April 27, 2016

Kawaii Box Review + GIVEAWAY


Kawaii Box is a super cute monthly subscription box of kawaii goodies by Blippo Kawaii Shop. In case you do not know - "kawaii" means "cute" in Japanese. And the word "cute" describes the contents of this subscription box very well!

I've previously reviewed Blippo's Japan Candy Box, which is a similar subscription box filled with cute snacks and candies. However, Mika from Blippo kindly offered me another box to review and also host a giveaway along with that! So read on and enter the giveaway at the end of the post if you're interested in receiving a similar box.


Apollo Chocolate DIY Kit - I was really happy to see a DIY candy kit in my kawaii box, although the last one we tried didn't really taste that well. I guess I like the interactive part of making the candies. However, this Apollo DIY kit actually seems very promising, because these strawberry chocolates are very popular in Japan and hopefully the DIY kit will taste like the original Meiji Apollo Candies! I'll probably write a seperate post on it later. :)


Kokeshi Notebook - A small notebook perfect for some quick notes and lists.

Kawaii Pets Sticker Sheet - These are really cute, although I'm not sure what to do with them yet! First thing I could think of was to decorate my COSRX lotion and a compact mirror, but I still have a bunch left.


Emoji Plush Charm - This is pretty cool! Unfortunately, I also haven't found real use for it yet.

Friendly Animal Color Pen - I got it in red. It's nice for decorating notes and making them more colorful.

Stick Chewing Gum Ereaser - For a second I really thought it was a chewing gum, but unfortunately it's an ereaser, haha. I honestly can't remember when I last used one, so I will keep it unopened until I find someone who actually needs it. It looks very cute, though! :)


Polka Dot Hairband - How adorable is that hairband!? I actually have it in my hair now as I write this post! :) I like to tie my hair up at home so it's perfect.

Cute Travel Lock - This would be useful to lock your luggage or anything else you want to keep safe.


Polygon Bracelet - I don't really wear bright colors myself, but I could potentially use it as a gift, I think.

Happy Mini Towel - This is really small, but could be useful to carry around in your bag.


Panda Sleepmask - This is probably my favourite item from the box! It looks so cute and I actually really like to use it, I can't believe I never got myself an eye mask before. Mr.Yukitty also approves of this one. We definitely need more of these cute eye masks now.


Final thoughts: This box was definitely filled with cuteness! I received many things I now love to use, but there were also a couple of odd ones I don't have use for just yet. Neverthless, I like how versatile it was. It would be perfect for anyone who loves kawaii things. Not to mention it's very exciting to receive a box like this without knowing what's inside!

Each Kawaii box includes 10-12 super cute kawaii products from Japan & Korea and the prices start at $17.90/a month.


Kawaii Box is also giving one of my readers a free box to try! Just enter the giveaway below for a chance to win!

 
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April 25, 2016

MASK MONDAY: Soc 3D Rice Wine Beauty Serum Mask Pack & Laffair AQUA 3 Step Skin Renewal Mask


All sheet mask fans unite, because it's time for another mask monday post! In fact, I'm more than amazed with myself for keeping these mask mondays going so consistently every week. I recon there might be a time in the future, when I can't write a mask monday post, because I simply don't have any new masks to test, but I think there's also a way around that. I could do roundups, hauls, etc.

Either way, mask mondays are here to stay and today I'm going to share my experience with 3D Rice Wine mask and Aqua 3 Step mask! It's my first time trying both 3D and 3 Step masks, btw. I did already try a 4D mask, though!


Soc 3D Rice Wine Beauty Serum Mask Pack


Description: Durable 3-dimensional mask that is not flat like regular sheet masks.

Recommended wearing time: 10-15 minutes.

Volume: 25ml.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lactobacillus/Panax Ginseng Root Ferment Filtrate, Lactobacillus/Rice Ferment Filtrate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Folic Acid, Human Oligopeptide-1, Lecithin, PEG/PPG-18/4 Copolymer, Polysorbate 20, Propylene Glycol, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Carbomer, PVM/MA Copolymer, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Ethanol, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Methylparaben, Fragrance. (View on CosDNA.)


The fit might look a bit odd, but it actually felt really good on. Similarly to a 4D mask it was stuck to my face and successfully covered my whole chin area.

