Friday, 20 September 2013

Review: On The Body Pure Moist Whipping Bar Cleanser

Okay, today's review is the first ever proper cleanser I bought with my first ever Koreadepart order! I'm almost running out of it now so I may as well do a review on it and tick the item off on my growing list of reviews I need to do.
Brand: On The Body
Name: Pure Moist Whipping Bar
Price: $2.34
Where to buy: Koreadepart

Taken from Koreadepart's webite, it has 'cherry blossom scent and fluffy bubble'. Avocado oil enhances moisture retention and soothes irritated skin whilst intensively providing a surge of moisture and nutrition for skin. nothing about cleansing then? ^^; I bought this as I wanted a cleanser suitable for dry, perhaps sensitive skin. I wasn't experienced with other types of cleanser, like foam, cream, etc. so I thought I'd best start off with a basic bar cleanser.

So first off you get the product in a box. The design is quite pretty with a white and pink cherry blossom design. The box seems sturdy and hasn't been crushed at all the whole time I've had it.

Stupidly I forgot to take a photo of the actual bar of soap and now it's almost all gone... >_< It looks pretty much like the photo below; only imagine the white On The Body box and 'On The Body' embossed into the soap.
So nothing special but I'm glad it's pink! Yay, pink~
I had heard of different ways of using cleansers and producing lathers - I tried just using my hands to create a lather, using my Etude House Wonder Pore Brush and using a regular body loofah/puff.

Hand only. As you can see, not really great.

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Using Etude House Wonder Pore Brush. A little better, the lather is very thick and dense.

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Loofah/body puff - this is where it really shines! Lots of super soft, pillowy bubbles! It's way more fun to cleanse this way, I smush my face into the bubbles each time, haha. Using a loofah/body puff also helps the cleanser last longer as you only need a couple of rubs, then you continue scrubbing to create lots of bubbles just using your hand on the loofah.

Using the lather created with all three methods yielded the same results but using a loofah/body puff (I'm just gonna call it a loofah from now on, okay?!) is more economical and much more fun! The bubbles really do feel so soft and silky on your face. I use this cleanser in the bath after exfoliating (still not sure on which way to do that) and after I've taken off my make-up with olive oil + baby wipes to get rid of any last traces of make-up and the oily feel. My skin feels really clean after using it, like the foam got into every pore, a little tight too but I put toner, serum and moisturiser on afterwards so that isn't a problem to me.
The scent is nice. It has a cherry blossom scent that isn't too overpowering. The scent is very nostalgic to me now as I think of when I got my first Koreadepart order and took the plunge into skincare so I really like it.
This bar cleanser was a nice introduction for a newbie. The price was super cheap so I didn't feel like I was missing out on much if it didn't work for me. Now I've had a chance to try foam and cream cleansers I must say that bar cleansers are a little time consuming, convenient and a bit messy compared to them but it has good cleansing power, is fine for my dry skin (makes it feel a little tight though) and was definitely cost effective as I've probably had this over a year and still have a few months usage from it. 4 out of 5 stars from me!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Review: Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Relaxing Complex

Another review today! I got a free sample of Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Relaxing Complex through my letterbox the other week and tested it for around 2 weeks so I think I can write a pretty comprehensive review about it now. I'm churning my way through my hoarded free samples before opening up a new face cream!
Brand: Olay
Name: Regenerist Wrinkle Relaxing Complex
Price: £10-£29.99
Where to buy: Superdrug (£19.99), (£29.99), Amazon UK (£10), ($13)

This cream has a rather impressive claim to 'instantly reduce the look of wrinkles better than a cream costing £600'.

Taken from Superdrug's website:
'Regenerist's wrinkle relaxing complex helps to comprehensively fight the look of fine lines and wrinkles by combining Olay moisture with advanced micro filler powders to help smooth skin's surface, instantly relaxing the appearance of fine lines while the formula, with biopeptide + B3 complex, hydrates and helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles over time.'

Olay Wrinkle Relaxing Complex Packaging
The packaging is very much expected of Olay and its target market of more mature women. It has a flexible plastic silver tube with a red cap and black and red writing. It looks sophisticated and more expensive than cheaper skincare products. It's neither here nor there for me.

