31 August 2011

Make-Up: Japan vs. the West & ADDICTION by Ayako

Until last night, I've been sat in Japan for the past month thinking about all the lovely Western cosmetics brands that I miss, and then I spoke to H who I remembered always had an interest in Japanese make-up and I realised - what on EARTH am I doing?!

It's true - Japanese make up is VERY different from the typical Western ideal, in both products and looks. I feel like Japanese make up is a lot more sheer and glitter-oriented (you can kinda get the idea if you look up brands like Majolica Majolca, CANMAKE, RMK, Jill Stuart, KATE Lavshuca, Maquillage etc., etc.,), and much less bold or pigmented than what is popular in the West. I've got to admit that I typically lean towards the latter, and so while I have been perusing around Japanese drugstore brands, there was never much that took my fancy (okay, bar a few).

Then I discovered ADDICTION by Ayako. EEP!


Ayako is the former right-hand woman of (the incredible blush-maker!) Francois Nars. She left Japan for New York in 1990 with not much but her portfolio and she lives there today with her very own make-up line, which has launched here in Japan.

I read a bit of her interview, and the phrase that caught my attention the most was what I wrote above - the difference in the cultural taste in cosmetics. As a person who has lived less than half her life in Japan and the rest elsewhere, I'm always interested in transcultural topics and so this line caught my eye as something that may be the make-up equivalent of who I am - a Japanese with very different inspirations.

Tomorrow I'm off into the centre of Tokyo to pick up my student visa, and hope to take a quick (maybe not) detour into an ADDICTION counter, just to see if anything takes my fancy! Here are the things that have already caught my eye..

The blushes..

The customizable compacts.. (not that I don't have enough..)

Somewhat the lippies..

and the cheek sticks :D

Sorry for some of the poor quality pictures, but I didn't wanna take other people's photographs so do take a look on Google yourselves :)

As you can see, a VERY heavy influence from Francois Nars himself, but I am curious to see what she's done to make it hers :) I LOVE the packaging (check out the lipgloss packagings, they are LUSH.)

The Cheek Sticks are multifunctional, and can be used as eyeshadow bases as well as lipsticks. They've won an award for best cheek product of the year, and Ayako's powder foundation and nailpolishes have both won first place in their respective categories too.. so those 3 I will definitely be checking out! I am so excited. If that even covers it.

I am crapping myself (put ever so eloquently if I say so myself) at how much dosh I may be parting with tomorrow.. time to bust out more vouchers maybe?

What brands' philosophy/story fascinate you? :)

<3yu
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30 August 2011

August Favourites :)

I can't believe I have less than a month left to be in Japan! :( I was going to whinge about how it's kind of difficult to live with parents for so long when you've had all the independence, but I'm currently so bored without my mom as she's gone to a middle school reunion, and my dad's been away for work in Papua New Guinea..  total FAIL on my behalf! I've still enjoyed myself though, and have a month yet to appreciate my time here so all is well :)

Anyway, here is my monthly favourites video :) 


Apologies again for the caffeine high (and the caffeine relief bit LOL! I couldn't edit it out I was lol-ing at myself) - it's probably why there's lots of editing in this one! :P Coffee really is my drug of choice :P

And some of my new found favourite blogs this month are..

I spent a few hours going over all her posts! Reminded me about how relaxed blogging should be and that it's not just about trying product after product, or about cult products or about high end products - it's about showing people what you love! :) Unfortunately this has added lots of new products onto my wishlist though and made me doubt my decision on some products I used to shrug off.. (Helloooo, Bella Bamba!).

I love this blog and have caught myself on it numerous occasions recently (as I don't do rounds of certain blogs, I just read what I think looks interesting on my Dashboard) which is always proof that I'm loving a blog! She talks about products that not a lot of people have heard about, and also has great reviews and not to mention photographs! I'm hoping to do a full round of her blog tonight, as I've been viciously reading through them day by day! :D

I'm usually not a fashion blog kind of girl, but I LOVE Carlinn's style as it's not too OTT or too complicated and she wears lots of solids which I love (as I struggle to find pattered tops I like.. the only one I have is what I'm wearing in the video! :P), all whilst still being extremely inspiring and stylish! For the first time I find myself wanting day-wear heels?! I also love her make-up tastes, and always love seeing bits and bobs of Malta - I absolutely adored it there! :)

And some snaps from this month.. :)


1. Books to planning my mom and my trip to Kyoto/Nara/Osaka in September :)
2. Visiting my baby second cousin Arata <3
3. Flowers for my grandpa's grave <3
4. Steamed bread :D (extent of my baking abilities..)
5. Reading for my next degree!

