Archive for the 'Japanese cosmetics' Category

L’Oreal Go 360˚ Clean Scrublet vs. Random Japanese Scrubbie

January 5, 2010

Just to show you how good a deal L’Oreal’s Go 360˚ Clean cleansers are, I’m bringing you a quick comparison of the Scrublet you get with L’Oreal’s cleanser vs. a similar scrubby I purchased at my local Japanese market (all on its own, no cleanser included). Check out the details and more photos after the jump!

So admittedly the Japanese scrubby (on the right) is pinker, larger, cuter, and comes with finger loopies – but surprisingly it just doesn’t match up to L’Oreal’s Scrublet for several reasons.

#1 it’s just too large and floppy and therefore a bit of a disaster to use. The finger loops do help to hold it in place, but the added size really does nothing for this as I prefer to focus on smaller areas of my face while cleansing.

#2 the suction on my Japanese scrubby is pure rubbish. Stick it on my mirror, walk by a few hours later and there it is, sitting on the ground, just crying to be picked up. Contrast that to L’Oreal’s suction which stays put for days on end. Really people, it’s the little things that make me happy :).

#3 – it really comes down to price. From what I can remember, I paid close to $5 for my Japanese scrubby, whereas L’Oreal’s Scrublet + cleanser is a mere $6.99 – who can argue with numbers like that?

My conclusion? Go out and try L’Oreal’s Go 360˚ Clean for yourself. It’s inexpensive enough that I can suggest it to all of you without feeling guilty, and fun enough that I know you’ll all want to indulge!

Up Close & Personal with Jill Stuart Mix Blush Compact in Lovely Tulip

October 7, 2009

Jill Stuart’s Mix Blush Compacts ($48) are one of my favorite items from her entire cosmetics range, not because the blushes themselves are particularly awe-inspiring (they’re decent albeit a bit chalky but I’ve definitely tried better), but because the packaging is just so insanely appealing that even after having dropped $50+ on one after tax, I don’t feel the least bit guilty.

See my thoughts on the brush-softness and more reasons to love this product after the jump!

Reason #1 To Love the Mix Blushes: The beautifully crystal-adorned blush brush that comes attached to the compact by a delicate chain. It’s nice quality, beautifully soft, dense, gorgeous to look at and detachable ~ need I say more? I was so surprised by the quality of the brush.

Reason #2 To Love: The beauty of the compact itself. It’s elegant, girly, and brings out your inner princess. I know we’re not all girly girls here, but who doesn’t enjoy feeling like royalty?

Reason #3: The blushes are supremely wearable. They’re have a slight glowy sheen to them but they’re subtle – not too pigmented, not ridiculously sheer, not too sparkly but not completely matte. Plus they’re just plain pretty to look at!

Close-up of 07 Lovely Tulip in the pan.

Final Thoughts: If you’re looking to spend your $50 on a fabulous blush that you’ll love for the rest of your days, this probably isn’t going to be it. But if you’re like me and have a decent blush collection and would love to add something new and different to it that’s guaranteed to be an attention-getter, this is your product. The quality is solid, the packaging is fantastic and I promise you’ll love staring at it!

Up Close & Personal with Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color N in Platinum Satin

October 7, 2009
Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color N ($24)

While I love to babble about cosmetics with the best of them, the old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ really rings true when it comes to Jill Stuart cosmetics. These products are so unbelievably gorgeous that words really don’t do them justice, so for this morning I’ll be letting my photos do the talking for me. Hope you enjoy!

Interior view of JS Jelly Eye Color N in 03 Platinum Satin.

See more close-up shots and read just a few words after the jump!

Close-up of Platinum Satin in the pot.

03 Platinum Satin is a gorgeous, multi-dimensional champagne pink shade that can flash taupe in certain light that, per the usual Jelly Eye Color formula, has a delicious fruity scent and contains a multitude of shimmery bets. For a full review of the product see my initial Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color review. I love to layer these under shadows for more subtle shimmer, over them for some dramatic sparkle, and of course I also wear them on their own for a soft shimmery eye.

