Saturday, June 10, 2017

Lashes and Black Lace...Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Sexy Blacks Waterproof Mascara

Have you never seen a more gorgeous looking mascara tube than Helena Rubinstein's Lash Queen Sexy Blacks Waterproof Mascara?!

Adorned throughout, with black velvet trimmed floral lace fabric, the gold tube's packaging is sensual and feminine.

With measurements of "90-60-90," the wand has a sexy, curvaceous, hourglass-shape. A mess-free application, Lash Queen Sexy Blacks' wand is very easy to wiggle and comb through the upper (and using the tip of the wand) and lower lashes.

Available in a single shade, 01 Scandalous Black is a deep, seductive black. In comparison with the Lash Queen Wonder Blacks, Lash Queen Sexy Blacks waterproof formula is thicker and drier. Never clumping, flaking, nor smearing, the Lash Queen Sexy Blacks doesn't last as long as the other HR Mascaras (drying out after two and a half months).

Full, defined, and lengthened, Helena Rubinstein's Lash Queen Sexy Blacks Waterproof Mascara curls my lashes, and gives them the loveliest open-eyed wispy effect.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Invest In Your Hair!

My last post was about my spring hair color. So, here are the products I've been using this season to keep my mane healthy and manageable.

Philip B Lavender Hair & Body Shampoo (14,600 yen): aside from sakura, Spring is all about the Lavender. First, I'll address the positives: Philip B's Lavender Hair & Body Shampoo has a great scent that lingers for the entirely of the first day. It cleans thoroughly, and removes all excess oil and residue from the scalp. However, you have to use a lot of product because it doesn't lather well at all. Also, I need to follow up with a good conditioner because after rinsing, my hair is tangled and feels dry.

John Masters Organics Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner (7,776 yen): a pleasing, delicate lavender scent, the  Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner has a thin, lotion consistency. I apply a dollar-size amount to the mid-lengths of my hair to the ends. Great at detangling, I usually leave it on from anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes. after rinsing with cold water, my hair is tangle-free, soft, moisturized, and shiny without being weighed down. I really like this conditioner.

Philip B Drop Dead Straightening Baume (3,780 yen): a heat-activated, silicone-free, non-greasy, water-soluble formula protects my hair from thermal styling and helps cut down on my blow-drying time. I like to apply a mix this along with the Anti-Frizz Formula 57 to damp hair. Afterwards,my hair feeling and looking extremely soft, voluminous, sleek, shiny and frizz-free.

Philip B Anti-Frizz Formula 57 (5,292 yen): the lavender oil is this product gives it a delicious lavender scent. I like to mix four pumps into the Philip B Drop Dead Straightening Baume for extra shine and protect from heat styling. Also, I use it as a finishing polish to on the mid-lengths of my hair to the ends.

John Masters Organics Sea Mist Sea Salt Spray with Lavender (3,240 yen): Another delectable lavender fragrance (can you see a pattern here?!) , I like to use this salt spray on my roots to add volume and texture, as well as adsorb any excess oil between washes.

Although after rinsing the Philip B Lavender Hair & Body Shampoo out, my hair is left feeling dry and tangled, when paired with the John Masters Organics Lavender & Avocado Intensive Conditioner, and the Philip B Drop Dead Straightening Baume, and the Philip B Anti-Frizz Formula 57, my hair feels extremely soft, silky smooth, and with an incredible shine. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

To Dye Oneself...AGEbeautiful's Anti-Aging Permanent Liquid Hair Color

I was going to scrap this hair dyeing post, after realizing, I forgot to photograph all the product bottles...Oops. Nonetheless, I'm really loving the color, and wanted to share it with you.

You hear people say "I've dyed my hair every color in the rainbow," but I literally have. My hair has been orange, green, blue, teal, pink, even big bird yellow, but my signature hair colors are all spectrums of red and purple. This Spring, I had a yearning to return to some shade of purple.

Originally, I was going to get the process done at the salon. But, given my history of using these colors labeled as "permanent," they all tend to fade quicker than your standard shades. So, I made the choice to save myself 30,000 yen, and I went with a dye I've never tried before, AGEbeautiful's Anti-Aging Permanent Liquid Hair Color. I couldn't choose between shades 3V Darkest Plum Brown and 4V Dark Plum Brown. Thus, I cast the dye (pun intended), with both shades, to see what the concoction would yield when mixed together.

