Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sephora Haul!

I finally had a day off from work today and went to Sephora to spend my $15 Beauty Insider gift card. I already had decided to get NARS Coconut Grove shadow after seeing it on amarixe's Youtube channel. I looked around for a good half an hour or so before I picked up Clinique Dramaticaly Different Moisturizing Gel and purple Sephora eyeliner, which all came to just about $40. I'm pretty excited to try out all this stuff, especially the Nars eye shadow. It's the first thing I've ever bought from this brand, but I've heard a lot of good things about it, so hopefully it doesn't disappoint.
What did everyone get with the $15 GC?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Deals!

I'm not sure if Sephora does this every year, but I just got my $15 gift card (for Beauty Insiders only) in the mail. It starts December 2, good until the 13th and can be used in stores or online. It's good on purchases of $40 or more.

Macys Friends and Family Sale starts December 1! I got my F&F passes a while ago from work, but I didn't pre-buy anything yet, so I will just wait until Thursday. It;s good for 25% off everything (except cosmetics, EDV and some other restrictions), including designer stuff! Also good for 10% off electronics as well.
Online code: MACYSFF

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Lately I've been so busy with school and work, I find myself wearing the same neutral look everyday. I've really been loving this look using Patina and Sketch from MAC. It's a nice look for fall (even if we don't have seasons here) with the burgandy and gold combination. It's really wearable and you can easily make it a night look by darkening up the outer corner.

Products Used:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
MAC Soft Ocher Paint Pot
MAC Patina e/s all over the lid
MAC Satin Tapue (sometimes I use Espresso) in the crease
MAC Sketch in outer corner
Kanebo Kate Gel Eyeliner BK2

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New phone!

My wallet is hurting after buying my plane tickets and getting a new phone today. But it's been 5 years since I got a new phone (yes, I'm serious) so I got the Samsung Galaxy S for t-mobile.
It's my first smartphone so it's keeping me amused lol. I'm loving it so far :) Anyone else have this phone?

Europe Bound!

I'm so excited! Just purchased my tickets to Europe!
Leaving on March 13th to London and I come home on April 13th from Brussels! It took forever to find a cheap ticket, which I should have bought last week, but I finally got my tickets! It's a huge relief, but I still have to tweak my itinerary. Let me know if you have any tips or experiences traveling in Europe. Any advice would be appreciated!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Travel Blog: Eurotrip!

So I will be graduating this December, and to celebrate the ending of my college career, I've decided to treat myself to a trip to Europe. Europe has always been a dream of mine, and I never though I'd have the chance to go. But I think now is the right time for me to travel, since it will give me a break before I start a full-time job. I've decided to go from mid-March to April, for just about a month. Backpacking is obviously the most economical option, so that's what I'll be doing. I haven't really come up with an itinerary yet, but I have a tentative list of countries I'm planning to visit:
UK: London, Canterbury, Leeds, Lake District, Edinburgh
Germany: Hamburg, Berlin
Switzerland: Interlaken, Zurich, Gimmelwald
Poland: Krakow
Italy: Rome, Pisa, Cinque Terre
I have not booked a ticket yet, but I hope to do so in the next month. Just waiting for the right time since the prices change throughout the day.
Has anyone had experience traveling in Europe? Any recommendations on places to visit or things to do? Any advice would be much appreciated!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sephora Friends and Family Sale!

Just a heads up, the Sephora Friends and Family discount can be used online from today!
Use FF2010 for 20% off!

I haven't decided what I'm going to buy yet, but I'll probably be purchasing something this weekend.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Swap Haul

This is a recent haul/review of things I've gotten over the past couple weeks through swapping.
ELF Palette: MAC Trax, Grain and Grape pressed pigment
Prestige eye shadow: Royale ($2 at Longs when it was 40% off)
Urban Decay Deluxe shadow in Ruthless
I didn't realize I had bought so many purple eye shadows recently, but I figured it was time I had some good purple shadows to work with.
I'm really loving all these shadows, but my least favorite is probably Trax. I've heard rave reviews about this color from MAC, and it is really pretty, but I can't stand the glitter in it. Granted, the fallout isn't as bad as I thought it would be, but I'm not the biggest fan of glittery shadows. But I'll probably be keeping this because I really love the color.
The pressed Grape pigment from MAC is also really nice. It's different from a lot of other pigments I've used from MAC because it actually looks pretty matte in the pan, with some glitter here and there. The pigmentation is decent, although I think it would be a lot better lose than pressed. It's a true purple color while I've been looking for.
I'm also really liking the Prestige eye shadow in Royale. This had such good pigmentation and it's a nice purple with a strong blue undertone. This blends pretty nicely and overall it was a really good deal. I got this for 40% off and only paid $2, but at regular price, it's still really cheap. I would definitly check out more of their shadows in the future.
Lastly, I'm in love with the neutrals I got, Grain and Ruthless. These are really pretty for a wash of color on the lid. I've been using grain almost everyday and I think it's a nice alternative to Sahara by NYX, which is what I usually use. Ruthless is really nice, and although it looks brown in the pan, it goes on gray/taupe-ish which is really pretty. Both shadows are soft and go on nicely. These two are my favorite about of the bunch!

Taken in natural light, over Soft Ocher paint pot.Grape pigment, Grain, Trax
Royale, Ruthless

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Essential Ultra Honey and Shea Butter Hair Pack Review and Update

I'm sorry for a lack of updates on my blog! Things were hectic during the last couple weeks of work, and then moving home and starting school hasn't made things any easier.
Well I wanted to review the Essential Ultra Honey and Shea Butter Hair Pack. I started going to the gym about 4 times a week and I would use the pool a lot, which dried out my hair quite a bit. I wanted to try a deep conditioner so I picked this up at a drugstore for about 600-yen. The directions say to use after washing your hair, leave it in for 5 minutes and rinse it out. The formula is really thick and I found it a little hard to spread it evenly throughout my hair. I also noticed it took a long time to rinse out, so using this can be time consuming, but I think the results were worth it. My hair felt so soft and was really shiny the next day. It was definitly moisturizing and my hair felt really nice. And the formula is really think so you don't need much. The jar is 200g so it will last a long time. I've been using it almost weekly and I've barely made a dent in it. This also smells amazing! I thought it would smell like honey like the name implies, but it smells a lot like the Essential Rich Premier shampoo and conditioner. Highly reccomended if you can find it in the US!

