Review: Etude House Miss Tangerine Sweet Shower Lips

1.30.2012


Etude House has been steadily rising in profile ever since Sandara from 2NE1 became their main model. To be honest, I think she looks pretty hideous in the picture above :P But the fact she is (barely) pulling off all that ridiculous orange-ness is a testament to her beauty. Honestly, I did not try these for a long time because I thought if Sandara looks this bad with that lipstick, I hardly want to try it myself. Then I saw the swatches on Musings of A Muse and decided I should give em a try. Also I adore to this day my Etude House Orgel Light lipstick, so figured why the heck not ;)

Episode 10: 7:15 AM

1.29.2012


The focus returns to Charming and Snow and their chemistry makes this episode a joy to watch. We also get to see a lot of Red Riding Hood and I hope we get to see her fairy tale backstory soon :) A little bit more is revealed about The Stranger (though not much) and overall, this episode was less on action and more on David dealing with his undeniable feelings for MMarg.

The next episode is going to be about the Genie, who I suspect is the Magic Mirror enslaved by TEQ (see links to many juicy teasers at the end of this recap). I wonder if Jasmine and Aladdin will make an appearance especially since I SWEAR that that's Jasmine in the lower right corner.

From Episode 4.
Ahhh....anyway, my speculating has gone out of control... All in all, this was quite an enjoyable episode!

Episode 9: True North

1.22.2012

Eat me!

This week centered around the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel and there was a fantastic guest apprarence by Emma Caulfield as the Blind Witch. I am not a big fan of the less-than-stellar child actors nor the usually crappy special effects in OUAT, but this time around, I thought that the oldest daughter (Gretel) was quite good and the special effects came out rather nicely! Usually I find the special effects rather cheesy but this time around I think the cheesiness worked rather well for the gingerbread house! I thought the house looked wonderfully cartoon-y in a way that would be perfect to lure children and gosh, the treats inside really looked yummy! So yeah, the gingerbread house looked pretty fake but it seemed "purposeful," as the house was intended to tempt children to it. There wasn't that much momentum in the main story line this time around, it was more about exploring Emma's back-story in the modern world.

Review: My Scheming Bamboo Charcoal & Cryste Marine Whitening Double Lift Mask

1.21.2012


My sheet mask addiction is rearing it's pretty? head again and I've started dipping into my sheet mask collection again ;) This was my first My Scheming mask evaaa. My Scheming is a pretty well-known Taiwanese brand (I believe) and from what I've seen on the net, competes with My Beauty Diary in the sheet mask arena.

Btw the slightly fanciful "cryste marine" is in fact a real ingredient (Kiehl's has a whole line based on it). To quote from Kiehl's: "The Criste Marine flower grows on rock formations aside the Mediterranean Sea and is known for its unique ability to boost cell renewal for a supple skin effect."

Purchased at/Price: Twas a gift from ssushoo! But you can also get it on Sasa here for $7.20/5 pieces.

Description:
My Scheming Bamboo Charcoal & Cryste Marine Whitening Double Lifting Mask contains bamboo charcoal extract to hydrate, repair and brighten all types of skin. Tea tree and allantoin help tighten pores. It leaves skin brighter and smoother.


The 3D elastic mask fabric, imported from Japan, is imprinted with over 600 elastic, rhombus-shaped grids to provide the face and the neck a comprehensive lifting.


Ingredients:
  • Bamboo Charcoal Extract - activates cells and boosts blood circulation, and acts as adsorbent.
  • Melaleuca Alternifolia - has antiseptic, anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, healing and anti-mould virtues.
  • Chamomile Extract - has anti-inflammatory, itching-relieving, disinfecting and allergy-alleviating virtues.
  • Cucumber Extract - has hydrating, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and calming virtues.
  • Water Lily - has astringent, antiseptic, wound-healing and antioxidant virtues, captures free radicals, calms, etc.
  • Glyoxyldiureide - has anti-inflammatory and soothing virtues, and aids in the regeneration of skin tissues.


Directions:
  1. After cleansing, place the mask over your face.
  2. Hang the up lift hook of the facial part on the ear, then do the same way to hang the up lift hook of the neck part.
  3. Press it lightly onto your face.
  4. Leave on for about 15 – 20 minutes before removing the mask.
  5. Pat and leave for essence absorption.


Experience:
My first impression: what an oddly chemical yet oceanic smell this mask has.....

