Thursday, July 30, 2015

KAI Beauty Tools: Tweezers and Lash Comb

 KAI is a Japanese brand that makes small beauty/personal care tools like eyelash curler and nail clippers. The tweezers duo can be found in Japanese supermarket like Mitsuwa for around 5 bucks(and it does go on sale). 
Both tweezers has a flat (straight but not razor sharp) tips and a very firm grip as the base. I am used to Tweezerman's slanted one for years but as soon as I made the adjustment (positioning the tip perpendicular to hair growth), it becomes very effective at hair removal.

The larger one, I assume, it's designed for thicker hair from underarm. Similarly, it  works for ladybush if you are into some precision grooming and/or self-torture. I tried it on my leg hair and it was just alright. I think the strand needs to be thicker for it to function though.

So, I ended up liking these a lot as they do what they are intended to: Grip and grasp. Keep in mind that the tweezers are made in China if you try to avoid it. I personally don't mind(because God forbid, I was made in China)unless things are poorly made and overpriced(for example, the Stila lip glaze with the new formulation).

The Japan-made lash comb (forgot to take picture of the whole thing)is solidly constructed but poorly designed. The ergonomics is good with the curved body(once open) and the plastic stays shiny and free of scratch.

However, the teeth are too short and way too sharp that not only it's a safety hazard(poke my fingertips during photo session) it also doesn't reach the root of my lashes unless I place it really close to my eye balls(poking hazard again). It might not be a problem for others (since my lids are hooded) but I much prefer the metal lash comb from Koji, which is sharp enough to clear out clump but still blunt/long enough to not get too closed my cornea.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Nars Lip Pencils in Rikugien & Cruella

 It has been years since I last purchased anything Nars. I like some of their eyeshadow (Tokyo and Habanera and Fuji) and blush (luster) but the packaging was a sticky, rubbery pain in the rear. At the end, I either got rid of the ones that were touched once or twice (via blog sale) or destroyed then while trying to depot.
 
A little while back Sephora was giving out this Nars minis as birthday perks, so testing time! The two small lip pencils are Satin Lip Pencil in Rikugien and Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella. There doesn't seem to be anything protracting mechanism and the tube is made of plastic, so I am guessing I should just sharpen the plastic off?
 Rikugien (if it weren't for Google, which told me that it's a Japanese garden, I totally thought this was "lipstick" in some European language) is a medium to (somewhat) deep mauve rose with silver shimmer. And Curella is a matte brick/brown red that appears much more purple in sheerer layer/on my lips.
 Rikugien (looks a tad lighter because of the allover silver cast) - is essentially a my-lips-but-frosty color. Beside the obvious what-is-the-point factor, I don't really like the color that much as it feels a little too mature. Formulation is opaque, creamy and not slippery. The formula feels comfortable enough without being drying or moisturizing.
Curella (sorry for that piece of dead skin and other shimmer bits) is a shade a like better is has a retro feel (non of that puppy-wearing bitchy red I perceive from the tube) and a texture that's neither waxy or crumbly (or Playdoh-like). The color is quite high maintenance that applying straight with the bullet and with a lip brush will both result a Joker's grin (and once it go outside the lip, it's super hard to come off). 

The only way I got to to work on me/stay inside my lips is to apply in the center of mouth then rub them out with finger. The color is pretty, wear isn't uncomfortable but I just don't love bold matte red enough to want to bother.
Arm swatch. Overall: They are decent products. I just don't like them.

Wet n Wild Silent Treatment Eyeshadow Trio

Another quickie - Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio in Silent Treatment is another product that has been raved everywhere (and OK-ed by Temptalia...Which often doesn't mean much as her skintone is warmer than mine and our preferences are quite different). 

The eyeshadow contains three shades: A shimmery gray taupe that picks up a lot of purple once it's on my eyes. A warm blackened brown with golden speckle (looks satin on swatch but I call it defacto matte) and a shimmery vanilla beige. 

The taupe shades has the best texture in the bunch, as it's reasonably smooth, malleable (I don't like calling eyeshadow creamy, unless it's actually cream-like) without fine shimmer and too much fall-out. I would say the quality isn't too far off from brands like Urban Decay. The finish doesn't look cakey on skin but since it pulls purple on me, I just look a little tired with this.

The blackened brown is a little drier (hence not really doable as a rich powder liner, the only way I wear a dark color) but it's perfectly workable as a crease/eye socket shade once it's on top of a creamier base (aka the taupe). I usually avoid this as it's too smocked-out for my liking.

The vanilla beige at the end/top is dry (better than the blackened brown but a little more powdery compared to the highlight shade in Comfort Zone or Walking on Eggshell). For American palettes, I usually use only one (or two, but sparingly for secondary shade) shade at a time. Mainly because my eyes are pretty flat and there isn't much lid space going on. For this palette, this might as well be a single since I only use the taupe (applied on lid and blended/diffused upward).

Overall: I can't complain much for an eyeshadow that cost me less than 2 bucks (bought it during 40% off). I might depot it and just keep the taupe (when I find a good, refillable palette that's not paper).

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

DHC Eyelash Tonic & Moisture Fruit Foaming Wash

This week you will see a deluge of mini-reviews because I am determined to clear out my draft folder. I think I will try to group different product reviews just to save myself some time/brain juice.

Earlier this year I finished up my (third tube of) L'Oreal Lash Serum, since the other American drugstore versions (namely the Wet n Wild and Rimmel) aren't available anymore where I shop, I decided to opt for Japanese (drugstore?) brand DHC.  
The DHC Eyelash Tonic is a clear-serum type of product housed in a mascara tube with spoolie. The texture is more serum-like (not jelly like the L'Oreal) and goes on essentially clear and clump free. The attached spoolie is small so I find it more difficult to reach the root of my lashes (without touching my skin). On the bright side, it doesn't sting at all when it gets into the eye.

I like to use it on my brow as it's light (never scrumbs or balls up) and has a setting effect like a brow gel. I do notice some conditioning/strengthening action going on, as it speeds up new growth on the small bald patches (I have a pulling problem). Overall it's a great product if you want some lash serum that doesn't goop up or sting, it just becomes muddy really quickly due to the small spoolie (as I have to rub it onto my skin to get the product on) and clear tube.

 Look, it was also the cosme.net winner in the lash growth department...nine years ago (speaking of holding on to past glory).

I bought it from eBay seller alphabeautyUK (based in Hong Kong), who now has a online store  http://www.alphabeauty.net/, it's quite competitive against AdamBeauty since they carry newer releases more quickly and has brands like Canmake. The heavier items like foaming cleanser are priced lower (Adam Beauty factors shipping into each item then charge 2 dollars for registered mail).  Oh, their layout is also much more user-friendly.
The Moisture Fruit Foaming Wash was a find from Marshalls (I thought it was such a good deal at 5 bucks) - It came out as a total dud. The scent isn't fruity and the foam is one of the most pathetic one I have ever seen, as it disappears within seconds. On the face, it manages to not cleanse well (so I can never rely on this to clean off Japanese sunscreen) and leave a film afterward.

Normally I just demote product like this as a hand wash...It still works terribly as a handwash because the bubble would only last through the first "Happy Birthday to you". Well, I will use it up somehow...I am just really glad that I didn't get a back-up because it was a "good deal".
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