Review: Reusable Cotton Rounds from Etsy

A year ago or so, I first learned about reusable cotton rounds from the blog Wardrobe Oxygen.  I know I could do better in making my lifestyle more earth-friendly, and this looked like a good way to do so.

Side note: If you are not reading Wardrobe Oxygen yet, I highly recommend it. It is a great fashion blog for REAL women like me, who don’t have unlimited funds to make themselves look business-appropriate.

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Reusable rounds can be used where ever you use disposable cotton rounds, although I don’t recommend you use them for removing nail polish. Many Etsy sellers make them out of flannel or cotton.  I use them for removing my makeup.

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I bought my rounds from the Etsy seller Green Little Nest. She makes them out of leftover pieces of flannel from her other projects, so the patterns are so cute! After using them, I rinse them (although I really don’t think  you need to) and put them in a lingerie bag.  Once a week, I throw the lingerie bag in the wash long with my other laundry.

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Price: $13 for 30, plus shipping. I use about 3 each time I remove my makeup.

Pros:

  • Earth friendly!
  • These are super soft and don’t irritate my skin
  • The patterns are so cute and make me feel a little bit happier when I remove my makeup.
  • These get softer the more you wash them. In fact, I recommend that you wash them a few times before using them for the first time.

Cons:

  • I feel that these absorb more product than my normal cotton rounds.  If I am using Bioderma or other water-based makeup removers, I wet the rounds under the sink first, and squeeze out the excess water before applying the remover.

 

Would I repurchase? Yes, and I think these make a great gift!

 

Hope you enjoyed my review!

xoxo, K

 

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Review: Ecotools Bamboo Bronzer brush – can you believe it’s $10???

This is a review of the Ecotools Bamboo Bronzer brush. I bought this while I was in New York.

What it does: (from the Ecotools website)
Create a natural-looking, sun-kissed glow with this beauty editor favorite! Our widely-acclaimed bronzer brush features soft, cruelty-free taklon bristles, a recycled aluminum ferrule and heavy bamboo handle. This brush is packaged in our zip-top, reusable pouch.

Price: $10.  Yes, really. 

Pros:

  • I love the quality of this brush!  The bristles are VERY soft!
  • This is a great, dense brush.  I use this is either as a kabuki brush to apply bronzer on large areas of my face, or as a powder brush
  • I also love using this to apply a sheer layer of foundation.  During the summer, I don’t want anything heavy on my skin!
  • As with all the other Ecotools products I have used before, this product is cruelty-free. I also love that they use bamboo for the handle – a very sustainable material!
  • Very affordable!  Please don’t think this is a good brush for the price – it is a great brush no matter the price.  The price is just an added bonus!

Cons:

  • The head of this brush is PRETTY big. I wouldn’t try to use this for detailed application.
  • As with all kabuki brushes, this brush takes some effort to wash because of the density of the bristles. It also takes a long time to dry

Would I repurchase? YES!  This is a fabulous brush.  It has been my go-to foundation brush since I bought it in New York.

In general, I think Ecotools has some great brushes. I love this brush much more than some of my brushes which were 4 times the price! I’m really looking forward to trying some other Ecotools brushes out next time I’m in the US. Have you tried any of the Ecotools brushes?

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

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Up and Down #24: June 2012

Memorial Day has passed, so that means that it’s officially the start of summer for Americans!  In Japan, June is the rainy season – days and days of endless rain.  I’d say that in Japan, summer starts in mid July.  On the other hand, September is fall for most Americans, but in Japan, it’s definitely hot until the end of September!

On to my Ups and Downs!

Ups: There are lots of makeup favorites this month – I have been having a blast playing with the stuff I bought in New York!

Revlon Colorstay Liquid Foundation for Combination/Oily skin
A lot of people say that this is a heavy foundation. I like to sheer it out with…

Ecotools Bamboo Bronzer Brush
This is soft, made well, and is cheap – $10! I highly recommend this brush!  I like to use this as a kabuki brush. I run it under the faucet, squeeze out the excess water, and buff in my foundation for a sheer finish. This is a HUGE brush – the head is as big as the apple of my cheek.  For detailed foundation application, such as under my eyes, I use…
Sephora Pro Concealer Airbrush #57
I had been thinking of buying the much hyped #55 foundation brush for a while. Joey suggested I buy this instead, and it’s definitely a LOVE!

One more brush this month…

MAC 211 eyeliner brush
I have been looking for a brush for gel eyeliner for a while. I wanted something pointed, something that was soft on my eyes, yet able to draw eyeliner either thick or thin.  Too picky? I thought so too, but then I found this brush!

Getting back in to running
I admit, this has been hard. I feel better when I run, so I have been trying. The Couch to 5k app has helped a lot (I use this one, but there are several on iTunes).
My weekday schedule, when I can manage it, looks like this:
                            6:30 PM – leave work
                            7:10-7:30 PM – arrive at home
                            7:30 PM – eat dinner (in a hurry)
                            8:00 PM – run
                            8:40 PM – shower, get ready for tomorrow, wind down
                            10:00 PM – try to sleep
I wake up at 5 AM and leave home at 6:30 AM for work. I have found that when I run at night, even with 6-7 hrs of sleep, I wake up VERY tired. I’ll have to figure out something that works for me.
Downs: Crap to deal with at work. Everyone has this sometimes, right?  But hey, at least there aren’t any products which I bought in the US that don’t work for me!

