Saturday, April 30, 2011

Origins Earth Day facial cleanser give away!!

Last week my significant other and I went in rounds for Origin's Earth Day (April 22, 2011) special^^

Every year on Earth Day, Origins invited customers to "trade in" any one of their existing skin care products, regardless of brand, for an Origins high-performance, paraben free cleanser.  Actually they will take empty bottles or body wash/shampoo bottles too!

With an empty bottle, you can trade in for Checks and Balances Frothy face wash or A Perfect World Antioxidant cleanser with White Tea - while supplies last. Great idea, huh?

Actually, I have been saving up empties which my significant other has been complaining why am I hauling garbage at home...

Well, garbage now turns into these:

These are full sizes that retails for $20 each. Woot!

I usually use check and balances for my combination skin and this cleanser is especially great for winter months. No tight and dry feelings on my checks when the humidity is really low in winter. Love it! I got one perfect world to try out, but actually it's more like perfect world is a more popular product that it ran out in most Origins stores when we got there at the end of the day (gotta wait for him to get out of work, right?)

Of course there is no way I am going to finish them up myself. A tube of cleasner will last me at least 3-4 months! So I will be giving them to my friends and family :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Femme de Cirque - Softshades by OPI

While browsing in Ulta for their buy 2 get 1 free special for OPI nail polishes, I came across this new Femme de Cirque collection by OPI set up at the entry area. It's basically a soft pink shade collection that you would imagine yourself using for a nice french nails :)

This collection contains four sheer pinkish shades:

1. So Many Clowns…So Little Time – a pale cream with a hint of pink
2. In The Spot-Light Pink – a soft candy pink
3. I Juggle…..Men – a very sheer translucent white with blue duochrome-y micro glitter
4. Step Right Up! – a sheer pink

I acquired 2 colors from this collection, In The Spot-Light Pink and I Juggle... Man. Since I figured the other 2 colors will be way too light and sheer for me.

Using In The Spot-Light Pink and trying to execute my first attempt of french nails on my nails:

It was harder than what I thought. It takes 3 coats for the nice candy pink to show up. For the white tip, I used Essie's Mashmallow.

The reason doing french nails is because my hubby loves all naturale look on me. Something simple isn't that wasn't to do afterall. 

Ooo-la-la, it looks so shiny! And the micro-glitters from I Juggle…Men is hardly visible, but I was able to find some swatches of the colors from this collection:

(swatches with two coats)
Overlaying I Juggle Man... with the pinks from this collection:

As you can see, this collection is quite sheer and as I mentioned, it took me 3 coats of In The Spot-Light Pink before its real colors is showing through. 

Quoting what other bloggers reviewed about this collection:

Each shade is very sheer and will take three coats before you’ll start to see any real opacity, so if coverage is what you’re aiming for—this collection might not have what you desire. But if you like to see a little bit of free-edge, you’re in luck! I Juggle…Men is an extremely subtle iridescent top coat that makes the nails seem almost dewy when applied over So Many Clowns…So Little TimeStep Right Up!, and In The Spot-Light Pink. What I like about the SoftShades is that they’re natural and clean, and that’s a look that is always in style.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The ultimate liquid eyeliner comparisons, Kiss Me Heroine Make, Dolly Wink, and NARS

The only 3 kinds of liquid eyeliners I own are from top to bottom, Kiss Me Heroine Make, Koji Dolly Wink, and NARS stylo liner.

Kiss Me Heroine Make and Dolly Wink are pretty similar in pen size, tip, and ink quality, as I have mentioned in my previous posts. NARS stylo liner is my least favorite because of the difficulty I have with applying the ink with its dried up felt tip.

Putting the tips of the eyeliners side by side:

You can see why I love KMHM and Dolly Wink a lot. Their tips are moist with ink and so fine, 0.1mm to be exact.

A swatch of the 3 liquid eyeliners on the back of my hand:

From top to bottom, Kiss Me Heroine Make, Koji Dolly Wink, and NARS. As you can see, KMHM has a slight spreading of ink into the cracks of my skin. But I didn't notice a spread of inks when I use this eyeliner when tightlining. It also appears to me that NARS' ink is the deepest black of the three.

Putting these eyeliners to the test of its waterproof qualities:

All of the liquid eyeliners did not smudge under water. That's a good sign!

Moving on with the ease of cleansing with makeup remover. Here I use my Shu Uemura make up cleansing oil and gently spread across the three swatches.

NARS is the first one to go. Both KMHM and Dolly Wink stay here. After a few more rubs and emulsifying with water, they are going away too.

