Friday, December 30, 2011

Favorites of 2011

My favorites of 2011

I've been enjoying the 2011 lists that various bloggers have posted, so I thought I'd contribute my own.

The products mentioned here are not necessarily products new to 2011, they are just the products that I loved the most this year.

* Shiseido Shimmering Eye Colors,default,pd.html

I have BR709 Sable and SV810 Tin. I hope to get BK912 Caviar next, but OR313 Sunshower is looking lovely too!

This is my favorite new product of 2011. The texture is delightful - silky and light, and it's pretty easy to layer. Lovely pigment and a bit of sparkle but nothing over the top. I find Sable wonderfully subtle for work. It wears all day; I haven't had a problem with creasing but I think there'd be an issue if you pack too much on at once. I haven't had an issue with layering if I let each layer dry properly.
This product is a delight to use and there are so many unique colors in the line! It's a bit expensive - in Japan they charge 3150 yen per 6 g. But it's totally worth it - even better if you can buy it in Taiwan or the U.S. where the cost is a bit more reasonable. I don't know if I'll be able to use a pot up ever, but I hope to collect more of these colors.
The packaging is sleek and easy to use too.

* Kate Supersharp Liner in Brown has been the same reliable mainstay for me this year. I've been using this one liner for at least 2 years now, and it's still going strong! The silver paint has come off so it looks a little sad, but what a workhorse! I've already bought one in Black but haven't needed to use it. Kate is available for 30% off in some Japanese drugstores.

* I rediscovered Beaute de Kose Rouge Fantasist Aqua Vinyl Plump Shine Lip Color - BE366 is a great beige-rose color with tiny gold shimmer that looks polished and professional. The slightly thick formula is really comfortable especially during the dry winter.

* I'm quite impressed by Banila co banila Kiss lip jelly gloss - pigmented, with a light, comfortable texture.

* My Inoui ID eyebrow liner is still going strong! The perfect color, texture, and lasting power.

* Feather Flamingo eyebrow shaver - works great and easy to use. I haven't needed to buy new ones this year.

* I really like the Crest cross-action toothbrushes - soft and really get inbetween my teeth.

My least favorites of 2011

* In contrast, I'm debating whether to just toss my MAC paintpot - the texture is hard and the shade is frosty and I can't apply it smoothly for the life of me. Should I just throw it out?

* Also, my MAC penultimate Eye Liner is just not working - it smudges even when I set with eyeshadow, unless I apply it very very lightly. I will say that it's very pigmented and black, but who needs liquid eyeliner that smudges?

* The MAC concealer isn't working either - it's just not enough coverage for my undereye shadows. The packaging isn't very good either - the base of the applicator is always collecting lots of liquid - annoying.

So far the only MAC product that I would repurchase is the beauty powder - it doesn't show up at all in my swatch, but it's a perfect, subtle blush on me. So natural all the time!

* Missha BB creams make my skin feel a bit itchy

* Opera MyLash disappointed me by going dry, but I'm sure a new tube of mascara will fix this problem. First I'm going to try the other exciting mascaras out there to see how they fare.

Thursday, December 29, 2011






Wednesday, December 28, 2011





Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Annie's island fresh burgers

By the way, I give Annie's Island Fresh Burgers a thumbs u
The fries are awesome and the cookies are delish. Burgers are pretty good too, heh.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

missha bb creams

Missha bb creams are nice but they all seem to irritate my skin a bit - it gets a bit itchy when I wear them. A pity, as I had a nice little sampler set of the creams.

Givenchy's Radically No Surgetics (what is this English?) Age-Defying & Perfecting Foundation also had the same issue. #2 was a bit pale for me anyway.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Tiger Mom and the shallowness of American reporting

Yet another article on Asian Americans and education invokes Tiger Mom in an ostensibly unrelated topic; the article mostly discusses choices of various college applicants of partial Asian descent when faced with the "Ethnicity" application question.

"Grades and SAT scores = effort therefore Americans are lazy!"

It annoys me that the article doesn't raise any detailed discussion, but rather just repeats applicants' opinions and snappy quotes from Tiger Mom and and leaves it at that.

The Time article linked above does a bit more analysis. But it annoys me that "Tiger Mom" Amy Chua has become the one and only voice on the topic; I suppose it's better than before her book and feature - before Asian Americans were hardly even a topic, despite all the valiant efforts of organizations such as the 80-20 initiative to raise the profile of Asian American issues.

