Review: Etude House Dr Mascara Fixer for Perfect Lash

Hi everyone!
For my birthday a few months back, I treated myself to some stuff from Jolse. Initially, the total was about £50 but I common-sensed it down to about £30. The power of rational thinking is my best weapon against impulse buying. The only thing it doesn’t work on is food… Anyway, I picked up another loose powder, repurchased my favourite Bbia gel liner in new shades and also this eyelash fixer.
I had heard some things about this eyelash primer/top coat product but it was Hoi Yin Li who finally convinced me to pop it onto my shopping list. She was totally right – this is am amazing product that really ups your lash game.
This product costs about $6.46 (£4.89) from the online store, Jolse. It takes two weeks for their orders to reach me in the UK from Korea, and it’s free shipping for all orders.
On the packaging, it states that Dr Mascara Fixer can be used underneath mascaras as a lash primer or over the lashes as a ‘top coat’. The fixer itself has a slightly milky silicone texture, which goes on smoothly and dries to hold the curl. It does stick a few lashes together sometimes so you may have to quickly brush out the lashes before the fixer sets for a fluffy look.
The greatest thing about it is that it really improved the performance of sub-par mascaras, particularly with improving curl-holding. I have an issue with volumising mascaras as my lashes cannot hold the curl with them, but this problem is pretty much eliminated with the addition of the Dr Mascara Fixer, for all the mascaras I have tried with it. I feel like it doesn’t make the mascara pop more in intensity, but it will improve longevity and reduce smudging a bit, used as a primer. After my ‘meh’ review of the Urban Decay Troublemaker mascara, I am now using it up but only with this primer!
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I’ve found that it can pick up a little too much product at times, so I try to scrape off a lot or just to work quickly. It also dries quite stiffly which makes my lashes feel quite different. It does work on the lower lashes as well. However, I didn’t like to use it on its own or as a top coat layer as it does not dry completely clear, with a bit of milky whiteness that tones down my lash colour or the black pigment of my mascara.
When I used this as a top coat and attempted another coat of mascara on top, it mostly caused my lashes to stick together to form the clumpy, spidery effect. So it really only works best with one layer underneath your preferred mascara.
I really love this and I’m sure I’ll buy backups for the future, which won’t be expensive either. Etude House has some real gems in their collection – last year I gifted a bunch of their Proof 10 eye primer out to my friends and it looks like this year I’ll be doing the same with this!
Have you tried any lash primers before?

Until next time,

X

A Peek at my Skincare Diary #1: Short and Sweet

Gasp! A Saturday post? Yeah, I forgot to schedule some new posts whilst I was panicking over an essay. I have some time to get some posts up and scheduled now, though, so you all have something to read while I am contemplating the inner workings of the mind for my degree!

I initially planned to start this series two months ago, around the time of year I share my skincare wardrobe. Instead of presenting it all as a giant wardrobe last year, I thought it would be interesting to keep a diary and record what I was using on a day-to-day basis. But then I suddenly stopped taking care of my skin, going nights without bothering with a moisturiser, although I could never forgo my thick layer of lip balm. But it meant I stopped keeping track of my skin using my diary, too.

So very slowly, I’ve been reintroducing my skincare routine based on what I am feeling. I’m not sure how long it will last seeing as my exams are really quite fast approaching and I habitually tend to wreck my sleeping and skincare around that time…

But anyway, here’s what I have been reaching for when I actually did bother with basic self-care.

Morning

Dr Organic Hemp Oil Lip Serum

After using this in the morning for at least a year now, I think I am finally using up the last of it! This has an oily but also gel-like texture that’s quite unusual, but I do like it as I want something thin that won’t interfere with my lipstick. It’s only £2.49 from Holland and Barratt, too. I wear it in the morning as soon as I have washed my face, and it stays on mostly until I get to the lipstick stage, when I press it off a bit with the back of my hand before applying lipstick. Of course, the smell will take some getting used to if you’ve never used hemp before – it can be a little unpleasant.

