22 October, 2014

Revlon: Timeless

Here I am sneaking back with a quick manicure post to fill the gap before I get into the next Japanese beauty haul instalment.  I've been extra busy at work lately, putting in some extra hours at the office so I've been a bit tired and lazy about posting - Sorry! This too shall pass and the routine should resume soon...
Okay so this post features a discount bin find from earlier this year.  Revlon seems to have discontinued this timeless grey cream, not surprisingly called Timeless (what else?) which is a real shame because it is the perfect soft dove grey.  I adore the colour but...the formula was another let down with those dreaded bubbles appearing a few minutes after I'd finished applying.  I remember a time when the classic Revlon formula was a winner so what happened? Oh the frustration.
This is two coats with top coat, photographed in natural indirect daylight:
If you know of a dupe for this - which doesn't bubble and is still available - then please share in the comments!
Until my next haul post :)

18 October, 2014

Japan Trip Beauty Buys: The Drugstore Edit

Finally I'm putting up a vacation shopping post and, *deep breath*, I must admit I'm having a mid-life makeup crisis of sorts because I keep watching makeup decluttering videos on YouTube and then this sort of thing happens... 
Coming out of the restrictions of my self-imposed beauty diet I started off slowly... then REALLY got going as you'll see - to tell you the truth I shocked myself! As a result I've decided to do four instalments otherwise this would be a ridiculously long, overwhelming post so here's the first instalment devoted entirely to Japanese drugstore shopping...
KATE (Kanebo)
KATE (marketed as urban, sharp and cool on their website) had been recommended for their eye products so that was my initial focus. All those shimmery beauties made it impossible for this little magpie to decide on just one palette so I chose two, plus a few other things - over the course of a few shopping sessions just so you know that it wasn't one ginormous binge! Just a few teensy little ones, eh?
Onto the specifics:
  • KATE Rouge HG Lipstick (PK-21 & RD-15) - These are like sleeker packaged Revlon lip butters with a medium to high shine, decent pigmentation and that buttery feel on the lips.
  • KATE Volume Gel Mascara (BK-1) - I couldn't find Kiss Me mascara which was recommended by an Instagram follower so I thought I'd try this volumising mascara instead. 
  • KATE Brown Shade Eyes quad (BR-3 Sepia) - These quads were newly released and are a range of - why of course - brown shade quads in various finishes such as pearl, matte and sepia.  I've already worn this and the rose gold shades are flattering for everyday wear with just enough shimmer to add dimension to the lids.
  • KATE Goldish Eyes quad (PU-1) - Shimmery purple and gold for layering over the other neutral shades? Yes, I'm looking forward to playing with this!
Visée (Kosé)
Visée was another recommendation from a Japanese IG follower as a great drugstore brand to check out:
  • Visée Lip & Cheek Cream (OR-3 & PK-2) - These were released only a month before I visited Japan so they were another new find to get a little excited about! I'm now well and truly into cream cheek products so honestly I had a difficult time paring my selection down to these two bright spring-appropriate choices.  They're brighter than what I'd normally choose but I think I was under the influence of all the pretty rouged cheeks I was surrounded by in Japan - Japanese girls know how to rock blush in the prettiest way! I had blush envy over there - SERIOUSLY.
  • Visée Creamy Lipstick (RD 400) - Another lipstick that slips on like butter.  Since I've returned I've read some reviews saying these are actually drying on the lips but I haven't had that problem.  I found mine super creamy, very pigmented and long lasting on the lips.  The initial creamy sheen does eventually dry down to a semi-matte look but it didn't dry out my lips at all.
Coffret D'Or (Kanebo)
 I found these Coffret D'Or products in a mega drugstore beneath my hotel in Osaka and I'm hopeless at resisting ultra-girly packaging and cute floral blush designs! I can't say much more about the brand as their website is only in Japanese:
  • Coffret D'Or Smile Up Cheeks Cheek and Face Color (01) - I haven't tried this yet but the beautiful rose embossed palette (which comes with its own little brush) is a combined blush/highlighter with a pearly sheen so it will be for those days I want just a little glow without obviously wearing blush.  Let's be honest - I bought this just because it's pretty!
  • Coffret D'Or Fall 2014 Makeup Collection (EX-4) - I was going to buy the Smile Up Cheeks blush only, when I spotted some boxed Coffret D'Or sets at the cash register (oh the temptation when I'm on holiday in another country!!!) for a reasonable price that I can't remember now but anyway... The boxed set comprised an eye shadow quad (Smile Eyes 06 Grey Brown) which I've unfortunately gouged a chunk out of while prising it open, another blush (Color Blush - RS), and a sheer gloss (Liquid Rouge EX-100).    
I've tried Canmake products before so I didn't go overboard this time: 
  • Canmake Glow Fleur Cheeks (02) -  Canmake sell such pretty blushes! This might just be a knock-off of Anna Sui, but what the heck, I bought this pretty peachy pink to add to what is now a considerably large blush collection.
  • Canmake Colorful nails (10) - This is the only drugstore nail polish I bought in Japan.
Maquillage (Shiseido)
Shiseido's diffusion line Maquillage is one I've known about for a long time:
  • Maquillage Concealer Liquid (Natural) - There's no particular story about this concealer pen.  I actually had to buy it because the concealer I'd packed for my vacation ran out! I've been using it daily to brighten my under eye circles and it does the job without any creasing so I'll definitely use this one up!
  •  Maquillage Essence Glamorous Rouge Neo (RD 342) - I've seen a bit of buzz around regarding these lip products so I bought one to try for myself.  RD 342 is not red - actually it's very difficult to find bright lip products in Japan - but more of an everyday peach/nude.
Other bits and pieces...
And now the random one-off buys:
  • Majolica Majorca Majolook quad (BR799) - These get rave reviews so I've been very restrained just buying one but I opted for the quad I'd get the most use out of. After reading the reviews I really need to get playing with this one!
  • Chu Lip balm - I bought this because it's cute; it reminds me of EOS balms; and it has Tokyo in the name! Enough said.
  • Za Perfect Concealer (02) - This is actually a repurchase because this concealer covers like nothing else I've tried.  A little goes a very, very long way... 
For me Japan drugstore shopping was probably the most exciting of all the beauty shopping I did overseas because there are so many brands I don't see at home or I don't know much about! Also I love how it seems almost every high end Japanese cosmetics brand has a drugstore diffusion brand - if only more high end cosmetic houses would sit up and take notice that you don't need to hide your drugstore connections...

