Review: SkinFood Fermented Soy Milk Wrinkle Care Sleeping Mask

3.30.2011


I've been using this every night for a little over a month now.  I got this because while I'm not 'terrified' of wrinkles, I feel like I'd rather be safe than sorry.  Plus I was curious about the idea of 'sleeping masks', which was why I picked this up.  The Laniege Sleeping Pack EX is a more popular (and expensive) sleeping mask that tends to go for $20+ online; this was my alternative and I'm quite pleased I tried this overall ^_^

Cost: $14.70 @ Sasa.  Quite a reasonable price considering it retails for 14000won (~$12.50 USD) in Korea according to Cosmeddicted :)

Description:
 
Skin Food Fermented Soy Milk Wrinkle Care Sleeping Mask is an anti-wrinkle sleeping mask that contains adenosine and soy milk ferment extract. It forms a protective layer onto skin and provides continuous moisturization overnight, making skin smooth, resilient, and moist by morning. - From Sasa
Leave on facial mask steeps skin in potent anti-wrinkle ingredients, soothing and healing skin while you sleep, to deliver a fresh and youthful complexion, with improved resilience and texture, in the morning. Recommended for aging and wrinkle-prone skin types. Gently massage sleeping pack on skin as the last step of your nighttime skin routine. - From YesStyle

Directions: After emulsion or essence, apply desired amount evenly onto face and gently massage to absorb.


Packaging: Love the hygienic pump!  No real complaints, everything is sturdy and pumps smoothly.  Honestly, this is definitely one of the best pumps on a beauty product I've tried - it never catches, splatters or leaks ^_^!  The cap fits tightly too so this is quite portable.  If I had to be super nitpicky though, I'd say that one full pump gives enough for almost two uses so you need to do half a pump if you don't want to use it up too fast.   Overall, the packaging is simple yet excellent.

Top: one pump
Bottom: totally absorbed (~15-30s)

Texture: A lovely, milky white watery gel.  It soaks in pretty fast but if you put on too much you'll have a slightly oily looking sheen in the morning.  No biggie though, this is a sleeping MASK, not a lotion anyway.  Super light and I'm quite fond of the gel texture, which is a refreshing change from how gels are usually drying/not moisturizing.

Scent: I wouldn't say it smells like soy milk (the best soy milk product: Silk Whitia Soy Milk mask = LOVE), but it's a fine scent nonetheless.  It has a vaguely artificial, fresh, clean scent.  I can't quite put my finger on it but it's inoffensive and mild.

Experience: Really nice. I put this on as a last step at night.  I usually use about 3/4 of a pump and liberally massage it into my face and neck.  It feels a little "wet" when you put it on at first but it soaks in quickly and feels refreshing.  Like my face is "drinking" it in :D I don't believe this leaves a residue even though when I wake up in the morning sometimes I'll have a little sheen of oil? on my forehead.  I think it's just a sign of hydration ^^ and in any case, it's easily remedied with a swipe of toner or a splash of water.    I have never experienced any irritation or breakouts.

Results: I find this to be a very hydrating (but not overly so) mask.  As far as I'm concerned, sleeping mask is basically a synonym for lotion/moisturizer, but whatever the name, the results are good.  I am a very oily skinned person and strictly in the "It's Impossible to Over-Moisturize" Camp.   I find that generously moisturizing at night actually keeps my face fairly oil-free during the day.  This neatly ties into the fact that oil secretion increases when your skin is too dry.  Thus oily people should actually moisturize more.  This philosophy works for me quite well and I have seen a remarkable decrease in oiliness after incorporating sheet masks and a reliable moisturizer into my skincare routine.  I would say that this sleeping mask helps too.  My skin is always nice and plump in the morning and the fact that it has anti-wrinkle prevention in the ingredients is just a bonus.

Overall
I find that this works well for me and will probably re-purchase it in the future.   I like the light gel-like texture, the quick absorption, and low maintenance quality of not having to wash it off.  It's simply a very convenient boost of hydration + wrinkle care in one.  The hygienic pump and fair price seals the deal for me.  One caveat: I admit I have no idea if this is actually preventing wrinkles.  I suppose it's one of those things where only the absence of something proves your point ^^ For now I am content to just believe I am preventing future wrinkles while hydrating my skin :}

I recommend that everybody try this. Also it seems fairly gentle so even sensitive skinned peeps can use it.  For people on the fence about whether chicks in their 20s should use anti-aging products, this mask is a good compromise by rolling a gentle anti-wrinkle and moisturization all-in-one for a good price.  It's not an intensive anti-wrinkle cream by any means but still provides a small measure of prevention :)

Fyi SkinFood has a Fermented Pomegranate version of this mask (review from Cosmeddicted).  However, the Pomegranate version is a whitening mask, not a wrinkle care one.  Also Cosmeddicted says the mask doesn't actually whiten though and we all know how I feel about beauty products that don't do what is promises ;)

Review: My Beauty Diary Damask Rose Mask

3.29.2011


Whee~ here's the last Blooming of Beauty mask I've tried.  It's probably my second favorite of the three, but in terms of uniqueness...it's my #1 :)   And to respond to Joyce, yessss I got the maximum of 7 Zoya polishes (aka I got 14) from the Zoya BOGO promo!  I spent so much I even qualified for free shipping -_- but ultimately, 14 polishes for $56 =  $4/polish w00t!  I plead temporary insanity but lord knows I AM EXCITED.   I've heard a lot of complaints about the Sunshine collection's formula but I don't care, I love sparkles so I think I got all the colors except for Rica ^_^v  Overall, though I would say I've seen better collections - all three Zoya collections for Spring were so...dupable in some ways.  I dunno. For people who missed out, no worries.  Zoya does a lot of excellent promos, some are BOGO free on the entire website so this promo, in the big picture, was not actually all that great. Lastly, I've been wrapped up in a lot of stuff lately, hence the ever-so-slow updates and lack of blog-hopping/commenting :(

Purchased at: BonjourHK

Price: $7.60 USD/5 masks = $1.52/mask + S&H

Description: Brightening, moisturizing, improve skin radiance.

Suitable for: All skin types.

Experience: I was so excited about this whole "ice cream in a mask" idea.   When I opened the packet I got a whiff of a very sweet rose...if that makes any sense.   It was a pretty mild scent so even as a not-crazy-about-rose-scented-things person, I liked it.   Whilst I had on this mask, the experience was quite nice.  Nice fragrance, mask stuck on well, no irritation.  Afterward my face looked brighter and more radiant.  My face felt moisturized and all in all, it was a good spa-like experience.  Downside, I expected some kind of massive cooling effect (ice cream anyone?) and this mask was just cool when I initially put it on and that's it :\  In other words, it was only cool on my face for 5-10 minutes because ....it's just wet.  Given, redness did go down but regardless, I was looking for a cooling effect a la Skin Food Vita-A Gel mask.  Speaking of, I have yet to encounter a face mask as wonderfully cooling as those SF gel masks (they're a close contender for my #1 mask of all time actually ^_~).



Overall
Fit: Cut and size are identical to the MBD Natural Key line masks.  2 slits around the chin and as I've said 100x before, MBD masks happen to fit me perfectly so the fit was excellent.

