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Monday, November 30, 2009

Xmas 2009: Luasol Party Coffret 2009 - White Lighting

Admittedly I am very fond of Lunasol's Party Coffret 2008 (Soft Silver Lighting). You can read my review here =D

And I can say that I like this year's collection probably even more, mainly due to this wonderful taupe-gray/pink eyeshadow quad!

The theme for this year is "White Lighting" and Lunasol is strictly abiding to this theme as all products come in sleek shimmery white packaging presented in a pretty white cardboard box. Indeed a perfect Xmas gift!

The coffret contains:
-Lighting for Eyes in EX05 White Lighting 6.5g
-Full Glamour Gloss N in EX11 White Lighting 7.3g
-Geminate Liner in EX03 White Lighting 4g
-Shining Powder EX03 White Lighting 2.2g
-White Lighting clutch

Retail price is 6825 Yen (about US$80). I paid US$78 plus shipping.
You can get this for US$79.90 on Facial-Shop incl. shipping which is a bit better deal than what I paid.

Update: Adambeauty got this, it's really a good deal there. Only US$72 (&US$ 2 for registered shipping or US$12 more if you want it faster via EMS service!). Check here!

Since the Lunasol quads retail for roughly US$60 the kit is really a sweet deal as you get 4 items and a pretty clutch.

-Lighting for Eyes in EX05:
This is definitely the star of the kit and it's worth getting the kit for this alone =)
Firstly this comes in a very pretty shimmery white compact case, very much like glistening snow. I like this much much better than the metallic chocolate bronze used for all regular items.

Normally I am not really a fan of the Lighting for Eyes series but this quad (like last year's Soft Silver Pink Lighting quad) has a nice texture. The only pet-peeve is that Lunasol is still insisting in adding that useless silver glitter shade but to add a little sparkle it's ok.

The pink is a nice sheer-medium pigmented color and the deep taupe gray has a silky texture and a good dose of pigment. The white shade is a satin-matte with a sheerer finish and a drier texture. I personally believe that a very neutral sheer highlighter is a good contrast to the silky shimmery pink and metallic deep color so it's a great combination.

-Full Glamour Gloss in EX11:
This is a clear gloss with a high amount of glitters, mainly white but also in various colors from pink to green.

I wish Japanese companies would stop adding clear glosses with microglitters to the Xmas coffrets. Esprique Precious and Jill Stuart both have a clear gloss with pink glitters and Lunasol's gloss is clear with white glittesr so there is on difference on my lips.

The glitters also feel a little gritty but otherwise this is surely a high-quality gloss with a nice smooth texture and a very glossy finish.

-Geminate Liner in EX03:
This is a pretty liner for the inner 1/3 of your eyes and inner corners. It's a clear base with shimmer bits so it looks very pretty when the light hits from various angles.

Left swatch is the liner, right is the gloss.

-Shining Powder N in EX03:
This is a shimmery white loose highlighter. I am generally not a fan of loose powders in any form (may it be blush, powder, eyeshadow etc.) and this one has some quite large glitter bits so this is probably my least favorite product from the kit.

-White Lighting Clutch:
This is a really pretty white satin clutch covered with clear square sequins all over. It's flat so it won't hold so much stuff but it would be pretty as a makeup pouch (which is the only use I would see in this for me personally)

All in all this is probably my favorite Xmas coffret this year, I like it more than the Jill Stuart one (which is very nice, too, and will be reviewed soon!)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Xmas 2009: Kanebo Kate Brown Collection

The new Kate Brown Collection isn't really a Christmas release but it's their winter release so I will tag is as Xmas collection.

As many readers might know I am very fond of Kate. The quality/prices/frequency of releases/array of colors and items is just great so I am sure most people would fine something they liked from Kate.

Their newest collection is brown and beige themed so I am sure the majority of ladies will find this appealing.
There are 4 new eyeshadow/eyebrow palettes and 4 new lipsticks.
I skipped the lippies as they all looked super pale (nude/beige/peach tones). But I picked up 2 of the new eyeshadow palettes!

The new Brown Collection palettes come in a very wide but thin case. They typical clear/black plastic you're used to from Kate. Each palette contains 3 eyeshadows and a brow powder duo. I think the brow powder is convenient however it can happen that you like the shadows in a palette but the brow powder will be too light or dark for you so it would be useless.