Photos of the other products I picked up during my Jill Stuart boutique visit coming shortly!

Availability: Currently only at the Jill Stuart boutique located at 100 Greene Street in NYC and via telephone by calling (212) 343-2300 (flat shipping rate of $15 ~ ouch!).

Jill Stuart Cleansing Oil Review

September 21, 2009

Since the Jill Stuart Beauty line is at long last available in the US, I figured it was about time that I got around to reviewing her uber-girly sweetly scented Cleansing Oil for you.

Containing strawberry juice, apricot seed oil and raspberry essence, the Jill Stuart Cleansing Oil helps to massage away dead skin and the grime that the surface of your complexion may have accumulated during the day. To read more on why I can’t live without my cleansing oil, check out my SK-II Cleansing Oil review.

See more photos and check out my full review of Jill Stuart’s Cleansing Oil after the jump!

What I love about the Jill Stuart is basically the wonderful at-home experience you get out of this one little bottle ~ it’s quite literally a treat for the senses! The bottle is a treat for your eyes (I feel like a princess just looking at it), the cleansing oil itself smells just heavenly (it has Jill Stuart’s signature fruity scent to it that I LOVE), it feels fabulous as you massage it into the skin, and it rinses away nicely leaving your feeling cleansed and pampered.

My one little caveat is that when I get this particular cleansing oil in my eyes, it does sting a little, but I love all the other aspects of the Jill Stuart Cleansing Oil so much that I’ve managed to look past this one little flaw.

If you’ve been looking to try a cleansing oil, definitely give Jill Stuart’s a shot! Not only is it pretty affordable compared to other cleansing oils that I’ve tried, but it’s also finally available stateside through the Jill Stuart boutique meaning you’ll no longer have to fly the stuff in from Asia. Remember that while it seems counter-intuitive, cleansing oils are actually fabulous for keeping oily skin clear and happy, so do give them a chance, you just might be pleasantly surprised!

Mascara Series Part 27: Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus Review & Photos

July 14, 2009
Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus ($15.20 on Sasa)

The Claim: Shiseido’s MAJOLICA MAJORCA Lash Expander Frame Plus wears firmly and evenly on lashes, creating separated lashes with a long-lasting finish. The secret behind these glamorous lashes is a revolutionary double-sided brush and lash-lengthening fibers: the comb brush helps lengthen lashes while the spiral brush works to enhance the volume of lashes for a surprising eye-liner look. (LOL please excuse the bad Engrish here–I fixed it up as best as I could without changing the meaning too much)

And on a side note while you may not think that this fits into today’s drugstore theme, it actually does since this is one of Shiseido’s drugstore lines in Japan! 🙂

The Packaging: I’ve decided to add a new ‘packaging’ subheading to my Mascara Series because some mascaras are just too beautiful for me to forgo mentioning their smile-inducing exteriors. Part of the reason that I love Asian cosmetics so much is that regardless of whether they’re cheap or mind-bogglingly expensive, they’re always beautifully packaged. The MM Lash Expander Frame Plus comes in a sleek black and gold plastic tube that’s easily one of the prettiest mascaras I won. I appreciate how easily differentiated this is from my millions of other black mascara tubes (when you own as many as I do it’s hard to tell them apart) thanks to the gold emblem on top of the cap which I just love to pieces.

Close-up of the top.

The Brush: A major part of what differentiates the original Lash Expander (my first ever mascara series review!!) from Lash Expander Frame Plus is the wand – Frame Plus basically implements the original Lash Expander brush design but with an additional side. Frame Plus’ double-ended comb-style applicator has spiraled side (the top portion in the photos below) for coating the lashes and depositing length & volume-building fibers, and a comb (the same comb the original Lash Expander has) for lengthening and defining each lash.

Majolica Majorca’s comb applicator is fabulous for depositing mascara and combing out any clumps you may get, but it’s a little messy. I always seem to manage to get mascara along my upper lash line/eyelid area, messing up my eyeshadow. I find that the best way to use the applicator is to glob on the fibers using the spiral end, then comb out using the comb end, then repeat until I get a look that I like.

