Tony Moly Backstage Gel Liner in #8 Khaki Black Quick Review and Swatch

Monday, January 27, 2014

Tony Moly Backstage Gel Liner is one of the best selling gel liners in Korea. They are super affordable, great quality, and have a wide selection of wearable colors (13 colors to be exact). So far, I've tried #2 Brown, #3 Pearl Brown, #8 Khaki Black and #13 Choco Brown. If you haven't read it yet, please check out my indepth review on #3 Pearl Brown. It's still my favorite color among the Tony Moly Backstage Gel Liners.

Today, I'll be swatching for you #8 Khaki Black. I picked it up because I was looking for something different from the typical black and brown liners. I already own dozens of brown eyeliners in various different tones and shades, so I wanted to try something different. I  kid you not. Korea is full of makeup brands with amazing quality cosmetics that tempt you to spend your money. I have had a shopping addiction since I started to get into makeup but this makes my spending habit100x worst.

As with all of the Tony Moly Backstage Gel Liners, This comes with a soft, useable brush that you can take out of the lid.

Khaki Black is a goldeny olive green. On the eyes, it's very similar to a more subtle black. It has golden shimmers but they're not very noticeable unless someone is extremely close. This is a great alternative to brown if you are looking for a defined eye look but want to try something other than brown.

The texture of this gel liner is creamy as always. It's not watery at all but glides across my lids very easily. It very easy to apply and doesn't make a mess at all. This liner doesn't smudge on me at all and wears for a long time without giving me raccoon eyes.

What I Love About It:
- very subtle and defining
- creamy and solid
- affordable
- long lasting
- smudge proof

What I Don't Love About It:
- nothing

Please check out my first review on Tony Moly Backstage Gel Liner in #3 Pearl Brown for a more indepth review.

iHerb Haul #1: A Tea Lover's Dream + iHerb Discount Code

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
iHerb really impressed me with their shipping. It took 5 days for my things to arrive from America to South Korea. 5 Days!! Last time I order from Canada and it took 2 weeks...  I don't know what happened but I think I'll order more often from now on. Their selections of items is really impressive. They've got so many different things. I especially like shopping there for their tea selection. They've got ELF, Real Techniques, and Physician's Formula. A set of Real Techniques brushes cost $18 on iHerb but 45 000 Won (about $45) in Korean stores...

Shipping is a flat rate of $4 -  but you can save on that when you use the coupon code for $5 - $10 off (if you are a first time shopper at iHerb).

Discount Code for First Time Shoppers of iHerb: VVW971 
Just enter this into the code box when you are checking out and you can received $5 off if your order if under $40 and $10 off if your order is over $40. Great way to save! 

* Disclaimer: I think when you use this code, I receive about 1% - 1.5% of your total credited onto my next order. The credit is from iHerb's marketing budget so it won't cost you anything extra to use it. There's more information on the iHerb website if you would like to know more about their reward system. Everyone gets a coupon code to share after making an order.

I paid for everything in this order. Nothing is sponsored.

Anyhow onto the haul!

I have official became a tea horder...

Before I took a long vacation off I was deeply dependent on my Korean coffee mix.  I NEEDED a cup of coffee to function properly every morning due to long working hours and not getting enough rest. However after my break, I am now a tea lover. It doesn't mean that I no longer love coffee, but I just don't like that dependency on something.

Throughout the day, I like to drink tea. It's just so relaxing. Here's what I got:

1. Twinnings Variety Pack (20 bags): My coteacher has been telling me that Twinnings makes the best tea and I think she might be right. I love the variety of tea that Twinnings offer but since I'm still relatively a newbie to tea, I got a variety pack. It comes with 5 Earl Grey 5 Lady Grey 5 English Breakfast 5 Irish Breakfast. I think this is a great way to try out new teas.

2. Bigelow Assorted Teas: Herbal Tea (18 bags): It comes with 3 Pomegranate Pizzazz, 3 I Love Lemon with C, 3 Mint Medley, 3 Orange & Spice, 3 Cozy Chamomile, 3 Sweet Dreams (The whole reason I ordered this box was for this. The name is just too tempting. However, I found it to be somewhat of a disappointment since it tastes almost just like regular chamomile tea to me).

3. Bigelow Vanilla Chai (20 bags): This is a winner for me. The box comes with helpful instructions on how to prepare the tea. It made my entire kitchen smell so wonderful. The vanilla is really perfectly strong in this. I will definitely hoard up on this the next time I order (possibly hoard up on a few boxes of Twinnings Chai tea as well).