If you're interested in any individual reviews or swatches on any of these products please let me know.

10 October, 2014

September's farewelled products

This post includes a lot of travel sized products used up during my recent trip - surprisingly I even managed to finish off a few makeup items while I was away! That takes a little edge off any shopper's guilt I may have from the subsequent indulgence perhaps?...
Skin care
92) Gaia Skin & Body Foaming Cleanser (50ml travel size) - This is formulated for normal/combination sensitive skin and I found the gel formula a refreshing way to cleanse my face in my morning shower.  It wasn't overly foamy and the citrusy floral scent was perfect for the summery climate!

93) La Clinica White Brilliant Intensive Correction Hydrating Night Cream (50ml/1.76 fl.oz)* - This moisturiser feels richly moisturising, softening without the greasy feel of some other night creams I've tried over the years and it penetrates quickly so it doesn't feel claustrophobic or suffocating on my skin overnight.  I've yet to find the magic bullet that zaps all pigmentation but you know I'll keep on trying! 

94) Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Hypoallergenic Facial Towelettes (10 travel towelettes) - It's pretty obvious I bought this pack for travel!  I've used these wipes before and previously I found them a little tingly and astringent.  My summer humidified skin tolerated them better this time around so I'd now consider them for a summertime travel cleansing option.
Hand and body care
95) Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser (50ml/1.77 fl.oz travel size) - I was spoilt with Aesop toiletries during our one-night stopover in the Tokyo Park Hyatt so once I'd used this I took the rest of the bottle with me to finish it off - they're not going to leave a half-used bottle for the next guests after all! The scent is a zesty wake me up combination of Geranium Leaf, Mandarin Rind and Bergamot Rind which certainly clears the head so I loved it.  The gel formula is low foaming so easily rinsed off and my skin felt refreshed afterwards.  In-shower indulgences are something I do feel conflicted about though because it does all go down the drain after all so I don't know if I would rush out to spend almost $50 on a half-litre bottle...but you know this one is going to tempt me because of the associated memories of Tokyo. I might drop a hint to the family if they don't know what to buy me for Christmas perhaps???
96) L'Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream (30ml/1.oz) - I've raved about this silky shea butter hand cream many times before and it's still my favourite so it's going to pop up here again!
97) Dr Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Exfoliating Body Towel (1 textured towel) - I'm guessing these towelettes are primarily for pre self-tan exfoliation but I used this as a once-off treatment for my upper arm bumps (keratosis pilaris) and if I could easily buy a box of these I would - even if only for travel - because I felt instant smoothing results! Fingers crossed Sephora Australia stocks this line when they finally open their doors.  Thanks to lovely Larie for sending this out to me in our swap!

Hair care
98) & 99) Unico Intensive Shampoo & Intensive Conditioner (250ml each)* - This was really interesting because I was recently able to compare these directly to Aesop hair products and I can say Unico definitely hold their own.  I used the intensive shampoo and conditioner daily and I had "happy" hair - by which I mean fresh smelling, volumized, soft hair which you is just what you want from a salon shampoo and conditioner isn't it?  (Read here for my full review.)