Close-up of the applicator. If you click the photo to enlarge you’ll be able to get a better look at all the little fibers clinging to the wand.

The Formula: Frame Plus (unlike the original Lash Expander) is a fiber mascara, meaning the formula contains a multitude of tiny little fibery bits that, once deposited on your lashes, cling on for dear life creating the illusions of longer lashes. Frame Plus is absolutely amazing for holding a curl and the fibers create some nice (albeit rather sparse and spindly) length, but it’s severely lacking in the volume department so unless the look you’re going for is long, super wispy lashes you may be disappointed. The original Lash Expander had a thicker formula that sculpted your lashes to newfound heights in terms of length and volume, but Frame Plus lacks this key attribute.

On the plus side, while I usually find fiber mascaras to be very irritating for my sensitive eyes (the fibers fall off, land on my contacts and drive me nuts), these fibers tend to stay put very – due in part to the fact that Majolica Majorca mascaras are next to impossible to remove. I’m still inclined to like Frame Plus for the slightly ethereal wispy-lashed look it gives me, but when I’m going for some serious drama this is definitely not what I reach for.

The Usual Eye Photos: I just wanted to explain (for those of you who’re newer to the mascara series) that I always take three eye shots of each mascara for the series – one straight on with eyes open, one with eyes shut, and one from underneath with eyes open so that you can get a better look at length/volume.

The Conclusion: If you have thick lashes and you’re just looking for some amazing curl (nothing holds a curl better than a Majolica Majorca mascara), beautiful wispy length and a stay-put-through-a-hurricane formula, Majolica Majorca’s Lash Expander Frame Plus would be great, but if you’re like me and really love the look of lush, thick lashes this is a little disappointing. And if you do decide to give this a shot, please please pick up a bottle of Clean & Clear’s Soothing Eye Makeup Remover (review HERE) or you’ll be wearing this mascara for the next week or so.

I just had to add that while it sounds like I’m being pretty tough on this mascara, I actually do like it quite a bit. I always get compliments on my eyes when wearing this as it really opens them up and it’s all around really nice, I just think it could be better :).

RATING: 3.75/5

Read Parts 1-26 of the Mascara Series here! I’ve also added a “Mascara Series” tab up top so you have easy access to it at all times!

Jill Stuart Loose Powder in 03 Sparkle Review & Swatches

May 13, 2009
Jill Stuart Loose Powder
($53.03 from Bobodave–which in case you’re wondering is only a few dollars more than I paid for this from Japan)

While I love all the products my friend Cathy hauled for me in Japan (check them all out HERE), I’d have to say that Jill Stuart’s Loose Powder in shade 03 Sparkle is amongst of my favorites. Although I’m still obsessed with my Fairy Drop Mascara (review HERE) so this powder definitely has some competition.

I’ll be the first to admit that I would’ve have given Jill Stuart cosmetics a second glance were it not for the packaging–the feminine, princessy packaging that just screams “BUY ME!!!” I honestly wasn’t expecting too much from the actual powder itself, but surprisingly it’s rather great and completely gorgeous.

All Jill Stuart products have this deliciously subtle fruity scent (including her Jelly Eye Color that I reviewed HERE), and the loose powder is no exception.

The powder itself is super finely milled, enough so that the texture reminds me of my much loved La Mer Loose Powder (review HERE), which is saying a lot. Since the shade I have is called Sparkle, it does contain a high dose of shimmer, but I can’t speak for the other three shades that this is available in. Sparkle is a soft pink shade with light shimmer interspersed throughout and with a few larger chunks of glitter here and there. The shade itself reminds me a bit of Caron’s Venitienne powder (review HERE), which I also love.