4. St. Dalfour Golden Mango Green Tea (25 bags): This was listed in their best sellers list. I had to try it. It's pretty yummy with a noticable mango taste. I would recommend this.

5. St. Dalfour Strawberry Rose Green Tea (25 bags): I've been craving rose tea but the strawberry is definitely more noticable than the rose.

6. Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: This smells absolutely AMAZING. Really yummy. So far I've only tried this in cooking. It adds a slight coconuty taste to the food. 

7. Physician's Formula eyeliner set for Brown Eyes: I always order this. I find it to be a bit cheaper on iHerb than in Canadian drugstores. These are my HG eyeliners. They don't budge nor smudge.

And some freebies... a hair cap and a lip balm - each order comes with freebies

Overall: I'm really impressed with how fast I received my order. I am definitely planning to order again - perhaps more tea as I'm going through them so quicky.
Shipping cost a flat rate of $4 no matter which country you're in.

Discount Code for First Time Shoppers of iHerb: VVW971 
Just enter this into the code box when you are checking out and you can received $5 off if your order if under $40 and $10 off if your order is over $40. Great way to save!

Skinfood Lavender Tea Salt Mask Foam Review

Monday, January 20, 2014

"A foaming cleanser infused with lavender tea and Himalayan salt that helps moisturize skin while washing away dirt and oil. Leaves skin soft and supple, like a facial mask does."

To Use: Dispense an ample amount onto wet palms and lather. Massage skin and wash off with lukewarm water. Splash with cold water for astringent effects. 

It is in a simple, soft plastic, off-white squeeze tube with a soft lilac twist on lid. Some people may prefer a flip lid but since I don't use this everyday, I don't feel too bothered by it. It has a cute drawing of a salt shaker with lavender. Very simple. Very cute.

You can easily squeeze the product out of the tube. It comes out like a thick cream with a lot of salt bits. You can definitely feel the salt but it feels very soft and gentle. It lathers up easily.

Like in the instructions, I highly recommend you to apply this product onto wet skin as it will be less abrasive.

It smells mostly like salt and a little bit of lavender lol. It smells relaxing and it's not overwhelming at all.

I've had this product for over a year now. I think it was one of the first products I bought after arriving in Korea. I had recieved a sample packet of it at first and I really liked it. It's a gentle and effective exfoliator that is easy to use and smells great. It doesn't feel too abrasive nor does it strip my skin's moisture.  After washing off this product, I definitely see an immediate brightness to my skin - probably because the dead skin cells have been washed off.  My skincare products also absorb more easily after using this.  I usually use this product once or twice a week when I don't want to go through the hassle of leaving on and washing off the Skinfood Black Sugar Mask. In terms of exfoliation, I think both products are great. The Black Sugar Mask do seem to give more moisture to my skin in the long run though.

What I Love About It:
- smells really nice - very relaxing
- doesn't feel too abrasive even though it contains salt
- makes my skin feel softer
- makes my skincare products absorb more easily
- doesn't strip my skin of its moisture
- doesn't give my skin that squeaky clean feel
- easy to squeeze out of the tube
- easy to wash off
- affordable
- cute packaging

What I Don't Love About It:
- nothing


I think this is a lovely product. I definitely recommend it because it's gentle yet effective.

Skinfood Argan Oil Silk Hair Mask Pack Review

Monday, January 13, 2014

When I first used this product, I didn't think much of it. At that time, my hair was already really healthy. It wasn't shiney, but it was smooth and silky. When I started dyeing my hair, it became really dry. It felt really dry and tangled. It wasn't until then that I truly discover the wonders of this product.

" A hair mask pack that contains nourishing argan oil and silk to transform dry, damaged hair into healthy shiny tresses."

" After shampooing, remove excess water and apply to damp hair. Leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water."

You really have to follow these instructions in order to get the best effect from this product. 

INGREDIENTS: Skinfood usually has all the ingredients listed in English on their products.

Price: 7900Won for 200ml - about $7.5U.S.

