Autumn Look with Shu Uemura, Addiction and Lunasol

L'oreal InfallibleAs you may know, right now I’m trying to pare down my stash. I started with taupes, and now I’m moving on to my other eyeshadows to see which ones make the cut. This week, I decided to try some rusty red browns – I tend to avoid them like the plague usually because I find hints of red just bring out the surface redness in my skin and around my eyes and I look a little…sickly. (Don’t ask why I have so many if I’m apparently so terrified of them – put it down to fits of madness)

So I fully went into this look expecting to look…sick chic. (pronounced ‘sick sheek’ or ‘sick chick’? – You decide!)

But actually I was pleasantly surprised. Although it did strike me as a little odd that I’d matched my eyeshadow to my hair.


For my face and brows I used:

Face and Brow Products

  • Brushes: Hakuhodo B505BkSl, Hakuhodo G5521, and Laura Mercier Concealer brush (not pictured)
  • Brows: Shu Uemura Hard 9 Pencil in Walnut Brown, Clarins Double Fix Mascara
  • Base: Maybelline Pure BB Mineral 8 in 1 BB Base (Jp version), Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque, Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage SC1
  • Colour: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pearl, Chanel Notorious Ombre Contraste, Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzer Antigua

For eyes and lips:

Eyes and lips

  • Brushes: All Hakuhodo: 235, Kokutan Eyeshadow SL, G5515BkSl, S142 (black handle)
  • Mascara (not pictured): Tiffa Volume Mascara
  • Eyeshadow: L’oreal Infallible Bronze Divine, Addiction Fudge (on the lid), Shu Uemura ME Medium Brown 885 (outer corner, crease, liner), Shu Uemura P Pink 125 (inner corner highlight)
  • Lips: Lunasol Full Glam Liquid Lips 06 Bright Pink



So, while I started out this look fully intending to purge my red-browns, I actually ended up loving them and I’ll definitely be reaching for them more often.

Are there any products that have surprised you recently? Any new colours you’ve found that suit you better than you expected?

Adventures in Minimalism: Purging the Taupes a.k.a. insert taupe pun here

Taupe on a rope? Taupal eclipse? The audacity of taupe? Please submit your taupe puns in the comments section – we will have a pun-off.

Ok so some of you may have seen my stash photo on twitter:

Stash full

(Incidentally Adobe Photoshop’s panorama stitching is wizardry – apart from a dodgy Shu eyeshadow, you’d never tell this was two photos stitched together)

Now by some people’s standards this is just a little pygmy stash, but the size doesn’t bother me too much, it’s more the huge waste – there are so many products here that I just don’t use!

So now I’m embarking on a minimalist adventure, purging anything that, in the words of William Morris, I ‘do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’ (smart man, also do you know you can get William Morris tablecloths – what did this guy NOT do?).

To start with, let’s have a look at all my taupes.

And with labels:

A LOT of Asian eyeshadows here, and almost half are drugstore, which is nice. Most brands you will have heard of before, Dodo may be new to some folks – I don’t know a whole lot about the brand actually, I think it’s Korean and I know it’s quite reasonably priced; I bought this eyeshadow in a Japanese drugstore for about £4.

First we have: Visee Glam Nude Eyes N-5 (reviewed here), Suqqu Keshizumi, Addiction Flashback, Sonia Rykiel Quatre Eyeshadow Collection 09, Dodo P20, Lancôme Erika F.

It seems in my absence I’ve forgotten how to take good photos of swatches, so bear with me.

Lancôme Erika F (far right) pushes the definition of taupe, and as you can see, my skin pulls out the grey and green in it. In reviews of it by other bloggers, it often looks like a much closer relative to the taupe family than it does on me.

My favourites from this group are the Sonia Rykiel (3rd from the right) and the Suqqu (2nd from the left). I love how purple and cool the Sonia Rykiel is, and the coolness of the Suqqu makes it so wearable. Both textures are amazing. My least favourite is the Dodo (2nd from right), the texture of the eyeshadow isn’t great – a little hard – and it’s a little too warm. Flashback and Visee are…ok. I like them a lot on their own, but when I compare them to my other taupes, I see others that I prefer.

