Friday, 29 August 2014

Bello-Vita Cell Optimizer Skin S-Essence Review

I was quite drawn to the packaging of the Bello-Vita Cell Optimizer Essence when I opened my Bntnews beauty box because the gold box is so beautiful and expensive looking! I had not heard of Bello-Vita before, but it appears to be a lesser known brand that cannot be found on any online shops. 

This essence is formulated with Bello-Vita's Biocell system which contains fermented ingredients that supposedly improve your skin's condition. Ingredients include Cell-revitalizing RSF Complex, Arginine and Rose Crystal. This product claims to: improve skin hydration and elasticity, make skin supple and maintain bright-looking skin. You are to spritz the Bello-Vita Cell Optimizer Skin onto your face after cleansing. To me, this product seems like a toner but with an extra treatment effect. Just so you know, I consider toners an 'extra' step in skincare that, from my experience, I feel is unnecessary.

Take a moment to appreciate the pretty baroque style of the packaging. Fit for a Queen!

The bottle is pretty and convenient too- it is slightly translucent allowing you to see how much product is inside the bottle.

One of the reasons why I dislike toners is because they usually need a cotton pad for application. So I was glad when I saw that this essence has a spritzer pump which makes application a breeze. 

That's where the good things end. When I first sprayed this onto my face, I was struck by the heavy perfume scent that forced me to hold my breath until it had dissipated. It smells incredibly similar to the Burt's Bees Radiance Royal Jelly Cleanser which I hated. Joanne had the same experience as me and as she put it- "it basically feels like spraying perfume straight to your face". I imagine this would be universally unpleasant for everyone. 

I pushed myself to spray the essence directly onto my face for 1 week, morning and night, holding my breathe with each use. I honestly can't tell whether it made an improvement to my face, but I did test its moisturising claim on my incredibly dry legs. I sprayed one leg all over with the essence and left the other. After the essence had dried, I compared my legs and there was no difference in dryness. It was as if I'd simply misted one leg with water!

As you can tell, I don't recommend this product. It smelt terrible and had no effect on my skin. This is an extra step that you can definitely do without. 

*I received this product for free for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own

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Belif Peat Miracle Revital Cream Review

The Belif Peat Miracle Revital cream is the second product in the Belif Miracle Revital set I received from Bntnews this month. See my review of the accompanying Peat Revital serum here.

"Cell turnover means a cycle of your skin where young cells replace aged skin cells. As you get older, your turnover loses its rhythm and speeds up aging process. Peat miracle revital cream contains peat extract and improves your turnover rate by 9.28%, rejuvenating and hydrating your skin."- Belif website

As with the serum, this product contains no: mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, synthetic colors, synthetic preservatives or animal-derived ingredients.

The nature themed packaging is coherent with the serum. 

The potion-green tub really catches the eye because it's such an unusual colour. The aspect I like most about the packaging is the lid- see how it has 'lips' that extend outwards to cover the whole area of the tub? I have received many creams that have leaked out of their containers whilst shipping, and with this design there is chance of any leakage. I had a look at some of Belif's other products and they all have the same design, which is fantastic!

The cream is beige coloured and stiff. In fact, it looks and feels similar to the Syn-Ake lifting cream I reviewed before. The scent is mild and herbal and will not bother those who are sensitive to fragrances. After applying the Miracle serum, I apply a generous amount of this cream to my face. It spreads easily and absorbs into my skin relatively quickly- I'd say within 5 minutes. It does not leave a dewy sheen or any residue on my skin, unlike the Syn-Ake cream which left my face looking shiny (which I liked). 

A minute after spreading.
Although the cream has the initial impression of having a high moisture level due to its thick texture, after half an hour I find my skin feeling a bit tight and asking for more hydration. Thus, the combination of the Belif Miracle serum + the cream, no matter how much I apply, is not enough to quench my dry skin. Perhaps in the sweaty summertime this system would work better for me. 

As I said before, I have not noticed any changes in my skin's condition since using the Belif Miracle Revital line, but that is not necessarily a bad thing as my skin condition is quite good. Does it work miracles? No. Not for my dry skin anyway. I'd say these two products used together would make a nice combination for oily or combination skin. 

This product retails for $65 on Korea Depart.

