28 September 2015

What's in my Bag - An illustrated guide

I love looking at 'What's in my Bag' posts. In order to do my own, I turned my frumpy second-hand mess inside out and was faced by long-lost receipts, hair clips and tissues.

So I decided to leave all those nastier things be and just do an illustration based on the more presentable objects I carry along with me.

Well, that's quite a lot. Let's break it down!


What I need to leave the house without being a human catastrophe. Keys (I've got a cute, huge stuffed animal horse key chain so it's easy to find...), phone with an extra battery because I'm just that bad at charging, some money and a little case for my identification card/Korean visum, bank cards and the like.

By some magic there's always at least one hair clip and hair tie to be found, too!


Of course, a sketchbook or notebook is a must! I always regret whenever I leave it at home... an unnecessary large amount of pens and pencils compliments the sketchbook.
I found something really nice recently here in Korea: Protective caps to put on pencils! They don't only save the pencil from breaking over and over again, but protect my hands from being stabbed everytime I rummage through my bag.

Then there's some hand sanitizer in a small size (Nature Republic makes them with all kinds of scents - I currently use the Aloe one.) and a facial mist. The mist is kinda optional, but especially on hot days where my face feels like its melting, it's a life saver! I bought some at Innisfree when they had a 1+1 sale last spring, and will do so again next time! Also helps when taming my fringe in the humid weather.


On to the good stuff!

I try to be organised with my makeup as a form of counterattack against the pencils littered everywhere.
I love small pouches (smaller than my hand) to just seperate stuff and protect lipsticks from opening and breaking. The left one in black and white is made from a thin material (selfmade :D) and it's where I put stuff like cushion foundations to protect them from getting scratches or leaking.
The one on the right is even smaller and made from thicker material - a gift from my grandmother. It's the perfect lenght for lipsticks and keeps them from breaking no matter what I do.

Like I said, the bigger pouch contains a cushion on most days. I often do my makeup in the car if I'm late, and it's also perfect for touch-ups.
I actually own more 'cushions' than actual cushion cases - some of them are interchangeable, so I buy refills and switch them out according to seasons and mood. The cases I own are from Iope and Innisfree (Waterglow and the good old Melting Mineral Foundation, which isn't a cushion, but works just fine as a case for them) and inside those? I mostly don't remember. :'D

I'll make a cushion overview/review post soon, though!

On hot days, the Innisfree No-Sebum Powder is my steady companion. It's a transparent mineral powder that absorbs oil and sets makeup. It can also function as an emergency dry shampoo of sorts as it makes flat, sweaty (urgs) hair fluffier!

On days where I really got my shit together, one might even find an eyeshadow here. I've accumulated quite a lot of the Innisfree Mineral Single Shadows in superbasic brown hues and rotate those with my Aritaum Mono Eyes in 'Earth'.


As going out often includes some sort of eating or drinking, too, I need to bring something along for reapplying whatever I slapped on in the morning.
My current favorites for this early fall (ok, it IS fall technically, but my Swiss brain just doesn't associate the season with 25 degrees and sunshine, so... late summer?) are red shades.

The Innisfree Cream Mellow Lipstick in #8 (the name translates to something like Moistful, Dewy, Watery Red?) is a very flattering color that's surprisingly easy to wear for a red lipstick! I'll do a review for this one soon, too! (...I've got too much stuff.)

The other star of the moment is by the brand Mamonde, the Creamy Tint Color Balm Intense Velvet in Red. What a long name. It's a chubby little pencil that applies velvety-matte (the Cream Mellow Lipstick has a glossy finish at first), stays on forever and the color is a nice toned-down, slightly brownish red which ACTUALLY MANAGES TO MAKE ME LOOK LIKE A GROWN UP.

Then, my staple reddish Ginger Sugar Tint Lip Balm by Aritaum so that I don't need a mirror if I want to reapply something. It works well on top of faded red lipsticks of all kind, blends them out of liplines where they may have transferred and moisturizes, of course.

As for mirror I carry a really small square mirror that I bought on my very first trip to Korea years ago in Seoul. It's got a little silk pouch to put it into and is the cutest thing ever.

That's it! What do you carry in your bag? Are you more organised or chaotic? (it's a fine line to walk...)

13 September 2015

REVIEW: Espoir No Wear S - Favorite Korean Lipsticks

This review pf the Espoir No Wear S Lipstick in 'Jealousy' is part of a series because my love for coral lipsticks lead to quite the collection.

Drew this when I still thought I could put several lipsticks of one shade into one single post...
So naive.

