Monday, October 20, 2014

No7 Lift & Luminate Foundation Review and an introduction to my "Drugstore Skin" Project!

Hello all!

          Today, a rather windy afternoon where I am, I am fairly excited to finally begin documenting a small project of mine.  I've dubbed it the "Drugstore Skin" Project.  These past months I have been wanting to try drugstore foundation in an attempt to expand my experiences with foundation.  It's also been a small hunt to find something that will temper my never ending love for Cle de Peau's Refining Foundation as well as develop my understanding of my skin tone and the nuances of base makeup (something I've never been good fact I am down right atrocious at choosing appropriate shades for myself).  As such I've accumulated a small lot of various drugstore foundations and have set out to try them all out.  Thus far, it's been a mixture of frustration, fun, and "why in the world did I think that colour would work for me???" (an all too often exclamation I make).  For now, I have amassed:

Without further ado, here is today's foundation to try:  Boots' No7 Lift & Luminate Foundation 

The No7 Lift & Luminate Foundation is gorgeously packaged.  It comes in a plastic bottle topped with a pump.  I really like that this foundation comes with a pump as it makes it easier to control the amount dispensed, a pump also eliminates the possibility of a spill which is great as I am rather clumsy.  This might be my favourite in terms of packaging, I think it's clean and the pop of blue is fun without looking gaudy (for example, Hard Candy's packaging).

I wore this today and the consistency is really lovely.  It's a very light formula and is mousse like in texture as opposed to the more liquid/runny foundations.  It blends out beautifully and has light/medium coverage.


Above is my bare face freshly moisturized (hence the sheen, I actually have rather dry skin).  I still suffer from pretty temperamental skin and so I deal with some breakouts, hyperpigmentation/discolouration, and some unevenness in texture (pore/bumps etc.).

Above is my no longer bare face, I applied one layer of the foundation all over my face and powdered the edges of my face.  It's evident that this foundation isn't going to cover every imperfection but I really like the coverage it does provide.  Additionally the texture is lovely and blends into the skin seamlessly.  It looks very much like skin and on some days I really appreciate that.  I would consider this to be a good foundation to wear to class or to a quick lunch date or whilst running errands.  I would probably wear something with more coverage in the evening.  This foundation photographs without a white cast which is nice :) I would recommend setting it with powder for people with oily skin types.  All in all my first impression of this foundation is rather positive!  I like the packaging and the formula but do note that the coverage leans more to light, and that the formula is rather lightweight (shorter wear time)  I believe there are eight shades, it's hypo-allergenic and has broad spectrum SPF 15 which are all positives in my book.

I have this in the colour Warm Sand.  For reference I have warm/golden toned medium skin (Cle de Peau 060, Estee Lauder Stay in Place concealer in shade 09).

I'm really excited to try all of these various foundations and am glad that I'm starting off on a positive note!

Thank you for reading,
Till next time !

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Autumn Acquisitions

Hello! Hello!

Today is a beautiful over cast day where I am and I've just gotten back from an event called the "Coastal Clean Up" in which volunteers come to pick trash at a local watershed :)  Yesterday evening I had an opportunity to ride in my university's shuttle service to a mall trip, I came to find that it was an outdoor mall and it was lovely!  It's been extremely hot here, so the over cast days with a slight wind are extremely welcome.  In any case, yesterday marked the two week mark of university, and the completion of my first test!  So I picked up a couple treats for myself.  Though I feel that I might have splurged a bit too much, I am completely enamored with every single thing that I purchased.  I've yet to try them and so I don't have much thoughts to share regarding the products.  But ever since university picked up I've been pinching pennies, so it's been lovely indulging a bit (hahaha).  I don't know what tone I'm conveying with these typed up words but I am EXTREMELY excited.  In any case, here are some of the things I picked up!

YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush in 11: I bought the bright red Kiss & Blush originally and fell IN LOVE with it, however I accidentally left it when I went on vacation :'( It left a bit of a hole in my heart that only another Kiss & Blush could fill....and now here we are.  I went with a different colour and am looking forward to trying it.