And an update on what I've been up to since I moved home...
Things actually worked out quite nicely. I got a job interview the day after I got home and got hired at Kona Mountain Coffee at the Hilton. I've been there about a month now, and I'm getting good hours (25-30 a week). School started the following week and I'm only taking 4 classes since it's my last semester:
EALL363B- 20th Century Chinese Literature
JPN471- Okinawan 1
JPN407B- Newspapers and Magazines
AMST212- Contemporary American and Global Issues
I have a feeling that I'll be burnt out at the end of the semester from work and school, but at least I'll be graduating! I have 2 writing intensive classes this semester so we don't really have final exams, but just a lot of papers to write.
I'm also trying to move out of the house soon. I've been trying to find a small 1 bedroom that we can share, but it's proving to be a lot harder than I thought. I saved over $1000 this summer and I was hoping to be out of the house sooner, but hopefully we'll figure something out soon. For those of you living on your own or with your SO, any advice??
Hope everyone has had a good summer, and good luck to everyone this fall semester!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Recent Purchaces and some reviews

I have to start by saying... Inception was such an awesome movie! If you haven't seen it yet, you should!
I finally had a break from my crazy work schedule and had a chance to do some much needed shopping. Since it's summer, all the clothes I bought were on sale (summer is one of the biggest sale seasons in Japan) and everything was under $30.
The blue top on the left is from Billabong. I have to admit, when I first walked into the store I told myself not to buy anything, because everything was pretty expensive. I've never bought anything at the Billabong store at home since it's pricey. But when I saw that top I knew I had to try it on, and when I did (waited like 20 minutes =/) I was sold. This top actually fit me really well, which is very surprising considering it's a medium (I guess in Japanese size?) and I usually wear XS. Anyway it was on sale so it came out to $30, plus I got my F-card points!
The Mickey mouse hoodie is from Uniqlo and was a limited edition item. It was on sale for $20. Although a hoodie is the last things I need now in this 90+ degree weather, I figured I could use it when I go back to school this fall.
The skirt (it's actually made like shorts, but looks like a skirt...this style is pretty popular here) is from Jenasis, and I bought it Takamatsu when I went to visit a friend. This is a bit small for me (labeled freesize), but still wearable. I've been wearing this a lot to the office since it's been so hot lately. Again, this was on sale for about $30.
On to the makeup...
Majolica Majorca Lash Gorgeous Wing Neo (new from Fall '10 collection): $13
Kanebo KATE Super Sharp Eyeliner (backup!): $9
Kanebo Kate Dual Blend Eyes BK-1 (also from Fall '10 collection): $9
Fasio Zero Expert UV Translucent Face Powder: $13
Kanebo Freshel Make up Base High Cover: $9
Biore UV Daily Care Gel SPF28 PA++: $6
I'm in love with the Biore sunscreen. I used to use the Neutrogena Ultra Dry Touch Sunblock and I thought that was really lightweight, but it doesn't compare to this! This really feels like nothing on your skin, and it doesn't get gross feeling by the end of a hot day either. There is a strong alcohol smell when you put this on, which could explain a lot, but it doesn't really bother me. Even better, it was only $6!
I'm also really liking the Dual Blend Eyes palette. Like all Japanese eye shadows, this is pretty sparkly, but there is no fallout, which is a huge plus! The colors in this palette are really neutral (light frosty beige and a dark brown) and I've been wearing this everyday this week. I don't think these are as long lasting as MAC eye shadows, because I find that they crease quicker. But even my MAC ones crease by the end of the day, so I'm not really complaining. I got this on sale for about $9 (I think it's $12 regular price).
I was a bit disappointed with the Freshel make up base and the translucent powder. The make up base had no coverage, although the product name indicates "high coverage". This felt pretty lightweight and blended nicely, but it's pointless if it doesn't cover up anything. The powder wasn't that great either. It gave my face a bit of a white cast and looked kind of cakey on the dryer parts of my face (although I do like how it has SPF15). It was also quite pricey at $13...too bad this one didn't work out.
I'm sad to be going home in two weeks, but this has been a really great learning experience. Once again work is going to be busy this week, and I'll be busier getting back to "reality" once I'm at home (job hunting again and starting school). Well, I hope everyone is having a good summer! Take care :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Travel Blog: Shimanami Kaido!