The full sized packaging looks like:

So basically a bigger version of the full sized product, which is what I like to see. If they made the free sample packaging really nice or pretty then the actual sized product packaging is pretty shoddy, I'd definitely feel cheated. The good ol' Bait & Switch.
Olay Wrinkle Relaxing Complex Swatch
This cream is definitely a cream but it has a weird texture and look that, whilst isn't bad at all, is kind of inbetween a gel and a cream. I guess it is all that micro filler powder as it does feel very dense whilst maintaining a light texture.

This cream feels really nice when you apply it; it almost has a velvety texture that turns a little powdery once it sinks in a little bit so I can guess that is the magical filler powder at work again. A small amount goes a long way and it has a light, spreadable texture. It takes a few minutes to sink in and makes my skin feel nice, powdery soft and supple.
Like the past Olay cream I tried, you get a more prolonged feel of the cream if you apply it regularly. The powdery soft feel stays with you all day, even if you don't wear make-up or wash your face. My skin has been pretty well moisturised since using creams formulated for my dry skin type and it didn't revert back after using the cream; I didn't get any dry patches, flakes or tightness.
The smell of this is a little weird...combined with the thick yet light powdery gel-like feel it smells like hair conditioner! Very fragranced and a little perfumy. It actually reminds me of my mum, like hugging my mum and smelling her hair. It's actually very sweet in a way and makes me think of her when I use it. She tends to use Olay products semi-regularly as well so maybe it is just the signature Olay scent and I never picked up on it?
This cream has a unique feel and softness. I don't think it was particularly formulated for dry skin so I think it could be great on all skin types. Mature skin tends to be a little sensitive so I think it is easy to use for everyone. It has a lovely velvety powdery softness that stays with you as you apply it regularly. As for the wrinkle relaxing benefit, I can't say I've seen much difference as I don't really have wrinkles! I have a few small lines under my eyes and instantly after I applied this cream they felt a little more 'filled out' but I can't say whether using this cream reduced the look of them. I can imagine you'd have to use this cream for a relatively long time period, say 6 months to a year, to see any lasting wrinkle reducing action. I give this cream 4 stars out of 5; whilst it was an effective and nice cream to use, I would like to try others, especially Korean skincare products that may give the same effects for a smaller price tag.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Reviewette: Natural Republic Ultra Steam Cream

Today it's another review as I frantically refuse to open my Snail & EGF moisturiser and instead power through my face cream samples. I have taken to squeezing out the sachet I am going to try in a 10ml air tight jar; that way I usually get at least two uses out of it so I can make a better review. I got about 4 uses of this cream so I'll do a reviewette.
Brand: Nature Republic
Name: Steam Cream
Type: Ultra Steam (for dry skin)
Price: $15-$25
Where to buy: Koreadepart ($23.42), IBuyBeauti ($24.99), ($25.99), ($15.70)

This cream contains shea butter applied to high temperature steam of 100℃ that stabilises the ingredients, making it mild for skin. It is also formulated with vitamin A and E that provides moisture. It boasts no parabens, no talc, no sulfate based surfactant, no mineral oil, no benzine alcohol and no artificial colours.

Nature Republic Ultra Steam Cream Packaging
I quite like the arty graphics on the packaging of this sample. The full sized product has the same graphics on a large white tub. The sample packaging has a matte feel so perhaps the full sized one does too? It's not particularly 'cute' but it fits well with the aesthetics of Nature Republic's brand.

Full sized product:
Nature Republic Ultra Steam Cream Swatch
The product claims it has a 'jelly like texture' but I didn't really notice any difference from other creams. It is thick and emollient and creates a barrier that traps moisture in the skin - one of the most important factors of moisturising face creams. It isn't the ingredients or the cream absorbing into our skin that hydrates us but the barrier that prevents our skin from losing moisture.

