Thursday, April 26, 2012

Clinique Age Defense BB Cream: Shade 1

You may remember how psyched I was about the Clinique Age Defense BB cream. it evened out skin and made it look flawless. So I went and picked it up from Sephora.

Here's a color comparison (left to right): Clinique Age Defense BB Shade 1, Missha Perfect Cover BB No.21, Missha Perfect Cover BB No.13

You can see why I say Clinique's Shade 1 is the perfect shade for me. It doesn't have that "beige/ gray" quality that the Missha No.21 does. No.13 is nice and bright as you can see, but it is a bit too light for me.

Covers 3/4 of acne scars

The BB applied nicely, but is a bit too dry for my face. It ends up showing off the dry flaky parts of my skin. I think I may have to return it since it won't get much usage at this rate. The Missha I realize has oils added to its formula so instead of drying out my skin, it gives it some oil.

I recommend the Clinique Age Defense BB for those with Normal to Oily skin. Something else that I wanted to note is how the back of the package notes that it is formulated for Asian Skin. How exciting is that?? I would have thought they would omit that when selling in US (land of diversity). No wonder the tone matched my skin so nicely.

What do you think? Will you pick this up next time you pass it?

First Purchase!

I finally put in an order for the REN Glycolactic Peel Mask. At $43 it still stings, but I won't get a better price anywhere else, and this stuff really works! It came so fast. I ordered Sunday afternoon and it arrived by Monday @.@, quite shocking. A friend complains of a dry patch on her face, so I even recommended this to her.

For some reason, they send it in a huge box. Look at the size compared to what it contains. I got three samples, including one from Oscar de La Renta. The scent from my first Sample Society box is starting to grow on me so I thought I'd test out another. Definitely for the more mature woman. Guess we're operating at different generations.

There's a weird thing attached to the side of the pump top. I thought it might be another cover for the opening??  No idea.

There's something else that I must tell you all about.

With the Sample Society Membership, you get a free year subscription to Allure. Unless I read it wrong, there is an option to opt out with a refund. I've had an Allure subscription before, and while it's fun to browse through, the majority of the magazine comprises of ads. I'm done looking through it within 5-10 min. As such, I decided that I didn't want these magazines piling up every single month (too lazy to keep taking out the recycling!). So I followed the instructions and mailed in the refund form along with a copy of my invoice. 

A couple days ago, I received an issue of Allure. So you're telling me that even though I spent my own postage and time sending you these documents, you ignored my request? I was unhappy to say the least. So I contacted customer service and the response I got was that they will remove me from the subscription list. Nothing about the refund. Not that I really wanted any money back, but if you offer something you should follow through on it!! If you hadn't given us the option in the first place then I would never have spent money on postage mailing those papers in! 
EDIT: Turns out, someone actually opened my refund check and hid it somewhere else! How rude! This is why I never like people touching my things- it breeds chaos. And now I've accused the company of wrong when they did properly send me a check for $12 within a week or two. My apologies.

I also noticed that the amount changed. At first it was a $15 refund that you would get. Now it says $12 (and that is the amount I was refunded). I know I didn't misread it, because if I did then so did many other bloggers. You can do a google search and see what I'm talking about. This is the Refund Form.

As such I am removing the banner that was on the right sidebar. It seems my decision to put the banner up was premature. Birchbox still reigns when it comes to customer service.
Reinstatement of banner contingent on likeablility of upcoming box (It's shipped May 1st! can't wait!)

I will still hold off for 1 or 2 boxes before deciding if I wish to cancel my Sample Society subscription.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Birchbox: April 2012

YES! This is what I've been waiting for! Last month's Birchbox was disappointing (changed to OK status after further review), but this month I'm loving! Birchbox vs Sample Society April 2012 conclusion?  Birchbox wins!

What am I going to do with all these boxes? They're piling up. Ideas??

