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Monday, July 20, 2015

Etude House Play 101 Pencils

Point makeup baffles and amazes me in equal measure. I don't use lipsticks (but I'm a gloss hoarder), and though I do have a modest collection of eyeshadows, I am pretty clueless when it comes to how to use them. It's just too complicated. So yes, on me - it baffles me. On others - it amazes me.

Because all this brush and blend business is too much for me to comprehend, like most eye makeup challenged women out there, I look for an easy way out. Usually that means slapping on some idiot-proof mascara and done.

But certain occasions call for looks a bit more put together than "it's time to plough the rice field" (easy, we use tractors here, not buffalo). My rescue in times of such need has always been an eye pencil.

Way back when in a far distant land when I was just beginning my adventure with makeup, I chanced upon an Aveda store. Yes, I know that Aveda is mainly known for its hair products, but it does offer a full range of skincare and makeup as well. And back in those ancient times when dinosaurs still roamed the earth, Aveda had a truly amazing makeup collection.

The all purpose products that you, the young 'uns, think are a recent invention, all had been done before.
Like, for example, pencils that can be used on eyes, cheeks and lips:


Kolorowka przeraza i zachwyca mnie w rownej mierze. Nie uzywam szminek (ale za to zbieram blyszczyki), i choc mam mala kolekcje cieni do powiek, to nie bardzo wiem jak sobie z nimi poradzic. Przerasta mnie to. Caly ten bajzel pedzlowy to rowniez za duzo roboty. Wiec, jak wiekszosc kobiet sprawnych inaczej jesli chodzi o makijaz oka, i ja szukam latwego rozwiazania. Zazwyczaj takie rozwiazanie to sam tusz do rzes i jestem gotowa.

Ale sa okazje, ktore wymagaja lepszego wygladu niz to co zazwyczaj mam na twarzy. I w takich chwilach zawsze siegam po kredke do oczu.

Dawno, dawno temu, za gorami i za lasami, kiedy zaczynalam swoja przygode z makijazem, wpadlam przez przypadek na sklep marki Aveda. Tak, wiem, ze w Europie Aveda jest raczej znana jako marka produktow do wlosow. Ale oprocz pielegnacji wlosow, Aveda oferuje rowniez pelna linie pielegancji skory, jak i makijazu. I w tych dawnych czasach, kiedy to jeszcze dinozaury biegaly po Manhattanie, Aveda miala w swej ofercie niesamowita kolekcje kolorowki.
Wszystkie te cuda kolorowkowe, ktore obecnym mlodocianym wydaja sie takie nowe i rewolucyjne, to odgrzane kotlety sprzed wielu lat.
Jak, na przyklad, kredki, ktore mozna uzywac do oczu, policzkow i ust:


I'm keeping this one for sentimental reasons.
The one that was used up to the shortest stub imaginable many moons ago was an amazing combination of the most gorgeous gold and copper. I bought one of them, and then went back to the store the next day and bought 9 more. Yes, I had 10 of them. I loved and cherished every single one of them every day for several years. My eyes looked awesome.

That gold! Oh, that gold! They don't make gold like that anymore. Delicate, with just a hint of subtle shimmer.

Ever since the day I said goodbye to the last one, I've been searching for a worthy replacement.


And that brings us to today's contestants - Etude House Play 101 Pencils.

Ten tutaj trzymam z powodow czysto sentymentalnych.
A ten, ktorego juz nie mam, bo zostal zuzyty do centymetrowego ogryzka, byl duetem najpiekniejszego zlota i miedzi. Kupilam jeden. I nastepnego dnia zaraz polecialam do sklepu i kupilam kolejnych 9 tego samego koloru. I wszystkie dziesiec kochalam do samego konca. Moje oczy wygladaly bardzo stylowo.
To zloto. Och, to zloto. Obecne firmy juz nie robia zlotych kredek, takich jak tamte. Delikatne, lekkie, powabne, z ledwo zauwazalnym blyskiem.
I od chwili, kiedy ostatni ogryzek wyladowal w koszu, szukam odpowiedniego nastepcy.

I tak to oto wchodzimy w dzisiejszy temat - Etude House Play 101 Pencils.



Just like the old-timers from Aveda, these are also meant to be used anywhere on the face.
They come in several different finishes:

I tak jak antyki z Avedy, te kredki rowniez moa byc uzywane wszedzie na twarzy.
Sa dostepne w kilku wykonczeniach:

  • matte / matowe
  • glitter / brokatowe, swiecace
  • creamy / kremowe
  • shimmer / blyszczace
  • glossy / gladkie, lsniace


Etude House is a Korean mass market brand hailing from Amore Pacific (one of the hugest beauty companies in Asia).
It's the Cover Girl of Korea, but kitsched out in cutesy and cringe-worthy packaging. Not my bunch of bananas.

Etude House to koreanska marka drogeryjna rodem z koncernu Amore Pacific (AP to jedna z najwiekszych firm kosmetycznych w Azji).
Etude House to odpowiednik Cover Girl or Maybelline, ale kiczowaty do oporu i w opakowaniach, ktorymi zachwycaja sie nastolatki. Zbyt tandetne nawet jak dla mnie, a ja lubie mass-marketowa tandete.



So why did I end up with not one, but three of Etude House Play 101 Pencils?
A part of my skincare order was out of stock and I had to quickly pick something else.
Unfortunately, Etude House thinks that everyone who is googling 'Etude House Play 101 Pencil" in Japan is Japanese, so the site immediately redirects to the Japanese version. So sorry, no link because of that.

