Monday, October 31, 2016

A Halloween treat...Lauren B Beauty The O.C Nail Couture

This year's Halloween manicure was created using Lauren B Beauty's Nail Couture, The O.C., and these cute festive 3D rubber nail art sticks I got at LOFT.

The O.C. is a vibrant, amped-up candy corn orange. The formula is on the more fluid side, but it still packs a pigmented punch. Applying effortlessly, and solid color in to coats, the only issue I have (and it's a minor one) is I wish the brush splayed out a tad more.

It's been a while since I've worn one of my Lauren B polishes, but I remember them wearing for a good amount of time (3 to 4 days).

I own for Lauren B Beauty Nail Coutures, and after reacquainting myself with The O.C., I don't know why I don't own more; Something I'll be remedying very soon.

Don't these 3D Rubber nail art stickers add and adorable spooky touch to the manicure?! All you have to do is, carefully, peel them off (ruined a few being a savage), and stick them onto your nails. I applied a top coat over the design to add a layer of protection. 3D nail stickers are perfect for those novices of nail art, like myself.

What did you wear on your nails this Halloween? 

Have A Spooktacular Halloween Tag Questions

This Halloween night, Aki and I will be dining on pizza, and feasting on horror movies. I wanted to do some kind of Halloween-inspired questionnaire, and Cannibalized two tags I found online, and answered some questions.

1. What's your favorite horror movie?

From Western, European, to Asian Horror, I live for horror films; there are too many loves to just choose one. But, here are some of my favorite Halloween-themed horror movies: The Night of the Demons (1988), John Carpenter's Halloween, and Trick r' Treat (2007).

2. If you were in a horror movie, how far do you think you would get? (five minutes, halfway, all the way to the end credits...?)

A few days ago, my friend Katrina read something on astrology signs and horror movies, and it said I would be the only one to survive because secretly, I was the killer. So, there you go.

3. Favorite scary video game?

Silent Hill. It must be played at night with all the lights off.

4. Favorite scary story?

Just like question one, too many to choose from. Anything Poe is always great, but the first two works that came to mind was the short story, The Lonesome Place by August Derleth, or Prodigal by Melanie Tem.

5. What's one unusual thing that you're afraid of?

You all know this...the "S" words.

6. Favorite horror or Hallowen-themed song?

Again, there are so many horror scores I love. Here's a funny story. A long time ago, when I was living alone in the states, I used to have Ave Satani from The Omen (1976) as my ringtone. In the middle of the one night (around 3:00am), I was awoken by my friend Danny's call. I knocked my phone over, and couldn't find it in the pitch black. So, there I was in the darkness, frantically looking for my cell, with this creepy AF song blaring. When I finally found my phone, and answered the call, I told Danny, "my phone is trying to kill me." Needless to say, I changed to my ringtone the next day to the theme song to One Missed Call (2003).

7. If you were dared to spend the night in a "haunted house," would you do it?

You don't have to ask me twice, already changed my forwarding address.

8. Which urban legend scars you the most?

I don't find it scary, but I'm intrigued by the mythos of Bloody Mary.

9. Ever made a potion of any sort?

Every time I cook. The special ingredient I add to everything I make is a sprinkle of hate.

10. Do you get scared easily?

Sadly, no. I've always been drawn to the "darker" things in life, as well as getting into horror movies at such an early age has desensitized me. As much as I love the genre, it doesn't scare me.

11. Would you ever go to a graveyard at night?

All throughout high school, I hung out in graveyards.

12. In a zombie apocalypse what is your weapon of choice?

A machete baby!

13. Do you have to watch something happy after watching a horror movie so you can you to sleep?

No. All I do is watch horror movies, and I always pass out to one playing in the background. Never had a nightmare from a horror movie, ever!

14. Whilst watching scary movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, the person with their eyes covered the whole time, or the person who falls asleep?

If the characters are exceptionally stupid, I'm wishing for their deaths.

15. Are you the one who gets scared, or the one who does the scaring?

I love to hide around the apartment and jump out and scare Aki when he comes home from work. You'd like the man would learn, but I get him every time.

16. How old were you when you saw your first horror movie?

4 Years old. And I swear, I'm well adjusted. Or at least that's what my therapist and my neighbor's dog tell me.

17. If you could have a spooky Halloween pet (black cat, owl, bat, rat, wolf), what would you pick?

Without hesitation, a bat. I adore bats, particularly fruit bats.

