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Back to Shu Uemura



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Hi guys,

I wanted to share some stuff I got from Shu Uemura's website.
I first tried Shu Uemura cleansing oil when I was in college.  I believe it was 2007-2008, when I started to get REALLY into makeup.  I kind of bought it because I felt sorry to say no to the sales lady at Narita Duty Free, but it turned out to be one of the best beauty purchases I've had throughout my life.
I know a lot of people complain about cleansing oils breaking them out and how expensive Shu Uemura products could sometimes be, but if it works for me, I don't think anything can stop me from repurchasing the product for a long time.
I've emptied an entire bottle of Sulhwasoo soon hang cleansing oil (which I bought in Korea last summer - not knowing that you could get it in the states for basically almost no up-pricing), and I liked it but it was never the same as the Shu Uemura cleansing oil.
The problem I had with Sulhwasoo was it felt a bit dry... if that even makes sense.  I felt like the oil thinned out too quickly and I didn't have a rich layer of oil to spread around the face and dissolve the makeup.  I am excited to use the Shu Uemura cleansing oil again (despite it's 2x price tag T_T), and I will update you guys on if my thoughts on the product changed or not.

So here's what I got from Shu Uemura.


What a beautiful invoice! haha...
I only bought 2 products (the cleansing oil and hard formula) and got free shipping with 5 free products (samples) ^____^. I love how Shu Uemura is still very 'Asian' and sends you a boat load of samples with your purchase.


The first is the Cleansing Oil.

I think there's 4 colors - green, yellow, pink and blue. Correct me if I am wrong, they could have added more colors that I am not aware of - but green is my choice of color.  I believe that each color has different functions, but I've started with the green one so I feel safe with it.

So the basics are the same.
You pump the oil, rub it straight on to your makeup (no water needed before), and rub it around and then add some water to emulsify it and rinse everything off.


Next is the Hard Formula Brow Pencil in 9 Seal Brown.

I know there are a lot more color options, but in the states it only seems to be three.
I know for sure that 9 Seal Brown is going to be the perfect color for my asian dark brown brow hair color.
I was a bit disappointed that the tip was sharpened and not in a samurai sword shape.

like so..
People on my vlog channel told me that you can get it sharpen it the counter, but since US doesn't have any counters anymore.. I guess it's more practical to have it sharpened like how it came.





Here are the additional sample/goodies I got along with the purchase.




10ml of depsea hyrdability moisturizing emulsion.
I haven't tried it yet but it reminds me of Lancome's similar product (i forget the name :p but I liked it).



Skin Purifierr fresh pore clarifying gentle cleansing oil.
It's the pink cleansing oil I was talking about.  I'm excited about this sample and if I like it, I might order the big size too since I like alternating products.




Shu Uemura mini eyelash curler.
I was baffled when I took this out of the box, haha.. I thought it was going to be a small version of the full sized-mascara, but apparently it's an abridged version of the full length. I wonder how well this is going to work.  I'm thinking it is going to be great for the inner and outer corner lashes that are easy to miss when you curl your lashes.



2 sample sized glosses.  Left is Gloss Unlimited mini PK333s and the right one is Gloss Unlimited mini WN283s.


 
I put half of PK333s on my lips and left half bare for comparison.

Full lips application :)
It's not as dark as it seems in the bottle. 



Both are gorgeous colors with gorgeous mica glitters in them. 
The application is smooth and creamy, but not sticky at all. I love the subtle shine of both glosses!



Okay, 
I'll see you guys in my next post! :)


Catalina

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GLOSSYBOX USA Launched! :)



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Hurray!
Glossybox finally landed in the US! :)
I'm so happy that they came to the states with their marvelous deals.  I actually received the box earlier from the company, but didn't have any time to open and film a video.
So here is the break down of what came in the very first box of glossybox us launch.

* Box was sent from company as a promotion for their launch. 




Here's a card that introduces what's in the box.


C.O. Bigelow shampoo.

