Thursday, December 31, 2009

Coffret D'or II - 3D Lighting Eyes

The weather finally decided to turn better today. So I took some pictures of my Coffret D'or 3D Lighting Eyes shadow palettes.

These were the first Coffret D'or eye shadow palettes when the brand debuted in December 2007. The palettes didn't catch my attention at first as they looked kind of boring. But I'm a sucker at cute packaging. So I just have to try it. Like many Japanese brands, Coffret D'or offers cute yet elegant packaging. I really like the pink rhinestones in the middle. The case is shiny but not so scratch resistant. Now when I look back, it's actually a very interesting line. The shades are very soft, subtle and understated.

Compare to Coffret D'or's 2nd eye shadow palette release - Trance Deep Eyes, 3D Lighting Eyes focus more on creating a natural contoured look with a translucent, clear coloring and a refined sparkle which bring out eyes with elegance. Since most colors consist pearl shimmer, there're some fallouts but it doesn't hurt the lasting power.

There're 5 color variations in this collection. Each palette has 4 sections. But they made 2 different finishes for the top highlight section. The left side is more sparkling while the right side being more matte and smooth. You can blend them together to bring out the depth of the entire eye area for enhanced impression. Or you can use individually for your own needs. You can even apply them on the T-Zone and under the eye area for highlighting.

01 Pink Tones. This one is the most innocent and sweetest among 5 variations. The main color is the bottom left baby pink. The middle pink has a little orange undertone. The right bottom shadow color looks more like a reddish brown.

It's so hard to capture the sparkles of those highlight colors.

02 Blue-Green Tones. This is the most fresh color in the collection. It reminds me of clear spring sky and tropical sea water.

03 Silver Tones. It includes copper brown for mid-tone, white silver shimmer for inner corner highlighting and deep navy blue for shadow. It's the most versatile one in the collection.

04 Purple Tones. This one will look good on more mature ladies.  The dusty pink gives the warmth of the eyes while the grayish blue adds contrast and coolness. The bottom right deep violet looks mysterious and elegant.

05 Gold Tones. This is my most favorite one in the collection. It's a very earthy combination, most suitable for day time look. The golden champaign color especially shines in the sunlight.

Overall, this is a very solid eyeshadow collection from Coffret D'or. The color combinations are well designed and the textures are smooth and silky. It sets a good start for the brand.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Presents from Santa

This post is a little late so let's get right onto it. Who was the Santa? Take a guess! Haha.

Let me show you the box first. It's from Sephora, my favorite beauty store. I really like the little wrap here. I'm not sure what the silver glitter is, maybe a cream shadow? Since I'm not going to use it, I will just keep the whole thing in the box.

I'm sure you're all wondering what's inside. I'm opening it right now.

The first one or rather two are the Guerlain Meteorites powder and the matching brush.

The color I got is the 01 Mythic. This is my first ever Meteorites powder. See how cute there little balls are! I wanted it at the Guerlain counter when I saw it but got scared away by its price tag. It's a luxury brand. What do you expect?! I guess my husband noticed my action and took it into his heart. So he went to Sephora and got me this on the Christmas Eve. He said he's never seen so many guys in Sephora before. And they're all grabbing everything like there's no tomorrow.

He even grabbed the last matching brush on the shelf.

Inside the box, there's a velvet pouch for easy travel and protection.

The brush is made of pure male Tibetan goat hair. I never knew the male Tibetan goat had pink hair. How romantic! But for all the reason, why male goat hair?!

The brush is soft and in a good size. It should fit in a small makeup bag.

The next item he got me is the YSL 5 colour Harmony for Lips. The reason he got me this is because I don't own any YSL stuff, so it's a good time to try something new. I'm not complaining. I don't find this item on YSL website though. Anyone know what collection is it from?

Since I haven't tried any of them yet, I can't tell you how they are. But so far they look great. Thanks Santa for sending me such wonderful presents.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Best Way to Kill Headache

Everyone should suffer headache from time to time because our lives are full of stress. Sometimes we stay up late to finish our assignments. Sometimes we hang out with friends at Karaoke then realize it's way past our bedtime. The next day we develop a headache that haunts us all day.

What do you usually do? Taking some Tylenol or Advil? Sure it'll help but do you want to be a drug bucket? I know I don't. Taking too much medicine is not good for you. A lot of medicine has side effects. I don't think there's any medicine that's organic so far.

