Monday, February 23, 2015

My Koyudo Favorites

Now that I got the newest Koyudo brushes out of the way, I present to you a list of my Koyudo favorites, just in case you are considering slipping in an order before the new prices take effect. It goes without saying that these are my personal favorites, and my taste probably differ vastly from yours so weigh your decisions carefully.

I will list the brushes in order of the collection and then model number. Click on the brush name to see more pictures and reviews. There are several without photos and reviews. Those brushes aren't here yet, which means I haven't actually used them yet. However, I listed them here anyway - I bought them because I already own the smaller/larger version and love it, or I'm almost certain I will love them.

For each brush, I will also list the current as well as the upcoming new price in Italics, as it may help to see which can wait and which cannot. That said, keep in mind the new prices are inclusive of Japanese sales tax, so the CDJapan price may be a tad lower, though not much so don't hold your breath =.=.

- fu-pa01 Goat Sokoho, 4,457 => 5,961JPY

fu-pa02 Goat Hakutotsuho, 3,505 => 4,665JPY

Koyudo Brushes Part V

Okay, I didn't intend to review these newer Koyudo additions until much later but an anonymous reader left a comment asking me about my Koyudo favorites, so she/he can hurry and get her order in before the crazy price increase. I do share her/his sentiment, having put in a huge order myself yesterday T.T

And before I post a list of my favorites, I figured I should review these first. So sorry to overload you with brushes for the past week, but here are more of my most recent Koyudo acquisitions. All prices listed are current, as the new prices won't go into effect until March 2, 2015.

Brushes in this batch:
- Left photo: BP020, BP040, Sakura022, Red Large Shader, Black Large Shader, Black Medium Shader, and Black Small Shader.
- Right photo: Brush Stand Pouch, H Series White Kinoko, and fu-pa14 Ena White Series.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Koyudo Price Increase!

So I'm trying really hard not to panic, but alas I am. Folks, tragedy abound - I just learned today Koyudo will raise their prices by as much as 40% for many items starting March 2, 2015!!! Actually, the new prices are already effective in Japan. Click on the Koyudo JP link below to go to their official Japanese website =O.O=

See this official notification on CDJapan's website. 
***All screenshots from CDJapan (not affiliated!!!) and Koyudo JP.

Why such a drastic hike on prices? Well, I can think of a couple of reasons:
- Demand, demand, demand! Since stumbling onto Koyudo a couple of years ago, the Koyudo brand recognition has grown enormously thanks to bloggers like Sweet Makeup Temptation. I'm so happy for Koyudo and they're finally getting the recognition they deserve, after all their brushes are no less quality than Hakuhodo or Chikuhodo. At the same time, higher recognition means higher demand and guess who pays the higher prices? US. Yup, you and me.
- Japan is in a recession, and the yen really weak against the dollar right now, hanging at around 120JPY per USD1. Just for some perspectives, when I was in Japan back in 2012, the yen was at its strongest, at around 80JPY per USD1! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Chikuhodo Brushes Part IV

I know, I know, I griped about a couple of powder brushes in my last Chikuhodo post, but here I am again posting about them again. Folks, these brushes are from the brand new Takumi series released last Thanksgiving, I believe. If anything, these Takumi brushes fanned the fire to my regret in buying the Artists 20-4 and 20-5. I really should have skipped those two and went straight here and save myself some money. So here's my humble opinion: if you're new to Chikuhodo and trying to decide on what to get, unless you prefer squirrel hair because your skin is sensitive, etc., forget about all the other collections and skip straight to this Takumi one.

As you know, I've broken my no-squirrel rule many times, all with no regrets :P But squirrel hair is restricted to powder products, not to mention it's super fragile. See why I much prefer goat hair? It's resilient and super versatile, switching with ease between powders and liquids, and it washes well. And when it comes to goat hair, I'd much rather them be saikoho and un-dyed. Saikoho is the highest grade goat hair for a reasonable price. I think there's actually a grade or two above saikoho, but we're talking about something a person can afford here =.=" As for the un-dyed hair, I just think they look cleaner and nicer that way, despite of course getting stained much faster because, well, they're white. But that's why the microfiber cloth is awesome ^.^ 

Anyway, it's what this Takumi series is all about, un-dyed saikoho goat hair. And let me tell you, they're really really soft, and they feel soooo nice on the skin. Best of all, I know they're not princesses and I don't have to treat them like royalty. Don't get me wrong, I don't abuse my brushes or anything, but hey, I really do use them, and using them means not picking them up with a gingerly pinch of the forefinger and thumb :P 

Brushes in this batch, from left to right: T1, T2, T4, T5, T6, T7, and T8. All are goat saikoho.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Koyudo Brushes Part IV

Even more Koyudo brushes!!! Over the holidays my sister gave me her CDJapan points and so I treated myself to some Koyudo. Because, well, it's Koyudo! xD

So as I mentioned in my previous Chikuhodo post, that after the third repeat of the quick notes I'd stop so I'm just going straight to the brushes in this post. 

