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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Shiseido Maquillage Eyebrow Color Wax #55

I know posts about eyebrow-related stuff are usually not that popular but in my opinion grooming and accentuating the eyebrows is a really vital step as they are the frame of the face and ungroomed/uneven etc. eyebrows can really distract from a pretty nicely made-up face. 

I always tweeze/shave/trim my brows to shape them, fill them in with eyebrow powder and set them with a gel or wax. For several months now the Eyebrow Color Wax from Maquillage in the color 55 is my favorite product for this purpose.

Shiseido revamped the eyebrow wax from Maquillage recently and I was lucky to score the new version a few months ago on eBay for less than 10 bucks in the color I wanted (55 is the darkest of 3 available shades).

The Eyebrow Color Wax comes in a small tube with a coil-shaped brush applicator similar to some mascaras. The wax itself is more of a soft cream with a good dose of pigment, in the case of 55 a nice deep neutral brown (the camera is picking up gold tones that aren´t visible in natural light).

This product is doing a perfect job in keeping my eyebrows in place and giving a nice tint. I don´t think the tint can replace proper filling in with an eyebrow powder but it gives a nice finish and keeps my brows from getting unruly. There is also no smudging or staining involved as soon as the wax dries down.

I am (finally) going home tbis Wednesday, yay! I am so looking forward, especially coz there are some packages waiting for me incl. some of the new fall stuff from Integrate, Kate and Majolica Majorca so you can expect some really nice reviews soon!
Btw I couldn´t post the past week because we stayed in the beach house and I only had a very lousy connection!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Juju Aquamoist Moisture Cleansing Oil & Syrian dinner

I think the Moisture Cleansing Oil from Juju´s popular range Aquamoist is a rather new addition to the product lineup. At least I didn´t see it in any shops until recently (June or so?). I picked up a bottle as I just love trying new cleansing oils and have nearly finished it as I like it quite a lot!

Like the other products from the Aquamoist series this comes in a simple clear packaging and contains hyaluronic acid. I like the design with Japanese writings all over for some reason though it´s not cute or so hehe :D

The Moisture Cleansing Oil is a rather liquid oil with a light yellow color like say sunflower oil. It has a nice slick feel to it and applies well, emulsifies perfectly into a milky liquid and washes off without leaving any greasy residues. 

For those who are new to cleansing oil here is a tip how to use it: Squirt about 2 pumps of oil on your dry hands and spread it on your made-up dry face. Cleansing Oil is a great makeup remover for the face but I personally like to use it as a face cleanser in the morning from time to time, too. 
Massage a bit till makeup starts to dissolve, then wet your hands an massage further. Then start to slowly wash it off. Good cleansing oils should start to emulsify and turn into a milky liquid. If used as a makeup remover at night I recommend following up with a mild foaming face cleanser.

My skin gets really soft and clean and not dry or tight at all when using this oil. This oil has a light citrus scent which is alright but not really needed in my opinion.

Overall a nice product and a rather economical choice since the 150ml bottle retails for somewhere around US$10-12 online.

We went to eat at a Syrian restaurant yesterday though honestly I can´t tell much of a difference between the local Egyptian and the Syrian cuisine. 
We ordered like half of the menu haha (the waiters had problems to place all that food on our table) =D We were 5 (hubby, the 3 kids and I) and we still took a lot of the food home as the portions were so huge we couldn´t even eat half of that! Still we didn´t pay really more than like 30 EUR for everything!

The food was really yummy though I am not used to some of the spices (like that the rice had a sweetish clove-ish taste), I had half of a boneless (aka boanless on the menu hehe) chicken with rice and other goodies. Other dishes are those rice-stuffed sausages, stuffed grapeleaves etc. etc.

My son loved the restaurant because it is called "Abou Fares" (= father of Fares) and my son´s name is Fares =)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kanebo Sala Milky Gel UV SPF29 PA++

I mentioned before that I ordered quite a bunch of different sun lotions back in spring and slowly getting around to trying some of them.

The prettiest one I received is definitely the one from Kanebo Sala which comes in a really sweet white and pink bottle. 
The 80g bottle of this SPF29 PA++ sun protection gel will set you back around 1000 Yen in Japan or a few bucks more when buying from eBay.

The Milky Gel UV has been recently adde to the Sala lineup if I am informed correctly and is a sun protection product for the face and also serves as a makeup base.

