Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Review: Gatsby Ice Deodorant Body Paper Ice Citrus

This is a review of the Gatsby Ice Deodorant Body Paper Ice Citrus (yes, that's the name of the product).

It may be back to school time in US, but it's still REALLY hot and humid here in Japan.  We are constantly getting temperatures above 35C (95F).  It doesn't cool down at night, either.  Night time temperatures are around 27C (80F).

When I want to quickly refresh myself, I turn to body wipes, such as these from Gatsby.

(from Gatsby's website)

Gatsby is a brand of body care products, mainly directed at men.  The brand is part of the Mandom group, famous in the blogger world for their makeup removers.  In Japan, Gatsby is famous for their deodorants and hair styling products, as well as the commercials featuring Takuya Kimura (of SMAP) and cool dancing!

What it does:
Cool down like ice and wipe away the sticky feeling!  The coolness from these ice deodorant papers will wipe away the stickiness and smell from sweat and leave your skin feeling refreshed.

-Citrus scent that helps you feel cool
-With coolness ingredients, the super cool feeling will last a long time
-Antiperspirant and deodorant (anti-bacterial) ingredients will block sweat and smell
-Papers (25cmx20cm) are thick, large, and soft, so that you can wipe your entire body with just one sheet.
-Free of parabens
(from Gatsby's website, translated by K)

Price: about 400-450 yen ($4.50-5.25) for 30 sheets, depending where you buy them.  There is also a smaller package.

- After wiping my body, the menthol immediately makes my body feel cool and refreshed
- Whatever is in it helps to remove the stickiness I get from sweating
- The cool feeling lasts for a while!!!
- The citrus smell is not very strong
- Each sheet is large (25cmx20cm = 9.8inches x 7.8inches), thick like a good quality paper towel, and is durable for wiping your entire body

- This is contained in a bag which is resealed with a sticker, like makeup wipes.  It will eventually dry out.

My thoughts:
This has been my go-to product for this entire summer!  Sometimes I use them when I wake up, and sometimes I use them when I've just gotten home from work.  The smaller package would be great to carry in your purse to quickly refresh yourself during the day.

Would I repurchase:
I already have!

I hope that you're enjoying the last bits of summer!  Summer doesn't end in Japan until mid-September, and the hot, sticky weather will typically hang around until then!!

xoxo, K

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Review: Lush Summer Pudding Soap

This is a review of the Lush Summer Pudding Soap.
(from the Lush UK website)
What it does:
Summer pudding is a scrumptious English tradition- one that we happily adopted when making this delectable glace cherry filled soap! Scrubby ground almonds and deep cleansing juniper berry oil soften and smooth rough skin, leaving it a temptation to touch (and sniff!). Summer Pudding is scented with Simon's delicious ‘berried treasure' fragrance, bursting with notes of fruity buchu and zesty lemon oils. We'll give you fair warning- this one smells so delectable that someone just might take a bite!

(from the Lush USA website)

Note: In Japan, this product is called "Mama's Kitchen Pudding Soap"

UK: 3.60 GBP / 100 g = $0.056/g

US: $5.95/3.5 oz = $0.06/g
Japan: 600 JPY / 100g  = $0.07/g

Not much of a difference there, but this is affected by the current strong Japanese Yen.
(Do people find it useful when I do this price comparison by weight?  It is actually very time consuming)

This is the block I bought, cut in half.  This is about 50g.

- Very interesting soap, having two different textures.  The dark pink part is one kind of soap, and the light pink part is a very different kind of soap.
- The light pink part was a little bit gritty, probably from the ground almonds.  I like to think that this gives me gentle exfoliation
- Has a fruity scent that reminds me of cherries

- This is a limited edition soap for the summer, and may already not be available at your local Lush
- This is a very soft soap, especially the light pink part.  Leaving it in your shower will cause it to melt.  I cut mine in half to keep half in the shower and half in somewhere it won't melt!
- Will melt in warm weather. Actually, mine melted slightly in my room during the day!
- The cherries are excessive.  They serve no purpose except to make the soap look pretty, and I'm a bit put off by having fruit in my soap.

Other thoughts:
- In Japan and the US, Lush sells their soaps by weight.  They will cut off a piece, weigh it, and attach a price tag.  In some countries, the soaps come prepackaged.

Would I repurchase: Maybe, but there are other Lush soaps to try first!

This is the first Lush soap I tried, and it was an interesting experience!  What soap do you recommend I try next?

xoxo, K

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thank You! Love from Kat

I received a love pack from the very generous Kat of Mai-Kat Oshaberi.
For all of you non-Japanese speakers, "Oshaberi" means to chat!