I really wanted to do some quick reviews and swatches of ALL my Korean lipsticks in one big blog post. Then, looking at all the stuff I've hoarded, I decided to split it up into color groups - the leader in numbers being the coral-orange camp.

Looking at all the images I had for just ONE of the lipsticks, I gave up on that idea and will be doing these one by one like a sane person. :'D

Korean Lipstick Espoir No Wear S 'Jealousy' Coral Makeup Watercolor Illustration

So my favorite shade goes first! It's part of the No Wear S line and the color is called 'Jealousy'.

'Jealousy' is the orange shade on the very right.
Image source and collection overview on Espoir's official site.
Espoir has some of the widest color selections I've seen on the Korean market and I'd had my eyes on like ten of them for a while. When the limited collection called 'Pastel Punch' came around in Spring 2015, I finally caved and got my first 'middle range'-y priced lipstick. At 19,000\ it clocked in at more than double the price than any other lipstick I've bought in Korea. So, of course, I had high expectations for this!

Korean Lipstick Espoir No Wear S Jealousy Coral Makeup Packaging Photography Pastel Punch
Espoir 'Pastel Punch' Collection Packaging

The packaging is sleek and adorable. The matte plastic feels high quality, is light enough to carry around and robust enough to not be endangered by the mess that is the interior of my bag.

Superficial as I am, the color was what caught my eye first, though! It's the most gorgeous shade of pastel lavender, reminding me of macarons for some reason.

The shade's name is printed on the bottom.

Korean Lipstick Espoir No Wear S Jealousy Coral Makeup Packaging Photography Pastel Punch

A really nice touch is the mint colored ring only visible when the lipstick cap is removed. (prettyyy.....)

The cap itself is magnetic and it feels so luxurious to open it and snap it back on! Love the packaging overall, as you can see.

Korean Lipstick Espoir No Wear S Jealousy Coral Makeup Packaging Photography Pastel Punch
Everything is just so pretty!!

The shade is a coral, I THINK. Seriously, I'm so unsure about what to call it. It's coral leaning to orange one moment, and when I move into slightly different light, it's more pink.

I mean, look at this:

Korean Lipstick Espoir No Wear S Jealousy Coral Makeup Packaging Photography Pastel Punch

Korean Lipstick Espoir No Wear S Jealousy Coral Makeup Packaging Photography Pastel Punch
... orange??

I literally moved my hand ten centimeters and angled it a tad differently and it went from a warm pink (?) to a pastelly orange (???) and I don't understand colors at all.

Maybe I should just describe it as a bright pastel coral and leave it at that.

Korean Lipstick Espoir No Wear S Jealousy Coral Makeup Detail Photography Pastel Punch
There's some embossing going on~

The lipstick line of Espoir that goes under the 'No Wear' tag is said to be a 'Retouch Free', 'Weight Free' and 'Smudge Free' formulation. The 'S' stands for Semi-Matte and it's a creamy, moisturizing formula with a slight sheen that dries to more of a matte after some time. All three shades of their Pastel Punch Collection fall under that category, and even if this specific shade is now maybe hard to find, the same citeria apply to the rest of the No Wear S group.

Let's take it apart by that.

Smudge Free: It actually doesn't transfer, except for when it moves into the liplines, then it will transfer a bit when drinking, for example.
I went to the beach and swimming and even diving with this on, and it was still left as a nice corally hue after all that. It doesn't stain, though, just fades very slowly (and not always prettily).

Weight Free: It does feel nice, velvety and light on the lips. Despite drying into a nearly matte finish, it feels creamy when applied. I like the feel of it, if it weren't for the sticking-to-dry-patches factor, which brings me to:

Retouch Free: Ahaha, nope. This is high maintenance. It sticks to everything that's not perfect and sinks into lines. Being smudge-proof makes it hard to retouch, too, as it's difficult to dab away the previously applied layer before re-applying.

When I want to wear this, I need to do lip scrubbing, lip balming and re-apply at least once during the course of the day.

Korean Lipstick Espoir No Wear S Jealousy Coral Makeup Packaging Photography Pastel Punch

It works if I wear it on a vacation or a lazy day in the city when I have time to retouch, but not so much when running errands or working.

Maybe because of that, this color makes me feel like I'm on a vacation even when I'm not - it's my go-to shade for when I feel like I want to spend some time on myself, haha. Also, it forces me to do lip scrubs, which could be seen as a plus, I guess.

Korean Lipstick Espoir No Wear S Jealousy Coral Makeup Swatch Detail Photography Pastel Punch

I wrote at the very beginning of this post that it's my favorite shade of lipstick. Not my favorite lipstick, or favorite formulation - but the color saves it all for me.

