Beauty Bits & Bobs

Weekend Round Up

Hey girls (and guys)!

Tis the weekend!

W00t! The Muse be happy!

What’s your plans for the weekend? It’s a hot, humid one here in New York and your Muse has had some sincerely stressful days this week! Yak! So this weekend is all about chill-axing I’d say! I haven’t slept late in about 10 years so I’m thinking a little lay in is in order tomorrow morning with the AC blasting away, sleep mask on, and curled up under the covers! After that a bit of late brunch with mates sounds divine! I’m also thinking a brainless movie or two sounds good….How about The Mummy anyone? Or Journey to the Center of the Earth? That Brendan Fraser kinda does it for me!

I’m off to Defcon for a few days next week which should be a blast w00t! Very excited! Have no fear blogger now has an awesome schedule feature so even while your geeky Muse is away they’ll be posts to be had for all!

How about you? What are your plans this weekend?

Lazin’? Partyin’?

Tell me all about it!

Here’s a little weekend link love to keep you company while the Muse relaxes this weekend!

Happy Reading!

See ya Monday!

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Aube Shower Eyes Review

Too Faced Smoke & Mirrors Sneak Peek

Majorca Majolica Fall Collection Website Update

Lancome Maharani Elephant Bronzer Review

Bobbi Brown Mauve Collection Review

Stila Kitten Silk Eye Shadow Wash and Kitten Silk Shimmer Gloss Review

Eyeko Summer Collection

DuWop Cheek Venom Review

Aromaleigh Rocks Mineral Powder Blush Review

T’estimo Pure Layer Loose Powder Blush Review

Aube Gloss Frutina Review

P.S. I’ll be posting the comments, answer, and winners to the Benefit B Spot Contest on Monday morning!

Good luck!

15 Comments

Blemish Balm Cream: What is a BB Cream?

Your Muse hasn’t blogged BB Creams as of yet since her experiences with them haven’t really been the greatest however since I mentioned them once or twice I ended up getting many e-mails and comments about them. I recently reviewed Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer which reminded me of BB Cream so much in texture and formula that I was kinda of inspired to write about BB’s soon after!

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What’s a BB Cream? How do I use a BB Cream? Where can I purchase BB Creams? These are some of the daily questions I get in my inbox!

The US market, as far as I know, has not yet been exposed to BB Creams. I imagine we are all somewhat obsessed with our skin within the US but I personally feel like the Asian population is more so and that obsession accounts for the mass amount of products released within Asian countries. For me and other skincare junkies this is pure nirvana!

One of the latest, greatest, popular, and hyped products to hit Korea are BB Creams which is short for Blemish Balm Cream. The craze began in Korea but has since hit Japan, China, Etc…

So what is a BB Cream anyway?

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BB Cream is pretty much the end all of foundation, concealer, moisturizer, etc….It’s a combined product that eliminates many products from your daily makeup routine and not only simplifies foundation but also offers key ingredients that we all look for in makeup and skin care.

BB Creams are highly moisturizing, contain SPF, have acne fighting and anti-aging ingredients, plus conceal and lay a foundation for your other makeup.

What BB Cream Eliminates from your daily routine:

  • Moisturizer

BB Creams are so highly moisturizing you may or may not wish to apply a moisturizer prior to using!

  • SPF

BB Creams contain doses of 25+ SPF so you don’t need an extra SPF product to protect your skin from harmless sun rays!

  • Acne Treatments, Lotions, Etc…

BB Creams contain active ingredients for fighting off problem areas!

  • Anti-Aging Lotions, Potions, Etc…

BB Creams contain anti-aging ingredients to prevent wrinkles and also treat any fine lines you may already have!

  • Concealer

BB Creams act as a concealer for concealing under eye circles, baggage, etc…It also concealsr acne, blemishes, red areas, etc…

  • Foundation

BB Creams act as a foundation for prepping the skin for makeup and creating a flawless finish to skin!

  • Whitening Lotions, Fluids, Etc….

BB Creams contain whitening agents to lighten the skin!

You can see why everyone is so hyper and excited about BB Creams. They are virtually the superman of foundation however they are not without their flaws.

