Review: Skinfood Avocado & Honey Lip Serum

Hi everyone!

Now that I have established a lip care routine of sorts, I am looking into exploring other options for the steps I have. One of these steps involves using a thin ‘lip serum’ type product in the morning. It has to be really quick and easy to use and play well with my lipsticks and lip liners without compromising them. So for this, tubs are a no and sticks are okay… But I really love tubes as there is no time taken to ‘melt’ any product onto the lips – lanolin products being a sort of exception.

 

By the way, lip balms were not part of my no-buy. Tinted ones… well, I didn’t realise this one was tinted… I certainly don’t wear it in lieu of a lipstick, so I wouldn’t count this particular one… I don’t normally buy/wear tinted ones at all…

 

The product I used for this step prior was Dr Organic’s Hemp Lip Serum. It’s an oily gel sort of texture, in a tube, and in a thin layer, works really well for what I need it for without being too runny. But lip ‘serums’ are a rare product category and I wanted to see what other options I had. Lip essences are interesting too and I think the two terms might be used interchangeably and of course, lip oils are not to be ignored although true oil consistencies are not what I’m looking for.

I bought this product for £3.97 for 10 ml from RoseRoseShop on ebay, a known reputable seller of Korean cosmetics and skincare. As usual, it took about two weeks to get to me here in the UK.

This appealed to me as a morning lip balm because it has a little sun protection at SPF8 and has a tube packaging. to be honest, as I pat off the lip balm later the SPF is not a deal breaker as it won’t stay on. The avocado and honey extracts are supposed to help keep the lips moist. It smells of a typical lip balm in a stick – I think it’s lypsyl that comes to mind or the classic Nivea lip balm scent. That means it also doesn’t taste very nice.

I was really surprised to see the product come out so dark – a very deep berry colour! However, once I spread it on the lips this colour all but dissipates into a not-even-noticeable tint. It doesn’t appear too glossy or too matte – just a creamy shine.

When I am only wearing this balm during the day at home, the product lasts two or three hours on the lips before I have to reapply it again. This is with drinking water and a bit of snacking in between. It won’t last a meal, but as the tint is so light you’re not going to notice, visually, that it’s gone. At the same time, the tint makes my lips look healthier and less washed out. If you have more pigmented lips, though you won’t notice a difference.

It plays well under lip products. I usually press my lips against the back of my hand to remove excess and leave a thin layer. It doesn’t cause my lipstick to go on patchy and I can use my lip products as usual.

I wasn’t sure about this lip serum at first. I’m not sure I would still call it the kind of serum I was expecting. It’s definitely more just a thin balm. However, it’s really grown on me and I do enjoy using it now, especially the healthy flush it gives to my lips even if I do pat it off later on. I don’t think I will repurchase this again, though.

Until next time,

X

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

Snap Review: Primark Hydrogel Mask

Hi everyone!

I picked up Primark’s attempt at a hydrogel mask a few weeks ago when browsing their beauty shelves with AT, and finally gave it a try a few nights ago. I put on a few episodes of my current-watching anime series, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and unfurled it to give it a try.

Casually sneaking a pic between action scenes.

I’m sure nobody is ever expecting miracles from a mask like this especially from Primark, but I’ve not tried a hydrogel mask before so this was interesting to me. It didn’t seem like other hydrogel masks that I had seen online, though. It seemed like a regular sheet mask but with a slight gel texture on one side and a mesh texture on the other. I placed the gel side on my face.

It had no unpleasant or sharp fragrance, and the essence was not too runny. It survived over an hour on my face and probably could’ve lasted longer as it was still quite damp.

Yeah. The fit of this mask was kind of horrendous. Normally even with chin fitting issues, the mask is flexible enough for me to fold it over my chin. This material is a bit too stiff for that. It was also a bit too small to go right to the sides of my face. It’s occurred to me now, writing this post, that I could have cut extra slits to make the fit better but at the time I’d forgotten I could do that.

Overall, for £2 it was a total dud. It would make sense if this was more £1. So this was disappointing, but I did like their lip masks!

Have you tried any Primark skincare?

