Over the weekend, I made a trip to Lush where I purchased their Berry Ogenki? "Are you doing 'berry' well?" (Known as Catastrophe Cosmetic in the UK) face mask. The vegan, blueberry mask is supposed to help clear imperfections and soothe irritation. Because it is made of fresh fruit, the mask has to be refrigerated and used up within three weeks. You can purchase the mask in three, six, and I think twelve servings. I opted for three servings and even after applying a generous amount of the mask on my face, I found that I had more than enough left for three or four masks. Unless you plan on using the mask several times a week, three servings should be more than enough.
Though Berry Ogenki? is supposed to smell like chamomile and orange, it has a very powerful rose fragrance with a hint of lemon and a very faint scent of blueberries. I cannot say that it is pleasant. I think it is tolerable for some and too strong for others. If you are sensitive to smell and experiencing a queasy stomach, you should probably forgo the mask until you are feeling better. The fragrance gave me a headache and unfortunately, the scent lingers even after the mask has been washed off and it made me feel a little sick. This is my main complaint.
The mask should be applied while your face is still wet after cleansing and removed within 5-10 minutes. Before applying the mask after I washed my face, I sprayed some Avène thermal spring water on first. After I applied Berry Ogenki? the mask dried immediately and tightened around my face. Some of it flaked off onto my shirt so be aware that it can get a bit messy. I removed the mask with lukewarm water after 7 minutes and noticed that the redness in my face had reduced and some impurities had diminished. However, about ten minutes later, some itchy red blotches appeared along the outline of my face, particularly near my chin. I think I left the mask on too long and if you have sensitive and/or dry skin, you should probably remove Berrry Ogenki? within 5 minutes. The mask also contains talc which could explain some of the irritation. I still think it is a good mask if you are suffering from breakouts and probably works best on oily skin. I like the idea of a fresh, vegan mask and if Lush could just do something about the smell, Berry Ogenki? could be an excellent product. The next mask I would like to try is Kagami yo, kagami "Mirror mirror on the wall" (AKA The Sacred Truth) which contains green tea and papaya. I am also interested in their Ningyo hime "The Little Mermaid" (AKA BB Seaweed) mask. This was my first experience with Lush and I now understand why so many are addicted to their products.
On April 21st, Shiseido's d program will be replacing their Day Protector SPF18 PA＋ and Day Care Sunscreen SPF32 PA＋＋ with the Skin Up Protector SPF23 PA＋＋ and Smoothing Sun Block SPF40 PA＋＋＋. I currently use the Day Care Sunscreen which I like quite a bit and was disappointed to hear that the product would be discontinued next month. However, I received samples of the Smoothing Sun Block, which will replace the Day Care Sunscreen, and am very pleased with the changes made. The Smoothing Sun Block, which you can use on both the face and body, lasts longer and provides more protection than the previous sunscreen. While the Day Care Screen was cream-based, the Smoothing Sun Block has a liquid base that allows for immediate absorption into the skin. It leaves no white residue though it may (subtly) brighten your skin tone. It toned down the redness in my cheeks and smoothed over some of my imperfections. It does not flake and it also does not dry out the skin. You can probably use it as a makeup primer or base. But what I like most about the Smoothing Sun Block is that it does not leave a greasy shine. It does not look like I'm wearing sunscreen and it does not feel like it, either. I will definitely purchase the Smoothing Sun Block when it comes out in April and I am so happy that Shiseido has put so much time and effort into research, listening to their customer feedback, and updating their products.
