Monday, August 31, 2015

Afternoon Tea at the Brown Palace Hotel, Denver

Back in July, hubby attended a week-long conference in Denver. Since I was going to start school the week after, we booked a hotel room and treated it as a mini vacation. The first day while he was in his workshops, my sister and I met up at the Brown Palace Hotel for afternoon tea ^.^

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Toshiba Science Museum, Kawasaki, Kanagawa

For a Sunday afternoon, we met up with a friend who's a semi-conducting engineer for Toshiba. Her name is H. and she's sort of my personal hero. Why? Think about how hard it is for a woman engineer in the US of A, let alone Japan. Despite being a first world society, with all the technological advances Japan still has a very conservative culture that encourages women to quit their job in favor of child-bearing and rearing, or at least in favor of their husband's career. I'm generalizing here, of course, and there are many folks in Japan who are open-minded and are forward-thinking.

Still, to be an engineer for a multi-national corporation with a household name, H's career is a huge achievement. I attribute a lot of this success to H. herself: she's the sort of gal who would travel by herself to see the world, language and culture barriers be damned! Last year she lived it up in Macedonia. Next month she's going to Belgrade, Serbia. You go, girlfriend!

On Sunday afternoon H. took us to Toshiba Science Museum, which is free and open to the public all 7 days of the week. The place was crawling with kids but it was actually quite fun and fascinating for all of us.

Click for bigger pictures!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Astalift Essence Destiny

This Astalift Essence Destiny is the newer incarnation of the Essence, and I have 2 tiny 5mL bottle with dropper cap, each from the Hari Skin Trial Kit and Jelly Aquarysta Gift Set, for a total of 10mL. Yes, that also make them 2 years old and I'm finally getting to them now. Sigh.

Hari Skin Trial Kit

Monday, August 24, 2015

SunCut UV Protect Gel SPF50+ PA++++

We ran out of body sunscreen on our second day in Tokyo, which, as you know, is a happy occasion for me because it means I can go browse the drugstore (again, despite the crazy music and harsh lighting). Hubby and I loved loved loved Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel Super SPF50 PA+++ (will review next), but after many a bottles I wanted something new I haven't tried before. A quick walk around the block and we came home with this 100g bottle of SunCut UV Protect Gel SPF50+ PA++++, courtesy of Cosmeport, a sub-brand of Kose.

Neighborhood Obon Festival 2015

Not *my* neighborhood, but hubby's colleague W. and her husband M. invited us out to Roppongi Bon Odori Saturday afternoon, so why not? We actually got off the train at Azabu then walked from there to Roppongi. There was a gigantic festival in Azabu that went on for at least a dozen blocks right up to Roppongi, where Bon Odori was held.

Oh man, we had no idea what we were walking into until we got there. There are 13 millions people in the Tokyo metro area and I swear they were all there at the festival! My photos just don't do the crowds any justice at all. Actually, I couldn't take pictures of the crowd because, well, we were pressed back to back and inched along heel-to-heel. Add in heat and humidity and it was a disaster. We were all drenched in sweat and could take pictures only after having escaped to a smaller alley, and thus it looks like hardly anyone was there when it couldn't be farther from the truth.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

More desserts at Denny's Part VII

Update Sunday, August 23, 2015.

Hubby was in a meeting so I camped out at a nearby Denny's for lunch and dessert. Ordered the Korean cold noodles lunch set and the seasonal dessert specialty. Mission accomplished ^.^ It was sooooooo good...

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Original post Sunday, August 16, 2015.

