July 21, 2014

Banila Co The Secret Marbling Highlighter 01 Scandalist

Here’s a brand I don’t typically talk about, Banila Co! It’s a little higher end than Etude House and Holika Holika. In other words, it’s a little pricier. Hence why I don’t mention them much, keke… But anyways, let’s take a look at this highlighter!

This review is kindly sponsored by Honest Skin. Thank you Honest Skin!


Brand: Banila Co
Name: The Secret Marbling Highlighter
Color: 01 Scandalist
Amount: 8g
Actual Weight: 65g
Price in Korea: 18,000KRW
Price on Honest Skin: $21.36 (Currently on sale for $14.96; also make sure to use my discount code "P88FIHW163" for 5% off!)

Here's the box:

And here’s the tub. The tub is reflective, enough so that you can actually use it as a mirror.

You can see the container’s actual color a little better here:

It comes with a little brush:

The brush is reasonably soft, but the bristles aren't entirely even or full:

Underneath the brush is a plastic lid covering the powder. If you continue to store the brush inside the tub, I recommend keeping this plastic lid. As annoying as it is to remove all the time, it keeps the brush from becoming a powdery mess!

The powder has swirls of pink and blue in it, but when applied, it’s mostly a pale shimmer. If you look closely you can see a hint of pale yellow.

Natural window light:

Alone: It’s smooth, but not soft. I say this because the powder “particles” (I’ll just call them that) feel smooth, but they are pressed together very firmly:

Natural window light:

At first, the outer layer looks textured and shimmery. But after wearing through it, the powder becomes smooth and more matte, like this:

Natural window light:

It picks up modestly on my brush (unlike the Minnie Mouse Highlighter):

Natural window light

On my face: I currently don’t have any dry flakes, though I do have large pores and bumps on my cheeks. As it turns out, this highlighter doesn’t accentuate my unevenness too much! My guess is because it applies in such thin layers (since the brush picks up so little), and because the “powder particles” are fine? But anyways, it goes like this:
  • 1 - 2 layers: Completely ok; no unflattering accentuation.
  • 3-4 layers: The powder finish starts to get become noticeable, but not necessarily in a bad way. It still doesn’t accentuate my bumps.
  • 6-7 layers: Now it starts to look powdery in a bad way. I begin to notice it clinging onto my bumps. (But then again, 6 layers sure is a lot!)

Here's a photo summary. Notice how with 1 and 2 layers, the texture is hardly noticeable from a normal distance:

Natural window light

It’s incredibly subtle, at least on me. I can hardly see it under bright light (and by that I mean daylight.) It shows up better in dim light, but even then it’s still a natural payoff. The shimmer is not obvious. Up close you can see little golden specks, but from normal distances, it looks like a slight metallic glow at most.

Here are some full-face swatches. You can hardly see anything, I know! I’m mainly including them for completion. If you hover over the images, I’ve shaded in where I’ve applied the highlighter. (It might take a few tries for the hover thing to work.) I recommend focusing on the left side of my forehead. That area shows up best, I think!

Natural window light:

Dim room light:

If you’re interested in more details other than what I’ve already summarized above, here are some extra descriptions that may not be clear from the photos:
  • 1 layer: Hardly noticeable. It makes just the slightest difference under dim light, and is practically unnoticeable in ample light. Only if I look very closely can I see the tiny gold specks of shimmer.
  • 2 layers: The difference is there under dim lighting, but again, very subtle. It brings light to my face in a very natural way, as opposed to looking unnaturally shimmery. (Because people don’t naturally shimmer, right?) The highlighter is still unnoticeable in bright light.
  • 3-4 layers: The highlighting and shimmer specks are no longer subtle under dim light! I wouldn’t say it’s quite transformative (in terms of changing the curvature of my face), but likely enough for most gyaru looks (circa 2009-2010). The powdery finish is a little visible in bright light, but the actually highlighting still not so much..
  • 6-7 layers: This is basically a step up from the previous one. The highlighting is there and it’s definitely illuminating my face, but not to the point of Kim Kardashian-style contouring. And even with so many layers, the shimmer still does not stand out. It’s more glowy than pearlescent, if that makes sense...