I feel like these eyeliners are easier to clean than Majolica Majorca's mascaras. So my verdict? I will go for Kiss Me Heroine Make or Dolly Wink. Definitely will not be repurchasing the NARS stylo liquid eyeliner.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Koji Dolly Wink liquid eyeliner in Deep Black

I promised earlier that I will review on Koji Dolly Wink liquid eyeliner. This eyeliner only comes in 1 color, which is Deep Black.

The design of this pink is quite kawaii, a pink base with purple poker dots, with its signature Dolly Wink font and a purple bow. The cap of the pen is just a plain black cap. (I feel the Kiss Me Heroine Make liquid eyeliner's packaging is slightly sleeker, with a shiny mahogany and gold lettering and rose, heehee I am such a sucker for elegant packaging!)

Again, the tip is extremely fine, and actually it's quite similar with the 0.1mm tip from the Kiss Me Heroine Make eyeliner. Putting both eyeliner side by side:

Apart from different colors with the pencil design, the size of the pencil, length, cap size, and even the pen tip are almost identical.

Then what about the quality of the ink?

Applying Dolly Wink's eyeliner on my eyes:

Again, the feel and texture is almost identical with KMHM's eyeliner. If I am blinded folded I cannot the difference between the two! But of course I cannot do make up with my eyes closed! 

Back to the eyeliner itself. It glides on smooth and nice and THIN, without the hassle of NAR's drying felt tip. I have precise control over this pen which I love. Again similar to KMHM, Dolly Wink's eyeliner doesn't dry quick enough, resulting in transfer of some ink on to my eyelash curler. But I am ok with it as I can always reapply easily :)

Given that Dolly Wink and KMHM eyeliner are so similar I have no preference which one I like more. I am ok with using both, but if I have to pick one ultimately, I will go with KMHM because 1. it has a better price point (1050 yen vs. 1200 yen) and 2. a slighly sleeker packaging.

But that's just my 2 cents. I am also happy to use Dolly Wink eyeliner anyways! I got back ups of a Dolly Wink liner because my good friend Momo-chan send me another one in our recent swap. I am one happy girl now!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kiss Me Heroine Make smooth liquid eyeliner

Along with my with my KMHM mascaras I have also acquired this KMHM smooth liquid eyeliner, with an emphasis of a 0.1mm ultra-fine brush head on the upper right of the packaging. I used to buy a bunch of fine drawing pens for outlining when I was much younger, so I definitely know what 0.1mm fineness is.

To be honest, I am getting tired of my current NARS liquid eyeliner. I have been shifting away from my reliable Bobbi Brown gel liners because I want to move on with a finer, crisper line now that I have gain enough confidence to draw a fine tightline on my upper lash line. But the NARS eyeliner has been giving me so much trouble. I mean it was very nice when it was new, but gradually the tip dries up... but the back part of the felt tip is still full of ink, so every time I would need to "press" the felt tip at the back of my hands to squirt its ink out and "wet" the tips in order to apply to my eyes. In the end, I have a huge mess to clear on the back of my hands every time I make up with this eyeliner.

So, moving on now.

Front and back of the package:

It features a 0.1mm tip, and I love fine tips! And I noticed this product has only 0.4ml content, versus NARS that has 0.8ml of product. But who cares about double the ink if there is a problem with getting it out of the brush tip???

And for the actual eyeliner itself:

The shiny burgundy tube design with gold lettering and rose emblem looks quite chic and elegant, which is a big attraction for me :)

Application on my eyes:

It does deliver a fine line! I like this part. However, I think it doesn't dry fast enough. I usually do my eye makeup in this order: eyeshadow > eyeliner > mascara curler > mascara > brows. But with this eyeliner, after I use my mascara curler, some of the eyeliner ink was transfered on to the curler. then I needed to reapply some more eyeliner. It's not that big of a problem for me because it's more frustrating using the stupid felt tip from the NARS eyeliner anyways... So I can live with it.

Overall, I love this product. I have also acquired Fuz's HG Dolly Wink eyeliner and I will be reviewing and comparing next, stay tuned!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Kiss Me Heroine Make mascaras - Long & Curl, Volume & Curl

I have asked my good friend Nana to send me the Kiss Me Heroine Make mascara from Hong Kong in my beauty haul a little over a month ago. She sent me both the long & curl (left) and the volume & curl (right).

Kiss Me Heroine Make (KMHM)mascara are raved in a lot of beauty blogs (like Kathi's Lotus Palace) for its price point and quality. It is almost 50% cheaper than Majolica Majorca's mascara ($68hkd vs. $128hkd), so I am curious to find out how does KMHM's mascaras compare to MJ's.