Also, why does no one talk about the utility of these standardized tests? Test scores are not a full evaluation of any educational system, they're just a single marker in a 3-D system. We know that they're not intelligence tests; there are better ways of measuring ability.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Addiction lipstick 006S Day Trip swatch

A swatch for you. It's quite natural-looking; not exciting but it's flattering and has enough slip and pigment to be easy to wear for me.
It's not frosty at all - that's just the shine of the formula.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


I've been on a cooking kick - tried 2 different dishes in an effort to use fish sausages.
Hopefully I'll be able to try the fried rice this weekend - the whole reason I bought fish sausages to begin with!

Frozen veggies are handy - just open the bag and go. Clearly this tells you where I'm at when it comes to cooking.

I've been having trouble finding a shampoo that works with my hair. I've resorted to ordering a shampoo from the US, as it's the last shampoo that worked for me recently.

Monday, November 21, 2011

fashion: Christine Teigen

She looked fabulous at Heavy D's funeral. I would have preferred a more toned down look personally for a funeral (a bit more restraint while remaining flattering) but wow, my new fashion idol!

My sincere condolences to Heavy D's family on his loss.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

preview: Addiction lipstick 006S Day Trip

Can't find any swatches yet, so just a picture of the lippy for now!


Friday, November 18, 2011

what cheers me up

It amuses me to use my Sanrio Kuromi three-colored pen at work. Because using a pink and black pen decorated with a cute-goth cartoon character drinking from a milk bottle is a nice contrast to my serious, uninteresting office work. I should update with a picture of it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

it's so hard to throw away that which I do not need

So puzzling! It's trash, effectively, as I never use it, but I cannot bring myself to throw it away. Hum de dum.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

tarte lipsurgence holiday kit

Argh, I totally want to buy this limited edition kit from Tarte!

But I know it's not worth going through hoops to get it to reach me here.

I should stop reading US beauty blogs - they just make me want to buy US products!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

tokyo area taxi companies

Some taxi companies that I have used and have been impressed by the professionalism of the drivers:

美松交通 03-3631-0831
国際自動車 台東本社営業所 03-6802-3577

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Kanebo Tiffa Treatment Lip Cream UV

I've decided that Kanebo Tiffa Treatment Lip Cream UV has a lovely texture, but is just not very moisturizing.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bakery Komorebi パン屋 komorebi

Nishi Eifuku 西永福 Bakery Komorebi パン屋 komorebi is really good!

Try the hearty, tasty breads in this cute little bakery a minute or two from Nishi Eifuku station on the Keio Inokashira line.
They're so good. I've been there twice and tried 10 things now; not a single miss!
I especially like the corn and potato bread. Soft and chewy with sweet corn and soft potato. The tuna sandwich is a winner too, with two slices of crusty bread and topped with tomato and cheese.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

mini review: Addiction lipstick in Day Trip

I'll post swatches and pictures later, but first, a quick summary of my impressions so far.

Thanks to the enabling of, I picked up this pink-beige cream lipstick at Addiction last weekend. I've been wearing it for a few days now. So far, I find the pigmentation to be good - I would say characterize it as medium. There is a nice shine, but it's not the shiniest lipstick ever, and no noticeable shimmer or sparkle. A very wearable color that lightens my natural lip color but doesn't wash me out. Wear seems to be decent but it's the type of color where fading is not very obvious. It's not moisturizing nor particularly drying, but it's comfortable if I wear a lip balm underneath.

2800 yen plus tax.

I will only repurchase if I can't find a less expensive duplicate, as the color is perfect for me, but the formula doesn't seem particularly unique.

The packaging is a chic, shiny black plastic that seems sturdy, but picks up fingerprints super easily. It's functional.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

some long-term lemmings

For whatever reason (it's fall?) I am in the mood to shop recently (since yesterday).
Perhaps checking out the final +J collection at Uniqlo last night was a bad idea.

I found two nice work skirts for 1300 yen each though, so I'm quite happy. Fortunately, none of the coats quite fit me, so I escaped from the clutches of the new collection quite unscathed. The XL coats are a bit too big, but the sleeves are not long enough.
They have lovely large cashmere scarves (mufflers) limited to the Ginza Uniqlo shop, but they're 14,000 yen or something and I wasn't prepared to spend that much on a scarf.

Some cosmetics lemmings of mine:

Shiseido Shimmering Eye Color: So pretty! I want the gunmetal, the purple, and the medium blue, but the light pink and the beige are probably much more practical colors for me. But the deeper colors are just lovely so it's difficult to be practical. With the weak yen, I'm tempted to buy abroad.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

mini-review: Brow Lash Ex LashSculpture in Black

Brow Lash Ex LashSculpture in Black mascara is made by B&C Laboratories in Japan.