Wiec dlaczego wyladowalam nie z jednym, a z trzema kredkami Etude House Play 101?
Robilam zakupy pielegnacyjne przez internet i czesc mojego zamowienia byla niedostepna i szybko musialam wymyslic zastepstwo.
Niestety, strona Etude House przekierowuje mnie automatycznie na wersje japonska, wiec nie jestem w stanie podac linka.

source: Etude House Japanese site


That alone should have been a sufficient sign that the company is staffed by idiots. In their defense, all big foreign cosmetic companies operating in Japan use the same tactic. Personally, it drives me up the wall. Frequently my readers send me a link to something on a foreign site, and the morons in Tokyo automatically assume that it's in my best interest to be redirected to a country-specific site. Thank heaven for proxy servers.

But where were we?
Ah yes, Etude House Play 101 Pencils...


To juz samo w sobie powinno byc dla mnie ostrzezeniem, ze Etude House zatrudnia glownie idiotow. Ale w ich obronie, prawie wszystkie swiatowe firmy kosmetyczne, ktore maja oddzialy w Japonii, robia tak samo. Czasem dostane od czytelnikow linka do zachodniej strony, ale idioci w Tokio automatycznie przekierowuja mnie na wersje japonska strony, bo zakladaja, ze kazdy z japonskim ISP to przeciez Japonczyk. Co ja bym zrobila bez proxy serwerow!