YSL Rouge Pur Couture in shade 206: I have been wanting to try the Rouge Pur Couture line from YSL having only tried the Kiss & Blush, the Glossy Stains, and the Rouge Voluptes as well as its "Sheer Candy" cosmetic cousin. 206 was a shade I've had my eye on, and luckily enough, I picked up the last tube in store! :)

Anthropologie Albeit Lipstick in Bordeaux:  I've never really shopped in Anthropologie, having no local stores back home and so I seized the opportunity to see what they had to offer.  I found these lipsticks and decided to pick up one of the deeper colours.  I have no real expectations but  I do hope it wears okay!  I also picked a small gift for a friend who's a fan of rose scents.

Here is a potato cam rendering of said balm.  I appreciate the packaging of these products.  The balm itself is a cute baby pink colour that leans more towards the mild side of the scent spectrum.  It's quite pleasant and I can't wait to ship it to my friend!

Addendum: A friend just told me that Anthropologie is owned by Urban this will also be my first and final purchase from them.  Ahh. I really should be a more informed shopper.

 H&M Lip Tint in Deep Red and Hot Pink:  I don't really shop in H&M, I think I've bought a pack of socks from the shop, but decided to wander in.  I've tried Forever 21's version of these, which are more liquid lip colours rather than lip tints and did not really like Forever 21's incarnation (although I did like the lip pencil with the brush on the other end quite nice!) So I thought I would pick these up for comparison.  We shall see!

Urban Outfitters Blossom Lip Gloss: This is a shameful purchase.  I am not fond of the shop from which I bought this from but have wanted this type of product.  And upon my inability to find an online retailer or alternative shop that sells flower infused roll-on lip gloss I caved.  It makes me feel a bit awful to have it, though the product is fine simply because I do not support Urban Outfitters as a company.  Hmm.

Solstice Scents Body Ganache in Jack & the Devil: I've mentioned Solstice Scents before and my love for the company has not faded.  I appreciate the attention to detail the company provides as well as the general aesthetic of the shop and its products.  I have worn this for a full day, and it's lovely, where the scent stays on the skin for quite a while.  Unfortunately I'm awful with scents, in describing them or critiquing them (simply resting at, "I do or I don't like this") so I don't think I will be doing a post on these beauties.  I also picked up two more Burnishing Glaces!  Perhaps my favourite product from Solstice Scents in (if I remember correctly) The Witch's Cottage and Sycamore Sugarworks. Unfortunately, Solstice Scents has discontinued my favourite scent (Sandalwood Vanilla) and I am forever hopeful that they formulate a scent that is similar!

In addition, I've also picked up some Halloween colours from Fyrinnae and a couple shades from Aromaleigh, a company I've never tried so I'm rather excited to try those as well!

This past month I have been doing 30 Days of Lipstick and it has really helped me discover what I really have and use what I have and it's been a lot of fun!  I'm quite excited for this change in season as I'm a big fan of the cold and the ways in which one warms up (with warm baked mac and cheese, a cup of hot chocolate and blankets!)  School has been tough both outside and inside the classroom, but I think I'm slowly (oh so very slowly) adjusting.  In any case, I can't wait to try all these!

Thank you for reading :)
I hope you have a beautiful day!
Till next time. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Glamour Doll Eyes, Review and Swatches

Hello all,

         Today (a rather lovely morning where I am), I would like to share some swatches and a small review on Glamour Doll Eyes.  I seized an opportunity to receive some samples of my choosing from Glamour Doll Eyes and having a fairly sizable collection of their blushes I was quite excited!  I was able to pick six colours, along with the full sized gift with purchase shade, of course I messaged Vanessa if she could send another blush my way (which I paid for, of course) I'm a bit in love with her blushes, I think I have seven now, but that's for a different day.  Today I would like to share my thoughts on the shadows that I received! :)

In any case here are the swatches!  Swatches are taken in indirect lighting.  The right side of the swatches are over Urban Decay's Primer Potion.

