Monday, March 30, 2009

Jill Stuart Blush Palette + Majolica Majorca Lash Expander

So I finally got my ebay package in the mail today from Japan!
I bid on the Jill Stuart Mix Blush Compact on Ebay last week for $49.99 USD after some lemming over Japanese magazine reviews and pictures ^^; Here is the seller:

The seller offered custom order so I decided to order the Majolica Majorca Lash Expander ($13.00) after I heard rave reviews from Fuz and Japanese magazines like CUTIE and MINI. I haven't tried it yet but I'll post up pics soon. Most mascaras that I buy in the US don't hold the lash curl. I have long lashes and they curl with my shu uemura eyelash curler but unfortunately they never hold the curl for more than an hour! I guess I have really straight lashes. T_T

Anyway, I was so excited I started snapping pics to show you guys what the blush looks like! I'm sure many of you know the Jill Stuart blush palette, it's been very popular within the beauty blogging community. I got the one in Apricot 06. The seller included many extra samples within the package! I might save them for future swaps if I ever do one... :) I asked for EMS shipping which cost $12.00 and it arrived in NY on Saturday after being sent out on Thursday in Japan.

The samples came in a little cute plastic pouch with a ribbon! Also the seller included some informational packets about the Jill Stuart cosmetic line :)
Here are some pics of the actual blush itself! The two pics on the left (top & bottom) I took with my Olympus DSLR E520 that I've been trying to use. It's a little difficult to figure out.. maybe I'm just a noob -_-;
The blush came with the cute little goathair brush which is SO SOFT. I was sort of surprised at the size of the blush, it looked so big in people's pictures. But it'll probably take a long time to ever finish something like this so it's a nice size :D
I'll try to post up swatch pics of the blush and pics of the mascara on my eyes later this week. I'm so busy because next wk is spring break for me... I'm going to Boston and Amherst for some college visiting hahaha. I'm going to see Amherst, Boston College, Boston U, Brandeis, etc.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Daily Skin Regimen

Happy weekend! I didn't do much today; just some food shopping and cleaning.
I saw my school's spring musical production of South Pacific yesterday with some friends. It was great even though I had to suffer sitting in back of someone recording it on video. My favorite character was Bloody Mary :)

So today's post will be my current skin regimen. I don't have particularly oily skin but these days I've gotten pimples... Maybe it's because I haven't been exercising a lot or sleeping. I sleep about 5-6 hours on a school night because I'm doing hw, studying or reading blogs -_-; I should start sleeping earlier. I can't break my sleeping schedule because currently I take naps after school (because I sleep late) then I stay up because I can't sleep and have to study, and it's a very vicious cycle, hahaha ;D

I use DHC's Olive Leaf Lotion, which is a toner but with no alcohol. It has Q10 in it and citric acid, which balances skin's pH level. I usually pat this on with my hands. Then I apply one pump of Olive Leaf Milk, a light moisturizer. It smoothes my skin and gives me some extra moisture before my actual moisturizer. The toner and milk don't have any scent and are very gentle. Lastly I apply the gel cream from Shiseido's Pureness line. It's meant for oily/acne prone complexions and isn't heavy. I love the smell! It's heavenly~ I like this gel cream because I have normal/combination skin and I don't like to put on heavy creams.

I tend to use both the DHC Olive leaf lotion and milk again in the morning, then follow with Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer in SPF 15 UVA/UVB protection. I'm trying to change my sun protection to SPF 30 or above but Kiehl's doesn't offer SPF30. I sometimes use DHC's Suncut Q10 in SPF30 with lame (shimmer). It's not as moisturizing so I often put a different lotion on before. The Kiehl's lotion makes my skin glowy and it's not heavy on my skin. It's very easy to spread too, unlike the DHC one. The DHC sunscreen aborbs quickly and is non-greasy. I like it because I can use it as a makeup base.

