MAC Sun Rush Lustre Drops Illuminator review/ swatch

MAC Sun Rush Lustre Drops have been released a few times among various collections over the last few years.

Here's the quick review- it's a liquid illuminator in a bronzy gold shimmer. It comes in a small squeeze tube container with a very fine nozzle (which I think is very suitable for this type of product).

The color looks darker in the bottle than once applied and evenly blended.

Swatches below, on the left is when it's just lightly blended out and on the right when fully blended. You can see it turns into a beautiful soft golden shimmer, without looking like a dirty bronze (which is the issue I have with most bronzers or bronze illuminators).

The shimmer is rather subtle- it can be applied before or after foundation. I like to mix a bit in with my foundation primers to add an even glow to the skin (once you pat some powder foundation on top it looks really subtle, just naturally glowy and takes away the powery look). I also sometimes dot and blend a few around the cheek areas for highlight and contour.

 Overall it's a nice basic illuminator, not too costly, and comes in a generous size. It is a wearable color even for pale skin girls. It's unscented and feels rather non pore clogging on the skin which is always something I look for in a primer/ base makeup product.

Rating of 4.5/5.


Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask review

Origins drink up line has been around for a while, first came in the original mask, then variations of the mask. This is the "Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask" , which is a light creamy mask intended to be applied twice a week at night time, just massage in a dollop size (I usually do about 3 pea sizes) before bedtime, then tissue off any excess.

main ingredients are glycerine, hyalruonic acid, apricot kernel oil etc.

Ingredient list and instructions, click to enlarge

Comes in a flip top cap, and squeeze tube. Usually I'm not a fan of these caps since they tend to snap easily on the plastic closure bit and the cap falls off.

Comes in 100ml tubes. Here's a swatch- the consistency is lightly vanilla cream colored, the scent is a very pleasant, slightly sweet fruity scent that is not nauseating.

I usually apply on clean skin after showers (sometimes I use toner first, sometimes I dont). Then I massage in a bit just during application, but no particular techniques, just a quick 20 seconds massage.

I apply a generous amount given 100ml of product is quite a lot. Then I let it sit on the face and soak for a good 15-20min (and dry my hair in the meantime or something), then before I go to bed, I take a cotton swab and saturate with some water, then quickly wipe/pat off any excess (without being too rigorous and rub everything off). This helps with any stickiness issues when you go to bed (once it soaks in a bit it is slightly tacky to touch). I do not use a moisturiser before or after this.

Next morning I'm left with hydrated, plump looking skin.

I've tried this for a few months over different skin condition days. It doesn't really do much when you have clogged pores or congestions. It doesn't do enough for really super cold winters when your skin is peeling. However it works the best during change of seasons where my face is just a bit taught (however if it's already irritated this does nothing for it). I would say it's about mildly hydrating.

I have sensitive skin that is prone to breakouts, but not particularly too oily any more.

Overall 3.5/5. It's not bad, but not sure if I would repurchase- it is not a 'emergency" fix-everything mask, but rather just a nice regular treatment during your normal skin days.


MAC Smoky Berry crushed metallic pigment dazzlesphere 2011 Xmas swatch/ review

MAC Dazzlesphere are the 2011 Christmas limited edition sets, it comes in a spherical shiny silver plastic packaging (which I thought was rather ugly and plain), with a 4 stack MAC pigment in those screw top containers inside.

It contains 4 pigments:
1. Spicy smoke : reddish shimmery toned down-magenta/ mauve but muted ( though I would not say there's much purple base)
2. Roasted chestnut: chestnut brown ( very ripened, dark brown chestnut without visible red) with flecks of bronze shimmers ( a bit chunky, but not quite glittery) , cool toned and almost a purple base, very slightly in the taupe family, but not really that pretty a taupe.

3. Rose light : soft rosy pink, shimmery , same shimmer factor as the pearl pigment. It is soft enough to not be too pink bunny eyed sort of pink , but still a very generic color.

4. Pearl: shimmery white peal , unfortunately a bit generic, it is a bit frosty, more shimmery tan spicy mole bu not as chunky as roasted chestnut

From left to right swatches below: (Rose light, pearl, spicy smoke and roasted chestnut)

Spicy smoke looks more red in real life, but under flash photography it sort of turns a bit more brick-orange brown and less purple/ red. As you can see the flecks of shimmer is most obvious in Roasted Chestnut. Rose Light comes out really quite pale and if used with the Pearl shade, it is probably hard to discern any noticeable difference after blending on the eyes.

Overall these pigments are all quite metallic and shimmery (i.e. I don't think they are subtle enough for daily use, at least for me). As with all loose eyeshadows fall out is common during application. I don't really think the set is worth it to try to track down and collect (other than at or below RRP price) since the colors are a bit ordinary. You do get an extraordinary amount of eyeshadows though that I'd imagine would be really difficult to finish!

Overall 3/5.