 From top to bottom: Feverish, Bittersweet, Bearded Lady

Some notes: Bearded Lady swatched lighter than the actual colour.  Also, Feverish might actually be one of my favourites from the lot and I'm probably going to pick up a full size when I place another blush order from GDE :P (even though we're talking about shadows today, it is clear where my loyalty lies) 

From top to bottom: Vulnerable, Flawless, Unveil, Boardwalk (GWP)

Some notes: LET'S JUST DISCUSS THE BEAUTY OF BOARDWALK.  Although I did not choose this shade as it was the free gift with purchase, I am absolutely enamored with it.  The package came right at the point when I realized I am a bit in love with the way purple/violet looks with brown and so this package was actually a dream come true. *enter wistful sigh* Unveil was a bit difficult to work with, in fact it's evident in the swatch as it is the only colour that showed a marked difference between application over bare skin and over primer.  It's a lovely colour, but I just didn't find myself using it as much as it would sometimes apply a bit patchy.  Both the light colours I received are nice pigmented, Vulnerable is another colour I would purchase in its full size.

Here's a shot that better shows the sparkle/shimmer of the shadows.  

And that's it for the swatches!  I really wanted to develop a solid opinion on these eye shadows, and I'm glad I spent the time I did trying them out.  I wore these out multiple days, I wasn't able to photograph all of the looks, and some photos were left behind in my old desktop (which I couldn't bring to uni due to space limitations!) but I do have a couple to share. 

 Here's a look using Flawless on the lid, Bearded Lady on the outer v blended using Feverish to blend it into the lid colour.  This is probably the look I wore most, just with small variations.  (Please let's not discuss my brows I don't know what's happening I cried through a small tidy session and it looks a bit better ;_;) 

Hands down my favourite look.  Just looking at it makes me want to wear it out for the day.  I don't wear this look as often as the one above simply because it's less wearable.  For this I used Boardwalk on the lid, Unveil as a transition colour into the outer v for which I used Bearded Lady.  For my crease I used Feverish.  I used Flawless in the inner corners :) 

Here are some quick snaps with my phone of some of the other days I used Glamour Doll Eyes, (note the brows have been cleaned up a bit!  OR IS IT THE POTATO CAM'S MAGIC???)

All in all I'm a little bit in love with Glamour Doll Eyes.  I already really liked the blushes the shop had to offer, but having never tried the shadows I was a bit apprehensive.  However, upon actually wearing them I was more than thrilled.  From receiving the package up till now, I have worn the eye shadows exclusively most of the days that I did wear eye shadow.  The pigmentation and the wear time are really nice and I see myself purchasing and trying more in the future.  I'm incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to try the Glamour Doll Eyes shadows.  Additionally, I had a chance to interact with Vanessa and she's wonderful, and I feel that inquiries and issues should they arise won't be a hassle as she's helpful and courteous.

Full sized shadows are $ 6.00 (1/2 tsp with sifter, 1/2-3/4 tsp without sifter)
Sample sized shadows (in jars) are $ 2.50 (1/4 tsp)
Sample sized shadows (in mini zip locked bags) are $ 1.25 (1/8 tsp)

Vanessa's shop can be accessed via Glamour Doll Eyes

Thank you so much for reading!
Till next time :)

P.S. Here I am with all of my college friends! ! !!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Purple and Brown, Thoughts and Musings

Hello all!

           It has been, again, quite a while and I do apologize.  Although, I do have a legitimate reason as to my absence in that I have been a "college kid" for almost a month.  Well...not really.  At this point, we have what's considered a "pre-semester block", mandatory for all first year students.  I am still a bit lost, and I have to admit that I will be a bit lost for more time to come.  In any case, this and that are completely separate things.  Perhaps most difficult about this transition is moving away from home and into a dormitory,  surrounded by an entirely different environment and people.  I miss my friends quite terribly and in honour of this I thought it was appropriate to finally post the Brown and Purple Extravaganza.  Wherein Erika forces her friends to take part in her latest obsession with brown and purple eye shadow together.  I'm not entirely sure where this love is rooted but even now after several weeks I am still incredibly enamored with how the two colours look with one another.  Of course, ever the obliging friends, my friends indulged me and proceeded to send me their version of the purple and brown look.  I didn't set parameters, in fact I wasn't even expecting for them to do the look in the first place, so the results are quite different between the three of us which makes it all the more interesting to see how versatile the combination is.

