Wednesday, January 28, 2015

TONYMOLY Apple Hand Cream Review

PurchasedAffiliate / Referral Link


This is the very thing that got me into the world of Asian skincare!

A TONYMOLY shop had their grand opening, so along with that they had a promotion where it only costs $4 USD for their Red Apple Hand Cream. The promo enticed me to purchase three of them! Coupled with a 20% off deal when you sign up for their mailing list in-store, I paid less than $4 for each apple cream, even with sales taxes applied. I kept one and gave the other two away.


What is it?


TONYMOLY makes products that are not only functional, but aesthetically pleasing. Of course I want my skincare products to look like fruits! Or pandas.

This particular hand cream shares the same packaging as their Appletox Honey Cream, but that is a different product from the same brand.


Ingredients

Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Hydrogenated Castor Oil Isostearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Polyethylene, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG-75 Stearate, Dimethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Betaine, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Steareth-20, Ceteth-20, Sodium Carbomer, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Fragrance, Chlophrenesin, Xanthan Gum, Royal Jelly Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol, Lepidium Meyenii Root Extract, Disodium EDTA, Benzophenone-5, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, CI 19140, Goat Milk Extract, Citric Acid, CI 17200
I see some typical skin moisturizers, as well royal jelly extract, Lepidium meyenii root (maca) extract, apple fruit extract, and goat milk extract. Royal jelly extract shows antibacterial and antioxidant activities. I didn't see a whole lot on maca extract for topical usage. And there's also not much on apple fruit extract on the skin, except that I know malic acid exists in the fruit, which can contribute to humectant and exfoliant properties. Goat milk extract has barely anything, too, for some reason. I thought it would be more researched rather than just hearsay for use in cosmetics. But all this supposed good stuff are on the very low side of the ingredients list after fragrance, so I doubt they will actually do anything but for advertisement.

The cocoa butter is highly comedogenic, so be wary for usage on acneic skin.


Packaging



The one I have contains 30g of product, and it comes in this adorable red apple container. Once you open the top half of the apple, there is an inner lid that keeps the product from spilling. Though using a jar like this is unhygienic, this problem can easily be overcome by depotting it into a smaller container because this packaging is too big for travelling, or washing your hands right before usage to prevent as much contamination as possible.


Scent


I love this scent! It is a mild and pleasant apple scent like a crisp, Granny Smith. It is very realistic smelling, unlike the Jolly Rancher apple flavor. The smell lasts for about two hours, but I was not bothered by it at all because I tend to get allergic reactions to "fragrance" ingredients, but not this one.


Appearance


This cream is opaque with a tint of yellow.


Texture


I find the cream on the lighter side, like my beloved CeraVe Moisturizing Cream. Though, when too much of the product is applied, it has a weird feeling that is similar to what your skin feels like when you wash with soap bars, but that can be taken care of either with another moisturizer on top, or not applying too much.


Application





Even if the product is called a hand cream, it's just a moisturizer. And like any moisturizer, just apply it to any parts of your skin that needs moisturizing. I just massage it pretty much everywhere onto my skin, my face included, because I don't really see why I can't use it on my face if the moisturizer doesn't cause any negative reactions to me. It's a real joy to apply this because of the lovely scent. It makes me hungry by just smelling the product!


Performance


This product does a good job of moisturizing. I can't say that this is the best moisturizer I've used, but it does the job well with a pleasant scent. I tend to get irritated eyes from cosmetics, but I never had problems with this product and it never broke me out, either, but, these are conditional and varies from person to person.


Conclusion


Pros:
  • Adorable, reusable packaging.
  • Moisturizer does its job.
  • Product was not irritating.
  • Product did not cause acne on me.
Neutral:
  • Jar packaging may be unhygienic, but there are workarounds.
Cons:
  • Not necessary to have more than one apple at a time.
  • Ingredients list is not very impressive.
  • Not a multitasking skincare product.

