This week wasn't supposed to have a theme, but then I realized that many of the things I want to write about involves - guess - lipsticks. So I decided to do yet another Lipstick Week! I have quite a few new things here so the time is most definitely ripe haha.
Today let's talk about three lipsticks that would be fabulous with everyday makeup. You know, the natural, clean face, with neutral eyeshadow and a flattering pink blush. These are colors you don't have to think too much about - you just grab 'em and go, really.
Here's the Shiseido Lacquer Rouge in Metalrose RS322, NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Love, and Happy Skin Shut Up & Kiss Me in Just Married. Check out the swatches and my color notes!
I've already reviewed the NARS Satin Lip Pencil (P1,400+) before so this wouldn't be long. The Satin pencils shine because of their excellent color selection and pigmentation. I'm slightly miffed by the fact that you have to *gasp* sharpen them, but oh well. They are what they are!
This is Descanso, part of their Final Cut collection. It's a beautiful tea rose that looks like a nude on my medium skin.
The past week has been more hectic than usual. I organized and executed events for two different clients so I am just dead tired right now. I just wanna lie down and not get up until next week! I'm not saying I don't like my job, it's just that it's not always as glamorous as it might sound. It involves a lot of literal leg work and generous trading of limited social currency.
At the end of the day, however, I live for the feeling of giving my best work to my clients and friends in the industry.
Anyway, I thought I'd keep today's post chill by sharing with you some of the things I'm loving at the moment. I made it a point to include only items I haven't mentioned here yet! I'm probably doing a full review on them next time, but for now here are some of the reasons I pick up these beauties.
Etude House Don't Worry I'm On Your Side Lip Balm. I've actually had this since September last year and I use it ALL THE FREAKIN' TIME. Why I haven't written about it yet, I don't know. But here it is now. :P This is a moisturizing balm that leaves a pretty and long-wearing salmon pink stain on the lips. It's what I used during autumn in Tokyo because the other lippies I brought were just not hydrating enough!
Being a beauty blogger, I get lots of opportunities to try out products I wouldn't have purchased myself. If it were up to me I'd probably stick to one drugstore facial wash forever and completely miss out on the good stuff! For there is a difference between high-end and drugstore skincare. Most people would recommend you splurge on moisturizer, eye cream, and serum (well I do too) but I think there's also a case to be made for expensive facial cleansers.
Yes, you're just going to wash them off anyway, so why pay big(ish) bucks for something that'll stay on your skin for only a couple of minutes? It's because high-end cleansers have a softer, fluffier lather, they smell better, and usually remove light makeup effectively too.
If it's your first time to try Shiseido - gosh I hope not though because you're missing out! - anyway, if it's your first time at a counter you must consider getting three things first. That would be a lipstick, a foundation, and a skincare product. I've tested many of the brand's products extensively and these are the things that just stand out. You're not really experiencing Shiseido if you haven't gotten one or all of those three!
Anyway, here is my latest foundation find from the brand: the Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Spot-Control Foundation (P1,998 for the refill and P1,500 for the case). It's an ultra-silky, mid-coverage foundation with a matte finish and sun protection. I like it because, as with all the Shiseido foundies I've tried, it gives my skin a radiant, creamy finish even though I'm not wearing a liquid base underneath. You'll see a pic later!
What does it do? This foundation is supposed to whiten skin and help erase blemishes faster (hence the "spot-control" in the name), but perhaps I just haven't used it long enough to see results. Besides, I already use Shiseido Ibuki and have little blemishing left over.
If you have a wardrobe of clothes, you also need a wardrobe of makeup. Okay maybe "need" isn't the right word, but admit it, it's fun to have different colors and formulas to play with! What many don't understand about those who love makeup is that it's not all for the sake of vanity. Collecting and learning about cosmetics is a thrill on its own. Just like with any hobby, we do it because we enjoy it.
Anyway, let's continue Shiseido Week! I have one last post for you tomorrow. Clue: it's about a powder foundation, again! But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's chat about the Shiseido Lumizing Satin Eye Color in BR209 (P2,000+).
I adore bronze and gold on my eyes, so this palette was an obvious choice. It contains three rich eyeshadows - a mid bronze, a yellow gold, and a creamy sandy gold. All colors are pigmented, so much that you won't need a base to make them stand out. Of course, to make they stay on for over four hours, it's still best to use an eyeshadow primer.
I've had my eye out on this the Shiseido Sheer and Perfect Foundation (P2,200) ever since I spotted it in counters last September. It promises to correct the "color noise" of the skin, which I understand to mean discolorations and general imperfections. It's also meant to be sheer - however, it's definitely not what I expected after the initial swatches!
