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California, United States
Hi! Thanks for visiting ^_^ My social media platforms: Instagram: meowmier Youtube: http://goo.gl/U5SnNM (formerly under the username francesvlogs but I don't have access to that anymore). I don't really do videos anymore simply because I think blog posts are more informative. Hope you enjoyed your time here! :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Empties August 2013

Hello there!

It's time for another empties post =D Obviously I didn't finish all these in August... I accumulated these products since my last empties post. Sorry for the inconsistent photo quality... some products I used up while I was in Taiwan, those I just used my iPhone to take a picture since I didn't have my camera with me. Anyway let's just get into the products shall we ^_^?

1. Lancôme Genifique
This is actually the second bottle I used up lol. First one I got because I wanted to try it out. Second one I got from my mom cuz she felt no difference using it lol. What I feel about Genifique hasn't changed-- I "think" it helps my skin speed up with the healing process, so I tend to only use this when my skin is recovering from something, otherwise I feel no difference when my skin is in its normal condition. The only time I felt a major difference using this product was described in this post. Will I repurchase? Ehhhh.... I'm leaning toward maybe not for now.

2. MAC Liquidlast Eyeliners in Cocoa Bar and Point Black
I thought it was funny that I got to the end of both products around the same time LOL. But the black eyeliner dried up before the brown one did. If you have been reading my blog for a long time, you will know this is my holy grail eyeliner, even though the black one isn't as good as the brown one (brown one got discontinued... I cry). I have two reviews dedicated to this eyeliner, you can view them here and here. By the way these eyeliners lasted me forever... I think I had that brown one for two years, and that's like using it almost everyday O_O you might say that's disgusting, but hey, when your holy grail eyeliner is discontinued, you hang on to it until its very last drop! XD

3. Fresh lipbalm
This I got from the Sephora birthday present set. I adore it but I will not spend $22.50 on a lip balm. With that said if it was cheaper (maybe like under $10 XD) then I would definitely repurchase it XD (not going to happen... LOL). Downside of this is it's really really soft so you have to be careful because it might break easily. Also it melted when I got to Taiwan, so it can't really withstand hot weather, so keep that in mind if you're planning to gift this to someone. Otherwise I really liked it while it lasted!

4. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen
So... at first I really liked it because of the convenience. It was just so easy to spray it on and rub it in because it's pretty light weight. Note that even though it says it's non-greasy but it does leave a sheen, so keep that in mind. Now I really don't think it is water-resistant... I brought this with me to a water park this summer and reapplied it religiously and I got BURNED. Not the worst burn I've ever had, but bad enough. So I think it got washed off (and I did wait for it to set before I got into the water). So this is probably only good for daily use. But I don't know... In retrospect I think I did get mild sun burns when I wore this on a daily basis. My skin felt dry and itchy and kind of irritated when I used this sunscreen, but I thought it was because it was so hot. But in retrospect when I used my Shiseido Face & Body sunscreen I didn't get that at all. So I don't know, I don't really trust this sunscreen anymore. Will not repurchase.

5. Lancôme Blanc Magique powder foundation

Okay technically speaking it's not empty yet, but I thought it's close enough so why not XD I kept thinking I'd run out of this by now, but I still have some left XD (and I was so excited that I went out and buy more powder foundations... lol). This is the VERY FIRST foundation I'm ever gonna use up! Super excited about that! (I'm a lazy person... powder foundation is the quickest. Also I can only use powder foundation when my skin flakes). It's not fragranted, which is a plus more me. The coverage is pretty good. The thing I love the most about this powder is that it doesn't melt off my face. It really is long-lasting. And it doesn't oxidize when I get oily. Also when I get oily my oils just mix in with the powder; it doesn't get cakey at all. Even though I didn't repurchase it this time around, I will definitely be happy to repurchase it again in the future! I recommend! I only apply this with a powder brush (I hate using sponges for powder... too made-up!)

6. Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Gel
Got this in my little sample set. I have to admit the first time I used it I freaked out-- It gives the weirdest tightening feeling, which I confused with not moisturizing my skin enough, you know what I mean? But I later I realized my skin didn't feel tight because it wasn't moisturized, but it's just an effect from this gel XD This gel smells like vinegar, which I don't particularly enjoy. But I do notice the next day my skin would look really smooth and my pores are smaller (not that they're too big in the first place). One thing I don't like is that it really stings if you have some kind of wound on your skin. Nothing unbearable but... it still hurts T_T
I might consider purchasing the full product. Might. Probably not the best option for winter.

7. Majolica Majorca
You guys have seen this too many times on my blog... my holy grail mascara. Enough said. The primer I wouldn't say it's holy grail... but since I can't find anything better... I'm sticking with it.

8. Za
The Za mascara base I won't repurchase. It makes my lashes look kind of white-ish even though I try to cover it with mascara to the best of my ability. Which is too bad because it gives quite a bit of volume. The Impact Lash Mascara is pretty good, I wouldn't mind repurchasing. But I still think Majolica is better.

9. Origins Dr. Andrew Weil Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Advanced Face Serum
A little sample/travel size. You guys all know how I feel about the Mega Mushroom line-- the BEST for sensitive and irritated skin! I couldn't use anything but Mega Mushroom when my face was breaking out this summer, this was the only skin care that soothes my itchy, red skin. I probably wouldn't repurchase it (as in the full size serum) but that's only because the serum is SO pricey. I will, however, always repurchase other Mega Mushroom products, like the face wash and the face cream. Gonna try the mask next :D

10. Aveda Botanical Kinetics skin firming/toning agent
I can't even praise this product because I was just too pissed with the bottle. It LEAKS. TERRIBLE. It started leaking when I'm about half way through the bottle. After that it got so messy I was just too eager to get through it. Also the bottle doesn't spray that evenly. Aveda really really needs to work on that packaging for this. Other than that... I really feel no difference using it. The best I'd say it's a moisturizing toner. But then again I always feel like toner is an unnecessary step in skincare.

11. Bath & Body Works Eucalyptus Mint & Tangerine Body Wash
I have to say I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed this... mainly the scent. Usually not that into citrus scents but I'm getting into it. I think it smells even better in the shower than if you just sniff it from the bottle. Other than that I like how it doesn't give a residue feeling after (some moisturizing shower gels give the feeling that I didn't wash it off properly). Wouldn't mind repurchasing if there's a promotion ^_^

12. Asience Shine Therapy Conditioner
I remember last year I was obsessed with this conditioner... but this year I wasn't that into it?? I don't know. Maybe it's because I got obsessed with the residue issue. I no longer use any conditioner on my roots/scalp (so I can't tell if this leaves a residue). It was good but honestly if you don't live in Asia, don't try so hard to get your hands on it. Try Aussie Three Minute Miracle, that one is pretty awesome.

13. Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner
I have tried a lot of Aveda products now, and I honestly think this is the best Aveda product to try. This was the shampoo that really got me into Aveda brand in the first place (and the hand/foot creams and loose powder too). I left this at my mom's last year and she didn't really use it, but when I used it again this year, I can really feel the difference again-- my hair does feel lighter and more voluminous after using this shampoo. It cleanses really well and does not leave residue. These has gotten pricier over the last 2 years (but then again everything else did too), so if you can only get one, get the shampoo and skip the conditioner, although I think the conditioner pairs well with the shampoo. I was quite sad when these bottles were finished. Bottom line is I'd very much like to repurchase this shampoo, but it's too expensive so I'm gonna continue to try out other shampoos.

Whew, that was a lot of products. Hope you guys enjoyed this post! Must go study now. Eek!

<3 Frances
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Friday, August 23, 2013

Taiwan Haul 2013

Hi guys!

