Hi guys! It’s been awhile since my last review- I’ve been busy with my move back to Manchester and sorting a couple of muck-ups with housing. It’s a long story, but basically I wasn’t sure for a week or two how the place I planned to move into was actually legal or allowed. Why do irresponsible people exist.

So… yeah. Big mess.

It’s all sorted now and by December renewing the housing agreement should be a lot smoother. Fingers crossed! Life update over, let’s head right into this review.

dr botanicals, japanese orange, facial serum, skincare

I signed up for the Dr Botanicals review program and received an invitation to review the Japanese Orange Revive & Firm Facial Serum. I just had to pay delivery, which you can redeem the value of in a voucher for your next order.

To be honest- I was a little skeptical of its claims. A lot of companies are promoting vegan/ cruelty-free skincare ranges now because consumers are now more conscious of the products they buy.

Don’t get me wrong- I think it’s a great example of consumers actively influencing company decisions for the better and i think it’s an excellent step forward for the beauty industry.

However, in many brands it’s simply used as a sort of marketing tactic given not all of their products adhere to this. But rest assured- all of Dr Botanicals’ products are strictly vegan.

And you know how people talk about their “holy grail product”?

This is it for me.

I’m not sure if this was the main purpose of the serum, but it cleared my skin up almost overnight. I was amazed. I’ve never had anything clear my skin up so quickly.

dr botanicals, japanese orange, facial serum, skincare

I was already really impressed with the Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin cream, which saved my skin from drying out on TWO long-ass flights (total travel time over 24 hours, you heard me- this is the long-distance life).

My skin was clearing up with the cream after a really bad case of hormonal acne, but with this serum, it worked beautifully underneath the cream and I actually had glowy skin.

The serum smells lovely and citrusy and is a tad bit sticky, which I don’t really notice since I go to bed immediately after that. I drip a few drops on my face directly (handy dropper tool keeps it hygienic!) and gently pat it in with my fingers.

dr botanicals, japanese orange, facial serum, skincare

You may not like it if you dislike strong scents. It seems a little strong for me upon first application, but fades after awhile. I have sensitive skin which flares up with some strong scented products but this doesn’t affect it at all which is great 🙂

I don’t even know how to describe how happy I am with this- I just paid for delivery on this one, but definitely going to repurchase when it runs out. Not sure if I’ll get the whole line, but I’ll look into it and possibly indulge myself for Christmas.

I’ve already caved and got myself the Ultra-Repair Overnight Regenerating Treatment (a night cream) during their sale, after reading lots of rave reviews about it. I’ve been conscious about my eye bags recently and I’m worried I’ll develop fine lines early, so I’ll see if this works for me like the serum did! I’ll probably review it another time.

You can try signing up for the review program too- I got my friend to try it out, but I’m not sure how they do selections- she never got an invite, but you can try your luck! I don’t think you need a good social media following or a blog 🙂

Here’s the link to the review program.

  1. I was recently gifted this duo by my best friend, which she bought during her solo trip to South Korea. These can be bought as a set or on their own, and I’ve included a couple of links to sites where you can acquire them for yourself in this post.

These two products claim to help to improve the elasticity, radiance, and the moisture of your skin with egg white and yolk extracts-I used to use egg whites on my nose and cheek area to tighten/firm, and these products ought to work the same way. I’ll see if they really do hold up to their claims!

egg mousse pack and soap, too cool for school

The Egg Mousse Pack: a whipped foam facial mask made from egg white and egg yolk extracts- smoothens and brightens skin.

Description:

This whipped, meringue-like mousse facial mask enriched with egg white and egg yolk extracts instantly transforms rough, dull skin into a smooth, radiant complexion in as little as five minutes. Egg white extract purifies and brightens, while egg yolk extract leaves skin hydrated and silky smooth. This unique, frothy facial mask deeply moisturizes and enhances the use of other skin care products for beautifully luminous skin. It contains no Sulfates or Phthalates. (Sephora.com)

My experience:

Out of the two, I was least impressed with this one. It left my face feeling soft, but I wouldn’t say it was any more hydrated or radiant than it was previously. I wasn’t really a fan of the smell, either. It smelt like grapes for some reason and I felt a mild tingling sensation.

I tried two ways of applying, since I looked up reviews after my first application and apparently it is recommended that you continue to massage the mask in instead of applying and leaving it on (like a scrub). I didn’t notice any difference, honestly.

