Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog: June 2015

24 June, 2015

R. ASKS | A picture may be worth a thousand words, but....

Happy Wednesday, everybody! Hope you're all fine and dandy. I haven't been sleeping well, so excuse me if this post doesn't zzzzzzzzzzzz.

This week's question is about blogs, and was inspired by a conversation I was having with somebody about blogging. Go figure.

Which matters more to you on blogs: Good writing or good photography and design?

Please don't say "it depends"—there's obviously a greater need for nice photos on a beauty blog than on a blog about self-publishing e-books, for example. Think about the blogs you really, really, really love: Do they excel more at the written word or at taking gorgeous as f**k pictures? Is it possible to be equally good at both?

I find myself seeking out interesting writing over photography most of the time. Not that I don't appreciate beautiful imagery, but beautiful imagery without a story or compelling information to accompany it just doesn't intrigue me as much. That said, I really, really, really appreciate bloggers who try to provide both. But I will read blogs without pictures. (Remember when that's all there was? Yeah.) It's a bit different with beauty blogs because visual appeal is a big part of the whole beauty thing, but a really vivid description is more likely to make me run out and buy something than a nice photo. Talk of scents and textures, scintillating recollections of how the blogger used the product, personal anecdotes that I can relate to (or at least react to). But that's just me.

There's no wrong answer here—if you value amazing photos more than amazing writing, let me know in the comments! I'm curious about what other people think.

Introducing Mishibox, a new Korean beauty box

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I don't know if you've noticed, but Korean beauty products have become really, really popular lately. This is great news for folks like me who have been using this stuff for years—at long last, some of our favorite products are available for purchase without weeks of waiting time! (International shipping is slow, yo.) But one thing I've really been missing is a good subscription K-beauty box. There are several non-subscription options out there (I'm sure I don't need to name names), but companies that will send you good boxes of surprise stuff each month. And not just samples—a mixture of samples and full-sizes. Luckily, new subscription box service Mishibox offers just that—and they ship from right here in the USA! They were kind enough to send me their first box for review, so let's take a look and see if it fills that K-shaped hole in my heart.

Mishibox June 2015 review and unboxing

23 June, 2015

7 Oil Cleansers You Can Find at the Drugstore

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There's a new(ish) trend happening in American skincare, and I like it: Well-known budget brands are adding cleansing oils to their existing product lineups. This may not sound like much of a big deal to my readers in Asia, but up until recently, domestic brands had been very lacking in the cleansing oil department. ("Lacking" as in pretty much nonexistent.) A lot of mainstream drugstore brands have finally started to take the cleansing oil plunge though, so today I thought I'd share all the ones I've discovered so far!

Unboxing | Walmart Beauty Box Summer 2015

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For the second time in a row, the Walmart Beauty Box managed to show up on my doorstep without any warning. A quick search of my e-mail reveals that they did in fact send me tracking info, but it came from "auto-notify" with the subject line "Unregistered Demo". Who knows how I managed to overlook that. Anyway, it's here now—want to see what's in it?

Walmart Beauty Box Summer 2015 review unboxing WMS T1

22 June, 2015

Butter London Ladybird/Shine Out Loud (Review & GIVEAWAY!)

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I'm sure most of you reading are familiar with Butter London's nail lacquers, but did you know that they also now make a variety of other color cosmetics? I've been seeing a lot of bold, graphic eye looks lately, so it stands to reason that Butter London would be on board with products to help achieve that look. Add to that classic red nails and lips but amped up with extra shine, and you've got Butter London's Shine Out Loud collection!

Today I'll be looking at a few of their non-nail polish cosmetics, and even better, I've got extras of all the products in this review to give away to one lucky reader! Keep reading for details.

Review | Kicho Sheep Oil Cream

Press Sample

This review originally appeared on HelloPrettyBird.com.

This may sound weird to some of you, but I'm sure all of the true skincare addicts out there can relate: I can't commit to just one cream. It's not because I'm fickle (well, not just because of that anyway)—my skin feels drier on some days than it does on others. You can blame seasons, hormones, or phases of the moon, but regardless of the reason, drier skin days call for richer creams. Today I'll be taking a look at a cream that fits the "help, my face is going to crack into a million pieces if I don't smear some serious s**t on it" bill nicely—Kicho Sheep Oil Cream.

Review of Kicho Cosmetics Sheep Oil Cream with lanolin and 8 berry complex.

18 June, 2015

Review & Swatches | Shiro Cosmetics Battle of the Boy Bands: Tearin’ Up My Heart (NSYNC-inspired collection)

Bought It

Have you ever thought to yourself "Man, I really wish I could rub some Justin Timberlake all over my mouth right now?" Well, now's your chance! Today I'll be taking a look at Shiro Cosmetics' Battle of the Boy Bands: Tearin’ Up My Heart indie makeup collection, which unless I'm hallucinating, seems to be inspired by the members of NSYNC. You're welcome?

