Friday, June 26, 2015

Purchase Review: Rohto Hada Labo Perfect UV Gel

I love Japanese sunscreens. For some reason, Western brands and I do not do well together. The Japanese brands (and Korean brands) that I have used, all are like milk/moisturizer as far as texture and feel. The Western brands have a feel and scent that is, to me, typical of sunscreens.

My all time favorite is Rohto Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion.I have at least 5 backups in my stash. Recently, though, I learned of a new sunscreen that intrigued me and I knew that I needed to try it. Rohto Hada Labo Perfect UV Gel.

The reason why it intrigued me because it has 5 beneficial properties to it. It is a lotion, emulsion, essence, makeup base and sunscreen all in one. You can cut down using all those various products and use only this one product. It's a time saver!

I've been using this for nearly a week now and I really like it! The texture isn't milky and runny like the other sunscreens but comes out in a soft gel or cream texture. Unlike the other emulsion formula, this one does go on feeling a little less like a moisturizer since when you apply it and massage it in, eventually there is some "pull" to it. Sorry, I'm not sure of the word that I should use. I believe that this is the makeup base/primer element to it. 

My skin feels moisturized enough although the weather here has become quite hot--definitely feeling the tropical climate. Despite the fact that the humidity has risen and I'm finding myself perspiring more, my foundation seems to stay in place and not melt off or fade. I'm really glad because nothing looks worse than melting foundation. This is a keeper and I'll definitely be getting more.

This sunscreen is fragrance free, color free and mineral oil free.

What's your favorite sunscreen?


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Saturday Brush Washing

I normally try to wash my makeup brushes on every Saturday. Two Saturdays ago was the first Saturday that I didn't have to work in a few months. It was pure bliss having two days off! Unfortunately, I had to work this past Saturday again. The first order of the day was to wash my brushes that were badly in need of a washing. (I do clean my brushes daily using a daily brush cleanser.)

Daiso Puff and Sponge Cleanser has been and is still my favorite cleanser. It cleans the brushes very well and is so inexpensive. I know that many people have been loving the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser and I'll admit that it was good but I still prefer the Daiso one. The other thing that I use when cleaning my brushes is a nifty little gadget that is actually meant to clean your pores. I can't remember for sure but perhaps it was for blackheads? It's a soft rubbery pad with tiny little "fingers" to help scrub. I find it perfect for scrubbing my brushes while washing and rinsing it off.

This gadget was given to me by a friend a few years ago. I've been using it for almost that long to wash my brushes and have not had any adverse effects to the brush bristles. I will need to pick up more of both the cleanser and the little scrubby thing during my next Japan trip.

My happy brushes:

How often do you wash your brushes?


Friday, June 19, 2015

TKB Trading and Silk Naturals Review

With all of DIY that I've been doing, I thought that I'd share my shopping experience and some of the products that I purchased recently from two different companies.

I first learned about TKB Trading years ago when I was into soap making. At that time, I had resources here locally so I ended up not doing any ordering from them. The popularity of soap making here has dropped dramatically and there are almost no resources but unfortunately, I am also not into making soap any more. 

I mainly ended up at the TKB website because I wanted to buy pans. That's when I discovered that they have a nice selection of micas and pigments to make a variety of different makeup items. I did two or three hauls within a 2 week period and this is most of what I ended up with:

I decided to start off with getting the press packs instead of just the tins. The press pack comes with two pressing tiles, a tamping tool (a pressing tile with a handle) and 9 pans. Just as a side note, the pans that TKB sells are made a tin and not aluminum. Be aware that tin will rust if there is prolonged exposure to water. Tin is magnet responsive and sticks very well. Aluminum pans will not rust but are not magnet responsive so you will need to stick a magnet onto the bottom of the pan. TKB does not sell aluminum pans. 

I bought the 57mm Round Press Pack, 44mm Round Press Pack, 26mm Round Press Pack and 24 x 21mm Rectangle Press Pack. The 57mm is quite large and I have no idea what I'll do with them. Maybe if I ever get into doing pressed powder or pressed powder foundation, I'll use that pan. The 44mm round pan is the perfect size for pressing blush into. I think that the 26mm pan is that one size that we pretty much consider standard as it is the same pan size as MAC pans. The 24 x 21mm rectangle pan is slightly smaller than the 26mm round and I totally love them! I actually prefer rectangle or square over round, even with my storage containers. Rectangle or square fit into refrigerators and cabinets so nicely whereas I feel that round containers waste some space.

