Tag: Japanese

My Surratt Beauty Experience at Barneys

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Surratt Beauty It’s been ages and ages and ages since I wrote about my desire to try out Troy Surratt’s beauty line, but shortly before I went away, the day finally came for me to head to Barneys and experience the works. I had tried a couple of the products in the line here and there, but I really wanted to immerse myself in the full Surratt Beauty experience. And oh, did I ever.

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Wishlist fulfilled: My first Hakuhodo brushes

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I can finally has Hakuhodo brushes! (Sorry, I promise I’ll never write that way again.) I’ve been lusting after these cult handmade Japanese makeup brushes for a while, and I finally saved up enough money to invest in my first two. Let me show you!

Hakuhodo brushes (more…)

Samples Soliloquy #1

Soliloquy noun \sə-ˈli-lə-kwē\

: a long, usually serious speech that a character in a play makes to an audience and that reveals the character’s thoughts

I decided to start a series in which I (finally) review the (copious amounts of) samples I’ve procured from Sephora (among other places), so it seemed a fitting title. 🙂

DSC_1491 Finding a good use for my empty Birchbox boxes. 😉

(In order to keep track of all my samples, I’ve started to write the names on the top in Sharpie and then using Scotch tape on top to keep it from smearing. I figure if I ever buy the full size, I can refill the sample size and use it for traveling.)

I’m going to use my first entry to discuss the collection of skincare items that, along with the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, I credit for helping to clear up my face after the Liz Earle Incident. Which means, yes, I like them, and, yes, I would purchase the full-size items. (And intend to!)

I’ve read about Ren Skincare everywhere, so when I saw that Sephora had the whole line, I grabbed a few items to try. And, boy, am I glad I did.

DSC_1492 The heroes of the day.

My first pick was the Ren Hydra Calm Cleansing Milk. I specifically chose this because it’s for sensitive skin and I thought my skin was upset enough as it was. I chose this over the gel since, as I’ve said, everything I’m reading these days is saying that any kind of gel or foaming cleanser is bad for you. So I started using this after taking off my makeup with Bioderma Crealine H2O. It smells nice, it feels gentle on the skin—almost like you’re not even putting anything on your skin, which is good for upset skin—and then using the muslin cloth from the Liz Earle kit and hot water to remove it. I put the hot cloth over my face for a few seconds, and then I gently scrub wipe off.

Once things started to clear up after using the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil, I introduced the Ren ClearCalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser. I didn’t want to overstrip or overdry my skin with the clay, so I only used that at night, and continued with the Hydra Calm in the morning. But I have to say that this feels plenty milky as well. It does smell clay-like, and I also remove it with the muslin cloth and hot water.

After that, I used the Ren Resurfacing AHA Concentrate. This is to help brighten and clear your complexion, with acidic exfoliators. This is especially good for helping to get rid of the marks that zits leave on your face. Which I know firsthand.

Then I use the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil. On top of that, I’ve been using the Ren ClearCalm 3 Replenishing Night Serum. This helps treat the pimples and also helps with the redness and marks. (You only use the Resurfacing AHA Concentrate for 7 days at a time, so this works in the interim.) It’s amazing to wake up in the morning and literally see that your skin looks better.

(I’ve had a deluxe-sized sample of the Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask for a while, so I’ve thrown that in once a week as well to help fade the red marks and discoloration. [I did not receive this one from Sephora. I don’t even remember where it came from!] Especially since Lisa Eldridge mentioned her love of lactic acid treatments for exfoliation.)

Then, rounding out the sample saviors, is Origins Make A Difference Plus + Rejuvenating Treatment (the oil-free one). I mentioned I was liking the Ole Henriksen Vitamin Plus moisturizer sample I got, but the Origins pulled ahead in the end. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I’ve gotten samples of this about 7 times now, since I can’t be without it. It feels so nice on the skin, it feels perfectly hydrated, and it smells amazing. I don’t get over oily from using it, and my skin has really turned around over the last few weeks. (Although I do find that if I use the acid exfoliators during the day, it does overstimulate the oil production in my skin, and I get oilier, so I don’t use it during the day.)

These are just in place of those things I was previously using. I’m still using the same toners. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just go back to my old cleansing routine after the Liz Earle didn’t work out. I am, too, but I am trying to take to heart the urging not to use foaming/gel cleansers, and both of the ones I was using fell under that category. Also, this stuff has really been working and I haven’t paid for it (yet). :p So…

And now my skin is looking so much better and I’m grateful.

Next time, I’ll discuss some of the makeup samples I’ve gotten.

Have you tried any of these products? Are you sampling anything from Sephora lately?

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Turning Japanese

Look, I’m a New Yorker. It takes a lot to get me to go to New Jersey. But Rose, being from New Jersey, found a way to tempt me. (Besides for fair play, since she comes into New York all the time. But, I mean, come on.)

I had heard about the Japanese supermarket Mitsuwa several times before, but Rose was always telling me about the amazing cosmetics and skincare items they have there (including overpriced Bioderma), and so we planned an outing whereby I get myself to Hoboken.

Naturally, hilarity ensued, when I got there and texted her that I was there. And then waited for 15 minutes. Then got a text from her telling me she was just walking around Sinatra Park. My actual response to her was, “You speak like I know what or where that is.” She told me to walk towards the water. I said, again, I had no idea where that was. She told me to walk to this clock tower I saw. Except, the PATH Station was in my way. I didn’t know how to get around it.

