Tuesday, December 27, 2011

z.ky reviews: L'Oréal Double Extension: Beauty Tubes Technology; Nourishing, Ultra-Lengthening Mascara

I bought this as my HG mascara, Imju Fiberwig, is running out. I encountered it via Ava Yu Kiu's beauty videos and thought I'd give it a shot. It's a tad more expensive than the average drugstore mascara, at almost €17, but I've had disappointing results with almost every drugstore mascara I've ever bought, so I'm willing to pay for something that might actually work. That said, Fiberwig is significantly cheaper.
My first HG mascara was Benefit's get bent (same formula as BADgal, different/bent brush), which was stiff enough to hold the curl of my naturally very straight and long lashes, though it drooped at the end of a moderately long day. Then I discovered Fiberwig when I was in Hong Kong, and have stuck with it ever since. I love how the fibers are removed with warm water, less rubbing of the eyes with alcohol-based removers.

- The formula is moderately wet, which worried me at first as I prefer stiff formulas like Fiberwig.
- It's very lengthening, but not volumising.
- I had to curl many times before and after application of each coat to get my lashes to hold shape, but I think it will stay after that.
- I would say that this is another version of Bourjois' Coup de Théâtre mascara - which actually works. (I see the packaging got revamped since I bought it almost 10 years ago...I wonder if they changed the formula, which was too weak to hold curl, back in the day.)
- Individual lash definition is very good.
- It looks natural enough to be worn without any other eye make-up.


Bare eye with Maybelline's Pure.Cover Mineral concealer in 01 Nude Beige and Benefit High Beam on the tearduct and nose.


One coat of the white base, and approximately three coats of the black mascara (in quick succession, not left to dry in between).

If you're looking for length but not volume, and average curl hold, this is perfect for you. If your lashes are very thin, this may not work well. Only get this if no other drugstore mascara works for you, as it's among the most expensive - I think it may actually be more expensive than Benefit's offerings. It's essentially a more expensive and less volumising version of Fiberwig.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

LMF 傲氣長存 Lyrics English Translation

LMF - 傲氣長存 (Persistent Self-Pride) English Translation

Chinese lyrics: Chlyrics
English translation by z.ky. Do not reproduce without permission.

WARNING: Extreme profanity. Translated lyrics after the cut.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wintertime: Dry, Flaking Patches of Skin on Face - REMEDY!!

Last week, I had a problem with small dry patches of skin on my face with flaked and were a pain to use BB cream on. My usual serum and moisturiser didn't seem rich enough, and the central heating craze at the beginning of cold weather wasn't helping.

I've heard of crazy old ladies slathering Vaseline on their faces at night and tips online involving Vaseline masques resulting in dewy, glowing, even skin, so I tried putting a layer of Vaseline on the dry patches on my face under moisturiser. No dice - expected, since Vaseline is completely useless on my lips and seems to dry them out rather than do anything beneficial.

I was considering shelling out for a higher-end, richer moisturiser as I've never really experienced this problem before, and it was making me panic. The dryness began to itch and spread. However, I seem to have stumbled upon a remedy, which I'm going to share:

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick - on targeted areas, under your usual moisturiser.

It's literally
Palmer's (which I already use on my body) in stick form. It doesn't feel as greasy/gloopy/sticky as Vaseline (it's sticky, but it's a bearable kind that you'll forget about in a few minutes), it doesn't leave a high-gloss sheen (annoying), it's easy to use (swivel and swipe - no need to rub in if you're lazy), and after two days of using it, there are no more dry patches on my face!

It's great for protecting vulnerable areas of your face from harsh central heating and cold winds during the Winter. It smells gorgeous, melts into skin, and soothes dry skin effectively!
It doesn't slide around like Vaseline will, moreover it will last all day. Please do try it if you're having the same problem with dry skin!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

z.ky reviews: Etude House Precious Mineral All Day Strong BB Cream in #2 Sheer Glowing Skin

Please refer to my skin profile here!

