I’ve set up swaps twice now, though like a jerkbag I’ve mostly been receiving swaps because I suck and I haven’t mailed my stuff on time. One was with Natasha from Confessions of a Skincare Junkie (Samples Swap), and the other was with Eva from Bunnykisskawaii ($20USD/$20Euro Swap). I sent Natasha my package so I totally don’t suck anymore, and tomorrow I’ll show you what I got from Natasha (she sent me TWO lovely packages, actually). But today, let’s reveal the glorious awesomeness that I got from sweetiepie Eva.
 

We had originally set this swap up MONTHS ago, but due to my unpredictable illness, and her CROSS-COUNTRY move (Greece to Northern Ireland) we kinda took our time. I like that we did it that way because I got to have more time selecting great stuff to send out (: If you’re like me and hate being rushed, I recommend lots of time as a swap tactic!
 

For the swap we agreed on spending $20 (USD for me, Euro for Eva), but it seems apparent that Eva was a bad, bad girl and spoiled the absolute crap out of me (don’t worry Eva, I think I did more than $20USD too >_> so it’s really okay!). We originally were going to include a lot of awesome nail polishes but apparently you can’t do that anymore >: Neither USPS nor Royal Mail allow that, and I was gonna be a rebel and totally defy that rule (eff the police, and whatnot) but Eva said that if we sent it and our packages were x-rayed or discovered to have nail polish they could be destroyed >: I relented to be lawful-good this time.
 

ON to the SWEETNESS!!!
 

image is a photo of the total contents of the swap from Eva from bunnykisskawaii. There's a ton of stuff, lots of makeup, eyeshadow palettes, asian beauty samples, stationary, and randomness.
 
The products Eva sent me, in all their splendor.
 
 

image is a photo of two hello kitty eyeshadow quads from sanrio. They are shaped like hello kitty and they have pink blue and orange graphic art. The cases themselves are white. The one on the left is a black, brown, grey, and light tan quad, the one on the right is a brown, plum, amethyst, light tan quad. There is text in pink added to the photo that reads: Cute Cute Cute!!
 
Oh man, she totally knows about my Hello Kitty weakness. Aren’t these shadow quads cool? I love the graphic art. [Left: “This show ain’t ova”, Right: “Pretty punk”]
 
 

image is a photo of vaseline limited edition pink bubbly lip therapy. it comes in a round tin, the product is a waxy fair pink. the packaging is half black and half pale pink, the font has a standard boring font for the vaseline word but pretty calligraphy style font for the pink bubbly word. A phrase has been added into the photo, it reads: This smells like my childhood
 
When I was a kid I got some kind of doll that came with it’s own perfume. I swear it smelled just like this Vaseline Lip Therapy. Not the kind of smell I usually go for (kinda flowery) but the nostalgia makes it fun! Oh and especially nice because despite all the goo I hoard, I had nothing therapeutic for my dry lips until now!
 
 

image is a photo of three products. The two on top are the body shop born lippy lip butters in raspberry (fuchsia) and passionberry (purple). Both of those have giant cartoon lip graphics. The third item is the body shop white musk libertine solid perfume. it comes in a heart shape tin and it is pretty light pink with white lettering.
 
The White Musk Libertine Solid Perfume is a sweet gift in a sweet heart, how cute is this? Oh and I got a set of these lippies (5 I think) to give to friends for the holidays, but this is great because now I have some I can keep ^_^ [All from The Body Shop]
 
 

Image is a photo of two eye makeup palettes and one bronzer quad from Makeup Academy. They are in a black case and the eyeshadows are in circular pans. The bronzer is in a square with each of the shades in a square shape. The shadow palette on top is called Heaven and Earth, the shadow set on the bottom is called Glitter ball.
 
I almost ordered these exact shadow palettes a while back, I wanted to try out MUA and I have an eyeshadow problem (I have too many). The Glitter Ball palette is all glittery (duh, right?) perfect for a German Sparkle Party!! I gave the bronzer set a little go, and so far I enjoy the top left and bottom right as nice highlighters. I’m stupid at bronzing but maybe this will learn me. [All from Makeup Academy Professional]
 
 

image is a photo of two products, on top is a coral-color lip gloss and the bottom product is a sky blue eye pencil, both are from Barry M.
 
