Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Body Shop All-In-One Instablur Eye Primer Review | Concealer + Primer = Time saver!

I'm not a morning person, so any seconds I can save off my morning rush is a god-send as I tend to sleep in to the very last possible minute. That's where multi-purpose products come in. Recently I got the chance to try out The Body Shop's All-In-One Instablur Eye Primer, the first eye primer to be released by the UK brand.

Just J: The Body Shop All-In-One Instablur Eye Primer Review

The Product
Designed to conceal dark circles, fight off redness and act as a makeup base, the All-In-One Instablur Eye Primer is meant to be applied to bare lids before any other makeup and will enhance and prolong eyeshadow wear. Available in only one shade, this is definitely meant for those with light-medium skin tones (for reference, I am an NC-25).

The Guts
The primary ingredients in this primer are:
  • Isododecane - an emollient that provides a smooth, spreadable texture
  • Dimethicone - a silicone that serves a variety of purposes, such as an emollient, providing a slippery texture and filling in lines/plumping up skin
  • Vinyldimethyl/Trimethylsiloxysilicate Stearyl Dimethicone - similar to the above
  • Silica - a moisture absorbent that also provides a slippery, spreadable texture

Price & Packaging
A 10 mL tube will cost you $15, which is on the higher end for TBS, but not high for primer products overall. The packaging is a discreet, small tube which is perfectly sized to fit in a purse. It also features a small pointed tip, which makes for easy precise application.

Just J: The Body Shop All-In-One Instablur Eye Primer Review
Left: unblended. Right: blended

Normally, I don't like primers that are heavy on the silicones as I worry about them covering and suffocating my skin. Dimethicone is supposed to be non-comedogenic however and since this is also only for the eye area, I'm not too worried about breakouts. This primer has that typical silicone feel to it, in that it's very silky and easily blends into skin. The color of this primer exactly matches my skin tone, which is good and bad; good because it's a seamless skin match, but bad because it takes more product to cover up my dark circles. This primer does do a good job at counteracting any redness on my eye lids and provides a smooth base for makeup.

In terms of how well this primer helps perk up eyeshadows, I'm pretty skeptical. I didn't notice any real difference in the vibrancy or application of shadows as I do with my normal go-to, the Urban Decay Primer Potion. In terms of longevity, this primer is pretty decent and for the most part, prevented my shadow from creasing by the end of the day. It doesn't fare as well though with darker or heavier shadow looks and after a few hours, I noticed slight creasing.

Final Verdict
Ditch - this is a decent primer that I would recommend if you want something affordable, but for me, I personally want more of a workhorse.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in LA Exclusive Review | Color, not stickiness

What's the difference between a lip gloss and a lip stain? I don't know. Both come in tubes with similar looking deer foot or brush applicators. Both come in a wide variety of colors and pigmentation levels. Both offer glossy color and are kinda known for being sticky, but not always. Really, it all seems a bit like marketing speak, but this is a stain for some reason, so let's go with that.

Just J: Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in LA Exclusive Review

The Product
The Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stains came out awhile ago and to much hype and rave reviews. Available in 11 different shades, these have been dubbed as a high impact lip stain, which promise to give you the pigmentation of your dreams, with a glossy "wet" finish, no stickiness AND while moisturizing your lips with vitamin E and aloe.   I've had a couple lying in my stash that I didn't get a chance to try out until recently and I was eager to see if they lived up to the hype.

The Guts
The primary ingredients in this product are:
  • Octyldodecanol - an emollient and thickener
  • Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate - an emollient
  • Butylene Glycol - provides texture and gloss
  • Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes - a natural ingredient that acts as an emollient
Other ingredients of note are some well-known moisturizers: aloe vera, shea butter and panthenol.

Price & Packaging
One tube will cost you around $10 at your most drugstores, so pretty standard pricing for Revlon lip products. What marks this lip stain as different though is the high-end styling of the packaging. With its sharp, rectangular corners and simple white labeling, these lippies come off as very "fashion" and definitely very unlike the lip gloss of your teeny-bopper years.

The shade I received to try was LA Exclusive, a medium tone blue-pink. While light blue-pinks and I are not friends, medium tones blue-pinks and I are quite congenial. This color looks super natural on me, despite that it's a fairly light shade compared to my natural lip color, which is more of a rose-brown.

The pigmentation on this product is to die for; super thick and totally covers up everything, even the dark spot on my lower lip! It's so thick that it just fills in the lip lines too without settling, giving the illusion of fuller lips and without any stickiness. My lips just felt moist, soft and full. The color lasted the usual couple of hours before fading. Since this was a lighter shade, the color faded away nicely, but I couldn't say whether the darker shades would wear the same.

