Friday, 26 April 2013

Concealers- How to avoid creasing, caking or cracking!

Hello Lovelees!

A dear friend requested some tips or review on concealers in particular because she got super frustrated with hers.  Sorry long time coming but I hope this sheds some light! ;)

Just to cover the basics..

Concealer is a very densely pigmented cream or liquid, sometimes even mineral powder (usually from the indie companies), that helps you cover up blemishes or dark spots with just a small amount of product. It allows a more targeted and powerful coverage in a particular area.  You usually add it on top of your base (foundation or BB cream) in areas that you feel additional coverage is required.  Some cases it will give a better blended or smoother result with it under the foundation.  To give the best blended result is to apply concealer with small dots  then blur /blend/ press in the edges gradually to avoid a big slick of it. 

For under the eyes

Choice is to pick a colour that matches rest of your face (recommended if your eyes tend a bit small) or, Pick a shade that is a shade or 2 lighter than the rest of your face so that you can brighten /freshen the look of that area.  This method is also good for highlighting areas that needed extra coverage anyway (for me it's the bulb of my nose).  If you have puffy bags though, don't highlight the puffs with a lighter concealer - use the shade that matches!  Space out the concealer blobs under the eye, but not too close to the bottom lash line. This avoids a whole slab of product under your eye and a lighter/even blend into the rest of the face by fading it towards your lashline and rest of your face.  Preference really is to apply and blend /spread out with clean fingers especially for cream or liquid concealers so that you can use the warmth of your hand to melt and press in the product more seamlessly, brushes would need to be used with the powder concealers of course (otherwise there's more product on your finger than your face...)!  If you feel you need more coverage, especially in that inner triangular corner wedge of your eyebags (where it tends to be darker)- I may again press/blend in another layer.   Don't rub too much, otherwise you only just displace the under layer - just pat it in and make sure no fingerprints are left on your face afterwards haha. 

On blemishes or smaller areas in other places I usually like to dab a dot of concealer a bit larger than the pimple/dark spot you are covering, that larger overlapping zone on healthy skin is your blend zone so that you have full coverage on the actual blemish so that the blend area is on the outside of the blemish perimeter.  The shade selection in this case should match the rest of your face, definitely don't use a lighter one (e.g. the under eye shade) or any that has light reflecting particles in it... because that will simply HIGHLIGHT where the bump of your pimple is! :(

Usual complaints with a concealer is:
-Cakey/ Thick
-Migration into fine lines
-Poor coverage
-Aggravates blemishes
-Poor lasting power

How to extend / "freshen" wear time:

Massive Concealer Product Review - Concealers of all price ranges!!

Hi Lovelees!
Welcome to part 2 of my concealer review (part 1 here).  This has been a long time writing because there are so many included in here and I like to give these concealers a full day test...and there are days I lean towards my favourites and don't give my other products a chance long enough to write extensively about it...that and there's a vid with all this and i'm slow editing..

I'd just like to say at the time of writing I'm in winter so my skin is on the dry side so I test these products WITHOUT application of powder on top to see how well they perform alone (Well i prep my face with a light moisturiser and will say below if I added more moisturiser  for drier formulas).  I am also the philosophy - less is more.  if you can find a way to go without the powder under your eyes I think that's better because that means there's less product/layers shifting  and therefore if it DOES happen to crease or crack it's less obvious.  The reverse side is if you KNOW it will crease then yeh- that's what the powder or other setting techniques are for!!

Climate in edmonton is very dry especially in winter. But also in summer too it is not very humid.  It is your laundry's dream but maybe not so much for your skin.  I have a humidifier at home i have running 24/7.  If you have oilier skin or probably for summer i may need to be more conscientious about setting with powder.  I have found I tend toward the setting powders more in humid areas eg Hong Kong because I glow too much in the not so flattering ways there.

