Archive for May, 2011

May 25th, 2011

Lookbook: Six: Pastel Blazer

I love this blazer for it’s fun pastel colors. Most of the blazers I own are very neutral colored — black, navy blue, grey, or beige.

There were two colors available in store, one in yellow (I forgot what the inner lining color was.. maybe vanilla). I chose the blue because the color is more concrete and bold.

A fun and colorful blazer on top of a work outfit makes it a lot less boring and much more eye-catching! (Obviously, I don’t mean the shorts are a work outfit).

Please be generous with liking, retweeting, and hyping this look on Lookbook~! Thank you, everyone ^^

See the pink inner lining? It’s not just on the sleeves.

The pretty pink lining is my favorite part to the blazer.

The saleslady who was trying to persuade me to buy this blazer pointed out that it’s a ‘boxed blazer‘, which is quite the trend nowadays (well, she claims). See the way it cuts off in a straight square shape?

The necklace I’m wearing is handmade in Korea (well, basically just meaning it wasn’t assembled in a factory as I’m sure the beads and such are not handmade). I’ve been wanting a necklace that has two separate parts (the ‘JOY’ sign + cloud that comes about 3/4 down the necklace). I liked it so much and also happened to have my eyes peeled to buy a gift for an unnie, so I bought two of these.

I should’ve taken a photo of hers as well! It’s got a large pin with a dangle rabbit with a little red bow as a necktie (if I remember correctly). They had a few variety of this kind of vintage-type necklace.

*edit 06/01*: My unnie took some pictures of her necklace and I posted them on my Facebook page~!

I love my bangles too! One of my students said it reminded her of Egyptians =p


Outfit Source:
Blazer: store: bonita; location: Express Bus Terminal (고속버스 터미널); price: 48,000 won
White T-shirt & Shorts: Zara
Navy + Gold Heels: Ehwa Women’s University (이대)
Pink Kobo Bag: location: Night Bazzar, Chiangmai, Thailand
Gold Bangles: H&M
Necklace: Express Bus Terminal (고속버스 터미널)

I don’t remember the price of anything else because I usually don’t keep a record and throw away all my price tags. The blazer is brand new so I just cut the tag off before shooting.




Won’t do a product list since my makeup was just really simple, deep set brown eyes.



PS. If you’ve been wondering what’s happened to the Korean CD + Skin79 Giveaway at 100 Subscribers — it’s still waiting to happen!

The count right now is Facebook: 285 likes; Twitter: 92 followers; Youtube: 40 subscribers.
Once all 3 of those accounts hit 100, I will open the giveaway!

May 21st, 2011

Nail Art Gallery + Gel Nail Removal Tips

Before I got really into makeup or shopping, I was actually a nail art junkie. It first started with me buying some cute nail art stickers at local Korean makeup brand stores (ex: Missha, the Face Shop, etc.). This was how I did my nails for a long time: nail art stickers + stones, and I still got lots of compliments on my nails.

However, one day, my close online friend, fuzzy unnie, showed me some of her own nail art, and I was so shocked! She had all these fun patterns and dots which she told me was done by herself at home. I had no idea you could do those things at home! I thought those kinds of nail art had to be done at expensive nail shops. She totally inspired me to give it a try myself, so I immediately bought a Korean nail art book (샨의 네일아트, which I’ll talk about more in another post) and learned all about DIY nail art.

Korea actually has really good quality low priced nail art supplies. They are almost wholesale price compared to what you would pay in North America for nail art tools/supplies. I plan to make a post of my supplies and where I get them later. Today, it’ll just be a nail art gallery, and my gel nail experience ^^

These aren’t even half of all the nail arts I have done, because they take so long to do and by the time I finish, I’m just too lazy to take pictures.

I am definitely not the best at nail art and still need lots of practice and improvement, but I’d still like to share some of the designs I have done! In order of time taken (some of these are 4+ years old!):

nail art

nail art

These nails are obviously very amateur, but I look back on these and I smile thinking how ‘cute’ I used to be. =p I mean, I clearly didn’t have much technique or skills, but I still truly enjoyed what I was doing — and I think that is the most important part. I was still learning about clean and even polish application, color combinations, nail art placement, polish consistency, etc.

It’s the same with makeup. A lot of my friends say they don’t know how to apply eyeshadow, so they will never try, or after one false attempt let their eyeshadow palette sit around. As a teacher I always say to my students — I love it when you guys make mistakes — you learn from them!

There are so many ways to use an eyeshadow palette without doing the conventional light color + dark color + shadow blending. You can brush just one shade over your whole eyelid with a sponge tip applicator (or even your fingers!), or use a soft angled brush + dark shadow as an eyeliner. Play around with your palette and you’ll learn more and more about shadow application.

Same for nails. You don’t have to be a pro to start off with just some stickers and stones. You can even make your own dotting tool at home. Just play around with what you have! I’ll make a post on nail art supplies and tools you can make at home later.