It has a very strong lavender smell to it. I think the peppermint is overpowered by lavender. I like how the bottle and logo is.

BASQ eye gel
It says it's great for refreshing and improving puffiness around the eyes.  This product is the one that smells like peppermint, LOL.


KRYOLAN high gloss brilliant lip shine.

Mauve-pink colored lipgloss.  It swatches a bit nude on the lips and is extremely thick.  I think it could get a bit sticky on the lips, but if you apply it well, it is a very creamy and pigmented lipgloss.


Cargo EyeBronzer.

Probably the most disappointing product in the box. The swatch is a gorgeous bronze color and applies like butter on the lid.  However, the color tends to flake a bit. It's not a cream shadow, it's more of a silky shadow that still has the powdery texture to it.



OPI Kiss me on my tulip.

L.O.V.E how they gave a full sized bottle. Kiss me on my tulip is a hot pink color that has a bit of purple undertones to it.  I have a very similar color, which is 'Don't know, beets me' (also from OPI) and they look almost identical on the nail. Below is swatches of 'Wanted...red or alive', 'Don't know beets me' and 'kiss me on my tulips' - all one coats on the nail.  DKBM's consistency is a bit more watery compared to KMOMT, but other than that, I think it's safe to say that you can pass on either color if you wanted a hot pink from OPI.




I forgot to include the ERNO LASZLO hollywood collection (I started using them before I took the pictures), but simply put it is a collection of Hollywood's most iconic women. The set includes morning beauty rescue, refresh moisture infusion, instant eye repair, intensive porcelain veil and velvet night cream.

So far - I think the formula is pretty light weight, yet very intensive.

Hope you guys enjoyed this post :)
So, are you guys subscribed to any beauty boxes? Any thoughts?
I curious how the beauty box market is going to turn out since such a strong competitor stepped into the market.

Catalina


+ Added note (5/25/2012): Some people on my youtube channel pointed out that what comes in the mail is not what is sent out to the bloggers/youtubers. I thought it was very generous and worth the money since the box I opened was filled with full sized products, but if what you get is a fraction of what the company shows then that could be something you should think about.  Compared to other boxes, I still like what was in glossy box (I think they did a good job picking products that could easily work for anyone), but it would be nice to see what the actual subscription box comes as.  Anyone have link to a blog post regarding that? Please let me know!



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New Baby!!



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Hello everyone,

I recently had a birthday (May 12th) and as usual, I spent it with my long term bf Oliver.
Oliver isn't really all that big on buying me girly stuff (makeup, bags, shoes, clothes... ) unless I ask him to buy something specific (like when he went to London and I wanted some makeup products from super drug).
ANYWAY - what we both like is photography, and if it wasn't him, I wouldn't have advanced this much in filming and blogging.  Oliver has kept my equipments up-to-date and replenished my gear with new/better ones for over 3 years.  For this year's birthday present, I was given a Panasonic GX1 - which I have been drooling over even before it was released in the states.  I have a soft spot for Panny in my heart, and I was so happy when I got the camera for a present.



So, here's my new baby!!
Oliver decided to get me a GX1 body and the legendary Lumix G 20mm pancake lens.
The 20mm lens is raved about, and one of the rare items on Amazon that has 140+ reviews with 5 solid stars (now that's impressive, considering how even a 4 star is deemed as great).



I've been waiting for it for such a long time, and I find this a perfect camera for my everyday use.  I hated the fact that professional review sites HAD to pick on something (or else they would get some sort of backlash for giving out all-good reviews), and it had to be the "supposedly" flimsy flash.  I mean, that's just nit-picking on something for the hell of listing cons.

Flash is okay in my opinion.  If you are at a level to use micro 4/3, I don't think you are going to have a lot of moments where you have to pop out your flash.

The best thing about this camera is the accuracy it delivers.  You get to capture EXACTLY what you see with your eyes into a still photo.  Usually a lot (almost every camera I've tried) of cameras tend to over-expose or underexpose, but this camera's biggest strength is color accuracy.


