I had no idea the brand Utena was still in business until I spotted this on Adambeauty.com. Years ago, when Joseibi.com was an online store, I wanted to sell Utena products because I had tried them during a trip to Japan, and for the price, I thought the quality was pretty good. It’s a drug-store level brand, but I was fond of it.
Sometimes, just because a product is featured in popular magazines, it doesn’t mean it’s good.
I bought this from Costco for CAD$27. You might notice this is the old name White Lucency and the old packaging (the new version is now a pump bottle), but considering the new version retails at CAD$64, I was happy I got mine from Costco!
There was a time when I liked Fancl products – their formulations are additive, fragrance free and I liked the general concept of the brand. There was a renewal pack that I used and loved, which was costly for the little amount you get, but as long as it worked, I was happy to splurge. But I am on a budget these days, and that means every drop counts.
Just like CoverGirl’s Lashblast, BADgal is a rubber brush mascara so it’s less forgiving if you accidentally poke your eye(s) with this, though a regular fibre brush mascara will do you in just as bad. The bristles are hard, and the brush is rather big, which doesn’t always work for me. As we get older, volume isn’t always better – our eyelashes tend to get more fragile and don’t quite support the extra volume these big wand mascaras provide. I find this to be particularly true now that I am well into my thirties.
At the time I purchased the Kanebo Freshel Mineral BB cream, I also bought Isehan Heroine Make Mineral BB Cream, but in 01 (Light) since I am kind of in between 01 and 02 in most Japanese BB creams. While the Kanebo Freshel BB cream was much thicker and has a stuffy closet smell (sorry, that’s the closest I can think of), the Isehan Heroine Make Mineral BB Cream has no scent at all, and is much lighter in texture. This one is substantially smaller too – only 30g instead of Kanebo’s 50g – but the UV protection is also slightly higher. The packaging suggests that this Heroine Make line is more for the younger crowd (think early twenties). It’s cute and inexpensive. In Japan, this only sells for 1000 Yen which is roughly US$10.
I bought this for my ‘waterline’, the lower rim lash line to brighten my eyes. This is a glittery waterproof gel liner, which is very creamy and blends easily, and like so many things at the Face Shop, you can’t go wrong!
For those who don’t like to use cleansing oil directly on the eyes (which can be harsh especially with rubbing and tugging), a separate Lip & Eye makeup remover is a good way to gently remove your eye makeup – but only if the product does its job well (or you will end up rubbing and tugging). I have used some not-so-effective products that I ended up doing more damage wiping the gunk out of my eyes than simply using a good cleansing oil to dissolve the stubborn waterproof makeup.
I have used many cleansing oil, and usually, the lower end lines from Japan or at the drug store level (e.g. L’Oreal) contain mostly mineral oil as the main ingredient. I was surprised to see that, at CAD$13, that The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Rich Oil does not contain any mineral oil at all.
This is the cheapest cleanser at The Face Shop, at CAD$5.00. I honestly don’t know how they make any profit because it’s really cheap.
I LOVE the smell of caramel/sugar. I don’t eat sweets, but somehow, I love that kind of smell in a scrub! But it’s often more expensive than I am willing to pay. For example, I have a teeny tiny pot of lip polish made by Fresh, and that cost CAD$22 for the size of a lip balm tin.
Ever since the polar vortex, I get less and less time in the morning to do my makeup because I am just that tired to get out of bed. So, despite my previous hesitations to try another BB cream, I find myself looking for one. My daughter has to get up at 6:30am to catch the school bus now, which means I am out of bed around that time too, and out the door by 7:20am. I need a 10-in-1 product if I can find one, but I’ll gladly settle for a 5-in-1!
My desperate search for an anti-dark circle eye cream led me to this. I know, I know. Nothing really works on dark circles…but after reading the two types of dark circles – hereditary (where there really is no cure) and the most common ‘brown’ dark circles that Asians tend to get, from hyperpigmentation, I decided to go for a whitening eye cream, and what better than Shiseido’s White Lucent?
I got this as part of a gift with purchase when I bought the Laser Focus serum. It’s a generous sample with 7ml of product; and for an eye cream, this lasted me a good 3 months (and counting). Since my eyes are very sensitive to fragrance and certain ingredients, I was happy that this was gentle enough to be used directly on the eyelids and not just the eye contour area.
I have been using the entire Repairwear line from Clinique for the past 2-3 months, hoping to reap the maximum benefit from the same line. My main concerns are the fine lines on my forehead and freckles on my ‘apple zone’, which do not get better with age. I realize that I need to do something before hitting 40, or they may just be a permanent fixture! I have a few years left so time is running out before I find my HG anti-age skincare!
I receive a lot of questions (and sorry if I don’t answer all of them) on this blog and also via email. Most of them are the same: what works on fine lines and hyperpigmentation/freckles? After all, these two are probably the most pressing concerns (besides acne) that a lot of us face, regardless of age. By now, I have used and sampled literally hundreds of different anti-age and/or whitening products.
Does any of them really work?
Well, each of these brands would promise or claim to do this, do that, erase this, erase that. But unfortunately, none of them really delivered. I have used very expensive (in the $100+ range) products that perform no better than a bottle of Olay (which, in my opinion, is a very good moisturizer, mind you, for the price). It is also easy to judge a product against its price tag and the review more or less depends on the price and the perceived value of what you get.
I have read so many good reviews on Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus that I was hopeful when I bought the 30ml/1oz version. In Canada this stuff is nearly $10 more than in US$; so I was glad that I actually bought it in the summer when I was in the US on vacation.
This is a liquid and powder brown eyeliner in one made by Bison. I find that brown eyeliners give the eyes a more natural look; on regular days when I am not going out to do anything special, this gives my eyes a nice, natural definition instead of the dramatic look I usually do with a black eyeliner. I have this in Bitter Chocolate, a dark brown shade, rather than the Milk Chocolate, which is a light brown shade I initially wanted but was out of stock on adambeauty.com.
I haven’t done essence sheet masks in AGES! Thanks to a very good friend who sent me goodies periodically, I am back to the good habit of using facial masks.
At US$67.5 for 25ml, this was the most expensive foundation I have ever purchased. Based on good reviews and my fondness for Kanebo’s discontinued brand Revue which had the best foundation for my skin, I wanted to try the higher end of Kanebo’s foundation, since Coffret D’or somehow didn’t quite measure up to Revue (though both are in the same price range). I wanted to get the Cream Foundation initially; but I am not fond of the jar format, which is essentially a warm bed for germs. So I settled for the liquid version which comes in a glass bottle with a pump.
I have never used Cosme Decorte Lacouture line from Kose before. It’s supposedly a high end line, and I have great expectations(perhaps I shouldn’t) for this product. I do have a love-hate relationship with many silicone primers; the last one I used, Too Faced Primed and Poreless, felt slick but didn’t quite control the oil (I don’t even have oily skin) nor did it fill in the fine lines. This moisturizing base from Lacouture sounds so promising. It’s a milky texture primer that doesn’t feel at all silioney, and claims to target fine lines and dryness. It goes on clear without a tint, and won’t leave a white cast on your face, which I personally prefer. It also has an SPF20 PA++. It’s not high enough I would use it without a sunscreen, but better than SPF15 you would get from most western brands in their foundations.