I’ve been drawn to cream blushers more and more recently for a quick dab of colour on the cheeks. I think it’s as simple as they’ve been easier to reach for than my blush compacts which are nestled in a drawer so in the mornings the extra steps of opening the drawers, selecting a compact AND grabbing a separate powder brush is too much for my addled brain. What a hard life I do lead.
I’ve had a couple of enquiries as to the status of my blog regarding where do I get my products from, are any of the links I provide affiliates… that sort of thing. So I thought I’d better clarify things. If it’s not apparent from the very bare bones look and feel of this blog, this is strictly a fun endeavour for me and I have no agenda or mission statement except to get some info out there, in English, about Korean brands and make-up. Ofcourse I do cover non-Korean products too but seeing as I live in Korea I started blogging mainly to get the frontline word out about the stuff I see as a consumer in the stores.
- All the products featured in my blog are chosen, bought and paid for by myself (with a little help from Mr Visa, Mastercard and Amex along the way). I don’t get sent free stuff… the only freebies I might mention are personal gifts from friends such as birthday gift, or free samples and gifts I get as a customer. I’m not engaged with any PR people from Korean brands whatsoever. I’m just a customer and consumer.
- I do write for and operate as a Beauty Editor for Because Magazine. However I don’t receive any free samples or product from them so all the stuff you’ll see there under my name (Bora) is written from stuff I’ve paid for or tried personally.
- I get no income from the blog at the moment, and it’s likely to remain that way for the forseeable future. No adverts, no click-through advertising, paid for links or affiliates. I’m not against clear adverts on blogs at all, I’d just prefer to keep mine simple and free from that so I can write about what I like.
- Any links I provide to outside sites are just because I want to be helpful 🙂 Really. I don’t get any money or kickbacks from link click-throughs.
I have worked in the beauty industry in the past for many years. My experiences could fill several posts, but for the moment I’ll summarise and say that I’ve been
- a freelance make-up artist (fashion, advertising and music videos),
- brand make-up artist on counter and sales assistant (Bobbi Brown, and Estee Lauder companies incl. MAC, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Prescriptives, Stila)
- beauty writer (and complete “Ugly Betty”/Devil Wears Prada fashion butt monkey) at a trendy highbrow fashion magazine
- consultant to beauty brands
My fulltime current day job has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with beauty so this blog is an outlet for my passion and obsession. My musings at Because Magazine are the most “pro” I get with beauty these days. I may jump back into the world of beauty in a professional capacity in the future but I’ll let you know if that happens.
Anything else? Send me an e-mail or drop me a comment below.
Etude House has signed up the gorgeous girl band 2NE1 to shill for them this summer. There is a small summer collection of products available with special packaging showing the girls’ lovely mugs. The range is focused on longwearing products and is a repromote of some existing products (like the Code B gel eyeliners), some limited edition colour updates (Proof 10 Waterproof retractable eye pencils in gold, silver, aqua and glittery black) and the main point of my post, a new long-wearing mascara.
“Proof 10” is the name that Etude House gives to its waterproof long-wearing products and was actually introduced in a more extensive range last year. They stand up to their claims: whilst they might not survive a long strenuous swim in the sea, they’ll hold up through Korea’s heat and humidity and won’t run leaving big black marks around your eyes.
I really like this mascara and it’s the first truly good Etude House mascara I’ve tried. The others by the brand have been pretty miss for me overall. Individually they were good at lengthening, or thickening but I hadn’t come across an all-round great mascara which I was happy to use consistently. Etude House have introduced and discontinued quite a few different new mascaras in the past couple of years which seems to me to be a sign that none of them were spectacular.
I don’t really understand the “Henna” part of the title. Henna isn’t known for being particularly black…. sounds like a gimmick to me.
Good things first…
- Great lasting power, no smudging, flaking or running throughout the day.
- Comes off fairly easily with eye make-up remover or cleansing oil. It’s no tube mascara but I didn’t have to rub vigorously or chip away at it to get it off at the end of the day.
- Medium thickening formula which plumps up lashes.
- No clumping. Layering more than 3 coats will start to gunk things up but a reasonable 2 coats is enough to get a lovely dramatic thick look without any clumps.
- Great brush. It has a spiral design which looks a lot like the DiorShow Extase brush although I don’t have Extase so I couldn’t tell you if it’s an exact dupe. In any case, the brush is full enough to comb through nicely but the shallower grooves within the spiral holds a good amount of product.
- Dark black formula
- Not *quite* as thickening as I’d like for an evening look. I’d still reach for another more dramatic mascara for really bold or colourful eye looks.
- Doesn’t hold a curl that well (although it doesn’t straighten them out either).
- It starts to dry out after a month. I tossed mine after 8 weeks use as it got too dry for my liking. Seeing as I’ve a pile of other mascaras I’d like to try that’s no big deal breaker for me but it doesn’t show great value for money.
- I like the brush but you’d really have to try it to see if it’s right for you… and the only way you’d get to do that is by buying the thing!
- Expensive for an Etude House mascara 12,000원. I think it’s worth it though.
Overall rating: 4 out of 5. Definitely give this one a try. I’d even repurchase, not something I’ve ever said about an Etude House mascara before.
The 2NE1 special packaging and promo is temporary thing. You’ll notice that the packaging with the girls’ images are actually slip cover sleeves which slide on and off which makes me think that at some point they will be removed, so if you’re after the 2NE1 packaging I’d buy sooner rather than later.
I’m not known for being a huge fan of K-Pop (alright so I hate a lot of it!) but I do like 2NE1 for their style and image which is much more up my street than the simpering sweetness of Girl’s Generation. I think 2NE1’s management are missing a trick by not getting them over to London to do gigs at some gay nights and courting them to the fashion mags. (Jeremy Scott’s said to be a fan.) I thought “Lollipop” was a bad song but I love “Fire” especially the two different videos – a great way to get double airplay on the music channels.
