Wet n Wild Photo Focus Foundation Review – worth the hype?

Maybe it’s just me as this foundation is raved by so many people online but I have mixed feelings about the new Wet n Wild photo focus foundation. Yes it’s a good quality foundation that is extremely affordable (only $6), but it’s by no means my favorite foundation and I will not be reaching for it on days that I need reliable coverage. Below you can find my detailed review.

P.S. I try to post mini product reviews on Instagram and here is my Instagram ID: skincarejunkie_03 

My skin condition: Combination (oily around t-zone, dry on the rest of the face in winter). I have some acne scars and struggle with pores around the t zone.

What I like about it:

  • Light weight. It doesn’t feel heavy at all and is very easy to blend out with a beauty blender or any sponge. I haven’t tried it with a brush yet but I heard it also works well with a brush.
  • It has a pretty finish between matte and dewy when you first apply it and the look lasts about 4 hours on me before I have to touch up with blotting paper.

What I don’t like about it:

  • If you have pores, acne scars or skin texture issues, this will not cover these imperfection with 1-2 layers. It does not have high coverage and it no longer gives a pretty finish if you layer it up too much. This is not a big concern as I can always pair it with concealers but just thought you might want to know about its coverage level.
  • It is not long lasting on my combination skin. My cheeks still look very good at the end of the day but my t zone looks shiny and oily after 4-5 hours and I did try several powders with it (high-end and drugstore) but none really helped. I can stand the shine as I keep blotting papers around but the main issue is that the foundation enlarges my pores around my T-zone when the oil comes through, which is not flattering at all, and is something I haven’t experienced in a long time.

I think it could be a great foundation for normal skin with few flaws but people with that skin condition can probably pull off any kind of foundation, no? It’s a good foundation but I will only be reaching for it on days that I only need to wear makeup for less than 4 hours.

Have you tried out this foundation? What do you think?


2017 drugstore blush declutter 

I purchased all three in 2016. While the colors look beautiful on their own, they are not the best choices for my skin tone or the looks I usually go for so I’m decluttering these three blushes:

  • Milani baked blush in Luminoso: really natural, apricot type of coral shade with shimmer. It is pigmented, smooth, lasts on my face for 10 hours, and is indeed a gem among drugstore blushes. I just hate having something lying around without being used.
  • Wet n’ wild Color Icon blush in Pearlescent. It’s  a dupe for Nars orgasm. It also has shimmer so you almost don’t need to use a highlighter when wearing this. Because of its insane pigmentation, it is not as natural as the Milani blush. It stays on for 7-8 hours. Similar to most Nars blushes, intense colors don’t work for my taste.
  • Canmake cream blush in No.7. It’s a Japanese drugstore brand. It also has amazing pigmentation and lasting power. It has a unique color between baby pink and peach, and adds glow to your face. I will keep it for another month and declutter it if I don’t get to it.

I have 5 blushes left after decluttering and I hope to keep the total under 6 in 2017. If I get a new one, I will let go of 1. I honestly only rotate between 3-4 at most and too many choices just adds unnecessary stress. The fewer small decisions you make throughout any given day, the more will power and energy you have to tackle bigger challenges at work and in life.

Thanks for stopping by!

Target one-day only site-wide beauty discount with recommendations (25% off)

This doesn’t happen often and it’s one-day only. Enter code “Beauty” now and you can get 25% off of all beauty purchases at Target.com, including skincare, makeup, hair, body, etc, without brand exclusions. Target beauty product prices are usually lower than those at CVS /Walgreens and even Ulta, so 25% off is a good deal if you wanted to try out some drugstore beauty products.

I like high-end skincare and drugstore makeup products so my recommendations only involve makeup products and they’re a lot of people’s favorites.

You can also check out more products with great reviews that are considered as dupes for high-end products in my wrap-up post here: Drugstore dupes for high-end makeup products




Drugstore makeup gem series – wet n wild comfort zone eyeshadow palette 

The wet n wild comfort zone eyeshadow palette is by no means new. It’s been around for quite a while by now and was probably the most affordable eyeshadow palette that got raved by so many serious beauty bloggers. However, just because it’s no longer new and exciting doesn’t mean it’s not good.