It works great for the novelty of the item. I enjoy the delicious apple scent and the lovely packaging. Would I repurchase? Only if my current apple jar broke, otherwise, I don't find it necessary to have more than one apple. I can put any moisturizer in the container so I can just stare at the apple and use it, too. I would be willing to purchase sample packets and depot them into the apple container I currently have because that would be more cost effective.


Where to Purchase


Website Price
Tester Korea ₩ 5,500
Sasa $8.50 USD
Memebox $9.00 USD
Pretty and Cute $9.99 USD
A-poly on Amazon $13.60 USD
Prices exclude shipping and handling costs.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Post from Peaches

Gift


Words cannot contain my excitement and gratefulness. My dear friend Peaches and I exchanged parcels with each other. I am admiring the decorative trim of washi tape on the box!


AHHHHHHHHHHH is all I can type to express my thoughts! All I did was open the flaps of the box and flipped over the paper, and there's already a bunny staring at me!



This is all the stuff laid out!



Yummmm, Gummy Choco... They are exactly as the name suggests, an outer coat of white chocolate covering gummy centers. The strawberry fish looks like a wafer-esque, airy cookie with a strawberry flavored filling. The package on the right is a custard apple flavored Pretz. I like anything from Pretz, but I thought they only did more savory flavors whereas Pocky had the sweets? The box in the center is my first Poppin Cookin set!!! I'm going to be making candy sushi~!



Cola candies! Are they gummy? And I tried the top center yellow box of caramels. They are delicious! The noodles on the left is one that I've eaten before, and I like their texture. The center is a set of five different candies, and they make me want to decorate a gingerbread house with them. The dolphin candies are another DIY candy kit! And there's the assortment of treats with a gummy watermelon, some latte candies, some melon flavored hard candies, and a chestnut sweet.



These are mystery sets! Hello Kitty, Winnie the Pooh, a dim sum set, and two Re-Ments with a Hello Kitty charm and a Japanese dish.


The blind bags are revealed! They are all adorable collectible items. The Re-Ment ones comes with the melon flavored gum.



More collectibles! There's a set of Western fast food meal erasers, an Iwako looking sponge cake log with strawberries eraser, two bowls of noodles charms, an Eeyore with a butterfly on his nose, a Tigger holding a rose, Beast, two Mickey Mouses, a tiny Minnie, and a Twin Stars charms!



There's two (very familiar, can't put my hand on what character it is) silicone bunnies for cooking, a The Dog plush, a green tofu charm, a set of domed holographic ice cream sundaes stickers, a notepad, and a Rilakkuma folder!



And the last item is a letter to me in this charming bento stationary set! AHHHH!


Peaches, I am very thankful for all these wonderful gifts you have given me. I hope you enjoy my gifts as much as I love yours. I am very excited about all the things you have chosen as well as embarrassed that I did not send you more stuff. But there will be a next time~!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Coconut Lentil Soup Recipe


Winter. What a wonderful season to have a pot of soup warming up the kitchen. The warmth of the soup makes me want to cozy up at home, or at least dream of it if I have it in a thermos elsewhere. This is a wonderfully creamy and hearty soup with the fragrant taste of coconut milk. Red lentils allow for this soup to be ready in a short amount of time, while adding body with the high amounts of protein.


Ingredients

  • Coconut milk
  • 6.75 oz (200 mL) or half a can
  • Water
  • 5/6 cups (200 mL)
  • Red lentils
  • 4 oz (115 g) or half a bag
  • Yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL)
  • Cilantro, minced
  • A handful
  • Salt
  • To taste
    Optional:
  • Young coconut meat
    Use ones with a slightly hard texture.
    If used, add an additional 1/2 cup (60 mL) of water.
  • 1/2 cup (120 mL)
  • Curry
    Makes a curry coconut lentil soup.
  • To taste

Directions

  1. In a pot, take the lentils and rinse with tap water. Then add the required amount of water and coconut milk to the red lentils. Set this pot to boil.
  2. While the pot is rising to a boil, prepare the onions, the cilantro, and the optional coconut meat. Add all these ingredients to the pot of lentils and let the pot come to boil. Once it has boiled, reduce to a simmer. Stir frequently.
  3. Let it simmer until the lentils has softened. Then turn the heat off.
  4. Add salt and the optional curry to taste.
  5. Serve. This will comfortably produce about 3 servings.
It takes about 20 minutes from preparing to serving. Enjoy~!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Coastal Scents Haul

Purchased



During Thanksgiving week, I decided to get a haul going at Coastal Scents because of its 50% off deal. I wanted some oils to make oil cleansers and I've been eying the 252 Ultimate Palette to try out.