*I received this product for free for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own

Check out Bntnews for Korean news and trends!
Check out more of my reviews on Korean beauty products

Check out the other BNT Girls: JoanneDorisCarinaBella.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Belif Peat Miracle Revital Serum Concentrate Review

I was really excited when I saw that Belif was joining the Bntnews beauty family because I had heard good things about the brand, but never had the chance to try out any of their products. This serum came in a cute gift bag along with the Revital cream, which I will review directly after this one!

Peat is a herb extract that the ancient Romans and Egyptians used to maintain their youthful skin. This product is targeted at preventing wrinkles and restoring 'vital' skin via collagen production for a radiant and smooth complexion. Other beneficial ingredients include: glacier water, herbs and rhodiola root. There are no: mineral oils, synthetic fragrance or colours, synthetic preservatives or animal ingredients.

You are to apply the serum after toning. 

As I've mentioned before, I really like earth toned, natural looking packaging especially for skincare items. The minimalist design and typography also really appeal to my design aesthetic.

The bottle came with an eyedropper packaged separately, which I found strange- why not just have the eyedropper come in the bottle? Again it is conveyed to users that the product is natural via the graph printed on the bottle. We get it- lots of Peat extract and no nasty ingredients! 

The bottle itself is a charming shade of green that reminds me of a health potion brewed in the forest. It's also nicely weighted and I like the overall look of it.

The serum has a really light, pleasant scent that doesn't linger which is always a good thing, considering my history with strongly scented products. It's clear and runny, so having an eyedropper applicator is fantastic for application. The texture of the serum is not oily at all, it is extremely lightweight and watery. It spreads over the skin easily and I find I need 6-8 drops to cover my whole face. I estimate this 30mL bottle will last 1-2 months with daily use.
The serum absorbs really fast and does not leave any residue or dewy sheen on my face. This serum does not claim to be a moisturising one and my skin feels tight once it dries, thus I rely on the Peat Miracle cream to provide the moisture my dry skin needs. 

A very generous application of serum.
Absorbs into my hand within a minute!

I haven't noticed any major changes in my skin, positive or negative. However my skin has been quite good for months (before my mishap with the Migabee Oilsoap) so I am thankful this product has preserved its condition. This product is aimed at anti ageing and I am content to use it for this purpose. Usually I would prefer a heavier, oilier serum for my dry skin, but I am quite happy to use this one until it finishes. I would say this would be a great, refreshing serum for those with normal or oily skin. 

Overall, I think this is a good serum, but it didn't perform miracles for my skin. You can purchase this on Korea Depart for $53

*I received this product for free for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own

Check out Bntnews for Korean news and trends!
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Monday, 25 August 2014

Dermal Syn-Ake High Lifting Cream Review

My second review for Bntnews this month is the Dermal Syn-Ake High Lifting Cream. I have not tried any Syn-Ake products before, but I have seen some of their products featured by beauty gurus on Youtube. 

Syn-Ake products contain a peptide similar to that of snake venom, hence the brand name. This particular product contains a total of 5ppm of peptide. Essentially this peptide has the effect of 'tightening' your facial muscles, making your face look more lifted and youthful. Snake and bee venom products are usually referred to as 'botox alternatives' due to their wrinkle smoothing effects.

On the box it says "The Special Cream Series help promote the natural healing process, enhances skin's ability to recover, dissolves dying cells, triggers skin regeneration and repair". 

The packaging (which came a bit creased) isn't particularly attractive to me with the very literal snake skin pattern printed over a dark purple box. The text on the front is hard to read because of the background and the font choices make the product look cheap. 

All the information of the box is in Hangul except for the ingredients list pictured below.

Thankfully, the actual casing is much improved from the box! It's a screw top container that is super sturdy and moderately weighty. The purple gives the product a mature look and the typography is clear and easy to read. 

I like that the jar is shaped so that the lid fully covers the opening. There is absolutely no chance of spillage with this sort of packaging. 

The cream is very stiff and thick which is very different to majority of the products I have tried from Bntnews which are usually jelly-like and 'moistful'. I really like thick, heavy creams because I have dry skin, but that's just my personal preference. There is a really light pleasant scent to the cream that is hardly noticeable. 

You really need to massage and work the cream to your skin which I really enjoy doing, especially at night! 

I expected the cream to be heavy in moisture, but I found it to be only moderately so. I found it didn't fully absorb into my skin and leaves a layer on the surface which is a little tacky to the touch. Half an hour after the applying the cream, I can feel my skin stretch as I move my eyebrows (my personal test of a cream's moisture level lol) which means that it is not sufficiently moisturised. Hence, I do need to use another moisturiser in conjunction to this. 

