Monday, December 27, 2010

my Dec. 25th

I did a lot of shopping on my Christmas. The shops were packed! Tokyo does good business in the holiday season.

I also got some gifts and such for my trip home. I bought so much that my arms were a bit sore the next day. Maybe I shouldn't have bought so many gifts, but I thought they were nice and would be useful.

Ah well. I really need to stop stockpiling gifts for friends. I have some stuff I've been hanging on to for a year now; I should just bring it all home and give out to people.

After the hauling, I tried two types of ramen at New Tokyo Ramen Champion. Man that place is out of the way. The ramen was interesting but not spectacular, so I don't know if I'll check out stages 2 and 3. They rotate out shops every month, and I tried the first month's ramen. They make it look so good on TV, but I guess that's TV for you. It's probably more fun with a group. Need to find a ramen club.

Also had cake on Christmas Eve. Lots of whipped cream! Very rich, even though it's light stuff. I miss the more buttery, moist cakes in the U.S., the sponge cake here tends to be too dry for my taste.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

makeup while travelling

Thai for lunch. I love the smell of Thai rice; so fragrant! Some of my Japanese friends don't like the smell of Thai rice; I find that fascinating. People have preferences about the scent of their rice! I can understand, but I don't feel the same.食べ物について、そういうこだわりがない。やわらかい米が好きだけど。。。

Inspired by Fuzkittie's post (!/notes/fuzkittie/pack-rat-not/500922287603), I'm writing about the makeup I pack when travelling.
Because I'm paranoid, and I have plenty of makeup that I don't need but keep around (aka pack rat c'est moi), I tend to take makeup I don't mind losing with me on trips. I try to take stuff that lasts well without retouching.

I like taking Canmake's cream blush with me, as it's compact and lightweight and inexpensive. I've never properly evaluated its lasting power. I also take along a neutral shadow palette - usually some assortment of browns. And I have some shadow trios from the 100 yen shop that have some colorful shades for fun. Sadly the lasting power is not very good, but I bring them just in case I need something fun. I should experiment with an eyeshadow primer; the 100 yen would probably last much better with something like that.

Kate's super sharp liner is a must for me, as I have 2 in use now, and they're so cheap and last so long that I'm actually happy to lose one of them, so that i can test out a new liquid liner! I would also love to lose my MAC penultimate liner, but I find it very difficult to prevent smudging so it's useless for trips.

I bring a semi-permanent lip color; right now it's Revlon Colorstay Sheer Overtime Lipcolor. It's a bit drying, but the sheer color is very easy to use and it works decently. It comes off if I eat anything oily though. Anyway, the packaging is falling apart so this is another product that I'd be happy to lose. The two ends close properly, but the glue that holds the 2 pieces together has loosened so it's more often in 2 pieces than one.

Finally, I take a foundation sample along with me, and a small pot containng a dab of a high-coverage foundation to use as concealer (currently Besame souffle foundation in Bisque, although it's a bit yellow).

So far, I've never lost any makeup. Murphy's law, right?

I also try to bring a trial-sized oil cleanser, as makeup removal towelettes just don't get all the makeup off for me.
Finally, I bring a face wash, facial water, facial lotion, sunscreen, body lotion. If I have samples lying around I'll bring them as they're so handy, although I don't like to try new skin products while travelling.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

sephora gloss, deserving thyme, etc.

I was lucky enough to win a package from The Notice, which included a lovely berry Sephora lip gloss that I'm enjoying in this mid-November weather. I'm also using a Deserving Thyme aromatherapy temple balm; it's a really lovely, relaxing scent! I'm looking forward to trying the other products out.

The Victoria Secret shadows look like they'll need to go on top of a primer; that will take some experimentation.

Update 2010/11/24: the Sephora lip gloss is Bronzed Beauty.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

美禅xChigura Keiko treatment lip glossy

I'm really enjoying the sample of be-zen 美禅xUPxChigura Keiko Treatment Lip Glossy that came with Bea's Up, a Japanese magazine. It has a lavender scent and is a bit thick, but feels moisturizing and is a pretty sparkly, shiny gloss.
However, it lacks SPF so I really shouldn't buy it, but I enjoy the moisturizing feel and the lavender scent. Anyway, I think my sample will last a while, despite the occasional explosions when I don't store it upright.

2012/12/04 Update: I like the scent and the texture, but it irritates my lips slightly which I could do without - it's just not relaxing.

Friday, November 12, 2010

maquillage nail polish

Maquillage nail polish is a workhorse! With a base coat and top coat, it has survived on my toes for a full 2 weeks now! Even my pinky toes. That's absolutely amazing. Good stuff; I should pick up the other colors in the limited edition mini colors.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

almonds for breakfast

It's difficult to chew 30 times though.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

j-pop: Tina, etc.

Tina on Internet Radio インタネットラジオ: for a month or so.

I'm looking forward to lots of concerts over the next month or so! 青山テルマ、小柳ゆき、Jay'd, 三浦大知。クリスタルケイの切符も買えるといいね。

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Nov. Sweet Magazine

Fashionmag (Japanese with pictures) has good reviews for the Paul & Joe "vanity" bag and pouch included in Sweet's November issue.

