Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Papier Poudre vs Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets

Today, I have a review for two blotting sheet packs that I own: Papier Poudre and Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets. :)

Papier Poudre

Cost: $3.65 for 65 sheets.

Ingredients: Talc (absorbent, anti-caking agent), Kaolin (absorbent qualities), Magnesium Silicate (absorbent, anti-caking agent), Titanium Dioxide (absorbs/reflects/scatters light aka mild sunscreen in product??), Iron Oxides (mineral pigment)
*Note* I've listed the ingredients for the current selling Papier Poudre sheets (those of which I do not own). I own the sheets with the old design on the packaging. For some reason, my packaging lists "Manesium Carbonate (absorbent qualities)" as an extra ingredient (which is not in the current Papier Poudre sheets).

Just fyi, this yellowy side of the blotting paper is not the powdered side. The pink side is the side you dab your skin with.

Packaging: Designed to look like a booklet of sheets, I originally thought this packaging was doomed. It's an open container so "something is bound to get in between the sheets and mess up the oil absorbing sheets," I thought. Interestingly enough though, I've been using this brand for about a year now and the container stays nice and solid even after throwing it around in my bag. Compared to other oil absorbing sheets I've used where you just pull out a sheet, with this one you have to tear the oil absorbing sheet off of the binding of the container. Nothing too difficult. I just always make sure to tear slowly so that I don't waste any of the paper.

Usage: I do wonder about how these work exactly though compared to other blotting sheets I've used like the popular Clean & Clear ones. When I use a Clean & Clear oil blotting sheet, it seems as if the oil on the skin is transfered over to the blue colored blotting sheet, making it become translucent. The Papier Poudre ones on the other hand, have a sheer layer of powder on top and although the pink paper does turn translucent after I use it, I wonder if it's simply because the powder has been applied to my skin? But I don't believe it's just that since the paper does begin to achieve that oil-filled look after heavy blotting. 

One thing to note about these sheets is that you don't want to over pat your face if you don't have a mirror on hand. Sometimes, when I continue to pat my face even though the sheet is clearly filled with oil, tiny specs of powder transfer over to my skin. Good to check your skin in the mirror having after used this blotting sheet (if you have a ton of oil) to make sure you don't have any specs on you. This has only happened to me twice in the past year.

Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets

Cost: Around $5 USD for 50 (5 x 8 cm) sheets.

Ingredients: poplypropylene (plastic, didn't know that one was in there), mineral oil (moisturizing ingredient), dimethyldibenzylidene sorbitol (pulls water/oil? from skin?), ultramarines (synthetic pigment)

Packaging: I was never a fan of the design of Clean & Clear's oil absorbing sheets packaging. I've been using these since they came out when I was in my teens and the packaging hasn't changed since. It's made out of several layers of cardboard but for some reason, it just sucks at holding up it's shape and has always done well to smash itself flat in all of my backpacks and handbags. If you have a lot of junk in your bag, excess particles can get onto the Clean & Clear "peel off sticker" (which is there to help you remove an oil absorbing sheet from the container) and then it just becomes useless. Given, if you have some double sided tape lying around, you could probably use that as a fix but not everyone may have some.

Usage: Easy to use if you aren't having issues with the peel off sticker and can get a sheet out. Fun to use because you can see how oily you are as the sheets become more and more translucent. Sheets are good quality as they don't rip apart even after being filled with oil. I've had this happen with some really thin paper oil absorbing sheets I've used before.

In my opinion, Papier Poudre trumps Clean & Clear's oil absorbing sheets for the following five reasons:
1. Papier Poudre is made out of paper, not polypropylene (plastic) like Clean & Clear's oil absorbing sheets are.
2. Papier Poudre costs less and gives you more at $3.65 for 65 sheets compared to Clean & Clear's ~$5.00 for 50 sheets. Granted, the Clean & Clear ones are slightly larger but no biggie to me.
3. Papier Poudre not only removes oil from your face but also leaves a nice little dusting of powder on your skin, making it soft and silky to the touch. Clean & Clear only removes oil from your skin.
4. Papier Poudre comes in 3 different shades of powder to hopefully match your skin tone: White (extra light skin), Rachel (light skin), and Rose (medium to dark skin). I use Rose and it works great for me!
5. Papier Poudre smells great! Sorry, I don't know how to describe the scent.

