Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Beauty Wrap Up

My experimenting with skincare has been on an all time low because my sister got married towards the end of the month.  I figured the best thing to do was to hold steady with what I was already doing that was working well and not add anything new too close to the wedding. I know that I can have fantastic skin with what I'm already using so I took a more conservative approach to my skincare than I normally do so that I wouldn't run the risk of breaking out if I had any issues with any new products. I only introduced new things in the beginning of the month and stopped about two weeks before the wedding. You have no idea what sort of self control this took since I purchased a bunch of new things at the beginning of the month!  You'll see the rest of what I purchased in next month's Beauty Wrap Up.

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New Products I've Introduced:

➳ (Full Sized) Hada Labo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Acid Lotion I picked up this product after stumbling upon the fantastic beauty section at the Mitsuwa in the Northern Chicago suburbs. I had recalled reading Skin and Tonic's favorable review and it was on sale so I purchased a bottle of it. I've been using this once a day, in the morning, layered after my Benton BHA Aloe Toner and before my The Face Shop Chia Seed Water 100 lotion. It seems to have reduced the fine lines around my eyes and my forehead and I do notice that my makeup seems to settle better onto my face, particularly when I do HD makeup for blog outfit shoots (of which there are sadly few this month due to my travel schedule!) 

Rating: 4/5 - I love what this does to my skin but I don't like how sticky it is when it hasn't been layered beneath something. One point off for that! 


➳ (Full Sized) Kose Softymo White Cleansing Oil - I knew that I wanted to work a cleansing oil into my regular routine, particularly on days where I was wearing a lot of makeup. I had been working through the last of my Shiseido Benefique NT Makeup Cleansing Oil samples and knew I would need to replace them with something sooner or later. I wasn't completely satisfied with the Shiseido Cleansing Oil (you can read the review here) so I was casually looking for something to use that was less cost prohibitiveWhile I was at Mitsuwa I noticed that there were quite a few cleansing oils on sale so I grabbed this one. I can't read a single word of Japanese and Japanese Skincare products seem to have much less English than Korean ones so this was kind of a leap of faith. This is one of the first times that I've grabbed a product without extensive research but it seems to have worked out. 

I didn't know that it was supposed to have whitening effects until I went home and googled it (I suppose the big word "White" should have clued me in - I thought it meant the color of the product when I was purchasing it at the time!) but I haven't noticed any on myself. It effectively takes off my sunscreen and makeup off, smells pretty good (like oranges!), and is very inexpensive. I think it was less than ten dollars for the bottle and it looks like it'll last me a long time before it's gone. 

Someone translated the bottle instructions on the internet and the key thing is to use this without getting your face wet. Just put the oil on dry hands and work it into the makeup on your dry face. I sometimes let it sit for a few minutes if I have particularly heavy makeup before moving on to the next step of foam cleansing. 

Rating: 5/5 - Easy to use, effective, inexpensive, lasts forever.

➳ (Makeup) Kiss Me Heroine Make Long and Curl - Rarely do things ever live up to the hype. This mascara is one of the few things I've experienced that lives up to the hype but at the end of the day I wasn't excited about this product for a few reasons. I was told by the internet that if I use this I'll have super long eyelashes that won't ever smudge and that was completely correct. At just under twenty bucks it's almost twice the price of what I pay for my regular mascara. It is, however, hugely lengthening, completely waterproof, and as so many reviews note, almost impossible to get off. I don't use it every day but when I want crazy long eyelashes that border on looking like a set of false eyelashes it's what I'm using instead of my regular trick of multiple coats of mascara. To get it off I have to soak two cotton rounds in eye makeup remover and leave them on my eyes for five or ten minutes. This stuff has crazy staying power. I even wore it swimming and it went nowhere. 

Rating: 2/5 - I don't usually need mascara like this and it's rather expensive. If it were cheaper I'd buy it to have on hand for photography and evening events. It feels almost over the top for my daily makeup use and takes forever to remove. 

➳ (Makeup) The Face Shop Make Me Star Waterproof Gel Liner 02 While I love Asian skincare products I prefer western makeup because it's difficult for me to find anything that goes with my redheaded complexion. Even finding a good BB cream was a lot of work. I also prefer western makeup trends over Asian trends and want the tools to make that happen. Regardless of this, I'm slowly building up a collection of these Gel Liners. I tend to buy one or two of them each time I find a Face Shop because they are pretty inexpensive, last really well, and have good colors. I bought the sparkly brown one this time. You can see it swatched in Happy Plastic Case's blog post here and again at Le Miel Et La Vanielle's blog post here.

Rating: 5/5 - Good color choices, smudgable when first applied, stays really well when dried. Sort of sparkly but not too over the top!

➳ (Beauty Tools) Makel Multi Foundation Brush - I knew that I wanted a foundation brush of some sort to move away from sponge applicators and using my fingers and this was also on sale at Mitsuwa so I threw it in my cart to check off that item on my "to buy" list. I don't own a lot of makeup brushes since I never realized their importance until recently, but this is a good addition to my small and useful collection. It has a flat top, is very dense, and can be used with both powder and liquid foundations. I tend to use this with my BB cream or regular foundation. I dab it on my face and then buff outwards from my nose to my hairline and neck in tiny circles. It gives a more natural finish than a sponge applicator and since my skin is mostly healed up I don't need the pancake coverage to heal up scars any more I've been using this more and more. It really helps distribute the makeup around the eyes and nose, too, which I didn't realize I really could do until I bought this brush. 

Rating: 4/5 - Gives a great finish, a little prickly when used.

Before/After:


Just to keep you updated...here's a makeupless before and after. The left side is my face in July, the right side was my face on October first. I look totally wretched, sleepy, and puffy in the right hand picture because I'm super sick right now but my skin looks great, even through the stress of traveling, being really sick, and so on. 

July  - Sept

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