I will probably continue to use it, but it didn’t wow me in any way. I did like how the mask expelled in a nice blob of foam (you only need to press the nozzle a little, it is very sensitive) and it was the right amount for my face. I love Lush’s face masks, but I’m not a fan of the constant dipping- especially with long nails, the mask gets trapped under your nails and it’s honestly quite unhygienic. No fuss with this one 🙂

egg mousse pack and soap, too cool for school, kbeauty, korea

The Egg Mousse Soap (facial cleanser): A whipped egg white mousse cleanser infused with egg yolk extract that gently hydrates, purifies, and replenishes your skin.

Description: 

This creamy, meringue-like cleanser combines milk proteins, amino acids, and egg extracts to thoroughly cleanse your skin. Tiny particles are able to go deep into the skin, not only to dissolve oil and dead skin cells, but also to nourish for long-lasting smoothness and hydration. Egg white extract purifies, tightens, and brightens while egg yolk extract moisturizes. Your skin is left thoroughly clean, hydrated, and glowing. (Sephora.com)

My experience:

I liked this a lot more than the mask pack. Like the mask, the nozzle dispenses dense, white foam. I liked the scent a lot more, but you should be warned that like most of the products Too Cool for School has, their fragrance is quite strong. If you are someone who dislikes scents in anything skincare-related, I would advise against getting it.

The dense foam meant that I could easily reach awkward crevices and such, which I usually have to use a brush or foaming net to do. The nozzle dispenses a tad bit too much foam in one pump if you’re not careful, so use a light hand.

I rub in and massage, and my skin feels soft and supple afterwards. It is not a heavy duty cleanser, and I use it after removing all my makeup (certainly does not budge my waterproof mascara much).

I like that my skin does not feel uncomfortably tight like some cleansers leave me feeling, but I would not say you can entirely do without moisturiser altogether. Use your regular toner/ serum/ moisturiser after cleansing.

I am currently using the botanical toners from Garnier’s SkinActives range, which I will introduce in my August favourites at some point. I follow up with The Body Shop’s Vitamin E moisture cream (review here).

egg mousse pack and soap, kbeauty, too cool for school

Other similar products:

I have also used Tonymoly’s egg pore range, of which I still use the Egg Pore Silky Smooth Balm (review here). I wasn’t that impressed with the Tightening and Cooling pack or the Blackhead Steam Balm from the same range- but then again, I do not have very visible blackheads. The steam balm and smooth balm smells lovely, which is a huge plus for me since I have to leave it on my face for a while.

If you live in Singapore, you can buy the whole range on Qoo10 here ($5.99/$8.99 SGD).

tonymoly egg pore silky smooth balm

I have also tried the Skinfood Egg White Pore Foam (150ml), which I wouldn’t say particularly impressed me. It was a cleanser that did its job, but that was pretty much it. It was a little drying, but probably more deep-cleansing than Too Cool For School.

I hope this review was helpful for those of you who are thinking about incorporating some Korean skincare options into your routine, or are curious about the benefits of eggs in skincare 🙂

I know the days of glorious sunshine are pretty much over (for rainy, rainy Britain), but how about getting one last fling at summer with these adorable water gel tints from Etude House? These were released months ago when I was still in the UK, miles away from affordable Korean beauty brands.

dear darling water gel tint shark red watermelon red

Shark Red (L), Watermelon Red (R)

Today I’ll be reviewing the Dear Darling Water Gel Tint from Etude House– their Dear Darling tints have a huge range, but for these adorable popsicles, there are just six: 샤크레드 (Shark Red) , 통팥레드 (Red Bean Red), 수박레드 (Watermelon Red), 오피치레드 (Oh Peachy Red), 보석레드 (Jewel Red), and 살구레드(Apricot Red).

I found the tints very pigmented, like the rest of the Dear Darling range, and some of the shades ended up looking pretty similar when I swatched them instore! I decided to get the reddish tints since I look better in those hues (compared to pink).

dear darling water gel tint shark red watermelon red

I bought two tints (Shark Red, Watermelon Red) during a 1+1 event, from a store called Beauti Topping on a local Singapore shopping site, Qoo10 (SG). There is an alternate site called Qoo10 Global, for international shoppers- the tints are shipped direct from Korea, and are often marginally cheaper than getting them in brick and mortar stores.

