Wednesday, February 29, 2012

BB Creams Take Over America!

Recently, BB creams have been popping up from what seems like every company. Drugstore (Garnier, Maybelline) or not. This is the main page for BB creams on Sephora's website. ARE THEY THE SAME?! That is the money maker question. Seriously.

Well as you can see, BB creams are being marketed here as tinted moisturizers. While similar, originally they were supposed to contain ingredients that assist in healing the skin (whether korean companies adhere to this or not I have no idea). Knowing America, most things don't translate well internationally, and I just couldn't shake the feeling that these products aren't the same stuff. Unfortunately I forgot to try them out at my last visit to sephora (when I go back I'll let you know how it goes). I've also read reviews of some people saying that the formula is more watery and just not good.

Smashbox's commercial market's this as a 5-in-1 product that helps you to prime your face as well. Yes, they're using this BB cream as a BASE for foundation. The BB cream we love is meant to be used on its own.  What's the point of having it if you're just going to slap foundation on top.

Luckily for us, the Muse has explored this topic a while ago (hopefully she won't mind me quoting her here)

"BB Cream/Blemish Balm Creams
  • Has Soothing, Healing Properties
  • May have whitening benefits depending on the brand you purchase.
  • Is suitable for most skin types (dry, oily, combination) although you can purchase specific BB’s to address your needs.
  • Very limited number of shades at best two color selections if you’re lucky.
  • Contains SPF of 35 and higher (most cases higher SPF are found in BB Creams that are purchased in Korea).
  • Has anti-aging ingredients.
  • Works as a foundation and concealer plus a moisturizer so no other base products are needed.
  • Pigmented, Thick, Creamy yet lightweight and breathable are some characters of a good BB Cream
  • Tends to not oxidize or fade away quickly (I’ve seen 8 hours or longer of wear time with a good BB Cream).
  • Very cheap (in Asia BB Creams have prices that start as little as $10)
Tinted Moisturizer
  • Normally a thin consistency compared to a thicker, creamy formula of a BB.
  • Has a range of shades to choose from (unlike BB Creams you’ll find better color matches with TM’s).
  • Available in drugstores and at high end counters (If you’re not in Asia, BB Creams are only available via high end brands so far. Hopefully drugstores will catch up soon).
  • No anti-aging ingredients (very rare for TM’s to have any anti-aging benefits).
  • No whitening benefits.
  • Lightweight formula but lacks pigmentation (BB Creams remain lightweight and are pigmented versus TM which have very minimal color pay off).
  • Normally have short wear times (I find TM’s oxidize and fade fairly quickly).
  • Very expensive (TM’s sometimes prove more expensive than foundations!)
  • Low SPF (SPF 15-30 versus BB Creams that start at 30 and go as high as 40 or more)."
Visit her blog HERE to read more on what she has to say.

I have to agree with her that tinted moisturizers are expensive. The ones I've pictured are almost $40. Why would I want to pay double or more for a product that is less effective. I will have to test it out myself, but it seems like these are thinner in consistency and coverage than BB creams in asia. Even with shipping, mine from korean come out much cheaper.

Have you experienced the BB creams being released in the US? Share with us- did you like it? How do you use it?

Monday, February 20, 2012

BB Cream Battle!: BRTC

My samples finally arrived ^^. This post took so long because I wanted to properly take the time to test out the products over the course of a day and see how they fared.

In this post I review 3 BB creams from the well known BRTC!

BRTC Jasmine Water BB Cream spf30

     I picked this one first because I had just finished washing my face and this promises to whiten, repair wrinkles, and replenish water. Key is replenish water.

Coverage: Very good. it's better than probably all the other BB creams I've tried. I have some very bad scars and breakouts this time around as well and it's concealed them 90%. Medium High- High coverage. Haha, I just noticed, but if you look at my initial and 4 hour picture, there is a splotch on my cheek. This shows that the coverage is pretty noticeable. When I applied the cream, my cheeks were the same color, but after going outside, the difference between the now redder cheeks and the BB cream is more apparent. It wears away a little bit through the day, but that is normal.

Texture: Thicker BB cream, not hard to spread/ pat on at all. You can still tell a bit that my skin is dry in areas (the lighter bb cream sinks into the cracks), but it's much better than when I use Etude House Magic BB Balm.

