Wednesday, 22 February 2017

March NMNL Unboxing

WOOT!! I am so happy! Not happy because of the content of March's No Make No Life box, but the fact that I got it before most subscribers! It's always been the situation where I would order something as soon as it comes out, but I would receive it well after everyone else and it bums me out a little bit. But that's what you get for having Canada Post as your postal service. -__-.

Anyways, with NMNL, if you subscribe near the beginning of each month, it's most likely your next month's NMNL box is shipped out toward the beginning of the month. That sounds confusing, so let me use this months' box as an example.

Everyone have up to Feb 28th to order the March box, which has the theme of sakura. Then everyone is supposedly guaranteed to receive their boxes by end of March. But in my case, I accidentally renewed my subscription on February 3rd, the March box was shipped out Feb 8th, and I received it Feb 21st.  So I got it before most of the subscribers. Yay!

Enough gloating, let's move on to the contents. As I have said the theme for March is sakura, as it is usually the beginning of the sakura season in March. I was quite excited by the theme and accidentally renewed my subscription, paying full price of US$29.99, or C$41.67. Uh,.. Damn you exchange rate, it really added up the cost.. ;___;

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The box was so pink! I don't usually like pink but I loved opening up the black box to see so much shades of pink! And as soon as I opened the box, this light sweet floral smell hits my nose. It just really add to the sakura theme of the box! However! There are couple of items of concern! But we shall discuss down below.

Goshu Sakura bath salt
 Oh this packaging is gorgeous! 😍😍The large sakura blossoms on top and the fine sakura outlines on the bottom! So gorgeous! 

I am confused regarding the texture these bath salts are supposed to be. I can see the chunky sea salts, but it is soaked in a pink liquid? Is it supposed to be "wet"? I thought bath salts are usually dry. No matter, it is just an interesting texture to be packaged in.

This cost 145 Yen, or US$1.45. (I know the conversion rate is different, but for argument sake, let's say it is 100 Yen is US$1.00.I'll use the current day conversion rate for the total at the bottom of this post.) 

Ichikami Moisturizing shampoo & conditioner travel set
 This is such a cute set! And I think the smell is actually coming from this set! 
There is actually quite a bit of floral ingredients in this set! If I am reading the chart correctly, there is sakura, camellia, peony and different types of rice in it. It sounds promising! I can't wait to take it with me next time I travel somewhere. 

This cost 270 yen, or US$2.70. Okay price for a travel size I guess. 

Sakura Harenohi hand care gift pack 
 This is a gorgeously packed hand care set, with a hand cream and hand soap. Not sure about including hand soap, but alright. I can deal with that. 
 Downside is that these are dinky little things! I have put the Missha Love Secret hand cream and a special quarter down for sizing references. As you can see, it's TINY at 11-12mL each. 

An issue with this gift set is that the products are actually made in China. Nothing against China, I mean I am made in China. πŸ˜† But I wasn't expecting a Chinese product in a box of Japanese stuff. 

This set cost 648 Yen, or US$6.48.

Maru Tatsu Sakura hand towel & cleaning cloth
 This is a pretty looking set of towel and cloth. It's big enough to fit the bottom of the box, so I feel like the little pile of blue shredded paper was unnecessary. 
The towel on the left is probably a microfiber cleaning cloth, as it has similar feel to it. It is not a very big towel, it is roughly the size of the box. The towel on the right is a smoother feeling towel that is supposedly made for hand and face, but I would probably just go with hand to be on the safe side. 

This little kit cost 173 Yen, or US$1.73, and it's made in China of course. 

Gensen Labo hydrating sea kelp toner
This is where I am starting to have a problem with the content. First of all, this has NOTHING to do with the theme of sakura! Sea kelp and sakura are nowhere close to each other! Secondly, I chided Kira Kira Crate for their continuous usage of Pure Smile/Choosy products, including one of their sister brands 5Lanc. Then NMNL box just have to put in Gensen Labo, which is also one of Pure Smile's brands. =__=. 
Don't get me wrong, I like Pure Smile. I have nothing against putting in quality products at a low cost. Heck, this toner got 4.9/5 stars on Cosme. But I do have a problem when it is put in there for the sake of putting in an "expensive" and large item rather than continuing with the theme. Everything was following along with the theme and then bam! Toner made with sea kelp from Hokkaido! Just because! No reason at all! That makes me grouchy. 

