Archive for the 'Kanebo' Category

Sensai’s The Lipstick Review and Swatches

September 22, 2009
Sensai The Lipstick/Le Rouge A Levres ($55)

A few weeks back I introduced you to the completely re-engineered, re-formulated and re-packaged The Lipstick from Sensai, a fabulous fusion of advanced anti-aging science with aristocratic colors, and now I’m back to provide you with swatches and a full review!

The Lipstick promises to increase moisture content in lips by 172% after two weeks of regular use and to accelerate microcirculation by 120% in 10 minutes.

So what were my thoughts? Find out and see swatches after the jump!

Sensai’s gold- and silk-enriched lipsticks have great moisturizing power, amazing pigmentation and coverage (you’ll see in the lip swatches ~ I’d say my lips look pretty great), a glowing creamy finish and color fidelity meaning your color won’t change on you throughout the day.

The subtely gold-toned packaging is weighty and very elegant feeling in your hands; combined with the black velvet pouches that each lipstick comes in, you’re really enveloped in a sense of luxury when using these.

Swatches (left to right):
07 Sekichiku (rosy pink with gold shimmer), 08 Araishu (medium pink with coral undertones), 12 Sugiiro (a true fleshy nude), 14 Mahoso (an orange-based red)

Containing ingredients like golden silk powder that is injected into silk granules which are able to hold 300 times their weight in water and golden phyto extract, an anti-aging component comprised of apricot oil, yuzu (japanese citron) extract and an exclusive Sensai ingredient derived from rice that coosts skin’s natural moisture content by up to 172% after 2 weeks, Sensai’s The Lipstick really does provide a nourishing, luxurious experience for the lips.

The Sensai Lipsticks are quickly becoming a celeb favorite as well – Jessica Lange was wearing shade #11 Kurumi during the Emmy’s two nights ago!

Availability: All 15 shades are available at Bergdorf Goodman and at For more info on Kanebo INTERNATIONAL, check out

Introducing Sensai The Lipstick!

August 28, 2009

One of my favorite brands, Kanebo Sensai, has completely re-engineered, re-formulated and re-packaged (oh have they repackaged – the new tubes are just so elegant and gorgeous!) their lipstick line called THE LIPSTICK to represent an elegant fusion of advanced anti-aging skin science with timeless shades. The beautifully distinctive hues are disperted with golden silk powder and particles of Japan’s most precious silk, Koishimaru Silk, which encapsulate pure gold particles that have been microscopically injected into the silk.

Sensai’s THE LIPSTICK claims to provide immediate and long-term anti-aging benefits with the ability to increase moisture content in lips by 172% after two weeks of regular use and accelerate microcirculation by 120% in 10 minutes among other benefits.

Sensai’s previous lipstick release have quickly risen to be amongst the most prized in my collection (the Lasting Treatment Rouge in Hitoeume which I’ve reviewed HERE is easily my favorite, along with their Deep Moist Shine Rouge in Botan which I’ve reviewed HERE), and so I’m excited to get my hand on these new additions to the line!

Sensai’s THE LIPSTICK will be available in 15 luxurious shades ($55 each), each selected from over 200 core color used by the Japanese aristocracy in their silk kimonos during the Heian Period (794-1185). I plan to have reviews/swatches coming for you soon!

All 15 shades are available at Bergdorf Goodman and at For more info on Kanebo INTERNATIONAL, check out

Kanebo Sensai on the Set of Inglourious Basterds

August 24, 2009

Cosmetics from Kanebo Sensai (one of my favorite makeup lines) were used on set of the recently released Quentin Tarantino movie, Inglourious Basterds. Scroll down to read snippets from an interview with Hollywood makeup artist extraordinaire and Department Head for Inglourious Basterds, Heba Thor (who’s also recently worked on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, He’s Just Not That Into You, The Spirit, The Other Boylen Girl and The Nannie Diaries. Plus she’s Scarlett Johansson’s personal makeup artist on her films!).

SENSAI Advisor: Tell us about your experience on Inglorious Basterds—it looks like it is going to be another unique Quentin Tarantino film!

