Monday, September 29, 2014

Japan Haul

It's now been one whole week since flying back from Japan but it feels longer somehow. It's amazing how quickly one reverts to their established routine after the novelty, excitement and mental break of a holiday. I had a fantastic time in Japan apart from some disappointments (like having to skip Fuji-Q Highland and being emphatically turned away from a packed yakitori restaurant that we'd made a mission to eat at given it was specifically recommended to me before my trip) and humorous mishaps (like breaking the hotel's transformer twice in successive visits and spending 2.5 hours trying with increased desperation to find a particular izakaya restaurant only to find out it had since closed down and been replaced with an Italian eatery). While Japanese maps and addresses remained a mystery and we mostly stuck to places near a train station, my friend and I still managed to cover quite a bit of ground in two weeks, including separate day trips to Mount Fuji, Tokyo Disneyland, Kyoto and half a day at Hiroshima to see the Peace Memorial Park, as well as extended stays in Tokyo and Osaka. Those that follow me on Instagram may have seen some of the pictures. As always, no holiday is complete without a roundup of the makeup and skin care purchased, so here I present my Japan haul.

Overall, I feel I was definitely more liberal with the purchases compared with Europe last year, but I wanted to focus on items that were exclusive to Japan or not so readily available in Australia. I also was a little overenthusiastic at the duty free shops in Narita Airport just as I was about to fly out. My most extravagant purchase would be a tie between diptyque Volutes EDP and the SUQQU Cheek Brush. After testing out most of the products, I'm most impressed with Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and the MAC 217 (believe the hype for both). Sadly, not a fan of the Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation at all (I wish I'd purchased YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat instead), though buying the completely wrong shade could also be a big factor in my dislike. Melvita Damask Rose Floral Water is similar to the Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist in that I find both to be drying on the skin. Addiction eyeshadows vary considerably in terms of colour payoff and smoothness of texture, but Fudge was the standout. Whether it's actually a flattering colour on me is less convincing. I didn't like both of the Asian mascaras I bought, though the Dolly Wink liquid eyeliner has been a hit. Lush remains excellent and some products like Mask of Magnaminty and Angels on Bare Skin were considerably cheaper in Japan compared with back home (980 yen or just over $10 vs. $16.95).

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Into the New and Old

It's September so long-time readers of my blog may have seen this coming ... I'm about to say goodbye to Sydney for two weeks and fly out for my annual overseas holiday. This is the year I'm finally going to Japan. For better or worse, when I think of Japan, I think of Lost in Translation and the image of Scarlett Johansson gazing pensively over Tokyo from her hotel room window. Everyone I've met that's been to Japan has had nothing but wonderful things to say about it, especially about the people and the food, so I'm anticipating my experience will be no different. While I'm a little bit wary about the general lack of navigational skills my friend and I share, it's all part of the adventure, right?

As always, here's a peek into my makeup bag that I'm bringing with me on the trip. I decided to do away with brushes altogether (for face, eyes and hair, though I do have that eyebrow grooming tool to brush my eyebrow hairs into shape) and stick with cream products that I can apply with my fingers. There's my ever trusty Essence Pas des Copper Eye Soufflé, along with the addition of Rimmel ScandalEyes Shadow Stick in Bad Girl Bronze. Which base to pack was the hardest part, but in the end I settled on Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector (Combination to Oily Skin) for its lightweight texture, oil control properties and illuminating finish. It's apparently still fairly humid in Japan in the beginning of September, so I needed something that wasn't too heavy or foundation-like, but that wouldn't melt off my face in hot, muggy weather. If I need some extra skin perfecting, I have my NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer to fall back on. A natural pink cream blush and two lipsticks (one for the everyday in Revlon Juicy Papaya, one for a statement lip in Maybelline Vivid Rose) round up my colour options.

See you when I return!
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