Monday, April 29, 2013

Indulgent Timeout with L'Herboflore Facial Masks

Facial sheet masks have been a favourite of mine for a mid week pick me up or weekend chill out session for the face.

They are easy to use, don't need to be washed off afterwards (unlike conventional clay or cream based masks) and generally have enough skincare fluids on them that that you can skip putting on your regular skincare serum if you do it during night-time.

My latest sheet masks indulgence are from L'Herboflore (蕾舒翠), a Taiwanese brand specialising in sheet masks. I managed to get a few of these masks when they were sent over by fellow beauty blogger and good friend Tina from Chasing Elixir who now resides in Taiwan and has started working for L'Herboflore.

L'Heboflore Facial Sheet Masks 

Right off, I have to say the packaging is divine - each and everyone of them are colourful, unique and tell a story that relates to the range it belongs to - trust these clever Taiwanese artists to come up with such pretty and cute designs.
back of packaging - the recommended  application time is 15-20 minutes
Available in over 25 varieties, from the Aromatherapy range, Agean sea range, Garden of Venus range to the Clinical range. Each range has a few different masks to cater for different skin types and skin concerns (eg. extra hydrating, firming, whitening, skin refining etc).  I've only tried a few of the varieties, and apart from the differences in scent, I can't say I've noticed too much difference in terms of benefits - they all provide intense hydration and leave skin feeling velvety soft after use. I don't really notice any firming or but I guess you might have to use it on a daily basis to see that kind of benefit.

The sheet masks are gel-like and flexible and made of thin breathable materials, allowing them to stretch better and fit my face more - something that I struggle with in many other sheet masks.
typical ingredients listing - this one is for the Q10+ Marine Collagen anti-aging silk mask
The serums in each mask pack are also very generous - you are looking at 30ml from each pack, enough to apply the excess serum on your face after taking off the cloth mask and then some for your neck. If you still have extra juice, you can even slap the excess all over your arms or legs.

These sheet masks feel very indulgent and luxurious on but surprisingly, are quite hip-pocket friendly with prices ranging from T$50 to NT$250 a piece (that equates to A$1.65 to A$8.35 for the most expensive face mask).

In all, these sheet masks are one of the best I've tried to date in their price range (far better than those from My Beauty Diary, Kose and Laneige facial masks). In fact, they probably blow their competitors out of their water in this price range.
This sheet mask wraps around your neck and over your ears (Tranexamic Acid + Truffle Whitening Mask 3D)
My only lament about L'Herboflore sheet masks are that they are not available outside of Taiwan yet, so if you are travelling there (or know someone who is going there), be sure to stock up!

L'Herboflore facial sheet masks ranges from NT$50 per piece to NT$250 (equiv to A$1.65 to A$8.35) from L'Herboflore store in Taipei (address: Taipei 101 Floor B1, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Xin Yi A11 Floor 2) or you can grab them online (note: it's a Chinese site so you might struggle to navigate around and they don't ship overseas)

P.S - I'm told by Tina that if you ask very nicely over at their Facebook page, they will arrange something for us international peeps! Thanks Tina for introducing me to these sheet masks.

This featured product was provided for editorial consideration.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Lift your Lids with Eye Define

As the years go by, I'm noticing that my lids are feeling the weight of gravity and drooping more than when I was in my 20s.

Having Asian eyes which are semi hooded doesn't help either. Short of having surgery to correct the problem, what else can I do?

In Asia, women have been using the hugely popular invisible tapes to create double eye lids or enhance the creases over the past few years.

This idea has now caught on in western market and have gone on to additional uses, they can also be used to lift droopy eyes and create better defined creases.

One such product in our market is Eye Define.

Results others achieved with using Eye Define
Eye Define eye lid tapes
Out of the packet
The product comes in a box with a set of 34 strips of medical grade tape strips and a little tub of wax gel to help it apply to eyes.

