Hi my lovelies, gosh it’s been almost two months since I last blogged. I’m completely and utterly immersed in new mommy hood. I literally stopped taking photos of beauty products and just snap away at my lil man here…
He’s the light of our lives, but don’t get me wrong, taking care of a new born is all-consuming, even with my mother’s help. She’s going home this coming Monday so I’m a bit fearful of how it would be like when it’s just me and the lil guy all day. No blogging or delicious Chinese meals that’s for sure.
I’ve also undergone a second surgery for appendicitis after my c-section delivery so I’m still housebound till I recover from my surgical wounds. The only time I go out is for medical appointments (mine and baby’s) and walking normally without discomfort feels like light years away. I still can’t carry heavy things or work out or even go for walks outside.
But I am off painkillers and I can feel my spirits are lifting because I’ve gone back to reading beauty blogs and made a big online haul at Sephora during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. I’m beyond excited to receive it.
I’ve also started collecting empties for December in the hopes of writing up a post come January.
I’m all about skin care these days since I don’t go out and wear make up. Gosh I totally miss dolling up and wish I have somewhere to go to do that!
By the way, I’m typing this out on mobile phone while baby is napping but he’s stirring from his sleep so I’ve got to go.
I miss blogging and chatting with you guys in the comments!
Hi my dearies, it’s been such a long time since I blogged! If you have been following me on Instagram (beautyboxonline) or Facebook, you would know I had given birth to a baby boy and we’ve named him Charles Weixing O’Neil. He’s taking a nap now so I’m able to quickly come in here to type this up.
It was a difficult delivery — 26 hours of labour that had several complications and ended in a C-section (the history of which is quite gory but an interesting factoid). I really wanted a natural birth but it was not meant to be. I won’t go into the gory details because it’s not the kind of positive birth story that would encourage other pregnant women – it’s more like the kind that would make you cringe and wish you didn’t read it. So many things went wrong that were not within my control so I’ll just try not dwell on it.
BUT, I got a gorgeous lil baby in return and as all mothers would say (and it is true!!!), “It was worth it!”
Charles was born at 5.43am on October 11th, Friday morning, and weighed 3.45kg. He has deep blue eyes (we think this wouldn’t last long since both of us do not have blue eyes but it’s probably inherited from the husband’s mum), the husband’s nose, mouth, and pale white skin, a natural mohawk (my hair was like that as a baby) and my eyebrows. He has really long feet (as long as my husband’s index finger and longer than mine!!) and strong muscular legs. His cheeks and arms got chubbier after his was born and I affectionately call his arms “marshmallow arms”.
That was me meeting Charles for the first time. He was fresh out of the oven so to speak, was bright-eyed, awake, and alert. The mid-wife pressed his face against mine since I couldn’t touch him with my hands and my first words to him were, “Hello, I’m your Mummy.”
We stayed in the maternity hospital for an entire week and I felt very well taken care of – I was served wholesome delicious Japanese food daily and the nurses were so kind and helpful, especially when Charles seemed to cry for no reason and they gave good advice.
Due to the C-section, I had problems with breastfeeding, i.e. delayed milk, sleepy baby syndrome etc. We even had to supplement with formula which made me very upset but I realized it’s better to feed a hungry baby than not at all. He lost 10 per cent of his birth weight and they didn’t want him to lose any more so I think supplementing was a good decision in the end. He’s fed mostly breast milk now but has the occasional bottle of formula but I really hope to exclusively breastfeed him eventually.
That’s us arriving back home. While the hospital was great, it was a relief to be in my own digs, plus my mum and sister are here from Singapore to help out so I’ve been having awesome home-cooked Singaporean Chinese food plus extra pairs of hands to take care of Charles and running the household.
The recovery from the surgery has been slow and there have been days which were hard physically and mentally. Staying up all night to feed a newborn is no easy feat, especially with a sore lower abdomen and sometimes I really feel like throwing in the towel. But I’m certain that Charles’ little stomach will grow and he would be able to eat more at a go, which means he will be able to sleep for longer stretches.
He’s officially two weeks old now and sometimes when he’s not crying, sleeping, or feeding, he would have this angelic look on his face and he would stare at me or my husband with the most intense gaze. He looks like a thinker when he sleeps as he likes to prop his face on his fist but he also seems to have interesting dreams as his hands flail about crazily. He has the busiest hands in the world, awake and sleeping – sometimes he just punches the air for no reason when he’s awake. Gosh, can you tell I’m just hopelessly in love with my lil boy?
One thing I did make a good and sound decision was my choice of partner. My husband has been the pillar of strength for our little family – he does everything because I’m not able to strain myself due to the C-section (no lifting, excessive walking, bending over, etc.).
He is strong physically and mentally so he can take on the grueling nights with a newborn – I feed the baby while he changes soiled diapers. He bathes Charles and feeds him expressed breast milk and/or formula in the early mornings when I’m sleeping. Plus he deals with the never-ending madness of laundry, cleaning, and also generally taking care of our new business while I’m walking about in the haze of new motherhood.
