Makeup

Zelens Youth Glow Foundation & Velvet Lipstick

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Zelens developed by Dr Marko Lens, an internationally renowned authority in the field of skin aging, skin cancer and for his excellent skincare products. His deep knowledge of skincare also includes the study of traditional Japanese Kampo medicine. Whilst his skincare has been widely raved and approved by many skincare authorities (likes of Caroline Hirons), his makeup is lesser known and reviewed. So, recently I was gifted one of his foundations to try, by Calissa (one of brand’s online stockist). Without further ado, diving straight into it:

The foundation itself is packaged in standard Zelens skincare packaging, slim tall frosted glass bottle with a pump. Reminds me a little of Chanel-esque packaging with frosted glass so feels tad luxe. Pump action is effortless and dispenses just right. Now bear in mind I’m not a heavy or full coverage foundation wearer so one pump or one and half pump is more than sufficient for my face and neck. Good control over pump action too, where I can dispense half a pump.234BCFEF-EBD4-4F63-A40C-FC81BDA7F04C_1_201_a

Onto the formulation, typically I wouldn’t delve into foundation formulation but given this is from a skincare whizz, it needs to be talked about. Some ingredients that have been given special mention in the formulation and why they’re special:

  • Uyaku – a natural molecule extracted from the Japanese evergreen spicebush – this unique ingredient helps synchronise circadian rhythms, which are easily upset by ageing, stress and seasonal transitions. In the afternoon and evening, these molecules stimulate protection, cell division and DNA repair, whilst late at night and early in the morning they encourage cell renewal, so skin quickly becomes clearer, brighter and more even with increased elasticity and strength.
  • Sesame protein has an instant ‘tightening’ effect, Hyaluronic acid plumps and hydrates, Shiso leaf provides protection from the elements, Vegetable polyglycerides exhibit exceptional skin conditioning benefits, Cutting-edge diamond spheres then work to convert invisible UV light to blue light (photo-luminescence), creating a flattering, soft focus effect and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, shadows and discolouration, for skin that looks younger and exudes an enviable vitality.

Inci List – Aqua (Water), Cyclopentasiloxane, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dextrin Palmitate, Trimethylsiloxyphenyl Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Hydroxystearic/Linolenic/Oleic Polyglycerides, Hyaluronic Acid, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Lindera Strychnifolia Root Extract (Uyaku), Hydrolyzed Pearl, Perilla Frutescens Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Silanetriol, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Polyethylene, Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Sodium Chloride, Boron Nitride, Glycerin, Silica, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Disodium EDTA, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Carbonate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Pectin, Xanthan Gum, PVP, Parfum (Fragrance), Sorbic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Linalool, [+/- (May Contain) CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides)].

Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 7.17.30 PMOnto the texture and feel, it smells very similar to their Z Luminous Brightening Serum, which is pleasant and much like french skincare. I can’t seem to specifically pinpoint any fragrance notes in the serum. The texture itself is like serum cream but with foundation pigment. I apply with fingers and effortlessly blends and settles in skin. I’ve tried with brush too, but I feel with such expensive product, the brush absorbs tad much. Unlike mainstream foundations, I really don’t feel this one warrants buffing in with a brush. Perfect for someone like me, “finger slap dash application” method (very technical).

The finish is light to sheer coverage, you’d definitely need concealer for dark circles or any spots you’d want to cover. Personally I prefer this method, as it lets my skin, just be skin, let it breathe and pack on coverage only where I need. Plus it looks incredibly natural in broad daylight or even in the judgy office lights. The dewy finish is my preferred finish however if set with powder it can be matte finish too (which sets well). For me, this has been my go to perfect everyday foundation, as it wears particularly well over sunscreen too. It wore well through the day with and without a primer but I always have some kinda moisturizer or primer on my skin (any makeup just performs better). Skin appears plump and not like prune by the end of day. Perhaps that can be attributed to some of glorious inci inclusions too.

After my endless gushing, one would question what’s not so good? Well a very limited shade range (all of five shades, of which predominantly focused on fairer paler skins, more pinkish undertones, no availability for warm undertones, could possibly fit in shade called Tan (haven’t tried that) but not nearly adequate. In doing so, eliminated a large demographic. Also trying before buying is very tricky as samples and swatches are mainly online (depending on your location, unless you have a SpaceNK near you). In addition, very limited accessibility. And the biggest downside, the exorbitant price tag (£62.00 for 30ml) Zelens Foundation comes with….. brings a tear to my eye. Whereas Chanel Vitalumiere is £40.00 for 30ml, so you see the tear is justifiable.