So, this blog post is way overdue since I did this almost a month ago, but this was such an awesome experience!
Shimanami Kaido is a 60km (37 miles) road that runs from Imabari (Ehime Prefecture) to Onomichi (Hiroshima Prefecture). It passes through six islands in the Seto-uchi and is only accessible by cycling or walking. When I first heard of this, I thought it was pretty impressive that this path was built only for cycling. Everything is quite modern and the path was really maintained. As you can see below, the cycling path doesn't follow the actual highway, so it's significantly longer than if you actually drove.We decided to try this on a weekday so it wouldn't be as crowded (I think we only saw 2 or 3 other people the whole day...) so we went on a Tuesday (June 7th). We departed JR Matsuyama Station at 7am and it took about an hour to get to Imabari station by local train. Once we arrived, we caught a bus to Itoyama Sunrise, the cycle rental shop, which is located right at the start of the bike path. A one day rental only cost 500-yen, along with a 1000-yen deposit. There are numerous rental terminals along the path on the different islands, so they have a norisute (乗り捨て) system, which is really convenient. It allows you to return your cycle at any rental terminal along the course (in case you decide to turn around). The only downside is that you don't get your deposit back, so it cost us 1500-yen total. Also, each bridge you cross has a small toll you need to pay. We got a ticket book at Itoyama Sunrise which was on sale for 250-yen (originally 500-yen) which had tickets to cover all the tolls.
So we finally headed out at around 830. The first bridge leading to the first island Oshima was the longest one, and passing through Oshima was the toughest part of the trip. This island was huge and it probably took us about 45-60 minutes to get through this part. I was so happy to see the next bridge, and even happier that the next island Hakatajima was pretty short. We got through this one and the next one, Omishima relatively quickly and stopped for lunch before we headed to the next island. We ate and rested for about an hour, and headed out again at about 1:00. The next island, Ikuchijima was also another long one at about 12km and we got lost a couple times here. The path is usually well marked on the ground, but in some places there were no signs so we had to ask people for directions. Unfortunately this island had a temple I wanted to see, but we were trying to finish by sundown, so we decided to pass and keep going. I forgot to mention, these islands have quite a few attractions, like museums, temples and parks etc, but we didn't really stop to see anything because we were determined to make it to Onomichi. By this point i was getting really exhausted and ran out of water, but we kept going because we were almost done. The last two bridges and islands were really tough because we were so tired, but we managed to make it to the ferry port on the last island, Mukaishima before the sun went down. I was so relived to see the end and finally be able to sit down on something other than the seat on the bicycle (very uncomfortable...). From Mukaishima to Onomichi you have to take a ferry, which took only about 5 minutes. We finally arrived at Onomichi at 5pm, so it took us about 7 hours total to complete the course.
The whole course was relatively flat with a few hills, but to me the hardest part was the bridges. At each bridge there was a circular ramp with a steady incline, which takes some time to get up to the bridge. I wish I had brought more water, because I ran out half way through the trip. This was pretty tough for me since I'm not really in shape, nor do I cycle long distances, but it was such an amazing experience! The views from the bridges were really pretty, and it was pretty fun.
After eating dinner, we returned to Matsuyama by bus and train, and it took about 2 hours because we left Onomichi a bit late. I got back home at around 10pm, very tired and really sunburnt, but nonetheless feeling very accomplished. For those of you who happen to be in the area, and want a unique experience in Japan, I definitly recommend doing this!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

ELF Eye Transformer Review

I ordered the ELF Eye Transformer palette after reading some reviews to try it for myself. I got it in the mail a few days ago and have been using it for the past couple days. The palette comes with 4 shadows: green, gold, pink/purple, and blue. This is meant to use over a dark base to create different colors. This was $3 from the ELF website and it comes with a ton of product.
The shadows have a nice smooth texture, but they're a bit powdery. I've tried these over a black eyeshadow and over a black liner, and I find the colors come off much more vibrant over an eyeliner. I think a very dark base would work best with these shadows. I've been wearing this on my lower lash line for the past couple days and they're pretty long wearing over eyeliner. I thought it would give off a stronger effect, but it's quite subtle on my eyes. It would be nice if they would come off a bit brighter. All the colors are really pretty, but I like te blue and green the best.
Swatches (L: Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Zero, R: NYX shadow in black):
Overall I think this is a decent product for $3. I wish they were more vibrant, but I like the pearly effect it gives over eyeliner. I probably wouldn't use this alone or over shadows, but maybe over a dark cream shadow. This is a good value because you get 4 different colors from 1 palette, and it's a steal for only $3. Overall, I would reccomend this, but I wouldn't repurchase (it will last forever anyway).

Friday, July 2, 2010

Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil Review

So I've finally decided to try out an oil cleanser. My friend uses this particular one and she really liked it and after reading more reviews online I decided to buy it. I bought the Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil. The bottle is 230ml and has a convenient pump with a lock (gotta love Japanese bottles). It has an orange scent which is quite nice. I paid just under 600-yen for this so it was really cheap!
I've been using this the past few days and I really love it! I just use it with dry hands and massage it into my skin. When you rinse it off with water it emulsifies and turns into a white liquid which rinses off really easily. This is an awesome cleanser but doesn't leave your skin feeling dry or tight. It also removes my eye makeup with ease so I'd definitly recommend this product.
Does anyone use oil cleansers? Which ones do you use/recommend?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A haul and an update!

Hey guys! I haven't really blogged since I got to Japan, but I've been so busy at work! Things are really hectic since we had a presentation last week, and 3 in a row this week! This next month or so is going to be crazy busy...
Well on to my haul. This is stuff I've bought since I got to in the past month or so.
I got the MAC lipstick in Beachbound from the To The Beach collection. It doesn't come out here until next month so I got this in s MUA swap. To be honest, I never wear lipstick, but this color is a really sheer and neutral peachy/golden color and it looks really natural. It gives my lips a shine and I really like it. I've been wearing it everyday to work. The only down side is that it emphasizes dry lips s I can only wear it when my lips look nice.

I finally got to go shopping yesterday. I caught the train to a mall nearby (Emiful), which ia apparently the largest mall in Shikoku. And yes, it is huge! I wish I would've taken a picture, but I got lost several times there and by the end of the day my feet hurt really bad :( but I managed to get some things on sale and it was a good opportunity for me to relax on the weekend for once! I bought a couple things at Uniqlo and some cosmetics:

The uniqlo clothes came out to just under 2500-yen and I bought these things mainly to wear at work. From the cosmetics lot, L-R:
Maybelline Hello Kitty Volum' Express Cat Eyes Mascara
Shiseido Majolica Majorca Lash Enamel Glamor Volume On Mascara
Sunkiller Prefect Strong BB Sunscreen
Heroine Make Essence in BB Cream
I wll probably try to do a review on the BB creams when I get around to testing them out. Those two were pretty cheap, under 1000-yen. I saw Kanebo also has one that's reasonable. Maybelline has a mineral BB cream and Revlon also has a moisture BB cream so I might check those out too, but they're around 2000-yen each, which is a little pricey.
I should also mention I saw Sex and the City 2 a couple weeks ago. It was my first time seeing a movie in Japan. We went on Ladies Day so it was only 1000-yen, when the regular price is close to 2000-yen. I thought it was interesting that they has assigned seats (apparently it's typical in asia, even in Korea according to my coworker) and they even served beer there (though apparently it's uncommon in Japan). It was weird to be the only people in the theater laughing at all the jokes (the Japanese subs were really weird), and overall I thought it was better than the first one, although it was really long (140-ish minutes).
Anyway, hope everyone is doing well! Sorry I've been so MIA and I'll try to update more often.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

FOTD and I'm finally in Japan!