I felt that while I was sure that I could find properly-sized round items to press with (like a quarter for the 26mm pan), the rectangular one would present a little more difficulty. For this reason, I decided to just buy press packs for all of the sizes this first time around. I have since ordered a 100 pack of the 24 x 21mm pans.

I could not find fractionated coconut oil locally so I had to place an order for it. It's an emollient oil which is also edible. It has many cosmetic uses but the main reason I bought it is to use it as a binder. It is non-greasy, colorless, odorless and tasteless. It is also anti-bacterial, which means the shelf life is forever. One great tip that I learned from youtuber/blogger Beauty Newbie is to make a mixture of alcohol and fractionated coconut oil in a spray bottle. We all have eyeshadows and blushes that kick up a lot of product and leave a powdery mess in the palettes. You can spray this mixture on and let it dry. It helps to tone down how powdery the product is.

Now for the micas...they are packed into ziplock bags. You can purchase sample size, which is approximately 6 grams all the way up to 1 pound! I purchased several in the 1 ounce size for only $4.00 each. I was surprised by how much mica there is! I think that I may be set for life! I did purchase a couple of the sample bags at $1.50 each and they are more than sufficient too. I think that you can get at least 2 26mm pans. Such a bargain! The product is a space saver being in the ziplock bags but it can get messy.

One of the colors that I bought, Davy's Gray is beautifully pigmented. I decided that I wanted to use it to make a couple of lighter colors to get a gradient eye effect.

Davy's Gray is in the top row, last pan on the right. The 2nd and 3rd pans are also Davy's Gray but mixed with Satin Pearl to make a light shade and a medium shade. The whole top row and the last pan on the bottom row are all TKB micas. This EOTD was done using all of the colors on the top row.

Great pigmentation and they blend well.

TKB's service was exceptional! I received my orders within a week of placing it. I even asked them questions via their "contact me" page and they were very helpful. I will definitely be ordering from them again soon!

I ended up discovering Silk Naturals because I had hit pan on my MAC Seedy Pearl eyeshadow. When I went to purchase another one, I discovered that it was discontinued! Thus began my online search for a dupe and this search led me to Silk Naturals. They have a wide array of beautiful ready-made colors! There are also many dupes to popular brands such as MAC and Urban Decay. The eyeshadows that I purchased were $4.50 for 3/4 tsp, packed in a 5 gram sifter jar. The blush that I purchased were $6.50 for approximately 1 1/2 tsp. packed in a 10 gram sifter jar. For every purchase over $10.00, you get a free eyeshadow packed into a 3 gram sifter jar. 

The site provides more indepth information about the colors that you are looking at, such as color family, finish, opacity, shimmer scale, etc. This is good information to know because pressing matte colors are difficult. I'm going to have to try my hand at it one of these days but from all that I've read, it can be hit or miss.

To press eyeshadow into either the 24 x 21mm pan or 26mm pan, it will require close to 2 containers of eyeshadow. To press the blush into the 44mm round pans, it will also require 2 containers of blush. Definitely more pricey than TKB but very much well worth it. I purchased 3 containers of Flirt Blush and used 2 and part of the 3 container to press. I purchased only one container of Be Mine blush and was too anxious to order more before pressing so I pressed only that one container. 

Wouldn't you know turns out to be my absolute favorite color! I have to purchase more so that I can press another pan and have it be a full pan.

Be Mine is described as a pinky rose color with a neutral tone. 

I received excellent service from Silk Naturals as well. Again, my purchase was received within a week of placing the order. I will definitely be ordering from them again. It's so difficult to decide which colors to buy!

I have several of the free mini eyeshadows from my purchases and someone gave me some. I want to press them so I think that I'll have to purchase the 15mm mini round pans from TKB. 

I have Barry M products and have heard of Shio Cosmetics and Fryrinnae. Fryrinnae is not pigments but loose eyeshadows. Has anyone had experience pressing these and can give me tips? I'm looking into possibly purchasing from them. Any other recommendations sources to purchase micas, loose eyeshadows or pigments to press? I'm totally hooked!


