Friday, January 29, 2016

Behind Every Mask...Cle de Peau Beaute Collection Bal Masque Nail Lacquer Trio


I noticed many blogs posting their favorites of 2015. But, fearing that I would forget a product, I don't dare narrow down all the beauty products I've loved in 2015. Instead, I'm going to do an "end of winter" countdown featuring the Winter/Holiday collections. I always get this anxious feeling as if I'm on some kind of race to use up all the current Winter collections (which never happens) before Spring rolls around and I put them away for later in the year.

"Whimsically dark," "elegantly haunted," and "seductively compelling" are some of the terms I would use to describe Joji Kojima's work, which I'm a fan of.


I had to be resuscitated after seeing the Venetian masquerade mask-inspired exterior, and interior,
packaging of Cle de Peau's Collection Bal Masque. From the ornamented Colombina mask designs on each of the removable plastic caps, as well as the beveled cut cap and bottle edges, the packaging of the nail lacquer trio (Elena) is absolutely luxurious. A not-so-funny side note: with the combination of a long work day, shoppers fatigue, and food deprivation,when I first spotted the set, I foolishly thought each polish retailed for 6,480 yen. All these years living in JP, I guess I've become desensitized to the exorbitant prices of cosmetics in Japan. Anyway, after my beauty senses returned to me, I was monetarily pleased to learn all three polishes were sold as a set, and retailed for 6,480 yen.

These beauteous lacquers employ a numeric naming system instead of an alphabetical one.


1: a rich oxblood red with more brown tones in it with a creme finish. I'm wearing 1 as I write this post :)


2: a deep, tarnished, murky olive-khaki green loaded with copper, antiqued gold, emerald and moss green micro-shimmer. I'd say 2 has a semi-metallic finish. 2 was my Christmas mani.

Ignore the length of my pinky nail. 3 was the first shade I tried in the set, and before application, Two of my other broke. In a little rush, I thought I had filed all my nails to the same length...obviously not!

3: a deep, smokey-based, tarnished silver loaded with silver and white gold micro-shimmer. 3 has a tab more metallic finish than 2.

All three lacquers applied like a dream. I swear you could apply them blindfolded and get a perfect application. Okay, I got a little overzealous with that description, but you get the gist; they're amazing! Instantly one of the best formulas I've ever used; 2 and 3 a totally opaque in one coat, with 1 closely following suit. The finish is a just windexed, uber glass-like, retire-your-topcoat-glossy shine. I tried to test the longevity of these lacquers, but after six days of wear without any signs of chipping, and my eagerness to try each shade, I removed them before knowing the time frame of signs of wear. Let's just say 6+ days.

I wish Cle de Peau would expand their nail lacquer range, because these polishes are exceptionally EXTRAordinary! Cle de Peau's Collection Bal Masque Nail Lacquer Trio has me seeing fireworks in nail polish heaven; totally worth every single yen and more!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Girl In The Red Velvet Scrub...The Lip Scrub By Sara Happ


Don't you love finding long gone, but much loved, beauty products online?...I do!

I was shopping online (like you do) at rakuten.com looking to replace my Sara Happ Peppermint lip scrub, and I found my beloved, long-discontinued, red velvet lip scrub. Who said Christmas only comes once a year?!


I haven't had red velvet cake since my trip to L.A. five years ago, and I gorged on half a dozen red velvet cupcakes...ummm, cupcakes...but, I digress.


Anyway, I was a little apprehensive to purchase since Red Velvet was discontinued a few years ago, but no, it's totally fine and dandy.

Using Red Velvet is torturous because it smells and taste just like the cake, delicious. I have to remind myself it's not for consumption, but to smooth out my pout.

What SAra Happ Lip Scrubs do you like?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Making Eye Contact...Adore Bi-Tone Honey Colored Contact Lenses

Exterior package damaged during transit, but that's okay, it's what's inside that counts. 

Funny, as I'm writing this entry, I got a comment in my last post asking about the lenses I was wearing; well unknown, this one's for you ;)

I'm  perfectly content with my cow brown eyes. However, colored-contacts are a fun way for me to enhance my makeup looks. I've tired several colored-contact brands, and by far, the most comfortable and "natural" looking have been Adore's Bi-Toned Colored Contact Lenses. These lenses don't blur my vision, slide all over the place, cause any redness or excessive dryness; when I'm wearing them, I really don't feel them at all.


Adore Bi-Tone are 3-month lenses. I don't wear them everyday, and I'm very vigilant about cleaning them and changing their solution; so, I can get an extra month of wear out of them. The Bi-Tones have a 8.6 Base Curve and a 14.0 Diameter. I don't need to wear contacts for corrective purposes; so, I get them in 0.00 plan-O-vision.

Natural eye color.

Honey is a favorite during the Fall and Winter. I love the amberish-hazel coloring of Honey; it brightens my eyes, and amplifies all the makeup shades I relish wearing during both seasons.

Adore Bi-Toned Honey.

Adore Bi-Tone contact lenses retail for 29.75 euro and I get them from lensmarketplace.com. I've been shopping there for years, and I've never had a problem (knock on wood). lensmarketplace.com ships worldwide and offer two forms of shipping (standard and express). I've always gotten my order within 9-10 days; therefore I've never had to opt for express shipping.

If anyone can recommend a great pair of amber/honey contacts, as well as their favorite colored contacts, please leave your message in the comments. I'm always up to try new shades and brands.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

You're The Conductor Of Your Own Sympathy... Giorgio Armani 10 Mahogany and 11 Blonde Eye & Brow Maestros


In my Christmas Wishes post, I said I was going to explain the reason for my lack of posts, and here it is: going on a month now, I've embarked on a massive, new-year-overhaul-cleaning bonanza.