Back to the nails.



nail art

Very first nail art I learned to do from 샨의 네일아트. I chose something way too hard to start off with, so it took way longer than it really needed to!



nail art

Also learnt from 샨의 네일아트. This time I chose something easier! =p The hot pink index finger is so messed up =p

nail art
I also redid these nails recently for my first Lookbook post.



nail art

Inspired from 샨의 네일아트 and my favorite cell phone accessory white tiger from Everland (amusement park in Korea). To me, this one was a total fail because 1) I should’ve painted a lighter color under the tiger painting first so it can have brighter finish, 2) this is not gel nail and nothing is glued on so the pink bead as its nose fell off within a day and it was so annoying to have to keep replacing it!



nail art

Also inspired from 샨의 네일아트. One of my favorite nails but it’s definitely not something I can do often because it took 6 hours (including drying time in between coats and I don’t own a drying machine). I actually had to split it into two sessions because after 3 hours I was getting tired and sleepy and was no where near done. What was really hard was and slows things down is trying to paint the triangles with my left hand T_T



nail art

Inspired from a Japanese nail magazine (Nail Up) and one of my other favorites. I saw the skull and spider on separate nail looks and combined the two. I also love pairing that neon green with black polish.

nail art

Messy disaster after every nail job =p You can see the magazine on the table! I love watching Starcraft when I do my nails because it’s interesting but I can still look away for long intervals without feeling like I missed a lot and having to rewind. Also the casters do a great job narrating what I cannot see.

Who is on that calender? =p



nail art

This is a totally original nail art design. I just decided I wanted to 1) try out my new grey nail polish, 2) have some stars on my fingers.

I loved how it turned out at first and got sooo many compliments on this one, but after 3 days I already got sick of it and wanted to take it off! I get sick of nail color / art so easily, but because they always take hours to do, I always keep them on for at least 3 weeks (of course, with some repairing in between)!

nail art

After finishing the star nails.



Camwhore alert!

nail art

I don’t know about you, but I always think nails look better with a face than close up shots. The upper right shot with the pink and white gradient nails are not in the gallery. I really love that one because it has a very soft and girly look. I must redo it sometime and get a clearer shot of it!

And I know, I am an utterly shameless camwhore. I give you my deepest apologies for having to look at me pose like that. I will provide a money refund for those who had to use toxic eyewash to clean their eyes. Please send me a receipt of your eyewash purchase within 30 days of this post and I will send you a refund.

But hey, when I first took these pictures, I didn’t mean to be posting them anywhere!! It’s was just for fun =p So, whatever!



My experience with Gel Nails

gel nails

Gel nails with painting + 3D art (on middle fingers) professionally done at a nail shop. I’ve only been to the nail shop twice before — first time was with a coworker who treated me to a nail maintenance + color because she had a discounted package of 10 nail sessions (or else I would never pay someone to paint my nails!), and second time was doing these gel nails with my best friend on my Hong Kong trip last Christmas. I chose this design from a photobook they had. I love how absolutely bling it looks and how long it lasts without having to worry about chipping.

There were different packages that includes stones or painting or 3D art, which can also be charged separately. I think I paid for a gel nail + painted art package and separate charge for 3D art on two nails. Total was around $40 USD. It took around 2+ hours. It was totally worth it because gel nails cost about $100 USD in Korea, not to mention mine included painting + 3D art. Anyone going to Hong Kong should look into getting gel nails done because it seems to be much cheaper there than North America or Korea.

If you ever do gel nails, you must definitely go with a friend. It was soooo much fun. First, we went around the whole building (in a small shopping mall) asking for prices and packages. Then, we finally decided on a shop that was good quality, cheap, and had enough technicians to do both our nails at the same time (lots of places only had one — probably the owner). It was so fun choosing a design for each other and ourselves, giving our opinions, and just chattering away. We were so loud and talkative it was kinda funny.

In the end, we were both really happy with our nails and it was soooo much fun. The only small downfalls to my gel nail job and gel nails in general are:
1) I like nails that really pop and stand out, but I felt like the light purple didn’t. My friend pointed out that I should’ve chosen a color that wasn’t so close to my skin tone. She was totally right. I should’ve went with the aqua blue that was the color in the original design picture.
2) You have to pay to repair or remove the gel nails professionally. If you don’t repair and fill them in as they grow out, it will start to look kind of icky. Removing them yourselves is also a big pain in the butt.

My friend recommended I file down the nails as it grows out so it wasn’t so long. I was too lazy to do that. I ended up cutting off 1/4 of it (the bear’s legs) about a month later when it grew out. About 1.5-2 months later, I cut off another quarter of it (the bear’s body). My friend said she filed down the top of the nails into as thin a layer as possible, then wrapped it with a cotton pad filled with nail polish remover, and then go over that a tin foil + elastic band (I guess to insulate the remover) and leave it on for 15 minutes. But can you imagine having to do that for every single nail?? I tried it for one nail, and it took me about 10 minutes to file down the thick gel nails (which killed my nail filer T_T), and the remover didn’t remove the gel completely after 15 minutes.

My nails are now really damaged because I ended up ripping a lot of them off (I know, it’s terrible, but I was really impatient!).

In the end, what I recommend, if you are like me and too cheap to pay for professional removal, is to first choose a design that won’t look too terrible when it grows out. So choose a design that is clear (no color) near the cuticles, where your nails will grow, so that the gap between your gel nails and real nails is less obvious.

As it grows out, just file or cut off the ends. Once about half of it is cut off (and probably most of the design is gone), just file down the top of the gel nails as much as possible, until it can blend in with your real nails without looking bumpy, and then just keep applying a coat of color polish over it as you would with your regular nails until the gel grows out. You can keep cutting or filing the edges off with a regular nail clipper and a strong filer in between color jobs. It will look something like this:

nail art

You can see the edge of the clear gel nails on my ring and pinky finger, but I bet you didn’t notice it when you first saw it above! Those were the only fingers I filed down but didn’t rip off because by the time I did the other fingers, I realized I was killing my finger nails. It’s sooo tempting to just rip them off!



