Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Forgiveness Is The Fragrance The Violet Sheds...Molton Brown Exquisite Vanilla & Violet Flower Bath & Shower gel

All gussied up in its pretty purple bow. 

The Vitalising Vitamin AB+C Bath & Shower Gel (commented on here)was the first Molton Brown product I tired,and, let's just say, I wasn't impressed.

With every season, there are certain scents I gravitate towards. But, my everlasting love, no matter what time of the year (and in no particular order) are Lavender, Bergamot (Earl Grey), and Violet. 

Purchased through Isetan's Online Store, I had to try the limited edition Molton Brown Exquisite Vanilla & Violet Flower Bath & Shower gel.

Naked bottle. 

List of the notes: (Top Notes) Freesia, (Heart Notes) Orris, (Base Notes) Vanilla, (Extract) Violet.

I was very pleased with the shower gel's rich lather, and how lovely it felt. My skin feels great, and the scent last for several hours. Among all the notes, the dominate fragrance is the violet, and I love that. However, I will say this, I feel the Exquisite Vanilla & Violet Flower Bath & Shower gel would be best suited for Fall or Winter because the vanilla base gives a warmth to the scent (that I do like), but as it's getting warmer, the fragrance is becoming a little to strong for the month of May.

If the Exquisite Vanilla & Violet Flower Bath & Shower gel is still available during the colder seasons, I will definitely repurchase. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Where Evolution's Yet To Show...Addiction Flower Evolution Eyeshadow Swatches

Inspired by the Swedish abstract artist, Hilma af Klint, I couldn't resist the budding spring color scheme of Addiction's Flower Evolution 2017 Collection.

The rose-colored lens I used to view this masterpiece quickly came off as soon as I began swatching the eyeshadows.

Pink Almond 111 & Flower Evolution 112

Midnight Moon 113 & Lady Amaryllis 114

Like a Dream 115 & Crystal Sky 116

My Darling 117 & Crown Imperial 118

Flower Portrait 119 & Silky Lilac 120

I love this brand (fronted by a makeup artist I respect). Yes, pastel colored eye shadows are very hard to formulate, but with Ayako as the creative director, I thought Addiction could pull it off. Heartrendingly, no; the shadows were a disappointment. Whether it was the lack of pigmentation, or the chalkiness, or the patchiness, they all had an issue of some kind. When swiped lightly or on the lid, the majority of the shades look the same. Also, out of the ten shadows, I'd say only four of them were "good," without a white base...but, barely.

To date, I've never used a primer in my swatches. Yet, I had to use one (along with several layers) in order to get the some of the eyeshadows to show up.

From left to right: Pink Almond, Flower Evolution, Midnight Moon, Lady Amaryllis, Like a Dream.

Pink Almond 111: a matte, white based, yellow-toned, pastel pink.

Flower Evolution 112: a semi-matte, pastel french blue.

Midnight Moon 113: a semi-matte, sun bleached, midnight blue with blue and violet micro-shimmer.

Lady Amaryllis 114: a matte, muted (yet vibrant) orange.

Like a Dream 115: a satin, muted, pastel buttercup with a celery undertone.

From left to right: Crystal Sky, My Darling, Crown Imperial, Flower Portrait, Silky Lilac.

Crystal Sky 116:  a matte, white based, pastel blue.

My Darling 117: a satin, peachy-pink with a champagne sheen.

Crown Imperial 118: a matte, muted, saffron yellow.

Flower Portrait 119: a matte, white based, pastel lilac.

Silky Lilac 120:  a matte, white based, deeper, pastel lilac.

All was not lost in buying these shadows. With a purchase of 9,600 yen, the collection did offer a choice between two palettes, featuring Hilma af Klint's Group 4 No 1 Childhood and The Ten Largest, No. 5, Adulthood prints on them.

I wish I had not been in such a frenzy to get the collection, and visited the counter beforehand, instead of placing my order over the phone with the counter. I probably would have only purchased Lady Amaryllis, Like a Dream, My Darling, and Crown Imperial.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Bloom Where You Are Painted...Addiction Flower Portrait 090 Nail Polish

One of the six nail polishes from the Flower Evolution Collection, Flower Portrait 090 is a warm, yellow-based, milky pastel pink, with a glossy jelly finish.

Although the formula is thin and sheer, the polish applied well, without any streaks or patchiness. Two coats of Flower Portrait gives the nails a soft, beautiful, transparent wash of color. However, it took a total of six coats to ease the nail's free edge. On a positive note, given Flower Portrait requires several coats to get a somewhat opaque finish, I may go through the bottle rather quickly. I've worn Flower Portrait five times, and every time, it wore for three days before its first chip.