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Your Muse has tried about 8-10 brands of BB Creams now and I’ve been disappointed about 95% of the time. BB Creams are NOT without one major problem.

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My god Muse what do you mean?! They sound like skin care perfection!

The problem with BB Creams is color selection. BB Creams are not like foundation where you walk in and have an array of colors to choose from. Most BB Creams offer one color option only or sometimes, if you’re lucky, two color selections.

Right off the bat I’ll say if you’re a deeper, darker skin tone I’m highly doubtful that BB Creams will work for you although I can’t be sure as I don’t have experience with application on such a skin tone.

I’m fascinated with the excitement over a product that only comes in a dull beige color. Many Asian girls do have a yellow tone to skin and beige is not only unflattering on yellow tones but just, in my opinion, unflattering on ALL skin tones. Thus my amazement over the hype that surrounds the product in Asian countries. BB Creams are so pigmented that the color will look very unnatural on any and all skin tones at least this has been my experience with the brands I’ve tried.

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Another surprising thing about BB Creams is the fact that they seem to be best suited to dry skin. I have many, many Asian friends and about 95% of them have oily skin. BB Creams do not dry matte in my personal opinion and they feel very moisturizing when on so I’m curious how those with oily skin feel about the formula and texture of such a product.

I was recently contacted by a reader who recommended me a few brands I hadn’t tried before that made some high end BB Creams. After discussing it with her I decided to give BB Creams a much needed revisit.

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You won’t be hearing about the bad. When it comes to Asian cosmetics and skincare it’s difficult for the Muse to trash it. It’s simply too high quality to snark at which accounts for my lack of posts regarding BB Creams. However, I have decided I’ll start reviewing brands I have tried and the pros and cons of each. I’ll also have an upcoming review on a brand of BB that I do LOVE and again this is thanks to the reader that recommended it! That review is coming shortly so thank the gods we finally have a good BB Cream to rave about.

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BB Creams are a welcome edition to the makeup world and an innovation in skin care and makeup that needs a bit of tweaking. The potential for greatness is already there and with a little work we’ll have pure perfection.

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It’s hard not to notice that I littered my blog entry with difference adverts of BB Creams. As you can see many, many, many companies in Korea have out various brands of the popular product so sometimes it’s difficult to weed through the bad to get to the good! However, that’s what you have the Muse for! I’ll be sharing the best and not so great with you very soon!

Do you use BB Creams?

Love ‘em?

Got questions about BB Creams?

Tell the Muse!

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Love Korean Cosmetics? Wanting to know more about Korean Brands? Try a daily dose of past posts!

Etude House Moistfull Mask Review

Etude House Spring Collection Review

An Introduction to Korean Cosmetic Brands

Banila Co “Blue” Summer Collection

If you need information about how BB Creams are different from Tinted Moisturizers please click here.

110 Comments

Latest Obsession: Aquafina Advanced Hydrating Facial Spray Review

I recently came into a stash of Aquafina skincare goodies and as mentioned in a previous post I’ll be doing a a few different reviews for each item over the next few days.

One of the first items I want to review for you is one of my Latest Obsessions and a total Beauty on a Budget score!

Meet Aquafina’s Advanced Hydrating Facial Spray:

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This little bad boy will cost you $3.50 USD-$4 USD depending where you buy it. That’s freaking four bucks for an awesome hydrating spray! Can you say cheap and awesome?

The Muse likey cheap beauty finds that actually work!

Evian Facial Spray sells for $16 USD in a 16oz size where as Aquafina sells there version for $3.50 USD in a 6oz size. Which means even if you purchase 3 cans of Aquafina you’re still getting major bang for your buck!

Since it’s hot, humid and just generally yucky outside I absolutely adore this stuff to prep my face in the AM prior to moisturizing! I spray it all over my face for a healthy shot of cooling mineral water that softens my face and preps it for my facial moisturizer! It’s delightfully cool and refreshing plus I get the added benefit of the minerals in the water. It’s suggested for use with or without makeup on but I personally won’t attempt spraying water in my face when I have a full face of cosmetics on however in preparation for makeup it’s ideal.

