Fresh Soy Face Serum review / swatch

Fresh Soy Face Serum retails for $45USD for 1 oz (30ml). Which is actually a surprising ok price given most Fresh products are rather overpriced..., and most Asian brand serums from department stores easily exceed 60-80USD now anyway.

The serum is meant to be hydrating and also age-defying.

Ingredient list:

-Amino Acid-rich Soy proteins: retain moisture, stimulate collagen synthesis, and encourage cell turnover.
-Hibiscus Peptides: Soften expression lines.
-Anise Fruit Extract: smooths the skin.
-Cucumber Extract: Calms and soothes. 

Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric/Succinic Triglyceride, Sodium Polyacrylate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Hibiscus Esculentus Extract, Commiphora Myrrha Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Pimpinella Anisum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Root Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cyathea Medullaris Leaf Extract, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil,Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Retinyl Palmitate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum (Ceratonia Siliqua), Silica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dextrin, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Polyacrylamide, Tetrasodium Edta, Citric Acid, Laureth-7, Citronellol, Geraniol, Carbomer, Pentylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Xanthan Gum, Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), C13-14 Isoparaffin, Potassium Sorbate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, BHT. 

 Comes in a pump bottle dispenser:

The product is a light gel creme consistency- not runny serum, but liquefies a bit once I spread it on my face. The instructions say after cleansing and toning, apply serum, then also the soy face cream.  I typically do not use a face cream on a regular basis (only when my face is extra dry, since I have combo-sensitive skin at the moment).

It smells like the rest of the Fresh soy line products- I cant quite pinpoint what it is, it just had that 'organic' smell, a bit like raw wheat or soy bean I guess. I don't find it bad or good, the scent disappears quickly anyway. 

The serum absorbs easily and quickly into the skin and seems to sit well under my sunscreen during day time as well (which is Sofina Beaute day protector SPF50, sometimes I use the Jenne SPF50 or the Beaute day protector SPF24 versions). Doesn't interfere with my makeup application either.

The skin feels a touch smoother after application. One pump is all I need for the full face.

Overall I found it to be a nice serum, can't really tell on the anti-aging or youthfulness front since I'm not in dire need of either yet, but in terms of hydration and keeping the skin supple, it does a good job.

I tend to alternative a hydrating serum with a whitening serum so will gladly finish this one up.

p.s. this serum comes in a pump bottle for a reason, I do find that if I didn't use it for a week or something, on the next pump it clearly oxidises a bit and shows a darker yellow on first pump.

Rating of 4/5, it does feel rather nice on the face and compared to other Fresh products the price tag is quite ok.


Chanel Blue Illusion d'Ombre Apparition/ Destination review/ swatches

Here's a quick review of the 2012 Chanel Blue Illusion collection which included 2 Illusion d'ombre shades. Apparation and Destination. 

As they are limited edition numbers there are no color codes in front of the shade names.

Apparition on the left, Destination on the right.

In the container Apparition is a deep deep marine/ navy blue sort of shade. It's not quite 'blackened' but still very dark. 
Destination is a lighter blue, more like a lake blue color. It seems like there's a touch of silver inside.

As with all Illusion d'ombre, they are like a souffle consistency, it's like a moist powder/ cream sort of finish, which can yield a highly metallic shimmery finish if applied more densely.

Swatches below, the blackened-ness of the Apparition shade is more obvious once applied, which makes this more wearable for a dark blue. It's not those in-you-face 80s blue eyeshadow sort of shade, instead it's rather understated and easy to wear. There's some shimmer inside, but if you apply more heavily it is still rather understated.

Destination on the other hand, applies lighter than expected- you can layer for more color but again, the silvery shimmer is more obvious in this shade and I really cant think of suitable ways to wear this for myself other than a subtle wash. It's also slightly 'greyed' so it's not a very vibrant spring sort of pastel blue shade either, it's more muted than I expected.

Overall nice and interesting shades from Chanel. I don't feel they are must haves because unless you like blue eyeshadows these aren't very versatile (other than the Apparition shade which can be easily worn as a liner shade or crease shade on a daily basis). Rating 3/5.


Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour 561 Suspicious Review/ swatch polish

Chanel 561 suspicious is from 2012 collection, either Spring or Summer.

In the bottle it looks like a glossy deepened raspberry/cranberry red. Under some lights there's even a hint of magenta.

