Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I Wah-Wah-Wah-Wah Wonder...Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Wonder Blacks Mascara

Last October, when my best friend came to visit, I asked him to bring me a few tubes of L'Oreal's Voluminous Original Mascara.

When I started getting into makeup, L'Oreal's Voluminous Original was the first mascara I used, and it's been in my mascara rotation ever since; that is, until I used up my last tube five years ago. L'Oreal is available over here, but for whatever reason, the Voluminous Mascaras are not on the menu.

Has the formula changed? I always used the regular formula, and never had issue with smudging. I know it's exceptionally humid in Tokyo (even during the Fall and Winter), but goodness, after a few hours, I had a smudgy mess on the outer half under my eyes.

After three weeks of chances, I called it quits, are returned to my beloved Helena Rubinstein (which is humorous considering L'Oreal purchased the brand almost 30 years ago).

On August of 2016, Helena Rubinstein introduced the Lash Queen Wonder Blacks into their stellar mascara lineup. The Lash Queen Wonder Blacks retails for 5,748 yen, but at the time of my purchase, the counter was offering a limited edition coffret with a full size Lash Queen Wonder Blacks, a generous, travel size All Mascaras! Makeup remover, a modest, sample size Powercell Eye Contour for 6,156 yen. Obviously, I went for the better deal.

 All of the Rubinstein mascara have comely packaging and wands. I like the design, and the gold and black coloring of the tube. This is not an slight on Lash Queen Wonder Blacks, but it reminds me of a killer whale.

The helical-shaped brush, and its alternating long and short bristles, distributes the product evenly thought out each eyelash; thus, leaving them separated, thicker, and elongated. Also, I really liked how the curve of the spiral wand perfectly hugged my bottom lashes, and combed through them with ease.

The sooty, inky-black pigmentation gives the eyes smoldering definition. 

The formula and pigment of this mascara are topnotch. My lashes are coated in a rich black coloring, and look voluminously fuller, with a curl that lasts until I get home and wash my face. Although not waterproof, Wonder Blacks doesn't smear nor flake.

A creamy, gel-like consistency, the formula features two key ingredients: Pro-keratin and Ceramide R serum. A restorative agent, Pro-keratin works on the surface to repair damage and strengthen the hair shaft; while the Ceramide R smooths, protects, and improves the lash stem. Normally used in haircare products, since both ingredients are naturally found in hair, it only makes sense to incorporate them into a mascara. The Lash Queen Wonder Black mascara lasted for four and a half months. And, after using it for that time frame, I do feel as if the condition of my lashes has improved.

The combination of the wand and formula of Lash Queen Wonder Blacks is simply magical. Of the nine Helena Rubinstein mascaras, Lash Queen Wonder Blacks is among my top three.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Life's Not A Bowl Of Cherries..L'Occitane Cerisier Pastel Shower Gel.

When Spring rolls around, I always take a peek at L'Occitane's limited edition Cherry Blossom collections, with false hope, that they will one day bring back my precious Wild Cherry Tree (circa 2012).

I really wanted to usher in the season with a Cherry Blossom scented body wash. So, I went with the Cerisier Pastel Shower Gel.

Cerisier Pastel has a nice, fruity sakura fragrance. However, there's a powdery note that unmasks itself in the shower and I'm not wholeheartedly keen on. The shower gel works up into a nice foam, and leaves my skin soft and clean. However, that powdery note keeps me from giving it two thumbs up, and if it were permanent, I wouldn't repurchase. Bring back
Wild Cherry Tree!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Color Is But A Deviance

Apologies for the mini hiaus. The majority of the last two weeks was cold, overcast, and rainy (it's raining as I write this post), and Aki came down with a very bad fever that lasted five days. Not to mention, the auto-focus of my camera broke (it's in the shop now, getting fixed), and sprinkle on top of all this, the usual busy, work-related stuff.

Anyway, the on-again/off-again dreary weather we've been having has allowed me to continue to use the products from the NARS x Sarah Moon Collection that I dearly love.

