Monday, February 19, 2018

Maybelline Total Temptation Mascara, Shadow + Highlight Palette

Have you guys seen the new Total Temptation makeup from Maybelline in stores yet? The collection debuted early January and says it's "the most addictive makeup yet"! I tried out the mascara in Blackest Black, as well as the 10-pan eyeshadow and highlight palette recently (the brow pencil was unfortunately not the right shade for me.)

Maybelline Total Temptation review
The Total Temptation mascara claims to have a "soft touch" and a "sensuous glide" o__o;; The brush is your average mascara wand. While it did apply through my lashes cleanly without too much clumping, it didn't deliver much of the promised "addictive volume". My straight, classic-Asian lashes also quickly lost their curl. The black area on the tube packaging is flat, which gives you a nice area to rest your thumb while applying mascara, but that was basically the only thing I liked about it. Sadly, this mascara was just like all the other standard drugstore mascaras I tried as a teenager that left me feeling disappointed.

Maybelline Total Temptation mascara review

Saturday, February 17, 2018

One Year Later (ish)

Hi! It is scary to realize that though I've been somewhat active on Instagram, it has been nearly a year since I posted here. A year ago, I was still stressing out about planning a wedding. A year ago, I had never traveled overseas before. A year ago, passing my CFE for CPA sounded like a far-off goal. A year ago, I was still wondering if I could own a home in Vancouver's insane real estate market. And today: I'm married after being with this dude for almost 12 years; I'm itching to go back to Japan; I'm still scared as hell about writing my CFE, though I'm much closer to it; I'm writing this post from my office/makeup room in my condo.

Bunny swarm at Okunoshima, Hiroshima prefecture
And yet when I look at my second-to-last post, from February 2017, it echoes what I was planning to say here about the future of this blog!

It's still my creative outlet, and I still have so many post ideas always percolating. It is starting to shift more and more away from being strictly a beauty blog to a more personal, "lifestyle" blog, though. Things you'll expect to see this year: a series of wedding planning diaries/tips posts, more fashion nail art, and any other random stuff I manage to churn out. And one way or another, I'm clearing my photo backlog, dammit--it goes back to 2013! Whether that means just finally letting go and deleting stuff that isn't relevant or up to my standards anymore, or being a little kinder to myself and posting something without obsessing over it for hours. Although I might not be able to post so often, and (to fellow bloggers) I might not be able to keep up with my blog roll very well at times, I hope you'll keep reading. Thank you! ♥

Basically, a lot has changed for me in the past year, but I see that deep-down I'm still the perfectionist-procrastinator I've always been lolol. Those things up there are absolutely still true. I underestimated all the life things I had going on in 2017, and honestly once I fall off the blogging wagon, it's very hard to get back into the habit. I recently had to reformat my computer, and in the process of reviewing all my files, let go of a lot of old crappy photos in my backlog and was also re-invigorated by all the potential content I had, just waiting to be posted. I still need to work on being kinder to myself, putting myself and my content out there with more confidence, but I'll get there. Thank you again for reading. 

Yes, I still have wedding posts planned

Friday, March 24, 2017

Bite Beauty Lip Pencil & Amuse Bouche Lipstick: Honeycomb & 020 / Whiskey & 044

Considering that lip products is all they do, I was surprised to learn that Bite Beauty had only just recently rolled out a line of lip liners! Bite's new The Lip Pencil promises creamy coverage that is opaque yet feels lightweight. Unlike other lip liners encased in fancy packaging (think Clinique's Quickliner or Smashbox Always Sharp), Bite chose to go old school with a sleek, wooden barrel that will need sharpening from time to time.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Honeycomb Lip Pencil 020 review
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in Honeycomb & Lip Pencil in 020
In my Influenster VoxBox, I received 020, described as "beige nude", and 044, the deepest colour of the range in a dark burgundy. Both colours are not what I usually wear - thankfully the box also included coordinating Amuse Bouche lipsticks in Honeycomb and Whiskey, otherwise I might have been rocking some seriously mismatched liner/lipstick combos in this post!

