BOURJOIS Rouge Velvet The Lipstick
02 Flaming Rose
I finally got this in a shade I wanted myself. I've had four of these already (06&09 and 14&16), all press samples and none were in shades I'd wear every day, which sucked because the formula of these is amazing. I waited for a good discount and got the second lightest shade in the selection, so something I can wear with everything and is suitable for every occasion, plus it fits my pale skin tone. I've already reviewed the formula in depth, so just to recap, these are incredibly smooth and pigmented, and once they set, they have one of the best matte finishes that is close to the matte liquid lipstick look. Shade 02 Flaming Rose is a light pink shade which on me looks cooler than the packaging and the colour in the tube indicate.
Müller, regular price 13.89 €
CATRICE Light Correcting Serum Primer
I got this based on a recommendation of a reader Dejana, who raved about it in the comments. She said it extends the longevity of foundation on her combination skin with very oily parts and dryness in some places, and that the glow can be seen though the layer of foundation on top. It's one of those glowy primers that are subtle highlighters and primers in one. It dries perfectly matte to the touch and it keeps the oils at bay really well, so I would say this is a good product to try if your skin is oily. Despite the matte feeling, it has a subtle glow with no large shimmer particles and it creates a radiant skin look, but unfortunately I can't see it through my foundations, so it's better if I mix in the foundation. I got this at the wrong time in the year because currently my skin isn't oily and I didn't expect this to be so mattifying, so it did not impress me in the first uses. It makes it hard to apply my foundation smoothly, plus in time it just makes it look bad, like all life was sucked out of my skin. On normal-dry-dehydrated skin it looked bland, with no natural glow and pores were more obvious. With a good hydrated base (so in my case several layers of products) it already behaved a lot better and provided a good base. So recap - dry skin bad, oily skin good. The packaging is really nice with the matte glass and a rose gold pipette.
Müller, 4.69 €
MAYBELLINE Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation
100 Warm Vanilla
Although my tube isn't empty yet, since I was in Austria I stocked up on my favourite foundation in the lightest shade. I already raved enough about this one, which is the foundation I actually get complimented on and that's not something that happens often when it comes to me. It's light-medium coverage foundation with some pore blurring capabilities and it just looks great on the skin.
Müller (Austria), 7.99 €
*MAX FACTOR Miracle Contour
Max Factor created a contouring palette that consist of shades that should fit a range of light to medium skin tones. There are eight cream products in the palette, four are contours, two are lifting concealers and two are highlighters. Three of the contours are quite warm while the lightest shade is a taupe and that's the one that works for me. The concealers are both quite light, the top lightest one is neutral and the bottom one is yellow toned, and the same goes for the highlighters. All products have a cream finish, so the highlighters don't have shimmer and are designed to make the area lighter instead of glowier.
Contours work ok and are pigmented when you apply them, but they are also very blendable, which means you need to build it up slowly, which at contour isn't a bad thing, but it takes time. I can only grab the colour with fingers and apply it on the skin because not even my densest brushes could pick the colour, but they blend easier and better with a brush once on the skin.
The lifting concealers are a dud for me. Though the lightest shade works for my skin tone, the coverage is too light even if I try to layer it, so there's not much of that promised lifting effect.
The highlighters did not impress me either. No shimmer means nothing on such a pale skin tones as mine, since it's too similar to my natural shade and there in no visible brightness where I apply it. However, it will work much better on darker skin tones.
I like the idea and it's great that they created such a product, but it could be better. I can work with the contours and even from that just with two colour, while the rest in a waste for me. The concealers are not the best in terms of coverage (they can be used as highlighters on darker skin tones) and the highlighters need to be shimmery for me, because my skin tone is already too pale for creating light areas.
