Saturday, June 30, 2012

Weekly Reads #65: June 30, 2012

Unfortunately, things were a little slow on my google reader this past week. There are some weeks when it seems that everyone is posting innovative, exciting posts. Then there are others where I keep seeing the same press releases for a new product launch. Oh well!

What were your favorite posts this week?

Connect with me!
I love chatting and connecting with people, and sharing interesting stuff around the web!

You can also subscribe to Cosmeddicted through the feedemail, or Bloglovin!

xoxo, K

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel - the moisturizer that sells every 3.5 seconds

This is a review for the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. 

This is an oil-free version of the famous yellow moisturizer from Clinique.

What it does: (from clinique.com)
The oil-free moisture "drink" developed by Clinique's dermatologists to maintain optimal moisture balance for skins comfortable in the cheeks but oily in the T-zone or oily all over. Oil-free formula softens, smooths, improves. 
 
Price: $13.00 for 1.7 oz (50ml) or $24.50 for 4.2 oz (125 ml)
As posted on Clinique:s website: 1.7 oz. product is packaged in a tube; 4.2 oz. is packaged with a pump. The pump will not fit on the cap-top lotion version.

Pros:
  • This is a pretty basic moisturizer. It simply hydrates your skin - nothing more, nothing less.
  • This is a light moisturizer for normal to oily skin. 
  • Absorbs easily into the skin, does not leave my skin feeling sticky
  • The pump packaging keeps the product sanitary
Cons:
  • Again, this is a pretty basic moisturizer. If you are looking for your moisturizer to do something more, this is not the product for you
  • If there is little product in the bottle, it will be very hard to pump out.  On the other hand, the pump can be removed, so it is possible to use up all of the product.
Would I repurchase?  No. This is a great basic moisturizer, but I'm always looking for some added benefit such as retinoids or vitamin C.


How do you like top picture? I am experimenting with how I take pictures for my blog.  Which picture do you like better?

"Normal" Cosmeddicted picture
Product on its side, on a white background.
(Please disregard the darkness of this picture)

"New" Cosmeddicted picture
Bottle upright, in front of other products

The "Traditional" picture is simpler, but I'm wondering if it is a little boring.  It is sometimes hard for me to prevent shadows or reflections since I have only overhead lighting.

Please let me know what you think!

Hope you enjoy this review!

xoxo, K

Monday, June 25, 2012

Dragon Boat Festival and what to eat

This past weekend was Dragon Boat Festival, which is a public holiday here in China since 2008.  It is a day to eat Zongzi (rice wrapped in bamboo leaves with yummy things inside).

I blogged about this festival last year as well. In Northern China, most people like to eat sweet zongzi, which contain things such as red bean paste or whole jujubes.  In Southern China, most people enjoy savory zongzi, containing meat or chestnuts.

In Japan, there is a similar food called chimaki.  Chuka chimaki (literally, "Chinese Zongzi". the character for chimaki and zongzi is the same, "粽") is always savory - I have never had sweet chimaki in Japan. 

Many people buy zongzi, but someone gifted me a bag of homemade ones!

This person gave me like 20 of these, that his mother made!  How thoughtful!


Some of them contained red bean paste, like this one. Others contained whole jujubes.

Last year, I posted that I prefer savory ones. I have since learned that since most people don't eat/make the savory ones where I live, the sweet ones tend to be tastier.  Just another example of how local food is usually better!

Hope you enjoyed this peek into my life!

xoxo, K

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Weekly Reads #64: June 23, 2012



Connect with me!
I love chatting and connecting with people, and sharing interesting stuff around the web!

You can also subscribe to Cosmeddicted through the feedemail, or Bloglovin!

xoxo, K

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: Stila One Step Correct Primer - A 3-in-1 product!

This is a review of the Stila One Step Correct Primer. I bought this when I was in Hawaii.

What it does: (from Sephora.com)
An innovative, three-in-one serum that contains three color-correcting, moisturizing brighteners for flawless looking skin. The newest addition to Stila's One Step category, One Step Correct is a ground-breaking, triple-swirled helix serum that instantly color corrects, brightens, primes, and nourishes the skin. On top of the immediately gratifying benefits, the infusion of Stila's exclusive Youth Revival Bio-Available Mineral Complex™ improves skintone, evens out the complexion, and helps smooth fine lines and wrinkles.

As you can see from the bottle, this primer contains 3 color correcting pigments suspended in a clear base. 

Price: $36 for 1 oz. Pricey!

