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Visée Lash Volume Mania Mascara in Burgundy

Visée Lash Volume Mania Mascara in Burgundy 1,400yen
It's actually a while ago, but a popular drugstore makeup brand Visée launched the winter collection includes glittery face powder called Innocent Veil Powder and some limited shades of lipstick and eyeshadow palette. But the only product attracted me was this mascara. They brought out two limited shades of the mascara, one is navy blue and another is burgundy. As I am a warm-tone kind of girl, I picked up burgundy.

Before I start my review on this mascara, I must tell you one thing -I am not a big fan of Japanese mascara. Most of Japanese mascaras have fibres that tend to make your lashes wonky, and most likely pretty wet that stick the lashes together which makes you look like you only have 5 lashes each eye. For that reason I gravitate towards western mascaras. The only Japanese mascaras that separate my lashes are Integrate Matsuiku Girls' Lash Otemba Curl and Heroin Make Long & Curl Mascara Super Water Proof. But for some reason, Japanese people LOVE this kind of formula -both Mote Mascara and Dejavu Mascara, the best-selling mascaras in Japan, stick the lashes together.

So bear that in mind that it might just be my personal preference, but I am not a huge fan of this mascara though the shade is gorgeous! The brush is a traditional mascara brush which looked promising when I had a look at the store, that gave me confidence that the mascara would be separating. However, it instantly sticks the lashes and even a little comb wouldn't help to separate them.

Though it's called 'Volume Maniac', I don't find it volumising at all. It makes my lashes look longer, but definitely not voluminous. However, I LOVE the colour of this mascara -not bold that you can wear on your top and bottom lashes on a daily basis, but gives a little something to the whole look. It's truly a shame that the texture isn't my favourite, because the shade is absolutely gorgeous. I tend to wear it on my bottom lashes only, and use a different mascara on my top lashes (my favourite mascara at the moment is Better Than Sex Mascara Waterproof).

I am glad to try out this mascara, but still wish the formula was a little different! Do you like coloured mascara? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram!

Integrate Beauty Trick Eyebrow

Integrate Beauty Trick Eyebrow  1,080yen*
Before I start my review on Integrate Beauty Trick Eyebrow, let me apologise for not being able to update my blog for ages. It had been hectic until the middle of July, now everything's settled down and I am finally able to sit and work on my blogs...though I still have more than 500 unedited photos...

Anyway, moving on to the review! I was given this product to review last month, and I was impressed with the quality of 1000yen palette! Integrate has always been one of my favourite drugstore brands -their Beauty Filter Foundation is simply brilliant, and Matsuiku-Mascara makes my lashes look unreal. In that context, no wonder why this palette wowed me.

The left shade is a beautiful none-shimmery cream shade that is perfect for a natural highlight. It looks very natural when applied on the nose and the brow bones. You know sometimes beauty bloggers / YouTubers put a shimmery highlighter on the tip of their nose which honestly looks very strange, THAT never happens with this kind of highlighter.

I use an eyeshadow brush to apply the highlighter, or you can use a sponge applicator to make it more intense.

2nd from the left is a contouring shade, and is my favourite shade out of four. It's a little bit ashy but not muddy -and again it's not shimmery either that makes contouring very natural. You can use this shade to fill in the sparse areas along with the next shade, which is the 3rd one from the left.

The right shade is ideal to draw the end of the brows if you're missing the part -like me. It is not too dark and intense, which means you never end up with that horrible 'instagram brow'.

This is the finished look of my brow! It's pretty impressive to achieve this look without help of a pencil, especially the end part of it. My brows are kind of chopped off and I need to draw 1/3 of it and I usually use Brow Pomade from Anastasia or an eyebrow pencil. The main reason is because it's easier to draw a thin line with those products, whereas eyebrow powder can look blurry sometimes. But this powder is intense and pigmented enough.

It's compact, and does fit into the smallest makeup bag I own. Plus it comes with a brush which is not the best quality every but at the same time, not the worst either. I appreciate the brush to use on the go especially when it's super affordable...!

