Monday, October 31, 2011

I'm Feeling Empty - Part 2

As diligent as I am with plowing through my stash, I just can't get through it fast enough!

Adopting Liz's rule of thumb, every two travel/sample sized items will equal to one full sized product and one jumbo sized product will equal to two full sizes. The first 3 contenders:

Skincare: Korres Pomegranate Cream Gel, Mask, and Scrub


The Korres Pomegranate Cream Gel and Scrub have already been reviewed but the mask deserves no such mention. It's mediocre at best. 

Cleansers: Bioré Purify Steam Activated Cleanser + Murad Vitalic Energizing Pomegranate Cleanser The Body Shop Vitamin E Cream Cleanser


I briefly mentioned the Bioré cleanser in my first empties post but this is my second bottle. I don't use it on my face because it's too drying but it's a decent brush cleaner.

Makeup Removers: Soap & Glory Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser + Lancôme Bi-Facil


I will genuinely miss the hot cloth cleanser. I wish it were available at Shoppers Drug Mart but I purchased my tube at Target before the brand was pulled from their stores. Sephora carries it on their website but the price has been raised along with many other Soap & Glory products. I'll give the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser instead of repurchasing Soap & Glory's.
Lancôme's infamous duo-phase eye make up remover - doesn't need further introduction. If you're looking for an affordable dupe of it, try the Sonia Kashuk Eye Makeup Remover. I absolutely love it and I have to review it soon!

Evolution of Smooth (EOS) Ultra Moisturizing Shave Cream + Shiseido Tsubaki Golden Repair Shampoo


I reviewed the Shiseido shampoo at the beginning of the year but count me excited that it's finally out of my shower caddy! Even though it's a huge bottle, I don't count it as a total success because the conditioner is still half full *sigh*.
The EOS shave cream is good; much better than the average shaving foam. It leaves my legs soft and has helped prevent ingrown hairs.  Since it goes on sale often at Shoppers Drug Mart, I'll be repurchasing this one over and over again.

Moisturizers: HadaLabo GOKUJYUN Moisturizing Cream + AmorePacific Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Cream

I actually finished the HadaLabo cream right after my first empties post of the year so this one has been sitting on the counter uselessly for awhile. Click the link above for my first impressions of the AmorePacific cream but if you've already read it, you know I already like it!

Lip Products: Carmex Moisture Plus  + C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve + Neutrogena Naturals Lip Balm


Now the Neutrogena lip balm is obviously 80% full but it's one of those lip balms that should never be used - it does more harm than good. Stay away - far, far away from it!
The Carmex Moisture Plus Tint and infamous C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve are legitimately empty though. I'm actually really depressed that the Carmex tint has been polished off but that's why I got back ups *maniacal laugh*.
Whether you use Smith's or C.O. Bigelow, a tin of rosebud salve lasts forever. I hope to finish my two back up tins quicker than this one as it is no longer a must have for me.

In total there are 13 empties; 6 samples, 8 full sizes, and 1 jumbo sized product. This has been a very successful run but not as successful as the first. I am still very proud of myself though and I promise to do better on the third run!

What have you emptied lately? 

Friday, October 28, 2011

I've Got Mail - October 2011

Besides the odd coupons here and there or spam mail from Donald Trump, I received nothing throughout September. It was indeed a quiet and depressing month for my mailbox but October has been fruitful.

The alex & von website was having a sale (20% off) on all 100% Pure orders early in September. After reading countless of great reviews, I made an order through Karley of Chic and Green and had the package sent to the SO's which was then sent to me.

SAM_2031 1

Included in the package is the Balm's the balm and the Beautiful palette; a gift from the SO for passing my driver's test!


The most amazingly awesome mail of the month came from the one and only Rae! I won the first of her four giveaways celebrating her four years of blogging. theNotice is one of the very first blogs I started reading when I discovered blogs so receiving mail from her is like... the highlight of my blogging career. How lame am I? Don't answer that.


Lastly, a Sasa order which JUST arrived!


