Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I Wah-Wah-Wah-Wah Wonder...Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Wonder Blacks Mascara


Last October, when my best friend came to visit, I asked him to bring me a few tubes of L'Oreal's Voluminous Original Mascara.


When I started getting into makeup, L'Oreal's Voluminous Original was the first mascara I used, and it's been in my mascara rotation ever since; that is, until I used up my last tube five years ago. L'Oreal is available over here, but for whatever reason, the Voluminous Mascaras are not on the menu.

Has the formula changed? I always used the regular formula, and never had issue with smudging. I know it's exceptionally humid in Tokyo (even during the Fall and Winter), but goodness, after a few hours, I had a smudgy mess on the outer half under my eyes.

After three weeks of chances, I called it quits, are returned to my beloved Helena Rubinstein (which is humorous considering L'Oreal purchased the brand almost 30 years ago).


On August of 2016, Helena Rubinstein introduced the Lash Queen Wonder Blacks into their stellar mascara lineup. The Lash Queen Wonder Blacks retails for 5,748 yen, but at the time of my purchase, the counter was offering a limited edition coffret with a full size Lash Queen Wonder Blacks, a generous, travel size All Mascaras! Makeup remover, a modest, sample size Powercell Eye Contour for 6,156 yen. Obviously, I went for the better deal.


 All of the Rubinstein mascara have comely packaging and wands. I like the design, and the gold and black coloring of the tube. This is not an slight on Lash Queen Wonder Blacks, but it reminds me of a killer whale.



The helical-shaped brush, and its alternating long and short bristles, distributes the product evenly thought out each eyelash; thus, leaving them separated, thicker, and elongated. Also, I really liked how the curve of the spiral wand perfectly hugged my bottom lashes, and combed through them with ease.

The sooty, inky-black pigmentation gives the eyes smoldering definition. 

The formula and pigment of this mascara are topnotch. My lashes are coated in a rich black coloring, and look voluminously fuller, with a curl that lasts until I get home and wash my face. Although not waterproof, Wonder Blacks doesn't smear nor flake.

A creamy, gel-like consistency, the formula features two key ingredients: Pro-keratin and Ceramide R serum. A restorative agent, Pro-keratin works on the surface to repair damage and strengthen the hair shaft; while the Ceramide R smooths, protects, and improves the lash stem. Normally used in haircare products, since both ingredients are naturally found in hair, it only makes sense to incorporate them into a mascara. The Lash Queen Wonder Black mascara lasted for four and a half months. And, after using it for that time frame, I do feel as if the condition of my lashes has improved.

The combination of the wand and formula of Lash Queen Wonder Blacks is simply magical. Of the nine Helena Rubinstein mascaras, Lash Queen Wonder Blacks is among my top three.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Life's Not A Bowl Of Cherries..L'Occitane Cerisier Pastel Shower Gel.


When Spring rolls around, I always take a peek at L'Occitane's limited edition Cherry Blossom collections, with false hope, that they will one day bring back my precious Wild Cherry Tree (circa 2012).

I really wanted to usher in the season with a Cherry Blossom scented body wash. So, I went with the Cerisier Pastel Shower Gel.

Cerisier Pastel has a nice, fruity sakura fragrance. However, there's a powdery note that unmasks itself in the shower and I'm not wholeheartedly keen on. The shower gel works up into a nice foam, and leaves my skin soft and clean. However, that powdery note keeps me from giving it two thumbs up, and if it were permanent, I wouldn't repurchase. Bring back
Wild Cherry Tree!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Color Is But A Deviance


Apologies for the mini hiaus. The majority of the last two weeks was cold, overcast, and rainy (it's raining as I write this post), and Aki came down with a very bad fever that lasted five days. Not to mention, the auto-focus of my camera broke (it's in the shop now, getting fixed), and sprinkle on top of all this, the usual busy, work-related stuff.

Anyway, the on-again/off-again dreary weather we've been having has allowed me to continue to use the products from the NARS x Sarah Moon Collection that I dearly love.

I find the stylishly nostalgic, blurred-dream-like photography of Sarah Moon beguiling. A major fan of her work, I own four of her books (two of which I paid a hefty price for). Next time I'm in the states, I need bring them back with me.

