Sunday, December 27, 2015

NID Hand Cream

A couple of months ago while out and about I ran out of hand cream. In a panic, I grabbed the nearest (and cheapest) thing, which was this 50g tube of NID Hand Cream to make do with until I could get home and pick out a new tube from my stash.
If you think this tube looks familiar, it's because this is a generic Japanese copycat of the better known German brand Herbacin, only made in Vietnam ^.^ I didn't expect much, not because it's a generic but because it's not made in Japan. The last time when I tried a Japanese-brand shampoo not made in Japan, I could tell the difference (yes, I'm talking about you, Asience!).

Friday, December 25, 2015

Afternoon Tea at the Conrad Hotel Tokyo

Happy Holidays!!!

I'm skipping ahead to more afternoon tea posts, because I haven't had any time to post on cosmetics and skincare. My family is visiting this holiday season and everyday we are out and about, which means I have a gazillion more photos to add to my backlog. But I'll get through them all one of these days, I promise!

This is November's edition, when our Afternoon Tea Club gathered at TwentyEight Bar & Lounge, on the 28th floor of the Conrad Tokyo on the upper floors of the Shiodome Building.

A sliver of Shinbashi.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Day in Kamakura, Kanagawa

Back in late October (yes, I'm officially 2 months behind on my posts... =.=), on a nice Sunday my two girlfriends D., J., and I fumbled our way to Kamakura, thanks to the Shonan Shinjuku line and their many splits! We finally made it there at lunch time, so of course we had to eat first ^.^"

Mine lunch, oyako-don, super boring but oh so good.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mentholatum Skin Aqua SaraFit UV Sara Sara Milk SPF50+ PA++++  

I wasn't too surprised to learn Mentholatum Skin Aqua UV Sara Sara Milk SPF50+ PA+++ was discontinued as of last year. Japanese cosmetic makers discontinue products all the time, customer favorite or not. I had struggled a bit with this sunscreen a few years (it had on/off seasons...) but game to give its reincarnation a try anyway, which is kind of nutty considering it's winter and my skin is at its driest. Now named Skin Aqua SaraFit UV Sara Sara Milk SPF50+ PA++++, it comes in a blue 40mL bottle.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

ABS Tsubaki Abura 100% Camellia Oil

In a hurry, I grabbed what I thought was an 85mL bottle of Oshima Tsubaki Oil, because it's drier and colder now and my hair and skin are both withering up like nobody's business. Then I got home and got to work taking a few quick photos so I could try out my new goodies right away that night. It wasn't until I reached for this bottle after my shower that I realized something wasn't quite right--what I bought wasn't Oshima Tsubaki Oil at all!


Turns out I bought a generic copy-cat, ABS Tsubaki Abura 100% Camellia Oil! Check out the original Oshima Tsubaki (left) and the generic ABS (right).

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Coffret D'Or Moist Beauty Rouge

Saw these Coffret D'Or Moist Beauty Rouge on clearance recently, for less than $10 a piece with shipping! Since I'm so obsessed with the new Premium Stay Rouge nowadays, I decided I'm going to do some historical research (these Moist Beauty Rouge were discontinued a few years ago...).

From left to right: BE-190, BE-191, PK-251, RD-184, RD-185, and RS-260. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Afternoon Tea at the Oriental Lounge, Mandarin Oriental Tokyo (Picture heavy!)

The afternoon tea session at the Peak Lounge, Park Hyatt Tokyo, ensured that we'll keep doing this tea thing for a long time. In October, our Afternoon Tea Club (me, hubby, his colleagues, whomever visiting or wants to join...) got together again, this time at the Oriental Lounge on the 38th floor of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Tokyo, in Nihonbashi near Tokyo Station. In fact, if you go I would recommend that you get a window seat and enjoy the sky view and the view of Tokyo Station with your tea ^.^

Here's the hotel lobby with entrances to the various restaurants and lounges. Photos were taken in the late afternoon as well as after sunset.

Looking at the Oriental Lounge, with the umbrella lamp shades at top right.


This is where the stairs lead to, and looking over the glass handrail, you'll see another bar/lounge on the floor beneath.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Lunasol Selection de Chocolat Eyes Swatches

Citrine left me a comment on my Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow Part II post, saying she likes the mattes in her Suqqu quads. Then she also said she'd skip Lunasol Selection de Chocolat Eyes since I poo-pooed them. 

Well, I happened to be out at the Mitsukoshi Ginza when I checked my email and saw her comment in my inbox. So I walked straight over to the Lunasol counter and swatched all 3 of the Chocolat palettes to show her, and you too, just in case what sinks my boat might float others' ^.^

***Screencap from Lunasol JP.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow Part II

Urgh. About a month ago I went to the Mitsukoshi Ginza to play with some Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow testers, ...and left with two palettes 10 梢茶 (Kozuecha) and 12 紺瑠璃 (Konruri). Definitely felt like a chump with no self-control whatsoever -.-" And of course the ladies at the counter there gave me this beautiful flier for the 2015 Christmas Makeup Kit A and B, telling me come back and swatch these limited edition Eye Color Palettes when they go on display. I didn't go back of course. It was just too dangerous for my thin wallet.

