Friday, September 30, 2011

Things that make you go "Hmmm"...

This is the first entry in a series of random yet odd beauty products that I come across in Japan.

Today, while I was at the Loft on the hunt for false lashes, I couldn't help but notice this big yellow sign that read "Sale Cock Grease".

I did a double take and then quickly made my way to the display to check it out ;P


  
This gave me a good laugh. 



"Cock Grease...Xxtra hard" I guess we can chalk it up as a poor understanding of the English language? But I'm having a hard time believing that one.

Looking gorgeous one lipstick at a time 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What you can't back to M.A.C in Japan

I found an old pigment box and took a photo of the Back to M.A.C logo

Back to M.A.C Program
M.A.C accepts returns of its primary packaging through the back to M.A.C program. By returning six M.A.C primary (plastic) packaging containers to a M.A.C counter, M.A.C Pro Store or M.A.C Cosmetics online, you'll receive a free M.A.C lipstick of your choice (side note, at M.A.C Pro Stores, you can chose from a lipstick, eyeshadow or lipgloss).

Last Saturday, I went to Shinjuku to have dinner with some friends. So, since I would be in the neighborhood, I decided to visit the M.A.C counter at the Isetan department store ( I LOVE their beauty floor), pick up a few bottles of brush cleanser and finally back to M.A.C items several containers.

As I arrived at the cosmetics counter with a bag of empties (meaning empty plastic containers)  and a smile in tow, the lovely mua at M.A.C politely informed me that I would not be able to back to M.A.C my items. This was new to me, since in the past, I have never had any difficulty back to M.A.C-ing items purchased from Japan in the states.

The next day, I contacted the M.A.C corporate offices to confirm this policy. The representative I spoke with did go on to validate that M.A.C items from the states can not be backed to M.A.C in Japan. Apparently, This has something to do with the recycling policy, process and restrictions within each country.

Well, I guess I'll just have to save all my empties and bring them with me on my next trip back to the states (whenever that may be).

But hey, my trip to Isetan wasn't a complete waste. I'm a little wiser now and this experience has allowed me to share that knowledge with you. Also, I was able to pick up a little jewel of an item that I will soon be raving about. : D


Looking gorgeous one lipstick at a time

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sleek's Oh So Special Palette Review, Swatches and Look


Sleek's i-divine eyeshadow palette in Oh So Special offers a whole lot a something for everyone!


The Oh So Special palette comes with 12 eyeshadows, 5 shimmery/metallic and 7 matte shades.

    
Color Descriptions are from left to right 

Bow: a matte vanilla, what more can I say : P

Organza: a metallic pinkish gold and one of my favorite shade's in this palette.

Ribbon: a matte coral pink. Besides using this shade on the eyes, I've already used ribbon as a blush as well. Very pretty!

Gift Basket: a lovely metallic brown bronze shade.

Glitz: a metallic blue tone gunmetal.

Celebrate: a shimmery brownish blackened deep purple. I have a few shadows similar to this but I love it just as if it was my first. (^ ^)

Color descriptions are from left to right

Pamper: a medium toned matte peachy pink.

Gateau: Can I tell you that I'm in love with this shade! A gorgeous shimmery duochrome golden violet. Gateau was the "HAPPY" surprise in this palette : D

The Mail: a matte light camel color. Great transition shade.

Boxed: a deep chocolate brown. An outer V shade.

Wrapped Up: a midtone purple with brown undertones.

Noir: is just that, a true matte black.

Whether you're going for a subtle or dramatic look, Sleek's Oh So Special will help you achieve these looks and more.

Lately the days have been gray, so it's tough to get descent lighting  :'(  but here are some photos of me playing with some of the colors in the palette.


Look Breakdown
Eyes:
Mac studio sculpt in nw25 on the lid as a base.
Bow (first on the left in the top row) brow bone highlight.
Gateau (second from the left in the bottom row) all over the eye lid.
The Mail (third from the left in the bottom row) in the crease.
Celebrate (First shade on your right in the top row) Outer V blended into the crease.
Wrapped Up (Second shade to your right in the bottom row) lower lash line.
Super quick liquid eyeliner ex (Japanese brand, love it!) in black
Mac opulash mascara
cheeks:
mac mineralize blush in Love Rock
Lips:
Mac lipliner in Stripdown
Mac lipglass in Pink Clash


Sleek palettes usually retail for $10.50 but Oh So Special is priced at $12.60...not sure of the reasons for the price increase for this palette. I have contacted sleek and I am still waiting for a reply.