What is it?


Coastal Scents is an online store of ready-made cosmetics and raw materials for cetain DIY cosmetics like bath bombs.


Cost


My haul plus the signup discount amounts to $50.38 USD.


Shipping


I received free shipping because my order was over $50 USD. I bought the products on Nov. 26th. It shipped Nov. 28th and I received this package on Dec. 3rd.


Packaging



As you can see, that is all the packaging material for my products! Even with the extensive packaging, my African Wild Honey bottle cap broke, but I was able to tape it back together, though it is no longer usable as a flip cap top.


Contents



Moringa Oil
$19.95 USD for 120mL or 4.1 fl oz

Sweet Almond Oil
$9.95 USD for 473mL or 16 fl oz

Jojoba Oil
$29.95 USD for 473mL or 16 fl oz

I bought these oils because of the low comedogenicity ratings, low oleic acid content, and long shelf life.



My opened bottle of Moringa Oil. Notice the gunk at the neck of the bottle.

When I opened my moringa oil bottle, there's some weird stuff crusted over the moringa oil bottle neck. Is that the oil that has solidified? Because when I put the moringa oil into the fridge, it never solidifies... And is moringa oil suppose to have a waxy crayon or olive oil like smell? Because that's what it smells like.



Citric Acid 3 lbs
$10.96 USD
I want to make bath bombs or use citric acid as a pH adjuster for my future aqueous DIY cosmetics projects, so here is a pack of citric acid.

African Wild Honey
$12.95 USD for 473mL or 16 fl oz
As you can see, even Coastal Scents's packaging did not stop the flip cap from breaking. I "fixed" it by taping the flip cap shut, so now I cannot use the flip cap nor extrude the honey from the small hole. I will have to unscrew the cap to be able to use the honey. By the way, the honey is not blue. It is a dark brown color which appears to be blue due to the lighting effect that the translucent bottle makes on the honey. It smells so good!



252 Ultimate Palette
$24.95 USD
Yes! I can't wait to play with this palette! I even got some stickers and a sample for the Coastal Scents Revealed Palette, which is a supposed Urban Decay Naked palettes dupe.


Customer Service


Because my moringa oil has a scent and I wasn't sure if it was suppose to smell or not, I inquired customer service about whether or not moringa oil should smell:
"Does moringa oil have a scent to it?

Thanks!"

The response I received was the following:
"Thank you for contacting Coastal Scents. This oil is 100% natural with no fragance [sic] added to it."

Because I was not asking about whether or not there was added fragrance in the moringa oil, I inquired again:
"I understand that there is no added fragrance, but I wanted to know if the moringa oil is suppose to smell, not if there are any added scents to it.

Thank you."

Their response:
"Thank you for contacting Coastal Scents. It has no scent to it, is 100% natural."

So it is not suppose to smell? But my moringa oil smells... Did my product go rancid?
"Hi Lorena,

If that's so, then the moringa oil I bought has a waxy olive oil like scent to it. Did the moringa oil I purchase go rancid?

Thanks!"

And the next and last correspondence I had with Coastal Scents Customer Service regarding this matter is:
"Coastal Scents wants you to be completely satisfied with your purchase. If you are not satisfied with your products, you may return them within 30 days of purchase for a full refund of the purchase price. The original shipping fee is not refundable. Coastal Scents cannot be held responsible for packages lost in transit, and shipping costs will be your responsibility. Please note the products must be returned with a copy of the invoice, in the appropriate packaging and without further damage. You may ship any items you wish to return to the address below:

Coastal Scents
4627 Arnold Avenue
Naples, FL 34104

We encourage you to use a shipping method that will allow for you to insure and track your package. All returns are processed within 24-48 business hours of being received in the warehouse. The Help Desk at Coastal Scents will send you a confirmation email once the items have been received and the return has been credited.

