shiseido

Pan that Palette & Shopping the Stash – December, Report #3

Previous report was in July (ha ha) and can be found here.

I went back to stila ITK after my holidays in the summer. Since I got a little bit tanned I mixed Wind and Desert up to get a better match on the lid. Here’s what it looked like it July:
stila-itk-july

Now:
stila-itk-dec16

I’m back to using just Wind at the moment. If I’m lucky I might see pan before 2017.

I took the Lunasol foundation with me for the summer because the shade worked better on me then. The picture in the last report was after holiday use. I went back to Maquillage not long after that. So here’s an update on that group photo:

pans

Taken January 2016

Now (almost a year later):

pans2016

Taken December 2016

Every time I travel I take the WnW with me. Haven’t used much of the BB this year (I use this as a brow powder). I’ve reached for it from time to time lately but nothing regular so it looks pretty much the same. I managed to use up quite a few brow pencils though 🙂

Blotting powders then:
pan-sexymama

Now:
blotting-2016-12

That’s the Soap & Glory one on the left. That’s since July as well I believe? Probably forgot to post this last time 😛
Ok they both claim to be translucent (Sexy Mama’s “anti-shine translucent powder” vs SG’s “super-translucent mattifying powder”). I think SG might be just a leeetle bit better at oil control, but if you’re not careful it can look chalky. Sexy Mama is talc-free and tinted so you’re less likely to look ashy. If I had to choose I’d probably go with S&G as that one seems to work better on my skin.

And I’m still working on the MAC blush:

July:
mac-poised Now:

blushes-2016-12

Lunasol Chocolat Beige, MAC Poised, RMK Hot Red

Yup, not much change. But I got so bored of using Poised everyday I incorporated other blushes. Primarily those two in the pictures.

I actually took the RMK with me (due to its slim and compact size) for a solid month during my time in Hong Kong and it still looks like new. There’s only 2.2g of product in this compact. How am I ever going to use up the 6g in MAC? And that’s just a fingerprint mark in the Lunasol and not a dent. But I’m hoping it being a cream formula I’ll hit pan faster.

I really don’t know how I’ll manage to pan anything!

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August + September Empties

AUGUST

kate-integ

Shiseido Integrate gel liner in BK999 (0.28g) – Made in Germany
I bought this cos it seemed to be a favourite among Japanese beauty magazine readers. But the size of the nib is too big for my liking and unlike a pencil it can’t be sharpened. Also the performance is inconsistent – sometimes it smudges, sometimes no. Despite no change in the steps leading to or out prior.
Repurchase? Nope.

Kate slim gel pencil in BK-1 (0.12g) – Made in Japan
Now this is a liner I know I can count on. I took this with me on my holidays and with daily use it lasted around one month. This has less than half the product of the Integrate liner though.
Repurchase? Staple.

Here’s a comparison photo with nibs from different liners. The UD acts as your average, typical pencil liner. You can see the Integrate is just slightly slimmer than that. Visée is the thinnest (mentioned a few entries below). KATE and dejavu are the same in diameter. I’ll write about the Dejavu one eventually but lets just say for now that I don’t reach for it often despite it having the best staying power.

blacklinerstips

Top-Bottom: Visée, dejavu fiberwig, KATE, Shiseido Integrate, UD24/7

(more…)

Update + Holiday Travel Makeup (or What I’m Taking I Took with Me)

I’ll be off in a couple of weeks for my summer holidays, which I haven’t had in years because of work and all. Needless to say I’m super excited. However this also means I won’t be blogging much during that time, so I’m afraid the blog will be even more quiet than usual 😛

I started this post before I left, intending to share what I planned to bring/use but I ended up being super short on time with last minute packing and random little things to organize so I never got around to finish writing and posting it. So to anyone wondering where I’ve been, now you know.
Ever since my return work’s been super hectic and I just didn’t have the energy nor time to do anything proper here. I’m going to have more free time after October though, with some big life changes ahead. So fingers crossed I’ll have more opportunity to update the blog regularly thereafter 😉

I had a three-week holiday and I went on a road-trip in the US. There were lots of driving and intense heat as we rolled through the states of NM, AZ and CA. It was a lot of fun seeing how the landscape changes from state to state. I had three pouches, one for skincare, a small one with the minimal daily makeup I need and the last one was all the other extra good to have makeup options like a nicer foundation (I took the Dior serum), a long-lasting primer, highlighter, bronzer, eye shadow palettes, liners in different colours, lipsticks and another shade of blush etc.