Hope you guys had a brilliant August :)

<3yu
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28 August 2011

Review: Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream

I first heard of the BB Cream about 4 or 5 years ago on tele in Japan, and to be honest I was skeptical - but when it started taking major brands by storm, I thought I wanted to give it a try but never really knew which brands to go for! There are now so many of them, and while there are brands I trust that do BB Creams (MAC, Maybelline, etc.,) I wasn't sure they really had it down like the Korean brands that started the trend - I was quite lost and so never really bothered!


So when BBCosmetics UK contacted me about trying one of their BB Creams in stock, I was more than willing, especially when the lovely Runlin offered to help me choose one perfect for me! I chose the Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream, because it seemed to have the qualities I wanted, including being affordable (£19.99), having relatively higher coverage and a very high SPF (42). From the description on the website, I also chose it because it didn't claim anti-aging properties but it seems on the bottle it does.. which was my only concern with the site itself.


What exactly is a BB Cream, and how is it different from a foundation?

I think that was my biggest question. The main difference is that BB Creams were originally used for those recovering from laser skin treatment, so there are healing properties for scars and skin in general, and it acts as a barrier, which makes BB Creams almost a combination of skincare and cosmetics. You can read more about it here :)

This page also explains the term "whitening" on BB Cream labels - it's kind of an error on the brand's part because what they really mean is that it "brightens" the skin by healing sunspots and scars, but chooses to use the term "whitening" as lighter skin is thought to be more desirable in many parts of Asia. 

So worry not - because I'm thoroughly medium skin toned, I love my tan, and the Missha M Perfect Cover is still a 100% a-go-go for me :)


Packaging:

I love the packaging. It's super well thought out and practical in the sense that it's hygienic with a pump (it really is bizarre that many brands choose to overlook the massive demand for pumps!), but also accommodates the consumer in the sense that you can squeeze the last bits out, or even cut the tube and depot it so you can use the last drops - love it! Very consumer friendly :) The pump did malfunction for about two uses recently, but it seems to be back on form :P

(Top: regular foundation, Bottom: Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream)

Shade & Application:

As you can see from the picture above, the Missha M Perfect Cover is grey like many other BB Creams, and it will remain to be grey for about 15 to 20 minutes after application, but it then adapts to your skin colour. For those of you who rush out of the door in the morning, this may be a problem - however, I've found it's nothing a bit of powder can't help for the time being.


Unlike other BB Creams, there are different shades available for the Missha M Perfect Cover which I think makes this particular BB Cream more approachable for those of us who are new to the idea - it definitely came as a relief for me, as wrong shades are a nightmare! My shade is 23, which I would recommend for anyone between NC25-35 and the other on the BBCosmetics UK website is 21. However, there are others available, and the ones I've heard of are 13, 27 and 31.


As for this shade-adapting capability in general, apparently it's because BB Creams seep into your skin - I find this a bit strange and scarily intrusive. However, I haven't felt any consequences of it in the Missha M Perfect Cover - the product is not hard to get off, and my skin hasn't broken out. I still do find the thought a bit scary though!

As far application goes, this is meant to be applied by patting motions with your fingers, which means it again takes a bit more time to make sure there are no visible lines, and that it's sufficiently set in so it can adjust to your skintone. So again, not the best for those who have busy mornings!

However, here is the proof that it does adapt :) It goes from this..


..to this!


Formula:

The finish, if you take the time to pat it in, is incredible - a very natural, not too dewy, not too matte finish, with a light-medium coverage that gives you a pretty bare look! It's really a step up from a tinted moisturizer - more coverage and a similar finish of skin showing through - and a step down from a natural-finish foundation, which I feel tends to be more semi-matte and medium coverage. I still like to use concealer with this, but I don't think powder is a must, as oil control is decent. The consistency is thick but it doesn't translate on to the face as full-coverage nor heavy.