Scent: A sugary sweet rose.  There's really no other way to describe it. Very mild and pleasant; tolerable to even those not nuts about rose scented things :)

Mask texture: Smooth, silky, very absorbent, a hair thinner than the regular MBD Natural Key line.

Excess serum: Mask itself is well drenched but there is only about dime sized amount of excess serum for your neck.

Claims: Brightening, moisturizing, improve skin radiance.  I would say this mask does all these things. It mostly temporarily brightens and improves radiance.  This mask is moisturizing, yes but it's not SO moisturizing I'd recommend this for dry skinned peeps.  As an oily skinned person though, this was just enough hydration.  In any case, if you're looking for moisturization in the Blooming of Beauty line, apparently the Sunflower mask is the way to go. Overall, I'd say this mask does what it claims to do.

Overall Results: Quite good, it does everything it promises and the experience of using it is always nice.  I have no significant complaints about it other than I wish it had an more tangible cooling effect to play into the ice cream theme.  That's just a nitpick though.  However, even though this mask is a good 8/10 at least, I probably would not repurchase this.  I say this because personally I have enjoyed other masks more and the price tag is too much for results I can get from (ever so slightly) cheaper masks. I literally use sheet masks at least every other day (minimum 3-4x a week) because they have made a huge difference for me.  I know this sounds like a nutty investment to others but it's what works for me.  Hence I need quite a large hoard of sheet masks to get me through the months and those few cents add up for me fast.   While the results of this mask were nice, I just happen to like other masks more (which I will discuss in my Uber-Ranking of Sheet Masks post... which I will finish soon, God willing).  This mask didn't blow me away by any means but I don't regret buying a box to try at all :) 

Overall, I do recommend people try this mask for themselves.  It's a fun, sweetly scented, gentle, effective mask.  Price isn't too bad at all either, very reasonable on BonjourHK.  Don't expect miracles, but it does the job~

NOTD: Zoya Freja + Zoya BOGO Free Promo

3.23.2011


I couldn't get a good picture of this polish for some reason....the sun was being *too* bright. Huh, you don't hear that complaint every day.  Except from nerdy dweebs who have pretensions of vampirism and are bleached pale from a lack of sunlight and too much COMPUTER.  Oh wait, that's me :)


Seche Vite Base Coat
Zoya Freja - 3 coats
Seche Vite Top Coat

I've said many times that this is my favorite nail polish - and it still is!  It's a gorgeous, classic gunmetal that was a fall/winter staple for me; I'll probably put this aside for spring/summer though. The formula of this polish is amazing, even on Zoya standards.  These nails are already about a week old since I snapped these pics and absolutely no chipping :D  Application is so easy too, super smooth, never patchy, and totally opaque after 2 coats, but 3 is perfect.  This isn't just a flat gunmetal, there are subtle silver micro-glitters in that make this polish quite complex.  The color is just so versatile and goes with everything, honestly I have no complaints about it.  Some may find this color a little boring after the deluge of pastels and hot neon colors Zoya and Nubar have been flinging out, but to me gunmetal is like black and white - totally timeless and never out of style.  Very much recommended and my #1 personal favorite.

So, yeah I need to stop myself from raving more about what is ultimately but a bottle of nail polish ;) Speaking of Zoya though, make sure you take advantage of their amazing promo (only for current account holders):


As an ADDED BONUS for taking part in the exclusive account holders only BOGO Offer* standard shipping will be only $2! (Order more than $55 and shipping will be free!).  You can BOGO* any colors from our new Zoya Summertime, Sunshine and ModMatte collections! With 15 new colors to choose from you are bound to find plenty of BOGO offer options to love!  ENDS 3/25 @ 11:59 EST.

How it works:
* SIGN IN – to your account on Zoya
* CLICK on MY ACCOUNT
* Once you are in your account go to the left hand side of the page and CLICK on MY PROMOTIONS AND COUPONS
* APPLY the code that reads ZOYA SUMMER BOGO*.
* Then ADD - Any combination of polishes from the new summer collections to your shopping cart.
* (This BOGO* you can buy up to 7 bottles and get 7 FREE(of the new summer collections)
* ADD any additional items you would like to purchase
* CHECK OUT (BOGO* applies to polish from Summertime, Sunshine and ModMatte collections ONLY!)
* Please double check all information IS CORRECT and ALL FIELDS have been completely filled out PRIOR to submitting the order. There is NO WAY to issue a new code after the order has been processed.
* SUBMIT – your order.
For more info go here. Here are the collections that are included in this promo.


Sunshine Collection
  • Reva (ZP546) - A cool toned strawberry red with glowing golden metallic sparkle. A very rich and luxurious looking gilded red.
  • Kimmy (ZP547) - Gleaming metallic candy apple red brightened by gold sparkle. Not your usual red shimmer- this one has a fiery attitude.
  • Apple (ZP548) - Luminous yellow-toned apple green packed with gold metallic sparkle. A dimensional green that's clean and bright.
  • Tanzy (ZP549) - Light, bright tangerine orange with yellow gold metallic sparkle. A sunny orange that's easy to wear year-round.
  • Rica (ZP550) - Warm light coral with pink and orange tones and heavy gold metallic sparkle. An alternative to flat corals for when you want to shine.
  • Faye (ZP551) - A bronzed mauve with purple and brown undertones flooded with bright gold sparkle. A unique gilded shade that will work in any season.
Summertime Collection
  • Sooki (ZP552) - Bright, clean, crisp cool cherry red cream with a subtle jelly finish. For an irresistible, attention-grabbing red nail.
  • Tamsen (ZP553) - Medium warm brick red with strong orange tones with an opaque cream finish. A special red that is both enticing and mysterious
  • Areej (ZP554) - Pink with an opaque cream finish. A pink for when you want a bold pop of color but not something neon-bright.
  • Kieko (ZP555) - Warm, red toned dusty light purple with berry tones with an opaque cream finish. A nice alternative to pure pink or berry, especially flattering on warm skin tones.
  • Mira (ZP556) - Blue toned medium purple with dusty lavender tones and an opaque cream finish. For a muted yet colorful purple that isn't too dark.
  • Breezi (ZP557) - Soft, dusty, medium cerulean blue with an opaque cream finish. A super chic  high-fashion denim look for nails.


The incredible Zoya modmattes LE* shade collection has been expanded with three new LIMITED EDITION beauties. Get all of the color, none of shine with modmattes LE*, Zoya’s exclusive blend resulting in utterly wearable and truly stylish matte nail polish.

  • Phoebe (ZP558) - Bright azure with fine electric blue and violet shimmer with a velvety matte finish.  The matte finish amplifies the bright color; this is a matte that positively glows.
  • Mitzi (ZP559) - Funky murky light yellow-toned lime green creme with a velvety matte finish.  A new edgy, fun, bright type of matte for a retro mod look.
  • Lolly (ZP560) - Bold, saturated medium magenta pink creme with a velvety matte finish.  A very colorful new matte style for perfect stand-out Barbie pink nails.

