Thursday, July 28, 2016

Skin Deep...Summer Skincare Using Givenchy


When it comes to skin care, you have those who say "if it works, stick with it." However, I'm not of that opinion; my philosophy is "listen to your skin." As the seasons change, so changes the needs of my skin. Based on those demands, there are several brands/products I like to rotate between, and today I'm going to share with you the products I like to use during summer, and a brief description of my skin care regime. 

As blantantly shown in the photo above, all the products are Givenchy, with a majority of them from their Hydra Sparkling line. I'm a diehard (and I'm not talking about Bruce Willis) patron of everything under the Givenchy beauty umbrella; the brand really does have my heart. 


Hydra Sparkling One-minute Glow Powder Daily Micropeeling: This exfoliator is great! It does a terrific job at removing impurities, refining pore, and clarifying without leaving residue or stripping the skin of any moisture. Here's how I use this refined mico-exfoliating powder: I shake, shake, shake a reasonable amount into the center of the palm, add a little bit of water to the powder, and massage the mixture with the my index and middle fingers (of my opposite hand, of course) until I get a foamy consistency. Next, I rub both hands together, and in circular motions, massage the lather all over my damp face for a few minutes. After use, my skin is smooth, hydrated, with a polished, youthful glow. The One-minute Glow Powder is so refined it can be used daily, but I use it two to three times a week as a pre-wash before my cleansing foam. Also, the One-minute Glow Powder suitable for all skin types. I will say, this product will give some sticker shock, retailing for 7,344 yen (30g/1 fl oz). In the future I will be purchasing the Hydra Sparkling One-minute Glow Powder Daily Micropeeling cleanser through escentual.com. At £29.50 (4,072 yen after conversion) and £4.95 shipping, it's a lot cheaper then purchasing at my local counter.

Now, the next two items were purchased from escentual.com.

Clean it Tender Creamy Cleansing Foam (125 ml/4.4 fl oz): suitable for normal to dry skin (that's me!). Using a small amount, this cleansing foam works into a rich lather, and gently cleanses the skin. My skin is left clean, balanced, moisturized, with a fresh faced glow. Here's how I wash my mug: First, I wet my face with warm water, massage the cleanser for a few minutes, and rinse it off with ice cold water. If any of you do this same thing, please leave a comment because I would really like to know. Again, the Clean it Tender Creamy Cleansing Foam was cheaper on escental.com at £22.00 (3,049 yen after conversion) compare to 4,644 yen over here.

Clean It Silky Divine Cleansing Oil (200 ml/6.7 fl oz): This is one of my favorite oil cleansers, but outside of Narita Aiport (which I remember paying something like 6,000 yen), I haven't seen it at any of the Givenchy counters I frequent; hence, why I purchased it for £24.50 (3,398 yen after conversion) on escentual.com. Silky and divine are such appropriate words to use for this product, as it does feel silky and divine as you rub it on the skin. Using two pumps, I work the product all over my face, and then another pump for the eyes. Clean It Silky works superbly at melting away, and leaving no traces of makeup (even the most stubbornest of waterproof products), or residue.


Instant Beauty Radiance Booster (30 ml/1 fl oz): My work days are extremely long, and I'm basically a vampire. So, I don't get much sleep. To compensate for my lack of z's, I rely on this little blue bottle in the mornings to give my complexion an extra injection of hydration, and a radiant glow, while helping to fight signs of dullness and fatigue. Another thing I love about this product is, it can be applied on the eye area as well. I solely use this serum in the mornings, after my toner, but before my moisturizer. The Radiance Booster is very hydrating, and at times I forego my moisturizer, and move onto my makeup. And, on that note, Instant Beauty Radiance Booster works swimmingly under makeup.

Tone It Tender Moisturizing Lotion Skin Soother (200 ml/6.7 fl oz):  I prefer applying Tone It Tender with my finger tips, but I have been known to use a cotton pad from time to time. There's a subtle cooling effect on the skin, as the toning lotion soothes, and preps the skin for the next step in my regime. Again, I had to buy this product on escentual.com, because I couldn't find it in Tokyo. I tell you, dry-skinned ladies get no love over here.