In any case, here are our respective purple and brown looks :)

Firstly, may I say that it is difficult to find good lighting in the dorms? ? ?  Secondly, may I say that it is a little embarrassing to go out onto the balcony and take about 300 selfies in an attempt to find decent lighting or at least a shot where one does not look like a potato? In any case, do please excuse the undulations in my skin tone as I am still trying to find a reliable light source.

I used Darling Girl's Diamond Dust in Persuasion (!! SO BEAUTIFUL !!) (IN FACT, I have been meaning to dedicate a post to Darling Girl's Diamond Dusts as they are EXQUISITE) and a matte Anastasia brown eye shadow on my crease and outer v (is that what that area is called? I am not sure).   I wore this look to class today!  We watched Hitchcock's Rope in relation to Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.  The shadows stayed put and were applied over UDPP and Darling Girl's Glitter Glue.

Meet my friend, let's refer to her as "K".  Defender of the whimsical, advocate for environmentalism, and master of makeup.  I was the last of my close group of friends to dip my toes (and dive in completely) into the world of makeup and I have always admired K's makeup.  I associate flawlessness and sultry eye looks with her and always will.  For our fourth year in high school K toned down her looks quite a bit and I have to say that I have missed her ever so alluring smokey eye looks.  It is still thrilling to me whenever she sends me a picture of her fotd's as I am quite a big fan of her face (and the makeup she applies on it). #girlcrush

The eyes portion of her product list is as follows:

Nars eye shadow primer Stila the Impressionist Palette vol II Brow Guerlain Eye Shadow (it has no specific name) Estée Lauder brown eyeshadow in the 06 Truffle quad Urban decay eyeshadow in Half Baked Urban decay eyeliner in Crash Lancôme definicils mascara for top lashes Dolce and Gabbana passion eyes for bottom lashes Her full products list can be viewed HERE!

Finally, we have my friend S who I met on the very first day of high school, in our first period class (tragically, P.E.).  She wears softer makeup looks, that are always cute or sparkly or a mixture of both.  She is a mascara wizard and coral fanatic as well as a lover for all things simple yet beautiful.  She was the reason I tried Chanel as she had a Chanel twist up eye liner that was quite nice.  My adventures in mascara usage and consequent purchase of Shiseido's (rather lovely) eye lash curler is mostly due to her recommendations.
Her looks is always modern and put together, ever accompanied by a touch of sparkle (or glitter).

Rather than a products list, she sent me a handy image of the products she used.  For her eyes she used the the golden Estee Lauder palette, one of the mini Stila palettes and Too Faced's Glamour to Go palette (which colours we may never know, I suppose that's all part of the enigma??)  She used an eye liner from Etude House and a combination of a Maybelline Mascara and Cle de Peau's The Mascara for her lashes.

I rather like the outcome of our trials in using this colour combination.  I like how each of our individual styles manifested into our respective eye looks.  In writing this post my desire to wear purple and brown has only been fueled, though it has also made me miss K and S even more.  ***PLEASE SKIP TO AVOID SENTIMENT AND PERSONAL DRIVEL***The three of us are all going to be attending university in different countries and as such will rarely have the opportunity to spend time as we did in high school.  The fourth in our foursome was also invited to participate, and I feel that at one point she may have done a purple and brown eye look (we shall refer to her as "T"), though I never received pictures of it.  T recently visited me at university, as she is staying local (that is local to where we all attended high school).  I have said this to them numerous times, but they are the people that I think of whenever I'm down or wish to rewind time as to "do better" or prevent myself from making the mistakes I did.  For all of these mistakes and regrets I wouldn't want to revert time for fear of not meeting them, such as meeting S on that first day of school.  I'm not one for saccharine displays of friendship or affection, but I do treasure my friends and am quite glad they indulge my silly whims.  Though friendship does not particularly lie in the realm of "what this blog is for", I do find that my friends are integral to the positive self image I hold today, which in its own right does speak to the purpose of this blog***END OF SENTIMENT AND PERSONAL DRIVEL*** More importantly, we all love to shop for makeup and it's always a fun time :P

Thank you for reading (As always), and I do apologize for the lack of posts as well as this almost *too* personal of a post (is it?) (I don't know).  Then again this is my personal blog so I suppose my personal matters and recollections, trivial as they may seem do belong here.  But that is neither here or there.

