Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Cosmetic Conglomerate Companies: Which Cosmetics Company Owns Which Brands?

Hey everyone! Today I've got a rather informative post for you all - I'm part of a beauty chat group on Facebook and we were discussing which umbrella/parent cosmetics companies own which brand. For example, the starting topic was that a girl didn't know that Estee Lauder owns quite a few brands like Bobbi Brown, MAC, Origins, etc. We then went on to discuss what companies own which brands and I decided it'd make quite a good blog post, if only to be surprised at who owns what, and perhaps to showcase UK cosmetics brands that others overseas may not know. It's similar to my Korean brands post but isn't as inclusive. There's many more Western/UK brands out there not owned by umbrella companies.

From Estee Lauder's website: 'For over 60 years, The Estee Lauder Companies has built an unrivaled portfolio of brands. Our products are sold in over 150 countries and range from entry-level prestige to ultra premium luxury.' Entry-level prestige usually means around the £10-£20 mark, whilst ultra premium luxury means anything from £80+ for a product.

Aerin - Founded by Aerin Lauder, granddaughter of Estee Lauder, Aerin is a premium beauty, fragrance and lifestyle brand.
Aramis - Premium men's fragrance brand.
Aveda - Premium haircare brand, sold and used in many salons and spas.
Bobbi Brown - Premium cosmetics brand founded by make-up artist Bobbi Brown, acquired by Estee Lauder in 1995.
Bumble and Bumble - Premium haircare brand.
Clinique - Premium cosmetics brand with a cosmeceutical brand image. Founded in 1968, it's the first dermatologist developed brand offering custom-fit skincare and makeup.
Coach - Premium clothing and fragrance line.
Darphin - Premium Parisian-based cosmetics brand, used in many salons and spas.
Donna Karen - Premium clothing and fragrance line (DKNY), acquired in 1997.
Ermenegildo Zegna - Premium mens clothing and fragrance brand.
Estee Lauder - Premium cosmetics brand.
Flirt! - Low-to-medium end cosmetics brand with a bright, young image, available at Kohl's Department store.
Goodskin Labs - Premium skincare brand with a cosmeceutical image.
Jo Malone - Premium fragrance and lifestyle brand
Kiton - Premium fragrance brand.
La Mer - Ultra premium luxury (£100+) cosmetics brand, their most famous product is 'Creme de la Mer' which starts at £105 for a 30ml pot and is £1340 for 500ml!
Lab Series Skincare forMen - Premium mens skincare brand.
MAC - Premium cosmetics brands with a professional make-up artist brand image.
Mami - Premium fragrance brand acquired in 2011.
Michael Kors - Premium fashion and cosmetics brand acquired in 2003 - in 2013 Michael Kors started producing cosmetics.
Ojon - Premium haircare brand with a naturalistic brand image.
Origins - Premium cosmetics brand with a naturalistic brand image - their tagline is 'Powered by nature. Proven by science.'
Osiao - Luxury cosmetics brand heavily focused on traditional Chinese medicine and ingredients, with all their products made in Japan.
Prescriptives - Premium cosmetics brand.
Smashbox - Premium cosmetics brand born from Smashbox Studios; their cosmetics are tried and tested under studio lights and atmosphere. Brand image and products are similar to MAC.
Tom Ford - Luxury cosmetics brand - one lipstick is like, £50.
Tommy Hilfiger - Premium cosmetics and fragrance brand.
Tory Burch - Created in 2013, a premium fragrance and beauty brand.

My thoughts: I knew Estee Lauder own a lot of brands but I never realised how many. It seems they're becoming a cosmetics powerhouse.

Lancome - Premium cosmetics brand.
Giorgio Armani Beauty - Premium cosmetics brand.
Yves Saint Laurent - Premium cosmetics brand.
Biotherm - Mid-range cosmetics brand with a cosmeceutical brand image.
Kiehl's - Mid-range cosmetics brand featuring a focus on natural ingredients.
Ralph Lauren - Premium fragrance and cosmetics brand.
Shu Uemura - Premium Japanese cosmetics brand.
Cacharel - Premium fragrance brand.
Helena Rubinstein - Premium cosmetics brand focused on anti-aging products.
Clarisonic - Premium cosmetics brand most famous for their Clarisonic Cleansing Brush.
Diesel - Premium mens fragrance brand.
Viktor Rolf - Premium fragrance brand with a cute/pretty brand image.
Yue Sai - Premium Chinese cosmetics brand.
Maison Martin Margiela - Premium fragrance brand.
Guy Laroche - Premium cosmetics brand.
Paloma Picasso - Premium cosmetics brand.
L'Oreal Paris - Low-to-mid range cosmetics brand.
Garnier - Low end haircare brand.
Maybelline - Low end cosmetics brand with a young brand image.
Softsheen.Carson - Mid range cosmetics brand tailored to consumers of African descent.
L'Oreal Professional - Mid range haircare brand from L'Oreal Paris.
Kerastase Paris - Mid range haircard brand.
Essie - Low to mid range nailcare brand.
Redken - Premium haircare brand used a lot in salons and spas.
Matrix - Premium haircare brand used a lot in salons and spas.
Pureology - Premium haircare and colour brand.
Shu Uemura: Art of Hair - Premium haircare brand from Shu Uemura.
Mizani - Premium haircard brand tailored to frizzy, curly or kinky hair types.
Carita Paris - Premium cosmetics brand.
Decleor Paris - Premium skincare brand used a lot in salons and spas.
Vichy - Mid to high end cosmetics brand.
La Roche-Posay - Premium skincare brand with a cosmeceutical brand image.
SkinCeuticals - Premium cosmetics brand with a cosmeceutical brand image.
Inneov - Mid to high end dietary supplements brand.
The Body Shop - Mid range cosmetics brand heavily focused on skincare and natural ingredients.
Roger&Gallet - Premium French cosmetics brand.
Sanoflore - Premium cosmetics brand featuring essential oils and suitable for sensitive skins.

