Thursday, July 31, 2014

Holika Holika Fitting Veil Eye Primer SPF15 PA+

I was looking into Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer, and while at it I also picked up a few more eye primers from other Korean brands, you know for variety's sake ^.^ Among those is Holika Holika Fitting Veil Eye Primer SPF15 PA+

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer

This Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer is also a recommendation from another reader, Ann. I have to say, all the recommendations I've received so far from readers have been fantastic, and this one is no different! Thank you so much gals and guys! Keep it coming! ^.^

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lioele Miniature Special Set

After Dr.Jart+ The Original BB Set, I tried this Lioele Miniature Special Set, which includes 5mL each of Fresh Sunscreen SPF45 PA++, Blooming Shimmer Pearl Base Pink, Beyond the Solution BB Cream, and Water Drop BB SPF27 PA++. 

The good is that all the tubes in this set are sealed in manufacturer's shrink wrap, which is quite rare for a trial set. The not so good is that all the items are scented. The fragrance doesn't bother me, but I do wish they take it down a notch.

From left to right: Fresh Sunscreen SPF45 PA++, Blooming Shimmer Pearl Base Pink, Beyond the Solution BB Cream, and Water Drop BB SPF27 PA++. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Victoria's Secret HyperGloss Eye Shimmer Part II

I loved the first three colors of Victoria's Secret HyperGloss Eye Shimmer, particularly Night Lights and Moon Lights, I went back to see if there were other colors available. There were, namely Diamond Lights from the winter 2012 Diamonds After Dark Collection, and Star Lights.

Diamond Lights (left) and Star Lights (right). All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Clio Waterproof Liner Twisturn

In addition to the Clio Waterproof Pen Liner, I also picked up the Clio Waterproof Liner Twisturn. Whereas the Pen Liners are felt tip pens, these Twisturn ones are brush tip pens. A reader, Nick, recommended both, and since the Pen Liners worked out well, I figured I'd give these a try too ^.^

There are 8 colors available:
- 1 Star Silver
- 2 Star Gold
- 3 Brown Earth
- 4 Urban Khaki
- 5 Stage Navy
- 6 Night Purple
- 7 Club Black (shimmery black)
- 8 Urban Black (matte black)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Clio Waterproof Pen Liner

A few months ago I reviewed Visee Liquid Liner and unfortunately it didn't work for me. However, I got a great recommendation out of that post - a reader, Nick, recommended brush and pen liners from the Korean brand Clio. I have read about Clio's products plenty, and have read they make good liners. So that was all the encouragement I needed ^.^ After a good googling, I ended up with several pen liners from Clio, among which are these Waterproof Pen Liners

There are only 2 colors available with these, 1 Kill Black and 2 Kill Brown, and I bought both. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Koyudo Brushes

Koyudo (晃祐堂) was established in 1979, only five years after Hakuhodo. But while Hakuhodo has reached worldwide recognition Koyudo is much lesser known, though they are surely getting there now thanks to fans like Sonia at Sweet Makeup Temptations. Sonia is the probably best online resource for Koyudo brushes, or just makeup brushes in general - she's a serious collector with an amazing collection! Go do some browsing on her blog if you're curious, but be forewarned you will get a lethal case of lemming!

Funny enough, it was from my sister that I learned about Koyudo. She didn't know I was looking for makeup brushes, but she does know I'm the free skincare/cosmetic dispenser of the family. So one day while browsing for anime goods on CD Japan (not affiliated) she stumbled across Koyudo's collections and promptly forwarded it to me. I did a google search for Koyudo, found Sonia and Sweet Makeup Temptations, and that was that. 

Unlike Hakuhodo now with an official USA online shop as well as a showroom and store in Torrance, California, CD Japan is the only online source for Koyudo brushes outside of Japan. My sister and I have been placing numerous orders and CD Japan is quite reliable. The only terrible thing they do is having this excellent point reward system. Couple that with the occasional promotions like extra or double points, or the campaign that ran last winter for 20% off all Koyudo fu-pa collection, which was a major piggie bank destroyer!

Brushes in this batch, in order as pictured from left to right: fu-pa01, fu-pa02, BP039, BP043, C008, C010, C011, and C019.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

HanSkin Super Light Touch B.B. SPF30 PA++

I have confessed I bought this HanSkin Travel Set just for this 10mL tube of Super Light Touch B.B. SPF30 PA++. Plus having the travel sized items to sample, the Hyaluron Skin Lotion didn't work for me but the World Foam Cleanser was more than decent, and I'm looking forward to trying the Olive Essential Cleansing Oil and the Super Collagen Gel.