Before I apply any of this stuff, I always wash my face with a cleanser in the morning. Some people just use a washcloth to wipe their face but skin creates oils when you sleep too! It's very easy for people to get pimples if they don't wash their face in the morning. I like to wash my face with Kiehl's Brightening Botanical Cleansing Cream. It's very gentle and lathers up very well. Like all Asians, I like to brighten and whiten my skin. This works well! I've noticed some of my sun freckles lighten. You can use this cleanser with the whole Bright line, which offers a toner and moisturizer. I just use the cleanser.
I've told you guys that I ordered the Jill Stuart blush palette in Apricot 06 and the Majolica Majorca Lash Expander on Ebay. I just checked the status of the package and it arrived in NY today!! I might get it tomorrow or Monday!!! I'm so excited. I'll post swatches as soon as I get it. Also, Bloomingdales is having private sale for 3 days from Tuesday March 31 to Thursday April 2. I got 4 coupons to take $25 off a $100 purchase! I can definitely buy the Laura Mercier Gilded Garden blush! Hehe I'm very excited for the coming week...
That's all for today, good night!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Can't Decide... MAC or Laura Mercier?

^ Laura Mercier MAC Love Rock ^

I've been seeing MAC's Love Rock from the Grand Duo collection all over the place.. online, in magazines, and in stores. Also, bloggers like Fuzkittie and Mona from Make Me Blushhh are tempting me to get the Laura Mercier Gilded Garden shimmer bloc!! Hahaha, a very good temptation though...

I can't seem to decide which one to get between the two. I'm also worried if I should even bother getting any of them since I just won the auction on ebay for the Jill Stuart Blush Compact in Apricot 06 ($49.99 heh)!! I know the Jill Stuart palette is not as shimmery as the Laura Mercier shimmer bloc and the colors are a little pinker and brighter. MAC's Love Rock is highly pigmented according to various reviwers and most people love it or hate it. I guess I'll have to check out the store to find out which one is more suited for me, or skip out on a purchase altogether! I'm keen on ignoring the latter choice but I did spend some money lately.. T_T

Somehow the two blushes seem a bit similar in a way.. both pink and both have shimmery highlighter shades in them. LM's Gilded Garden is more separated, giving you the option to choose which color to use and the size is bigger. MAC's Love Rock has two sides, one is like "mineralized" and the other is pigmented blush. What do you guys think, which one should I get? Do you suggest skipping out because I got the Jill Stuart blush compact? I'm not sure if the colors are similar..
Anyway, I forgot to post my "fashion of the day" picture from two days ago.. So here it is. Excuse the bathroom background! I don't have a full size mirror except this.. hahaha -__-;
I think this is the first time I posted my full face picture. I was too scared to post anything because these days colleges and companies stalk people's facebooks and blogs to find out more information. I applied for a leadership program in my school and they are known to "research" facebook pics to see what kind of behavior you are exhibiting outside of school!
So, outfit stats:
Purple sweater - UNIQLO
T-shirt - JCREW
Jeans - Hudson (purchased 3 yrs ago at SAKS 5th Outlet)
I just bought the Jill Stuart blush on ebay (as I mentioned before) and the seller offered to get me anything else I wanted from Japan and I requested Majolica Majorca Lash Expander (the basic one.. nothing special). I've been wanting to get those two items ever since I saw them featured in the Japanese magazine CUTIE. The magazine often does "what's inside your bag" spreads and these two items always show up!! I couldn't resist so now I'll be receiving them in 4-5 days~ I can't wait! I will definitely do a post on the two items when I get them.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Reviews: Revlon Colorstay Foundation & Mangosteen Peeling Gel

Hello! I was asked to do a review on the Revlon Colorstay foundation and whether or not it gave me breakouts. Prior to my purchase, I've used a sample of this foundation in Normal/Dry Sand Beige 180 for about a week. It's a very nice foundation that feels light on my face, not cakey or heavy. The coverage is about medium or heavy if applied copiously. I mentioned my DHC Q10 foundation in my previous post and compared to that, this foundation is a little creamier but still a light liquid foundation. This foundation is available in Oily/Combo skin version too and has a wide array of shades!
I got three small pimples on my face this week but I don't think it's from the foundation because I applied it last wk and it didn't cause me any immediate problems. I think the pimples are from my bad eating habits.. (too much chips and Japanese crackers haha) I'll keep using this to see if it will cause me any more breakouts.
This foundation tends to dry VERY quickly so blending is a little difficult but manageable. I like how it gives a smooth application and the color stays on for a very long time. It's supposed to stay on for about 16+ hours. It gives a dewy glow and has a little bit of shimmer in the finish.
The only thing I don't like about this foundation is that the bottle doesn't have a pump or anything so it's hard to get the foundation out without spilling too much. I want to buy a stippling brush to apply this foundation but I need to find a good one from Ulta, Sephora, or Sonia Kashuk maybe.

