Skincare Review: Rohto ChuLip Lip Essence – Japanese Lip Balm (Waikiki, Hello Paradise and Paris, Perfect Memories)

Hello all! Today I’ll be reviewing Rohto’s brand-new lip balm line: ChuLip Lip Essence. Someone suggested I try this as an alternative to EOS lip balm, which contains ingredients that may aggravate lip acne. I was immediately sold by the cheerful colours and cute packaging of ChuLip. Even the name is adorable! ChuLip is a play on words in Japanese – it sounds like the Japanese pronunciation of “tulip,” but it’s also a portmanteau of “chu” (sound effect for “kiss” in Japanese) and “lip.” Very clever! My lips get dry and chapped really quickly, especially during winter. I’ve tried every balm out there: Nivea, Carmex, Burt’s Bees…the list goes on. The only things that worked, and I swear I’m being serious, are Vaseline and original flavoured Lip Smackers. So I’m always excited to try out a new lip balm, hoping that I’ll find my holy grail. ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ So, did they hold up? Read on.

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ChuLip advert with Mariko of AKB48!

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Swatches: Quo by Orly in Celestial Stars

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Hi all! Today I’ll be reviewing a polish from Quo by Orly  called Celestial Stars. Quo is Shoppers Drug Mart’s in-house beauty brand. Most Quo products are pretty good, and I figured if Orly it making their nail polishes, they must be good too! This is a sparkly ultramarine blue that shifts to royal purple in the light. I suspect that it’s just a reformulated version of one of my favourite discontinued polishes – Orly Cosmic FX in Lunar Eclipse. I know the purple-blue duochrome is completely played out by now, but I can’t help myself. It’s my favourite colour combination~ so, let’s get started!

Packaging: 4/5

The polish comes in rounded 14 mL bottles, along with 2 mixing balls. The brush is very nice – narrow, with no loose fibres. The rubberized lid is helpfully stamped with a white ‘Q’ so it’s easy for me to find in my nail polish box! The problem is that the rubberized coating on the lid attracts loads of dust and lint – might not be a good idea to keep this around your makeup as it’ll certainly get dirty. I’ve only had the polish for a short time and you can already see how dusty they are. My other gripe is that the label is black, so it’s hard to read unless you’re looking in direct sunlight.

Formula: 4/5

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The polish is big-3 free, but it’s got a very strong smell. It applied very smoothly without bubbling, and the consistency was perfect. It took 2 coats to achieve the bottle colour, which surprised me since the first coat was a bit sheer. In the photos I have 3 coats on. The polish dried very quickly, and it had a smooth, glossy finish. Not super shiny, but that was easily fixed with a coat of Seche Vite. I used a crappy top coat initially, but it really didn’t do anything for the colour or shine. You need a good quality top coat to really bring out the colour of this polish – otherwise it may look a little dull. The duochrome effect is a lot more subtle than in the bottle, but it’s still very pretty.

I was disappointed with the amount of tip wear, though. I painted my nails on Friday night, but it was too dim outside to swatch until Sunday morning. In the photo you can see that the tips are already completely worn. I’ve never had a polish wear so quickly on me, even though I do a lot of typing and work with my hands. I expected better wear from such an expensive polish.

Value: 3.5/5

I picked Celestial Stars up at Shoppers for $10 CAD – I’ve never seen the Quo by Orly line go on sale, so that didn’t factor into my evaluation at all. This is a really nice polish, and it’s a great dupe of some discontinued/expensive duochrome polishes. For comparison, OPI DS Magic costs $15 on sale, and the Orly Cosmic FX costs $10 now that it’s been discontinued. At the same time, if I’m paying $10 for a nail polish then I want to go more than 2 days without getting obvious tip wear.

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Obvious tip wear after only 2 days.

