Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Blinc Kiss Me Mascara and Lash Primer Review

Blinc Kiss Me Mascara is one of the top selling mascaras in Japan. Rather than being oil based, like most mascaras, this mascara is water based, containing an "acrylic copolymer" which coats and forms tiny "tubes" around your eyelashes that do not come off until you wash your face and apply light pressure (read: no smudging or smearing). This mascara is also great for contact wearers or those with sensitive eyes. Celebrities like Rachael McAdams and Lucy Liu swear by this mascara. From the official Blinc website:

"Kiss Me Mascara is the original mascara invented to form tiny water-resistant “tubes” around your lashes rather than painting them like conventional mascaras. Once applied, the tubes bind to your lashes and cannot run, smudge, clump, or flake, even if you cry or rub your eyes.

Kiss Me Mascara will add both volume and length to give you a radiant natural look that lasts all day. Only when you are ready for removal, the tubes will effortlessly slide off your lashes into your hand without the use of a harsh makeup remover.

All it takes is the combination of lots of warm water and gentle pressure, from your fingertips, a washcloth or water pressure (i.e. shower) and the tubes will slide off your lashes effortlessly. Upon removal you will actually see the tiny tubes in your hand!

Kiss Me Mascara has been clinically tested to be non-irritating making it ideal for sensitive eyes, contact lens wearers, and active people in search of a mascara whose look, hold and ease of removal is without compromise."


I picked up a tube of this along with the Blinc Lash Primer from during their Friends & Family event (yay for discounts!). I really wanted a mascara that would not smudge under my eyes while lengthening my lashes. I have oily eyelids, and somehow my eyeshadow always ends up under my eyes, even when I apply eyeshadow primer.

I've been using this mascara for a good one to two months now and I am very impressed with the no smudge factor. Though this mascara does not particularly lengthen or volumnize my short little lashes as it claims, it does a fairly good job of darkening and defining the lashes. However, I can't use as many coats as I'd like (only one or two) or my lashes will clump. Also, the product doesn't dry too quickly, so remember not to pile on the coats, or you'll get little smears under your eyes when you blink (unless you're an owl and can hold your eyes open for long periods of time. =p ) The good news is, though, that any messes or mistakes can be easily wiped away. I personally am horrible with applying mascara on my lower lashes, so touching the wand on my skin is not surprising. To remove it, you wait until your mascara has dried, get a clean cotton swab or tissue, and just gently brush it away. The mascara will come right off your skin without needing water or makeup remover. Amazing, right?

I took a nap with this mascara on and the stuff stayed in place. Amazing. But though the mascara doesn't smudge, it CAN flake off if you rub your eyes or apply it too heavily. The good thing is these flakes are easily brushed away and you don't have to fret over using makeup remover, only to be forced to reapply your makeup. However, despite the tube/no smear technology, definitely do NOT treat this mascara as a waterproof mascara--if you cry or your eyes tear, it's possible the tubes will slide off when you blink; at best, the lashes will begin sticking to each other in little spikes.

As for the primer, it goes on cloudy-white (semi viscous?) as reviewed by users on formula is more like a clear mascara or mascara base, if anything. It doesn't use fibers, which is good for me, since the white fibers in primers still show on the tops of my lashes no matter how many coats of mascara I apply. However, this is also a con, since the fiber-less formula means that there isn't a huge difference in length and volume when the mascara and primer are applied together. The directions also say to wait 30 seconds between coats of primer, and it's important to apply additional coats when the primer is still slightly wet, and not dry (unless you want stiff spiky lashes). Another downside is that I can't curl my lashes before applying the primer, since it undoes the curl. I'm still working that out, but I'll continue to use both because I have the suspicion that Blinc mascara alone is probably pretty drying and harsh on the eyelashes. The primer actually doubles as a conditioner, so it seems logical to apply it prior to the mascara.

To remove, I simply wash my face like I normally do, and then run my fingertips gently down my closed eyelids. The tubes slip right off onto my cheeks. Be REALLY gentle when you apply pressure, cause you don't want your lashes to fall off. This is where I don't like this mascara, because my lashes fall out really easily. When washing off the product, I've noticed the lashes coming off with the tubes, which is NOT good when you have short stubby lashes like me.

I want to compare this with Clinique Lash Power Mascara and Imju Fiberwig Mascara (which is apparently the #1 selling mascara in Japan!) soon, so I'm going to purchase and do an update soon. I like that these two mascaras don't have the tube technology, but are also formulated not to smear or smudge, so they should be easier to remove/easier on my wee lashes. Updates soon.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

BB Creams Overview, Skin79 DermaRX Beblesh Balm Review

BB Cream, also known as Blemish Balm, is a medicated cream originally developed in Europe for patients who underwent skin laser treatments or surgery to soothe, protect, and heal the delicate skin from scarring. Eventually, Korean celebrities got their hands on this product and sparked a frenzy when the media noticed how smooth and flawless their skin looked. Recently, various skincare and cosmetic companies in the Korean market launched their own version of blemish balm for the general public. These BB Creams are marketed towards women and men with "troubled," acne-prone skin.