Have a wonderful WONDERFUL day!
Till next time :) 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Misadventures in Pressing

Hello all!

I am now back in the states and for some time now have wanted to share my adventures, or as the title better puts, MISadventures.  I place emphasis on the "mis", "ill" "mistaken" "wrong" "wrongly" "incorrectly"... you get the idea.  I say this because I have come to the conclusion that pressing is not for me.  Users on /r/indiemakeupandmore on Reddit often share their pressing projects and I always end up ooh-ing and ahh-ing at what they've made that I resolved to try it myself.  Evidently, pressing isn't as easy and fool proof as everyone made it out to be, and through the various days I spent attempting to press eye shadows I've found that perhaps this fun DIY is not meant for everyone.  In any case here are some of my handmade disasters :D Last minute swatches are also included.

The supplies that I used, not pictured are the palettes that are now filled with my pressing trials!  I have one more empty palette from TKB, though I think I will wait to press into those pans.  I tried both Jojoba Oil and Glycerin as a binder, thinking, oh maybe it was the binder that resulted in...that.  Alas, it was not and all batches ended up with the same problems I encountered on my first trial.  I also used 91% Alcohol, glass droppers, and a metal sculpting tool for mixing.  I avoided plastic because of the alcohol, and anything wooden because of its porous surface.  I also made sure to sanitize everything!

These are my first trials, utilizing old palettes.  In retrospect it was probably really ridiculously unintelligent to leave everything without labels, but for the most part I pressed with eye shadows that I didn't mind if I lost or mucked up.  Thus, unfortunately I don't have names for any of these.  Though, the issues I faced throughout my entire pressing experience present themselves in my first trials as well.

Inconsistency in quality after pressing was my main issue.  Some eye shadows pressed to a buttery and lovely consistency, they weren't powdery or crumbly.  This was the texture I wanted to achieve, sadly, it seemed to only come to fruit randomly.

Problems I faced were powdery eye shadows that seemed crumbly to the touch, eye shadows that felt dry but were still pigmented, and eye shadows that cracked and lost a lot of their pigmentation.  :(

This was my second try, an even more "I don't care, whatever I hate everything" try at pressing.  Frustrated and dismayed by my first trials, I decided to try different proportions of alcohol and glycerin.  I used my samples for this experiment and again ended up with the same varied results.  I came to find, however, that proportion wasn't the most salient to the finished pressed eye shadow, but rather, the eye shadow itself, its own properties affecting the whole pressing process.  Eh.  I've let it go, haha.

Note the cracked pan, and note the empty pan that kissed oblivion upon its conception.  It begs the question, what did  I do to deserve this??

My most recent trials, perhaps the most "successful", especially the palette on the left.  Again, I do apologize for not labeling anything.  I was fairly pleased with these, though I still haven't found the tried and true way to get the buttery consistency of the shadow, only still happening upon it by chance.  Though  I didn't have any crack or become unusable so I do regard that as a small success!

Lessons learned: DO NOT TRY TO FIT FIVE GRAMS OF EYE SHADOW INTO ONE PAN IT WON'T WORK.  Cue vulgarities and mild tears of frustration.

And those were my three separate forays into pressing!  Without further ado, some last minute swatches!

Swatches from the first trial, Palette to the right

Swatches from the first trial, Palette to the left

Swatches from the second trial, Palette of samples

Swatches from the third Trial, Palette to the right

Swatches from the third Trial, Palette to the left

For most of summer I didn't wear eye shadow because of an eye infection/irritation I got in Japan, when it subsided and upon returning home I haven't really gone out or done anything that warrants the effort of eye shadow and its almost necessity for tedious blending.  I also got new glasses so I've been trying to figure out how it fits into my aesthetic as it is quite different from my old pair.  I haven't used these pressed shadows very much, as they are often reminders of my FAILURES ;___________________; and all too apparent inability to follow instruction in a way that allows for a desired outcome (insert tears) (lots of tears) (who cares if the eyeliner smudges) (IT WAS ALL IN FUTILITY)

BUT, really, I've accepted my shortcomings when it comes to pressing, it was an interesting and for the most part fun and enjoyable learning experience and perhaps someday in the future I will return to it.  But for now, I'm cutting my losses and admitting defeat.  Most of the shadows are still very much usable and I look forward to using them in the future :)

Thank you for reading!
Till next time. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Summer Saviors and Acquisitions

Hello All!

