Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review: Tatcha | Sensitive Skincare Kit

Tatcha skincare Sensitive

Luxury skincare, inspired by Geisha beauty rituals.

Remember when you first heard of Tatcha years ago? I do and it was their little parcel of delicate wrapped high end blotting sheets. Today, Tatcha has built on that reputation as a sought after name in high quality luxury skincare with a naturalistic approach. Founder Victoria Tsai was inspired by the ancient beauty rituals of Geishas she met on a trip to Japan and decided to build a skincare range based on simplicity and time tested ingredients.

I have been doing a test run of their Sensitive Ritual Discovery Kit* for the last two weeks. The four products paired here are meant to help calm, soothe and hydrate the skin.

Tatcha skincare Sensitive

There's no denying that Tatcha takes great care and pride in their products, from the presentation of the box to the real glass packaging used for the travel set, every detail looked purposeful and well thought out. Reaching for these minis actually felt like I was embarking on a spa ritual. Let me talk you through the products.

Tatcha Skincare Pure Camellia Cleansing Oil

TATCHA | Pure Camellia Cleansing Oil (25ml) | Full Size: 150ml @ $48USD

Lightly scented, this indulgently smooth cleansing oil has just the right consistency to spread well but also feel cocooning on the skin and is a welcomed experience at the end of a long day. Having used my fair share of oils, I'm actually incredibly impressed at the perfect balance between texture, emulsibility (translation: super easy to rinse) and it's effectiveness at removing makeup. But my favourite part is how lovely, soft and smooth this left my skin after just the first wash and there was no residue whatsoever. In fact, I actually said "wow" out loud in the mirror. That should mean plenty.

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquicaprylate, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Glyceryl Behenate/eicosadioate, Water, Algae Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Fragrance (Natural), Phenoxyethanol.

Formulated without:
Mineral Oil, Synthetic Colors, Synthetic Fragrances, Sulfate Detergents, Parabens, PEGs, PPGs, Urea, DEA, TEA or Phthalates.
Tatcha Skincare Indigo Rice Powder

Tatcha | Indigo Soothing Rice Enzyme Powder (10g) | Full size: 60g @ $65USD

As one of the brands iconic products, this was one of the first cleansing powders out on the western market years ago so I was thrilled to try this out. A fine grit powder works into a creamy wash when in contact with water (no bubbles here) and provides an ever so slight bit of exfoliation. However there was nothing really miraculous after the newness of the powder mixing fun wore off. I found the wash to be too light and didn't satisfy my lather cravings. Perhaps I wasn't using enough? It wasn't drying and rinsed off easily with warm water but that's about all there is to say. There was nothing particularly wrong with it but yet nothing worth raving about either. I washed, I dried and I moved on.

Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Potassium Myristate, Polygonum Tinctorium (Japanese Indigo) Leaf/Stem Extract, Indigofera Tinctoria Leaf Extract, Colloidal Oatmeal, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Conchiolin (Pearl) Protein, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran, Algae Extract, Glycerin, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Calcium Carbonate, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide, Mica, Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol.

Tatcha Skincare Hydrating Serum

TATCHA | Luminous Deep Hydrating Serum (10ml) | Full Size: $95USD

Luminous? Hydrating? Yes, yes, YES! Formulated with Okinawa red algae, (my fav) hylauroinc acid and fine 23K gold shimmer this serum is meant to smooth, firm and illuminate the skin. Used together with the cream (as instructed) it was much too hydrating for my combination skin and even when used alone it felt too sticky to be enjoyable. As I'm warming this between my hands I did wonder how much of the money is going to the artificial brightening from the 23K gold. And while I enjoyed the amazingly silky texture of this serum, it just wasn't quite right for me. Those with very dry skin and/or noticing the first signs of wrinkles may find this better suited.

Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Alcohol, Methyl Gluceth-20, Polyglyceryl-10 Eicosanedioate/Tetradecanedioate, Carrageenan (Algae Extract), Fragrance (All Natural), Inositol (Rice Extract), Polyglyceryl-10 Myristate, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sericin (Silk Extract), Stearyl Glycyrrhetinate (Licorice Extract), Silica, Hydrogenated Lecithin (Soy Origin), Squalane (Olive Origin), Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea) Extract, Royal Jelly Extract, Algae Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Gold, Sodium Bicarbonate, Xanthan Gum Crosspolymer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Butelyne Glycol, HDI/Trimethylol, Hexyllactone Crosspolymere, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite.

