Friday, September 30, 2016

Wonect Beauty Review: Love Liner x Sanrio Liquid Eyeliner

I may be a full-grown adult but my heart still flutters a little when I come across character merchandise. Sanrio, Disney, LINE, The Little Prince.. I could go on! Today's focus is on the latest limited release by MSH Love Liner x Sanrio Characters.

These liquid eyeliners are from Love Liner's permanent line but the packaging is limited edition. They have 5 cute characters in this collaboration, from the much-loved Hello Kitty to the lazy but adorable Gudetama! I received the Little Twin Stars character which is Rich Black, perfect for me as I only use black liners. 

All the liners come in their character specific boxes which is made from a sturdy material and opens up into a card with the pen stored in the middle. So cute I couldn't bear to throw it out!! 

What sets Love Liners apart from other liquid liners is that it's formulated with moisturizing ingredients such as Apple Cell Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Pearl Protein and Hydrolized Silk to help treat the delicate eye area. The 0.1mm brush is also one of the best I've tried- really fine and firm but soft. This is so important for liquid eyeliners- too soft and you can't draw a straight line, too hard and it hurts the eyelid. It also claims to be waterproof (it is), dramatic, dries easily and removes speedily too.

I feel that this liner would be great for beginners as the pen has a good weight to it and the brush is easy to draw with. I was able to create both thick and thin lines easily with the Love Liner. It doesn't take forever to dry and once set, is completely waterproof. I am very particular with my black liners- it has to dry off to a matte jet black, no wishy-washy, no gloss, no shine, no wet look for me. The opacity of the colour can be built with this liner, I got the black black I liked with 2 strokes.

The formula is gentle and has a light fruity scent (only if you sniff the pen) and did not irritate my sensitive eyes at all. It's definitely waterproof and performed really well on my oily lids. The eyeliner lasted for a good 8 hours and even through a hot, greasy, yakiniku dinner before it started to flake and fade a little, which is an awesome feat as most eye liners smudge and fade easily on me.

I especially like the fine 0.1mm tip, because I can draw lower "eyelashes" on and have it look so natural. My lower eyelashes are a little sparse and have empty spots, in all the pictures above I actually filled in the left eye with little strokes. Could you tell? On a separate note, I am using the Canmake Your Lip Only Balm and I love the colour which develops on my lips!

Overall, I like this liquid eyeliner and it does live up to it's claims. Removal was fast, I didn't try it with warm water but it came off easily with my eye makeup remover. It is recommended to store this liquid pen horizontally and to wipe it with a tissue after use to maintain the brush. Before use, just shake 3 times to get the liner flowing.

Interested in purchasing the Love Liner x Sanrio Liquid Eyeliner? Check out the link below!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Lunch: Ante 1 Utama, Malaysia

I'm back in KL! Told my sister I wanted a Western style breakfast as soon as I landed. Initially thought of heading to Breadfruits (Love that place!) but we wanted to do a little shopping so 1 Utama it was.

Decided on Ante, which did not disappoint. I have dined at the Publika branch a few times and the food has always been good as well. We ordered 2 appetizers and 2 mains to share.

 Jamon Iberico with Melon

Truffle Fries! The dipping sauce was totally unnecessary. 

Duck Pesto Spaghetti 

Bacon with Polenta and Mushrooms

Everything was so yummy! Thinking of going back soon to try out more items on the menu.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Wonect Review: Canmake Your Lip Only Balm

Today's review is on one of the products sent over by Wonect this month- the latest Canmake Your Lip Only Balm. I love lip balms, I have a huge stash and can't get enough- high end or drugstore, I'm always keen to test out more. Canmake is a popular Japanese cosmetics brand- it was one of the first brands I purchased when I started experimenting with makeup many many years ago. 

I've always been attracted to their packaging, a little OTT but still pretty and cute. Most of their cosmetics have skincare benefits too, something which I value in my makeup.

Your Lip Only Balm works the same way as the Your Lip Only Gloss, reacting with the moisture in our lips to create a unique shade. This new product comes in 2 colours- Clear (for a natural pink) and Purple (for a deeper, blue based pink). I was glad to receive the Purple as I have slightly pigmented lips and anything light would not show up well.

The packaging reminds me of cut glass, I find it ladylike with a touch of glamour and under the cap is a pretty flower motif on the tube.

The texture of this balm is solid but doesn't tug on the lips during application. It glides on well and the small size of the balm makes for a more precise lining of the lips without the use of a mirror. Your Lip Only Balm also offers UV protection of SPF15/PA++ and though the official site states that it contains beautifying emollient oils, I am unable to find what those exact oils are. 

