Up & Down #6 / A Piece of Me… in September 2010

It’s time for my monthly Ups & Downs!

Ups:

– VOV Castledew Watershot Foundation

I bought this from Sarah, and it is my go-to foundation for the summer.  It is lightweight and dries to a smooth finish.

– Sonia Kashuk Flat Top Brush

The second month in a row!  I love using it with the VOV foundation.  I think there are a lot of reviews on this already, but please let me know if you’d like one.

– Skinfood Peach Sake Silky Finish Powder

When I set my makeup with this powder, my skin is smooth and oil-free for much longer than when I use any other setting powder!  You can read my review here.

– Getting to chat with bloggers such as Joey Bunny, Sheila, and Christine.  You don’t know how much better I feel after getting to chat with you!

– A new domain!

Downs:
– Not wanting to go out on weekends because it’s just too hot
– Sweating while putting on makeup.
– Working out the bugs from moving to a new domain and changing my blog name at the same time

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It’s the time of the month to join Notes from the Toothfairy in A Piece of Me!

This month…
I like: that I’m traveling again!  Yay!

I don’t like: that I’m lemming for products I can’t get in Japan (Orly Nail Polishes in Space Cadet and Galaxy Girl)

I want you to know: that I’m looking for a new banner!

I’ve planned: to be super unplanned this month!  There is a few big “unknowns” around the corner for me, and I’m super excited!

I want to say to someone special: that good things come to people who try hard and work hard.  Figure out what it is that you are not satisfied with, and decide what you are going to do about them.  Or, things will always stay the same.


Hope your September goes well!  What products have you loved this past month?

xoxo, K

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Up & Down #5 / A Piece of Me… in August 2010

Wow, can you believe that it is already August?  I haven’t gone on summer vacation yet!  I hope everyone is enjoying summer!

Here are my Ups & Downs for this month!

Ups:
– Sonia Kashuk Flat Top Brush

I haven’t been able to post this yet, but Sarah kindly sent this to me!  It is the BEST foundation brush for me so far.  I’ll review this soon!

– Arubian Coral Mica eyeshadow from Coastal Scents

Blair kindly sent me a sample of this, which I pressed.

My go-to everyday eyeshadow right now!  It is actually much pinker than it appears in this picture.

– booking my trip to London and Manchester!  
I’ll be there in mid-September.  Please let me know if you would like a meetup!
Downs:
– Being incredibly exhausted due to the heat.  
On the plus side, it has forced me to go home earlier since I don’t want to fall asleep while driving!
– Food spoiling easily, even in the refrigerator.   
Since I only go shopping once a week, I run out of things to eat by Fridays!

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It’s the time of the month to join Notes from the Toothfairy in A Piece of Me!

This month…
I like: that I realized I’ve grown a lot stronger than I thought I was.  I WILL get through this. 

I don’t like: that I’m exhausted all the time

I want you to know: this month, I’ve realized more than ever how kind and generous blogger girls are.  THANK YOU for lending me an ear, for giving me a hug, for comforting me when I spent so many days depressed.  I don’t know what I would have done without all of you!

I’ve planned: YES I’ve booked my tickets to Hawaii & London!  But I haven’t found hotels yet (except for London)!!!

I want to say to someone special: BIG HUGS!!!

I’ve ranted so much on twitter that I had a few big changes in my life recently.  It was really hard on me for a little while.  Surprisingly, after a week or two, it got a lot easier.  I was seriously down for that week, and then it wasn’t so bad.  I have all my wonderful blogger girls to thank for that!!

How was your July?
 
xoxo, K

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Summer essentials

Summer seems to start in June in the US, but I feel like mid-July is the start of Summer for me.
Mid-July is when schools go on summer vacation, and it’s also when the temperature gets really HOT and HUMID.  Japan might not be as hot and humid as other countries, but a lot of us walk everywhere.  That’s a lot of time out in the sun!

Here are my 10 summer must haves
1. Sunscreen / Sunblock
 Do people still tan?  I try to avoid it at all costs.  However, I can’t make myself wear gloves and long sleeves like many ladies here (yes, THIS is a common sight).  Sunscreen is a MUST HAVE!
The middle sunscreen is a spray that I got in the US.  I really wish we had these in Japan.  This is so convenient.

I’m not sure if there is a difference between sunscreen and sunblock.  In Japanese, both are called 日焼け止め = “tan stopper”.

2. Concealer
In the summer, I don’t often wear a full face of foundation.  However, I have a few discolorations on my face that tinted moisturizer can’t cover.  I like to wear concealer and powder if  I’m in a super hot climate.

I’m still looking for my HG concealer.  I’d love to try NYX Concealer in a Jar.

3. Blotting paper & powder
Even if my skin isn’t 100% perfect, I feel that I look pulled together as long as my face isn’t shiny.  It’s important to me to blot and then dust my face with a light powder.
Yo-jiya blotting sheets are VERY popular here.  You can only find them in Kyoto and in the airports.
The Ponds powder is a gift from Iyah, which I’m really loving.  I have done a review on the Skin Food Powder here.
4. Whitening/brightening skin care
Like many east Asian women, I am obsessed with making myself look lighter.
That’s an exaggeration, but I do want to minimize the sun damage that I get.  I try to use products that help to combat sun damage.
 This lotion is from the same line as Hada Labo.  I don’t know how well it works for brightening/whitening, but every little bit counts.
5. Cooling skin care
My body overheats VERY easily.  My skin will become hot and I’ll have headaches.  It’s very important to me that I stay cool, but I don’t like having the A/C blaring all the time.
The left hand product is from Gatsby and it’s a deodorant wipe.  I love it because it is SUPER minty and leaves my skin minty cool.
The orange bottle is a deodorant spray from Seabreeze.  Like other Seabreeze products, this also leaves my skin feeling cool and refreshed.

