Friday, 27 April 2012

Confessions of a fangirl, Hyde from L'Arc~en~Ciel and I have the same hat!

On 11th April, I went to see L'Arc~en~Ciel in London. It was a dream come true. I love love loved them during my teenage years and early 20s, and always dreamed of seeing them live. Of course, I dreamed that would happen someday in an arena in Japan... never thought it would be a club in London!

They were so close it was amazing. After the performance, I was tempted to follow them to Paris for their next concert, but my credit card bill arrived at that very moment and brought me back to a different reality. But it was when I saw some pics from their live in Paris that I discovered this photo (not mine btw) and much to my joy I found that I have the same hat as Hyde. :D  Epic fangirl moment.

Yep, that's the hat in all it's glory on Hyde's head.

I'm sorry I haven't blogged in awhile. I've been unbelievably busy, but I will be back soon.

I will leave you with another L'arc clip - Ophelia, where Hyde plays the sax as well as sings :) because I think music is another form of beauty. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Tools of the trade: keeping those brushes brilliant

When I clean my brushes, I use shampoo to wash the bristles. This may or may not be obvious, but think of the bristles like hair, and your brushes will love you back.

Well,,, not exactly like hair. I don't condition or style my brushes. I just use a shampoo to clean them in luke warm to cool water and then let them air dry.

My favourite shampoo to use for washing my brushes is Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo. It's gentile as can be.

Do you clean your brushes regularly? 

Totally not related...

I'm sharing this song from S.H.E. today, it was in Bullfighting, a Taiwanese drama with Mike He, and I adore him, but anyway, really been feeling this song lately, and look, complete with English subs Sorry, it's a bit bittersweet and kind of sad. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Syoss Treatment Mask for well-conditioned hair

So I got a sample of Syoss Treatment Mask with one of latest orders from Japan and as I've always been fairly impressed with the few hair care products I've used and tried in Japan, I thought it would be a treat.

It was.

Very lovely repair treatment. My hair felt so loved after using this. It feels shiny and soft and I'm happy. Very pleased.The next day, I loved this even more. *Must have*

Now the tricky part. Okay, so I like it, and we don't have Japanese supermarkets around here (ok, we do in London, but they don't carry cosmetics and hair products like in the US, yeah I'm looking at you, California with my green eyes!)  So the question remains, is it amazing enough to warrant paying to have it shipped from Japan? That almost always equals a big expense, so it has to be worth it.

I did a bit of hunting on the net. I'm detective, just like Kindaichi or MatsuJun in his latest drama, Lucky Seven, which I highly recommend by the way! 

Coincidentally, MatsuJun played young Kindaichi in the 3rd season of Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo.

 Yeah, but anyways, Syoss seems to be a brand name in Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia here in Europe. Score! Maybe I won't have to order from Japan, if I can get something from my friendly German/Dutch/Scandinavian neighbours instead, that would be wonderful!

Syoss products on German website

While trying to find a way to get Syoss into the UK, I found quite a few sites claiming that Syoss and TRESemmé are the same brand! TRESemmé!?! Really?  Okay, that is easily available in the UK (and the US from what I recall). And yeah, okay I haven't tried it in years. Shall I get treatment mask from TRESemmé in the UK and see if it matches up?

I think I will. Will let you know the results!

Back to TV drama... 

Altho, I love MatsuJun, I have to say I remember the first two seasons of Kindaichi with Domoto Tsuyoshi back in the mid 90s with fondness. I was still a kid, but I remember these series being so good and scary! Ah, I think I have this on VCD even! Remember VCD? Now I feel like digging them out and rewatching.

Were/Are you a Kindaichi fan (any of the TV shows, anime or manga... even original novels)?

Friday, 13 April 2012

Lord Poppington Popcorn Heaven for Popcorn Fiends

I am a self-confessed popcorn fiend. I cannot get enough of the stuff. So when Lord Poppington offered to send me some of their products to try, I obviously said yes.

Okay, so maybe I'm stretching it posting about popcorn on a beauty blog, enh, but.. but..  yeah well I talk about food all the time. Besides, popcorn is a light snack that makes me happy, and happiness equals beauty, right? Right?

Lord Poppington was kind enough to send me adequate samples of four current flavours in their range: lightly sea-salted, sweet and salty, chili and lime, and four cheeses.

First a review of the popcorn itself, then on to the flavours!

Lord Poppington refers to this type of popcorn as mushroom popcorn, meaning it pops in big round mushroom like shapes. Yum. I heartily approve. This is quality popcorn, no doubt about it! 

Lightly sea-salted 

My favourite flavour of popcorn is usually the salted variety, so I had big expectations for lightly sea-salted. As I've already said, the popcorn is amazing, but I found lightly sea-salted a bit too 'light'. I'm a salt fiend as well as a popcorn fiend. Delish, but I'd prefer more salty.

