Thursday, August 31, 2017

I Feel This Buring Flame... Estee Lauder Heat Wave Illuminating Powder Gelee

Believing I owned Estee Lauder's Heat Wave Illuminating Powder Gelee, I ignored it's relaunch early this year. Yet, as I was searching for it, I realized, "Whaaaat?! Nope, it's not here. I don't own it." Heat Wave was sold out in Tokyo, but, thankfully, still available in the states. Now my Estee Lauder Gelees are complete.

The compact's retroesque design is made of a lightweight plastic, with a sturdy magnetic closer.

With all these overseas packages, statistically speaking, I guess I was due for a causality. There's a fissure on the top half of the product going from one end to the other.  

I was grateful that the gold glitter in the ridges of the vector sun-ray pattern was an overspray. The highlighter is shimmery enough that I don't need glitter thrown into the mix.

Heat Wave is a warm, yellow-gold with a shimmery, metallic sheen. Strikingly pigmented, a fan brush can be used to soften the intensity or you can go full on visible, via Google satellite, with a damped brush. Finely milled, and buttery smooth, the highlighter blended well, and is void of emphasizing or creating any unsightly texture to the skin.

The Illuminating Powder Gelee can also be worn on the decolletage, shoulders, knees and toes (okay...maybe not the last two). Heat Wave gave me about six hours of wear, but on hotter day less than two hours.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Nature Is A Language...Naturaglace Sunshine Orange EX01 and Bloom Pink EX02 Cream Lip & Cheek

Naturaglace is a 100% nautral, high-end Japanese beauty brand that offers a modest array of UV Care, Base and Point Makeup products.

Smitten with the quality of the paper stock and the watercolor floral prints, I was equally impressed that they color coordinated, both, the exterior and interior packaging, as well as the product to match one another; it's those small nuance that I love so much. 

I always forget the compact doesn't have a mirror (a minor annoyance when trying to touch-up).

From left to right: Sunshine Orange EX01, Bloom Pink EX02.

The two limited edition 2017 Summer Cream Lip & Cheek, in Sunshine Orange EX01 and Bloom Pink EX02 are my second purchases from the brand; the first (way before starting the blog) being one of their Honey Rouge lip glosses.

From left to right: Sunshine Orange EX01, Bloom Pink EX02.

Sunshine Orange EX01: a yellow-based, muted, brownish-orange.

Bloom Pink EX02: a muted, deep English rose-pink.

Bloom Pink EX02 looks fine on my lips, but definitely not Sunshine Orange EX01. On the lips, Sunshine Orange had this milkiness to it, and it definitely didn't work for me. Ergo, I'll most likely be using both colors exclusively on the cheeks.

With great pigmented on both, lips and cheeks, the product has a creamy petroleum jelly texture that is free from feeling greasy or tacky. The Cream Lip & Cheek has a lot of slip, making it easy to blend to your desired opacity. Application with a flat foundation brush, or any synthetic brush, was not ideal. I preferred using my fingers, or a sponge, in a bouncing motion on the apples of the cheeks. The finished result is a pretty flush, with a skin-like sheen. As for the wear time, the product needs to be retouched every three hours. I'm curious to see if it will wear longer in the colder seasons.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Born On A Bayou...O.P.I I'm Sooo Swamped! Nail Lacquer

I was checking the O.P.I website to see if  I'm Sooo Swamped! is still available. I found the polish, as well as "I Manicure for Beads," were both part of the New Orleans Collection. I can already hear you saying, "well, duh Liz!" But, I haven't been keeping up with collection releases (side note: O.P.I's

Iceland Collection looks interesting). Despite the fact that I had purchased the polishes on two separate occasions, I now see the correlation of their names to New Orleans.

I'm Sooo Swamped! is a bright (yet muted) grassy-green creme. The lacquer just about applies itself; it's 99.5% opaque in one coat, with a creamy, glossy finish that last an entire week! I should have just  copied and pasted (and, I kinda did) what I wrote about I Manicure for Beads because the formula, application, finish and wear are identical.

Another remarkable five-star  nail lacquer from O.P.I, I'm Sooo Swamped!is a lively and attractive color for Summer.

Friday, August 25, 2017

A Hodgepodge Of Hair Things

Tokyo's hot and humid Summers have me sweating like a man-beast. Normally, I can go every other day to every two days between hair washes. But, with all the perpetual perspiration, I have no choice, but to wash it everyday. Therefore, I need to use products that will keep my hair in great condition.

Paul Mitchell Lemon Sage Thickening Shampoo: the invigorating, summery scent of lemon and sage is perfect for the season. The shampoo lathers exceptionally well, and I love how it feels in my hair. After rinsing, my scalp feels refreshed, and the hair squeaky clean, moisturized, soft and fuller. Also, the shampoo is safe for color treated hair.