Color: This has a whitening component, so it is lighter than my skin color. You can see this in the swatch pictures, my skin is ghastly white in some areas.

Overall: There isn't a strong scent, it covers well, and color isn't too orange. Since it is a product with more coverage, I suggest applying a thin layer over the whole face (building up where necessary) and then adding blush for a hint of color. Personally I don't need a ghost white face, so I'll mix in a little bit of the warmer toned Skin Food Aloe Sun #2 to get a better color. Skin Food Aloe Sun was practically the perfect shade when I bought it, but it seems like recently my face color has lightened back to match the rest of me (it had strangely gotten one to two shades darker than my neck at one point- never happened before) Right now I'm liking this product. I don't find it to be an HG product, but I wouldn't mind having it in my makeup box for those times when thicker coverage is necessary.

BRTC Gold Caviar BB Cream Spf 50

Coverage: Decent, not as strong as the Jasmine Water BB. It covers my scars about 50% so I would consider this medium coverage. Still, you can see the difference in color where I've applied and where I haven't. It's obvious on pinker cheeks as well.

Texture: Thinner than the Jasmine Water, but thicker than Missha's No. 23 BB. It's considered a thicker consistency, but I don't feel like anything's caked on my skin. The product unfortunately does settle into the cracks of my dry skin and is visible (less obvious than the Etude House Magic BB Balm still). I don't feel like it's drying out my skin per se, just not hydrating it any.

Color: The color of the Gold Caviar is much more suited to my skin compared to the Jasmine Water. It is darker/ warmer in tone, but not too orange.

Overall: I think this can be a very nice BB cream for some people- it also has high spf. But due to it sinking into my dry skin cracks (and being obvious) and not having quite as strong of a coverage, I think I would not invest in buying this BB cream for my skin. You do notice it "blending" into my skin over time, however, which  is desireable- but there is less and less coverage.

BRTC Whitening & Repairing- spf 37

Coverage: This one has decent coverage, more than the Gold Caviar and on par with the Jasmine Water. I consider it Medium -High

Texture: Applies smoothly, like the other BRTC creams is a little on the thick side (but not caking your face thick). A little drying on my face and shows off my dry skin. It may be even more drying than my Etude House Magic BB Balm. The most drying of the BRTC trio in this post imo.

Color: Due to the Whitening part, it is lighter than my natural skin color. It has much less of a ghastly effect than the Jasmine Water. I do see some brightening qualities that it has given my skin, I prefer the coloring over the Gold Caviar.

Overall: I like the coloring of this bb over the other two and it has good coverage, but the drying effect makes it something that I would not purchase.

Final Comments: Please note that this is all based on my skin. Products that work for me might not work for you and vice versa.
     The Jasmine Water was least drying/ showed off my dry skin less, the Golden Caviar matched my neutral skin best (maybe a hint of warmer quality, but really only a teensy hint), and I loved the color and coverage of the Whitening &Repairing.
     Overall, I do find BRTC bb creams to be thicker than that of Missha and Skinfood (the ones that I've tried), they may be on par with Etude House's Precious Minerals though. Don't be mistaken- when I heard they were thick, I was imagining some horrible caked on feeling, and that is not the case with these. My skin feels like there is nothing on it.
     I wouldn't mind having the Jasmine Water BB - I can mix colors with Skinfood's Aloe Sun to get it a shade warmer/ darker, but as to whether I would go and buy it I'm just not sure. Gold Caviar I found is not suited to my needs and therefore I won't be purchasing. I would buy the Whitening & Repairing except I think it's formulated for those with oily skin (and right now mine is going through a dry phase so it shows off all the cracks).
     Didn't notice any scents to these, and the plus is that they all have spf ^^. They also seem to be good at concealing red/ slight skin discolorations.

I've made a chart to help concise my thoughts. The colors are just to show MY preferences based on MY skin.

                              Jasmine Water          Gold Caviar            Whitening & Repair
Conceals Redness            X                           X                                    X
Thickness                 Med-High                     Medium                       Med-High
Color                          Whitest                Warmest/ Med-Fair           Fair/ Med-Fair
Drying Power     Neutral/ Least Drying     Slightly Drying                     Drying
Coverage                 Med-High                     Medium                         Med-High
Likely to buy?        Maybe/Not?                      No                                 No

As you can see, they weren't exactly what I wanted.