Coastal Scents Combo Sets, Kits and Collections are sold as is and offered at a reduced price. We do not offer refunds for partial sets returned. If we receive a partial return, the item will be discarded and a refund will not be issued.

Coastal Scents will not issue a refund for an item returned after 30 days from the purchase date. If the item has been received after the 30 days, the item will be discarded.

When purchasing skin care products, we do advise you to read all the information on usage, how to get the proper results from your products and ingredients. All of this information is available on our website prior to purchasing.

Refunds:

If Reward Points were utilized during Checkout, your refund will be issued in the form of Reward Points. Once the total number of Reward Points used to place the order has been applied, any remaining refund balance will be issued in US Dollars to the original method of payment.

Credit Card and PayPal refunds may only be issued to the original card and/or account used. These refunds may take up to three billing cycles to post and may differ per bank and/or Credit Card Company. PayPal credits may take up to 30 days in accordance with PayPal crediting policies.

Orders paid via Money Orders or Bank Cashiers Checks will receive a store credit as we do not offer cash and/or check refunds.

Additional information for International Returns: You will be responsible for any shipping charges, duties, taxes and tariffs due to the return. Please note there may be additional delays in the return due to Customs Clearance.

Coastal Scents reserves the sole right to determine whether items qualify for a return, credit, or refund. Only products purchased directly from Coastal Scents are eligible for consideration. Products that are not eligible for return will not be returned to sender and will not be eligible for credit and will be discarded. We trust that this information has been informative and if you have any further questions, please advise."

In short, when inquiring about whether or not moringa oil is suppose to smell, Coastal Scents Customer Service said no. So when I told them my moringa oil does have a scent and asked if the scent indicates that the product has gone bad, they responded with that if I am dissatisfied about a product, I can return the item for a refund.

So... If the moringa oil has a scent, has a gone bad? They still haven't answered that. And if it has gone off, why should I have to ship back a defective product back to get a refund? Because at that point, it is not about product dissatisfaction, but about a possibly defective product. The exchange I had with the same person was so roundabout and frustrating that I never received a clearcut answer. And if my product has gone bad, I should get a refund without shipping the item back.

I thought if I filed a dispute with Paypal, I would receive an actual answer. Paypal said that I should escalate this to a claim instead because at that point, the whole conversation I put above happened. I recently received the message that I can return the products for a refund... Wow. Through all this and I still have yet to get the answer I wanted. And I have to ship everything back in order to get a refund. I don't even know if I will get reimbursed for shipping, either.

I do not like how Coastal Scents Customer Service handled this situation; it seems like they skimmed over my inquiries and or didn't understand what I was asking at all, and to get me to shut up they just copy and pasted their return policy to cease the conversation.

After this ordeal, I didn't even think to ask about why my bottle of moringa oil has gunk on the neck of the bottle. I don't think I will bother anymore and I'll just eat the cost if the oil has truly gone bad. Or, I can ask the BBB to help me with this exchange.


Conclusion


Besides my dissatisfaction on how Coastal Scents Customer Service handled the situation, I am looking forward to the products from my haul! I will have to think about repurchasing from Coastal Scents, until they improve their customer service. Because what if one of my items arrives tampered with or damaged? What the oils leaked everywhere and ruined all my products? I'll just try out Lotioncrafter for cosmetics ingredients or BH Cosmetics for makeup that Coastal Scents has instead.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Holiday and New Year

Purchased

Happy Holidays! And Happy New Year~!

I took a much needed vacation after my finals weeks, because part of the time I was on a cumulative 8 hours of sleep for three days due to having a particular final the day after one of the previous.