Products Used:
NYX Sahara on inner half of lid
MAC Satin Taupe on outter half
MAC Trax in crease
Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Eggplant on top and bottom lash line
MAC Fig.1 on top of Revlon eyeliner on lower lash line
MAC Tendertone in EZ Baby

Gotta go to work in about 30 minutes so I'll make this update quick. I'm working 9-5 everyday so I haven't had much time to unpack my stuff yet. I'm living out of my suitcase ATM. Work is going well and everyone in the office is really nice, but it's still intimidating. I have Japanese tutoring for the next week or so, so half my day I'm doing that and half the day is work. I finally signed up for a gym membership (I've been telling myself to do it for years now) at a new place that opened up behind my apartment. Fuji Grand is right near my place so it's really convenient, but work is pretty far, about 25 minutes by bike. It's also been much colder than i thought it would be. It's been in the 50s/60s all day so I'm freezing. I didn't really bring anything warm to wear, but hopefully it will only last a week or two :(
Anyway I'm off to work now. Hope everyone is doing well!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Last day at home

It's times like this when I hate myself for procrastinating. I just started packing this morning and I'm about half done. I leave tomorrow at 1050 and we arrive at NRT around 1430. I'm really not looking forward to the super long flight and I hope I'll be able to get some sleep. I have the worst time trying to fall asleep on airplanes. Any suggestions??D so I only had a few shots and got home safe.
Yesterday was a farewell dinner for me and we went to Funpix afterward (the purikura place at Century Center). It was $6-8 depending which booth you used...which to me was really expensive because it's half the price in Japan. But it's the only authentic purikura place around here, so I guess it was worth it.
Anyway, I'll probably update again once I arrive in Japan. I'm really nervous but I'm excited to be going back to Japan. 頑張ります。

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tag: 40 Beauty Questions

Feel free to do this one! I'd love to hear other people's favorites as well.

-How many times do you wash your face daily?
At least once a day, before I go to bed. Usually try to wash my face in the morning too, but sometimes I don't have time.

-What skin type do you have? (dry,oily,combo)
I have really oily skin. Sometimes combination because I tend to get dry spots on my cheeks.

-What is your current facial wash?
I either use Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser or Basis Sensitive Skin bar.

-Do you exfoliate?
Yeah, I usually do it in the shower.

-What brand do you use?
I use Aveeno Skin Brightening Daily Scrub. It's pretty gentle and I can use it multiple times a week.

-What moisturizer do you use?
I use Purpose Redness Reducing Moisturizer for daytime and Cetaphil at night. I've recently started using the Up and Up brand from Target. Not sure if I like it yet.

-Do you have freckles?

-Do you use eye cream?
Yeah but I recently got a rash under my eye from the medication I was taking so I've stopped using it for now.

-Do you or did you have acne prone skin?
Yeah, I've had acne since I was in 6th grade, so about 11 years. I've yet to see clear skin, but I have a daily routine down so it helps to keep it under control.

-Did you ever have to use Pro-activ?
Yeah, I think I used it when I was in high school. That stuff was horrible...worst stuff ever.

-What foundation do you use?
I don't use foundation because of my skin, but I have tried Everyday Minerals and BB cream in the past.

-How about concealer?
No concealer either.

-Do you know your undertone color?
Yeah, it's yellow/warm.

-What do you think of fake eyelashes?
Never tried them and I don't intend to. I hear they can be a bit heavy on your lids.

-Did you know that you are supposed to change your mascara every 3 months?
Yeah but I rarely use mascara.

-What brand of mascara do you use?
I've used Maybelline Full n Soft and Smashbox Bionic Mascara and both were alright.

-Sephora or MAC?
I have a lot of MAC stuff, but Sephora has a variety of brands, so I would chose Sephora.

-Do you have a MAC Pro-card?

-What makeup tools do you use in make up application?
Sigma 217 brush is awesome! I also use my ELF eyeshadow brush, ELF blending brush and the ELF studio contour brush a lot.

-Do you use make-up base/primer for the eyes?
Yeah. I have the oiliest lids ever so I need a primer. I use Too Faced Shadow Insurance. I've tried UDDP and it sucked...thankfully it was only a sample.

-For the face?

-What is your favorite eyeshadow (color or shade)?
NYX Sahara and MAC Tea Time pigment and Patina are pretty neutral colors. Trax, Fig.1, and Moonflower are really nice too.

-Do you use pencil or liquid eyeliner?
I like my liquid liner for quick application. I use Kanebo Kate Super Sharp Eyeliner...stays on all day. For pencil I either use Revlon Colorstay or Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliners.

-How often do you poke your eyes with an eyeliner pencil?

-What do you think of pigment eyeshadows?
They're alright, but I don't use them too often. I hate the fallout that I get, but I do use it on occasion.

-Do you use mineral makeup?
I've tried EDM and it was alright. Not a huge fan though.

-What is your favorite lipstick?
I don't usually wear lipstick.

-How about lipgloss?
Stila Lip Glaze or MAC tendertones.

-What is your favorite blush to use?
Don't use blush.

-Do you buy your makeup on ebay?

-Do you like drugstore makeup?

-Do you go to CCO's? (cosmetic company outlets)
We don't have them in Hawaii.

-Did you ever consider taking make-up classes?

-Are you clumsy in putting on makeup?
Sometimes...I guess if I'm really tired in the mornings.