Sweet and salty

I'm not a fan of sweet, so sweet and salty didn't appeal to me much, but I did try this. It was nice. It also was a hit with workmates (both at work and in the pub). If you like sweet and salty, this could be your flavour. It was my least favourite for obvious reasons.

Chili and lime

Chili and lime was the most popular of the four flavours amongst friends and workmates. I even ended up loving this, even though I was a bit skeptical at first. I'm not really that into spicy food, and while this does have a bit of kick, these are so tasty it's hard to stop.

Four cheeses

'Just like the pizza'. I loved these. The others said it was okay, but obviously their favs were the chili and lime and the sweet and salty. Again quite rich, so it's hard to eat too many. (Unlike plain or the lightly sea-salted, I can just pack that stuff away!) I didn't think I'd like these as I thought they might taste like cheesy crisps or cheetos, but thankfully they tasted much much better.

So my overall review is that Lord Poppington is worth checking out. I haven't actually seen Lord Poppington's for sale in my local supermarket, but I would definitely purchase it. Certainly next time I have a film night with friends at home, I know that if I pop open a bag of chili and lime everyone will be pleased.

Are you a popcorn fiend too? Are you a salt or sweet fan? ^.^

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Ready for summer swimming thanks to J. Crew

Okay, for my American visitors this may not be too exciting, but for everyone else, hold on to yer hats.

J. Crew is currently offering free international shipping, free international returns, duty-free shopping now through 30th April 2012. Plus, you can shop in your local currency.

Amazing. Just what I needed. To spend some money at J. Crew!

Well, one thing I did need was some new swimwear. My last few swimwear purchases have been £6 bikini sets from Primark, which I have to say I have been pretty impressed with, but I have been a even longer fan of the swimwear at J. Crew.

The more I swim, the more I can induldge in treats, like my favourite biscuits/cookies - double chocolat au lait from YokuMoku.

 Actually I'm off to London today to see L'Arc~en~Ciel at the O2! I am so excited. I have always wanted to see laruku, and never imagined in a million years that I would *in London*! I thought I *might* see them one day in Japan... but wow. Anyone else going to see them? 

It was hard to find a good clip of my favourite Laruku song from its release - Niji (Rainbow), the clip quality isn't brilliant, but hopefully the beauty of the music still comes through. 

And cos I love them so much, here's another song - Anemone with English subtitles. Enjoy! 

Monday, 9 April 2012

Protect & Perfect? Yes, please, Boots No7 Skincare

I know that it may not be news, but I wanted to share my favourite skincare products from the Boots No7 skincare range: 


I actually bought these 3 just before Christmas and have to say that my winter skin has really loved this trio!

Honestly I use the Intense Beauty Serum religiously, and try to remember to use the Day Cream. I usually completely forget about the Night Cream. That's not true, I don't forget, I've just been really lazy at night before bed.

While the creams are amazing, the Beauty Serum is what I've been most impressed with. I know I'm not the first, but it has really won me over. Those five little pumps each morning after washing my face make all the difference. I've already bought myself a refill and am halfway through it. I prefer it in the glass bottle with the pump top, but it also comes in a squeeze tube - same amount of product and same price (not really sure why they do that!?)

Using the serum, I have really noticed a glowing difference in my skin, that I can only put down to using this product. It's amazing and I whole-hardheartedly recommend it.

Then completely not related...

There's going to be a Rurouni Kenshin / るろうに剣心 (also known as Samurai X) movie this summer in Japan! Sounds great. Here's a trailer with English subtitles. Are you excited too?

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

What Would Blair Wear? Vera Wang looks lovely on Ivy in Gossip Girl

Most mornings as I get dressed for the day and stare into my closets (yes, plural...try not to hate me!) and ponder which clothes to wear that day, I ask myself 'What would Blair wear?'

Of course, I'm referring to Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl. I've made it no secret that she is my style icon. I would say she should be yours too, but we don't all need to look the same. :P

But at the moment, I'm confused. I just watched the latest episode of Gossip Girl (this hasn't aired yet in the UK, so I'll try to keep it spoiler free!) and I fell in love with a gorgeous dress. Now usually, it's Blair that's wearing what I love... but tonight, it was Ivy Dickens!

OMG. I love this dress so. much. For some reason, in my head it's a Blair Waldorf dress. Am I really imagining it? Blair didn't wear this at some point?

Oh well, either way. Wow, way to go Ivy! You look stunning and I totally want to wear your dress.

It's not really Ivy's dress, it's by Vera Wang and you can get it at Neiman Marcus for a cool $495 USD. Bargain, right?  I really shouldn't spend this much on a dress that I don't need. But I might cry if they sell out in my size!

Although Ivy rocked this dress, I was disappointed not to see Blair in something more killer. Instead she was running around with Lonely Boy. Ew. What's up with that? Isn't that storyline dead yet? Come back to us, Blair! You're missed on the Upper East Side!
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