Yes, she had to come get me.

But it was worth it, because the view was gorgeous. (I maintain, the best part of New Jersey is the view of New York. 😉 )

DSC_1252Kiss my ass, Banksy. I like it!

DSC_1254Even though the skyline will never look the same to me.

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Faire du lèche-vitrine

Things on the homefront lately have been a bit frustrating and less than thrilling in the personal and job-hunting departments. So yesterday I decided that instead of wallowing at home in my sad, unemployed, broke state (and, worse, looking online and finding more things I want!), I would take a field trip to Barneys so that I could at least play with some of the items I’ve been coveting in person. The next best thing to retail therapy is window shopping (and I’ve spoken of my love for the French term for it, faire du lèche-vitrine), and window shopping doesn’t hurt, right? (Until you fall in love with something and have to walk away…)

Naturally, my first stop was at the Surratt counter to see the goodies I’ve been lusting after firsthand. I had a demonstration of the Autographique liner, and the calligraphy-like mechanism, and I have to say, it looks so amazing, it almost did break my heart to walk away from it. The eyeshadows felt buttery soft on my fingers, but I didn’t actually try any of them on. Yet. I’ll save something for a different day.

I did make sure, however, to seek out the Automatique Lip Crayon in Alluring. I also was struck by the Automatique Lip Crayon in Mégalomane. To anyone who is familiar with MAC’s Ruby Woo and Russian Red and the differences between the two, Alluring and Mégalomane are the Surratt counterparts. Alluring is the brighter, lighter sister, like Ruby Woo, and Mégalomane is the deeper, more classic Hollywood red, like Russian Red.

Unlike Ruby Woo, though, and even MAC’s other matte lipsticks, these felt sublime on. The application and feel and wear is truly extraordinary. They go on completely matte, but you don’t feel a thing on your lips. They are not dry, they do not tug on your lips. I did not get a chance to see how long they wear, but I am in love enough to know that I need both in my life. (I actually did an experiment to try and help me pick just one: I put one on half my mouth and one the other half, and kept moving my hand from side to side to try and figure out which color I like better. But I’m not picking. You can’t make me.)

I would really love to try more of the line at some point, so a return visit is entirely necessary.

My next and last stop (I can only tempt myself so much!) was at the MAKE counter. A friend had told me that she heard their Silk Cream Lipstick in Scarlet was the holy grail red, and I had to find out. Despite just trying on 2 red lipsticks. (You have to be dedicated to the mission!) Buying in person, MAKE donates 10% of retail sales to the nonprofit organization We See Beauty Foundation (even more when you buy from them directly), which benefits women-run, worker-owned cooperative businesses.

At the MAKE counter, I was helped by the gorgeous and adorable Kimberly who also has a blog and who also has my Rebecca Minkoff Colin Camera Bag! I hope to come back a different time and have her do my face, because her makeup looked amazing.

The Scarlet is a lot more orange leaning than I was expecting, but it really brightened up my face. I used to be certain I could only wear orange-leaning reds, and then suddenly I realized I have pink in my face and blue-toned ones look good as well. Besides for the shade, I’m always on the fence about whether I like my red lipstick to be creamy or matte, and this was definitely on the creamier side (although it seems they have a matte version as well). I’m wearing it in the photos below. Let me know what you think!

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Wishlist Wednesday #5

Hello, again, and welcome to another edition of Things Shani Wants But Can’t Afford (Right Now) Because She’s Unemployed. Today changes things up a bit, in that I’m not just going to write about a single item that I’m lusting after, but an entire new makeup line.

I recently read this article about celebrity makeup artist Troy Surratt‘s new makeup line, Surratt, which just debuted at Barneys New York (sadly, not all the items are available online right now).

I think we all love perusing Japanese stores such as Muji for their interesting and ingenious products . Surratt took all that innovation and injected it into his line, and some of the items inspire unnatural amounts of lust in me.

For example:

Surratt describes his Autographique liner (liquid liner) pen as being inspired by calligraphy pens, and contains a similar capillary system. The point is fine and made of nylon, not felt. And—get this!—the tip is refillable! So instead of throwing out another whole pen, you can just replace the tip. I think this is a brilliant idea, and I really want to try it. (I have liquid eyeliner dysfunction, so anything that may help me with my eyeliner applying skills…)

502978764_product_1 Autographique liner

Another Japanese influence Surratt drew on for his line was the difference in brow pencils, making his harder and more powdery. This gives the pencil more of a graphite pencil feel, and allows it to fill in between the hairs of the eyebrows more naturally. I’ve been trying to find a good one, and this sounds pretty excellent. (And it’s also refillable!)

502978770_product_1 Expressioniste Brow Pencil (This is just a link to the refill—the pencil seems to be sold out online.)

The article says that his line has a look-good-on-everyone red, and of course, I, in my search for the perfect red, NEED to try it. It’s the Automatique Lip Crayon in Alluring. The product description says that it has a non-drying, suede-like, matte finish, which sounds just right for a red. And it looks pretty stunning to me!

502978588_product_1 Automatique Lip Crayon in Alluring

Another great feature of the line is customizable palettes, which, if you’ve ever had a pre-made palette with colors you just don’t use, you know is a godsend.

In general, the line looks amazing (see here, here, and here).  And it doesn’t hurt that the man himself replied to my tweet! 🙂 As soon as I have some money, I am hightailing it to Barneys to try all of these out for myself!

Do any of these tempt you? What are you wishing for this week?