-Name a makeup crime that you hate?
I hate really thick black liner =/

-Do you like colorful shades of makeup (lipstick,eyeshadow) or neutral ones?
I like both...especially purples and blues, but neutrals are good too.

-Which celebrity always has great make up?
no idea

-If you could leave the house using just ONE make up item,what would you use?

-Could you ever leave the house without any makeup on?

-Do you think you look good even without any makeup on?
Yeah. The one thing I hate about my face is my acne, but I would never cover it up with makeup becuase I will probably break out.

-In your opinion, what is the BEST makeup line?
Not sure. I like MAC eyeshadow, but I think some DS eyeliner is just as good as higher end ones.

-What do you think of Makeup?
It's a good way to express yourself and it makes me feel artistic...since I'm horrible at drawing or any other kind of art.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tag: A little about myself...

10 Random things about me:
1. I love anchovies, and natto. Not together of course, but they're two of my favorite things to eat! I just ate maguro-natto donburi tonight and it was awesome!

2. I clip coupons like crazy! I hate to admit it, but since I've been out of a job I've been pretty kechi with my money so I try to save whenever I can.

3. I hate vegetables! I can eat salad (lettuce and tomato at the most, occasionally bell pepper) with a lot of dressing. Other than that, seeing me eat veggies is a rarity. I don't eat fruit a whole lot either (damn I must sound so unhealthy!) but I love apples, bananas and mango.

4. I've kinda reached a point in my life where I have no idea what I want to do. I will be graduating in December and I think it will be a miracle if I can land a job after graduation. I know I do not want to go to grad school...can't afford it anyway. I am thinking about volunteering abroad if I'm not able to get a job.

5. I have a twin sister. She's a minute older than I and we were born about 2 months premature. I was 1lb and 11oz when I was born. Yeah..I cringe every time I see my baby pictures lol.

6. Today is my 5 year anniversary. My partner and I started dating while I was in high school and are still going strong ♥

7. I don't have any piercings or tattoos. I want to get my ears pierced eventually and possibly a tattoo.

8. I've been a fan of Utada Hikaru since middle school. I'm so happy I got to see her live when she came to Hawaii earlier this year. Best concert ever and definitly a dream come true.

9. I've only been to the mainland once in my whole life. I went to Disneyland in CA when I was 7. I don't really see the appeal, but I want to go to Vegas, NY and to see the grand canyon some day.

10. I only started using makeup recently, within the past year. I don't really remember what sparked my interest, and I learned from watching youtube tutorials. I'm not dependent on makeup and I don't think I ever will be. I will never be one of those people who can't leave the house without it.

10 things I always carry with me:
1. Wallet (or just my drivers license, cash and my debit card)
2. Cell phone
3. Keys
4. Softlips Raspberry lip balm
5. Tissues
6. Omamori
7. pens
8. mirror
9. sunglasses
10. digi camera

Saturday, May 8, 2010

EOTD: Teal eyes

I'm really loving this pigment from Facefront so I decided to do another EOTD with it. The colors look more vibrant irl. I guess I have to find better lighting in my house to take pictures.

Products Used:
Facefront Survival Paint as primer
Facefront Aqua Marina all over lid (love this color!)
MAC Blue Storm pigment in outter corner
MAC Moonflower in crease
NYX Sahara to blend edges
Almay Eyeliner in Brown-black

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Travel Blog: Budget Travel!!

Out of the 11 months I spent living in Japan, I had a lot of time to travel. In particular, domestic travel in Japan is quite expensive. People are more likely to travel abroad rather than domestically, just because it's cheaper. Anyway, I wanted to see as much of Japan as I could in the time I spent there, but I didn't have a whole lot of money. I was living off my scholarship allowance, about $800 a month. Although it seems like a lot I was paying rent, utilities, phone bill, insurance/pension and other stuff so I was on a limited budget. I actually did get to see most of what I wanted to, but I did it on a limited budget. I'm just going to share a few things I learned about how to budget my time and money while traveling.
Sadly, this is probably going to be the bulk of your travel expenses. In Japan, public transportation is expensive, but it's also extremely convenient. I mostly had time to travel while we were on vacation at school, during winter/spring/summer vacations. During this time JR offers the 青春18切符 (seishun 18 kippu) tickets. This ticket is excellent for budget travel, but not if you need to get somewhere quickly.
These are valid for several months at a time, but only during winter (Dec.10-Jan.20) /spring (March 1-April10) /summer (July 20-Sept.10) vacations, or basically 4 months out of the year.
One ticket costs 11500-yen (about $115USD), and is valid for 5 days (consecutive or non-consecutive) days of unlimited travel on JR local and rapid trains. That's 2300-yen per day or $23USD (a bargain if you know the cost of train tickets -_-)! Shinkansen, Limited Express and Express are not valid for this offer, so the down side is, it takes a long time to get anywhere (you can only use local and rapid trains). You can also use it for more than one person. 5 people can share 1 ticket for 1 day, or 1 person can use it for 5 different days.
This is the only ticket I used when I traveled in Japan. I only had to take a bus once, but that was when I traveled during Golden Week and the ticket was not avaliable.
Hyperdia is an excellent site for looking up train timetables. You can enter a start and end station and it will tell you which train, what time, where to transfer, how much etc. It's very convenient if you're planning to travel anywhere by train.

