Friday, November 22, 2013

Question: Nature Republic, The Face Shop or Tony Moly

I have a question for all of you Korean brand enthusiasts. I have not been much into Korean brands other than for the fact that they were the ones who introduced the world to BB creams. I did my share of exploring those BB creams and my friends who travel to Korea quite often brought me back various skin care and makeup items. I just wasn't really wowed by anything in particular.

The popularity of Korean products has really taken off and over the last couple of years, several well-known shops have opened up here in Hawaii. I have to admit that I've only been into one, once. My question to you is, which do you prefer and why?

Nature Republic

The Face Shop

Tony Moly

If I were totally into Korean brands, then I would probably pick The Face Shop but only because where one of the shops is located is the most convenient for me. Next wold be Tony Moly and the least convenient is Nature Republic because they are in a hotel in Waikiki. Waikiki is so crowded and busy that I avoid going there as I feel it's a traffic hazard driving in Waikiki.

I've used a skin care line from Nature Republic and have a CC cream from them and all were okay. I've used makeup remover wipes and some face masks from The Face Shop and again, they were okay. Tony Moly has peach hand cream but I mainly like it for the packaging. All of these were gifts to me. I would love to find a product that I would really like from any one of these brands. That's why I'm reaching out to you for suggestions.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Gift Review: Perfecter Heated Round Brush

When I was in Las Vegas, I saw an infomercial about the Perfecter and quickly wrote down the information so that I could research it when I got back home. After I got back home, I did do some research and the reviews were mixed so I decided to not purchase it and instead look around for something comparable to purchase in store. I didn't really find anything that I liked so decided to just give up.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later to my birthday. I got together with Mai and when I opened up my birthday gift from her, my jaw seriously dropped! She gave me the Perfecter. It was such a coincidence because I hadn't even told her that I had looked into it. When I told her that I had seen the infomercial while in Vegas and that I even had written down the info, she was quite surprised too. Apparently she went through some lengths to get this for me because when she called to order it, she found out that they won't ship it to Hawaii, for whatever reason. She had to get it sent to her cousin, who then mailed it to her.

It comes as a set with the Perfecter Heated Round Brush, instruction booklet, 3 clips, a paddle brush and carry case.

The carrying case is insulated so that you can store the Perfecter even while it's still hot and transport it easily.

The Perfecter has two heat settings and you can straighten, curl and add volume. It has ion ceramic technology which aids in adding smoothness, shine and body to your hair. Unlike curling irons and flat irons, it is cool to the touch so you can touch the bristles or have it hit you against your skin and it won't burn.

Most of the negative reviews that I read were from people who had thicker, coarser hair. The positive reviews were from people who had thin, fine hair, which is what I have. After playing with it for a few weeks, here are my thoughts:

I can understand why the people with thick, coarse hair gave it negative reviews. While I have fine, thin hair, it is quite frizzy and even on the high heat setting, it didn't straighten my hair out well. I find that it work really well if my hair isn't frizzy. It's great for touch ups but only if you are not in a big rush. It does take some time to do--the informercial said approximately 3 minutes, which is close but to do a quick touch up with my flat iron will take about a minute.

This is my hair when I woke up in the morning:

As you can see, the ends are a bit scruffy.

This is after I used Perfecter:

I like that I can get a nice, slight curl at the ends which is a little more difficult to achieve with a flat iron. Hair is also smoother.

Overall, it's a nice gadget to have and will work out nicely especially if you have the time to work with it. I think it would work a lot better if you were able to adjust the heat even higher but it will also result in more damage to your hair.


Monday, November 18, 2013

How Much Beauty Product To Use Answers

Thank you to everyone who responded to the quiz and sending in answers whether via comment or email. I had a total of 5 people who responded and I hope that it was fun for you. Here are the answers to the quiz. Please remember that I compiled these answers after doing some searching around. I compiled these and came up with a general average amount. These are subjective, especially with hair care products since it can depend on the length of your hair.

1. Spot Treatment

Answer: b. Tic Tac
For me, I find this to be the general amount that I tend to use.