I don't own that many light pink polishes. Aside from its multiple coat offenses, Flower Portrait 090 is a pretty color, with a nice finish.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wearing A Mask At Home...Shu Uemura Sakura: hydrability sakura rose petal mask

When I got the email from Shu Uemura Japan, announcing the release of their Sakura: hydrability sakura rose petal mask, I thought, "this is going to be perfect for the cherry blossom season."

Cute, simple pink box packaging.

For sanitary purposes, the mask comes with this adorable, engraved spatula.

Not the most attractive looking mask.

Enriched with sakura leaf extract, rose essential oil, rose extract and real rose petals, the Sakura: hydrability is a gel mask suited for all skin types. Some cosmetic benefits of Rose are: it boosts hydration, reduces redness and inflammation, and softens the skin. Whereas Sakura, has a brightening effect, improves skin texture, and prevents early aging. Btw, the product does contain real petals. So, don't be alarmed if you find bits of black particles floating about. Also, the mask has a refreshing cherry and rose scent. I'm not particularly found of rose scents, but the Sakura balance it out.

Application instructions:

"After cleansing, on a dry face, take an appropriate amount (7ml) and apply gentle on the skin, avoiding the eyes and lip areas. Leave for 5 to 10 minutes and rinse off. To be used 2 to 3 times a week."

I've been using the mask twice a week (Sundays and Wednesdays) for over two months now, and I do enjoy the effect the mask has on the appearance, and condition, of my skin; however, I'm not wowed by it. After patting my face dry, my skin feels velvety smooth, and looks fresh and healthy. Also, my skin is hydrated, but I don't feel as if the Sakura: hydrability is adding any extra moisture to my skin. Therefore, I'm left a little wanting in that department.

The Sakura: hydrability sakura rose petal mask contains 100g/ 3.5oz and retails for 7,344 yen. Although still available on, both, the US and Japan sites, this mask is limited edition.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Spray Lavender Mist-y For Me...Sabon Lavender Fabric Mist

Continuing my love-on for Sabon, I finally purchased an item I've been wanting for some time now: the lavender fabric mist. I've never used linen spray before. However, being that this product is from Sabon, I'm game.

The fabric mist's thick, hefty glass bottle has a romantic vintage-like label, featuring images of faded rows of lavender (I assume this is meant to be Provence), the Eiffel Tower, and a two-lamp streetlight.

My only issue with the packaging is the color of the spray trigger head. Instead of a transparent white plastic, I wish the spray head was the same vintage bronze coloring as the shower oil's pumps; the color would match the label perfectly and add to the packaging's beautiful aesthetic.

As per the Sabon website:

"Based on a unique and safe formula that will not damage fabric. Sabon Fabric Mist refreshes and leaves a long-lasting, delicate and pleasant scent on clothes, furniture, linens, drapes, mattresses and closets." 

All of  the brand's scents have this unique signature blend of fragrances that unquestionably let's you know, "this is Sabon." The soothing scent of lavender is delicate, crisp and sophisticated. I want to spray everything with it! I've sprayed the lavender fabric mist of my throw pillows, my bedroom pillows, closets, and even inside my car. My favorite thing to do it spray all of the curtains in my apartment, open all the windows, and catch the scent as the breeze carries it through the room.

To my fellow lavenderophiles out there, you need a stockpile of this incredible mist.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Purity Of Color...Shu Uemura Blanc: Chroma Brightening & Polishing Gentle Cleansing Oil

In terms of skin care, for me, Spring is all about reviving and brightening the complexion. Ergo, I try to have some form of illuminating agent in all of my skincare products.

Since its launch, this is my third Spring using the Shu Uemura Blanc: Chroma Brightening & Polishing Gentle Cleansing Oil as part of my makeup removal routine.

Let me quickly address how smitten I am with the purple bottle, and how pretty it looks on my side of the bathroom shelf.

The Blanc: Chroma Brightening & Polishing Gentle Cleansing Oil has a pleasing, fresh, floral scent. Here are the listed notes: (Top Notes) Bergamot,Grapefruit, Clementine, and slight Galbanun Green Accord. (Middle Notes) Lily Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Orange Tree, Cumin, and Clove Leafs. (Bottom Notes) Woody, Cedarwood, Vanillic Accord, and Balsamic Accord.

