Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Romand Juicy Lasting Tint in Nudy Peanut

Romand, founded by beauty guru Saerom Min, has been getting quite a bit of raves lately(I hear it from bloggers who don't normally buy kbeauty). The brands has some cutesy eyeshadow, powder blush and anime collaborations, but I was most interested in the huge range of lip products, even though the majority of them are tints (stain). 

It's hard to chose something just based off internet images (I don't refer to swatches from Japanese or Korean bloggers since the pictures tend to be heavily filtered) so I was lucky to find some Romand in  store while browsing at Ume Cosme Ktown. 

There were only three shades available in store (a red, coral and a nutty orange) and all three looked enticing. Remember back in the good old days Revlon lipsticks had that kind of subtle complexity that would look stylish off the tube and sit well on various skintones ? (American beauty conglomerates have decided that you don't deserve such shades unless you spend over $30 a piece). The shades are like that...They all look "expensive" for lack of a better word. 
Although I loved the coral shade, I decided to go with the warmest one on the spot, knowing that lip tint usually turn way cooler on me. #10 Nudy Peanut is a creamy, nutty kind of apricot but with a coral red base tint. There is a juicy fruit scent that smells a little less artificial than Etude House/Innisfree tints. 
#10 Nutty Peanut on arm. Lena has swatched three other shades and she mentioned that it's comparable to YSL water tint. I have never tried the YSL but this certainly feels nicer than the L'Oreal Glossy Stain.
Romand Juicy Lasting Tint #10 Nutty Peanut - Right after application it looked somewhat peanut buttery (with a little bit of opacity) but a few minutes later it turned more of a reddish coral and the finish became more clear. The formula is hydrating that my lips feel better after wearing it.

One of my main aspect to judge lip product is how it sits around the lip boundary. Juicy Lasting Tint aced it: coloring extactly the area it should be (it didn't draw a needle thin and unnatural line nor creates automatic gradation that's deeper in the center/ bleeding a-hole a la Innisfree look). And the stain it leaves behind is even, not too bold (doesn't ruin the day if I want to wear something else) and last reasonably well when I layer a clear gloss on top. 
Romand Nudy Peanut with a layer of Ettusais Deep Moist lip essence. This is how the base stain look like on me, significantly cooler than the gloss color but it's not magenta!)

I don't normally like lip tint (what do you call people who hate something but keep buying it, masochist?) but this is certainly a very flattering shade that I will reach for. I don't want to repurchase shades from this range just yet (well stores in Ktown are closed) but I have already gotten an matt tint online. I am excited about the range since it's created by a beauty addicts who knows what she wants. 

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Ishizawa Laboratory Shigaisen Youhou Chemical Free UV Cream

More goodie from the Sunscreen Land. I first discovered Shigaisen Youhou on my first Japan trip back in 2018 - I fell in love with the lovely texture, "zero" (feels like nothing) finish and natural citrus scent (they promptly got rid of it spring 2019) while wandering around Tokyu Hand. 

I waited until I finished (three tubes since last year, guess I kind of love them!) using them to give a final verdict. 
There are two versions of the UV creams (the brand also makes large bottle sunscreen and UV Gel) - Regular one and a medicated whitening version. 

My review might be a little confusing as it consists of whitening version made before spring  2019 (I am not sure if there is a reformulation, as I didn't like it enough to repurchase), the regular version before and after spring 2019. 
Ingredients of the whitening version - It has L-Ascorbic Acid and other vitamin c derivatives (What is 2-Glucote?). 

The whitening version seems scent free, has  a milky texture that's moisturizing but a little tacky on hotter days. It spreads well enough but I didn't like its relatively more noticeable white cast. It's not that bad but it's visible enough to bother me, as I first started using it later on the year. I am using right now it actually looks totally natural(I am at my palest early spring of each year and my tan peak around September). 

I didn't love it but I still managed to finish the (very small 40g tube) as it works at day time moisturizer.
Ishizawa Lab UV cream whitening and regular (after 2019 reformulation) You can tell from the picture how chalky white and whitening version is...Makes me wonder if that's what they aimed for. 