Just J: Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in LA Exclusive Review

The only thing I didn't really like about this lip stain was the brush. It's very bristly and wider in a distinct leaf-shape. The pointed tip is handy for outlining the cupid's bow, but I hated how thick and bristly it was. I found that mine would often end up with little crusties that I'd have to wipe off before applying, which was kinda gross and not convenient for touch-ups. I would have much preferred if the applicator was a brush instead, which I think would allow for more even application.

Just J: Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in LA Exclusive Review
Sorry, no in action shot today! My chin is going all crazy with breakouts, so it's talk to the arm this time.

Final Verdict
Buy - Gorgeous, pigmented color for $10? You can't go wrong!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

L'Occitane Arlesienne Eau de Toilette review | Attain that French mystique in a bottle

Just J: L'Occitane Arlesienne Eau de Toilette review

I don't know if French women in real life are actually like this (I'm sure there must be some out there with frizzy hair and sweatpants), but the idea of what a French woman is is certainly renowned throughout the world. Who wouldn't dream of attaining their elusive perfection? That carefree elegance and charm?

Well, L'Occitane knows your secret yearning. They have built their business upon it and their latest collection perfectly encapsulates that French feeling. The new Arlésienne collection, which I mentioned during a previous post, is a line of bath and beauty products inspired by the classical French woman. One part mystery and two parts seduction, the Arlésienne collection is designed to inspire and captivate, particularly with the centerpiece of this collection: the Arlésienne Eau de Toilette perfume. 

Just J: L'Occitane Arlesienne Eau de Toilette review

Like all L'Occitane fragrances, it is packaged in a simple, beautifully crafted bottle. It's also quite a generous size, coming in at 75 mL for $48. To find such a quality scent at under $50 is quite the deal and is one of the reasons why I love L'Occitane fragrances so much.

The Arlésienne is quite a unique fragrance in my collection as it contains notes of violet, saffron from Provence and rose from Grasse. The resulting mix is heady and very floral with just a hint of spice. I loved this scent on the swatch stick and on my skin, it smells mostly the same. I have heard that it can change depending on your skin, so definitely try a sample first before purchasing.

Just J: L'Occitane Arlesienne Eau de Toilette review

When first sprayed, this toilette smells very fresh and light, then slowly deepens after a minute as the saffron surfaces. The whole effect lasts for about 3-4 hours, which is in line with the wear time of my other L'Occitane perfumes. This one is quite different for me and makes me feel very womanly and luxurious and the spiciness definitely gives it a sauciness. While those more into spicy, oriental fragrances may find this a little too light, for a beginner like myself who usually sticks strictly to light florals and fresh notes, it's quite heavy enough.

If perfumes aren't your fancy, you can also try out the Arlésienne scent with the other products in this collection, such as the body milk, soap, hand creams and candles, all available in stores and online.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Guest Post From The Lazy Laquerista: Cetaphil DERMACONTROL Review

Hello Just J readers!

MizzJ was kind enough to hook me up with Cetaphil Canada when their new product line was more appropriate for my skin type than hers.  After two weeks of use I'm hear to share the results and my thoughts with you.

The Products:
According to Cetaphil, the Oil Control Foam Wash is a gentle, non-drying, soap-free foam that effectively cleanses the skin of excess oil without compromising the skin barrier or resulting in over compensation of sebum production.  The Oil Control Moisturizer is a non-greasy, lightweight facial moisturizer for daily use in the skincare routine with the added benefits of broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 protection.

Just J - Guest Post From The Lazy Laquerista: Cetaphil DERMACONTROL Review

My Skin:
I'm in my late 20's with combination acne prone skin.  My cheeks tend to be dryer and my T-zone and chin more oily.  I don't have full blown acne but I there are always a few smaller pimples on my chin and/or cheeks.  I rarely get them on my nose or forehead.  This product appealed to me because I thought it might help with my pimples and keep my shiny forehead under control.

The Test:
I used the foam wash and moisturizer every morning instead of my normal cleanser (The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Cleanser) and my usual moisturizer (Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief) for two weeks.  The following photos show me with no make up right after using the products in the morning and then again at the end of the day.

Just J - Guest Post From The Lazy Laquerista: Cetaphil DERMACONTROL Review
First day of use - Beginning of day First day of use - End of day

Just J - Guest Post From The Lazy Laquerista: Cetaphil DERMACONTROL Review
Two weeks of use - Beginning of day Two weeks of use - End of day

Things I Liked:
  • The cleanser was very light and rinsed off well to leave my skin feeling clean, but not stripped of moisture.  
  • I like that the moisturizer had SPF protection.