I would love to know if you have tired and Sleek products!

Looking gorgeous one lipstick at a time

Monday, September 26, 2011

Going Au Naturel with Sleeks nude collection

I just received my recent Sleek purchase in the mail (I know, I still haven't reviewed my last Sleek purchase but I  promise I'll get to it this week) but I wanted to share this recent purchase with you since it is limited edition.


The items in the photo above are: The Au Naturel i-Divine eyeshadow palette, Sleek blush in Suede (I can tell this will be a fav!), New Skin Revive Foundation Starter Kit in Light and Pout Polish in Bonaire.

I'll be posting swatches soon.

 I hope that everyone is having a great start to their week!

Looking gorgeous one lipstick at a time.

Friday, September 23, 2011

20% off friends & family!

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to share an email I received from Stila cosmetics, announcing their friends & family event.

Now through September 27th, get 20% plus free shipping at stilacosmetics.com. Unfortunately, this offer is only available to U.S. residents (Shame of you Stila)

Stilacosmetics.com  does offer international shipping to certain countries( I know they ship to Japan now) , so even though this promotion isn't offered to international customers (BOO!!!!), you can shop online and have your goodies directly delivered to you : ) 

No minimum purchase required. Offer cannot be combined with any other offers, such as last call items, gift sets or pro-artist discounts.

I hope you are able to take advantage of this 20% friends & family offer. Pleasant shopping ; )

Looking gorgeous one lipstick at a time

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cuckoo for Cocoa shimmer

Today, since I only worked for two hours, I've decided to give myself a much needed manicure. After moving to Tokyo, I've had to learn how to do my own nails (and I still have a lot of learning to do!).

As I was rummaging through my polishes, I came across Revlon's Cocoa Shimmer; I don't know how but I totally forgot about this one.



Cocoa shimmer is a pinkish bronze with pink and green sparkles. I wouldn't say this polish is a douchrome per se, but there is this pretty pinkish/reddish sheen to it (wait, doesn't that make it duochrome???); odd since the sheen doesn't show in the bottle but appears once appealed to my nails.

Two coats need to achieve the same color in the bottle  is all you


Unfortunately with day is still cloudy and gray. I tired to capture the pinkish/reddish sheen but the image came out blurry. Well, at least you can see some of the green and pink sparkles in the polish, not a total fail.



Cocoa Shimmer is a lovely summer color as well as transition into fall shade. Unfortunately, this polish was a limited edition shade but I did go online and found a few on ebay : )  

I'd like to know what some of your favorite polishes for fall.

Looking gorgeous one lipstick at a time 


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A little typhoon, some cleaning and thank you!

Hey guys!

We're experiencing a typhoon today in Japan; we've got random bouts of rain and an overcast sky (I sound  like a weather announcer).
.
Well, today I wanted to post a look I did the other day, but due to the lack of natural light, the colors were not showing up that well in the photos...sigh.

So, I decided to clean my apartment... but before I get started on that hopeless task, I wanted to write a post on something that I have been wanting to say to you all lately.  I just want to say thank you to everyone who has subscribed to my blog, to those of you who have taken the time to stop by and read my posts, A big thank you!!  

This may seem silly but I do appreciate all of you!


As you can see, with my messy hair and yummy worn out t-shirt, I'm ready to take on whatever dirt and germies that may be lurking in the shadows of my apartment.

Pardon the flyaway hairs, but rainy days = bad frizzy hair days :'(


Hope everyone is having a great night/day 



Looking gorgeous one lipstick at a time

Sunday, September 18, 2011

And on the seventh day we deep conditioned

Ohayo gozaimasu (good morning in Japanese)! Today, I want to share my Sunday hair treatment ritual with you : )

Usually, if I'm not working, Sunday is when I try to recharge myself (and my hair) from the previous hectic seven-day work/life schedule, and prepare myself for whatever upcoming challenges I (my hair) may face within the new week.

