Sunday, March 30, 2014

Recent Online Shopping Haul--Ichibankao, Rainbow Smile, Cosme-De.Com, Stranger London

I just wanted to quickly share my recent purchases all from online businesses.

From Ichibankao, I needed to get a new moisture powder foundation since I will be running out soon with what I currently have. I have cases for both Maquillage and Coffret D'or  so I needed to buy only a refill. I decided to go with Coffret D'or mainly because I really like the case as it is prettily jeweled. I also couldn't find a moisture powder foundation in the Maquillage line. I also picked up 2 different colors of the Canmake liquid eyebrow pens as I'm currently liking liquid pen type eyebrow applicators. I love the Tony Moly one that I've been using but find it to be a little too dark for me.

From Ebay's Rainbow Smile Japan, I found the K-Palette liquid eyebrow pen in 01 Natural Brown and liquid eyeliner pen in Natural Brown. Both of which I will be testing out as eyebrow pens.

Shipping from both these companies is from Japan and it arrived very quickly. I was very pleased with the service. It was the first time I purchased from Rainbow Smile. Ichibankao is my go to Japanese product company if I can't get someone to buy it for me.

From Cosme-De.Com, I purchased Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentrate. I have never heard of this product before but I received an email from the company (I get automatic emails since I purchased from them before). It REALLY intrigued me because it said that it is Japanese Models' Favorite Primer. I did a bit of reading up on it online and decided to try it out. The main reason was because it was also on special for a limited time of buy 1 get 1 free. The pricing of it worked out really nicely. I also received this order very quickly. I will be doing a review on this later as I've only used it for 2 days but so far my thought is, "WOW!"

Not an online purchase but I did buy a couple of drugstore items. My friend who runs the blog Sakura Lovely did a purchase review of the Maybelline Colour Elixir Liquid Lipsticks here. After reading her review, I decided that I wanted to try one out although I'm not a big lipgloss fan. I picked one up in 95 Blush Essence. I was excited to see the Olay Regenerist line in mini trial sizes! I can't remember what the 3 different items were but one was the serum, one was the moisturizer and I can't remember what the 3rd one was. I was needing a serum so I picked it up. I'll do a review on it later after I use it more.

And the best is for last! It is not a beauty purchase but needed mentioning too. It's a beautiful, handcrafted pendant from Stranger London. It is a shop which features handmade, ecletic items that are impeccably made. I love sakura and jumped when I saw that she had made a beautiful ceramic sakura petal. I knew that I just had to have one. Also included with my order were two Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pens. Yasumi is the wonderful curator of this shop. She is awesome to work with and I highly recommend her. Please give her online shop a visit. Thank you Yasumi for my beautiful pendant. It certainly arrived very quickly!

I'll do reviews of the beauty products after I give them a good testing.

It's a new week! I hope that everyone has a good one!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Purchase Review: Bumble and bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner

Back in January when I was staying over at my mom's, she made the comment to me that I should stop coloring my hair because it looked like my hair was thinning out. Oh no! This is not good! I born with baby fine hair that is not all that plentiful and NEED to color away my grays. I happened to watch some beauty blogger's video (sorry, I can't remember who) in which she mentioned her recent favorite purchases and one of the items she mentioned was this Bumble and bumble line. I was very happy to discover that my local Sephora carried it and that they also had it in a travel size. Although there is better value buying larger sizes, I really do not mind spending on smaller sizes if I am not sure how the product will work.

What it says that it will do: the shampoo is a lightweight cleanser which builds body and gives fine, limp hair a lift while moisturizing and sealing split ends. It's ideal for thinning, fine, limp and flyaway hair. The conditioner is a featherweight conditioner which moisturizes and detangles hair with ultra-light silk fibers. It moisturizes, protects, and separates strands to make fine hair look and feel fuller Again, it's ideal for thinning, fine, limp and flyaway hair.

I've been using this set for about a month now and I do think that my hair does seem a slight bit fuller. I don't believe claims (for any product) that it will repair split ends and I can't vouch for that, but I did find one stray hair the other day which had a huge split end. Hmmm.... The shampoo does clean well and doesn't irritate my scalp. I'm still not quite sure about the conditioner though. I don't feel that it's emolient enough. Usually when I use a conditioner, my hair feels slick when I'm putting it on. I don't get that with this conditioner. In fact, my hair feels on the squeaky side, thus I don't feel like it's detangling like it should. I'm not quite sure how to explain it. I have to apply either Moroccan Oil or Kerastase Oleo-Relax before I attempt to comb out my hair because I really feel like without it, it will tug and pull my hair and not glide through.