The husband was also such a champ during the 26 hours of hell we went through during labour (he hardly ate or slept) and he was my constant cheerleader and supported me all the way.
So that’s it from me for now, I guess. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to blog about beauty stuff. My top priority is to feed my baby and that’s a full-time job. I’ll be so grateful if you’ll stick around till we find our rhythm again.
Thank you for all your congratulations and well wishes!
Over the summer, I was thrilled to be back in touch with my nose — my first trimester was fraught with a heightened sensitivity to most smells and I even stopped wearing perfume – oh the horror for a perfumista!
So I think I more than made up for it when I slowly accumulated six new perfumes over the summer…
From left to right:
It’s a fresh citrus floral where the lily takes centre stage – the husband loves this scent and complimented me when I wore it in summer (it’s rare that he likes perfume on me and often teases me that I wear “smelly water”, so whenever he says he likes something, I always put file it away as “extra special”). It’s a 15 ml vial which is lasting me a lot longer than I expected.
I feel like getting the full-sized bottle once this is done and I think it’s so unique as well because it’s not like a huge commercial product where you can find it anywhere and everywhere.
♥ Karma by Lush Eau De Parfum was an impulse buy which still befuddles my brain till this day. I could’ve sworn this was the ultimate fresh mandarin scent I’d managed to find but when I took it home, I couldn’t recognize it. I thought I bought the wrong bottle because I sniffed every single Lush fragrance on display and mixed it up with something else.
Was it the intense heat and hormones coursing through my body that fateful day? Perhaps. Check out the ingredients:
DRF Alcohol , Perfume , Patchouli Oil (Pogostemon cablin) , Orange Oil (Citrus dulcis) , Lavendin Oil (Lavendula hybrida) , Pine Oil (Pinus) , Lemongrass Oil (Cymbopogan flexuosus) , Elemi Oil (Canarium commune) , Cassie Absolute (Acacia farnesiana) , *Cinnamal , *Citral , *Geraniol , *Citronellol , *Limonene , *Linalool
I think the patchouli and pine notes make this an oddball perfume. There’s no comparison that I know of so I’m struggling to describe this scent – it leans a little towards an aromatherapy-type fragrance but yet it doesn’t smell natural at all. It’s a cacophony of clashing notes if you ask me. Apparently, it was inspired by the “psychedelic 70s and Massive Attack’s layers and layers of creamy sound”.
I don’t hate it but I don’t love it so it’s under the “only when I feel weird and confused I would wear this” category. I choose perfumes according to my moods – bizarre, but a very real habit.
I like this as an everyday light fragrance if I’m out in the day running errands. The neroli, ginger, grape, and white musk notes are an unusual blend and not for those would like a typical fruity scent.
Neroli always gives a touch of “animal” to any fragrance and I like that it has that subtle kick to it.
♥ The Body Shop Brazil Nut Body Mist is dessert in a bottle. On a chilly day (which we are getting a couple of those now), the nutty chocolatey caramel notes wrap around me like a big hug.
The sillage is extremely weak but I’m fine with it because I think gourmand scents can be heavy and could affect those around you. Perhaps it’s better to wear it like a personal secret — only you can catch a slight whiff of it.
I used to dislike body mists because I thought they were too watery but I’ve been drawn to them more as affordable everyday scent solutions. There are just some days when you don’t need an expensive fragrance spritzed all over you.
♥ Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne was a surprise buy for me. I was gunning for Pomegranate Noir which has been on my wish list since forever. But as fate would have it, they were out of stock and I sniffed a few other Jo Malone perfumes and stumbled upon Earl Grey & Cucumber.
There is something very chic and fresh about this elegant tea-party fragrance which is stellar on its own and also great in combination with Red Roses (which I have).
The top note features bergamot which then quickly settles into a distinctive early grey plateau where you also get the fresh and watery nature of the cucumber note. There is only a hint of vanilla and musk which makes this a little sexy during the dry down. God, I love this.
I have a little Jo Malone perfume party in my collection and I look forward to collecting more of these. I never get the 30ml bottles because they look absolutely tiny next the 100ml ones – does anyone else have this weakness?
♥ Chloe Eau De Parfum was on sale at a drugstore in Shibuya — it was like 40% off or something and I’d always fancied it since it came out a few years ago. I love rose perfumes so it felt like it would fit me like a glove.
I imagine wearing this when I head out to lunch with friends in the arvo. It’s casual, girly but still womanly. Some may even pan it and say it’s generic but I think a fresh rose scent that smells expensive is hard to come by.
By all means it’s not the most unique rose perfume out there but it’s a great everyday rose fragrance for a rose lover. I was very restrained and only got the 30ml version. I do struggle to finish 50ml perfume bottles (so how will I ever finish those giant sized Jo Malone ones???) which made my decision. 4000JPY (USD40) felt like a small splurge compared to 7000JPY (USD70).