Well I ended up using maybe one or two products from that third good-to-have and also the heaviest pouch. I could have left that at home. With the heat in summer I didn’t feel like applying much foundation and other bells and whistles stuff. There wasn’t much point prettying up when I’m just mostly in the car either. Lesson learned.

Here are what I used on a daily basis:

travel
Sunscreen
Bioré Watery Essence – this is my daily face sunscreen and kinda doubles as a primer.
Shiseido Expert Sun Protection Lotion – this is for the body and what I took on the beach and outdoor hikes. It was a new bottle and between me and the Man we used half of this bottle up.
Powder
Maquillage Snow Beauty II (LE) – daytime for setting and night time for keeping stickiness at bay. I like using this powder, if you’re interested they release a new version every year and you should start checking online for this year’s version now if you want one. Pre-orders are in September I think?
Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot – this can look chalky if you’re not careful but it seems to perform better on my skin than the Balm’s Sexy Mama in terms of blotting power.
Eye primer
Too Faced Shadow Insurance – really like the small squeeze tube packaging, but sometimes the product separates when you skip a day or two of using it. Maybe it’s just my tube?
Eye shadow base colour
Wet n Wild Brulee – it’s the perfect size for traveling with. However it was a bit light towards the end of my trip when I picked up some colour.
Eye liner
Kate slim gel pencil – long-lasting and doesn’t require sharpening
Mascara
BCL Browlash EX Long Separate Macara (Hello Kitty LE) – Because the Fasio irritated my eyes, I thought I’d take another one just to be safe. I’ve never tried this mascara before and as it turns out its formula is pretty wet and takes a while to dry. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Cute packaging though and I’ve always liked comb mascaras.
Brow
Kate eyebrow pencil – again, no sharpening
Blush
Chanel Sunkiss Ribbbon (LE) – multi-colour for variety. I went with powder instead of cream thinking it might melt in the heat.
Lips
Dior Addict Lip Maximizer – because it has a cooling and tingling effect, I thought it’d be nice in the heat haha. This will be the first time I finish a gloss! Or any lip product that’s not a balm!
Scent
Estée Lauder Azurée Soleil – I dug this up and decided this is the year I’m going to use it to the max. This was released maybe 10 years ago and it was a collaboration between Tom Ford and EL years before TF launched his line. Azurée Soleil is like the version 1.0 of the now familiar Bronze Goddess scent. It’s labeled as a skin scent and it stays close to the skin without leaving a cloud of sillage. It’s a very elegant interpretation of a beach scent, by that I mean the tiare, coconut association. Perhaps Terracotta from Guerlain would be the closest in spirit among the perfumes available in the market now. I bought this when it was released and it was forgotten in the back of the wardrobe for years and so the juice still smells as it should. I don’t know how much people are selling this on evilbay but I don’t think it’s worth whatever exorbitant prices people are asking.

Others
I brought along my Suqqu eye palettes and only used them a handful of times, if that. This started before I left for the holidays but I’ve been applying them with *gasp* my fingers and it might be my preferred way of putting these on. Sacré bleu, I know! I go in with a blending brush afterwards if I need edges taken care of. I find this to be super fast and the colours come out more vibrantly, and I feel I have more control and avoid over blending them.

I had planned on buying beauty stuff, like brands I don’t have access to here/costs more etc but oddly enough I didn’t. Buy anything. At all. Just didn’t see anything exciting enough to make me take my wallet out. I was hoping to check the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea foundation but it seemed this item isn’t sold in every Sephora. I saw it once but didn’t have time that day and then never saw it again. Anyway I’m kind of glad of this, it’s like I’ve finally made peace with new makeup releases and all the frenzy around limited editions. I’m gearing more towards skincare at the moment, but it’s a pendulum that’s swung before so it won’t be long til I get hooked on colour again I’m sure 😉
Luckily so far none of the holiday collections piqued my interest. We’ll see !

