Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Review: SKIN79 Hot Pink Super Plus Beblesh Balm

So around March (after the disappointment with the Caviar BB Cream), I began searching for BB Creams under more commonly known brand names (Skin79, Missha, BTRC etc.).
And also, since spring is just around the corner (and I am wayy to lazy to wear sunblock every day), I decided to invest in a more expensive BB Cream with a good SPF.

I purchased, SKIN79 Hot Pink Super Plus Beblesh Balm for $32 from http://www.skin79.ca/


Product Description (The Triple Function):
1. Sun Protection (SPF 25 PA++)
2. Whitening and Anti-wrinkle properties
3, Moisturizing & soothing

It also boasts beneficial ingredients that help to soothe the skin, control sebum, moisturize, protect, prevent aging, whiten and provide nutrition.

Unfortunately, this BB cream only comes in one shade.


Like most BB Creams, the product have a slight grey undertone. No worries though, the grey color goes away!
Like some newer foundations, known as "Smart Makeup", the color of the product blends in & oxidizes to match your skin tone (However, if you have tan/dark skin, this wont work very well!).



I've been wearing this BB Cream for about 2 months. Now, I haven't been using this everyday (because I don't like the feeling of stuff on my face), so I haven't note any long term benefits (such as anti-wrinkling and whitening) that this product boasts of, BUT I really do like this BB Cream.

I have oily/combination, and its quite hard to find foundation/BB Cream that won't melt off my face (especially in the sun), but this BB Cream stays on amazingly!

The consistency of this product (like, again, most BB Creams) is very thick-- but don't let that fool you! It actually feels pretty lightweight on the skin! A lot of people like blending in BB Creams with their fingers, but I find that when I do that, it makes my face feel like there is a lot of product on! So I usually mix BB Cream with some moisturizer (like 75% BB cream, 25% moisturizer), and stipple the product on my face (with a stippling brush of course, I don't like foundation brushes XD). If you want a better coverage, err.. or a "heavier" airbrushed coverage (if that makes sense), apply the product to your face with a sponge. But that is just personal preference (but I do think that the feel of makeup on the face, whether lightweight or heavy, depends a lot on the application!!). Oh, and the product blends really well on the face (whether you use a brush or sponge or your fingers). The finish is pretty dewy if you apply it with moisturizer, but more matte without.

The coverage is very nice. It works well to get rid of red/inflamed parts of the face and whitens it (but it doesn't make your face really pale like the Missha's M Perfect Cover BB Cream!), but I don't think it works well covering very dark hyper pigmentation or acne. The coverage is buildable though... but I find it works better with medium to light scars. Oh, and I feel like sometimes the product can accentuate the look of acne due to the whitening properties of the cream.
The packaging of the SKIN79 Hot Pink is pretty (VERY PRETTY!!), but I wouldn't give it a 10/10 rating when it comes to functionality. The product comes with a pump applicator (which I think ALL foundations should have!), so it is seemingly sanitary, HOWEVER, some product do get stuck in the nozzle of the pump. The product that is stuck dries up and is probably not very clean. I mean, that is not a huge problem, since you can wipe that product off when you apply the BB Cream the next time you use you, but I just thought this was something that I should note. I definitely like the packaging better than MAC's and Revlon Colorstay Foundations, and the Caviar BB Cream I had before, but I think the SKIN79 BB Cream Diamond's packaging is better (less wasted product).

Again, like most BB Creams, the Skin79 Hot Pink Super Plus Beblesh Balm does have a fragrance. However, it is not over powering. Are you familiar with the Missha's M Perfect Cover BB Cream (you're probably wondering why I keep on comparing this BB Cream to the Missha one, and the reason is... the Missha one is super well known and a lot of people have used it)? I find the fragrance for that one pretty strong... I mean it doesn't smell BAD, but it was kinda over powering for me. The smell for the SKin79 Hot Pink one is very subtle-- and I like that =). But the smell is still distinctively floral.

Overall, I really like this product =D

I think I might re-purchase. The thing is, I like trying out new BB creams and there are so many BB creams out in the market! One BB Cream lasts me a good half year (I'm serious), and there is new BB creams constantly coming out in the market. Although I do like this one, I will like to try something new when I finish.

Overall Rating: 8/10
Coverage: 7/10
Oil Control: 8/10
Smell: 10/10
Packaging: 8/10
Duration: 9/10

Friday, July 23, 2010

Review: EOS G-207 "Super Nudy" Pink

The G-207 series are a 14.5mm 2tone lenses by EOS. They are almost identical to GEO's Super Nudy Quarter Vision Series (with the exception of the size being .3mm smaller and the color.
The series comes in colors 6: brown, blue, green, grey, violet, and pink. (GEO's Super Nudy Series comes in 5 colors: brown, blue, green, grey, and violet).