Which is scarier:

Werewolves or Vampires?

Definitely Werewolves. The idea of being ripped apart a la American Werewolf in London (Rick Baker, I heart you loads) is horrific.

Ghosts or Zombies?

Ghosts. you can runaway/ fight zombies, but the supernatural is intangible.

Creepy dolls or Creepy Clowns?

I don't get the whole fear of clowns. You'd expect to see a clown at a birthday part, circus, or carnival...not scary. However, a clown standing in the middle of a forest at night...terrifying. That said, those spooky, haunted glass eyes and expressionless faces, creepy dolls are far more scarier; especially the demonic possessed ones.

Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers or Leatherface?

Each franchisehas it's own blood-soaked charms that I love, but based on their modus operandi, I have to say Freddy. Wanna avoid Jason? Don't go camping at Crystal Lake. Wanna Avoid Michael? Stay clear of baby sitting and Laurie Strode. Leatherface? Don't travel to that part of Texas, don't pick up any hitchhikers, and don't investigate squealing sound coming from a rundown house! No matter how much of an insomniac you are, you have to sleep, and when you do, Freddy will be coming for you.

Hope you enjoyed this tag. If you'd like to do it, please link me, or respond in the comments.

Happy Halloween ghouls 

The Pumpkin Eater...Tasty Related, Not Beauty Related

Going over the Tasty Related, Not Beauty Related posts, I can't believe I haven't posted on one of the seasonal, tasty treats (and Haagen Dazs flavors) I always have a hankering for, Pumpkin.

A velvety, almost pureed consistency with smooth bits of pumpkin, Pumpkin has a rich, creamy pumpkin flavor; not a pumpkin spice nor pumpkin pie flavor (though pumpkin pie would be nice), but pumpkin.

For those who love pumpkin as much as I do, you'll love this ice cream flavor. 

Left High & Dry...Shiseido Professional The Hair Care Adenovital Root Spray Thinning Hair

When it comes to dry shampoos, I find myself in a quandary. They're great for absorbing oil and giving your roots extra volume when your hair is in between washes. Yet, I have an aversion to the powdery-matte coarseness they give my hair, as well as their "Shake n'Vac" odor. Once upon a time, I used to use the Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo, but I've fallen out of love with it.

Here's an odd fact about myself: I don't like the feeling certain textures (i.e. matte textures like wall paint, matte nail polish, chalk [when I was in school, I used to dread writing on the board] certain paper, etc.,) as they make me cringe. Peculiar, I know, but that's how I roll.

I didn't know whether to be appreciative, concerned or offended when my hair stylist (Shinobu) introduced Shiseido's Professional The Hair Care Adenovital Root Spray Thinning Hair to me two years ago. My hair isn't thinning, but sometimes it can use a boost between washes.

This 3-n-1 styling product is part of Shiseido's Adenovital Series. This series' state-of-the-art bioscience technology is designed for those who want to prevent hair loss, and/or add volume...and, who doesn't want more volume, right?!

Besides offering voluminous lift, the root spray contains powder that adsorbs excess oil, with no traces of powdery residue. Two other components that I love about the spray is its SPF30/PA+++ UV care, which protects the scalp from UV rays, and the ingredient of adenosine. Adenosine simulates blood circulation, nutrients, and oxygen to flow throughout the roots of the hair, working to prevent hair loss. The only down side to this root spray, that I can think of, is it's floral scent; It's a nice scent, not "Shake n'Vac" at all, but it does linger in the hair.

I have used this root spray about 2-3 times a week for the last four years, and I'm on my fourth bottle. You only need to use a minimal amount to lift your roots to hair band satisfaction. So, one bottle will last you for a long time.

At the salon, I used to pay 3,200 yen for a bottle (220 ml/7.4 fl oz), until I found it on Rakuten for 2,260 yen. And just like hotel restaurants, you know salon's always markup styling products.

What dry shampoos do you swear by?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Your Lips Are Like A Coloring Book...Sonia Rykiel x Lancome Parisian Lips Le Crayons

Last week, some close friends of mine were in town. They left on Sunday, and now it's back to the grind.

