Hauling in New York – Part One!

Someone very kindly helped me get some things from the Sephora Friends and Family / Urban Decay Friends and Family sales!

I FINALLY jumped on the Beauty Blender bandwagon!
I’ve tried it a few times already and I really liked it!
I’ll do a full review of it soon!!!
(The red tape is to stop the cleanser from spilling in my luggage)

Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Corrector
Hopefully my skin tone will improve with this!
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Can you believe I FINALLY got my hands on this?
I’ve wanted it since I started blogging a year ago!

Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner
I haven’t tried this yet since I’m still using my Milani Liquif Eye liner (which is LOVE)!


Stella by Stella McCartney
This is a perfume which really brings back memories for me.
I LOVED it, but after I finished my bottle, I could not find it anywhere in Japan!
Imagine my surprise when I found out that Diana also bought the same perfume!

See?  Not much!
Part 2 is going to be the rest of the stuff I bought!
(Trust me, it was surprisingly little…)

xoxo, K

PS: Don’t forget to join my giveaway!

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Review: The Diva Cup

This is my rave about the Diva Cup, a reusable menstrual product.  If you are squeamish, please feel free to skip this post.

A few weeks, Mel posted about the Diva Cup.  This product has seriously changed my life, and I felt so compelled to write about it.

The Diva Cup is a reusable menstrual product.  It is a silicone cup which sits inside you and collects menstrual fluid.

Yes, you have to pull it out and dump your blood out.  I guess this is why people are grossed out about it.  For me, the pros FAR outweigh the cons.  I’ve had my period for over 15 years, and handling menstrual products is just a way of life.

There are several similar products out there, but this will be specifically about the Diva Cup since that is the one I use.

I get asked a lot of questions when I tell people I use a menstrual cup.  Here are some of the questions I get asked, and my answers:

Q: When did you start using the Diva Cup?
A: I have been using the Diva Cup for 4 years.


Q: What made you decide to buy one?
A: 2006 is the year that I started working at a job which required me to spend months at a time in China.  I knew that most of my female colleagues brought boxes and boxes of pads/tampons with them on these business trips since they wanted to use a product they trusted.  Not knowing how many months they’d have to spend in China meant bringing A LOT of products with them.  I did not want to have to bring that much with me, and so I started researching online for an alternative.

I also disliked that little box in the corner of any ladies’ room (including my bathroom at home).  Used menstrual products start to smell, and I really wanted to eliminate that from my home.

Q: Isn’t the cup expensive?
A: I found the Diva Cup online for about $35.  I know you can find it cheaper in the US. Tampons are fairly expensive in Japan, being about $8-9 for a box of 30, which I go through in less than one month.  The Diva Cup paid for itself in less a few months.

Q: How do you get it inside you?
A: The Diva Cup comes with instructions, but I really suggest you do your research online.  There was a livejournal community which was very active (here’s the link) which had a lot of tips on insertion methods.  Just find one that works for you.  I use what is called the 7-fold method.

Q: Isn’t it messy?
A: I really recommend practicing.  Unlike tampons, it is perfectly safe to do dry-runs with a cup, that is, to try them out when you are not on your period.  This is a great way to figure out how to insert/take out your cup without risking getting yourself into a mess.

Q: Doesn’t it hurt?
A: If it is properly inserted, it shouldn’t hurt.  This is the same as using a tampon.  There are a lot of tips/tricks in case the stem is too long for you.  Again, try a few dry-runs.

Q: How do you clean it?
A: I wipe it down with a paper towel every time I dump it.  I also wash it every day in the shower.  I boil it at the end of every period to sanitize it.  Yes, it will still stain.  I personally don’t care too much.

Q: Is it safe?
A: Unlike with tampons, there are no reported cases of TSS with menstrual cups.  You can leave it inside of you all day.  How frequently you need to take it out depends on the amount of your menstrual fluid, and you’ll be able to figure out a good frequency after a few tries.


Q: Does it leak?
A: Not for me.  If it does, this link has a ton of info on what you can do.

A lot of the menstrual cup companies like to give out info… which may or not may not work for you.  This is a great link which has a lot of opinions.

Finally, what I wrote above is purely my own opinion.   All women are different and what works for me may or may not work for you.  I am not being paid by the Diva Cup to make this post.  It is rare for me to find something which I absolutely adore, so I really wanted to share it with you!

Here some other great links which may be of interest to you!

Wardrobe Oxygen (this is one of my most favorite blogs!)
Wikipedia

xoxo, K

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Review: Sigma brushes

This is a review for Sigma Brushes.

Yes yes, we have all heard about Sigma brushes.  MANY gurus on youtube have been reviewing them! 
I bought their brush roll recently since I had been storing mine in a plastic baggie (yeah, I know… horrible…).  I was looking for a brush roll made out of fake leather so that i could clean it, since i have a bad habit of putting brushes away uncleaned.  Together with the brush roll, I also bought their SS 239 and 224 brush.

If you haven’t heard about Sigma brushes, their numbers correspond to the MAC brushes.  For example, the SS239 is supposed to be a dupe of the MAC 239, and so on.  Sigma has a good collection of face and eye brushes on their website.

The Sigma brush roll can also be bought with their brush collection, but I really didn’t need to buy so many brushes.  The nice part is that it currently comes with their travel sized SS217 brush, which is not available in full size.

Here is the brush roll.  The fake leather is thick and not flimsy at all.
Here it is, opened.  There is a good number of slots for your brushes.

