wishlist items.

Here are the products that I have in my current collection: Hoola Bronzer, Bella Bamba Blush, Eyeshadow in Fawn over you, They're Real Mascara, and Watt's Up.


I still love my Bella Bamba blush and it's always my pick when I go traveling because it contains a brush. The color is beautiful and can surprisingly work to contour and define if I put it below my cheek bones. My Hoola bronzer is in my items that I want to use up this year, and I'm so excited to have hit pan! I wasn't wowed by this before but now I love it for contouring.


Fawn Over You remains a classic eyeshadow but I haven't used it as much since I tend to stick to palettes. I LOVE They're Real Mascara, this is my second tube. It seriously makes your lashes so long! Watt's Up is a beautiful cream highlighter but it does take a bit more time to apply so I've been neglecting it.

See Full Reviews of Benefit Products I've Written About:







What's On My Wishlist

I just realized I have not bought any new Benefit items for a while. I've been trying to use up some items in my collection but here's what I've been eyeing!
Fake Up Concealer- A hydrating under eye concealer

Rollerlash Mascara- The mascara that everyone's been talking about!

Lollibalm- A sheer tinted lip balm in a beautiful lilac

What's your favorite item from Benefit? Or what have you been wanting to try out?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pan that Palette Update #1- Too Faced Romantic Eye Palette

A while ago, I did started a Pan that Palette challenge on my Too Faced Romantic Eye Palette. See the original post here. This post is my one month update as well as a review of the top row shades.

I'm posting this so I can keep track of my progress and hold myself accountable. And if this inspires some of you to pan a palette and use things up, that's even better!

What I started with...

One Month Progress- June 13, 2015


I hit pan on two shadows so I'm pretty excited!

Here's how I've been using the top row- it doesn't show as much progress but this is what I've been focusing on in the past few weeks.


Soulmates: I find this too shimmery for my eye so I use it as a cheek highlight! I use my fan brush and it adds a really nice glow to my skin. This color is extremely pigmented but the consistency is so soft and powdery to the point where it's too soft. If I use any denser brushes, a lot of powder would kick up.

My everyday eye look has been dipping into Un-Veil first to draw a wing with a liner brush. Then I use I Do with a bigger fluffy brush and use it all over my lids up to just above my "crease". These two colors are matte and the texture is the opposite as Soulmates. There's almost no powder kick up when I dip in my brush. Fantastic pigmentation and very blendable.

Of course, I'm still using Un-Veil for my brows too! It works really well.

So that's my status update. It's quite different from what's normally on blogs but I watch a lot of these kind of things on YouTube and wanted to document it on my blog. :D

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Body Shop: NEW Virgin Mojito Collection Review

My two mostest favortest drinks in the world are Caesars and Mojitos. And while I can't imagine wearing a Caesar scented body lotion, The Body Shop's new collection Virgin Mojito sounds like the perfect refreshing summer scent.

Luckily, I got the chance to try out two of these products from the collection and it's love at first sniff!


This collection has an amazing lime and mint smell. It's refreshing and summery! It captures the smell of a Mojito really well

Virgin Mojito Body Splash ($20 for 250mL): This product is meant for you to splash all over your body after your shower to extend your refreshment. I love that but I also use it on my body when my skin is dry too. I just pour it in my hand and rub it onto my skin. The scent lasts for about 30mins-an hour before fading.


Virgin Mojito Body Butter ($20 for 250mL): This body butter smells delicious and has a wonderful consistency. It's a surprisingly thick cream (see picture below) but it blends in to the body really easily and leaves my skin scented for the day.


I made a pitcher of mojito just so I can take photos but the prop didn't show up on the ones that made the cut so I had to insert the one below. ^_^


The rest of the collection includes a body scrub, shower gel, and a body sorbet! Check out the range at The Body Shop!



Friday, June 12, 2015

OGX Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Review


This collection claims to turn skinny strands into thicker and fuller hair. The ingredients are the ProVitamin B7 Biotin which infuses unique nutrients into each strand while plumping collagen adds volume and dimension and hydrolyzed wheat proteins strengthen for thicker, fuller, healthier looking hair.