Swatch of Sparkle

What I absolutely love about the Jill Stuart Loose Powder in Sparkle is that it lightens and brightens my whole complexion, giving it the flawless, luminous, finished look that I’m always trying to achieve. I’d always heard that soft pink powders really help to brighten your complexion, but while I’ve tried many of them, none have ever been this successful. Truly a gorgeous powder! As for mattifying properties, this actually keeps me matter than many other powders I’ve tried, giving me a good four hours or so of matteness before the oilies start to appear (and this is saying a lot since my skin is super super oily).

All blended in!

Applied with a light hand this powder is gorgeous, giving your skin a luminosity without too much shimmer, but it’s definitel not for the shimmer haters out there as Sparkle, as its name indicates, does contain a healthy does of sparkle. And for those of you hesitating on the price, think of how pretty this powder will look sitting on your vanity. I definitely plan to refill mine with another powder once it’s empty!

RATING: 4.5/5

Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color in 09 Moon Shadow Review & Swatches

April 23, 2009
Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color in Moon Shadow

Yet another gorgeous item that Cathy picked up for me from Japan (check out the rest of my haul HERE). I probably never would’ve chosen these for myself as I tend to avoid cream/non-powder shadows, but having tried this one I find myself wanting to amass more shades.

Jill Stuart’s Jelly Eye Colors are just that–jelly. Unscrew the gorgeous, solidly weighted glass & metal jar (which by the way has the letter J etched on top–it’s like this was made for me! =P) to reveal some deliciously floral-scented, jiggly, shimmery, glittery goodness inside. The whole glob of shadow jiggles like jello!

I’ve found that the best way to apply the Jelly Eye Colors is with your finger. The colors are most definitely sheer, but you can definitely build up a few layers for more opaque coverage. And just be forewarned that if you’re not a fan of shimmer or glitter, you’re going to hate these as the sparkle is rather intense.

Moon Shadow is a really gorgeous, multi-dimensional shade that I’ve grown to love. At first glance it looks to be a shimmery pale silvery/gray that borders on almost being white, but turn it this way and that and you’ll see it reflect pink, blue, and a rainbow of other shades~it’s a true chameleon!

Close-Up of Moon Shadow in Pot

Moon Shadow Jelly Eye Color works well as a stand alone glittery pale silver shade, but I also love to layer it under other shadows for added shimmer and staying power. Once dry these are decently creaseless, although if your eyelids are as oily as mine, you may notice a little movement/migration after a few hours.

The above photo contains two swatches of Moon Shadow: the top is what the Jelly Eye Color looks like when applied very sheerly, the bottom swatch is after another layer and less blending. And the swatch below is of Moon Shadow in different lighting–see how it changes colors? So pretty!

I really love everything about Jill Stuart products, from the embossed pretty pink boxes to the weighty faceted metal/glass and the delicate floral scent that emits from the makeup. The Jelly Eye Colors are definitely very heavy on the shimmer/glitter-factor so they’re definitely not for everybody, but if you’re as big a fan of glitter as I am, you’re sure to love these.

What Jill Stuart’s Jelly Eye Color in Moon Drop looks like on (using one quick swipe):

I’m also wearing this eyeshadow in my Fairy Drops Mascara Review which you can find HERE (long story short it’s a fabulous mascara with a really cool applicator for a great price!) so click on over!

Unfortunately these are pretty hard to come by stateside, and if you do happen to find them, you’ll be paying a decent mark-up, but if you do happen upon them at a decent price, snatch them up they’re beautiful!

Mascara Series Part 26: Fairy Drops Mascara Review & Photos

April 22, 2009
Fairy Drops Mascara ($13.90)

The Claim: FAIRY DROPS Mascara’s brush is particularly designed. Lumpy brush ensures perfect contact with every lash for volume, curly and no clump eyelash look. Water-proof formula works to resist water, sweat and sebum. Long-lasting wear is guaranteed.

The Brush: You have no idea how long my quest has been for this ‘lumpy’ Fairy Drops Mascara applicator. I lusted after this mascara for years before Sasa recently started carrying it, and then my friend ended up going to Japan so I just asked her to pick it up for me as part of this haul. I even resorted to trying Rimmel’s Sexy Curves Mascara (review HERE) in the hopes that it’d wow me, but I was sorely disappointed by it.