*BOURJOIS Le Duo Blush Colour Sculpting
I never mentioned this on the blog, but Bourjois baked blush was one of my first ever blushes that I got over a decade ago when I had no idea how to get that sculpted contour look and that an muted peachy blush won't cut it. But the shade wasn't the main issue, it was the formula that I just hated because it was so hard and had zero pigmentation, so I've been avoiding these ever since because of that bad experience, despite the fact these are so highly rated everywhere. I was sent this new version, which I assume was released in the light of the draping blush trend, so contouring with blushes. You get two shades in this, a bright shimmery pink and a muted brownish-pink, that looks more peachy-pink when swatched. Pigmentation is relatively poor compared what I'm used to, at least when I try to swatch it with fingers, but it shows up well on the cheeks with layering, so I like it way more than my first blush. This is one of the most scented powders I own and it has a typical "French/Bourjois" floral rose-violet fragrance.
*BOURJOIS Le Petit Strobler Highlighter/Illuminator
I'm not sure how new this is, but it's the first time I'm seeing it. It's a baked highlighter in a champagne gold-ish hue. The shimmer is very fine and the highlighter has a lovely sheen when I swatch it, but I need to build it up, since the texture is hard and you don't pick up a lot of product with one swipe. It's again very scented with the classic Bourjois fragrance.
THE ORDINARY AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
I've had a few AHA products before and they were all too weak for me, so they didn't do much and I never got that super smooth and "renewed skin effect" (I get it with a physical exfoliator, my fave Skinfood sugar scrub), but this has really high concentration so I had higher hopes for this. Despite the whooping 30% content of AHA, I felt nothing on the skin, so no tingling and there were no irritations, but also again not much visible results either. I hoped that it'll make the area on my chin smoother and that it might help the old blemish mark fade a bit more, but I did not get the same glowy, even skin effect as I get with sheet mask which don't even have AHA's. My skin looked healthier in the morning and it was completely clear, so I do like this part, but it's not that special compared to other AHA products with much less % of acids. The consistency is a thick liquid that doesn't run from the skin when it's on and it's a deep burgundy wine shade, so you look weird to say the least, but only for 10 minutes, which is the recommended time by TO to leave this on.
THE ORDINARYArgireline Solution 10 %
This targets dynamic facial lines, so those caused by facial expressions, I got this because I want to reduce or at least stop the progression of my nasolabial lines, while I don't have other lines developing yet, but this might halt their progress. I'll mostly use it around my mouth and around the eyes, so I'll report back if I see any improvement or changes. I expect it'll take several months, but let's hope it does something. This feels like water and you need to be careful it doesn't run off your fingers when you're trying to apply it. It absorbs almost immediately and leaves nothing behind, so it's great as a first step after cleansing or acids.
ROHTO Melano CC Intensive Anti-Spot Essence
I heard so many raves about this. It's a vitamin C based product that's meant fight pigmentation. I got it because I have blemish marks from spots I got in December and I want to finally fade them and of course those spots reappeared just as I was going to start using this, so I started with a very visible red mark on my chin. The packaging has only 20 ml, but this has such a unique packaging. The applicator is very small and lets out only drops of product at the time, so no air gets to the product and ruins Vitamin C. Texture is unique as well. It's like a very dry oil that feels oily from the start and spreads easily on the skin, but dries fast. I've been using it for over a month now, day and night, and it's a very slow progress, slower than I expected based on reviews. It hasn't faded the mark much yet, but I've been told to be patient and keep using it, which I plan to do. I'll report back, but at least when I use it, my skin is glowy and healthy (which I can also achieve with COSRX Galactomyces already)
THE BODY SHOP Body Butter
TBS makes my favourite formula of body butters and I've had a ton of versions so far. I've tried Shea Butter through samples and it was one of my favourites because it's got one of the thickest textures, so it's extra nourishing, plus the scent is the most neutral in the bunch, meaning smelling most clean. It's a bit bitter, nutty scent that develops a more creamy once on the skin and it's definitely one that also men who don't like girly smelling products can use. It's not as nice as L'Occitane's Shea Butter scent, but it's still a good one. These take longer to absorb than regular creams or lotions, which works for me, since always apply them before going to bed.