Pink
The lens design of G-207 is, like most circle lenses, a radial pattern (meaning the direction of the pattern comes from the center out). It has a dark grey inner band (where the pupil begins) and a black outer band. Between the two dark color bands is the main lens color (be it brown, blue, green, grey, or pink). The main color, however, is highly SPECKLED. Meaning, the color band is NOT one solid color. It is like a mosaic (with the edges of each mosaic pieces being transparent). This gives the eyes a highly crystallize effect (when wearing this series).
The patterning of the lenses also helps the lens reflect light, giving the eyes a very reflective look. Have you ever look at a diamond? When you shine light on it, it glitters. That's the same with these lenses-- when light hits it, it reflects light brilliantly.


I really like the color of G-207 Pink. Usually when I think of pink contact lenses, I don't imagine something that can be wearable, but these lenses proved me wrong! It is the right shade of pink that is perfect for ever day wear. The lenses can be worn casually because the color isn't so bright and shocking. On the contrary, the color is subtle enough to look quite natural. You see, with the Nudy Series and the G-207 series, the lenses allow some of the wearer's natural eye color to seep through-- this is what makes the lenses wearable and somewhat natural. I congratulate EOS (and GEO) for developing pink lenses that can be worn casually!

The enlarging effect of these lenses are phenomenal! The G-207 series are 0.30mm smaller than Geo Super Nudy Series, yet, the two look relatively the same size! (If you check out my YouTube video review on these lenses, I am wearing Super Nudy Grey on my right eye and G-207 Pink on the other). I believe it is the darker outer rim on the G-207 model that makes it enlarge so well. If you want larger eyes, these lenses are a great one to get without having to wear larger size lenses.

These lenses are great considering the great color, great reflective effect, great enlarging effect... BUT it has one horrible downside... It is uncomfortable!! I really, really hate to say it, but I really don't like these lenses =(. I have tried these lenses on at least 5 times, and every time, I can't stand to have them on for more than two hours. I could feel the lenses on my eyes. When I blink, I can feel the lenses move... Honestly, when I have them on I love nothing more than to take them out. I really wanted to like these... perhaps the GEO ones will be better? Its true that the comfort of contact lenses depends on the person who wears them, so I'm sure that these lenses probably feel amazingly awesome to someone else, but to me... they are just too uncomfortable.


Enlarging Effect: 5/5
Comfort: 1/5

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Review: EOS G-201 Pure Max Blue

I'm not exactly 100% positive about the common name "Pure Max Blue" so please tell me if I am wrong... all I know for definite is that G-201 brown and grey are part of the Pure Max Series (and they are in the same series as G-201 Blue).

EOS G-201 Blue is one of 5 color lenses that makes up the G-201 Series.
The G-201 series are 14.5mm lenses (the largest size lenses that EOS currently makes), 2tone lenses, with a radial lens pattern.

This model concentrates on making the pupils of the eyes larger as well as the iris in general. (the pupils are the dark parts of the eyes and the iris is the colored part).
They are able to create this illusion by making the color band of the lenses very small (leaving a big hole for the iris). Then around the color band is a dark grey rim (it is not black!). Because the lenses leave such a large space for the pupils, I do NOT recommend these lenses to you if you have light color eyes! (Blues, greens, hazels, etc. are no-nos!) Why? Because your natural eye color will seep through!! It is okay if you have dark eyes, because the lenses will simply make your dark iris color look like the pupil (this is how these lenses give your eyes the "dialated pupils" look). But if you have light color eyes.... lets say you have green eyes, for example, and you got G-201 Brown. Guess what will happen when you wear them? You will have the dark pupil in the center, then your natural eye color around the dark pupil (green) and the the brown color band, and finally, the dark grey outer band. You will look quite funny, ne? Unless you are looking for the rainbow eye look.


Above is a picture of me wearing the G-201 lenses. They are quite pretty, ne? Also, notice how the pupils look dialated (again, only works if you have dark eyes!)? The dark grey outer rim helps to make the eyes pop as well as give it an illusion of larger, more dimensioned eyes.

I actually really like the color of this lens. I've tried A LOT of blue lenses (now that I have darker hair... I find that blue lenses look better on darker (well on me when I have dark hair XD)). This model lens color is like a perfect shade of blue-- not too light (like the GEO Nudy Blue), not too dark (like the GEO Angel Blue), not too vibrant (like the EOS Dolly Eye Blue), and not too pale (like the EOS Adult Blue).