As I mentioned before, the cream doesn't fully absorb into my skin and leaves a glossy and  greasy layer on my face which makes my skin look like plastic. This is strange but I kind of like it! I haven't experienced any creams that give this effect, and thankfully it works well as a makeup base. The greasiness doesn't bother me as I prefer the dewy look anyway, but as always this is not for everyone especially those with oily skin. It's hard to capture in photos, but you can (sort of) see the gleam  above on my cheekbones. I can see how this would give the effect of blurring winkles.

As always with wrinkle creams, I can't gage any effectiveness because I don't have any wrinkles. I can't say I've noticed any lifting effects either, but perhaps that takes a longer amount of time. Overall, I like this cream and will continue to use it because I enjoy the texture and 'plastic fantastic' finish. I would recommend this cream as a preventative method for those with normal skin, or as a treatment for those with mature skin. Personally, I wouldn't repurchase it because the effects were not terribly outstanding for me. 

This cream retails for around $40 on Ebay, which seems around the usual price for a venom product, but expensive for a regular moisturiser. 

*I received this product for free for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own

Check out Bntnews for Korean news and trends!
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Sunday, 24 August 2014

G&G A21 Gray Circle Lens Review

Love Shoppingholics was kind enough to send me two pairs of lenses of my choosing this time! Today you are seeing my review of the G&G Gray A21 lenses, which you can buy here. I chose these lenses because they looked like they had a natural gradient look, plus my last G&G lenses were very comfortable.

Origin: Korea
Diameter : 14.0mm
Water Content : 38%
Base Curve : 8.6mm
Life Span : 1 year disposal

As last time, the shipping was long (3-4 weeks), but the packaging for these lenses was beautiful. They came in the sweetest little box that fit both lenses inside perfectly. They thoughtfully gave me two new animal lens cases in different colours which look really cute all herded together in my bathroom!

Front view.
Back view.
The lenses look exactly like the graphic on the website! As you can see the gradient is smooth, starting from a translucent centre which turns to light grey then dark grey. 

In the eyes they are beautiful and are almost exactly what I look for in a circle lens. The design is cloudy and natural in the sense that there are no flecks of contrasting colours or strange patterns that stand out. The grey is very opaque, thus you can only see the brown of my eyes through the centre of the lens. Some people may not like this, but I don't mind it as I think it looks more natural when my natural eyes blend with a circle lens. These lenses are only minimally enlarging which is perfect for me. The limbal ring does appear more stark than in the lens case, perhaps this would be the only thing I would change. 

Bright light.
Indoor light.
The next photos were taken with a mixture of daylight and artificial light. I am still experimenting with my ring light and I think this combination worked out quite well! From this distance you can see how the brown of my real eyes melds with the grey, warming the colour and matching with my hair! These lenses give me a mature and elegant look so I love to match them with red lips (Tony Moly Kiss Lover).

I wore these lenses for 8 hours with absolutely no problems. They are the type of lenses that you can forget about because they are so comfortable. 

These have been one of my favourite lenses to wear this month and I recommend them if you are looking for a natural grey lens that is not too outstanding or enlarging. Not to mention they are a 10/10 on the comfort scale!

They cost $19.90 and you can buy them from Love Shoppingholics here!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Migabee Rosewater Pureberry Oilsoap Review

My first review for this month's Bntnews beauty box is the Migabee Rosewater Oilsoap. I was excited to see that there were some different brands featured such as Belif and Faith in Face. I had not heard of Migabee either, have you?

This product was launched in 2013 and comes in a variety of delicious sounding scents such as lavender, peppermint and honey.  Each is composed of a water soluble 'oilsoap', an agent I have never tried before. The Rosewater version is for all skin types and claims to remove makeup, dirt and oil and leaves your skin feeling soft.

I like the mature packaging on this product and the detailed illustration reminds me of brands such as Crabtree and Evelyn. Also, at 310mL, this product is very generous! The ingredients are printed on the front and they look pretty good as they are mostly comprised of fruit extracts. Strangely enough, my skin had a reaction to this product! Read on to see what happened. 

Side view so you can appreciate the pretty illustration.

Unfortunately the back label is comprised entirely of Hangul, but I imagine the steps are fairly self explanatory. 