I did go back to Sephora last week to buy the full size of both products, but only because I'm reluctant to not use the conditoner together with the shampoo. Do you think that I'll still get the benefits if I use only the shampoo and Lux Super Damage Repair conditioner instead?

I noticed that I need to color my hair again because the grays are really showing. Interestingly, I noticed something curious. I often get migraines and sinus-migraines and the pain is usually off to the right side of my head. If you measure where I might do a middle part and where the top of my ear is and then mark off about 1/4th of the way from the center, that's where my pain is usually located. That's also the section where the majority of my gray hairs are. Do you think there is a correlation?

The weekend is coming! I hope that you'll all have a wonderful weekend.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Sakura Inspired EOTD and Sweets

Spring is coming and soon it'll be sakura season in Japan. I love the beautiful, delicate flowers and the season is gone in a blink of an eye. I want to go back to Japan during sakura season again. Hopefully one day I will.

With sakura season coming, I decided to do another sakura-inspired EOTD.

Products used:

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
MAC Eyeshadow in Swish and Print
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Smog and Uzi (From Book of Shadows III)
   later subbed Uzi with Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill eyeshadow #23 Madreperla
K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner

When you see sakura trees, you'll normally see pink or white blossoms blooming on the tree branches. There are no green leaves on the trees. The bark colors range from light brown to very dark brown, almost black. With this in mind, that's how I came to choose the colors that I did.

After applying eyeshadow primer, I applied Swish from lash line to just above crease, from inner corner of eyelid to 3/4ths out. Smog is applied from just about the halfway point to outer corners of eyelid, putting more color in the outer 1/3 of eyelid. Using my fingertip, I applied a dab of Uzi to mid eyelid. I then lined the upper lash line and outer corner of lower lash line with K-Palette. Print is applied to the lower lash line over K-Palette eyeliner and gently fading it toward mid eye. I also applied Print to the outer "v" area of upper eyelid. I later realized that I didn't care for Uzi as much because of the glitter fall out that happened throughout the day. I did the same look again the next day and used Madreperla instead and liked it a lot better.

Since I was in a sakura mood with the EOTD, I headed down to one of the Japanese goods store that sells mainly various foods. One of the vendors in this store is a bakery and a friend had told me that they were selling limited edition sakura desserts. I had to get some as I love sakura-flavored sweets.

Top row: strawberry mocheese and sakura mousse. Bottom row: sakura blancmange and sakura mochi. Yes, there's a strawberry dessert in here but it looked so good that I had to get it too. The sakura mochi was from a different vendor in the store. All were delicious but the sakura blancmange is to die for! I HAVE to go back and get more before the season ends for this special dessert.

My friends in Asia often tweet and instagram pictures of the various delicious desserts and drinks that they have and I'm always especially wistful of the sakura ones. I'm so happy that there's a place here that we can get them this year.

Are there any special seasonal desserts that you enjoy? Please share it with me.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Purchase Review: DHC Q10 Moisture Care Liquid Foundation

A couple of weeks ago I made a purchase from DHC, buying eye creams for myself and my sister. You can choose up to 4 samples and I ended up choosing sample packets of the Q10 Moisture Care Liquid Foundation in Natural Ocher 02. DHC ships very quickly and I was able to test the sample. I really liked the feel and coverage of the foundation but felt that the color was a slight bit too light on me. I decided to go ahead and order Natural Ocher 03, hoping that it wouldn't be too dark.

Again, the shipment arrived very quickly and I've played around with it for a few days now. I think that Natural Ocher 03 is just slightly too dark but I have found a way to work around it so I will probably order another foundation in Natural Ocher 02. Yes, I like this foundation very much.

According to the DHC website, this foundation is ultra-moisturizing and age defying. It contains the free radical-fighting super antioxidant coenzyme Q10. It provides full, even coverage for a flawless-looking skin. It also contains a blend of collagen, elastin and oat kernel extract which all help to moisturize and plump the skin to help minimize the appearance of fine lines.

I like the way that DHC includes a Product Directions and Ingredients Guide in their shipments.

Here's the list of ingredients in the foundation. You can click on it to bring it up in a larger size.

So, does it live up to all of its claims? I think that it does with most of the claims. I love the coverage! It does cover very well without looking cakey. Some scary pictures are coming up.

Naked skin, just prepped and primed:

As you can see, I have a lot of freckles and that one big spot on the apple of my cheek, which I detest!

Using just a little bit of foundation, (remember the 6 dots rule?) I dab it around my face and the buff it in with a brush and then stipple to soften the finish:

Even using the small amount of foundation, it covered up my spots quite well. I don't know why my face looks so white in this picture but believe me, it's not that light.