I clean my apartment once a week, and when I say clean, I mean moving furniture and getting into all the little wee-crevices-kinda clean. I usually start around 7:00am, and finish the entire apartment around 8:00pm. However, while I was cleaning around my vanity area, I had a severe, emotional, and psychologically, scarring (and will need intensive therapy after) altercation with some S-words (we don't want to say or write their names because, if we do, they will come...but, I'm referring to the evil arachnids). Just thinking about the assault makes my skin crawl.

Anyway, there was a lot of screaming, throwing of things, almost set my apartment on fire, more screaming, followed by a shower and some screaming in the shower. I HATE S's, and for the life of me, I don't know why they're considered lucky over here. It's been over a month since I set one toe into our bedroom, and I won't until it's properly fumigated (twice for good measure). And there lays the problem; exterminators are basically nonexistent over here, but I couldn't fumigate until all the makeup containers were thoroughly checked, and Aki just returned from a long business trip. So, D-day is tomorrow, and those little eight-legged bastards will finally be meeting their doom.    


Now that I've proven to you all that I'm certifiable, let's move onto the makeup. I'm not sure if Giorgio Armani's Eye & Brow Maestros in 10 Mahogany and 11 Ash Blonde are limited edition where you are, but they were a limited edition Fall release here in Nippon.  

From left to right: 10 Mahogany, 11 Ash Blonde.

10 Mahogany is a cool-toned, yellow-based, tarnished dark chocolate brown with multicolored shimmer.

11 Ash Blonde is a cool-toned, green-tinged, tarnished dark ash brown with multicolored shimmer.

I feel in love with the murky-tarnished coloring of both shades, and I love wearing them as eyeshadows or eyeliners. Perfect for Autumn and Winter, Armani's 10 Mahogany and 11 Ash Blonde offer gorgeous coloring, and effortless application; they've been a staple in my makeup bag during this busy season.


Look Breakdown:
Face:
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.
Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Medium 2 (Santa Fe).
Giorgio Armani Cheek Fabric in 509.
Les Merveilleuses Laduree Shimmering Pressed Powder in 103.
Eyes:
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer in NC30.
MAC Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (eyeshadow base).
Giorgio Armani Cheek Fabric in 509 (in the crease).
Giorgio Armani Eye & Brow Maestro in 10 Mahogany (on the lid and blended out wing. Also, along the lower lashline). 
Mac Eye Pencil in Coffee (used to tightline).
Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Feline Extravaganza in 01 Black Black.
Lips:
Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro in 506. 



Look Breakdown:
Eyes:
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer in NC30.
MAC Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (eyeshadow base).
Giorgio Armani Eye & Brow Maestro in 11 Blonde (on the lid and blended out to a wing shape. Also, along the lower lashline). 
Maybelline Define-A-Line in Khaki Green (along the lashline and used to tightline).
Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Feline Extravaganza in 01 Black Black.


Which Giorgio Armani Eye & Brow Maestros do you own? 

Friday, January 8, 2016

This Foam Party's Gone Bust...L'Occitane Shea Butter Whipped Shower Foam


Foam products are always fun. So, I thought L'Occitane's Shea Butter Whipped Shower Foam would be a mature way to tap into a childhood delight: the bubble bath.

L'Occitane's  Shea Butter Whipped Shower Foam's scent suffers from my recollection of it smelling better at the counter than when I actually used it. That's not to say it doesn't smell good at all (it actual smells like Johnson & Johnson baby products); it's just not as scrumptious as I remembered.

I generally have a "burning love" L'Occintane products, but the Shea Butter Whipped Shower Foam has those fires burning cold. I have to use about eight pumps to get a lather that I'm comfortable with, and even then, I'm left wanting. Also, my skin doesn't feel all that clean, and just overall blah.

Finally, (and this is entirely my fault for not paying attention while I had my nose in the product), the bottle only contains 150ml/5.1 fl.oz. and retails for 2,700 yen. So, if you take into account the eight pumps I have to use per shower (and I bathe twice a day), then factor in Aki using it as well (add another two showers per day), and, seven days post-purchase, I'm already close to the halfway mark, I'd say this product is very pricey.

If you've tried  L'Occitane's Shea Butter Whipped Shower Foam, I'd like to know if it was a hit or miss for you. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

An Anniversary & Giveaway!


Today is a bit of an anniversary; seven years of marriage, to be exact. I've been mulling over what to do for the blog's five year anniversary (five years on August 9th) giveaway, and it hit me: blush!

I'm all about the blush. Blush, blush, blush, and, if I had to, I would gladly live on blush alone.

So, what do you get...one blush of your choice from each brand: Addiction, THREE, Laduree, Suqqu, and Chicca.

What you have to do: in the comments, please list your favorite blushers, what upcoming blushes are you pining for, and what Addiction, THREE, Laduree, Suqqu, and Chiccs blushers would you choose.  

To increase your chances of wining (same method as all my previous giveaways):

All gorgeous members (via the members section on the blog) automatically get one entry. So, don't forget to click the "Join this site" button.

For every blog post, tweet, or whatever form of social media you use, mention the giveaway, and you'll earn another two entries per mention (please link the post in the comments, thank you!).

The What Makes You Blush Giveaway ends on August 9th, 11:59p.m. (GMT+9).

This giveaway is open internationally.

I'm really excited for this giveaway, and I'm look forward to your entries!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hey, Hey, We're The Monkeys!


3, 2, 1... Happy New Year!!! Are you feeling as ill prepared for 2016 as I am? It feels as if I just uttering Happy 2015. As each year passes, I swear someone's hit the hyperdrive button.

Let's enjoy another year together, and may your 2016 be filled with good health, happiness, love, prosperity and loads of marvelous beauty discoveries.