Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Search for New Hair Care and Review: Lush Buffy Body Butter

This might seem like a strange combination for a blog post but there's some rhyme and reason to it. On Saturday night, I met up with Mai for an evening out. It was great to get out and have some fun as it's been a tense 2 1/2 weeks. We were supposed to go to the Hawaii Fashion and Beauty Expo, which I had been looking forward to for months but when I checked out their website and saw the events that they were having as well as the listed vendors, I wasn't impressed at all. I was actually disappointed that there were no listings for any name brand cosmetic companies and most of the events were centered around Hawaii Top Model and Operation Runway Competition. When Mai drove by the venue on her way to meet me at the shopping mall, she took a look and told me that it wasn't crowded at all. This signaled to us that perhaps we should just skip it as it didn't seem like it was going to be that good. Instead we decided to play in Lush and Sephora.

I wanted to go to Lush since I always seem to forget to go and check it out. I was especially interested to see if they had the "It's Raining Men" shower gel. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it was limited edition so of course they sold out on it a long time ago. The SA there did a hand treatment using various products--sorry, I can't remember exactly what she used. One of the items that she did use though was the Buffy Body Butter.

Buffy Body Butter contains ground up bits of rice, almonds and beans which help to exfoliate your skin. Cocoa and Shea Butters help to moisturize your skin. You use Buffy on wet skin, rubbing the bar in a circular motion whereever your skin is dry and/or rough. You then massage the butter in, which helps to moisturize as well as further exfoliate. Rinse off and pat dry. On the website it says that you don't even need to use body lotion after using Buffy. The SA told us this is also used to combat cellulite. (Really?!) Our hands felt so nice that Mai and I decided to buy one bar and split it to try. The bar itself costs $22.95 for a 7 oz bar.

When I got home late that evening, I decided to try out the bar. I decided to use it on my thighs and on my tummy, as well as on my heels. It is pleasantly scented and the scent isn't overwhelming like a lot of Lush products. One thing that I wasn't prepared for was how greasy it felt when I was done. I didn't notice it on my hands but I guess that's because I use lotion on my hands on a regular basis. I did not like the greasy film that it left on my skin AND on my shower floor! I had to scrub my shower floor afterwards to make sure that no one will slip and fall. I decided against using it on my body again but will use it on my heels and hands. If I use it on my heels, I will definitely have to clean my shower floor afterwards. The good thing is that I will have a super clean shower floor. I've been using it each morning just before I leave the house and last thing at night before I go to bed. I love the way my hands feel so moisturized using it and although you don't need to use lotion after using this, I still do. One side note is that I'm not sure if this is because I've been using Buffy but since I started, my sink drain has started to drain really, really slow. I have to check it to see if the lint catch needs to be cleaned but getting a little worried that this might not be good to use every day.

We also went into Sephora to look around and ended up talking with one of the SA's about hair care. With the humidity in Hawaii and all of the color treating that I do, my hair is really frizzy and doesn't look healthy. It looked really nice when I was in Las Vegas. She told me that she uses this brand called Alterna, which Sephora will be carrying. It is Parabens free, Sulfate free, free of synthetic dyes, Phthalate free, GMO free and Triclosan free. The Caviar line is anti-aging and she said that she notices that she has less hair loss. The only thing is that with it being free from all of those things, it doesn't really lather up. I like lather--I know that it's not supposed to be good but I really like lather. I feel cleaner somehow.  Anyway, Sephora still isn't carrying it instore here so yesterday I called around and found it at Beauty Outlet Supply. They had travel sizes so I decided to buy that to try instead of the full size.

I got the Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner. I was debating between moisturizing and volumizing because my issues with my hair is both. I also got the dry shampoo (full size). The dry shampoo is talc free. The awesome thing  is the SA there was helping me with different products to apply to my hair to help tame the frizzies without it weighing my hair down or making it greasy. She then gave me some samples to try out so that I could see which ones I liked.

There are a LOT of samples here that she gave me! I was really impressed. Since I just got these yesterday, I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. Will give it some time and will let you know.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Review and Brush of the Month: Muji Blush, Sonia Kashuk LE Multipurpose Blush/Powder Brush

Today I wanted to do a review on the Muji blush that I received from Nic Nic when I met up with her in Hawaii. I decided to do my Brush of the Month post at the same time.

The Muji blush is a gradient type of blush in pink. I believe that it is a drugstore brand but not too sure--Nic?