Long time again! XD I can't believe summer was already over and school has started again (I'm a P3 now OMG cases cases cases). I also just moved into a new apartment with a new roommate =D My roommate is Korean and I've never lived with a Korean before and so far it's been interesting :P So far I'm loving this new apartment and new roommate; I used to have 3 other roommates and it got quite hectic sometimes lol. It's so quiet and peaceful here in my new apartment. Although the lighting sucks =/ That and with Maryland's gloomy weather... I just hope I can find a way to upkeep my photo quality. I had to adjust all of my photos for this post so they're more true to color. Anyway since school isn't too hectic yet, I decided might as well update my blog (it's now or never buahaha). So today I want to share with you the stuff I got from Taiwan =D

Looks so massive... haha. But really a lot of them are samples/free gifts with purchase lol.

1. Bourjois Color Boost Glossy Finish Lipstick
These look exactly like the Revlon lip stains! But they are not lip stains. They are pretty glossy and more moisturizing (Revlon kissable lip stains has a drier formula). Left to right are #2 Fuchsia Libre and #4 Peach on the Beach. They don't really last... just like any other moisturizing lipstick. Sometimes I layer this over my Revlon lip stains to give my lips a more juicy look :P

2. Za Ever Brows Brow Pencils
I've seen Bubbi use this multiple times in her tutorials so I wanted to give it a try! I love my Anastasia eye brow powder but I feel like eye brow powders gives a very made-up finish (I don't understand when ppl say use brow powder if you want natural looking brows??? I mean yeah they look softer... but also more powdery) so anyway I wanted to try pencils for less powdery look and I opted for these. I do like it (haha bought a backup). I do notice they don't last as long or well as my Anastasia brow powder, but it's acceptable. The brush on the back of the pencil is pretty awesome! Smooths out the pencil really well. After these I think I will try the Anastasia brow pencils. I got mine in #3 Natural Grey cuz my hair is black now.

3. Za Plumper Lips Lipstick
Read about these on a Tawainese blog and decided to give it a try. I originally only bought the color #8 and after trying it out I went back and bought 3 more XD It's a very moisturizing formula, I like! I think people who enjoy Revlon lip butters will enjoy these too ^_^

4. Majolica Majorca
Majolica came out with a new formula/new comb again! So of course I had to get one. Also stocked up on two mascara primers. I'm sure you guys have already seen this... Majolica Majorca is my favorite mascara brand, been using them since high school (buy the ones with comb, don't buy the ones with regular brush heads because the formula tends to flake).

5. D.U.P Wonder Eyelid Tape
You guys have seen this before too... for the days when my eyelids are swollen/when my double eyelid decide they want to move places, I use this to correct them.

6. My Beauty Diary Arbutin Whitening mask
My favorite whitening mask from My Beauty Diary. The packaging has changed. I also noticed in the ingredients that they no longer use parabens! =D thumbs up for that. I haven't tried this new formulation but I'm confident that it will be good ^_^

7. Naruko Rose & Botanic HA Aqua Cubic Hydrating Mask 
Also a repurchase. This mask is really hydrating, and brightening as well! Really like this for the hydration

8. Naruko Raw Job's Tears Supercritical CO2 Brightening Mask (what kind of name is this??? LOL)
Since I'm impressed with the rose mask, I wanted to give other Naruko masks a try, I have to say I'm disappointed. Somehow I feel like this mask doesn't absorb as well for some reason??

9. Naruko Taiwan Magnolia Brightening and Firming Mask
This mask is one of those lifting masks that cover your chin and you hook to your ears to give your face a V-shape lift. Another disappointment. Conclusion: I only like the rose mask from Naruko, the other products are just meh.

10. Loofah & Aloe Vera Hydrating Mask
Er not sure what's the name of the brand... 豐, 台灣?? LOVEMORE?? lol. First time trying this brand, and I was pleasantly surprised! The mask is made of this very thin material so it fits really well to the contours of my face, also the cuttings are very delicate so very suitable for girls with small face/features! Best fitting mask I've tried. The formula is pretty nice too. I like!