Hostels are a great budget accommodation! I admit, I was a little skeptical at first because I've never stayed at a hostel before, but as long as you do research and plan ahead you'll be fine. Hostelworld is an awesome site! They have reviews and you can book your stay through the site. I've relied on this site for it's reviews and to book my accommodations, and I've always had really good experiences at the places I've chosen. Hostels are a great way to meet people from all over the world, and usually the people here are very helpful and friendly. Average rates are from about $20-25 a night for a dorm room (4-6 people) and can be up to $30 or $40 for a private (double or single) room. Dorms are usually divided by gender so it's not that uncomfortable. I did stay in a mixed dorm for 1 night, and it was a little awkward, but bearable. I probably wouldn't do it again unless I really had to. Capsule hotels are also a really cheap option, and something fun to try while you're in Japan. Whenever I went to Osaka I always stayed at a capsule hotel. It was about $25 a night. The actual capsule is much bigger than I thought it would be, so I was pleasantly surprised. The only thing I hate is there's not much privacy. Bathrooms, sinks, showers and your locker are all in a separate rooms and can get inconvenient. But it's a good option if you really have nowhere else to stay. It might be harder to find a place that accepts women (most only accept men), but hostel world has several listings, which is where I found the place I stayed at.
Business hotels are your next best option if there are no hostels avaliable. There are tons of business hotel chains all over Japan. I would recommend Toyoko Inn. They have locations everywhere, and they are usually located right outside the train stations so it's very convenient. Prices range from $45-60 a night, sometimes more. It's a decent price and the rooms are a good size for 1 or 2 people. Plus they serve free breakfast every morning!
Well this post is actually a lot longer than I expected it to be, so I'll probably add a second blog later. Hope this helps some of you. I'm thinking about taking a post-graduation trip at the end of the year, so I hope that will work out!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Small haul and some random stuff

Well this week has been craaaazy busy! Finals are in 2 weeks so it's crunch time and work has been piling up so fast. I have an 8 page paper, translation project and presentation to do this coming week, then 5 exams the next. I can't wait until this semester is done! I discovered I've developed carpal tunnel in my left hand and I've been wearing a brace to help keep it under control. I also registered for classes for next semester:
JPN461- Intro. to Classical Japanese
JPN471- Okinawan Language/Culture 1
JPN407B- Newspapers and Magazines
EALL363B- 20th C Chn Lit & Cul:1919-1949
AMST201- American Exp: Inst & Movements
This isn't final yet and I still have to narrow it down to 4 classes...hopefully I can get away without taking that dreaded 416 class. I thought registration would be the easiest this time, considering this is going to be my last semester, but because of budget cuts and less sections being offered, it was as difficult as ever. Oh well, maybe if I ever decide to go to grad school, things will work out in my favor. Even worse, my 電子辞書 broke on me at the worst possible time! I'm in the middle of my translation project and the screen looks like it cracked in half. It still works, but I can't see anything on the screen so I'm just going to get a new one when I'm back in Japan (3 more weeks!!)
Anyway, school and ranting aside, on to some good news. HB444 (civil unions bill) passed in the house Thursday!! Very surprising, but good news! It's up to the govenor whether she will sign or veto the bill, which is pretty nerve racking because she has until July to do it. I hope, if it does happen, it will soon, or at least before I leave (I know people are going to try to prop-8 this).
I also have a bit of a haul to share. I went to Aeropostale last weekend to use the $10 off coupon I got in my email. I bought a pair of shorts and a white tank which came out to $17 with the discount.

I also traded in my empty bottle of Proactiv on Earth Day at Origins for a free cleanser. I got the full-sized Checks and Balances, but I haven't tried it out yet. I also bought a bottle of BB cream (my first one). I got the Missha Watery BB Cream, which is supposed to be a darker shade than most. I tested this out yesterday and the coverage is pretty sheer, but the color is a nice match for my skin. I might do a review on this later if anyone wants to see it.I'll hopefully update sometime next week after classes end. My dad put in a new light in my room so taking pictures and doing EOTD has been really hard. Anyway, this got pretty long so I'll stop here. Hopefully I'll have another entry up next week :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earth Day Discounts & Freebies

Here are a few earth day discounts and freebies I found browsing online.
“We’ll trade you for FREE. One day only – 4/22. Bring your current skincare to any Origins counter and we’ll trade it for a full-size of one of our gentle, high-performance cleansers. Choose either: Checks and Balances™ Frothy face wash Or a Perfect World™ Antioxidant cleanser with White Tea. Value up to $20!”
Check out their Facebook page for more details. It says any skincare product, but there have been discrepancies as to whether it's any skincare product or cleanser that's eligible to trade in. Here is the official FB event. I think I'll be going to the actual store instead of the Macys counter at Ala Moana to avoid any discrepancy. People have been posting on facebook that some counters are not participating in this promo. I've decided to trade in my really (5-year old unopened) old bottle of my dreaded Proactiv cleanser. It's been sitting in the original box under my bathroom sink, so I figured I'd get rid of it.

The Body Shop
20% off discount until 4/25. I might get that banana shampoo I've been wanting to try...

So this is a bit late. Apparently they gave out free recyclable totes on April 18 in honor of Earth Week. However, Target also has a promo with Newsweek. The April 14th issue has a special mailer which you can fill with Target bags, and send in the (prepaid) envelope for a $1 coupon good for a Retote bag (made from the recycled plastic bags).
I thought this was a pretty cool idea. I haven't checked out the issue of Newsweek, but I think I might pick up one for myself.

Btw, Avatar also comes out on DVD/Bluray on Earth Day! My sister works at Blockbuster so she's pre ordered a copy :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

DKNY Be Delicious

The Sephora Beauty Insider 15% off discount ends tomorrow so I stopped by Sephora to use my coupon. I've been wanting the DKNY Be Delicious perfume for a while now, and I was happy to find this roller ball duo for $20. It has the original Be Delicious as well as the Be Delicious Fresh Blossom which I really like. With the discount, I paid just over $17!
In other news, I finally got my flight confirmed for my internship this summer. I leave in about a month, May 23rd and I'm coming back August 16th. I'm really excited and a bit intimidated, but I think it'll be a good experience.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

MAC Pressed Pigments

So I finally received some MAC pressed pigments I bought in the mail today. I got these from a seller on Makeuptalk forums, 3 pressed pigments (not full pans) for $7. I also got another pressed pigment through a swap on MUA so I've included that one too.
I put all the pans in an ELF quad. The four pigments are: Goldstroke, Gold Mode, Your Ladyship and Tea Time. I have the tea time lose pigment and the color is gorgeous! But I rarely use it because I don't like the fallout from it. I really like all the colors and they're really neutral. I like the pressed pigments better than lose. I think they go on much easier and they're less messy when pressed into pans.