Heba Thorisdottir: I’ve worked with Quentin previously on Kill Bill (Volume 1 and 2), with Quentin I don’t prep a lot—I just know to be prepared for anything! We shot for four months mostly in Babelsberg Studios just outside of Berlin—then we were a week in the countryside which was beautiful! There were some locations in Berlin as well and we shot a couple days in Paris. Quentin creates a family like atmosphere and on the last shooting day of the week he picks a bar we all go to wind down. That way, we get to know each other on a social level as well as professional. I love working on his films and can not wait to be working with him again.

I got the script over the Fourth of July weekend last year. I went to Germany mid September, a month before shooting began to do makeup tests. I met all the actors and had to decide if the actors were wearing any facial hair and they got haircuts and got fitted for their costumes. Inglourious Basterds is a WWII film and we have to follow that period as closely as possible. Quentin uses KNB Creations on special effects makeup on all the true life figures such as Hitler, Goebbels and Churchill; anything gory that involved more than throwing blood and dirt on—they took care of that.

SENSAI Advisor: There are two strong female characters in the film, tell us about their looks.

Heba Thorisdottir: A French actress, Melanie Laurent plays the part of Shosanna Dreyfus. She’s Jewish but is undercover as a French citizen. She doesn’t want to draw attention to herself so she doesn’t wear makeup on daily basis and downplayed her beauty. She’s a beautiful girl so I just kept her skin clean and glowing with SENSAI Fluid Finish Foundations with SENSAI Silk Brightening cream underneath. Taupe eye shadow and a cream blush in Peach tone and Total Lip Treatment on her lips and she was ready to go. For the end scene however, we got to go all out! She actually puts on her makeup on camera! It was a very specific scene and Quentin knew exactly what he wanted in the scene so we didn’t exactly follow the period. Quentin wanted a cream blush but a lot softer consistency than are on the market so I actually had to sit down and make it! The color had to be very specific as well so, I dragged Quentin in the makeup trailer and sat him down and we had a lot of fun with making the color just perfect!

Diane Kruger’s character Bridget von Hammersmark is the opposite of Shosanna. She’s a very glamorous German movie star who loves attention. Her character wouldn’t go out without makeup and those red lips! We had a couple of different looks for her as well. Day to day look and a “premier” look. There isn’t much room to change the 40’s makeup so I had to create a look that was a little bit more settle to have a contrast for the premier look. Bridget still wore the eyeliner and the red lips but I used browns and taupe and Kanebo’s SENSAI 38 Degree’s Mascara, the volumizing edition. The staying power is amazing. It is one of my favorite tools, and one the actresses always request. I used a cream blush in light beige color on her cheeks from MAC. For the premier look, I used black liquid eyeliner from MAC as well and deeper browns shadows on her eyes from Jemma Kidd and an extra layer of mascara. For concealers I used SENSAI Concealer in #1 light for Diane to keep her look fine and porcelain like. I also used the concealer in medium and dark (#2 and #3) on the men for a natural look.

SENSAI Advisor: You worked for several months with these actresses, how did you combine skincare with cosmetics every day?

Heba Thorisdottir: Well, for instance I did work a lot with the SENSAI line. Daily, I would start and end the day with cleansing the skin with SENSAI. After cleansing I would use a moisturizer and eye cream from SENSAI as well. I would combine the SENSAI SILK Brightening Cream followed by the SENSAI Smoothing Water Make-up Base before foundation. The brightening “wakes up” the skin and makes it glow through the foundation and gives the face “life” and the Water Base is a great prep/primer for the SENSAI foundations. I even used the Brightening Cream on the guys—give it a little bit of brightness to stand out a little bit behind all the dirt and blood. For concealers I used SENSAI Concealer in #1 light for Diane to keep her look fine and porcelain like. I also used the concealer in medium and dark (#2 and #3) on the men for a natural look.

I still get excited when one of the movies I worked on comes out in theaters. Going to Cannes in May was amazing! I always wanted to see one of the films I worked on at The Palais and this was the right one to see there for sure. The French respect the directors and Quentin got an 11 minute standing ovation even though he didn’t walk away with The Palm this time.

