Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer Hiatus

Dear Readers,

I'm sorry to say that I'm putting my blog on hiatus. The truth is that it's just too damn hot. An average day is over 30 degrees Celsius with 70-80% humidity, and it's still getting hotter!  Right now I'm focusing on skin care and SPF, but I have a good routine which I will not be messing with until the weather calms down! 

Most of my apartment, like my kitchen, is not air-conditioned, and my work is sparing with it. When the aircon is on at work, it's set to 27! That's right. God I miss winter! 

Thanks to anyone who is still reading, and I'll talk to you in the autumn.

This is what I put on my face, and then promptly sweat off.

I keep my skin care in the fridge.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Feeling Fresh without Starting Over

Well it's that time of year in Japan again. If you live in Japan, you know exactly what I mean. It's the time of much sweating. With the rainy season wrapping up, I'm no stranger to humidity, and now it's time to bring on the real heat. 

I walk to and from work everyday. My school is on top of a mountain! Okay, fine. It's just a hill. And although I do appreciate what this daily climb has been doing for my legs and derriere, I'm not a fan of starting my workday as a sweaty mess. The sweat will be pouring down my back, face, etc. Now, with that lovely image in your mind, I want to tell you how I freshen up at work, since showing isn't an option. 

Japan has many amazing products to help people deal with the heat. Sea Breeze, by Shiseido, is an absolute summer essential for me! This is a deodorant liquid and powder which you shake and then apply to your skin. It gets rid of any odors and mattifies your skin, leaving skin feeling dry and smelling fresh. This comes in a variety of scents. I have it in peach cooler. At convenience stores you can find this in a smaller spray bottle that's the perfect purse-size. I picked up some little spray bottles from Daiso (Japan's dollar store that is so much more). Some people will pour this into their hand and then spread it on their skin, but I prefer the ease of a spray bottle.

For my face, I keep a bottle of the Ettusais Aqua Splash OB spray in my desk. Not only is it non-comedogenic and fragrance free, it has chamomile extract to calm and cool skin, and regulate sebum. I find this more convenient and effective than blotting papers. This is a great way to touch up your makeup. Spray this on, pat gently, and feel fresh!

How do you stay fresh in the summer?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

AIRism at Uniqlo

This is the women's AIRism short sleeve scoop neck t-shirt from Uniqlo, and one of my new obsessions/summer essentials.

AIRism is a special collection of clothing from Uniqlo that focuses on being "light as air" in that hot Japanese summer heat. The tag line is "comfort unlimited." This line has a variety of styles including various tanks, and tees, as well as leggings, slips, and lounge wear.

The material is a soft microfiber blend of 60% nylon, 30% cupro, and 10% spandex. It moves with you, dries quickly, breathes well, and is odour resistant. I wear it on its own, but this would work as an undershirt, too. As for the fit, I recommend trying this on before you buy it. 

It fits much smaller than other tops from Uniqlo. I usually wear a small, because so many of their tops are very drapey and loose, but I wear a size large in this shirt. If you do get a smaller size, and have curves, the shirt will ride up and want to bunch around your waist.

This shirt is so comfortable and I get lots of complements on it. I like to wear it tucked into skirts. It's so versatile, and at only 900yen (or $12.90 in America) it's budget-friendly, too.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Listening to... #1

Here's a little playlist of some things I've been listening to lately. It's a mix of upbeat and more chill stuff. I hope you like it!

Link me playlists or artists you like in the comments!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review: Let the Good Times Roll

If you've watched my Hawaii Haul Part II, you will know how much I love the smell of this mask. It smells like CAKE! Seriously, people. Cake.

Here's the list of ingredients:

Maize flour, Glycerine, Talc, Water, Corn Oil, Polenta, Fair Trade Organic Cinnamon Powder, Perfume (which occurs naturally in essential oils), Gardenia Extract, Popcorn.

Not only does it smell like cake (have I mentioned that yet?), it makes my skin feel so soft and smooth. I love a product that has all ingredients I can pronounce! It's got maize flour and polenta for gentle exfoliation and nourishment, corn oil to boost skin, and cinnamon to warm and stimulate your skin, leaving it refreshed. This cleanser is both scrubby and gentle, so it cleans but doesn't irritate those of us with sensitive skin.

What Lush cleansers do you love?