To summarize, I'm not a fan of this mascara.
The brush deposits the product in gobs and doesn't help separate lashes.
Formula-wise, it's quite good for adding volume, but I feel that it flakes a bit after a long day. It maintains curl decently, but not spectacularly.
This is probably a good mascara for people who want volume and don't mind using a lash comb to brush out the clumps.

Monday, September 05, 2011


I find that it's useful to read my writing aloud in order to check that it is clear and makes sense.

a good weekend

I ran twice, cooked twice, cleaned the house, got some laundry done, and even got a smidgen of studying done!

I tried Chinese Beef, Egg and Tomato; my first try turned out pretty well and I'm optimistic that more practice will make it quite tasty. I used Japanese beef (和牛) - it's hard to overcook this kind of beef! It was delicious. The pack had a little black sticker "Tested for radiation" (放射能検査済 or something like that) labelled by the grocery store..

I tried making dumplings Sunday, but I was a bit lazy about following a recipe, and I bought chives instead of green onions. Still, perfectly edible.

Can't wait for the weekend, hehe.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

makeup review: MAC Beauty Powder in Softdew

Clearly this post calls for a picture, but I'll have to add it later.
(edit: picture added)
MAC Beauty Powder in Softdew is an unassuming blush that doesn't show up at all if I swatch it on my arm, but shows up as a nice, subtle blush on my cheeks. I can layer for more definition, or apply lightly for a bit of polish. It doesn't really add much visible color, but nor is it really a contour.
Great no-brainer - I can dash it on and not worry too much about blending or overdoing it.

If I ever use this massive thing up, I'll probably repurchase, but I've hardly made a dent in it over a year, so I think it's unlikely that I'll ever need to buy a second one.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

the first day!

The first day of a new beginning.

Off to bed early. Tomorrow is the first day of the Haskell study group. Should be fun, but I may need some coffee.

It's a vivid pink and a bit too pigmented for me because it's so vivid. Still, a lovely color for summer, don't you think? It's moderately sticky and rather comfortable to wear.

I leave you with some swatches of banila co Banila Kiss in Raspberry. The lip swatch is rather sheered out.

need more pictures

Sorry that the blog has been pretty text-based lately. When things calm down a bit I'll post some cosmetic eye-candy.

By the way, Missha BB creams definitely irritate my skin a bit. They make it a bit itchy. I use oil cleansing and follow up with a toner (拭取る) but the irritation remains.

Angie, would you like to try it? It's a tube so it's quite sanitary. As a BB cream it seems average - not bad but not spectacular. Oil control is weak-to-average for me. Coverage is light-medium.

quick intro to junit 4

I'm new to JUnit, but this article is concise with clear examples:

Sunday, August 14, 2011

some java basics

It's another hot, hot day in Tokyo.
Days like this make me realize how important it is to live in a place that has good air circulation (i.e. wind flow 風当たり). Of course, that's often difficult when buildings are built close together, meaning that convenient places tend to have less of a breeze.

Anyway, I came across some good articles clarifying some Java fundamentals. The basics are not necessarily simple.

Java is Pass-by-Value!
Specifically, Java passes object references by value.
* The above article includes a reference to an article explaining C++ Reference Variables, a good explanation of the general concept of reference variables.

Exploring Java: Threads

* What is a daemon thread? When should I use setDaemon() and why?
Use thread.setDaemon(true) to tell the JVM to make the thread a daemon thread.

According to Webster's, a daemon (variant of demon) is an attendant power or spirit. Daemon threads are typically used to perform services for your application/applet (such as loading the "fiddley bits"). The core difference between user threads and daemon threads is that the JVM will only shut down a program when all user threads have terminated. Daemon threads are terminated by the JVM when there are no longer any user threads running, including the main thread of execution. Use daemons as the minions they are.

[In short: daemon threads do not keep the program from quitting; user threads keep the program from quitting. -Alex]

Synchronized block vs. method:
The only real difference is that a synchronized block can choose which object it synchronizes on. A synchronized method can only use 'this' (or the corresponding Class instance for a synchronized class method).

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

large shoe sizes for ladies in Tokyo

The shoes are not cheap here; expect to pay more than 10,000 (sorry, accidentally wrote 100,000 which is incorrect, thanks lostinube!) on average. But they do have occasional sales.

Ginza Washington
They have a shop specializing in large sizes in Ginza also. Similarly priced to Queen's 卑弥呼, but perhaps a bit better quality.