Ok, second thing I'm reviewing is the Mangosteen Peeling Gel from the company Sweet&Sour. This is a Japanese product that I received from my aunt. I believe she purchased it at Tokyu Hands. I think the price is about 1300 yen. It's a gel with AHA, which is supposed to quicken your skin cell turnover rate. The gel smells good, but the smell is faint and doesn't bother me. I wet my hand a little and rubbed on the gel and the gel picked up dead skin cells and created little white balls. I have a picture of the back of the bottle to describe this process. Overall it leaves my skin brighter, smoother, and softer after I use it (usually on my face). I have another peeling gel from Japan with mango&hyaluronic acid but I like this mangosteen one better.
I liked it so much that I asked my aunt to buy me a second bottle! I only use this about once a week or alternate between this and some other scrub/mask.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Mini Drugstore/Target Haul & Nails

Hey, hope everyone's having a great weekend!

I was so busy this week and couldn't really post anything up except my ohagi.. haha. But today I will show you my super mini haul from a local drugstore called Harmon Discount. I believe they only have locations in NJ, NY and CT. So basically tri-state area. I'm in NJ and I live about fifteen minutes away from Harmon so I go there all the time. It is essentially a beauty supply store/drugstore but with cheaper prices! :) I'm so happy about that.

I bought the Revlon Colorstay Softflex foundation in Sand Beige 180 for approx. $9.00 (cheaper than CVS price $13.00) after I got a sample in a magazine with the exact same color and reading reviews online that compared it to MAC's Studio Fix.

My current foundation, DHC Q10 liquid foundation, doesn't do much for me. Once I put it on, it's very matte and doesn't give me that dewy glow that I like and it's light coverage so if I want to cover more, it doesn't do it. I don't really like it that much but I'll probably finish it.

I also bought two eyeliners (some cheap brands..), NYX white eyeliner in 906 and Prestige purple eyeliner in E80 Magnetic. They're okay I guess... I read a lot about using white eyeliner to make your eyes look more awake or bigger. The NYX one is better even though it was cheaper. The purple eyeliner isn't that pigmented but I'll figure out a way to use it.. Any suggestions?

I also went over to Target today to buy Sonia Kashuk brushes that I've been lemming. I wanted to buy the stippling brush but they didn't have it. I bought the blusher brush in the black version and it's so soft! I have yet to try it but I'll review once I do. After my Bobbi Brown knockoff fiasco, I've decided to just stick to brands I can afford and can be trusted. I'm thinking of going to ULTA or Sephora to get a stippling brush. Does anyone know some good stippling brushes that are around $10-$30?

I painted my nails two days ago in Zoya's Casey. It's such a nice vampy color! I don't know why but I didn't do a good job at application so it looks bad... For some reason the polish became a little gloopy but maybe it's my base coat's fault. I've been using Barrielle's ridge filler.

Anyway I'm going to bid on Ebay for the Jill Stuart mixed compact blush in Fresh Apricot! I'm so excited. This time I researched the seller so I think I'm fine. I can't wait to get it~ :D

So that's all for now. Maybe I'll make more Japanese desserts tomorrow, hehehe.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ohagi Making

This isn't a beauty related post unfortunately because I have been SO busy these days with tests but I'll show you guys what I did on Sunday!

I made Japanese ohagi (kind of like mochi but the rice is intact) for my friend who moved back to Japan on Monday but I ended up not giving it to her because she was not home at the time. So I ate many of them with my family and gave away a bunch to my friends :)
I made 3 coatings (toppings?) and they were kinako (soybean flour), sesame + sugar, and red bean paste.