Oh, this is the most expensive item in the box at 980Yen or US$9.80. πŸ˜’πŸ˜’

Choosy peach lip pack & gold pearl lip pack
Urg, This is the second item in the box that I had the most problem with! Again with the Pure Smile/Choosy items! I'll be okay with it had it gone along with the theme. But it doesn't! Peach and gold pearl has nothing to do with the sakura theme! WTF! 😑😠 Heck, I even jokingly added an line about hoping they won't include the Pure Smile facial mask in sakura in my email to Tokyotreat. I didn't think my joke would be true and they actually put in Pure Smile/Choosy masks in there! It's nice they included two, but come on, these can be easily found on eBay. I am not pleased. 
The lip packs are 120Yen each, so 240Yen/US$2.40 in total. Oh, these are made in Korea for those who cares about where it is made. This is also probably why it's included in some Korean boxes. 

Overall Value

The total value for the March box is.... 2,456 Yen. Using today's exchange rate as per Google, it is US$21.69/C$28.50. Considering I paid US$29.99/C$41.67 for this box. I am more than annoyed that I spent US$8.30/C$13.17 on shipping. Yah I get it, these free shipping boxes include shipping in its sale prices. But I would've liked a little bit more value to my box, especially when the company is bulk buying these products at a discount. -___-. 

Value aside, my view on the March box is meh.πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘ 4/7 items hit the theme of sakura (I am counting the two lip packs as two separate items). 3/7 items are made in Japan (bath salt, hair & conditioner set, and the toner). I would most likely use all of the items except for the bath salts so it's not a bad box in that aspect.

I am just a bit burned by the fact that majority of the box are low costing, and the fact that 3/7 items are from Pure Smile. I chided Kira Kira about it so I am not afraid to chide NMNL about it too. STOP PUTTING IT PURE SMILE ITEMS! Most of us know that this brand is used often due to the cheapness factor! It just annoys me, to the point that I am not going to resubscribe until I see improvements in product selection. I don't want to pay $40+ CAD for a box that has mostly Pure Smile products, which I can easily obtain from eBay and other online retailers. 

Update: Peeps, don't blog while you are upset... >_< The end result is an angry rant like above.. T__T Now that I am a bit calmer, I would just like to re-state some of my comments.. 

I would like both Kira Kira & NMNL to stop putting in so much Pure Smile products for the simple reason that they are cheap items. I really have nothing against Pure Smile. I really have been hoarding the discontinued snail hand cream and lip treatment. So yes, some of them work pretty well and it's a good thing that the brand is easily accessible. But PLEASE include it if it goes with the theme! That's what got me so angry. The curation was really on point with the sakura theme! I didn't even care that the products were low value, I was just happy for the pretty pinks and sakuras that I was promised. Till I hit the three Pure Smile items which just seemed to be thrown in there for no reason. =__= So.. If you want to include Pure Smile/Choosy products, at least make sure it goes along with the theme... 

That being said, I am not going to re-subscribe. I am going to wait a few months and see how it goes before I consider it again. Because $40 a month for a mystery box is a bit much. 

Holika Holika x Gudetama - Lazy & Joy Jelly Dough Blusher

I am back with my love for Gudetama~~ I just can't stay away from that eggy goodness. Hehehe. This time it's the Holika Holika x Gudetama Lazy & Joy Jelly Dough Blusher!
As you can see, the cushion blusher comes in 4 shades. 
I got OR01, which I think is apricot. Or at least I am calling it apricot. It was the lightest out of the four and more natural looking to me. 
Look how cute he is as a pudding!! 😍😍
I think I have a thing for cushions. They just make carrying cosmetics around so much easier. I can touch up my makeup any time, anywhere. 
This is a cushion blusher, so it is very similar to a BB cushion. It is much smaller but it still have the same components. The mirror, puff (it's Gude's face!), housing for the puff, and the blush cushion. 
Bwahahahaha!!! Look at that butt heading into the apricot! I love it! I also really enjoy the the fact that they turned this traditionally white housing into a clear one with printed picture. It really adds to the cuteness factor! 
The actual cushion part is where it differs from a traditional BB cushion. The traditional BB cushion is replaceable in that you can pop it out of the casing and replace it with a refill. The blush cushion on the other hand is not replaceable. It is a pan stuck in the bottom of the casing with the blush. 