Okay so I know this gloss is totally a “pink” (Passion Pink #11) but I couldn’t help but see coral a bit. As for that eye pencil (Sky Blue #16), I like pastels a lot, if only spring would get here (: [Both from Barry M.]
 
 

Image is a photo of a comparison between the Barry M lipgloss in pink passion and the sephora lip stain in coral. The sephora color is discontinued and the barry m lipgloss is a little pinker but they are similar colors.
 
Don’t these look similar you guys?? I miss this Sephora lipstain (coral) so much, it was such the perfect color, and it brightened up my face so much. Old Man Cakepie shakes her fist and gripes: “Dang you Sephora for discontinuing my favorite color!”
 
 

Image is a photo of korean beauty products, mostly from etude house. The right there are three green tea sheet masks, and on the left is a small bottle of tear eye liner which is pearly white. Below these there are tiny little circle pellets, they are blank sheet masks but look like little candies.
 
So glad to get sheet masks (Green Tea)! I haven’t tried Etude House masks yet, this will be fun! The Tear Eye Liner (#01 I think) is also from Etude, this is so glittery! Oh and guys, I bet most of you won’t know what those little “pellets” are, but they’re blank sheet masks! You soak them in whatever you want (some people use glycerin, soak them in asian toner, essence, or serum) and wear them My Beauty Diary-style. [Blank masks are from Maggier]
 
 

Image is a photo of two black charcoal masks, one for the chin and one for the nose. The one on the right is by etude house and is for the chin, it's a pink package with a cute girl graphic. The one on the right is by nesura and is a small white package with a graphic of a redheaded lady wearing a nose pack.
 
I don’t officially hate charcoal black masks just because I had a bad time with the last one (read about that for your amusement), but I will take care using these two packs! [Nose pack from Nesura; chin pack from Etude House]
 
 

Image is a photo of several stationary goods. On the left there are three stacks of chococat themed note paper, light brown, peach, and light pink. On the right there is a cute notebook with an owl print. And below that is two sheets of hello kitty themed white stationary paper.
 
CHOCOCAT, so cute right? I just found out about Chococat today ^_^ What a great Sanrio character. All of the stacks on the left are note papers featuring the curious little kitty. You can also see that awesome owl pattern notebook, I was glad to get this because I was looking for a small notebook but I’m picky about covers, they have to be cute or awesome and this is a little of both. Also, you guys can’t read my letter sorry ^_^
 
 

Image is a photo of the owl notebook opened. The inside is white and the pages are lined. Added to the photo are words that read: Write sweet and awesome things here. A heart is also added to the bottom of the page and isn't a normal part of the picture.
 
Inside the book is normal.
 
 

Image is a photo of the beauty samples from korea. Most are from etude house, but two are from missha and one is from skinfood. Pore products, cleansers, serums and more.
 
I love all of these samples and I can’t wait to try them, especially the Moistfull Collagen Peeling Wash and Skinfood Peach Sake Pore Serum!! [Top two rows are all Etude House, the bottom left two products are Missha, and the bottom right is from Skinfood]
 

 
 
Isn’t this such an awesome, sweet, amazing pack of gifts? I was so impressed and grateful, it’s like Eva is inside my mind! I hope you love your package too Eva ^_^ thank you again for knowing what to get me (:
 
Have any of you guys ever done a swap? What was it like?
 

For those who are interested in swaps there’s a swap thread going on in the Asian Beauty Subreddit (don’t be intimidated by reddit!!) you can find that here, so please post your own right there if you’re looking to do a swap too ^_^
 

Hope you liked this post, let me know in the comments what you think is the most interesting and I’ll try to review it! You’ll see some requested reviews THIS week (Lipsi face powder, some more items from my Body Shop haul, and if I’m not too sick I can finally get to the Coastal Scents palettes this month!) so even if I take a while understand that I will always get to it so be patient ^_^
 

Posted by Cake-Pie
Dated: 5th February 2013
Filled Under: Beauty
Comments: 23 Comments
Image is a photo of the my beauty diary red vine mask. It's a small rectangular pale pink pouch with vertical stripes and tiny red wine bottle and grape graphics on the top and bottom of the mask. In the center of the mask it reads Red Vine Mask in english, and there are some words in Chinese characters as well, but I can't read them.