I must say, the acquisition of all four of Lancôme's Sonia Rykiel Parisian Lips Le Crayons involed a little bit of drama. I reserved each item of the collection (over the phone) with the Lancome counter at Mitsukoshi, Ginza. However, when I went to the counter to pick everything up, the SA had made a mistake, and I was told M01 wasn't available because it's an Hankyu Umeda, Osaka exclusive shade. I find it incredibly annoying when brands do counter, or department store, exclusive product releases; it's like throwing "cosmetic chum" into the beauty waters, causing me to go into a frenzy trying to get the item.

Anyhow, after some back and fourth with the SA in Osaka, telling me "they don't do send sales to Tokyo," and me telling her "yes, they do. I've placed orders with the department store before," M01 was promptly delivered from Osaka to Tokyo in one day.

All four of these double-ended lip crayons have two different formulas; a sheer, tinted balm on one end, and a pigmented, creamy, satin-matte on the other.

From left to right: A01, M01.

A01 Parisian Audace: a vivid, deep, reddish, persimmon orange.

M01 French Sourire: a deep, reddish-raspberry pink.

From left to right: A02, M02. 

A02 Parisian Spirit: a deep, blue-toned, fuchsia pink.

M02 French Baiser: a vivid, deep, blue-red.

The concept behind this product is to create a blurred lip effect, by first applying the balm end, and then layering the matte side on top. I've tired, and liked, the blurred out effect of combining both formulas; still I prefer wearing them individually.

Both sides wear comfortably, with the balm side being more hydrating, of course. I get about 2-3 hours of wear with the balm formula, and around 5 hours with the matte.

I love the ease, simplicity, and fun of the Sonia Rykiel x Lancome Parisian Lips Le Crayons, and I really hope Lancome revisits them in future releases.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Beautiful in White...Sonia Rykiel x Lancome Cafe Blanc Vernis in Love

Autumn was off to a painfully slow start, but it's finally beginning to cool down. And, of all the new seasonal polishes I purchased, the first one I reach for is the least autumnal of the bunch. Although this shade is NOT one I would wear during the season, it so works with this collection. Also, it's a collaboration with Sonia Rykiel; therefore, I'm definitely buying what Lancome is selling...literally!

I adore the packaging of this collection; it's quintessential Sonia Rykiel.

Sonia Rykiel x Lancome's Vernis in Love in Cafe Blanc is a stark, liquid paper white with a shiny, creme finish. Question: when you were younger, did you ever paint your nails with liquid paper? I sure as heck didn't! Just the idea of that texture on my nails gives me the heebie jeebies.

I'm really digging today's chiclet mani. 

The first coat was almost opaque, with some minor bald spots. However, those little flaws are all gone after the second coat. This is my first time wearing Cafe Blanc, and it's been third days without any incidents.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Tasty Related, Not Beauty Related...Haagen-Dazs Lavender & Blueberry

Last Spring, when Haagen-Dazs released the seasonal, limited edition flavor Lavender & Blueberry, I hit the ice cream section of every convini and grocer near me. Being that we're halfway through October, I was bewildered to find it at 7-Eleven.

I really like the coupling of lavender and blueberry and,  putting aside my concerns of shelf-life freshness, I bought it. I mean, you can't get food poisoning from ice cream right...or can you?! Yes, after doing a google search (i.e. Blue Bell and Listeria), you most certainly can get food poisoning from ice cream. Thank you Google for making me a little wiser.

fear not! All was well, creamy, and flavorful in rich lavender and blueberry.

What limited edition Haagen-dazs flavors have you tried? 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Laduree Makes Me Blush...Pressed Cheek Color Swatches

I finally got off my keister, and swatched all my Laduree Pressed Cheek Color blushes from the brand's permanent range (swatches of all my limited edition Laduree blushes coming in the near future). I've also included the 3 discontinued blushers because, frankly, they're so darn beautiful, it would be a shame not to show them to the world.

It's been excessively cloudy for the last three weeks. So when the sun finally made a brief cameo, it was a race against the clouds. Unfortunately, by the time I got to the last three swatches, all decent light was gone. It's supposedly going to be sunny this weekend. Ergo,  I'll most likely re-swatch them

From left to right: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05.

01: a dusty, mid-tone mauve-pink.

