Monday, February 24, 2014

Cosmetic Brands to Avoid Lists

These lists really keep up on what brands to avoid...
What Ifound impressive is that they list Smashbox, Stila, Avon, Laura Mercier etc. when most lists copy from wrong or outdated sources and have those listed as cruelty free.

Naoki Magazine

Cruelty Free Kit (scroll down to "Brands to AVOID" link)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I guess I'll never have a Wishbox...Wishtrend say the brands are not tested on animals, but the majority are sold in China...

I contacted Wishtrend about their items as some of them claim in the description not to be tested on animals. Only one Klairs, is on KARA's list.
Contacting the companies, only two responded at all. Klairs and Mustaev.
Wishtrend replied:
This is Wishtrend.
Thanks for your question.

All products on our website is not tested on animals.
We love animals.

But upon further review I saw Lioele and Tony Moly on their webpage as brands previously I e-mailed for clarification...are they sure the products are not tested on animals, and also the ingredients? Not sold in China?

This is Wishtrend.
Sorry for late response.

As we said, now all products on our website is not tested on animals. And we've heard from the manufacturer.
By the way, could you please tell us the brands that you wanna know about?

Ok, but what questions are they asking? Are they asking about ingredients or China? I listed specific brands...

This is Wishtrend.
Sorry for late response because of holiday seasons.

We just can tell that we know that as we've said.
But, we cannot prove that.
And we cannot know about that in detail from all brands.
We're sorry, but it is hard to say about that.

Ok...What questions do they ask? I also asked about specific brands again.

This is Wishtrend.
Sorry for late response.
To give you answer, many brands need to time, cost to prove that.
But, we know that recently many cosmetic brands tend not to test on animal. Because customers avoid that ingredients and cosmetics.
That's all that we can say about it

We're sorry, but we cannot answer about that exactly.
We'll try to prepare about that later, but now it's hard to do that.

Ok...I guess, never mind then. They don't ask brands about ingredients or China, and therefore...they actually have no idea if the brands are tested on animals or not. Bummer. I guess unless there are Klairs specific or Mustaev specific wishboxes, I can't get one. It also sucks because I asked specifically about a few brands, stating that i wanted to order specific products, but they would not answer.  I would hope that in the future if they really do care about animals as they state, that they would only work with cruelty free companies.

REVIEW: Naruko Tea Tree Peeling Gel- 4 stars

New packaging

Brand: Naruko
Line: Oil Out Tea Tree Oil that is now called "Shine Control & Blemish Clear"
Make-up Type: Peeling Gel
Origin: Taiwan
Tested on Animals: Company says no, but has not gotten back to me with confirmation

REVIEW Summary:
NOTE: The claims have changed with the packaging and name.
Price: $18.99 on Naruko site, $12.50 at Sasa
Size: sample is 15 ml, or .53 fl oz.
Packaging: light green tube, packaging change to plain dark green tube.
Scent: mint, tea tree oil
Color/Shade: N/A clear gel
Texture: smooth gel with exfoliants
Ease of use: easy. squeeze out, rub in, wash off
Effect:smooth, clean skin
Lastability: sample tube is TINY, maybe 4 uses.
Claim: Naruko Tea Tree Oil Cut Skincare Peeling Gel is made especially for acne-prone skin. This scrub contains micro beads that help to whisk away dead skin cells. Fortified with hazel, vitamin B5, Tranexamic Acid, and peptides, which are useful to soothe and moisturize skin and keep pores clean and unclogged so that acne will be unlikely to form. Deeply remove oil and leaves your skin with a oil-free and refreshing sensation. This collection was derived from the original Niaouli& Tea Tree collection to remove acne-inducing oil while quenching the thirst of your skin. It is especially formulated with fruit acids to keep the normal moisture and oil balance of your skin while also conditioning and tightening up skin. 
Hazel, vitamin B5, Tranexamic Acid, and peptidesThe verdict:  I like this peeling gel even though I don't have oily skin. I don't know whether it's the scent or the gel itself that makes your skin feel clean, but it does feel clean and smooth, but isn't too rough. It's better than what Etude House has out currently. I would buy it again if the company would get back to me...