I must say that I am really impressed by this blush! I don't feel that it is chalky at all and the pigmentation on this is just right. There are a lot of blushes out there that will apply too lightly and you have to really layer it on to get color. There are also a lot of blushes out there that are too pigmented and you really have to watch how you apply it so that you don't get clown cheeks. Admittedly, I have a heavy hand so it is really difficult for me to work with the highly pigmented blushes. The Muji blush applies very easily and gives your complexion a nice glow. I think that because of the different gradient colors, it does help to give your cheeks a 3-D effect.

I can get decent coverage with one application but I usually layer it on a couple of times.

To apply this blush, I used my new Sonia Kashuk LE Multipurpose Blush/Powder Brush. I had seen this from a posting that K of cosmeddicted had written in her recent Weekly Reads #7.

As soon as I saw it, I knew that I wanted it and rushed out to Target to get it. Of course my major concern was that it wasn't going to be in stock because I had either already missed out on it, it didn't arrive in Hawaii yet or that Hawaii wasn't going to get it at all.  I was so happy that I was able to get it! (I actually got more than 1.)

I have to admit that I was a little bit apprehensive because this LE brush handle is shorter than their regular line brushes. As I have had so many problems with travel-size brushes, it was a bit of a concern. Since I've gotten the brush, I haven't had any experience with any of the bristles falling out. I really love this brush! It applies my blush very nicely. Since it's a flat-top brush, it's not soft, it's actually a firm brush but it works out well for me. I swirl it into my blush and I can tap it onto the apples of my cheek and brush it along my cheekbone. It is a wonderful brush to add into my collection of brushes. I'm so glad that I saw K's post as it was coming up towards the end of the month and I still hadn't decided what brush I was going to buy.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Product Review: 4D Slim Tea

While I was in Las Vegas, my order from Sasa arrived. In that order was 3 boxes for 4D Slim Black Oolong Tea.

(GRRR! Blogger rotating my pictures again!)

Each box comes with 14 tea packets and you are supposed to drink it twice a day for 3 weeks, then rest a week. According to Sasa's website it says, "Black oolong 4Dslim helps you to obtain an obvious slimming effect! It becomes famous rapidly since it is launched in Japan, just because of “target-oriented”, it burns fat and block the intestinal absorption at the same time. 4Dslim providing a one-stop solution on reducing belly circumference, thigh circumference, hip circumference and arm circumference. 4Dslim is definitely your best choice!"

It tasted like regular tea. It had no funky aftertaste. As I usually drink tea, it wasn't difficult for me to think about drinking it. I had no adverse effects from drinking this. I do believe that it did help to reduce some body mass but not anything significant. I think that perhaps it is mainly because it reduces water retention. While I do not like to measure loss in pounds because I'd rather lose inches than pounds, I will say that during the 3 weeks of drinking this, I did end up losing about 3 lbs. Nothing significant but I do think that I look slimmer and my clothes are fitting a little bit looser.

I have finished my 3 week cycle and am debating on whether or not to order more. Ordering from Sasa, it costs $20.30 per box and you need 3 boxes per cycle. That's $60.90 a month--for tea! Well, we'll see what happens during this one week rest period. Of course, that will extend longer since I haven't ordered another batch yet. I am hoping to find something that I can obtain instore easily that has the same ingredients and results of this tea.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Body Shop Eye Shimmers Quick Review

I am back! I would like to start off with a big THANK YOU  to everyone who sent good thoughts my way and was concerned about me during my absence. I didn't intend to be away for quite this long except that I ended up having sinus/migraine headaches due to the weather conditions here in Hawaii. I'm sure that it's been exacerbated by lack of sleep. The lack of sleep is because I'm up various times of the night to stay up to date on the news in Japan. My son is still there in Fukushima but is prepared to evacuate, if necessary.

I also got sidelined by a statewide ISP problem which lasted for a couple of days. I really don't like it when that happens.

So, I'm not supposed to be purchasing unnecessary makeup but with all of recent stresses, I finally broke down and picked up a few things. A few weeks ago when I was hosting the students from Okinawa, we stopped off at The Body Shop and they showed the girls the eye shimmers. I thought that it was really pretty but didn't buy anything. I've been thinking about it since then so I went in to take another look at it. I got suckered in and bought all 5 colors that they had. I thought that these were a new item but apparently they are not. In fact, the SA thought that the lavender one might have been discontinued but they finally got some in. I checked on the website when I got home and they are out of stock.