Review: My Beauty Diary Japanese Hydrangea Mask

3.23.2011

Part of the limited collection in celebration of the Taipei International Floral Expo, the Japanese Hydrangea mask soothes and comforts skin while providing remarkable oil control to keep skin matte and shine-free. 
Purchased at: BonjourHK

Price: $7.60/5 = $1.52/mask + S&H

Description: Oil control, soothing.

Suitable for: Best for combination and oily skin types.

Experience: First impression when I opened the packet - not good >_> I got a strong wave of something that reminded of black tea, a scent I'm not nuts about.  The mask texture and fit was good, as all the My Beauty Diary masks are.  Unfortunately, as many of you know, one thing I always look for in a mask is that "cooling factor."  This is important to me as "cooling" masks are vital to reducing redness and puffiness on my face, something I'm very prone too. In general, all sheet masks have at least a little bit of a cooling effect simply because you're putting something wet on your face. However, some masks have an extra cooling sensation and I don't think it's just in my head because certain masks feel exceptionally cool on my face (w/o refrigeration) and redness goes way down. Sadly, this mask is not one of those.  Initially, it was cool but I don't know if my face was reacting to one of the ingredients or what, but my face started getting rather warm after 10-15 minutes.   It didn't break me out or anything, but redness did not go down at all.  Usually face masks at least temporarily take the redness on my face down at least 90% but this one....my face just looked the same :\  I've tried this mask 3x so far on 3 consecutive days and I haven't been impressed by either the immediate or (slightly) long term results in terms of oil control.   


Overall
Fit: As all MBD masks, the mask fits me well and has 2 slits around the chin.

Scent: I admit that I don't know what Japanese Hydrangeas actually smell like :P but this mask smells - to me - of black tea.  Really strongly.  I don't like the smell and this is one of the reasons behind why I wouldn't repurchase this mask.

Texture: Mask texture is nice, smooth and almost silky.  Quite nice.

Excess serum: Mask is well-soaked but there is minimal excess serum in the packet for your neck etc. You can usually squeeze out a tiny handful, just enough for your neck but that's it.

Claims: Oil control, soothing.  I personally have not noticed much oil control improvement.  I used this mask three days in a row and there was no "oil reduction" on those three days or afterwards.  So...yeah.  As for soothing, not particularly.  It didn't irritate my skin per se but I didn't see any redness reduction at all :\

Overall Results: I'm a little surprised how ineffective this mask was on me since the MBD French White Lily and Damask Rose (coming up next!) masks were wonderful. Besides the fit and texture of the mask itself, there is nothing I really like about this mask.  It didn't soothe my face nor did I see any oil reduction.  And one thing I particularly despise when it comes to beauty products is when something doesn't do what it promises.  I don't expect something to fix every problem on my face but if a mask promises oil control, I should see some oil control.  Everybody's skin is different so it may just be me so don't let this review prevent you from trying it out if you like, but don't expect great things. On the upside, the packaging is just lovely isn't it ^0^?  I have to say I just adore the Blooming of Beauty packaging, it's so floral, feminine, yet not overdone.  Overall, I did not like the smell and this mask didn't do what it promised, so I would not repurchase or personally recommend it.

MBD correction + fun tags + movie trailers!

3.20.2011

I'm slowly slogging through my face mask reviews but I have a lot on my mind these days so I just felt doing something more *lighthearted* :)

Speaking of face masks, I made a mistake on my MBD Blooming of Beauty Overview post, so I've updated that.  Basically, there are actually 9 masks in the series, not 6 >_>  The three masks I forgot to list are awfully expensive online because they're "rarer" for some reason - ugh... So I doubt I'll get to ever try them but I did want to let you guys know the proper information.  MBD has also just released ANOTHER (arghhhh!!) mask series called Tea Time this month, which Elisa posted about.  They sound effing delicious and now I want to try those too -_- However, I'm on a strict mask ban for the next 2-3 months though while I use the ones I have.  Also if I keep buying more sheet masks I'll never finish my sheet mask compilation video -_-

Nonetheless, I did find some places that are selling these rare MBD masks.  They're awfully expensive but these are literally the only 2 places that ship to the US that I've found so far.  So yeah...for people who can't resist:
  • Buying in Taiwan Ebay Store: Selling the three Blooming of Beauty masks that aren't on BonjourHK website for $13/box.  Despite the fact this is literally 2x more expensive than what BonjourHK sells the Blooming of Beuty masks for ($7.60/box), this is the cheapest place I've found that ships to the US where you can try the Moroccan Rose, Pink Rockrose, and Mediterranean Orange Blossom masks.
  • Zizizaza Ebay Store: Selling not just the Tea Time series ($17.25) but also the adorable MBD Hello Kitty Honey Milk and Strawberry Milk masks ($17.25).  The HK masks are 10/box so that's not as bad as the Tea Time series, which come 5/box.
Anyway,  I was pretty excited to have a chance to do the Handwriting Tag that's been going around Blogger lately :D Thank you Eve (Bella Chic) and Sue Lynn (Where I Can Be Deeply Superficial) for tagging me.
Get a piece of paper and write the answers to the following questions:
1. What's your name/your blogger name?
2. What's your blog's name/URL?
3. Write "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."
4. Favorite quote?
5. Your Favorite song?
6. Your favorite band/singers?
7. Anything else you want to say?
8. Tag three to five other people.

Usually I write in a crash of cursive and print that is barely legible. This is my neat, tidy, "I'm gonna fool people into thinking I have nice handwriting" handwriting ;)

People I want to see handwritings of (b/c I'm a creeper ;) ):
Jess (Oh pretty!), Pop Champagne (I know you don't do tags but it doesn't stop me from flinging them at you ahah xD), Elisa, Rinny, Mara, Jess (Bubbles & Beauty), Fannie D, Susho, Beauty & the Scientist, Jennifer

And some new bloggers I've started following :D
Faye Lu of Faye Lu Review
Yelena Kim of Korea Through My Eyes <-- a Korean Russian living in Korea, among the few expat blogs I like reading
Choiii of Hooligan Choi
Magdalena of I Like Makeup
Lena of Mad, Bad, & Dangerous to Know <-- I've been following her for awhile so she's not a "new" blogger to me ^^
aki! of 7% Solution
And last but not least, one girl I keep forgetting to tag (I swear it's because we're both "Elle")...Elle of Bitter & Sweet.

Also I did a video tag over the weekend!

Here are the 15 Questions:
1. What do you think you can do but can't?
2. What's a difficult word for you to pronounce?
3. What is a favorite TV show from your childhood?
4. What are your virtues and vices?
5. What's more important: love, fame, power, or money?
6. If you could live in any era/time period, when would it be and why?
7. If you had to redo your entire wardrobe with 2 stores, what would they be and why?
8. Can you recall what you were doing a year ago on this day?
9. Do you have reoccurring dreams? If so, explain?
10. What's your horoscope?
11. What does your dream bedroom look like?
12. What position do you sleep in?
13. Who is your favorite vampire of all time?
14. What are you currently wearing on your feet?
15. Do you have neat handwriting? Show us!
I don't have the energy to tag more people but anyone willing to do this tag (especially via video!) be my guest :D yuuuup also Elisa tagged me for a pretty cool Childhood Pictures tag, which I'm looking forward to doing.  I love digging up old pictures but I am the epitome of someone who went through an ugly duckling phase so hmm...retinal scarring anyone ;)?  Now onto the second half of this post...

