I've long been avoiding beauty magazines like Maquia and Biteki, because I feel they're nothing more than thick books of advertisement/advertorial for various makeup brands. Also, they usually give out cosmetic samples as freebies, which doesn't exactly tempt me.
I gave this Anastasia of Beverly Hills Highlighting Brow Kit a try after watching my sister fills in her eyebrow with Lancome eye shadows. Totally unrelated I know ^.^ I have never really paid attention to my eyebrows before, but seeing how filling in her eyebrows can really frame up my sister's face, I decided I shouldn't keep ignoring mine. I am already taking the time to apply eye shadows and such, might as well fill in those brows too.
About 2-3 weeks after Golden Week my sister came to visit me for a weekend and we spent a whole day together at the Manyo Club Yokohama, a 8-floor onsen spa club that trucks in its natural hot spring water from Atami, Shizuoka daily!
We've been trying to find an onsen facility locally here at Yokohama but weren't successful. Hubby did overhear his classmates talk about a bathhouse (sento) nearby but when he finally inquired, the classmates replied they only heard rumors and had never been themselves. So we were left to our own device to search for an interesting place to bring my sister when she visits. Thank goodness for the Yokohama City sightseeing guide on the city's official website (in English too, yay!), where I spotted Manyo Club further down the list. With details and pictures on Manyo Club's official website and more information from this Japanican.com review, all 3 of us were totally sold on the place. A foot bath on the building's roof with a 360 degree view of Yokohama? Yes, please!!!
Sigh...there's only 1 week left of June and I'm just starting to post my May magazines...Grrr... Sorry folks, my work's peak season is usually around May, June, July and (hopefully not) August, so I've been putting in lots of hours there and, well, lag behind here. Moving on.
Julia left a comment suggesting I should try using the cream base on these palettes on my lower lash line or in the inner corners of my eyes, and I did, and though I still don't like the greasy texture of these cream bases, they did work out a lot better!
And what do you know, apparently I haven't been following instructions on how to use these palettes either, because the plastic packaging for these clearly says the cream base is to be used to highlight the inner corner of the eye. Ha, silly me. A classic case of incorrectly using the product and then rant about it. My apologies. I take back some of the mean things I said about the cream base on these palettes ^.^
This encourages me to go back and use all the cream shadows I hate, like that Canmake Jewelstar Eyes below, on my lower lash and inner corners of the eyes too. Thanks for the great suggestion, Julia!
Original post Friday, June 17, 2011.
Originally I didn't want to go anywhere near these Visee Brilliance Forming Eyes, thanks to the glittery cream base (lower left) on each palette.
I'd made this point repeatedly - I don't have anything against cream eye shadows. Quite the contrary, I love them. I wear sheer ones (Laura Mercier Metallic Creme Eye Colour in Platinum) as base and use the more pigmented ones (also Laura Mercier, in Gold, as well as the long discontinued Lancome Colour Dose in Bungalow Berry) to add depth. But the glittery cream shadows that are usually included in many Japanese made eye shadow palettes, and sometimes sold separately too, like Canmake Jewelstar Eyes (I still regret that mistake, urgh), are something else entirely. And mind you I'm not talking about the cream liners in palettes like T'estimo Frame Impact and Grande Shine Eyes, which surprisingly don't crease on me as they do on most people. I'm talking about the super greasy, crease central, chunky glittery crap that's so gritty it irritates my eyes, like the one in this Visee Brilliance Forming Eyes. And this is coming from someone who loves sparkly glittery eye shadows!
It's too bad the 2 Lavshuca Noble On Color Eye palettes bombed for me, because I'm throughly enjoying Lavshuca's previous release of the Eye Color Select palettes. I've read these are pretty popular, and I can totally see why. They're gorgeous!
The Eye Color Select comes in wine colored transparent plastic compacts with metallic lids showing gradient wine colored borders at the top and bottom. Two applicators are included but there are no mirrors. Each palette comes with 4 powder eye shadows, a highlighter/base color (upper left), a medium crease color (lower left), a darker liner color (lower right), and a super sparkly finishing color (upper right).
While hubby and I were in Shizuoka, my sister also took us to her local onsen, Hana no Yu, located in the city of Fujinomiya, on the southern side of Mount Fuji. As soon as we got off the train, we were greeted with this view of the mountain ^.^ And it was a cloudy day. Imagine a nicer clearer sky!
Every region you visit in Japan will boast about their "famous" (though in most cases, self-hyped :P) regional specialties in the form of myriads of food and snack omiyage, a huge culture in Japan and a whole industry to itself! For Shizuoka, it's wasabi, green tea, strawberries, and baked sweet pies, among other things.
I love this Badger Foot Balm, and I keep the tin right next to my bed on my nightstand right next to its sister Sleep Balm. It is a thin balm and looks and feels like a balm, but it's pure magic, as in it heals my chapped and cracked heels in just a few nights' application. I also use it on my dry knees and elbows and after just 2 nights, they're smooth and soft again!
The balm is not greasy at all. I rub it on well and forget about it, and I really like its soothing scent that's a bit different than your usual peppermint, eucalyptus, or tea tree foot balms. It has all three ingredients in it, plus another that stands out significantly in terms of fragrant - cardamom. I do realize the cardamom can be a bit too spice-y for some people, but to me it's a lovely touch that gives the balm more of herbal-y vibe. I will probably grab a few more tins to give as gifts the next time I'm back in the states.
I got this Kuma no Gakkou Jackie no Okurimono Mook (published 2010) thinking it would be cute like Suzy's Zoo Mook. The freebie tote is definitely really nice and well made, but I don't know what to make of the bear head charm.