Friday, June 20, 2014

Currently Loving #1

Welcome to the first post of a new series! Because you are such smart people, I'm sure you can already guess what these posts will feature! You will see beauty and non-beauty bits here. I hope you enjoy! 

Maybelline Master Glaze Glistening Blush Stick in Pink Fever

This gives a lovely natural finish. It's got a smooth, dewy feel. The colour looks a little intimidating, but it blends out so nicely! These are super easy to apply and wear. I usually put a few short strokes across the tops of my cheekbones and blend with my fingers. If I have time, and want my blush looking extra perfect, I'll go over it using a light hand and my Real Techniques stippling brush. I haven't tried the Nars Matte Multiples, but I think this is a similar product.

These haven't been released in Japan yet.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Washing those brushes!

Am I the only one who doesn't wash their brushes as often as they should? I was feeling ambitious this past weekend. Freshly washed brushes are so nice to use! Every time I do this I wonder why I don't more often.

I use the Shiseido Sponge Cleaner. It was around 400yen, and works like a charm!

What do you use to clean your brushes?

Friday, June 6, 2014

That SPF Stuff

As a fair complexioned girl with fussy (read allergic reaction prone) skin, I've tried more than my fair share of sunscreens. Coppertone, Vichy, Ombrelle, and others I've lost track of have all left me with the option of rash or sunburn. Not a place anyone wants to be. My skin situation is especially difficult because I don't actually know what I'm allergic to. Now that I walk to work, and live a lot closer to the equator than I used to, I want to take extra good care of my fair skin!

Now that I've found a few winners, I thought I'd share them with you.

Ettusais just released a new sunscreen that I am in love with! It's the UV Block Spray SPF 50+ PA++++. It's colorant free, non-comedogenic, and oh so easy to apply. It doesn't leave the skin feeling greasy at all! It's got more of a velvet finish. It claims to have a floral scent, which I don't notice. I do like that it doesn't have that typical sunscreen smell. I always feel like a need a shower when I smell like that. This product is absolutely perfect for spraying on as I'm leaving work, or running out the door!

Another one I like for body is the Clinique Sun Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen Body Cream. I love Clinique's skin care and makeup. Other girls with sensitive skin will know how good it is. This protects against burns and aging effects of the sun. It also has antioxidants to protect skin against other environmental factors. The only draw back on this one is the price tag at $25. If you do want to spend a little extra on sun protection I highly recommend this one. The formula isn't as light as the Ettusais spray, but it still isn't greasy or heavy! I used this at the beach in Hawaii and didn't burn at all.

For face you guys already know that I love the Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer from The Body Shop. I love having this coverage to start the day, especially since I walk to work in the morning. This moisturizer mattifies and doesn't leave my face greasy at all. It's perfect to put makeup on top of. I usually wash my face in the morning, apply moisturizer, eat breakfast, and then do my makeup. You wouldn't have to wait this long for it to soak in if you were in more of a hurry!

For touching up my face throughout the day, like when I leave work to walk home, I like to use the Ettusais Aqua Splash UV SPF25 PA++. This is also available in SPF 30, which I will probably pick up once the temperatures climb. You can use this under or on top of makeup. I like to carry this in my purse and use it on my face, neck, arms, and chest, especially when I'm travelling. Like the other Ettusais sunblock it's colorant free and non-comedogenic.

What sun protectors do you guys love? Leave me a comment!

Everyday Lip Products

From left to right: Canmake Candy Gloss in Navel Drop - Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Honey 
Clinique Different Lipstick in Think Bronze - Almay Liquid Lip Balm in Cantaloupe Cream - Mac Shy Girl  
Maybelline Baby Lips Electro in Berry Bomb - Canmake Stay-on Balm Rouge in Tiny Sweet pea

These are some fuss-free, lip products I like for everyday. If I'm not feeling up for the maintenance of a bold lip I reach for one of these!

What are your everyday lip products?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summertime Skincare

Summertime is upon us and I really want to make sure my skin is happy and nourished during the warmer months. The two key ingredients I'm focusing on are green tea and aloe.

My favourite products recently are the aloe toner and aloe gel from Nature Republic. My skin has been nice and blemish free recently and I'm hoping to keep it that way.

Soothing and Moisture Aloe Vera 90% Toner
  This smells amazing and is super refreshing! I decided to try it instead of getting another bottle of the Body Shop's aloe toner, and I think I like this one better! Also it was less expensive. Bonus!