KMH long & curl mascara:

It has a slightly curved applicator/bristles and unlike MJ that is more like a flat comb, KMHM's are more like a 3D brush:

This lengthening mascara won the first place in Cosme's mascara category back in 2009. Cosme is sort of like the US's allure beauty award here. It is Japan's leading beauty/skincare pop chart. Its ranking change by the week and it's quite interesting to see the top winners of beauty products by category. Go check it out!

I usually like to use lengthening mascaras but this time I would like to give the volumizing kind a try.

KMHM volume & curl mascara:

The volume & curl has a different applicator shape. It sort of looks like the number "8" rotated about 360 degrees.

Now, putting the mascaras to the test. 
Left: long & curl
Right: volume & curl

Close up of volume & curl:

Close up of long & curl:

See how feathery, light and clean my lashes are? I really love this. It looks like I have put on nice falsies on my eyes too! I love it!!

I notice that the long & curl gives really distinctive lash by lash look and is very similar to what MJ's lengthening mascara does, almost identical I would say. For the volume & curl, I would say it's similar to its lengthening cousin, except it has a little "clumping" action going on. This clumping is not from using an old mascara, as I have just opened this mascara for review.

In terms of durability, KMHM mascaras stay put during the 6 hours I have them on me without any smudging and falling off. I am totally sold on beauty on a budget!

Moving on to the cleansing part. It's about the same stubborn-ness as the MJ mascaras that requires time and care to clean it off properly with my Shu Uemura green cleansing oil. (well, that explains why it didn't smudge, right?)

I have also accquired KMHM's pink tube of mascara remover and I will review it later, most likely when I am traveling for a small trip or something later. Also, I have their liquid eyeliner that I will be reviewing with Dolly Wink liquid eyeliner and see which one works better for me :)

Hope you girls have enjoyed my review!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kose Esprique Precious Rouge Stylish Fine Color Lipstick PK840

This is sort of an outdated review as Kose has already discontinued Esprique Precious and relaunch this line as "Esprique"

Anyways, sometime last year as we were stuck in Tokyo last year because of a flight overbook situation, we wandered around Shinjuku in Tokyo and an employee at Matsumoto-Kiyoshi handed me a sample of Esprique Precious lipstick in color PK840.

I didn't pay much attention this this sample packet and it has since sit in my make up sample drawer. Recently, I unearth this little gem and tried applying this gem.

I am totally amazed by the quality. It's smooth and moisturizing and my lips feel so soft. The lipstick itself has some very tiny micro glitter and it has a nice sheen to it. I applied a transparent Lancome gloss at the center of my lips for a 3D lip look.

Even this sample has a mere 2g, I have been using it for more than 6 times already and I have a good 50% remaining. Who doesn't love free samples?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Love package from Japan! US-Japan swap part deux!


First of all, I want to thank you, Ritsue-chan, also known as Momo-chan from my Bakery Story game on iphone :) Your love package really wow-ed me and I was jumping up and down non-stop when I unwrap items inside your parcel! 


About a month ago, I suggested a swap with her and initiated a swap with her. Here's US-Japan swap part one!

A peek inside the EMS box when I open up the carton:

Wow, it's stuffed with cute plastic bag wrappers and cute Little Twin Star notes. 

I wish I have cute stationary like hers when I sent her my stuff last month!!

Unwrapping all the pretty Japanese wrappers, my table is full. Wow, this is quite a scene:

Spring time cherry blossom theme items. Momo knows about my love in pink cherry blossoms!

Next, Sanrio items. They all so cute that I don't want to use them. They are just too pretty and I can't find them here in the US!

And she sent me a selection of her favorite Japanese snacks. Emm, Meji and Calbee, I love them too! Aww, she is too sweet and considerate!

Next, the climax of the love package. Cosmetics!! She have sent me a variety of Japanese drugstore cosmetics for me to try, mainly in nice brown eyeshadows that I love. I will have a great time writing and reviewing them in my blog from now on!!

She even get me a back up of my HG Dolly Wink liquid eyeliner!  Yay!

I am so grateful to find her in my game! I have enjoyed so much with swapping with Ritsue and I am sure from now on, I will be doing more swaps with her!

And to me, it seems like I have found a long lost sister that have a passion for make up and cute stuff. And it's perfect as she is crazy for US cosmetics while I am crazy about Japanese make up. Perfect match!

Once again, thank you Ritsue!