It closes with a magnetic clasp.
Price: $20
Verdict:  I am quite happy with my purchase!
Now, on to the brushes.  I’m only going to review the SS239 and the SS217, since these are the two that I can compare to MAC brushes.  If you would like a review of the SS224, please let me know!

Here is the SS239 and the SS224.

MAC 239 vs SS239
The SS239 looks a lot different from the MAC 239, even at a first glance since the color of the hairs are different.  I found that using a white brush reminds me to clean up more, but I’m glad that I don’t have to worry about the SS239 staining!

Here is a side by side comparison.

The SS239 is significantly bigger than the MAC 239.  I have seen other bloggers mention that the SS239 is too big for their lids and therefore they can only use them for highlighting.  Personally, I like the size since I can cover a larger area at once.

A little hard to see, but the SS239 is also thicker than the MAC 239.

Price: $9
Verdict:  This is not an exact dupe of the MAC239, but it serves the same purpose as long as you are OK with the bigger size.  I use the two brushes for different things, and I’m glad that I bought a different brush instead of buying two MAC 239s.

MAC 217 vs SS217

Since the SS217 is a travel size, it is significantly shorter, but the handle thick enough to hold comfortably. 

Left: SS217, Right: MAC 217

You can see clearly that the MAC 217 is more tapered.

Price: Not available for individual sale
Verdict: The Sigma brush is thinner than the MAC brush.  I find it hard to blend with this brush.

Now, for the rant…

You can see that for the most part, I was pretty happy with my purchase… except for one thing…

Let’s take a closer look at the SS239 that I have…

Do you see it?

Um, yeah, there’s a fingerprint smudge in silver ink on the handle.
Trust me, this is NOT mine, since there is NO silver ink anywhere in my house.  It is the same color as the writing on the handles.
I wonder what I should do about it??  It’s a bit creepy, and bummed me out on what was otherwise a good shopping experience!
*Note: Since writing this post, I have contacted Sigma and been asked to send back the brush for a replacement.  I’ll update on how that went!  I’m considering buying the travel set in Black, so I hope this transaction goes well!
xoxo, K

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My Korea Haul Part 3!

OK, OK, OK, this is SUPER late!!!!

I was only planning to make two posts about my haul in Korea!
However, I went and bought something at the duty free!!!!

The duty free at Korea is priced in US dollars!
They do take Korean Won (as well as Japanese Yen, Chinese RMB, etc), but the exchange rate at the store is not very good!
It’s best to pay in US dollars, or to exchange money to Korean Won at the foreign exchage before shopping!!


On to what I bought!

The Face Shop White Tree EX Whitening Mask

The Face Shop Wrinkle Stop Neck Treatment
I’ve used this for a while and I’m really liking it!

The Face Shop Wrinkle Stop Eye Cream


The Face Shop White Tree EX Eye Serum
(Notice a pattern? Yeah, I need to take care of the skin around my eyes/neck!!!)
ANNNNDDD the highlight of my shopping!!!!

MAC eyeshadows and a 217 brush!
Satin Taupe, Honey Lust, and Carbon!

I was not planning to buy any MAC stuff at all!
BUT guess how much these were????
Eyeshadows: $16
(I know that is more expensive than the US, but they are normally $25 in Japan!!!)
217: $18
(even cheaper than the US!!! This is normally $32 in Japan!!!!!)

I was going to get a 187 brush (it is a whopping $70 in Japan!) but they didn’t have any… Oh well!!!

One non-beauty related item:

A Starbucks mug


I collect Starbucks city mugs from cities I’ve been to on business trips.
Instead of the Seoul one, I got this one with ancient writing (similar to Kanbun in Japan).
Is it just me, or are the recent ones kind of simple? They used to be a whole lot cooler…

Off to go play with my MAC shadows!!

xoxo, K

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SWAP with Diana (paperdollrevenge)!

This is a swap I did with Diana (paperdollrevenge)!

LOOK at all of this stuff!!!!!
This beautiful card had some very sweet messages inside it…
It meant so much to me!!!

L’egere White Multi BB cream!
I had wanted a full tube since I got a sample from Mel and fell in love!
I thought this wasn’t available in Japan, but look at the Japanese writing on the panel…
Oh and Sabine – I NEED foundation!!!! Trust me!!

Wet & Wild Dual Pencil Sharpener!!!
L’Oreal De-crease!!!
The pencil sharpener may seem weird but it is SO SO SO important to me!
I couldn’t find a pencil sharpener which fit my NYX jumbo pencils!!!
Now, thanks to Diana, I can use them again!!!

L’Oreal De-crease is the first lid primer that I’m going to use!
UDPP is a whopping $30 online in Japan!!!!
LID PRIMER!!!
I LOVE YOU!!!!
COME TO JAPAN!!!!

Ecotools foundation brush and blush brush!
I mentioned in my video that I’ve been using the same brushes for 10 years…
It’s clearly time for an overhaul!!!

OOOOHHHHH!!!!
MAC 239
MAC 217

I am soooo excited!
These are actually prizes that I won in Kristine’s contest which Diana sent to me!
(you might remember my entry here)
Wow, that was back in March!!!!

BATH & BODY WORKS STUFF!!!!
Oh wow, Diana has really SPOILED me!
She got me body lotions & shower gels in
Butterfly Flower (a new scent!)
Sensual Amber (this is the first B&BW scent I tried, and I LOVE it!)
Black Amethyst

Do you know what the B&BW website says about the scent Black Amethyst????
“A scent inspired by chic, sensual, and confident women”
Um, yeah, now I’ve got a lot I have to live up to! hahaha

Again, THANK YOU!
THANK YOU!!!
THANK YOU!!!!!!

xoxo, K

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