Quai des Brumes and Indes Galantes Duo Eyeshadow. 

I adore the muted tones of the matte and shimmer shadows of each duo. Both Quai des Brumes and Indes Galantes shadows are pigmented, feel velvety soft, and blend well. I did notice the mattes had a little kick-up, but not to the point where you're wasting product every time you dip your brush into the pan.















Quai des Brumes: a shimmery lavender grey, and a matte charcoal grey with sparse, gold micro-glitter.

Indes Galantes: a shimmery dark gunmetal grey, and a plummy-maroon-burgundy matte.

Witching Hour and Sichuan Kohliners. 

Both of these kohliners are creamy, smooth, and opaque. Their smooth, creamy consistency allow them to blend out easily on the lid, making them great bases for the duos. Also, after application, they didn't budge or fade on the upper and lower lashline, or the waterline.   

Isadora and Impudique Blush. 

Nars Blushers are some of my favorites blushes. Isadora and Impudique are extremely pigmented, with a soft, velvety smooth texture that blends like butter. 

Witching Hour, Sichuan, Isadora, Impudique. 

Witching Hour Kohliner: a shimmery dark gunmetal with a hint of lavender.

Sichuan Kohliner: a deep maroon.

Isadora Blush: a warm, brownish-plummy-rosy with a gorgeous lavender-pink sheen. 

Impudique Blush: a deep, reddened-coral pink with a beautiful golden sheen. 

Indecent Proposal, Rouge Improbable, Rouge Indiscreet, Fearless Red Moon Matte Lipstick. 

With all the new lipsticks I'm continuously adding to my collection, I've totally neglected my stash of Nars Pure Matte Lipsticks; and, I forgot how much I love them. Intensely pigmented, these matte lipsticks have a smooth, creamy formula that's extremely comfortable to wear without drying out my lips.

Indecent Proposal, Rouge Improbable, Rouge Indiscreet, Fearless Red Moon.

Indecent Proposal: a muted, deep, plummy-rose-brown. 

Rouge Improbable: a deep, slightly orange leaning red.

Rouge Indiscreet: a deep, true red.

Fearless Red: a muted, deep brick red.

Again, the auto-focus of my camera broke. Therefore, I've had to manually-focus all the pictures taken. Unfortunately, out of the four looks I photographed, only one was focused enough to post. Hopefully, I'll have my camera back the next time it rains, so I can redo the looks.


Look Breakdown:
Face:
Victoria beckham Estee Lauder Morning Aura Illuminating Creme.
MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 in NC30.
Nars Blush in Isadora. 
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in 2.
Eyes:
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
Nars Soft Matte Creamy Complete Concealer in Custard (used under the eyes and as an eyeshadow base).
MAC Eye Shadow in Brule (all over the lid).
Nars Duo Eyeshadow in Indes Galantes:
The plummy-maroon-burgundy shadow (with a light hand, softy trace the shadow slightly above the crease, and blend outward in a wing shape).
The shimmery dark gunmetal grey shadow (blend from the inner and outer corner on the bottom of the lower lashes).
Nars Kohliner in Witching Hour (on the waterline).
Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Wonder Blacks Mascara Smudge Proof in Wonderful Blacks.
Lips:
Nars Moon Matte Lipstick in Indecent Proposal. 

a little out of focus, but that's okay.

I was really excited over this entire collection. From the promotional images, exterior and product packaging, to the color scheme of the makeup itself, Nars did a superb job at capturing the melancholic, ethereal elegant essence of Sarah Moon. I'm over the moon (pun intended) for each piece in the collection, but I have a special place in my heart for the Indes Galantes Eyeshadow Duo, Sichuan Kohliner, Isadora blush, and all four of the lipsticks.  

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Woman In Black...NARS Sarah Moon Nail Polish


For whatever reason, Japan only offered two of the three polish shades from the Sarah Moon Collection: Never Tamed & La Dame En Noir. Given my attraction to deep, vampy shades, I picked up La Dame En Noir. However, the other two shades are still available online in the states. So, I may get them in the near future.


La Dame En Noir is a rich, dark claret with a glossy crelly; yet, it leans more on the creme side. finish. The polish's formula is so thin and watery, I thought I forgot to shake the bottle when I first applied it. I didn't have any difficulty applying the polish, but there was some unevenness. La Dame En Noir required four coats to correct any patchiness and get the depths of richness I wanted, which looks stunning.