Along with my purchase, I got a free package of samples and since my purchase was over $30.00, I got a brushroll free. Supposedly the value of it is $90.00 but they do sell it for $45.00.

The eye shimmer colors that I purchased is 01 Silver, 02 Gold, 04 Copper, 06 Lavender and 08 Emerald. The Lavender and Emerald are the most outstanding in my opinion. Using it alone, the colors are shimmery and not extremely pigmented. I also found it to be on the chalky side.

However, one of the unique things about the eye shimmers is when you apply it over a black liner. You can use a cream pencil liner or even a liquid liner and the color just POPS! If you use cream eyeshadow, you can also use this over it and it will look gorgeous! I tried it out using an eyeshadow primer, black powder eyeshadow (MAC Print) and tapped the eye shimmer over it. It turns out just about as nicely but it really stands out when you use a cream.

I really like the lavender and emerald colors. The gold and silver are okay. I tried the copper in the store and it was pretty too but just not "me". I'm sorry, I didn't swatch the copper here because I'm going to use it either in a blog sale or giveaway--I'm not sure yet. The same is true for the brushroll. The brushroll itself is really pretty and the brush selection inside is nice but I really don't need a brushroll as I purchased one made by Yumeko and I'm really happy with that.

Somehow, I always get enticed into buying things from The Body Shop and end up not really liking it much after using it a few times. I hope that this is not the case with these eye shimmers.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

EDIT: Update, Apologies and Thank Yous

For those who don't know, my son has been living in Fukushima for 2 1/2 years now. With the recent earthquake and tsunami, there is a possible disaster going on in Fukushima with their nuclear power plants. I wasn't too concerned about it until they really started having some major problems starting on Monday morning, Japan time. As a result of wanting and needing to be kept updated, I've been following someone on Twitter who gives really good up-to-the minute information as she is translating the breaking news from NHK and TBS. NHK does have an English version but it's not necessarily as current as she is. Besides, I can get these updates when I am at work.

As you might guess these tweets are quite constant and as Japan's day time is my night time, I am not getting much sleep as well. He is far away from the nuclear power plant and isn't even in the recommended 30 km radius zone. He was getting concerned though because gas is practically nil and food supplies everywhere is running low. He is grateful that there is running electricity and water and that his cell phone service finally was restored. He managed to get 1/4 tank of gas yesterday, as they are being rationed to 1000 yen purchases only. He was in line for over 1 1/2 hours. He isn't able to see his fiancee, who lives about 40 minutes away, in order to save his gas. He was thinking about leaving but she doesn't see the need to evacuate yet so they are playing a wait and see game.

As of this morning the U.S. Embassy has issued a notice to all Americans to either completely evacuate Fukushima or evacuate to outside of 80 km radius and to stay indoors. It is said by an NEI report (Nuclear Energy Institute) that one of the reactors in Fukushima Daiichi Power plant has no water remaining in the fuel pool, radiation levels are very high which could affect whatever plans they have to take corrective measures. Unfortunately, on NHK news, which I believe to be quite accurate, it was reported that the NEI report is inaccurate. (I can't find that report now.) Whatever the case, I have no idea who to believe.

My son does live just barely outside 100 km radius. If a meltdown and worse should occur, he's been told that over 200 km is better. He's been offered shelter at a friend's place in Tokyo but he has decided to go to Niigata, Yamagata and even Hokkaido instead if and when he does leave. In the end, that is perhaps a wiser decision because the winds seem to be blowing towards Tokyo and out towards the sea. Also just discovered today, but not widely reported, in Chiba, 2 chickens were found to have the H5N1 virus, at different farms, so thousands of chickens in Chiba will be destroyed to prevent the spread of the disease. OMG! What more can poor Japan get hit with?!

This has gotten long so are you still with me? I apologize for not updating the blog, answering emails and questions, etc. I've been busy monitoring situation, trying to write to family member to update them as well as keeping in touch with my son. I know that I've already apologized to some others privately but I do want to publicly apologize that I haven't had a chance to pack up and mail out the prize packages yet, as well as a blog sale item or two.

Thank you to all for your understanding. You've been nothing but so kind when I've apologized for not sending out things as promised. Thank you also to everyone who has emailed me, messaged me, wrote on Facebook and Twitter. I will try to write back to everyone personally.