Aussie - Mid end haircare brand focused on Australian culture and ingredients.
Avril Lavigne Fragrances - Mid end fragrance brand.
Boss Black Fragrances - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Boss Orange Fragrance - Mid to high end fragrances brand.
Boss Skincare - Mid to high end skincare brand.
Christina Aguilera Fragrances - Mid end fragrance brand.
Dolce&Gabbana - Premium cosmetics and fragrance brand.
Dunhill Fragrances - Mid end fragrance brand.
Escada - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Gucci Fragrances - Premium fragrance brand.
Head and Shoulders - Low end haircare brand focused on anti-dandruff products.
Herbal Essences - Low end haircare brand.
HUGO Fragrances - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Lacoste Fragrances - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Max Factor - Mid end cosmetics brand.
Nice n' Easy - Low end haircare brand.
Olay - Mid end cosmetics brand formerly known as 'Oil of Olay'.
Old Spice - Mid end mens fragrance brand.
Pantene - Low to mid end haircare brand.
Perfect 10 - Low to mid end haircare and colour brand.
Rochas Fragrances - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Sassoon (Wella) - Mid end haircare brand used in salons.
Silvikrin - Premium haircare brand used in salons.
Sebastian Professional - Mid end haircare brand.
System Professional (Wella) - Mid end haircare brand.
SK-II - Ultra premium luxury Japanese cosmetics brand endorsed by many Japanese celebrities.
Wella Professional Care & Style & Colour - Mid end haircare brand.

My thoughts: I thought P&G owned more cosmetics companies that this, especially since many of them are fragrance and haircare brands. I am, however, surprised that they own SK-II, since it's rare for a Western company to own an Asian cosmetics brand. However, P&G are one of the most financially successful cosmetics conglomerates with a significant turnover.

Aveeno - Mid end skincare and haircare brand.
Clean & Clear - Low to mid end cosmetics brand primarily for acne-prone and problem skin.
Neutrogena - Mid end cosmetics brand.

My thoughts: I thought Johnson & Johnson owned way more brands than this, but apparently not. They have their own self-titled brand, Johnson & Johnson, which is just skincare/bodycare.

Adidas - Low to mid end fragrance brand.
Astor - Low end cosmetics brand.
Balenciaga - Premium fragrance brand.
Beyonce - Mid end fragrance brand.
Bottega Veneta - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Calvin Klein Fragrances - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Celine Dion - Mid end fragrance brand.
Cerruti - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Chloe - Premium fragrance brand.
Chopard - Premium fragrance brand.
CK One Color - Low to mid end cosmetics brand (a lot of their products can be found in Poundland and bargain bins).
David Beckham Fragrances - Mid end fragrance brand.
Davidoff - Mid end fragrance brand,
Enrique Inglesias - Mid end fragrance brand.
Esprit - Premium fragrance brand,
Guess - Low end fragrance brand.
Halle Berry - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Jennifer Lopez - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Jil Sander - Mid end fragrance brand.
Joop! - Low to mid end fragrance brand.
Jovan - Mid end fragrance brand,
Kate Moss - Mid end fragrance brand.
Katy Perry - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Lady Gaga - Mid end fragrance brand.
Lancaster - Mid end fragrance brand.
Madonna - Mid end fragrance brand.
Manhattan - Low end cosmetics brand, popular in Europe.
Marc Jacobs - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Miss Sporty - Low end cosmetics brand.
N.Y.C. (New York Colour) - Low end cosmetics brand.
Nautica - Mid end fragrance brand.
Nicole by OPI - Mid end offshoot of OPI nailcare brand.
Nikos - Mid end fragrance brand.
OPI - High end nailcare brand.
Philosophy - High end bodycare brand.
Pierre Cardin - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Playboy - Low to mid end fragrance and cosmetics brand.
Rimmel - Low to mid end cosmetics brand.
Roberto Cavalli - Mid to high end fragrance brand.
Sally Hansen - Mid end nailcare brand.
Stetson - Mid end fragrance brand.
Tim McGraw - Mid end fragrance brand.
Tjoy - Mid to high end bodycare brand focused on using traditional Chinese medicine ingredients.
Tonino Lamborghini - Mid end fragrance brand.
Vera Wang - Mid to high end fragrance brand with a girly, princessy brand image, similar to Anna Sui.
Vespa - Low to mid end fragrance brand.
Vivienne Westwood - Mid to high end fragrance brand.