I was going to give a basic introduction to the nail art tools you can use to do all of the nail art designs I showed, but this post is getting long! I will do it in a future post, along with a nail tutorial.

Meanwhile, here is a preview of the tools I will show you how to use:

nail art tools



Also, if there were any designs in the gallery that you would like to see how to do, please write in the comments to this post and if there are enough requests for it, I will do a tutorial ^^

Otherwise, I already have a tutorial on the way showing how to use the sponge. Look out for it!



May 14th, 2011

Lookbook: Five: Joker

I have three small character obsessions: Joker, Humpty Dumpty, and Disney princesses — basically, a clown, an egg, and beautiful girls from fairy tales? lol.

I actually wore this new outfit to pick up my parents at the airport. They came to Korea on Monday to visit me for about 5 days and are with me as I’m writing this post!

All I’ve been doing is eating, and eating, and… eating. It’s so nice to come home to a lit house warm from the heat of cooking with dinner on the table and someone to greet you after work and to just sit together and watch TV. Sometimes, it’s just those simple things in life that you miss the most.


This is my favorite look so far! Please be generous with liking, tweeting, or hyping~ Thank you ^^


When I saw this shirt, I knew it belonged to me! I know it’s not something for everyone, because most people think it’s a bit freaky (that’s what my mom and best friend said when I asked them =p), especially in Korea, but I love it so much!

Joker Shirt: purchased online; 7,560 won (prices on page varies on the Tshirt)
Red Chiffon Skirt: purchased online; 24,900 won (prices on page varies on the skirt)
Studded Converse Shoes: purchased offline from Aland in MyungDong (April 명동 Accessories Haul); 159,000 won


The Makeup

I’ve been doing mostly inspired looks lately, so I decided to just go with the flow with this make up. Since my last one was more natural/pretty, this one is more strong/fierce — heavy contour and highlighting, long winged eyeliner, and no blush to avoid the cutsey flushed cheeks look.

The eyes are actually just an amped up version of what I usually like to do, and my first facebook profile picture.

The point is that instead of winging it up and emphasizing the the eyeliner on the outer edge of the upper eyelid (the more classic way), the eyeliner is mostly emphasized on the middle of the upper eyelid and the outer edge of the bottom lid. So basically, less eyeliner on the outer top and more on the outer bottom. I find this is the common look on a lot of younger online shopping mall models.

My friend asked me how I got the glow/shimmer on my face when I showed her these pictures, and at first, I thought that it’s way too much makeup for her to want to do the same look. However, I think it’s possible to tone it down and do a more natural (yet noticeable) version of this glow with just Benefit‘s High Beam, a very popular liquid highlighter. I applied it to the T-zone of my face (forehead, nose bridge, cupid’s bow, and below bottom lips). However, if you have combination/oily skin like me, I recommend using a very good primer to control the oil before highlighting or else you will look like a glowing disco ball. I didn’t find High Beam made me particularly more oily than I would normally be, which was a good thing.

I wouldn’t recommend applying powder over the liquid highlighter because it will mattify the glow. If you must apply some sort of powder over the liquid highlighter, you may consider a powder highlighter (which was what I did), or if that’s too much for you, a brightening finish powder, but definitely nothing matte.

Products Used:

Numbered in order of application

1. Tony Moly Velvet Touch Primer
2. Hera HD foundation (21 natural beige) + (mixed with)
3. shu uemura face architect illuminating moisture fluid foundation (784 fair beige)
4. Missha Perfect Concealer (light beige)
5. Skin79 Diamond UV Screen Beblesh Pact
6. Temptu Retouch Highlighter Soft Focus Finish [bronzer]
7. Josie Maran Argan Oil [bronzer]
8. Lorac TANtalizer Baked Bronzer [bronzer]
9. NYX Blush (PB11 taupe) [contour]
10. Benefit Highbeam [highlighter]
11. Skin79 Diamond Collection Star Glow Ball Powder [highlighter]

12. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
13-14. Missha Silk Shadow Duo (#7, sand blow/샌드불로우; #8, rose tree/로즈트리)
15-17. Missha Eyeshadow (frosty brown, BR204; shimmery beige, GL202; matte white, WH201)
18. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (corrupt)
19. Missha Auto Eyebrow Pencil (brown/갈색)

4. Missha Perfect Concealer (light beige)
20. Missha Lucid Berry Lips (lost the color #, sorry!)


And yes, I have 4 layers of liquid and powder bronzer and contour on! I started off with one thinking it’d be enough, but nothing gave me what I wanted until I used the NYX contour blush. I liked the results though ^^



Joker <3

I actually like Joker and Humpty Dumpty so much I went through this obsessive phase where I looked up every single page of search results on Deviant Art for them (and there is a dumpload).

There are less for Humpty Dumpty, but Joker is quite a popular character and it took me like 3-4 nights and hours of sifting through the results. Sometimes, it’s just so much fun to roam around Deviant Art. I’m not so into the Batman movie version of Joker, but more the playing card deck Joker. I was planning to choose something I liked to draw, but never ended up getting to it T_T

I still have a folder full of their pictures though and printed out my favorite one for my bedroom wall (for my own privacy, I blurred out the Post-It notes =p).


