31 December 2010

Thank You for My 2010 :)

2010 started off with a massive downer when my boyfriend left for a 6 month study abroad programme in Hong Kong. However, we both took this opportunity to broaden our horizons, and while he was experiencing new cultures and travelling loads, I was concentrating on my studies and developed the new hobby that I was looking for - make up. My past major hobby was singing and songwriting (which you can hear here!), but it was a bit of a dead-end hobby where I felt like I've hit my peak and I was just doing it for fun.

Th biggest accomplishment by starting this hobby is my massive increase in confidence. I've found a way to express myself and an activity to improve at, and both have made me more comfortable inside and out. I got my first 'hate' comment today on YouTube and I was surprised at how unphased I was, and I am so sure that this all has a role in it. By making videos and writing blog entries, I hope I'm helping others to find the confidence that I've found in make up!

I've also developed a sense of what I like and what I look good in, and this has made me branch out into higher end products. I started off by thinking that if I want something I'll use everyday, I want it to be high quality, and then the things that I don't use that often, it's ok if it's drugstore. Then I thought about it and I was like.. Why would I even want items that I don't use that often? That being said, I still have my drugstore favourites that I will never replace (cough, Sleek, Rimmel, ELF) :).

But I do love the thought and deliberation I put into buying a specific high-end product, which in turn leads to buying the perfect product for me, and it's incredible how much use I get out of these than a 'bought-on-the-whim' drugstore item. It's hard to give that same consideration to cheaper items. This has completely flipped my make-up taste upside down. This is all embodied in my Project 15 Pan that starts in exactly 9 hours and 30 minutes..

Beyond this, I've found so many great people through YouTube and Blogger. These are the people I have learnt from the most, and I'll take this opportunity to just list some of my favourite YouTubers and Bloggers:

I also wanted to say a massive thank you to all my followers, and all the people that have taken the time to comment on my posts. It has definitely been one of the highlights of my year to see all the support I get! I've recently hit 100 on this blog, and 200 on my YouTube, and I totally have a giveaway planned for the blog-side, so keep your eyes peeled for that in the next week or so :)

Tonight for New Year's, I will be having a meal with my family, and a walk to the local shrine with my dad at 11:30PM, so we can hope for another great year and get some good luck charms and see what our fortunes are for the year :) (my mom doesn't come because she isn't superstitious and she hates the cold :P). The morning will be filled with the traditional Japanese New Year's fooooood :). A part of me wishes I could do a countdown with my friends and boyfriend somewhere hammered out of my face, but.. I love my family :)

(My lovely baby second cousin Arata, who has recently taken the 'Youngest Family Member' title from me ;P And yes, he loves my phone.. very much. Consequently, my phone is manky as hell.)
Thanks again for making this year such a different, successful and meaningful year for me! And let me know what your plans are for the countdown! :)

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30 December 2010

MAC Fix + Alternatives - BodyShop & MUJI

I was completely set on getting the MAC Fix+, as I've been suffering from 2 things - 1) a dry flakey patch between my eyebrows and 2) a hate for the powdery finish no matter how much I buff powder in.

I was all for paying the £11 (for 100mL), as it doesn't feel much for what it claims to do. It's basically used to set your make up, get rid of that powdery finish, and it can also be used to 'foil' eyeshadows. But then I read that the main ingredient that did all the fabulous things that the MAC Fix + does, is Glycerin.

Keeping this in mind, I went on a search for alternatives that could suit other budgets and lifestyles.

My first alternative is the BodyShop Vitamin E Face Mist (£7 for 100mL)

Glycerin is listed third in the ingredients list (these always go in descending order of amount), and has received some good reviews on YouTube. It apparently smells like rose, and is also good for just a refreshing touch up, like on the plane. The size is exactly the same as the MAC Fix +, just £4 cheaper.

My second alternative, and the one I decided to go for, is the MUJI Sensitive Skin Light Toning Water Moist (£8 for 200mL).

The bottle doesn't have a spray so you need your own atomizer for this product. However, lemme tell you it's 100% worth it. Glycerin is the second ingredient after water, and I jumped at it for the price as well (especially because it's half the price in Japan). It has definitely gotten rid of that powdery feel and my face has such a natural finish. And my make up stays on for longer. My dry patch isn't gone but it's a lot less noticeable.

The biggest plus about getting it in this massive bottle, is that you can pop off the little sifter at the top, and refill into different sized atomizers to have on the go. And you can use the rest as a toner (like it's supposed to be used!). Here are mine:

And I still have 100mL left in the bottle. The one on the top sits on my vanity so I can spray it either directly on my face or on a stippling brush, and the likkle one is in my make-up bag for refreshing during the day.

I am in no position to say that the MAC Fix + is not worth the money or anything like that because I have never tried it. However, there are advantages to the alternatives I've listed. Obviously, the price on both products, and for the BodyShop Vitamin E Face Mist, it is more accessible as there are more BodyShops than there are MAC counters. While MUJI isn't all that widely available, you can always order online, and the money value is so much better. Even better than that, you can make it portable and in a sense, 'multiply' by making it accessible in different places (vanity, on-the-go, bathroom, etc.,). However, the only downside is that you will need your own atomizers, as the bottle doesn't come as a spray (it is a toner after all). These are quite cheap in the likes of Superdrug :)

So yes. The MAC Fix + isn't the only item on the market for this kind of thing. Take a look around and you may find alternatives, but here is my 2 cents, hope you enjoyed :)

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29 December 2010

The Project 15 Pan: The Intro

I turned 20 almost exactly 7 months ago, and while most years I don't feel much change, this year has been very different for me.