No ale, gdzie ja bylam?
Ach, Etude House Play 101 kredki...


~~~

Last year I tried some of the pencils and found them to be rather lacking. Drugstore quality, drugstore price, nothing to write home about. That basically sums up my entire Etude House experience to date.

So why again did I get 3 of them this time?
Simple. The gold swatch looked lovely, the matte swatch looked light and beautiful, and the silver swatch seemed very subtle.
I figured I'd give them an honest try.

W zeszlym roku mialam okazje sprobowac pare sztuk i zachwycona nie bylam. Drogeryjna jakosc za drogeryjna cene. I to w zasadzie podsumowuje wszystkie moje doswiadczenia do tej pory z Etude House.

Wiec co mnie napadlo, zeby kupic nie jeden, a trzy z nich?
Zloty swatch na zdjeciac wygladal bardzo ladnie, matowy swatch wydawal sie jasny i sliczny, a srebrny - na bardzo delikatny. Chcialam dac in szanse.


And since I was still searching for that perfect shade of gold, one thing led to another, and... stuff happened.

As you can see, I selected number 3 (silver), number 5 (gold) and number 8 (matte beigey something).

A poniewaz nadal szukalam mojego wymarzonego idealnego odcienia zlota, nie musialam sie dlugo zastanawiac.
Jak widac, wybralam numer 3 (srebrny), numer 5 (zloty) i numer 8 (matowy bez).


It looked pretty promising right out of the box.
Etude House Play 101 Pencils are the twist-type, no need to sharpen them.
If you like a more pointy tip, there is a handy sharpener gizmo attached to the end:

Wygladaly obiecujaco prosto z pudelka.
To wysuwane kredki, nie trzeba ich temperowac.
Jesli ktos lubi ostre zaostrzenie, to na koncu kredki znajduje sie "ostrzynka".


Very thoughtful and very convenient.

Let's take a look at them up close.

Etude House Play 101 Pencil number 8 (matte finish):

Bardzo milo i wygodnie.
Popatrzmy na te kredki z bliska.
Etude House Play 101 Pencil w kolorze numer 8 (matowe wykonczenie):

(sorry! the box is upside down)

Looks very promising, right? According to Etude House, it can be used as base, or liner, or shadow.

Etude House Play 101 Pencil number 5 (glitter finish), intended as eye shadow or eye liner:

Wyglada bardzo obiecujaco, nieprawdaz? Wedlug Etude House, ta kredka moze byc uzywana jako baza, albo jako liner, albo jak cien do powiek.

Etude House Play 101 Pencil w kolorze numer 5 (brokatowe wykonczenie), ktory moze byc uzywany albo jako cien do powiek, albo jako cien do powiek:


Had high hopes for this gold baby...

Etude House Play 101 Pencil number 3 (glitter finish), also meant as eye shadow or eye liner:


Bylam pelna nadziei przy tej zlotej kredce.

Etude House Play 101 Pencil w kolorze numer 3 (brokatowe wykonczenie), do uzycia jako cien do powiek, albo jako lajner:


The camera decided to do something strange with the white balance ratio here, but the pencil color is true to life.

And here are the swatches:

Apart zrobil cos dziwnego z balansem bieli, przepraszam. Ale kolor kredki jest taki, jak w rzeczywistosci.

A tutaj swatche:


Ugh, they weren't kidding when they said glitter.

Firma nie zartowala, kiedy napisali, ze to "brokat".


It's anything but subtle. It's "disco-ball-look-at-me" trailer-trashy glitter.

If that number 5 was "shimmer" instead of "glitter", I'd have something to work with.

Here's a comparison with some of the other pencils I own. Please excuse the marker memos, if I don't write down the order immediately, I tend to forget what was what:

Delikatne to one zdecydowanie nie sa. To odpustowy brokat w sam raz na niedzielne tance we wsiowej remizie.

Jesli numer 5 bylby "shimmer" (blyszczacy), zamiast "glitter" (brokatowy), to bylabym zadowolona.

Tutaj porownanie z innymi kredkami, ktore mam. Przepraszam, ze opisy markerem na skorze. Jak nie zanotuje to zapomne.


And I can't believe I used to complain that this Maybelline and Bobbi Brown were not smooth enough. Next to them Etude House Play 101 Pencil number 5 looks like it's made of chopped up chocolate wrappers.

Here's the smudge test:

Sama sie dziwie, ze byly czasy, kiedy twierdzilam, ze Maybelling, albo Bobbi Brown nie byly wystarczajo "gladkie".
Tutaj test rozmazywania:


Ipsa (a Japanese mid-range brand) went straight to hell. Shu Uemura unsurprisingly didn't budge at all. Maybelline surprisingly didn't budge at all. Bobbi Brown stayed put.

Etude House smudged some. Not much but enough to see that the glitter particles transferred around.

Here's a matte pencil comparison:


Ipsa (japonska marka sredniopolkowa) poszla w diably. Shu Uemura, zgodnie z oczekiwaniem, nie ruszyl sie. Maybelline, niezgodnie z oczekiwaniem, rowniez sie nie ruszyla. Bobbi Brown staly, tam gdzie byly.

Etude House rozmazalo sie nieznacznie. Ale jednak na tyle, aby zobaczyc, ze brokatowe drobinki powedrowaly, tam gdzie nie powinny.

A tutaj porownanie matowych kredek:


Of these three, the NYX Wonder Pencil in WP01 is my favorite.
Etude House Play 101 Pencil in number 8 looks very serviceable as well.

And the smudge test:

Z tych trzech, NYX Wonder Pencil w kolorze WP01 to moj ulubieniec.
Etude House Play 101 Pencil w kolorze numer 8 rowniez wyglada na bardzo uzyteczny.

A tutaj test rozmazywania:


Now you have the real reason why I chose a matte pencil. I desperately need a smudge-proof replacement for the Wonder Pencil fiasco. And until I can find something lighter, Etude House Play 101 Pencil in number 8 will do the job.

No comparison swatches for number 3, but I can tell you that it's very glittery and very smudge proof.

Not sure what kind of person would be interested in eyeliner ingredients, but just in case, here they are:

Teraz juz jasne dlaczego wybralam matowa kredke. Potrzebowalam zamiennika dla smuzacej tragedii, jaka okazal sie Wonder Pencil.
Nie mam swatchy porownawczych dla numeru 3, ale jest to niesamowicie brokatowy kolor dajacy po oczach. Nie rozmazuje sie.

Nie jestem pewna kogo interesuja sklady kredek do oczu, ale sa:


Now I can finally say that I have satisfied my Play 101 Pencil curiosity.
Etude House, as most low end Korean brands, is simply too low end for my needs.

Moja ciekawosc odnosnie Play 101 zostala zaspokojona.
Etude House, jak wiekszosc niskopolkowych marek koreanskich, jest zbyt niskopolkowa i niskojakosciowa dla moich wymagan.


In Japan they cost 900 yen (plus tax) each.
These pencils are easily found in many online shops, however, their prices can vary.

W Japonii kosztuja one 900 jenow plus VAT, ale mozna je kupic taniej w niemal kazdym interntowym sklepie sprzedajacym koreanskie kosmetyki.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Iope Air Cushion XP Matte Finish in M13 (Light Vanilla)

Amore Pacific, Amore Pacific what am I going to do with you?
You frustrate me beyond words.
Seriously, what is wrong with you?
Is everyone who works at your company colorblind?

It all started with this blog post. As soon as I completed it, I hopped over to TGI Wholesale and got me a cushion.

Amore Pacific had indeed added a supposedly lighter shade to their Iope Air Cushion line up.
Suddenly, I had a chance not only to try the matte finish cushion, but also one in a new, "lighter" shade - number 13. Killing two birds with one click. Awesome.
I didn't have to think twice about it. Duh!