Victoria's Secret
Amber Romance Midnight Ultra-moisturizing Hand and Body Cream
I can't wait to start using this.  I've been really interested in VS creams lately.

NYX Cupcake Lipgloss Set

Each of these is a little lipgloss.  How cute!

My Beauty Diary Masks in Aloe and Japanese Cherry Blossom
Why isn't MBD more accessible in Japan?  I love these!

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes
Kat knows how much I love these.  Thank you so much!

Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush Lipgloss
I'm not sure what color this is, but I love peachy lipglosses.

Hand Towels.
I've never seen these before and I'm excited to try them.

Jell-O Instant Pudding
Kat knows I'm obsessed with these!  This is only part of what she sent me.  How generous!

And finally...
MAC Alum Eyeshadow
This is a limited edition color from a very old collection.  I've never seen this before!

Thank you again, Kat, for your generous gift!

xoxo, K

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Beauty Blogs Backstage interview: Jaimi of Plays With Color

I recently joined Beauty Blogs Backstage, where beauty bloggers interview each other each month.  This month I interviewed the lovely Jaimi from Plays With Color!

1. In your first post, you said that you are just starting with
makeup.  What got you interested in it?

 Really, the main thing was realizing that I actually looked a bit older with makeup on!  I'm 31, but look a lot younger, and I'd like to be taken more seriously and treated as though I'm my age out in the workforce.  (Then again, bright pink eyeshadow doesn't make anyone look older by any means, but it's a lot of fun!)

2. What is one eyeshadow that you recommend to everyone?

That's a toughie!  I tend to have the best luck with anything I have by Fyrinnae, and if I had to narrow it down to one color, I'd probably pick Nijiro.  It's an ivory with rainbow sparkle, and it's a WONDERFUL highlight color for my skin tone.
(Note from K: Nijiiro means "Rainbow Colored" in Japanese.  How fitting!)


3. What is the next new (or new for you!) beauty-related thing you'd like to try?
 I have a tendency to concentrate on my eyes and totally forget about my lips, or do them with just a nude to avoid thinking about them, so I think this fall I'm going to try to find a good strong-but-everyday sort of lip color.  I'll start in the berry family and work my way out from there.

4. What is your go-to look, and what is it about that look that makes it your go-to?

I'm not sure I've really developed a go-to look yet!  My main criteria for a go-to look are that it's fast, takes little-to-no thought, and looks polished.  Nothing I do with makeup falls under the first two criteria!  I'm still new enough at this that I have to concentrate to put mascara on in order to not poke myself in the eye (though to be fair, the fact that it's really hard to see without my glasses could be a factor there too!)  If I want to do something fast, it's usually a light neutral eyeshadow (just the one color--enough to even out the color around my eyelids, basically), mascara, and a nude sheer lipstick (usually MAC Slimshine in Bare, but I have a couple of others I use every so often).  Possibly some blot powder, but that takes more thought with my skin in order to not look, well, powdery.

5. If you could be a celebrity for one day, who would you be?

Hmm, I'm not sure I'd really want to BE one....there are a bunch I'd love to meet, but really because I'd want to have a conversation with them, not to experience their lives!  I think I'm going to go with Lindsay Lohan for this one, not because I actually want to be her, but I'd love to be able to get into her head and figure out if her lifestyle is actually making her happy or if it's something she feels she has to do for one reason or another, but doesn't really enjoy.  From the outside, I'm not sure which it actually is.

6. What is the most difficult thing about being a beauty blogger?

 I haven't really gotten into a habit of commenting on other beauty blogs, so I haven't really made my way into the community yet.  I'm sort of shy in person, and I think this is a way that it manifests itself into my internet life as well.  I want to have something to say other than "ooh pretty!", but sometimes I have a hard time thinking of something else to say and so I don't comment at all.

7. What is the best thing about being a beauty blogger?

 This has happened so rarely, but when I'm 100% satisfied with a makeup look and am excited about posting it.  I enjoy posting, but I tend to do a critique of what I've done most times, so when I'm genuinely happy about what I've done and excited to share it, it's an awesome moment for me.

Thank you to Jaimi and Beauty Bloggers Backstage!  This was a fun interview, and I'm looking forward to next month!

xoxo, K

Friday, August 20, 2010

Tag: Would you rather...

Kat of Mai-Kat Oshaberi tagged me for this "Would You Rather" tag.
I've seen many girls do this on youtube, and it's interesting to see the different opinions.