I've become a bit more like my mom (gah..), in that I prefer to 'invest' rather than just 'purchase', and that basically means that I'd rather buy less of more expensive things that are supposed to last me longer and be better quality, than buying loads of cheap things. Does this explain my MAC & NARS purchases recently? :)

With this new theory in mind, I've decided I want to clear out some stuff in my make-up and beauty collection, to 1) make space for new investments 2) not become an OTT make-up junkie 3) save money in the long run 4) to prove to myself (and my lovely bf :P ) that I still have some self-control :P. My first attempt at this is through a Project 15 Pan.

Project Pans are projects where people choose a certain number (as I have chose 15), and do not allow themselves to buy anymore make-up until they have either 'hit pan' or have finished that many number of products. Many people make their own rules for this, and here are mine:

1) I must FINISH all products (not just 'hit pan').
2) A product will NOT count if I have to replace by purchasing
(e.g. Shampoos, foundations; i.e. I don't have a back-up that I can use. This is because my purpose is to reduce my make up, and repurchasing would just.. cancel it out.)
3) I can only include up to 5 beauty products (e.g. lotions, body wash etc.,) out of the 15.
(This is so I don't use up 10 lotions and 5 make-up products.. cuz then that's kind of Project 5 Pan.. in a way..)
4) I have several exceptions:
- I can purchase one product a month.
- I can purchase 1 limited edition item per collection (preferably stay within above exception).
- I can purchase 1 item from a brand that I can't access where I live, if I physically go to a place that sells it
(This is to make sure I have fun when I have a day out in Birmingham, London, Manchester, etc., and include brands like MAC & Sleek :))
- Nail polishes are excluded.
(Added 1/2/2010.. I never intended to count nailpolish, it never actually crossed my mind! Just wanted to add this so people know if I ever do a post on nailpolish!)

I start on January 1st, as a part of my New Year's Resolution (and also so it's easy to count how many days I've been at it :P), and hopefully be finished by my birthday on May 26th.. because it will be sad if I can't treat myself for my 21st lol.

I'll be updating you guys on each product that I finish. And because I have been very bad at keeping up with reviews, I'll accompany each used product with a review :)

I'm quite nervous actually, I'd be so disappointed in myself if I fail! Has anyone else done a Project Pan before? And how did it go? Any tips? :) Wish me luck!


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My First NARS Purchase - Blush in Sin!

Hey beauty-bloggers and beauty-blogger readers,

I have made my first NARS purchase!

Yes, I was very very excited. My MAC hype is officially over, and my whole philosophy after turning 20 has come true - invest only in things you need. The keyword is 'invest', meaning, you get what you put in :) Thus my recent exploits into higher-end brands. This philosophy will be more apparent in my next post.. (Boy have I got loads planned for you guys! :) )

Anyway, I went in looking for a blog (EDIT: LOL. I'm keeping that there cuz that is hilarious. I meant to say 'blush'), and was interested in Deep Throat, Oasis, Madly and Sin. I ended up with the latter, which looks like this:

I was out on a hunt for a second 'reach-for' blush and a change from MAC's Style, and I got exactly that. Sin is more of a dirty/plummy pink with gold undertones. Oasis was similar, just a bit redder, and fit the winter-ey and feminine look I was searching for, but it had chunkier glitter like in Orgasm, which put me off completely even if that red-ness might have made it seem more wearable than Sin. Deep Throat was quite similar to my MAC Style, and while Madly was a close second, it was something that I didn't have to get now, and can see myself getting nearer to the summertime.

Here is a swatch of Sin on my finger:


As you can see, it's a lot less scarier swatched than in the pan.

The SA was absolutely lovely, and used NARS's concealer and Sheer Glow on me - the former of which I am lusting after, after I finish my Maybelline Dream Mousse concealer. She did cake it on a bit for my liking, as she used Nico to blend out Sin! But I applied it myself today and absolutely fell in love:

I love it because it is suited for winter, it's very feminine and suits a lot of the cool-toned colours I wear, and it also gives you a bit of a shading effect. My MAC Creme Colour Base in Hush looks EXCELLENT with this so I am double happy with my first ever NARS purchase! :) (Also, meet my new best friend on my neck ;) Thank you Ben! <3)

I know a lot of you who voted on my poll said you would like Reviews, so I'm really sorry for bombarding you with hauls. But I have taken a step towards fulfilling your requests, and am embarking on a Project 15 Pan starting New Year's Day.. and I'll tell you more in the next post :)

Until then, what are your favourite NARS products?! :)


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27 December 2010

New Hair! - My First Ever Perm :)

Behold! :)
My first ever perm!
(not true, I tried something out when I was 12 and it failed so it doesn't count lol). 

The story behind it..
It all started last spring when I realised, I like big curly hair, a la Shakira. I think it's sexy, it's fun and it adds more character. However, as with any girl doing something drastic to her hair, I was really scared. However, over the last few months I've started to realise how flat my hair is, how low maintenance I really want it to be, and how I just needed a haircut (and I always wait til I'm back in Japan because there are different consistencies in hair between people from the UK and Japan, and so stylists are better on me in Japan!). So literally, I arrived in Japan at 9AM, and at around 2PM, I was in the hair salon.

What it's like now..
It's a bit smaller, more tame, and bit more curly now. This kind of perm is curlier when it's wet and so if I ever blow-dry it, the curls don't come out as nicely. In the picture above, I'd blow-dried. These days I usually just let it dry or I blow dry the roots only. You can see it a bit better in my recent videos..

How I feel about it..
I love it! Much lower maintenance, and I don't need to get it cut as often, and it makes my highlights look better. However, the best thing about it is that it's much more 'me' than my normal straight hair. I'm bouncy, I'm giddy, I'm loud, and my normal straight hair did not reflect that (totally did not notice it until I got it done). I think people get a better preconception of who I really am with this hair.

