What happened to September/fall??? I totally missed updating this blog... Anyway, this haul happened months ago like when the weather was still stinking hot & humid. This past summer was very hot & humid to say the least, and now we're starting to shiver a bit. Winter is coming :^)

I was originally gonna post a haul post, exclusive to Sephora, albeit it's a tiny-teeny haul, but time has allowed me to use & test the hauled products, so I'll write reviews on them as well.

First up is the highly anticipated Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30. I'm always on the hunt for a fav sunscreen (still haven't found one that I love). Drunk Elephant, as a brand, sounds like a sensitive-skin haven; they really aim to reduce irritation & help heal sensitized skin. Drunk Elephant skin care products are formulated in the most soothing way possible as such. As a sensitive skin person, I felt like Drunk Elephant's sunscreen would be a dream-come-true sunscreen formula. At the beginning of the use, I just liked it. The formula is quite heavy for my taste, and it didn't quite sit well on my skin, never fully absorbed. I had a hard time trying to work this out. After many trials, the best method to apply this sunscreen for me was to glide it on in different sections of my face. Does it sound a lot for sunscreen application? Yes, it certainly is. It's a bit annoying, but I just couldn't give up trying this sunscreen because of the ingredients. 20% zinc oxide! I've never heard of such thing. Considering such high percentage of the active ingredient (compared to 5-10% in usual mineral sunscreens) I think Drunk Elephant's Umbra managed to pull off really well, without being too noticeable or giving much of a white-cast (on my skin). It does contain mica (shimmery particles) to disguise mattifying property of zinc oxide, but I found it too chunky & it does show in certain lights.

When I first started using it, which was in summer, I didn't have problem with it being too drying even though it contains 20% zinc oxide. However, as soon as fall weather hit, I found my skin parched & really dry as the day progressed. I ended up buying a heavy-duty moisturizer to layer underneath the sunscreen. Even with the moisturizer layered, I find it inappropriate for winter... It still gives me flaky skin because it's so mattifying. What baffles me the most is that Umbra is formulated with moisturizing ingredients like oils, but I find that it's not enough. Actually, during the application, I find the formula a bit too sticky & heavy, and it doesn't quite dry down... After midday, my skin is totally dried up.

I don't think that I'll be purchasing it again. I must find a new sunscreen to try... Any recommendations?? (I can only tolerate physical/mineral sunscreens.)

Below is the swatch for Umbra.

Next is Sephora's own Pro Full Coverage Airbrush #53. I first discovered this foundation brush from Sabrina from The Beauty Look Book's post on Next Level Foundation Makeup Brushes. I always look for better, faster, flawless application of foundation/concealer. So when I was placing an order for the sunscreen, I decided to add brushes (of course I would, a brush fanatic me) to save some shipping fee. Win win.

I've had some time to play with this brush, and I must say, Sabrina's absolutely right when it comes to fast application for the entire face. This brush is fairly substantial, probably the biggest foundation brush I own (and my face is quite small). It's really dense as you can see from above pictures, which mean pain for washing it, but you don't need to wash it as often as the traditional, paddle-shaped foundation brushes due to less buildup on the brush. This brush applies concealer well, although I haven't applied foundation with it (I just conceal wherever I want with a concealer), but I found it still a bit too streaky compared to Real Technique's sponge or Jaju's sponge. It's a nice brush though, and I'm happy to own it.

Finally, Sephora's collaboration brush with Hakuhodo. I've got Ougi Fan Cheek Brush. Sephora + Hakuhodo actually came up with 5 brushes, all nicely lacquered in red wooden handles, but the one I wanted was out of stock (the concealer brush of course), and Ougi was on sale, score!

Ougi is made up of synthetic bristles, but the quality didn't really meet my expectations... especially considering that Hakuhodo is such a giant when it comes to brush making. They really excel in quality, but I found that the bristles on the above mentioned Sepohra Pro foundation brush is far softer & nicer than this collab brush Ougi. It's still nice to apply cream products like Jungsaemmool's Tinted Paste with, but I don't know if this brush is necessary in my collection. It did come with beautiful packaging... I'm not sure what to say more of this brush, but you can read more comprehensive review from Sabrina here where she runs down each 5 brush.

Hopefully, I come with another post soon :^)

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