Picture below is with 1 coat- it was surprisingly pigmented. I quite liked the finish of just 1 coat as well, it looked like a very glossy, candy cranberry red- very juicy looking, without being too darkened a red.

All pics below are with two coats. I don't think the shade needed a topcoat to add any glossiness to it but I just added Seche Vite top coat to ensure it lasts longer.

With two coats it becomes a more deepened, even richer dark cranberry red. It has a certain vibrancy to it, so while it's not in those category of fire engine glaring red, it's still a bright pop of spring red. 
There's no shimmers or pearliness or anything in this shade, it's a pure pigmented gloss finish, not creme, just quite jelly either (as there's such opacity with two coats).

 Under direct sunlight below:

Overall rating 4/5. not super unique but it's very pretty and a happy shade to wear in spring/ summer.


OPI You Callin' Me A Lyre? NL T51 NYC Ballet Soft Shades swatch/ review

OPI NYC Ballet Soft shades (2012 spring collection) was a collection of nude ivory/ peaches and pinks collection. They are truely very ballet shades or bridal nail color sort of selection.

I picked "You Callin' Me A Lyre" since it seemed like a safe color, without being too nude and bandaid like.

In the bottle it looks like a ivory pink with a hint of peach. Very pale though.

You can see there's no shimmers or pearliness or glitters etc, it's just a milky gloss.

Here it is with 2 coats. These are like day 4 of wear actually since I couldn't find my camera first few days. so they held up rather well. Unfortunately I didn't do a too good job waiting for it to dry slightly between coats so it was a bit uneven on a few tips. 

Nevertheless you can see what the color is like under different lighting- it's basically a ivory white and some angles you get slightly more of that pink base - but the peach base is non-existent on me. I really can't think of many nicer things to say about this shade since it's such a 'safe' color, it's those shades that makes your nails look nice and glossy, but it doesn't take any attention away from the rest of your outfit.

I'm currently about two shades more tanned than normal since I just came back from holidays so under yellow lights it can look a bit too pale. The difference between this shade and other OPI previous nude shade is that it seems to be a bit more glossy and more 'jelly' finish, it is still uneven with 1 coat so 2 coat is minimum, but I can see it still looking pretty with 3 coats.

Overall 3.5/5 , it's nice but I feel I have plenty more shades like this...


Lunasol Nail Color Nail Finish N 08 Pearlish Pink swatch/ review

Here's Lunasol's Nail Finish N in shade 08, "Pearlish Pink".

In the bottle it looks like a pearly, slightly shimmery light to medium pink. It reminded me a bit of OPI Suzi sells seashells in terms of the pink base color, however it turns out it's rather different.

These are 10ml and retails for 1500 yen (about 18AUD, however you can often find them on sale online or when they release certain GWP sets in Asia).

I think this picture is most accurate of the color:

Here's 2 coats. it applied really smoothly and evenly. (Over my Paul & Joe nail base coat).

Indoor lights under flash it's a tinge paler than the real life pink shade.

Here's no flash, near natural sunlight. You can see it's a true pearly finish. It's a nice medium pink, in real life I'd call it a medium pink shade as opposed to a 'light' pink, even though in photos it always shows up lighter than in real life.

This shade held up exceptionally well, I'm not sure whether it's because I took extra care and time on application or because the quality is exceptional- it went on a solid 5 days before minor peeling. (seche vite top coat applied on top).

I would say OPI Suzi sells seashells is more 'milky' and opaque and slightly more nude, while is more a true pink. 

Overall rating 4.5/5. Such a pretty spring pink shade.


John Frieda Precision Foam Colour 6A Light Ash Brown (Brilliant Brunette) review/ swatch

It's been about 6 weeks since I went to the hairdresser for a professional hair color, the last few times I've dyed my hair I've been doing it at the hairdresser since I was just feeling a bit lazy. However the cost is getting a bit ridiculous since good Sydney hairdressers charges an arm and a leg for a cut and color (easily 120-180AUD depending on where you go).

I'm probably going to go to the hairdresser again soon since I need a haircut, my hair grows really quickly (easily 35-45cm a year), so with my few percentage of greys (probably 3% if I must put a number on it) and regrowth, realistically I need a touch up at least every 8 weeks and a cut every 12 weeks.

