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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Love Clover Pop Chu Gloss Vanilla Beige....ugh!

I was somehow lusting over those cute new Love Clover Pop Chu Glosses ever since I saw them but just never ordered one. I am just not really into Love Clover even though they have some nice items (I really love their blushes!)

When I ordered last time from Ichibankao I was browsing the store and decided to finally give a try to the gloss in Vanilla Beige which looked like a pretty nude beige.

The Pop Chu Glosses look like lollipops which is a cute idea in my opinion.
the have a stiff plastic spatula applicator which is fine (I prefer the softer flexible kind you find in other glosses like those from Maquillage, Ipsa, Intergrate etc. though).

The color is a pretty sheer peach beige with fine shimmer. The gloss carries enough pigment for my taste and has a very thick and sticky texture. This means it stays on very well unlike other runnier glosses.

Sounds all pretty good but what I just can't get over is the ghastly scent of this gloss.
It smells like plastic orange vomit. Errr, that's at least what I imagine it would smell like. It's so disgusting I get shivers when I just sniff the spatula.

I am really disappointed as I had expected some nice vanilla scent but not yucky rotten oranges!
So big nay from me, there are other glosses in this color that are not scented or fragranced with a nice yummy aroma.

I paid about US$20 incl. shipping. I think the retail for this is somewhere around 1200 Yen or so.

Kose Happy Bath Day Precious Rose Bath Powder & Lip Balm

Kose revamped their Happy Bath Day body and hair care line a few months ago but I didn't pay attention at all as I didn't really like the Happy Bath Day stuff I had tried until then.
My buddy Iris listed most of the
Precious Rose range of items available here
Meanwhile there are also some face care items (Cleansing Oil, Essence Lotion, Face Wash and maybe more)

I was recently drawn to their cute Precious Rose Lip Balm which was US$6.50 shipped on adambeauty so I decided to give it a try.
And since I currently have a love relationship with Japanese bath powders (Tabinoyado and Bihada Ichizoku [to be reviewed soon]) I decided to get a few of the Happy Bath Day Bath Powders (US$1.85/25g packet) from eBay as the seller stated that these tint the water pink! Pink water, must try that lol!

All Happy Bath Day stuff contains Rose Hip Oil and has a scent blended of rose and fruits (the rose is quite dominant in my opinion and smells a bit fake).
I like the fragrance but too much can cause me a headache as I am extremely sensitive to perfumes so I'd say it's not my favorite fragrance and I wouldn't want to wear the whole range and smell like a fake rose lol

-Lip Balm:

The lip balm comes in a cute pink rose-shaped jar. The balm itself is a thick clear emollient cream with a soft light rose fragrance. It's quite nice and hydrating so I really enjoy using it. My jar is already half empty as I use this every night these days.

Retail is 630 Yen I believe which is more than Adambeauty charges incl. shipping!

-Bath Powder:

These come in cute metallic pink sachets with 25g content per bag.
The powder gives the water a milky pink color and a good dose of scent so I only use half a sachet/bath. This way the scent is subtle and not overpowering.
I wouldn't say this is very moisturizing but my skin is soft when I use this.
A baggie retails for 160 Yen.

All in all both items are nice but not must-haves. I doubt that I would buy a lot more of the range as there are better smelling body care items out there.

I also got this Bath Tablet which probably is pretty much the same stuff as the powder. I haven't tried it yet though!

I wish you all a Happy Bath Day..err.. a Happy New Year! I still have 2 more hours of the old year left right now but I know many of you beauties are already celebrating! =D
Maybe you wonder why I am at home posting reviews =P As I have 3 little ones I can't go out and I am not the sort of party animal anyway... I like standing up early and sleeping early (usually you will find me in bed by 10 PM =P)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My first order from Jpmon

I checked out maybe a year or so ago when I read about the site on Musings of a Muse... however it looked so complicated and all was in Chinese and there weren't any items I desperately needed from them so I didn't place an order.

Recently I got interested more in the smaller and harder to find Japanese brands like Privacy, Kiss Me, Bihada Ichizoku etc. Jpmon offers a pretty good variety of stuff so I decided to dive in and order.

I was totally lost as the whole site is in Chinese so I was very grateful for the great Registration Tutorial by Taryn and the Ordering Tutorial posted on The Muse's blog. I think I wouldn't have made it without the tutorials.... many thanks to The Muse and Taryn!