 All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Canmake Stay-On Balm Rouge SPF11 Part II

So I've been going around the drugstores in my area, looking for the new Canmake Lip & Cheek Gels that's supposed to be out mid October, only it's passed mid November and they're still nowhere to be seen! I've been checking Rakuten JP repeatedly, and the listings have finally begun to trickle in, of course with the limited edition #4 Blood Cranberry already sold out. How? When? I'm quite mystified as to how this whole process works! I even remember this same frustration and bewilderment when hubby and I were living in Yokohama, when I would go around to all the drugstores I know in anticipation of new releases and finding none!

But I was able to find the new Stay-On Balm Rouge SPF11 at least. The color 10 Flowery Princess has been out since April, and 11 Raspberry Rose was released on the same date as the MIA Lip & Cheek Gels and sure enough I bought this color the week of October 15! Meanwhile, here I am still wondering where the hell are the Lip & Cheek Gels?!? There was also a new Candy Wrap Lip in 17 Cherry Sherbet, which the Canmake website describes as a "neon pink." However, when I swatched it in store, it turned out to be a meh, nondescript pink that would simply disappear on my lips. So I just skipped it altogether. 

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Coffret D'Or Rouge Essence

Stumbled upon a few limited edition colors of Coffret D'Or Rouge Essence I haven't seen in any other drugstores. I'm going gaga over the newer Premium Stay Rouge right now, but being curious I picked up two anyway: RD-208, a LE summer 2014 release, and RS-282, another LE spring 2014 release.

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Dove Sensitive Mild Facial Cleansing Foam

I picked up this 110g tube of Dove Sensitive Mild Facial Cleansing Foam because it's supposedly "mild." The back of the tube labels colorant and paraben-free, but honestly I didn't have any expectations. Japanese drugstore foaming cleansers tend to foam like mad, and it's this foaming that wrecks havoc with my dry combination skin, so I'm really going out on a limp here.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Ichikami Revitalizing Shampoo

Half way through this 340mL refill pouch of Ichikami Revitalizing Shampoo, the newest addition (pink bottles) to the Moisture (orange bottle, my favorite!) and the Soft and Smooth lineup (white bottle).

I still like the Moisture one best ^.^ This Revitalizing shampoo somehow feels much thicker coming out of the pump, and more perfume-y too even though all 3 varieties are scented. It works better than Lux Super Rich Shine but doesn't leave my hair as soft, silky, and weightless as the Moisture did. Will not repurchase.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Coffret D'Or Premium Stay Rouge Part II

Here's a follow up post to my latest discovery, the Coffret D'Or Premium Stay Rouge in PK-289, a limited edition released spring of this year (note the pink sticker), and RD-212.

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Organic Rose Moisture Emulsion

Been using this 145mL bottle of Organic Rose Moisture Emulsion at night as the very first step of skincare. In effect, I'm using it as a toner/skin conditioner.


The emulsion is mildly scented with rose. It comes out of the bottle an opaque thick lotion, but as soon as I spread it onto my skin it melts to a thin and runny milk. It's much more substantial than your average viscous lotion (toner), which is why I'm using it at night. I do like it a lot! It does exactly what I want it to do, which is to provide me with some much needed moisture. I'm actually feeling confident it will get me through the dry winter okay! If all goes well, I'll get a backup for home ^.^

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Tokyo Eats - In the neighborhood (Picture heavy!)

Three months into our Tokyo stay and I'm finally posting about our neighborhood. It's very quiet around here, for which I'm thankful. We made a conscious decision to stay away from the boisterous and the lively after all. The only drawback is that most restaurants close at 8pm, the lights go out shortly after, and the small family-run shops and even parts of the subway station close over the weekends. We can always hop on the train if we want to go play, or walk, or if we're desperate enough, take a taxi, so I'm not complaining.

The first thing that jumps out at us in our neighborhood is Tokyo Tower.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Coffret D'Or Premium Stay Rouge

I was browsing the Coffret D'Or display a while back looking at testers for the Rouge Essence lipsticks, having read good things about them. Unfortunately, the available colors fizzled my interest fast, the nude pinks, neutrals, my-lips-but-betters. So I turned my attention to the newer Premium Stay Rouge, whereupon two of this past summer's new releases caught my eyes: RD-215 and RD-216.

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Tokyo Eats - Ginza area (Picture heavy!)

Another place I hang out a lot is Ginza, not to shop but to eat ^.^ In fact, I would never go shopping in Ginza, because all of Asia and their sisters and brothers are there, thanks to several major department stores and the couture houses with their own buildings. On Saturdays and Sundays, the main street is closed from traffic and becomes a pedestrian street, which means it gets even more crowded. Took my friend J. here once because she's a fan of Zara, etc., and I think I might have scarred her for life ^.^"!

Wako Store is housed in a building dated to 1894, with the Ginza Mitsukoshi across the street. 


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Hiroshima Carps versus Tokyo Swallows (Baseball), Shinjuku, Tokyo

So...on a weekday at the beginning of Silver Week, hubby's small office of 6 decided everyone ought to go watch a baseball game. It wasn't a big-name team like the Yomiuri Giants or the Hanshin Tigers but rather 2 teams we've ever heard of: Tokyo Swallows (blue green) and the Hiroshima Carps (red). The game was held at Meiji Jingu Stadium.

And let me assure you it really doesn't matter what big name teams you're watching. Going to a baseball game in Japan is an amazing experience and you should try going to one game, any game, and see for yourself.

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