I'm pale and sometimes my beloved orange shades make me look kind of sickly. Pink shades, on the other hand, rarely suit my mood - they tend to make me look even paler and younger. (strange problems I have...)

This is the perfect in between. It's cool-toned enough to fit my skintone, but there's the orange hue to it that I love. It's eye-catching if applied on the full lips because it's a quite bright and unique shade, but it can be toned-down (just dabbing it on in one layer) to suit heavier eye-makeup. I rarely do much with my eyes, so I depend on lip colors to do the heavy lifting.

Korean Lipstick Espoir No Wear S Jealousy Coral Makeup Swatch Pastel Punch
From far away, the dry patches aren't even visible. Victory!!

All in all, this is such a mixed bag, but I love it anyway!

I love the color, the pigmentation, the semi-matte finish, the gorgeous packaging, the slightly sweet scent, the long-lasting qualities and that it doesn't transfer. I've found ways to work around the the downsides of this lipstick - mainly to moisturize and accept that no-one but myself actually will look at my lips that closely to even notice the dry patches.
Maybe those would be more visible with a darker shade, though, so I'm kinda hesitant about trying another shade from the same line.

Espoir's No Wear lipsticks also come in a confusing amount of different versions, like their basic, first 'No-Wear' line, then the 'No Wear Glam' and 'No Wear Touch' (which are shiny and more like a balm respectively), 'No Wear G' for glam/glossy, 'M' for matte, and newly their 'Lustre' line which looks very moisturizing. As mentioned before, Espoir's color selection is HUGE, ranging from the typical pinks and reds to nudes, oranges, purple and everything in between.

Will have to do some in-store swatching!

So, if you're looking for some special shade that requires a bit of work but is worth the effort, have a look around!

Update 2016: You can find some of my makeup illustrations in form of stickers and prints in my Etsy Shop :D

2 September 2015

August Favorites : Korean Makeup for the Sick and Tired


No, seriously, here I am, proud owner of glittery summer edition eyeshadows and bold coral lipsticks but the world tells me to stop and reconsider.

Before I get lost in comfortable autumn clothes and colors, here's a look back at my August favorites!

Watercolor Illustration Innisfree Vivid Tint Rouge Aritaum Sugar Tint Balm CC Cream Clio Kill Brow Korean Makeup
My Korean Makeup Picks for August

Where July was a month with some free days (my brother visiting me in Korea, a lull in pressing deadlines and gorgeous weather calling from outside) that had me use my spare time to actually dress and groom, August was on the dull side beauty-wise.

Korean Makeup Innisfree CC cream Vivid Tint Rouge Clio Kill Brow Aritaum Sugar Tint
I'm really trying with photography. :'D

Most of the time was spent at my desk working, and as it was hot and humid and I was lazy, I didn't even move my stuff into the Cafe (our house consists of a private part and a public Bistro/Coffeeshop/Bar). The only reasons I had to apply any sort of makeup was when I helped out in the Cafe or took the bicycle to visit friends. My August favorites are thus: The most fool-proof, simple, lazy Korean beauty products I own.

Innisfree CC Color Control 'Real Skin CC Cream SPF 30 PA++'  Watercolor Illustration Korean Makeup Review
Innisfree CC Color Control 'Real Skin CC Cream SPF 30 PA++' 

CC cream is my go-to solution when I want something more than just sun protection, but don't want to bother with actual coverage. I use this CC cream by Innisfree since last year, and I love it. Duh.

Out of the pump it's a thick, white cream, but when spread and slightly massaged into the skin it changes into a shade that just slightly evens out and brightens the skin. I usually use half a pump for my entire face, layering under my eyes to cover my dark circles.

Innisfree Korean Makeup CC Cream Review Swatch
This is maybe a quarter pump? 

This CC cream gives the skin an overall even look and some sun protection while looking completely natural. At the end of the day, there's no blocked pores and it's even calming on red spots. For me, it's more like skin care, and I have no bad conscience leaving it on until late hours while working.

Though, I repeat, it doesn't really provide coverage.

Watercolor Illustration Korean Makeup Review Clio Eyebrow Pen
CLIO Kill Brow Tattoo Pen

Eyebrows. Oh, what a struggle they can be. On days I get them right, I most definitely will just be sitting at my desk without anyone to appreciate them. On days I don't get them right.... well, that's what a fringe is for. *covers frantically*

A 'tattoo' eyebrow pen is perfect for me. The one by Clio (kinda strangely named 'Kill Brow' which gives me serious 'Kill Bill' feels) actually stays visible all through the NEXT day, too, and it's just overall convenient as it's waterproof, sweatproof (fringe...), life-proof and whatever else. I got this one during an online sale and am happy with the shade #1 I picked, a very neutral, cool-toned brown.

