Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15

During the Spring and Summer, I prefer lighter coverage makeup such as tinted moisturizer or mineral powder.
Since Spring has finally sprung into action, I must do so as well! Last week when ruffling
 through my tinted moisturizer collection, I was unable to find a suitable shade for Spring. This comes as no surprise as I purchased all of my tinted moisturizers during the Summer. With no suitable shade in hand, I hurried to Sears to pick up the Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15 - a new addition to Clinique's Moisture Surge line - which I'm reviewing today.

As always, I'll begin with the brand's blurb:
"Allergy Tested. 100% Fragrance Free.
Sheer, hydrating coverage. Natural finish.

Smooth on an instant moisture boost with SPF protection and a hint of skin-perfecting colour. Refreshingly lightweight formula provides a no-makeup look and feel, yet covers imperfections with a natural, hydrating touch. Long-wearing. Oil-free. "

With only six shades to choose from and most of them leaning on the darker side, I am lucky Shade 02 matches me perfectly. Here is a comparative swatch:

Top 2 Photos:
Left: Clinique Even Better Makeup in 03 Ivory - swatched 2x
Right: Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer in Shade 02 - swatched; blended.
Left: Clinique Even Better Make in 03 Ivory - blended, Right: Moisture Surge Tinted Moisture - blended.
As promised, Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer is fragrance-free and feels lightweight. The thin formula absorbs into my skin quickly but there is adequate time to blend for a streak-free finish. While the coverage is sheer, I find my complexion looks less dull and uneven. My blotchy-red cheeks are evenly pink but scars and dark spots are still visible. In other words, major imperfections are covered to a small extent. Typically, I am required to blot my t-zone at 3 hours but Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer lasts about 5 hours before it completely disappears all-over.

For 30ml of product at $30CAD/$24.50USD, this tinted moisturizer isn't ridiculously priced. Most tinted moisturizers cost within the $25-$40 range. However, I benefit more from a foundation which costs about the same. I also prefer higher SPF as anything below 30 is insufficient in protecting the skin from the sun's harmful UV rays.Luckily, Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer wins over my heart with it's hygienic design. The moisturizer is housed in durable plastic bottle with a twist cap and is squeezed out through a spout. I'd appreciate a flippable lid but I'm glad I'm not digging my fingers into a pot.

Bottom Line:
I do recommend this tinted moisturized. It hasn't broken me out and it does much of what it claims to do. While the Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer seems expensive, it's nothing out of the ordinary. Also, I can easily counteract the low SPF issue by prepping my skin with a sunscreen as I'm sure to do during the summer. The packaging gets two thumbs up aswell!

Hope this review was helpful and thanks for reading


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy *Belated* Birthday To Me!

This year, I was/am in no mood to celebrate my birthday. But of course I still took the time to enjoy a wonderful dinner with family and had a separate feast with my close friends. I had dinner Banana Leaf - a Malaysian restaurant - with my family which wasn't very eventful...Days before that, I went to Trafalgar's Bistro - a French bistro - with my friends for some fine dining. Trafalgar's is an absolute must-try. Our table of 5 loved everything. From the water, to the bread, to the butter, to the main course!
Do check their website: Trafalgars. If you like their menu, try reserving a table with them through OpenTable; it's quick and easy.
Dessert time was especially pleasing yet heartbreaking. The dessert menu is extensive and I honestly wanted to try EVERYTHING. I recommend going with at least 5 people so you get to try 1/5th of the menu. If I'm correct (and I think I am), the desserts come straight from Sweet Obsession. Sweet Obsession Cake & Pastries is located two doors down from the restaurant and serves delicious fine desserts. Drool worthy food pictures, click to enlarge:
                              Salt Spring Island Mussels, Fraser Valley Farms Duck Confit, Black and White Mousse.
And all of our desserts together...
The Pear Sorbet was the table favorite but I absolutely love my Black & White Mousse! It's rich in chocolaty goodness but it never gets boring. My biggest fear was that it would be sickly sweet but it's actually quite light. Seriously, it's absolutely divine I tell you!

My favorite part of the "celebration" as always is the birthday gifts. This year was more extravagant than previous years. Here is why:

Technically the Clarisonic is a Christmas gift and Birthday gift all in one. I purchased it with a Sephora gift card from my brother & sister-in-law which I received as a Christmas present and then paid the rest on my own.
My parent's bought me a digital camera. My dad has gone through five digital cameras in 10 years but I've never had my own. I adore the camera on my iPhone but I'm looking for a camera that takes top quality photos. And from my lovely friend Ena, I got a MAC gift card. I don't know how she did it but I swear she read my mind. I'm in the market for a new duo fiber make-up brush and MAC has a few great ones or so I've read. Last but not least, I got money from my brother & sister-in-law and from my sister's boyfriend.