100) & 101) Aesop Classic Shampoo & Classic Conditioner (50ml each) - More luxury hotel freebies that I had the pleasure of using! These reminded me a lot of the Unico products as they're also botanical hair care products, this time enriched with herbal oils such as Rosemary Leaf, Cedarwood Bark and Lavender and the scent is similarly green and fresh.  I had the same "happy" hair really - the only differences are the conditioner is slightly thicker, and more like a conditioning crème, and the price point is higher ($29AUD for 200ml full sized bottles). 
 I'm on a break from the beauty diet but I did manage to finish a few of the makeup items I took away with me... 

102) Sportsgirl Pout About It crème lipstick (Beauty Queen) - This is a soft baby pink lipstick and not something I'd usually wear at work but it was a subtle holiday choice and a more fun, summery alternative to my usual nude-mauve selections.  These lippies aren't tested on animals and at around $9.95 are a good local budget beauty buy.

103) Models Prefer Anti-Wrinkle Concealer (Light) - Funnily enough, Light wasn't quite light enough for me so I couldn't use it as a brightening or highlighting concealer.  Coverage-wise it offers medium coverage which on the plus side doesn't settle into lines so it was good enough for everyday wear. 

104) Revlon Lash Potion by Grow Luscious Waterproof Mascara (Blackest Black) - A reasonable waterproof mascara that thickened my lashes and held fast through exercise although it didn't do anything to the length of my lashes - I don't need longer lashes anyway! Unfortunately I managed to bend the wand after only a few uses which was annoying, although prestige makeup houses now sell those bendy wand mascaras so...
 105) Balenciaga Rosabotanica EDP (1.2ml sample) - This fresh and summery spicy floral fragrance is going to be the scent that reminds me of my holiday and I bought a full size bottle at the airport. Top notes: blue hyacinth, fig leaf & petitgrain; middle notes: rose, grapefruit, cardamom & pink pepper;  base notes:  white amber, cedar, vetiver, patchouli & woody accords.
106) Shiseido Zen EDP (1ml sample) - Yes, I know it's clichéd but I packed this vial for Japan!   Top notes are grapefruit, sweet bergamot, orange, pineapple,  and blue rose. Middle notes are freesia, gardenia, violet, lily-of-the-valley, Chinese rose, red apple and lotus blossom and the base notes are patchouli, cedar wood, musk and white musk, amber and frankincense.
That's it for the latest empties then...Japan drugstore shopping post next!
 (Products marked * were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

07 October, 2014

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel: Sugar Fix

Hello, I'm back again!
I'll warm up with a manicure post featuring one of Sally Hansen's recently released Miracle Gel polishes - and my personal pick of the colours.  Sugar Fix is one of those irresistible (to me) periwinkle blue creams which I just keep quietly accumulating.  This is my first experience with any kind of gel polish so I didn't have any particular expectations apart from extended wear.  With this polish you skip the base coat, apply two or three coats of colour then finish with Sally Hansen's Miracle Gel top coat - this step is a must.  The polish will then 'cure' in natural light without any need for a special UV lamp. 
I found the colour polish a little on the thicker side so a little care was needed to avoid any streaks, and the top coat is not a particularly quick dry formula so took over 30 minutes to cure to my satisfaction.  Once dried the manicure was certainly long wearing and the fresh looking finish easily lasted a week for me with no sign of tip wear or chips.  I was impressed enough to wear another shade from the range for the first two weeks of my vacation and it stayed in fresh condition until around the 10 day mark when a few little cracks appeared in the finish, although it hung in there pretty well for the next few days by which time I was bored and well and truly ready to remove it! Speaking of which, removal is just the same as regular polish as the polish is easily dissolved with standard polish remover. 
Enough about the product - onto the pictures...
My next post will run through my vacation empties so I can get them out of the way before I share my Japan and Hawaii buys!
Chat soon :)

(Products were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

12 September, 2014

Vacation time again!

This is a bit of a 'Hi! Bye!' post because I'm heading off overseas for a family holiday - TONIGHT!
We'll be starting off in Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka and back to Tokyo) then flying to Hawaii for some more laid back holidaying.  I'm keeping it brief because I'm packing as I write!
Normal posting will resume after the 4th of October but you can always keep up with my adventures on Instagram and Twitter in the meantime.
Until next time!!!