02: a yellow-based carnation pink.

03: a medium, plummy-rose-pink.

04: a dusty, English rose.

05: a muted, mid-tone barbie pink.

From left to right: 06, 07, 08, 09, 10.

06: a muted, mid-tone raspberry pink.

07: a vivid, fuchsia pink.

08: a dusty, browish-plummy-pink.

09: a dusty, brown-reddish-rose.

10: a muted, plummy-raspberry.

From left to right: 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

11: a dark, deep, raspberry-red.

12: a muted, rosy-brick-red.

13: a mid-tone, reddish-coral.

14: a muted, turmeric.

15: a warm, nude-brown.

From left to right: 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.

16: a rosy-peachy-brownish-nude.

17: a yellow-based, peachy-brown-nude.

18: a muted, mid-tone peach.

19: a cantaloupe orange.

20: a vibrant, yellow-based orange.

From left to right: 21, 22, 23.

21: a pastel, cool-toned blush pink.

22: a pastel, mid-tone, mamey-pink.

23: a pastel, apricot-peach.

My favorite products from Les Merveilleuses Laduree Beaute are the Pressed Cheek Color blushers (surprising, I know right!). These beautiful, cameo embossed blushes come in 20 shades, and all of them have a matte finish. The texture is smooth, soft, and slightly dry yet buttery if that makes sense. All of the Pressed Cheek Colors are pigmented; therefore, you can apply a soft wash of color, or layer for more intensity. On my normal/dry skin, these blushers never go on patchy, look chalky, and last for an average of 5-6 hours.

One thing I must get off my chest: Laduree, I'm still sore at you for discontinuing the divinely rich shades of 08, 12, and 15, and replacing them with the ever-so-common, pastel 21, 22, and 23. There, I said it. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Won't You Come Up For A Spell? Bath & Body Works' Purrfect Pumpkin Shower Spell

Happy Halloween month, everyone! I love, love, love, love, love Halloween (and yes, everyday is Halloween), and as soon as October 1st rolls around, I'm filled with blitheness and mirth for All Hallows' Eve.

Bath & Body Works Purrfect Pumpkin Shower Spell's (I love how BBW changed the verbiage from gel to spell) packing is a total scream. I love the shower spell's orange coloring, the cute carved jack-o-lantern, the cute black cat and his adorable pumpkin shaped head, and mischievous grin.

Purrfect Pumpkin's key notes are: Carved Pumpkin, Spooky Cinnamon, Black Ginger, Moonlight Vanilla, and Spiked Amber; even the note description has a creepy twist.

The shower spell is a nice, subtle brew of pumpkin, spicy cinnamon, and apple cider, which is odd because there is no mention of apple in the key notes nor ingredients...I guess that's the trick in this spookish seasonal treat.

Purrfect Pumpkin Shower Spell is a frightfully perfect redolence of fall, October, and Halloween.

Have you tried any of Bath & Body Works Halloween releases?

Sunday, October 9, 2016

A Never Ending Summer Ahahah Ahahah Ahahah...ADDICTION Tint Lip Protector + More

Originally, the ADDICTION Tint Lip Protector + More were going to be part of the "Should It Stay Or Should It Go?" Series, but the jury is still out on their fate.

Lately, I feel as if all I ever do is bitch about the weather (and, I do), and today is no exception. Yesterday was pure hell, with temperatures reaching 34 degrees Celsius (93 Fahrenheit). Apparently, autumn is running on Cuban time.

Before I get into the actual product, I want to mention how much I like the weighty, clear, square base and silver lid packaging of the Tint Lip Protector + More.

I own four of the eight ADDICTION Tint Lip Protector + More, and they've been under house arrest in my makeup bag. The Tint Lip Protector + More is an emollient based product that can be used on the eyes, cheeks, and lips. They can be worn as is, or as a base, and I've found the best way to apply them is with the fingers. Although they don't slip and slide all over the face, the products formula does maintain its creamy-balm texture. Also, the Tint Lip Protector + More contains SPF 20, and has a strong rose-geranium scent. Thankfully, the scent doesn't linger after application.

From left to right: 003 Moon Dance, 004 So Moody, 005 Summertime Kiss, 008 Amazing. 