For me the finish is ideal for errand days, days at the gym, or playing sports - days where you're not meant to wear make up but you wanna look presentable, however a tinted moisturizer wont cut it :P

The staying power is alright, but as you can see above, after 5-6 hours, my forehead is just a teeny bit darker, which shows that its worn away a bit as my forehead is naturally darker than the rest of my face. However, this was worn through heat and humidity, one blot and no touch-ups so I'd say it wears away nicely with better-than-average staying power :)

The point that makes me reach for this BB Cream over others is the SPF - when I know I'll be outside running errands, I will always reach for this because of the SPF!

I have noticed some of my scars disappearing recently but I'm not 100% sure I can credit it all to this, as I've also changed my skincare routine.


So yes, I love the Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream, and I hope to always have it in my collection - it's one that I'll turn to on very casual days when I need a bit more coverage than a tinted moisturizer, but a natural foundation may be a bit much. It IS a bit of a inbetween/picky product, so that's why I say it's nice to have in my collection - maybe not a must, but very handy :)

Personally I'd recommend this BB Cream to anyone, especially to newcomers because..

- It has several shades
- Suitable for sensitive, dry, combination or oily skintypes
- Bit of a bargain at £19.99 as you get 50mL unlike most foundations that give you 30mL and I rarely use a full pump!

And in general, it's..

- Inbetween a tinted moisturizer and natural foundations
- Natural finish
- Light-medium coverage
- Decent oil control
- High SPF
- Good lasting power
- Healing properties

The only negative, which may be a killer for some, is that it takes more time than other face base products because of the application and shade-adjusting!

Hope this cleared up a bit about BB Creams in general too, and if you're up for trying one yourself, BB Cosmetics UK has a great selection of BB Creams for you to browse through :) As I was really impressed by this product, I hope to stop by the Missha shop in Tokyo some time soon to check out their other products!

What are some of your Missha recommendations?
Have you tried the Missha M Perfect Cover? :)

Sorry for the long review, I honestly can't help myself :P

<3yu
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26 August 2011

FOTD: What Do I Do With You Amber Diamond?!

A few days ago I posted about my Dior haul, and picked up what is probably the most raved-about highlighter in the blogging community - Dior Shimmer Powder in Amber Diamond 02.

Now I was going to get this baby no matter what unless it was absolute crap because I only have 1 other (not amazing) powder highlighter in my collection so it wasn't like I was using my dosh on something I already had - so I walked out of the store liking it, but not completely sure as to how I was going to use this product in the way I loved it most..

The sad thing is, I'm still not 100% sure! :(


So far, I've used it in 3 ways on my face, all with the MAC 109. I've used the lightest two shades on the left which gives a really sharp highlight that I will adore for the evening, and I've used all the colours together or the two colours on the right, both of which look invisible on my skin until light hits in, at which point it gives me a sheeny glow.. like this:


Face:
- MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC25 mixed with Bourjois Healthymix in 56
- Bourjois Compact Powder in 73 Miel Dore
- MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC35
- Bobbi Brown Correcter in Peach
- MAC Blush in Melba
- Rimmel Sunshimmer Bronzer in Medium Matte
- Dior Amber Diamond

Eyes:
- Clinique Superfine Liner for Brows in Deep Dark 03
- Dior Amber Diamond
- MaxFactor False Lash Effect Mascara in Black

Lips:
- MAC Lipstick in Vegas Volt


As you can see when it hits the light (second picture), it definitely gives me cheekbones, browbones the whole shabam - but otherwise (first picture) it really doesn't show.

And as much as I could make use of the 2 ways I've found to use Amber Diamond, I feel like I want an inbetween - some cheekbone enhancing way that actually shows subtly on my skin without having to constantly stand underneath direct light because I was looking forward to using this in the winter, when I've got matte foundation/blushers and want some dimension!

 Or do I have a totally weird sense of what a highlighter is?! :P

I must say, I quite like it as an eyeshadow though, and the consistency is to die for!

So anyway, I wanted to ask all the Dior Amber Diamond ravers out there - how do you use yours day-to-day? What brushes do you use, which colours and how much do you use?

Hopefully I will have a better grasp of why other people rave about Amber Diamond after this post :) Thanks in advance :)

<3yu
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23 August 2011

I Got Dior-ed.