Anyways, it took me about 2 hours to place my first order as I first had to find out where which things are listed and when I first placed my order I got some Chinese error screen after entering my CC info so I had no clue if my order went through or not. As I neither got a confirmation email nor my order history showed an order I decided to place the order again half hour later. Thankfully that time it went through and I was curious how fast my order will arrive.

Jpmon is a web-shop based in Taiwan with good pricings and fair shipping rates.
I ordered 12 items and paid 700 NT$ for EMS shipping (about US$21...these are the actual shipping costs, I checked the parcel!). You can also use normal parcel post which should be cheaper. But I always opt for EMS if the rates are good as I can trace my package online and receive it much quicker than regular airmail.

Judging the items I purchased everything is maybe a $ over or about Japanese retail so it's very worth ordering.

-Bihada Ichizoku 3rd Anniversary mask set with free gloss NT$745 (=US$23/ retail 1850 Yen = US$ 20.50)
-Kiss Me Heroine Make Liquid Rouge for NT$313 (about US$9.60/retail 840 Yen = US$9.40)
So you see the prices are really good.

I ordered:
-Bihada Ichizoku 3rd Anniversary mask set with free gloss
-Bihada Ichizoku duo packs of all 4 available Bath Soaks (hot, relax, milky rose and orchid)
-Bihada Ichizoku Gorgeous Gloss in Pearl Rose
-Kiss Me Heroine Make Liquid Rouge in 01 Sugar Rose and 02 Apricot Rose
-Elizabeth Nude Bonbon OL Style Gloss in #2 as it's OOS on adambeauty (now I have them all hehe)
-Kiss Me Sexy Glamorous Lip in 01 Vanilla
-Makemania Curvy Lip Liquid in Red Beige
-Privacy Kokuryudo Clubbin' Lovin' Nude Pink Lip Liner
-free gift: Barbapapa Silk Cleansing Puff (how cute! revives good childhood memories... I love Barbapapa!)

I ordered December 21, the package was dispatched Dec 26 and received the package as of today Dec 30. That's not the fastest package but there were quite a few Xmas holidays so I think it was still pretty swift!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Etude House Smile - Artist Collection by Robert Ryan

Etude House is releasing new products about every month... this month a very cute collection came out including a "Smile Makeup" range, a "So Lovely Smile" perfume collection and the "Cleansing Dream" skincare products.

I'll review one of the perfume items and 3 makeup items now. The Cleansing Dream stuff will be presented later.

Before I start getting to the products I have to deliver the bad news =( Etude House is gone from Gmarket! I hope it's just a temporary thing but seems in future I'll have to deal with the jacked-up prices on eBay *big sigh*. However I was lucky enough to score a nice bunch of items before their Gmarket shop was closed.

-So Lovely Smile Everyday Perfumed Spray, 150ml (7000 Won):

I couldn't order the actual perfume due to customs regulations here but I purchased the Everyday Perfumed Spray which comes in a very cute spray bottle.

According to Etude House the scent is a "Sparkling Watery Fruity Floral". To me it smells pretty average and very similar to their Princess fragrance. Somewhat similar to D&G Light Blue in my opinion.
The So Lovely Smile fragrance has a bit stronger notes of cinnamon when it dries down and a certain freshness through some citrus notes added. I am not a pro with describing perfumes though.

The Everyday Perfumed Spray does linger for quite long so it's fine with me that I didn't get the perfume (especially since the fragrance is not remarkable really).
Etude House says this is to be used on your body, as a room spray, as a fabric freshener and on shoes & bags.

-Smile Cheek Pearls Multi-Colored Blush with Puff, 20g (15000 Won):

To me this is the heart of the collection and in the same time one of the most expensive Etude House items I saw so far (I mean retail price, not jacked-up online prices!)

I really love the cute cardboard compact these pearls come in! The heart print with the "I Can't Stop Smiling" logo is really adorable!
The cardboard box the beads come in is quite large and comes with a super cute fluffy puff. The top of it is made of soft feather with a satin bow in the middle whereas the bottom is a velvety plush puff.
The only small drawback is that there are always some feathers sticking out of the compact when you close it as they're quite long.

The beads come in the colors pink, white, lavender, mint and peach.
The overall color they produce when I swirl my brush across them is a soft pink glow (no real shimmer or glitter...very pretty glow!).