I'm pretty satisfied with the outcome since this was my first time making ohagi! These weren't that hard to make but it took at least an hour to make all of the ohagi. The red bean one was the hardest to make! I had to spread the red bean on a plastic wrap and then place the ball of rice cake onto it and kind of stick it on.
How to make Ohagi:
1 cup regular rice (shortgrain, Korean or Japanese rice. NOT CHINESE, that is Jasmine rice)
1 1/2 glutinous rice (mochi gome) --> you can find this is almost any Asian market
2 1/2 cups of water

Wash rice thoroughly and put into rice cooker and let it cook. When it is done, start pounding the rice with the back of a big spoon or if you have a pestle you can use that. Do that until the rice is sticky and gluey and heavy but still somewhat intact.
When making rice balls, you HAVE to wet your hands before touching the sticky rice. This will prevent the rice from sticking to YOU and make a nice shaped ball.

Make your toppings:
2 tbsp. Kinako + 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. lightly ground black sesame seeds + 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
I don't know the measurements for red bean paste... You just spread a small amount all over plastic wrap then start molding it onto the rice cake.

Then after you make the ohagi, store it in some plastic container so they don't dry up. I made this mistake and some of my ohagi dried and became a little hard to eat.

That's all! They aren't too hard to make and taste so good!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Makeup Removers Continued... TESTING TRIALS

Ok, I have taken pictures and tested the following makeup removers out! PHOTO HEAVY POST! I put on Maybelline Define-A-Lash Volume Mascara and MAC eyepencil kohl in Phone Number (only because the tip of my pencil broke so I used the little broken off bit).

In order: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, Lancome Bi-Facil, Clinique Makeup Solvent Remover, Phythea Deep Cleansing Gel, DHC Soft Touch Cleansing Oil.
The cleansers and my arm with eyeliner and mascara in the middle (darker circle). The fifth blob of eyeliner is from my broken tip. Haha you can see my slippers in the 2nd pic... :)
All cleansers were applied, then rubbed around a bit, and tissued off.
FIRST TEST: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

SECOND TEST: Lancome Bi-Facil
THIRD TEST: Clinique Rinse Off Eye Makeup Solvent

FOURTH TEST: Phythea Skin Revive Deep Cleansing Gel

FIFTH TEST: DHC Soft Touch Cleansing Oil

I forgot to do the La Mer Cleansing Fluid test so here it is.

SIXTH TEST: La Mer Cleansing Fluid

The Final Results:
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil - Very good at removal and leaves skin moisturized. I think this has to be washed off for all of the mascara to be removed. I only used tissue in these tests.
Lancome Bi-Facil - Had better removal power than DHC by a fraction. Like DHC I think this should be washed with water to remove everything.
Clinique Rinse Off - Wow! I was shocked by this product. I didn't think it would get everything so well. It really dissolved the makeup. This isn't oil based so it removed everything without water.
Phythea Deep Cleansing Gel - I got this from my mom's friend and it's supposed to be this organic brand. I looked on the back of the bottle and the price is about 4500 yen. Pretty expensive! This didn't really remove much. I think it's ok... This probably needs water to totally remove everything.
DHC Soft Touch - The difference between this and the Deep Cleansing is that you can use this when your skin is wet. I'm not really sure if it works as well though. This was pretty good but I kind of cheated and rinsed with water.. hehe proves my point about oil-based cleansers needing water to totally remove makeup.
La Mer Cleansing Fluid - OMG! Great removal. This is an oil based cleanser and it has some pretty shimmery stuff in it (idk what it's for). I just put it on, rubbed it around, then it all came off with tissue! I am amazed :D This cleanser doesn't need water to remove makeup!