I am not sure how to describe the texture of the cushion. In pictures it looks to be like a pressed powder blush, but it has a sponge-like texture in that you can squish it around. But the actual blush doesn't feel very wet to the touch, it actually feel and look powdery on skin. So it's a quite confusing texture. 
The cushion puff is white, so you can see how much product is picked up with each application. The instructions given on websites that sell it is to use small amounts and slowly build on it. So I tried to follow instructions and was careful to only apply a small amount. I was disappointed to see that it was not noticeable at all. 

In the end, I found that I often need at least two applications before I can even see it on my skin. So if you like to use a heavy hand with blush, this shade may not work for you. =__=
I can kind of see the blush on the after picture, but I have a little bit of a hard time seeing it. Maybe I should have colour corrected all the redness in my cheek before applying it. 

I bought this for the cuteness factor, and it definitely delivered in that area. The colour payoff is meh, and the texture is kind of weird. So I don't think I will buy another one from this set. But! If you are interested in buying this, you can find it at Jolse with free shipping or TK but with shipping cost. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

NYX Colour Correcting Concealer Palette

Today I am going to talk about Western makeup for once.. *Gasp! 😱 * My skincare routine and makeup are almost exclusively Asian brands, as I found them to be more suited for me. But today I am going to talk about the NYX Colour Correcting Concealer.

I have been considering getting some concealers as the bags under my eyes has gotten darker and I would like to cover them up. I tried Etude House's concealer, but that didn't quite work. I felt that it actually drew attention to the bags and made it so much more prominent. So I turned to good ol' Google, and found out that I should trying colour correcting concealers. Me being me, I initially purchased the A'Pieu version of a colour correcting concealer through TesterKorea. That was back in November... It's now February.. I STILL DON"T HAVE IT! p( Γ’ ‸ Γ“)q Stupid Canadian customs and Canada Post....

Anyways, I have to wear my contacts as they are about to expire.. (Yikes, that's an ongoing trend with me eh?) So I decided to look around. I seen NYX being tossed around as a popular colour correcting palette. I also seen Pony use it in one of her videos so I decided to look it in stores as I remember seeing NYX products before. But stupid me, I should've used the NYX store locator as all the store I hit did not carry it. Luckily, the Downtown Shoppers Drug Mart carry it and I headed down during lunch to grab it. This was a little over C$15, which make it close to C$17 after taxes. But on the NYX website, it's only C$14, with free shipping over $45. So if you are a fan of NYX, maybe get it from their website instead.
Unfortunately, the website nor the palette itself indicate what each of the shades are supposed to be for. But thank goodness for Google!
Image Source

Boo on this only having 12 months shelf life after opening! And whoa, it's made in Taiwan...
As you can see, I basically only use the mint & the peach pots. The rest are kind of useless to me. Maybe next time I will only buy these two colours instead.

The concealers all felt a little waxy to me, so it definitely need to be warmed up before it becomes spreadable. I prefer the dab method, but I have seen Pony put it on the back of her hand and coat her concealer brush with it. So the method is up to you.

Peach Concealer
As I have said before, the primary concern were the eye bags under my eyes. They are huge and dark and I need to cover it up. Unfortunately, I didn't think of taking a picture until I already dabbed some concealer on. ^__^;; But I do think it did lighten the dark circles though.

Mint Concealer

Another issue I have is that I have quite a bit of redness going on, so this where the mint concealer comes into play.
As you can see, I use a light hand with the dabbing, as I don't want to put on too much and have trouble blending it. But even with a light hand, the redness has been greatly reduced.
I feel like this picture is more noticeable for the mint concealer. The chin area was primarily red, but after applying the mint concealer, the redness is greatly reduced.
Here is a before and after picture, but I feel like because of the lighting, the before picture looks WAY better than the after picture.. Oops.. Folks, that's a what not to do with before and after pictures..         ( ´ ▽ ` )οΎ‰ But if you look closely, the under eye area looks less tired in the after picture.

