Wednesday, September 29, 2010

London Day 2 - Bike tours

On my last trip to London, I went on a bike tour with Fat Tire Bike Tours.  As I said in my post last year, I think bike tours are a great way to explore London.   I was so happy to see that Fat Tire Bike Tours is now offering a new tour called the River Thames Tour.  I was lucky enough to get beautiful weather!
The London Eye
This is the world's largest Ferris Wheel that is only supported on one side.

Near Embankment

South Bank

Shakespeare's Globe

London Bridge
(Yes, as in the children's song...)

We had lunch at Borough Market
This meat pie was delicious!

Fish & Chips

We crossed over the Tower Bridge to the Tower of London
I got a much better picture on this day!

Later that night, I met up with Yinnie, Jamilla, Eve, and Jess who was in town!
I don't have any pictures of us together, but I do have pictures of the wonderful food we had!!

Red Velvet cupcakes that Eve made!  Delicious!!

We went to eat Malaysian food.  Very good!

Thanks for a great evening!

xoxo, K

Sunday, September 26, 2010

London Day 1

Here is a belated post about my trip to the UK! The first day was a day of purely sightseeing.

Westminster Abbey
I was in London during the Pope's visit, so I'm glad I went to Westminster Abbey early.  There were a few days when it was closed.

You can see Big Ben in this picture

The houses of Parliament

I went to Camden Town for some shopping and sightseeing
It's a quirky town north of central London.
For some reason, most of the food stalls had Chinese food.

Although there is art like this on the walls, the area is big for alternative & goth clothing.

I also went to the Tower of London
They have guided tours there.  Our guide was a pretty good actor with tons of British humour.

The Tower of London is probably best known as the place where the Crown Jewels are held.

I'm still a bit groggy from jet lag, but I'm going to try and get some more posts about London up within this week!  Yes, including my UBER HUGE HAUL.

xoxo, K

Friday, September 24, 2010

Review: Lush Yummy Yummy Yummy Shower Wash

This is a review of Lush (@LushLtd)'s Yummy Yummy Yummy Shower Wash. This product has been discontinued in the US and the UK.  (Side note: the Japanese SA's were not even aware that this product had been discontinued in the UK)

This product is called "Itoshi no Berry" (Berry My Love) in Japan.

What it does:
Yummy Yummy Yummy has lots of truly wonderful, natural ingredients: fresh strawberries, soothing honey, moisturizing almond oil, plus a drop of rejuvenating olibanum oil. It's our yummiest shower gel yet, creating the softest skin. (from Lush's Hong Kong website)

Price: 900 JPY / 100g (Japan), 3.10 GBP / 100g (UK), 9.95 USD / 3.3 fl oz (US)
This is the same price range as their other shower gels.  In US dollars, the price comes to $10.70 (Japan), $4.75 (UK), and $9.95 (US).  You can see that the price in the UK is MUCH more affordable!
This small bottle (the 100g/3.3 fl oz bottle) is about the same size as the Bath & Body Works Travel Size shower gels and body lotions.  It is quite small.

- smells like strawberries
- leaves my skin feeling moisturized

- doesn't foam up
- this has a very watery consistency.  I was expecting a similar consistency to my other shower gels, so I was surprised!

Would I repurchase? I'll try another scent first!

Yes, I bought this because I knew it was already discontinued in the UK.  It was very popular, and I understand why.  It does smell very nice, and doesn't dry out my skin.  However, I like my shower gels to foam up, so I'll probably try something else next.

- Since this is watery and doesn't foam up, I recommend using a washcloth.  It would be hard to rub such a runny liquid on my body by hand.
- This is VERY pink.  Pouring the liquid on my washcloth made me feel like I was splashing Pepto Bismol on it.

Hope you enjoyed the review!

xoxo, K

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Beauty Blogs Backstage: Retrodivas Beauty

For September's Beauty Blogs Backstage, I interviewed Meredith from Retrodivas Beauty! See her interview of me here.

1. I see that you were at this year’s NY Fashion Week! How exciting! What was the best news (new trends, new products, etc) that you heard at NYFW?

I don't know if it's the best news for those who love color, but neutrals are going to be super big this spring, with bronzer taking a center stage. Also, we will be seeing a lot of luminescence - glowing, dewy skin that is going to show every imperfection, so start tweaking that skin routine now!

2. What was the best part about this year’s NYFW?

I'm not sure I could just pick one thing! It was so exciting to have the entire operation move to Lincoln Center - there is so much more room and the shows can accommodate more people, which is nice. Seeing celebs in the shows is always fun, as well as watching the stylish people outside the tents. So while I loved the shows, I loved the people watching more.

3. What is your absolute favorite makeup brush? (Yes, you can pick more than one!)

The one makeup brush that I can't live without is my Lancome Concealer Brush #8. I use it for everything from concealer to eye shadow.

