Thursday, December 11, 2014

Watsons Green Tea moist towelettes

Smell amazing!  Buy them if you see them (China, Taiwan...)!  I bought a bunch but since I don't have a Watsons locally, I have a bad habit of hoarding them...

Disclaimer: I adore tea scents.  Black tea, green tea, white tea, etc.

Kuumba International Green Tea Incense

The green tea incense by Kuumba International (A division of Traveling Book Nook) smells amazing in the stick, but when burning it's not quite as nice.  Such a pity.
I like the Aomori Hiba Incense 青森ひば線香 much better, and it's a much better value (you can also find it on Amazon).

Monday, December 08, 2014

Steam Cream

Steam Cream has a light, lovely texture that seems to absorb well, and I enjoy the lavender scent.
I'm not sure it's worth 1600 yen though - it's lovely to receive as a gift but I'm not sure it's affordable as a body cream that I'd purchase for myself.  This was a gift from a lovely friend.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain - Crush

Have to say, I really enjoy the minty scent to these Balm Stains, and Crush is a lovely wine color on me!  It's definitely a bit more flattering than Rendezvous - which is a fun bright orange.

Next, I want Romantic.  Probably a more sensible formula for me than the Colorstay Moisture Stains which require a little more care to apply.  Anyway, I'll wear this for a while and see.  I am supposed to be on a no-buy...

Update: okay, so Crush leans a bit too purple-y for my taste - it's more of a bright color than a refined wine.  Still, I enjoy the minty formula, so I'll probably give Romantic and maybe Adore a try?  I have a feeling Adore will be too strong for me, and since I already have a lot of good reds, I should lay off it.  I do like brick red colors though!

No-buy?  What no-buy? *shifty eyes*

Thursday, December 04, 2014

On a no-buy

Until I actually use up this stuff!

After moving, I bought a sunscreen and a few Revlon Balm sticks and an orange nail polish (inspired by the stylish Chinese lady on the flight).  But now I've settled down and I've been shopping in my stash and haven't made a dent on anything!

So, while perfume is still open to discussion, and some skin care purchases are on the horizon once I use up some of my current stash, cosmetic purchases are (mostly) banned.  That said, Grocery Outlet tests my will on a daily basis, and I have some CVS dollars that expire this month.

So we shall see...  I am eyeing those Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stains.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Totally with Garance Doré

I'm with Garance Doré on her post Watch Your back
So, even though it’s not the chiquest, I kind of like the Nicky Minaj-style butt of the moment because it’s round and proud of it. I figure it must be helping millions of girls get over any complexes they might have about their own unperfect butts.
Then again, I’m not sure all the soft-porn and objectification of the booty is really the best way to celebrate women’s bodies.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


My current wishlist:

I've read good things about both products.  However, considering the amount of makeup I currently have, and the things I've already bought this year, I will wait till next year, when I might be able to justify the purchases a bit better (hopefully).

In some mini-reviews:
  • Gud Softening Conditioner in Red Ruby Groovy by Burt's Bees: meh.  I don't find it particularly conditioning, and the scent gets old pretty quickly.
  • Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Eucalyptus Mint Body Scrub: meh.  It is emollient, but that renders the scrubby bits rather ineffective - especially on wet skin.  It smells nice, but I basically use it as an emollient body wash.
Won't repurchase either product.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

duck gizzard

This duck gizzard brand was meh - a bit too salty for my taste.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Revlon Colorburst lipbalm in Rendezvous

Pigmented!  This is a bright orange!
The only thing is that I think it is rather drying.  We'll see how it feels tomorrow.

Where can I find sesame sticks that aren't too salty?  So far the stuff in the grocery stores is really salty!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

On visiting the Tsukiji fish market

Tokyo has an English site explaining procedures and details for visiting the fish market and the tuna auction in particular:

It's good to read the pdf at the bottom of the page too.

The main issue is getting there early enough to see the tuna auction, as most public transportation doesn't start till around 5-ish.