Your Ladyship, Goldstroke, Gold Mode, Tea Time

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

NOTD: OPI Meet Me on the Star Ferry

OPI Meet Me on the Star Ferry. This is a color from the newest OPI Hong Kong collection. I was really excited when I first saw swatches of this color and I got it in the mail a couple of weeks ago. The picture above is taken under natural sunlight. And I've been wearing it for about a week which is why it looks really chipped.
In the bottle this color is really dark and it almost looks brown to me. The formula is quite think and the application was a bit streaky, but it came out nice, streak-free and opaque after 2 coats. It looks dark purple with a pinkish tone if you look at it in the light. Overall I really love this color and I will probably buy another bottle of this

Friday, April 2, 2010

Recent Purchases

Since I've been unemployed, I don't have a whole lot of money to spend on makeup anymore, but I've got some good deals looking for stuff on sale. Here are some recent purchases :)
NYX The Runway Collection Jazz Night Palette
OPI Meet me on the Star Ferry
Essie Perky Purple
I got the NYX pallette on sale at Longs. It was 25% off so it came out to about $7 total. I got the two nail polishes for about $7 each including shipping from a survey online.
I've been wanting the OPI polish since the Hong Kong collection came out and I love the color! I'll probably post swatches in a NOTD post later this week. The Essie polish I'm not a big fan of. The color is really pretty but it comes off really matte on my nails and I don't think it looks good on me. I think I'll probably put this one up for swap.
The NYX palette is amazing! The colors are pigmented and smooth, easily blendable. I'll probably do a more through review later, but so far I'm loving this palette. This is my first palette from NYX, and I was tempted to buy it after watching fafinettex3's tutorial on youtube. Even better because it was 25% off :)
I also stopped at Sephora for the free skincare consultation and I got a bunch of samples. The SA was really nice and gave generous samples from Boscia. I got cleanser, moisturizer, blemish treatment, clarifying mask and an eye cream. I really love the cleanser so far, but I'm not loving the blemish treatment or the moisturizer. I think I might go back to the Ala Moana store...I never got my free BI gift.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

25 Before 25

25 things I want to do before I'm 25! ...well if not by 25, then before I die. I actually started this list when I was in high school and I've been slowly checking things off. But the list below are things I have yet to accomplish.

1. Climb Mt. Fuji
2. Donate blood
3. See the Grand Canyon
4. Ride a yellow cab in NYC
5. Throw a coin off the Empire State Building
6. Buy a lottery ticket
7. Dye my hair
8. Get a piercing (don't have any so far!)
9. Go surfing
10. Culinary school
11. Scuba diving
12. Ride in a Swan paddle-boat
13. Go Hand gliding
14. Ride in a hot air balloon
15. See the Northern Lights
16. Build a snowman
17. Ride a camel
18. Vacation in Japan (not for school or work...)
19. Go fishing and catch something
20. See squirrels and snakes
21. Take a spontaneous trip somewhere
22. Do some volunteer work abroad
23. Go back to the mainland (Only went to California once, and that was over 15 years ago!)
24. Go to my high school class reunion
25. Go snowboarding/skiing

Also, a list of places I want to visit within the next 10 years. After leaving the country once, I really want to travel again! If only I could save up the money...
1. Greece
2. Italy
3. Hokkaido
4. Egypt
5. Turkey
6. Holland
7. Dubai
8. Scotland
9. China
10. Australia

Where are some places you've travel to or want to go? Please share! I'd love to hear other stories. I'll probably be posting some travel blogs soon so look out for that :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

End of Spring Break...

I finally had a much needed night out last night. It was a belated birthday celebration for a friend. Went to Therapy in Hawaii Kai because I had a gift certificate left over from Christmas. They have the BEST fried pickles ever!! omg so good!! We also got the fried mac n cheese, which was decent, as well as their mushrooms with brie, also pretty good even though I don't like mushrooms. They ran out of their spicy ahi burger...which is amazing, and I don't know any other restaurants that serve that, so I was disappointed. But the overload on fried food and alcohol made up for it.
Later that night I picked up my sister from work and we headed to The Shack (in Hawaii Kai) at around 1130. I got a couple drinks there and tried their buffalo wings, onion rings and potato skins. All the food was pretty good, especially the wings, and the drinks were decent. Overall the night was fun and it was good to catch up with friends again. This semester is so busy and the break went by too fast. I've gotta catch up on homework today. I have 2 papers to finish that are due next week. Hopefully I'll be productive! Hope everyone had a good spring break :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

EOTD: Blue/Gold using Facefront Cosmetics

I did a blue and gold look today. I tried to adjust the contrast in photoshop, but for some reason the colors don't show up as vibrant in the photo as they do on me. Anyway I'm still trying to figure out how to take good pictures lol.

Products Used:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance/Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow: Recess as a base
Facefront Cosmetics Glazed Pear on inner half of lid
Facefront Cosmetics Aqua Marina on outter half
MAC Moonflower in outter corner
Kanebo KATE Super Sharp Liquid Liner winged out
Moonflower, Aqua Marina and Glazed Pear repeated on lower lash line

Monday, March 22, 2010

NOTD: OPI Princesses Rule!