I have been away for some time, in part because the last couple of weeks of high school was a bit hectic and in part because I have gone away for the holiday!  In between graduating and delayed stop overs in Tokyo and finally reaching my destination, I have recognized that it is difficult to do blog-ly things without a computer.  In truth I didn't want the extra baggage of my dinosaur of a laptop, but it has proven difficult to circuit the world wide web with my measly iPad, a device that does not prove user friendly to users with clumsy sausage fingers and thumbs (re: Me).  But at this time I have been temporarily loaned a laptop and as such would like to share a couple things.  Mainly, my summer favourites, dubbed "Summer Saviors" and my haul thus far, dummed "Summer Acquisitions" (because I'm feeling a little sassy this morning).  My flight experienced a prolonged delay and I ended up staying the night at a hotel in Tokyo, I ended up perusing the drugstore there and bought a couple of things.  Additionally, I fully embraced the Duty Free in the Narita International Airport with one indulgent purchase (only one!)  In any case here are some haphazard photographs taken with a dirty lens (Excuse the dust)!

Summer Saviors

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion
First and foremost would have to be sunscreen.  Though, I would have to admit that I get really lazy about sun protection in the cooler autumn/winter months, I'm a bit of a die hard fan of sunscreen in the warmer spring and summer months.  I picked this up a couple months ago and it's fairly nice.  Before I had been using Neutregena's Sheer Touch.  I'm not entirely sure how to sum up the good and bad of sunscreen, only lathering it on after I moisturize and crossing my fingers and hoping it helps.  When I'm in the sun for extended periods of time I also like to utilize spray on/mist sunscreen as it is easier to apply several times over a span of time.  

Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv 

I'm fairly sure that this is one of my favourite powders.  It's the reason I'm so keen on loose powder products even though they're a bit difficult to use as the scenario of "that's too much...tap tap...AND now it's all gone" happens all too often.  Additionally this doesn't travel very well, I would still have to say that I've used it with regularity and it has not failed me.  Next on my list to try is Sunday Riley's transluscent powder which I will hopefully pick up when I return to the states.

Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red 

I've talked endlessly about this (well about all of these as they are constant favourites), I'm not sure what else to say.  It goes on matte, it dries and it will stay.  We (my family and I) went to an island and I swam in the ocean wearing this and it still clung on.  Of course it did not look perfect but I was really surprised.  I wore it for the entirety of our weekend involving lots of ocean water and sand and more water and it performed fantastically.  And I'm fairly sure I convinced three different people to buy it woohoo!

Estee Lauder Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer

Again, I've tried a lot of concealers and fall back to this.  I will repurchase it when it dies and it's almost there, in fact most recently the sponge tip broke up mid application :'(((((((((

Anastasia Beverly Hills Illumin8 Palette, shade 5

I use this to fill in my eyebrows, it's nothing special, I just happen to have it.  Though I'm fairly clueless about brows so I just tend to use whatever.  I've used this all summer and I do like it, it stays put and doesn't travel.  I've also used it as eyeliner on the rare occasion.

Summer Acquisitions

Lancome Teint Visionnaire Foundation: I purchased this before I left the states.  I've never used this before and didn't even pick up a sample before buying but I don't regret it.  Though I haven't used this often, (my summer face routine skips foundation) on the occassions that I have worn this, I've been rather taken with it.  Additionally there a small pot of concealer attached to the cap of the foundation!

Dreamgirl Lovelight BB Powder in shade 3: In honestly this caught my eye because of the packaging.  I'm not entirely sure how a BB Powder is meant to be different from your usual powder but this is nice.  It was also extremely cheap (with a bit of a dubious ingredients list).  It goes on smoothly and has light-medium coverage and SPF 15!  This is actually a replacement of the first one I bought, which I took with me to our weekend at the island but that cracked.  It was my first experience with a cracked product and nothing else broke in the way that it did.  This leaves me a little disappointed at both the product itself and the woman who convinced me to try it touting it's compact nature as a product I could take with me for on the go touch ups.  My conclusion is that this powder does not take well to transport.