It certainly has it's nice aspects. It applies very naturally, which can be helpful for people like me who tend to over apply. I also like how I can apply several layers without it accentuating my bumps or large pores. But at the same time, it hardly shows up on me!

And for that, I think it’s ideal for gentle highlighting—if you wanted to add a bit of light under your eyes or into your naso-labial folds, for example—without too much powdery texture, which can be unflattering for rough skin. As for really dramatic contouring (what I like), I think it is possible but would require an immense amount of product.

And please remember, these are just my experiences! I personally used a brush and have somewhat light skin. It may be very different on darker skin, but I can't say!

Thank you again Honest Skin!

If you've tried this product, please do share your experiences! Otherwise, I'm very curious about everyone's preferences when it comes to highlighting. Y'all know I like me some dramatic lifting! :3

July 19, 2014

Mini Review: Innisfree Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil Mini Review-- Not my favorite…

Light green packaging, apple flavor…how could I resist? Fruit-themed skincare is so deliciously tempting!

Innisfree Apple Juicy Cleansing Oil

Directions: It’s a cleansing oil, so you first rub it on to dissolve your makeup (dry hands and dry face). Then, you rinse it all off with water.

Review: First off, it’s very fragrant! It smells strongly of green apple.

As far as cleansing goes, it’s a thin oil. This means that it doesn’t create a thick coating around my hands. It’s such a thin layer of product beneath my hands while I’m rubbing—and you do need product to remove your makeup—so as a result, I end up going back for more product to compensate.

Unlike some oils which require minimal rubbing to remove my BB Cream, this one requires quite a bit. Otherwise, it doesn’t remove cleanly. For example, I might see bits of BB cream left on my nose, or even a thin layer of BB cream still on my cheeks. In other words, I really have to work the product in there (i.e. rub thoroughly.)

Similarly, rinsing also takes some effort. It doesn’t melt right off with simple splashing. Even with thorough rinsing, I still see cloudy droplets (if you know what I mean) around my T-zone area, and those can only be removed by rubbing.

My Opinion: Yeah, I don’t like it...It smells cute and delicious, I won’t deny that! And don’t get me wrong, it cleanses fine! But if you’re like me and want to minimize the amount of rubbing you do, there are better cleansers out there. And besides, fragrances are irritating for your skin!

But if you’re into facial massages, then I suppose it’s not so bad~ I’m just personally not into rubbing, including facial massages.

Has anyone tried other products from this delicious-smelling apple line? Otherwise, please share what oil cleansers you've tried, liked, and disliked!

July 17, 2014

Cute!! Tony Moly Red Cheeks Girl’s Patch

With it's adorable Red Riding Hood-esque design, this little mask claims to "hydrate and soothe the cheeks." I’ll preface by saying that I bought this on a whim, simply because it is SO CUTE! I also figured it worth trying since I constantly battle redness in my cheeks. I think that’s one of the cons of having pale and/or translucent skin; imperfections stand out much more…or so I tell myself to feel better. :P


Brand: Tony Moly
Name: Red Cheeks Girl’s Patch
Amount: 14g
Price in Korea: 2,000KRW

Directions: Tear open and apply to cheeks. Leave on for 20-30 minutes and then remove.

It comes in a little packet:


You peel off the backing to reveal the two gel patches:

The gel patches are moderately saturated with liquid. The pads themselves are moist, and surrounding them is a modest amount of surplus liquid. It's enough to coat both sides, but not enough to drip:

In this next picture you can get an idea of the gel material. Please note that this was taken after I had used the patches, hence the slight dehydration:

They have a slight scent, but it's subtle. I only noticed it when I purposely tried to smell them.

Although the patches don’t have enough liquid to drip, there’s certainly enough liquid for them to slide! I had to lie down to prevent them from falling off, but even then they still kept sliding around. And that makes sense, considering your cheeks aren't completely flat. So despite the cute packaging, the process of being chained to bed and constantly readjusting them isn’t all that cute …

That being said, it doesn't give any sensation! No stinging or burning, just wetness.

I only left it on for 20 minutes, but you can leave it on for 30. Overall, I think it helped a little! My cheeks felt lightly moisturized afterwards. (Of course, they were also sticky from the wetness.)