I got this tiny sample along with my Naruko order from the USA website. It appears to be an old sample that is no longer carried, as this product is now called Tea Tree "Shine Control & Blemish Clear" instead of tea Tree Oil Out. I think the title change is for the better.
I do not have oily skin, but I do love peeling gels. I should note that it is more expensive on the website $12.50 versus $18.99), and you do have to order $40 to get free shipping, but they sent me this sample and a free sheet mask.
This little sample contains maybe 4 uses if you use it sparingly.
You squeeze it out of the tube and rub into your skin and wash off. Due to the texture, it is less washing off, and more just rinsing skin, which I like. It has a strong herbal tea tree scent, which I like, but others may not. I'm not sure if the scent is convincing me that it's cleaning, or if it really is cleaning, but afterwards, my skin was very smooth. I also tried it on my hand, and that patch was 100% smoother than the rest.

Monday, February 17, 2014

REVIEW: Naruko Narcissus DNA Repairing BB Cream -3 stars

Brand: Naruko
Line: Narcissus DNA
Make-up Type: BB cream
Origin: Taiwan
Tested on Animals: website says no, but has not gotten back to me yet with confirmation...

REVIEW Summary:
Price:  $19 2/5
Size: 30 ml (1.05 fl oz) TINY 2/5
Packaging: Dark purple tube, extra tip on top 3/5
Scent: a strong herbal smell that smells a bit like some kind of skin medicine... 3/5
Color/Shade: N/A a beige that absorbs to your skin tone 4/5
Texture: smooth, non-greasy
Ease of use: Easy, easy, easy. Squeeze tube, and this rubs right into your skin! 5/5
Effect: SPF50, evens out skin, very sheer coverage 4/5
Claim:  Blocks UV rays and provides color correcting 5/5 on that one.
The verdict:  The Naruko Appleseed BB cream REVIEW here and the Naruko Narcissus DNA Repair BB cream are as different as night and day. I really like the color, the way it absorbs, the weightlessness instead of feeling heavy and greasy, the fact that it has SPF (although 50 is a little high), and the sheen it leaves behind is interesting. It does NOT provide a ton of coverage, so if you just want to even out skin tone, this will help do that. If you need to cover red spots, this would not be nearly enough. The tube is pretty small and the price is higher than the majority of BB creams out there, but I like to try new BB creams regularly, so I don't want mine to last TOO long or I feel like I might waste it. If I ran out of BB creams i wanted to try, I would purchase again.
The 4 main things I look for in a BB cream are covered by this.
+Not yellow or white (doesn't make me look sick or...sick)
+Color correction
+ Lightweight (not heavy,sticky, oily, greasy...)

I first bought and reviewed another BB cream by Naruko, and it was so terrible I gave it one star.
This BB cream seems to be the opposite of that one in every way.
The packaging on this one is the same plain single color and both are tiny (Appleseed is smaller at 25 ml!), but the color is less vibrant. However, this one has an extra white tip on the end that makes using it less messy. The tip is tiny and narrow, so excess BB cream goes back into the tube instead of collecting around the opening.
Applying it is also easier because this may be one of the fastest absorbing BB creams I have ever had. The other one you could rub, and rub, and it still sat on top of the skin looking yellow/orange and sticky, and feeling greasy.
Speaking of yellow/orange, the Narcissus cream looks darker coming out with none of the yellow undertones. It blends right in to your skin tone and looks natural instead of making you look like you have a failing liver (jaundice). While the other one sat on the surface looking sticky, this one leaves behind not a shimmer or glitter, but a type of sheen. Hard to describe, so see photo.

The last difference, is that this one has SPF 50! I'm not sure I NEED that much SPF and it seems like a little bit of overkill.

Easy to apply w/ mess free tip
Neither "yellow" or "white"
Color correcting
SPF protection

Expensive & tiny
Sheer coverage
Strong herbal scent
SPF is very high

Narcissus VS Apple Seed photo comparison: this photo comparison best shows just how pink the Narcissus is and just how yellow the Apple Seed is...