Monday, June 15, 2015

DIY Magnetic Palettes--Picture Heavy

I have done magnetic palettes in the past. One was using CD/DVD cases and is shown here. I'll have to admit that this was a bit of a pain to do since you have to cut out the section where the cd/dvd is inserted. It was time-consuming and needed the use of an exacto knife with some precise cutting. I will definitely not be making these any more.

You can actually make your own magnetic palettes easily and rather inexpensively. Here are the main supplies that you will need:

I've been an avid crafter of various crafts for years. I've included a paper cutter and xyron craft machine, but these are not absolutely necessary. There is also decorative papers, a corner rounder, again not necessary to have, cardboard, scissors, duct tape and sticky-back magnet sheet roll. You can buy the magnet sheets in small packages too but I find it more economical to buy the large roll. If you are making a simple magnetic palette, then all you would really need to purchase is the magnet sheets.

The next thing you need to decide on is the housing unit. I like to find things and figure out various ways that I can use them. Here's items that I have used to create my magnetic palettes:

After going through my cabinet, I realized that I had more palettes than I realized! There's a watercolor paint box, some cute tins, some of which I bought and I think the main use was as a pencil/pen container, cd//dvd case, discount store container sets (which are supposed to be pill cases and I have featured here before) and stacking containers.


I had seen this idea somewhere online. I think it was on Youtube but it could have been a blog post. I really wish that I could remember where I had seen it so that I could give proper credit but I honestly do not remember. I bought this particular brand at WalMart for only $1.97! The paint tray comes out very easliy and I just carefully cracked off the top tab, which is used for hanging purposes. I used a heavy duty scissors to round off any sharp edges. You could easily just cut the magnet sheet to size and stick it in. The person who I saw this idea from also added the use of decorative duct tape to cover the black magnet and make it look pretty! Although it's not necessary, I thought it was a clever idea.

The addition of the duct tape on the magnet didn't seem to lessen the magnetic power. Very inexpensive and easy DIY palette.

Purchased Tins:

My friends sell stationery items which they bring in from Japan and Korea. I usually help them at their trade shows several times a year. A couple years back they brought in these tins, which I assume were for pencils and pencils. I got two larger ones--one in Sentimental Circus and the other in Hello Kitty.

For these, I just put the magnet sheet on the bottom. The tins are actually deep so I decided to make a divider so that I could have another layer. (You can see the 2nd layer placed in the cover of the tin for picture taking purposes. I can actually do a third layer. For my divider, I used thin cardboard, and stuck decorative paper to one side. This is where my xyron machine comes in handy because I can run it through that using the permanent adhesive cartridge. After I have the paper stuck onto the cardboard,I again ran it through the xyron but this time using the laminate cartridge. Place magnet sheet onto undecorated side of the cardboard. You don't have use a xyron machine but instead use double-stick tape to tape the decorative paper onto the cardboard and then use a self-laminating sheet to cover the entire cardboard. The reason for laminating the decorated side is so that you can easily wipe it clean. Another alternative is to use the decorative duct tape and no laminating is necessary.

The dividers:

Another thing that I like to do, is cut a swifter sheet to size and place it on top of my pans. I like that it catches any particles and helps to prevent it from going into the other pans.

I also purchased a skinny tin and it perfectly fits a row of MAC-sized pans.

Repurposed Tins:

I got a couple of super cute tins as gifts. One was a Hello KittyxLiberty London with lipgloss inside. The other was a Hello Kitty mint tin. 

The Hello KittyxLiberty London tin is nice in that it has a clear plastic window so you can actually see what's inside. It's quite deep too so this will have several layers.

The mint tin is really small but will fit 3 MAC-size pans, which makes it perfect if you want to take some eyeshadows with you for touching up and glamming up before going out after work.

This next tin is the whole reason why I really got into making my own palette. A couple of years ago, my grandson came for a visit from Japan. Although barely 2 years old at the time, he knew that I loved Hello Kitty and gave me the tin. It actually had something else in it--either candy or stickers that was for keeping him busy on the airplane. 

