Saturday, September 24, 2011

Review: Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment

How many of you are willing to spend big bucks on skincare products? I for one will spend a little to a lot and like always it just depends on the product.

Recently, I purchased a travel size (0.5 oz) tube of the Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment. I was caught up in the moment of splurging but at least I knew better than to purchase the 2 oz tube at $85. Alright, so paying $19 for the travel size wasn't extremely painful but when I make the plunge for the full sized, I will be shedding pennies from my eyes not tears. 

Sephora's Description:


A dual action exfoliation method.

What it is formulated to do
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Intensive Exfoliating Treatment is Kate's top-selling product, and the next best thing to seeing Kate in the Clinic! Treat yourself to this at-home facial for fantastic, instant results. This signature formula works both physically and enzymatically to deliver safe, dramatic results in one application. It effectively combats acne and blackheads, reduces discoloration, and polishes skin for a smooth complexion. Welcome to healthy skin, a healthy glow, and a healthy you!

What else you need to know
This expert formula harnesses the power of fruit enzymes to clarify skin by removing dead cells and eliminating bacteria. It is ideal for all skin types, except sensitive skin.

As characterized, ExfoliKate is a 2-in-1 treatment - it works like a mask and exfoliator. The treatment is to be left on clean, wet skin for 30 seconds tops. In the 30 seconds the treatment is left alone, you may feel the enzymes begin to eat away at dead skin cells. While rinsing off the treatment, the minuscule grains in the creamy moss green concoction will slough off the aftermath.

What I find so spectacular about ExfoliKate is not how smooth it makes my face feel but how it also helps raise small whiteheads to the surface allowing me to deal with them sooner than later. After using the treatment, I take a blemish extracting tool to weed out the gunk in the pores on and around my nose. This part while gross really makes a difference in the clarity of my skin.

This is an intensive treatment in the sense it produces temporary redness but I felt no tingling or burning sensations like I've read about. I didn't experience tight, itchy, dry skin after using this either but it's always important to apply a moisturizer after. 

Alas, such a promising product comes with two setbacks. First there is the heavy price tag and then a naughty ingredient that goes by the name, paraben. After reading Karley's insightful post on parabens - here - I am wary of buying any more products that contain them.

Bottom Line:
Based on ingredients alone, I don't think I can recommend this. If the other two versions (there are 3) of ExfoliKate yield the same results as the Intensive Exfoliating Treatment, then I would recommend giving those a try as they are paraben free!
Based on price alone, I would still recommend ExfoliKate. It does a far better job than I expected it would and it's well worth the money.

Water, Lactic Acid, Polyethylene, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth-20, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Pectin, Carica Papaya Fruit, Lactobacillus/Cucurbita Pepo Fruit, Ferment Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Papain, Bromelain, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Mel, Acetic Acid, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Geranium Maculatum Oil, Pogostemon Cablin Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Cinnamomum Cassia Leaf Oil, Salicylic Acid, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cinnamal, Potassium Sorbate, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol, Cinnamal, Eugenol, Benzyl Benzoate, Beta-Carotene (CI 75130), Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex (CI 75810).

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Summer Buys I Hardly Tried

Inspired by Liz's "Summer Products" I Never Used post, I decided to write one alike!
How many of you buy "Summer Products" and end up ditching it because it's less than average? I am guilty of doing this every summer.

My least favorite purchases of this summer: the mineral sunscreens.


This summer I attempted to find the perfect mineral sunscreen. I gave the Lavera Baby & Kinder Sun Spray SPF 30 Neutral and Badger SPF 30+ Lightly Scented Sunscreen (not pictured) a try and now I don't want to try anymore! A horrible ash-white cast and greasy finish is unavoidable with these sunscreens. What is worse is that they are both so thick, it's nearly impossible to massage in. Due to the thickness of the Lavera sunscreen, the spray pump has become clogged and deemed unusable. Both sunscreens would be great for impromptu tanning sessions in the back yard but otherwise, I wouldn't recommend them for daily use. They are fairly expensive but the ingredients more than make up for it.

