Monday 28 April 2014

ASOS 24hour Beauty Sale

ASOS is running a flash 24-hour sale on lots of beauty products from Paul & Joe, Ren, Pixi, Pop, Percy & Reed, Eyeko, Korres, Bourjois and Rimmel. Benefit and NARS are included as well but these are restricted to shipping within the UK. Check it out here. Perhaps it's time to finally indulge in those Paul & Joe Eyegloss Duos, now at £11.50 instead of the usual £16.

Suqqu Summer 2014 Swatches Link

Suqqu MUA Tomoko has posted a swatch of the upcoming Blend Color Eyeshadow EX20 Natsubotan palette and Creamy Glow Lipstick Moist EX14 Sumimorio. Both are limited edition and launching on 22 May in the UK. If you don't want to miss out, just know that has a habit of releasing Suqqu collections slightly earlier.

Thursday 24 April 2014

Shu Uemura Drawing Pencil

Shu Uemura will launch a new line of Drawing Pencils (2400yen) in 21 shades with four textures including two glitter shades, five metallic/pearl shades, four brown-toned shading hues and a matte white. These are formulated with two types of polymers to give a long-lasting, waterproof finish. Due out on 19 June in Japan.

Monday 21 April 2014

Jill Stuart May and June Releases

Jill Stuart will release the following limited edition products on 6 June in Japan:

1. Relax Fragrance Body Mist L (200ml, 3000yen)

2. Relax Fragrance Hand Essence L (30g, 1200yen)

3. Relax Lip Essence UV L SPF18 (10g, 1500yen)

All three are formulated with lychee, acerola and hibiscus extracts with an tropical aroma mix of lychee, guava, rose and jasmine, amber and musk notes.

On 16 May, Jill Stuart will release these two makeup pouches in Eternal Vacation and Brilliant Time, both retailing at 3800yen.

Sunday 20 April 2014

Givenchy Fall 2014

Here's an early sneak peek from Maquia at Givenchy's Fall 2014 collection which will be launched on 8 August in Japan.

New mascara Couture Volume and Liner Couture, a felt pen-type liner. To be released on 4 July.

New Prisme Libre powders in 4 variations. The black compact in the bottom right corner of the pic is the Prisme Libre Premiere which suits all skin tones and provides a semi-matte finish. Due out on 5 September.

Anna Sui Summer 2014

Anna Sui will release this limited edition Body Powder Puff (3500yen) along with the re-designed Rose Cheek Color N (3500yen, 6g) in 6 shades with a new case design. The powder puff is filled with gold pearl and pink pearl powders.

Lavshuca Lady Focus Rouge

Lavshuca will introduce a new Lady Focus Rouge in 8 shades on 1 May in Japan. Priced at 1200yen, it contains silk and sweet almond oil for hydrating benefits and provides a soft matte finish.

Majolica Majorca Sweet Trap Hunter

Majolica Majorca's Pinterest has pics of their upcoming Sweet Trap Hunter collection which will be launched on 21 May in Japan. It includes a new line of Water Cologne Nails in 9 shades, Lash Expander Edge Meister F BR666 and a Glass Drop Gel Coat Nude Pink.

Candy Doll Color Keep Lip

Candy Doll, produced by Masuwaka Tsubasa, will launch a new Color Keep Lip (1400yen, 2 shades) and two new Lipstick shades (1200yen) on 25 April online and 9 May in stores in Japan. Color Keep Lip is a longlasting waterproof formula that gives the lips a natural tint of color.

Wednesday 9 April 2014

Lunasol Summer Kit 2014

According to Maquia, Lunasol will release this Summer Kit 2014 (8000yen) exclusively at five counters in Japan on 6 June. It includes a Three Dimensional Eyes palette, double-ended brown eyeliner pencil, pink blush and highlighter duo, pink lipgloss and a gold pouch.

Fans of the brand should check out this blog post, Otona no Jikkan and here on Lunasol's recent 15th Anniversary event at Ba-Tsu Art Gallery in Tokyo which showcased its past hit products and collections, including all its eyeshadow palettes released since the brand's debut in 1999. Pic below from the Lunasol Facebook page.

Sunday 6 April 2014

Operation Use It Up

Cleared out another batch of product empties in February and March. We are moving again at the end of this year so I'm trying my darnedest to stick to a no-buy where skincare and bodycare are concerned and really whittle my stash down to a reasonable size.

1. Avene Cleansing Water: I use this non-rinse cleanser on my baby, mainly for cleansing his bottom. Love how gentle and effective it is.

2. REN Clearcalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser: This cleanses very gently and never leaves my skin feeling stripped or dry. However, I did not notice any significant effect on preventing clogged pores.

3. Biore Hydra-Clear Makeup Remover: This removes foundation effectively and thoroughly but it stings my eyes.

4. Lancome Bi-Facil: This removes eye makeup in a jiffy although it does struggle sometimes against waterproof Japanese mascaras. It's way too expensive to purchase regularly, so I usually buy L'Oreal's bi-phase Gentle Eye Makeup Remover instead.

5. Pixi Glow Tonic: This was my second bottle of four that I hauled in London last year before giving birth. I use it once daily at night to help keep my skin blemish-free. It doesn't sting or leave my skin sticky for ages like Paula's Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution does.

