Friday, December 25, 2015

Have A Holly Jolly Christmas!

I'm not dead yet! (if you know the origin of this line, you're awesome!) I want to wish all of you, especially those who stuck with me during my little lapse of posts, a very Merry Christmas.

For the last few months, I've had a very hectic work schedule. But, hey, I rather be busy than broke! Also, my personal life has been demanding, and to quote my beloved The Smiths, "I started something I couldn't finish" one day; and that has been a major reason for the lack of posts this week. I'll get into the details of my not-so-little home project once I've finished.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Romance Of Leather Wood...Giorgio Armani 703 Nail Lacquer

Giorgio Armani's 703 Leather Wood was my very first nail lacquer from the brand; sparking  a "gotta catch 'em all" obsession.

703 Leather Wood is a bronzed-brown with magnificent duochrome flashes of copper, russet red, yellow ochre, and murky moss green; it's as if all the Autumnal shades where gathered, swirled together, to create the quintessential nail lacquer for Fall.

Not to be outdone by the color, 703 also has an excellent gel-like formula. The application is smooth, even, and it provides an ultra glossy, perfectly solid, color in one coat.

The longest period of wear time before experiencing signs of tip wear has been 7 days; not bad at all, since I work with my hands and can be a little beastly...but, in a good way.

If you're looking for the perfect Autumn nail lacquer, look no more! You need Giorgio Armani's 703 Leather Wood in your life!

Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer retail for 2,916 yen and contains 6ml.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Il Maestro 506

One lipstick that has gotten a lot of action lately is Giorgio Armani's limited edition, Asia exclusive Lip Maestro shade in 506.

Giorgio Armani Lip Maestros are my favorite liquid lipsticks, and 506 has the same velvety, soft, mouse-like texture and amazing pigmentation as the other permanent shades.

Inspired by the bright pouts seen on K-dramas, 506 is a beautifully bold, deep, reddened-raspberry shade meant to compliment and brighten Asian skin tones; however, I feel 506 would flatter just about any, and all, coloring.

I bought 506 back in July, and I'm not sure if it will ever make its way to Western counters, but who knows?...fingers crossed, maybe one day. If you don't feel like waiting on the possible chances, I checked, and found, several are sold on ebay. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Visions Of Sugar Plums...Bath & Body Works' Plum Moscato & Almond Harvest Shower Gel

From my vault of bathing products, December's Shower Gel is from 2014's Fall Collection: Plum Moscato & Almond Harvest.

Plum Moscato & Almond Harvest Shower Gel's key notes are: 

Plum Moscato, Toasted Almond, Blackcurrant, Lily Blossom, and Vanilla Woods.

The Plum Moscato and Blackcurrant are the most prominent notes, giving the shower gel a wonderful chilled, sweet berry scent without being overbearing; whereas the accents of Toasted Almond and Vanilla Woods provide a underlying warmth. 

I want to say Plum Moscato & Almond has a similar fragrance to one of the shower gel's in the permanent lineup, but I can't put my finger on it...maybe Dark Kiss? However, the note of Toasted Almond gives this shower gel its own festive twist, all the while, giving me visions of dancing sugar-plums this Christmas season. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Rockin' Out with YSL's Fall 2015 Rebel Metal Collection

I feel as if I'm always bitching about the weather, but October and November were a total bust!; it was hot and humid, and now the temperature is finally cooling down, but it's still as humid as a freakin' rain forest. Are any of you in Tokyo or anywhere in Japan, struggling as much as I am?

Anyway, moving onto a more pleasant topic and makeup with an edge, YSL's Fall 2015 Rebel Metal Collection. I picked up the Metal Clash Couture Palette, and the Rouge Volupte Shine lipsticks in 35 Fuchsia in Grunge and 36 Rouge in Rock.

The exterior casing resembles sheet metal, with the YSL logo textured in pyramid studs and covered in a rubbery plastic, is a punk rock girls dream come true.

Isn't the color combinations of the Metal Clash Palette sickening?! The palette offers three finishes: a glittery satin, two satins, and two shimmery shadows.

Swatches from left to right:

A medium camel-gold with gold shimmer.

A pinkish-lilac.

A reddish-pink-burgundy with flashes of lilac.

A red-based chocolate brown.

A deep, red-based plum.

All five shadows are richly pigmented, apply and blend exquisitely!

I have a love-not-so-much-like relationship with YSL's Rouge Volupte Shine lipsticks; at times, their scent can be a little much for me to handle.

From left to right: 35 Fuchsia in Grunge, 36 Rouge in Rock.