Joker Card by *anry

I just love all the fine details — the arch of his fingers, the ripples on his ears, the ‘J’ dangling from his hat, the translucent ruby ring, and even his beer belly.


I would post more Joker photos but I’m a bit iffy about posting too much of other people’s artwork, so here are links to some of my favorite Joker artwork:


What kind of characters do you like? Share with me in the comments to this post~


Now, if only I can find something with Humpty Dumpty on it…



*5/20 edit: Someone spotted the same Joker shirt on Suju M’s KyuHyun in the Chinese Perfection MV! I posted the capture to it on my facebook. Thank you again Ashin!*


May 7th, 2011

Lookbook: Four: My Black Mini Dress

Every girl needs two things: 1) a perfect pair of jeans, 2) a perfect black mini dress — and here’s mine!

I actually have two black mini dresses, but the other one is a bit too loose, and doesn’t flatter my body. When I say ‘perfect’, I mean, the moment you put it on, you know it’s the one!

Please be generous with liking, tweeting, or hyping this look~! Thank you ^^



The makeup came out in all sort of different lightings, but none were the right one. Isight on my Mac ended up giving me the most accurate colors (third pic from last, end of post)!



This look is inspired from a million different places, but mainly I’ve been wanting to do it for the longest time as a tribute to Yoon EunHye, my absolute favorite Korean actress, who recently released a new movie “My Mini Black Dress“!



I love this picture so much! I love how they have no accessories on at all — all a girl needs is her mini black dress!

Makes me wonder if I shouldn’t have went for the chic look instead of the natural happy-go-round look. XD

I quite like Yoo Ina (유인나; on left) too after watching Sunday Heroes (영웅호걸). I only knew about Hanbyul (right) from her interviews together with Yoon EunHye. She’s Seven’s girlfriend of 10 years! T_T I’ll have to accept it. I like Seven a lot but I’m not a huge fangirl type for him. They make a cute couple. ^^



Hair inspired from Yoon EunHye on April issue of Ceci.



The new orange trend is everywhere, in both fashion and make up, but for a long time, I never saw any orange makeup look that I really liked. Sandra Park’s orange eyeshadow + orange lipstick ads for Etude was just too much orange (I actually think orange eyes + orange lips are a terrible match!). Yoon EunHye’s orange shadow (pictures above) is nice but just doesn’t pop out enough.

I’ve seen a lot more looks but either the eyeshadow and orange lip color didn’t match, or the orange was just unflattering because it’s not an easy color for Asians to pull off. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to take a ride on the orange wagon.

I finally found the perfect orange makeup look when I saw Shin Mina on the April issue of Sure. I actually don’t really like Shin Mina, but I liked the natural rusty copper brown eye makeup, glossy eyelids, peach blush, and orange lipstick.


Makeup inspired from Shin Mina’s cover of Sure magazine, April.

The lighting in this picture is the most accurate to how the makeup looks!

As you can see, the lips were a complete fail! I bought the Etude House Miss Tangerine Sweet Shower Lips (#4, miss tangerine tangerine) specifically to do this look and the pictures from Sandra Park’s ads are totally misleading! The lipstick is way too sheer. It’s even worse when I tried totally wiping out my lips with concealer and then applying this lipstick, I just look like a zombie with decaying lips. I don’t know how many layers she put on to get that look, but after about 3 coats, it looked very messy.

I bet no one noticed, but I also put lip gloss on my eyelids to get the gloss she has on her eyes (which is hard to notice, but it’s really glossy). However, it was way too sticky and melted away my eyeshadow and the top of my eyelashes kept sticking to it. Eventually the mascara from the top of my lashes smudged onto the lipgloss too!

I ended up using a Q-tip to remove some gloss closest to my eyelids. It would’ve been much better if I applied the lipgloss a bit above my eyelids, but I usually don’t try out these looks beforehand. I just do them right before I shoot, hence the mishaps here and there, but I really should’ve tried the lipstick out first, so I could’ve waited and gotten the right one instead! T_T

I remember the Etude Miss Tangerine line had 2 oranges, one sheer (which I bought probably thinking I can use it more for everyday) and one brighter and more pigmented. I’m gonna check it out again next time I go to Etude. I’m determined to find that perfect orange lipstick at a reasonable price!


Products used:

shu uemura UV under base mousse
It’s skin Sun Control green base (#1, green)
shu uemura face architect illuminating moisture fluid foundation (784 fair beige)
Hera HD foundation (21 natural beige)
Skinfood Salmon Darkcircle Concealer Cream (no. 1, salmon blooming)
Missha Perfect Concealer (light beige)
skin 79 Diamond UV Screen Beblesh Pact
shu uemura glow on blush (P peach 45)
NYX Blush (PB11 taupe)

NYX Triple Eyeshadow (TS 21 Rust / Copper / Bronze)
Missha Silk Shadow Duo (#7, sand blow/샌드불로우)
Missha Eyeshadow (GL202)
Missha Eyeshadow (matte white; WH201)
L’oreal Waterproof Panoramic Curl (260 black)
Missha Lucid Berry Lips (lost the color #, sorry!)
Missha Auto Eyebrow Pencil (brown/갈색)

Etude House Miss Tangerine Sweet Shower Lips (#4, miss tangerine tangerine)

Sorry the lighting is a bit green T_T


I wish I can see everyone else’s perfect black mini dress!