Do you like any of these perfumes I mentioned? If not, what perfumes have you been loving lately?
No preggo talk today, I promise! I want to share an FOTD done with mostly Addiction makeup and a first impressions on some Dior base makeup. I was about to go out for an appointment at my back up hospital so I thought why not do a full face of makeup just for kicks?
I’m firmly in love with my Addiction palette (see photo below) and have been using it every time I do my makeup. Today’s EOTD uses Rigoletto, a slightly peachy champagne shimmery shade as a lid colour. Then I used Flashback, a neutral satiny taupe on the outter lid area. I smoked out the extreme outter edges with Bagdad Cafe, a rich grey-brown.
I lined my eyes with a Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink and put on Maybelline Volum’ Express The Falsies mascara, plus I used Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Ebony for my eyebrows.
Top left to right: Rigoletto, Singita, Sheltering Sky
Bottom left to right: Flashback, Bagdad Cafe, Arabian Ruby
For my base makeup, I used Drioskin Nude Skin-Glowing Makeup in 020 Light Beige which as you can see is too light for my neck. I think the next shade up, 021 Linen could be a better fit. I used a brush to apply and it felt a little hard to blend at first, like it wasn’t very creamy but it is meant to be a watery light foundation that gives light to medium coverage. I did go over twice with two layers as I thought the coverage was a little too light for me.
I can see how this could work in more humid weather but I think it would be fine in drier weather as well. After applying it, I thought the finish was very lovely on its own and contemplated not putting on a powder because it didn’t look shiny at all – just a hint of dewiness and a “my skin but better” effect.
Overall, I like the effect but thought the application needed a bit of hard work. Temptalia had a glowing review of this product which surprised me a little but I do agree with her on the end result of what this foundation can do for your skin.
Alas, curiosity got the better of me and I put on the sample of Diorskin Forever Compact Flawless Perfection Fusion Wear Makeup SPF 25 in 020 Light Beige to set my makeup. At first glance, it looked rather matte but after blending with the oils on my face, the effect was glowy and natural after a few hours. I read that this powder is more suitable for normal to dry skin so I will have to test this out more to see how it works on my oily combination skin. My guess that it would be fine in the depths of winter when my skin gets drier.
Again, I think this shade is too light for me and would like to try a slightly darker one. But my tan could fade really quickly and it won’t be an issue any more. To fix it, I used my NYC Sunny Bronzer to darken my complexion a little. The camera does pick up the contrast a lot more than what my mirror showed me that day – in real life, I feel like I could get away with wearing the 020 Light Beige shade but it needs work.
This would sound incredibly shallow but I like high end powder compacts because they look gorgeous when you whip them out to touch up your makeup. I think some drugstore powder compacts perform really well too, like the Canmake Marshmallow Finish Powder (which for some reason pairs excellently with the Kate BB Gel Cream by the way) but it’s so fugly that I wouldn’t take it out and about with me.
On my cheeks, I put on Addiction’s Cheekstick in African Sunset. You are supposed to put in on after your foundation and below powder, but I just slathered some on after powder, and then blended it out with a flat top kabuki brush which worked perfectly fine.
Clockwise from left: cheekstick in African Sunset, six-piece eyeshadow palette, lip gloss in Moondust, lipstick in Super Woman, cheekstick in Revenge
On my lips, I have Addiction Lipstick in Superwoman, a sheer balm-like orangey red and topped it off with the Moon Dust lip gloss, that has sheer gold shimmer which amped up the lips a little. The lip stick felt sheerer than a lip butter to be honest and I had to go over my lips several times to get some of that fantastic juicy red colour. It keeps hanging on to your lips until you eat or drink and looking at the texture it’s not a long lasting formula at all.
I was very happy with all the products I used and they put a pep in my step for a doctor’s appointment (*yawn*).
Have you tried Addiction before? If so, what are your thoughts? And do share your thoughts on the Dior base makeup items if you had any experience with them.
Hello my dears, how’s it going? For me, there’s still no baby and that’s why I’m going to do an extra special post on my Week 40 preggo update. I realized I have been really lousy at talking about the deets of my pregnancy.
In terms of physical changes from Week 39, there haven’t been many at all. I think when you are right at the end, your condition stabilizes. The baby’s head has descended in my pelvis so that’s a good sign but I’m only 1.5 cm dilated which was unchanged from the previous week.
Me at 39 weeks and 3 days
So let’s talk stats. I’ve put on 17-18 kg so far — I am weighed at three different places: the birth centre, the back up hospital, and my home, and they all tell me different numbers and that’s because I am weighed at different times of the day and often after eating a meal (my appointments tend to be in the late morning or afternoon).
In terms of energy levels, it’s a bit of a see-saw. I’ve noticed that since I started walking daily from Week 36 onwards, I feel more energized. There are afternoons which I need a little nap or I have trouble going back to sleep after a 4am toilet run, but nothing major in the sleep department. I’m lucky that I don’t have to work in these last few weeks so life is pretty relaxed.