Like most circle lenses, theses lenses are reflective (to give that glassy dolly look). But I do not find them more any more reflective than the Angel Series (they are pretty much the same). When it comes to these lenses, I don't really care for the reflectiveness though. The pattern already kinda mimics reflection.
Oh, about reflection, these lenses gives your eyes a "halo" reflection (like the GEO Olive Series) instead of a "crescent" reflection (like the GEO Nudy Series). Just want to point that out.

I wore these lenses several times now and for various durations. I find that these lenses dry out more easily than... lets say the GEO Angel Blue. They are also slightly less comfortable. I am going to assume that this is because the G-201 Series is larger (usually larger lenses feel less comfortable on me). It is true that larger lenses dry out more easily too--- so I suppose that is the case, if it weren't for the fact that XCK-105 is more comfortable over a longer period of time XD. Maybe its because XCK-105 is only a 1tone lens? I must investigate more on this~

Enlarging Effect: 5/5
Reflective Effect: 4/5
Wearablility: 4/5
Comfort: 4/5

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Review: Ulta Eyeshadow Quads

Hey guys. So in February I made a purchase for several Ulta products.
Two of the products I've ordered were Ulta's Eyeshadow quads. They were a limited edition special, so some of the colors are no longer available. They are also now only available as singles.

Click Here to view all of Ulta's Eyeshadows.

The first quad I ordered was the yellow to blue quad.
All the shadows are frost shadows (they are shimmery) and are very pigmented. I was actually very surprised by the quality of these shadows!


I am not a big fan of bright, colorful eye makeup (especially blues) on myself, so I don't wear these shadows often, but the quality of these shadows are very nice! For drug-store eye shadows, they are pretty expensive (on Ulta.com they are sold for $7 each. The size of the singles are larger than the size shown on the quad though). The texture of the shadows are very silky-- so it blends quite easily. Another pro is that the colors are long lasting.
One thing I don't exactly like about these shadows is that they are too frosty. I don't mind the yellow (sunbeam) being frosty because its suppose to replicate the sun's reflective/glitteringness. But I don't think the green and blues work well as frost shadows. Like I mentioned before, I don't wear blue shadows often, but when I do, I would wear matte blues.
Another con, which is not exactly targeted to these colors, but on Ulta Shadows in general is that Ulta is continuously removing and adding colors to their Shadow line. Because of this, unfortunately, none of the colors above are available anymore.


The second quad I receive is a neutral color quad. And it is currently my go to colors! All the colors are available at Ulta and all of the colors are supposidly frost shadows (though Naked is actually matte).

My favorite color in this quad is truffle. I love how I can use it as a highlight because it is so frosty as well as an all over lid color! It is also just the right color to pull off a natural look. I simply love the pigmentation too. And like the previous quad colors, truffle is long lasting. The feel, however, is not silky. The shadow is very textured... but when you apply it to your eyes it goes on easily and silkily. This color is currently available for purchase on Ulta BUT the color looks a bit different on the site....

Seashell is also a great color. Like truffle, it can be use as a highlight as well as an all over lid color. And it is also very natural looking. Yes, it is frosty, but not overwhelmingly so when blended in. =] This is also available at Ulta. On the website, the color looks peachy but in actuality it is more pale pink.

Mink is a very pretty dark brown color. Although it is a frosty shadow, there is not a lot of shimmers when applied. I use it as a crease color. Sometimes I even use it wet as an eyeliner. The color is gorgeous color and the color payoff is great. The texture, pigmentation, wear, is just like the other Ulta shadows.
This is color is also still available (but like truffle, the color looks a bit different on the site...)

Naked... I HATE. It is SUPPOSED to be a frost shadow but its NOT! Its matte. I wouldn't mind it being matte if it wasn't for the awful color payoff. It is not pigmented at all. Just to get the swatch above, I had to swatch the color several times. I honestly can't even use this as a highlight color... Though the eyeshadow is silky to the touch, the quality of the color is horrible. It blends horribly, it is not pigmented, and it doesn't last. I am so disappointed with this shadow... I really like the other Ulta colors, and I really wanted to like this too... but I was let down...


Ratings:
Pigmentation: 4/5 (Naked was just horrible... but the pigmentation for all the other colors were great!!)
Price: 3/5 (expensive for a drugstore eyeshadow singles)
Wear: 4/5
Availability of Colors: 4/5


Oh! By the way, for the month of July, Ulta Eyeshadows are are on sale for $3 (57% OFF!!)! Thats deff a great buy, so check them out! =]

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Circle Lens Issue

A lot of people have been bashing circle lenses lately-- and its really frustrating!!

