Back in December I stopped by the Face Shop (there are two that I know of in NYC, one in Flushing, Queens, and one on 32nd street in Ktown) and picked up a few things:
The purpose of my trip was for cleansing oil, since I was running low. I always make sure to have cleansing oil handy, as personally I think it's the best way to remove makeup, and I mean it can remove ALL makeup including heavy black pencil eyeliner, ten coats of mascara, heavy heavy black shadow, etc. The way I use it is, I start with a dry face, rub some oil all over, concentrating on the eyes (I tend to wear tons of mascara and eyeliner, even on a daily basis) for about 15 seconds, then i sprinkle a bit of water to emulsify the oil and continue to work it in circular motions on my skin, rinse, and follow up with my normal cleanser (Neutrogena oil-free acne wash). It is important to use a cleanser that will effectively clean the oil off (would not follow the oil cleanser with my Cetaphil) to prevent the oil from clogging your pores. To date, most cleansing oils I've tried, if used properly, have not broken me out. Anyway, back to my haul!
So I picked up the Face Shop's Rice Water Bright Cleansing Oil Light. The SA who helped me suggested the Light version over the Normal, since I have combination skin.
When I first tried this, I was a bit shocked as to how "light" this oil was. It had a very thin texture, but was still effective at removing my makeup. Personally I think I prefer Shu Uemura's cleansing oils most, in terms of efficacy as well as texture. It was the first one I had ever tried (the pink version) and the best one I've tried to date. Unfortunately Shu Uemura's products are now only offered online and are pricey, but totally worth it (I think I remember stocking up a few years ago at the Narita airport in Japan during a stop over, it was crazy cheap there!). While it's not as good as Shu, I do prefer this Face Shop rice cleansing oil to Shiseido's cleansing oil.
I also picked up some more Shisem false eyelashes. The ones I really like are labeled SF-- something. They are not full sized, but also don't cover my entire eye, as I am ok with not having falsies covering the inner corner of my eye (actually I prefer it this way as I think it's more comfortable) and I believe they are synthetic.
These falsies are dramatic, without being over the top. Theyre my go to lashes for going out, I would not wear these to work.
I also picked up some individual lashes. I have never tried individual lashes before, frankly I'm a bit intimidated as I feel that they would be more difficult to apply (it takes a bit of practice to get regular false lashes on correctly, I'm still no expert). I'm thinking it would work well to add a bit more volume to my actual lashes, with some mascara of course.
The last thing I got was a bit random. Although BB creams have been around for a while, I haven't really had any interest, because BB stands for Blemish Balm. Without having any knowledge, one might think it's some sort of pimple cream, or some kind of makeup designed for acne skin? When I had horrible acne, I didn't use any makeup, there was no point in covering it up when you could see all the bumps anyway, so I never bothered. I came across some Youtube videos about BB creams, and the girls who use it describe it as something that can be used like foundation, but is supposed to look much more natural, less mask-like. I asked the SA at the Face Shop what she recommended for my skin type, age, etc. She narrowed it down to two, one had collagen and another that was brightening. I went with the brightening version, the Flebeauty White Crystal BB Cream, since I didn't want to load up my skin with too many anti-ageing products.
When I purchased this, I really didn't pay attention to what it was supposed to do, I kept thinking it was brightening, which it is, and would help with hyperpigmentation, etc, but I didn't realize that it was intended to lighten the skin until I read the label. One thing to keep in mind, is that BB creams typically (not all) come in one color, and is designed for lighter skin tones. So when I tried this on, I expected it to come close to my skin tone, assuming as I rub the product into my skin it would disappear and just make my skin look like my skin, but better. I was wrong. This particular BB cream made me about a shade whiter, maybe two. Normally I'm an NC20, but this probably made me more of NC10-15. For those who are looking for something to make their face super white, this is the product for you. Even though I was paler, it did make my skin look good, and as a bonus it has SPF 35. Even though I won't be using this product by itself, I did find some use for it (since I hate returning products). My Guerlain Parure Gold (02) is a tad too dark for me during the winter, so I mix two parts Parure Gold and one part White Crystal BB cream and it gives me the PERFECT shade.
While my first experience with BB creams was not the best, it doesn't discourage me from trying others. I think if I happen to walk by an Asian cosmetics store at some point, I'll pick up a few more to try out and review.