Next step that I do is conceal the large dark spot and then using the lighter foundation color, I apply it to under my eyes and blend it outward and downward so that there are no distinct color lines:

I literally use only one little dot of foundation under each eye. I do this because I like having under my eyes and the top of my cheeks to be lighter. I don't have to use any highlighter this way.

Although it doesn't look like I need to, I still go ahead and conceal some of the smaller spots, finish off with powder and then finish up the rest of my makeup--contouring, blush and lipstick.

As with all foundations, this does oxidize on me as the day wears on. For Hawaii, it has been quite cool these last couple of weeks so with the lower temperature and humidity, I haven't been able to put it through the heat test. I find that with more humidity, it makes my face tend to perspire and that will make a foundation oxidize even more. Also since it has been cooler, this foundation didn't feel as moisturizing as I thought it would. I just have to make sure that I moisturize well until regular weather starts again. I may have to do another quick review when the summer months come about and I can see how long lasting it is. For now, it lasts well over 10 hours on me. Being that this is considered a moisturizing foundation, I don't think that it feels heavy, nor does it leave my skin feeling tacky. It doesn't have a dewy finish that most moisture foundations have so it doesn't leave you looking like you have oily skin.

I think that this is a great product and I'm so glad that I tested it out. It's a nice match for my skin tone in that it's not too yellow nor is it way too pink. DHC has this on sale until the end of the month. You can read up on it here, which shows the different color choices. It's not great, only 4 shades, but this is typical of Japanese foundations.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Product Review: Inexpensive False Eyelashes

Last week when I was out and about with my home stay girls, we were in Don Quijote (Donki) and I found a set of inexpensive false eyelashes from Japan. These looked similar to a set that I had received last year from a friend and blogger in Japan. I looked through my blog and I don't think that I had ever done a gift review of the eyelashes I received as a gift. I think that those pictures were in my old computer which had a disastrous ending--I lost everything on my hard drive when it crashed and died.

The false eyelashes that I received are from a very unknown (to me at least) beauty brand called Beauty Nailer. There are 5 pairs of eyelashes in it and the style of these are Cross Short.

I love these lashes because the length really is short and is just about the same length as my own natural lashes. I rarely wear false eyelashes because I can't stand the feel of them and many of them are so long and thick that they seem to shade my eyes from light. These are actually very comfortable and didn't give me that hooded feeling. They look very natural on. I sparingly wore them because I didn't want to run out and I still have the 2nd pair that I used away in my case to wear again.

The ones that I purchased were also in a set of 5 pairs and this is another unknown brand, Decorative Eyelash--or it could be Play Pure, I'm not sure. At the bottom of the package, it also says Playgirl, so I'm really confused!

These are also Cross Short. They longer and seem to be a bit thicker than Beauty Nailer. These have the labeling of being made in China. I couldn't find any labeling on the Beauty Nailer.

The one major difference that I noticed between the two brands is that the spine on the Decorative Eyelash brand is so stiff! It doesn't stay curved nicely, which makes it a little difficult to apply. I'm hoping that after using it a couple of times, it'll soften up and be more pliable. I thought that this would make the lashes be uncomfortable to wear but after finally getting it to stick and stay stuck, it is actually very comfortable! I think that it's one of the more comfortable lashes I have used.

The length of the lashes are still only very slightly longer than my own lashes and even though these are more dense, I don't feel like it's blocking any light and hooding my eyes. I also do not feel like I have to yank them off after a couple of hours of wear, as I do with a lot of other eyelashes. Unfortunately, I do not remember the exact price of this pack but it was in the neighborhood of $12.99 - $14.99. It's a great deal for 5 pairs and I definitely would repurchase if I find it again.

Today is St. Patty's Day thus my green EOTD. Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Purchase Review: Tony Moly 7 Days Tatoo Eyebrow Pen

I don't know why but I seem to have a mental block against doing an eyebrow post. I've been wanting to do one for months but haven't done so and I had gone through several different eyebrow products that I thought I'd review. It's probably because I have the ugliest, practically non-existent eyebrows ever. Hopefully I'll do a post on how I do my eyebrows but giving you fair warning--it's scary!

For the past few months, actually close to a year, I've been on the lookout for a good eyebrow product that would be somewhat natural looking and waterproof as well as smudge proof. I thought, several times, that I found THE product but then moved on to something else. I had really been wanting to try the K-Palette Real Lasting Liquid Eyebrow Pen since I really love the eyeliner pen. After reading some reviews online, I came across this Tony Moly 7 Days Tatoo Eyebrow. (That's how they spell it.) The reviews said that it was very much similar to the K-Palette one. I decided to try it mainly because I could go to the store and buy it instead of having to order it online--I wanted instant gratification.