Pros:
  • This primer feels very light on my skin. It does not feel silicone-y, sticky, or oily
  • My face looked fresher (hopefully from the color correcting), even though it was not obviously green, purple, or pink
Cons:
  • This does not make my makeup last longer. Granted, that is not one of the claims of this product.
  • This bottle lasted me about one month. In my mind, $36 is too expensive for me to repurchase each month

Would I repurchase?  No.  Honestly, it is just too expensive.  Also, I don't think that there is anyone who actually needs all 3 color correctors. Green is for redness, purple is for sallowness, and pink is to make look brighter. If your face is generally reddish, do you need pink in your primer? Yes, some people may need it in different areas, but it would probably be a better idea to use 2 different color correctors on different parts of your face.

Considering the price, I guess I was looking for a miracle product.  Unfortunately, this was not it!

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

Monday, June 18, 2012

How to find out when iPhone/iPad apps are discounted

Last week, I posted about a few of my favorite apps.  I've always been very wary of paid apps, especially since many iPad apps tend to be $5 or more.

Apps tend to be discounted sometimes. But how can you find out when the app you want is discounted?  For this, I like to use AppShopper.


AppShopper (free)
AppShopper is an app to keep you up to date on App Store updates, freebies, and discounts. Create a wish list, and it will provide push notifications on when the app has been updated, discounted, or the price has increased.

As you can see from this screen shot, most apps do get discounted sometimes.  I also like to use the app activity screen to see how frequently an app gets discounted or updated.


I'm always on the look out for a new and interesting apps. Please let me know if you have any recommendations!

xoxo, K

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Weekly Reads #63: June 16, 2012



Connect with me!
I love chatting and connecting with people, and sharing interesting stuff around the web!

You can also subscribe to Cosmeddicted through the feedemail, or Bloglovin!

xoxo, K

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Favorite iPhone / iPad apps

Since getting my first iPhone 2 years ago, and getting my first iPad just a month or so ago, I have really been enjoying different apps. I rely on my friends' recommendations for apps, so please share any favorites that you have!

Here are my favorite iPhone apps. I've excluded any games because this really depends on your preferences!


Social Media


Twitter (free)
I use the normal Twitter app because it is now integrated with iOS5. Some people prefer to use other Twitter apps. A must have for chatting with blogger friends!



Facebook (free)
Another staple to keep in touch with friends. Unfortunately, this app does not let me switch between different accounts seamlessly.



Weibo (free)
This is China's version of Twitter.  Most of my colleagues at work are on it, and we also use it for events at work!

Skype (free)
Thanks to Skype, I can keep in touch with my family back in Japan.  The call quality is good enough, and it is not blocked in China.  


Pinterest (free)
I enjoy seeing what other people are interested in! The Pinterest app streamlines pins into one column, so it is great if you are overwhelmed by the normal Pinterest layout. You can follow my pins as well!  Surprisingly, Pinterest does not have an iPad app - Twitter, Facebook, Weibo, and Skype all do.

Traveling

Yelp (free)
For many of you, Yelp may be more of a social media site. For me, it is a great way to find a place to eat when I go to the US. Before I travel, I will read reviews on Yelp, and then bookmark the places I want to go. This also helps me once I'm in a new city - finding a place to eat when you are hungry can be frustrating!  With Yelp, I can easily find some place I've bookmarked that is close to my current location. I write reviews as well - feel free to friend me!


Foursquare (free)
I use this in a similar way as Yelp. I also like reading the tips to figure out where I can get free wifi!


NYC Mate (free)
This is a convenient app for visiting NYC. It shows all the routes of the subway, the trains (both Metro North and LIRR), and the buses for all of the boroughs. It also shows the construction and rerouting that is going on as well (which can be totally confusing at times). I like it because I can access the map itself offline.
I really advise getting a map that you can see well on your phone. Opening a map in the middle of the street screams tourist!
City Mates also provides similar apps for several other US cities as well.

Exercise

Ease into 5K ($2.99)
This is an app to help you with the Couch to 5k running program. I've been religiously using this for about a year.  Even when I stop running for a while, I feel like I can start up again as long as I start on the appropriate week of C25k.


100 Pushups ($1.99)
A similar concept as Couch to 5k, this helps you to gradually improve your upper body strength.


200 Situps ($1.99)
Another app that is similar to Couch to 5k for improving core strength. The name is a little misleading; this app will help you with crunches, not situps.