This is the reason why I highly recommend trying out the BB creams before you invest in a whole tube. Although the samples can get pricey (I spent quite a bit getting samples), it's nothing compared to the disappointment of having a left over tube of something that you can't use after you've shelled out $12-30.

*As you can see, I have a couple samples left of each after my little experiment. If you think that any of these may be suited to your skin and you want to try it out, go ahead and email me at I will send them for $1 each + shipping. If you live in USA, I can tell you that it'll be $0.50 to ship an envelope- and we'll just have to see how many I can fit in there. If there are any other BB creams that I've posted about that you would like to sample, let me know as well.* Note: Jasmine Water is sold out.

Picture: All were applied after moisturizing my face. The shades are off due to lighting being different at different times of the day (which is why I have the bare faced shot to help with seeing before and afters. Photos alternate between Flash and Non Flash. Non Flash pictures weren't taken for a set because I deemed it too dark to see anything useful without the flash. These photos will be more helpful as BB cream coverage comparisons. CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE!

Wow... you must all have a hideous monster pictured when you think of me. I really do show you my ugliest moments -___-. Well, for the sake of proper swatch reviews.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Missha Eye & Lip Color: New M Luminous Color Lip Rouge & Signature Glam Art Rouge

Ok... I posted a Missha haul and said I'd review the items, but I decided to return the eyeshadows so I can't do swatches. I returned them because they were more shimmery than I thought and I already have similar colors. It seems I really need to look for matte shadows. I did however take photos of them, so you can have another reference picture other than the manufacturer's.

The packaging is super cute! The eyeshadow compacts are made of sturdy plastic. I had to double check that they weren't metallic. I picked up The Style Silky Shadow Duo (No.7 Sandblown), The Style Metallic Shadow (BE01), Signature Velvet Art Shadow No.4 Brown combination, and Signature Velvet Art Shadow No.9 Minimal combination. I had thought the BE01 would be a couple shades darker, and the Sandblown Duo is much warmer in tone than I imagined.

For the eyeshadow palettes, They're really well put together with instruction sheets. I don't know if it's the new one, but the one with foldout application instruction is in color and has instructions for 5 palettes- also in english, whereas the other is in korean. These eyeshadow palettes have mirrors in the compacts, and they come with a double ended sponge tip applicator- I just removed the plastic tray on top of the shadows that did contain the applicators.

Missha New M Luminous Color Lip Rouge- #RD702

Color is cooler in the tube, but warm upon application. The texture is not overly creamy, but not drying either. It can be a powerful red, but I applied this lightly to go out and it was impactful without being overbearing. Even after eating and drinking there was a distinct red tint to my lips. In the swatch I didn't quite get it evenly, forgive me?

Missha Signature Glam Art Rouge- #SPK101

Color is light pink, but not milky pink (which is what I was kind of going for >.<). I did have a photo of it only half on my lips but it's kind of hard to tell. This is a creamy gentle pink which I actually can see myself wearing every once in a while for a pop of color. It doesn't sink into the lip folds which is a bonus.

Missha Signature Glam Art Rouge- #SRD701

The color is very close to the RD702, but warmer looking, it has glitter in it. I opted to return this one because I do have similar lip colors already.

Lip balm was applied before using these products.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Heads Up for Missha!

     Hihi! Just a quick preview post. I finally got my Missha order in today. They added in the Olive sheet mask as a Missha 3rd birthday present, the full sized No. 21 BB cream as a first time buyer gift (I've been thinking on how I can try this!), a mini Time Revolution sample (I think I tried and liked this before?), and a 10 pack tea tree sheet mask as a buy over $X gift. The packaging is super cute and sturdy. I'm waiting until I can snap some daylight pictures for you before reviewing. Hopefully I'll have them up by this weekend. Some of the colors I'm liking, some not so much- look forward to my reviews!

Beware of Scams!

     I hurried to write this post because I nearly just fell into a scam trap myself. Then I remembered how this isn't the first time, and how some people I know have been tricked as well. So I'm writing this post as a caution to my readers to beware of the many scams out there. If you're not sure, better safe than sorry, and STAY AWAY from it.