I do suffer from puffiness in my hands, ankles, and feet, especially in the evenings. I stopped wearing my wedding and engagement rings quite early on in my third trimester. I had a hard time getting them off one evening so I’ve kept them in a ring box till I can wear them again. It makes me feel sad sometimes but it’s not long now!
I don’t have backaches fortunately but I do sleep with a pillow between my knees for more support. Turning from side to side feels like moving a mountain while I’m horizontal. I also need a stool to help me balance when I get up from our futon. Imagine hauling an extra 17-18 kg from the floor to standing position – not sexy.
The baby weighs 3.5kg according to the ultra-sound scans but at my last appointment it weighed 3.3 kg although my belly measurements increased by 2cm from the last visit. Right now the baby’s fundal height (it is measured from my pubic bone to the top of the uterus) is 107cm. My midwife said that ultra-sound scans are just an estimate and can be faulty. I hear ya, sista.
My belly button sticks out quite a bit (I started off with an innie) and you can see a little bump in the middle of my belly even if I wear maternity jeans and a top over it.
Me at 40 weeks
The stretch marks are definitely increasing and becoming darker. They look like silvery pink tiger stripes and I wonder if I’ll ever be rid of them. I want to have a second child fairly soon after my first so I have a feeling that the stretch marks are here to stay. I was very bothered when they first appeared and then they were just uncontrollable so I gave up feeling bad about them. I still apply stretch mark oil every night after my shower because my skin gets very itchy and needs heavy duty moisturizing.
Another thing I’m looking forward to stop doing is the perineal massage – it’s an absolute chore and from what other women say in pregnant forums, they think so too. It’s supposed to prevent tearing which is one of my biggest fears about delivering so I just get on with it even though it’s one of the top pregnant things I hate to do.
Cravings-wise, the avocado and ginger obsession has eased but I’m cooking more thoughtful meals. I’m also trying new recipes to the delight of the husband. I guess culinary inspiration strikes when I’ve got a wealth of time. I truly enjoy cooking which is a way for me to relax and have a sense of focus outside of baby things.
I must say I’m really over drinking raspberry leaf tea and eating pineapple which are natural ways to induce labour. I don’t think they work, to be honest, but apparently they both have a softening effect on the cervix so let’s just hope they are doing at least something.
An indulgent lunch to celebrate reaching 40 weeks at Ivy Place in Daikanyama
Sometimes, I get a strange metallic taste in my mouth or a short bout of nausea that remind me my body has lots of hormones flying about. It’s reminiscent of the first trimester, but nothing major and they pass very quickly.
Mentally, I think the fear of pain is lessening while my impatience grows. The daily walks are also keeping my spirits up and I feel physically strong and limber. People seemed shocked that I am out and about when I tell them my due date is October 5th (today). It’s like heavily pregnant women are supposed to be unseen or are secret beings who just hang around at home suffering or something.
I was disappointed when my midwife told me on Tuesday that the baby might appear at the end of next week. Then I thought, I’ve waited 40 weeks for this baby and I can wait a little longer. It will come out eventually and no pregnant woman is allowed to be go beyond 42 weeks so that much I know for sure.
My mum and my sister are coming to visit next week so I’m super excited to see them — they would be a great distraction as well.
It’s been ages since I’ve done a favourite links post. I’ve been browsing blogs and YouTube a whole lot more these days due to more free time (I’ve been trying to fill my time while waiting for a certain baby to arrive…) and I’ve encountered some really interesting reads so I thought I would share them with you.
♥ You know I love talking about empties but Liz from Beauty Reductionista has a special gift for looking at emptying bottles, palettes, pots and it shows right here, How To Empty. If you are a beauty hoarder like me, you would chuckle at most of, if not all, her witty points.
♥ The Non-Blonde talks about a simple natural facial cleanser, Yes To Tomatoes Daily Clarifying Cleanser, she bought for her husband who apparently is a vegetarian who hates eating tomatoes. Go read it – it’s hilarious.
♥ Lily from Chloe.Ash shows us how to make bright fuchsia eyeshadow work if you don’t like wearing pink, and no, you won’t look like someone punched you in the eye.
♥ Emily Noel at Beauty Broadcast is always so enthusiastic about drugstore makeup (or makeup in general) that I just want to watch more of her videos. She has made hundreds of beauty videos and she still maintains that pep. Her Sept favourites video talks about returning to old favourites and I’m reminded to shop my stash more often.
♥ Jessica Beautician is a joy to watch with her crisp Brit accent and English rose complexion. Her Sephora haul video made me miss shopping there. I find her to be more interesting than a lot of dime-a-dozen beauty gurus because she is a beauty professional who is thoughtful about how she reviews beauty products and makeup.
♥ Essie Button is one of the few beauty gurus who blog and vlog amazingly well – and she is soooo funny. I always look forward to her videos and blog updates. Her latest post, Motivational Makeup?, touches on a topic close to my heart – it seems she works/studies from home so looking presentable even just for yourself is important for getting on with your day early and quickly. Her vlogs with her boyfriend and newly adopted greyhound are very entertaining as well.
