Love Labo (Bihada Ichizoku) is not the only company using manga characters to market their products. Cosmetics company Creer Beauty has a whole line of makeup and skincare products called Berusaiyu no Bara (Rose of Versailles), based on Riyoko Ikeda's "The Rose of Versailes," quite possibly the most popular girls manga of all time. Each of their products is named after a character from the series and all of the packaging features artwork from the manga. Much like Bihada Ichizoku, Berusaiyu no Bara's most popular products are their sheet masks.
Last week, FANCL's Limited Edition Lucent Face Powder Hanamurasaki and Face Powder case arrived in the mail. FANCL is a cruelty-free, preservatives-free, additive-free cosmetics company based in Japan with locations across Asia and an online store that ships internationally. FANCL also has a cosmetics line called Boscia in North America.
Because their products do not contain preservatives, antiseptics, disinfectants, petroleum surfactants, fragrance, coloring agents or mineral oil, FANCL is very friendly to those who suffer from atopic dermatitis, rosacea, and other skin conditions. The company is known for their integrity, incredibly clean factories, and affordable prices. They also sell supplements, food products, fashion goods and house ware items.
The Lucent Face Powder in Hanamurakasi ("purple flower") is a fine, lavender powder with a very smooth texture that blends well into the skin. It is not drying nor irritating at all. In fact, it hardly feels like you're wearing any face powder. The powder applies sheer and has a faint hint of shimmer up close. It helped even my complexion and diffused some of the redness in my cheeks. For some, the results might be too subtle and the powder might be too light for darker complexions. But for me, it is one of the only face powders that isn't irritating.
What I liked most about the product was the accompanying puff. It is incredibly soft and smooth and of high quality. It doesn't have that rough texture that can irritate your skin, nor does it have that unclean, heavy feeling that some of the softer puffs have. If the Lucent Powder doesn't interest you, I highly recommend getting your hands on the puff because it is excellent. I'm not sure whether this particular puff can be purchased separately from the face powder but FANCL does sell many individual makeup tools so stop by your local FANCL when you have a chance.
Maquillage's Lasting Liquid UV, like the Powdery foundation, is SPF25 PA＋＋, comes in eight different shades, and is supposed to last at least 8 hours. The sample I received was OC02 and came with the Styling Keep Base UV and a sponge for application.
Like before, the makeup base ended up drying my skin so after applying the liquid foundation, the dry patches on my cheeks became visible. The coverage was medium, perhaps a little lighter than the powder foundation, but still even and quite nice. Lasting Liquid UV was on the yellow side, though lighter than Lunasol's OC2 but perhaps not quite as smooth or hydrating. The real problem with both Maquillage's Lasting foundations is the makeup base that is suppose to accompany them. A different base would probably improve the performance of the foundations. I am pleased, however, with how Maquillage has recognized the need to expand their foundation shades to accommodate different skin tones but I wish they could consider adding more PK shades. 4,200 yen, sponge not included.
Maquillage has released two new "Lasting" foundations for this spring: the Lasting Powdery UV and Lasting Liquid UV. Both foundations are SPF25 PA＋＋ and should last at least eight hours before wearing off. The foundations come in eight different shades: BO (Beige Ochre)00, BO10, BO20, OC (Ochre)10, OC20, OC30, and PO (Pink Ochre)10.
マキアージュは春のために新しい「ラスティング」ファンデーションを２つリリースしました：ラスティングパウダリーUVとラスティングリキッドUV。両方もSPF25 PA＋＋で８時間もくずれないらしいです。ファンデーションは８色あります： BO (ベージュオークル)00, BO10, BO20, OC(オークル)10, OC20, OC30, and PO (ピンクオークル)10です。
The Lasting Powdery UV sample I received came in OC02 which seems to be the standard sample color. Unfortunately, I'm probably closest to a BO00. The sample also came with the Styling Keep Base UV makeup base which is SPF24 PA＋＋ and designed for all-year-round use. The base is a pink lotion that helps smooth the skin for foundation application. However, it actually dried my skin a bit and negatively effected the performance of the foundation. It also had a strong powdery fragrance.
The Lasting Powdery foundation applied evenly but the dry patches on my skin were evident, probably due to the makeup base. The OC02 was actually lighter in color than Lunasol's OC2, though still a bit orange-yellow, and provided medium coverage. The lasting power was quite good and the powder was fine but not quite up to the quality of Lunasol's foundation. However, Maquillage's foundation is more affordable than many department store brands and comes in more shades and skin tones. 3360 yen, case and sponge not included.