You can definitely tell the cream has shea butter in as it's very thick and creamy. It spreads the same way and feels good for dry skin. It takes a few minutes, maybe longer to absorb but I expect that of creams formulated for dry skin. It leaves my skin feeling nourished, supple and elastic but no more than my regular creams.
Whilst this cream is good for dry skin, seems to have good ingredients and provides good benefits, I expected a little more for a product that seemed on the higher end of Nature Republic's items. For $24 I could buy a potentially better cream from a higher end brand. That said, I know price isn't everything, as shown by this cream; Nature Republic usually have very good products for great prices and this is a good product, just not for the price tag. I'd rather try other creams or stick to my regular one. 3/5 stars for me.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

6 Movies Every Lolita Should Watch

I thought I'd break up the reviews a little bit and write about something else! What else do I love except beauty? Oh yeah, fashion! More specifically, Japanese fashion and Lolita. I have a huge list of Lolita topics/questions in a Word Document I whip out when I hit a bit of a blogging slump (as well as Gyaru ones too but I feel I should wear the fashion more before blogging about it >_<) that I accumulated from memes, other blogs, etc. so today I'll do an easy one - 6 films every Lolita should watch. It was originally 5 but I couldn't pick between two films I had picked out so screw it, this is my blog, WE'RE HAVING 6 OKAY.

Marie Antoinette (2006, Sofie Coppola)
Marie Antoinette is an obvious one but not THE most obvious one (I've saved that for the second entry). Whilst Marie Antoinette may not be focused on historical accuracy and the true to life tale of Marie Antoinette, I prefer it that way. It's a cute movie full of pretty dresses, cakes, spending time with friends, gossiping and whiling hours away reading, picnicking and having tea parties. Every Lolita likes to swan around like a princess when she's in her frills so I find Marie Antoinette very relatable. It also has Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge, Saxondale) in as a very sweet and loyal servant to Antoinette.

Kamikaze Girls (Shimotsuma Monogatari, 2004, Tetsuya Nakashima)
Of course, the obvious choice! I thought I'd leave it for the second entry to be a bit less obvious. Although I must confess, I haven't actually seen Kamikaze Girls! *sniff* I must not be a true Rorita... Even though I've not seen it, it's unmistakably Lolita as the guy who wrote it, Novala Takemoto, loves Lolita fashion and wrote it as a cute story of a Lolita and a yankee girl crossing paths. A must see I will bump up on my 'to watch list' as soon as possible.

The Doll Master (Inhyeongsa, 2004, Yong-ki Jeong)
It's hard to find 100% Lolita films so don't flame me for putting a horror film on here. The Doll Master is a Korean horror film about a girl who goes to a doll museum to be used as a model for making dolls but ends up finding that her beloved doll from her childhood, Mina, has came to life. Mina dresses and acts very cutely and the film has the whole 'protagonist reminisces about their childhood innocence and having to grow up - should we all grow up and leave that behind?' thing that could relate to people feeling like they have to 'grow up' from Lolita and wear more accepted clothing and stop liking cute things.

A Little Princess (1995, Alfonso Cuaron)
A Little Princess is a movie I watched as a little girl and instantly loved. It was very sad and bitter at times but inevitably has a happy ending. I had a book as a child too but never read it unfortunately. A Little Princess is about a little girl sent to a boarding school whilst her father is away serving for WWI but when he goes missing, presumed dead, there is no one to pay for her schooling so she is forced to work as a servant for the boarding school. She combats her poor living conditions and hard work by telling fantastical stories to the other girls and imagining herself in a better place. Towards the start of the film the little girl, Sara, dresses really cutely and the fantastical elements are very whimsical.

Ginger Snaps (2000, John Fawcett)
One for my Gothier counterparts now. Ginger Snaps is 100% a metaphor for hitting puberty in the means of a werewolf curse (hair appearing everywhere, turning crazy at the cycle of the moon?) but it's very dark, morbid and beautiful, perfect for when you're feeling melancholic. It is total Goth and Dark Mori inspiration for me in the sisters' outlook on life and wardrobe and is a very good watch.

Pan's Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno, 2006, Guillermo Del Toro)
Pan's Labyrinth is a sort-of horror film from the awesome director Guillermo Del Toro. Taken from the IMDB page because I'm not imaginative in the slightest, it is about the reserved stepdaughter of a sadistic army officer in fascist 1944 Spain. She escapes into a creepy as fuck yet captivating fantasy world, taken there by a fairy and meets a faun (Pan, although he's never given a name in the film) who tells her she is the princess of this fantasy world and must complete three tasks in order to prove her royalty or else she will never meet her real father, the king, again. Who doesn't dream of being a princess? Even better, the princess of a realm consisting of an older than time faun, man with eyes in his hands and toads with keys in their stomach.