July Empties

Please bear with me – I’m playing catch-up with my empties post. Since there aren’t many from August those empties will be in the September post 🙂

julyempt2016

Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity for Sensitive skin (100ml) – Made in Korea ?
Lasted around three months, this is a cleansing balm for makeup removal. Like the Body Shop’s Camomile cleansing balm in idea, but with a better texture that instantly melts when you start rubbing so there’s no tugging or harsh rubbing involved. Very efficient at makeup removal, took everything off with no problem. My skin was never irritated nor felt dry afterwards either. A pleasure to use.
Repurchase? Yes, I have the regular version in maxi format to go.

IOPE Ultimate Hydro Cream (50ml) – Made in Korea
Cool upon application so it’s refreshing especially with a light, gel texture. Mildly scented with an aquatic type fragrance. Most importantly it does its job at moisturizing and my skin never felt dry. I really enjoyed this even if it’s not a one-of-a-kind product. IOPE isn’t readily available where I am so off the top of my head I would take a look at Laneige’s (obviously) water bank range, Biotherm, and even drugstore brands like No.7, L’oreal. I feel like I’ve seen similar products from these brands in the past before.
Repurchase? Yes if I come across it again.

Shiseido Medicated hand cream (100g) – Made in Japan
Bought this at the same time as the Kiss Me medicated (reviewed here), which now that I think about it is probably their attempt to make something like the Yu-Be cream. I found the Shiseido more effective. Texture-wise it’s not heavy but provides decent moisturizing. It’s got some kind of moisturizing beads in it. This is a medium strength hand cream I feel, and is not half bad at all. Good for those needing more oommph than a lotion but not anything heavy like the Yu-be. Yu-be is where I like my hand creams to be. The best thing I like about this though is the packaging – it comes in a jar but has a flip-lid opening/closing system so you won’t struggle screwing the cap back on with slippery moisturized hands afterwards. I might decant other creams into this jar …
Repurchase? Nah.

Steam Cream (75ml) – Made in Japan
Used and reviewed in the past. I’m using this as a hand and body moisturizer. It’s more hydrating than the L’Occitane lotions. You really have to like lavender to use this range.
Repurchase? I’ve still got two more jars of these.

Nature Republic Snail Solution 70 Eye Cream (20ml) – Made in Korea
This little tube took me forever to use up, more than six months I’m sure. It’s just a regular eye cream, run-of-the-mill, not better or worse than the average offerings. I felt I could use more hydration TBH but most eye creams like these I’ve tried deliver similar results (ie. not much) and I’ve found in my experience that you need to go to those in jars, and pay a little bit more to get more. Best eye cream (tube or jar) I’ve used those is the one from Astalift. Too bad it seems they’ve pulled out of everywhere outside of Asia.
Repurchase? No.

Kosé Fasio Powerful Curl Mascara Long (7g) – Made in Japan
I wasn’t particularly wowed by this mascara. And I’m starting to think there’s something about Fasio’s mascaras that doesn’t agree with me because my eyes get irritated when I use this. Same thing happened with the last Fasio mascara I used. It must be the fibers or something. I think I will stick with other brands.
Repurchase? No.

April Empties

Been distracted from the blog lately, sorry. Expected more empties this month but a lot of the products held on. More for May then 🙂
aprilempties

Kanebo suisai Beauty Clear Powder (0.4g x 32) – Made in Japan
The suisai powder is an enzyme-based powder cleanser. Almost all of the powder cleansers I’ve came across seem to be enzyme-based actually. The suisai is one of the first powder cleansers I’ve tried (I used fancl’s powder cleanser together with their entire skin care a lifetime ago, not sure if that’s enzyme-based as well though) and I’ve always enjoyed using it. This time round however, was the first time I’ve used a foaming net with it and what a game changer. I highly recommend getting one (mine is a cheap no-frills one from Muji) if you’re using powder cleansers. Instead of the low-foam paste I was used to seeing in the past, I got big, fluffy cushion-y clouds to wash my face with. It cleanses gently, face was soft and smooth and appeared brightened. The enzyme’s also supposed to help with blackheads, pores etc.
Now the suisai comes in individually packaged capsules. My box came with 32 but I believe you can get one with 14 or something. Each capsule contains 0.4g of product, so you get 12.8g total. This has a RRP of 2000 yen and is at the moment around 16 euros. I used this once a day in the evenings. If you were to use this twice a day you’d have finished the box in like 2 weeks.
Prices aside I also have a love-hate relationship with the capsules. I like that it’s pre-measured doses so you don’t struggle with how much powder to use (as I am now with my current powder cleanser). At the same time it’s a lot of waste.
Repurchase? As much as I love this it gets expensive. Unless you’re using this as a weekly special treat and/or you live in Japan and can bypass sellers and their premium on the net, I sadly think that’s the last I’ll see of suisai.

Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil (230ml) – Made in Japan
Reviewed many times before. Best of budget oil makeup remover for me. Mineral oil based though for those concerned.
Repurchase? I have a backup bottle to go, but perhaps will venture out and try other brands after that just because I’m bored.

KIKO Vibrant Eye Pencil in #603 (1.2g) – Made in Italy (?)
603 is a warm dark brown with gold pearl finish. I really like this pencil: cheap, long-wearing, beautiful shade. KIKO has phased out the Vibrant eye pencils but I suspect it’s the Intense Colour Long-Lasting eyeliner in disguise.
Repurchase? Yes!

Shiseido Future Solution LX eye & lip cream (15ml) – Made in Japan
This has a thick texture and this one time as I was using this I finally understood why people say to pat on eye creams instead of rubbing it on – when you’re older the skin is thinner and not as taut; if you’re using a thicker product instead of a gel for example, it won’t glide on. If you don’t pat, you’re only going to pull your skin and potentially cause more fine lines.
Anyway, the skin under my eyes was particularly dry during a rough period and this cream nourished it and I felt it was sufficient on its own and didn’t need to add anything else. Having said that I didn’t see any results in terms of reducing fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles and the like though. However! It did wonders for me in another way – it healed my lips overnight where all my other intensive, thick lip balms failed. My lips were dry and the skin was flaking around the mouth and I applied this all over as a last attempt (it does says ‘eye and lip cream’) and to my great surprise, it worked.

If you’re using the Future Solution Total Regenerating Cream, you can skip this because in the leaflet included you’ll find under the ‘how to use’ section that they instruct you to apply the regenerating cream around the eye area as well. Which makes this cream redundant.
Repurchase? Much as I enjoyed the whole indulging experience, no. It didn’t do anything other than moisturize and at this price point I think I have a right to expect more. The Regenerating cream on the other hand is another story.

Shiseido Beauty Up Cotton (108pcs) – Made in Japan
I’ve moved on from the supermarket variety to Muji cotton pads last year and realised just how much product I wasted with the cheap supermarket ones – it absorbed the lotion but doesn’t seem to ‘release’ it when I pat it on my face, if you know what I mean. I found I use less lotion with Muji and get more out of the cotton. The Shiseido ones are even better. The pads are sturdy but very soft. Doesn’t leave fibers on the face at all. It’s just a pleasure to use.
Repurchase? Yes

Kiss Me Medicated Hand Cream (75g) – Made in Japan
Bought this because it looks like it means business. This smells like eucalyptus. As far as moisturizing goes, I’m afraid I need something more for my really dry and rough hands. My hands have deteriorated due to too many washing and using alcohol disinfectant and other random products etc at work. They are ruined and I need industrial strength stuff now.
Repurchase? No.

[May 17 2016 – added before-empty photo below]

kissme-hand02

Skincare Regime Update – April 2016

The last post on my regime was posted in mid-February but to be honest I was using those products for a while before I finally managed to make the post. Since I’ve finished up a bunch of stuff last month I thought I’d do a quick update to reflect what’s in current rotation.

My skin’s been doing great lately, if I do say so myself. It appears a bit smoother and feels softer than before. I still have my problem areas (old scarring) and those aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. But other than that I’m generally happy about state it is in.