In addition, 0101 department store (Marui) has a 01 MODEL floor on the 7th floor of the main building specializing in large shoe sizes for ladies. 新宿マルイ本館

a moment of silence

Nagasaki was bombed Aug. 9, 1945 11:02 am.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

what I need is some accountability

Inspired by this blog, I thought that one way to keep me working on my personal programming project would to have some visible external record of my progress or lack thereof.

This week, I started fleshing out the design of my HappyTrack mood tracking program.

I went off on 2 tangents:
* unit testing:
* Localization/internationalization
I'd like the app to support multiple languages in a relatively flexible, intelligent manner.

Once my program is reasonably usable, I'd like to play with Scala. As most of my experience lies with Java, Scala seems like a natural area to branch into.

However, next month I also start learning Haskell in earnest! I hope I can make faster progress with HappyTrack soon.

Expect another report in a week at the latest.

banila co let me touched glow bb cream in classic beige

I received a sample of this bb cream with my recent purchases.

Impressions: medium to high coverage, a bit on the thick side in texture, perhaps due to the high coverage.
Classic beige is probably a bit too light for my skin.
Although it states "glow" it doesn't have any noticeable glow, but nor is it matte, so perhaps it's just right.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Prompted by a psychologist friend, I'm writing a mood tracking app in Java, to refresh my Java skills.

In the progress, I thought I'd try to write the test cases as I designed and programmed the application.
I've never used any proper testing frameworks, so I'm starting with the easily available JUnit.

There seems to be a lot of information available on effective ways to write tests.

The interesting thing about writing a test is that you have to be very clear about what behavior you are expecting. So you must have a clear idea of what you are trying to build and then test. This forces you to clarify the requirements before programming.

It may be difficult to pin down the requirements in advance sometimes. If you are just trying stuff out or just experimenting with functionality, you may not want to fix the outcome in advance.
However, even in such cases, it can be good to limit the functionality temporarily, write test cases for this temporary target, and modify the test cases as you adjust the functionality. It does depend on your individual programming style though.

banila co banila kiss gloss

Banila Kiss lip gloss #04 Raspberry is a nice, pigmented, medium weight gloss.
It's a bit sticky but not too noticeable, and the bright cherry is very naturally and flattering.
I think my photo is actually a little washed out; it seems more pigmented in person.
But very wearable; I'm quite happy with this tube gloss!
Be careful though, the other Banila Kiss gloss I got seems to leak a bit.
This one is fine, but the quality control for the line may not be that good.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sephora Liner Electro - Glitter Eye Pencil

I find that I can use this on my lower eyelid, but it creases if I use it on my upper eyelid. A pity because it's a very pretty eyeliner that I can use at work too for subtle effect.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

on Beyonce

Well said: "Who Run the World?"

I particularly like the blogger's motto: "I am blogger! Hear me squeak!"

Beyonce is clearly an excellent business woman. But the lyrics... need some work.

Monday, July 25, 2011

experimenting with my stash

I've noticed that trying to use up my makeup is a losing proposition - I just get bored and I want to buy new products.
This weekend I ended up buying Make Up For Ever's Rock For Ever Aqua Eyes limited edition kit (which you can find in Tokyo at the Est Nation store in Roppongi Hills, near the extensive selection of Comme des Garcons fragrances including Series 1 and Series 2 and the incense series).
It's 5000 yen which is a markup on their US prices, but given I don't use up any makeup, having 5 colors is much better than 2. Anyway, it's better than L'Occitane's criminal markup in Japan (averaging 75% as far as I can tell).

Anyway, I don't need more makeup pencils, although I don't have any of these colors. In this heat, they seem to fade, but at least they don't transfer to my lower eyelids. The fading is lessened if I put powder on top.

I've been experimenting with other parts of my stash, digging out a mini Stila smudgepot in black and using it as a base for the various green and blue eyeshadows in my collection. As a base, it doesn't seem to smudge too badly, so I finally have a use for it. I like the mini size as I despair of using even this size up!

I've also found that using my canmake lip concealer as a base for my pink lipsticks tones them down quite naturally; it's good for converting them into wearable work colors, even the sparkly formulations. The concealer doesn't work with stronger colors too well, but it melds quite naturally into the pinks. A touch of my super frosty MAC lipgloss adds a nice touch of shimmer but remains wearable. At this rate it'll be years before I use the lipgloss up, but at least I have a use for it.

The next step will be finding a use for my MAC paint pot in a shimmery pink color. It's quite shimmery and hasn't worked very well as a base so far, as eyeshadows go on rather blotchy on top of it, and it creases a bit even with eyeshadow on top. I'll have to experiment more.

Clearly I have a lot of makeup that is useable but not at all necessary. I can't wait till I used these products up and clear them out!