So excited for the BeFine Set! Saw that the box was .2lbs heavier than the last and hoped for some good samples. 2 pks cleansers, 3 pks moisturizer.
*EDIT* Turns out the moisturizer was expired! I didn't even notice (who actually notices those things?? Guess someone did). So Birchbox notified me through an email. And I'm supposed to get Birchbox Points to make up for it (although, klutz that I am, I don't remember if I put my email in right...). It's really true that Birchbox has excellent customer service. I really appreciate how they didn't try to cover things up. Mistakes happen, and I'm glad they notified everyone involved instead of keeping it hush hush (and only rectifying the situation with those that noticed it). Honestly, I wouldn't even mind if they didn't find the exact source of the problem (it doesn't seem like a frequent happening) or give points (not that big a fan of this moisturizer), but I'm glad they did! yay~ Birchbox really went above and beyond. This month they really have my stamp of approval.

The cleanser is very good. It says it's gentle, but it easily removed the heavy MAC concealer. 

Still, it's drying to my skin. Minty.
The moisturizer is spf 15 but it smells more like an actual sunscreen. ehhhh.

Dirt scrub!! so excited! Got the lemon one and it smells fresh and clean (I don't like lemon, but this was nice). Was surprised and not that fond of the oil added in at first, but my skin thoroughly thanked me later. The sample was only enough for one use though...

The little package had tea bags and lipstick *faints*

Vapour's Siren Lipstick in Intuition is wonderful. Truly dense color. This one is emollient and yet is thick enough that it won't slide around. Dramatic color that works for a sophisticated evening (for me). The only thing I hate is the packaging. It's so cheap it doesn't wind down completely.

What I was upset about was this =/.

The Amika Hair Mask is nice. It does condition hair and make it better in condition. Smells like vanilla in a more mature sophisticated perfume fragrance. Too mature for me.

The tea comes in this really funny cloth pouch. It does smell fruity. It is a weak tea so I'm disappointed. It also says Chinese Green Tea (foods from China are super suspicious) which has me on guard and well, I won't be trying the second bag.

Review: MAC Studio Sculpt!

I FINALLY got matched for MAC. People ask will this suit NCXX skin? and I had no idea how to answer because I had no idea where I was on the scale. Well now I can proudly tell you all! The salesperson stared at me and said "It's hard to tell because you have warm and cool tones in your skin" well yes, that's why I come to you (remember how I said my skin preferred neutral concealer? She ended up matching it to my wrist (lightest part of my body) because I wasn't comfortable with taking the BB cream off.

Ended up with a tester sample of NW15. But as I said she matched it to the lightest part of my body, it's a bit light for my face. NW20 was a bit orangey. So conclusion? I must be somewhere in the middle, haha.

This was supposed to be their full coverage concealer, but it still doesn't make the blemishes disappear. My skin is a bit dry and it showed with this concealer. Plus a couple days after use I started getting new pimples =/.

Won't be purchasing, but I'm glad I tried it out.

The wipe that she gave me after smells so good! Why can't they make scents like this? It's reminiscent of honeysuckle or something. A scent I detected in the John Frieda Hair dye conditioner. So addicting.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Beauty Bar + Allure Sample Society Box: April 2012

MUAHAHAHAHA! I'm here to bring you Beauty Bar + Allure Sample Society Box Review Round 2!

What is it?: This is a sample subscription box like ones that have been released previously (Birchbox, MyGlam, Luxebox in Canada etc). You pay $15 (a bit pricier, but no more tax! thank you thank you thank you~) a month and they send you a box of 5 deluxe samples to try.

Sample Society Box features some nice brands you can check out at

Why do you want it?: It exposes you to brands and products that you might not go out and try yourself, and gives you enough of the product so that you can really get a feel for it.

So I have been stalking this box to tell you the truth. It says that it's been out for delivery for a long time. It didn't actually come to my doorstep until 13 hours later. It's funny that they set the box inside the front storm door. Guess they might be worried about rain?

Overall... I'm kind of meh about this box right now? Maybe I'll grow to like these items more but this is my first review impression. I'll update with more details as I get to know these products like I did with the first box.

