Dec 12, 2018

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter Review

I have oily combo skin and when I was younger, I hated the look of oiliness on my face. But there is a big difference between oily and healthy glow. As I am getting older and skin is slightly drier, I am craving for makeup products which can give me the healthy glow. That is one the main reason I love using cushion foundations from Korea as they are very hydrating and give my skin a boosting effect.

I am not a big fan of glittery highlighter. As I don't wear a lot of makeup, I like products which are more natural-looking. My holy grail has been the Chosungah 22 24H Raybeam Highlighter. I have been using that for years and love it. However, not sure if it is being discontinued or what, it is getting harder to buy it online. So I am branching out and on the hunt for alternatives.

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter 

Hollywood Flawless Filter from Charlotte Tilbury has received mixed reviews. Some are raving about how flawless it makes your skin become. Some are saying it is just too oily. Also there are reviews about how to use this product. Is it a foundation? Is it a primer? Is it a highlighter?

Product comes in a glass bottle. It comes with a very big and chunky doe foot applicator. If it is a foundation, it should be equipped with a pump . Since I read reviews and people say that a little goes a long way, I assume this is used more of a primer or highlighter.

I picked the shade 4 Medium which is a neutral golden yellow shade for medium skin tone. I was contemplating between 4 and 2 which has a more peachy tone. I decided on 4 even though it is a bit darker but as I am planning to use it mixed with foundation or a primer, thought this shade should work.

I have been using this as a primer to give my skin a booster kick to mimic a healthy glow. I dab a few drops on my cheeks and a couple of dabs on my forehead. I don't know if I dab too little or not, but the effect is so subtle. Even when I try to examine my skin under bright day light, it is not noticeable at all. 

Another way I have been testing this product out is to mix the Hollywood Flawless Filter with my foundation. Find that is more worthwhile in applying the product. At least I can see a slight glow on my cheeks. I want to show you guys the before and after but the effect is so subtle that it is hard for the camera to pick up. Only way to see it is during direct sunlight and when I turn my head that I can catch a glimpse of the glow. 

If you are looking for a "bam in your face" highlighter, this may not be the product for you. This is quite pricey, CAD $50 for the amount of product you get. If you like a very subtle glow, this may work for you.  I am going to continue experimenting with this product and try out more ways to pair this up with different foundations and see if this has a more dramatic effect to make this product worthwhile.

Dec 7, 2018

Ready for Christmas? These outfits will put you in the mood

Christmas is approaching. With the early first snowfall in Toronto here, it already set everybody in the holiday season mood. If there is no snow where you are, how do you set yourself ready for Christmas?

Holiday shopping can be overwhelming and frustrating. Why not shop in the comfort in your own home and have goodies come to you? I came across DressLily and they have a wide variety of outfits at very affordable prices.

A lot of people still like to shop for your typical "ugly sweater" for Christmas. Who wants to be stuck with ridiculous sweaters in their closets? Why not get something fun and festive and sweaters you would actually wear?

My personal favorites for the holidays are pajamas. I can live in them all winter. Warm, comfortable and cozy. These would also make great family gifts and perfect for family holiday pictures.

This dress would be perfect if you are hosting Christmas parties and dinners. Very festive and yet comfortable.

Or a Christmas-themed tee which you can wear out or as pajamas top.

If you are those organized people who are all ready for Christmas and done with your shopping, DressLily has new arrivals. Here are the new arrivals. It's time to refresh your wardrobe! DressLily prepares the high quality but low prices products for you, make you free under all occasions for Monday to Friday.

DressLily is kind enough to give you guys a 20% discount code (DLBF20), valid now till Jan 10 2019. Happy Shopping!

**sponsored post**

Dec 6, 2018

YSL Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation Review

I am on the trend of trying out more cushion foundation from Western brands. My success with MAC Studio Perfect Hydrating Cushion(see my post for review) prompted me to try another one.

I have been eyeing on the YSL cushion foundation for a while. But it is so pricey, CAD $75 for one with no refill. Not sure if the Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation is discontinued or not but Sephora had it on sale a couple of weeks ago for $55 so I grabbed one to try.

YSL Le Cushion Encre De Peau Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation

YSL always has the sleekest packaging and this beauty comes in a black compact which is so pretty.

Shade 30

At the time of my ordering from, only a few shade 30 left. I grabbed one as the shade 20 which is the shade I prefer was sold out. This has a bit of peach undertone and not too much pink so I think should be ok.

First impression:

YSL has its signature fragrant-scented foundation which I am not a big fan of. I still don't understand why luxury brands like YSL, Chanel and Dior make their foundation like that. I don't mind the scent but for people who are sensitive to fragrance would find it irritating. Even though the scent is not strong, it is still very obvious at first application.

Coverage & Finish:
Medium coverage. It is quite buildable. I wouldn't say it is a dewy or radiant finish. Closer to a matte satin finish. 

I prefer a more radiant finish to mimic healthy skin with a glow. This is not tacky to the touch so perfect for combination to oily skin type. As it is cold here in Canada, I don't have to set this with a setting powder. In the summer time, I might have to set it on my t-zone.