I absolutely hate the assumptions that I have to face a lot of the time when I meet someone, or someone looks at me. There are a few that I never ever mind - that I might not speak very good English, that I grew up in Japan my whole life, or that I'm American. But the ones I cannot stand are like the ones when people assume I am shy, naive, quiet because I am Asian, and the confused looks I get when I don't match their preconceptions. They are massive generalizations and stereotypes, and no one likes people assuming things about them. I feel like I get less confused looks now that the hair gives some kind of signal LOL ('prepare for noise!'), and I think I must look more comfortable with myself in general :)

So.. I hope you guys like it :) It's a step towards being truly happy with myself on the outside (like this whole make-up fiasco), and matching it to who I am on the inside (I'm quite happy with myself on the inside, how cocky ;P). Everytime I feel like I succeed, it's another boost in confidence levels! :)

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26 December 2010

To Buy or Not To Buy - the Duo Fiber Brush.

I think when you are just getting into make-up, the duo-fiber brush can come across as a bit of a - do I really need it? product, as it's not necessarily a 'classic' brush that you see and recognize everywhere. It's one of those things that you know about if you are actually into make-up.

At least that's the feeling I had at first, and so that's why I decided to make this video to kind of outline why you would get it, and why you wouldn't..

Image from www.maccosmetics.co.uk
Here are the main reasons why..
- You have multiple foundations - different foundations need different applicators! :)
- You aren't happy with how your foundation applies at the moment.
- You can get it for really cheap, and so there's not much to lose.. even if you don't like it..
- ..you can use it for powders, blush, highlighter and contour as well.

Here are reasons why you shouldn't..
- You are already happy with how your make-up applies.. basically, lol.

Take a look at my video for more details.. :)

(Great screenshot, I know! :P)

I personally bought one because I heard about the "air-brushed" finish that you can get, and I've never regretted it. It's such a versatile brush that I think no matter what price-range brush you get, it is a good investment. It broadens the potential of your products, and gives them a different finish from another tool that you may already have. I fully recommend it! :)

Here are where you can get some stippling brushes:
- MAC Cosmetics
- Superdrug
- Ebay
- Sigma Make up
- E.L.F UK
- GOSH (Thanks Christina :)) 

Hope you guys found this helpful, and let me know if you have any questions! :)

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23 December 2010

Yu's Guide to Simple Festive Attempts

At the moment it's 5PM on the 23rd of December, and as my dad has been repeatedly complaining about, Tokyo's Christmas spirit has lost it's appreciation in Christmas music and it is quite difficult to get in the mood (especially when I know most of my friends in the UK are going to have a White Christmas and it's bloody 12C here still!).

So I've made little attempts to get into the spirit, and I'm not a very complicated person, so I thought I'd show two things that I've done that anyone else could do, to get into the festive mood :)

Firstly, jewelry!
 This somewhat obscene earring is from Claire's and retails at £3, and it's also a part of the 3 for 2 deal that they have. Right up my street - nothing serious, something colourful and kinda cheeky. I saw this pair last year early December, mistakenly put them in a bag that I threw away, and spent Christmas without them. This year, I went back in hopes of Claire's having them again and they did! Snatched them up - they will be my Christmas earrings for a very long time :)

My second attempt was with my nails..
 (L to R: Glittery Red, 17 Nail Polish; Pearl Green, Barry M Emerald Green 284, Taupe/Gold, 17 Nail Polish.)

So sorry I can't tell you the exact colours of the 17 Nail Polishes as the names are on the back of the 17 Nail Library that I left in England, but I don't think any of them are limited edition (Thank you to my bf's parents for getting the set for me :)!) All these polishes are brilliant quality - I've had these on for about 3 days now, no top coat, and I've done loads of washing and other things.

I could probably do all the little Santa drawings and whatnot on my nails, cuz I do have the hand-eye coordination.. but I lack the patience of waiting for it to dry. So I thought this would be the best way to go for me :)

So yes.. simple but very effective. My mom has finally put my gift under the tree - she had waited until today because she didn't trust that I wouldn't open it before Christmas day. Lame, but probably a good idea.

What have you been doing to get in the festive mood? :)

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22 December 2010

Swatches for "MAC Haul - Winter 2010" Post

The lovely 4everspink requested swatches of the lipsticks after viewing my last post, MAC Haul - Winter 2010, so I decided to post all the swatches in case other people had wanted it as well. So here they are..

Without Flash
 Top Row L to R: Creme Colour Base in Hush, Lipstick in Creme Cup, Lipstick in The Faerie Glen
Bottom Row: Eyeshadow in Tempting

With Flash
 Top Row L to R: Creme Colour Base in Hush, Lipstick in Creme Cup, Lipstick in The Faerie Glen
Bottom Row: Eyeshadow in Tempting

If you would like to see The Faerie Glen on my lips, click here :) I didn't want to post lip swatches because.. my lips are grossly dry due to  the winter weather and it wouldn't have been fair to the lovely lippies.. :P

For reference, I am currently around NC30, which is probably just about or a tad bit darker than my hand.

Hope that helped lovelies :)

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21 December 2010

MAC Haul - Winter 2010

Hi guyssssss - I'm 2 away from 100 followers! Woo, thanks everyone! :)

So the 'hiatus' has gone tits up - I'm finding that I'm not going out as much because I've gotta save my mula so I'm home trying to do work and.. this is where I usually end up - on Blogger.