For nostalgia's sake, hubby and I went and found ourselves a Denny's and ordered our old favorites, just for the hell of it. Well, actually, it's because it's mid August and pretty much the whole country's on vacation. Everywhere we went, restaurants and shops are closed until Monday, August 16. And I was dying to have that fruits parfait again so hubby obliged xD

He ordered his favorite hamburg and I ordered my omurice. They were just as yummy as we remember T.T

Astalift Lotion Part II

Finally finally got around to using the "newer" Astalift Lotion and the quotation marks is for the fact that I bought these trial kits in 2013, so technically they're not "new" but are in fact 2 years old :( 

I have 3 of these trial sizes in 20mL bottles for a total of 60mL, versus the older 30mL bottles with orange twist-caps. I got them from 3 separate sets: the Hari Skin Trial Kit, the Moisture Trial Kit, and the Jelly Aquarysta Gift Set. Each bottle lasts me 2+ weeks with nightly and occasional day use, depending on need.

Hari Skin Trial Kit

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bifesta Cleansing Lotion

After our second day in Tokyo, I realized I had forgotten to pack an eye makeup remover, which in my case has been a steady supply of Lancome Bi-Facil or Effacil in 30mL GWP bottles. This is great news, because it means time to go study some drugstore selections.

Well, I totally forgot how dizzying Japanese drugstores can get with the jam-packed shelves, the super fast music with high-pitched helium chipmunk singing nonsensical things, the harsh white light. So I came in thinking I'll pick out the next best thing and left as quickly as possible grabbing the first thing that caught my eyes, which was this 300mL pump bottle of Bifesta Cleansing Lotion.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Lunasol Nature Color Eyes

Embolden with Ocean Scene Eyes 01 Warm Ocean, I went for Lunasol Nature Color Eyes in 02 Nature Green and 05 Nature Colorful, both quads. Let's just say I now have major lemmings for 03 Nature Brown and 04 Nature Beige, but of course they were long discontinued T.T

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Lunasol Ocean Scene Eyes

I debated and debated whether I should keep walking down this road of quads. Lunasol isn't cheap, and I wanted more colors so I prefer at least quints. Then again, I did make exceptions for Lighting for Eyes 04 Neutral and Party Eyes 2014 EX01 from the Party Coffret 2014, and I really really wanted to try the Ocean Scene Eyes. There are only a couple left floating around on the internet. In the end, I went for it and picked 01 Warm Ocean, particularly for that deep eggplant liner shade.

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Shrine Next Door, Atago-jinja, Minato, Tokyo

You've probably noticed my blog name's changed again. It's back to Of Toys and Tokyo -- because hubby and I have moved back to Tokyo ^.^

Yup. We thought we were going to settle down but opportunity came knocking and we couldn't say no. I mean, I would never say no to Tokyo, and neither would hubby. So here we are in Tokyo again, 3 years after we moved home.

Anyway, we arrived on Thursday evening and spent Friday discovering our new neighborhood, basically walking the few blocks around our building to see what's what and where's where. On our way back, we realized there's a shrine right next door, okay, a few doors down from our building!

Those stair steps are really steep and going straight up. There's a second way up that's curved and less steep, but we like doing things the hard way ;D

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Body Shop Shimmer Cubes Part VIII

The last in this Body Shop Shimmer Cubes, woohoo!! In this batch are palettes 24 Lily Cole Collection, 26 Hot Pink, and 30 Spring Bronze.   

All pictures taken in natural light without flash. Clickable photos = zoom, so click and see ^.^

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Body Shop Shimmer Cubes Part VII

More Body Shop Shimmer Cubes, ha. I'm a bit slow when it comes to learning to quit something. In this batch are palettes 21 Pretty in Pink, 22 Green Light, and 23 Bunch of Violets.

All pictures taken in natural light without flash. Clickable photos = zoom, so click and see ^.^

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Body Shop Shimmer Cubes Part VI

Pressing on with this The Body Shop Shimmer Cubes series. In this batch are palettes 17, 18, and 20 Blue Moon.