Hydra Sparkling Intensive Moisturizing Flash Luminescence Serum (30 ml/1 fl oz): The Flash Luminescence serum is my night time serum, and I apply it before my moisturizer. As with the Instant Beauty Radiance Booster, I enjoy how both serums nourish and illuminate the skin as well as enhancing the benefits of my moisturizer. In the mornings, my skin looks supple, laminated, and revitalized.


Hydra Sparkling Twinkling Eyes Icy Eye-Reviver Gel (15ml/.5 fl oz): this eye gel already has an subtle icy effect, but for an extra frosty bite, I store this eye gel in the fridge, and look forward to putting it on. The gel has a slight iridescence sheen, giving the eyes a rested, soft-focused luminescence. I don't have issues with dark circles or puffiness; therefore, I can't attest to those claims. However, it does rejuvenate and moisturize.

Hydra Sparkling Rich Luminescence Moisturizing Cream-Dry Skin (50 ml/1.7 fl oz): I use this moisturizer in the mornings and evenings, and I love how my skin just drinks it up. Also, I like the fact that this moisturizer is non-greasy and quickly absorbs into the skin, and doesn't leave my face feeling tacky (big plus in this muggy weather). My skin is always well-moisturized and feeling comfortable in this hell I call Summer.

Hydra Sparkling Recharging Luminescence Moisturizing Mask (100 ml/3.5 fl oz): I use this mask once a week on sundays as part of my "brace yourself for the hellish week" pamper myself at home day. The directions say to leave the mask on for 5- 10 minutes and remove the excess with a tissue. But, I do it a little differently; I leave the mask on for about 20 minutes, then I place a damp, warmed wash towel over my face, and gently press the towel onto my skin to remove any excess.

One product missing from my summer routine is my preferred nighttime moisturizer, Givenchy's Hydra Sparkling Night Recovery Moisturising Mask/Cream. My counter was out, and I forgot to order it on escentuals.com. Be prepared to see this product pop up in a future post.

I feel like a broken record with all the "my skin looks /feels moisturized and luminous." But, all these products, and the layering of them, keep my skin hydrated, revitalized, and radiant.

Apart for the Twinkling Eyes Icy Eye-Reviver Gel, all these product have that clean, refreshing floral Givenchy scent that I love.

If you've tried any of these products, please share your experience with them. Also, what's your summer skin care routine? 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Blush, Blush Baby Giveaway


I haven't forgotten...have you?! Only 15 days left in the Blush, Blush Baby Giveaway!

The first place winner receives one blush of your choice from each brand: Addiction, THREE, Laduree, Suqqu, and Chicca.

The second place winner gets a blush of their choice from one of the following brands: ADDICTION, THREE or LADUREE.

 The third place winners get a blush of their choice from one of the following brands: THREE or LADUREE.

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.

If you have any questions, feel free to message me in the comments.

Two Extra Stitches In Time


Here are two more looks using Suqqu's EX-29 Koukiori Blend Color Eyeshadow palette.

Look Breakdown:
Face:
Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer in Blend.
Suqqu Sheer Glow Liquid (applied over the Smashbox primer).
Sonia Rykiel Fresh Gel Foundation SPF25 PA++ in shade 30.
Les Merveilleuses de Laduree Mini Face Color Rose in 105.
Eyes:
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
By Terry Touche Veloutee Highlighting Concealer Brush in 2 Cream.
Le Metier de Beaute Eye Brightening & Setting Powder in Revive. 
MAC Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (eyeshadow base).
Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow in EX-29 Koukiori:
The greyish-taupe-brown and the purplish-blue shadow (mixed together and blended all over the lid, into the crease, and along the lower lashline).
The purplish-blue shadow (along the upper lashline and one-third of the outer lower lashline).
The taupish-silver shadow (patted on the center or the lid and lower lashline).
The yellow-peach shadow (patted on the brow bone and inner corner).
Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Graphite (used to tightline and on the waterline).
L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Black.
Lips:
Suqqu Bright Up Lipstick in EX-02 Somezakuro (rubbed into the lips).