I also received a very lovely love package from Lisa of Makeup and Life yesterday. It really brightened up my day tremendously and gave me a much needed break from just concentrating on the doom and gloom news.

In the package are a couple of masks, a Jill Stewart eyelash curler, mini Clinique lipgloss, mini Shu Uemura Atelier Made for Face in 02 Silver Cord, 2 sample packets of Lunasol Makeup Base, Canmake Jewel Stars in 09, and a YSL Touche Blush! I have never had anything so luxurious! Thank you Lisa, you were far too generous!

As I finish typing this, they are showing water spraying operation going on at the #3 reactor Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant. Both #3 and #4 must be cooled or else melting fuel and/or hydrogen explosion. They are using helicoptors to drop water.

Sorry if this seemed like a very rambling post. Tried to do this very quickly and also while keeping abreast of the news.


EDIT: Talked on the phone to my son a little while ago and it seems that he is seriously thinking of leaving this evening after work. I'm not sure if his fiancee is planning on leaving with him or staying. I'm hoping that she's leaving too. I know that she's concerned about work and that 99.9% will not have a job to return to but safety is more important at the moment, in my opinion.

Also, I rushed through my original post and forgot to add something...A BIG SHOUTOUT TO YUMEKO AND BRIANNA. If I am exhausted over this incident for only a couple of days, I can't imagine how stressful, tiring and emotionally draining it must be for you in Tokyo. Living through the aftershocks is so scary and having to deal with limited transportation, food and water supplies running low and just basic living necessities are probably running low. You are both, as well as all of Japan, in my thoughts and prayers. I went to the market yesterday and had to leave for a while because I broke down. Here was an abundance of things that I could buy and choices of brands and I felt so helpless wanting to help out the people of Japan with supplies but knowing that I can't send hard goods over. All that I and we all can do is donate money for now.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thoughts of Japan

As so many other people have written already, my thoughts are turned towards the horrific devastation in Japan. I know that each of us is connected to someone or something in Japan. My heart is indeed heavy at this moment for all of those affected by this disaster. So many have lost their lives and my thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost a loved one.

Most of the people that I am concerned about there have responded and let me know in one way or another that they are safe. My son and his fiancee are safe for the moment. There was no damage from the earthquake and he's far enough inland not to be affected by a tsunami but there is some concern since they are in Fukushima and there is a major problem with a nuclear power plant in Fukushima. I'm hoping that they are far enough away that it doesn't affect them.

I'm really worried about one friend that I haven't heard from who lives in Ibaraki Prefecture. I've emailed his cell phone and finally emailed his regular email account but still haven't heard anything. I am hoping he's just really busy with work since he works for a company in the chemicals division. I'm sure that he's on standby in case there are any leaks, etc. I also know that phone service is really sketchy now. (Trying to be really positive here.)

I am also thinking of contacting my relatives. I am not close with them at all but at times like this, it's always good to be concerned. Language might be a huge barrier though.

There are many positives that I've seen too. True human spirit and love of mankind. People helping each other, friends and strangers alike. Bloggers concerned about bloggers and reaching out to see if they can be of help. There are shining moments even in the worst of tragedies.

Please, no matter what your faith, whether you believe or don't believe in a higher power, please pray and/or send good thoughts to everyone in Japan.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Love Package from Jennifer and Meetup with Nic Nic

While I was away in Las Vegas, Jennifer of  "What's in my life and my makeup bag" sent me a little love package to thank me for the prize that she won in our giveaway. Isn't that so sweet?!

I didn't go into work on the 28th so it wasn't until March 1st that I was able to see the package that she sent me. She sent me a wonderful package of a variety of beauty masks!

I'm so happy! Most of them I haven't ever tried so I'm looking forward to using it and seeing what each one is like. She also sent me some samples of skin care products that I'm looking forward to testing out too. (I feel like I've forgotten to include something in the picture but I can't remember what it is.) Thank you Jennifer for your thoughtfulness!

March 1st was a wonderful day for me because I first go into work and get my love package from Jennifer and then I left early to go and meet up with Nic Nic of  "bang bang she shoots". Her wonderfully sweet hubby let her spend a couple of hours with Mai and me. Nic Nic was actually here in Hawaii to have her long-awaited wedding ceremony and reception with family from Japan and UK.