This is a swatch of bb cream, lip lacquer, waterproof eyeliner and waterproof mascara. 

The product looks and feels like a thin, clear oil and smells quite strongly of roses. It makes me feel a little heady, so if you are not a fan of rose scented products, this is definitely not for you. When I rub it onto my dry face (with makeup), I can really feel the oil dissolving everything on my skin and turning slightly thicker in texture. When you add water the oil starts to foam up in light, oily bubbles as you rub which was interesting- the name 'oilsoap' is very accurate! 

Oilsoap poured over the top.
Strangely enough, I couldn't get the oil to foam on my hand! In terms of makeup removal, I found it removes everything except my mascara which it hardly touched, no matter how well I work it into my eye area. About 90% of my mascara was remaining after washing. The good thing was that the oil washed off easily with water without leaving any residue. The bad is that I found it very drying for my already dry skin, which is to be expected of a soap product.

I used this in the shower for 3 days to remove my makeup and each time I noticed my skin looked redder than normal after I got out. I put it down to having my shower too hot. However, on the 4th day I decided to test out another makeup remover first which did a great job at cleansing my base makeup. I used the oilsoap in the shower afterwards on my bare skin (I must admit, I am quite vigorous when it comes to cleansing) and when I got out of the shower, my face was really red and inflamed, especially in the middle of my face! I was quite horrified and started noticing some slight swelling and tiny bumps appearing. I layered on some calming products and stopped using the product, yet my skin remained bumpy and rough looking for 3 days afterwards.

I can't recommend this product because I had a moderately severe reaction to it. If I did not have the reaction, I still wouldn't recommend it anyway because it is quite stripping and does not remove waterproof mascara. You can definitely find a more moisturising makeup remover that does a better job, such as the Verikos cleansing balm, a Bntnews product that I loved! 

*I received this product for free for review purposes. All opinions are honest and my own

Check out Bntnews for Korean news and trends!
Check out more of my reviews on Korean beauty products
Check out the other BNT Girls: JoanneDorisCarinaBella.

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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Etude House Baking Powder Cleansing Foam Moist Face Wash Review

I bought this product in December last year in Japan as my HG Neutrogena Foaming Fresh Cleanser had run out and I needed to replace it with a face wash that would also take off my makeup in one wash. I have dry skin and also wanted the chosen face wash to be as non-drying as possible. I remember having a hard time finding a product to match my needs because all the product descriptions were written in Japanese, until I found this at an Etude House counter. 

It contains baking powder to cleanse deep within pores to remove makeup and residue whilst supplying a rich, smooth lather for moist sensation. 

Apologies for the beat-up state of the product, but can you believe this cleanser has lasted me for 8 months?! And it is still 1/4 full with (almost) daily use! I wouldn't be surprised if it lasted until the end of the year!

It has a simple snap lid and squeeze application which, as you can see, can become a bit messy over the months but I much prefer this to any screw top products. I have dropped the product a few times in the shower and this has resulted in the lid being unable to close properly now. Otherwise, everything is a-ok!

The product comes out as a thick, solid cream that looks and feels like a thick moisturiser. It actually smells like sherbet which is quite delightful, yet unusual!

This is the type of foam where you literally only need half a pinch of product to cleanse your whole face! Once water is added it turns into a rich, silky smooth lather that just spreads and spreads. The first time I used it at the end of the day, I remember being super disappointed because it didn't remove my makeup, which was the reason why I bought it. After 2 consecutive washes, there was still BB cream left on my face, not to mention most of my eye makeup. Thus, the claim that this product removes makeup is definitely not true

In terms of moisture, I found this face wash a little stripping. But then again, every foam cleanser I have tried is stripping- this is definitely on the lesser side which is good. Seeing as I couldn't use this as a makeup remover, I started using it in the morning instead. When used on bare skin, the cleanser feels like it really does penetrate into pores and deep cleanses. I welcome this on mornings when I wake up feeling greasy from heavy night treatments, plus the sherbet scent is so yummy and fresh!

Overall, this cleanser will not remove your makeup and is mildly stripping. This is an ok morning cleanser (more suited for oily to normal skin) and although I will probably finish the tube, I won't repurchase this. I would prefer my next morning cleanser to be more hydrating. You can buy this from Ebay for $13.65.

Can you recommend me any hydrating Korean cleansers?