I'm not a big fan of Sweet, and the Paul & Joe pattern is not exactly my taste, but according to Fashionmag the quality is really good and is recommended.

The last magazine I picked up was probably Oggi (the models are so boring! although the clothes are okay) for the Kate Spade book cover. Very nice book cover. The Anteprima mook looks quite lovely and elegant, but I really don't need another lunch box bag. Maybe I'll get it later, if it's still available. I already have bags from Tsumori Chisato, Sequoia, Paul & Joe Sister, Miffy, and Anna Sui. The Anna Sui and Sequoia bags are the nicest.

Friday, October 08, 2010

my ultimate skin care set

Cosmetic Candy is holding a series of giveaways, which prompted me to think about my ideal skin care set:
1. shu uemura cleansing oil (although honestly, fancl cleansing oil/dhc deep cleansing oil are perfectly fine for me)
2. Shiseido &Face Art Method Clearing Water
3. Jurlique day care face lotion
4. La Roche Posay Anthelios 40
5. Shiseido Haku Masks

Current favorites:
1. FANCL cleansing oil
2. Shiseido Senka 専科 water
3. Beauty Credit Double Moist Pomegranate Collagen Cream
4. Neutrogena Dry Touch Sunscreen 50+
5. Kanebo Kracie Hadabisei Face Sheet Masks (the blue box)


As my first step towards eating more healthily, I've been focusing on eating breakfast everyday. So far, so good. It's not too difficult.
Eating breakfast at home is a more difficult step, but anyway, I'm getting breakfast.

It used to be easy to get breakfast when a bunch of convenience stores were on my way to work. Now, I need to get up earlier or fall prey to the lure of McDonalds.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Familiarity is comfortable, but variety is a great spice.

By the way, if you're looking for a place to visit in Japan, Takayama/Shirakawa-go is a fantastic place to go.
I've been all over Japan, but I loved the scenery and the sights. It's a rustic, picturesque place.

For a sight closer to Tokyo, Nikko is a great place to visit; in some ways the main temple is rather gaudier/more elaborate than Kyoto.

In contrast, Kamakura is a nice day/weekend trip from Tokyo, but if you're going to Kyoto it's not necessary to include on the same itinerary.

some anime and manga

I've been enjoying some manga and anime recently.

I read the few translated chapters of 精霊の守人 Guardian of the Sacred Spirit and now I'm going through the anime episodes. Quite fun! I want to pick up the manga but haven't found it in bookstores yet.

I've also been reading 光と共に With the Light; quite interesting. Well worth the time to read it. It's educational and entertaining at the same time. They just came out with 文庫 for it - I think only the first 2 are out (15 total) - so I started collecting that.

I'm also on the 8th book of 魔法使いの娘 The Magic User's Daughter (The Magician's Daughter? The Wizard's Daughter?). I think this may be the last book. Very satisfying. Yukie Nasu 那須雪絵 is great at writing interesting, well-characterized stories. I don't know how she does it but she's totally consistent with everyone's characterizations; it's really a delight to re-read when I think about it. But of course, I don't notice this at first because the plot usually sweeps me along.

I finally read a "dark fantasy" one-shot of Yukie Nasu called 嵐が原 Lex Talionis. Apparently she wrote it in the middle of writing Here is Greenwood. It was really well done. Melancholy but realistic.
I should go through a bunch of the other books that I've collected. You can tell when her books are not going to be lighthearted so I've rather avoided some of them.
The volume contains a couple short stories that are also good; delightfully creepy but touching. She likes exploring the dark side of human emotions without making it a tragedy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

quick review: mandom cleansing express

The popular, watery makeup remover doesn't seem to be doing much for my skin. My forehead has small acne bumps that aren't going away. Perhaps it's stress though. Going back to Fancl's cleansing oil to see if that helps.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Biotherm, Trish McEvoy

Biotherm and Trish McEvoy lipstick have nice packaging and formulas, but sadly they've gone bad, so I doubt I'll repurchase.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tokyo travel: Ryokan Shigetsu

There aren't that many hotels in Tokyo that offer Japanese-style tatami rooms, but this place in Asakusa does.

However, they have a curfew of 11pm, and they are pretty strict about non-guests being in the ryokan after that time.
I took my relatives there, and we arrived just before 11, thanks to poor traffic. The elderly gentlemen checked them in, but before showing them to their room, he said to me "Sorry, we close at 11. Only guests. Sorry." So I couldn't even see my relatives to their room and had to take off.

When I made reservations, the lady answering the phone was very nice and friendly, but their strict non-guest policy is a bit uncomfortable.
I understand why they have their policy, but Annex KATSUTARO Ryokan is a bit more amenable to the needs of travelers. Annex Katsutaro staff are not always so personable though, but the rooms are pretty nice.
Next time I'll recommend the Hotel Grand Palace to visitors, even though they don't have Japanese-style rooms. It's the most friendly to the needs of travelers.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Restaurants: Bay Area California, U.S.A.

