Sunday, May 31, 2009

Cherry blossom girl...

My post is Ume-inspired...... This week I received two Ume or Japanese Cherry blossom related items: one was included in a sasa order, and one from Etsy.
I stumbled upon this purple ume wallet when I was browsing wallets with japanese prints on etsy. I really love the cuteness of the Sanrio inspired wallets, and ordered some small Sanrio inspired prints as well.

For my more mature-appropriated days I was looking for something lovely and florally: this wallet fitted the bill (pun intended). I bought it at THIENTHANH in the sale section, and there was also a free shipping deal...he he.

This is such a cute and well-made wallet. Have you seen the little fishy that holds the zipper?

So sweet: she (Bibi) makes the wallet with her grandma...

It also arrived really fast! I really enjoy fast shipping...

The only small con is that it is a bit small for my daily shopping, and all of these pesky card you have to use - for the library, the bookstore, discount at the supermarket, etc etc.. I think it will make an excellent wallet for international currency...e.g. pound sterling, or dollars (hopefully soon ;D).

My other happy Cherry blossom item came from It is from Bison.

This is also a cute and small size. Think about 3 times smaller than the Pear shaped lipbalm of B&C. It also has really similar texture as the B&C Pear balm, which I absolutely AdOrE...It smells like a slightly artificial cherry, or a bit like cherry flavored lemonade. I really like this scent...

The colour is incredibly cute as well....a soft baby pink which sheers out on your lips...

I made a swatch on my arm. The upper part is the balm concentrated, and I sheered it out to the bottom. One reviewer on Sasa described it to be slightly lightening on her lips, which is true. However, it is still a lipbalm and nothing too pigmented...

I still smell a hint of cherry after half an hour, but nothing obtrusive (and the regular readers know I am really picky with some scented products).

This theme makes me dream about a Japanese vacation walking under real Cherry tree blossoms....

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Victoria Jackson Alert!

I've just come back from The Clothes Show London at Excel, where who should I find lurking on the outer stands? Victoria Jackson. Unlike Benefit and Sleek, amongst others, who were doing fabulous make overs and getting really stuck in with their largely teenage visitors, the VJ peeps were doing the tired old 'goodie-bag-you-pay-for' routine. The SA's were holding out the bags as though to give them away, but just as customers stuck out their hands, they were reeled back and the sales pitch began. It's one up from a fold away table outside WH Smith, I'll admit, but still, I don't like it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

crafting hair deco

All of the browshing on Etsy made me hungry for a bit of creativity on my own...I love buying things, and I love creating some of my own thingies. I was so enamorated with the various hairpieces and clips I saw on Etsy, and especially the ones with a Flapper/art deco-esque vibe (eg this and this piece).

So I bought a couple of appliques (sort of sparkly and sequinned forms -flowers, bows, butterflies, etc that you can add on your clothes etc), found a piece of copper beading thread, a needle and a haircomb and started crafting:

These are a couple of the appliques I bought: I bought a golden fan, the flower you saw above, a butterfly, and you can see a tiny part of a coral applique on the bottom of the page...

I sewed the copper thread manually through all of the hairpin holes. I checked the front if the thread was not visible, and VOILLA...a gorgeous hairpiece for a fraction of the normal price.

The thread visible from the sewing...

Here is the piece in my stick-straight hair...I love hairpieces for giving my hair a bit of 'unboringness' (is that a word? it is now...LOL)

(Jamilla Camel, if you read this...yes, I still have quite pale skin...LOL)

Totally credit crunch friendly and very sassy for the summer season of flirting and flaunting ;P

Laboratoire Remede: Never Say Dry

I took Laboratoire Remede Wrinkle Therapy Moisture Lift Baume on holiday to Vegas a couple of months ago. Vegas is a place of extremes in more ways than one, not least the blazing sunshine outside, the incredible dryness of the atmosphere and the fierce blasts of air-con indoors. Air-con makes my skin shrivel up with dryness so any holiday involving a 10 hour recycled air flight followed by 24/7 extremes of temperature in arid conditions are likely to turn my face and body into something resembling a 100 year old basset hound. Thankfully, this ultra rich cream worked a treat to keep everything plumped and hydrated: it's packed with line-filling, collagen re-inforcing and illuminating ingredients. I didn't use it for long enough to say whether it knocked off the years, but for my needs at the time it was absolutely perfect. If your skin is ultra-dry and you're struggling with stubborn lines, I'd say give it a go. £80,

Le Metier Arrives At Liberty

Well, Le Metier de Beaute has finally arrived at Liberty; I walked past the new counter earlier this week - it looked surprisingly flat and clinical given that there are some amazingly vibrant colours in the range. It's extremely expensive; these two sets - one lip, one eye, are £65 each. Creatively speaking, each item is extensively researched, uses high pigmentation and quality ingredients, but even so, I'm taking a deep breath in before splashing out.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Biscuits: The New Skin Care

Over in camp bonkers, the good people at US nutraceutical skin care company, Borba, have joined forces with Deluscious to make an anti-aging biscuit. Skin-loving ingredients are baked into the cookies so the more you eat, the better you'll look. Right.