Recently, I started using Lancôme's Le Crayon Khôl Waterproof in 01 Confidence Noir. It is an eyeliner pencil with a very creamy texture. Le Crayon Khôl glides on like a dream and unlike many other pencil liners, requires very little pressure to be applied. On the other end of the pencil is a rubber smudger you can use to blend or soften the liner into your eye shadow, or to create an alluring, smokey-eye effect. I use Kanebo Kates Powder Gel Liner N and Super Sharp Liquid Liner and I have also tried eye pencils from Lavshuca, Sephora, Maquillage, and several other brands. Le Crayon Khôl outperforms them all. The lasting power is amazing as it does not disappear by the end of the day, does not flake, and despite my unsteady hands, it is very easy to apply with few mistakes. It also has the most stunning and bewitching effect. You will need a heavy-duty eye makeup remover for the waterproof pencil but I highly recommend Le Crayon Khôl for anyone looking for great eyeliner.
Lauren Luke (panacea81) is probably the most popular British makeup artist made famous by youtube. Her videos include step-by-step instructions on how to achieve celebrity inspired looks and although her main focus is eye makeup, she also has tutorials on how to apply foundation and how to create the perfect pout. Due to her immense popularity on youtube, she now has her own cosmetics line, a regular column in The Guardian, and will star in a Nintendo DS game to be released in May.
Michelle Phan (MichellePhan) is an art student from Boston who, at the young age of 21, already has her own cosmetics line, IQQU. Her youtube videos include makeup how-tos and hair styling tips but what I find most interesting are her homemade skincare product tutorials. Although I have not tried it myself, her aspirin mask has received rave reviews.
manwomanfilm is a youtuber from Japan who posts energetic and fun videos that often feature captivating couture makeup. While some of her looks may be too dramatic for some, her use of color is amazing. She also does an incredible job of matching her makeup to her outfits and hair, and has excellent taste in music. The products manwomanfilm uses are very affordable, some even coming from Daiso (100 yen shop). It's hard to believe she is not a model. She definitely belongs in a fashion magazine!
I have noticed that InnerSignal skincare products tone down the redness in my face, making my complexion appear more even. Unfortunately, the lotions and creams leave my face sticky so I only use them at night. My kit came with a complementary sample of InnerSignal's Reset Make Off oil. The cleansing oil is very gentle on the skin and removes makeup well. Though it does tend to cloud the eyes like many other oil-based makeup removers, it does not sting. The attractive case that comes with the kit is snow white and of excellent quality. You can use it to store other cosmetic products. 6835yen may seem a bit pricey for a start-up kit but InnerSignal is a higher-end brand and the products are larger than your average trial kit sizes. There is enough to last for weeks.
I finally got my hands on the much talked about Bihada Ichizoku's limited Kurobara Kamen ("black rose mask") Triple Wink Beam Mascara. The mascara can only be purchased online so, even if your local drugstore carries many Bihada Ichizoku products, they do not have the mascara. You can order directly from Love Labo/Bihada's website or through Amazon Japan, which is what I did. Although the mascara is priced at 1890 yen, it does not include shipping (550 yen) or any additional fees. The actual price is somewhere around 2500-3000 yen.
The mascara is supposed to add volume, separate, and lengthen the lashes but in my case, only did two of the three. It added a fair amount of volume to and lengthen my lashes but instead of separating, it clumped my eyelashes together and made them kind of spiky. Maybe if I had thinner lashes the end result would have been very different. The mascara also has a powerful, cheap, old perfume smell that irritated my eyes. The only thing I really liked about Triple Wink Beam was that it did not flake very much, kept my lashes curled, and was easily removed with warm water. I am very disappointed because I am a fan of the Bihada Ichizoku brand and I was so excited about Triple Wink Beam after hearing such positive reviews. For 2500-3000 yen, I would rather go with one of Lancôme's award-winning mascaras.
Coco avant Chanel (シャネルの前のココ)の予告編がyoutubeに出ていまが、もっと質の高いバージョンが映画のオフィシャルサイトにあります。映画は４月２２日にフランスで公開されます。
The Coco avant Chanel (Coco Before Chanel) trailer has been uploaded on youtube although a higher quality version is available on the film's official website. The film will be released on April 22nd in theaters in France.