OGX (Previously known as Organix) also has lots of things going for it as a brand:
*They do not test on animals
*Bottles are made from recycled, post-consumer resin
*Products do not contain sulfate
It's definitely a brand that tries to balance people, profit, and the planet.



Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Shampoo & Conditioner

First off, this collection has a subtly scent that I love! It smells like a hint of vanilla and musk but not in an overpowering way. The shampoo is a very thick consistency and has a nice lather despite not containing sulfate. The formula of the conditioner is less thick but does a great job of adding moisture back into my hair.

Thick & Full Biotin & Collagen Root Boost Spray
This is a lightweight leave in thickening spray with lots of great nutrients. I sprayed this onto my roots for extra volume while my hair is still damp. Make sure to blow dry with your head flipped upside down for extra volume!

You can find each of these items for $9.99 at Walmart or Shoppers Drug Mart.

Overall, I don't think I found any extra volume but my hair is already really thick so I don't mind it. I found it left my hair really soft and smooth which I loved! Also the scent is amazing and I was still able to pick up on it at the end of the day so that was an awesome bonus.

A random selfie taken after using the OGX Shampoo, Conditioner and Root Boosting spray

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Favorites- The 6 Items You Need in 2015!

With the sunny weather upon us, I wanted to share some of my favorite beauty items to look hot while it's hot! (haha punny?) Most of these have been long time favorites!

 


Buxom Hot Escapes Bronzer in Tahiti- See Review Here
This is a glowy bronzer with no noticeable shimmer. It smells like coconut and paradise! I love using this to warm up the face and pretend I've just been on vacation in Mexico.

ELF Single Eyeshadow in Sunset- Hauled this Jan 2013
A beautiful color to use as a one shadow look. It adds just a bit of warmth to the eyes and helps to brighten up and open your peepers.

Benefit Bella Bamba- Hauled this May 2012
A long time favorite of mine. This smells like something fruity and gives gorgeous glow and color. I also use this in my cheekbones sometimes and it can double as a contour as crazy as that sounds!


Left to Right: Buxom bronzer, ELF eyeshadow, Benefit Bella Bamba


NYC Nail Polish in Lincoln Square- One of my all time favorite shades! I had to throw mine out because it's all goopy now but I've used it for at least 2 years. See swatch here. It's just this beautiful mid tone pink with a hint of purple. It's opaque in two coats and dries very quickly.

Rimmel Show Off Lacquer in 303 Apocaliptic- This color is B-O-L-D. It smells like watermelon and is such a fun color! The product is quite liquidy and you have to be a bit careful when applying but the color is super in your face and looks absolutely beautiful against a barely made up face.

NYC Waterproof Eyeliner in 936 Sky High- This is a really bright blue with fantastic pigmentation! It goes on nice and smooth and would work really well as a bottom eyeliner. See a look I did using this eyeliner.


Have you tried any of these products before? Let me know what your summer favorites are!

Friday, June 5, 2015

New Collections from L'Occitane- Arlesienne, Grasse, Verveine Agrumes


L'Occitane has some truly unique scents and quality products that's been recently released for spring and summer 2015. Read on to see my experiences with three of the new collections!


ARLESIENNE-Eau de Toilette



Scent: This is definitely a feminine scent which draws on three beautiful flowers. It opens quite fruity and fresh actually. And settles down to a sophisticated floral scent. It consists of rose, violet and saffron flower so it provides a very unique and elegant scent!

Packaging: It's housed in a rose gold square packaging with one side engraved with "Arlesienne" and the other side with a gorgeous floral design.

This was voted the 2014 Best Private Label/Direct Sell Launch at Cosmetics Magazine 2015 Canadian Fragrance Awards.

Cost: $48 for 75mL

At this price point, it's hard to beat. A unique scent in a gorgeous packaging at almost half the price of other designer fragrances. If you like the scent, there's also an oil, hand cream, and shower cream in this collection.

IRIS BLUE & IRIS BLANC


This collection features the blue iris from Grasse and the white iris from the Mediterranean. Thinking about this whisks me away to sun, big floppy hats, and happy go lucky days. This will join in the Collection de Grasse.

