Tag Archives: review

eSpoir nail polish: REVIEW


If you are not a slave to your nails, you will be after this.

Let it be known that I gave up without a fight: the minute that I spotted eSpoir’s Naked collection, it was all over.   eSpoir is owned by Amore Pacific, the massive beauty monster responsible for some of Korea’s best loved brands: Mamode, Etude House, Innisfree, Laneige, and others.  eSpoir is a mid-priced brand (by Korean standards) that has you covered for everything, from skin and brows to fragrance and make up.  However, this review will be focused only on their nail line.

eSpoir’s nail polishes come in a color selection that I would compare to Essie in that it is very current and on-trend.  They retail for 5,000W (about $4.70), but they have the quality of a much pricier brand.  I bought five of their polishes from three different lines, and they all had the same consistency and were all very long-lasting; it was not unusual for me to wear this polish for a week or so before they would begin to chip.  My previous favorites, MODI nails by Aritaum, usually chipped within a day or two.


Now, without further ado, the nail polish!


Nude Tude (누드 튜드) from the Naked Collection.  This is the perfect neutral if your skin tone is too warm or olive for some of the bluer-toned whites that are so popular this year.  It is incredibly flattering and wearable.  Shown here at 3 coats.


Greyscale (그레이스케일) from their regular collection.  Greyscale is perfect year-round, but I especially love it with this year’s spring color palette. Shown here at 3 coats.



Undressed (언드레스드) from the Naked Collection.  As you can see, this is a color that really pulls from your skin’s undertones.  In the bottle it appears a bit cooler, but I quite like it on.  Shown at 3 coats.



Deep Forest (딥 포레스트) from their regular line.   A true green that builds to a very deep, mysterious green by 4-5 coats (seen here at 3).nails07

Skin Skinny (스킨 스키니), from the Naked Collection, is a very pale pink, shown here at 4 coats.  I still felt that it was somewhat see-through, so I added another coat and the pink intensified.

And what would a nail post be without a nod to my favorite base and top coat?



Both from MODI, available at Aritaum.  I believe these were 3,000 each, but they regularly go on sale for 1+1 (buy one get one free).  I much prefer both of these to ORLY, OPI, Sally Hansen, Essie, China Glaze, Ulta, and the others that I’ve tried.  I’ve repurchased the base coat in particular about 5 times.

Have you tried eSpoir?  If you’d like to, you can check out their entire nail collection right here.  If there’s a Korean beauty product that you’d like to see reviewed, just let me know!


MAC Future Length Lash Serum and Shiseido Eyelash Curler: REVIEW



Quick!  What are your holy grail products?  What was the last product that changed the way that you thought about your make up or skincare routine?  Get your wallets ready, because I am about to tell you about two.

First up is MAC’s Future Length Lash Serum.  This is not a new product, but it’s new to me.   Basically, it’s a clear serum that you apply to your lashline (upper and lower) twice daily.  After several weeks, your lashes are meant to be longer and thicker.  I’ve been using the serum for just a month and I swear I was seeing results (and getting compliments) within the first week.  Also, I don’t use it on my lower lash line, and I usually only use it once a day.

Read on for the long and short of it (I crack myself up).

before01 before02These are my eyelashes on October 6th, no make up.  As you can see from the above picture, my eyelashes are not short and stumpy, but they are quite straight and not where I wanted them to be.  Seen head on (as in picture number 2) they are hardly visible.

And these are my lashes as of November 3rd:

after01after03 after04BAM.

I get compliments every. single. day.  I can’t believe that these are my eyelashes!  The best thing about the lash serum is that it actually makes my eyelashes curl a little bit!

Oh, but that’s not enough lash for you?  Well, just you wait.

A couple weeks ago my sad Revlon curler broke.  I was never very impressed with it, so I wasn’t even going to get another curler…but then, while at Olive Young, I caught a glimpse of Shiseido’s sleek, delicate curler.  It was 18,000 (about $16.75) which was more than double what I had ever thought I would spend on an eyelash curler, but I am so glad that I did.

aftercurled01 aftercurled02Can you believe these lashes?!  Because I can’t!  And let me tell you: they don’t lose their curl.  In fact, it’s Monday at 10pm and my lashes are still 80% curled from yesterday.  They survived all my Sunday activities, sleeping, haedong gumdo practice, my shower, and then work today.  And this is with no mascara or touch ups.

aftercurled03From a distance.

And, finally, with a full face of make up:

makeup01On my face: Bare Minerals Original matte foundation powder in Fairly Medium; eyes: MAC Twilight Falls eyeshadow worn as eyeliner; lips: Clinique Two Ton Tomato (very lightly).

So, how much will these set you back?

reviewpicMAC Future Length Lash Serum: 48,000 in Korea (available at the MAC counter in Lotte Department Stores or online) or $30 in America.