     The one I nearly fell into caught my eye with an ad off of Facebook. I'm normally weary of clicking on ads because they are notorious for giving viruses and spam. This one was about shoes (, and well, I have a hard time resisting. The site promises to give you personalized style recommendations based on your preferences and you can get a pair of shoes for $39.95. This particular ad stated that it was having a special promotion- buy one get one free. Two pairs of shoes for that price is not a bad deal- and the heels looked hot. I was curious about the brands though (if there even is any) and clicked to find out more. I wanted to browse through shoes, but the site didn't really let you do much browsing. Instead it hurried and encouraged you to fill out their quiz and sign up. I was tempted, just to see their recommendations, but a couple red flags had been raised.

1) It's an ad off a site- you always have to beware when clicking ads. There are some to sites like or Zappos which are ok, but the majority are not leading you to anything useful.

2) It wouldn't let me see much of the products without signing up.

     The second provided the major red flag. So I did what I always do (and what you can do) to safeguard. I Googled. This may sound stupid, but it's really smart. Any really good reputable site will have at least a few posts about it. The posts for this site were all from some style blog or other. THIRD RED FLAG.
     When doing basic research for a paper, they tell you to find a reputable source that isn't Billy Bob Joe's blog. In this case you want the OPPOSITE. We're looking for feedback from the average person. The more people blog about it, the better. This site didn't even produce ONE blog post. Alarm bells were going off in my head at this point.

     Then I stumbled upon this:

     It's a post saying that these people are being sued. For what? For scamming people of their money! They tell you it's free to join, then send you a 50% off coupon (supposedly one day only) to get you to hurry and purchase a pair of shoes. If you don't buy the first day, they keep spamming you with this one day only 50% off promotion. THEN, when you finally do submit payment information, it ALSO sets you in an enrollment program that bills you monthly- all without telling you.

*Well now, they have a blurb on their front page about this, but the site and concept is just too shady for me. It seems like they're trying to get your money.

"JustFabulous is a monthly membership program. Once you make your first purchase, your membership is automatically upgraded to VIP status.

Upon becoming a JustFabulous VIP, you must take action by the 5th of every month by making a purchase or choosing to Skip The Month. If you do not take action by the 5th, your account will be charged $39.95 on the 6th of the month. This becomes one free credit that you may redeem for the $39.95 item of your choice at any time.*"

*= some specialty items excluded. (what if they're all specialty items -___-)

So if you forget to "Skip the Month" You'll get charged. 

     Now, could these class action lawsuit documents be faked? who knows. BUT, one thing I know, I'm staying away!

Especially be ware when their price is much lower than the competition's I know people who've been suckered in for a cheaper ipad/ ereader case even (they pay and product never arrives). My grandfather was a victim of swindling of the more personal kind as well. People would tell him they had fallen on hard times and were about to lose their house so could he help out. He'd help them out with a little and they'd never return the money. Turns out, they never had such an issue.

Stay safe, and Happy Valentine's Day! ^^

Saturday, February 04, 2012

News About Missha & Dr Jart BB Cream!

Wow I'm on a roll this week!

I have news! On a whim I decided to browse around Amazon and guess what I found? YES! Dr. Jart & Missha's BB cream can now be found on Amazon. And even better is that it qualifies for 2 day free shipping if you have Amazon Prime ^^! Of course they only have the two basic colors (Missha 23 and 21), but if one of these is for you then here's another source! You don't have to rip out your hair trying to find it anymore~ whoooo~. Right now they're selling for $17.50- the price fluctuates though.

Happy shopping!

EDIT: I also see a Skin 79 Diamond bb too!

Volatile Parents

So today I got yelled at by a parent wooo. Kind of feel like it's some sort of school initiation or something.

     As I was gathering up a small class, the parent of one of the students (works in the school) approached me and demanded to know why I was pulling their child out of class. I politely informed them that we were holding a quick class (help students to know what to do when symptoms of a specific health issue that they have arise), and that seemed to quell their growing indignation. At the end of the class we had the children take off their shoes so we could weigh/ measure them. It got a bit messy with all these children not caring and rolling around on the floor -__-. Since there wasn't a lot of space in our office, I instructed them to hurry and put on their shoes and return to their seats at the table outside. I should note here that I DID NOT tell the students to take their shoes to the table to put back on even though I considered it. It would be easier for them to put their shoes back on if they were sitting, but at the same time you know I don't like to walk around without shoes on the dirty floor. So I allowed the children to put their shoes back on in the smaller office before returning to the table outside.