1.Would you rather go out with messy hair and nice makeup or nice hair and no makeup?
I would rather go out with nice hair and no makeup, but in reality, I often go out with messy hair and nice makeup.  I have to tie up my hair at work, so I don't really do much with it.

2.Would you rather shave your eyebrows or have your eyelashes fall out?
I would rather shave my eyebrows.  I think almost all the people who have done this tag have answered the same way.  Mascara was the very first makeup item I started using, and I haven't stopped using it since.

3.Would you rather be forced to only shop at MAC or Sephora for the rest of your life?
I can't really chose, considering MAC is VERY expensive here (the 187 is over $80 here, vs $42 in the US), and Sephora left Japan quite a few years ago.  I've only ever bought 1 item at Sephora, and 2 items at a MAC store.

4.Would you rather wear lipgloss/lipliner look or 80's perm?
Lipgloss/Lipliner.  Actually, I don't regularly wear lipliner, and I'm not that into lipglosses either.

5.Would you rather leave the house with an obvious foundation line or overdone blush?
Overdone blush.  I once blogged about a girl at work who had an obvious foundation line...

6.Would you rather wear mc hammer pants or biker shorts in public?
Biker shorts.  Tapered pants do not work for me.

7.Would you rather have a bad orangey spray tan or really weird tan lines that cant be covered?
Weird tan lines.  When I was a kid, I wore a one-piece striped bathing suit, and I got striped tan lines on my tummy.  Ahhh good memories!

8.Would you rather have a bad haircut or bad hair color?
You can re-dye hair color, and you can tie up a bad hair cut.  If I had to compare between having a bad hair color that I couldn't do anything about, and a bad haircut that I couldn't do anything about... a bad haircut.  A bad hair color could make my skin color look off, and will probably affect my makeup and my clothing.

9.Would you rather have YOUTUBE or TWITTER taken away forever?
This is REALLY hard for me!  Youtube is what I watch instead of TV, and I've gotten close to a lot of girls through chatting with them on twitter...  I guess I'd choose Twitter!

10.Would you rather give up using makeup brushes or mascara?
 Makeup brushes!  I could NEVER give up using mascara.  I'm picky about my mascara as it is!!  I'll never end my search to find the volumizing mascara that doesn't flake, clump, or give me raccoon eyes!

Hope your week is going well!

xoxo, K

PS: Remember my Ume Syrup?  This is what I did with the Ume fruits that were left over:

Ume Jam!  This was delicious!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pressed mineral eyeshadows and swatches!

I blogged recently about some pretty mineral eyeshadows that Blair kindly gave me, which I had pressed.  I got a few comments requesting swatches, so here they are!

Of the 6 eyeshadows she sent me, I've pressed 4.
All of these eyeshadows are from Coastal Scents.

I've used these eyeshadows a few times after pressing them, so sorry about the mess!

Arubian Coral Mica
A very pretty true pink.  This picture has a slight blue tinge to it, and it is actually pinker.

A pretty yellow gold color.  Light yellows look very white on me, due to my strong yellow undertone.  This one turned out to be a very pretty gold!

Antique Gold Mica
This is a khaki shade.  I did not mix it well enough, as you can see from the uneven patterns in the eyeshadow.  It does not affect how the eyeshadow applies.

Black Star Red Mica
This is a very pretty purple eyeshadow.  The name doesn't sound like it's purple, but I guess Black + Red = Purple? The downside of this eyeshadow is that it blends away if you blend it too much!

From left, Arubian Coral Mica/Sunstone/Antique Gold Mica/Black Star Red Mica
Sunstone didn't show up very well due to the intense sunlight where I took this picture, but it is every bit as pigmented as the other colors.  I especially like how Arubian Coral Mica turned out! As I mentioned previously, it is now my go-to eyeshadow!

I like to press any loose eyeshadows and pigments I have.  I seem to be able to apply them better in pressed form! 

xoxo, K

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Love from Sarah / Aroma Diffusers

Sarah recently helped me buy some things from the US!

She actually sent these to me in mid-July.  I'm so sorry it's taken me a month to post this!!!

Sonia Kashuk Flat Top Brush
I was interested in this thanks to the RAVE reviews on the internet.  I LOVE IT, and it has made my monthly Ups & Downs list!  It does a FABULOUS job of applying and blending foundation.  I'll write a full review of it soon.

VOV Castledew Watershot Foundation
Sarah sent me a sample of this a year ago, and I loved it so much that I wrote 2 reviews on it! (see here and here)
When she put it up on her blog sale, I jumped to buy it!