I find the stylishly nostalgic, blurred-dream-like photography of Sarah Moon beguiling. A major fan of her work, I own four of her books (two of which I paid a hefty price for). Next time I'm in the states, I need bring them back with me.

Quai des Brumes and Indes Galantes Duo Eyeshadow. 

I adore the muted tones of the matte and shimmer shadows of each duo. Both Quai des Brumes and Indes Galantes shadows are pigmented, feel velvety soft, and blend well. I did notice the mattes had a little kick-up, but not to the point where you're wasting product every time you dip your brush into the pan.

Quai des Brumes: a shimmery lavender grey, and a matte charcoal grey with sparse, gold micro-glitter.

Indes Galantes: a shimmery dark gunmetal grey, and a plummy-maroon-burgundy matte.

Witching Hour and Sichuan Kohliners. 

Both of these kohliners are creamy, smooth, and opaque. Their smooth, creamy consistency allow them to blend out easily on the lid, making them great bases for the duos. Also, after application, they didn't budge or fade on the upper and lower lashline, or the waterline.   

Isadora and Impudique Blush. 

Nars Blushers are some of my favorites blushes. Isadora and Impudique are extremely pigmented, with a soft, velvety smooth texture that blends like butter. 

Witching Hour, Sichuan, Isadora, Impudique. 

Witching Hour Kohliner: a shimmery dark gunmetal with a hint of lavender.

Sichuan Kohliner: a deep maroon.

Isadora Blush: a warm, brownish-plummy-rosy with a gorgeous lavender-pink sheen. 

Impudique Blush: a deep, reddened-coral pink with a beautiful golden sheen. 

Indecent Proposal, Rouge Improbable, Rouge Indiscreet, Fearless Red Moon Matte Lipstick. 

With all the new lipsticks I'm continuously adding to my collection, I've totally neglected my stash of Nars Pure Matte Lipsticks; and, I forgot how much I love them. Intensely pigmented, these matte lipsticks have a smooth, creamy formula that's extremely comfortable to wear without drying out my lips.

Indecent Proposal, Rouge Improbable, Rouge Indiscreet, Fearless Red Moon.

Indecent Proposal: a muted, deep, plummy-rose-brown. 

Rouge Improbable: a deep, slightly orange leaning red.

Rouge Indiscreet: a deep, true red.

Fearless Red: a muted, deep brick red.

Again, the auto-focus of my camera broke. Therefore, I've had to manually-focus all the pictures taken. Unfortunately, out of the four looks I photographed, only one was focused enough to post. Hopefully, I'll have my camera back the next time it rains, so I can redo the looks.

Look Breakdown:
Victoria beckham Estee Lauder Morning Aura Illuminating Creme.
MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 in NC30.
Nars Blush in Isadora. 
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in 2.
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
Nars Soft Matte Creamy Complete Concealer in Custard (used under the eyes and as an eyeshadow base).
MAC Eye Shadow in Brule (all over the lid).
Nars Duo Eyeshadow in Indes Galantes:
The plummy-maroon-burgundy shadow (with a light hand, softy trace the shadow slightly above the crease, and blend outward in a wing shape).
The shimmery dark gunmetal grey shadow (blend from the inner and outer corner on the bottom of the lower lashes).
Nars Kohliner in Witching Hour (on the waterline).
Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Wonder Blacks Mascara Smudge Proof in Wonderful Blacks.
Nars Moon Matte Lipstick in Indecent Proposal. 

a little out of focus, but that's okay.

I was really excited over this entire collection. From the promotional images, exterior and product packaging, to the color scheme of the makeup itself, Nars did a superb job at capturing the melancholic, ethereal elegant essence of Sarah Moon. I'm over the moon (pun intended) for each piece in the collection, but I have a special place in my heart for the Indes Galantes Eyeshadow Duo, Sichuan Kohliner, Isadora blush, and all four of the lipsticks.  

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