The lid tape itself are cut to a crescent shape to fit the eyes. These are transparent temporary stick on lid tapes that you use to create deeper crease and hold the droopy lids in place.

The Eye Define lid tape 
To use, simply use a pair of tweezers to lift the lid tape from its backing paper, wipe on a bit of wax gel to create a and then apply onto the lids of eye according to your eye shape.

Don’t be afraid to use a pair of scissors to cut the tape to size to suit your eye shape if it is too thick, not curved enough etc. Play around with it until you find what works for you.

The Pros of Eye Define 
  • Instant results of lifted eyes and better defined creases, creating bigger eyes. Stays put and lasts all day long without irritating eyes and is very comfortable on eye lids.
  • Cost effective and great for special occasion are perfect for those Kodak moments where you want to look fresh and at your best for the camera. 
  • Can be used over or under eye shadow. I find that the fading of eye shadows gives obvious lines around the tape so regular touch ups will be required when using shadow on top. 

The Cons of Eye Define
  • Can be fiddly to work out the angle of which to apply the strips to create desired result. This means it can be time consuming unless you perfect your application of it. 
  •  Depending on your eye shape and crease depth, they may not be as invisible as you like them to be. It will not be noticeable in photos but from speaking distance, people will be notice – just as they would with extravagant false lashes.

For me, the lift not only created a wider eye look, it also helped to remove the hooding of my eye lids so I have proper double eye lids, like what the Asian eye lid tapes could help me achieve.

A pleasant surprise I had from using Eye Define was that after a couple hours of wear, and then after taking off the tape, my enhanced creases were maintained and I still had the benefits of enlarged double lids for a few extra hours longer. This meant I could have wider eyes without the tell-tale signs of the tape.

Wider Eyes: one done (on the left). You can even use eye shadow over these lid tapes
Eye Define on both eyes
Although I get gorgeous wider and lifted eyes using Eye Define, I'm not too excited about using it due to the the amount of time needed for me to get the angle right to create natural looking enhanced creases. If you have deeper creases, you will properly have fewer issues than me as you have more lid space to play with.

In any case, practice makes perfect so if you are looking to use the product for a special event, make sure you do this a few times before you actually want to wear this out as you will need plenty of practice to know what angle you need to apply these eye lid tapes on.

RRP A$29.95 from Eye Define online.
This featured product was provided for consideration.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Weekend Recipe: Pineapple Tarts

It’s been a long time since I did some baking but I’ve been having a major craving for pineapple tarts for a while now. Unfortunately, I don't know of any places in Melbourne that sells them so I finally succumbed to my cravings and made these pineapple tarts myself.

Pineapple tarts are traditionally a Singaporean/ Chinese Malaysian sweet that is made during Chinese New Year to share with family and friends and they are equally a farourite amongst the young and the old.

In fact, the sweet juicy pineapple jam morsel wrapped in a light crumbly shortcake pastry creates the perfect treat any time of the year. What’s more, they can be eaten in one mouthful so you can indulge in one than one!

The only thing that stops me from making them more regularly is the time involved to make everything from scratch – it’s pretty darn time consuming. That’s why I like to make extra pineapple jam and store them in the fridge so I have the filling on standby whenever I get craving (they store up to 4 weeks in the chiller compartment).

So if you are interested, I’ll share with you my version of the recipe which I modified from Rasa Malaysia (check her site out - she is one of my all time favourite Asian food bloggers).