Soothing and Moisture Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel
  This gel is a major multitasker! One of the things I love about this for summer is how light this is. It soaks in really quickly and feels cool. When the weather really heats up, I will move this stuff into my fridge to make it extra refreshing! I use it to sooth my legs and pits after a shave that was maybe a little too close. My favourite application so far is under my eyes. Normally I wear glasses. In hot weather I cannot stand the way the slide down my nose. Enter contact lenses. My glasses are quite dramatic and (conveniently) hide the bags under my eyes. Without my glasses, all I see are my puffy under eyes! Using the aloe gel under my eyes before bed has seriously helped with this. I've only been doing this for a few days and I already notice a difference!

Fresh Green Tea 70 Cream
  I've been looking into the beauty benefits of green tea and am so thrilled with this impulse buy from my New Years Korea vacation. Benefits include: sun damage protection, helps with inflammation, tones skin, reduces redness and prevents wrinkles. Yes please! How awesome is all that? Protection from sun damage is no reason to stop with the SPF. Think of them as being more complementary than interchangeable. The antioxidants in green tea don't block the sun, but they do help your skin to repair itself.

This "cream" is really a gel, and it doesn't cut it for me as night time moisturiser, but that's when I like to use it. I pair it with the Puru Puru Serum from Ettusais.

What do you think of my summer skincare trio? What ingredients do you look for during the summer months?

Leave me a comment!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Japanese Stationery

I published this post on my other blog, but I thought you guys might be interested in it, too!

Since the purchase of my Hobonichi, and what a good purchase it was, I've been picking up bits of stationery to go with it. Although not every page looks as beautiful and organized as I wish it did, I wanted to show you a few things that definitely help.

Japan really gets it right when it comes to stationery. A lot of things here can be a bit too cutesy for my liking, but the sheer volume of these bits and bobs means you will be able to find something that suits you. 

Let's start with the washi tape. Washi tape is like masking tape, but it's made from natural fibres like bamboo or hemp. Decorative tape is really popular in Japan. One of my students has a collection, and she's aiming to have 100 different designs! They come in different widths, colours, and patterns. I get most of mine from Daiso - the dollar store, but lots of stores have tape with anime characters and other things. The tape third from the top in the photo is from the Pokemon Centre.

My next favourite thing is deco-tape. This comes in a dispenser like white out tape. These can be a bit tricky to apply and sometimes stretch out, rip or have half stay on the role. Also, this will stick to itself. Don't put it in the same place on opposing pages. It will peel off, and all of it will end up on one page. Not cute. If you do need to take it off, an eraser works.

Muji has excellent pens. I bought these this weekend. The colours are beautiful! The ink is smooth! These come in a variety of other colours and thickness, depending on your preference. 0.4 was the least fine tip available for these pens. It was all I could do to limit myself to only two!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lazy Day Makeup

On lazy days I like to keep it simple and fresh. Here's a no fuss look I've been enjoying lately.

Tarte amazonian clay full coverage airbrush powder foundation
Only Minerals foundation brush (not pictured)
Nars creamy concealer
Elf concealer brush
Maybelline master glaze in pink fever
Real Techniques stippling brush
Almay liquid lip balm in cantaloupe cream
Maybelline the rocket volume express
Muji eyelash curler
Majolica Majorca eyeshadow in BE286
Hakuhodo eyeshadow brush J5523

I'm working on some great posts for you guys! I'll be updating every wednesday and friday. To tide you over, you can also check out my Youtube channel which has been getting more action than my blog this month. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Travel Makeup: Hawaii

I'm in Hawaii for Golden Week (plus a little extra) and I wanted to show you lovely readers which makeup items I brought with me. I knew I was going to buy lots so I tried to keep it to a minimum. 

Most of the items pictured have been mentioned on this blog or my YouTube channel - which if you don't know you should check out!!! If you want the names of anything, just leave me a comment. 

What did you do for Golden Week?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DIY Lip and Body Scrubs

Lately I've been having weird lip issues. They've been really dry and flaky, even though the weather is getting warmer, and Japan is fairly humid year round. So I browsed Pinterest and decided to make myself a DIY Lip Scrub. While I was at it I made my second batch of the Cardamom and Coffee Body Scrub.