Until next time,

X

Review: Innisfree No Sebum Mineral [Loose] Powder

Amidst my Christmas shopping, I bought this just to tick off something that has been on my wishlist since I first started getting into k-beauty. I’ve seen Innisfree’s No Sebum Mineral Powder touted so many times as the must-have for oily skin, which describes my face to a T.
It costs about £4 for 5g and comes in a pot that is smaller than the palm of my hand… and I have small hands! The lid screws on quite securely so even though it’s a loose powder it is not in danger of spilling out easily. It includes a small puff and the product is shaken out through holes in a plastic window that prevents it all from falling out at once.
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First, I applied it at 9:30 lightly with a powder brush, and found that this really helped with oil secretion around the cheeks, with only a little bit at 3:00pm. That is almost six hours. I am not expecting anything to last a full day but that’s still impressive.
Afterwards, I patted it on with the included puff, over my whole face. Bear in mind I was also wearing a moisturiser with a few drops of rosehip oil. It mattified my face fine. I found that my cheeks were a lot less oily after six hours compared to normal (there was a bit there but I wasn’t overly shiny). My forehead and nose were as shiny as usual and I put it down to to the two areas being impossible to help…
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However, there have been occasions where I have used this powder and not seen much difference compared to a normal day.
Whilst I do like using this, I’m not really in a rush to repurchase it. I want to try out the Skinfood Peach Cotton powder which I have heard to be on the same level as this, but better. I am also thinking of investing in a (compact) powder foundation for touch ups! Bareminerals seems like my best bet for that type of product.
What’s your favourite powder for oily skin?
Until next time,
X

Review: Banobagi Vita Genic Jelly Sheet Masks

I may have mentioned in my blogging process post about a draft or photo or two that was just buried in my notes and folders. Well, I dug up some photos that looked really nice and re-shot a sheet mask selfie, and boom. The pretty shots here were taken last May (!!!!!!) so for me to say that this review is overdue is a severe understatement!

The Vita Genic masks were a gift to me from a friend in Scotland who I met in October of 2016. You’d think I’d have used them all up by now, but that’s a real testament to how often I use sheet masks (i.e. not a lot). From a quick search, I can see that a pack of ten costs about £12.50 on eBay (and very overpriced on Amazon…) so they’re quite inexpensive as masks go.

The sheet mask packets are a bit big and round, so depending on how much room you have for your masks they might be a little big for your container.

I have all four varieties available:

  • Green – Calm & Balance/Relaxing, Vitamin B, containing Jeju Aloe Water
  • Red – Firming/Lifting, Vitamin A, containing Jeju Cactus/Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract
  • Yellow – Tone Up/Whitening, Vitamin C, containing ‘Jeju Halabong Fruit’ extract
  • Blue – Moisturising/Hydrating, Vitamin E, containing Jeju Oxygen Water (LOL)

The sheet is made of 100% cotton. It fits really nicely on my face. Of course the chin and nose are a bit funky but that’s always the case with me. The sheet is super comfortable and adheres well.

It’s the return of the awful sheet mask selfie!

The essence, true to the ‘jelly’ part of the name, doesn’t drip even though there is loads of essence in the packet! I’m talking 30ml! There’s enough to slather on your whole body. I used it to ‘top up’ my mask as it began to dry out, and I had enough to do it TWICE. (I probably could have managed a third time if I had another hour spare.)

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TWICE.
(K-Pop gifs are SUCH FUN. Why didn’t I do this sooner???)

As for the effects? I never usually pay heed to how a mask affects my face, to be honest. I wear them as an occasional treat more than anything else, or just so I can do both my skincare and my revision in the evenings at once! I did feel very refreshed after using it although there was nothing in particular to note.

Overall, I really like using these masks and they are certainly something I could see myself rebuying in the future.

Until next time,

X


Days since last buying lipstick: 34

[Makeup and Chatter] Lunch at The Botanist

I don’t know about you, but I’m really enjoying this unintentional ‘Makeup and Chatter’ series. I get to talk about a good day with nice memories at a place I haven’t been to before, as well as share a makeup look. Oftentimes posts with only the former don’t do so well but I really do enjoy writing those so I’m glad I’m finding a way to keep them going. Also, I can’t keep these photos languishing in my computer folders forever.