Overall, this birthday isn't the most exciting birthday I've celebrated but there's always next year. One last note: happy birthday to all March babies. May all your wishes come true ♥


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Hard Candy Visibly Wet Shockingly Gloss Lip Pencil - Review + Swatches

I have always been interested in "glossy lip pencils" but being the non-lip junkie that I am, I've never taken the time to try them. Drugstore brands like Wet n Wild, NYX and Hard Candy make a small collection of glossy lip pencils. Larger (and pricier) brands such as Tarte and Nars also carry the like.

When I stumbled upon an updated Hard Candy display at Wally's World, I had to pick up the newer shades of their Visibly Wet Shockingly Glossy Lip Pencils. The five new shades - Inferno, Babe, Candy Apple, Jezebel and Brown Sugar are much more shocking than the original five. I picked up Candy Apple and Babe which are the lesser frightening shades:

L-to-R: Babe & Candy Apple.

If you like a bold lip look without a lot of work, these babies are (almost) perfection!

Top: Candy Apple Bottom: Babe
These glossy lip pencils are crazy pigmented! One swipe on the lips and there's no turning back. Apply it straight from the pencil and I assure you will get the exact same results as I did. I also tried these glossy lip pencils as lip stains and it works! Simply dab the lip pencils on the lips an blend with a lip brush or fingertips. I recommend using the fingertips as it evens out the color better. The outcome will be softer but don't worry, there's still that pop of color! Oh and don't worry if you're not into lip products with a taste or scent because the Visibly Wet Shockingly Glossy Lip Pencils come without it!
The downside is that they aren't very glossy even though they're Glossy Lip Pencils. Of course they shine and some even shimmer but the lip pencil doesn't feel "glossy" or look a tad thicker like a lip gloss. I also find these lip pencils a tad drying on the lips so lip balm is necessary underneath these lip pencils.
My main concern is that the product transfers easily onto any surface. I learned that the hard way when my lips swiped against the sleeve of my yellow sweater... Another problem (for me) is that I have no lip pencil sharpener at this time and these pencils aren't automatic

Bottom Line:
I recommend the Hard Candy Visibly Wet Shockingly Glossy Lip Pencils.
Hard Candy does not test on animals and these lip pencils don't exactly break the bank at $5.98 a piece. I love the insane amount of pigment these babies deliver and that's all there is to it.

Hugs & ^3^,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Product Rave: The Face Net

While roaming Daiso, the famous Japanese dollar store, I found a nifty yet popular (in Asia) skincare accessory. I doubt I'm the last to hear about the "face net" but it is indeed a magical item. In the short time that I have been using it (five days), I have declared it a cosmetic must-have for everyone.
Essentially, the face net is like a loofah. Both the face net and loofah is made from mesh material and are are used to create a wondrous amount of fluffy foam! But unlike a shower loofah, you do not use the face net directly on the face.
The instructions are easy: simply wet the face net and add a drop of cleanser then begin massaging the mesh material between your hands. Squeeze all the foam you can hold in one hand and proceed to use it on your face.
I only need half the amount of cleanser I normally use to create handfuls of fluffy goodness, but not all at once. You can massage the face net repeated to recreate a bountiful of foam, all from half (or less) a pump of cleanser. Seriously, even the least soapy facial cleansers can turn into bubbly heaven thanks to the face net.
Foam cleansers are half of the exception. If the net is sopping wet, I find it dilutes foam cleansers. If the face net is less wet, it can create 10x the amount of foam I started with. The full exception is soapless cleansers such as cream cleansers.

What's included with a face net is a satin or plastic-y roped (looped) so you can hang dry the face net after each use. Mine comes with an extra ring so that the face ne cannot escape my hands.

Take a look:
Why I find I love the face net so much is because I use less cleanser and it is gentler on my skin. I don't have to massage a cleanser on my face where the cleanser never truly foams up through bare hands. The foam reaches every spec of my face so no spot is missed.
I also tried washing my make-up brushes with foam it and works better than my normal method. My "normal", now old, method was washing my brushes with pure gel cleanser. I used one full pump of cleanser to clean two brushes face brush. One pump cleaned an average of three eye shadow brushes. With the new foam method, I use half the amount cleanser and it works just as well. The foam reaches in between every hair so the method is thoroughly cleaning. Also, my brushes dry softer this way.