11. Wine Yeast Whitening Mask
Haven't tried this yet.

12. CONI Exfoliating Gel
I've been dreaming about these for the last year! My favorite exfoliating gel. It's more like an enzyme exfoliant, you rub it on your face and dead skin cells will come off.
This one is supposed to contain gold liposome. Both of them are good but I do like this one just a bit more :P

Okay the rest of free gifts from CONI... I know it's kind of ridiculous how many gifts they gave us. I think it's because CONI isn't a really well-known brand in Taiwan so they're really trying to get ppl to try out their products to get the name out there, who knows? I'm not the one to turn down free skin care :P
Supposed to be a lifting mask. Haven't tried

Travel set for sensitive skin. Haven't tried either.

Eye masks. These I have tried and I really like them! They're so comfortable I often just fall asleep while still wearing them... and would wake up and find them completely dried up and shriveled lol. I didn't purchase my own set cuz it's quite pricey. 

Moisturizing overnight mask. I guess something like Laneige's sleeping pack?? Honestly wasn't so interested in these cuz I don't tend to like overnight masks... we'll see how these perform.

Random travel size conditioner, makeup remover and exfoliating gel.

More skincare, foundation, and BB cream samples

Jelly mask. It is very moisturizing, I do enjoy it but not something I'd purchase on my own.

13. Paul & Joe Powder Compact Foundation
I was running dangerously low on my Lancome Blanc Miracle powder... I actually wasn't even planning to get P&J, but I was playing at the P&J counter one day and the MUA was so patient with me (I kind of wish she would leave me alone LOL cuz I wasn't planning to purchase) and the powder is so finely milled I decided to give this a go. I don't know if P&J's foundations have ever been reformulated but it's different from what I remembered! The last time I tried P&J I thought the finish is so heavy and mask-like. Maybe it's because the last MUA who helped me last time used a very heavy hand... who knows lol. I didn't notice at the time of purchase but I did realize later that this powder is extremely fragranted, so beware if you dislike strongly fragranted cosmetics. 

14. Lancome Teint Miracle Powder Foundation
My skin was very unstable while I was in Taiwan (allergies and rashes)... and I wasn't sure if the fragrance in the P&J irritates my skin (I couldn't really tell if my face was itchy from allergies or if it was from P&J). I purchased this at duty-free because first I do love it, and second if the P&J does irritate my skin, at least I will have something to fall back to. I was debating between the Blanc Miracle and this but in the end I bought this... Even though Blanc Miracle is for oil control... I look oily at the end of the day anyway no matter which product I use XD I decided to go with this one cuz the powder is ever so slightly finer and looks less powdery. If you're interested in seeing comparison swatches of Lancome Blanc Magique and Teint Miracle, see my old post here

15. Vaseline afer sun aloe vera gel
I got sunburned when I went to a water park in Taiwan =_= I did reapply sunscreen religiously but got burned anyway =___= will talk about it in the next post. But anyway got this to soothe my skin. It's meh... kind of sticky. Will try to use them up (bought two of them cuz it was buy one get one half off) but will not repurchase. Why is there Korean on there??? lol

16. Brow scissors
My other ones are kind of old. This is my second pair from this brand and I really like them! But honestly I don't even use the comb LOL. I think any brow scissors will work well... I just happened to like my last pair that I want to stick with this brand :P

17. Olive Oil Skin Care Company Handmade Pure Olive Oil Soap
So this brand of soap was originally started by an Australian professor who wanted to create a very mild and natural soap that is suitable for his wife, whose skin suffered from eczema/psoriasis. You can read about it here. I've been using it to wash my face and it is pretty mild but effective. Some ppl might find it drying but I don't (I happen to like the squeaky clean feeling). I wouldn't say it helps improve my skin yet but at least it doesn't exacerbate my conditions. However I still find oatmeal the most gentle way to clean my skin when it's problematic.  

