July 29, 2012

BB Cream Review & Comparisons: Lioele Beyond the Solution BB Cream

I've been on a massive BB cream kick lately after my trip to Taipei, where almost all the girls would wear bb creams as opposed to foundations. You can when some of these girls wear bb creams, because their face looks alot lighter than their necks. Apart from those starking neck-to-face appearances, Taiwanese girls do have a beautiful complexion. 

I picked up a deluxe sample size of the Lioele Beyond the Solution BB cream in Hong Kong. I got mine at Color Mix, where they sold a bunch of Korean skincare and makeup products for a reduced price. I got mine (30 mLs) which also includes a SPF45 sunscreen for HKD100. Even though it is not the full size, this 30mL tube will last me a good number of months with continuous use. Only the slightest pea size amount is needed each time. 

All the ingredients are written in Korean, so that's not much help to me. Surprisingly, the texture of the BB cream is quite thick - definitely less emoliant than the Skin79 Hot Pink Beblesh Balm. It dries alot faster, which means you need to work faster with the product.

The obvious difference between the Lioele and Skin79 bb cream is that Lioele is alot more yellow toned! This single advantage alone gives Lioele a thumbs up for me. I believe that Lioele, like Skin79, only comes in a single shade. So it's really a hit or miss when you're purchasing this online. For reference, I am approximately an NC 20 on the back my forearm, which is typically lighter than my neck and face. 

Freshly applied

Here are comparison swatches - freshly applied and photo taken.

after 2-3 minutes

Here are comparison swatches about 2 minutes after drying. The oxidation is only slight - with Lioele oxidising to a much darker tone. Suitable for NC25 to NC 30 skin tones. The Lioele BB cream dries alot faster than Skin79 bb cream.

There's a clear difference when using Skin79 BB (Hot Pink) cream and Lioele Beyond the Solution BB Cream - the latter seems to perform as a medium coverage foundation whilst the other acts more of a skincare product. I guess that rationale is based on the fact that Lioele does not contain an SPF, which would mean that I would have to add sunscreen into the regimen. Further, my skin does not feel as moisturised.

So there are definitely pros and cons to each bb cream. Almost strangely like comparing apples to pears within the bb cream category!

Lets begin the face swatches :o)

Below is my face bare - nothing on but my Caudalie Moisturising Sorbet.

Method of application: a small pea size drop warmed between the fingers and patted on like a skincare product. I realised that this technique makes the bb cream look far more natural than smearing it on or with a brush.

When applying to my right side (or the left side of the picture above), I noticed that blemishes are less noticeable and generally my complexion looks brighter. I'm around NC20-NC25 (leaning more on the NC25 after all the sun the last 2 weeks). You can see that the colour match is spot on. Not too grey and not too white, like Skin79.

Some close ups... everyone loves close ups! The only thing I had noticed is that slight build up on the edge of my nose. But generally my skin looks more natural with bb cream than with foundation. This simple fact alone explains my addiction to bb creams lately.

Demonstrating some more coverage abilities of the Lioele BB Cream, below is a close up of my bare skin. If you notice, there are some old acne scarring, pores and if you look even harder, there are plenty of black heads (eeps!). My SO commented that these pictures look very 'clinical' - haha! I can only agree.

The second picture shows the same area with one layer of Lioele BB Cream. Can you tell that my red patchy skin is gone, and that some of my pores are evenly covered? I think it's quite impressive.

Applied to my entire face. What can I say? I really love it! 

It seems to dry to a matte finish - in fact, not as dewy as most other BB creams out there. That can be easily fixed with a smidgen of highlighter on the cheekbones, tips of the nose, chin, etc.

What about oil control? Pretty good I must say, and definitely alot better than the Skin79 BB cream. 

Who will love this BB cream?
  • Oily to combination skin types
  • Those looking for medium coverage
  • Asian NC25 skin tones = perfect!
  • Natural looking matte finish
  • Anyone who does not mind the bb cream not having an SPF
  • Not willing to fork out as much for Skin79, BRTC, Dr. Jart BB creams
I hope that helps anyone curious about Lioele Beyond the Solution BB Cream. It's not a new product, in fact, has been reviewed by many others on the blogosphere.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Crimson Blue Skies and Update on Life!