Where to Buy:
Papier Poudre: Beauty Habit
Clean & Clear: Target, Walgreens, CVS

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Update & Gifts

I'd like to first start out by saying thank you to all my new followers! What a nice surprise it is to log back into my account and see that I have quite a few new followers! :) So thank you to each and every one of you. You all make blogging fun and very worthwhile!

I apologize for the lack of updates in the past month. As usual, things have just gotten busy around here. I thought I'd have some time to update today since I just came back from a rafting trip and have today to rest and write at home but in actuality... I took a nap after writing that first paragraph. Haha but I'll at least make it through this small update. :)

First, a big thanks to Birchbox & Spa Week!
A few months ago, I won a nice little Birchbox giveaway at Spa Week. Totally unexpected and super exciting since this was/is my first time winning something online!

I received their April box a few weeks ago which contained a bunch of sweet goodies to try out.

Upon opening the box, mmmm it smelled so good! I wondered where it was coming from..

The sweet vanilla smell was coming from Lavanila's Body Butter in Vanilla Coconut<3

I definitely want to try planting this somewhere in my backyard. :)

Love the design on the side of the Blow Up shampoo bottle. 

Can't wait to finish trying out all of these products! My current fav out of the bunch is Juice Beauty's Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer's sample I received. It's a tad thick but so moisturizing and I just love it. I use it at night and when I wake up in the morning, my skin is absolutely radiant. It just drinks up this stuff. I would love to purchase a jar of this for myself in the future though I have to say I'm pending since it's $65 for only 1.7 oz. Really great stuff though!

A big thank you to JH for the love box received earlier this week!

I can't wait to try out these Beauty Friends Mask Packs
I want to see what Potato smells like! Hehe~

And all of these Tony Moly goodies! Ahh~ I've been wanting a new Tomatox Brightening Mask and I especially can't wait to try out the Appletox Honey Cream! Thank you JH~! ♥♥♥

Thank you YJK for your package a few weeks ago!! 

A cute little jar of Baviphat Mango Magic Brightening Mask!

Innisfree Camellia Flower Tint.
I am absolutely in loveee with this tint! It works SO well. Given, it's a bit bright on the brush but upon application, looks fine in my opinion. It's definitely not natural looking but not too bright either. A perfect pop of color for the spring time and summer! Look forward to a review of this... soon? Haha.

Metaboo Bath Powder in lime! I used this a while back and don't remember much about what it smelled of exactly but I remember that the water was super neon yellow and that my bath was quite nice and relaxing. :)

I had to laugh when I saw the Nature Republic Mask Sheet with Rain/Bi on it. That's awesome!
Thanks YJK! ♥♥♥

Hoping to put up another post sometime soon. Thanks for all the kind new follows and a big thanks to those who were following before. Makes for a fun little surprise whenever logging back into this blog. :)
See you soon!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Illamasqua Satin Primer Review

Illamasqua's Satin Primer is described as a primer that lifts and highlights the face while also creating a stunning dewy effect.

Cost: $30 for 1 oz.

Illamasqua Satin Primer on hand.


Slightly dewy finish on back of hand.

Pros: + Milky texture so a little goes a long way. Easy to apply and blend on face.
+ White in color but doesn't leave a white cast on face (hurrah!).
+ Leaves my face looking very dewy but I wonder if it could be confused for shine.
+ Definitely recommended for those with dry skin since it absorbs into skin well.
+ Lightweight. Doesn't feel heavy on my skin.
+ Has SPF 20.
+ Smells like vanilla candy.
+ Did not bother my sensitive skin.