Kanebo Sensai Liquid Eyeliner Review & EOTD

June 4, 2009
Kanebo Sensai Liquid Eyeliner ($36)
Elegant, easy-to-use eyeliner has extremely fine brush for smooth, precise lines. Inspired by the aesthetic ideals of Japan’s ancient Imperial court, Sensai Colors “treatment make-up” features layers of translucent hues that evoke the wisdom and allure of women across the ages.

Kanebo Sensai’s Liquid Eyeliner comes sleekly packaging in a refillable metallic click pen with twist off top. Like so many of Kanebo’s other products (you’ve all heard me rave about their foundation and primer), the liquid liner includes great for you incredients like sunflower seed oil and hydrolized silk.

I know that most of you have never heard of Sensai’s Liquid Eyeliner, but it’s my liquid eyeliner of choice at the moment and really a thing of beauty. The applicator tip may look a little wide, but it’s perfect blend of firmness and flexibility makes for amazingly precise and controlled application. Using Sensai’s liner, I can achieve the thinnest of thin lines just as easily as I can a dramatic cat eye look. Which is saying quite a bit since my hands are incredibly unsteady!

The formula is long-lasting and relatively smudge-proof, although the liner does start to migrate upwards on my greasy eyelids towards the end of the day–but really there isn’t a liner out there that doesn’t. The black is a gorgeous, rich black, not the weak, wimpy black look some liquid liners give. All this, coupled with the sleek metal packaging (which I adore) makes this a total winner in my book!

Here’s an EOTD I did months back using Kanebo Sensai’s Liquid Eyeliner and The Body Shop’s Roseflower eyeshadow in Mint Green (review HERE). If I can achieve a line like this with my shaky hands, imagine what you can do!


Kanebo Sensai Silky Highlighting Powder Review & Swatches

June 1, 2009
Kanebo Sensai Silky Highlighting Powder ($45)
Light, pearly powder complements and enhances foundations with a subtle, youthful glow. Instantly adds natural-looking highlights. Apply over foundation to desired areas.

Sensai’s Silky Highlighting Powder is formulated with Silky Pearl Powder to complement your foundation (or bare skin if you’re lucky enough to not need foundation) by adding an invisible and natural brightening boost. It contains a high concentration of silk to create a radiant, silky-smooth complexion and contains Sensai’s revolutionary Weightless Moist Glow Factor, an exquistely deather-light and translucent powder that provides lightweight coverage to give your skin a luminous glow. The Silky Highlighting Powder also contains Phyto-Qualane and Rice Extract, two highly moisturizing natural ingredients.

It’s taken me some time to realize the benefits of a good highlighting powder. I’ve never really been too into the liquid luminizers as they make my already oily skin look and feel even oilier, but the warmer weather has had me wanting to emphasize those areas of my face where light hits naturally, such as the cheekbones, forehead and nose, and Sensai’s Highlighting Powder is seriously the best I’ve tried.

While I love my shimmer, I don’t love a highlighting powder that has large chunks of glitter in it as I think it can be overkill and create a not-too-flattering disco-ball appearance. Sensai’s powder is unique in that it doesn’t actually look shimmery in the pan–it’s more of a subtle, luminescent glow that’s uber-flattering on everybody.

The texture, as with all Sensai products, is gorgeous–silky, smooth, blends beautifully, and just overall great. Plus the brush that it comes with is also nice and soft, making for easy, precise application.

There’s just something so beautiful about the sun reflecting off the contours of your face just so, highlighting your cheekbones and creating a subtle glow, and Sensai allows you to carry that with you in a petite black compact. It’s like instant sunshine!

LOL okay I just lost my train of thought–as I’m typing this, my sweet little Chloe just started snoring away. Where was I? I guess this is one of the hazards of late night blogging–well along with the fact that I’m really tired =X. But as I was saying, if you’re on the hunt for a subtle highlighter that’ll give you that “look-at-my-great-bone-structure” look, definitely check this out!