The moral of this story is to GO GET YOURSELF A FACE NET. You don't want it, you need it. To top off this post, look at my fluff!

With Love,

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Review: The Body Shop Vitamin E Cream Cleanser & Moisture Day Cream

Instead of studying, I prefer writing reviews for my blog. If you haven't noticed yet - I enjoy reviewing products by The Body Shop. Most of the items I've tested are good if not great. Of course there are the items that are extremely awful but I'm leaving those for "Hit or Miss" lists from now on.
Today's post consists of a review on the Vitamin E Cream Cleanser and Vitamin E Moisture Day Cream by The Body Shop.

I'll start with the Vitamin E Cream Cleanser and a blurb from The Body Shop:

Best if you want to: How it works:
Soften your skin while gently dissolving away dirt, make-up and impurities with a rich and gentle facial cream cleanser.

Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant, moisturizes and helps to protect against premature aging and environmental aggressors, such as pollution and the sun.
Wheat germ oil—the richest natural source of vitamin E—moisturizes, nourishes and helps to condition skin.
Organic Community Trade soy oil and Community Trade shea butter work together to soften, refine and restore suppleness to skin.

This is the second cream cleanser I have tried by The Body Shop - you can read about the first one here.
I don't love this cleanser as much as I want to but it works just as well as the Aloe Calming Cleanser. Unfortunately, this cleanser promises more than it can deliver. Since facial cleansers are to be rinsed off, the promise of "moisturizing and helping protect against premature aging and environmental aggressors" and "refining, and restoring suppleness to skin" is not entirely possible. With cream cleansers, I do find my skin absorbs a little bit of the cream but not enough to ensure proper moisture or anti-aging
benefits. With that said, this cleanser gently cleanses the skin without stripping the skin of it's natural oils. It even softens the skin but only by a little. Do note that this cleanser does not dissolve heavy-duty make-up (waterproof, thick layers, etc) but works fine against light layers of make-up. At $14 for 200ml, it's not cheap and a little does not go a long way. The flip-cap bottle annoys me too.

About the Moisture Day Cream:

Best if you want to:
Protect, soften and moisturize your skin with our best-selling, easily-absorbed, moisture cream that has the lightness of a lotion.
How it works:
Vitamin E, a naturally powerful antioxidant, conditions and nourishes skin while helping to protect it against premature aging and harsh environmental elements.
Sorbitol, a naturally occurring ingredient in many fruits, helps skin to retain moisture.
Lanolin is one of nature’s richest moisturizers and is readily absorbed to provide additional protection to skin.
The Body Shop Moisture Day Cream is your run of the mill face cream. It moisturizes and softens the skin like it should. My skin absorbs as much of this cream as possible before the cream decides to sit on top of the skin, leaving that "I just applied moisturizer" look. As a "day cream", it's not very good. The promises of "protecting" isn't entirely true as this cream comes without SPF. On the bright side, I found this cream protected my skin well against winter winds and the chilly air. At $16 for 50 ml of product, it's not worth it. It's too pricey for a basic face cream especially if you're looking for an anti-aging, firming, lifting, etc- face cream. At $4 for a 15 ml jar, go for it. I should it mention it's great for quickly healing new scars. Of course using vitamin E capsules is best but considering this is a 2-in-1 product, it's good.

Bottom Line:
I like both products but I can't recommend either based on price and overall use. If I have to choose recommending one over the other, I'd recommend the Moisture Day Cream. It's a quick & easy fix for dry and just-scarred skin :)

With Love,

Ingredients (Vitamin E Cream Cleanser):
Water, Octyl Palmitate, Isohexadecane, Sorbitol, Dimethicone, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Sorbitan Stearate, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Benzyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cetearyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Methylparaben, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Fragrance, Propylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Linalool, Geraniol, Limonene, Citral, Eugenol, Farnesol.

Ingredients (Vitamin E Moisture Day Cream)
Water, Isopropyl Palmitate, Sorbitol, Lanolin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Esters, Steareth-2, PEG 100 Stearate, Ceresin, Triethanolamine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Steareth-20, Carbomer, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Propylparaben, Red 4.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Review: The Body Shop Aloe Calming Toner

Happy happy Friday! It's time for another review. Now I know most of my reviews are of The Body Shop products but that's because I enjoy their products. I'll give other brands a chance to shine on my blog but they'll have to wait until later because I'd love to talk about The Body Shop's Aloe Calming Toner today.