Other

Kindle (free)
If you are reading an ebook with pictures, the Kindle app for iPad is fantastic. The iPhone app is perfect for reading something when you have 10 minutes to kill! I like downloading books from Project Gutenberg for reading classics - I read the entire Anne of Green Gables series!


Period Plus (free)
This is an app to keep track of your menstruation cycles. Input your period days, and it will tell you when you can expect your next period or when you will ovulate. The only thing I wish it would do is to give me a push notification 2 days before my period is supposed to come!

imoco ($4.99)
This is a very specific app for Japanese cell phone users - this lets me use Docomo mail on my unlocked iPhone. In Japan, people send emails through their cell phones instead of texting.  This service has been around since the late 1990s.


What are your favorite apps?  I'm still looking for an iPad app to take notes. Anyone know of an app that transcribes handwritten words into text?

Next up: an app that helps you buy apps cheaper!

xoxo, K

Monday, June 11, 2012

Review: L'Oreal Youth Code Dark Spot Corrector - does it really live up to its name?

This is a review of the L'Oreal Youth Code Dark Spot Correcting & Illuminating Serum Corrector . I bought this when I was in New York.


What it does: (from www.lorealparis.ca)
Restore luminosity and fight discoloration with Youth Code™ Dark Spot Correcting & Illuminating Serum Corrector. This clinically proven formula illuminates skin tone and corrects dark spots for a more even, radiant and youthful complexion. 86% of women saw fewer dark spots in just 8 weeks.

Price: varies, around $20-25 at US drugstores. This is a pricey product!

Pros:
  • As a moisturizer, it provided enough moisture for me in the summer. I easily break out in the summer, so I tend to skip moisturizer (I know, I know, I shouldn't).  I can use this without being afraid of breakouts!
  • I LOVE that it's in an airtight pump bottle, and that the bottle is not translucent. Oxygen and light easily damage ingredients!
  • I also love that the pump can be locked. Great for travel!
Cons:
  • After a month of use, my skin looked better all over. However, I didn't see any major reduction in sun spots. 
  • This is a PRICEY product for the drugstore!
Would I repurchase? Maybe, if I had a coupon. I liked it as a moisturizer, and honestly, I've never had a product actually really lighten my spots. But $25 at a US drugstore is just too high!

Has anyone tried the Philosophy Miracle Worker serum? I want to try it, but I hesitate at the $60 price tag!

Here is a look at what's on my sink right now.  It's a mix of Japanese, Korean, and American products!
When I was living in Japan, I didn't have any space on my sink for beauty products. My bedside table looked like this, though!

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Weekly Reads #62: June 9, 2012

How is everyone's week going?  There have been so many great blog posts recently that my Weekly Reads has been getting longer!
  • Are high SPF sunscreens safe?, via Future Derm.  Please, please wear sunscreen! 
  • How to get through wisdom teeth extraction, via not martha. My wisdom teeth have grown in smoothly, but I've had teeth taken out before, so I understand...
  • What not to wear during the first week of work, via Wardrobe Oxygen. During the first week of work, not only will you not "get" what is OK in your workplace, you will also be meeting a lot of upper management.  First impressions are important!
  • Beauty regiment for long haul flights, via Lisa Eldridge (Youtube). I don't do anything this intense, but I really should do more to hydrate my skin on the plane!!
  • A comparison between deep cleansing brushes (Clarisonic, Olay, Neutrogena, and Proactiv), via 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic. A great read if you are wondering which one to buy. I have the Clarisonic and from the reviews I've read, this is the best choice for me! 
  • The hidden cost of coupons, via Macheesmo.  I only use coupons for products that I would buy anyway. Otherwise, it is a waste of money!  The same goes for Buy 1 Get 1 sales.
  • Tortilla Rollups, via Pioneer Woman.  These look like a fun and delicious choice if you have lunch or cocktail guests!
  • iPhone external battery, via not martha. Do you have an external battery? My battery does not last the whole day if I keep 3G on!


Connect with me!
I love chatting and connecting with people, and sharing interesting stuff around the web!

You can also subscribe to Cosmeddicted through the feedemail, or Bloglovin!

xoxo, K

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Review: Lush No Drought Dry Shampoo - a non-aerosol dry shampoo

This is a review of the Lush No Drought Dry Shampoo. I bought this when I went to New York.  This product is called ドライミー ("Dry Me") in Japan.

This product comes in a powder form, which you are supposed to take in your fingers and massage into your hair.