Narcissus LEFT, Apple Seed RIGHT

Sunday, February 16, 2014

REVIEW: Juice Beauty Reflecting Lip Gloss "Pink" 4 Stars -ORGANIC

Brand: Juice Beauty
Line: n/a
Color: Pink
Make-up Type: Lip Gloss, sponge applicator
Origin: USA
Tested on Animals: No :)

REVIEW Summary:
Price: ** $15- A little pricey for a gloss, but pretty standard to lower for a premium organic gloss.
Packaging: *** translucent frosted tube
Scent: **** It has a slight citrus scent
Color/Shade: "Pink" a sparkly pink
Texture: smooth, glossy
Ease of use: Easy, glides on with applicator
Effect: Shimmery, moisturized
Claim: "This Reflecting Gloss will give your lips the most brilliant shine on earth. The combination of antioxidant-rich berries, minerals and sweet agave will wrap your lips in radiant color."
  • Organic blueberry, raspberry, acai and goji berries provide beautiful, antioxidant and omega-rich pigments that protects the lips from signs of aging.
  • Organic sesame seed oil hydrates and conditions the lips.
  • Natural mineral reflectors provide a rich shimmer.
  • Vitamin E restores, heals and repairs the lips.
  • Organic agave and sweet orange natural sweeteners provide great aromas.
Our formulations are made without parabens, petroleum, propylene or butylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfates, pesticides, phthalates, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances. Our products are never tested on animals.
The Verdict: If this goes on sale again, I would buy it again. I like the citrus scent, the smooth non-sticky texture, and the color is subtle and shimmery. It doesn't stay on very long and it's pretty light (hard to see), but I like it better than the majority of my glosses. If it was long-lasting and not quite so sheer, I would have given it 5 stars!

Citrus scent
Easy to apply
NOT tested on animals or sold in China!

Not long-lasting

I'm actually very interested in cosmetics that are "green", natural and organic, but the only organic make-up typically sold in organic grocers are the almost hippy lip balms and a few non pigmented lip sticks or eyeshadows. Not high quality.
Online it looks like there are more than a few luxury options, but the majority of the glosses are very sheer and very expensive ($18-$26) I'm not paying $20 for a tiny bit of color you can't see with a few sparkles.

REVIEW: It's Skin Star Cream (whitening cream): 1 star FAIL

Brand: It's Skin
Line: n/a
Make-up Type: make-up base/CC cream/SPF
Origin: South Korea
Tested on Animals: It's Skin says that products nor ingredients are tested, nor are they sold in China.

REVIEW Summary:
Price: ranges...generally over-priced 1/5
Size: 50 ml (small jar) 2/5
Packaging: jar- beautiful but small inside 4/5
Scent: slight floral scent 3/5
Color/Shade: pink cream, turns white 1/5
Texture: cold cream 3/4
Ease of use: Scoop out of jar, spread on face, rub in numerous times, rub in some more...and more... 3/5
Effect: whitening, spf, base, moisturizing 1/5
Lastability: unsure as I cover it up with a darker BB cream immediately 
Claim:  (from the website) "Sombre and dull-looking face, which makes the skin softly shining [no shining] like a star by Star cream"
"Absorbs to skin instantly [no- if instantly means almost 15 seconds of rubbing it in continuously...] to enhance moisture retaining power of skin and create resilient and young skin.
Covers skin tone naturally to create originally gorgeous skin." [no]
The verdict: ONE STAR. I would never buy this again , nor would I recommend it to anyone else. Unless that person is looking for strictly a whitening cream with SPF and moisturizer. 1/5

I hate this cream. Why?
This is not a CC cream or a BB cream. It's a whitening cream. :( I am giving it one star for the jar and a half a star because if it was marketed as a whitening cream, it would fit the bill.
I ordered this partially for the jar.
It's beautiful. The jar itself is pink shimmer, and the link is a pink metallic with pink glitter stars on top. It's not a tiny jar from the outside, but it is actually very narrow inside with a giant lid. Making it look two times as big as it actually is.
The cream inside is a pink cold cream.
However, as soon as you put it on your skin and wipe it on, it turns white.

The first issue was how many times it took to rub into the skin instead of sitting on top looking like white paint.
8-12 circular rubs later, it hadn't "absorbed into the skin" as it claims, but had faded in enough not to look like paint anymore. HOWEVER, it then pulls all the color out of your skin, making you look like a sickly, pale ghost.

Is it moisturizing? Yes, my skin feels soft and smooth, but it looks white and pasty. Not worth it.
What is worth mentioning for others who may WANT a white pasty face is that it does pull color out of red spots as well. I had a few cuts on my hand, some older than others, and it turned them white as well. So I imagine i would work well on red skin, red spots, and skin prone to multiple breakouts.
I ordered this also because the claims and reviews made it sounds like the CC cream with SPF and moisturizing  (there is actually one other product in the line that is a CC cream) and i did not know it would go on like a white sheet mask.
If anyone wants to buy it, just comment below...

