Insanely Sparkly: Zoya Bar

ZOYA / Bar
I'm a big fan of Zoya's Pixie Dust Collection. I have Tomoko, which is a gorgeous golden shade with loads of matte glitter particles. I love how matte it looks when dried, even when I apply the top coat on top. I instantly fell in love with this new shade came out as a part of their 2014 spring / summer collection when I saw the photos as well as reading the description : Bar by Zoya can be best described as a glittery nude topaz in the best-selling ultra textured, matte, holographic Magical Pixie formula.

I'm sold.

Look how glittery it looks. It looked a bit paler in their official photos, and is more like pinky gold in person. It's a little harder to apply than normal Pixie Dust as it has bigger chunks of holograms. And it chips very very easily, it doesn't even last for a day on my nails. It's so annoying because as you can imagine, it's pain in the butt to remove. Having to remove and repaint my nails every day or two with this nail polish is not ideal, but I cannot resist wearing this shade as it looks insanely sparkly and beautiful.

Have you tried their Pixie Dust Nail Polish? What's your favourite shade?


Makeup Revolution Eye Foils / Rose Gold

Makeup Revolution Eye Foils / Rose Gold £4.00
I might have forgotten to tell you, but I did a pretty big Boots / Superdrug shopping back in July. My husband was in England taking care of his family, and I took the opportunity to order as many drugstore products as possible, had them shipped to his house, and asked him to bring them back to Japan. He also got me my favourite magazines (Look, Grazia and Boots mag along with Stylist mags that I ordered online) which ended up to weigh 12kg in total. Anyway cut the long story short, I've got quite a few UK products to review. I've been writing reviews on them on my Japanese blog but am trying to focus on Japanese products here as a lot of my lovely readers here must be interested in Japanese products rather than the UK ones, as there are tons of great UK bloggers here. So I decided to write reviews of the products that stood out here, to share my thoughts with you. 

Phew, the longest intro ever.

So, I got this eyeshadow only because I wanted the Stila one so bad when it came out. The idea of it is that you mix the liquid primer with the eyeshadow to create this "foil" look which is not too glittery but more intense than a normal shimmery eyeshadow. But the Stila one was ridiculously expensive. When I found this Makeup Forever version, I didn't even hesitate to purchase it. I picked the shade Rose Gold, as it seemed to be the most wearable.

The eyeshadow has this very unique texture. It's in between cream and powder. I take a little bit of it and...

...place it on the tray, and add a drop or two of the liquid primer. I used the brush to mix and apply when I tried it for the first time, but it made a huge mess so I wouldn't recommend it. You need to be really careful how much of the eyeshadow and primer you mix together, because when it's too hard, it literally makes you look like putting a piece of aluminum foil on your eyelids, and you cannot even blink. I realised a lot more of the primer than I expected is required to create the perfect consistency.

The bottom swatch is the eyeshadow alone, without the primer. The middle is the eyeshadow + primer applied with a brush. Then the top is the eyeshadow + primer applied with a finger.

When applied correctly, this eyeshadow looks really beautiful reflecting the light and making the eyes pop. I needed to practice a couple of times, and it was absolutely pain in the butt to remove it with a cotton pad with Bioderma. You need a good cleansing balm or oil to remove it completely from your face. But now that I learnt how to make the perfect formula, and how to apply, I am enjoying wearing it with Maybelline ColorTatoo in On and On Bronze on the outer corner to give a little bit of umph to the look.

I wish they had more unique shades such as taupe, grey, burgundy, khaki etc...hopefully they will come up with new shades in the autumn / winter! Have you tried this product? What do you think of it?


CANMAKE Lasting Multi Eyebase

CANMAKE Lasting Multi Eyebase 500yen
I was pretty satisfied by the eyeshadow primer from Rimmel that I got from ASOS. Once I'd used it up, I immediately started searching for a replacement as I didn't want to order the primer from ASOS again just because the pound was like 175yen at that time, and also ASOS changed the delivery term and now you need to spend more than 15 pound to get free delivery. Ridiculous. So I was hoping to get something in Japan. Then I remember, this primer from CANMAKE had been hyped up. So I decided to give it a go.

It's a typical silicone-base primer that smooths out the skin and creates the perfect base for anything applied on top. It's not tinted but strangely it feels like it evens out the skin tone too -it could be only in my mind-. 

In the morning, I apply this eyeshadow primer after applying the normal makeup primer all over my face. I take a tiny bit on my fingertips and apply it on my eyelids, brow bones and under the eyes. It prevents the eyeshadow from getting creased, and also makes them last much longer. I wear makeup more than 14 hours on weekdays, and any eyeshadow goes away after like 8 hours in this heat. But with this eyeshadow primer, I still can tell the colour of my eyeshadow at the end of the day, which is impressive!

Also it makes concealers go smoothly too, and they never get cakey and dry with this primer on underneath. I cannot rave about it enough, especially considering the fact it's only 500 yen.