The con about GX1 + 20mm combo is the slow focusing and limited focal length.  Since the lens is fixed, I have to manually move my body closer/further from the object I want to take a picture of.  Also, it is nice that the focus is spot on, but the rest of the background getting blurred out could be annoying to some people.  I think the slow focusing is most likely due to the 20mm lens - I will have to see how the camera pro forms with the PZ 14-42mm lens or Olympus M.Zuiko ED 45mm lens.


Here are some sample pictures.


- Great details of the ribbed shirt my penguin is wearing.  I only cropped out the messy background.




- No alterations, except reducing the size.  These were tulips, given to me as a birthday present from my coworkers.  I think I have a black thumb.. I tried my best but they are rapidly perishing.




- Toro on vintage Snoopy.  Lot the focus and the accurate colors.


FAO bunnies!!! They are holding a meeting!




Color is picked up so well - it's mind blowing!!



- click to enlarge (this is an original picture, but I'm sure blogger degraded it while uploading) and see the magnificent details this camera captures. :D



I know I already have more than enough cameras, but I am so happy I got this camera! For those that are camera hoarders like me, I'm sure you will understand how you HAVE TO have every single type of camera of various occasions!

Please let me know if you have any questions regarding performance or handling.  I am still playing around with and I don't feel like I 'own' this camera yet, but I am getting a good understanding of how this camera is supposed to be handled.



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I GOT LASH EXTENSIONS~~



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OMG! I got them!! :)
I was walking around the grocery store with my mom yesterday, reading a Korean magazine, and it occurred to me that fixing things isn't that hard.  I suddenly had this urge to get my mole shaved off and get some eyelash extensions (crazy how my cravings work, huh? :)

I came home, did some research online and made an appointment to get my lashes done.
Everything is pretty much explained in my latest video.




Here are some before pictures.



The issue was short + brittle.


My lashes were too weak to hold any sort of curl. Especially my left eye.












And here are some after pictures.
I like how the lashes aren't all crazy when seen from the front.  It doesn't have that flashy dolly eyes look, which I like.












Ooh-la-la! super long!


There are a couple of things that you do have to note before getting extensions.


  • Touch ups...
    It's a pretty high-maintenance thing.  You have to get touch-ups every 3~4 weeks after you set your foot into the extension world.  Shelling out 40-60 dollars per touch-up is pretty pricy. *sigh*
  •  Oil-free cleansers.
    If you are an avid cleansing oil user like me, be aware that you can't use that around your eyes or on your eye makeup.  You have to use Q-tips and oil-free formulas to gently remove your eye makeup. 
  • No waterproof mascara.
    I don't know why, but they said don't use these. 
  • No rubbing, yanking..
    Your lashes area becomes super fragile and special, you can't be rough with it anymore!
  • 2 hours of numbness.
    I thought my head was going to explode while I was getting the extensions done. My arms were getting stiff and I couldn't even move my head a slight bit.  After everything was done, I felt so happy I could finally get my head off the pillow :'p

I hope this post/video helped you guys out :)
All in all, I am happy with the result.


Catalina


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Beauty Box 5 - first box



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Hi everyone,
I wanted to introduce beautybox5.com's monthly beauty subscription service.  You guys probably already heard about so many other 'boxes', so I will make it short and brief.

Beautybox5 is pretty much the same concept as other services.  You pay either a monthly, quarterly or annual fee to receive a box of various beauty products in the mail. It doesn't cater to your specific needs, so sometimes it could be a hit or a miss. Products range from deluxe samples to full sized products.

The box I received looked like this.
Ugh, I use postal service, and the place scribbled my box number all over the beautybox. But as you can see, the exterior is a minty green color with beautyboxfive written on the outside.

Inside the box was cushioned with paper cushions, and the products were neatly tucked in a mesh baggy.


The products that were in this month's box were..