* Mercado Marlen Taqueria: 2528 California St., Mountain View, CA 94940. Telephone: 650-947-9611. They have the best tripas and lengua open-faced tacos. Divine. Greasy but really good. The lengua is extremely tender and quite tasty. Once in a while they're not as perfect as usual, but I've never been disappointed and at $1.25 a taco you have nothing to lose. I usually get 3 tacos. I would like to get 4, but it feels a bit heavy afterwards.
* Happy Cafe, San Mateo, CA: you have to try their thin sliced beef tendon , the sticky rice with fried pork inside, and the steamed shanghainese dumplings.
* Joy Restaurant, Foster City, CA: The fried pot stickers, fen zhen pai gu (some kind of steamed pork ribs), scallion pancakes, the steamed sea bass (with some kind of soy bean crusting/seasoning), and 3 cup chicken are all highly recommended. On weekends they have nice Taiwanese dim sum offerings.

InRed - Marc Jacobs daisy pouches

I picked up the latest InRed magazine from the convenience store today. I haven't opened the magazine yet, but the pouches are quite nice. They're a faux leather material, and they're even nicely lined inside. I'm not sure how long the daisy pattern will last, but the pouches are decent for the price.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Shu Uemura - Rouge Unlimited Supreme Shine SS WH 03

Not the most practical of purchases, but this moderately sized glossy lipstick sparkles so prettily. The moderately light and emollient formula with the delicate Shu scent makes this a little luxury for me. Pretty on its own and on top of other lipsticks and glosses, the formula is sadly a little too soft, as it has already started tilting to the side of the lipstick barrel. Also, the hard plastic top case has slight cracks around the base. My previous Shu Uemura Rouge had no such problems with its packaging so I'm a bit disappointed by the drop in quality.

As such, I probably won't repurchase this particular lipstick, although I look forward to trying the standard Rouge Unlimited line, if it doesn't have similar issues with cracks in the case.

just got an acer netbook

It's nice to have a new computer!

Gonna see if I can revive my Sony too.

Gotta start shifting my data over.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Jojo - In the dark

Dang. I'm looking forward to her mixtape release!

Jojo - In the dark




Monday, August 30, 2010

ainz tulpe - lancome color fever lipstick in 306

A mauve-ish cream lippie for 1000 yen or so is on sale at Ainz Tulpe in Harajuku. I guess they're trying to clean out stock, as there's a messy assortment of YSL, Chanel, etc. products.

The lippie seems to wear quite well, but it is a distinct mauve. Not bad for 1000 yen.

Okay, so you don't NEED this color, but if you don't have many lippies, this is an inexpensive and good quality option.

They still had the Stila Baked Eyeshadows in Champagne Glow, but all the cream blushes were gone. I'm enjoying Champagne Glow today. The lightest shade had hardened a bit, but most parts of the eyeshadow are quite silky and soft. It's a really easy-to-use combination of colors, and while it's shimmery I don't find it over the top for work. Some light creasing (I don't use an eyeshadow base) is apparent.

Cee Lo

Great, summery "retro-soul" song from Cee Lo:
Cee Lo - F*** You
surprisingly cheerful given the title!

typing japanese on the ipad

Is it just me or is the system really slow?
It takes forever to type japanese on my ipad.
Maybe I need to restart the device.

I find the random safari crashes a little annoying too. Maybe this is another sign I need to restart. At least it usually recovers well.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

eyeliner experiments

So, I found that Mac Penultimate liner doesn't smudge if I cover it with Lunasol's liquid eyeliner. As I'm trying to use up both, I guess I can live with this. The Lunasol geminate liner is nice for a daytime look with a bit of punch, but if I apply too much it's got a bit too much shine, heh.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ainz tulpe - stila eyeshadow trio in mandarin glow

Ainz-tulpe drugstore in Harajuku has the Stila Eyeshadow trio in Mandarin Glow for sale for about 1260 yen.
I think I'm going to have to pick one up, despite my makeup ban.

They also have Stila Convertible Color in Camellia. It looks like a pretty, wearable color. I'm tempted to pick it up too, but I just don't need more blush...

Monday, August 16, 2010

love it: 100 yen shops

I can buy a USB charger for my cell phone for a mere 100 yen.
I love that!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Fallacy: Appeal to Consequences of a Belief

Includes: Wishful Thinking
Description of Appeal to Consequences of a Belief

The Appeal to the Consequences of a Belief is a fallacy that comes in the following patterns:

1. X is true because if people did not accept X as being true then there would be negative consequences.

2. X is false because if people did not accept X as being false, then there would be negative consequences.

3. X is true because accepting that X is true has positive consequences.

4. X is false because accepting that X is false has positive consequences.

5. I wish that X were true, therefore X is true. This is known as Wishful Thinking.

6. I wish that X were false, therefore X is false. This is known as Wishful Thinking.

japanese: hakushu

拍手 【はくしゅ】 (n,vs) clapping hands; applause

japanese: akushu

握手 【あくしゅ】 (n,vs) handshake

experimenting with twitter

It seems like a good place to chat/babble about the daily minutiae - things unworthy of a blog post or email.

ergonomics in japan

The concept of ergonomics in Japan doesn't seem to have hit. I wonder if it will reach Tokyo someday.