May 1st, 2011

Foundation + BB Cream Collection & Review

I tried to design this review so that those too lazy to read can get a good gist from looking at the pictures only, and those looking for more details can read more into it.

What do you guys think? I’m open to comments and suggestions for future reviews.Let me know what your purchase decisions end up being, whether it includes anything from this review or not.

Enjoy, and happy shopping! ^^


foundation and bb cream review: shu uemura foundation, hera hd foundation, Dr. Wu Magic White, Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm, Skin79 Diamond Absolute Total

1. shu uemura face architect illuminating moisture fluid foundation (784 fair beige)
2. Hera HD Foundation (21 natural beige)
3. Dr. Wu Clinical Skincare Magic White Blemish Balm Cream
4. Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm B.B Triple Functions
5. Skin79 Diamond Collection The Prestige Beblesh Balm
6. Skin79 Diamond Absolute Total BB Cream

I have been using Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm and Skin79 Diamond Prestige (#4 and 5) for over a year until I either finished the bottle or passed the shelf life, so I am most familiar with it. Hera HD Foundation (#2), I have used for about 2-3 months, but usually mixed with Skin79 Diamond Prestige (#5). Everything else is new to my collection and I have used about 2-3 times.



Coverage Test

foundation and bb cream review: shu uemura face architect illuminating moisture fluid foundation, hera hd foundation, Dr. Wu Magic White Blemish Balm Cream, Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm B.B Triple Functions, Skin79 Diamond Collection The Prestige Beblesh Balm, Skin79 Diamond Absolute Total BB Cream

The letters were drawn with a waterproof brown eyeliner (Urban Decay’s 24/7 Bourbon). The amount of product placed under the letter is the same amount dabbed onto the letter to cover it.

Low Coverage: #3 (Dr. Wu)
Low-Medium Coverage: #4, 5, 6 (Skin 79)
Medium Coverage: #1, 2 (shu uemura, Hera)

The BB Creams may seem like they offer very low coverage, however, BB creams are meant for everyday use and to look more natural. The overall coverage of the above BB creams are good enough for those with uneven skin tone, slight dark circles, and light acne scars. It will not cover freckles or major breakouts and scars. You will need to use concealer or a medium to high coverage foundation for that.

Personal Thoughts:
Foundations tend to provide more coverage than BB Creams, so there was no surprise there. However, the strange thing is from personal usage, I find Dr. Wu’s BB Cream (#2) provides more coverage than Skin79 (#4-6). However, in the test above, the ‘W’ (Dr. Wu) was not as covered as the ‘K’s (Skin79).



Oil Test

Before we start, let’s look at how paper and oil blotting paper absorbs water and oil.

oil and water on paper and oil blotting sheet test

Paper absorbs both oil and water, but the water will eventually dry out once soaked into the water.
Blotting oil sheets absorbs oil but not water. The water retains its original form and dries out much more slowly than on paper.

Now let’s see how the products perform on both.


Oil Test on Paper
foundation and bb cream oil and water content test on paper

Most Oil: #4, 5 (Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm and Skin79 Diamond Prestige)
Slight Oil: #2, 3, 6 (Hera HD, Dr. Wu, Skin79 Diamond Absolute)
Least Oil: #1 (shu uemura)

Personal Thoughts:
This was real news to me! #5 (Skin79 Diamond Prestige) is my personal favorite BB cream because it gives me a real natural and dewy look, but I didn’t know that dewy-ness actually came from oily content! I’m also very impressed that while #1 (shu uemura) is a dewy finish foundation, it has nearly no oil content on paper.


Oil Test on Oil Blotting Sheet
oil and water on paper and oil blotting sheet test

Most Oil: #1, 4, 5 (shu uemura, Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm, Skin79 Diamond Prestige)
Slight OIl: #2, 6 (Hera HD, Skin79 Diamond Absolute)
Least Oil: #3 (Dr. Wu)

Personal Thoughts:
#2, 4, 5, and 6 remains the same. However, the results are quite different for #1 (shu uemura) and 3 (Dr. Wu) than on paper!

The oil blotting paper shows more oil from the shu uemura foundation (#1) than on paper, and less oil from Dr. Wu (#3) than on paper.

While I am not underscoring the paper results, the oil blotting paper is probably closer to what happens on our skin. Try blotting your face with paper — don’t see much, right? Try blotting your face with blotting sheets — much more clear?

I also think these results are closer to my own personal experience. The Dr. Wu BB cream is more dry and gives a matte finish on the face. The Shu uemura results are a bit more confusing though. On paper, it is the least oily. On blotting sheet, it is the most oily. Personally, I don’t get oily enough to blot my face after wearing the shu uemura foundation for 5+ hours (I have combination skin with an oily T zone). I haven’t worn it for longer than 5 hours though!



Individual Reviews

The top 5 attributes I give to each product are their most prominent features. They are the first things that pop up in my head when I think of that foundation and define the main advantages they have to offer. Also, while something may be a Con for me, it might not be the same for you!

The stickiness test was done by placing the same amount of tissue pieces onto the back of my hand after product application. After lightly pressing the tissue onto my skin, I turn my hand upside down slowly. The more tissue that remains indicates the more sticky the product.

The fragrance rating goes from 0-5 (0: no frangrance, 5: very strong fragrance).