Hi my dears, how was your weekend? Mine was very quiet but we’re in “waiting for baby” mode so we’re not straying far from home and just trying to keep as chill as possible. Apparently, fear and stress keeps the baby firmly in place due to the “fight or flight” instinct so I’m trying to be as zen as possible. Lots of people are asking if the baby has come but no dice, I’m afraid, people. This lil bubbie is still finding the womb a cozy place to hang around.
So I’m able to post my September empties – woohoo! This is for you, my fellow empties fanatics…
From left to right:
Jason Natural Vitamin E E 5,000 I.U. Skin Oil was a staple in my face and body care routine but I’ll be exploring different brands of oil this cold season. It smells really nice because of the sweet almond oil and is great as a night time facial treatment or to mix with body lotions.
Matsuyama M-mark series Yuzu Body Lotion is hidden next to the Vitamin E Oil – sorry. Do click on the link to have a look at the packaging. This yuzu (a Japanese citrus fruit) scented lotion caught my attention because I’ve not tried any beauty product with yuzu – usually yuzu is in desserts, drinks, or used as a condiment, so I had to try it. It smells amazing but the body lotion was so runny and thin that it really didn’t moisturize my dry-ish legs even in summer. I had to top it off with some oil to get some decent moisturization going on.
Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil was the only stretch mark oil I had no problems with, i.e. skin reactions. The scent is extremely subtle and it did a great job in moisturizing my belly and hip areas. I already got a back up of this.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture – Sensitive Skin is the only lotion that won’t make my chest and back break out so I get very nervous when I run out of this product. I always have one or two backups in my stash.
Alba Botanica Hawaiian Gardenia Conditioner has become a fave in my shower. This conditioner is rich enough to moisturize tresses, leaves a gorgeous floral fragrance, and does not weigh hair down. Unfortunately, Loft stopped selling this brand so I get it from iHerb.com instead. By the way, the husband likes this brand too – he won’t buy it from the store himself, but if it’s there, he would use it.
philosophy Orange Creamsicle Shower Gel was part of a summer trio special, Ice Cream Cart Set (including Rainbow Sherbet and Peachy Cream Milkshake), and it smells very sweet and orangey. I love me an occasional super fruit shower gel and this delivered exactly that. I’m growing very fond of these philosophy shower gels and wish they were available in Tokyo.
Sabon Body Scrub Tropic didn’t last the six months that I thought it would. It was gone in four months where I pretty much used it once a week. This salt scrub is seriously to-die-for and leaves your skin so smooth and conditioned. The pina colada fragrance was perfect for summer and I already purchased another one, Patchouli Lavender Vanilla, which smells so heavenly and perfect for fall. This is now my HG body scrub and worth every bit of the 5,000JPY (USD50) it costs. It’s a bath treat that always makes me feel so pampered and well-exfoliated afterwards.
Mekhala Soothing Tamarind Facial Cleanser was great as a morning facial cleanser. Click on the link for my review.
Physiogel Lotion was a huge bottle to finish but it’s a good staple to have around if you have sensitive skin. If you have any bad reactions but need a basic, gentle facial moisturizer, this is the one to rely on.
Bifesta Cleansing Express Eyemakeup Remover is an excellent dual phase cleanser that gets rid of all waterproof eye makeup. There’s just no other brand I would use. Are there any super duper eye makeup removers in Japan that you know of?
Mutenka Cow Brand Facial Foaming Wash – Normal Skin is a summer fave. I still have one more back up in my stash but I’m not sure if I would use it just yet since the air is getting drier already. It’s one of those stripping type of cleansers that clean every bit of makeup off. One tube usually lasts me a month.
Neutrogena Acne Oil-Free Acne Stress Control 3-in-1 Hydrating Acne Treatment is an excellent salicyclic lotion that keeps pores clear and zits at bay.
Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque was a travel sized tube which took me a year to finish. I have the full-sized tube and I think that might last me TWO years! It’s a basic clay mask that sucks out any crap from your pores. It’s so affordable too and it’s one of those solid products which never leaves any desire to stray and try other clay masks.
Hada Labo UV Creamy Gel was a must-have in the hot summer months. It’s a chemical sunscreen which leaves no residue and has SPF50 PA+++.
I don’t usually feature samples in my Empties posts unless they really made an impression. Well, it’s hard to judge a product from one to two uses, but I liked all of these a lot. The Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser was a gorgeous lemony geramium scented delight in the shower, while the Gentle Scalp Cleansing Shampoo and Revitalising Hair Sealing Conditioner served well as a one-time job during my Atami escape. My hair looked fine and was clean and well-conditioned but I can’t say much more because hair care reviews need at least two weeks in my opinion.
I enjoyed using the Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum and the Moisturizing Sorbet which were perfect for the searing hot and muggy weather. I might consider getting the full sized versions next summer.