4. Your blog has so much information about new products. What is the best product you’ve discovered so far this year?

Without a doubt, it's my Cle de Peau concealer. It's not new this year, but it's new to me, and I can't stop talking about it.

5. What do you do to stay in shape?

Yoga and bellydancing.

6. Your blog is such a wealth of information and I’m amazed at how much I learn each time I read your articles. What is the best beauty trick/tip that most people don’t seem to know about?

I think the biggest mistake people make with makeup is not understanding their own skin. Knowing what undertones you have is key to choosing the most flattering colors. Knowing if you are a warmer tone or a cooler tone is absolutely instrumental in choosing the best shades. I also wish I could run around with a simple blending brush and teach people to blend their eyeshadow!

7. As a fellow (former) New Yorker, I really love the city. What is your favorite place in New York City?

Oh, I love the city. And while I'd like to say that my favorite spot is the beauty counter at Barneys, hoping for a glimpse of Simon Doonan, the truth of the matter is that I am happiest at The Peanut Butter Company in the West Village having a big peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a chocolate malted milk.

Want to join the fun?  Come visit Beauty Blogs Backstage!
xoxo, K

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thank you! Love from Sarah

I came home one day to a very unexpected package from Sarah. When I opened the box, I got a whiff of a wonderful scent. This can only mean Sarah hit me with a Bath & Body Works bomb!

In case you are new to my blog, I LOVE BATH & BODY WORKS stuff!  I've made a post about the brand before, which you can read here.

Twilight Woods Shower Gel
Sarah knows me so well - this is one of my favorite scents.

Twilight Woods Body Lotion
I love to layer the fragrances.  This will be great, especially as the weather turns cooler.

Twilight Woods Hand Lotion
 I've never tried their hand lotion before, but this sounds promising.

Moonlight Path Body Lotion
 Another one of my favorite scents!

Dark Kiss Body Lotion
 How did Sarah know that I wanted to try this new scent?  Wow!!

Twilight Woods Home Fragrance Oil
Now I can use these oils without worrying about using them up!

Thanks again, Sarah!  Your birthday present will be shipped out REALLY SOON!

xoxo, K

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An Announcement as I sit in Kansai Airport

A quick personal announcement as I sit waiting for my flight to London...

I'm moving in mid-October.  Yes, in a month.

I'm moving out of the country, so there is a lot to do in a few days.

Where am I moving to?  I'll give you three hints:

(1) I'm not sure how reliable mail is there
(2) Makeup is expensive there  *looks at Sheila and Macnunu*
(3) I'm not sure if I can blog there

Yep, I'm moving to Mainland China.

If I owe you a package, please remind me - I'm rushing to get things sent out.  Please let me know if I should be expecting  something from you.  My mail will not be forwarded, so anything that gets to me after my move will be returned unless I make arrangements beforehand.

This was a really sudden decision, and I'm running around trying to get things in place.  Taxes, getting rid of my car and major appliances, applying for a visa in China... these are all quite time-consuming for me!

Thank you in advance for your continued love and support while I settle down.  Hopefully I'll be able to set up my VPN and continue to blog!

xoxo, K

PS:  I'm traveling to the UK for 1.5 weeks and then to China for a week.  I'll try to post about my trip when I come back, but I have scheduled posts until then!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Love from Strawberry Mochi

Catherine at Strawberry Mochi sent me a love pack recently!

Bath & Body Works Home Fragrance Oil in Twilight Woods

Catherine said that this reminded her of me.  How sweet!  I really wanted to try this since I love the Twilight Woods Shower Gel and Body Lotion.

Someone left a comment on my last post informing me that I would die (...yep) if I used home fragrance oils.  Thanks for the tip!

Catherine also included this hand sanitizer in Twilight Woods as well. 

Thank you to Catherine for your love!!

I'll end this post with a picture of a yummy bento that I had on a recent trip to Tokyo.

Also, I'll be in London from Sept 15 and Manchester from Sept 20.  Please let me know if anyone would like to meet up!

Hope you're having a good week!

xoxo, K

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Review: Lush Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask

I must really love Lush Fresh Face Masks, considering this is my fourth or fifth blog post about them. This is the third review I've done on them. Pretty amazing, especially since I don't buy Fresh Face Masks in Japan!

This is a review of the Lush Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask.
My other reviews are in the left hand sidebar! Please take a look if you are interested in knowing more about these masks!

What it does:
All skin types can benefit from the deep cleansing goodness of Love Lettuce. Fuller's earth and kaolin will act to draw dirt out and cleanse the pores, while almond oil and seaweed gel will soften.