Overall Impression: 4/5

  • Pros: 3-free, applies well, dries quickly
  • Cons: Chips easily, expensive

Where To Buy:

Shoppers Drug Mart (Canada)

Dupes & Similar Shades:

Orly Cosmix FX – Lunar Eclipse (discontinued)

OPI Designer Series – Magic (discontinued)

Sally Hansen HD – Laser (discontinued)

Pure Ice – Deja Vu

Butter London – Scouse

Swatches: Missha The Style Gemstone Nails in Citrine, Aquamarine, and Amethyst

Hello everyone~ today I’m going to be reviewing 3 Missha nail polishes. I’ve never bought Missha nail polish so I was excited to see the Gemstone Nails collection on sale! I picked up Citrine (orange), Aquamarine (blue), and Amethyst (purple). Let’s get started! ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ

Packaging: 10/10

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Missha’s packaging is feminine and pretty without being overly girly. The polish comes in curved 8 mL heart-shaped bottles with the Missha logo on the front. They don’t stack together or anything so storage isn’t as easy, but they look lovely lined up on a shelf. The caps are short and sturdy, and they’re made of a pretty iridescent black plastic that shimmers red/blue in the light. They have standard long, thin brushes. Lastly, they come with mixing balls – good job Missha!

Formula: 4/10

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When I leaned in with my camera for a closer look, I was disappointed to see curled glitter in all 3 polishes! At first I thought it was the curve of the bottle distorting my vision, but the glitter is actually slightly curled. Nooo! ´⌒` The curling is the worst in Aquamarine – every glitter has curled. In Citrine, for some reason the giant gold hex hasn’t curled but all the smaller glitter did. And in Amethyst, all the hex glitter has curled but the star glitter is ok. The batch is from 26 February 2013 according to the sticker. Since it’s been sitting for a few months already, it probably won’t curl much more (I hope).

Anyway, as for the rest of the formula, it’s simply “ok.” Like most glitter polishes, it’s thick and a bit sticky. It didn’t apply very smoothly/evenly and left some streaks. On the bright side, the glitter goes on thickly! I got a nice amount of glitter with every coat. There’s also a pleasant surprise – the polish is scented! There’s a subtle rosy floral fragrance that fades as it dries. I noticed when I was painting that it wasn’t as stinky as other polishes, and the rose scent isn’t overpowering or fake-smelling. The box also says it contains Vitamin C and botanical extracts from pumpkin, hibiscus, and strawberry in addition to powder from crushed pearl, tourmaline, coral, and sapphire for shine. That’s nice and all, but I just wish I could find out if it’s 3-free or not!

Value: 6/10

I bought this from Ebay so I know I paid a bit more than it’s worth ($5 CAD), but you can buy it directly from Missha USA for $3. At least it’s cheap, since I would be pitching a fit right now if I’d spent more than that. I don’t think $3 is a lot for a small bottle of polish considering the curling isn’t too bad and the colours are pretty – although that’s basically $6 for a full size bottle and I’d rather buy China Glaze if I’m gong to spend that much.  You can also find it at KoreaDepart  for $2.34 USD. I picked it up from f2plus1 on Ebay for $4.90 USD.

Overall Impression: 5/10

  • Pros: Gorgeous packaging, very glittery, pleasant scent, fair price
  • Cons: Curling glitter, streaky application, a little too thick, no indication that it’s big-3 free

Thank you so much for reading!

❤ Chelsea

Swatches: Innisfree Eco Nail Colour in #85 and #116

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Hello everyone! Today I’m bringing you guys a review of some polishes from Innisfree’s Eco Nail Colour line. Innisfree is a Korean cosmetics company that focuses on using natural, environmentally-friendly ingredients in its skincare and makeup products. As such, their nail polishes are big 3-free, meaning that they don’t contain phthalates, toluene, or formaldehyde.  They have a wide range of polish colours, mostly in pastel hues, and tons of cute glitters to choose from.

I’ll be reviewing two shades: #85 Raspberry Yogurt from the Yogurt collection and #116 from the Macaron collection. #85 Raspberry Yogurt is a warm-toned pink, milky jelly with multi-size pink and purple hex glitter. #116 is a simple pastel pink creme with a slightly cool undertone.

Packaging: 8/10

Left: #118 Raspberry Yogurt. Right: #116

Left: #118 Raspberry Yogurt. Right: #116

The polishes come in stubby 10 mL bottles. The lids are matte white and feel sturdy. The brushes are short, but they actually reach the bottom of the bottle so you don’t need to tilt the bottle awkwardly when the polish is running out. However, the short length made it a little awkward for me to apply polish neatly. Sadly, one of my brushes had some bent bristles in it, which left a little streak on the nail. Lastly, the glitter polish doesn’t contain a mixing ball even though the creme does. I’ll never understand this logic, haha.

Formula: 10/10

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2 coats each of #85 Raspberry Yogurt and #116.