I picked Nic Nic up at her hotel in Waikiki and we then met Mai at Ala Moana Shopping Center for lunch. We had lunch at Charlies, which is a sub sandwich place. Nic Nic had a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. I believe that it was the first time she ate it.

We had a lot of fun just talking about all sorts of things, not just beauty related. After lunch we headed over to take a quick look at Sephora and at Longs Drugs. Before we knew it, it was time for me to take her back to the hotel as her schedule was quite full. This meetup with a lot of fun and even had some adventurous situations!

Nic Nic is a super sweet individual, whose beauty is both on the inside and outside. She'll have to blog about her lash extensions because they looked absolutely fantastic! After seeing hers, I wanted to do it too but after reading up on the care of it, I have to forego it. I'm just too rough on my eyes and it will not last. I had imagined Nic Nic to be on the taller, svelte side but I was so surprised by how petite she is. I can't believe that she's been trying to lose weight! You're too thin as it is Nic!

Nic Nic also surprised me with a lovely package.

There is a box of wagashi. Wagashi is basically traditional Japanese confectioneries and is often served with tea. The most common types of wagashi that is made is mochi, azuki bean paste and fruits. It is natural based in that it is made with mainly plant type of ingredients. I was told that often wagashi is made to represent the seasons. This box that I got is sakura mochi. It is really delicious with some hints of spice and sakura (cherry) flavors. Also in the package was a box of Lupicia Sakura tea. This is a seasonal item as well. It is black tea blended with salted cherry leaves. It is really the perfect match to drink while eating the sakura wagashi. There is also a little box of cookies in the set. Gokubuto mascara, my all time favorite mascara. Muji blush. I will have to do a review on this blush--I REALLY like it! Lastly, Nic Nic's all time favorite eyebrow pencil, Integrate Gracy in Gray. I can totally understand why she loves this eyebrow pencil. It makes very fine lines. I really like it too!

Nic Nic knows me very well--even if it is subconsciously. She gave me my favorite Gokubuto mascara, which she knew is my favorite because it's one of the items that I buy from her shop, A Pop of Kawaii. Sakura is my favorite flower and she gave me two wonderful sakura items. She had no idea that I love sakura.

Thank you Nic Nic and to your sweet hubby. It was an absolute pleasure and honor to have been able to meet you. This was my 2nd blogger meetup and it's been fantastic being able to meet other bloggers like this. Mai and I hope that we can do more of them.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hanami Inspired EOTD

In Japan with the coming of spring, the sakura start to bloom. People often do hanami or flower-viewing and hanami dango (Japanese dumpling/mochi) is tradtionally made during the sakura season. It consists of three colors: pink, white and green.

Picture from Wikipedia
I made hanami dango last year & took pictures but was on my old computer that is no longer alive

I decided to do an EOTD based on the colors synonomous with hanami.

Products used:

Coffret D'or Powder Foundation
UD Eyeshadow--Naked. Loaded, Kush
MAC Eyeshadows--Motif, Swish, Sushi Flower
Kose Visee Blossom Eyes BR-5--Off White Shadow
K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner (forgot to include in picture)
Koji Eyelash Curler
Shiseido Mascara Base (forgot to include in picture)
FairyDrops Scandal Queen Mascara
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara

I don't think that I've ever mentioned why I use a powder foundation in my EOTD. As you know, I use Mezaik Double Eyelid Stretch Fiber and you can't use anything with oil in it because it will affect the wearability of the Mezaik. I use a powder foundation only on my eyelids since I can't use a liquid or cream foundation.

I used Naked very, very lightly from the UD Naked palette from the inner tips of my eyebrows and sweeping it down to the sides of my nose to help create the illusion of a bridge. As a typical asian, I don't have the nice nose bridge that I wish I could have. After applying UDPP Greed over entire eyelid, from lashline to eyebrow and on lower lashline, I apply as a base from crease to eyebrow MAC Motif. I had learned a while ago that an orange color product helps to conceal dark areas and I'm finding that sometimes my eyesocket area is looking sunken in. I like to apply Motif to help counteract that slightly darkened area that is sunken in. Over Motif I applied the off white shadow from the Kose Visee palette. MAC Swish over entire eyelid from lashline to just barely above crease line. I also use it on entire lower lashline. MAC Sushi Flower is on outer 1/4 of upper eyelid from lashline to above crease and swept upward and outward towards eyebrows. I don't like to use Sushi Flower over my entire eyelid because as most can find with pink colors, it can make you look like your eyelid is irritated. Swish doesn't happen to do that to me so I think that lighter pinks are okay but the darker the pink, the more red pigment is used, thus creating that irritated eyelid look. (Just my thoughts anyway.) Kush from UD Book of Shadows III palette is applied to the inner corners of upper and lower eyelid. Loaded from UD Book of Shadows III, is a deep emerald color and I apply that to the outer corners of the upper eyelid and along the bottom 1/4 - 1/3 of lower lashline. Line entire upper lashline and 1/4 - 1/3 of lower lashline with K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner. Curl my lashes with Koji eyelash curler and apply Shiseido Mascara Base. Go over the areas that I applied Loaded with Kush to bring out the green color more. Apply FairyDrops Scandal Queen mascara to upper lashes and Clinique Bottom Lash mascara to bottom lashes.