I was under the impression that Coty had a much bigger range of brands but it seems they're declining recently. They own a lot of celebrity fragrances and to be honest, that doesn't give me the best impression of them haha. They have managed to keep a couple of premium brands under their belt though, like Vera Wang, Vivienne Westwood and OPI.

Christian Dior - Premium cosmetics brand with an elegant, sophsticated brand image. Endorsed by Natalie Portman (Diorskin) and Charlize Theron (J'Adore).
Guerlain - Premium cosmetics brand.
Givenchy - Premium cosmetics brand.
Kenzo - Premium cosmetics brand most famous for their fragrance 'Flower by Kenzo'.
Benefit - Premium cosmetics brand with a young, fun brand image. Bestselling products include Benetint, High Beam and Erase Paste concealer.
Fresh - Premium cosmetics brand.
Make Up For Ever - Premium cosmetics brand with a professional make-up artist brand image.
Acqua di Parma - Premium fragrance brand.
Loewe - Premium fragrance brand.
Fendi - Premium fragrance brand.
Nude - Premium skincare brand founded in the UK in 2007.

My thoughts: I hadn't really heard much about this company until I started doing research for this article but they have a very high class portfolio of brands.

Almay - Low to mid end cosmetics brand suitable for sensitive skins.
Charlie - Low end fragrance brand, most popular with teenage girls.
Mitchum - Mid end skincare brand, primarily deodorant products.
Ultima II - Premium cosmetics brand.
Revlon - Low to mid end cosmetics brand.

My thoughts: Revlon used to have more brands and divisions of their brand but it seems many have been discontinued or simply transitioned into the Revlon brand and products.

Dove - Low end skincare brand.
Axe/Lynx - Low end mens fragrance brand.
Lux - Low end skincare brand.
Sunsilk - Low to mid end haircare brand.
Pond's - Low end skincare brand most famous for Pond's Cold Cream.
Timotei - Mid end haircare brand.
Radox - Low to mid end bodycare brand.
Vaseline - Low end skincare brand.
Simple - Low end skincare brand suitable for sensitive skins.
Tresemme - Mid end haircare brand.
VO5 - Mid end haircare brand.

My thoughts: Like P&G, I thought Unilever owned more cosmetics brands than this. It seems other cosmetics brands like Estee Lauder and L'Oreal Paris are becoming the cosmetic powerhouses whilst Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and P&G are concentrating on more accessible brands like household and lifestyle.

Shiseido - Premium Japanese cosmetics brand that has broken the Western cosmetics barrier.
Cle de Peau Beaute - Premium cosmetics brand.
Bare Minerals - Premium cosmetics brand.
NARS - Premium cosmetics brand with a professional make-up artist brand image. One of their well known products is the NARS Blush in 'Orgasm'.
Za - Mid end Asian cosmetics brand, hard to find much information about it in the UK.
IPSA - Mid end Asian cosmetics brand.
Ettusais - Mid to high end Asian cosmetics brand.
D'icila - Mid to high end Asian cosmetics brand for mature skin.
Ayura - Mid end Asian cosmetics brand.
Soka Mocka - Premium Asian cosmetics brand with a naturalistic brand image.
Benefique - Premium Asian cosmetics brand.
D Program - Mid end Asian cosmetics brand.
Aupres - Premium Asian cosmetics brand.
Urara - Premium Asian cosmetics brand.
Elixir Superieur - Premium Asian skincare brand for mature skin.
Elixir White - Premium Asian skincare brand focused on whitening products.
Elixir Prior - Premium Asian skincare brand for 'aging gracefully'; reminds me of Lancome's Absolut line.
Aqua Label - Premium Asian skincare brand focused on moisturising products.
Senka - Premium Japanese skincare brand.
Qiora - Premium Asian skincare brand which 'focuses on the relationship between fragrance and skin'. ????
Haku - Premium Asian skincare brand focused on lightening and preventing dark spots.
Revital Granas - Premium Asian skincare brand for mature skin.
The Ginza - Premium Asian skincare brand with a 'cosmeceutical' brand image.
D-Q (Dermal Quotient) - Premium Asian dermatologically developed skincare brand.
Pure&Mild - Asian skincare brand suitable for sensitive skins.
Pure&Mild SOI - Asian skincare brand whose focus is products with no fragrance, colour, alcohol and 'created by a combination of the power of earth and science'.

