Sunday, February 15, 2015

Just Another Lunch No. 2


Another lunch update!

Here's my Wednesday's lunch:
  • Fettuccine with Ragu's Garlic Sauce. (I know, I cheated on the sauce.)
  • Sauteed mushrooms, garlic and onions in olive oil.
  • Five cherry tomatoes.
  • Cilantro, Parmesan, salt, and black peppercorn flakes as finishing touches.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

e.l.f. Essential Soothing Lip Balm Review

PurchasedAffiliate / Referral Link


I bought all the variants of the Essential Soothing Lip Balm from my second e.l.f. site haul for 50¢ each during one of their half off sales. They were inexpensive, so why not try them out?


What is it?



The e.l.f. Essential Soothing Lip Balm is a "salvation for parched lips. This innovative lip balm coats lips with natural nutrients and skin soothers to condition even the most sensitive lips. Infused with Shea Butter and Vitamins A & E for long lasting protection."


Ingredients

Paraffinium Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Polyisobutene, Silica, Synthetic Beeswax, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Tocopheryl Acetate (VE), Retinyl Palmitate (VA), Fragrance(Aroma), Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Iron Oxides (CI 77491 , CI 77492 , CI 77499), Manganese Violet (CI 77742), Mica (CI 77019), Red No.6 Lake (CI 15850), Red No.7 Lake (CI 15850), Red No.28 Lake (CI 45410), Blue No.1 Lake (CI 42090), Yellow No.5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow No.6 Lake (CI 15985)
Mineral oil is a great occlusive moisturizer that I tend to like as a skincare ingredient. The synthetic beeswax and shea butter give emolliency to the skin and are solids that provide the lip balm with structure. I do see tocopheryl acetate, which is a stable form of Vitamin E and has antioxidant and emollient properties. Retinyl palmitate is another antioxidant, but is the weakest retinoid, and I think it's in the formulation just to say they they have Vitamin A in the ingredients. There's nothing really spectacular in the ingredients.

There's also not much on the irritation or comedogenicity of the ingredients that will affect me. I check for comedogenicity because I smear lip balm on my lips and the surrounding skin. I also use it as a salve on dry patches when I am on the go. Even then, it is up to test and trying the product out to know what will happen to my skin.


Packaging



The tubes come in a cardboard and plastic packaging with 0.07 oz or 2g of product per tube. The lip balms are in a twist tube applicator, which feels very cheap and looks like it's about to break at any moment. Plus, when you twist the lip balm up and you want to twist it back down, sometimes the lip balm does not go down beyond the top of the tube. The text also rubbed off on the twist tube when I photographed the products new, which is a shame. The only way to identify the product is the through stickers at the bottom that states their color, given that they are readable and present.


Scent


All these balms have a light scent.

Vanilla Crème doesn't smell like straight vanilla. More like a lightly scented vanilla cake batter.

Strawberry Crème does smell of strawberries in a lot of whipped cream. This is the second most scented balm.

Blackberry Crème leans closer to an artificial grape scent, but not the kind of grape scent that is reminiscent of cough syrup. This has a sweeter smell. This is the strongest smelling balm out of the three.


Appearance


Vanilla Crème looks like a cake batter golden yellow color.

Strawberry Crème is pink, reminiscent of strawberries in cream.

Blackberry Crème is colored a blue tone purple.


Texture


These are so soft! The slightest touch will deform the lip balm, so make sure to only twist the amount you will use so the lip balm won't end up smearing due to the twist tube not twisting down all the way once you twist up the same amount from the terrible mechanism. Once on your lips, they feel oily. It feels even slicker than petroleum jelly that I usually use as a lip balm.


Application



The swatches of Vanilla Crème, Strawberry Crème, and Blackberry Crème from bottom to top.

Just smooth this onto your lips. Twist the tube for more product to come out. As you can see from the above arm swatch, there is a distinct oily shine from them, but it makes the lips look moisturized. There is also the ever so slight amount of pigmentation that shows up on the arm with the Strawberry Crème and Blackberry Crème, but all the balms apply sheer on the lips.


Performance


The lip balms are so oily and it makes my lips so soft and glidy. They give a hint of shine that might lean on the greasier side if you apply too much but I don't mind it. It looks more like moisturized lips.

Do they actually moisturize? Yes! I really like the oily feel of it because it makes your lips smooth over each other so easily, unlike some thicker lip balms I've tried that are so heavy, sticky, or gunky that all my head hairs decide to attack my face. In some instances, though, these balms can be too oily, so skip it if you want a thicker balm. I even tested them out during the nighttime right before bed to see how well the balm holds up during the night on my lips. Well, it stayed on for the whole 8 hours, so I think it performs pretty well as a nighttime lip balm if you smear enough on.

Like I mentioned before, the caveat to this is that during higher temperatures, these lip balms do not hold up so well and is rather oily on the lips. The Strawberry one is the one that stays the most intact in its solid form, while the Vanilla Crème is the biggest offender of melting off in the tube, but it is not quite runny.