This order came surprisingly fast but it could have came sooner. I ordered it on October 11th and it arrived in Vancouver on the 21st. Customs held it for a day but for no apparent reason, Canada Post kept this package in a facility near me for an extra over a week. At least my package arrived safe and sound. Who wouldn't be excited for facial mist, armpit wash and follow up essence? Don't answer that either.

In other news, my sweet mother & father are abandoning me for a month starting tomorrow. I gave them the Lancaster Ultra Soothing Lotion from Rae's prize to my parent's. They'll need it more than I do considering they're trekking Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other sunny destinations -sobbing to self-.

Enough about me, what about you? What have YOU received this October?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

First Impressions: The AmorePacific Moisture Bound Range

If you asked me a month ago if I've heard about the brand AmorePacific, my answer would be no. As it turns out, the brand is a luxe Korean-based brand available at Holt Renfrew, Neiman Marcus, and Sephora (online). The brand is also the sister to other popular Korean brands such as Hera, Laneige, ETUDE, and Innisfree.

As I mentioned, AmorePacific is a luxe brand. Their products do not come cheap but the results are supposedly fruitful. Today I am giving my first impressions on the Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Serum, Eye Treatment, and 


Starting with the serum - each night after cleansing I would apply the Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Serum and follow with the Rejuvenating Eye Treatment Gel. The serum did very little for my eye area in conjunction with eye treatment but I have noticed major improvement in texture and brightness around the cheeks and the sides of my face.

The Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Eye Treatment Gel used twice daily for two weeks was the greatest let down. While I don't have chronic dark circles, I do need something for puffiness and dryness. The eye treatment did nothing for both my issues.


The Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Crème was exceptional. Imagine a facial cream that is thin in texture and non-greasy. Since the crème is so light it absorbs in a pinch too. My face is left feeling soft but not as moisturized as I like. Even when combined with the serum is not enough but together they really perk up my complexion. My redness has toned down slightly too. Note the mirror on the lid? It's fairly useless but the cap is a unique take on jar packaging and even more impressive for a sample!

My favorite part is that none the products broke me out. The products sounded quite heavy but thankfully they are not. In fact, they are lightweight gel textures. I did however spot a few, very angry cysts the first week of trialing but it's not because of these three puppies. Actually, it has to do with the Moisture Bound Vitalizing Masque but more on that next time.

My two major quibbles are in regards to the scent and price (obviously). Many luxe skincare brands carry a signature scent. Read: perfume-y. The Moisture Bound line smells nice and thankfully it isn't an old lady smell. Too bad it is frightfully strong. I suspect AmorePacific is targeted for more mature skin in need of anti-aging benefits so while I want to say the prices are justifiable, I can't. I also don't need heavily concentrated face creams or eye treatments so I can hold off on trying more of the brand until my 30's!

Overall, AmorePacific is quite an impressive brand. I do have a couple more products to review but so far, so good.

Have you tried AmorePacific? Tell me yours thoughts!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Review: HadaLabo TAMAGOHADA AHA + BHA Face Wash

Looking back now, I see that the HadaLabo GOKUJYUN Face Wash was pure infatuation. Real love lies within the HadaLabo TAMAGOHADA AHA + BHA Face Wash.
"Tamago" means egg in Japanese and "hada" means skin. With TAMAGOHADA, you are meant to achieve egg like skin - the boiled and peeled kind. Clean, smooth, and clear skin? I am all for it. 


"HadaLabo TAMAGOHADA  Daily Face Wash is infused with some keratin softening agents like AHA and BHA, which help to remove blackheads and impurities inside pores. It also improves dull skin tone and rough texture, leaving skin supple and smooth. Weak acid, low irritation, no fragrance, oil and alcohol.

I don't know which AHA HadaLabo is using but whether it's lactic or glycolic, it's gentle yet effective. The salicylic acid (BHA) must be in a very low concentration too because I haven't suffered tightness after using the cleanser. It painlessly washes away dry patches and fades scars quickly to but if it weren't for the crappy availability (it's essentially an online only product outside of Asia), I wouldn't cheat on it.

Available on Sasa for around $10USD/CAN. It's relatively cheap but adding shipping fees makes it relatively expensive. Look out for $29 free shipping deals but there's the usual $50 free shipping deal if you're impatient.