Like all products from Sala this is fragranced with a nice fresh citrus-floral scent. It´s light and doesn´t linger and doesn´t seem to cause any irritations to my skin.

This product has a light gel texture with a high content of water as it seems. It´s not really sticky and leaves my skin very soft and smooth. 
This has a soft pearl finish, in bright light one can also detect a few glitters but I´d not call it a disco-ball effect hehe =D

This makes a great makeup base as it lets my foundation glide on nicely but it´s also pretty on its own as it gives this soft pearl sheen to my skin.

I am sorry but I don´t know which ingredients are used for the sun protection but overall I quite like this products!
PS Blogger´s new editor sucks! All pics are set on center but they show at the left side =/ I hope it´s just a bug and will be fixe soon!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Kosé Nature & Co Three Butters Face & Body Lotion and Face & Body Balm and Shower Gel

I reviewed Kosé´s Nature & Co Three Butters Lip Balm and Hand & Nail Care Balm some time ago but tried some other products I should review now.

I got 2 body care products though they are supposedly also to be used on the face (but haven´t tried that, used on my body only!).

I ordered the Three Butters Face & Body Lotion (250ml) and the Three Butters Face & Body Balm (150g) and have used up the balm and half of the lotion by now.

When ordering the lotion I should have had in mind that the Japanese have a different understanding of what´s a lotion. Lotion basically means toner and so this product is a liquid and not a milky lotion as most of us expect knowing Western brands.
Even though the Face & Body Lotion is liquid it´s a very nice refreshing and moisturizing product to use on the body in the hotter months. It´s not sticky and just leaves my skin soft and silky. It´s more like a body splash with a milky *slightly* viscuous texture.

The Face & Body Balm however is a very soft buttery body balm with a slick and emollient texture. It´s perfect for the cooler months as it´s very nourishing and rich.

Both products have the signature scent all Kosé Nature & Co products sport, fresh herbal scent with a slightly fruity note.

Overall nice products albeit a bit on the pricier side. I got my pieces from eBay for around US$17/each.

I also got a travel sized 83ml tube of the Shower Gel for less than US$5 recently so it would fit to review it here.
It´s a transparent gel which foams up nicely to create a good amount of lather. since it´s not a shower cream it´s not really moisturizing but it doesn´t dry out my skin either.

I wish the scent would be a little stronger though as this has a very lovely but subtle scent.
The 83ml tube lasts me surprisingly well but I usually don´t use much shower gel as I like to create lather with a shower puff so a little goes a long way.
According to the seller it´s not available individually usually and it´s limited. Alphabeautyuk on eBay still has couple of pieces left for those interested.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dariya Salon de Pro hair care & Bubble Hair Color Kit 4A

I found haircare from Dariya recently on eBay from a range I never heard before (Salon de Pro) so I guess it might be newly released. They also have hair dye, only in natural brown shades, but I got one to try out as my current favorite hair color is a dark cool ashy brown.

I got the complete haircare series consisting of shampoo, conditioner, treatment and mask. Prices range between 800 and 900 Yen per product. The shampoo and conditioner contain 350ml each, whereas the treatment contains 240g and the mask in the jar 300g.

All of the products contain high polymer silk protein, royal jelly extract, olive oil, plant protein and L-Glutamic Acid.
I took this haircare series to Egypt as the sizes were good for me. Most Japanese shampoos and conditioners come in either huge 500ml or smaller 220ml bottles so 350ml looked perfect for my nearly 6 weeks trip.

All 4 products have a nice light floral fragrance. Otherwise the hair care seems to be good but not outstanding. For dry hair it´s definitely a great set but for colored or permed it will probably be not nourishing enough.
I get soft and shiny hair but I have to use shampoo, conditioner and treatment every time and the mask at least 2x a week.

Overall I would probably not repurchase these products. The most outstanding Japanese hair care for me are still Kosé Asience (pink series) and Kao Essential (orange series) as they make my hair unbelievably soft, silky and shiny.

I also got the new Bubble Hair Color Kit in 4A (Ash Brown) as it looked like a really interesting product.

It´s a mousse-type hair dye which mixes itself. Just shake 20 times, click cap on and push the button to get the foam out. Very easy!
Furthermore this is free of ammonia so it has virtually no odor at all. No pungent or unpleasant one at least. It seems to be quite mild as my hair didn´t feel dry or rough at all after using this.