Google Maps is fairly decent about providing transportation details - they also include buses, and you can always double check with Jorudan's English site.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dry scalp and dry shampoos

Since my scalp isn't oily, I think the flaky skin on my scalp is the result of dryness - or stress from moving?  Periodically it troubles me.  I'm trying to treat it by washing my hair less frequently and using different treatments.
* Mayonnaise worked really well as a conditioning treatment - spreads easily, but greasy to wash out
* Coconut oil seems to work less well, but virgin coconut oil smells nice.  Just trying to use up my coconut oil though - I find it a pain to have to heat it up to use (it's pretty cool where I am).  Hard to work through the scalp.
* Aveda dandruff treatment - feels great, and spreads easily on my scalp.  I don't think I have dandruff, but this is a salicylic acid preparation so works fine for my purposes also.
* Clear hair dry scalp treatment - to be tested out.  7 doses on sale for $3 at The Grocery Outlet.

In order to shampoo less, I've been using dry shampoos to some extent.

So far I've tried Klorane dry shampoo - I liked it - pretty easy to brush out, hair felt cleaner, and it added body to my hair.  However, being an aerosol, it's a bit of a pain to travel with.

I also got Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo - the jasmine-scented powder.  Being a powder, it's a bit of a pain to apply and brush out - I think using a powder or kabuki brush would probably help a lot with this.  However, the mini size is extremely portable so I may take it along for trips/emergencies.  I find Klorane easier to use.  I don't mind the scent but it can be a bit strong.

Batiste gets good reviews; I will give it a try next.

I've used the Shiseido dry shampoo spray - it is only moderately effective -  you really need to work it through the scalp and I found I needed to reapply later in the day.  It's essentially an alcohol so I did worry that it dried out my scalp.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Officially on a no-buy*

I'm officially on a no-buy - as in, I can't buy any makeup or skin care until I use up what I have.

So. Much. Stuff.  I have been trying to organize my stuff for a week now, and haven't made much progress.  However, it's official that I have more stuff than I know what to do with.  And I can't bring myself to throw any of it out, so I've just gotta use it up.

Which means, I can't buy anything new until I do use the stuff up.   Years!  It will take years, I say!  The skin care will get used up more quickly at least...

On my to-buy list:

  1. Revlon Color Stay Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain - Rendezvous
  2. Boots Hot Balm (cleansing balm)
  3. Neutrogena - Pure & Free Liquid Daily Sunblock (a physical sunscreen - currently using up my mentholatum sunscreen)
  4. I'd like Sleek Blush by 3, but I don't think I'll ever use up my blushes so that's probably never going to happen.
I need better-fitting sunglasses - the ones I have are too narrow for my head.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Yeti tea infuser

Gosh, this Ye-TEA project is so cute!  I hope it becomes a product soon.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bistro Higashiyama RUE DE SHURI リュード シュリ

Bistro Higashiyama Rue De Shuri
ビストロ 東山 リュード シュリは土曜日料理教室をやっているので、ランチは日曜日・祝日のみになると思います。

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Carolina Hererra Chic (Women)

Found Carolina Hererra Chic for 1260 yen in a little drugstore in Shibuya with a surprisingly extensive inventory of perfume and drugstore items.

In the store, I noticed the signs saying not to touch the perfume after I accidentally knocked a bottle to the floor.  Interestingly, they don't let you test the perfume on skin - perhaps too many people trying to spray without buying?  Many of the testers are broken anyway, including Chic, Mat:Matsuzaki White, and a silver Mat.

Chanel Cristalle EDT can be had for 5600 yen (before tax?) so it's really not a bad place to pick up certain interesting finds.  The Mats all went for about 4000 yen or so.

Anyway, currently testing Chic - it's interesting.  As people have mentioned on fragrantica, the opening is off-putting.  I get some aquatic notes from it so I'm not sure how much I like it...