Circle lenses are cosmetic accessories as well as medical devices. They have as much of a chance in making you blind or get an eye infection as any other contacts out in the market. Anything that comes in contact with your eyes have a potential of causing eye damage. If a person gets eye damage or not depends on how they take care of their lenses and their eyes.

I also want to point out that several facts expressed in the NY Times article is actually not true.
"... [circle lenses] make the eyes appear larger because they cover not just the iris, as normal lenses do, but also part of the whites"
The quote above, for example, is not absolutely true. Although there are 14.2, 14.5, and 14.8mm lenses available, most circle lenses are 14.0mm-- the exact same size as most (with the exception of Astigmatism Lenses) prescribed contact lenses in the US. My Acuvue Oasys prescribed lenses, and Acuvue Color 2 lenses are both 14.0mm. And you know what? If you have prescribed contacts and do not have Astigmatism, you probably wear 14.0mm prescribed lenses as well!! In fact, most people who don't have astigmatism lenses wear 14.0mm contact lenses. That's the exact same size as the majority of circle lenses! Circle lenses makes the eyes appear larger because the colored part of the lenses extend to almost the edge of the lens while regular colored contacts have a thick CLEAR outer rim. Refer to the images below:

Above: GEO Angel Brown (14.0mm lenses)
Notice the very small clear outer rim (if you can see it)
Picture from: Diary of a Shopaholic

Above: Acuvue Colors 2 Contacts
Notice that the lenses have a very thick CLEAR outer rim
Picture from: Acuvue.com

Fact: Most circle lenses are the same size regular contact lenses.

But don't get me wrong, there are larger circle lenses! And its true that larger circle lenses cover the whites of the eyes. And yes, this does block some oxygen from reaching your eyes. But there is a reason why so many people say that you should only wear circle lenses for around 6-8 hours! This is especially true for larger lenses! This is also true for normal contacts. If you wear your normal color contacts for over a certain amount of time, it will get dry, and your eyes will be lacking the oxygen it needs. Its just that because normal contacts are smaller in comparison to super sized circle lenses, it allows more oxygen to reach your eyes and that's why you can wear it for a longer period of time. Obviously if you wear super size circle lenses, you should take precautions in how long you wear them for. As long as you don't wear circle lenses for such an extended period of time, there is no reason why your eyes should have a oxygen deficit.


"...no major maker of contact lenses in the United States currently sells circle lenses"
Above is another excerpt from the NY Times article. Yet again, more so than the previous quote, this statement is FALSE.
Have you heard of Acuvue? Well I'm pretty sure you have! Acuvue makes Acuvue Oasys, the #1 Optometrist recommended prescribed contact lenses in the US. I have it, and most contact wearers have it. And guess what? Acuvue have a circle lens line!

1-Day Acuvue Define, it is called. It is a one day wear circle lens.
No major maker of contact lenses in the US? Wrong. Acuvue is a giant when it comes to contact lenses in the US.


"Karen Riley, a spokeswoman for the F.D.A., was a bit surprised... she did not know what circle lenses were or the extent to which they had caught on."
Though this might be true that Ms. Riley do not know what circle lenses are and etc, I just want to mention that GEO Medical (Korean Cosmetic Contacts Company, and the larger distributor of circle lenses in the US) is registered with the F.D.A. In fact, they were registered in 2004.
Reference link: http://geo21eye.com/index.html?subz=01&stepz=03
'nuff said.


"...shipments to the United States are illegal"
I am not positive about this, but I am pretty sure companies like GEO and EOS have secured trading rights/shipping rights in the US. Otherwise the company themselves would not have sent me their lenses. And I doubt that the two most prestigious Korean Companies would smuggle lenses in. I have also contacted other foreign cosmetic contacts companies inquiring for information about their lenses and on retail, but when I told them that I am from the US, they specifically told me that they weren't allowed to/unable to sell/distribute their products to the US. I doubt big companies like GEO, EOS, G&G, Debuea, etc. smuggled in lenses. But I might be wrong on this one (but I'm pretty sure I am right).


The article also goes on to say that Lady GaGa invented the "big eye" trend. FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE!!!! Totally NOT TRUE!!! Circle lenses have been popular in Korea and Japan WAYYY before her. And most Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese etc. celebrities have been wearing circle lenses since the hype started sometimes 4 years ago. I have not heard any problems with people wearing circle lenses since this whole chaos was started by NY Times.
But seriously-- if celebrities are willing to wear circle lenses, would they be dangerous? After all celebrities have enough money to buy "better" contacts from the US. And if it were true that circle lenses were bad, they probably would. But you know what? They didn't! GEO even designed several lenses (such as Ash Wing, Nudy Brown etc.) for celebrities (Japanese celebrities to be exact)!