Last week, I covered 25ans. This week, I would like to talk about SPUR. SPUR is a Japanese, high fashion magazine devoted to the latest runway fashions and trends. The magazine features beautiful editorial spreads, mod styles, and upcoming collections. In some ways, it is similar to Vogue but younger and fresh.
Although SPUR contains few makeup tutorials, it does pay close attention to makeup trends on the runway. If you are wondering what looks and shades will be hot for next season, SPUR is the magazine to read.
ベリー色リップ、２０、３０年代のとても赤い口紅のホマージュ、がランウェイで人気でした。(４月号のSPUR) Berry red lips were popular on the runway. (From the April issue of SPUR)
今シーズンはメタリックスが流行ります。(４月号のSPUR) Metalics are in this season. (From the April issue of SPUR)
ボールドな黒アイライナー人気が戻ります。(４月号のSPUR) Bold, black eyeliner is back again. (From the April issue of SPUR)
Please check your local Japanese bookstore or the internet to purchase the latest issue of SPUR. You won't be disappointed!
TIFFA's Treatment Lip Balm is a lip cream that heals cracked lips and keeps them moisturized. Like the Color Gloss, it contains macadamia nut oil, jojoba oil and olive oil to protect and repair the skin. However, it is much heavier than the gloss and more hydrating. It has a pleasant cassis-fragrance and applies clear. Because it is a heavy lip balm, I recommend wearing it right before bed. Although it does contain petroleum jelly, I do not feel that it lasts as long nor heals as well as Vaseline or Shiseido'sFerzea lip cream. Still, it smells nice, comes in a cute package, and only costs 580 yen so I am not that disappointed with my purchase.
At Donkey Quixote I picked up a few cosmetic items including TIFFA's Color Gloss and Treatment Lip Balm. Kanebo's TIFFA is a budget-beauty line targeting young women looking for affordable makeup and skincare items to help them look their best. The packaging is pretty and perhaps a bit princess-y, appealing to those who love cute, girly items.
The TIFFA Color Gloss is more of a tinted chapstick than an actual gloss. It does have a subtle sheen but I would not go as far as to call it gloss. It is fragrance-free and comes in two different colors: sophie-wine and peach beige. I purchased the gloss in sophie-wine which is quite pigmented and perhaps too dark for some. Despite TIFFA being a more girly-line, the Sophie-wine shade is a sophisticated, dark-raspberry hue. The gloss itself applies smooth and contains macadamia nut oil to help retain moisture and jojoba and olive oil to hydrate the lips. As a tinted chapstick, TIFFA's Color Gloss works fine but if you are looking for a glossy finish, you should look elsewhere. If you are someone who is not comfortable wearing lipstick or lipgloss but still wants to add some color to your lips, Color Gloss may be the right product for you. 480 yen including tax.
Continuing the theme of well-groomed brows, I would like to review MAC's Brow Set. Brow Set is a gel-type mascara for the eyebrows that shapes and holds the shape of the brow. For those with thin or over plucked eyebrows, MAC offers tinted gels in three shades. My own eyebrows are dark and thick and adding more color would be overkill so I went with the clear Brow Set. My eyebrows are quite asymmetrical yet stubbornly straight so the Brow Set is very helpful. Although many brow gels flake or stiffen the brow too much, I've had no such trouble with MAC's product. The gel can even be used with a brow pencil so please check it out if you get a chance. 2,625 yen including tax.
Anastasia Soare is the leading expert in shaping the perfect brow. For years, she has styled some of Hollywood's greatest stars. Her line, Anastasia Beverly Hills, carries makeup products, tools and kits to help you achieve well-groomed, well-shaped eyebrows that compliment the face. Anastasia has many locations across the world, including fourteen salons in Japan.