I don't exaggerate when I say that tens of thousands of IT workers in Tokyo sit hunched over computers and laptops every day.

Companies like Honda and Toyota may take better care of their employees, but I can assure you that Sony and Canon don't!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

japanese: gakkiteki

画期的(P); 劃期的 【かっきてき】 (adj-na) ground-breaking; epoch-making

japanese: arikitari

在り来たり; 在り来り 【ありきたり】 (adj-no) common; ordinary; conventional; customary

Monday, August 02, 2010

Nikko: Hotel Sunshine Kinugawa

When visiting Nikko, I stayed at the Hotel Sunshine Kinugawa in Kinugawa Onsen.

It was a lovely place to stay. Large tamami rooms with spacious bathroom attached. Our room could have easily accommodated 4-6 people. The building and interior are a bit old, but clean and functional. And the staff were really warm and friendly; very helpful.
They have a fun mini arcade that includes a train conductor game! Much harder than it looks.

The onsen was lovely - they had a lukewarm pool (~40 degrees celsius) and a warmer indoor pool. The outside rotenburo has a nice view of the mountains and is very peaceful.

The dinner was a buffet meal with chefs making fresh Tempura and sauteeing beef on the spot. Honestly, I would describe the food as adequate to good, but there was a good deal of variety and we all enjoyed it.

The online prices seem pretty reasonable, with the cheapest plan starting at 8000 yen per person.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

祭り・花火の時期! Fireworks and Festivals!

Summer in Japan is often hot and humid, but it's terribly fun because of all the fireworks festivals and other festivals going on. Summer kicks off mid July and goes until the end of August, coinciding with the school calendar.

It's a great time to wear yukata ゆかた (Japanese summer kimono) and eat festival foods and fish for gold fish 金魚すくい.

The big fireworks festivals are on the weekends but some smaller ones are even held on weekdays.

If you go to a big fireworks festival bring cash and go early with a sheet to claim a place to sit. People will start grabbing spaces the night before or even earlier.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

update on MAC Rapidblack Penultimate Liner and Headliner Lipglass

I think Rapidblack Penultimate Liner is going to have to go in the trash. It smudges terribly! Defeating the point of a liquid liner. It's very black, but that's about the only thing it has going for it. If someone has any advice for how to make it work, I'm all ears. Primers don't seem to make a difference, it just smudges after a couple hours. Maybe I can wear it on my lower lids, but I usually keep the makeup there pretty light.

In contrast, I love the pigmentation in Headliner Lipglass. I'd love a less sticky dupe, but this gloss is great for lightening some of my darker lip colors. It is a bit sticky though, so I'll use up but not repurchase. Quite possibly a limited edition color anyway.

Friday, July 23, 2010

blush inventory

I've accumulated quite a collection, although mostly it's quite inexpensive blushes.

* inoui id dusty rose + beige blush
* bobbi brown rose blush
* mac tan-rose blush

* canmake red-brown blush (shimmery chocolate gradation)
* majolica majorca red blush

* majolica majorca peach blush
* canmake pink peach blush

* majolica majorca pink blush

* canmake orange blush
* cezanne orange blush
* rmk tan blush

I'll just get a mini bourjois blush in a cool pink/mauve and my stash will be complete.
I'm nowhere near finishing any of the above blushes. Only the Inoui ID blush has seen any significant use.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

my two cents

I feel that Wesley Snipes' sentence of 3 years in prison for tax evasion is excessive.

"Moreno cited the cases of former Washington mayor Marion Barry and singer/actor Marc Anthony, who avoided prison after failing to file tax returns, and singer Willie Nelson, who remained free despite owing $17 million in back taxes."

The response of the appeals court seemed to imply that they were trying to make an example of him; that seems unfair. Why do these other people avoid prison?

Friday, July 16, 2010

mini reviews: MAC paint pot, MAC penultimate liner in rapid black, Maquillage lipstick

Paint pot: it's pretty, but it creases on me, so it's not really all that useful for me.
Penultimate liner: it's weird; it's very black and you can draw a thick line, but it's not that easy to control the felt tip liner. My KATE supersharp liner is much easier to use. I guess I'm not used to felt-tip liners. Also, it seems to smudge in places. Really weird. Maybelline's liquid liner doesn't smudge, I'd expect the same from MAC!
Not so impressed with my foray into MAC.
Maquillage lipsticks are so pretty! I'm trying one that's a bit sheer, but still pigmented; very flattering and cover up the pigmentation in my lips. If I ever use up my other lipsticks I'd like to get a Maquillage lippie for work. I'll probably start with an Aube lippie first though, as they're a bit cheaper.