Shiro Cosmetics Battle of the Boy Bands: Tearin’ Up My Heart (NSYNC-inspired collection)

17 June, 2015

R. Do you still follow a beauty routine when you're ill?

Happy Wednesday, everybody! Hope you're all fine and dandy.

art via

This week's question was inspired by the er... not-so-glamorous start I had to my week. I'll spare you most of the gruesome details, but let's just say that Aunt Flo and some sort of stomach bug decided to visit me at the same time—and this was not a hospitable mix of guests. I spent a fair bit of time lying in bed on Monday and Tuesday trying to pretend that I wasn't having excruciating stomach and abdominal cramps at the same time, which I guess sort of worked, because I feel mostly fine now. Anyway, I found myself feeling (a) bored and (b) in need of a little pick-me-up, so I started having a little at-home pamper session... easy stuff like foot masks, sheet masks, a bit of makeup even though the rest of me felt like crispy fried death. Which got me wondering...

Do you stick to your usual beauty routine while you're ill? Are you more likely to shorten your routine or pamper yourself extra when you're laid up?

I will say this: If I had bronchitis or something like that instead of stomach flu, I probably wouldn't have been sheet masking. Focusing on trying to breathe takes up a lot of energy, so I'm not sure how often I'd even wash my face during that type of illness. But for a stomach bug... taking a few minutes to put on a mask was a welcome distraction, and made me look less disheveled than I was feeling, which I guess made me feel slightly better in a way? Mentally, anyway. I still had to make a couple of mid-mask trips to the bathroom. (Whoops, guess this post turned out to be TMI after all.)

How about you?

16 June, 2015

Etude House Precious Mineral Any Cushion vs. Pearl Aura Any Cushion: A review and comparison

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Cushion foundations are hardly a new thing in the K-beauty world, but to be honest, it took me a while to warm up to the trend. They generally contain less product per volume than traditional foundations/BB creams in tubes or bottles, so at first I was like "Why?" But once I realized how wonderfully portable they were, I was fully on board, and lately I've been in "Try All The Cushions!" mode (including some old, some new, and some DIY). Today I'll be comparing two affordable cushions, one old formula and one brand new: Etude House's Precious Mineral Any Cushion and Precious Mineral Any Cushion Pearl Aura.

Review, swatches and comparison of Etude House Precious Mineral Any Cushion in W13/Natural Beige and Etude House Precious Mineral Pearl Aura Any Cushion in Natural Aura

11 June, 2015

10 Tips For Taking Better Product Photographs With Your Phone


One of the biggest challenges I faced when I started blogging about beauty was how to take decent product photos. In the beginning, I had zero photography skills and nothing but a cell phone camera and ancient point-and-shoot to aid me along. If you look at some of my early posts, the photos are... well... bad. I may not be an expert photographer or anything now, but I've come a long, long way since then.

These days I'm lucky enough to have a DSLR camera, but there are still times when I reach for my phone instead. Let's face it, DSLRs are kind of heavy, and therefore not ideal for throwing in your bag when you travel or when you want to take 800 selfies. And truth is, while having a full-featured camera is nice, you don't have to have one to take nice pictures for your blog. Today I'll be sharing a few tips for taking better product photos with your phone—most of them are easy and can be done with stuff you already have around the house!

09 June, 2015

Review | Pure Heals Propolis 80 Cream

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Today I have another entry in the "Propolis Mania" diaries to share with you! Korea-based e-tailer ibuybeauti let me pick some stuff from their site to review a couple of months ago, and I selected PureHeals Propolis 80 Cream on a whim. I was really embracing honey as a skincare ingredient at the time, so I guess propolis felt like a natural extension of that? In any case, I've gone a bit wild sampling different propolis products (including PureHeals' propolis ampoule), and this cream is in serious competition with the LJH propolis ampoule for being my favorite. (I should probably review that too someday, eh?)

08 June, 2015

Scents of summer: A wee Darling Clandestine fragrance haul (and first impressions)

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I've got a little Darling Clandestine haul to share, y'all! Normally I prefer to test things out for a looooooong time and write individual reviews, but most of the items in today's haul are seasonal, so I wanted to write about them while some of them are actually still available for purchase. Wild, I know.

Darling Clandestine Etsy haul

Editorial note: There were actually three pieces of candy thrown in as a gift with my order, but I ate two of them before I managed to snap a picture. Whoops.

03 June, 2015

Guess what? I'm a Pink Bird! (A look inside the May 2015 Etude House Pink Bird box)

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Psst, guess what? I have some fun news to share: I'm now a part of Etude House's Pink Bird program! I got my very first Pink Bird box a couple of weeks ago, so I've had a bit of time to test all the goodies and I'm excited to share.

May 2015 Etude House Pink Bird box

What's a Pink Bird Box, you might be wondering? It's a special bundle of new and classic products that K-beauty brand Etude House sends out to select bloggers and vloggers each month for review. Unfortunately you can't buy or subscribe to these boxes, though it would be really cool if you could... hint hint, Etude House. :) In any case, it means that I'll be able to share reviews of more Etude House products with you in the coming months—yay!

01 June, 2015

Review | Mizon Correct Combo Pink Radiance CC Cream

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This may or may not surprise you, but about 50% of my beauty-related internet browsing has to do with foundations, BB creams, and CC creams. For whatever reason I have a really hard time finding base makeup that both matches my skintone and has an appealing texture... but I haven't given up yet! When I see something that's affordable and looks like it might be a winner, I try it. Today I'll be taking a look at Mizon Correct Combo Pink Radiance CC Cream—not a brand new product, but I haven't seen too many reviews of it in English, so I figured I'd give it a shot.

Mizon Correct Combo Pink Radiance CC Cream review 미즈온 코렉트 콤보 래디언스 CC 크림