Friday, July 18, 2014

Dr.Jart+ The Original BB Set

In addition to wading into makeup brush territory and going nuts with eye liners, this year has also been year of the bb creams for me. No, I still very much dislike bb creams, and foundations, and face primers/bases, even concealers, because they're all so thick and heavy they feel like a freakin' Kabuki mask on my face. So I use bb creams as concealer instead, lightly dabbing them on around the nose and mouth areas, and under the eyes ^.^ So even though I claim to pay better attention to base makeup, in truth I actually only added one extra step of bb-cream-as-concealer to the current one-step "foundation" of translucent powder dusting. HA.

If you're like me and you hate anything other than a light dusting of translucent powder, you'll find that bb creams make excellent concealers! They're not completely opaque like most foundations or concealers, and they have an added skincare component, like a new and improved version of the tinted moisturizer. The plus is that they give a very natural looking finish, and of course the minus is that they don't cover up everything and give you that flawless finish. But hey, my makeup is never to look "made up" anyway. I have come across many women with airbrushed faces, and while I'm always in awe and impressed they could achieve that level of perfection, it also, 1-creeps the hell out of me, is that a walking mannequin I just came across?!?, 2-makes me think, why cover up such beautiful skin?

Dr.Jart+ The Original BB Set. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

V05 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Shampoo

Almost done with this 370mL/12.5fl oz. bottle of V05 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Shampoo. Since college, my hair care routine, if you can even call it that, has always been a clarifying shampoo twice a week and a regular shampoo on days between. And since living in Japan for the first time back in 2005, I'd grown accustomed to Japanese shampoo, and so it has been interesting to venture back into the American shampoo market after so long.


So this is Kiwi Lime Squeeze with Lemongrass Extract, but I discern none of those in the scent. Rather, it smells a little bit of apple, just a touch. The long lasting fragrance claim is somewhat true though, because my hair would still smell of it through the next day. This shampoo is surprisingly better than even the Suave Professionals Almond + Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo! On the two days a week when I use this my hair would be very light and bouncy the next day, and it feels even softer than when I use the Suave! I have tried using conditioner with this (Ichikami Moisture Conditioner, from the Moisture Set), but funny enough the conditioner doesn't seem to make a difference one way or another. Ha. Will definitely try a different V05 shampoo next!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Suave Professionals Almond + Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo

Quick review for this 373mL/12.6fl oz. bottle of Suave Professionals Almond + Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo. I started coming back to American brands after having gotten a bit bored with Japanese shampoos, though I didn't want to go back to the Pantene Pro-V, Herbal Essence, or Vidal etc. either. Been there, done that. What I haven't tried was the cheaper brands like Suave and V05, with the exception of the V05 Moisturizing Hot Oil way back when.



There were many choices, too many to be honest, but thankfully they don't come in those giant family size bottles. This shampoo has a nice vanilla coconut scent, and it's actually very decent! It rinses well but doesn't strip my hair and leave it squeaky. My hair is decently soft the next day, no super silky effect like that from the Ichikami Moisture Shampoo but it's not bad. It doesn't make my hair oily and greasy the next day unless I use conditioner, which probably means it's already quite moisturizing on its own. I'm glad I'm trying this but won't repurchase. Will probably move on to something new ^.^

This bottle I bought came with a freebie travel size Suave Professionals Natural Infusion Moisturizing Shampoo, which I brought with me on my road trip a few weeks ago for trial. Will review this next.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Canmake ShimmerJelly Eyes

I'm loving the old and long-discontinued Canmake Liquid Shadow & Base so much I picked up their newer incarnation as ShimmerJelly Eyes, which has also been recently discontinued - what the hell?!? Why, Canmake, why?! :( Of course, this forced me on an online hunting trip for a backup, although luckily I did find a source for it that wasn't too much of a rip-off, unlike E(vil)bay.

There are major differences between the previous Liquid Shadow & Base and these ShimmerJelly Eyes, first being the color range. The Liquid Shadow & Base came in only 2 colors, at least I knew of only 2 colors, 02 Crystal White and 03 Baby Beige. These ShimmerJelly Eyes comes in 6 colors, and in addition to the basics of white, beige, and gold, there are also a pastel pink, a mint green, and chocolate brown.
***Stock photo from Canmake Tokyo.

The two colors I have are 02 Sugar Milk Tea and 06 Crystal Gold, although I'm totally curious about 03 Strawberry Parfait now too.