Pineapple Tarts (makes 30)
Degree of difficulty to make - moderate

For Pineapple Jam paste
  • Two 825gcans pineapples slices in natural juices (lightly drained) – you can buy the pieces as well. I use the Golden Circle brand.
  • 8 tablespoons (150g) sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch or corn flour (mixed with 1 teaspoon water) – to thicken the jam
For Shortcake pastry 
  • 2 ½ cup (375g) plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 200 grams unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 10 g of Copha (vegetable shortening) – optional but adding this gives a crumblier pastry. If you don’t use shortening just add the extra amount in butter.
  • 2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 extra egg yolk (lightly beaten to use as egg wash)
  1. Drain the pineapple and add them in a blender to pulverise them for 10-15 seconds. Don’t over-drain the juices out of the pineapple as you won’t get that nice tangy pineapple taste if you squeeze out all the juices. (for an alternative to blending the pineapple: see note 1)
  2. Add crushed pineapples with sugar in a saucepan over high heat and cook till there is no liquids to be seen, stirring occasionally. Most of the liquid would have evaporated by now. (note 1: roughly chop the pineapple slice and use a potato masher to crush it up during cooking stage - it's more work but as I hate cleaning and didn’t want to wash another piece of equipment, it works better for me).Turn the heat down to medium-low heat and continue to stir occasionally until the mixture becomes slightly sticky.
  3. Mix in the cornstarch water mixture to thicken it and stir a few more times. By now your pineapple jam should be a thick paste with a golden yellow colour. Set aside to cool down (you can leave this in the fridge to cool faster).
    golden pineapple paste divided ready to be made into tarts
  4. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
  5. The make the pastry, sift in all the dry ingredient into a large mixing bowl.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix in the butter, shortening, vanilla essence and use a beater to cream it until it is light yellow and fluffy in texture.
  7. Beat in the egg yolks until it is well combined.
  8. Mix in the flour mixture until it is well combined and you have a soft dough. Cut the dough up into 30 pieces. Tip: I use my kitchen scale to divide the dough in half, then in half again etc, until I get all even sized pieces.
    same sized pastry - use a scale to divide them evenly
  9. Do the same for the pineapple paste so you have equal parts to fill each pastry.
  10. Roll the pastry dough out on the palm of your hand and put in a portion of the pineapple paste before folding up the edges to form a ball. Roll in your hands some more to get a log shape.
  11. Continue with remaining pastry. Use a fork to press on top of the pastry to form cross-hack patterns.
  12. Mix the extra egg yolk with a tablespoon of water to create an egg wash to brush on top of the tarts.
  13. Place pineapple tarts into a baking tray in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until light golden brown.
    almost done - baking away in the oven
  14. Let cool before transferring them to prevent pastry from crumbling.
These tarts are best enjoyed the next day as the flavours are more developed with a nice cup of tea. And you can’t stop at one once you start. They keep well for up to a week but I bet they won't last that long!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I had making and eating them. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Take it off with Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover

Having oily eye lids, I am often wearing liquid eye liners and waterproof mascara to prevent smudging and the panda eye effect during the (sometimes very long) day.

These smudge-proof products do such a good job that it can be a pain in the back-side when it comes time to remove them. And really, when you want your makeup to come off, you just want it to be quick and easy.

I’ve always found dual phase removers to work best on removing waterproof makeup.
Note: A dual phase makeup remover is one with different layers of liquids (often an oil phase and a water phase) that you shake to mix and activate the liquid for use.

Today, I can add another dual phase product to my favourite list.

Clarins Instant Eye Make-up Remover 125ml 
Non-irritating and doesn't leave a sticky or oil residue on skin, this French gem from Clarins has been reformulated to contain  rose water, cornflower and camomile extract to soothe and calm skin, ensuring it doesn't irritate or after during use.

It even contains pro-vitamin B5 to gently condition lashes to help prevent them from being damage during mascara removal.

What you will notice from the first moment of use is the gentle floral rose scent which is instantly soothing to the sense and inviting on skin. It was non-irritating on my skin and even when I clumsily got some of the product into my eyes, I didn't experience any stinging sensation - woohoo!

I love the squirt nozzle to control and help with dispensing of the product. To use, I pour a bit of the shaken remover liquid onto a cotton pad and gently press it on my eyelids for 5 seconds before swiping across the lid. This usually sees 90% of my eye makeup lifted from my skin in 1 wipe and I would have some remaining mascara left on my lashes which I go over to wipe off in a couple more gentle strokes.