Okay, I admit that I almost never use lip liner when I wear lipstick; I kind of like the soft-edged look of an unlined lip (also, lazy). Sooo I'm not all that experienced with lip liners, but I like what I see in Bite's The Lip Pencil. Both pencils glided on smoothly with a creamy matte finish and didn't feel heavy. The pencils were soft enough to impart good coverage without pressing too hard, and didn't crumble or flake bits off during application.

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Whiskey Lip Pencil 044
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick in Whiskey & Lip Pencil in 044

Monday, February 13, 2017

Looking back & looking forward

February is a little late to be getting all retrospective about the year behind us, but by now I'm sure you are all well aware of the kind of posting schedule I keep >:D

Clinique Hula Skirt nail polish - Pantone Colour of the Year 2017 Greenery
And what better nail polish to include in a post about 2017 than my closest match to Pantone Greenery, 2017's colour of the year? Clinique Hula Skirt is from the 2013 summer collection and a close match to the grassy, yellow-toned Greenery. Buuuut from writing this post, I just found out Clinique no longer sells their nail polish line?? :( Which is a total shame, because I was going to talk about how this polish is so smooth, easy to use, and relatively long wearing. (The matching Clinique base/top coat sucks as a top coat and takes forever to dry though, hence all the smudges.)

2016 was a big year for me - it was the year I started an awesome, new, challenging job and took a big step towards my career goals; it was the year bf and I decided to get married, after being engaged for literally years; it was the year we finally moved in together. So you can see why things have been a little quieter around here lately. After not posting for a few months, I thought about whether I wanted to continue this blog. I started it 7 (!!!!) years ago on Tumblr as a creative outlet and have met so many wonderful people, had amazing opportunities, and made some lifelong friends.

Anyway, I decided I'm not ready to part with it yet! It's still my creative outlet, and I still have so many post ideas always percolating. It is starting to shift more and more away from being strictly a beauty blog to a more personal, "lifestyle" blog, though. Things you'll expect to see this year: a series of wedding planning diaries/tips posts, more fashion nail art, and any other random stuff I manage to churn out. And one way or another, I'm clearing my photo backlog, dammit--it goes back to 2013! Whether that means just finally letting go and deleting stuff that isn't relevant or up to my standards anymore, or being a little kinder to myself and posting something without obsessing over it for hours. Although I might not be able to post so often, and (to fellow bloggers) I might not be able to keep up with my blog roll very well at times, I hope you'll keep reading. Thank you! ♥

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Rose Gold on White

New year (sorta), fresh new nails! I thought a simple stripe of Orly Rage would be the perfect addition to a simple test run of a new white polish. (By the way, I bought Rage years ago, and I still think that name is hilarious for a pretty rose gold metallic polish.)

Rose gold stripe nail art on white
I run out of white nail polish really quickly because I use it so often in nail art, both as a base and accent/detail work. A good white polish is surprisingly hard to come by - OPI Alpine Snow and Sephora Formula X White Matter are my absolute favourites, but I'm not too keen on spending $10+ every couple months for a new one! Shoppers Drug Mart had Ceramic Glaze on sale for $3, so I snapped one up in Pure.

Rose gold stripe nail art on white
It's not quite on par with Alpine Snow or White Matter, but it's a pretty good white polish for the price. The brush is a little stiff and uneven though, making application not as effortless as the other two. However, the formula is smooth, opaque in two coats, and not too thick or gloppy - you'll be seeing this polish often in future posts!

Happy belated new year to you all! I have so much going on lately and so many blog post ideas for this year - I hope I can find the time to work on them and not go so long in between posts. Tell me how 2017 is going for you so far! (Also, tell me your favourite white polish!)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Nail Art: David's Tea Advent Calendar 2016 (Part 1)

So uhhh hi :) School, work, and moving took up a lot more of my time than I thought, so here we are in December! Let's get right to it: I'm a big nerd for David's Tea, so when the 24 Days of Tea advent calendar came up, I snapped it up right away. I loved last year's deep teal and penguin theme so much--I even did a value breakdown post--that I did some inspired nail art. I'm indifferent to this year's family of mice, but I adore the colour palette of pastel blue, jade green, and coral. Time for a skittles manicure!