I thought for sure this time we'd see some makeup product or something with color (so many people were asking for makeup products after the last box). And in the email of telling me that my box shipped they had a picture of eyeshadow T_T. By the Allure logo it says " fragrance" so.... sadness. And they ask about makeup in the beauty profile so I just assumed.

Turns out people really liked the items that I wasn't so fond of the first round, huh. They should have 2 types of boxes differentiating between skin types (oily vs dry use really different products!)

Well, Let's go!

DDF Amplifying Elixir - DDF's Amplifying Elixir can strengthens the skin's moisture barrier by up to 50%. Banyan leaf, lotus flower and red clover extracts improve hydration and transform the skin's appearance.

  • Clear and very liquidy- reminiscent of the Juice Beauty Cleanser's viscosity. 
  • Smells kinda chemically when you put your nose right up to it. Barely noticeable.
  • Not able to see any immediate difference. You're supposed to follow it immediately with moisturizer and I guess it helps absorption and hydration. No noticeable feeling.
  • *EDIT* I tried it under my usual moisturizer. This particular one is thicker (supposed to help with rejuvenating skin- don't see any of that >.>). I actually could tell that the moisturizer absorbed more into my skin. Usually it stays on top longer and gives a slightly sticky feel (being that it's thicker and all). Now it's not sticky at all, if anything it absorbed so much my skin was still thirsty for more! I'm not sure how much I need this (especially for that price, owie), but this would be good for someone who had some kind of skin treatment that they would like to absorb better. Maybe for acne or something?
  • Definitely recommend trying this product if you ever have the chance. 
  • There must be a type-o somewhere because the box says the moisture barrier is strengthened up to 70%. Or is it that beauty bar people personally tested it and found that it's not that good? =P
  • Verdict: It does help to make things absorb better, but not something I really need. Especially at this price.
  • Full size 1.7 oz $63, sample size 0.5 Fl oz worth $18.53

Murad Hybrids Acne Primer- Refine your skin tone and minimize the appearance of pores with this acne-fighting primer, which creates a smooth, non-shiny matte finish. It's the secret tool for ensuring a flawless foundation application.

  • This kind of reminded me of the BB cream concept. It acts to control breakouts with .5% salicylic acid, primes for makeup and leaves a matte finish. So I decided to see if it has any coverage (supposed to be usable in place of or under foundation.)


Oops, guess not really.

  • On my dry skin this was indeed a matte finish. Much dryer than I like my skin to be, so I won't really be using this product. It's a runnier product.
  • The pump is so cute though!! XD <-- sucker for packaging.
  • Full sized 1 oz $35, sample size .17 Fl oz worth $5.95

 By Terry Echantillon Creme de Rose-  provides soothing nourishment for tired and thirsty skin effortlessly for hours, softening lines and wrinkles for a firmer, more youthful appearance. The luscious scent of roses makes every velvety application a sensuous experience.

  • Sure it smells like roses. If the roses are drunk. Like rose mixed with pear that's wayyyy too ripe and starting to smell alcoholic.
  • Cream is thick. I don't feel like my skin is nourished from its "thirst". If anything there's more of a frictious texture. Speaking of, I had the opportunity to shake hands with another dry handed person- it's so weird because we both have friction from our skin so it's more like tough skin rubbing against dry tough skin, lol.
  • I'm not fond of the texture (you probably can't tell if you don't have dry skin already) that my hand is left with, but this smell is addicting. I really want to eat something, or grab a drink now, haha. But not $99 worth -___-.
  • I don't feel much product in this sample =/ maybe one or two uses. Tube is barely halfway filled. And you'll notice that it's already almost 1/7th of the original size. Wow that's not affordable. How many containers of this would you have to buy to see results? Did I miss something? Is it like only for the eye area?
  • *EDIT* I've used it on my face now. It says for normal to dry skin. This dry skin is finding the formula a little too dry still. Should I have used the DDF Amplifying Elixer under? haha.
  • Full size 1.01oz $99, sample size .14 oz worth $13.72
Oscar Blandi Jasmine Oil Hair Serum-Banishes frizz and flyaways, Hydrates and protects your hair. Provides instant, long-lasting shine