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF15 is probably the only lip balm I have ever finished but that’s because it was a sample size. It was as good as what people rave about – its lemony flavour tastes lovely and it was very hydrating. My only complaint was it didn’t hold up well in the humidity and became mushy, but you know, nothing really holds up well in Tokyo summer.
KissMe Heroine Make Mascara Remover is the only thing that can completely clean off stubborn Japanese mascaras from your lashes. I use it to soften things up and then go in with the Bifesta eyemakeup remover or a cleansing oil. It’s made up of a blend of oils which are gentle for your eyes. Another great staple from the Japanese drugstore.
Canmake Gokunobi Mascara was a fibre-wig type mascara that was only so-so. It was alright in the first few weeks of using this — it lengthened and thickened my lashes nicely without getting clumpy but it’s nothing dramatic so I would say it’s a good everyday mascara but after a couple of months, it started smudging but that’s fairly standard for mascara, especially for oily-lid folks like me.
Physician’s Formula Organic wear® 100% Natural Origin Jumbo Lash Mascara was a mascara that I had to “work” to make it wearable. It smudged very easily so I would coat it with a Majolica Majorca mascara to seal it in. It does give incredible length so when I have time, I would do that.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion is an okay primer but I much prefer NARS’ primer which locks in eye makeup better in the hot summer months.
These are several makeup items I think deserve to be tossed. The two Wet N’ Wild Coloricon blushes in Berry Shimmer and Pearlescent Pink frustrated me no end because they were so pigmented and unblendable that I decided to throw them out.
In the second row, the Cezanne cream blush just faded within a few hours – bleah. And the Daiso peachy blush just looked a little pale and chalky on my skin. I have new toys to play with now so I need space in my stash!
Finally, in the last row are a Bobbi Brown blush (Blushed 10) on the right which also didn’t really work on my skin. It was hard to control the heavily pigmented formula and it wouldn’t blend easily. The eyeshadow on the left is from the metallic range and is called Cognac 13 which was a solid brown to have but both this and the blush are over seven years old so another reason to discard them.
Told you it was going to be massive!
I’m hoping that this would be my last pregnancy update, but who knows when this bubbie will make an appearance? I’m so big right now it’s not funny. If you look at me at my baby shower when I was eight months’ pregnant, I actually got even bigger than that! Felt impossible but it happened.
Not a lot has changed except that I’m really walking almost everyday, like six times a week. I did a super long one on Saturday (over two hours in total) so I took a break yesterday, but am going for another long one today.
They say you could take after your mother’s delivery patterns and my mum actually had my elder sister and I a bit before our due dates. We were also both super speedy in arriving and my mother almost didn’t make it to the hospital with me. I wonder if it would be the same for me – again, it’s all a mystery.
I can understand why some folks want to take away the the unpredictable aspect of giving birth and opt for an elective C-section — not having control of a big life event can be very unsettling…
Anyway, the Braxton Hicks contractions are still very mild but I had two intense episodes last weekend and the weekend before last. Before I could time the contractions, they dissipated which left me quite disappointed to be honest. I’m so ready to have this baby — bring it on now…
Yes, it’s ANOTHER haul post from moi. I posted this cheeky photo on Instagram yesterday of my Dior booty and at the encouragement of Liz from Beauty Reductionista, I thought I would do a quick post. Be warned there is nothing sparkly new or the latest thing from Dior, but I’m jumping on that beauty vlogging/blogging tag, “YouTube Made Me Do It!”
I was only going to get my HG sunscreen. Diorsnow UV Shield SPF50 PA+++ since mine will run out soon now that I’m back to using it daily. It is a whopping 6500JPY (USD65) but so worth it and it lasts forever. The new packaging is bigger than my previous tube and one can last me around 9-10 months as I only ever use it on my face, not even my neck. I use other cheaper sunscreens for the rest of my body.
But the sales assistant was like, “Would you like anything else?” And down the rabbit hole I went.
After watching Lisa Eldridge’s video, PMS Face – Skincare and Beauty Tips (Girl chat!) (don’t you just love her???), I felt this insatiable need to get the Dior Rosy Glow blush (left) after her demo on how to apply this blush (omg that SUQQU blush brush looks divine – but I didn’t go that far).
The Dior Rosy Glow blush has been out since early 2012 so it’s been almost 18 months after all the hype that I decided to get this. My excuse is that I will probably look sallow from all the lack of sleep when the baby comes so a skin brightening blush it is! Btw, I have a massive Sept empties post coming up where I dump some really old blushes to make room for these new pretty things.
Under the influence of YouTube’s numerous beauty gurus, I nabbed the Diorskin Poudre Shimmer Powder in Amber Diamond. I’d seen this being used in tutorials and favourites videos by so many folks and the raves were certainly infectious. This product has been on my wishlist for ages and it feels good to finally make it mine.