The Botanist is a bar and restaurant which, in Birmingham, is tucked away on Temple Street, off New Street, just around the corner from Tesco Metro and a bit further up than Ryman’s. I didn’t even realise that it was a place you could eat – it’s one of those places easily overlooked, I think.

The bar has a glass ceiling part (I’m sure there’s another word for it…) which lights up that area quite well for photos, including this gorgeous coloured centrepiece I took a few snaps of, but otherwise, the restaurant is ambiently lit and very cosy. We went in just as it opened and it was still pretty busy for the lunch period as far as I could tell. As orders were taken and the restaurant leapt into action the smell coming out of the kitchen was divine. I stopped regretting skipping breakfast (by accident) right away.

I ordered the Berry Good Times Mocktail and the Butternut Squash, Goat’s Cheese and Mushroom Pie. It was a really nice comfort meal and I totally stuffed myself. The hanging kebabs looked fascinating, though. Maybe next time! I can never make it through a two course meal unless the portions are really small or I am especially starved… Is it just me? Otherwise I would have totally gone for dessert.

I finally gave my friend her Christmas present, a handmade hat like this one but in a different colour scheme, dark green and grey. I might do another post on it. On the other hand, she gave me a few packets of instant miso soup which taste really good and can’t really be found here. We spoke about a lot of things over lunch, like makeup (okay, that part of the conversation was mostly me) and boys (also me, but not normally my conversation topic of choice) and general facts about each other.

The thing about making new friends now is that there’s a breadth of past and potential to talk about as we get to know one another. She’s already finished her year of study here and moves back home soon and I will miss her to bits, as she was actually one of the first few friends I made at university, too.

Her birthday was yesterday and I hadn’t figured out what lipstick to buy for her (I am living my lipstick-buying life vicariously) so we popped around Selfridges, got sucked in by the lady at the YSL counter for several minutes, and ended up popping around MAC and picking a satin nude shade. We also popped by a NYX stand and I spotted a Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm on sale for £4 (it’s on my wishlist for after I finish a certain other product) and I had to tear myself away from the counter, ASAP. In hindsight, that was pretty funny.

I had a lecture in the morning so I couldn’t go completely overboard with the makeup. I did end up a little late anyway (this isn’t usual of me! Don’t worry! I’m normally twenty minutes early!!) but this was because I made the over-excited last minute decision to add false lashes. Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking either.

I practised last night and it went okay, but that meant nothing this morning. It took me two attempts and then, not being used to using eyeliner with false lashes, the lashes got in the way and my eyeliner wasn’t so great. But I let that pass. Some makeup mistakes nobody else will really notice and this was one of them. The other was that my falsies were uneven.

The weather decided to turn bad just as I began to take photos but I persisted!
It got so dark in the space of two minutes, I was shook.

Eyes
Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer
Kat Von D Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette
Shades Ludwin, Succubus, and Saleos
CLIO Kill Black Brush Pen Liner
Shu Uemura Standard Eyelash Curler
(These are only on trial at the moment but so far, I love them.)
Eyelure Naturalites False Eyelashes
(I can feel them on my eyelids but they’re not uncomfortable, although I put that down to my inexperience. I’m sure these are an old pair, the packaging is different but this box has been lying around unopened for years, I tell you)
Urban Decay Troublemaker Mascara

Base
Maybelline Age Rewind Eye Eraser Concealer in Light
Innisfree No Sebum Powder
(Note to self – base was already breaking down by the three-hour mark.)

Lips
Lancome 06 Rose Nu
(I am always surprised by how well this lasts and it almost never bleeds… at least in a bad way…)

I never really use eyebrow products these days… I’ve been wanting to try out some eyebrow mascara type products like Boy Brow and so on but my fringe covers my brows, and my brows themselves are thankfully nice if not needing a bit of tidying from time to time.

But anyway, that’s what I got up to today. My exams are over and I’m back in the full swing of uni and part-time work. I hope you’re all doing good!

Until next time,

X