The regular version seems more jelly and less tacky on the face. 
(I took too many glamour shots just for the whitening one, as I was busy using the regular version).
Now here comes the regular version I love - It has a jelly texture that's moisturizing, comfortable but leaves negligible white cast. It's a great day time moisturizer with SPF50+ and PA++++, protecting against winter wind and UV while feeling completely weightless on the face - no oil, no tight film or icky residue. 

It sits so well on bare skin (it evens out skintone without looking white) and also works as a smoothing base for powder or liquid  foundation. When it comes to sunscreen, all I need is effectiveness (it's good enough for non-summer seasons), zero irritation and feeling non-icky on the skin. Everything about this was so pleasant that I was able to stick with it everyday. 

Actually, my favorite part was its  refreshingly natural scent that came from orange oil but that got sacked as of 2019. 
Ingredients for the regular version of the UV cream (before reformulation)  the new version just got rid of the orange oil. The UV  filters used are the usual Titanium Dioxidr and Zinc oxide, the ones in bold are skincare ingredients like hydrolyzed collagen, acerola fruit essence, aloe vera, argan, Chinese skullcap root (I googled that), camellia flower, grape and some other root...
Another glamour shot of the whitening one
It's also available at Teso (a drugstore in Flushing that's filled with mostly/90-95% Japanese beauty products)with 100% markup. I guess it's still cheaper than a round trip ticket to Japan? 

Speaking of which, they have gotten so incredibly expensive (for direct flight from New York to Tokyo) but I guess it doesn't matter since entry from US is banned anyway.

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Walking around Manhattan (A Week Before Lockdown)

Sometime back in early March, I took half day off from work just so that I could get a little much needed sun and  walk around the city. I also needed to restock some much needed nessesities (mostly snacks and Chinese drinks).  Back then, New York only had a few confirmed cases (test kits were still scarce) so we all had a false sense of security. A few weeks later the count in New York totally blew up and the county I live in (New Jersey) has more cases than the state of Texas...

Anyway, looking at these pictures show me how much I have taken for granted. 
My first stop was a sewing supply store in the Garment District called Steinlauf and Stoller - Prime location, great price (better than Amazon for sure), best selection in zippers, thread, snaps and the store has a warm and homey feel. 
I also went to B &J fabrics to take a peek of their remnant bin...This mid weight kelly green (wool and lycra) totally spoke to me but 98 bucks eh...
Soymilk tea with Taro at Biao Tea (Ktown) - Friend raved about it but it was alright
The Heimlich Maneuver poster at  Biao Tea cracked me up. These two looked so in love.
Walking south, I stopped by Flying Tiger Copengagen. These notebook fit refill from Midori traveller's notebook and would be perfect for sketches. 
Carrot sharpener...(I got one from marshalls...which doesn't look as cool/totally doesn't work)
Love this daisy rolling pin (but I will use it maximum of one time)
Fox news a-hole going "Coronavirus" (Literally  what he was saying when I turned my head) at Union Square Green Market
(This pic was from J Mart in Flushing but) Sun Vin at Manhattan has the best price on Vita Lemon Tea. I got two half dozen pacts (they have the "right" taste/combo of lemon, sugar and tea plus the caffeine isn't too strong. 
Back in the 90s if you can afford this for your kid - you were solid middle class. My family was comfortable but not comfortable enough for this...
Come at me bruh! 
I stopped by this Singapore Malaysian jerky store many times in the past (arms were full) and finally gave it a try/bought half a pound...The glazed jello type of jerky (they grill on the spot) is totally worth it. 
Little sign by the sweet potatoes saying it's better than abalone and seacucumber. 
PDA that I don't mind seeing (much better than seeing people swallowing each other in the subway). On my way to Lung Moon - A bakery that sells the classic Cantonese styled buns - very  well done basics. This is the taste of childhood (if you grew up in Guangdong province) and I miss this bakery so much.