Cover Girl Lash Blast
Ahh yes, my favorite mascara!  Now I'll be OK until I get to Hawaii!

And some more mascaras to try!
Maybelline Lash Stiletto Voluptuous
I've heard a lot about this!!

Thank you so much, Sarah!

On a separate note, I am LOVING this ultrasound diffuser that I bought recently.

I've always had a love of scents and I used to use a aroma warmer.
These use tea lights to warm the scent.  They worked great, but I couldn't leave it on when I went to bed for fear of fire.

I've seen ultrasonic diffusers at several different stores lately.  You put some water and your essential oil inside, and it sends out a mist of scent.
I've been using it NON-STOP since I bought it.  It's been great for helping me get to sleep!

Unfortunately, I'm now running out of my Bath & Body Works Home Fragrance Oil.


Hope your week is going well!

xoxo, K

PS: Bihada Diaries is now Cosmeddicted.com!  All pictures that I took before changing domains will still be watermarked with my old blog name.  Sorry for the confusion while I switch over!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Giveaway winner! Bihada Diaries will now be...

Thanks for joining my giveaway! Bihada Diaries will now be...


The winner of my giveaway is coffretgorge. She has been contacted and will have 3 days to reply!

Over the next few days, you'll see this blog as well as my twitter account move to cosmeddicted.  Thanks again for all of your support!

xoxo, K

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Review: Cellnique products

Cellnique contacted me to do a review of some of their products.  You may have seen reviews of this brand on other blogs!

I answered a few questions regarding the condition of my skin and what I was most concerned with, and they chose some products for me.  Since I am very interested in anti-aging and correcting discoloration, these are the products that they sent me.

Derma Whitening Essence (website here)

What it does: This is a high-performance lightening essence that effectively targets the appearance of dark spots to give skin an extraordinary radiance and natural color. It is a revolutionary formulation for gradual fading of pigmentation or harm caused by free radicals.
(from their website)

This is a yellowish cream that I use on your pigmented areas, or on my entire face.

Price: $73
- Contains Idebenone
- Contains Licorice Extract
- Not heavy
- Does not smell strongly
- The website says that it tingles, but I have not felt that

- I haven't seen any visible difference in my hyperpigmentation.  However, I will continue using this to see if it is effective.

Would I purchase?
Most likely not.  At this price, I would rather purchase something with hydroquinone or niacin.

Intensive Hydrating Oasis Gel (website here)

What it does: A highly concentrated Aloe Vera gel-based skin soothing and calming formulation designed for all skin types. This soothing gel is further enhanced with the infusion of Witch Hazel, Horse Chestnut, and Marine Collagen to deliver an ultra effective moisturizing function.
(from their website)

This is a clear gel-type moisturizer which I applied to my entire face.

Price: $41
- a light moisturizer which is good for summer.  I would switch to something heavier in the winter.
- the website says that it is sticky, but I don't really think so
- no scent

- the price

Would I purchase?
Probably not. $41 for a simple moisturizer is too much for me.

Advanced Bio Renewal Masque (website here)

What it does:
This unparalleled scrub masque is formulated with bio-captured fresh fruit enzymes and acids complex. It works effectively in exfoliating dead cells, optimizing cellular renewal performance and deep pore cleansing, thus revealing a softer, fresher and healthier skin.
(from the website)

This is a mask which contains clay, some gritty particles, and AHA/Enzymes for exfoliation.  I left it on my skin for 15-20 min, and then rubbed it into my skin before rinsing it off.

Price: $51

- this really works!  It makes my skin feel very soft, and it stayed that way for a few days!

- with enzymes, AHA, and the particles, there is GOOD exfoliation!
- even without rubbing the mask in, it exfoliated my skin

- I felt stinging, most likely from the AHA.
- It smells like strawberries, which I don't really like. 

Would I purchase?
Yes, this really works!

Their website is very easy to navigate.  I love that there are pictures of the actual product, as in a pump of the essence, so that you can see its color and texture.  They also list their entire ingredients list.

Disclaimer: These products were sent to me by Cellnique.  I have no affiliation with this company and am not being compensated for my review.  My reviews are my honest opinions.

xoxo, K

PS:  Have you entered my giveaway? There are a few days left for your chance to win a box of Limited Edition Japanese Kit Kats!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Washing your face with lather

I've gotten a few requests to explain what I mean when I say I use a face net to wash my face.  I've seen this product in a few blogs, and I wanted to explain how to use it properly.

Many Japanese beauty magazines advocate that you wash your face "with bubbles, not your fingers."  The concept is that your fingers (or a wash cloth) should not be touching your skin directly when you wash your face.  Instead, there should be a layer of creamy lather.  The magazines say that the pressure from your fingers on your skin will create wrinkles.