Next we have: Kate Wide Edge Eyes PU-1, Maquillage Eyeshadow N in GY835, Bobbi Brown Stone, Too Faced Like a Virgin, Suqqu Ginbudou.

Don’t you LOVE that Maquillage (2nd from left) eyeshadow? I really haven’t used this eyeshadow enough; I bought it just as I arrived in Japan, and never really got acquainted with it because then I bought about…100 other things in a fit of shopping that experts are calling: WHEEE JAPAN! (I am the expert. It is me calling it that. You can call it that too if you like.)

Anyway, mmm yummy to that Maquillage. Its texture is lovely as well. The Kate (far left) is also rather nice, not too red. The palette itself is stellar, I’m surprised I haven’t reviewed it yet. The Suqqu (far right), like Erika F, pushes the boundaries of taupe so it’s a bit strange to compare it to the rest. I love it though, regardless of taupicity.

While the Too Faced (the matte, 2nd from right) doesn’t exactly excite me, I do see it as a very useful shade; it’s my only matte taupe, and it’s very versatile. The only loser in this bunch is the Bobbi Brown. It’s a little warm, and if I wasn’t so overwhelmed with taupes I’d probably keep it, but this eyeshadow is middle-of-the-road in terms of both texture and shade, so it’s not really necessary for me to keep it.


  • Sonia Rykiel 09
  • Suqqu Keshizumi
  • Maquillage GY835
  • Kate PU-1
  • Too Faced Like A Virgin


  • Visee N-5 (but probably keep because the palette is really solid and versatile)
  • Addiction Flashback


  • Dodo P20
  • Bobbi Brown Stone

Taupe Imposters (Intertaupers!)

  • Lancôme Erika F
  • Suqqu Ginbudou

Are any of you reading-people mid-purge? Or planning one? Are you shocked by the amount of stuff I have – or laughing at my piddly collection? Which taupe is your favourite? Do you like questions? What did you have for lunch? I had pasta and homemade pesto? Because I’m cool like that? My basil plant has grown really big, how do I stop it? Maybe I’ll buy a sheep to graze on it? Do sheep eat basil? Italian sheep maybe?



Hello lovely people! After a walking-heavy holiday, my parents have gone home; most likely looking forward to recovering from aforementioned walking. Either way I am sad :(. Perhaps it’s because I had to see them off at the station at 6.30 in the morning, or you know, I could *gasp* miss them!

So I thought of all the things that I was happy about. I guess this is kind of like a thanksgiving post, but my entire –dazzling- knowledge of Thanksgiving is all from Friends and Adams Family Values, so I’m not actually sure.

1. I am happy that I am sad about my parents leaving. My parents are awesome.

2. My life is pretty amazing, so I’m happy about that.

(and now the important, beauty-related things)

3. Because Bobbi Brown is super expensive here, I ordered the Modern Classic palette and Day to Night Cool palette to my home in England, and my parents brought it over.

It is so beautiful. Well, actually, I’ve seen prettier packaging, but I love the sleek look both the palettes have. They also have this satisfying weight to them; they’re definitely not flimsy palettes, they have this chunky significance that makes me feel very serious – and somewhat special – when I use them.

Bobbi Brown

Flippancy aside, these palettes are lovely because they are so usable. I know neutrals are dull yadiyadah but when you’re a sucker for palettes (as I am) it’s nice when you don’t have to sit there justifying that chartreuse eyeshadow just so you can get the shimmery taupe. If you’ve been there, you’ll know what I mean.

I like how while these palettes are neutral, they are not brown. I do not like browns very much – they may be useful but they’re usually quite warm-toned and a palette of browns is not exactly a visual feast. I haven’t owned any Bobbi Brown eyeshadows before but so far I love how they apply. I find them more crease-prone (with primer) than other high-end shadows so I’m going to have to break out the big guns and powder my eyelids before applying as well. To sum up, these palettes make me happy.

4. For the first time in about 10 years, my skin actually looks better when I don’t wear foundation. (For the first 6 or 7 of those years, my skin had to go without foundation anyway because I had NO idea what I was meant to look for). I put this down to my total lack of stress compared to uni at home and Freeplus skin care – it is definitely not down to diet: winter is time for hibernation (fattening up and sleeping for inordinately decadent periods of time) . Expect a freeplus review soon!