2. Facial Cleanser

Answer: d. Size of a plain M & M
I find this to be just about right to a little too much for my use, although it does depend on the facial cleanser that I am using. I find that some don't foam up as well as I like so I tend to use more.

3. Eye Cream

Answer: g. Rice grain
Pictured is a cooked medium rice grain. I looked at the uncooked one and thought that it was a bit too small. This is how much eye cream that I use.

4. Serum

Answer: a Pea
Again, the serum will determine the size of this. For most serums, this is about the right amount. I am currently using Clarins Double Serum and use quite a bit less than this, although it is difficult to get a size since it is quite runny.

5. Moisturizer

Answer: i. 2 raisins or 1 almond.
Sorry, the moisturizer did not squeeze out nicely so the picture is a bit messy. I also did not have a regular almond so I had to use a honey roasted almond. I actually find this amount of moisturizer to be a bit too much for my preference.

6. Sunscreen

Answer: e. Peanut M & M
Although this amount is to be used on face and neck, I find that it's too much for my preference.

7. Foundation

Answer: j. 6 small dots.
The amount on the left side of the picture is 6 small dots together. I thought that 6 small dots was a small amount but when I combined it together, it ended up being more than I tend to use. The more foundation that you apply, the less natural and more cakey it looks. Less is more and you can always apply  more in areas that you feel you need more coverage.

8. Shampoo

Answer: f. MAC Eyeshadow Pro Palette Refill Pan
I know that the shampoo in the picture looks larger than the eyeshadow pan but it's because it started spreading out before I could snap the picture. I think that this amount is good for those with medium hair length.

9. Conditioner

Answer: h 2 grapes
This is a good amount for those with medium to long length hair.

10. Mousse

Answer: c. Golf Ball
Sorry, I don't have a golf ball at home (no golfers) and I don't think the hubs would have been too happy with me buying one just for blogging. I don't use hair mousse but I think that this is quite a bit of mousse. Perhaps this amount is best for those with longer length hair.

Remember, the more product that you use, doesn't mean that you are getting more benefits out of it. You are just using too much product and thus wasting your product and money.

The person who had to most correct answers is LauraLeia! Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address so that I can send you the prize.

Again, thank you to everyone for participating in this little quiz.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Sephora VIB Haul 2013

Someone asked me to do a haul post so here we go. I actually did 3 separate purchases during the VIB period. I first window shopped online a couple of days before the VIB sale started. I then went to my local Sephora store the day before the VIB sale started and scoped out what I saw online to see if I liked it in person. It's a good thing that I did that because I discovered that the MUFE Midnight Glow palette that I was interested in wasn't in store. Since I am in Hawaii, the next day hits us last in the States so just before midnight I was online putting things into my shopping cart. There was one item that I had seen in store but it wasn't available online so from that point I knew that I would need to go to Sephora later in the day to make another purchase. A few minutes after midnight, Hawaii time, I hit the pay button and my first purchase was made.

Later in the day, I went to Sephora and picked up the items that were not online but was in store. The next night I was out with a couple of friends who wanted to hit Sephora so of course I found more items that I wanted.

Here are all of my purchases together:

Since I had made 3 separate purchased, I was given 3 VIB bags. I did tell the SA that I already had a bag but I guess they had quite a bit so they gave me with each purchase and told me that I could use it as gift bags. The online purchase that I had made was actually mostly because someone wanted help getting some items so I gave that bag to that person with the products I purchased for her. I did not picture the items that I bought for her.

Items purchased:

Philosophy Shower Gel Sweets x 5. I bought these to give as gifts and these were the items that were not available online. I also bought Formula X for Sephora "The System", which is nail polishes and Daily Makeup Brush Cleaner. These items are considered flammable so I purchased these items in store too.

Sephora Crystal Nail file x 2, Clarisonic Replacement Brush Head twin pack, Urban Decay Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion, Make Up For Ever Midnight Glow palette,Too Faced La Crème Color Drenched Lip Cream in Cinnamon Kiss and Amika Mighty Mini Ceramic Styler. I was also given sample packets from Amore Pacific, Boscia and Ole Henriksen.