Etude House is an inexpensive, but good quality cosmetic brand in Korea. I came across this BB cream when searching for a cheap, basic, easy to apply Korean BB cream with a natural finish. I believe that this BB cream was repackaged recently, adding the "All Day Strong" part. It comes in three shades (with notes on what I've learned from my research online):

#1 Sheer Silky Skin: Lightest shade. Suits oily skin, with a mattifying finish.
#2 Sheer Glowing Skin: Light to medium shade. Suits drier skin, with a dewy finish.
#3 Sheer Flawless Skin: Darkest shade. Highest coverage.

I bought 6 sample sachets on eBay of #2 for $3.50. Though I do have combination skin, my cheeks and forehead can get dry in the wintertime. I also prefer a dewy finish which can be toned down with powder, as opposed to an unnatural matte face which needs extra contouring and blush: therefore I chose #2.

I used it straight on my face after getting up in the morning, just to see how it would cope with dryness. I didn't wash my face first, no moisturiser, base, nothing - all that was on my skin was night cream I had applied the night before! I figured that it was the ultimate test...and here's the result:

Left side: with BB cream. Definitely brighter and more refreshed-looking, with evened tone. Shadows and redness on cheeks gone. Right side: eeeek (bare)! Minimal Photoshop (mainly lighting and colour fixes, none on the face).

A swatch:

I was afraid it would be too dark at first, but it seems to lighten as it's blended out.


- No weird sheen, thick texture or extra stickiness from the SPF 30 / PA++ - doesn't get pushed around.
- Slight pearlescent effect, but very natural and only noticeable close up. No shimmer or particles.
- VERY easy to apply and blend, no need to buff in - great beginner BB cream.
- I disagree with recommendation for dry skin - if skin is drier than average, this may not give as nice an effect - doesn't cover or moisturise dry patches too effectively. "For Normal Skin" would be more accurate.
- Tone is neutral but tends more to pinkness than yellow shades - buy samples/use testers before purchasing!
- Covers dark shadows around eyes surprisingly well - may need extra layers, but is very layerable and doesn't cake.
- The finish is like mineral make-up: comes off when touched as a powdery/silky residue, but doesn't rub off too easily - could set with powder to be safe.
- Very easy to remove: a few gentle swipes of a Simple Cleansing Facial Wipe and it's all gone!
- Coverage: extremely natural - medium coverage with a very thin layer: covers redness, dark shadows, and visible pores well.
- I took it off straightaway, so I can't say anything about the staying power. But as it's so natural, even if it rubs off it won't look obvious. It feels very light (actually, I didn't feel anything...) and natural, so it shouldn't be a chore to wear. In fact, I think it would do fine without blush, and definitely without contouring. I would be interested to test it in hot or humid weather, as it obviously performs well in dry, cool weather.
- Patting it on is best, but rubbing doesn't produce any unsightly "eraser dust" or promote flaking.

All gone!

Remember that I used this on a crappy (i.e. non-existent) base, so I expect that the finish and effect would be even better over serum, or any kind of prep! Note that BB creams are to be used in place of moisturiser, as many claim to have SPF, anti-ageing, whitening, and moisturising effects.

I also bought a full-size
Mentholatum Sunplay SKIN AQUA Silky BB Cream SPF35 PA++ (recommended in a video by Ava Yu Kiu), so I will test that out before purchasing Etude House Precious Mineral BB Cream in its full size - but I have to say that there isn't a lot stopping me from buying it, right now!

+Good, if:
You're looking for natural light to medium coverage, more than a tinted moisturiser but less than traditional foundation, without any gimmicks, stickiness, or weird sheen. This would be a great first BB cream.

-Bad, if:
You need a lot of coverage or staying power, and have very dry skin.

The name says it all: if you've used mineral make-up before, you know what to expect - the base consists of powdery minerals rather than oil or water. Overall, I would repurchase this!