6. Bling

I love bling all the time, but summer helps me step out of my comfort zone.  Ponytail holders are very popular right now in Japan.  What a great place to start with bling.

7. A bright pedicure

(not my picture)

Bright toenails scream summer to me.
Right now, my toenails are painted bright red, but I really want to experiment with more colors.
 
8. Sweat/Oil/Smudge proof mascara

Ahhh, the never ending search for the perfect mascara!   The non-waterproof version of Cover Girl Lash Blast is currently my favorite.  It is the best mascara for me in terms of not smudging/flaking/leaving dark circles under my eyes, and it gives me the volume I want.

9. Eyebrow top coat

(not my picture)
This product is a lifesaver for me!  I brush it onto my eyebrows to prevent the parts that I’ve penciled in from fading.  This product is best used if you cut the hair on your eyebrows very short, like many Japanese girls in magazines.
I usually buy these at Daiso (100 yen store).  Similar products are sold at drugstores as well.

10. Blush with a sheen

I love a flush of color on the cheeks.  I think a blush with a sheen looks great in the summer.  I’m not very good with cream blushes, though.  Right now, I’m loving my Milani Luminous (the infamous Nars Orgasm dupe).
What are your favorite products this summer?  Please let me know!
xoxo, K
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Favorite Products for the First Half of 2010!

Wow, the first half of 2010 has already gone by!  That means it’s time to do my favorites for these past 6 months.

Favorite Skin Care items:

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

Like I said in my review, I will still continue to use oil-based cleansers for everyday cleansing because I don’t think that wipes get everything off.  That said, these are by far the BEST wipes I have ever used, and they are far superior to anything we have in Japan. Too bad I don’t have access to this in Japan!!

Unfortunately, this is the only new skin care product which really WOWed me.  I continue to love the Lush Brazen Honey Fresh Face Mask, which was in my favorites for 2009.

Favorite Makeup items:

Maybelline Moisture Extreme Lipstick in Nude Blush

Seriously, my lips but better!  I love the color and I love the incredibly smooth texture.  My lips peel at the slightest irritation, but this one is great.

Barry M Dazzle Dusts
This is the one in 51-Mushroom, but I love all the ones that I have.

Here are some swatches

VERY pigmented and very smooth!  I pressed mine and they are SO easy to work with.  These last a long time on my lids.  I can’t wait to pick up some more colors soon.

Silica Spheres



I love to mix some with my finishing powder for a smooth, matte finish.  I used to buy mine from Coastal Scents, but I’ve found that TKB Trading sells them at a better price.

Favorite tools:

MAC 109

Yes, I just got this, but I have already fallen in love!  I LOVE how small this brush head is.  It lets me apply blush and bronzer very precisely.

MAC 130

I love to use this brush for highlighters.  It’s great for both cream and powder products.


Favorite scents:

Tie: Bath & Body Works Twilight Woods / Bath & Body Works Velvet Tuberose

(I must be a really rare person –  I do not like Japanese Cherry Blossom!)

Biggest surprise:

That I like the non-waterproof Cover Girl Lash Blast better than the waterproof one!

A friend of mine picked up Cover Girl Lash Blast for me, but they accidentally bought the non-waterproof version.  Not wanting to disappoint them, I tried it, thinking that non-waterproof mascaras wouldn’t work for me.  Surprisingly, the non-waterproof version of this mascara transfers MUCH less than the waterproof version.  It’s also much easier to take off.


Best trick I finally learned:

How to (properly) use eye primers
 Ever since I discovered eye primers a year ago (they don’t sell them in Japan), I’d been lemming to try them.  When I finally got my hands on one, it was a total disappointment because the eyeshadow still creased.  What I recently learned is that I needed to let the primer set a little bit.  Wow, that was stupid of me for not realizing that earlier!  At least now my eyeshadow doesn’t budge!!!

What are your favorites so far this year?  Please share!

xoxo, K
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Up & Down #4 / A Piece of Me… in June 2010!

It’s June!!!  June in Japan is rainy season (called Tsuyu)!  Unlike rainy seasons in other parts of the world, it rains for ENTIRE DAYS during Tsuyu!  We will have 3-4 days of consecutive rain, and then a sunny day.  I prefer rainy seasons where it just rains HARD for a few hours each day!

Ups:
– Barry M Dazzle Dusts.   Now that I’ve pressed them, they are SO easy to use!  I love how pigmented they are!

 Swatches are from my blogpost here.

nail polish!  I’m very bad at painting my nails, plus I do too much stuff with my nails.  That’s why I have never grown my nails long, and I was never a nail polish wearer.  Recently, I’ve been getting into nail polish… I blame the beauty blogger community!!!

(Not my picture – this was the first picture on google image search)

finally “getting” how to use eye primers.  Eye primers never really worked for me, until I finally figured out that I was using it wrong!  I guess I never learned correctly since Youtube videos typically skip over this part!

Downs:
– really tough days at the office.  ‘Nuff said.

– people problems.  Did you know that 80% of people who quit their jobs do so because of people problems (boss, coworkers, etc)?

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It’s also the time of the month to join Notes from the Toothfairy in A Piece of Me!

This month…

I like: that I was able to write a creative blogpost.  Even though many people have compared the Beauty Blender and the Sonia Kashuk sponge, I’m glad I could contribute something new by showing the difference in density!  Thank you for your support! (see my post here)

I don’t like: that I have continued to have people problems.  It is emotionally draining.

I want you to know: that I really, really appreciate all the love I receive on twitter and through comments on my blog.  Thank you so much for letting me know you care!

I’ve planned: nothing much!  I’m starting to get the itch to go somewhere!

I want to say to someone special: Thank you for your love and support!

xoxo, K

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