Monday, September 8, 2014

Liebster Award

I can't believe I'm writing this post, but I've been nominated for a Liebster Award! I received my nomination from the amazing Maurissa at Maurissa Sees Beauty. Thank you so much, Maurissa, I'm so honored! If you haven't checked out her blog before, definitely go take a peek— she's such a talented writer. And just in case you don't know, the Liebster Award is meant to connect bloggers as well as allow readers to get to better know their bloggers. 


Here's How It Works: 

1.) Write a post thanking the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
2.) Post 11 fun facts about yourself.
3.) Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
4.) Create 11 questions for your chosen bloggers to answer.
5.) Nominate fellow bloggers and let them know that they've been tagged.

11 Fun Facts About Me:

1. My dog is my baby. Her name is Mina and she's a rescue mutt.
2. I love horror novels and movies. 
3. I have to eat chocolate at least once a day.
4. Kevin Spacey is my celebrity crush. 
5. All of my favorite t-shirts are ones I stole from my mom. 
6. I collect shot glasses from places I've traveled. 
7. I take my coffee black.
8. I've crocheted since I was 8 years old, but I don't know how to knit. 
9. My family watches the extended The Lord of the Rings trilogy every Thanksgiving.
10. Fresh figs are my favorite fruit. 
11. I love alliteration.  


My Questions from Maurissa:

1. What was your last dream about? There was this race/competition on the beach, and I was so pumped to play, but I left my bathing suit, sunscreen, and towel at home. I had to go back to get all my stuff, and by the time I caught back up with the group, I was too late to play. Most. Annoying. Dream. 
2. How many hats do you own? You know, I think I own maybe two baseball hats that I wear when I go to the beach/take my dog for a walk. I'm not a big hat-person.
3. What animal would you like to have as a pet? Besides dogs? Probably a bear or tiger. As long as they would cuddle with me and not eat me.
4. Who was the last person to send you a text message? My boyfriend.
5. What was the last thing you took a picture of? My dog. My phone is filled with pics of my dog. 
6. Is the glass half full or half empty? It's mostly half-full. But there's always those half-empty days. 
7. Do you prefer tea, coffee, or cocoa? Why must I choose?? In the morning, tea; in the afternoon, coffee; and in the evening, cocoa.
8. If you had to throw out one beauty product right now, what would you sacrifice? Probably the mascara or foundation that I've almost finished up. Is that a cop-out answer? 
9. What historical period would you visit if you could go back in time? I don't think I'd want to live in any historical time, but if I'm just visiting, either the 1930's for the fashion, or 14th century England to chill with Chaucer. Because that could totally happen if I went back to that time, right?
10. What's the worst show on television right now? I think any reality TV is arguably the worst show on television. Unfortunately, I happen to love those shows, so which do I pick as the guiltiest of pleasures? Probably #RichKids of Beverly Hills. 
11. Where did you go on your first airplane ride? I was 18 months old and my parents took me to Japan. That's where my mom's side of the family is from. 

My Nominees:

Debra from Makeup By Debra
Heidi from Hansen & Heidelberg

My Questions for the Nominees:

1. If you could only apply one type of makeup product (lipstick, blush, mascara, etc.) for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
2. Which is your favorite meal of the day: breakfast, lunch, or dinner? 
3. Favorite guilty-pleasure movie? 
4. Dogs or cats?
5. If you could totally splurge on one fashion item, what would it be? 
6. What is your favorite app? 
7. Can you play any instruments? 
8. What is your favorite makeup brand? 
9. Do you have any siblings?
10. What was the first concert you ever went to?
11. If you could do a collaboration with MAC, what would be the star of your collection? 

Thanks again to Maurissa, and have fun, nominees! 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Japanese Skin Care Haul

So when my cousin came to visit, she brought me a ton of Asian skincare which basically made me swoon. I'm obsessed with Celdie's face wash, so I had asked her to bring me a bottle. She brought three because she's awesome. She also packed some other goodies like Lioele face masks, Puresa sheet masks, eye-makeup remover, and a moisturizer.  

Most of these products are available on Amazon.com, so you can still order them if you live in the US. However, the prices will be inflated. I haven't tried everything yet, but I can highly recommend Celdie's face washes if you're on the market for a new cleanser. They're super gentle and effective. The Lioele masks are also really nice (and cute, to boot). If you're interested in a review, or just have a question about any of these products, make sure to comment below! 

