Skincare Review: KenzoKi Belle de Jour White Lotus Mask Brings Back Memories of Careless Summer Days

You know, it’s one of those days on which you didn’t go to bed late, but you were so obsessed with the book you’re reading that by the time you went to sleep, it was already way into the wee hours. One of those days that by 6:30, your cats deemed you had had enough sleep, and they started meowing out of hunger/boredom. One of those days that you wake up, look at yourself in the mirror, and think you suddenly look 5 years older.

Now what do you do? I know what I will do. I will reach out for my pot of KenzoKi Belle de Jour White Lotus Mask.

Growing up in Taiwan, some of my best summer memories involve lotus. The botanical garden in Taipei has a big lotus pond, and it is an amazing sight when the flower is in bloom.

Not only is lotus beautiful, it is also extremely useful. The roots and seeds are edible (I love the roots because they’re crunchy), and the leaves can be used for many different purposes. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the KenzoKi Belle de Jour line (literally means beauty of the day), as it is inspired by white lotus.

Now, according to Kenzo, white lotus is not your average lotus (which, now come to think of it, I have almost never seen in person). Kenzo cultivates white lotus in the southern Chinese province of Zhejiang (it is a bit further south than Shanghai). The mask is supposed to have three effects, including the pleasure effect (according to Kenzo, pleasure is a source of beauty), the bubble effect (it protects the skin from the harm of stress and tension), and the wake up call effect (it stimulates cellular regeneration and illuminates the face). A wake up call? Sure sounds good to me!

The Belle de Jour White Lotus Mask comes with a brush, which I think is a genius idea. It is not only more hygienic, it also prevents the mask from being heated up with fingertips. It is always a pleasant experience slathering it on my face (though slathering it on is more of a figure of speech. A thin layer will do, as the little instruction booklet says).

This is how the mask looks straight out of the pot and smoothed out on the back of my hand:

When Kenzo says there is a pleasure effect, they mean it! The smell of this mask is flowery, calming, and beautiful. The texture is not very oily or heavy either. I actually think it’s as bouncy as a mousse! After I put it on, I have 10 minutes to stumble around the house, put my mocha pot on the stove and so on. It is supposed to be removed with a moist cotton pad. I personally like to soak a cotton pad in my toner for the job. After I wipe it off, I can see my skin is plump, smooth, and radiant. It doesn’t claim to have an anti-aging effect, but it certainly takes the 5 years sleep deprivation adds to my skin away!

The only drawback of this product is the price. A 50ml pot retails for 115.70 euros here. *gulps* I understand this is not the price range that most people can impulsively splurge on. However, just as I cannot recommend something sub-par just because it is cheap, I cannot NOT recommend something good because the price tag is big. I can tell you that jar will likely last you a long time if you use it a couple of times a week, and I will leave the purchase decision to you!

Have you tried anything from Kenzoki? Have you heard about it at all? What’s your favorite hydrating mask?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

PS: 50ml of KenzoKi Belle de Jour White Lotus Mask retails for 115.70 euros exclusively at ICI PARIS XL. Here is the ingredient list if you would like to see it:

EDIT: The price on the ICI PARIS XL shop is actually 84.29 euros, which is significantly lower than what is listed on the PR info I received. Now let’s rejoice!

Disclosure: The product mentioned in this review is sent by the PR for my consideration. All opinions are honest and my own. I am in no way compensated for this review. I have always been, and will always be committed ONLY to my readers.

Swatch & Review: Erborian Ginseng BB Cream — the Magic Solution to Skincare + Base Makeup?

Hey everybody!

I promised you yesterday that I will buckle down and write out this review, and here it is!

BB Cream is a product that holds all sorts of wonderful promises, and the Erborian Ginseng one is no exception. It promises to even out the skin tone and camouflage the imperfections as well as give a “baby skin” effect that feels perfect to the touch. The imperfections are supposed to be erased, and texture of the skin refined. It can be used with or without your day cream and functions as a perfect base of your makeup (I loosely translated the instructions on the box).

When I tried it out for the first time, I was a little shocked. The BB Cream has quite a thick texture, perhaps even thicker than most foundations. After I blended it in, it had a gray cast, and the shade is obviously lighter than my skin tone. I was not sure how to react, but luckily after 10 minutes or so the gray cast disappeared, and the shade blended in with my skin tone.