I was all up for some Dior-haulage on Monday after my stressful week prepping for my visa appointment. I had some vouchers off family, and thought I'd use them on things I usually couldn't afford/justify. I still get pangs of guilt though - Dior is, afterall, a luxury brand and I'm a student and unemployed :P Yep. Bless Emma, I texted her completely freaking out at whether I was mental or just excited - I came to the conclusion that it was a bit of both :P

First up is what I originally went in for, which is the ever-hyped Dior Amber Diamond :) I lacked a natural powder highlighter so I naturally went for the beauty blogger's favourite ;) 



Phwoarrrrrr. Need I say more?

I absolutely LOVE how unique this product is. You can highlight in different ways, like using the lighter side for defining the cheekbones, and a colour more similar to your skintone for a natural glow, AND you can also use it as an e/s or even contouring.

I feel like Amber Diamond isn't your average highlighter though, because it gives almost a duo-chrome sheen, instead of your conventional, lighter-shade highlight. So although I love it for what it is, it's not HG just yet - I think I need get to know it better first! :)


This is the goodie that I wasn't supposed to buy :P As I said in my wishlist post, I've been looking for a sheer peach lippy so I picked up a Dior Addict Lipstick in Miss Dior 343 after the MUA tried it on me :)


It's PERFECT.

This lipstick is nothing like what I thought it would be - it's not watery, slippery, or a colourless mess but balmy, naturally glossy and decently pigmented. It's what I always wanted tinted lipbalms to be - that little bit more pigmented! :) It's also my answer to a better quality 17 Mirror Shine.

I'm really glad I bit the bullet because it's perfect and I can see myself using it everyday! But it is quite expensive, so I hope I find a cheaper alternative before I run out :P It's a little treat to myself for now ;)

Dear Natalie Portman, please may have your eyebrows and eyes? Thanks.

As a quasi-hippy, I do have a little problem with Dior's packaging being unnecessary extravagant. In the future, I hope to make an effort to choose other brands over Dior because of this, unless the product is just undupe-able - which these two I think are!

But there you go :) I'm really happy with my haul, and spend less time feeling guilty the more I use them.  They filled big gaps in my collection, and I know I will get almost daily use out of them - very excited! :)

How about you, have you ever got Dior-ed? :)
What's your favourite product from them, or what do you want the most?! :)

Keep your eyes out for some FOTD's with these gorgeous products!

<3yu
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21 August 2011

Products I Miss Most..

We all do it - we overpack when we're going somewhere, and we still manage to forget things or not think of a situation that may require different/more make up - am I right? :P I've definitely had that these past few weeks, and sure there have been several products I thought "dang, I wish I had that with me!", but there have been a couple that I thought that on several occasions!

Here are probably the ones I've thought of the most..

NARS Sin
(I thought it was an autumn/winter colour but it'd be a nice natural accent on the face when I'm not wearing e/s and having a tan. Pinks/corals makes me look a be clowny atm..) 



 28 Neutral Palette
(I want this for highlighting - not liking MAC Brule very much - and for matte light browns!)


Lipbalms
(I only brought my Body Shop Lip Roll On, which is lovely - but it's a bit wet. I miss that balmy feel! The ones in particular that I miss are the BodyShop Born Lippy, the LipIce ones and the Burt's Bees.) 

 OPI Coney Island Cotton Candy (centre)
(A sheer nude that when you have long nails, can make you look like you have french nails - compliments the lightness of summer! I've only got cream/opaque or bright colours atm!)

MAC Style
(Like I said, corals and pinks can look a bit clowny on me at, but MAC Style is relatively sheer - so it'd be a nice wash of colour on my cheeks right about now :( )

Sigma F80 (right)
(Getting a bit sick of applying foundation with my hands - it can get a bit dirty, and I always have to be cautious about streaks! At the same time, I'm not quite sure how often I would've used it cuz it doesn't seem to work with my Diorskin Forever.) 

Pirates of the Caribbean Box Set
(It's not make up but I've watched this set more times than I care to mention - atm I only have the third one, because it was what was in my laptop when I left the UK and as much as I love the film, it's getting a bit repetitive.. AND my favourite one is the second one.)

and finally..