003 Moon Dance (limited edition): a pinkish-beige-ivory with micro silver shimmer.

004 So Moody (limited edition): a rosy-beige-nude.

005 Summertime Kiss: a tangerine-orange.

008 Amazing (limited edition): a fuchsia-pink.

As lovely, and dewy a highlighter Moon Dance is, the silver shimmers are noticeable; causing me not to love it as much as I wanted to. Furthermore, Moon Dance needs touching-up after 3-4 hours. I like using So Moody on my lids and cheeks; I especially love the dewy sheen (without the creasing) it gives my lids. Summertime Kiss (the most emollient of the four) is the biggest bummer of the bunch; when you first put it on it looks gorgeous on the cheeks, but after two hours it disappears. If I want to preserve Summertime Kiss' color, I'll need to set my cell's alarm to remind me every two hours. Out of the four shades I own, 008 Amazing is the most pigmented, least emollient, and longest lasting; it looks gorgeous on the cheeks.

Unless your wearing some kind of balm, or gloss, under or over the Tint Lip Protector + More, when wore alone, I found them very drying on the lips and cause them to peel; hence, I'll be skipping that application option.

Look Breakdown:
Guerlain L'or Radiance Concentrate With Pure Gold Make-up Base
MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 in NC30.
ADDICTION Tint Lip Protector + More in 005 Summertime Kiss (on the cheeks).
ADDICTION Tint Lip Protector + More in 003 Moon Dance (applied on the on the bridge and tip of the nose, brow bone, on the cheek bones, chin, and cupid's bow).
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
By Terry Touche Veloutee Highlighting Concealer Brush in 2 Cream.
MAC Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (eyeshadow base).
ADDICTION Tint Lip Protector + More in 004 So Moody (all over the lid).
ADDICTION Eyeliner Pencil in 09 Rabbit Hole.
Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Waterproof Mascara in 27 Mirage (on the upper lashes).
ADDICTION Sparkling Colored Mascara WP in 01 Tough Love (on the upper and lower lashes).
MAC Lip Pencil in Stripdown.

I do remember liking the other shades in the collection: 001 Paranoia Paranoia, 006 Apres Swim, and 007 Door Open (002 Babyish was too pale for my complexion). But, I'll have to revisit them at the counter before committing to a purchase.

My feelings are conflicted with the way I feel towards this product. Some days, I like their sheer, wash of color and luminosity; giving me an effortless, natural "non-makeup" look that still looks put together. Yet, other times I find myself dissatisfied with the pigmentation of some of them, and wanting...I don't know...more?

Have you tried the ADDICTION Tint Lip Protector + More?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Let's Go Slumming On Park Avenue...Addiction Park Avenue Princess Nail Polish

069 Park Avenue Princess is a cool-toned, deep, brownish-plummy-dusty mauve with a creamy, jelly finish. I wasn't drawn to this shade during summer, felt it was better suited for fall and spring.

With 1 to 2 coats, Park Avenue Princess has a very pretty, cloudy translucences, but just like Montauk Wind, the polish requires 3-4 coats to get complete opacity. Either way, both finishes are pleasing.

Again, as with Montauk Wind, Park Avenue Princess wears for 4 to 5 days without a chip in sight. 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

When Life Gives You Lemons, Don't Make Rose Lemonade...Tasty Related, Not Beauty Related

I'm not a fan of rose scented or flavored things (there are a few rare exceptions). But, I do enjoy a tall, cold glass of lemonade.

After several weeks of seeing Fentimans' Rose Lemonade at Several 7-11's, it was time to try this blush pink-colored beverage.

Fentimans's description of Rose Lemonade:

 "Complete with complex notes of lemon and the signature addition of ginger spice, our Rose          Lemonade gets both its name, falvour, and unique blush pink colour from pure rose extract infusions  from the world famous Rose Valley in Kazanlak, Bulgaria."

Poppycock, this repulsive concoction is an assault to the taste buds. The drink taste like a carbonated vinegar with rose flavoring; nothing tasty or refreshing. And, at 398yen, it's down right offensive!

I'm almost compelled to ask the 7-11's manager, "do you know what's on your shelves (finger wagging angrily in the direction of Fentimans' Rose Lemonade)? Do you know how horrible this tastes?!"

Have you tried Rose Lemonade, or any other drinks from Fentimans? 

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