Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cle de Peau Beaute Glow Fall 2012 Mook

I drooled all over the thought of this Cle de Peau Beaute Glow Fall 2012 Mook. However, it was released in mid September, a good few weeks after I had left Japan, and was also promptly sold out within days of release on Amazon JP. I thought about trying online, but some E(vil)bay seller listed it for an absurd USD80, which was crazy and there was no way I'd bite that bullet. Just when I thought all hopes were lost, I remembered I was heading to Taiwan, and there was a small chance, itty bitty chance, that I might still be able to find it there. 

Well, with great stroke of luck I stumbled upon the very last copy at Eslite Bookstore (誠品書店) in Ximending! The moment I saw it, I gasped, grabbed, and didn't let go of it for the rest of the night. I swear my friends thought I was nuts xD But hey, I kept looking at other Eslite branches after that night and nope, the copy I got was the very very last one - how crazy lucky is that?!! Best of all, I paid NT$686 - 10% membership discount = NT$617.40 ~ USD20, roughly the same Japanese retail price of 1,500yen! Thank you Taipei and your Eslite stores!!!

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Body Cream TW

During my time in Taipei, I purposely stayed away from Taiwanese magazines because they too have freebies, skincare freebies. See how dangerous that road would have been?

...But I caved, just once, for this Meizhuang (美妝, Beauty) issue of FashionGuide Magazine TW, Fall 2012 Vol. 25. It came with a 50mL deluxe sample bottle of Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Body Cream TW among others.

Please note this particular product is made for and sold in the Taiwanese market, hence marked with TW. I'm not sure if the formula or ingredients are any similar to its US counterpart, but I checked Palmer's US website for the Cocoa Butter range and was confronted with a dizzying array of variety, none of which looks quite like this bottle pictured here. What the hell, Palmer's? Are you trying to confuse your consumers? Seriously, what's the difference between, just to name a few from the 24(!) products in the "Daily" section, Cocoa Butter Formula Lotion, versus Jar, versus Concentrated Cream, versus Daily Calming Lotion, versus Body Butter, versus Lotion for Dry Ashy Skin? Aren't they all for dry skin? If not, why should I bother putting them on my dry skin? And isn't dry skin somewhat ashy anyway, or is there an option for Dry-but-not-Ashy Skin too? 

The problem with growing success is the company will start spreading itself too thin and stretching its product too far. What's wrong with sticking to a few things and do a really good job with them? Honestly, I have tried generous samples of all 3 Cocoa Butter, Olive Butter, and Shea Butter Formulas. The Olive and Shea are hands down way better, especially the Shea, and guess what, both have only a handful of products, which is exactly how it should be. Not sure why only the Cocoa Butter range totally spun out of control. My way of coping? Ignore damn range. Mmkay. Rant over.

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Body Cream TW

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Jersey Cow Shave Gel and Daily Moisturizer

Super short post here since it's technically not a review - hubby uses these products and not me ^.^

Bought this pair of Jersey Cow Shave Gel and Daily Moisturizer for him during a 20% UK brands sale on Beauty Habit last year. He got bored of Jack Black, Anthony Logistics, Art of Shaving, Lab Series, Clinique, The Body Shop, etc., and was happy to get something new to try. Like his dad, he used to be totally indifferent to skincare, but I guess my obsession somewhat rubbed off on him LOL!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Skincare Stocking Stuffers (Picture heavy!)

In 2012, hubby and I moved out of Japan in late August, then to Taiwan for 3 months until mid December. Going to different countries means lots of shopping and while I tried to exercise control, I don't have much self restraint. As a result, everyone in my family got at least a few skincare related stocking stuffers this past holiday season ^.^ Anyways, with permission from the recipients I took pictures of the products prior to wrapping them. 

This Naive Rich & Deep Moist Cleansing Foam Gift Set came with the full size Cleansing Foam Rose Extract in the yellow tube, which went to my mum, and a travel sized Cleansing Foam Madonna Lily Extract in the blue tube, which I kept for myself.

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain

Long post ahead!

Among the travel friendly things I brought with me to Taipei are the much gushed about Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain. After reading all the reviews hyperventilating over how fantastic they are,  thought I'd better not miss this bandwagon. They fit my Taipei criteria just right, although I didn't expect how long it would take to review them properly (making excuses for the post's delay here...). It rained, and rained, and rained throughout my last 3 weeks in Taipei and sunny days were hard to come by. After racing against daylight for weeks (my classes didn't end until 1:30PM, and by 3PM it started to get dark!), I gave up and put the project on hold until I'm back in the sunny stateside visiting my folks. So please excuse the gloomy product pictures below and enjoy the brighter and clearer swatch pictures!

From left to right: 001 Honey005 Crush010 Darling015 Cherish020 Lovesick025 Sweetheart030 Smitten035 Charm040 Rendezvous045 Romantic050 Precious, and 055 Adore. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Taipei Eats - Ximending area Part II (西門町)

Want to get these food posts up too lest I get too distracted and forget about them!

I went back to Yu's Almond Tofu rather frequently up until we left. I just couldn't get enough of their almond milk shaved ice! And then one night, I worked up the nerve to branch out and tried the old style breakfast almond milk with almond jelly in it. It was served warm and oh my I loved every bite of it! It was mildly sweet but was warming and soothing, especially when the weather was cooling down a bit.

Still like the almond milk shaved ice better, but I was glad to have tried something else too. Every subsequent visit thereafter I ordered both the shaved ice and the breakfast milk with jelly LOL! 

