Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Recent purchases: Origins Underwear for Lips, and Covermark stick concealer

I bought this because the Armani salesman was a little scary and the friendly saleslady was no where to be found, so I had to flee to the Origins counter instead. Underwear for Lips is a lip base to wear under lipstick or lip gloss. It neutralizes the pigmentation in your lips a bit, and lipstick goes on quite smoothly. Still, I haven't noticed any marked improvement in appearance (I wipe off all my lipstick and gloss at lunch) so I am not overly enthusiastic about this item.

My unplanned purchase of CoverMark stick concealer was the result of an uninterested Inoui ID saleslady (again, the friendly lady from my previous visit was not working that day). Lately, I seem to be unable to say no if I try something on. So I have to hide from cosmetic counters. Too dangerous! Anyway, the concealer is convenient and easy to apply, but does sink into lines a little bit. And I could use a bit more coverage. I'll use it up, but again, I am not overly enthusiastic.

Ah well. My clothing purchases have gone much better (although they have also been pricy). I may take pictures for an end-of-the-year entry (inspired by Koneko).

Sunday, November 26, 2006

What do you think of this laptop bag? and furgles

Jade laptop bag from the Darci collection by Abbi New York.
I think I might get it. They have a purple version too, but I found the green one for $54.

Funny how easy it is to shop. I wasn't even looking for anything.

Picture from Abbi New York's site.

Is this not the cutest thing ever?!?!

It's a baby furgles cd/dvd holder.
Picture from
I'd so buy it for presents, but I'm very leery about credit card purchases these days. Can you tell it's much easier for me to shop for women than for men? And if you like ghibli or moomin stuff; such a snap for me to buy gifts.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

City maps

I just discovered superfuture. It has an awesome amount of detail on the Harajuku/Aoyama area. I had no idea that all these stores were there! I should wander around a lot this weekend. Holiday tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

laugh out loud

Today's post at Go Fug Yourself is absolutely brilliant.

Monday, November 20, 2006

email from Jesus (reputedly)

Spam mail is getting more and more interesting. I saved one just because it was interestingly incongruous ("narrative toothbrush"). But today, I got an email from Jesus (reputedly), entitled "thousand of war with me, And slew between cattle? The river,". Nonsensical but rather poetic. Despite containing both the words "war" and "slew," it is an oddly non-violent series of sentence fragments. Perhaps non-violent because there are only sentence fragments and thus manage to avoid having any meaning whatsoever.

Dude, these kids can dance! Some groups really need to stop dancing (coughcoughsmapcoughmorningmusumecough); they should just hire these kids.

2006-11-21: today I got an email entitled "apprentice floppy disk" and the text body begins with "rootless." Heh, a rootless apprentice floppy disk! I love it.

Friday, November 17, 2006

2nd impressions of the secret gardenia

I can't think of a good name for the Laurent Le Guernec creation sent to me by Made By Blog, so for now I'll call it Secret Gardenia. Although that sounds a little silly. Whatever.

At first, the utter creaminess of this fragrance rather overpowered me, but now I'm getting quite used to it and find it rather comforting. A single spritz quickly and softly envelopes me. I like this sensation. It has a pleasant dash of sweetness but isn't over the top. I wouldn't call it simple but rather uncomplicated. Easy to enjoy but interesting although I can't tell you what I find interesting about it! It's certainly nothing like the new stuff in the department stores!

Have you smelled Nina Ricci's new scent? Geez, that stuff is sweet.

In a semi-related note, I have so far been able to test Armani Code (leading to an unmeditated purchase of Origins underwear for lips; I lay all blame on the Armani salesguy) and Bulgari Au Parfumee The Rouge. Now Smell This also has a lovely review of The Rouge.

Armani Code for Women is very interesting; I can't describe it at all. I don't get the orange or ginger that Now Smell This describes; perhaps it's too well blended for me to pick out. It's very nice, but I liked the drydown better than the opening for some reason. Maybe the opening has too much going on for me. This is the second time I've tried it. The first time, my 6 year old friend preferred it over Hermes Ambre Narguile on me :)

In contrast, I lurvve the opening to Bulgari Au Parfumee The Rouge. On skin, I get a n opening blast of dark, slightly bitter tea. Glorious, really. Haha. I love that opening. After a while it morphs into smelling like The Vert, which is nice, but not quite my cup of tea. Har. Um, yeah. The friendly saleslady at Takashimaya Shinjuku described the drydown as powdery. I don't really think of powder when I smell it; it seems more soft than anything.

I'm very happy to have met a friendly perfume saleslady though! It's a first.

Unrelated, but because the Inoui ID saleslady on Thursday was unhelpful, I ended up buying expensive concealer from Covermark. Yikes, there goes my budget! If only the nice lady from Tuesday had been there :(

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Prizes have arrived!

My prizes from Made by Blog and arrived this week! I am rich in perfumes these days.

I'm currently testing both the Laurent Le Guernec creation that Made by Blog sent me, and the Missha travel size perfume from Perfume Critic.