Here's a tip when you're dyeing your own hair: don't be stingy with the dye. It's better to have more than less. Worst case scenario, you can save whatever boxes or bottle for the next application.

Purchased on, I got four bottle of the 3V Darkest Plum Brown and 4V Dark Plum Brown (8 in total), and one 16 oz AGEbeautiful 20-Volume Creme Developer, to use for two separate dyeing occasions. When I took off the cap and looked at the white foamy-paper inside of it, 3V Darkest Plum Brown was plum, and 4V Dark Plum Brown was violet.

AGEbeautiful hair color is mixed using a 1:1 equal parts hair dye to developer ratio. My hair is thick and long, and each bottle contains 2 oz.; therefore, I mixed two bottles of each of the 3V Darkest Plum Brown and 4V Dark Plum, totaling 8 oz of dye and 8 oz of developer. Also, the ammonia fumes are strong with this one.

In my rush to "get er done," I completely forgot to test AGEbeautiful's 100% gray coverage claim, and contaminated the test subject with Ardell's Gray Magic Color Additive. speaking of which, Gray Magic works wonders at covering gray hair.

 The mixture looks like something out of a horror film. 

An image before cleaning up my hairline, ears and putting on the disposable shower cap. After rising off the dye, I always skip shampooing and apply conditioner. I've dyed my hair twice using this mixture, and both times, my hair showed no signs of dryness, lack of shine, and/or damage.

The color is immaculate! A gorgeous, vibrant, plum-violet dark black cherry brown, and to quote my friend Sara, a radiant plum-violet shine that "looks like candy." I'm really obsessed with this shade. In my own vanity, I love catching a glimpse of it under any lighting; it's just so darn stunning. Whenever I'm out, I get tons of compliments on the color. Now, the water is exceptionally hard in Tokyo. So, the color does begin to fade until after the fifth wash. What I'm left with is a still pretty in its own right: deep, reddish, raspberry brown, with a faint plummy-violet shine.

I change my hair color a lot, and I'm already thinking of my Summer shade. But, I'm definitely going to revisit this shade in the very near future.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Forgiveness Is The Fragrance The Violet Sheds...Molton Brown Exquisite Vanilla & Violet Flower Bath & Shower gel

All gussied up in its pretty purple bow. 

The Vitalising Vitamin AB+C Bath & Shower Gel (commented on here)was the first Molton Brown product I tired,and, let's just say, I wasn't impressed.

With every season, there are certain scents I gravitate towards. But, my everlasting love, no matter what time of the year (and in no particular order) are Lavender, Bergamot (Earl Grey), and Violet. 

Purchased through Isetan's Online Store, I had to try the limited edition Molton Brown Exquisite Vanilla & Violet Flower Bath & Shower gel.

Naked bottle. 

List of the notes: (Top Notes) Freesia, (Heart Notes) Orris, (Base Notes) Vanilla, (Extract) Violet.

I was very pleased with the shower gel's rich lather, and how lovely it felt. My skin feels great, and the scent last for several hours. Among all the notes, the dominate fragrance is the violet, and I love that. However, I will say this, I feel the Exquisite Vanilla & Violet Flower Bath & Shower gel would be best suited for Fall or Winter because the vanilla base gives a warmth to the scent (that I do like), but as it's getting warmer, the fragrance is becoming a little to strong for the month of May.

If the Exquisite Vanilla & Violet Flower Bath & Shower gel is still available during the colder seasons, I will definitely repurchase. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Where Evolution's Yet To Show...Addiction Flower Evolution Eyeshadow Swatches

Inspired by the Swedish abstract artist, Hilma af Klint, I couldn't resist the budding spring color scheme of Addiction's Flower Evolution 2017 Collection.

The rose-colored lens I used to view this masterpiece quickly came off as soon as I began swatching the eyeshadows.

Pink Almond 111 & Flower Evolution 112

Midnight Moon 113 & Lady Amaryllis 114

Like a Dream 115 & Crystal Sky 116

My Darling 117 & Crown Imperial 118

Flower Portrait 119 & Silky Lilac 120

I love this brand (fronted by a makeup artist I respect). Yes, pastel colored eye shadows are very hard to formulate, but with Ayako as the creative director, I thought Addiction could pull it off. Heartrendingly, no; the shadows were a disappointment. Whether it was the lack of pigmentation, or the chalkiness, or the patchiness, they all had an issue of some kind. When swiped lightly or on the lid, the majority of the shades look the same. Also, out of the ten shadows, I'd say only four of them were "good," without a white base...but, barely.