OPI- Princesses Rule! I wasn't crazy about this nail polish when I first put it on, but it's growing on me. It's a bright pale pink with tons of micro-glitter. The picture above is taken under direct sunlight, after a whole week since I first applied it.
Furthermore, I had a very uneventful day at the beach :( No swimming signs were posted and so were the flags, so we couldn't go in the water because of the high surf. But I still got a tan so I'm satisfied. Will go again on Friday if the weather gets better.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

EOTD: Neutral look

Here is my first EOTD! I'm still trying to figure out how to take better pictures of the look. The lighting is always too bright or too dark and I can never get it just right. Anyone have any suggestions?
Anyway, I did a neutral eye with browns and grey. I usually wear this on the weekends when I want something natural.
Here's the look:

Close up:

Products used:
MAC Soft Ochre Paint Pot as a base
NYX Sahara + Facefront Cosmetics Beijing Beat all over the lid
MAC Coquette in the crease
MAC Espresso in the outer corner and under lower lashline
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Pencil: Zero on upper lashline and smudged out

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Summer Internship update!

So it's official! I've been selected for the summer internship in Japan. I'm so excited!! But... the down side is, I found out that the other intern doesn't speak any Japanese, despite the fact that the application requirements stated "functional proficiency" in Japanese. So... I'm a bit worried about that, but I'm still looking forward to it. I'm still now sure when I'm leaving, but it'll most likely be at the end of May. It'll be in Matsuyama for about 3 basically the entire summer. It's also paid which is a huge plus! Anyway, just wanted to share the exciting news!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Summer Internship!!

So I'm finally done with midterms! These past 2 weeks have been crazy busy! But I do have some exciting news. So about a month ago a professor of mine passed out fliers informing us about a summer internship in Matsuyama this summer. It's 80-90 days long and a paid internship. I have known about this since my freshman year in college and always wanted to apply, but I didn't think I would get in, so I opted not to. About a week ago she encouraged people to submit applications because they hadn't received that many, so I talked with her after class and she said I would be a good candidate. I only had 2 days to finish the application, so I did and turned it in right before the deadline.
This past Wednesday I had an interview, and I got a call Thursday morning telling me that I had been nominated as a candidate for this internship. Unfortunately the decision isn't finalized yet, and I still have to submit letters of recommendation and a lot of other paperwork, but I think there's a good chance I will go back this summer. I'm scrambling to turn in everything by next Wednesday, so wish me luck :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Facefront Cosmetics Mini Haul

So this is my second time placing an order with Facefront Cosmetics ( I saw they were having a 30% off sale so I bought a couple of eye shadows. I purchased from Facefront before with no problems, but I must say their customer service sucks! I just have to rant because it took almost a month for me to get my order.
I placed my order Feb.7th and just got it today, March 3rd. After about a week went by without any shipping confirmation email, I used the contact form on their website to try to figure out what was going on. I must've filled out that form and sent them emails a least 10 times with no response. Finally about 10 days ago I get a response saying they were really sorry no one had gotten back to me. They said my order was shipped and they would re-send the shipping confirmation (which I still never received!). My March 1st I still had not received a shipping confirmation or a package. I finally got the package today and according to the postmark, it was shipped on the 28th, not on the 23rd like their email said.
I'm really disappointed to see this lack of customer service because I really like Facefront's products. But after this experience I don't think I'll be buying anything from them again. I was looking forward to their Atlantic Avenue collection which was supposed to be out on the 12th, but the website still hasn't been updated. Oh well, they apparently have new owners so maybe it's taking a long time to get things up and running again. Has anyone else been experiencing this with Facefront?

Anyway...on to the mini haul! I only bought 2 eye shadows; I got their Fresh Ink Eye Shadow in Glazed Pear and Paint Me Perfect Lose Pigment in Aqua Marina. I used glazed pear today and I really love the color. It's a beautiful golden nude color and the texture is amazing. I've yet to try out Aqua Marina, but I swatched it and it's so pigmented.

Swatches (no base, natural light)
Glazed Pear/Aqua Marina (natural light)

Taken under sunlight:
Overall Thoughts
I really like Facefront's eye shadows. They're really pigmented and very smooth and bendable. But I probably wouldn't buy from them again because of their bad customer service.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tsunami Warning :(

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for Hawaii. The warning follows a massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck central Chile. The warning center said a tsunami has been generated that could cause damage along coastlines of all Hawaii islands. It said urgent action should be taken to protect lives and property.

Sirens will be going off in about 10 minutes! I hope everything will be alright. Stay safe everyone.

Edit: The tsunami warning has been canceled. Thank god everyone is alright :)

Monday, February 22, 2010


Sometimes I wish life was this simple. もうちょっと我慢できれば...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sigma Makeup Beauty on the go Fun Colors Kit: Review

Sigma Makeup ( had a Valentines day sale a couple of weeks ago. After reading a ton of reviews, I finally decided to get the Fun Colors palette. It was $27 on sale ($36 regular price) which included 4 eye shadows, 1 empty palette, and a free travel sized 217 brush. Shipping was $6 priority mail and I got the package within a week of placing the order.
The Fun Colors kit included 4 colors: Sweet Virginia, I've Got The Blues, Playing With Fire and Sweet Lady Jane. Also, these eye shadows are huge! Each contains 4 grams (compared to 1.5 grams from MAC) so I think these will last forever. Each shadow comes in an individual case, which you can pop out and place into the empty quad. I like how the names of each color are visible from the back of the quad.

Swatches (no base, natural light)
Sweet Virginia (greyish purple), Playing with Fire (golden-copper), I've Got The Blues (deep blue), Sweet Lady Jane (dark green)

Overall Thoughts
I must say I'm impressed with the quality of these shadows. The texture is very soft and blends easily with other shadows. These shadows are very pigmented, but I don't like all the shimmer. There are no matte shadows, and I don't think any of the other kits have mattes either. I personally prefer satin/pearl eye shadows over glittery ones. I got fallout with these shadows, but it's not nearly as bad as Urban Decay. I think if you tap off excess shadow and use a good primer, fallout should be minimal. I really wish this palette had at least one matte shade, but other than that, I think this was a really good deal for the amount of product you get.
Overall I'm quite pleased with this set and I love the SS217 blending brush that came with it. I'm not sure if I would purchase anymore makeup from Sigma in the future (the other kits have mostly neutral shades, but I will consider getting the brush sets), but I'm happy with this purchase.