Missha M Perfect Cover BB cream, MUFE Full Cover concealer, Amazing Cosmetics Concealer
Missha Perfect Cover #23 :no crease -great for under eye area.  Compared to other BBcreams used for rest of face does not give skin as much vibrancy/luminosity over time (still some). Compared to other BBcreams I've tried eg Skin 79 it doesn't continue to hide pores and has a slightly more oily sheen to its luminosity finish.  These are all minor differences- I do like the product and use it often but it's not PERFECT...

Make Up For Ever Full Cover concealer (in #7):LOVE! Though it did not make a good initial impression because while it is liquid the formula is quite sticky so when I tried to blend in using fingers it tugged around the eye a bit.  Doesn't glide as easy as other concealers.  That means the application technique has to be a using very little product with light hand and dabbing motion to blend or build coverage.  It is very pigmented so a little goes a long way and allows us a very quick fix.  I have concluded that the sticky nature is due to the fact that it sets really fast.  One layer would dry quickly and I can apply another layer of concealer on easily to build coverage, without the use of powder.  On my nose it did a pretty good job covering/filling pores with good staying power.  Natural looking "skin" finish where it is not completely flat/ matte, ie satin.  I can imagine if i wanted to only invest in one face product and super lazy I'd be tempted to just get this one and spot treat.  I think I would consider diluting it down with moisturiser if i were to consistently use it to cover the rest of my face.  It lasts all day - it is non-comedogenic and waterproof, with no creasing.  Mild cracking occurs after a very long day but that is being very nitpicky because it is so subtle, it is easily fixed by making sure you moisturise very well before application.

Amazing Cosmetics Amazing concealer (medium beige) - Introduced to me recently by my friend Elaine (she blogs about new motherhood and other things) it's also pretty great! I think it performs like the Makeup For Ever Full Cover concealer but this swatches a bit more peachy, it will eventually blend into your skin pretty well, without the stickiness.  The offset is that it's safer to set with powder with this one as it may slide especially around tzone areas. It is of a more emollient texture than MUFE Full Cover and doesn't crease under eye , but may crack after a super long day but i think this could be forgiven.  It also does not aggravate blemishes.  Again use sparingly because it is super pigmented and then layer on as needed.  Also great for weddings because it is water resistant ;)

Benefit Boi-ing, Neutrogena Skin Clearing Blemish Concealer, Covergirl Olay Concealer Balm
Covergirl Olay concealer balm (#330 light -good for MAC NC 20-25 generally, NC30 for under eye) good for under eye 80% of time (in that it doesn't crease).  It's good for dry skin, glides smooth, staying power average for under eye. I find it a bit too oily on my nose or for tzone areas and so it likes to migrate, if you set these areas with powder it shouldn't be a problem. It doesn't clog pores or aggravate blemishes.  It's a light-medium coverage, and difficult to build without powders etc to help.  I like using this with the makeup setting spray to build coverage under eye and set - then it's perfect.  I quite like this combo method too.

Neutrogena Skin Clearing Blemish Concealer with Microclear technology (in Medium 15 for me, matches MAC NC30 perfectly): I think does a fair job  at drying(60-70% of time where I think the zit improved), while concealing pimples.  They are not miracle wielders where your zit goes flat by the end of the day like how they tend to exaggerate generally in any of the salicylic acid products.  However i think i am just happy finding one that does not aggravate them.  For me I think every pimple is different.  Some are more superficial, some are big and deeper.  Neutrogena i think MOST of the time helps to dry out the pimple where the pimple may choose to disappear.  One time it was interesting where it looked like a smaller pimple was peaking and collecting a pus centre in the morning and did not get better during the day after using the Neutrogena concealer.  In the evening after i cleansed my skin and wiped my face i found i had somehow taken the pimple off and left behind a pink mark.  Other times i think it didn't necessarily worsen but it definitely didnt help and the pimple had progressed. My Hawaii tan has faded and the colour doesn't match and I feel the concealer does oxidise making the shade disparity even more apparent. The way i like to apply it is dot the concealer directly on the pimple then use the sponge tip to diffuse out the area past the margins of the pimple.  I let it dry for a few seconds so that the product settles better in the skin and is not easily blended away and i start blotting down the edges of the concealer with my fingers into my skin.