I also use this makeup remover to remove product from the rest of my face and it does the job with ease and in a cinch. I follow up my removal process with a good face wash using facial cleanser.

Another great thing about the product is its price – at $36 a bottle, it is much less than my favourite dual phase remover, Lancome Bi-facil (A$58). It may still be slightly more than other makeup removers but being so pleasant, gentle and effective to use, I'm willing to fork that bit extra and will be refilling with this Clarins makeup remover when I next run out.

What is your favourite makeup remover? I’d love to find out.

RRP A$36 at Clarins counters now at Myer, David Jones and selected pharmacies or online at AdoreBeauty.

This featured product was provided for consideration.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Almost a Hit: Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede Lipsticks

Lipstick technology have come a long way these days – you don’t have to spend a fortune or look too hard for one that not only gives good pigmentation but also comfortable wear. In fact, even drugstore brands are coming out with fantastic products.

The latest is from Revlon with their Colorstay Ultimate Suede lipstick (although in Australia, their pricing doesn't really sit in the drugstore price point like they do in the USA at only US$7.99!)

Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede lipstick
I was lucky enough to win 3 of these in a recent giveaway on Beautyswatch and will be swatching them for you today:

Revlons’ Description:
A one-step, ultra comfortable lipstick that provides all day colour, giving lips a velvety, suede finish that looks and feels good.

My View:
Packaged in plastic colour-coded bullets with clear lids, they twist up and down and you can hear clicks as you get to towards the base products to let you know you can stop the twisting.

These lipstick are indeed comfortable on the lips, being lightweight, you barely feel that you've applied a layer of product on skin, gliding smoothly on lips. I didn't feel that they were hydrating lips (it has Shea butter, aloe and vitamin E) but they were not drying and will accentuate chapped lips to remember to prep with a lip conditioner if you have dry lips.

Pigmentation is also very good, obviously not as colour-packed as those of high end products but a couple of swipes and full opaque colour can be achieved, even on my deeper lips (note: the shades I tried are darker shades, so the lighter shades may not show up as well on darker lips).

The formula has a satin (semi-matte) finish rather than the namesake suede finish and is tacky on lips. This is my one big gripe about the product. I love everything about it except the tackiness, which seems to get worse the longer you wear the product. I overcome this by slicking a non-sticky clear gloss on top, which changes the semi-matte finish but at least removes the sticky feeling and gives it added hydration.

Tip: Another way to reduce the tacky feeling is to apply a very thin layer of the product onto lips and use a lip brush to define the edges and fill in any gaps that didn't get colour with the product already on lips.

As for longevity, these easily last 4 hours straight without smudging or fading. It even fares well through eating, lose some pigment, but enough remains (at least on the richer shades anyway) that you still have colour on your lips. You usually would re-apply your lipstick after eating anyway to avoid the coloured-ring look (where there is no colour in the middle of lips) so lasting over 4 hours was more than enough for me.

095 Finale –  the little sister of siren screaming red shades, Finale is a rich fresh red that brightens the face and perfect for daytime wear as it’s not too dark but still packs a powerful colour punch.

005 Muse – a rich pink with a blue undertone that looks lovely on cool tone skin but equally alluring on warm skin tones.

075 Cruise Collection – a mid coral red shade on my medium lips. This is by far one of my favourite shades in lip colours and suites all skin tones, especially warmer skin colours

Overall, I quite like these new lipsticks from Revlon. I enjoy the light formula, good pigmentation and good colour selection. Except for the tacky feeling that gets worse over time, they could have almost been the perfect lipstick.

Have you tried this new lipstick? What are your thoughts?

RRP A$25.95 Available in 20 shades in pharmacies, Kmart, Myer, Priceline and Target

Monday, April 15, 2013

Products that relieve allergic itchy skin

Earlier this year, I broke out in hives. I have no idea what triggered it as I never had an allergic reaction before but for 6 weeks everyday, I would develop itchy rashes across my legs, arm and body (thankfully my face was spared).