You can use it on your eyes and cheeks, much like Bobbi Brown’s shimmer bricks which I am a huge fan of. The warm undertones of this highlighting palette makes this impart a lovely champagne-like glow as a highlighter, while the darker tones are great as lid shades for eyeshadow and the lighter tones for the inner eye corners.
The SA initially gave me a bunch of Diorsnow basemakeup samples but I’d already tried them before (completely unimpressed) so she swapped them out and gave me the Diorskin Nude foundie and Diorskin Forever powder deluxe samples which I’m very excited to use. She also threw in the new Dior Nurturing Oil-Serum which is also interesting for me since I’m a fan of face oils.
All in all, a great haul to lift my flagging spirits (see previous post). Today is our 2nd wedding anniversary and no guesses what I’ll be using to make myself up tonight!
Hi my loves, I’ve a serious case of early morning insomnia. I woke up to go to the bathroom at 430am but could not get back to sleep. By 545am, I gave up lying in bed and decided to make some breakfast and blog.
I’ve been suffering a late third trimester mental malaise — boredom and impatience while waiting for baby to arrive. I’m at 38 weeks now and we’ve got pretty much everything ready: my delivery bag is packed, the pantry well-stocked, all newborn products procured, my schedule cleared for sudden Braxton Hicks contraction episodes which require a lie-in, and a squirming baby in my belly lacking space to wriggle and kick.
We also stopped going to the cinema because the baby went absolutely nuts kicking and moving when we watched World War Z a few weeks ago. The explosive scenes made it very uncomfortable to sit through a non-reclinable chair for two hours. So “doing something fun” means just going out to dinner. Yeah, first world preggo problem, right?
I’ve got a list of books to read but somehow they don’t seem to be an appealing way to pass time as I thought they would in this restless state of mind. I went online to find out if I’m alone in this — absolutely not and a surprising number of women craft, knit, sew, and bake during this time.
But, what did I do? I went shopping for beauty products. I got some new Addiction goodies which I’ll like to share with you, plus some new fragrances which I would blog in another post.
Clockwise from left: cheekstick in African Sunset, six-piece eyeshadow palette, lip gloss in Moondust, lipstick in Super Woman, cheekstick in Revenge
As mentioned, I had a bad experience with Beauty Bay where my package got lost in the mail. I actually ordered the Too Faced Pretty Rebel eyeshadow palette which was one of the main highlights of my purchase. Too Faced is not available in Japan and it’s one of my fave brands to browse in Sephora.
To make up for it, I thought I could make my own palette with Addiction colours. It is probably the only Japanese brand I can think of that has pigmented buttery eyeshadows comparable to Western brands like Urban Decay, NARS, Too Faced, and MAC.
The Pretty Rebel palette had a few colours which I already have in my collection so I picked out shades which I had been lusting after – a deep eye catching blue, shimmery neutral taupe, and um, other neutral shades to complement these colours (I have dozens of neutrals but a neutral-obsessed fanatic like me can’t have enough!).
Top left to right: Rigoletto, Singita, Sheltering Sky
Bottom left to right: Flashback, Bagdad Cafe, Arabian Ruby
Sorry I didn’t do any swatches and the sky is overcast and grey at 6am this morn. But if you want to admire Addiction swatches, you should head over to Drivel About Frivol and So Lonely In Gorgeous. This is just a haul post after all :p I might do an FOTD after I experiment with this palette enough.
I researched and trawled numerous blogs for swatches and decided on these shades at the counter a couple of days later. It seriously felt like Lego for grown women!
I wanted a palette which I could just go to for all my needs. I don’t really like to fiddle with single eyeshadow pots when I don’t have time to get ready so each eyeshadow palette I have would ideally tick all the boxes – it should have lid, crease, and highlight shades with enough wiggle room to do different looks.
Addiction eyeshadows are complex and they don’t necessarily swatch like the way they look in the pan. Some look shimmery and light but when you put them on, they reveal other deeper colour dimensions which remind me of MAC eyeshadows. Urban Decay eyeshadows have a soft buttery texture but they tend to have fall out but Addiction eyeshaows have less dustiness to them which I appreciate.
Just for kicks, here’s a shot of all my Addiction products in my collection. On top of what I just bought, I only have an eyeshadow quad (Magic Flute, Morning Moon, Fudge [gorgeous deep brown which is a fave!], and Shangri-la) and powder blush in Emotional that I bought two years ago.
I must say I’m glad I got the cheeksticks too. I’m not such a huge fan of cream blushes but these are really lovely in achieving a dewy glow and the lipstick-like bullet makes application such a breeze. I read that busy mamas are better off using their fingers or cream products to cut down on time washing makeup brushes and the cold dry weather is creeping up so I can’t wait to dump matte powders for more dewy glowy products.
So there you have it, my Addiction haul as a late pregnancy distraction.
Hi my lovelies, it’s a public holiday today in rainy, typhoon-swept Tokyo. I’m just chilling out at home shopping online for home and baby stuff (it’s amazing that I’m still finding things that I’ve missed out in my initial baby shopping frenzy) and so I thought a spot of blogging is in order.
