the girl

Zara / '95 / Indonesia


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Thursday, June 16, 2016, 11:33 PM

Cushion foundation is a tricky thing, at least for me--the majority of those available in the market do not suit my skin tone (why! are they! so pink!!!) and when they do, they give somewhere between a dewy and a super dewy finish which isn't the slightest bit flattering on my already oily skin. Which is why for the last few months I thought I would never think of picking any other cushion foundation aside from my trusted Laneige one but an impromptu visit to The Face Shop counter one day proved me otherwise.

As evicted by the name, The Face Shop Oil Control Water Cushion claims to have oil control properties. This alone should have been enough to sold me into it, but what actually intrigued me is the fact that this cushion comes in warmer shades compared to other cushions I have tried. I got it in V205 which is the second darkest shade available.

The packaging is your default cushion packaging, a plastic compact with a huge built-in mirror (I live for cushion mirrors!), a tray for the air sponge, and the cushion underneath. The size is also similar if not the same as all other cushions. The casing feels heavier and more luxurious compared to my Laneige Snow BB Soothing Cushion case, with metal accents and glass-like cover unlike Laneige's plasticky all over casing. The refill for this cushion can fit into Laneige’s casing. However, the Laneige refill cannot fit into The Face Shop’s casing.

Laneige cushion in 31 (left) and The Face Shop cushion in V205 (right)

The Face Shop cushion in V205 (left) and Laneige cushion in 31 (right)

This cushion looks a teeny bit orange when swatched but it is in fact a good match for my ruddy skin without going ashy. Next to my Laneige cushion, you can see the product is more viscous and dry. When blended, you can see it's less dewy and gives more coverage. It starts off slightly shiny but give it some time and it will settle into a matte, slightly powdery finish. This cushion also has a slightly thicker texture than a typical cushion which is more prone to cakeyness although correspondingly, it also has much greater coverage. One layer of this cushion is sufficient to cover redness and even out my skin tone, and two layers cover up dark spots just enough without the need of a separate concealer. I'd say this feels more like a traditional foundation in terms of finish and coverage but with the ease of a cushion compact.

This is how it looks after around 5 hours of wear. To give it a proper test, I'm going sans primer, concealer, and setting powder. The oil control claim doesn't really live up to its name considering that I started to get oily after like 4 hours although still offering that medium-full coverage and little to no oxidizing. But there's nothing blotting paper can't fix! I tried this cushion another time with The Body Shop Instablur primer underneath and much preferred how the cushion sat on my skin this time--it seemed to soak up any excess oil on my face so that by the end of the day, I still look at least semi-matte.

Overall, if you're looking for a medium coverage cushion foundation with a warm undertone that doesn't leave you looking gray or ashy, this one's for you. In terms of oil control, this product isn't all that great unless you back it up with a good mattifying primer and perhaps a swipe of setting powder.

Tip: Work quickly especially if you plan to apply second layer to avoid piling up and looking cakey!

Have you tried any The Face Shop cushion?

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Thursday, June 9, 2016, 12:17 AM

skincare routine

If there's one thing I know about skincare is that it's one tricky fucker. There are so many products available in the market--how do I know ones that are right for me? What's a toner? Do I need a sunscreen? It works for you, why doesn't it work for me? Am I purging or simply breaking out? Where do I even start with god knows how many steps there are in a routine?

Unfortunately, I am no Magic 8-Ball (even though it would be fun if I was considering all the responses I would give to repetitive beauty-related questions I get on a daily basis on and I am not here to answer those questions for you. However, I am here to share my current skincare routine--my very basic, stripped-down, bare-boned take on the infamous Asian skincare routine that can go up to 13 steps (or like 106 steps if you use 93 sheet masks inbetween). Here are a handful of my current favorites I reach for; one-and-done, lazy-girl skincare products that are quick and easy to use. Again, remember that skincare is never one-size-fits-all and what does wonders on me may not work for you at all. For reference, I have combination to oily acne-prone skin and live in a rather hot and humid climate (by rather I mean THIS PLACE IS A HELLHOLE ARE YOU KIDDING ME).