Miho no Matsubara (Miho Pine Grove) is a famous scenic beach in Shimizu, Shizuoka city, Shizuoka. You can't go take a dip there, because the beach is littered with sharp rocks, but you will be in awe all the same by the view of Mount Fuji, Izu Peninsula, as well as the Suruga Bay all in the same turn! That's not all, behind you is a whole other scenic view, that of a beautiful pine grove and the sight of Hagoromo no Matsu (the Feather Mantle's Pine).
View of the Miho Shrine, from wooden path's entry point across the street.
Urgh. It's almost mid June and I'm still posting about my trip during Golden Week, which is the last couple of days in April and the first week of May.
Anyhoo, hubby and I visited my sister during Golden Week, and she played tour guide for a few days ^.^ Our first stop was Sunpu Castle in Shizuoka city, the capital of Shizuoka prefecture. It was a beautiful day, sunny with clear blue sky, and best of all, it was breezy and cool.
I didn't really enjoy these Lavshuca Noble On Color Eyes (whatever that means), and partly it was my fault for choosing 2 palettes that are so similar.
Anyway, these palettes comes in 5 variations: PK-1, OR-1, BR-1, GN-1, BG-1. I bought OR-1 and BR-1 because from all the pictures I've seen, they didn't look so similar. The medium shade in OR-1 looked a bright peachy orange and the medium shade in BR-1 looked a golden sand color. I bought them, and although they looked kind of similar in the pan, I still gave them the benefit of the doubt. That is, until I tried them, and doh, they turned out to be similar after all. So similar, in fact, that there isn't much difference between the two after application.
Got this packet BeautyMate Aqua Makeup Removing Wipe as GWP when I bought a bunch of BeautyMate stuff a while back. At the time I was still using my favorite Lancome Bi-Facil and then the less effective Lancome Effacil (oh the irony).
And then I ran out of both and had to use these Aqua Makeup Removing Wipes. Not that I didn't want to use it, I just tend to save these wet wipes for when I actually travel, like visiting my sister during Golden Week (will post pictures of the trip next). And plus I normally only need just 1 qtip or 2 saturated with Bi-Facil or Effacil to take off my eye makeup, so to use a whole saturated sheet seems a bit too much and a waste if I don't wipe my whole face with it, ...and I don't want to wipe my whole face with it :P
I admit this Cutie May 2011 issue was an impulse buy. The Mercury Duo freebie tote didn't really catch my attention, and honestly I don't even remember why I bought the issue other than the fact that I bought it.
I just had a *big* bday ^.^ NOT big as in a big huge bday bash where everyone gets themselves thoroughly trashed and then puked all over the train on the drunken trip home from Tokyo, but a nice milestone in life, the number that usually scares the beejeesus out of many women until they realize there's nothing they can do but to embrace it.
Knowing how impossible it is to buy me (or is it most women? :P) a gift my sweet hubby walked all over Chinatown to look for little things he finds meaningful. He knows this gal does carry around sentimental little things in her bag, like that cute charm he gave her almost a decade ago when they had just begun to date. New additions for the new milestone, no? ^.^
Among the things he found are these 3 adorable eco bags. I absolutely love the prints! And if you wondering why there are 3 of them, keep reading :)
So the Japanese rainy season is coming, and I know this because it rained the entire last week! I was not happy. I hate rainy days, and the thought of having to slosh around in rubber fishermen boots that weigh a ton really put a damper in my spirit. Fine, those rubber wellies aren't that bad, but they are bulky and big and heavy and not exactly something I look forward to wearing.
Braving the rain to hang out with my gal pal H. last weekend, we stopped by an ABC Mart to check out the rain shoes offerings. Aside from the common wellies, they had this pair of rain boots by More x Nuovo on display. And the moment I saw them, lo-and-behold my mind was opened to a whole new world of rain shoes I didn't think exist! Fast forward to later that night, I went home and googled rain boots on Amazon Japan and Rakuten (the...erh...Amazon of Japan) and found the most amazing assortments of rain shoes ever!
My favorite of the bunch are these 2-way boots from Relaxis Aqua Shut (what a funny brand name...). They are super stylish, versatile, waterproof, have non-slip soles with treads, and best of all, they are feather light! These boots look nothing like the rain boots I pictured in my head, and I can still splish splash around in them all I want! I can wear these 2-way boots up or folded down, and there are 2 styles available. Both styles are round-toe, ruche below-the-calf booties with about 2-2.5 inch heels.
- Style #1 is synthetic waterproof patent (PVC really...) inside and outside, available in the colors Beige, Charcoal Gray, Dark Brown, and Black.
- Style #2 has synthetic waterproof patent outside and feminine flowery print laminate inside, complete with mary jane buckle details, and available in White, Silver Gray, Dark Brown, and Black.
Went back to Arisan this weekend for my bday bash ^.^ I really wanted to give Arisan another try, and plus when more people are going, chances are they'll order things hubby and I normally wouldn't order and we'd benefit from the variety and, perhaps, discover something we love in the process.
Ha, I was right! All 6 of us ended up ordering a bunch of different stuff that hubby and I haven't tried, and holy crap they all were absolutely fantastic!
Water spinach sauteed with garlic was such a hit we ordered it twice because the first round disappeared in one bite. Hubby and I loved it last time, and to our relief it tasted even better this time.
My friend K. recommended these Morinaga Hi-Soft Caramel chews to me, and at first I was indifferent. I mean, it's just caramel, and although I love caramel flavoring, I don't particularly love caramel chews because they're, well, chewy and sticky. But K. insisted that I try them because these caramel chews were, in her opinion, the best she's ever had.
Top: Sweet Potato Caramel (left) and Regular Caramel (right)