Redken Frizz Dismiss Conditioner: It's always humid in Tokyo, even during the Winter season. But, the humidity levels reach their zenith in Summer. So, I was really excited to try some products from the Frizz Dismiss line. I find the consistency of Frizz Dismiss thicker than other Redken conditioners; It distributes well throughout the hair. I like to leave it on for about 3-5 minutes, and afterwards, my locks are tangle-free, moisturized (but not weighed down), soft and shiny. The conditioner does have a floral scent, but I can't pinpoint what it smells like.

Redken Frizz Dismiss PFP 40 Rebel Tame: a humidity-resist complex, you say? When I'm home, my hair looks amazing! Not a frizz in sight. But, once I cross the sanctity of my habit, it's the elements beyond the door that wreck my Salon Selective moment. Anyway, the Rebel Tame is a lightweight, non-greasy, leave-in, heat-protectant, smoothing cream that contains Brazilian Pracaxi Oil (btw, so does the conditioner). I like to squeeze about a quarter size of the Rebel Tame into my palm and mix it with 4 pumps of the Wella SP Luxeoil Reconstructive Elixir. First, I apply the product from the mid-lengths to the ends and, then, work my way up to the roots. The product does a great job at smoothing out my tresses without weighing them down; thus, leaving it very soft, manageable, shiny, with almost no to minimal frizzing on days when the humidity level's are at 100.

Paul Mitchell Extra-Body Daily Boost: With all the perpetration, my hair can go limp, and that's when Paul Mitchell Extra-Body Daily Boost saves the hair day. Before Applying the Redken Frizz Dismiss PFP 40 Rebel Tame and the Wella SP Luxeoil Reconstructive Elixir cocktail, I first spray the Daily Boost all over the roots. It does give all-day volume and lift to the roots minus any heaviness or stickiness. 

Wella SP Luxeoil Reconstructive Elixir: A new bottle for the season. I will NEVER be without this product, and it's an absolute must in the Summer. I spoke about this product last year. So, if you would like to read my thoughts, please read here.

Alterna Bamboo Volume 48-Hour Sustainable Volume Spray: This is a repurchased product. I like to use Alterna's Bamboo Volume 48-Hour Sustainable Volume Spray to refresh my roots on day two, and hopefully day three. I think Alterna bit off more than they could chew with the 48-hour claim. However, in the mornings, I'm done with my hair around 6:00am, and by the time I get home which is about 10:30ish-11:00pm, the roots are still thick and voluminous. Just like the Paul Mitchell Extra-Body Daily Boost, the 48-Hour Sustainable Volume Spray keeps my roots, soft, and easy to comb, without any pull; never, sticky, stiff or crunchy.

The combination of all these products keep my hair in great condition. Even after going blonde, it looks and feels healthy, smooth, soft, manageable with body and shine.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Just Peachy! Too Faced Sweet Peach Collection

Inundated with images of the Too Faced Sweet Peach Collection all over instagram, and promo pictures of the model and her makeup in the ad (I don't know who she is, but she's stunning!), I had to see what all the peach fuss was about.

Now, I'm sure everyone from here to Timbuktu has reviewed this collection, but I'm going to briefly give MY two yen.

Delectably cute packaging that is reminiscent of my elementary tin pencil case.

Again, adorable product packaging. I like the color gradient of the eye and face tin cases as well as the color coordinating lip products.

The Sweet Peach Eye Shadow Collection comes with a variation eye shadow finishes. With the exception of Tempting, Delectable and Talk Derby To Me (all three shades applied a little patchy, skipped on the lid and required extra work), all the shadows are pigmented and apply and blend fairly well. They wore well throughout the day without any fading or unevenness. The eyeshadows have an synthetic peach scent (all the products in this collection do), but it is tolerable.

While using the palette, I inhaled some of shadow particles floating about and accidentally discovered that, not only are the shadows scented, but they are also sweet. Now, please, do not start licking the shadows.

The Sweet Peach Glow Illuminating, Blushing, and Bronzing Palette is an all-in-one for your face product needs.

The blush and bronzer have a satin finish; whereas the highlighter is shimmery, with micro gold glitter. Nicely pigmented, with a silky texture, all three products give a subtle sheen.

A pretty blush on its own, I also love layering Papa Don't Peach over other blushers. 

A pigmented formula that glides on the cheeks, Papa Don't Peach Blush's silky, luminous finish allows you to forgo the highlighter.

The Sweet Peach Creamy Peach Oil Lip gloss is pigmented, but I'm not a fan of the way it applies, looks, or feels. The lip gloss goes on streaky, feels uncomfortably heavy on the lips, and migrates outside of the borders of my lips.

Also, if I eat, drink or digest a little of the product that gets into my mouth, it sends me into mini-fits of needing to clear my throat. The only way I've been able to bear wearing the gloss is by removing the excess with a tissue.