Look Breakdown:
Face:
Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer in Blend.
Suqqu Sheer Glow Liquid (applied over the Smashbox primer).
Sonia Rykiel Fresh Gel Foundation SPF25 PA++ in shade 30.
Les Merveilleuses de Laduree Mini Face Color Rose in 106.
Eyes:
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
By Terry Touche Veloutee Highlighting Concealer Brush in 2 Cream.
Le Metier de Beaute Eye Brightening & Setting Powder in Revive. 
MAC Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (eyeshadow base).
Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow in EX-29 Koukiori:
The yellow-peach shadow(all over the inner half of the lid, the inner corner and along three-fourth of the inner lower lashline).
The greyish-taupe-brown (blended along the outer one-fourth of the lid and the lower lashline).
The purplish-blue shadow (blended along the outer corner of the lid and lower lashline).
The soft pink shadow (patted on the brow bone).
Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Graphite (used to tightline and on the waterline).
L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Black.
Lips:
Suqqu Bright Up Lipstick in EX-02 Somezakuro (first rubbed into the lips, then applied with a brush).


I hope on your screens the outer corner shadow looks purplish-blue shadow, because on my screen it's  looking blackish-brown. I swear it's purplish-blue folks. 

Another Day In Paradise...Bath & Body Works' Pure Paradise Shower Gel


With top notes of Juicy Star Fruit, Juicy Guava, Dewy Cassis, mid notes of Luscious Gardenia, Dewy Frangipani Blossom, Water Lily, as well as dry notes of White Musk, Blond Woods, and Sunkissed Coconut, Bath & Body Works' describes this shower gel as "Pure Paradise in a bottle! A summer-chic blend of sparkling star fruit and ocean-kissed frangipani blossoms." And, I'd say it's an accurate description.

The mixture of floral, fruit, and musk gives the shower gel a refreshing, enticing, tropical summer bouquet. If only for a brief moment (aka, the duration of my showers), Pure Paradise's scent
allows me to tolerate the sweltering heat, and leaves me feeling rejuvenated and smelling fantastic! A little tropical getaway in a bottle.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Woven in Time...Suqqu EX-29 Koukiori Blend Color Eyeshadow and EX-02 Somezakuro Bright Up Lipstick


Hello, everyone! Apologies for the month long lapse of posts. Although I was stressing the fact that I hadn't posted in a while, I didn't realize it had been this long...how time truly does escape us?!

The past month has been a string of untimely, and unfortunate, events. First, I was really busy with work; then, Aki and I had to attend a family member's funeral in Akita (my first Japanese funeral). When we got back to Tokyo, I caught the plague (getting sick in summer is the pits!). Once I was back to somewhat good health, I had to jump back onto the hamster wheel that I call work. I'm really sorry, and I want to thank you all for your patience during my absence. Also, I want to give a special thank you to Susan K; I appreciate for the comment, and thank you for your concern. It means a lot to me knowing that you are out there :)


I was lucky enough to get Suqqu's Isetan exclusive Blend Color Eyehadow in EX-29 Koukiori and the Bright Up Lipstick in EX-02 Somezakuro, after they both sold out within 10 minutes on the Isetan online store. Since then, I know EX-29 Koukiori made a short lived cameo on selfridges.com.


As pretty as the other three shadows of EX-Koukiori are, I'm annoyed (and feeling gypped) that the two shades that drove me to buy the palette, have to share the same pan. I would have preferred a split pan of the two highlight shades, and two proper pans of color, sorry, Suqqu, but I'm calling you out on being stingy on this one.

From left to right swatches of EX-29 Koukiori. 