Lip Scrub

For my lip scrub I looked at lots of recipes and chose to combine ingredients I already had in my apartment. A lot of lip scrub recipes out there are very similar. Here's what I did:

You will need:
1 tbsp each of Honey and Almond Oil
2 tsp of sugar

Mix it all together and then store in the fridge.

I found that the almond oil didn't mix all that well with the honey and sugar. It kind of sits on top of the scrub. Although this doesn't look as nice as some other scrubs, this doesn't make that big of a difference when using it.

I used my lip scrub as soon as I finished it, and then again this morning. I saw an immediate improvement!

Body Scrub

I got the idea and recipe for the body scrub from Essie Button, my first and favourite beauty blogger and youtuber. You can see her post here! The texture of my scrub is more grainy than hers. I used almond oil instead of cocoa and shea butter.

You will need:
Ground coffee
Sugar - white or brown
Ground cardamom
Almond Oil


Combine equal parts sugar and ground coffee. I used the Ikea coffee that comes ground, and regular white sugar. Add ground cardamom to scent ~3 tsp. I added almond oil until my scrub was a consistency I was happy with.

Friday, April 25, 2014

It's Spring!

Every so often I like to reorganize my makeup vanity. I clean and sort through my makeup, and rotate the products in the front of my drawer. I'm the kind of person that will forget about something if I don't see it. This weekend I dusted off some spring and summertime favourites and got ready to start using them again: corals, oranges, brights, and pastels. I wanted to show you what makes me feel like spring!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hakuhodo: Love at First Use

We've all used products that have taking a little warming up to. You know, the ones that just don't work the way you want them to, or don't live up to your expectations at first, and then sneak their way into your heart and daily routine? This is not a post about one of those. This is a post about something that blew me away the first time I used it. Are you ready for it? Here it is:

The Hakuhodo J5523.

This fluffy goat hair eyeshadow crease brush, like all Hakuhodo brushes, is handmade in Japan. The company is based just outside of Hiroshima, in Kumano. People have been making brushes in this area for over 200 years, and Hakuhodo continues to use traditional methods. 

At ~1600yen, I recommend you pick this up. If you live in Japan, it's about half the price of cult favourite, the MAC 217 brush. I don't have a MAC 217, but the J5523 performs beautifully! It picks up lots of product, distributes evenly, and blends beautifully.

Have you tried any Japanese brushes?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

March Favourites


Beauty Favourites

This was a month of excellent blushes! Who am I kidding? I'm obsessed with blush every month. I got the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour blush in Blissful from my fiance's sisters in a care package at the beginning of the month. I've mentioned this blush and how I had been NEEDING it in my life, but my Sephora was out of it, and then I moved to the land where Sephora does not exist. (Until recently, because now they ship to Japan!) This blush is everything I had hoped and more. I've been alternating between that and the Ettusais Rose Cheek Color, which you can read about here! The last blush I want to talk about is the liquid blush in Coral Creme from Majolica Majorca. I usually apply a few strokes directly to my cheeks and then blend with my Real Techniques Stippling Brush. Make sure to do one cheek at a time! This stuff dries fast. I like that it gives a really natural looking flush to my cheeks. 

For eyes I've been playing with the ELF Essential Little Black Beauty Book Warm Edition. This is a gorgeous assortment of 48 warm toned eye shadows. I've been really wanting to get my hands on the Naked palettes and this has been a great affordable alternative. There's a wide variety in the quality, texture, finish, hardness, lasting power, and tendency to crease in these shadows. I expected them to all be pretty similar. For only $6, I have definitely gotten my money's worth!

In the skin care category it should come as no surprise that a couple Ettusais bits have been getting a lot of love. You can read my review of the Puru Puru Serum here! I've also been wearing the ultra moisturizing Lip Essence SPF 18 PA++. It's just a nice, non-sticky lip balm in a tube.

My favourite (colour) lip product has been the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Cherish. Barbie pink is not a colour I thought I would like but it's so much fun! It's a much bluer pink than anything else I have. 

Non-beauty Favourites

The book I could not put down this month was Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. This is a book about Ursula, a woman who gets a bunch of do-overs on life. She dies and then is reborn, as herself, and gets a fresh start. She learns from the mistakes she makes in her previous lives, and these inform some of her later decisions. I loved reading this because I was always so interested to see what direction her new life would take! I really recommend this book!