...I wanted to post some intriguing movie trailers that have caught my eyes in the past few weeks.  I'm one of those lazy bums who'd rather read recaps than watch a movie in a theater ^^ but I do love watching trailers. Does that even qualify as a hobby xD?

Award-winning director Joe Wright creates a boldly original suspense thriller with HANNA, starring Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, Atonement) in the title role. Raised by her father (Eric Bana of Star Trek), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland, Hanna's upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity. 
Hanna - I love movies about emo-bad-ass-chicks! The fact that this girl a young 'un with a traumatic past sounds somewhat stereotypical but the trailer reminds me a lot of the Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, which is good in my book.  That girl's cute as a button too, killer instinct and all.  I can totally see her being the next big Hollywood starlet, she has the intense look about her~  I have a feeling she's going to find out her target (Cate Blanchett) is her mom or something and there is some genetic "defect" that gives her amazing speed/intelligence, something like that.  Anyway, Eric Bana is smoking up the screen too *sigh* he's so fine ^^ so this is a movie I'm considering actually seeing on movie screen instead of reading the synopsis ehehe~

WHEN HARRY TRIES TO MARRY is a cross-cultural romantic comedy about a young Indian-born bachelor who lives in New York City. Harry's handsome and charming, but he's cynical about love. He's never really gotten over his parents' divorce -- they were a modern Indian couple who married for love and it didn't last. So to improve his odds of living "happily ever after," Harry decides to have an arranged marriage, and asks his uncle back home in India to assist him in arranging the introduction to an appropriate Indian woman. To the dismay of his parents and friends, Harry finds the perfect girl and embarks on a long-distance courtship. But unexpectedly, Harry's friendship with Theresa, a fun and sexy American student, becomes confusing, appealing -- and maybe a little bit romantic. Once Harry, his friends and the entire wedding party converge in India, Harry's plan to avoid romantic risk becomes a recipe for chaos. Can anyone protect themselves from a broken heart by leaving the passion out of marriage? And, when all is said and done, does Harry really want to?
When Harry Tries to Marry - The title reminds of "When Harry Met Sally" (I thought it was a sequel at first). In any case, the recent influx of Bollywood trailers on Apple is very intriguing!  This movie caught my eye because it has a k-drama flair with that unmistakable Bollywood signature to it.  Don't get me wrong - it's pretty obvious this won't be winning any Oscars xD but come on, who doesn't love BANGHRA ^^!? This trailer really drives home the reason why the Hallyu Wave reportedly even reached India - I see a lot of "East Asian" sensibilities in this trailer that I think K-poppers can relate to. What I particularly like about this trailer/storyline is that it has that uniquely Indian twist of arranged marriages.  We don't get that set-up in K-flicks/dramas (at least not quite so bluntly though Koreans do have a love of "dating contract" sort of things :P).  Also the premise of the dude "going traditional" in a modern world instead of "breaking free from tradition" is rather fresh if you think about it.  This approach is very relevant to not just Indians of this generation, but also all Asians.  Personally, I see so many second generation Asians "looking for their culture" after years of happily being a "Twinkie." I also like how this movie shows modern Indian culture as it exists today (aka the parents are divorced, they live in America, they're happily integrated in American society) and come on, the scenes in India look gorgeous.

Plus that dude (Rahul Rai) is kinda cute ;)  He doesn't seem to be a "good" actor per se (I say this as someone who judged only from the trailer) but there is something quite quirky and charming about him.  Bollywood is still rough around the edges when it comes to producing slick, mass-audience films that Hollywood has down to a fine art, but I already know Bollywood is going to invading Hollywood in the next decade or so and this promises to be a taste of how they might do modern rom-coms. Let's face it, we all know how the movie is going to end and the acting already looks a little awkward but it looks like an entertaining chick flick to me :D!

Inspired by the bestselling novel SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN by Lisa See, the film is a timeless portrait of female friendship. In 19th-century China, seven-year-old girls Snow Flower and Lily are matched as laotong - or "old sames" - bound together for eternity. Isolated by their families, they furtively communicate by taking turns writing in a secret language, nu shu, between the folds of a white silk fan. In a parallel story in present day Shanghai, the laotong's descendants, Nina and Sophia, struggle to maintain the intimacy of their own childhood friendship in the face of demanding careers, complicated love lives, and a relentlessly evolving Shanghai. Drawing on the lessons of the past, the two modern women must understand the story of their ancestral connection, hidden from them in the folds of the antique white silk fan, or risk losing one another forever. What unfolds are two stories, generations apart, but everlasting in their universal notion of love, hope and friendship.
Snow Flower & the Secret Fan - I read the book a couple years ago and I remember thinking of it as a quieter, rawer version of The Joy Luck Club, but I re-read the book again recently and it has a complexity to it I don't remember the first time around.  I definitely recommend the book, especially for people who've enjoyed "The Joy Luck Club" and "Memoirs of a Geisha."  Coincidentally, the director of this movie also directed "The Joy Luck Club" film version.   Interestingly, I get a distinct "Memoirs of a Geisha" film vibe from this movie instead, it has that shiny, expensive look to it.  I'm not sure how I feel about that but I will say I am very excited to see how the book plays out as a film.

Even more interestingly, Jun Ji Hyun (Gianna Jun, she of "My Sassy Girl" fame), will be playing the role of Lily, a very tragic figure in the book.  JJH is one of the few A-list K-actresses who actually seems serious about making it in Hollywood. Her first Hollywood attempt was not good; Blood: The Last Vampire bombed and was critically derided.  Oddly enough, her acting was praised and she came out of the mess pretty much unscathed since most of the blame was laid on the director.   In any case, "Snow Flower" promises to be a much better vehicle for her - it has that Asian exotica that America is so fond of and she's in the hands of a much better director.   I'm curious to see how she'll do speaking both English and Chinese though, she doesn't speak either if I'm not mistaken.  "Lily" is a pretty dynamic character so if she does well in this film I can totally see her breaking into Hollywood. As for first impressions, I am pleased to see that she is looking very raw and "into the role." She certainly hasn't lost her round cheeks and while they make her seem a tad chubby, she looks very charming and somehow suited to the role of the emotional, stubborn Lily.

Li BingBing plays Snow Flower and she looks gorgeous!  So polished and sophisticated, a great contrast to fierce Lily, who was born poor.  Again, I am curious to see how her character plays out on screen.  There are so many intense, tragic scenes in the book that would test even seasoned actresses - but I have very high hopes! Maybe we're looking at two new Hollywood stars ^_^ Hugh Jackman is in this movie too so I am seeing at least a decent audience draw :) Fingers crossed!