I'm not sure why the recommended wearing time is said to be 10-15 minutes only. I had it on for about 40 minutes and the mask was still very moist by then. It had a thecker gel-type essence. There was also a bit of extra essence in the packet which I squeezed out and applied all over the mask.

The sheet itself had very nice quality. It was strong and flexible. It also had a mild scent, which didn't remind me of anything specific, but was nice.

The ingredient list for this mask is also very impressive: collagen, sodium hyaluronate, fermented goodness, aloe & human oligopeptide. I know, the last one may sound weird, but it's actually a polypeptide of 53 amino acids and not derived from humans.

The aftermath

This rice wine mask was super soothing and hydrating and left my skin plumped. I belive it also accelerates skin's healing process, but I've only used 1 mask so I can't give you a full "tried & tested" review. I do think it's something to stock up on, though! Up to now, I had never heard of SOC before, but I kind of want to try all of their masks now.

Where to buy?
I was so amazed when I found out that this mask costs only $1 at Skin18! I thought it would be at least $3 to be honest, because it's a 3D mask and packed with such nice ingredients.


Laffair AQUA 3 Step Skin Renewal Mask


Description: This 3 step mask comes with a facial foaming cleanser and a high functional ampoule.

Recommended wearing time: 15-20 minutes.

Volume: 25ml

Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Beta-Glucan, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Adenosine(0.04%), PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Citrullus Colocynthis Fruit Extract, Velvet Extract, Castanea Sativa (Chestnut) Seed Extract, Angelica Acutiloba Root Extract, Rheum Palmatum Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Betaine, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Houttuynia Cordata Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA. (View on CosDNA.


Finally, I get to pull out my set of of super cheap pH strips from Ebay, which allow me to be more sciency than ever before. I know there are better options too, but I don't really use them very often. I pH tested every micellar water and shower gel in my home when I first received these strips and doing that confirmed me that these were all pH balanced, so there's really no need to pH test every single product I own.

However, many AB foam cleansers are known to have ridiculously high pH level. So the first step to reviewing this 3 step sheet mask was, of course, to test the pH of the foam cleanser.


As I already said, these pH strips were super cheap, so they're not very good if you want to know the exact pH level of something. However, I think it's safe to say that the pH of this cleanser is definitely above 7, which is considered too high. In fact, anything that has higher pH than water, should not go on your face including bar soap and baking soda. 

The cleanser had a super yummy sweet fruity scent, though, and I did try it for the sake of this review, but overall I wasn't impressed with it. I believe this is largely due to the fact that ever since I pH tested it, I already made up my mind that it's not very good.

The ampoule was okay. It was a thick gel-type of liquid, but unfortunately didn't have the same fruity scent that the cleanser had. So it was simply okay, I guess.


Lastly, the sheet mask itself was divine! The material of this mask was so nice. The sheet adhered tightly to my face and stayed put. The mouth area was kind of out of place on me, but we'll let it slide.

It had a pleasant fresh scent and also a thick clear essence, which I personally like because it doesn't drip everywhere. I also think that masks with this gel type of essence seem to stay moist for longer. I had it on for about 40 minutes or more. There was loads of extra essence in the packet too.

The aftermath

My skin felt moisturized and calm, although I think this is pretty average. I personally prefered the essence on the SOC mask, but this mask had a really nice material & fit.

However, I find that I'm not a big fan of this 3 step system. I understand it might be good for travelling, but I don't think a true skin care enthusiast would replace their low pH cleanser with this high pH one. Therefore, there's no reason to pay extra for that.

Where to buy?
Laffair AQUA 3 Step Skin Renewal Mask is available at Skin18 for $2.20.

In conclusion, these were both really nice, but I'd rather recommend stocking up on the SOC masks! If you do want to try the Laffair ones, I would advice you to not use the cleanser that comes with it.

Want to read more about sheet masks? Check out my previous mask mondays too! 
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Skin18.com, all thoughts are my own.
 
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April 20, 2016

A Mess-Free Browcara You Need to Try


Let's talk about eyebrows! For the past year or two I've been drawing mine with a brow gelcreme, which I absolutely love, but I guess it's about time to try something different. 

I received Vely Vely's I'm Custom Coloring Browcara from BNT News this month and although browcaras aren't exactly new to me, it has been a while since I last used one. 