Overall, I have to say I quite like the palette, I can apply a thin layer to cover up the concerning areas. Once it is blended out, I often don't need to apply a BB cushion on top. Which I like as the less make up I got on, the happier I am.  I am a bit annoyed that I am primarily going to use only 2/6 pots in the palette, so in the future, I am definitely going to buy only the peach & mint colour correcting concealers.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Masks #14... Masks I find sticky.

I hoard masks, that's not a secret. But I am making progress in reducing my stash of close to expiration/expired masks. As I am making progress through my stash, I will be adding more mask reviews ^_^

Purederm Pearl Essence Mask

The sticker says $3, but I purchased this from Daiso at 2 for $3 CAD. So it's only $1.50 each. I think I gave the other mask to my friend when we did a masking night that night. That being said, this is a brand that is slowly emerging in western stores, because I think I have seen a large variety of it at Walmart.
 Ingredients: As per the package. 

Water (Aqua), Glycerin, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Pearl Extract, natto Gum, PEG-14M, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Illcium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Disodium ETA, Allantoin, Erythritol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Fragrance (Parfum)
Back to the mask, it's got a tangy smell, kind of reminds me of artificial lychee smells with a hint of tang added. I quite like it! *thumbs up!*

This has the eye flaps that allows your eyes to get some love too. However, my nose piece broke off when I took it out of the package and I just didn't want to bother with the mess that is now my mask.

I used it for about 25 minutes, when the upper lip area started to dry out. However, there was still a lot of essence leftover on my skin. It didn't feel tacky to the touch and was absorbed by my skin fast. However, it also made my skin feel a bit tight/itchy. πŸ˜”πŸ˜’

The mask is supposed to help tone and rejuvenate complexion. While I did find my complexion has cleared up a little bit after the mask, the fact that it made my skin feel tight and itchy is a big no. So this mask will be a no repurchase for me.

A'Pieu Tangle Jelly Mask in Mango 
 I got this in mango flavour which is whitening. But honestly, I got this because it's mango not for its supposedly whitening effect. I was very intrigued by what this mask was. What do you mean tangle jelly mask?? What is it?! I had to get it to see it for myself. I got it from RoseRoseShop's eBay storefront for the cheaper shipping rate and utilizing the flash coupon from eBay.

Turns out, this is a this cellulose mask that is soaked in this thick jelly like essence.
 Ingredients: In Korean, not gonna translate, sorry. 
 The mask comes in two pieces, the mask itself, and a mesh like backing an aqua seal sheet. The mask itself is a thin cellulose mask that adheres to my face very well, even over my little nose. However, it doesn't reach near the ears but that's like all of the masks.
 The aqua seal sheet, which is stated on the package itself and I mistook as a backing, is supposed to be on top of the mask to prevent the essence from evaporating as fast. I will have to try it together next time. 
It comes with a thick gel/jelly like essence, which is where the jelly comes in. At first, it didn't appear to be gel but once I squeezed the extra essence out of the package, it is indeed gel. The essence itself smells like artificial peach but without the tang, so I guess that's what the artificial mango supposed to smell like.

I had the mask on for only 20 minutes despite having a thicker essence on the mask. This was due to the fact that the upper lip are was dry and the edges were starting to dry out as well. This probably would have been prevented by using my Daiso silicone mask cover the aqua seal sheet like it's intended πŸ˜…πŸ˜….

Anyways, there was still a lot of essence left on my face and on the mask itself. I rubbed the extra essence on the mask onto the rest of my body and tried to rub in the essence on my face, but it still took a while to sink in.
I feel like it did okay for a mask that I had on for 20 minutes. I didn't notice any visible brightening effect and I didn't quite like how it took so long to sink in. I will give it another try with the aqua seal sheet on top and revise my opinion should it change. However, I don't find this worth the $2 price tag. Don't get me wrong, it is an interesting mask and I liked it. But the stickiness and time it took to fully sink into my skin made it a no repurchase for me.