ありがとう、亜希子!




Monday, August 25, 2014

Studio Gear's Invincible Gel/Cream Eyeliner is Actually Pretty Invincible

In a recent haul, I picked up this eyeliner from Studio Gear, and I've been using it pretty frequently ever since. I tend to cycle through my eyeliner formulas, so it's been a while since I've used a good gel. I've also been on a neutral kick recently, so this blue color was a nice and well-needed change (that I think would look gorgeous with any eye color). The formula is super smooth and creamy, and glides easily onto the lids. The pigmentation is out-of-this-world, and it can be used as a liner or base/shadow for a smokey look. (Hint: This is a perfect match for the color "Slate" in the Lorac Pro Palette.)  

But my favorite part of this liner? The staying power. My eyelids will make an oil-slick out of the best-claimed products. Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoos? More like 2-4 hours on these lids. But this product does not smudge, budge, or transfer once it sets. The swatches below actually needed makeup-remover at the end of the day. All the hand-washing I did between applying the liner in the morning until the time I went to bed did nothing to disrupt that gorgeous color (and I wash my hands a lot). Overall, this product is a total winner. It retails for $16 at studiogearcosmetics.com

Top: Applied with Sonia Kashuk Bent Liner Brush; Bottom: Applied with finger


That's MAC's Expensive Pink on my lids and Creme d'Nude on my lips.

What are your favorite eyeliner formulas? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, August 18, 2014

NC and Tokyo do NYC

My cousin came to visit from Japan (yes, I'm half Japanese) last week, and we had a little rendezvous in good ole NYC. She's a super-awesome fashion designer, so between the two of us, we had a very fashion&beauty-filled weekend. Here are some highlights of our trip, and let me go ahead and apologize for the photo quality (I only took pics on my phone).  
It does exist! I saw this little beauty in the airport and just had to snap a pic. I mean, a Benefit vending machine? Why are these not everywhere? 

Of course we had to stop by a MAC and get our makeups did. Shout out to our artist, Julie, who was the sh*t. 
...And a Sephora. I'd never been to a free-standing one before. Swoon 
We also hit the FIT Museum and saw a gorgeous exhibition on lingerie. I really wish we were allowed to take pics in the exhibit because there were some stunning pieces. 
Zach Braff on Broadway? What? This show is awesome. Highly recommend. 
Yeah, yeah we had to do a tourist-y pic. But it was right outside our hotel so it would've been silly not to, right? 

Anyway, New York was a trip. I'll probably have a couple haul posts coming soon as a result. Have you done any traveling this summer? Let me know below!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Benefit Gimme Brow Gives As Long As I Provide

I should come clean. I get lazy in the summer. Like really lazy. On the days I even do my makeup, it's usually just lashes, brows, and lips. And as much as I love my brow powders and pencils, they take just enough work that my laziness can't deal. 

Enter Benefit's Gimme Brow. This is a tinted, fiber gel that is supposed to add color, fullness, and keep brows in place. It comes in two colors: Light/Medium and Medium/Deep, and retails for $22. And although I probably wouldn't use this product when I want defined brows, it is perfect for lazy days.



Left: Anastasia Brow Wiz in Brunette, Right: Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep

It might be a little hard to tell from the picture, but Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep is actually about a shade darker and slightly cooler in tone compared to Brunette. Brunette is a good match for me, but Medium/Deep can be slightly too dark in certain lighting. So for you ladies (or gents) with eyebrow colors that aren't particularly light or dark, you might not find that either of the two color options fit perfectly. 

Before & After








Although the color is ever-so-slightly dark for me, Gimme Brow does fill my brows in nicely and quickly while also holding them in place. However, I do have somewhat thick and long brows, so I'm wondering how effective this product is on shorter, sparser brows. 

As you can see in the picture below, the front end of my left brow (right side in the picture) is relatively sparse. However, Gimme Brow doesn't do much to fill that in. It seems to work its magic only on the denser parts of my brows. 