FORMULATED WITHOUTParabens, mineral oils, synthetic fragrances, sulfate detergents, urea, DEA, TEA or phthalates.

Tatcha Skincare Indigo Cream

TATCHA | Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream (10ml) | Full Size: 50ml @ $135ml

If I had a million dollars... I'd use this cream every single day. (Can you name the sneaky reference I made there?) It's ironic that the products I initially lusted after had failed to impress me but this strange looking blue cream has won my heart and future bank account. According to Tatcha, indigo was traditionally used in Japan as a healing ingredient and especially by warriors. Here in this little jar, I found a smooth, soothing, hydrating cream that not only left my skin supple right after use but actually made me admire my skin the next morning. Yes, admire. I'm also not ashamed to say that when I put this on the night before, sometimes I merely just rinse my face with water (put some more on) and be on my way. Even though I've only been using the travel size, I've noticed a reduction in dry patches, an increase in firmness and it's seemed to help with redness as well. The texture is also perfect for this time of the year on my skin type but this might be too rich for very oily skins.

Active Ingredient: Colloidal Oatmeal 3%
Inactive Ingredients:Water, Squalane (Olive origin), Glycerin, Propanediol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Diisostearyl Malate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Wax, Xylitol, Behenyl Alcohol, Polygonum Tinctorium (Japanese Indigo) Leaf/stem Extract, Indigofera Tinctoria Leaf Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat Kernel) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Sophora Japonica Flower Extract, Prunus Lannesiana Flower Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Oil, Inositol (Rice Extract), Sericin (Silk Extract), Tetrasodium Tetracarboxymethyl Naringeninchalcone, Chondrus Crispus (Red Algae) Extract, Amorphophallus Konjac Root Powder, Sodium Hyaluronate, Dextrin, Sorbitan Tristearate, Trihydroxystearin, Dimethicone, Dimethicone/vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Beheneth­‐20, Bis-­Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-­2, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Disodium Edta, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Sodium Acrylate/acryloyldimethyltaurate/dimethylacrylamide Crosspolymer, Titanium Dioxide, Calcium Carbonate, Tin Oxide, Phenoxyethanol, Mica.

Formulated without:
Mineral Oil, Synthetic Colors, Synthetic Fragrances, Sulfate Detergents, Parabens, PEGs, PPGs, Urea, DEA, TEA or Phthalates.

Tatcha skincare Sensitive

www.tatcha.com | Select Sephora locations

Overall, I'd say my first experience with Tatcha was a positive one and regardless of whether or not the product worked for me, I am impressed by the attention to detail and the philosophy behind the brand. The textures of the products were beautiful and I think it's easy to find a few things to fall in love with. For me, I'd highly recommend the Camellia Cleansing Oil as it is truly one of the best overall oils I've used to date (it's also reasonably priced for its quality) as well as the Indigo Soothing Recovery Cream which has been protecting my skin from the changing season. (Yes, I'm currently rationing my jar of that.) Of course certain products will be a hit or miss and you don't always get along with the popular items but if you have a skin type similar to mine, that is where I would start. Go browse!

Stay Glowing,

Flash Reviews : These are my initial thoughts and/or first impressions on beauty samples that I have been trying out. I try to give you as much information as possible but this may not be as comprehensive as full fledged review. I hope these mini posts will give you some basic information and details on certain products you're interested in even if I haven't had the usual full experience with them yet. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Makeup Look: The Babydoll

Bronze Shadow Pink Lips Asian Makeup

  • SHU UEMURA | Light Bulb Foundation*
  • CLARINS | Powder Blush | #80 Raspberry
  • MAC | Woodwinked Eyeshadow
  • ANNABELLE | Dark Bronze Eyeshadow
  • DOLLYWINK | Liquid Eyeliner
  • DOLLYWINK | False Eyelashes "Natural Dolly"
  • TOO FACED | La Creme Lipstick | "Taffy"

Just like good recipes, it's always handy to have a few foolproof makeup looks to fall back on. The bronzy smokey eye plus pinky lips is something I can probably do in my sleep and never fails to make me feel pulled together. In fact, in my personal journey of learning to find my place with makeup, it was first look that I finally felt confident in and I lovingly named it The Babydoll. Of course as the years passed and I moved on to other signature looks (it's been super winged liner all the way), it's always comforting to come back to familiar ground once in a while.