Summer was disappearing into cool air for a while there but came back with a vengeance late last week so it made me pine for fall. Gosh I’m so sick of the heat! I can’t wait to whip out heavier scents and beauty products. Out with fresh, fruity, and floral – I want rich and gourmandy fragrances to fill my nose.
From the top left clockwise:
The Body Shop Brazil Nut Body Butter is something I am dying to break out once the weather demands you to wear socks in the evening. The chocolatey, nutty aroma of this moisturizer is simply like dessert after a hot shower in the evening. I’m so happy this range in back at The Body Shop. I also have the shower cream and body mist which are just waiting in the wings as well.
L’Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate was a treat bought by the husband when he did a haul at the L’Occitane store in Ebisu. He loves their shower products, especially the Mint Verbana Exfoliating Shower Gel. I love almond-scented products and I can’t wait to slather this stuff over my dry legs in the fall. It’s ridiculously expensive at 5,000JPY (USD50) but I figured that I would need extra pampering from Oct-Dec when I’ll be house-bound and caring for a newborn.
Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream gives the best coverage among all my base makeup. It is long lasting and I often get compliments on my skin whenever I wear this, but this is way too heavy for summer especially for my skin type, so I can’t wait to go back to this when the air gets drier. I’ve been using light coverage base makeup for months now and it would be nice to return to that flawless heavier finish that autumn allows.
Nivea Lip Butter Vanilla & Macadamia Kiss is a lip balm I cannot wait to try. I heard so much about these and wished that Japan would get them too but Nivea here has a completely different collection of lip products. It smelled so amazing when I opened the tester when I picked this up at a random Sydney drugstore in July. It was winter in Australia then so it was just perfect but I haven’t opened it yet as I was favouring my fruity lip balms in the Tokyo summer heat.
Dr Hauschka Rose Day Cream had to be put on the back burner in the summer because it was way too rich even at night. My skin always drinks this rose hip oil infused moisturizer up in drier weather and keeps it nicely moisturized without being greasy. The scent is so lovely as well.
“The last time…”
I thought I would also include a bit of a personal update here and the on-going theme last week that was running through my mind was “Oh, this is the last time I could be doing [this or that] for a long time because when the baby comes I can’t…”
I wrapped up teaching English part-time (I’d been doing this for five years in Japan) and socialized a lot more than usual. And I also tagged along on an informal tour of the National Diet Building – or the “centre of power” in Japan – last Friday.
It was a thrill poking around the opulent hushed corridors of where politicians work. Last week was a lull period so a friend of a friend who works there said it was the most convenient time to take a tour. We even took pictures in the budget committee meeting room and the Chamber of the House of Representatives – rooms that are often seen in the news. We giggled and snapped away.
Me with the lil bun in the oven at 37 Weeks
I was so exhausted (sounds wimpy but when you are heavily pregnant, everything makes you tired at a drop of a hat) from so much activity last week that I spent the day in my futon all day on Sunday – it was pure bliss napping, reading, and watching TV. No walking, yoga, talking, shopping, thinking…Just lots of rest was what the doctor ordered.
Symptoms & Cravings
It’s the home stretch now and my bump is seriously huge and unwieldy. The baby has not much room to move so when it does, it can get very uncomfortable as all my lower body organs are given a good press and poke. I’m getting more frequent Braxton Hicks contractions and nausea does return in short spells as hormones are flooding my system again. I’ve begun to feel the contractions in my lower back and upper thighs too which are all to be expected as I get closer to D-Day.
I had this unshakeable craving for avocado and ginger so I have been making green smoothies with both ingredients daily – seriously so good and keeps my insides in shippy shape. I’ve to admit that since I got the all-clear on my gestational diabetes test, I have been indulging in desserts and ice-cream a bit more often than before.
I’ve been preoccupied with weight gain through my whole pregnancy but my will power has been eroded somewhat – I just eat whatever I feel like and I’m hoping for the best. I just can’t watch the scales anymore and am trusting my instincts. I can’t gorge on food either because my stomach is squashed by the baby so I just eat till I’m full and forget about it. The baby will be whatever size it needs to be.
Sleep has been a bit patchy as I’ve been getting up more often during the night to go to the bathroom. I’m trying not to drink too much fluids at night which helps but I do get woken up by baby kicking me or aches and pains that come with harbouring a huge belly. Oh and the stretch marks are multiplying like crazy. Perhaps surrendering to what will be will be is all part and parcel of training for motherhood – you simply cannot control everything.
I feel more drawn to staying at home although I have this niggling fear of being bored but so far I’ve always found stuff to do. I feel like I need to focus on making time for doing squats, stretches, and the dreaded perineal massage that would help tone my body for birth, to drink raspberry leaf tea, or be alert to how the contractions develop or subside – just in case it’s the real thing happening!
It’s certainly a time of transition for me – one foot in my old life and one foot about to step into a new one – it’s a strange existence indeed….