Also remember different products work differently on different skin. Just because something works for me, it may not for you! I also have my own particular preferences that may affect how I feel about it (ex: I prefer very natural skin coverage, so something that might be too heavy for me, may be too light for you). You must consider your own preferences, skin type and color, daily conditions (do you wear it to school, work, exercise?), the weather of your country (are you in dry/humid weather?), etc.


shu uemura face architect illuminating moisture fluid foundation
1. shu uemura face architect illuminating moisture fluid foundation (784 fair beige), $44 USD; 27 mL/0.9 FL.OZ.; Shake well before use; Made in Japan

Stickiness Test: medium
Fragrance: 1 / 5 (very light)

Shu uemura offers two types of fluid foundation:
1. face architect smoothing fluid foundation:
fits exquisitely to smooth out the skin for beautifully unified semi-matte finish. medium coverage
2. face architect illuminating moisture fluid foundation:
provides luminous glow on the skin with rich texture, enriched with high concentrations of natural origin ingredients. medium to high coverage

I am reviewing the 2nd one, released not long ago, in fall of 2010. It offers higher coverage, more dewy finish (“illuminating moisture”), and boasts high natural ingredient contents (Coconut Palm Kernel Oil Derivative, Depsea water TM, oils of macadamia seed, wheat & corn, and vegetable origin glycerin).

Shake well before use!

Personal Thoughts:
I bought this foundation for higher coverage when I do shoots on my DSLR. I wore it in Lookbook: Three. While it’s great that it offers medium to high coverage, as with all higher coverage foundations, it definitely doesn’t look natural. It slightly accentuates the bumps on my skin and it’s very obvious that I am wearing foundation. However, it is not as cakey or unnatural as I expected. I would not wear this foundation for everyday use (but that is my personal preference, I never wear high coverage foundation when I go out because I prefer natural looking skin) but I love it for shoots.

Although it has become too light for me after I tanned on a recent Thailand trip, the color, shade, and undertone is perfect for my skin — enough, but not too much yellow. It’s not easy to find the perfect shade + undertone for my Asian skin. I would purchase it again.


Hera HD foundation
2. Hera HD Foundation (21 natural beige); SPF 15 PA+; 30 mL; $29 USD

Stickiness Test: medium-high
Fragrance: 4.5 / 5 (very strong); perfume scent

Personal Thoughts:
To me, this product is not what it’s raved out to be. It does it’s job — provides medium+ coverage, blends relatively well, and has a semi-matte finish, but it’s not as wonderful and great as some people make it out to be.

This foundation is definitely not a natural looking foundation and it accentuates the bumps and lines and my face. On top of it being too yellow for my skin, I look like an old, yellow granny with this product worn alone all over my face after a full application. It also feels a bit heavy on my skin. I only use it as a mixer now — and it works great as such when I need to add a yellow undertone to anything too grey or white.

Because it’s a bit too yellow and dark for my skin, I often mix it with my Skin79 Diamond Prestige (#5) when I need a boost of coverage but still want the natural dewy look. The strong yellow undertone in this foundation also helps neutralize the grey undertones in the Skin79 BB Creams. This also works great as a mixer with Skin79 Diamond Prestige which is very liquid/water based, while this is slightly more on the creamy side.

I personally don’t like the almost overpowering fragrance — I can still smell it from my face after application! Although it doesn’t claim to have oil control, I find that I get oily within a few hours of wearing this foundation.

I would not buy this again because it doesn’t suit my skin tone + color and doesn’t have anything spectacular about it.


BB Cream Reviews:

While foundations function only as a skin coverage product, BB Creams are actually tinted skin healing products (hence “Blemish Balm”). They were originally created in Germany for patients who underwent facial surgery to help heal post-surgery skin and provide light coverage for facial scars.

Since then, BB Cream has been made very popular in Asia, especially Korea, offered by a large variety of brands. Unlike foundations, BB Cream are multi-functional, offering such things as: whitening, anti-wrinkle, SPF & UV protection, etc. They usually don’t come with many shade or color options, as BB cream is designed mainly for Asian skin and is meant to oxidize to match your skin tone within 30 minutes.

BB Cream is intended for natural, everyday coverage and applied with fingers rather than a brush. It is meant mainly for evening out the skin tone and light skin coverage. Do not expect it to completely cover freckles, major breakouts & scars, or heavy dark circles.


Dr. Wu Magic White Blemish Balm Cream
3. Dr. Wu Clinical Skincare Magic White Blemish Balm Cream; Multi Functional: Mineral-Based, Hydrating, Whitening, UV Protect, Lightening, Anti-Oxidative; 30 ml / 1 fl.oz.; $23 USD; Made in Korea

Stickiness Test: Medium
Fragrance: 2 / 5 (slight)

Package Instructions:
Target: Dull and Sensitive Skin
Step 3: Hydrate / Protect
Apply small amount to face and neck using firm and smooth circular movements from the central T-zone of the face towards teh outer edges. Use daily, Once or twice. Apply other DR.WU Clinical Skincare solutions concurrently for better results.

Personal Thoughts:
I decided to buy this on a whim in Hong Kong, and got it as a gift from my friend who recommended it to me. Unfortunately, after trying it on my face, I don’t like it very much.