To prepare for the holidays, I participated in Cookie Day and did the biscotti and magic cookie bars. The actual vacation, where the car ride totals about 20 hours round trip, was spent mostly eating and sleeping. And maybe playing with two dogs who forgets who I am the next day for all the days I've seen them; they bared their teeth as they approached me until they remembered my scent... New Year's Eve and into the new year was celebrated with Munchkins and D&D with a complimentary side of snacks, of course. New Year was White Castle, Loaded Questions and Card Against Humanity! See the theme yet? My days were just centered around feasting.

As for purchases, I didn't really get a lot of stuff.



This was $4 USD and was the only item I got during my vacation. It is a Boeing B-17 metal model with spinnable props and landing gear, and doubles as a pencil sharpener! I got this because it is reminiscent of my childhood when I used to play with Hot Wheels cars. Now I have an aircraft to play with! Or the more probable situation of sitting forever untouched on my desk and hoping that it doesn't roll off...



This was from Rite Aid for $4.99 USD, which was the half off price from the after holiday sale. A cast iron pan to fit one giant cookie? I'm in! Plus, the pan is the perfect size for cooking a sunny side up chicken egg!



This post holiday haul was from CVS. The hair elastics were $2.50 USD, while the chocolates were $1.25 USD each.

This is my first time using elastic ribbon hair holders because I refuse to buy them at the ridiculous price of about a dollar per elastic everywhere I go. I find that for ponytails, it tends to slip off easily on a daily wear basis, so I might use this for braids. I also have straight hair that I condition regularly, so maybe that contributed to the slippage?

I once ate similar orange slices chocolates by the Terry brand years ago but never knew where to get them in stores, and I finally found some! But it looks like it is seasonal? The chocolate has a wonderful orange flavor, and the spherical nature of the chocolate ball is so because it is meant to look like an orange! You are suppose to tap gently at the top of the orange to separate all the individual orange slices.



And lastly, I bought a skeleton Hello Kitty tin and a NES controller one from a Japanese toy store for $3.99 and $4.99 USD, respectively. The Hello Kitty candies are Skelly Bones; chalky, generic fruit flavor that leans toward a Necco orange taste. The Nintendo tin contains mints. My friend bought a choice purchase of the Hylian shield from OOT and a Mario World star when we were at the store together. We might go back for more until we find it cheaper or less of a trek elsewhere.


And this concludes my holiday adventures and what not.

Monday, January 5, 2015

e.l.f. Site Haul No. 2

PurchasedAffiliate / Referral Link


I made my second e.l.f. purchase during another half off sale!


What is it?


e.l.f. is a drugstore brand with inexpensive cosmetics.


Cost


This was $40 USD plus tax, coupled with cashback from my Discover credit card and Ebates.


Shipping


This package shipped Oct. 21st and it arrived on Oct. 24th.


Packaging


The parcel arrived in a white box, and all my products were inside a clear drawstring bag. The downside is that there is no padding, and my false eyelash packaging broke, but it's not a big deal because I can still use the product.


Contents




I bought more brushes!


Studio Angled Blush Brush
$3.00 USD

Studio Angled Foundation Brush
$3.00 USD

Studio Stipple Brush
$3.00 USD
I feel that this brush is not as dense as it should be for a stipple brush, especially compared to e.l.f.'s Studio Small Stipple Brush. I like that brush more.

Studio Angled Contour Brush
$3.00 USD

Studio Crease Brush
$3.00 USD
This brush is new to the Studio collection, and it is too big for my crease and the amount of eyelid space I have.

Essential Smudge Brush
$1.00 USD

Essential Foundation Brush
$1.00 USD
I got this to apply masks, and it works very well for that purpose. As for foundation, it goes on very streaky with uneven coverage.



Studio Lip Exfoliator
$3.00 USD
I really like this! It tastes good, smells good, and works very well, especially if your lips are wet and pruny.

Studio Lip Stain in Red Carpet
$3.00 USD

Studio Lip Balm SPF 15 in Rose and Clear
$3.00 USD
I haven't tried the Clear one yet, but the Rose one is great! It is very hydrating, great pigmentation for a lip balm, and adds a flattering color and shine to my lips. The downside is that this has peppermint oil, which I am not a fan of and should have thoroughly read the ingredients list before committing to purchase.