Dior Amber Diamond
(No, I'm not quite sure you can miss something you never had - but I miss having a shimmery white highlight for my inner corner, and I miss highlighting my cheek bones. I actually only have 1 e/s shimmery highlight and 1 powder highlight and that one can look quite white on me when I'm tan, so I'm thinking it would be wise to invest in this at a early stage so I don't spend so much finding the perfect one. I've swatched it and it was a bit shimmery but I reckon it's cuz your finger picks up a lot! Other than that I thought it was perfect, esp cuz I've heard it can be used as eyeshadow too! So I'm debating using some vouchers to get this baby.. of course, after I try it on my face :))

A bit of a self-ramble there at the end, lol, oops. But I'm thinking this is proof that all these products are, or have been at one point, some of my favourite products, as I don't need to see them to think about them and how good they are, and they just pop into mind when you want something in particular!

It sucks, but it's also a good feeling cuz you know you've got some gems in your collection :)

What products have you missed when you were out and about? :)

<3yu
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18 August 2011

Judgment Day: Shu Curlers

Another cult product happened to fall into my make up drawer (funny how they do that, isn't it :P) when I returned to Japan almost a month ago, and it's the very much talked about Shu Uemura (pronounced shoe oo-eh-moo-rah) eyelash curlers.


Admittedly these only "fell" into my make up drawer when I realised that many people are being somewhat ripped off, as these sell for £9 here in Japan, and £20 in the UK. Now I had a perfectly good pair of eyelash curlers, but if you could test a hyped-up product for £11 less - who wouldn't go for it? I feel kind of guilty if I'm honest. Needless to say, the severe consumer exploitation does bug me a bit..

To me, Shu curlers have gone down the track of NARS Orgasm, in the sense that it's not the universal 'curler of all curlers' that it has the reputation of being - in my honest opinion, there are people who would really find this helpful (like me), and there are people who are better off saving some dosh and buying cheaper ones - atleast in the UK.


The first thing I asked the sales assistant was this: "What makes your curlers so special?" And she pretty much read what it said on the box to me - the shape of the curved edge, the hinges and the silicone band.

1) They claim that the shape of the curved edge fits various eye shapes and prevents it from pinching the skin - just keep in mind that they don't fit ALL eye shapes before you go and splurge! Mine happened to fit, so these work wonders but it would be a shame if yours didn't. I heard from Sam Chapman on Pixiwoo that the arch on these curlers are relatively flat - these would miss the outer and innermost lashes for anyone with deeper curved eye surfaces.


2) They also claim that the shape of the silicone band prevents the crimped look - I disagree. If I use this just at the roots of my lashes, it does what any curler does - give me L-shaped lashes. I like clamping several times along my lashes towards the ends to give a natural curl - so nothing special here for Shu!

3) The hinges make ALL the difference though - it's 100% true that it regulates how much pressure you apply on your lashes, and I think it's because the metal bars that comes off the silicone part is longer and covers more width than my old ones. It applies just enough pressure and in a way that your curls last all day!


This long-lasting curl is the part that Shu Uemura should really be selling, in my opinion. How many posts have you read from bloggers who say they have the world's most stubborn lashes that wont keep a curl? Because I'm one of them!

I have short, flat, thin and therefore easily weighed-down-by-mascara lashes, and while the shortness and thickness can be solved by mascara, the curl and lift is really difficult to find. If I curl my lashes with either eyelash curler, they will last the same time. However, the difference shows when the mascara's layered on. One will droop and end up flat, and the other will droop just a little bit, and it'll stay this way for a good few hours.

I think what these curlers have saved me, is the need/want to recurl my lashes during the day. Now I'm not 100% sure that's worth £20 - in a way I suppose they are, especially if you don't own curlers that you think are working for you, or if you never wear eyeshadow and only mascara and so maybe you're really sensitive about your lashes. It's a case by case basis really, I think my point is to ignore the hype, and think logically about spending £20! Me personally - I adore these and look forward to using them everyday :)


If you can rely on a mascara to give you the curls or if you can rely on a cheaper curler to give you curls for hours - then don't submit to the hype, because they're not going to do much more.

Shu tells you to rebuy them every year because the hinges weaken, and he enforces this by not selling the silicone bands separately - a bit far don't you think? As you can probably tell, I'm not very impressed with the brand itself and all of the testers they gave me were absolute rubbish.