  • Description: This eyebrow mascara lets you sweep gorgeous color to fill your brows for a natural look.
  • Size: 6g.
  • Color selection: 3 shades - gold brown, red brown & deep brown.
First of all, you should probably know that I take eyebrows very seriously. To quote this product's description on Vely Vely's homepage "A good pair of eyebrows can make you look prettier instantly without the need for heavier makeup." Any eyebrow product that smudges easily and needs to be reapplied often has no place in my makeup pouch. Luckily, this Vely Vely browcara was not like that! 


It comes in a simple yet tasteful packaging and I love the color combination they have used. The wand of this browcara is somewhat different than a regular one. According to Vely Vely "the shorter side allows subtle touch for fuller coloring and the longer side is for setting the color." I'm still not entirely sure what's the correct way of using it, but it's certainly nice to have two different sides to play around with.


What amazed me the most is that first of all, it was quite hard to swatch. It doesn't apply on skin that easily, which obviously makes it a good mess-free browcara, since you won't get the product all-around your eyebrows. Yet, once you sweep it through your brows a couple of times, it blends out and also fills in the brows. 

It's completely waterproof and since I don't usually remove my brow makeup (don't judge me, I like to wake up with eyebrows, okay?) I still had it on the next day. I love using MAC's brow gelcreme for the same exact reason. And although the application progress of these 2 products is completely different I find that I love using both. A browcara delivers a more natural look, though!

Here's what I used to do my eyebrows with Vely Vely IM Custom Coloring Browcara. Too Cool For School Contouring Palette, a super cheap angled brush from Ebay & of course the browcara from Vely Vely.


I find that you could use the browcara alone too, but I'm kind of obsessed with my eyebrows and want them to look a certain way, so here's what I came up with. The first photo is my eyebrows with matte brown contouring powder and the second photo is contouring powder + browcara. Obviously, I prefer the second version.


Now you just have to use your imagination and think how nice it would look if I also had eyelashes.

Overall, I really liked this browcara. As I already said above the lasting power of this product is also phenomenal, so my only complaint really is that it might be a bit expensive with shipping included.

This Im Custom Coloring Browcara is available at I'm Vely for $19.6
Disclaimer: This product was sent to me on review purpose by BNT News. Visit their website to be up to date with all the latest Korean entertainment news & trends!
 
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April 19, 2016

I Tried Yet Another Kbeauty Concealer Called 'Vely Vely IM Custom FLAWLESS Concealer'

I don't know if you've heard of Vely Vely already, but it's definitely a brand that deserves some attention. Go visit their website, and tell me you are not intrigued!

Well, you may not be, if you have no interest in Korean cosmetics, but I found myself instantly drawn into.

That being said, I had very high hopes when I received two Vely Vely's new makeup products to review - IM Custom FLAWLESS Concealer and IM Custom Coloring Browcara. So I decided to start off this Vely Vely mini-series by reviewing the concealer first.

Vely Vely IM Custom FLAWLESS Concealer Review

Description: Hide those unwanted blemishes and dark spots on the face with this concealer. It has a wand applicator that makes everything easy, a handy and sleek tube that serves as the liquid concealer's container and a twist closure. The concealer also provides sun protection. (SPF30/PA++)

Size: 6g.

Colors available: Light & Natural.

Ingredients: Water, Titanium Dioxide, Cyclopentasiloxane, Phenyl Trimethicone, Talc, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, PVP, Yellow Iron Oxide (CI 77492), PEG-10 Dimethicone, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Sodium Chloride, Red Iron Oxide (CI 77491), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Aluminum Hydroxide, Boron Nitride, Stearic Acid, Black Iron Oxide (CI 77499), 1-2 Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Dimethicone, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Fragrance. (View on CosDNA.)


It has a spatula-shaped tip and I think the packaging of this concealer is very chic and sophisticated. The formula is easy to blend and covers imperfections very well. I've also been applying it underneath my eyes using a blending sponge and MAC Fix+.

The only downside is that it is quite strongly scented, which unfortunately is very common among Korean concealers. The scent is a mixture of floral and herbal fragrances and mostly reminds me of chamomile. 


I couldn't help but start comparing it to the SAEM's concealer, which I reviewed a month ago. A shade comparison shows that the SAEM's shade 01 is a bit lighter, so that suits me better right now.