Yes it's tiny, but it lasts for at least 3 months. I would say 6 months, probably. It is definitely one of the best products that you can get from a drugstore. It's waterproof which makes it wearable at the beach, too. I cannot put my makeup on without it, and have been using it none-stop since I got it a couple of months ago. It's a must-buy if you have a chance to come to Japan. I guarantee you!


My summer 2014 skincare routine

I took photos in May when I received some requests for my skincare routine post, and finally I'm writing about it today! It took me 3 months to do it, and I even used up some of the products I was enjoying at that time. But seriously, all the products I'm talking about today are amazing.


I take a shower every morning, and use  Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser to cleanse my face. It's kind of a boring cleanser but obviously gentle on the skin. It never irritates my skin and leaves my skin fresh and clean without the tight feeling that I hate. I also love Origins Checks and Balances, which smells of mint mixed with some other essential oils. It's perfect for combination skin as it hydrates the dry areas and gets rid of excess oils at the same time. It leaves my skin more refreshing than Cetaphil does, which makes it more suitable for summer in my opinion. I love love love this cleanser, maybe the best one I've ever tried.

After washing my face, I use Nature Conc Clear Lotion with a cotton pad to gently exfoliate and hydrate my skin. I love using it in the morning because it doesn't leave any greasy feels on the skin. Such a refreshing toner that makes my skin look clearer. Then I use Estee Lauder CyberWhite HD Advanced Brightening Moisture Creme to moisturise my skin. It's a perfect moisturiser for daytime as this siliconny texture creates a smooth skin surface and my makeup would sit very nicely on top of it. I also love using Clinique Superdefense Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 20 especially on my day off when I don't wear makeup as it protects my skin from the sun. 

Then I apply Superdefense SPF 20 Age Defense Eye Cream from Clinique. I love the idea of this eye cream having SPF effect, as my eye areas tend to get dark spots more than any other parts of my face. I apply the sunscreen from Origins as well, it's a little greasy to be honest but it leaves the right amount of oil once blotted. It's a shame it's only sold in Asia!

- Night-time -

RAFRA Balm Orange is definitely one of the best cleanser when it comes to removing makeup and leaving the skin super smooth at the same time. It literally smells like orange juice, and the consistency is much thicker than normal balm cleansers which warms up on the skin and gently exfoliates and removes makeup and dirt on the skin. It makes your skin feel like a baby's for sure, I promise.

Then I use Clinique Even Better Essence Lotion or Dr. Ci : Labo Herbal Serum to hydrate my skin. Even Better Essence Lotion is such a nice lotion that hydrates the skin without being too heavy. It feels very light on the skin but makes my skin moisturised and kind of plumped. Herbal Serum isn't a serum, but it's got oxygen, 15 different kinds of plant extracts, vitamins, collagen, hyaluronic acid and ceramide. It sinks into the skin very quickly and makes my skin feel fresher and smoother.

To moisturise, I use Estee Lauder CyberWhite HD Advanced Brightening Night Creme. I almost use up one jar, and I've got another one waiting for me to open. I'm not sure if it really does brightens up my skin tone, as I just found some new dark spots around my eyes today (damn myself didn't wear sunscreen until I was like 25) haven't noticed any difference on my complexion, but I love how moisturising it feels on my skin. I also love the scent, it could be a little overpowering for some people but I love it so so so much.

I also use argan oil sometimes to combat dry patches, and Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (I got a 50ml one the other day, woohoo!) for a special care. Also, RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum is something you need to try out if you haven't tried it yet. It really does make your lashes longer and thicker in a week. I had bald patches in my eyelashes but it made my lashes fuller instantly! I was really impressed, and now I cannot live without it....I don't know what to do when it's gone empty as it's quite pricey and I don't think I can purchase it myself! 

So these are the products I use on my face day and night. I have some more products I'm loving right now, I will make sure to write about them soon!


Need a touch-up during the day? Give KATE Quick Remake Liquid a try!

KATE Quick Remake Liquid 1,400yen
I heard you actually had summer in the UK this year. In Japan, it had been pretty chilly before the raining season started, then we had a proper raining season where you have to ban wearing a pair of white jeans, and even after the raining season, it hasn't been a hot sunny summer. I miss days that it's like 35 degrees outside, and super sunny that it even hurts your skin. 

Apparently I cannot enjoy that feeling this summer. But still it has been hot and humid, meaning my makeup tends to slide off. I wear my makeup for about 15 hours when I'm working, and my skin tends to get shiny at 10am when I get to work after 1.5 hours of traveling from my house to the central Tokyo. I use my oil-blotting films like 5 times a day. Meaning, my foundation kind of wears off in the evening. 

That's when this product comes in handy. Basically it's a very light liquid foundation that you can use on top of your foundation. It freshens up the look while covering up the pores and discolouration, and aloso moisturising the skin.

It's a very light texture that becomes like a powder when applied on the skin. It's great that it doesn't leave a greasy or oily residue on the skin and also that you don't need to carry a face powder around. I love how light it feels on the skin, almost like nothing's on, and it covers up the visible pores on my cheeks perfectly. It makes my skin surface silky smooth afterwords, and makes me look like I just applied my makeup on. Impressive! It also has SPF25 PA++ effect too to protect the skin from the sun damage. 