This tiny bottle packs a punch. It has a medium coverage, just enough to even out the skintone and to soften blemishes as well as fine lines. It has a beautiful, dewy finish that intensifies as I oil up. Unsightly? Gross? Not at all! My skin looks very nice even though it's shiny with this foundie - it's like, I have another layer of skin, but better! It's not that much of a hassle for me to retouch every 2-3 hours.
Small bottle, yes, but it contains the standard amount - 30ml. This foundation is said to be equal to the Chanel Vitalumiere.
Recap: last November, I was invited to visit the Shiseido Factory in Kakegawa, Japan. The first part involved a visit to the test facility for raw materials - I saw how Shiseido is currently studying how best to produce their own ingredients. They've built a self-contained unit where they can design the most beneficial environment to grow plants, and hopefully branch out to farming them in bulk in the near future!
We've seen their plans, but this time I'll give you a general view of what they currently make and how they make it in the Kakegawa factory. I don't have a lot of pictures since some areas are naturally restricted, but I figured I can still tell you what I saw.
After the tour of the test facility, Jen (the brand manager of Shiseido Philippines) and I were ushered into a lecture room. Here, two kind ladies gave us a presentation about the factory. They also did some demos on how foundation is made!
So how does Shiseido come up with its awesome beauty products? First, they research and develop new technologies. What do the customers need? How can they better improve on what they already make? Once that's been determined and formulated in their dedicated research centers, the products are tested by a team of experts. Shiseido, as far as I know, does not do animal testing unless required by law. Most if not all products and ingredients are evaluated on human skin.
Once the products pass a rigorous testing system, they are manufactured in the factories and then shipped out to stores. Foundation, powder, lipstick, and eyeshadow are just some of the cosmetics produced in Kakegawa.
I think foundation is one of the main products here. The diagram above shows how it's produced - by mixing the powder and liquid binder, placing the mixture in the compact, and then pressing it down with a heavy metal object (I didn't catch the name!).
Here's how it looks like:
My first visit to Japan last July was all about experiencing Shiseido's 140-year old heritage and consummate love for art. You saw how the brand evolved through the years and how it looks like today. You've read about the Shiseido Museum in Kakegawa, the Flagship Store, and the Parlour in Ginza. Now, I'd like to show you the Shiseido factory in Kakegawa, Shizuoka!
This is an exclusive feature as I am honored to be the first beauty blogger to tour this factory. I'm grateful to Shiseido for the opportunity, because they don't normally work with bloggers; they usually go with traditional media. I'm happy that they're beginning to support this medium! ^_^
Moving along! The Shiseido Factory in Kakegawa is about an hour and forty minutes from Tokyo by bullet train. It's a sprawling complex that produces Shiseido's makeup products, among them foundation, eyeshadow, and lipstick. If I remember correctly, each building is dedicated to making only one type of makeup!
Shiseido Philippines Brand Manager, Jen Jimenez-Yalung, with myself
The background is actually a mosaic of real eyeshadows
I'll be talking more about the production aspect of the brand on Part 2 of this post. For today, I'll be discussing one of the brand's latest projects: a test facility right inside the Kakegawa complex.
You might be thinking: a test facility? What? That's boring! Guys, it's not. This is my favorite part of the factory visit, actually. The test facility is further proof of Shiseido's commitment to excellence. It was built because they want only safe and reliable plant raw materials for their active ingredients. They seek only the highest quality ingredients which are traceable to the source.
This facility is a preview of the things to come in 2014. It's only a small area for now, but the plan is to re-create it in a larger scale should it prove successful! The photo above shows a cube where various conditions like temperature, irrigation, light intensity, and carbon dioxide are controlled to get the best possible harvest.
Here's what's inside!
I have never believed in love at first sight, until I set foot in Japan. It is a country of extreme contradictions - modern with gleaming towers and newfangled inventions, yet still traditional at its core. For example, there is a 700,000-square meter forest right in the middle of Tokyo's busiest district, Shibuya, that contains a shrine to their deified emperors (Meiji Shrine). The Japanese always remember and honor their roots.
They are also obsessively practical and detailed, at least compared to the Philippines where we have a happy-go-lucky attitude towards things. But the Japanese, well, they really think of everything! They have built-in bidets in toilets that have perpetually warm seats.
The people are also always courteous, disciplined, and prompt. Go into any shop, and you'll get a smile and a hearty konnichiwa or ohayō gozaimasu! They also always walk on the left side of the road or corridor, so as not to hassle those in a hurry.
I can go on and on really. I want to regularly visit Japan as long as I'm able. That's now one of my life goals!
I thought I'd post some random photos I took during my trip last July. :) They aren't all particularly nice photos, but each one has a small story.
JAL Airline offers a LOT of yummy food! And I like that it's healthy too.