Of course I clicked "buy".

Amore Pacific, Amore Pacific, co ja mam z toba zrobic?
Wkurzasz mnie tak, ze czasem az slow brak.
Serio, co sie tam u was w firmie dzieje? Czy kazdy, kto u was pracuje, jest daltonista?

Wszystko zaczelo sie od tego wpisu. I jak tylko skonczylam go stukac, to natychmiast wskoczylam na strone TGI Wholesale poszukac sobie poduszki.

Wiesc internetowa niosla, ze Amore Pacific rzeczywiscie dodal nowy, jasniejszy, odcien do swojej linii slynnych Iope Air Cushion. I nagle mialam okazje nie tylko aby kupic nowa wersje matowa (nie matujaca, jak niektorzy pisza!), ale rowniez kupic ja w nowym, "jasniejszym" odcieniu - numer 13. Swietnie. Nie zastanawialam sie ani chwili. Oczywiscie, ze kliknelam "buy".





If this is the first time you're hearing about cushion foundations, may I strongly suggest you start reading what's in the archives already - just click the "cushion foundation" tab in the top menu.
But if you're still not certain what it is - think Lancome Miracle cushion, only better, with literally dozens (if not hundreds) of different choices.

I've had this cushion - Iope Air Cushion XP Matte Finish in shade M13 (Light Vanilla) for over 3 months now. And I've been birthing this review nearly just as long.

So let's get this cushion party started.
Shall we?

The box is exactly the same as its N (natural) version sister. Not a good choice, if you ask me. It's easy to get them confused, and it really simplifies things for the fake-makers.


Jesli to pierwszy raz, kiedy spotykasz sie z produktem "podklad w poduszce", to lepiej zaczac od przeczytania tego, co juz na blogu bylo - kliknij w zakladke "cushion foundation" w gornym menu.
Ale jesli nadal nie jestes pewien/ pewna, co to mam byc, to wyobraz sobie Lancome Miracle cushion, tyle ze w lepszej wersji, z dziesiatkami (jesli nie setkami) roznych opcji, do wyboru, do koloru.


Iope Air Cushion XP Matte Finish w kolorze M13 (jasna wanilia) mam juz ponad 3 miesiace. I prawie tak dlugo tez pisze te recenzje.

Wiec do rzeczy...

Pudelko jest takie samo jak w wersji N (naturalnej). Nie jest to najlepsze rozwiazanie, wedlug mnie. Latwo sie pomylic na pierwszy (a nawet i na drugi) rzut oka. I takie samo pudelko bardzo upraszcza tez zycie podrobkowiczom.



Yes, there are slight differences in the font, but it's due to the fact that my N (natural) version was manufactured and bought last year.

Shade M13 is labeled as "Light Vanilla". Hmmm...

Here you have the list of the available (as of this entry) Iope air cushion varieties and their colors:

Tak, sa minimalne roznice w czcionce, ale to glownie z tego powodu, ze moja wersja N (naturalna) wyprodukowana i kupiona zostala w zeszlym roku.
Kolor M13 jest nazwany "Light Vanilla" (jasna wanilia), hmmm... Ale o tym za chwile.
Tutaj mamy liste dostepnych na dzien dzisiejszy (daty tego wpisu) rodzajow i odcieni poduszek Iope.


Iope is one of the many brands hailing from Amore Pacific (a major Korean cosmetic company expanding globally as we speak).
Iope is a solid mid range brand, and while it offers a full assortment of skincare and makeup, it's definitely most famous for its emponymous air cushions. Iope is THE cushion foundation brand. It was their first air cushion back in 2008 that started the cushion foundation craze. Yes, cushion foundations have been around for quite a long time now (despite what the Lancome sales lady told you).

Iope to jedna z bardzo wielu marek nalezacych do koncernu Amore Pacific (koreanskiego kosmetycznego molocha, ktory powoli wchodzi na rynki swiatowe).
Iope to solidna srednio-polkowa marka (w Polsce moze uwazana za ekskluzywna i selektywna, choc wcale taka nie jest w azjatyckiej rzeczywistosci), ktora oferuje pelna linie pielegnacyjna i kosmetyczna. Jednak na swiecie Iope jest najbardziej znana wlasnie ze swoich podkladow w formie poduszki. To wlasnie Iope swoja najpierwsza poduszka w 2008 rozpetala swiatowa manie poduszkowa.
Tak, podklady w poduszkach to zadna nowosc, choc zapewne panie sprzedajace Lancome powiedza ci co innego.


The Matte Finish version, just like all the other Iope Air Cushions out there, is labeled as SPF50+/ PA+++. It sounds like a fabulous idea at first, until you realize that there is absolutely no chance whatsoever, never, ever, that you are going to apply on your face enough of this product to get adequate sun protection. So please be smart and always use a stand-alone, separate sunblock / sunscreen.

Wersja Matte Finish, jak sama nazwa wskazuje, daje efekt wykonczenia matowego. Jeszcze raz podkreslam, ze "matte" odnosi sie tu do efektu koncowego, a nie do wlasciwosci matujacych, bo pierwsze gorzkie zale w recenzjach tej poduszki juz sie pojawily w necie. Jednak niemal wylacznie na blogach nie-anglojezyczynych, wiec domyslam sie, ze to po prostu blad w tlumaczeniach. Niestety czesto przez takie bledy dochodzi do smutnych nieporozumien odnosnie wielu kosmetykow. Tak tez zapewne jest i w tym przypadku.

Jak wszystkie inne Iope Air Cushions, ta rowniez posiada filtr SPF50+ / PA+++. Na pierwszy rzut oka to wspanialy pomysl. Ale tylko dopoki nie zdasz sobie sprawy, ze nigdy przenigdy nie wyszpachlujesz sie az tak, aby uzyskac obiecany poziom ochrony przed sloncem. Osobny filtr pod makijazem to czysty zdrowy rozsadek.



Just like with all the other Iope cushions (and the majority of other brands too), the box comes not only with a fully loaded cushion compact, but with a separate, sealed refill, as well. Along with a leaflet in Korean, English and Chinese.

The convenient thing about this compact is that refills from other Amore Pacific brands (with the exception of low-end, drugstore brands like, for example Etude House) should fit into it as well. I'll be using this handy feature real soon, because I'm literally drowning in cushion compacts. So, from now on, I'm just going to buy cushion refills. (Famous last words...)


Tak samo jak przy innych Iope poduszkach, tak i ta przychodzi w pudelku z zaladowanym kompaktem, i rowniez z dodatkowym wymiennym wkladem. Mamy tez ulotke po koreansku, chinsku i angielsku.

Wygodna sprawa jest fakt, ze wiekszosc wkladow wymiennych marek nalezacych do Amore Pacific (z wyjatkiem tych tanich i bardzo tanich, jak np. Etude House) pasuje do innych poduszkowych kompaktow Amore Pacific.


Here you have the matte finish and natural sisters side by side.
As always with Iope, it's an absolute nightmare to keep this compact clean.

Tutaj mamy siostre matowa (po lewej) i naturalna po prawej.
I jak zawsze w przypadku Iope, utrzymanie tego kompaktu w czystosci to syzyfowa praca.


On the bottom of the compact (actually, the bottom of the refill), you have the date of manufacture (not expiration) and again the color code. Yes, they are made in Korea, and should be used within 12 months of opening.

Na spodzie kompaktu, a w zasadzie na spodzie wkladu wymiennego, mamy date produkcji (a nie date waznosci, choc niektore koreanskie firmy podaja date waznosci, wiec trzeba uwazac) i kolor. Wyprodukowane w Korei i do zuzycia w ciagu 12 miesiecy od otwarcia.


So let's open this baby, shall we?
Inside it's the usual deal. You've seen one cushion, you've seen them all.

Czas to cudo otworzyc.
W srodku, to samo co zawsze. Niemal kazdy kompakt poduszkowy wyglada tak samo.