In terms of performance and coverage they are very similar, though. So I would use both equally if it wasn't for the shade difference. Right now my plan is to use up the SAEM's concealer first as the Vely Vely one will likely match my skin tone better during or after summer.


If put side by side I initially thought Vely Vely's concealer would have more product in it, however it's actually the other way around! Vely Vely has 6g and the SAEM 6,5g, which means the SAEM's concealer is way more compact. Also, it's not as strongly scented.


Another thing I noticed is that these 2 concealers have very similar ingredients. So similar, I was actually able to copy-paste the first 10 ingredients from my previous The Saem review, while typing out the list for this product.

This makes me think that this Vely Vely concealer is probably not the most cost-effective choice. (It's $25 for Vely Vely vs $5.5 for the SAEM, btw.)

Considering all this I must say that they are both very good concealers, but since they are so similar in terms of performance, I'd probably choose to repurchase the SAEM, because it's also way more affordable.

Bottom line: I did like this Vely Vely concealer and I can definitely see myself using it. However, it happens to be a tad bit overpriced.
Disclaimer: This product was sent to me on review purpose by BNT News. Visit their website to be up to date with all the latest Korean entertainment news & trends!
 
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April 18, 2016

MASK MONDAY: Beaubeaute 'Collagen Hydrogel Mask' & Foodaholic 'Salmon Roe 4D Mask'

I have 2 very different masks to tell you about this time around. One is a collagen hydrogel mask, which should be fairly familiar, since it's similar to other hydrogel masks I've had a chance to try. It comes in two pieces - one for the upper part of your face and one for the lower.

The other mask, however, is a salmon roe 4D mask, which is one of the newer mask types I have yet to try. The packaging doesn't look very different, but the image on the back of it had me a bit scared. Apparently, this also has ear holes? You'll see soon!


Beaubeaute Collagen Extracts Hydrogel Essence Beauty Mask

Description: Rich essence and a high-strenght gel provide moisture and nutrition for dry and sensitive skin.

How to use: Wash face and use a skin toner to increase effectiveness. Take out the gel mask and remove the plastic covers. Wear for about 30 minutes and relax.

Volume: 25g.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Ceratonia Silique Gum, Xanthan Gum, Licorice Root Extract, Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Polygonum Multiflorum Root Extract, Sesame Seed Extract, Phellinus Linteus Extract, Angelica Gigas Root Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Lavender Flower Extract, Monarda Didyma Leaf Extract, Peppermint Leaf Extract, Freesia Alba Flower Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Matricaria Flower Extract, Chondrus Crispus Powder, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Bambusa Textilis Stem Extract, Pinus Palustris Leaf Extract, Allantoin, Adenosine, PEG-60 Hydrogenerated Castor Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Caffeoyl Tripeptide-1, Beta-Glucan, Calcium Lactate, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA. (View on CosDNA.)


I have many good things to say about this mask. It had a transparent jelly-like texture, which felt so good and soothing! I wore it for about 40 minutes and it pretty much became one with my face by then. I even found myself wondering whether it would be ok to keep it on forever.

The essence of this mask is packed with herbal extracts (see the ingredient list above) and the mask itself was very moist. I actually didn't want to take photos of holding it in my hand, because I saw some essence was about to drip and I didn't want to loose any of that goodness.

It fit my face well around the eye, nose and mouth area. I guess the jaw and forehead part could have been 1cm longer, but no biggie! I just wish there was a bit more of that lovely mask you know! :)

It also had a mild scent, which was nice, and there was an extra mask for your mouth in the package!

The aftermath

Since I wore it for about 40 minutes there wasn't much essence left on my face, but my skin did look better - more supple, refreshed and moist. It had a bit of a sticky finish like every other mask I've tried recently, but I wouldn't really count that as a con, since it goes away quickly. Especially if you apply more skin care after your mask.

In fact, I find that this slightly sticky finish is so common that I should stop mentioning it unless it's really bad?

In conclusion: I would recommend this collagen mask since I really enjoyed wearing it and it also delivered some nice results. It's more expensive than cotton sheet masks, but well worth the price. For example, I think it definitely ranks a notch above the Nature Republic hydrogel mask, which I tried recently and I also found it more enjoyable than the Four Seasons Collagen Mask, which came in a cotton sheet form.

