Sunday, October 27, 2013


Glad to see that Cavalieri seems to be doing well in 幡ヶ谷.
They had the most delicious desserts when I used to live in the area, but I haven't been back since.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Lip colors that flatter

I didn't realize it until swatching my lipsticks on white paper, but it turns out that all the colors that I find unflattering are mauve shades.
  • Nivea Fruity shine in Pomegranate - a sheer mauve.
  • Revlon Balm Stain in Honey 001 - a medium pinkish mauve.
  • L'Oreal Colour Riche Balm in Plush Plum (219) - a cool mauve.
  • Lancome Color Fever 306 - a decidedly purple mauve shade.
  • Maybelline Moisture Extreme Toasted Almond (210) - even this seemingly brick red-like shade definitely has tendencies towards mauve and away from berry.
  • Maquillage Glossy Perfect Rouge RD224 - a bright pink mauve.
Warm roses like Dior Addict Lip Polish in 002 and YSL Golden Gloss in Praline - these I can handle. Warm pinks like Maybelline Water Shiny Gloss in S01, I can handle. I like berry shades too, although right now I lack one.

But mauve makes my skin look sallow, and I'm finally getting rid of them.

I can also confirm that I don't have a proper peach/orange lipstick in my lipstick wardrobe. I plan to seek out Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge in OR-1 to fill this spot.  I also lack a proper berry/wine shade.  Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge RD-2 might be good for this, but it might be too much on the mauve side for me.  A bright watermelon wouldn't go amiss either - I have a red Nivea care gloss that fills this spot at the moment, but I haven't got a lipstick yet.  I'm eying Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge RD-1 for this.
Can you tell that I have Dramatic Memory Rouge on the brain?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

reflections on 2012

In General

I'm trying to just get things done, so that I can spend more carefree time on the fun things.  I'm also trying not to over-think things.
* do more vegetable cooking (first up, Ars Aromatica's lentil white bean soup)
* Start on the Chinese


* Learn to make scallion pancakes ( recipe)
* figure out how to make those Bretagne-style galettes
I hope I never develop a gluten allergy.  I'm sure I'll survive, but it would be really sad at first.

Old Favorites

I still love Yves Saint Laurent Golden Gloss.  The messy packaging is annoying; gloss collects around the opening of the container.  However, it's an easy, no-fail glamorous gloss that I look great in.  I have #2 Golden Praline, and the gloss and shimmer are just right for evenings when you want to feel fabulous but not over-the-top.  The color is a totally wearable soft rose, and I enjoy the scent, personally.  When I use it up, I'll want another one, but I won't let myself until I use up my ridiculous stash of glosses.

Saying Goodbye To

I love the festive but wearable Fasio Melting Glossy Rouge RD441, but the lasting power is average-to-poor, so I don't think it's worth repurchasing.  I do love the color though, so if I don't find a replacement in a better formulation, perhaps I'll revisit this decision.  For now I'll just layer one of my many sparkly glosses on top of Addiction lipstick in Last Scene.

New Favorites

Hands down, the most amazing makeup release was Shiseido's Camellia Compact, sadly limited edition to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the brand.  A real pity that it was limited edition.  I have not yet been able to mar the pristine surface of this blush/highlighter, but I will, I swear.

I am still in love with Lavshuca Dramatic Memory Rouge lipstick - BE-2 is my default work lipstick.  Don Quixote offers a small discount on certain Lavshuca products, so I will pick up one in red once I use up a few other lipsticks.

I am quite impressed with the eyeshadow palette in the Lavshuca Pure Blossoming Eyes Limited Edition Set.  I got the PK Pink Variation, which is a bit too warm for me, but the texture of the eyeshadows is fantastic!  If they put out a color variation that I like, I may have to get a Star Decoration Eyes.  However, I have too many neglected eyeshadow palettes; I probably should try a different brand.

I love the liquid blush Cream de Cheek released by Majolica Majorca last year.  I haven't bought any of them yet, but I will definitely be picking up the red RD411 at least.  I'm also tempted to buy the new Clear series of Cream Cheek blushes from Canmake, especially the lovely red.


This year I spent a good amount of time editing my closet, however, it is far from finished.  Of course, any fun closet should evolve over time, so the concept of "finishing" is a bit inaccurate, but I am not happy with my closet as it currently is.  Wardrobe Oxygen and Ars Aromatica have really gotten me thinking about the concept of editing my wardrobe.  I particularly like Wardrobe Oxygen's office wear posts.  I am also being motivated by The Minimalist Mom's journey in minimizing her wardrobe.  More and more, I want to look good without putting effort into it, which often means buying clothing that is comfortable, looks good, and is easy to coordinate.  I've thrown out a lot of awkward clothing this year!  It makes me sad to waste money on clothing, but it's necessary to move forward and cull out the items that waste my time.

I've judiciously indulged in this year's massive New Year sales, picking up some necessities and adding 3 pieces to my work wardrobe.  However, I still lack some basics such as a black coat and suit.  I'm also debating whether to buy a new winter scarf - my silk scarf has seen better days.  Perhaps I will hold out until next year.

I'm breaking in some new winter shoes; I do need to add one casual winter shoe option.  I don't know where to find good quality shoes in my size at a reasonable price in Tokyo.

Cosmetics: what's working for me October 2013

Lipgloss: After years of evaluation, I've come to the conclusion that Dior Addict Lip Polish #2 is an excellent, high-quality product.
  • Thin, non-goopy formula; I can feel it on the lips but it's not sticky at all
  • Glossy!
  • After several years, the product hasn't gone bad yet
It's not pigmented, but it adds a pretty flush, and looks flattering worn alone or layered over other products.

I am also a fan of the following eyeliner products:
Neither product smudges after setting, and have smooth formulas that are easy for me to use.  The one annoying thing is that Integrate makes their interesting colors limited edition, but there's always Pixi if I run out.

I also use Make Up For Ever's Aqua Eyes pencil liners, but they do smudge slightly on me, so I'm not really sold on them.

In terms of what's not working for me:
Kiss Me heroine make volume&curl mascara decidedly smudges on me.  Probably time to throw this one out!

In other news, I've been trying to weed out my makeup; strictly culling out the products that are difficult to use or don't look good by themselves on me.  This is a task that requires true discipline, as I cling to:
  • Canmake Cream Highlighter: too glittery for me, but I can't just toss it, can I?
  • Shiseido Shimmering Cream Eye Color SV810: a gorgeous color that is just a bit too cool for me
  • Clarins Colour Quench Lip Balm #14 (probably discontinued): a lovely bright orange that is just a bit bright for me, but sheered out is wearable.
  • Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Supreme Shine SS WH 003: sparkles and glitter in a transparent base - a bit too loud for me to use often
  • banila co. banila Kiss in 04 Raspberry Jam (probably discontinued): a lovely bright white-based pink - again, just a bit bright to wear as-is, but sheered out is lovely, and the formula is very comfortable
  • Shiseido The Makeup Perfecting Lipstick P12 (discontinued): a unique true brown-purple that looks gorgeous sheered out or as a stain, but just isn't a color I can wear every day.  Still, this is something I'm definitely going to hold on to!
  • Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited WH 001: a white lipstick to lighten those lip colors that are too dark; however it just adds too much white, rendering anything rather pasty and unwearable.  Perhaps I haven't learned to use it properly.