I'm probably my own hair's worst enemy. Seriously, after all the things I've done to it,  I can't believe it's still there! I mean, my motto used to be "@#$% it, it'll grown back".
I've change my hair color quite often, thus, earning me the nickname Linda Evangelista (don't I wish!) from some of my friends. I've had every color imaginable (and not), from purple, pink, green, blue, every possible shade of red, even big bird yellow. Besides coloring, I also abuse my hair with constant heat styling (sizzle, sizzle, is something burning?).  After a grueling week a torture, my hair can start to look and feel a bit parched and lifeless; so, my deep conditioning ritual is a must!!!

First, I like to start with a clarifying shampoo; my product of choice is Kenra's clarifying shampoo. I love this clarifying shampoo because it is great for areas with hard water (i.e. Japan) and it's color safe. This shampoo gently removes dulling deposits and build-up leaving my hair squeaky clean. Also, I love the refreshing grapefruit smell.


Next, I follow up with a deep-conditioning treatment or masque. Some of my favorites are: Kenra's Nourishing Masque, kerastase Nutritive's oleo-relax slim, or any of these three products from Redken; all soft heavy cream super treatment, smooth down butter treat or real control intense renewal super moisturizing mask. Generally, the directions state to leave in for 5-10 minutes, but I leave it in for about an hour or more. I rinse the treatment/masque with cold water. The cold water helps seal the cuticles of the hair shaft and aid in locking in moisture. I usually deep condition my hair twice a week.



Finally, I finish my hair treatment ritual with a leave-in moisturizer. I switch between a few brands: Paul Mitchell original the conditioner, Frederick Fekkai's brilliant glossing cream or Redken's smooth down detangling cream. After combing my hair, I give it a break from heat styling, put it in a bun ( I really dislike the feeling of wet hair on the back of my neck) and go about my day.


 I'd love to hear what you like to do on your Sundays.  Are there any clarifying shampoos/conditioning treatments you like? Do you have any hair rituals of your own? If so, please share! I hope you're having a great Sunday wherever you are : )

Looking gorgeous one lipstick at a time

Friday, September 16, 2011

sleepless in Tokyo

Okay, I can't sleep, it's 1:15am and counting sheep isn't cutting it. I have to be up in 3 hours and just thinking about tomorrow and all the things I have to do is keeping me up. Don't forget tomorrow is "D" day with the Customs man. Wish me luck guys, hopefully I wont be coming home empty handed.

Looking gorgeous one lipstick at a time

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I fought Japanese Customs and Japanese customs won...maybe

Hi everyone! Sorry for not posting for so long but I've been busy with a few photo shoots ( thank goodness, I get to pay rent and eat this months : P ).

I've been dealing with a certain matter for the past week that has left me feeling a bit defeated and frustrated...Sigh.  I don't even know where to begin to tell you, so I guess I"ll just take the plunge and jump right into it.

Anxiously waiting for a certain package to arrive, I became a bit worried when I noticed that the delivery date had exceeded the 10 day mark ( Priority mail guarantees 6-10 days, and I normally get my packages within 6-7 days). On the 14th day I received a notice from the Tokyo Branch Customs Office for Overseas mail, stating they needed to speak to me in regards to the contents of my parcel...Double Sigh.

So I made the call and spoke to a Mr. Ueno, he informed me that my package had exceeded the restricted quantities of cosmetics allowed within Japan (This is where my heart rate started to gradually escalate).

Of the five years that I have been receiving parcels, I've never been made aware of any "item restriction on cosmetics", and trust me when I say this, I've had a RIDICULOUS amount of makeup sent to me through the mail...I guess someone at customs felt like doing their job that day and picked my package.

Mr. Ueno quickly told me that I needed to speak to someone in the Pharmaceutical and food safety bureau, Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. I could see that this was going to take up my entire day, so I kissed whatever other plans I had goodbye (or sayonara). So I patiently wrote the number down and made another call (can you see where this is going?).