Brushes in this batch, from left to right: BP014, BP025, BP026, BP027, BP029, and BP046.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Makeup Brush Maintenance

Back in December, a reader, kuri, asked that I write a post on how I take care of my natural hair makeup brushes from Chikuhodo, Hakuhodo, and Koyudo. So here it is, my brush washing and maintenance arsenal consisting of 3 things: a bowl, a bar of Marseille soap, and microfiber cloths. Not pictured is a couple of broken mugs I use to stand the brushes in to dry, because they're just too pitiful LOL!

This post describes how I take care of my natural hair makeup brushes for personal use on myself, not for professional use on others. 

Lavshuca Light Mix Eyes

Update Wednesday, February 18, 2015.

Redid the swatch photos for this palette as well, in better lighting and with a slanted shot to show the sparkling top wash's opacity when seen from an angle.

Original post Sunday, February 1, 2015.

This Lavshuca Light Mix Eyes in GN-1 was on clearance at Adam Beauty and ended up as a cart filler along with a recent order. I didn't care for these palettes much when they first came out. The color combinations just look so... boring! Thankfully, when the order arrived both the compact and the colors look much better in person.

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Paul & Joe Eye Color Set CS

Update Wednesday, February 18, 2015.

Last update for this post, promise!

I had time to redo the swatches to show a blend of Cream Eye Color CS 085 and Eye Color CS 085 (at far left):

Update Tuesday, February 10, 2015.

Finally got around to wearing the Cream Eye Color CS 085 below without any primer underneath, and it creased immediately upon application T.T So sad to say but this is a no go. At least I know that Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer is able to hold these cream colors for a couple of hours, which is really a feat as it is!

Boo. Hiss.

Update Tuesday, February 3, 2015.

Doing a bit of experimenting here with the Cream Eye Color CS 085 below. For a case this morning I finally wore it on top of Etude House Proof 10 Eye Primer, then topping with a sheer wash of Excel Shiny Shadow in SH07 Shiny Beige, and line with Eye Color CS 085 on the upper and lower lash lines for a soft look. It was glowy and sheer gorgeousness! I was so surprised to see the end result turned out to be a glistening wet finish and not too sparkly at all where work is concerned (I usually don't wear makeup to work, and when I do I apply gingerly)! The Excel SH07 by itself is super sparkly, so I'm thinking the cream base must have taken that down a notch or two somehow. Love!

But guess what. Less than two hours later, it creased. I want to blame the EH Proof 10, but even then that's a stretch because this stuff is completely budge proof. Then again, may be a cream base on top of an eye primer is overkill. I want to blame the Excel SH07 next, but I've never had any problem with these creasing before.

So I will try wearing this P&J Cream Eye Color without any primer underneath to see how it fares then. Sigh. Will update again.

Original post Wednesday, January 28, 2015.

This Paul & Joe Eye Color Set CS in 085 Princess was part of my purchase last summer, along with three Lipstick CS' and four Eye Gloss Lip Gloss Duos. This Eye Color Set CS includes a Cream Eye Color CS 085Eye Color CS 085, and Eye Color Powder CS 085. There aren't actual names for these colors, other than the number 085. What a funny contrast with many oddly-named Japanese cosmetics ^.^

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chikuhodo Brushes Part III

Reviewing a few Chikuhodo brushes ^.^ Will post more soon!

A few notes for this batch, and after this third time I won't repeat again, promise :P
1. All brushes were photographed pre-wash. The smallest Chikuhodo brush is starched, and the measurements are off for that one, although I did take post-wash pictures. 
2. Cameras don't have the same depth-perception as our eyes. Measurements are only estimates and not so much engineer-precise, plus the starching.
3. Brushes are listed by collection, then model number. 
4. I broke my no-squirrel rule again. Ha.

Brushes in this batch, from left to right: Artist 12-6, Artist 20-4, Artist 20-5, and G-06.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Privacy UV Face Powder 50 SPF50+ PA++++

Another translucent loose powder with superb sun protection in the form of Privacy UV Face Powder 50 SPF50+ PA++++. Privacy is a sub brand under the lesser known Kokuryudo Cosme. I believe this is the very first item I've tried from them, and you know what, I LOVE it!

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Moist Labo BB Mineral Foundation SPF40 PA++

Moist Labo BB Mineral Foundation SPF40 PA++ is a loose powder foundation that comes in two shades, 01 Natural Beige and 03 Natural Ochre (not sure what happened to #02 ^.^). I bought the 01 Natural Beige with my fingers crossed, and thankfully it works out ^.^

Ever since I waded into loose powder territory, I found that the boundary of their functions blurs a bit. After all, the couple of criteria I had were: 1 - it's a loose powder, and 2 - it has high-ish SPF, although I've broken this rule a couple of times already, picking up powders with meager SPF20+. My current makeup routine calls for 2 rounds of powder, the first dusting to set the bb cream I apply as concealer and highlighter around the nose/mouth area and under the eyes, and the second and last dusting as finishing touch.