What it does: (from lushusa.com)
Finally, after many customer and employee requests, at long last a dry shampoo! No Drought gives your hair an extra day without washing. Just massage it sparingly into your scalp and through your hair, and then shake it out (if you've got long hair, you might need a quick brush to make sure you're covered). Corn flour and talc absorb excess oil and leave locks soft to the touch. Lemon, grapefruit and lime oils will give your hair a fresh and fruity fragrance too. No need to wash; just go! 

Price: 6.50 GBP/110g, $12.95/4.6 fl oz, 1200 JPY/115g. At today's exchange rate, this product is about $15 in Japan and $10 in the UK. Please remember that all prices in Japan include taxes..


Pros:
  • This is the first time I've seen a non-aerosol dry shampoo
  • This product smells like citrus, which I like
  • This is the first dry shampoo available in Japan. All other "non-wash" shampoos are basically alcohol sprays to keep your scalp feeling fresh
  • After using this product, I had a lot of volume at my crown
  • The powder is VERY fine. Even if it gets on your clothes, it can easily be brushed off
  • The price may seem pricey, but this is A LOT of product
Cons:
  • This product will leave white marks in your hair
  • This product did not absorb all the oils in my scalp. It was still pretty oily
  • Applying a powder to your scalp is very difficult to do without getting powder everywhere
Notes:
If you have access to dry shampoos, you probably won't like this. There are other products which are better (I personally liked Suave).  However, it is impossible under current TSA rules to fly with aerosol products.
This isn't to say that this is a bad product. I usually buy and try a dry shampoo whenever I'm in the US or Europe, and this does perform better than several brands I've tried.

The powder is hard to use. I put some of the powder into a spray bottle and added some water. By spraying this mixture into my roots, I get the benefit of this product without the mess. If you try this, remember that you must shake the bottle well before spraying - talc does not dissolve in water.

Would I repurchase?  Yes, as long as dry shampoos aren't available in Japan.  With this product, I can shampoo every other day!

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

Monday, June 4, 2012

Up and Down #24: June 2012

Memorial Day has passed, so that means that it's officially the start of summer for Americans!  In Japan, June is the rainy season - days and days of endless rain.  I'd say that in Japan, summer starts in mid July.  On the other hand, September is fall for most Americans, but in Japan, it's definitely hot until the end of September!

On to my Ups and Downs!

Ups: There are lots of makeup favorites this month - I have been having a blast playing with the stuff I bought in New York!

Revlon Colorstay Liquid Foundation for Combination/Oily skin
A lot of people say that this is a heavy foundation. I like to sheer it out with...


Ecotools Bamboo Bronzer Brush
This is soft, made well, and is cheap - $10! I highly recommend this brush!  I like to use this as a kabuki brush. I run it under the faucet, squeeze out the excess water, and buff in my foundation for a sheer finish. This is a HUGE brush - the head is as big as the apple of my cheek.  For detailed foundation application, such as under my eyes, I use...


Sephora Pro Concealer Airbrush #57
I had been thinking of buying the much hyped #55 foundation brush for a while. Joey suggested I buy this instead, and it's definitely a LOVE!

One more brush this month...
MAC 211 eyeliner brush
I have been looking for a brush for gel eyeliner for a while. I wanted something pointed, something that was soft on my eyes, yet able to draw eyeliner either thick or thin.  Too picky? I thought so too, but then I found this brush!

Getting back in to running
I admit, this has been hard. I feel better when I run, so I have been trying. The Couch to 5k app has helped a lot (I use this one, but there are several on iTunes).
My weekday schedule, when I can manage it, looks like this:
                            6:30 PM - leave work
                            7:10-7:30 PM - arrive at home
                            7:30 PM - eat dinner (in a hurry)
                            8:00 PM - run
                            8:40 PM - shower, get ready for tomorrow, wind down
                            10:00 PM - try to sleep
I wake up at 5 AM and leave home at 6:30 AM for work. I have found that when I run at night, even with 6-7 hrs of sleep, I wake up VERY tired. I'll have to figure out something that works for me.

Downs: Crap to deal with at work. Everyone has this sometimes, right?  But hey, at least there aren't any products which I bought in the US that don't work for me!


How was your May?

xoxo, K

Friday, June 1, 2012

Weekly Reads #61: June 1, 2012



Connect with me!
I love chatting and connecting with people, and sharing interesting stuff around the web!

You can also subscribe to Cosmeddicted through the feedemail, or Bloglovin!

xoxo, K

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