Thursday, July 01, 2010


I wouldn't mind upgrading my tv, microwave, and washing machine. The tv is feeling rather small, and the microwave and washing machine are approaching 7 years of use. All perfectly usable, but the microwave is on the weak side and similar for the washing machine.

I'll just keep an eye on the garage sales around.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My sincere apologies to UK - Verridian Recruitment Consultants

Argh, terribly embarrassing! I jumped to conclusions and unfairly maligned UK - Verridian Recruitment Consultants.
I should have contacted them to begin with, but instead unknowingly committed libel.

UK - Verridian Recruitment Consultants are a very reputable agency and are very responsive. My sincere, profuse apologies for my mistake.

soccer fever

It's been quite exciting to watch the World Cup games. I know a lot more about soccer now, haha.

Exciting times for sports! That Wimbledon game between Mahut and Isner was absolutely epic. Insane.

My favorite things...

My favorite things at the moment:
* Rohto Lycé eye wash
* Kanebo Tiffa UV lip balm - has the perfect light and emollient but not too greasy texture.
I can't wait till I use up all my other lip balms - they just don't feel as nice. I have enough for each purse/bag/backpack I own :P
* Canmake cream blush - cheap and effective. If I ever use up all my other blushes, I'll consolidate my stash with just this product. I like Majolica Majorca's blush too, but cream blush is just so easy and portable! Maybe I'll keep one pigmented blush like Bobbi Brown around.

Of my new lip products, my favorites are the Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Shine sparkly white lippy in SS WH - pretty sparkle. For work, Shiseido The Makeup in LC2 is really easy to use and the perfect my-lips-but-better shade.

Everything else is rather so-so and I don't plan to repurchase.
Extra Version Olive Oil does remove my makeup very well, but I end up using lots of cotton pads and it stings if it gets into my eyes, so I think the time vs. cost performance is not worth it for me.
I've been using Shiseido Eudermine toner to get any remnants of makeup off, but I'd rather not use too much alcohol on my face.
So I'll probably try Mandom Cleansing Express Cleansing Lotion (Bright Up) next.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I unfairly maligned UK - Verridian Recruitment Consultants

Argh, terribly embarrassing! I jumped to conclusions and unfairly maligned UK - Verridian Recruitment Consultants.
I should have contacted them to begin with, but instead unknowingly committed libel.

UK - Verridian Recruitment Consultants are a very reputable agency and very responsive.

Yahoo jp's mobile site

I found it interesting that the top 4 menu items in Yahoo jp mobile's site are:
weather 天気, stocks 株価, sports スポーツ, baseball 野球

Also, the 4 news items listed today:
* consumer tax
* the sumo wrestler gambling scandal
* Brazil advances over Chile (in the world cup)
* 3 members from AKB48 form a new subunit (Akihabara fan(boy) news)
AKB48 から3人組の新ユニット写真

Friday, June 25, 2010

shiseido, impulse spending

Argh, I've been very prudent lately so I guess something was bound to crack.

During lunch I hauled a little at the Shiseido counter. 2 of the new eyeshadows (one from the new collection?) and a lip crayon in a my-lips-but-better. I figured that the crayon would be easy to apply and good for work. Since you know I have absolutely no lipsticks that are good for work. Sigh, a rather unnecessary haul. At least all my purchases were usable colors. I could have bought a cle de peau eyeshadow palette for the same price though. Maybe next time I'll just splurge on that. The Shiseido eyeshadows are very pretty - medium pigment and a nice texture. I hope they have good lasting power.

I looked at the lip pencils because I've heard good things about them, but I never use lip pencils so I passed on them.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

materialism: OCC lip tar in Complex

I got this from - thanks so much!

Complex is a good name for this color, as it's quite complex. A nude-grey color; quite pale, so not a wearable color for everyday events.

I understand what means when she says it's runny! It's easy to squeeze out too much product and as it's very pigmented a little goes a long way.

It's grey so it turns my brown lipsticks purple, but it works well for lightening my bright orange lipstick and gloss. When I use up the orange lippies, I may give this tube to my makeup artist friend. I forsee this little tube outlasting both of my lippies and more!

I'm quite impressed - at USD$12 it's quite inexpensive, but not easily available in stores, so you end up paying shipping fees.
When I use up a few lippies, I may buy an assortment of these lip tars as a reward to myself. In particular, I'd like the white lip tar to tone down my darkest lippies.

Because of the runniness, this is more of an artist's product - it's not really packaged for easy application. Although if you're used to using a lip brush maybe you'd be perfectly comfortable with the packaging.

Anyway, excellent product. I look forward to trying more offerings from OCC.

when you want that rush

I recommend わさびの鉄火 wasabi rice crackers for a serious wasabi burn.

Good when sleepy.

Monday, June 21, 2010

tech: dropbox, amazon mp3 downloads, ipad, itunes/ipod is looking pretty cool so far. It syncs (good grief, I typed "sinks" at first! woe is my English) your files with any computer you download the client onto. Very easy to use interface. 2GB free, with a current promotion for an extra 250 mg for each referral.

If anyone's interested, haha.