Cons: - Probably not suitable for those with oily skin since it made my dry-normal skin so shiny/dewy.
- No noticeable lifting in my skin. Not sure about the highlighting unless you count the all over dewyness as highlighter.
- Pricey. $30 for 1 oz? Hmm....

Here is bare skin, before Illamasqua Satin Primer application:
Hmm you can see tiny bumps on my cheek and redness. Anyone know what this is? I've had these tiny bumps on my cheeks since I was in grade school. They're not pimples. :) I always wondered if it was minor rosacea.

Here is after Illamasqua Satin Primer application:

With flash after application:

I've been into primers lately since a friend recently informed me that primers are actually good to use cause they create a barrier between your skin and the makeup you wear so as to not allow your skin to absorb too much makeup. Definitely good to know since nobody wants clogged pores! Still, with the amount of Illamasqua Satin Primer you get for $30, I probably wouldn't purchase this for myself since it's only 1 oz. Thankfully I was able to test out this primer thanks to my friend T. I'd recommend this primer though for those who have dry skin and or as a primer for the winter time. :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hand Braided Rhinestone Bracelets

Todays post is unrelated to cosmetics or skin care. 

Lately, I've been experimenting with trying to make jewelry out of different materials such as metals, clays, and fibers. It has been fun trying out different combinations and sometimes finding a successful combination. :)

I really like this little puffy heart charm. :)

This pink one is one of my favorites. It's smaller than the other two blue ones I made.

Love the color of the thread in this one:

A Poor Experience With Circle Lenses :(

In August of 2010, I purchased two sets of prescription circle lenses from a supposedly very reputable seller. I paid $25.40 for one pair of Geo Nudy Brown and one pair of Geo Angel Brown. They confirmed my payment on 9/1/2010 (one day after I ordered the lenses) and stated that they would email me to confirm when the Pre-Order/Spree closed but they never did. I emailed them to inquire about it and they replied four days later that it had already closed.

My lenses don't arrive at my door till two months later. 
Damn. Talk about some slow ass shipping.

Geo Angel pictures:
The painful lenses.

Authenticity check.

My authentication code.

And it checks out! (Click for a larger image.)

WELL... Once I tried them on, I noticed that the Geo Angel lenses were EXTREMELY PAINFUL. I did the whole "Authenticate Your Lenses" deal and well, supposedly my lenses were real... but they sure as hell felt fake. I tried everything from inverting the lenses (though I knew that wouldn't work), soaking them in contact lens solution for a day, taking it out and putting it back in multiple times... but nothing worked. My eyes teared up intensely each time and I couldn't even open my eyes.

Geo Nudy pictures:
Different shades lol.

With the Geo Nudy's, the left contact lens went into my eye just fine but the right was a tad painful (hence the recent Kiss Me mascara review where I'm wearing one circle lens. Lol. After that review, I threw all of these circle lenses in to the garbage). Also, another weird thing about this set of Geo Nudy's was that they were different shades! What in the world??? Lol.

With this, I contacted the people who I purchased the lenses from and they said they would refund me a portion of my purchase. More than three months goes by and I see no refunds from them in my PayPal account. Good lord. So once again, I contact them and they refund me a portion (not half though) of my original payment. Phew. No more dealing with that seller. I won't be listing their name on my blog since they were kind enough to give me a partial refund but if any readers are curious to know for themselves, feel free to drop me an email.

Darn. I really wanted to like circle lenses too.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hair Shine & Smooth Serums and Cremes

Sometimes, I wonder about how to pick a hair serum. I have issues with tons of baby hair and frizzyness. I rarely style my hair and more often than not, you can find my hair in a bun (I know, booooring). I've tried to learn how to blow dry my hair properly but I can't seem to get the technique down. Probably doesn't help that my blow dryer is probably older than me, hah! Get this: it only has two buttons. One for low (which is honestly already high to me) and high. And one for on and off. No settings for cool and no nozzle attachments. Maybe an upgrade would help me blow dry properly...