Clothes That (Might) Make You Beautiful

We've kind of seen this sort of thing before, with nano-encapsulated caffeine in tights to tackle cellulite, but this is a new generation of skincare that is worlds on from previous technology. AhRT have formulated three products, Refreshing, Moistursing and Slimming, in a lotion format, that you apply to your wash (at the softener stage) like fabric conditioner. This apparantly soaks your clothing with micro-capsules that then tackle your particular problem. Ingredients include Hemp oil, caffeine and menthol. Taking care of your skin by wearing clothes? Sounds so simple. The fore-runner to this technology was perfumed slippers!

I can't work out if the rumours that Brazilian waxes are completely over because of the economy are exactly that - rumours, or whether it is really true that things are getting decidedly bushier out there as women divert their resources elsewhere. I kind of hope that having your hair down there ripped out in an excruciatingly painful treatment is done with. Apparantly, though, to stay on trend you cannot even contemplate growing a wafting Brian Blessed's beard style; we are not going back to the '70s - it still needs to be trimmed and tidy. But trim and neat is infinitely cheaper and much more do-able at home than your own Brazilian. I also read somewhere that sales of down below dye are at a peak and that middle America favours pink! So, somebody's not matching their collars and cuffs....I hope! But, a warning tale: grooming tools are all well and good but I once accidentally gave myself go faster stripes with a Remmington Trimmer, not having realised that you need to set the blades to a certain level; not just swathe straight through.

Is trim the new tidy or are you still welded to whipping it away?

Jo Malone: Vanilla & Anise

Last night was the launch of the new fragrance from Jo Malone, Vanilla & Anise. I was kind of dreading this because I really don't like vanilla but was in for a very pleasant surprise. The fragrance isn't a hefty, sweet and sugary blast - it is as light as air and tempered by the sharpness of anise, making it cleverly warm and fresh at the same time. Vanilla is slightly misleading name as it contains extracts of Vanilla Orchid, a far cry from what any lay person would consider a 'vanilla' scent. There are notes of bergamot, wild fennel, frangipani and white orchid and the blend is truly lovely. It goes on sale in September.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reader Frontline: Testing So You Don't Have To - Anatomicals

Daisy tested a range of Anatomical products:

"There are so many beauty brands out there and there are new cosmetic and skin care products coming out all the time- sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between them all. Anatomicals are a brand that you wont forget- their products have quirky names such as ‘snog me senseless lip balm’ and ‘farewell the scarlet pimplehell’ and the packaging is vibrant and colourful. It’s a brand that looks expensive but is extremely reasonably priced. A perfect solution to the credit crunch.

I was sent three products from the Anatomical brand to try:

Puffy the Eye Bag Slayer Revitalising Eye Mask- this can be used cold or hot by either placing it in the fridge, or in hot water for 10 minutes. Using it cold is great as a puffy eyed solution after a particularly traumatising episode of Grey’s Anatomy and using it warm is great for a delicious bedtime treat. I think every girl should own an eye mask and at £2.49 this is an extremely worthy investment.

No Old Bags Allowed Eye Gel- I have to admit that I am lucky enough to not suffer from eye bags so may not be the best tester for this product. However it is a lovely refreshing gel which absorbs quickly and is a bargainous £3.

Shower to the People Shower- I used this shower gel and felt like I was washing in mandarin orange jelly- fantastic! My only downside would be that the scent doesn’t last long on your skin, although I probably wouldn’t want to smell like a human orange… It’s bright, fun and should have a place in every bathroom.

I think this brand is great. Since trying the products I have been browsing their online store for more uniquely named skin treats and with prices ranging from 70p to £10 I definitely recommend a look."

Bright & Beautiful: Lumecin Overnight Brightening Gluco-Treatment

I love it when a product really delivers, and this medicinal looking tube from GoodSkin Labs (at Boots) is a such a surprise! Despite it's appearance (don't muddle it with your athelete's foot cream), it packs a punch on the complexion. Glucosamine, hydrolized protein and Protectami (who knows? a 'new' ingredient devised in the labs of Lauder) all act for long term results of strengthening, pore unclogging and getting rid of dark spots and patches. I've only used it 3 times as a night cream and the promise that it improves brightness and texture is absolutely true. My skin definitely looks more refined, very smooth and brighter; a little bit like I had a secret facial in my sleep. Hopelessly I can't find the press release so I don't know how much it is but from memory think it is roughly £30.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kanebo Kate Lasting Color Eyesl in GY-1: grey colour??