David's Tea 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar 2016 nail art
By the way, moving is annoying. Doing this manicure made me realize a bunch of my polishes are still missing! So some of the shades I used were actually my second or third picks, because I couldn't find the other polishes that I thought were much closer to the advent calendar shades.

David's Tea 24 Days of Tea Advent Calendar 2016 nail art
I haven't done any detail work in a while, so while it was fun to do the numbers in gold, I was definitely rusty. My favourite brush is a super long, fine eBay nail art brush that I hand-trimmed with a single edge razor to be even finer.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Colourpop Lippie Stix in Luau

The weather is finally heating up in Vancouver, so now feels around the right time to post about bright, summery lipstick! I placed a Colourpop order a long, long time ago to check out what all the buzz was about, and limited myself to buying just 3 Lippie Stix and 3 Lippie Pencils, one of which was Luau Lippie Stix. This true orange shade in Colourpop's hyper glossy finish was intended to be the replacement for Androgyne, the true orange OCC Lip Tar Stained Gloss that I kinda loved but ultimately returned because of the low coverage and patchiness.

Colourpop Lippie Stix
Colourpop Lippie Stix in Luau, Lumiere, Toucan
Surprisingly, I peeked out of my comfort zone to pick up some non-berry/purply shades: Lumiere, a matte mauve, and Toucan, a matte, bright red coral.

Colourpop Lippie Stix
Luau is the truest orange in my collection--everything else I own has a little bit of coral/pink in it, including Annabelle Orange Pop. I was pleased to see that the pigmentation and coverage was much better than OCC Androgyne. The bluish tones in my lips tone down the bright orange a little, making it slightly more muted than I think it would be on an average person. But you can see it's still quite bright in the photo below:

Colourpop Lippie Stix Luau swatch & review
I do love my mattes and semi-mattes but this super glossy finish on Luau is so pretty! If possible, it's even brighter and shinier in person.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

LUSH Popcorn Lip Scrub

You folks know how much I loved LUSH's The Kiss lip scrub--it was one of my favourite products of 2015! After such a good, lip-smoothing experience, I wanted to try another lip scrub, this time from their permanent (available all-year) range. Popcorn was the obvious winner, because who doesn't love popcorn?

LUSH Popcorn lip scrub review
Popcorn lip scrub gets its name from the inclusion of corn meal in the formula to help scrub off dead flakes, along with castor sugar and fine sea salt. The coconut oil and jojoba oil from the scrub also help keep lips moisturized. I love the sweet and salty smell, like salted caramel corn, and similar to LUSH Let The Good Times Roll cleanser.

LUSH Popcorn lip scrub review
While the sprinkles and hearts in The Kiss were cute and very Valentines-appropriate, they didn't do much for my lips; Popcorn is way more functional without that stuff. The ingredients list does include fizzy candy, but I've never noticed it and am not sure it does anything. At least it doesn't get in the way of a good lip scrubbing! The pale yellow scrub does not leave any tint behind.

I use a clean, dry, cosmetic spatula or similar tool to pick up and deposit a pea-sized amount of the scrub on the back of my hand and work it into my lips with my fingers. I avoid scooping product from the jar with wet fingers because the moisture can cause the scrub to clump up. I use it weekly (because lazy) but it can be used more frequently if needed. Lastly, although you can lick off the product when you're done (due to the edible ingredients), I prefer to just gently rinse it off.

It's perfect for prepping lips, especially before using a matte lipstick for smooth, even application. Lately, my favourite combination is to use Popcorn and then apply SkinCeuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair. Smoothest lips ever, seriously.

In addition to Popcorn, LUSH also has Bubblegum and Mint Julips available year-round, but I think I love Popcorn too much to stray. Which one would you use to keep your lips flake-free?


Available at LUSH: $9.95 CAD / 25g

Ingredients: castor sugar, organic jojoba oil (Simmondsia chinensis), fine sea salt (Sodium chloride), corn meal (Zea mays), extra virgin coconut oil (Cocos nucifera), fizzy candy (isomalt, lycasin, carbon dioxide), flavor

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