09 September, 2014

Natio: Tangerine

As soon as spring rolled around it was like, "Right! Let's go bright!" for me and as orange is still the thang at the moment it was my first logical colour choice. 
Tangerine is another one of local beauty brand Natio's 'Little Treasures' nail polishes and it is a little gem too!  Such a juicy vibrant orange and just the antidote to the dreary old winter we endured in Melbourne this year.  Anyhow let me get back on track: two coats glided on beautifully and this lasted well over the week.  I swear I may just collect all of the shades when no one's looking because they're so cheap and cheerful... 
Indirect daylight
Now take THAT winter!
Until next time...

06 September, 2014

August's farewelled products (and Beauty Diet update)

Ah the irony - another unattractive pile of empty products I've used in my mission to make myself more beautiful...
Skin care
81) Maybelline Makeup Remover Eye & Lip (70ml/2.4 fl. oz.) - Maybelline have gone and repackaged and reformulated again and have reverted to the blue and clear dual-phase liquid.  It does a perfectly gentle job of removing my eye makeup, and even if it's not quite as effective as Lancôme Bifacil (which I keep saying is too expensive) I'll be buying another bottle soon because it's a handy size for travel and it's cheap!
82) Kirkland Daily Facial Cleansing Towelettes (30 towelettes) - Damn, I'm getting a bit bored of these now but I still have a few packs to go.  One really annoying thing was a packaging fail:  the resealable lid came away from the pack so that makes me reluctant to take these away on my upcoming trip.
83) Pond's Flawless White Lightening Day Cream (50g) - This was the biggest disappointment of the year because I NEVER GOT TO USE IT. The expiry date is February 2015 but the cream had separated into a solid mass surrounded by watery liquid.  I gave it one valiant, stupid try but realized applying this grainy stuff was a risky prospect so washed it off and tossed the jar into my empties bag.  I don't have a sales receipt to exchange the product and after that experience I don't want to repurchase it.
84) & 85) La Clinica White Brilliant Intensive Correction Hydrating Day Cream (50ml/1.76 fl. oz. and 10ml sample size)* - I've used this day cream as part of the White Brilliant routine and it penetrates quickly, making my sleepy skin look just that little bit more radiant in the morning.  My pigmentation which is still my primary skin concern hasn't deteriorated so that's comforting.  Of course I wish I could completely eliminate my pigmentation but I'm not at the point of resorting to Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatments just yet and anything that keeps me away from that point is a good thing.
Hand and body care
86) OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover (120ml/4 fl.oz) - My seventh bottle and counting.  I couldn't get a full size bottle recently so I've resorted to a tiny travel size.  That tells you (and me) what I think about this remover. 
87) MOR Snow Gardenia Hand & Body Wash (500ml) - This bottle moved from the shower to the hand basin after a while only because it's so big and my caddy was getting crowded! A very heady floral scent, luxuriant in lather, and lasted an eternity so I enjoyed it both for showering and for washing my hands.  MOR never skimp on their fragrances and this is no exception.   
88) Crabtree & Evelyn Avocado, Olive & Basil Hand Therapy (25g/0.9 oz. travel size) - A beautifully "green" scent and one of my many C & E hand creams.  I'll tell you again why I'm a fan:  these hand creams are rich in scent, rich in moisture without being greasy, and gentle on my sensitive skin.
This will be my last beauty diet update before I head off for my Japan-Hawaii trip next week!  Sophie, Anissa, Norlin are planning to continue for the rest of the year so I may well be resuming when I get back.  I've been a little obsessed with makeup decluttering and downsizing YouTube videos lately so my attitude to makeup shopping is changing - maybe?
89) L'Oreal Nude Magique BB Powder (Medium Skin) - This is the month for fails it seems because this was another packaging fail.  Cosmetic companies please take note: Clear plastic packaging just doesn't stand up to everyday wear and tear because it's just too brittle! I can't carry a powder pan in my makeup bag once the lid has broken off now can I? Getting off that particular soapbox the powder itself offered less coverage than I've come to expect from a bb powder and it didn't work well for mattifying either so I won't be repurchasing.

90) MAC Cremesheen Lipstick (Modesty) - A great mauve-nude MLBB lipstick with a creamy, glossy finish.  Love.
91) Wet n Wild Coloricon Trio (Walking On Eggshells) - The perfect palette for everyday with its combination of ivory, warm pink and golden brown shades.  I'm not feeling too sad this time because I have a backup!

91) Tom Ford Rive D'Ambre EDP (1.5ml) - Weirdly enough this came in a Plum Japonais holder so I was almost disappointed until I smelled the rather crisp, zesty fragrance.  A lighter, easier to wear daytime fragrance from the TF wardrobe and I wasn't at all surprised to read this is unisex.  Notes are:  citruses, amber, bergamot, lemon, bitter orange, tarragon, mint, cardamom, cognac and tolu balsam.
So that's it for another episode of empties!

(Products marked * were provided for my consideration.  All comments and opinions are my own.)

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