I have not seen that many reviews on Kanebo Kate latest Eyeliner pencils yet: actually, I have not found a single one before ordering this sweetie from adambeauty.

I am still looking for a really good and smooth, but not smudge-tastic grey eyeliner pencil. This pencil actually sells like a hybrid between eyeshadow and pencil. I picked the colour GY-1, because that normally corresponds with a grey shade.

That is the colour I picked: GY-1

I had to check the label, because as you can see on the next picture, it looks not grey or slate/greylike at all. There are some golden glitters in the pencil, and it actually looks more dark green/khaki than grey.

The pencil has a twist-up mechanism, which means that you do not have to sharpen your pencil constantly. I do not like sharpening big pencils, as you always spoil so much product.

The colour is quite nice, although it has nothing greyish in it. It looks like a dark brown with lovely golden sprinkles in it. It is a nice creamy texture, which makes it suitable for a soft and somewhat 'dewy' application.

This picture is an even closer close-up (click on the picture for more detail).

It can work as an eyeliner pencil, or as an eyeshadow. I smudged the pencil a bit so you can see how it looks in a smudged form (as a eyeshadow or eyeshadow base). Ok, it looks more slate-like now, but I still find the golden flecks to alter the colour from its (hardly existent) greyness.

Ha ha, I am complaining a bit about the colour, but I actually love the product a lot for using on my eyes. I like the creaminess of the product and I found it to hold up all day, without a base. I did not experience any irritations from it either.
I bought this pencil for $10.50 on adambeauty. I think I am going to pick up the black one as well, or perhaps the white for putting into the waterline (and look awake when I am not).

LA 2 Week Miracle: Anti-Aging Programme

I've just come to the end of the two week skincare regime, LA 2 Week Miracle, designed to re-invigorate your skin's natural recovery function (back to how it worked in your twenties, apparantly). It's a 4 step programme that requires application twice a day, and is packed with peptides that are able to mimic the skin's growth factors. Without getting lost in 'skincare speak', it uses nano technology for better delivery. The box contains toner, serum, face cream and eye cream. It's a doddle to use - nothing complicated about the application instructions either - and it really has made a difference to the overall texture and tone of my skin. That's not to say it is exactly a 'miracle', because I haven't dropped 10 years in two weeks, but there is a definite clarity to my skin, it looks and feels softer, better hydrated and all round boosted. If you are after a 'pep' for your complexion, this brand delivers. How long the results last, however, is anyone's guess. It costs £69.99 at

Boadicea The Victorious: Candles

Ever since I discovered that someone was so taken with this brand they splashed out £30,000 in one go on it, I've been intrigued by Boadicea The Victorious. Behind the brand is Michael Boadi; international hair stylist (Chanel, Vogue, Missoni, J-Lo and Kate, no less). Given the name Boadicea, it's fitting that everything is made in the UK; the bottles, the fragrances and the candles. The recent launch of Boadicea The Victorious candles, organised into groups of fragrance, is great news for candle lovers like me. I'm very taken with Delicate; a fragrance capturing a mossy, bluebell strewn English wood - and not just any old wood; it's inspired by the one near Kate Moss's house in the Cotswolds. £42 at Selfridges.

Fresh Brown Sugar Body Cream

Thanks to the success of Fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish - easily the best body polish ever - Fresh have now brought out a body cream using the same ingredients, but without the crunchy bits. Better yet, at £24 it's more affordable than £47 for the polish. Whatever Fresh founders, Lev and Alina Glassman, touch seems to turn to gold in the beauty world, but we are horribly starved of it in this country. With no website, are we all supposed to treck to Marylebone High Street in London to get our hands on their genius products? I've never come across a brand that seems to actively want to sell less before. If the products were awful, I wouldn't care, but they aren't...they're gorgeous. It's almost easier for some (thinking Outer Hebredes, here!) to go to New York to buy it and in this economic climate it seems crazy not to have accessible outlets. Fresh, please could we have a better way to buy your products?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Illamasqua Eternal Shimmer cream in action

So, this is the Eternal Shimmer cream in action. All products are by Illamasqua.Before: I have Succumb (powder) all over, Command (cream) applied with fingers over lid and into crease. Upper lid lined with Sophie medium pencil, Drama (powder) smudged over that. Truth (powder) blended over lid and into crease.And this is the after: Eternal smudged onto lid with a fingertip. You'll see it blends

Sunday, May 24, 2009

another week in hauls

Hello again, another week has gone by. How has your week been? I had a fabulous start! My last grade of a course I took in the last term came back, and I was really delighted with the outcome. I considered my essay to be moderately good, and my dear teach ever gave me a more positive grade than I expected...WOOT!

My weekly mail-hauls were pretty good as well. I already posted about most of them, and I want to show you the rest.