So the real Fairy Drops Mascara brush is a densely bristled, oddly shaped little thing that consists of three rounded segments. The inner two segments are like two round balls, and the outer segment has more of a ovular shape. You can really feel how densely placed the bristles are when you apply this mascara, and it may seem gimmicky but it really works for me! The shape really allows me to reach and capture every little lash, and the ovular outer portion is great for singling out those inner and outer lashes and for focusing on specific areas of the eye. I’m so happy to have finally found this!

The Formula: Japanese mascaras are always a love/hate thing for me. They tend to look fabulous on, give me wonderful curl, and last forever, but the fact that they’re virtually impossible to remove is a huge negative factor for me. So how does Fairy Drops stack up?

Well let’s see–the curl I get with this is just gorgeous. Once I’ve curled my lashes and applied this mascara, the curl isn’t going anywhere; you can wake up the next morning and your lashes will be just as curled as they were when you first applied Fairy Drops. The length and volume are above average but not amazing, although definitely buildable. Plus this mascara feels really light on–like you’re not wearing anything. And naturally this mascara doesn’t clump, smudge or flake–three major no-no’s for me!

But the true test of course is how hard is this stuff to remove? I won’t say that it’s easy, but it’s definitely MUCH less stubborn than my Majolica Majorca Lash Expander, which while gorgeous on, becomes the bane of my existence once it comes time to remove it (and it’s also a pain in the butt to apply). I can actually remove this that same night, whereas the MM stays on my lashes for days.

My lashes may look shorter than usual in this photo, but that’s only because of the curl.

The Verdict: I think I love this mascara! The packaging is super super cute and girly, the price is spot on, you can have it shipped to the US, it doesn’t smudge, clump or flake, and most importantly it holds a curl amazingly well and gives me beautiful, natural-looking fanned out lashes. To be honest though I think a large part of this mascara’s allure, at least to me, is pure cuteness though =X.


Related Posts:

  • Check out the rest of the Mascara Series by clicking on the Mascara Series tab up on the menu bar!

My Japan Haul Is Here At Last!

April 18, 2009

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, my friend Cathy was in Japan and was sweet enough to offer to pick up a few items for me. Check out what I got!

The boxes got a little crushed in transit, but the contents arrived safe and sound! In this group shot we have:

  • Fairy Drops Mascara (i’ve been wanting to try this for years now!)
  • Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus Mascara
  • Jill Stuart Cleansing Oil
  • Jill Stuart Loose Powder
  • Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color
  • a TON of great Jill Stuart samples!!

And here we have a Jill Stuart family photo! From left to right: Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color, Loose Powder (it’s a gorgeous shimmery pink), and Cleansing Oil. Pretty, no?

Every aspect of the Jill Stuart products is gorgeous, from the boxes to the packaging to the scents and shopping bags–even the sample bag is darling! I’ll be keeping mine long after the samples are gone.

Close up of the cute sample bag.

I got samples of the Cleansing Oil, Hydro-Filler, Softening Fluid, Cream Wash, Soap, Powder Foundation, Pure lasting Makeup Base, and some non-Jill Stuart BB Cream samples. I’m really looking forward to trying them all! And it doesn’t hurt that everything is pink 🙂

Close up of my Powder Foundation sample–isn’t it great?

Sample Open: I hope the shade works for me!

Cathy also included a Jill Stuart catalog that contained some drool-worthy promo shots, a few of which I photographed for you. Sorry for the not-so-great quality, it was kind of dark by the time I got around to taking photographs tonight!

Check out photos of the Jill Stuart counter in Takashimaya HERE!

Thanks so much Cathy for taking the time to choose/pick up these products for me!! ❤

Photos From The Jill Stuart Counter @ Takashimaya (Japan)

April 15, 2009

Photos courtesy of my gorgeous friend Cathy’s trip to Japan!