Friday, December 16, 2011

Review: Shiseido Pureness Pore Purifying Warming Scrub

This is my first facial exfoliant I've ever bought, so it is a few years old.  I haven't been consistently using it, partly because of the price for the amount of product I get.  =\ 

The scent:
Fresh, light floral scent.  Not an irritating smell.

It is a clear oily-sticky-feel gel with orange microbeads.

To prep my skin, I cleanse my face with whatever cleanser I'm using at that time.  Then if I feel like it, I'd use a facial sauna to steam and soften my skin to melt away the impurities in my pores.  Sometimes I skip this facial sauna step.  I dry my hands and face, dab the scrub on my forehead, cheeks, nose and chin.  Slowly, I massage and spread it all over my face until I feel the microbeads and granules have dissolved.  Then rinse.

Swatch of scrub
Comes in a 50 mL (1.7 oz) tube.

What it claims:
"Give your skin power over shine, imperfections and dryness.  A self-warming gel scrub that unclogs pores and removes excess oil for a feeling of fresh, deeply-cleansed skin.  Pores look less obvious.
-  Warms comfortably on contact to help draw out pore-clogging impurities and excess oil.
-  Contains microbeads and purifying granules for deep cleansing action.
-  Minimizes the visibility of pores while leaving skin feeling fresh and silky." 

Thoughts / Results:
White clumps = dead skin cells
I was first introduced to this product when I received a small sample of it as a gift with purchase.   Sometimes I can feel the the blackhead lumps caused by the excess oil.  So I like the microbeads and granules in this scrub as I feel it really rubs away the excess oil / dirt / impurities that clog my pores - especially on my nose.  Personally, I don't feel this scrub is causing too abrasive on my skin.  Though others may feel otherwise.  Shiseido's Pureness line is supposedly for combination and normal-to-oily skin.  Its products are suppose to bring balance to skin.  IMO, if you use too much of this product, you are possibly removing too much oil from your skin.  Thus, I'd recommend adding little bit as you're massaging and spreading it over your skin.  Using too much of this product also prevents you from feeling the "warming" effect.  The warming effect comes from the friction of micro beads and granules as you're rubbing it in circular motion over your skin.  This is also the problem for many people who claim they don't feel the warming effect.

I can definitely feel the results of this scrub.  My skin feels smoother, not lumpy due to the blackheads.  For me, the smoothness can last around 3 - 4 days.  These results are more clearly seen and felt on my nose.

In terms of giving shine to the skin, I do feel and see the shine.  Before using the scrub, my skin does look duller.  But I'm not sure about imperfections, at least it's not visibly noticeable to me.  I still see the dark areas due to developing/developed/no longer there pimples.  As for dryness, I do feel this scrub is more hydrating than the other brands of exfoliants - i.e. the B. Kamins Bamboo & Rice Facial Polisher.  Yet, I still see some dry peeled skin on my nose.  However, my pores do feel and look unclogged.  Thus my skin is left feeling smooth, fresh and silky.  But don't expect the blackheads to disappear, they may look smaller and/or less prominent.

$29 CAD

Before; skin more yellow and dull
After using facial sauna
After using scrub; skin more clear

Product: Shiseido Pureness Pore Purifying Warming Scrub
Rating: 4 / 5

- Leaves skin smoother
- Noticeably unclogs pores
- Restores shine to your skin
- Warming effect helps draw out the impurities in your pores
- Pores become less visible

- Doesn't completely clear the dry peeled skin
- Warming effect is hard to grasp
- $29 CAD for a 50mL tube is a bit expensive

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Review: NARS Eyebrow Pencil in Jodhpur

I hardly use eyebrow pencil but have always wanted to include it in my makeup routine.  This eyebrow pencil is the first eyebrow pencil I have bought and tried.  For me, I need an eyebrow pencil to fill in spaces between hairs.  I don't have over plucked eyebrows so I don't need to draw them on.  However, I have areas where filling is needed as I got them done before and the lady messed them up permanently - I haven't been able to grow them back in some areas.  For darker hair individuals, I've heard the closest shade to your eyebrow hair is to find a colour that is 2 to 3 shades lighter than your hair colour.  For lighter hair individuals, it's 2 to 3 shades darker.  But to me, this rule of thumb is so abstract.  It doesn't tell me exactly how to find the right colour for me, since beauty brands don't carry multiple shades of one colour.  Therefore, I've had to hunt around and look for the right one.

Left: 2 light strokes; Middle: 2 regular strokes; Right: 4 regular strokes
Sometimes I find the product needs to be warmed up on the back of my hand before I apply it because I think it's a little dried up and no colour is coming off.  When it works perfectly fine and the colour is paying off, I start at the arch of my eyebrow and lightly stroke outwards to the end of my brow.  Then I take a spooly (or a disposable mascara wand) and spread / brush the colour towards the beginning of my brow.  I like my eyebrows starting light and gradually gets darker at the end of my brows.  I guess you can consider it the natural look of eyebrows.

I bought this NARS eyebrow pencil at the Shiseido and NARS warehouse sale so it didn't come with a box, though I'm not sure whether it usually does come with a box - probably not.  The product comes in a form of a pencil with a lid and no sharpener, nor a eyebrow brush on the lid.

What it claims:
"Sculpts and defines the eyebrow with rich, natural looking pigment to softly frame the eyes.  The firm texture allows for maximum control and provides long-lasting definition.  Ideal shades for matching to most brow colors.  Longwearing and blendable.  Firm texture for smooth strokes of color."

Thoughts / Results:
NARS came out with 3 different shades of its eyebrow pencil - Ipanema (darkest), Jodhpur, and Panama (lightest).  I chose the colour that best matched my hair - Jodhpur - and after using this pencil for over 6 months, I find it fills and blends in my sparse areas quite well.  It does give the natural looking effect.  As for the lasting effect, I have worn my full face makeup - including the brow pencil - for around 7 hours and it is agreeable that it is longwearing.  It doesn't budge and I don't have a problem with removing it with cleansing oil.  For me, with light strokes, this colour works for me.  The product quality is great as well - in comparison with the popular Lancome eyebrow pencil in Taupe.  I've tried the Lancome one in Sephora and warming it on the back of my hand to get some colour payoff took quite a bit of effort.  Plus the colour didn't look natural for me.  =\  The only thing that I don't like about this eyebrow pencil is no sharpener or an eyebrow brush on the lid.  It would have been more convenient if the packaging included either one.

Overall, I'm happy I got this at a great price and it's a great product.

*My camera flash refused to light in my 'After' photo =(

$6 CAD @ Shiseido / NARS warehouse sale (Retail price: $25 USD MSRP)

Product: NARS eyebrow pencil in Jodhpur
Rating: 4.5 / 5

- Long-lasting
- Blendable or spreadable with a spooly or disposable mascara wand
- For me, works well with my hair colour

- Wish it had a eyebrow brush or sharpener on the lid
- Pricey

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