  • It’s highly pigmented, has beautiful and unique color selection and is not overly powdery.
  • There is instruction on how each color should be applied, so no one is going to fail!
  • It costs less than $5.

Finally, a picture is worth a thousand words. There is hardly any reason that you still don’t have it in your collection 😛

Here is the swatch:

Here is my previous drugstore makeup series post: Physicians Formula shimmer strip palette

Drugstore makeup gem series: Physicians Formula shimmer strip palette 

I wanted to start a series on my blog dedicated to drugstore makeup gems and the first one I wanted to feature is something pretty 🙂 I fell in love with it when I was swatching it and enjoy using it from time to time. It is the Physicians Formula shimmer strip palette. It is a multi-purpose palette that can be used as a highlighter for both the face & eyes. A few pink and golden shades also can used as lid colors.

This palette stands out in 3 aspects:

  • Packaging: Cute! Just look at the little pink bow. I really adore it. Now it’s still paper packaging so don’t compare it to those $40+ high-end packaging, which is not fair. It’s steady enough to last 1-2 years and it’s light weight. The one thing I don’t like about the packaging is that it’s still a bit bulky for the amount of products in it. I don’t need the mirror on the back or the 2 poor quality brushes although they did put thought into fitting everything in a small space. I’d rather have a sleek case instead without the mirror or brushes. And I found this to be the case for a lot of Physicians Formula products. They have a thing for these added-on accessories. Maybe some people use these?


  • Formula: The first time I swatched the powders, I used the brush that came in the palette and was a bit disappointed because it appeared to be powdery. However, when I swatched it again with my fingers, it was day-and-night difference. The shades are soft, creamy, even buttery when you apply with your fingers. So I really don’t recommend using the brushes that came with the palette.
  • Color & Pigmentation: as you can see from the swatches, the shimmery colors really grab the light and they look so beautiful. The colors are also customizable with all these different shade options in similar color families. If you want something a bit different and unique, you can combine two colors to create your own pinky-golden-champagne combination shade. I did that in my swatches too. One thing I did notice is that the texture of the shades is not as fine-milled as my favorite baked highlighter from Laura Mercier. I think they still look very pretty on the cheeks but I probably wouldn’t use them as often for my eye looks.

Overall rating: 8.5/10

I consider this a must-have on my Drugstore Gem list and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for an affordable highlighter. Thanks for stopping by!

E.l.f. illuminating palette & prism eyeshadow pallete sunset Review & Swatches

The 2 palettes that I am reviewing today are the e.l.f. illuminating palette ($6) and the prism eyeshadow palette Sunset ($10). These are my first e.l.f. palettes and I wanted to share with you my thoughts, hoping they will help you decide whether you might want to give them a try.

Packaging-wise, they are pretty sleek as you can see from the photo below. I’m not sure whether they are durable yet as the biggest problem with drugstore cosmetics is that they tend to break apart more easily due to more flimsy cases. When new, they do look and feel nice. Although I don’t usually use the mirrors in a palette, it’s nice for them to include one.


L: Illuminating Palette R: Prism Eyeshadow Palette


Now when it comes to the actual products, here are some pros & cons of each palette. First, with the illuminating palette, here is how the palette looks like just after one use:

FullSizeRender (8).jpg

I think you can probably tell from the picture above that this palette is extremely powdery. I can actually see powders falling off my face when I was using a fluffy brush to tap it on my face, which looks kind of funny 🙂 That’s probably the biggest con of this palette and is the reason why people don’t like it. Here are the swatches of the 4 shades clockwise on my arm.