Anyway, on the last day of term and yesterday, I went to MAC to get a few things, so I thought I'd do a haul post because they were both too small to do one each :P Being an airhead, I now realise I'd already shown you guys one of my lipsticks that I got in a blogsale, and also that I'd gotten an eyeshadow called Tempting in the end of October that I forgot to include in the photos.. ugh.

The items here are..
- MAC Creme Colour Base in Hush
- MAC Lipstick in (L) The Faerie Glen (LE from the Tartan Tales) & (R) Creme Cup
- MAC 239
- (imagined) MAC Tempting E/S

Tempting E/S:
I got this in Oxford, and I had an awful MA who did nothing in helping me choose between this and Woodwinked. I concluded that Woodwinked might be too orange, and if not, it's a bit lighter than what I was looking for anyway :) I love this colour!
(This picture is from My Gorgeous Pink Cheeks on her post.)

Creme Colour Base in Hush:
The CCB was a semi-impulsive buy, triggered by Tanya's video on contouring, highlighting and blush. I'd never really heard of CCB's before, and I haven't really used it yet, only swatched, so I'm really excited to give it a go.

The funny thing was, the MA there (this was bought in Japan) kept on insisting it was an eyeshadow-only base and that I shouldn't use it on my face.. what the.

The Creme Cup & 239: was bought in Birmingham during Christmas shopping with my lovely boyfriend (who puts up with my make-up obsession all the time.. bless <3).

I figured that an eyeshadow brush which I will use everyday should be a high-quality and long-lasting investment. I was very disappointed the first two times I used it, as it seemed so flat, not picking up any colour and kind of squeaky against my eyelid.  However, after 2 washes it's starting to warm up to me ;P.

As for the lipstick, I went in to buy Angel, but I was very surprised at how blue-toned it looked on me. I had the same issue with Creme Cup but my boyfriend really really liked it, so I decided to get it. I've found that under different lighting, it looks different.. so atm it is a very mixed lipstick, with lots of confusion mixed into generally happy-times.. :P

I also got another free make-up kind of bag as well as a sample of Prep & Prime but Idk if I'll use it.. I still have the last tube left!

So there is my MAC haul saga.. Well done if you've read all the way down to here lol! I actually have a few more items waiting for me back in England that I ordered, so keep your eyes peeled for that and until then..

Let me know what you've gotten from MAC recently :)


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19 December 2010

My First O.P.I - Dulce de Leche (yummm) :)

So as I was en route to Japan, I stopped by Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. With a 4 hour lay over, what sane girl wouldn't head straight to Duty Free? Ok, bad question, shouldn't generalise.

After hearing all this hype in the blogging world about O.P.I, I decided to give it a shot (also - not enough dosh for the likes of Chanel, YSL, etc., even in Duty Free!), and had a hard time picking between Barefoot in Barcelona and this beauty:

Dulce de Leche is kind of a relatively dark neutral pink. Not too light, dark, or blue for my skin :) Apparently it's Lauren Conrad's favourite O.P.I. I'm going to be honest.. I can't really think of what she looks like, I'm a bit celebrity-ignorant.

After approximately 20hrs (due to liquid restrictions, all items bought must be in a sealed Duty Free bag and cannot be open until final destination - twats!) I put it on, and it reminded me of a nailpolish version of Rimmel London's Moisture Renew Lipstick in Nude Delight.. strange.

Definitely impressed with the quality. I am very picky with nail varnishes, as I need them to be opaque, unsmelly, easy to apply, the right consistency, dry fast, and easy to take off. Checks all the boxes (especially the last one.. amazing!). Definitely grabbing another one on the way back to Birmingham.. :)

Any suggestions for my second colour, ladies?


P.S. Post definitely inspired by ViviannaDoesMakeUp's O.P.I post :)
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17 December 2010

Favourite Products of 2010!

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my Hiatus post. I've been having a great time with my family, but today we're having a chill night so I thought I'd take the time and figure out what my favourite products of 2010 are :)

This is honestly my first year being truly into make up and I think I started around March/April-ish, and it completely sky-rocketed after the creation of my YouTube channel in May. So you'll find that a lot of the things I put in here are things that I bought in the last half a year so.. excuse me if it's not ALL of 2010 :P

Enough babbling I think! :)

The Runners Up - in no particular order are..
(Top L clockwise: MaxFactor False Lash Effect; MAC Satin Taupe e/s; Duo-Fibre Stippling Brush; ELF Eyeshadow Brush; Sleek Storm Palette)

MaxFactor False Lash Effect Mascara I think it just a great all-around mascara, that helps to enhance rather than make me look unnatural. Love it.

MAC Satin Taupe deserves all the raving it gets - it's a brilliant colour, hard to dupe, and has been one of my go-to autumn/winter colour!

The Duo-Fibre Brush is something that changed how I see foundation - it's so much more fun and stress-free because of this brush :)

The ELF Eyeshadow Brush is the best e/s brush I had for a while in terms of quality and price, and is something I wouldn't throw away even if I have the MAC 239 now.

The Sleek Storm Palette probably leading the way as it is one of my first palettes, incredibly useful, and just so well-rounded.

Tied for 4th Place are..
 (L: Rimmel London's Nude Delight No. 700 & R: Coastal Scents 28 Neutral Palette)

Rimmel London's Nude Delight Lipstick No. 700 is my perfect nude that I have been searching so long for. I've never looked back on the day I got this and it was my go-to lipstick over the summer! It's hybernating atm and replaced by MAC's The Faerie Glen, as Nude Delight is very much a summer nude, but it will come back in a couple of months I'm sure :)

Coastal Scents' 28 Neutral Palette - you've heard me rave about this in the review. Go check it out here! :) In short, extremely usable, value for money, alternative while I grow my MAC collection, allows for new looks with matte colours, and everything else wonderful :)

3rd Place is also a tie with..
(LOL I'm such a cheat!)
 (L: MAC Blush in Style & R: MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus)

MAC Blush in Style is my one and only MAC blush, and it has been that way for so long because it's my go-to blush, I love it, I know it looks good on me, and.. well, I love it.