To date, I've never used a primer in my swatches. Yet, I had to use one (along with several layers) in order to get the some of the eyeshadows to show up.

From left to right: Pink Almond, Flower Evolution, Midnight Moon, Lady Amaryllis, Like a Dream.

Pink Almond 111: a matte, white based, yellow-toned, pastel pink.

Flower Evolution 112: a semi-matte, pastel french blue.

Midnight Moon 113: a semi-matte, sun bleached, midnight blue with blue and violet micro-shimmer.

Lady Amaryllis 114: a matte, muted (yet vibrant) orange.

Like a Dream 115: a satin, muted, pastel buttercup with a celery undertone.

From left to right: Crystal Sky, My Darling, Crown Imperial, Flower Portrait, Silky Lilac.

Crystal Sky 116:  a matte, white based, pastel blue.

My Darling 117: a satin, peachy-pink with a champagne sheen.

Crown Imperial 118: a matte, muted, saffron yellow.

Flower Portrait 119: a matte, white based, pastel lilac.

Silky Lilac 120:  a matte, white based, deeper, pastel lilac.

All was not lost in buying these shadows. With a purchase of 9,600 yen, the collection did offer a choice between two palettes, featuring Hilma af Klint's Group 4 No 1 Childhood and The Ten Largest, No. 5, Adulthood prints on them.

I wish I had not been in such a frenzy to get the collection, and visited the counter beforehand, instead of placing my order over the phone with the counter. I probably would have only purchased Lady Amaryllis, Like a Dream, My Darling, and Crown Imperial.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Bloom Where You Are Painted...Addiction Flower Portrait 090 Nail Polish

One of the six nail polishes from the Flower Evolution Collection, Flower Portrait 090 is a warm, yellow-based, milky pastel pink, with a glossy jelly finish.

Although the formula is thin and sheer, the polish applied well, without any streaks or patchiness. Two coats of Flower Portrait gives the nails a soft, beautiful, transparent wash of color. However, it took a total of six coats to ease the nail's free edge. On a positive note, given Flower Portrait requires several coats to get a somewhat opaque finish, I may go through the bottle rather quickly. I've worn Flower Portrait five times, and every time, it wore for three days before its first chip.

I don't own that many light pink polishes. Aside from its multiple coat offenses, Flower Portrait 090 is a pretty color, with a nice finish.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wearing A Mask At Home...Shu Uemura Sakura: hydrability sakura rose petal mask

When I got the email from Shu Uemura Japan, announcing the release of their Sakura: hydrability sakura rose petal mask, I thought, "this is going to be perfect for the cherry blossom season."

Cute, simple pink box packaging.

For sanitary purposes, the mask comes with this adorable, engraved spatula.

Not the most attractive looking mask.

Enriched with sakura leaf extract, rose essential oil, rose extract and real rose petals, the Sakura: hydrability is a gel mask suited for all skin types. Some cosmetic benefits of Rose are: it boosts hydration, reduces redness and inflammation, and softens the skin. Whereas Sakura, has a brightening effect, improves skin texture, and prevents early aging. Btw, the product does contain real petals. So, don't be alarmed if you find bits of black particles floating about. Also, the mask has a refreshing cherry and rose scent. I'm not particularly found of rose scents, but the Sakura balance it out.

Application instructions:

"After cleansing, on a dry face, take an appropriate amount (7ml) and apply gentle on the skin, avoiding the eyes and lip areas. Leave for 5 to 10 minutes and rinse off. To be used 2 to 3 times a week."

I've been using the mask twice a week (Sundays and Wednesdays) for over two months now, and I do enjoy the effect the mask has on the appearance, and condition, of my skin; however, I'm not wowed by it. After patting my face dry, my skin feels velvety smooth, and looks fresh and healthy. Also, my skin is hydrated, but I don't feel as if the Sakura: hydrability is adding any extra moisture to my skin. Therefore, I'm left a little wanting in that department.

The Sakura: hydrability sakura rose petal mask contains 100g/ 3.5oz and retails for 7,344 yen. Although still available on, both, the US and Japan sites, this mask is limited edition.

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