     They took a while to put their shoes back on and weren't as quick to return to the table as I'd like so well, what can you do. I noticed at one point though that the child of the aforementioned parent did go out and return to their seat at the table, and thought, "wow, what a good child". Later, it was deemed ok for the children to return to class once they had been weighed, so I instructed them that once they had gathered all their materials that they could return to class. By then another child had joined the first one at the table and they were getting quite rowdy. In the end they both ran out of the office and left their materials -___-.

     Not long after I finished and cleared all the children out of the office, I was stopped in the hallways by the parent above- child in tow. They were not very happy. Parent asked if we had taken off child's shoes to weigh, I responded that we had. Parent angrily demanded to know why we had not bothered to help child put shoes back on. It was here that I remembered child had asked me to help them undo their laces, but I had thought that they were having trouble because it was double knotted (Even I had a bit of trouble getting them loose). I quickly apologized and informed parent that I didn't realize child needed help (child didn't say anything to me, and since they had sat at the table I had assumed they had their shoes on already), then I offered to assist right then and there and motioned to bend down. Parent declined with attitude and notified me that child would not be attending anymore classes or whatever. I said ok. Then when I attempted to give them the child's booklet they replied that child would not be needing that. Well I wonder if that would still be their response if the child had a more debilitating health issue =/.

     On my way back, heard parent in another person's office unhappily complaining that they didn't know how in the world the nurse's office was operating, and that the bottom of child's socks were dirty. I understand how that is a problem (it's actually really hard to get such dirty socks really clean), but what I want to know is: WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU PUT SUCH COMPLICATED SHOES ON SUCH A YOUNG CHILD?! If I remember right, they were boots. That's not even good for your child's developing feet! First of all, your child should know how to tie laces by 1st grade, if not kindergarten, and if they don't then you need to take a hint from other parents and get them velcro shoes! I learned how to tie shoes when I turned 4 so it's absolutely no excuse. Second, I don't understand why you haven't taught your child to ask for help when they need it. They asked for help in undoing the laces, so why not when putting the shoes back on? Parents are sometimes too quick to blame others. The child was at the time in our care, so for failing to notice I did apologize, but you need to also teach your child how to do better in such situations. That's partially what's wrong with our society today- people are too quick to lay blame somewhere else. This child grows up seeing this kind of example from you and never realizes how to better themselves. TEACH YOUR KID HOW TO TIE LACES AND ASK FOR HELP WHEN NEEDED (and not run off).

     So I didn't even feel a milligram bad. I acknowledge that I can improve and will be more cautious next time, but it was an honest mistake and I was not all- or even mostly at fault. So I did a pshhhhhh, and flicked it away. Well I just write it here because it's drama and people love drama. But otherwise I shook it off like raindrops on my coat, psha pshaaa~

And to my readers: some of you may be these volatile parents. I just want you to take a look at it from another point of view. If it's a first offense and an honest mistake (and not something like dropping your baby on its head) then I think yelling at someone is not the best way to go. You can of course caution the teacher- honestly yelling at people doesn't motivate them, rather it does the opposite for me. AND PLEASE teach your child to ask for help. 

I remember how when I was little my classmate's parents would be calling for this or that, and I never really understood why- nothing ever happened that was a big deal. Also, there is absolutely no reason to freak out when children get bumps, bruises, or little cuts. This is life, shit happens. They're not going to die. The teacher cannot keep their eyes on 20 different little kids and do things at the same time. They try their best, but a child can get slapped in a split second. It's what the teacher does about it after that matters. Punishing the offending child, and giving the victim child care. If necessary, separate the children. There's no need to make a big deal after. What happens, happens. The only thing that warrants extra action is if a child is getting constantly bullied, or their head gets smacked against something.