The March issue of MAQUIA featured Anastasia's matte and shimmer highlighters, known as "Eye-Lights," in their eyebrow makeup tutorials. I recently purchased the matte Eye-Lights from Sephora. The highlighter defines the arch of the brow and gives the eyebrow a clean, more polished look. Sephora only offers the matte highlighter in one color, Camille, but Anastasia carries five different shades for their matte highlighter and six for the shimmer version. Camille is a peach, skin-colored shade that is a bit too dark and orange for my skin but after applying SUQQU's Contour Shadow in EX02 Kasumizakura, looks natural. The highlighter is applied along the bottom brow line and blended into the skin with your fingers or a brush, which is what MAQUIA recommends. According to Anastasia's website, the highlighter can also be used along the lip line to prevent lip color from bleeding and as an eye shadow base. The highlighting pencil is smooth and creamy but be sure your eyebrows are not dry prior to application. The highlighter will make your dry skin more apparent so remember to moisturize. The highlighter definitely works in defining the brow but also makes uneven brows appear more symmetrical. If you're someone concerned about your brow shape or how polished you look, Anastasia's highlighters are a must.
In order to keep up with the latest beauty trends and products, in addition to reading beauty magazines such as Voce and MAQUIA, I follow several fashion magazines. Every month I always make sure to get my hands on SPUR and High Fashion but recently, I have been reading "25ans" (Vingt-cinq ans, "25 years old" in French). Although the magazine's main target is socialite heiresses, featuring clothing that only Paris Hilton or Izumi Mori (Hanae Mori's granddaughter) could afford, the styling in 25ans is absolutely wonderful. Unlike the CanCan and PINKY "onē-kei" cute-look popular among Japanese women right now, 25ans is about elegance and sophistication. The color choices are stunning. The makeup, hair styles, and accessories are gorgeous.
濃いアイメイク。シャドウはスックのブレンドアイシャドウ１１です。（２月号の25ans） Dark eye makeup. The eyeshadow is SUQQU's Blend Eyeshadow in 11. (From the February issue of 25ans)
美しいリップカラー。イブサンローランのグロスピュール４です。（３月号の25ans） Stunning lip color. Yves Saint Laurent's Gloss Pur in 4. (From the March issue of 25ans)
"How to" メイクのテクニック。（２月号の25ans） "How to" makeup techniques. (From the February issue of 25ans)
今は大丸・松坂屋と25ansのビューティーアップフェスティバルが行われています。（４月号の25ans） Daimaru/Matsuzakaya and 25ans are collaborating together for this spring's Beauty-up Festival. (From the April issue of 25ans)
Because we're nearing spring, most eye and lip makeup consists of light pastels and neutral colors which make me look whitewashed. 25ans differs in that the makeup is elegant and dramatic. Colors are dark, bold, and brilliant, and the looks are similar to those that appear in advertisements by high-end European makeup brands, such as Lancôme, Chanel, and Yves Saint Laurent. But even though there is a fair amount of product information in the magazine, there are few make-up centered editorials. Still, I look forward to reading 25ans every month.
もっと見たければ近くの本屋やネットで25ansを買ってください。（次はSPURのことを書きます） If you would like to see more, you can purchase 25ans at your local Japanese bookstore or through the Internet. (I will cover SPUR next time)
The only Stila eye product I had ever used was the Shadow Pot in lily (which is a great eye mousse, by the way) so I did not know what to expect when I ordered the Eye Shadow Duo from Sephora. The shadow is sold separately from the refillable compact so I ordered the compact, as well.
The Eye Shadow Duo in Seafoam is a pretty forest green shadow coupled with a light, yellow-green shadow. The powder is fine, containing sparkling pearls that emit a subtle shine. The shadow is fairly pigmented and buildable for a more dramatic look. When I applied the shadow with a Shu Uemura brush, I found it to be a little bit crumbly. Some of the powder also fell into my eyes and I wonder if this would have happened if I had used a sponge-tip brush instead. There have been complaints that the eye shadow duos do not fit into the refillable compact but Sea Foam fits fine. The shadows have a magnetic base that sticks to the bottom of the compact, keeping them in place.