Sorry guys, these swatches were taken an a partially cloudy day.

From left to right: White Peach, Nectar, Peaches 'N Cream, Luscious, Cobbler, Georgia.

White Peach: a warm, pale vanilla satin with a slight peachy-undertone.

Nectar: a frosted, warm, peachy-golden yellow.

Peaches 'N Cream: a matte, warm, peachy-beige.

Luscious: a metallic, warm, muted, brown-based, coppery-peach.

Cobbler: a metallic, warm, brown-based, dark, bronzed rose-gold.

Georgia: a matte, medium beige-y pink.

From left to right: Just Peachy, Candied Peach, Caramelized, Bless Her Heart, Bellini, Puree. 

Just Peachy: a shimmery, medium, coral-rosy pink with a gold duochrome.

Candied Peach: a matte, muted, orange-coral with micro hot pink glitter.

Caramelized: a frosted, deep warm bronze.

Bless Her Heart: a frosted, murky, warm grayish-brown based olive.

Bellini: a frosted, medium, warm, muted, pinky-peach with a gold duochrome.

Puree: a matte, deep. muted sepia.

From left to right: Tempting, Peach Pit, Summer Yum, Charmed, Delectable, Talk Derby To Me. 

Tempting: a shimmery, muted, blackened tarnished khaki-brown.

Peach Pit: a shimmery, dark, muted maroon with a plummy shift.

Summer Yum: a matte, deep, muted reddened-terracotta.

Charmed, I'm sure: a matte, muted, warm deep, brown-based taupe.

Delectable: a satiny-matte, dark, warm reddened-eggplant purple.

Talk Derby To Me: a satin, blackened, dark plum with micro violet glitter. 

From left to right: Illuminating, Blushing, and Bronzing Palette, Papa Don't Peach Blush. 

A frosty, golden peachy-pink champagne with micro gold shimmers.

A satin, peachy-coral. 

A satin, warm, golden brown with yellow undertones. 

A frosted, warm, coppery-pink-coral with a golden sheen. 

From left to right: Papa Don't Peach, Peach Tease, Poppin' Peach, Tickle-Me-Peach. 

Papa Don't Peach: a muted, pinkish-peach-brown. 

Peach Tease: a warm, pinky-coral.

Poppin' Peach: a warm, yellow-based orange.

Tickle-Me-Peach: a warm, coral-red.

Unfortunately, I don't have some of the Sweet Peach looks, as they were on my SD card, which Aki borrowed, and took with him on his business trip. I'll upload them to this post as soon as he emails me. Until then, here is one look I wore yesterday. 

Look Breakdown:
Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream: Used to prep the lid and under-eyes).
B & C Browlash EX Water Strong W Eyebrow in Grey Brown.
Nars Soft Matte Creamy Complete Concealer in Custard (used under the eyes).
MAC Paint Pot in Utterly Becoming (used as an eyeshadow base).
Too Faced Sweet Peach Eye Shadow Collection:
Summer Yum Eye shadow (blended all over the lid to a feline-point in the outer corner, as well as the lower lashline).
Bellini Eye Shadow (patted on the center of the lid and below the iris on the lower lashline)
ADDICTION Eyeliner Pencil in Rabbit Hole (used to tightline).
MAC Technakohl Liner in Plank (on the water line and along the lower lashes).
Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Feline Extravaganza Mascara in 01 Black Black.

Overall, I like all the products minus the Sweet Peach Creamy Peach Oil Lip gloss (those will probably be going on a blog sale). So, if you're interested, each of the glosses have been swatched. I have not put the doe-foot applicator directly on my lips (each used once with a disposable applicator), and you can have them all for 4,500 yen...and, that includes shipping.  

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Throw Something...O.P.I I Manicure For Beads

Today (or tonight, depending on whenever you are reading this), I want to share one of my favorite purple polishes, O.P.I's I Manicure For Beads.

Gorgeous in every way, I Manicure For Beads is a red-based, mid-toned, vibrant (yet muted) purple creme. I think this shade would flatter all skin-tone. Unless you're not into purples. But, why wouldn't you be?!

O.P.I did a great job with I Manicure For Beads. The lacquer's formula is smooth as butter; it applies like a dream, 99% opaque with one coat, and has a creamy, shiny finish. I get about 5 (sometimes 6) days of  chip-free wear with this lacquer.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now

A very merry unbirthday! Yesterday marked six years for the blog, and you know what that means?!...GIVEAWAY!

I want to introduce you to Celvoke, a new brand that has really impressed me. So, this year's giveaway are products from Celvoke's A/W Untamed Elegance Collection. I purchased several items for myself and some for you ;)

 Here are the prizes:

Celvoke Voluntary Eyepalette in 04 and 05.

Celvoke Infinitely Color (can be used on the eyes, cheeks, and lips) in 01 and 02.