My thoughts: I was surprised to learn that Shiseido owns Bare Minerals and NARS, and it was interesting to learn about the other premium Asian brands that own that I haven't heard of before.

There are a few brands known in the UK that none of these companies seem to own, i.e. Clarins, Collection 2000, Sleek, etc. It seems these companies are self-run, and in the case of Collection 2000, they are owned by a company called LF Beauty who seem to offer low end cosmetics to consumers.

Having an active interest and previously worked in beauty, I've heard lots of things about cosmetics companies and the brands they own and acquire. I heard from a man selling cheap market stall make-up that Coty was becoming bankrupt and would soon discontinue or sell their cosmetics brands, which was obviously a huge pile of bullshit. I don't know where he got the idea to say that, unless he thought I'd suddenly panic-buy all his cheap Rimmel and Constance Carroll products. >_> I also heard from a beauty counter colleague that ever since L'Oreal owned Urban Decay, I should expect their quality of products to decrease or 'never be the same again'. Again, bullshit. Again with L'Oreal, that ever since they owned Yves Saint Laurent, all their fragrances started to smell the same and decrease in quality, which I disagree with too. Their new fragrance, Black Opium, smells a lot different to their previous Opium fragrances. I also heard that Chanel owns Bourjois and that Bourjois is kind of like the Chanel 'value' range and gets all the products that aren't quite good enough for Chanel. After a quick Google, it seems that it is the other way round, in fact - Bourjois owns Chanel and it has no bearing on either brands products. It makes me feel a bit more positive about Bourjois products; not that I had anything against their products to begin with.

It seems that just because a cosmetics company buys a certain brand does not mean that the brand will then completely change and reflect the other brands the company owns. They bought the brand to expand their hold on the cosmetics world, and whatever the brand is doing right (for example, Urban Decay's famous Naked palettes or Yves Saint Laurent's fragrances), they will continue doing - it wouldn't make sense for the cosmetics company to buy a brand because their products are high quality and popular, for them to then change the products?! I think the only time it matters which company owns which brand is when it's a matter of animal testing - I have no opinion on the matter but for someone who is conscious of brands that test on animals, or companies that condone the testing on animals, might want to watch out which companies are buying and selling brands, since their policies might change.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

My Halloween Bonanza 2014!

Hey everyone! I've been wanting to blog for a few days now but I wasn't sure what I wanted to write about. I figured I'd tell you about my super Halloween bonanza I've made for myself to enjoy a week of full Halloween!

On the actual day of Halloween, I'm going to London to see one of my favourite musicians of all time - Voltaire! I never dreamed I'd get to see him live so I'm soooooo excited! I've listened to him non-stop since I discovered him last year; can you be in love with someone's voice? I'm pretty sure you can. He's being supported by Gladstone and The Memepunks; I've seen The Memepunks before. I went to see Rasputina last year in London, at the same venue, The Purple Turtle, and The Memepunks were supporting them. The Memepunks make fun mash-ups of songs, including the Inspector Gadget theme tune + Love Cats by The Cure and Dead or Alice by Bon Jovi + the Firefly theme tune! They also sang Voltaire's 'When You're Evil' at Rasputina, when I didn't know who Voltaire was and I liked the song so much I researched it and my love of Voltaire began! So thank you so so much, Memepunks! *0* After Voltaire there's a Goth club event called 'Necropolis' until 4am so I think I'll check that out too! I'm staying at a different hostel to the one I normally stay at, and it's 3 minutes away from the venue - fucking awesome!

Then the next day I'm off to Chester early in the morning for a Halloween tea party with my bestie Jayde and the other amazingly lovely girls of the North West Lolita community! I love the Halloween tea party meets, they're always so nice, relaxed and full of food!

Leading up to this kickass weekend I'll be watching horror films, playing scary video games and listening to appropriate music. I've always loved Halloween but I always let the fun come to me - if no one was doing anything for Halloween, I wouldn't end up doing anything. I think this year I've realised that annual holidays like Halloween are only as fun as you make them; people like to say 'Oh, I'm too old for Halloween/Christmas' but if you want to enjoy them, do whatever you like to enjoy it! Dress up, decorate your house, watch appropriate films, etc!

I bet you're thinking 'What? Halloween-themed music? Isn't that really cheesy?' Nope! Here are my suggestions for Halloween appropriate music that isn't cheesy in the slightest.

Aural Vampire are an electro band featuring lead vocalist Exo-Chika and Raveman. Exo-Chika is a vampire and has real vampire fangs - this is all year round, not just Halloween! Raveman is a super scary butcher, again, all year round! They did, however, bring out a single for Halloween called 'Soloween', featuring songs like 'Back to Halloween', 'Soloween' and 'Halloween Jive'. The songs are sooooo super catchy and well-made, definitely not cheesy at all! I listen to them all year round but I really love to listen to them near Halloween.