This may be a strange concept for many non-Japanese people, but this concept is very, very common here.  I learned this way of washing my face in high school, which is a good 10 years ago.

So... the question becomes, "how do you create creamy lather?"  You could do it by hand (which I did when I was in high school), but it is a PAIN.  This is where the face net comes in handy!

Face wash net
You can find this at any drugstore or 100 yen store in Japan.
There are SEVERAL different brands.  Since there is absolutely no difference in how they work, I always pick one up at the 100 yen store.
Inside the packaging, it looks like this:

Some of the face wash nets have closed bottoms (like this one).  They all work exactly the same.

The instructions are on the packaging.

Using a face wash net is SUPER easy.
1. Run the net under water and put a dab of cleanser on it.
The process is the same for any form of cleanser, as long as it's supposed to foam up.  If you are using a solid cleanser (=a soap bar), rub it a bit against the net. Either way, you'll find after a few uses that you probably need less cleanser than you have been using.  

2. Rub the net between your hands
 You'll immediately see that the cleanser foams up, creating creamy bubbles.

3. Make a fist around the net and start pulling the ring end through your thumb and forefinger
(No, I'm not giving anyone the finger!)

4. Keep pulling the ring until you are left with the creamy lather in your hand.

5. Rub the lather onto your face and continue as you normally wash your face
DON'T use the net as a washcloth!!  Don't rub the net against your face!!!

Here is a youtube video which shows the process.
You do not need to apply as much soap as they show in the video, and you can just simply rub the soap against your net (not wrap it in the net as in the video).

When you are done washing your face, rinse the net and hang it up to dry.  It will dry within a matter of minutes.

The entire process takes less than 15 seconds! This method of washing your face is good for sensitive and dry skin as well. 

Face wash nets are a must have for me.  I bring one with me on every single trip I go on, whether it's an overnight trip or a 30 day business trip.  It takes up no space at all!  I love the creamy lather that I get, and I can't imagine washing my face any other way!

xoxo, K

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Love from thesungirl!

Recently I found another Japan-based blogger.  Meet Brianna, thesungirl!  We've chatted back and forth on email and twitter, and I sent her a sample of some body care stuff.  I was SO surprised to see a package back from her!

If you haven't checked out her blog, please go take a look  (Her "followers" tab is at the bottom of her layout).

Victoria's Secret Body Butter in Berry Kiss and Hydrating Body Lotion in Love Spell
Victoria's Secret skin care is getting more popular here in Japan, where girls call it "Vikushi-".
Victoria's Secret = Vikutoria Shi-kurettsu (transliterated to Japanese) = Vikushi-
(Taking the first few syllables from each of the words is a common way of shortening words here!)
I've been really interested in VS stuff.  How did you know?

Lush Sugar Scrub
Wow, thanks for checking out my wishlist!  It must have been hard to find this, because in Japan, it's called "Punch in the Shower".  What is it with these weird Japanese Lush names which are totally unrelated to the original English names?

A Lush Tin

Very pretty stud earrings!


(I found out later that she made this herself!  How amazing is that!!!)

Thank YOU for this love pack!  Brianna said she noticed I seemed down and wanted to cheer me up.  Thank you for being so incredibly sweet!  I hope that we can meet up SOON.  Hmmm... maybe we should do a meetup - in Tokyo or in Kobe!

xoxo, K

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Quick Post: Canmake Melty Nude Lip swatches

I got some requests to post swatches of the Canmake Melty Nude Lips.

The claim (from Canmake.com):
Boost your cuteness with nude-look lips ♡
A surprisingly moist yet creamy texture that seems to provide color as it melts into your lips.
Completely covers redness! The slightly glossy beige color clings to your lips!
Make any make-up look superb with this nude-look lipstick that will make even your skin look more beautiful ☆

Price:735 yen (about $8.50)
The website says 700 yen, but Japan has a 5% country-wide tax, which I am including here.

And the swatches:

Better lighting

Which ones do I like?  I like 02 Creamy Nude best.  The one which wouldn't work for me is 03 Baby Pink, since it is a bit too blue-toned for me.

The formula was very creamy and swatched on my arm very smoothly.  I expect they would be the same on my lips, but I did not test that.

However, I won't be getting these since I have too many lippies. I have about 10 lipsticks that I have not even opened, mostly gifts from bloggers.  I won't be buying any lipsticks or blushes for a LONG time!!

Hope you enjoyed these swatches!

xoxo, K


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