All pictures taken in natural light without flash. Clickable photos = zoom, so click and see ^.^

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Koyudo Brushes Part VIII

Yes, more Koyudo brushes. But we're nearing the end of my Koyudo collection, save for one last hurrah that I'll guest-post for Yelena's blog. So stay tuned ^.^

Anyway, by last hurrah I mean I've gone through my wishlist for Koyudo, unless they come out with another fantastic release like the Fuwafuwa *wink* I have a set of brushes that I use daily for a whole week, then I switch off to another set, then another, and so on. The brush set is for daytime makeup routine, which includes a mineral sunscreen powder all over the face, filling in the brows with brow powder, eye base, a sheer wash of shadow below the crease, blushes, and lipstick applied directly from the tube.

Which means this daily daytime brush set must include:
1. A super dense powder brush to buff on sunscreen powder: Koyudo Fuwafuwa, H007 Kinoko, H-series Macaron, fu-pa07, BP013, BP022, H-series White Kinoko, fu-pa14, fu-pa01, and fu-pa02 -- notice these are all Koyudo brushes! All my other powder brushes are too fluffy and "light weight" and are better at finishing than buffing.  
2. A cheek brush
3. An eyebrow brush, preferably slanted
4. A medium eyeshadow brush

For nighttime, I just freshen up the powder and blush, or if I hadn't apply makeup that day then I do the whole bb cream and sunscreen powder routine. Then I layer on more eye shadows primarily the medium crease shades and liners, and wear a more pigmented lip color. This is where all the other brushes come in, those for bb cream, finishing, highlighting, lay-down, lining, etc. So yeah, my brushes get lots of use, and I try to buy different brushes to switch off with.

In this batch: FPr001, FPr002, Pr002, Pr003, Pr010, and WPr002.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Chikuhodo Brushes Part VI

I've been hearing over and over how awesome and lovely the Chikuhodo Z-series is, and the guest post comparing the Chikuhodo Z-1 and Koyudo Fuwafuwa certainly helps. But I also use the hell out of my brushes and I'm not sure a full squirrel powder brush can withstand my daily ritual (will elaborate on a different post). I'm thinking about getting another Koyudo fu-pa14, which is already pricey, so the thought of having to replace a Chikuhodo Z-series is kind of daunting. So I haven't taken the plunge with the Z-1 or Z-9 or that super fancy-looking MK.

That said, I can never have enough eye brushes and pencil brushes, so here's a mini post for my latest Chikuhodo acquisitions. I'm listing prices from Visage USA, but I got both of mine from CDJapan using reward points, so I paid a lot less ^.^

In this batch: Z-5 and Z-10.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

I'm two weeks into this 200mL/6.75fl. oz. pump bottle of The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil. After Shikioriori Tsubaki Cleansing Oil, I wanted to change things up a bit and try something different, as in *not* Japanese ^.^

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Koyudo Brushes Part VII

Update Sunday, August 9, 2015.

Yelena Zheng of Jaywalking Birdwalking Jabberwocky who wrote the guest post Chikuhodo Z-1 versus Koyudo Fuwafuwa had requested that I post a quick comparison for Koyudo Fuwafuwa and the fu-pa14, so here it is, finally. These photos do zoom, so click on them to see a larger version.

In these photos, the Fuwafuwa was freshly washed whereas the fu-pa14 was not. But in general, the former is very slightly larger than the latter in circumference, and with hair being about 1mm longer as well. Both are the same density though. The fu-pa14 still feels a touch softer to me, that said I love them equally and I switch one off every other week to give it a rest. I'm so, so, so happy to have both ^.^

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Original post Thursday, June 18, 2015.

These are some of my most-anticipated Koyudo brushes thus far, aside from the two fan brushes which CDJapan (not affiliated) still has yet to ship. I do wonder how long the waiting list is for those? Hmm... :X

In this batch: Fuwafuwa Brush (top white box), fu-pa14 Black Handle (bottom pink box, not mine, but I had permission to take a couple of quick photos ^.^), H007 Kinoko Wood Handle (center top), H Series Macaron Pink (center bottom), fu-pa07-p, and fu-pa13-p.

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