It is a cream based BB cream, so it’s quite dry (although it claims to “Hydrate” and to be for “Dull Skin”), which also means its harder to blend out small amounts on the face. I like very natural looking skin, so I often only apply BB cream to where I need it on my face (T-zone, trouble spots, and dark circle). However, because it doesn’t blend out easily, applying small amounts only to certain areas of my face makes it look patchy and uneven.

It’s also a bit sticky when I touch my face after application, especially my under eye where I apply the most product to cover my dark circles, but overall, it doesn’t feel heavy on my face.

When I apply the same amount of Dr. Wu as I do my Skin79 BB creams, it makes me look very pale and unnatural. This BB cream is very white and doesn’t fill in my lines and pores naturally — in fact, it slightly accentuates it. It is very matte and gives me the “I am obviously wearing makeup” look. I personally prefer the dewy look more. I also generally try to stay away from twist-off caps which are inconvenient and gets messy easily.

However, the funny thing is that I can’t really blame the BB cream for all the things I don’t like about it. It makes me look too white and pale, but it’s called “Magic White” with “Whitening” and “Lightening” function. It’s very dry because it’s cream based, but it’s called “Blemish Balm Cream“. I just didn’t take the things it said on the bottle to be so literal!

Because I always try to make use of any cosmetics I own (I never throw stuff away if it’s still good!), I tried to make it work. Putting too much on my face makes me look unnatural, so I put half the amount I do my Skin79 BB cream. It also has very good coverage for a BB cream (Skin79’s coverage is much more sheer) and is “Mineral-Based” and “Anti-Oxidative” and is a “Clinical Skincare” product meant for “Sensitive Skin”, so I use this when I am having bad skin days to cover breakouts (I use much less concealer with this BB cream because of it’s good coverage) and use something ‘less chemical’ on my skin. However, it only says it’s “Mineral-Based” and not “100% mineral made”. But I still think this is probably better for sensitive or acne prone skin than normal BB cream. It’s fragrance is also barely noticeable, which is another plus for sensitive skin (I personally don’t like fragranced product — the less funky stuff on my skin, the better).

While I will still use this BB cream on bad skin days, or mixed with a product to lighten it up, I would not purchase this product again because it is too white and dry for my skin. However, if you are or want to look more pale and need a matte BB cream for extremely oily skin, you may consider trying this product. It’s also a very healing based BB cream that is “Mineral-Based” and “Anti-Oxidative” from a “Clinical Skincare” brand, so those with sensitive or acne prone skin may want to give it a try.


Skin79 BB Cream Overview:
Skin79 offers a variety of BB cream lines. I actually have samples and travel sizes of nearly all of them (free with purchases!) but these are the only ones I have tried as they are more suitable for my skin. The “Gold Caviar” one is meant for mature (and dry) skin, which is not me. The “Oriental” BB cream I didn’t like the pump so I didn’t purchase it. The “Pearl” and highlighting BB creams have glitter/shine to them which is not appropriate for my combination + oily T-zone skin.

All three of the Skin79 BB creams I am reviewing offer Triple Functions of “Wrinkle Improvement,” “Whitening”, and “UV Protecting SPF 25-37″. I would like to say that the “Wrinkle Improvement” and “Whitening” functions probably refer to when you have the product on, it makes your skin slightly more pale and fills in lines and pores without accentuating it. However, of what I have noticed, they do not provide long term effects or changes to your skin.

Also, all Skin79 have a strong grey undertone, which is not a problem for me as I use very little product on my face (I prefer to use BB cream only to even out my skin tone and then spot cover with concealer). However, if you put too much on, it can make your skin look very pale and dull.


Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm B.B Triple Functions

4. Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm B.B Triple Functions: Whitening, UV Protecting SPF 25 PA++, Wrinkle Free$12

Stickiness Test: light
Fragrance: 2.5 / 5 (light-medium), rose/flowery scent

Personal Thoughts:
This was my very first experience with BB cream a few years ago. I bought it because my friend wanted to get a better deal in a 2 in 1 package, but only wanted one. I didn’t know anything about BB creams but thought, why not? I used it for an entire year before nearly finishing the whole bottle in Canada. That’s why I currently only have the travel size now.

I don’t have much to say about this BB Cream. It sits in the middle of everything. It gives average coverage (less than Dr. Wu, more than Skin79 Diamond Prestige), has average consistency (not as thick and creamy as Dr. Wu, but not as water-based as Skin79 Diamond Prestige), and has a semi-dewy finish (not as matte as Dr. Wu but not as dewy as Skin79 Diamond Prestige).

If you look in the Coverage Test photos, you can see this has the strongest grey undertones — heck, the BB Cream itself is practically grey! However, as mentioned above, this is not a big problem for me as I use very little product on my face. However, if you put too much on, your skin may look very pale and dull.

I wouldn’t buy it again because the consistency is a bit thick for me (although I’m sure it’s fine for others). I personally like really liquid-base BB cream because it looks the most natural and gives the most dewy finish. Otherwise, there’s nothing I particularly like or dislike about it.

See the bottom of this post for a comparison with Skin79 Absolute Total (#6).