The shadows are mostly shimmery, but not glittery or very shimmery. One color in one of the 2 palettes I have is even matte! The level of pigment is good, the colors show up very well on me.
The 2 brow powders are certainly matte, actually only the darker color is a brow powder whereas the lighter one is a shading powder for the inner side of your nose. But I just mix it with the darker brow powder.
Texture-wise these aren't super silky, just like most other Kate palettes are but they are smooth and blend nicely.

All in all I really like these palettes as I find them convenient and fool-proof for a neutral eye look. I think these would be very handy to travel with as it's only one compact for eyes and brows.

These retail for 1680 Yen/each but you usually get a 25-30% off in Japanese drugstores. I paid somewhere around US$21 or so (Ichibankao). Adambeauty also has them, I didn't check his price but I am sure it'll be good.

BR-3: This contains a shimmery silver gray, medium charcoal and peach. The brow powder is on the lighter side but works for me (my hair is light-medium brown but I dyed it dark cassis recently).

BR-4: Matte cream, chocolate brown and taupe. The brow powders are exactly my kind of colors (deep brown and light brown, they mix well, too)

Next review should be for the Lavshuca stuff (love!) and for the Majolica Majorca palettes (no likey!) and powder.

I also got (and should review soon) the HABA kit (meh), Esprique Precious kit (nice!), JS coffret (pretty) and waiting for Lunasol! =D

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cute Etsy finds from YuraPockylover & CraftingWithLove

Even though I haven't posted new Etsy hauls for a while I still shopped like mad especially wrapping stuff, stationery, tools for my new love (stamp carving...will dedicate a post to it later!) and sure some nice handmade items.

Recently I found these 2 shops, they are owned by twin sisters in Singapore and they have seriously sweet stuff up for grabs!

specializes in adorably cute fashion jewelry (and some phone cozies etc.) whereas CraftingWithLove has super kawaii phone/cam cases for sale.

I got 2 necklaces from the first shop and a sweet iphone/cam pouch from the other.

I just love all the items! Look at the cute pink teapot necklace and the elegant champagne/gray one! They´re really pretty! There was so much pretty jewelry to choose from so it was hard to decide which items to get!

And here is the sweet cam or phone pouch. There are so many cute ones in the store it was hard to choose! But this turned out to be my fave! If you have an iPhone this will only fit if you have a hard case or (I guess) a silicone one around it like I do as otherwise this will be a bit too wide for your iPhone. But with the hard shell this is a perfect fit!
Made from nice thick fleece =D
The cozy is a perfect fit for my cam, too!

All things came in cute wrapping and arrived very fast from Singapore (just took a week). The ladies running the stores are also very sweet to email with! =D

I am very happy with all the goodies and can recommend both shops very much to you!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Your Gmarket questions answered =) Part 1

---Please click all pics to enlarge---

90% of the questions I am asked are regarding Gmarket. Many just ask in general how to order but always replying by email is a bit hard for me.

Gmarket got easier within the last year as they made quite a few changes. I also posted several tutorials on how to order but since the site changed it might be time for an update.

This will be a terribly long post (and I will still split all info into more parts) but I'd rather have all info in one place. Of course this can't be complete and there might also small details puzzling you so if you have further question, please comment to this post and I'll try to get back quickly. If you don't see your question answered please check the comments below first, might be someone asked and I replied already.


1: Language Problems:
Gmarket English is in English language. However the individual sellers write most of their item title, description, drop-down-menus etc. in Korean.
First off, to everyone who emails me regarding any kind of translations etc.. I don't speak or read Korean. I wish I could! But to help me on Gmarket (as the item descriptions/drop-down menus are usually in Korean) I use the following sites:

Google Translate
Yahoo Babelfish

I find using both together help a lot, as sometimes one site can translate better than the other.
Of course these sites will not help you for images with text. In this case only someone who can read Korean will be of help.


2: General:
As I mentioned before you should always use Internet Explorer. Gmarket can get wonky with other browsers.