35 Fuchsia in Grunge: a bright, pink-fuchsia with purple undertones.

36 Rouge in Rock: a bright red with orange undertones.

Neither of these shades are what I would normally gravitate towards during the Fall...and having grunge and rock in their names, I expected edgier shades. Nonetheless, they pair gorgeously with the Metal Clash Palette.

Look Breakdown:
Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer.
Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Medium 2 (Santa Fe).
Yves Saint Laurent Creme de Blush in 07.
Les Merveilleuses Laduree Shimmering Pressed Powder in 103 (dusted all over the face).
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).
Yves Saint Laurent Metal Clash Couture Palette:
The pinkish-lilac shadow (patted on one-half of the lid).
The burgundy shadow (blended inward on one-third of the outer lid and lower lashline).
The plum shadow (blended in the outer corner, and over the eye liner used on the upper lashline).
Lancome Le Crayon Khol in 11 Cafe Serre (on the upper lashline, used to tightline and lightly placed on the water line).
Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Feline Extravaganza in 01 Black Black.
Mac Lip Liner in Heroine (softly blended all over the lips).
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine in 35 Fuchsia in Grunge.

Look Breakdown:
Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer.
Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Medium 2 (Santa Fe).
Yves Saint Laurent Creme de Blush in 08.
Les Merveilleuses Laduree Shimmering Pressed Powder in 103 (dusted all over the face).
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 10 Mahogany (all over the lid).
Yves Saint Laurent Metal Clash Couture Palette:
The chocolate brown shadow (on the lid and slightly blended into the crease).
The gold glitter shadow (patted over the chocolate brown shadow).
The burgundy shadow (blended into the crease and up to the inner crease).
The plum shadow (blended in the outer corner, and along the lower lashline).
The pinkish-lilac shadow (on the brow bone and inner corner).
Lancome Le Crayon Khol in 11 Cafe Serre (on the upper lashline, used to tightline and lightly placed on the water line).
I'm wearing a pair of falsies from a Japanese brand that I just discovered and am loving. I can't find the box, but I will do a post on them.
Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Feline Extravaganza in 01 Black Black.
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Shine in 36 Rouge in Rock .

Did you pick up anything from the Rebel Metal Collection?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Taupe Is Very Soothing...YSL 37 Taupe Mauresque La Laque Couture Nail Lacquer

Lately, I've been wearing a lot of berry, and brown, shades on my nails, and YSL's La Laque Couture Nail Lacquer in 37 Taupe Mauresque is an favorite amongst my brown polishes. I got 37 Taupe Mauresque when it was released with the 2013 Saharienne Heat Summer Collection. And, I must confess, I've never worn it outside of the Fall and Winter Seasons.

37 Taupe Mauresque is a cool-toned, deep taupe-brown. Total opacity is achieved after two coats, and this lacquer has an extraordinary creme formula, with an uber-glossy finish. However, I do get signs of tip wear after the fourth day.

A shade I gravitate more towards during Fall, 37 Taupe Mauresque is an edgy-sophisticated nail color that I heart!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Hey guys, I hope all of you are well and safe. I had a number of posts to upload this weekend, but after the tragic events that occurred on Friday, it feels wrong to post anything and not address the tragedy that occurred in Paris. Sending a prayer of Support, comfort and love to the people of Paris <3 Isaiah 41:10-13

Monday, November 9, 2015

Fantastically Fantastic! Isetan Fantastic Beauty Christmas Cosmetics Promtional Images

Fantastic beauty is right! I had to share these fanciful, surreal images from Isetan's Christmas beauty online booklet; I can stare at these images all day.

Hope you found these photos as inspirational as I have.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sipping Cappuccino Ash...Palty Foam Pack

Sorry for the dim image, it's raining today.

I received some emails asking about my recent hair color, and it's Palty's Foam Pack in Cappuccino Ash.

Cappuccino Ash is a pretty, cool-toned, golden-ash brown. I thought of going back to a full-on red, but I haven't gotten this obsession of ashy-browns out of my system yet.

For visual references of the color results, please go here (day one), and here (two weeks later).

One downside to Cappuccino Ash is that the shade fades a little faster than I would like (the water in Tokyo is VERY hard, and whatever form of dye I use (boxed or professional), they fade faster). However, I'm adoring this shade so much at the moment that I'll put up with this minor annoyance, and use it one more time, before I move on to my next shade venture.

Hope this helps those of you who asked about my color, talk to you soon <3

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Moon Of My Life, My Sun And Stars...Les Merveilleuses Laduree 2015 Autumn Collection's 01 Lip Stain & 103 Shimmering Pressed Powder

I am as happy as a lark over the Shimmering Pressed Powder, and the 01 Lip Stain, from Les Merveilleuses Laduree's 2015 Autumn Collection.