Monday, July 14, 2014

L'Occitane Bonne Mere Gentle Body Wash Part II

After the last success of L'Occitane Bonne Mere Gentle Body Wash Milk I caved and gave the Honey one a try too. 

It's just as gentle as the Milk one, although doesn't smell anywhere as nice and soothing. This Honey one smells like perfumed honey, very flowery and cloying at the same time. I don't hate the scent, but I much prefer the Milk. I'm glad I bought backups of the Milk body wash as well as the Gentle Cream. Love that stuff!

See my previous L'Occitane Bonne Mere Gentle Body Wash post. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

HanSkin World Foam Cleanser

After a month of use, including a road trip a couple of weeks ago, I'm almost done with this 25mL tube of HanSkin World Foam Cleanser. It was from the HanSkin Travel Set, which also includes 25mL each of Hyaluron Skin Lotion and Olive Essential Cleansing Oil, 10mL tube of Super Light Touch B.B. SPF30 PA++ (will review soon), and 5g pot of Super Collagen Gel.

I didn't have high expectations for this as it is a foaming cleanser, but to my surprise it's really quite mild! It's lightly scented with the same fragrance as the Hyaluron Skin Lotion, which I don't mind at all. It's nowhere as foam-crazy as a Japanese foaming cleanser, but it still foams decently well. It rinses well but doesn't leave my skin squeaky or taut dry afterwards. I'm enjoying it now but I don't like it enough to buy a full size. I have too many foaming cleanser lining up to try next.

Friday, July 11, 2014

HanSkin Hyaluron Skin Lotion

I'll confess: I bought this HanSkin Travel Set just for that tube of Super Light Touch B.B. ^.^ But then hubby and I were taking a road trip and I figured having some travel sized toiletries would be helpful. So I brought along the Hyaluron Skin Lotion and the World Foam Cleanser, which I will review next.

The HanSkin Travel Set includes 25mL each of this Hyaluron Skin Lotion, Olive Essential Cleansing Oil, and World Foam Cleanser, 10mL tube of Super Light Touch B.B. SPF30 PA++, and 5g pot of Super Collagen Gel.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Stila Convertible Color Part II

I love Stila Convertible Colors but I don't want to pay $25 for a full size compact that I will never be able to use up. So over the holiday season 2013 when Sephora releases this Stila Collage of Color Lip & Cheek Palette for $10, it was a must-have for me. Even better is that three colors Peach Poppy, Coral, and Roseberry in the palette are all limited editions and are not in the permanent line up. Even better!

Stila Collage of Color Lip & Cheek Palette. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hakuhodo Brushes

So, Hakuhodo (白鳳堂), been lemming these brushes for ages but stayed far away until hubby and I settled down a bit from all the moving (more on that later). There are some really excellent resources out there on these brushes, so I'm not going to be redundant. Below are my personal pros and cons for investing in these brushes.

PROS:
- One word: craftsmanship. 
- Big collection. By no means all encompassing but still a huge variety of hairs, shapes, sizes, and handles to choose from.
- Big price range, anywhere from $12-100+ a piece.
- All brush heads are made equal - 2 identical brush heads of the same hair, shape, and size will be of the same hair quality and craftsmanship, regardless of the standard black handle or the flagship vermillion red handle. That means a lot to me.
- Fast order turnaround, fast shipping, excellent and knowledgeable customer service. Knowledgeable is also important to me, a good indication that a company respects its customers. Just the other day Shiseido tried to pull a fast one over my head, but this is another story for another post. 

CONS:
- Time investment in care and maintenance. Nothing lasts if you don't take care of it, my reason for having "make-do" brushes while moving around.
- Mostly natural hair, which I'm okay with but others may not be. I have read that Hakuhodo obtains their natural hair via cruelty-free methods. While I very much want to believe this, I will refrain from touting until there are pictures, videos, etc., that back up the cruelty-free claims. Let's face it, when it comes to animal rights and welfare, Japan isn't exactly leading the charge. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Aqualabel Moisture Emulsion R (Softening)

The last of the Aqualabel Moisture Kit is this 20mL bottle of Moisture Emulsion R (Softening), with the rest of the kit being the 20mL Lotion R (Softening), 20g each of Milky Mousse Foam and Creamy Oil Cleansing.

Unlike the Lotion, this Emulsion is only available in S (Refreshing) and R (Softening). For something richer and thicker, you would have to go for the Special Gel Cream or the Moisture Cream instead. In fact, they do recommend that you apply a thicker cream after this emulsion at night, so seal in the moisture.

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