Next I want to recommend a podcast. I love podcasts, and listen to them constantly - while walking to work, getting groceries, cleaning, or cooking, getting ready in the morning, etc. I have loads of podcasts I listen to and am always looking for new ones.  Stop Podcasting Yourself is a comedy podcast and a member of the Maximum Fun network, which I love. It consists of two comedians, Dave Shumka and Graham Clark, and a possible guest, who do regular segments where they talk about their week, things they've overheard, and occasionally some Hulk Hogan news, or a Pop Rocks minute. The podcast is based in Vancouver, and I love the Canadian content. This show is hilarious. Sometimes I laugh out loud in public when I listen to this because it is just that funny. I recommend starting with an episode where Brent Butt, Canadian comedy royalty, is the guest.

Last month my favourite book was science fiction. This month I've got a video game in my favs. Guess what?! I'm kind of a geek. Yay! This month Tyler and I wiped our old data and started a new file for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This is a game I play a lot when it first came out and it fills me with happy nostalgia. We were pretty hooked on playing the Subspace Emissary mode which I had completely forgotten. Because my game playing prime was the early 2000s, I prefer to use a Game Cube controller. It's more stable than the wii-mote and nunchuk setup. Haha!

What have you been loving this month?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Lipstick Tag

I'm not gonna say this post was made for me, but this is the best tag ever! I tag anyone who wants to do it!

1. How many lipsticks do you own?

Around 45.

2. What was the first lipstick you owned?

I can't remember. I think it was probably something my mom gave me, maybe a Clinique lipstick? Do Lip Smackers count? I had so many of those in elementary school!

3. What is your favourite lipstick brand?

This is tough (why am I so bad at favourites?!). It's a tie. My new favourite is Bite, because they're lipsticks are so beautiful, and good for you. My all time favourite drugstore brand is Revlon, especially since the intro of the Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains, and the Lip Butters. My favourite high end brand is Clinique.

4. What is your most worn lipstick?

Recently, I've been wearing the Too Cool for School Lost Identity in the shade Lost in Dinoplatz. But my super old Rimmel volume lipstick in Sassy has been experiencing a revival.

5. What is your favourite finish?

Matte, because it's the longest lasting. I really like lip stains, too, for the same reason.

6. What was the last lipstick you bought?

Kate bloody lacquer in Red.

7. How many lip products do you currently have in your bag?

Which bag? I change purses pretty regularly. Lipsticks tend to get left in bags. I average between 6 and 8 at a time. A girl needs options!!!

8. What is your favourite red lip colour?

Wine with Everything by Revlon!

9. How do you store your lipsticks?

See the photo above :) I bought this plastic organizer from Daiso.

10. Which lipsticks are you currently lusting after?

This is easy! MAC's crosswires! I've had my eye on this lipstick for ages, but MAC is just so expensive in Japan. I'm planning to pick it up when I go to Hawaii with my family for Golden Week! I also want to get my hands on some of the new Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm stains in the matte and satin finishes.

I really like doing tags! Do you know of any other cool blog tags?

Thanks for reading x

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Ettusais First Impressions

エテュセ X AMPHI コラボ

Lip Essence stick

I always love when lip products have SPF. This has SPF 18 PA ++. It promises to reduce the look of vertical lines on lips, promote blood circulation, and moisturize with hyaluronic acid. I don't find this quite moisturizing enough to be a good winter lip balm, but I like it as a lipstick base. I think it will be excellent for summer! Also, I might have bought it just for the packaging which is a collaboration with lingerie brand Amphi...

Purutsubu Serum

Puru Puru Serum

One of the things I love about this is that it's so unique. It's not your typical serum, and as such I feel that it needs a bit of explaining. I saw this in stores and advertisements a few times before I could figure out what it was. It looks like a scrub, but it's a serum with soft little beads full of hyaluronic acid, fermented royal jelly, and water-soluble collagen. The serum has a moisture-lock shield to have a long lasting hydrating effect. It absorbs quickly and leaves skin feeling velvety and soft. This is meant to be used as the last step in a skincare routine.

I keep it on my nightstand and put it on right before I get in bed. I was having issues with dry patches on my face, especially around my nose and within a few days of using this they were gone! I highly recommend this!

Princess RED and dark than love

Limited edition Princess Red rose cheek colour

In the new Princess Red series for spring, Ettusais is channelling a Snow White vibe. The colours are not the typical spring corals and oranges, which is kind of refreshing. The blush comes with a sponge applicator that stores in the bottom. It's not as useless as most applicators that come with blushes, but I still prefer to use my brushes. I usually apply it with the Real Techniques Stippling or Blush Brush.