Soooo how was your long weekend? I spent most of mine watching The Lizzie Bennet Diaries! I send my wholehearted thanks to Eula for writing about on her blog. ^_^ If you love Jane Austen, specifically Pride & Prejudice, then you'll love this YouTube series. It's a modern retelling of that swoon-inducing classic, shared in three-minute vlogs per episode. Yeah I thought that format wouldn't work too but I AM HOOKED. I'm already on episode 70! You're welcome haha.
Anyway today I thought I'd share with you an awesome nude liquid lipstick: the Shiseido Lacquer Rouge in Caramel RD215 (P1,250). This is one of Shiseido's latest shades, just released last month! There are about a dozen new colors out now so if you love the Shiseido lipsticks and lacquers as much as I do, then you must go on a swatching spree. I'm actually giving away another shade that I loved here. ;)
Caramel or RD215 is my second Lacquer Rouge. I loved the shade of my first one, Disco (a crazy hot pink) but it bleeds because it's so pigmented! Caramel has no such issue. Maybe because it's a nude shade which makes it hard for me to see any mess outside of the lip line, but I think that the formula sticks much better than it used to. I don't know. Could it be that Shiseido reformulated?
I love bright violet, purple, and magenta makeup on me (in moderation of course) because I feel that they flatter my warm yellow skintone. That aside, these are also my favorite colors in my clothes, shoes, accessories and what not! I like how they're fun and bright to wear. Sometimes though, I also wear their pastel variations.
Here's a look I did wearing some of my Shiseido makeup. ^_^ The eyes are a soft purple, with pink pastel cheeks and a toned down magenta lipstick. Hope you like it!
Face base: Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation, Shiseido Natural Finish Cream Concealer, Shiseido Sheer Matifying Compact to set (I ended up getting the right shade, but there's still a bit of white cast from the SPF base)
I've been blogging for a while now, and in that time I've seen a nurse become a shoe designer, a web designer become a stylist to celebrities, and fresh grads into businesswomen. Blogging can change your life - I know this from first-hand experience. It can unlock your potential and turn your talent into something that earns money and a certain amount of fame.
However, that all depends on how badly you want something. It depends on what you're willing to do to get what you want. I know it all sounds so ruthless, but that applies to pretty much any area of our lives. It's easy enough to want something; it's a totally different thing to want it badly enough to steadily work towards it for months or even years. Random thought. :)
So! Here's a review of the latest concealer in my kit: the Shiseido Natural Finish Cream Concealer (P1,550). I bought this because I wanted something that's completely light and seamless on my skin. I'm used to heavy, opaque concealers that can cover anything I throw at them, but lately I've been enjoying better skin than usual. My usual concealers just look too thick on me even when I blend them the usual way!
This Shiseido liquid concealer has a very thin, buttery texture. The coverage is light to medium, although it can be layered to achieve complete opacity. The finish is a natural matte; no sheen, but it's not a dull matte either.
Your nose - love it or hate it? I admit I've wished my nose was less round and large, but I've accepted it now. It's my nose. I have come to be affectionate towards it the way I would towards a ratty old pair of pajamas. I haven't really considered something drastic like rhinoplasty because, well, it doesn't honestly disturb me that much. I'm not the type of person whose positive image of herself can easily be ruined by something as minor as a wide nose.
But sometimes I just want to have more definition and height, y'know? Especially in photos where the flash or bright sunlight can wash out my features. I prefer to use a contour powder, but here's a handy trick I learned from YouTube: eyebrow pencils work pretty well too! I particularly like the Shiseido Natural Eyebrow Pencil in Deep Brown BR602 for nose contouring. It's the perfect matte brown shade, something that defines without looking weird and harsh!
You can use other brow pencils if you wish, but yes if you already have the Shiseido pencil then this is a great way to repurpose it. So, here's a quick tutorial on how you can use an eyebrow pencil like this to define your nose. It's super easy!
Step 1: Map out your ideal contouring areas. Your goal is to make your nose look slimmer and higher. To do so, shade along the sides of your nose. Use the tip of your nose and beginning of your brows as the reference point.
I very rarely have crappy days because I rarely think that my day is crappy. I just think it could be better, and then mentally run through a list of things I can do to make it better tomorrow! Sometimes it really is just all in our heads. We should know the difference between a true series of unfortunate events and a series of negative thoughts.
Anyway! I just wanna give you a sneak peek of what I'll be writing about next week. ^_^ I've been meaning to do a branded theme, and wanted to try out more things from Shiseido. So. I got four new things to review!
I've read that the Shiseido Sun Protection Liquid Foundation (P1,750) is similar to the Chanel Vitalumiere. It does appear to have the same watery texture and satiny finish! This has SPF43 and claims to be "very water resistant". It's still quite a ways to summer but it's always hot in Manila nonetheless; I need this!