The Phantom of the Opera (2004, Joel Schumacher)

I really love The Phantom of the Opera, it's probably my favourite musical of all. It has such romantic, dark aesthetics and a bittersweet storyline. I feel like all Lolitas would benefit from watching The Phantom of the Opera just to take in the pretty Parisian surroundings and opera house. I've never been one for celebrity crushes but I must admit Gerard Butler is pretty swanky as the Phantom.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Review: Dermal Snail Collagen Essence Face Mask

Hello everyone! I have a few reviews lined up to post so I will get started on them quick-sharpish. Today's review is from my first Koreadepart order (I'm making myself finish my first Koreadepart reviews before starting on my second ones >_<), Dermal Snail Collagen Essence Mask.
Brand: Dermal
Name: Snail Collage Essence Mask
Where to buy: Koreadepart ($5.27 for 10pc), Amazon UK (a whopping £22.69 for 10pc!), ($13.50 for 15pc) or ($46.50 for 31pc).

The masks are formulated with snail mucus, collagen and Vitamin E. It relaxes skin to create elastic and healthy skin according to Koreadepart.
Dermal Snail Collagen Essense Mask
It seems Dermal have changed the colour of the packaging for the Snail Collagen Essence type; the packaging is now brown instead of green. I take it is because snails are brown but to be honest, this is kind of offputting...I'd rather the packaging be green and imply nature, freshness, etc.

The new packaging - what makes me laugh is that the Amazon UK seller uses exactly the same image with Koreadepart's watermark on it - so people can just find the Koreadepart website instead! Stupid scalpers. >_> I also like that Dermal photoshopped the model's hair to be darker and more in line with the packaging. XD I still prefer the old green packaging however but they're both neither here nor there in terms of cuteness or sophistication. They look like you can probably find them in a lot of Korean drug and beauty stores.
Dermal Mask
Here is what the mask looks like opened up. They saved the eye patches so you can have extra essence underneath your eyes! The mask is made of a softish fabric, probably cotton and is saturated with the essence. It's not dripping wet but very saturated and thick (which is good!). The mask is white, as you can see and the essence is clear. As for the fit of the mask, it seems everyone has problems with sheet masks. XD The mask is actually spot on for the width of my face as I have a big round moon face - it covers all the sides of my cheeks perfectly well. The mask is a little long for my face; in order to get my lips to be in the cutout for them I have to lift the mask up. If I don't, the serum can sting my lips a little due to cleansing before. The mask slides down a little if you wear it whilst sitting up so I have to keep pulling it up a little (I usually wear it for the duration of my bath).

You wear the mask for around 15-20 minutes but to be honest, you can leave it on for however long you want. I usually wear it for around 25-30 minutes as that's about how long my bath takes. Afterwards you take the mask off and pat the remaining essence into your face until it is fully absorbed. After using the mask my skin feels soft, supple and nourished. There still seems to be an awful lot of essence left on the mask after using so I have actually folded it back up and put it back in the foil packaging to reuse for my next bath a couple of times. I think I did it for the first 3 of these masks that I used but then I wondered about germs or bacteria so now instead, I squeeze out some of the serum into my hand and apply it all over my face, fan it to absorb quicker and repeat until I'm almost out of serum. This gives a really luxurious, deep nourishment I do every so often; I can definitely feel the difference afterwards and the morning after.
The mask has a nice scent; it's definitely artificial though so if you're not a fan or sensitive to artificial fragrances you might want to consider this when purchasing. It's not overpowering but it's definitely there. It's sort of a generic fresh, slightly floral or planty scent that is popular in skincare products. I haven't had a reaction to the fragrance used since using these masks. I think I've used around 5-6 of them.
Aside from the mask fitting issues that aren't too dominant, this is a nice little mask. It's very cheap which is why I picked it in the first place but it doesn't seem like it doesn't do anything at all. It softens, nourishes and makes my skin feel bouncy and supple so it's nice for a once a week treat or just before a special occasion. I would definitely recommend this mask if you don't have any predominant skin issues that you'd prefer to be treated specifically (such as acne prone skin, sensitive skin, uneven skin tone, etc.) or you're just starting out in the world of face masks or Korean skincare. I would rebuy this as a skincare staple to use semi-frequently but I'd like to try out other masks and see if you get what you pay for. 4/5 stars for me!