All in all, this is an excellent foundation and I personally would purchase it however, there is no hiding from the fact that it is indulgence at its finest. I cannot see anyone ‘needing’ this foundation as similar finishes can also be achieved with more inexpensive options. So stalking for some deals or sales is worth the wait on this one.

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Next up is the Extreme Velvet Lipstick in Nude Pink. Claims to be “a moisturising highly-Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 7.25.12 PM
pigmented lipstick infused with a unique blend of active ingredients providing treatment benefits. Helps to plump lip volume, reshape contours, reduce the appearance of vertical lines and restore suppleness. Delivers rich long-wearing colour with a velvety, soft matte finish.”

Well this is a tricky one, this is a lipstick and works and functions like a lipstick! I haven’t noticed any reshaping contours, reduction in appearance of lines. Yes it is smooth application, properly pigmented with just one swipe. Feels velvety on lips, and stays put. Doesn’t creep into fine lines around crevices of my mouth and stays put nicely. The shade I have here is Nude Pink and on my pigmented lips appears more cooler toned pink than warm beigey nude pink. I guess one could say, the line overall is catered to more fairer, cooler toned population. Not saying it cannot work for medium toned folks, but not an instant match. The beautiful thing is this works wonderfully as cream blush too, blends effortlessly and nice stain on cheeks.

Overall, I would still think Zelens first and foremost for skincare but wouldn’t entirely discount the skin and base products. Of course at a price of indulgence.

** Products Gifted by Calissa

HHW.com

xx

Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Colour

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Bobbi Brown site says The look of a lipstick meets the feel of a balm for our most wearable lip yet. Loaded with crushed pigments and lip-loving ingredients, it’s the ultimate swipe and go formula. Claims to be Rich in Vitamins E and C and beeswax, the balmy formula glides on comfortably with a satin matte finish that leaves lips hydrated and kissably soft. Plus, it won’t feather or fade for crush-worthy color that lasts all day.fullsizeoutput_4593

In a range of gorgeous 20 shades, and completely wearable on a daily basis. These genuinely glide on like a balm and deliver like a lipstick. After a few hours it did fade away however slight pigment was left on my lips. Definitely didn’t dry my lips at all – big win.

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WELCOME TO SWATCHVILLE

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Top to Bottom: Bare, Lilac, Cranberry, Plum, Baby, Babe, Cali Rose 

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Top to Bottom: Sunset, Cabana, Angel

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Top to Bottom: Bitten, Crush, Watermelon, Punch, Regal

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Top to Bottom: Blackberry, Ruby, Telluride, Cherry, Grenadine

HHW.com

xx

Bobbi Brown ART STICK LIQUID LIP

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The newest launch in the world of liquid lipsticks from Bobbi Brown. Just about when you think I’ve had enough of drying, deathly looking liquid lipsticks, heres comes Bobbi Brown. But unlike most liquid lipsticks, these are different….more on that later.

The brand claims these liquid lipsticks to be super-pigmented, squeezable liquid lipstick. Delivers semi-matte, full-coverage color that’s creamy, moisturizing and lightweight. Plus, the long-wearing formula stays color true for gorgeous all day wear. The 17 shades choices range from nudes, pinks, deep reds and berries to bright and bold shades.

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First up, they are residents in 5ml plastic squeezey tubes with click on black plastic cap. The squeezing action took me back to Lancôme Juicy Tubes days….anyone remember those?

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The product is dispensed as you squeeze the tube, and the application tip is straight cut plastic to spread the product on lips. No doe foot applicator or sponge for application. Some may say this is difficult to work with, personally I prefer this. It’s easier to dispense product as much as I want and gives a good visual to control how much product is being dispensed. Secondly I like mixing shades, and with this delivery system I feel like mixing oil or water colours on my palette.

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Many said that after application the tube looked dirty, felt unhygienic etc since the colour was all over the application tip (see pic below). But to me this is far easier to clean with an alcohol swab than a sponge or doe foot applicator.