For this EOTD, I didn't do much blending as I wanted the green color to stand out. Since I usually wear darker eyeshadow colors, I needed to have my eyelashes stand out so that my eyes didn't look washed out. This is why I curled and used a mascara base to help keep my eyelash very curled. I don't normally wear false eyelashes so this was my option. For everyday wear, I either do not wear mascara or just apply mascara without curling my eyelashes.

I finished off my look with girly pink cheeks and lips.

Sorry, only cheek and no lips shown here

A very simple EOTD. I wish that I could go hanami in Japan. I think that sakura might be a little late this year since it's been snowing yet--in Tokyo too!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

1st Blogversary Giveaway Announcement

As I had posted the other day, on March 3rd it was our 1st Blogversary. In honor of this, Mai and I decided to do a small giveaway to 3 people. I wanted to wait until I heard back from those whose names were drawn before doing the announcement.

As is pretty much tradition on this blog, we usually don't announce giveaways (I did do one that was announced) and instead prefer to do it with whoever is our current public followers at the time of the drawing. We've been blessed to have had 86 followers at the time of the drawing, some who we actively interact with and some who we don't. For all who are public and private followers, we do appreciate each and every one of you.

Thanks to Hime chan who was in a particularly cooperative mood, these are the winners and the prizes. In case you are wondering, Hime chan was the one who had picked out the names.
EDIT: Jennifer asked and I realized that I forgot to mention how Hime chan picked the names. I had all of the names on individual small, folded pieces of papers. I gathered it all together in a pile and was swirling it around. Hime chan came and pulled out a paper and ran away. I had to chase her to get the name that she drew. We did this two more times to get our three winners.

First place prize is an Eco-Tools makeup bag, Stila eyeshadow palette, Physician's Formula Happy Booster Blush, NYX Black LabellLipstick, NYX lipgloss pot, Beaute de Kose Body Cream mini, a MBD eye mask and my favorite MBD Natto masks.

And the winner is: Ashura of  The Clover Beauty Inn.

Second place prize is a metallic gold makeup bag, NYX eyeshadow palette, Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips blush, NYX lip lacquer pot, NYX lipgloss pot, MBD eye mask and MBD Natto mask.

And the winner is: heartbreaker of  A Daily Dose of Anything.

Third place prize is a Wet 'N Wild eyeshadow palette, Tarina Tarantino Magic Hour Smudge Pen, NYX lipgloss pot, MBD eye mask and MBD Natto mask.

And the winner is: Haru of  Rouge Deluxe.

Hime chan after the hard work of picking the winners:

Congratulations to the winners of our little giveaway!

It's going to be a tough year for us since we're both trying to limit our spending due to some major expenses this year but we hope to hold a couple more giveaways through out this next year.

Since this drawing, I've noticed we have a few more new followers. Thank you so much for following us!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: Lever Lux Super Damage Repair Shampoo and Conditioner

I've been using Lever Lux Super Damage Repair Shampoo and Conditioner for a while now and I'm quite happy with it. I first discovered this line when my son's fiancee came to Hawaii 2 years ago and this is what she uses. I understand that she does color treat her hair and she washes it every day. Her hair is long, beautiful and looks healthy so I attribute it to her hair care. I don't think that I would be able to spend every single day washing, drying and styling my hair. It's just too time consuming. This is also available in Hawaii, which makes it easy to purchase.