Things I Didn't Like:
  • The scents.  The cleanser smelled somewhat 'chemically'.  The moisturizer smelled just like sunscreen.
  • The packaging.  I fell like they put the lid/cap on the wrong product.  The cleanser came with a cap over the pump.  When I'm in the shower with wet slippery hand removing smooth plastic caps can be a little difficult.  I ended up just leaving the cap off permanently.  The moisturizer didn't come with a cap over the pump.  This meant that the little bit of moisturizer left in the end of the nozzle would dry out before the next use.  I ended up with little dried white clumps mixed in with the new moisturizer when I would use it.
  • The results.  I really didn't see any noticeable improvements in my skins appearance after two weeks.  I actually broke out really badly about one week in.  I'm not sure if my skin was just adjusting or if there was another culprit?  I also noticed that I'm getting more small bumps on my forehead and some pimples along my hairline after using these products.

These products just didn't do it for me.  The benefits didn't materialize and I ended up with more pimples than when I started.  I'll switching back to my old products.  I may save the moisturizer for beach vacations and summertime activities though since it doesn't affect my skin as badly as plain old sunscreen.  Have you tried these products? Did they work for you? 

I hope you found this review helpful and informative.  If you like what you see come check my out in my natural habitat,

Happy polishing,


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Friday, December 12, 2014

November Beauty Favourites

Just J: november beauty faves

Another month, another set of favourites! Last month was all about the new makeup faves for me thanks to some recent purchases and PR samples! Certainly one of the best parts of being a blogger is the chance to try out products you may never have even heard of otherwise. During times of stress and sadness, I can always count on the fact that at least one thing I can control is my appearance and how I feel about myself. Makeup may be superficial, but I think it really does have the power to transform how you feel.

Now onto my favourites this past month!

1. Barbine shea butter hand cream - I've been using this daily since receiving it in my first Memebox last month. This hand cream has quite a strong fragrance, but it absorbs quickly and leaves my hands feeling soft literally all day! View full review.

2. Got2B Rise n' Shine Blow Dry cream - this lightweight cream is applied to damp hair and acts as a heat protectant and reduces your blow dry time to just a couple of minutes! My hair already dries pretty quickly as it's fine, but it dries even faster with this cream.

3. Tarte Pin-up Girl Amazonian Clay 12 Hour blush palette - I purchased this, my first blush palette, during the Sephora VIB sale and have been hooked ever since. These blushes are crazy pigmented, apply smoothly and give a true, velvety finish. Each shade is unique from the others and can be mixed together to create a variety of looks. My faves out of this palette are Breathless for contouring, Embraced for that perfect plum winter look, and Whimsy for a girlish flush.

4. Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter pencil - this soft smudgy pencil can be used on eyes and face to highlight and illuminate your face. Seriously amazing, this pencil is the perfect brightening color for my skin tone! View full review.

5. Clinique A Black Honey Affair All About Shadow palette - alongside my Tarte palette, this one has become a daily go-to. My first Clinique palette, I was amazed at how soft and wearable the colors were and the pigmentation is top-notch. This palette is a great mix of warm browns and cool purples, which surprisingly work well together. View full review.

Tried any of these? Let me know your thoughts!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Memebox Superbox #65 review | Korea's Most Wanted 2

I'm so excited to share with you another Memebox (affiliate link) review! This time around, I received the Superbox #65 - Korea's Most Wanted 2, which contains a mix of best-of skincare and makeup products!

For those unfamiliar with Memebox, it's a Korean subscription box that delivers you the best of Korean cosmetics and beauty products. What makes Memebox different though, is that you don't pay a monthly fee and you don't get a box of mystery items each month. You simply sign up for alerts of new boxes and then only purchase the ones you want. It's perfect for someone like me, who is curious about Korean beauty, but not wanting the commitment of a monthly subscription.