The last sunscreen of the summer was quite nice. However, please do not laugh at it.. or me!


The truth is, I used to be a huge Spongebob fanatic. I had Spongebob bed sheets, t-shirts, socks, pajama bottoms. Yeah, I was cool like that. Late in August I saw this Spongebob sunscreen at Rexall. It was an auto-purchase because I needed a sunscreen I could actually use on a daily basis. Okay and I also wanted to feel like a kid again. It really isn't a bad sunscreen but if you dislike bubblegum scents, skip it. The spray actually works and never clogs. The sunscreen itself is thin and runny which makes absorption quick and painless! But because I bought it late in August, I didn't get to use it much.

Before summer started, I splurged only a little on the Benefit Cha Cha Tint.


This will be my last tint by Benefit. It's still unclear whether or not the brand tests on animals but until there's a PSA, I won't be buying from them any more. The tint itself is unflattering on my cheeks and lips. The Benefit tints never look natural on me anyway so I don't know why I tried this one too.

Another early summer splurge or more like a binge...


I love the Revlon scented nail polishes but the brighter shades (Mad About Mango, Passion Fruit, Pretty in Papaya, Raspberry Rapture, and Sublime Strawberry) aren't flattering against my skin tone and petite feet/fingers.
I also have this 5 piece mini nail polish set by Wet n Wild which hasn't gone to complete waste. I like rocking hot red nails anytime but the burgundy shade is perfect for fall. I might put these nail polishes to good use and start creating my own Franken polishes though!

Last of all, a self tanner.


Summer is not complete without a self tanner right?
After last year's orange fiasco thanks to the Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Daily Moisturizer I swore I was going to quit self tanners altogether. Yet somehow I ended up getting a tube of the Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer. You would think I would have learnt my lesson the first time but I guess I needed a second orange slap on the face to wake me up.

Money wasted aside, now I know what works for me and what doesn't!

So what were your summer fails?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Comparative Review: Maybelline Eyestudio Creamy Gel Eyeliner (Japan) versus Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner (USA)

Which came first - Maybelline Eyestudio Creamy Gel Eyeliner from Japan or Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner from the U.S.?
Don't ask me because I don't remember! What I am capable of is comparing the two eyeliners to see if they're one in the same but packaged and produced in different countries!

I have to thank Adeline for providing the NO. 1 Eyeliner in Japan and myself for providing the U.S. version for this review. I made an oath earlier this year to discontinue purchasing cosmetic brands that test on animals but I purchased the U.S. version way before. I never opened it either which makes this comparison possible! Never thought I'd be thanking my old hoarding tendencies... but I am this time.


What I loved about the Maybelline Lasting Drama Eyestudio Gel Eyeliner way back when it first debuted is the brush it comes with. I loved it so much but lost two of them and eventually I was left with one that I never used in fear I'd lose it too. I'm happy to report that the brushes are the same. The brush hairs are different in color and the tiny glass jars also have different finishes. The Japanese version comes housed in frosted glass with a metal bottle cap while the U.S. version comes housed in a clear glass pot with a black plastic bottle cap.

SAM_1723_1 look

The ingredients (listed at the end of the post) aren't the same but they don't stray far from each other. The Japanese version contains trimethyloxysilicate, talc, BHT, aloe barbadenis extracts which the U.S. version lacks. Although, the U.S. version has it's on private party of ingredients too but it's a little harder to type and sound out.

The difference in ingredients can explain the difference in shades. Both are brown but the U.S. version is a basic, chocolate-brown whereas the Japanese version is richer and contains very fine shimmer. I definitely prefer the Japanese version based on color but they're twins in terms of texture; creamy and super dreamy.

SAM_1738_1 Maybelline
Left: U.S. Brown
Right: Japan Brown

It's important to set these creamy liners with a similar eyeshadow or translucent powder or they will smudge, especially for tapered eyelids. A primer definitely helps the liners last long on the lids but it's at 6 hours that I'll notice fading.
In any case, the liners are waterproof but not rub-proof. Soap & water won't suffice but cleansing water will remove all traces of the liner.