All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

HanSkin Super Snail B.B. Cream SPF30 PA++

Here's another HanSkin hit that's thankfully still available, the Super Snail B.B. Cream SPF30 PA++. I like that these bb creams come in various sizes, some in 5mL, others 10mL, 15mL, with full sizes range from 30-50mL. The full size for this Super Snail cc cream comes in 30mL in a pump bottle, I think. But I'm pretty happy with this 10mL for now.

HanSkin Blemish Cover Natural and this Super Snail B.B. Cream. All pictures taken in natural light without flash. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

HanSkin Blemish Cover

This 10g HanSkin Blemish Cover is actually a concealer. I figured I'd give it a try since I'm using all my bb creams like I would concealers anyway. There are two shades available for this concealer, Bright and Natural. Silly me bought the wrong shade and ended up with Natural, the darker one of the two :(

HanSkin Blemish Cover Natural and Super Snail B.B. Cream SPF30 PA++ (will review next). All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

HanSkin Smooth Reflex Moisture BB SPF27 PA++

Last of the recent HanSkin bb cream batch is this 15mL tube of Smooth Reflex Moisture BB SPF27 PA++. Like the Gold Pearl B.B., this tube came sealed and was made in Japan.

From left to right: Mineral Magic Moisture B.B. SPF30 PA++UV Screen B.B. SPF50+ PA+++Gold Pearl B.B., and this Smooth Reflex Moisture B.B. SPF27 PA++. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

HanSkin Gold Pearl B.B.

Well, playing with bb creams I figured sooner or later I would stumble upon the goods and the bads. Actually, it's not that black and white and there's a spectrum of goods and bads. And by bad I mean they don't work for me, either the color being too dark or the formula too drying for my already dry skin.

For example, there are spectacular hits like Dr.Jart+ Renewalist (I bought a loose powder version of this too, will review later), HanSkin Super Light Touch, Mineral Magic, and UV Screen, and Dr.G Gowoonsesang Total Active (I even bought backups!). Then there are good ones like Dr.Jart+ Black Label Detox, and Dr.G Gowoonsesang Perfect Pore Cover and Primer BB Protector. And the ho-hum decent but not great like Skin79 Oriental Gold PlusLioele Beyond the SolutionDr.G Gowoonsesang Actifirm Recovery, and Skin79 Snail Nutrition. Of course, there are misses too, like Dr.Jart+ Water FuseLioele Water DropDr.G Gowoonsesang Hydra Intensive, and Skin79 The Oriental Perfect Cover.

Which means there is one last category that I'm loathed to mention, the absolutely disastrous. Unfortunately, this 15mL tube of HanSkin Gold Pearl B.B. fits squarely in that category. In short, it's a disaster :(

From left to right: Mineral Magic Moisture B.B. SPF30 PA++UV Screen B.B. SPF50+ PA+++, this Gold Pearl B.B., and Smooth Reflex Moisture B.B. SPF27 PA++. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

HanSkin UV Screen B.B. SPF50+ PA+++

Here's another good bb cream that got chopped from the Hanskin lineup, the UV Screen B.B. SPF50+ PA+++. This is among the various 10mL tubes I bought to try, and I like it enough to lament this part of the Hanskin downsizing.

From left to right: Mineral Magic Moisture B.B. SPF30 PA++, this UV Screen B.B. SPF50+ PA+++, Gold Pearl B.B., and Smooth Reflex Moisture B.B. SPF27 PA++. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Monday, February 9, 2015

HanSkin Mineral Magic Moisture B.B. SPF30 PA++

Since trying Hanskin Super Light Touch BB SPF30 PA++, I was so impressed I bought several other 10mL tubes of Hanskin bb creams to try. This Mineral Magic Moisture B.B. SPF30 PA++ is among those, although unfortunately it looks like this bb cream has been discontinued. Hanskin is downsizing their bb creams lineup, which is a good thing because, well, have you seen their lineup? It's ginormous!!! At the same time, some great stuff is getting axed, and that includes this one :(

From left to right: this Mineral Magic Moisture B.B. SPF30 PA++, UV Screen B.B. SPF50+ PA+++, Gold Pearl B.B., and Smooth Reflex Moisture B.B. SPF27 PA++. All pictures taken in natural light without flash.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Parasola UV Mineral BB Powder SPF50+ PA+++

Among my recent sunscreen powder obsession is this Parasola UV Mineral BB Powder SPF50+ PA+++. There are actually quite a few pressed powder compacts out there with high SPF protection. I mostly prefer loose powder but was game to try a pressed version, and while at it I picked up a second one for sis in law to try too, since she's only tried the loose powder version also.   

All pictures taken in natural light without flash. 

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