A bit about toners - they come in many concentrations; astringents, tonics, fresheners and lotions. Astringents and tonics contain alcohol and help rebalance pH levels. Fresheners and lotions are the gentlest forms of toners; they contain no alcohol. These toners are best for sensitive and dry skin as they are calming help prevent moisture loss in the skin.

Now let's learn about the Aloe Calming Toner by The Body Shop:

Best if you want to: Instantly calm your sensitive skin, while removing impurities and excess traces of cleanser, with a conditioning, alcohol-free toner.

How it works:
Preservative-, fragrance and dye-free aloe vera moisturizes and soothes sensitive skin.
Sorbitol, a naturally occurring ingredient in many fruits, helps skin to retain moisture, so it feels soft and supple.
Dermatologist approved and clinically proven for sensitive skin.

Water (Solvent/Diluent), Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera Gel) (Skin Soothing Agent), Pentylene Glycol (Solvent), Butylene Glycol (Humectant), Sorbitol (Humectant), Glycerin (Humectant).

What I like about this toner is how useful it is. It's suited for sensitive skin but works for all skin types. I can follow the instructions and swipe it over my face or pour it in a spray-bottle to freshen up on-the-go. My favorite use of this toner is using it as face mask. Using a cotton face mask or thin pads of cotton, I soak the cotton with the toner and apply to the face for 10 minutes. My face fells purer and appears less irritated after using this toner in any which way. When used as a mask, I find it retains the moisture in my skin better than as a purifier. Now the ingredients list isn't long or complicated but at $14, I could simply make this toner at home. Even though I paid half the price ($7), it's too much for water, aloe vera gel, and glycerin. One 200ml bottle can last about three months or some times less.
I should also mention The Body Shop does not test on animals~

Bottom Line:
Unless you can't make a simpler version of this toner at home, I do recommend it. I love how I can use it in many different situations. Can you imagine using this on a 5-10 hour flight? It feels soooo good!
And there were have it, another happy end-ing review!

With Lots of Love,

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

EOS Everyday Hand Lotion - Review

Evolution of Smooth (EOS) is known for their Smooth Sphere Lip Balms (my review here) and the nasty ingredients they don't use. They recently came out with two new lotions; both 97% natural and suited for all skin types.
Since I'm still having trouble locating EOS products at Shoppers Drug Mart, I asked the wonderful S.O. to send over the brand new Everyday Hand Lotions. After using them for the past 2-3 weeks, a review is in order. As always, let's start with a blurb from the EOS website:

Delight your skin.

Leave your skin feeling touchably soft for hours with this natural, fast-absorbing hand lotion.

Designed to fit in your purse, your pocket, or on your desk, eos looks as good as it feels on your skin. Infused with moisturizing shea butter, oat extract, and a generous helping of antioxidants and vitamins C and E, eos hand lotion will leave your skin feeling soft, supple and radiantly healthy long after you apply it.

•97% natural formula
•For all skin types
•Dermatologist tested
•1.5 fl.oz (44 ml)

The eos Everyday Hand Lotion comes in Nourish and Refresh. Nourish comes in a light sea foam blue tube and undescribed scent. Refresh comes in a light green tube and is cucumber scented. I don't adore either scents but I'd recommend Refresh over Nourish as the latter smells like men's shaving cream/aftershave. Refresh smells exactly like Cucumber Melon by Bath & Body Works. Both carry the same lightweight, fast-absorbing, non-greasy texture as written on the packaging! Despite the thin texture, the lotions are moisturizing and perfect for everyday use.
Coming from someone who excessively washes their hands thus using twice as much hand lotion, $4.99 is expensive. I could easily finish one tube in a month. But the fact that eos does not test on animals prevents me from abandoning the hand lotion.

Editted on 03/02/11: I made a mistake! The lotion is actually $3.99. As odd as it seems, $3.99 sounds reasonable!

Verdict: I recommend the eos Everyday Hand Lotions. It does what it's supposed to and despite the fact that I hate the scents, the ingredients and brand itself is lovely.

With Love,


Make-Up Kismet is a personal blog written and edited by myself. This blog was created to share my experiences with whom ever reads it.

All reviews posted are written by me and are my honest opinions. All products reviewed are purchased by me for personal and/or review purposes unless stated otherwise. Each person is different, as are our experiences. With that said, I cannot be held responsible for any unsatisfying reaction to a product I review or recommend.

Photos on this blog are either from Google, other Bloggers or, my own. I try to depict all products as accurately as possible. I may edit photos for this purpose.


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