My experiences so far with Memebox have been excellent and this second box did not disappoint. Here's the lowdown on all the goodies I received:

Elroel Tone Up Sungel

Just J: Memebox superbox #65 - Elroel Tone Up Sungel

Price: $13 (on sale!)
Size: Full
Purchase here (affiliate link)
What it is: An all-in-one wonder product that works as a makeup base, redness reducer, has SPF 50, and contains antioxidants.
What's in it: 
  • Tea tree extract - an antioxidant
  • Lotus flower extract - a moisturizer
  • Cactus leaf extract - an antioxidant

Just J: Memebox superbox #65 - Elroel Tone Up Sungel

Just J: Memebox superbox #65 - Elroel Tone Up Sungel
Straight out of the tube and blended

Effectiveness: This feels very similar to a CC cream and works similarly. It's a bit thick, likely due to the sunscreen properties, so if you're not used to a BB or CC cream, this may take some getting used to. Despite that, it's very easy to spread and blend. The cream itself is a minty green color which works wonders to eliminate redness on my face and leaves it brighter and whiter! It also has decent priming properties.
Final Verdict: Buy - I love this product!

Hiello Blooming Multi-firming cream

Just J: Memebox superbox #65 - Hiello blooming multi-firming cream

Price: $50
Size: Full
Purchase here (affiliate link)
What it is: A thick night cream that targets aging factors and repairs skin overnight, leaving it soft and luminous. This cream can be used as a daily night cream, or as an overnight hydrating mask.
What's in it:
  • Papaver rhoeas (corn poppy) extract - astringent, helps firm up skins elasticity
  • Cyclomethicone - a silicone that helps plump up fine lines (temporarily), is an emollient, helps to provide a smooth, spreadable texture and acts as a delivery system for other ingredients
  • Hydrogenated coconut oil - an emollient
  • Glycerin - a moisturizer
Just J: Memebox superbox #65 - Hiello blooming multi-firming cream

Effectiveness: Since I've been busy using the Nivea Sensitive night cream, I've been using this cream twice a week as an overnight moisturizing mask. I've recently gotten into the habit of overnight masks and they're a great way to deliver a surge of moisture to skin right after a good exfoliating session or deep-cleansing mask. The Blooming cream feels very thick and almost waxy, so it's a little hard to pick up from the jar with your fingers. Once on it feels very nice on skin, leaving a moist, but not sticky feeling. The next morning my face does feel smoother and plumper! Once I'm done my Nivea, I'm definitely switching to using this one daily. 
Final Verdict: Buy

Kskin Emu Leg R-free Massage cream

Just J: Memebox superbox #65 - Kskin emu leg R-free massage cream

Price: $46
Size: Full
Purchase here (affiliate link)
What it is: A stimulating moisturizer just for legs designed to relax and rejuvenate.
What's in it:
  • Emu oil - similar to olive oil and mineral oil, this oil derived from the fat of emus is an emollient. There are also claims that it is anti-inflammatory and contains anti-aging properties. 
  • Hyaluronic acid - a moisturizer
  • Menthol - usually seen in lip plumping products and as a fragrance, this ingredient has antibacterial properties, but can be irritating so patch test first
Effectiveness: It's a little weird to me to use a different product just for my legs and I was a little disappointed that this one didn't contain any anti-cellulite or slimming properties. The texture of this cream is also different from most lotions. It's initially a little sticky, but spreads easily like a gel. Once this hits your skin, a very strong peppermint scent wafts off; in fact, this smells exactly like mint toothpaste! It's refreshing in a way, but unexpected. A minute after application, my legs began to tingle and feel cool all over due to the menthol. What was funny too is that the tingling seemed concentrated on certain areas, like my inner thighs, even though I applied it evenly all over. I got excited thinking that maybe this did mean that this cream had slimming or anti-cellulite properties, but sadly no go. This cream just seems gimmicky and doesn't deliver any different result from any other lotion.
Final Verdict: Ditch 

LadyKin One Touch Bling Glow lipstick

Just J: Memebox superbox #65 - Ladykin one touch bling glow lipstick

Price: $11
Size: Full
Purchase here (affiliate link)
What it is: A silky smooth, hydrating and pigmented lipstick. Available in three shades: Fall Rose, Deep Plum Burgundy and Chic Red. I received Fall Rose

Just J: Memebox superbox #65 - Ladykin one touch bling glow lipstick

Just J: Memebox superbox #65 - Ladykin one touch bling glow lipstick

Effectiveness: As the only purely makeup item in the box, I was at first a little disappointed with this one as a lipstick doesn't seem very "super". Also, the color was a pinky-brown, which is pretty MLBB, but boy was I wrong. I LOVE this lipstick and have been wearing it almost everyday. It's the perfect winter MLBB color and goes perfectly with a soft eye and flushed cheeks. The color is pretty much a match for my natural lip color, but richer and rosier. It wears for hours and fades nicely. Applied solo, the color is rich and pigmented in one stroke. Over top of lip balm, I had to apply a bit heavier as my balm was slippery.
Final Verdict: Buy