These weren't your regular rashes either; they were scary itchy and painful mosquito like lumps that bandied together and formed a large raised patch on my body and sometimes my finger tips would be so itchy they swell up and become painful.

My GP prescribed me 1% cortisone cream and put me on antihistamine tablets to control the symptoms. The cortisoid cream only gave temporary relief (15 mins) and antihistamine tablets were the only thing that effectively stopped my rashes from forming until the drug wore off and I need to take the next dose.

However, I didn't want to be dependent on drugs and steroids (which is what the cortisone cream is) all the time and so started looking for alternatives to relieve the itch and pain. I found some in these amazing products to help deal with my on-going skin irritations.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse OR Multi-Purpose Dry Oil for Face, Body, Hair 50ml* – RRP $24.95 /A$29.95 (non-shimmer/ shimmer version) 
Dry oil did I hear you say? Yes, dry oil – which means it doesn't leave a sheen that normal oil products do on skin and there is not the slightest greasy feeling at all. In fact, my skin has a smooth velvety feel after the luxurious French oil is absorbed.

This luxurious French oil softens skin and relieves my itching bumps better than the cortisoid cream ever did - I kid you not. Although it also only gives temporary relief (about the same time of 15 minutes), it’s also adding moisturise back to by dry scaly skin and with its pretty gold shimmer particles, imparts a subtle golden flickering as well.

Made from over 95% natural ingredients including a blend of wonderful oils (macadamia, sweet almond, hazelnut, camellia seed, borage, olive, sunflower), rosemary extract and vitamin E, this dry oil is suitable for all skin types on the face, skin and hair (I haven’t tried this on my face yet, only on the neck and I’d only work this into the ends when using it on hair) but who would have thought a natural product fared so much better than a prescription drug – I have Yishan of BeautySwatch to thank for alerting me to try this for my hives.

Available at selected pharmacies and Adore Beauty online.
Ingredients listing for Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse OR

Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Body Wash 295ml* – RRP $19.99 
I’ve been avoiding all possible skin-irritants so I've been keen to stay away from soap and body washes containing SLS (sodium laureth sulphate) as it is a known skin irritant. I found this soap-free and fragrance-free body wash a soothing addition. With sunflower oil and vitamin E to soften and niacinamide to provide anti-inflamatory properties, it is designed to restore skin's natural barrier and protects it.
I found this body wash very gentle, easy to rinse and moisturised the body, keeping it soft and supple whilst not aggravating problem skin such as eczema and rashes has helped reduced my itching.

Available at pharmacies and Priceline nationally.
Ingredients listing for Cetaphil Restoraderm skin restoring body wash
Suvana Paw Paw and Honey Balm 25g – RRP $8.95 
This organic balm is very rich and leaves a greasy feeling on skin so I only use it on the problem skin areas (the actual rash bumps) and don’t work it into my entire body. It provides itch relief as well as soothes the bumps so they settle down faster.

This multi-tasker also works wonders on cracked lips, elbows and heels and also makes a kick-ass lip balm/conditioner that I apply at night for soft chap-free puckers in the morning. It is small enough to carry around everywhere making it handy to keep into the handbag.

Available at Chemists nationally and online
Ingredients listing for Suvana paw paw & honey balm

After 2 months, I no longer take any antihistamines to control my symptoms and rarely apply the cortisone cream – I still break out in rashes every few days but thankfully, they subside after an hour or so now and by using these alternative products daily and watching what I eat (alcohol and shellfish seem to bring out the rashes), I’ve managed to keep my conditions under check.

Do you suffer from any allergies – how do you keep it in check? What other products do you recommend?