So for me, it all started with a bottle of Starbucks Hazelnut syrup. I remembered that day I had a very severe headache from watching a late night movie the night before. To make me feel better, my husband got me my favorite hazelnut syrup. He knows I love hazelnut and I love Starbucks. How can I pass on it? Even though my headache was killing me, I still made myself a cup of Wakodo instant milk coffee with the hazelnut syrup. Boy I was in heaven! To the ones who don't know Wakodo, it's a Japanese brand that makes a lot of kid's products, like Pigeon. I've tried their baby food and body wash on my daughter. It's not bad at all. And their instant coffee is way better than Nestle. Back to the headache, while I was savoring the rich hazelnut aroma, I realized my headache was gone. I'm like WOW! That was so cool. Since I don't think hazelnut cures headache, then it must be the coffee.

I tried it again the next time and it worked again. So I confirmed my theory that coffee can cure headache. This may not work on alcohol hangover headache since I'm not a heavy drinker so I haven't had the opportunity to test it.

That's it. That is my little secret trick that I discovered to kill headache. I'm sharing it with you. If you already knew it then good for you. If not, you may want to try it when you really need it.

Eye Makeup Remover Review

The weather has been gloomy since Christmas. It even started raining today. So please excuse the bad lighting of my photos.

I'm pretty sure everyone has used some sort of eye makeup remover and probably has your favorite one in mind. I'm not going to go over all the makeup removers out there but only the ones I'm currently using right now. If you know something better, please leave a comment and let me know.

So these are the ones I'm showing you today. From left to right are Dior Duo-Phase eye makeup remover, Kose Softymo Super Point makeup remover, Lancome Bi-Facial Double-Action eye makeup remover, Chanel Gentle Biphanse eye makeup remover and Aquaway Super Off.

First one Dior Duo-Phase eye makeup remover is probably the worst eye makeup remover I've ever used.

I've had very good experience with a lot of Dior products especially the blushes and eye shadows. So I never thought their eye makeup remover could be this bad. It has the department store price tag. It's oily. It stings my eyes. It leaves eyeliner and mascara traces even after rubbing. All the bad things about an eye makeup remover you can ever imagine. It's such a disappointment. So in order to get rid of it, I only use it for very minor eye makeup cleaning. I don't think I will purchase it again unless they change their formula.

The second one is the Kose Softymo Super Point Makeup Remover.

It won a lot of Japanese Cosme Awards in the past few years. So I got one at a local Asian market to try out. I don't remember the exact price but it should be around $10. It's in a light gel texture, very watery. I normally squeeze out a quarter size onto cotton pads , leave it on for a few seconds then wipe off. It's supposed to work for waterproof mascara. However it's too mild to get rid of my waterproof liner and mascara. It's only good for non-waterproof. So once I use up this bottle, I won't be purchasing it again.

Now on to the 3rd one, Lancome Bi-Facial eye makeup remover. I heard many good words about this one as well. Some people even named it their HG eye makeup remover.

It does do a decent job. Same as the Dior Duo-Phase, it's a double-layered thing. So you need to shake well before use. Though I find it a little too oily to my liking.

Now I'll show you my favorite one, Chanel Gentle Biphase eye makeup remover. This is my 3rd bottle already. It seems like I always come back for it after I strayed away to try other brands. I used to think Chanel skincare is for grandmas and disliked its strong scent. Now I think otherwise. I like its classic yet simple packaging. I like its blue liquid on the bottom half. I also like the high technology and fine ingredients behind the brand. It contains Water Cornflower Extract and Water Rose Extract to soothe and calm my eye area. It's gentle but effective for removing all my eye makeup, even waterproof mascara. My skin around the eye area doesn't feel tight afterwards rather being soft. So I assuming it's somewhat hydrating. On top of all, it's fragrance free.

Last but not least, the Super Off, is something new I tried recently. A friend of mine recommended it and gave me a tube to try. It's made by B & C lab, owned by Sony, the company that had their lipgloss sold a million copy in Japan. Anyway, the product does what it supposed to. Its gel texture is  similar to the Softymo but not as runny. I simply rub it on with my fingers and rinse off with water. Very simple. In my opinion, it's a good product and also affordable.

Other than those, I tried Cle de Peau eye makeup remover sample given by the counter SA as well. I wouldn't recommend it. It's way too harsh for my sensitive eyes. So I didn't bother with the full bottle.

Let me know what works for you the best.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Beauty Blender Makeup Sponge Review

Have you seen this year's Victoria Secret Fashion Show? I spotted this little pink cutie on their backstage scene. It's the Beauty Blender!