I got it with the sale price of $8.70 (U.P. $10.99) with shipping $1.90 (total roughly £6) which was a steal considering it costs $9.90 in stores. I keep harping on the price but as a Singaporean, there’s nothing I love more than a good deal! Qoo10 does sales regularly so keep an eye out- the price will surely drop soon.

dear darling water gel tint shark red watermelon red

Watermelon Red (L), Shark Red (R)

dear darling water gel tint shark red watermelon red

 

You can apply several coats for a buildable look or apply in the center and blend outwards for a softer, ulzaang look. Bitten lips, right on trend!

I usually bring Shark Red with me- I just pop it into my purse and carry it around, it’s small and fits perfectly. It might be less convenient to pop into a pocket due to its thickness (my common gripe with the EOS lip balms) though.

dear darling water gel tint shark red watermelon red

I also purchased the normal Dear Darling tints in two shades- RD305 (L) and BR401 (R).

dear darling water gel tint

I got BR401 purely by accident- I placed the order assuming it was a deeper red, but this was from the soda pop range- also named BR401. Ach, online shopping is convenient, but it’s so much easier to mess up/ click something you didn’t mean to/ order something you didn’t intend to. Oh well.

BR401 has a matte formula and smells strongly of sweet soda. I profess to not being a fan of the colour- it is a very peachy pink and applies thickly. The chemical-y sweet smell irritates my nose (and lips! they burned)- I’m not overly sensitive to fragrances and don’t mind them, but this was overwhelming. I’ll probably sell it off on Depop or Carousell (both links will take you to my shop page).

RD305 is now my new everyday shade- despite how dark it looks on the official promotional pictures, it blends out to a very wearable shade! It is a lovely brick red shade with no orange undertones.

I use it with the NYX soft matte lip cream in Abu Dhabi and it looks gorgeous! I’ve never been a fan of full-on matte shades, since I’m often snacking throughout the day- matte lipsticks tend to wear off fastest in the center, giving that dreaded patchy look.

Lip tints are a lot more lightweight and easy to reapply- and you don’t have to take them off at all- they just wear off over the course of the day or come off easily during your regular face cleansing routine without any hassle or stain! I think it’s a great shame lip tints haven’t been brought to western countries like UK/ USA or publicised more.

It was only early this year that I’ve seen beauty sites like Beautybay start stocking Korean brands like Tonymoly (a favourite with such sites, since the packaging is adorable), and I’ve spotted a few Etude House products sold in T.K.Maxx (mostly older ranges).

Do any of you guys use makeup from Korean brands? I would recommend giving them a try- they are often comparable to huge, established beauty brands for a fraction of the price! I use a sheet mask from Innisfree to save my skin after a bad breakout- it is honestly such a lifesaver. While I’m still in Singapore, I’ll try to review more Asian beauty brands- it’s been too long since I’ve done a full review!

I purchased these products with my own money, and all opinions about the product are my own.

I’ve been eyeing facial cleansing brushes for a while now, ever since they exploded onto the beauty scene a few years back… I could scarcely afford the Clarisonic at an eye-whopping £155 (for the Clarisonic Aria)- and still can’t- I would be immensely reluctant to drop that kind of money on something I was unsure about.

I scoured Google for reviews and comparisons, hoping to find a more affordable alternative, and the Magnitone repeatedly flagged up as a good competitor- some reviews even claimed it was gentler and more effective. The price on Amazon was £50, a third of the price- which I decided was pricey, but not too pricey if it did leave me with toned, baby smooth skin!

 

Magnitone Lucid cleansing brush, mint, facial brush

Magnitone Lucid cleansing brush in mint

I recommend purchasing it on Amazon– it is £20 cheaper than the price on the Magnitone London site. The delivery person just left it outside my front door, in full view of the street. How is that even allowed though? I don’t have a concealed front porch this year and I wish we still did- it was so handy for leaving parcels out for collection and you didn’t need to arrange for redeliveries quite as often.

The facial cleansing brush arrived in a very pretty box, with all the essentials- charger, USB, ziplock bag, and a one year warranty card that you register on their site.

Unpleasant delivery aside, I tried it out that very night and it left my face feeling oddly tight and toned. I had to apply moisturiser immediately since it was almost uncomfortably tight, but I guess that’s the difference for you. I already currently use a foam cleanser to get to all the dirt in my pores, but that probably wasn’t quite enough.