Conclusion


Pros:
  • Inexpensive during half off sales for 50¢ per 0.07 oz or 2g.
  • Buttery feel on lips that is neither sticky or heavy.
  • Soothing to lips.
  • Moisturizes lips.
  • Compact size.
Neutral:
  • Can give off a shiny or greasy look on lips.
Cons:
  • Terrible twist tubes.
  • Labeling on twist tube rubbed off with the slightest touch.
  • Can be too oily feeling when applied too heavily.

I don't really care for these lip balms, but the Strawberry Crème one does the job and smells good and I would probably repurchase it because it is a thicker formula than the rest. They are only worth it if they are 50¢ because the Chapstick Classic style lip balms are $1 for 0.15 oz whereas these e.l.f. lip balms at regular price are $1 for 0.07 oz.


Where to Purchase


Website Price Deals
e.l.f. $1.00 USD Use Ebates for some cashback at e.l.f.!
Shop Miss A $1.00 USD
iHerb $2.00 USD
Amazon varies



Monday, February 9, 2015

Just Another Lunch


Monday is always a good day to bring a wonderfully packed cold lunch filled to the brim.

The meal consists of:
  • Crispy pot bottom jasmine rice with soy sauce and a sprinkling of flax seeds.
  • Three stalks of boiled gai lan with soy sauce.
  • Four sauteed shrimps.
  • Fried dace in oil with salted black beans.
  • Pan fried eggs and peas, like a frittata or omelette.
  • A small apple.
  • Calbee Saya Snowpea Crisps.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Memebox Apple Mojito Unboxing

PurchasedAffiliate / Referral Link


Yay! I finally got the Apple Mojito Memebox~! I was able to snag this up during the Big Box Party 2015 restock craze.


What is it?



Memebox is a South Korean based company that makes mystery cosmetic boxes you can purchase until they run out of stock of that particular box.

I bought the Apple Mojito box because I really like the apple theme. They have the cute TONYMOLY apple, as well as a cupcake lip balm!

"There’s no alcohol necessary to turn you into an addict, because this box is packed with a healthy crush of high-energy refreshing fruit mixes that levels up your beauty! Bursting with skin and body healthy mixes, this box contains all things all of the best beauty wonders to pamper your skin and body! You’ll surely be asking for the second rounds!"


Cost


This particular box is priced at $19 USD, and the lowest shipping cost of standard shipping is $6.99 USD. I paid $38.98 USD along with the My Cute Wishlist 4 because I have a bunch of Memebox store credit.


Shipping


The box shipped on Jan. 21st. I received the box on Feb. 4th.


Packaging


The Memebox comes in a pink bubble mailer. Inside is the pink box, and the contents are cushioned with tissue paper.


Contents






Enesti Apple & Honey Shea Butter Hand Cream
Full Size Value: $5 USD for 50g
Product Size Value: $5 USD for 50g

I think this smells really good! I'll get some use out of this for sure!



A.H.C Climax Foam Cleanser
Full Size Value: $29 USD for 180mL
Product Size Value: $29 USD for 180mL

This is the product that I feel meh about even before the purchase. Tofu urged me to get the box anyways, so I blame him for my cleanser dilemma. What am I going to do with this?



Holika Holika Dessert Time Lip Balm in Lemon Cupcake
Full Size Value: $6 USD for 6g
Product Size Value: $6 USD for 6g

I actually have a smaller version of this, not made by Holika Holika. It seems like Holika Holika is not the only brand that uses these lip balm cupcakes and possibly rebrands them. I like how they look, but mojitos don't use lemons...



Purederm Smile Turn-over Lemon Peel
Full Size Value: $24 USD for 170mL
Product Size Value: $24 USD for 170mL

I have a hard time believing this product costs $24 when it is a low end drugstore brand product. It has denatured alcohol as the second ingredient, which I don't think I will be using now because I patch tested it and it is way too drying.



TONYMOLY Red Appletox Honey Cream
Full Size Value: $12 USD for 80mL
Product Size Value: $12 USD for 80mL

I love this product! It is a very smooth, silky, cooling gel that is on the droopier side. It smells so delicious!


Conclusion


Total Box Value: $76 USD

I am not too happy with two items in this box, so this box is basically worth $23 to me. I like the idea of the box, and I should have looked closer into the PUREDERM toner because I was looking forward to that. The box could also have been better executed because there are limes, not lemons, in mojitos. Lime as the advertised ingredient does exist in Korean cosmetics, but I guess lemon themed ones are easier to get a hold of and there's more variety from different brands. In short, I don't really care for this box even though I knew the contents. I didn't mind it being slightly off theme because I thought it was only the cleanser that I wouldn't like.

Despite this "eh" review, I still will enjoy the items I do like from this Memebox.


Memebox Deals


Only one coupon code can be applied per transaction, but if you click through the affiliated links I provided, those deals can be used in conjunction with the coupon codes. The January code for sure works, but I am not sure if the other codes work anymore

Jan. 2015 $3 off on $30 or more (S&H and taxes do not apply): 31ZAJS
$5 off on the Korean Beauty Starter Kit (USA): 5NE145
$5 off on entire order when purchasing over 3 Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE3
$8 off on entire order when purchasing over 4 Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE4
Free shipping on orders above $70 from Memeshop: FREESHIPPING