By the way, do you know what Japanese girls are trying to achieve by using this product? Did you think it would be a sculpted and defined face like western girls are? Actually, Japanese girls are all about a small face. Just like they are always trying to get slimmer no matter how thin they actually are, they are aiming to make their face look smaller by the beauty gadgets, skincare products and makeup techniques. In Japan, defined cheek bones do not represent beauty, but a small face does! So what 'Trick Eyebrow' means is that it does the trick to make your face look smaller ;)

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick / Penelope Pink  $32.00
I finally found my perfect nude. Though I'm not a bold-lipstick-kind-of-girl at all, I had been struggling to find a perfect nude shade for my skin tone. I have a tiny nose that my friends always make a joke about and a rather big mouse, so it looks a little unbalanced when I wear a bold lipstick as you might be able to imagine. I've never been a big fan of blue-toned pink on my lips either, it makes me look so '90s. Oh, and I don't like a frosty nor super matte finish.... Now you know fussy I am when it comes to a lipstick.

But K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in Penelope Pink from Charlotte Tilbury satisfies me fully. The shade is perfect, the finish is beautiful, the scent is divine and the packaging is to die for. What more can I ask for?

First I thought to get Bitch Perfect, simply because I liked the name better. And of course I liked the shade too. But I realised it could look a little too pinky and bright on my lips, so I decided to get Penelope Pink instead -which was a smart move of me, well done!

Penelope Pink is such a beautiful nude with a hint of orange, whereas Bitch Perfect is a brighter coral pink. It glides on the lips very smoothly which feels pretty comfortable on the lips. I often forget the fact I am wearing this lipstick, and accidentally wipe my lips with a napkin.

As you can see, it's not a matte finish but not too glossy or sticky. I really love this kind of texture when it comes to a lipstick, because I cannot stand a matte lipstick that dries my lips out as I have naturally dry lips. As mentioned above, this lipstick is very comfortable to wear and I notice myself reaching for it several times a day.

Another thing I LOVE about this lipstick is the scent. It smells similar to the lipsticks from MAC but not as strong in my opinion. It might put you off if you hate the scent of vanilla, but I personally love this scent and you only smell it when you apply the lipstick.

So, where to buy their products from when you're not in the UK? I got mine from Beautylish.com that offers free shipping on orders over $100. Their price is cheaper than Net a Porter, another website you can get their products from.

Now that Charlotte Tilbury launched new shades from her new range Hot Lips, I will definitely purchase some in the future once I am able to justify myself for getting another lipstick. I"m eying up on Super Cindy and Kim K.W. Which shade is your favourite?

Is beautyblender worth the hype?

beautyblender $20.00
I don't think I need to write an in-depth review about this cult beauty product, because you all are aware it's one of the best selling beauty products in the world and there is a possibility that you are fed up on hearing about it. But I thought to write a quick post about my thoughts on the REAL beautyblender -what make it so special that spending $20 on a makeup sponge doesn't seem to be such a bad idea.

I have used some makeup sponges in the past. I like applying my liquid foundation with a brush, but I definitely need a sponge to make sure the skin looks flawless, without any streaky lines or patchiness. I've tried some Japanese ones including Tofu sponge, Dior one and Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. For years and years I've heard beautyblender is the best sponge ever, but I couldn't justify myself for spending that much money on a makeup sponge. It's not even a brush, it's a makeup sponge, think about it.

But then, I finally got fed up on using crappy makeup sponges that didn't satisfy me at all. I decided to purchase beautyblender online, as it's not available in Japan. I bought the one comes with a mini size of the solid cleanser, because I heard someone washed her beautyblender with a shampoo or something that completely ruined the texture. I thought it would be safer to get the cleanser too.

The sponge expands quite a lot when it's damp. And this is when I realised the biggest different between the dupes and the real beautyblender. It's elasticity. That is it. Everything else is the same -it looks identical to the sponge from Dior that I used to use, but the texture is completely different.

The one from Dior was very hard and didn't change the texture at all when damp, whereas beautyblender becomes softer and much more spongy once it soaks up water. The key here is that you must wet it properly. I squeeze my beautyblender at least 6-7 times under running water, so that it's completely wet. Then pat dry with a towel then with tissue paper as well, otherwise it feels too wet on the skin.