Kanebo Kate Nail Color BE19 Beige polish review/ swatch

Kanebo Kate is a drugstore line under the Kanebo group. Sold in most Asian countries like Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong and quite readily available online with ebay etc.

I needed a polish during my HK trip as I was going to a function, so I went to the local Watsons and grabbed this quickly (for a mere 3USD equivalent or something)- looked like a really safe and foolproof color.

It comes in an elongated bottle, only contains 5ml.


The shade is labelled on the back (BE19).
In the bottle the color is just a plain nude pink, a tiny bit of beige but without going brown or bandaid like.

Here's the color under sunlight. Two coats. Base coat is Paul & Joe base coat and topcoat is the Coffret D'or gel top coat.

When I wore this in HK I was rather disappointed- the formula is a bit watery and sheer and uneven. However it turns out all it needs is a base coat. With any base coat it grips onto the watery consistency a lot better and the color is way more even and streakfree. Two coats I get a glazed nude pink, slightly beiged. Even a touch apricot-nude-pink under some lights.

A few different lightings. Sorry my cuticles look a bit red since I wore this OPI red shade previously and it was a pain to remove and stains my cuticles a bit!
This is about as yellow toned as it can look.

Overall 4/5, pretty cheap for USD $3, easy and foolproof shade. Requires a good base coat and topcoat to go with though, as it dries rather slowly. It is a semi opaque creme , no shimmers or glitters but not too flat either since it applies with a nice gloss.


Canmake Shimmer Jelly Eyes Sugar Milk Tea eyeshadow/ Kiss me Heroine Make Mascara volume up & curl review/ swatch

Canmek Shimmer Jelly Eyes are Canmake's liquid eyeshadows. They retail for a tiny 600 yen each (which is like 7-8USD).

There are 6 shades in total,
01 White Frosty
02 Sugar Milk Tea
03 Strawberry Parfait
04 Frozen Melon
05 Caramel Chocolate
06 Crystal Gold

shades are below, from RIGHT to the LEFT are 01~06. I'm reviewing 02 Sugar Milk Tea here.
Product Photo

Here's what it looks like. it doesn't come boxed, just sold like this (sealed with an extra few stickers outside)

The back: the color code 02 is written on the label.

Comes in doe-foot applicator- 

Swatches: on left is when applied directly, on right when blended. The shade is a champagne beige, once blended out the color is a bit lighter but there is still some pigmentation. The shimmer is gorgeous and even, there are a few more sparkly bits inside though (but not quite glittery). It dries quickly yet still manage to look moist.

Here's my bare eyes. The dot is a freckle. It's already prepped with some powder foundation and concealer but it's been a few hours so there's some wear off.

With a good 2 coat of the shimmer jelly eyeshadow in #02 Sugar Milk Tea. Also lined with the De Javu liner in Dark brown (reviewed previous post) and the Kiss Me Heroine Make Volume & Curl Mascara in black.

I added just 1 extra layer to show the sparkles better. Sorry didn't blend too well closer to the lash line.

Now to the Kiss Me Heroine Make Mascara in "Volume & Curl Up" (I think the other version is the Length & Curl). It's been a long favorite mascara in Japanese drugstores and is often voted number 1. I've used 2-3 tubes over the last 5 years (I change around for fun but like this one enough to go back to it every now and then). It really great at volume, you can see how dense my lashes look at the roots after application. I didn't apply with that much care either otherwise the length can go even more. In terms of curling I would still stick with an eyelash curler. (In the photos above I didn't curl my lashes).

Here's the Kiss Me Mascara. The packaging is very old school Japanese manga style drawing which doesn't appeal to me that much. It retails for around 13USD in drugstores in Japan and are easily sourced on ebay.

Comes in a unique applicator- it is sort of skinny in the middle and wider on both ends.

You can see it is a fibre based mascara so there is a bit fibre inside. I do not have too much issue with fall out but it still does happen. If applied carefully this can lengthen a fair bit too.

It is quite durable and it doesn't dry out too much despite having opened it for about 5 weeks. After a good 12 hours day I do get some minor smearing under the eyes but I get that with almost every single mascara out there. It does take a proper eye makeup remover to remove properly too. It is very "black" so a few proper removals is highly recommended.

Overall both items get a 5/5 from me. For girls with paler skins the Canmake will show up with better color. For tanned girls it will be more of a shimmer/sparkle than color (however you can always try other shades from the line). It is a gorgeous liquid/cream eyeshadow and you can wear it alone or use it as an eyemakeup base before other eyeshadows. It helps to hold other colors very well without interfering with the colors.

De Javu Lasting-fine liner Dark Brown swatch/ review

De javu  is more famous for their Fiberwig mascara which is still a staple of mine.  Gradually they released more items. This one is their eyeliner in 1mm thickness and apparently, 24 hrs water and oil resistance.

It comes in 3 colors, Deep Black, Real Black, and Dark Brown. (Deep black being darker than real black).

I'm reviewing Dark Brown.

It comes sealed in plastic container (bulky- I didn't keep or photo), in a cardboard background and the liner in the middle.