Price: 4.95 GBP ($8) for 75 g (UK), 1650 yen ($18.50) for 50 g in Japan

- It seems that Lush UK has reduced the price for their Fresh Face Masks.  In my previous reviews, they were 6.45 GBP.  (Can someone from the UK check this?)
- Lush Japan has not reduced their prices.  Fresh Face Masks are now nearly 4 times more expensive in Japan. ($0.10/g in the UK vs $0.38/g in Japan)  This is also influenced by the recent strong Japanese Yen, making products in Japan even more expensive.
- This product is not on the Lush US website, so I do not know if Lush US has reduced their prices.  According to my previous reviews, Lush Fresh Face Masks were about $8 for 75 g.

- contains clay to draw out dirt and absorb excess oil
- contains ground almonds for exfoliation
- I left this mask on my skin for 10-15 minutes before rubbing it in and washing it off.  It left my skin feeling soft and refreshed.
- no scent (this is a BIG pro compared to most of the Fresh Face Masks)

- ground almonds can be too harsh an exfoliator for sensitive skin
- all of the cons of Fresh Face Masks in general apply to this one as well.  They do not contain preservatives and need to be used up within 2-3 weeks, or they will go bad.

Would I repurchase? 
If I lived in the UK, this would probably be my regular exfoliator!  It's cheap, doesn't contain preservatives, and made my skin feeling soft!

This product looks VERY MUCH like the Mask of Magnaminty, which I reviewed here.  I felt that it did nearly the same thing.

Pros of Love Lettuce:
- doesn't contain preservatives
- no scent (the mint in Mask of Magnaminty can be harsh for some people)

Pros of Mask of Magnaminty:
- the exfoliating grains are smaller.  Love Lettuce is a harsher exfoliator
- cheaper.  Mask of Magnaminty: 4.25 GBP / 125g.  Love Lettuce:  4.95 GBP / 75g.  That's 0.034 GBP/g vs 0.066 GBP/g

I am really looking forward to picking up more Fresh Face Masks when I'm in the UK!

xoxo, K

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thank you! Love from Macnunu

I got a lovely parcel from Macnunu for winning her contest!

I was FLOORED when she told me the prize was an Urban Decay Naked palette!!  WOW.  And there were even some more things in the package.

But the best part was a wonderful love note!  I love getting them from blogger girls!

Orly Nail Polish in Bailamos (from this summer's Viva Collection)
with an extra top coat!
This product got an A in Temptalia's reviews.  This is the first Orly nail polish I've gotten and i'm excited to try it.

Face Q masks (絶世美肌)
I've received one in a love package before, and it was great.  I'm excited to try these as well.

Cover Girl Lash Blast Fusion
I love the original Lash Blast, and I've been wanting to try the Fusion as well.  We'll see if it lives up to the Original!


Urban Decay Naked Palette
OOOOHHHHH!!!!!  What can I say? I'm at a loss for words.  I've read SO MANY reviews on this palette but I never thought I'd own one.  
Do people want to see swatches/reviews?  Sheila has done a great one.  I can try to write a review, but hers is much better!

Oh, by the way - Urban Decay folks?  This is my first UD palette, but I've heard a lot of people love this palette because it does not contain the infamous Midnight Cowboy Rides Again.  Why do you like to include that glitter bomb eyeshadow in practically ALL of your palettes?

Thank you SO MUCH to Macnunu for this VERY generous gift!

Side note: I mentioned this on twitter recently, but Japan Customs has been opening a lot of my packages.  It's not anything new, but it's becoming more and more frequent lately.  About 50% of my packages come with tape like this:

I'm not sure what they are looking for!

xoxo, K

Friday, September 3, 2010

Up & Down #6 / A Piece of Me... in September 2010

It's time for my monthly Ups & Downs!

- VOV Castledew Watershot Foundation
I bought this from Sarah, and it is my go-to foundation for the summer.  It is lightweight and dries to a smooth finish.

- Sonia Kashuk Flat Top Brush

The second month in a row!  I love using it with the VOV foundation.  I think there are a lot of reviews on this already, but please let me know if you'd like one.

- Skinfood Peach Sake Silky Finish Powder
When I set my makeup with this powder, my skin is smooth and oil-free for much longer than when I use any other setting powder!  You can read my review here.

- Getting to chat with bloggers such as Joey Bunny, Sheila, and Christine.  You don't know how much better I feel after getting to chat with you!

- A new domain!

- Not wanting to go out on weekends because it's just too hot
- Sweating while putting on makeup.
- Working out the bugs from moving to a new domain and changing my blog name at the same time

It's the time of the month to join Notes from the Toothfairy in A Piece of Me!

This month...
I like: that I'm traveling again!  Yay!

I don't like: that I'm lemming for products I can't get in Japan (Orly Nail Polishes in Space Cadet and Galaxy Girl)

I want you to know: that I'm looking for a new banner!

I've planned: to be super unplanned this month!  There is a few big "unknowns" around the corner for me, and I'm super excited!

I want to say to someone special: that good things come to people who try hard and work hard.  Figure out what it is that you are not satisfied with, and decide what you are going to do about them.  Or, things will always stay the same.

Hope your September goes well!  What products have you loved this past month?

xoxo, K


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