I know many people are quite curious about the Rubycell applicator puff.
I've heard some women choose to forgo the puff and use a foundation brush instead, or a beauty blender, or even their fingers to apply this type of foundation.

Wiem, ze sporo czytelnikow jest ciekawych "Rubycell" aplikatora. Czytalam tez, i na blogach i w babskich pismach, ze niektore kobiety nie uzywaja dolaczonej gabeczki do nakladania, i zamiast tego nakladaja ten podklad pedzlem, lub po prostu palcami.


Personally, I wouldn't recommend that. That Rubycell technology is there for a reason.
The puff picks up just enough of the product and ensures even application. Its special porous material has antimicrobial properties that inhibit growth of mold and bacteria. So don't worry, it's supposedly safe to dunk it in the cushion over and over, even after touching your face.

Unfortunately, it's a witch to clean, so I just buy multi pack replacements. Makes life a lot easier.


Nie polecalabym takiego sposobu nakladania. Technologia Rubycell jest w tej gabeczce nie bez powodu. Ten maly krazek nabiera dokladnie tyle podkladu ile potrzeba i gwarantuje rownomierna warstwe produktu na twarzy. Wykonany jest ze specjalnego materialu, ktory nie pozwala na rozwoj bakterii i plesni. Wiec mozna z powodzeniem naciskac nim na poduszke i pacac po twarzy.

Niestety, zawsze jest jakis minus. W tym przypadku to fakt, ze ten aplikator jest niemozliwy do idealnego wyczyszczenia. Najlepszym rozwiazaniem jest kupno paczki dodatkowych aplikatorow.



As you can see, the puff rests on an inner lid, which is actually the refill itself. So if you're planning to buy just a refill to save money, be forewarned, without the extra protection of the compact, your refill is going to dry out in a hurry. Unless you keep it in a ziplock bag, or something.

You lift the inner lid, and if your cushion is brand new, you should see this:


Jak widac Rubycell aplikator spoczywa na wewnetrznym wieczku, ktore jest wieczkiem wkladu wymiennego. Wiec jesli dla oszczedzenia pieniedzy planujesz kupno samego wkladu, licz sie z tym, ze wklad ten wyschnie w ekspresowym tempie. Widzialam na YouTube i na blogach, ze preferowana metoda przechowywania samego wkladu, ktory juz zostal otwarty jest szczelna plastikowa torebka z zamknieciem (ziplock).


Po podniesieniu wewnetrznego wieczka, widzimy to:



There should be a sticker protecting the surface of the cushion.
I know that some people save those stickers and reuse them to keep the cushion fresh(er) longer. I don't bother. The sticker goes in the trash.

And under the sticker is this:

W swiezym, nowym kompakcie i w swiezym, nowym wkladzie, powinna znajdowac sie naklejka chroniaca powierzechnie poduszki.
Ponoc niektorzy nie wyrzucaja tych naklejek i uzywaja ich jako dodatkowej ochrony poduszki dla utrzymania swiezosci przez dluzszy czas. Ja sie tak nie bawie. Naklejka laduje w koszu.

A pod naklejka mamy to:



And that's the cushion foundation itself. It is exactly what it sounds like - a piece of sponge (cushion) saturated with foundation (BB type, CC type, whatever type).
You press on it with the Rubycell puff and stamp it onto your face. Done.

Ok, let's do some pressing:

I to jest wlasnie podklad w poduszce. To nic innego jak kawalek gabki o bardzo niskiej porowatosci nasaczony podkladem (BB, CC, albo czymkolwiek innym).
Naciska sie na powierzchnie tej gabki aplikatorem i stempluje na twarzy. Proste jak obsluga cepa.

Wiec postemplujmy troche:





The cushion surface looks awfully dark but as you can see, the foundation itself is pretty light in color.

You can also see the texture and porousness of the cushion. Compare it to your Lancome Miracle Cushion. Go ahead, I'll wait...

Did you notice the difference?
Korean cushions are a lot finer. And there's a reason for it other than pleasing esthetics.
Thanks to finer pores your Rubycell puff can pick up less foundation, which means less foundation seeps inside the puff, and less foundation gets wasted. Also, smaller pores mean that your cushion will stay moist longer. It's all about efficiency and maximizing your cost performance ratio.

And here are the specs of your Iope Air Cushion XP Matte Finish:

Powierzchnia poduszki wyglada na bardzo ciemna, ale jak widac, podklad sam w sobie jest raczej jasny.
Na zdjeciu widac tez porowatosc gabki. Porownaj to do swojej poduszki Lancome Miracle Cushion.

Zauwazylas roznice?
Koreanski poduszki sa bardzo niskoporowate. I jest ku temu powod duzo wazniejszy niz ladny wyglad. Dzieki tym malym porom, Rubycell aplikator nabierze mniej podkladu. Co za tym idzie, mniej podkladu wsaczy sie w aplikator i mniej podkladu zostanie zmarnowanego. Odpowiednia ilosc podkladu na aplikatorze pozwala na idealne stemplowanie na twarzy.
Drobniejsze pory w poduszce chronia ja tez przed przedwczesnym wysychaniem.

A tutaj specyfikacje produktu wedlug zalaczonej ulotki:


On the box there is an additional blurb that the product is sweat-proof as well. And yes, I can confirm that. It is indeed sweat proof under normal, everyday conditions.

Now, the swatches...
(all photos unedited and in natural light)

Na pudelku jest tez dodatkowa informacja, ze podklad ten jest potoodporny. I moge to potwierdzic. Przy codziennych warunkach jest rzeczywiscie odporny na pot.


Tutaj swatche (dzienne swiatlo, bez edycji zdjec):


Yes. That was my reaction as well. What the hell is going on here?
Why is it so damn bloody pink???

It was supposed to be Light Vanilla, for crying out loud.

Now, I'm pink. I'm as pink as they come. My face is so pink that it broke the tone matching machine the one time I tried it when it came to our sole department store in my town.

But this???


Tak. To rowniez byla moja reakcja. Co su sie dzieje?
Skad tu tyle rozu?
To miala byc jasna wanillia, a nie rozowa wanillia.
Jestem rozowa. Jestem tak rozowa, ze maszynom oceniajacym podtony cery brakuje w moim przypadku skali.

Ale to tutaj?



Awful. Just awful...
Clearly the color formulators at Amore Pacific are either totally blind, or they haven't seen an actual live woman in a really, really long time.

But wait, it gets worse.
You can see just how pink it looks on the face.

Smutne. Po prostu smutne.
Jak widac formulatorzy kolorow w Amore Pacific maja powazne problemy ze wzrokiem.

Ale zaraz bedzie jeszcze gorzej.
Ten caly roz na mojej twarzy.


Nothing on my face except Iope Air Cushion Matte Finish in M13 (Light Vanilla). No concealer, no corrector, no setting powder, no nothing. Cushion only. (Taken on my 44th birthday after only 4 hours of sleep, so bear with me here, please).

As you can see, the coverage is minimal.
It only evens the skin tone in those place where the skin tone is pretty even to begin with. For the red and splotchy parts it does absolutely nothing.

Nic innego na twarzy oprocz Iope Air Cushion Matte Finish in M13 (jasna wanilia). Bez korektora, bez  concealera, bez pudru, bez niczego. Tylko poduszka. Zdjecie robione w moje 44 urodziny po 4 godzinach snu, wiec wygladam jak wygladam. Swoje lata juz mam.

Jak widac krycie jest minimalne.
Poduszka wyrownuje koloryt w tych miejscach, gdzie jest on w miare rowny sam z siebie. Nie robi nic na czerwone placki na twarzy i na wieksze plamy.