Kanebo SENSAI Eyelid Base Review & Swatches

May 20, 2009
Kanebo SENSAI Eyelid Base ($26)
Moisturizes and protects, while a natural-looking pearly radiance keeps eyeshadow colors bright and clear.

Now you all know that I’m a huge lover of pretty much all things Kanebo Sensai, and they can pretty much do no wrong in my eyes. Their shimmery Moist Shine Rouges (review and swatches HERE) are the perfect complement to a neutral makeup day, the intense pigmentation of their Lasting Treatment Rouges is truly stunning (review and swatches HERE), and I could just rave on and on about their foundation (seriously close to HG material! – review HERE) and Smoothing Water Makeup Base (review HERE).

So after the slew of great Kanebo Sensai products that I’ve been playing around with, the Sensai Eyelid Base was sadly a bit of a disappointment. Don’t get me wrong it has its uses and it’s not terrible, but it just didn’t have that wow-factor that I was expecting.

I was expecting something along the lines of MAC Paint Pots or Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, but Sensai’s Eyelid Base has more of the consistency of a light eye cream. What’s great about it is its lightness; you feel this refreshing cooling sensation as it’s applied, and the base has a pearly radiance to it that’ll lighten and brighten your eye area, leaving your looking bright-eye and bush tailed.

Small blob of SENSAI Eyelid Base.

While I love to use this as an eyelid brightener on those days when I’m not wearing any shadow, what disappointed me about Sensai’s Eyelid Base was the fact that it didn’t help to increase the longevity of my eyeshadow–it creased as though I wasn’t wearing any base at all. The Eyelid Base does help to slightly brighten and intensify any shadow you layer over it, but if you’re looking for something to prevent creasing and to provide all-day wear, this isn’t going to be it.

Partially blended.

All blended in–see the pearly radiance and slight brightening?

I do actually love wearing this to work, since most days I only wear some foundation, powder and mascara and need something to both soothe my tired eyes and give them a brighter appearance. I don’t think I’d repurchase, but I will enjoy using up the contents of this cute little frosted glass container.

HBO Beauty Dirt: Drew Barrymore’s Look in GREY GARDENS

April 17, 2009

The SENSAI Advisor from Kanebo goes behind the scenes of the epic new HBO movie “Grey Gardens” starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange with makeup artist Vivian Baker. The film premiere’s Saturday April 18th, 2009 at 8pm EST.

SENSAI Advisor: You worked exclusively with Drew Barrymore who play’s “Little Edie Beale” in the film, correct?

Vivian Baker: Yes, I was her makeup artist, and I also oversaw the use of prosthetics for the movie. You know, most people don’t realize that prosthetics can be used to achieve many different effects – they’re not just for monster movies! We used them delicately to age Drew and Jessica Lange. I wanted to maintain their inner beauty throughout the process, and not make them appear too made up. These are beautiful women!

SENSAI Advisor: How did you achieve the aging process?

Vivian Baker: We created four distant stages of aging for the actresses from young to old and developed looks that were appropriate for each age. I wanted the makeup to appear natural enough that the look had their own hand; it had to look as if they had applied their makeup throughout the looks. I think one of the most elegant and exciting look was the iconic 1950’s look for Drew, where you really see her radiant beauty.

SENSAI Advisor: What made the look iconic?

Vivian Baker: The ‘50’s were all about the eye brow…the arch, the strength and the subtleness…those brows said so much about the women who wore them. They were soft yet defined, sexy yet strong.

The 1950’s look was also meant to be beautiful, iconic and indicative of where the character came from. It’s interesting what we know about women and their makeup—just like any woman, Little Edie found her place and her look at an early age, and she held onto it. I wanted those brows to be that charcoal grey and I knew it would be a thread for her character through her later years. The arc of the character was important to the look, to what she created—I loved the color. The SENSAI Colors Eyebrow pencil provided just the right depth of color and movement for the brow line—it was a terrific tool to work with!

I had to move Drew through the ages of the character, none of which she as a person actually was, and I did it through the brow. I looked at her character through her face, and worked with her brows–which really express so much about a person–at all the different time periods and ages we had to take her through.