A couple of weeks ago I had ordered some tea from a British teashop that was raved on one of the local forums. They can be great enablers as well. (what's in a name? glowchaser changed her name in Old cow; I have Moo cards and I drink from teapigs: I think I will name myself happyHorseHickups?) sell they tea in sample sets as well, which come in a tin that contains 3 teabags. It was a wonderful opportunity to try six of their flavours.

My picks were based on my lack of energy and the need for indulgence. The teapigs site has a small 'mood-o-matic teafinder' on the bottom left of the homepage, which makes choosing easy (and with a good dose of British humor). I kind of was tempted to click on all moods, especially 'old and wrinkly' or 'generally rubbish' (which was my mood a couple of weeks ago).

I ended up with:

Chocolate Flake tea;
Super Fruit;
Yerba Mate;
Tung Ting Oolong Tea;
Mao Feng Green Tea;
Lemongrass Tea

My absolute fave is the Lemongrass tea: it is extremely refreshing and taste like real lemongrass...yummmm

The tins are stackable. The labels are too cute: I love the tuk tuk on the Lemongrass, and the surfer on the Tung Ting tea

Non mail-retail therapy:

I had to go to the capital this week for a important lecture of a writer I really admire. Before that, I visited the Mac counter and picked up the Tinted Lip Conditioner SPF 15 in Gentle Coral.

As if I do not have enough lipbalms, -glosses, and sticks....

I love the corally orange colour, and the typical vanilla scent from Mac is always a favourite of mine. (picture is made in shadow, so the colour is probably not really representative)

I went to the poshest shopping street, and only bought a Chanel lipstick.

But it is from their summer 2009 collection! I loved a variety of their latest Aqualumiere colours, and ended up with the flattering Ishia. I love their Sun Protection, which was another motive for picking it up ;D

Chanel should update the Aqualumiere lipstick in the same form as the gorgeous Rouge Allure form. That is the one with the Click tube...I still like this design, but it is a bit Blah... (it is still Chanellll, dahling)

This picture came out darker again. The colour looks like a MLBB (my lips but better) colour, or the colour after I have been drinking wonderful Cava in Barcelona (ahhh, can I dream?)

I adore the multiglitter in the lipstick, which came out all right in this close up: I see blue, copper, gold...

I have already blogged about my Paul & Joe haul. (ici et ici)

The Kawaii-ness of the Yumeko/Bittenbefore brushroll!!! (here)

And the wonders of the Japanese Magazine world (here)

tadaaah....Those were my hauls....

Scrub Genius: Aveda Caribbean Therapy

I've just tried Aveda Caribbean Therapy Body Scrub - it's out and out the best body exfoliator I've used in a very long time. A combination of sugar and salt grains are effective enough to give skin a thorough sloughing (none of those silly 'exfoliating beads' that do absolutely nothing), and the avocado, coconut and passionfruit oils leave a gorgeous, softening sheen. Even when my skin is dried off, I can still feel the satiny oil - it's not sticky - that has made my skin supple and ultra-ultra soft. The scrub has a fragrance of slightly herby limes - I don't love it, but it's nothing to scare the horses. It's £24.47 for a large (450g) tub, but be warned, the generous looking tub is only two thirds full when you open it!

Illamasqua eyeshadows

I was doing okay with resisting Illamasqua until Pixiwoo did a couple of tutorials on Youtube (I should ban myself from that channel.) Anyway, one haul was shortly followed by another until I ended up with the collection you see before you.The first picture is without flash, the second with flash. From top left, clockwise, shimmer cream in Eternal (from the Sirens collection), cream eyeshadows in

Paul & Joe Dual Protective Foundation UV in 10

On monday this week I blogged about my new Paul & Joe goodies that arrived from I already looked at the Bronzer in Deity 01 (here), and I have to say that I tested it on my face, and it looked quite natural, even though I was afraid it would turn up too orangy. The thing is, that P&J makes their powder so fine and sophisticated, that you can dust a light layer over the face (the places that the sun hits your face: cheekbones, nose, forehead), so it does not look like I have been tangoed...

I promised to take a look at the other Paul & Joe product as well: the Protective Dual Foundation UV in 10. Today I road-tested it in sunny weather, and I have been quite satisfied with it, so far so good :D

It has SPF 20 PA++. I have a sunblock in my moisturizer, however, I always like to have extra protection. Click on the next picture for the ingredients.

The case is so pretty in ivory creamy white with all the artdeco-esque flowers on top.

P&J included a sponge with their foundation. It is, indeed, sold as a powder foundation. I prefer to dust it on like a powder-like product: with a powder brush. The powder is so incredibly fine, and gives a light to medium coverage.

The colour can be described as NC20 colour: it is a tad too light right now, however, I am sure it will make an excellent companion in my bag during the Autumn and Winter months.

I will update this post with a swatch on my arm or piece of paper soon

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