Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Fall Is Not Here!

With temperatures in the mid to high 70's and 80's, and humidity levels at a constant high 80's and 90's, it's still hot and humid AF in Tokyo! I'm soooo jealous of all my beautiful blogger friends (and their fall posts) because they get to look all autumnal fabulous...and I'm here all sweaty, man-beasting, and dying.

The weather in Tokyo doesn't even begin to cool down until the end of October. Hence, I'll be converting some of the summer collections into early fall looks until it cools down (and stops raining on my days off, so my swatching can commence). Please bear with me folks. Bear.With.Me!

I just want to wear all my new beauty pretty-pretties, throw on some scarves, and other layering pieces, boots, and the like...is that too much to ask for?! Apparently, yes. The answer is, YES!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

I've Got A New Attitude!

Having an existential moment with the photo above.

I can't put my finger on it, but there's something different about you. Did you cut your hair? Did you change the way you do your makeup? I know! You lost weight, right?!

To paraphrase Get Polished, I've given So Lonely in Gorgeous a 'wardrobe change', and I'm thrilled with the sleek, new fit.

I'm thrilled to have found Get Polished on Etsy (thank you 3:00 am insomnia) because the entire process of revamping my blog has been a delightful experience. I chose one of Get Polished's fifteen customizable templates (only $15). Once my purchase was complete, the template was available for instant download. I'm never claimed to be technically-savvy. Actually, quite the opposite it true, and it's a miracle I know how to turn on a PC. Nonetheless, I was notably impressed with the extremely detailed, step-by-step, installation guide (as well as video tutorials) provided with the premade template. With every installment "level" I cleared, I felt victorious, as if I were playing a video game. However, my installation triumphs were probably taking me longer than the average person, and I decided to go with Get Polished's $20 blog installation service. 

The blog installation was well worth the every single cent, and it gave me the chance (and pleasure) to communicate with the owner of Get Polished, Chelsea. The service states completion of installation between 1-2 business days, once they've received all your information from the blog design installation form linked on the page. Not only was my installation completed within 24 hours, Chelsea addressed all my specifications, was prompt, friendly, and professional with her correspondence. Chelsea went above, and beyond, to ensure I was satisfied with the results, and provided outstanding customer service. Thank you, Chelsea! You now have a loyal client in me.

The $15 for the template, and the $20 for the installation are the best $35 I've spent in a long time. I'm absolutely in love with the entire design, color scheme, layout, all the nuances and attention-to-detail, as well as how easy it is to navigate through. I'm so overjoyed with the look of the blog, and I hope you are as well. If any of you are looking to update your blog's wardrobe or are thinking of started a blog, I highly recommend Get Polished.

Friday, September 23, 2016

How To Get To Black Sesame Street...Tasty Related, Not Beauty Related

Today, I share with you my recent foodie obsession (from my local grocer): kuro goma purin (black sesame pudding).

From the soft served black sesame ice cream at Nakamise Shopping Street in Asakusa, to the delectable array of sesame desserts from my favorite Chinese restaurant in Akihabara (I've been going to this restaurant for over eleven years, and I still don't know its name :P), black sesame desserts are AMAZING! If you've never had anything black sesame before, finish reading this post, and go find you some...you'll thank me for it.

I was shopping for some Greek yogurt, when I spotted the kuro goma purin on the second self to my right. I purchased all of these delicious treats they had, and I have seven cups in my fridge to prove it. Thankfully, Aki doesn't care for black sesame. So, I don't have to worry about sharing...because I wouldn't. 

This pudding as a smooth, creamy texture (similar to annindofu, another one of my many loves), and a sweet, delectable nutty, toasted, black sesame flavor.

Have you every tried any black sesame desserts? 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

My Liquid Diet...Les Merveilleuses Laduree 103 & 105 Liquid Cheek Color

I'm so exhausted as I write this post, fighting the urge to pass out (which I did, and that is why you're getting this post my Thursday morning) because I need to "get'er done." I'm so committed (or need to be), aren't I?! :P

Anyway, let's see how this goes...and I apologize in advance for any half-assery.

 For the last two weeks, I've exclusively been wearing Laduree's Liquid Cheek Color in 103 and 105 from the brand's summer 2016 collection. There was a third Liquid Cheek Color shade (104), and although it showed up on my skin, I felt it was too pale for my summer coloring and had to kindly decline it's advances.

The nautical themed packaging was adorable. 

If memory serves me correct, this is Laduree's second time releasing the Liquid Cheek Colors. I prefer the frosted glass packing this time around, than the solid colored bottles of the first incarnation; it a no-brainier seeing the color, and how much product is left.  

From left to right: 105, 103.

The formula has a lightweight, creamy, semi-dense texture that makes it easy to apply and blend out. Both, 103 and 105, are pigmented, giving the cheeks a beautiful pop of color that flawlessly becomes one with the skin. You can use your fingers or a brush to apply the product. I, personally, prefer using my fingers, and using a tapping/bouncy motion to blend out.

103: a bright, watermelon pink. 