Chic is listed as in production, but the NY Carolina Herrera site no longer lists the women's version, and the international version only talks about the newer CH fragrance line.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Bistro Tres Mignon has closed

ビストロ トレミニヨン 中目黒店が閉店したことを分かりました。

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Elle Varner performs "Cold Case" live

Elle Varner put on an amazing performance at BET's 106&Park.

I'm also enjoying:
And to think I used to think songs about love were boring...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Taiwanese tapioca milk tea and Japanese desserts

It seems like I've neglected to talk about my new favorite tea shop - a Taiwanese tapioca milk tea place called Chun Shui Tang 春水堂 that has come to Japan.  I don't actually like tapioca that much (I'll eat it without problems but I don't need it) but I love milk tea that has a strong tea flavor - Chun Shui Tang does that nicely!  The nicely-furnished shops in Omotesando, Daikanyama, and Roppongi Icchome all have free wi-fi too, which is a nice bonus.

Also, Ginza Budou no Ki 銀座ぶどうの木, a French-style "Maison de Dessert" Japanese dessert parlor, has my favorite chocolat fondant in Tokyo so far.  The accent of pepper is amazing.  Their Crepes Suzette and Cheese Souffle are famous too, I believe.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Bistro Tres Mignon has a web page!

I never knew that they had a website until I stumbled upon it today.

Nakameguro Bistro Tres Mignon 中目黒 ビストロトレミニヨン has a tender and juicy hamburg steak, and an amazing chicken confit (sometimes a daily special).

Chicken Confit チケンコンフィ (Daily Special 日替わり)

Hamburg Steak ハンバーグ(柔らかくてジューシよ!)
Definitely a steal at lunch (1000 yen~) and worth the money at dinner.  If you can get the home-made mutton sausage (dinner only usually) - it's spicy and so flavorful!  Even people who don't normally like mutton get addicted to it.

Home-made Mutton Sausage 自家製羊ソーセージ(日替わり、夜)

The vegetable ratattouille is delicious too - not too tart and perfectly cooked and flavorful.  The omelet hayashi and curry seem popular but I usually get the hamburg or the daily special.  Omelet hayashi is great but seriously, when there's chicken confit you'd have to be crazy not to get it.

Swordfish steak カジキマグロ
.About 10 minutes from Nakameguro Station, the chef is pretty chill and cool.  They play good music too!  It's pretty random, from jazz to Sheryl Crow to the Beatles.  Very French Bistro style inside.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Noritake x My Neighbor Totoro (and Kiki's Delivery Service)

The Japanese tableware manufacturer Noritake apparently has a longstanding collaboration with Studio Ghibli; resulting in multiple lines of products that contrive to separate me from my money:
My Neighbor Totoro
My Neighbor Totoro Special Collection (the milk tea cups are adorable, especially the pattern with the CatBus!)
My Neighbor Totoro (Coordinate Items)Kiki's Delivery Service

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Biwa and sento

I ate some refreshing 枇杷(びわ) loquat today, and being prompted to wonder if there was a popular way to eat them, I found some information online.  I didn't know that the seeds had amounts of cyanide in them!

In other news, I went to my local sento recently.  Relaxing, even in this hot weather.  As I was leaving, I noticed a Caucasian lady also using the busy sento.  I was half inclined to make a casual comment to her in English, but wasn't sure if she would be disturbed to be addressed while naked (as everyone is).

So I went on my merry way home.  That was the first time I visited the sento feeling like I knew what I was doing, and able to look the cashier in the eye.  As I left I also said thank you without feeling particularly self-conscious.  Milestones!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Would you buy it again?

One of the strictest measures for whether you should keep something or not - would you buy it again?
Would you pay the purchase price (or more) for that thing again?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Aomori Hiba Incense

Aomori Hiba is a type of cypress, a rather strong smelling wood.  The wood smells rather sharp, so I was surprised that this incense has a lovely, mild scent.  I would definitely recommend this to incense lovers (although it's quite light as incenses go), and plan to repurchase when my generous box runs out.