Essential Soothing Lip Balm in Strawberry Creme, Blueberry Creme, and Vanilla Creme
$1.00 USD each
I like lip balms, and these were 50¢ each during their sale, so I decided to get the entire collection.

Essential Lipstick in Charming
$1.00 USD
This color leans too much on the powdery pink side for me to be wearable. I thought it was going to be a darker color, but it's too light. Don't let the website color deceive you! Check out other bloggers' swatches and make sure to look at different lighting of the products! Even if you google this product's color, there are different colors of it on people's lips, so if you are fine with experimenting with different colors inexpensively, this is a good option to consider.



Mineral Eye Liner in Ash
$3.00 USD

Essential 5-Piece Shimmer Eyeliner Set
$5.00 USD
You will not get a white eyeliner in the set, even though the image on the website might have the white eyeliner. Instead, it is a grey eyeliner.

Studio Kohl Eyeliner
$3.00 USD

Studio Eyeliner & Shadow Stick in Pearl / Glow
$3.00 USD
This is a great combo and color for highlighting the inner corners and right on the bottom lashline.

Essential Liquid Eyeliner in Black
$1.00 USD
This product is terrible on my oily lids as the only product. The product forms droplets and creates an uneven film across my eyelids, which makes it splotchy in some areas and very diluted near the wings. The way I got it to work was to use either eyeshadows or an eyeliner beforehand so that the liner has something to cling onto, and then it works beautifully.

Essential Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear Mascara
$1.00 USD
This works well for the first hour, and then a very slight movement of my brows will "crack" the product and undo the adhesiveness.

Studio Exact Lash Mascara
$3.00 USD

Studio Waterproof Mascara Top Coat
$3.00 USD
I really like this! It extends the life of my mascara and prevents my oily lids from smudging everything. Surprisingly, it did not weigh my lashes down.

Essential Glitter Mascara in Black
$1.00 USD
I don't know what irked me to purchase this, even after looking at the bristles (or lack thereof), but this is a trash product. I can barely layer this onto my lashes without massive clumping even with one swipe from the nonexistent bristles. Also, there is barely any glitter on the brush because the glitter has settled to the walls of the container.



Essential Jumbo Eyeshadow Stick in Champagne
$2.00 USD

Essential Dual Pencil Sharpener
$1.00 USD

Studio Cream Liner in Black
$3.00 USD
Either I am having trouble applying this, the e.l.f. brushes I used to apply this product sucks, or the product sucks. The brush it came with is too stiff and hurts to use. I've tried e.l.f Studio's Small Angled, Flat Eyeliner, Small Precision, Small Smudge, and Angled Eyeliner Brushes, but the results were more or less the same. The product clumps on the brush, it doesn't apply evenly onto my lash line, it takes multiple rounds of layering to get to a uniform black line, and applying so many layers hurt my skin. The most successful brush is the Angled Eyeliner one, but even then, it is the same problems with the other brushes, it just takes less layers.

Studio Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow in Soiree
$3.00 USD

Essential Smudge Pot in Brownie Points
$3.00 USD
I'm definitely getting more of this! It is creamy, it can be as toned down or up as you want, and can be a base or a standalone eyeshadow.

Essential Shimmering Facial Whip in Golden Peach
$1.00 USD
I like that this product is eyes, lips, and face safe, but the texture is not ideal for blending. It feels like lip gloss.

Essential Individual Lash Kit
$1.00 USD

Studio Eye Refresh
$3.00 USD
This is the most inexpensive undereye roller ball moisturizer I've come across and it works just as well as other rollers I've tried.

Studio Hydrating Face Primer
$6.00 USD


Conclusion


Overall, I am content with my purchase, the e.l.f website, and the e.l.f. brand in general. Save for the few duds, I think e.l.f. is such a great and affordable makeup company.


Deals


Use Ebates for some cashback at e.l.f.!