Hand Cream: I really enjoyed this new scent in hand cream format. I've been using L'Occitane hand creams for a long time but usually stuck to the traditional scents (cherry blossom, shea butter, etc.). The texture is very light especially after using up some of my other hand creams (see empties), But it moisturizes well and absorbs quickly.

$12 for 30mL. Price is very reasonable compared to other hand creams.

Hand Cream (left), Body Milk (right)


Body Milk: I kept on thinking this was a shower gel for some reason but good thing I didn't start using it in the shower! The body milk smelled delicious and was easy to rub in. The bottle is also very elegant.

$32 for 250mL. This is on the expensive side but a good choice if you have the money and are looking for a unique sophisticated scent.

Also available in this collection is the Eau de Toilette ($75), Shower gel ($26), and Perfumed Soap ($8).


VERVEINE AGRUMES




This collection is meant to enhance the invigorating sparkle of the Citrus Verbena fragrance. Doesn't that just sound magical? All the products have an ultra-fresh texture to provide a comforting sensation during the summer time!

Fresh Body Milk: This scent is very citrusy and perfect for summer. You pick up on grapefruit and lemon. When you put this on your skin, you can actually feel the cooling sensation! It's like wrapping a cold silky sarong around your skin. This would be amazing for after a day in the sun or after a shower on a hot day.

$32 for 250mL. Again, this is a bit expensive but the added refreshing feeling sets this apart from other body lotions and really does something different!

As you can see it's a runny and thin consistency


Fresh Shampoo: I enjoyed using this shampoo alot. It has a great citrusy scent and wakes up all my senses. It leaves the hair clean and soft.

$23 for 250mL. Compared to other higher end shampoos the price is reasonable. It left my hair feeling great and includes some fantastic organic and natural ingredients.

Also available in this collection is the Fresh Conditioner ($23), Refreshing Mist ($16), Hand Cream Gel ($12). This collection is available in July 2015.



My favorites out of the ones I tried are the Arlesienne Eau de Toilette, Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Hand Cream, and the Verveine Agrumes Fresh Body Milk. What's your favorite L'Occitane collection?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Empties #2: May 2015

Hello! It's time for empties again! These are items I used from March-May 2015. There's a couple makeup products in here as well as a bunch of tea!

On a side note, I've been absolutely loving watching declutter videos, so much that my boyfriend can recite the scripts "Hey guys!" "This is just too pretty, keeping it". There is something weirdly addictive about them!

So here we go with my Empties!
Tea


David's Tea
I was a huge fan of the Orange Blossom, Sleigh Ride, and Long Life Oolong! I would definitely repurchase any of those three. The three tester packs were just okay, I wouldn't repurchase any of those: Forever Nuts, Coffee Pu'erh, Chocolate Rocket.

I love the Tea Filters that come in sets. It has a draw string bag so you can be sure the tea stays inside.

Teavanna- Dragonfruit,it was just okay. Was a bit too fruity and not enough tea.

Makeup


BareMinerals Lipstick in Speak your Mind :(- This pink color was just not that flattering on me. Hauled this a year ago.

Nivea Pure & Natural :) - Really easy to use lip balm that was moisturizing. I bought this last summer and used it almost every night.

Skin79 BB Diamond :/ - One of the heavier coverage BB creams but the color is a bit pale. I bought this in December 2013 but only took about 10-15 uses to finish.

Bioderma Repair Hand Cream :)- Really liked this as a handcream- See review here, it has grown on me since the review. Took about two months to finish this.

Mini Bebe Hand Cream :) - Also really liked this, smelled like lime which was quite unique. Took about a month to finish this.

Others



Sunsilk Straighten Up Creme :)- This helped my hair stay more styled, hard to explain but it helped my bangs just look better. I've had this for at least 4 or 5 years but didn't really use it for much of it.
H2O+ Balancing Toner :)- Enjoyed this toner, did not smell like much but hydrates and comforts my skin. It took about 4 months of use to finish this (not daily).

Finished off a floss, toothpaste, cotton rounds, and tossing this vitamin A cream.

What have you finished in your empties? I tried to add in how long it took me to finish each product as that's something I'm often curious about!