Tuesday, May 15, 2018

BareMinerals Lipstick in Panko

BareMinerals always strikes me as a quintessential American brand (despite being owned by Shiseido), maybe it was all the shopping channel segments I saw way back in mid 2000s, the way the rave about the "foundation you can sleep in!" was just unseen elsewhere, not even in Canada.

Sometime last summer, I was checking out their mineral sunscreen in store (as it was recommended by a youtuber), I discovered other goodies. The sunscreen ended up being too thick and pasty for my liking (I didn't bother even when it showed up at Marshall's half off retail price), my attention was grabbed by the Gen Nude lipsticks. While the range is mostly creamy flesh tone, there are a few brighter shades I can wear.
The shade that went home with me is Panko, a burnished amber (or spiced coral according official description). The vanilla scented lipstick itself is smooth, creamy and not as squishy as anticipated. 

There is no room for wobbling so it's easy enough to apply (even the surface is a little big), I imagine if your lips have less pout, the deep color might smear around the edge.
The tube is brushed metal(it feels cool to the touch) with plastic inner sleeve. For a lipstick that's on the affordable side of Sephora brands ($20 each), the packaging is rather sleek and substantial. 

This type of brownish red has been allover magazines this last two years so I am late into the bandwagon. Panko has a great balance between red, brown, nude and orange. It's stylish, skin brightening without gearing towards "uptight middle age business woman" category (like a bunch of Shiseido lipsticks do). 
 Shiseido Perfect Rouge RD 732 (yup this  one looks  aging on me), Visee RD 422 (I like the color but the texture is too slippery) and Bare Minerals Panko
The Gen Nude formula is rather impressive. It's a creamy formula that offers opacity but no white base underneath and it sits very comfortably on the mouth. I enjoy wearing Panko on hotter days (when my lips are red) as it goes perfectly with late summer/early fall. With a pale and purple base (my winter coloring), it looked more brownish and out of place. 

I like playing with Panko but at the end, I still go back to clear red, blue pink and coral. 

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Canmake Perfect Multi Eyes 03 - Antique Terracotta

For the last few seasons, Canmake has released a few palettes that sold like hot cake, I remember there was that burgundy toned perfect Stylist eyes that didn't show up in online stores almost half a year later. Good for me that I didn't like eyeshadow that are too deep and jewel-toned.

Their hottest palette in 2017 was Perfect Multi Eyes in 03 Antique Terracotta, a soft matte brown palette with a burnished red accent. Being an avid follower of online trends(for Japanese drugstore brands only), I managed to get my hands on this little toy.
Being on the affordable end of drugstore, the packaging actually feels really nice on the hand. There is a small strip mirror on top and a small sponge-brush applicator that's perfectly usable. 
The pans are small (but then again even if you finish the compact, it can be easily replaced at the low price). The shadow are very firmly pressed, so compact that it gives little powdery fly out. After swiping, it leaves a smooth dent like a drier cream product. 
From top to bottom. There is a tan beige, medium tan, terracotta red,  medium brown and a dark chocolate eyeliner. 
As you can see, Antique Terracotta has a very similar color scheme as Chanel Candeaur et Experience, a palette released a year prior.

Despite being an all matte palette, the colors on Canmake aren't full on opaque and flat. Instead, they are chiffon like (no shine or shimmer but isn't flat either), each color can be build up and layered easily. I found this kind of matte much easier to work with. If you have deeper set eyes, you might find it a bit sheer.
This is the first time I am trying Canmake's matte shadow and I am impressed by their refined texture and adherence on skin. There is no dark smear everywhere and the formula blends right into skin, leaving no distinct boundary.
It took me a few try to get a wearable look (that's not too red) but I found the standard gradation placement works (with red and medium brown as  main shader, tan to blend edges and chocolate at outer corner). I just need to restrict them to smaller area since the whole palette is deeper than what I am used to. It's probably more suitable for folks with more lid space.

Anyway, I really like this (for something around 10 bucks) but I am still a bigger fan of glossy sparkle. There is a Pinkish Beige out this spring and I will probably get it when it shows up online...in half a year.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Anessa Perfect UV and Essence UV Sunscreen

 Anessa is arguably the most well known sunscreen maker in Asia and I always assume it's so heavy duty that people use for beach only. Last summer, when every sunscreen I tried was failing (ineffective, roll right off sweaty face, crazy white cast etc), I ordered a bottle of Aqua Booster Mild as my last resort. It turns out, beach sunscreen is what I needed for my daily commute all along.