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish is like the stock room people in stores that you always forget exists but would be hopeless without! :P Something I reach for everyday, and something that is just so beautifully subtle and unnoticeable. It's light, it's barely there but has very good coverage.. I'm not sure what to say, I think other lovers out there know what I mean lol I forget its existence but does its job.. this is making me confused! LOL!

2nd Place goes to..
The Bodyshop Seaweed Series

This changed my skin. I'm sure the meds from the dermatologist did too, but this just cleanses my skin and maintains it so well. It just washes it to the right level - not too harsh, not too useless. It does the perfect middle ground for me, I feel like I'm just washing my face with water but.. better lol. God I really am confusing myself here..

& Favourite Product of the Year goes to..
MAC Studio Finish Concealer with SPF 15 in NC35

Alongside the Bodyshop Seaweed series, this concealer helped repair my teenage-acne prone skin both physically and emotionally (too deep Yu, too deep). Whenever I used other concealers and saw that they didn't cover my scars, I was very conscious of it and felt like my scars were too big to be covered, and therefore I required more coverage than everyone else cuz everyone else didn't seem to have scars. Guess they were using MAC Studio Finish Concealer :P

So there ya go! :) My lovely best friends of my make-up bag & sink (haha) - hope you guys enjoyed!

If you have any questions about the products, do feel free to ask :) & don't forget to link me to your yearly favourites! :)


P.S. Keep an eye out for a video on this :)
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9 December 2010

Mini-Haul/Mini-Review: SIGMA! :)

I was so excited yesterday when I picked up my Sigma package because this is my brand new start to main-stream brush collecting. I have one Ben Nye, a few E.L.F, and random drugstore/ebay ones.

These are from the Black Friday sale that Sigma had, where they offered free world-wide shipping which is an absolute bargain for people outside of the US. The last time I tried to order from Sigma (didn't go through with it for this reason), they had pretty crazy shipping prices and it wasn't worth it to order anything less than 2 or 3 brushes (it makes sense now because they sent 2 brushes in an almost A3 sized envelope.. just, why?). And I know that Love-Makeup.co.uk has Sigma brushes but they are also pricier than the US site and I just never really feel like being so blatantly ripped off :P.

Anyway.. here are the beauties :)
(Top: Tapered Blending Brush E35/SS222 & Bottom: Large Fluff Brush E50/SS227)

This is your average tapered blending brush, and this is what I really really wanted from Sigma. However, I was expecting it to be extremely fluffy and more like what I imagine the SS224 to be. But it's actually rather stiff, and I find it better to apply crease colour than it is to blend.

This was supposed to be my additional 'goodie' and not the real reason why I ordered from Sigma. I just thought it was really cute and just something different that you can't really find in drugstores. It is SOOOO much more than that. In the 24 hours (even less!) that I've had this brush, I've found multiple ways to use it. Highlighting brow bones, all over lid colour, face highlight, blending eyeshadow, but my favourite way to use this is to powder areas where I'd applied concealer with my MAC MSFN. I've stopped powdering my whole face and was finding it difficult to get the precision and coverage I need with my other brushes (powder brush, Sigmax-ey brush, kabuki etc.,). This provides excellent coverage, and can get right under your eyes, and around the nose, as well as general surfaces. This is probably a brush I cannot live without anymore :)

I know I've had ridiculous amounts of hauls but the best is yet to come.. MAC Birmingham tomorrow :)

Have any of you guys tried Sigma before?  If you live in the UK, what do you find to be the best alternative to MAC?


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8 December 2010

TAG: Interview!

I've been sat in the student workroom for the past 2 hours and I've pretty much done nothing, so I thought.. I'll update my blog (typical).

So considering I can't do pictures or anything like that, I decided to do the tag that Brittany tagged me in the other day, so here goes :)

1.Why did you create this blog?
Mainly because as a final-year student, I'm busy with work (ironic..) so I had less time and patience to update my YouTube as often as I used to. Also, I don't do massive hauls so it was really awkward to do videos on small ones, and thought blogging's a better outlet on.. pretty much every situation except tutorials :)

2. What kind of blogs do you follow?
Mostly beauty blogs, but I tend to look for people from the UK, just because it becomes more relevant on different levels (sharing discount codes/sales, same grief about not having a Sephora, and very popular atm - the darn weather!).

3. Favorite make-up brand?
Atm I'm going through a massive MAC hype, and trying to build my collection slowly. But when I look at my collection, I see loads of MAC and CANMAKE (a Japanese brand), followed by the likes of Rimmel.. but other than that I just get what's good!

4. Favourite clothing brand?
Usually shop in H&M, Primark and Jane Norman, but not a massive fashion buff!
5. Your indispensable make-up product?
Foundation. I think foundation accounts for about 50% of how good I feel that day.
6. Your favourite colour?
Pink, purple and grey. (Generally, pink stuff, purple as a colour, and grey clothing/bags.)

7. Your perfume?
Atm, Gucci's Envy Me, but I love Christina Aguilera's Inspire, Ralph Lauren Romance, Cacharel's Amor Amor and Burberry's Summer :)

8. Your favourite film?
Sooo difficult.. Snatch? Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels? Red? Lucky Number Slevin? You get the drift :) Bad-ass funny films, basically.