Review: My Beauty Diary French White Lily Mask

3.19.2011

A special collection in celebration of the Taipei International Flora Expo, this limited-edition face mask harnesses the skin soothing and whitening qualities of the lily for a noticeably radiant and fairer complexion.
Purchased at: BonjourHK

Welcome to my new My Beauty Diary source!  It's significantly cheaper than Sasa and carries more products.  They even have some Holika Holika items :)!! If you want to try HH items, their Bulgarian Rose line is their newest release.  I personally find their Strawberry line the most tempting though ^_^  I'm toying around with purchasing some HH items.  There seems to be a dearth of HH reviews and I'd like to be one of the first to get on that (eheh that's what she said ;) sorry I can never resist a naughty joke ^^).  Anyway, if anyone wants me to reviews some more Holika Holika (some HH reviews I did before), let me know so I can include one or two in my next batch.

Their shipping was quite fast all things considered.  It took ~2-3 weeks and everything came neatly bundled.  The downside is that their minimum for free shipping is $99 USD and otherwise has $10 S&H no matter how little you buy.  Keep in mind everything is not cheaper across the board - just generally.  You still need to do some price comparisons and they have no re-stock product alerts (GAHHH), which is really annoying. Also their website navigation is uber clunky, they have no product descriptions (a real hassle when trying to pick new products to try -_-), and you are strictly limited to 2 of each item :P  I would say overall, BonjourHK has a slightly wider brand selection and good prices but terrible site design, which really does ruin the overall experience.   Nonetheless, I recommend you check out this site out! Their Laniege items are the cheapest I've seen so far and they have a couple Korean brands unavailable elsewhere.

Price: $7.60/5 pieces = $1.52/each + S&H. So yes, these are more expensive than the Natural Key line, which run about .20 less per mask.

Description: Whitening, soothing.

Suitable for: All skin types.

Experience: Lovely scent when I open the packet.  I get the cooling sensation that I love with sheet masks (probably b/c of the serum not because white lily is cooling or anything xD).  The experience is very nice and what I especially like about this mask is that it does exactly what it promises and does it well. As soon as I take off a mask my face soothed, brightened, and (temporarily at least) whitened (since the redness is down).  And just to clarify, by "whitened" I mean "even skintone."  My face definitely looks more luminous and it's nice to get such a good result from what seems to be gentle mask.


Overall
Fit: The BoB masks I have are the same shape as the MBD Natural Key line masks.  It has 2 slits around the chin and while there has been confusion over the number of slits (if anyone knows why let me know), the mask fits well on me.  Rinny has said the MBD masks she's tried has 4 slits and I do know that MBD has been changing the mask cut so don't assume your mask is fake or something if it has 2 or 4 slits. 

Scent: A very delicate, light lily scent. I'm not crazy about floral scents but it's such a mild, delicate scent I don't mind it at all.  It has a very clean undertone.

Mask texture: Soft and silky. It's a hair thinner than the MBD Natural Key line, much like FaceQ masks actually. But these BoB masks seem more absorbent than the FaceQ masks somehow.  Anyway, it's nice and sticks to your face well.

Excess serum: *sigh* I know I'm unique in my preference but I like my masks with a lot of excess serum (aka drenched) a la Silk Whitia masks.   In that sense, the BoB series has even less extra serum than the MBD Natural Key line.  This is keeping in mind that overall, MBD has the least excess serum compared to Silk Whitia and FaceQ.  BUT on the upside, all MBD masks are still very wet so don't worry about that :) the BoB series is no exception, it has plenty on the serum on the mask itself and since the masks holds the serum well, all the serum ends up on your face :)   As I've said many times before, it's a personal preference thing.

Claims: Like I said, this mask does everything it promises well.  Very soothing and gentle.  Redness goes way down, no irritation, and the very light floral scent is just...so soothing xD  I don't know about long-term whitening but it definitely temporarily whitens/evens my skintone.  My skin feel very smooth, plumped, and refreshed afterwards. 

Overall Results: I really like this mask. I'm going to say right out that it's one of my favorites and in my top 5 sheet masks overall.  Not bad considering I've tried over 15 different sheet masks so far (I know I am insaneee ><).  I am surprisingly fond of the French White Lily mask scent; floral usually comes across as heavy and musty to me but this has a very pleasing, clean scent.  Overall, I highly recommend this mask.  Of the three Blooming of Beauty series masks I've tried this is my favorite.

Overview of My Beauty Diary Blooming of Beauty Masks

3.14.2011


Hello peeps~ before I start review the MBD Blooming Beauty sheet masks I thought I would do an overview of the latest series the ever-popular Taiwanese brand, My Beauty Diary released in 2010: the Blooming of Beauty series. This is a Limited Edition series and consequently, there are packaging differences and apparently there were changes in the mask material and formula too.   The BoB has 9 varieties (all are shown above).

From Make Me Blushhh
Check out Mona's post because it's pretty helpful.
# 1- 17 : My Beauty Diary Natural Key Line: the regular line that currently has 17 scents.
  • I think they've added more since though.  I don't see the Cherry Chocolate, Bird's Nest, or Southern Apricot masks, for example.
#18 -20 : My Beauty Diary Luxury Line: the premium line that currently has 3 scents.
The Blooming of Beauty line is separate from the more known line aka the Natural Key line.  Hence they differ in packaging, formula, and price.  Per mask, the BoB series masks are slightly more expensive by a few cents (~.10-20 cents depending where you get yours).

Packaging Changes
The Blooming of Beauty series comes in boxes of 5 each whereas the regular MBD masks come in boxes of 10 each.  Both mask types also come with identical shiny plastic slips.  The packaging designs for BoB is quite classy (as you can see above), flower-y, and quite pretty. I adore the new individual mask packets (scroll to bottom).  They are so pretty compared to the Natural Key's boring rectangles.


Everything from the ruffled top and narrower design just seems a lot more luxe - although, since they're more expensive, they should be.

Mask Material Changes
The BoB masks are slightly thinner than the regular line. Supposedly, this helps with absorption but either way, both kinds of masks are fine.  Also the shape of the masks have stayed the same, both have just two slits around the chin.

The MBD mask shown here is from the original/regular line, NOT the BoB series.

Speaking of, one thing I don't understand is why the packaging picture on all the MBD masks show a mask with 4 slits:


...when the actual masks themselves only have 2 slits.  I'm pretty sure the masks I get are legit (the date stamps are embedded, cuts align, I buy from Sasa etc) but it confuses me why they'd advertise it like that.  I heard from Winnie that MBD recently added more slits to their masks but :\ but I dunno, I must have tried over 10+ varieties of MBD all from Sasa/legitimate sellers and they've all been the same 2-slitted version, even these very new BoB series.

Formula Changes
I've heard that there have been some formula changes and personally, I find the Blooming of Beauty series more effective overall than the Natural Key line ^_^  I may be slightly biased by the gorgeous packaging but the White Lily mask really just clicked with my skin :D But I'll get into that later during individual reviews.   Overall, the formula's texture and appearance are similar to the original masks - both serums are clear, light, dry without residue, and on the whole quite effective.