Like most of the Japanese repairing type of shampoo and conditioners, this one is rich but not quite as rich as the others that I've tried--Tsubaki and Ascience Shine Therapy (which I had to order online) to name a couple. As a result, this gives me really nice and soft hair and helps to smooth out the frizzies without it weighing down or greasing my hair.  The richer shampoos and conditioners tend to build up on my scalp, no matter how well I rinse it off and as a result, my scalp will start to itch and I will have a bit of a break out on my scalp--usually after a week and a half. (Sounds weird, doesn't it?) Even this Lux line does that but I can go 3 weeks or so before I start noticing a bit of a break out. When this happens, I go back to Noevir Tokara Sea Mineral Shampoo and Conditioner to kind of clarify my hair and help my scalp. I usually will use it for a week or so and then go back to Lux.

I think that the only drawback to this is the price. A 500 ml pump dispenser bottle costs $17.99 each and the 380 ml refill pouch costs $13.49 each. My son's fiancee's jaw dropped when she saw the prices. She said that it runs anywhere from $4.00 - $6.00 USD in Japan. I didn't know any better so I'm okay with the price of it. It lasts a decently long period of time for me.

In addition to using this shampoo and conditioner to help repair and hydrate my dry and color-treated hair, I will use a mask at least once a week. Currently I am using one from L'Occitane but want to try a couple of others when I am finished with it.


Friday, March 4, 2011

Thank You Everyone!

Yesterday (March 3rd) came and went and although I wanted to do a post, I had no time. Yesterday was exactly 1 year from the first post ever done on this blog!

Graphic from Lee Hansen Graphics

Although Mai and I live on the same island not far from each other, we didn't always have the time to get together as often as we'd have liked. From the humble beginning of starting off as a way to share some of the purchases and reviews between Mai and myself, it has grown to a regular beauty blog with 86 public followers and others who are regularly reading what is posted. We thank you for your support! We've been truly blessed to have formed beautiful friendships through this blog. We've been fortunate enough to have met two bloggers and hope to be able to meet many more.

I am a bit busy this weekend but please stay tuned for an announcement that will be made soon.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

*Kat* and Mai

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

EOTD using MAC 6 Mystic Cool Eye Shadows Palette

Yesterday I met up with Nic Nic of bang bang she shoots and had a wonderful time! I'll do a separate post later about our meetup. I've always imagined her to be a bit tall and svelte so I was so surprised by how petite she is! I used my new MAC palette that I picked up while in Las Vegas. I don't know why I didn't purchase this when it was released back in 2009.

I recreated my look today because I didn't have time to take pictures yesterday.

Products used:

Face Base:
Missha BB Boomer
Maybelline FitMe Foundation 120 and 125
Maybelline FitMe Powder 120
Shiseido Maquillage Moisture Finish Powdery UV Ochre 20
Dermablend Professional Cover Cream

Color Makeup:
MAC 6 Mystic Cool Eye Shadows Palette
Naked Palette--Creep
NARS Orgasm/Laguna set
Koji Eyelash Curler
Bobbi Brown Gel Liner--Black
FairyDrops Scandal Queen Mascara
Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara
Laura Mercier Gloss Stick--Sugar Plum

I used all 6 colors from the MAC palette and blended them together. I also used Creep from Naked palette but can use any other darker black-colored eyeshadow. This I use only in the outer "v" of upper eyelids. I couldn't find my favorite K-Palette eyeliner so I used the Bobbi Brown Gel liner instead. I haven't used it in quite a while so it was a bit difficult. I went over the gel liner with Creep to set it

I also curled my eyelashes and used Fairydrops Scandal Queen mascara for my upper lashes. The curl held pretty well considering I didn't use any mascara base. I used the Clinique Bottom Lash mascara for my bottom lashes.

NARS Laguna used as a bronzer/contour and Orgasm on top, concentrated more in the apple of my cheeks.

Laura Mercier Stick Gloss in Sugar Plum was used on my lips. I really love this stick gloss as it is like a really glossy lipstick. It's not sticky at all yet feels watery/glossy. It helps to keep my lips moisturized. I'm not sure if this is an LE or not but I traded/purchased it from Amy Naree when she ran a blog sale. I've never used a Laura Mercier product before and am really pleased with this.

Although the separate colors do not show up in my EOTD, I really do like this color palette. It blends really easily and I like it when I can use a single palette instead of having to mix and match a whole lot. May have to consider taking this on my next trip. Sorry, I realize that my EOTD really all do look so similar, even when using different colors.