~~~


When used without a primer on my finely lined skin, it embraced and made love to every single wrinkle on my face, even to those I never knew I had.
When used without a primer on my porous face, it went on a pore finding mission.
However, if my skin was suitably primed and smoothed over with copious amounts of silicones, Iope Air Cushion Matte Finish behaved a lot better.

It did moisturize somewhat, not enough for winter, just right for summer.
And it didn't oxidize.

But damn, that color. You can clearly see the difference between my face and my neck.

And as you can see, it isn't very matte either.

Here you have a side-by-side comparison with the natural version:

Kiedy uzywam ja bez primera na mojej pomarszczonej twarzy, wlazi w kazde zalamanie i kazda najmniejsza nawet zmarszczke. Nawet w tych miejscach, gdzie nie wiedzialam, ze zmarszczki mam.
Bez primera kazdy por natychmiast wyglada na pieknie podkreslony i wyolbrzymiony.
Ale kiedy twarz jest nawilzona i potraktowana baza pod makijaz, ta poduszka Iope zachowuje sie bez zarzutu.

Dawala minimalne nawilzenie. I nie utleniala sie na twarzy.

Ale ten kolor. Nic tylko plakac. Wyraznie widac linie demarkacyjna pomiedzy moja twarza, a szyja.

Tutaj porownanie z wersja naturalna w kolorze N21:



Where I can't complain at all is its lasting power.
It stays in place for solid 8 hours without any touchups and setting powders. I found it didn't really want to cooperate with any additional powders on top. It worked best left to its own devices when applied over a primer (and a sunblock!).

And yes, it does have a scent. Mildly annoying, lasting for about 20 to 30 minutes after application. On some days it makes me sneeze like crazy. And on some days I hardly notice it at all. But people sensitive to fragrances should be prepared. I know that for some people the heavy scents of Iope products are a deal breaker.

Nie moge narzekac na trwalosc.
Trzymala sie na twarzy mojej solidne 8 godzin bez poprawek i pudrow. Nie chciala wspolpracowac z pudrami wykonczeniowymi, wiec kladlam ja tylko na primer (i oczywiscie na flitr!).

Tak, ma zapach. Wkurzajacy, ale ulatnia sie po jakichs 20 do 30 minutach. W niektore dni kicham po nim, w inne nie. Nie wiem od czego to zalezy. Ale ludzie z wrazliwoscia na zapachy powinni jej raczej unikac.


  • Iope Air Cushion XP Matte Finish in M13 (Light Vanilla) - Ingredients / Sklad:



So there you have it.
The non-matte matte Iope Air Cushion.

I to juz prawie wszystko.
To solidna poduszka ze stajni Iope,



If this is your first cushion, I'm reasonably certain you'll be happy with it.
If you're expecting flat matte, you will be disappointed.
If you want satin glow, you'll be just fine.
Just make sure to pick a proper shade.