Etude House CC Cream in Silky:  Whenever I'm in Asia I am keen to try asian products may it be local cosmetics or Korean or Japanese cosmetics.  Etude House is Korean and produces cutely packages goodies, I would guess calling to the inner Princess in us all.  (Upon entering the shop I was greeted with "Hello/Welcome Princess!" which is an attribute of the shopping experience that has not changed since the last time I visited several years ago).  Again, not entirely sure what a CC Cream is but it boasts the 8 benefits in 1 product.  Plus it has SPF 30.  It's one of those white face products that's meant to "adjust" to each individual's skin tone.  I've only tried this once and really liked the finish of it though it had very minimal coverage.  Surprisingly it blended decently into my skin, only half a touch too light.  Next on list to try is a Cushion Foundation!...Granted I find one in an appropriate shade.

Shiseido Integrate Powder Foundation:  Integrate is one of the many brands owned by the Japanese powerhouse that is Shiseido (who seemingly owns 90% of the beauty products in Japan), it is on the lower end of the scale in terms of price in my attempt to try products from different pricepoints in Japan.  I didn't bring any makeup with me on my carryon or backpack (I was not expecting to spend the night), and checked in all of my cosmetics and skincare.  I bought this late in the evening at a 24 hour convenience store in my hotel.  I was pleasantly surprised, both by the product and the puff it comes with.  Very smooth upon application and has lovely coverage.  The puff had two sides, the typical sponge/puff texture and one likened to the feel of velvet.  I rather like this, though it does not travel well at all.  The powder refill doesn't lock into the container and thus moves around in the case.  Surprisingly it has survived intact, just a tiny chip seen in the photo above...which is much more than I can say than Version 1 of the Lovelight powder.

The Face Shop Lovely Me:Ex You Face Blusher in 09 Cinnamon Dream:  Very recently purchased is this blusher from The Face Shop, another Korean brand.  I think this is meant to be a bronzer or contouring product, and I think it would be lovely as such on lighter skin tones.  It works as a very subtle contour for me (medium/dark skintone).  As such, I don't have a very developed opinion of it.  It's okay.

Careline Oil Control Blush-On in Fresh Tomato:  Another recent purchase (a clear trend here...), this was, like the Shiseido Integrate powder, from the lower end in terms of pricepoint.  I wore this yesterday and the colour did feel fresh to me!  It also stayed put and remained giving me a flush for a good chunk of time.  I am pleasantly surprised with this.  Although a major detriment of this product, one that will prevent me from purchasing other colours, is that it does contain Palm Oil.  I didn't find any conclusive evidence that it's sustainably harvested, and at the pricepoint of this product, I have to assume the worst.  On the plus side, I have now found a new colour for blush that I like!

Dreamgirl Shinin Thru Single Blush:  Really pigmented blush, also containing palm oil :(  This doesn't blend very well, but it packs a punch.  I've worn it several times but it felt very standard to me, nothing that was pleasantly surprising or particularly striking.  Again, I really only bought this for the packaging. Also I am convinced now, after learning of the products name (Shinin Thru) that this is targeted towards pre-teens wanting to dip their toes into the big bad and beautiful world of makeup.

Ever Bilena Single Blush-On with Vitamin E in Brown:  I have to be completely honest and admit that I bought this because of the colour name.  "Brown", upon seeing this I had a good chuckle.  I thought this might make a soemthing of a contouring powder, but is actually much much too light and too shimmery to be as such.  I've used it to add a subtle glow to my cheeks.  I saw several of these with quite lovely shades (accompanied by terribly misleading names, read: a bright magenta named Shy), though again, the ingredients list leaves much to be desired, so unfortunately I won't be purchasing any more of these blushers.