As you can see, the swatches are a bit more bright and saturated-looking than the bottle colour, but the difference isn’t too extreme.

Firstly, these are big-3 free! The smell isn’t strong either, and dissipates quickly. Application was a breeze. #116 was thick but smooth and went on without streaks or bubbles. It was nearly opaque in 1 coat, which is great for a pastel pink. #85 was surprisingly liquid for a dense glitter polish, but it wasn’t too runny. It applied without streaking or bubbling as well, and the glitter actually went on quite evenly. Lastly, the drying time was pretty good on both polishes. #85 dried a little bit more slowly than #116.

Value: 8/10

I paid $5 and $6.50 CAD for #116 and #85 respectively. I think that for the quality and amount of polish I got, the prices are ok – about the same as China Glaze and the cheaper OPI (in terms of $ per mL). I’ve paid more for polish and gotten lesser quality, so I think these are a good value even though they’re slightly expensive. However, you can get them for about $2.50 (!) from Korea Depart if you’re willing to buy a lot of stuff to offset the shipping costs. So I’m giving them a high score for value.

Overall Impression: 9/10

  • Pros: Big-3 free, excellent formula, not too strong-smelling
  • Cons:  Slightly clumsy brush, slightly expensive

Here’s a few places where you can pick up some Innisfree polish for yourself! If you find any other shops, let me know.

2plus1: http://stores.ebay.ca/f2plus1
Ruby Ruby Shop: http://stores.ebay.ca/rubyrubyshop
Jessie Market: http://stores.ebay.ca/jessiemarket
Korea Depart: http://en.koreadepart.com/
Myra Korean Style: http://www.myrakoreanstyle.com

Thanks for reading!

❤  Chelsea

Swatches: KIT Nail Lacquer in First Kiss, Spring Awakening, and Playas De Arena

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Hello everyone! I’m going to be bringing you a new format for my polish reviews, since I think my previous reviews were a little bit long and rambling. I’ll be instead assigning points for packaging, formula, value, and overall impression.

Today, I’m going to be reviewing 3 polishes by KIT Nail Lacquer: First Kiss, Spring Awakening, and Playas de Arena. First Kiss is a cool-toned hot pink creme. Spring Awakening is a cool-toned mauve creme. Playas de Arena is a warm-toned peachy pastel pink creme.

KIT is an in-house brand owned by Rexall Pharmacy/PharmaPlus, a Canadian drugstore chain. You may not be able to get them outside of Canada unless you buy them online. They have over 40 colours, though the majority of them seem to be your typical cremes. They have some pretty shades in every colour of the rainbow.

Packaging: 6.5/10

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From left to right: First Kiss, Spring Awakening, and Playas de Arena

The polishes come in adorable, square 15 mL bottles with simple labels. Each one contains 2 mixing balls. The brush is easy to hold, but the lid feels very flimsy and cheap. I actually cracked the plastic of one lid by squeezing it too hard (and I’m not very strong). And being square, the lids don’t always close flush with the bottle which is incredibly annoying. However, they are quite attractive and the square shape allows for easy storage.

Formula: 7/10

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3 coats each of First Kiss, Spring Awakening, and Playas de Arena.

As you can see, the swatches are all a few shades darker than the bottle colour, especially First Kiss, but it’s not a huge deal. You can also see my sexy, pajama-clad reflection, haha. Oops!

Firstly, Kit polishes are big-3 free! That always scores points with me. They do contain stinky camphor though, so if Zoya polishes bother you then so will these. Applying all 3 polishes was very easy. First Kiss and Spring Awakening had smooth, thick formulas and looked pretty good in one coat. Spring Awakening was a little bit less opaque, however. Playas de Arena was thinner and disappointingly sheer, but I’ve come to expect it from pastel pinks. They didn’t bubble or streak at all.

I was absolutely not impressed by the drying time. A single coat of Playas de Arena dried fairly quickly, but Spring Awakening and First Kiss dried very slowly. On the bright side, they’re not chipping!

Value: 6/10

I was lucky enough to find these on sale at 3 for $13.99. However, at full price they’re $6.99 each – the same as China Glaze at the beauty supply store. For $6.99, I would expect better packaging, and quicker drying time. However, for the price I paid, I think I got a pretty good deal.