Tommy Heavenly6 is an alter ego of Tomoko Kawase - she is the lead singer of The Brilliant Green and makes music under the alter ego of Tommy February6 too; February6 is more 80s inspired electro pop whilst Heavenly6 is more pop-punk and rock. They made a 'collaboration' album called 'Halloween Addiction' which is like a story of Tommy February6 & Heavenly6's back story, tied in with Halloween. My favourite songs from the album are 'Lollipop Candy Bad Girl', 'I'm Your Devil' and 'Never Ending Party Night'. The story is a little cheesy, especially with the little stories told in between songs, but in a good way! Again, I listen to the actual songs (not the story snippets) all year round but feel I can break them out even more at Halloween.

Of course, how could I mention Halloween-appropriate songs without mentioning Voltaire?! Voltaire's music is hard to fit into one genre but a lot of people say it is dark cabaret, similar to Amanda Palmer/The Dresden Dolls, Rasputina and Emilie Autumn. His songs vary from heart-melting lovely, heartbreaking, hilariously tongue-in-cheek and downright silly but he's also a performer/entertainer, comedian, author, animator and even toy maker! His songs often have eerie, creepy or Gothic themes and the fact he's having a Halloween party/concert is all the more reason to break them out at Halloween. My favourite songs of his tend to change but some classics of mine are 'Dead Girls', 'Bachelor(ette)', 'Caught a Lite Sneeze', 'The Chosen' and 'Hell in a Handbasket'. 'Bachelor(ette)' and 'Caught a Lite Sneeze' are actually covers of Bjork songs but they're sooooo great!

Yesterday I watched 'Let The Right One In', a Swedish horror film about the bittersweet love of a human and a vampire. Hearing that, it's definitely no 'Twilight' and I feel it's pitched wrong to an English-speaking audience. On the DVD cover and trailers it's pitched as a full-blown horror film but I'd say it's more of a romantic drama with horror elements in it. Oskar is a human boy who finds it hard to fit in and gets bullied, whilst Eli lives off of blood and has been 12 for a long time. Eli's gender is disputed and is portrayed as a girl for most of the film so I'd describe Eli as androgynous or gender-fluid. The film is so sweet and melancholic, it's one of my favourites.

I'm going to start playing Silent Hill 3 tonight since I've wanted to play it for a while, so what would be a better time than coming up to Halloween?! I've played Silent Hill 2 and have got Silent Hill 1 to play too at some point.

I'll try and get some photos of my outfits for the Friday and Saturday of Halloween to show you! In the mean time, have a great Halloween! Are you doing anything special for it?

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Review: Caolion Multi Soothing Booster Gel

Hi everyone! I just sorted out all my beauty review folders on my computer and I have soooo many reviews that are piling up haha...almost 145?! Including all the skincare I used to use and lipsticks... >_< So I'm going try to get on top of them, since there are lots that I've finished the product of, so I don't want to forget my opinion of the items!

Brand: Caolion
Name: Multi Soothing Booster [Gel]
Price: $21 (Wishtrend), $10 + $1.50 shipping (Qoo10), $27.99 (eBay)

I won this product in a $300 shopping spree from Peach and Lily. I picked a selection of products, some of which I've already reviewed, including Be The Skin Botanical Power Nutrition Toner, Essence and Cream. This seemed like an interesting product to try since it says it has tons of uses, including as a toner, cooling eye mask, cooling and soothing face mask, etc. You get 100ml of product in a squeezy tube. On the tube it says the product is mostly Aloe Vera gel and snail extract. I can't seem to find this product on Peach and Lily's website any more so it seems they don't sell it but you can find it on the above stores.

It 'soothes sensitive skin by quick absorption', 'provides ample hydration to dry skin' and 'quickly gets through the skin'.
The packaging looks quite mid end and clinical. The outer box is white and gold/yellow with black writing and an image of a grey snail with a clock for a shell. The actual product packaging is clear with a dark blue gradient on the top of the tube. The writing is black and white with the same image of the clock snail. The tube is made of flexible plastic with a white lid that snaps shut and can be squeezed to release the product. The packaging is kind of neither here nor there for me - it's not ugly but it's not cute, pretty or luxurious looking. It's inoffensive.



This is the size of the tube in comparison to my hand. There's 100ml of product in the tube. It's a pretty good size which is good, since there's lots of uses for the product so I wanted to try as many of them as possible.
The list of uses that Caolion Multi Soothing Booster includes:
'As a booster: Before using base [skin]care, apply this first to soothe and moisturise skin, and subsequent steps will work much more effective on your skin'.
You can use this as a toner, effectively. It absorbs and spreads easily, giving your skin light and soothing hydration ready to receive your other skincare items.

'As an emergency soothing pack: When your skin has turned red and irritated from external environments, this will effectively calm skin. In summertime, use it refrigerated so you can get quicker and more effective soothing'.