Lastly, random food consumed a month ago...
This one is from feburary - Macau Imperial Tea (Jasmine milk tea)- This is a watery milky drink without much real milk (I know thanks to adult onset lactose intolerance, I usually have a huge food baby an hour after consuming real milk tea). I won't feel bad if it goes out of business. 
Chicken Rice from Feilong Food court in Sunset Park Brooklyn (That place was pretty dead before NYC outbreak) 
I wish I have bought some...Tapioca popsicle
Dunkin Donut's matcha latte - Do not like (again this contains very little milk), I could make my own soy version.
Bibimbap from New World Mall food court (wanted to eat something healthy that day)...This doesn't taste authentic to me. 

That's is for now, all those places are closed right now (I assume, haven't visited any of them)...Hope you are somewhat entertained and don't forget to stay the fuck home (unless you are an essential worker).

Friday, April 03, 2020

Cleanser Reviews - Skinfood Bitter Green, Boscia Cleansing Balm, Pacifica

Cleanser is something I have a large reservoir of (gotta wash the face and other body parts), since it's too tedious to review one cleanser at a time, here is another group review for seven of them.
You might have heard me dismissing Korean skincare in the past (in fact I still find them largely overrated) but Skinfood is somewhat of an exception...OK,  I just like their cutesty, illustrated packaging. 

The Bitter Green Deep Cleansing Gel is a lightweight watery gel that's gentle and that's it. I am not sure about how deep it cleanses but it's only a little better than washing with water. It's non-foaming,  useless against sunscreen, leaves a bit of residue. The cleansing power is so pathetic that I don't even use it as hand wash...Anyway, two thing they claims are delivered: It's green and it tastes bitter (when gets in mouth).
Skinfood Black Sugar and Strawberry mask are among my holygrails (repurchased many times) so when I saw the Black Sugar Perfect Essential Scrub 2x (2 times what?) I knew I want to give it a try. 
The 2x Essential is mostly similar to the original, except it's easier to smooth over, feels soapy and less grainy than the regular version. I suppose it's gentler but I personally don't find the original version harsh either (I only use it once or twice when my face feel congested).  It's not bad but I prefer the sugary smell and texture of the regular version.
Boscir Charcoal Makeup Melter Cleansing Oil Balm - This must have been discontinued for a while as I got it a year ago from Marshall's ($1.5). Due to its old age, it's smelling like a sooty pot of wax and I was particularly courageous putting it on.
The texture is a rich oil balm that melts away makeup and washes mostly clean. It's richer than other thin silicone formula but isn't messy. I like it but feel like it really should hit the bin...
Pacifica Cactus Milk to Foam Face Wash is an opaque Milky cleanser that smells like Grapefruit and foams a lot (texture is light, just like the L'Oreal Revitalift cleanser) it gets rid of oil reasonably well but I found it rather stripping and irritating around the eyes. At the end I used it up on my body. 
ItCosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser was a cartfiller and unexpectedly good: The light, rose scented milky gel only foams a little, it cleanses well and feels light and comforting, it's moisturizing but leave no squeak or residue. It's a great for non waterproof sunscreen and as a morning cleanser. 

I think it's great (but frankly there are so many Japanese drugstore brands that are better) but not something I actively go back to. 
B&C Laboratory AHC Esthetic Soap must something of a classic, as I have known it since 2005. There are two version of this AHA soap, only the mild version is available widely at Asian grocery stores. It's an apple scented jelly soap bar that cleanses and reduces pores and blackhead. After once use, I notice a softening and the refinement of skin texture (as with many exfoliators) but without the irritation. I like it but probably not the jacked up price in America (more than $10), it gets used up pretty quickly too. 
Lastly, Rosette Face Cleansing Paste. This one is display at Teso (I feel so bad for the store as its grand Ktown opening happened around the same time as the city wide lockdown).

This cleanser has been around since forever (it just smells like something from the Showa Era...)1929 according to the label -I have the pink one on lower right. it's a somewhat thick white paste you squeeze out of the diaphragm (that has a cross opening). It's actually quite effective at removing mineral sunscreen and other makeup while being non-stripping. The medicine like smell is old school and comforting. 

It's a very good product (for something that's older than my grandfather, it works better than many modern cleansers out there) but...I just don't love the squeezing mechanism, it takes a lot of effort (almost feels like squeezing gunk  out of a bellybutton) and it's harder to get product out the more I have used it. I would gladly repurchase if they put in a more squeezable tube. 
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