Also included in the Autumn 2015 Collection were three limited edition Matte Rouge shades, three new Cream Cheek Base shades (permanent), and four other Lip Stain shades (a new and permanent addition to the brand's lip range).

There was nothing extraordinary about the Matte Rouge shades; so, I passed on them. Also, as much as I wanted to buy all the Cream Cheek Bases and lip stains, here's my countdown as to why I'm holding off on them:

First, they're permanent. With all the awesome limited edition Fall/Holiday goodness going around, this girl needs to prioritize!

Secondly, all the colors are gorgeous; but, with the exception of the one (maybe two) Lip Stains, the other shades just don't evoke Autumn for me. Hence, I purchased shade 01, (a deep Bordeaux that I  know will get a lot of love).

I was a little confused by the name of this product, and found myself checking the product's description as it doesn't "stain" the lips at all; it's more like a diluted, liquid lipstick.

Shade 01's pigmentation can go from appearing as if you just finished eating a bowl of blackberries to a full-on, drunken, and soaked a bottle of your finest.

At first, the formula is very slippery and then turns into a creamer consistency. Therefore, I recommend using a lip brush to outline your lips before going all crazy applying it directly from the applicator. The finish is semi-glossy, and never truly dries down. But, I found the lip stain extremely comfortable, hydrating and lasting for 5 to 6 hours, with minimal sips and nibbling.

I saved my favorite piece in the collection for last, the Shimmering Pressed Powder in 103. Laduree always does an exceptional job with the quality of their exterior packaging.

The scorching sun, crescent moon, and stars hearkens back to the celestial motif during the 90's. I found that decor garish then, but in this small packaged dose, it's a tolerable charming.

Even though the packaging is plastic, it has a little weight to it. The compact has a twist of lid, and an extended ledge at the base; this, making it more comfortable and secure for my monkey grip.

I wish Laduree would release more of these shimmering pressed powders and make them permanent.

103 is a warm, pale, beige-ivory-yellow- gold with gold, silver, and champagne shimmers; an ultra-finely milled powder that feels like cashmere, and blends seamlessly onto the skin, while maintaining a luminous haloed glow. I love how the 103 powder brighten my complexion, and gives it an enhanced, ethereal, radiance. The micro-shimmer assists in illuminating and brightening, without looking as if you were rummaging though boxes of Christmas ornaments. I fancy using this powder as a highlighter on the high points of my face, dusted all over as a finishing powder, even under my eyes. I can't get enough of this powder! It's been the only face powder I've been using, and the results are dazzling!

Look Breakdown:
Benefit The POREfessional Face Primer.
Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Medium 2 (Santa Fe).
Les Merveilleuses Laduree Pressed Cheek Color in 12.
Les Merveilleuses Laduree Shimmering Pressed Powder in 103 (dusted all over the face).
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 Eyes & Brow Maestro in 04 Ambre (blended onto the lid, crease and below the lash line).
Hakuhodo Eyebrow/Eyeshadow Palette (the golden Ochre shadow blended over 04 Ambre).
Tom Ford Eye Defining Pencil in 03 Metallic Mink (used to tightline).
Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Feline Extravaganza in 01 Black Black.
Les Merveilleuses Laduree Lip Stain in 01.

What radiant face powders are you loving at the moment? 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's Delightful to Have Loft-Y Ambitions...China Glaze Nail Lacquer

Originally part of the 2011 Fall Metro Collection (I LOVED this entire collection) and from my nail polish vault, I bring to you the much loved, China Glaze Loft-y Ambitions.

A gorgeous formula and a dream to apply, Loft-y Ambitions is a deep chocolate-cranberry glossy-creme, loaded with fuchsia, red, purple and silver micro-shimmer. I love catching this two-coat beauty in the sunlight; simply radiant.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Do You Know Where You're Going To...Bath & Body Works' Mahogany Teakwood Shower Gel

Aki was very vocal on how much he liked the scent of the Mahogany Teakwood wallflower refill fragrance. And, you know it's monumental when a man takes note of those kind of things. Ergo, I though I'd surprise him in the shower with the Mahogany Teakwood Shower Gel.

Mahogany Teakwood Shower Gel fragrance notes are as follows:

Top Notes: Mahogany, Delicate Lavender.

Mid Notes: Teakwood, Geranium, Oakmoss.

Dry Notes: White Cedar, Feathered Musk.