So all in all - use common sense, ignore the hype :)! If what works for you now is fine, then don't feel the need to spend the extra dosh just because they're supposed to be amazing - these curlers don't have magical powers, and wont guarantee everyone better lashes - I think you're more likely to get 'better lashes' if you're like me and struggle with the lasting curl. Try it in store and ask to apply your own mascara on top and wait til you get home to see if it's worth the £20 :)

Hope that helps! :)


What is your experience with Shu Uemura?
How do you find the curlers if you own them? :)

You can buy these from Selfridges for £20 :)

<3yu

EDIT: If you can see in the last photo, the Shu curlers don't open as wide, so this might not be great for people with extremely long or curled lashes as well! Even I have a hard time making sure all my lashes are in, and I have quite short and straight lashes. Thought I'd throw that in :P
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16 August 2011

No Income = WISHLIST TIME!

For the first time in a good 7 years, I'm jobless, and this has been posing several problems for me. The main one being my taste just keeps getting more and more expensive :P So do excuse me while I attempt to channel my 'wants' through the much underrated method of a wishlist:

Skincare


1. Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturizer for Oily/Combination Skin
This is probably my favourite day moisturizer - it's probably a bit rich to have now in the intense humidity of Japan, but I'm looking forward to getting it when I'm back :)

2. Clinique 3 Step System
This really seems to work for me, so I'm excited to pick up the trial kit campaign they are running in Japan on the 26th :)

3. Bioderma Non-Rinse Cleansing Water for Oily/Combination Skin
I got a tester for this - in love. The great thing is you use it like a toner but it takes off your make up really well and it isn't greasy or drying at all :)
4. Origins OutSmart Sunscreen or Simple Face Sunscreen
I haven't decided which - one is £16 and the other is £6, but I want to make sure that the latter isn't going to have a white cast!

Clothes


I've decided it's time for a clear out - when I get back to the UK, there are some things I need to throw out, mostly clothes that have lost its shape or is just generally knackered.. I know what I like to wear now, so it's time I start investing in better quality clothes on things I know I'll wear, and venturing outside of H&M and Primark! (pics taken from F21 - I know it isn't much of a step up, but hey it's a start :P)

1. Oversized/Boyfriend Blazer
I need one because I know I will wear the heck out of it. It's so ridiculously me that I have no idea why I don't have a tailored one - the one I have now is made out of t-shirt material and starting to lose its shape!

2. Long Tank Top
I live in tank tops, 365 days a year. I love long ones, and I've bought ones from F21 before which has lasted a good 2 years of 3 days a week wear.

3. Patterned Top
I hardly ever get more adventurous than stripes - so I'm trying to branch out a bit :)

Make Up


1. NARS Casino Bronzer
My beloved Rimmel Sunshimmer Bronzer is on its last legs, and while I love that bronzer the staying power just doesn't cut it sometimes so I want to take it up a notch and invest in a higher end bronzer for the first time! Everytime I seem to think: "WOW look at those cheekbones" at another blogger, the culprit is usually Casino!

2. MAC 217
Been craving a bit of sheer wash on my eyes, and I think this would make brighter eyeshadows easier to wear.

3. Dior Addict Lipstick in Miss Dior
I really want peach lipsticks - both pigmented/matte ones and glossy ones, but with the summer time I prefer a glossy one first. I probably wont get this cuz of the price but hey, no harm in including it ey, it's a wishlist :P

4. MAC Face & Body
Thanks to the Clinique 3 Step System my skin has been pretty good, so I've been wanting a sheer foundation. Tbh, this is probably a bit dewy to be wearing now, and Japan's MAC doesn't even stock this so it really is just a mental wishlist :P

Accessories

1. Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 in that pattern
If you saw my "What's In My Bag" video, you can see that I have a poor dupe of it, and it's probably one of my favourite handbags due to its shape and how it doesn't put strain on my shoulders/hips (long story short, I have back/shoulder/hip issues from sports/birth :P) so I really want a good quality one that I wont have to repurchase every 6 months. However, the mother is now adverse to the idea of a uni student owning LV even when saved with own hard-earned cash. Fml.

2. Longchamp Jacquard Tote
I'm a bit meh about this, I really just want a nice tote, and have been searching for a good few weeks now and have none that I'm willing to pay the dosh for. Fail.

