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