 

Hey guys, I’m still feeling a bit better, so I have another review for ya! I know you all still want the Coastal Scents review, and don’t worry IT WILL HAPPEN. I have to save that for a day when I don’t have a lot to do, thanks to Lyme disease I always have to ration my choices. A great story about how that works was written by Christine Miserandino called “The Spoon Theory” (read it here) and it’s worth reading if you or someone you know has a difficult illness or disability with a fatiguing aspect.
 

I picked up this particular My Beauty Diary (MBD) mask during my Imomoko haul in September (want to see what I got? click here). It came in the “Top Seven Sellers” mask pack, and I’ve reviewed almost all of them now (just the Black Pearl and Arbutin left!), so far the Bird’s Nest mask has been my favorite, and you can always read about my favorite products I’ve reviewed in my “Best of” tab on my top bar.
 

If you’re new to sheet masks, you should read about how to use them here. There’s also info on the different MBD masks there as well so you’ll be all prepped forever.
 

Upon opening the package, the scent truly does smell quite a bit like red wine, but it’s not like red wine really smells good, so I don’t know if that’s the greatest idea. It doesn’t smell unpleasant or anything, thankfully, but it’s not exciting to me.
 

As always, the MBD masks are very thin so I had to be careful not to tear it. Successfully applied, I left it on for more than the recommended 20 minutes because I’m a rebel. Afterward I didn’t notice too much of a change. The Red Vine mask is supposed to have a toning, brightening, tightening effect, and I did feel like my skin was “tighter”, like an astringent had been applied. It was NOT overdry, and I think with regular use perhaps it would be good for my oily, acne-prone skin (overdrying oily skin can trigger your skin to produce MOAR OIL, which is not desireable).
 

MBD also advertises that the Red Vine Mask has a lot of antioxidants, and perusing the botanical ingredients it has the “tea” plant (camellia sinensis), grapefruit, licorice, chamomile (beware if you have ragweed allergies!), and watercress (nasturtium officionale). In just a quick lazy search I found some pubmed articles on some of their antioxidant activities. If this mask does have antioxidant effects the benefits to skin would not be obvious with one use.
 

Ingredients:
WATER, GLYCERIN, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, CITRUS GRANDIS (GRAPEFRUIT) FRUIT EXTRACT, GLYCYRRHIZA GLABRA (LICORICE) ROOT EXTRACT, TRIETHANOLAMINE, ARNICA MONTANA FLOWER EXTRACT, YEAST EXTRACT, STYRENE / ACRYLATES COPOLYMER, DIMETHYLSILANOL HYALURONATE, POLYSORBATE 20, METHYLPARABEN, HYDROLYZED LACTOBUMIN, CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA (MATRICARIA) FLOWER EXTRACT, NASTURTIUM OFFICIONALE FLOWER/LEAF EXTRACT, CITRIC ACID, SODIUM HYALURONATE, TOCOPHERYL ACETATE, SQUALANE, DIMETHICONE, CARBOMER, XANTHAN GUM, SODIUM HYDROXIDE
 

The Good:

  • Doesn’t smell bad
  • Does what is promises (tightening effect)
  • MBD masks are very cheap!
  • May even have long-term effects due to antioxidant ingredients
  • Doesn’t dry out skin
  • Good for oily skin

 

The Bad:

  • Not a moisturizing mask (but it doesn’t say it is, though!)
  • Smell is not bad but it’s also not exciting.
  • No way to know the concentration of botanicals, there might not be enough to do anything
  • Ragweed allergy people avoid it or your skin may react.
  • Not as effective as retinols or other expensive ingredients (but it doesn’t claim to be!)

 

Bottom line: I’d include this in a once-weekly mask protocol to keep skin youthful over time. I imagine the effect wouldn’t be very noticeable, you’re far more likely to get results from retinols, but it may help the health of your skin, and at the very least the astringent qualities can help oily skin.
 
Have you tried this mask? What did you think? What are some of your favorite MBD masks or other mask brands you enjoy?
 

Posted by Cake-Pie
Dated: 8th January 2013
Filled Under: Beauty, Reviews
Comments: 7 Comments
image is a photo of a manicured hand holding an opened package of the My Beauty Diary Bird's Nest sheet mask. The packaging is cream colored with silver Edible Nest Swiftlet silhouettes and Chinese characters as well as the English product name.