The Body Shop, 17.50 € (200 ml)
THE BODY SHOP Body Butter
Almond Milk & Honey
I so regret not taking a big pot of this and a small of Shea, though I actually prefer the richer texture of the latter. Almond Milk & Honey smells amazing to me. It's a warm, snuggly creamy honey scent which reminds me most of baby cosmetics, though it's not powdery in the least. The texture is lighter than most TBS butters I've tried, with the exception of Japanese Cherry and the discontinued Cherry. It's still thick for a cream and does the same great job of nourishing the skin as other versions. This one is also marketed as for sensitive skin.
The Body Shop, 6.90 € (50 ml)
THE BODY SHOP Body Butter
This is my love it/hate scent because it's one of those obnoxiously uplifting citrus fragrances that I either crave or can't imagine using at the moment. It's none of the citrus scents specifically, so I don't recognise orange or satsuma, but it's a refreshing and sweet version. It's got a slightly lighter texture than Shea Butter, but this still one of the thick body butters, so very nourishing and great for very dry areas.
The Body Shop, 6.90 € (50 ml)
*THE BODY SHOP Body Yogurt
I talked about this in my last favourites. It's a new collection of body moisturisers that launched recently and are available in several scents, but Banana is that one special one that doesn't exist in body care cosmetics, just the hair care so far. The texture is very light, like a gel and TBS did something similar before, their refreshing Body Sorbets. Press release brags about these absorbing in mere 15 seconds, so you can get dress quickly, but despite the high alcohol content which makes the liquid part of the product evaporate from the skin quickly, leaving just the nourishing ingredients behind, this takes a few minutes to completely sink in (it's still waaay faster than body butters) and it can feel a bit tacky/sticky for a while, but it's not that annoying. I've become a bit addicted to the smell and considering I'm far from being a fan of banana scent, it's surprising I like it so much. It's close to real ripe and sweet bananas, so none of that obnoxious Casali candy banana scent like in Tony Moly hand cream. I use it in the morning, mostly because I like the fragrance it leaves on my skin for a couple of hours, plus it's also cool I use at least something moisturising in the morning, even if it is light. But for real nourishment I still much prefer their body butters.
TBS, 9.99 €
They see me rollin'
This has a different texture than regular Balea shower gels as it's quite thick and doesn't go so easy out of the bottle. The gel is tinted blue with white frosty shimmer, so that's another cool thing apart from the packaging which always makes me think of those funny cat videos in the shower. It's one of their best smelling shower gels for my taste because it smells like berries, but more specifically like that kids pink toothpaste with a crocodile Vademecum, so it's not super sweet, but also a bit fresh.
DM, 0.99 €
BATH & BODY WORKS Ultra Shea Body Cream
I already raved about this in my last monthly favourites and it's really so amazing. It combines two of the most important things for me when it comes to body moisturisers - a rich texture and a heavenly fragrance. It's like a body butter in a tube, the texture is thick and so nourishing, so just the way I like it. The scent is the same as my beloved Twillight Woods mist, so a fantastic warm, cosy woody scent. I'm seriously considering getting the Country Apple version, but after I use up some of my stash.
eBay, £14.99 (also on Salma, which I saw only after I ordered)
BILOU Creamy Shower Mousse
I own Fizzy Berry which really impressed me, so this was the next version on my list of the candy scents I wanted to try. It smells like my childhood. I can't quite pinpoint which sweets this smells like, but it's not like donuts, it's like some fruity candy. These mousses have a lovely, fluffy foam that's a pleasure to use and one can lasts ages.
Müller, 3.95 €
BILOU 2 in 1 Body Spray
I love this scent and I've had some very good experience with the cheap body mists, but this literary lasts three minutes. You get a strong berry candy burst from the start, but five minutes later there's no trace of the scent, not even on clothes. I'm disappointed.