The Face Shop Calendula Eden Essential Moisture essence

Just J: Memebox superbox #65 - The Face Shop calendula eden essential moisture essence

Price: $9
Size: Full
Purchase here (affiliate link)
What it is: Is it an essence? A serum? Who knows, but this product from popular Korean chain The Face Shop is designed as a pre-moisturizer treatment that delivers a hit of hydration and soothes skin.
What's in it:
  • Calendula extract - derived from marigolds, this natural ingredient acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
  • Hyaluronic acid - a moisturizer that promotes collagen formation
Just J: Memebox superbox #65 - The Face Shop calendula eden essential moisture essence

Effectiveness: I wasn't sure in which step to use this product, so I tried using it twice daily: first in the morning between my moisturizing toner and day cream, and at night after my serum. After a couple weeks though, I began to notice that my skin was starting to break out a bit, so thinking that maybe my skin was becoming over saturated, I switched to only using this during the day. This essence/serum delivers a welcome shot of moisture to my face and feels very cool and soothing. It also has a slight floral scent which is very relaxing and reminescent of spa beauty products. The texture of the product is watery and spreads easily. To use, I take a pump and warm it between my fingers and then spread it on my face, patting it in gently with my fingertips. I wish I had the ingredients list for this one as I do wonder if it contains any silicones since it leaves my face feeling very silky and soft. 
Final Verdict: Buy

You can purchase any of these products individually online via Memebox . Don't forget too if you plan to purchase, that you can use the following codes to get discounts!

1. $5 off on entire order when purchasing over 3 Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE3 
2. $8 off on entire order when purchasing over 4 Memeboxes: MEMEBUNDLE4 
3. Free shipping on orders above $70 from Memeshop: FREESHIPPING 
4. Free shipping on orders above $30 from USA SHOP: No code required 
5. 20% off any USA SHOP order (ends soon!): GIVETHANKS 

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Monday, December 8, 2014

12 Days of Christmas | Christmas tag

Thanks to Glitter Diaries for the inspiration for this fun Christmas themed tag! Rather than doing the usual wishlist post, I thought I'd share some of my Christmas memories and traditions. And yes, I am listening to Christmas carols while writing this post!

2013-12-09 21.12.30
Have a very derpy Christmas!

1. What is your favourite Christmas movie(s)?
Oh man, how to narrow it down? As a kid and an adult, I will always have a soft spot for the traditional movies - I'm talking those super old-school, made with puppets and clay, ones for Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. I would watch those every year as a kid and was utterly fascinated with how they made those puppets move. In terms of modern movies, my favourites are Love Actually and The Holiday!

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
My family opens one present on Christmas Eve and then the rest the next day. It's a pretty big ritual of shaking and prodding the presents under the tree to pick that most auspicious sounding one to open before all others. Usually, there are a few that are "off-limits" as they're too good to open on Christmas Eve!

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
My favourite Christmases growing up were the ones where my entire extended family would come together as a kid. The house was full of craziness: wrapping everywhere, people talking, kids running around and the smell of good things wafting throughout. Christmas is about spending time with your family and those were my favourite times where I would run around all day with my cousins.

4. Favourite festive food?
Again, too many to count! I love all holiday foods, but I definitely have my favourites: stuffing, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes and Chinese sticky rice with sausage and mushrooms!

5. Favourite Christmas gift? 
I don't think I have one actually!

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
The smell of baking cookies and of a roasting turkey. The piney-fresh scent of a real Christmas tree.

DSCF0115 - Copy

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
See answer to #2! Plus, we usually have a family dinner together.

8. What tops your tree?
Which one? Growing up, we had 4 trees - 2 big ones and a little one each for my sister and I. Each tree had a different topper as well! Yeah, we kinda like Christmas in our house.

9. As a kid, what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for, but never received?
Haha, my mom will laugh reading this one. It was this tablet (before there were tablets) that you could connect to your TV and draw on. I'm not sure why I wanted that one so bad considering I wasn't a big drawer, but there you go. I asked for it two years in a row and gave it "****" on my list to emphasize how much I wanted it, but no luck!

10. What's the best part of Christmas for you?
I think the general air of happiness and how the world seems brighter and more joyful. From the lights and the carols, to everyone saying "Merry Christmas" to each other, to the delicious food (oh the food!) and spending time with friends and family, I just love the season for how it brings out the best in everything. After it's all over, everything seems a little dull and lifeless.

I'd love to hear about your Christmas memories, so let me know in the comments your thoughts!

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