'As an emergency moisture pack: When your skin suddenly loses suppleness, or when using wash-off packs and mask packs feel too bothersome, take an ample amount of Multi-soothing Booster and spread it on the surface. It will soon turn moist and supple.'

Also as a make-up primer, make-up mixer (mix with foundation or BB cream for a sheer, dewy effect), as an eye pack, hydration gel for body, moisturising gel for hands and nails and as a hair treatment. I'm sure when I bought it the body, hands and hair uses weren't mentioned.

I tried it as many ways as possible, including as a toner, emergency hydration pack, eye pack and make-up mixer.

The product itself is clear, a little thick but easily spread and absorbed, and smells mostly of Aloe Vera.

As a toner, it provided quick, soothing hydration that absorbed easily and made my skin feel ready to receive other skincare products.

As an emergency hydration pack, it was very cool and soothing, and gave me a slight moisturising feel. It wasn't anything spectacular, if I needed lots of hydration I would've used a proper mask.

I got red and swollen eyes due to a nasty cold last year, so in an attempt to soothe my eyes for work, I did what was recommended for the soothing eye packs, and soaked cotton wool pads in the gel. I placed them on top of my closed eyes for about half an hour and then removed them. They felt cool and soothed afterwards, and the puffiness went down slightly but it wasn't anything drastic. However, there was a medical reason for my puffy eyes, so I have a feeling this use would be good for tired or dry eyes.

Here I demonstrated what the Multi Soothing Booster was like when used as a make-up mixer. Other products like Etude House's Nymph Aura Volumer do the same thing. You mix the product with BB cream or foundation (usually on a 1:1 ratio but you can experiment) for a sheerer, more moisturising dewy finish. Here I just used a foundation I was using at the time, I think it was Nature Republic Vanilla Sky or Makeup Forever HD Mat Velvet Foundation.

The mixer all mixed in. It makes the foundation a bit more gel like and cooling.

On the left, my bare cheek with no make-up on it. On the right, with the foundation+mixer on top. You can see the sheer coverage with a slightly dewy effect; even though the coverage is sheer, it still cools, soothes and combats any redness I had. It was pretty nice for casual errand-running days, I wouldn't use it if I had a meeting or event.
I chose this product more for the novelty of it but it seems pretty good. The many uses were interesting and it does carry them out well; however, I notice it is made up of 99% aloe vera gel, and the other 1% is snail extract, black bean extract and other items. I'm pretty sure you can just buy pure aloe vera gel from a drugstore or similar and use it for these many uses. After discovering that, I wouldn't spend $18-$27 on this product. I can't imagine the 1% snail extract and black bean extract does much for your skin, it's a very small amount. However, a product like this is great in a pinch, since I started using it as a toner when mine ran out, then I tried it on my eyes when they were puffy from a cold, etc. I'd give this item 3 stars out of 5 but wouldn't purchase again.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Goth Post Prompts: Something I'm Saving Up For

In a desperate bid to get all my drafted blog posts either written and published, or deleted if they're not relevant any more, today I'll be talking about a few things I'd like to save up for in my Goth wardrobe.

Two items I have wanted for so long now are Adora Batbrat's own designs:

Adorable Heart blouse
Adorable Heart Blouse - $92

Victorian collar
Victorian Collar - $50

Both items are soooooo super cute and whilst they're expensive, they're Adora's own designs and are made in a small quantity. The blouse is made from chiffon and is wrinkle free, with a super cute heart design on the torso and puffed sleeves. The collar is made from bridal satin with polka dot tulle trim. I really want to support Adora's shop but at the moment I'm saving for Japan so it will still have to wait. ;w;

Leather Corset with Bolero and Belt
This is something else I have discovered recently and must own at some point! It's sooooooo cool and edgy! Very futuristic Goth Steampunk Blade Runner Aeonflux-esque! I love the built in bolero and belt/holster. A lot of places like Corsets UK sell pieces like these but I'm going to try Taobao for stell boned corsets one day and see how they are!

Hell Bunny Corset Top
This is a Victorian lace top from Hell Bunny - Hell Bunny hardly do any nice stuff nowadays, it's all Rockabilly/Horrorbilly style stuff so I really want to get this at some point!

Manic Panic® Vegan Dreamtone Flawless Foundation in Virgin
Another thing I'm on the look out for is Manic Panic's infamous Dreamtone Foundation in Virgin (white). It's soooo hard to find and sold out everywhere! You can either wear it on its own or mix it with other foundations to make them paler; I'd use it for the latter mostly and maybe the former for more uber Goth outfits, costumes and Shironuri. It's a slightly cheaper alternative to Illamasqua, MAC or Face Atelier but it still looks good quality. There are some cheap white foundations but I can imagine they're chalky and/or don't have great coverage, stuff like Laval, Stargazer (personally tried it, very chalky and sheer although the formula could've changed since I last used it) or Barry M.