Lipstick Queen carries two different types of lipstick (excluding the Black Tie lipstick): Saint and Sinner. Saint is a sheer lipstick containing only 10% pigment while Sinner is opaque and 90% pigment. I ordered Saint Rose.
Saint Rose is creamy and moist upon application, gliding on smooth. It is matte with absolutely no shimmer. Although a sheer lipstick, Saint has a decent amount of color and is probably more pigmented than many other sheer-types out there. Saint Rose is quite close to my natural lip color but slightly darker. It is a medium deep-pink, like the hue of a David Austin English rose. It gives my lips a natural but defined look. Though it can be slightly drying after awhile, it's a great lipstick and I would love to try more shades and maybe some the Sinners. $18USD.
Saint Roseは簡単に滑らかに唇につけることができ、とてもクリーミーで潤いがあります。マット・つや消しなので、全くキラキラしたものが入っていません。シアーの口紅ですが、Saintには結構色が付いているので他のシアータイプのリップスティックと比べて、発色があります。Saint Roseは自分の自然な色に近いですがもう少し濃い感じです。ダークな濃いピンクでデビッド・オースチンのイングリッシュローズの色みたいです。唇がナチュラルに見えますがもっとハッキリします。時間が経つと少し乾燥しますが、かなりいいリップスティックで他の色とSinnerも使って見たいと思います。$18USDです。
Australian-born Poppy King began her first makeup line when she was just 18 years old. She focused solely on producing opaque, deep colored lipsticks. Although her company was liquidated in 1998, she moved to New York and returned stronger than ever with the launch of a new makeup brand, "Lipstick Queen." The award-winning Lipstick Queen offers highly pigmented, high-quality lipsticks and lip glosses praised by major fashion magazines across the globe. In August of 2008, Poppy published Lessons of a Lipstick Queen, sharing her experiences and success as a young entrepreneur.
オーストラリア生まれのポピー・キングはたったの１８歳で初めてメイクラインを作りました。不透明な濃い口紅だけに集中しました。会社が１９９８年に清算しましたが、ポピーはニューヨークに移り、「リップスティック・クィーン」という新しいメイクブランドを開始しました。賞を受賞したリップスティック・クィーンはとても発色が良く、高品質なリップスティックとリップグロスを提供、世界のメジャーファッション雑誌に注目されています。２００８年の８月に、ポピーはビジネスアドバイスや自分のビジネス経験や成功の話をLessons of a Lipstick Queenというタイトルにして本を出版しました。
Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to get a hold of Lipstick Queen products in Japan, though the brand was recently noted in Vogue Nippon. There are one or two Japanese websites that carry LQ but they charge almost three times the original price so I recommend ordering from online stores based outside Japan. I ordered my Lipstick Queen products from the US Barneys New York (the Barneys in Tokyo does not carry LQ) which sadly does not ship to Japan.
最近Vogue Nipponで紹介されましたが、残念ながら日本ではリップスティック・クィーンの商品を手に入れるのがとても難しいです。いくつかの国内サイトでリップスティック・クィーンの物を売っていますが、本来の値段の３倍近い値段で売られていますので、外国のオンラインストアから注文することをオススメします。私はアメリカのBarneys New Yorkから注文しましたが、（東京のBarneysではリップスティック・クィーンのものが無いのです）日本には発送してくれません。
Lipstick Queen's Medieval was inspired by the Medieval practice of using lemons to stain the lips blood red. The lip treatment contains Vitamin E and has a berry-red tint. It is quite smooth and somewhat shiny. I would not recommend using this product on heavily chapped lips but it does help smooth slightly dry lips. Because it is tinted, it can also be worn as a sheer lipstick. The packaging is very appealing and very "medieval" -the lip treatment comes in a dark red tube attached to an upside-down tarot card. What I love about Lipstick Queen is how the brand is so devoted to creating pigmented, true-red lipsticks that have a nostalgic, old Hollywood feel. You can really sense Poppy King's enthusiasm for lipstick in her products which is why, I believe, Lipstick Queen is so popular today. The Medieval-Tinted Treatment is $20USD.