Shiseido Eyelash Curler: 18,000 (~$16.75) at Olive Young.



Korean nose and chin strips: REVIEW


By now we’ve all read about how great Korean cosmetics are.  And let me tell you: as an indecisive person, I both hate and love the cosmetics scene here!  I hate it because there are just too many choices.  I want my 3 choices at Target back!!  But (and here is where the love comes in) almost everything that I’ve tried has surpassed my expectations.  With that in mind, I’ve decided to review some of the strips I’ve used in the past year.  Now, I’m not a beauty blogger; I didn’t buy these all at once and I don’t have all of the packages anymore, so in those cases I’ve found stock pictures from beauty websites.

For a point of reference, these strips are being compared against Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips, which I give a 7 points out of  10 (3 for application, 3 for results, 1 for price) with no bonus points for packaging.  I did not add the bonus 5 into the overall scores because packaging doesn’t matter to everyone.

ImageEtude House Green Tea Nose Pack, about $.75 for each strip | 12/15

This was the first nose pack that I tried here, and I was wowed: first with the packaging and then with the results.  I used this pack after I had used my last Biore…like, seconds after.  I just wasn’t pleased with the Biore results and I decided to give Etude House a try.  So imagine my surprise when this strip was (TMI) loaded, and right after I’d used the Biore one!

The verdict ~ application: 4, results: 4, price: 4, and bonus 5 for packaging! 12/15 + bonus 5.

Etude-House-Black-Charcoal-Chin-Pack-500x500Etude House Black Charcoal Chin Pack, about $1 for each strip | 15/15

Can I just sing the praises of these?  Like, forever?  I don’t have a bad thing to say about these chin packs.  In fact, they’re magic.  They go on easy, they dry quickly, they come off without too much pain, they get everything out…and they are super cute.

The verdict ~ application: 5, results: 5, price: 5!  15/15!  With a bonus 5 for packaging.

claystrips The Face Shop Volcanic Clay Blackhead Charcoal Nose Strip, about $3 for 7 sheets | 13/15

First off, the packaging!  Can this get any cuter?  And the strips themselves are charcoal-colored, so it makes it really easy to see what you’ve gotten out.  The size of the strips was really good for me and they don’t have to be very wet to work, which means that they dry quicker.  My only complaint is that sometimes bits of black are left on my nose from the strips themselves, and they can hurt a bit to tear off.  Nonetheless, I always keep these in the house.

The verdict ~ application: 4, results: 5, price: 4.  13/15 points and a bonus 4 for packaging.

the face shop volcanic clay black head aloe nose strip3-1The Face Shop Volcanic Clay Blackhead Aloe Nose Strip, about $3 for 7 sheets | 14/15

What can I even say about these sheets?  They go on easy and didn’t leave residue.  They come off easy and almost painlessly.  And wow do they WORK.  I didn’t know it was possible to be so grossed out from a nose strip!  These are my new favorites.

The verdict ~ application: 5, results: 5, price: 4.  14/15 with a bonus 4 for packaging!!

volcanicclayThe Face Shop Volcanic Clay Blackhead Clay Nose Pack, about $5 | 5/15

I should start by saying that I got this to use for my chin, hoping that it would surpass the Etude House chin pack that I’d been using.  I’ve never used this for my nose and I don’t know that I will.  The application itself was messy and I wasn’t quite sure when enough was enough – despite applying it as evenly as possible, it took a very long time to dry because it didn’t dry uniformly.  The smell itself is not bad – it definitely smells like there are chemicals in it, but with a tangy, almost beachy smell underneath.  I quite liked it.  However, the results were profoundly disappointing.  I don’t think that it pulled one thing from my chin and I had to go after it with an Etude House strip.

The verdict ~ application: 1, results: 1, price: 3.  5/15 for the lowest score of this page.  Bonus 2 for packaging.

elizabethElizabeth Baby Skin Pore Clear Nose Strips, about $4.50 for 20 sheets | 8/15

I wanted to love these.  I really, really did.  For one, the price can’t be beat.  And the packaging is quirky and cute, although kinda disgusting – I don’t need to see pictures of actual blackheads on my products!  I even brought these over to my friends’ house, and the three of us put them on and watched movies.  But from the second that we put them on, it was downhill.  They didn’t want to stay put, they were a bit smaller than the other strips, and they took forever to dry.  When we pulled them off (after close to 20 minutes) they were not as dry as we had thought and they left behind not only plenty of residue, but plenty of blocked pores!  I’ll not be repurchasing these.

The verdict ~ application: 1, results: 2, price: 5.  8/15 with a bonus 2 for packaging.

Questions?  Products you want me to try and review?  Let me know and I’ll do my best!