Blanc: Chroma Brightening & Polishing Gentle Cleansing Oil is the first cleansing oil empowered with purifying CLAY-EX. And, what does the Blanc: Chroma promise to do for your skin? This new stage of 4D brightening not only targets melano-stains, but it's also formulated to combat the 4 Chroma imperfections: yellow dullness, uneven redness, greenish skin tones, and brown dark spots. Thus, revealing a more brightened, luminous, healthy complexion.

And here's the science:
Above image from

Blanc: Chroma's oil is thicker than the other Shu cleansing oils, and needs more water to emulsify. Also, it doesn't remove my mascara thoroughly like the others. Therefore, my two pumps for the face, and one for the eyes, requires another pump (and extra attention on the lashes) to make sure all traces of mascara are gone.

I use the Blanc: Chroma Brightening & Polishing Gentle Cleansing Oil seasonally; but, during this time period, my skin does look more luminous. I'm not sure if it's solely due to this cleanser, or the combination of using the cleanser with the myriad of the other products I use, or maybe it's wishing thinking.

Have you tired Shu's Blanc: Chroma Brightening & Polishing Gentle Cleansing Oil?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

On first Contact...Adore Bi-tone Hazel Colored Contacts

My affinity for Adore Bi-tone colored lenses all began with Hazel. 

It's been a while since I've worn Hazel, and it feels good to be reunited.

Of the three colors I've tired, my favorites are hazel, honey, with yellow coming in third.

I'm not into blue or green colored contacts, so the only color left to try is the grey. Maybe I'll try them during the fall or winter.

If you'd like to read a more in depth review of the Adore Bi-toned colored contacts, please read here.

Which hazel contacts do you like? 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Eminent Domain

Me last night. 

Last night, I was finishing up a blog post, and about to hit the publish button, when all of the sudden...poof...the blog's domain name was gone. You see, the charges for the domain are automatically deducted annually, and the card that was used for the billing had expired.

I was going through the biggest mission to renew my domain name because I couldn't remember the email used to access the account. I thought I was going to have to sacrifice something, or offer my first born, or something. After two hours of the Interweb rigmarole, I found the support number (btw, it's 1-866-628-1366), finally spoke to a real live boy, and I was able to get my blogging house in order.

Has this happened to any of you? 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ways Of Spreading Light...Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder

Laura Mercier's Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder is a powder we dry-skinned ladies can love! If only I had the gift of foresight to know these powders would be released in Japan (just one month after I ordering them online during Sephora's VIB Rouge sale last November). Available in six skin tone shades (three in Japan), I was unsure of which shade to purchase. So, I chose shades 2 and 3.

 I use the Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder to set my foundation, and 2 matched me perfectly. Although 3 was too noticeably dark to use all over the face, I can dust it on certain parts of my face for added warmth, or possible during Summer when I get darker.

It sets. It smooths. It illuminates. The Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder lives up to it multi-functional claims. The ultra-finely milled formula has a silky soft texture that feels blissful; I can spend hours buffing it onto my skin. On that note, no matter how much I apply, it never enhances pores, looks powdery and/or caked on.

The magic of the Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder is in its finish; there are no glitter or shimmer particles in these powders. Yet, the powder gives a beautiful, diffused, soft-focused, luminosity. The two shades I have are sheer in coverage. Also, there's a warmth to the Perfecting Powders that brightens the complexion, and imparts a subtle "candlelit glow."

Though I like using a fluffy face brush, my preferred tool to apply the Perfecting Powder is a dense kabuki brush.

The lasting power is also great because I only need to apply the product once (without having to reapply throughout the day).

The photo above was taken on a partially cloudy day. 

I have normal to dry skin, and throughout the day, there are no parts of my face that ever get oily. Therefore, I can't comment on how the Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder works to control oil.

I've added the remaining shades to my bucket list. I think shade 1 will look beautiful on the high points of my face where I want to attract light, and shades 4-6 to add a subtle warmth and enhance the natural shadows on the face (i.e. anywhere I would apply bronzer, as well as the crease).

Monday, May 1, 2017

I Often Kiss You When There's No One Else Around

Hey guys,

I received a few emails asking me how and where I've been, and if I'd stopped blogging. I've been fine, just swamped with work (as usual). Also, Fumi (aki's sister) has started chemo again; so, if I'm not at work, I'm spending time with her.

I've still been buying an obscene amount of makeup, photographing and swatching. I just haven't had the time to sit down, gather my thoughts, and write.

Anyway, here's a very random WTH! video sent to me by Alex. And yes...that is Kristen Dunst.


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