These are the masks I've tried so far :)  I'll refrain from reviewing these individual masks in this post but the Lily and Damask Rose masks were lovely!  I was so excited about the Damask Rose especially because come on - Coldstone Ice Cream!!  In actuality, the mask smells like a very sweet rose ^^ As for the Hydrangea mask, I wasn't crazy about it.  I've never actually smelled a hydrangea >< but it smelled strongly of black tea to me - REALLY strongly.  Hence why I wasn't crazy about it.  Anyway, I'll be reviewing the Blooming of Beauty masks I have during the next few days along with a nice bunch of Cosline and VOV masks.  I'm so glad my Sasa package finally came in that I will probably flooding you guys with sheet mask reviews xD don't say I didn't warn you ;)


Also I am sure everyone has heard about the traumas Japan has been facing in the past several days so I wanted include a list of links where people can donate.  These are all reputable places where you can be sure your money is going where it needs to go. Here is a small list of US/English language places you can donate:
ManWomanFilms (above) also has a massive list of donation links in her YT info box so poke around there too.

Most Forgotten Skincare & Makeup Tips

3.10.2011


This is going to be a very text-heavy (and talk-heavy) post xD Now you are forewarned and hopefully will find this helpful regardless. And you better because I spent about a week (or two) editing the video and typing this sinfully long post -__- ehehe


Skincare Tips:
1.) Makeup cleanser > foundation.
My (admittedly idealistic ^^) philosophy is that the best kind of makeup is none at all. In that light, skincare takes great precedence over makeup for me and the importance of a good makeup cleanser was something I learned by accident. Last year I was content to just use bar soap in the shower on my face, I kid you not. I had never used toner before but when I was gifted a toner, I began to notice how much residual makeup was coming off onto the cotton swab. So out of necessity I later semi-upgraded to Neutrogena Makeup Foam Cleanser. I noticed right away that I was getting no more residual makeup on my cotton bells when I toned but since it was drying my face out a bit, I switched to the Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel, which I am using right now. I think my face has taken to it well, I haven't broken out, I know I'm getting all the makeup off my face, and honestly, my face feels like it's really breathing after I wash :) After about 3 months of thorough cleansing, my face has improved and I'm sure that it's because my better-cleansed face has been able to soak up the nutrients from sheet masks and lotions better. There's a translucency to my face that wasn't there before and I like to think it's because my skin is healthier ^_^

2.) Sterilize your makeup area.
ehehe, I'm sure this has roots in my mild OCD-ness ^^ But I do think that there is no harm and a lot of good in having a clean makeup area. Things I can't live without in my bathroom: Isopropyl alcohol = for tweezers/metal things/plastic caps and Clorox wipes for counter tops. I see a lot of people not cleaning their tweezers, which is basically asking for acne if you think about since you probably use it to pull hairs out of pores ;)

Also I forgot to mention in the video: Ideally, your makeup area and makeup storage would be located in a separate place from where you shower. I think I remember reading somewhere about how the dampness from hot showers can ruin some makeups, especially powder compacts and foundations. Not to mention, damp environments are always a great breeding ground for all sorts of suspicious bacteria ><....

3.) Don't touch your face.
....Not much to elaborate here except just don't touch your face. If you feel the urge to pick at a pimple, just put an acne patch on it. I'm not saying this will solve all your acne problems because we all know pimples/acne have many factors, but this tip may help some people - particularly if you have localized acne.

4.) Keep your hands clean.
More OCD-ness....Wash your hands before washing your face, applying makeup, using sheet masks, applying any kind of mask...basically if you're going to touch your face, just wash your hands. It baffles me when people obsess over keeping brushes clean then go straight to blending or touching up with dirty fingers.

5.) Care for your neck & hands.
I think I was traumatized by this really lovely, young looking 50 year old lady.... She literally had no wrinkles and by looking at her face I thought she was in her mid-30s. Then she took off her scarf and gloves - O_o! This isn't to say anyone with wrinkles is ugly (in fact they can add an air of maturity and refinement young people rarely have), but the contrast between her face and her neck and hands was so stark (and gave away the fact she got massive Botox). Her neck was exceptionally wrinkly, there was even a "waddle." As for her hands...they were clearly wrinkly because they were totally abandoned x_X They were so dry, something I think that was easily solved hand lotion. Anyway, after that I realized that caring for your face is not enough, you need to care for your neck (which supports your face) and your hands, which do everything, so they need some lovin' ^_^ I use Neutrogena Anti-Aging Night Cream on my face and hands (it's too strong for my face) every night. I don't see any results right now but who knows, I may one day be a 70 year old with the youngest looking hands and neck.

6.) Don't scrub your face up & down.
I FOUND THE VIDEO ON YT! There are no subs but it's pretty self-explanatory :)
Key points are that:
1.) She looks "up" and smiles while she's cleansing her face.
2.) Uses only the foam from the soap. Aka nothing that tugs at her skin. I'm sure gel cleansers would work just fine too.
3.) She makes tiny little circles with her fourth finger (the weakest finger) to massage her face.
4.) She always massages in an upward-outward motion.
5.) She never rubs her face with her hands and to rinse she just splashes or pours water on her face.
All I know is that I want skin like that when I'm 52 ^_^ I think this lady was invited to Korean talk show too and did a demo with SNSD's Seohyun and a couple other celebs once. Ahhh...the quest for eternal youth is indeed universal.

7.) Acne patches heal zits with whiteheads.
The little "hole" where the whitehead is lets the patch pull out the impurities but without a hole...obviously the patch's effects will be minimal. But this isn't to say the patch wouldn't help at all - if you have a cystic pimple or nodule, just clean the area and put a patch on it anyway. It'll prevent you from touching it and keep it clean.

8.) Chapstick is essential to your everyday skincare routine.
There is nothing attractive about chapped lips xD I tend to lose chapstick when I carry it around so I've just learned to incorporate into my nightly skincare routine. If I may say so myself, I rarely have chapped lips now because they are moisturized every night, no matter what the weather or need. Also my lips are always lipstick-ready in the morning ^_^ Also, welcome to my new fear:


Plumpy lips today, lips that cannot be helped with even collagen tomorrow ;) Lips are a pretty forgotten body part in the whole skincare thing so give 'em a little love (and not just the kissing type ^_~)!

Makeup Tips:
1.) Silicone-based primers are for those with textural scars (aka large pores, icepick scars, wrinkles, fine lines).
I think I talked about this enough in the video :\ Basically, unless you want to smooth out the texture of your skin, these kinds of primers aren't that helpful. Primers also advertise how they help foundation last longer but honestly, I have yet to meet a silicone based primer that significantly increased my foundation wear. Most decent foundations properly applied will last at least 8 hours on their own and with makeup setting sprays making waves in the makeup community, I see even less of a reason to use a primer. Some primers I have used have provided some oil control but I honestly think it's because these primers are literally filling in your pores and clogging them so that oil can't come to surface aka a recipe for breakouts :P All in all, I think primers are bad for your skin and provide minimal results. Colored acne scar peeps, just focus on skincare. Oily peeps, look into setting sprays and start moisturizing more (ever counter-intuitive eh :P)?

2.) Focus on accentuating your good features.
Perhaps because I am Asian but I see a lot of discontent amongst Asian chicas struggling with eye makeup and the perception that mono-lidders will never be as pretty as those blessed with larger peepers. I am the first to admit I used to long for larger, dolly eyes - and I sometimes I still do. I also did my fair share of playing around with circle lens and double lid glue. I still wear circle lens (but seriously, I wear glasses 90% of the time. Tbh I only wear lens to record vids ><) but now I have learned that I am far happier twiddling with my other features.