Final Verdict:
#1 - La Mer Cleansing Fluid
#2 - Clinique Rinse Off
#3 - Lancome Bi-Facil
#4 - DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
#5 - DHC Soft Touch - I cheated so the real result after tissuing was some black smearing.
#6 - Phythea Gel

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Favorite Makeup Removers - Reviews

Ok I'm going to tell you about my favorite makeup removers!
Clinique and Bi-Facil are mainly for eye makeup removal but I feel that DHC Deep Cleansing Oil works well for all makeup. I only have the trial-sizes for the Clinique and Bi-Facil that I got from purchases from Saks Fifth Ave. My mother and grandmother receive promotion gifts all the time so I usually get the samples! :) The DHC oil is available for purchase in the small size and large size. The small size in the picture is $12.50 (2.3 fl oz) and large is $25.00 (25 fl oz).
I'll try to post a second part to this review with test pictures to see if they REALLY work!
Time to start the reviews! ^_^

Clinique Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent
I usually use this with a cotton pad and let it sit on my eye for about five seconds then swipe. It's a non-oily formula and feels refreshingly cool. It doesn't leave any oily residue. I like this remover because I can dip q-tips inside the bottle to remove any leftover makeup in hard to reach places or touch up on a mistake. Sometimes I use this to clean mascara left on my eyelash curler! Haha :)

Bi-Facil Double-Action Eye Makeup Remover
This is a double liquid makeup remover, half oil cleanser and half water cleanser. A lot of bloggers really like this remover, especially Fuzkittie. This makeup remover is easy to use! I just shake it, put it on a cotton pad and makeup glides away in two sweeps. I like the oil based removers but depending on the company, they can feel slimy and overly oily. I like Bi-Facil because it's a double formula remover and doesn't feel too oily.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
I LOVE THIS STUFF! If I am really lazy and don't use my eye makeup cleansers I just substitute this for it. One pump is enough for me to massage onto my whole face. This cleansing oil is olive oil based and doesn't dry out my face at all. Basically you massage it into your dry skin, then pat some water on and massage again, then rinse off. When you rinse it off, you can see the water becoming milky and the oil comes off without difficulty. It leaves my skin soft and smooth without any drying effects!

Some negatives:
Clinique - Sometimes doesn't remove all makeup; that's why I use a qtip for hard to reach areas. It's a little bit drying but not too much. Overall it's a great remover for people who are afraid of oil-based removers.
Bi-Facil - Haha doesn't have to do with the actual remover but the cap is difficult to remove... It's the type that's on medicine bottles; the push and turn type. You know the one that's supposed to keep kids from opening bottles? I'm not sure why they put this type of cap on this product.
DHC Oil - The oil smells sort of weird, like cooking olive oil but I don't really care too much. As long as it works, I'm fine with it!

Ok I will post pictures next time to show you how well these removers work!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Knockoff Bobbi Brushes & ULTA Mini-Haul

I ordered some Bobbi Brown brushes off of Ebay last week and received them on Saturday. I was so excited to get them, as I purchased ten for roughly fifty dollars. However I was so surprised when I opened them! And let me tell you, not the good surprise. T_T

First off, the brush case was not a very soft plastic, as the brush case is supposed to be like... I compared my ebay brush set with one from Saks Fifth Ave on the same day I got it. Secondly, when I opened the case, the brushes had this distinct odor to them, not sure what that was (I don't want to know haha). Then I looked at the brushes and the Face Blender brush was spelled incorrectly! It was spelled like Face Btender. Can you believe it? How can a designer cosmetic company with such renowned fame like Bobbi Brown possibly spell a label incorrectly?

Not possible, I decided. So I've concluded that the brushes were knockoffs. Fortunately I was able to organize a return with the seller. I originally though that the buyer was trying to scam me but she told me that she was selling them for a neighbor. Also she wasn't really a beauty product seller so I guess her excuse is believable.
I've learned my lesson and now I will check pictures and the seller to make sure a product is 100% authentic! I guess at that price the deal was too good to be true. :(

For something on a good note, I went out on Saturday to cheer myself up with a beauty purchase.

I purchased: Covergirl Sparkle Topcoat in Amethyst Mist, OPI Do You Lilac It?, OPI Gargantuan Green Grape, and Nail Tek's Extend Polish Thinner <-- to Asami's recommendation

I tried out OPI Do You Lilac It? two days ago and it was SO STREAKY! I was so disappointed but then yesterday I tried out the Nail Tek thinner and repainted three of my nails (pointer, middle, ring). Application wasn't as streaky and overall the nail polish looked better! I think the thumb looks horrible compared to the three that I repainted.. So gloopy.
My cuticles are so dry... Don't blow up the pics! Haha :)