Skin79 Diamond Collection The Prestige Beblesh Balm
5. Skin79 Diamond Collection The Prestige Beblesh Balm; Wrinkle Improvement, Whitening, UV Protecting SPF 25 PA++; 40g; Made in Korea; $30 USD

Stickiness Test: light+
Fragrance: 3 / 5 (medium), perfume scent

On Product Package:
KFDA 3 FUNCTIONS CERTIFICATION: Wrinkle Improvement, Whitening, Ultraviolet Rays Interception SPF25 PA++ / It is 3 effects functional BB cream. By Adenosine and Arbutin ingredients which are effective in whitening, wrinkles improvement cultivate more bright and elastic skin. / Intercept ultraviolet rays UV A and B at the same time and protect your skin exposed from the sun more thoroughly. / Diamond Powder and Jewel Complex Powder of Ruby, Amethyst and Pearl make skin all the more radient. / Directions: Use it proper quantity on the area of your face like patting at the last step of skin care.

Don’t let the poor grammar drive you away from this product! =p

Personal Thoughts:
I bought this product after finishing the Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm mentioned above (#4). I’ve been using it for about a year and it just recently expired.

I really love the dewy look this product gives me. Hours after application, I still look like I just stepped out of the mist after a rainy spring day =p It really gives you that glowy look without the glitters and sparkles common in highlighting products (which I can’t stand). I realize that in the oil tests above, this has the most oil content, but 1) that could be due to the fact that this product has expired and gone funky (I noticed even the smell has changed), and 2) I’m willing to blot every few hours in return for the dewy look. I have combination skin (oily T-zone, dry cheeks) and I find myself needing to blot after wearing this for 4+ hours, which is not that bad considering that is the case with almost anything I use. However, for those with extremely oily skin, you may want to stay away from the extra shine and go for a matte BB cream (ex: Dr. Wu’s Magic White, #3).

I also like the water/liquid base to this foundation, which means that it gives a lot smoother and more blend-able application. The coverage is sheer – light, but this is not a problem for me as I tend to use BB cream just to even out my skin tone. Anything that needs extra coverage, I dab on a little extra BB cream and concealer. Because this is water/liquid based, I also mix it with other foundation/BB cream that are too thick/creamy/heavy for everyday wear (ex: Hera HD foundation, #2).

I’ve also worn this in the hot and humid Korean summers, where just standing outside for 5 minutes will bead my face with sweat and water. However, I noticed, and was impressed that this BB cream held up (as long as you don’t use your hands to wipe the sweat off your face!) and didn’t melt off my face. It also didn’t make me any more oily in the hot summer weather than I would normally be.

This also has a grey undertone, but not as much as Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm (#4). If you don’t overdo the amount you use, you won’t get the dull pale grey look.

I would purchase this product again. I even bought it for my friend as a birthday gift and she liked it enough to buy one for herself. I would recommend this BB cream for anyone with dry to combination skin who doesn’t need heavy coverage from their BB cream, or are willing to use concealer on top of it.


Skin79 Diamond Absolute Total BB Cream
6. Skin79 Diamond Absolute Total BB Cream; Wrinkle Improvement, Whitening, UV Protecting SPF 37 PA+++; 40g; Made in Korea; $35 USD

Stickiness Test: light
Fragrance: 3.5 / 5 (medium+), perfume scent

On Product Package:
KFDA 3 Functions Certification: Wrinkle Improvement, Whitening, Ultraviolet Rays Interception SPF37 PA+++ / The BB cream has tripel functions of whitening, anti-wrinkle and more intensively protects exposed skin by blocking UV ray A and B by keeping skin beautiful and healthy through offering brilliance of diamond and vitality of just blossomed floral. / Diamond Powder and Blooming Jewel Complex consisting of 5 jewels including Amethyst and Ruby makes skin more radiant and shining like jewelry with Flora Bouquet Complex extract making skin vital and glossy by keeping skin healthy from harmful environment and sensitive stimulus. / Natural Complex extract, a patent ingredient in improving skin trouble keeps skin healthy and clean by soothing skin from external stimulus and easing troubles. / Directions: After using basic products, grab the top of the pump and rotate it clockwise to unlock the pump. Gently push the middle of the pump at top and put proper amount on the entire face, then spread it evenly for absorption.

Personal Thoughts:
This is the newest release of Skin79’s BB cream. I bought it as a replacement for my Skin79 Diamond Prestige (#5). Since I liked the previous Diamond Prestige so much, I thought Diamond Absolute Total was going to be even better, but it did not live up to my expectations.

When I first used it, I thought this BB cream was exactly the same as Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm (#4)! The relatively thick/creamy texture, the grey undertone, and the coverage seemed very similar. However, after taking a closer look, they are actually quite different.

Skin79 Diamond Absolute compared to Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm

Skin79 Absolute Total (#6) is thicker, more whitening, and offers better coverage. It also has more of a pink-grey tone than the very strong grey undertone of Skin79 Super Beblesh Balm (#4) — which could be a great alternative for those looking to escape the grey overdose which can make your skin look very dull and dead.

I would not buy this again because I don’t like thick BB Creams — it’s harder to blend and looks less natural. Keep in mind that when I say harder to blend, that’s just because I use BB Cream almost as a spot concealer instead of all over my face, so if a product is somewhat thick, it can make my spot concealing look patchy (some spots pale, some not). However, I’m sure that most people will not have problems blending this. It also looks a bit too pale for me and doesn’t suit my skin well.



WOW! Finally finished! From laying out the products, taking the photos, editing the photos, writing the reviews, re-reading/editing the reviews… I don’t even want to imagine how long it took. T_T But it was definitely a lot of fun and now when I pick up one of my products, I feel like looking at it and saying “I know all about you!” XDD

I can finally go eat dinner now… at 10 p.m! Eek!