In my case, the more the coats, the quicker to chip. And, that was my concern with La Dame En Noir, but it wore for 4 day before getting my first chip.

Although there is nothing unique about the shade of Nars' La Dame En Noir, I'm happy to add this nail polish as another notch in my vamp collection belt.

Monday, March 13, 2017

This Addiction Is Serious...Dior Addict Eau de Parfum



I'm going to be retiring this blue bottled beauty soon. But, before I do, let me introduce my all-time favorite signature scent for winter: Dior's Dior Addict Eau de Parfum.

In telling the little tale of how I discovered the Dior Addict Eau de Parfum, I'm about to date myself... big-time!

Yup, I still have a bottle of Urban Decay's Sin.

Way back in 2004, my friend Maria worked for Urban Decay. During one of our hangouts, she gave me several products from the brand, including a handful of their Sin oil perfumes. Does anyone out there remember these roll-on perfumes?

Anyhow, I was mad about the sultry spicy scent. I don't recall the year (I wanna say, 2006), but when I went to repurchase the oil, it had been discontinued; thus, causing me to have a "what the @#$%" moment.

With bottle in tow, I hit the fragrance counters, desperate to find Sin's replacement. Eureka! Behold Dior's Dior Addict Eau de Parfum; it smelled exactly like the Urban Decay Sin Oil Perfume. But, I'm pretty sure, Sin was a Dior Addict knock off.


The Eau de Parfum opens with the top note of Orange Blossom, heart note of Jasmine Sambac Absolute, and a base note of Bourbon Vanilla.

Dior Addict is a dark, seductive, intoxicating, warm, spicy fragrance. When I wear this parfum, I imagine I'm some femme fatale in a film noir. This Eau de Parfum has gone through three different reformulations, with minor differences between them. I have the bottles from the first and second formulation back in the states. But, I'd say this third version is a tinge less spicy then the original; nevertheless still as spellbinding. I get so many compliments from my colleagues and clients, even my students comment on how good I smell. A while ago, Aki was standing next to me while I cooking, and as we were talking, he randomly said, "you smell good."


I used to purchase the 50ml bottle(13,500 yen), but given I change my perfumes seasonally, I started buying the 30ml (9,180 yen). Even since the beginning of winter (December 21st), I've used it every day, and I'm 1/3 of the way through the bottle.

To demonstrate the longevity of Dior Addict, I spray the left and right side of my decollete before leaving my apartment in the morning (no later then 6:30am). The Eau de Parfum last, without fading, until my evening shower, which is around 11:00pm. That's almost seventeen hours!

If you're looking for a enticing, smoldering fragrance with some mystery, I highly recommend Dior Addict Eau de Parfum.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

When Chocolate Meets Strawberries


Lunasol's January 27th,  limited edition, Valentine Collection was a mini magical release; perfect for its intended holiday, perfect for spring as well as fall.

Included in the collection was the Duo de Chocolat Eyes, in EX04 Chocolat Fraise, and the Melty Chocolat Lips, in EX04 Chocolat Fraise.

I own all three of the Melty Chocolat Lips, and two of the three Duo de Chocolat Eyes from Lunasol's fall 2015 collection. Now, I wish I had purchased the other Duo de Chocolat Eyes because having an uneven number of these is causing my OCD to flare up.


The small brown box has a decent sized mirror, and an attached elastic band, that wraps around opposing corners, to secure the palette. I love how the packaging resembles a chocolate box.

Both products have a delicate, sweet cocoa fragrance. However, the duo seems to be losing its scent.


The EX04 Chocolat Fraise duo comes with a deep, rosy-brown with a smidgen of mauve matte, and a warm, yellow-based, rosy-pink semi-iridescent shimmer. Upon swatching, and during application, I was very impressed with the pigmentation of the two, especially the semi-iridescent shadow. If you're familiar with Japanese shimmer shadows, you know shimmer shadows can be glitter bombs in disguise. Buttery and silky smooth, both eye shadows apply, and blend out, extraordinarily well without any patchiness; they also wear flawlessly throughout the day.