Usually after shampooing my hair, I towel try it before applying this product on. Then I go watch YouTube or do something for 10 minutes (sometimes I leave it on for 15minutes) before I rinse this product off. After drying, my hair feels so silky that it's like I have never dyed it before. One time, my hair felt so smooth and silky that it wouldn't even stay in my hair clip, it would just slip off - that is what I call truly silky. The effects on the hair eventually wears off as the weeks go by, so you really might have to use this once a week to keep your hair looking silky and smooth.  My hair definitely feels a lot healthier after the use of this product. I can absolutely feel it, but I'm not really sure as to whether or not it made my hair more shiney.  Regardless of that, this product has become of those items that I must have with me, wherever I live. No other product makes my hair feel this good and it's rather convenient and mess free. 

Even though it is an argan oil mask pack, it does not feel oily at all. When I apply it to my towel dry wet hair, it melts in with the water. It just feels like a regular conditioner. 

One thing I noticed about this product that I really didn't like is the scent. I have a hard time describing it but I think smells like rubber to me. 

I think if you already have really healthy hair that have never been dyed before, this product might not do much for you but if you have rough, tangled, or dry hair, you may see quite an improvement with the continual use of this product. 

What I Love About It:
- makes my hair smooth and silky thus extremely effective
- you can feel results after just once use
- conveniently housed in a hygenic squeeze tube.
- very affordable
- easy to use

What I Don't Love About It:
- the scent

Score: A+ 
This is a must have item for me. Every time I dye my hair, I have to use this product to make my hair feel healthy again. I don't have any other hair product that does what this product does for me. It's definitely a winner in the hair department and I will continue to buy this product until it stops being effective.

Skinfood Black Pomegranate Volumining Serum Review

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I got really curious about this serum after seeing the way Skinfood has been advertising this in Korea. I've never heard of the use of pomegranates in skincare but then again Skinfood sells a lot of things with ingrediants that are unusual to the skincare market that work really well. This serum smells absolutely incredible. I never knew pomegranates could smell so good and now I am on a pomegranate scent craze. 

*Picture taken from promotional materials

There are nine products in this line. In the picture from left to right: Filler, Touch Mask, Emulsion, Oil, Voluming Serum, Toner, Cream, and Essence Mist. The product that is missing in this picture is the Gel Mask.

*Picture taken from promotional materials

This picture shows the recommended skincare procedure steps that you should take when using the Skinfood Black Pomegranate line. By following these steps you would be maximizing the effects that it could provide you. 1. Toner ->  2. Serum -> 3. Filler -> 4. Emulsion -> 5. Cream -> 6. Oil

The Skinfood Black Pomegranate Voluming Serum is used for an Anti-Wrinkle Effect. 

" Hydrate, illuminate, and plump up your skin with Black Pomegranate Voluming Serum. 
Skinfood's proprietary active extracted from Black pomegranates.
* Black Pomegranate Story: This mysteriously dark pomegranate is enriched with a higher amount of ellagic acid and antioxidants than the common red pomegranate."

1) Remove the cap from the enclosed pouch. Replace the bottle pump with the cap.

This is the cap inside the pouch. As you can see, it contains some kind of powder.

2) Press the cap firmly downward to release the powder into the ampoule

After putting on this new cap, you should press the button all the way down. In this picture, the button has not yet been pressed.

3) Replace the cap with the bottle pump. Shake the bottle at least 20 times to mix the powder with the amouple.
*Picture taken from promotional materials

Here is the picture with the pump dispenser.

4) After toner application, dispense a few pumps into palm. Apply to entire face.
For optimum freshness, use the ampoule within five months of the opening date.

This product retains for 24 000 Won. As far as I know, Skinfood never has sales but I find that as I use more of their products, it is fast becoming one of my favorite brands for skincare ^^.

Packaging: I love the plummy redness of the Black Pomegranate line. It's beautiful. The serum is housed in a pump glass bottle. Excellent for hygenic reasons. Although it is a glass container, it does not feel heavy at all. The pump and lid are plastic. 

The serum has a light, runny, milky texture. It spreads easily onto the skin and is absorbed very quickly, leaving the skin hydrated and not sticky.
It spreads really easily over the skin.
It makes the skin look moisturized and healthy after being absorbed.

I've been using this product for a few weeks now and I have to say that it is one of my favorites at the moment. It is not sticky at all, absorbs really fast, smells so good, and feels so light. It really hydrates my skin without feeling heavy at all. I feel like the general brightness and smoothness of my skin has improved as well. I usually use two pumps of product after my toner, once in the morning and again at night and follow it with a cream. I absolutely adore this product in the morning, it just smells SO refreshing and delicious.  So far, even in the dry Korean winter, my skin is holding up pretty good in the moisture area.  Although this product is marketed as an "anti-wrinkle" product, it's hard to say how effective in that area it is as I think so many factors can affect the wrinkle aspect of skin such as healthy habbits. So for that, I cannot make a judgement concerning this product. I can only judge it for how it makes my skin feel. 

