Chanel Levres Scintillantes Brilliant Extreme Glossimer #217 Red Shine review/ swatch

 Chanel is probably one of my favorite makeup brands- the packaging is lovely, the products are nice, the colors are usually rather elegant and sometimes they can make certain common colors just look a touch extra nice.

Here's a review of the Chanel Glossimer in shade 217 "Red Shine".
This was a limited edition shade.

Like most glossimers, they have shimmers or sparkles. Red Shine is a glossy red with flecks of soft shimmers inside. The shimmers are subtle even though they look more obvious in the tube. They aren't chunky glitters or very different shade to the red gloss base to make it stand out on the lips in a bad way.

Typical sponge tip applicator:

Swatches: you can see the shimmers don't really get picked up in camera, instead it just provides slight extra sparkle.

Lip swatches under 3 different lightings:

Indoor no flash

under the shade in the sun:

Indoor flash in warmer light:

You can see it's a pretty true cherry red shade, a glazed sort of finish, glossy and spreads to a thinner layer if desired or buildable to a thicker glossier finish. Under certain lights it's really quite red and bright. However it is not a scary blood red or bright red. It has its usual Chanel subtlety and elegance about it.

Rating is 3.5/5. I think glossimers are generally slightly too thick for me (however they surpass MAC lipglasses by far since they don't have that sinking into the lip lines and highlighting every single flaky sort of effect). The pigmentation is very decent in this shade as well (some lighter glossimer shades actually have not much color payoff at all).


Beaute de Kose Esprique Precious Face Styling Powder (contour/ highlighter) review/ swatch

So I'm finally getting through my massive stockpile of skincare pictures and reviews so now I can look at more makeup and nail polishes again!

Here's a recent staple item in my makeup bag- Kose Esprique Precious "Face Styling Powder", shade is #00. (Currently I'm not aware of any other shades being released).

When I received this I was slightly disappointed and worried since it looks a bit dull- in the pan it looked like a plain beige vanilla highlighter and a probably too dark taupe brown looking contour powder.

It comes in a nice white compact with crystal designs on the corners.

Back of palette has instructions on suggested usage.

Contains 9g of product total and also a dual ended brush applicator is included.

Plastic separator on top:

Here's a closer look at the color. You are not mistaken- the contour side is matte so there's no visible shimmers. While on the highlighter side you can see subtle shimmers.

Brush is dual ended, one with longer bristles and the other with shorter. I can't read the back packaging but I'm sure they recommend the longer bristle for 1 product and shorter bristle for the other. I think it's a smart idea having a dual ended applicator since given highlighting and contouring are pretty much the opposite objectives, you really wouldn't be wanting to use the same brush to apply both!

For me personally, I use the short bristle side for highlighter since it allows more precise application, the long bristle end for contour since it's a larger area application and the longer bristles seems to pick up a bit less powder so I can build it gradually.

Here are the swatches. I had to swatch quite heavily to get more color payoff:

The vanilla beige side is rather soft and finely milled. There are some flecks of larger shimmers but they are not large like MAC mineralize blush or skinfinish sort of large, just comparatively larger. The base color is really quite finely milled.

The Contour shade does not have as much taupe as I imagined. Instead it's not "flat" matte either, it's more a very finely milled satiny shade of natural tan that you would see on Asian skintone if I was actually a bit more tanned. It applies so subtly that makes it excellent for contouring and building up to desired shadow (without looking dirty).

I know I don't sound like I'm giving glowing reviews above, but this is an excellent and compact highlighter/ contour in one. The highlighter shade is very nice on my NC15/NC20 skintone. (I wear about the lightest or 2nd lightest shade in most foundations).  It provides that extra glow and highlight and make me look really refreshed.   I swipe this on bridge of nose, just under eyes and above cheek, and on C-shaped zone outside brows along temple.

The contour shade helps with that morning bloated face that I sometimes get from too much fluid retention. I apply the contour shade at the edge of face where the face meets the neck- this is also great as my neck is a shade lighter than the face so when I wear foundations that actually match my skintone, it can look like it's actually too pale compared to the neck, what this does is seamlessly blending the edges together to make it look more natural.

I think the contour shade is extremely natural especially on pale Asian skintone. I generally do not contour as I had a bit of difficulty finding a right contour shade- a lot of Western brand bronzers tend to be too 'tanned' in base color and too pigmented to allow a really subtle, buildable application.

While there are probably better highlighters out there, you can't really beat the convenience factor of this one. (The highlighter in this compact probably beats most Japanese drugstore highlighters I've used like from Canmake or Fasio or even highlighter shade in Coffret D'or blush compacts, as most of the shimmers in other brands are usually too chunky or the base color is too white or silvery to look natural).

Rating is 4/5. This retails for 25-30USD depending on where you get it. There's also no scent, and not a lot of powder flyaway. It stays in place quite well throughout the day and great for the 'refreshed' look and office days.