Pretty Jar

Mark-up to import is expensive
White skin
Sticky skin

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

REVIEW: Skinfood (not cruelty free) Banana Concealer #1 Light: 1 Star: Terrible!

I do not recommend nor promote brands that test on animals or sell in China, but I obtained this after reading incorrect online information on Skinfood's animal testing policy...

Brand: Skinfood
Line: n/a
Make-up Type: concealer
Origin: South Korea
Tested on Animals: Sold in China & company refuses to state policies.

REVIEW Summary:
Price:  around $6
Packaging: yellow twist up plastic tube
Scent: contrary to popular blogger belief, this does NOT smell like banana. Or any type of fruit.
Color/Shade: #1 Light
Texture: waxy crayon
Ease of use: twist up and color in...however it is not easy to blend and gives poor coverage to under eye cirlces
Effect: cakey, streaky, chalky
Lastability: poor, fades right out in a few hours
Claim:hides skin imperfections. No. It does not.
The verdict: I would NOT buy this again. It was streaky, cakey, chalky, and did not cover my under eye circles.

no concealer
unblended concealer

With concealer (streaky and chalky!)

I researched this before buying because, while i have the occasional red spot once every other month, I actually need concealer for my terribly dark under eye circles. I've tried concealers for years and none of them even touch my circles. This one is no different.
When it arrived, I rolled it up and was expecting a banana scent based on reviews online. It has ZERO fruit scent. It smells like a make-up stick. Which is what it is. A somewhat waxy make up crayon. When rubbed on the area that needs concealing, it is not by any means creamy. It's texture is somewhat like a crayon or pastel. The coverage is streaky and you can see it in some spots and not in others. Not smooth. Blending it is difficult because instead of blending evenly, it spreads around on the skin and fades in spots. In the end, it looks like you colored over your under eye with orange/beige chalk. 
I think this concealer would work much better for red spots, but the texture would cause them to look flakey.
I don't recommend this concealer for under eye circles.

Grade: 1 star. D. Poor

Her was another review that felt the same...


Does not cover

REVIEW: Naruko Apple Seed & Tranexamic Acid Spots & Line Refining BB Cream SPF50 -fair skin: 1 Star FAIL

Brand: Naruko
Line: n/a
Make-up Type: BB Cream
Origin: Taiwan
Tested on Animals: No, but not authorized through any organization?

REVIEW Summary:
Price:  $11.50 on sale, retail is 29.00, average price online is $20
Size: 25 g (smalll tube)
Packaging: turquoise blue tube

Color/Shade: "Fair" (other option is tanned) is actually very orange-yellow toned! :( 1/5
Texture: thin and watery 2/5
Ease of use: As easy to squeeze out and use as any bb cream, but it doesn't seem to rub in and absorb like others...
Effect: poor coverage, seems to sit on top of the skin...sheer yellow-orange shade
Coverage: Poor
Lastability: Average. Hard to tell bc it has such poor coverage.

Claim: SPF50. Waterproof. Specially formulated to smooth fine lines, and correct skin tone. It does not correct skin tone, too sheer. Apple Seed extract firms skin No and prevents signs of aging. Maximum coverage removes imperfections. Definitely not. Repair, moisturize, stay on all day. No moisturizing.

Contains: Apple seed extract, snow fungus extract, beeswax, licorice potassium (?)

The verdict: I would NOT buy this again.

Small tube


BB cream after being rubbed in 6 times!

The Review:
I was looking forward to trying this based on the claims. "Most natural looking BB cream". "Maximum coverage removes imperfections". My hopes were high and sadly, this product did not live up to them.
The tube is a tiny squeeze type and the color coming out seems normal enough. 
However, when you start to rub it on your face, it has an almost sticky, oily texture and it goes on a very sheer color with yellow-orange undertones. Not the tan kind, but the jaundice kind you might get if your kidneys were failing...After rubbing it in about 6 times, it still hasn't blended into the skin. It sits on top like paint. 5 or 6 more rubs and it improves, but still looks like I have paint on my skin.
I can't imagine how this could cover up any imperfections. It actually makes me re-evaluate other BB creams I disliked.

 In comparison, to the Narcissus BB, this show just how YELLOW this BB cream is...
LEFT: Narcissus, RIGHT Apple Seed

Ordered 12/25, arrived 12/30