Shades clockwise in the palette are swatched from left to right 

My arm has been tanned in the summer so the 3rd nudeish shade is not showing up on my skin. The first shade which looks like banana powder in the pan ends up looking pearly white, and it definitely does a great job of brightening my face when I used it in my undereye area but you can’t use it if you don’t have smooth skin texture as it will emphasize the uneveness on your skin. The 2nd shade which looks light pink in the pan looks nice as it’s subtle but still adds illumination to the skin. The 4th darkest shade in the pan actually looks nice as a illuminating bronzer or blush topper on my skin – you can see more clearly in the photo below – it’s the one on the far left.

FullSizeRender (2).jpg

Left: Darkest shade in the pan

I also tried swirling all 4 powders and applying it all over my face and it definitely does a good job of adding a layer of sheen to your look. I had to be careful to not overdose on the banana powder shade as it shows up on my skin (fair skin with neutral to yellow undertone) pretty obviously. One nice thing about this palette is that the powders look finely milled when they are on your face despite how powdery they feel when you tap your brush in. As its name suggests, it illuminates your face instead of acting as beaming highlights although I can use the first banana shade as a highlight for my skin tone. If you are looking for a powder that doesn’t give you a matte, flat finish, try this out. I think it’s worth the $6 price tag.

Now when it comes to the eyeshadow palette, it definitely beat my expectation as I didn’t hope much for a $10 palette and its pigmentation and shimmery looks leave me awed. Here are the swatches:


e.l.f. prism eyeshadow palette sunset


All 6 shades are shimmery shades so you do need another 1 or 2 matte shades to complete a look. They look even more beautiful on my eyes when I try them out with a primer and last 7-8 hours. In the pan itself the golden shade stands out but when I swatch them I like the 3rd pink-champagne shade the most as it has a coral and gold tone to it, which looks very flattering with brown eyes. I also like how the overall blended look shows up on my eyes as it gives me a very soft look, which is hard to imagine given how shimmery they look in the pan. I think it’s mostly because these shades don’t have glitter in them and the colors complement each other nicely so none stands out too much. I like a softer look so if you are looking for a bold statement look, this might not be a good choice for you.

Hope this might be helpful to you and thanks for stopping by 🙂


August empties and favorites part 1 – feat. Caudalie, RMS beauty, Klorane, Milani

I’m not ready for the summer to end yet it is almost the end of August and I can’t believe we only have 4 months left in 2016.

In August, I’ve gathered quite a few empties and I wanted to share a few with you guys here with my review.

  • The Caudalie foaming cleanser is one of my favorite cleansers. It is quite mild so I use it in the morning. It has good cleansing power yet it doesn’t dry out my face. The pump is the best I’ve used as it produces a lot of fluffy foam and I was able to use up literally every drop in the bottle with this pump. 

Rating: 9/10 for AM cleanser 

Will repurchase? Yes

  • I’m back to use the Klorane dry shampoo despite its overwhelming smell that I didn’t like. I tried out the Amika dry shampoo earlier and was impressed by its heavenly smell as compared with most dry shampoos on the market but it doesn’t improve the texture and appearance of your hair as the Klorane does. So I guess you have to accept a tradeoff between results and smell when it comes to dry shampoo.
  • I didn’t like the Estee Lauder cleanser as it dries out my face and I had to get rid of the Essie nail polish as it’s over a year old and darker nail polish shades don’t look good on me.

  • The RMS beauty UN powder is okay. I bought it after seeing how Kathleen Lights raved about it, saying how it blurs out all the imperfections on her face and makes her skin look so beautiful and flawless. I guess it’s just her skin and this powder doesn’t really stand out.

Rating: 7/10 (given that there are so many cheaper powder out there that does the job)

Will repurchase? No

  • Milano blush in the shade Luminoso

I love the color so much! It’s sitting between red and coral and it makes me look younger on my fair skin with yellow undertone. It’s very pigmented so you’d want to be careful and tap off the excess powder on your brush if you are looking for a more natural look. But it’s not as intense as the Wet n’Wild one so it can be worn on an everyday basis.It lasts about 7 hours on my face with setting spray. 

Rating: 8/1 0 (it had become  my favorite drugstore blush now)

Will repurchase? Yes.

Hope you find it helpful and thanks for stopping by:)