Do you have a signature look? I've love to know about it!

Stay Fabulous,

Monday, September 28, 2015

Highend Makeup Haul | Becca MUFE YSL MAC Laura Mericer

Chances are if you've been enjoying reading this blog, you probably also enjoy shopping. And from one shopaholic to another, there's nothing more satisfying than ringing up that purchase you've been swatching for the last month and finally taking it home. Between trying, buying, returning and buying again, I've been in at the beauty shop way too many times this past while. Here's the aftermath.

  • VICHY | Dermablend Corrective Foundation
  • TOOFACED | Born This Way Foundation
  • KAT VON D | Tattoo Concealer
  • MAC | Mineralize Concealer
  • SEPHORA | Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer
  • BECCA | Ombre Nude Eyes Shadow Palette
  • MAC | "Phloof" Eyeshadow
  • MAC | "Malt" Eyeshadow
  • MAC | "Peaches" Blush
  • MAC | "Groundwork" Paintpot
  • TOOFACED | La Creme Lipstick "Taffy"
  • YSL | Touche Eclat Foundation
  • LAURA MERCIER | Lip Parfait Colourbalm
  • MAKE UP FOR EVER | Ultra HD Foundation*

Funnily as I'm was editing this video, I had a little giggle that I probably have enough foundations in my collection to last me for the next 10 years but hey, it's perfectly okay to have the right one for each occasion! I'm also super thrilled with some of the new classic finds and especially can't wait to dig my brush into that gorgeous Becca eye shadow palette. It looks like they've been hiding it on a random (bottom) shelf in some Sephoras but it's most certainly worth the hunt.

Happy shopping,

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Review: Acure | Brightening Facial Scrub

Face scrubs are one of my skincare weaknesses. If I see a new one on the shelf, then I must go and have a peak. With that being said, I'm also probably more fickle than the average person when it comes to choosing one but today's product is a highly raved about green product that's been on the hot list of almost every natural/organic skincare junkie so naturally, I had to dip in too.


Brand: ACURE
Product: Brightening Facial Scrub
Details: Argan stemcell extract, chlorella growth factor, vegan, cruelty free, paraben free, silicon free, petrolatum free, 100% biodegradable
Size: 118ml
Price: $9 USD
Availability: iHerb(.com), Wholefoods, select supermarkets, select health food/nutrition stores
Would I repurchase: Undecided.
Website: www.acureorganics.com

Acure has branded itself to be quite an affordable and approachable nature conscious label with a tightly curated range of skincare products (many of which contain organic ingredients) for a basic non-fussy, unisex friendly regimen. I've only pick up two products from them so far but there's a lot more on my list to explore and at first glance I'm quite thrilled to see they are doing natural at such a good price point for those who are just wanting to start exploring.

Now the Brightening Facial Scrub is based around sea kelp, french green clay and the mysterious chlorella growth factor but more on that later. The product dispense via a squeeze tube packaging which works well for the slightly thicker consistency and I'm very happy to report that the flip lid closes tightly so if you're a shower scrubber like I am, it's not going to leak.


What you get here is a very gritty, very green and very herbal scented physical exfoliator that contains varying sized particles suspended in a thin base. Compared to the Alba Botanica Sea Algae scrub (I've reviewed previously), this is much more loaded and with overall larger grains. It did a quick and effective job at making my skin super smooth and I didn't have to exfoliate 2-3 times a week because a single session does a thorough job but even after weeks of use, I'm still undecided if I love it and it all comes down to how rough your like to scrub.

I find that the varying sized natural particles seems to have uneven edges so while some grains are perfectly fine, others felt a bit too harsh and there was no way for me to go about it gently because it's all mixed together. And while the ingredients list coconut, argan and olive oils, I didn't find this creamy nor moisturizing and for this fact would prefer it more as a summertime product. Granted, it wouldn't be a deal breaker if you have more tolerant skin but this is not something that I'd recommend for sensitive skin types.