Etude House Moistfull Collagen Emulsion

I think this is actually the first emulsion type product I have tried, and I really like it. It’s most similar to the Western ‘lotion’ although not quite the same thing to me. It’s basically a light moisturiser and sinks in super well which is great in the mornings when I need to layer sunscreen and makeup on top without pilling but also don’t want my skin to be too dry.

I’ve been meaning to write a full review for ages but now I realise there’s not much to say! I’ve been using this for months and I’m only halfway through the bottle, but I will finish this up. I probably won’t repurchase it in favour of something with more ‘wow’ to it.

Kose Suncut Aqualy UV Protect Gel SPF50+ PA++++|Full Review Here

Something about this sunscreen texture is super pleasant so I never shy from reaching for this. It also works really nicely under makeup without pilling which I am very grateful for. However, if oil is a major problem for you then this might not be the best option at all. I really liked using this over the last winter (I just… accepted my oiliness haha) although admittedly I didn’t wear sunscreen every day… I’ll look at other options because I’m a blogger, after all, but this will definitely be repurchased in the future. It’s been over a year of sporadic use and I’m finally getting to the last quarter of the bottle.

Evening

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser| Review Here

A very gentle and pleasant cleanser! For days of light makeup only. It will also make a good attempt at non-waterproof mascaras without stinging the eyes at all which is a nice bonus, and the rose smell is lovely. I actually don’t have many rose-scented products – for some reason the M&S body product sets that haunted my childhood come to mind – but maybe that can change! My only gripe is the price for the amount but honestly, for this lovely of a cleanser, I would not mind repurchasing it anyway.

Etude House Moistfull Collagen Eye Cream

Again, this eye cream actually isn’t anything special. But I’m twenty and only looking for a standard eye cream that isn’t too rich or too thin, and it doesn’t need to have anti-ageing ingredients at this stage. This is actually the perfect consistency – sort of buttery but not greasy at all – and the scent is actually quite minimal. All that means this is super pleasant to use for me and I’d happily buy it to use again. I’ve almost reached the bottom of my tub which means I need to stop buying new emulsions and essences and buy a new eye cream!! Any suggestions for products with a similar consistency?

COSRX AHA Whitehead Power Liquid

As I often lost track of my routine I have erred on the safe side and avoided my acids. I’m trying to reintroduce it starting weekly but even that is kind of a struggle at the moment! Besides the slightly funky smell which I am sort of used to now, there’s not much to say thus far.

Lanolips 101 Ointment|Review here

Dr Pawpaw Original Balm|Review here

One of my favourite combinations recently. I like to use a thin layer of Lanolips before applying a thick layer of Dr PawPaw, which makes my lips super soft in the morning and easy to exfoliate or even just wipe away the dead skin after morning cleansing. Both are slightly pricier options for lip balm and the PawPaw I feel could easily be replaced with Vaseline or Carmex. As you can see, I currently prefer products in tubes, even over stick-type products.

Overall, this routine takes less than ten minutes out of my morning and evening, and hopefully I can build it up a bit more over the next few months without going too heavy as the summer approaches.

I hope you enjoyed this snippet of skincare and hopefully, as this project develops, we’ll be able to see how my skincare routine evolves and adapts to change to all the seasons!

Until next time,

X

Review: Eyeko Sport Waterproof Mascara

Hi everyone!

Yes, I’m back at the mascaras again and hoping to find my dream one. Today, it’s Eyeko’s Sport Waterproof ‘Catch & Curl’ Mascara.


Some details from the outer packaging:
The original tube mascara
Created in London
Made in South Korea
Against animal testing
From the Eyeko Website: 
“Make perfect lashes your goal with our ace brush to grab and catch every lash teamed with our winning fibre-enhanced, waterproof formula. Create dramatic lashes plumped to perfection that will see you through your morning workout and beyond.
 