It's a rather slim liner , fits into my makeup bag easily (not too long)

Up close- I would say it's not shiny, but not entirely flat/ matte either. I twisted it up a little bit extra than I normally would (it is retractable so don't worry if you twisted out too much, just twist it back).

Here's bare eye- the little dot is a freckle..

Now with eyeliner very tightline- you can see it adds a tightline effect quite well and looks quite thin if you want it to be. I layered it a few times so it does come out rather dark.

Here's the swatch: the top bit with 2 lines, the bottom is when I smear it out as soon as it is applied. The shade is a nice deep brown, it's neutral/ dark bitter chocolate brown, not much red tone. However looks soft enough on the eye compared to black liners, while dark enough to be able to add enough depth.

For a twist up eyeliner that doesn't require sharpening , 1mm thickness is actually quite decent. I wouldn't twist it up too much when applying as it is possible to snap the lead inside. However it seems sturdy enough so far. I can actually wiggle it deep enough against my lashline to tightline, however it doesn't quite apply onto the "pink" section of the waterline if you are wondering. The texture just isn't built for it. That being said, as a normal eyeliner close to the lashline it is quite terrific.

While it lends itself to be smudged when freshly applied, it doesn't budge at all after about 10 seconds once it sets. I've tried to rinse with water and it doesn't come off at all!. I haven't had much issue with smearing after a full day wear either. It is truly water and oil resistant.  While it's not a super fine line, it is actually still finer than other eyeliners I can think of , most conventional pencil liners that require sharpening.

I think the finish almost reminds me of a gel-eyeliner, with the dense and rich color.

Overall 5/5.

It retails for probably under 10USD in Japanese drugstores, not expensive at all.


OPI DS Reflection DS 030 Nail Lacquer polish review/ swatch

Honestly I always surprise myself when I try to clean up my stash...I discovered like literally a whole small box of OPIs I bought earlier but just forgot about! So this week I'll try to swatch more OPIs.

OPI Design Series are like the premium lines from OPI polishes featuring a more unique finish- e.g. holographic, or intensely shimmery. They are identifiable by the silver handle.

I'm reviewing DS Reflection (color code DS 030).

In the bottle it looks like a shimmering red, the shimmers are visibly denser than most other "shimmery" polishes out there. The shimmers are like a soft gold (but being in a red polish means they appear more red gold).

Here are my nail swatches (indoor flash light). It's neutral/ cool toned which means it makes my hands look rather pale. I didn't add a top coat over this but you can see there's a decent gloss. It's not super glossy though- however the shimmers sort of enhance the low-key gloss factor and make it look rather glossy from a distance even without top coat.

It looks more glowy in my picture than in real life.

Once on the hands it's more like a pinky red, it's not pink by any means, but not deep enough to be a true red. I think pic below is more realistic shade indoors. I'm wearing 2 coats. The DS polishes are incredibly pigmented and denser in shimmer which makes application such a dream. It just glides on. (The DS polishes comes with the pro-wide brushes). On the nails the gold shimmers just sort of sparkle. The shimmers are really fine but doesn't quite turn the finish into a sparkly foil finish (e.g. OPI Hollywood blonde).

Here's a picture under the sun (no flash). Sorry for the dry hand, I was doing a lot of housework!
You can see under the sunlight the shimmers actually shine in a sort of slightly blue tinge- I think it reflects differently under different lights.

Overall 4/5. It's sort of pretty and festive for Christmas , but not spectacular.


OPI Heart Throb Nail Lacquer NL H18 swatch/ review

OPI Heart Throb Nail Lacquer (code NL H18) was released at least before 2010 and seems to continue to be part of the regular collection.

In the bottle it's a milky/ cloudy pink, a bit of a strawberry milkshake pink color. There's definitely that creaminess to it, but it's not opaque or full creme (or mod pink looking).

Here's the swatch with 2 coats on the nail, given its cloudy base I thought I'd layer it on top of a whitish base coat (used Maquillage nail base coat which is nothing much to rave about, Nailtek Foundation II will give an equally slightly white base and finish). As it expected it brought out the creamy base a bit more and gives a more opaque finish.

Overall it's a soft, strawberry milk shake pink, you will need at least 2 coats for an even coverage otherwise it can look uneven and streaky. I didn't try 3 coats as it might look a bit more "mod pink" which isn't something I like.

The pink base is prominent enough to show up as a proper pink instead of like a lot of OPI/ Essie soft pink nudes where you get more ivory pink than actual pink. It's a true soft pink without beige tones or peach tones etc. Just a very cute girly pink.

Still an office friendly color. You can see from the bottle I've used it quite a few times- it's sort of a no brain color that I can reach easily for my work days.

Overall 4/5. It's unique in that it gives a true strawberry milkshake pink without losing the pink base or become too translucent like a lot of other pinks tend to be. I actually prefer the look of it the last few times I wore it over a clear base coat, it gives more 'natural look' to it than using a whitish base coat which is bringing out a lot of the creamy base.