It's so bouncy and soft on the skin, and does blend everything seamlessly. As mentioned earlier, I apply my liquid foundation with a brush (my favourite is Sigma Flattop Kabuki) and basically bounce this sponge all over my face. Then apply concealer, blend with a brush, then bounce this little black one again. When I want more coverage on my pores, I add a bit of my foundation over the cheek and dab the beautyblender. It blurs my pores completely and it never looks dry or patchy.

Overall, this sponge does wonders for sure. I have no idea if elasticity of the sponge is connected to its blending ability, but it does do an amazing job. I cannot go back to Miracle Complexion Sponge from Real Techniques anymore, and I do not mind spending $20 on a sponge at all.

My last note is about the solid cleanser. I first thought it would be ridiculous to buy a bar soap just for a sponge, especially when the soap is more than $15 or so. But now I am not against the idea as much as I was before, because it's pretty good actually.

Mine is a mini and the tin didn't come with the soap itself, so I keep it in the lid of the plastic package of beautyblender. It smells of lavender which is lovely, though I wish the scent was a little more stronger and lingering. It's a little awkward to swirl the sponge on the soap, but it lathers well and keeps the sponge nice and clean. The great thing about this sponge is that it lasts forever. I have used this solid cleanser multiple times in the past 2 months, but it looks exactly the same size as when I bought it. Which means the full size solid cleanser would last for months or possibly for a year if you take a good care of it!

If you haven't tried the REAL beautyblender, give it a go. In my opinion it's better to get one beautyblender than getting 10 dupes.

Canadian gem -Nudestix

Nudestix is the brand I came across quite often when browsing some high-end online shops such as Sephora, Beautylish and lookfantastic. It instantly caught my attention as I LOVE any makeup items in a stick form. I do not mind getting rid of all my powder eyeshadows and replace them with stick shadows. Founded by Jenny, a former chemical engineer who has more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Nudestix is now featured in multiple magazines and carried at retailers including Sephora and SpaceNK.

I love the fact they have two daughters of Jenny as their muse, it adds a personal and kind of homey touch to the brand. I was lucky enough to try out some of their products, and am going to review them today as I am truly impressed with the quality.

From right to left: Concealer Pencil in Light 3Magnetic Eye Color in AngelTwilightIntense Matte Lip+Cheek Pencil in Kiss and Lip+Cheek Pencil Dual in Soul/Flesh

All the products come in a tin with a mirror on the back of the lid. I think it's a great idea branding-wise, but I simply feel bad for binning it because it's pretty high quality. At the same time, it only holds 1-2 products in there which isn't suitable for keeping it in my handbag all the time. 

Magnetic Eye Color in Angel is such a beautiful shade which is versatile yet unique. I love the fact it's not yellowy but kind of pinky -it definitely has a warmer undertone which compliments my skin tone. I describe this shade as a warm champagne gold. It glides on as if it melts on my skin, and does not budge at all once it's dried. I usually apply this shade straight after applying Primer Potion from UD and blend well with my finger. It only takes 5 seconds to create a perfect base for the next stage of eye makeup -or I can wear it on its own.

Twilight is another versatile shade that is perfect for a daily use. Whenever I cannot decide which eyeshadow to wear in the morning, I go for this one. Again I LOVE this shade because it's not a reddish brown that I am not a big fan of. It's a similar shade to On and On Bronze from Maybelline, but in a stick form-much slimmer and more convenient, isn't it?

One thing I want to point out is that you don't have much time to blend the eyeshadow. It sets very quickly that you need to blend immediately once it's applied on the eyelid. I once applied it on both eyes, took 30 seconds on choosing which brush to use, and realised my eyeshadow was completely set and it was impossible to blend. Which is actually a good thing -it means it never budge!

Concealer Pencil in Light 3 is a little too pale for my skin tone, but I use it to combat redness around my nose and define the edge of my lips. The texture is creamy and not drying, but maybe not suitable for under eye. 

I found the Mascara very basic -the wand is a typical brush-type one which gives volume to my lashes. I wish it was a little more separating, but mascara is one of the hardest makeup items to review on, it all depends on your liking.

Intense Matte Lip+Cheek Pencil in Kiss and Lip+Cheek Pencil Dual in Soul/Flesh are both gorgeous. 