Second impression: this is the weirdest effing mask I have ever seen! It looks all innocent all folded up, but then -


So that's what "Double Lift" means: You are supposed to be able to hook the mask over your ears to somehow "encourage" you face to be subtly lifted. Also, the lovely quilted diamonds are supposed to help "lift" your face too, though I'm not sure how that would work. While that sounds good in theory, it's unrealistic in practice because you need to have a precisely shaped face to fit this mask. Anyway, I got the mask on my face (barely) and for one reason or another, my face warmed up a lot. No reactions/itchiness/breakouts though. After 20 minutes I took it off because it was starting to fall off my face as it dried, likely due to the heaviness of the cloth material. My face did seem brighter but overall, I was unimpressed. Perhaps with all the emphasis on "lifting" - this mask would be better for those with sagging skin?

yeah.....

Overall
Fit: Abysmal. I don't think I have a particularly large face, but the ear holes for both the face and neck did not reach my ears. Otherwise, the mask was wayyy too large (as you can see by the excess mask around my forehead).

Scent: A strange artificial scent that reminded me of the ocean. It smelled like a cross between an ocean breeze and a room freshener. Not offensive, but I could do without it.

Mask texture: Very cool diamond texture; soft and quilted (like toilet paper!). It was quite thick as well. The downside of the thickness is that as the mask dried, it started peeling off your my under the weight of the mask itself. It also has a tendency to wrinkle up, whereas thinner masks stick to your face better.

Excess serum: A good amount, plenty for your upper arms and such.

Claims: This mask is supposed to do a whole slew of things (see Description & Ingredients above), but for me it just did the bare minimum a sheet mask usually does: temporarily brightened and plumped my face. I only had one mask to try so I don't know what the longer term effects would be, but I'm not convinced this mask would do much in terms of "lifting" - even with all the fancy ear hooks and such.

Overall Results: This was a very interesting mask to try, but I doubt I would ever purchase it for these reasons:
  1. Such a hassle to wear. The multiple ear hooks, the awkward fit...:P
  2. The thickness of the mask, albeit luxurious, does not stay on your face very well as it dries.
  3. Didn't do much for me. As a sheet mask, it was very ordinary.
I personally wouldn't recommend this particular mask, especially because I don't think the mask shape is very forgiving of most face shapes.

Review: Kiehl's Gift Set

1.18.2012


Kiehl's was giving this gift set away for Christmas and it included their famous Lip Balm #1, the Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, and Creme de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Whipped Body Butter. I am a huge fan of Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate so I was pretty excited to try these :)

Luxuriously Whipped. Sinfully Addictive.
  • Luxuriously scented cream – light on skin, yet rich in 24-hour hydration.
  • Decadently air-whipped for instant penetration to restore, protect, and soften skin.
  • Quickly absorbed to deliver deep moisturization and leave a light, addictive scent on skin.
  • No parabens, glycols or silicones.

Starting with my favorite - the Creme de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Whipped Body Butter. You're supposed to use it after a shower on slightly damp skin. It smells AMAZING. It smells better than any The Body Shop body butter I've sniffed actually and I think I can say I've smelled all of them. Sadly.

Good
Anyway, the scent is phenomenal - exactly like you'd imagine soy milk and honey to smell with a hint of coconut ^_^ Warm, sweet, and good enough to eat! It smells stronger in the tub but is not so strong on your body. The whipped texture makes it's lighter and it absorbs without leaving (as much) slick residue that heavy creams moisturizers usually leave.  The whipped, airy texture is something that truly sets this product apart from The Body Shop body butters, which are more liquid-y and slick.  The texture is unusual and luxurious, something I have never used before.

Bad
  • This is very moisturizing but a bit harder to spread compared to the more liquid-y TBS body butters.  However, when you it apply it to damp skin like the instructions say, it does spread a bit easier.
  • I would say that I like this body butter more than The Body Shop's.  That said, I'm not parting with $35 for 8 oz. For reference TBS body butters are 6.9oz and normally retails for $18.

So, do I recommend this? Yes, if you have disposable income and love body butters. A lot. For people not loaded or off their rockers, I would say that The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter is a more than adequate substitute. 

Note: TBS Cocoa Body Butter doesn't smell the same (or as nice) as the Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick strangely enough. Get the Coconut Body Butter, which smells nicer I think. Fyi I am so going to be jumping on the Chocomania lotions once they go on sale....haven't smelled one yet, but it sounds delicious...

Formulated for the driest, most active hands, this heavy-duty moisture treatment is a thick, rich formula offering all-day care and protection. Our blend of select ingredients allows skin to actually draw and absorb water from the air, forming a "glove-like" protective barrier against moisture loss. This formula, which contains a blend of botanical oils as well as natural wax derived from Olive Oil, further soothes, moisturizes and conditions skin. This most effective preparation helps protect against and repair the appearance of severe dryness caused by heavy industrial work, manual labor, neglect, or exposure to harsh elements.