Here’s a quick tip from me re: drying your make-up brushes. If you invest in make-up brushes (AS YOU ALL SHOULD!!!!) then you should also clean them regularly to avoid nasty crusty residue building up on them. I’ve seen people spending big money on premium brushes then tossing them in their make-up bags to gather detritus and debris, bending and damaging the bristles, never washing them and then complaining that their fancy brushes look and perform like crap. These people deserve to apply their make-up using pan scourers. Shame on you for not respecting your tools.
When washing then leaving your brushes to dry, conventional wisdom is to leave the bristle heads hanging over the edge of a surface like a table edge, so that the bristles and hairs don’t dry pressed flat against the surface. Some people use brush guards so that they can stand their brushes upside down whilst drying, the idea being that gravity will pull any water down so it doesn’t pool and collect within the ferrule rotting the wood or glue that holds the brush hairs in place. Good idea but personally I’ve found that using brush guards increases drying time and I can’t be bothered to hang around that long. If the brushes aren’t dry by morning (after washing them the previous night) then it’s inconvenient. Hmmmm. What to do?
Well, the next best thing…. is drying them at a downward angle. This way the brush heads are still hanging over a free edge, any excess water will drain downwards but air can still circulate around the hairs so that they’re dry by morning. GENIUS!
I love Koren Zander a.k.a EnKoreMakeup from YouTube. He’s one of the most important and best beauty gurus on YouTube and one of the first I ever subscribed to. Even more than Lauren Luke (aka Panacea81) he is the reason that the whole YouTube beauty guru thing took off. One of the reasons I love him is that he’s extremely generous with his knowledge of pro or insider product knowledge. He puts it all out there for free on YouTube. Yes he’s a partner and probably rakes in lots of money from the advertising and click-through ads on his channel but he didn’t in the beginning and some of his most helpful and practical videos are the early ones.
Watching a YouTube video doesn’t even being to replicate years of hands-on experience, artisitic vision or talent that a make-up artist needs and I’m not suggesting that anyone who watches a few YouTube tutorials can go out there and be a professional make-up artist. But for in-depth product knowledge, hygeine and sheer ingenuity when it comes to make-up storage and organisation he’s unbeaten. I’ve worked with so many brilliant make-up artist who have shoddy working practices when it comes to basic kit hygiene, maintenance and product knowledge. You’d be shocked at how sloppy some top names in the industry are when it comes to double dipping lipgloss and mascara wands, working on a shoot all day without washing or sanitising their hands and even (I died a little inside) licking Q-tips and then cleaning up around a model’s eye.
It’s Enkore’s DIY make-up storage ideas that really got me hooked on his channel. I actually prefer DIY solutions to storage as they can be adapted to any room, space or change of situation. My stash is always growing, changing and often moving homes so I need flexible solutions. Like any obsessive collector I’m also picky about how my precious booty is stored and displayed and I want to know where everything is for when I need something particular for a look. This video is currently what I use to look after my lipglosses.
I mentioned it before, but cosmetics brands promote a bit more aggressively in Korea. Even the high end and department store brands aren’t averse to throwing samples, freebies and loyalty card schemes at you and they track their customers’ purchases and activity closely. Chanel, MAC, Dior, Benefit, Armani, and probably all the other prestige brands have showered me with good service in Korea. Partly it’s the culture (Korean’s chase value for money) and no brand can afford to be left behind. (more…)
Today’s review is for Missha Liquid Real Rouge lip colour which is a product I ‘ve changed my mind about in the past year. It was one of the first lip products I bought when I arrived in Korea and discovered the brand. I bought a pink shade, loved it, used it up until I broke the tube (twisted it a little too enthusiastically when closing, literally broke the cap and the wand snapped off inside). It was really cheap so I wasn’t too fussed and put it on my repurchase list where it lay forgotten for glitzier more glamourous products for over a year.
Lookey… new Etude House eyeshadows with a strange name!
I swatched these in-store yesterday and bought the pink one to try out. It’s a pretty good cheap dupe of Jill Stuart’s Jelly eyeshadows: same texture, same cool watery feeling on application, great longevity but with even more glitter and sparkle. These are really pretty but extremely *bling bling bling* so don’t go anywhere near these if you fear glitter and shine. I would advise applying with a brush as I used my finger tip and then proceeded to leave a trail of glitter on anything I touched for hours afterwards.
These are definitely worth a try especially for the price but the colour selection is inferior to Jill Stuart’s. I don’t love pastels for my eyes but all the shades apply very similar so once on the skin they look more silvery and sparkly. The base colour doesn’t show up very well so my pink shade didn’t look very pink on my eyelids. Pudding is not a bad name for these as the texture is reminiscent of blamanche or some other whipped gelatine dessert concoction. The packaging is a glass pot with a plastic screw on lid.
Overall I like the shade I got for the glitter punch it packs but won’t get anymore. It’s bound to dry-up very quickly and I’d rather invest in a more interesting shade from Jill Stuart.
This is another very belated haul pic post from months ago when I went on my first ever visit to Japan! As there were many more important things to be done than shopping (lounging around in hot springs and lots of eating) I only managed a 10 minute visit to a drugstore but had enough time to pick up some things that I’d read about and had been lemming… namely Majolica Majorca and Kate eyeshadows and some mascaras.
Also I couldn’t resist these KitKats in off-beat flavours: Green Tea & Yuzu, and Sweet Potato. I’m not a chocolate purist so I enjoyed these a lot 🙂
I love Missha and it ties for 1st place with Etude House as my favorite Korean beauty brand but this is unforgivable.