Overall Impression: 7/10

  • Pros: Big-3 free, opaque, smooth application
  • Cons:  Camphor smell, poor drying time, cheap packaging

Thanks for reading and I hope my post was helpful! Please let me know if you like my new review format.

  CC

Swatches: Etude House Sweet Recipe Ice Cream Nails

Hey everyone!  As promised, I’m bringing you some more Etude House nail polish reviews! This batch of colours is a new addition to their Sweet Recipe cosmetics collection. Everything in the Sweet Recipe collection is packaged up like a dessert – super cute! Today I’ll be reviewing Strawberry Stars Candy and Mint Choco Chip, my two favourite flavours. I got both of these on Ebay for $4.50 each. You can easily find them for $3-$5, so don’t go to those ripoff shops that charge $9 or more.

Sweet Recipe Ice Cream Nails

Left – #1 Mint Choco Chip. Right – #4 Strawberry Stars Candy.

Firstly, packaging. As usual, Etude House hits it out of the park with fun and unique packaging. These nail polishes come in 10mL bottles shaped like ice cream cones! The cone is embossed with the Etude House logo and some decorative patterns. Even though the brush handle is shaped like a cone, it didn’t feel clumsy or difficult to use. The brushes themselves were nothing unusual – just your standard-size nail polish brush and not the broad kind that you might find in other Etude House polishes. Lastly, as I’ve come to expect from this brand…no steel balls. Sigh. Oh well! Onto the colours.

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Left – 2 coats of Mint Choco Chip. Right – 2 coats of Strawberry Stars Candy.

Etude House Sweet Recipe Ice Cream Nails #1 Mint Choco Chip

This polish is a pastel mint green with a slight blue undertone. Even without the glitter, the base colour alone is beautiful! I have a hard time wearing minty greens and blues due to the yellow undertones of my skin, but this one is perfect for me. It’s got tons of green, teal, pink, bronze, brown, and black glitter in multi-size hex,  square, and round shapes. The formula was thick and a bit chunky because it has so much glitter in it, but it applied smoothly and didn’t streak. The drying time was good on this one, even though I used a thick coat. It was opaque in two coats. It really does look like mint chocolate chip ice cream! Definitely a winner in my books.

Etude House Sweet Recipe Ice Cream Nails #4 Strawberry Stars Candy

This is a cool-toned pastel pink creme that’s reminiscent of OPI Pink Friday, my favourite pink ever! It’s loaded with pink, purple, berry, blue, holo, and silver glitter in a variety of shapes – hex, square, round, bar, and star. I know that it sounds like a hot mess when I write it out that way, but it’s really pretty on my nails! The formula was thick and not perfectly smooth due to the amount of glitter. The glitter is quite dense. On the swatch wheel it wasn’t streaky and was opaque in two coats. However, when I applied it to my own nails it was a bit streaky and transparent. I have dark nail beds though, so take that with a grain of salt. The drying time on this one for some reason wasn’t as good…I accidentally smudged my polish twice, even with Seche Vite on. Lastly, the star glitter is so few and far between that I didn’t get a single star out of the bottle, even though I painted over 20 coats of this polish. >_<

Lastly,  the wear time was great on both polishes. My nails seem to naturally resist chipping/peeling more than most people’s (no chips until about day 7-8, maybe some minor tip wear) but my nails were still looking very nice when I removed the polish. I was also pleased that these polishes came off without any fuss…rare in a glitter!

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So, what do you think? I personally really liked these polishes despite the minor issues with Strawberry Stars Candy as they’re both rather unique colours. They apply decently well, come in cute packages, and are affordable – what’s not to like? I might just have to go get the other 2 in this set – #2 Lemon Sherbet and #3 Apricot Candy. Apricot Candy looks so cute~

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Sweet Recipe Ice Cream Nails Collection

Thanks for reading – until next time!

❤ CC

Swatches: A (Tiny) Korean Nail Polish Extravaganza, Part III

Next up in my showcase of my tiny Korean polish collection are TONYMOLY and Peripera!

View Part I and Part II if you want to see some of my Etude House swatches from their Dear My Party, Look at My Candyfloss, and LUCIDarling collections!

TONYMOLY

TONYMOLY is another major Korean cosmetics brand. Once again, I mostly knew about them from their lotions and cosmetics rather than their nail polish… but they actually makes a ton of really beautiful and unique colours. I had a good experience with this one, so I’ll definitely be picking up more. Their website says that their polishes don’t use harmful chemicals, which I’m interpreting as big-3 free.  Take that as you will!