SENSAI Advisor: You worked with other key items from SENSAI on the film as well…

Vivian Baker: Yes, the Translucent Powder was also evident in the 1950’s look, it provided a nice dewy yet matte look. With the mascara—I chose to use the SENSAI 38 Degree’s Mascara. i had a lot of makeup to get on and off of her everyday. I needed a mascara to stay on and get off easily—38 Degree’s does just that, it doesn’t budget until you want it to. I worked with many wonderful brands on this film, in the 1950’s look you see in the film–it was Kanebo that helped us create that look.

SENSAI Advisor: What was the experience like for you as an artist?

Vivian Baker: Drew is absolutely amazing and committed! I couldn’t have asked or wanted or dreamed of anything better. I felt honored to be a part of this production!

The entire team brought their A game, it made each us bring our best to the table–everyone was remarkable. The movie is so powerful, it moved me beyond my own experience on the set, and I was looking at the film last week in a screening—for the first time I was able to watch a film I worked on and be enrapt by the movie and the performances, and not just be drawn in to my own work on it—it is a remarkable film with amazing performances!


Vivian Baker has been working in film and television for 20 years. She is known for having a wide range of skills in makeup. She is known for her use of prosthetics, a wide range she has worked at over the years and learned from each experience in which she is ever-evolving. That’s what makes it exciting for her, it was still in discovery. “I was responsible for using new techniques and technology–prosthetics are a whole different ballgame–they’re not all monster oriented. Even though they were meant to age the characters, I wanted to see a level of beauty come from those women, and I think we achieved that—who they were still came through–it doesn’t hide their acting it enhances it–that’s the cool thing where we’re going: Combining beauty with technology.”

For more about the HBO production visit

For more about SENSAI by Kanebo, visit

Kanebo Sensai Deep Moist Shine Rouge in MS 108 Botan Review & Swatches

March 20, 2009
Kanebo Sensai Deep Moist Shine Rouge/Rouge Hydra-Brillance in MS 108 Botan ($40)

The Packaging: Sensai’s Deep Moist Shine Rouges come in the same tube as their Lasting Treatment Rouges ~ a substantial feeling twist-up tube that’s elegant in its understated simplicity.

The Formula: Sensai’s Deep Moist Shine Rouges consist of a sumptuous formula that gently moisturizes lips while sheating them in a highly translucent film of pure, protective lasting color. A moist luster envelops lips, leaving behind a sheer kiss of shimmering color that’s subtle and beautiful.

The rouges contain Kanebo’s exclusive Kanten-treated pigments (a jelly-like substance obtained from red seaweed) and natural Phyto Volumising Oil (a clear botanical oil that helps achieve moist, plump-looking lips). The 12 available clear and glossy hues are inspired by traditional Japanese kasane colors.

The Pigmentation: Sensai’s Deep Moist Shine Rouges are all on the sheer side, in stark contrast to their Lasting Treatment Rouges which are highly pigmented and opaque on the lips. The Deep Moist Shines leave behind just the slightest hint of color and shimmer, making for a clean, polished lip.

The Color: MS 108 Botan is a light peachy shade that gilds lips in a golden shimmer with peachy tones. Botan catches the light beautifully and just brings out my inner goddess–I love it!

It’s a subtle, barely there look that’s tough to capture on camera but that’s really something special in person. I plan on scoping out additional shades in the future.

Kanebo Sensai Lasting Treatment Rouge Review & Swatches

March 3, 2009
Kanebo Sensai Lasting Treatment Rouge ($40)

Say hello to my current lipstick obsession, Sensai’s Lasting Treatment Rouge in shade LT 18 Hitoeume from the recently launched Sensai Colors Collection. What makes it so great? Well the formula is just gorgeous~this lipstick deposits a rich, creamy, opaque layer of color on your lips that stays vivid and fresh for hours. No disappearing lippies here! The long-lasting but never drying formulation contains kanten-treated pigments and auto coating gel, which serve to continuously absorb moisture from your skin and your own breath, meaning you’re moisturizing as you’re breathing!