The first shot is of my bare and dry lips. In the middle shot, I first applied the balm on the left half (one layer) to see the difference, and below is after the colour has fully developed on the whole lip (2 layers of the balm). There was a slight difference with one or two layers of the product.

Top- 1 layer, Bottom- 2 layers
The Balm is able to withstand drinks and snacking but reapplication is necessary after a full meal. The colour lasted for more than 4 hours on me (until it was meal time) which is impressive. I really love the unique colours which I get, it's either a flattering natural pink or a deeper blue based pink. Though it is labelled as a Balm, I didn't find it super hydrating but that said, it did smooth out the dry patches on my lips. 

I've been reaching for this Balm many times over the past weeks as it's so easy to use and gives me a very natural look for days when I want a hint of colour. Another lovely product in this month's box, thank you Wonect!

Interested in the Canmake Your Lip Only Balm? Check out the link below!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Wonect Beauty Review: Naturie Hatomugi Skin Conditioning Gel

Although just recently launched in March this year, the Naturie Hatomugi Skin Conditoning Gel has already taken a top spot in Cosme for the first half of 2016. To be honest, this product was already on my beauty radar before the mind-reading team at Wonect sent over September's beauty box. So you can imagine my utmost surprise and glee when I received it!

This multi-use gel is made from Hatomugi seed (Job's Tears- a type of grain) which encourages skin elasticity, has excellent moisture-holding qualities and is famed for its effectiveness in hydrating and soothing the skin. The product is free from fragrance, colouring, alcohol and is hypoallergenic as well.

It comes in a large tub of 180g and can be used on the face or body. The texture is like a watery custard but doesn't drip and once applied it absorbs well without any stickiness or residue. It feels light, fresh and comfortable on my skin.

This product works by creating a protective film over the skin, forming a "micro-gel layer" of water to replenish the skin's moisture content and locking hydration without relying on oils. The official website states that the Skin Conditioning Gel can be used as a beauty cream, a non-oily moisturizing makeup base, or as a refreshing all-in-one product. It keeps skin hydrated all day without interfering with the penetration of other skincare or makeup.

Another tip from Naturie's website is to use it as a mask pack- take two blobs into your palms, and apply the gel thickly on the entire face. Leave on for 5 minutes and pat the remaining gel into your face. 

I have tried the gel on both my face and body; as a moisturizer, it feels fresh and absorbs well. My face felt supple and hydrated without any greasiness, and it didn't interfere with my BB cream. I prefer a moisturizer with more anti-ageing benefits but if your primary concern is hydration this is perfect for you. However, I can see myself layering this gel under my usual moisturizer in the colder months when I need more hydration.

On my body, it felt great too- refreshing and light and so good for summer months as it didn't make my skin sticky. This is my first summer in Japan and it had been so hard to use a body moisturizer until this came along! Even a light body milk made me feel slimy and uncomfortable.

I also tried it as a mask pack- it was a cool treat, I found it soothing and hydrating without leaving any heaviness on my face. My skin is sensitive and acne-prone so anything too harsh, drying or heavy usually causes red patches, itchiness or breakouts. 

If you're planning to use the gel for both your face and body, I would suggest using a spatula or little spoon to avoid contaminating the tub. I did not experience any irritation with this product and I'm happy to repurchase when it runs out.

Interested in purchasing the Naturie Hatomugi Skin Conditioning Gel? Check out the link below!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Gotemba Premium Outlet

Finally got to visit the Gotemba Premium Outlet in Shizuoka today! Possibly the last time I will be able to enjoy "tax-free" shopping in Japan. It took us about an hour from Yamanashi but it was an easy drive (I just played Pokemon Go). The Outlet has a good mix of high end- Balenciaga, Prada, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Marc Jacobs, Jimmy Choo and street fashion brands- Sly, Snidel, Nike, GAP, Abercrombie, as well as Sanrio, Disney and even a Pokemon Store.

We had lunch at the much raved about Uogashi and it did certainly not disappoint. It took us about 15-20 minutes to get from the end of the long queue to our seats, which is quite fast. Do note that they will only seat you when your party is complete.

Food was great, didn't capture everything as we were too busy eating. My favourite sushi is no longer salmon. Since Y* ordered me my first plate of arburi engawa (torched flounder fin) months ago I have been hooked. I must have it everytime we eat sushi now. Hello engawa (bottom left)!

If you get a seat at the counter, sometimes the sushi chef announces special sushi combinations or fish which is not available on the menu. On our visit we got to try the engawa kombu sushi. Yummy but arburi is still the best to me. Sooo gooood! They also had the "overflowing" sushi, which of course we had to order.