Jesli to twoja pierwsza poduszka, to mysle, ze bedziesz z niej zadowolona /ny.
Jesli oczekujesz plaskiego matu, to bedziesz rozczarowana.
Jedyny problem to dobre dobranie koloru.



I bought my cushion from TGI Wholesale and, as always, it was a perfect transaction, speedy delivery, and lots of extra samples in the package.

And my quest to find a perfect cushion match shall go on...

Ja kupilam swoja poduszke na stronie TGI Wholesale, i jak zawsze obluga klienta byla top-noch.

A moj projekt znalezienia poduszki perfekcyjnego koloru nadal trwa.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The scary world of beauty blogging

First up, I am spewing more of the same more regularly now. Which can mean only one thing.
We're on Twitter now. Yay for me!

I need to get them small, fancy icons ready for easy following and such. But at my advanced age all new technologies can be a bit intimidating.

My week on Twitter was spent diving head first into the beauty twittersphere, or whatever that place is called, where prominent bloggers feel the need to retwit over and over links to their old blog posts. It's boring, it's tiring and frankly, it reeks of desperation. But I guess the struggle to stay relevant and stay on top is real out there. There are only so many press samples and PR events to go around, right?

I am no stranger to beauty blogs, featuring both Asian and western perspective. Though in all fairness and honesty, I've always tried to avoid the heavily sponsored, "I'm a full time blogger" sites, as I feel their opinions are heavily compromised by the fact they make money touting new products and companies.

Of course, there are exceptions, but they are far and few between.
Add to that the fact that many top tier bloggers (or those who delude themselves into believing they are top tier) don't provide clear disclaimers that what they are posting are paid advertorials (yes, most reasonably intelligent readers know it already, but it's the principle and basic honesty that matter) and the waters get even more murky.

The Asian beauty blogosphere is starting to swim in the same murky waters, and as Asian cosmetic companies and retailers are waking up to the PR potential of English language bloggers, the waters are bound to get even muddier. Watch this space.


What caught my attention was a blogger (British mid-tier by the looks of it), who had the balls to actually speak up about the situation. But whether it is a genuine concern and effort to make the British blogosphere a better place, or just an attempt to stay relevant, well, that's anyone's guess.

Though since I'm linking to the post here, clearly, the ploy is working.

I actually found that blog to be quite pleasant. Yes, the products are sponsored, but the content is fun and fluffy, and if I weren't driving to work, it would be something I'd like to read during my morning commute. You know, just to see what's happening on the other side of the world.

Tonight I ended up reading it in the bath instead of my usual materials:


(Yes, I know, I know... smartphones in the bathtub are a really dumb idea.)

It's also interesting to me as a non-Asian beauty blog. And the author did say that:
"Technically speaking tanning is a bad thing and a sign of damage, even though we associated a sunkissed glow with health and radiance."
Love at first read!

Anyway, where was I?

Ah yes, the popularity contest of pro beauty bloggers...

On that blog, I also noticed this:
Blogger Ads and Promotional Packages

Holy mother of Batman! Bloggers actually advertise on popular blogs? And popular bloggers charge money for this service?
Sorry, but to me, this is just against the spirit of blogging (though if I were blogging for a living, I'm sure my opinion would be very different). And it made me appreciate those heavy hitters, who very kindly linked to me without financial strings attached.

On the other hand, I am really curious if such paid services really deliver.
And on the other (third?) hand, if I had 25 or 50 pounds lying around in my paypal account, I'd rather order me some more Whamisa or Cremorlab. Or books.



So yes, my week on Twitter turned into a crash course into the ugly reality of trying to stay on top in a very competitive blogging marketplace.

It also made me glad that I am just a small time blogger blogging about small time things with no real aspirations of becoming an Asian beauty powerhouse.

Have a great week everybody!



Friday, July 10, 2015

Privacy UV sunblocks - UV gel BB and UV face powder

I had a completely different intro to this post all ready already, but then something caught my eye. And then caught it again. And again.

And to be honest, I don't really understand it fully. So help me out here, please.

What I want to know is why so many beauty bloggers talk about "cream with sunscreen" when they clearly mean "sunscreen cream" (as opposed to sunscreen gel, sunscreen milk, or sunscreen spray, for example).

I was always under the impression that "cream with sunscreen" is just a regular day cream with some pitiful level of SPF added, mainly for kicks and giggles. Because I really doubt that anyone out there would take SPF 15 seriously enough to consider it an adequate level of sun protection. And if you do, you're an idiot.


(It's really sad when idiots, who take it seriously, are none other than Elle UK. But hey, maybe wrinkles are in in Europe. You never know...)

So yes, cream with sunscreen.


Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Day Cream SPF15 is a cream with sunscreen.
Clinique Superdefence SPF25 is a cream with sunscreen.

And Shigaisen Yohou UV Cream is "sunscreen cream". Meaning its main function is to provide sun protection. Everything else plays second fiddle.

I always thought that "sunscreen cream" is just one of the many forms of sunscreen available. Gel is another one. Creamy gel is a hybrid of the two. But sunscreen can also come in the form of milk, or spray, or even loose powder.

When sunscreen is labeled as "BB gel", things can get really funky. Because is it a BB cream with a high SPF? Or just a tinted sunscreen gel? To me, these two are different.
Why?
Try to put enough BB cream on your face to get adequate sun protection and you'll see what I mean.

And how much do you need to be fully protected from the sun?