Next up, the Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. I don't have particularly dry hands; at worst my hands get those faint white lines of dryness and mild flakiness on the top of my hands. However, this product was crafted for people with super chapped hands, though I can't attest to that myself.

Good:
It works. It's a lovely rich cream that absorbs quickly and leaves a very light sheen on your hands. It's very moisturizing, lasts all day, and leaves a very soft, smooth finish.

Bad:
  • Smells powerfully of cough drops, exactly like the Bosica Intensifying Moisture Pack incidentally. I like it but I totally can see people getting turned off by it.  The scent lingers on your hands a bit as well.
  • I noticed some reviewers say that this is greasy. Personally, I don't agree since I think this leaves the least "grease" behind, but it does leave some residue.... Ultimately, it's a matter of preference I guess.
  • Expensive. It retails at $13 for 2.5oz.

I definitely like this product and think it works. However, if you are someone like me who just needs a quick pick-me-up moisturizer, I think other generic brands will do. I do like the sinus-clearing scent and the effectiveness; if my hands get drier in the future, I wouldn't mind buying it. However, unless your hands are chronically dry, I'm not sure it's worth the expense or the trouble of ordering it online.

Upper right corner from LT to RT: Creme de Corps, Hand Salve, Lip Balm
A Kiehl’s classic and #1 bestseller, soothing lips since 1969.
  • Temporarily protects and helps relieve chapped or cracked lips.
  • Helps protect lips from the drying effects of wind and cold weather.
  • Formulated with soothing emollients Squalane, Lanolin and Sweet Almond Oil as well as Vitamins A and E.

Last is up is the famous Kiehl's Lip Balm #1. I'll just cut to the chase and say I have no idea why this is so popular. It's basically just petroleum jelly. Or a slightly lighter Vaseline.

Good
  • No scent
  • Once you smooth it out and let it soak in, it goes well under lipstick
  • Has SPF 4
Bad
  • It leaves way too much of of a slick on your lips if you accidentally squeeze out too much. Speaking of, that tube design is ridiculous. I hate using my fingers, but the tube design isn't really made for applying on lips so I have little choice.
  • It's not particularly moisturizing imho. 6 hours max on me.
  • $7 for .5 oz. for what is essentially petroleum jelly.

Overall, I don't recommend this. I don't think it works shockingly well, it's pricey, comes in a tube of all things, and it's just...well it's just so ordinary. If you want lap balm with SPF, try the Sasatinnie Dolly Lip Smoothies or one of the many other SPF 4 lip balms available on the market. Basically, you're not missing much if you don't have this.

Episode 8: Desperate Souls

1.16.2012


We see a lot o' Rumpel in this episode and since Robert Carlyle proved that he could play pathetic just as well as sly, it was a heartrending peek into how the Rumpel became the slick bastard we know him as today. I feel like there is a ton more to flesh out of Rumpel's backstory though, he is definitely by far one of the most intriguing characters (even more so than Regina). The only character more mysterious is Henry - that little rascal knows way too much about everyone....

Not enough Snow-Charming, but can't have every episode revolve around them I guess ^_^ Ratings jumped this week after several weeks of falling...I'm not sure if this makes me happy or sad since I'm really enjoying the show BUT I don't want to have to watch a show that stretches for more than 2 seasons. If OUAT becomes another Lost, I will die. Slowly.

Episode 9 airs later today and is supposed to be about Hansel and Gretel. HMMMMMMMMMM....or should I say YUM ^_~ Thankfully, the next 4 episodes are airing in the next four weeks without interruption, taking us just over halfway through Season 1.

Top 10 of 2011

1.09.2012


I was inexplicably inspired by Elisa's alternating column post, I just had to do one myself :) Thanks Elisa! Unfortunately, unlike Elisa, I've been pretty bad on the review front in the past several months so some of my Top 10 picks have no full length reviews to accompany them. Also this list is my Top 10 favorite things I used regularly in 2011/currently (as opposed to the best 10 products I discovered in 2011). This is ranked in order of importance in my life ;)

2012 Horoscope Predictions?

1.03.2012


Why is it when I want to look at last year's predictions to see if they came true, I can never find them ;)? hehe Well, I thought it would be fun to post a few 2012 horoscope predictions here just for kicks so I can check back on 1/1/2013.I am a Cancer but I also pasted Find Your Fate's predictions for other signs under the jump ^^

Find Your Fate Says for CANCERS....
General
Major changes in your relationships are in store for the year 2012. Some of your near ones are likely to drift apart leaving you in shatters. But avoid depending on others and rise and shine. Peace and calm shall prevail then in your life. Towards the middle of the year you may need to take an important decision in life related to personal and professional life of yours. If single you might meet the ideal partner. But beware of foxes in sheep’s clothing. New ideas of all sorts take shape this year. Keep your cool, and enter into actions to meet your plans. Success in legal processes are predicted for this year.