ADDICTION eyeliner pencil

ADDICTION eyeliner pencil comes in a lot of lovely colors but after wearing Brown Bunny for a while, I'm not really impressed by the wear time on my oily lids.
Pixi and Shiseido INTEGRATE's liners give me much better cost performance!  THREE also wears better on my lids.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mini review: Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation SPF 15 (Sand 2) and Addiction Dewy Glow Foundation (#3)

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Even Finish Foundation SPF 15 (Sand 2) 

- Emphasized dry patches of skin
- Not much coverage of reddish areas
- Definitely too pale for me
- a little itchyBecause of the poor coverage and bad color match, I won't bother to continue testing the sample.

Addiction Dewy Glow Foundation (#3)

- Some coverage of reddish areas
- A little pale on me
- a little itchy
I like a foundation to cover up red areas so I probably won't continue to test this one out.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

SUGAO Air Fit CC Cream SPF 23 PA+++ Pure Natural

The texture is like mousse; quite similar to Maybelline's mouse blushes.  It feels quite dry on the skin, which is a texture that I personally don't like.  The Pure Natural color is also too light for my skin and the color pools in my pores, looking quite unnattractive.

Not a fan because of the color and texture so far, but other people may like the whipped mousse feel.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

lipstick musings - Canmake Stay-On Balm Rouge

キャンメイク ステイオンバームルージュ¥580(税抜) [02]スマイリーガーベラ

I tried Canmake Stay-On Balm Rouge in Smiley Gerbera [02]スマイリーガーベラ and I enjoy the shiny pigmented effect.  For whatever reason, I prefer this finish over KATE Rouge HG - maybe I'm not much of a creamy lipstick fan.  However, the Balm Rouge doesn't stain in any way, so I probably won't pick up any other colors, as I'm slowly weeding out products to make my makeup collection a low maintenance one.  I love makeup, but I only rarely have the time to indulge, so high maintenance products just don't make sense.  There are currently 7 colors, but [01] has been discontinued so when stock runs out it will be gone.

A Dream of Tokyo's review is pretty much spot on for all the details about the Stay-On Balm Rouge.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Meh: THREE eyeliner and K-Palette Real Lasting Eyeliner 24h

I'm forced to conclude that on my eyes, pencil eyeliners just don't cut it.  I thought that the THREE flash performance eyeliner held up pretty well, but at the end of the day it does crease on me.  The same goes for INTEGRATE Kira Wink Gel liners, and Pixi endless silky eye pens.  I just got an ADDICTION pencil eyeliner so I'll give that one last try, then I give up on pencils.  MUFE aqua eyes don't last on me either.

It's a pity.  All those unobtainable pretty colors!

This probably means I should be using a primer, but I haven't figured out how to use those, and the KATE Super sharp liner still works for me, so I am fine with that.

K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Real Lasting Eyeliner 24h (wp) is pretty easy to use, but after a few hours it smudges on my oily lids, so I won't be repurchasing.  Interestingly, they didn't shy away from the word "tattoo," but Maybelline chose to rename their "Color Tattoo" eyeshadows for the Japanese market as "Color Ink."

Sunday, February 02, 2014

orange! bags!

Gosh, I love the look of this orange blazer from Zara.
This orange shopper also looks amazing, but I need a zipper.

This brown square bowling bag is also cute, but not quite as stunning.
H&M is taking in clothes for recycling; they give a 500 yen coupon (good for any purchase 3000 yen or more) and will take any clothes, even if there are holes or stains, as they can recycle them for purposes other than re-wear.  Unlike Uniqlo, they will take any brand of clothing.  That's pretty awesome, as currently I just throw out such clothing with the burnable trash.