The formulation of Lunasol's lipglosses are some of my favorites. I wish the brand would stop teasing  me with these limited releases,and finally make the Melty Chocolat Lips permanent, because they're stunning in, both, look and feel. EX04 Chocolat Fraise is a warm, brownish-rose. With a slightly thick consistency (without the tackiness), I love the slick application of this lipgloss. They feel extremely lush, comfortable, and hydrating. Though my lips are fairly pale, I have used the Melty Chocolat Lips on more pigmented pouts, and the opacity is enough to conceal the lips natural hue, giving a beautiful wash of color and luscious shine.


From left to right: EX04 Chocolat Fraise Duo de Chocolat Eyes, EX04 Chocolat Fraise Melty Chocolat Lips.

 This is the look I wore on Valentine's Day. 

Look Breakdown:
Face:
Victoria beckham Estee Lauder Morning Aura Illuminating Creme.
MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 in NC30.
Lunasol Coloring Creamy Cheeks in EX02 (applied as a base for the blush)
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed.
MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Definitely Defined (highlight).
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in 2.
Eyes:
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil in NSA.
Bare Minerals Well-Rested (to set concealer).
MAC Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (eyeshadow base).
MAC Eye Shadow in Blanc Type (on the brow bone and inner corner).
Lunasol Duo de Chocolat Eyes in EX04 Chocolat Fraise:
The warm, yellow-based, rosy-pink semi-iridescent shimmer shadow (patted on the inner three-fourths of the lid).
The deep, rosy-brown with a smidgen of mauve matte shadow (blended into the outer v, crease, and lower lashline).
Addiction Eyeliner Pencil in 09 Rabbit Hole.
Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Wonder Blacks Mascara Smudge Proof in Wonderful Blacks.
Lips:
MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl.
Lunasol Melty Chocolat Lips in EX04 Chocolat Fraise.


Look Breakdown:
Face:
Victoria beckham Estee Lauder Morning Aura Illuminating Creme.
MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 in NC30.
Lunasol Coloring Creamy Cheeks in EX02 (applied as a base for the blush)
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed.
MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Definitely Defined (highlight).
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in 2.
Eyes:
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencil in NSA.
Bare Minerals Well-Rested (to set concealer).
MAC Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (eyeshadow base).
Lunasol Duo de Chocolat Eyes in EX04 Chocolat Fraise:
The warm, yellow-based, rosy-pink semi-iridescent shimmer shadow (in the inner corner, and lightly dusted on the brow bone).
The deep, rosy-brown with a smidgen of mauve matte shadow (all over the lid, blended into crease, and lower lashline).
MAC Eye Shadow in Swiss Chocolate (used to blend out the area between the crease and brow bone).
MAC Lip Pencil in Girlfriend (on the waterline).
Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Wonder Blacks Mascara Smudge Proof in Wonderful Blacks.
Lips:
Lunasol Melty Chocolat Lips in EX04 Chocolat Fraise.

I'm wholeheartedly enamored with this collection. I knew I would love the deep, rosy-brown matte eye shadow of EX04 Chocolat Fraise and the lipgloss (my reason for buying both items). But, I equally feel for the rosy-pink semi-iridescent shimmer. In conclusion, this was a very well edited collection. The different finishes, and shades, make an attractive pairing with one another to create several beautiful romantic looks.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I polished In The Nude...Lauren B Nude No.5 Nail Couture


After returning from vacation, I find I need another vacation from my vacation. It's been rough getting back into the swing of things of starting my days at 5am.


The Lauren B Beauty website describes Nude No.5 as "A luminous espresso brown with a hint of mauve." Brown with a hint of mauve?! This description was the reason I purchased Nude No.5 a few years ago.

I would describe Nude No.5 as a pastel (can browns be pastel? If not, this is the first), watered-down, neutral muddy brown, with more of a gesture than hint of mauve, but only in direct sunlight.

All the Lauren B Nail Couture polishes I own are practically opaque with one coat; they apply smoothly, and evenly, with an average wear of 4 to 5 days.

Albeit, it's a beautiful brown polish, and it works well for the upcoming spring season. I wore Nude No.5 on Valentine's day, and received lots of compliments on the manicure.

What browns do you like wearing for spring? 

All copyrights reserved by So Lonely in Gorgeous | Blog Design by Get Polished