The interweaving of the different wood notes, lavender, geranium, oakmoss, and musk, give Mahogany Teakwood a sensual, cozy, crisp, woodsy scent that is enhanced by a chilly November breeze. There is a masculine element to this shower gel that may not be to everyone's liking; but, I'm keen on masculine scents (and, sometimes wear men's fragrances myself).

Me And My Shaaaadows...Addiction Eyeshadow Swatches Part San

It's raining pretty hard today, and when it comes to blogging, your arch nemesis is bad weather. The last few months, the majority of my days off were plagued with unsuitable conditions for photographing. Thankfully, I was able to have a little swatching marathon yesterday. 

Color description from left to right: 

Singita 049P: a grayish-plummy-mauve tinged taupe with a pearl finish.

Mystic Mirage 050P (discontinued): a rose-pink with silver glitter.

Midnight Oasis 051M (discontinued): a bright, delft blue with a matte finish.

Horizon 052P (discontinued): a dusty, parisian-purple with soft green, blue, silver and gold glitter.

Color description from left to right:

Poetic 053P (discontinued): an iridescent, seafoam-green with a soft golden sheen and seafoam green shimmer.

Deep Forest 054P (discontinued): a pearled pine green with green shimmer.

Blue Moon 055P: a bright, cornflower blue with silver and blue glitter.

Pink Python 056P (discontinued): an ash-black with multi-colored micro-glitter.

Color description from left to right:

Silent Scream 058P (discontinued): a spring green with a yellow-gold sheen and green, copper, chartreuse shimmer.

Tiny Shell 059P (now 031P): a soft, peach pearl.

Nouvelle Lune 060P: a pearled, beige-ivory.

Midnight Drive 061P: a satin, pale aqua-seafoam-green with grey undertones. 

Color description from left to right:

Mariage 062P: a frosty, rosy-fawn-blonde with silver glitter.

Sand Martin 063P (discontinued): A matte, dusty-mauve-pale-pink-nude.

La Mamounia 064M: a muted, brick-red matte.

Sheltering Sky 065P (discontinued): a purple leaning indigo blue with maroon sheen.

Color description from left to right:

Mustard Tree 066P (discontinued): a dark, muted, marigold-mustard matte.

White Pepper 067P (discontinued): a green tinged, white pepper matte.

Sand Dune 068P (discontinued): a dark ochre matte.

Moroccan Rose 069M (discontinued): a bright, pink-rose-red matte. 

Sadly, almost all of these shades have been axed with the relaunch...but, we can always hope for a revival. 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Autumn Is A Second Spring When Every Leaf Is A Flower...Fall Favorites Tag

Photo taken on one of my trips to Korea. 

Greeting goblins and ghouls,

Fall is my all-time favorite season, and I was very happy to be tagged by the stunning author of Rocaille Writes, Monika. I feel like a totally cheated with my answers and I wasn't able to choose just one item per question. Anyway, onto the tag!

1. Favorite Candle

Regrettably (and most disappointingly), my favorite Autumn candle, Yankee Candle's Fireside has been discontinued; thus, causing me to go into a frenzy. Now, I have to stalk ebay and hoard whatever form (i.e. tealights, votives, tarts wax melts, jars and tumblers) of Fireside I can find. I can't get enough of this harmonious blend of cedar, spice and the cozy, rustic, warm crackling wood fire scent. During Fall, I can't live without having my nose buried in this scent!

2. Favorite Lip Color

Inspired by the changing of leaves, during the Fall season I'm all about deep berry, muted orange and caramel brown lipstick shades. We would be here all day if I started naming shades. So, here are a few of my favorites:

Revlon 008 Cocoa Craving, Nars Rouge Basque, Nars Joyous Red, Nars Damned, L'Oreal 839 Cinnamon Toast, Tom Ford Warm Sable, Estee Lauder 01 Burnished Bronze, Helena Rubinstein 011 Bewitch, Helena Rubinstein 103 Arouse, Helena Rubinstein, Chanel 176 Crushed Cherry, Marc Jacobs 132 Saboteur, Bobbi Brown Toffee 65, Bobbi Brown Black Cherry 50, Sonia Rykiel Sublime Lip Lacquer 03, Sonia Rykiel Sublime Lip Lacquer 04, Giorgio Armani 506, Givenchy Le Rouge 104 Brun Cachemire, Givenchy 15 Velvet Purple, MAC Luxe, Mac Chili, MAC Fashion Revival.