Products marked * were provided for consideration. Other products were purchased by yours truly. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

2013 Prix de Marie Claire Beauty Awards Winners

It's fashion shows and awards time of the year again.
Into the 8th year this year, the 2013 Prix de Marie Claire Beauty Awards celebrates the past year's outstanding beauty products amid the myraid of new product launches. Today I'm sharing with you the winners of the Readers Choice Awards.

These have been rated by Marie Claire readers and classed between Splurge vs Steal for each category so that there is a product to meet every consumer budget. This year the awards go to 9 product and one beauty brand.

Best Fragrance – Chanel Coco Noir

Best Makeup Product (Splurge) – Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat

Best Makeup Product (Steal)  – Natio Pure Mineral Skin Perfecting BB Cream SPF 15

Best Skincare Product (Splurge)  – Jurlique Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Gel Mask

Best Skincare Product (Steal) – Bioré Combination Skin Balancing Cleanser

Best Haircare/styling Product (Splurge)– GHD Air Hairdryer

Best Haircare/styling Product (Steal) - TRESemmé Split Remedy Split End Sealing Serum

Best Body Product (Splurge) – Kora Organics Luxurious Rosehip Body Oil

Best Body Product (Steal) – Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Lotion

Best Australian Beauty Brand – Napoleon Perdis

Congratulations to all the winning brand and products.

I'm slightly embarrassed to say that I've only tried 3 of these winners (Coco Noir, Bioré skin balancing cleanser and Kora Rosehip body oil) - there are just too many products being launched for one to try them all.

It looks like I better get cracking on making more regular visits to the stores to acquaint my self with the other winners so I can find out first hand why these are voted the country's favourites.

Have you tried any of the winners? Do you agree with the votes?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Guest Review: I am King EDT

When it comes to men's products, it's always good to get a review from a male perspective since they are likely to tell it as it is - and in a language men would understand, which always helps.

So today, I have a guest post from a good friend of mine, A. King (or AK as we like to call him). He considers himself somewhat of a decent writer and connoisseur of fine food and spirits. His inaugural review is on a fragrance as it aptly has his namesake and was gifted to him by a beautiful lady.

Now without further ado, here is AK's take on the fragrance. 

I am King EDT by Sean John
A novice at all things creamy, oily and cosmetic, I nonetheless found myself drawn to try this offering. In my humblest opinion, I am King so an eau de toilette called ‘I am King’ seemed a natural addition to my life (yes, this is a joke).

Launched by Sean John (aka Puff Daddy/P. Diddy) back in 2008, the lifestyle and attitudes of the fragrance owner fortuitously also seem to match my own (at least in my dreams).

Sceptical from the videos and grand fluff on the fragrance’s official website, I pushed down the pump for the first time to find myself enjoying a soft fruity smell.

It's not quite the smell of fast cars and beautiful women as expected but pleasant nonetheless. Could I smell the aroma where I applied it several hours later? Indeed.

Was I enjoying a fruity aroma around my body the rest of the day? Not really - it sort of became a green woody scent in the final hours of wear.

Did it make me as attractive to women as P. Diddy? Sadly, it didn’t seem to but I guess that was one thing it never promised.

I do not see any benefit in this product for everyday use (who do I want to impress at work anyway?) but I do put it on for special occasions – weddings in particular and if there was a special someone I wanted to please, I'd be squirting more of this on me.

To be the King, you have to smell like the King right? This is worth a try for the man who has visions of grandeur - even better as a gift for the man from a beautiful lady.

I am King 50ml - RRP A$140 but available cheaper at Myer and online. Yes, I am King.

What do you think of having a guy give their opnion on men's beauty product? should AK's reviews become a regular feature on TIL?

If you are interested in being featured on TIL in a guest review - drop me a line on Facebook, email or twitter.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Review & FOTD: Rimmel BB Cream

During the 2nd half of 2012 - the beauty market exploded in the number of non-Asian BB cream launches (the non-Asian version prefer the abbreviation BB to be known as Beauty Balm creams whilst Asian varieties are known as Blemish Balm creams).