What I Love About It:

- smells absolutely amazing
- hydrates really well
- makes my skin feel soft
- absorbs really quickly
- brightens my skin
- not sticky
- has a pump bottle 

What I Don't Love About It:
- nothing

Price: 24 000 Won / 50ml.
Score: A+

I would definitely buy this product again. I recommend it to anyone looking for a brightening and moisturizing serum. My experience has been so positive that I'm really tempted to get the other products in this line. I've received deluxe gift sample sets of the toner and I really like it. Skinfood has once again impressed me with their product.

Aritaum World Glam Coating Tint in #10 London Review

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I picked up two World Glam Coating Tint from Aritaum.  I love how they have city names on them. It makes me extra fond of them. I picked up Seoul - just because I am living here at the moment and London - I've wanted to visit London ever since I read Harry Potter. If they ever make a Toronto, I'd definitely pick it up as well.

Today I'm only reviewing London.

They retail for 9 000 Won for 9ml.

Aritaum World Glam Coating Tint is offered in 10 colors - ranging from pinks to corals to reds. This promotional picture isn't really true to color so I highly recommend you to look up some blogs for swatches before making a purchase.

Initial Impression: When I first put this product on my lips I wasn't sure if I liked it. It had this weird feeling. I get the same feeling when I get cleanising oil on my lips which I don't really like. It went on smoothly and was pretty opaque after one coat.  The brush applied just the right amount of product. It felt quite moisturizing and I don't feel the need to put a lip balm on underneath it. It felt like a glossy balm and I was sure that it would wear off and get on my clothing or hair.

However as the day went by, the color remained on my lips. It didn't slip nor slide. I can even reapply it without it bunching up on my lips.

After a few hours and some water and snacks, the initial glossiness finally faded away and left behind a pretty tint that stayed on my lips until removal at the end of the night. The product is quite moisturizing. Not even once throughout the day did I feel the need to put a lip balm on top of it - not even when it was just the tint left.

It has an artificial citrus scent and taste quite sweet - not that I intentionally tasted it.

I've worn this lip product everyday since I first got it. I have to say I quite like it. Although I still don't really like the feeling of it on my lips, it doesn't bother me that much anymore. Sometimes I even forget I have it on. It's such a low maintanance product that I just absolutely love it. It gives beautiful color and gloss while still being moisturizing. I don't even need to carry other lip products with me when I'm out.  I absolutely love the fact that it doesn't feather nor get on my teeth. I still have to apply it with a mirror but I don't have to worry about it once it's on. Even when it wears off, I can just reapply it or just leave the super natural matte tint on lips. I've heard that the lighter colors don't really leave much of a tint on and that's quite understandable.

#10 London is a really wearable pinky-red.  It has a muted undertone so it doesn't really jump out when someone looks at you. Although the color in the pictures are true, it's really doesn't capture the mute quality of this pinky-red. I don't see a lot of muted pink-reds like this so I think it's quite unique. When I don't have time to put on makeup for work, I just swipe this on and it makes me look quite put-together. The product goes on really smoothly and evenly. It definitely has a gloss. That's probably what they meant when they say "coating" tint. The glossiness of it is like a top coat! When you wipe off the initial color and gloss, it leaves behind a tint that won't come off unless you use a makeup remover. 

 I've seen a number of people doing a gradiation with this product but I haven't master that technique yet. I just swipe it all over my lips.

I like how this comes in a slanted applicator. It makes application really easy and I can get the corners of my mouth with ease. Just the right amount of product comes out.

What I Love About It:
- unique color that is pretty and wearable
- has a glossy finish 
- moisturizing
- leaves a nice tint even after wearing off
- doesn't feather
- low maintanence
- inexpensive

What I don't love about it:
- the scent 

Score: A+
This my current favorite lip product. Gloss, color, tint, and balm in one? Definitely a must have :) I highly recommend you check it out. It would be amazing if they came out with more colors like they did with the Wannabe Cushion Tints. The colors on the promotional picture doesn't really capture the colors so I'd definitely recommend you to swatch them if you can before buying. 

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