Where to buy? You can order Beaubeaute 'Collagen Hydrogel Beauty Mask' from Skin18 for $4.50 a mask.


Foodaholic 4D Skinny Fit Salmon Roe Mask

Description: This super food mask pack is formulated with salmon egg extract and has high-antioxidant and high-moisture effect. 4-dimension sheet with ear hanger provides lifting effect to increase the adhesion and excellent moisture absorption into the skin.

How to use: After washing the face, prepare skin with a toner. Match the sheet with your eyes and pull a part of incision sheet to ears and hang it on. Remove the mask after 20-30 minutes. Do not rinse. 

Volume: 33ml.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Trethanolamine, Allanton, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Salmon Egg Extract (33mg), Brassica Oleracea ltalica Extract, Potassium Oilvate, Lavender Extract, Blueberry Fruit Extract, Jasmine Extract, Matricaria Extract, Orange Fruit Extract, Pumpkin Fruit Extract, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Honey, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Panthenol, Fragrance. (View on CosDNA.)


First thoughts: wow, this looks rather thick.


So, this mask is a bit thicker than a "normal sheet mask", but I guess it has to be like that. Otherwise it would break while you are stretching it out to put the mask behind your ears. The material itself was very soft, though.

It may look a bit dry, because there's no essence dripping, but there was plenty absorbed into the sheet itself. I was able to wear it for more than 50 minutes. Apparently the thick sheet holds moisture very well!

I must say I really enjoyed the 4D design. I was a bit reluctant of trying it at first, because I wasn't sure about the whole "sheet mask behind my ears" thing. However, it felt very comfortable, especially because it was stuck to my face and I could move around if necessary.

I wasn't a big fan of the scent of this mask, though. It had quite a strong fragrance, which I think is supposed to be lavender, but mostly reminded me of shower gel or soap. I guess it's still better than putting on a mask that smells like salmon roe, though!

On the other hand, scent can be very subjective. I handed both of these empty sheet mask packets to my boyfriend to see which one he thinks has better fragrance and he actually said he likes the scent of this Foodaholic 4D mask better than the collagen one!

The aftermath

In terms of effectiveness, this mask was pretty average. My skin felt more hydrated and refreshed, but I don't think it was as effective as the collagen mask I reviewed above.

In conclusion: I did like how comfy this 4D design was, but there might be some more effective 4D masks out there. What is more, I personally didn't really enjoy it's scent, so overall I wouldn't repurchase this particular 4D mask. I am willing to try other Foodaholic 4D masks, though! Have you tried any? I'm looking for recommendations!

Where to buy? Salmon Roe & other fancy 4D masks can be found at Skin18 for $3.30 a mask!

Want to read more about sheet masks? Check out my previous mask mondays too! 
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Skin18.com, all thoughts are my own.
 
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April 12, 2016

Eyeshadow Recommendation: Ameli 'Sparkle Spot' Eyeshadows

One of the products I received from Two Face Mall to review was this Ameli Sparkle Spot Eye Shadow in #501 Champagne. It's a beautiful champagne gold color that would flatter any skin tone, although I found that it looks especially good when paired with blue lenses!


Ameli is a Korean brand that I've personally never heard of before, but after doing some research I found that they are, in fact, best known for their sparkly and beautiful eyeshadows.

I've been playing around with mine for a bit and I'm quite impressed with it's quality! Although it's also very different from any other eyeshadow I own. It's definitely not a typical shimmery shadow, but more like shimmer + glitter, I think. It looks a bit chunky in the pot, but blends out beautifully. I also found that it applies more evenly and you get less fallout if you use your fingers for application instead of a brush.


There's 4g of shadow in one compact. That's 3 times the size of a single MAC eyeshadow! So I think Ameli shadows would be a great choice for certain eye shadow colors you tend to use a lot.

Here's the color chart for all Ameli Sparkle Spot Eye Shadows. There are 18 shades in total and I can definitely spot a few more that I'd like to try!


Where to buy?
All these shades are available at Two Face Mall and you can get them for $23.15 each, which is not much if you think about the amount of product they include.

What is your favourite eye shadow brand?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, published in partnership with Two Face Mall. All opinions expressed are my own.
 
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