3. Favorite Drink

Why limited yourself to just one of anything? That's what I always say :P One Autumn beverage I love making is Hot Spiced Cranberry Cider (I recommend Paula Deen's recipe). However, this season, I'm all about Starbucks' Fruit Crush & Tea. I don't drink coffee, and I'm not a fan of Starbucks (I know, boo hiss, boo hiss), but this tea, infused with a rich, strawberry, apple, raspberry and red grape flavored sauce, and with real strawberry, apple, raspberry and red grape fruit bits, has turned me into a seven-days-a-week customer!...I'm not kidding. Of course, you knew Earl Grey Tea would make it onto this tag in some way or another. I drink Earl Grey throughout the year, but there's something about Autumn that makes my taste buds go into overdrive for it. And, I can't leave out Kusmi Tea's Violet (thank you Kate). If I could (and, maybe I will), I would bathe in Earl Grey and Violet tea.

4. Favorite Blush

As with my lippies, I love wearing reds, deep berry, muted orange/terra cottas and caramel brown blushes. oooooooh, this is so hard to narrow down to only a few! Forget what I said about being here all day and naming favorite Fall Lipstick shades, it would be next Autumn when I finished my fav blushers list, and even then it would take longer including whatever new discoveries I make. And even so, here are a few of my loves:

Illamasqua Sleek, Kiss, Peaked, Brazen, Ravish, and Crush, Guerlain 06 Red Hot, Bobbi Brown Spice 12, Tom Ford 04 Savage, Rock & Republic All Nighter, Shameless, X-Rated, Nars Liberte, Taos, Mounia, and Turkish Red, Chanel Bronze Plum, Fandango, Vamp, Golden Sun, and Fantasia.

5. Favorite Clothing Item

Vest, jackets/blazers, boots and scarves...why do I feel I've chosen three too many?! My wardrobe truly comes to life during Fall with all the layering fun and boot traction.

6. Favorite Fall Movie

Well, in regards to Fall Movies, I'm going to assume we're speaking of Halloween films. And to quote a club fav, Ministry, "Every day is Halloween"...seriously is it. All I watch are horror films with other genres sprinkled here and there. With all the creepy, sinister music and blood curdling screams coming out of my apartment, Lord only knows what my neighbors, the mailman, take-out delivery person, and anyone passing by, may thinks. From October 1st to All Hallows' Eve marks my Halloween-themed horror flicks marathon. In no particular order, here's my top Halloween films: Halloween (not the Rob Zombie shite abomination, but the one and only 1978 film), Night of the Demons (1988), Trick r' Treat (2007), Hell Night (1981. Not set on Halloween, but the cast are wearing costumes, so, it's close enough), and Disney's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949).

7. Favorite Fall TV Show

Aside from the History channel, and tuning into my favorite shows, I don't watch TV. Supernatural and American Horror Story would have to be my tube picks.

8. Favorite Thanksgiving Food

Thanksgiving and Halloween are my two favorite holidays EVER! From the turkey to all the side dishes, I love it all; especially, the stuffing and gravy. And, what's even better than eating all the delicious food on Thanksgiving, is having it for the next few days until all the leftovers are gone.

9. Favorite Fall Perfume (I switched the order of questions 9 and 10)

I do change my perfumes by seasons. However because,  I suffer from migraines, I rarely venture out into new "fragranced" waters. Another discontinued love, L'Occitane The Bergamote Eau De Toilette; I wear this fragrance every single day, and I'm always complimented on how good I smell. The last time I was in the states, I purchased a few bottles, and this is my last one; It will be a sad day when this fragrance is all gone.

 Rushing to get ready.

Blonde haired and blue eyed Liz, Halloween 2009.

This is what happens when I wake up before Aki. 

10. Favorite Halloween Costume

I go all out for Halloween. And, as soon as it's over, I'm already planning for the following year. One of my favorite costumes has to be Alice in Wonderland's, Alice. I had just moved to Tokyo, and thought it would be symbolic of my new journey.

This year's costume will not come to fruition...Customs has decided to rain on my black parade, and not release the package containing all my Costume goodies, since some items (some special effects makeup) are "hazardous." That is, unless, I go to the their office and sign for it. So, being that my only day off was today, it didn't happen; thus, no packaging for me.  I'll have to recycle an old costume. But, at least I'm all set for next year! Given the fact that I have no Halloween look to post this year, here are some more picture from past events.

Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad "Wolf", Halloween 2010.

Steam Punk, Halloween 2011 (unfortunately, I lost all the photos from this night after my laptop crashed). 

Again, a big thank you to Monika for tagging me; I had a lot of fun. Hope you enjoyed this post, and I'll tag any of you who would like to do this; just leave a link in the comments. And if you don't have a blog, you can leave your answers in the comments as well.

Happy Halloween! 

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