U.S. Amazon's mp3 downloads service is great. Their search functionality is still lacking though. But the convenience of their service cannot be beat.

iPad. There are supposedly thousands of applications available for this. Can they improve the search functionality a little better? I just want to check out the free apps first... It looks slick, but I feel so constrained by the limited Yahoo Wi-Fi connectivity in Tokyo. I suppose I need to download videos and watch them on this. It's good for taking notes though.

iTunes seems to be sub-par software, and the iPod has a limited interface that I find frustrating. Surprisingly difficult to use - why do people think it's user-friendly? I want to delete songs from my iPod, but I guess this is too complicated a concept for the iTunes model of syncing.

materialism: stating the obvious: rule 1 of online shopping

Well, rule 1 perhaps should be "don't spend more than you can afford," but I'm going to start with a rule that occurred to me this morning:

1. Shop for specific items. Don't go browsing; it's ideal to go online with a specific item and a price range in mind already. Browsing through stuff is an easy way to end up with things you don't need and won't use.
It's best if you have a specific product in mind too. For example, go shopping for the Manolo Blahnik Kidskin Low-Heel Halter, Navy in size 8 (I wish! Gorgeous shoe).

I was looking for decants of Bergamote by The Different Company, and ended up on Beauty Habit's Outlet page, a very dangerous page with Jurlique products and other delightful skin care and cosmetics offerings. I collected a cart full of products, and had to run off to work. Later on I'll cull out the unnecessary items and perhaps buy something.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

bb cream

Ramen update - I still really like 赤のれん in Roppongi - Kyushu style straight noodles and thick pork broth soup. The pork slice was normal, but the soup and noodles were perfect. It's an old-school style restaurant - they've been around for a while. The side dishes are quite good too; we had an overdose of sliced green onions in sesame oil. Yum.

I've been using Legere's Water Drop BB cream on and off during vacation and on hot days.

It's quite nice - if I apply lightly it's natural but more polished - it evens my skin out a bit even though coverage is light. It holds up pretty well in hot and humid conditions.

BB creams are quite nice. I will probably hold off on buying a foundation until I use this up. This particular one is probably a tad dark for me so works well in the summer.

A lovely Biotherm lipstick from is great for a sheer holographic shine. Perfect for a light non-makeup look.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

6/17 Crystal Kayが原宿でミニライブを!

■日時:6/17(木) 17:30-


Friday, June 11, 2010

google desktop rules

It's such a lifesaver when I have to find files in MS Outlook.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

shopping my stash

Shopping my stash is fun, as it forces me to figure out ways to use palettes and cosmetics that I haven't had much use for. For example, a smoky/bright blue Visee palette is proving to be surprisingly usable. The white highlighter is very sheer and the sparkle is manageable for work. Not terribly useful, but usable. The blues and blacks are mostly useful as liner colors, so I guess I'll consider this palette an assortment of liners. It's powdery though, so it requires something as a base to stick to (primer, pencil eyeliner, or gel/cream eyeshadows).

Also, there are certain products like primers that I only need for special occasions; I might as well just keep samples on hand as there's no real point in buying a full-sized product.

Some products I can use, but I don't really need. Such as an Anastacia matte highlighter pencil. It's functional and adds a bit of polish to my eye, but I don't find it necessary. I wonder if I should use it up (a very slow process!) or just give it away.

I was only able to cull 2 products from my stash last night. Rather sad that I can't part with anything else. At least I'm making use of more stuff. I have a lot of vivid or sparkly stuff that isn't very useful for work. I need to keep it in my makeup pouch so that I can apply it after work, in a futile effort to use it up.

I've been using extra virgin olive oil. It's super cheap and works, but it takes more time to use. I may try mandom cleaning express cleaning lotion bright up next.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

on racism: a thoughtful post by ebert

From Roger Ebert's Journal:
How do they get to be that way?


Today we were graced with a gorgeous, clear golden sunset fading into a vivid violet coloring the sky.

I wish I had a lens that could capture it.

it's time to simplify

The clutter in my life is getting annoying! Off with you vile entropy, off!






Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Asakusa in April

Sensoji is undergoing renovations at the moment, so you get this nice dragon to look at instead. Rather more fun, I think.

There's this home-made vegetable and fruit-flavored ice cream place in the Asakusa neighborhood. I tried the wasabi (yum!) and the tomato (boring; tasted like cream; no tomato flavor); very refreshing. Studmuffin tried the strawberry and the vanilla. Vanilla! I guess sometimes you just want to have vanilla.

Monday, April 26, 2010


So the rally held in Okinawa over the weekend is big news all over Japan right now. I wonder what will happen to the Futenma base.

There are a ton of bases in Okinawa though!

materialism: used it up, and purchases

I used up my Shiseido Water-in-Lip Hokkaido lip balm today. Woohoo! 2+ years of usage, I think.

Went to Asakusa yesterday for a little and picked up some interesting incenses. I hope they're nice; the last box I got was rather quiet and boring. The incenses I get tend to be a bit quiet or too overpowering.
I should put up some of my pictures from Asakusa. The weather was lovely and there was good sunlight.