There is only one color, which is 02 Dark Brown. At first I found it a bit too dark but I've gotten used to it. As you can see, it's like a fine sharpie pen. I really like it because it's quite pigmented and easy to use, once you get used to using it. I had tried the NYX pen but it was a much fatter tip and I felt that it was harder to work with and didn't give as natural a look. For my inner eyebrows, I can make quick, short strokes to imitate eyebrow hairs. Once I do most of the filling in, I can fill in sparse spots by kind of dotting it in. I find that if I go in the opposite direction that the hair normally grows in, it looks more natural, although most would advise in drawing in the direction the hair grows.

While the name says 7 day tattoo, it really doesn't last 7 days. In fact, it does seem to wipe off rather easily and I can rub it off. I will say though that if I apply it to clean skin, with no skin care products, then I can go to sleep with it on and do some light touching up in the morning, which is what I wanted for those morning when I know I'm going to be in a rush. Otherwise, I normally apply it after I do my normal skin care routine.

I have just placed an order for Canmake liquid eyebrow pens, in 2 different colors. I'll try to do a review on them some time after I get it and have a chance to try it out.


Friday, March 7, 2014


The other week, my friend lent me her extra Nu Skin Galvanic Spa II system. I haven't wanted to try it out because it's brand new and when I heard how expensive it is, I'm quite hesitant.

First of all, what is the Nu Skin Galvanic Spa II system? It is a small instrument in which you can have a spa experience at home. It uses galvanic currents to help treat your skin, together with specially formulated products, which will rejuvenate and improve the appearance of your skin.

My friend's system consists of the instrument and four interchangeable heads which you use on different parts of your body.

Some of the benefits include lifts, tightens and firms your skin, helps to erase fine lines and wrinkles, brighten your complexion, hydrate your skin and remove impurities.

It needs to be used in conjunction with specially formulated gels, one which is a pre-treatment and is negatively charged and the treatment, which is positively charged. The box comes with 4 sets in it.

According to my friend, you should do this 2 times a week, so this means that each box will last only for 2 weeks. Each box costs $60.00! That makes it $120.00 a month.

My friend says that it really works and wants me to try it. I'm scared! What if I like it? I don't think that I could afford to keep up with using it on a regular basis. Yet the beauty blogger in me wants to try it. So my internal debate and struggle goes on. What should I do?


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Purchase Review: Shu Uemura Enchanted Black Parallel Palette

Back in late October, I purchased the Shu Uemura Enchanted Black Parallel palette, which was a limited edition holiday 2013 palette. I was excited to purchase this because I had been wanting to try eye shadows from Shu Uemura. I was also able to get 3 lip glosses as a gift.

I chose this palette over the other holiday palette in this collection because these colors were more "me" than the paler colors in the other palette. I was worried about that it might end up being too warm for me

 It didn't take too long before I received my order.I was a bit disappointed that for the price, some of the shadow pans in the palette were not properly placed and are crooked. The colors are beautiful but as I thought, it runs on the warm side and it doesn't work well on me. I played with it a couple of times and have decided that I won't be using it. It's too bad because I do like how the shadows applied and they were nicely pigmented.

It seems that I haven't been having much luck with my recent purchases.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Using My Stash February 2014

Before this month gets further into March, I want to do my last month's using my stash. I didn't use very much so it should be short and sweet.

Hadanomy Aquaplacenta Esthe Foam Facial Cleanser

I got this as a gift from my son and daughter-in-law when they came to visit from Japan. Some items from this line are available here but unfortunately, not this item. I have one backup so will keep it for a while before using it. I do have other facial cleansers to use in my stash anyway.

Sample packets

I spent most of the month of January away from home so I used sample packets instead of packing my regular items. I had just a little bit of these left and used it up last week when I spent another night away from home. Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Vitalizing Complex, which I used as a serum. I liked it but the full-sized item is quite pricey so will probably not purchase. DHC Velvet Skin Coat primer is interesting. I find it to have too much of a silicone feel so I probably won't purchase it. It also came out of the packet as almost as a firm gelatin consistency. I could actually bounce a little! DHC Eye Bright eye cream. I've been using another DHC eye cream and liked this sample (I have several samples of it). Last month for a short while, DHC offered free shipping so I ordered a full-sized tube of it.

Tarte Blush

This was part of a 2012 Christmas set of blushes so it's not a full size but maybe a deluxe sample size. This color was "fantastic". I liked the color but I have so many blush in my stash that I will move on to using another one and not try to find a back up of this to purchase.