And because I think this is just so cool–a little more info on the auto coating gel. Auto Coating Gel is a clear liquid oil derived from silicone; upon exposure to moisture from the skin or breath, the oil in the auto coating gel congeals into a soft gel which moisturizes the skin while firmly retaining pigments, meaning your color lasts and stays true without drying out your lips. Genius!

Close-Up (this is pretty much the exact color)

This is the one lippie that my mother and I continually try to steal from each other. While we have similar coloring, most lipsticks look great on me and blah on her, or look fabulous on her and absolutely terrible on me–but this one looks great on both of us, although I happen to think it looks just a smidge better on me ;).

Hitoeume is a clear, clean shade of bright-pink (think Barbie) that has a subtle silvery sheen to it. It’s beautifully pigmented, providing your lips with quick and easy opaque coverage, and once on you really don’t need to worry about touch-ups for hours. I’m a lip-licker so my lipsticks usually disappear in a matter of 30 minutes to an hour, but Hitoeume stays bright and vibrant on my lips for hours on end.

The Lasting Treatment Rouges have really gorgeous color pay-off, feel deliciously creamy going on, are non-drying, and last for hours and hours. I actually fell asleep with this on last night (I know–shame on me) and when I woke up, still had a pink stain on my lips, which is miraculous since I’m a tumultuous sleeper and seriously nothing stays on. I know these are pretty pricey at $40, but I foresee this lipstick lasting for a very long time as you don’t need too much with each use since it is so pigmented, and I’m definitely going to be checking out the other shades.

SENSAI COLORS are available at select Barney’s nationwide, or visit for further store locations or call Kanebo’s direct toll free number (1-866-271-6815) for direct shipping.

SENSAI COLORS Collection by Kanebo

February 11, 2009

Sensai hasn’t released a new color collection in the longest time, so I was ridiculously excited to learn about the launch of their SENSAI COLORS Collection, a new treatment makeup line consisting of 22 items for eyes, lips and cheeks. Designed in conjunction with famed makeup artist Hisano Komine, SENSAI COLORS feature Kanebo-exclusive Koishimaru Slk Extract and other skincare innovations such as Auto-Coating Gel, a soft gel that moisturizes the skin when you breathe, Layered Amino Pigments, Smoth Pearl Powder, and a bunch of other great components!

FOR LIPS: For the lips Kanebo has a fabulous-sounding lip base ($15) which blurs any imperfections/fine lines/etc while also providing SPF 15. But the products I’m really interested in are the Lasting Treatment Rouge ($40) and the Deep Moist Shine Rouge ($40). The Lasting Treatment Rouge claims to last for hours and contains Auto Coating Gel which purportedly provides moisture by your breathing on it! As for the Deep Moist Shine Rouges, I’m wondering if these will be comparable to the new Sisley Phyto lipsticks.

FOR EYES: I’ve been on the hunt for a great eyeshadow primer since great-lasting power is no longer the only thing I’m looking for. As I get older I worry about wrinkle formation, so I’d love to find a primer that’s both great at priming and also contains anti-aging properties–cue Kanebo’s Eyelid Base ($26) which moisturizes and soothes the eye area. The Eyeshadow Palettes ($50) are also absolutely gorgeous, as I’m dying to check them out along with the Eyeliner Pencil ($28–I’m hoping this will be smudge free and silky smooth!) and the Liquid Liner ($36)–and the Eyebrow Pencil ($28). LOL so pretty much everything!

FOR CHEEKS: I’m absolutely loving the color scheme of the promo image above, and the blush for $45 is seriously beautiful and ties the entire collection together! I was so seriously impressed by Sensai’s Smoothing Water Makeup Base and their Fluid Finish Foundation (easily the best foundation I’ve ever tried) that I’m expecting great things from the rest of these products. I hope to be able to check them out soon!

I’ve been getting calls from Bergdorf all week informing me that SENSAI COLORS has now launched and that they’re offering makeovers, brow shapings and facials to celebrate!

When: February 9 – 14, 2009, 11am – 7p. Call 212.872.2537 to make an appointment!

The SENSAI COLORS Collection is available at Bergdorf Goodman and select Barney’s New York stores. For additional information, visit