BB Cream is a hybrid of liquid foundation and tinted moisturizer, except it delivers the soothing, medicinal qualities of the original blemish balm. As a result, BB Cream is special because it not only covers imperfections, but it can also improve and correct the condition of your skin over time, when used regularly. Every brand claims to deliver different results (anti-aging, whitening, shimmer), but the basic principle behind the creams is the same.

After hearing about how amazing BB Creams were, I decided to give the products a try. Now, normally I was perfectly happy using loose mineral makeup with a kabuki brush. (Mineral makeup also claims to improve your skin over time, but I wanted to try something different.) So I bought my first tube of Skin 79 DermaRX SPF 15 Beblesh Balm (I'm sure this is one of those Engrish typos... wth is Beblesh?).

Purpose: brighten and whiten, soothe, cover imperfections, and protect from UV rays.
(see for details)
Contains: Nano-Coenzyme Q10, Arbutin, Vitamin C, Caviar extract, Chamomile, Aloe, TiO2, Witch Hazel, Licorice

Water, Beeswax, Butylparaben, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1-Dimethicone, Sorbitan Isostearate, Calcium Stearate, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Silica, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Cyclomethicone, Tocopheryl Acetate, Titanium Dioxide, Talc, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Phenyl Trimethicone, Arbutin, Methylparaben, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Allantoin, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Caviar Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria)Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Acetyl Hexapeptide-3, Ubiquinone, Fragrance.

Now if you looked through the Cozycot forum link on BB Creams (VERY informative and helpful, but there are 200 something pages, eek), you'll see that many contributers didn't like this BB cream. The complaints mostly go: it has a greyish cast, it's too dark for my skin, it's not blendable, doesn't make my skin glow, etc.

I've been using this cream since December 2007 and I feel like I must defend it!

First of all, I did not particularly notice the "greyish" tint on my skin many of the users experienced upon application. This is probably because I'm not super fair skinned like many Asians, but I do consider myself light skinned. At MAC, my shade is between a NC25 and NC30. After the bb cream sinks into my skin, I find it fits my skintone perfectly. For people who DO notice a greyish cast, remember that it is probably a result of the sunscreen ingredients, and should fade into the skin within a few minutes of application. The cream does smell rather medicinal (thus, the DermaRX)...almost like kaolin clay. I don't mind the scent, as long as I'm not putting something fruity scented on my skin.

The cream has a medium consistency, and does not feel too matte or watery. The blendability is excellent (especially when compared with Missha's BB Cream--the silver tube with no sunscreen, for those of you who have tried it). For those who disagree, and think the cream is too thick, I suggest applying your regular moisturizer or sunscreen onto your skin, and then massaging in the DermaRX cream while your skin is still moist. What I really like about this cream is that it's heavy enough to cover my sporadic acne breakouts, but not so heavy that I look like I'm wearing foundation. When my skin is clear and I need even less coverage, I mix this on the back of my hand with a light moisturizer and then apply the mixture to my face.

Oil control on the DermaRX cream is decent. I have combination skin, so my forehead and nose will become shiny throughout the day, but my cheeks and undereye areas still feel moisturized and great. You simply need to gently blot your oilier areas (do not rub!) and your skin will be good to go. True, this cream does not make your skin look "dewy," but I prefer a matte look, since my skin is combination already. If you have dry skin, I definitely recommend applying moisturizer beforehand or mixing this with a bit of sunscreen. To determine what ratio of moisturizer and bb cream to mix, you simply have to add a little by a little, until you get the consistency and coverage that you like.
I highly recommend mixing it with Oil of Olay Complete All Day Moisture Lotion SPF 15. This is my favorite drugstore sunscreen.

ALSO...this bb cream is anti-microbial, so you won't have to worry about it infecting your pores or blemishes. Love!

- This cream is only SPF 15. I would prefer something much higher.
- small tube. But I think all the BB Creams come in small tubes anyway, so that's a small gripe.
- design of the tube. If you travel, make sure you stash this in your purse or suitcase upright, with the tip facing up, or the cream can squeeze out into the cap of your bag.

So as you can see...the positives far outweigh the negatives. I really love this cream and it is a must-have in my makeup collection. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

Postscript - for all of you Skinfood lovers, I just bought the Skinfood Aloe Sun BB Cream, SPF 20 in Shade #1 and the Skinfood Mushroom Multi Care BB Cream, SPF 20 in Shade #2. I will review these soon after I've had ample time to compare them.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hello, hello...

Hi everybody! After perusing countless beauty blogs on the net, I decided to make my own. I got tired of not being able to find thorough reviews on the products I wanted, so why not write them? I am by no means a makeup collector or skincare guru, so I suppose that's what sets me apart from the other beauty bloggers on the Net. I have a minimalistic approach to makeup and skincare, so unfortunately I'll only be testing out items of personal interest, as I am on a student's budget after all. I do a lot of research before I buy anything, and I only want to own products that are effective. This will be an outlet for all the information I've collected and learned, and hopefully it'll help many of you make informed decisions.

What's there to know about me? My name is Rachel, I'm in my early twenties, and I'm a current college student on the verge of employment (or unemployment, considering the current economy!). I was born and raised in Southern California, but I live in New England at the moment. Some of my interests include photography, literature, cinema, good eats, fashion, pop culture, all genres of music (except country), travel, nature, and cats. there anything else?