Old breakfast style almond milk with almond jelly - yum!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Glossy Tint Lip Sheen

I still haven't finished reviewing the items I brought and used throughout my time in Taipei, so before I move on with current products I want to get these posts up first!

Another item I purposely picked up for Taipei was Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Glossy Tint Lip Sheen. There used to be 6 colors available, but VS revamped the packing for the Beauty Rush line yet again and discontinued 2 colors in the process, Sun Goddess and Blush Blush. But there's always E(vil)bay so for now, enjoy these four :)

From left to right: Better than Bare, Boudoir Pink, Knockout Red, and Manic Pink. All pictures taken in natural light without flash. If these photos seem gloomy, blame the rainy Taipei winter :(

Nameraka Honpo Soy Milk Isoflavone Makeup Remover Oil Type

Visiting my folks for a month after Taipei, I started using this Nameraka Honpo Soy Milk Isoflavone Makeup Remover Oil Type I got from for $11.70. It is also available from Adam Beauty for $13.50, just a couple of dollars more.

Despite the longwinded name, it is a simple oil cleanser that's supposedly gentle, perfect for the dry climate my parents live in. It is unscented but doesn't smell funky, and it rinses completely clean but not squeaky, which means my skin isn't tight or dry afterwards. I would say its only fault is its price, just a touch expensive at over $10 for only a tiny bottle of 120mL. It's still better than FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil though, which rings in $26 for the same size bottle!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lancome Absolue Eye Premium BX

I stopped using the Komenuka Bijin Eye Moist Jell as soon as we hit the road because it just wasn't enough for the severely dry and cold weather we encountered during our move. Instead, I turned to this 0.20oz./6g deluxe sample jar of Lancome Absolue Eye Premium BX I received as a part of Nordstrom GWP in fall 2012.

The Lancome Nordstrom GWP fall 2012 also came with a huge 4.2fl oz./125mL deluxe sample bottle of Tonique Confort Comforting Rehydrating Toner and yet another 2fl oz./60mL deluxe sample tube of Creme Mousse Confort Comforting Creamy Foaming Cleanser, both of which will probably go to my mum now because they're not working so well for me anymore, at least not here in SF. I can use everything else though, well, except for the mascara, which already went to my mum ^.^

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lancome Creme Mousse Confort Comforting Creamy Foaming Cleanser

I started using this 2fl oz./60mL deluxe sample tube of Lancome Creme Mousse Confort Comforting Creamy Foaming Cleanser I received together with the Tonique Confort Comforting Rehydrating Toner.

Hubby took a liking to it much faster than me as I thought it smelled a bit odd after foaming (I use a foaming net). And while it produces a really nice, thick and creamy foam, the foam also smells more chemically than the soft rosey powder scent the cleanser has before foaming. Either way, I got used to it after a few days and stopped noticing it after a while. Between the two of us, with hubby washing his face only a few times a week whenever he feels he needs the extra wash, we still haven't finished this tube yet...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lancome Tonique Confort Comforting Rehydrating Toner

As soon as I landed, I immediately quitted the Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 and switched over to this 1.7fl oz./50mL bottle of Lancome Tonique Confort Comforting Rehydrating Toner I received as a bonus deluxe sample when placing a recent order with Lancome. Sure, Clinique may have saved the day when my skin was clogging up like crazy in Taipei, but there was no way I could tolerate the drying and choking alcohol/menthol combination in the dry climate where my folks live.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish

After running away from the sandpaper-in-a-tube that was the Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliator, I happily moved on to this Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish 0.4oz/11.3g GWP tube that was a part of the Sephora 2012 Holiday It Kit 3 The Lasting Impression.

Sephora 2012 Holiday It Kit 3 The Lasting Impression
***Picture from Sephora USA.

My sister took a picture of the contents of the kit (along with my purchase) to show me as it arrived while I was still in Taipei. The mascara, perfumes, and the Sephora Instant Moisturizer all went to my mum and the Sephora Foundation Primer went to my sister in law.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

DermStore 2012 Black Friday Special Mystery Black Bag

Along with the Dermstore Fall 2012 Super Luxe Grab Bags, I also indulged in this 2012 Black Friday Special Mystery Black Bag ^.^  I was curious to see what would turn up in my Black Bag. I guess I was just in the mood to be surprised last year!

Yes, I was annoyed that the packing list was also not itemized, but since there was just one Black Bag I didn't struggle as much sorting the items out as I did the Luxe Grab Bags. 
***Picture from

Monday, January 21, 2013

DermStore Fall 2012 Super Luxe Grab Bags (Picture heavy!)

Sorry for going MIA for so long. I have a good reason, I promise. We moved home. Again. 

It was crazy hectic after Taipei because I had to sort through all my things to prepare for this next move, yet another temporary arrangement until May. We spent a week driving across the country and just today we finally got our internet up and running, after a whole week of waiting, tearing our hair out and looking up everything with our phones, not to mention all the work piling up at my office T.T Let me tell you, smart phones are nice, but they do not replace the good ol' computers. I guess we've been super spoiled too with our super sonic internet up and running on the same day or the next day while we were in Japan and Taiwan. 

Anyway, last fall I decided to try out these Super Luxe Grab Bags from Dermstore. I'm not sure if they do this every year, but this is the first time I actually paid attention and decided a skincare surprise would be nice. The problem was that I couldn't decide which of the 4 bags to get, and so I bought all 4 ^.^ Together, these 4 Grab Bags took care of Christmas presents for myself (what, a girl can't buy her own presents?) and stocking stuffers for my family. 
***Pictures from

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