The description on their site states:

“Vibra-Sonic™ Daily Cleansing Brush deep-cleanses pores, tones and beautifully conditions your skin. For skin that deserves to go BareFaced! wherever, whenever. A combination of sonic oscillations + pulsed vibrations to deep-cleanse, massage and tone your skin at the same time, just like a mini workout.”

There are two modes on the facial brush- a normal one, and a toning mode that vibrates in short bursts. There is also an automatic timer that prompts you to move when you’ve been at a spot for too long, and after a minute it switches off completely.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

First-time users may experience breakouts as the gunk is cleared out, like I did, and it cleared up a little after three days. I routinely get bad hormonal acne, and this cleansing brush did leave my face feeling smoother and softer, but didn’t entirely eliminate all my acne woes. Granted, I have only been using it for a little over a week, and I will update this post after observing for a few more weeks.

The battery has good lasting power- I did not charge it at all when I got it, and it is still going strong! I just leave it in my bathroom and take it in the shower with me, and use it with my makeup remover and facial cleanser to take off makeup (it is entirely waterproof, so no fear of water damage!).

I like to use this with the innisfree green tea cleansing foam, as it is a thick paste that foams up beautifully with the brush and doesn’t leave the brush dragging over your bare skin (which might be too much for people with sensitive skin). It targets acne-prone skin as well, which is perfect! If your skin feels sensitive after using the brush regularly, make sure to apply lots of moisturiser, ensure there is enough cleanser and water, and reduce usage to 2-3 times a week or once daily until your skin gets used to it.

Be warned that you should avoid the sensitive eye area- I accidentally dragged it over my eyes once and lost about four eyelashes (laughs), and you don’t want it tugging at your delicate eye tissue either.

Overall, I am pretty satisfied with the results for the price I paid for it- and it is worth scouring eBay to see if anyone is looking to sell theirs for cheap. My friend got a secondhand one that was pretty much brand new at only £25! She paid an additional £14 to get two backup brush heads (for sanitary reasons, but you can well disinfect it yourself). There are other brush options like a larger brushhead for body use, and changing between them is very easy.

I hope this review was helpful- especially when you are dropping £50 on something, you want to do as much research as possible before purchasing it. Do let me know your experiences with this product- has it helped you just like mine did? 🙂

critiquesofacriticrimmelprimer

Rimmel Fix & Perfect Pro Makeup Primer in 002

Usually I can’t use any primers with my Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation as it is a VERY fussy and nitpicky foundation- just smears and slides and looks awful!

I’m so so happy with this ?? definitely recommend! Think I got it on Amazon UK for £5+ so it’s VERY affordable. I’ve tried Smashbox primers over the same Estee Lauder foundation and it didn’t work out either ? and this is literally 1/4 the price and works so much better!

It goes on so smoothly and does not leave any chalky residue like the W7 Prime Magic Face Primer did. I got the W7 primer on Amazon UK for £3 and it does leave your face feeling deliciously smooth and covers all your pores really well, as if it has been airbrushed, but any application of liquids makes it flake right off. Which is reaaally not ideal. I use it only if I can’t be ars*d having foundation on, but still want my skin to look smooth.

The W7 primer is very similar to the TONYMOLY Egg Pore silky smooth balm and The Body Shop all-in-one instablur, which I did a review of previously here.

It helps manage my oily skin too, which is a huge plus point. In fact, I had to go over with the Mario Badescu facial spray and skip a setting powder because it started looking a bit dry and I didn’t want it to end up cakey.

selfie with rimmel primer

yes my liquid lipstick smeared go easy on me hahah

PRODUCTS LIST

Primer: Rimmel Fix&Perfect makeup primer 002
Foundation: Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation in 2W0 Warm Vanilla + Maybelline FIT Me! Liquid Foundation in 120 Classic Ivory
Blusher: Albeit Cheek Stick in Nectar
Contour: Sleek Contouring and Blush palette
Mascara: Clio Salon de Cara Mascara (Volume x Curling) + Maybelline the Rocket Volum’Express
Lips: Sugar tinted lip balm in Rose under Kat von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita II
Brows: The Body Shop Brow & Liner Kit (03)
Eyeshadow: TBS brow powder + Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Concealer (03)
Spray: Mario Badescu facial spray with aloe, herbs and rosewater
Tools used: Real Techniques sponge + Real Techniques brushes core collection