Being a popular staple in the Asian markets over the past 10 years, it's little wonder that the BB cream mania been as wildly embraced once released in the non-Asian market. Today, you definitely need your own version of a BB cream if you want to be taken seriously as a makeup company (Clinique, Dior, Estee Lauder, MAC, Garnier, Natio and L'Oreal are all on-board!).

So what makes a product a BB Cream as opposed to being just a tinted moisturiser? Well they have the following properties.
  • is a all-in-one primer, concealer and medium coverage foundation product to provide a natural and flaw finish to skin
  • has a gel-like texture and have a dry to touch finish. 
  • is a moisturiser and has additional skincare benefits depending on variety (whitening, healing, anti-ageing)
  • has UV protection often means you don't need a separate sun block 
But even though there are skincare benefits in BB creams they are not to the same level as targeted skincare products so I would still apply my serums and skincar  as they are more effective in addressing the my specific concerns.

Till recently, my interactions with BB creams have only been the Asian varieties, so I was excited to get introduced to the western versions with my first one being none other than the Rimmel London BB cream.

Rimmel Londom BB Cream - 30ml 

Boasting 9 benefits claims:
  • Skincare benefits: 1 -prime, 2 - moisturise, 3 - minimise appearance of pores and 4 -helps protect against environmental damage;
  • Makeup benefits: 5 - conceals, 6 - covers, 7 - smoothes, 8 - mattifies, 9 - brightens 
Available in 3 different shade, this BB cream caters to a wider varieties of skin tones. This is a plus as alot Asian BB creams only come in 1 shade. The light, and medium version are neutral tone and both suits me (summer and winter shade) and when blended out gives a very decent colour match.
Rimmel BB cream on NC30 skin, natural light

Being SPF 25, it gives decent sun protection so that you don't need a separate sunscreen if you are only going to be in incidental sun for a short period of time (which is adequate for those of us who doesn't get outdoors much during the day).

There is a light citrusy floral scent that is not over bearing and in fact quite pleasant. It definitely has a rich gel-like texture but is very easy to blend on skin to give a velvetly smooth finish.

For those with normal/oily skin, this BB cream would also provide adequate hydration on its own but if you have dry skin, I'd defintely layer a separate moisturiser rather than solely rely on this for hydration.

The claims of being a primer is substantiated as it does a good job of evening out the skin and mattifying it for a 4 hours (after that, my oily skin just shines through).

As a concealer, it provides medium coverage so that discolourations, redness and marks are all evened out but any large blemishes will need stronger coverage as this won't cover them as well. It also gives a radiant natural finish that looks like you've applied a soft-focus lens over your face so it temporarily brightens skin as well.

As for minimising appearance of pores, I found that my pores looked the same but it didn't accentuate it so this was a moot claim for me.

Rimmel has put out a great BB cream as has pulled off 8 of the 9 claims - a pretty good result and I'd happily incorporate this BB cream into my everyday makeup repertory.

Skintone is even and complexion brightened with Rimmel BB cream
In fact, I do so most work day or casual weekend when I'm after a natural finish that covers my uneven skin tone, dark circles and what not but don't have me looking too cakey or heavily made-up. I normally would apply a translucent powder on top to set the product and a little blush, lippy and minimal eye product and I'm ready and out the door. This is an example of my not too made up look I sport on weekends.

Fresh look FOTD with Rimmel BB Cream. Full product lists used are
  • Rimmel BB cream in M111vb11edium
  • Face of Australia Translucent loose powder
  • Bobbi Brown Blush in Apricot
  • YSL Glossy Stain in #14 
  • Kiss Me Heroine make smooth liquid eyeliner 
  • Lancome Hynose Star mascara
  • Daiso Dark brown brow pencil 

Rimmel BB cream RRP A$1295 at Kmart, Target, Big W, Priceline and David Jones stores as well as Woolworths and selected pharmacies nationally.

This BB cream was provided for consideration. Other products featured were purchased by me.