I also bought a bunch of stuff from cosmetic-candy's blog sale; mostly lip products and a few blushes. I'm rather excited, as it's a bunch of brands that I've never tried before. I did buy rather a big haul though. I probably don't need half of what I ordered, if any! I was very good about not getting lip glosses though.
* Shiseido OR418 Perfect Rouge
* Laura Mercier Tunisian Moon H16
* Trish McEvoy Glaze Lip Color Sheer Iced Mocha
* Maybelline Superstay Gloss 630 Nude Glaze
* RMK P-04 Shiny Natural Beige Blusher
* Nars Skin Body Lotion Ginger Grapefruit 200ml
* Biotherm Aquatic Shine 515 Lipstick
* Arbonne Sheer Shine Lip Gloss Bare
* Bobbi Brown Powder Blush Sand Pink No. 1
* Becca Sheer Lip Tint in Lelina

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Restaurant Review: Aagra アグラ インドレストラン & バー

Hakusan holds one of my favorite Indian restaurants in Tokyo.
The chef and staff are actually Nepalese, but the Indian curry they make is fantastic.

The butter chicken is one of my favorites, but the regular chicken curry is pretty great too.
They can do it pretty spicy here. The menu lets you choose between mild, medium, and hot, but you can get it twice as hot if that's the way you roll. I tend to go for mild or medium if I want a bit of spice.

The naan here is pretty fluffy and tasty.
The Indian restaurant in Hamadayama may have slightly tastier naan, but the naan here is nothing to be ashamed of.

They have a nice selection of appetizers and other dishes, and there is a daily curry special - the chicken and eggplant curry appears regularly and is highly recommended, but you can't go wrong with their other curries.

If only they'd add kheer (rice porridge-like sweet dessert) to the menu, it'd be perfect.

For now, I'll keep going to Nataraj in Ginza for my kheer fix.

Nirvanam in Kamiyacho is another of my favorite Indian places.

東京都文京区白山1-31-5 セントヒルズ白山 1F
営業時間: 11:00~23:00

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

magazine extras

It's become ridiculously popular for brands to do collaborations with magazines and put out extras included with each magazine purchase.

Recently Spur magazine had a Kitson insulated green lunch bag. The bag is super cute, but it's pretty terrible quality. Fortunately, the magazine itself is pretty interesting. I hope the bag falls apart quickly so that i can throw it away, but ironically it's only the pretty green covering that is terrible quality - the insulation portion seems a bit more solid. It's going to look pretty terrible soon!

In better news, the Gelato Pique mook has a really high quality cosmetics/travel bag included. Well worth the 1500 yen or so.

Recently Sweet just went on sale with a Gelato Pique summer tote - polyester and plastic with mesh sides - perfect for the beach or the local bath house. I can't wait to use it. Sadly, Sweet itself is pretty unsuited to my tastes and I don't like a lot of the models.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Prom Night in Mississippi

I want to see this documentary from last year!
Morgan Freeman Pays For Integrated Prom In New Documentary

That and Chris Rock's "Good Hair" are top on my list of to-see films.

i love lauryn hill

Her work with the Fugees and her solo work are just classics. As relevant today as when they were first released.

food, beauty, music

* Wow, I'm liking Kelis's new song 22nd Century. She's sounding great live.

* I need to pick up more copies of Tina's maxi single (or is it a mini album?) Pride. Looking forward to seeing her live on the 24th! It's going to be awesome.

* Vacation planning takes a lot of time. I always end up spending too much money because of time constraints. Darn you Tokyo airports with limited flights!

* Drugstores are total time sinks for me. I step into one, and bam! I lose 1/2 an hour to an hour instantly. Ugh, infinitely entertaining.

* Tried Frijotles in Azabu-Juban, a burrito place. Nice and relaxing. I thought the fajita burritos were okay. They looked better than they tasted. The chile-corn salsa could have been more flavorful. They make the salsa chips on the premises, so they're great! But the guacamole is a bit bland. They're pretty generous with the chunks of avocado though.

* Tried a sample of Kanebo Doltier Selective Fluid in Ochre-C. I believe Doltier is one of Kanebo's older brands. The foundation seems light but I can feel that I'm wearing it. The coverage seems light-medium but you can layer it a bit. It covers my redness up somewhat - good around my nose but not so effective around my cheeks. The finish is very natural - not matte, not dewy, just very nice and natural. Not much seeping into wrinkles or dry spots so far.
I'm half-heartedly looking for a good liquid foundation, but powder foundation is pretty effective for me so I'm not in much of a hurry. I'll just finish all my samples and my existing foundations first. &Face has a very nice cream-to-powder foundation, but I'm not convinced that there aren't cheaper alternatives for me. It has good coverage though.

* I've started using my Ecotools portable brush set; so far I quite like it! The quality seems a bit more reliable than Essence of Beauty, although my Essence of Beauty taklon brushes are quite nice and soft. The Ecotools eyeshadow brushes are good for applying my shimmery summer shadows lightly.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

on purses and quality

A very interesting and well done thread on the ostensibly common question "Should I keep it or return it?"
About a leather handbag, with some interesting links and explanations of markers of quality.