5. I have found a mascara that is almost perfect. I say almost because it is not infallible but most of the time it is wonderful. It is – drum roll please – the newly-released (November) Kate Volume Gel Mascara. Again, review coming soon! (I mean, I can’t tell you about a wonderful mascara and then just leave you hanging, right?)

Kate Volume Gel Mascara

6. (See point 4) Fattening up and sleeping.

7. I have bought a brita filter jug. My tea no longer tastes like swimming pool. What more can I say?

8. I feel like this last point should be significant. My hair looks quite good today.

Review: Canmake Cream Cheek 01 Peach Dream

Following on from my post of Canmake Cream Cheek swatches, here is my review of Shade 01, Peach Dream.


Canmake Cream Cheek comes in a small, slim and see-through case. The lid and pan are attached by a hinge, but this hinge is a little flimsy (the lid just came off in my hand yesterday, but it was easy to reattach). The case’s size makes it great for carrying around in your bag for any touch-ups in the day.

Canmake Cream Cheek

Here is how Canmake describe the shade:

color image [01] Peach Dream☆

A delicate pink like a fairy.
For an innocent look.

which isn’t very helpful. So here are some comparison swatches with Ben Nye Powder Rouge in Dusty Pink, and Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzer in Antigua.

Product Comparison Antigua Peach Dream Dusty Pink Swatches

While Peach Dream and Dusty Pink look almost identical in the pan, the swatch shows that Peach Dream is a lot more pink than Dusty Pink. It also has blue tones. Antigua also looked similar in the pan but it is much more of a browny peach. Peach Dream is definitely peach (see the full face pictures below) but it leans towards the pink side of the spectrum. It’s a pretty shade, hardly unique but it adds a natural tint of colour to your cheeks.

It also has glitter in it that you can see if you click for a full size version of the swatch. I’m really not a fan of glittery blushes-  I just don’t see how that could ever look natural, but when Peach Dream is applied on my cheeks I can only see the shimmer if I look very closely and turn my head really slowly. (I’m lucky I live alone…). This cannot be said for a few other products from this range: shade number 2 showed up as very glittery in my swatches and I read recently on Lotus Palace that it was too glittery to wear.


I apply this blush with my fingers. It is quite easy to blend, not as easy as the Illamasqua Cream Blushes but it comes close. You don’t have to be too careful when applying this: of course with all blushes you can go overboard, but with Peach Dream you can use a decent amount and still look human.

This is shown in the photo below – I applied a lot to show the true colour of blush. After this photo was taken I patted the blush down with my fingers and now it looks natural. (Excuse the no-makeup face – it’s Sunday!)

Full face closeup

Lasting Power

This blush lasts a really long time when applied on bare skin. A few times I’ve powdered my face beforehand (which I think is a no no with Cream blushes?) and the colour only lasted a few hours. On bare skin, however, it stays on until you wash it off.


Overall I quite like this blush. It lasts a long time and it’s really easy to use. While the glitter only shows up if you look closely in some lights, I’d rather it wasn’t there at all.

So Application gets 19/20 (it’s super easy but not quite Illamasqua standard)

Appearance gets 11/20 (the shade is pretty but it doesn’t have me excited to wear it, and the glitter is unnecessary).

Lasting Power 20/20

Overall: 16/20

November Round-up

Can you tell I’m a fan of these round-up posts? I am. So while this one may be a little late, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for an entire ‘blog so far’ round-up could I?


First off, my favourite posts so far. It may seem a little egotistical to extol the virtues of your own posts but there are some of which I have been a little proud. Then again, each post I’ve written so far gives me a little twinge of embarrassment now and then when I read over it but I think that’s normal. Like when you read your old diary or watch Sweet Valley High. (Incidentally it seems all the episodes are on youtube and I am definitely NOT spending copious amounts of time watching them…).

What to do when Mascara Smudges on you ALL THE DAMN TIME

this tastefully titled post has been consistently among my most-read posts, and every day I get hits from searches to do with mascara smudging. I like this post a lot because geez it was such a pain to deal with the whole smudging thing and took me months to find a solution. So saving someone else that trouble makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

Feature: Sunscreen

I feel I have to include this one because it was such a beast to write and hopefully I succeeded in making the whole sunscreen shebang vaguely accessible.