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Now onto the formula, it is certainly super pigmented, little truly goes a long way. I noticed this was across all shades (nudes to deep reds and brights). However, deep reds and brights were pigmented enough to stain my lips.

Unlike traditional liquid lipsticks these did not feel uncomfortable or mask like on my lips. At one point I forgot I was wearing a lippie. No sickly, deathly looking lips. Much to my surprise it felt moisturizing. Yes after about 4-5 hours I did apply, some lip balm on top however point to note the pigment stayed on the lips. But lipstick or not, I always reapply lip balm as the day progresses.

Given the BAM pigmentation and lightweight feel of this product, I tried some on my cheeks for a pop of colour. Immediately this product reminded me of Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge for lips and cheeks. Except the pot rouge gives more sheer dewy finish on my skin while this is proper colour. I think these are great for cheek colour, especially during summer when you don’t want to feel excess layered products on your face. Another point is these are medium to full coverage (I realize this is not a foundation) or should I say stain to full dense opaque lipstick.

SHADE SWATCHES

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Top to Bottom – Honey Bare, Naked Pink, Perfect Nude, Vintage Pink

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Top to Bottom – English Rose, Lily, Azalea, Pink Punch

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Top to Bottom – Rich Red, Uber Red

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Top to Bottom – Cherry, Plum Noir, Boysenberry

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Given the versatility, convenience, pigmentation, lightweight formula of this product this would be great for a minimalist on the go or just about anyone. I for one know which shades are being moved to my office, to my handbag and some in car. Have you tried these, what are your thoughts, how would you compare these to other liquid lipsticks?

Disclaimer: Product gifted by brand.

HHW.com

xx

Mintd Box

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New in the Subscription box world is Mintd Box, which includes 5 full sized beauty products for the UK and 4 full/2 travel sized beauty products for the Rest of the World (Europe, USA, Canada and Australia). MINTD Box curators believe you should only be putting the best & most innovative ingredients on your skin so they bring you the highest quality of beauty products on the market.

Unboxing Experience

I was generously gifted this box by the Mintd Box peeps, packaged in a solid white box, not flimsy by a long shot, tissue paper wrapped and gorgeous white ribbon bow. Includes a card with details of products. The products were neatly packed, delicate travel sized bottles were bubble wrapped. All in all a snug fitting box with goodies.

Full Reveal

This month’s box had the Explore theme . The curators have included a combination of premium body care, nails, makeup & skincare products to bring full body pampering experience.

Value in Great Britain: With a combined value of over £110 this month’s box sold at £65, aka  savings of up to £45 !!!

Value in USA: With a combined value of over USD$127 (break up below) this month’s box sold at USD$85 (Conversion of £65), aka savings of up to USD$42!IMG_9938

The goodies in the box are:

✨Ameliorate Body Scrub (Full Size 150ml, USD$29)
✨Smith & Cult Lip Lacquer (Full Size, USD$22)
✨Kahina Fez Body Serum (Travel Size – 30ml, USD$32)
✨Anne Semonin The Daily Musts (Mini Coffret, $26)
✨Anne Semonin Botanical Cleansing Milk & Toner (Travel Size 40ml each, USD$18)

You can get 10% off the first box when you sign up with this promo code: 10OFF1STHH (Note: I get nothing from this, just sharing a code). They also ship to USA, Canada and Australia. P1040789

Full Size – Ameliorate Skin Smoothing Body Polish

A beautiful fine scrub, wonderful for arms, legs and back. I considered applying on face however upon glancing the inci list I strictly steered clear. Ingredients like synthetic wax, mineral oil are ok for my body not for my face. Anyway so back to body, left skin wonderfully soft and smooth.

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Full Size – Smith & Cult Lip Lacquer 

Gorgeous neutral peachy sheer lipgloss, not sticky schmicky, no taste. However on my pigmented lips it needs to be layered with a lipstick.