6. Suqqu HA White Mask: I didn't see much improvement in my skin to justify this mask's ridiculously expensive price tag. Suqqu had to recall three of their whitening products but this mask wasn't one of them. For Suqqu, I would just stick to the makeup line.

7. By Terry Creme de Rose Nutri-Lift Comfort Cream: This hydrated my skin nicely without any greasy feeling. Like most of By Terry's products, it bears a rose scent but I don't mind it.

8. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil: This emulsifies and rinses off easily, removing all base makeup in a jiffy. However, I still prefer the lighter texture of Shu Uemura's Fresh cleansing oil (pink).

9. L'Oreal Play Ball Beach Fizz: This was a freebie with a magazine purchase at Kinokuniya Singapore a long time ago. It helps give a bit of structure and volume but wasn't really that special to warrant a re-purchase.

10. Percy & Reed Finishing Polish: This is my second tube and I already have a back-up ready. It tames flyaways and frizz without making my hair stiff or crunchy.

11. Lush Tea Tree Water: This is supposed to help detoxify oily, blemish-prone skin but I didn't notice any significant improvement in my skin. I'll stick with Pixi Glow Tonic instead although that is harder to get hold of.

12. Ma Cherie Moisture Conditioner: Love the sweet floral scent and feminine packaging but I think Tsubaki conditioner (which is also made by Shiseido) boasts more hydrating power than this.

13. Laline Mickey & Minnie Shower Gel: A gift from a friend, this had a nice scent and lathered up well but not particularly memorable enough to re-purchase.

14. Lush The Jilted Elf shower jelly: This lathers up nicely with a bath lily. A pot usually provides me with around 10 uses. I took so long to get around to using this that I think the scent had gone off a little.

15. A Scent by Issey Miyake Body Lotion: I liked the clean scent and light, non-greasy texture.

16. Life NK Jump Start Body Lotion: This was included in a Glossybox (UK) which I used to subscribe to when my husband was based in London. Love the fresh uplifting scent of grapefruit, spearmint and peppermint.

17. Bliss Lemon+Sage Body Butter: Intensely hydrating, this takes some kneading to get it to absorb fully. It came in handy in the winter months when my legs get really dry.

18. K-Palette Lasting 2Way Eyebrow 02: A daily staple, I've used up too many of these to count.

19. Too Faced Shadow Insurance: Another daily staple, I prefer this to Urban Decay Primer Potion. It really helps to make my eyeshadows last all day with minimal creasing. A tube lasts close to a year even with daily usage. I already have a back-up tube somewhere.

Saturday 5 April 2014

By Terry French Riviera Collection Swatches

The By Terry French Riviera collection for summer 2014 just arrived at Sephora in France. By Terry usually introduces new formulas and product innovations with each seasonal collection, so it's always interesting to see what they have up their sleeves. The theme running through this collection is watercolor stains.

For the lips, there are two Tint To Lip water-based stains in Pink Palace and Beach Game.

Beach Game is a gorgeous coral with pink shimmer while Pink Palace looks like a dark plum in the tube but when applied, turns into a surprisingly shimmery metallic candy pink that has a more frosty finish compared to Beach Game. Don't judge these by how they appear in the tube as they look very different when applied. Beach Game looks like a clear neon orange in the tube similar to Aqualip Jelly Tint in Dancefloor Flirt from the Summer 2012 collection but it is actually quite different once applied.

The Cheek to Cheek in Cherry Cruise is another watercolor stain for the cheeks, supposedly with a 'cellophane transparency or subtle satin finish'. I found the packaging of this rather strange as there is no dispensing mechanism for the glass pipette under the cap, i.e. it can't be squeezed or pumped out. Instead, the pipette just drips the cheek stain onto your skin. The Tea To Tan watercolor bronzer has the same packaging, except in a slightly larger bottle.

Cherry Cruise and Tea To Tan are swatched in the top right corner of the pic below.

The pic below shows Cherry Cruise and Tea To Tan blended into the skin. Cherry Cruise can be built up to quite a pigmented stain as you can see.

The Aqua-Print Eyeshadows are basically jumbo crayon eyeshadows similar to those by Clinique. The shade names are Pink Frappe, Darling Muse, Peach Tornado, Green Tornado, Blue Fiesta and Violet Vibes.

The texture and finish vary depending on the shade. Green Tornado had a rich, metallic finish and applied very smoothly in one pass whereas Blue Fiesta and Violet Vibes have more of a semi-matte finish and glides less smoothly across the skin. Green Tornado and Blue Fiesta reminded me of NARS Rated R, although Blue Fiesta is closer in tone to NARS Outremer and Urban Decay Chaos. I prefer the creamier and more velvety texture of By Terry Ombre Blackstar eyeshadow sticks.

Time for Spring

This spring, we discovered a pretty row of small cherry blossom trees in our neighbourhood. Nothing as majestic as those in Tokyo but still, it felt magical just standing under these while a light rain of pink sakura petals drifted down around us.

We had no luck with growing snowdrops again this year in our garden but the hyacinths turned out well.

Purple hyacinths in the park.

One of my favourites from our garden are these delicate grape hyacinths in the most delicious bluish purple.

Colorful primroses from our garden.

Baby daffodils

In a corner of the common yard behind our house stands this magnolia tree. Like the cherry blossoms, these bloom just once a year at the start of spring and are gone all too quickly. The ground is already covered with its voluptuous petals.

Azaleas in various shades of pink.

My little one who is growing up so fast.