9. What country would you like to visit and why?
So so many.. but I think atm is Australia, because.. one word (ok 2): cool animals.

10. Write the last question and answer it yourself:
 So, now that you've written an entry, are you going to go back to your work? No.


P.S. Look out for a Sigma haul next :) My Black Friday order has come in - YAY!
P.S.S. I tag.. everyone :)
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6 December 2010

My First Eyeko Experience - Surprise Gift Set & Free Gift! :)

From the first couple of weeks of starting my YouTube channel (video on this is attached at the bottom), I've been aware of the brand Eyeko, but never got around to ordering from them. I finally did so last week when I saw their Surprise Gift Set worth £20, retailing for £10 - I figured, I don't know what I want to get and so I might as well leave it to them :) Was a bonus that I was getting double my money's worth!

Now I was a cheeky git and had signed up to be an Eyeko Ambassador to see what it was, when I was in the process of ordering from them last May. I never finished the order. Being even more of a cheeky git, albeit completely naive, I entered my own ambassador code this time around, being completely oblivious to the first sale gift, or that you weren't supposed to enter your own! So that came in the post as well on the same day. Feeling a bit guilty, LOL.

So here it is:
- x2 Eyeko London Lips in Shoreditch (L) & Knightsbridge (R)
- Eyeko Magic Bronzer Brush in Rio
- Eyeko Cheeky Colour in Glow Getter

The Cheeky Colour is pretty cool, in that the packaging opens like this.. (it also has a mirror behind the blush!)

And here are the swatches:
 (L: Magic Bronzer Brush in Rio; R - Cheeky Colour & London Lips)

First Impressions..
I have my doubts about the bronzer. It is a brilliant idea and I know I will use it because it is such a great idea (great for on the go, and perfect brush size), and it's matte and somehow they've managed to choose the best colour for me. But if you click on the picture, you'll see a massive fall out on my ring finger, and it's difficult to put the lid on the brush. Hmm.. we shall see if I find a way around that!

As for the Cheeky Colour - I am SO excited to try it. They are the perfect colours for highlights, and I've wanted a pink-toned one for ages. A bit too shimmery for blushes for my taste.. but it may be different with the darker colours.

I'm very confused about the lipglosses. They aren't crazy pigmented, but I love the consistency. The packaging only allows for a little bit to come out and you need a lot to cover your lips, so I've resorted to using fingers which I don't usually like to do. They are tiny, for being £6.50. Hm. We will see after I use them more! :)

I was crossing my fingers for a Fat Balm, but I guess that will have to be purchased on its own, alongside the 3-in-1 Cream and the Eyeko Mascara :)

Any thoughts, ladies? Do keep your eyes out for reviews, and use my code above, and get a free gift if you spend more than £15 :)


P.S. If you couldn't tell, the fact that the 1 lipgloss was sent to me for free hasn't had an influence on what I've said here.. :)

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5 December 2010

Products I'm Using Right Now..

I've seen these dotting about and quite enjoyed looking through them so I thought I'd do a quick one m'self! :) Nicked this one from DaintyDollyMix (added/minused a few bits and bobs)!

Shampoo: Herbal Essence Beautiful Ends Shampoo (getting sick of it.. blah)
Conditioner: Herbal Essence Beautiful Ends Conditioner
Styling products: Umberto Giannini Big Hair Mousse & Hairspray; Lee Stafford Poker Straight Heat Protection Spray
Hair mask: James Brown Scandalous Hair Treatment Rescue occasionally.

Shower gel: BodyShop Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel
Body moisturiser: Ted Baker Heavenly Body Souffle
Deodarant: BodyShop DeoDry in Fresh & Floral
Perfume: Gucci Envy Me <3
Fake tan: I don't fake tan..

Cleanser: BodyShop Seaweed Facial Wash
Toner: BodyShop Seaweed Toner
Face Wipes: BodyShop Vitamin E Facial Wipes
Eye makeup remover: MUJI Gel Makeup Remover
Exfoliator: None :( Any suggestions?

Primer: None.. sometimes I use Prep&Prime, but only when I go out.
Foundation: Barbara Daly Oil-Free Foundation & Rimmel Lasting Finish Foundation
Foundation brush: Duo-Fibre Stippling Brush I got off of Ebay hehe :)
Concealer: MAC Studio Finish Concealer.. HG <3
Powder: MAC MSF Natural.

Blusher: I change everyday, usually MAC Style, today I have on ELF's Studio Blush in Tickled Pink :)
Bronzer: CANMAKE Shading Powder
Highlighter: CANMAKE Highlighting Gradation Powder

Eyeshadow base: Benefit Stay Don't Stray
Eyeshadows:Mostly 28 Neutral Palette, or Barry M Tan with some sort of dark brown, but today, Sephora's Colorful Palette in Pour des Prunes.

Eyeliner: Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner & Rimmel Soft Kohl

Eyelash curler: CANMAKE Eye Widening Curlers
Mascara: MaxFactor False Lash Effect

Lipstick: Not using very many lipstick atm.. that's why I'm headed to MAC on Friday, woo! :)
Lipgloss: CANMAKE Nudy Glow 06, NYX Megashine Lipgloss in Sweet Heart.. yum.

Nail colour: Loving Nails Inc.'s Jermyn Street, but atm have on Barry M's Emerald Green (see previous post) and Barry M's Bright Red on the tips - Christmaaaaas! :D

Link me to yours, lovelies! :)

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4 December 2010

Superdrug Haul & Christmas Gifts Exchange!