It's suitable as a very light blush but for anyone darker than NW15-20 it will only be useful as a highlighter I think. I can use it as both depending how much I layer.
The powders carry a very light and subtle scent.

-Smile Lip Gloss Trio, 3x4.5g (11000 Won):

I couldn't resist the cute little box with 3 pretty glosses so I picked this up, too.
You get 3 glosses with different designs on each tube in pretty soft colors.

On the pic: 02, 03, 01

2 shades contain very fine shimmer whereas one shade is just a gloss without any shimmer or glitter.
The glosses have the typical fruity scent I know from other Etude House glosses (except their peach stuff of course).
The texture is smooth and only slightly sticky. The glosses have average lasting power and give a pretty glossy finish.

On the pics: 02 (top), 03, 01

The 3 colors are:

01 Smiling Red (sheer berry-pink w/o shimmer) - 1st swatch (left)
02 Smiling Pink (translucent light pink with shimmer) - 2nd swatch (middle)
03 Smiling Purple (medium sheer pink with shimmer) - 3rd swatch (right)

-Smile Color Pot Kit, 4x2g (10000 Won):

This is actually a very interesting little kit as it gives you 4 very different items.

You get 4 little pots with cute different designs containing:
-Smile Lip Balm (the peach colored stuff)
-Smile Cake Fragrance

-Smile Cream Blusher

-Smile Cream Shadow/Highlighter

The bottom of each little jar shows a heart or star. Very cute!

Smile Lipbalm:

This is a nice rather sticky clear balm that feels very nice on my lips and gives a glossy finish. It has a soft fruity fragrance, probably strawberry.

Smile Cake Fragrance:
This is an ivory-colored solid version of the So Lovely Smile Fragrance.
I have to admit that the cake perfume has quite good staying power and is very handy for toting around.

Smile Cream Blusher:

This is probably my favorite item of the kit. It's a very pretty sheer light mauve pink blusher with a satiny finish. This makes an excellent base for the Smile Cheek Pearls.

Smile Cream Shadow/Highlighter:

This is a shimmery light silver highlighter and cream shadow. I used it on my brow-bones in combination with my beloved Banila Co Cream Shadow in 04 Chaos and the highlighter looked very pretty, almost a slightly dewy finish (the glitter pieces are very fine).

I haven't tried this on my lids but judging by the soft creamy texture I am 100% sure this will crease like mad.

All in all this is a very cute little kit to give as a gift (young girls would definitely like this very much) or to keep for yourself =)

I have to say the designs by Robert Ryan are so cute and lovely, it's worth picking up a few items just because of them =)

There are also 2 liptints in the Smile Makeup range and a So Lovely Smile Perfume Spray and Perfume Jelly available.

I ordered some other items (Cleansing Dream Moist Cleansing Oil, Soft Foam Cleanser and their new Rich Butter Hand Cream and got a load of freebies (a huge hand mirror and various skincare and body care kits in good sizes like 25-60ml/item).
I really hope so much Etude House will continue selling on Gmarket!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Xmas 2008: Laneige The Snow Eye Palette #1 and Shimmer Brighter

Today I'll review the last bunch of Xmas stuff.
Poo, I'm done with Xmas, I am so ready for Spring makeup! (and already indulged in some!)

Anyways, the Laneige stuff was the last I got as I waited for Etude House to list their new Smile collection on Gmarket before I ordered the Laneige. (To my shock I discovered that now there is no Etude House shop on Gmarket anymore! I hope they'll relist soon!)

I ordered the face highlighter called "The Snow Shimmer Brighter" and the "The Snow Eye Palette" in #1 as #2 (pink/wine) looked totally unflattering for me.

First off, the compacts are adorable! They're made of a matte black plastic adorned with black velvet snowflakes. Very pretty!
The compacts are a bit bulkier as the blush brush/eyeshadow applicators are below the actual powders in a small compartment.

-The Snow Eye Palette #1:

Honestly this is such a disappointment! The colors are just really ugly and don't work well together. The texture is horribly crumbly and rough in the 2 lighter shades and the darkest shade is very sheer and requires quite some layering.
This contains a dark navy (I hate these kind of blues, they look like s*it on me), a yellow gold and white.

Judging from the pics I thought the darkest shade is a dark gray =(
The snowflake arrangement of the shadows is so cute but inconvenient in my opinion.