Korean Makeup Review Aritaum Ginger Sugar Tint Balm #1 프레임 로즈
Ginger Sugar Tint Lip Balm #1

Tinted Lipbalms. I hated those back in Switzerland, where I only ever used the Labello ones. They melted, the strawberry scent threw me off and the color stayed on for about the time it took me to apply.

But I've been reaching for this rose shade of the Ginger Sugar Tint Lip Balm by Aritaum a lot. It's a gorgeous color, a my-lips-but-better shade for me, it stays on reasonably long for a lipbalm, is moisturizing and has sturdy packaging.

Korean Makeup Review Aritaum Ginger Sugar Tint Lip Balm #1 No.1 프레임 로즈 swatch

It's really a color that can do no wrong, even if applied messily without a mirror. I also use it on days when I applied lipstick or liptint to, after a few hours have gone by, freshen up the left-over color. It also works as a moisturizer on top of more drying lip products.

Korean Makeup Review Staple Product Lazy Makeup Look Aritaum Sugar Tint Lip Balm Swatch

Just a very versatile, no-nonsense lip product.

Korean Makeup Review Favorit Liptint Vivid Tint Rouge Innisfree Illustration
Innisfree Vivid Tint Rouge in #9

An all-time favorit of mine is this Vivid Tint Rouge by Innisfree. I actually bought this back when I still lived in Switzerland and had to order online (ahaha good old times) and it was my very first Korean purchase.

.............. which puts a kind of disgusting age of four years on this baby. I should really throw it out - but on the other hand, neither texture nor scent seem to have changed at all, so I kind of just want to use it all up.

I own it in the shade #9, 민들레꽃 코랄 / Dandelion Coral. It's quite long-lasting, but has a much more natural look to it than the Aritaum Color Lasting Tint I reviewed last time. Its pigmentation is lower in comparison but the shade works really well for an everyday look.

Right: Innisfree Vivid Tint Rouge in #9 Dandelion Coral
Left: Aritaum Ginger Sugar Tint Lip Balm in #1
Left: Innisfree Vivid Tint Rouge in #9 Dandelion Coral
Right: Aritaum Ginger Sugar Tint Lip Balm in #1
Just this summer Innisfree revamped the Vivid Tint Rouge line, so when I repurchase (which I will) I'll be really curious to see how the new ones compare to the old formulations! I'm a bit scared that the colors will be too bright - I love how the shade I own looks so natural on my lips. I'd say either #1 or #2 would be the closest fit to my old-version #9. The new packaging does look neat, though!

Official Swatches of the new version. Found here.

That's it already for the makeup products!

Another reason why I wasn't experimenting all that much during August was a seafood-allergy-incident. I just don't feel like putting even a hint of foundation or color on my face if touching the skin around my jaw/mouth hurts and is bumpy.

I did prevent the worst from happening all over my face after accidentally eating noodle soup that had clams in it by massaging it all away, but I was mostly feeling blah for a week anyway.

This comic strip is old but still oh so relevant. I'll never learn. Never.

As far as book/tv/movie/anything favorites go...

I worked on a 'Science Fiction' (ok, mostly Romance? I don't even know.) story for the better part of the last two years. During that time, I really tried to avoid the genre to not be influenced left and right. 

Now though? I've got a whole to-watch-to-read list with the title 'Sci Fi Party' on top.

My favorit audiobook during August was 'Leviathan Wakes', the first book of 'The Expanse' series. I picked it up because it will be adapted for television and I like to read first, watch later. 
Despite not really liking the main viewpoint character of this series (I'm already deep into book two by now) I LOVED the descriptions. Seriously. Twenty hours of someone talking about space and gravity and survival? I'll listen with starry eyes.

A good, suspenseful and escalating plot kinda helped, too. Also, space zombies.

Some late-night sketching of Kara Thrace 'Starbuck' and Sharon Valerii 'Boomer'.
Need to add Laura Roslin for my favorite BSG ladies, though.

Also, I'm currently rewatching all of Battlestar Galactica. All-time favorite series and characters and everything. 

When re-watching something while drawing that I've previously watched while drawing, it's like puzzle pieces are being put together. I look up at different parts and feel like I've never even seen this show before. :'D

ON THAT STRANGE geeky note, that's my August favorites! What's yours? How fast did August blow by??

Also, I'm growing watermelons. Look at my precious baby.