How was your May?

xoxo, K

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Review: Sonia Kashuk Brush Couture Flat Top Multipurpose Blush/Powder Brush

This is a review for the Sonia Kashuk Brush Couture Flat Top Multipurpose Blush/Powder Brush. I received this brush as a gift from Kathy of Mai-Kat Oshaberi (who knew I wanted this brush!). 

What it does:  This is a synthetic flat top brush designed to be used as a blush brush or powder brush. I use it to apply foundation.

Price: $10.99 on target.com

I also wanted to compare it to the Sonia Kashuk Synthetic Flat Blusher Brush, which I also love to apply foundation.



Pros: 
– The Brush Couture (“the blue brush”) has a bigger brush head than the synthetic brush (“the black brush”), making foundation application much faster
– The hairs on the blue brush seam to be less packed together, giving a more airbrushed finish, similar to a dual fiber brush


Cons:
– The black brush has much softer hairs.  The blue brush has pricklier hairs.  After washing this brush weekly for the past 6 months, it’s finally soft enough!
– The blue brush sheds, even after several washings!!


Would I repurchase? I hope I won’t need to, but if I lost this brush, I would definitely repurchase.  It’s a great deal at $11!

As long as you are ok with the prickliness and the shedding, this is a great brush.  I’m hoping that the shedding is not a common problem and that I just got a bad brush.  This is a great foundation brush and I like it a lot more than my expensive brushes!

I hope you enjoyed my review!

xoxo, K

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How to choose the right eyelash curler

Along with mascara, curling my eyelashes has always been a big part of my makeup routine since I first started wearing makeup. An eyelash curler may look intimidating at first, but it is a quick and easy way to make your eyelashes look longer, and therefore make your eyes look bigger and more wide awake.

But how to find an eyelash curler that works for me without buying every single one I see? I did some research on the internet and found a fabulous blog post by a Japanese beauty blogger which compared several brands of eyelash curlers. I contacted her and she kindly agreed to allow me to translate part of her post into English and post it on my own blog to share with my readers. Although the original article is a little old, I still feel that it is worthwhile information.

Yuko-sama of “Tetsu no Shojo” (“The Iron Maiden”) has a great beauty blog full of tutorials, skin care and makeup product reviews, as well as how to’s for nail art and storage. Regardless of whether you can or can’t read Japanese, please check out her blog!

And now, here is a translation of Yuko-sama’s blog post on eyelash curlers. I have included some personal comments in italics. You can read the original article here.
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Yuko-sama reviewed 8 eyelash curlers on her blog previously, and this article is a final comparison of these 8. (All prices have been updated)

  1. Shiseido, 840 yen 
  2. Maquillage (by Shiseido), 1050 yen 
  3. Suqqu, 2100 yen 
  4. Tesshyu (by Kanebo), 945 yen 
  5. Elle (by Kose), 735 yen
  6. Excel (Spring-type): 735 yen 
  7. Koji with Matsukiyo : 420 yen (Matsukiyo is a very famous Japanese drugstore) 
  8. Koji: 1890 yen 

There are a few points that you need to check when chosing the right eyelash curler for you: 

  1. Frame width: A wide frame does not necessarily equal a great eyelash curler. Some people say that if the frame is too wide, the eyelash curler will hit the corners of your eyes and not fit the middle part of the eye. 
  2. Front curve:The front curve needs to fit the curve of your upper eyelid. If your eyes are rounded, pick an eyelash curler with a deep curve. If your eyes are less rounded, pick an eyelash curler with a less pronounced curve.
  3. 3D curve:This curve needs to fit how much your eyes protrude from your face. If your eyes stick out more, pick one with a deep curve. 
  4. Opening of the eyelash curler:This refers to how much the eyelash curler opens. If you have long eyelashes and you use an eyelash curler that does not open enough, it may be difficult to grab a hold of your eyelashes. 
  5. Stiffness of the rubber: A softer rubber will curl your eyelashes easier. If the hairs of your eyelashes are thick or stiff, use an eyelash curler with softer rubber. If your eyelash hairs are thin or soft, a stiffer rubber may work better for you. 

Here is a picture to visualize what the 5 terms mean. I have sent Yuko-sama this picture to confirm the meaning of these terms with her.

Here is a comparison of the 8 eyelash curlers using these 5 points. Going outwards of this radar chart means the frame width becomes wider, the front curve becomes more pronounced, the 3D curve becomes deeper, the opening becomes bigger, and the rubber becomes stiffer.

The smaller the radar chart, the more the eyelash curler will fit someone with fine bone features (ie, someone who has more stereotypically East Asian features), and the bigger the radar chart, the more the eyelash curler will fit someone with thick set features (ie, someone who has more stereotypically Western features).

Basically, the eyelash curlers from Shiseido/Maquillage/Elle are the same type, while the ones from Suqqu/Tesshyu/Koji can also be grouped into the same type. If you are thinking, “My eyelash curler works OK, but if only this part were more like this…”, it might be a good idea to try another eyelash curler from the same general type, but with a different measurement in the area you are dissatisfied.

However, please be aware that there are other points which affect how an eyelash curler works, such as the position of the handles or the thickness of the frames. Also, comparing an eyelash curler with a spring with those without springs is not really an apple to apple comparison.

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That’s the end of Yuko-sama’s blog post. Isn’t it detailed and extensive? She also has separate reviews for each of the eyelash curlers she compared. I hope this blog post helped anyone trying to find an eyelash curler that works for them! Thanks Yuko-sama for letting me translate her post!

xoxo, K

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