Here I am going to show you the lighter shade on the back of my hand. Note it was taken right after I applied it, and there was way too much for the back of my hand anyways, so you see the gray cast and shade mismatch I’m talking about:

Here is a picture of my face with the BB cream blended into the left side, but bare on the right side. It was taken 15-20 minutes after I applied it, so the difference in shade is minuscule (I would say it’s there, and the undertone is not as yellow as my own, but if you use the color of my neck as reference it’s not very far off):

Here is a closeup of the side with BB cream. I do think it reduces my pigmentation spots and dark circle (without covering them up completely, but then again that should be the concealer’s job):

I have also received a small packet of the BB Cream in Dore (golden), so I thought I’d swatch for you guys even though the shade is obviously darker than my own:

What I like about this BB cream is that it does even out my skin tone and cover imperfections to a certain extent. I have never been very picky about coverage in terms of base makeup, so this level of coverage is just fine by me. However, I can’t really use this without my regular lotion. It is not hydrating enough for my cheeks, but at the same time it doesn’t really control the sebum production in my T-zone, either. I have never had any problems with my foundation not staying in place, but I did test it out as a foundation primer. Unfortunately I am not the biggest fan of too many layers of base products, and I do think using a foundation over this BB cream makes it look a little too cakey/powdery for my liking.

All in all, the best way for me to use this BB cream is to use it after my lotion on its own. You really only need a VERY tiny bit each time. Just put small dots of this on your face and start blending it in, adding more if you feel the need to. I like the fact that it has an SPF 25. I have tried to take photos with flash in a poorly-lit room, and it didn’t give me the ghost face effect so good job!

Here is one last picture of me wearing this BB cream on my left cheek under the foundation. If you look VERY closely, you will notice the left side is slightly more powdery-looking, and the undertone is not as yellow as my own, but that’s only if you look VERY closely.

Bottom line: Depending on your skin type, you might or might not be able to use this as a lotion and foundation replacement at the same time. If your skin is oilier you might get away with it, but with my normal cheeks that lean dry when the seasons are changing, I do need to use a lotion underneath it. Again, depending on how much coverage you want, a foundation on top of this BB cream might be a little heavy-looking. However, I do like the fact that it has a good SPF without giving a white cast in flash photography!

What do you think? What BB creams you have tried? Are you a fan?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

Disclosure: The product mentioned in this review is sent by the PR for my consideration. All opinions are honest and my own. I am in no way compensated for this review. I have always been, and will always be committed ONLY to my readers.

The full-size tube of Erborian BB cream contains 45ml and retails for 32 euros exclusively at ICI PARIS XL. Here’s the ingredient list if you’re interested in taking a look:

Comparison Swatches: Dior Vernis Incognito/OPI Tickle my France-y, Dior Vernis Plaza/ONLY YOU Pink Kiss, Dior Vernis Riviera/ONLY YOU Acid Love

Hey everybody, happy Sunday! I hope you’re enjoying some down time and restoring energy!

I promised you to show you some comparison swatches of Dior Vernis and similar shades in my stash. Well, here they are! I’m sorry that two of the three shades I pulled out for comparison are only available in Belgium. However, this is just to give you an idea. With so many spring/summer collections coming out, I’m sure you can find something close enough if you don’t want to splurge out on Dior Vernis!

The first set is OPI Tickle My France-y and Dior Vernis Incognito (257). In the following swatches you can see Tickle My France-y on my index and ring fingers; Incognito on my middle and pinky.

These two are not dupes, but they are definitely in the same vein. Tickle My France-y doesn’t have the slightly transparent quality of Incognito, and it is browner.

Next, we have Dior Vernis Plaza with ICI PARIS XL ONLY YOU Pink Kiss.

Pink Kiss is super opaque, and it is more fuchsia with a stronger blue undertone. Also, if you look VERY closely under direct sunlight, you see a teeny bit of shimmer which Plaza doesn’t have. Plaza has more pink in it compared with Pink Kiss. In the following swatch pictures, I’m wearing Pink Kiss on my index and ring fingers, Plaza on my middle and pinky.

Now let’s move on to the crazy bright Dior Vernis Riviera and ONLY YOU Acid Love.