Hi everyone! I apologise for the sporadic posts lately. July gifted us with two weeks of beautiful sunshine and warm weather, and instead of being at home blogging, I've been out cycling and basking in the sun. When it's summer in Denmark, everyone at work finishes at 3pm (sometimes earlier), and life is just so wonderful. :o)))

Lots of things have been happening this month. I went to Taipei and Hong Kong to visit family. I did some shopping - fake lashes, sasa goodies, My Beauty Diary masks, etc. :o))) Then I started a new project at work and it's crazy busy but kinda fun starting something new! I also moved my office to a new building and I'm located in the 'party room' with some very fun colleagues. If anything, I love working with Danes who doesn't take everything so seriously. I had my best friend visit me over the weekend. Our friendship dates back from primary school days and we haven't seen each other in 3-4 years. Best days ever! We were laughing till our tummies hurt. And after work this Friday, a group of friends trottled all the way to Amager Beach with backpack full of sausages, meat and drinks. We cycled about 30km and had some yummy beach barbeque food! Last but not least, this weekend me and my SO are packing for a proper Greek vacation. Haha! July has been an amazing month this year!!

Sunsets are probably the best time to take magnificent photos. Gradient skies and endless blues all throughout the evening are a rare experience. I can spend hours just gazing at the sunsets and abandon all worries and daily stresses. Here are two pictures taken at 10pm just outside my balcony. 

My sweet sister gifted me with some LUSH bath products: Space Girl Bath Ballistic and Rock Star Soap. I've never used LUSH ballistics before so I'm hoping that our hotel in Santorini has a tub to soak.

July 18, 2012

BB Cream Review: Skin79 Super Plus BB Cream (Pink)

We have all heard of (and probably tried) BB creams. I now see a plethora of bb cream options from the major Western prestige lines (Dior, Clinique, Bobbi Brown) to drugstore (Maybelline, Garnier) to Asian Japanese brands (Coffret d'or, Kanebo Freshel), over and on top new additions to the existing Korean BB creams. If anything, the options are endless and overwhelming!

There seems to be mixed reviews about BB creams in general. Personally, I didn't enjoy them when I was living in Singapore. The humidity and heat made my extremely oil-sensitive face unbearable beyond the 2-hour mark. I now realise that BB creams fare much better in longevity and wear in milder temperatures, particularly the North of Asia as opposed to South East Asia. With confidence, I brought home to Denmark a number of BB creams to test and sample. 

While I was in Taipei last week, I picked up Skin79 Super Plus Beblish Balm (Pink) from Watsons. They were selling them at a promotional price at TWD499, which translates to about SGD 20 per bottle. Google tells me that Watsons Singapore is selling them are  SGD 36.90 per bottle. That's just to give you a comparison of savings when shopping in Taiwan. If I was living in Singapore, $37 dollars for a foundation/sunscreen is still reasonable. 

If anything, the packaging of these BB creams are too gorgeous to pass up. It comes in a small dispensable pump, enclosed in a sleek pink bottle. 

Be weary of fake BB creams. You can tell it's originality by noticing a few things, including:
  • Sticker in Korean at the back of the bottle
  • Batch number and expiry date on the bottom of the box
  • A perforated line on the back of the box

I presume that fake bb creams are sold on ebay. Either buy them from Watsons, or, established online retailers. Adambeauty.com sells them as well with a slightly higher markup - in fact, quite reasonable still. 

I don't pay much attention to the claims BB creams - 'whitening, UV protecting, SPF25, wrinkle free' for example. I simply like the fact that it's a skincare-based tinted moisturiser which gives your face a natural even look. And indeed, it does look much more natural than the most lightweight foundations. I don't see foundation settling into the lines or accentuate existing dryness. This factor alone makes BB creams far more enjoyable to use. 

The balm spreads very well - there was not much tugging as opposed to Missha BB creams. I would only use one pump of bb cream for the entire face. A 40gram bottle is probably going to last me at least a year, if not more. 