Please share with me what you hauled at Sephora VIB. Or, if you were good and didn't haul, what would you have liked to hauled.


P.S. Don't forget that today is the last day to do the quiz. I will work over the weekend to figure out the winner and hopefully post the answers and winner on Monday.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Purchase Review + EOTD--Make Up For Ever Midnight Glow Palette

Today I wanted to do a review of the Make Up For Ever Midnight Glow Palette. I was thinking of doing a different post (my Sephora haul--is anyone interested in it) but decided to post this one instead because I don't find too many reviews out there on this palette.

I saw this palette online and really wanted to see it in person but unfortunately, my local Sephora isn't carrying it. It looked really pretty online so I just had to get it, especially with the VIB sale that happened recently. It arrived yesterday and it is gorgeous in person!

The colors from left to right: Snow White, Gun Metal, Icy Blue, Icy Pink, 04 Black, Gold Pink, Midnight Purple and 127 Metallic Taupe. Unfortunately, the gorgeousness in the palette, doesn't translate the same when swatched. All of the shadows are quite hard and not highly pigmented. In fact, the first 4 colors are extremely light and need to be heavily applied to get good color. The last 4 colors are the darker colors in the palette and while they do show up with more color than the first 4, it does take applying several layers. The one color that I really like is 04 Black. Usually black eyeshadows apply extremely dark and harsh but because this shadow is hard and not highly pigmented, I liked the way this one applied. It gives me just the right intensity of color without appearing harsh. Overall for me, this palette is a disappointment. If I had been able to swatch it in store, I would not have purchased it. Perhaps it's just because I've been using more pigmented, buttery shadows that I am not too pleased with this. I feel that for the price, one should get a better quality product than this. It really feels like a drugstore brand eyeshadow.

Here's the EOTD look that I did with this palette:

I applied Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion first. Gun Metal was applied over entire lid from lash line to crease. Midnight Purple was applied to the outer 1/3 of eyelid and using my finger tip, I put one dab of Snow White to the center of eyelid and lightly blended everything. K-Palette eyeliner was applied and using Midnight Purple, I lined the lower lash line from outer corner and fading in towards mid eye. 04 Black was applied to outer "V" and I used Midnight Purple to soften Black and blend in the colors.

I think that the colors work well together and it created a nice EOTD but it did take a more heavy application of shadows than I normally do.

Don't forget that the quiz answers are due in two days. I have several people who answered on the blog and a couple who have privately emailed me. Join in the fun!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Purchase Review + EOTD SUQQU EX-07 Tsukiakari

A few months ago I had purchased some items from a blog sale and one of the items that I got was SUQQU EX-07 Tsukiakari eyeshadow palette.

I had heard many good things about SUQQU so I am excited that this is my first and only SUQQU palette. It appealed to me because it isn't strictly a brown eyeshadow palette but also has a peachy-pink and off white powder shadows and a navy cream shadow/liner. I don't tend to look well with warm tones and especially brown shadows but I have been really liking this palette a lot. The powder shadows are soft and buttery and nicely pigmented.

For my EOTD, these are the products that I used:

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
SUQQU EX-07 Tsukiarari
MAC Deep Secret from Mystic Cool Eyeshadow Palette
K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner

I applied the peachy-pink color over the entire lid from lash line to just above crease line. The brown shadow was applied from the outer end of the eyelid and blended in toward mid eye, concentrating the color mostly on the outer 1/4 of the eyelid. Using K-Palette, I lined the upper lash line of the eyelid and the outer corner of the lower lash line. The navy cream shadow was applied to the outer "v" and to the outer 1/3 of upper lash line. I don't normally like to use cream shadows since it doesn't work well with the Mezaik Double Eyelid Stretch Fiber but since I'm applying it to just the outer "v" and lash line, it has worked okay. Deep Secret is applied to the line the lower lash line going over the K-Palette and fading it in toward mid eye. Deep Secret is also applied over the Navy cream shadow to the outer "v". Using a fluff brush, I blend the edges of the "v" to soften the color a bit. I then lightly applied more of the brown shadow to blend the colors in even more.