Biore Make Up Remover Cleansing Oil | This goes on first in my double cleansing routine to remove makeup and whatever dirt and grime came across my face during the day. That being said, I only double cleanse at night or after every time I wear makeup. It does sound counterintuitive to add more oil to an already oily skin, but contrary to popular beliefs you CAN use a cleansing oil when you have oily skin. In fact, it helps to "melt" down the oil that has hardened with impurities and found itself stuck in your pores since oil dissolves oil, like dissolves like. Basic chemistry, you guys.

Hada Labo Shirojyun Ultimate Whitening Face Wash | To remove remaining traces of makeup and oil left from oil cleansing, this is my go-to face wash. It has a quite balanced pH of 5.5 if I remember correctly, and it definitely isn't drying and leaving my skin squeaky clean in a bad way. It also doesn't include colorant or fragrance, which explains why it smells faintly of 2 week-old milk you left in the fridge.
COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid | Man, I love acids (sounds scary, but it’s not). I wish I could take pics of it and save it in my phone to show it off the way people do with pictures of their children and pets. After double cleansing, I apply two pumps of the liquid on a cotton pad and gently pat it all over my face. It contains a no-bullshit list of ingredients; including willow bark water which is a natural source of BHAs, which have anti-inflammatory as well as exfoliant properties to exfoliate and brighten skin. It's incredibly gentle, I use mine once every two days without the tiniest hint of irritation. One side note: this smells like baby puke.

Hada Labo Shirojyun Arbutin Lotion | Unlike their Western counterpart, Asian toners are often more viscous and don't feel quite as runny as water. They're supposed to be applied by patting it all over your face with your hands instead of swiping it on with a cotton pad. With this Hada Labo toner, you only need 2 to 3 drops to cover your whole face. It contains High Purity Arbutin which is basically bearberry extracts that's supposed to reduce spots and discoloration and Hyaluronic Acid as a moisturizing agent. This product always leaves my skin super soft and smooth and has definitely improved my skin texture as well as increased hydration. As with any Hada Labo product, this toner doesn't have any colorant or fragrance. They're basically the normies of skincare.
Hada Labo Shirojyun Arbutin Milk | To be honest, I put off using this product for a very long time for one reason and one reason only: in terms of color and texture and smell, it is uncanny to that of white glue. That was a dick move, considering that this is a powerful moisturizer that works wonders paired up with the lotion. One drop should suffice for your entire face, any more and it risks breaking out.
Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence | I would rather die and battle the underworld and come back to life and do it all over again than having to go out in broad daylight without a layer of this. And that was an understatement. A dedicated SPF 50 sunscreen is pretty much a basic necessity especially in a sunny place where I live, and this sunscreen is such a favorite of mine that I could spend longer than I'm sure most would want to hear gushing about it. It is a very light, slippy lotion with a cool and watery feel and a hint of sharp citrus fragrance and alcohol smell, both of which fade quickly. It is fantastically lightweight and easily absorbed, which makes it perfect for daily use under makeup.

Have you tried any of these products in your routine? Let me know your skincare faves!

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 9:42 PM

Did you know that I'm sort of a mind reader?

I can tell that as you're reading this you wonder, "Yet another beauty blog? Zara you tried blogging every year but you NEVER managed to make it past the second month" or "Don't you have other things to do like, I don't know, finishing other things that you started?" or you're probably already making bets with your friends on how long I will continue to write here. I KNOW IT.

But then again, there's also a huge chance that you stumbled here by accident and you have no idea who I am and why people are lowkey annoyed by my internet presence (or lack of it).

My name is Zara and I'm a 21 years old girl living in Surabaya, Indonesia. I wear a lot of black and drink heart-attack-inducing amount of coffee and believe in girl power and always looking fancy. I love makeup and the transformative power that comes with it, impractical shoes, and really long nails that can double as weapons. I also clearly have too much free time.

I created this blog to keep track of what inspires me at the moment, my makeup inspirations, things I'm currently obsessed with, and probably several other things. This blog is probably, primarily be beauty based, it's what I love, but I tend to drift into curiosity towards all sorts of things so whatever, we'll see how it goes.

Get mischievous!

Email me at skeletale [at]

Ask me anything!

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