Now let's not forget about the chlorella growth factor which according to Acure's research (see details here) is an anti-aging sea algae which promote cell regeneration at a DNA level by protecting collagen levels. This is something completely new to my skincare vocabulary and logically I don't see its potential being used to full effect in a face scrub that will only go down the drain in a few minutes. However, Acure does employ CGF in other products such as serums and moisturizers which may be a little more appropriate should you be interested in it.


The Acure Brightening Facial Scrub is a very effective, quick and gritty exfoliator best reserved for the body or on tolerant and slightly oilier skin types. I love that this is just loaded with grains so you really don't need much product to have a thorough experience but on the other hand this can be too rough on sensitive skin types. For those looking for a finely textured, excellent scrub with a creamy/oil base then the Dermalogica Therafoliant is the way to go. However if all this doesn't bother your skin then I'd say this Acure scrub is great value for your money and well worth a try!

Stay in touch,

Organic Curoxidant Blend [(Organic Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Berry, Organic Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry), Organic Rosa Canina (Rosehips), Organic Punica Granatum (Pomegranate), Fair Trade Organic Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos)], Organic Calendula Officinalis (Calendula), Organic Matricaria Recutita (Chamomile), Organic Aloe Barbensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Vegetable Glycerin, French Green Clay, Organic Lemon Peel Granules, Saponified Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut Oil), Cellulose Gum (Vegetable), Organic Olea Europaea (Olive Oil), Organic Ascophyllum Nodosum (Sea Kelp), Theobromo Cacao (Cocoa) Powder, Organic Chlorella Pyrenoidosa (Chlorella Growth Factor), Chlorophyll, Glucono Delta Lactone (Fermented Sugar), Carageenan, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Stem Cells, Organic Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Potassium Sorbate (Food Grade Preservative), Lilium Candidum Leaf Cell Extract, Essential Oil Blend of Salvia Officinalis (Sage) and Mentha spicata (Spearmint).

Sunday, September 20, 2015

GRWM | Casual Autumn Makeup Look + Video

 Natural Fall Autumn Asian Makeup

I was just thinking the other day how the beauty blogosphere is a world of funny acronyms. You want a self-explanatory title but there's only so much space in that title bar before it abruptly cuts you off. How rude.

There's no real way to pronounce GRWM and it's not anything smart nor witty but simply stands for get ready with me; a type of low key chatty video where we put on some makeup together and gossip about all the unimportant events of daily life. I'd usually just leave these up on my Youtube channel exclusively but I thought you might be feeling yappy this rainy Sunday as well.

  • NUXE | Anti-Fatigue Moisturizing Cream
  • PAUL & JOE | Moisturizing Foundation Primer N* | #03
  • HOLIKA HOLIKA | Naked Face Fitting BB* | #21.5
  • NYX | Colour Correcting Concealer*
  • ANASTASIA | Brow Powder Duo | Ebony
  • D.U.P. | Eyelid Tape
  • SEPHORA x PANTONE | Shimmering Marsala Cheek (reviewed)
  • SHU UEMURA | Drawing Pencil* | Black (reviewed)
  • MAYBELLINE | The Colossal Volum' Express WP
  • REVLON | Ultra HD Lipstick* | Primrose (reviewed)

Natural Fall Autumn Asian Makeup

Natural Fall Autumn Asian Makeup

Natural Fall Autumn Asian Makeup

While the autumn winds are definitely settling in, I'm not quite ready to go full on winter makeup just yet. Instead, I've been rather taken with a kind of romantic rose toned makeup and this type of rosy flushed lipstick have been a recent favourite. Remember when I said the Revlon Ultra HD Lipsticks are super lush? Well, here they are once again.

Stay Warm.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Bucket List: Dreams, goals, aspirations (video)

When we we young, we had a million different things we wanted to do and no problem in believing they were attainable. As we get older, I think it's even more important to keep on adding to that dream list because it makes life interesting and keeps you motivated for the future. While I can't map out every detail of what's to come, knowing that I'm working towards some definite goal puts me at ease that some part of it is definite. Consider starting a list of your own and fill it with the big things and some little ones as well; I'd love to hear what you've got!

Stay Beautiful.