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!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Mini Review: Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balm in London Posh

TL;DR: I like the shimmery beige-peach color, but the texture is a bit heavier and slightly stickier than Japanese products like Coffret D'Or Bright Up Rouge or Shiseido Lacquer Rouge.
Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balm (color: London Posh) with green Android planter and clover
Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balm (color: London Posh)
Still, it's much cheaper than those options. I probably won't re-purchase or try other colors unless the texture grows on me; I will say they do have many pretty options in this line. However, I prefer lipsticks these days anyway, so this isn't a type of product that I need.
Swatches on arm: left: Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick (color: Naughty Nude); right: Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balm (color: London Posh)
Swatches: left: Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick (color: Naughty Nude); right: Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balm (color: London Posh)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick in 700 Naughty Nude

TL;DR: thumbs up if you find a color that you like, and don't mind layering up with balm.
Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick (color: Naughty Nude) and green Android planter with clover
Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick (color: Naughty Nude)
I like the soft floral scent; it fades after a while. The lipstick is easy to apply and feels nice, but after a few minutes it starts feeling dry. I can see why people like applying a balm first. The plastic packaging feels nice and solid. Not cheap like the Revlon Lip Butters.

Swatches on arm: left: Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick (color: Naughty Nude); right: Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balm (color: London Posh)
Swatches: Left: Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick (color: Naughty Nude); right: Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balm (color: London Posh)
I'd like to try some paler shades, as this one turns a strong rose on my pigmented lips, but it doesn't look like they have any paler options in the U.S. market. As I already have enough bright lipsticks, I guess this is my one foray into the line for now. Maybe when I use up one of my red lippies. That's unlikely to happen for years, sadly.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mini Review: Badger Sport Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Cream

This sunscreen has 22.5% non-nano un-coated zinc oxide.
Sadly, while this is effective protection and is supposedly ocean-friendly, the super thick texture - thicker than Neutrogena's popular Drytouch sunscreen - makes it a pain to apply. I'll be happy when I finally use up this tube.