18. Etude House
There was a new Etude House store where I live =P However I think the price is tripled when it's in Taiwan =_= Maybe just doubled.... but I think close to tripling. Still affordable compared to brand makeup. But you guys should know that Etude House is an extremely affordable brand in Korea and you should never pay too much for it.

Since I love my #2 Strawberry Choux Lovely Cookie Blusher, I decided to pick up another one-- #10 Peach Parfait, which, implied by its name, a more pinky peach color. Both #2 and #10 are matte blushes.

I once read somewhere that the Oh My Eyeliner is pretty good so I decided to give it a try. When I swatched it in store the consistency felt a lot like my MAC Liquidlast eyeliner. However when I tried it at home on my eyes the consistency is a lot thinner and more liquidy. I also have difficulty using my own brush to apply this eyeliner because it applies quite thin and uneven. But when I used the applicator it comes with it applies fine. But I don't like the flimsy applicator =( I will figure something out. As for lasting power, not quite as good as my MAC liquidlast, but I was impressed! For one thing it's rare that a liquid eye doesn't make my eyes tear. For another it doesn't smear or run, but rather it fades, and it's nothing too bad either. Will have to test it out more before I can give a final verdict.

I wasn't going to purchase the mascara cuz I had zero interest in it, but the SA told me it was buy the mascara and get the eyeliner for free and they are the same price. So basically I bought the eyeliner and got the mascara for free XD Will have to test it out... later.  

Gel eyeliner brush. It's very soft, which I like. However I did find this eyeliner brush sometimes wipe off the eyeliner I just applied when I went back and forth with it. So it's not the best, but not too bad either. The bristles are synthetic.

I had to get these hair ties because they're simply too adorable! But they do pull out my hair when I try to undo my hair -_-a

What's this called??? Like a head wrap?? It's a towel with velcro so you can use it to secure your hair out of the way when you wash your face. It's alright... my hair is short now so even when my bangs are out the way, the rest of my hair still fall forward when I wash -_-a am I using it wrong??

Free gifts. There's a cord hair tie thing that I'm really excited that I got! =D I've always seen girls wearing cord hair ties and I thought it's cute.
Other samples I got. These shall go on my blog sale since I'm not interested in using them lol.

19. 廣原良 Loofah water
Got a bunch of these so I can give them to friends as well. It pretty much just feels like water, but more moisturizing (as opposed to if you just spray water your face can feel quite dried out after the water evaporates). It can also be used as toner. I do like the spritz bottle since it dispenses quite evenly. What's up with the little creepy guy on the packaging?? It reminds me of PSY. LOL.

20. YSL Rouge Volupte Shine in #15 Corail Intuitive, and Etude House Dear My Jelly Lips-talk lipstick in JPK004
So these I didn't buy in Taiwan but I thought I'd include them anyway. I tried the YSL lipstick randomly one day and was immediately in love with the baby pinky peach nude color. Luckily I had a Sephora Wrapp gift card so I was able to get a little discount off it XD and the Etude House lipstick I got as a gift from a friend. The funny thing is, these lip colors kind of look similar when worn on lips... haha.

Okay, that's the end of my massive haul. I know I didn't include any swatches, but that's because there are simply too many things and I don't want to make this post busier than it already is. The swatches and reviews will come later. Is there anything you guys are particularly interested in???

Coming up next will be another empties post =D

Until then, I hope everyone had a fantastic summer ^_^ and if you're starting school, have a great school year! By the way my roommate "bullied" me into watching the Korean drama "I Hear Your Voice," has anyone seen it? I'm usually not that into Asian dramas (more of an American TV series girl), but it's pretty good! Been keeping my at the edge of my seat lol. Dang my roommate for making me start a drama at the beginning of the semester >.< must NOT be distracted. But for now... I'm gonna go watch another episode LMAO.

Talk to you guys later!

<3 Frances