From now on I'm going to avoid shimmery colors. I have tons of sparkly and shimmery pale shadows that can be used to add shimmer/sparkle to any matte/pearl color, so these kinds of finishes are more versatile for me. Which means I need to avoid most Japanese palettes, as they love including a shimmery highlighter color.

I've been enjoying using my Canmake cream cheek blushes, but certainly the lasting power is only average on me. So I will use these up (they're inexpensive, easy to use, and quite fun) but the next cream cheek product I try will have a good reputation for lasting power.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

amy winehouse

I'm so sad to hear that Amy Winehouse has passed away. My deepest condolences for her family.

What a tragedy.

Her albums are fantastic, and I was really looking forward to her future work.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

my inner French girl

I ran across an interesting philosophy that one might describe as "the inner French girl" or "Euro Chic."

Very inspiring; I like the idea of "editing" one's wardrobe and life.
I think my French coworkers will find it amusing though.

Ars Aromatica has been steadily promoting a similar philosophy over the years: "editing" one's stash of makeup for example. An appealing form of minimalism.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

banila co sale in Harajuku

Banila co's shop near Harajuku (Meiji jingu mae station) has a 50% off sale; I picked up 2 tube lip glosses in a bright-but-wearable pink and orange for 500 yen each. They had a lot of other products on sale, but nothing I needed, so I limited myself to the super cheap glosses.

The sale is going on until the end of the month, so you have plenty of time to check it out.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

one of my favorite blogs is gone

oh no! it was terribly well written and interesting.
I hope comes back eventually.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Roy McDonald is my new hero

HuffingtonPost link:Republican NY State Senator Roy McDonald's Awesome Defense Of Gay Marriage:
"You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing.

You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing.

I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this."

Friday, June 17, 2011

stop doing things that temporarily have a large impact

Always make changes so that they can be quickly reverted!

You never know when you need to quickly undo something.

i.e. work smarter, not harder.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

i'm grateful

I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to work for and with a variety of companies from around the world.

My present company is particularly international, and I've really enjoyed the chance to interact with a number of people from European and Asian countries.

While working at a Japanese system integrator, I was able to meet quite a few Korean and Chinese companies working as integrators also. That was quite fun too.

The workaholic stance is quite pervasive - the effect of Confucianism?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Volunteering for the Tohoku Earthquake

From the Tokyo Voluntary Action Center:
Volunteering for the Tohoku Earthquake

Please read this first

Please do not go to the disaster area yourself

At the moment, professional, trained workers, organizations and local residents are working at the disaster sites.
Transportation, safe locations, food, information and fuel are all scarce. At this stage, volunteers could cause further shortages and confusion by traveling to the site themselves.

As of April 19th, we have received news that volunteer centers have opened in the disaster area, but we ask that those living outside Fukushima prefecture remain cautious. Local residents are working together with trained, organized professionals. Let us avoid causing further difficulties.

The scale of the damage is enormous. We expect the support and recovery effort will need the long-term support of many volunteers. We'll post information about donating aid as soon as the structure to receive it is in place. Please give what you can.
We also ask that you maintain your investment in and support for this cause, and will post aid requests from disaster sites as we receive them.

The website has a lot of useful information about how to help. At this point it seems that donations are the best way for us to help. They also have a twitter account where they are posting volunteer info in Japanese:!/tokyovolunteer

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

back in Tokyo yesterday

Everything seems pretty normal in the 23 districts, but the trains are definitely a bit emptier than normal during my morning commute.

The weather is getting warmer and the flowers are blooming. Today's a lovely sunny day.

From the Tokyo Gaijins list:
Hi everyone,
I've been asking people around and researching for the best possible and most practical way to help the Tohoku Earthquake/Tsunami Disaster victims.
Here is what I found...

Clothing donation
They are not accepting any material donation from individuals at the moment. They are still busy taking care of necessities such as food, water, toilet, logistics etc. Our good intention could actually be a burden. Apparently, there were too many random clothing donation when Niigata earthquake happened a couple of years ago, and they had to use manpower to sort and throw them away. Some people suggests to contact Salvation Army ( and Second Harvest ( but I couldn't find any information on how to donate clothing, sorry :(
Voluntary work
A lot of people asked me to organize a trip to affected areas when things stabilize. Personally, I really don't think its a good idea but I did ask some people anyway.
Here is what one of the members of Foreign Volunteers Japan (on Facebook) commented...
- How many more times do I have to explain this: Let the professionals and, most importantly, the Japanese, assess and organize the initial disaster aftermath. There will be years of rebuilding, when many volunteers will be required. At the moment, an influx of well-intentioned foreigners, without allocation of a job, will only add to the hardship. You can do better, by working on fundraising efforts in Tokyo, rather than impulsively put yourself in harms way, where you will be more a hindrance than a help.
Again, I think the best way to help is by donating money. We have some charity events in the next two weeks. I will send the details very soon. Hope you can make it!