Monday, March 08, 2010


Tina, this Japanese artist I love, just came out with a single after 5 years! Debating whether to go check her out in concert...

Her single has 3 songs and they're all excellent. Love Tina! (Japanese only)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

good grief

A horrible story from last year.

The officer in question apologized a week later and resigned. I don't know what the results of the internal investigation were.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

on the egalitarian front

in Japan school cheering groups are common, and they're mostly guys. It's a bit different from American cheerleading - these cheer groups just do cheers.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lily Allen - 22

Lily Allen really is fantastic. I love the lyrics in 22.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the Social Control of Mothers

Interesting information in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the Social Control of Mothers.

I'm rather shocked that "It turns out that only about 5% of alcoholic women give birth to babies who are later diagnosed with FAS."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

used up one thing, purchased another

I recently finally used up a Revlon Superlustrous lip gloss in Coffee Gleam. Lovely color - medium pigmentation - and gloss. A medium vanilla scent - can be a bit annoying for me. Rather on the sticky side. For a basic, pretty gloss, these are excellent value, but I like my gloss to be a bit less sticky and unscented. At least these don't taste bad.

I picked up a Canmake cream cheek in 05 - an apricot peach color - for 609 yen. Nice and inexpensive; the tester seemed reasonably pigmented and easy to blend. I picked 05 because it was a nice medium orange and seemed the least popular of all the colors - they'll probably discontinue it first and I'll have plenty of opportunity to try the other colors later. I justified this purchase because it is the first cream blush in my stash, and will be easy to use on the go. The packaging is quite light and seems quite functional.

I am also almost done with my Rose Birthday soft scrub (body exfoliator) and picked up Sana Esteny Salt Wash in spicy grapefruit thanks to Lotus Palace's review. I'm looking forward to trying it.

Also thanks to Lotus Palace's influence, I picked up Rohto Lycée Eye Wash and tried it out today. So far it feels nice and refreshing. It's funny: the packaging shows a girl complaining that even though she removes her makeup traces of it are making part of her eye black.

Still have a few face masks to use up, and I'm still working through some clay masks that I've had for years now! I think it's about time to throw out my shaving cream though - it's probably gone bad as it doesn't have any preservatives.

Side note - I love my hair dresser. She's the only one who's honest enough to tell me that my spoken Japanese hasn't improved much in the time that she's known me. She's totally right about it; my Japanese does sound a bit strange, even to me. Gotta babble more.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I love stuff like this

Thinking about society anew:

If I had money to burn...

I'd buy Les Coulisses du Parfums offered by Les Senteurs. Especially vol. 1, Mythic Accords, which offers a forward by Alberto Morillas!

Then I'd buy the Hermessences Discovery set, selecting Vetiver Tonka, Rose Ikebana, Osmanthe Yunnan, and Brin de Reglisse or Vanilla Galante.

Ah well. I also discovered that YSL Cinema is a lovely fragrance on me. And the original Gucci is not a bad scent at all. The recent re-release of Feminite du Bois is quite nice too.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

tokyo: some turkish restaurants

Should you be craving Turkish food while in Tokyo, these are some places that I can recommend.

Shinjuku san-cho-me 新宿三丁目: Bosphorus Hasan - this place is very good. They have a 2nd branch nearby in ni-cho-me, just as good, but service can be slow at the 2nd branch. The Turkish pizza is good.
Pleasant atmosphere. The ni-cho-me branch is a bit small, but comfortable nonetheless.

Ikebukuro 池袋: Antep - this place is pretty good. I don’t know if I’ve tried the baklava here, but they have it.

Shibuya 渋谷: from the big street crossing, head to the left of Starbucks and through the crowded alley way. On the left corner will be a MacDonalds; on the right corner is a little kebab/gyro place. The chicken gyros and iskendar plate are highly recommended. I don't know how authentic they are - maybe not very; but they're really good.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Michelle Williams - Unexpected

Some music to start the new year.

Michelle Williams - Unexpected

I finally ordered her album the other day, along with some of Brandy's. I'm looking forward to hearing Michelle's album in its entirety. So far everything that I've heard has been good stuff.

New Year in Tokyo

Mine was pretty low-key.

New Year's evening is the one day of the year where the trains run all night. Despite that, we just did an impromptu bbq and made sukiyaki and watched The Last Samurai. Such a waste. I slept a ton; perhaps I caught up on a year's deficit of sleep. I was practically hibernating. Very relaxing, but once again I feel like I missed out on the New Years' sales! I did go shopping for a little bit, but just got gifts for other people.

Ah well. Probably a good thing, as I don't really need more stuff.

Now that it's a new year, I need to get all my charms from last year properly disposed of. I'll have to keep an eye out for such events at the local temple. Apparently the shrines + temples do simple disposal events; you can't just throw old charms out.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Happy New Year!

A bit late, but you know.

Wishing everyone health and happiness for 2010!