All three bottles I am reviewing were released back in 2017,  Anessa (like many Japanese brands) went on another revamp/formulation improvement this spring but luckily, the change for the "mild" versions are much smaller so the review is still semi relevant at least for another year! *Pat self on the back* . Anyway I will probably certainly get another bottle of the mild milk so I will put up a comparison later.

The Perfect UV Sunscreen Aquabooster Mild is a mostly mineral based one with Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Tinosorb S in a very slick, silicone based formula.
When there is such high level of protection, white cast is inevitable. With the clear base, it blends into skin easily and doesn't look out of place around my hair line or brow.  On days my skin is clear enough, the white cast works well enough as a tinted moisturizer or sheer foundation as my face is darker than my hands and neck. 

The reason I love this sunscreen is that it's visibly effective, not only it stays on for a whole day under heat, humidity and profuse sweating it also remains effective without the need to touch up (well I don't play beach volleyball wearing it). Whenever I use this, I notice the acne marks fade faster and I don't get new sunspot.  Best of all, it's still easily removed with warm water and foaming cleanser and it never stick to my face like other long-wearing/clingy formulas.

On random days  when I switched to chemical sunscreen and still do my daily outdoor business (I don't have a car)due to laziness, sunspots would explode on my cheeks (Biore I am looking at you).
However, this formula isn't flawless,  when I use sufficient amount (two globs larger than American quarter or I dot my whole face until I look like JLaw in Xmen) , it stays greasy on face forever, never seems to dry unless I powder it or blot it with paper. If I use it as a base for foundation, it smears allover my collar and leaves a yellow stain on my right sleeve. 

With so many sunscreen available, a more visually appealing one shouldn't be hard to find but they are mostly chemical filters or lower protection. I stayed with this for the entire summer 2017 because the benefits out-weight the greasiness. 

The Essence UV sunscreen is a lighter, more moisturizing version with just Titanium Dioxide and Tin Oxide (no Tinosorb) thus providing a much lower SPF35 and PA+++. Just as expected, it feels non-irritating, slightly less oily, moisturizing and gives much less white cast.

Anyway, I didn't count on it (as facial sunscreen) as I already stick with SPF50+ (if I see visible result with that, anything lower would be a little weak) even during winter. For people who want a quenching formula and don't go out door much, this should be a good everyday sunscreen, as least for body use.
Lastly I also have a mini of Essence UV sunscreen (with silver tube) that was introduced last year and discontinued this year (as Anessa merge its skincare benefits into the standard formula/ deep gold bottle). This one has the octocrylene and octinoxate (and some other chemical sunscreens I can't remember) in addition to Zinc oxide.

The texture is very similar to the white bottle, maybe less tacky and even more moisturing. I didn't dare to use it on my face (as octinoxate is a known ingredient that gives me little hives) but it's nice on my arms. 
Even Anessa perfect UV mild is far from perfect, I liked it enough (didn't have a choice) to have gone through two bottles.  I am trying a few mineral sunscreens from Korean brands and if they don't work, I will just end up getting the renewed version this summer.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Canmake Cream Cheek - Ruby Cherry, Cute Strawberry, Raspberry Gelato and Apple Cream Red

Canmake Cream Cheek (especially the clear ones) to me, is the crown jewel of the entire brand and the reason I don't usually buy highend cream blush (unless they go on clearance, ha). Since almost all of them have the same long wearing, user-friendly (easily spread and controllable) and beautiful colors, I don't like reviewing them because it's not fun repeating the same thing.

Anyway, here are the cream cheeks I got from 2014 to summer of 2017.

Cream Cheek Clear in 07 Clear Ruby Cherry is the oldest of the bunch (being released fall of 2014 and already discontinued) and my favorite red blush from Canmake. It looks warm wine in the compact but swatches a cooler grape red.

It's wonderful by itself (worn without foundation) and makes my skin healthy and transparent. If you like blush right under eyes (igari makeup) this one is perfect for the hungover effect.

08 Clear Cute Strawberry is a warm coral red. It's youthful and brightening and just a less plain take on 01 Clear Red Heart.
The texture of all three are moderate(neither slippery or thick) and blend seamlessly without spreading allover my face.
14 Apple Cream Red is in the regular formula so it gives a frosted, dolly kind of blush. 
The color is opaque guava pink that's quite similar to the clear version 02 (Clear Love Song, I guess that's why 02 and 04 are discontinued), but with less glowy finish.
CL09 Raspberry Gelato is a bright blue red jelly offers a fresh flush. It's just a touch Brighter than the discontinued 04 Clear Pink Joy.
As Canmake phases out repetitive shades, there are only a few shades left in the clear (a neutral red, coral, warm red and cool pink) but it should cover most of your need.
Anyway, now summer is here I think I will reach for them more often. 
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