A couple of weeks ago I received Maquillage's oil blotting paper pack. There are two different types of Oil blotting paper ("aburatorigami"). There is the thick, hard type such as Shiseido's Pureness oil-control blotting paper, and then there is the thin, soft type more common among Kyoto brands, such as Yojiya. The Maquillage oil blotting paper is of the soft, thin variety. While thin oil blotting paper tends to be more smooth and gentle on the skin, it also tears easily. Maquillage's paper is surpringly sturdy and has the same level of quality as Yojiya's reknown blotting papers. I'm not sure exactly how many sheets are in the pack but I'm estimating there are about 100 sheets.
I had been using the same Shiseido eyelash curler for years and the metal was wearing out. Replacing the rubber edge again just wasn't going to cut it. While looking for a new curler at the drugstore, I happened upon Maquillage's Edge Free Eyelash Curler. I couldn't decide between purchasing another (regular) Shiseido curler or Maquillage's, so I asked the woman working at the counter what she thought was best. She told me I should go with the Maquillage curler since it's more suited for larger eyes with lots of lashes, and that it will catch all of my lashes, including the ones in the outer corners. She was right. While I had to curl my lashes in several parts and use a separate, mini curler for my outer lashes when using the regular Shiseido curler, the Maquillage curler catches all of my lashes quite well. It also does a better job of curling them even though they are thick and stubborn. If you have big eyes and thick lashes, I highly recommend the Maquillage curler. If you have smaller eyes and thinner lashes, the Shiseido curler would probably be a better choice. I still use an electric eyelash curler in addition to a regular curler since my lashes won't stay curled otherwise, but Maquillage has made curling them so much easier.
There are two nail care items in Shiseido's Maquillage point makeup line: the Nail Esthelist (pink) and the Nail Protect & White (white). Although pink in the bottle, the Nail Esthelist is an oily essence that applies clear and used to treat dry, brittle nails. After applying the product, you should gently massage the outer edges of your nails, making small circles while lightly rubbing the liquid in. My nails were left both smooth and shiny after I used the Esthelist. Because the Nail Esthelist is clear and not an actual nail polish, those (men especially) who are too shy to wear nail polish protectant can use it to protect and care for their nails without having to feel embarrassed about it. The essence also has a pleasantly sweet, non-chemical smell.
The Nail Protect & White is a nail polish that protects, reinforces, and strengthens. It leaves a pearly white but mostly transparent finish that helps hide yellow in the nails while still leaving them looking natural. While it can be worn alone, the Protect & White can also be used as a base coat for other nail polish. I've been wearing the protectant by itself and my nails look clean, healthy, and shiny. Both the Nail Esthelist and Nail Protect & White are about 1000 yen each and can be purchased at any beauty shop or drugstore carrying Maquillage.
In addition to blushes and eye shadows, Shiseido's Maquillage carries their own makeup tools. The Diamond Nail Shaper comes in two types: a straight type and a round type. The straight type is a typical nail file with a stylish round handle. The round type pictured here has a rounded edge to help shape the nail. Although it takes getting used to, the round shaper is quite good at shaping and files very well.
Another one of the nail tools is the Nail Polisher. The nail polisher is your typical nail polishing, buffer tool where the grey surface is used to even out and smooth the nail and the pink surface is used for shine. What makes Maquillage's Nail Polisher unique is that it has a handle. This makes it easier to use and control. The polisher can also be removed from the handle and replaced with a new one once it wears out. And the Nail Polisher comes with a cover to protect it when you're not using it. The design of the Nail Polisher handle is very modern and chic, making it a nice accessory to add to your makeup tool collection. Although they are not known for their nail care items, Maquillage carries an excellent set of tools to help keep your nails clean and beautiful.
Facial Yoga instructor Fumiko Takatsu appeared on last week's episode of Oneē★MANS . She introduced facial exercises combined with traditional yoga postures to tighten the face and strengthen muscle. According to Fumiko, we only use 20% of our 60 different facial muscles which is why our face begins to sag as we age. By doing simple facial exercises daily, you can reduce neck fat, add more symmetry to your face, and slow down the aging process.
What impressed me most with Fumiko was that, not only she did seem to lack a single ounce of fat on her face and looked quite youthful for her age, she was able to move all sorts of facial muscles that I didn't even know you could control. In addition to face-firming tools and how-to books, Fumiko has her own facial yoga DVD that can be purchased online or at health and beauty stores, such as Loft.