I think because you are using this specifically on pimples it's very important to keep the spongetip clean, otherwise you are only aggravating it more with the extra germs.  I suggest at least on a weekly basis wiping down/rubbing down the tip with alcohol wipes and let it dry (say 15s) before recapping.
Using this can get dry around my eye area and around mouth.

Benefit Boi-ing (in #02 before they extended the color range from 3 to 5 shades): This was one of the first branded concealers I forked out for years and years ago because I recall it winning the Allure (i think) awards for the year.  The shade is a bit orangey pinkish which I think is perfect for hiding under eye circles (as described above about the colour correctors), for the rest of the face though it didn't quite match my yellow skin tone perfectly.  It allows full cover building but can migrate if not set with powder. It doesn't sit in my fine lines but it's a bit cakey hence mildly emphasising my fine lines.  It irritated my pimples at the end of the day if I tried to hide them with it.  It's not my favourite product , I occasionally use it if I can't find my favs within reach but largely I have moved on from it.

Nars concealer in Ginger for MAC NC30, Custard for MAC NC20-25: Texture is quite dry at first and can accentuate lines, because it comes in like a skinny lipstick packaging and the surface can be a bit dry.   So moisturize well (eg with some argan oil mixed in to usual eyecream) .  This can layer well to high medium coverage and doesn't crack, though I think it does still gather in my smile lines a little bit over a long day.  That's me being picky and hovering very close to the mirror.   Once you use it each time and get past that drier top layer on the stick it glides quite well, especially if you warm it with your fingers.  I've used it to cover some blemishes and it doesn't seem to aggravate them.  Not bad.  Overall I think this should be more for spot/blemish coverage to do it's best work.  There's a new Nars Radiant Creamy concealer (in a lipgloss packaging with doe foot applicator) that's good for under the eyes which can also build to medium-full coverage, but too radiating for blemishes haha.  Yet to try for myself though!

Performance Colors Creamy Undereye concealer -Etsy:  Sorry they only ship to USA and Canada! I used medlite and it fit my then MAC NC 25 skin ok with it being lighter under my eyes - but they have extended their colour range to include more yellow based shades).  Fragrance is strong and I have a sensitive nose that don't favour some fragrances. after application the scent continues to linger for another 45mins+, and then I fell asleep...  Very creamy easy to apply/ blend and has a matte finish.  Does a fair job if you want to use it for the rest of your face but it is not meant for full coverage as the description on Etsy says and I think ultimately not super long lasting against the oils on your face.  The matte finish does not match my everyday taste of preferring a more satin luminous finish.  With time it settles into your skin a little bit better.  No creasing, but very slight cracking just because it is such a matte formula and seems to float above the skin so of course your smile lines on your face underneath are going to do some shifting causing the cracks. It's very fine and you would alleviate that dried look with some added moisturiser.  I'm unsure how it would perform on more mature skin or a more heavy lined face because the matte finish kind of makes the lines stand out more in my opinion.  For the price though the performance is very good!!

Hope that all helps! Share the link if you learnt something!

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Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Tony Moly Kiss Kiss Lip Scrub Review

Hello Lovelees!

Sorry I've been quiet but Rachelle has been cooking up a storm with all her awesome DIY fashion.  You guys' readership has been totally fuelling her passion and practice makes perfect cos she's getting pretty fast at showing off her new projects and rocking them!

I've just been back from 3 wks in Hk/taipei and have some makeup and skincare haul and shopping tips  to provide you guys with.  I've been a bit slow cos i'm getting weirdly hindered with a lot of aches and pains lately sighz...

To ease back into it I want to share with you one of my new skincare faves - Lip Scrub!

Tony Moly Kiss Kiss Lip Scrub

Summer/spring coming up it is an even bigger opportunity to rock a bright happy lipstick or gloss.  But if  you've ever tried a lipstick that is especially light and matte -either pastel or just bright- if you haven't been taking care of your lips then this will definitely show you up! :(  The lipstick would gather in your lines and dead skin .  Your lips will look uneven and clumpy - and that will be the first thing others will see with your attention grabbing lipstick...