My redness seems to have subdued a bit as well. Obviously the blemishes are still very much there, but if you look at each side individually, you can see a slight lessening in the general pinkness:

I think it helped! I must admit that I’ve only tried this once, so I can’t comment about long-term results. Overall, I think this mask is adorable and worth using once or twice, but beyond that…I’m not eager use them regularly. First, 2,000KRW kinda adds up, especially considering that they’re two little circles that don’t even cover my entire cheeks, let alone my entire face. Not to mention, they’re not entirely practical since they slide around easily. Unlike sheet masks which I can slap on and continue doing my work, with these, I have to lie in bed and constantly readjust them.

No harm in buying one, though! I think every girl who is into cute Korean cosmetics should try one of these at some point, just ‘cause.

If you've tried this sort of gel patch before, do share which one and how you liked it!

July 15, 2014

Etude House Minnie Touch Highlighter

I’m sure everyone has seen this product by now, so I’ll just get to it! It’s a cutely-packaged shimmery highlighter. I don’t recommend it for intense contouring, but very suitable for a cute, natural, shimmery glow!


Brand: Etude House
Name: Minnie Touch Highlighter
Amount: 9g
Actual Weight: 48.1g
Price in Korea: 15,000KRW

Here's the box:

It comes in a little plastic pact. The Minnie Mouse design doesn’t scratch off easily, and there is no mirror inside:

It has three colors: pale pink, pale beige, and lavender. All are shimmery, but the pink is the most and lavender the least. Lavender doesn’t actually show up as lavender; it’s very subtle (the least pigmented of all the colors) and practically looks nothing more than a shimmer:

Natural window light:

When mixed together, it simply looks white and shimmery. If I put a lot you can sometimes see a bit of the pinkness, but that’s mostly in dim light.

Alone: Veeeery soft! It’s soft enough that I can press my fingers in and it’ll leave a fingerprint. If I remember correctly, it gets softer once you work through the top layer. It almost feels velvety. Here’s how it looks after using it:

Natural window light:

It’s bumpy because it’s so soft. Even a gentlest swipe with my finger shows on it:

Natural window light:

It also picks up very easily on my brush. One gentle swipe picks up a lot of product compared to all the other blushes and pacts I have:

Natural window light

On my face: With my dry skin and small bumps, I can get away with about one layer without it accentuating my texture too much. After two layers, it begins to look a little bumpy and cling onto flakes:

Natural window light

I’m a little pale, so it takes a some layering for it to show up, though that’s not necessarily the highlighter’s fault. Also, the highlighter shows up much more in dim light than in daylight (since in daylight my skin is pale, hence camouflaging the highlighter.) But generally, it goes like this:
  • 1 layer: incredibly subtle; you can hardly see it
  • 2 layer: a very subtle, natural highlight
  • 3+ layers: noticeable; you finally start to see the distinction between highlighter and regular BB cream. The shimmer becomes quite noticeable in dim light. It’s definitely more dramatic highlighting (and the shimmer becomes noticeable), but not to the point of an obvious stripe down my nose (like Romihi’s used to.)

One thing to keep in mind is that by layering on this highlighter, the pink-tinted shimmer becomes very obvious. It’s a very shimmery highlighter. I would even say the shimmer payoff is higher than the actual color payoff. So if I apply more than 2 layers (to get more than just a natural highlight), I look very shimmery when the light hits just right.

Here are some face swatches. You can see how little 2 layers shows up in bright light:

Natural window light:

And here, because the light is dim, you can catch a bit of the pink-tinted shimmer:

Dim room light:

The texture is amazingly soft and I love how it picks up so well. Honestly though, it doesn’t suit my personal needs. Because it’s so shimmery, I’m limited to two or maybe three layers, before the shimmer starts to look overbearing. And that’s not really enough for me since 1.) It doesn’t show up well on my skin color and 2.) I like a dramatic highlight.

Overall, I don’t think this highlighter is suitable for changing the curvature of your face (if you wanted to do Kim Kardashian contouring, for example.) However, it’s fantastic for a little pearly, shimmery glow!

Let me know if you have any questions~ And if you've tried this blush, please share your own experiences!