First impressions of my MBB prize: creeammmy! Like butter.
I wrote up some thoughts on it, but as I take notes, I think "geez, Katie and Marina would never write anything so bland and inexpressive." But life is what it is so I will just put down what I think. MBB sent me a great big bottle allowing me to test this fragrance with abandon. I get lots and lots of gardenia, and a bit of almond at the beginning. Imagine a big creamy gardenia blossom the size of a canteloupe melon. The scent stays pretty close to the skin but I can still smell it 10 hours later. I wouldn't characterize the fragrance as sweet, although the creaminess makes any sweetness very evident, akin to how a white canvas makes colors stand out.

Missha: It's hard to categorize, because I'm not familiar with anything like it. I'm guessing it's a greenish perfume; that's the impression I get. Biting raw sap kind of effect, although the fragrance is not that sharp. I don't have any olfactory experience here :)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Kose Visee Aqua Shining Eyes BE 300

Aqua Shining Eyes from Visee is an excellent liquid eyeshadow. It doesn't crease or smear after 8 hours (although I did only test with a light coating, so I don't know what happens if you apply it normally), and looks absolutely beautiful. Shimmer and bits of sparkle give a beautiful effect. Definitely something for evening use though; I think it's a bit much for daytime. It's so lovely that I want to buy more, despite the limited opportunities to use it. I will refrain, of course.

The BE 300 is a pale peach champagne color. One swipe of the doe's foot applicator applies the pigment clearly; you can smooth it out for a sheerer effect.

Packaging is light and a bit on the cheap side but seems perfectly functional.

List price is 1800 yen, which is a bit expensive but you do get a quality product.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Perfume and Rap

No actual correllation between the two in my post, but the title does neatly sum up this entry.

Rapper/singer Akon doesn't always say what I would like to hear, but he has some catchy songs.

15 minutes into Trevor Nelson's show, you can hear his new song. Although if you go directly to his website, you can hear "Smack That" immediately. "Mr. Lonely" and "Locked up" are other classics. Apparently his native language is French. It'd be cool if he used French lyrics sometime. He already has, for all I know.

For catchy but less edgy music, you can check out Cassie.

Perfume Posse poses an interesting question: what 3 perfumes you would get if money were no object?

My choices:
Hermes Hermessence Discovery Set
Frederic Malle Test Kit
Shiseido White Rose

I've only tested White Rose and Hermessence Ambre Narguile once, so these aren't purchases I would actually make, but if I had money to burn, I'd want them.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

In the meantime: Vera Wang, Monotheme White tea

I am currently searching for the perfumes recommended by the Director of Fragrance Development at IFF. As sneaky department stores do not like to list on their websites which brands of perfumes that they carry, I have to physically go and search. I didn't realize Armani was so hard to find; so far Odakyu and Keio do not carry it. Today I will visit Seibu and Tobu.

I never noticed that Vera Wang was available at Odakyu though; I tried it out yesterday. Floral, sweet, rich. A bit too strong somehow for me. It's pretty though; I can see why it is popular. But Fracas is nicer. Fracas lovers would probably freak out at that understatement, haha. Thumbs up for Vera Wang.

Odakyu has a nice layout for their fragrance area. It's spread out and low key; usually the sales people leave you alone to browse through.

In contrast, the Keio fragrance area has fragrances all packed together four shelves high in a little corner, so it's bewildering to browse, not to mention guarded by a garrulous but not terribly helpful salesperson.

They have a new tester at Odakyu's Makeup Solutions area (which carries a lot of foreign brands including Too Faced, Bloom, and Hard Candy): Monotheme White Tea. It's quite nice. A simple sweet tea scent. On the light side, and lasting power seems moderate, but it's a quiet scent with little sillage from what I can tell, and not much development that I noticed. I've only tested it twice. It's quite pleasant, but I'm not enamored enough to buy it. It would be easy to wear, but perhaps a little dull. Anyway, a thumbs up from me (I like tea).

I am currently purging unneeded clothing from my wardrobe. My friend B helped me out a lot the last time she visited, but there's still quite a bit of stuff that I don't need. It's funny how difficult it is to get rid of clothing that I wear rarely but actually like. And clothing that I find inadequate for my purposes, but I use occasionally. And clothing that I don't really like but use a lot. All reasons that I have a lot of unnecessary clothing.
I found some excellent articles on minimizing:

Monday, November 06, 2006

a new take on attractive perfume

Found via NowSmellThis: an excellent article from Luca Turin is available at the Sunday Times.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

a prize for me

Hee, sorry about the self-centered title.

If you're curious, there's a post at Made by blog regarding the perfume recommendations that Ms. Ferval of IFF made for me, and the perfume prize that she picked out. If this post doesn't make any sense, go read Nobi's post, as he explains it all nicely.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Skinceuticals mask, AHA foaming face wash

Kind of busy, but have various mini-reviews to post anyway.

Skinceuticals mask mini-review: excellent. Lovely scent and texture. It only takes a small amount to cover my face; will take years to use up this jar. I keep it in the refrigerator and use once a week.

AHA foaming face wash mini-review: Smells faintly of chlorine. No noticeable foam. Haven't noticed any difference in my skin. It does remove makeup though.