Bottom Line:
Isn't it obvious I'd recommend this? It's unbelievable how much I love this cleanser but combined with the HadaLabo GOKUJYUN Lotion, I've got the ultimate combination. Some might say it's
 the bread & butter of skincare!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Review: Face of Australia Face Base Primer

It feels like eons ago but back in May I received the Face of Australia Face Base Primer from Adeline's 1 Year Anniversary Giveaway. It couldn't have come at a better time but why is it that I always fall for beauty products I can't get a hold of locally?! *face palm*

My foundations and tinted moisturizers weren't holding on at all at the start of summer. It then occurred to be that a primer might help prevent the slipping & sliding. Unlike any of the face primers I have tried, from drugstore to mid-end, Face Base Primer is the best in terms of performance and price (aside from shipping)!


The primer is oil free but boasts Vitamin E and Chamomile as its top ingredients. Face of Australia explains that the Vitamin E strengthens and smooths skin tones while the Chamomile and Yarrow extract protect the skin from free radicals. A sunscreen is always necessary but I appreciate the extra protection the Chamomile and Yarrow provides.

The texture of the Face Base Primer is like a gel-based moisturizer bordering lotion; lightweight and fast absorbing.  It's hydrating enough to create a patch-less canvas to work on but unlike a silicone-based primer, it won't smooth fine lines nor add a slippery feel to the face. It's a great prepping step that works to prolong foundation or tinted moisturizer wear.

SAM_1747 s

Sadly, so sadly, Face of Australia Face Base Primer is only available in Australia or online. It's priced around $10-12 for 50ml but if bought online, the shipping is nearly twice the price of the primer. Cringe with me?
There's also a brother (or sister?) primer to this one but all it includes is SPF 15. It's refreshing to see a brand giving their customers a choice in formulas.

If there's one primer Face Base is similar to, it has to be the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer. They're nearly identical in terms of texture but I find my make up lasts an hour or two longer with the former. There's no weird scent like the Laura Mercier primer has and it even absorbs a few seconds faster! And call be crazy but even after the exorbitant shipping fees, I still find myself loving Face Base more. You even get the same amount (50 ml).

Bottom Line:
The first Face of Australia product I have ever tried and it's a great hit! Like a make up junkie, I will continue to look for a "better" primer but if nothing compares to Face Base, I'll go back to it despite the scary shipping rates. Combo/dry skin may really benefit from this.



Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vancouver Bloggers Meet Up

Last Tuesday, I attended my first annual Vancouver Bloggers Meet Up, held at Sanafir Restaurant & Lounge. None of this would be possible without the organization skills that is Sheila sooooo... a big thank you goes to her first and last!

I brought my best friend, Jessie, as a plus one but there was a total of 14 attendees, two of which were company reps. It was cool meeting new bloggers and a few "old" bloggers (blogs I've been reading for awhile now) and I'm glad I went. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties (IE. lighting fail), not a lot of us were able to take photos together. Ironically, most of us took our phones out to snap pictures of the food...

Black Pepper Calamari

Cured Meats & Cheese

Grilled Octopus

Ahi Tuna

Besides the great company and good food, I left feeling quite rich with my heavy (sponsored) gift bag. At some point I will review each and every item but for now, I'll just stare in awe...


If there's anything I MUST review immediately, tell me and I will make a note to!

Also, if you need a few new beauty reads, check out any of these ladies if you haven't already:
High Maintenance Woman (better known as Being High Maintenance, not Bitchy)

It was great meeting everyone and I hope we do it again soon!


Make-Up Kismet is a personal blog written and edited by myself. This blog was created to share my experiences with whom ever reads it.

All reviews posted are written by me and are my honest opinions. All products reviewed are purchased by me for personal and/or review purposes unless stated otherwise. Each person is different, as are our experiences. With that said, I cannot be held responsible for any unsatisfying reaction to a product I review or recommend.

Photos on this blog are either from Google, other Bloggers or, my own. I try to depict all products as accurately as possible. I may edit photos for this purpose.


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