Enlight5(1)

Morning:
1. Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean
2. Biologique Recherche P50
3. Kose Sekkisei Lotion Excellent
4. Hadalabo Shiroshizuku Whitening Serum
5. La Roche-Posay Redermic [C]
6. Nature Republic Snail eye cream
7. IOPE Ultimate Hydro Cream (more…)

Make up Brushes – My Collection + Review

I thought I’d write a post on brushes since I touched on the topic recently with my purchase from Koyudo. Originally meant to be one post, I have divided this into two because of length. This is part one, a run through of what I have and my thoughts of them. The second part will be what brushes to buy. This is a long, pic-heavy post!

I might have mentioned briefly in the past about how I started my collection (a humbly sized compared to collectors) but here’s all the history in one post 🙂

I bought brushes individually right from the beginning and heeded the advice of others who say to buy the best you can afford. Right from the bat I knew it was an investment so I started with shu uemura (this was like 20 years ago). I was quite a fan of theirs at the time anyway and even used their skincare range. Even back then I was told their brush prices climb up yearly and if you’re going to buy them anyway it’s better to get them early. So!

I started with 2 shadow brushes (sable, synthetic, both paddle style), 1 powder, 1 cheek (pony, also paddle style), 1 lip, the 5R (kolinsky) for socket and I think a spoolie. I still have all of them with me (although I LOST the 5R during a move). I have retired the cheek and powder brushes which started to shed gently a few years ago. The sable shadow brush is also coming loose at the ferrule, but otherwise still good. Considering they’re 20+ years old that’s not too bad. If you take good care of your brushes you can count on using them for 10 years no problem.

I was perfectly happy with these until I started experimenting more with makeup. So I added brushes like kabuki, stippling, eyeliner, dome shaped face brushes and so on and so forth. I’ve tried brushes from brands like MAC, Bobbi Brown in the early days, and in more recent years Sue Devitt, Lunasol, RMK, Rae Morris. And I never bought a set until Real Techniques came along. They’re so affordable and I believe at that time there were some brushes you could only get in the sets. I tried some Sigma, Sephora and zoeva brushes too. The last brushes I bought before the small Koyudo haul are Hakuhodo brushes when they were at the Bon Marché for a limited time.

This is the first time I counted how many brushes I have:brush-all

Little by little I have accumulated 63 brushes (59 in the picture above, a few didn’t make it in there but will be seen later in the post). I’m kind of surprised myself. They look so manageable sitting in glass candle jars and whatnot and you don’t even know how many you really have until you lay it out like that. Lucky the Man wasn’t at home when I took the picture. Even though I suspected as much that’s one big visual confirmation that I have too many. I really only use a handful regularly, and others are there when the regulars are dirty and I haven’t got the time to clean them 😛

I will try to be brief and go through the brushes as quickly as I can.

Since I forgot to take a close up shot, in the top left hand corner are 3 kabuki brushes. The smallest one is a freebie from Dior. This one came from the Nude Bronzer, I have another from Nude Air powder. The bigger one is MAC, the laquered one is Bobbi Brown. I don’t have a detail pic for these. The MAC one has longer bristles. Otherwise in terms of use they are (BB & MAC) similar to me and interchangeable.

Onto the rest of the brushes.

brush-rm (2)
I use the medium and fine point shader a lot. I probably reach for them the most, out of habit and because they work really well for me and suit my eye shape. With hooded eyes there’s just not much room to work with and most shadow brushes are too big.
Radiance is a nice brush, it works like a dense buffer brush. You can apply your foundation with it although I’ve never tried and have used it mainly as a dense buffing brush to polish the foundation and get a nice finish.
The smudger brush is soft and not scratchy like the Laura Mercier one but for some reason I just don’t reach for this often.
I really like the lip brush.
Precision liner I bought with the intention of mastering the flick. But I actually got better results with a push brush. It’s down to technique I suppose. I’ll keep practicing.

A word on these in case you didn’t know, these have magnets at the end of the brush and are designed to be displayed/arranged with a metal plate. They clump together if you store them flat or in a bag. The good thing though is I can easily hang them to dry in the kitchen 😛 I use the lid of an old coffee tin to store them upright.

Here’s a closer look:

brush-RM

Below is the Ultimate Cheekbone, which is exactly what it says, perfect for contouring that area.

brush-RMface

My Hakuhodo and Koyudo brushes:

brush-koyu-haku (more…)