Tony Moly Kiss Kiss Lip Scrub

I mean I thought I knew a thing or two with lip scrubbing and exfoliating, e.g. use a toothbrush to massage it when you are brushing your teeth; or use a warm wet towel to massage it when you are washing your face; and of course the DIY home remedies with sugar lip scrubs (ok so I didn't try that one because I'm lazy and seems a waste and hassle when you make up a batch and really you only need like a tablespoonful at a time).

So I've read good things about the Tony Moly Kiss Kiss Lip scrub so I've decided to try it! The texture of the scrub is a light mousse feel with small visible granules with a gentle strawberry aroma.  This is all packaged in a cute hot pink plastic lip shaped container, inside it also has a plastic cover slip to help avoid product leakage.

Tony Moly Kiss Kiss Lip Scrub

 from (where you can get it from) is

  1. Gently massage a proper amount onto the lips for 1 – 2 minutes.
  2. Rinse with lukewarm water.
  3. Apply once or twice a week.

According to It is made with natural ingredients that will not irritate your lips including argan oil that will nourish and hydrate them.

A quick google though also has other information eg from ebay saying it has UV control Lip essence for antiaging, macadamia and jojoba oil to soothe dry lips, honey to provide a variety of nutrients such as protein, vitamins, minerals and amino acid, with the vegetable grain scrub.

I'm sorry I can't read Korean on the labels so can't say definitively but there is in the Kiss Kiss range also the Kiss Kiss Lip Essence Balm (same size/shape packaging but red coloured lips) .  I wonder if the UV part of the above is talking about that despite the picture/description,  because I know for a fact that the Lip Essence balm does have UV protection.

But let's just say for sure from it's actual usage I don't have the unsightly dead skin bunching the lipstick and immediately post scrub my lips feel moisturised and the following lip balm almost slips, rather than glides along my lips when I apply it!

If you prefer video talk and live demo:

I tend to have some hyperpigmentation on the corner of my lips and i feel that scrubbing around that area has also lightened the darkness there :) Note - don't be too vigorous with the scrubbing otherwise you will leave yourself a stinging and ravaged kind of sensation...I learnt it the hard way haha - i missed the word GENTLY in the instructions...

Tony Moly Kiss Kiss Lip Scrub

If I run out of it I will definitely be buying again!


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Thursday, 18 April 2013

DIY Lace-up Back

Hey Lovelees!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, I've been busy with school and Connie over here has been traveling again! Today's DIY is inspired by this picture from Vogue Street Style. It just perfectly mixes the sporty trend with a classic leather jacket. The lace-up back is a small detail with a whole lotta oomph. So go ahead, take a teeny break from those darn awful finals, and try out this DIY!


- leather jacket
- black leather/faux leather scraps
- red cord

- e6000 glue
- scissors
- ruler
- lighter
- optional: plastic cord stopper (mine is from an old backpack)


1. Cut the back of your jacket, so you end up with 2 pieces. Try to use a jacket that has a seam at the back, so it will make this step easier.

2. Cut the vinyl into 10 rectangles measuring approximately 1 cm x 3 cm.

3. Fold these in half and glue. Make sure to leave enough space for your cord to go through! Let dry.

4. Place 5 loops on one side of the jacket and glue in place. Do the same on the other half of the jacket. Let dry again.

5. If your jacket has a lining, glue it to the outside of the jacket, sandwiching the loops between the two layers. I used paper clips to keep it in place while it dried. Ghetto I know, but it works!

6. Thread the cord through the loops to create a criss-crossing pattern.

7. Use a lighter on the cord ends to keep them from fraying.

8. Knot the ends together or thread them through the cord stopper.

And know you have an uber sweet lace-up back leather jacket! It's perfect for the spring weather here in Edmonton, and trust me, it will go with every outfit. Please don't hesitate to let me know how it goes!

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