Today I took a day off of working, and went to visit Lisa, who lives in a small town nearby. We started off with exchanging Christmas presents (as we break up for the holidays after this week, and I probably wont go to hers until next term!), and then went shopping (joined by Danni from Frills & Spills!) as well as the pub for some nice good food :)

Here's what I got, both off her and in Superdrug!
 Lisa's Christmas Present:
- Maybelline's MNY My Gloss in.. a really pale colour :)
- Sephora Colorful Palette in Pour des Prunes No.04
- NIVEA Soft mini tub (inside joke..)
- Lebkuchen & a candy cane! :)

Superdrug Haul:
- Collection 2000 Hotlights Lipgloss in Glimmer No. 3 (£4.19) - these have a mirror and a light! :)
- Barry M Nail Paint in No. 284 Emerald Green (£2.99)
- Superdrug Mud Therapy Deep Cleansing Mud Mask (£2.49)
- Superdrug Essential Facial Wipes in Cucumber Fragrance (£0.99)

I have tried both the lipglosses and here they are:
(L: Collection 2000 Hotlights in Glimmer, R: Maybelline MNY My Gloss in a really pale colour :P)

I love both of them! :) Isn't it crazy how they are so different in the tube but so similar on the lips? The Collection 2000 one is darker in real life, but isn't crazy pigmented, but it's a 'my lips but better' shade that I love, with multi-coloured shimmer. MNY is more a less a opaque gloss with pink duo-chrome-y shimmers that tone down my lips - just what I like! :)

Here is my third Barry M Nail Paint - I do like it very much :) I would've called it 'Green with Envy' because this is what I imagine envy looks like.. lol someone shut me up! It was an attempt to get a holiday-y nail varnish, after Danni's lusting after Barry M's red glittery one.

I haven't swatched the Sephora eyeshadow, but it is safely in my 'To-Be-Used' tub (which is basically an empty Flora tub) where all my new items yet to be used temporarily stay :).

As for my mud mask (which was the first thing I grabbed in Superdrug, Idk why but it just caught my eye!), I am looking forward to a nice cuppa tea and a film with this on my face. Lol.

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3 December 2010

A Swap with DazzleLikeGlitter :)

It's difficult to understand the esoteric practices of the e-make-up world when you are a noob in it (I do find myself translating a lot when speaking to my boyfriend), and while I am still a relative noob, I'm proud to say that I've conducted a successful swap! :)

My first ever swap was with Mandy from DazzleLikeGlitter (I'll link to the YouTube cuz she updates that more!), and she sent me things from the US, in exchange for things from the UK. While I'd like to tell you guys what I've sent her, the package hasn't gotten to her yet, so you guys will just have to sit tight, subscribe and wait for her to upload a video! :)

Enough of my babbling really, I'm excited to show you what she's sent me! :) An unboxing video will be attached at the end, so make sure to check that out (and discover her adorable obsession with bubble wrap :P)!

- Hard Candy Kaleyedescope Duo Baked Eyeshadow in Peace
- Hard Candy Baked Blush in Bombshell
- CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume in Black
 - CoverGirl Eye Enhancer in Pure Romance
- NYX Lipgloss in Sweet Heart
- NYX Lipstick in Paris
- NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Iced Mocha

As you can see, she has an amazing taste in make up, and has a strange ability to get me things that I love and aren't similar to things I have already! :) I am so excited to try all these things out, and I will undoubtedly be doing reviews and whatnot. Get excited guysssss!

Thank you so much to the gorgeous Mandy (see left :)) for sending me these wonderful things, and doing a swap with me. It's been so much fun, and I'm excited for you to get your package!

To see what I've gotten her (the representatives of the almighty British make-up industry.. lol, maybe not that intense), check her out @:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dazzlexglitter


P.S. Thank you to everyone who follows me, for helping me get to 52 followers! I do want to do my first ever giveaway when I hit 100, so do keep following :)

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2 December 2010

UK's Forever21 - Corporate Greed?

I know there's a massive hype about the new Forever21 in Birmingham's Bull Ring, and I am the first to admit that I FREAKED out when I was at the Bull Ring the other night and discovered the store. I didn't have time to step in, but was determined to go when I next went to the Bull Ring. However, today when I logged in to the online store, I was faced with relatively extortionate prices compared to other countries' Forever21's..

I love Forever21, and have done so since my visit to the U.S. in 2006. Since 2008, Japan has started importing Forever21 as well, and currently has about 2 or 3 stores in central Tokyo. In San Diego, and even in extortionate central Tokyo, it is classed in my personal files as a budget store, where you can freely pick up about 3 or 4 items and not be too bothered about the final total.

However, as I browse through the F21's UK website - I am not feeling that. In fact, I'm feeling as if I stepped into a store somewhere inbetween TopShop and NewLook. NewLook is budget, TopShop is not. Why the pricing?

I guess this is where my little socialist alter-ego comes out, and feels this to be a result of corporate snobiness, greed and exploitation of the aura of 'unattainability' towards F21 in the UK.

Now I suppose it is a little unfair to judge solely from the website, so I will have a gander when I visit on Friday.. but a part of me is heavily tempted to just wait til I am back in Japan.

What do people who have never been to a F21 before think? Is it as cheap as you expected it to be? Is it really the Primark of the USA?
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1 December 2010

The Little Things About The Christmas Season..

There are obvious things about the Christmas Season that everyone likes.. like gifts, the food, family, trees, etc., But here I decided to do some self-searching into the little things beyond the presents and Santa.. :)

1) Fair Isle prints aren't just for kids..
(and in general, rediscovering big wooly chunky layers, hot water bottles, uggs, hats, gloves, coats, earmuffs, eskimo jackets, and scarves :))

2) Overkill on coffee.. without criticism :)

3) "I can't go to the gym, it's too cooooold!"