I wish I could rock Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil in Kiss, it's a very elegant plumy pink that looks horrendous on me. The texture is lovely that it dries down to a matte finish which makes the whole look pretty elegant and sophisticated.

On the other hand, Lip + Cheek Pencil Dual in Soul / Flesh looks lovely on me. The left shade on my lips is Soul, and the right one is Flesh. I found Flesh a little frosty and pale, which I usually wear on top of a darker lip liner otherwise it would wash me off, whilst Soul is a perfect nude shade that can be worn on its own and looks gorgeous.

Each product has its own sharpener which I found convenient as I often forget to buy a matching sharpener. I have been loving the eyeshadow sticks that I've been wearing at least 2-3 times a week for more than 2 months now, which is pretty rare for a makeup / beauty addict like myself -which i believe you agree if you are a beauty junkie too. Though their products aren't the cheapest in the world, they are worth the price tag in my opinion. If you have't tried any of their products, try their Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil and Magnet Eye Colour. You will be impressed.

Best of Sigma Brush Set

Best of Sigma Brush Set  $92.00
It's truly impressive how quickly Sigma became a big brand. Though it's been only 7 years since its debut, Sigma is now one of the most well-known brush brands in the world. Their brushes are amazing quality for the price, and another good thing about it is that they ship internationally. Recently they changed the shipping rate and now you can get the products delivered to your front door for free when you purchase $30 if you live in the states, and $75 if you live elsewhere. And you know what, it's easy to spend $75 on their website simply because they have tons of amazing stuff.

I was lucky enough to get Best of Sigma Brush Set as a PR sample, and I instantly fell in love with the brushes once I've tried them. There is absolutely nothing negative to say about them and now my makeup does not complete without them!

F80 Flat Kabuki Brush
This is one of the best selling brushes of the brand. I had heard so many good things about it in the past, and now I understand why it's so popular. I used to use Buffing Brush from Real Techniques to blend my foundation, but I wasn't fully satisfied with its performance because sometimes it would make my foundation look streaky.

This brush takes the foundation application to the next level. Foundation never looks cakey or streaky when applied with this brush, because it's so dense that there is almost no gaps between the hairs. It blurs my pores which makes my skin looks absolutely flawless. It's been 2 months since I got this brush and I have't used any other brushes to apply my foundation. I am so addicted to it.

F64 Soft Blend Concealer Brush
I LOVE this brush for blending my concealer around my nose and under my eyebrows. I don't know what it does, but it blends concealers seamlessly. I even feel like it increases the coverage of the concealer, and helps it to stay put. In my opinion it works better with a solid concealer rather than a liquid one.

P88 Precision Flat Angled Brush
So what works better with a liquid concealer? Precision Flat Angled Brush does! With soft hair, this brush does not irritate the sensitive skin around the eyes at all and blends an under eye concealer flawlessly. I use this brush to apply Colour Corrector from Bobbi Brown, to get the most coverage out of it, and add Za Concealer -which is my absolute favourite and I'm gutted it's discontinued- on top and blend with this brush again. It makes the concealer look a little streaky sometimes, but it works fine most of the time.

E57 Firm Shader Brush
This brush is perfect for packing eyeshadow on the centre of the lid. It brings out the intensity of the eyeshadow especially metallic or glittery one. I love using this brush to smudge eyeshadow under the eyes too.

E38 Diffused Crease Brush
Another favourite brush of mine! I'm using it as a blending brush rather than a crease brush, because it blends ANY eyeshadows seamlessly. There are some eyeshadows that I always struggle to blend that goes on patchy. Usually it takes a couple of minutes to blend them completely, which is pain in the butt in the busy morning. With this brush, it takes less than 30 seconds to blend. Why? I have no idea, but it works.

E34 Domed Utility Brush
This could be my least favourite out of seven brushes in the set -doesn't mean it's bad, it just means I am not a makeup artist and don't try new techniques every day. My daily makeup routine doesn't require this brush, but if you want to do the cut crease look, it might be handy to have this in your brush collection.