Again, I love both. While Riviera is flashier and much more of an opaque orange, Acid Love has a jelly-ish finish, and the coral becomes very pronounced in comparison.

The only one of the Dior Vernis I have nothing to compare with is Lucky. Again, I’m sorry that I’m comparing two of the Dior shades to Belgian exclusives, but this is just so you know you can highly possibly find something similar enough if you’re either into the refined Incognito or the hot and fun Plaza and Riviera!

That’s it for today! I hope you guys have had a great weekend. I’ve got very exciting things lining up here, so remember to stay tuned!

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

PS: The GRAND highlight of my day so far is that Karen from Makeupandbeautyblog features my FOTD in her Weekly Roundup! Also, if you love cats, remember to check out MBB’s Rent-A-Tabby service. It’s hilarious, and who doesn’t want to spend a few days with a handsome tabby in a costume!

Disclosure: Some of the products mentioned in this review is sent by the PR for my consideration. All opinions are honest and my own. I am in no way compensated for this review. I have always been, and will always be committed ONLY to my readers

Swatch & Review: ICI PARIS XL ONLY YOU Spring/Summer Limited Edition 113 Banana Split, 178 Acid Love, 213 Pink Kiss, 313 Miss Bikini, & 383 Wasabi

Hey everyone!

Remember a while ago I swatched and reviewed some ICI PARIS XL ONLY YOU shades for you? I was very impressed with the brush and the formula. Today I’m showing you their spring/summer limited edition shades. Let’s see how these super fun and bright colors perform!

All swatches are done with base coat and two coats. No top coat so you can see how glossy they are on their own!

This is 113 Banana Split. I haven’t previously owned any yellow, but pastel yellow is one of the “it” colors this season so I was very excited to try! In bottle this shade is slightly shimmery, but the shimmer doesn’t transfer onto nails. Instead, it just has a lovely sheen. I absolutely adore the color, but my gripe with this one is the formula is pretty thick. The texture is almost like mousse and it is not very easy to work with. The result still looks pretty good, but I wish the formula were a little thinner.

178 Acid Love is another hot color of the year, namely tangerine tango! It is coral/orange, and I was smittened! The formula with this one is on the thin side, almost runny but not quite. Like everything else in this collection, two coats achieve complete opacity! This one has a creme finish.

213 Pink Kiss is definitely one of my favorites of the bunch! I have tried fuchsia/plum before, but it didn’t go all that well so I was a little wary of Pink Kiss. As soon as I was done with the first coat however, I knew it’s THE winner! The formula JUST right: it is pigmented and smooth enough to be a one-coater. I did two for good measure, but if you only have time for one, this polish is a good bet! This has a slight shimmer in the bottle, which translates into a sheen on nails. Gorgeous!

383 Wasabi is a fantastic chartreuse. It again has some shimmer in the bottle, but on the nails it’s hard to see any shimmer. The formula is pretty thin, and the first coat was rather streaky. However, it is all nicely smoothed out with the second one, and it becomes completely opaque as well.

Last but not least, I bring you 313 Miss Bikini. Contrary to my worries, this periwinkle blue does not clash horribly with my skin tone! It is still not a color I would reach out for on a daily basis, but it’s really not bad! This one also has a slight shimmer, and under the sun you can see a little bit of it, but it is not very visible. There are two things I don’t like so much about this nail polish though. First of all, the formula is pretty thick. It requires some effort to smooth it out. Second of all, this shade stains pretty bad. I did use a base coat, but still it was hard to remove everything. Unfortunately it was the first shade I chose to swatch, so my blood pressure basically shot through the roof lol

All in all, these are bright and fun shades that are perfect for spring/summer. Formula-wise, Pink Kiss stands out the most, Wasabi and Acid Love are thin but easy to work with, and Banana Split and Miss Bikini require a little more work because it’s thicker. Also, be warned that Miss Bikini is hard to remove. If you like the color and don’t mind dealing with some staining, you should go ahead. However, I would really recommend using a base coat when you wear this shade. Generally speaking, these polishes wear as well on me as Zoya or China Glaze, which is 3-4 days with minimal chip and tip wear.

With some help from Muffin, my personal favorites are these three:

How about you? Did you see anything you like? What are some of the “it” shades this season you have tried or want to try? What are your favorite nail polishes for spring/summer?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

PS: The recommended retail price of ONLY YOU polishes is 4.95 per bottle (10ml). I think the 3 for 9.95 promotion is still going on, but I have no information as to when it will end.