Bottom Line:
The Maybelline Eyestudio Creamy Gel Eyeliner from Japan & America are practically the same. If you're in the market for a creamy gel eyeliner, this one is the one to look out for and the U.S. version is available at nearly every drugstore. The Japan version can be purchased online (Sasa, eBay, etc). As for lasting power (fading, smudging, creasing), I have found better.

What's your favorite gel eyeliner?




Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Review: Murad Vitalic Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser

After a marathon of Korres reviews I thought I'd take a breather and review some make up. However, I stumbled back onto the skincare train and it's time to review one of two Murad products I have been using lately.

The Murad Vitalic Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser has been on the market for ages. It's a dual-action foaming facial cleanser which cleanses and tones in one simple step. The witch hazel, a key ingredient, tones & tightens pores while removing excess oil, and combating acne.


 My dry skin hated this cleanser last winter but luckily, it worked perfectly with my summer skin. It washes away all traces of dirtiness (pollution, oxidized oils, sweat) without leaving my face feeling stripped and tight. It couldn't handle make up but that's okay! I'm only glad that it helped reduce shine and the AHAs in the cleanser combined with the Clarisonic, very gently exfoliated dry patches left from healing blemishes and old acne scars. I didn't particularly notice a reduction in blemishes but it sure sped up the healing process.

The nit-picker in me would prefer it if the red and yellow dyes were removed from this cleanser. They serve no purpose as the foam comes out white instead of pink like it is in the bottle. If the color is supposed to coordinate with the pomegranate theme, I still don't care. It's good enough that the scent is a close match to a pomegranate but a touch refreshing for those groggy early mornings.

A real drawback would be the price. A 150 ml bottle costs $26 and while I have used mine on and off for over a year now, half a bottle lasted only a month and a half. This means that a full bottle would last me 3 months. When I do the math, four bottles for a whole year costs $104 and this doesn't included taxes. I can't stand to spend that much on a cleanser when I've tried many for much less.

Bottom Line:
The Murad Vitalic Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser works best with combination or oily skin. Since the ingredients aren't all that impressive, I really don't find the price justifiable. I have already found better so you can safely skip this!

Water (Aqua), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Alcohol, Punica Granatum Extract, Alnus Firmifolia Fruit Extract, Glycine, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Lactic Acid, Sodium PCA, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Copper Gluconate, Artemia Extract, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Buteth-3, Tributyl Citrate, Tris(Tetramethylhydroxypiperidinol) Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylisothiazolinone, Benzyl Salicylate, Fragrance (Parfum), Red 33 (CI 17200), Yellow 5 (CI 19140)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I've Got Mail - August Edition

August has been a hectic month which is the excuse reason for the lack of updates. I thought I would have enough time to at least do my monthly I've Got Mail post but seriously, things have been crazy. It's expected though because August is the last month of Summer classes which ultimately means final exams. This also means it's the last month I can thoroughly enjoy the company of friends and family. Then, combined with a mother who will enslave you for two days with no pay means relaxing is out of the picture.

My mail box wasn't as busy as me last month but I don't know if I'd consider that a good thing. When the Urban Decay 15 Year Anniversary Eyeshadow Collection popped up on the Sephora website I begged the SO to order one for me.


The Hello Kitty Memoirs of a Kitty Cosmetic Bag was on sale; nearly 50% off but is no longer available. I have a drawer full of cosmetic bags from gift with purchases but none are as cute and handy as this one. The bag isn't thin nor heavy but what I like most is that it expands when it's unzipped all the way. No more yanking cosmetic bags open to get a better look!

September will be just as quiet for my mailbox as August was. As for me? I have too much to do. Classes start next week, my driver's test is the week following and then I have to help prepare for my parent's month long departure. Wish me luck!


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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