  • Saw this and thought "ugh another hair oil"- remember I just had one from Orofluido from my last month's Birchbox.
  • The bottle has a cute dropper so you can control the amount of oil you get. 
  • It works to an extent (not perfect), but some are tough so we'll let it slide.
  • You can see it does have a shine effect, careful not to apply too much like I did or you'll get a greasy looking hair
  • IT SMELLS SO GOOD. I cannot emphasize this enough!! It reminds me of green tea bubble tea. Except it's Jasmine. But OMG. I just want to buy it to smell it! >.< Does Oscar Blandi make this in a scent?? I want it on me! I want to smell this all day long!
  • Full size 1.69 oz $35, sample size .169 fl oz worth $3.50

Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel-daily cleaning formula which develops a purifying lather to gently clean your skin pores. It helps to refine the look of pores leaving your skin fresh, comfortable and good to touch. This gel has a complex blend of botanical amino acids and other natural things that help to protect your natural complexion.

  • Last but not least. This one was an interesting one. It wouldn't open -__-. No matter how hard I squeezed, product would not dispense. Then I thought well then they must have a seal, so I tried to take off the top. It would not come off no matter how hard I tried. I was about to take a pair of scissors and poke a hole in it after 10 min. Then I remembered that you can just take the top off. So I used a pencil to poke a hole. Who says you can't have brains and beauty? tsk tsk boscia, watch that quality... made in Japan too, I'm disappointed in you.
  • Cleanser and makeup remover.
  • Clear and viscosity of glycerin. Gentle, and lathers gently. I can see how it would be good to take off makeup, it has this texture that seems good for dissolving makeup in. Haven't tried it out on heavy makeup yet though.
  • Verdict: Nice, but ehhh... not seeing anything too special yet.
  • *EDIT*: Just full on used it on my face. It does have a nice lather and feels gentle, yet face is left like it has been cleaned afterwards. The only problem is 10 minutes after use, I started noticing my skin getting REALLY dry. We're talking full on flaking dry- which it hasn't done since I stopped the stronger cleansers. I don't want my face flaking so not buying >.<. This product has undone what the peels and microfoliant from last month have done. /Maybe those with normal to oily skin can give it a shot. I have heard good things about their other products though, so I'm open to trying them out. 
  • Full size 5oz $26, sample size 1.69 fl oz worth $8.79

Overall: Total Box Value ~$50.49

VALUE: How can you complain?

APPEARANCE: Cute as always, I noted that each sample had its own little box. Although it seemed excessive, at the same time it prettied the samples up and took them up to the next level. A lot of the times the packaging also provides more information than the bottle or the site.

ITEMS: I don't know. I think I might be slightly disappointed. Sample Society (mainly because some items are just no suited to my skin = won't use)... people it's not just about how expensive these things are, I also want products that I'll use and can save up to splurge on =/. I think you have to include a makeup item in the next box now. Meanwhile Mr. Oscar Blandi should consider making a scent out of this Jasmine concoction if he hasn't already. Or I should grab that shampoo (but I really want the scent to last!).

FAVORITES: Nothing too stellar, but gosh the Jasmine Oil and Rose cream smell so good.

Better Luck next time I guess =D

THOUGHTS? Have/Had it? Want/Don't Want it? Comment Below!



Skin Concerns: Dullness; Lines, wrinkles, aging; Dark Spots, uneven tone; Blemishes and breakouts; Sun Damage. Yep, a lot going on here.

Top Concern: Dark Spots, uneven tone

Dry Skin

Makeup Products I Love: Foundation/Concealers, Lip stick/gloss/shine, Mascara, Blush, Eyeshadow, Eyeliner, Nail polish. Probably quicker to tell you which I don't care about.

Biggest Challenge: Lip stick/gloss/shine. Not really. More like I love these especially but challenge to get the right product.

Hair: Breakage, split ends, color fading

Result I want most from hair products: Volume; better hold less frizz

Favorite Scents: Fresh (clean, fruit); Floral

Just looking at the profile it seems like they tried their best to match the skin and scent criteria.