E21 Smudge Brush 
I used to use a tiny brush from ADDICTION to apply eyeshadow under the eyes or smudge eyeliner with, but this brush made me realise that the ADDICTION one was actually too small for my liking. This brush applies the right amount of the eyeshadow and makes it much easier and quicker to smudge. I sometimes use it to clean the edges of my lips too.

Seven brushes including Flat Kabuki Brush for $92.00 is actually pretty affordable in my opinion. I definitely think this set is worth the price, and is a perfect set for a beginner. My favourite is definitely Flat Kabuki Brush, but I also love Diffused Crease Brush too. Since I got their brushes, makeup process became easier and more enjoyable for sure. I highly recommend this set if you are new to Sigma, or makeup!

Discount Code
Put the discount code 'NIC10' to get 10% off your order!

Maybelline Volume Express Magnum Barbie

Maybelline Volume Express Magnum Barbie  1,404yen
Maybelline brought out a new mascara called Volume Express Magnum Barbie in March. I am all about fuller lashes rather than longer ones, so I couldn't resist to purchase this mascara that claims to make your lashes full and voluminous like Barbie's.

The packaging is bright yellow with a metallic pink lid, which is easy to find in your makeup bag for sure. The brush looks very similar to Maybelline Falsies, that I cannot point out the difference to be honest. The formula is waterproof that doesn't come off by my trusty RAFRA balm cleanser, which is good for those love waterproof mascara, but too much for me who tend to go for a 'film-type' mascara that comes off with warm water.

It's got fibres called 'topping fibre' which you can keep adding on the tips of the lashes to make them look longer until you're happy with the result -supposedly. I do not like how fibres make my lashes look wonky and unnatural, but it might be perfect for those who want more length and volume at the same time.

I noticed that this mascara does not separate the lashes, but make them look thicker and voluminous. If you like the '60s look, or very thick spider-lashes, this is the mascara for you. It's very close to L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara in my opinion.

I am not 100% convinced that this mascara would give you Barbie lashes, I like Maybelline the Rocket and Falsies better, but again you might like it if you like thick looking lashes. I still think Maybelline is one of the best drugstore brands when it comes to mascaras!

Mis"el Ady Liquid Eyeliner

Mis"el Ady Liquid Eyeliner  1,200yen
If you are looking for a liquid eyeliner that is jet black and super waterproof, I've got a perfect one for you. This eyeliner from Mis"el Ady has nothing negative to say about. I literally have to wash my face with oil cleanser twice to take it off my eyelids completely. It's up to you whether you think it's good or bad, but all I can say is that if you are looking for a waterproof eyeliner, this is the one for you.

The 0.1mm brush is very thin as you can see, and it helps you draw a super thin line which makes it easier to do the flick as well. Also the body is very slim that's easy to hold.

As you can see the ink is blackest black that looks super bold. I took this photo when I tried this eyeliner for the first time, and I was impressed and overwhelmed at the same time by how pigmented it was. It is kind of hard to draw the straight line until you get used to it, just because the ink is very black that if you miss the mark it's super visible. I didn't intend to draw the line this thick, but my hand felt shaky for some reason that I ended up looking like this.

But the amazing part is it never comes off unless you use an eye makeup remover or oil cleanser. Even my trusty RAFRA cleansing balm did not remove it in one go. Some people might think it's pain in the butt to remove, but I think it's a good thing because it means I can completely rely on it during the day, that it never ever comes off even if I put eyedrops in my eyes, or I cry -which does not happen often anyway-.

If your eye lids tends to dislike any liquid eyeliners out there, it's worth trying this one out. For 1,200yen, it's truly amazing.

Burberry Kisses Sheer in Cameo Rose

Burberry Kisses Sheer in Cameo Rose  £25.00
Burberry's new lipstick Kisses Sheer was launched in Japan on 2nd March. Launching 28 shades of lipsticks at once is brilliant, but more amazing fact is that nearly half of them are nude or light-pink shades. I have a tiny nose -which my friends and family always pick on me and say 'do you even have a nose?'- and a normal sized mouth, which makes me love nude shades much more than bright pink or red on my lips. But sometimes it's hard to find a nude shade that doesn't make me look like a dead person, and brands tend to have only a couple of nude shades. It's actually easier to find nude lipsticks from domestic beauty brands because Japanese women do not wear a bright colour on their lips much.