If you place two business cards, one over the other. it is just about that height but not quite as wide as a business card. I felt that this would make for the perfect travel palette. It is quite deep so I can have 3 layers. It is still a work in progress but for now, the bottom layer is all the eyeshadows that I intend to take for traveling. It can fit 8 pans.

The middle layer has two blushes and two MAC-sized pans.

The top layer has a third blush and one depotted Naked Palette pan and one MAC-sized pan. I also have a mini nail file in there, which I will explain shortly.

I do not plan on traveling with 3 blushes but will take two with me. I the eyeshadows in the middle layer will also not go with me but I may want to add a couple more to round out the neutral colors.

I also made a larger, separate magnet plate, or working palette, for me to put the pans that I will be using for the day when I do my makeup. Since everything is crammed pretty close together, I prefer separating the colors that I will be using for easier access while doing my FOTD. For this I used an old Amazon card.

Following my divider creation technique, I used the deocrative duct tape to cover one side and magnet sheet on the other. 

I will use the nail file to easily lift up the dividers to pull it out more easily and to help me to move around and lift up the pans to pull out to put onto this working palette. When not in use, the working palette is stuck to the bottom of my tin.

I find that this is perfect for a traveling palette. It actually takes up less space and I'm taking more color options than when I've traveled in the past.

100 Yen Store Containers:

Lastly, are these 100 Yen Store containers. I actually found these in my local Don Quijote Store and the price here is $1.99. The main purpose of these are to be used as pill cases. I really love these as they come as several containers enclosed in a container!

There are also different options. One has two types of pill cases-a small one with 3 small compartments and 3 larger, 2-compartment cases. The other style has the same one small and one of the larger 2-compartment case and one large case. I really like this one and I wrote about another case very similar to this except it didn't have the small 3-compartment case. You can see it here. At that time, I didn't know what I would use the 2-compartment cases for but I figured that one out now! You can actually make use of all of them together or separately. The large case that everything is housed in can have the magnet sheet placed on the bottom and still fit the other containers in. The smaller 2-compartment containers can fit 2 layers of 2 rectangular pans or 2 layers of 1 MAC-sized round pan.

If you have 2 sets of that in the larger "host" container, then you can have a total of 16 rectangular pans or 8 round pans. You can then have 2 layers of 2 each blush pans! This also makes for a very convenient travel palette!

In a future post, I will talk about the pan sizes that I am using in these pictures.

I am thinking if there is interest, I can use these to make, customize and sell empty magnetic palettes. I can include it with empty pans or without. It's just a thought for now.

If you have read up till the end, thank you! This was a very long post and I hope that you found it interesting and informative.


Friday, June 12, 2015

DIY Pressing Eyeshadows/Pigments

In an effort to relieve stress and wanting to be creative, I got hooked with pressing my own pans of eyeshadows and blushes. My main goal was to put together a travel palette and it seems to be snowballing. The one thing holding me back is needing to find more pigments that appeal to me. Plus, I do not want to spend any more money just to satisfy my creative juices since I really do have so much makeup already.

I had pressed MAC pigments before and it's the easiest to do since all you need besides the pan and something to press with, is the MAC pigment and alcohol. MAC pigments already have a binder in it while most other pigments or micas do not. I first learned to use vegetable glycerin as a binder and it works great. I have since learned that it does tend to get mildew, especially in humid climates. Fractionated Coconut Oil is a much better product to use as a binder. I have been told that it's naturally anti-bacterial, which is a plus.

I bought most of my supplies from TKB Trading.

They have a wide range of supplies and the service is impeccable. I picked up several different pan sizes, including the standard 26 mm round pans (MAC pan size). One thing to be aware of is that there are 2 different types of pans, tin and aluminum. Aluminum pans are not magnet responsive so you will need to place a magnet on the bottom of the pan. Tin pans are magnet responsive but will rust if there is prolonged exposure to water. This is why it's best to use the highest alcohol concentration and to press your pigment as soon as possible. TKB sells only tin pans but there are other companies which sell the aluminum tins if you prefer to use those. You can even buy a pressing tool but can find items around the house to use such as a quarter for the 26 mm pans.

After a bit of a trial and error process (it takes more coconut oil to bind the pigments than glycerin), I pressed  a variety of different things.