So much uni and ikura!!! I don't have to imagine how it feels to eat a plate full of eggs and sea urchin anymore. It was so fresh and satisfying! Immediately after, I told Y* to never let me order the uni sushi anymore. But looking at it now... *slurp*

After walking around for 6 hours, yep we were there from 10am until 4pm, we decided to head home. But not before pickup up a Godiva 90th Anniversary blend- Raspberry and Rose Chocolixir.

Smooth and sippable white chocolate topped with a rose and raspberry swirl, raspberry crunchies and a drizzle of raspberry sauce. A wonderfully unique flavour that calls up sweet memories of springtime. I want another one!!

One of our purchases today, the perfect white shirt for a groom-to-be! We managed to save a fair bit on the suit so we decided to splurge on this beautiful shirt. Each brand has a different fit and after trying on so many shirts, Prada and Armani fit Y* the best. He chose this in the end because of the feel and it has a slight stretch. I love it on him! Can't wait to see him all suited up.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Review: Kanebo Evita Rose Beauty Whip Soap

New in stores! Just picked up this recently launched foaming cleanser and immediately tested it out. Pretty roses when doing something as mundane as washing my face? Yes, please!

The Kanebo Evita Rose Beauty Whip Soap is targeted at more mature skin types but I prefer more moisturizing cleansers anyway so I didn't hesitate to pick one up. Plus I found the novelty of creating roses each time I washed my face quite appealing.

Ingredients include Royal Jelly Extract, Collagen, Rice Extract, Hyaluronic Acid and Damask Rose Water. Simple instructions to dispensing the foam are illustrated on the back of the can.

It took me a few tries to create the rose shape, the key is to pushing it slow and steady- the first few times I pressed down too hard resulting in oddly shaped "roses". 

The foam was really thick and dense, the most dense I have ever come across. It's like a thick melted marshmallow and the scent is so lovely- not an old rose but a more fresh and light version of the flower. 

First impressions, I like the texture and scent and after washing it off, my face felt a teeny bit taut but so soft! I also got Y* to use the foam (I made one too many roses) and I could definitely feel softness after he dried off his face. I used it as a second cleanser, after removing my makeup so I can't say if you're able to use it solely to remove makeup. Will update once I have used it longer. 

Overall, not bad for a "gimmicky" product!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Empties: August 2016

I'm back with Empties reviews! Living in Japan these 2 months has led me to discover so many new products, and I would like to share my thoughts on them.

My beauty regime is currently made up of a mix of Western and Asian brands (Clarins, Shiseido, sukin, La Mer, etc) and though they are working well for me, some products are not readily available here in Japan and I will soon have to look for substitutes. Exciting (yay, new products!) and unnerving at the same time (what if I breakout???).

However, I am positive and looking forward to discovering new loves. This month will be a tiny Empties post:

MAYBELLINE Lasting Drama Gel Liner
CLARINS Multi-Active Skin Renewal Serum
CLARINS Extra-Firming Eye Complete Rejuvenating Cream (Travel)
KOBAYASHI Keshimin Lotion (Travel)

MAYBELLINE Lasting Drama Gel Liner (comes with a good quality brush) is an oldie but a goodie. Long lasting, super black black, smudge-proof and every bit as good as Bobbi Brown's Gel Liner but without the hefty price tag. I have oily lids and sensitive eyes, this gel liner checks all my boxes have repurchased and will continue doing so.

I've been using this CLARINS Serum for a few years now, I like this as it doesn't irritate my skin, is light and absorbs quickly. This serum was marketed as an anti-ageing for 25+ year olds who don't need intense treatments yet. However, this has been discontinued so you can't get it at the counters anymore (apparently Double Serum has taken over) but I do have a few backup tubes to last me until next year.

The CLARINS Extra-Firming Eye Cream was a gift with purchase, it contains 3ml of product which is great as the actual product is 15ml and you only need a grain size each use. Mine lasted for a whole month! This eye cream is good for sensitive eyes, contact lens wearers and absorbs well. Not bad, however I actually prefer the Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate which is not for my age group BUT! it leaves my eye area soft and moisturized and I never had any problems with oil seeds.

I received the Keshimin Lotion as a gift with purchase of the Cream,  this is a Vitamin C medicated toner for melasma, freckles and dark spots. It also contains hyaluronic acid to moisturize whilst brightening the skin. I like it as it has no fragrance and is a slightly thick water-lotion but absorbs well. I could be mistaken but my skin looks brighter and no breakouts. Am thinking of purchasing the full size.

That's all for August!