Monday, March 21, 2011

mit blog following the Fukushia Nuclear Plants
Information about the incident at the Fukushima Nuclear Plants in Japan hosted by

Very educational blog posting info and analysis of the events at the Fukushima nuclear plants.
In the face of all the conflicting information, it's a nicely organized, if technical, source of information.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

tokyo city starts collecting donations for earthquake

Donations are only being accepted from people within Tokyo.

New, unused items being requested:

  1. Baby goods
    Fever cooling sheets, paper diapers (newborn S, M, L, Big Size), baby wipes, baby lotion, baby oil, etc.
  2. Goods for the elderly
    Adult diapers, wet wipes (for care-giving/assisted care), thickening solution for assisted care food (介護食用とろみ剤等), etc.
  3. Daily goods
    Contact lens care products (contact lens solution, contact lens cases, etc.), disposable chemical hand warmers, menstrual pads, paper cups, plastic wrap
  4. Drinkable water (potable water)
※Please provide the items in storage bags, or packaged in boxes, etc. for easy transport.
※Currently they are not accepting food or clothing.
The collection location is at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building 2 1st floor.
 〒163-8001 新宿区西新宿2-8-1

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

and so, I flee for a bit

Quite a few expats are leaving town.

A lot of my colleagues have gone to the west or flown out.

Hopefully I'll be back in town next week.

Monday, March 14, 2011

monday in tokyo

Today my local train line is running at half capacity; half of the number of trains they normally would run. Apparently the Kanto-tohoku area is missing 25% of capacity, so the train companies are doing their part to save electricity.

JR lines are running at even lower capacity so there are huge lines at the stations. Not a good day to go to work!

By the way, no visible damage to my apt. all utilities are still working fine.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Hoping that everyone is safe tonight. Hoping that people get help as soon as possible. A lot of elderly people affected.

Tokyo Gaijins posted a useful message:
Hi everyone,
Hope you, your family and friends are safe!
In times of a disaster like this, a lot of people will need our help and assistance...
Here are some important things to do to help...
- Help ourselves! Don't be a victim, avoid traveling, stay in a safe place. We cannot help if we are the one who may need help! Let the authorities deal with the primary objectives. Help those who are need of help.
- Store enough food and water for at least 3 days. Make sure you have survival/emergency kit (flashlights, warm blanket, first-aid kit, communication, etc.). More aftershocks coming so brace :(
- Avoid making unnecessary phone calls. Let those who are in an emergency use the phone lines.
- Limit use of electricity. Avoid using gas.
- Please follow the news!
- If you have unwanted clothes/stuff, put them in a box. A lot of people will definitely need them. I will send information later where you can drop them.

Take care!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

sustainable sushi

I was reading a little on the Bluefin tuna issue. Apparently Bluefin tuna is approaching extinction, thanks to overfishing due to rising demand for sushi around the world.

If the tuna is indeed approaching extinction, I would refrain from eating toro, as the fatty tuna usually comes from Bluefin tuna.

Anyway, it requires more research.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Roti in Roppongi, cleaning my room

Roti near Roppongi Hills is a nice restaurant, but they seem to attract noisy diners. The other day, there was this party of young adults using all sorts of crass language loudly in the restaurant.
I felt really bad for the young Muslim family with 3 kids and the Indian couple next to us.
That was really inappropriate. Stupid Americans :P And they wonder why they can't get women.

Anyway, gotta clear out the crap in my room. There's plenty of stuff that doesn't flatter me in my closet.

Monday, February 28, 2011

a coat

Sigh. I'm stupid.
I've been so out of it this week!

I borrowed a coat from a friend, and offered my coat to her, intending it as a loan. But I think she took it as a gift. I'm pretty sure she doesn't want the coat, and I kinda want it back. However, I don't really need the coat, so I'm tempted to leave things as they are.

But if she doesn't need it, I can just get rid of it. Well, maybe her niece can use it. I feel like it's not her niece's style.

I also gave her a gift that I have a feeling she doesn't really like :P Oh well. You win some you lose some.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

magazine freebies

Ugh, materialism!

These upcoming magazine freebies look so nice!

Tibi x Bobbi Brown paisley tote bag - the last thing I need is another tote (I have 3 already), but this one is so pretty.