Between now and my next hair appointment for cut, I decided I wanted to touch up my roots and also the ends as my last color was fading, given I spent a good 4 weeks in the tropics for a relaxing beach holiday (and frequent use of the pool). My hair felt dry and lack lustre too.

I picked "6A Light Ash Brown" (which is the color code in Australia, may differ in other countries). There are several other darker looking browns, but reading from online reviews which complained the color went on really dark, I decided to go with a lighter looking foam color to start off with.

(p.s. I don't know why John Freida makes the top picture of the box black and white, which is pretty useless for a hairdye indicator photo in my books)

I think this is an accurate picture of what the box color is claiming the shade to be.

All my pictures are enlargeable if you click on them. 

Here's the content: instruction booklet, Bottle 1, 2 and 3, and a pair of plastic gloves.

Instructions in details:

Hair color BEFORE the John Frieda foam colour, this was about 6 weeks after my last professional hairdresser coloring. The ends are starting to look a bit straw like and brittle and losing a lot of color.

Below picture is still before hair dye: Under certain lights that color worn off is a lot more visible, e.g. below

here's the top of the head, where you can see a bit more orangy-brown showing with my previous hair color fading.

After mixing the step 1 and step 2 bottles, you get this much liquid in the squeeze bottle.

Squeezing the bottle's body, you get a dense foam like this:
(the gloves are black by the way)

After applying to my full head, which took a good 15 minutes. You can see the foam is there but it's not as dense as what it looks like on the box, which is my common experience with all the bubble foam hair dyes from any brand anyway. Even after massaging in circles like instructed, this is about as foam as I got.

The instructions say leave for 20 to 30 minutes then rinse with warm water. (it doesn't actually say to shampoo off). Then follow with the enclosed conditioner. I believe the 20-30 min instruction should exclude the amount of time it takes to apply to your hair.

I know my hair doesn't take color well, so after the 15 minutes it took to apply the foam, I left it on for another solid 35 minutes to ensure coverage, especially given the few grey roots I have.

After rinsing out, here's the wet hair look:
It rinsed rather easily just in my shower in about 5-10 minutes, didn't stain my tiles either. I forgot to apply lotions or vaseline to ear and forehead and while there was still some transfer on the skin, they came out easily after swiping with some usual face toner (anything with a little bit of alcohol content helps). I also followed with the enclosed conditioner instead of my own usual hair masques, applied for 5 min then rinse off.

The conditioner is decent, better than loreal sublime mousse one in the box anyway. Still not comparable to e.g. Kerastase hair masques.

Note I did not use a shampoo, based on the box instruction. I think shampooing immediately could take too much color out.

Here's AFTER I dried my hair. Indoors:

Outdoors, direct sunlight:

Again outdoors under natural sunlight:

All my pictures are clickable and can be enlarged to really quite large =)

Obviously the AFTER color, looks nothing like the color on the box, which I expected anyway. (I wasn't going after the color on the box). The look I was after was exactly as expected, evening out the faded color previously, cover a bit of grey, and take away that orange tone that was developing for the previous faded color. I also wanted a cool/ neutral brown instead of something red toned.

I'm very happy with the color, the finish and process. The foam was easy to use, didn't stink too badly, rinsed off really easily (easier than L'oreal Sublime mousse which was still staining even after 5 shampoos). 

Since applying this hair color a week ago I've had 6 shampoos and obviously the color has lightened even more. My hair condition is also fine, I don't find this to be super drying.

I'm even more pleased with the slight lightened look now, on the top portion of the hair it looks really nice, like a very natural dark dark ash brown, yet not a boring black indoors either. While the end of my hair looks healthier since it's darkened the faded ends. It looks like the hair color of some of my Eurasian friends- where it's not quite brown and not quite black.

The only gripe I have with this foam color is the grey coverage. It basically 'tints' your grey hair a bit and make the white hair look a bit like a very very light brown tone, but when I look closely at my roots I can still tell "yep that's a white hair right there".  On the whole I think it extends my next hairdresser dye appointment by another 2-3 weeks which is worth the money, but if you have obvious greys, this will not do.

Overall rating 4.5/5, would easily try this color again.

p.s. I have natural Asian black hair- so please bear in mind if you hair color started with medium brown or blonde this may look very different on you. I still think it'll not show up like the color on the box unless you started with very blonde hair. This is a shade that would easily look too dark on any non-natural black hair girls.