Unfortunately, I can't give you the name of the person I spoke to in the ministry of health bureau since he didn't give it to me...but let's just call him Mr. #@$%&* ( you can use your imagination of what this is suppose to read). I guess Mr. #@$%&* didn't have his V8 that day because he was so impolite and curt. Mr. #@$%&* stated that packages containing cosmetics can only hold a maximum of 24 items of makeup.  He then went on to inform me of my "options"; option #1 is that I could go to post office where the package is being held and pick 24 items and all other items would be discarded  or option #2 would be to have the package sent back to the states and then have the items shipped back to me properly...mind you, by sending the package back it would be sent via snail mail, therefore taking 3 to 4 weeks to go back to the states...Triple Sigh.

After finishing the call, I was left with this hankering feeling about the whole "24" item thing. So, of course, never taking no for an answer, I did my homework and found that you can indeed send more then items; in fact, you can send up 24 pieces per item.

So, I placed another call to Mr.Ueno and educated him of his own policies. I advised him that I would like to go there, check this package, and go through the contents. So, now I have to wait till my next available day off, which is September, 16th. He agreed to hold the package and that is where this store stands so far...VERY frustrating to have something so close yet so far away.


I'll keep you posted on any changes in this situation as they occur.

Here is a photo of the Customs Notice

You could see my name as well as the name of the person who sent the package, so I used what was closest to me to cover our names. Makes an wrinkled paper look cute : ) 



Found some post its 

Looking Gorgeous (but frustrated) one lipstick(or not) at a time


(Here is some extra information if your sending a packing from the states overseas.)

I just want to let those of you who many not know that the United States Postal Service offers various priority flat rate services on international shipments. The USPS packaging is free and they range in size, from gift card envelops (10"x7") to large boxes (12"x12"x 5 1/2"). You can get these envelops/boxes at your nearest USPS office or you can go online at usps.com, order all your "FREE" international shipping supplies (packaging, custom labels, etc.) and the USPS will even ship these items to you for FREE (isn't "free" a great word)  Now, international shipping fees vary from $13.95 to $58.50, depending on what packaging you choose to use (by the way, you can schedule your package to be picked up at home online and save 5%, so remember a penny saved is an eyeshadow purchased!)and your package will arrive at it's destination within 6-10 days.  I always use the large box because you can ship up to 20Ibs (yes, 20Ibs of makeup), so you get the most bang for your buck. So maybe you can use this information the next time you need to ship a package overseas : )

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Oh so special" sleek order

I just wanted to share my recent sleek purchase with you.  I got this package a few days ago but due to work/life I wasn't able to post anything until now.

so here you go ; )



 Yeah, I started opening the package like a savage before I realized..."wait, let me take a photo" : P

I ordered the Sleek divine eyeshadow palette in Oh So Special, two Sleek blushes, life's a peach and Aruba, and the Skin Revive tester kit in light/medium and medium/dark.

I'm really interested in trying out Sleek's Skin Revive foundation, but I may need to order the tester kit in light. Normally I'm somewhere between NC-25-35 (depending on the season

I'll be posting a review of these items soon : )



Looking gorgeous one lipstick at a time 


Sunday, September 4, 2011

September 23rd is just around the corner, thank goodness!

















Summer isn't over yet, even though it may appear so in the world of retail; but outside those wondrous department store walls and fashion mag advertisements, it's still as hot and humid as hades here in Tokyo.

September 23rd, officially marks the first day of autumn and I CAN'T wait! I'm a colder season kinda girl, and I love everything that comes along with it; temperatures I can actually live in, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and best of all, the fall collections from my favorite brands :) 























Chanel, Dior, Nars, Armani, Estee Lauder, Mac, Le Metier de Beaute, Becca, Laura Mercier, Bobbi Brown, Guerlain, Kanedo, Smashbox, and the list can go on and on.






















I'm anxious with anticipation for the Asian release of some of these collections, I've already made some of my fall purchases through Neiman Marcus, Saks and Nordstroms (by the way, all three do accept international credit cards, as well as offering international shipping, Thank the gods!!!). As soon as I receive these items, I'll  be posting them online to share with you : )







I wanted to know what you're looking forward to this  Fall; is there anything that's peaking your interest? I'd love to hear about it  : D









Looking gorgeous one lipstick at a time