One Piece pouch - I'm not even a One Piece fan, but the pouch is apparently good quality, hence want! I will force myself not to buy it. Instead I'll get the Dip Drops pouch/organizer.

Monday, February 21, 2011

tab collection

Do you ever collect a list of tabs in your web browser? Tabs of pages that you've had open for ages but you haven't actually gotten around to reading? And every so often, your browser or your computer crashes or Adobe sneaks in a restart (annoying!) and poof! All the tabs are gone. Although Chrome can usually recover in the event of a crash.

My current list: - this is a group discussion on linked in so may not be viewable to the public.

being healthy: inspiration

I am by no means obese, but I have been talking about exercising for years, and have not done much about it. So I found this woman's experience very valuable. She has five kids! I really have no excuse.

For general inspiration, I like this post:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wishing that everyone knows that they are loved.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

makeup brushes

I'm too lazy to use makeup brushes in general, as they require regular cleaning!
So for now, my fingers are the most eco-friendly solution.

Friday, February 11, 2011

shu uemura rouge unlimited supreme shine SS WH 003

Jojoba's post on the new Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Shine lipstick prompted me to put some information about my older supreme shine lipstick up too.

I bought this lipstick in Taipei last summer. It's a new, super glossy lipstick line from Shu Uemura, in the old packaging.

According to a saleslady in Hankyu, this line was planned to be released in Japan last year, but they decided to revamp the packaging. 2 limited edition colors go on sale today in Japan, and the full line will be released in April.

WH 003 is basically a sheer, glossy, sparkly lipstick - good for making other lipsticks and glosses sparkly and a tad bit lighter in color. Great for evenings out. I really enjoy the texture, as it's quite light, but I find it a little rough and my lips tingle the tiniest bit when I put it on.

As you can see, the cap has already cracked in 3 places; it's a good thing they decided to revamp the packaging! It would be nice if they would replace my cap too, though.

Cosmetic Candy had the same issue with all three of her lipsticks! They should definitely give her new caps. My lipstick is tilting to the side too, as she mentioned. Hopefully the revamped version, which Jojoba has, doesn't have that problem.

As a lippy, I really like it. Just don't get the version with the flat top, stick to the new rounded cap.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011




Monday, January 31, 2011

Aagra Indian Restaurant and Bar in Hakusan: Update

An update on Aagra in 白山 Hakusan; it should be noted that it's a casual place. Good for kids. There are about 6 tables that seat 4 each, and a tall counter/bar area that seats about 5 or 6 people.
The main attraction is the food.
The servers speak decent Japanese, and some English.

My coworker gives it a thumbs up too!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

some recent winter items

I was inspired by Nic Nic's post to write a post.

I've been visiting onsens in Tokyo lately, as I'm too lazy to use the bath at home. There's a really nice one in Sugamo called Sakura, but there are a lot all around Tokyo, it seems. Until now I've only visited the sento in Tokyo and Oedo Monogatari Onsen. Sakura was really nice - the whole process is very smooth. You pay at the end, no money required for the shoe lockers, the locker room is on the spacious side. There are 2 indoor baths - one with jets so it's like a hard massage. 2 sauna rooms. 3 outdoor baths - a small milky one - they generate fine bubbles so it looks milky. 2 regular baths - one stone and one lined with wood. All a little on the hot side for me - around 42 degrees outside. The indoor ones are a little cooler.

I need to exercise too... classes would be good but the few trial lessons I tried I felt very out of place - too shy I guess. I only liked one of the teachers, too, and she was temporarily filling in for the regular one!

I tried a cosme de corte AQ mask last night. After a long sleep, my skin feels soft and moisturized today! The mask is probably quite expensive though, I don't know if I'll buy it regularly.

tea chocolatesMy friend's family's tea chocolates. Aren't they cute?

Shopping at Narita is dangerous as I spend easily there. This Maquillage lippy is pinker than I would have chosen, but it's a pretty color and rather wearable, with a good deal of sparkle. It looks and feels great. I haven't paid proper attention to the wear.

Inspired by Nic Nic again, I succumbed to this lovely nude face creator from Maquillage. It's quite subtle and really easy to use. Even the center highlight is not over the top. It is a bit expensive though, so I wouldn't say it's a must have.

Last but not least, I've been wanting to buy this Majolica Majorca Majolook Trick On pallette for ages! I might go and get the other one too. It's sad that they're only selling 2 of them now. My only concern is the wear; the shadows usually fade on me. However, I don't use a eyeshadow base, as I'm lazy :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

materialism: review: Legere's Water Drop BB cream

Legere's Water Drop BB cream
- light coverage

- light-weight feel; I don't really notice that I'm wearing it
- natural finish
- average to poor oil-control. I need to blot after a few hours
- I think I break out a little from this.