My lips and face shape are what are most often pointed out to me so I've just learned to have fun with psychotic lip colors (at the moment coral oranges and hot pinks have me stoked) and I always highlight my cheekbones and nose to bring out the oval-ness of my face. I don't even mind my large forehead anymore since it emphasizes the oval symmetry of my face. To mix it up, sometimes I will put a bright splash of blush instead of lipstick. And I am content. Yes, I still like to play with eye shadows but I'm no longer troubled when I can't get the same amount of color on my lids a la petrilude and xsparkage. My face is uniquely mine and I have grown to like how it looks overall. In any case, the first and last person looking at my face every day is me, so I'm really the only person my face needs to please ^_~

3.) Don't highlight your inner corners as much if your eyes are too close together.
And after THAT positive note - here's something to get us ladies all self-conscious again xD Unfortunately, it has been shown time and time again that the ideal face measurements are:


Or as researchers say, "Faces were judged as most attractive when the distance between the eyes was 46 percent of the face’s width and when the distance from eyes to mouth was 36 percent of the face’s length, according to the study published in the most recent issue of the journal Vision Research."

....basically, just measure the width of one of your eyes. That should be the distance between both of your eyes. If the gap between your eyes is greater than the width of one eye, you have wide set eyes - like the LT pic and me :D A perfect example of someone who has eyes too close together is....

Ji-yeon from T-Ara!
^_^

Wide or close, you can still be pretty (even the research article says so) and easily fixed with makeup and hair. With wide set eyes, a nice dose of inner corner highlight will bring your eyes visually closer together. With close set eyes, not so much. You want to visually separate your eyes, so use less (or no) inner corner highlighter and more outer corner makeup. In fact, Ji-yeon is always doing just that when she wears makeup:


Note how she never wears inner corner highlights and always has (much) heavier eye makeup drawn all way past her outer corners. Whee...see even celebs are always using makeup tricks xD And in any case, with flaws and all you can still be pretty :) Ji-yeon is considered one of the prettiest celebs in Korea in fact so embrace your quirks :D

A Note About Using Anti-Aging Products in Your 20s
There seems to be a little disagreement going around the YT beauty community about how young peeps need not bother with anti-aging in their 20s.
When does our skin start to age? It is different in each individual case. However, generally, already in our mid 20s skin's ability to retain water starts to decrease. Oxygen level in the skin goes down by approximately 1/4. As a result, skin slowly starts to lose its energy and healthy glow. However, it is too early to start using intensive anti-aging skin care.
By the mid/late 20s dry lines can start to appear. However, they are quite easy to treat by selecting and regularly using an effective moisturizer. According to skin experts, starting from the mid - late 20s there is 1/4 less oxygen in our blood and that is why less vital oxygen gets transported to the skin cells. Skin can start to loose its energy, healthy color and glow.
Remember, to prevent premature aging you need to use UV protection every day.
Studies show that 80% of skin's aging happens due to UV damage.
My personal opinion is that it's never too early for wrinkle prevention (read here - ignore all the product plugs). However, just because I want wrinkle prevention doesn't mean I want to go overboard and slather expensive anti-wrinkle face+eye cream on every night.

When in doubt, just go the middle road - a retinol based night cream (also good for acne) or a gentle anti-wrinkle cream or sleeping masks (I'm currently using the Skinfood Fermented Soy Milk Wrinkle Care Sleeping Mask which I'll review after I've used it more) ought to do the trick for us young 'uns. That combined with a good sunscreen every day should be relatively hassle-free and you won't have any regrets later. I've also been using some Boscia AG-Amino Eye Cream from the sample bag Julie gave me, but I probably won't go about purchasing an anti-aging eye creams till my mid 20s. Ultimately, it's your skin and you should decide the best way to treat it :)

For the curious, my night routine is (after washing/sheet masks/etc):
- Skincology Herbal Corrective Lighting Serum X2
- Vitacreame B21 on face
- Boscia AG-Amino Eye Cream
- Skinfood Fermented Soy Milk Winkle Care Sleeping Mask (this is new, I'm exploring the concept of sleeping masks right now. I've only been using it for a week so far)
- Neutrogena Night Cream on neck and hands
- TBS Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick

My face washing routine is a lot more intensive because I'm paranoid about leaving makeup residue on my face (read Tip #1 xD). Anyway, this post is already pretty text-heavy so that's all for today! And I've gotten pretty behind on replies and all that cuz of other stuff but I shall catch up shortly ^^

Review: Sasatinnie Dolly Lip Smoothies SPF30

3.09.2011

I was feeling a little adventurous whilst Sasa hauling and picked up a Sasatinnie product - mostly because everything was priced so damn low xD As far as I can tell, Sasatinnie products are made in Malaysia and I believe owned by Sasa (hence the name Sasatinnie ;) ).

The Dolly Lip Smoothies caught my eye because 1.) They look like Nivea lip balms and 2.) it's SPF30 and it eases my new found paranoia about getting wrinkles around my mouth - perhaps sun protection can semi-prevent that *whew* what a run-on sentence xD  Plus they're $3.80 and came in five different yummy sounding flavors (01 Grenadine, 02 Strawberry, 03 Vanilla, 04 Raspberry, 05 Green Apple).

Description
SASATINNIE Dolly Lip Smoothies SPF 30 provides perfect moisture surge. Shea butter blends instantly smooth and moisturize your lips. Natural glossy finish makes your lips even more kissable. It is powered up with antioxidants and SPF 30 for your healthy lips.

Directions

Apply a proper amount to lips before application of lipstick. Or apply when lips are dehydrated. 
Purchased: $3.80 from Sasa

Packaging: I eagerly await the day Asian cosmetic companies start hiring FLUENT Asian Americans to edit packaging blurbs.  And this isn't directed at just Sasatinnie but at ALL Asian companies - Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese...basically, I have yet to see a single Asian cosmetics brand that regularly utilizes grammatically correct English.  It just drives me absolutely insane to see truly reputable and quality Asian brands severely limiting themselves with shoddy translations.  Especially in lawsuit-happy America, Asian brands really need to start creating professional packaging if they ever want to open up the American demographic! *end rant*

Anyway, at least the English is on the packaging you just throw out ^^ Otherwise, the tube itself is very comparable (if not identical) to Nivea.  The heft and feel of the plastic is exactly the same.  A mild complaint is that the balm wiggles a bit in the tube...I feel like if you twist it up too high at once it'd just break off :P

Flavor: 04 Raspberry.  I wouldn't say it tastes like raspberries (a naturally subtle taste), it honestly doesn't taste like anything. This is good in my book.


Scent: A fragrant raspberry yogurt (or shall we say smoothie ^_~) scent.  It is quite nice and fruity without being too strong or fake smelling.  It has an almost tangy bite to the scent, so it's not overly sweet.

Color: I thought this would be tinted red or pink but it's just a peach color that goes on clear.  I noticed from the blurry sample pics on sasa that each flavor has it's own color though, so I don't know if those are tinted or none of them are.  In any case, this one goes on clear.