The rose design goes all the way to the bottom. The cheek colour is a blush and highlight in one. This is a gorgeous red blush that is really pigmented and wearable. It does have some shimmer in it but it's not overdone.

You can also check out my entire Ettusais haul here!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ettusais Haul

I recently discovered this Japanese beauty brand and it might be a winner. As you can tell, I went a little crazy. With the weather starting to warm up here I'm already brainstorming ways to be more comfortable survive the coming summer. The name Et tu sais, is French for "you know what?" The brand has a selection of skin care, and focuses on incorporating skin care ingredients into their makeup to be suitable for sensitive or acne prone skin.

First I'd like to talk about the packaging. It is surprisingly minimalist for a Japanese beauty brand. I'm not saying it's pink-free but Ettusais has taken a much more moderate approach to all things cutesy and girly, than its competitors. They like to collaborate with other Japanese brands and come out with limited edition packaging which can be hit or miss. I do think the collab with Amphi, a lingerie company, is lovely!

My first Ettusais purchases were Puru Puru Serum, limited edition Princess Red rose cheek colour, and Lip Essence stick with the Amphi design. So far I love all three of these! You can read my reviews here!

Loft had a special gift bag of Ettusais summer essentials. As a side note, Loft has lots of value sets from different brands. I highly recommend checking them out. The one I bought was 1800yen, with around 5000yen worth of product! It included Aqua Splash OB, Aqua Splash UV SPF 25, BB Mineral White SPF 45, Oil Block Jelly, and Lip Essence.

Do you have anything from Ettusais? What do you think?

PS If you're interested in looking at Ettusais online, they have an English website but the Japanese one is way better, and obviously gets updated more often.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Lust List

Lust List Spring 2014

Every beauty lover has a list of products that they wish they had, or hope to acquire in the future. I haven't been in the beauty world for very long, so I'm lacking a smattering of luxury items and basics. What's on your list?

1. Urban Decay Naked 3. I bought my mom the Naked Basics palette in the summer but have yet to get one of my own. In many reviews of Naked 3, ladies were saying that although they really like Naked 3, it reminded them of how much they love Naked 1, which is still their favourite. Is it naive to think I can resist buying all three? Which is your favourite?

2. The MAC 217 brush. A cult classic. I've been putting this one off, and pretending that I can make due with other brushes because MAC is soooo expensive in Japan. I think the 217 is around 3000 yen ($30) and I just can't bring myself to do it (never mind that I've spent at least that much on other brushes that I hope are going to fill that hole).

3. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Blissful. (I got this blush, after I started writing this post last week, in a care package from Tyler's lovely sisters! Thanks ladies!)

4. Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation. I'm a fan of mineral foundations. They feel so much better than liquid ones on my skin. Estee of Essiebutton bought this in Canada over Christmas and was raving about it! She is my ultimate enabler. I want to buy everything she reviews.

5. Ettusais Aqua Splash UV. This is more of a practical thing on my list. I just discovered this brand and recently picked up a few of their products (new post to come!). This is a powder-in-mist with SPF 30 PA++! It can be sprayed on under or on top of your makeup. It's hydrating, offers UV protection, and helps makeup last longer! Yes please!

6. MAC Cremesheen lipstick in Crosswires. This has been described as a shade that Christina Hendricks as Joan would wear. And Mad Men reference is all I need.

I know this post is a little whiny. Boohoo! My life is so hard! Lol. 

Leave me a comment and tell me what's on your list!

Friday, March 14, 2014

My Skin Care Routine

In the past few months I've really amped up my skin care routine. I decided that I'm a big girl now, and I should be cleansing, toning, and moisturizing REGULARLY! Along with using face masks, serums, eye creams, night creams, day creams, and all those good things. I have always been good about cleansing nightly, and haven't been one of those people who are tempted to sleep in their makeup. No judgement! It's just not me. Cleansing in the morning, that's a different story.

In the morning, I cleanse with the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, tone with whatever I have around, lately it's been the Muji Toning Water, and moisturize with the Vitamin C Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 from The Body Shop. I was using a different cleanser for a while but I wanted to go back to Cetaphil. I used that cleanser for years and had great skin. I've mentioned in my videos that my skin is reacting badly to the change in climate. Canada is very dry, and Japan is very humid. I'm hoping that using it again will help my stressed skin.