Celvokes Dignified Lips in 08 and 09.

I didn't ask, but the SA was kind enough to give me another gift with purchase set. So, because of that, the winner will also get this black Celvokes bag, and two travel samples of the Intensive Serum and Concentrate Oil.

All you have to do is tell me what your favorite Autumn beauty products are in the comments, or share images of them on Instagram. Easy and simple!

Open internationally, you have to be a member of the blog under "The Enablers," as well as my Instagram. Because I started the giveaway a day late, I will be announcing the winner on the blog and instagram on October 10th.

Good luck, and I look forward to reading your favorites.   

Monday, August 7, 2017

Something To Conceal...NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer

It feels like forever since I tried a new concealer (base product no-buy)! Last Spring, I allowed myself to buy the NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer.

As I read the concealer's mailer, the SA slipped into my bag, I was glad to discover the product contains Vitamins A, C, and E, Peptides and Hyaluronic acid, all of which offer great skincare benefits.

The shade that best suited my under eye was Custard. Although now I'm sporting my Summer shade, I think I can upgrade to Macadamia.

Custard: a beige with golden beige undertones and a pinch of peach.

Oil-free, the formula has a smooth, creamy consistency that blends easily. The formula's coverage is medium, feels lightweight, and has a matte finish without looking/feeling dry. I've used my fingers, sponges, and various brushes, and my favorite tool to apply the concealer is an oval brush.

Alas, the Soft Matte Complete Concealer has some minor hiccups. Even when set with a powder, the concealer is not free from creasing. As for the long-lasting claim, I find I need to touch-up under my eyes after 8 hours. Also, if I'm not wearing the right moisturizer under the concealer, on extremely hot and humid days, everything goes to hell, and looks crepey.

Apart from those minor flaws, NARS' Soft Matte Complete Concealer brightens, blurs and gives a "soft-focus" effect to the under eyes that photographs beautifully.

In Japan, the Soft Matte Complete Concealer retails for 3,672 yen and is available in 8 shades (16 in the states).

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Bloom As It May...Sabon Citrus Blossom

It happened. It actually, really happened; Sabon released a collection I didn't like. You all know my love for Sabon. But, the Citrus Blossom Collection was a HUGE disappointment.

Ever since I saw the collection, and it's pretty French country patterned packing on the Sabon US Site, I've been hoping and waiting for it to reach my shores. So, when it launched on June 15th, I rushed to one of the stores to claim my goods.

I purchased this cute box (I believe it was 1,400 yen) to assist in carrying my items back home.

 Pattern inside the box. 

The SA included a cute sample of the body gel polisher in musk.

Citrus Blossom Shower Oil: I love everything about the pattern, and the shape, of the tin bottle. For July's shower oil, the scent was bearable. However, I will admit to making extra pumps, so I can be done with it sooner.

Citrus Blossom Small Body Scrub: at first, I was a little sad the scrub came in the cute mini jar, but it was a blessing in disguise. Like the shower oil, I used more of the scrub than needed.

Citrus Blossom Fabric Softener: again, I adore the pattern and the tin bottle. Honestly, this was the most tolerant version of the fragrance among the lot. I used it to wash my towels, and Aki's clothes, he doesn't suffer from migraines.

 Measuring cup that came with the fabric softener. 

When I tried the body scrub, shower oil, and butter hand cream in the store, I was confused by the scent. Sabon describes Citrus Blossom as a "mixture of fresh citrus scents - Clementine, Bergamot, Orange Flower with warm undertones of signature Patchouli, Vanilla, and Musk." The Clementine, Bergamot, Orange Flower notes faded very quickly, and all that was left was the undertone of, Patchouli; and, a WARM Patchouli, at that. For Spring/Summer seasons, I want fresh, airy, invigorating scents. The climate is hot enough that I don't need added "warmth" in my body wash and moisturizers.

In my opinion, nothing in the Citrus Blossom line felt Summery. Still, reluctant in my love for Sabon, I told myself, "I can make this work." Hence, I purchased the small body scrub, the fabric mist, the sorbet body gel, the butter hand cream, the shower oil, and the fabric softener.

After my purchase, I had a late lunch in the same building, and thankfully I did. While I was having lunch, the butter hand cream's warm patchouli scent was getting stronger, and stronger. The fragrance was unbearable, causing me to feel nauseous, as well as bringing on a migraine. In NO WAY would I be able to wear this during Tokyo's extremely hot, and humid, Summers.

I walked back down stairs and ended up returning the fabric mist, the sorbet body gel, and the butter hand cream. Citrus Blossom is a scent I didn't want lingering on my person, or vicinity.

I was drawn in by Citrus Blossom's French country patterned packaging, but the packaging (which I will recycle) wasn't enough to salvage this anticlimactic scent.  

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