4) I'll treat myself to that.. and that.. and that as well. What? It's Christmas!

5) The warmth inside despite the cold outside.. just because it's Christmas :)

Happy December everyone! :)

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30 November 2010

Review - Ted Baker Girliest Convenience Vanity Set

Since Ted Baker is a really popular brand, and there are loads of other gift sets that include products from this vanity set, I thought I'd do a review :).. especially for those wondering what to get people (or themselves) for Christmas! This set is like.. the almighty Ted Baker gift set that is available at Boots, and at the moment it's included in the 3 for 2 Christmas deal. But there are sets down to £10 with mini-sizes that would be perfect for stocking-fillers or friends :) The video on it will be attached at the end.

The products included are as follows:
  • Heavenly Cleansing Body Wash 300ml 
    • Lathers so nicely, a lot goes a long way, leaves you smelling gorge :)
  • Divine Relaxing Bath Soak 300ml 
    • Doesn't bubble up too great, you need to use a lot, packaging isn't easy to get a lot out of.
  • Heavenly Rich Body Souffle 250ml 
    • Light moisturisation, soaks into skin, love the smell!
  • Divine Moisturising Body Lotion 300ml 
    • Light moisturisation, awkward amount comes out with one pump (too much for just hands, not enough for body), not rich enough for coarse areas.
  • Heavenly Fragrance Body Spray 150ml
  • Divine Fragranced Body Spray 150ml 
    • Both Body Sprays have a light amount of fragrance, not as fragranced as perfumes so kind of dies away unless topping up either the Souffle or the Lotion with respective smells.
  • Divine Scented Candle 
    • Never used, doesn't really smell like the other Divine items :S
Scents: The Divine & Heavenly are distinctions of not only the colour of the case (dark and light respectively), but also the scent. Divine is more of a sugary sweet smell, while Heavenly is more of a fresh smell with a bit of a lemon-y tint. My preference is definitely the Heavenly :)

Packaging: The only complaint about the packaging would be the Body Lotion & Bath Soak as mentioned above. Otherwise, the design is suitable for the products, and aesthetically, they are so pretty, I love swirly patterns :)

The Vanity: I LOVE IT! The pattern is obviously a personal taste thing, but I personally find it very pretty, neutral, and appropriate for all age groups. There is a little pouch inside as well as rubber bands to keep items in place (see video), and these confuse me because they're not the right size for the products that come with the gift set.. so I'm guessing it's meant for use with other things :) Can't wait to travel with this one day!

Price: £40 - pricey, but there are other little gift sets that include mini versions of some of these products for as little as £10. These will give you the chance to try them out before you get full sizes/get them as gifts/stocking-fillers for other people :)

Rebuy? Well, not the whole set lol but I would rebuy the Body Wash for sure, and the other things don't jump off the page but I do like them, so I may! :)

I've also tried the Invigorating Sugar Scrub and that is my favourite exfoliator of all time! Definitely recommend :) The smell is from the Divine range.

What are your favourite 3 for 2's at Boots or Ted Baker products? :) Has anyone tried the make-up from them?


P.S. Thank you to my darling boyfriend from getting me this set :) LOOOOOVE <3

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28 November 2010

Review - Coastal Scents 28 Neutral Palette

I find that the things I use the most are things I take for granted and end up not doing a review for, so I thought I'd review something I use a lot, and that is the Coastal Scents 28 Neutral Palette. (Tutorials are linked to at the bottom :) - Please check them out!)

The first thing I want to say is that yes I live in the UK, but I got a hold of this through eBay. What a lot of people might already know is that what Coastal Scents does, is they import products from China, and basically just print their name on it. Therefore, no extortionate postage prices when you buy from eBay. My personal favourite seller is jolieeeee.

Here is my 28 Neutral Palette, and as you can see - I've swatched them as well as wrote the MAC dupes that I found on YouTube :) On to the review!

Colour/Finish Range: There are a range of finishes in this palette, from matte to frosty. However, most of them are either matte or satin, which makes it so practical, and so usable. The mattes are the main distinction from other neutral palettes (i.e. UD Naked Palette). You can do classic eyes with dark lips as well as the no-make up look for work/school. The colour range isn't just amongst browns and highlights, but also ventures a bit into the pinks and the purples. And obviously there are 2 black colours that are handy to have.

Formula: In general, most colours are smooth, average pigmentation and they blend really well. However, there are a couple that are less pigmented and less smooth than the others. While I think the colours are brilliant for the price, I've seen people comment that they are a bit powdery and a bit chalky. I agree with the former, but the latter, I haven't found so much.

Packaging: Standard really, just a matte black plastic palette :) More practical size than the 88 Warm Palette I think.

Price: It depends, because different sellers sell them for different prices, but I bought mine for $16 which works out at about £10.. including shipping.

 (L: No Flash; R: Flash - Click for larger pictures :))

All in all, I think it's a brilliant palette to have. It has such a wide range for colours, ANYONE can learn how to use them, the matte colours open a whole new window to possible looks, and it saves you so much money in the long run. I think since I've bought this palette, I have bought less and less dupe eyeshadows that I don't really need. I've also been able to do classic eyes with dark lips, as well as the no-make-up look that you really can't do without a selection of matte shades.

It's by no means a replacement for MAC.. but I would still recommend it to anyone, because 1) it's cheap, 2) it gives you matte colours that are hard to find & 3) you WILL use it.

Rebuy?: Oh yes :)


Tutorials I have done with this palette..
- The Natural Brown Look
- The Brown & Purple Look 

P.S. Check out my new knit dress from New Look (left bar) :) & my baby cousins' Christmas presents..
Lololol I love having a baby in the family..
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