3. iPod Nano in Pink
My vintage iPod classic from 5 or 6 years ago is on its last legs, and also in the UK so I haven't had music to bounce to at the gym. In my defense, these babies are cheaper in Japan unlike everything else in the world, so I may as well get them while I'm here. Feel a bit bad for my old iPod though, I get attached to objects quite easily :P

Hair


At the moment I have pretty inconspiciously ombre hair, mostly consisting of highlights on a base colour a shade or 2 lighter than my natural hair colour. I'm thinking I wanna step this up, but I'm not sure if I wanna go full on ombre, or just highlights-ombre.. any ideas?

I'm not even going to put the prices cuz I'd just get upset at how much I'm short by :P

What's #1 on your wishlist atm? :)
Does anyone know how to make collages that don't crop at ridiculous places? Atm I'm using Picasa..

<3yu
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14 August 2011

"Back to Japan": Cheeks

The second part of my "Back to Japan" series will be blushers and bronzers. I think in terms of make-up, they are one of my favourite things to play with, alongside foundation and powders :)


I borrowed my mom's camera which I got her for her 60th birthday present - is the quality noticeably different? It's 14.1 Megapixels, where my usual one is like 6.5 Megapixels! I haven't tested out the video quality but if it's good, I might pick one up for myself! What do you think?


Again for blusher/bronzer, I went for a wide range of colours as well as different finishes for bronzers. As you can see from the picture above, loads of different brands so I don't get bored while I'm away from the rest of my goodies! (Although it's obviously not enough to keep me from lusting after so many..)

Bronzers

L: CANMAKE Shading Powder in 02
(A matte bronzer for sharp contouring - haven't used yet :P)

C: Rimmel Sunshimmer Bronzer in Medium Matte
(A really soft pearly bronzer, great for everyday soft contouring - use EVERY day! Hoping to replace with NARS Casino - yay, nay?)

R: CANMAKE Bronzing Foundation in 02
(Great for when I get ridiculously pale foundation samples, just to dust it over. Otherwise it brings out the yellow undertones in my skin way too much if I use it as a contour - therefore my choice of NARS Casino over Laguna!)

L to R: CANMAKE Foundation 02, CANMAKE Shading Powder 02, Rimmel Medium Matte.

Blushers


L: NIVEA Stay Real Blush in Shades of Rose
(Was a candidate for a natural blush for my graduation - haven't worn yet!)

C: Melliesh Blush in Burnt Orange
(Good to have to warm up blushers or to use alone)

R: Illamasqua Cream Blush in Rude
(No need for a brush/good summer colour = no way I was leaving it behind :))


L: NARS Luster
(My blush lover since I got it - been wearing it almost everyday! Lovely natural sun tan peach :))

C: NARS Orgasm
(My favourite pink blusher, had to come with!)

R: NARS Torrid
(Was my go to blush until Luster - atm wondering if it's a bit too clowny for my tan.)

L to R: Melliesh, Illamasqua, Nivea (darker shade), Nivea (lighter shade), NARS Luster, NARS Torrid, NARS Orgasm

So there you go! :) That's what I brought back with me, and I probably could've done without the Nivea or the Melliesh blush, and maybe even the CANMAKE stuff - but that may change as my skin is getting lighter again!

What have your go-to blusher/bronzer been recently? :)

<3yu
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13 August 2011

Review: The Multiple Uses of Sudocrem

I think each country has some sort of medicine that EVERY household always has. In Japan it's probably this medicine called Muhi to ease the itching in mosquito bites, or this little heatpack that you shake to make it warm in the winter.

Sudocrem probably has this status in the UK, but as someone that started living there in late 2008 - I've been clueless about it for quite some time. That was until I heard about its amazing qualities of curing spots here in the blogosphere, and a few days after thinking of purchasing one, Hayden offered these cute little tubes to try out - couldn't say no could I :P


Now I did some brief research on this and there were a few things that I was quite confused about:

1) There's not many examples besides baby rash on how to use it.
2) It says it acts as a barrier but what does it mean? Why wouldn't I just use a bandaid?
3) It says it's good for away from home.. but it's such a thick cream that hardly ever goes transparent - I wouldn't want to walk around in public with white patches on my skin!