I actually heard of it about 2 years ago but never tried it until recently. I thought it was  kind of pricy. A little sponge costs $20 and I don't even know if it really works. So I waited and waited. Finally I saw that Sephora carries it online. So I got the set which includes 2 sponges and a bottle of cleanser for $40 using my VIB discount.

I normally use typical makeup sponges that either shaped square or triangle. I always feel like I'm putting on a mask because it tends to cake or appearing too heavy. Then I tried makeup brush but still the brush can leave streaks if I don't pay attention. I don't use my fingers to do makeup simply because I don't want to dirty my hands.

So for the Beauty Blender, I followed the instruction by wetting it first. I was surprised by seeing how big it turned out to be. It almost doubled the size. What I do is that I dab a little foundation with the big round end and press it on my face, then blend and blend. It was pretty fast and easy. It looks even and natural without wasting too much of my foundation. I also use the pointed end to do my concealer. The result is very acceptable.

This picture shows how big it turns out when wet. Note that, the color faded a little for the one on the right. I used it for about 2 months under moderate usage.

Now let's look at the cleanser. It feels like a heavy like shampoo with light yellow color. On the bottle, it says that you can use it to clean your makeup brushes too by adding some water. I'll need to test it on that. To clean the sponge, you're going to wet it first then press the pump once or two. Then do the rest however you want. I just squeeze it like a stress ball.

After you wash the sponge, you can set it on top of the stand like so. I normally just put it on top of the lid.

If you think the price is too expensive, the best alternative would be the Sephora brand. It's sold for $12 in store and online. I personally tried it before. I don't think there's a huge difference between them. But you get what you pay for.

Sephora calls its yellow, smaller sized look alike the "Precision Sponge". It does look similar to the pink one, doesn't it? Basically, it functions pretty much the same except that it doesn't expand much when wet. Another difference is that it's a lot denser so not as bouncy.

After all I think it's a good investment if you use a lot of liquid foundation. Of course the drawback would be the price. But if you think about the result/price ratio, I would pick the Beauty Blender. You waste a lot on the drugstore disposable sponges because it's not worth of cleaning. You also save yourself trips of driving to the drugstore. Gas is not cheap now. So for the long run, the Beaty Blender isn't a bad idea.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Chef Pig On Duty

Christmas dinner was probably something that was hard to think about. My wife made 2 dishes and I did 2. Great! 2 for 2! What I did was hard to think of. So I did some last minute debating whether or not I should go with Prime Rib or just steak. What did I end up with? Surf and Turf… Well sort of… I guess… On to the dishes!!!

I went to my local meat market and I ended up buying Prime bone-in Ribeye & Scallops. Here are pictures of them prior to cooking to show the freshness.

Steak was probably the easiest one to make out of all of them. The steak had signs of nature beef fat which was a good thing since tenderness would be evenly distributed. I then took a look at the thickness of the steak and determined 8 min cooking on one side would be proper and a quick 2 min on the other should suffice.

Thus brings us to the ingredients used for the blackened steak which was made with the following to give a more flavorful blast.

Caramelized Maui onion sauce


Olive Oil

Salt/Lemon Pepper

The scallops had to be a much more time consuming approach due to the different style of cooking I wanted to test. I wanted to perfect the flavor with burn marks.

I used the following when testing the dish:


Caramelized Maui onions

Remy Martin VSOP

Margarine butter


Olive Oil

Salt/Lemon Pepper

Hope you enjoyed my cooking as much as I did…. See you next time….

Friday, December 25, 2009

Jill Stuart Sweetness Collection

Merry Christmas everyone! On this special day, I'll show you the 2009 Jill Stuart Holiday Sweetness Collection. This is the first JS holiday set for me and I love it a lot.

The box looks like a cake box with "Open me!" on one side and "Taste me!" on the other.

The pouch itself looks like a chiffon cake as well. It has 2 metal "J" charms and tiny roses on the top. So cute!

Inside the "cake"

Nail art sticker and nail file are on the flap pocket. Nail art is a big thing in Japan.

Jelly lip gloss 101 Sugar Kiss, Nail lacquer N 106 Romantic Macaron and Jelly eye color N 103 Snow Parfait. The lip gloss has a sugary smell just like the name.

This year instead of eyeshadow, JS added Mix Face Powder Compact 106 Marshmallow Puffy. The case looks similar to their Mix Blush Compact. Love the pink rhinestone and little charm.

The face powder has 4 colors, light yellow, pale pink, light peach and lavender. The white  shimmer overlay on top is kind of messed up due to shipping.

If you like this coffret as much as I do, you may want to purchase it as soon as possible before it's gone.

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