These bags look like they'd be great for work:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Simplifying my Wardrobe: Bags

Inspired by The Minimalist Mom and other sites, I've started thinking more about how to get rid of things.  Composing this post forced me to be realistic and eliminate 4 additional items.  I found this point from very apt:
Dress for your real life, not your fantasy one.
  1. A satin magnetic closure purse that I bought more than 8 years ago.  I've used it a few times, but that's about it.
  2. red wallet that is too small to be useful (magazine freebie)
  3. Large orange briefcase that can be split up into 2 sections - passed it to the SO
  4. A large purse that is nice but too heavy
  5. A small purse that doesn't hold enough for my purposes
  1. Small black ostrich leather purse - super cute and looks like it will last me my lifetime.  After 10 years or so, it looks like new!  Partially this is because I only use it occasionally.
  2. To be replaced: Brown computer briefcase.  Light and well designed, but showing a bit of wear on the leather accents.  If I ever wear it out, I hope I can get this sleek briefcase:This black purse is probably a bit more versatile and generally useful, but it's not as stunningly sleek as the briefcase: 
  3. To be replaced: Blue crossbody nylon purse -> hoping to replace this some day with a sleeker, more durable alternative
On the travel side:
  1. Orange weekender bag
  2. Fold-able blue duffle for sports
  3. Large suitcase - the zipper for the expandable section has broken, but otherwise it's in good condition
  4. Fold-able thin black travel pack - ostensibly for when I might need an extra suitcase coming home, but it has only been used once for travel, and otherwise for hauling laundry.
  5. To be replaced: Black Nike backpack that has an almost unusable zipper - practically new but I hate it because of the faulty zipper -> I would definitely like to replace this backpack with a better one, but am trying to get more use out of it first
  6. Candidate for elimination: Maroon duffel from my college crew days - nostalgic and one of a kind.  Mostly just used for hauling laundry to and from the laundromat
  7. Candidate for elimination: Orange duffel bag -> storing my unused-for-years snowboarding equipment.
  8. 2 travel organizers
  9. 2 toiletry cases
  10. A sento bag for visits to the local baths
I may still have a small carry-on, or I may have dumped this as it was on its last legs.  I'm not sure as it may be inside of the large suitcase.

  1. 5 simple totes (magazine freebies plus a こきんちゃん tote) - used for my toiletries, my belts, my weekend purse, and my hair things
  2. 2 canvas shopping bags, 3 nylon shopping totes
  3. 4 wallets
  4. 3 pouches, 2 change pouches
 Next up, maybe shoes, maybe looping back to clothes.  This is an iterative process.

Monday, January 06, 2014

flan in Tokyo

In addition to the addictive Portuguese flan at Villa Moura Ginza ヴィラモウラ 銀座 (closer to 日比谷 really), Junkadelic in 中目黒 does an excellent flan.

Both are highly recommended!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

KATE rouge hg (high glam) in OR-10, LUX hair mask

KATE rouge hg (high glam) in OR-10 is a pretty, wearable coral.  On my pigmented lips it seems moderately pigmented.  Quite good value, as you can sometimes find KATE sold at 30% off list price.  Unless I find a color I absolutely have to have, this will be the most I spend on lipsticks until I use up a few lip products.  Kanebo Media will probably be able to fill the orange lipstick gap in my wardrobe, and Addiction Last Scene has my red lipstick craving satisfied, so I'm set for now.

I'm testing out LUX super rich shine hair mask - in terms of texture and detangling it feels great. After blow-drying, my hair is not quite dry but it's not silky soft either, so I would describe this as average.

I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I do love reading Miss Manners.  I just finished reading her Guide to Domestic Tranquility which I found quite educational, although admittedly slow at times.  I will need to read it a few more times and practice actually being polite in certain areas where I have repeatedly failed in the past.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Addiction Moroccan Rose Coffret

I picked up this holiday coffret in 2012 as it was absolutely gorgeous, but it turns out that it's actually a bit too gorgeous to touch.  Now I'm waffling about posting it on eBay minus the nail polish as Japan Post doesn't allow nail polishes to be mailed.

Hum de dum, it's so gorgeous, but do I really need it?