Below is a comparison of shade swatches of the cushion foundations in my collection:

Overall, I like this YSL Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation. But would I cough up another $75 for another one or refill? Definitely not. There are other cushion foundation, whether it is from Korea or Western brands, which perform very similar. Personally, I like a more dewy finish and this one is on the more satin finish which is probably better to use in the summer time. But for winter months, days are dull and dark already. I would like to add something to brighten my skin a bit for a glow.

Have you tried YSL Fusion Ink Cushion Foundation? What are your thoughts?

Dec 3, 2018

Pat McGrath Mini MatteTrance Lipstick Trio Set

Have heard so much about Pat McGrath lipsticks. They are not available in the stores I go and I cannot swatch them in person. They are on the pricey side so I don't want to risk picking a wrong shade and regret.

Luckily, there is the Mini MatteTrance Lipstick Trio(Skin Show) which consists of 3 mini sized lipsticks.

The packaging is to die for. Gold lips on sleek black tubes.

The set comes in this plastic bag filled with gold sequins.

From L to R:
Omi, 1995, Flesh 3

I am not a big fan of matte lipsticks as my lips always feel super dry after a while. But these ones are exceptions. They are so creamy and buttery. I think these have to be the creamiest lipsticks I have ever tried. They glide on super smooth and easy. Pigmentation is unbelievable. Live up to every single hyped reviews I have read. 

These would make a great stocking stuffer for anyone. This set is Show Skin which is more neutral MLBB kind of shades. In the picture above, Omi and Flesh 3 look similar but Flesh 3 looks much brighter and vibrant in person. There is another set Colour Blitz which is more bright red tones and one bubble gum pink shade. This would be great for gifting to someone who like brighter shades for the holidays. However, these are so popular that they go in and out of stock at Sephora. So grab them if you can.

Nov 30, 2018

November Favorites

Have tried a lot of new products in the past couple of months and have found some new gems.


Found this gentle but very effective exfoliator. When it says peeling gel, it always worries me a little. But it turns out to be very gentle and it is super satisfying to see little peels after you rub product into skin, making skin feels smoother afterwards.

Sephora Favorites from Tokyo to Soko

SKII Treatment Essence
I got to try the hyped SKII Treatment Essence. I got this from the Sephora Favorites skincare set(from Tokyo to Soko). I believe this is currently sold out online. I grabbed mine during the Sephora VIB sale earlier this month. The Treatment Essence is very moisturizing and I use it every morning for the Korean 7-skin method(patting essence into skin multiple times to hydrate skin). 

I also got this Drunk Elephant Vitamin C serum from the Sephora VIB sale. I got a deluxe sample size in the duo set to try. This is my first time using vitamin C serum and I highly recommend this for beginners as this is gentle enough. I apply this in the morning and then my sunscreen. This has a very nice fragrant and texture is not too thick as I heard some vitamin C has really strong scent and thick in texture. I use this little deluxe size every day and it has almost been a month and I still got a little bit left. I find it helps with hyperpigmentation of old acne scars. It does fades a little but not right away so don't expect miracles when you use it for a few days.

Whenever I have a breakout or a little pimple, I like to cover it up but often find at the end of the day, the pimple got worse. This Bye Bye Breakout concealer has enough coverage even though it is quite light in texture. It is easy to blend and I like to dab a fair amount on my blemish. It covers up completely and at the end of the day when I remove my makeup, I find the pimple calms down significantly. So at my night time routine, after cleansing my skin and I apply my regular blemish cream, it takes a lot less time for it to heal.

Face Roller
I have read a lot of reviews on face rollers. I just got mine from HomeSense for $9.99. I know price ranges widely. I am not sure if the more expensive ones are much better but I like using mine both in the morning to help depuff my face and also at night when I am using a face sheet mask. It helps skin absorb products much better and it really does help with depuffing face.

From L to R:
BareMinerals XOX
Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet 510
Innisfree My Lip Balm  in Ruby Grapefruit Tea

I have tried a handful of new lip products this past couple of months. This Armani Lip Magnet is probably one of best finds I tried. This is a liquid lipstick which has amazing staying power and not over-drying. The shade is to die for. It is a beautiful rose color which is so perfect for winter.

If you are looking for a moisturizing lipstick to throw in your purse, this is the one for you. The shade is XOX. It is your MLBB shade and it is so easy to apply and I love having this in my purse. It pretty much matches any makeup look and doesn't matter what lipstick you have on, it can always layer on top to give your lips a nice touch up and moisture.

Innisfree My Lip Balm in Ruby Grapefruit Tea
This is a very thick texture tinted lip balm. I have it in the shade Ruby Grapefruit Tea which is a muted coral shade. I apply it as a tinted lip balm during the day and also at night time as a lip mask. 

Have you found any gems this month?

Nov 27, 2018

MAC Studio Perfect Hydrating Cushion

I have tried a lot of cushion foundations but all from Korea. I love the easy natural no makeup look with dewy finish which mimics glowy healthy skin. There are more Western makeup brands releasing new cushion foundation and I am very anxious to try and see if they are similar to Korean brands.