Disclosure: The products mentioned in this review are sent by the PR for my consideration. All opinions are honest and my own. I am in no way compensated for this review. I have always been, and will always be committed ONLY to my readers.

Review: Fekkai Marine Summerhair Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream Has Won itself a Trip to Côte d’Azur with Me!

Hello March, spring is finally in the air! Even with the usually gloomy weather in Belgium, we have enjoyed several amazingly warm and sunny days. Besides grasping the moment, I have also found myself dreaming about the trip to Côte d’Azur that is being planned for summer. The sun, the swimming pool, and the beach… just what someone who has not seen too much daylight for months needs, but highly possibly the worst nightmare for my manes…

To be honest, I never treat my hair any differently in summer. I don’t go to the swimming pool regularly, and it has been YEARS since I last went on beach holiday. This year however, things are going to be a little different. Not only will I get to spend some time on the French Riviera, it will also be the first time I ever go on holiday with chemically-treated hair that cannot be fixed by my beloved hairdresser at the drop of a hat. In other words, if I mess with my hair, it will probably have to stay damaged for a long time, and this is not something I’m looking forward to. If you are also planning a beach holiday that is safe for your hair however, fear not, because I have found just the thing to tackle this problem!

Frederic Fekkai, also known as F Fekkai or just Fekkai, is a professional salon hair care brand. The brain behind the brand, Mr. Fekkai, is a French celebrity hair stylist. One of his relatively new products, Marine Summerhair Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream, will find its way onto the Belgian market soon, just in time for the upcoming holiday season!

Since the instructions say that it should be applied to damp hair before styling, I use this to replace my regular leave-in conditioner. I then proceed to put some mousse in my hair and then blow dry with a diffuser as usual. The minute I am done, I notice the first differences: my hair is much curlier, and the ends feel a lot more moisturized. It doesn’t weigh my hair down at all, and my hair doesn’t feel crunchy or stiff. Over the next days, my hair stays curly even if I don’t mousse it up again, which is amazing considering I got this perm almost 8 months ago. With my regular hair routine, nowadays I have to wet the ends and put mousse every day for my hair to stay as curly. With Marine Summerhair Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream however, my hair keeps the curls till I had to shampoo it next. Of course the curls becomes looser with time, but still! It’s impressive!

Besides the fact that it helps style my hair, the ends of my hair do also feel a lot more moisturized with this cream. Normally my hair is decently moisturized after shampooing and conditioning, but over the days it becomes dry and frizzy. With this cream, even the very tips stay hydrated till I shampoo again. In other words, there is significant improvement!

Texture-wise it is like most cream you would see, but it is not heavy or “oily” at all. Oh, and did I mention the smell? It smells like coconut! Deeelicious! It is not overpowering, but it does stay in my hair for maybe half a day. Since I am a big fan of coconut, I am surely not going to complain! Like all professional hair care products, a little goes a long way, so I estimate the 5oz (142 grams) tube will last all summer and then some!

All in all, the Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream has swept me off my feet! I don’t think it’s just for summer, because it is the best leave-in conditioner I have ever tried and I will use it all-year-round. However, my hairdresser has taught me a trick that I think Smooth Sailing will be the perfect candidate for. Before going in water, besides rinsing your hair, rub some leave-in conditioner in. That way, the sea/pool water will rob as little moisture of your hair as possible.

Hair-wise I’m all set for summer with Fekkai Marine Summerhair Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream, now can we please have some more of that nice weather?

Bottom line: If you have long hair, chemically-treated hair, dry ends, or hair that is heat-styled regularly, I highly recommend you check Fekkai Marine Summerhair Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream out!

Have you heard about/tried anything from Fekkai? Do you have any recommendations? How do you prepare your hair for summer, or the swimming pool in general?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

PS: Fekkai Marine Summerhair Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream will be exclusively available at ICI PARIS XL in May (mark your calendar so that you can keep an eye out for this babe). The recommended retail price is 23 euros, though with a membership card you will get a discount.

Disclosure policy: The product(s) mentioned in this review is sent by the PR for my consideration. All opinions are honest and my own. I am in no way compensated for this review. I have always been, and will always be committed ONLY to my readers.