Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Lunasol Summer Kit 2014

According to Maquia, Lunasol will release this Summer Kit 2014 (8000yen) exclusively at five counters in Japan on 6 June. It includes a Three Dimensional Eyes palette, double-ended brown eyeliner pencil, pink blush and highlighter duo, pink lipgloss and a gold pouch.

Fans of the brand should check out this blog post, Otona no Jikkan and here on Lunasol's recent 15th Anniversary event at Ba-Tsu Art Gallery in Tokyo which showcased its past hit products and collections, including all its eyeshadow palettes released since the brand's debut in 1999. Pic below from the Lunasol Facebook page.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Operation Use It Up

Cleared out another batch of product empties in February and March. We are moving again at the end of this year so I'm trying my darnedest to stick to a no-buy where skincare and bodycare are concerned and really whittle my stash down to a reasonable size.

1. Avene Cleansing Water: I use this non-rinse cleanser on my baby, mainly for cleansing his bottom. Love how gentle and effective it is.

2. REN Clearcalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser: This cleanses very gently and never leaves my skin feeling stripped or dry. However, I did not notice any significant effect on preventing clogged pores.

3. Biore Hydra-Clear Makeup Remover: This removes foundation effectively and thoroughly but it stings my eyes.

4. Lancome Bi-Facil: This removes eye makeup in a jiffy although it does struggle sometimes against waterproof Japanese mascaras. It's way too expensive to purchase regularly, so I usually buy L'Oreal's bi-phase Gentle Eye Makeup Remover instead.

5. Pixi Glow Tonic: This was my second bottle of four that I hauled in London last year before giving birth. I use it once daily at night to help keep my skin blemish-free. It doesn't sting or leave my skin sticky for ages like Paula's Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Anti-Redness Exfoliating Solution does.

6. Suqqu HA White Mask: I didn't see much improvement in my skin to justify this mask's ridiculously expensive price tag. Suqqu had to recall three of their whitening products but this mask wasn't one of them. For Suqqu, I would just stick to the makeup line.

7. By Terry Creme de Rose Nutri-Lift Comfort Cream: This hydrated my skin nicely without any greasy feeling. Like most of By Terry's products, it bears a rose scent but I don't mind it.

8. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil: This emulsifies and rinses off easily, removing all base makeup in a jiffy. However, I still prefer the lighter texture of Shu Uemura's Fresh cleansing oil (pink).

9. L'Oreal Play Ball Beach Fizz: This was a freebie with a magazine purchase at Kinokuniya Singapore a long time ago. It helps give a bit of structure and volume but wasn't really that special to warrant a re-purchase.

10. Percy & Reed Finishing Polish: This is my second tube and I already have a back-up ready. It tames flyaways and frizz without making my hair stiff or crunchy.

11. Lush Tea Tree Water: This is supposed to help detoxify oily, blemish-prone skin but I didn't notice any significant improvement in my skin. I'll stick with Pixi Glow Tonic instead although that is harder to get hold of.

12. Ma Cherie Moisture Conditioner: Love the sweet floral scent and feminine packaging but I think Tsubaki conditioner (which is also made by Shiseido) boasts more hydrating power than this.

13. Laline Mickey & Minnie Shower Gel: A gift from a friend, this had a nice scent and lathered up well but not particularly memorable enough to re-purchase.

14. Lush The Jilted Elf shower jelly: This lathers up nicely with a bath lily. A pot usually provides me with around 10 uses. I took so long to get around to using this that I think the scent had gone off a little.

15. A Scent by Issey Miyake Body Lotion: I liked the clean scent and light, non-greasy texture.

16. Life NK Jump Start Body Lotion: This was included in a Glossybox (UK) which I used to subscribe to when my husband was based in London. Love the fresh uplifting scent of grapefruit, spearmint and peppermint.

17. Bliss Lemon+Sage Body Butter: Intensely hydrating, this takes some kneading to get it to absorb fully. It came in handy in the winter months when my legs get really dry.

18. K-Palette Lasting 2Way Eyebrow 02: A daily staple, I've used up too many of these to count.

19. Too Faced Shadow Insurance: Another daily staple, I prefer this to Urban Decay Primer Potion. It really helps to make my eyeshadows last all day with minimal creasing. A tube lasts close to a year even with daily usage. I already have a back-up tube somewhere.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

By Terry French Riviera Collection Swatches

The By Terry French Riviera collection for summer 2014 just arrived at Sephora in France. By Terry usually introduces new formulas and product innovations with each seasonal collection, so it's always interesting to see what they have up their sleeves. The theme running through this collection is watercolor stains.