As I mentioned, MAC pigments are the easy to press, just add alcohol and that's it. Silk Naturals "Hint" is supposed to be a dupe of MAC's now discontinued "Seedy Pearl". I really like it but I find that TKB "Angel Wings" is much closer to "Seedy Pearl". There are several pan variations of TKB Davy's Gray. I mixed it with different percentages of "Satin Pearl" to get light tone and mid tone shades. I really love Giorgio Armani ETK No. 23. This one was definitely the easiest to pan as it is a moist eyeshadow. I just scraped out the shadow into the pan and pressed. The same can be done with L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadows, The blushes are very pigmented. I need to be careful and make sure that I do not end up with clown cheeks. I did find that the blushes did not wear well on me at first. I have found that if I "set" the blush with translucent powder after applying, it wears very well and stays nice all day for me.

I am having so much fun with this and am looking forward to finalizing my travel palette. Have you experimented with pressing eyeshadows?


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fixed Broken Chanel Eyeshadow Palette

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was MIA but kept myself involved in doing some beauty-related things. A lot of it was doing DIY and creative things and I wanted to share these in some posts. first up is fixing an eyeshadow palette.

A few years back I blogged about receiving the beautiful Chanel Ombres Perlees eyeshadow palette. To my dismay, my cat had an accident which in turn knocked over a lamp and had the eyeshadow palette go crashing down as well. The end result was in a cracked palette, including the mirror.

I was disappointed but felt that I could still use the palette. It got increasingly difficult to use as it kept on breaking apart and getting into the other pan colors so I eventually gave up thinking that one day I'll redo it. The day finally came. Probably the most difficult thing to do was to keep the broken eyeshadows from falling into the color that I wanted to press into a new pan. I used my favorite kitchen item to help--Glad's Press'n Seal.

I swear, this product is awesome! It's so much better than plastic wrap as it really does seal very well. I placed it on the palette and cut away the section that I wanted to remove the eyeshadow. I would then reseal the empty portion when I moved on to the next color.

Once I was done with pressing all the colors, I then needed to decide what to put it in. I do have various empty magnetic palettes and I feature those ideas in another post. I decided to keep this together as one palette and went through my stash of things to figure out what to use. I came upon my Sephora mirror case, which is what is normally what you get when you receive a gift card. This particular one was quite old and the mirrors had fallen off. I kept it thinking that I would reglue the mirrors back but never did.

I then realized that the eyeshadow pans fit into the case nicely.I inserted a sticky-backed magnetic sheet onto the bottom of the case and placed my new eyeshadow tins in.

The top of the case wasn't very pretty because of the old glue residue.

I thought that I could reglue one of the mirrors but the mirror was too thick and the case would not close. I ran a decorative paper through the Xyron machine to make it sticky backed and stuck it to the cover to make the case more presentable.

Although I don't normally use and keep the included applicators, I placed it into the case to show that even the applicators fit nicely.

I peeled the label off of the back of the Chanel case and placed it onto the outside cover, covering the Sephora logo. This way I will know that this is the eyeshadow palette and not a mirrored case.

In comparison to the Chanel case, this new housing is half the thickness.

It makes for even easier portability. I'm really happy with the end result. I will now make better use of this beautiful palette.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Long Time No Blog!

My work schedule will FINALLY start winding down back to almost normal. I'm so sorry for the absence! I have to admit that this year seemed quite insane! It could also be that I'm getting older and slowing down.

I came home each day exhausted and yet couldn't sleep because I was too wound up. All that I could do was sit and vegetate in front of the television. The last few weeks it was getting boring and yet I couldn't muster the energy or have the motivation to sit and take pictures and write up a blog post. I was starting to really miss doing anything beauty related so I started to go through my stash and clear things up and out. I also got motivated to want to start pressing pigments. I started doing so a couple of weeks ago and have been having a lot of fun doing so. For now, here's a picture of the various supplies that I've been using.

I am hoping to do a couple of blog posts on the things that I have done. I've also made a Vitamin C serum, which is to help lighten dark spots and brighten your skin,

While my work life is slowing down, my personal life is getting hectic with various visitors coming. I guess that really marks the start of summer!

How has everyone been?