Iron Fist Caged Zipper Rib Cage Skeleton One Piece Swimming Costume Swimsuit (Small UK 10) £40
This super awesome swimsuit is from Iron Fist and is unfortunately almost £40 :( It's soooo cool though and due to it being a one piece swimsuit, you can wear it anywhere as opposed to a bikini. I might see if Taobao do a similar one.

They are the main things I am lusting after right now! Do you have any coveted wishlist items?

Sunday, 19 October 2014

October 2014 Cosmetics Haul

Hey everyone! On Saturday I finished my job at a premium beauty counter so just before I left, I took advantage of the Christmas staff discount and bought wayyyyy too much makeup haha >_< And before that I bought some Korean makeup which arrived recently too, so I decided to make it one big haul post. Now I pretty much have enough makeup to last me like, 6 years... m(_ _)m But I won't be able to use the discount any more so I may as well have got it there and then!

Recently I decided that, instead of my makeup bag being filled with lipsticks and lipglosses, I'm going to build a proper little makeup bag with all the essentials, then pick the lipstick/lipgloss I want to wear on the day and take it with me. Up until now my makeup bag has been chockablock with lipsticks and lipglosses, yet if my eyeliner smudged or my face needed powdering, I'd just have to suck it up as I didn't have anything else. Now I've bought everything I need and used up duplicates of products I've already got to ensure I'm always prepared for any makeup emergency! Here are the new items I bought:
I wanted a cheap touch-up powder for my makeup bag so I got this super cute It's Skin Babyface Pore Powder - look at the little wings! Unfortunately the wings are part of the outer plastic packaging but it still has the cute smiling face on the actual powder lid.

I treated myself to a new shade of Etude House's Dear My Jelly-Lips Talk; this is shade JPK002 which is a dark fuchsia pink. I also bought a replacement JPK003 since mine has almost ran out and has snapped at the base, so it wiggles around a bit. I love this whole line of lipsticks so much!

I got a sample of Etude House's Moistfull Collagen cream with the above purchases, which is really good because I recently wanted to try their Moistfull Collagen line!

I also received a free sample of Tony Moly's Luminous Glow Aura CC Cream. I have quite a few CC cream samples now, I should really start to try them. XD

I received a free sample of Missha's Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream. Again, I have heard good things about this line and wanted to try it so I'm pleased I got a sample of it!

I received a sample of BRTC's Jasmine Water BB Cream! It's been a while since I tried a BB cream so I can't wait to try this one.

For my makeup bag I bought a spare liquid eyeliner to place in it. I decided on Y.E.T's Catgirl Waterproof Pen Liner in Black. I'm always on the lookout for a kickass pen liquid liner so I hope this is great; if so, I'll buy another one to replace my main one when it runs out.

Secret Key's High Lasting Sun Cream SPF50 PA+++. I bought this to replace my Skinfood Gold Kiwi Sun Cream SPF50 that I somehow lost when travelling... >_<;

With the above purchases I received a free sample of Tony Moly's Berrianne Cream. I'm not sure what it's supposed to do without a quick Google but the berry-sounding name and pink colour makes me thing either moisture (thinking of Skinfood's Watery Berry line) or whitening.

A free sample of Etude House's Fresh Cherry Tint! Lip and cheek tints are a staple of Korean cosmetics yet I've never actually tried one; I think this particular one is pretty well known, like the Korean version of Benefit's Benetint so I look forward to trying it.

Tony Moly I'm Real Tea Tree Sebum & Pore Lotion. It's for oily and porous skin types so I'll give it to my friend Paulina to try!

I was given a free sample of Etude House's Moistfull Super Collagen Cream too! I wanted to try their original Moistfull Collagen line,then learned about the newer Moistfull Super Collagen line so now I have a sample of each of their cream to try! Yay!

I also received a free sample of It's Skin Prestige Creme D'Escargot cream. I'm always intrigued by luxury lines of skincare brands so I look forward to trying it.

Whilst shopping at Boots I was given a free No.7 gift from my dear friend Jenny!

In it you got a small eyeshadow; the shade is the middle one from their Cappuccino trio palette, apparently (it says on the back!).

No.7 High Shine Lip Crayon in Delicate Pink. It's brighter than I expected for the shade name but it's nothing I'm afraid of!

No.7 Skin Illuminator Radiance Boosting Beauty Fluid in Peach. I have actually been wanting to find a new highlighter and tried Benefit's Watts Up at their counter but found it looked cloggy on my skin so I hope this is good. It has the same champagne/peach colour that I wouldn't normally have tried on my skin tone but the Watts Up did look nice, it's just a shame it looked a bit cloggy. Maybe I should try and blend it in more with the sponge tip on the other end of the applicator? The store tester looked really dirty though...

No.7's Exceptional Definition Mascara. I haven't tried a No. 7 mascara so I'm excited to see the results.