With the blue, it brings in a cool tone color which helps to offset the warm tones and thus I think this is what helps make this eyeshadow palette work on me. You can create an evening look by not blending out the outer "v" so much and keeping it darker. For the last month or so, I have been reaching for this palette and Urban Decay Anarchy Face Palette almost every day.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Using My Stash--September and October

I thought that I had used up a lot of products over the past couple of months but it was less than I thought. I also ended up doing a bit of purchasing of items that I don't need but it's been a while since I've splurged and I think that I've done a good job of using items in my stash so far this year.

On to my used items...

Skin care:

Clarins Double Serum. This is my current favorite and I've been using it for a few months now. Apple Peeling Gel. I really liked this but it's quite strong so I don't recommend using it often. I think once every two weeks to once a month is good. I don't know who I received this from and I only had two packs. I'll need to ask my friend to pick some up for me when she goes back to Korea as I can't find it here. Ole Hendricksen Sheer Transformation sample pack. This was okay but it's difficult to give any kind of opinion because it was just a sample pack that I was able to use only a couple of times.

Face masks:

I have a lot of face masks and wasn't using them. I decided to start using them on the weekends. I have to admit that I wasn't consistent because I went on the trip so I have to try to get back into the weekend habit again.

Foundation and Concealer:

I use Clarins foundation and wanted to try a darker color since I tanned a bit during the summer. I ended up liking the darker shade that I was given and bought the full size. Hourglass Veil Foundation samples were so miniscule that I was able to get only a day's usage. Again, difficult to give any kind of firm opinion but I didn't care for it too much. It didn't seem to work well on me. Sue Devitt Bermuda Triangle Concealer, my HG concealer. I am so sad that Sue Devitt line is no longer being produced so I'll eventually have to find a new concealer that will work as well as this.

Brush Cleanser:

I used up another bottle of Sephora's Daily Makeup Brush Cleaner. I use this to quick clean my brushes every night.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I travel with small sample and travel size products. I will also travel with "older" items that I am ready to throw away, use it on my trip and throw it away on the day that I return home. Not much but it's a little less bulk.

Neutrogena makeup remover wipes, DHC eye cream, Cle de Peau eye cream, DHC primer, Face masks, DHC CoQ10 Facial Film Soap, shampoo and conditioner, Japanese wash cloth and travel shower cap.


Friday, November 1, 2013

How Much Beauty Product to Use Quiz Contest

When I was in Las Vegas, I was watching a television program and they had this little quiz. I don't even remember what show it was on so I can't give a reference to it. I was happy that I got all the answers correct. After I got home, I did some research and while there are some variations on recommended usage amount, most are pretty similar. I've compiled these together and came up with a general list.

How much beauty product do you use each day? Most of us probably use too much, thus throwing away our money. If you are using higher end products, then the amount can add up significantly. Some of us might be using too little, thus robbing our skin of important nutrients. This, in turn, also wastes our money on the products that we have purchased because they are not being used to their full potential.

I wanted to do something fun on the blog so I decided to put the quiz contest here. I will have a prize of Canmake's Fall 2013 line--the Glow Fleur Cheeks in 01 Peach Fleur.

I think that this is a nice neutral color that will match any skin tone.


Match the product to the size. I tried to use universally know items for the product size. Write your answers in the comment box and make sure to include your email address. One entry per person.

Beauty Product Usage Guide

1.  Spot Treatment
2 . Facial Cleanser
3.  Eye Cream
4.  Serum
5.  Moisturizer
6.  Sunscreen
7.  Foundation
8.  Shampoo
9.  Conditioner
10. Mousse


a. Pea
b. Tic Tac
c. Golf Ball
d. Plain M&M
e. Peanut M&M
f.  MAC Eyeshadow Pro Palette Refill Pan
g. Rice Grain
h. 2 Grapes
I. 2 Raisins or an Almond
j. 6 Small Dots

To start off, I will give you the answer to the first item as an example:

1. b

This contest will run until November 15. If only one person has all correct or the most correct, that person will be the winner. If there are any ties, then a name will be drawn from all those who are tied.

EDIT: If you prefer to email your answers, please do so at

Good luck and have fun!