MAC has released their Studio Perfect Hydration Cushion a few months ago. I believe it is exclusive to Asia for now as I have asked a few MAC sales associates here in Canada and they have not heard about the new release yet. 

I have tried MAC foundation long time ago. From my memory, MAC foundation is full coverage and matte. So when they released this new Studio Perfect Hydrating Cushion, I was skeptical of how well this performs.

Revive, nourish and protect skin with Studio Perfect SPF 50/PA+++ Hydrating Cushion Compact. Upon application, fine dry lines look visibly minimized while textured skin appears smooth, even and luminous. Provides medium buildable coverage with a natural satin finish, with touch-ups that are as chic as ever in an ultra-modern metallized ombre black compact.

Key Claims and Benefits:
- Provides all-day wear
-Provides immediate and long-term hydration
-Provides instant radiance
-Provides stay-true colour
-Offers broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 50/PA+++
-For all skin types
-Dermatologist tested

Shade: N18

My brother and sister-in-law were in Taiwan earlier this month and they brought back the cushion foundation set for me. I am so grateful as they are super hard to get my hands on this here (besides going to ebay). 

The set consists of MAC Studio Perfect Hydrating Cushion in shade N18, 2 refills, 1 NC15 refill and a 170 brush.

From all the swatches I see online, I thought N18 is a bit too pale for my skin tone. But I also read reviews that this foundation oxidizes a bit. So this should work.

This MAC cushion has medium coverage. Of all the other cushion foundations I have tried, usually when they have medium coverage, they are more matte. Also, a little goes a long way. I'd rather build up to medium coverage than too much coverage making my skin looks cakey. For everyday, I still prefer a more natural look.

I apply this cushion foundation with the sponge included in this compact. A lot of people prefer using a BeautyBlender or foundation brush for application. I still find using the sponge and by patting the foundation into skin is the best way to achieve the natural look. Yes, it takes a bit more time to dab dab dab but trust me, it is worth spending the extra couple of minutes.

This cushion foundation not only has medium coverage, once it is set, it does give my skin a slight radiant effect. Not glowy or super dewy if you are not into that look. Skin still peeks through and looks like your own skin but it is your skin but better. 

As it is cold here in Canada now, I don't feel the urge to set this foundation with a setting powder. I only set my under eye concealer with a little bit of powder as I do with all my other foundations. This foundation does not make my skin feel greasy at the end of the day. This also doesn't make my skin feel clogged at the end of the day. I recall my prior experience with MAC foundation just feel heavy and at the end of the day, just felt the urge to wash off my face. This doesn't feel like that at all. 

I have been using this cushion foundation for a few times this week and I am very impressed with the formula and the performance. 

  • buildable coverage
  • long-lasting for cushion foundation
  • SPF
  • still looks like skin
  • radiant finish but not dewy
  • limited shades
  • only available in Asia(for now)
  • sinks into pores 
  • clings to dry patches
Have you tried this new MAC Studio Perfect Hydrating Cushion or Western brands cushion? What are your favorites?

Nov 19, 2018

Yesstyle Haul

When it comes to Asian makeup and skincare online shopping, my recent favorite web site is Yesstyle. They offer a wide variety of products: Asian makeup brands and skin care products, clothing and accessories etc. 

Secret Key Treatment Essence is my second bottle. I have been using this for a few months now and thought I would branch out to other brands and didn't repurchase a backup. I noticed more breakouts and uneven skin tone which led me to quickly repurchase this and I have seen almost immediate improvement. 

Have heard a lot of great reviews about their lemon sparkling peeling gel. It is a very gentle exfoliator and I have used this 5 times a week and notice my skin is smoother.

I bought this duo color face blush(Retro Drive) after I watched Korean Youtube Joan Kim raved about this blush and I haven't got any coral blush in my collection. I would have never picked this up if she hasn't mentioned this. You can either wear the blushes separately or mix it up to create a softer coral blush which I intend to use.

I have been looking for a softer bronzer palette. As the winter months are approaching, I need a lighter palette for contouring my face. 

Chosungah 22 24 H Raybeam Up Cream

This is my third purchase. This cream highlight is my holy grail. It is very subtle and I love a soft no makeup makeup look and this highlighter is a must-have. This product goes in and out of stock on their website so when I saw this in stock, I quickly grabbed one for backup.

Innisfree My Lip Balm in Ruby Grapefruit Tea

Tinted lip balms are my weaknesses. I love a good moisturizing lip balm. My go-to for years has been the Fresh sugar treatment but want to branch out to try other brands and see how they fair out. This light grapefruit color is so pretty and I can't wait to test it out. 

Yesstyle is a very reliable online store. Customer service is very good. Their international shipping time is usually 10-14 business days(prior to the Canada Post rotation strike which started 3 weeks ago). When you pick your items to go into your shopping cart, they would tell you if they have the product in stock or when product is expected to be in stock. A few of my items here were not in stock at the time of my order. But they let me know when their shipment was expected to arrive so I had a good idea of when my order could be shipped out. Very happy with my haul and will do a more in-depth review on some of the products mentioned in this blog post so stay tuned.