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The price is sincerely awesome and it’s definately an item you’ll want to stash away cans of! The price can’t be beat and it’s a really inexpensive find for replacing your normal toner in the Summer when it’s warmer (or Winter if you prefer).

This one gets a friendly Muse Approval for purchase! If you know anything about your Muse it’s extremely rare she runs across cheap and awesome in the same product. Cheap yes…awesome no…..rare occurrence!

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But it just so happens that Aquafina Advanced Hydrating Facial Spray is cheap and awesome! A marriage most wonderful!

Loves it!
Needs it!
Wants some more of it!

Have you tried this yet?

Can’t live without it?

Want to try it?

Tell the Muse!

By the way….

Aquafina’s website is doing a sincerely wicked deal at the moment. 25% off your order of $25 USD or more!

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Sweet! Click on over to start shopping!

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Find more Beauty Budgets that the Muse adored by checking out some pasts reviews!

Small and Cheap: Bourjois Paris Minis Review

Sparkle and Shimmer For a Few Bucks: Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush Sparkling and Lumnious Eye Shadow Review

Seriously pigmented for under $7 USD: Terra Eyeshadow Review

Loving: Essense of Beauty Crease Brush Review

Steals and Deals: Sue Devitt Naughty and Nice Palettes

Hyped about: Milani’s Wet/Dry Sparkling Eye Shadow Review

Read up on some Beauty on a Budget finds that went seriously wrong:

NYX Mosiac Powder Review

Prestige Skin Loving Minerals Review

14 Comments

Summer Collections 2008: KATE Dual Carat Eye Shadow Review

Can I tell you how strange it is for me to review a Summer collection? I’m so in Fall mode that I forgot how to enjoy Summer!

Fall comes way to early for us beauty bloggers! Sheesh!

However, I did think I should stop and smell the flowers, take in the sun, and enjoy a nice Japanese Collection this week!

I hate to think how long I’ve been hanging on to KATE’s Summer Collection without reviewing it. It’s been months I’m sure since I got it and I’m just now getting around to the review. You’ll forgive your Muse for being so lack with Summer won’t you?

KATE is a Japanese brand and one of Kanebo’s sub brands that contains a healthy amount of edge to it that I simply adore!

One of my favorite products from KATE are the Dual Carat Eye Shadows. I own every single color that KATE has put out thus far and with the Summer Collection they released three new colors.

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Before I show you the new colors I think a review of KATE Dual Carat Eye Shadows is in order as I’ve never really done a detailed review on the palettes before. Each palette contains two shimmerings shades of shadow in a tiny compact with a sponge tipped applicator. A majority of Japanese eye shadows almost always have the same formula with a few in between that have a completely different consistency. KATE Dual Carat Eye Shadows have an almost identical texture and formula as most of these brands however I do feel like it has an added something that makes the shadow superior to others I’ve tried before.

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Each shade contains a healthy dose of shimmer and sparkle which I love. The formula is a similar chalky, creamy texture as most major brands however I feel like these blend much better due to the silky consistency of the powder. The shimmer is equally silky and gives a certain sparkle to the eye which make these my favorite duos!

This Summer KATE extended the Dual Carat Line to include three new shades which were GD-1, WT-1, and BK-1. The shades aren’t typical Summer in my opinion but this didn’t stop me from purchasing all three and lavishing major love on them.

Before I get on to the color selections I think it deserves to be mentioned that all the looks you’ll see below are done exclusively with the palettes and using nothing else aside from mascara. I think not using extra products gives you a better review and idea of how the palette looks on without adding in extras if that makes sense. So each look I created was using the palette and nothing more!

I’m particularly thrilled with GD-1 which sports a shimmering gold and a shimmering creamy white. If you’re getting a bit older and seeing a bit of baggage under your eyes or a few lines here and there or you’re just tired and seeking something to brighten up your eye area GD-1 will sincerely do wonders with your eyes! I couldn’t stop looking in the mirror after applying this. It made me look years younger, wide awake, and gave a beautiful pop to my lids. I used the creamy white as an all over wash on my eye and the gold on my lid. This is a particular good way to use it if your eyes are extremely wide and buggy like mine. However, I think it’s flattering on Asian eyes if you apply the creamy white as a color wash and the gold in the corner of the eyes both outer and inner!