Texture: Silky smooth and goes on very light.  It doesn't "melt" on your lips like TBS Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick but it's similar in how both glide on very nicely.

Moisturization: A slight con to this product.  It's not that moisturizing.  It's not drying but it seems to wear away quickly and needs frequent reapplication.  It goes well under lipstick though and never leaves a residue.  It also leaves a nice smooth, sightly shiny finish :)

Overall
I'm pretty surprised how thoroughly acceptable this product is.  It has almost no negatives, can be used under lipstick or alone, and best of all, will provide your lips with A LOT of sun protection.  FYI: Your lips CAN get sunburned and they do become darker with sun exposure.  Hence if you have very pigmented lips (which can be a bother since it may interfere with lipstick color results), you may want to start paying a bit of attention to your lips.  Also as you age, the edges of your lips wrinkle which cause lipstick to "bleed outside the lines" and in the long run, I am sure preventing excess sun damage will be beneficial :)  As a side note though, is it just me or are there an awful lot of ingredients for a lip balm O_o (maybe it's just big font?)

I've definitely never seen a lip balm with this such high SPF protection that leaves absolutely no residue - and that deserves props in my book.  It does wear away fast but this is definitely the kind of lip balm I can see myself using during vacations.  It's light, provides a lot of protection, pleasant to use, and very low maintenance.  And cheap.  Nivea Kiss of Moisture SPF4 lip balms runs $5-6 for reference.   Just remember not to get this if you like tinted balms.  All in all, I think this would be a great little buy to add to your cart if you're just a dollar or so off the $75+ free shipping minimum order on Sasa.  It's not the most necessary product ever but it's not a bad buy at all - I don't think anyone would regret it :}

If anyone has tried other Sasatinnie products or know anything more about them let me know :D

Review: My Beauty Diary Pearl Powder Mask

3.05.2011

My router at home went down for a few days so I was internet-less at home for a bit xD But in the meantime, my Sasa package finally came! YES! I do have to say I was rather surprised (in a good way) with the customer service. Basically, I emailed them about 1-2 weeks ago. First, I got an automated message saying they were on a little delayed from the holidays and they would personally reply within 48 hours.  And lo and behold, within 48 hours they emailed me my tracking number and note saying it had been delayed in Hong Kong for about 14 days O_o  In any case, 2-3 days ago the package arrived with everything tightly and neatly bundled.  So, I guess I'd say that while it literally took over a month to arrive, Sasa overall hasn't disappointed me.

Anyway, this means more face mask reviews!  I've only used this sheet mask 2x so far so take this review was a small grain of salt~  If my impression of this mask changes I'll probably come back and update this review. 

Purchased at: Sasa

Price: $12.10/10 masks = $1.20/mask

Description:

My Beauty Diary Pearl Powder Mask whitens nourishes and revitalizes skin. It is ideal for all skin types, especially dull and damaged skin.  Creates translucent and whitened skin: Super fine pearl powder contains various amino acid and microelements which permeate into skin, performing watery and white skin. Mulberry peel essence hydrates skin.  Revitalizes and nourishes skin: Vitamin B and seaweed complex revitalize and nourish skin while licorice and citrus ingredients condition and nourish skin.  Amazing Nanospheres Technology: Structured with plenty of tiny holes, it enhances absorption of nourishment, leaving skin moisturized.
Suitable for: It is ideal for all skin types, especially dull and damaged skin.


Experience: The white-gold packaging was really luxe to me ^_^ Dunno, something about the gold and silver I guess.   The mask had a really delicate, baby powder scent.  It smelled gentle and very pleasant.  Like all MBD masks, it fit and stayed nicely on my face.  As usual, there was just enough serum to put on my neck, no more no less. Overall, it was a very nice experience.  Unfortunately, when I took off the mask my the results weren't as dramatic as it is when I use the MBD Apple Polyphenol mask.  I feel like it soothed my skin but wasn't effectively brightening as I expected.  There wasn't much of a cooling effect either while I had the mask on my face so redness wasn't "as down" as it usually is. Basically, my face wasn't as radiant as I thought it'd be.

Overall
Fit: Two slits around the chin.  View my previous MBD reviews for pictures.  MBD masks fit me perfectly in any case.

Scent: Delicate baby powder scent. Quite pleasant.

Texture: Soft, thin, sticks to face well as per all MBD masks.

Excess serum: As I've said many-a-time before, MBD has enough serum but not as much as Silk Whitia or FaceQ.  Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on your preference.

Claims:
My Beauty Diary Pearl Powder Mask whitens nourishes and revitalizes skin.
  • Not sure about nourishing but my skin does feel refreshed afterwards.
Creates translucent and whitened skin: Super fine pearl powder contains various amino acid and microelements which permeate into skin, performing watery and white skin.
  • While it whitened my face because it brought down redness, my face didn't have that translucency that I get when I use other masks.  And what is "watery and white skin"? :P  I'm not sure about long term whitening (aka scar lightening).
Mulberry peel essence hydrates skin.
  • Si senorita :)  My face felt more moisturized.
Revitalizes and nourishes skin: Vitamin B and seaweed complex revitalize and nourish skin while licorice and citrus ingredients condition and nourish skin.
  • Repetition of point 1 :P
Amazing Nanospheres Technology: Structured with plenty of tiny holes, it enhances absorption of nourishment, leaving skin moisturized.
  • Repetition of point 4 -_-
Overall results: This was a soothing, hydrating , mildly brightening mask.  On the upside, I can see this mask working for almost everyone.  It's very gentle, moderately soothing, and nicely scented. On the downside, I don't think it was that effective.  For example, I've been using the new MBD Flower series (from a previous batch) and the results I get from those are significantly better and more dramatic (I'll be reviewing those later). While I can see how this mask can perk up dull skin, I don't know how much of an effect it'd have on 'damaged' skin :\ I know that this mask is one of the more popular masks in the MBD line but personally, I'd only recommend this for people with very sensitive skin.  For others, it may not be as effective (aka brightening) as you may expect.

This is one of the most loved MBD masks and my assessment is lukewarm in comparison ^^ so like I said, do take this particular review with a grain of salt.  Everyone's skin is different (and if anything my skin is on the psychotic side) so in the end, it's always best to try things yourself :)

NOTD: OPI Shattered over Gold and Silver

3.01.2011

A short post and another NOTD :D!  I wore this for about 2-3 weeks, you can tell my nails have grown out around the cuticles and wearing away on the edges.  It lasted a long time :) AND it wasn't hard to remove which is a huge plus.  I feel like I sort of damaged my nails after all the Purple Gradient nails because Sally Hansen Rockstar 05 was such a pain to remove :P

Seche Vite Base Coat
Zoya Goldie (gold) & Trixie (silver) x 2 coats each
OPI Shattered
Seche Vite Top Coat

Rats, my thumb was supposed to be gold -_- Anyway, I really like both Goldie and Trixie under Shattered.  Since the polishes are so strikingly metallic, it shows up really well under the top coat.  Both polishes apply very smoothly, Trixie looks like aluminum foil on your nails ehhe :)  
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