At night, when I need to take off my makeup, sometimes I just use the Cetaphil cleanser, but if I have eyeliner or heavy duty mascara on, I use the Shiseido TISS Deep Off Cleansing Oil (this stuff is amazing!) first, and then go in with the Cetaphil. I put a pump or two of the oil in my hand, massage it into my dry face. Then I apply the Cetaphil with wet hands and use a wet facecloth (if I have one around) to wipe everything off. I use the same toner at night. Lately, I've been using the Mineral Flowers Moisturizing Night Cream in chamomile wax and mud. It's really thick and designed for sensitive skin. Every other night I will use the Skin Food Black Sugar Perfect First Serum Gold on an exfoliating cotton pad and then pat into my skin. This serum is brightening and anti-wrinkle, and comes in the most beautiful bottle!

For spot treatment, I always keep a little bottle of tea tree oil from The Body Shop around. In Korea, I bought the Bee Venom Pink Spot which is a spot treatment specially designed for sensitive skin and soothes redness and irritation. I really notice a difference in the redness of my spots when I use this.

So that's my skin care routine! What skin care bits are you loving lately?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

February Favourites

Hello! Happy it's not February aka the worst month of the year anymore! February was a really busy month for me. I spent a weekend in Fukuoka with friends. Tyler and I went to Osaka one weekend to celebrate our anniversary (gross. I know, sorry). Because I've been so busy lately I'm doing my favourites as a blog post, instead of a video. I just haven't had time to film lately during the tiny window of time when the natural light is nice.

This month is a mix of beauty and non-beauty favs, which I think I'll do from now on.

Beauty Favourites

This month with my travelling I got a lot of use out of my NARS Orgasm/Laguna duo. Since the addition of the Real Techniques duo fiber contour brush, I have been contouring like a fiend! I have to use a very light hand with Laguna, but I think it's really pretty! Orgasm speaks for itself. Universally flattering and provocatively named, what's not to love?

I've always loved playing with different eye looks, and this month was no exception. They first couple weeks had me sporting Kate Super Sharp Liner S in BK. I wish I had BK-1, which is a bit blacker. The tip is very fine and easy to use. It lasts all day long but is easy to fix if you make a mistake when applying it. The second eye look of the month was with the Wet n' Wild Comfort Zone trio. The purpley-grey shade for the lid is perfection! It instantly adds a bit of class. The shadows are super pigmented and a great value for the money!

After researching and writing about the Bite High Pigment Lip Pencils, I was in love, and got a lot of wear out of them, especially in the shade Quince, the rose berry shade.

The Shiseido sponge cleaner is what I've been using to clean my brushes since September and it does a really nice job. 

The Love Lettuce mask from Lush is really great! My skin has been quite happy this past month. However, I don't recommend buying this mask in Japan. It's ¥1700!!! I'll wait until I'm back in Canada before I try anymore Lush masks.  

My final beauty favourite is something I've been loving for a few months but always seem to forget to include here. The Grapeseed Glossing Serum from The Body Shop has been keeping my hair healthy and frizz free since November and is a permanent staple in my hair care routine. You only need a small amount, so make sure you don't over do it otherwise it can make your hair look a bit greasy. I use it every time after I wash my hair.

Non-beauty Favourites

At the beginning of the month I finally invested in a Hobonichi! The Hobonichi is a daily planner by the Japanese company Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shimbun. Recently they came out with an English edition. I've always used the moleskein planners, but this year I decided to try something I can't get in Canada. I'm so glad I did! Watch the commercial for the Hobonichi Techo - the Japanese version - on Youtube. It explains everything!

My fashion favourite is a black blazer I got from H&M, on sale. I love the silver detailing on the shoulders! It's quite a boxy shape so I like to wear it with skinny jeans and boots.

This month I read Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card. It's the sequel to Ender's Game. Orson Scott Card being a terrible person aside, this is a really great book! I've always been a fan of sci-fi and I couldn't put this book down.

What things did you love in February?