Speaking of bullying. In elementary school, there was a girl in my class who reeked. You could smell her 5 feet away so none of us really wanted to play with her. We didn't have a problem with the girl's personality or anything. One day the teacher came up to my group of people and told me that she was very disappointed in me (which was like a slap to the heart) for not playing with the other girl. But honestly, if someone smells that bad, it's difficult to play with them for long periods of time. Forcing young children to do so seems like you are punishing them for something. For the rest of the 30 minutes we had to get semi close... then run far away to breath... then come back in. It was puzzling because we did try to find out what the problem was. Perhaps it was her hair? no. Clothes? No. We just couldn't understand. Her mom bathed her daily and her hair was washed as well.  

Don't be mistaken, we had nothing against her. One day she came in smelling just fine, and that confused us until we realized it. Then we whole heartedly complimented her saying "You smell really good today!" And we continued to compliment her as long as she smelled ok. When she stank though, we had to admit it as well.

Many people are quick to judge and say how bad we were, bullying that little child. But I ask you to first look at yourself. Even now, as adults, if there was someone who stank from 5 feet away we still would not want to interact with that person. Only now it would reflect poorly on that person, so now people try to correct the problem themselves if possible.

     I decided to reward my hard day of work with DCC frap. Picked up a chicken salad sandwich from starbucks as well. Frap was too much ice, tasted watery- not enough milk/ choco flavor, but we knew this already. The sandwich was pleasant in that the bread was actually not dry (another sandwich place has dry bread =/. The chicken salad was interesting with craisins! The only thing is it has 1000mg of sodium -___-.

Skinfood Salmon Concealer #2

I found it! Hahaha. Quick review/ swatch on the Skinfood Salmon Concealer. THIS STUFF IS MAGIC! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

     Back to the story. So after I had gotten my BB cream from the Skinfood salesperson, I decided to go after the salmon concealer. Only... I didn't know how to say it. So I told her I wanted the stuff for under your eyes. She asked me if it was eye cream, and I said no. Then she asked if it's the stuff to cover up under the eyes, and demonstrated the product. As soon as I saw it I knew that was it. The only concern I had at the time is that when she was putting it on her skin it looked really orange. This is when my mom decides to butt in. Even after I had just told the lady this is what I want, mom kept arguing and was like: No, she wants the eye cream. NO! I didn't want the eye cream because they hardly work, and if they do work they don't work fast enough- we're better off using hemorrhoid cream. So then she continues hindering me getting this product and long story short it was this long embarrassing mess.
     Since I was concerned about the color, I asked the sales person about it (since there is a lighter colored version) but she assured me that this was the color I wanted.
     My embarrassment didn't end. The whole time my brother was whining, and at the checkout when they were giving me samples he complains "how come I don't get any". Really? Really?? REALLY? Can someone just give me a bag so I can cover my face out of shame?! I can't believe my mom didn't even say anything- NOTHING to correct his childish behavior. I should note that he's 20 and DEFINITELY old enough to know better. The sales people were very gracious and hurried to provide a couple samples for him. There are really just no words.

Back to the product. I got home and tried it out. Wow! As soon as I dabbed it on, it was like photoshopping away my circles! Appeared to be the EXACT same color as my skin. Upon closer inspection, it is a tidge more orange so I think this is definitely going to still work on those of you with warmer skin tones (remember I'm more neutral). For those who are clearly more yellow, and paler, you may want to look into the other color. Remember what I said in the BB cream post about how it's best to find a sales associate if you can. I know, it's annoying, but really it's worth it. It's hard to judge which color is best. I have pretty bad circles so the salmon color really helps.
     Texture is not too dry/oily. Didn't flake on me after a whole day's use. Best part is that you only need a little dab if you can see- I didn't use that much. I considered getting a backup right away, but then thought this would last a while and better to get a fresh product.
     The product has a hint of shimmer- probably light dispersion to help with the illusion to make circles go away, but it's not very noticeable. To take extra precautions, I would just take your application finger (shouldn't have much product left on it) and continue rubbing under the eye all the way onto the cheek. Just in case the light hits it funny.

     I don't use this when I step into work though because I'm trying to seem older (baby face ahhh), hahaha. I use it when... there is someone to impress ^^;; (don't want to look like an old hag right?)


For some reason, the flash makes my circles look not as bad as they are. It's easier to see the change in the non flash pictures. Some darkness after application, but I think a lot of that is just the light/shadows working on my undereye bags in the photo. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

'Til Next Time!