Müller, 3.95 €
DOVE Shower Mousse
I've become a big fan of these shower foams after being very suspicious of them for years, but all I've tried so far have any amazing fluffy texture and they far outlast regular shower gels which is the thing I most appreciate. These Dove mousses are quite new I think, as I've only noticed them a couple of months ago and they exist in two versions, the Rose one and the argan one. So far I've tried Balea and Bilou, which to me are basically dupes, but I thought this Dove one will surely be even more amazing because their shower gels/creams are the best thing ever. The foam is more compact that the before mentioned brands and it's so luxuriously fluffy, but once you rub in to the skin, there is no difference between Bilou and Balea. It claims that is can be used as a shower foam and it works really well like that too, but so can the other two. I like it a lot, except it's so strongly scented and it's quite a men's cologne type of scent, so this version isn't my favourite.
Müller, 2.49 €
AVEO Intensive Care Shower Oil
I got this for washing my hands because regular soap, even the pH friendly one is wreaking havoc on my hands (I might be washing it a bit too much), so I thought oil might be a better idea. This emulsifies into such a rich and thick emulsion, it's actually kinda close to L'Occitane, which is amazing for the price, but I was disappointed with the first use because it didn't help my dry skin and I still had dry scales. Frequent use proved more fruitful and finally after months my hands don't feel like a sahara and I don't need to use hands creams all the time. I'm not a big fan on the scent which is like they just left the original strange oil scent and in my opinion they could have added some fragrance to it.
Müller, 1.95 €
I buy these stick deodorants all the time, but so far it's mostly been Rexona, which was perfect until it stopped working on me, so I got the Dove version to try. It's ok, but not as good as Rexona used to be on me. It hold ok on normal days, but in stressful situations it fails. It smells nice, like describe powder soft, so feminine and pretty, but I need to be careful when I'm putting on a dark piece of clothing because it leaves white marks.
Müller, 2.99 €
ESSENCE Brush Sleeves
01 guardians of the brushes
I'm so glad Essence decided to sell these. They are simple brush guards, so those plastic meshes that you put on a brush to keep its shape. You get five small ones and five big one for 2 € which is an acceptable price, plus they are so easy to get.
My lovely reader Lorena, who shares my love for exploration of K-Beauty, sent me a very generous amount of samples to try.
KIKUMASAMUNE Sake Skin Lotion High Moist
This is probably the most praised Asian beauty item alongside with Hada Labo lotion and COSRX Snail Mucin and its mass appeal comes from the fact that it's available in a very generous 500 ml packaging meaning you can use it very liberally for anything, face, body, some even use it for their scalp and hair. It's a hydrating product in a toner form, not a lotion as the name suggests, so this is very liquid and it feels light on the skin, but hydrating. It contains sake filtrate, arbutin, ceramides and glycyrrhizic acid, so it should be brightening and strengthening the moisture barrier, though I haven't noticed brightening, I only notice that my skin is more hydrated. It smells like a medicine for kids, somewhat like a strange banana scent, but most describe it as a sake scent (don't know how that smells like). It's not a strong scent and I don't find it bothersome.
CEZANNE Skin Conditioner High Moist
This is basically the same thing as Kikumasamune, so a toner-like product in a 500 ml bottle that feels exactly the same on the skin except it's not scented. It contains ceramides, Job's Tears extract, 3 types of hyaluronic acid, collagen and amino acids, so based on ingredients alone, I find it more appealing than Kiku. It does exactly the same thing as Kikumasamune does for me, it's basically just very hydrating and that's it. I'm considering getting a full size.
SCINIC Honey All in one Ampoule
This was on my list to try if none of my replacements for Banila wouldn't work (I found LJH Propolis Ampoule then), but I think I'd probably buy it anyway because it comes in a 250 ml jar and I could use it for body too. It's gel-meets-honey type of texture and it's a bit sticky once it dries on the skin, but not like Banila was. The scent is a strong floral one in the pot, but on my face I can smell honey, so naturally I love it. I initially liked this because like Kikumasamune it's hydrating and comes in a big pot, but I strongly suspect this broke me out. It's a great hydrating product and worth the money, so I'll give it one more chance to see if it really breaks me out, but otherwise sadly I think this isn't for me.