A metallic, slightly taupish-silver, with a sheen of pink and green with pink and silver micro-shimmer.

A shimmery soft pink.

A muted, purplish-blue satin, with shimmer.

A greyish-taupe-brown satin, with shimmer.

A shimmery yellow-peach, with a pink sheen.

Moving on to the Bright Up Lipstick in EX-02 Somezakuro, I love everything about this lipstick.

Swatch of EX-02 Somezakuro.

A neutral, strawberry-red.

Between these two products, EX-02 Somezakuro is my favorite. the fact that EX-29 Koukiori's greyish-taupe-brown and muted, purplish-blue shadows were split and not given their own pans really annoys me and is keeping me from loving it, wholeheartedly.



Look Breakdown:
Face:
Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Foundation Primer in Blend.
Suqqu Sheer Glow Liquid (applied over the Smashbox primer).
Sonia Rykiel Fresh Gel Foundation SPF25 PA++ in shade 30.
Les Merveilleuses de Laduree Mini Face Color Rose in 106.
Eyes:
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
By Terry Touche Veloutee Highlighting Concealer Brush in 2 Cream.
Le Metier de Beaute Eye Brightening & Setting Powder in Revive. 
MAC Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (eyeshadow base).
Suqqu Blend Color Eyeshadow in EX-29 Koukiori:
The greyish-taupe-brown shadow (all over the lid, blended into the crease, and along the lower lashline).
The purplish-blue shadow (along the upper lashline and one-third of the outer lower lashline).
The yellow-peach shadow (patted on the brow bone).
The soft pink shadow (in the inner corner).
Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Graphite (used to tightline and on the waterline).
L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Black.
Lips:
Suqqu Bright Up Lipstick in EX-02 Somezakuro.


Between these two products, EX-02 Somezakuro is my favorite. the fact that EX-29 Koukiori's greyish-taupe-brown and muted, purplish-blue shadows were split and not given their own pans really annoys me and is keeping me from loving it, wholeheartedly.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

You Gotta See This...The Color To Watch O.P.I Nail Lacquer

absolutely fail at photographing the beauty of this polish. 

Originally from the O.P.I Fall 2010 Swiss Collection, I've always felt The Color To Watch was better suited for spring.

Continuing to fail at capturing the color, I used four coats in the photo above. 

A stunningly, unique color, The Color To Watch is a grayish-taupe based, murky lavender duochrome, with flashes of blue and a pinked-lilac, loaded with microscopic lilac pink, blue and silver shimmer.

The Color To Watch has a very sheer formula, but I believe this polish's translucency is part of its appeal. With a single coat, it can be used as a topper, metamorphosing whatever polish it's layered over. A second coat gives the nails a delicate, ethereal iridescence; whereas, I found the third coat enhances the blue in the polish, and showcases the shade in its full opaque glory...can you tell I really like this color?!

Also, The Color To Watch has a fairly good wear time of three-to-four days. Not bad, since I find thinner formulas tend to chip a whole lot faster on me.

If you're attracted to this color, I'm sure you can find it on ebay or amazon. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Out Of Sheer Brilliance... Suqqu Sheer Glow Liquid


The only good thing about the rainy season is, that I'm able to stretch out the use of all my spring purchases.

I view highlighters as the proverbial "cherry" to my blush. Whatever form they come in, I can't get enough of them! I totally feel in love with the soft, illuminating effect of Suqqu's Sheer Glow Liquid. 


I've used the Sheer Glow Liquid as a primer, mixed with my foundation and as a highlighter; and I love the translucent, radiant results that all three give my complexion.


The lilac-pink tint of this highlighting primer helps to correct unevenness, and counteracts dullness; this beautiful tone gives my skin a beautiful brightened, fresh, feminine, understated rosy glow. In Addition, the Sheer Glow Liquid has an SPF of 25 PA++.

Suqqu's Sheer Glow Liquid retailed for 6,480 yen and contains 25ml.