The Facial Yoga DVD comes with a large, compact mirror so you can watch your facial expressions as you work out. The DVD is divided into 3 parts: 1. Facial Yoga 2. Facial Yoga Body Plus 3. Facial Yoga Let's Dance! The first part contains all of the basic facial exercises and lasts about 13 minutes. The second part, which is almost 15 minutes long, combines the facial exercises with traditional yoga poses and mat exercises. The final part combines facial exercise with yoga and standing exercises. I'm not sure why it's called Let's Dance! as it doesn't involve much dancing but it does require more body movement than the first two sections of the DVD. Altogether, the DVD is almost 50 minutes long.
The facial exercises may seem incredibly silly but that is what makes them fun. If they weren't silly, you would probably lose interest. My favourite facial yoga expression would have to be the "Yummy-Face" which reminds me of Fujiya's Peko-chan." The body movements and yoga postures are quite simple. If you've had some experience with yoga, the exercises are even easier to pick up. Although the DVD is very easy to follow, it could benefit from a glossary or a small pamphlet explaining the facial exercises in detail and what specific muscles they work. Sometimes the sound effects are a little annoying but otherwise, it is a nice product.
Although I only started the exercises a few days ago, I already think that my face is a little thinner and more symmetrical though this may be wishful thinking. Even so, I certainly feel my face and neck muscles working and I enjoy the exercises. Keep in mind, I do the full 50 minute facial yoga in addition to my daily 1 to 1.5 hours of exercise. Facial yoga is not body intensive and should be a supplement to and not replace your regular exercise. Fumiko also teaches classes in the US and Japan, although I imagine it is very difficult to reserve a spot due to her soaring popularity right now. The DVD is 3990 including tax.
At Loft in Marunochi, I purchased these "Heart Sheep" otedama (bean bags) from the gift, relaxation and lifestyle goods company, Honyaradoh. Sheep stuffed animals, pillows, and other goods are very popular right now. Honyaradoh carries all sorts of adorable products but I think their sheep items are the cutest.
Last month, Shiseido's Maquillage released a line of lipsticks, lip essence, 5 eye palettes, individual cream and powder eye shadows, a compact for the shadows, and 4 blush-highlighter palettes for their spring makeup collection. So far, the spring collection has been an incredible success and Maquillage continues to be one of the most popular cosmetic brands in Japan.
Maquillage happens to be one of my personal favourite brands, as well. The products are of good quality and the packaging is sophisticated and mature. I recently received a sample of their new lip colors from Shiseido, and other Maquillage product samples from my beauty consultant, which I will review.
There are two different types of Moisture Rouge Lipsticks in Maquillage's spring Collection: a sheer type and a color-on type. Nine different colors were released in the sheer type while there are 12 new colors in the color-on lipsticks, six of which are "clear fit" colors. Clear fit colors are lipsticks colors that are more brilliant, pigmented and blend well . The sample included RS304, PK705 and PK316 in the sheer Moisture Rouge lipstick and PK372, RS724, and RD336 in the color-on type. RD336 is a clear fit color lipstick.
RS304 and PK316 contain white shimmering particles while PK705 and PK372 contain very fine, yellow sparkles. RS724 contains a mix of white and yellow and RD336 contains just a hint of a medley, too. The colors I liked best were RS304, which is the lipstick Anna Tsuchiya wore for Maquillage's spring campaign, and RD336 which is the clear fit color. The sheer lipsticks were less pigmented than the color-on types but perhaps more shimmery. The color-on types were quite pigmented but still looked natural and not too matte. The Moisture Rouge lipsticks were very moisturizing and felt more like lip balm than actual lipstick. Overall, I would say that the quality was great. If you're looking for a shimmery, natural-looking lipstick, I would direct you to Maquillage.
The eye shadow palette sample I was given is the Eyes Creator (3D) in GY865. All of the palettes contain a highlighting base, a clear color, a shadow color, a flash color, and a cream liner. (Click on the above picture to get a closer look at how they are applied.) In the GY865 palette, the highlighting base is white while the clear color is light brown and shadow color is a dark brown. The flash color is a sparkly white, powder-base cream that adds more shimmer to your look when it is applied above the upper eyelid. The cream liner is black with fine, white particles. The clear color and shadow color are in fact, quite sheer and the overall look created with the palette is similar to what is produced with Maquillage's previous palette, the Sparkle Contrast Eyes in 2, except more shimmery. The highlighting base and cream liner have been improved, however. The sparkles in the highlighting base are fine and the liner is smoother and easier to apply. With these improvements, I am considering purchasing this palette but I am also interested in the other colors offered. The shadows, bases, and creams are also sold individually so you can create your own palette if none of Maquillage's palettes look attractive to you.