The Skin79 Super Plus Bleblesh Balm (Pink) comes in one color - suitable for skintones from NC15-25. For reference, I am a MAC NC25. It appears light on me, but not overly so. It comes off initially as quite greyish, and is supposed to oxidise to your natural skin color. Well, I don't quite agree. By the 8th hour, my complexion still looks considerably fairer than my neck and chest. There was very little oxidation - hardly noticeable in fact.

Upon application, I noticed an immediate brightened look - looking very even and very natural. It covers pores, making my skin look younger. 

And even on close ups, you don't see any signs of patchiness or dry spots. It's quite a breezy application, just by using my fingers to spread it evenly.  

I would say that the only two negative points about this BB cream is 1. lack of yellow and maybe appearing too white? and 2. lack of effective oil control even though the pink bottle is targeted for oily skin types. 

Literally I look like snow white. There is not even the slightly hint of yellow - and I think it makes my complexion look unnatural when comparing it to my chest/neck. However, come winter - you'll notice less of that difference of neck to face. 

By the end of the work day, I could see the product disintegrating, but that's expected anyway. I would consider the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation to be slightly better in the oil department. For oilier skin types, I would assume that oiliness will break through by the 2-3rd hour. Bear in mind as well that average temperatures in Denmark are around 10-15 degrees. 

My face looks rather unsightly, I know. But all other foundations look quite the same by the end of the day anyway, that it'll be unjust to rate this product as negative on its lack of oil control. Given the oiliness here, I am convinced that I will only wear BB creams in cooler climates (and definitely not in tropical weather!!!).

In summary, the Skin79 Super Plus Bleblesh Balm is a good introductory BB cream. I wouldn't rate it as the best out there. It brightens, evens out pigmentation, spreads easily, and has been loved by many. It would suit combination to dry skin types (suggested to also use an effective primer to last throughout the night or regular blotting face powder to help matify during the day). The only other disadvantage is the lack of yellow, giving a noticeable (but not drastic) contrast from the face and neck. 

Have you tried the Skin79 Super Plus Bleblesh Balm (Pink) BB cream? What are your thoughts? Do you have any holy grail bb creams that you can't live without?

There will be more reviews to come on other BB creams, so stay tuned. :-)

July 5, 2012

Rescue Beauty Lounge Giorgia on My Mind

Georgia on my mind is Ji Baek's latest collection and one that perked my attention immediately. The collection went up for pre-orders in early June and I snapped the opportunity to pick up my first ever Rescue Beauty Lounge nailpolishes. I did quite a bit of research on Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes before ordering, as I have never seen it in person, and heard plenty of wonderful things about the formulations and shades that she has created. Ordering through her site is relatively easy, but unfortunately, many of her shades are out of stock. Her concept is to produce limited quantities of each shade. Once sold out, they are not replenished, unless voted back by VIP RBR-ers. This is probably the reason why RBR-ers go bizerk on pre-orders, and stock up shades that they can't do without.

$200 dollars worth of goodies entitles you to free shipping internationally, and boy was it quick. From shipping notification to the small box arriving on my doorstep took a total of four days. Each bottle of nailpolish is priced at $20 - rather steep, but I personally justified that it was the same price as OPI nailpolishes here at the local drugstore. 

I can see why there is a cult following now. One coat is all you need to achieve maximum opacity. And it applies so smoothly. I couldn't believe it. Now I wished that I taken up the pre-orders for the Fan Collection, especially Aqua Lily. It was incredibly hard to select from the choices, seeing that I wanted everything but had a budget to stick to. Overall, I am incredibly happy with the selection, including 3 bring-it-backs, 2 basic top and base coats, and 5 Gomms. Yummy gomms.

Giorgia on my mind is a collection with alot of earthy, sky tones. I picked out 5 out of 7 of the collection. Head over to Messy Wands for the entire collection. Ji Baek has released a blog post that announces that she will not be bringing these back once sold out, because of some naming issues. So I encourage you to purchase them without hesitation if any of these catches your fancy. 