It's a big bottle and I use about a pearl-sized drop of it, so it's taking a while for me to use it up. I'm going to try out Missha's BB creams and see how they compare to this one.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

not smudgeproof: Max Factor's waterproof Volume Couture mascara

Sadly, Max Factor's waterproof Volume Couture mascara smudges on me. I love the brush, so I'll be checking out other mascaras that use the same brush. Maybe it's time to try out Shiseido's famous mascara primer to see if it can turn this mascara smudge-proof :)

Beauty blogs are such a bad influence on me; I bought so much stuff on my trip home this year. Although most of it was bath products, so I guess I wasn't too bad in that respect. And Nordstrom and Sephora's sample policies are so cool! I'm testing out Cartier's Eau D'Orange now. Next I have Delices de Cartier and Kenzo Amour Indian Holli to try.
I'm going to focus all my shopping at those stores from now on. It's just so convenient! Also, the salespeople at Nordstrom were really nice.

Friday, January 07, 2011

mcdonalds texas2 burger

is meh. It's alright, but nothing special. The chicken burgers are a lot better.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Favorite products of 2010

It's been quite difficult to compile, but here is my list for 2010.

Aromatherapy Soothing Temple Balm by deserving Thyme - delightful, relaxing lavender and mint scent. Love this little balm.

Fancl cleansing oil still seems to work well for me. I'm still searching for good, reasonably priced facial waters (softeners) and moisturizers. Nothing seems to leave much of an impression on me. At this rate, I might go back to DHC Acerola Lotion and Q10 cream, but I wish the formulas had nicer scents! Ah well, I'm picky like that.

Old standby Inoui ID eyebrow pencil has not been supplanted yet (not that I've been looking): I still have one refill left, so this will probably last me through 2011 with no problems.

Kate Supersharp Liner was again my favorite liquid liner of the year. Reliable; I've been using the black brown version for more than a year and it still hasn't dried up! I'm rather impatient to start using my backup at this point.

SilkyGirl Funky Eyelights Eyeliner pencil: colorful and inexpensive, and I can set it with eyeshadow.

Canmake cream blush: the packaging is functional, the product is easy to use, and it's cheap. I can't comment on the lasting power as I haven't noticed, but it's useful for me!

MAC beauty powder: it doesn't show up at all if I swatch it on my hand, but on my cheeks it's wonderfully subtle yet contours and adds a sheer wash of color to my cheeks. Wonderfully easy to use! And huge; I wonder if I'll ever use it up.

美禅 Be-zen x Chigira Keiko lip treatment: a sparkly glossy treatment scented with lavender, it's soothing to wear. reviews point out that it doesn't last that long, and it's not that moisturizing, which I would have to agree with.

Dior addict lip polish: a light comfortable gloss that's easy to wear.

I stuck to old favorite Opera MyLash mascara. I plan to do more experimentation next year, as there are a lot of reasonably priced mascaras getting good reviews from bloggers.

I've been using bb creams on an almost daily basis, but mostly as tinted moisturizers as I don't skip any of my skin care steps, and have not found them particularly bad or good. I just have a lot of them and I'm trying to use them up.

Vera Wang Anniversary was a surprisingly easy-to-wear perfume. Drawn in by the promise of gardenia, I find the bottle gorgeous, the perfume pleasant, but in the end, not terribly memorable. Still, I will happily use this up, as I don't get sick of it.

Honorable mention:
YSL Golden Gloss is such a pretty, pretty gloss and very wearable. I love the scent too, but texture-wise it's a bit too sticky for my taste. As such, I probably won't repurchase, if I ever happen to finish this gloss.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Max Factor mascara, SilkyGirl eyeliner

Happy New Year!

Am liking Max Factor's waterproof Volume Couture mascara in Black Brown so far. I love the rubber comb! It makes it easy to remove clumps, and the formula seems to be fine for adding a bit of curl. I'll have to test the formula after curling my lashes next time.

I've also found that SilkyGirl Funky Eyelights Pencil 01 Olive Green works pretty well if I set it with another eyeshadow. I've been using Majolica Majorca's Shadow Customize lately and the combination works well. I'll get #4 Pure Purple next time.

MAC's penultimate liner doesn't set no matter what eyeshadow I use on top though, so I've practically given up on it except when I don't care if it smudges (which is almost never).

I'm working on a Best of 2010 post, to come later.