Many people have been expressing interest in Love Labo's Bihada Ichizoku. I thought I would share scans from their latest catalogue that I picked up at Loft over the weekend. Please remember to give credit if you choose to use the scans on your own website. I take time out of my day to scan and share these with you.
On Friday, I also received Shiseido's Perfect Rouge lipstick in RS320 Fuchsia. While other makeup companies were putting out extensive spring collections, Shiseido The Makeup took a risky move and focused only on lip color, releasing 20 lipstick colors in a new lipstick line called the "Perfect Rouge." I think the move paid off.
The Perfect Rouge lipstick is smooth, creamy, and highly pigmented. It glides on like a dream and and stays on well. I didn't even moisturize my dry lips before applying the lipstick. RS320 Fuschia is a hot, blue-pink. I was a bit taken aback, at first, at how bold the color was because I wasn't expecting the lipstick to be so pigmented but I have come to love it. It is a trendy, chic color that still looks sophisticated in its own way, despite being so bright and perhaps a little flashy. I am someone who prefers a subdued, natural look but I feel perfectly comfortable in the color. I've been pairing it with Shiseido The Makeup Hydro-Powder Shadow in Green Exotique and it is stunning. I have always been a big fan of Shiseido. My first makeup products came from their counter and I continue to use their products today. But I am particularly pleased with this new, edgier direction Dick Page is taking the brand. It is bold and chic yet still very Shiseido.
Along with SUQQU's new shadow last Friday, I got Shiseido The Makeup's Hydro-Powder Eye Shadow in H7 Green Exotique. It is a cream-type shadow that transforms into a powder-type shadow after application. I have used cream-based shadows before, such as Stila's Smudge Pot, but the Hydro-Powder shadow is by far the best that I have ever come across. It didn't crease, cake, or smudge. The lasting power was great and the shadow was highly pigmented. A little goes a long way and if you are not careful, you might end up putting on too much. The accompanying sponge-tip is smooth and soft and comes in a case. Green Exotique is indeed exotic and absolutely beautiful. It is a bright green that can work well for any skin color. I've been pairing the shadow with Shiseido The Makeup's new Perfect Rouge Lipstick in RS320 Fuchsia for a very spring-summer, almost tropical look. The Hydro-Powder Eye Shadow is definitely my favourite makeup product so far this year.
SUQQUの新しいシャドウと一緒に資生堂ザメーキャップのハイドロパウダーアイシャドーのH7 Green Exotiqueも手に入れました。クリームタイプのシャドウですが、目に付けた後にパウダー状になります。クリームタイプのシャドウは使ったことがありますが（例えばスティラのSmudge Pot）、ハイドローパウダーは今まで使ったものの中で一番いいです。全くムラにならなかったですし、固まらず、それから色移りもしなかったです。とても長持ちでかなり良く発色します。少ししか必要ないので逆に付け過ぎてしまいやすいです。柔らかいスポンジティップのツールも付いていて、ケースもあります。Green Exotiqueは本当にエクゾティックな色でとても美しい。明るい緑でどんな肌色にも綺麗に出ます。最近は資生堂ザメーキャップの新しいパーフェクトルージュリップスティクのRS320Fuschiaと一緒に使っていて、とても春・夏な、トロピカルルックです。ハイドロパウダーは今年の一番気に入っているメークアイテムです。
On Friday, I acquired SUQQU's new Contour Shadow in EX-02 Kasumizakura (misty cherry blossom). I'd never purchased a contour shadow before but as soon as I saw photos of SUQQU's limited edition Kasumizakura in MAQUIA, I had to have it. The shadow is applied to the eye bone region to highlight and "contour" the eyes. However, depending on the shade, I think that it can also be used as a blush.
The contour shadow contains a mix of contour pearls and clear-pink pearls with the faintist hint of a glimmer. The Kasumizakura shade is a very pale pink, almost white, and mostly likely will not show unless you have light skin. The shadow diffused the redness on my face and gave it a bit of an air-brushed look. The brush that came with the shadow was very soft although the shadow wouldn't really stick to it. The powder itself was fine and blended well into my skin. If you are going for a more polished look, the contour shadow might be the product for you. There are five different shades available and I only recommend EX-02 Kasumizakura for very pale skin.