Launched last month, MAC's new Creme Team Line includes a Creme Sheen shade in Lavender Whip. Like its name, the Creme Sheen lipstick is incredibly creamy and smooth. The texture of the lipstick reminds me of Lunasol's Full Glamour Lips S except Creme Sheen is even creamier. There is not that much of a sheen, however, but that can be fixed with some clear lip gloss. Pigment-wise, Creme Sheen in Lavender Whip is fairly pigmented though perhaps not as much as Shiseido The Makeup's Perfect Rouge. It is also not as hydrating. Lavender Whip is more of a cool pink than a lavender and when applied, does not look nearly as dramatic as it appears in MAC's promotion photos. In fact, it looks fairly subtle on a pale complexion but it is one of those types of lipstick shades that can produce a very different effect depending on the complexion, hair color, and natural lip pigmentation of the wearer. If you have dark hair, pigmented lips and a pale complexion, I recommend pairing it with grey eyeliner and eyeshadow. But do not apply the lipstick if you have empty stomach. It smells like crème brûlée and will cause your stomach to grumble.
When I ordered the Lucent Powder that I reviewed last week, I also purchased FANCL's Milky Lotion in travel size. I was actually interested in products from their additive-free FDR line but none of them were available in sample size so I opted for the moisturizer from their main skincare line instead. As mentioned in an earlier post, all of FANCL's products are preservatives and additive-free. No need to worry about fragrances, coloring agents, or mineral oil that can irritate sensitive skin.
The milky lotion contains moist collagen and sweet pea extract to hydrate and protect. There are two types of milky lotion: light and heavy. I chose the heavy type. Ironically, the heavy type is incredibly light and I cannot imagine just how light the "light" type must be. The moisturizer is more like a liquid-y extract that instantly hydrates the skin. Despite it's light texture, the Milky Lotion preforms as a heavy cream and maintains a smooth face throughout the day. It did not irritate my skin and it worked almost as well as La Roche Posay's Toleraine cream but at a fraction of the Posay price.
I used to use Kao's Bioré brand pore strips when they fist came out but they were always incredibly harsh on my skin, leaving me with a red and irritated nose that took days to heal. The pore strips seems to have changed significantly since then. The strips have slits to allow for a better fit. They also stick much better than before. They are available in black , making it easier for you to see the oil and dirt removed from your pores. And they don't hardened as easily and are less irritating. The key is to let the strips dry no longer than 10 minutes and to use them no more than once a week. Do not use a toner or anything with alcohol or fragrance afterwards. The strips are still quite large and I recommend folding the ends along the edges of your nose if they are too long. I have not found a product that unclogs pores as well as the pore strips and they only costs 500-600 yen per pack of ten sheets.
(Please note that I am speaking of the Bioré strips "Keana Sukkiiri Pack" sold in Japan and not the Bioré Cleansing Pore Strips sold in the US. The ingredients of both look similar but there may be differences.)
A couple of weeks ago, I got my hands on BihadaIchizoku'speeling gel. It took me a while to find it since many drugstores that sell BihadaIchizoku products just don't seem to carry it. BihadaIchizoku's Peeling Clear Gel removes keratin (dead skin) and smooths skin, allowing for better makeup application. The gel contains brown algae extract, aloe barbadensis extract, hyaluronic acid, and iron oxide, and is gently massaged into the skin. I only used the gel on my nose because peeling products do not work well with rosacea. The gel did remove some dead skin but I don't actually have a turn over problem so it didn't do all that much for me. My nose did become smoother after using it, however, and was only slightly red from the gel. I was hoping the product would unclog my pores but it did not. I would only recommend the peeling gel to those suffering from poor turn over.