Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kinerase Clear Skin Regulating Mask $56 Review

I got to try a sample of this a while back but never got around to posting a review. So here it is!

The Kinerase Clear Skin Regulating Mask ($56 for 2.8 oz) is a clay mask that treats acne-prone skin. It contains botanical extracts that draw out extra sebum and soothe the skin to minimize break outs. The mask is applied for only 5 minutes once a week and regular use will improve blemishes and conditions of acne-prone skin.

The Verdict: A-
The sample size I had only allowed me to use the mask once but I could feel immediate changes. All traces of oil and sebum were absorbed by the mask and some of my older acne scars were diminished and less discolored.

Even though I loved the results of the mask, it's meant for oilier skin than mine. I had to slather on moisturizer in order to rehydrate the skin on my cheeks/temples but for my T-zone this mask worked wonderfully.

I really am not doing justice to how impressed I was by this mask. Just go try a sample from Nordstrom and you'll see what I mean :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

PlePle Wrap Pencil Case $16

I'm a hobby generalist. I'm interested in a bunch of different things but I never devote my full passion on any one. One of my many obsessions is stationary. I dunno why but I think it has something to do with being Asian - how nerdy right? Well it's ok because I don't take it overboard (remember I'm only a generalist :)

One of my favorite sites to surf for stationary is at JetPens. They've got pens galore. Pens you've never heard of. Pens you've never seen. And more pens than you could imagine uses for or where to store! It's hard not to covet some of them - trust me it's hard. They've also got beautiful and stylish writing pads and some very innovative pencil cases.

I would like to introduce the PlePle Wrap Pencil Case. I originally bought it to store pens because it made me feel artsy.

But then I discovered it's even better used as a brush roll. Tada!

I mean seriously! It's so different than the typical black MA brush satchel and I personally think it's cuter. I usually keep my brushes in an empty candle jar on the counter but this wrap case works great for transporting brushes.

The outside of the case is made of a thin suede and it feels leather-like. The inside is felt-lined with a polka dot pattern and the felt has a corduroy texture to it. There are also 3 sectioned slots for holding brushes.

The Verdict: A+
As I mentioned before, I like to use this for travel since the flap on the top of the case protects the bristles from getting frayed and tugged. The length of the case comfortably fits most full-size brushes.

Since it's actually meant for pens not brushes it's hard to fit brushes with different sized handles in the same slot. If you put a fat handled brush in the same slot as skinny handled brushes, they won't lay flat and will start to roll around.

Also the slots can only fit about 2-3 brushes each. If you've got a large collection of brushes, you may have to get 2 cases to fit all the brushes. I only have a small collection of brushes and only a few that I use on a regular basis. So for me this is just the right size for travel.

P.S. If I had a reason to get a 2nd wrap pencil case...I'm eyeing this one.

Friday, August 21, 2009

NARS Bridal Palette $65 Review

I know this NARS Bridal Palette (aka Makeup Artist Palette 9945) has been out there forever but I kinda forgot about it and then re-discovered it a couple of weeks ago.

At the end of next week I'm heading to sunny Malibu to celebrate the wedding of a good friend and I wanted a simple all-in-one makeup kit. I found this to be practical for travel since I won't have to fiddle around with a bunch of little tubes of lipstick or separate little eye and cheek compacts. O and did I mention the HUGE mirror on this baby? It's gonna make on-the-go touch-ups easy peasy!

I love that this palette includes 9 of the best-selling NARS shades in neutral colors that would flatter any skin tone....but especially mine :) Below are some close-up pics of the compact.

Eye Quad

Neutral but versatile shades for the eyes that can go with any outfit or occasion. I could keep my eyes simple or do a smoky eye by adding some eyeliner and mascara.


I love Orgasm! It's always my go-to blush so having it in the compact just makes packing simpler for me. Albatross is a highlighting shade and complements Orgasm really well. I'm not real big on highlighters but I'm liking how the 2 shades pair up.

Lip Quad

Again neutral colors but I found them to be very hydrating and easy to apply with a lip brush.

The Verdict: B+
I don't really have any complaints about the NARS Bridal Palette. I know some may say the shades aren't colorful enough but I knew what I was getting myself into and I'm a happy camper. But I do have 1 complaint...

Shipping Experience
I ordered this directly from NARS as it's no longer available anywhere else. It was shipped super fast (under 3 days) but the packing quality was disappointing. I have this thing where I gently shake packages to see how "secure" they are. This was NOT secure at all - I could hear and feel the THUD-THUD as the compact rolled around and landed on the opposite side of the box. When I opened the box the palette was wrapped in some tissue paper but there was no cushioning to fill-in the empty space! I braced myself for the worst. I crossed my fingers and opened the cover of the palette hoping I wouldn't fine the mirror or any of the quads cracked. Well, I got myself worked up over nothing. Everything was fine and in one piece. A little dusty, but fine.

See? Everyone's alright :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

LUSH Tea Tree Toner Tab Review

I went to the salon and on the way back I tried to resist the sweet alluring smells wafting out of LUSH but I failed slightly. I say slightly because I only caved to 2 items: some toner tabs and a hair treatment tub. The other 2 are samples that the kind SA threw in :) I'll review all of these as I use them but for now I'll only be reviewing my spotlight item: LUSH Tea Tree Toner Tabs!

LUSH has 4 different types of toner tabs to address different skin conditions. I got the Tea Tree Toner Tabs to help soothe acne prone skin. They're $1.50 each (yikes!) or $7.95 for 6 tabs (smaller yikes!).

To use these, first boil a pot of water. Once the water has boiled, remove the water from the heat and drop in one of the tabs. Then place a towel over your head and let the tea tree steam seep into your skin. When the tab fizzles out the steaming is complete! Just pat skin dry and then finish with a moisturizer. The SA recommended allowing the tea tree water to cool and then pouring it into a spray bottle and to use it as a toner. I loved his idea for turning the tab into a multi-use product!

I have to admit 1 tab per pot of water seems rather wasteful to me. So I used this with my Conair Facial Steamer in my pre-masking ritual. I let the facial steamer heat up and then I just shaved off a about 1/4 of one toner tab into the water basin.

The Verdict: A
I know some people find the scent of Tea Tree oil to be quite pungent but I actually don't mind it. When I used it with my steamer I found the scent to be relaxing and spa-like. I'm not so sure about the effect of this for my skin though. My skin was all clammy after steaming so it was hard to gauge the benefits of incorporating the toner tab. However I'm confident all the antioxidants and tea tree oil goodness were busy working behind the scenes to beautify my skin :)