Tomorrow, SUQQU's breathtaking spring point makeup collection "Sakurakage" will be released in Japan. SUQQU is a high-end cosmetics brand focusing on the concept of elegant, mature, "wa" (traditional Japanese-style) beauty. In addition to Japan, Suqqu has counters in Thailand and England. For this year's spring makeup collection, Suqqu makeup creator Seiko Ikawa chose the theme of the delicate and ephemeral cherry blossom.
In the spring point makeup collection: -Contour Shadow in EX-01 Harezakura (limited supply), 01 Sakuragumo, 02 Sakurabae, EX-02 Kasumizakura (limited supply), and 03 Sakuragasane. -Blend Eyeshadow Palette in 09 Koju, 10 Sakuragi, and 11Wakagi. -Dual Eyeshadow in EX-01 Ryokushi (limited supply) and EX-02 Kushi (limited supply). -Eyelid Base Clear. -Blend Lipstick in 15 Senka, 16 Mizuka, 17 Maizakura, 18 Saebana, and 19 Tsuyazakura. -Lip Liner Pencil in 09 Haruoto, 10 Sakurazome, and 11 Sakuragasa. -Nail Polish in 31 Hinazakura and 32 Sakurayuki.
Shiseido's Ferzea HA Cream is a medicinal cream for dry, irritated skin and keratosis on the fingers and heel. It has a mix of urea (20%), vitamin E, dipotassium glycyrrhizinate and sodium hyaluronate. Like most ferzea products, it contains no artificial dyes or fragrance.
The cream is light, dries quickly and acts right away. It left my fingers smooth and wasn't nearly as greasy or sticky as Ferzea's Hand Veil. However, I noticed that the fingers on my left hand occasionally stung or itched after using the cream and I wonder if it was a reaction to the urea. The cream also didn't last as long or protect my skin from water as well as Hand Veil did, although each cream serves a different purpose. HA cream is for spot-treatment while Hand Veil is for general use on the hands and body. If you suffer from keratosis, HA might be the short term solution for you while Hand Veil would better serve those with eczema. The retail price for Ferzea's HA is 1680yen without tax.
In addition to carrying makeup products from Revlon, Susie NY, Fiberwig and many other cosmetic companies, ITS'DEMO puts out its own makeup. This season, ITS'DEMO released a line of eye palettes and a blush and eye palette called "Noble eclat." The Noble eclat eye palette contains 5 eye shadows, 3 highlighters and comes in three different shades: Brown, Pink Silver, and Bordeaux Gold. The Noble Eclat Blush and Eye Palette comes in one color and features two different blushes and six eye shadows. Since I was looking for something earthy and green in particular, I purchased the Brown Noble Eclat Eye Palette.
While the shadows look beautiful in the case, they are a bit rough and somewhat sheer, though comparable to Kanebo Kate and Shiseido's Majolica Majorca's more recent eye palettes. They have a slight shimmer to them and the lightest colors, the highlighters and golds, seem to perform the best. The green was actually darker upon application and not as stunning as it looked in the case. The wine colored eye shadow was more of a brown and less brilliant. The lasting power was typical of most drug store eye shadows. The case is quite lovely and what drew me to the palette in the first place so it's unfortunate that the shadows are not as wonderful. Still, the palette only cost 890 yen so I am not that disappointed. ITS'DEMO got the colors and the packaging right. They just need to work on the performance of their eye shadows.
At my local ITS'DEMO yesterday, I purchased two Charley bath additives and a Noble Eclat palette. I have used Charley's bath products in the past but have never reviewed them before. Charley is a Japanese "lifestyle" products company that carries bath and aroma products, tea and coffee, and zakka. Their products are usually simple in design but cute and make great gifts. Their bath additives are their feature item and come in many different scents and forms.
The Hot Milk Bath additive comes in a pouch containing chamomile, honey, and Coix lacryma-jobi (Job's Tears). Just like you would with a tea bag, you let the pouch soak in your bath water for several minutes and take it out when you're ready to get in. Although the Hot Milk Bath does not leave your skin as moisturized or hydrated as bath additives in powder or liquid form, it is still relaxing and has a faint, pleasant smell. The real draw is the packaging, however, and it makes a nice little gift. One pouch costs 130-140 yen.