Nature Republic Real Nature Mask Sheet in Shea Butter

I got this from Skin18 a few years back as part of their free masks program where I get to pick and choose the masks and only pay for shipping. I think I was supposed to do a review on it, and I obviously took my sweet time. πŸ˜…πŸ˜… I thought these has been repackaged but don't quote me on it as sites such as Jolse still has the same packaging listed. So maybe I am imagining things. πŸ˜•
 Ingredients: As per the package. 

Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate. Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Citrus Paradis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Polyglyceryl-3 Methylglucose Distearate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Hydroxide, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extrat, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance. 

The mask is a thick cotton mask that is soaked in a thick lotion type of essence such that it was not dripping when I took it out of the package. The essence itself has a very powdery smell to it, which is what I like to refer to as the "old lady smell". Yah, I am not a big fan of that smell.=__= It kept on wafting in and out of my nose as I had it on, but it wasn't intolerable. On the plus side, the mask itself is quite big! It actually almost touches my ears and reaches far down my chin. πŸ‘

I had the mask on for only 20 minutes. The mask was still moist but I just didn't have the patience to have it on any longer. There was still lots of essence on my skin, which took its sweet time sinking in and left my skin feeling tacky.

Due to the fact that it has a powdery smell that I dislike and it made my skin feel tacky, it's a no for me for future repurchases. I am glad I did get to try it out though!

Mirum Fresh Fruit Honey Real Nature Mask Pack
I also got this from Skin18 and yup, I waited forever to try it. Oops...
 Ingredients: In Korean, not gonna translate, sorry. Skin18 has it on their website though! 
This is a moist mask that is soaked in a thick clear gel like essence. The essence itself has a very sweet smell to it, almost like honey but a little off. As for the mask itself, it fits my face well. A perfect fit for my nose, and almost reaches my ears. Yay for big masks!

However, despite being soaked in a thick gel, it felt quite dry upon putting it on my face. It actually felt like it was going to suck all of the moisture off of my face and fall off immediately. Due to this fact, I only had it on for 10 minutes before taking it off. It is meant to be 15 to 20 minutes, but honestly, it really felt like it was going to fall off. Oddly enough, there was lots of essence on my face and the mask was still moist. I guess it must been my imagination. I tried to pat in the extra essence into my skin but my skin still felt tacky to the touch. However, it does look and feel more hydrated.
Once again, this is a mask I probably wouldn't repurchase because it made my skin feel sticky and it's not an easy to find brand.


Mamonde 7 Days Project- Moisturizing 
This is a pack of masks that you are supposed to be using for 7 days straight. I obviously had it for a long time as it is now discontinued. This expired in mid December and I tried to use it right after it expired. However... This was definitely a lesson for me.
The mask is rolled up and soaked in a lotion type essence. The essence has a slight tangy smell which is what I assume to be the strawberry. I thought it was going to be a serum type of essence as rose and strawberry kind of screams serum to me. But considering it is supposed to be moisturizing masks, I guess a lotion type makes more sense.

The mask is so big that I can put it on without using the mirror. It is also big enough that it almost reached my ears. (I just found another common theme for these masks! Masks that are so big they almost reach my ears!)

Downside to the mask is that due to the way the mask was packed, I feel that the essence was not distributed equally on the mask. Some parts felt drier than other parts. The mask dried out rather quickly, with the upper area feeling dry and uncomfortable within 5 minutes. The cheeks and jawline started to dry out and ready to fall off after 5 minutes as well. The forehead remained moist but it wasn't too far off. I ended up taking it off after 10 minutes because the whole mask felt dry and ready to come off by itself. Despite the feeling of a dry mask, I still had plenty of essence on my face, which was absorbed quickly.

Now the lesson. I kept using this mask for 3 days straight, but I started to get these small painful breakouts all over my face. I don't usually get those kind of breakouts so I immediately thought it may have caused by these masks. I stopped using them and surely enough the breakouts went away after a few days. After it was gone, I thought I would give it another try. But nope, the breakouts came back after one use. I had to throw the remaining 3 masks.

So the lesson I learned is that, USE YOUR MASKS IN TIME! Because these masks were expired, I can't pinpoint whether it was certain ingredients that my skin did not like or the fact that these ingredients were expired. Experience with these masks has made me re-evaluate if it was worth it to continue using expired masks or throw them out. I ultimately decided to throw out my expired masks as my skin is worth more than a few dollars worth of masks.