Friday, February 21, 2014

My Makeup Brushes

These are my brushes. The cups are from Daiso. So cute right?! Starting with the eyebrow spoolie near the top and going clockwise the brushes are:

Sonia Kashuk spoolie brush #127
Real Techniques duo-finer contour brush
The Body Shop eyeshadow brush
Real Techniques stippling brush
ELF concealer brush
The Body Shop blusher brush
Real Techniques duo-fiber eye brush
Real Techniques blush brush
Quo liner/brow brush
Real Techniques duo-fiber face brush
Quo all over shadow brush
Only Minerals foundation brush
The Body Shop eyeshadow blender brush

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Review: Maybelline Japan Cosmos Hyper Shadow and Kate Real Create Eyes

Maybelline Japan Cosmos Hyper Shadow in BR-1 Luna Brown
These are mixed pigment, marbled, baked eyeshadows. When I bought this I thought it would be identical to the (get ready for a really long name!) Maybelline Eye Studio Colour Pearls Marbleized Eyeshadow Duo, which I have in Persuasive Plum. Both are marbled, baked eyeshadow duos. The duos come with gorgeous colours that are perfect for each other. It  I bought Persuasive Plum in Canada last summer and wore it non-stop for about 2 months. I love the colours, the pigmentation, and how blendable they are. They're super easy to work with. All that being said, I might prefer the Japanese version. 

My only complaint with the former is that I have to be careful of fallout, especially with the darker shade. The Japanese formula seems to be a bit firmer, which makes for less shadow in places I don't want it. I might actually prefer the Luna Brown, but I'll have to use it more to see if it's true love, or just a fleeting flirtation.

Kate Real Create Eyes in BR-3
An 5-shade eyeshadow palette with "clear soft-transmitting colors and deep monotone colors for creating deeply contoured eyes." I really like shimmer shadows, and boy am I in the right country. It's actually a challenge to find a shadow (or any kind of makeup) that won't light you up like a disco ball!

 Let's start with the packaging. I love it! It's pretty and a visual departure from other drugstore eyeshadow palettes. The palette comes in a little plastic package which has visual instructions on how to use the shades to create a look. It would have been nice if this was printed on the back of the compact instead. 

You might have noticed that there are five shades, but only swatches for four. The palest shade, in the top left corner, is a shimmery cream shadow that is supposed to be used as a primer base for the rest of the shadows. I tried it and it's absolute crap. It made the shadow crease so much! The powder shadows work better without it. I think it's a great idea but the execution fell way short. They should have left it out and made the purple shade in the middle bigger because I'm gonna hit pan on that shade way before the other ones!

I really like both of these shadows, and would recommend the Maybelline one for sure. I think the formula, pigmentation, etc. of the Kate powder shadows is great, but next time I would go for a palette without the cream shade.

Have you tried and shadows my Kate or Maybelline Japan? What do you think?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Too Cool for School

I featured two of these products in my January Favourites video. First I would like to talk about the packaging because seriously! It is amazing! Who doesn't want dinosaurs or a sketched cityscape on their makeup?

Too Cool for School Dinoplatz-eye Krrrayon Stick in #2 Swing with Me
The colour is a rosy gold with little gold flecks in it. I like to use this with the Canmake Lasting Multi Eyebase WP because it can crease a little if I wear it all day long. That being said I think this is a great eyeshadow. I really like eyeshadow sticks because they're really convenient, quick, and don't make a mess. This eyeshadow is really long lasting. There is a little smudger on the bottom which I don't normally use; I prefer to use a brush to blend. But I think this product is perfect for travelling, and would use it then.

Too Cool for School Dinoplatz Lost Identity Lip Colour
They advertise it as both a lip stain and a lip balm, but I think it's more of a stain. It doesn't dry my lips out but it's not ultra moisturizing either. The colour lasts much longer than the moisture! One added bonus of this colour changing formula is that it doesn't leave a pink mark on your wine glass (which I actually don't mind) This lip crayon is perfect for creating that gradient lip effect that's so popular, especially in Korea.

Pumpkin Sleeping Pack
One of the benefits of buying beauty in Korea is all the free samples, which I have raved about before. These were some of those samples. For anyone who doesn't know what a sleeping pack is - I had to look it up myself, so you'll get no judgement from me - it's something you put on right before bed, after all your other nighttime skin care products. It's really rich and sinks into your skin overnight, making your skin soft and plump. These are especially good for winter, when it's so dry. I did like this, but two uses is just not enough to decide if it's something I would purchase a full size of. It did make my skin feel nice.

When I go back to Korea, I will be picking up a few more products from Too Cool for School! Do you have anything from them? Any you would recommend? Leave me a comment!

Bye x