With Sport Waterproof Mascara, you benefit from award-winning Korean technology creating a high-performance waterproof formula that promises no running, smudging, crumbling or flaking whether you’re hitting the gym or at the beach; caught in a downpour or sweating it out. And it’s all 100% cruelty free.
  • 100% Waterproof Thixotropical gel formulation repels water
  • Unique brush with curved edge to lift lashes and flat back to volumise
  • Fibre-enhanced conditioning formula with Collagen & 11 different fruit extracts
  • Contains fibres suitable for sensitive peepers

With all of these claims, I was really excited to try out this mascara!
Eyeko’s Sport Waterproof Mascara is normally in a compact 8ml tube that can be stuffed in a pocket or bag without difficulty. It normally retails for £19 for an 8ml tube.
However, I have the 4ml tube which I picked up for only £6.99 at TK Maxx, which normally costs £10.00 on Beauty Bay.
The brush is curved and with bristles. I thought the brush was quite large, but due to the curves I was still able to reach all my lashes without an issue. I could either use the curve facing inwards to get as many lashes as possible or use the curve facing outwards to aim more specifically for certain areas that needed more.
The bristles are a little dense so I found that it didn’t pack product on well, although it also meant that the lashes never looked clumpy or overdone. However, a lot of product accumulated at the end of the brush which is visible from the photo, and this had to be wiped away before I could do my lashes more precisely.

Overall, the effect on my lashes was quite natural and subtle. I found that due to the dense brush, I had to really push on my lashes to get product onto them and sometimes it meant that I ended up with product on my eyelid or underneath my eyes. What I did like was that even without a primer, this mascara holds a curl really well. I liked to use it when I wanted a natural look with a curl that’d last all day.

 

Damn the sudden weather changes in Birmingham! Sigh.

 

As usual, I’m not sure if I’d buy this again because I am always wanting to try something new – but this gets a solid thumbs up from me for now.

Oh, but in the end, I’m not sure about how a tube-shaped packaging benefits a mascara. I guess you could squeeze it to get more product onto the brush which helps with drier formulas. Let me know what you think if you’ve tried more tube mascaras!

Positives:

  • Holds a curl without primer!
  • Natural look
  • Lasts all day
  • Brush can reach most lashes quickly.

Negatives:

  • Can get messy due to brush.
  • Not a dramatic difference in lash length.

Until next time,

X

 

Battle of the Velvet Teddy Dupes #2: ft. the actual Velvet Teddy (LOL)

Over the last half a year, I have been really into nude lipstick shades. It used to be the bane of my life as I loved noticeable lipstick shades – I’d wear a red to Asda! But then I discovered shades that were just about noticeable but also really great choices for everyday wear. Namely, the medium-toned nudes.

Over the last few months, you might have seen me mention Velvet Teddy numerous times. For ages, I wondered whether it was the right shade for me and tried out a bunch of dupes and honestly, it works perfectly fine on my skintone. However, with my personal taste, I concluded that it’s just a tad too light. I always needed a darker liner to make them truly match my taste.

Then I remembered that Velvet Teddy came into the spotlight paired with the darker lip liner, Whirl. Not a mind-blowing realisation, sure, but it made me feel a bit better not loving the shade by itself as it was clearly not just me. Where possible, I’d rather use a lipstick by itself at the moment without all the primer, liner and topcoat stuff that is tacked on top these days. I do still love a good liner! But I love a lipstick that performs brilliantly by itself even more.

(I have totally been a lip brush convert, though, thanks to Lisa Eldridge. Who was I without one??)

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Anyway, I wanted to show you all some shades that I would put in that Velvet Teddy category of nudes for me – passable, but sort of boring. Nudes that always need that extra something to make me feel amazing.

I accumulated a few more nudes like this, and I wanted to do another comparison post, but I felt that it was a bit pointless without having the real Velvet Teddy on hand to swatch. Thankfully, Q let me borrow hers! *Sobs* I’m so grateful.

Wet N Wild Bare It All

Maybelline Clay Crush

Oh, you surely know about these already. I wrote a comparison post here comparing the two. The shades are almost identical with Clay Crush having a VERY SLIGHT peachier tone to it, but on the lips this difference is unnoticeable. I haven’t included full lip swatches for this post as I am already quite happy with the current ones on the previous post, so do check them out there.