105: a bright, orange-red.

I love both of these colors individually as well as layered over one another, creating a third shade; either way, they give a youthful, flirty flush, with a subtle sheen that stays perfect for 6 to 7 hours.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Any Way The Wind Blows...ADDICTION 073 Montauk Wind Nail Polish

Addiction was spot-on with the Hamptons-themed names, color selection, and finishes of the polishes from their Never Ending Summer 2016 Collection.

073 Montauk Wind is a stormy, grayed-colonial blue with a jelly finish. This shade is so pretty, it reminds me of the ocean along the beachside on a cloudy, gusty day. A fitting mani selection for the tropical storm we are having ;)

Several of the polishes from the Never Ending Summer Collection are not as pigmented (requiring 3 to 4 coats) as the permanent range; I feel this is intentional, giving the finish a summery, sun-bleached translucence when wearing 1 or 2 coats.

In spite of needing 3 to 4 coats to achieve an opacity to my liking, Montauk Wind weathered the proverbial day-to-day storm I put my hands through, withstanding a full 4 to 5 days. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

A Moment Of Clarity...Philip B Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing & Clarifying Shampoo

Philip B's Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing & Clarifying Shampoo, and Kenra's Clarifying Shampoo are my favorite deep cleansing shampoos; I positively love both of these clarifying shampoos equally, and I'm always rotating between the two.

Depending on the season, I wash my hair every other day or every two days. I use several heat styling and finishing products to protect and maintain my hair. However, if you combine the daily use of these products with my scalp's natural oils, my hair can accumulate a fair amount of build up.

Formulated with 2.3% pure peppermint oil and 16 plant extracts, the Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing & Clarifying Shampoo is the remedy keeping my hair from looking weighed down and limp; it lifts all the gunk and excess oil out of my hair, leaving it squeaky clean without stripping any moisture, shine, or color.

I use the shampoo once a week, and leave it in my hair for a few minutes before rinsing and following up with one more lather (again, leaving it on for a few more minutes). I thoroughly enjoy the stimulating, crisp, cool-tingling sensation of the Peppermint oil on my scalp, as it at times feels taut from all the heat and pulling from blow drying. Also, whenever I use the shampoo, my roots and hair have a little more volume and a bouncy "oomph," allowing me to go a day longer before my next blowout.

I always purchase the 32 fl oz bottle of the Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing & Clarifying Shampoo, but I was out of a clarifying shampoo, and my now oily scalp couldn't wait on an overseas parcel; thus, I had to settle on the 11.8 fl oz size (5,508 yen) I purchased at Isetan Shinjuku. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Mojitos In The Morning...Bath & Body Works' Iced Tangerine Mojito Shower Gel

September's shower gel is from Bath & Body Works' 2015 summer collection, Iced Tangerine Mojito.

Iced Tangerine Mojito's key notes of Wild Tangerine, Iced Mint, Waterlily, and Nectarine Sorbet harmonize well with one another, and each scent pleasingly peeks through in the shower. An exhilarating fragrance for the month of September, as we move from summer into fall. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Roses & Violets...Shu Uemura For Kye Look

 Here is a look and an up close eye shot using products from the Shu Uemura for Kye products.

Look Breakdown:
Guerlain L'or Radiance Concentrate With Pure Gold Make-up Base
Sonia Rykiel Fresh Gel Foundation SPF25 PA++ in shade 30.
Shu Uemura Fresh Cushion Blush in Hibiscus Orange,
Shu Uemura Brow: Sword Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Rose.
Shu Uemura Brow: Palette Eye Brow Powder in Cappuccino/Dark Rose (used the dark rose shade to fill in the brows)
Shu Uemura Eyebrow Manicure in Dark Rose.
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).
Shu Uemura Brow: Palette Eye Brow Powder in Cappuccino/Dark Rose (the Dark Rose shade blended on the lid and lower lashline).
Shu Uemura Drawing Pencil in ME Pink 12 (on the waterline).
ADDICTION Sparkling Colored Mascara WP in 01 Tough Love (on the top and bottom lashes).
MAC Lip Pencil in Stripdown.
Shu Uemura Sheer Color Balm Lip Color in Melt in Orange.

Look Breakdown:
Shu Uemura Brow: Sword Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Violet.
Shu Uemura Brow: Palette Eye Brow Powder in Cappuccino/Dark Rose (used the taupish-mauve-grey shadow to fill in the brows)
Shu Uemura Eyebrow Manicure in Dark Violet.
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).
Shu Uemura Brow: Palette Eye Brow Powder in Cappuccino/Dark Rose (the taupish-mauve grey shade blended on the lid and lower lashline).
Shu Uemura Drawing Pencil in ME Navy 61 (on the waterline).
ADDICTION Sparkling Colored Mascara WP in 04 Night Dive (on the top and bottom lashes).

Wishing you all a great weekend, and I'll see you in the next post <3

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Should It Stay Or Should It Go? Shu Uemura For Kye Collection

With every season, I like to keep all my current cosmetic collection purchases in one large dish/basket. I do this, as a reminder, to use all the newer products in their allotted time frame.