 

Today I’ll be reviewing the My Beauty Diary Bird’s Nest mask (learn more about sheet masks and My Beauty Diary here). Right now you might be saying “Bird’s Nest?!! Asia, what the fuck?” but before you flip out let’s learn more about it.
 

One of the largest consumers of bird’s nest products is mainland China, the nests being used to make soups, beauty products, and PROFIT. Male edible nest swiftlets (aerodramus fuciphagus, similar to swallows) produce the nests using their saliva. The nests take 35 days to create, and workers are specially trained in climbing and extraction, only taking part of the nest so that the swiftlets can rebuild. After harvesting the nests, they are painstakingly cleaned strand by strand to remove anything that is impure. As you can see they’re difficult to produce, and therefore very expensive. Even just a handful of bird’s nest can run about US $100! A figure I discovered here puts the Malaysian production of bird’s nests at US $1.59 billion, and other countries also produce bird’s nest, notably Thailand and Indonesia.
 

Image is a photo by Paul B. Jones of swiftlets and their nests on cave walls. The birds are dark grey and light grey, they're similar-looking to swallows, and their nests are white flecked with grey, possibly feathers.
 
Adorable swiftlets! Producers house swiftlets in caves (like these) and buildings.
(Photo by Paul B Jones)

 

Bird’s nest is considered one of the “four great youth tonics” in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and the wealthy elite during dynastic times would eat bird’s nest soup daily to keep their skin healthy and young. Today, bird’s nest is said to benefit the skin and is used worldwide for that purpose. It’s a strong symbol of luxury, and due to the building’s shape China’s Beijing National Stadium (2008 Summer Olympics) is nicknamed “The Bird’s Nest”.
 
Read more…
 

Posted by Cake-Pie
Dated: 25th November 2012
Filled Under: Beauty, Reviews
Comments: 12 Comments
Image is a photo of the baviphat apple ac therapy sleeping pack. It has a cute, red, apple-shaped container and a tiny spoon is pictured next to it. The photo has words added, they read: Should I call you HONEYPOT? SUGARBUNS? KEWPIE? Well, no matter what, you'll still be, the apple of my eye.

 
I bought my Baviphat Apple AC Therapy Sleeping pack during my Imomoko Haul a few months ago, so I’ve had a good amount of time to try it out. “AC” Refers to Acne Control, so that means I would guess that the product is for acne skin, though I’m not 100% sure what it claims to do as I don’t read Korean.
 

I have to say, at first, it was super magic good. It ensmoothened my face, made my skin glow, and smelled magnificent. You guys, this could be one of my favorite smells in history, right up there with campfire, Body Shop mango body butter, and pizza. I think because it’s in a jar, and I was lazy and used my hands, that the product got a little contaminated with germs or something, because I think it started to clog me up more recently. It comes with a tiny and cute little spoon so you don’t have to put your filth-hands in, but my filth-hands went in anyway. Sorry I’m so gross you guys.
 
Read more…
 

Posted by Cake-Pie
Dated: 13th November 2012
Filled Under: Beauty, Reviews
Comments: 11 Comments

Image is an advertisement for My Beauty Diary products. It features a fair-skinned female asian model, and a variety of skincare products. Decorating the scene are delicious-looking pastries covered in fruit. The entire ad is very cute looking.Introducing My Beauty Diary! MBD is a Taiwanese brand that has basically consumed the world of face mask making. They’re so ridiculously popular that people make imitations of them even though they’re $1-$2 a mask. MBD has a lot of formulas and mask products, and have since expanded outside of masks into other skincare. They have products for a veritable cornucopia of uses: whitening, brightening, moisturizing, plumping, vitalizing, toning, anti-aging, and a lot more. MBD recently became available through Wal-mart, and since I haven’t tried the Wal-mart products I can’t be sure they’re the same as the formula sold in Asia. You can also find MBD masks at better prices at Asian retailers (Imomoko, Sasa, eBay, Amazon) but don’t go for prices that are too good! Read more…

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Posted by Cake-Pie
Dated: 8th October 2012
Filled Under: Beauty, Reviews
Comments: 23 Comments