Anyway, I usually just use hair serums to help pat down my frizz and baby hairs. I thought I'd do a little post on serums and creams I've used in the past and/or am currently using:

1. Biosilk
Any hair serum user has probably heard of Biosilk. About a few years ago, they decided to change up their marketing strategy and decided to start selling to the public. No more hair salon only sales or try-to-find-a-friend-with-a-cosmetologist-license issues. You can now easily buy Bioslik at your every day store, like Target!

A little goes a REALLY long way with this product. I've made the mistake one too many times of accidentally applying too much and ending up with grease head. Yuck. Also, for those of you who haven't tried it before, the scent is very strong, potentially overpowering. Someone once said I smelled like a hair salon hahaha. It was my first hair product in middle school and I didn't know how to use it at the time.

2. Loma Pearatin Fortifying Repairative Serum
Their catch phrase is "Reconstruct, Restore, and Shine." This serum smells sooooo good. Almost delectable. Loma Pearatin was my upgrade from Biosilk in terms of hair care. Unlike Biosilk which simply provides a nice shine, Loma Pearatin contains time-released Creatine and Keratin Protein-based serum to continuously reconstruct, repair, and hydrate hair and skin (didn't know it was okay to use it on your skin). It also provides thermal protection and locks-in all haircolor which is great since I color my hair.

One con is that it's difficult to find and pricing varies all over. I originally purchased it when it first came out: ~$10 for 3.4 fl oz. Now I see online prices stating $16 for 12 oz. Shucks.

In terms of frizz and baby hair control, this serum does a fabulous job. I don't have much to say about the reconditioning aspects of Loma Pearatin Serum though since I don't do a lot of damage to my hair but a friend of mine who religiously straightens her hair every single day swears by this serum. She says it's tremendously helped with her dying hair and makes it look so much shinier, healthier, and overall a lot better.

3. Zotos Diamond Shine Weightless Gloss Drops
$4.99 at Sally Beauty Supply

Alcohol free
Adds high-gloss shine
Smoothes frizz
Mends split ends
UV protectants

Diamond Shine haircare is made with a potent blend of real diamond micro-particles, panthenol, and keratin, that instantly infuses hair with high-gloss, radiant shine and exceptional strength. Diamond Shine is color-safe with UV protectants. Get 2X more Shine and Strength* with the Diamond Shine collection and get the beautiful, luminous hair you've always desired!

My Thoughts: A little goes a long way with this product, as with most hair serums. Does well to help with my frizz, flyaways, and baby hair.

4. Miracle 7 Shine Spray
$13.99 at Sally Beauty Supply

Smells great but I didn't see any noticeable results in my hair. Lack of shine (or maybe my hair is already shiny? :)) and did not help tame any frizz or baby hairs.

5. Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum
Smells like Apples!! Mmmmm. This is my current hair serum and I really like it. I received so many compliments on how shiny and healthy my hair looked the first time I used it. I usually rub a little into my hair after I shower to seal in moisture with the silicone and if I see some flyaways as I'm heading out the door then I can add more then. My pump is broken so sometimes I accidentally pump out too much. Don't do that. As with most hair serums, a little goes a long way so use sparingly so you don't look like a grease head. Doesn't weigh my hair down which is nice.

6. Lucido-L Designing Tube Hair Moist Cream
Darn. I really wanted to like this product. It smells sooooo good and manages to give my hair a nice moist, healthy look but definitely doesn't help with my flyaways. I've read some fabulous reviews about it though. Maybe I just need to apply even more to my hair? I'll give that a try next time and update this post if anything.

So I won't be needing anything new hair serums for a while. I still have quite a few of these bottles left. One hair product I do want to try out is dry shampoos! Sometimes, toward the end of the day, the top of my head can get fairly oily so I've been eyeing dry shampoos since they started becoming popular a while back. Recommendations? :)