According to the experts, that much:

"To achieve the Sun Protection Factor (SPF, which protects against the sun’s UVB radiation) reflected on a bottle of sunscreen, you should use approximately two milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin. In practice, this means applying the equivalent of a shot glass (two tablespoons) of sunscreen to the exposed areas of the face and body – a nickel-sized dollop to the face alone."
source: Skin Cancer Foundation

What is a nickel? It's a 5 cent coin in the US.
And how big is it? 21.21mm in diameter.
Yep. Over 2 centimeters across.



That's how big your dollop of sunscreen for your face alone should be in order to give you proper sun protection.

Do you apply that much of your favorite BB cream? I guess if you're going for the wall spackle look, yeah, sure.
Do you apply that much of your favorite BB cushion that touts its high SPF? I highly doubt it.

Now, can you see the slight problem we have here?
There is simply no way in hell that you will ever put on your face enough BB cream, or cushion, to be adequately protected from the sun.
The high SPF in those products is mainly just a vanity selling point for the crafty manufacturer.


And that brings us to today's contestants.


  • Privacy UV Gel BB SPF 50+ PA++++

and

  • Privacy UV Face Powder 50 SPF 50+ PA++++


They are made by Kokuryudo, the company responsible, among many other things, for Hipitch cleansing oil (not my favorite) and Point Magic Pro face powder (incidentally, I quite like it).



The spray a.k.a. Privacy UV Face Mist SPF50+ PA++++ is missing from today's lineup, because it is just too vile for words.



I tried it at the store and promptly put it back on the shelf. Greasy, sticky, disgusting, leaving a white cast, ugh!


Both the gel and the face powder, as is typical for Japanese drugstore cosmetics, come packaged in tacky plastic boxes. I honestly don't know which is worse - paper boxes, or plastic boxes. I try to recycle, but I know not everybody does.


Privacy UV Gel BB SPF50+ PA++++ made its debut a couple of years ago. Above you can see the most recent (2015) box design.

The gel claims to offer UV protection and skin color correction all in one.



The tacky looking tube holds 25 grams of product.
The price is listed as 1500 yen plus tax, but most stores sell it somewhat cheaper. I paid around 1000 yen, tax included.

As this is a Japanese product, and most Japanese skincare companies are not quite aware yet that flip tops are very common in other parts of the world, we get a standard, old fashioned screw cap here.


What comes out of the tube can be called a "gel" only if you have no clue what a gel should look like.

This is a heavy, thick pasty cream. Or a creamy paste. Take your pick.

These photos are unedited, in natural light and with no filters applied.


I found the color to be quite interesting.
What seemed to be a neutral beige at first, turned out to have pink undertones after all.

You need to be very pale and either neutral or pink toned to be able to wear it. Otherwise, you'll end up like so many Japanese women - pink faced and yellow necked. Seriously, I sometimes wonder if there's an epidemic of color blindness in this country...

Here is how it looks all blended out:


It's not dewy. It's not satin. Next to an average Korean BB cream, you can call this "matte".
But wait! Is it even a BB cream? BB gel? Or just a simple sunscreen with a copious amount of tint thrown in to mask the white cast it would have otherwise produced?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Next up is Privacy UV Face Powder 50 SPF 50+ PA++++.



Now, this fella, according to them innernetz, was supposed to be as good as it gets. It's a loose powder! It's a sunscreen.
It's a sunscreen loose powder. With SPF50+ PA++++ no less. Oh my!



It was supposed to be very fine and very translucent. It was supposed to be light, and fluffy and all around great. After all, @cosme said so, so it must be true.

Indeed, it was very fine. And very light. And very fluffy. In the same way that a bag of cornstarch is very fine, light and fluffy. But you wouldn't want to walk around with cornstarch on your face, now would you? Especially since cornstarch is about as translucent as this powder.



There's even a handy euphemism for it - "not very cosmetically elegant". Which, I suppose, does sound a lot better than "early morning shift at the flour mill again, eh?"

The manufacturer did not bother to put the weight of the product anywhere on the packaging. To get that info, you need to look on the internet. It's 3.5 grams, by the way.
Instead, the package tells us about hyaluronic acid, and collagen, and vitamin C.

The price? It's listed at 1200 yen plus tax, but most drugstores sell it for a bit less. I paid 980 yen, tax included.


As most Japanese powders, this one is also slightly pink. If you have yellow undertones, you risk looking quite ridiculous. But maybe the pink face yellow neck thing is the new look this season and I simply didn't get the memo. In Japan anything is possible.



I am pale, but even on my pale skin you can clearly see that it's, well... not very cosmetically elegant.

Here you can see it layered over Privacy UV Gel BB:



Pale skinned matte finish fans should be overjoyed. We have matte. We have soul crushing, brain numbing matte. Doesn't get any matter than this.

The instructions very helpfully advise you to reapply it every 2 hours. There's a reason for it. This matte finish turns really ugly really fast.

So there you have it.
While I might find some use for the BB gel, the powder is a total dud. I am considering mixing it with some Laura Mercier loose powder, or Chacott. Or use it for Halloween, especially if I want to go as an aging, chewed up club hostess who's trying to reinvent herself as a kabuki actor. The possibilities are endless.



Here are the ingredients and their analysis, courtesy of cosDNA:

Privacy UV Gel BB SPF 50+ PA++++
and
Privacy UV Face Powder 50 SPF 50+ PA++++


And yes, as you can see, Privacy UV Gel BB is indeed alcohol (ethanol) free.

Available from Amazon, eBay and Rakuten. Prices may vary.

And a reminder: 
If you haven't entered the Hera UV Mist Cushion giveaway already, there is still time! Link in the top bar! Good luck!
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