Maybelline Unreal – this shade leans on the cool side, but lacks the very slight pink/mauve that Bare It All has, making it look almost greyish on my skintone. It’s a lovely lacquer that wears comfortably.

Collection Caramel – This is my least favourite of the bunch. It is only £2.99, but I also found it drying and generally not as nice as the others, which is a shame.

In this arm swatch, I included swatches of two nude shades I actually enjoy. They are there to demonstrate how deep I prefer my nudes to be, at a minimum. As I may have mentioned, Soft Spoken is literally perfect for my taste resulting in it getting a lot of wear before getting into lipstick rotations. I’d put NYX’s Intense Butter Gloss in Chocolate Crepe in as a ‘perfect’ nude as well although that’s not included here.

The takeaway from this post is hopefully, for me to stop lusting after lip shades that I know aren’t ones that I love, if that makes sense! While I love the nude trend now that ultimately hit the stage due to this lipstick, nude is a different thing for everyone. All too often, I fall for hype and community love although less so recently, and most persistently with Velvet Teddy.

Do you have a hype-induced lipstick that you just can’t love?

Until next time,

X

 

Review: Maybelline Vivid Hot Lacquer in Unreal

Hi everyone!

I’m back with a lip lacquer review. Yes, they’re still my jam. No, this doesn’t tick all my boxes, but it comes pretty close.

The Maybelline Vivid Hot Lip Lacquer retails for £6.99 in local beauty stores and is available in all sorts of shades from nudes to deep vamps. As I’ve been really into nudes as of late it was perfectly reasonable for me to pick Unreal.

The doe foot is fairly large and wide, with a dip in the middle to hold more product. It depends on how much you like the colour, and how much you want to apply. It picks up enough for a high gloss finish but for a swipe over lip liner which I do, it can be a little much as I like a bit of the liner colour to peep through underneath and so opt for a thinner layer.

This shade, Unreal, is slightly cool toned and when I first wore it, it was almost greyish.

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As this is a little bland of a colour for my taste, I like to layer with a deeper lip liner for a lovely full nude lip. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a deeper nude shade, so I hope they expand the range because otherwise, I do like this. It wears well, not bleeding after three hours although this is helped along even further with a lip liner. Of course, it transfers onto everything, and it’s a little sticky. I tend not to pick bright colours in lacquers for this reason.

Overall, I would totally buy this if they had a deeper nude, but this particular shade I won’t repurchase again.

Until next time,

X

Snap Review: Essence Make Me Brow 02 Browny Brows

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Easter weekend.

As far as eyebrows go, I’m quite happy with mine. Thank goodness bold brows are ‘in’ at the moment because as I might have mentioned, mine have previously been compared to Rock Lee from Naruto although they aren’t that bad on camera if I am wearing makeup. If I am wearing a full face though, my eyebrows can look a bit bare. Again, it’s not a major issue as I have a full fringe which covers most of my brows.

rockleegiff

All in all, there isn’t much of a reason for me to be trying brow products but I really want to try out the Glossier Boy Brow and wanted to at least be sure that a brow gel type product was what I wanted first. I heard surprisingly positive reviews for this Essence brow product so I went and bought it to try.

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Essence Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara costs only £2.50. I KNOW. If your local Wilko stocks this it might be worth your pocket change but unfortunately, mine does not. Wilko does offer free collections from their stores, though, so that is how I got my hands on this to try. A bit strange, to pop in just to pick up a £2.50 order, but oh well.

I have the shade 02 Browny Brows. It comes in a very small 3.8ml/0.12 fl.oz tube which is quite simple in design. Let me emphasise – the tube is probably the size of the average finger. Not mine, though – I have small hands that people insist on wanting to compare theirs to. Anyway, I always think products are smaller than I expected when I see them in person, it’s so strange.

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The applicator is simply a short spoolie with very short bristles. I haven’t found it to pick up too much product.

