Thursday, November 29, 2012

fantasy list: Frederic Malle Coffrets Collection

For 2012, Frederic Malle has come out with the Coffrets Collection!

If I could! I would buy the 2012 collection - the complete sampler of fragrances.  However, I won't.  I don't trust being able to store fragrances properly in the Tokyo summers.  In any case, I haven't even gone through the samples that I do own from the line.

Ah well.  I will dream of Frederic Malle and Calvin and Hobbes.  Some day.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

mini review: Heroine Make Mascara Volume & Curl

The big brush is a bit unwieldy, I find it difficult to apply without clumping.  It certainly holds a curl though.  Heroine Make mascaras are popular, but they just don't seem to work to my taste.  I suppose I prefer formulas that are less clumpy.

mini-review: Natina light B.B Cream

Natina BB cream by Hangangsoo - a bit too pale for me to wear easily, although the texture is easy to spread.  Not much coverage either.

Friday, November 23, 2012

mini review: Freshel W Cream UV

Freshel White C W Cream UV SPF 32 PA++ has a nice texture.  No coverage, and it seems to emphasize any dry spots that I have, despite the nice light cream texture.  I should try to use this up during the summer when my skin is a lot more oily.  Right now, it takes too much effort to use.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

fondant chocolat cake, mango snow shaved ice

For the best fondant chocolat cake in Tokyo, go to Ginza Manaya 銀座まなや between Shinbashi and Ginza.  A refined, modern but traditional Japanese-style izakaya, they have the best fondant chocolat ever.  And the kara-age is divine.  The roast beef is a specialty, but normally only available at lunch.  If you ask nicely, they might be able to accommodate you with a small plate at dinner though.

For mango shaved ice so finely shaved that it's like snow, go to the Taiwan Products Shop.  Hidden to the right back side of the store is a little cafe where you can get traditional Taiwanese tea foods and the best mango shaved ice ever.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

mini review: Hanskin Super Light Touch B.B. Cream

Meh.  It has a nice texture, with a bit of coverage, but it's too pale for me (I'm MAC NC20-25), and sinks into pores like crazy.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

the ridiculous state of shoe sizing

Comparing Lucky Brand and Birkenstock sizing shows that there is a problem: At Lucky Brand, 26 cm = U.S. Women's size 10 = Euro Size 41. i18nguy says Japanese women's 26 cm = U.S. Women's size 10 = Euro Size 42. Zappos says 25.9 cm = U.S. Women's size 10 = Euro Size 40-41. Wikipedia puts 26 cm = U.S. Women's size 9 = Euro size 40-41. I pretty reliably wear a U.S. Women's size 9.5.

Shiseido Limited Edition Camellia Compact

I want this Camellia Compact from Shiseido!

It's gorgeous! And it's sold out on Shiseido's online shop! Argh.

Update: I called my nearest Shiseido counter, and they still had 1 unit! So I reserved one, and dashed over during lunch.

The friendly saleslady applied it on me so that I could see how it looked. It's lovely! Swirled together, it's a lovely soft red; a natural flush that suits my coloring very well. It's a soft blush - the included brush picks up pigment quite easily. Although gold sparkles are visible on the pristine blush, it seems to be mostly an overspray, as the tester they used didn't show nearly as much of the scattered gold sparkles. The white is a soft, shimmer-less white that does not seem excessively pigmented - the SA didn't need to blend after applying this powder to my skin.

At 4200 yen, it was easy to purchase. I'll just cross some other blushes off of my lemming list. It also comes with a flat soft brush in a separate light plastic case.

On my lemming list is the Zen White Heat Edition limited edition eau de parfum; a very wearable white floral. It's sold out online, but definitely still available at counters. It's certainly more interesting than the Maquillage holiday perfume, which seems to be a forgettable fruity floral.

On the inaccessible lemming list, there's a limited edition fragrant camellia oil Koyu (dead link: made from the famous white camellias of Goto island off the coast of Nagasaki, Kyushu. Goto is also famous for their delicious Goto udon - prepared with camellias. The Shiseido oil, labelled Euthrixine (dead link: as a nod to the 1898 hair oil launched by Shiseido, smells delicious - white camellias, according to the SA - but being an oil, the fragrance does not last. A soft whisper is lingering an hour after applying. Camellia oil can be used to moisturize the skin and add shine to the hair. Sadly, this particular oil will set you back 10,500 yen, which is a bit difficult to justify.  Despite the price, it seems popular, as the counter I visited only had one more unit left to be reserved.  Reserved!  Not even actual stock, but reservation spaces!
2013/01/07 update: Sadly and annoyingly, Shiseido seems to have taken down their pages for Koyu, but you can still see an image at Elle Japan.

It's pretty dangerous to work near a department store.

Monday, November 05, 2012

This was supposed to be my last Glossybox, after two mediocre previous ones! But they've thrown me a loop with a box that is definitely worth the Japanese subscription price.
This month's box includes a full Zoya nail polish in a slate greyish-blue, a sedate enough color for work. This is my first Zoya polish so I'm quite happy about it, especially as Zoya is about 1400yen in Japan (a rather kinder markup than OPI, which is like !). The other happy surprise was Kanebo Impress brightener, that Paris has rated quite highly. So I'm looking forward to trying this generous sample (much more generous than the single sachet from Doctor Line). There were also 3 packets of primer and 3 packets of Dewy Foundation from ADDICTION, which was a pleasant surprise but not so exciting for me personally, since I find it sinks a bit into the pores of my slightly dry skin. The Kaotsubo and Valle de Roses samples were rather less exciting, but I will try them out.

However, looking at the Glossybox website, I see that some people got Jurlique this month! I want a Jurlique sample :P

Anyhoo, my experience these 3 months has been so-so. I liked some of the products - I'm still using the Sranrom hand cream - but overall the sample sizes have been pretty underwhelming considering the price of the Glossybox. For example, I liked my experience with Doctor Line's Enzyme Cleansing Water, but with only one sachet, it's really hard to justify a purchase of the full sized product. For a new brand at a moderate price point, I think they should be more generous with their samples, but I suppose that increases the burn rate of the company.

So, should I continue? Should I stop? It's rather fun getting a random selection each month, but I can't help feeling that I should save my money and buy the products that I actually want. I keep eying the lavender sample set from LEAF&BOTANICS (リーフアンドボタニクス), but I'm not allowed to buy it until I use up all of my current skin care samples.