That´s pretty much where my excitement ends hehe =) The mousse is somehow dense and dryish but doesn´t last so spreading this stuff evenly is next to impossible. I swear I put amounts of foam on the same place on my head just to find that the hair still looked uneven in that spot (while the foam vanishes as soon as you start to distribute it on your head!). I think I would have needed 2-3 boxes of dye but why bother when I can get an even result with 1 box of Prettia for much less money?

Furthermore the color variety is really boring. Just a few browns, among them 4A which looked like a cool dark brown and the color itself turned out alright...just not even so my hair looks somehow strange right now hehe =P



For comparison: This is Kao Prettia Elegant Ash which I used back in April:

Overall this hair dye might be for you if your hair is not too long (if it is short you can use the product several times so it might be actually worthwhile!), you want a mild hair dye and are searching for just natural brown hues. Otherwise nay from me!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Kanebo Media Pressed Powder AA (Pink) SPF17 PA+

I wanted to post this about a week ago but family invitations successfully kept me away from blogging! =X

I have been using this Pressed Powder AA from Media for quite some time (5 months or so?) but somehow forgot to review it as it often happens considering the amount of product I have/buy. =X

As usual this comes in a simple dark blue compact. Considering that for very expensive brands like Lunasol you have to buy the case to put the powder refill in the Media case is actually pretty nice and it´s anyway value for money as the powder with case retails for 1000 Yen in Japan. You can buy refills for this product later on which will be a few 100 Yen cheaper than the set with the case!

As I always feel that Kanebo Media and Shiseido Integrate Gracy are direct competitors and very much alike in many aspects I want to remind you of this review I wrote some time ago. Very similar product!

Anyway, the Pressed Powder AA comes in 3 colors (Pink, Lucent and Natural) of which I chose Pink.
Indeed this is a super pale pinkish white which definitely gives a whitening/brightening effect which could look ashy on more tan skin-tones so those skin-tones might prefer to check out the Lucent or Natural versions.
The powder nicely evens out my skin so it´s perfect to set foundation with this.
If I overapply it might look a bit cakey so a light hand is needed when putting this on.

The powder lasts well on me and gives a very lightly satiny matte but not shimmery or glittery finish.

This is not scented and doesn´t cause any irritations (and I used it regularly over the past months). It also doesn´t dry out my skin.

Overall a good product so I can recommend this!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer 2010: Maquillage Little Glossy Nail

I have the strange hobby of accumulating nail colors even though I don´t use nail polishes that often. No manicure lasts long on me usually so the whole process is too much bother for me usually.

Right now I love wearing nail color, after all I have plenty of time here in my holidays so besides relaxing, reading, meeting people and other nice activities I have time to apply nail polish =P

Maquillage released a series of mini nail polishes called Little Glossy Nail for this summer which is always a great thing since minis are cheaper and still I usually get a good use out of them as I never really finish any nail color before it dries out. And besides that I can try more colors and don´t need to commit to a full-size I might not like in the end.

These nail colors promise to be glossy and quick drying. And to me they are both. I hate nail polishes that take eons to dry... I will always nick my nails (*cough* Orbis *cough*) and end up with ugly dents. And I dislike it when a pretty glossy nail color dries down to a dull finish which also happens quite often.

The Little Glossy Nail polishes really give a very glossy finish (the glittery shades don´t actually as the surface is too uneven to call it glossy) and they dry super quick, about 5-10 minutes for me. Sure every nail color needs a little longer to completely set but after 5-10 minutes I can start doing stuff without being afraid of ruining my fresh mani (unless I hit something with my nails really hard!).

Another thing I notice positively about these nail colors is that there are no bubbles forming in the color when I apply the 2nd coat. Just a pretty even color. Really fantastic!
The staying power is good for me, about 3 days without chips and the glossy finish just wears a little off. This is long for me, most colors show chips on the first day after the mani despite base and top coat!
The brush and handle are surely a bit small but not really a problem for me. I have small nails and usually wear them rather short so the brush is fine for me.

The opacity varies among the colors. I got 2 glitters (unfortunately...not a glitter polish fan) and 2 regular colors and the glitters are sheerer whereas the color offer better opacity. The darkest color is completely opaque with just 2 coats.
The glitter shades are as usual annoying to remove but the other colors come off easily.

The colors I got are:
81 (blue glitter), 84 (rusty rose glitter), PK107 (lilac-tinged pale pink with fine shimmers) and BK937 (deep black base with blue absolute fave!).

