Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Friday, December 16, 2016

Mini Review: Milani Power Up Lip

Milani Power Lip may be discontinued. I saw it at my local Grocery Outlet and picked up a few as small souvenirs for foreign friends. Later I came across some reviews and picked up a few more to test for myself in Creamy Cafe and Mango Tango. 

The two shades are quite appropriately named. Mango Tango would be a great summer shade and also lovely on deeper complexions, being a bright melon.

Texture wise these gloss stains are fine. I find lasting power to be okay. Maybe I've been eating super greasy stuff, but these products are gone after a meal; no hint of a stain.

Because of this, I find these to be cheap and fun, but not must-haves or cause to bemoan their possibly discontinued state. Also the color selection doesn't particularly appeal to me; I have enough reds, and Mango Tango is a fun color but too bright for me to use regularly.

Mini Review: Pureology Colour Fanatic Deep-Conditioning Mask, Nature's Gate Biotin Conditioner

So far, I love the Pureology Colour Fanatic Mask. You don't need to use much product and it left my hair moisturized and soft. I've only used it once though so we'll see if it continues to perform well. I don't have colored hair so I can't comment on how it works with color.

Nature's Gate Biotin Conditioner has a nice herbal-mint scent, but it seems to take a lot to detangle my hair, and doesn't leave it particularly moisturized. I like the Pureology mask better - less work for better results.

Monday, November 14, 2016


Personally, I'm still mostly here with Robin McKinley, but I love this message of compassion by Garance Doré.

And Bois de Jasmin keeps me a bit more grounded in the big picture, for which I am grateful. For example, the blog owner is currently planning a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Update on CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick

I'm not crazy about the way this sits on my lips - it feels like a thin greasy layer. I definitely prefer the feel of Revlon Balm Stains - more of a moisturizing feel rather than greasy.

The color Hypnotic is a bit frosty to wear on its own too - okay but a little too much to be perfectly flattering.

So this may go in the bin, as I like all of my other lip products better.

The other possibility is that this lipstick has already gone bad - it has a sweet scent that I don't particularly like.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Mini Review: CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick in Hypnotic 220

CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick in Hypnotic 220 is basically a slightly frostier, slightly more brown/beige version of my pigmented lips. I'm glad I took the chance to try out this color! It's a great MLBB for me, as I prefer to play down my natural mauve tones.  I'm not a fan of the scent - vaguely vanilla/sweet? But the formula seems moist and comfortable so far.

From left to right: Urban Decay Super-Saturated High Gloss Lip Color (f-bomb), Revlon Balm Stain (Crush 005), Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick (Naughty Nude 700), Revlon Balm Stain (Rendezvous 040), CoverGirl Lip Perfection Lipstick (Hypnotic 220)
Interestingly, the Revlon Balm Stains all appear pretty pigmented on my lips, although the swatches are rather sheer on my arm. The natural pigment in my lips adds quite a bit of color, which is a bit annoying. I'm tempted to try more of the brown colors in this CoverGirl Lip Perfection line, as this one works quite well on me.

I quite like Nas' rap on Madonna's "Veni Vidi Vici":

Friday, October 07, 2016

My favorite ramen places in Tokyo

Quite frankly, I can't say what the best ramen in Tokyo is, since I haven't tried all of them. I never will be able to, either, since there always new places opening up.

If you read Japanese, the Ramen DB is a great resource, as a repository of most of the Tokyo ramen fanatics' reviews.

So, I'll just introduce my personal favorites:
1) Right now, this is the ramen I'm personally craving the most: the chicken ramen in Azabu Juban 麻布十番156 Ichikoro. A thick broth akin to tonkotsu but different. They do the egg with the soft yolk center. Their gyoza is pretty good too.
Interestingly, I've never tried their sister chain 野朗ラーメン Yaro Ramen although the tonkotsu smells pretty good. 156 Ichikoro has a slightly fancier ambience and is easier for me to enter.

2) Not ramen, but I'm going to stick it on this list because when I'm craving noodles this fits the bill just as well as tonkotsu ramen.  笹塚 Sasazuka station is a bit out of the way but it is home to 豪快 Gokai (map), the best 坦々麺 tantan noodles I've ever had. If you haven't had Japanese tantanmen, it's a creamy Japanese variation on the Chinese original.  Cheap all the time, and pretty fast.  Counter space only (12 seats).  Just order the tantanmen 坦々麺 with the 細麺 thin noodles. They also do handmade thick noodles, but although I normally love handmade noodels, I don't like these as much as the thin noodles.
I expect that they're cash only, and I don't think they speak English, but you can show them this photo.

3) For tonkotsu ramen, I usually go to 博多一風堂 Ippudo. Easy to find around Tokyo. They have the thin, straight Hakata style noodles, and 2 regular types of tonkotsu - white is traditional, red is the revolutionary/modern version.

4) I like the salt ramen at 山頭火 Santouka (the fatty pork ぶたバラ is ridiculous, and can be a bit too fatty)

5) A chain restaurant found everywhere in Japan, 天下一品 has a こってりラーメン that is ridiculously thick. Apparently it's a chicken and vegetable based broth, but this stuff will probably leave you full for a day - it's that thick. I would recommend not drinking all the broth if you want to be able to move afterwards.

I hear the tonkotsu ramen at 一蘭 Ichiran is good, with the thin, straight 博多 Hakata style noodles. Next trip!