HOLIKA HOLIKA skin & Good Cera Ultra Emulsion
This contains ceramides which strengthen the skin's barrier and it's a product that's designed for sensitive skin. It's a lotion type of product that still needs some time to absorb, but I've been using this morning and night for a week and my skin liked it a lot. It's nothing ground-breaking, but my skin felt great and also looked nice, so I like this a kit. Not sure I'd buy it, though I'm very tempted.
RHOTO HADA LABO Premium Hyaluronic Acid Toner
This is an upgraded Hada Labo's Hyaluronic Line and it contains one extra version of hyaluronic acid, bringing the number to 5. It's a thick serum type of product, not really a toner and it's thicker than the Lotion I have from the regular line. It's definitely a great product for the price and it's worth it, but unfortunately, it breaks me out, so I can't use this.
RHOTO HADA LABO Premium Hyaluronic Acid Milk
This is the milk version of the previous product and it can be used instead of a moisturiser if your skin isn't very dry. It does the same thing as a toner, except that it has a richer texture.
BEAUTY OF JOSEON Dynasty Cream
I already mentioned this in my monthly favourites. It has great ingredients, niacinamide is 4th on the list and it also has hyaluronic acid, adenosine and plenty of extracts. It's a medium thick moisturiser that is somewhere between a cream and a gel formula, similar to Etude House Moistufull Collagen, but less jelly. I've used this morning and night for a couple of weeks until the sample almost ran out and my skin really loved it. I'm not sure if niacinamide had any effect, but my skin just looked a picture of health - it had that lovely healthy radiance, zero spots or other pore problems and it felt comfortable. The scent is floral which is ok to me, but some might find it too strong and that's the only potential minus I can find at this. This is so far my favourite moisturiser.
TOSOWOONG Propolis Sparkle Ampoule
This was one of the products I was considering getting as a replacement for Banila, but I got LJH because the bottle was smaller and I felt better buying something small just in case I didn't like it. This comes is a much larger 100 ml bottle and 80% of it is propolis. It's thicker than the LJH version, but it works exactly the same on me, so I really love this, except that after a week I broke out and I'm not sure this was it, so I'm giving it another try in time. But up until the spots, this made my skin look much better, more even with healthy glow and hydrated, so if it turns out this didn't break me out (I think it wasn't because usually when I product breaks me out I notice it in a couple of days, but with this my skin was completely clear for over a week) I'm probably buying this instead of the 15ml LJH when it runs out.
MIZON Good Night White Sleeping Mask
If you're familiar with sleeping masks, this has that classic texture where it feels like it's going to be a light moisturiser, but then it just sits on the skin. It's nothing special, though nice enough. I didn't see that much brightening, but it was nicely hydrating and nourishing, still I don't think I'd buy this in full size.
MEISHOKU Ceracolla Perfect Gel
This is another ceramide based product, so meant for strengthening the skin's barrier. It's a thick gel type of product, quite a heavy one that sits on the skin, feels suffocating and sticky. I wasn't a fan of it and I much prefer the Holika Holika Good Cera.
Loved and would buy: BEAUTY OF JOSEON Dynasty Cream, HOLIKA HOLIKA skin & Good Cera Ultra Emulsion, KIKUMASAMUNE Sake Skin Lotion High Moist, CEZANNE Skin Conditioner High Moist, TOSOWOONG Propolis Sparkle Ampoule (trying for the second time to see if it breaks me out, but regardless of that it's a brilliant product and I recommend you try it)
Liked, but I wouldn't buy it and I think it broke me out: SCINIC Honey All in one Ampoule, RHOTO HADA LABO Premium Hyaluronic Acid Toner, RHOTO HADA LABO Premium Hyaluronic Acid Milk
Nothing special, though ok: MIZON Good Night White Sleeping Mask, MEISHOKU Ceracolla Perfect Gel
Have a great day!