Etude House Dear My Blooming Lips-Talk Lipstick in RD306: A devilishly handsome deeper red that is surprisingly wearable because of the softer cream formula that is both lightweight and is more sheer than it is opaque.  I was pleasantly surprised by how this wore on the lips, especially for the shade that it is.  It didn't feather at all which is a common problem I've experienced with a handful of lipsticks.  Another positive is that it is quite comfortable to wear (though still not holding a flame to my beloved Dior Serum).  Also...really really lovely packaging that does evoke a sense of "Princess".

Ever Bilena Matte Lipstick in Dusk: Gorgeous colour, in the same colour family as Estee Lauders Woodland Berry.  I wasn't particularly impressed by the formula of this lipstick or the wear time.  I have grown to expect longer wear times from Mattes, and this faded after about two or so hours.  I probably won't be purchasing anymore shades.

The Face Shop's Face It Wrinkle Repair Lipstick in BR801:  I actually didn't buy this, and was instead given it.  Extremely comfortable formula to wear with a sheer but buildable colour.  This is a nice natural/ almost MLBB shade for me.  It saddens me that this line is limited to only three colours :(

KATE Colourlicious Diamon in BR-4:  I am quite enamoured with this palette and have used it more than the other mini palettes I've brought with me on this trip.  I adore the look it gives when you follow the diagram in the packaging and love how all the colours look together.  I wish I had purchased more of these!

Heroine Make Volume & Curl Mascara:  I don't know much about mascara and as such can't make any sort of developed or refined judgment on eye lash related products.  ...I gravitated towards this because of the cute packaging (...another common trend).  I am forever searching for a mascara wand that can be pulled out of the tube with the right amount of mascara product.  This one pulls out with gobs on, and I end up having to spend a good amount of time trying to decrease the amount on the wand.  It's a nice mascara though, and I didn't experience any smudging wearing it bought on my upper and lower lashes. Let us take a moment to appreciate the bright magenta tube!

Jill Stuart Blossom Dual Cheek Color:  Last but certainly not least is my one indulgent purchase from Tokyo.  This blush is breath taking.  From the beautifully ornate packaging, to the product itself, to the included travel blush brush which clasps onto the blush compact.  This blush has two colours, both in loose powder form.  The formula is like silk and applies like a dream.  The blush brush is a lovely surprise, it is EXTREMELY soft and gorgeous to apply blush with.  It's also quite convenient as it is a travel friendly retractable brush.  This is my favourite purchase thus far and it is still housed in its original box.  If given the opportunity I will certainly try more products from Jill Stuart.

And thus concludes my haul so far.  I have several more weeks before I leave and intend to try a couple more products.  I'm trying to avoid buying products I can easily acquire in the States and so have focused on local and Asian brands.  In terms of my summer face, it has been fairly constant, usually utilizing the above mentioned Summer Saviors.

My usual summer routine involves the same steps, I put on some concealer, apply powder on top, I fill in my brows, I do a bit of contouring, put on some lipstick, and if I'm feeling extra sassy I put on some eye liner.  (I also got new glasses! and a haircut!) If I'm going out I add eyeshadow/eyeliner, blush and setting spray.  Because I've been spending so much time in the sun, I have become increasingly darker, and it's fairly obvious that my face products are now much too light for me (see standing picture of me pretending to be cute on our terrace).  The difference between my face and neck, and more apparent, between my face and legs are a bit dismaying.  But such is life and such is life during the summer I suppose.  I'm not someone to stay in the shade or abstain from summer fun because I'm afraid of getting darker so I have wholly embraced and look forward to a slight need to adapt my base routine. 

In any case, that's all the I have to share.  This summer has been a time of change and new experiences and of course many feelings of excitement but also fear for what lies in front of me once July ends.  A new beginning waits for me in university, far from home and the people I have developed relationships with in my four years of high school.  Though it disheartens me to say that there will be many good byes, some of them final, it brings a smile to my face and butterflies in my stomach to thing of all the hellos and pleased to meet you's that are yet to come.  I'm still unsure of where I'm headed, and I'm still forever piecing together who I am and who I will be, but I lie content with the fact that these are all things that I control.  That my future lies directly within the realm of my own personal possibilities, and that's something to treasure.

Thank you for reading :)
Till next time!