TONYMOLY Wonder Blue Woman #GS11

Wonder Blue Woman #GS11

TONYMOLY released a matching pair of glitter-filled jelly polishes to commemorate Wonder Woman – one blue and one red. The polish name is not a typo, by the way – it’s really called Wonder Blue Woman instead of Wonder Woman Blue, hehe! Like all TONYMOLY products, this polish comes in attractive and stylish packaging. It’s a short, fat 10mL bottle with a decorative lid. The TONYMOLY logo is embossed on the lid. The brush isn’t anything out of the ordinary, just short to match the short bottle. Lastly, there’s no steel ball in this polish…maybe this is a trend with Korean nail polish? None of my Korean polishes have the mixing ball. I’ll add one later, but it’s annoying since I don’t want my polish getting clumpy!

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Left – 1 coat. Right – 2 coats.

This colour is just…awesome. It even looks amazing in the bottle! It’s a translucent blue jelly packed with fine silver glitter and blue and teal hex/round glitter. The blue jelly is quite dark even after two coats, but I prefer to wear jelly polishes with undies. This would look great with a black or deep blue, like OPI Russian Navy or OPI Blue My Mind. The formula on this was nice. It was thick but not goopy, and the glitter spread very evenly across the nail. It seemed to dry a little bit slowly, though. All in all, though, this polish gets a thumbs up.

The best part? This polish cost less than $5!

Peripera

I really love Peripera because their packaging is painfully cute. Their scented nail polish collection has adorable cat-shaped caps! The colours are mostly pretty girly – pinks, peaches, pastels and brights – but there is a good range of dark colours available. Even though I find pastels a bit overdone, they have a vast selection of really lovely ones. They also have some gorgeous jellies and glitters. Peripera nail polish is really popular in Korea and is considered one of the better brands. I’m not sure if they’re big-3-free though. Their tagline for their polishes is ‘One coat, one minute, one week.’ Let’s see if it holds up!

Peripera Vanilla Mint #GR301

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Peripera Vanilla Mint #GR301

Peripera has very nice packaging…noticing a pattern yet? Korean brands are really fond of pretty packaging it seems. The polish comes in cute, fat 13mL bottles. The Peripera logo is stamped on the front in holographic paint. The lid is long and thin, and it’s decorated with curlicues and roses. It’s very pretty, but it’s tricky to store…the handle makes it about 1-2cm taller than your typical bottle. I imagine you’d have similar storage problems with their other funky handle shapes. The long handle is nice for applying the polish though, since I have long fingers. And I love the brush – it’s short, flat, and wide, perfect for applying in 2 or 3 strokes. This is one of the fattest brushes I’ve ever seen, and it’s nice to see it in an inexpensive polish!

Vanilla Mint is a cute sky blue colour with a strong green undertone, perfect for spring and summer. It’s not unique as minty greens and blues are very on trend right now, but I wanted to try a Peripera product. I was a bit shocked at the bottle colour – it’s not quite like the promotional picture I used to order the polish…ah well, the perils of shopping online, right? I think I can blame that on my terrible monitor.

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1 coat! Looks good already.

That aside, it’s a very pretty polish. It applied smoothly and evenly with the fat brush. The formula is quite thick and opaque, but not gloopy. They weren’t kidding about ‘one coat’ though I prefer two out of habit. It also dried to a soft shiny finish quickly despite the fairly thick coat I applied. So ‘one minute’ checks out too! I haven’t had it on for very long, so I can’t say much about ‘one week’ yet. Still, I’m sold on the thick formula and drying time alone. My nails rarely chip until day 7-8 anyway, so I’m probably not going to be the best judge of longevity for the average person…

My singular beef with this polish? It smells bizarre. It’s the regular nail polish smell with a weird plastic undertone. Thankfully it’s very brief and dissipates in about a second. I can’t put my finger on it…camphor, maybe? It’s fine when the polish is dry, but use it in a ventilated room.

You can easily pick up their standard polishes for around $5 on Ebay, but some of their more special collections (such as the cat-shaped scented perfume polishes) are a touch more expensive at around $8 and up. Very good buy for the quantity and quality you get.

So…that’s it for now. But I’ll be back soon with another boatload of Korean nail polishes, including some brand new Etude House! So stay tuned~

❤ CC