Career
Much effort and commitment would be needed this year for good results in your professional front. Unavoidable difficulties shall come from nowhere leaving you in tenterhooks. Confidence in yourself shall help you to ward off any negative effects in the career side. You would pursue your long fought ambitions with renewed vigor and strength. Reveal your inherent talents to the workforce. The first half of the year would be very much exhausting while the latter half shall see you off sailing smoothly.

Finance
Finances shall take a good shape for you this year. Maintain your financial balance in a sensible way. An increase of income flow is assured but make sure you do not put all your eggs in one basket. Instead, diversify your portfolio. You can go in for some artistic pursuits for augmenting your finances for this year. It would give you the much needed mental and financial satisfaction in life. The second half of the year shall see a fall in your debt levels which would be a great moral booster for you.

Love
Much peace and tranquillity shall prevail in your love front for the year of 2012. Stability in relationships is also guaranteed. Your ideals in relationships shall be met during this period. Be free to open up your heart to your loved one, be frank and try to understand the feelings of your partner. This is the apt time to clear any clouds of doubts in your relationship. Generally an average year as far as love and relationships are concerned for Cancers.

Health
You are assured great energy levels for the year ahead. There would be a stability in your moods which had been deviating last year quite a bit. This would give you mental and physical health on a positive note. Take a resolution to cut down in bad habits that had been haunting you for the last few years. Concentrate on your works and take good care of your health.


And just to add to the fun - Chinese Zodiac Horoscope ^_^! I am a Red Fire Rabbit with Metal as my good luck element (go here to find out yours).


Here we select an element from the Five Element chart as your Lucky Element. The Chinese Yin-Yang Five Elements describe the BALANCE......So your lucky elements are the ones that bring the Five Elements into balance. Usually the lucky elements are the ones with a lesser weight (score). Here we want to pick Metal as your lucky element, because your Five Elements have a better shape when the weight of Metal increases.

For the Metal-lucky:
When Metal is under Water. People cannot see the Metal, unless they watch carefully into Water. Also, Water can protect Metal, if a strong Fire element is around. Therefore the luck of 2012 is fine.

What will happen to the Metal-lucky?
Water represents your outlook or expression to show the public. So it is related to performance, speech, behavior , freedom and fame. Therefore, your social life will increase. You will have many opportunity to show your talent. People will talk about you. If you have a positive attitude, then you should earn a good reputation from people. If you don't have a strong mind and don't have confidence about yourself, then people might not paint you in the same light. More than likely, taking care of such a busy life will consume your energy when you have many activities with people.


Dragon contains Earth. Earth is the mother element of Metal. So Earth is connected to your parents, teachers or someone who supports you. It also related to your health, protection, housing or education. If your Metal is weak, then you will receive the help from people who support you. They also give you compliments about your behavior.


If your Water is strong, then your friends will provide you different advice or suggestions very often. Those opinions can confuse you and lead you to make the wrong decision or investment. If you cannot please your friends, then they may bring you a bad reputation. In general, you will have a mixed reputation in 2012. Since my water is weak.

.......uhhh....so I guess I will be fairly lucky, a bit more popular, and have the support of the people I love in 2012. Can't get any vaguer than that ;) But sounds like a pretty decent way to pass the year, so fingers crossed!


What's your sign and what does 2012 hold for you?

Episode 7: The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

1.02.2012


Ooh, first post of 2012 :) Episode 8 airs next Sunday too, so I've caught up right on time - maybe a good sign of less procrastination/more efficiency in the new year?! Even though it's sort of cliche, I always feel "cleaner" after the New Year ^_^ I suppose it's all in my head, but it feels good to be starting another year with a mentally clean slate.

Anyway, revelation time! Yeahh...finally SOMEONE starts remembering their fairy tale origins. This episode is all about Graham aka the Queen's Huntsman (surprise surprise :P). Graham redeems himself and we get a good reason why he's bangin' ice queen Regina in the first place. We also get more Emma-Graham flirting, which is great since they do have a lot of chemistry :) I also went a little nuts with the wolf screencaps...could not resist!

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