Stila Duo Convertible Color Lillium / Lip-gloss Petal Shine swatch/ review

Like most makeup users I once had a Stila phase a few years ago too- back when Stila was a cool, chic brand with great colors and gorgeous designs. (Until Estee Lauder bought the brand then it was all down hills).

Found this while I was cleaning up my makeup, this did bring back some good memories!

This was a limited edition Stila duo with half convertible color in shade "Lillium" and half is Stlia's lip gloss in Petal Shine.

Lillium is meant to be a soft pink creme blush (also usable on the lips) while petal shine lipgloss is meant to be  a pink shimmer.

It's basically a paper cardbox packaging with a plastic rim to make it more durable. Flips open but there's no mirror.

On the left is the Lillium convertible color, on the right is petal shine lipgloss.

Here are the swatches. Lillium convertible color is a surprise isn't it, looks dull in the pan but comes out as a soft creamy pink. And once you blend it out, it's a soft pink dewy finish.

The petal shine lipgloss was a bit of a meh for me, it's a mauvey-pink nude shimmer gloss,  bit thick and too much shimmers for my liking. 

Overall I can see why Lillium was always a convertible color that got good ratings on makeupalley.com, it's such a easy to use pink. I know once blended out, depending on your skintone, it may look a bit more generic. However if you saturate a bit more, it does give you that dolly pink cheek look. 

The convertible color isn't so brilliant on the lips especially as the shade does have that pink creme base to it. However it's nice on the cheeks.

Rating is 3/5 for the duo (given the gloss is a fail for me).


Max Factor Miracle Touch Creamy Blush #07 Soft Candy review/ swatch

I was overseas and accidentally left my blush in the hotel room makeup bag, so I randomly bought a quick cheap blush in the local Watsons .

I picked Max Factor's miracle Touch Creamy Blush in shade #07 Soft candy.

In the pot it looked like a juicy strawberry red, or fresh raspberry sort of shade. It's rather creamy and not too dry, definitely on the more moist side.

Comes in a rather no-frills type of packaging, a bit cheap looking to be honest. It's a screw top cap, which is lightweight to carry, but the screw mechanism is only a few twists so it can be accidentally opened in your handbag if not careful.

Made in Ireland :

Once applied it goes on like a light tint, buildable, and does not appear to be a heavy 'creme' finish that some cream type of blushes can have. (which makes some cream blushes quite hard to blend since if applied on top of foundation , they can ruin the finish of the foundation).

As with most cream blushes, it's probably best applied before liquid or powder foundations. However I find that after using a BB cream or a liquid foundation, I can carefully dot this on, and lightly pat in, without ruining the base makeup.  (Does not work so well over powder foundation though). 

Sometimes I apply a pretty heavy swipe then wait for it to set (like 15 seconds), then apply other liquid foundation or powder foundation, which then tones down the shade.

When blended out, you can see it really sheers down.  I'm not sure what 'soft candy' shade would really translate to, while I was hoping for a true sheer tint of natural red, it actually comes out more like a red coral, maybe it's with my Asian skintone it adds that yellow to the red base so it really looks like a peach coral on my skin.

This is as sheer as it can look when fully blended out below, which really says how buildable it is.

Overall it's a nice cheap blush, the color is nothing special though and the formula is standard, not bad but not brilliant. Rating is 3/5. It's something cheap to try (was like about $6USD in Asia), but in terms of real value for money, I found I got rather bored of this shade after a few weeks (whereas I'd happily hit pan on my Jill Stuart blushes). Also the surface of the blush can get a bit dirty after a while, since it's best applied with finger rather than brush. So it also makes it less appealing in the makeup bag.


What I used up this August - Vichy Rehydrating Thermal mask/ Peter Thomas Roth botanical buffing beads/ Ren Jojoba Micro Bead Purifying Facial Scrub/ La Cure dead sea mineral salt soap reviews

Still on my quest of reducing amount of skincare in my bathroom cupboards. Here's my effort for this August.

First Vichy Rehydratin Thermal Mask. It's meant to be a light creamy mask that is applied for cleansed skin, leave for 10 min then rinse off. It's supposed to be lightly warming when on the skin.

Comes in a no-fuss squeeze tube, flip open cap, and a pretty small size of 50ml. 

It looks like this...almost like a light moisturising cream. It's easily spreadable and rather light, does not leave an oily residue so doesn't really require a super through rinse off. It does go on lukewarm, has a very typical skincare scent which smells a bit artificial for my liking. 

Honestly, it's a very boring mask- after rinsing off it hardly does anything for the skin. There is no visible hydration. I've tried to leave it on overnight but it seemed to be slightly pore clogging and left my face shiny the next morning (while not intensely hydrating either). Definitely a pass and will not be repurchasing.

Rating is 1/5.

Next item is La Cure Dead Sea Mineral Salt Soap, which is a Jordon company. No idea whether it's a big brand or not, but it's stocked in a few tourist shops and hotels during my trip in Jordon. (and given we stayed in quite nice hotels and western resorts, I expect the brand to be at least up to the standard of those hotels).

It's meant to be consisted of palm oil, palm kernel oil, dead sea salt, glycerin, and some perfume. 