I found this brow mascara to be great for my type of brows that don’t need much help. If you want an extra gel after you finish using a pencil, this may also be ideal. It is not incredibly pigmented as you can see from the swatches below but it fills in my brows quite subtly and doesn’t fix them too firmly – they feel a little stiffer and that’s about it… Honestly, I’m quite sure no-one would notice the difference but I like this subtle change.

They also last surprisingly well, keeping their hold all day despite be being oily and sweaty and when I say all day, I mean 9 hour days at uni. My brows do feel noticeably softer by the end but I can still feel that the product is there.

Overall, I think this gel is definitely worth a try for its tiny price tag. It’s best used on brows that are already fairly full unless you want to use it as an accompaniment to your favourite pencil.

Until next time,

X

Lipsticks in Rotation – March 2018

Hi everyone!

March has been a particularly strange month with plenty of challenges and too much snow for it being this late in the year. However, the clocks have changed and the evenings are much lighter already and it’s already quite refreshing. It’s the Easter Holidays for pretty much all students now – what have you all got planned?

Let’s get right to the Lipsticks in Rotation for this month.

Read more about my lipstick no-buy here:

Starting a Year-Long Lipstick No-Buy

Lipsticks in Rotation – January 2018

Lipsticks in Rotation – February 2018

Maybelline Hot Vivid Lacquer in Unreal

This is the pick from my Box of New Things for this month! Since layering Bare It All with glosses I have discovered the glossy nude lip does wonders for me and wanted to explore it a bit more. The nude shade here is a bit too cool for me and I would definitely categorise it in the ‘Velvet Teddy’ type of colours in that it’s a bit bland by itself and probably needs a lip liner to make it truly WOW. But otherwise, I like this a lot!

Lancome 368 Rose Lancome

A really vivid bright pink. I remember Lisa Eldridge wore this to an awards show, and it looked fantastic on her, too! It is in a creamy finish that wears really comfortably. It does stain a little and therefore takes a bit more of a rub to remove.

Also, correct me if I’m wrong but I think Suzy is wearing this shade in this Insta snap (for a Lancome event) as well.

Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet Lipstick in Nude-ist

A cool, pinkish nude shade that is super comfortable and long-wearing. It’s often overlooked in my stash in favour of Beau Brun, though. I’m keeping an eye out for consistency changes in the product at this point as I have had mine a while. I don’t think I’ll repurchase it either because I want more room for other products!

Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in Aurora (discontinued)|Review here

I really love this lacquer. It somehow manages to be bright whilst still being a little understated. It’s a real shame I can no longer find this in stores. I have been really feeling the two lacquers that I have, and glossy finishes seem to be right up my street as of late – they’re youthful and very appropriate for spring! Maybe not for kissing, though(!!)

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Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate Matte in 111 Kiss of Life|Review/Swatches here

This is actually my only drugstore/budget red lipstick at the moment! It’s a pure red that is bright and because I always remember it as orange-leaning (although this isn’t noticeable) I seem to fall out of love with it a lot. Have I ever mentioned that I think the formula is very similar to MAC’s mattes?

Collection Velvet Kiss Lip Cream in Caramel

This is yet another ‘Velvet Teddy’ category colour. This was quite a recent buy and I didn’t have time to wear it a lot before launching into a no-buy with pre-scheduled rotations. I’m not a fan of the formula either as it isn’t that long-wearing and can be drying on my lips. For £2.99, I can’t complain TOO much but I’ll imagine I’ll either finish or toss it fairly soon.


Overall, I wore lipsticks a lot less this month compared to the last two months. I wonder if it is partly due to the particular selection for this month all being the kinds of products I’d only wear once in a while. It’s definitely mostly due to me going out a little less, but also because I’ve cheated a little and, two times, gone back to some bare neutrals that I was really feeling for the day – like NARS Rikugien, which I used to hate!

I was a little tempted to have all of the selected shades for next month be bold shades but based on this month I am going to have to make sure I pick at least one fall-back shade that I won’t complain about picking on those “bare-bones” kinds of days. But hey, nothing to complain about with a good neutral, right?

Until next time,

X


Days since I last bought a lipstick: 94

Lipstick added to wishlist: Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Colour in Telluride