So when I was asked to pick and choose one shade that I wanted to test from Kisses Sheer, I couldn't make my mind up! I found most of the nude shades beautiful. I was going to go for Nude or Nude Beige, but for some reason I ended up choosing Cameo Rose. It's more like natural pink than nude, but as the formula is very sheer and light, it kind of looks nudy on the lips.

The formula is super creamy that it glides on the lips instantly -it almost feels like a lip balm than a lipstick. The bullet looked pretty vibrant and I thought it would be too bright on me, but it's so sheer that I can control how pigmented I want it to be on the lips. On a daily basis, I dab the lipstick on my lips and use my finger to blend. When I want a stronger colour on my lips, I build up the intensity by applying it twice straight from the bullet.

I applied the lipstick twice so that the colour shows vividly in the photo, but still you can kind of see my natural lips through the lipstick. It's so pigmented yet sheer, which is lovely especially in Spring and Summer in my opinion.

Another discovery was that this could be the first lipstick with a blue undertone that looks pretty on me. I usually avoid bluey pink when it comes to a lip product, simply because it would make me look old-fashioned for some reason and I hate the look on me. I usually go for beige and coral to avoid the retro vibe. This shade definitely has a blue undertone, as the name -cameo ROSE- suggests, but strangely it looks nice on me. It's probably because the formula is sheer, it would make me look so '90s if it was matte.

Overall I am very satisfied with this lipstick. It doesn't feel heavy or drying on the lips, the sheer yet pigmented formula is very suitable for the coming season, and I love the magnetic packaging too.  I tried out Nude Beige too but it was slightly too nudy that I needed to pair it with a lip liner to stop people asking me whether I was sick. I cannot wait to try out some other shades too, it's such a lovely lipstick that's worth the price tag!

Point Magic PRO Pore Cover Primer

I never wear foundation without applying a good primer underneath. Primers create a smooth base that foundation would sit beautifully for hours without being patchy or cakey. My favourite primer is definitely Benefit Porefessional which I got at Heathrow Airport back in August. I had been dying to try it out as it was raved about among beauty lovers all over the world, but I did not have a chance as none of the websites besides the official website would ship their products to Japan -and the official website offers a pretty high rate of the delivery fee.

I purchased my first Porefessional tube at the airport, and haven't stopped using it since then. Whenever I wear makeup, I NEED to apply Porefessional to blur my pores and create a smooth, oil-free base for foundation. It keeps my makeup stay on my skin longer, and I now use my oil blotting paper much less throughout the day.

The only downside is that it's not available in Japan. I've been using the tiniest amount so that I won't use it up until I go back to the UK next time. So when I was given this primer called Pore Cover Primer from a Japanese drugstore brand Point Magic PRO, I was hoping it would be a dupe for Porefessional. The price is 1/3 compared to Porefessional, and it's widely available in Japan!

This primer helps foundation not to get into the pores throughout the day which enlarges the appearance of them. It contains Pore Flat Powder which fills the pores to create a smooth base, and Long Lasting Powder would make your makeup last for maximum 15 hours.

Though it does not leave any colour to the skin, it's got a tint of pink. The texture is similar to Porefessional but the biggest difference is that Pore Cover Primer is much more moisturising than Porefessional. It leaves the skin feel silky smooth, but at the same time you feel the moisturising residue which is ideal for dry skin, but not so much for oily and combination skin. In fact, it's too moisturising for my combination skin that I had to use extra oil blotting paper during the day.

So, is this primer a dupe for Porefessional? In my opinion, it's far from the quality of the cult primer from Benefit. But for 1300yen, it does an OK job to fill the pores and create a smooth base. If you find Porefessional too drying, you might like Pore Cover Primer. I am not sure about the long-lasting claim on dry skin, it may elongates the lasting power of foundation by preventing dryness, but obviously I cannot speak for them.

All I can say is that if you are looking for a dupe for Porefessional, this is not the one as it works differently. While Porefessional makes your skin smooth and prevents oiliness throughout the day, this one keeps your skin hydrated. Again, if you find Porefessional too drying, it may be worth trying this primer out!