Of course, there's the option of filling in brows with a pencil/powder first and then setting with Gimme Brow. I like the sound of this option, but I think it comes with guidelines. The first is the color of your brows/hair. Since my brows are significantly darker than my hair, I think opaquely filling them in with two products will just make them look too bold/harsh. The second is the thickness of your brows. The thicker your brows are, the more Gimme Brow will adhere. So basically, if you have more natural thickness, you'll have a higher potential for getting bushy brows than those with sparser brows. But of course, if these looks are what you're going for, then Gimme Brow would be a great product to use.


Gimme Brow on both brows

Even after a week of using Gimme Brow, though, I had a little trouble determining my feelings toward this product. So, I had to break out the pro/con list: 

Pros

  • Adds color
  • Adds fullness where there is enough brow for the product to cling to
  • Keeps brows in place all day
  • Easy & quick application

Cons

  • Only 2 color options
  • Doesn't fully fill in sparse areas
  • Cannot easily make clean lines or provide definition 
  • Might be too much layered over a brow pencil

For me, this product seems to just be a lazy-girl staple. When I want my brows to be defined and a little more even, I will definitely still reach for my Brow Wiz first. But on the days when I just can't be bothered, I will always reach for Gimme Brow. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

HAUL: Ulta, Mac, Hautelook


Well I've been doing a little shopping the past couple of weeks, and I finally got my hands on some cult products. 

From Ulta, I picked up the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette and All Nighter setting spray, Benefit's Gimme Brow, and Studio Gear's Invincible Gel Eyeliner. I've never had any of these products before, but am really excited to try them. As you can probably tell from the picture above, I've already dug into the eyeliner. I must say, it is a gorgeous color (I got it in Lapis), and it is lovely to use as well. 

From MAC, I picked up two lipsticks in Plumful and Creme d'Nude. I've also tried these already and especially love Plumful--it's such a flattering, easy-to-wear color. 

Lastly, from Hautelook, I picked up Too Faced's La Creme Lipstick in Loganberry and Cinnamon Kiss. I can't resist a new lipstick, so I've already tried these as well. I love the colors, but I haven't worn them long enough to determine if I like the formula. 

I'll probably be reviewing a few, if not all, of these products, but be sure to let me know in the comments if there's anything in particular you'd like to see reviewed.  

Have you tried any of these products? What do you think of them? 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara Review


 I'm a little bit of a mascara junkie, so I was excited to hear Urban Decay was releasing a new one. I got my paws on a sample of Perversion, which UD claims to be "Bigger. Blacker. Badder." Perversion retails for $22, and currently comes with a sample of Subversion, a lash primer.

First off, I love the brush on this mascara. I'm all about a larger brush, and this one behaves so well. It deposits mascara evenly on my lashes and not at all on my eyelids. Also, the color really is as richly black as described. And finally, here's a mascara that you can open and love immediately without having to wait a week for it to dry out some (that is, if you prefer drier formulas like I do). 
Left: Bare lashes; Right: 1 coat top and bottom lashes
 After one coat, I could tell that Perversion definitely added length, and I love how rich the black color is. However, I didn't notice too much in the way of volume increase. 
Left: Bare lashes; Right: 2 coats top and bottom lashes














Now I don't normally wear two coats of mascara, but with Perversion, the second coat actually made a difference without going clumpy. It was with this second coat that I got the volume along with the length. I'm very pleased and impressed with the amount of separation the brush offers, even with added coats. 

The only thing this mascara left me wanting was some curl/lift. With the second coat, I did notice the weight made some of the curl fall. However, this wasn't too noticeable.

Compared to some popular mascaras, I have to say I like Perversion better than Tarte's Lights, Camera, Flashes, which I reviewed here. However, this is only because I prefer the brush on Perversion. I think both of these mascaras give the same look with one coat, and the only difference with two is that Perversion doesn't clump as much. 

I also like this better than Benefit's They're Real. Although I like the look one coat of They're Real gives better than one coat of Perversion, two coats of Perversion gives me that statement look that I go to They're Real for. But the real reason is the removal. The extra manpower I have to bring in to get They're Real off my lashes pretty much deters me from wanting to use it in the first place. Perversion actually washes off with just water.  

As much as I like this mascara though, I still prefer my HG, Clinique High Impact. 

So: 
Bigger? With two coats, yes.
Blacker? Definitely.
Badder? I'll leave that up to you to decide.

♥Miki