Magazine Monday!

My first Magazine Monday post! I like this one because of the placenta part. Strange sentence. Basically having been in Japan for almost two months now I find a lot of things that I would have found hilarious/crazy/scary when I first arrived, I hardly pay attention to now. This makes me sad. The one exception to this is placenta shots. I still find them hilarious, crazy and scary.

My favourite products of the last monthProducts

Clockwise from top (starting with the perfume)

  • Calvin Klein Euphoria Eau de Toilette: I am not good at describing perfumes. As much as I would like to tell you that Euphoria has a base note of unicorn hair and a the sillage of new born baby I cannot, in good conscience, mislead you like that. Because I care. According to reviews on Make-up alley, this scent is unsophisticated and a bit rubbish really. I love it – perhaps because I am unsophisticated and a bit rubbish really. It is sweet but not sickly, in fact it has a kind of spice to it which makes it a little (and I am loath to use this word to describe perfume) sexy. This eau de toilette doesn’t last too long on my skin though, so I have a little atomiser to top up in the day. It does, however, stay very well when sprayed on clothes.
  • Multi-vitamin Sweets: So these aren’t anything new but I love them. I always forget to take my multi-vitamin (and I’m not getting much vitamin D from anywhere else) and after this post I felt a little guilty. So now, a new era has begun in my general well-being: multi-vitamins hidden in coloured sugar! This multi-vitamin is like when you give medicine to pets and you have to hide it in their food. Except I am the pet. And I know what’s going on. And I like it.
  • Earrings: These earrings are cute. I like to wear them in my ears.
  • Darjeeling Tea: A cup of Darjeeling tea is probably in my top 10 list of Stuff That Is Good. It is expensive in Japan though :( so I now save my tea-drinking for special occasions.
  • Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation: This foundation is so awesome that when I realised I hadn’t brought it with me to Japan I actually went out and paid the extortionate price to buy a new bottle. I will try and do a proper review of this soon but basically it is lovely.
  • Kate Gel Eyeliner in BU-1 (that’s blue to us): I read a lot of great reviews about Kate Gel Eyeliners so I decided to get one. I also wanted a navy colour because it is neither black (a little too stark on my pale skin) nor brown (too much red and it makes my eyes look tired). I guess I don’t see anything too special about this eyeliner, but I also don’t think there’s anything bad about it either so I guess that gives it full marks. It stays well and is easy to apply (though perhaps a little sheer at first) .
  • Clinique Different Lipstick in Sweet Honey: This is the perfect MLBB shade. It is a little dull in its neutrality, but it is such an easy shade to wear. Also the formula, while I didn’t like it at first because of its lasting-power, is really creamy and flattering even if your lips aren’t in great condition.
  • Freeplus skincare: Regular readers will know that my skin has been stupidly dry recently. This is not helped by the fact that alcohol is in loads of skincare products including moisturiser. So I tried out some Freeplus (to find out more about the line click here). It is too early for me to write a full review, but after just about two weeks my skin has improved hugely, it is hardly dry at all and very soft. So far so good.
  • Bun-maker thingy: I got this from the 100 yen shop and I love it! I read about it on someone’s blog but I’ve forgotten which one! Anyway here’s how to use it, get one!
  • Compact mirror: I actually got this on holiday in China, usually I lose these things but I’ve managed to hold onto this one for years.
  • Face net: So I’ve read a few posts on using a face net with your face wash recently. I got this one from the 100 yen shop (again!) and it’s great. It really helps me use less of my face wash without compromising its effectiveness. This is useful because my face wash is the one part of my skincare from England that I do not want to change and so I want to make my supply last as long as possible!


So this month I plan to:

  1. Make a comparison page of Japanese Sunscreens I’ve tried (as well as writing a review post). I think a spreadsheet might be useful for comparison purposes, I haven’t quite worked out how I’ll go about this project.
  2. Make a swatch page. When I go into drugstores to swatch I am often so overwhelmed by all the products there are. So I’d like to make a page with pictures of products and then those interested can request swatches of those products.
  3. Update my links to other blogs and to shopping sites which sell Japanese goods.
  4. Write more reviews!