I paid about US$21 for this on Gmarket (27300 Won). It's not worth it in my opinion.
Last year's Laneige Xmas palette was a hit though! 9 beautiful metallic/shimmery colors to play with!
Here are pics (click here and here)

-The Snow Shimmer Brighter:

This item is way better and prettier than the Eye Palette. The Shimmer Brighter features pastel colored snowflakes on a white background. All colors blend to a beautiful soft glowy sheer white highlighter.

The texture is soft and silky and there is no crumbling.

The shimmer pieces are very small so you will not get a disco-ball effect.
I paid 30300 Won (about US$23)

Banila Co Winter 2008: Love Holic Palette Shadow

Banila Co is really amazing me with their gorgeous releases for the previous months!
First they scored a real winner with their taupe and neutral brown based De La Couture collection then they put out the fantastic The Secret Glam collection and now they're bringing us the Love Holic Collection which features among other items the third 6-pan Palette Shadow.

All 3 collections are listed as "Winter 2008" looks. Wow, what a load of new stuff!

The Love Holic collection features soft pastels, pinks and purples to create a soft feminine look.
I have to say the Love Holic is probably the least alluring collection as most of the items aren't really for me.

The Love Holic items are: 2 new Two Eyes Shadow duos (gold/silver and warm pink brown/light pink), 3 loose eyeshadows in pink, white and silver, a pearl mascara (I think I will get this as it has a comb applicator!), clear mascara, silver liquid eyeliner, 2 blushes, 3 glosses and 2 lipsticks.

However the star of the collection is definitely the Palette Shadow in F03 Love Holic.

The case is a sturdy red metal case with Love Holic written all over it.
The shadows in the palette are pigmented and silky with a pretty shimmery/pearly finish.
However there are 4 pastels in the palette and unfortunately they all look quite alike so out of the 3 palettes this is the least versatile in my opinion. I can't do pastels around my eyes as that totally washes me out and I just look weird and tired.

However the 2 purples in the palette are very pretty and can be combined with either of the highlighters.

The colors are:

cool blue-toned purple (which is very unique in my collection. I am quite sure I have no other color like this), white, pale pink (almost white), satin lavender (less shimmery and less pigmented than the other colors), light cream and purpley pink (this has more of a metallic finish and is one of the few pinks I can actually wear on my lids without looking ill).

I paid US$25, about the same I paid for the other palettes. The retail price is 22000 Won (about US$17 right now). I got this from seller rumistyle on eBay (but the palette was a special request as it's not listed in the store).

I hope Banila Co will continue releasing those beautiful handy palettes! They come up with really pretty color combos so I am looking forward to their next releases!

Spring 2009: Esprique Precious True Impact Eyes T1 & T3

I am quite a fan of Beaute de Kose Esprique Precious as they have some truly gorgeous items in their range. E.g. their gel liners (teal and the metallic purple/gray one), their lipsticks and also their eyeshadows are really good quality.

So for me it was certain that I wanted to try out their new eyeshadow quads for Spring called "True Impact Eyes". The True Impact Eyes comes in 4 colors of which 2 caught my eye: T-1 (a brown/pink combo) and T-3 (pink/purples).
The texture is a bit rough and makes the shadows a bit harder to blend unlike their previous palettes which contained very silky shadows.

2 of the shadows are super sheer (the lighter shades) but the 2 main colors are well pigmented, especially the liner.
I believe the matte base shade on the bottom of the quad is a cream shade but it has a weird texture, somewhere between cream and powder.

I really love that the shadows have a quite pretty shimmery finish so they're not dull or boring at all.
The staying power leaves a little to be desired. I experienced slight creasing and fading after about 4 hours of wearing the purple quad (but none with the T-1 quad even though I used the same base).


This is a combo of a white base, peachy pink, warm pink brown and very deep brown.

This looks quite pretty. Oddly on my swatch pic the 2nd darkest shade looks like a muddy brown but it's more of a pinky taupe when applied on my eye.


White base, baby pink, warm lilac and deep dark blue-toned purple.

The lilac turns pink on me so I can't use this on my lid. I love the darkest purple as it's very gorgeous but all in all the quad has poorer staying power and is a bit harder in texture than T-1.

All in all these quads aren't the best release from Esprique Precious and for 3675 Yen they should be much better in my opinion.
I'd rather pick up a new Aube Couture quad!

Thanks to my friend Iris I only paid retail for the quads =)

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