I hope they might consider adding more jewel-toned colors later on.. the majority right now is either bright, pastel or glittery (or all). BK937 is the color that stands out in my opinion!
3.7ml retail for about 400 Yen. I paid US$6.50/each shipped from Adambeauty.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Shiseido Tsubaki Head Spa haircare series

I got to try the new Tsubaki Head Spa series from Shiseido the past month or so (my bottles are nearly empty by now)... maybe you remember that I already reviewed the Extra Cleansing with Essential Oil a while ago so this time I´ll write about the other 3 items.

As I mentioned in my previous review the Head Spa series is about having a healthy scalp to enable healthy shiny hair. Honestly for me they are just a haircare series like other hehe =P

This Tsubaki series features the color gold whereas there is also a white and a red line available. I hope to see a deep purple or black series at some point =P

I got a value kit containing all the products from Head Spa incl. the Shampoo (220ml), Conditioner (220ml), Extra Cleansing (100ml) and the Massage Spa Mask (70g). I paid about US$34 incl. shipping from eBay (Alphabeautyuk).

When I tried the shampoo, conditioner and mask out the first few times I wasn´t really impressed. To me they felt pretty average and even didn´t smell as good as the deep cleansing shampoo.
However somehow after using this series for many times, usually daily, I felt that the products really give super soft shiny hair. The shampoo and mask smells really lovely, the conditioner has a slightly more powdery scent than the other products.

I like especially the Massage Spa Mask as it has a slightly cooling feeling and a fresher scent as if there is something herbal going on like maybe camphor?
This mask is the best product in my opinion as it makes my hair really very soft and shiny.

The shampoo is thicker and has a golden shimmery color whereas the conditioner is nourishing but on the lighter side.

Overall a good hair care set. Still I´d say that Kao Essential (the orange series) or Asience (pink series) from Kao, too, are better suitable for very dry and/or colored/permed hair.

Shills Whitening Oxygen Mask (Anti-Sensitive Formula) & a few Egypt pics

Since I wanted to take many new things to Egypt to have plenty to review I tried out the Whitening Oxygen Mask from Shills which has been sitting in my backup shelf for some time now.

There are 2 versions, a green one for acne-prone skin and a pink one for sensitive skin. Naturally I got the pink one as my skin is quite sensitive.

Shills is a brand I am inwardly split about.... on the one hand it has some amazing cool stuff on the other hand there are quite a bunch of seriously useless products available.

I really love Korean oxygen masks...they start out as a gel which you apply to your face, then leave it on for a few minutes... Within this time the gel foams up and stays foamy all the time, tickling my skin a bit and leaving it glowy and soft afterwards. Even if you wipe off the foam it will magically come back until you wash this stuff off.

Here are Shills´ promises regarding this product:

This comes in a rather pretty pink pump bottle containing 50ml. When you push the pump a light pink gel with a strong rose scent comes out.

This mask only foams up when I apply it to my skin. Right after I stop massaging the foam disappears and the mask starts to dry down to a tight sticky film on my skin. Not really comfy but I wash it off after a few minutes anyway.
It totally lacks the fun experience of foaming up and tickling and all that but it feels rather taut and weird and not fun at all!

I also feel my skin feels a little stressed or something like that afterwards. Not really an irritation but just an uncomfortable feeling overall. Away from this there is no effect I can see when using this mask. My skin looks the same, no bright or smooth result I can detect whatsoever.

So unfortunately this is totally useless for me and I doubt I´ll use up the bottle I have since it´s a rather uncomfortable thing all in all.

I thought of sharing some pics of my trip, it´s just a few really!

Here are couple of pics of a small part of Alexandria, taken from the balcony of one of my husband´s aunts. It looks rather beige and depressive to be honest though I still consider Alexandria to be one of the prettier Egyptian cities, especially the older areas that still radiate some charme from more glorious decades of this city (think 30ies-50ies).
My biggest pet-peeve about this city or Egypt in general is the overload of junk on the streets. Seriously, someone from Singapore coming to this city would probably die from a heart-attack seeing all that junk!

Oh, yesterday we were invited to a really cool villa (or should I say palace?) for barbecue and this cute little furball is the newest member of the owner´s family.. so tiny and so cute! She purred all the time when I had her on my lap and she fell asleep quickly!

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