And lastly I didn't think the formula is suited for the packaging - yes it's cute and very handy, but sometimes it is just SO difficult to get some product out. That being said, it's probably a lot less messy than the tub, so while I wouldn't use it "on the go" for reason 3), I can see myself getting this over the tub if I repurchase!


Now as you can see I got 3 tubes. I distributed it to a few people - myself shared with my mom, my boyfriend's sister, and my boyfriend's mom. I gathered a few things that it works for, between the four of us:

*1) Mosquito bites - relieves the itching really really well!
2) Blemish treatments
3) Itchy, dry patches on the body
*4) To soften slightly calloused skin (good for before sanding heels/elbows down!)
5) Sunburn

The stars represent what worked for me - the rest are things the others told me. However, I have used A LOT for my mosquito bites which has made dealing with them a whole lot easier, and it was pretty okay in softening my heels which have been quite calloused due to continuously wearing flip flops :)


Would I repurchase?

Maybe, if one day I have a strange skin problem that I'm not sure how to tackle - to me, Sudocrem comes across as a very universal product that has the potential to solve many problems, and is gentle enough to always give it a shot for whatever skin problem. I reckon it's handy to have in the house for when an unknown skin problem pops up! However, as there are no mosquitos in the UK, and there are loads of other body butters that work well for my calloused skin, I can't really say I'll be running out to get another tube instantly after I run out of this one!

But like I said earlier, if I were to get another one, I'd definitely choose the tube over the tub despite it being hard to come out - it's a lot more sanitary and less messy than a tub!

The biggest flaw I think, however, is marketing this as good for "home and away". No one wants a white patch on their face or on their body when they are away!

Bagology Facebook App

Hayden asked me to take a look at Sudocrem Tube's Bagology app that can be found on Facebook, here. I gave it a shot, and chose the Hobo (it was somewhere between that and the shoulder bag :P):

"You (like your bag) have an appetite for lots of stuff! You'll have many interests and are very much a 'cup half full' kind o' gal.

You can't easily let go of your hobo - she's an every day, every occasion kind of must have. You know you'll need to keep a firm grip of your hobo bag and your ideas to stay focussed on making things happen.

You and your bag are no nonsense partners but may suffer from a little too much self criticism as you strive for perfection!"

Aww shucks ;P It's quite fun, give it a shot here! :)

What is your favourite way to use Sudocrem? :)

<3yu
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11 August 2011

"Back to Japan": Lips

With the limited amount of make up I have here with me in Tokyo, I decided to do a series to show you guys things that I've brought back with me :) I didn't wanna do it all at once because, let's face it, I didn't bring THAT little so I thought it best to do it in categories! Hopefully it'll trigger some review requests or post ideas - if you have  any please let me know!

Anyway I decided to kick it off with lips - I didn't include lipbalms, but here are the lippies and lipglosses that have made the trip back with me :)

Lipsticks


Left to Right:
(for my everyday beige nude)

(for my everyday, glossy pink nude)

(not actually sure why this came with..)

* MAC Amplified Lipstick in Warm Me Up (LE)
(MLBB colour, was a candidate for graduation lipstick)

(bright but dusky pink!)

(for the brave summer day cravings of reddish coral)

(Rimmel Nude Delight; 17 Beehive; GSpot Lustrus; MAC Warm Me Up; MAC Please Me; MAC Vegas Volt)


Summery colours? Meh, some of them. But I tried to choose on the basis of "what if" - what if I feel like wearing this, what if I start wanting this - so I tried to cover the spectrum in shades. I just wish I had something like MAC's Ever Hip or TopShop's Ooh La La - a pinky peach/peachy pink - anyone have suggestions? :P

I would've done the same in finishes, but I usually love pigmented lips, and 17 Beehive is the only glossy one I have - I'd love more tbh, so please let me know if you have any suggestions for that as well! :)

Lipglosses


Left to Right
* The Body Shop Love Gloss in 17
(it goes with anything and it's also gorgeous alone!)

(just in case I didn't feel like Vegas Volt ;) )

(The Body Shop 17; Jemma Kidd 15 Coral)

To be honest I haven't worn either of the lipglosses.. no idea why! Sometimes I think glosses look too wet, and I suppose in this humidity (it was 91% the other night!) I'm trying to keep my body to look as dried and unmoist as possible! :P

On that gross note, what have your lipstick/lipgloss picks been recently? :)

<3yu
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