I got mine from a drugstore near my house, and I think it was around 1,000yen as they had a discount offer going on. I've been using it for almost 2 months I think, and it's got like 90% left still as I only need a tiny bit at a time.

I think it's a genius idea to make a product that is only for the touch-ups during the day. I love how it turns to a powder like texture on the skin, which is perfect for summer. I also love the fact it doesn't make my skin look cakey, I'm guessing that it would be suitable in winter too as it's pretty moisturising. I'm looking forward to trying this out in colder season! What do you think of this product? Would you like to try?


Estee Lauder Pure Color Instant Intense EyeShadow Trio in Arctic Zinc

Estee Lauder Pure Color Instant Intense EyeShadow Trio
Today I'm going to share my summer obsession with you all. I got this eyeshadow palette a few weeks ago, as a gift kind of, and I have been obsessed with it since then. This is my first Estee Lauder Eyeshadow ever, and I didn't know that the quality is this good to be honest. My shade is called Arctic Zinc, which is much more beautiful in person than it looks on the computer screen.

The lightest shade is the least pigmented, it's got quite chunky glitter particles in shimmery greenish blue eyeshadow. The middle shade is my favourite, it's a beautiful grayish blue with a hint of lilac, and this metallic finish looks absolutely gorgeous. The darkest shade is also beautiful on the lid, though it looks pretty boring when swatched. It also has glitter particles but the eyeshadow itself is not metallicky or shimmery.

The lightest shade goes on a little patchy but when I apply an eyeshadow base beforehand and gently pat the eyeshadow with a brush, it kind of sticks nicely without falling off. Then I apply the middle shade from the middle towards the end of the eye, and add the darkest shade on the outer corner. It looks muted in the photos but in person it's such a glittery gorgeous look which is perfect for summer. It brightens up my complexion and I love how the combo looks sophisticated.

I also love the packaging, pretty small and gorgeous like all other Estee Lauder products are. I love how the eyeshadows kind of melt into my eyelids and create the illusion. I have been really obsessed with this eyeshadow trio that I will continue wearing it until the summer ends. Of course I will wear it in winter as well, but I'm sure it suits in summer more.

I'm now more interested in their makeup range, do you have any favourite item?


My Pamper Skincare Items

I use either face mask or face scrub every 2-3 days. Only because I love pampering my skin, and another reason is that I've got too many products that I have to use up. Today I'm sharing my favourite items for pampering my skin.

Life-Flo Warming Pore Cleansing Scrub is another great product I discovered on Vitacost. It warms up on the skin which softens the dirt in the pores and makes it easier to remove it. This charcoal mask has small jojoba beans that gently exfoliates the skin, and it works wonders! It makes my skin so soft and smooth like nobody's business. I just cannot stop touching my face after use. It also smells divine, the blend of rosemary, grapefruits, sage, lemon, juniper and so on. Definitely one of the best face scrub ever!

I rely on Queen Helene Masque Mint Julep when I have pimples or enlarged pores on my cheeks. Especially when I have an occasional painful pimple, I remove makeup and apply a thick layer of this clay based face mask, and wait for 15 minutes. It smells literally like a toothpaste, very minty and fresh, which makes me feel like it's working. Once I rinse it off, my skin feels fresher and cleaner, and it definitely shrinks a pimple. I didn't feel like it was working when I first tried on my healthy skin, but once I used it on my pimple, it showed what it was capable of. 

Pangea Organics Facial Mask is definitely one of the best face masks I have ever tried. It's a little pricey in Japan but it's not too bad on Vitacost. It has unique and effective ingredients such as green clay, white clay,wildcrafted seaweed,organic green tea powder, organic matcha tea powder, wildcrafted Irish moss, acai extract, organic goji berry extract and some other plants extracts and essential oils. It's got gritty bits in it which gently exfoliates the skin, while nourishing and replenishing the skin. It leaves my skin like a baby's butt, and I know many fellow bloggers that are in love with this mask. The only downside is that it stinks, which is bearable for me.

I think I don't even need to say anything about Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask as everyone and their dogs know about it. It's kind of itching on my skin but I cannot stop using it as I can visibly see the result on my skin on the next morning. It moisturises my skin perfectly, getting rid of all the dry patches I had the night before. It smells like peaches to me which smells delicious enough to eat....which I don't. I'm sure it would taste disgusting. It's like a thick cream so I replace my night time moisturiser with it maybe once every 10 days or so. It is a little pricey but it lasts for ages and I will definitely repurchase it once I've run out with the current tube.

  The last but not least, I like using Japanese sheet masks like Lululun. Mine is the one I got in Okinawa last year, it's got the Citrus depressa extract, the special lemon that's native to Okinawa. They have some different varieties you can choose depending on your skin type or a desired effect. The sheet is pretty thick that doesn't break easily, and contains effective ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and vitamins. Thought it's very affordable, the effect it gives to the skin is pretty impressive. Also the packaging is super cute.

What's your facvourite pamper item? Let me know!