Shu Uemura always does a stellar just with their packaging,

Finally, I'm wrapping up the arduous task of reorganizing my makeup (three drawers to go), and integrating the newer beauty items into the fold. Yet, to my dismay, I realized I didn't have as much space for new editions as I thought I did; thus, the idea of the "Should It Stay Or Should It Go?" series was conceived. First entry in the series is: Shu Uemura's collaboration with the South Korean, high-end street Fashion designer, Kathleen Kye.

I truly appreciate the brand's attention to detail. 

The Kye for Shu Uemura Collection was a big ol' mix bag for me; loving all the brow products, but not so much anything else. And, although some of you love my more snarkier posts, I'm going to start with my loves, the brow goods.

Gift with purchase. 

I died when I saw all the dark rose and dark violet colored brow products; colored brows are a fun, and edgy way to alter your look.

Brow: Palette Eye Brow Powder in Cappuccino/Dark Rose. 

The limited edition Brow: Palette Eye Brow Powder in Cappuccino/Dark Rose was the product to anchor me to the collection. Both shades are beautiful and look pretty on the brows.

Brow: Sword Eyebrow Pencil in Dark Rose and Dark Violet. 

The katana inspired shape of the Brow: Sword Eyebrow Pencil allows for easy, defined precision when filling in or shaping the brows. Additionally, the formula's soft, and smooth, texture gives a natural (minus the color) appearance that last all day. I wish dark rose and dark violet weren't limited edition, because they are attractive shades. One more thing, I forgot to take pictures of it, but the brow: sword pencils have a spoolie on the other end. The spoolie is much too soft and yielding for my liking; so, it never gets used.

And, the last of the brow products in the collection is the Eyebrow Manicure. The brush's long and short bristles comb through all lengths of hair easily, depositing a subtle tint, without making the brows look clumpy or feel stiff. The eyebrow manicure is a great finishing touch for fuller, stay-in-place brows.

From left to right: Cappuccino/Dark Rose Brow: Palette Eye Brow Powder, Dark Violet and Dark Rose Brow: Sword Eyebrow Pencil, Dark Violet and Dark Rose Eyebrow Manicure. 

 Color description from left to right:

Cappuccino/Dark Rose: a taupish-mauve-grey and a rosy hue/dark burgundy-rose.

Dark Violet: a dark, violet-blue.

Dark Rose: a dark, burgundy-rose.

 Dark Violet: a deep, violet-blue.

Dark Rose: a dark, burgundy-rose.

Now, onto the not-so-much liked products.

From left to right: Fresh Cushion Blush in Hibiscus Pink and Hibiscus Orange. 

The Fresh Cushion blushes were a massive disappointment. When I applied the product with the provided puff, I got a decent amount of pigment; but, after blending it out on my NC30 skin, it disappeared. Shame, because the color description for these blushes was "vibrant." Also, I really liked the glossy/dewy finish.

Initially, I was going to pass on the Sheer Color Balm Lip Color (once swatched, all the colors looked the same), but I finally gave into the cute packaging. Anyhow, I should have listened to my gut, because I found this pH adjusting lip color blah and overpriced.

Also included in the collection (and swatches below) were the Drawing Pencils, in ME Navy 61 and ME Pink 12 (permanent), and repackaged in the limited edition Kye for Shu print. I already own both, and found no need to repurchase them for the sake of packaging.

From left to right: ME Navy 61 and ME Pink 12 Drawing Pencils, Hibiscus Pink and Hibiscus Orange Fresh Cushion Blush, Melt in Orange Sheer Color Balm Lip Color.

ME Navy 61: a metallic navy with blue glitter.

ME Pink 12: a metallic hot pink with pink glitter.

Hibiscus Pink: a milky, cool pink.

Hibiscus Orange: a milky orange.

Melt in Orange: a neon orange.

Overall, loved all the brow products. I've only worn them twice this season, because it's way too hot and humid in Tokyo, and I sweat like a man-beast. Also, I find these shades more fitting for fall, winter and spring. Therefore, they'll be in retirement until it get cooler (end of October).

As for both, the Fresh Cushion blushes and the Sheer Color Balm Lip Color, they will be going up for sale, and finding a proper home to love them.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Day At The Beach...O.P.I Taupe-less Beach Nail Lacquer

Recently, It's been one typhoon after another, with little bursts of sunshine, and then followed by waves of massive clouds; this sporadic weather has put my swatching activities on temporary stand-down.

O.P. I's Taupe-less Beach is a neutral/slightly cool, muted, taupe-grey with a hint of lilac-mauve, qith a creme finish. The lilac-mauve undertone gives the polish its uniqueness, and makes the shade work in Summer as well as all the other seasons.

Upon first application, I remembered how sublime the formula is. Creamy, opaque, and flawless, you can stop at one coat, but I'm gluttonous, and applied two.

Taupe-less Beach is a lovely polish that gives your manicure an edgy sophistication. A very pretty polish indeed. 

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