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Travel Size – Kahina Fez Body Serum 

Kahina says it is a mysterious, sensual and exotic, a complex blend of steam distilled essential oils evokes the sacred Imperial city of Fez, Morocco. So here’s the thing, the inci list is so lush that I’m using this on my face! Don’t believe me look at this list:

Ingredient Listing: argania spinosa (argan) oil*, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, olea europaea (olive) fruit oil*, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cocos nucifera (coconut) nut oil, citrullus lanatus (watermelon) seed oil, rosa damascena (rose) flower oil, citrus aurantium amara (neroli) flower oil, citrus bergamia (bergamot) peel oil, citrus paradisi (pink grapefruit) peel oil, cananga odorata (ylang ylang) flower oil, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) leaf/flower oil, backhousia citriodora (lemon myrtle) leaf oil, santalum spicatum (sandalwood) wood oil, eugenia caryophyllus (clove) bud oil, cuminum cyminum (cumin) seed oil, pogostemon cablin (patchouli) leaf oil, vetiveria zizanioides (vetiver) root oil, bisabolol, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, phenethyl alcohol

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Mini Coffret – Anne Semonin The Daily Musts

Travel Size – Anne Semonin Botanical Milk & Toner

Cute, Mini’s of Cleanser, Toner and Masks perfect for travel. I haven’t used them all but sure know I will be preserving these for travel for the convenience. Lush brand of skincare from France.

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If you’re tired of seeing usual ‘deluxe sample’ subscription boxes, check out Mintd Box. As for me, I cannot wait to see what’s in the next box with such a lush lineup.

HHW.com

xx

 

J.One Jelly Pack

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ja jiwonYet another ingenious Korean Beauty creation by Ha Jiwon, popular Korean actress and K-beauty trendsetter.

Claims to be a multi-tasker that firms skin, hydrates, and ‘grips’ makeup all in one for a flawless, plump complexion.
Spoiler: YES I agree with every single claim! It performs as promises.

Glow Recipe explains how it works:
The unique jelly texture melts into the skin with gentle patting, creating an ultra smooth canvas for flawless makeup application. Fragmented hyaluronic acid deeply hydrates while fullerene acts as an “oxygen magnet” to brighten complexion. The makeup gripping properties also helps the silky smooth application of any foundation or sunscreen used afterwards. The Jelly Pack is also nicknamed the ‘corset mask’ for its instantly tensing and firming effect. For their video click here.

At first, I was immensely skeptical of this product, its claims and ingredients. Then I played with it on back of my hand and I thought I’m definitely going to hate it. But I knew Christine from Glow Recipe loves this product and truly recommends it.

The packaging is a solid opaque plastic bottle with a pump. Disadvantage I cannot see when the product will come to an end and at what stage I need to stock up. Yes it’s become a staple for my makeup routines especially in summer.

With an open mind I gave it a go the following morning on my face. I dispensed 2 pumps of the schmicky clear odourless gel on index finger. Then spread evenly on face, it felt like spreading sticky honey on face. Unlike regular water or oil based serum it didn’t absorb or melt in skin.

Once schmeared all over, instructions said pat pat pat. Once the patting motion started, it felt sticky. Not in a disgusting way but not in a pleasing way either. My skin felt like that sticky schmicky tape ready to trap whatever I slap on next. In a matter of few seconds, the skin was dry, smooth and firmed from a sagging ol prune to nice juicy grape.

I used my L’oreal Cushion foundation with Real techniques sponge and it felt like the product clung onto the skin so well. Finished makeup, applied my Soap and Glory Kick Ass Powder and set off for the day. I did blot my face at lunch and everything appeared to be in place.

P1040494Fast Forward to 6pm: makeup was intact, product hasn’t moved at all. I’ve tried this with all my bases (see my morning routines) below. It was worked really well with all bases. In terms of application tools I used RT sponge, brushes and good ol’ fingers. I found sponge and fingers worked best with lots of patting motions. Much to my surprise this product photographs really well.


Ingredient Speak:

The formula is Free of:  Parabens, Synthetic Dyes & Fragrances, Mineral Oils.

Not only has my skin appreciated a decent primer but also loving how firm, taut and hydrated my skin feels. From an ingredient speak perspective the fourth inci is Niacinamide, you know how much that tickles my soul. Addition of Rose water, Rosemary water, Chamomile water, Fermented Black tea (works as humectant), Cogon Grass root extract, Water Lily Flower extract, Sea Daffodil Flower Extract, Glycerin, Adenosine, Hylauronic Acid with a blend of some preservatives and thickeners.

Suitable for all skin types, although dry skins might need a little bit more. In fact, I don’t know how it will perform in winter given my skin is a bit more demanding.

All in all, thumbs up from me unless winter skin makes me change my mind.

HHW.com

xx