Gmarket is not the seller. They just give a platform for sellers to trade.
You can combine orders from various sellers in one order. Each seller will ship his part of your order to the Gmarket headquarters who will then pack your items in one box and mail it to you as soon as all parts have arrived. Your limit is 30kg or 30 items in one order.
You can also combine 2 orders if they haven't been dispatched by Gmarket yet.

3: Registration:
The registration link is placed on the top right, along with other important links like "My Gmarket", "Sign In", "Customer Service", "Shopping Cart" etc.
Here are the steps of the registration. I made a new account for the tutorial =)
Click on the "Register" link

Fill in the form and hit submit

Check your email for the confirmation. Make sure your email displays images! In earlier days there used to be a confirmation number in the email. This seems gone now!

Click on the button and you get redirected to Gmarket:

If you didn't receive the confirmation email within some minutes, check your spam folder. If you can't find the email there, click on "Customer Center" on the top right. Attention: This is a pop-up window, so make sure your browser doesn't block it from opening!

Click on the Link "Registration Confirmation Mail". Enter your info and hit submit.
Should you still not get an email then follow these steps:

Now you should be able to sign in. Go to "My Gmarket" (click on "My Gmarket an you'll automatically be redirected to the "Sign In" page) and have a look at it to see where you find what.


4: My Gmarket - Gaccount:
My Gmarket shows you all your orders, Wish List, Favorite Sellers List etc.

Top of page:

Scrolled down:

Your Gaccount (for which you set an extra password in the registration) is for your financial matters. I will try to touch this subject more in my 2nd part of the tut!

There is Gcash and Cash Balance.
Yuor Cash Balance shows you any money that you got refunded from a previous order or money you got via Gift Certificate whereas Gcash has to be purchased separately to pay a difference in shipping costs if it happens. I don't know why they have such a complicated system but you have to deal with it.
You can purchase Gcash with your Cash Balance or through your credit card/paypal.


5: Payments:
All payments can be made by credit cards (Visa, Master don't need to register, some other need you to register the card with Gmarket first), Paypal (worse exchange rate but I got the difference refunded) or your Cash Balance. The Cash Balance must be higher than the order value.


6: Shipping costs/customs fees etc.:
a) Domestic shipping:
Since each seller has to ship your package to Gmarket there is a fee for domestic shipping. Though usually it is very low (maybe US$2/order?) and sometimes even free if your order is worth a certain amount (like 10000 Won or so). If you order from many sellers and each is charging you the domestic shipping fee it can add up though!

E.g. this seller doesn't charge you for domestic shipping:

b) International shipping:

Not all sellers ship internationally. Please check in the item description if your desired item is available for international delivery.

E.g. this seller will ship internationally. If the box is ticked, shipping is only possible to Korea.

Unfortunately several countries are excluded from Gmarket shipping at all, please check the countries list here.

International shipping is by EMS so it's trackable, very fast and reliable. You can track it on the Korean post site or on your country's postal service's site to check the status. From Korea to Austria packages usually take 2-4 business days, so if it's dispatched on a Monday I will generally get it on Thursday morning, sometimes even on Wednesday depending on flight availabliity.

c) How are the shipping costs determined?
Each seller states an estimated weight in his description. A thing that pisses many potential Gmarket buyers off is that many sellers just type in 1kg even though the item might weigh 50 grams (like a lipstick).

The estimated weight of your order will determine the shipping costs you pay up-front. Whatever you paid too much will be refunded to your Cash Balance but unfortunately not be credited back to your credit card or Paypal. This way your money is bound in Gmarket (withdrawing costs about US$30 to your bank account).
Often the amounts are small so you need to have them sum up if you want to use the money towards a new order as the Cash Balance has to be higher than the value of your new order. That is the most annoying thing about Gmarket and the first thing I'd change if I were them. Credit us the money back to Paypal and you'd have a ton more happy customers!

d) Customs fees:
Of course you are responsible for all taxes etc. that have to be paid. Gmarket always declares a low value so I never got taxed but your country might be stricter and require a proof of value, bill etc. Also certain items might not be allowed to be shipped to your country and you have to make sure yourself that this is not the case. E.g. Austria doesn't permit to receive perfumes (with alcohol) via mail.


End Part 1.
Next part will be about finding items, ordering, your shipping cart, how to pay extra shipping if the rare case occurs that the estimated weight was too low etc.

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