I stopped at the Clinique counter on my last lunch break and got their Foaming Sonic Facial Soap - I've recently got their new Sonic Systems Purifying Cleansing Brush and this foaming soap is recommended to go with it. It's at a special price of £10 at the moment so I thought I may as well pick it up and give it a try! I'm currently working through my other soaps though, including Clinique's Extra Mild Liquid Facial Soap, Clinique Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser, Nature Republic Blemish Lab Sebum Clear Cleansing Foam and I've also got a sample of Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and their muslin cloth to try before but I may as well stock up.

I'm currently using Cinique's Clarifying Lotion #1 for Very Dry to Dry skin but I think my skin needs a little more exfoliation, so I asked for a sample of their Clarifying Lotion #2. I can't wait to try it!

I treated myself to Lancome's All Eyes on You Mascara Set. For £22.50, the price of one of their full sized mascaras, you get a full size Hypnose mascara and three mini Hypnose Drama, Hypnose Doll Eyes and Hypnose Star mascaras. It's a great introduction to their mascaras since I've never tried them!

Lancome Hypnose Mascara, apparently the world's best selling mascara!

Mini Hypnose Drama mascara. My friends Emma and Paulina's favourite mascara is this one.

Hypnose Doll Eyes mascara. Apparently this one is more natural looking but the name is cute.

Hypnose Star mascara. Apparently this one does a bit of everything - length, volume, curl, etc. The full sized packaging is cute, it has a silver glitter gradient going up from the bottom of the tube.

My friend Emma was nice enough to give me a free Lancome gift with my purchase! Beauty counter friends rock <3
Lancome Hydra Zen Neurocalm Soothing Anti-Stress Moisturising Cream SPF15. This is apparently good for dry skin so I can't wait to try it!

Lancome Hydra Zen Nuit Neurocalm Soothing Recharging Night Cream, the night version of Lancome's Hydra Zen line. Again, looking forward to trying this since I normally add a face oil or sleeping mask to my night-time skincare routine rather than a night cream.

Lancome Advanced Genefique Youth Activating Concentrate. One of their most best selling items, I think?

Lancome Hydra Zen Yeux Neurocalm Anti Puffiness Eye Contour Gel Cream. I have a couple of eye cream samples to try before I need to buy a full sized one again. I'm currently using a full sized Secret Key Snail & EGF Repairing Eye Cream but my favourite so far is Balance Syn-ake Snake Venom Eye Cream.

Lancome Juicy Tubes lipgloss. I remember when these were a best seller when I was younger, reading glossy magazines like Glamour and Company. I wanted one so bad, and even tried to pass off a Barry M lipgloss as a Juicy Tubes when the writing rubbed off the packaging! XD Nowadays the fuss has died down, I think, and I'll be interested to see what the hype is since it's just a lipgloss. I like the look of Lancome's new Lip Lover Lip Perfectors.

My friend over on the Dior counter,Sophie, told me about Dior's new Star foundation and gave me a sample of it. I really liked it so I decided to buy it whilst shopping! It also helped that the other Dior girl, Siobhan, gave me a free gift when I bought it. XD So many free gifts and samples... #fuckyeah

Diorskin Star Foundation in 010 Ivoire/Ivory. The colour is really nice, normally the palest colour is still too dark for me but this is nice and pale. It has a lovely luminising effect whilst still having good coverage too, something I haven't seen often. Usually when a foundation has a dewy finish, the coverage is sheer to moderate. I really want to start using this foundation now my sample has run out but I'm kind of...scared? Like if for some reason it's totally different to the sample and I don't like it, I won't be able to do anything since I already opened it... >_<

In the free Dior gift I got Diorskin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer. I'm always on the lookout for a great concealer so I can't wait to try this!

I got a mini Diorblush Vibrant Colour Powder Blush in the free gift too. The colour is a reddish pink, I think it'll be cute for trying the undereye blush look that is popular in Japanese street fashions!

The top of the blush, it looks so elegant and classy!

You also get a free makeup bag with the Dior free gift. It's pretty nice, and has a cute little Dior charm on the side!

A C (Christian), D (Dior) and a star! Super cute!

So there's everything I bought recently! Now I have to lock my bank account up for ages haha...I've never really gotten into premium cosmetics even though I've worked on a counter for just under 6 months so this was a great introduction to it, especially with all the freebies to try. I think I'll always love Korean cosmetics though, since the results and benefits of cheaper Korean brands can be as good or better than Western premium brands. There's something about pulling out a Dior foundation or blusher that makes you feel special though...dat marketing... >_> I'll be interested in comparing normal Korean brands and Western premium brands, and maybe even finding Korean dupes of Western premium products! Stay tuned for some reviews shortly! Regardless of my makeup counter experience, I will review everything with 100% honesty. If something sucks, I will bloody well tell you, especially if it is expensive!