  • COMODYNES Self-Tanning towelette
    I've seen a lot of people talk about this before.  Basically, when you need a tan on the go, you whip this out and rub it on the part you need an instant tan.  I'm not a tanning person, so I doubt I will ever take this out and use it, but I am willing to film a video on how it actually works. :p
  • LAVERA Trend Senstiv No.2 Kajal eyeliner
    Yay! A dark brown liner - something  I would have jumped for in a heart beat.  The consistency is great and the application is extremely creamy, yet not crumby.  It does tend to fade a bit later on in the day, but patting on some shadow on top of it does the trick! I would say 1x touch-up is all that is needed (considering that I have semi-oily lids, put makeup on at 6 in the morning and take it off at 8 at night).
  • PRITI NYC Soy Nail Polish Remover
    Oh my... where to start.  I've heard raves and raves about this brand (especially since it is Jessica Alba's favorite brand) in magazines.  I wanted to try the nail polishes since this brand seems SUPER green and organic-oriented, but the nail polish remover is a good start too.  I have to say that it's not drying and removes nail polish well.  I did have some hard time with removing the edges of my nails, but I think this is pretty well with removing light/bright colors.  Darks and greens are always a toughy (even for the best removers out there), so I think this remover is good to give it a go.
  • WELEDA Iris Hydrating day/night cream
    I haven't had enough time to have a definite opinion about these two, but I think they do a better than average job. The good news is, it doesn't break me out - woohoo! I do feel like my skin is moisturized, but not like "OMG!! My skin feels soooo hydrated!". It's more of an 'okay.. good enough' feeling.  I will have to use up all of the product before I can say my final verdict.
  • PUR-LISSE Pur-delicate gentle soy milk cleanser
    Good stuff. I like companies that try to make alternative solutions (and those that try to go green), so my bias for this company is good.  When I usually take my makeup off, I cleanse my face more than twice with different products because I'm worried about residues.  I do think that this product does a good job, but you never know.. so I combine it with another cleansing oil to get everything off of my face. :p I love the smell (makes you smell like a baby) and I love the creamy texture.

Are you guys subscribed to any beauty boxes?
Overall, I'm liking the concept.

Catalina



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Haul, Presents & Stuff in the Mail




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Hi Everyone,
I just wanted to share with you guys some interesting stuff I received during the past few weeks.



FAO easter bunnies!!!

Ahhh... I love them! I borrowed the first three (Honey, Sugar and Candy) to take a picture with the new ones (Little white, Little tan and Little brown). I love how cute they are :p


Here's the original two that I first acquired.

They are named Hope and Peace. :)




Chloe Eau De Parfum!!!
OMG, I love it! It's so light and girly, it makes you smell like you just stepped out of a goddess floral bath.




Every time I wear this, I get compliments. It never fails. I love love love this scent.
This is one of the scents I am willing to re-purchase again and again.



Marc Jacobs goodies from BOOKMARC



Key ring. (comes in grey and navy $7.00/unit)



Lipstick pens (I believe it is $3.50/pen)



MARC JACOBS heart shaped compact mirror (mirror on both sides, $7.00/unit)



Bookmarc smiley face ($10.00)



MJ Red journal ($18.00/unit)




BOOKMARC 12 colored pencils (I think it's like $7.00-10.00 per box)




Marc Jacob's M Key ring ($10/unit, comes in gold and silver)


Despite the Marc Jacobs brand, the items are actually really cheap and affordable. When I first went into BOOKMARC, I thought it was a shop that sold fake MJ products (because of the low prices)! I remember key chains being $5.00 with so many options and various colors. Even the people at the cashier were wearing Marc Jacobs clothes! (although I am not sure if it is provided, or if they just get employee discount on all MJ brands and happened to be wearing his clothes).

Anyway, if you guys have a chance, check out his book store.  I think it's oddly intriguing that a clothes designer opens an artsy bookstores in the most hipstery (?) areas.

There's one in NYC (400 Bleecker st.) and one in West Hollywood. :)



Also, sinful colors nail polishes could be read about here



I will do a separate review post on the sigma brushes



Enjoy! :)

Catalina

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