For the lips, there are two Tint To Lip water-based stains in Pink Palace and Beach Game.

Beach Game is a gorgeous coral with pink shimmer while Pink Palace looks like a dark plum in the tube but when applied, turns into a surprisingly shimmery metallic candy pink that has a more frosty finish compared to Beach Game. Don't judge these by how they appear in the tube as they look very different when applied. Beach Game looks like a clear neon orange in the tube similar to Aqualip Jelly Tint in Dancefloor Flirt from the Summer 2012 collection but it is actually quite different once applied.

The Cheek to Cheek in Cherry Cruise is another watercolor stain for the cheeks, supposedly with a 'cellophane transparency or subtle satin finish'. I found the packaging of this rather strange as there is no dispensing mechanism for the glass pipette under the cap, i.e. it can't be squeezed or pumped out. Instead, the pipette just drips the cheek stain onto your skin. The Tea To Tan watercolor bronzer has the same packaging, except in a slightly larger bottle.

Cherry Cruise and Tea To Tan are swatched in the top right corner of the pic below.

The pic below shows Cherry Cruise and Tea To Tan blended into the skin. Cherry Cruise can be built up to quite a pigmented stain as you can see.

The Aqua-Print Eyeshadows are basically jumbo crayon eyeshadows similar to those by Clinique. The shade names are Pink Frappe, Darling Muse, Peach Tornado, Green Tornado, Blue Fiesta and Violet Vibes.

The texture and finish vary depending on the shade. Green Tornado had a rich, metallic finish and applied very smoothly in one pass whereas Blue Fiesta and Violet Vibes have more of a semi-matte finish and glides less smoothly across the skin. Green Tornado and Blue Fiesta reminded me of NARS Rated R, although Blue Fiesta is closer in tone to NARS Outremer and Urban Decay Chaos. I prefer the creamier and more velvety texture of By Terry Ombre Blackstar eyeshadow sticks.

Time for Spring

This spring, we discovered a pretty row of small cherry blossom trees in our neighbourhood. Nothing as majestic as those in Tokyo but still, it felt magical just standing under these while a light rain of pink sakura petals drifted down around us.

We had no luck with growing snowdrops again this year in our garden but the hyacinths turned out well.

Purple hyacinths in the park.

One of my favourites from our garden are these delicate grape hyacinths in the most delicious bluish purple.

Colorful primroses from our garden.

Baby daffodils

In a corner of the common yard behind our house stands this magnolia tree. Like the cherry blossoms, these bloom just once a year at the start of spring and are gone all too quickly. The ground is already covered with its voluptuous petals.

Azaleas in various shades of pink.

My little one who is growing up so fast.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Three at Haneda Airport

Three has just opened a counter at Haneda Airport's international terminal dutyfree, in Cosmetic Boutique North. This is their third dutyfree counter, after the two in Narita Airport. This Kokusaishogyo article gives a tantalizing hint of Three's international expansion plans. Apparently, Three has plans to expand at the rate of one country per year. Currently, it has counters in Taipei and Bangkok, with more planned for Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung and other major cities in Taiwan. It is doing well in Thailand where sales have been twice the projected estimate.

Majolica Majorca Upcoming Releases

Here are the details of Majolica Majorca's upcoming product launches.

21 May

1. Water Cologne Nails: in 9 shades and scented with Majoromantica (380yen, LE)

2. Glass Drop Gel Coat Nude Pink: Fast drying nail top coat (850yen)

3. Lash Expander Edge Meister F BR666 (1200yen)

4. Lash King mascara: Updated formula (1200yen)

21 June

1. Perfect Automatic Liner #36 (1200yen, LE)

21 July

1. Jewelling Eyes: 2 limited edition palettes (1500yen)

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Anna Sui Summer 2014

Here are the official visuals for the Anna Sui summer collection "Door to Tomorrow" set to launch on 1 May in Japan. There will be a new Glittering Lip Gloss in 12 shades.

There will be eight new eyeshadow singles plus four case designs.

Another pic below tweeted by Tomoichi. The gloss with the white cap is part of the Protective Lip Gloss line which has 9 shades.