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WT-1 is my least favorite of the three shadows. It’s a very nice combination of a white and creamy light taupe color however the colors are too similar so you can’t really see much of a contrast when they are applied together. I tried sporting the white as an all over color wash and applying the taupe to my lid however it appeared I was wearing only one shade. A tad disappointing but I can definately make use of both colors as a highlighter for my highbrow, as a color wash, or simply alone as a shadow instead of together. Together they don’t work so well but alone they really wake up the eye and bring out a certain delicious natural look!

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Now my second favorite (or possibly first) is BK-1 which is the ideal palette for a smoky look plus heaps cheaper than shelling out for Bare Minerals Rocker Chick Kit. KATE already released a duo like this previously in the Dual Carat collection however I felt like this one was different. The other version, the number/name of which escapes me at the moment, is a bit darker where as this is a lighter grayer version. If you already have the previous color I’d still recommend indulging in this one as well. I created an uber awesome smokey eye look with this color!

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I purchased these at retail which is maybe $9-$10 USD per a palette? Perhaps a bit more I can’t recall. A friend in Japan got them for me and airmailed ‘em over! However, I’ve seen them online for $15.50 USD or a bit less depending on where you shop (see my Japanese Cosmetic Buying Guide for further information about where you can purchase these!). At a cost of $15.50 USD I do believe they are worth. They are pigmented, beautifully shimmery, and are good quality eye shadows.

The Muse Approves the new KATE Dual Carat Eye Shadows for purchase! Definitely grab ‘em! They are a must have in my humblest and the colors will work well into the Fall and Winter.

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Love KATE?

Love the Dual Carat shadows?

What’s your favorite KATE eye palette?

Check out the KATE website by clicking here!

Tell the Muse!

museotherposts

KATE Glamtrick Palette Review

KATE Gel Mascara Review

KATE Spring Collection 2008 Review

33 Comments

The Muse Takes on Etude House’s Newsletter!

I’ve probably been on this topic for far too long so you’ll have to excuse me for squealing some more! I recently was featured on Etude House’s blog which was utterly thrilling for me! Soon after that a wonderful reader told me that I was featured in Etude House’s little in-store pamphlet which totally made me flip out!

Yesterday I got home and had a letter from Korea waiting for me. I was puzzling over this as I was expecting some packages from Korea but not a letter. I quickly ripped it open in curiosity and I realized that my very, very, very kind reader had sent me the Etude House in-store pamphlet which features your little Muse on the front page!

Can I tell you how exciting this is for me? I simply adore Korean culture and it’s just an honor to be included in the freaking Etude House newsletter! Sheesh, talk about super flattering!

I realize some blogs have made it into popular fashion magazines and others have even made it into the New York Times. Those are seriously great accomplishments but for me this feels ten times better than appearing in a US magazine or newspaper. Reaching out to international readers is something I truly love about my blog. I simply adore my Asian readers and truly to be recognized for my hard work in carving out a niche not many beauty blogs cover really makes me feel like Musings is just a little bit unique and different in comparison to other beauty blogs you read. You can read about the latest MAC collection across the blogsphere and get some seriously great reviews on awesome products. But it always pleases me that you can stop here at Musings, during your daily clicks, and read about the latest and greatest not only in the US but also Japan, Singapore, Korea, England, etc….I think that’s what makes Musings extra special and I take alot of pride in that!

Anyway, all gushing aside here’s some pics of the newsletter and the Muse smiling from the front page!

Enjoy!

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A big thank you to that special reader who sent this my way! Thank you SO much!

And of course a really big thank you to the Etude House team who put this together! If you’re reading this the Muse sends her love and hugs!

Show Etude House some love by clicking through their awesome website! Clickie!

Here’s the inside of the newsletter! Notice they are advertising the Shebert Cool Party Summer Collection! I’ll be reviewing it very soon so do stay tuned!

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46 Comments