Join the Fun!

Before you say anything, no they didn't pay me or give me anything for free at all. Even though I'm heavily endorsing this, it's just because I think it's a great thing.

Sample Society is new, but it's already sold out  of subscriptions. I suggest putting in your email for the waiting list if you even remotely think you may want to join. Go to and click on "Sample Society" link under the dark navigation bar. While you wait for it to open for subscriptions you can ponder it some more.

When you sign up please use my Referral Code "JMANGO" (without quotes): NOT because either of us will get rewards (we won't), but because they will donate $5 to charity! What a great way to make the most out of your purchase, all it takes is you copy pasting the extra bit and you can help others in need as well.

It is set so that they will donate $5 each time you use my referral code on each of their six sites (,,,,, = total of $30 possible donations) for your first purchase. The money will be split across their 5 charities by default, but you can set it to distribute the funds to just the one charity of your choosing. I left mine to default because I feel like these are all great causes.

You set up a beauty profile- their FAQ notes that the boxes are NOT customized yet.
Their FAQ also notes that you can't see the products beforehand BUT YOU CAN. They list the products under your tracking information in the email, and after your box is mailed you can see pictures of the products in your Dashboard as well. I peeked.

It does have a reward: Basically you get $15 off a $50 Beauty Bar purchase each month if your order includes at least ONE brand that you sampled in your box that month. Isn't that great?! And I think it's Free Shipping with $25 purchase for new customers. So that $55 REN face peel would still be a painful $40, but less painful than $55.

Reviews- Deborah Lippman Stripper to Go, Nicole by OPI: Blue Lace, & Borghese: Plumaggio Purple

So I got a package with goodies from a friend and decided to share the polishes with you all. Apologies for the messy application.

The first is Blue Lace from Nicole by OPI. If you've read my past reviews then you know I love the OPI formulation. It applies smoothly and dries relatively fast. This color basically looks how it does in the bottle, a turquoise like blue with green shimmer. The green shimmer is more apparent irl. I think of more like a seafoam blue-green (whatever that means). I didn't realize that it matched my shirt!

The second is Plumaggio Purple from Borghese. This looks so different from the bottle color! In the bottle it looks more purple because of the shimmers. When you apply the first coat, it's a dark cerulean blue (that warmer blue green color so dark it's almost black). The second coat brushes on the purple shimmer. I felt like I could embody the Evil Queen from Snow White in this color. Even though it's a dark color, I had to apply 3 ish coats to ensure even color. Couldn't get my cam to capture the purple right. It looks more purple than in the swatch

And finally I get a chance to review Deborah Lippman's Stripper to Go Nail Polish removing mitts. It says it's for "go-go girls". I don't know how much I appreciate the stripper reference- I don't personally want to be seen as a stripper.

The odor is strong- of the remover and the lavender.
     When I stick my finger inside it becomes very cold after a prolonged time (probably the volatility of the solvent has to do with it).
     I actually ended up using it differently than how people would normally use it. It seems you're supposed to stick your finger in the mitt and twist the polish off. Instead I put the mitt on one finger and rubbed the polish off the other hand's fingers. There is a LOT of product on here, so it really is perfect to take on the go. I didn't feel like the cloth was drying out too fast or anything.
     A feature that I LOVE is that the mitt has edges. At first I disliked this bit, but it's really useful for helping to remove polish from the edges and crevices. Also love that the cloth is stiff enough- doesn't fall apart on you. It has very strong removing power and very volatile stuff (my eyes were stinging just from being above the product.
     It can definitely last though removing a light to medium colored mani/pedi. For darker colors it probably can only take off 10 fingers cleanly.
     I have to admit that this is an excellent product, and I thank Birchbox for letting me try it!
Most likely I will not buy because I'm not usually taking my polish off while "on the go", but if you're a frequent traveler and don't want to drag a huge bottle of remover (or buy new bottles), then this is truly a wonderful solution! See the rest of the items in my March 2012 Birchbox HERE.