(Sorry, again blogger flipped my image)

Inside it's just shrinkwrapped like below.

Add water - you can see it's slightly foaming.

Overall I think it's clearly a body soap, not for the face. While it says recommended for dry skin, I think that's definitely a climate thing. Yes if you have dry skin while living in Jordon this might be hydrating enough. However when used in the winter cold Sydney, it's very clear there's enough salt in this to be a bit drying. That being said, it's good as a body soap for the back and chest area where you get some congestions or zits ocassionally, and that's what I've been using this soap for. 

It's especially good after I use a hair masque, and the masque residue leaves a slippery feeling on my back (which cannot be good for the skin), I double cleanse with this soap quickly and my back has been congestion free this season and generally smoother to touch.

The soap is a smooth soap, no granules or anything. It's quite nice for what I'm using it for, but I'm sure  a lot of soap brands out there can do similar things as I usually find soap to be a bit more drying than body washes for me.

Rating is 3.5/5. Nice product for my purposes, but entirely replaceable by probably a dozen brands out there.

Next is Peter Thomas Roth Botanical Buffing beads. It's for face and body , supposedly with sebum emulsifying jojoba beads, whole leaf aloe vera  and botanical nutrients.

When I first got really interested in makeup and skincare a few years ago, this was one of the highest rated products on www.makeupalley.com for a scrub (mainly for face).

I used a very small travel sized bottle and decided to buy a full sized bottle. Which is 250ml and comes in a really no-frills looking plastic bottle.

It comes in a click open cap like this- which is always clogged when product dries inside. Not the best mechanism- they need something with a bigger opening.

Product looks like below. It's a lot of super smooth, small jojoba beads suspended in a light blue gel. The scent is light, slightly cucumbery sort of scent. It's a pretty neutral scent so I'm sure guys won't have problem using it either.

Add a bit of water: you can see it spreads really easily, it's non foaming.

Massaged in and rinsed off:

It leaves the skin polished and not overly drying. It really was a staple for quite a few years for me, not too abrasive on my thin skin, yet sloughes off dead skin lightly and gently. However it's very similar to other products such as Ren Jojoba Micro Bead Purifying Facial Scrub or the Laneige Multiberry Yoghurt peeling gel which I reviewed before. In fact out of all 3, Laneige Multiberry Yoghurt peeling gel may be the better of it all, because the Ren Jojoba Micro Bead purifying facial scrub is similar to Peter Thomas Roth, while there's jojoba beads inside, the base is a usual cleanser base. The laneige base is an enzyme cleanser so not only do you get a light physical exfoliation with the jojoba beads, you also get a mild exfoliation overall with the enzyme in the Laneige cleanser.

Rating for Peter Thomas Roth is 4/5. It does the job, comes in an extremely generous size (honestly I had it for 2 years and used at most about 60% of it, even after using it as a body scrub occasionally). Personally I think it's too mild as a body scrub.

While I'm at it, here's the Ren Jojoba Micro Bead Purifying Facial Scrub. I quite like the Ren product concept and range in general, so this was a quick purchase on a whim.

It comes in a 150ml squeeze bottle. You may notice the bottom of the bottle seem a bit odd- basically most of Ren products come in these pump bottles which are refillable, the product itself is actually in like a plastic bag, which you pop into the bottle. While I think the whole refillable idea is nice, but honestly this isn't something like handwash where you would go through bottles constantly, so the refill idea isn't exactly super practical. (in addition it's inevitable that the bottle gets damaged or the pump gets blocked at some point, so it's hard to see the bottle lasting more than a year or two).

Active ingredients is jojoba oil, juniper oil and peppermint oil.

Ren says it's a deep cleansing scrub formulated with microbeads of jojoba oil. Apply on damp face, gentle massage then rinse.

Comes in a squeeze pump, which is easy to use and no blockage yet occurred.

You can barely see the jojoba beads below, but basically any white bit is the jojoba beads. The more gel bit is the cleanser base. There is a lot of jojoba beads and they are very small and round, it's pretty much like Peter Thomas Roth botanical buffing beads.

Added a little bit of water, massaged out. You can see it's a bit grainy looking, which is the jojoba beads. 

The jojoba beads do not melt or anything, it just rolls around the skin gentle as you massage it in.

Overall it's exactly like PTR botanical buffing beads. The Ren product has pretty minimal scent, but also rinses off just as easily. Like both products, the jojoba beads sometimes do get trapped slightly between eyelashes  as you rinse off, so just rinse off a bit more carefully. 

The Ren product has peppermint oil which means it has a very, very slight tingle/ cooling sensation and a very slight minty scent. It must be a very low concentration because after using it for a while, it's almost un-noticeable.

Rating is 4/5. It does what it says. Mild exfoliation.  For those needing a more serious scrub like those microdermabrasion type of scrubs (e.g. Dr Brandt or the Lancome version), this is probably too mild for you . But again, suitable for those with sensitive skin who only need a light scrub (more like polish actually) once a week.