I also want to say that although many circle lenses are not FDA approved, they ARE KFDA approved or approved by other associations like the FDA. If they weren't approved at all, you wouldn't see these lenses sold anywhere. ALSO that's why authenticity with circle lenses are such a big deal! If circle lenses were bad for you, whats the point of worrying over whether or not they are authentic? The thing is, KFDA approved circle lenses claims the circle lenses are safe to be worn by South Koreans. Does it have to be FDA approved to say a product is safe or not? Does all beauty products from foreign countries have to be approved by the FDA to be considered safe to use? No. Its not like the FDA have a better judgment than the KFDA and US Standards are not exactly the best either. Did you know that there are ingredients allowed in US products that are carcinogenic and are banned from European countries? Yeah... FDA approved...


And then there is the whole thing the article mentioned about being vain.How exactly does wearing circle lenses make you vain? Its a cosmetic accessory. Its like wearing false lashes! How can people compare circle lenses with being vain?? They want to enhance their looks, no? Is that a crime? People are getting surgeries left and right, but wearing circle lenses is vain? Would you rather have teens get plastic surgery for larger eyes? Wearing circle lenses is like wearing makeup. It is a personal choice.


Again, I would like to repeat that as long as the circle lens user take care in caring for their lenses and eyes by properly storing and cleaning then, there should be no problems caused to the eyes. Only those who improperly care for them will have damage to their eyes (but those people would probably give blame to circle lenses). I've know people who wears circle lenses everyday for years now and their eyes are FINE. NY Times claims circle lenses are bad for the eyes, yet they fail to mention any specific occurrences of eye damage, infection, blindness, etc. The article is a news article. It is Yellow journalism. It is not a scientific article. There are no statistics mentioned to prove the claim they are making.


Last additional points:
-Big eye trend did NOT start because of Lady Gaga
-Most circle lenses are the SAME size as contacts in the US
-Contacts should definitely be required to be fitted if you have astigmatism/your eyes have special needs. Otherwise most people wear regular 14.0mm lenses with a base curve of 8.2-8.8 without any issues (same category circle lenses falls in).
-Circle lenses cost $20-$30. Prescribed lenses cost over $40 (and they are mostly 2 week disposible). A doctor prescription cost over $60. (Some people say the article is a money making hoax)
-Circle lens shipments to the US is not illegal but selling them in the US currently is.
-GEO circle lenses are registered with the FDA though not FDA approved. It is KFDA approved.
-Circle lenses are safe to use upon good practices in storing and cleaning
-Acuvue makes circle lenses (MAJOR COMPANY!!)
-Circle lenses have been worn in Asian for YEARS!
- The article published in The New York Times is  one-sided.


I know that my views are probably bias because I am a circle lens wear and retailer, but I try to get as much fact across as possible. I want to mention all the key points the NY Times article mentioned and address them because I don't think they are entirely true.

If there are any mistakes or any incoherent facts, please tell me! =]

Another great blog reply on the article is: http://www.slate.com/id/2259817

Friday, July 9, 2010

Review: EOS Dolly Eye Blue

EOS Dolly Eye Series is one of EOS's most popular models of contact lenses. The product ID for the Dolly Series is V-209LB.
The lenses are 14.2mm and are available in prescription up to -10.00. It goes up in an interval of -.25 from -0.00 to -5.00. From -5.00 to -10.00 it goes up in an interval of -.50.

The Series is available in 5 colors: Brown, Grey, Green, Blue, and Violet.

Like most circle lenses, theses lenses can be worn up to 1 year.



Enlarging Effect: 5/5
Theses lenses does an amazing job in enlarging the eyes =].
I also like how the dark outer rim is not very thick

Wearability: 3/5
The Dolly Eye Series are unrealistic looking. The colors are opaque. Basically whatever color you see in the vial is the color your eyes are going to be. Because of this, your eyes do not have any natural gradations. The lenses is just two solid colors: blue and black. HOWEVER, the lenses do look better in a darker environment (when the colors are not so extremely bright) or from a distance. Spice your eyes up with some makeup and they will look less extreme.

Comfortability: 4/5
To me, these lenses feel the same on my eyes as any other circle lenses. They are not amazingly comfortable like the Acuvue Oasys (which I would rate 5/5), but that is because they are color contacts. Most color contacts feel less comfortable and moisturizing than clear contacts. I have worn these lenses up to 8 hours and I don't feel any discomfort.

My honest opinion:
I do like these lenses, but they are not for everyday wear. Its more something you wear when going to a costume event or a photo shoot.