Here are some single-coat swatches. No base or top coats there and it's really pigmented.

On each side of the bottle labels Ji's signature.

And here are some more swatches of Killa Red, Scrangie (LOVE!) and Catherine H. It was a quick and dirty job, and I promise better swatches soon.

Until then, keep a watch on Rescue Beauty Lounge's site for the final release of the 'Giorgia on My Mind' Collection.

I hope you're all having a wonderful week!

July 4, 2012

New additions to the Burberry Eye Wardrobe

Burberry is my long-standing obsession. I'm glad they don't release limited edition collections as often as Chanel or MAC do, otherwise I will be broke. It all happened on one spontaneous impulsive sitting, when I was needing some serious retail therapy.

Harrods has my recent discovery. They ship internationally for a flat fee of gbp 20, and they cushion everything into a beautiful black box amassed with bubble fillers. Nothing arrived smashed or bent. Since I live in the EU zone, I purchase from sites based in the UK, to avoid paying additional hefty taxes and import duties.

Lets see what I picked up? Is it just me, but do you always tend to buy more online than if you would in-stores?

If Burberry is famous for anything, it would be their eyeshadows. I could trade all my MAC, Urban Decay, Guerlain etc for Burberry. I have not touched a single MAC shadow in months now ever since discovering these. The only color I have yet to see in Burberry is a beautiful green. Blues, lilacs, and lavenders aplenty but missing a few greens (other than Khaki).

From left to right, clockwise direction: Blossum blush, Trench E/S, Almond E/S, Light Glow Primer, Pearl Grey E/S, Pearl White E/S, Midnight Plum E/S, Feather Pink lipstick, Midnight Brown Eye Shaper.

The above are my most exciting additions. Some non-neutrals to contrast my eye looks.

And some basics to the eye wardrobe. Trench and Almond look exquisite to use on a daily basis. I might be picking up Chestnut in the future.

I hope to share more of these beauties in my coming FOTDs.

Thanks for sharing the excitement with me today!

PS. I'm blogging from Taipei today, so the reviews will be up late since they are all at home in Denmark. 

July 3, 2012

Austria... not Australia!

Hi everyone! I promise this is not going to become a travel blog! I wanted to show you the pictures I took when I was in Vienna about 1-2 months ago. I went to Vienna for the long weekend to join my dear SO who was interviewing for a job there. Latest news tells me that Austria will become my second home soon. 

It was my second time in Vienna, but my first to visit the romantic city. The Viennese definitely have alot to be proud of - music, culture, the alps, good economic growth despite the eurozone recession and the buzz of a vibrant urban city. There's plenty of things to do - from listening to aspiring musicians playing on the streets to long walks around the palace at night. 

Stephansplatz is the place to go if you wish to capture most of Vienna's old historical buildings or do your highstreet designer shopping. The main charm lies with the Churches sbout. Chuch-hopping was my agenda for a few hours, gazing at its stunning interiors. 

Getting lost in the wavering streets makes the whole experience of discovering the city even more exciting. I discovered a barn of white horses, crowded by kids and locals. 

And slipping into a unsuspecting cafe hidden from the tourist bustle, getting to devour into some mouthwatering deserts.

I Occasionally saw street magicians, such as this. Can you figure out how this is done?

Then we both managed to find some time to visit a museum. Of course! Even though I am considered a museum junkie, I can only keep up with one museum a day. 

You can also take a short afternoon nap on the outside benches on the spaces outside the museums. Vienna, fortunately, has rather good weather. During the spring you get a lovely dose of sun, and during the winters are predictably clean and crisp. Denmark in comparison can be VERY depressing; the springtime still feels like winter and winters are always wet and windy. 

I leave you a tasty note of the traditional Viennese Scnitzel, a favourite dish by the Germanic countries. It's crispy, it's thin, and it's absolutely HUGE! Each covers the plate entirely, often flopping outside the perimeter of the plate!

I hope you liked the pictures. There will be more of Vienna in the future, so this is only just a teaser of more things to come!

Have a lovely week!

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